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Learn From Bible Prophecy

Learn From Bible Prophecy

“Those having insight will understand.”​—DAN. 12:10.

SONG 98 The Scriptures​—Inspired of God


1. What can help us to learn to enjoy studying Bible prophecy?

 “I LOVE studying Bible prophecy,” says a young brother named Ben. Do you agree with him? Or are you a little intimidated by prophecy? You may even feel that studying prophecies can be boring. However, when you learn more about why Jehovah had them included in his Word, you may change your opinion.

2. On what will this article focus?

2 In this article, we will discuss not only why we should learn about Bible prophecies but also how we can study them. We will then examine two prophecies in the book of Daniel to see how understanding them can help us now.


3. What do we need to do if we are to understand Bible prophecy?

3 We need to ask for help if we are to understand Bible prophecy. Consider this illustration. Imagine that you are visiting an unfamiliar place but a friend who is traveling with you is well-acquainted with the area. He knows exactly where you are and where each road leads. No doubt you would be glad that your friend agreed to come with you! In a similar way, Jehovah knows where we are in the stream of time and what is on the road ahead of us. So to understand Bible prophecy, we must humbly ask for Jehovah’s help.​—Dan. 2:28; 2 Pet. 1:19, 20.

Studying Bible prophecy can help us to prepare for future events (See paragraph 4)

4. Why did Jehovah have prophecies recorded in his Word? (Jeremiah 29:11) (See also picture.)

4 Like any good parent, Jehovah wants his children to have a happy future. (Read Jeremiah 29:11.) But unlike any human parent, Jehovah can foretell the future with complete accuracy. He had prophecies recorded in his Word so that we can know about important events before they happen. (Isa. 46:10) Bible prophecies are loving gifts from our heavenly Father. But how can you be certain that what the Bible foretells really will come true?

5. What can a young person learn from Max’s experience?

5 At school, our young ones are often surrounded by those who have little or no respect for the Bible. Their comments and conduct can raise doubts in the mind of a young Witness. Note the experience of a brother named Max. He says, “When I was in my teens, I started to doubt that my parents were teaching me the true religion and that the Bible was inspired by God.” What did his parents do? He says, “They reacted calmly, even though I know they were worried.” Max’s parents answered his questions from the Bible. Max did something too. “I studied Bible prophecy for myself,” he says, “and I discussed what I learned with other young ones.” With what result? Max says, “After that, I was convinced that the Bible is inspired by God!”

6. What do you need to do if you have doubts, and why?

6 If, like Max, you begin to doubt that the Bible contains the truth, you do not need to feel guilty. But you do need to do something about it. Doubt is like rust. If ignored, it can slowly destroy something valuable. To begin removing any “rust” from your faith, you need to ask yourself, ‘Do I believe what the Bible says about the future?’ If you are not sure, then you need to study Bible prophecies that have already come true. How can you go about doing that?


To develop trust in Jehovah as Daniel did, we must study Bible prophecy humbly, thoroughly, and with the right motive (See paragraph 7)

7. What example did Daniel set with regard to how to study prophecy? (Daniel 12:10) (See also picture.)

7 Daniel set a good example with regard to how to study prophecy. He approached prophecy with the right motive, to know the truth. Daniel was also humble, recognizing that Jehovah will give understanding to those who know him and who live by his clean standards. (Dan. 2:27, 28; read Daniel 12:10.) Daniel proved that he was humble by relying on Jehovah for help. (Dan. 2:18) Daniel was also thorough. He researched the inspired Scriptures that were available to him. (Jer. 25:11, 12; Dan. 9:2) How can you imitate Daniel?

8. Why do some refuse to believe that Bible prophecies come true, but what should we do?

8 Examine your motives. Is your study of Bible prophecy motivated by a strong desire to know the truth? If it is, Jehovah will help you. (John 4:23, 24; 14:16, 17) Why else might someone study prophecy? Some may do so in hopes of finding evidence that the Bible is not inspired by God. In that way, they feel that they can justify setting their own standards of right and wrong and living by those standards. However, we need to have the proper motivation. In addition, an important quality is needed to understand Bible prophecy.

9. What quality is needed to understand Bible prophecy? Explain.

9 Be humble. Jehovah promises to help the humble. (Jas. 4:6) So we need to pray for His help to understand Bible prophecy. We must also acknowledge that we need the help of the channel he is using to give us our spiritual food at the proper time. (Luke 12:42) Jehovah is a God of order, so it makes sense that he would use just one channel to help us understand the truths contained in his Word.​—1 Cor. 14:33; Eph. 4:4-6.

10. What do you learn from Esther’s experience?

10 Be thorough. Pick a prophecy that interests you and research that one first. That is what a sister named Esther did. She was interested in prophecies that foretold the coming of the Messiah. “When I was 15,” she says, “I began digging for proof that these prophecies were actually written before Jesus’ time.” What she learned from reading about the Dead Sea Scrolls convinced her. “Some of them were written before the time of Christ,” she notes, “so the prophecies they contained had to be from God.” Esther admits, “I had to read things several times to understand them.” But she is happy she made the effort. After thoroughly studying a number of Bible prophecies, she says, “I could clearly see for myself that the Bible is true!”

11. How do we benefit from proving to ourselves that the Bible is true?

11 When we see how some prophecies in God’s Word have already been fulfilled, we develop an unbreakable trust in Jehovah and in the way that he is guiding us. In addition, Bible prophecies help us to maintain a positive hope for the future, no matter what trials we face now. Let us briefly consider two prophecies recorded by Daniel that are now being fulfilled. Understanding them can help us to make wise decisions.


