End time prophesy part I: Introduction
The Living Word
As the Messianic movement grows, many people are wisely questioning what they’ve been taught all their lives and returning to the Bible to answer their questions.
"This is a new form of sola scriptura," Dr. Melugin of Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth, once said. "Instead of choosing only one scriptural verse or passage to serve as the ultimate authority over the rest of the book, you are choosing the Bible as a whole in its entirety as the ultimate authority over people’s interpretations of it."
As we approach the expected return of the Messiah, we recall that this was the mindset also of the first century believers who recognized Messiah’s first coming. It was the simple country folk who most often recognized Yeshua for who and what he was, based on fulfillment of the scriptures they knew.
The interpretations and various additions to the scriptures that strayed from the plain meaning of the text clouded the understanding of the ruling authorities in the Promised Land in the first century, causing them to reject the Messiah.
The lesson for us? Keep to the plain meaning of the text and try to read the scriptures without the ingrained theology we were taught. This is, of course, easier said than done, but it is vital for us to understand what the book says, not what we are told it says.
Once we are able to do that, the next step is to read while keeping various possibilities in mind. If we are set in our minds on believing in the rapture, or conversely disbelieving the rapture, then we risk not recognizing Yeshua’s return when it happens, because it will not likely be exactly as we have imagined it.
Recall that even the disciples were not sure how Yeshua would fulfill the scriptures and they were terrified and fled when he was arrested. They did not know if he would be both the Suffering Servant and the Reigning King or if those roles would be realized at the same time or at different times.
Next, we need to exercise this form of sola scriptura by seeing if our conclusions line up with the rest of the scriptures to make sure we didn’t vault off into outer space with our own interpretations.
Bible study groups with like-minded believers can help us keep on track through prayers for guidance, challenging questions and reminders of other verses.