Interpreting Bible Prophecy...
brings divine revelation,
and Godís salvation!
...Keys to Interpretation......DANGER...the Prophecy Minefield!...
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.John 16:13
Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.Daniel 12:10
Keys to Interpreting Future Prophecy...
- Scripture... The bible is its own interpreter, explanation of a particular scripture which is not immediately evident can generally be found elsewhere in scripture.
- Prayer with Faith... Prayerfully recognising oneís dependence on the Holy Spirit for guidance into all truth, (John 16.13), and having an expectation to receive by faith.
- Spirituality... Remember Only the wise will receive understanding, but none of the wicked, (Daniel 12.10), i.e. Only those who are born-again...
- Logic... Although many aspects of the Christian faith go beyond logic or common sense, (i.e. Being born-again; walking by faith; praying in tongues,etc.), prophecy often requires a logical sequence of thought to bring further clarification and understanding.
- Culture... The prophetic writers of the Bible were undoubtedly intelligent and educated. However the cultural differences, between their time and our present time, would cause their interpretations of visions seen to be relayed using the limited vocabulary available at that time. (E.g. Consider their difficulty in describing modern transportation, communications, technology and weaponry etc.).
- Timing.. As present day world events have unfolded, prophecy that preterite (or historical viewpoint), interpreters have claimed to have been fulfilled, are proven wrong with events NOW clearly coming to pass. Similarly, some areas of confusion and argument regarding interpretation will be clarified further with the passing of time, as world events progress.
- Mystery... Although all scripture is given for edification, (2 Tim. 3.16), there are still mysteries regarding interpretation of some prophecies. (e.g. The significance of the four beasts , (creatures), (Rev. 4); the relevance of the seven thunders, (Rev. 10.4); the personal identity of the Two Witnesses, (Rev. 11;). Although the study of prophecy reveals countless mysteries hidden from the heathen, it is wise not to feel intimidated by these mysteries that remain, or indulge in speculative guesswork. After all everyone loves a mystery, it adds to the excitement!
He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given...Matthew 13:11
DANGER, the Prophecy Minefield! .......
The exposition of Bible prophecy should be a respected & highly regarded ministry within the Church. Sadly it can invariably attract the label of crank, crackpot or wierdo, being considered the domain of the cultist or the mentally unstable. Those pursuing this type of ministry yet failing to command the appropriate respect often have only themselves to blame for not following the guidelines already covered as well as falling into the trap of entering the "Prophecy Minefield!"
- Speculation -
Elaborating on the scriptures to such an extent that assumptions are made going beyond that which is clearly determined in the original text. (Eisegesis)
Three specific examples of speculation, regarding the prophecies, are...
- Attempting to identify, by name, the Antichrist and/or the False Prophet.
- Dogmatically stating the names of the Two Witnesses.
- Guessing as to the relevance & meaning of the Seven Thunders.
- Date Setting -
Although specific reference can often be given to time periods...
(e.g. Revelation 20 - The Millennium, Daniel 9.24 - Israelís 70 weeks), various writers on prophecy have brought the Christian faith and their own ministries into disrepute by being dogmatic on dates and timing of events, most particularly in reference to the Second Coming , or the Blessed Hope. Whilst the Signs of the Times are given to us to know that the time is even at the doors, (Matthew 24:33), the specific timing is known only to the Father.
Hence the advice given in Matthew 24:36 / Mark 13.32
.......SHOULD BE HEEDED.......
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.Matthew 24:36
But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.Mark 13:32
Prayer for guidance......in Prophetic Study
Page Title: Interpreting Bible Prophecy
Page URL: http://www.blessedhope.ws/inter.html
Page Updated: 9thJuly 2020
Author/Webmaster: Leslie C.Gaston
Copyright © Blessed Hope Ministries - International © MM