Monday, September 8, 2014

APOCALYPTIC LANGUAGE - PROPHETIC SYMBOLS Pt. 2

APOCALYPTIC LANGUAGE - PROPHETIC SYMBOLS Pt. 2

March 15, 2014 at 10:42pm

http://richardwaynegarganta.com/propheticsymbols.htm

A Document That Will Help You Understand TheProphetic Symbols And Apocalyptic Language Of The Bible By Comparing SymbolsFrom Old And New Testament Prophecies
For the most part this was taken from ChapterSix from - ProphecyFulfilled — God’s Perfect Church by by David P. Crews - TeleiosBooks - New Light Publishing Austin, Texas and this document was originallyfound at tentmaker.org.



Symbol: SUN &MOON DARKENED or TURNED TO BLOOD
Interpretation: The darkness of a nations distress, sorrow, and desolation.
O.T. Ref.:
ISAIAH 13:9-11 - “See, the day of the Lord is coming - a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger - to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it. The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light. I will punish the world for its evil.” [NIV]
This passage, so similar in form to the words of Christ and of John, speaks of the destruction of the land of Babylon. This section is one of the “burdens” of various kingdoms that Isaiah was prophesying against. The “day of the Lord” was, as previously noted, the actual war event when, in this instance, Babylon was conquered by the Medes. In verse 17, God says, “behold, I will stir up the Medes against them.” Note also, that God punished the “world” for its evil - that is, the Babylonian “world.”
The imagery of the STARS WILL NOT SHOW THEIR LIGHT, the SUN DARKENED, and MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, simply reflects the great distress, despair, and desolation of the Babylonians when this terrible thing happened to them. It was as if the “sun went down on their nation,” as we might say it today.
The stars and physical universe did not go dark because the Medo-Persian empire supplanted the Babylonian one. This language is figurative.

ISAIAH 5:30 “And in that day they shall roar against them like the roaring of the sea. And if one look unto the land, behold darkness and sorrow, and the light is darkened in the heavens thereof.”
This passage tells of the Assyrian attack and destruction of Israel in 721 B.C. This DARKNESS was obviously not literal. As the verse indicates, it was the pall of sorrow and despair of Israel as they suffered Gods wrath (v. 25) and were taken into captivity.

EZEKIEL 30:18; 32:7-8 “At Tehaphnehes also the day shall be darkened, when I shall break there the yokes of Egypt: and the pomp of her strength shall cease in her: as for her, a cloud shall cover her, and her daughters shall go into captivity.” And when I shall put thee [Pharaoh] out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light. All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, saith the Lord God.”
Here, we see a prophecy concerning Egypt. That nation would be destroyed by God, using the Babylonians (Ezek. 30:10) in 572 B.C. This destruction would cause the DARKNESS of distress and desolation to the conquered peoples of Egypt.

AMOS 8:9 “in that day, declares the Sovereign Lord, I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight” [NIV]
Amos prophesied for Israel, and this concerned the destruction and captivity of 721 B.C. by the Assyrians (see 6:14, and 5:27). The literal sun did not literally go down at noon and darken the earth. These were symbolic terms signifying the desolation and sorrow of the Israelites due to their calamity.

ZEPHANIAH 1:14-15 “The great day of the Lord is near - near and coming quickly....That day will be a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness....” [NIV]
The symbolic or figurative nature of these phrases is very clear in this passage which speaks of the impending defeat of the nation of Judah. The DARKNESS and GLOOM, CLOUDS and BLACKNESS, were distress, anguish, trouble, and ruin!

N.T. Ref.:
MATTHEW 24:29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light....”

ACTS 2:20 “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come.”

REV 6:12 “I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red.” [NIV]
Here, we find three prophecies of the same event. In Acts, we are told that “this is that” of which the prophet Joel spoke. It was the destruction of the Jewish nation in AD. 70, and the symbols are used in the same way as before. This DARKNESS would be terrible, indeed, for this would be a final destruction of the old Jewish nation.
John saw in his vision the events that were soon to take place and recorded them in symbols as if it were then happening. He saw the earth - the people involved, or the Jewish nation - being shaken by a great “earthquake” of invasion and war. Their desolation and sorrow turned their DAY into utter and complete BLACK, as black as the inside of a bag made of black goat hair, because they were now utterly cut off from God. Their MOON was TURNED BLOOD RED by their own blood which was shed and their violent destruction and removal from their ancestral land.


