God?s Spirit; that they were so completely organs of a higher voice that they did not understand the significance of their own words, but were wiser than they knew and had to search what were the date and the characteristics of the strange things which they foretold; and that by further revelation they learned that ?the vision is yet for many days
( <232422>Isaiah 24:22; <271014>Daniel 10:14). If Peter was right in his conception of the nature of Messianic prophecy, a good many learned men of today are wrong.? Matthew Arnold, Literature and Dogma: ?Might not the prophetic ideals be poetic dreams, and the correspondence between them and the life of Jesus, so far as real, only a curious historical phenomenon?? Bruce, Apologetics, 359, replies: ?Such skepticism is possible only to those who have no faith in a living God who works out purposes in history.? It is comparable only to the unbelief of the materialist who regards the physical constitution of the universe as explicable by the fortuitous concourse of atoms.
8. Purpose of Prophecy ? so far as it is yet unfulfilled.
(a) Not to enable us to map out the details of the future; but rather
(b) To give general assurance of God?s power and foreseeing wisdom, and of the certainty of his triumph; and
(c) To furnish, after fulfillment, the proof that God saw the end from the beginning.
<271208> Daniel 12:8, 9 ? ?And I heard, but I understood not; then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the issue of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel; for the words are shut up and sealed till the of the end?;
<600119> 1 Peter 1:19 ? prophecy is ?a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawn? not until day dawns can distant objects be seen; 20 ? ?no prophecy of scripture is of private interpretation? only God, by the event, can interpret it. Sir Isaac Newton: ?God gave the prophecies, not to gratify men?s curiosity by enabling them to foreknow things, but that after they were fulfilled they might be interpreted by the event, and his own providence, not the interpreters, be thereby manifested to the world.? Alexander McLaren: ?Great tracts of Scripture are dark to us till life explains them, and then they come on us with the force of a new revelation, like the messages which of old were sent by a strip of parchment coiled upon a b?ton and then written upon, and which were unintelligible unless the receiver had a corresponding b?ton to wrap them round.? A.H. Strong, The Great Poets and their Theology, 23 ? ?Archilochus, a poet of about 700 B. C., speaks of ?a grievous scytale ?
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