Understanding Prophecy - 1st Coming of Christ - David Yamartino - 10 Para

How People Prove Their Interpretation (6:1)

In spite of the evidence the New Testament gives regarding the inability of people to understand prophetic language before it is fulfilled, and the role that prophecy played in confounding and even leading astray those who would interpret it, there are still many people today, who are sure of their interpretation regarding the Second Coming, and feel very secure regarding what signs will accompany it and what they will look for. I refer here not to any specific group of Christians, or to any particular denomination, but rather to the multitude of Christ's followers from all walks of life, who claim to know what the prophecies mean. And they can "prove" that their interpretation is correct. They do this, of course, by using the Word of God itself (6:2)

Some people articulate their reasoning, and for some it is an inner reasoning that is implied in their approach to scripture. And this reasoning, according to my understanding, goes something like this: (6:3)

"The meaning of the Holy Word is clear and evident. The meaning is based, not on our interpretation, but on what the Bible itself gives as the proper interpretation, knowing that because we are only human, our own interpretation will be flawed, whereas the Bible's explanations are perfect. These interpretations given by the Bible are easy to understand - even obvious to those who are fair minded - once they have been carefully thought upon, or pointed out and explained by someone who understands them (6:4)

"A proper interpretation never excludes any part of the Bible, but encompasses all parts. At the same time, recognizing that some aspects of scripture have more relevance to prophecy than others, not all scripture can be given equal weight. That is, a proper interpretation is based on a knowledge of the relative importance of the different aspects of the Bible, and because we have taken into account the Bible in its entirety, our interpretation is not narrow minded (6:5)

"The proofs are conclusive and complete, i.e. there are no holes in an interpretation of this kind or things that do not make sense. Of course, there are some things that cannot be known or explained, but these are such things as are only known of God, but surely God has given us enough of His word to enable us to recognize the Christ, when He comes. There are no contradictions in our reasoning. Our interpretation stands on the Revealed Word of God.. period. So in a sense, it is not our interpretation, but God's interpretation that we are following (6:6)

"Regarding the interpretation of others, we can see in the teachings of other Christian Faiths either flaws in their interpretations, or errors in their understanding, or outright disregard for scripture. We understand what others have either overlooked in their study of scripture or what they have added. Unlike others, however, we refuse to tamper with scripture; we know that you can neither add nor subtract from the Word of God (6:7)

"In a word, we "follow the scriptures" (6:8)

This is seemingly sound reasoning, and one that appears to provide a good foundation for the interpretation of scripture. There is, however, a problem with this: others use the same reasoning and come up with different results - different interpretations. Indeed, this reasoning (i.e. that we can figure it all out ourselves), when applied to the practice of religion, has led to Christianity breaking up into thousands of sects, with many, claiming, of course, to be the correct one (6:9)

That so many people can be so sure that they correctly understand the prophecies regarding the Second Coming, while at the same time giving widely differing scenarios of the events that will take place (or have already taken place), is in itself the greatest sign of the nature of prophecy: namely that it is a mystery until it is fulfilled (6:10)

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Understanding Prophecy - 1st Coming of Christ - David Yamartino