Symbol: SHAKING, TREMBLING, or EARTHQUAKE
Interpretation: The power of God manifested in attacking human armies.
O.T. Ref.:
JEREMIAH 51:29 “For the land shall tremble and sorrow: for every purpose of the Lord shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a desolation without an inhabitant.”
In this powerful prophecy of the downfall of Babylon, we see that the TREMBLING of the land is symbolic for the God directed destruction of that land. This passage is filled with other similar symbols which speak the same message with poetic imagery.

EZEKIEL 38:19-20 “Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of lsrael...and all...that are upon the face of the earth shall shake at my presence.”
This passage in Ezekiel looks forward to the time of the Roman invasion in A.D. 70. In verse 8, he says, “in the latter years, thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people.” This refers to the church which would be redeemed from the war events and would he composed of Gentile as well as Jewish peoples.
It would be the unbelieving Jewish nation (all upon the face of the “earth”) that would SHAKE. This verse tells us what that shaking is caused by - it is due to Gods presence, manifested in the attacking Roman army.

N.T. Ref.:
REV 16:18 “Then there came...a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on the earth, so tremendous was the quake.” [NIV]
Again, these things are not literal but are symbols of other specific things. The phrase “man on the earth” refers specifically to the Jewish nation in Palestine, and the EARTHQUAKE here was the power and presence of God working through the agency of the Roman army. Nothing had ever shaken the Jewish nation like this EARTHQUAKE would do. Israel and Judah had been taken captive and Jerusalem destroyed before, but never had God completely abandoned them. This was to be their final and total destruction - a religious, and political EARTHQUAKE that would literally remove them from their land.


Symbol: SEA or WATERS
Interpretation: A multitude or a nation of people.
O.T. Ref.:
ISAIAH 5:30 “And in that day they shall roar against them like the roaring of the sea.”
The parties involved here are the Assyrian armies “roaring” against the Hebrews. In this symbol, the great number and strength of the Assyrian soldiers are compared to the waves of the stormy sea.

ISAIAH 8:7 “The Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many.”
These WATERS are symbolic of a warlike nation that would sweep over Judah like flood waters. The next phrase (vss. 7-8) tell us who it is:
“...even the king of Assyria, and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go all over his banks: And he shall pass through Judah...”

ISAIAH 18:12 “Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!”
This passage concerning Israel’s enemies shows plainly how the terms SEAS and WATERS are used symbolically or figuratively to represent nations and multitudes.

JEREMIAH 51:42 “The sea is come up upon Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof.”
What was this sea that would cover Babylon? Was it the literal ocean waters? No, this was the “sea” of the armies of the Medes as we read in verse 28. In verse 25, another symbol is used that gives the image of Babylon becoming a “burnt mountain.” Utterly different images, both meaning the same thing: the destruction of the Babylonian nation by God, through the use of the Medes.

N.T. Ref.:
REV 4:6 “...before the throne, there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal....”[NIV]
The throne was Gods, and this sea was (and is) the sea of his own people, the faithful Christian believers. The sea is pictured as being like glass - that is, it was smooth and not turbulent. Gods people are given true peace.

REV 8:8 “...something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood.” [NIV]
The “huge mountain was a symbol for the Roman empire, and when that empire was “thrown into the sea,” it simply signifies that God was causing the Roman army to come into conflict with the peoples of Palestine, who were the SEA here. That this was an action of war is indicated by the imagery of the SEA (the people involved) turning into blood.

REV 21:1 “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.” [NIV]
After the old Jewish Law had been fulfilled, and the faithful remnant, the Christian believers, had been secured, then the old unbelieving nation of Judaism was utterly destroyed in the war. The Jewish nation ceased to exist as it did in Biblical times. The SEA of the Jewish peoples “was no longer.”


