Matthew 24 Introduction
See these examples. Back to main study.
Here are only three details in some of the prophecies, which have not had a complete fulfillment. (These were chosen specifically. The reason will be apparent in later studies.)
Daniel 8:13 Why is the phrase “transgression of desolation” placed here in this verse which we interpret as having its fulfillment at the beginning of the 2300 years i.e. 457 BC? Luke explains that the “abomination of desolation” is “when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh” (Luke 21:20-24) which was fulfilled in 70 AD. This is also true of Daniel 11:31 and 12:11.
Daniel 8:14 “And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” The (heavenly) sanctuary was not cleansed in the year 1844. Yes, it was the beginning of the cleansing, which also started the Great Day of Atonement, but it is clear from this verse that the event here referred to is the final cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary, and that has not yet been fulfilled! The final and complete fulfillment of this prophecy is yet future! Is it not those who are living in the last days, the last judgment, who are warned to take advantage of the heart preparation taught by the Day of Atonement. (Ex. 32:30-33; Lev. 23:27-32; Rev. 7:14; 12:11.)
Daniel 11:31; Daniel 12:11 “And from the time that the daily [sacrifice] shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” Why is this “abomination that maketh desolate set up” at the beginning of the 1260, 1290, and 1335 years, i.e. 508 and 538 AD? We can see from these verses that the abomination, once set up, will continue to be an oppressive persecution aimed at the saints until “he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people.” The question is ask in verse 6, “How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?” Did this oppressive power, the Roman Catholic Church of the Dark Ages, bring an end to these time prophecies and scatter the power of the holy people? To be sure, there was a great scattering of God’s people during the centuries of Papal persecution, but out of this was born the great reformation, giving the Light of the scriptures to the world. The complete fulfillment of this prophecy can only be future, when the greatest spiritual and physical battle of all time will be fought here on earth in the last days.
There are many more examples. But please, the worst thing I would want is for you to loose your faith in the SDA interpretation of fulfilled prophetic history. I firmly believe Jesus directly guided our pioneers in giving their interpretations of the historical prophecies. Please understand that I do not make slight of these historical interpretations (although many seem to enjoy doing so), even when these prophecies do not have a complete fulfillment in every detail. In the prophetic type, it is not necessary that all the details have a complete fulfillment. (The earthy sanctuary and its service does not completely portray what is happening in heavenly sanctuary. But the earthly sanctuary did its job well in giving a representation of the workings of the heavenly sanctuary.) I believe that the prophecies were not placed into the wheels of mankind’s history to be completely fulfilled. The type of prophetic history was to have just enough of a fulfillment as to shine its light on the antitype, which will be the complete fulfillment of all the details in the last days of earth’s history, —prophecy repeated.
Further Study 1 Back to main study.
Before we get started into an area of prophetic interpretation, which you may not have studied, that of type and antitype of prophecy, we must build the foundation on the Rock, our Lord Jesus! That Rock is when our Lord Jesus says, “I send thee to the children of Israel... and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God.” Eze 2:3,4. In other words, if a prophecy has more than one fulfillment —the historical fulfillment being the type of the last day fulfillment (the antitype)— how can we be assured of having the right interpretation? The answer is clear! —It is only by a “Thus saith the Lord!”
“That a single prophetic passage may embrace more than one fulfillment is evident (see on Deut 18:15). Some such prophecies have both an immediate and a more remote fulfillment, and in addition contain principles that are generally applicable at all times. Furthermore, “it should be remembered that the promises and the threatenings of God are alike conditional” (EGW MS 4, 1883).” 7BC 726.1
“The question naturally arises: How can we know when a particular historical incident may rightly be viewed as having a dual application? The answer is: when an inspired writer makes such an application of it. To go beyond that which is clearly set forth by inspiration is to enter the realm of personal opinion (speculation). In an age when every wind of doctrine is blowing, it is well to make certain that our understanding of Scripture rests upon a firm and plain “Thus saith the Lord.” (See Deut 29:29; Isa 50:11; Jer 2:13; Matt 7:24-28; 1 Cor 2:4,5,12,13; Eph 4:14; Col 2:2-4,8; 2 Peter 1:16; Rev 22:18)...” 1 BC 1018.2.3. (SDA Bible Commentary)
Further Study 2 Back to main study.
Let us ask for wisdom and understanding.
2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; 3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. 10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
12 Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
Further Study 3 Back to main study.
“Those who eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God will bring from the books of Daniel and Revelation truth that is inspired by the Holy Spirit. They will start into action forces that cannot be repressed.”
“We have the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, which is the spirit of prophecy. Priceless gems are to be found in the word of God. Those who search this word should keep the mind clear. Never should they indulge perverted appetite in eating or drinking.
“If they do this, the brain will be confused; they will be unable to bear the strain of digging deep to find out the meaning of these things which relate to the closing scenes of this earth’s history.
“When the books of Daniel and Revelation are better understood, believers will have an entirely different religious experience. They will be given such glimpses of the open gates of heaven that heart and mind will be impressed with the character that all must develop in order to realize the blessedness which is to be the reward of the pure in heart.” TM 114.1-3
Further Study 4 Back to main study.
This is the very reason the Bible was forbidden in the Dark Ages. These two prophetic books, Daniel and Revelation, the Two Witnesses, expose the antichrist power and the false plan of salvation it forces upon its subjects!
The historical study of the Two Witnesses controversy with the antichristian power that persecuted them and their followers during the Dark Ages can be found in the following studies:
Daniel 7:7-28 —The Struggle for World Dominion #2
Daniel 8:9-27 —The World Arraigned Before the Court of Heaven #2
Daniel 11:30-35 —Unrolling the Scroll of the Future #5
Daniel 11:36-39 —Unrolling the Scroll of the Future #6
Daniel 12 —History’s Coming Climax
Revelation 11 —War Against the Bible #1
Revelation 11 —War Against the Bible #2
Revelation 12 —The Great Controversy between the Woman
and the Great Red Dragon
Further Study 5 Back to main study.
If you wish detailed information on the historical application of Matthew 24, see the following:
Desire of Ages by Ellen White, pp. 627-636.
Great Controversy by Ellen White, pp. 17-38.
S.D.A. Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, pp. 494-506.
Bible Readings for the Home pp. 307-313.
God Cares II by Mervyn Maxwell pp. 13-47.
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