Tag Archives: Christ

Hermeneutics and Its Critical Role to Biblical Interpretation

Hermeneutics and Its Critical Role To Biblical Interpretation

            The task of interpreting what the world views as the “antiquated literature” of Scripture has been one of special challenges down through the centuries.  Unlike other written works, however, man’s eternal soul and fate rests on its correct translation and application.  For this reason, a thorough understanding and working knowledge of Hermeneutics is an absolutely necessary tool for the Bible student.  Hermeneutics is simply defined as the science and art of Biblical interpretation.  While its definition may be simple, it correct use and application is something of a weightier matter.

The study of Hermeneutics accomplishes many things for the Bible student, of which the most important is without question to rightly understand what God has said to mankind in His Holy Word.  An improper or absent use of a hermeneutical principle can yield something as small as an ignorant idea to as something as serious as an occult teaching.  Another useful benefit of correct hermeneutical practice is that it helps the Bible student to better understand what the Biblical writers actually penned.  Whether it be a language, culture, geographical, or religious barrier, Hermeneutics helps to clear the picture of the past and translate the true meaning into the “thought” or “language” of today.

There are two basic approaches to the interpretation of Scripture:  Literal and Allegorical.  It is how one views these approaches that ultimately shapes his Biblical doctrine and Eschatological beliefs.  For example, if one approaches Scripture with the Literal approach, he would expect the Book of Revelation to describe events yet still in the future- including a thousand year reign on Earth by Christ Himself upon the throne of David.  The Literal approach takes God literally when it is possible to do so.  Literal interpretation takes God’s message delivered to the Writers and trusts exactly what has been penned down to have occurred or to occur exactly as it has been recorded.  There is little room for compromise or alternative definitions when the Bible student takes this approach.  The logical conclusion of Literal interpretation, therefore, is that the Bible student will come away from the study of the Scripture with a very definite and clearly defined view of the passage.  When the Bible student taking a Literal interpretative approach reads:  “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire,” it is with clear understanding that it is realized that a devastating and physical future judgment awaits those who reject Christ.  (Revelation 20:15, KJV) 1

In sharp contrast to the Literal interpretation of Scripture, the Allegorical interpretation leaves much room for misinterpretation and even gross misuse of Scripture.  The Allegorical method would move away from a “statement” that the Scripture is teaching to more of a global “idea” of the passage.  Literal words and sayings become nothing more than “pictures” and “symbols” used to support the view of the one doing the Interpretation.  Because of this, the logical conclusion of using this method of interpretation of Scripture can be summed up in one word:  chaos.  The Bible student who employs this approach to his studies does nothing more than put his faith in what or whom he is learning from.  Sadly this approach has been used to condone homosexuality, polygamy, drinking, and other Sociological problems of today.  It has also robbed the Bible student of the “blessed hope” of the future Rapture and Millennial Kingdom as this approach commonly denies the two events.  This approach commonly takes the Bible student from relying on the Holy Spirit for illumination of Scripture in personal study to a dependency upon “scholars” who claim to know how to interpret the sayings of old.  It is a means of Interpretation best left in the waste can of liberal teachers from which it originated.

Endnotes

1All Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Bible version, Royal, 1971.

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God’s Future Kingdom: The Best Is Yet To Come!

God’s Future Kingdom:  The Best Is Yet To Come

            God is a God of order.  Throughout over 6,000 years of human history, God has always fulfilled His word just as He promised.  These facts should bring comfort to the believer while issuing a cold warning to the unregenerate at heart.  The same God that sent His Son in millennium past to offer Salvation to His creation will soon judge in righteousness those who have neglected the call.  Included in this righteous judgment will not only be those unsaved peoples and multitudes throughout the ages, but also the architect of evil and immorality himself:  Satan, and his fallen band of angels.  Throughout the present time, Satan has been allowed dominion of this world, and “walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8, KJV).¹  There is coming a time soon when this domination will finally end.  That time will begin with the Millennial reign of Christ upon this Earth.  Daniel records that Christ will indeed be the ruler of this Kingdom, and that, while the period will last for one thousand years, the Kingdom itself will last for all eternity (Daniel 2:44; 7:18, KJV).

The future Kingdom will be one in which Righteousness will reign.  Isaiah records that it will be a time of peace without end, as Christ rules from the earthly throne of David to “establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever” (Isaiah 9:7, KJV).  Unlike today where sin abounds and evil appears to prevail, the future Kingdom will be a government which operates as God intended.  This will also be accomplished by Satan being bound by God in the bottomless pit for the entire 1,000 year period (Revelation 20:1-2, KJV).  This will be the first time in history where Satan is bound!  With the “accuser of the brethren” being subdued, Righteousness will flourish during this time, and sin will quickly be punished and put down.

Isaiah further records that the Kingdom period will be a time when “they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.  They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat…” (Isaiah 65:21-22, KJV).  It indeed will be a peaceful, joyous time when God will allow His people to enjoy the long awaited reign of her Messiah.  It will once again be a time in which man will work the land and enjoy the fruits thereof.  Even nature itself will respect its Creator as “the wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock:  and dust shall be the serpent’s meat”  (Isaiah 65:25, KJV).  Both the human and animal kingdom will recognize and give honor to the Creator and Lord of all.

