History has ever been the interpreter of prophecy. It was so notably in New Testament times, for the sufferings and glories of our Lord, foretold in the Old Testament, remained uncomprehended until their meaning was revealed by the events of history. Similarly the predictions concerning the great apostasy, or “falling away ” from the faith and practice of Apostolic times which has taken place in the Christian Church, were not comprehended till explained by historical events. And thus has it been all along. From the beginning of the world to the present day Time has ever been the chief interpreter of prophecy. For prophecy is history written in advance. As the ages roll by history practically takes the place of prophecy, the foretold becoming the fulfilled.
-- Henry Grattan Guinness D. D. (11 August 1835 – 21 June 1910, Irish Protestant Christian preacher, evangelist and author).