Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Prophetic Scripture

In The City of God, Augustine writes regarding the early days in the book of Genesis,

“These secrets of divine Scripture we investigate as well as we can. All will not accept our interpretation with equal confidence, but all hold it certain that these things were neither done nor recorded without some foreshadowing of future events, and that they are to be referred only to Christ and His church, which is the city of God, proclaimed from the very beginning of human history by figures which we now see everywhere accomplished. “From the blessing of the two sons of Noah, and the cursing of the middle son, down to Abraham, or form more than a thousand years, there is, as I have said, no mention of any righteous persons who worshipped God. I do not therefore conclude that there were none, but had been tedious to mention everyone, and would have displayed historical accuracy rather than prophetic foresight.  The object of the writer of these sacred books, or rather of the Spirit of God in him, is not only to record the past, but to depict the future, so far as it regards the city of God.”
- The City of God, Book XVI, section 2, trans. By Marcus Dods, New York: Barnes & Noble, p. 624.

Note that Augustine argues that the purpose of scripture had both a historical and prophetic purpose, but that the prophetic purpose regarding Christ was primary. He further went on to write,

"...for in the Scriptures there are many things shady and close which exercise the mind of the readers; and Christ comes thence when he who has understanding finds Him there."
The City of God, Book XVIII, section 32, trans. By Marcus Dods, New York: Barnes & Noble, p. 761.

The focus of all scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, is on Christ, who is God the Son. Prophecy was not written to focus on a particular nation or people, but to call God's children to Him through Jesus Christ.

False teachers take the emphasis off of Christ and place it on a people, such as Israel or even the United States, or on an individual the way a palm reader or astrologer would do in predicting the future.

See 2 Peter chapter 1 vs. 16 through chapter 2 vs. 3.

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