The inhabitants of this future Kingdom will be comprised of two groups of people alive at the end of the Great Tribulation.  First, those believers who are alive at the end of the Great Tribulation period will enter into the New Kingdom in their physical bodies.  These Gentiles will have accepted Christ as their Savior during the Tribulation period.  The Second group will be those Jews who have also accepted Christ as their Messiah during this period of time.  The Book of Matthew records these events (Matthew 25, KJV).  People will continue to procreate during this one thousand year reign, and those born during this age must accept Christ as their Savior just as has been the case throughout history.  This will, in essence, create a third group of people during this period, which will indeed be those who are unregenerate and in need of a Savior.

At the end of this one thousand year reign, Satan will be loosed for an amount of time in a final attempt to be like God.  Revelation records that Satan will be utterly and totally put down at this time and will be cast into the Lake of Fire for all of eternity (Revelation 20:7-10,KJV).  It is also at this time the new heaven and the new earth will be presented by God, along with the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21, KJV).  What a glorious time this will be as once and for all, God will have completed His restorative work of His creation!  The Jewish people will finally realize the promise of their physical land for all of eternity with Christ reigning from the throne of David on this new earth.  The church will inhabit the New Jerusalem, and will enjoy a city which needs no sun nor moon for light, “for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof” (Revelation 21:23, KJV).  Every saint will have access to each place, and will forever be with their Savior and Messiah.  The relationship of the Kingdom to the new Heavens, Earth, and the New Jerusalem will be in complete harmony, as believers will travel to and from these locations throughout eternity in the worship and service of the Lord and Savior. 

These events still await in the portals of eternity future.  There has not been such a Kingdom set up at this time in history and cannot be established until all of God’s Word is fulfilled in the order of His timing.  God is a God of truth.  His Word does not return void.  As He has written, so shall it be.  Truly, the best is yet to come.

Endnotes

1All Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Bible version, Royal, 1971.

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The chronological events of the Second Coming of Christ

One of the dividing lines within the Christian community is without a doubt, the teaching of the Second Coming of Christ and its significance to the world today.  There are those who hold the Historical view that claim that all the end time events between the 1st and 2nd coming, including chapters 4-19 of Revelation, have already occurred and there is nothing in the future except that of Christ’s return.  The viewpoint of the Preterist says that all events concluded in 70 A.D. and Christ’s Second Coming is all that waits.  Still, others hold to a non-literal viewpoint of the book of Revelation and take an Allegorical approach.  All three preceding viewpoints do not take a literal view of Scripture as one should in reading God’s Word.  The Futuristic approach is undeniably the most accurate, most literal, and most sincere way to define and interpret the book of Revelation.   To hold a Futuristic viewpoint necessitates that those events mentioned after Revelation 4:1 are events that are yet unfulfilled and remain fully active in God’s prophetic time table.  One such event is indeed the Second Coming of Jesus Christ back to this earth.

The Second Coming of Christ can be seen in two stages.  The first stage of this event occurs at the Rapture, mentioned- though unnamed- in Revelation, chapter 4:  “…behold, a door was opened in heaven:  and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, come up hither…”(Revelation 4:1, KJV).1  Christ will descend out of heaven and the saints shall “be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:  and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I Thessalonians 4:17, KJV).  At this point, the church will be removed off the face of the earth and the seven year period known as the Tribulation will begin.  This event was indeed an occurrence to which the Old Testament Prophets were unable to see and recognize.  They were grounded in the fact of the Lord’s return one day to set up His Kingdom, yet could not foresee the Church and the age to which it would occupy.  For this reason, and by God’s design and perfect will, the Old Testament Scriptures prophesy and proclaim the Second Coming of Christ back to the earth, which event is still future and will culminate at the end of the last 3 ½ years at the campaign of Armageddon. 

The Second stage of Christ’s Second Coming is realized in Revelation, chapter 19, as John presents him coming in the clouds “on a white horse…and the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses…” (Revelation 19:11,14, KJV).  Christ will, at this time, physically return to the earth and his feet will rest on the Mount of Olives, causing it to split and make way for the enemies of Israel to flee into the Jezreel valley (Zechariah 14:4,5).  Christ is seen at this time returning with his saints to put down the rule of the Satanic trinity.  At this point, Jerusalem will have been invaded by her enemies, the women raped, and part of the city devastated according to the prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 14:2, KJV).  The purpose of Christ’s return is so that he shall “go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle” (Zechariah 14:3, KJV).  This battle will come to full fruition in the Jezreel valley where Christ will put down the enemies of Israel.  That battle will be so great that the blood will flow up to the horse’s bridles for a distance of 176 miles (Revelation 14:20, KJV).  At the end of this campaign, Christ will make the trek of 176 miles to the land of Edom, unto Bozrah, where the fortified city of Petra will have served as the divine protection of the Jews during this period (Isaiah 63:1-3, KJV).  At this point, Ezekiel records that Christ will collect his people from Petra and will return unto Jerusalem, through the Eastern gate, and will ascend up into the Temple which he has prepared for the Millennial reign (Ezekiel 43:2, KJV).  With the beast and the false prophet defeated and thrown into the Lake of Fire and Satan bound one thousand years in the bottomless pit; Christ will rule from his throne in Jerusalem forever (Ezekiel 43:7, KJV).

