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Thread: false equivalencies in prophecy

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    false equivalencies in prophecy

    I see a pattern of interpretation in prophetic studies that I believe are illegitimate and misleading. It is the issue of making false equivalencies between one thing and another. I will just briefly touch on them, for your consideration.

    1) In comparing parables with the 2nd Coming there is the tendency to want to interpret the literal pattern of the parable to apply it to the 2nd Coming. A marriage is described in parable form, and the exact order of a Jewish Marriage is then applied to the 2nd Coming. Illegitimate. Parables are stories with their own time line. It is a general concept that crosses over to the actual application--not the order within the parable itself.

    Can you imagine if we apply the parable of the Prodigal Son to the 2nd Coming using the actual order and sequence given in the story of the Prodigal Son? Won't work!

    2) In comparing the feasts of the OT to the 2nd Coming there is a false equivalency between the OT system and the NT system. They have changed from OT to NT! One cannot apply the order given under the Law for the agricultural year and apply that literally to the 2nd Coming. Won't work!

    3) In interpreting the book of Revelation there is the assumption of chronological sequence. Here is the false equivalency between a series of separate visions and a single narrative. A single nararative has a single sequence. But that sequence does not apply a chronological order from vision to vision from beginning to end of the narrative. Only the *telling* of the narrative takes place in chronological sequence--not the visions themselves.

    We need to interpret properly if we're going to get it right. This is not really a subject for discussion, but you can comment if you wish. I've not really provided much detail. It is a vast subject.

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    Re: false equivalencies in prophecy

    Or citing verses out of context. Or Claiming verses mean something that they don't. Or ignoring verses that say something completely different from what the interpreter is saying. Or ignoring viewpoints that disagree with the person's assertions. Or...


    could go on and on....
    "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

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    Re: false equivalencies in prophecy

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    Or citing verses out of context. Or Claiming verses mean something that they don't. Or ignoring verses that say something completely different from what the interpreter is saying. Or ignoring viewpoints that disagree with the person's assertions. Or...


    could go on and on....
    Legitimate criticism. Genuine Christian interpretation of Jewish Scriptures must view what the Prophets actually said and meant, rather than just superimpose Christian ideas onto them. I find that a literal interpretation of the Hebrew Prophets actually enhances my Christian theology.

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    Re: false equivalencies in prophecy

    Refreshing to hear. God bless.
    "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

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    Re: false equivalencies in prophecy

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    I see a pattern of interpretation in prophetic studies that I believe are illegitimate and misleading. It is the issue of making false equivalencies between one thing and another. I will just briefly touch on them, for your consideration.

    1) In comparing parables with the 2nd Coming there is the tendency to want to interpret the literal pattern of the parable to apply it to the 2nd Coming. A marriage is described in parable form, and the exact order of a Jewish Marriage is then applied to the 2nd Coming. Illegitimate. Parables are stories with their own time line. It is a general concept that crosses over to the actual application--not the order within the parable itself.

    Can you imagine if we apply the parable of the Prodigal Son to the 2nd Coming using the actual order and sequence given in the story of the Prodigal Son? Won't work!

    2) In comparing the feasts of the OT to the 2nd Coming there is a false equivalency between the OT system and the NT system. They have changed from OT to NT! One cannot apply the order given under the Law for the agricultural year and apply that literally to the 2nd Coming. Won't work!

    3) In interpreting the book of Revelation there is the assumption of chronological sequence. Here is the false equivalency between a series of separate visions and a single narrative. A single nararative has a single sequence. But that sequence does not apply a chronological order from vision to vision from beginning to end of the narrative. Only the *telling* of the narrative takes place in chronological sequence--not the visions themselves.

    We need to interpret properly if we're going to get it right. This is not really a subject for discussion, but you can comment if you wish. I've not really provided much detail. It is a vast subject.
    One must look at how the Prophecy was given to the prophet when trying to compare events to one another, and when trying to understand the layout or timeline of said prophecy, and then applying equivalencies.

    THE BOOK OF REVELATION:

    Take Revelation for example. This was given using VISUAL IMAGERY. It was laid out to John like a Virtual Reality Movie, where He could literally walk around within a scene and observe a continuous flow of events all around him. He could not necessarily STOP the flow and examine the scene, but rather he had to pay close attention to what was going on so he could record what He saw. With this understanding, we now understand that Revelation would be given Chronologically.

