God Commands us to Understand Prophecy
In my study of the Holy Scripture I have encountered something amazing. While God desires that His people understand, He has issued only a few specific commands to understand. Read and understand what God desires regarding our understanding.
Believers will understand:
The LORD looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God (Psalm 14:2).
God looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God (Psalm 53:2).
My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God (Proverbs 2:1-5).
Assurance of understanding:
For we do not write you anything you cannot read or understand. And I hope that, as you have understood us in part, you will come to understand fully that you can boast of us just as we will boast of you in the day of the Lord Jesus (2 Corinthians 1:13-14).
Unbelievers will not understand:
The senseless man does not know, fools do not understand, (Psalm 92:6)
He replied, "Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand (Daniel 12:9-10).
God Commands understanding of Prophecy:
- “Son of man,” he said to me, “understand that the vision concerns the time of the end” (Daniel 8:17).
- Therefore, consider the message and understand the vision: "Seventy 'sevens' are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy. "Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens.' It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two 'sevens,' the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him" (Daniel 9:23-27).
- So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel--let the reader understand—(Matthew 24:15)
- "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into (Matthew 24:42-43).
- When you see 'the abomination that causes desolation' standing where it does not belong--let the reader understand—(Mark 13:14)
- But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him" (Luke 12:39-40).
- Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation (2 Peter 1:20).
- First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation" (2 Peter 3:3-4).
Of these commands to understand prophecy, four of them are about the timing of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. (Daniel 9:23, Daniel 9:25, Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14)
So when people say, “its not important that I understand prophecy, what is important is that I know Jesus.” What they are really saying is that they don’t know Jesus very well, if they know Him at all.
Other commands to understand:
- Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean'" (Matthew 15:10-11).
- Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a man can make him 'unclean' by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him 'unclean'" (Mark 7:14-15).
- Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham (Galatians 3:7).
- Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:17-21).
Richard H Perry