I am a lay preacher since the age of 18, my perspective on this topic is based on many readings of the Bible which has made it possible for me to remember many details, understand the Bible's conceptual undercurrents, and make it possible for me to understand how prophecy works.
This includes an insight that is based on my own experience as a preacher, teacher, and prophet. I intend to make it clear for you to understand how prophecy works and how to interpret biblical prophecy. I want to stress that this methodology does not allow for speculation, if its not functional in nature, I won't mention it. You will notice that there is nothing for sale, I intend to keep it that way.
Soy un predicador laico desde la edad de 18 años, mi enfoque sobre este tema se basa en muchas lecturas de la Biblia, las cuales me ha hecho posible el recordar muchos detalles, el entender los conceptos biblicos, y poder entender como funciona la profecia.
Incluye una perspectiva que se basa en mi experiencia como predicador, maestro y profeta. Mi intencion es explicar claramente como funciona la profecia y como interpretar la profecia biblica. Quiero enfatizar que esta metodologia no permite el uso de la especulacion, si no es funcional, aqui no se menciona. Notaran que no hay productos a la venta, mi intencion es que se quede asi.
These are the principles that guide and establish prophecy:
Apart from a few insightful references by Josephus, the authoritive source for prophecy and most of its interpretation is the Bible itself. The importance of this principle is shown by John where he states that the spirit and the word are one.
This means that as in the case of as person's cursing Christ, neither the utterence nor the interpretation of prophecy can contradict scripture. It also implies that a prophet that doesn't know scripture can only use his own imagination to guide him/her.
II. A multi-sourced approach.
There are many situations where cross-references will get you nowhere. These situations can only be explained by the use of many different bodies of knowledge. For example, in the case of Hezekiah, sealing shut all springs would severely tax the invading troops, adding to the possibility of disease and helping to outlast the beseiger.
Another situation is where another king was aided by the topography. In this case, as in other situations derived from non-biblical sources, alliances could, by terrain that could separate and mask their movements, could end up slaughtering themselves due to problems of communication and coordination.
A conceptual knowledge of the bible is more useful than having many cross-references, there is no way that you can remember that many details unless you have actually read the entire bible. I myself have a lot of cross-references that I have yet to find in any book or commentary. As a result of this, I have found that I rarely need to look at something that I have memorized and have become familiarized with.
Perhaps the best training I recieved has been that of being able to introduce, develop and finalize my sermon within 10 minutes, - the pastor standing by with a stopwatch... Believe me, if you don't know your concepts, a whole hour won't help.
II. The use of precedent.
As in the case of ancient hebrew law, modern judicial process makes use of precedent. An example would be in a given case where a judge will make a decision based on current law, the underlying concept behind the law or seek guidance on the basis of legal precedent. This means a previous case can be cited as the basis for the judges decision at hand.
The use of precedent in prophecy is also well established. Making use of God's words and deeds one can anticipate what he will do in the future. In other words, prophecy is the projection of precedent.
These are situations within scripture that can be used as precedent. For example, Manassah is an example of a Jewish ruler that desecrates the temple, resulting in judgement in spite of his repentance. Most authors will state that the abomination that results in desolation will be by the hand of a pagan prince, as in the case of Antioches Epiphanes in the second century BC. The problem is that this abomination did not result in desolation.
1. The precedent set by Manassah is one where a Jewish prince by his abomination provoked God's desolation. The precedent establishes that in the future it will be a Jewish leader that will be the cause of a future desolation.
2. Another event is also related to the end times, that is of the last revival before the judgement. Josiah, like Joash took matters in his own hands resulting in a revival. Now, keep in mind that his consulting the prophetess resulted in the knowledge that God would not desist in eventually destroying Jerusalem because of what Manassah did.
This all happened within a generation of the eventual destruction of Jerusalem and was witnessed by a young levite child by the name of Jeremiah. Jeremiah's ministry and vision are based on his witnessing the spiritual decline of the next generation that quickly forgot the revival. Keeping in mind that Jeremiah had to be at least 5 years old in order to remember these events, it also dispels the notion that he was an old man when Jerusalem fell, in fact, he was only in his thirties.
These two events make it clear that there will be a last revival in the end times and a swift decline into apostasy before the judgement comes.
While the last examples illustrate the effective use of precedent, there remains the functional aspect of prophecy and that is the understanding of prophetic process. As in the case of scientific theory, you have to provide a working mechanism in order to establish a theory to be adopted and used by your peers.
The best example of this is Elijah's flight into the desert:
1. The fact that Jezabel's messenger was able to immediately locate Elijah made him realize that since he had pronounced the upcoming drought, Jezabel had discretely kept him under surveillance. Feeling betrayed and in the absence of a word by God, self preservation became a priority.
2. Elijah's flight into the desert became a scenario that represented the dilema that Elijah faced. His dilema was that of a minister, his vision and the current situation he faced. Keeping in mind that the inviolability of the prophet was well established, the notion of a prophet's facing adversity or not being able to complete his ministry was yet to be established.
3. There are two indications that he was actually guided:
a. An angel was provided to nourish him and prepare him for the journey ahead, encouraging him in the process.
b. An approaching thunderstorm made him take refuge in a cave that just happened to be in front of mount Sinai, there is no way that he would have known how to get there. Keeping in mind the dilema that Elijah faced, having him state why he was there was a question of preparing him for the next step, namely that of telling him why he was guided to this symbolic location and what would guide him through the rest of his ministry.
4. Before this could happen, he was told to step outside and view different manifestations that represented judgement. His reaction was that of someone that persisted in seeking to resolve his dilema. This also explains why he left his servant in Beersheba.
a. The quiet whisper.
To state that God was not in the fire, wind and earthquake is a matter of commentary, its not that God wasn't in the manifestations, its rather a question about what was being communicated, namely whether Elijah's dilema was to be addressed.
The manifestations were very public, the use of a whisper implies intimacy, in other words a secret was to be shared, the underlying explanation of a prophetic process was about to be revealed. Here you can understand where God asks who has been within the secret of the Lord.
b. The process.
Elijah's ministry was but the first step in God's greater plan, his role was that of pronouncing judgement and that of preparing a succesor who would continue Elijah's ministry. The need for a successor is a question of how long it will take to complete the process, a single lifetime was not long enough to finish this process.
1. Elisha is anointed.
Elisha's role will be that of God's prophet who will pronounce judgement, set precedent for future prophets and destroy the pagan priesthood and their indoctrination.
2. Hazael is anointed.
As in the case of the neighboring nations after the conquests of Canaan, Hazael will be used to punish Israel.
3. Jehu is anointed.
Jehu will destroy Acab's dynasty but his own dynasty will be destroyed after the fourth generation.
The importance of this methodology is that it not only applies to prophecy, it applies to all things biblical. Being that the Apocalypse is the culmination of all prophecy, this methodology is the only one that unites all separate theological disciplines, and can explain all functional aspects of revelations.
Please feel free to comment, share or ask any question. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.