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We were going to say 1 Chronicles 28:20 but I’ve decided we’ll say the one from Psalm 117, I haven’t warned Ruth. This is really our testimony, both of us. I don’t think we would be either of us here if this psalm weren’t true. It begins with verse 13 and goes through verse 18. The person addressed in the first place is the enemy but then it goes on to God.
“You pushed me violently that I might fall, But the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation. The voice of salvation and rejoicing is in the tents of the righteous; The right hand of the Lord does valiantly. The right hand of the Lord is exalted; The right hand of the Lord does valiantly. I shall not die, but live, And declare the works of the Lord. The Lord has chastened me severely, But He has not given me over to death.”
And if the Lord not given you over to death, you’re not going to die. We’ve helped, I suppose, hundreds of people by teaching them to say “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.”
I think it would be only fair to you to let you say that. Say it with us. “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.” Again. “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.” Once more. “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.” Amen.
Now, Don has asked me to mention two of my forty books. This one, Prayers and Proclamations, deals with the very thing that we’ve been talking about, and it contains a whole series of scriptural proclamations which we have proved in our experience, and it gives a little advice on how to make them.
The other book is called God is a Matchmaker. It tells you as a believer how to recognize the mate that God has for you and how to not get mixed up with the wrong mate. But, there’s a lot more to it than that, it really helps people who are married on how to relate to their spouse. There’s a chapter for divorcees, and there’s a chapter for people who don’t marry. When I was preparing the book, the editor said to me, “You need a chapter on divorce.” I said, “That’s all I need, I have enough enemies without that.” He persuaded me and I really believe it has been used by God to deliver multitudes of divorcees from a sense of guilt. So, that’s the book.
Now, I plan a series of six messages, of which this is the first. The theme of them will be “The Predictive Prophecies of the Bible.” I say “of the Bible” because there are prophecies that are not recorded in scripture. I believe in the gift of prophecy today, I believe there are prophets, but there’s one extremely important difference between the prophecies of the Bible and prophecies that may be given today. It is this, the prophecies of the Bible have already been tested. David said of the Lord, His word is tested. He said in Psalm 17:
“The words of the Lord are like silver, purified in a furnace of earth seven times.”
That’s a vivid picture. Silver is the message, the furnace is the Holy Spirit and the earth is the human vessel. But though they’ve been given through human vessels they’ve been so purified by the Holy Spirit’s fire that they are totally reliable, you do not have to check the prophecies of the Bible. But any other prophecies given today, you need to test them. You do not need to swallow them whole. I’ve often said to people you know what to do when you eat fish, swallow the flesh and spit out the bones. Do the same with the kind of prophecies that are going around in the church today. It’s become very fashionable to be a prophet. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t nearly so fashionable with the real prophets, they had a pretty tough time, most of them.
As a matter of fact, the truth is that even being a apostle is not really fashionable. I was preaching in Ghana on the ministry gifts and there was several thousand mostly young African men. I gave the picture of the apostle and I said, “How many of you would like to be apostles?” A lot of them stood up. I said, “Wait a minute, let me give you the job description before you apply.” I read what I can’t read tonight, 1 Corinthians 4, where Paul describes what it’s like to be an apostle. He said, “We are the refuse and off scouring of all things. We’re the last in the procession on our way to death.” I said, “How many of you still want the job?” Well, some of them still stood up but not so many.
So, let’s be faithful to the theme of this conference: reality. Let’s be real. Let’s not use religious language and nice phrases that don’t really have the power of God and aren’t verified by the way we live.
I’m going to deal, as I said, with the predictive prophecies of the Bible. I believe this is a very neglected theme for most what we call Charismatics or Pentecostals or not so much for evangelicals, there has been a certain emphasis amongst them. I believe many Christians are floundering, they’ve lost their way, they don’t understand what’s going on because they have not taken time to study the predictive prophecies of the Bible.
