The Problem of Eisegesis

The predicament that motivated this twenty year research project is the systemic breakdown of Biblical true-Truth from the continual progressive lack of good honest teaching in Revelation and Eschatology in general. In most American Churches and ministries, there is a decreasing sense of a focus on what God’ really said, a lack of spiritual maturity as demonstrated by a lack of character, involvement and interest of deeper spiritual things. This is occurring at an epidemic rate while bad fads and dangerous trends are replacing solid Bible teaching and discipleship. 

There is too much sloppy exegesis and fraudulent Bible study and grandstanding and in conjunction too much reading in “Eisegesis” to glean what people want out of God’s Word. Thus, God’s people are attacking, even raping God’s word to create their own word and in the process distract His children away from perusing a deep spiritual formation with Christ by chasing nonsense and trivialities of man’s ideas are trivialities not following God’s (Acts 17:11; 2 Corinthians 4:2; and 2 Timothy 2:15; Revelation 22:18-19)!

As serious students of God’s Word the Bible we must know this great axiom, that to engage in honest and effectual Bible exposition, context, context and…one more…context, the historical, genre, textual…what does that term mean not just in the original language, but by the context of the language structure, what did it mean to the person who penned under God’s inspiration and who originally heard and read it…what does it mean elsewhere in Scripture… and so on…. Not what a madman in a suit is screaming on TV, thus we are relaying the research on this for your examination…

Our M.O. “modus operandi” is simply to seek out what the Bible has to say on Eschatology.  We have no ax to grind, no view to prove, we engage the Bible as humble learners. Thus, we seek the most honest and effectual approach is to engage the Bible without a preconceived view, to carefully research what is being said in context, word meaning, genre… Thus, an inductive exegetical approach is undertook, along side of deductive research to see what did that mean to the original writers and hearers and readers of it, not what we may think today. In this way, we can get a better picture of End Times and better embrace God’s most precious Word! 

Our focus primarily a critical and scholarly evaluation on the text and its context from the view of how it was understood in the time and culture from rigorous and sustained exegetical analysis (that is why this took 20 years). 

We will also consider the diachronic approach (i.e. the text’s phenomena interpretive history with its change through time, i.e. all the various views). The Inductive method that is employed is logical induction arising from inductance reactance of word meaning and context, and sentence structure proceeding from particular facts to a general conclusion. It is our attempt to take the principle inductive questions and seek what does the text plainly say, what does it mean and how does it apply today and weave it into a conversational presentation annotations and built points. Then, this induction is compared to logical deduction; “deductive reasoning” inferences from general principles from historicity, compared to others research evidence. We will also explore both the salient as well as the convergent and divergent views. I do not believe anyone has seriously done this; layout all the main views side by side next to the inductive and deductive research for each passage and then you can then make your own determinations.

http://www.churchleadership.org/apps/articles/default.asp?articleid=67933&columnid=4624

http://70030.netministry.com/articles_view.asp?articleid=43884&columnid=3801 

Do you read from the Bible or read into the Bible? Do you know the difference? 

 

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Viewing the book of Revelation

We need to come to Revelation without a specific view, as each prophecy can have multiple applications, meanings, and fulfillments that can be true. We must come to Revelation with patience and humility, seeking dialog and cooperation not disagreements and strife, for that is what is clearly in err.

We are to interpret in light of the historical context and what it meant then because John’s readers did not have a modern newspaper or CNN. And, for us to think that Revelation meant nothing for 2000 years until our generation came is extremely arrogant and dismissive to the countless Christians who came before us, upon whose shoulders we stand.

Revelation is for all generations, not just ours or one to come! Also, we must never seek to be dogmatic with our feeble opinions and limited understandings. In addition, the applications in Revelation are for us now, as they were also active in the early Church and will have further meaning and fulfillment in the time to come. Revelation is not just about the first Christians, nor is it just about what will happen in some distant future. These precepts are for us today, for us to know, for us to use, and for us to deploy deeply in our lives and walk in Christ. What we do know is Christ is coming back! When Satan will be finally be defeated is not known, but God will comfort and take care of us!

Revelation‘s purpose is not to satisfy our dogmatic assertions and speculations. Let us not bother with unwarranted calculations, to which we have no idea or call to do. Rather, let us seek His precepts so we can grow further in our spiritual formation and make Him known to others!

Revelation is about our genuine discipleship and growth in Christ and how He impacts us so we can impact others. In His time, it will be clear without dispute (Acts 1:7). Revelation continues to add to our spiritual growth and faithfulness and encourage the Church through persecutions and the daily stresses of life. What we have to know is what we need to know. We do not need to know what He has not yet revealed, as our duty is to our spiritual formation and the expansion of the Kingdom, not idle speculations and argumentations.

The purpose for our lives here is to learn and grow in Him over any theological agenda.

What we learn in our preparations is far more valuable than what will come about. To live in a sin-infused world is difficult and we need the Savior and Lord to guide us through it. Our lives, circumstances, and experiences will bring us trials and testing before we learn the lessons we are taught. What we learn from Him will help us be vigorous, victorious, and able to overcome anything life or Satan can throw at us.

This article series also serves as the introduction to our Bible Study in the Book of Revelation.

The Olivet Discourse PII

General Idea of Matthew 24: 29- 51, Part II

This is part two of a two part study as a prelude into The Book of Revelation. It is essential we understand the events that are to come and not bow to false teachings or sensationalism, and the best way to do that is see what our Lord Jesus Christ taught on the matter.

The Coming of the Son of Man!

