The Substantiation of Scripture's Infallibility
The fulfillment of prophetic Scripture is a strong and persuasive proof of their veracity! Throughout the centuries, the fulfillment of prophecy has been used as a defense for the legitimacy and greater relevance of the Word of God - this argument certainly does not lose its value when even more prophecies are substantiated as being accurate! Without question, the Word of God is deemed as being regarded as more important and relevant, with the successful fulfillment of that which is written therein.
The Purpose of Scripture
I hope that no one believes that the purpose of Scripture is simply for prophecy. In fact, Paul tells us that "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (II Tim 43:16,17) This means that not only the prophetic Scripture is profitable to these ends, but all other Scripture, as well.
This means that prophetic Scriptures have greater usefulness than simply foretelling events. For example, the prophecies of the Cross of Christ are no less relevant to us after its completion, than before; yea, they are much more relevant after fulfillment ! Such is the case with the fulfillment of all the other "words spoken by the mouths of all the holy prophets, since the world began."
The Enduring Fulfillments
Also, there are a number of passages which have a legacy of greater and enduring fulfillment. One example is: Isaiah 9:7. Ezekiel 47 talks about a trickle of "healing waters" which started out from the threshold of the Messianic Temple in the Last Days. After it has gone a thousand cubits it becomes ankle deep. Another thousand and it is knee deep. Then, waist-deep. And finally, over our heads, un-crossable, overflowing its banks, baptizing the whole world. It is the dominion mandate. It is taking every thought captive. It is penetrating and saturating every culture on this globe for Christ and His Kingdom. It is not cultural surrender, escapism, defeatism, non-involvement. We are here for the long term. Our children and grandchildren will suffer if we do not make a difference for righteousness sake. We must get involved in making the world a better place (not just physically, but spiritually and culturally). What else could "seek His Kingdom and His righteousness first" mean? Rev. 21 and 22 pick up on that theme of the "healing waters" and show how we now have that process going on. You and I are a part of that process. Rev. 21 and 22 show that the "nations bring their wealth into the Kingdom" and are "healed by the leaves of the Tree of Life." Life goes on. The world doesn't end. But it is healed and brings its cultural and spiritual wealth into the church. Jesus' parables about the mustard seed which starts out small but grows into a tree that all the birds of the air can nest in and be nourished with. It is not a time to retreat to the hills to hide from the antichrist. It is time to fill the earth with the knowledge of God as the waters cover the sea.
QUESTION: "If Jesus DID come in A.D. 70 to gather His elect into the Kingdom and punish those who rejected Him, where does Scripture say that people will continue to be added to the Kingdom AFTER A.D. 70?"
ANSWER: In Isaiah 9:7, the prophet says, "Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end." In other words, "Government shall continually be added to His kingdom." This refers to the continual additions of men who become saved and turn into royal priests just to add to the rulers over the earth. Hence, Christ's government is ever increasing.
Christ's government is ever increasing
In Isaiah 60:11, why are the gates open CONTINUALLY in the New Heaven and New Earth? Isaiah answers harmoniously with the previous verse: "That men may bring...Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought." This is an ongoing reality in the New Covenant kingdom, i.e. men are constantly "being brought" (the conversion of Gentiles through the preaching of the Gospel) into the gates that are ALWAYS open. It would make no sense for the gates to be continually open if everyone was already saved and that was it. Why leave them open? I suppose one would argue that they are open so that men could leave. But this contradicts the word of God in Revelation 3:12.
A passage in Revelation is practically a synoptic to Isaiah 60 and that is Revelation 21: 24-26. Once again, why are the gates never shut? So that the nations will bring glory and honor into it. But how so? Through faith in Jesus Christ (our Life and our Glory) He comes to indwell them, thus giving them the righteousness needed to enter through the gates. Notice those who cannot enter in Revelation 21:27. The reason is because they do not have the righteousness of Jesus Christ that comes through faith in Him alone.
Revelation 14:6 seems to be right when the whore (Babylon-Israel) is judged. Now why would the angel have the everlasting Gospel ready to preach if this was the end of the planet and the universe? Why would they need to preach the Gospel to everyone who was already in heaven and made physically (a delusion) perfect (I am taking the futurist's literalist interpretation here)?
Now, Revelation 22:14 clearly teaches that through obeying His commandments (1 John 3:22-23), men would have right to the tree of life and enter into the gates of the city. In other words, through faith in Jesus Christ, we enter into the gates of the city. Well, if all was done and the city came, only to have all the elect in heaven and everyone else separated from God, then who are these coming into our perfect city, and from where are they coming? Well, the answer is in verse 15. This describes those who are outside the city. This seems to describe the natural man, does it not? Not only this, but this is very similar to what we already observed.
If this is the New Heaven and the New Earth, and everything is supposed to be perfect as the literalist affirms, and there is no more death or disease or sorrow, then why would there need to be a river for the healing of nations? If the nations were perfect and all was well in this perfect physical planet, then why in the "world" would there need to be healing? Because that is the purpose of the Gospel-to heal the sin-sick soul. The Gospel is Christ, the river of life flowing through the saved body of Christ (the church) toward the lost and dying world reaching only those in whom God intended the Gospel to prosper (Ephesians 5:26).
Read Ezekiel 47:1-12. This last verse sounds familiar, doesn't it. Actually, it not only reminds us of Revelation 22:2, the leaf never fading reminds us of Psalm 1:3.
It has sometimes been asserted that if the Second Advent is past, it deprives us of our share in the Bible and in the promises of God. The statement is based on a curious misconception of the facts of the case. Is fulfilled prophecy worthless? Is not the past a great revelation of God and of human nature, and as such has it not deep and eternal significance? Or is history mere waste paper simply because it relates to the past and not to the future ? In reality the record which the Scriptures embody of God's dealings with His ancient people the Jews from the call of Abraham down to their destruction as a settled nation constitutes a stupendous object-lesson for all succeeding generations. It reveals a God who in His severity towards sin, His compassion to the sinner, and His mercy to the penitent, is the same yesterday, today and for ever. To the end of time it makes sure to the humblest believer the living presence and the undying sympathy and love of the risen and triumphant Christ. Need any man be spiritually poor and destitute, who by personal experiment can find out for himself the truth of this? Surely not.
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