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Do You Interpret the Bible Literally?
Middletown Church website ^ | Unknown | George Zeller

Posted on 08/12/2002 12:59:08 PM PDT by fortheDeclaration

Do You Interpret the Bible Literally?

Give Yourself the Following Six Tests

INTRODUCTION

Dispensationalists seek to interpret the Bible literally, that is, to consistently understand the Scriptures in their plain, normal sense (much like we would read and understand the newspaper or other forms of literature).

The Clarifying Statement on Dispensationalism, published by the New England Bible Conference, says it this way:

The Bible must be interpreted literally which is the way language is normally and naturally understood. We recognize that the Bible writers frequently used figurative language which is a normal and picturesque way of portraying literal truth. The Bible must be understood in the light of the normal use of language, the usage of words, the historical and cultural background, the context of the passage and the overall teaching of the Bible (2 Tim. 2:15). Most importantly, the believer must study the Bible in full dependence upon the SPIRIT OF TRUTH whose ministry is to reveal Christ and illumine the minds and hearts of believers (John 5:39; 16:13-15; 1 Cor. 2:9-16). The natural, unregenerate man cannot understand or interpret correctly the Word of God. The things of God are foolishness to him, he cannot know them (1 Cor. 2:14), and his mind is blinded (Rom. 3:11; 2 Cor. 4:3-4).

Dispensationalism - A Clarifying Statement in View of the Confused Theological Climate [PDF Version]

Dr. David L. Cooper, a faithful student of God’s Word, set forth the “Golden Rule of Interpretation” as follows:

When the plain sense of Scripture

makes common sense,

seek no other sense;

therefore, take every word

at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning

unless the facts of the immediate context,

studied in the light of related passages and

axiomatic and fundamental truths

indicate clearly otherwise.

A shortened form of the above rule goes like this:

If the plain sense makes good sense seek no other sense lest it result in nonsense.

The opponents of dispensationalism depart from the above rule, at times, and instead they seemingly follow this rule:

If the plain sense does not fit my theological system, then seek some other sense, lest I should end up agreeing with the dispensationalists!

An amillennialist by the name of Hamilton made this remarkable admission:

Now we must frankly admit that a literal interpretation of the Old Testament prophecies gives us just such a picture of an earthly reign of the Messiah as the premillennialist pictures (Cited by Charles Ryrie in The Basis of the Premillennial Faith, p. 35).

In other words, if a person really interprets the Bible prophecies literally, he will of necessity be a premillennialist, according to Hamilton (who himself was not one!).

The dispensationalist believes that God means what He says and says what He means. In childlike faith we need to simply take Him at His Word.

Some of the opponents of dispensationalism claim that they too interpret the Bible literally. The following are some tests to see if a person really does:

Test #1—The Days of Genesis 1

Do I understand the six days of creation to be literal twenty-four hour days?

“For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:11).

God said that it happened in six days. Does He really mean what He says? Does He mean “six days” or does He mean something else? Can we take Him at His Word? How would a child understand this verse?

Today many teach that these six days of creation cannot refer to literal 24 hour days, but instead must represent long ages of time which would then correspond with the vast geologic ages theorized by evolutionary scientists and scholars.

But does normal interpretation allow for such a non-literal approach? How would Moses and the people of his day have understood Exodus 20:11 and Genesis chapter 1? The rules of language and word usage demand that we understand these as literal 24 hour days.

Dr. John C. Whitcomb, a pioneer in the modern creationist movement, has mentioned the following significant points among others:

1) When a numerical adjective is attached to the word “day” (and there are two hundred known cases of this in the OT) the meaning is always restricted to twenty-four hours (i.e., “first day,” “second day,” etc.). See a precise parallel in Numbers 7:12-78.

2) When the plural form (“days”) appears in the Old Testament (over seven hundred times) it always refers to literal days. See Joshua 6:14 (“six days”) where it is quite obvious that literal days are in view.

3) A creation “week” of six indefinite periods of time would hardly serve as a valid or meaningful pattern for Israel’s cycle of work and rest, as explained by God at Sinai in the fourth commandment (Exodus 20:9-11). How inconsistent to say that God worked six long ages (Exodus 20:11) to serve as a pattern for man to work six literal days (Exodus 20:9)! I’m not sure most men in the work force would want each work day to be equivalent to a long period of time, though this non-literal way of understanding “days” might appeal to them when it comes to their vacation weeks!

See The Early Earth by Dr. John C. Whitcomb (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, revised edition, 1986), pages 28-30.

For a more detailed analysis of how the “days” of Genesis 1 should be understood, see our paper, The Six Days of Creation

Test #2—The Change in the Nature of Animals (Isaiah 11)

Do I understand Isaiah 11 to be describing a time when the nature of animals will actually be changed (from ferocious to gentle, from meat eating to plant eating, from poisonous to innocuous, etc.)?