Symbol: HARLOT, WHORE, or PROSTITUTE
Interpretation: A nations unfaithfulness or apostasy to God.
O.T. Ref.:
ISAIAH 1:21 “See how the faithful city has become a harlot! She once was full of justice; righteousness used to dwell in her - but now murderers!” [NIV]
The faithful city was Jerusalem (and thus representing the Jewish nation), but it was no longer faithful. It had taken on a series of earthly kings, and the people of God had turned to idolatry. These actions were symbolized as spiritual fornication or whoredom, a breach of the contract or covenant God had made with Abraham and his descendants.

EZEKIEL 16:14-15 “And your fame spread among the nations on account of your beauty, because the splendor I had given you made your beauty perfect, declares the Sovereign Lord. But you trusted in your beauty and used your fame to become a prostitute. You lavished your favors on anyone who passed by and your beauty became his.” [NIV] 
Who is God speaking of here? This long address begins in verse 1, where God tells Ezekiel to “confront Jerusalem with her detestable practices, and say, This is what the Sovereign Lord says to Jerusalem” It was Jerusalem who had acted the part of a prostitute, and in verses 26-29, God spells out with whom:
“You engaged in prostitution with the Egyptians your lustful neighbors...You engaged in prostitution with the Assyrians, too, because you were insatiable. Then you increased your promiscuity to include Babylonia.”

HOSEA 1:2 “...for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the Lord.” Here, it is plain that the land, which was Israel, was guilty of “departing” from God and is pictured as a whore.

NAHUM 3:4 “All because of the wanton lust of a harlot, alluring...who enslaved nations by her prostitution.” [NIV]
In this passage, the same imagery is applied to the city of Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian empire, and thus to its people, of whom God says (v.5), “I am against you.

N.T. Ref.:
REV 17:1-5 “I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute...With her, the kings of the earth committed adultery.I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast. This title was written on her forehead: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES.” [NIV]

REV 18:3,9 “For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her” “When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her.”[NIV]

REV 19:2 “He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” [NIV]
This prostitute is, again, Jerusalem, representing the entire Jewish nation that had rejected Christ. In their passion for being like the other nations around them, the Jews debased themselves and entered into unfitting practices of idolatry, business, and hedonism that drew them farther and farther from God and his righteousness. Once that nation became a persecuting enemy of his remnant people, it had to finally be destroyed. Revelation is the picture of that destruction and the resulting victory of the Christian believers. It brings the Christians from the darkness of persecution and tribulation to the point where God tells them (ch. 18:20):
“Rejoice over her, 0 heaven! Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets! God has judged her by the way she treated you.” [NIV]

Symbol: BABYLON
Interpretation: An evil nation.
Strictly speaking, this is not a parallel symbol, for the Old Testament reference is to the actual city (and therefore, nation) of Babylon rather than Babylon as a symbol for another place. The significance and the direct quotation, however, is so important and striking, and yet so often misunderstood, that it is included in this list.

O.T. Ref.:
ISAIAH 21:9 “Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.”
As noted, this refers to the literal city and empire of Babylon, which became the type, or the distinctive example of an evil empire. Considered one of the great cities of mankind in ancient times, it was utterly pagan and evil in its idolatry and moral corruption. This image of a degraded and decadent nation was used directly in the Apocalypse to represent another evil nation.

N.T. Ref.:
REV 14:8 “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”
John used the name of the evil nation of Babylon to represent or symbolize the evil of the Jewish nation. He sees Jerusalem pictured as the great prostitute, and names it BABYLON. In chapter 18:10, the “kings of the earth,” who were the religious and political leaders of Judea, would stand in witness of the terrible destruction of their nation, and they say:
“Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour is thy judgment come.”
Similarly, in chapter 11:8, Jerusalem is symbolically named “Sodom” and “Egypt,” names of evil cities and lands of the past, to indicate the evils the Jews had committed against God. In this passage, John states plainly that this great city is called these names figuratively,” and we know that he means Jerusalem because it is where “the Lord was crucified.”


