During 2007 we have been challenged to read the NKJV Desire of Ages “again for the first time.” While going through it I discovered 12 Reasons Why Studying Bible Prophecy is Extremely Important on pages 232-233 (Regular DA 234-235 from Chapter 23 “The Kingdom of God is at Hand”).
1. It helps people understand the significance of the first coming of Christ. “The time of Christ’s coming, His anointing by the Holy Spirit, His death, and the giving of the gospel to the Gentiles, were definitely pointed out. It was the privilege of the Jewish people to understand these prophecies, and to recognize their fulfillment in the mission of Jesus. ”
2. Jesus urged His followers to understand the prophecies of Daniel specifically. “Christ urged upon His disciples the importance of prophetic study. Referring to the prophecy given to Daniel in regard to their time, He said, “Whoso readeth, let him understand.” Matt. 24:15.”
3. Jesus used the Old Testament prophecies after His resurrection to show that He was the promised Messiah. “After His resurrection He explained to the disciples in “all the prophets” “the things concerning Himself.” Luke 24:27.”
4. Jesus Himself had been the One speaking through the Old Testament prophets. “The Saviour had spoken through all the prophets. “The Spirit of Christ which was in them” “testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” 1 Peter 1:11.”
5. The Lord sent Gabriel, the highest ranking angel, to Daniel and John to give them the messages in the books of Daniel and Revelation. “It was Gabriel, the angel next in rank to the Son of God, who came with the divine message to Daniel. It was Gabriel, “His angel,” whom Christ sent to open the future to the beloved John…”
6. A special blessing is promised to those who study and follow the truths in the book of Revelation. “…and a blessing is pronounced on those who read and hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things written therein. Rev. 1:3.”
7. Although there are many things in life we can never understand, the things given to the prophets were given for us to understand and apply to our lives. “”The Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants and prophets.” While “the secret things belong unto the Lord our God,” “those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever.” Amos 3:7; Deut. 29:29. God has given these things to us, and His blessing will attend the reverent, prayerful study of the prophetic scriptures.”
8. Bible prophecies were given by Jesus to announce both His first and His second coming. “As the message of Christ’s first advent announced the kingdom of His grace, so the message of His second advent announces the kingdom of His glory. And the second message, like the first, is based on the prophecies.”
9. The book of Daniel was designed by God to be understood especially in the time of the end. “The words of the angel to Daniel relating to the last days were to be understood in the time of the end. At that time, “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” “The wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” Dan. 12:4, 10.”
10. Our Savior has given signs of His second coming and a warning that we not become distracted as the signs are being fulfilled. “The Saviour Himself has given signs of His coming, and He says, “When ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” Luke 21:31, 34, 36.”
11. When we are aware of the signs given us in Bible prophecy, we can see that we are living in the last day. “We have reached the period foretold in these scriptures. The time of the end is come, the visions of the prophets are unsealed, and their solemn warnings point us to our Lord’s coming in glory as near at hand.”
12. Reverently studying Bible prophecy helps us avoid becoming absorbed in earthly ambitions as the Jews of Jesus day were. It keeps us from having the day of Jesus’ return overtake us a a thief. “The Jews misinterpreted and misapplied the word of God, and they knew not the time of their visitation. The years of the ministry of Christ and His apostles,–the precious last years of grace to the chosen people,–they spent in plotting the destruction of the Lord’s messengers. Earthly ambitions absorbed them, and the offer of the spiritual kingdom came to them in vain. So today the kingdom of this world absorbs men’s thoughts, and they take no note of the rapidly fulfilling prophecies and the tokens of the swift-coming kingdom of God.
“But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” While we are not to know the hour of our Lord’s return, we may know when it is near. “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” 1 Thess. 5:4-6.”