Let me turn for a moment to Isaiah 46:9–10. This is the Lord speaking, the God of the Bible. It describes something that’s unique to God and to the Bible. This is not true of any other religion or any other so-called god. Only God accurately predicts the future even thousands of years before it happens. And only the Bible contains those predictions. There is no other world religion that has anything to compare with it. Neither Hinduism, nor Islam, nor the New Age or whatever else. The Bible is totally unique and it reveals a unique God who foretells what will happen and reveals it through His prophets, as I said, even thousands of years before it actually takes place. These are the words of the Lord in Isaiah 46:9–10:
“I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me...”
In other words, I am unique.
“...declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand and I will do all my pleasure...’”
So that’s a unique attribute of the true God, that He knows beforehand what’s going to happen and He can declare the end from the beginning. And in the Bible there are literally hundreds of passages in which God has done precisely that. It marks Him out as the unique God and it marks the Bible out as an unique book without any parallel in all the other religious literature of the whole world.
I want to turn now to a particular predictive passage that deals with the theme of prophecy found in 2 Peter 1:16–19. I’ll read the passage in a moment but let me say first that the theme of this passage is the return of Jesus Christ in power and glory. I would suggest to you this is by far the most important theme of all prophecy at the present time, is that which relates to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the Greek of the New Testament there is a special work, parousia, which is used for this particular event. It means the presence or the return or the coming of the Lord, and it refers to His coming in power and glory as a King to establish His kingdom on earth. What Peter is saying is, “When we told you believers about this, we weren’t telling you some fable that we worked up some cleverly devised story, but we are speaking from eyewitness experience.” Because he said, “We saw on the Mount of Transfiguration what He will be like when He comes back in power and glory.” You remember His countenance shone as the sun and His raiment was as bright as light. Then God the Father spoke out of a cloud and said, “This is my beloved Son, hear Him.” So, Peter is referring to that event but he goes on to say there is something even more reliable than our personal eyewitness testimony, and that is the prophecies of the Bible. Listen:
“For we did not follow cleverly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ...”
Or you could say the coming in power of the Lord.
“...but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.”
We actually saw Him in His glory.
“For He received from God then Father honor and glory, when such a voice came to Him from the excellent glory, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’—and we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.”
That’s the Mount of Transfiguration. You can find this described in Matthew 17, the opening verses, and in the other two gospels, Mark and Luke. So, Peter is saying we actually had a preview of what it’ll be like when Jesus comes back in glory. But, this is very important, he said there is one other testimony which is even more reliable and that is the testimony of the prophetic Word of God. Always the ultimate and most reliable source of truth is the Word of God. The testimony of eyewitnesses is impressive but it never supersedes the testimony of the prophetic scriptures.
In 1 Corinthians 15, when Paul is talking about the resurrection, first of all he says Jesus died according to the scriptures, He was buried according to the scriptures, He rose again the third day. The scriptures are the primary testimony. Then he lists a whole series of eyewitnesses who actually saw Jesus after He was risen from the dead. But bear in mind the ultimate authority for any truth is the scriptures, the Word of God.
And so, he goes on to say in verse 19:
“We also have the prophetic word made more sure, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.”
So he says you’ve heard our testimony but it’s more important that you give heed to the prophetic Word of God which takes precedence over all human testimony. He says you do well to give heed to it. That’s the theme of what I want to communicate to you, it’s in your best interest to heed the prophetic scriptures. If you don’t heed them you’ll be in a dark place without a light because it’s the prophetic scriptures that are a light in a dark place. And as a child of God you shouldn’t be without the light. God has provided the light for you through the prophetic scriptures. But if you don’t study them, if you don’t read them, if you’re not familiar with what they say, you’ll be in the dark when you should be in the light. And a person who’s in the dark doesn’t know where he’s going. He ends up in all sorts of situations he would never have chosen. That’s precisely true of Christians who ignore the prophetic Word of God. They will end up in places they never wanted to be in because they didn’t have the light to show them where they were going and the dangers that they needed to avoid.
Peter says we have the prophetic word made more sure. I want to raise this question how was the prophetic word made more sure for the apostles? My answer is this, the prophetic word became more sure when they saw the prophecies of the Old Testament actually being fulfilled before their eyes in the life of Jesus. They believed already but it became more sure when they saw fulfillment after fulfillment after fulfillment after fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies in the life of Jesus. I also want to point out that every one of these prophecies that we’re going to look at in a moment was literally fulfilled. As far as I can find, there is no evidence in the New Testament of Old Testament prophecies that were spiritually fulfilled or metaphorically fulfilled. They were fulfilled literally.