    Just like in a Movie, John was shown characters who He followed through until there was a need to FLESH OUT Characters that were seen in the time flow of the first scene, but John did not get time to focus on them. Rev 12 is a prime example of this. What we would think of as a A VISUAL movie technique was used in Rev 12, where the Observer of the Visual Imagery FLASHED BACK to many years in the past and saw the WOMAN, who's imagery should have allowed Him to connect with the 144,000 sealed in Rev 7, and the Dragon who was mentioned in the Timeline Flow (in Rev 8). Both of These characters in the Visual flow were introduced using a Technique like watching a DREAM within a movie. Visual representations that link to physical Characters. The Woman's imagery of Being ISRAEL, and the Dragon, who needed to be directly understood to be the Evil villain (SATAN) of the Imagery. But within Chapter 12, there is a timeline that John saw unfold, that again, he could not stop. He had to pay close attention as it all unfolded before him.

    John was not given many opportunities to ask questions as the imagery unfolded before him. But he does, in Rev 7, and again in Rev 10. However the Flow continued around him like talking during a movie.

    Revelation is indeed Chronological, just as Movies are.

    THE BOOK OF DAIEL

    Daniel too was given MOVING IMAGERY Visions in Rev 2, 7 and 8, but more like a Cartoon movie with Dream Sequences of strange creatures or objects representing Real Kingdoms and or Kings. It played out in the same manner in Timelines with each vision, and each one overlapped the last.

    But in Daniel 9-12, these Prophecies are AUDIBLE, not visual. An angel gave Him verbal understanding of a chronological flow of Events. Daniel was NOT seeing the visions, but rather hearing them unfold as a narrative. And He was allowed to ask questions and interact with pauses as needed. So details could be given and were less likely to be missed. These prophecies are Chronological as though reading books with chronological chapters.


    But what I want to point out mostly, is that Chronology is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT in each Prophecy, and if we assume that it does not need to flow the way it was recorded on the scrolls, then we are doing ourselves a great injustice, and we are learning how to falsely teach others when we convey that message. For example the idea that in Revelation, the 7 Seals overlap the 7 Trumpets is a false teaching. The Sequence of events laid out in Revelation through Visual Imagery clearly shows these things happening one right after another.

    Without the knowledge that this was a continuous flow, we can then take it as text only and move it around wherever we want. NOPE... Can't do that...

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    Re: false equivalencies in prophecy

    Quote Originally Posted by Soldier_of_Faith View Post
    One must look at how the Prophecy was given to the prophet when trying to compare events to one another, and when trying to understand the layout or timeline of said prophecy, and then applying equivalencies.

    THE BOOK OF REVELATION:

    Take Revelation for example. This was given using VISUAL IMAGERY. It was laid out to John like a Virtual Reality Movie, where He could literally walk around within a scene and observe a continuous flow of events all around him. He could not necessarily STOP the flow and examine the scene, but rather he had to pay close attention to what was going on so he could record what He saw. With this understanding, we now understand that Revelation would be given Chronologically.
    That is non sequitur. How is a virtual reality experience that does not control the content mean that it must be revealed in chronological order? Again, a narrative account has one certain chronological order, and that is the clock timing the giving of the narrative. But what is told within that narrative may describe many different time periods out of chronological order with one another.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soldier_of_Faith
    Just like in a Movie, John was shown characters who He followed through until there was a need to FLESH OUT Characters that were seen in the time flow of the first scene, but John did not get time to focus on them. Rev 12 is a prime example of this. What we would think of as a A VISUAL movie technique was used in Rev 12, where the Observer of the Visual Imagery FLASHED BACK to many years in the past and saw the WOMAN, who's imagery should have allowed Him to connect with the 144,000 sealed in Rev 7, and the Dragon who was mentioned in the Timeline Flow (in Rev 8). Both of These characters in the Visual flow were introduced using a Technique like watching a DREAM within a movie. Visual representations that link to physical Characters. The Woman's imagery of Being ISRAEL, and the Dragon, who needed to be directly understood to be the Evil villain (SATAN) of the Imagery. But within Chapter 12, there is a timeline that John saw unfold, that again, he could not stop. He had to pay close attention as it all unfolded before him.
    I think it is best not to begin with the assumption that there is a chronological order from vision to vision. To use your example, you prove my point. If John, later on in the narrative, returns to elaborate more on earlier visions, then it proves there is no chronological sequence from ch. 1 to ch. 22.

