Hebrews 1:1-2 describes the “twin peaks perspective” this way: God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.
In the New Testament we see phrases such as “the mystery of Christ,” “the mystery of the Kingdom of God,” and “the fellowship of the mystery.” You could say that we Levelers are the “fellowship of the King” (sorry, I couldn’t resist).
Since part of our job as Levelers is to help others discover these mysteries, we need to know what the word means. The Greek word is musterion (pronounced moos-tay'-ree-on). While it does describe something that is hidden, it doesn’t mean that the information is unknowable. It means that it can only be known through revelation, as God reveals it. That’s why Paul said that the mystery of Christ which was not made known before his time but was now being revealed to him at that appointed time (Ephesians 3:1-7). It was because the time of Christ’s first coming had come.
Prophecy is a strange creature to the Western mind because we tend to think everything should be linear and in sequential order. Biblical prophecy doesn’t always work that way.
It can reveal a near event and, because it is like something that is going to happen in the future, and then link it to that far event as well. The near event isn’t the fulfillment of the prophecy, but a shadow or type of the future event. The two events have the same shape and outline because they are cast from the same light of revelation. From our perspective, they appear as one.
Like two mountain peaks, prophecy can show something right here in the present and something else in the future as if they are one peak—one shape and outline. But really there is a deep and wide valley of time in between the two peaks (events).
This “twin peak perspective” can result in differing viewpoints of the same passage because some interpret the passage as one peak. They contend that the prophecy has been fulfilled in the historical past. They consider it a done deal, and thereby overlook the future event.
That’s the value of laying out all the prophetic puzzle pieces first. We can see where each piece fits in its historical context and how it shapes the sequence of events in God’s prophetic timetable. It’s why from time to time we will pause and ride the thermals as eagles to the high places to get the big picture.
Have you ever received a prophetic word from the Lord?
Did it make immediate sense to you? Or did it make sense only after the events started to unfold in your life?
Here’s the promised example. All three synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) record Jesus’ end-time lesson commonly referred to as the Olivet Discourse (since it was held on the top of the Mount of Olives). Matthew and Mark refer to the Abomination of Desolation in passing because they figure their primary audiences know what the term means.
Luke, on the other hand, is writing to the Greeks and other non-Jewish people. So he goes into more detail so his audience can know for sure what event Jesus is describing. Luke explains that when Jerusalem is surrounded by armies, the desolation is near. In other words, when the Romans laid siege to the city, the Abomination of Desolation was at hand. Eventually, the city was destroyed from within by the warring Jewish factions and the desperate state of the famine-stricken inhabitants.
Here's a teaser bonus: the word Messiah is the Hebrew version of the Greek word Christ, meaning the Anointed One and His Anointing. We find it all throughout the New Testament as one of Jesus’ primary titles. The word Messiah only appears in the Old Testament text in two places (not counting where translators added it to headings). These two places are pivotal to the end-time puzzle: Daniel 9, verses 25 and 26. Stay tuned for more on these pieces.
So as we continue gathering together, we will stay true to this principle of letting the Bible interpret the Bible, and its related principle of confirming truth with at least two or three witnesses (clear Bible passages).
Chances are that if you are a jigsaw puzzle expert you first look for the corner pieces and the border pieces. Their unique shapes make it easier to define the outline of the puzzle’s picture. Then you probably sort the pieces by color, looking for shapes that might go together. You may not realize it but what you are doing is following one of the most basic principles of Bible interpretation—known by the fancy name of hermeneutics (pronounced Herman-knew’-ticks). Don’t ask me who Herman is and why he knew so many troublesome pests!
The principle tells us to let the Bible interpret the Bible. Okay, so what does that mean exactly?
We’ll look at an example in the next post. It will show us how to make sure we're on the right path--the biblical path.
We live in a visual age. In His wisdom, God has given us a great way to picture what the Bible says about the end-times: a jigsaw puzzle. The Bible is the box that contains all the necessary pieces. Unlike most jigsaw puzzles, our finished product is not pictured on the cover. But let’s not let that stop us. We have God’s Spirit to guide us into all truth (John 16:13)!
It shouldn’t surprise us that God put something about Christ, His redemptive plan, and His prophetic timetable in every book of the Bible. These pieces are not always obvious at first, but once we begin to see things from God’s perspective, they start to jump off the pages!
There is one catch though. For many of us, we’ve been trying to understand the truths concerning Christ’s return with a messed up jigsaw puzzle. In some cases, the puzzle has pieces missing. In other cases, we have pieces mixed in from other puzzles. No wonder the Church has had trouble fitting the pieces together!
It’s time to lay those incomplete boxes aside and start afresh with the Bible box. When we do, some pieces will look familiar and other pieces may look strange at first. Yet if we honestly come before God to seek His perspective, He will be faithful to show us the complete picture. To cooperate with Him, we will have to lay aside our preconceived ideas and allow the Bible to interpret the Bible. We will have to follow the example of the Berean church as Paul described in Acts 17:10-12 and examine the Scriptures ourselves. We need to see for ourselves what the picture of the straight and smooth path looks like (Isaiah 40:4) so we can prepare the way for others to receive the Lord.
Have you ever put together a large jigsaw puzzle? What did you do first?