Gnostic Doctrine

Friday, 17 April 2020

FIGURES OF SPEECH

“FIGURES OF SPEECH”

The following definition was derived from the encyclopedia and Companion Bible.  The explanation is equally true of proverbs, parables and dark sayings.  It is a style used by God to express His truth hid in a mystery (secret).

A figure of speech relates to the FORM in which the words are used.  It is a designed and legitimate departure from the laws of languages.  This peculiar form or unusual manner may, or may not, be true to the LITERAL meaning of the words; but it is true to their REAL sense, and truer to truth.

In a figure of speech, a word may be transferred from an object, to which it property belongs, to another, in such a manner that a comparison is implied though not formally expressed, or a sentence in which the principal subject is described by another subject resembling it in properties and/or characteristics.  The principal subject is thus kept secret.

Thus saith the Lord: “I wiIl open my mouth in a parable.  I will utter dark sayings of old” (Psalm 78:2).  Jesus quotes: “I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the FOUNDATION of the world” (Matthew 13:35).  Thus indicating that 'dark sayings' and 'figures of speech' were used from the beginning (the Garden of Eden) to keep secret the things of the SPIRIT (Romans 16:25; 1 Corinthians 2:7; Colossians 1:26).
“It is the gloty of God to conceal a thing.- but the honour of kings is to search out a matter” (Proverbs 25:2).

Moses was a prophet of God (Deuteronomy 34: 10).  God made known his ways to Moses (Psalm 103:7).  God spoke unto Moses “mouth to mouth and face to face” and “not by dream or vision” (Exodus 33:11; Numbers 12:7-8).  Thus, Moses' writings were dictated by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21).  For God, who spoke through his Son, also spoke through his prophets (Hebrews 1: 1-2).
We have heard it said by some that the Bible does not give all the answers, that certain scriptures are vague and lacking in detail, particularly the opening chapters of Genesis.  Yet, it is written: “Man shall live by EVERY word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3).  Man shall not change or modify God's word (Deuteronomy 4:2, 12:32; Revelation 22:18-19).  For, “all scripture is given by the inspiration of God ... that the man of God might be COMPLETE, thoroughly fumished unto ALL good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
These testimonies prove that for all Intents and purposes the scriptures meet the FULL requirements of the “children of God.”  Hence, any vagueness or misunderstanding of the scriptures is primarily due to taking “figures of speech” as literal or vice versa.   Signs, types and symbols were used in dark sayings to keep secret from the worldly wise the things of the Spirit (Matthew 1 1:25).  To know and understand these things is to be “taught of God” (John 6:45).  For he revealeth them unto us by His Spirit (1 Corinthians 2: 10).  His word is spirit (John 6:63).

Jesus said:  “… be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves”
(Matthew 10: 16).  Here are two symbols used in a figure of speech:
they are SERPENT and DOVE.
THE DOVE is a symbol of peace because of its gentle, peaceful and harmless nature.  Jesus used it in this proverb to signify the characteristics desired in his followers (see Isaiah 66:2; Psalm 34:18) who humbleth themselves before their God (Matthew 18:4; James 4: 10).  God used the dove to signify the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:16; John 1:32) thus anointing Jesus of Nazareth as the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6) with power (Acts 10:38).

THE SEPPENT, in whose mouth is the poison of death, signifies a sinful person according to God's definition given in Psalm 140:1-3; Romans 3:12-13 and Matthew 12:34.  The name serpent was attributed to those men whom Jesus and John the Baptist had encountered (Matthew 3:7, 23:34; Luke 3:7).  Hence, when the word serpent is used to indicate an intelligent, reasoning creature having guiie (deceit) in his mouth, it signifies a man exhibiting such characteristics.

Is it reasonable to presume that the God of love and mercy, whose thoughts are as high above the thoughts of man as the heavens are above the earth, would utilize a brute beast for frustrating his purpose right at the beginning.?  If so, then why did it repent him for creating man (Genesis 6:6)?  The answer is in verse 5 and chapter 8:21: “For the imagination of man's heart was evil from his youth.”   The thoughts originating in the man's heart and issuing out of his mouth (Matthew I5:18-20) proved to be the venom of death.  Therefore, the Lord signified his (the man's) words as those of a serpent.
The Spirit, speaking through Jesus, is the same Spirit that spoke through Moses (Hebrews 1:1).  Therefore, the same type of dark sayings would have been used in the beginning(Psalm 78:2; Matthew l3:35).  For “God changes not”
(Malachi 3:6; James 1: 17; Psalm 102:27).

With these few thoughts In mind, let us examine the opening chapters of Genesis, giving particular attention to Chapter 3:

CHAPTER 1 - Reveals God's activity in creating the heavens, the earth and the living creatures of the earth.
CHAPTER 2 - Reveals God's activity In creating the man and the woman and establishing them in the Garden of Eden, to dress and keep it.
Adam (the son of God - Luke 3:38) was also a figure of the Christ to come (Romans 5: 1 4).
Eve (the mother of all living - Genesis 3:20) became his bride.  She was out of Adam and thereby is a figure of the ecciesia to be developed “out of” Christ.  The ecciesia will become the bride of Christ.
CHAPTER3 - Reveals MAN's activity with the results.  It is the prologue to the saga of mankind CHAPTER upon the earth: his heart was evil from the beginning.  This narrative was written approximately 2300 years after the fact, so we can be sure it was written in the words of the Spirit and not after the flesh.

