How You Can Know the Future

Many have wondered, especially in times of tumult, of chaos and confusion, such as the time we are living in now, as many are bearing burdens of stress and worry, what does the future hold?

In every age, people have asked similar questions, and sought answers in various ways. As in past ages there are those who have claimed to know the future, predicting things to come in specific ways or at a specific time. Over the years people have predicted within a certain time frame things like a stock market crash, or catastrophic climate change, or the return of Jesus Christ on a certain date or within a certain time frame, such as five years or ten years. Very often, however, these predictions have failed to prove accurate.

However, the Bible tells us how it is possible for us, for you, to know the future.

First, let’s examine some of the failed predictions from various sources from both recent and ancient times.

In the 1960s Paul Ehrlich, a biologist at Stanford University, was predicting worldwide famine within a few years. In 1967 he was quoted in the Salt Lake Tribune as predicting the “’time of famines’ is upon us and will be at its worst and most disastrous by 1975” (“Dire Famine Forecast by ‘75,” November 17, 1967). This was one of many similar predictions he made over a period of years, none of which came to pass. Among his predictions was that America would be subject to water rationing by 1974 and food rationing by 1980 (“Dr. Ehrlich, outspoken ecologist, to speak,” Daily Redlands Facts, October 6, 1970). In 1969 he was quoted in the New York Times as stating, “We must realize that unless we are extremely lucky, everybody will disappear in a cloud of blue steam in 20 years” (“Foe of Pollution Sees Lack of Time,” August 10, 1969).

An article in the Boston Globe in 1970 quoted James P. Lodge, Jr., a scientist at the national center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, that air pollution may obliterate the sun and cause a new ice age in the first third of the next century. He also predicted that the demands for cooling water due to increased electric power generation might “boil dry the entire flow of the rivers and streams of continental United States” (“Scientist predicts a new ice age by 21st century,” April 16, 1970).

These scientists are among many elitists who have called for draconian measures to reduce the standard of living in prosperous nations, stem population growth, and even reduce the earth’s population, to forestall the catastrophes they have erroneously predicted.

Another scientist, Dr. S. I. Rasool, of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and Columbia University, predicted in 1971 that an ice age could occur within fifty or sixty years, due to dust particles in the atmosphere, and called for the burning of fossil fuels, including coal, oil, natural gas, and gasoline to be stopped. His was only one of many predictions in the 1970s of global disaster due to a new ice age.

As we saw earlier, burning fossil fuels had been predicted to be the cause of a future ice age. Beginning in the 1980s the climate alarmists had changed to predicting calamities due to global warming. But their computer models predicting significant increases in global temperatures due to the burning of fossil fuels have been way off the mark.

There has been perhaps some slight warming since the 1970s, when it was said that the mean global temperature had dropped by 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1940s (“Another Ice Age?” Time, June 24, 1974). NASA data indicates that the temperature of the global lower atmosphere had warmed by 0.38 of a degree centigrade (0.21 degree F.) from 1979 to July, 2019 (; all of the above sources are cited in “Wrong Again: 50 Years of Failed Eco-pocalyptic Predictions”, September 18, 2019). This slight warming over a period of forty years is hardly a cause for alarm, and certainly does not justify the hysteria generated by climate alarmists and the media. Many scientists believe the burning of fossil fuels has no significant effect whatsoever on global temperatures (See our article “Can Anything Be Done About the Weather?” at; also in the January 2021 edition of Messenger magazine).

For centuries many have predicted the imminent return of Jesus Christ. Notable among them was a preacher named Harold Camping, recently deceased, who is noted for having predicted the second coming of Christ on various specific dates, all of which proved to be erroneous.

The Bible warns repeatedly about believing false prophets. Be vary careful about believing just anybody who comes claiming to know the future, even if he frequently quotes the Bible. Make sure that what he is telling you about the Bible is accurate, and that he is not adding his own speculation to what the Scripture actually says, or twisting Scripture to his own ends.

