HOW TO INTERPRET PROPHECY, FULFILLED AND UNFULFILLED
I. THE BROAD SWEEP OF PROPHECY
IN THE five volumes of the Messianic Series which have preceded this one, most of the discussion has been taken up with prophecies that have already been fulfilled. Of necessity some attention has been directed also toward unfulfilled prophecies. In some instances both fulfilled and unfulfilled prophecies are joined together. In passages, for instance, which present the redemptive career of King Messiah, both His first coming and His second appearance are blended into a single picture. In discussing such passages, one cannot altogether isolate one part from the rest of the same oracle; for this reason, some predictive prophecy has of necessity been considered.
In the present volume, Messiah: His Glorious Appearance Imminent, our attention is to be directed principally to a study of predictive propheciesevents connected with the Second Coming of the Messiah.
At the word prophecy, many people are frightened and, figuratively speaking, throw up their hands in horror. No one who knows the meaning of the word prophecy should have any fear. This word comes from the Greek term meaning "to speak forth." It does not indicate the direction in which the speaker is lookingtoward the past, the present, or the futurein issuing his oracle. The prophets in the Scriptures were spokesmen for God who spoke through Moses and the Prophets, revealing His messages to them and speaking through them to the people. To Aaron and Miriam the Lord said, "Hear now my words: if there be a prophet among you, I Jehovah will make myself known unto him in a vision, I will speak with him in a dream. 7 My servant Moses is not so; he is faithful in all my house: 8 with him will I speak mouth to mouth, even manifestly, and not in dark speeches; and the form of Jehovah shall he behold ..." (Num. 12:6-8).II.THEORIES AND SPECULATIONS REGARDING PROPHECY
When the prophet was looking toward the past and recording events, he was infallibly guided by the Spirit of God. He used the language of the people to whom he spoke. Usually the prophets spoke in the vernacular, but on occasions employed the literary style. The prophets used words with the same meanings as they had in ordinary conversation. In all their oracles one finds the same fundamental principles of speech and grammar as are found in secular writings. By the average Bible student these facts are unconsciously assumed. Hence he can, as a rule, understand the messages of the prophets when they are speaking of historical factsrevelations concerning things that have already passed.
The Apostle Peter gave us information that enables us to understand more clearly the inspiration and activity of the Holy Spirit: "For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit" (II Pet.1:21). This passage affirms that in vision the prophets were borne along by the Spirit of Godwhether backward or forwardand were let down in the midst of the environment of the facts and truths about which they were going to speak or write for God. Let us take a concrete example. Isaiah the Prophet lived in the latter half of the eighth century before Christ. If God had wanted him to write or speak concerning some event which occurred during the days of Moses, the Spirit of God would have, in vision, carried him back to the days of Moses, would have shown him the environment of the events concerning which he was to speak, and would have given him the words by which he was to tell what he had seen and what had been revealed to him. In speaking of the things which he had seen in vision, the prophet would use language with the same significance as in ordinary conversation. There is, therefore, little speculation or guessing concerning the meaning of historical narratives.
On the other hand, when Isaiah spoke of the virgin birth of the Messiah, he was in vision carried forward from his time to the first century of the present era, was let down in the midst of the environment of that day, and was shown the fact that the Messiah would enter the world by miraculous conception and virgin birth. In recording what has been revealed, he uses language in its ordinary significance as understood by the people of his own day. There is, therefore, no occasion for speculation and guessing regarding the significance of the oracle: "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel" (Isa. 7:14).
At times Isaiah spoke about conditions and circumstances that existed in his day. See, for instance, Isaiah, chapter 1. This passage is easily understood. The Prophet, in this instance, uses language with the same significance as he ordinarily did. In other words, the prophets use the same type of language in speaking of historical facts, present conditions, or future events. There is, therefore, no basis for the assumption that a prophet uses one type of language in discussing historical facts and current events, but an entirely different type of language in recording the revelation made to him regarding events of the future.
