Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Matthew 24 Isn't Literal?

I am confident that Matthew 24 is a black and white, meat and potatoes passage that is unlike other prophetic passages given to us by old and new testament prophets. Those that have been influenced by Amillennialism and Postmillennialism have told us repeatedly that apocalyptic imagery isn’t fulfilled in any sort of literal fashion due to the nature of it, but I say that this is missing a very important fact.

Matthew 24 is not apocalyptic imagery! Other prophecies have been given to us by a prophet that either had a dream or a vision, or they were moved by the Spirit within them. These prophets didn’t understand much of what they were seeing and had to do their best to describe these events to us. I’m sure that this was especially difficult when we consider that they were not only seeing symbolic dreams and visions (leopard beasts, etc), but some, such as John, were seeing things that involved futuristic qualities that they couldn’t begin to fathom.

But Jesus was not speaking from a dream or a vision when He spoke to His disciples on the Mount of Olives. He was not interpreting what He didn’t understand, and He was not trying to communicate something to His followers that was given to Him in symbolic form. He simply told them a story of what was going to happen because He knew the story firsthand from His Father. He had the inside scoop.

I think we can put our minds at ease and know that Matthew 24 is a simple story that displays real events that will literally take place in the future. We don’t need to be dogmatic about how every detail will take place, but I think it’s safe to say that there will be an abomination of desolation, we will be persecuted and He will come to rescue us after the signs in the sun, moon and stars indicate that He is on His way to deal out retribution to His enemies.


12 comments:

raul delgado said...

Dave,
I agree. I certainly believe that Matthew 24(Mark 13, Luke 21) should be viewed as an "outline" and as such central to ones eschatological position. And thus, all other prophetic scripture (OT or NT) should hinge on this prophetic chronology.

PWTribune said...

Raul,

It seems strange when some try to teach that this passage is apocalyptic imagery and filled with symbolism. What's unclear about the abomination of desolation? We saw a great example of a previous A of D in Antiochus Epiphanes as prophesied by Daniel. Its history was recorded in Maccabees. It was real!

And when the cosmic signs are said to be SIGNS it only stands to reason that they will be SEEN, and it make no sense to say that they're not, or that the stars represent angels, etc.

I'm becoming increasingly convinced that we really don't need ANYTHING but Matthew 24 in order to know what will take place in the future. Yes, the other prophecies are great, but what more do we REALLY need to know other than that fact that we should cling to Christ and not fall away like most will, there will be a great persecution, the signs will announce His coming and He WILL rescue us and destroy our/His enemies? The order is perfect and the truth is applicable.

Overcomer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Overcomer said...

(That was my delete.) Hi Dave and Raul. Dave, I agree with you 100%. Kristen Wisen gave me some insights on Mt. 24 that I just posted to my blog.

Kathy

David J. Butterfield said...

'esus was not speaking from a dream or a vision when He spoke to His disciples on the Mount of Olives. He was not interpreting what He didn’t understand, and He was not trying to communicate something to His followers that was given to Him in symbolic form. He simply told them a story of what was going to happen because He knew the story firsthand from His Father. He had the inside scoop."

Amen, amen, and amen!!!!!

you are really hitting on something here, and I believe the olivette discourse is the key to understanding eschatology altogether.

David J. Butterfield said...

there should be a "J" before "esus" there. sorry!

Overcomer said...

Hi Dave,

I'm leaving up my old blog but you can now direct folks to the new site.

Thanks,
Kathy

Overcomer said...

I will continue posting at the new site.

PWTribune said...

D Butterfield said>I believe the olivette discourse is the key to understanding eschatology altogether.<<

I agree.

Overcomer said...

As do I.

Dan Goodwin said...

I agree also! Matt.24 is very clear,and coupled along with the six seals of Revelation,it is clear how and when,within the 70th week, the Rapture will take place.

D Hoff said...

I would say only v.29 is "apocalyptic imagery," and for the following reasons: 1) It's from Isaiah 13 which is about the Babylonian invasion, 2) Stars can't fall to the earth. Just one would vaporize everything.

Beyond that, of course it's a rather straightforward history, and it was fulfilled. Funny how people who urge "literalism" never want to take v.34 literally.