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This month we're offering a brand new class, called Prophecy: Fact or Fiction. It's perfect for busy, thinking people--as it goes right to the point without pulling punches. For this week's memo I decided to share a bit of testimony and explain why prophecy is so important to me...



The Start of a Quest

I didn't have a lot of exposure to Christianity growing up. And it wasn't until I went off to college that I had my first real experience with young people who were serious about their faith. I became friends with a number of guys in my dorm unit who were part of one of the Christian student groups on campus. And I was rather astonished to observe the measure of raw commitment in their lives.

It got me thinking. While there had always been a kind of background exposure to Christianity, I had never taken it very seriously, and it had little or no impact on my life. But now I was confronted with young guys, my own age, who based everything they did on a book written some 2000 years prior. A book claiming its central character was God incarnate. And that He had come to this world to die in my place, to pay the wages for my sin. It all sounded so strange, but these friends clearly believed it.

Actually, they did more than just spark questions in my mind. They lived lives that were strangely magnetic. There was a joy that radiated out through their day to day trials, a kindness that governed their words and interactions, a peace that seemed to flow from a deeper sense of purpose. There was something about their lives that drew me in.

But I also had questions. There were a lot of other religions in the world after all. How could I know the Bible really was true. That all the supernatural stories it reported really did take place. Was there anything to set it apart from the sacred writings in all those other religious traditions?

What I was looking for, was hard evidence.

A Lousy Detective

Obviously, I wasn't much of a detective or I would have found the proof I needed a whole lot quicker. But I distinctively remember asking some of these friends how they knew what they believed was true. And their answer was pretty much the same: the only real proof I have is what Jesus has done for me.

Now I would never want to minimize someone's personal experience, but this wasn't enough for me. It all sounded far too subjective, anecdotal, and circumstantial. I was sure I could find adherents in other religions with equally impressive testimonies of how their religion had changed their life. And so eventually I concluded, if they couldn't provide real evidence, that evidence must not exist.

And as a result, I ended up losing interest in Christianity, and proceeded to head down a fully secular, and spiritually bankrupt spiral for another year or two.

A Second Chance

But praise God, He knows our hearts! And He never fails to spot an honest seeker and put some opportunity to discover truth in their path. That happened to me in a used book store, where I just "happened" to pick up a thick book on the life of Christ, called the Desire of Ages.

I was pretty much looking for answers in all the wrong places at this point, but something about the title caught my attention, and being an avid reader, I threw it in my basket along with all the other books I was getting, without looking at it too closely. And one day, when I was pretty much out of anything else to read, I picked it up and started into it.

It grabbed me from the start--but not for the reasons people typically give. The beautiful language. The deep insights into the words of Jesus. The careful harmonization of all four gospels. No, what grabbed me was the evidence.

You see, that book turned out to be a masterpiece of Bible prophecy. Virtually every page connected something Jesus did with some Old Testament prophecy. The types hidden in all the old Bible stories, the rituals of the ceremonial services, the explicit predictions about the life of the Messiah--it was all woven together in a powerful way.

The more I read, the more convinced I was that there had to be something to it. The idea some two dozen writers spread out over a thousand years could each predict striking details about a coming future Messiah, and then that all those predictions would be perfectly fulfilled in the life of one man--well that requires something out of the ordinary. Something supernatural. Something divine.

“The idea two dozen writers spanning centuries could all predict details about a coming Messiah, and then that all those predictions were perfectly fulfilled in one man--well that requires something out of the ordinary.”

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The more I read, the more compelling the evidence became. Until finally it overwhelmed my defenses--and I found faith. Not blind faith. Not faith based on some emotional high, or happenstance, or background. No, it was a faith rooted in incontrovertible evidence. And in the many years since, that evidence has only grown stronger, and with it my assurance and conviction it has to be true.

Discovering the evidence of Bible prophecy proved a turning point in my life. The beginning of an amazing adventure. An adventure filled with even richer and more profound insights and discoveries. I have never looked back, or regretted taking that step of faith.

“The evidence of Bible prophecy proved a turning point in my life. The beginning of an amazing adventure.”

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Others Are Still Seeking

My experience is not unique. The fact is, there are probably people in your life right now, wondering if there really is something to your faith. Individuals wavering in uncertainty and doubt: Is there really a God? Is the Bible really true? Can Jesus really make a difference in my life? Or is it all a bunch of hocus pocus and mumbo jumbo?

They are looking for answers. For evidence. Hard evidence. And God has called us to give it to them. We are to "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you" (I Peter 3:15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:). The evidence of prophecy.

