One may question the need for another book dealing with the prophetic Scriptures. It is true that the study of prophecy has fallen into disrepute with many and one reason is that some have posed as prophets instead of sticking to the Word. However, we can rejoice that God has not left us in ignorance of things to come. We may say, as did the sacred writer: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (II Peter 1:19). Further, as we look at this more sure word of prophecy, we seek to show that it is important, if we would understand the plan of the ages, to rightly divide the word of truth. It is imperative that we see the difference between God’s prophesied program, having to do with Israel and the nations, and His unprophesied or secret program having to do with the Body of Christ. This latter program is found only in the writings of the Apostle Paul. It is in the Pauline epistles that we have the truth concerning the present outcalling of the Church, the Body of Christ, and its heavenly hope and destiny.
Another objection to the study of prophecy is that it has no practical value. This is totally wrong. There are many influences that help form our character and govern our conduct. One of these is knowledge. What we know helps form us and makes us the kind of persons we should be. We are not affected by that of which we are ignorant but we are molded by what we know. Also, our hopes and expectations, that which we can look forward to, does shape our lives. Many who are disadvantaged do not bestir themselves to seek a better life because they feel there is no hope for this to be realized. The Christian has a knowledge of the hope we have, and this hope, as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, will indeed influence our lives for God and for good. The Apostle John had this in mind when he wrote: “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (I John 3:3).
As the student of the Word looks at the world scene today it should be evident that time is running out. We are rushing toward the last act in God’s great drama of the ages. The stage is being set for the grand finale and the actors are already waiting in the wings. We are happy to report that none of these performers of the end-time are members of the Church, the Body of Christ. They have all been cut from this scene by way of the secret rapture. It is folly to try and put the unprophesied Church into a prophesied period of time; the great tribulation which is the time of Jacob’s trouble.
As we consider this preview of things to come, may it be in dependence upon the Holy Spirit of God. May He enlighten the eyes of our understanding and may we be drawn closer to Christ in these evil days in which we are living, while anticipating that future day when we will be welcomed into His presence, then fully conformed to His image and to the praise of His glory. Amen! May it be so!