1917: “Prophecy is a neglected study. Look at the edges of your Bible and see whether the gilt is not worn off the Psalms, and most of the New Testament, but still bright on the books of the prophets.”
“Reasons For Prophetic Study:
The reasons for studying prophecy far outweigh the excuses given for not studying it.
1. Note the place it occupies in the Bible. Seventeen books of the thirty-nine in the Old Testament are directly and wholly prophetic. The Psalms speak of the Christ to come, for David was a prophet. In the New Testament the words of Christ are full of predictions and so are the Epistles, while the Apocalypse is a book of prophecy. One doctrine of the future, the Lord’s return, is referred to in one verse out of every twenty-five in the New Testament. Indeed, all our hopes are built on prophecy—the hope of resurrection and of the glories of the hereafter.
2. The Scriptures command prophetic study. Indeed, if we had no such command, the obligation would be the same, for “all scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable.” However, we have specific directions on this point. For example, 2 Pet. 1:19 says, “We have the word of prophecy made more sure; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed.” True, there are some things “hard to be understood”; but this is the case also with some of Paul’s Epistles, yet he desired that they be read unto “all the holy brethren.” The book of Revelation is difficult, yet Chapter 1:3 says, “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.”
3. Prophetic study gives us insight into God’s purposes. “Shall I hide from Abraham the thing that I do?” asked the Lord. Prophecy makes us understand why God is silent in this age while wickedness is rampant. It is the age of His grace, and, in His longsuffering, He waits for men. But He has not forgotten, and the day of judgment will dawn in which wickedness will be put down and righteousness exalted in the earth. How this helps us, practically, to do our duty faithfully and cheerfully! Many who neglect the prophetic Scriptures for “devotional” study, would find the increase of devotion they seek by turning to prophecy, for they would be filled with wonder and love at the contemplation of God’s gracious purposes.
4. Finally, Christ is revealed in the prophetic Scriptures. “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Rev. 19:10) As we are thus occupied with Him, we are transformed by beholding His glory.” (2 Cor. 3:18)–Rev. L. W. Gosnell; Excerpts from an Address Delivered Before the Pittsburgh Union Bible Class; September, 1917.
“Join Nathan Jones of Lamb & Lion Ministries as he explains why it’s so important that we read God’s prophetic word.” (*Typo at 1:46 re: Luke 24:44) And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
THE STUDY OF PROPHECY (continued)
Rev. L. W. Gosnell; Excerpts from an Address Delivered Before the Pittsburgh Union Bible Class.
PRINCIPLES OF PROPHETIC STUDY:
“There are certain principles to be kept in mind in the study of prophecy.
1. The first is the Relation of Prophecy to Bible History. A well known Bible teacher said recently, “the reason most people have trouble in understanding the prophets is, that they are ignorant of the books of Kings and Chronicles.”
2. A second principle is that of Literal Interpretation. A good general rule is, that when the plain sense makes good sense, we should seek no other sense. As Horatius Bonar puts it, “ ‘literal if possible,’ is, I believe, the only maxim that will carry you right through the “Word of God from Genesis to Revelation.”
There are said to be one hundred and nine specific prophecies of Christ dealing with His birth, His lowly life, His betrayal and death, His resurrection and ascension, and these were all literally fulfilled. Hence, we are encouraged to interpret literally the prophecies concerning His second advent. We do not forget that some language is figurative, but when the meaning of the figure is ascertained, we may expect it to be literally–accomplished.”
- “I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about this or not, but fulfilled prophecy is a unique characteristic of the Bible. There is no other book in the world that contains fulfilled prophecies. Did you know for example there’s not one fulfilled prophecy in any of the sayings of Confucius or Buddha? There is not one fulfilled prophecy in the Koran, not one. There is not one fulfilled prophecy in the Hindu Vedras. There is not one fulfilled prophecy in the book of Mormon, not one. Only the Bible contains fulfilled prophecy!” ¹—Dr. David R. Reagan; M.A., M.A.L.D., Ph.D.