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Determining literal and figurative scripture

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by Searcher of Light, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays Well-Known Member

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    The mountain of Meggido is a known place. It is a 70 foot tall tel. A tel is created when the rubbled ruins of a city are covered by weather and wind and dirt and foliage. Its not the mountain of God described, however. Carmel is the only mountain to have a view of Meggido.

    Of course the battle is metaphorical. But the best actual battle to be both metaphorical and literal at the same time is Allenby's conquest of Jerusalem and Haifa.

    But, at any rate, Judgement Day is the day when an individual is called upon to choose or not choose to follow - so there is no ONE Judgement Day, there are many.

    In another sense, the Day of Judgement is the day on which a new advent is announced and all Creation fades away to be renewed again in the next breath.

    "4. Praise be to Him Who hath made the world of being, and hath fashioned all that is, Him Who hath raised up the sincere to a station of honour [1] and hath made the invisible world to appear on the plane of the visible -- yet still, in their drunken stupor,[2] do men wander and stray.
    [1 Qur'án 17:81]
    [2 Qur'án 15:72]
    He hath laid down the foundations of the lofty Citadel, He hath inaugurated the Cycle of Glory, He hath brought forth a new creation on this day that is clearly Judgement Day -- and still do the heedless stay fast in their drunken sleep.
    The Bugle [1] hath sounded, the Trumpet [2] hath been blown, the Crier hath raised his call, and all upon the earth have swooned away -- but still do the dead, in the tombs of their bodies, sleep on.
    [1 Qur'án 39:68; Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 133]
    [2 Qur'án 74:8] 14
    And the second clarion [1] hath sounded, there hath followed the second blast after the first,[2] and the dread woe hath come, and every nursing mother hath forgot the infant at her breast [3] -- yet still the people, confused and distracted, heed it not.
    [1 Qur'án 39:68]
    [2 Qur'án 79:6]
    [3 Qur'án 22:2]
    And the Resurrection hath dawned, and the Hour hath struck, and the Path hath been drawn straight, and the Balance hath been set up, and all upon the earth have been gathered together [1] -- but still the people see no sign of the way.
    [1 Qur'án 34:39]
    The light hath shone forth, and radiance floodeth Mount Sinai, and a gentle wind bloweth from over the gardens of the Ever-Forgiving Lord; the sweet breaths of the spirit are passing by, and those who lay buried in the grave are rising up -- and still do the heedless slumber on in their tombs.
    The flames of hell have been made to blaze, and heaven hath been brought nigh; the celestial gardens are in flower, and fresh pools are brimming over, and paradise gleameth in beauty -- but the unaware are still mired down in their empty dreams.
    The veil hath fallen away, the curtain is lifted, the clouds have parted, the Lord of Lords is in plain sight -- yet all hath passed the sinners by.
    It is He Who hath made for you the new creation,[1] and brought on the woe [2] that surpasseth all others, and gathered the holy together in the realm on high. Verily in this are signs for those who have eyes to see.
    [1 Qur'án 29:19]
    [2 Qur'án 79:34] 15 "
    (Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 14)

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  2. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    i dont think quoting matthew 24;45-47 is out of context ,if there is a faithful class who is doing the will of the master (jesus christ) and then that faithful class of slaves are given more responsibilty they would be the ones that Jesus is using in these last days , Jesus did not give more responsibility to the one that did not keep on the watch , he gave more to those who got on with the work he had given them to do and that was to feed the domestics ,yes its only by looking to the faithful ones that we can be feed properly with good healthy spiritualfood .and not rubbish stuff. yes you are right the slave is prepared because it has kept on the watch to bible prophecy and because of this they know that Jesus is now king of Gods heavenly kingdom goverment ,so when the great tribulation breaks out they will not be caught off guard because they did not fall asleep to where we are in the stream of time , only those who dont fall asleep are given more . so why dont you know the 1914 date ? maybe you have not been feed by the faithful ones
    Two lines of evidence point to that year: (1) Bible chronology and (2) the events since 1914 in fulfillment of prophecy.

