This is a very powerful verse in the Bible as it sets a context of clarity that this is a point to make note off and this point should not be taken lightly! The verse here is to clarify that no prophecy found in scripture is of any private interpretation, which can be translated in the following way, using the English Standard Version: that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.
This is a key distinction as although there are various authors of the Bible, the words were given by God and not interpreted by man from the original text. The original texts of the Bible were in three different languages, the Old Testament was written in the Hebrew and Aramaic languages, whilst the New Testament was written in the Greek language. Over time, the Bible message has been spread across the globe and the entire book has been translated into over 700 languages and the New Testament alone has been translated into over 1500 languages. These astounding numbers have helped preach the most widely read book across the globe and even with the many translations, the Bible message remains and especially regarding prophecy. Prophecy is the prediction of what is to come and there have been multiple occasions where God has prophesied to the people in the Bible and the prophecy has come true at some point in the future.
There have been multiple prophesies in the Bible, and we will just look at three of them briefly. These will include the flood, the restoration of Israel and the Olivet prophesy, which relates to us directly.
In the book of Genesis, the world was a wicked placed in the eyes of the LORD and only Noah found favour in the LORD’s eyes.
The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.Genesis 6:5-8
Reading further in the chapter, in verses 17-18:
For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.Genesis 6:17-18
Noah did this and built an ark to the measurements God specified and brought in two of every animal. At this point, the earth had never flooded, so what Noah was doing was purely down to his faith in the LORD. This prophesy that the flood would destroy everything except Noah’s household came true.
The second example of prophesy I would like to use is the restoration of Israel, where there were multiple times that this happened throughout history with the latest within the last century, in 1948.
As a pleasing aroma I will accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered. And I will manifest my holiness among you in the sight of the nations. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the country that I swore to give to your fathers.Ezekiel 20:41-42
This restoration of Israel fulfills the promises of old, that God gave to the fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This leads to the latter-day prophesy that also affects us as we are patiently waiting the coming of the Lord Jesus. There was a prophesy that the Lord Jesus made on the Mount of Olives, widely renowned as the Olivet Prophecy, which can be found in the gospel message according to Matthew in chapters 24 and 25. The prophecy was set out to prepare those who believe in Jesus that He will return and there will be a Kingdom. We have warning signs that we should be aware of, as these signal that the time is coming closer.
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.Matthew 24:6-8
The world will be in a time like it was in the days of Noah as we read later in the prophesy in Matthew.
But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.Matthew 24:36-44
We have received warning that there is a time when the Lord will come and we all have a chance to be saved because God sent Jesus to the world, so it could be saved. There is a hope for us all and the free gift of salvation.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.John 3:16-17
These passages although daunting, should be able to give us hope of an amazing time to come, that will be forever, perfect and God wants you to be there!