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Understanding the Context of Prophecy

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posted on Feb, 26 2005 @ 01:47 PM
If I may allow me to first provide a link

And second, allow me to provide a suggestion when interpreting Scripture: Ask yourself, how would the people to whom these epistles were written understand what was written to them? It is a common though a not very wise practise amongst many to completely ignore the historical context and re-read the words of Jesus, the Epistles or even the book of the Revelation [the Revealing of Jesus] and put what was present or imminent in the near future FOR THEM into our future.

Note that in the Book of Revelation (writen to 7 regional churches in Asia Minor in the first century--to them, there, back then) that in its introduction and conclusion the writer is told to not seal up the words of this revelation "but to keep those things written in it; FOR THE TIME IS NEAR"... "Do not seal up the words of this prophecy FOR THE TIME IS AT HAND."(cf. 1:3b, 22:10). NEAR and AT HAND not for us but for THEM.

Note that the judgement that Jesus was talking about "that upon you may come all of the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar..."(cf. Matt. 23:35) Which YOU was he talking about? Was He talking about us in the 21st century? Was He speaking to us? No He was (in context) speaking to people back there and then. And TO THEM he says, "Assuredly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation."(vs. 36). To that generation (cf. Matt. 11:16). We err in our ignorance by not knowing what happened to them back then.

By implication we make Jesus a liar and Scripture untruthful if we say that both He and the expection of an imminent return in judgement as stated in Scripture and believed by the early church was wrong. Perhaps it is not Scripture that is wrong but our presuppositions and theological system of theology into which we attempt to force these Scriptures?

What if we began with the presuppostion that Jesus was right and this judgement (tribulation) was coming upon them!? "Do not weep for me but weep for yourselves and for your children..." He was on his way to the cross but His worry was for them then there! Do you remember the parable of the landowner and his vineyard? "Then last of all he [God] sent his son [Jesus] to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' But when the vinedressers saw the son, they said among themselves, 'This is the heir. Come let uis kill him and seize his inheritance.' And they caught him and cast him out of the vineyard [Jerusalem] and killed him. Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes [God], what will he do to those vinedressers? THEY SAID TO HIM, 'HE WILL DESTROY THOSE WICKED MEN MISERABLY..." "NOW WHEN THE CHIEF PRIESTS AND PHARISEES HEARD HIS PARABLES, THEY PERCEIVED HIS WAS SPEAKING OF THEM."(Mat. 21:3741,45) ("And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city." 22:6,7)

1 Kings 9:6-7 "But if you... do not keep my commandments... then I [God] will cut off [destroy] this house [temple in context]."

Daniel 9 LXX - And thou shalt know and understand, that from the going forth of the command for the answer and for the building of Jerusalem until Christ the prince there shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks; and then the time shall return, and the street shall be built, and the wall, and the times shall be exhausted. And after the sixty-two weeks, the anointed one [the Christ] shall be destroyed, and there is no judgment in him: and he [the Christ] shall destroy the city and the sanctuary with the prince that is coming: they shall be cut off with a flood, and to the end of the war which is rapidly completed he shall appoint the city to desolation.

For further study--

Some common sense guidelines when dealing with eschatology:

Also know that the futuristic system of theology (premillenialism and dispenationalism) is a newly embraced one... condemned in the early church as heresy... and resurrected in the 1800's through the Plymouth Brethren and made popular especially in the North American church through the publication of the Scofield Reference Bible (because of its popularity at the time it was adopted by the new churches and pseudo-Christian sects that came out of that era... the older mainline churches do not hold to this view... in fact most of Christendom for 2000 years has not! It has held to what can be regarded as a Amillenial or a Post-Millenial view).

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