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Connecting the Scriptures On the False Prophets

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Connecting the Scriptures On the Work of the False Prophets Of the End Times

A whole strand of scripture put together makes a stronger and clearer statement on a doctrine. But some will quarrel against connecting scriptures into holistic strands of doctrine. They may have been taught scripture in a compartmentalized way.

Revelation 9:14-19 and II Peter 2:1-3 as well as Matthew 24: 11 are important prophecy texts which provide knowledge about how a huge number of false prophets will deceive many and lead them away from sound doctrine into false doctrines. The falling away of II Thessalonians 2:3-4 and the leavening of the Kingdom of God of Luke 13:18-21 also give us important knowledge about this topic.

The NIV for Matthew 24: 11 says "and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people." It is not easy to diminish this doctrine in Matthew 24: 11 But Revelation 9:14-19 presents the doctrine in the language of metaphor. Dispensationalism begins from the assumptions that God now has two peoples, not one and that prophecy - and all scripture should be interpreted in a literal way, discouraging the admission that much of prophecy is in metaphoric language. And II Peter 2: 3 - "through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you" is metaphoric in that people are not literally merchandise. To make merchandise of people as a metaphor means to change them, while in the NIV exploit you does not necessarily mean to change your spiritual state and ability to discern and love the truth. The NIV avoids the metaphoric meaning in II Peter 2: 3. It also avoids the metaphoric meaning of Revelation 9: 15 and 9: 18 by translating "triton ton anthropon" as "a third of mankind," meaning one third of all people will be killed. On the other hand, the Tyndale, Geneva and KJV all have "the third part of men," which can mean man in three parts is "killed" in one part. That is. one part of three part man is "killed." This provides far different knowledge that saying "a third of mankind" is to be literally killed.

The New King James has "So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind." So, the New King James says the same thing as the NIV, that a third of mankind will be killed, meaning the killing is literal. But the translation of "triton ton anthropon" in the Tyndale, Geneva and King James versions as "the third part of men" fits with the scriptures on this strand in the Bible about the work of the many false prophets.

In Joel 1: 4-12 locusts laid my vine waste and barked my fig tree (verse 7), and in verse 12 the vine is dried up and the fig tree languishes.

The vine is found in John 15: 1-6, where Christ is the vine and ye are the branches. The fig tree is in Luke 13: 6-9, where Christ as the dresser of the vineyard asks the Father to let him, the dresser, give
new life to the fig tree, which is physical Israel, and if it does not bear fruit, to cut it down.

Locust-scorpions are in Revelation 9: 1-3, which arise at the opening of the bottomless pit. Scorpions, which talk, indicating they are metaphoric, are in Ezekiel 2: 3-6. The text begins in saying that God will send Ezekiel to the children of Israel, a rebellious house, who have transgressed against God. But God says not to be afraid of them or of their words as Ezekiel is among these scorpions.

The locusts horde which lay waste the vine and bark the fig tree appear in Joel 2: 2 and 11 in a day of darkness and gloominess which is the day of the Lord, indicating they as the locust-scorpions appear at the end time.

And - the horde of locusts are said to be the northern army in Joel 2: 20. Remember that in Revelation 9: 16 the number of the army of horsemen is two hundred thousand thousand. In Revelation 9: 15 and Revelation 9: 18 this army of false prophets "kill" the third part of men, that is, they kill one part of three part man, his spiritual part. In "killing" man's spiritual part, they reduce him to the spiritual state of the natural man of I Corinthians 2: 14, who cannot receive the things of the Holy Spirit. The army of false prophets of Revelation 9: 16 is the same group as the many false prophets who deceive many of Matthew 24: 11. In II Peter 2: 1-3 this same army of false prophets make merchandise of you, that is, they change you into a spiritual state of not being able to know the things of the Holy Spirit.

In Daniel 8: 12 a host "...cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered." The truth is cxast down to the ground by the huge numbers of false prophets and by those who are deceived into following their false doctrines.

"And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up." Daniel 8: 23

For Daniel 8: 23, the "transgressors" is Strong's number 6586, pasha, "to break away from just authority, i.e, trespass, apostatize, quarrel, offend, rebel, revolt, transgress."

The huge number of false prophets and their followers apostatize, offend, rebel and quarrel with the truth as they cast the truth to the ground.

