High Performance Bible Prophecy

There are a lot of sayings or clichés that involve dimes.  Sayings like, ‘it stops on a dime’ or ‘it doesn’t stop on a dime,’ or ‘I want it to stop on a dime.’  Apparently stopping on a dime is a good thing, especially in the snow.  You have heard of the phrase, ‘to drop a dime.’  It’s an older term that referenced the dime people of yesterday would put into a public phone booth to get a dial tone.  To drop a dime meant that you were saying something incriminating about another person, thus you were ‘dropping the dime’ on them.   I watched a submarine movie in the 90’s, The Hunt For Red October, where two submarines were playing a deadly ‘cat and mouse’ game with each other.  While the one submarine was trying to hide from the other, the chief of the pursued sub said, ‘submarines don’t exactly stop on a dime, we don’t want them running into the back of us.’  This referenced the fact that a large object moving forward in a body of water doesn’t stop immediately.  Then there is the term, ‘turns on a dime.’  It’s like stopping on a dime, except it involves turning in a short amount of space.  Some people can spin on a dime or dance on a dime, which means that they can do impressive feats in a very small space.  One of my students, about a month ago, said, ‘Hey Pastor Rob, watch this,’ and he did a free standing backflip, right in the classroom.  I was impressed and thought to myself, ‘if I could do that, I would have to change my personality.’ I guess that’s what you call, ‘back flipping on a dime.’   All of this ‘dime talk’ has more to do with high performance, accuracy, and reliable information.  Thus it is with Bible prophecy, it is as accurate, as reliable, as high performance as God intended it to be, and the Lord wants us to know what He is doing in the earth today, and will do in the very near future.

The prophet Amos said it this way, “Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.”          – Amos 3:7

  • While most of us are not prophets or sons (or daughters) of prophets, we do have the Holy Spirit if we are in Christ; and the Lord’s Spirit moves in the prophetic.  This being said, if we are listening, watching, and studying, than God will reveal what He is doing and about to do in the earth. 

So, you might be asking, what does this dime monologue and prophetic reveal have to do with God, Jesus, the Bible, and prophecy?  The answer is clearer than you might think. 

Jesus said, “And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27 They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; 29 but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.”                                                        – Luke 17:26-30

  • This passage, and others like it, tell us that life will be going along, somewhat normally, and then, bam!  Jesus will return for His Church in the Rapture.  The only warning will be the signs that the Lord has given to us that proclaim the nearness of His return.  The only people who will be aware of the imminence of the Rapture will be those who are sincerely watching for the Lord and discerning the signs of it.  Now that’s Bible prophecy and turns on a dime; it’s as high performance as it is reliable.

There are 12 tribes in Israel, can you name them all?  We get a glimpse in Genesis 49 of who they are.

Jacob’s Last Words to His Sons:

“And Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days: “Gather together and hear, you sons of Jacob, and listen to Israel your father. Reuben (1), you are my firstborn, my might and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity and the excellency of power. Unstable as water, you shall not excel, because you went up to your father’s bed; then you defiled it—he went up to my couch. Simeon (2) and Levi (3) are brothers; instruments of cruelty (violence) are in their dwelling place. Let not my soul enter their council; let not my honor be united to their assembly; for in their anger they slew a man, and in their self-will they hamstrung (lamed) an ox. Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce; and their wrath, for it is cruel! I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel. Judah (4), you are he whom your brothers shall praise; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s children shall bow down before you. Judah is a lion’s whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bows down (couches), he lies down as a lion; and as a lion, who shall rouse him? 10 The scepter (symbol of kingship) shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh (Jesus) comes; and to Him shall be the obedience of the people. 11 Binding his donkey to the vine, and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes. 12 His eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth whiter than milk. 13 Zebulun (5) shall dwell by the haven of the sea; he shall become a haven for ships, and his border shall adjoin Sidon. 14 Issachar (6) is a strong donkey, lying down between two burdens; 15 He saw that rest was good, and that the land was pleasant; he bowed his shoulder to bear a burden, and became a band of slaves. 16 Dan (7) shall judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel. 17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, a viper by the path, that bites the horse’s heels so that its rider shall fall backward. 18 I have waited for your salvation, O Lord! 19 Gad (8), a troop shall tramp (raid) upon him, but he shall triumph at last. 20 “Bread from Asher (9) shall be rich, and he shall yield royal dainties. 21 Naphtali (10) is a deer let loose; he uses beautiful words. 22 Joseph (11) is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a well; his branches run over the wall. 23 The archers have bitterly grieved him, shot at him and hated him. 24 But his bow remained in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong (supple) by the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob (From there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel), 25 By the God of your father who will help you, and by the Almighty who will bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb. 26 The blessings of your father have excelled the blessings of my ancestors, up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills. They shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers. 27 Benjamin (12) is a ravenous wolf; in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.” 28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father spoke to them. And he blessed them; he blessed each one according to his own blessing.”                                           – Genesis 49:1-28

