THE BIBLE IS A BOOK OF PROPHECY
God is the Author revealing through the writers His plan to bring His eternal kingdom to earth.
All of Scripture looks forward to "that day."
(The following is from Lesson 2 in THE FORWARD LOOK)
THE GOAL OF ALL SCRIPTURE
It is easier to get there, if you know where you are going. God may have plans that far transcend anything that man has ever conceived; but His immediate goal is revealed in the Bible. Unless we also have that goal in mind, we will have difficulty in following the prophecies which lead to that goal. So, the rule is: Find out where you are going. Know what is the goal. Although the Bible has many writers, it has only one Author. Nowhere is this more evident than in prophecy. It is seen in the consistency of expression, the use of words. Determine the meaning of a symbol in one part of the Bible and you have the meaning in all parts of the Bible. The same is true of special words and phrases, some of which are used throughout Scripture. They are used so frequently and with such emphasis that it is of prime importance to understand them. There are two major causes of misinterpretation: 1) Not knowing the goal. 2) Not recognizing the expressions referring to the goal. To avoid costly errors, you must: 1. Know what is the end that God has in mind. 2. Recognize the road signs pointing to that end. We will consider these road signs as we come to them, but there are some of such importance that we must know them at the start. They have to do with time. The goal is related to time—the time of the end. These road signs show to what time the prophecy points. They include such expressions as: ·The day of the Lord ·That day ·The day ·The end ·The time of the end ·The end of the world (age) ·At that time (and other variations) The end is the goal, the end of the story not a time when all things cease to be. Turn to Daniel 7:28. “Hitherto is the end of the matter.” What is the end? Read the previous verse. “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” Daniel 7:27 That is the end to which the prophecy points. It refers to the goal of the prophecy. Notice that in Daniel 7, the end is the eternal reign of Christ and the Saints over the earth, this earth, not one that is yet to be created.
Read Daniel 7:14, 27; 2:44
7:14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
“Under the whole heaven” could cover more than the earth, but it would have to include the earth. THE NUMBER ONE PRINCIPLE: This earth is everlasting—“world without end.” “World without end” means literally “unto the ages of the ages,” or unto the ages of eternity.
17 But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.
18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else. Isaiah 45:17-18
That it applies to the earth may be gathered from verse 18.
God's purpose for the earth is, therefore, redemption, not destruction. There is coming a day of destruction that shall burn as an oven (“For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” Malachi 4:1); but that is a purging out of those things that cannot be redeemed. People will live through it (“And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.” Revelation 21:24). Here we encounter a problem inherent in all languages – the use and meaning of words. Words mean different things to different people, so we have to determine what they meant to the writers and to the hearers. Human language is not a perfect medium for the communication of ideas because words may have so many different meanings. For instance, in the Old Testament the English word, DESTROY, is used to translate forty-nine different Hebrew words (Authorized Version). Sometimes “destroy” means only to mar or disfigure. The meaning must be ascertained from the context or from the whole tenor of Scripture. That is why no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation (20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation..” II Peter 1:20). False religions make private interpretations. This, we must avoid. You may have seen prophetic charts showing the earth on fire and burning up at the end of the Millennium. This is in direct violation of all Scripture prophecies and promises. Christ and the saints will reign for 1000 years without any opposition from Satan. Then Satan will be turned loose for a brief time and there will be a final cleansing and elimination of sinners. Then all the results of sin will have been destroyed. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
Read Isaiah 65:17-25.
17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
18 But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.
19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.
20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.
21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.
22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
23 They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.
24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.
Verse 17 states the fact, the final result – the new heavens and the new earth. Verses 18 to 25 show how the new heavens and the new earth are to be created. It is the same earth, made new. “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5), not all new things. Notice how Isaiah uses the word “create.” “I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.” One of the meanings of create (according to Strong’s Concordance) is to “select (as a formative process).”
Read Romans 8:20-21 in the New American Standard Bible.
20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope
21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. [Emphasis added.]
Imagine, if you can, the living conditions on the earth after 1000 years of perfect government. It will help if you read Isaiah 35:
1 The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
2 It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.
3 Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.
4 Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.
5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
7 And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
9 No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:
10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Again, this is not a new creation but the old made new. Notice, this thought follows all the way through Isaiah 35.
“For in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes...and the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads...and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” God intends to redeem that which He made and called good. Imagine such living conditions: righteousness filling the earth and the knowledge of the glory of the Lord covering the earth as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14). Every man shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree. None shall make them afraid (Micah 4:4). Will these people look forward to being burned up? Do you think God's great redemptive process is going to end in such dismal failure?