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Featured Should the apocalyptic language style of the old testament be taken at face value or symbolic?

Discussion in 'Eschatology - Endtimes & Prophecy Forum' started by claninja, Feb 23, 2020.

  1. expos4ever

    expos4ever Well-Known Member

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    And, please, let’s lighten up on the dismissive pontification. Just because someone does not share your view doesn’t make them “intransigent” or one of the wise who will be put in their place by the simple.
     
  2. keras

    keras Writer of studies on Bible prophecy

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    So, in your opinion, we are to just cruise along, without bothering to study or understand the large amount of Bible prophecy that God has given us?
    Paul says we Christians should not be 'in the dark', about what God has planned. 1 Thessalonians 5:4

    The prophesies I point out are plain; Words that describe physical things and quite feasible events.

    Because there are some similarities with the great Day of the Sovereign Lord, Rev. 19:11-21, which refers to the Return of Jesus and between the Day of the Lord’s vengeance and wrath that happens at the Sixth Seal, Rev. 6:12-17, then some people consider them as the same event.

    This is not and cannot be correct, as the Seal, Trumpet and Bowl judgement-punishments as written in Revelation are clearly a consecutive series of events, with the Return at the end of all that. We are especially warned to not alter the book of Revelation. Rev 22:19

    Matthew 24:27-30 Like a lightning flash over all the earth, so will the Presence of the Son of Man be. Where the dead are, the vultures will gather.

    Then, immediately after the days of tribulation, the sun and moon will be darkened, stars will fall and then will appear the Lord Jesus. Everyone will mourn as He comes on the clouds with great power and glory.

    Note that the moon will be blood red at the Day of the Lord’s wrath - Acts 2:20, whereas at the Return, the sun and moon will be darkened. It is patently obvious that there are two events described above, first is the Sixth Seal, when the Lord instigates the ‘lightning flash’ of His Day of vengeance and wrath, at the punishment of the nations when He is not seen, He stays in heaven; Psalms 11:4-6, Amos 1 - sending down fire, then it isn’t until after the Seventh Seal time gap of several years and at the end of the Great Tribulation, that He Returns in glory to commence His Millennial reign. The Lord Jesus comes on the clouds, Matthew 24:30, in His garment splashed with blood; from His previous punishment of the nations. Isaiah 63:1-6

    Where the dead are; where those carrion birds gather, is mainly in the Middle East, but also around the world as many prophesies say. Ezekiel 30:2-5, Psalm 83:1-18, Isaiah 66:15-16, Jeremiah 25:33, Deut. 32:41, Zephaniah 1:14-18, Nahum 1:3-6, 2 Peter 3:7


    These Bible passages also state the next prophesied event, the Day of the Lord’s wrath and what the ‘lightning flash’ is that will affect all the world is explained to us in:

    Isaiah 30:26-30the sun will shine with seven times its normal strength, on the Day the Lord saves His people. Look! The power of the Lord comes from afar, with His wrath and great rage blazing, His tongue as a devouring fire… He sieves out the nations for destruction. His arm will strike them down with flames of devouring fire, floods, hailstones and storm tempest. But for you, [Christians] there will be rejoicing, as you march to the holy Land, to the Rock of Israel.

    Isaiah 42:14-16 Long have I restrained Myself… now I am ready to act. I shall dry up the streams, lay waste to the land and make it a desert. Then, I shall lead My people along new paths, I will make a light before them.

    Psalm 97:1-12 The Lord reigns! In His justice, He flashes forth lightning’s and all the earth quakes. Cloud and thick mist enfolds Him as fire goes ahead, consuming all His enemies. The Lord’s people hear and rejoice as He rescues them. Psalm 18:7-15

    Deuteronomy 32:36-43 The Lord will judge the nations, but will have compassion on His servants. His flashing sword of punishment will fall upon His enemies. He will take vengeance on all who hate Him and will cleanse His people’s Land.

    Ezekiel 36:5-12 In the fiery heat of My anger, I will punish the nations, but especially those who inhabit My holy Land. Then you, Land of Israel, will put forth growth and bear produce, for the homecoming of My people is near. I will bless the Land and settle upon it many people – the whole Israelite people, they will increase and be prosperous, the burned houses and the ruined places will be rebuilt.

