Using the Law of Contradiction with Scripture

There is no greater principle in rational thinking then the Second Law of Logic, which is the Law of Contradiction (also commonly known as the Law of Non-Contradiction). I have discussed this Law before, but I should discuss it again, since it is vitally important for anyone who desires to become more discerning.

The Law of Contradiction states that: A cannot be A and not A at the same time and in the same relationship. In a nutshell, it means a genuine contradiction is always false. For instance, if I introduced myself by saying, “Hello. I am a married bachelor.” Any rational person would know that what I said cannot be true. My ridiculous sentence failed the Law of Contradiction – therefore it must be false.

The Law of Contradiction is an unshakable foundational truth which stems directly from the fact that God is immutable – He never changes (Hebrews 13:8; Malachi 3:6). God is also truthful (1 John 5:6; Psalm 31:5; John 14:6), cannot lie (Titus 1:2), or deny [go against] Himself (2 Timothy 2:13). So it only makes sense that all truth cannot go against itself either. This is also confirmed in the Bible:

“No lie is of the truth.” -  1 John 2:21

Any person who wants to discover truth or expose a false belief or ideology should definitely keep the Law of Contradiction at the top of their mental tool box. This God given tool is also incredibly useful when studying Scripture. According to the Bible, all Scripture is God breathed and true:

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. -  2 Timothy 3:16-17

For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe. – 1 Thessalonians 2:13

Therefore the Bible, if it is true as it claims, must also be 100% free of genuine contradictions. The Christian can use this premise to gain a better understanding of God’s Word and His ways. If the Bible asserts a claim, but also asserts a contradictory claim, obviously both claims cannot be true at the same time and in the same relationship. Remember that last part!

For example, the Old Testament shows the promised Messiah in two seemingly contradictory portraits. One is a suffering Servant (Isaiah 53, Psalm 22), the other is a conquering King that will come later to rescue Israel and set up His Kingdom on Earth (Zechariah 14, Psalm 2). Many religious Jews today currently find these two portraits so contradictory, that they wrongly believe that according to the Old Testament, there must be two future Jewish Messiahs – a suffering Servant nicknamed “Messiah ben Joseph” and a conquering King nicknamed “Messiah ben David.”

Historically, until Jesus was born, lived a sinless life, was crucified, died, was buried, and three days later rose from the dead, no person on Earth other then Jesus fully understood this great mystery.  Even John the Baptist while imprisoned could not fully grasp why Jesus simply did not conquer the Romans and set up His Kingdom on Earth immediately (Luke 7:18-35).

But, Jesus understood that the two portraits of Himself were not contradictory at all, since the events described would not happen at the same time. In one instance, Jesus publicly read a prophecy in Isaiah concerning Himself at his local synagogue and to everyone’s amazement Jesus stopped reading mid-sentence:

He (Jesus) went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor”…

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” – Luke 4:16-21

The silence in the synagogue must have been deafening. Just imagine, a 1st century Jew reading the scroll of Isaiah in his own home town and stopping mid-sentence, sitting down, and then saying “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” If you read Isaiah 61:1-2 you will clearly see why Jesus stopped reading. Everything after “to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor…“ concerns Jesus’ future Second Coming when He will then proclaim “the Day of vengeance of our God,”

Now, let’s use the Law of Contradiction to drill down a bit further concerning the Lord’s return. Two of the most detailed descriptions of the Lord’s return are 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and Revelation 19:11-16. Let’s compare them.

Note: Please, do not read these passages allegorically or spiritually. Just read the plain sense meaning. Interpreting prophecies allegorically or spiritually stems directly from a long held (yet false) Catholic doctrine.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 says:

But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

To summarize, Jesus appears in the heavens in grace to snatch up and take away His Church (also called His bride) to heaven as their deliverer and bridegroom.

I underlined the words “caught up”, because that is the English translation of the Greek word harpazō which means to “quickly catch up, snatch away, or take out.”

The Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible translated harpazō  using  the Latin word  rapiemur which also means to “snatch away or carry off” and rapiermur is where the term rapture comes from. It is derived from the Middle French word rapture, via the Middle Latin word raptura which again means “to carry off.” So, anyone who says the concept of the “rapture” is not Biblical is wrong. Timing aside, the Rapture of the Church is both stated and implied many times over in the New Testament.

Now read Revelation 19:11-16:

Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:

KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Can there be two more seemingly contradictory passages in the entire Bible? I doubt it. Here Jesus is returning to the Earth as a mighty warrior and King in wrath with His Church. If you are wondering how we know that those who are clothed in fine linen are the Church, just read the preceding four verses in Revelation which describe the Marriage of the Lamb:

Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.” -  Revelation 19:7-9

Dr. David Reagan of Lamb & Lion Ministries came up with the following chart which shows the multiple seemingly totally contradictory differences between 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and Revelation 19:11-16:


How can all these differences be reconciled? Only three truly rational options exist:

1) These two passages do not mean what they say (even in the original Greek!)

2) These two passages are contradicting and therefore the Bible must be false.

Or

3) These two passages describe two completely different events separated by an “unspecified” period of time.

Bingo!

I’ve barely scratched the surface on this issue and the numerous differences between the Rapture of the Church and the Second Coming, but this small example shows how the God given Law of Contradiction can open peoples eyes to truth. What we as Christians have to decide, is whether the long held 3rd century man-made tradition of allegorizing end-time prophecy trumps the Laws of Logic and the plain sense meaning of God’s inerrant divinely inspired Word? I personally do not think so. For one thing, God’s Word flat out says that end-time prophecy was sealed up until “the time of the end”:

Then I, Daniel, looked, and there before me stood two others, one on this bank of the river and one on the opposite bank. One of them said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?”

I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, “My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?”

He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. – Daniel 12:5-6;8-9

Have a blessed day!

Sean Kirkpatrick

Sean Kirkpatrick posted at 2011-10-27 Category: Truth and Logic