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den” (Isaiah 11:6-8).

Does God really mean what He says in the above verses or does He mean something else? If we take these verses literally, according to the normal way in which words are understood, then we are forced to conclude that the kingdom has not yet arrived! If you go to any zoo, you will not find any lions eating straw. Today no loving mother would allow her child to play with a deadly poisonous snake.

The story is told of a Russian zookeeper who made this boast, “In our zoo here in Moscow, the wolf dwells with the lamb in the same cage, something which you Americans do not have.” But what he failed to mention was that a new lamb had to be put in the cage every day!

An example of a non-literal approach is found in the New Geneva Study Bible (which some consider to be the Scofield Bible of Reformed Theology). According to the notes found in this Bible, verses which speak of the kingdom being free from the threat of wild animals should be understood “figuratively” to describe the peace and security and “reconciling love” that is found during this present church age from the first advent until Christ’s return (see notes under Isaiah 11:6-9 and Hosea 2:18). But it is very interesting what this same Study Bible says in its note under Genesis 1:29-30 (a passage which says that animals were originally vegetarian). The New Geneva Study Bible says this: “animal diets were originally vegetarian.” Why do they understand Genesis chapter 1 literally and Isaiah chapter 11 figuratively? Why does the plain sense make good sense in Genesis 1 but not in Isaiah 11? Could it be that Isaiah 11, understood literally, does not agree with their theological system which says that the kingdom is here and now?

The editors of The New Geneva Study Bible are inconsistent in their use of literal interpretation. When it comes to the nature of animals they interpret Genesis 1 literally but they interpret Isaiah 11 figuratively. Dispensationalists are known for their consistent use of the literal hermeneutic.

For more information see New Geneva Study Bible

Test #3—The Thousand Year Kingdom of Revelation 20

Do I understand Revelation 20 to be describing a literal period of a thousand years during which time believers will reign with Christ?

Six times in Revelation chapter 20 reference is made to a period of a thousand years. Does God really mean what He says or is the “thousand years” supposed to be taken figuratively to refer to something else?

Dr. Gary North, one of the leaders of the postmillennial reconstructionist movement, once sent out a newsletter in which he scolded dispensationalists for their failure to teach creationism. He attacked C.I.Scofield for holding to the "gap theory." He made the false accusation that no dispensational seminary takes a position on a recent creation and that no dispensational seminary takes a position that the days of Genesis 1 were literal 24 hour days. As a matter of fact, Grace Theological Seminary had taken a written position on this issue and many other schools also took a solid position on these creationist issues as revealed by the IFCA Schools Questionnaire Composite which was published in 1986.

Dr. North is to be commended for his literal approach to the first two chapters of Genesis. It's true that some dispensationalists (especially some of the earlier dispensationalists) have not followed consistently the literal method of interpretation when approaching these important chapters. Most dispensationalists today, however, have abandoned the gap theory as well as the day-age theory, for which we are thankful.

If Dr. North were to follow the same literal approach that he uses in Genesis 1-2 and apply that to Revelation chapter 20, then he would be a premillennial dispensationalist and he would be forced to abandon his postmillennialism. But instead he abandons his literal hermeneutic. He takes Genesis 1-2 very literally. Days mean days. Morning and evening mean morning and evening. Fifth day means fifth day. But when he comes to Revelation, suddenly everything changes. Everything is now symbolic. A thousand years (mentioned six times in Revelation 20) does not mean a thousand years. The thousand years represents "a vast, undefined period of time ... It has already lasted almost 2,000 years, and will probably go on for many more. The thousand years is to be understood as a symbolical number, denoting a long period . . .It may require a million years” (quoted from The Days of Vengeance by David Chilton, p. 507). Dr. North highly recommends Chilton’s book as the key work on prophecy and he himself wrote the preface!

Dr. North is totally opposed to the evolutionists, and yet he handles Revelation 20 just as they handle Genesis 1-2. The evolutionists say, "Evolution is really impossible, but if you give us enough time, all things are possible. We don't need God, we just need time. Even though we cannot see evolution taking place today, if you give us enough time then anything can happen. Thus we cannot take the days of Genesis1 literally because we need much more time than six days. We need millions and millions of years. Without that much time our evolutionary theory is in great trouble!"

Reconstructionists echo the thinking of the evolutionists in their approach to Revelation chapter 20: "Reconstructing society according to Biblical law seems impossible, but if we have enough time it can be done. We certainly don't see it taking place today. In fact, it seems as though society is becoming more and more lawless. But with enough time these changes for the better will come. We don't need God; we don't need Christ’s personal coming to this earth to change society. We can do it but we need time. If you give us enough time anything can happen. Thus we cannot take the thousand years of Revelation 20 literally because we need much more time than that. We need thousands and thousands of years, perhaps EVEN A MILLION YEARS for us to overcome and have dominion over the earth. But be patient. It will happen! But without that much time our reconstructionist theory is in great trouble!"