A spectacular glimpse to things that will come! Jesus is explaining here, symbolically, the events of the coming Tribulation (Matt. 24:29-35), and then, in the following chapters, gives us some illustrations, using parables, to help us understand these events and the importance of our being ready (Matt. 24: 36 through chap. 25). Jesus is coming back and this time it will not be a subtle event, as a baby born in a feed trough in a cave; rather, the entire creation will glow and bend to show the whole world His glory. This passage gives hope to a persecuted church, hope to people in despair, and hope that He is indeed in charge, even when we cannot see it!

This is also one of the main passages that people refer to as the Rapture. That is, Jesus’ return, and our being “caught up” with Him as air being lifted up in the sky. This is, of course, in great debate. Did you know that this Rapture is a “theory” that is only a hundred years old, and comes from people who expounded lots of false doctrine as well? Did you know that none of the most brilliant theological minds who ever lived—Augustine, Kempis, Calvin, Luther, and Spurgeon, to name a few—ever taught this?(see our series on this for more info)! Perhaps the information is true but we were not ready for it; perhaps it is all fantasy, allegory turned it into theology, which is a very dangerous and false practice!

Wherever the truth may lie, or to whatever view you subscribe, the particulars are not important; that is why they are not given to us! What is important is to believe in Christ, hold on to Him, and be confident in Him. It is all about our faith development and our diligence in obedience—diligence in knowing He is coming; how, where, and when are irrelevant.

But, when it does happen, there will be no doubt. All the theology debates will be tossed aside as His Kingdom comes to its realization and completion (2 Pet. 1:16-21)!

The main point of this passage is to tell us not to be discouraged, but remain faithful and vigilant. We are to live our lives as if Christ would be coming tomorrow, or preparing and planning as if He were coming a thousand years from now. We are no to be preoccupied with the details and trivialities. That is why Jesus did not give them to us. Rather, our faith development and steadfastness are far more impacting and real on ourselves and others around us! Isn’t it strange that people on TV can predict the day and hour of Christ’s return when Jesus Himself did not?

I remember a popular book, 88 Reasons why Jesus Is Coming Back In 1988! Most of the TV preachers were expounding this; I knew people who gave away their homes and cars, and when He did not come back, they were so disillusioned that many of them are not part of any church today! There may be a rapture, there may not be one; Jesus may come in the beginning, or the middle of, or at the end of the tribulation. He is God and He is not confined to our wishful thinking or ideas! I will still buy cars with sunroofs (get out easier) and keep watchful, but this will not consume me as it has others.

Do not be distracted from that to which Christ has called you! Do not waste your time in the particulars of eschatology; it really is not important.

Christ commands us to know Him and make Him known, to grow in Him and help others grow, to worship Him and help others worship Him, too. If we spend our time in the debate of eschatology, we will ignore His more vital calls, such as evangelism, discipleship, and our own growth in Him!

Why so much rebuttal to a nonessential, theological concept?

Our critics and retractors use our foolishness against us in a big way. We give our enemies the bullets for our own downfall in reason, the relevance of faith, and the impact of the Church. To the thinking critic, who may have embraced Christianity if it was explained effectively and modeled effectually, sees religion as harmful. So say the secular humanists and contemporary philosophers from Bernard Russell to Kant (1872-1970 British philosopher and atheist), who said “He (Jesus) thought His second coming was to come before the death of people living at that time in clouds of glory.” His criticism was that it did not happen as Jesus (Matt. 10:23) said it would, or as preachers have interpreted. Thus, he argued that the Bible has no credibility. And on to Niche and the current attack on the Pledge of Allegiance.

The secular view is fueled by our unreasonable, irrational, ever-changing trends and infighting. This premise from our waywardness is we cannot know God, and Jesus did not exist or at best was a good teacher. Thus religion is destructive. Opponents point to the fanatic movements and wars over the century, ignoring the fact that it was not God but evil people using God’s name for their prideful gain. If they had proper instruction of what the Bible was saying, biblical Eschatology may have won the day.

Thinking that there will be rapture as taught by the TV preacher crowd and popular books is not unorthodox or heretical. Believe it as you may. I will keep buying cars with sunroofs as I used to call them “rapture roofs,” because if God wants to take us up in that way, He certainty may and can. If so, I hope it is when I am in traffic. A rapture is even not worth debating. There are far more important subjects to look at such as godly church leadership, effectual discipleship, and biblical literacy. But what it does is bad, just the same. Because it gets us, as Christian communities, continued infighting and/or focused away from what is really important, and that is the development and deployment of our faith. Focusing on the minors and forgetting about the majors just creates a major hole of personal and spiritual growth and very minor faith in our churches.

You may be as upset over this as I was; sorry. I do not want to be a party-pooper on end times. Yes, there will be a rapture of sort, but not the one from TV preachers; rather, it will be one far, far more magnificent.

One where Jesus Christ is truly glorified as He is coming back and we will be caught up in whatever way He sees fit. I firmly believe this will be far, far more impacting and spectacular than any wild, speculative theory that usually misses the main point. The main question is this: are you ready for His return?

If you disagree with me on this subject, we are still friends. I suspect this will be controversial. But as brothers and sisters in Christ, we can agree to disagree on these minors; let’s focus on the majors such as sharing the gospel and building up our faith. By the way, I will not respond to any emails or letters on this; I do not have the time. I have laid out my thoughts, references, and arguments in the best way I can. You can post your thoughts on this blog, or my other at intothyword blog, where I will read them. But my answer is this to any replies: Just got to the Word and remember context, context, and context; and it helps to look up words we may not understand.