As one reads prophecy, he occasionally comes across what seems to be contrary to what has just been said. This literary phenomenon, to which I refer, is found occasionally in the writings of Ezekiel and Daniel and in the first half of Zechariah in the Old Testament, and in the Book of Revelation in the New Testament. I refer to the use of symbols. As an illustration of this type of language, the reader should study Ezekiel 37:1-14. In this passage appears the account of the vision of the valley of dry bones. The Prophet is shown a vast valley over which many dry bones are scattered. The Lord asks Ezekiel if those bones can live. The Prophet maintains the right attitude toward them by saying: "0 Lord Jehovah, thou knowest" (Ezek. 37:3)speaking in such a manner and implying that he himself does not know. Then the Lord commands him saying, 4 Prophesy over these bones, and say unto them, 0 ye dry bones, hear the word of Jehovah. 5 Thus saith the Lord Jehovah unto these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live. 6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am Jehovah (Ezek. 37:4-6).
When the Prophet obeyed the Lord and spoke to the bones, "there was a noise, and, behold, an earthquake," and the bones began to come togetherbone to its bone, so as to form skeletons. Next, sinews appeared on the bones, binding them together. Then flesh covered the bones, and finally skin covered the flesh.
The Lord then commanded, saying to the Spirit: "Come from the four winds, 0 breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live" (v. 9). The Prophet did as he was commanded. Then these revitalized bodies arose as a mighty army before the Lord.
If the Prophet had stopped with these words, neither he nor anyone else could have known what the Lord meant. But in verses 11-14 the Lord explains the entire situation and the significance of the vision:
11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off. 12 Therefore prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, 0 my people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And ye shall know that I am Jehovah, when I have opened your graves, and caused you to come up out of your graves, 0 my people. 14 And I will put my Spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I will place you in your own land: and ye shall know that I, Jehovah, have spoken it and performed it, saith Jehovah.
According to verse 11, the dry bones symbolize the whole house of Israel, not during their entire history, but at the time when they say, "Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off." Has the nation of Israel taken this attitude throughout the centuries? By no means. When do they take it, and how long do they maintain it? When rationalism began to spread throughout Christendom, it likewise penetrated the ranks of Judaism. As a result, many throughout Christendom and Judaism have given up, to a certain extent, their conviction that the Bible is the infallibly inspired revelation of God to man. In Christendom many now deny the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. In Judaism many have given up their belief in the personal Messiah who will bring about the deliverance of Israel from his foes and the re-establishment of Israel in the land of the fathers. It is to this loss of faith in a personal Messiah to which Ezekiel refers in the statement, "Our hope is lost; we are clean cut off." The coming of a personal Messiah has been the hope animating Jewry throughout the centuries. This baneful, blighting effect, upon both modern Christendom and Judaism, became very pronounced about seventy-five or one hundred years ago. During this period, rationalism with its deadening spiritual effect has, like leaven, continued to spread in America. We may be assured, therefore, that Ezekiel was carried forward by the Spirit of God in vision and saw Israel of our own time. He likewise foretells the gloom of despondency that settles down upon the nation when it gives up its faith in a personal Messiah. But such gloom and despondency are simply a passing phase of Jewish spiritual life, for in verses 12-14 the Prophet foretells that the remnant of Israel will arise from their symbolic graves and live before Jehovah, fulfilling the mission to which God called His Chosen People.
The careful observer can see how to interpret an oracle that is in symbolic form. He will note the significance of each statement and interpret it in the light of the facts of the context.
Various and sundry theories have been advanced in explaining unfulfilled prophecy. Biblical students hold three leading hypotheses known as premillennialism, postmillennialism, and amillennialism. The word millennium is of Latin origin, meaning a thousand years, and is based upon the teaching of Revelation, chapters 19 and 20. In the latter part of chapter 19, is the prediction of the Second Coming of Christ at the end of the Tribulation.
