the scytail being the staff on which a strip of leather for writing purposes was rolled slantwise, so that the message inscribed upon the strip could not be read until the leather was rolled again upon another staff of the same size; since only the writer and the receiver possessed staves of the proper size, the scytale answered all the ends of a message in cipher.?
Prophecy is like the German sentence, ? it can be understood only when we have read its last word. A.J. Gordon, Ministry of the Spirit, 48 ? ?God?s providence is like the Hebrew Bible; we must begin at the end and read backward, in order to understand it.? Yet Dr . Gordon seems to assert that such understanding is possible even before fulfillment: ?Christ did not know the day of the end when here in his state of humiliation; but he does know now. He has shown his knowledge in the Apocalypse, and we have received ?The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show unto his servants, even the things which must shortly come to pass?
( <660101>Revelation 1:1).? A study however of the multitudinous and conflicting views of the so called interpreters of prophecy leads us to prefer to Dr. Gordon?s view that of Briggs, Messianic Prophecies, 49 ? ?The first advent is the resolver of all Old Testament prophecy...the second advent will give the key to New Testament prophecy. It is ?the Lamb that hath been slain? ( <660512>Revelation 5:12)...who alone opens the sealed book, solves the riddles of time, and resolves the symbols of prophecy.?
Nitzsch: ?It is the essential condition of prophecy that it should not disturb man?s relation to history.? In so far as this is forgotten, and it is falsely assumed that the purpose of prophecy is to enable us to map out the precise events of the future before they occur, the study of prophecy ministers to a diseased imagination and diverts attention from practical Christian duty. Calvin: ?Aut insanum inveniet aut faciet?; or, as Lord Brougham translated it: ?The study of prophecy either finds a man crazy, or it leaves him so.? Second Adventists do not often seek conversions. Dr. Cumming warned the women of his flock that they must not study prophecy so much as to neglect their household duties. Paul has such in mind in <530201>2 Thessalonians 2:1, 2 ? ?touching the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ... that ye be not quickly shaken from your mind...as that the day of the Lord is just at hand; 3:11 ? ?For we hear of some that walk among you disorderly.?
9. Evidential force of Prophecy ? so far as it is fulfilled. Prophecy, like miracles, does not stand alone as evidence of the divine commission of the Scripture writers and teachers. It is simply a corroborative attestation, which unites with miracles to prove that a religious teacher has come from
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