Modern prophets have told us that a soon coming seven-year tribulation and "battle of Armageddon" will defeat the enemy of Israel and this will bring excellent things to the region and the descending Lord will reign a thousand years upon a beautiful chair, sitting in a high place in Jerusalem, bringing peace and safety to the world. However, is that the true application of the New Testament prophecy?
Employment of the New Testament scriptures to our generation should be similar to the hermeneutics of prophetic criticism employed by the "true" prophets of the Old Testament scriptures. Let us look for a moment at how it worked.
"True prophecy" is God centered, not people centered. Unlike most of the "false prophets," who prophesied peace and safety for the people of God, the "true prophet" understood sacred tradition from a divine point of view. Ezekiel warns his contemporaries not to assume, as false prophets would have them believe, that since
"Abraham was only one man, yet he realized possession of the land, then we who are many" will surely be able to possess the land (Ezek. 33:24).
Jeremiah tells his contemporaries not to listen to the false prophets who assume the inhabitants of Jerusalem have nothing to fear because of the presence of the Temple:
"Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the Temple of the Lord’" (Jer. 7:4): "No evil shall come upon you" (Jer. 23:17).
One of the most startling examples comes from Isaiah, who alludes to two of David’s great victories over the Philistines:
"The Lord will rise up as on Mount Perazim (2 Sam. 5:17-21), he will rage as in the valley of Gibeon (2 Sam. 5:22-25); to do his deed—strange is his deed! And to do his work—alien is his work!" (Isa. 28:21).
Unlike the false prophets, Isaiah does not find in these victories an assurance of Israel’s victory against her future enemies. On the contrary, Isaiah has...
"heard a decree of destruction from the Lord God of hosts" (Isa. 28:22).
God was angry and ready to defeat sinners on the field of battle; only this time the sinners were Israelites, not their enemies.
The New Testament writer understood that God’s continuing activity was prophetic and dynamic. However, the mystery Body of Christ was never mentioned before the first century writers (Eph. 3:1-6). The prophecy had to be completed while there was a covenant people. God could, as in the days of Isaiah, do a ‘new thing’" (Isa. 43:19). The new thing that God was doing in the first century was to take a non-covenant people and create a new relationship with them (Rom. 9:25-26; Hos. 1:10; 2:23). God's reproach, originally uttered against Israel’s enemies, was exercised against Israel itself in the first century:
"Let their table become a snare and a trap, a pitfall and a retribution for them" (Rom. 11:9-10; Psalm 69:22-23).
This remarkable application of the sacred tradition was not anti-Jewish—for the author was a loyal Jew (Rom. 9:1-5; 11:1-2)—but rather prophetic in the same sense as that which we have seen in the true prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
Be careful when modern predictions of blessings and peace come to your ears. They will usually be swelling words that speak of a false peace and safety for those related to God. Usually a prophecy was a warning of judgment upon things and people that were only interested in themselves.
Was this modern prediction a prophecy? If this Democrat predicted 93 years ago that something would happen and it becomes true today, it is a real prophecy?
H.L. Mencken (born 1880 - died 1956) was a journalist, satirist, critic, and Democrat. He wrote this editorial while working for the Baltimore Evening Sun, which appeared in the July 26, 1920 edition. He wrote:
"As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and complete narcissistic moron." ---H.L. Mencken, the Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920