12. What do the feet of “iron mixed with soft clay” represent? (Daniel 2:41-43)

12 Read Daniel 2:41-43. In the dream that Daniel interpreted for King Nebuchadnezzar, the feet of the image that the king saw were made of “iron mixed with soft clay.” By comparing this prophecy with others in the books of Daniel and Revelation, we can conclude that the feet represent the Anglo-American alliance, the dominant world power today. Regarding this world power, Daniel says that “the kingdom will be partly strong and partly fragile.” Why partly fragile? Because the common people, pictured by the soft clay, undermine its ability to act with ironlike strength. b

13. What important truths can we grasp because we understand this prophecy?

13 From Daniel’s description of the dream image and particularly its feet, we learn several important truths. First, the Anglo-American World Power has shown its strength in some ways. For example, it played a key role in winning World War I and World War II. However, this world power has been weakened and will continue to be weakened by internal conflicts among its own citizens. Second, this alliance will be the last world power to rule before God’s Kingdom puts an end to all human kingdoms. Even though other nations may at times challenge the Anglo-American World Power, they will not replace it. We know that because “the stone” representing God’s Kingdom will crush the feet, the part of the image that depicts the Anglo-American alliance.​—Dan. 2:34, 35, 44, 45.

14. How can understanding the prophecy about the feet of iron and clay help us to make wise decisions?

14 Are you convinced that Daniel’s prophecy regarding the feet of iron and clay is true? If so, that will affect the way you live your life. You will not seek material security in a world that will soon be crushed out of existence. (Luke 12:16-21; 1 John 2:15-17) Understanding this prophecy will also help you see the importance of the preaching and teaching work. (Matt. 6:33; 28:18-20) After studying this prophecy, why not ask yourself this question, ‘Do the decisions I make show that I am convinced that God’s Kingdom will soon put an end to all human governments?’


15. Who are “the king of the north” and “the king of the south” today? (Daniel 11:40)

15 Read Daniel 11:40. Daniel chapter 11 speaks of two kings, or political powers, who struggle with each other for world domination. By comparing this prophecy with others in the Bible, we can identify “the king of the north” as Russia and its allies and “the king of the south” as the Anglo-American World Power. c

We can strengthen our faith and avoid undue anxiety if we realize that opposition from “the king of the north” and “the king of the south” fulfills Bible prophecy (See paragraphs 16-18)

16. What challenges do those who live in the realm of “the king of the north” face?

16 God’s people who live under the rule of “the king of the north” are enduring direct persecution by this king. Some Witnesses have been beaten and thrown into prison for their faith. Rather than intimidate our brothers, the actions of “the king of the north” build their faith. Why? Because our brothers know that the persecution of God’s people fulfills prophetic statements made by Daniel. d (Dan. 11:41) Our knowing that can help us to keep our hope strong and our integrity intact.

17. What challenges have God’s people faced under the rule of “the king of the south”?

17 In the past, “the king of the south” has also made direct attacks on Jehovah’s people. During the first half of the 20th century, for example, many brothers were imprisoned because of their Christian neutrality and some Witness children were expelled from school for the same reason. In recent decades, though, Jehovah’s servants living in the realm of that king have faced more subtle tests of their loyalty to God’s Kingdom. For instance, during election campaigns, a Christian might feel tempted to support one political party or candidate over another. He may not go so far as to vote; but in his mind and heart, he takes sides. How important it is that we remain politically neutral not only in our actions but also in our thoughts and feelings!​—John 15:18, 19; 18:36.

18. How do we react to the conflict between “the king of the north” and its rival? (See also picture.)

18 Those who do not have faith in Bible prophecy may become extremely anxious when they see “the king of the south” “lock horns” with “the king of the north.” (Dan. 11:40, ftn.) Both kings have enough nuclear firepower to destroy all life on earth. But we know that Jehovah will not allow that to happen. (Isa. 45:18) So rather than trouble us, the hostility between “the king of the north” and “the king of the south” strengthens our faith. It confirms that the end of this system is near.


19. What should we acknowledge about Bible prophecy?

19 We do not know how some Bible prophecies will be fulfilled. Even the prophet Daniel did not understand the meaning of everything he wrote down. (Dan. 12:8, 9) But just because we do not fully comprehend how a prophecy will be fulfilled does not mean that it will not come true. Without a doubt, we can trust that Jehovah will reveal to us what we need to know at exactly the right time, just as he did in the past.​—Amos 3:7.

20. What exciting Bible prophecies will we soon see fulfilled, and what should we continue to do?

20 A proclamation of “peace and security” will be made. (1 Thess. 5:3) Then the world’s political powers will turn on false religion and wipe it out. (Rev. 17:16, 17) They will then attack God’s people. (Ezek. 38:18, 19) These events will lead directly to the final war of Armageddon. (Rev. 16:14, 16) We can be certain that these events will shortly take place. Until then, let us continue to show our appreciation to our loving heavenly Father by paying attention to Bible prophecy and by helping others to do the same.

SONG 95 The Light Gets Brighter

a No matter how bad the situation in the world becomes, we can have confidence that a happy future awaits us. We gain that confidence by studying Bible prophecy. This article will discuss specific reasons why we should study what the Bible foretells. We will also briefly examine two of the prophecies recorded by Daniel and see how we personally can benefit when we understand them.

b See the article “Jehovah Reveals What ‘Must Shortly Take Place,’” pars. 7-9, in the June 15, 2012, issue of The Watchtower.

c See the article “Who Is ‘the King of the North’ Today?,” pars. 3-4, in the May 2020 issue of The Watchtower.

d See the article “Who Is ‘the King of the North’ Today?,” pars. 7-9, in the May 2020 issue of The Watchtower.