Jesus himself, proved his resurrection to the skeptical disciples in this way: "beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself" (Luke 24:27And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.). Years later, Peter wrote this prophetic evidence was "more sure" than being "eyewitnesses" of the life of Christ (II Peter 1:19,16We 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: . . . 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:).

There are people still seeking today, looking wistfully to heaven for this kind of evidence. And thousands more who have given up all hope of finding it. Thousands heading down their own secular, and spiritually bankrupt spirals. Who will offer them the evidence they so desparately need?



Comments

Is your faith rooted in hard evidence? Or are your reasons more subjective, anecdotal, circumstantial? Do you feel equipped to share the prophetic evidence for Christ with others? How important is it to have an answer for our faith?

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Posted by Dan Vis on 12/15/22
Amen! That's awesome Deanne. :)
Posted by Deanne Reinke on 12/14/22
Yes! I believe others are looking for evidence and God has called us to give it to them--Very powerful statement! my goal for doing this class is to prepare myself to give to others what they are looking for so that God will be GLORIFIED! amen
Posted by Dan Vis on 11/26/22
Maybe by the time that class is ready Daniel, you'll be ready to take it. :)
Posted by Daniel on 11/26/22
Like you I am overloaded for many months to come so the comment was more of a wish because reality is dictating otherwise.
Posted by Dan Vis on 11/26/22
Right now my hands are full Daniel, but maybe in 2023. :)
Posted by Dan Vis on 11/24/22
Yes, these things are fascinating, aren't they Daniel? I know very little about archeology, and I'm not an expert on apologetics. But these are great topics. I'm certainly thinking of putting together a class on the latter at least...
Posted by Daniel on 11/23/22
I love evidence to secure my faith like archaeology etc. I love apologetics - not that i can do it but love hearing those that can.
Posted by Dan Vis on 11/22/22
We'll probably be doing a major prophecy class sometime next year Robert. It would be great to have you join us for that! We do have a short prophecy course if you are interested. You can see the link for that above, at the tail end of the article...
Posted by Robert Gonzales on 11/22/22
I do not feel equipped to share the prophetic evidence with others. I need to take that class on project . It is vitally important to give an answer for your faith .
Posted by Dan Vis on 11/18/22
I think it is good to be armed with both. Our personal, more subjective experiences and external, more objective evidences. In sharing with people of other religions, I've found many of them also have their own personal, subjective experiences--like small miracles, providences, and answered prayers. But none have anything remotely comparable to the Bible's prophetic evidence.

So our personal experience can be confirmatory for us, but it is probably not going to be definitive to others. At least not to real thinkers about the subject. I'd definitely encourage arming yourself with some of the prophetic evidences.

We have several classes here at FAST!
(For a future date...)
Posted by Louise P on 11/17/22
My faith is based on the evidence of God’s blessings in my life, and His blessings in the lives of others - answered prayers, Bible promises claimed, miracles. I know of some of the prophetic passages that point to Christ - perhaps I could study these passages further!
Posted by Dan Vis on 11/17/22
That's a beautiful motivation there Barbara! To be able to explain every facet of your life from the Word. Because it exalts the Word as the answer to very problem of life. God is good--He will help you toward that goal for sure!
Posted by Barbara E. LaRose on 11/17/22
I’ve read your testimony several times Pastor Dan and each time I marvel at how the Lord saved you from that life to the one you live now. I’m praying that going through this Revival Class I will be more steadfast in what I believe. I don’t just want to give an answer but I want to really be able to give a biblical explanation of what I believe. This is very important. Without really having a foundation of what I believe I could easily be taken in by another persons sophistries and become easily confused and then loose whatever chance I might have had to share Jesus with them.   
Posted by Dan Vis on 11/16/22
Those are some amazing experiences Sam, and no doubt they confirmed your faith. Some people need something more objective, if they are skeptical to start out with. But these things definitely feed our souls, don't they?
Posted by Shawnda McKnight on 11/16/22
I was asked to prove that God is real. I tried every which way I could to describe to him the things I felt and even when I quoted the Bible he didn't believe in the Bible so eventually I told him to go on the journey for himself bc While on that journey God would reveal himself to him and when that happened he would end up falling in love with the Creator. The Bible itself is HIStory. I showed him how events in the Bible were actual historical events. Today I am not sure where he is on his journey but I know i planted a seed. My faith is rooted on hard evidence like the miracles that God allowed to happen to me. Like one day I was shopping for some of the other members of the church for vegetarian dinner roast-I was delighted to do it but I also wanted one but I didn't have the money. When I gor to the register to pay for the others, there was just enough money for me to get one too!! I dont know how it got there- bc I recounted everyone's money when they gave it to me ans I know I didnt have any money at all so I know it had to be God. Another day I was otw back from Virginia visiting family amd my car broke down about 2 1/2 hours away from home. Fortunately we made it to a gas station so we just waited around the gas station trying to call someone to help but no one came to our rescue. Then a stranger stopped to get gas- asked us what was wrong and we didn't know- so he looked at the car and told me i needed a water pump - ok great we knew what we needed but didn't have the money- this stranger went and purchased the water pump and put it on- free of charge!!! That had to be God!!! God has always showed up whenever I needed him and that was the only evidence I could give him- but he called it coincidence- But Its evidence enough for me that God is real and he indeed interacts with us on a daily basis!
Posted by Dan Vis on 04/12/19
Amen John! A true heart conversion takes more than intellectual evidence, but without it, intellectual honesty can actually be a hurdle. That's why it is so important to be able to provide that evidence to people who are truly seeking.
Posted by John Gilmore on 04/11/19
Thank you, Dan, for writing your testimony. For my wife and me, prophecy was also key in providing the evidence we needed. Prophecy turned her from atheism and me from agnosticism. Praise God for the solid evidence!
Posted by Dan Vis on 04/09/19
You are more than welcome Diane!
Posted by Diane Castanon on 04/09/19
Thank you sharing your testimony, Dan! It was a blessing.
Posted by Dan Vis on 04/08/19
What a wonderful testimony Pam! Praise God for these faithful prophecy teachers who continue to revive church after church, month after month!