    For me, the key to understanding how to apply the various visions is not chronological order, but rather, identification of the symbols themselves. For example, Rev 12 contains the symbols of a Woman and a Serpent. This immediately brings to mind the Garden of Eden story, which explains the symbols in an eschatological context.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soldier_of_Faith
    John was not given many opportunities to ask questions as the imagery unfolded before him. But he does, in Rev 7, and again in Rev 10. However the Flow continued around him like talking during a movie.

    Revelation is indeed Chronological, just as Movies are.

    THE BOOK OF DAIEL

    Daniel too was given MOVING IMAGERY Visions in Rev 2, 7 and 8, but more like a Cartoon movie with Dream Sequences of strange creatures or objects representing Real Kingdoms and or Kings. It played out in the same manner in Timelines with each vision, and each one overlapped the last.

    But in Daniel 9-12, these Prophecies are AUDIBLE, not visual. An angel gave Him verbal understanding of a chronological flow of Events. Daniel was NOT seeing the visions, but rather hearing them unfold as a narrative. And He was allowed to ask questions and interact with pauses as needed. So details could be given and were less likely to be missed. These prophecies are Chronological as though reading books with chronological chapters.
    Dan 9-12 is not chronological. Dan 9 talks about the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, from which Jesus gets his Olivet Discourse. Dan 11 talks about Antiochus 4, which in reverse chronological order from the 70 AD destruction of the temple in Dan 9.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soldier_of_Faith
    But what I want to point out mostly, is that Chronology is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT in each Prophecy, and if we assume that it does not need to flow the way it was recorded on the scrolls, then we are doing ourselves a great injustice, and we are learning how to falsely teach others when we convey that message. For example the idea that in Revelation, the 7 Seals overlap the 7 Trumpets is a false teaching. The Sequence of events laid out in Revelation through Visual Imagery clearly shows these things happening one right after another.

    The list of seals, trumpets, and vials do not flow like an historical account. Rather, they are lists of events that may more or less happen around the same time. The key, again, is the symbols being used. Seals convey the fulfillment of God's word. Trumpets convey something military. And vials convey judgment. They all reflect prophetic fulfillment without any necessary chronological account with respect to one another. They are more declarations of fact than a crystal ball prophecy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soldier_of_Faith
    Without the knowledge that this was a continuous flow, we can then take it as text only and move it around wherever we want. NOPE... Can't do that...
    My concern is that we not turn the Apocalypse into "fun interpretations" for prophecy enthusiasts. I take God's word as it is--no more and no less.

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    Re: false equivalencies in prophecy

    Or here's one of my favorites, comes up all the time here. People will take a prophecy that is from the past and say it's a future event. Typically it involves some prophecy of the first temple's destruction and following exile, but someone with "advanced knowledge" will claim it's yet to come.
    "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

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    Re: false equivalencies in prophecy

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    Or here's one of my favorites, comes up all the time here. People will take a prophecy that is from the past and say it's a future event. Typically it involves some prophecy of the first temple's destruction and following exile, but someone with "advanced knowledge" will claim it's yet to come.
    If what is prophesied hasn't yet happened, then it IS yet to come.
    It does not require 'advanced knowledge' to know from the historical record what has happened in the past and what has not.


    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.

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    Re: false equivalencies in prophecy

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    Or here's one of my favorites, comes up all the time here. People will take a prophecy that is from the past and say it's a future event. Typically it involves some prophecy of the first temple's destruction and following exile, but someone with "advanced knowledge" will claim it's yet to come.
    Yes... Yeshua, an admitted great man and sometimes accepted as a Prophet by the Jews, (whom I worship as the Son of God), said that Elias shall indeed come, yet He said If they at that time could receive it, Elias had already come. If I take your stance, I could tell you that Jews are wrong to set a chair for Elias, as another Prophet said he already came... But then, that same Yeshua said,

    Matthew 17:11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.