Symbol: EAGLE
Interpretation: Swift judgment and consequence through earthly armies.
O.T. Ref.:
JEREMIAH 48:40; 49:22 “Look! An eagle is swooping down, spreading its wings over Moab.” “Look! An eagle will soar and swoop down, spreading its wings over Bozrah.” [NIV]
This EAGLE is not a physical bird, but rather, the king of Babylon, whom God is using as a tool to punish various nations, including Moab and Edom. The appellation “eagle” denoted the swift judgment of the conquest of these people through the battle actions, just like the quick attack and kill a literal eagle makes on its prey.

HOSEA 8:1 “He shall come as an eagle against the house of the Lord.”
This EAGLE is the Assyrian army coming with swift judgment against the north kingdom of Israel.

HABAKKUK 1:8 “Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves,They shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat.”
It is the horsemen or armies of Chaldea (or Babylon) that is described by this prophet. The meanings of the various appellations are obvious: swift judgment against their enemies.

N.T. Ref.:
MATTHEW 24:28 “For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.”
These EAGLES were the Roman armies, especially appropriate to the use of this symbol because the eagle was their specific ensign and symbol. The eagle flew on their banners and was manifested in many other ways to indicate who they were. Now, within that living generation, Jesus prophecies that these EAGLES would come to bring swift judgment to the Jewish nation, which is pictured as a dead carcass - spiritually dead to God.

REV 4:7 “and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.”
These four “beasts,” or more literally “living creatures,” were symbolic of different attributes of God. The fourth attribute pictures him as the EAGLE, bringing swift judgment and retribution to Judea through the military actions of human armies.

Symbol: CARCASS
Interpretation: A nation that is spiritually dead and militarily defeated.
O.T. Ref.:
ISAIAH 5:25 “Therefore is the anger of the Lord kindled against his people and the hills did tremble and their carcasses were torn.”
Gods people are here pictured as a carcass because of their sin. They had become spiritually dead to God because of their evil ways, and now his anger was aroused. God would punish them by bringing the warlike Assyrians against them. The Assyrians would come with speed swiftly” (v. 26) and figuratively tear the carcasses, like a predator killing its prey.

ISAIAH 14:19 “But thou art cast out of thy grave like A carcass trodden under foot.”
The recipient of this prophecy was the king of Babylon (v. 4) and his empire, which would be as a carcass or dead body because his power and authority was dead, and now he would be militarily defeated - trodden under the feet of the Medo-Persians.

N.T. Ref.:
MATTHEW 24:28 “For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.”
Again, this carcass was the unbelieving and spiritually dead nation of Judaism which would be consumed by the Roman “eagles” in the war actions soon to follow.

Symbol: SMOKE
Interpretation: Desolation or destruction.
O.T. Ref.:
ISAIAH 34:10 “[Edoms] smoke will rise forever. From generation to generation it will lie desolate.” [NIV]
In this prophecy against Edom, the desolation of that land is symbolized by an eternal SMOKE. This was literally fulfilled, and that land is desolate and destroyed even today. The tombs of Petra stand silent, and the awed visitor finds only a plain of broken shards where the great city once stood.

ISAIAH 14:31 “Thou, whole Palestina, art dissolved: for there shall come from the north a smoke....”
Here, the destruction of the land of Palestina is pictured as a SMOKE coming from the north, which was in the form of the Babylonian armies.

N.T. Ref.:
REV 9:2 “When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss.” [NIV]
All of the SMOKES in Revelation are symbolic of the same thing: the destruction and desolation of the city of Jerusalem and the nation of Judaism of which it was the capital. It becomes plain that this is the correct interpretation of the symbol when we read in verse 3 that “locusts came down out of the SMOKE” - these were “locusts” that (v. 7-10) “looked like horses prepared for battle,” with “human faces” and “breast plates of iron” and the “thunder of many horses and chariots rushing into battle.”
The Roman army is almost literally pictured here by John, and it was that army which “tormented people for five months” - the actual time span of the siege of Jerusalem.

REV 14:11 “...and the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest...for those who worship the beast....”
Those who would not accept Christ would fall with “Babylon” (v. 8), which is the symbolic name for Jerusalem. The desolation and destruction symbolized by SMOKE would be eternal for those who are cut off from God by their unbelief. This traumatic experience of the war actions, along with the preceding years of persecution from the Jews, would require “patient endurance on the part of the saints” (v.12).