I'm thankful for a great Creator God who was able to make the heavens and the earth in six literal days! I'm thankful for a great coming King, the Lord Jesus Christ, who can suddenly and mightily bring in His promised kingdom! He is not dependent upon man’s feeble efforts at improving society. All man can do is make society more and more corrupt, even as in the days of Noah!

For more information on the kingdom, see Biblical Teaching on the Kingdom.

Test #4—The 3½ Years of Daniel and Revelation

Do I understand the book of Daniel and the book of Revelation to be describing a period of 3½ literal years?

In God’s prophetic masterpieces of Daniel and Revelation, there is a period of time that is said to be three and a half years. It is described in four different ways:

1) 1,260 days (Revelation 12:6,14). This would be equivalent to 3½ years and also equivalent to 42 months (each month having 30 days).

2) 42 months (Revelation 11:2; 13:5).

3) “a time, times, and half a time” (if a “time” equals a year and if “times” equals two years, then “a time, times and half a time” would equal 3½ years).

4) Half of a week with the week consisting of seven years, hence a 3½ year period (Daniel 9:27).

God means what He says and says what He means! He has told us about a period of time which is equal to 3½ years, and He describes this period of time in four different ways to make sure we understand! When God says 1,260 days does He really mean 1,260 days? When God says 42 months, does he really mean 42 months? When God says 3½ years [time (1) + times (2) + half a time (½) = 3½], does He really mean 3½ years? When God speaks of half of a seven year period (Daniel 9:27), does He really mean half of a seven year period?

Can we give God some credit that He certainly knows how to count?

For more information on this period of time see The Great Tribulation - Future or Fulfilled? [PDF Version] and also The Time of Tribulation

Test #5—Animal Sacrifices in the Future

Do I understand that there will be animal sacrifices in the future, during the kingdom age?

Those who do not believe in a literal, earthly, millennial kingdom have a major problem believing that there will be animal sacrifices re-instituted under a Zadokian priesthood during the coming kingdom age. They cannot understand how this can be reconciled with the once-for-all, forever sacrifice of our perfect Substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Yet we cannot ignore very clear passages which speak about future animal sacrifices in the context of a future millennial temple. See Ezekiel 40-48 (especially 43:19-27); Isaiah 56:6-7; Isaiah 60:7; Zechariah 14:16-21). To spiritualize these prophecies (empty them of their literal content) and pretend that they somehow apply to the church of this present age is an insult to the God who expects us to take Him at His Word.

The same non-literal approach is often taken with respect to the millennial temple with its detailed description given to us in Ezekiel chapters 40-48. And yet these same men would tell us that the detailed description of the tabernacle and its furniture as found in the book of Exodus should be taken very literally. Why do we understand the tabernacle literally but when it comes to a future temple, we then decide to depart from a literal understanding of the Word of God? Could it be that our hermeneutics is governed by our theology? If a person does not believe in a future, earthly kingdom centered in Jerusalem, then it is easy to understand why he would not believe that there would be a temple there either, must less animal sacrifices!

Test #6—The Extent of the Atonement

Do I understand that Christ died for all men and that He tasted death for every man without exception?

The language of the Bible cannot be more clear:

He died for . . .

the world (John 3:16; 6:33,51)

the whole world (1 John 2:2)

all (1 Timothy 2:6)

us all (Isaiah 53:6)

all men (Romans 5:18)

every man (Hebrews 2:9)

Christ-deniers (2 Peter 2:1).

Does God really mean what He says? Can we take Him at His Word? Or, are we going to let our theology force us to change the meaning of words that by themselves are very clear?

Sir Robert Anderson, in the preface of his book Forgotten Truths, has written the following:

In the early years of my Christian life I was greatly perplexed and distressed by the supposition that the plain and simple words of such Scriptures as John 3:16; 1 John 2:2; 1 Timothy 2:6 were not true, save in a cryptic sense understood only by the initiated. For, I was told, the over-shadowing truth of Divine sovereignty in election barred our taking them literally. But half a century ago a friend of those days—the late Dr. Horatius Bonar—delivered me from this strangely prevalent error. He taught me that truths may seem to us irreconcilable only because our finite minds cannot understand the Infinite; and we must never allow our faulty apprehension of the eternal counsels of God to hinder unquestioning faith in the words of Holy Scripture.

