So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:27)
These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, (Genesis 2:4)
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. (Genesis 2:7-8)
GOD'S CROWNING WORK OF CREATION is His creation of man because man is the only thing God created in His image. In studying Creation, great caution is to be exercised lest our system of interpretation lead us astray. Alongside Creation, the subject of Prophecy must be approached with caution. These two subjects share the same difficulty of interpretation to arrive at the truth.
INTERPRETATIONS OF CREATION AND PROPHECY are either based on a literal reading of the language in the Bible, or the interpretations are based on imposing figurative meanings upon the words of Scripture. Creation and Prophecy have suffered much at the hands of artists who impose fiction upon the words of these subjects. I didn’t make this up. I gleaned it from years of study after those who have spent a lifetime studying the Scriptures in these two subjects.
A GREAT TRUTH:The Bible was intended to be understood. The Bible was not handed down to us as a box of gibberish that no one could ever understand. God does not entertain Himself by watching us struggle endlessly with things over our heads. In the passing of time, inquisitive minds and humble hearts will understand increasingly as they continue to study and compare the Scriptures with the unfolding of prophecies being acted out in the affairs of the world.
ANOTHER GREATH TRUTH: The words and phrases of the Bible are to be read in an ordinary way unless the text or the book indicates that the words are used in a symbolic sense. In other words, stars are stars and earthquakes are earthquakes unless the text makes it clear that something else is intended. The Bible does use words at times in a symbolic way, but the text or the setting will make it clear that the words are symbolic and not literal. For example: Jesus said He was the door (John 10:9). We understand what He meant: He is the means of access. He did not mean that He is a wooden panel with hinges and a door knob. He used a figure of speech. There are many figures of speech in the Bible.
WHEN READERS AND TEACHERS AND PREACHERS fail to determine the difference between plain use of a word and its use as a figure of speech, they can get way off-base and deceive themselves and anyone who will listen to them. To avoid falling into that trap, we have this verse: Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2Timothy 2:15)
YOU WILL NOTICE THAT ALONG WITH THE WORD: 'STUDY," is the word: “workman.” This means a man (or woman) who works at studying. Study is sometimes hard work and takes time. We can be lazy in our attitude toward the Word of God. Not good. If we want beans and tomatoes out of the ground, we must work for them. We must sweat for them. If we want the treasure from he Word of God, we must set our minds toward working in God’s garden of truth.
WE NEED TO BRING AN HONEST, DILIGENT MIND to the Word of God and be willing to work hard at learning what God is saying. The Bible is no place to be lazy. But, oh! What treasure there is in this Book of books! It’s worth the effort. Even after diligent study, sometimes honest minds will disagree. That’s okay. Just agree to disagree and go on with your Christian life.
THERE ARE THREE BOOKS OF THE BIBLE that deserve careful study regarding whether the words and phrases are literal or figurative: The Book of Genesis; The Book of Daniel; and The Book of Revelation. There are other books, but these three books deserve extra-careful study to avoid going off on a tangent or being discouraged from reading them at all.
LET'S PUT IT ANOTHER WAY: The subject of prophecy and creation must be read and interpreted like all other parts of the Bible to avoid falling into a trap of deception. Dr. John Walvoord, a national figure and past president of the Dallas Theological Seminary, reported in one of his books, a study he had made. I will summarize it. He said that he had read and examined about every system of interpretation of prophecy in the western world as to their method of interpreting Bible prophecy.
HIS SURVEY REVEALED THAT ALL THE SYSTEMS OF INTERPRETATION are in two camps. There is the camp that assumes the words in the Bible are to be taken literally unless the Bible is clear that the words of figurative. The other camp, at will, imposes upon words the status of “figurative language.”
BY TAKING THE LIBERTY OF CALLING WORDS FIGURATIVE, AT WILL, there has resulted over sixty different ideas of the meaning of Bible passages that deal with the end times. Sixty different systems of thought about end-time verses in the Bible! Some even speculate that the end-time prophecies occur in Heaven. Some say the end-time occurred at the time of Christ and His crucifixion. Once you strip away the meaning of words, you can write any kind of fiction you want to write.
ALL THESE DIFFERENT SPECULATIONS OCCUR BECAUSE THE WRITERS departed from reading the words with a literal meaning. Of those who use a literal reading of words, there are only a few schools of thought about creation and the end-time. If the words mean what they say, there are only a few things you can do with those words. If you have the liberty of imposing upon words your own private meaning, you can become a writer of fiction as you teach Bible Creation and Bible Prophecy. Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
JULY 18, 2018 – WEDNESDAY
A.M. Psalms 25-27 P.M. Acts 20:17-38
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.) If you are behind in reading, read the passage for today and then go back.
●Good Memory Verse:
The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. (Psalm 34:18) (Write verse on scrap of paper and put in your pocket to memorize.)
●Song for Today:
It Took a Miracle (3:31) (Sandi Patti and Her Father – Her mother is the pianist.)
IF THIS DOESN'T LIGHT YOUR FIRE; YOUR WOOD IS WET!