REV 15:8 “And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power....” [NIV]
This is a symbolic picture of the destruction of the Temple of Herod in Jerusalem in A.D. 70. The temple was filled with symbolic SMOKE as well as literal smoke when it was burned to the ground. The symbol stands for the destruction of the Temple as the physical abode of the spiritual God. He desolated it by removing his presence from it for ever and destroyed it with the symbolic contents of the seven golden bowls, which were “filled with the wrath of God” (verse 7). This event would show Gods power, and his glory - which represents victory.
These references to the Temples imminent destruction are also strong evidences to the early (pre- A.D. 70) dating of the writing of this book (see Chapter Seven).

REV 18:9 “When the kings of the earth...see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her.”[NIV]
The many merchants who had become rich in Judea, along with the Jewish leaders who had rejected Christ and had led the people into a degraded spiritual lifestyle, would see the destruction of their land and nation and would truly mourn. The SMOKE of the desolation and destruction of the Jewish state would rise forever in the impact it had on the affairs of man and God.


Symbol: “MOUNTAINS, COVER US!”; “HILLS, FALL ON US!”
Interpretation: Desperation for protection from destruction.
O.T. Ref.:
HOSEA 10:8 “The high places of wickedness will be destroyed - it is the sin of Israel. Thorns and thistles will grow up and cover their altars. Then they will say to the mountains, Cover us! and to the hills, Fall on us!”[NIV]
The sin of the north kingdom of Israel would be answered by God when he brought the Assyrian nation against them in 721 B.C. The phrases are symbolic of the people of Israel becoming frantic and desperate as they see the invaders approaching. In their panic, they would wish to be delivered by any means, even (poetically speaking) to the point of asking the mountains and hills to swallow them up in order to avoid the oncoming destruction.

N.T. Ref.:
LUKE 23:30 “Then they will say to the mountains, Fall on us! and to the hills, Cover us!” [NIV]
These are words spoken by Jesus on his way to be crucified. Verse 28 preceding, tells us who he was talking to and what he was talking about:
“Jesus turned and said to them, Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children.”[NIV]
Christ knew what the people around him did not know. He knew that the city and nation was going to be destroyed by war and famine. It would be these very people who would be pleading for deliverance from the Roman siege and destruction just 38 years later.

REV 6:15-17 “Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!” [NIV]
Here, we see an entire panoply of the peoples that were caught up in the great war siege and destruction of Jerusalem. The “kings of the earth” who were the religious/political leaders (the Sanhedrin, High Priest, etc.), and all the other types of people - rich and poor, slave and free - that were frantically seeking deliverance from the Roman attack. It did not matter “who you were,” for the city was sealed up and no one escaped.
In the vision “view” of John, the symbols of the people involved realize that the destruction is actually brought by God himself and that it is due to the anger or wrath of Christ against his enemies that they are so afflicted. They realize with great dread that (v. 17):
“the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?”

Symbol: FIRE
Interpretation: The power of the Word of God.
O.T. Ref.:
JEREMIAH 23:29 “Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord.” [NIV]
Here, the symbol is plainly presented in its simplest form - that of a simile (saying that one thing is “like” another). Why FIRE? Because, Gods Word either burns or tempers those who hear it. It can bring energy and power - or great and total destruction.

EZEKIEL 10:2 “Go in between the wheelsand fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims and scatter them over the city.”
This symbolic imagery concerns the power of God present in and dealing with the people who were left in Jerusalem during the first part of the Babylonian captivity. The city would soon be destroyed for the sins and apostasies of the people. The FIRE came from between the cherubim - from within the image of God. Thus, the FIRE represents the power of God manifested toward his sinful people.

ZEPHANIAH 1:18; 3:8 “In the fire of his jealousy the whole world will be consumed.”
“The whole world will be consumed by the fire of my jealous anger.” [NIV]
The “world” that would be “consumed” by the power of God - his powerful FIRE - was Judah, which would soon be taken by the Babylonians. Gods anger was manifested toward Judah through human armies. Notice the use of the symbol “whole world” to symbolize the nation of the prophecy.

