Bible Symbolism

The scripture records many wonderful promises of God to his saints of an earthly type. Promises not of the next life after these flesh and blood bodies die but promises pertaining to this life. For the most part these promises remained unfulfilled throughout history. When the messiah came to earth in the first century that only seemed to make the persecution directed towards his saints and the resulting upheavals of nations even worse.  God did not leave himself without a witness though in his Word as to when his saints and in fact the world in general would begin to see circumstances where these promises could and would be fulfilled in nations as a matter of course. Prophecy on the matter was very specific: After the Roman Empire; the fourth of four prophesied empires that would war against he saints and overcome them. Then the world would see a new dawn, a new age where the government of God, its influence for good would begin to fill the earth. This transformation that was coming would be so dramatic that Bible prophecy uses the illustration of a "new heavens and new earth" to describe it.


 Here is a small sample of these earthly promises and a few of many of the prophecies concerning their timing.

       Luke 1 67. And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, 68. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he has visited and redeemed his people, 69. And has raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; 70. As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 71. That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 72. To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 73. The oath which he swore to our father Abraham, 74. That he would grant to us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, 75. In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.
     A number of things should be pointed out about this scripture. First, that it is a prophecy inspired by God. Second, just as it says. That this is a prophecy that repeats or encapsulates volumes of prophecy in the Old Testament that promise and predict same thing. Third, that when Jesus grew up and completed his ministry this prophecy, as far as its earthly promises, did not come to pass. Nor did it for the next 1500 years.  Yet today, in the lands that through Gods mercy have had the Gospel preached to them in power. Lands that the general population has access to Bibles. Something began to exist that never existed in the world before the Roman Empire fell in 1453 AD.  That for the first time in history outside of ancient Israel.  The believers began to be saved from the hands of their enemies and were able to freely serve God without fear in holiness and righteousness all the days of their lives. This is all due to the transformative nature of the Gospel, Gods Word and his Government.


Isaiah 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. 18 But be you glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. 19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. The New or Heavenly Jerusalem of the book of Revelation is quoting verses 17-19 and as such Isaiah is prophesying about the very same New Jerusalem.   One mistake that is made with prophecies like these, especially by those who have embraced modern pop culture end time prophecy teachings is the way those teachings effect the adherents perception of the substance of prophecies like this. The utter madness and dysfunction of the ancient world is foreign to modern westerners. They look at the past through the lens of what they experience now. The modern westerner truly has little concept of living in a world where the darkness and dysfunction that rules is universal and un-penetrable. They have truly forgot and have no reason to be reminded of what the world was before the Gospel began to transform it. They don't have anything with which to compare the world they live in to the ancient one to understand how these prophecies about joy, the lack of sufferings, weeping and sorrow of heart have been coming to pass in nations that have met the conditions for centuries now. It must be understood is a local church to posses these earthly promises of God that church must exist in a nation where the people and the government have some type of grounding in Biblical principle.  Otherwise they would be mercilessly persecuting that church and therefore these earthly promises would not be coming to pass. 20 There shall be no more there an infant of days, nor an old man that has not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. Verse 20 promises long life. The average life span in the free world has doubled that of the ancient world and still climbing. 21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. 22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and my elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. It was quite normal that outside of ancient Israel for true believers to not possess property rights in the ancient world. In fact under the despotic rule of kings no one but those who supported the king or emperor really did.  Its not that men didn't understand the rights to own property. Under despotic government rule though the powers that existed did as they pleased and were especially brutal in robbing those whom they considered a threat to their rule, namely real Christians. This was due to the light that was in them that exposed evil. Now however, at least to those who fear God, property rights are considered of divine origin and written into the laws and constitutions of the nations they founded. Today, as differentiated from the past, entire people groups cannot imagine a world where the law does not exist to protect their property rights. 23 They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. Lets just tie verse 23 to the scourge of human slavery to make a point. 1/3-1/2 of all human beings that ever existed before this new era as the property of others. All colors and races have been slaves and enslavers. It must also be pointed out that with the exception of the few and far in-between "benevolent" dictators and small tribal, (family government.)  Legal human slavery could not be done away without first ridding nations of kings and emperors and replacing them with a government of, by and for the people who's morality was based in Biblical principle. Once this transformation began to take place after the fall of the Roman Empire in 1453 AD, the idea of legal human slavery began to decline and was finally ended. So now, in the nations who's people and founding's revolve around Biblical principle we have opportunity that did not exist before.  To labor and reap what we sow and enjoy the fruits of that labor. In this age there are many nations where people can have children and raise them without fear of someone enslaving them or invading armies destroying them. They are able to freely raise them to fear God and not have to be confronted continually with disaster that would destroy their lives. 24 A and it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. Verse 24 is a common experience for true believers. 25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. Animals and plants are used throughout the Bible to illustrate different peoples and nations and this speaks of different nations and peoples living peacefully with one another just as you see modern western Democracies and Republics not warring with one another like nations of old. Or perhaps a better example of this would be nations like the United States.  A nation where people of all races, nationalities can embrace principle that makes them one people. A nation that ascribes to an ideal rather than racial, family or national animosities of the past. That ideal of course, to those who understand, came straight from the pages of the Bible.  They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, said the LORD. The mountain of the Lords house is the oft repeated illustration of the Lords people of faith who come from all nations.   In this article on a parable about the government of God Jesus addresses this mountain in detail. In light of all of history, Gods earthly promises to his saints in ages past have just begun to see their fulfillment.