I was a philosopher before I became a preacher, which some of you may detect in me occasionally. I object to the use of the word literally because it suggests something which isn’t real. Listen, where’s Don? Don, are you literally married? Do you see what I’m saying? I’m suggesting there’s a way of being married without being married. It’s nonsense, it’s very dangerous. What about another question, do you literally pay your taxes? You see the danger of that question? Some people would say I pay my taxes metaphorically but I don’t actually part with any money. It’s just the same to talk about prophecies being metaphorically or not literally fulfilled. It means they don’t mean what they say. All the prophecies that I’ve discovered in the New Testament from the Old Testament, fulfilled in the New, were fulfilled absolutely literally. In fact, I would almost say in some cases horrifying literal. I’ll give you a list of eleven Old Testament prophecies that were fulfilled in the life of Jesus according to the New Testament. I’ll point out to you, and you can see for yourself, how very literal the fulfillment of every one of them was. I’ll give you the Old Testament scripture, I won’t give the New Testament because I trust most of you are sufficiently familiar with the record of the New Testament.
First of all, number one, Jesus was born of a virgin. It was a literal virgin, not a metaphorical virgin—if there is such a thing. If she hadn’t been a real virgin our salvation would not be valid. If she’d been merely metaphorically a virgin Jesus couldn’t have been our savior. Isaiah 7:14 tells us that.
Second, He was born in Bethlehem. Micah 5:2. It was a very literal Bethlehem. The word Bethlehem in Hebrew means “house of bread.” You could spiritualize that as much as you’d like but it wasn’t spiritualized. It was an actual village in an actual country where He was actually born.
Number three, He was called out of Egypt. The Old Testament prophecy is Hosea 11:1. Jesus as a small boy was literally in Egypt, He was literally called out of Egypt, and it was literally Egypt. It would be very easy to spiritualize Egypt. Many people do it and it’s legitimate in a way to take Egypt as a type of this world. But, the New Testament doesn’t do that.
Number four, He taught in parables. Psalm 78:1–2. It was literal parables, real parables.
Number five, He healed the sick. He literally healed people who were literally sick. Is that right? How very disappointing it would be if He merely metaphorically healed the sick. If I’m sick, I don’t want to be metaphorically healed. I want to be literally healed. The Old Testament scriptures, some of them, are found in Isaiah 29, 35 and 61.
Number six, He entered Jerusalem on a donkey. The Old Testament scripture is Zechariah 9:9. It was a literal donkey, very literal.
Number seven, He was flogged and abused. Old Testament scripture, Isaiah 50:5–6. It was horribly literal what they did to Jesus, not metaphorical.
Number eight, His hands and feet were pierced, Psalm 22:60. And again, I would have to say it was horribly literal. There was no metaphor about it.
Number nine, His garments were divided, Psalm 22:18. The gospels record how they actually divided his four garments and cast lots for the seamless robe.
Number ten, He was killed and buried. Isaiah 53:8–9. It’s remarkable because it says there they made His grave with the wicked and with the rich in His death. But in the Hebrew the word wicked is plural, the word rich is singular. He was taken down for burial with two criminals but He was buried in the tomb of one rich man. Can you see how totally accurate the scripture is?
And number eleven, He rose on the third day. The scripture that I have is Hosea 6:2. How important it is that He literally rose. It’s a well known fact that there are bishops in the Anglican church who deny the literal resurrection. If there’s no literal resurrection, there’s no forgiveness of sin, there’s no gift of everlasting life.
Can you see how tremendously important it is that we don’t make thing allegorical but are said in the plain simple meaning of words.
Now I want to go back to 2 Peter 1 for a moment and take up one more theme. He says in verse 19:
“We also have the prophetic word made more sure, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.”
