Author Topic: The better land  (Read 18339 times)

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Re: The better land
« Reply #50 on: September 20, 2012, 06:32:52 AM »
The Temple-River of Ezekiel 47:1-12 implies that there is a land through which it flows, and which is healed because of it. What is the land? Is it the same as the better land of Hebrews 11:16?

The story of Moses striking the rock in the wilderness which brought forth water has a profound significance, and the theme of water and rivers as symbols of the Spirit flows like a river throughout both the Old and New Testaments. The Jerusalem temple was built above the site of a spring, called Gihon, which was also the name of one of the rivers in Eden. Solomon was crowned king there. [1 Kings 1:32-35]

Fountains and rivers are connected with God's throne, and the temple. David wrote:

Psalm 36:7-9
How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.
For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.

Isaiah said Jerusalem would be a place of "broad rivers and streams," that obviously could not exist with the present topography there, and would be even less plausible, if the city was raised up in a physical way as described in Isaiah 2:2 and in Zechariah 14:10.

Isaiah 33:20-22
Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken.
But there the glorious LORD will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby.

Jerusalem was raised up, when Jesus ascended to heaven, and to his Father's throne, after his resurrection, and he fulfilled Isaiah's prophecy.

Joel said, "a fountain shall come forth out of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim." [Joel 3:18] The valley of Shittim is on the east of the Jordan River. The prophecy seems absurd if it is taken literally. How could a river from the temple cross the Dead Sea and flow uphill to Shittim? Understood spiritually, the prophecy makes sense, as it alludes to the events there before Israel entered the promised land. Shittim represents the place where the Israelites were seduced because of the prophet Balaam. This is referred to in the message to one of the churches in Revelation, and given a spiritual significance.

Revelation 2:14
But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

The spiritual waters from the true temple, the church, are a cure to the sin of spiritual fornication which Paul alludes to in 2 Cor. 11:2-4. See also James 4:4.

The following is a discussion of the word proseucha which is used in the New Testament, referring to a place of prayer near a river. The discussion includes some information about the association of rivers and water with places of worship in New Testament times, from: John McClintock, James Strong. Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, Volume 8. Harper, 1883. pp. 664-665.

[begin quote]

Proseucha (προσευχῇ) a word signifying "prayer" and always so translated in the A. V. It is, however, applied, per meton., to a place of prayer—a place where assemblies for prayer were held, whether a building or not. In this sense some hold it to be mentioned in Luke vi, 12, where it is said that our Saviour went up into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in the proseucha of God (ἐν τῇ προσευχῇ τοῦ θεοῦ), which can very well bear the sense our translators have put upon it —"in prayer to God." Yet Whitby and others infer, from the use of parallel phrases, such as "the mount of God," " the bread of God," " the altar of God," "the lamp of God," etc., which were all things consecrated or appropriated to the service of God, that this phrase might here signify "an oratory of God," or a place that was devoted to his service, especially for prayer. In this sense the word must certainly be understood in Acts xvi. 13, where we are informed that Paul and his companions, on the Sabbath day, went out of the city, by the river side, οὗ ἐνομίζομεν προσευχὴν εἶναι, which the A. V. renders " where prayer was wont to be made." But the Syriac here has, "because there was perceived to be a house of prayer;" and the Arabic, "a certain place which was supposed to be a place of prayer." In both these versions due stress is laid upon οὗ ἐνομίζομεν, where there was taken, or supposed to be —or where, according to received custom, there was, or where there was allowed by law—a prostucha, oratory or chapel; and where, therefore, they expected to meet an assembly of people. Bos contends (Exercit. Philol.. ad loc.), however, that the word ἐνομίζομεν is redundant, and that the passage ought simply to be, "where there was a proseucha;" but in this he is ably opposed by Eisner (Obsere. Sacr.: ad loc,). See Philippi.

That there really were such places of devotion among the Jews is unquestionable. They were mostly outside those towns in which there were no synagogues, because the laws or their administrators would not admit any. This was, perhaps, particularly the case in Roman cities and colonies (and Philippi, where this circumstance occurred, was a colony); for Juvenal (Sat. iii, 296) speaks of proseuchæ, not synagogues, at Rome. They appear to have been usually situated near a river or the seashore, for the convenience of ablution (Josephus, Ant. xiv, 10, 23). Josephus repeatedly mentions proseuchæ in his Life, and speaks of the people being gathered into the proseuchæ (44, 46). Sometimes the proseucha was a large building, as that at Tiberias (l. c. 54), so that the name was sometimes applied even to synagogues (Vitringa, Synag. Vet. p. 119). Proseuchæ are frequently mentioned as buildings by Philo, particularly in his oration against Flaccus, where he complains that the proseuchæ of the Jews were pulled down, and that no place was left them in which to worship God and pray for Caesar (Philo, in Flacc. in Op. p. 752). But, for the most part, the proseuchæ appear to have been places in the open air, in a grove, or in shrubberies, or even under a tree, although always, as we may presume, near water, for the convenience of those ablutions which with the Jews always preceded prayer, as, indeed, they did among the pagans, and as they do among the Moslems at the present day. The usage of the latter exhibit something answering to the Jewish proseucha; in the shape of small oratories, with a niche indicating the direction of Mecca, which is often seen in Moslem countries by the side of spring, a reservoir, or a large water-jar, which is daily replenished for the use of travellers (Whitby, De Dieu, Wetstein, Kuinol, on Acts xvi, 13; Jennings, Jewish Antiquities, p. 379-382; Prideaux, Connection, ii, 556).—Kitto.

"Questions have been raised," says the late Dr. M'Farlan, of Renfrew, "as to the origin of these, and their being or not being the same with the synagogue. Philo and Josephus certainly speak of them and the synagogues as if they were substantially one. The former expressly declares that they were places of instruction. 'The places dedicated to devotion,' says he, 'and which are commonly called proseuchæ, what are they but schools in which prudence, fortitude, temperance, righteousness, piety, holiness, and every virtue are taught—everything necessary for the discharge of duty, whether human or divine.' As the writer's observations were chiefly confined to the Jews of Alexandria and other parts of Egypt, this description will chiefly apply to these. But there is no doubt, on the other hand, that where synagogues existed, and especially in Judea, they did to some extent differ. We are therefore very much disposed to concur in the opinion that the oratory was substantially and in effect a synagogue. But the latter was the more perfect form, and required, for its erection and support, special means. There was in every synagogue a local court, deriving its authority, at, least in Judea, from the Sanhedrim; and there were office-bearers to be maintained; whereas in the oratory there does not seem to have been any very fixed or necessary form of procedure. These might, for aught that appears, have been all or substantially all which belonged to the synagogue, or it might be little more than what we would call a prayer-meeting. Hence, perhaps, the reason of the prevalence of the one—the synagogue—in Judæa, and of the other in Egypt and other countries not subject to Jewish laws."

It is highly probable that proseuchae existed long before synagogues. "It is remarkable," continues Dr. M'Farlan, "that the only places where Daniel is said to have been favored with visions, during the day, were by the sides of rivers (Dan. viii. 2, 16; also x, 4; xii, 5, 7; and ix, 21), the very places where oratories were wont to be. Ezekiel also received his commission by one of the rivers of Babylon, and when 'among the captives' of Israel (Ezek. i, 1). And he afterwards mentions his having received visions in the same circumstances (iii, 15, 16). And Ezra, also, when leading back Israel to the land of their fathers, proclaimed and observed a fast with them by the way; and, as if to keep up the same tender associations, he assembled them by the river Ahava, where they remained three days (Ezra viii, 15, 32). But the very finest illustration which occurs is that contained in the 137th Psalm — 'By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down; yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion' (1-3). The people of Israel were accustomed, in after-times, to make choice of the banks of rivers for their oratories, and this point of agreement is one of the grounds on which we are proceeding. But it will hold equally good, whether the Israelitish captives followed, in this, the example of their fathers, or whether, as is more probable, their circumstances in Babylon led to this choice. It is not unlikely that this led to a similar choice in aftertimes, and particularly in foreign countries. The poor captives of Babylon had perhaps no other covering or even enclosure than the willows of the brook; and thus may they have been driven, when seeking to worship the God of their fathers, into the woody margins of Babylon's many rivers. Meeting in such places, as they had been accustomed to do in the oratories of their native land, it is not wonderful that many tender associations should be renewed."