    Read Daniel 4:1-17. Verses 20-37 show that this prophecy had a fulfillment upon Nebuchadnezzar. But it also has a larger fulfillment. How do we know that? Verses 3 and 17 show that the dream that God gave to King Nebuchadnezzar deals with the Kingdom of God and God’s promise to give it "to the one whom he wants to . . . even the lowliest one of mankind." The entire Bible shows that Jehovah’s purpose is for his own Son, Jesus Christ, to rule as His representative over mankind. (Ps. 2:1-8; Dan. 7:13, 14; 1 Cor. 15:23-25; Rev. 11:15; 12:10) The Bible’s description of Jesus shows that he was indeed "the lowliest one of mankind." (Phil. 2:7, 8; Matt. 11:28-30) The prophetic dream, then, points to the time when Jehovah would give rulership over mankind to his own Son. are you aware of (the apointed times of the nations) or the end of the gentile times. or are you aware of the seven times , yes 1914 is a very very significant date in the bible , but most people in general do not even recognize this date because there so called religious teachers have fallen asleep and missed its significant date . but then again is it not always the way that only Gods people reconize the signs

     
  3. Searcher of Light

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    Actually, may, there is a slave class. They are called Christians. Despite what Catholicism and other religions may state, congregations of the Church of Christ trace their roots to the day Acts 2 describes. Like Jesus tells people in Matthew 7:7-12, we are to search, ask, and knock on knowledge for ourselves; God will then grant us such knowledge. I dont know the date 1914 because it does not have any Scriptural signifigance. To me, you have not been fed by the faithful ones. Again, its all up to intrepretation and it is up to God to decide who is right or wrong. If I am wrong, than I will face the consequences of my beliefs and actions just as we all will have to. Therefore, we all must be open to the possibility that we are wrong. In the meantime, it serves us to learn for ourselves as Jesus teaches.

    I will let Scripture speak for itself:

    Acts 2 14-47

    33"Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.

    This verse in particular states Jesus was already king of His kingdom at that time. The phrase "to the right hand of God" illustrates that. It is what was referred to as a place of rulership, a king under the reign of another king.

    1 Corinthians 15:23-25

    23But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming,

    24then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.

    25For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.

    Verse 24 states that at the end Jesus will hand over the kingdom to the Father. Therefore, Jesus must reign already. Otherwise, in Acts 2 there would be no kingdom to add people to.

    I read the verses you prescribed in Daniel and tried to get around what you are seeing as my "closed minded and faulty" mindset. However, try as I might it is far too illogical in light of history and other historical texts. I read Revelation in light of the other Apocalyptic texts written, such as the Essene writings. It is a parable like that Jesus uses to teach in the gospels.

    I do thank everyone who has posted their reasoning behind how they determine what is literal and what is figurative. It is a fine muck with all the differences between religions. Perhaps that is why Christianity was meant to be an individual and not institutional belief. Ultimately, we are responsible for our own knowledge, belief, actions, and eternal destination. It is up to God to determine who is right and who is wrong. I place my faith in His decision as should we all. Should tribulation come, if it is a lie, or something else we can not expect should happen, may God's Will be done.
     
  4. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    But this [man] offered one sacrifice for sins perpetually and sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from then on awaiting until his enemies should be placed as a stool for his feet hebrews 10;12-13 yes you are right he was at the right hand side of God but notice what it says next , from then on (AWAITING )yes he was not made king untill 1914 in line with prophecy

    However, after his resurrection he "sat down at the right hand of God, from then on awaiting until his enemies should be placed as a stool for his feet." (Heb 10:12, 13; Lu 20:41-43) This prophecy was recorded at Psalm 110, stating Jehovah’s command to his Son: "Go subduing in the midst of your enemies." (Ps 110:2) These enemies of Jehovah and of his "anointed one" are shown to be composed of "nations," "national groups," "kings of the earth," and "high officials." (Ps 2:1-9) At Revelation 19:11-21 the one called "Faithful and True," "The Word of God," and "King of kings and Lord of lords" is described as leading the armies of heaven against his enemies. His enemies are here described as "the wild beast and the kings of the earth and their armies," and the "false prophet," all of whom Christ annihilates so yes after his resurrection you are right he was by the side of God but he was waiting for the time to come when he would be a mighty warrior

     
  5. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Maybe we could stay on topic, which is HOW you determine the difference and not any particular differences???
     
