Monday, September 24, 2012

Every Prophecy of the Bible

Here's a great book currently free on NOOK and Kindle: Every Prophecy of the Bible: Clear Explanations for Uncertain Times by John F. Walvoord.

This book is basically a commentary on biblical prophecy. It is particularly helpful because it sets each prophecy in its historical context, harmonizes it with other prophecies, then sets it within a premillennial, pretribulational eschatology.

 For example, here is the explanation of the Valley of Dry Bones prophecy:
“Ezekiel 37:11–14. Having given Ezekiel the vision, the Lord now interpreted it for him. In the interpretation, Ezekiel was informed that the bones represented Israel. Her hopeless, dried condition illustrated her hopelessness of ever being restored. In response to this, God promised to bring her back from death and to the land of Israel. God would put His Holy Spirit in her, and she would be settled in her own land. The Lord said, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it,’ declares the LORD” (vv. 11–14). In biblical interpretation today, many affirm that Israel will never be restored. They share the hopelessness that gripped the Israelites as they were scattered from their land to Assyria and Babylon. Contradicting this hopeless situation, God promised to restore Israel and in the strongest possible terms indicated that He would bring new life to her, and she would be restored as a nation, that she would be indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and she would settle in her own land in safety. 

"The prediction that she would be brought up from the grave is partly symbolic in that the nation seemed to be dead and will be restored to physical life. But it is also to be considered literally, because according to Daniel 12:1–3, at the close of the great tribulation when Christ returns in His second coming, there will be a resurrection of Old Testament saints. Both figuratively and literally Israel will be restored and given new life. Those who have died and who were saved will be resurrected to share in the millennial kingdom as resurrected saints. The promise that His Holy Spirit would be in Israel goes beyond her experience under the Law, when the Holy Spirit was with her but not necessarily in her (John 14:17). Beginning on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), all genuinely saved people are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, a situation that will continue until the rapture of the church. Though there is no clear revelation of what will be true between the rapture and the second coming, this and other Scriptures make clear that the Holy Spirit will indwell the saints in the millennial kingdom (Ezek. 37:14; Jer. 31:33).” 

Description from the publisher: Unprecedented natural disasters, political uprisings, and economic uncertainty: The Bible predicted it all. Now you can understand it—and know what's coming next. As we watch world events unfold, biblical prophecy becomes a subject of intense interest. Every Prophecy of the Bible brings clear answers to more than 1,000 key prophecies, backed with solid Scriptural evidence. Noted biblical scholar Dr. John F. Walvoord covers each prophecy from Genesis to Revelation, giving detailed insight into the many prophecies that have been fulfilled, as well as those that are still to come. By placing each event into historical context, the author gives insight into how the past, present, and future fit together to form an amazing, divine design. An excellent reference guide for those seeking answers, this comprehensive book reassures readers that God's master plan is to be trusted and that the Bible is an accurate source of hope for all Christians.

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006VWR52C/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B006VWR52C&linkCode=as2&tag=thedesechro-20

NOOK: www.barnesandnoble.com/w/every-prophecy-of-the-bible-john-f-walvoord/1102991480?ean=9781434704689

6 comments:

  1. Hi Stephen,

    "Scriptures make clear that the Holy Spirit will indwell the saints in the millennial kingdom"

    Wouldn't that be a truism. How else are saints to become saints apart from the indwelling of the spirit?

    You also quoted "Those who have died and who were saved will be resurrected to share in the millennial kingdom as resurrected saints"

    But are they not with the Lord now, and is He not already reigning? And being heirs with Christ are they not also sharing in that reign?

    Looking forward to your response.

    Patrick

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  2. Great questions Patrick. In this quote, Walvoord is providing commentary on Ezekiel 37:14. Thus, he is showing that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is one of the precious promises of the new covenant and the Messianic kingdom.

    Yes, the souls of OT saints are with the Lord now (there is no soul sleep). But their bodies still lie in the ground. They have not yet received their resurrected, glorified bodies. I believe their bodies will be raised at the second coming of Jesus Christ, to rule with him for 1,000 years and fulfill God's covenant with David (Gen. 49:10; 2 Sam. 7:12-13; Ezek. 37:12, Dan 7:13-14; Dan. 12:2; Zech. 14:9).

