To understand prophecy, one must understand certain rules or perspectives about God’s word. It is not a simple matter that a prophecy unfolds in Scripture right before our eyes. It can even be confusing to read about prophecy and not realize the intent of the Holy Spirit as he put this on paper. Today I am going to make a suggestion of how to understand prophecy.
This is called “the Law of Recurrence” in which a passage of Scripture is actually speaking about two persons or two events. They very likely are separated by long periods of time. But in this prophecy the two are blended together as if they are one picture. The fact that there is a gap between the two passages of Scripture is supported by other scriptures. For instance, what the Holy Spirit provides us in the book of Daniel is also relevant to the book of Matthew.
The best example of this is the reference to Antiochus Epiphanies in Daniel chapter 11. In this passage is the description of the Syrian king who attacks Israel. He is described as vile but comes peacefully with flattery. He will make a covenant with the Jews but break that covenant and it becomes a terrible prophetic fulfillment. Antiochus commits what is called an abomination by offering swine on the Temple altar.
His personage and behavior are a fore view of the Antichrist mentioned in Matthew 24. In this passage Jesus warns that the Antichrist is the fulfillment of the prophecy of Daniel. So, here we have an Old Testament reference partially fulfilled by Antiochus Epiphanies and completely fulfilled by the Antichrist in the New Testament according to the very words of Jesus. Avoid taking Scripture for granted of what will happen in the near and distant future. Study to be well aware of those words that God gives to us so that we know what is ahead for the world. There are other guidelines or rules that I will provide to help.