    Zechariah 9:14-17 The Lord comes on a mighty storm wind from the South. He will sound the shofar, as His arrows dart like lightning, defeating the enemy and defending His people. They will rejoice, as with wine, on the Day their Lord saves them, for they are as precious jewels sparkling in the holy Land.

    Joel 2:11 & 18 The Lord thunders as He marshals His forces, countless are those who obey His commands. For great and terrible is the Day of the Lord and who can endure it? Then the Lord shows His love for the holy Land and has compassion for His righteous people.

    Amos 9:5 & 14 At the Lord’s touch, the whole earth heaves, it will rise and fall like the Nile and woe to all who live on it. But I will restore the fortune of My people, righteous Israel, they will rebuild the ruined towns, sow and plant, then enjoy the produce.

    Habakkuk 3:10-13 The mountains see You and shake, an enormous wave of water rushes by, the sun and moon stay still as Your flashing arrows and Your spear like lightning speed on their way. In fury, You traverse the earth, in anger You trample the nations, but You come out to save Your people, as You shatter the wicked; You protect Your anointed ones.

    Malachi 4:1-3 The Day comes, burning like a furnace, when all the arrogant and evildoers will be burnt to a stubble, that Day will set them ablaze and leave neither root nor branch. But for you who fear My Name, the sun of righteousness will shine forth, you will be restored and break loose, like calves released. On the Day I take action, the wicked will be burnt ashes beneath your feet.

    Revelation 14:12 &18-19 From the Altar came another angel, the one who has authority over fire and he called to the one with the sharp sickle: Put in your sharp sickle, for the earth’s harvest is ripe. So the angel swept the earth, gathered in the grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath.
    All this calls for the endurance of the Lord’s people, all those who keep His commands and remain loyal to Him.

    All these prophecies and many others, speak of a worldwide judgement by fire, a Coronal Mass Ejection, sun explosion that will depopulate the entire Middle East. Then the great gathering of the Christian Israelite people, the true descendants and those grafted in, will gather and live in all of the holy Land. They will choose their own leaders, Jeremiah 30:21, Hosea 1:11. The Lord will ‘reveal His glory among His own’ 2 Thessalonians 1:10, Rev. 14:1, but not to the world, until several years later.

    Like most of the prophetic Word, Revelation is somewhat mixed up. But the Seals, Trumpets and Bowls are one of the few instances of a correct sequence and from them, we can get a true picture of events. Note carefully, in Revelation 5:1; the description of the Scroll – written on both sides and sealed with seven seals. So the Seals are first, they must be removed one by one. The first five have been opened, probably soon after the ‘Lamb’ ascended to heaven.

    The Sixth Seal is next, now very soon to happen. This sudden and shocking world changing event will enable the establishment of the One World Govt, also the gathering of the Lord’s people to all of the holy Land. That is what all Christians should be looking forward to!

    At the same time, or very soon after the Sixth, is the 7th seal, which is undeniably a time interval. Then, years later, at the mid-point of Daniels 70th year, the scroll is unrolled for the Great Tribulation – the 7 Trumpets and the 7 Bowls.


    Revelation 7:1-14 After that, [the Sixth Seal] I saw four angels holding back any further disasters until the seal of God was given to His servants. Twelve thousand from each tribe of Israel received the seal of God.... and then I saw a great throng of people from all races, tribes, nations and tongues, praising the Lord. They have passed through great ordeal, been tested and found righteous. All the true faithful Christians.

    holding back any further disasters’ This proves that the Great Tribulation is still to come.

    great ordeal’ – Of the Sixth Seal. Some Bibles say ‘the great tribulation’, leading to wrongly thinking that the Day of the Lord’s wrath happens at the Return. 1 Peter 4:12, 1 Cor. 3:13

    the scorching heat of the sun’, -The devastating CME sunstrike of the Sixth Seal.

    The 144,000 Israelites’, Some of the Christian Israelites of God, chosen to go out to the world to proclaim the coming Kingdom of Jesus. Isaiah 66:19, Revelation 14:1-7
     
  3. DavidPT

    DavidPT Well-Known Member

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    As to Isaiah 30:26 in particular, myself and some others, the latter according to searches I have done on Google in regards to this verse, see that as a blessing in that context, thus see it fitting during the new heavens and new earth age, and not as a bad thing like you are taking it to mean. And if it fits in the new heavens and new earth age era, it can perhaps mean in a literal sense in that case. IOW, what is illogical in this age might not be illogical in that age.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
  4. expos4ever

    expos4ever Well-Known Member

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    Of course not, I never wrote anything remotely like this. All I was saying is that it is not helpful to adopt the dismissive posture that has been seen in this thread.
     
