Evangelist Donald Perkins is adamant that “God is in control and He has a divine order.”
In “Bible Prophecy – God’s Order of Events,” a new video presentation that mirrors his own buoyant personality, Perkins outlines and examines biblical prognostications arranged in three basic questions: What is Bible prophecy; what does the Bible say about God and Bible prophecy; and why should we study Bible prophecy?
As he works his way through the many elements of his study, Perkins is upbeat, describing his love for Bible passages, and the beauty contained within them – God’s promises for the believer.
“There is nothing that has caught Him off-guard. He has a plan that is going to take us into eternity.”
Perkins begins with the words of the apostle, in 2 Peter 1:19-21, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
“I love these passages, and I always start messages with these passages. You can be sure of it. You can trust it. You can stand on it.
“When God was giving out Bible prophecy to His prophets of old, He didn’t give it to just one prophet. Moses didn’t get all the prophecy. Zechariah didn’t
get all the prophecy. Micah didn’t get all the prophecy.”
God gave prophecy throughout the whole Scripture, and doing that He protected the integrity of Bible prophecy.
“We have a Bible that is centuries old, but it reads today like a current-day newspaper. It’s exciting that we are living in a time now when we can see all these prophecies come to pass. The prophets of old longed to see the days that we are seeing.”
Perkins is founder and president of According to Prophecy Ministries. An ordained minister, he has been teaching Bible prophecy for over 40 years, including as an instructor at several Bible colleges, and has traveled widely as a conference speaker. He is a member of the Pre-Trib Research Study Group founded by Dr. Tim LaHaye and a contributing member of the Dictionary of Premillennial Theology.
Early in his presentation, Perkins quotes a colleague, the late Dr. Chuck Missler: “We don’t take prophecy seriously because it is in the Bible. We take the Bible seriously because of the track record of its prophecies.”
Perkins then asks: “How do you know that Bible you have is the correct book? What about the Koran? What about the Book of Mormon? One way you know is based on Bible prophecy … Only a God that knows the future could write and inspire this book. Bible prophecy proves the validity of the Bible, and you can trust it.”
Perkins quotes another favored scholar, Dr. Richard Booker: “When we study the Bible and world history, we see that God has a plan for mankind, and that He is actively moving world events forward to fulfill that plan. He has written these events in the Bible so we can know His plan and see it unfold throughout the pages of world history. It is all there in the Bible if we will just take time to study it for ourselves.”
Perkins says the Bible, taken as a whole, provides believers with a thorough insight. “God has revealed the end of the story from the beginning, and as sons and daughters of God, He will open the Scripture to your heart. I can tell you today exactly how the future is going to look based on the authority of the Word of God.”
WHAT IS BIBLE PROPHECY?
Perkins says “prophecy is not necessarily, nor even primarily, foretelling. It is the declaration of that which cannot be known by natural means. It is the forth-telling of the will of God. Whether with reference to the past, the present or the future. Bible prophecy signifies the speaking forth of the mind and counsel of God.”
He also focuses on eschatology, which he describes as a division of systematic theology dealing with the doctrine of last things such as Death, Resurrection, the Second Coming of Christ, the End of the Age, Divine Judgment and the Future State. “It properly includes all that was prophetic of future events when recorded in the Scriptures. Biblical eschatology assumes that the Scriptures predict future events with infallible accuracy and constitute a divine disclosure of the future.
“Eschatology is not designed to satisfy curiosity but to provide an intelligent comprehension of the future as a guide for a present program, and a sure ground for hope.
“If a Christian doesn’t understand prophecy – if you don’t get it right – it will seriously affect everything you believe about the Bible,” Perkins says. “When you understand it, it will give you a clear, balanced perspective of what God is doing.
“Dr. John W. Bradbury, in his book The Sure Word of Prophecy, wrote: ‘Christians’ eschatology and prophecy are interwoven in the teachings of the Bible to such an extent that the knowledge of the first is limited to the extent that we comprehend the second.
‘Every doctrine of the Christian faith has its conclusion or culmination in that future which
is the burden of Biblical prophecy. An ignorance of this prophecy or any perversion of it seriously affects one’s concept of the pure faith. It is for this reason, therefore, that a clear Biblical expression concerning Bible prophecy is necessary.’”
