Understanding Bible Prophecy
Christians today, generally, don’t study Bible prophecy due to the scores of prophetic symbols included therein. But then, the Lord had permitted it to be contained therein because Bible prophecy is supposed to be understood. The inclusion of Bible prophecy is not to cause confusion, but as a REVELATION! Just as it is confirmed in the start of the book of Revelation. It is “Jesus Christ revealed”. And so, if Bible prophecy is intended as a revelation, then God will not have inscribed it in a way that would only confuse most of us.
Neither should one come up with his/her personal interpretation of Bible prophecy which 2 Peter 1:20 confirms, “no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation”. How then are we supposed to interpret the prophecies found in the Bible? What is supposed to be the perfect way to interpret the meaning of all such prophetic symbols? Well, we turn to the Bible itself for the interpretation; in other words when we encounter a word that seems unclear as to its meaning then we look for that specific word somewhere else in the Bible to understand what it implies.
Let us illustrate this using an example. Let us use the 2 beasts narrated in Revelation 13. One that surfaces from the sea, and the other that comes up from under the earth. If we simply read such chapter alone, then it is going to be quite difficult, almost impossible to comprehend what it is trying to tell. If we, however, stick to the rule of the turning to the Bible itself for the meaning of this, then we will be able to discover something related to this. Thus, we have to discover how to interpret “beast” according to the Bible prophecy. If we proceed to Daniel 7, there is a verse that says. “‘As for the fourth beast, there is going to be a fourth kingdom on earth”. And lo, there it is! The beast in the prophecy of the Bible represents a kingdom or nation. Thus, we already know that by the two beasts, Revelation 13 is telling us a Bible prophecy concerning two nations here on earth.
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We likewise have to make use of logic when it come to interpreting the Bible, so if we consider the second beast, according to Revelation 13 it comes up from out of the earth, in place of the sea. Such that if a place where there are lots of people, nations and dialects is represented by the “sea” then logic will tell us that “earth” refers to the contrary and signifies a nation that rose up from some wilderness, non-populated region, such as America did.
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Therefore, when you look for the meaning in the Bible itself, prophecy starts opening up and uncovering great things for us. But let us remember that the absolute supply of wisdom comes from God and we have to learn with a meek prayerful spirit as well pray to God to make these things known to us.