Author Topic: Delusion of infernal torment: a pagan superstition  (Read 3326 times)

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Doug

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Delusion of infernal torment: a pagan superstition
« on: June 22, 2009, 05:48:44 PM »
In this article, John's prophecy in Revelation 9:1-11 is interpreted as a symbolic description of those who teach the ancient superstition of the unending infernal torment of unbelievers.

Preston Eby wrote:

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We do ourselves much injury when we seize upon every Scripture which proclaims the salvation of all men, but carefully avoid all Scripture which speaks of the fearful judgement of the wicked. Yet even greater harm is done when people insist upon taking the other point of view, as almost the entire Church system has done for centuries, emphasizing only those Scriptures which seem to teach the unending doom of those unfortunate creatures who never once heard that God had a Son and skillfully avoiding every direct statement of Scripture which indicates that God has reconciled all things to Himself, and that every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess to God of things in heaven and things in earth and under the earth.

In the interpretation of the prophecy of Revelation 9:1-11 below, the meanings from the prophetic symbols are derived from scripture. The translation used is the NIV.

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"The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace." [Revelation 9:1-2]

A fallen star could refer to one of the early Christians. In Revelation 12:4, the tail of the dragon drew a third of the stars to the earth. The stars are symbolic of saints, Genesis 22:17, 37:9, Daniel 12:3.

The star may be identified with one of the church fathers, who believed in pagan superstition of the unending infernal torment of unbelievers, and introduced that doctrine into the church. Edward White's Life in Christ, (London 1875) identifies Augustine as the one who was chiefly responsible for the orthodox doctrines of the church on the fate of unbelievers. See:
http://vinyl2.sentex.ca/~tcc/OP/white.html

The smoke from the bottomless pit in verse 2 is a metaphor, of course. The bottomless pit is where Satan is restrained, in Revelation 20:3. Smoke like the smoke of a furnace was associated with the destruction of Sodom, Genesis 19:28. And smoke like the smoke of a furnace hid the Lord when he descended on Mount Sinai to give Moses the Ten Commandments. In the context of John's prophecy it probably refers to a lot of false teaching and confusion. Pagan superstitions about death and the soul were introduced into the church in the early centuries AD. The historian Livy in Hist., I:19, says Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome, invented the fear of the gods, as "a most efficacious means of governing an ignorant and barbarous populace."

The ancient historian Polybius also reported that superstition and a "pageantry of terrifying fiction" was promoted in ancient Roman society, by their rulers, as a means of restraining the passions of the people. He wrote, "The ancients, therefore, acted not absurdedly, nor without good reason, when they inculcated the notions concerning the gods, and the belief of infernal punishments..." [Histories VI,56]

Because of the influence of the superstition that Polybius refers to above, people continue to view God as mean and unforgiving, but the scriptures reveal a God of love, who is very merciful. "The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide; neither will He keep His anger forever." [Psalms 103:8,9]

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"The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss." [Revelation 9:3]

The sun represents the gospel; the sun clothes the woman in heaven, Rev. 12:1. Jesus spoke of the righteous shining as the sun, in the kingdom of their Father, Matthew 13:43. The sun becoming dark means the truth of the gospel is obscured.

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"And out of the smoke locusts came down upon the earth" [Revelation 9:3]

The locusts in John's prophecy resemble the locusts of the great destructive army described in Joel 2.

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"and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth." [Revelation 9:3]

Scorpions are mentioned in connection with chastisement and punishment in scripture. Solomon's son Rehoboam said to the people of Israel, "My father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions." [1 Kings 12:11]

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"They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads." [Revelation 9:4]

These are not real locusts, but people who spread a flawed doctrine about the fate of unbelievers.

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"They were not given power to kill them, but only to torture them for five months." [Revelation 9:5]

The life span of the desert locust is 3 to 5 months, but varies depending on environmental conditions. Five months, or 150 days, was the duration of the flood waters that covered the earth, and destroyed all those not saved in the ark of Noah, and the unsaved are those who are affected by their torment. Perhaps the 5 months of torment represents a "locust life- span".

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"And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes a man." [Revelation 9:5]

The doctrine of the locusts is that those who do not accept their religion will be punished for their sins, and suffer agonizing pain, and an unending infernal torment.

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"During those days men will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them." [Revelation 9:6]

This verse describes the doctrine of infernal torment of unbelievers, whose souls are said to be immortal, so they can't die.

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"The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle." [Revelation 9:7]

John compares the locusts with horses. In scripture, people with no understanding are compared with horses.

Psalm 32:9
Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.

Their riders are men, as they are ridden by the doctrines of men.

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"On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold," [Revelation 9:7]

Arron the high priest wore a crown of gold, Leviticus 8:9.