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT GOD AND BIBLE PROPHECY?
Perkins cautions viewers: “You have to be careful. There is a lot of wacky stuff that’s out there, on YouTube, and the internet. It is not biblical. You want to stand on the authority of the Word.”
He quotes one of the Bible’s best-known prophets: “Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” (Isaiah 46:10)
“God exists in the past, present and future. He says I have showed you the end of the story from the beginning.”
Perkins continues with chapter 48, verses 3-5: “I have declared the former things from the beginning, and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them: I did them suddenly, and they came to pass. I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee…”
WHY SHOULD WE STUDY BIBLE PROPHECY?
“We are commanded to study the Word of God, and the message of Bible prophecy is in the Word.
“Thirty-three percent of your Bible is prophetic in nature. Bible prophecy answers hard questions that no other study in the Bible answer, such as what happens to the dead after death.
“The Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians that we are absent from the body and we are present with the Lord. When a Christian dies, his flesh is in the ground but his spirit goes to be with the Lord.
“On the other hand, an unredeemed person, who is not saved, is absent from his body but he is present in hell. A good example of that is Luke chapter 16, when you look at the account of the rich man and Lazarus, which is not a parable, but an actual account of a man gone to hell because he didn’t repent. But the Scripture says he died and was buried, and in hell he lifted up his eyes being in torment.
Perkins says many people question him about what is often called “the end times” and whether the Earth will be totally destroyed.
“People today are freaking out, with all the world events, and the nations that are rising up, and the nuclear war threats between Iran and Israel, and North Korea, and Russia: Will mankind destroy planet Earth? Who will push that red nuclear button?
“I want to put your hearts at rest. Mankind cannot destroy planet Earth. How we know that is through prophecy. The Bible says the foundation of the Earth standeth sure. Mankind cannot destroy planet Earth because God has a biblical future for planet Earth.
“Of a surety we are living in the last days. The Bible – the Word of God – reveals the end-time message. The Bible gives us the signs of the times, and the indicators that mark the end of the world. I believe the authority of the Word of God.
“Today, we are in what’s called the Church Age, or the dispensation of the church. The Church Age began in the book of Acts. We are still in the Church Age, in Acts chapters one through 22. In regard to the book of Revelation, we are in chapters two and three. We are no further in the Book of Revelation. We are not in chapter four. Don’t let anybody tell you we are further into it. We are not. We are still, in the present time, in the Church Age. What is going to remove the Church Age is that event called the Rapture of the Church.
“Here (now) is where Christ is using the Body of Christ – He wants to use you as a son and daughter in the Body of Christ to reach a lost world. Bible prophecy gives hope to a dying world. It gives hope beyond this present world’s problems.”
Perkins says the Bible also tells that heaven and hell are real places. “The Bible gives us clear understanding about heaven and hell. The Bible gives us three levels of heaven: the sky, the universe and God’s abode, or the third heaven. The Bible gives us five compartments of hell: Abraham’s bosom, Hades (Shiel), Sheol Tartarus, the abyss – or the bottomless pit, and the lake of fire.”
Perkins says Bible prophecy also reveals what happens to the wicked or ungodly in the end. He draws attention to Psalm 73: “The psalmist thought on the prosperity of the ungodly. He came to God, but then he looked down the street and he saw the wicked prosper … he said ‘I have cleaned my hands in vain.’ However, because of the prophecy of judgment of the ungodly, which he learned after he went into the house of God, it caused him not to backslide. In verse 17 he says, ‘Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.’
“Peter said: ‘Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.’
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for former things are passed away.” (Rev. 21:4)
Perkins gives an in-depth review of the New Jerusalem and the forthcoming Eternal State.
“This is the future of the redeemed. This is our eternity with God. It’s going to be so beautiful. The Bible says there shall be no more curse. The curse of Adam is going to be lifted for all time. This is our future. It will encourage you to stay with Him. The Bible says our present sufferings today are not even worthy to be compared to the glory that is going to be revealed.
“Can you imagine a world filled with righteousness. Can you imagine a world without death? Without graveyards? Without funeral homes? Without morticians? Can you imagine a world without sorrow? Can you imagine a world without pain?” Perkins asks.
“Our future is going to be so beautiful. This is the future of the redeemed. Bible prophecy inspires dedicated work and service to God.”