After the return of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity, synagogue worship was much enlarged and improved, while oratories gradually diminished in number and importance. Hence, in later times, oratories were chiefly found in countries beyond the land of Israel. Under the Roman government synagogues were discountenanced, but oratories, or places of meeting for devotional exercises, were generally permitted all over the empire. Dr. Lardner thinks that the synagogue mentioned in Acts vi. 9 was really an oratory; and Josephus speaks of a very large one in the city of Tiberias. But it was chiefly in foreign parts that proseuchæ in later times were found. Josephus, in detailing the decree passed in favor of the Jews at Halicarnassus, says, "We have decreed that as many men and women of the Jews as are willing so to do may celebrate their Sabbaths and perform their holy offices according to the Jewish laws; and may make their proseuchæ at the sea-side, according to the custom of their forefathers." —Gardner, Faiths of all Nations, s. v. See Riddle, Christian Antiquities (see Index); Stillingfleet, Works, vol. i; and the monographs cited by Volbeding, Index Programmatum, p. 76. See Chapel; Oratory.


« Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 05:11:52 PM by Doug »

Offline eaglesway

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Re: The better land
« Reply #51 on: September 21, 2012, 07:11:54 AM »
Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being(holy of holies/throne of God) will flow rivers of living water.'" But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
(Joh 7:37-39)

Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.
(Rev 22:1-5)
The Logos is complete, but it is not completely understood.

Offline sheila

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Re: The better land
« Reply #52 on: September 21, 2012, 05:02:40 PM »
Eastern tribes return home  Joshua 22  then Joshua summoned the Reubenites the Gadites and the half tribe of

 Manasseh and said to them. You have done all that  Moses the  servant of the Lord commanded.

  and you have obeyed me in everything I commanded.  For a long time now,to this very day,you

  have not  desserted your brothers.  But have carried out the mission the Lord your God gave you.

   Now that the Lord your God has given your brothers rest as He promised. Return to your homes

  that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you on the other side of the Jordan..

   when Joshua sent them home he blessed them,saying."Return to your homes with your great wealth

  with large herds of livestock,with silver gold bronze and iron[from broken image of babylon?]

  and a great quantity of clothing-and divide with your brothers the plunder from your enemies


Offline sheila

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Re: The better land
« Reply #53 on: September 21, 2012, 05:41:27 PM »
 they built an altar east of the Jordan those 21/2 tribes as a wittness...later they were accused of rebellion

  over it.....what do you think the spiritual significance is as to the promised land..and tol on both sides of the Jordan


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Re: The better land
« Reply #54 on: September 21, 2012, 06:28:53 PM »
Rivers bring the water from places where the rain falls, or from high snowy mountains, to places that normally receive very little rain. The prophetic rivers are metaphors. Rain represents God's word, and the prophetic rivers are streams of God's revelations, themes of knowledge that extend throughout the Bible. Isaiah said,

Isaiah 55:10-11
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

The rivers depict themes of the gospel, and they are parables, that illustrate how God's promises work out through the ages.

The teachings of the apostles in the New Testament are but larger streams and rivers of the principles and concepts revealed in the Old Testament, especially the promise given to Abraham, which Paul calls the gospel, "In thee shall all nations be blessed." [Gal. 3:8] This brief statement, but a stream in Genesis, grows in significance, with further revelations, and eventually, in the New Testament, the promises made to the patriarchs and their progeny are extended to people of all nations, who become the seed of Abraham by faith.

Ezekiel's prophecy in Ezek. 47:1-11 describes a river which originates at the temple and flows through the wilderness, causing trees to flourish along its course. Fish are plentiful in it. Men cast nets along its banks. When the river reaches the sea, the waters of the sea are healed.

If the course of the river is time, the place where it empties into the sea, and heals the waters of the sea, represents the ulimate effect of the gospel, and a time when the knowledge of God fills the earth, as the waters cover the sea. [Isa. 11:9; Hab. 2:14]

In this view, Ezekiel's prophecy indicates that the benefits of the healing waters are available now, and in all ages before that ultimate healing event occurs, as the river heals the wilderness areas where it flows, and causes trees to flourish along its banks. But there are marshy and miry places which are not healed. They are given to salt. We need to avoid being stuck in such places.

The wilderness or desert is a prominent theme in prophecy, and it represents the spiritual environment of Christians, who have "escaped the corruption that is in the world." [2 Pet. 1:4] The bondage of sin is represented by Egypt, and Sodom. [Rev. 11:8] The sojourn of the Israelites in the wilderness before they came to the promised land is a metaphor of the church's present state. [1 Cor. 10:1-11; 2 Pet. 2:1]

The world's social systems, governments, philosophies, and religions are represented by the great city Babylon, in Revelation 18:1-4. Verse 4 says, "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."

Coming out of Babylon, which represents the world, implies going into a wilderness or desert. This concept is prominent in Revelation 12, where the church is represented by a woman in heaven, who is clothed with the sun, the sun being a symbol for the gospel, who also flees to the wilderness in verse 6, and in verse 14. These are complementary, because being in heaven in a spiritual sense involves one's separation from sin and the corruption of the world. Thus the faithful are described as "virgins" in Rev. 14:4, not because they lack sexual experience, but because they are not joined to the world spiritually and emotionally, but are joined to Christ.

In each of the two verses where the woman flees to the wilderness she has a place prepared by God, and is nourished there. The place prepared for her by God represents the spiritual environment in which Christians dwell in all ages of the church. Like as the Israelites camped in many places in the wilderness, the church has persevered through various spiritual and cultural environments, over the centuries, and today exists in all nations.

Jesus said to his disciples, "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." [John 14:2-3]

The "place" prepared for the woman in Rev. 12:6 and Rev. 12:14 is no doubt the same as the "place" Jesus prepares for the saints in John 14, which is called a wilderness, as it is separate and distinct from the world. "For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come." [Heb. 13:14]

The woman is threatened by a flood of water which the serpent casts out of his mouth, to carry her away in the torrent.

Revelation 12:15-16
And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

Pareus identified the floods from the serpent's mouth with heresies. He wrote: "For, as the doctrine of the Gospel proceeding out of the mouth of God is compared to streams of water, which none are able to resist, as Christ saith; 'He that believeth on me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water:' so the heresies coming out of the dragon's mouth, what are they but as a violent vomit or floods to swallow up the church?"

[Apocalypse, chap, xii., p. 278. Cited in: Augustus Clissold, The spiritual exposition of the Apocalypse, Volume 3. 1851.]

G. K. Beale, professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary, commented on the significance of the serpent's flood, and identified it with false teachings and similar influences that threaten the church. He wrote:

Therefore, OT and Jewish use of the flood waters metaphor and the use of mouth metaphors in the Apocalypse indicate that the image of the flood proceeding from the serpent's mouth portrays his attempt to destroy the church by deception and false teaching (see further below). V 15 presents the devil continuing to attempt to "deceive" the church, as he does "the whole inhabited earth," in keeping with his intrinsic trait (so 12:9, and as demonstrated in Matt. 24:24; Luke 22:31; John 13:2; 2 Cor. 2:11; 11:3, 13-15; 1 Tim. 2:14; Jub. 1:20; 1 En. 69:4). V 9 traced the first expression of this trait to Eden by calling the devil "that ancient Serpent...the one who deceives." This is picked up again in v 15 by the repeated reference to the devil as "the serpent." This name emphasizes the activity of deception here and further confirms that deception is the figurative focus of the picture of the river spewed forth by the serpent. Just as the serpent deceived the first woman with words, so he attempts to deceive the latter-day woman with a flood of words. Satanic agents--false teachers, compromisers, and demons--infiltrate the church to deceive her and contribute to her demise (cf. 2:14-16, 20-22; 3:15-17; cf. Rom. 16:17-20; 1 Tim. 4:1; 5:15; 2 Tim. 2:23-26). Chs. 2-3 have revealed that the churches to which John was writing had already begun to experience the devil's flood of deception (2:2, 14, 20), false accusations (2:9; 3:9), temptations, and persecution (2:10, 13). It is beyond coincidence that wherever chs. 2-3 mention these problems, the devil is mentioned as having his "synagogue" (2:9; 3:9), "throne" (2:13), or "deep things" (2:24) in those cities. The remainder of the book after ch. 12 will also focus on the problem of Satan's persecution and deception carried out by his agents, the beast (13:14; 19:20) and the Babylonian harlot (18:23; cf. also 13:11-17; 16:13; cf. generally chs. 13, 17-18).