Richard Baxter was a godly saint who lived in the 1600's and is highly esteemed among Reformed men. He wrote the following about this very matter:

When God telleth us as plain as can be spoken, that Christ died for and tasted death for every man, men will deny it, and to that end subvert the plain sense of the words, merely because they cannot see how this can stand with Christ’s damning men, and with his special Love to his chosen. It is not hard to see the fair and harmonious consistency: But what if you cannot see how two plain Truths of the Gospel should agree? Will you therefore deny one of them when both are plain? Is not that in high pride to prefer your own understandings before the wisdom of the Spirit of God, who indicted the Scriptures? Should not a humble man rather say, doubtless both are true though I cannot reconcile them. So others will deny these plain truths, because they think that [All that Christ died for are certainly Justified and Saved: For whomsoever he died and satisfied Justice for, them he procured Faith to Believe in him: God cannot justly punish those whom Christ hath satisfied for, etc.] But doth the Scripture speak all these or any of these opinions of theirs, as plainly as it saith that Christ died for all and every man? Doth it say, as plainly any where that he died not for all? Doth it any where except any one man, and say Christ died not for him? Doth it say any where that he died only for his Sheep, or his Elect, and exclude the Non-Elect? There is no such word in all the Bible; Should not then the certain truths and the plain texts be the Standard to the uncertain points, and obscure texts? (Richard Baxter, Universal Redemption of Mankind, pages 282-283).

Richard Baxter then skilfully applied these principles to the case at hand:

Now I would know of any man, would you believe that Christ died for all men if the Scripture plainly speak it? If you would, do but tell me, what words can you devise or would you wish more plain for it than are there used? Is it not enough that Christ is called the Saviour of the World? You’ll say, but is it of the whole World? Yes, it saith, He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole World. Will you say, but it is not for All men in the World? Yes it saith he died for All men, as well as for all the World. But will you say, it saith not for every man? Yes it doth say, he tasted death for every man. But you may say, It means all the Elect, if it said so of any Non-Elect I would believe. Yes, it speaks of those that denied the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And yet all this seems nothing to men prejudiced (Richard Baxter, Universal Redemption of Mankind, pages 286-287. The verses that are alluded to in this quote are John 4:42; 1 John 2:2; 1 Tim. 2:4-6; Heb. 2:9; 2 Pet. 2:1).

I knew of a man who was not committed to the belief that Christ died for all men and yet he made this remarkable concession: “If Christ really did die for all men, then I don’t know how the Bible could say it any clearer than it does.” How true! This same man later embraced the doctrine of unlimited atonement because he could not deny the literal force of the clear and plain statements of Scripture.

For further study:

For Whom Did Christ Die? - A Defense of Unlimited Atonement

The Cross-Work of Christ - Is It Limited or Unlimited?

Six Tests—How did you do?

Did you approach all six examples from a consistent literal viewpoint, seeking to understand the language of the Bible in a natural and normal way? May God help us to come to His Word in simple childlike faith and humbly take Him at His Word, letting the Bible say what it says, and not forcing it to say what we want it to say!


TOPICS: General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: bibleinterpretation; dispensationalism

1 posted on 08/12/2002 12:59:08 PM PDT by fortheDeclaration
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To: xzins; winstonchurchill; Revelation 911; The Grammarian; Commander8; Woodkirk; maestro; ksen
Bump for read
2 posted on 08/12/2002 1:01:08 PM PDT by fortheDeclaration
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To: fortheDeclaration
I answered yes to all six questions, do I pass? ;^)
3 posted on 08/12/2002 1:41:24 PM PDT by ksen
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To: ksen
I answered yes to all six questions, do I pass? ;^)

Amen! You get an 'A'! :>)

4 posted on 08/12/2002 1:55:29 PM PDT by fortheDeclaration
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To: fortheDeclaration
GREAT ARTICLE.....................GREAT READ.....................BOOKMARKED

Thanks for posting this!!
m

Maranatha!

:-)

5 posted on 08/12/2002 5:00:00 PM PDT by maestro
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To: fortheDeclaration
The Bible is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. It is infallible and without error.
Is there any other way to interpret God's Word.
6 posted on 08/12/2002 8:15:13 PM PDT by Commander8
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To: fortheDeclaration
I am a literalist. I am not versed in point #5. I didn't even know it was an issue, and to be honest, had never thought about it.

Point number 1 is the hardest and the easiest at the same time for me. The implications of the Intelligent Design data have actually clarified the debate for me. The number of awesome design variations among and within the intelligently designed order of plant and animals (life) is so great as to make the "theistic evolution" position a bit ridiculous. If God were "guiding evolution" He would be intervening every day, every minute, every second, every nano-second to "create or make" another necessary evolutionary leap.

It's easier to believe that He'd just wrap it all up in one week long creative explosion.
7 posted on 08/13/2002 4:43:27 AM PDT by xzins
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To: xzins
Re #5.

Dispensationalists see these sacrifices during the MK as a memorial. Israel having embraced the Messiah looks back to the cross as they had formerly pointed ahead to the cross.

