PROPHECY HEADLINES: ISIS and al-Qaeda join forces against U.S., allies in Syria | Top U.S. general: American troops may fight on the ground alongside Iraqis | Ukraine and Russia accuse each other of breaking ceasefire | 4.8-magnitude earthquake rattles Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas | Israel, Jordan ‘agree’ on steps to ease tensions in Jerusalem
The Bible says in Luke 21:25: “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring.”
PROPHECY BOOTCAMP: “Where Are We Headed? (Part 7)” from Dr. Ed Hindson’s book, “Revelation: Unlocking the Future”.
Variations of the interpretation of Revelation have included:
1. The preterist view. This view sees the entire book, with few exceptions, as being fulfilled in the past — in the fifth century AD with the fall of Jerusalem and the persecution of the church by the Roman Empire. It allows no real future fulfillment of any of the judgments (seals, trumpets, bowls).
2. The historicist view. This view looks for the fulfillment of these prophecies throughout church history. This has led to endless speculation that is totally without biblical support. Identifications have included monks and friars as “locusts”, Muhammad as the “fallen star”, Alaric the Goth as the first trumpet, Elizabeth I as the first bowl, Martin Luther as the angel of Sardis, Adolf Hitler as the red horse, ad infinitum.
3. The idealist view. This view interprets Revelation as a series of ideal principles related to the struggle between good and evil. It allegorizes the entire book as a spiritual conflict unrelated to actual historical events. The “tribulation” becomes one’s internal conflicts. The “return of Christ” takes place in one’s own heart and mind. It views the prophecy as having nothing to say about real future events.
Robert L. Thomas summarizes his defense of the futurist view with this cryptic observation: “The futurist approach to the book is the only one that grants sufficient recognition to the prophetic style of the book and a normal hermeneutical pattern of interpretation based on that style. It views the book as focusing on the last period(s) of world history and outlining the various events and their relationships to one another. This is the view that best accords with the principle of literal interpretation.”
The Apocalypse reveals the future. It is God’s road map to help us understand where human history is going. The fact that it points to the time of the end is clear throughout the entire book. It serves as the final consummation of biblical revelation. It takes us from the first century to the last century, from persecution to triumph, from the struggling Church to the Bride of Christ, from Patmos to paradise.
The Apocalypse has been called the epilogue of the unfolding drama of redemption. In the biblical record, human history begins in a garden and ends in the eternal city. It begins with tragedy and ends in triumph. It begins with man’s failure and ends with his exaltation. In between, there stands a cross! And on that cross, Jesus Christ changed the course of human history forever. Hallelujah! What a Savior!
OCCUPY TILL I COME: “Waiting on the Second Coming — The Fate of the Earth (Part 3)” by Ray C. Stedman
MUSICAL SELECTION: “Days of Elijah” by Twila Paris