     Psalm 72:2 He shall judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with judgment. 3 The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness. 4 He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor. 5 They shall fear you as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations. 6 He shall come down like rain on the mown grass: as showers that water the earth. 7 In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endures. 8 He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth. 9 They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust. 10 The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. 11 Yes, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him. 12 For he shall deliver the needy when he cries; the poor also, and him that has no helper. 13 He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy. 14 He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight. 15 And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for him continually; and daily shall he be praised. 16 There shall be an handful of corn in the earth on the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth. 17 His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed. 18 Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only does wondrous things. 19 And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.

      This is truly one of the most amazing prophecies in the Bible. It is so rich in the illustrative language of Bible prophecy but this commentary is not going into all that. The focus of this commentary is: When did did the poor and the needy begin to get saved from the hand of the oppressor?  When did the peoples begin to get judged with righteousness, i.e. begin to live under the rule of law rather than the arbitrary rule of men? When did the oppressors of mankind begin to be crushed by the people instead of the oppressors crushing the peoples? When and how did God begin to be even able to answer the cry's of the poor and the needy with deliverance from the perpetual circumstances that caused them to be poor and needy? When did the good guys actually begin to win sometimes?  Although this can be construed to be talking about salvation from hell and the promise of heaven; it is clearly talking about much more than this. The prophetic and the historical answer to these questions is this: These things began to come to pass when what had been the capitol city of the Roman Empire since 333 AD, Constantinople fell in 1453 AD. The time period  when for the first time in history the Bible began to get into the hands of the general public. Which occurred in northern Europe.  When the public armed with the newly found power of the truth and the God who is faithful to keep his word; they began to win these promises. This was the beginning of the end for despotic government. It was the pattern forward to see greater and greater fulfillment of this prophecy. An age where nations that embrace Biblical principle provide the avenue that these precious promises and prophecies can be fulfilled in the lives of the peoples were they could not be fulfilled before.  An age by the way that the Bible says has no end.

       It can easily be seen with these prophecies how pop culture end time teachings cause Gods people to actually work against these prophecies and promises coming to pass. How might the reader ask? First by not believing in them but believing the future holds the exact opposite.  Faith in Gods Word is prerequisite to all things in our relationship to God and his government. Then, if one looks at history. None of this came to pass without the agency of man working along side God or at least doing his will. Previous to the 20th century Christianity as a whole looked at these prophecies and promises as the will of God to be strived for in the world. Modern  pop culture end time prophecy teachings that pervade the Christian world today were not embraced by the men and woman who created the free world we now enjoy. In fact todays popular end time teachings were considered false teaching and false prophecy. So, if real Christians do not put their faith and labors in these prophecies coming to pass. If they do not seek to instill the acceptance of Biblical principle in the population. If they do not seek to have themselves and Biblical principle as  the primary influence in human government according to the will of God. If they don't even believe these things can be done. Then none of this will be able to come to pass. God will not do this another way. He waited many millennia to do it this way because it is the best way.