Then in II Thessalonians 2: 4 the metaphoric "man of sin" is to sit in the minds and hearts of those who are, or were, the temple of God. Since the "man of sin" is not to sit in a literal temple, but in the temple which is, or was, the believers in Christ, he is not a single, literal person either. The whole passage, II Thessalonians 2: 3-4, is metaphoric. When those who claim to be the people of God become the "man of sin" they are no longer the elect, though some can come back if led back by the Holy Spirit.

The man of sin can be seen to be the outcome of the work of either the False Prophet or of the spirit of anti-Christ, or both. The False Prophet, as many individual priests and preachers, leads people to the spirit of anti-Christ (see Revelation 13: 12), that is, to the head of the first beast in Revelation 13: 3. As a group claiming to be the people of God the "sinful people" represented as the "man of sin" are like the transgressors who have come to the full in Daniel 8: 23
 
Loyal
On the matter of false prophets, its clear how (according to the old and new) we are to know if they are from God. If they do the good works that God calls us to do, they are of God. Prophets of old and John the Baptist and Jesus were all persecuted by the supposed official Holy people of their day, who ignored the good works these prophets did, and were jealous that God chose them over themselves to bring a message to the people. Its only generations later they say, "I would not have persecuted them if I were there." Show kindness to all who have a prophetic word (exhorting others due to a message they receive from God), especially those who abound in good works, for its by their fruits you shall know them. Those not from God, their works and words will prove them a false prophet, these are people who wish to be recognized for their special relationship to God, and they don't always give Jesus/God the glory, for they love the earthly glory they receive.
 
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DHC

It also avoids the metaphoric meaning of Revelation 9: 15 and 9: 18 by translating "triton ton anthropon" as "a third of mankind," meaning one third of all people will be killed. On the other hand, the Tyndale, Geneva and KJV all have "the third part of men," which can mean man in three parts is "killed" in one part. That is. one part of three part man is "killed." This provides far different knowledge that saying "a third of mankind" is to be literally killed.

The New King James has "So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind." So, the New King James says the same thing as the NIV, that a third of mankind will be killed, meaning the killing is literal. But the translation of "triton ton anthropon" in the Tyndale, Geneva and King James versions as "the third part of men" fits with the scriptures on this strand in the Bible about the work of the many false prophets.
Hello Tulsa.

You said;

On the other hand, the Tyndale, Geneva and KJV all have "the third part of men," which can mean man
in three parts is "killed" in one part. That is one part of three part man is "killed."

If we follow your line of reasoning Tulsa there arises a problem with the text.

The text says 'men' not the singular 'man' (Revelations 9:15,18,20). Here have a look at another verse
in the same chapter of Revelations.

Revelations 9
20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues...

You would also need to follow the same method of interpretation and say; 'the rest of the man
which were not killed'

This interpretation does not hold when applied to verse 20. How do you read 'the rest of the man
which were not killed'?
 
Member
The key to understanding that the "third" part of men in Revelation 9: 15 and Revelation 9: 18 is that in Revelation 9: 17 it says fire and brimstone goes out of the MOUTHS of the huge number of riders, referring back to verse 16. In verse 18 it says in an explicit way that the third part of men were killed by the fire, smoke and brimstone which goes forth out of their mouths.

If you are going to follow the literal method of interpretation of dispensationalism, you have to explain how the killing of one third of mankind is literally killed, as the new Bible versions imply, by what comes of the mouths of the huge number of horsemen of Revelation 9: 16. If Revelation 9: 14-19 is metaphoric, then it makes no sense to say that Revelation 9: 20-21 is literal.

The truth is Revelation 9: 16-19 is metaphoric, and is not to be taken to be literal, because doing so destroys the knowledge contained in the language of metaphor in the text. Because Revelation 9: 20-21 appears not to be metaphoric cannot be used as an excuse to destroy the knowledge in the metaphoric language.

And - an advantage of looking at several scriptures on the strand of scripture dealing with the work of the false prophets, is that other texts in this strand can be used to interpret one particular text that appears to be a problem. Looking at many scriptures within a strand that presents a doctrine rather than looking at texts one at a time in a compartmentalized way makes it more likely that individual texts that are difficult can be interpreted by the other texts. This is one reason why scripture is taught in a compartmentalized way, so that the texts can more easily be interpreted according to the traditions of men to many people who don't have a knowledge of the whole of scripture or do not have enough attention span to deal with all of them all at once.