What a great story about your grandmother Carole. As for the flooding, things have finally started receded. It was close, but praise God, it's looking better. Job 38:11And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed? is a new favorite verse for me!
Posted by Carole Bliss on 04/08/19
Praying you home won't have flooding issues
God Bless you and your family
BLESSINGS
Carole
Posted by Carole Bliss on 04/08/19
I am so thankful for the Spirit of Prophecy writings. They are so rich. Along with the Bible, we have all we need. Now we need to share with others, this is our duty. My grandmother went to EGWhites tent meeting in Michigan. She was converted. God is so good. Blessings Carole
Posted by Pamela Kendall on 04/08/19
I have been attending a 4 week prophecy seminar/evangelistic series at my church (we are into our last week now). I was briefly tempted not to attend since I have heard many of these things before as I grew up SDA and I also attended a prophecy seminar last year, but I am so glad I have been going as I often glean new nuggets and see additional scripture "evidence" I had not seen before as the evangelist uses new verses I had not noticed. I have been impressed with how truly compelling and powerful the evidence is for our faith - and it is faith strengthening to hear it again!

I am also impressed with how eager some of our visitors are to learn these things. I am a shy person by nature and have almost always been afraid to "share my faith" or invite people to evangelistic meetings, hand out books or pamphlets, etc because I fear the people will not be interested or that I will be "bothering them" or even worse fear of what they will think of me but I am coming to realize that although not everyone will be interested, there are people out there who are longing and praying for truth and evidence, and an invitation to a prophecy seminar, handing out a pamphlet, or sharing something could actually be a means God could use to answer to their prayer... and failing to share out of fear of rejection could actually keep them waiting and searching longer... I want I Peter 3:15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: to become a reality in my life. (Interestingly I Peter 3:14But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; - the previous verse says not to be afraid... and Romans 1:16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. also goes along with it.)

I will probably take the FAST prophecy class advertised here after the meetings are over and when I will have a little more time.
Posted by Dan Vis on 04/08/19
It's easy to get busy with life and not really assess the strength of our beliefs or assumptions. Glad you are doing that now Karen, as that's the first step in getting stronger! As for what to do about it, our site is full of resources to help. The hard part may just be figuring out where to start! :) This month's prophecy course is one good option!
Posted by Marion Coppock on 04/08/19
Karen I will pray that you find Jesus. Spend much time on your knees, praying reading the story of the crucifixion of Jesus. He did so much for you and me. You will fall in love with Him.
Posted by Karen on 04/08/19
I've been an Adventist all my life.    Now,that I'm older,and having more time to reflect on what I believe, etc., I'm frustrated because I'm not the "solid" Christian I thought I was....It's not that I question the validity of the Bible, although I've signed up for the class,it's just that I seem to be mainly a "carnal" Christian, not the "real deal". I don't know how to fix that.


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