            The Second Coming of Christ will indeed usher in the restoration of the Jewish people as a nation, and will also allow Righteousness to reign as God intended so many thousands of years ago.  God’s perfect will and plan will be accomplished.  The end-time events will finally culminate in the permanent judgment and punishment of Satan at the end of the one thousand year reign (Revelation 20:7-10, KJV).  Those that died without Christ will also stand before the Lord as Judge at the Great White Throne during this time (Revelation 20:11-15, KJV).  The final act of Christ in closing out this period will be a gift to those who know him as Savior of eternity future with a new Heaven, new Earth, and  New Jerusalem.  Until that time, it should be every believer’s desire, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus”(Revelation 22:20, KJV).

 

 Endnotes

1All Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Bible version, Royal, 1971.

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The components of the Tribulation period

The Components of the Tribulation Period

There remains in future events, a period of time that will be unlike any other ever witnessed on earth.  This period of time will usher in the culmination of God’s judgments, promises, and His will that was set in motion in eternity past.  This period of time is known as the Tribulation.  The book of Revelation records these events that will soon take place.  It is of great importance that the Christian read and understand the events to come recorded in this book.  The Scripture promises “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein:  for the time is at hand” (Revelation 1:3, KJV).1
To hear these words is indeed a privilege- to obey them is indeed a duty.

The events of Revelation involve two groups of people- Gentiles and Jews- yet centers on and honor bestowed upon its rightful owner:  “The Revelation of Jesus Christ…” (Revelation 1:1, KJV).  To correctly interpret the book, one must approach its content through a futuristic approach, which calls for the events after Revelation 4:1 to be viewed as unfulfilled prophecy that will literally take place just as God has recorded.  The key character in this passage, as has already been stated, is Jesus Christ Himself.  It is through Revelation that God unfolds (1) the Person; (2) the Power; and (3) the Program of Christ.  The Person of Christ reveals the God given authority and royalty of Christ as Judge and Lord of all.  The Power of Christ is shown through the workings of His will and His victorious triumph over the evil one and sin.  The Program of Christ is laid out in explicit detail of: “(1) the things that are seen; (2) the things that are; and (3) the things that shall be hereafter”(Revelation 1:19,KJV).  The “things that are seen” and the “things that are” were accomplished in chapters 1 through 3, while the “things that shall be hereafter” remain awaiting fulfillment.

The Tribulation period is set to begin at any moment at the inception of the Rapture, at which time God calls to His people to “come up hither” (Revelation 4:1, KJV).  It is at this point in time that the two groups of people remaining on earth, will, in essence, switch focus in the eyes of God.  The Gentile population has spent the last several thousand years in control of human history.  The focus now shifts to that of the Jewish people.  During this period of time, the priorities on God’s table of events will include:  (1)Evangelize the Jew; (2)Bring an end to the Gentile world powers- also known as the “times of the Gentiles”; and (3) Bring an end to the Satanic trinity.  The Jewish people, as a nation, has until now lived in a state of Holy deception due to their rejection of their Messiah at the first advent.  This will no longer be the case during this time, but God, through the work of the 144,000 Jewish male virgin evangelists, will go throughout the world proclaiming the true Gospel and through this time Israel will, finally as a nation, recognize her Messiah.  At the same time, Gentile powers will fall and those who rejected Christ and His offer of Salvation prior to the rapture will seal their fate as they are sent a “strong delusion, that they should believe a lie; that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (II Thessalonians 2:11-12,KJV).  The end of the Satanic trinity will also be brought about during the Tribulation period, with the Antichrist and the False Prophet being cast into the Lake of Fire.  Satan will be bound at this time for 1,000 years in the Bottomless Pit awaiting the final culmination of God’s plan, at which future time He, too, will be cast into the Lake of Fire.

God indeed is a righteous judge and a faithful witness.  What He says will come to pass will indeed come to pass.  The judgments that will come forth out of this period of time will indeed be the most horrific and severe judgments ever known to man.  There will be three sets of judgments meted out by God:  (1)The Seal Judgments; (2)The Trumpet Judgments; and (3)The Vial Judgments.  Through the work of the two witnesses, the holy angels, and even the satanic host themselves, God will bring about a holy and righteous judgment upon lost mankind.  Each set of judgments will increase in severity and horror.  The purpose of this period, again, is to make Israel see her true Messiah, but also to give men a chance to call upon God for He is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9).

The seven year period of time known as the Tribulation is but a short summons away.  The rapture could occur at any moment and this horrific series of events begin to unfold.  Christians should be ever aware of the times in which they live and “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you…”(I Peter 3:14).  Having done that, all that is left to do is to keep looking up- until.

 

Endnotes

1All Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Bible version, Royal, 1971.

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