Interpreting prophecies

Discussion in 'Sacred Scripture' started by Rexlion, Aug 24, 2020.

  1. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    An interesting coincidence this though.

    It's difficult to estimate the number of deaths due to radiation sickness cause by the Chernobyl disaster because most of the data remains a closely guarded secret. If it is indeed a precursor to apocalyptic disaster though it would be a good illustration of the way in which such visionary prophesies may have a 'metaphorically' slack fit with the possibly actual reality. Though a reactor fire is not a star being hurled to earth by an angel, it could be the result of human incompetence caused by 'spiritual wickedness in high places', which figuratively may amount to much the same thing and it is in fact nuclear fission, which is rather like nuclear fusion, which is what actually goes on in a 'star'.
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  2. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    What are we supposed to believe concerning the time of Jesus' second advent?

    In Matt. 24 (quoted in a previous post) the disciples expressed their concern and desire to know what would be the signs of Jesus' return. This was an important matter to them. Jesus thought it was important also, for He spent some time explaining about the things that would take place before He returned. It is worth noting that Jesus mentioned several things (earthquakes, wars, etc.), but there was one thing He really, really emphasized: beware of deception.

    Mat 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
    Mat 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many....

    Mat 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many....

    Mat 24:23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
    Mat 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

    Jesus does not want His people to be caught unaware. He repeatedly warns of the danger of deception. Deception is an extreme danger.

    We know the ultimate source of deception. It is Lucifer, also called Satan and "that old serpent". 2 Cor. 11:14 says that Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Lucifer was made in a form both splendid and beautiful (Ezek. 28:13-19 makes allegorical reference to him) and was present in the garden of Eden. Could he have taken on the form of a serpent? We can't rule it out entirely; Scripture says that angels can take the forms of men and be 'entertained unawares' by us (Heb. 13:2), so we don't know what constraints of appearance (if any) Lucifer and his fallen angels may be under. For all we know, they might be able to assume any form ranging from an animal, to a horned demon, to a space alien, to an incredibly photogenic human. Whatever their form and manner of speech, their purpose will be to deceive people from the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They will find their most ready subjects among those who are not alert, people who watch neither for Satanic deception nor for the second coming of Christ.

    Revelation was written to warn us about the last days before Christ's return. Revelation identifies three primary characters who will strive to deceive all men in those final hours. The book describes Lucifer as a dragon (Rev. 12) and his two principal henchmen as "beasts." The first beast (Rev. 13:1-10; Rev. 19:19) is said to be a leader of the kings of the earth, a leader who makes war against the saints and overcomes many of them; he appears to be a leader of governments and is thought by some to be "the Antichrist." The second beast (Rev. 13:11-17; Rev. 19:20) has the power to perform great signs and wonders, and he deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles (Rev. 13:14); he appears to be a religious leader. This latter person, sometimes referred to as "the false prophet," will induce people to worship the governmental leader; this makes sense if the populace is led to believe that the latter (the "Antichrist") is going to work some manner of 'salvation' for mankind, be it salvation for them in particular or for the planet in general (perhaps in terms of climate, ecology, or overpopulation).

    As a part of the effort to induce universal obeisance to himself and his agenda, the Antichrist will oblige every person to accept an identifying mark on the hand or the forehead (Rev. 13:16-17), without which a person may not conduct monetary transactions (including, presumably, at the grocery store). Given the choice between accepting this sign of allegiance or starving, who would willingly hold out? But Rev. 14:9-11 warns us, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. This appears to be a dire warning and caution to all Christians that we must not give in to the directive. To be preserved by Christ unto the end, we must not turn toward the deceiver in an effort to save our own flesh from suffering and death. As Jesus said, In that day... Remember Lot's wife. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it (Luke 17:31-33). No wonder Jesus called it the time of "great tribulation" (Matt. 24:21).

    Jesus wants His people to be forewarned and forearmed with the knowledge of the dangerous things that would transpire just before His return. He also wants His people to be alert and watching, constantly 'on the lookout,' for His coming. For if Christians believe that God is far away and that Jesus' sudden return is likely to be thousands of years distant, it will be easy for them to give in to the weakness of the flesh and to rationalize that "it's okay to pretend I'm loyal and worshipful toward this false one, because God will understand that I have to eat." But if the nearness of God and the sudden, imminent return of Christ are uppermost in the conscious mind of a believer, the temptation to succumb to the needs of the flesh will be easier (though still by no means easy) to resist. And if the believer is forewarned and can recognize the signs of the end and the "mark of the beast" when it is presented to everyone, the warning of Revelation 14:9-11 will strengthen his resolve even more.

    So it is incumbent upon every Christian to know the signs of the end as the Scriptures teach them, to watch expectantly for them, and to be always watchful for Christ's sudden return.

    Mat 24:42-25:13 -- Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants (or turn in his neighbors for noncompliance with Antichrist-worship?), and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.