28 March 2016

The Sky is NOT Falling: A Brief Survey of Apocalyptic Symbolism - Pt 4

I've spent the past three previous posts examining the issue of misunderstanding language in the New Testament that had an established symbolic meaning in the Old Testament, and the kinds of issues that causes in modern interpretations of biblical prophecy and the nature of "end time" events. In this final installment, I will examine a couple more examples, and then we'll close out this series.


Moving on, Amos gives us a prophecy against Israel, fulfilled in 722 BD when Sargon II of Assyria attacked them.
Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD! Why would you have the day of the LORD? It is darkness, and not light…Is not the day of the LORD darkness, and not light, and gloom with no brightness in it? (Amos 5:18, 20 ESV)

27 March 2016

The Sky is NOT Falling: A Brief Survey of Apocalyptic Symbolism - Pt 3

Coming on the clouds
We pick up in this, part 3, with continuing to examine additional Scriptures that use world-ending symbolic language that is actually speaking of  national/political judgment by using cosmological terms to represent the powers.

As discussed originally, this kind of symbolic language of the Old Testament seems to get all but lost on many modern readers when it comes to their understanding of the same usage by Jesus and the Apostles in the  New Testament. We start this part looking at Jeremiah.


Moving on to Jeremiah 4 we find a prophecy against Jerusalem at the time, a prophecy that was fulfilled not too long afterwards when Nebuchadnezzar II took over in 586 BC. I will touch on just the highlighted versus from this section:

Behold, he comes up like clouds; his chariots like the whirlwind; his horses are swifter than eagles-- woe to us, for we are ruined! (Jeremiah 4:13 ESV)

25 March 2016

The Sky is NOT Falling: A Brief Survey of Apocalyptic Symbolism - Pt 2

In part one of this series we began examining how cosmic language - sun, moon, stars - was not always considered literal heavenly/planetary bodies like we tend to assume today. In the ancient worldview, this language was symbolic and used frequently to refer to rulers, leaders, nations and the like. We ended by looking at some quotes from theologians of the past on this approach We pick up now by looking at how another aspect of it is seen as related to Israel’s surrounding pagan nations that worshiped these celestial bodies – or more precisely, worshiped deities represented by these celestial bodies. 

And beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.  (Deuteronomy 4:19 ESV – see also 17:3)

24 March 2016

The Sky is NOT Falling: A Brief Survey of Apocalyptic Symbolism - Pt 1

In this short series, I would like to take you on a brief journey through some of the apocalyptic and symbolic language found in the Old Testament Scriptures. I will be taking a look at the types of verses that set the stage and lay the solid ground-work for understanding the New Testament prophecy verses that seem to confuse so many readers of the Bible these days. 

Sadly, when it comes to the New Testament Bible prophecy scenario, so many readers are oblivious to how so much of the same language is used frequently in Old Testament prophecy, and so they total miss and misunderstand what is being said by this language. 

Probably the biggest cause of this, is the fact that so much attention is given to the New Testament writings alone, and so people get a truncated understanding of language. Instilled in the hearts and minds of so many believers is this false dichotomy that the Old Testament was for those old people, and the New Testament is more for us. And due to that, people have misused and abused so much of the New Testament that it has made the gospel message so twisted. But worse yet, it has made the stories of the New Testament to be taken out of context fully.