False prophets in the nation of Judah at the time of Jeremiah, in the seventh century before Christ, prophesied of peace, when because of their sins and rebellion God had decreed punishment upon the nation. “Then I said, ‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, the prophets say to them, “You shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine, but I will give you assured peace in this place.”’ And the Lord said to me, ‘The prophets prophesy lies in My name. I have not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them; they prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart. Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who prophesy in My name, whom I did not send, and who say, “Sword and famine shall not be in this land”—By sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed!’” (Jeremiah 14:13-15).

Beginning in the early sixth century, B.C., the nation of Judah was taken into captivity in stages by the Chaldeans under their king Nebuchadnezzar, as had been prophesied by Jeremiah and other prophets God had sent to warn them. Jerusalem was destroyed by the Chaldeans after a lengthy siege beginning perhaps in 589 B.C. (cf. “When Did Jerusalem Fall?” Roger C. Young, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, March 2004). The date of the fall of Jerusalem is in dispute, usually dated either in 587 or 586 B.C. While he himself was a captive among the Chaldeans, Ezekiel prophesied of future events affecting the people of Israel.

The united kingdom of Israel was no longer united after the time of Solomon. The northern ten tribes of Israel had become the nation of “Israel,” and were separate from the southern kingdom of “Judah,” which consisted of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and most of the Levites (cf. I Kings 15:9, 31; II Chronicles 11:1-14). The northern kingdom of Israel had been sent into captivity, under the yoke of the Assyrians, in stages from around 740 to 720 B.C., more than a century before Ezekiel prophesied. His prophesies are to a large extent primarily for the latter days, our time and beyond.

God instructed Ezekiel, “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who prophesy, and say to those who prophesy out of their own heart, ‘Hear the word of the Lord!’ Thus says the Lord God: ‘Woe to the foolish prophets, who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! O Israel, your prophets are like foxes in the deserts. You have not gone up into the gaps to build a wall for the house of Israel to stand in battle on the day of the Lord. They have envisioned futility and false divination, saying, “Thus says the Lord!” But the Lord has not sent them; yet they hope that the word may be confirmed. Have you not seen a futile vision, and have you not spoken false divination? You say, “The Lord says,” but I have not spoken.’ Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Because you have spoken nonsense and envisioned lies, therefore I am indeed against you,’ says the Lord God. ‘My hand will be against the prophets who envision futility and who divine lies; they shall not be in the assembly of My people, nor be written in the record of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord God. Because, indeed, because they have seduced My people, saying, “Peace!” when there is no peace—and one builds a wall, and they plaster it with untempered mortar’” (Ezekiel 13:1-10).

Keil and Delitzsch comments on these verses as follows: “They are not even to come into the land of Israel; i.e., they are not merely to remain in exile, but to lose all share in the privileges and blessings of the kingdom of God. This judgment will come upon them because they lead astray the people of God, by proclaiming peace where there is no peace; i.e., by raising and cherishing false hopes of prosperity and peace, by which they encourage the people in their sinful lives, and lead them to imagine that all is well, and there is no judgment to be feared…” (Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament).

God also warns against false prophetesses. “Likewise, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people, who prophesy out of their own heart; prophesy against them” (Ezekiel 13:17).

“And will you profane Me among My people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, killing people who should not die, and keeping people alive who should not live, by your lying to My people who listen to lies?” (Ezekiel 13:19).

“I will also tear off your veils and deliver My people out of your hand, and they shall no longer be as prey in your hand. Then you shall know that I am the Lord. Because with lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and you have strengthened the hands of the wicked, so that he does not turn from his wicked way to save his life. Therefore you shall no longer envision futility nor practice divination; for I will deliver My people out of your hand, and you shall know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 13:21-23).

God takes very seriously the deceptions of false prophets, of those who claim to speak in his name, but teach lies. “But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die” (Deuteronomy 18:20).

Peter wrote of false prophets, could also apply to prophetesses, “…having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children. They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness” (II Peter 2:14-15).