Those who see the Church as the new Israel opt for a figurative interpretation.
8 posted on 08/13/2002 5:05:29 AM PDT by drstevej
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To: fortheDeclaration
I agree with all six, but then there's number 7: Did God really bless and sanctify the 7th day? And did he ever remove his his blessing or sanctification or transfer it to another day that he created? :-)
9 posted on 08/13/2002 5:18:17 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: drstevej
sacrifices...memorial

Gonna cause a lot of trouble if any PETA members make it into the MK. :-)

10 posted on 08/13/2002 5:19:36 AM PDT by xzins
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To: fortheDeclaration
Is not that in high pride to prefer your own understandings before the wisdom of the Spirit of God, who indicted the Scriptures? Should not a humble man rather say, doubtless both are true though I cannot reconcile them.

Wow...I have not heard it said better or more succintly...wow. Humble repentance-of-pride BUMP!

11 posted on 08/13/2002 6:40:33 AM PDT by Bat_Chemist
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To: DouglasKC
agree with all six, but then there's number 7: Did God really bless and sanctify the 7th day? And did he ever remove his his blessing or sanctification or transfer it to another day that he created? :-)

The Sabbath day was given as a sign for Israel (Eze.20:12) and is not repeated in the commandments as restated by Paul in Romans 13.

Moreover in Romans 14:6 he writes, One man esteemeth one day above another; another esteemeth every day alike; let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind

12 posted on 08/13/2002 1:23:02 PM PDT by fortheDeclaration
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To: Commander8
The Bible is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. It is infallible and without error. Is there any other way to interpret God's Word.

Amen brother!

13 posted on 08/13/2002 1:27:54 PM PDT by fortheDeclaration
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To: fortheDeclaration
The Sabbath day was given as a sign for Israel (Eze.20:12) and is not repeated in the commandments as restated by Paul in Romans 13.

Yah, but then why did God create it at the beginning?

Gen 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made. And He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made.
Gen 2:3 And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He had rested from all His work which God created to make.

Since it was blessed and sanctified (set apart) at the beginning, long before Israel, a literal interpetation of the bible would indicate that it's still blessed and sanctified because it was never deblessed or desanctified by God.

Moreover in Romans 14:6 he writes, One man esteemeth one day above another; another esteemeth every day alike; let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind

Paul never mentions the sabbath in that verse or the chapter. In context, the whole chapter is about eating and drinking. What Paul is probably referring to is fasting. Some jews at the time thought they were holier than others cause they fasted on certain days of the week that others didn't. This is made clear in the next verse:

Rom 14:6 He who regards the day regards it to the Lord; and he not regarding the day, does not regard it to the Lord. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, does not eat to the Lord, and gives God thanks.

14 posted on 08/13/2002 1:39:50 PM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: fortheDeclaration; xzins; winstonchurchill; Revelation 911; The Grammarian; Commander8; Woodkirk; ..
Since we are interpreting the Bible literally, what does this literally mean:

“For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:11).

What does it mean to say the Lord rested? Was He tired? How is what He did on the day He rested different from what He did the other days? Is God different when resting than He is when busy? If He was different on the seventh day (resting) from the other six days (not resting) didn't he change between the sixth and seventh days? Does God change?

You think there's an outside chance this is not literal? If it is literal, don't you have to know what it means to say God rested. If you don't know what it means, well then you don't, but what do you believe? "Well, I don't know what it means, but it must mean something and whatever it means, even though I don't know it, I believe it."

js

15 posted on 08/13/2002 2:16:42 PM PDT by jswift
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To: jswift; fortheDeclaration
If I remember correctly, it says somewhere that God "rested from his labor." If that's the case, then that explains your question.

He was no longer doing the work of creation.
16 posted on 08/13/2002 2:19:46 PM PDT by xzins
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To: jswift; xzins
The issue of accepting the literal interpetation is that we take a passage as literal unless the context demands otherwise.

We recognize that there are figures of speech in Scripture as in any other form of writing.

However,the literal meaning should always be the primary way of reading a passage unless the context demands a figurative approach.

God 'resting' is such a case, 'resting' meant He was done, Creation was complete and 'very good'

Moreover, 'resting' does not have to mean one is tired.

Lawyers 'rest' their case when they are done.

17 posted on 08/13/2002 3:22:33 PM PDT by fortheDeclaration
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To: fortheDeclaration; xzins; drstevej
Well I think there is #7 -- and this one will really separate the literalists from the figuratives. Revelation 22:15 regarding the New Jerusalem -- "For outside are DOGs, and sorcerers, and fornicators, and murderers, and idolators. . . . ."