Tim LaHaye claims the 200,000,000 horsemen of Revelation 9: 16 are demons but Hal Lindsey and others say they are the armies of the kings of the East, specifically from China. There is a supernatural component to Revelation 9, because the chapter opens with an angel opening the bottomless pit. But the entire chapter is heavily metaphoric, and the 200,000,000 horsemen are metaphoric for a huge number of false prophets and demons who inspire them. The reference to fire, smoke and brimstone coming out of the mouths of the army of horsemen in verses 17 and 18 can be seen as being associated with the evil supernatural having been released from the bottomless pit. But nevertheless the metaphoric fire, smoke and brimstone comes out of the mouths of humans, the false prophets.

The interpretations of Tim LaHaye and Hal Lindsey on Revelation 9: 16 both lead away from any metaphoric view of Revelation 9: 15-21 being about a huge number of false prophets who diminish the spiritual side of those they deceive, so that the deceived are not able to know and accept the things of the Holy Spirit. Since Revelation 9: 15-21 is so metaphoric, it can be more easily interpreted in literal ways to lead people away from the knowledge that the Bible talks about a huge number of false prophets in the end time who change those who they deceive into the state of a man who does not come to the knowledge of the truth. The simple statement in Matthew 24: 11, "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many" is not so easily diminished by those who might be threatened by its truth. But the implications of Matthew 24: 11 are not spelled out in its brief statement. That is why there are several other scriptures on this topic of there arising many false prophets who will deceive many, and as II Peter 2: 1-3 says,"And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you..." This is another metaphor saying the same thing as that in Revelation 9: 15-19. But one has to get out of the dispensationalist or any other bent toward literalist interpretation to understand how, in the language of metaphor, different metaphors teach the same knowledge, and the purpose of end time Bible prophecy is to teach knowledge, and not exactly when some event is to occur.. And heed Hosea 4: 6, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will reject thee also..."
 
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DHC

The key to understanding that the "third" part of men in Revelation 9: 15 and Revelation 9: 18 is that in Revelation 9: 17 it says fire and brimstone goes out of the MOUTHS of the huge number of riders, referring back to verse 16. In verse 18 it says in an explicit way that the third part of men were killed by the fire, smoke and brimstone which goes forth out of their mouths.

If you are going to follow the literal method of interpretation of dispensationalism, you have to explain how the killing of one third of mankind is literally killed, as the new Bible versions imply, by what comes of the mouths of the huge number of horsemen of Revelation 9: 16. If Revelation 9: 14-19 is metaphoric, then it makes no sense to say that Revelation 9: 20-21 is literal.

The truth is Revelation 9: 16-19 is metaphoric, and is not to be taken to be literal,
Hello Tulsa.

How would you interpret the following verses, metaphoric or literal?

Revelations 9
7 The appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads appeared to be crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men.
8 They had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions.
9 They had breastplates like breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to battle.
10 They have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months.
11 They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon.
 
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"In Joel 1:4-12 locusts laid my vine waste and barked my fig tree (verse 7), and in verse 12 the vine is dried up and the fig tree languishes.

The vine is found in John 15:1-6, where Christ is the vine and ye are the branches. The fig tree is in Luke 13:6-9; where Christ as the dresser of the vineyard asks the Father to let him, the dresser, give
new life to the fig tree, which is physical Israel, and if it does not bear fruit, to cut it down.

Locust-scorpions are in Revelation 9:1-3, which arise at the opening of the bottomless pit. Scorpions, which talk, indicating they are metaphoric, are in Ezekiel 2:3-6. The text begins in saying that God will send Ezekiel to the children of Israel, a rebellious house, who have transgressed against God. But God says not to be afraid of them or of their words as Ezekiel is among these scorpions.

The locust horde which lay waste the vine and bark the fig tree appear in Joel 2: 2 and 11 in a day of darkness and gloominess which is the day of the Lord, indicating they as the locust-scorpions appear at the end time." End quote from original post.

If you can get out of the dispensationalist literal mindset, it is easier to see that scripture presents the same knowledge in different metaphors. The locusts in Joel lay waste to the vine and bark the fig tree. In Revelation 9 the locust-scorpions are described in metaphoric language. They torment but do not kill those who are not sealed by God. There is information on the traits of the locust-scorpions in their identity as both locusts (see Joel 1) and as scorpions (Ezekiel 2). As scorpions they sting or torment those they see as their spiritual opponents. As locusts they like to eat up things, meaning they are greedy for fleshly and worldly things.

The serpents, who are the huge number of false prophets of Revelation 9: 16-19, metaphorically kill the third part of three part men.

The scorpions are seen in Ezekiel 2: 3-6, but these are scorpions of physical Israel.

