WHEN CAN PROPHECY BE FULLY UNDERSTOOD -- BIBLICALLY SPEAKING?
This comment was made previously on the subject of understanding prophecy:
"...Here is a very important rule: Prophecy is never truly understood until AFTER it has been fulfilled
. The attempts by the WTBS and others should have demonstrated that to you by now..."
Actually, the WTS is quite familiar with this statement, and have repeated it many, many times in their publications. For example, I recall in the publication " Faith On the March," by A.H Macmillan (personally endorsed by then President N. Knorr), Macmillan made the remark that "understanding of prophecies could only occur either during or after the actual fulfillment." That was his position, as I recall. (Of course, if someone has access to the publication, he can verify.) Then too, the WTS also, feels the same way.
This position, yes, has been stated in the WTS publications, too, from time to time. So then, this is nothing new to the WTS at all. This viewpoint, has been the prevailing viewpoint, consistent with the understanding of prophecy to the WTS and how they think we can today, best understand prophecy. Actually, when one thinks about it, yes, this thinking helps them, in the long run of things.
For example, when they, the WTS "fails," in a particular understanding of prophecy, they have to make an "adjustment" in thinking -- well, using the above self-imposed "rule," they can now "change" their thoughts about the fulfillments of a prophecy, EVEN AFTER they feel the prophecy has been fulfilled...years later.
For instance, ask one of Jehovah's Witnesses: "Who is the King of the North," ... is it Russia, Communist Bloc of nations, or whom?
See what "answer" you get. Nothing... they don't know.
What's more, it may be years, years and years, before they WTS discloses with any finality, the identity of this particular "King." Years later. All of the "activity" of the mysterious "king," as Daniel 11th chapter predicts for our day. Even though, JWs know the WTS has in the past, speculated about the "Communist Bloc of nations," in numerous publications for many years while discussing the prophetic book of Daniel. In fact, they spoke with such certainty, and later, in the 1980's, backed up, admitted doubt, admitted uncertainty, and adroitly recanted with such savvy, that many JWs "stumbled" over this point, many long time brothers.
Now, that's explaining prophecy as they do today, AFTER supposedly it has been fulfilled, and still, the WTS doesn't know.
However, is this the way we should understand prophecy?
That is this, unscriptural self-imposed "RULE," that prophecy cannot not be understood until AFTER it has been fulfilled? Is this the correct viewpoint of the matter?
No. This viewpoint is neither true from a Biblical point of view, neither is true,even from a Practical, Common Sense point of view. Why?
This is because, Mankind, on their own, can never, ever UNDERSTAND anything from God, Jehovah, Prophecy, even scripture itself, until JEHOVAH ALLOWS THEM TO. That just a fact.
Even if we are talking "prophecy," "sacred secrets," or "Holy Scripture" itself, still, God reveals it, true understanding of it, as Matthew 13:11 Reveals. If He doesn't, well, the prophecy just sits there... year after year, until God makes a move. God must move first, before anyone understands anything about His Word. A fact.
So, God, reveals it...HE must do this. Actually as stated above, a "prophecy," can BE FULFILLED, can have been fulfilled, for hundreds and hundreds, yes, thousands of years, but still, because it is not REVEALED to man, mankind ... still, will not be able to understand it. A Prophecy Fulfilled, but "UNREVEALED," is what it is.
So, it doesn't matter, WHEN THE PROPHECY IS FULFILLED, ... mankind stays in the darkness, until is time for Jehovah to REVEAL IT. Makes sense?
Deuteronomy 29:29 says of Him:
"The things concealed belong to Jehovah our God, but the things REVEALED belong to us and to our sons to time indefinite, that we may carry out all the words of this law."
Yes, Jehovah must "reveal" it, for our benefit, first.
Also, Daniel 2:22, 29, 47 says of Him:
"He is REVEALING the deep things and the concealed things, knowing what is in the darkness; and with him the light does dwell ... and the One who is the REVEALER OF SECRETS has made known to you what is to occur. Truly the God of you men is a God of gods and a Lord of Kings and a REVEALER OF SECRETS, because you were able to reveal this secret."
So this the "rule," one needs to follow. And it is very scriptural too.
Case in point:
Earlier we mentioned, an interesting point. Our English Word "congregation," is drawn from the Greek word "Ek-kle-sia" which is derived by combining two different two Greek words together -- "ek," meaning "out," and "Kaleo" meaning "call."...Hence "called out..." -- See Insight on The Scriptures pages 496 -- Volume I.
So the English word "congregation" literally means to be "called out..."
RECAP ON FULFILLMENT -- HOSEA 11:1:
Thus, on this scriptural basis, we can properly say, with the creation and establishment of the, Newly Anointed, First Century "Christian Congregation" at Pentecost, Hosea 11:1 was indeed FULFILLED AGAIN. The actual fulfillment being God's innovative creation of a spiritual "Son"-Nation ... making it a "called out" or "congregation" [Ek-klesia] of people, and giving it full status of being a spiritual "Son," or "Nation," which can now escape from wicked "Egypt," or "Jerusalem" of the first century, with Jehovah's blessings.