God warned the Church about false teachers who would seek to seduce God’s people. “Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works” (Revelation 2:20-23).

The ultimate fate of a nation, or of individuals, lies in the works they do.

“And when they say to you, ‘Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,’ should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:19-20).

It has long been and is still commonplace in cultures the world over to seek insight into the future by astrology, by consulting “fortune tellers,” psychics, or necromancers.

“There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer” (Deuteronomy 18:10-11, KJV).

Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge comments on this passage as follows: “…he that useth divination, {kosaim, kesamim,} seems a general term for the various species after specified; observer of times, {meonain,} one who pretends to foretell by the clouds, planets, etc.; enchanter {menachesh,} a diviner, either by means of serpents, or by inspecting the entrails of beasts, the flight of birds, etc.; a witch, {mecashsheph,} one who used magical fumigations, etc.; a charmer, {chover chaver,} one who uses spells, or a peculiar conjunction of words, or tying knots, etc.; a consulter with familiar spirits, {shoel ov,} a pythoness; a wizard, {yidoni,} a cunning man; necromancer, {doresh el hammaithim} one who seeks enquiries of the dead.”

“There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead” (Deuteronomy 18:10-11, NKJV).

Burning a child in sacrifice to an idol was a way of seeking favor, or a particular outcome, from a false god. This has been practiced in many nations, and became a common practice among the Israelites and Jews at times in their history.

“Hear the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Behold, I will bring such a catastrophe on this place, that whoever hears of it, his ears will tingle. Because they have forsaken Me and made this an alien place, because they have burned incense in it to other gods whom neither they, their fathers, nor the kings of Judah have known, and have filled this place with the blood of the innocents (they have also built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or speak, nor did it come into My mind).’” [Jeremiah 19:3-5; cf. 7:31; Deuteronomy 12:31; II Kings 16:3; 17:17; 23:10; II Chronicles 28:3; Psalms 106:37-38; Ezekiel 16:20-21. Note on II Kings 16:3 from Keil and Delitzsch Commentary: “’He even made his son to pass through the fire,’ i.e., offered him in sacrifice to Moloch in the valley of Benhinnom (see at 2Ki 23:10), after the abominations of the nations, whom Jehovah had cast out before Israel.”]

Saul, who had been appointed king of Israel, became estranged from God and in disobedience to God’s command, consulted a “familiar spirit” (JKV) or “medium” (NKJV). Keil and Delitzsch comments on I Samuel 28:7-14: “Saul attempted to obtain a revelation of the future in ungodly ways. He commanded his servants (1Sa 28:7) to seek for a woman that had a familiar spirit. Baalath-ob: the mistress (or possessor) of a conjuring spirit, i.e., of a spirit with which the dead were conjured up, for the purpose of making inquiry concerning the future (see at Lev 19:31).”

“Now Samuel had died, and all Israel had lamented for him and buried him in Ramah, in his own city. And Saul had put the mediums and the spiritists out of the land. Then the Philistines gathered together, and came and encamped at Shunem. So Saul gathered all Israel together, and they encamped at Gilboa. When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly. And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams or by Urim or by the prophets. Then Saul said to his servants, ‘Find me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.’ And his servants said to him, ‘In fact, there is a woman who is a medium at En Dor.’ So Saul disguised himself and put on other clothes, and he went, and two men with him; and they came to the woman by night. And he said, ‘Please conduct a seance for me, and bring up for me the one I shall name to you.’ Then the woman said to him, ‘Look, you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and the spiritists from the land. Why then do you lay a snare for my life, to cause me to die?’ And Saul swore to her by the Lord, saying, ‘As the Lord lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing.’ Then the woman said, ‘Whom shall I bring up for you?’ And he said, ‘Bring up Samuel for me.’ When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice. And the woman spoke to Saul, saying, ‘Why have you deceived me? For you are Saul!’ And the king said to her, ‘Do not be afraid. What did you see?’ And the woman said to Saul, ‘I saw a spirit ascending out of the earth.’ So he said to her, ‘What is his form?’ And she said, ‘An old man is coming up, and he is covered with a mantle.’ And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground and bowed down. Now Samuel said to Saul, ‘Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?’ And Saul answered, ‘I am deeply distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God has departed from me and does not answer me anymore, neither by prophets nor by dreams. Therefore I have called you, that you may reveal to me what I should do.’ Then Samuel said: ‘Why then do you ask me, seeing the Lord has departed from you and has become your enemy? And the Lord has done for Himself as He spoke by me. For the Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, David. Because you did not obey the voice of the Lord nor execute His fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore the Lord has done this thing to you this day. Moreover the Lord will also deliver Israel with you into the hand of the Philistines. And tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The Lord will also deliver the army of Israel into the hand of the Philistines’” (I Samuel 28:3-19).