Since the word serpent signifies a MAN of PERVERSE speech, we will paraphrase the verses as we proceed with our investigation:

Genesis, chapter 3:

Verse 1 - “Now the serpent [the man] was more subtle than any beast [living creature, RSV].”  This is the first place in the scriptures where the word SERPENT appears.  To those who believe In a personal devil, the word serpent immediately suggests an animal, so it Is NATURALLY taken literally.  Understood SPIRITUALLY, it is a figure of speech.
Verse 2 - The woman said to the serpent [the man], “We [you and I] may eat...”
Verse 4 - “and the serpent [the man] said...”
Verse 5 - “then your eyes shall be opened.”  Literally, her eyes were already open.  Here is a figure of speech of the type that is used throughout the word of God and denotes the dictation of the narrative by the Spirit to Moses.  It is not the language of a brute beast.
Verse 6 - “… she [the woman] took of the fruit thereof and did eat, and GAVE to her husband with her and he did eat.“
Verse 7 - “And the eyes of them BOTH [simultaneously] were opened [spiritually opened].”  Literally, their eyes were open before, or else they could not have seen that the fruit was pleasant to look upon.
It was not necessary for the Lord (Elohim) to ask any questions, as the Lord knows the thoughts of the heart (Hebrews 4:12-1 3).  Here is disclosed God's principle in judgment.  It is a foreshadowing of the day appointed for judgment (Acts 17:31).  ]esus said: “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matthew 12:37).  Adam and Eve were given the privilege to answer for themselves individually (Romans 14:12).
Verse 12 - “And the man said, the woman whom thou gavest to be wth me, she gave me of the tree and I did eat.”  Here is no indication that Eve seduced Adam into eating.  In fact, Adam is partially blaming the Lord for the woman's presence.
At the same time he was trying to place the responsibility upon Eve for his disobedience.  Yet, there is not one accusation against Eve throughout the scriptures, except to state that she, being deceived, was in the transgression
(1 Timothy 2:13-1 5).  The Spirit places the blame SOLELY ON ADAM
(Romans 5: 12, 17, 19; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22).
Verse 13 - And she [Eve] said: “The serpent [the man] beguiled me and I did eat.” (She and Adam ate together.)
Verse 14 - “And the Lord God said unto the serpent [the man], because thou hast done this, thou are cursed above all cattle, and above every beast [living creature, RSV] of the field:upon thy belly shalt thou go and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy Iife.” This figure of speech signifies the penalty: death, return to dust of ungodly disobedient man.


The curse above all cattle and living creatures is outlined in verses 17-19.
God provides for the living creatures of the field (Psalm 104:21-23; 147:9; Matthew 6:26) while man must labor in “the sweat of his face” in order to eat (Psalm 128:2; 2 Thessalonians 3:10; 1 Timothy 5:8). “Upon thy belly shalt thou go and dust shall thou eat” is a proverb signifying the status and penalty of the wicked.  “Upon thy belly” is to be geared to the earth, their destiny downward, their penalty death(dust). For the wicked shall “lick the DUST Iike a serpent” (Micah7:17).
The Spirit uses a similar proverb in Psalm 44:25 - “For our soul is bowed down to the dust. our belly cleaveth unto the earth.”  And Isaiah, prophesying of God's kingdom when his judgments are in the earth, states: “Dust shall be the serpent's meat”
(Isaiah 65:17-25).  This figure of speech denotes the death penalty of the wicked (the serpent).  For: “The soul that sinneth it shall die” (Ezekiel 13:4, 20).
Verse I5 - “And I will put enmity between thee [the serpent, the sinful man] and the woman [the bride of Christ], and between thy seed [the men encountered by John the Baptist and Christ Jesus (Matthew 3:7, 12:34; Luke 3:7)] and her seed [the righteous], it shall bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise his heel.” to put to death the devil, Christ was crucified to put to death the devil, the serpent:  sin of the flesh.
Cain, who was banished from the presence of the Lord, (Genesis 4:16), and his descendants (the seed of the serpent: sinful man) fall into this category (1 John 3:8-12). Jude (verses I0-11) discloses who belongs to the “way of Cain.”  The woman (the bride of Christ, the anointed) and her seed are the descendants of Seth, the sons of God by faith (Genesis 6:2).  Adam became one of these through repentance and faith (Luke 3:38).  A son of God Is one “that doeth the will of my heavenly father” (Mark 3:35).
Verse 16 - Here we learn the penalty imposed upon Eve for her part In the transgression (1 Timothy 2:13-15).
Verse 17 - “And unto Adam he [the Lord] said, because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife....”  This is a figure of speech meaning: because thou accepted the fruit from thy wife and ate with her.  Eve did not coerce Adam to accept the fruit.  The Elohim knew this and recognized Adam's attempt to shift the blame to Eve, whereupon the Lord reprimanded Adam with this figure of speech, then added to the death penalty the curses stated in verses 17-19.
Verse 21 - Shows the covering provided for Adam and Eve, which signifies the acceptance of Adam and Eve through repentance and faith.  The flg leaf covering (V. 7) was after the imagination of the flesh and was evil.
Verse 22 - Reveals that Adam had had access to the tree of life.
Verse 23-24 - Discloses that Adam, because of his disobedience, was banished from the Garden of Eden and barred from the tree of life.  However, we believe that they were taught of God through the covering provided for their nakedness (sin - V. 21) and they in turn instructed Seth and his descendants.  These, through faith, called upon the name of the Lord, thereby becoming the sons of God (Genesis 4:26 with 6:1-2).  The daughters of men were the descendants of Cain (Genesis 4:16-24).

Chapter 3 is expressed by the Spirit in figures of speech (dark sayings) thus concealing the truth hid in a mystery (1Corinthians 2:7; Colossians 1:26).  It discloses the character and natural inclination of man with the results of his behavior.  The enmity between the serpent and the woman and between their seed is the enmity existing between the natural man and the spiritual man (Romans 8:5-8) and between the world and God (James 4:4; 1 Corinthians 2:14).

Personification



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