[G. K. Beale. The Book of Revelation. New International Greek Testament Commentary. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1998.]

Many commentaries provide similar interpretations of the flood, but there is little consensus on what is meant by the earth opening her mouth and swallowing up the flood. Beale noted that this image alludes to the hosts of Pharaoh who drowned in the Red Sea at the time of the Exodus, and to the flood that threatens the city and the sanctuary in Dan. 9:26. Also, the earth opened its mouth, and swallowed up the familes of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram who challenged the authority of Moses. [Exod. 15:12; Num. 16:12-14; Deut. 11:5-6; Psa. 106:17]

The literalist approach says that all the prophecies about the land, the mountains, and rivers refer to the literal Canaan, literal mountains, and literal rivers, and so that kind of interpretation obscures the spiritual significance of these figures, like clouds and mists that obscure the peaks of the mountains. Typically, the literalists deny that the promises in scripture, such as the healing waters of the river from the temple, apply during the present age, and they say it is for a future millennium, or to the after-life. They deny that possessing the promised land, and possessing the mountains of Israel, are promises that apply to those who are in Christ now. Instead, they say that all these promises are literal, and apply to ethnic Jews. IMO, their interpretations involve "dumbing down" prophecy, and contribute to the "flood" that the serpent spews from his mouth in order to carry away the woman.

Perhaps the earth opening its mouth and swallowing up the flood is the land, [Gk. ge] the promised land, which represents the spiritual things promised to the saints, including understanding prophecy. Jesus said the Spirit would guide his disciples to all truth. "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come." [John 16:13]

The land that swallows up the serpent's flood is the better land, which is the spiritual place to which the Spirit of Christ guides us. It is a metaphorical wilderness, one that prophecy shows will flourish and blossom. "The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose." [Isa. 35:1] "Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert." [Isa. 35:6] "I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water." [Isa. 41:18]


Offline eaglesway

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Re: The better land
« Reply #55 on: September 21, 2012, 07:41:23 PM »
they built an altar east of the Jordan those 21/2 tribes as a wittness...later they were accused of rebellion

  over it.....what do you think the spiritual significance is as to the promised land..and tol on both sides of the Jordan

Sometimes the good we once did in obedience to the voice of the Lord becomes an idol and we put the memory of it ahead of "Today, if you hear His voice harden not your hearts".  Then, the good that brought us into the land becomes the evil that leads us into captivity.

This altar probably became as a high place.

We sometimes set the place of our accomplishments and revelations above Jerusalem, the joy of the whole earth, the dwelling place of the soles of His feet.

"If I forget you O Jerusalem may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth and my right hand lose its skill."

« Last Edit: September 21, 2012, 07:46:10 PM by eaglesway »
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Offline sheila

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Re: The better land
« Reply #56 on: September 21, 2012, 09:09:06 PM »
I just read a scripture about the righteousness of the righteous one will not be remembered in the day he turns to unrighteousness.  However,

   they were not disciplened over it and a plea for it as a wittness only between them was heeded.......heart motive...the law covenant and how it is

  fulfilled in the promised seed/Christ......or an altar of rebellion against the acceptance of the altar on the other side of the Jordan.




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Re: The better land
« Reply #57 on: October 06, 2012, 06:35:23 PM »
Isaiah wrote:

Isaiah 40:3-5
The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

How are mountains made low? The mountains in this prophecy are not the literal, earthly mountains, but they are symbols of the promises and blessings of God to his saints, which are spiritual. The mountains were prominent parts of the promised land, and the highest parts of it, and so they represent the blessings Jacob received, in the blessing he gave to Joseph. [Gen. 49:26]  See this file for a full discussion.

In prophecy, several mountains are spoken of as particularly high. Ezekiel spoke of Israel as "mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel," in Ezekiel 17:23, 20:40. He said, when he was brought to Jerusalem in vision to measure the temple, "In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain, by which was as the frame of a city on the south." [Ezekiel 40:2]

This is similar to John's vision of the heavenly Jerusalem. He also invoked a high mountain.

Revelation 21:9-10
And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

Neither of these are literal mountains. When Jesus was tempted, he was taken up to a high mountain. Again, not a literal one.

Luke 4:5
And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.

The mountains have a spiritual significance. And in Isaiah's prophecy that mountains would be "made low," the mountains this applies to also have spiritual meaning. No literal mountains were made low, as a result of John the Baptist's preaching. No literal mountains were made low, because of the preaching of Jesus. No literal mountains were made low, because of the preaching of the apostles. But they did make a spiritual highway in the wilderness, for people to find their way to God. The New Testament is that highway, that has led people to salvation for centuries. This highway is the gospel.

What is it that makes mountains low? One example is taking spiritual promises meant for the church, and "dumbing down" those promises to make them apply to ethnic Jews, and the earthly Jerusalem. This is degrading to the word of God. It limits the scope of those promises, and ignores their spiritual significance.

This "dumbing down" approach to prophecy appeals to carnal minds. Paul said, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." [1 Cor. 2:14]

Natural minds cannot grasp spiritual things. The spiritual things seem foolish to them. And so those who want to sell their books to a large number of people, typically prefer a "dumbing down" approach to prophecy. I suggest this also fulfils Isaiah's prophecy, "every mountain and hill shall be made low," as those mountains and hills are symbols of God's promises and revelations. And, who can be surprised, that it works? These false teachers succeed in selling many books, and make lots of money! But their judgment is coming. Peter wrote:

2 Peter 2:1-3
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

The whole chapter is about the judgment of the false teachers, and no doubt it includes those who practice a "dumbing down" approach to prophecy, which has been one of the ways Isaiah's prophecy is fulfilled: "every mountain and hill shall be made low."

Consider Jerusalem in prophecy. Hebrews 12:22-24 says:

But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

Everyone who believes in Christ has come to the heavenly Jerusalem. It is God's "holy mountain." Jesus called it "the city of the great King." So, why would some imagine that the prophecies about Jerusalem and her future glory, apply to the earthly city? This degrades those prophecies, and makes them small, and makes them apply to an ethnic group and a religion which denies Jesus is the Christ, and Lord of all, whereas those promises and prophecies apply to a spiritual nation, consisting of people from every land, race, and nation.

Isaiah's prophecy about every mountain and hill being made low has come to pass. Those who misinterpret prophecy, who practice a "dumbing down" approach to interpretation, claiming to have a "literal" view, have made those prophecies low, and brought them into reproach, and a derision in the world. IMO.


« Last Edit: October 06, 2012, 06:42:03 PM by Doug »

Offline sheila

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Re: The better land
« Reply #58 on: October 06, 2012, 07:53:19 PM »















Offline Paul L

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Re: The better land
« Reply #59 on: October 06, 2012, 08:05:53 PM »

Isaiah's prophecy about every mountain and hill being made low has come to pass. Those who misinterpret prophecy, who practice a "dumbing down" approach to interpretation, claiming to have a "literal" view, have made those prophecies low, and brought them into reproach, and a derision in the world. IMO.


Doug, please do not take this in an offensive way, but Preterism, RePlacement Theology, or whatever else you want to call your sermons, these are "a derision in the world" today.

Offline sheila

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Re: The better land
« Reply #60 on: October 06, 2012, 08:33:52 PM »













Offline sheila

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Re: The better land
« Reply #61 on: October 06, 2012, 09:39:33 PM »













Offline thinktank

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Re: The better land
« Reply #62 on: October 07, 2012, 01:04:01 AM »
The land of Israel used to be barren land, but now it is a fruitful land filled with all sorts of agriculture.

