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Bible Prophecies

Prophets are called by God to teach His commandments, warn against sin, and prophesy of future events. The Bible records many prophecies that have been fulfilled, as well as many that are yet to happen. Many biblical prophecies center on Jesus Christ, His life, and His role in the destiny of all humankind.

Why God uses prophets

Your life here on earth has a purpose. You are here as part of God’s plan to test the faith and obedience of His children. Because God is a loving Heavenly Father, He does not abandon us to try to navigate this life all our own. He calls prophets to communicate His commandments and give guidance and help. Scriptures like the Bible were written by prophets and “given by inspiration of God, and [are] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). In other words, the words spoken by prophets in the Bible and other books of scripture are given to help you become a better you. 

God shares His will through prophets

The Bible teaches, “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7). This has been His pattern from the beginning: “He spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began” (Luke 1:70). God wants His children to learn, to grow, and to prosper; He provides warnings, revelations, and instructions through His prophets.

Prophets help you live happily

The words of the prophets are “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, [and] for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12). Prophets teach and remind us how to become better, and ultimately, happier.

God builds faith through prophets

When prophets foretell an important event, it may be to warn people so they can be prepared. It can also serve to strengthen faith in God’s word when people see that prophecy come to pass. The Bible contains many prophecies that have been fulfilled in history as well as revelations about events that are yet to come.

There are living prophets today

Heavenly Father continues to demonstrate His love for us by sending us the messages we need right now. Living prophets receive revelation from God and give instructions and counsel to all people today. Prophets and Apostles in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have given counsel in recent years about such things as being prepared for difficult times ahead, financial prudence, the importance of education, marriage and family relationships, and finding and maintaining faith during personal trials.

Prophecies about Jesus

The birth of Jesus

Long before Jesus’s birth, ancient prophets foretold events related to His life and mission. These prophecies were given so that people would recognize Jesus when He came and have faith in Him as their Savior. Isaiah in the Old Testament wrote about Jesus 700 years before His birth: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). He further declared, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

The life of Jesus

Other Old Testament prophets foretold Jesus’s life in remarkable detail. Micah knew the Savior would be born in Bethlehem (see Micah 5:2). Hosea spoke of the time Jesus would spend in Egypt as a child (see Hosea 11:1). The book of Psalms talks about how Jesus would speak in parables and would be rejected by His own people (see Psalm 78:2; 69:8). One of Isaiah’s beautiful prophecies spoke of the role Jesus would play for all humankind: “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows. . . . He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4–5).

Jesus’s death and Resurrection

The Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ are so significant to all people that God has all His prophets testify of Christ. Old Testament prophets described with precision events that would occur hundreds of years later. Isaiah foretold how Jesus would be mocked, spat upon, and struck (see Isaiah 50:6). The Psalmist and the prophet Zechariah knew that He would be crucified (see Psalm 22:16; Zechariah 12:10) and yet would pray for His enemies (see Psalm 109:4). Most important, prophets throughout the Bible taught God’s message that Jesus Christ would be resurrected (see Isaiah 25:8) and that because of Him, we will be resurrected too (see Isaiah 26:19, Job 19:26). 

Biblical prophecies that have been fulfilled

God prepares every prophet to testify of Jesus Christ in some way, whether before or after Jesus’s birth. God also has prophets warn of other significant events as well. 

Moses freeing the Israelites

Some of the most famous prophecies were made by Moses, who warned the Pharaoh that unless the Israelites were freed, the Egyptians would be afflicted with sickness, pestilence, and ultimately the death of their firstborn sons (see Exodus 7–12). 

The destruction of Jerusalem

The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah foretold the destruction of Jerusalem (see Jeremiah 25:2, 9–11). History shows that the Babylonians did indeed demolish Jerusalem in 587 BC. The Book of Mormon prophet Lehi also warned people of this impending destruction. Because of this revelation from God, Lehi and his family left Jerusalem; the Book of Mormon is an account of their history and another testament of Jesus Christ. 

The Great Apostasy

An apostasy is a period when God’s authority is not on the earth. After Jesus was resurrected and ascended into heaven, His disciples anticipated that He would return as He had said. However, the Apostle Paul taught that the Church Jesus established would fall away into apostasy before Christ comes again: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first” (2 Thessalonians 2:3). This apostasy occurred in the centuries after Jesus’s original Apostles, who held His priesthood authority, were killed or died.

The Restoration of Christ’s gospel

God knew that an apostasy would occur and allowed His priesthood authority, prophets, and the full gospel of Jesus Christ to be lost to humankind for a time. However, God also promised He would reestablish the truths and gospel ordinances (such as the Communion or sacrament and baptism) His children need to return to His presence. Peter in the New Testament promised that in the last days, there would come “the times of restitution [or restoration] of all things” (Acts 3:21). This Restoration of Christ’s gospel began in 1820 with the Prophet Joseph Smith. After the return of God’s priesthood authority through Joseph Smith, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized in 1830. From its beginning until today, the Church has been led by a living prophet—just one of the ways the Mormon Church is different from other Christian churches. 

The Book of Mormon

The prophet Ezekiel revealed that the writings of the descendants of Judah (the Bible) and the writings of the descendants of Joseph (the Book of Mormon) would come together to unify His people in righteousness. “Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand” (see Ezekiel 37:16–17). Both the Bible and the Book of Mormon teach us about God and Jesus Christ and how we can return to live with Them.

Biblical prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled

The kingdom of God filling the earth

The establishment of Christ’s kingdom on the earth has begun, but it is not finished yet! Daniel of the Old Testament prophesied that God’s kingdom would grow until it had “filled the whole earth” and that it “shall stand for ever” (Daniel 2:3544). Jesus Himself prophesied that “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world” (Matthew 24:14). To take the gospel to all the world, the Lord today calls missionaries, who are the fishers and hunters that Jeremiah prophesied would gather God’s people (see Jeremiah 16:16). 

The gathering of Israel

The Lord warned the people of Israel through Moses that if they did not heed His words “the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other” (Deuteronomy 28:64). However, He also promised that “I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them” (Jeremiah 23:3). God gathers His children with the help of Church members and missionaries who teach them truths about God’s plan. When people are baptized into Christ’s Church, they become part of the house of Israel. As people join God’s kingdom throughout the world, Israel is spiritually gathered again.

Jesus will come to earth again

God sent angels to Christ’s original Apostles to declare, “This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). Christ’s return to the earth is known as the Second Coming. The Savior will one day come in power and glory to claim His kingdom and judge all people. Prophets have known of this from the beginning. In the Old Testament, Malachi referred to this event as the “great and dreadful day of the Lord” (Malachi 4:5). It will be great for those who watch and prepare for His coming; it will be dreadful for those who are not prepared. Zechariah prophesied that at that day “the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one” (Zechariah 14:9). 

A day of rejoicing

The exact timing of Jesus’s coming is unknown. Jesus Himself said, “Of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36). But we do know through prophets that the return of Jesus will mark the culmination of God’s plan and will be marvelous to those who have waited for Him. “Every knee should bow . . . and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10–11). It is then that “God will wipe away tears from off all faces” (Isaiah 25:8) and the righteous shall enjoy their eternal reward.

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