Crowns of gold may represent halos that are shown on the heads of the saints in old paintings;

The crowns show the locusts are religious people, or churchmen. [1 Peter 2:9]

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"Their hair was like women's hair," [Revelation 9:8]

Long hair like women suggests the Narazites, who were devoutly religious. It may also show they are confident in their own safety, and their own salvation: 2 Samuel 14:11, Luke 21:18.

The locusts of Revelation 9 obviously don't recognize themselves as being locusts. It is simply a metaphor. The teachings are destructive, and a locust plague is destructive. They exist in vast multitudes, and locusts also are very numerous. Locusts actually come in both sexes, male and female. Their hair like the hair of women is metaphorical; perhaps it represents confidence about ones' own security, concerning salvation. Their long hair implies safety, as in the statement of Jesus "there shall not an hair of your head perish" [Luke 21:18]. If their hair does not perish, it continues to grow until it is long. So their confidence in their own salvation is pictured by the metaphor "hair like the hair of women".

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"and their teeth were like lions' teeth." [Revelation 9:8]

Lions' teeth represent people who are fierce, as Paul said they would be in the last days.

2 Timothy 3:1-3
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

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"They had breastplates like breastplates of iron," [Revelation 9:9]

Breastplates are associated with righteousness in Ephesians 6:14. The locusts tout their own righteousness. Their breastplates of iron show they are impervious to the truth, and to reason, so even God can't touch their cruel hearts.

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"and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle." [Revelation 9:9]

Horses and chariots rushing to battle would make a loud, clattering noise, as chariot wheels rolled over stony ground.

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"They had tails and stings like scorpions," [Revelation 9:10]

Isaiah said, "the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail" Isaiah 9:15.

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"and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months." [Revelation 9:10]

The tails are symbolic of a "prophet that teaches lies" as that is what the locusts are, false prophets. They have another gospel, a distortion of the true gospel of Christ, that incorporates the doctrine of infernal torment of unbelievers. Centuries of tradition have cemented the concept of unending infernal torment in the minds of many. Their views are not easily discarded.

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"They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon," [Revelation 9:11]

Abaddon means destroyer, Job 26:6. The effect of the locust plague is that it destroys the church, and obscures the gospel. It paints God as a cruel monster, a fiend.

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"and in Greek, Apollyon." [Revelation 9:11]

This probably alludes to Apollo Parnopius, the Greek god of plagues. (Parnopius means "grasshopper.") Apollo was also a god of prophecy.

Doug
« Last Edit: June 22, 2009, 06:54:59 PM by Doug »

Doug

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Re: Delusion of infernal torment: a pagan superstition
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2009, 02:00:06 AM »
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"Their hair was like women's hair," [Revelation 9:8]

Long hair like women suggests the Narazites, who were devoutly religious. It may also show they are confident in their own safety, and their own salvation: 2 Samuel 14:11, Luke 21:18.

This post is about the symbolic meaning of women's hair in John's vision of the locusts. In one of Paul's letters, there is a discussion of woman's hair. Long hair, Paul says, pictures the fact the woman was made for man, to be subject to a man, in marriage.
   
On the other hand, a man who has long hair, Paul says, dishonors his head, which is Christ. Paul said, "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." [1 Corinthians 11:3]

He wrote:

1 Corinthians 11:8-10
8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.
9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.

"Because of the angels" is a puzzling phrase. What did he mean?

James Burton Coffman commented on this.

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"For this cause ought the woman to have a sign of authority on her head, because of the angels."

The simplest explanation (since Paul was speaking of the proper subordination of woman) is that this is a reminder that the "angels who kept not their first estate" lost heaven; and it is not far-fetched to draw the analogy that those precious angels called women should not go beyond the limitations imposed upon them by their creation.

Authority upon her head ...
Scholars do not agree on the exact meaning implied by the use of "authority" here; but it is clear that Paul referred to the woman's head being properly covered; but it is of the utmost importance to note that "the nature of that covering" is not here specified. The opinion of this writer is that the reference means she should not have her hair cropped. Even in such a regulation as that, the implication is that the prohibition is not absolute, but qualified. The sin was not in cutting off hair, but in cutting it off in such a manner as to obscure the sexes or to imitate the shameless prostitutes of the pagan temples.

Verses 11, 12
Nevertheless, neither is the woman without the man, nor the man without the woman, in the Lord For as the woman is of the man, so is the man also by the woman; but all things are of God.

Despite the fact of Paul's speaking on the subordination of woman in God's order of created beings, he was careful here to point out what kind of subordination he was speaking of. Man and woman are mutually dependent upon each other, each enjoying unique prerogatives and blessings under the will of God, as Paul stressed in Eph. 5:22-33, etc. While true enough that the first woman was made out of man, it has been true of all others since then that they are born of woman. The natural relationship between men and women, like everything else, is ordained of God. Johnson believed that the point of emphasis here is that "The man must always remember that he exists by woman, and that both are of God."

Verse 14
Doth not even nature itself teach you, that if a man have long hair, it is a dishonor to him?