The land has recently found gas and oil sand shales deposits that match Saudi Arabia.

They have giant vegtables growing there.

A fighting fit military with advanced technology that surpasses all its neighbours. some of its technology such as the anti missile system is something usa does not posses.


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Re: The better land
« Reply #63 on: October 07, 2012, 04:15:15 PM »
In prophecy, landforms such as mountains, and rivers, and natural phenomena such as clouds, rain, and trees, etc., are symbols that are used to represent spiritual things. The Spirit of God is often represented by water. In Zechariah 14:8 the gospel going forth from the church is represented by the figure of rivers of living water flowing from Jerusalem. Some dispensationalists, however, have obscured the significance of this prophecy by claiming it refers to literal rivers that will flow from the earthly Jerusalem in the Millennium. This is a "dumbing down" of prophecy, and a "wooden literalism," that works against the gospel.

Zechariah's prophecy about the rivers of living waters can only be understood if the Jerusalem referred to is the heavenly one. The living waters are the Spirit and the truth of the gospel that flow from the church, which is the Jerusalem above, of which Jesus is the temple. [Gal. 4:24-26, Rev. 21:22]

The apostle Peter wrote of the false teachers, "These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever." [2 Peter 2:17]

In contrast to clouds, Christ is represented by a rock, or a mountain. Jacob called the pillow stone which he anointed, after his dream at Bethel, God's house. "And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. … And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee." [Gen. 28:18, 22]

Deuteronomy 32:4 says: "He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he." [See also Deuteronomy 32:18; 1 Samuel 2:2; 2 Samuel 22:32; Psalm 18:2, 31; 42:9; 78:35; 94:22]

Literalism is discredited by the scriptures that say God is a rock.

Psalm 118:22, "The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner" is quoted several times in the New Testament, in Matthew 21:41; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17; Acts 4:11; 1 Peter 2:6-7.

Isaiah wrote:

Isaiah 28:16
Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

Christ is the foundation stone. Alluding to this, Paul said, "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." [1 Cor. 3:11]

Christ's kingdom is the stone that smote the metallic image in the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, which Daniel interpreted as representing the successive world kingdoms. [Daniel 2:35] The stone "became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth."

Zechariah wrote: "And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it." [Zech. 12:3] Here, the "burdensome stone" is the same one that is mentioned in Daniel 2:35. It is the kingdom of Christ, which was raised up when Jesus ascended to heaven, after he rose from the grave, as foretold in Isaiah 2:2. That is when Jerusalem became the heavenly city. Belief in dispensationalism, however, blinds people to this great truth.

Jesus said, in the sermon on the mount, "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock." [Matt. 7:24] He is represented by a rock, and his words are also a rock. He is the Word.

When Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ, Jesus said this was revealed to him by God, and said that this truth was a "rock" upon which he would build his church. "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." [Matt. 16:18]

The theories of John N. Darby, however, undermine the truth that Christ reigns upon the throne of David, over the twelve tribes of Israel. It is claimed by some that his kingdom was "postponed" because Jews did not believe in him. But the fact is those Jews who did not believe were cut off from Israel, and the promises. They are no longer Israel. Paul said, "For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel." [Rom. 9:6]

Those who did not believe in Christ are called branches broken off from their tree. But dispensationalism tries to thwart these fundamental gospel truths, and says, ethnic Jews still have a right to possess the land of Canaan. They do not believe what Peter taught in Acts 3:22-24.

Acts 3:22-24
For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.

Dispensationalism denies that all the prophets spoke of "these days." They claim much of prophecy applies to a future seven year tribulation, after the church is "raptured" up to heaven!

Dispensationalism is promoted by those Peter called "clouds that are carried with a tempest." It contrasts with the "rock" of God's word, and the "rock" which is Jesus Christ. Paul wrote of the Israelites in the wilderness, "And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ." [1 Cor. 10:4]

Paul described the church as a temple built upon the prophets and apostles. He wrote: "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone." [Eph. 2:19-20] This scripture is one of many that are fatal to dispensationalism, which tries to separate the prophets and saints of ancient Israel from the New Testament church.

Just as Christ is called a rock, the church, the heavenly Jerusalem is also described as a rock, a "stone most precious," in Revelation.

Revelation 21:10-11
And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.

« Last Edit: October 07, 2012, 04:19:23 PM by Doug »

Offline sheila

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Re: The better land
« Reply #64 on: October 07, 2012, 05:00:47 PM »
...and what is the accepting of them back in...but life from the dead...............

   the desert blosoming.    I think the sign in the earth/ likened to the salvation of all

  men.........for God makes His sun to shine on the wicked and the righteous...... those blinded to

  the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ..for a time....will live..even though they die..

     a shadow of the Heavenly City on earth...........

   and just as the camp of the Holy city is surrounded by Gog's crowd[salvation of all]  so too...the sign in the earth

  of God accepting back in those formerly surrounded by those in opposition..

Offline thinktank

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Re: The better land
« Reply #65 on: October 08, 2012, 11:15:26 PM »
Christ's kingdom is the stone that smote the metallic image in the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, which Daniel interpreted as representing the successive world kingdoms. [Daniel 2:35] The stone "became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth."

Zechariah wrote: "And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it." [Zech. 12:3] Here, the "burdensome stone" is the same one that is mentioned in Daniel 2:35. It is the kingdom of Christ, which was raised up when Jesus ascended to heaven, after he rose from the grave, as foretold in Isaiah 2:2. That is when Jerusalem became the heavenly city. Belief in dispensationalism, however, blinds people to this great truth.


The stone exists at the same time as these kings. The preterist cannot explain who these 10 toes are, despite the benefit of hindsight/history.

A dispensation believes these 10 kings are future and the stone also.
The great mountain that fills the earth is Christs millenium rule of peace, for the whole Earth. With no competing empires of antichrist powers.


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Re: The better land
« Reply #66 on: October 09, 2012, 12:56:49 AM »
Christ's kingdom is the stone that smote the metallic image in the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, which Daniel interpreted as representing the successive world kingdoms. [Daniel 2:35] The stone "became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth."

Zechariah wrote: "And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it." [Zech. 12:3] Here, the "burdensome stone" is the same one that is mentioned in Daniel 2:35. It is the kingdom of Christ, which was raised up when Jesus ascended to heaven, after he rose from the grave, as foretold in Isaiah 2:2. That is when Jerusalem became the heavenly city. Belief in dispensationalism, however, blinds people to this great truth.


The stone exists at the same time as these kings. The preterist cannot explain who these 10 toes are, despite the benefit of hindsight/history.

A dispensation believes these 10 kings are future and the stone also.
The great mountain that fills the earth is Christs millenium rule of peace, for the whole Earth. With no competing empires of antichrist powers.

Daniel did not say that the image has ten toes. He did not say that its toes represent individual kings. Also, he said nothing about the image having knees, fingers, eyes, ears or a nose. Why add things to what God revealed? In this case is not necessary to identify ten particular kings, as the prophecy does not mention them.

Theories and interpretations such as dispensationalism are like winds, blowing one way, and then another; the words of scripture are like solid rock. Daniel's prophecy is confirmed by the history of the world from Daniel's time to now. The rock cut out without hands is Christ, and the city he is preparing is the "mountain." [Psa. 147:2] In Isaiah 2:2, the "mountain of the Lord's house" is "established in the top of the mountains" and "exalted above the hills." This happened, when Jesus rose from the grave, and ascended to the throne of his Father. His kingdom, Daniel said, "shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." [Dan. 2:44]

The saints who are included in the heavenly Jerusalem are "circumcised," Paul said, with "the circumcision made without hands."

Colossians 2:10-12
And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 01:13:31 AM by Doug »

Offline eaglesway

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Re: The better land
« Reply #67 on: October 09, 2012, 08:34:16 AM »
The problem with dispensationalism vs preterism and vice versa is that both typically claim full knowledge of things Paul and John and Jesus(doh!) said they did not know. Jesus did not know the day or the hour, but it was 70 AD? Of curse we know that some major prophecy WAS fulfilled in &70 AD but why go beyond what was written. Then we have dispensationalists of many varied sorts and flavors walking around the word cordoning off truth from this time and that and these people and is all so tiring an so "sounding of gong and cymbals crashing". I have seen no spiritual power or evidence of "restoration manifestation" in ANY OF THEM. Just men devoid of truth wrangling about words to the deficit of the hearers.