11 And I saw the heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and he that sat thereon called Faithful and True; and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 And his eyes are a flame of fire, and upon his head are many diadems; and he hath a name written which no one knoweth but he himself. 13 And he is arrayed in a garment sprinkled with blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which are in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and pure. 15 And out of his mouth proceedeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And he hath on his garment and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in mid heaven. Come and be gathered together unto the great supper of God; 18 that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses and of them that sit thereon, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, and small and great.
19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat upon the horse, and against his army. 20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought the signs in his sight, wherewith he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast and them that worshipped his image: they two were cast alive into the lake of fire that burneth with brimstone: 21 and the rest were killed with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, even the sword which came forth out of his mouth: and all the birds were filled with their flesh (Rev. 19:11-21).
In Revelation 20:1-6 is a prediction that Christ, having come to earth, will reign thereon for a thousand years.
20 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, the old serpent, which is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3 and cast him into the abyss, and shut it, and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years should be finished: after this he must be loosed for a little time.
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God, and such as worshipped not the beast, neither his image, and received not the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they lived, and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead lived not until the thousand years should be finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: over these the second death hath no power; but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years (Rev. 20:1-6).
During this period, Satan, the adversary of God and man, will be bound in the pit of the abyss. Hence, he will not be able to deceive the nations during his incarceration. But at the end of Christ's reign, Satan will be loosed for a short season during which he will stir up a rebellion against Christ and His authoritya youth movement.¹ At the end of this short period he and those whom he influences will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:7-10), where they shall remain forever.
A large segment of prophetic students through the centuries have interpreted the record of Revelation, chapters 19 and 20, literally. They, therefore, believe that at the end of the Tribulation Christ will return to earth, will lift the curse from the earth as indicated in Isaiah 11:6-9, Zechariah 14:11, and Romans 8:18-25, and will reign on the earth for one thousand years.² The word premillennialism is a current theological term, expressing the idea that Christ will come and reign literally upon the earth for a thousand years. This term is from the Latin, which means before the thousand years of Christ's reign. Those holding this view are, therefore, called, premillennialists.
A large number of prophetic students hold what is known as the postmillennial theory. These scholars believe that there are indications in other passages that Christ's spiritual reign, which began at Pentecost (Acts, chapter 2), will continue to spread and increase in influence and power until all people are saved and acknowledge Christ's authority. Christ will, therefore, reign through the preaching of the gospel for a thousand years. A favorite passage relied upon by these scholars is the parable of the leaven "which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till it was all leavened" (Matt. 13:33). Thus they speak of the gospel as leaven which brings all men to Christ. They attach a good meaning to the word leaven, but in every place that it is used figuratively, as in the parable of the leaven, it does not refer to something good, but always to something evil. It is a pure assumption, therefore, in this passage to understand leaven as indicating the gospel. This passage and all others that are interpreted to mean that the gospel will eventually triumph and bring all men to a saving, knowledge of Jesus Christ before the Second Coming will be found not to teach this position when studied in the light of the facts of each context and in the light of related passages.
A third popular theory held by many interpreters is amillennialism. This term is a combination of a Greek negative plus the Latin word meaning a thousand years. Those holding to this view firmly believe that the record in Revelation, chapters 10 and 20, should not be interpreted literally, but figuratively. Hence the proponents of this theory say that there is not to be a literal reign of Christ upon the earth for a thousand years, nor is there to be a spiritual reign for a thousand years. According to these interpreters, the prediction that Christ will come and reign a thousand years is simply a prediction that He and the forces of good will triumph gloriously over the forces of evil. To them the language that Christ will come and reign for a thousand years is, therefore, not to be taken literally, but figuratively. According to these interpreters, John, the writer of the Book of Revelation, embellished his thoughts and spoke of them in terms of military victory in an effort to magnify the triumph of Christ.
