What is Prophecy?
By Dr. Chuck Missler
Author of Prophecy 20/20
CBN.com More than simple curiosity lies behind man’s attempt to perceive the future. Practical business requires forecasts, and an understanding of what Peter Drucker calls the “futurity of today’s decisions.” Forecasts underlie all decisions, whether they are market planning, inventory management, establishing cash flow requirements, or staffing an enterprise. Managers solve problems; executives anticipate them.
National security depends on threat assessments—strategic or tactical. Empires have been established—or destroyed—on the basis of anticipated implications of technology and other changes. Our personal decisions about education, careers, raising a family, and buying a new home all rely on our perceptions—or more precisely, our presumptions—about the future.
Banks dealing with loan decisions are, in effect, predicting both the anticipated experience for the lender’s specific application and the anticipated credit climate that lies ahead.
But one of the problems is that we all make linear assumptions in a nonlinear world. We tend to assume linearity: that tomorrow will be like yesterday; that next week will resemble last week; next year be like last year, and so on. Linear extrapolations, however, can be blinders.
Natural nonlinearities can occur, such as an earthquake, a tornado, or a hurricane. Medical nonlinearities can include a stroke or a car accident. Financial nonlinearities can emerge from a bankruptcy, a lawsuit, or a wife visiting a shopping mall. Our most critical crises arise from nonlinearities.
Sound management requires a broader, long-term perspective; an accurate assessment of the environment; and an awareness of the potential impact, and likelihoods, of nonlinearities. It is disturbing to the informed that most crises could have been anticipated through diligence. Those who anticipate the nonlinearities survive them. That’s what the insurance industry is all about.
More Than Crystal Balls
We don’t take prophecy seriously because it is in the Bible. We take the Bible seriously because of the track record of its prophecies. As we will see later in this book, the Bible lays out a detailed scenario of the final climax for mankind on Planet Earth. It also provides testable reference points to determine just where we are in that scenario.
But there’s far more than just a few historical episodes involved. The Bible has anticipated our most advanced discoveries on the very frontiers of our sciences. It is astonishing to many to discover the technological perspectives in the Bible. There are many technology statements in the Bible that the average reader takes for granted: the idea that the Earth is round (Isa. 40:22), the fact that the solar system migrates throughout the galaxy (Ps. 19:1–6), and the fact that space itself has properties that transcend our three-dimensional understanding of reality. The Bible anticipated many of the recent insights of modern medicine that are in stark contrast to the myths and superstitions of the ancient cultures of the past.
Furthermore, Jesus warned of a day in which “unless those days be shortened, no flesh would be saved.” A statement like that would seem fanciful if studied over a century ago. In the 1860s, we couldn’t imagine the world wiping itself out with muskets and bayonets. But today the nuclear cloud hangs over every geopolitical decision on Earth.
Ezekiel speaks of a battle that will be resolved by hailstones of fire, and in which the leftover weapons provide all the energy needs of the nation of Israel for seven years (Ezekiel 38–39).
Furthermore, he mentions that professionals will spend seven months clearing out the remains, burying them downwind. He even indicates that a traveler, passing through the battle zone, and finding something the professionals have missed, doesn’t touch it. Rather, he marks the location and leaves it for the professionals to deal with. This is a surprisingly contemporary procedure characteristic of nuclear-biological-chemical warfare.
Zechariah describes the unique effects of the neutron bomb (Zech. 14:12). Jeremiah speaks of smart weapons: the intelligence and perception is in the arrow rather than the shooter—arrows that can’t miss (Jer. 50:9).
Perhaps most profound are the perceptions of the properties of the universe itself. Most of us assume that the vacuum of space is empty. It is surprising to discover that space itself has properties: zero point energy, permittivity, and impedance. It also has more dimensions than the three with which we are familiar. The Bible describes the “firmament” as a solid, which can be rolled up, stretched, and “torn.” This is all quite a contrast to the fanciful conjectures of the ancients.
A Glimpse of God's Plan
What may be a surprise to many is that the more you know about the frontiers of modern science, quantum mechanics, and astrophysics, the more remarkable the creation account in
Bible prophecy is more than simply a glimpse of what may lie ahead; it is an overview of God’s complete plan for mankind. But before we jump into the subject at hand, a review of some contemporary background is essential. The very notion of a message from outside our time domain requires an understanding of the nature of our reality itself.
From Prophecy 20/20 by Dr. Chuck Missler. Copyright © 2009 by Dr. Chuck Missler. Reprinted by permission.
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