Trying to digest meat when the milk is already curdled in their glasses because THEY WILL NOT DRINK IT AND HAVE NO TASTE FOR IT.

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
(Heb 5:12-14)

meat is about discernment of spirits

Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
(Jas 3:13-18)

But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. The Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.
(2Ti 2:23-26)

It would be so much better if the categorizations we heed could be dropped, because they don't mean anything really, they are MISDIRECTION. I know preterists who have an open mind and reasonable approach to discussing grey areas between the poles, but pure preterism as I have seen it is a slippery slope built on huge assumptions and exceptions to the written word. I know literalists who also have an ear to here what the Spirit is saying in the types and figures of scripture, but I know many who really think there is a building coming down out of the sky, a giant woman among the stars who will give birth and grow wings, I mean WHERE DO YOU DRAW THAT LINE LOL

However, I don't know any dispensationalists who have a clue. HAHAHAHAH Just kidding. No. Really. Dispensationalism is a singularly destructive approach to the scriptures as it often renders the word unable to weigh on the issues they have cordoned off into some special category. But then again even a measure of dispensational thinking is reasonable when we talk about the law and some similar issues where the new covenant has transcended the old, creating a dispensational exception to portions of old testament scripture.

Yet, at some point, there will be a (corporate)mature man, all come unto a unity in the faith(by grace and an outpouring of the Spirit surely LOL), grown unto full stature, unto the measure of the fulness of the son of God- NO LONGER AS A CHILD TOSEED TO AND FRO BY EVERY WIND OF DOCTRINE BUT SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE, EDIFYING THE BODY IN LOVE, GROWING UP IN ALL ASPECTS INTO THE HEAD, EVEN JESUS. Wow, let's all try that one on for size and see how it fits LOLOL

The Logos is complete, but it is not completely understood.


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Re: The better land
« Reply #68 on: October 09, 2012, 11:01:10 PM »
One of the differences between meat and milk is that chewing is necessary for eating meat, but not for milk. Infants lack teeth and the ability to break up chunks of solid food. But adults can handle solid food. The analogy with scripture is that mental "chewing" is needed for some types of spiritual food, while other things do not require mental "chewing," but can be easily understood, and swallowed "as is." But the things that Hebrews calls "strong meat" are for those who are spiritually mature. They are couched in prophetic language, which requires interpretation. They cannot be understood, unless properly interpreted. Those who take these prophecies in a literal sense become misguided, and deluded.

The Dispensationalists say that they take all prophecy literally, unless doing so makes no sense. But they are selective about what things to take literally, and what to interpret. And they disagree amongst themselves on many issues. Many examples can be provided, but the reality is, there is no scripture that says we are required to take prophecy literally. On the other hand, many scriptures indicate that prophecy must be interpreted. There are many examples in both the Old and New Testaments of prophecies and visions and dreams being interpreted. Some interpretations seem surprising, such as the interpretations Joseph gave of the dreams of the baker and the butler when he was in prison. However, his interpretations came to pass.

A basic passage in scripture that I believe teaches that prophecy must always be interpreted is Isaiah 28:9-11. "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people."

Again, milk and solid food are contrasted, as these represent two kinds of nourishment. One who is "weaned from the milk" has reached the stage of maturity, that he can handle solid food, that requires chewing. And "drawn from the breasts" implies he can learn things without a human teacher or guide.

"Another tongue," implies that interpretation is required. "Stammering lips" indicate that individual prophecies and revelations are incomplete, and cannot be understood in isolation from previous revelations, and the whole of scripture. It may take centuries for the complete revelation on a particular subject to be revealed. The Old Testament is incomplete; it is completed and fulfilled in the New. "Precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little" teaches that to find the meaning of prophecy, diligent searching and study is required. A superficial, shallow approach won't work. Revelation is cumulative; symbols have to be understood from previous revelations. Interpretations, not based upon scripture, are invalid. Peter said, "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation." [2 Peter 1:20]

When Jacob blessed his son Joseph, he said his blessings extended "unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills." [Genesis 49:26] This alludes to the height and durability of mountains, suggesting his blessings were spiritual, and eternal. Mountains are high, and endure for long periods of time; thus they suggest high and lofty ideas, and revelations of God, who says that his thoughts are higher than those of man. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." [Isaiah 55:9]

David said, "Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep." Here, mountains represent God's righteousness, while a "great deep," or a valley, represents God's judgments. Paul said, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith." [Rom. 1:16-17] The righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel, and David said God's righteousness resembles the great mountains. The great mountains are thus connected with the promises of the gospel, contained in the promise to Abraham, that in his seed all nations will be blessed.

Mountains also represent prophecies, and covenants; for example the mountain where Jesus gave his Sermon on the Mount, and the Mount of Olives, and Mount Sinai. Mountains that are displaced from their positions in Revelation 6:14 may represent flawed interpretations of the prophecies of scripture, and improper understanding of God's promises. Hills represent revelations of a less lofty nature. The prophecy does not necessarily mean mountains are literally moved around upon the earth's surface, and all islands disappear.

In Zechariah 14:4 the Mount of Olives represents the Olivet Discourse that Jesus gave to his disciples, when he was on that mountain. The Mount of Olives becoming cleaved in the midst, and the two halves moving apart in opposite directions, aptly portrays the theories of preterism and dispensationalism. They misinterpret the Olivet Discourse. One theory says that prophecy was all fulfilled in the past, and the other says that it applies to Jews in a future seven year tribulation. Zechariah said we should flee to the valley between the two halves. It is a figurative valley, and it  represents the present age of the church.

Isaiah wrote:

Isaiah 40:3-5
The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

In Isaiah's prophecy, rough places being made plain represent scriptures that are difficult to understand being explained. Crooked places that are made straight, means errors in doctrine will be set right. All of this assumes that the land in the prophecy is the "better land," the spiritual inheritance of the saints. The truth is the "promised land" of the saints.

Both natural and spiritual rivers are the subject of prophecy. The Jordan River [Psalm 114:3], the Euphrates [Revelation 9:14; 16:12], and the Nile [Genesis 15:18] are all natural, real rivers, though some of these are referred to symbolically and figuratively in scripture. Isaiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah and Joel said rivers will flow from Jerusalem and from the temple, that must be figurative. David said, "There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High." [Psalm 46:4]

Joel said the mountains will drop wine, and the hills will flow with milk. [Joel 3:18] Clearly the mountains and hills he referred to are not literal ones, but I suggest they represent promises in the scriptures that apply to the church, one of which is the promise of Jesus, that his Spirit will guide the church into all truth.

Streams of living water flow from Jerusalem in Zechariah 14:8, and similarly a river flows out from the temple in Ezekiel 47:7-9, and in Joel 3:18. Christians have traditionally understood this to represent the Spirit of God and the Gospel going forth from the Church.

Ezekiel said the Dead Sea will be healed by the river that flows from the temple. [Ezekiel 47:8] Joel said that the fountain from the house of the Lord will water the valley of Shittim. This valley lies east of the Jordan; for a river from Jerusalem to reach that area, it must somehow flow across the Dead Sea, and the Jordan River. It therefore cannot be a natural river, but it is a figure of the healing effect of the Spirit and the gospel, which heals spiritual plagues.

What merit is there in saying that the prophecies about the promised land must be taken as literal? It often leads to absurd conclusions, for example in Zechariah 14:4-5, it means people would flee towards the site of a major earthquake, which would be a rather foolish thing to do. The scripture itself shows that land has a spiritual meaning, and is metaphorical. Both Zechariah and Jesus encouraged the saints to "flee to the mountains," which are symbolic of the promises of God, and his righteousness. Isaiah said, "When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him." [Isa. 59:19]


Offline sheila

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Re: The better land
« Reply #69 on: October 10, 2012, 12:23:36 AM »
Amen,very edifying,brothers....

    there is one thing that comes to mind...and that is the words of eternal life in the gospel...

   these words are spirit and truth...........[back 2000 years ago and today!!]