That is a most beautiful picture, if I can convey it to you. In World War II I served with the British Army in the deserts of Egypt and Libya for three years. I saw something there which you can see also in other parts of the Middle East. For the most part we slept out on the sand, we had no artificial light. We went to be when the sun set and we got up when the sun rose, which is not what I do today! And so, I saw a certain phenomenon that happens at the time of the sunrise in the deserts of the Middle East. Not all the year but at certain times of the year there is a star, or rather a planet called Aurora, which means dawn, which rises immediately before the sun. It is an amazingly luminous star and when it comes up it lightens the whole horizon. One would easily think the sun is rising but it isn’t the sun, it’s that star. One thing you know, when you see Aurora rise you know the next thing that’s going to happen, which is what? The sun is going to rise. That’s the star that Peter talks about. He says if you’ll give heed to Biblical prophecy about the return of the Lord, something will happen in your heart. The morning star will arise and it will illuminate your heart and will give you a sure, unshakable conviction that the next great event that’s going to take place is what? The coming of Jesus.
That’s one of the main purposes of these prophecies, is to make the coming of Jesus so real and so vivid that we never lose sight of it, that we’re never motivated by anything contrary to it. I’ve known the Lord now 51 years, it’s amazing that He’s kept me that length of time. Since I was saved I believed the scriptures. I never had any doubt, the moment I was saved I knew the Bible is the Word of God. I’ve always believed in the second coming of Jesus as a doctrine of the Bible. Never at any time have I doubted that doctrine. But I’ve come to learn that that is not sufficient. It’s not sufficient just to believe a doctrine. What God wants you to have is the morning star in your heart. He wants you to live in the sure unshakable assurance that Jesus is coming back. He wants you to live in the expectation of His return. He wants you to be excited about it, not just say, “Well, this is one of the doctrines of the Bible.”
In Hebrews 9:27–28, it says this:
“As it is appointed for men to die once but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many, to those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time apart from sin, for salvation.”
To whom will He appear when He comes the second time? To those who eagerly wait for Him. I want to ask you this question, will that include you? Are you really eagerly waiting for the coming of the Lord? I’m not talking about believing a doctrine, I’m talking about something in your heart that motivates you, that excites you, that thrills you.
I have a dear friend who’s a preacher and we’ve known one another for thirty years. He’s a little bit different from me, he’s a little more informal in his expression. He said one thing once that always stuck with me, he said, “When the Lord comes back He will expect to hear more from His bride than, `Nice to have you back.’”
So, are you excited? Be honest with yourself because God can change you. One of the reasons you’re here in this camp is to be changed. If you don’t have that excited anticipation, there is a way that you can get it. I’ve learned this, if I don’t read the Bible every day and meditate in it and ponder it, these glorious truths become kind of remote. I still think they’re doctrines, I accept them, but they’re not motivating the way I live. Anybody who believes in the return of the Lord Jesus should be motivated to live a life that’s appropriate to that belief.
1 John 3, this is another of our proclamations but I’ll leave Ruth sitting where she is. The first three verses of 1 John 3:
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God; and we are. Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be. But we know that, when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”
Now you can say amen to that. But there’s a mark of those who really believe it and it’s given in the next verse:
“And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
So, don’t tell us that you hope for the coming of the Lord unless you are purifying yourself, unless you’re seeking day by day to be better prepared to live a life that’s more holy and more glorifying to God. You can have the doctrinal belief but you don’t have the evidence in your life. Every one who has this hope in Him, purifies himself, just as He is pure. God has only got one standard of purity, that’s Jesus. So, I’m going to ask you again, are you really purifying yourself? Are you seeking day by day to grow closer to the Lord, to live in a way that is pleasing to Him, to give glory to Him, to give Him priority in your life?
I used to say for years, even as a philosopher, if God is willing to take a place in our lives, there is only one place we can logically give him and that is the first place. If Almighty God, the Creator of heaven and earth, is willing to dwell in us, we cannot offer Him the spare bedroom. We have to give Him the place of honor, we have to acknowledge His worthiness.
