“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”
During the winter months, when the weather isn’t fit for man or beast, we will sometimes spend time working on jigsaw puzzles. Currently we are working on a beautiful picture of a steam locomotive set against mountains and forests. The tried and true strategy for completing these puzzles is to find all the border pieces first. These are the easiest to identify and fit together. When all the border pieces are connected, the puzzle has a frame inside of which we can find proper homes for the remaining pieces. This is analogous to properly interpreting the Bible’s end-times prophecies. We must first find prophecies whose meanings are clear and unmistakable and which provide us with a basic chronology. These form the “border” to our puzzle. Once this is in place, we must search the Scriptures prayerfully and diligently for additional information that can help “fill in” the prophetic picture. As with a regular jigsaw puzzle, we must be certain we are fitting the right pieces into the right places. It will do us no good to force or jam pieces together in a way unintended by the puzzle’s creator. Similarly, if we force Scriptural passages together in a way unintended by the Holy Spirit, we will find ourselves with a skewed and incorrect picture of the future. Prayer and effort together provide the antidote. “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law” was the psalmist’s inspired prayer (Psalm 119:18). Paul assures us that the indwelling Holy Spirit was given “that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God” (1 Corinthians 2:12), which includes the prophetic Scriptures themselves (1 Peter 1:20-21). Let us not forget that there is a synergism here; we have a part to play in our own biblical literacy. We must be diligent students of the Word, striving to be workmen “that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). There are tremendous spiritual blessings in unlocking prophetic truths. Chief among these is the fuller understanding we gain of the wisdom, power, and majesty of God. The final book of the Bible, which contains the greatest exposition of the events that will precede, accompany, and follow the return of our Lord, is called The Revelation of Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:1). Our God is so great He can spell out His future acts in fantastic detail (Amos 3:7) knowing that there is no one who can prevent Him from accomplishing all His desire (Job 42:2). God, help us to rightly divide the prophetic Scriptures, for Your glory and our encouragement.
God bless you, dear saints,