The Four Rules of Interpretation
These rules are based on consistent behavior that recurs without exception throughout the book of Daniel [as well as the book of Revelation].
Rule One ~ Chronology
Each Apocalyptic Prophecy has a beginning point and an ending point in time and the events within each prophecy occur in the order they are given.
When the fulfilled elements in Daniel and Revelation are aligned with widely published historical records, the validity of Rule One proves true every time. The lengthy periods of time in the prophecies in Daniel, and some of the prophecies in Revelation, contain sufficient samples to validate The Four Rules that spring from Daniel’s architecture. The book of Daniel also provides a historical foundation for some of the prophecies in Revelation.
The importance of Rule One cannot be overstated. It is deceptively simple and also incredibly powerful. It demolishes two thousand years of prophetic speculation and tradition. Consider: If God has not declared the chronological order of events within each Apocalyptic Prophecy, there is no chronological order in Apocalyptic Prophecy. If there is no order, Apocalyptic Prophecy remains in the realm of art. However, if God has declared chronological order, Apocalyptic Prophecy becomes a science and there is prophetic certainty [“the more sure word of prophecy”] instead of endless chaos and cancelling views.
When Apocalyptic Prophecy is regarded as art, church groups will turn to some external authority which can be a prophet or even church tradition. When Jesus confronted the traditions of His people, He was considered a blasphemer because the Jews put their religious traditions [art] above God’s Word [authority].
Because there is chronological order within Apocalyptic Prophecy, we can determine which prophetic event has been fulfilled and what prophetic event will come next. We have twenty-six centuries of prophetic progression and fulfillment since the book of Daniel was written. Looking backwards from our day, world history proves there is chronological order in the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation. This is good news because the final generation can know and understand prophecies that previous generations could not discover! Remember, God’s greatest gift to the honest in heart is greater truth.
Rule Two ~ Fulfillment
A prophecy or prophetic element within a prophecy is not fulfilled until all of the specifications are met. This includes the order of the events given within the prophecy.
Rule Three ~ Language
Apocalyptic language can be literal, symbolic, or analogous. To reach the intended meaning of a passage, the student must consider (a) the context, (b) the use of parallel language in the Bible, and (c) a relevant text that defines the symbol if an element is thought to be symbolic.
Rule Four ~ Timing
The presence or absence of the Jubilee calendar determines when time is translated as a day for a year. Otherwise, translation is not permitted. For further study of the Jubilee calendar, please see Lesson 27 in my book, Earth’s Final Hours.