Note the woman pretended to see Samuel “ascending out of the earth,” as though he was being resurrected. The Hebrew for what the woman said she saw is elohim, gods. Then she added it was in appearance as an old man, covered with a mantle. Saul was deceived into believing that it was Samuel speaking to him through this woman, when in fact it was a spirit or perhaps more than one spirit, a demonic spirit or spirits speaking through her.

“So Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the Lord, because he did not keep the word of the Lord, and also because he consulted a medium for guidance. But he did not inquire of the Lord; therefore He killed him, and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse” (I Chronicles 10:13-14).

Note that it was a “medium” that Saul sought guidance from. One who communicates with “familiar spirits,” or demons. In this case, a necromancer, one who pretends to communicate with the dead. In the King James version I Chronicles 10:14 reads in part, that Saul died “for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it.” So it was a “familiar spirit,” or demon that Saul sought counsel from. The Bible in Basic English version renders the verse, “because he went for directions to one who had an evil spirit.”

The demon no doubt knew that Saul had been rejected of God and was to be replaced by David. He knew the Philistine army was poised to do battle, and it was very likely to be victorious. He knew God had warned, “And the person who turns to mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people” (Leviticus 20:6). So the demon knew it was likely that Saul and his sons would be killed in the battle. It turned out in this case that the demon speaking through the medium told Saul the truth about what would happen to him. By this time Saul’s fate, as far as this age is concerned, was sealed, and there would have been no point in trying to deceive him.

Keil and Delitzsch comments: “Saul did indeed inquire of Jahve, but received no answer, because Jahve had departed from him (1Sa 28:15); but instead of seeking with all earnestness for the grace of Jahve, that he might receive an answer, Saul turned to the sorceress of Endor….”

It was not Samuel, who was dead, who spoke to Saul, for the “the dead know nothing” (Ecclesiastes 9:5), “There is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave” (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Speaking of death, we find, “So man lies down and does not rise. Till the heavens are no more, They will not awake Nor be roused from their sleep” (Job 14:12). The context makes it plain that the dead remain dead until God himself calls them up from the grave. “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth–those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation [or judgment]” (John 5:28-29).

We live in an age of particular anxiety, where many see the world coming to pieces, where good is called evil, and evil good, black is white, white is black, up is down and down is up. So how can we know the future? Is it possible?

Looking for answers to the future among astrologers, necromancers, Ouija boards, studying the entrails of slain animals, and other methods that rely on demon influences is not wise and will not produce positive results. Relying on false teachers or false prophets who lie for their own gain, or simply because they themselves are deceived, is not profitable . Relying on the guesswork, or speculation, of a person who might otherwise be well informed can also lead you into false expectations.

God does not want us to seek to know the future from those who consort with demons or are deceived, or seek to deceive others. God wants us to look to him and to him alone for answers to our questions about the future. “I will stretch out My hand against Judah, And against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. I will cut off every trace of Baal from this place, The names of the idolatrous priests with the pagan priests—Those who worship the host of heaven on the housetops; Those who worship and swear oaths by the Lord, But who also swear by Milcom; Those who have turned back from following the Lord, And have not sought the Lord, nor inquired of Him” (Zephaniah 1:4-6).