To justify this interpretation, one must force a strained and unnatural meaning upon scores of passages in both the Old and the New Testaments. Every prophecy should be taken at its face value unless there are facts in the context of a given passage, studied in the light of related passages, which indicate a departure from the literal meaning. Unless one can find such negative evidence, he is logically bound to take the plain sense of the passage.
Let us notice a famous passage which concludes the prophecy found in Micah 4:1-8, concerning the restoration of the Kingdom of God to Israel with Jerusalem as its capital: "And thou, 0 tower of the flock, the hill of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, yea, the former dominion shall come, the kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem" (Mic. 4:8). From this verse we learn that the "former dominion shall come, the kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem." The dominion here promised is that which formerly has been in Jerusalem. Thus we are led to believe that the Jewish kingdom will be re-established in Jerusalem when this prophecy is fulfilled. From Acts 1:6,7 it is evident that the apostles understood that the kingdom will be restored to Israel: "They therefore, when they were come together, asked him, saying, Lord, dost thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? 7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know times or seasons, which the Father hath set within his own authority." Let us remember that the apostles asked the Lord Jesus if he were going to restore the kingdom to Israel at that time. After the risen Lord had appeared to them during a period of forty days and had talked with them especially concerning the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:3) during this time, the apostles, being intelligent men and Jesus a master teacher, they, therefore, could understand what He was talking about. Since they asked the question, if He were going to restore the kingdom to Israel then, we are forced to believe that Jesus taught that the kingdom is to be restored to Israel. This conclusion is logical; for Jesus, in reply, admitted that it shall be; for He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons, which the Father has set within His own authority" (v. 7). According to the Lord Jesus, the very date when it is to be restored to Israel has already been set by God the Father.
Another passage having a bearing upon this subject is Acts 3:19-21:
19 Repent ye therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that so there may come seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord; 20 and that he may send the Christ who hath been appointed for you, even Jesus: 21 whom the heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, whereof God spake by the mouth of his holy prophets that have been from of old.
The inspired Apostle Peter called upon the nation of Israel to repent and to turn again to Jesus Christ in order that "there may come seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send the Christ who hath been appointed for you, even Jesus: whom the heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, whereof God spake by the mouth of His holy prophets that have been from of old." According to this statement, God will send Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel, who will restore all things which the prophets have foretold. The predictions made by the prophets will be fulfilled literally when Jesus Christ returns:
2 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2 And it shall come to pass in the latter days, that the mountain of Jehovah's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 3 And many peoples shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem. 4 And he will judge between the nations, and will decide concerning many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more (Isa. 2:1-4).
Another passage showing that there will be established a kingdom when Jesus returns is found in Acts 15:14-18. From the context of this passage one sees that at the present time God is calling forth from the Gentiles a people for His namethe Church. After God has called forth this people, Messiah will return and build again the tabernacle of Davidre-establish the Davidic house and throne. In view of the passages just examined, one is forced to the conclusion that there will be established a kingdom on the earth at the return of the Lord Jesus.
In addition to the three systems of interpretationpremillennialism, postmillennialism, and amillennialismthere are a number of what might be called off-brand interpretations of prophecy. Someone has called the prophetic Scriptures the speculator's happy hunting ground. The predictive prophecies afford an opportunity for the imagination to run riot, since there is little opportunity to check on the theories advanced. Around the year 1000 of the Christian Era there were those who, misinterpreting Peter's statement "that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" (II Pet. 3:8) were indeed vociferous in proclaiming the coming of the Lord, because one thousand years of Christian history had been fulfilled as they asserted. During the Reformation there were those in Germany who were called the Munster Kingdom, and who were positive that the Lord would come immediately and establish His reign of righteousness upon the earth. In the '40's of the last century the Millerites in New England set a definite date for the Lord to appear. These mistaught and misguided people, according to reports, wound up their earthly affairs, prepared their ascension robes, and on the appointed day climbed the highest mountains in order to be as near heaven as possible. During World War I there were those who interpreted Kaiser Wilhelm as the Antichrist, claiming that the numerical value of his name totaled 666, the number of the Antichrist. When Mussolini came into prominence and was cutting a wide political swath, there were those prophetic studentsgood, intelligent menwho were absolutely certain that he was either the Antichrist or the forerunner of the Antichrist. During World War II, when Hitler was marching to victory on every hand, there were other prophetic students who were confident that Hitler was the Antichrist. A few prophetic students, accepting the year-day theory, have set dates for the coming of the Lord. These students are confident that their theories are absolutely correct, since they are based on mathematical calculations. But time has proved all of them wrong. There is, in my judgment, no justification for this year-day theory.³
Volumes could be filled with the ridiculous and absurd speculations of sincere men who know nothing about scientific investigation of the Scriptures. In order to impress the unlearned and unthinking public, these speculators often claim that the Lord has made a special revelation to them. They are, therefore, in their opinion, infallibly correct in their teaching.
