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Thread: Past or Future?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheForgiven View Post
    This one is easy. The former Israel of the flesh were taught to defend the city with swords and spears. Nations likewise fought in the same manner to protect their Kingdom. But a time was coming when the Israel of God would be retrained, and instead of beating the hot metal into swords, or instead of fashioning spears, their swords would become plowshares, and their spears became pruning hooks.

    Plowshares are farming tools used to prepare the soil for planting seed. Pruning hooks are tools used to cut-down the grapes from the vine. These are not to be taken literal, but spiritual. What then was Jehovah God trying to say? That the Israel of God would learn the ways of war no more, for their war was with weapons of faith; Spiritual Faith. We Christian soldiers don't use weapons of man to fight wars, but the word of God. For the word of God is living an active, sharper than any two-edged sword, able to penetrate even the sinew and bone. We plant seeds the hearts of men with the word of God. It was the Apostles who prepared the fields with their plowshares, and it was they also, who pruned the fruits of the garden, figurative for yielding many souls unto God.
    Excellent answer bro! I say excellent because you reminded us what we already knew! God has defined the symbol of the sword in His Word many times. You simply applied what we already knew. Well done!
    Quote Originally Posted by TheForgiven View Post
    Something else for you to consider. Man doesn't fight with swords or spears anymore. That method of battle hasn't been used in over a thousand years. We use tanks, planes, machine guns, missles, and other weapons; so does geographical Israel.
    Yep! The funny thing is, a "literal" interpretation of the Bible demands that the war of Gog and Magog, if still future, will be fought on horseback with bows and arrows! People don't recognize this because they have been falsely instructed to believe that only preterists "allegorize" the Bible. When a futurist says that scorpions are helicopters, falling stars are nuclear missles, and that they are the only ones who interpret the Bible literally, the sheep in the pews just bleat "Amen" and put a check in the collection plate. This is why God warned the teachers that they will be subject to the greater judgment.
    Quote Originally Posted by TheForgiven View Post
    Last thing to consider. The Roman Empire is perhaps the strongest Empire of man ever to exist. Have you ever wondered how it was that the Kigndom of God (The Church) won such a great victory over this beast? And did the Christians use swords or spears to defeat them? Nope, they used the figures of plowshares and pruning hooks, by their planting of God's work into their hearts, and by sharing all the fruits of the Kingdom amongst themselves, they gained influence over many cities and eventually led to the death of the Beast, the Roman Empire.

    Man I love this stuff! Amen!

    Joe
    Amen! Very well state brother Joe. I sure am glad you are here to share the good fruit of your many years of study.

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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  2. #12
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    Just FYI, not all serious futurists, like myself, entertain the ideas that Revelation symbolically speaks of helicoptors, the illuminati, flamethrowers, computer chips, etc. That makes for good fiction novels and money making but very poorly made end times movies, but it does not make good exegesis.
    "But now the priestly service Jesus has been given to do is far superior to the Levites', just as the covenant He mediates in better. For this New Covenant has been given as Torah on the basis of better promises." Hebrews 8:6.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by eliyahu View Post
    Just FYI, not all serious futurists, like myself, entertain the ideas that Revelation symbolically speaks of helicoptors, the illuminati, flamethrowers, computer chips, etc. That makes for good fiction novels and money making but very poorly made end times movies, but it does not make good exegesis.
    That's good to know!

    Of course, that makes me very curious how you do interpret it, and why you think its still future. Do you recognize that all the symbols are defined in the previous 65 books, and that the MEANING of Revelation is derived from them? That's the key for me. When I interpret the symbols of Revelaion in terms of the definitions God gave earlier in His Book, I see the great culmination of the whole story in the victory of Christ, the overcoming of the 144,000 literal first century Jews who were the first Christians, and the end of the Jewish age and the fulfillment of all the prophecies concering the destruction of the Old Covenant system represented by the carnal Temple and Old Jerusalem, and the coming of New Covenant and the New Jerusalem.

    I see perfect built upon perfection in this understanding of Revelation. It is the capstone of the entire Biblical story. The futurist view makes it look entirely disconnected from the rest of the story, and it seems to destroy the integrity of the whole.

    We have much to discuss bro. Feel free to start a thread on Revelation if you want to walk through it, or you could comment in the threads we've already got going.

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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  4. #14
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    Revelation is a great book to discuss. Not today though. Maybe when other thread are finished. I have been trying to show people for years that the book is mostly if not entirely symbolic. Most of the symbols "answer key" is found throughout the OT. Jesus is not a lamb with a slit throat and seven horns. The Holy Spirit is one person, not seven. The "antichrist" is not a seven headed dinosaur/dragon, etc, etc.
    "But now the priestly service Jesus has been given to do is far superior to the Levites', just as the covenant He mediates in better. For this New Covenant has been given as Torah on the basis of better promises." Hebrews 8:6.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by eliyahu View Post
    Revelation is a great book to discuss. Not today though. Maybe when other thread are finished. I have been trying to show people for years that the book is mostly if not entirely symbolic. Most of the symbols "answer key" is found throughout the OT. Jesus is not a lamb with a slit throat and seven horns. The Holy Spirit is one person, not seven. The "antichrist" is not a seven headed dinosaur/dragon, etc, etc.
    Well, it looks like we are in perfect agreement about the nature of Revelation. I am surprised you see it as still future, given your excellent understanding of its symbolic nature. It would make a great conversation .... when we find time after finishing all those other conversations currently underway.