As Johnson observed, "The fact of short hair for men and long hair for women is a divine suggestion in nature itself." It is quite evident throughout this whole paragraph that Paul is talking about "hair," not clothes!

Verse 15
But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

It is a glory to her ...
This would have been the ideal place for Paul to have said that a mantle thrown over a woman's head and shoulders is a glory to her, if he ever had such a thing in mind. On the contrary, it comes out here, as it does in every verse in the whole passage, his subject was "hair"!
   
Her hair is given her for a covering ...
Here again is an enormous mistranslation; and one may only wonder at the efforts of commentators to make this conform to the misinterpretations they have foisted upon this innocent passage. For example, Johnson declared that "This does not mean that her hair is her covering"; but a glance at any interlinear Greek New Testament will reveal the meaning instantly. Nestle gives it, "instead of a veil." The Emphatic Diaglott has "Her hair is given her instead of a veil." Echols emphatically stressed this expression "instead of" as follows:

The idea conveyed by "instead of" is that if the noun preceding this preposition is available, the noun following the preposition is not required. Therefore, the conclusion is quite inescapable that, if a woman's hair conforms to apostolic standards of propriety, she requires no artificial covering.
      
Paul said in 1 Cor. 11:4 that a man praying or prophesying with his head "covered" dishonored his head, he simply COULD NOT have referred to any man's wrapping himself up in the type of mantle that was called a veil in those days. That type of veil (or mantle), as far as history reveals, was never worn by men in any circumstance. Therefore the fault Paul sought to correct in 1 Cor. 11:4 was not that of men veiling themselves like women, but that of sporting indecently long hair.


http://www.searchgodsword.org/com/bcc/view.cgi?book=1co&chapter=011


Since these verses in 1 Cor. 11 probably contain the most extensive discussion of hair in the entire Bible, it is probably here that the symbolic meaning of the hair of the locusts would be explained. So, perhaps the locusts with long hair, and faces of men, in Revelation 9:8, are men who dishonor Christ, who is the head of the man. The doctrine of unending infernal torments certainly does that.

Any comments?

Doug
« Last Edit: July 07, 2009, 02:20:00 AM by Doug »

Offline Beloved Servant

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Re: Delusion of infernal torment: a pagan superstition
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2009, 02:21:00 AM »
Yeah,
Who can copyright the revelations of God?

Doug

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Re: Delusion of infernal torment: a pagan superstition
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2009, 02:31:06 AM »
Quote from: Beloved Servant
Who can copyright the revelations of God?

Good point. :thumbsup:

Doug

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Re: Delusion of infernal torment: a pagan superstition
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2009, 03:10:22 AM »
I like these thoughts that much of this is symbolic and that much has already occurred.  I'd like it even more if it's correct  :bigGrin:.  Good thoughts, thanks.
Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting--all of which are out of character--but rather thanksgiving.  Eph. 5:4  **  Saved 1John 3.2, Eph. 2:8, John 1:12 - Being saved 2Cor. 4:16 2Peter 3:18 - Will be saved 1Peter 1:5 Romans 8:23

Doug

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Re: Delusion of infernal torment: a pagan superstition
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2009, 03:36:14 AM »
Quote from: jabcat
I'd like it even more if it's correct

Well, thanks for the comment.



I had an interesting response on this interpretation of the prophecy of Revelation 9 from a priest. He called it "the biggest surprise since my nearly nine year journey on the Christian Newsgroups of Usenet!"

http://groups.google.ca/group/alt.religion/msg/4d7f541e72822b6c?hl=en



Doug

Offline jabcat

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Re: Delusion of infernal torment: a pagan superstition
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2009, 03:47:57 AM »
Are you going to comment on this (from your linked post)?

Thankfully, the plague of locusts comes to an end. Rev 9:12: One woe
> is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.
Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting--all of which are out of character--but rather thanksgiving.  Eph. 5:4  **  Saved 1John 3.2, Eph. 2:8, John 1:12 - Being saved 2Cor. 4:16 2Peter 3:18 - Will be saved 1Peter 1:5 Romans 8:23

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Re: Delusion of infernal torment: a pagan superstition
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2009, 05:19:58 AM »
 :cloud9: Hair speaks of a type of mark of glory, or that which God has "marked", and the placement of hair on the bodies, marks things that God has marked as needing to be surrendered for His glory, ie. reproduction areas (children/blessing), strength (where arms attach the body), steadfastness (legs), the covering of the woman (long hair). Blessings....
"I would rather train twenty men to pray, than a thousand to preach; A minister's highest mission ought to be to teach his people to pray." -H. MacGregor

Doug

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Re: Delusion of infernal torment: a pagan superstition
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2009, 05:35:51 AM »
Quote from: jabcat
Are you going to comment on this (from your linked post)?

Thankfully, the plague of locusts comes to an end. Rev 9:12: One woe
> is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.

Below are some notes on the 2nd woe that is described in the remainder of the chapter.

