Home > Bible Prophecy, eschatology, hermeneutics, Israel > Straw Men Arguments and Last Days Topography

Straw Men Arguments and Last Days Topography

One of the ways in which liberal, professing Christians like to ridicule the Bible, and what it literally means, is to take a part of what the Bible says, and then add that idea to their knowledge of how the world is today, and say “well, that’s ridiculous, it can’t mean that, so it must mean …. “.  Since they really don’t know the complete picture —  the full biblical teaching and all the verses related to that idea — they only show their own ignorance, and the truth of the laziness of human nature.  It’s always easier to just take a cursory look at what one Bible verse says, and then extrapolate something ridiculous that the Bible never said, to prove their own “straw man” that we can’t take the Bible literally.

One recent example I’ve heard is a preacher (discussing Psalm 48) who casually remarked that to take the Bible literally would mean that Mount Zion is going to be elevated up really high, above Mt. Everest.  Of course, he said, that’s ridiculous, so we should take this to be symbolic of the gospel going forth in this New Testament age.

Yes, the Bible does talk about Mount Zion being elevated higher than everything else — along with other great  physical changes to the planet at the time of our Lord’s Second Advent.  A comparison of Mount Zion to Mt. Everest simply betrays the speaker’s naturalistic, uniformitarian worldview, that the world will always continue the same as it is now, without any changes.  Such an idea is similar to that of secular, unbelieving scientists who declare that Noah’s flood could not have happened, because all the water available on the planet (the moisture in the skies, the rainfall, etc.) would only cover the world in about two inches of rain.  The apostle Peter denounced such philosophy over 1900 years ago — 2 Peter 3:4-6 .

While the Psalms make reference to Mount Zion being higher than everything around it, Zechariah 14 and Revelation 16 provide more of the details:

Zechariah 14: 4, 10  (ESV)

4 On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward.  …
10 The whole land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem. But Jerusalem shall remain aloft on its site from the Gate of Benjamin to the place of the former gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s winepresses.

and  Revelation 16:18-20

And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake.  The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath.  And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found.

The literal understanding of the Bible is simply that this planet will experience many catastrophic changes at the time of our Lord’s Second Advent — earthquakes and other unusual phenomena to reshape the current landscape, to flatten most of the land while raising up the mount Zion — much like the great topographical and climatic changes that took place at the time of Noah’s flood.

Interestingly enough, scientists have found a major fault system, the Great Rift Valley (see this webpage, which also gives some geographic details concerning the statements in Zechariah 14:10), which could do some interesting things to the landscape of the whole Mediterranean region in the event of such catastrophes as described in the Bible.

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