God’s word is the only reliable source of knowledge about the future, because only God can reliably predict the future.

God can tell the future, and has given us a general outline, and specific information in certain respects, about the future in his word, the Bible. From centuries past Scripture has shown what is coming and its prophecies have proven to be correct in specific ways. God challenges the false gods and false religions to tell us what will happen in the future.

“’Present your case,’ says the Lord. ‘Bring forth your strong reasons,’ says the King of Jacob. ‘Let them bring forth and show us what will happen; Let them show the former things, what they were, That we may consider them, And know the latter end of them; Or declare to us things to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter, That we may know that you are gods; Yes, do good or do evil, That we may be dismayed and see it together. Indeed you are nothing, And your work is nothing; He who chooses you is an abomination’” (Isaiah 41:21-24).

“I am the Lord, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images. Behold, the former things have come to pass, And new things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them” (Isaiah 42:8-9).

“Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure‘”(Isaiah 46:9-10).

Among all religious texts, the Bible is unique in its prophecies and in their accuracy. Many prophesies of the Bible have come to pass, years, centuries, even millennia after the prophesies were written or spoken and recorded. Specific, detailed prophecies about the Messiah, his mission and death were fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Numerous prophecies pertaining to the peoples of Israelite descent have come to pass in both ancient times and the modern age. The promised blessings of the Israelite peoples in the latter days have been fulfilled. Herbert W. Armstrong, among others, wrote about these in some detail as they were coming to pass (cf. The United States and Britain in Prophecy, Herbert W. Armstrong, available from our website, These are just a few of a long list of Bible prophecies that have been or are being fulfilled.

Easton’s Bible Dictionary comments on a small sample of Bible prophecies which could be cited: “Then there are many prophecies regarding the Jewish nation, its founder Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3; 13:16; 15:5; 17:2, 4-6, etc.), and his posterity, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants (12:7; 13:14, 15, 17; 15:18-21; Ex. 3:8, 17), which have all been fulfilled. The twenty-eighth chapter of Deuteronomy contains a series of predictions which are even now in the present day being fulfilled” (“Prophecy,” Easton’s Bible Dictionary).

Jesus before his crucifixion prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem, which came to pass in 70 A.D. “Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, ‘If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation’” (Luke 19:41-44).

Matthew Henry comments on this Scripture: “The Romans besieged the city, cast a trench about it, compassed it round, and kept their inhabitants in on every side. Josephus relates that Titus ran up a wall in a very short time, which surrounded the city, and cut off all hopes of escaping. [2.] They laid it even with the ground. Titus commanded his soldiers to dig up the city, and the whole compass of it was levelled, except three towers; see Josephus’s history of the wars of the Jews, 5. 356-360; 7. 1. Not only the city, but the citizens were laid even with the ground (thy children within thee), by the cruel slaughters that were made of them: and there was scarcely one stone left upon another.”

In a later war called the Bar Kokhba revolt, the Jews were defeated by the Romans and in 135 A.D. the Romans plowed Jerusalem with a yoke of oxen, to overturn every stone, so that no buildings from the time of Christ were left standing.

The restoration of the Jewish state in the latter days is also a prophecy that has been fulfilled. Nehemiah, who became a leader in restoring the Jewish state after the Babylonian captivity, prayed thus: “Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name’” (Nehemiah 1:8-9).

God had scattered the Israelites, from both the nations of Israel and Judah, among the nations. After a time, as the Bible had prophesied, the Jewish state was restored in Palestine (II Chronicles 36:21; Jeremiah 29:10; Daniel 9:2). But Jerusalem was destroyed again, and the Jewish people remained scattered for nearly two millennia. The Jewish homeland was restored in Palestine with a declaration of statehood in 1948.

