Tuesday, 4 October 2016

How to Read Old Testament Bible-Prophecy

1. Keep in mind, while it's true only a believing-remnant of Jews experienced the promised-salvation, and Gentiles later experienced the same blessing, still there did indeed come the fulfilment of Israel's promised-salvation - on the ground in Israel, among Israelis, for Israel, and it was experienced by Israelis first, already in history. Only afterwards did Gentiles also hear the Gospel (through Israeli-believers), and believe for themselves, and begin experiencing the same blessing. But first of all there was the fulfilment of God's promises for Israel.
God broke into history in the Person of His Son, faithfully fulfilling promise, shadow, type and prophecy - concerning Israel first of all, and then also concerning all nations. In that historical sequence He made one new man together - which is His body, the Church. Together they experienced the same promised-salvation. But Jews were the first to experience it.

'Israel' in Prophecy meant Israel in fulfilment, historically; while when the Prophets meant Gentiles, they said 'Gentiles'. Yet that meant Gentiles would experience the same blessings promised to Israel. But it did happen for Israelis first.
That was the exact scenario predicted in the Old Testament!
Jews and Gentiles alike came to partake of the same blessing. We only await its consummation at Christ's Second Coming - but only the born-again shall enter it, said Jesus.
It might be a helpful exercise to re-read Old Testament Prophecies about Israel's salvation, thinking how it was fulfilled in that historical sequence (in Israel literally first, and experienced by Israeli believers; even though Gentiles also began experiencing it too afterwards - and together they formed one new man, Christ's body, the Church).

2. Another key is to remember that any Prophecy which was about Levitical-style worship, must have been fulfilled at a time in history when the Old Covenant still stood - because God isn't into returning to the shadow.

3. Of course, take notice of the way the inspired New Testament writers quoted, interpreted and applied Old Testament verses of Prophecy. Take particular note if they said a Prophecy was already fulfilled. Then see if that can inform your application of the wider source-passage in the Old Testament. Treat Old Testament Prophecy the same way the Apostles did.

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