I want to say just a word about the general characteristics of Biblical prophecy because there is so much confusion about prophecy in the church today. I want to say I believe in the gift of prophecy, the Lord gave it to me in 1942 when I was in a military ambulance on my way up to the battle at El Alamein. I didn’t know what was happening but I heard these words come out of my mouth and I realized I was prophesying. And many wonderful things in my life have been shaped by prophecy. But let me tell you I never accept prophecy until I have checked it. And if I’m the one who’s given the prophecy, I’m the one who checks it most carefully. I never go by a prophecy until I’ve satisfied myself it really came by the Holy Spirit.
You see, there’s a beautiful scripture in Revelation 19:10, just the last part of the verse. It says:
“The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
In other words, all true prophecy bears testimony to Jesus. He’s the theme of all prophecy from Genesis 3:15 right to the end of the book of Revelation. Anything that doesn’t bear testimony to Jesus should be questioned. If it puts anything else in the place which is reserved for Jesus, if it directs our attention in any other area but to Jesus, it doesn’t have the mark of Biblical prophecy. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. He’s the theme of all prophecy.
And then in John 16:14, Jesus said about the coming of the Holy Spirit:
“He will glorify me.”
The Holy Spirit has one supreme purpose, to glorify Jesus. If you want the Spirit of God to rest on a meeting, whether it’s worship or preaching or whatever, if you will make it your sincere aim to glorify Jesus the Holy Spirit will be happy to join you. But, He’s not interested in glorifying anybody else but Jesus. When we find ourselves in a situation of prophecy or ministry of some kind, where the attention is diverted to a human personality, you can be sure at that point the Holy Spirit has backed off. It may have begun in the Spirit but it’s not continuing in the Spirit. That’s one of the surest tests of the work of the Holy Spirit is does it glorify Jesus? He’ll never glorify anybody else because no one else deserves the glory.
Then as I’ve pointed out already in the words of 2 Peter, the primary focus of all prophecy in this particular period is the return of the Lord. God wants to keep us continually mindful of Jesus’ coming back.
Let me give you just one other simple picture of prophecy. You can consider prophecy as a map of future events. If you have a map, say a map of a city, it doesn’t show you everything. Generally speaking, if it’s a map of a city it won’t show you the color of the houses, normally not even the height of the houses. It won’t show you the names of the people who live in the houses. But it will show you enough for the purpose for which the map was made, which was to get you to where you want to go. Biblical prophecy is like a map. It doesn’t show you everything. Maybe it will not show you the things that you are interested in but it will show you, if you’re careful, enough to get you to the right destination. That’s its purpose.
What is the destination? I say eternal life. To escape from hell. How many of you believe that hell is real? Praise God. I thank God that He saved me from hell. If I had my desserts, I would have been in hell long ago. I can’t claim justice, all I can plead for is mercy. Hell was where I should have been. I’ve no doubt about that.
I think of a friend of mine who was a salesman, a commercial salesman in the United States. He is also a preacher. He was making his living selling something and he had to drive around from place to place. He exceeded the speed limit three times. So the sheriff summoned him to his office. He was afraid he was going to lose his driving license. If he lost his driving license he lost his means of support. So he prepared what to say. He walked into the sheriff’s office and he said, “Sir, I’m not asking for justice, I’m asking for mercy.” The sheriff said, “No one ever said that to me before.” He let him keep his driving license. Well, I thought about that scores of times, Lord, I am not asking for justice, I’m asking for mercy. Can you agree with that? Are you happy you’re not going to get justice? The Bible says the wages of sin is death. The just reward of sin is death. If you want justice, brother, you can have it! In fact, you will have it whether you want it or not. But the gift of God, the free grace gift of God, the unmerited, undeserved, unearned gift of God is eternal life. Don’t ask for justice. I heard a man say once, “All I want is justice.” I thought, “Oh, if you only knew what you were saying.”
Let me suggest to you two reasons it’s good to have a map, two ways in which a map can help us. First of all it can keep us from trying to get to a destination that isn’t on the map. You say how can that happen to a Christian? Well, it happens to a lot of Christians. A lot of Christians are busy with a destination that isn’t on the map. You can search the Bible, you can’t find it. For instance, there are people who are teaching that the business of the church is to take the world over for God, and when Jesus comes back we’ll just hand Him the world and say, “Here you are.” Friends, that isn’t on the map. If that’s what you’re trying for, you’re trying for something you’ll never achieve because the Bible doesn’t indicate that. In fact, if you come back tomorrow night I’ll show you just how much the opposite is indicated in the Bible.
