Series 3 - The Great Teachings of the Bible and What They Mean for You:
Bible Prophecy and You
Hi friends! Welcome to the seventh lesson in the "Bible Prophecy and
Bible prophecy centers on Jesus Christ. The last lesson in this series
pointed to the Old Testament prophecies that predicted many, many details
of His birth, life, death and resurrection! The next lesson will focus
on prophecies from the Old and New Testaments of His second coming, which
will be the grand climax of world history!
But this lesson focuses on Jesus Himself being the greatest prophet who
ever lived. First of all, He is the member of the God family who directly
inspired all the prophecies in the Old and New Testaments. We could call
the apostle John a prophet because he wrote the book or Revelation, but
the book is really "the revelation of Jesus Christ," which John merely
recorded (Revelation 1:1).
But in addition to that, during His earthly ministry Jesus personally
proclaimed approximately 100 prophecies.This is rather amazing, as most
people don't even think of Jesus as a prophet.
Lesson 7: Jesus Christ—The Greatest Prophet
A great many of Jesus' teachings were prophetic! And His startling prophecies clarify many other Bible prophecies, especially those of the end time.
Here's the story behind the prophecy Moses recorded of the great "Prophet"
who was to come:
After escaping from Egypt and wandering in the wilderness for nearly
40 years, the Israelites were ready to cross the Jordan River into the
Promised Land. On this occasion, God inspired Moses to summarize what
they had experienced and what God had taught them. That summary is the
book of Deuteronomy.
Moses reminded the Israelites that God was not going to permit him to
go into the Promised Land because he had impetuously disobeyed God's specific
instructions at Kadesh (Numbers 20:7-12; Deuteronomy 3:23-28).
The Israelites must have felt pretty nervous at the idea of facing many
new challenges and dangers without Moses, who had led them for 40 years.
To reassure them, God did three things. First, He reminded everyone that
He, God, was in charge and that He personally would lead and protect them
Second, He inaugurated Joshua to take Moses' place and said, "As I was
with Moses, so I will be with you" (Numbers 27:18-20; Joshua 1:5).
Third, God gave Moses and the nation a prophecy that someday there
would be another prophet like Moses. God said, "I will raise up for them a Prophet
like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth,
and He shall speak to them all that I command Him" (Deuteronomy
At times during Jesus' ministry, people guessed that Jesus was the
"Prophet" (John 6:14; 7:40). After Jesus' resurrection, Peter and Stephen
both declared that Jesus was indeed "the Prophet" foretold
through Moses (Acts 3:20-23; 7:37).
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Jesus: The Prophet
By some counts, Jesus gave approximately 100 recorded predictive prophecies
during His ministry. Many were about His future return to the earth and other
Many others were about His arrest, trial, suffering, death and resurrection.
In part, He was trying to prepare His disciples for all that. But more than
that, His prophecies plus their exact fulfillments were further proofs that
He was the Son of God and therefore very God.
Let's now take note of several important prophecies and their fulfillments.
Did Jesus prophesy specific things about His disciples?
Matthew 26:21-25, 31-34
Now as they were eating, He said, "Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will
betray Me." And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began
to say to Him, "Lord, is it I?" He answered and said, "He
who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me. The Son of Man indeed
goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of
Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been
Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, "Rabbi, is it I?" He
said to him, "You have said it."…
Then Jesus said to them, "All of you will be made to stumble because
of Me this night, for it is written: 'I will strike the shepherd, and the
sheep of the flock will be scattered.' But after I have been raised, I will
go before you to Galilee."
Peter answered and said to Him, "Even if all are made to stumble because of
You, I will never be made to stumble." Jesus said to him, "Assuredly,
I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me
For example, He predicted that His disciples would forsake Him, that Peter
would deny Him three times and that Judas Iscariot would betray Him. These
were all fulfilled exactly (Matthew 26:47-50, 56, 69-75).
Jesus pronounced "woe" on three cities of His day. What happened
Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had
been done, because they did not repent: "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe
to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had
been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth
and ashes. But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon
in the day of judgment than for you.
"And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down
to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in
Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say to you that it shall
be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for
Jesus preached in and did mighty miracles in three towns where almost everyone
reacted with disbelief. Then Jesus "began to rebuke the cities" saying "woe
to you!" Today, almost nothing remains of those three towns. Albert Barnes'
Notes on the Bible says: "This has been strictly fulfilled. In the wars
between the Jews and the Romans, Chorazin, Bethsaida, Capernaum, etc., were
so completely desolated that it is difficult to determine their former situation."
The people who lived in those towns will someday have their opportunity to
repent and receive salvation, but the fate of those towns is testimony to
the accuracy of Jesus' pronouncement.
Did Jesus predict the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem?
Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came
up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, "Do
you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall
be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down."
