Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 45

Thread: How can you tell if an end-times prophecy is literal or spiritual?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Wherever the Lord places me
    Posts
    41,045

    How can you tell if an end-times prophecy is literal or spiritual?

    So having had many discussions on end-times prophecies here, I realize that many Christians read many end-times prophecies, especially OT prophecies, as being fulfilled "spiritually" rather than literally. My question is, how does one know? How does one make the determination as to which will actually happen, and which either already happened or will happen, but in the spiritual realm?

    Please illuminate.
    "For a small moment have I forsaken you, and with great mercy will I gather you.With a little wrath did I hide My countenance for a moment from you, and with everlasting kindness will I have compassion on you," said your Redeemer, the Lord."..."For the mountains shall depart and the hills totter, but My kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of My peace totter," says the Lord, Who has compassion on you.

    Isaiah 54

  2. #2

    Re: How can you tell if an end-times prophecy is literal or spiritual?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    So having had many discussions on end-times prophecies here, I realize that many Christians read many end-times prophecies, especially OT prophecies, as being fulfilled "spiritually" rather than literally. My question is, how does one know? How does one make the determination as to which will actually happen, and which either already happened or will happen, but in the spiritual realm?

    Please illuminate.
    That one is easy, and it's easy enough to identify the major players in Revelation.

    The beast is Hillary Clinton. The false prophet is Hillary Clinton. The being with frogs coming out of its mouth is Hillary Clinton, and so are the frogs. The four horsemen are all Hillary Clinton. The horses they ride are Hillary Clinton. Babylon is wherever Hillary Clinton is living at the time. The dragon that tried to swallow the woman is Hillary Clinton.

    I think that covers them all. If I missed anyone, chances are that's Hillary Clinton as well, as long as it's one of the bad players. If it's a good player it isn't Hillary Clinton.

    It would have been so much easier if John had just come out with it and named Hillary Clinton but there was probably a reason why he didn't.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Pitt Meadows b.c.
    Posts
    3,764
    Blog Entries
    2

    Re: How can you tell if an end-times prophecy is literal or spiritual?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    So having had many discussions on end-times prophecies here, I realize that many Christians read many end-times prophecies, especially OT prophecies, as being fulfilled "spiritually" rather than literally. My question is, how does one know? How does one make the determination as to which will actually happen, and which either already happened or will happen, but in the spiritual realm?

    Please illuminate.
    Hi Fenris

    I think that most OT prophecies have already happened like you do and that the bible uses symbolic language to describe them.

    I also interpret some of the literal ones spiritually when the bible seams to give us permission like in the example below

    Zechariah 14:8
    8 On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter

    I see this as the Holy Spirit flowing out from the disciples to the world which started on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem because of the verses below

    John 7:37-39
    37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”[c] 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Wherever the Lord places me
    Posts
    41,045

    Re: How can you tell if an end-times prophecy is literal or spiritual?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonajero View Post
    That one is easy, and it's easy enough to identify the major players in Revelation.

    The beast is Hillary Clinton. The false prophet is Hillary Clinton. The being with frogs coming out of its mouth is Hillary Clinton, and so are the frogs. The four horsemen are all Hillary Clinton. The horses they ride are Hillary Clinton. Babylon is wherever Hillary Clinton is living at the time. The dragon that tried to swallow the woman is Hillary Clinton.

    I think that covers them all. If I missed anyone, chances are that's Hillary Clinton as well, as long as it's one of the bad players. If it's a good player it isn't Hillary Clinton.

    It would have been so much easier if John had just come out with it and named Hillary Clinton but there was probably a reason why he didn't.


    Zoinks!!!!
    "For a small moment have I forsaken you, and with great mercy will I gather you.With a little wrath did I hide My countenance for a moment from you, and with everlasting kindness will I have compassion on you," said your Redeemer, the Lord."..."For the mountains shall depart and the hills totter, but My kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of My peace totter," says the Lord, Who has compassion on you.

    Isaiah 54

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Wherever the Lord places me
    Posts
    41,045

    Re: How can you tell if an end-times prophecy is literal or spiritual?

    Quote Originally Posted by marty fox View Post
    Hi Fenris

    I think that most OT prophecies have already happened like you do and that the bible uses symbolic language to describe them.
    Well...the prophecies of destruction and exile have clearly occurred. The ones about the regathering clearly have not. At least, not as I see it. But others say otherwise and I'm looking for a clear line of thought on how Christians decide these matters.

    Zechariah 14:8
    8 On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter
    Ok. But it could be literal, right?
    "For a small moment have I forsaken you, and with great mercy will I gather you.With a little wrath did I hide My countenance for a moment from you, and with everlasting kindness will I have compassion on you," said your Redeemer, the Lord."..."For the mountains shall depart and the hills totter, but My kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of My peace totter," says the Lord, Who has compassion on you.