Let me say this right now, the last thing before Jesus comes back is the great tribulation. We don’t want to be responsible for that, do we? So let’s not aim for something that isn’t on the map.
Then another reason for the map is to show you the right way to get to the right place, and keep you from taking the wrong route. Ruth and I came in a car here yesterday from Bromley and we had a map but the man who was driving the car didn’t make the right use of the map. We went miles around. I never realized how difficult Malvern was to get to till yesterday. But he didn’t use the map right. You say what kind of wrong route could you suggest? Let me suggest one. Hoping to get into heaven without any problems, without any suffering, without any difficulties. That route isn’t on the map. Jesus said narrow is the gate and difficult is the way that leads to life, and there are few who find it. It’s surprising how seldom that scripture is preached on today. Difficult is the way that leads to life, and there are few who find it. They don’t make the right use of the map.
Paul and Barnabas said to their new converts in Acts 14:22:
“We must through much tribulation enter the kingdom of God.”
So if you’re going a route that says no tribulation, no problems, no difficulties, no temptations, I just want to warn you, you won’t get into the kingdom of God. It’s not the way.
Let me say two final things by way of warning and, I hope, by way of help. I think the people who make it most difficult for some of us to really study Biblical prophecy is the people who know it all. You know, they can tell you what’s going to happen next, who the antichrist will be, and everything. But they’re always wrong. The strange thing is when they’re wrong they usually don’t bother to tell you that they were wrong.
There was a man in the United States who was prophesying that Jesus would come back some date in September, 1988. I mean, he had a tremendous following, he sold millions of copies of his book. Well, Jesus didn’t come back, do I need to tell you that? So he said he got the date wrong, it should have been 1989. He didn’t come back in 1989. Do you know what people discovered afterwards? All the time he was teaching this he was using finance to build up a tremendous ministry base. Why would he need that if Jesus was coming back? I mean, I’ve met people who’ve turned me off because they were so sure about everything.
Well, let me give you this familiar scripture, familiar to us at any rate. Deuteronomy 29:29, that’s easy to remember, isn’t it?
“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed to us and our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
So there are two kinds of things, secret things and things that are revealed. There are a whole lot of things we’d like to know but God doesn’t reveal them, they’re secret. We waste our time trying to find out the secret things because if God is going to keep them secret, none of us are going to break God’s secrets.
But the problem is, for instance, if I teach on certain themes, almost invariably the first person that comes up to me afterwards will say this, if you can understand this language, “Pre, mid or post?” You know what that means? Is He coming before the tribulation, in the middle of the tribulation or at the end of the tribulation? Do you know what I answer? I don’t know. It doesn’t embarrass me in the least. As a matter of fact, I am not convinced that in the light of what’s going to happen those questions will actually make sense at all. But as far as I’m concerned, that’s a secret thing. Jesus said you don’t know the day or the hour that the Son of man is coming. So if Jesus said you don’t know it, it’s a waste of time trying to know it. You’re no smarter than Jesus.
But what about the things that are revealed? Why are they revealed? Moses tell us, that we may do them. See, I find the people who are interested in the secret things aren’t doing the things that are revealed. He agrees with me! I’m glad to have people behind agreeing with me. I’ll give you a simple example, I’ll come back to it tomorrow. The disciples said to Jesus, “What will be the sign of your coming? Matthew 24:4. Jesus gave them a specific answer. One, clear, definite answer. We’ll go into this in detail. He said:
“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
That’s a specific answer to a specific question. When will the end come? When this gospel of the kingdom has been preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations. So now, you’ve heard that but if you’re not doing it don’t expect to hear any more from God because obedience releases revelation, disobedience cuts it off. I know lots of Christians who believe that passage but they’re not doing anything about it. I want to say for Ruth and myself, we live for that. I don’t want to go into a lot of details but we’re reaching more than 120 nations with the Word of God. We have a radio program in ten languages that reaches every continent. I don’t claim to be specially gifted, I just seek to obey what God tells me to do. But if you hear the prophetic word and don’t obey it, you will hear no more. Or rather, you may hear but it will be false. Because the pathway to deception is to refuse revelation. I didn’t plan to say that but I’m going to say it again. The pathway to deception is to refuse revelation. I can give you lists of people who are on that pathway because what God revealed didn’t suit them. It didn’t fit in with their private plans or it didn’t fit in with their special theology.
