When we read the Bible we must recognize that we are reading a record that God has made of certain events that happened to another people in another place and time. Too many have been taught to read the Bible with the wrong perspective.
Let’s say you found your Grandmother’s diary recently, one that she wrote 65 or 70 years ago when she was a young girl before she met and married your Grandfather. In it she wrote of a hope to visit Paris soon, in her very near future. She told of places she wanted to see, and things she wanted to do in a year or so. The diary ended before she actually took that trip.
But, you know that she actually went to Paris because your mother kept a photo album that has pictures of your Grandmother standing in front of the Eiffel Tower.
When you read her diary years later, do you read it as though she still has those hopes and dreams, or do you recognize that she was speaking of her day, her time, her youth? Did she mean “soon” from the day that she wrote it, or does it mean “soon” from the time that you are reading it? Are you reading it as though her future has now become your future? Or, do you recognize that her future trip to Paris actually happened long before you were born? Do you recognize that her future hopes are now your history?
This is what has been done to God’s word. Certain people with certain agendas have twisted the perspective that is required when reading and studying God’s word. The proper perspective is of the first audience.
We have to identify the speaker. Then we have to identify the audience. To whom was Christ speaking? To whom was the prophet speaking? When were they speaking, and what was the historical background of those hearing the speaker? These are critical to be able to understand the context of the scriptures.
Too many today are reading the scriptures as though they were written TO us. All of the Bible is history, and has been history for thousands of years. Even the New Testament is almost 2,000 years old. The events recorded of “the fullness of time” (Gal 4:4) happened in the first century A.D. when Christ was manifested (appeared) to men on earth (1 Pet. 1:20). All of those events had a time and place in the first century A.D. We must read and study the New Testament the same way we read and study the Old Testament, knowing the events recorded happened to a people who lived long ago.
They are recorded for our example and our admonition (1 Cor. 10:11) so that we can KNOW God’s plan of salvation was fulfilled in Christ, so that we can be assured of being reconciled to Him through His Son’s sacrifice. Taking the events of the first century A.D. out of time and place causes many problems, contradictions, and false doctrines – resulting in the traditions and teachings of men.
The word “soon” found repeatedly in the books of the New Testament and in Revelation did not mean 2,000 or more years later. It meant the prophesies spoken of to that first audience was about to happen in their lifetime. This perspective of the first audience listener is called the “preterist” perspective. It simply means that we recognize the time of the events were meant for those who heard the word “soon” or “shortly” or “near” or “at hand.” It meant those things would happen in their time, while they yet lived.
When reading them almost 2,000 years later they cannot be taken to mean they are yet future to us. Just like reading your Grandmother’s “soon” hope to visit Paris, we must recognize the time frame of the prophesies of the New Testament had an application meant for those of the first century A.D. when the books / letters of the New Testament were written.
This may be a new concept for many. Beginning at the bottom right margin with the ten parts of It’s Not the End of The World, the posts at this blog will show the evidences from the scriptures that prove the prophesies of both the Old and New Testament have already been fulfilled in Christ; and that we have no reason to fear. Christ fulfilled all of it. God is in control, and Christ already rules at the right hand of the Father. He has been ruling at the right hand of the Father for almost 2,000 years!