       On that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives,east of Jerusalem...






   WITHOUT DAYTIME OR NIGHTIMEknown only to the Lord[no one knows that day or hour]


   on that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem..half to the eastern sea and half to the western

  in summer and in winter


   this is the plague with which the Lord will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem.

        their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets

     and their tongues will rot in their mouths...

   rot=corrupted fleshly interpretations dissolved.

Offline eaglesway

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Re: The better land
« Reply #70 on: October 10, 2012, 02:41:30 AM »
Meat does require chewing. It is the Spirit that gives us teeth.

 7 No, we declare God's wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as it is written:

"What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived"—
    the things God has prepared for those who love him—
10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
11 For who knows a person's thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for,

"Who has known the mind of the Lord
    so as to instruct him?"
But we have the mind of Christ.

Maturity is measured by the love of Christ within us and the degree of deliverance we hav received from self indulgence. As Paul later says to the Corinthians, if I have insight to all the deepest mysteries but have not love I am nothing.

This is why I teach that the CENTER OF THE GOSPEL IS ALWAYS THE DIVINE NATURE OF CHRIST. This is clear enough in the word and is the last step in milk before one may move on to meat. Christ and Him crucified. If I Be Lifted Up. In the beginning was the LOGOS and the LOGOS WAS GOD.

Heb 1:1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.

When interpreting and chewing and sharing the "mid-rash"(group chew :o) with the brethren is is also clear as Paul said, "We speak a wisdom among the mature, the hidden wisdom"

These things are hidden from all those who cannot stay "in the Spirit" and "in the love of Christ" because they are things that are only fruitful when handled in humility and spoken in love

Those who cannot do that get left behind, but they don't kno it, as they revolve around smaller and smaller hair splits and mind-numbing divisions.

Eph 4:15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Growing Up

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

The failure to understand that the foundational truth is that we must seek unity and speak the truth in love in order to "edify" one another rather than "conquer" opposing viewpoints shows the immaturity of the disciples involved
They have misplaced the deeper truths and are thus unfit for the hidden wisdom. It is like a man trying to fit through the eye of a needle. He may see through the needle, if he holds it close enough to his eye, glimpses of glory. BUT IN ORDER TO ENTER IN HE MUST BECOME SMALL ENOUGH TO GO THROUGH THE EYE OF THE NEEDLE.

PHil. 2:1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant
    being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

May the grace of God be upon us all.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2012, 02:44:40 AM by eaglesway »
The Logos is complete, but it is not completely understood.


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Re: The better land
« Reply #71 on: October 11, 2012, 04:35:14 PM »
Perhaps "having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind" is what prophecy is all about. Ezekiel 34 depicts Christ as searching for his sheep that are scattered upon the face of the earth, and bringing them back to feed upon the mountains of Israel. The sheep in the prophecy are not literal sheep, and neither are the mountains literal mountains. Rather, the mountains of Israel are symbols of revelations, prophecies and spiritual promises to the church. The sheep are identified as men in the prophecy. "And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord God." [Ezek. 34:31]

Jesus identified himself as the shepherd of the sheep. "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep." [John 10:11-13]

One of the most contentious issues in prophecy has been understanding the prophetic time periods, which are important, but widely misunderstood. While there are many interpretations that tend to scatter and separate believers from one another, wouldn't an interpretation tending to unify, and bring together the sheep who are scattered, be welcome?

There are two main camps which are wide apart on the time to which most prophecy applies. These are preterism and dispensationalism. But the middle way, which applies most prophecy to the whole church age, rather than to the first century, or to an alleged future seven year tribulation, after the church has been raptured to heaven, tends to reconcile people from both camps.

When we consider the introductory verses in the Olivet Discourse, is there anything about them that supports the preterist claim, that Jesus was speaking of events local to Jerusalem, in the first century? Or did he mention anything that supports the claim of dispensationalism, that he was speaking of events local to Jerusalem, in a future seven year tribulation? I think not. The things Jesus mentioned in Matthew 24:4-14, many deceivers, [vs. 4-5] wars and rumours of wars, nation rising against nation, kingdom against kingdom, famines, pestilences, earthquakes in divers places, [vs. 6] the saints hated of all nations, [vs. 9] many will be offended, [vs. 10] false prophets who deceive many, [vs. 11] and the gospel preached in all the world, are all events that apply to the whole church age, without exception. They are each global in scope, and not limited to the first century, or to a future seven year tribulation. They are not things that are local to the earthly Jerusalem. This strongly supports the conclusion that the things Jesus described in his Olivet Discourse should be understood as applying to the present age of the church, rather than to events at Jerusalem in the first century, or to Jews in a future seven year tribulation.

Signs such as "earthquakes in diverse places" would make no sense, if confined to first century Judea. The same applies to "nation shall rise against nation;" "ye shall be hated of all nations," and "this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations." These are events that by nature, cannot be restricted to Judea or Jerusalem, a fact which discredits the preterist interpretation. Jesus' statement in Matt. 24:34, "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled" must be understood in the light of the resurrection of Jesus. He remains alive, and continues to represent his generation, so it has not passed away. It is a unique generation, as it will remain forever.

A psalm written during the exile in Babylon focuses upon the city of Jerusalem:

Psalm 137:5-6
If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.

The exile was a crucial event in prophecy. Its duration was foretold by Jeremiah. Seventy years are mentioned in Jer. 25:11-12, and Jer. 29:10 says: "For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place."

Daniel refers to Jeremiah's prophecy in his prelude to the 70 weeks prophecy. [Dan. 9:4] In his prayer of confession, Daniel said that the curse of the law of Moses was poured out on Israel. He said: "Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him." [Dan. 9:11]

This alludes to the prophecy contained in Lev. 26, which specifies four periods of seven times of punishment that would come upon Israel, if they did not keep the covenant. Daniel said that it had begun. Perhaps the 70 years of exile in Babylon corresponds to the first of the four periods of "seven times" in Lev. 26. In the 70 weeks prophecy, three more periods of seven times are described, as each of the three sections of the 70 weeks is a period of "seven times," where "time" is a variable, that can take different units in the three sections.

In the last of the four periods of seven times in Lev. 26, God remembers his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This corresponds to Daniel 9:27, where Christ confirms his covenant with many for one week.

Using this principle, that "time" may take various units, the duration of the first two sections of the 70 weeks accurately points to the ministry of Jesus, taking the decree of Cyrus in 538 B.C. as the start date, and leap years as units in the first section. Seven weeks of leap years with 13 months spans 133 years, which is seven times, where a "time" is a week of leap years, or 19 years. The second section is also seven times, where a "time" is 62 years, the age of Darius when he became king of Babylon. The first two periods combined terminate in 28 A.D.

In the 70th week Christ confirms his covenant with many. This is also the period in which the city and sanctuary are destroyed, and an abomination of desolation is set up, and something is poured upon the place which is made desolate, referring to the anointing of the Spirit, one of the things promised in verse 24. 

The three and a half years of Jesus' ministry in the first century was the first half week, but then Jesus was crucified, and rose again, and ascended to the throne of his Father in heaven. This fulfilled Isaiah's prophecy, that the mountain of the Lord's house would be "established in the top of the mountains," and "exalted above the hills." Jerusalem was raised up, and became the heavenly Jerusalem, "the city of the great King." The units of the last half week are therefore not earthly units. With God, "one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." [2 Peter 3:8] The last half week spans the present age of the church, which is represented by the symbolic expression, "a time, times, and a half." This expression applies to the whole age of the church, not only in its entirety, but also to any portion of it.

The numbers mentioned in Daniel 12:11-12 are three years and a half, where the years are of two kinds; they consist of both regular years of 12 months, and leap years of 13 months, one year differing from the rest in each case. But this assumes that the months are exactly 30 days, which is not true of natural months, which are slightly less.

