In a previous page, we spoke of the fact that Biblical prophecy provides a broad outline with some specifics that help us attain direction in our lives. The word "outline" must be clarified.
The Bible contains a massive amount of prophetic material, given by God to many different prophets over thousands of years, yet all combining to produce a unified vision of the future.
However, each prophecy is just a glimpse of the bigger picture. It is like one piece of a 5000-piece jigsaw puzzle. The Bible contains all the pieces, but they are not all neatly arranged in order in one book or even in one outline, but are scattered all over the Bible, and so it is up to us to study and put these pieces together in the right way, so that we can see the whole picture.
To see the true sweep of prophecy, we must put together each piece of the prophetic jigsaw into its right place.
When doing a big jigsaw, it helps to gather together pieces that look similar, because they are likely to be close together in the picture.
In the scriptures we shall see that the prophets looked into the future and saw events in certain different and distinguishable time-periods (such as the First-Coming of Christ, the Church-Age, the Rapture, the Tribulation, the Second-Coming of Christ, the Millennium, and the Eternal State).
By learning the characteristics of each of these times, we will be able to make out roughly where each piece fits.
It is easy to go wrong and put the pieces together incorrectly and if we do this, we shall get a distorted picture. We can't put the pieces together whichever way we please. We know we've have got it right when all the pieces fit with one another perfectly. If you have an interpretation, it must harmonise with the rest of prophetic scripture. If you think you have found a contradiction, it is simply that you are not fitting the pieces together correctly, for God does not contradict Himself:
Another principle in doing a big jigsaw, is to do the outer frame first.
You don't just jump into the middle and get started. Likewise with Prophecy. We need to move carefully and construct the FRAME first (the overall scheme or Framework). Then we will be able to see more clearly how to fit the other pieces in, and thus fill in all the details. Thus to understand prophecy rightly, we must first grasp the foundational principles that make up the frame. If we don’t do this first, but just look at prophetic scriptures randomly, then we won't fit the pieces together correctly and we will get a distorted and incomplete picture.
Thus, we now present the 12 framework principles. Once we grasp the fundamental principles then we will see how wonderfully and neatly all the pieces fit together and the various points of detail, questions like, ‘Will the Church go through the Tribulation?’ will be easily answered.
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