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  6. #16
    Hello Richard,

    Sorry it has taken so long to respond. I have been very busy. I would like to revisit Isaiah 2:1. You stated that you believed this prophecy was already fulfilled. Could you explain yourself more fully? There are several specific statements here that have clearly not been literally fulfilled.

    1. In context this is a prophecy "concerning Judah and Jerusalem."
    2. In Judah and Jerusalem YHWH's house will be set up and "all nations shall flow unto it".
    3. From this place God will teach the people his ways.
    4. Out of Zion and Jerusalem will go the word YHWH
    5. They will convert their weapons of war to implements of agriculture
    6. "Nations" (gowy) will not learn or go to war anymore.

    I can understand taking a passage as non literal when there is some contextual indication that it my be symbolic but this passage gives simple and precise details concerning a future event.

    In order for me to believe your and Joes interpretation I must accept that war will never end. That YHWH will never literally (physically) rule this earth. That sickness, disease and death on this earth will never end. Is this what you believe?

    Warm Regards,
    Wstruse

    Isaiah 2:1-4 KJV Isaiah 2:1 ¶ The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of YHWH'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of YHWH, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of YHWH from Jerusalem. 4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

    Micah 4:1-13 KJV Micah 4:1 ¶ But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of YHWH shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. 2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of YHWH, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of YHWH from Jerusalem. 3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. 4 But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of YHWH of hosts hath spoken it. 5 For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of YHWH our God for ever and ever. 6 In that day, saith YHWH, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted; 7 And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and YHWH shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever. 8 And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.
    Last edited by wstruse; 02-19-2008 at 10:19 PM.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by wstruse View Post
    Hello Richard,

    Sorry it has taken so long to respond. I have been very busy. I would like to revisit Isaiah 2:1. You stated that you believed this prophecy was already fulfilled. Could you explain yourself more fully? There are several specific statements here that have clearly not been literally fulfilled.

    1. In context this is a prophecy "concerning Judah and Jerusalem."
    2. In Judah and Jerusalem YHWH's house will be set up and "all nations shall flow unto it".
    3. From this place God will teach the people his ways.
    4. Out of Zion and Jerusalem will go the word YHWH
    5. They will convert their weapons of war to implements of agriculture
    6. "Nations" (gowy) will not learn or go to war anymore.

    I can understand taking a passage as non literal when there is some contextual indication that it my be symbolic but this passage gives simple and precise details concerning a future event.

    In order for me to believe your and Joes interpretation I must accept that war will never end. That YHWH will never literally (physically) rule this earth. That sickness, disease and death on this earth will never end. Is this what you believe?

    Warm Regards,
    Wstruse
    Good morning Wstruse,

    I am glad you are pursuing this question because it is important that we have a genuine understanding of these prophecies. And I want to thank you for laying out the question so clearly. It really makes it easy to answer point by point:

    1. In context this is a prophecy "concerning Judah and Jerusalem."



    Yes, the passage was "concerning Judah and Jerusalem" and in the original context we would probably think of nothing but the literal country and literal city. But God has expanded that context over time, and so our understanding must change with it. Originally, the context was just "an oracle concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the book of Isaiah." Then the context expanded and became "an oracle concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the book of Isaiah in the Tanakh" and now it has finally settled into its ultimate context as "an oracle concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the book of Isaiah, the 23rd book of the Christian Bible." It is from this ultimate context that the Christian must interpret. This larger context is essential to understand the prophecy, because without knowledge of Christ and the Gospel, we could never have a correct understanding of His Holy Word. Indeed, without Christ, there is a VAIL over our eyes that blinds us to the true meaning of the Old Covenant:
    2 Corinthians 3:14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.
    Therefore, to understand the reference to "Judah and Jerusalem" in light of the New Testament revelation of Christ and the Gospel we must remember that God ultimately had in mind two Jerusalems - there is the old, earthly, carnal Jerusalem that was in bondage with her children, and there is the new, heavenly, spiritual Jerusalem that is the true mother of us all who are saved in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 4) We know that this is what God had in mind because the prophecy explicitly states "and it shall come to pass in the last days" (Isaiah 2:1) and the NT explicitly states that Christ came "in the last days" (Hebrews 1.2) Thus we know it can not be talking about the old carnal Jerusalem because that Jerusalem was destroyed during the Great Tribulation of the "last days" about 40 years after the New Jerusalem (the Church, the Mother of us all) was revealed.

