An additional key to understanding prophecy is one that applies to all Scripture. It is the principle of searching out everything that the Bible has to say on a particular point. Avoid hanging a doctrine on one isolated verse. All verses on a particular topic must be searched out, compared, and then reconciled.
Let me give you a prophetic example. But, there are many other verses in both the Old and New Testaments, which make it abundantly clear that the Lord will reign over all the earth before it is consumed with fire. Those verses must be considered together with the passage in 2 Peter 3 in order to get the correct overall view. There are some special problems related to prophetic interpretation. One is that prophecy is often prefilled in symbolic type before it is completely fulfilled. But years after Antiochus, Jesus took those prophecies of Daniel and told His disciples they were yet to be fulfilled.
Another example is the sign which Isaiah gave to King Ahaz to assure him that the city of Jerusalem would not fall to the Syrians who had it under siege.
Study Guide for Holy Spirit by Chuck Smith
The sign was that a young woman would give birth to a son whose name would be called Immanuel Isaiah The passage certainly implies that such a boy was born at that time. This phenomenon is very common. The reason for it has to do with the perspective of the prophet. As he looks into the future and sees a series of prophetic events, they appear to him as if they are in immediate sequence.
It is like looking down a mountain range and viewing three peaks, one behind the other, each sequentially higher than the one in front of it. The peaks look like they are right up against each other because the person viewing them cannot see the valleys that separate them.
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In Zechariah there is a passage with three prophecies which are compressed into two verses but are widely separated in time. Verse 9 says the Messiah will come humbly on a donkey. The first part of verse 10 says the Jewish people will be set aside. The second part of verse 10 says the Messiah will reign over all the nations.
These three events — the First Coming, the setting aside of Israel, and the reign of Christ — appear to occur in quick succession, but in reality, there were 40 years between the first two events, and there have been over 1, years thus far between the second and third events. From our New Testament perspective we can see that the Old Testament prophets were speaking of one Messiah who would come twice.
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We can see the gap between the two comings. I ask you: How do you treat Zechariah 14 — as fact or fiction? As you do so, you are very likely to find yourself challenged to discard old doctrines and to adopt new ones. The Importance of Bible Prophecy. The Gate to Prophecy. Why Kids Love Bible Prophecy. Home Articles The Interpretation of Prophecy.
The Interpretation of Prophecy. The Interpretation of Prophecy An exercise in imagination or the application of plain sense? All of the symbols in Revelation first appear somewhere else in scripture, OR the meaning of the symbol is given in the immediate context. This is very important. People get into trouble when they bring their own ideas into what the symbols mean.
We need to let scripture, logic, and the Holy Spirit be our guide. One caveat. It takes some time, effort, and prayer to understand the symbols Biblically. When we bear fruit, the Father washes and cleanses us so that we will continue to bear. If we do not abide in Christ, we will not be able to produce fruit John While the gifts of the Spirit are valuable and necessary, Paul recommends the fruit of the Spirit as "a more excellent way" 1 Corinthians There is one fruit of the Spirit followed by eight adjectives that define the super natural love of God.
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Joy is love's consciousness. When we love, we are so filled with joy that even normally miserable tasks are pleasurable. Peace is more than the cessation of hostilities. Love that wishes no ill is the basis for true peace. Longsuffering is the characteristic of love that makes us kind after being continually mistreated, without keeping track of the offenses. Love is the only positive motive for goodness.
Some people are "good" because they fear the consequences of doing something wrong, but that is not true goodness. The faith mentioned in this verse is not the gift of the Spirit listed in 1 Corinthians but is a loving trust in people.
These characteristics of agape love are the result of the Holy Spirit's work in our lives. The natural man cannot understand the things of God because he does not have the Holy Spirit to teach him 1 Corinthians The Spirit has revealed unto us the things God has prepared for us because we love Him 1 Corinthians These are things that God has for His people now, not heavenly things.
Many people try to discover what the Bible is all about by approaching it with their human intellect. They cannot understand spiritual things without the Holy Spirit to open their minds 1 Corinthians , so it appears foolish to them.
Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would be our teacher John When we sit down to read the Bible, we should always begin by asking the Holy Spirit to open our minds and hearts to receive and understand what we are reading 1 John The Word of God is our spiritual food and we cannot grow as Christians without it.
It is important that we read the Bible to plant the Scriptures in our minds for the Holy Spirit to bring them to our remembrance when we need them John , Psalm The Holy Spirit guides us into the truth of God and shows us the things that are going to happen so that we are prepared John , 1 Thessalonians When Jesus ministered here on earth, He was restricted to being in one place at a time. The Holy Spirit can be everywhere at once because He is not limited by a body John Since the Word was to go out to all parts of the earth, Jesus could minister to the Church more effectively by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would reprove the world of sin because people do not believe in Him John The only sin that condemns a man is the continual rejection of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour John This sin is also the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin.
The Holy Spirit reproves the world of righteousness because Jesus ascended into heaven John When God received Jesus up into heaven, He was setting the standard of righteousness a man would have to meet to be acceptable to God. The Holy Spirit reproves the world of judgment because the prince of this world Satan is judged John When Jesus went to the cross and died in our place, Satan lost his power over us to force us to do those things that are contrary to God's righteousness Colossians Our old nature, which was subject to sin and to Satan, was put to death at the cross of Christ Romans What does it mean when we sin?
It means that we have not appropriated what God has made available to us through the power of Christ and the Holy Spirit. We need to consciously yield to the power of the Spirit and to that victory of Christ over Satan. Any power that Satan exerts in our lives today is usurped because he has no authority over us and no right to try to control us. If we demand in the name of Jesus Christ that Satan go, then he must.
When we pray to ask God for His help in removing Satan from our lives, we should be very specific, because Satan is so stubborn that he won't want to relinquish any foothold that he does not have to. Also, once he is driven out, he will launch a counter-attack to win the area back, so remember to hold onto what you take through the power of the Holy Spirit by continual prayer. The Bible says that in the last days there will be "distress of nations, with perplexity" Luke The word translated "perplexity" also means "no way out.
In verse 3 the "falling away" refers to the departure of the Church. This will be the time when Jesus Christ will come for His Church. He will not return to earth at this time, but we will be caught up "snatched up" in Greek to meet Him in the air. His second coming will occur seven years later when He returns to earth with His Church to establish His kingdom Colossians , Jude 14 , Revelation The "son of perdition" is the Antichrist, who will cause his image to be set up in the temple in Jerusalem v.
This is the "abomination of desolation" prophesied in Daniel , , , and in Matthew Verse 6 refers to the power of the Holy Spirit in withholding or hindering Satan from presenting the Antichrist to a world that has been conditioned to accept him.