explain `Jer. 2:12,13`. What are the "heavens" referred
to; and what do the "broken cisterns that can hold no water"
<ANSWER>--Evidently the Prophet is using highly symbolic
language to convey his thoughts. The larger portion of the prophecies
of the Bible are put forth in figurative expressions and in
parables and dark sayings, for they were not intended of the
Lord to be understood until at the time of their fulfillment.
The "heavens" would symbolize the powers of ecclesiasticism
and the "fountains" would symbolize the truth, the
Lord's word. The time would come, therefore, as foretold by
the Prophet, when the Lord's professing "people,"
Christians, would forsake the Lord and His Word, and would "hew"
out or fashion for themselves "cisterns" or receptacles
to hold the muddy waters of the traditions of men. The creeds
and religious systems are in a very dilapidated and broken state
and wholly incapable of holding the waters of the truth. The
old effete systems of the past are breaking up and are absolutely
useless so far as holding the waters of the truth are concerned.
is the meaning of the words "the sea and the waves roaring?"
(`Luke 21:25`.) (R.H.)
<ANSWER>--The murmuring of the rising wind is distinctly
audible to the ear. The sea and the waves of the troubled masses
of humanity are already beginning to heave and toss and foam.
The increasing winds of strife are driving the great sea of
mankind into a frenzied state of revolt against the present
social order--"the world that now is"--wave on wave,
mounting higher and higher and rolling in upon the rocks and
cliffs. The sullen thunder and roar of the sea as it breaks
in ever increasing fury upon the shore, jarring and shaking
the mountains to their center, forecasts only too well the on-coming
of the cataclysm that is foreordained to overwhelm the entire
world. The "earth" (society) and the "mountains"
(kingdoms and governments) will be removed and carried into
the midst of the sea (the turbulent and raging masses of humanity).
(`Psa. 46:2,3`.) The great "waves" (nihilism, communism,
socialism, and anarchism) are sweeping with irresistible force
against the bulwarks of present institutions. [Habitation (the
spiritual realm), He hath reserved in age]??
the Scriptural statement, "and there were no more sea,"
to be taken literally? See `Rev.21:1`.
<ANSWER>--In the Scriptures the word "sea" is
used, not merely as a name for a body of water, but also symbolically,
as representing lawless, restless, dissatisfied, discontented
humanity. In His great prophecy (`Luke 21:5-36`) our Lord tells
us that in the time of trouble, with which the Millennial Age
will be introduced, the sea and the waves will roar; and in
`Psa. 46:1-3`, is pictured, that the symbolic mountains, or
kingdoms, of earth will go down, overwhelmed by the symbolic
sea, in an anarchistic storm. When once the Messiah's Kingdom
shall have brought order out of the present confusion, after
it shall have established the world's interests upon a proper
basis of equity, there will be "no more sea," in the
sense that there will no longer be a restless, dissatisfied
element amongst the masses of mankind. But while many of the
prophecies have had both a literal and a symbolic fulfillment,
yet we are not wise enough to say whether or not this one will
have a literal fulfillment. We feel sure, however, that it will
have a symbolic fulfillment as already suggested. Even if the
literal sea should continue, we know of no reason why the continents
of earth might not be united by the raising of submerged lands
to connect them. However, it is best for us not to indulge in
speculation along this line, of which we have no absolute knowledge.
you kindly explain the seemingly harsh Bible statement, the
expression of the Savior, as given in the `24th chapter of Matthew,
the 19th verse`-- "And woe be unto them that are with child,
and to them that give suck in those days?" (J.G.D.)
<ANSWER>--This expression is a portion of our Lord's great
prophecy relating to events and conditions that would develop
in the last days of the Christian dispensation. As with all
prophetic expressions it is in highly figurative language. The
clue to the understanding of this prophecy is found elsewhere
in the Scriptures. A woman is used as symbolical representation
of the church. Thus the true Church of Christ is referred to
as the "chaste virgin" and also in another picture
as the "Bride the Lamb's wife" (`2 Cor. 11:2`; `Rev.
21:9`). The false churches are represented as corrupt and debauched
women (`Rev. 17:1-5`), compare these five verses with `Rev.
21:9-11`. The "mother church" is represented as a
lewd woman, and also as the great mystical city of Babylon.
Her daughters, the ecclesiastical systems that are the offspring
of the parent system, are likewise represented as being babes
both embryonic and new-born. They have need of the milk of the
Word as the Apostle says (`Heb. 5:12-14`) they are not sufficiently
developed in knowledge and grace to assimilate the strong and
important doctrines. It will be a special time of sorrow for
the false religious systems in that day, "those who are
with child," and also to those who are dispensing the milk--in
other words "giving suck."