Wars, earthquakes, floods, and famines have long been considered the traits of what many believe to be the Biblical description of the "end times". Added to this is what many understand to be the predictions of increased apostasy, the rise in persecution, the deterioration of society's morals, and the increased compromise and lukewarmness of the Church. And surely, if these are the characteristics of what the Bible describes as the last days, we must be in the last days, right? But are we? And if we are, so what? And if we aren't, then what? But are we in what the Bible describes as the 'end times'? [Read full article]
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Take a Bible College Course on Jesus Christ (called "Christology") and eventually you will study the incarnation of Christ and explore how His Divine and Human natures formed a union. The mystery of how God became man is further magnified when it is supposed that although Christ possessed all of the Divine attributes (immutability, eternality, omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence) He was at times not utilizing His Divine nature and instead speaking from His limited Human nature. In this way, it is argued, Christ was actually ignorant of certain things. The most common proof-text to support this doctrine is Matthew 24:36-
¶ "But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only."
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The "lion and the lamb shall lay down together" is often cited a prophecy speaking of a literal utopia on earth to come - a Golden Age - referred to as 'The Millennium'. It is argued that since so many of the prophecies regarding The Christ's first appearing were fulfilled literally, surely such prophecies of a Golden Age will also be fulfilled literally. This yet-to-come Golden Age ("The Millennium") is spoken of as "Paradise Restored" - an age of Paradise on earth where there will be no death, sorrow, pain or sickness. The prophets described this era with the expression, "the lion and the lamb shall lay down together..." But there is a slight, ever so slight, problem with this: the expression, the lion and lamb shall lay down together does not occur in the Bible! The closest we can get to it Isaiah 11:6.
¶ The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
and a little child shall lead them.
I was with a group of pastors recently in Sydney where one of them quizzed me about the prophecy in the Old Testament referring to the lion and lamb laying down together. I gently pointed out that this expression doesn't appear in the Bible...[read full article]
I was dining with a theologian recently who had lectured on the Book of Revelation for years. He had even been to Patmos to conduct a teaching tour of the Apocalypse. But like some theologians, he felt that Revelation was a complete enigma. He was adamant that there was not any particular method to understand everything in the Book of Revelation. His claim is believed by many. He cited Deuteronomy 29:29 to justify his belief that it was impossible to understand the Book of Revelation, claiming that The Apocalypse was a divine secret. But there is one immediate and gargantuen problem with this idea: for Revelation to be a revelation it has to be a revelation. If it can not be understood, then it can never be a revelation!
The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,
There is a certain hang-over from Post-Modernism that makes the idea of the Book of Revelation being divinely vague very appealing. Post-Modernism relishes in the idea that nothing can be known for certain. It despises the notion of being 'right' and extols the notion of uncertainty. In presenting a case for how the Book of Revelation can be understood, Post-Modernist Theologians will protest that this is just one of the many ways that it can be interpretted. This dismissal fits their larger idea about how the Bible can be interpretted in a singular fashion. It promotes the concept that a Biblical text can be validly interpretted a number of diverse ways simultaneously. To hold a contrary view to this Post-Modern approach is to be accused with the worst name-calling a Post-Modernist can employ to belittle their objectors: narrow-minded and dogmatic. (Which ironically seems like a rather narrow-minded and dogmatic objection.) [read the full article]
We all approach the Bible with certain ideas that color the way we read it. This is especially the case with the Book of Revelation. While certain parts of the Bible are difficult to understand (largely because we are separated by time, distance, language, personal disconnection and cultural practices), the Book of Revelation is particularly difficult to understand. This is borne out by the plethora of interpretations that have been offered about it...
Generally there are four schools of interpretation regarding the Book of Revelation. Most people studying the diverse views on the Book of Revelation will at least overview these four views. These are dealt with by Steve Gregg in his book, Revelation: Four Views: A Parallel Commentary. Each of these views generally claim to interpret the Book of Revelation "literally". Yet each view goes about this 'literal interpretation' quite differently. This is why it is more helpful to settle how we should interpret the Bible accurately rather than try to read the Bible through a particular interpretation grid. This especially applies when seeking to understand the Book of Revelation.
Having a system or grid through which we read and understand the Bible is not always a negative thing, but it should not be the starting point. Rather, we should discover the sound principles for interpreting Scripture which apply to every book of the Bible - including the Book of Revelation. This becomes problematic for those who start with a system and then adapt their method of Biblical interpretation (which Theologians call: Hermeneutics) to fit their system because it is impossible to be Biblically consistent with this approach which leads to different systems for different books of the Bible. This is why most Biblical Scholars, who have a high regard for the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture, recognise that Scripture interprets Scripture. That is, they regard two immediate things about the Bible...[read the full article]
I have written a fuller explanation of the book of Revelation in my eBook- THE MOST EMBARRASSING BOOK IN THE BIBLE (click here to read a preview). The application from the Book of Revelation is that despite what appears to be an impotent Church struggling to serve an apparently impotent Christ, the Church is in reality made up of overcomers who lay down their lives gladly to promote Christ and His Gospel. In so doing, the Kingdom of Christ is extended, prayers are offered and heard, miracles are graced, and the believer can die with infinite hope that their Lord will keep them for eternity and clothe them with a new body which can not be subject to pain, injury, sorrow, or sin. With this knowledge we can endure momentary hardship during the brevity of this life on earth. We can be assured that our greatest delights and deepest moments of fulfilment are yet to come in the life to come.
John 5:25 ¶ “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.
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