Vs. 14, the four angels that were bound in the Euphrates, were loosed. The river Euphrates represents the symbolic border of the promised land.  (Gen. 15:18) And the promised land itself represents, for the Christian, the promises of God, and his word.
   
The role of the four angels was to slay a third part of mankind. Since it is angels that are spoken of, it suggests the subject of the prophecy is spiritual. A third of men were killed, by fire, smoke, and brimstone from the mouths of the horses. The horses are people with no understanding, Psa. 32:9. The fire, smoke, and brimstone from the mouths represents their doctrines. Smoke pictures confusion. Combustion of brimstone generates toxic sulfur dioxide. Fire, smoke and brimstone contrasts with the "living water" that comes from those who believe in Christ.

If the horses are people, perhaps the horsemen are their guides and leaders. Or perhaps the ideas that influence them.  The horsemen had breastplates, of fire, jacinth, and brimstone. Jacinth (also spelled hyacinth) is a variety of Zircon. It was used to a great extent in classical antiquity. It occurs in the clear, transparent red, orange, and yellow colors. Brimstone is the ancient name for sulfur. Its odor when burning was acrid. Literal breastplates would not be made of fire! These materials are quite unsuitable for literal breastplates. The vast numbers of the horsemen illustrate that many follow the broad way, that leads to destruction. Few follow the way that leads to life, Jesus said.

John reports that there were 200,000,000 horsemen. That is a far greater number than all the horses in the world! The horses had heads of lions. "Their power was in their mouth" - they promote false doctrines. Their tails were like serpents. A serpent is mostly tail! The tails represent false prophets. (Isaiah 9:15)

Their tails had heads, that caused harm to people. The key question is, in what sense are a third of men killed? Eventually all men die. But death in scripture is sometimes used in a spiritual sense, for example by Jesus:

Mark 12:27
He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.

Ephesians 2:5
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

1 Timothy 5:6
But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.

Because of false belief, many people miss out on the kingdom of God. Perhaps the third of mankind killed by them means death in a spiritual sense, as they represent deceived people, who teach false doctrine. Belief in false doctrine excludes people from the kingdom of God.

Their identification as horses shows they have "no understanding." Horses are unclean according to the law. God's people are represented by sheep, which is a clean animal, suitable for sacrifice.

The 10 sins not repented of: worship of devils, idols of gold, idols of silver, idols of brass, idols of stone, idols of wood, murders, sorceries, fornication, theft. Is it significant that the number of sins mentioned is 10? The thing that is most obvious here is that they don't really worship God. The number 200,000,000 contrasts with the 144,000 saints in Rev. 7 & 14.

Are these horses mentioned in any other prophecies of the scripture? They may be; they could be the ones in Ezekiel 38, the vast horde of Gog and Magog. In that case, they compass the camp of the saints, the church. (Rev. 20:8-9) They could be the horses that Zechariah spoke of, who will be astonished (Zech. 12:4). They come against Jerusalem, as Zechariah said all nations will come against Jerusalem. This is the "heavenly Jerusalem," the church, not the earthly city. They could be among the horses of Zechariah 14, who suffer from the plague, along with camels, mules, and asses, symbolic of people with no understanding.

What is this 2nd woe? Perhaps it is the whole mass of people holding confused religious beliefs, and ideas about the Bible, the "Gentiles" occupying the outer court of the temple in Rev. 11:2.

Doug

Offline Beloved Servant

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Re: Delusion of infernal torment: a pagan superstition
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2009, 06:06:58 AM »
I dunno,
Even that image disturbs me.
I can not look upon it,
maybe I'm different.

Offline jabcat

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Re: Delusion of infernal torment: a pagan superstition
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2009, 06:23:01 AM »
I too think it's creepy, BServ.  Repugnant.  Not you, the image  :bigGrin:   :friendstu:.

Doug, you said "Because of false belief, many people miss out on the kingdom of God. Perhaps the third of mankind killed by them means death in a spiritual sense, as they represent deceived people, who teach false doctrine. Belief in false doctrine excludes people from the kingdom of God."

In this context, what do you consider to be the kingdom of God?  Then the consequence of not being in the kingdom would be what?  And related to that, how do you think one might experience the plagues of not "come(ing) out her my people"?  What do you think entering into destruction would look like for these folks?  And if the "delusion of infernal torment" is held within the walls of mainstream Christendom;  that their teachers are the locusts with stinging tails harming people;  even though they have called on Jesus as their Savior (many of them...and then practice many things in ignorance/having been led astray) what do you think their future holds?  A day of corrective discipline, a thousand years in a literal burning fire until they're refined, or some other possible options?

Some things I've been mulling over that sort of fit here/thought I'd throw out there.....

