Before Your Very Eyes

One of the flaws I find with the pre-millennial view is interpretation that is fantastical, much like a hollywood movie, rather than in keeping with the normal course and flow of world events that we already see going on around us. I suspect that the pre-millennial view is interesting to people because it describes a world that seems so much different than the world they currently live in. Like a good movie, people are drawn to stories that take them out of their current circumstance and into an experience that is mythical, or "above" what they are currently living.

I believe that while the actual texts of the major prophecies of Daniel, Ezekiel, Revelation are written in "fantastical" language, a language of visions and dreams, their interpretation is meant to describe things that we can see just by looking around. As we experience the events of the major prophecies, they will look much like the other common events of life going on around us.

Let me give one good example. Revelation 11 introduces us to the "Two Witnesses":
3 And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.”
4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. 5 And if anyone would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes. If anyone would harm them, this is how he is doomed to be killed. 6 They have the power to shut the sky, that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying, and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague, as often as they desire. 7 And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them

Revelation 11:4 tells us who these witnesses are; they are the olive trees and the lampstands. Other scriptures reveal how we should interpret these symbols. Romans 11:16-24 shows us that the olive tree is Israel and that the gentiles (a wild olive tree branch) are grafted in. One of God's witnesses on the earth is the olive tree, symbolizing the spiritual descendants of Abraham. The symbol of the lampstand is interpreted in Rev 1:20 where we are told that the "lampstands" are the "churches".

This should be easy to accept for the believer. Who are the ones witnessing on behalf of Christ? The spiritual descendants of Abraham and the churches throughout the world.

So back to my main point - this prophetic image, given to us in Revelation 11, is not talking about some future, almost movie-like event, where 2 super-human Christians terrify the lost by breathing fire. It is instead talking about YOU, and ME, and others from our communities of faith who are actively walking in the power of God to reach the lost that surround us. WE are the witnesses! As the Body of Christ, we DO have the power mentioned in Revelation 11:5. Christ said as a body we would do greater things than He did. This image shows us doing so.

Nearly all of the pictures painted for us through the symbolism found in the major prophecies are "common" - meaning, they find their interpretation in the events of life in a manner that you are already experiencing. Some are in the past, some are yet to come, but it is unfolding all around you. You are living biblical prophecy, you are seeing it, you are participating in it.

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