In Luke 10: 19 Christ says "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you."

Those who have been taught to compartmentalize scripture - to consider only one text at a time - will say, oh, no, Christ is not talking about the locust-scorpions of Revelation 9: 1-11, nor about the locusts of Joel 1: 4-12, or the scorpions of Ezekiel 2: 3-6. Some will say Christ is only talking in Luke 10: 19 about demon spirits, not about men also.

The serpents, seen also in Matthew 23: 33 as the Pharisees, are identified in Revelation 9: 19. They are the leaders, who have the spirit of anti-Christ, who as leaders of physical Israel led the people to reject Christ, or are False Prophets in our timeline who in Matthew 24: 5 come in Christ's name, saying he is Christ, but who deceive many. The False Prophets in Revelation 13: 12 cause people to worship the head of the first beast (Revelation 13: 3), whose deadly wound was healed (in 1948). The serpents as the False Prophets lead people to another Jesus and another Gospel (II Corinthians 11: 4, Galatians 1: 6-9).
 
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Tulsa: as far as a false prophet who would you consider are some false prophets to be warned of? I think Dr. John McCarthur had a conference called "Strange Fire" did you read or hear some of that?
 
Member
Matthew 24: 11 says "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many." II Thessalonians 2: 3-4 says "[TABLE]
<tbody>[TR]
[TD="align: right"][/TD]
[TD="align: left"]Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: right"]<bdo dir="ltr">4</bdo>.
[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God."

That day is the second appearing of Christ. The falling away - from sound doctrine - happens in the last days sometime near the second coming of Christ. II Timothy 3: 5, 7-8 says those who claim to be Christians "in the last days (when) perilous times shall come" have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof, are not able to come to the knowledge of the truth, and resist the truth.

Though these prophecies do not tell us exactly the time when the falling away began and many false prophets appear, we know that we are in that general time period now if you look at what is being taught and what these scriptures say. The better question is who is telling the truth?[/TD]
[/TR]
</tbody>[/TABLE]
 
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DHC

If you can get out of the dispensationalist literal mindset, it is easier to see that scripture presents the same knowledge in different metaphors. The locusts in Joel lay waste to the vine and bark the fig tree. In Revelation 9 the locust-scorpions are described in metaphoric language. They torment but do not kill those who are not sealed by God. There is information on the traits of the locust-scorpions in their identity as both locusts (see Joel 1) and as scorpions (Ezekiel 2). As scorpions they sting or torment those they see as their spiritual opponents. As locusts they like to eat up things, meaning they are greedy for fleshly and worldly things.

The serpents, who are the huge number of false prophets of Revelation 9: 16-19, metaphorically kill the third part of three part men.

The scorpions are seen in Ezekiel 2: 3-6, but these are scorpions of physical Israel.

In Luke 10: 19 Christ says "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you."

Those who have been taught to compartmentalize scripture - to consider only one text at a time - will say, oh, no, Christ is not talking about the locust-scorpions of Revelation 9: 1-11, nor about the locusts of Joel 1: 4-12, or the scorpions of Ezekiel 2: 3-6. Some will say Christ is only talking in Luke 10: 19 about demon spirits, not about men also.
Hello Tulsa.

Read your reply to the earlier question I posted and I am becoming more curious now.

Further on and within the same chapter of revelations we have the verses below.

I am interested in how you interpret these with particular attention to the descriptions
of the riders.

Revelations 9
17 And this is how I saw in the vision the horses and those who sat on them: the riders had breastplates the color of fire and of hyacinth and of brimstone;
and the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths proceed fire and smoke and brimstone.
18 A third of mankind was killed by these three plagues, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which proceeded out of their mouths.
19 For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents and have heads, and with them they do harm.
 
Member
Endless <cite class="vurls">maneuvering</cite>‎, and sidestepping, and posing leading questions is not the way to get to the truth. And it is not a good idea to get into this kind of dialogue with an individual.
 
Member

DHC

Endless <cite class="vurls">maneuvering</cite>‎, and sidestepping, and posing leading questions is not the way to get to the truth. And it is not a good idea to get into this kind of dialogue with an individual.
Hello Tulsa.

You said;

Endless maneuvering‎, and sidestepping, and posing leading questions is not the way to get to the truth.
And it is not a good idea to get into this kind of dialogue with an individual.