Got to be honest.  Some of this makes a lot more sense to me than some of the other options I've read, i.e., that it's all literal, or conversely that it's all spiritual and only inside of each believer.  Much of what you're saying takes into account the symbolic and spiritual, while at the same time attaching meaning to some actual, tangible things that can be seen and experienced...not either quite as concrete or as vague as some beliefs on the topic. 
« Last Edit: July 07, 2009, 06:37:42 AM by jabcat »
Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting--all of which are out of character--but rather thanksgiving.  Eph. 5:4  **  Saved 1John 3.2, Eph. 2:8, John 1:12 - Being saved 2Cor. 4:16 2Peter 3:18 - Will be saved 1Peter 1:5 Romans 8:23

Doug

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Re: Delusion of infernal torment: a pagan superstition
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2009, 03:37:31 PM »
Quote from: jabcat on July 06, 2009
I too think it's creepy, BServ.  Repugnant.  Not you, the image

It is from a commentary by Albert Barnes, Notes on Revelation.
http://books.google.ca/books?id=TIJgr7wHLoIC&dq

There is another image here:
http://www.davidmiles.net/HTML/image_Locusts.html

Quote from: jabcat on July 06, 2009
In this context, what do you consider to be the kingdom of God?

In Rev. 11:1-2, John is told to measure the temple of God. This temple represents the church, (Eph. 2:20) which is the holy city where Christ is the king. It is also pictured by the woman in Revelation 12, who is in heaven, clothed with the sun, which represents the gospel. They are the ones who "keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." (Revelation 12:17)

Quote from: jabcat on July 06, 2009
Then the consequence of not being in the kingdom would be what?

Outside the temple in Revelation 11:1-2 there is a court, which John was told not to measure, as it is given to Gentiles, who "trample the holy city for 42 months."

The outer court represents the status of a large part of those who are "within the walls of mainstream Christendom," if indeed there are such walls. They "trample the holy city," and dominate the saints. 
   
In Joel 1 & 2, they are represented by a horde of locusts who invade the promised land. Here they are called "God's army," and note that Revelation 9:16 refers to an "army." in Psalm 68:17-18 we read:

Psalm 68:17 (NIV)
The chariots of God are tens of thousands
and thousands of thousands;
the Lord has come from Sinai into his sanctuary.

Psalm 68:18 (NIV)
When you ascended on high,
you led captives in your train;
you received gifts from men,
even from the rebellious--
that you, O LORD God, might dwell there.

Paul quotes from verse 18 in one of his epistles, and here the phrase "received gifts from men" is "gave gifts unto men," and IMO, the latter makes much more sense.

Ephesians 4:7-9
But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

The number mentioned in Psalm 68:17, "tens of thousands and thousands of thousands" is thought to be the source of John's 200,000,000 in Revelation 9:16. So perhaps this may help identify who the army is; they are those pictured by the Israelites in the wilderness, who came out from Egypt, but failed to enter the promised land, and Paul warns about a similar disappointment for Christians in 1 Cor. 10:1-12. He says, "Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." (Vs. 11-12)

Jesus said there would be many who miss out on entering into his kingdom. This is pictured by Gehenna, as the status of those judged to be unfit to enter the holy city; by the 5 foolish virgins who were excluded from the wedding; by the tares that grew up with the wheat, and were gathered up at the end of the world; by the unprofitable servants; by the fish that were cast aside from the fisherman's net, etc. He said, "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." (Luke 21:36)

I think that these people are included in the vast multitude who are depicted in Revelation 7:9-17, who come out of great tribulation (vs. 14.)

Quote from: jabcat on July 06, 2009
a thousand years in a literal burning fire until they're refined,

I wrote an article on the interpretation of the phrase "thousand years," you can find here:
http://vinyl2.sentex.ca/%7Etcc/OP/Thousand.html

Doug
« Last Edit: July 07, 2009, 03:59:06 PM by Doug »

Doug

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Re: Delusion of infernal torment: a pagan superstition
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2009, 07:19:14 PM »

Quote from: Doug on June 22, 2009
Quote
"and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle." [Revelation 9:9]

Horses and chariots rushing to battle would make a loud, clattering noise, as chariot wheels rolled over stony ground.


There is more that can be said here, as "wings" seems to have some symbolic significance in prophecy. The Bible speaks of eagle's wings, the wings of a fowl, and the wings of locusts, as well as the wings of seraphim, in various prophecies.

Eagle's wings are especially significant, as it is the wings of an eagle that are given to the woman in Revelation 12:14, who represents the church.

Christopher Wordsworth (1807-1885) wrote:

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What, now, are the Two Wings of the Great Eagle ?

The Eagle is the King of Birds, and the natural foe of the Dragon; and the Church of Israel was borne from Egypt by God through the Wilderness on Eagles' wings. Hence the Church is here described as thus rescued from the Dragon by her Divine King. And ancient Expositors, observing that the Church flies on the pinions of Holy Scripture through all ages and into all lands, saw that the Two Wings of the Great Eagle are the Two Testaments of Christ, the Incarnate Word, Who ascended on the clouds of Heaven, and carries His children thither, like the Eagle, described in Scripture, spreading abroad his wings, and mounting with his young upon them.


