1st Coming - Understand Prophecy - Yamartino
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Chapter 4 of  60

The Necessity of Recognition (4:1)

The principle of the necessity of recognizing Christ in order to understand prophecies relating to Him, and, thereby being confirmed by these prophecies, is constantly demonstrated even to this day. Those who already believe in Christ have no problem accepting all of the prophecies referring to Him - even ones he or she has never previously seen or heard. A Christian, for example, opening a Bible that has been annotated to indicate which Old Testament prophecies refer to Christ, will discover with awe and wonder that a verse he or she formerly never noticed definitely refers to Christ; they simply believe, and this belief enables them to see with new eyes, and to understand. This is because they have accepted Christ, the One Who has fulfilled these prophecies. Having thus accepted Him, they regard all aspects of His life as sacred, and view the written record of His life as sacred scripture. And whatever the scripture says, the same is true. To those who have accepted Christ, the words of the New Testament have acquired a divine status, and these words have then become the standard by which all other words are weighed and judged. Once accepting the Bible as the divine standard, all things contained therein are accepted as true (4:2)

On the other hand there are many who, to this day, regard not a single prophecy of the Old Testament as having been fulfilled in Christ - not because they have dispassionately examined the evidence we have about Him and His life and compared it with their prophecies, but simply because they do not believe in Him. They read the scriptures, but do not see that the words "mean" Christ. In a way their unbelief is a barrier to their understanding the prophecies (4:3)

Generally, everyone who recognizes Christ believes in all the prophecies referring to Him, and no one who disbelieves in Him, believes in any of these prophecies. How else could this phenomenon be explained except that the recognition of Christ is necessary for the understanding of prophecies? (4:4)

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