The Two Opposing Plans
Much has been written about Gods plan for our lives. However, God has an Adversary who considers that he has a place above that of God. Humiliated at every turn, Satan, formerly known as Lucifer, is going to make one last tilt at usurping the throne of God. The Old Testament prophets give parallel accounts of Lucifers past and expound on his destiny. In Ezekiel and Isaiah, these Major Prophets each use a literary device that confuses even those whose occupation as theologists should give them the tools and understanding to decipher the chapters in question. It's amazing to see how some of these intellectuals fail to get that these passages have a deeper meaning than the literal story that is conveyed.
In Isaiah 14, the prophet begins by addressing the King of Babylon. As the chapter progresses, the message evolves into a twofold narrative whereby the failings and sins of the king, and the character and history of Lucifer become merged to the point that it becomes difficult to see where one individual ends and the other begins.
Ezekiel 28 which was written some 100-150 years after Isaiah uses exactly the same approach and equates Lucifer to the King of Tyre, a persecutor of all who came into his sphere of power. The chart below gives a very powerful picture of the absolute uniformity of the message.
While the central message is the same, there are some details in each chapter that arent duplicated in the other. For example, Ezekiel 28:18 gives us the means by which the King of Tyre (representative of Lucifer) will be destroyed You have profaned your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities and the enormity of your guilt, by the unrighteousness of your trade. Therefore I have brought forth a fire from your midst; it has consumed you, and I have reduced you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all who looked at you. The King of Tyre and his city were indeed destroyed by fire. This is a type and a foretaste of how Lucifers prestige and influence will be destroyed. In Isaiah 14:12, the term son of the morning refers to the planet Venus, which in some circumstances has become synonymous with Satan. This relationship will be further explored in later chapters.
The Paradox (Apparent Contradictions) of some Bible Symbols:
Genesis 1:31 tells us, God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. If all that God has made is very good, then how can anything represent something that is evil? In the example above, the planet Venus is a symbol of Lucifer, who we know to be Satan. However in other places in Scripture, Venus a.k.a. the Morning Star, also sometimes called the Day Star, is demonstrated as an inspiration. In 2 Peter 1:19 (NIV) And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. If the Morning Star were to consistently represent Satan, then this previous verse would have Satan rising in our hearts. Obviously, that is not the intention of the writer. He is referring to the relative brightness of Venus evoking the hope of a new dawning.
Richard T. Ritenbaugh in the Forerunner Commentary gives this explanation of 2 Peter 1:19-21 which also gives us the understanding of how the principle works all through Scripture. So insightful is this information that it needs to be repeated in full, making up the balance of this chapter.
It is from verse 20 in particular that we derive the principle that the Bible interprets itself. This means that somewhere within the pages of Scripture, the timing, the location, the characters, and the symbols employed in symbolic texts like parables and prophecies are explained or defined. It is our job to search them out.
When we add the following three vital verses to our understanding of this principle, however, we end up with a very significant corollary:
For I am the LORD, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. (Mal 3:6)
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. (James 1:17)
Each of these verses proclaims God as constant, consistent, unchanging. It is this quality of Godthat He is faithful to what He isthat allows us to trust Him. We can have confidence in God and His Word because He never changes! Could we rely upon a double-minded God (see James 1:6-8)? Could we have faith in a Being who constantly blew hot and cold? Never! With our God, though, we need not fear inconsistency.
Thus, if God is constant and His Word interprets itself, the corollary principle is that the Bible's interpretation of its symbols is consistent. This must be true! If the Bible gave us two contradictory interpretations of a symbol, how could we ever feel confident that we understood its meaning? This corollary underscores II Peter 1:19, where the apostle informs us that "the prophetic word [is] more sure" than even eyewitness accounts! We can have confidence in our understanding of the prophecies and parables if the symbols we interpret match what we understand in other areas of Scripture. Otherwise, we could never be sure!
This means that every symbol from Genesis to Revelation is consistent in its interpretation. If a rose means something in one part of the Bible, it will mean the same elsewhere, though the context may modify it slightly. If God is consistent, His WordHis revelation of Himself to usmust also therefore be consistent.
This conclusion may raise some questions. How can that be? How can, for instance, a lion represent Satan in I Peter 5:8 and Jesus Christ in Revelation 5:5? Is that not contradictory? Not at all! Our understanding is correct, but the meaning we give to the symbol is wrong. We have defined it too narrowly.
A study of the symbol of the lion brings out several characteristics the Bible emphasises: It represents strength, predatory ferocity, majesty, and leadership. The lion is the symbol of a ruler, a king, and often a very fierce and powerful one. These are the general meanings of the symbol based on a lion's traits. They help us to comprehend what God wants us to focus on in the context. Thus, a lion can represent both Satan and Jesus because they both have a lion's characteristics.
The Cross the ultimate paradox
One dictionary meaning ofparadox is a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a truth. The universal and supreme symbol of the Christian faith is the cross which was the instrument of execution preferred by the Romans. For Christians, this cruel object has come to be a sign of God's love for all humanity. When the subject of the cross arises, what is the correct symbolism? It can be either, and it can be both torture and redemption at the same time.