And, you remember what Peter said? The prophetic word is a light in a dark place. You reject it, turn from it, and you end in the dark. I’m not saying you’re not saved, that’s between you and God. But I am saying you’re going to have a lot of unnecessary problems. You’re going to walk into a lot of situations you shouldn’t be in. You’re going to be confused and fearful when you don’t need to be.
I’m going to say one more passage and this is preparing for tomorrow, hopefully. Deuteronomy 18:18–19, the words of Moses to Israel.
“I will raise up for them a prophet like you [like Moses], from among their brethren, and will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.”
The New Testament writers are in total agreement that prophet was who? Jesus, that’s right. So we know from the New Testament the person who fulfilled that prophecy was Jesus. He’s the only prophet of whom God would say that He should speak all that I command Him. Then he goes on to say:
“It shall be that whosoever will not hear my words which he speaks in my name, I will require it of him.”
Brothers and sisters, to ignore the prophetic teaching of Jesus is very dangerous. Because, if you will not hear it God says He’s going to require it of you. That’ll be a very hard interview when you’re alone with God and He says, “Why didn’t you listen to the prophetic teaching of my Son?” What excuse will you give? There is no valid excuse.
That’s all I have to say for tonight, except one thing. I want to ask you a question. Be honest with yourself. Are you at this moment eagerly and joyfully anticipating the return of Jesus? I’ll say it again. Are you at this moment eagerly and joyfully anticipating the return of Jesus? Because if not, the morning star hasn’t risen in your heart and you are headed for trouble.
So, if you have been able to receive what I’ve said tonight and you really want to be in the will of God, if you want to be obedient to scripture, and you recognize that your heart attitude towards the return of Jesus is not what it should be, but you’d like to change, or rather you’d like God to change you, we on the platform would like to pray for you specifically on that issue. That, in the course of the next six days you will be changed in that respect. That when this camp is over you’ll leave with a shining, excited anticipation that Jesus is coming back. If you’d like us to pray for you, if you will make a decision that you want that, because God won’t force it on you, but that’s what you want, that’s how you want to live—let me tell you this, I’ve moved amongst many, many different kinds of Christians in many countries. I discover when Ruth and I are amongst people who are excitedly anticipating the return of Jesus, we are in fellowship with them immediately. There are no barriers. There are the most wonderful people all around the earth from many different nationalities who have this one thing in common, they’re longing for the return of Jesus. Let me tell you, if you’re not, I think God is going to let things happen in the world and in your life that make you appreciate how much you should have been longing. So if you want to be changed in that particular respect, I’m not talking about any other change at this moment, and you would like Brother Don and the rest of the people who are on the platform to pray with you and for you, just take a deep breath, don’t act hastily. If you really want to be changed and you want our prayers, then stand to your feet right where you are.
Brother Don, come with your team, join me in prayer. I tell you, if you get changed this camp will be one of the highlights of your life, you’ll leave here walking on air. People will say to you, “What’s happened to you? Have you come into money?” You’ll say, “No, I just believe Jesus is coming back.”
“Lord, you see these dear people standing before you here tonight as evidence that they want to be changed in their attitude concerning the return of Jesus. Lord, we believe you can do it. If they’re wholehearted in that desire you’ll do it for them. You’re in the business of changing people’s hearts and lives. We pray for every one standing before you here tonight that there’ll be a sovereign action of God in their hearts and lives before they leave this camp, they will have had that glorious experience, the morning star will have risen in their hearts. Their hearts will be shining with light and they’ll be saying, ‘Jesus is coming back. Jesus is coming back.’ Amen, Lord.”