ZECHARIAH 2:4-5 “Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of men and livestock in it. And I myself will be a wall of fire around it, declares the Lord, and I will be its glory within.” [NIV]
Gods power is not always used in anger, of course. Here we see a picture of the great positive power of God in a vision of the present spiritual kingdom. This is how God protects and glorifies the spiritual church that Christians live in today. The FIRE that defines and protects the kingdom is the Word of God, as we shall see in the New Testament references.

N.T. Ref.:
HEBREWS 12:29 “For our God is a consuming fire.”
This verse (quoting Deuteronomy 4:24), is one of the most powerful metaphor in the Bible. In what way is God a consuming fire? The passage in Jeremiah 23:29 tells us his words are like fire, and John 1:1 states that the Word was God. It is the power of God manifested in what God calls into being by willing or stating it, and activated through the person of Christ.

REV 8:5 “Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth.”[NIV]
Notice the parallel with Ezekiel 10:2. Here again, the FIRE originates in the altar, meaning it comes from God himself, and then it is taken and “hurled on the earth.” This symbolizes the power of God, whose word caused the destructions to come upon the Jewish nation. As previously discussed, the “earth” is the nation involved in the prophecy.

REV 14:9-10 “If any man worship the beastthe same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of Godand he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.”
Anyone who aligned themselves with the “beast” (which was the unbelieving and persecuting powers of Judea or Rome), would be “tormented” with the fire of God manifested in the war actions of AD. 67-70. God does not stand and gloat over lost sinners as they are tormented. In fact, the torment of lost sinners is their removal from the presence of God. Here, however, the subjects of torment are in the presence of God and the Lamb (Christ), because these symbols represent the specific events of the Roman-Jewish war and the destruction of those people who were persecuting the new Christian church.


Symbol: MOUNTAIN
Interpretation: An earthly nation opposed to God.
O.T. Ref.:
JEREMIAH 51:25 “I am against you, 0 destroying mountain, you who destroy the whole earth, declares the Lord. I will stretch out my hand against you, roll you off the cliffs, and make you a burned-out mountain.” [NIV]
This entire chapter is a prophecy of the downfall of the Babylonian empire. This evil nation is symbolized as a MOUNTAIN, presumably because it was large and terrifying to the smaller, less aggressive nations around it. God is promising to destroy it here, and make Babylon into a “burned - out mountain,” in the time of their “visitation” or “judgment” (v. 18), which he would accomplish in a familiar way (v. 11):
“The Lord has stirred up the kings of the Medes, because his purpose is to destroy Babylon. The Lord will take vengeance.”[NIV]

MICAH 1:3-5 “Look! The Lord is coming from his dwelling place...and treads the high places of the earth. The mountains melt beneath him.All this is because ofthe sins of the house of Israel.What is Judahs high place? Is it not Jerusalem?” [NIV]
Here, the prophet uses the symbol, and then tells us that the high place or MOUNTAIN refers to Jerusalem, which stands for the entire Hebrew nation that had become opposed to God through idolatry and other sins. That nation, although a great “mountain,” would become melted under Gods symbolic feet. It would be reduced from its glory and greatness by the conquering pagan armies.

N.T. Ref.:
REV 6:14; 16:20 “The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.”
“Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found.” [NIV]
In both of these passages, the MOUNTAIN was the nation that opposed God and the new spiritual kingdom of the church - the “great city” symbolized with the name “Babylon.” It was Jerusalem and the Jewish nation which had now come to the final “day” of God and was destroyed. The MOUNTAIN was “removed from its place” and “could not be found.” The sky receded like a rolled up scroll, signifying the “end of the book” for Jerusalem, and the “islands” within signified the leaders and important men of the nation who were also “removed” and who “flew away” in captivity and destruction.

REV 8:8 “The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood....”[NIV]
This MOUNTAIN was the Roman Empire, manifested in its armies, which was “thrown into the sea” - that is, it was caused by God to invade the people (“sea”) who were the subjects of this prophecy. These people were, of course, the disobedient Jewish nation. Notice the phrase “something like a huge mountain” which shows that this is a symbolic image, not literal. The sea of people turned into blood once the Roman army invaded the land. It is symbolized as a third because this is one part of a three part “woe

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