At Museltof Countercult and Apologetics UK we
have become somewhat noted for a cautious - dare one even say
sceptical - approach towards the style of 'prophecy buffs'.
Is this because we are sceptical about Bible Prophecy? Absolutely Not. And it is important that all of our readers should understand that. We are very supportive of Bible Prophecy! But what is one to do about a seeming army of 'prophecy specialists' among evangelicals who seem determined to perpetuate the flawed adventist approach to Bible Prophecy?
The insistence that certain prophecies can only be seen as having been fulfilled in a certain way can be a cause of dissent when other equally committed evangelicals will insist that the prophecy has been fulfilled in quite a different way! Some such individuals have developed elaborate and complex charts of prophecy fulfillment; sometimes too they have shown a willingness to use (abuse?) Scriptures which were never intended as prophetic writing simply because they seem - on the surface - to fit in with their schemas.
But this then amounts to the imposition of ones own concepts upon the sacred Word!
While admiring the enthusiasm of such Bible students, we say that this approach is really a Millerite, or Adventist, approach and tends to denote the fundamentalist, rather than the evangelical. This particularistic approach is the sort of approach which has often led, for example, to identifying the Beast of Revelation with various men living at the time of the prophetic speculator.
We speak of the putting of all ones 'prophetic eggs' into one basket! So often these enthusiastic individuals have been proven quite disastrously wrong. The result has often been, as in William Miller's case, the loss of confidence in the veracity of the Word of God by ones followers.
When Miller and his supporters were proven wrong for a forecasted coming of Christ in 1843, and then in 1844, thousands of followers walked away from the faith!
We say, let's not argue about the detail, but let's us all agree on the veracity of the broad sweep of Bible prophecy; the prophecies of the coming of Christ, the prophecies of the mission of the Church, the prophecies of God opening a door to the Gentiles and the prophecies of the eternal tranquility of the New Heavens and New Earth. It is a blind soul indeed who would be blind to the truth of such Bible Prophecy!
Can Prophecy Be True? The Old Testament writers
had something to say about a special person who was to come. Some
of them spoke about Him by means of pictures, symbols or broad
hints, while others used language of plain prediction. As the
centuries passed, the picture they drew became clearer and
clearer, for new authors added greater detail to the existing
If you like, the picture started off in a line drawing. The bare outline was then filled in until it became more like a black and white photograph. Then more and more traces of colour were added. By the time the end of the Old Testament was reached, it was as if the picture was about to move...to change the illustration, each of the Old Testament writers was like someone throwing onto a table a piece (or pieces) of Indentikit. Eventually, so many pieces were on the table that it looked as if there were too many. By using the clearest pieces, it was possible to build up such an accurate picture of the person to come that there would be no trouble recognising Him if He were to come into the room.
But it was only after His coming that anyone could see where all the other pieces fitted in. So much fine detail had been revealed about Him that those looking at both Him and the pieces were flabbergasted - especially when they remembered that all those pieces had been on the table for over four hundred years before He appeared!