Trusting our Bible and Rightly Dividing
He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, and he hath set the world upon them, 1st Samuel 2:8.
I was recently contacted by a person who took some objection to my recent post titled Whence Cometh Perspective?. The comments probably also apply to its follow up post, What in the World is the World?. I appreciate the comments because they honor the text of the King James Bible. I disagree with the conclusions of the comments, but not because the commenter dishonored the word of God. Instead, I disagree with his application of the textual references used.
This is what good brethren do. They agree on a final authority and dig into what it says. A Jew once told me, "I love King James Bible believers. You are like Jews, you argue over the smallest minutia." A good Jew never doubts his text, he doubts the wisdom of the Jew standing next to him to interpret it correctly. Likewise, I have found a rich trove of fellow King James Bible believers who are willing to give up any doctrine or creed if the King James Bible disagrees with that particular doctrine or creed when examined in context and examined with the intended hearer in mind.
It is simple really. Bro. Asquith argues from the basis of perspective. Who’s perspective is being recorded? I agree, it is the right question.
So, from God’s perspective:
Earth is set upon pillars. (1 Samuel 2:8, Psalm 75:3)
Earth was laid upon a foundation (pillars) by God, on a foundation which is fastened. (Psalm 102:25, 104:5, Job 38:4) Foundations are set / laid / fastened. That is the nature of them.
Earth is God’s footstool. Heaven is his throne. (Isaiah 66:1, Acts 7:49) Nobody is moving God’s throne, and I highly doubt that anybody can move his footstool. One might argue that this language is “poetic.” But God’s throne is not poetic. And its position in the north (Isaiah 14:13) is not figurative. Why can’t we understand Earth to be fixed positionally in God’s creation?
I do not believe the earth to be flat, simply from the language of Psalm 103:12, "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” In this, written from the Psalmist’ perspective on earth, we understand that you can go east or west indefinitely, but you cannot go north (on the earth) indefinitely. Eventually you will begin going south. If our transgressions were removed as far as the north from the south (from the perspective of earth) we could then declare a “quantifiable” distance between us and our transgressions.
I do believe heaven to be directly north, in a fixed location, and I believe also the earth to be fixed within the creation.
I have no problem believing that the sun goes around the earth, while at the same time believing the planets go around the sun (though they don’t have to, it makes no difference to me).
Indeed, I agree with my interlocutor that the language involved is more than just poetic. We'll start with pillars. Pillars can be poetic or symbolic as in Galatians 2:9; And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. Nevertheless, I would not ascribe either reference that he gives as fitting that category.
Pillars can be descriptive of elements not capable of holding anything up such as fire or smoke. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke, Joel 2:30. And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire, Revelation 10:1. Again, I think we miss the mark as to the pillars of 1st Samuel 2:8 and especially Psalms 75:3.
How do we reconcile competing verses? Job 26:7 says; He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing; whereas 1st Samuel 2:8 says the earth has pillars. How do we reconcile our car's manual when one place tells you a specific amount of oil that is optimal for the engine, and another place tells you to drain the oil? We look at context and timing.
The earth isn't where it used to be. We can look at God's science book, the Book of Job. Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble, Job 26:7. What was it that trembled? Why is the earth hanging on nothing? Do we violate any verse in scripture to see the pillars of the earth as the internal pillars keeping hell which is in the center of a spherical earth from collapsing in on itself? If indeed that was true, then the world (that great conglomeration of men, nations and societies) on the surface of the earth would be held up by them. That would honor the exact wording of 1st Samuel 2:8.
Where was the earth prior to God moving it? It was floating on the great deep.
Psalms 24:1 The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
Psalms 24:2 For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
It is not on the seas any more. It was moved. That fits Peter's description of the earth in 2nd Peter 3:5 and 6:
For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.
That is not Noah's flood. It is a description of the earth floating on water with a reasonable part of it submerged as if a medicine ball floated. Job described how that earth was moved. Behold, he withholdeth the waters, and they dry up: also he sendeth them out, and they overturn the earth, Job 12:15. He used a tsunami to overturn that earth which is where the events of Ezekiel 28 took place. That is how we find it in Genesis 1:2; And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
It is under water in Genesis 1:2. Satan has already fallen, it is dark. Genesis 1:1 does not say, "at the beginning", it says, in the beginning. There is a difference between "in the end of the world", and "at the end of the world". For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, Hebrews 9:26. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, Matthew 13:49. Likewise, there is a difference between "in the beginning" and "at the beginning". Much time has been wasted by expositors trying to fit hundreds of verses in between Genesis 1:1 and 1:3. There is no need if you believe an English Bible as written.
Genesis 1:2 finds the earth under water. God separates the waters under the firmament (oceans, lakes, rivers, dew, glaciers and rain) from the waters above the firmament, (the great deep of Psalms 148:4). Is not this dissolved earth which has lost its shape the earth of Psalms 75:3? The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up the pillars of it. Selah. Is not this what Jeremiah saw in Jeremiah 4:23-26?
I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.
I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.
I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.
I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger.
Is not this the pre-Adamic earth ruled by the anointed cherub? Is not this the earth that is dissolved? Does not God heal this earth in Genesis 1:1-8? Is this not that to which the Apostle Paul make reference when he compares the lost human heart being regenerated by the light of God? For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, 2nd Corinthians 4:6.
As for the footstool, that is more delightful. One of the most oft quoted verse in the New Testament is Psalms 110:1; The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. It is quoted seven times. Keep in mind that the temple of the Lord is also called his footstool. Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready for the building, 1st Chronicles 28:2.
I, who was once the enemy of God am now a temple of the Holy Ghost. He has made his enemies his footstool. Gladly am I the footstool of God. I move. The temple was destroyed and yet it is God's footstool. That the earth should be his footstool and move is no surprise to me.