My dog here wants to know why he can't be inside, particularly if he is house-trained. Why would he have to be out there with all those unsavory people. What did he do that was so bad. And does that mean "cats" too -- or do they get to go inside. It's just not fair.

I told him that it may not be fair, but it is literal. Needless to say he is now a preterist amillenialist and reading Gary North books.

18 posted on 08/13/2002 3:28:09 PM PDT by Woodkirk
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To: DouglasKC
Yah, but then why did God create it at the beginning? Gen 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made. And He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. Gen 2:3 And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He had rested from all His work which God created to make. Since it was blessed and sanctified (set apart) at the beginning, long before Israel, a literal interpetation of the bible would indicate that it's still blessed and sanctified because it was never deblessed or desanctified by God.

Why was it then that only Israel was informed of the Sabbath?

It does not show up with Abraham, Issac or Jacob!

God told Moses about the Sabbath because it was always meant for Israel, since 'resting' on that day and giving the land its rest was to show complete dependence on God's provision, not man's efforts.

Moreover in Romans 14:6 he writes, One man esteemeth one day above another; another esteemeth every day alike; let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind Paul never mentions the sabbath in that verse or the chapter. In context, the whole chapter is about eating and drinking. What Paul is probably referring to is fasting. Some jews at the time thought they were holier than others cause they fasted on certain days of the week that others didn't. This is made clear in the next verse: Rom 14:6 He who regards the day regards it to the Lord; and he not regarding the day, does not regard it to the Lord. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, does not eat to the Lord, and gives God thanks.

I see no commandment there indicating that the Sabbath was still to be observed.

The Lords day for the Christian would be Sunday (due to the Resurrection) but that is not the Sabbath day (7th day)

19 posted on 08/13/2002 3:33:42 PM PDT by fortheDeclaration
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To: Woodkirk
Well I think there is #7 -- and this one will really separate the literalists from the figuratives. Revelation 22:15 regarding the New Jerusalem -- "For outside are DOGs, and sorcerers, and fornicators, and murderers, and idolators. . . . ." My dog here wants to know why he can't be inside, particularly if he is house-trained. Why would he have to be out there with all those unsavory people. What did he do that was so bad. And does that mean "cats" too -- or do they get to go inside. It's just not fair.

Someone has been giving your dog bad theology!

Those are only bad dogs outside of the New Jersusalem, all good dogs go to heaven (they are under a works system of salvation) :>)

I told him that it may not be fair, but it is literal. Needless to say he is now a preterist amillenialist and reading Gary North books.

Gary North is an excellent economist (Austrian School) but a terrible theologian (Dominion theology).

Get him on Larkin or Scofield!

20 posted on 08/13/2002 3:40:28 PM PDT by fortheDeclaration
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To: Woodkirk; fortheDeclaration; drstevej; RnMomof7; winstonchurchill
My dog here wants to know why he can't be inside, particularly if he is house-trained.

I, too, demand a recount on this one. I've had some really good dogs in my life. A good dog is among the very neatest of God's creations.

It's a matter of faith on my part, but I'm gonna go on record saying there will be dogs in heaven. :-) (And, I'm thinking there will be bass fishing, too.)

21 posted on 08/13/2002 7:31:07 PM PDT by xzins
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To: xzins
I think dogs will be there too..and cats ...IMHO....plenty of sheep ..but not one goat:>)
22 posted on 08/13/2002 7:39:13 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: RnMomof7
no old goats, anyway. :0-)
23 posted on 08/13/2002 8:27:03 PM PDT by xzins
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To: Woodkirk
***Needless to say he is now a preterist amillenialist and reading Gary North books.***

But is he prepared for Y3K?
24 posted on 08/13/2002 8:30:28 PM PDT by drstevej
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To: fortheDeclaration
Why was it then that only Israel was informed of the Sabbath?

It was created for all mankind as the Lord Jesus tells us:

Mar 2:27 And He said to them, The sabbath came into being for man's sake, and not man for the sabbath's sake.

Again, using a literal interpetation Jesus plainly says that the sabbath came into creation for man, mankind, not just Israel. Jesus could have said Israel, or Judea. It does not show up with Abraham, Issac or Jacob!

Gen 26:5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

Abraham literally kept God's statutes, laws and commandments. Interestingly the word translated "laws" is the Hebrew word torah. So here is the bible telling us that Abraham kept the torah, part of which is sabbath observance. Apparently Abraham learned from somewhere what God's laws and commandments were, apparently either through oral tradition or divine revelation.

I see no commandment there indicating that the Sabbath was still to be observed.

Biblically nobody ever stopped observing the sabbath. It was only in post biblical times that the practice stopped and/or was transferred to Sunday.

The Lords day for the Christian would be Sunday (due to the Resurrection) but that is not the Sabbath day (7th day)

That's a nice tradition I guess, but God never blessed and sanctified the 1st day or commanded us to observe it. It was established by the Roman church as part of their sacred tradition and most protestants subsequently chose and continue to choose to honor it.

