Transcript of Derek Prince’s sermon titled ‘How To Approach Biblical Prophecy’ which is PART 1 in the four-part sermon series ‘PROPHETIC GUIDE TO THE END TIMES’…
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Derek Prince – Bible Teacher
One of the essential requirements for being able to receive biblical prophecy is a right appreciation of the sovereignty and the majesty and the justice of God. God is always just. He never makes mistakes. Everything He does is right.
Some of you have been going through situations where you could begin wondering whether God wasn’t making a mistake or wasn’t being unfair. But that’s a wrong attitude. God is always right.
And Ruth and I are going to make a proclamation as we usually do, taken from two chapters of Daniel. Daniel chapter 2 and chapter 4, which declare the sovereign majesty of God. And I want to begin on that note tonight.
Daniel 2:20-22: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him.”
Daniel 4: 34-35: ‘For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, “What have You done?”’
Those last verses were the words of Nebuchadnezzar. He went through a pretty difficult time to come to that place where he had that realization. He spent seven years like an animal out in the wild, naked. His hair grew like bird’s feathers, his nails like animal’s claws and he fed on the grass. But at the end of seven years God restored everything to him that He had taken away. But he was a different man. He had learned in the school of God’s discipline and this was his testimony:
‘Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. All the inhabitants fear the reputed as nothing. You do according to Your will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain Your hand.’ He was the most powerful monarch on earth at that time. But he came to realize there was someone infinitely more powerful than he. It was the God of Israel.
And I sometimes ask people and I just leave this with you as a thought: if by the grace of God you reach heaven, I mean it’ll be by the grace of God, whom do you think you’ll be more likely to meet there, King Solomon or King Nebuchadnezzar? And I haven’t an answer to that question, but it’s an interesting question. Maybe you could meet both of them, I don’t know.
WHY THE PROPHETIC WORD OF GOD?
Anyhow that’s just something. Now we’re going to come to the theme of how to approach biblical prophecy. And I want to say that amongst most Christians that I mix with, and I mix with a lot from different nationalities, different denominations, different backgrounds, there is an altogether inadequate appreciation of the importance of biblical prophecy.
But one quarter of the Bible at least must be predictive prophecy. And you cannot afford to neglect or ignore one quarter of the Bible and expect to have all that God has for you. I believe in the days in which we are living it is essential to have at least a basic understanding of the themes of biblical prophecy.
And now I recognize that some of you have been turned off by so-called prophets who made predictions in the name of the Lord, including the exact date when the Lord was due to return. And this is not the first or the second time this has happened, it happens from time to time in the history of the church.
But because of that you’ve been turned off and you said, ‘Well if that’s what prophecy is like, I just don’t want to get involved in it.’ And that’s a disaster for you, because you need an understanding of biblical prophecy.
It is a light in a dark place (2 Peter 1:19)
I want to quote, I’ll tell you, I’ll come to that later, I want to quote to you now just one verse from the second epistle of Peter, chapter 1 verse 19. Peter has been speaking about the revelation that he and two other apostles had of Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, when they saw the honor and the glory that God the Father bestowed upon Jesus. And he says, in effect, that was wonderful, but there’s something much more important than that.
And this is what he says: ‘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.’ (1 Peter 1:19)
So Peter says that revelation we had on the Mount of Transfiguration was wonderful, it was valid, it’s recorded now in Scripture. But something that’s much more certain is the prophetic word of Scripture. And when I say that, I mean the written prophecies of the Bible. I’m not talking about the gift of prophesying, which I esteem, which I believe in, and which from time to time I myself exercise. The prophesying, in that sense, has to be judged. And it has to be judged by the Word of God.
But the Word of God has not to be judged. Every word of God is pure. His words are like silver, purified in the furnace of earth seven times. That’s the difference. The written prophetic Word of God is totally and absolutely authority. And Peter says we do well to give heed to it. In other words, it’s in our best interests to pay attention to it.
So if we don’t give heed to it, we’re depriving ourselves of something extremely important in the life of each one of us. He compares it to a light shining in a dark place. I don’t know how you view the world around us, but for me it is a dark place and furthermore it’s getting darker, it’s not getting brighter.
We had that song that said, Arise, shine, for your light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. But darkness shall cover the earth and gross darkness for nations of the earth. That’s the condition of those outside of Christ: darkness, gross darkness, increasing darkness. But in the midst of that darkness, God has given us a light. What is it? The prophetic Word of God. And Peter says you better give heed to that, because you’re going to need it.
Otherwise you may be a believer, you may be saved, baptised in the Spirit, speak in tongues and be destined for heaven. But while you’re here on earth, you’ll be walking in darkness, because you have ignored the light that God has provided, the prophetic Word. If you walk in darkness, it doesn’t mean you won’t get to heaven when you die. But it means that you’ll be stumbling and groping while you’re here on earth. You will not understand the things that are going around you, going on around you. And you’ll be often fearful and confused because you have ignored the provision of God, which is His prophetic Word.
Now I’m going to give you seven suggested principles for approaching the prophetic Word of God. I didn’t originally have seven, I had five, but the Lord added two more recently. And I’m not superstitious, but when I get to the number seven, I usually feel that’s it.
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