It is a good thing to keep our focus on the invisible Cause even as we study the visible Effects of divine acitvity within human history. And it is a good thing to emphasize that the prophetic promises delivered by historical fulfillments are still only obtained by one's faith in Christ. For example, I see resurrected-glorified Saints reigning over the affairs of men from the unseen realm in the stead of the Eph 6:12 principalities-powers since the time of Christ's circa 70AD Return. These are Saints, brothers in the faith who have gone on to the invisible glory, having been perfected through suffering, biological death, then judgment and resurrection-glorification. This is very ancient and catholic doctrine, (in the original sense), the very basis for belief in glorified saints who have been bestowed with powers and authorities over affairs of mortal men. Such has been one of the strongest, oldest, and most widely held conviction among all the doctrines of Christendom, LINK, and is confessed in the ancient creed, "We believe in the communion of the saints."
So, while I agree that God's movements in the unseen realm are to be the centerpiece of Man's attention, I also concede that God's unseen movements have very real impacts upon the seen realm. This is why observations of history do, indeed, still have some merit. Still, it takes faith to see the hand of God moving through our lives and, indeed, through the histories of the lives of men, nations & civilizations.
Even as Jesus would use parables to describe heavenly concepts with very earthly object lessons, God works through history, intervening in our physical reality, to give us confirmable evidence as to His invisible rule from the spiritual realm.
It is important not to lose our awareness of landmark, documentable, historic points of contact between God & Mankind, fulfillments of prophecy. If we forget the mooring points between the Bible and documentable reality - then all we have left is a story that makes us feel better. Whether the story is true or not, it is no longer objectively confirmable - we only have the subjective witness of an inner, personal feeling. Some may call that "faith", but faith is blessed and stimulated by the witness of reality, too, Romans 1:1-4 & Romans 1:19-20. This is also why many believed following the miracles of Jesus and His Apostles and the holy exploits Christ's servants through the centuries since. Faith is established upon all the information by which God has surrounded us.
But floating a story along by a mere inner feeling, without verifiable connections between inward beliefs and outward experiences, leaves us unprepared for the day when we don't feel so good. That's when our feel-good story loses support and comes crashing down like a popped hot-air balloon. and we cannot reason to ourselves or others why "the greatest story ever told" is any more worthy of belief than the confused stories of any of the Christless false religions.
This is why our individual daily obedience is so key to continued faith: we accumulate memories of connections between inner belief and outer experience that provide an unfailing foundation for our faith through all of life's storms.
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."
Likewise, the memory of prophecy-history connections is important. We remember that God is very much involved with Mankind, that He cares enough to intervene in our reality, that we are following something that is rooted deeply into reality and not just some cleverly designed fables. We are convinced that Jesus is the Truth: and that "truth" is just another way of saying "reality" even as "The Logos" can justifiable by translated "The Explanation (of Reality)." So, the Gospel is not just the greatest story ever told: no, the Gospel is far and away more than that. The Gospel is the single, best, most credible explanation of what's really going on that has ever been encountered, bar none. And any explanation of reality must interact credibly and frequently with reality, reality as we experience it, reality as men have recorded it diligently, painstakingly throughout the centuries.
That is why, I believe, God placed it upon my heart years ago to start drawing the connections between the Bible's prophecies and the Bible's own accounts of their historical fulfilments. Joseph's early dreams - Joseph later becoming Lord of Egypt & his brothers. The baker & wine taster's prophetic dreams - the fates of the wine taster & baker. Pharoah's prophetic dreams of good/bad cows - the historical reality of good/bad years. The prophetic promises of inheriting the Promised Land - the historic realities of Joshua's conquering & possessing the Promised Land. The prophecy that David would be king - the historic reality that David became king. The prophecies that the Jews would go into Babylon - the historic reality of the Exile. Malachi prophesying about the Elijah to come before the Lord - the historic reality of John the Baptist being that Elijah that was to come. The prophesies that the Messiah would be born Bethlehem - the historic reality that Jesus the Messiah was born in Bethlehem. Etc, etc, etc.... It seemed that God wanted me to pay careful attention to such connections as I would work my way through my One-Year Bible again and again as a prerequisite to ultimately gaining the ability to draw the connections between the New Testament's prophesies and their later, post-New Testament fulfillments. Perhaps certain blessings of understanding only come to those willing to do their homework. I hope to please the Lord with mine.
May the above be understood in a favorable light, not as an attempt to brag (about what, really?) but an attempt to explain my interest in the matter. It is my hope to show idealistic young people that their dreams of making the world a better place are not in vain, but rather, they are favored by God who is also working to make the world a better place, too. We have a brighter and brigher future ahead of us but it will take a stout optimism to overcome the giants we must face down with every generation. "The wicked flee at the sound of a leaf, but the righteous are bold as a lion." "Let us go up at once and take the land, for God has given it to us and we are well able to possess it!" Through faith in Christ born of a good understanding, we CAN conquer tomorrow for the benefit of our fellow men.
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength and with all your mind."
7 "He who overcomes shall inherit these things..."
1 John 5:4-5
4 For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
May God bless the readers & myself with the spirit of wisdom & revelation in the knowledge of Him through Christ Jesus our Teacher,