The image above is a 3D graph of the three prophetic time periods, 1,335 days, 1,290 days, and 1,260 days. 1,335 days and 1,290 days are mentioned in Daniel 12:11-12, and 1,260 days are mentioned in Rev. 11:3 and 12:6. Each of these periods are divided into three sections, which fit the pattern of "a time, times and a half." The "times" in each section of this expression may take different units. The units of one "time" may differ from the units of the remaining "times." The blue section represents the smallest period, of 1,260 days, which is represented as "a time, times and a half," where one "time" is one year of 12 months, "2 times" are 2 years of 12 months each, and a "half time" is six months, the months being 30 days. The gold section represents 1,290 days, which is similar to the blue section except that one "time" consists of a year of 13 months. In the orange section, representing 1,335 days, only one "time" is 12 months and the units of the remaining two and a half "times" are years of 13 months. The months are all 30 days.

The prophetic numbers that represent the time, times, and a half are a progression of smaller and smaller periods, depicting a diminishing time. The 1,335 days is the largest, and of this period Daniel wrote, "Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days." [Dan. 12:12] The one who waits is Christ, who waits while his church is built and made ready. I suggest that this number represents all the time from the crucifixion to the end of the age.

The 1260 day period is the duration of the ministry of the two witnesses, and the time when the woman in Rev. 12:6 sojourns in the wilderness, where she is nourished. The woman represents the saints.

After the Apocalypse was written, no further scriptural revelations were given to the church. The canon of scripture was sealed. Since the writing of the Apocalypse, the two witnesses, the Spirit and the Word of God, have remained in the world. The writing of the Apocalypse, probably about 95 AD, began the 1,260 days, which extends to the end of the age.

The 1,290 days is intermediate between the 1,335 days, and the 1,260 days. This number identifies the abomination of desolation. John referred to the Antichrist spirit, and he said there were already "many antichrists." This is the abomination of desolation. It has been active in the church, since about the time of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., which may have been a sign that the desolation of the heavenly Jerusalem was about to begin. [Luke 21:20]

The smallest number that fits the pattern of a time, times and a half is the three days and a half of Rev. 11:9-11. This signifies a short period near the end of the present age of the church. None of these are a literal three and a half years, as literal earth time does not apply to spiritual things. Jesus said, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." [Matt. 24:36]

« Last Edit: October 11, 2012, 05:18:08 PM by Doug »


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Re: The better land
« Reply #72 on: October 12, 2012, 03:18:38 PM »
Isaiah compared the word of God to rain, and snow. He wrote:

Isaiah 55:10-12
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Mountains and hills that sing, and trees that clap their hands, are certainly examples of poetic imagery, and not literal. The seed and bread, rain and snow, mountains and hills, and trees are all metaphors. The scene is a pleasing one, of a land of hills and mountains with luxurious growth, and of peace and joy.

In other scriptures, the word of God is compared to hail. The hail is associated with a strong rebuke, and with judgment.

Isaiah wrote, "Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand." [Isa. 28:2] Also in this chapter, he said hail will "sweep away the refuge of lies."

Isaiah 28:17
Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.

Hail, and fire, and a tempest are associated with God's anger. "And the Lord shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones." [Isa. 30:30]

Great hailstones and brimstone are among the things by which God contends with the invading hordes of Gog and Magog. "And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone." [Ezek. 38:22]

The first of seven trumpet plagues in Revelation consists of hail, fire, and blood. "The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up." [Rev. 8:7]

Such a hail storm is not a natural event. It refers to events of a spiritual nature. Isaiah compared people with grass. "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass." [Isa. 40:7]

Righteous people are sometimes likened to trees.

Psalm 1:3
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Also see Psalm 52:8; 92:12. The wicked are also compared to trees.

Psalm 37:35
I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.

Hail is one of the judgments of the seventh vial.

Revelation 16:21
And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

At Matthew Kneisler's web site The Biblical Hailstone, calculations are presented on the size of hailstones with the weight of a talent, and the wind speeds required to form them. Large hail is formed as hail is circulated by updrafts within storm clouds. For bigger hailstones, faster wind speeds are required. Kneisler's calculations on the hail described in Revelation 16:21 led him to conclude that such hail stones would be about 20 inches in diameter, and their formation would require wind speeds of about 370 miles per hour. In an F5 tornado, the wind speeds are in the range 261-318 mph.

Anyone struck by hail stones weighing about a talent would likely be killed, and probably would not survive long enough to blaspheme.

Natural hail is produced in thunderstorms, which are limited in extent. They consist of one or more cells, where hailstones grow as they are circulated in updrafts. According to an NOAA website, these cells typically exist for about 20 minutes, and the area affected by any cell is therefore limited. The site states the following about supercells, the most extreme form of natural thunderstorm:

    The supercell is a highly organized thunderstorm. Supercells are rare, but pose a high threat to life and property. A supercell is similar to the single-cell storm because they both have one main updraft. The difference in the updraft of a supercell is that the updraft is extremely strong, reaching estimated speeds of 150-175 miles per hour. The main characteristic which sets the supercell apart from the other thunderstorm types is the presence of rotation. The rotating updraft of a supercell (called a mesocyclone when visible on radar) helps the supercell to produce extreme severe weather events, such as giant hail (more than 2 inches in diameter, strong downbursts of 80 miles an hour or more, and strong to violent tornadoes.

    The surrounding environment is a big factor in the organization of a supercell. Winds are coming from different directions to cause the rotation. And, as precipitation is produced in the updraft, the strong upper-level winds blow the precipitation downwind. Hardly any precipitation falls back down through the updraft, so the storm can survive for long periods of time.

    The leading edge of the precipitation from a supercell is usually light rain. Heavier rain falls closer to the updraft with torrential rain and/or large hail immediately north and east of the main updraft. The area near the main updraft (typically towards the rear of the storm) is the preferred area for severe weather formation.

In Revelation 16:21, the hailstones are not like those of natural thunderstorms, as John says "there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent."

In natural thunderstorms with hail, the hail stones vary greatly in size. A storm where every hail stone is about the same weight and size would not be a natural one. Neither would a natural thunderstorm affect mankind generally, as the cells of a thunderstorms are generally brief in duration and of limited extent. So John must be describing a spiritual kind of hail.

His statement that every hailstone was about a talent in weight not only eliminates any natural type of thunderstorm, but possibly links these events to the parable of Jesus about the talents.

In this parable, a man who had several servants travels to a far country. He issues talents to his servants. The man who received five talents traded them, and made five more. The man who received two, traded his and gained two more. The man who received one, buried it in the ground.

The parable of the talents is included in the Olivet Discourse, and so the talents may represent the prophecy that Jesus gave to his disciples, and to the church. All the saints have received the scriptures, and the same word of prophecy.

Just as two of the servants in the parable were creative in the way they used the talents they received, some are creative in their use of prophecy. Trading with talents is similar to applying the scriptures to our lives in various ways. Some make use of the message of prophecy. They let the sense and meaning of the word develop and mature, so it becomes more meaningful, and eventually it turns into something greater, and more valuable, than what they received. They are "fruitful." This typically applies when a person is willing to interpret the scriptures according to the spirit, rather than according to the letter.

In contrast, the man who received only one talent buried it in the ground. This is like the attitude of those who insist that the words of scripture can mean only what they literally say. Typically, such people disregard scholarship, and reject the interpretations of Christians of previous centuries.

For them, the great earthquake in Revelation 16:18 must mean a literal earthquake; islands that "fled away" in verse 20 must be literal islands; mountains that can't be found are literal mountains; hail is literal hail, etc. In the judgment, the person who received one talent, which he buried in the ground, says to Christ, "Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine." [vs. 24-25]

The Lord answered him: "Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." [vs. 26-30]

I suggest that the hail in Revelation 16:20 where every stone weighs about a talent links to this famous parable of Jesus. The talents may represent God's word, including prophecies that like the talents in the parable are given to us to use, and become fruitful in Christ's kingdom.

A literal approach to many of the judgments described in scripture causes men to blaspheme: "and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great."

