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

At first sight, of course, it seems rather natural that one would use prophecies to see into the future. Isn't that what prophecies are for? After all, the many prophecies of the Old Testament foretold with accuracy the First Coming of Christ centuries before it occurred. We now look forward to the Second Coming - and we have equally as many prophecies - and they seem, by the way, much clearer than the ones foretelling Christ's First Coming (1:5)

Certainly it would seem that predicting the future through prophecy is not only a reasonable thing to do, but even a duty of the faithful, so that they might prepare themselves for the coming of their Lord. And those whose vision of the Second Coming is based upon the words of the Bible should be assured that their vision is correct - except for one unavoidable fact: there is no evidence to support the commonly held assumption that the meaning of prophecies can be understood before they have been fulfilled. Quite the contrary, the evidence of the Bible overwhelmingly demonstrates that until they are fulfilled, prophecies are ignored, misunderstood, and, in many cases, present a barrier between the seeker and his goal (1:6)

Having no foreknowledge of the meaning of a prophecy, one cannot, therefore, use it to predict the future. It must first be fulfilled for its meaning to be revealed (1:7)

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