25 posted on 08/13/2002 8:50:03 PM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC
Why was it then that only Israel was informed of the Sabbath? It was created for all mankind as the Lord Jesus tells us: Mar 2:27 And He said to them, The sabbath came into being for man's sake, and not man for the sabbath's sake. Again, using a literal interpetation Jesus plainly says that the sabbath came into creation for man, mankind, not just Israel. Jesus could have said Israel, or Judea. It does not show up with Abraham, Issac or Jacob!

Now, the context in that passage (Mark 2) was that Christ and His disciples were being accused of violating the Sabbath by taking corn from a field.

Christ retorts that the 'Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath' showing that what they had done was lawful, espically since He was 'Lord also of the Sabbath'

Only the Nation of Israel had been commanded to keep the Sabbath.

Gen 26:5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. Abraham literally kept God's statutes, laws and commandments. Interestingly the word translated "laws" is the Hebrew word torah. So here is the bible telling us that Abraham kept the torah, part of which is sabbath observance.

Well, so much for 'literal reading'!

Not for Abraham it wasn't!

The Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ(Jn.1:17)

Apparently Abraham learned from somewhere what God's laws and commandments were, apparently either through oral tradition or divine revelation.

Apparently ? The first mention of the Sabbath is in Ex.16:29 See, for that the Lord hath given the sabbath...

I see no commandment there indicating that the Sabbath was still to be observed. Biblically nobody ever stopped observing the sabbath. It was only in post biblical times that the practice stopped and/or was transferred to Sunday.

Well, 'Biblically' I see no mention of anyone in the Bible but a Jew observing the Sabbath.

In fact, Paul warns the Colossians against observing sabbath days!(Col.2:16) since they have been put away for the Church age (vs.17)

The Lords day for the Christian would be Sunday (due to the Resurrection) but that is not the Sabbath day (7th day) That's a nice tradition I guess, but God never blessed and sanctified the 1st day or commanded us to observe it. It was established by the Roman church as part of their sacred tradition and most protestants subsequently chose and continue to choose to honor it.

It would seem that the Churces were gathering on the first day of the week since Paul gives instructions to gather money on that day for him. (1Cor.16:2)

26 posted on 08/14/2002 2:21:40 AM PDT by fortheDeclaration
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To: xzins; Woodkirk
I agree that there should be dogs and cats in heaven!

We know that there are horses! (Rev.19)

27 posted on 08/14/2002 2:44:12 AM PDT by fortheDeclaration
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To: Woodkirk
Needless to say he is now a preterist amillenialist and reading Gary North books.

AACCKK! You need to put him down, quick, for his own good. ;^)

28 posted on 08/14/2002 5:07:00 AM PDT by ksen
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To: jswift
You think there's an outside chance this is not literal?

Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested on the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (KJV)

It seems that when God was giving the Ten Commandments to Israel that He took His Creation account literally. He is telling Israel, I created everything in six literal days and then rested (ceased from His work of Creation) on the seventh literal, 24-hour day, you[Israel] are to do the same.

29 posted on 08/14/2002 5:25:39 AM PDT by ksen
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To: fortheDeclaration
Christ retorts that the 'Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath' showing that what they had done was lawful, espically since He was 'Lord also of the Sabbath'

Like I said before, Christ could have easily said that the Sabbath was made for Jews, or Israel, but instead the word used is the greek "anthropos", mankind, or human beings.

Only the Nation of Israel had been commanded to keep the Sabbath.

Really? It's one of the 10 commandments that are written into our hearts under the terms of the new covenent isn't it?

Not for Abraham it wasn't!
The Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ

Well I guess you could look up torah and see what it encompasses and then you'll see how aware Abraham was of God's laws.

Well, 'Biblically' I see no mention of anyone in the Bible but a Jew observing the Sabbath.

Notwithstanding the fact that the first Christians were Jews:

Act 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue on every sabbath persuading both Jews and Greeks.

Jews and Greeks were listening to Pauls sermons on the sabbath.

Act 13:42 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.

Gentiles were attending services on the sabbath here.

Act 13:44 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.

An entire city is observing the sabbath.

It's true that not much is recorded in the bible of anything happening on the sabbath except worshipping, but basically that's all they did on the day...worship and rest, stay at home. There wasn't much going on.

In fact, Paul warns the Colossians against observing sabbath days!(Col.2:16) since they have been put away for the Church age (vs.17)

Col 2:16 Therefore let no one judge you in food or in drink, or in respect of a feast, or of the new moon, or of the sabbaths.
Col 2:17 For these are a shadow of things to come, but the body of Christ.

Paul is telling the Colossians not to let anyone judge them in how they keep the sabbath, not that the sabbath is done away with. Paul says they ARE a shadow of things to come, not WERE a shadow of things to come. The sabbath actually is a shadow of something to come...it's a little mini-reminder that God will establish his 1000 year old millenial kingdom on earth plus it foreshadows the rest we will have when we are given glorified bodies.

It would seem that the Churces were gathering on the first day of the week since Paul gives instructions to gather money on that day for him. (1Cor.16:2)

1Co 16:1 And concerning the collection for the saints, as I charged the churches of Galatia, so also you do.
1Co 16:2 On the first of the sabbaths let each of you put by himself, storing up what ever he is prospered, so that there may be no collections when I come.

Well since we know that it was Pauls custom to preach on the sabbath:

Act 17:2 And according to Paul's custom, he went in to them and reasoned with them out of the Scriptures on three sabbaths,

And since nobody was supposed to work on the sabbath it makes sense that they would start gathering their collection of foodstuffs, clothing, money whatever on the first day of the week. This would give them all week to get it done so they would be ready when Paul got there on the sabbath.

Look, I've heard these same arguments dozens of times. I had the same arguments once. I'm really not interested in reshashing them. So if you want to get the last word in that's fine with me. :-).

You can read this booklet if you like, God's Sabbath Rest , it addresses most if not all of the objections you'll have.

30 posted on 08/14/2002 5:37:45 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: fortheDeclaration
So, then, where do you stand on bass fishing?
31 posted on 08/14/2002 6:51:26 AM PDT by xzins
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To: fortheDeclaration
and lions and lambs..
32 posted on 08/14/2002 7:50:19 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: fortheDeclaration
Your# 20).................. Get him on Larkin or Scofield!.................AMEN,..............BTTT
33 posted on 08/14/2002 10:45:57 AM PDT by maestro
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To: RnMomof7
and lions and lambs..

They are not actually in heaven, but are mentioned as part of the Millennial Kingdom where the lion and wolf's nature are changed (Isa.11:6)

In Revelation 19 we see horses actually coming out of heaven! Marantha!

34 posted on 08/14/2002 12:39:52 PM PDT by fortheDeclaration
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To: xzins
So, then, where do you stand on bass fishing?

I do not do any fishing (my father just took Bass fishing up though!)

Christ did after all pick quite a few fishermen to be his disciples!

35 posted on 08/14/2002 12:50:36 PM PDT by fortheDeclaration
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To: DouglasKC; maestro; xzins; winstonchurchill; Revelation 911; The Grammarian
This is from the Scofield notes, Matthew 12

The sabbath ("cessation") appears in Scripture as the day of God's rest in the finished work of creation. Genesis 2:2,3. For 2500 years of human life absolutely no mention is made of it. Then the sabbath was revealed ; Exodus 16:23; Nehemiah 9:13,14, made a part of the law Exodus 20:8-11 and invested with the character of a "sign" between Jehovah and Israel, and a perpetual reminder to Israel of their separation to God Exodus 31:13-17. It was observed by complete rest Exodus 35:2,3 and by Jehovah's express order a man was put to death for gathering sticks on the sabbath day. Numbers 15:32-36. Apart from maintaining the continued burnt-offering Numbers 28:9, and its connection with the annual feasts ; Exodus 12:16; Leviticus 23:3,8; Numbers 28:25 the seventh day sabbath was never made a day of sacrifice, worship, or any manner of religious service. It was simply and only a day of complete rest for man and beast, a humane provision for man's needs. In Christ's words, "The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath." Mark 2:27.

(2) Our Lord found the observance of the day encrusted with rabbinical evasions Matthew 12:2 and restrictions, wholly unknown to the law, so that He was Himself held to be a sabbath breaker by the religious authorities of the time. The sabbath will be again observed during the kingdom age Isaiah 66:23.

(3) The Christian first day perpetuates in the dispensation of grace the principle that one-seventh of the time is especially sacred, but in all other respects is in contrast with the sabbath. One is the seventh day, the other the first. The sabbath commemorates God's creation rest, the first day Christ's resurrection. On the seventh day God rested, on the first day Christ was ceaselessly active. The sabbath commemorates a finished creation, the first day a finished redemption. The sabbath was a day of legal obligation, the first day one of voluntary worship and service. The sabbath is mentioned in the Acts only in connection with the Jews, and in the rest of the N.T. but twice. Colossians 2:16; Hebrews 4:4. In these passages the seventh day sabbath is explained to be to the Christian not a day to be observed, but a type of the present rest into which he enters when "he also ceases from his own works" and trusts Christ.

36 posted on 08/14/2002 1:26:28 PM PDT by fortheDeclaration
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To: ksen
dittoes
37 posted on 08/17/2002 10:08:34 PM PDT by LiteKeeper
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