III. THE APOSTLE MATTHEW AND
THE HISTORIAN LUKE INTERPRETING PROPHECY
A. Matthew The Apostle Interpreting Prophecy
Having seen how uninspired men have often been mistaken in their interpretation of prophecy, one should turn to the New Testament and learn how its inspired writers interpreted the messages of Moses and the Prophets. We shall now turn to the record written by the Apostle Matthew, who was an associate of Jesus and an eyewitness4 of most of the things which he records. Concerning those things of which he was not an eyewitness, he had unimpeachable sources from which he doubtless gathered his information, as did Luke (Luke 1:1-4). Since, however, Matthew was guided and inspired by the Spirit of God, he has given us an absolutely accurate and correct account of the life, labors, and teachings of the Lord Jesus, the Hebrew Messiah.1. Matthew 1:23
Since Matthew wrote especially for the Hebrew people, since in the first century of the present era they were largely believers in the Scriptures, and since God had foretold through the Old Testament prophets many things regarding the Messiah, naturally Matthew quotes from the prophets more frequently than the other gospel writers do. In the Gospel of Matthew, therefore, one can learn how to interpret prophecy.
The first quotation presented by Matthew is found in Matthew 1:23, "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, And they shall call his name Immanuel; which is, being interpreted, God with us." This passage is taken from Isaiah 7:14. When one examines the context of this verse, he sees that Ahaz, King of Judah, had spurned God's offer to strengthen his faith by performing a special miracle, "either in the depth, or in the height above" (v. 11). In rejecting the divine offer, Ahaz was hypocritical in saying that he would not tempt the Lord his God. He was just making a pious dodge. God abominates all insincerity and hypocrisy. Isaiah, the Lord's spokesman on this occasion, being in tune with God and His will, instantly turned from the impious Ahaz and addressed the House of David of the future: "Hear ye now, 0 house of David: Is it a small thing for you to weary men, that ye will weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel" (Isa. 7:13,14).2. Matthew 2:6
The narrative of Isaiah, chapter 7, is to be taken literally, as is evident from the historical facts presented. Verse 14, which foretells the miraculous conception and virgin birth of the Messiah in this historical setting, must be interpreted literally, since there is no evidence indicating a departure from the literal meaning of the words. Matthew thus understood the prophecy. The angel of the Lord that came to Joseph understood the prophecy as being literal. He explained to Joseph the case of Mary, to whom he was espoused, as being the literal fulfillment of the prediction of Isaiah 7:14a literal fulfillment of prophecy. (For a full exposition of the prophecy, see my volume, Messiah: His Nature and Person, p. 149).
The second prophecy quoted by the Apostle is found in Matthew 2:6:
And thou Bethlehem, land of Judah,
Art in no wise least among the princes of Judah:
For out of thee shall come forth a governor,
Who shall be shepherd of my people Israel.
When Christ was born, the Wise Men from the East saw His star and interpreted its appearance as being that of the Messiah mentioned in Numbers 24:17:
I see him, but not now;
I behold him, but not nigh:
There shall come forth a star out of Jacob,
And a sceptre shall rise out of Israel,
And shall smite through the corners of Moab,
And break down all the sons of tumult.