While knowing who the 12 tribes of Israel may not seem important, what we have here is a specific identification of this special group of Hebrew people whose lineage extends well into the NT, and will continue throughout the millennial reign of Christ.  For this ‘turning on a dime’ characteristic, I wanted to point out a specific tribe, the tribe of Issachar.

“…the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their command;”                                     – 1 Chronicles 12:32

  • We don’t see this ‘understanding of the time’ trait given to any of the other 11 tribes, only Issachar.  We, in the NT, need to be like the sons of Issachar and understand (discern) the times and seasons in which we are living. 

Put another way, if we can accurately discern the season of the Lord’s return, than our Bible prophecy will be able to turn on a dime; that is, we will know when we’re close enough in our discernment to not be as surprised as most will be. Why is this?  Because we were watching, waiting, and looking for the Lord’s return for His Church.  We don’t know the day or hour, but can we possibly know the week, or even the weekend?  How close can we get it, how near to the doors will the Lord get before we take notice?  How tight is our dime turning or stopping radius?

If we are believers in Jesus who love the Lord and know that we have the Holy Spirit living within us, than we will know when He is close, we will know it because the Spirit of the Lord within us will prompt us in our awareness; if we are intent on watching for Jesus’ return as we are walking with and serving the Lord well.  I am amazed how so many believers are so aloof to the nearness of the Lord’s return.  It’s not that they don’t believe that the Rapture may be close, it’s just that they are more fixated on other things in this life right now.  It’s like that movie from the late 90’s, Back to the Future III where Marty McFlywas in the time machine DeLorean and racing toward a canyon with no bridge.  Doc Brown told Marty that the bridge will be there by the time he gets there because it’s in the future.  This is a simple picture of faith; a faith in a fictious time machine, but in reality, Bible prophecy is similar in that we are believing that the Lord will be there to snatch us up and away from this world before we reach the canyon.  In this case, the canyon represents what this world will soon experience on a larger scale, food and water shortages, nuclear strikes, global economic catastrophe, and wars, wild fires and earthquakes and other weather phenomena.  Who would want to stick around for all of that?  Our home is in heaven if we are a believer in Jesus.  We are not like ‘those who dwell on the earth,’ but we are sojourners, traveling through this life, on our way to a kingdom in heaven whose Builder and Maker is God.  Our charge is to win as many people to the Lord as we can while we pass through; but our focus needs to be on things above.

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”                                                                                             – Colossians 3:1,2

  • If we are in Christ, than we are hidden in Christ, secure in our faith because we are walking with the Lord in a right relationship with Him. 

For everyone who is hidden in Christ, stay there, we’re almost home.  Keep your focus were the Lord would have it be, on Him.  We have a strange emotion that comes with our watching for the Lord’s return.  It’s an excitement for what we know God has for us, coupled with a terrible fear of standing before the Lord and giving an account for our life.  It’s danger and excitement, coupled in to one fabulous ride from this world into the next; and it’s all brought to us by the grace of God working in and through our life.  This is high performance Bible prophecy that is as accurate as it is reliable; it’s Bible prophecy that turns on a dime; you can trust it because you can trust God and His Word to us.  Keep in the Word and beware of the season we are in.


Encouragemen is a blog written by Pastor Rob Lee, recently relocated to Northwest Missouri.  He lives with his wife of 32-years, near their three adult children, their spouses, and children (their grandchildren).  Pastor Rob is an Ordained Assemblies of God minister, a former Lead Pastor (25 years), police chaplain, and community advocate.  He continues to serve, consult, and disciple men of God, including those who are in the ministry. 

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