I am not sure whether you realize it or not, but you are posting on a discussion forum.
That is what TJ is Tulsa, a website specifically for discussion. A site for questions, praise,
testimonies, e.t.c. Although the purpose of TJ is to take the Gospel to the World, sometimes
theology arises and needs to be addressed.

I was amazed at the way you handled (chapter 9) of the book of Revelations. So I needed to
see how you handled various verses in that same chapter. I do not see the process of understanding
your theology as some kind of endless manoeuvering. Also TJ is not a medium for the advertisement
of your denominational theology by the way Tulsa. So if you do not wish to discuss the subject you posted
then I would advise you not to post. Remember Tulsa, this is not a personal attack on you!

Relax and enjoy the discussion Tulsa.
 
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In Revelation 12: 14-16 there is another metaphoric text within the thread of scripture giving knowledge about the work of the many false prophets of Matthew 24: 11.

"And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
15. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. 16. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth."

The metaphoric woman in Revelation 12: 5 brings forth a man child, which is Christ, and yet in Revelation 12: 17 the remnant is said to be her seed. She can be seen as Sion, which is Zion transformed into Sion, or physical Israel reborn in Jesus Christ. She is not the church, since the church, from ekklesia, is just a meeting or assembly of those in Sion. and the assembly can include some who are not of the elect. Only the elect are Sion. The woman cannot be Old Covenant Israel because the remnant in Revelation 12: 17 is said to be her seed, and that remnant of Israel (Isaiah 10: 20-22, Zephaniah 3: 13, Romans 9: 27, Romans 11: 5) is of the New Covenant.

Note that in Revelation 9: 17 the fire, jacinth and brimstone is said to come out of the mouths of the huge army of horsemen of verse 16. In Revelation 9: 18 what "kills" the third part of men is that which comes out of the mouths of the army of horsemen.

So, in Revelation 12: 15 and in Revelation 9: 17-18 that which the serpent and the army of horsemen use to carry away the metaphoric woman and "kill" the third part of men comes from their mouths. Revelation 12: 15 and Revelation 9: 17-18 are two different metaphoric texts describing the same thing. It is the work of the many false prophets of Matthew 24: 11.

Mark 13: 22-24 also says "For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. 23. But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things. 24. But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light..." Luke 21: 8 alludes to the appearing of the false prophets toward the end of the age in saying "And he said, 'Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying I am Christ: and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them."

Christ talks about deception three times in Matthew 24, in verses 4, 5 and 11. The false prophets operate through deception. To those who are not born again and do not know the scriptures very well, the false prophets appear to be men of God, but they are deceivers and bring false doctrines into the Christian community, and some of these false doctrines become traditions of men. Christ warned about the traditions of men in Matthew 15: 6, "Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition." In Mark 7: 13 Christ says "Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye."

One thing the huge number of false prophets do is block, for their followers, the knowledge that Bible prophecy would give to those in Christ. They do this by their War Upon the Word. They reduce and change the Gospel itself in their interpretations of scripture, and as Bible translators, they sometimes make slight changes in verse wordings to diminish the clarity of a teaching. Another way of diminishing the knowledge given by prophecy is to insist that all prophecy must be literal.

"But without a parable spake he not unto them..." Mark 4: 33

"I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets." Hosea 12: 10

With metaphoric language, God can open parts of the metaphoric texts to those he decides to open the knowledge to. Some metaphoric Bible prophecy is so rich in knowledge that it would be impossible to exhaust it. More and more knowledge from a rich metaphoric text can be opened to those in Christ as they pray for more knowledge from the Lord. But an entire richly metaphoric text like Revelation 9, 11, 12, 13, 17,18 and on to 21 is often not opened entirely to us in all its details and inexhaustible riches all at once by the Holy Spirit. Those deceived by the false prophets may think that such metaphoric prophecies are opened to the false prophets as the religious authorities in all details, but they are leaning to their own understanding. Parts of the text are often opened by the Lord one at a time. And others to whom God has given them understanding tell us of that understanding and we can then decide whether its true understanding or not. "Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge." I Corinthians 14: 29

"But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; " Isaiah 28: 13

Threads of scripture on various topics are here a little and there a little, the strand is scattered in several different books of the Bible. The thread on the work of the false prophets is scattered over several books and is in both Testaments. In that thread on false prophets, they deceive people in order to bring them damnable heresies (II Peter 2: 1), and to change them to a spiritual condition said in II Peter 2: 3 to be as through the false prophets make them into merchandise. Joel 2: 2, 11 indicate that the false prophets are to appear near the time of the Day of the Lord.