    The Bible describes multiple aspects to the "rule" and "reign" of Christ. Yes, He is already sovereign king of the universe (Rev. 1:5). But His earthly, Mediatorial reign has not yet begun. Upon Israel's rejection at His first advent, Jesus postponed His earthly rule and promised He would return suddenly to establish that reign in the future (Matt. 25:31; Matt. 26:64; Ac 1:6-7; Rev. 1:7; Rev. 20:4-6).

    Of course, I realize not all Christians believe this, but I do believe it is what the Bible consistently teaches.

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  3. I am wondering if there is an intermediate body prior to our last one.

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  4. Yes, it's interesting to think what the intermediate state is like. Surely those asleep in Christ can see each other and recognize each other now in heaven. After all, the rich man immediately recognized Lazarus and Abraham (Lk. 16:23). And both Moses and Elijah were identifiable on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:4). But even our final resurrection is shrouded in mystery so we dare not speculate too far (1 Cor. 15:35).

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  5. Hi Stephen,

    Thanks for the reply. In referring to God's fulfillment of the Davidic promise as being 1000 years, you cited (2 Sam 7:12-13) which in verse 13 states "He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever". However, I know we have talked about this numerous times, but I still am confused by your math, i.e, 1000 years = Forever. If you have a literal interpretation in view- which you say that you do- then how does 1000 years add up to forever? It seems it falls short of foverer by eternity- that is a big difference. It would seem that the more literal view would mean that Christ reigns in the New Heavens and New Earth forever, thus fulfilling the Davidic covenant. By the math alone this view adds up.

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  6. Patrick,

    Sorry for the delay in responding to your blog comment on the Millennium. I wanted a little more time to research this and respond. Back on Oct. 5, you wrote,

    "I still am confused by your math, i.e, 1000 years = Forever. If you have a literal interpretation in view- which you say that you do- then how does 1000 years add up to forever? It seems it falls short of forever by eternity- that is a big difference."

    I guess we dispensationalists are pretty bad mathemeticians, aren't we? No, but seriously, there is really no inconsistency here at all. Christ's Millennial rule (specified in Rev. 20) is only the beginning phase of an infinitely longer rule in the eternal state.

    J. Dwight Pentecost gives a detailed explanation:

    "A question has been raised concerning the premillennial position that the Scriptures teach that Christ will reign over an endless kingdom. This is affirmed in 2 Samuel 7:16, 28-29; Ps 89:3-4, 34-37; 45:6; 72:5 [24 other references listed]. The amillenialist sees a conflict here and insists that the eternality of Christ's kingdom does not permit any place for a thousand year reign on earth. Calvin's reason for rejecting the premillennial view was his concept that the thousand year reign nullified the eternal reign of Christ. Did the premillennialist limit the reign of Christ to a thousand years, his contention that 'their fiction is too puerile to require or deserve refutation' would be true. However, such is not the case.

    "An important Scripture bearing on the discussion is 1 Corinthians 15:24-28....In these words the Apostle is stating the ultimate purpose of the theocratic kingdom: 'That God may be all in all.'...

    "God's original purpose was to manifest His absolute authority and this purpose is realized when Christ unites the earthly theocracy [i.e. the Millennium] with the eternal kingdom of God. Thus, while Christ's earthly theocratic rule is limited to one thousand years, which is sufficient time to manifest God's perfect theocracy on the earth, His reign is eternal." (Things to Come, 491-93)


    Later, Pentecost quotes Alva McClain in describing the consummation of the Mediatorial Kingdom:

    "At this time [when God's last enemy is put down], Christ will hand over the Mediatorial Kingdom to God, to be merged into the eternal Kingdom, so that the Mediatorial Kingdom is perpetuated forever, but no longer having a separate identity (1 Cor. 15:24, 28)" (Things to Come, 494)

    John Walvoord says it more succinctly in his description of the Kingdom in the Epistles:

    "The angel's pronouncement, 'the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever' (Rev. 11:15), refers to the coming of Christ in His millennial kingdom which, however, will continue after the millennium. In this sense His reign will be forever. ("Interpreting Prophecy Today Part 4: The Kingdom of God in the NT (Continued)", Bib Sac 139:556 Oct 1982), p. 300f)

    To sum it all up, Jesus' reign is restricted to 1,000 years in the world as we know it now, but will then merge into the eternal state with no loss or transfer of power. Then, a new heavens and earth will be created, where Jesus will reign forever with His people, and God will be all in all! Come, Lord Jesus.

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