They were ledprovidentiallyto go to Jerusalem. Upon arriving, they went to the royal palace of King Herod, supposing that the Messiah would be born there. Herod was startled by the story of these Wise Men; so were the people of Jerusalem. Herod, therefore, gathered together all the chief priests and scribes of the people and inquired of them where, according to prophecy, the Messiah would be born. They replied, "In Bethlehem of Judaea" (Matt. 2:5). Note the words"In Bethlehem of Judaea." In the first century there were two Bethlehems: Bethlehem of Galilee, and Bethlehem of Judaea. The Prophet Micah foretold that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem of Judah (Mic. 5:2). In making this prediction, the Prophet foretold that in Bethlehem of Judah would be born "a governor, who shall be shepherd of my people Israel" (Matt. 2:6). This governor, concerning whom the Prophet spoke, was correctly interpreted by the chief priests and scribes as the Messiah of Israel.
The facts of this passage show that this quotation means literally what it states. From all the facts of the contexts of Isaiah 7:14 and Micah 5:2, we see that these prophecies are to be interpreted literally. They mean what they state. As we shall learn by further investigation, all passages from the prophets must be interpreted literally unless there is indisputable evidence indicating a departure from the literal meaning.
Being warned of God concerning the murderous intention of King Herod to slay the Christ child, the Wise Men did not return to Herod as he had instructed them, but departed for their country by another way.
The angel of the Lord commanded Joseph to take the mother and child into Egypt and to remain there until he should be divinely instructed to return to the land of Israel. Joseph did as he was warned of God "and was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt did I call my son" (Matt. 2:15). Everything about the narrative is to be taken literally. Joseph, with Mary and the Child Jesus, went down into literal Egypt. They remained there literally until after the death of Herod. When Herod died, they came up out of Egypt to the land of Israel. Thus every statement in the prophecy means exactly what it says and is to be interpreted literally. (Continued on the next page).
¹ All the people during the thousand-year reign of Christ will be granted the privilege of living at least a hundred years. If they accept Christ and His salvation, they will continue to live on during His reign. But if they reject, refuse, or neglect His salvation, the stroke of judgment will fall upon them, for "There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days; for the child shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner being a hundred years old shall be accursed" (Isa 65:20).
All born-again people in that era will see the facts and truths concerning the Lord Jesus and will love Him supremely. None of them will be deceived by Satan and join his rebellion against Christ after the thousand years.
Those, therefore, who do follow Satan will consist of unregenerated, unsaved people who are under a hundred years of age. Because of this fact, they are said to comprise a youth movement.
² And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. 7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den. 9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea (Isa. 11:6-9).
And men shall dwell therein, and there shall be no more curse; but Jerusalem shall dwell safely (Zech. 14:11).
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to usward. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 for the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but by reason of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23 And not only so but ourselves also, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for our adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body 24 For in hope were we saved: but hope that is seen is not hope for who hopeth for that which he seeth? 25 But if we hope for that which we see not, then do we with patience wait for it (Rom. 8:18-25)
³ For a discussion of the year-day theory, see my volume Messiah: His First Coming Scheduled, pp. 533-538.
4 The Apostle Matthew, an associate of the Lord Jesus, was an eyewitness of most of the events to which he bears testimony. He recorded some events, however, of which he was not an eyewitness. As one may certainly believe, Matthew was closely associated with those who were eyewitnesses and from whom he obtained information. As an example of such an occurrence, examine carefully Matthew's record of the temptations of Jesus (Matt. 4:1-11). Though Matthew was not present on this occasion, he was associated with Jesus from whom he doubtless learned the facts regarding the temptations. Neither was he present at the baptism of Jesus, the account of which he gives in Matthew 3:13-17. One may logically explain all like occurrences.
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