Scripture can be used to help interpret other scriptures within a thread like that on the false prophets. But the false prophets, in being the majority in the churches, have led people to insist on using the traditions of men to interpret scriptures that are not immediately clear, simple and obvious in their meaning, such as Matthew 24: 11.

The tribulation can be seen as a period of time near the end of the age when the transgressors, the false prophets and their followers, have come to the full, as Daniel 8: 23 says. At that time the false prophets war against the word of God with their deception. They are the vast majority and those who defend the truth of the word are few. Yet this is the threshing floor of Jeremiah 51: 33 where the wheat is separated from the tares of Matthew 13: 28-30.
 
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There are interesting thoughts on how the Muslim world will fall into place in the end times. I see the Islim religion as a huge threat now in the United States, and unless Christians wake up they well may find Christianity and witnessing become very restricted. In fact in some very inportant ways Christian's are already greatly restricted in the UK and somewhat in Canada. Does anyone else see this as a sign of the end of times?
 
Loyal
The key to understanding that the "third" part of men in Revelation 9: 15 and Revelation 9: 18 is that in Revelation 9: 17 it says fire and brimstone goes out of the MOUTHS of the huge number of riders, referring back to verse 16. In verse 18 it says in an explicit way that the third part of men were killed by the fire, smoke and brimstone which goes forth out of their mouths.

If you are going to follow the literal method of interpretation of dispensationalism, you have to explain how the killing of one third of mankind is literally killed, as the new Bible versions imply, by what comes of the mouths of the huge number of horsemen of Revelation 9: 16. If Revelation 9: 14-19 is metaphoric, then it makes no sense to say that Revelation 9: 20-21 is literal.

The truth is Revelation 9: 16-19 is metaphoric, and is not to be taken to be literal, because doing so destroys the knowledge contained in the language of metaphor in the text. Because Revelation 9: 20-21 appears not to be metaphoric cannot be used as an excuse to destroy the knowledge in the metaphoric language.

And - an advantage of looking at several scriptures on the strand of scripture dealing with the work of the false prophets, is that other texts in this strand can be used to interpret one particular text that appears to be a problem. Looking at many scriptures within a strand that presents a doctrine rather than looking at texts one at a time in a compartmentalized way makes it more likely that individual texts that are difficult can be interpreted by the other texts. This is one reason why scripture is taught in a compartmentalized way, so that the texts can more easily be interpreted according to the traditions of men to many people who don't have a knowledge of the whole of scripture or do not have enough attention span to deal with all of them all at once.

Tim LaHaye claims the 200,000,000 horsemen of Revelation 9: 16 are demons but Hal Lindsey and others say they are the armies of the kings of the East, specifically from China. There is a supernatural component to Revelation 9, because the chapter opens with an angel opening the bottomless pit. But the entire chapter is heavily metaphoric, and the 200,000,000 horsemen are metaphoric for a huge number of false prophets and demons who inspire them. The reference to fire, smoke and brimstone coming out of the mouths of the army of horsemen in verses 17 and 18 can be seen as being associated with the evil supernatural having been released from the bottomless pit. But nevertheless the metaphoric fire, smoke and brimstone comes out of the mouths of humans, the false prophets.

The interpretations of Tim LaHaye and Hal Lindsey on Revelation 9: 16 both lead away from any metaphoric view of Revelation 9: 15-21 being about a huge number of false prophets who diminish the spiritual side of those they deceive, so that the deceived are not able to know and accept the things of the Holy Spirit. Since Revelation 9: 15-21 is so metaphoric, it can be more easily interpreted in literal ways to lead people away from the knowledge that the Bible talks about a huge number of false prophets in the end time who change those who they deceive into the state of a man who does not come to the knowledge of the truth. The simple statement in Matthew 24: 11, "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many" is not so easily diminished by those who might be threatened by its truth. But the implications of Matthew 24: 11 are not spelled out in its brief statement. That is why there are several other scriptures on this topic of there arising many false prophets who will deceive many, and as II Peter 2: 1-3 says,"And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you..." This is another metaphor saying the same thing as that in Revelation 9: 15-19. But one has to get out of the dispensationalist or any other bent toward literalist interpretation to understand how, in the language of metaphor, different metaphors teach the same knowledge, and the purpose of end time Bible prophecy is to teach knowledge, and not exactly when some event is to occur.. And heed Hosea 4: 6, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will reject thee also..."
why would anyone assume Rev 9:16 to be metaphoric?
 
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