  5. expos4ever

    expos4ever Well-Known Member

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    Let's take this methodically, keras. Do you concede that it is at least possible that wild cosmic imagery - the stars falling to earth, the moon turning red, etc. - could have been used metaphorically by the writer to make a point about changes to the socio-political order in the here and now?

    It would be hard to imagine how such a possibility could be dismissed.

    Having accepted such a possibility, are you open to the possibility that the historical / cultural record shows that this is indeed how people in that cultural setting used such language?
     
  6. keras

    keras Writer of studies on Bible prophecy

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    I reject this possibility.
    I do so because what is prophesied is a clear statement of future events. Things that could happen and are tied to the forthcoming Day of the Lord's fiery wrath. A dramatic world changer, of a similar magnitude as Noah's Flood. 2 Peter 3:1-7 is perfectly clear about this.
    No; because what is prophesied did not happen in ancient times and had no relevance to them. They simply ignored it. Ezekiel 33:30-33
    As people do today, to their imminent regret and eternal shame.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
  7. Oberamagau

    Oberamagau Member

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    People make a big deal out of this. There are literal things used figuratively all over the bible.

    The sun, moon, and stars are literal.

    and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair,...
    When viewed from earth - because there's so many particles in the atmosphere - looking at the sun is like looking at it through a piece of sackcloth.

    and the moon became as blood;
    Red Light is the only light that doesn't deflect when it hits particulate. Again, so much stuff is emitted into the atmosphere that the moon appears red.

    And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth

    Same idea. Regardless of the caused - war - volcanos - or other pollution - the stars will no longer be visible from earth because of the abundance of particles in the atmosphere.

    Most of all. NONE of these celestial signs occurred in AD70.
     
  8. keras

    keras Writer of studies on Bible prophecy

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    But the Prophets DO inform us about what will cause the effects described, that will happen on the great and terrible Day of the Lord's vengeance and wrath.
    Knowing about it, as we should; will be a big help to us on that Day.
     
  9. expos4ever

    expos4ever Well-Known Member

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    Simple question: When Isaiah described the sun and the moon being darkened and the stars falling from heaven, was he not talking about the fall of Babylon?

    You have a real challenge since I suggest it is clear that Isaiah was indeed predicting the fall of Babylon through the use of such cosmic imagery. In other words, he was certainly not making a prediction that the moon would literally become darkened, or that stars would fall from heaven.
     
  10. Oberamagau

    Oberamagau Member

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    Nothing to do with Babylon. Those celestial events never took place when Babylon fell.
     
  11. expos4ever

    expos4ever Well-Known Member

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    You do realize this is textbook circular reasoning, don't you? You cannot simply assume that which needs to be demonstrated - namely that the language is to be taken literally.

    And likewise, I need to make the case that the language was symbolic. And I intend to make that case in a future post.
     
  12. jgr

    jgr Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Not this sun and moon.

    Acts 2
    16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
    20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:
     
  13. keras

    keras Writer of studies on Bible prophecy

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    But the parallel prophesies in Acts 2:20 and Revelation 6:12-13, were Written a long time after Babylon fell.
    Placing those events, all quite possible to actually happen, as past events; is a scriptural contradiction.
    As well as there being no mention of their fulfilment in any historical record.

    It would be more sensible to symbolize them, but then what is their symbolic significance?

    We believe the Bible for our Salvation, why disbelieve the very well described future events, leading up to the glorious Return of Jesus for His Millennium reign.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2020
  14. keras

    keras Writer of studies on Bible prophecy

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    It was not the intention of God, to give His prophets a clear, instantly understandable message. To have done that would have revealed His plans to all and sundry.

    We can’t yet fully ascertain God’s ultimate design for His creation, although it is clear that he does want those who believe in Him and trust to His salvation, to be aware of coming events. We are told to trust Him and hold fast to our faith, but to do that in the midst of sudden and shocking events, without some idea of the outcome of such events, and then it is so much more difficult for us.

    Therefore, because God HAS given us the information we need to know about the future, then it is a serious error to ignore it, to fail to gain some understanding or to think that a rapture removal to heaven will take us away from it all.

