The metaphorical meaning of mountains as symbols of God’s promises and blessings is based upon the words of Jacob in Genesis 49:26 where he said, as he blessed Joseph:
The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills.
Mountains, rivers, valleys, hills, coasts, wilderness, desert, are all part of the land that God promised to give Abraham, and to Isaac, and to Jacob. Belief was required for the Israelites to enter the land of promise. [Heb. 3:19] Jacob discovered that the things that must be believed, promises of spiritual blessings, are represented by mountains and hills.
The promises he received were lofty and spiritual, and so were high like high mountains, and also durable, or eternal, so he compared them to the “everlasting hills.”
The table below lists many prophecies that refer to mountains, with brief explanatory notes.
Jack Kelley posted his comments on the meaning of Paul’s expression “the fullness of the Gentiles” in Romans 11:25 here. The following is a discussion.
The apostle Peter described false teachers as “cursed children.” He wrote of them:
“But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;” [2 Pet 2:10-15]
The teachings of E. W. Bullinger, and similar doctrines of Mid-Acts Dispensationalism, (M.A.D.) (e.g., Sir Robert Anderson), were the subject of an in-depth study by H. A. Ironside, available here.
The following post is a quick survey of the scriptures about vineyards, and winepresses.
Allan Beechick is a dispensationalist author, known for his book The Rapture Solution, in which he offered a unique but flawed interpretation of Luke 17:36-37.
Harmony of Olivet Discourse & Revelation, posted recently by LateNightWatch, features a table listing points of correspondence between the Olivet Discourse and Revelation. The following table is similar, and simplified, and includes several additional parallels and points of correspondence.
Animals mentioned in prophecy, such as horses, asses, and camels, are symbolic, and represent certain classes of people. This article reviews the context in which these animals are mentioned throughout the Bible.
The following is John Crosthwaite Bellett’s discussion of Jacob’s blessing of Judah in Genesis 49:8–12.
[John Crosthwaite Bellett. God's witness in prophecy and history: Bible studies on the historical fulfilments of Jacob's prophetic blessings on the twelve tribes. J. Masters, London. 1884. pp. 43--63.]
Some Old Testament prophecies seem to have been fulfilled in a literal manner, but others clearly have to be interpreted. Why are some literal, and others not? In prophecy, things of a spiritual nature are represented by symbols.
Here are some prophecies of Zechariah that are said to have been literally fulfilled by Jesus.
One of the symbolic meanings attached to mountains in prophecy is connected the fact that the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat. In many prophecies the mountains are symbolic of blessings, promises, and revelations of God. The Genesis account of the flood connects mountains with rest. After the flood men tried to build “a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven.” The progressive revelation of God’s plan in prophecy focuses on mountains, especially mount Zion, and a city, Jerusalem, which were raised up to heaven in a spiritual sense. These contrast with the tower of Babel, a kind of man-made mountain, and the city of Babylon. In the table below, references to mountains are listed, and the possible symbolic meanings attached to them in prophecy are noted.
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
Four things are brought together in the prophecy: good tidings, mountains, the feet of the messenger, and the fact that God reigns. The meaning of good tidings was identified by Paul, who applied the scripture to those preaching the Gospel. [Rom. 10:15-16]
In a comment on my recent post on Jack Kelley’s supernatural insight, dispensationalist Jerry Shugart claims that the comments of James in Acts 15:15-18 about Christ rebuilding the tabernacle of David refers to events that will occur only after the second coming. That notion is incorrect. James obviously applied the prophecy of Amos 9:11 to Christ building his church in the present age, and identified the tabernacle of David with the church. He said the prophecy refers to the Gentiles who were being brought into God’s family. The meaning of the passage was explained by J. A. Alexander as follows:
The essential meaning of the passage, therefore, is that the restoration of the kingdom of David was to be connected with the spiritual conquest of the Gentiles.
Lyn Leahz posted an article on Idealists, Preterists, And Futurists written by dispensationalist Jack Kelley. In the article Kelley expressed his opinions on the comments by James in Acts 15:13-18 on a prophecy found in Amos 9:11, about the tabernacle of David. James applied the prophecy to the church.
The following is a lecture by Charles Henry H. Wright given at the University of Oxford, England in 1878, in which he presents a commentary on the prophecy of Zechariah 6:9-15. Wright applied the prophecy to Jesus Christ, who is described in the New Testament as both High Priest and King.
Many preachers who support dispensationalism try to discredit the idea that Jesus Christ is reigning in the present age, upon the throne of David. But if Jesus is not the promised king who reigns on the throne of David forever, how could Peter say he is the Messiah? If he is not the king of Israel, how can he be the Christ?
The claims of dispensationalists, who say that prophecy should be viewed as literal, are discredited by the history of the throne of David. Although the promise to David through Nathan the prophet said, “And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever,” [2 Sam. 7:16] after a few centuries, the line of kings of the dynasty of David ceased, and his throne disappeared.