[Lectures on the Apocalypse: critical, expository, and practical, delivered before the University of Cambridge, by Christopher Wordsworth. London: Francis & John Rivington  (1852) p. 192-193]

An eagle was associated with Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon in Dan. 4:23, & Ezek. 17:3, 12. In the vision of Daniel 7:4,  the first beast, a lion, has wings of an eagle, which were plucked. Nebuchadnezzar was taught a great lesson about God, and his words are included in the Bible, but his wisdom was forgotten after he died. So, eagle's wings, I think, are symbolic of the gift of prophecy, such as those contained in the book of Daniel. The eagle soars to a great height and looks down on the earth from above, and so may represent the divine viewpoint, as opposed to the human one.

The four wings of the fowl on the third beast in Dan. 7:6, seem to represent the pagan philosophy and superstition of the hellenistic age, and as the wings of a fowl are much inferior to the wings of an eagle, the wisdom of that age was greatly inferior to the wisdom of God.

In some translations, an eagle is mentioned in Revelation 8:13, at the introduction of the three woes.

Weymouth New Testament: "Then I looked, and I heard a solitary eagle crying in a loud voice, ..."

Wycliffe New Testament: "And I saw, and heard the voice of an eagle flying by the middle of heaven, ... "

New American Standard Bible: "Then I looked, and I heard an eagle flying in midheaven, ..."

New International Version: "As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: ..."

The "woe" associated with these last three trumpets is for the inhabitants of the earth, whereas the church is described as the woman in heaven, Rev. 12:1, & "ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them", vs. 12. The "eagle" that preceded the three woes and announces them is probably symbolic of a proper understanding of prophecy.

What is "woe" for the world, is not "woe" for the church. The 7th trumpet, for example, seems to be connected with the resurrection of the saints (the "last trump" of 1 Cor: 15:52.)
   
What can we conclude about the locust "wings" of Rev. 9:9, that make so much noise? They picture a flawed interpretation of prophecy. And a good example is provided by the various flawed interpretations of the prophecy of Rev. 9 itself, by popular prophecy "experts"!

Amy Johnson Frykholm wrote of the notorious "Left Behind" books by Tim Lahey, and the writings of Hal Lindsey, in which interpretations of this prophecy are offered:

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Left Behind takes this passage very literally. It depicts insect like creatures with human faces and long hair, riding horses. But other prophecy writers and prophecy imaginers have gone a bit farther. Hal Lindsey, for example, suggests that the locusts of Revelation could be a first-century attempt to describe and understand the modern invention of an attack helicopter. He suggests that the "locusts" are not literal horses, but modern technology described through a first-century imagination. This obviously requires a leap of imagination that takes the reader far beyond a "literal" understanding of the text. Like the literal interpretation, however, it does the work of correspondence and translation, taking something from the biblical text, coding it within a particular narrative, and then giving it a correspondence to the real world.


[Rapture Culture: Left Behind in Evangelical America, by Amy Johnson Frykholm, Oxford University Press US, 2004. p. 116-117.]

Kathleen C. Boone notes that Leon I. Bates interprets the horses (locusts) of Rev. 9 as "modern, missile launching tanks." She comments on three different interpretations, that were proposed by Hal Lindsey, Oliver Greene, and Bates:

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Three interpreters, closely allied in theology and methodology, have progressed from supernatural beasts to "missile launching tanks" all the way to thermonuclear warfare. Horses can signify supernatural horse-like creatures, tanks, or nuclear warheads-but each interpreter nonetheless holds to an inerrantist (and literalist) view of the text. If ... literalism seeks to save us from contradiction and proliferation of interpretations, it here at least does nothing of the kind. On the contrary, the text seems to have been, in Kermode's words, "licensed for full-scale exegetical exploitation. And it is in this exploitation that one frequently finds the excesses and naiveties of interpretation characteristic of literalism run amok.
...   
Bates also comments on the locusts of Revelation, agreeing with Greene as to their literality. As is his wont though, Bates will find a contemporary, empirical application. Given "their faces like men and hair like women," Bates infers, "Many MEN now have long hair like woman! There has also been a tremendous increase of homosexual, female impersonators."


[The Bible Tells Them So,  By Kathleen C. Boone, SUNY Press, 1989, p. 43-44]

Those thee "literalist" prophecy interpreters each have a different interpretation of the locusts of Revelation 9!

I suggest that these are examples of the "noise" of the locust wings, a loud, but meaningless clattering sound, like horses and chariots going over the stony streets of ancient cities.

Doug

Offline WhiteWings

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Re: Delusion of infernal torment: a pagan superstition
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2009, 07:45:52 PM »
There is more that can be said here, as "wings" seems to have some symbolic significance in prophecy. The Bible speaks of eagle's wings, the wings of a fowl, and the wings of locusts, as well as the wings of seraphim, in various prophecies.