    It must be obvious, to anyone who reads the news, that the current world situation is nearing unsustainability, in terms of resources and population. But the flash point and the focus of God’s plan, is the Middle East. God has not, in the past 72 years, allowed Israel to be conquered and He will not allow that to happen now. Although there will be judgement upon the Jewish people as well, a remnant will eventually be forgiven and restored. Ezekiel 16:59-63, Romans 9:27

    Many prophecies tell of God’s fire judgement; this has not happened as yet, His first judgement was by a flood. This coming Lord’s Day of vengeance and wrath, is described as a terrible day of fire and earthquakes. It will be a Day when the heavens blaze; 2 Peter 3:7 & 10, burning like a furnace; Malachi 4:1, raining fiery coals; Psalms 11:4-6, fire like a whirlwind, many will be killed; Isaiah 66:15-17, suddenly, in an instant....flames of devouring fire; Isaiah 29:5-6.

    But the verse that tells us exactly what God will use on that Day is Isaiah 30:26a The moon will shine as bright as the sun and the sun will shine with 7 times its normal power.

    This accurately describes a solar flare, something that does happen on a regular basis, usually harmlessly. In the past there have been larger Coronal Mass Ejections, explosions of the suns surface, but scientists warn of the possibility/probability of a massive CME, that in our modern age of communications, transport and conveniences, would have a devastating effect.

    Now, note the second half of Isaiah 30:26b... on that Day, the Lord will bind up the broken limbs of His people and heal their wounds.

    This is a wonderful promise to His people, those who love the Lord and follow in His laws, every faithful Christian. Many, many prophecies tell how His people will be conveyed and gathered into the Land of Greater Israel after this Day of judgement. This day and the gathering are quite different from that described at the Return of Jesus - years later.

    Isaiah 52:6-12 On that Day, My people will know My Name.....go out leave Babylon, keep yourselves pure, the Lord will guard and guide you.

    Ezekiel 28:25-26 When I execute judgement on all of Israel’s scornful neighbors, then My people: all the true believers, gathered from the nations, will live in peace in the Land, I shall show My holiness in them for everyone to see. [Before Jesus Returns]

    Ezekiel 20:41-42 I shall accept you....after I have brought you out from the peoples where you have been dispersed, into the Land promised to your forefathers.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2020
  15. expos4ever

    expos4ever Well-Known Member

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    No kidding. Are posters disagreeing with you on this? If so, how is it not obvious that they are in denial?
     
  16. jgr

    jgr Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Denial and dispensationalism are inextricably linked.
     
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  17. Oberamagau

    Oberamagau Member

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    Determining the timeframe of Acts 2 and "the last days" isn't as easy as quoting one scripture.

    "But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the 'last' days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:"

    The word for 'last' is eschatos and that's the most extreme word for 'last' that Peter could have used. It's the same word used in Revelation 22:13 "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." You say that those 'last days' began somewhere in 33AD and ended in 70AD at which time the outpourig of God's Spirit was the destruction of Temple and Jerusalem. Some outpouring of God's Spirit that is.

    The 'last days' timeframe manifest itself where young people prophesy, young men see visions, and old men dream dreams. A time where there are wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
    And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

    This time is verified by these literal signs and events. 70 AD just doesn't qualify. You would be hardpressed to convince most of us that extreme events like that occured in AD 70.

    This TIME is an intense, unmistakable time of extremes in the earth, atmosphere, and celestial realm. They are unmistakable. It's the time Jesus referred to as,

    "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened."

    Joel and Peter speak of a time - AN AGE - that began at the cross and ends at the consummation of the church age at the Parousia - the Day of the Lord.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2020
  18. Davy

    Davy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Firstly, our Heavenly Father usually makes it plain when He is giving us a metaphor, analogy, or parable. He isn't doing that with the Ezekiel 38 thru 47 chapters, nor Zechariah 14. Reason is especially because there are direct parallels to those events written in other Bible Books.

    And really, do you need to try and use that Numbers 12 warning to put fear in anyone who interprets Bible prophecy? What are you really here for, if you have such a negative view of Bible prophecy?
     
  19. expos4ever

    expos4ever Well-Known Member

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    I doubt this; please make your case.
     
  20. Davy

    Davy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Try the analogy given in Isaiah 54.
     
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