The Bible prophesies a yet future captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, and a future restoration. “Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, And your spoil will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city shall be taken, The houses rifled, And the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city” (Zechariah 14:1-2).

Jesus Christ will return to destroy his enemies and save the earth from utter destruction. “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand ), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. “Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened” (Matthew 24:15-22).

Following Christ’s intervention, the remnant captives of the nations of Israelite descent will be repatriated to Jerusalem and the land of Israel in the Near East. “The people shall dwell in it; And no longer shall there be utter destruction, But Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited” (Zechariah 14:11).

As stated earlier, the ultimate fate of a nation, or of individuals, lies in the works they do. We saw that Nehemiah remarked that the Jewish people were deprived of their homeland because they were unfaithful to God, but God promised that if they repented they would be restored.

The same promises remain in effect today. God promised Abraham that his descendants through Isaac and Jacob would be blessed abundantly in the latter days. But the Israelites were also warned, “But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments…,” that he would withdraw his blessings, and in their place would be curses (Leviticus 26:14). He said, among other curses, “I will set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you” (Leviticus 26:17). If the people refuse to repent, God promised, “I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after you; your land shall be desolate and your cities waste” (Leviticus 26:33).

God goes on to tell us, “But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, and that they also have walked contrary to Me, and that I also have walked contrary to them and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if their uncircumcised hearts are humbled, and they accept their guilt—then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I will remember…” (Leviticus 26:40-42). “Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, nor shall I abhor them, to utterly destroy them and break My covenant with them; for I am the Lord their God. But for their sake I will remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God: I am the Lord” (Leviticus 26:44-45).

After punishing the people to bring them to their senses and to repentance, God will deliver them out of captivity. “Thus says the Lord God: ‘Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again. They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God’” (Ezekiel 37:21-23).

There are many other prophecies about the future deliverance of the peoples descended from Israel. The other nations, too, will suffer punishment, and then be received of God upon their repentance. “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the Lord’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:2-4). “And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles” (Zechariah 14:16).

One’s future, that is, his ultimate future, can be predicted based on his conduct. This is made abundantly clear in many Scriptures. Among them is Psalms 37. “Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm. For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the Lord, They shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more; Indeed, you will look carefully for his place, But it shall be no more. But the meek shall inherit the earth, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace” (Psalms 37:1-11).

Depart from evil, and do good; And dwell forevermore. For the Lord loves justice, And does not forsake His saints; They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land, And dwell in it forever. The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, And his tongue talks of justice. The law of his God is in his heart; None of his steps shall slide. The wicked watches the righteous, And seeks to slay him. The Lord will not leave him in his hand, Nor condemn him when he is judged. Wait on the Lord, And keep His way, And He shall exalt you to inherit the land; When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it. I have seen the wicked in great power, And spreading himself like a native green tree. Yet he passed away, and behold, he was no more; Indeed I sought him, but he could not be found. Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright; For the future of that man is peace. But the transgressors shall be destroyed together; The future of the wicked shall be cut off. But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in the time of trouble. And the Lord shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, And save them, Because they trust in Him” (Psalms 37:27-40).

Among the keys to learning about the future are the seven annual festivals outlined in Scripture, and the weekly Sabbath, which we have written about extensively in a number of articles. They “are a shadow [outline] of things to come” (Colossians 2:17). In other words, the festivals of God have prophetic significance. In them is a general outline of God’s plan of salvation for mankind and how it will be fulfilled.

There are many specific prophecies in the Bible not touched on in this article, but the big picture is that if you repent of your sins and genuinely seek God and learn to obey him, you can know what your future holds, and you can also learn about the ultimate future of all peoples, based on the principles revealed in Scripture concerning human behavior, and on God’s plan of salvation for mankind, and how he purposes to bring it to pass.

Copyright © 2022 by Rod Reynolds

Unless otherwise noted Scripture taken from the New King James VersionTM

Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Messenger Church of God
PO Box 619
Wentzville, MO 63385

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