    2. In Judah and Jerusalem YHWH's house will be set up and "all nations shall flow unto it".



    Exactly correct, but again, we must understand that Scripture explicitly uses Mount Zion as a symbol of the Chuch, the New Jerusalem:
    Hebrews 12:22-23 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, 23 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,
    This perfectly coheres with the use of these symbols in Revelation, where we see Christ standing (ruling) on Mount Zion with 144,000 of His redeemed.

    3. From this place God will teach the people his ways.

    Exactly correct. And where is that place? It is Mount Zion, the New Jeruselam, the Church of God where Christ the Lamb rules the hearts of all believers, teaching them His Ways and leading them to the fount of living waters. It's all about Christ and His Gospel.


    4. Out of Zion and Jerusalem will go the word YHWH

    Precisely correct. It was through the Apostle and Prophets of Christ that the Word of YHVH - the 66 Books of the Christian Bible - went forth.

    5. They will convert their weapons of war to implements of agriculture

    As explained by Joe (TheForgiven) God has taught us the meaning of those weapons and tools. We all know that the Sword represents the Word of God, which we use on a daily basis to "till the soil" in preaching and to "trim the branches" in our administration of our congregations so they bear more fruit.

    A literal reading is absurd, is it not? Do you really expext people to go through the bother of taking a literal sword and reworking it into an agricultural tool? How many swords do you own? I don't have any. And how many crops are you tending? None? That's me. I'm not a farmer, and neither are most people. The passage is obviously a poetic description and not to be taken literally. It is a symbol of the great transformation that happened when God called out a people for Himself in Christ, the Prince of Peace, and began teaching them the "ways of peace" which they "did not know" before Christ came and transformed their hearts. Is not the transformation of the hearts of believers infinitely greater than some outward political tranquility? And besides, how could there be "war no more" if there is still war in the hearts of men? Therefore I conclude that the passage is clearly "preaching the Gospel" just like all of Scripture (e.g. Gal 3:8).

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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  8. #18
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    Isaiah 2:1-4 KJV Isaiah 2:1 ¶ The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of YHWH'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of YHWH, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of YHWH from Jerusalem. 4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

    I think that people have trouble seeing The Forest (Beulah Land) because in their minds eyes 'the trees' (old Jerusalem) are in 'the way'. 'The War'....is the war between 'man' and God, from Adam until the consemation of The Mosaic Age 'in the Last Days'....Worldly Judauh and Jerusalem/Mosaic 'World' were the last to 'fall' in the 'battle' of sinful man. And it should be noted that within Judauh and Jerusalem was where many 'of The Dead', started to 'rise up' unto the fullness of life 'At The Cross'....Who was the very first 'to Believe' after 'The Cross'....it was 'The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved', when he went into The Sepulchre.....and saw the death shroud of Jesus. And who 'was' this Disciple?.....Not John.....but Lazarus.



    Brother Les
    Last edited by Brother Les; 02-20-2008 at 10:38 AM.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Les View Post
    I think that people have trouble seeing The Forest (Beulah Land) because in their minds eyes 'the trees' (old Jerusalem) are in 'the way'. 'The War'....is the war between 'man' and God, from Adam until the consemation of The Mosaic Age 'in the Last Days'....Worldly Judauh and Jerusalem/Mosaic 'World' were the last to 'fall' in the 'battle' of sinful man. And it should be noted that within Judauh and Jerusalem was where many 'of The Dead', started to 'rise up' unto the fullness of life 'At The Cross'....Who was the very first 'to Believe' after 'The Cross'....it was 'The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved', when he went into The Sepulchre.....and saw the death shroud of Jesus. And who 'was' this Disciple?.....Not John.....but Lazarus.

    Brother Les
    Lazarus? That's an interesting idea. The Bible does say that Jesus loved him. But that doesn't seem sufficient to prove the point. Do you have other evidence? And is there a reason it matters?

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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  10. #20
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    It's amazing how stimulating questions can be.



    Wstruse's question concerning the "beating of swords into plowshares" was in the back of my mind when I happened to notice this verse later in the same book:
    Isaiah 32:7 The instruments also of the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right.
    The "instruments" are identified as "lying words" - their meaning is symbolic. But the literal meaning of the actual word (k'ley) can denote any kind of tool or utensil, whether for war or for agriculture. Thus we see that God uses the metaphor of tools such as swords and plowshares to represent His Word in both the Old and the New Testaments. Given the fact that the prophecy of Isaiah 2 is both eschatologcial and symbolic, it seems that there is no question about the symbolic meaning of beating "swords" into "plowshares."

    I also would emphasize the strong agricultural element so frequent in the preaching of Christ and in the NT in general: The fields are white for havest. The sower sows the word, abide in the vine, grafted into the Olive Tree, bear fruit worthy of reprentance, etc., etc., etc.. Nobody suggests that we should literally beat our literal spears into literal pruninghooks so as to go out and literally harvest people for the Gospel and put them in a literal barn. Is there any reason we should make such assumptions when reading Isaiah 2?

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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