  6. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays Well-Known Member

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    If it defies rational thought it cannot be literal. This is not to say that what is thought literal in one age cannot be thought figurative in another age. And of course, one must realize that no scripture has ONE meaning, rather it is possessed of levels of meaning.

    When reading it, one must amalgamate meaning rather than exclude meanings.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  7. Searcher of Light

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    Excellent point. I have always viewed the defiance of rational thought as a guide. Scripture has a host of meaning behind it. I have stated how I could view what I was discussing with may and the reasoning behind it. may apparently is coming from the stance of JW doctrine. My intrepretation based on historical writings and reason. Intrepretation is by no means right in its own right, nor is it wrong in its own right.

    Religion, until God sets humanity straight, is purely relative to the individual.
     
  8. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    so coming from a scriptual point of veiw does hebrews 10;12-13 say that he had to wait by his fathers side,from then on awaiting , yes i think it does, and this is inline with the rest of the bible , and the propheies and chronology regarding his kingship in the heavens there was an appointed time for his kingship to happen and it has now happened in these last days right on time
    This time of waiting ended years ago

    When? In the twentieth century, in the year 1914, at the end of what Jesus Christ called "the times of the Gentiles" or "the appointed times of the nations." He prophesied that the city of Jerusalem of his day would be destroyed and would continue to be trampled on by the Gentile nations until the end of those Gentile times for the nations to do such trampling. (Luke 21:20-24, Authorized Version; New World Translation) Even in Jesus’ days the Gentile nations as represented in the Roman World Power were trampling on what Jerusalem stood for, the kingdom of Jehovah God in the hands of the royal house of David.

    Jesus Christ knew that he was obliged to wait to become reigning king in the kingdom of God that he was preaching. Since he himself had brought up the subject of the "times of the Gentiles," he knew that he had to wait at God’s right hand until those "appointed times of the nations" ended

    . During all those years of waiting he would be serving as Jehovah’s High Priest and applying the lifesaving benefits of his ransom sacrifice to his faithful disciples on earth, as these make up his church or congregation. Why? Because these are to be made joint heirs or associate kings with him in God’s heavenly kingdom. (Heb. 3:1; 6:18, 19; 10:10-22; Rom. 8:16, 17) But when the 2,520 years of the Gentile Times ended in 1914, then was the due time for Jesus to expect to receive the Messianic kingdom in the heavens

     
  9. Searcher of Light

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    Hebrews 10:12-13 does state Jesus is waiting by God's side. However, to me, your intrepretation is not scriptural for the reasoning I have already stated. These verses illustrate that God will wait patiently to send His Son in addition to it being inevitable that His enemies will fail. See also 1 Corinthians 15:23-25. These verses also state the same idea. In addition, they state when Jesus returns He will hand over the kingdom to the Father. In other words, He is already in charge.

    As for the end of the times of the Gentiles, as long as there is Judism Gentiles will exist. A Gentile is anyone who is not Jewish.

    Again, its intrepretation we are both using. Neither of us knows it to be God's Will for certain. It would be arrogant of anyone to state what they believe is God's Will. Who are we as humans to say we can know God?
     
