churches of Christ Greet You (Romans 16:16)
True Christians always base their faith and creed exclusively on the revealed Word of God in its clear and unmistakable passages. Thus, we do not accept everything which at first glance may seem to be Biblical doctrine, but follow the commands of God: "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good" (1 Thessalonians ). "To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word it is because there is no light in them" (Isaiah ). "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1).
As we discuss and examine the various tenets of the millenarians, we shall frequently be compelled to expose the false as well as to give the true interpretation of certain Bible passages. Some of these passages will be clear and simple, whereas others will be seemingly obscure and difficult because of their figurative adornment. It will be of benefit to the reader if at the very beginning we state a few sound and fundamental principles, or rules, of Biblical interpretation by which we shall be guided in this treatise.
Some Principles of Bible Interpretation
God is Truth (Isaiah 65:16; cf. John 14:6, 17; 1 John 5:6). He cannot lie or contradict Himself (Titus 1:2). From this it follows that whatever He affirms in clear, unmistakable passages He does not overthrow or contradict in other passages. Hence all those sayings of the Lord which are somewhat difficult must be compared with those which are so plain and simple that they cannot be misunderstood and must be interpreted in accordance with them.
Again, whatever God says in symbolical, or figurative, language must be interpreted in agreement with such passages in which He employs plain diction, using every word in its proper, literal sense. Why? Because in symbols and figurative speech He does not teach the reverse of what He teaches in ordinary, plain, simple language.
According to these fundamental rules, according
to the Word
of God, in the fear of God (Isaiah 66:2), we will now examine the views