People often ask how can you know what is the “true” meaning of passages in the Bible ?… some parts of the Bible could (possibly) be taken literally and other parts cannot be literal (because then it would make no sense)…. so who knows what it “means” ?…. how can we possibly know whose “interpretation” is correct ?….. because EVERYBODY uses the Bible to prove WHATEVER they want to prove…. even when it is an opposing viewpoint…so one can prove almost ANYTHING from the Bible (by selectively picking out text).
A serious understanding comes about only by COMPARING passages…. and this was in fact, an important consideration when deciding what to INCLUDE and what to EXCLUDE of the various “books” and “manuscripts” that were available.
The works that have been EXCLUDED from the Bible have been done so for very good reasons…. and the information they contain is UNRELIABLE.
Consider visions of Ezekiel and John (Revelation)….
Read Ezekiel 1:10, Ezekiel 1:18 and then Revelation 4:7 – 8 …… the SIMILARITY of these visions is striking…. maybe they both “saw” the same thing and just DESCRIBED it a little differently ? …. if both reports had been IDENTICAL, we might be suspicious that the later one was aware of the former one…. but here we have accounts from two different people who lived THOUSANDS or years apart…. and no evidence that John knew of Ezekiel’s vision… but even if he knew of it, when he “saw” it for himself he described it differently…. this is EXACTLY what one would expect, if you show two different people the same thing and there is NO COLLUSION between them, you will get two different reports … differing in fine detail, but with common aspects (the most significant features).
The lion is the symbol of kingship, the ox (or calf) is the symbol of servitude (servant-hood), the man represents humanity and the soaring eagle symbolizes Deity.
These four aspects of God in His dealings with the human race are manifested in Jesus Christ…. both human and Divine, He saved us through His humiliation and servanthood… and will rule over the entire human race as the Divine King.
It is amazing to me that people “stumble” over Christ…. why should it be thought “unusual” that God would incarnate Himself as “one of His creation” ? …. What better way to understand and lead His people, than to become one of them ?
As I have said before, the problems that humans have with this …. they just CANNOT ACCEPT a God that “looks like them”…. PARTICULARLY a (apparently ?) POWERLESS and HUMBLE God….
It was not only that God came to them in the form of the man, Jesus Christ….. but He came HUMBLY, and allowed the “authorities” to do whatever they wanted with Him…..
This is not what they wanted from “their god”….. to earn “their respect”….. Jesus would have had to use FORCE and POWER to secure HIS PRE-EMINIENCE over them, and not simply cure sick people, raise dead people or walk on water (because those kind of miracles did not really “impress” them).
Can you not see that the problem with RULING BY FORCE does not change the heart ? …. they had the record of their ancestors, God had done that all already, He had already “ruled them by force”…. read Numbers 16:20-49 …. all kings of the earth maintain their thrones by force continually and the instant they stop using force somebody else takes over.
GOD WANTS a people that serve Him VOLUNTARILY… and with their whole heart… and NOT because they fear His RETALIATION if they step out of line…. but humans, because of their evil wicked hearts and pride, will only serve someone that they FEAR.
Eventually…. it shall come about….
“the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace” Psalm 37:11
“He maketh wars to cease unto the ends of the earth….” Psalm 47:9
Also…. READ… Isaiah 2:4 and Micah 4:3 “… nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” ….. but the UNITED NATIONS cannot accomplish this….. mankind can NEVER achieve this…. when the time has fully come, Jesus Christ will achieve this…. but…. BEWARE…
“the wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” Psalm 9:17
The present global trend of “ideas”… of TOLERANCE, LOVE and PEACE…. sound so “wonderful” to our ears…. so scriptural….. so Godly…… BEWARE, it is NOT of GOD but of MAN…. because it embraces EVIL along with good…. it is the RELIGION of MAN…. it is MAN trying to reform himself…. it is MAN trying to be good on his own…WITHOUT “surrender to GOD” and … without the “way” of the Cross…. but WHAT FELLOWSHIP has LIGHT with DARKNESS ?….. the universal peace and brotherly love and tolerance that the New World Order will bring is a PRELUDE to the rise of ANTICHRIST where TRUE followers of JESUS will be branded “fanatics” and “disruptors of the peace” merely for daring to speak out against wickedness.
NOWHERE does the Bible teach that “love” means COMPLICITY with evil….. the Cross of Christ is a DIVIDER of men…. and fully reveals the JUSTICE of GOD against ungodly mankind…. as well as His love for the human race… therefore the “loving” followers of the ANTICHRIST and the New Age Religion will brand the Bible as a “nuisance” and “a book that stimulates division and spoils unity”…. and MANKIND will toss out the Bible IN FAVOR of their OWN IDEA of “righteousness”.
This is already beginning… the signs are there…. but the process will be slow…. so that people will “adapt” to the “new way of thinking” without even realizing the “process”.
If you love GOD today…. then ask Him continually for SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT so that you will not be deceived by the “COUNTERFEIT religion” that is already at work in the souls of men…. that offers a “salvation of men” WITHOUT commitment to the “way of the Cross” of the only Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
There is NO OTHER way to be SAVED…. and many will fool themselves that they are “in Christ” when it is not so.