    Isaiah 54

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Pitt Meadows b.c.
    Posts
    3,764
    Blog Entries
    2

    Re: How can you tell if an end-times prophecy is literal or spiritual?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonajero View Post
    That one is easy, and it's easy enough to identify the major players in Revelation.

    The beast is Hillary Clinton. The false prophet is Hillary Clinton. The being with frogs coming out of its mouth is Hillary Clinton, and so are the frogs. The four horsemen are all Hillary Clinton. The horses they ride are Hillary Clinton. Babylon is wherever Hillary Clinton is living at the time. The dragon that tried to swallow the woman is Hillary Clinton.

    I think that covers them all. If I missed anyone, chances are that's Hillary Clinton as well, as long as it's one of the bad players. If it's a good player it isn't Hillary Clinton.

    It would have been so much easier if John had just come out with it and named Hillary Clinton but there was probably a reason why he didn't.
    John also really tried to confuse us by calling her a he in the verse below too LOL

    Revelation 17:11
    11 The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Pitt Meadows b.c.
    Posts
    3,764
    Blog Entries
    2

    Re: How can you tell if an end-times prophecy is literal or spiritual?

    Well...the prophecies of destruction and exile have clearly occurred. The ones about the regathering clearly have not. At least, not as I see it. But others say otherwise and I'm looking for a clear line of thought on how Christians decide these matters.
    There is no single answer because they don't all agree on how to interpret them my example was how I and some others interpret them

    Ok. But it could be literal, right?
    I guess it could be but I don't think so as Jesus did stand on the mount of Olives like Zechariah 14 states when He gave the command to take the gospel to the world

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Outside of the box. Where else?
    Posts
    17,243

    Re: How can you tell if an end-times prophecy is literal or spiritual?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    Ok. But it could be literal, right?
    How can it not be literal?

    half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.

    How does it make sense to apply that spiritually? How can there be two halves of the Holy Spirit? And why does the text say 'them'?

    What you are basically witnessing among Christians is, that some Christians make the text mean anything they want it to mean without first determining if the text is even making any sense when understanding it like that. Then you have other Christians doing their best to try and make some sense of the text, where they don't feel the need to make the text mean anything they want, especially if it then renders the text nonsensical by doing so.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    3,109
    Blog Entries
    21

    Re: How can you tell if an end-times prophecy is literal or spiritual?

    I don't think there is one simple and easy way to identify if a prophecy is one or the other, without a careful analysis. To ask for how to choose between literal and spiritual is to invite a hasty and sloppy formula. Each prophecy must be carefully looked at for the context and content.

    some indicators point to spiritual are curing the heart issues of Israel and ANYTHING that is eternal.

    Other indicators of spiritual application is whenever God uses the types of symbolism Jesus used in Parable.

    Seeds
    Plants
    soil/land
    drought
    houses
    lamps/light sources
    harlotry
    general reference to beasts
    Temples (aka houses/bodies)
    fruit and crop
    mountains (spiritual dominions)
    seas (the undomesticated spirit)
    wind
    fire
    locusts (demons)

    Some symbols appear to stand for physical manifestations
    Swords indicate violence
    horses indicate political turmoil
    bows indicate military strength
    As the "thief" in the night, Christ is going to suddenly appear on the throne of Israel - not the antichrist.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Thames, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,246

    Re: How can you tell if an end-times prophecy is literal or spiritual?

    The rule should be: If a prophecy can be literally fulfilled, then it will be. And if a metaphor or allegory is given, then understanding of what it means can always be found elsewhere in the Bible. For example 'Babylon' is the type used to refer to the ungodly nations.

    Many just can't see how some of the more graphic prophesies about the forthcoming Lords Day of wrath are possible. But the descriptions are written in a literal style and because we push aside any thoughts of anything dramatic happening during our lifetimes, we often just simply spiritualize or put them into the past. This means we are unprepared for what God has taken much care in telling us what He plans to do.
    An example is 'the sky will roll up like a scroll. Isaiah 34:4, Revelation 6:14 This is a possibility if a big Coronal Mass Ejection were to strike the earth.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Wherever the Lord places me
    Posts
    41,045

    Re: How can you tell if an end-times prophecy is literal or spiritual?

    Quote Originally Posted by divaD View Post
    How can it not be literal?

    half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.

    How does it make sense to apply that spiritually? How can there be two halves of the Holy Spirit? And why does the text say 'them'?

    What you are basically witnessing among Christians is, that some Christians make the text mean anything they want it to mean without first determining if the text is even making any sense when understanding it like that. Then you have other Christians doing their best to try and make some sense of the text, where they don't feel the need to make the text mean anything they want, especially if it then renders the text nonsensical by doing so.
    OK, you make a fair point here.
    "For a small moment have I forsaken you, and with great mercy will I gather you.With a little wrath did I hide My countenance for a moment from you, and with everlasting kindness will I have compassion on you," said your Redeemer, the Lord."..."For the mountains shall depart and the hills totter, but My kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of My peace totter," says the Lord, Who has compassion on you.