Quote
Wings
God's supernatural operations and protection Deu 32:11- hovers - same word as above with wings. Exo 19:4-5 - bore you on eagles' (vultures) wings. God bore them on wings to make a contract. Num 15:37- corners = wings. Tassels to represent covenant relationship w/ God. Extremity of the robe was the 'wings'. Woman w/ issue of blood has only to touch the 'wings' to be healed. Rut 2:12 - come to trust under the wings. vs 3:9 - cloak (wings) for protection. Eze 16:8 - wings spread over to cover nakedness.

Click the download button for more defnitions: http://www.scribd.com/doc/3271311/spiritual-meaning-of-key-words-in-scripture

Not sure it are commonly accepted definitions. Just sharing what I found last weekend.
1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...

Offline WhiteWings

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Re: Delusion of infernal torment: a pagan superstition
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2009, 07:50:09 PM »
1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...

Doug

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Re: Delusion of infernal torment: a pagan superstition
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2009, 08:34:03 PM »

Quote from: WhiteWings

Wings
God's supernatural operations and protection Deu 32:11- hovers - same word as above with wings. Exo 19:4-5 - bore you on eagles' (vultures) wings. God bore them on wings to make a contract. Num 15:37- corners = wings. Tassels to represent covenant relationship w/ God. Extremity of the robe was the 'wings'. Woman w/ issue of blood has only to touch the 'wings' to be healed. Rut 2:12 - come to trust under the wings. vs 3:9 - cloak (wings) for protection. Eze 16:8 - wings spread over to cover nakedness.


There is another one in Luke 13:34: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!"

Eagle's wings seem to have to do with Israel's covenant with God in Exodus 19:4. In Ezekiel 16:8-9, it is pictured as a marriage.

Doug



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Re: Delusion of infernal torment: a pagan superstition
« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2009, 04:51:35 AM »

Quote from: Beloved Servant on July 06, 2009

I dunno,
Even that image disturbs me.
I can not look upon it,
maybe I'm different.


The image below is from "Coming Wonders Expected Between 1867 and 1875..."
by Michael Paget Baxter, p. 28
http://books.google.ca/books?id=QacXAAAAYAAJ

Doug




Offline jabcat

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Re: Delusion of infernal torment: a pagan superstition
« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2009, 05:10:46 AM »
Quote Doug - "Jesus said there would be many who miss out on entering into his kingdom. This is pictured by Gehenna, as the status of those judged to be unfit to enter the holy city; by the 5 foolish virgins who were excluded from the wedding; by the tares that grew up with the wheat, and were gathered up at the end of the world; by the unprofitable servants; by the fish that were cast aside from the fisherman's net, etc. He said, "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." (Luke 21:36)"


What do you think about the thought that much of this already occurred, i.e., having to do with the judgment of the Jewish nation in 70 AD, and connected to a kingdom related to the Jews rather than an end times, heaven or hell (that Kingdom of God) judgment?  For instance, the Matthew 24 connection.

Also, in relation to Jesus' words in Luke and elsewhere about a "kingdom", and whether that has to do with then vs. future, i.e., salvation-connected, I think of this;  that Jesus is the Author and Finisher of salvation; able to keep that which is committed; and the implications of the verse quoted in Ephesians 4:7-9 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ

Do you think there are some distinctions to be made there?  Again, if many in mainstream have called upon the name of the Lord, scripture says they will be saved.  So perhaps again, maybe there are distinctions to be made between salvation (i.e., being saved by grace) and crowns/rewards/positions of honor to serve.  There's a whole lot to this, huh?

Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting--all of which are out of character--but rather thanksgiving.  Eph. 5:4  **  Saved 1John 3.2, Eph. 2:8, John 1:12 - Being saved 2Cor. 4:16 2Peter 3:18 - Will be saved 1Peter 1:5 Romans 8:23

Offline Beloved Servant

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Re: Delusion of infernal torment: a pagan superstition
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2009, 05:38:55 AM »
I understand what you mean Jab.
It's the difference between imputed righteousness and the overcomer.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2009, 05:29:05 PM by Beloved Servant »

Offline jabcat

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Re: Delusion of infernal torment: a pagan superstition
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2009, 06:08:35 AM »
Yes, BServ...that's what I'm getting at  :thumbsup:
Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting--all of which are out of character--but rather thanksgiving.  Eph. 5:4  **  Saved 1John 3.2, Eph. 2:8, John 1:12 - Being saved 2Cor. 4:16 2Peter 3:18 - Will be saved 1Peter 1:5 Romans 8:23

Doug

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Re: Delusion of infernal torment: a pagan superstition
« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2009, 06:06:28 PM »
Quote from: jabcat on July 07, 2009

Quote Doug - "Jesus said there would be many who miss out on entering into his kingdom. This is pictured by Gehenna, as the status of those judged to be unfit to enter the holy city; by the 5 foolish virgins who were excluded from the wedding; by the tares that grew up with the wheat, and were gathered up at the end of the world; by the unprofitable servants; by the fish that were cast aside from the fisherman's net, etc. He said, "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." (Luke 21:36)"


What do you think about the thought that much of this already occurred, i.e., having to do with the judgment of the Jewish nation in 70 AD, and connected to a kingdom related to the Jews rather than an end times, heaven or hell (that Kingdom of God) judgment?  For instance, the Matthew 24 connection.


Many people apply the words of Jesus recorded in Luke's account to the events of 70 AD, and I suppose they hope there is no further application in subsequent ages. Others say they are for a future age. The ones who say this was all fulfilled in the past, usually point to Luke 21:32-33: "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away."

Recently, in another thread, I commented on a related scripture, Matt. 23:35-36, as follows:

35 And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.
36 I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation.

The "blood" of all the righteous men slain since the murder of Abel refers to the guilt or sin of those who were responsible for these crimes, all of which was laid upon Jesus, when he was on the cross; as John said, he was "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." [John 1:29]

Since Jesus was part of the generation he was referring to, (his own), it was that generation, from which the blood of all the righteous men slain from the foundation of the world, was required. And, he took on himself the blood (i.e., the sins of the ones who were guilty of murdering them) of all those saints who have been slain since his death, as well.

Thus, I suggest, Jesus spoke of himself, when he referred to "this generation." He did not mean the Jews he was speaking to would have to suffer for the sins of their ancestors, who lived centuries before! (Would that be fair?) However, some have misunderstood his words, as implying that. Jesus did not even say "Jews" but "this generation."

The above also explains what he meant in Luke 21:32, when he referred to "this generation."

Luke 21:31-33
31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.
32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.
33 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

Since Jesus rose from the dead, his generation still remains today. It is a unique generation! And just as his words will remain forever, his generation will remain, even after heaven and earth have passed away, as He is part of that generation.

If this view is correct, the "generation" of which Jesus spoke in Luke 21:31-33 is not necessarily limited to the first century AD, although many have taken it to mean that. The generation to which Jesus belongs spans all the generations since the first century AD because he remains alive; it has not passed away!

Quote from: jabcat on July 07, 2009

Also, in relation to Jesus' words in Luke and elsewhere about a "kingdom", and whether that has to do with then vs. future, i.e., salvation-connected, I think of this;  that Jesus is the Author and Finisher of salvation; able to keep that which is committed; and the implications of the verse quoted in Ephesians 4:7-9 But unto every one of us is given grace  according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

Do you think there are some distinctions to be made there?  Again, if many in mainstream have called upon the name of the Lord, scripture says they will be saved.  So perhaps again, maybe there are distinctions to be made between salvation (i.e., being saved by grace) and crowns/rewards/positions of honor to serve.  There's a whole lot to this, huh?


Paul said, referring to Christ's death on our behalf, the foundation has been laid for every man to build upon; every man's work will be tried; those who build with inferior materials may suffer loss; however, "he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." [See 1 Corinthians 3:9-15]

Judgment, Peter said, "begins at the house of God," the church.

1 Peter 4:17
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

This is the question Paul answers above; "he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."

Jeremiah compared to God's word as a fire. "Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD;" [Jeremiah 23:29.]

Hebrews 2:2-4 (New International Version)
[2] For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, [3] how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. [4] God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

Doug


Doug

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Re: Delusion of infernal torment: a pagan superstition
« Reply #21 on: July 10, 2009, 01:26:47 AM »

Quote from: Beloved Servant on July 07, 2009

I understand what you mean Jab.
It's the difference between imputed righteousness and the overcomer.


The quoted comment seems to imply that there is a difference between those who have righteousness imputed to them, and those who "overcome." But in Romans 4:16-24, Paul cites Abraham as an example of a person to whom righteousness was "imputed." Abraham's faith was tried, after Isaac was born, when he offered him up. Wouldn't that make him an "overcomer"?

Doug

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Re: Delusion of infernal torment: a pagan superstition
« Reply #22 on: July 10, 2009, 08:11:46 AM »
Not sure Doug,
Maybe the fact that he was born B.C. has something to do with it.

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Re: Delusion of infernal torment: a pagan superstition
« Reply #23 on: July 11, 2009, 03:20:51 AM »
 :cloud9: LOVE that picture you've got there, Beloved Servant.  :thumbsup:
"I would rather train twenty men to pray, than a thousand to preach; A minister's highest mission ought to be to teach his people to pray." -H. MacGregor

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Re: Delusion of infernal torment: a pagan superstition
« Reply #24 on: July 11, 2009, 11:42:52 PM »
Things have changed little since the days of the pyramids; the dark horse of Egypt.

"When riding a dead horse; change the rider."

Just a bit greenish, putting on the inner/outer garments of Christ, and resting in peace.

Peacemaker

(Doug, appreciate what you are writing here)
« Last Edit: July 12, 2009, 12:27:17 AM by peacemaker »