"But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its
desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains,
let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are
in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all
things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe to those who are pregnant
and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great
distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the
edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem
will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled."
The destruction of the temple and Jerusalem in A.D. 70 by the Roman army
under Titus was a first fulfillment of this prophecy. Another destruction
will take place in the future, as the Olivet Prophecy is primarily about the
"end of the age" (Matthew 24:3).
Did Jesus predict He would die and be raised to life "in three days"?
Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I
will raise it up." Then the Jews said, "It has taken forty-six years to
build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?" But He
was speaking of the temple of His body.
"We heard Him say, 'I will destroy this temple made with hands, and
within three days I will build another made without hands.'"
And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and
be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed,
and after three days rise again.
At times, Jesus said He would rise "in three days" or "within three
days," which means no later than three days. At other times, He said "after three
days," which means no sooner than three days. Taken together, these statements
show that it would occur in exactly three days.
Did Jesus predict that His body would be in the tomb exactly "three
days and three nights"?
Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, "Teacher, we want
to see a sign from You." But He answered and said to them, "An
evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given
to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days
and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man
be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
Jesus had performed many public miracles and yet the hostile Pharisees still
asked for another "sign." At that point, Jesus did not entertain them with
another miracle, but He gave them the ultimate sign and proof that He was
who He said He was—the Messiah and Son of God. He said that after He died,
He would be "three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
The popular idea of a Friday afternoon crucifixion and Sunday morning resurrection
does not add up to three days and three nights! The truth is that
Jesus died and was entombed on a Wednesday afternoon and was resurrected on
the following Sabbath (Saturday) afternoon. For a full explanation and proof
of this, please see "When
Was Jesus Christ Crucified and Resurrected?" from the booklet Jesus
Christ: The Real Story.
Did Jesus promise His second coming to earth?
"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in
Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have
told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place
for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there
you may be also."
"For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful
generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in
the glory of His Father with the holy angels."
"Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour
you do not expect."
"Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and
Jesus repeatedly referred to His second coming in His statements and parables.
The next lesson will focus on prophecies of Christ's second coming.
Did Jesus prophesy terrible deception in the future, especially in
the end time?
Matthew 24:4-5, 11, 23-26
And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives
you. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will
"Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many…
"Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There!'
do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show
great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I
have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, 'Look, He is in
the desert!' do not go out; or 'Look, He is in the inner rooms!' do not
"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but
inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do
men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every
good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree
cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that
does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore
by their fruits you will know them.
"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom
of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say
to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast
out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I
will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice
Jesus began His Olivet Prophecy about the end time with the words, "Take
heed that no one deceives you," and then repeatedly warns of deceivers. Some
deception is done in His name, by those calling Him Lord and claiming to be
Christian and yet teaching things contrary to the Bible. What does Christ
think of those who masquerade as His followers and preach counterfeit messages?
At the time of judgment, He will say to them, "I never knew you; depart from
Me, you who practice lawlessness!" (Matthew 7:23).
Did Jesus indicate that many in the end time will be saying that
this is the end time?
And He said: "Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come
in My name, saying, 'I am He,' and, 'The time has drawn near.' Therefore
do not go after them."
In other words, a seemingly endless variety of preachers will claim that
Jesus is the Christ but won't be teaching the truth. Today we see religious
and secular leaders saying that we are approaching the end of the world as
we know it, but with widely divergent messages about what we should do. Could
this be Satan's way of creating so many counterfeit messages that it becomes
difficult for most listeners to tell who is teaching the truth of the Bible?
Did Jesus promise that He would build His Church?
"And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My
church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it."
Jesus promised it, and He did it. Plus He promised, "I will never leave you
nor forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5). The Church began as described in Acts 2.
It has continued on despite incredible opposition from Satan and many other
enemies of the true Church. Jesus said, "The gates of Hades [the grave] shall
not prevail against it." Even with periodic persecution and martyrdom of true
Christians, the Church has survived and continues to do God's work of preaching
the gospel of the Kingdom of God. Much more about the Church will be covered
in other lessons.
Read at least the very important 24th chapter of Matthew, although Jesus'
Olivet Prophecy actually continues through chapter 25 with three prophetic
parables. This is an extended prophecy of the major trends and events leading
up to the second coming of Christ, plus it is very spiritually sobering
Write down the things Christ asks us to do as we prepare for the times
of trouble and the wonderful Kingdom of God Christ will bring when He returns.
(See our booklet Are
We Living in the Time of the End? for a thorough explanation of
Next Lesson: Christ's Promised Second Coming—Climactic Solution to Mankind's Problems!
Questions about this lesson? Feedback about
Jesus Christ: The Real Story
Are We Living in the Time of the End?
Jesus Christ's Olivet Prophecy: Where Are We Now?
The Church Jesus Built