    Isaiah 54

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Pitt Meadows b.c.
    Posts
    3,764
    Blog Entries
    2

    Re: How can you tell if an end-times prophecy is literal or spiritual?

    Quote Originally Posted by divaD View Post
    How can it not be literal?

    half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.

    How does it make sense to apply that spiritually? How can there be two halves of the Holy Spirit? And why does the text say 'them'?

    What you are basically witnessing among Christians is, that some Christians make the text mean anything they want it to mean without first determining if the text is even making any sense when understanding it like that. Then you have other Christians doing their best to try and make some sense of the text, where they don't feel the need to make the text mean anything they want, especially if it then renders the text nonsensical by doing so.
    Its not splitting the Holy Spirit in half the Holy Spirit is whole in different people in different places all at the same time.

    The them were the disciples

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Bakersfield
    Posts
    3,960

    Re: How can you tell if an end-times prophecy is literal or spiritual?

    Quote Originally Posted by marty fox View Post
    There is no single answer because they don't all agree on how to interpret them …
    I agree.

    It’s like asking a bunch of rednecks what’s the best beer or what’s the best use for duck tape (yes I know how it’s spelled).
    "He's wild, you know. Not like a tame lion."
    C.S. Lewis, "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe."

    "Oh, but sometimes the sun stays hidden for years"
    "Sometimes the sky rains night after night, When will it clear?"

    "But our Hope endures the worst of conditions"
    "It's more than our optimism, Let the earth quake"
    "Our Hope is unchanged"
    "Our Hope Endures" Natalie Grant

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Wherever the Lord places me
    Posts
    41,045

    Re: How can you tell if an end-times prophecy is literal or spiritual?

    Quote Originally Posted by Old man View Post
    It’s like asking a bunch of rednecks what’s the best beer
    Obviously we have to try every one!
    "For a small moment have I forsaken you, and with great mercy will I gather you.With a little wrath did I hide My countenance for a moment from you, and with everlasting kindness will I have compassion on you," said your Redeemer, the Lord."..."For the mountains shall depart and the hills totter, but My kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of My peace totter," says the Lord, Who has compassion on you.

    Isaiah 54

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Outside of the box. Where else?
    Posts
    17,243

    Re: How can you tell if an end-times prophecy is literal or spiritual?

    Quote Originally Posted by marty fox View Post
    Its not splitting the Holy Spirit in half the Holy Spirit is whole in different people in different places all at the same time.

    The them were the disciples
    The text doesn't say the 'them' are meaning the disciples. You are adding to the text something not remotely in the text. The 'them' are meaning the living waters, apparently. The living waters were the last thing mentioned prior to the 'them'. That should mean the 'them' are meaning the living waters. Waters as in plural, apparently.


    Zechariah 14:7 But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.
    8 And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.


    Here's what the text seems to be saying.


    And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of the living waters toward the former sea, and half of the living waters toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.

    If living waters is being understood as the Holy Spirit, the following is what the text would be saying.


    And it shall be in that day, that the Holy Spirits(as in more than one) shall go out from Jerusalem; half of the Holy Spirits toward the former sea, and half of the Holy Spirits toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.

    As can be seen, it renders the text nonsensical. The way you try and get around that, you claim the 'them' are meaning the disciples. Yet no disciples seen anywhere in this context.

    And what about verse 7? Does not the text say...but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light? And in verse 8...And it shall be in that day...isn't that referring to the same day meant in verse 7? Of course though, day in this context is meaning an era of time and not a 24 hour day. So how do you fit verse 7 with your interpretation of verse 8? What does the Holy Spirit have to do with... that at evening time it shall be light? Why can't that literally mean what is says...that at evening time it shall be light? If it does literally mean that, one thing is for certain, the time period meant here is not meaning in our present age. How could there possibly come a time in this present age, meaning before the 2nd coming, where that at evening time it shall be light?

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Discussion Our Mansion In Heaven - Literal or Spiritual
    By Master Jake in forum Bible Chat
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: Aug 14th 2014, 12:02 AM
  2. If End Times Prophecy is True......................?
    By mikebr in forum End Times Chat
    Replies: 45
    Last Post: Aug 1st 2013, 01:59 PM
  3. Please Help Prophecy and other Spiritual Gifts
    By Jesusdiedforme in forum Bible Chat
    Replies: 65
    Last Post: May 11th 2013, 06:33 PM
  4. Wheat harvest literal or spiritual?
    By Beckrl in forum End Times Chat
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Apr 26th 2010, 10:28 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •