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Rightly dividing the word

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  • Rightly dividing the word


    There are difficult passages in the Bible (2 Peter 3.16) and I guess that these call for serious study and prayer. And one more thing – sharing understandings with fellow believers (Prov 27.17)

    Paul tells us to study the Bible to the extent that we are able to correctly understand it:

    2Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

    I would be drawing an extremely long bow if I claimed that 1 Cor 15.51 was a reference to America’s new president:

    1 Cor 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump:

    In a similar fashion, the expression “the like figure” (2 Peter 3.21) is a reference to the symbology of the ark, not the number 8 in eight souls.

    1 Peter 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

    Matthew 13 records the reason that Jesus uses parables:

    Mat 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

    And Rev 5.10 mentions reigning on earth as kings and priests: Rev 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

    How does this relate to difficult to understand Bible passages?

    Prov 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.

    If were are to reign on earth, why then does Peter talk about the earth being burned up?

    2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

    Some regard this as literal. Some regard this as figurative. I agree with the latter for the following reasons:

    * There are many passages that point to Jesus reigning on earth with the seat of his government in Jerusalem.

    * 2 Peter 3.5-6 describe the destruction of the old heavens and it is obvious that he means Noah’s flood. This destruction of the old heavens did not result in the destruction of the literal heavens. The word “heaven” is used figuratively to represent rule in Jeremiah 51.53. This could help us to understand 2 Cor 12:2. The first heaven ended with Noah’s flood. The second heaven will end with the judgement described in 2 Peter 3.7. And the 3rd heaven would then be Jesus’ righteous rule on earth.

    Luke 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 1:33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

    Isa 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

    Zec 14:16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. 14:17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.

    Mat 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

  • #2
    Originally posted by pah View Post
    2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

    Some regard this as literal. Some regard this as figurative. I agree with the latter for the following reasons:

    * There are many passages that point to Jesus reigning on earth with the seat of his government in Jerusalem.

    * 2 Peter 3.5-6 describe the destruction of the old heavens and it is obvious that he means Noah’s flood. This destruction of the old heavens did not result in the destruction of the literal heavens. The word “heaven” is used figuratively to represent rule in Jeremiah 51.53. This could help us to understand 2 Cor 12:2. The first heaven ended with Noah’s flood. The second heaven will end with the judgement described in 2 Peter 3.7. And the 3rd heaven would then be Jesus’ righteous rule on earth.
    Jesus will reign on earth for a thousand years before the final destruction of the earth. The last two chapters of Revelation describe the new heaven and new earth that will replace the current earth. The passage from Peter that you cite only says the old earth was destroyed; it says nothing about the destruction of the heavens.
    Clyde Herrin's Blog
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    • #3

      Hi Theopilus,

      Let me show you some of the verses that influence my thinking. Even if you see them a different way, you might understand why I think that the earth will become the everlasting kingdom of God on earth.


      Considering these two verses together, I think that planet earth will continue to exist and to be farmed:

      Gen 8:22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

      Eccles 1:4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the Ecc 1:4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever. earth abideth for ever.

      Revelation 11 states that Jesus will reign for ever and ever:

      Rev 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

      Luke describes the everlasting nature of Jesus' kingdom on earth:

      Luke 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 1:33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

      When Jesus rules the world, all corners of planet earth will worship God:

      Isaiah 11:9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. 11:10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

      Yes Rev 21 speaks of new heavens and earth. I understand that figuratively. Isaiah 14.12 and Jeremiah 51.53 speaks of the king of Babylon in "heaven". The woman clothed with the sun (Rev 12) shows that the term heaven is used figuratively.

      I understand the war in heaven (Rev 12.7) figuratively too because God will not tolerate sin in His presence:

      Rev 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

      God not tolerating sin in His presence - that was the lesson of the temple veil (Matt 27.51 and Heb 10.19-20):

      Lev 16:2 And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the vail before the mercy seat, which is upon the ark; that he die not:

      Believing that God's dwelling place is totally devoid of any form of corruption, I struggle to see why heaven would need to be destroyed. Understanding "heaven" to typify "government", I have no problem understanding Jesus' destruction of human government, replacing it with his new "heaven" (government).

      Just as there is a link between sin and death, so there is a link between incorruptibility and eternal life.

      1 Cor 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

      I believe that Immortal angels in God's presence cannot sin:

      Luke 20:36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.

      Happy to share thoughts and hope that I have done so in an acceptable manner. Prov 27.17
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      • #4
        Originally posted by theophilus View Post
        Jesus will reign on earth for a thousand years before the final destruction of the earth. The last two chapters of Revelation describe the new heaven and new earth that will replace the current earth. The passage from Peter that you cite only says the old earth was destroyed; it says nothing about the destruction of the heavens.

        I thought sometime after the Armageddon the earth will be destroyed by fire (2nd Peter 3:10). Afterwards, the millennial reign will take place in "New Jerusalem." Doesn't the old have to be done away with first? (still learning)
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        • #5
          Originally posted by wfredeemed009 View Post


          I thought sometime after the Armageddon the earth will be destroyed by fire (2nd Peter 3:10). Afterwards, the millennial reign will take place in "New Jerusalem." Doesn't the old have to be done away with first? (still learning)
          I wouldn't say destroyed as much as "purged" by the Refiner's fire. The places that worldly minded people seek happiness shall be burnt up by fire, and all the works of men shall pass through the fire. The fire shall consume all that sin has brought into the world. This should bring great comfort to the Saints. The emphasis of so many passages in Revelation is to lift one's eyes from earthly affections to God, because all these visible things upon the earth shall be burned up Matthew 24:35

          John Calvin 2 Peter 3:10-11:
          10.But the day of the Lord will come. This has been added, that the faithful might be always watching, and not promise to-morrow to themselves. For we all labor under two very different evils — too much haste, and slothfulness. We are seized with impatience for the day of Christ already expected; at the same time we securely regard it as afar off. As, then, the Apostle has before reproved an unreasonable ardor, so he now shakes off our sleepiness, so that we may attentively expect Christ at all times, lest we should become idle and negligent, as it is usually the case. For whence is it that flesh indulges itself except that there is no thought of the near coming of Christ?

          What afterwards follows, respecting the burning of heaven and earth, requires no long explanation, if indeed we duly consider what is intended. For it was not his purpose to speak refinedly of fire and storm, and other things, but only that he might introduce an exhortation, which he immediately adds, even that we ought to strive after newness of life. For he thus reasons, that as heaven and earth are to be purged by fire, that they may correspond with the kingdom of Christ, hence the renovation of men is much more necessary. Mischievous, then, are those interpreters who consume much labor on refined speculations, since the Apostle applies his doctrine to godly exhortations.

          Heaven and earth, he says, shall pass away for our sakes; is it meet, then, for us to be engrossed with the things of earth, and not, on the contrary, to attend to a holy and godly life? The corruptions of heaven and earth will be purged by fire, while yet as the creatures of God they are pure; what then ought to be done by us who are full of so many pollutions? As to the word godlinesses (pietatibus ,) the plural number is used for the singular, except you take it as meaning the duties of godliness. (180) Of the elements of the world I shall only say this one thing, that they are to be consumed, only that they may be renovated, their substance still remaining the same, as it may be easily gathered from Rom 8:21, and from other passages. (181)

          (180) The previous word is also in the plural number, “in holy conversations.” What seems to be meant is, that every part of the conduct should be holy, and that every part of godliness should be attended to: “In every part of a holy life, and every act of godliness;” that is, we are not to be holy in part or pious in part, but attend to every branch of duty towards man, and every branch of duty towards God. — Ed.
          (181) All that is said here is, that there will be new heavens and a new earth, and not that the present heavens and the present earth will be renovated. See Rev 20:11. — Ed.
          I think you'll find that different camps have different interpretations which stem from how to read Revelation among others through the lens of either Amillennialism or Pre-millennialism. Here are some categories which you'll find more information: Bible Prophecy -Christforums

          God bless,
          William
          Comment>

          • #6
            Originally posted by wfredeemed009 View Post
            I thought sometime after the Armageddon the earth will be destroyed by fire (2nd Peter 3:10). Afterwards, the millennial reign will take place in "New Jerusalem." Doesn't the old have to be done away with first? (still learning)
            Chapter 19 of Revelation tells how Christ will return at the end of the battle of Armageddon. Chapter 20 tells how Satan will be imprisoned for 1,000 years during which Christ will reign on the earth. Then Satan is released and will lead the final rebellion which will end with his being thrown into the lake of fire. Then the rest of the evil people will be condemned to the lake and the present earth will be destroyed and replaced by a new heaven and a new earth.

            As William said, premillenialists and amillenialists interpret prophecy differently. What I have given you is the premillenial interpretation. I think the majority of members on this forum are amillenialists. If you want to understand premillenialism here is a good place to start:
            Page not found - Rapture Ready

            Clyde Herrin's Blog
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            • #7
              Originally posted by William View Post

              I wouldn't say destroyed as much as "purged" by the Refiner's fire. The places that worldly minded people seek happiness shall be burnt up by fire, and all the works of men shall pass through the fire. The fire shall consume all that sin has brought into the world. This should bring great comfort to the Saints. The emphasis of so many passages in Revelation is to lift one's eyes from earthly affections to God, because all these visible things upon the earth shall be burned up Matthew 24:35



              God bless,
              William
              Oh yeah, I forgot about the whole pre-trib/ post trib and pre millennial/ post millennial discussions. When I was just 1st and 2nd Peter this morning I found it interesting that in 2nd Peter it says fire/elements/ fervent heat 3 or 4 times- a lot of emphasis there.
              Comment>

              • #8
                Originally posted by theophilus View Post
                I think the majority of members on this forum are amillenialists.
                G'morning brother Theo,

                I think we are pretty equal at this point. And I do not mean to offend, but most of the people we have been banning so happen to be from the Premillennialist camp. Not that rude behavior has anything to do with Premillennialism, but it just so happens that those "really out there" people belong to a certain camp. I think our new moderation rules will either let us be overrun by Premillers, or it will cause us concern to revise our rules. But that's just my foresight. We definitely implemented guidelines for our moderators making it tougher for them to ban anyone.

                God bless,
                William
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