    When Daniel was penned, it was FUTURE to him. Mankind decided when it was fulfilled using history books many, many years later. I do not believe anyone saw unfolding events of that time as fulfilling those prophecies... And if so, what if they were wrong? What if, as Yeshua pointed out, there are indeed other TYPES of fulfillment prior to the official or intended event we do not understand, and what we know does not match what God Knows WILL HAPPEN?

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    Re: false equivalencies in prophecy

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    Or here's one of my favorites, comes up all the time here. People will take a prophecy that is from the past and say it's a future event. Typically it involves some prophecy of the first temple's destruction and following exile, but someone with "advanced knowledge" will claim it's yet to come.
    Yes, that's because as the Law indicates there is this unhealthy interest in determining the future. I call it "crystal-ball reading." It's okay to read the tea leaves, or to try to predict the weather. But it's not okay to have your own private séance, and determine what the "spirits" are telling you will happen.

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    Re: false equivalencies in prophecy

    Quote Originally Posted by Keraz View Post
    If what is prophesied hasn't yet happened, then it IS yet to come.
    Ah. Look who peeked in.

    Warnings given to the generation that saw exile happened to the generation that saw exile. It's not a difficult concept.

    When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning
    Christians usually don't, though. That's how they build their whole case: A "spiritualized" reading of the text.
    "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

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    Re: false equivalencies in prophecy

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post




    The list of seals, trumpets, and vials do not flow like an historical account. Rather, they are lists of events that may more or less happen around the same time. The key, again, is the symbols being used. Seals convey the fulfillment of God's word. Trumpets convey something military. And vials convey judgment. They all reflect prophetic fulfillment without any necessary chronological account with respect to one another. They are more declarations of fact than a crystal ball prophecy.


    But as to something such as the trumpets, how can those events not be in chronological order? Doesn't the 7th trumpet prove that? Would it make good sense that the events recorded in the 7th trumpet could actually precede the events in the first trumpet, or the 2nd trumpet, etc? Which then would mean the timeline for the events of the 7th trumpet have to get moved to an area they can't even fit. I would say the same logic for the vials.

    Which of the following makes better chronological sense?

    Revelation 16:2 And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.

    Revelation 16:17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
    18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.


    Or.....


    Revelation 16:17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
    18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.


    Revelation 16:2 And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.

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    Re: false equivalencies in prophecy

    Quote Originally Posted by Soldier_of_Faith View Post
    What if, as Yeshua pointed out, there are indeed other TYPES of fulfillment prior to the official or intended event we do not understand, and what we know does not match what God Knows WILL HAPPEN?
    I think God has the responsibility to communicate clearly. If He does not, then He can hardly blame us for misunderstanding Him.
    "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

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    Re: false equivalencies in prophecy

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Yes, that's because as the Law indicates there is this unhealthy interest in determining the future. I call it "crystal-ball reading." It's okay to read the tea leaves
    It's really not.

    Leviticus 19: You shall not act on the basis of omens or lucky hours....Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God....

    Leviticus 20: Whoever turns to mediums or spiritists to prostitute himself with them, I will also set My face against that person and cut him off from his people....A man or a woman who is a medium or a spiritist must surely be put to death. They shall be stoned; their blood is upon them...

    Deuteronomy 18: Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, practices divination or conjury, interprets omens, practices sorcery, casts spells, consults a medium or familiar spirit, or inquires of the dead.
    "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

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    Re: false equivalencies in prophecy

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
    I think God has the responsibility to communicate clearly. If He does not, then He can hardly blame us for misunderstanding Him.
    I agree with you, but then what if WE are the problem, misinterpreting or not listening to the Lord's words? He IS speaking clearly, we just don't want to hear what He says...

    Numbers 22:20 And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do. 21 And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab. 22 And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the Lord stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him. 23 And the ass saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way. 24 But the angel of the Lord stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. 25 And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall: and he smote her again. 26 And the angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. 27 And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff. 28 And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?

    Sometimes we just don't get it, and a Donkey needs to correct us... I speak as a fool....

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