Taking prophecy literally often leads to absurd conclusions. Some who lack understanding, make ridiculous claims about God's judgments, and cause others to blaspheme. Paul noted that this problem existed among Jews in the first century. He said, "For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written." [Rom. 2:24]

« Last Edit: October 12, 2012, 05:45:32 PM by Doug »

Offline sheila

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Re: The better land
« Reply #73 on: October 12, 2012, 05:15:53 PM »
hard cold truth from heaven can  break men's refuge of a lie.  Mic[hael......

   truth can be devastating when it falls from the heavens upon you...but you can also pick it up

  add waters of life to it..and be very refreshed!!!


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Re: The better land
« Reply #74 on: October 13, 2012, 06:39:34 PM »
A skeptic reading about the conversion of Saul, in the New Testament, might say, "well, if Jesus Christ were to reveal himself to me from heaven as a bright shining light, and if he spoke to me personally, like he did to Paul, I would certainly be a believer too!" And, who would not believe, if he were witness to miracles such as those that Jesus and the Apostles performed, or if he actually experienced a miracle himself first-hand?

But today, real evidence of miracles is rare. The philosophers say that second-hand belief in miracles is fallacious. Scottish philosopher and skeptic David Hume (1711-1776) argued that one is never justified in crediting second-hand testimony to miraculous events. Many agreed with him. But Hume then tried to extend his argument, in a vain attempt to discredit prophecy. In his Enquiry concerning Human Understanding he wrote, "What we have said of miracles may be applied, without any variation, to prophecies; and indeed, all prophecies are real miracles, and as such only, can be admitted as proofs of any revelation." Hume's reasoning was flawed, because the fulfilment of prophecy is unlike miracles. Whereas the miracles described in the New Testament are second-hand to us, the fulfilment of Bible prophecy is evident to everyone today, and it becomes more plain and obvious with time, which is why Jesus said to "watch."

This leads us to consider what is the role of prophecy for today. Fulfilled prophecy is the foundation for belief and faith in God for many.

People today are not eye witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus, as the apostles were, but instead, we have the witness of prophecy. The Reformers recognized that in the history of the church, prophecy was fulfilled. They applied the prophecy in Daniel 7 to the present age of the church. But that view was obscured by futurism, and by preterism, which interpret most of the prophecies the Reformers had applied to the history of the church to ethnic Jews in a future seven year tribulation, or to Jews in the first century.

A key to understanding the church's history, and how it illustrates the fulfilment of prophecy over the centuries, is the expression in both Daniel and Revelation, "a time, times and a half," and applying this symbolic period to the whole age of the church. The numbers in Daniel 12:11-12, and Revelation 11:3, and 12:6, fit this patten, as illustrated in the graph below.

Henry More (1614-1687) was the author of an influential commentary on the Apocalypse, Apocalypsis apocalypseos; or, the Revelation of St John the Divine unveiled. (London, 1680).

In More's opinion, the 1,260 days of the two witnesses were symbolic of 1,260 years, which had already expired. He sought a coherent, rational approach to interpreting prophecy that pointed not to a future revolution in the political and social world, but to an inner transformation leading to the triumph of the "Divine Life" in all believers.

More was a Universalist. He followed Origen in believing in the pre-existence of the individual soul before its incarnation, discussed in his The Praeexistency of the Soul, 1647.

As a Platonist, More thought of God as morally perfect, and unimpeachable. John Henry stated that More believed that God should not be charged with "colluding with the illicit sexual acts of sinners by intervening in their acts to create souls for their illegitimate progeny. As More later put it in the notes to his edition of George Rust's Origenian Discourse of Truth (1682), God must not be made to 'bear a part amongst Pimps and Bawds, and pocky whores and Whoremasters, to rise out of his Seat for them, and by a free Act of Creation of a Soul, to set his seal of connivance to their Villanies' (More 1682, 9). Furthermore, while he was adopting ideas from Origen, More also embraced the Origenian belief in universal salvation--the idea that all souls would eventually be saved and rewarded with heavenly bliss." [John Henry (2012). Henry More.]

On More's views on the effectiveness of miracles as supporting Christian belief, Peter Harrison wrote:

As early as the mid-seventeenth century Cambridge Platonist Henry More had argued that "no miracle, though done by such as may seem of an unexceptionable life and of more singular sanctity, can in reason ratify any doctrine or practice that is repugnant to rightly circumscribed sense, or natural truths, or science...." More goes on to explain his reasoning in a remarkable anticipation of Hume's argument:

The truth of this is manifest from hence, That no man can be so certain that such a man is not a crafty and cautious hypocrite, and his miracle either a juggle or delusion of the Devil, or (if he was not an eye-witness of it) a false report of a miracle, as he is certain of rightly circumstantiated sense, of common notions and natural science, or the articles of the Apostolic Faith, or of any plain assertion in Scripture. And therefore that which is most certain in this case ought in all reason to be our guide.

On the face of it More's argument seems rather reckless, as he appears to overlook the fact that "plain assertions in Scripture" may include testimonies to miraculous events, and thus scripture itself may fail the test. However, More was not wholly oblivious to the dangers of his own argument. "The true and primarie sense of Holy Scripture," he insists, "is literal or historical, unless ... the literal meaning be repugnant to rightly circumstantiated sense or natural science &c."

[Henry More, A Brief Discourse of the True Grounds of the Certainty of Faith in Points of Religion, in Theological Works (London, 1708), 769. Cited in: Peter Harrison. Prophecy, Early-Modern Apologetics, and Hume's Argument against Miracles. 1999.]

More's assertion that "The true and primarie sense of Holy Scripture is literal or historical, unless ... the literal meaning be repugnant to rightly circumstantiated sense or natural science" anticipates the so-called "golden rule" of dispensationalist David L. Cooper (1886-1965): "when the plain sense of scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths indicate clearly otherwise."

Ralph Cudworth (1617--1688) was one of the "Cambridge Platonists," and a professor of Hebrew, notable for his knowledge of Jewish literature and antiquities.

He was the author of a treatise on The True Intellectual System of the Universe, in which he opposed the atheistic and deistic writers of the time, such as Hobbes. He argued that prophecy was one of the strongest arguments for Christian belief, and its evidence was more certain than miracles. Cudworth wrote:

Scripture prophecies, of Christ in the Old Testament; and from him in the New, are of equal if not greater force to us in this present age for the confirmation of our faith, than the miracles themselves recorded in Scripture, we having now certain knowledge our selves, of many of these events.

[Cudworth, The True Intellectual System of the Universe (London, 1674), 715. Cited in Harrison. Op. Cit.]

Robert Boyle (1627-91), the famous naturalist, claimed that prophecies "have a peculiar advantage above most other miracles, on the force of their duration; since the manifest proofs of the prediction continue still, and are as visible as the extent of the Christian religion."

[Boyle, The Christian Virtuoso, in The Works, ed. Thomas Birch (6 vols.; Hildesheim, 1966), V, 535f. Cited in Harrison, Op. Cit.]

Samuel Clarke (1675-1729) wrote:

The miracles which our Savior worked, were to his first disciples, who were eye-witnesses of them, a complete demonstration of the truth of his doctrine.... It is true, the miracles of Christ, and particularly of his resurrection, which was the greatest of all, is not such an ocular demonstration to after-generations.... But then on the other side, in some respects, we have the advantage even of them; We have the examination of many ages, the answers to the objections of all sorts of adversaries, the judgment of the wisest and most considerate men that have gone before us, and the evidence of several of the Lord's prophecies since that time fulfilled.

[Clarke, Sermon CXXVIII, Works (4 vols.; New York, 1978), II, 79f. Cited in Harrison, Op. Cit.]

Arthur Ashley Sykes (1684-1756), vicar of Rayleigh in Essex, and a friend of Sir Isaac Newton, linked biblical miracles to the fulfilment of prophecy. "Prophecy is like a standing miracle of which we ourselves are certain judges; and the appeal lies, not to the eyes of those who lived many hundreds of years ago, but to our own faculties." [A. A. Sykes, A Brief Discourse concerning the Credibility of Miracles and Revelation. London, 1742. 43f. Cited in Harrison, Op. Cit.]

Properly understanding prophecy is vital for strengthening our faith. Peter wrote:

2 Peter 1:19
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:


« Last Edit: October 14, 2012, 12:45:58 AM by Doug »