Formulas help us to solve problems. If we use the wrong formula or place wrong pieces into the formula, the result will be an inaccurate answer. This same concept is used with understanding the scriptures. The proper formula will give us the correct foundation to draw logical and biblically supported answers. However, many Christians who proclaim the Bible as the Word of God do not follow the following formula consistently or completely.
1) The 5 basic rules for interpreting the Bible. (See section under Book Excerpts)
2) God does not lie and His Word is Truth. (John 14:6, 17:17-19, 18:37-38, Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18)
3) God does not change. (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8, James 1:17)
4) What is written in the Law and the Prophets must be literally fulfilled. (Mathew 5:17, 26:54-56, Luke 24:25-27)
5) Adding to the prophecies of God’s word will bring down biblical plagues. (Revelation 22:18)
6) Taking away from the words of prophecy will remove one’s share in the tree of life and the Holy City. (Revelation 22:19)
A prime example of drawing an inaccurate conclusion is the teaching that Jesus will NOT rule on earth for 1000 years. (Amillennialism). This teaching denies a literal fulfillment to Revelation 20. Isaiah 65:17-25 supports Revelation 20. We learn from God that there will be a time when Yahweh rejoices in Jerusalem and delights in His people. No infant will die after a few days but someone living to be a 100 will be considered a youth. People will live extended lives like the days of a tree. The ground will harvest a great bounty and the wolf and the lamb will feed together. (Cf: Isaiah 11:6-9). From the days of Isaiah, this world has not experienced such a time of peace or prosperity and since death still exists, this cannot refer to eternity. For those who deny this literal fulfillment, they encounter a major problem if they believe that the birth of a child king (Isaiah 7:14, 9:6-7) and the suffering servant (Isaiah 53) were literally fulfilled in Jesus. These individuals deviate from the facts that: 1) God does not change and 2) what He says WILL happen. Scripture cannot be manipulated to fit one’s own preconceived notions. If the formula is used inconsistently, Jesus will see these works as lukewarm and spew them from his mouth. (Revelation 3:15-16). EJ