By Nathan Jones
What is the key to understanding Bible prophecy?
Dr. David Reagan and I recently had the pleasure of asking this question of August Rosado on the show Christ in Prophecy. August is a Bible prophecy teacher and preacher and founder of a ministry called Today in Bible Prophecy. Having a passion for all things Jewish, he can be found traveling the country waking the Church up concerning the soon return of Jesus Christ.
August Rosado: I would have to say the biggest key is the literal interpretation of God's Word.
Even though the book of Revelation uses a lot of symbolism, we need to look for a literal interpretation behind the symbolism. The reason why we get into so much doctrinal trouble today is because we take the symbolism and we interpret it with more symbolism. This is where we get into trouble. We need to take Gods' Word for its plain sense, literal meaning. As you say, "If the plain sense makes sense, don't look for any other sense, or you will end up with nonsense."
Dr. Reagan: I think that is certainly the number one rule for the whole Bible from beginning to end. Don't spiritualize it. Take it for its plain sense meaning. Surely there are symbols, but even symbols have plain sense meanings behind them. Take it for its plain sense meaning.
One of my favorite quotes about Bible prophecy comes from Dr. Henry Morris who founded the Institute for Creation Research. In his book The Revelation Record which is his commentary on the book of Revelation he says to the effect, "I am writing this book because people tell me they can't understand the book of Revelation. It is just too difficult to understand. I've got news for you. It is not difficult to understand, it is difficult to believe. If you'll believe it you will understand it."
One time I looked through all of the commentaries I could find on the book of Revelation. Many for example said that in Revelation 7 where it says there is going to be 144,000 Jews in the end times that are going to be given special responsibility, 85% said that this passage was talking about the Church. What does God have to do to convince us He is talking about 144,000 Jews? After all, He names them by tribes. But, we spiritualize these things to death. People love to do that because then they become God and because they can make the Bible mean anything that they want it to mean.
August Rosado: Exactly! Frankly, I believe allegorizing Scriptures is blasphemy, because you are making yourself God and you can come up with any form of interpretation that you want.
Dr. Reagan: I would say to really understand Bible prophecy you've got to have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, because the Spirit is going to help you to understand. You do not have to have a Ph.D. in hermeneutics. You do not have to have a vivid imagination. But, you do have to have childlike faith. If you approach the Bible with childlike faith and rely on the Holy Spirit, you can understand the Bible.
August Rosado: Before I got saved I tried reading the Bible and it was like Chinese to me. I could not understand one iota of that book. But, after I got saved almost 23 years ago, the Holy Spirit opened my eyes.
In the next part of our interview with August Rosado, we'll ask him to share his personal testimony.