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Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Eschatology: Vision is not the Message. Group 8

Saunders, Dr. Eugene. “Old Testament Survey (BIBL1305).” Coursework, The King’s University, Southlake Texas, 2021.

Discussion Responses


Of what significance for eschatology is the principle that the vision is not the message, but the occasion for the message? Assigned to: Group 8

Eschatology: Vision is not the Message. Group 8

No other ancient culture had an eschatological prophetic concept. Israel is unique in their understanding of the one true God, who plans the end from the beginning.[1] Since we understand that God has a plan, we may ask “of what nature is that plan?” One possibility is to view the plan like a professor’s syllabus. In this view, the basic outline is set upfront, but the actual outworking of the plan may morph and change as they take final shape.[2]

For the prophet, the prophecy was about the message his audience needed to hear. The future-telling, storyline, visionary tale/setting, were all context or wrapping in which the message was to be understood. The “way” in which the message was delivered (through story, analogy, a vision, etc.) was of less importance than the message.[3]

Human beings are “Wired for Story”.[4] "We don't turn to Story to escape reality; we turn to Story to navigate reality.”[5] The ultimate purpose of the prophet’s storytelling was the get the message across.

All this brings us to the impact on “eschatology”:

1. When one attempts to interpret a prophetic word, one should focus on the message first (what the prophet intended to communicate to the audience).

2. The “fulfillment” may come; however, one should be aware that God’s idea of fulfilling a prophetic idea may look different than what the author (or reader) expected. Who could have known that the “Passover Lamb” would be a man hung on a cross?

3. Finally, one should be cautious in interpreting “symbols” that God, the prophet, or other scripture has not clearly defined. The symbols may only exist as a wrapping to hold the message itself. Some symbols may have no deeper or hidden meaning.

While some symbols, like Nebuchadnezzar’s statue (Daniel 2) are clearly defined and easy to follow; other symbols, like the basket of Zechariah 5 may have no deeper meaning.[6] Trying to assign more meaning than the text provides can be dangerous. Giving more weight to a symbolic concept than scripture itself can support (without mental gymnastics) is a recipe for error.

*Note: This may be how we came up with the idea of a 7-year tribulation and rapture (which both may or may not biblical concepts).[7]

[1] Andrew E. Hill and John H. Walton, A Survey of the Old Testament, 3rd ed (Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan Publishing House, 2009), 507.

[2] Hill and Walton, 512.

[3] Hill and Walton, 508–9.

[4] Lisa Cron, Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence, 1st ed (New York: Ten Speed Press, 2012),

[5] Lisa Cron, “Wired for Story: Lisa Cron at TEDxFurmanU” (Ted Talk, TEDxFurmanU, Furman University, Greenville, South Carolina, May 4, 2014), 11:00-11:30,

[6] Hill and Walton, A Survey of the Old Testament, 508.

[7] Jonathan Welton, Raptureless, 3rd Edition Printing (Place of publication not identified: Bookbaby, 2015),


Shalom: Live Long and Prosper!
Darrell Wolfe (DG Wolfe)
Storyteller | Writer | Thinker | Consultant @

Clifton StrengthsFinder: Intellection, Learner, Ideation, Achiever, Input
16Personalities (Myers-Briggs Type): INFJ


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