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Teachings

The Signs of the Times (19): Slide Show

editor - 28 October 2018

‘…And we have the words of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit…’
2 Peter 1:19-21 NIV

Back in the old days it was very common in Dutch households to have slides and slide shows. We didn’t yet have the beautiful modern smart phones with digital photography! No, when you were on vacation, you took photographs on a slides-film and made a slide show afterwards. First slide: father is gathering the luggage and is putting the kids in the car. Second slide: the neighbours and friends are waving goodbye. Third slide: setting up the tent on a campground in France. Fourth slide: …and so on, and so forth. Final slide: we are arriving back home, all sunburned! In the weeks following, you’d invite your neighbours and friends to come over for a nice evening to have a look at your slides. There’d be a projector and a big screen, and all the slides would be in perfect chronological order.

But if you have little children, it can happen that one day you come home and all the boxes with slides are all over the floor. And all the slides are in one big pile. And right in the middle there’s one of your children who points at one of the slides, and triumphantly shouts: Look daddy, that’s me!

If that happens it’s impossible to ever get those slides back in the right boxes, let alone in the right chronological order! So finally you put them all back at random in the boxes and put them in a cupboard and never look at them again for a long time! And out of reach of eager little fingers!

That’s how it is with the prophecies in the Bible! They are all real pictures of real events that will take place in the future. With all kinds of even minor details. This is an accurate picture how one day the prophetic situation in the world will be, in detail! But when? And what will happen first, and what will happen later? When the time comes, the Holy Spirit – the Author of the divine Word and the prophecies in the Bible – will make that clear. If we pray and trust Him to do so.

For if we have placed all kind of end-time events in a logical quite feasible end-time chronology and arranged them into a seemingly quite logical trustworthy eschatological order of event, supported by many Bible-verses, we can go completely wrong. Logical truth is not necessarily revealed truth. We can have put some future events quite logically in our prophetic roadmap, say like: this will happen – before, during, in the middle of, or at the end of ‘the great tribulation’ or the ‘thousand-year reign’– while at this very moment it could already be going on.

Take Ezekiel 38 and 39 for example, which speak about a sudden attack on Israel by a group of attackers coming from the North. In our end-time schedule we might have placed this at the end of ‘the great tribulation’ or at the end of the ‘millennial kingdom’, but they may very well be in progress right now! We have to get away from these prophetic roadmaps and put our Bibles on the side of our newspapers and ask God: is this situation developing into this prophetic slide that is so clear in our Bible?

Away with the schedules and back to the Word! We must simply read the Word of God and pray for revelation from the Holy Spirit. Not boasting as if we know it all and have it all figured out, but humble; always open to correction. We need to be listening to each other, prayerfully. Looking for guidance from Almighty God from the Word of God with its many unfulfilled prophecies. To learn to understand how God looks at the things that are happening and developing right before our eyes.

For He has promised that He will do nothing without revealing His plan to his servants the prophets. Amos 3:7: ‘…Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing His plan to His servants the prophets…’

 

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