Think about it.
Yes, ancient "Israel," was replaced by "Spiritual Israel," in fulfillment of Matt. 21:43. So, the "Sonship" of Ancient Israel, was then, transferred, with the New Covenant arrangement, the new contractual agreement between God and His new "son"-nation, that is to spiritual Israel, the christian congregation...the New spiritual "Son" of God, who was now "called out of" spiritual "Egypt" the city and worship of the City of Jerusalem...the place the "Lord was impaled." -- Rev. 11:8
Now, this particular fulfillment of Hosea 11:1, has occurred, was fulfilled, close to 2,000 years ago, and still, mankind knows NOTHING ABOUT IT...even till this day. And there is more too.
How Can One Understand Prophecy today...Jehovah Reveals How
Two (2) Scriptures...Two (2) ways...
You are either a (1) "prophet" yourself, or (2) in the "company of one," yes, "listening", paying heed to a "prophet." One or the other. -- Isaiah 49:1
Now, we will provide the real scriptural proof below, 2 main scriptures:
Scripture #1 -- Amos 3:7 -- "For the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will not do a thing unless he has revealed his confidential matter [secret matters fnt NWT REf Bi.] to his servants the prophets."
This means, Jehovah will "reveal" these "confidential" or "secret" matters to His "Prophets," BEFORE THEY OCCUR.
That is before they occur...
So, then Jesus could "interpret" the prophecies, AHEAD OF TIME, and WARN THE PEOPLE...make sense? Yes, we must agree with this.
What good, would it do, to only "understand," God's Prophetic Word, AFTER it has been fulfilled, AFTER the denunciation, the calamity has passed. Who wants that to happen to them?
No, but you want to heed the warning, BEFORE calamity comes, and experience "salvation," ... be saved. That's what we want.
So, then, we must heed the words of the Prophet, BEFORE the calamity actually comes, less the words of the prophecy come true up us!
The words of Acts 13:40, 41 ring clear:
"Therefore see to it that what is said in the Prophets does not come upon you, Behold it, you scorners, and wonder at it, and vanish away, because I am working a work in your days, a work that you will by no means believe even if anyone relates it to you in detail."
We must heed the word, the Prophetic Word of God, BEFORE, calamity comes!
Luke 24:27 says of Jesus and his "role" as interpreter of prophecy:
"And commencing at Moses and ALL THE PROPHETS he INTERPRETED to them things pertaining to himself in all the Scriptures."
Christ, INTERPRETED the scriptures, to his disciples...BEFORE THEY WERE FULFILLED, BEFORE THINGS HAPPENED, and they listened.
Which now brings us to the 2nd key Scripture up for discussion.
Scriptures #2 -- Jeremiah 23:18, 22 which says:
"For who has stood in the intimate group of Jehovah that he might see and hear his word? Who has given attention to his word that he might hear it? ... But if they had stood in my intimate group, they they would have made my people hear my own words, and they would have caused them to turn back from their bad way and from the badness of their dealings." -- Jeremiah 23:18, 22
KEY POINT: If one wants to understand "prophecy," then, one would need to place himself, in the company of Jehovah's Intimate Group, His "prophets." This is the only way to benefit from the "interpretations of prophecy," thus gain the needed information, necessary information from God, to survive God's Day of Calamity, coming upon Modern-day "Israel," of our day, Jehovah's Witnesses. Else, he pay the consequences of his ignoring God's Messenger. -- John 15:22; Luke 10:16
As clearly stated above, the whole purpose of Jehovah revealing His Prophetic Will for mankind, is for them to repent! Yes, as the verse says to Israel, "to turn them back from their bad way and from the badness of their dealings."
So, then, the messenger, the prophet, and his message, combine for a purpose...a purpose... Yes, to avert danger and destruction for God's People. To cause people to "repent," as Jesus said in his ministry.
What good, would it do, I ask you, to deliver and interpret this message, this All-important, special message from God, AFTER, now that's AFTER DESTRUCTION HAS BEEN WROUGHT UPON GOD'S PEOPLE... what good would that do?
It would do no good, because the people would be dead by then! Any fool can see that...
And we would be a "fool," then, to believe such "nonsensicalness", adsurdity, as this. Yes, for this is what Satan the Devil WANTS you to believe ... that prophecy is only understood, AFTER it has been fulfilled... that would be, Satanic, Devilish, Nefarious, Cunning in wickedness!
Such a Satanic "rule," would harm many. God does not want that.
So, listen to prophecy, and listen to "interpretation" too of prophecy, pay heed, as you should. Listen to it BEFORE it occurs. This is the will of God. -- Isaiah 48:18, 19
2 Peter 1:19 says:
"Consequently we have the Prophetic Word made more sure; and you are doing well in paying attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place until day dawns and a daystar rises, in your hearts."
, who has put faith in the THING HEARD (the "REPORT")
by us?[/i] -- Isaiah 53:1; John 12:38 NWT Ref. Bi fnt
Edited by - MDS on 1 February 2001 23:9:17