  10. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    Many people think that Jesus will come back in the flesh to the earth, but that will not happen ,because the kingdom that Jesus is king of ,is in the heavens and was set up in 1914 according to bible chronology and prophecy . dont think that Jesus is not directing his people on the earth in these last days , because the bible is very clear about Jesus and the ones who are doing his will , Jesus has given his followers or slaves great responsibility in these last days , and true knowledge about Jesus and just what is happening about this kingdom (or goverment ) is being made known, yes true knowledge will become abundent to those who Jesus is using in these last days, but they do not keep it to themselves it is made known on a world wide basis . many people call them selves christian but the facts show that they are not doing the work that Jesus left them to do. i am talking about religious leaders who claim to be christian , but are not showing the flocks accurate knowledge and then in turn the flocks are in the dark also.
     
  11. sandy whitelinger

    sandy whitelinger Veteran Member

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    I haven't read all of the other posts to see if this has been addressed and I'm not sure of the basis for this view. Could it be that a reference of a thief only applies to unbelievers who are not watching for the "Day of the Lord?" There is some tricky theology involved here.

    I'll need to refresh my understanding of this issue but perhaps you could give me a place to start.
     
  12. Searcher of Light

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    Actually, sandy, the thief metaphor Jesus was talking about was pointed toward the Jews of His day and not the Gentiles. It can apply to Christians today because of the principle behind the metaphor. In my understanding, Scripture is best to be read in historical context to decide what is figurative or literal. The text is dated to the time period in which it was written, but the principles behind the text are timeless. That is why may and I disagree with the modern premillenial intrepretation of Revelation and the End. I read it from history and apply the principles while may reads it and pulls the text into today. I personally think such a reading is highly flawed, but then may thinks my historical reading is highly flawed too ;)

    A good way to study, sandy, is to read a section and ask yourself: how does this pertain to the time period? How did the culture react to this idea? How would the people feel toward this statement?

    Of course several good history, culture, and archeology books are needed to help with this assessment.
     
  13. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    A better way to study is to pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened to the meaning of the scriptures you are studying. Historical context is great and so are word studies and the like, but trying to understand any scripture without guidance from the Counselor is destined for failure.
     
  14. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    Oh how much we truly agree ND. I have been to several COC bible studies and personally enjoy praying and discussing bible verses with them and anyone who wishes to do so with me. But it is a solution to a deviation from the meaning that will always not settle in my heart. Someday we can discuss this further.

    ~Victor
     
  15. Deut 13:1

    Deut 13:1 Well-Known Member

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    So... How does that work with Jayhawker?
     
  16. pdoel

    pdoel Active Member

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    I think a lot needs to be remembered when it comes to the Bible. These books were written thousands of years ago by man. They have undergone many translations since then. Which is why they are so open for debate.

    I think the Bible is more of a guide. A history book, if you will. I think there's a reason why God hasn't just appeared to us, and told us, "This is the way". I think faith is a HUGE part of our religion. Probably the biggest part.

    Think of a relationship. Which one will be stronger. One where there is mistrust, and you must hire private investigators to keep tabs on your spouse? Sure, you may get the answers you want (that the spouse is faithful), but mistrust isn't good. Or a relationship where you have complete faith in your spouse?

    Same with Religion. Someone who believes and follows God with no real proof, other than the proof in their heart, says a lot.

    I think the Bible is more or less a guide, but that it's our faith that truely drives us. I think much of the Bible is a bit vague or open to interpretation to help with our faith. If we had all the answers right in front of us, and didn't need to question or wonder, how strong would our faith be then?
     
  17. Deut 13:1

    Deut 13:1 Well-Known Member

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    Would you like to explain this article?

    Okay, so you were saying...? That's right, unsubstantied, un-backed, and more useless opinionated words without any source of backup.
     
  18. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    I don't understand the question here. What's a Jayhawker?
     
  19. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    It's an airplane that does sweep attacks by night.:D

    I think he is talking about Deut. ND.

    ~Victor
     
  20. Deut 13:1

    Deut 13:1 Well-Known Member

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    Apologies, his new name is Duet. 10:19

    He's an athiest, I believe, and I would argue he has a better understanding of what the scripture "says" and "means" then even myself, as he's studied it at least 3xtimes longer then I have.

    Do you think Duet 10:19 is a failure in understanding what scripture actually says???

    I'm just curious...
     
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