own resurrection a test of his divine commission: it was ?the sign of Jonah the prophet? ( <401239>Matthew 12:39). He promised that his disciples should have prophetic gifts: <431515>John 15:15 ? No longer do I call you servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I heard from my Father I have made known unto you?; 16:13 ? ?the Spirit of truth...he shall declare unto you the things that are to come.? Agabus predicted the famine and Paul?s imprisonment ( <441128>Acts 11:28; 21:10); Paul predicted heresies ( <442029>Acts 20:29, 30), shipwreck ( <442710>Acts 27:10, 21-26), ?the man of sin ( <530203>2 Thessalonians 2:3), Christ?s Second Coming, and the resurrection of the saints ( <520415>1 Thessalonians 4:15-17).
(a) Certain prophecies apparently contain a fullness of meaning, which is not exhausted by the event to which they most obviously and literally refer. A prophecy, which had a partial fulfillment at a time not remote from its utterance, may find its chief fulfillment in an event far distant. Since the principles of God?s administration find ever recurring and ever enlarging illustration in history, prophecies that have already had a partial fulfillment may have whole cycles of fulfillment yet before them.
In prophecy there is an absence of perspective; as in Japanese pictures the near and the far appear equally distant; as in dissolving views, the immediate future melts into a future immeasurably far away. The candle that shines through a narrow aperture sends out its light through an ever increasing area; sections of the triangle correspond to each other, but the more distant are far greater than the near. The chalet on the mountainside may turn out to be only a black cat on the woodpile, or a speck upon the windowpane. ?A hill which appears to rise close behind another is found on nearer approach to have receded a great way from it.? The painter, by foreshortening, brings together things or parts that are relatively distant from each other. The prophet is a painter whose fore shortenings are supernatural; he seems freed from the law of space and time, and, rapt into the timelessness of God, he views the events of history ?sub specie eternitatis.? Prophecy was the sketching of an outline map. Even the prophet could not fill up the outline. The absence of perspective in prophecy may account for Paul?s being misunderstood by the Thessalonians, and for the necessity of his explanations in <530201>2 Thessalonians 2:1, 2. In Isaiah 10 and 11, the fall of Lebanon (the Assyrian) is immediately connected with the rise of the Branch (Christ); in
<245141> Jeremiah 51:41, the first capture and the complete destruction of
<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->
Was this article helpful?