     God's people and those who seek a better world will voluntary serve God and win the victory over the wicked of the earth who seek to subjugated it or the world will fall under despotic rule. We have 7000 years of human history prior to this time period that prove mankind will not overcome despotism apart from God's Word.  Yet, pop culture end time teachings declare this battle lost, (placing that in the  heart of the saint) before it even begins because they have taken the end time prophecies of the last two ages and placed them in this age.  This holds just as true for a variant of these teachings called dominionism.  Teachings that still accept the basic premise of these end time teachings but also believe these types of prophecies will supernaturally be fulfilled before those end time doctrines come to pass fully. They disconnect these prophecies from their Biblically stated time periods and history's lessons on how they come to pass. The hard work, the preparations,  the treasure, the blood sweat and tears, the loss, the  victories of past generations are not considered relevant as to the path forward. Instead they carry on as if the end times that they do not know prophesied the end of the last two ages are upon us. They then believe God is going to give us one big slam dunk revival and supernaturally give Christians control of the world and cultures before all hell breaks loose. This is so absurd that it suffices to say people who have accepted such teachings are pathetically un-prepared spiritually or intellectually to accomplish the tasks necessary in Christ for these prophecies to be fulfilled.  Some actually think their worship services will become so supernatural that everyone in their cities will turn away from their evil and believe.  This will then usher the pastors and staff members of their churches into governmental positions of power. Not that this author is against supernatural occurrences changing cities and nations. It happened in the past and will happen in the future. You can see though how those who are under the spell of these types of teachings will not be preparing or doing any of the hard lifting and involving themselves in lifetimes of struggle to overcome the wicked who seek to subjugate the peoples. The people who God needs for this to come to pass are only doing part of what needs to be done. They are preaching and teaching which is absolutely necessary.  As a matter of course though they are not involving themselves with the same propose in the other matters and callings that are necessary for these promises to be fulfilled. They are leaving vast area's to the wicked to control and believing the evil they see as a result is "the end times."

      Isaiah 25 7. And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. 8. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it. 9. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation. 1


These are a few scriptures concerning the timing of these prophecies.


      Daniel 2:31 You, O king, saw, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before you; and the form of it was terrible. 32. This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, 33. His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. 34. You looked until that a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and broke them to pieces. 35. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. 36. This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation of it before the king. 37. You, O king, are a king of kings: for the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. 38. And where ever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven has he given into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all. You are this head of gold. 39. And after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to you, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. 40. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: for as much as iron breaks in pieces and subdues all things: and as iron that breaks all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. 41. And where as you saw the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, for as much as you saw the iron mixed with miry clay. 42. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. 43. And where as you saw iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. 44. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it will crush and bring to an end all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. 45. For as much as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God has made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation of it sure. 

     Daniel 7:1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.2. Daniel spoke and said, I saw in my vision by night, and look, the four winds of the heaven were stirring the great sea. 3. And four great animals came up from the sea, different one from another. 4. The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I looked till the wings were torn off, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it. 5. And look, another animal, a second, like a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in it's mouth between its he teeth: and they said this to it, Arise, devour much flesh. 6. After this I was looking, and saw another, like a leopard, which had on its back of it four wings of a bird; the animal also had four heads; and an empire was given to it. 7. After this I looked in the night visions, and saw a fourth animal, dreadful and terrible, and exceedingly strong; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and crushed, and trampled what was left with its feet: and it was different from all the animals that were before it; and it had ten horns. 8. I considered the horns, and look, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns uprooted; and look, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. 9. I looked until the thrones were set up, and the ancient of days sat, whose robe was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the flames of fire, and its wheels were burning fire. 10. A river of fire ran and issued from his presence: thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood in his presence: the court was seated, and the books were opened. 11. I was looking then because of the sound of the great words which the horn spoke: I looked until the animal was killed, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. 12. As concerning the rest of the animals, they had their empires taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. 13. I saw in the night visions, and look, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14. And there was given him an empire, and glory, and dominion, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his empire is an everlasting empire, which shall not pass away, and his dominion that which shall not be destroyed. 15. I Daniel was distressed in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. 16. I came near to one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. 17. These great animals, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. 18. But the saints of the most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. 19. Then I would know the truth of the fourth animal, which was different from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured and crushed, and trampled what was left with his feet; 20. And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spoke very great things, whose look was more greater than his fellows. 21. I was looking, and the same horn made war with the saints, and overpowered them; 22. Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. 23. So he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be different from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and crush it. 24. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be different from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. 25. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. 26. But the court will sit, and they shall take away his empire, to consume and to destroy it until the end. 27. And the kingdom and empire, and the greatness of the dominion under the whole heaven, will be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all empires shall serve and obey him. 28. This is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my thoughts greatly alarmed me, and my color changed on me: but I kept the matter in my heart. 

These four empires are named and dated in latter prophecies about the same things as Babylonian, Medo\Persian, Greek and Roman empires. It is during the fourth one that Gods Kingdom begins to fill the whole earth and Gods saints start to have a say in their destinies. Every prophecy in the Bible about these four are covered in great detail on this in the article; End Time Prophecy.  

© Daniel Martinovich 2012-2017