Thursday, September 2, 2010

Olivet Discourse: Conflicting Views

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

Is Matthew 24 history or prophecy?

It is a crucial prophetic question. The passage clearly portrays a period of intense tribulation that will precede the Second Coming of Jesus. Has this terrible period of tribulation already occurred or is it yet to occur? And what about the Second Coming of Jesus? Has it already occurred? Have all the events described in Matthew 24 been fulfilled or do some of them await fulfillment?


The Conflicting Views

The Premillennial viewpoint, both historic and modern, holds this passage to be predictive, yet-to-be fulfilled sometime in the near future. According to the Premillennial view, the return of Jesus will be immediately preceded by a period of worldwide, unprecedented tribulation that will particularly focus on the Jewish people.

The majority viewpoint of Christendom, both Catholic and Protestant, is the Amillennial view. This view spiritualizes Bible prophecy and concludes that there will be no future Tribulation or Millennium. Amillennialists argue, instead, that we are simultaneously experiencing both the Tribulation and the Millennium right now and have been doing so since the Cross. We are supposedly in the Millennium because the Holy Spirit is restraining evil through the Church. And we are simultaneously in the Tribulation because the Church is experiencing persecution.

Although Postmillennialists argue that the Millennium is still future, they maintain that the tribulation aspects of Matthew 24 were fulfilled in the First Century destruction of Jerusalem. They conclude, therefore, that there will be no future Great Tribulation.

The group with the strangest attitude toward Matthew 24 are those Amillennialists who are also what is called "Full Preterists." (The word, Preterist, is Latin for "past.")

There are degrees of Preterism. A moderate Preterist believes all of Matthew 24 was fulfilled in the 70 A.D. destruction of Jerusalem, except the Second Coming of Jesus. But the "Full Preterist" takes the position that every aspect of Matthew 24, including the Second Coming, happened in 70 A.D.! They argue that Jesus returned spiritually in the destruction that the Romans inflicted upon Jerusalem. They also argue that the prophecies refer to the end of the Jewish Age and not to the end times.

Matthew 24 thus emerges as a key prophetic passage. Those who spiritualize prophecy (Amillennialists and Postmillennialists) either argue that its tribulation prophecies were fulfilled in 70 A.D. or have been fulfilled in the history of the Church, and they therefore reject the idea that it points to a period of severe tribulation immediately preceding the return of Jesus. Amillennialists who are Full Preterists argue that all of it, including the prophecy about the Lord's Second Coming, was fulfilled in 70 A.D. Those who interpret prophecy more literally (Premillennialists) contend that all aspects of the passage await fulfillment. They therefore feel that it definitely points to a future period of tribulation before the Lord returns.

So, what about our central question? Is Matthew 24 history or prophecy? Is it past or future? Was it fulfilled in 70 A.D. or is it yet to occur?

I believe Matthew 24 was prefilled in prophetic type in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and is therefore yet to be fulfilled in history. And I think I can prove that from the passage itself.


Read the proof as we continue with the next segment in this "Olivet Discourse" series!

17 comments:

hartdawg said...

i tend to go with the historical AND futurist interpretation. alot of matt 24 (tho not all of it, like the abomination...)and the 7 seals of revelation 6 parralel human history BUT the tribulation is a specific time when the seals and matt 24 will be fully fulfilled.

hartdawg said...

let me explain: 1st seal=white hores/conquest. thats been occuring thru history but a future interpretation/anti-christ awaits fulfillment. 2seal=war. being fulfilled thruout history but there`s a specific future fulfillment when all hell breaks loose. 3rd seal=famine again historical fulfillment but a future specific fulfillment.

hartdawg said...

my point is both matt 24 (which parrelal the 6 seals) and rev 6 are historical AND await a future fulfillment when these judgements will be most severe.

son of thunder said...

Dual fulfillment? Many prophecies in the Bible have a dual fulfillment, such as the Abomination. It partially occurred before Christ, but the final fulfillment is yet future.

Anonymous said...

Did any of you see this today? http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=197921 FROM WND'S JERUSALEM BUREAU

Israel concedes Jerusalem before negotiations even begin
Also agrees to forfeit holy sites to be governed by 'special regime'

Should we be ducking for cover?
C~ in Salem

hartdawg said...

C~in salem, i pray to God that article is off base and printed without authorization. if its accurate and they gave jerusalem this nation should duck for cover but christians who prayed againt this thing are hopefully protected. i`m not sure i believe it.

SeanOsborne said...

Anonymous,

"Israel concedes Jerusalem before negotiations even begin" is routine and atypical WorldNetDaily hype and headline grandstanding.

The barker headline implies that Israel has conceded ALL of Jerusalem prior to negotiations - which is absolute nonsense. It's a literary hook to bring the reader into the website with the expectation that commercial transactions with WorldNetDaily might follow. It's a business ploy that has absolutely nothing to do with giving glory to Christ or the Kingdom of God.

My assessment is that it boils down to the following:

Ehud Barak spoke to the leftist Ha'aretz neswpaper and told them precisely what they and their readers want to hear: the government plans for sections of Arab Jerusalem to be given to the future "Palestinian" state through negotiations with the PA.

The Leftists, other assorted Jews and anti-Israel minions are thrilled by the idea.

However, in all reality it's a non-starter for the Arabs. It is utterly meaningless drivel.

The Arabs want not only ALL of Jerusalem, but ALL of Israel.

Moreover, the negotiation in Washington DC will very likely fail due to the undeniable fact that the Arab Muslims have never wanted nor would they ever accept a two-state solution.

Had they wanted the two-state solution they could have had it with the original United Nations partition plan of 1947 (United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181). The Arab Muslims have been at war ever since attempting to nullify U.N.G.A.R. 181 in favor of what they truly desire - a single ArabMuslim state.

So, the bottom line is that this online WorldNetDaily article is digital rubbish.

SeanOsborne said...

I'm also looking forward to the next installment of this series.

I would offer that Matthew 24 cannot be seen separately from what Daniel has foretold (or Revelation for that matter)- that Matthew 24 and Jesus' Olivet Discourse are one and the same subject matter from the exact same prophetic source.

Where Doctor Reagan says, "I believe Matthew 24 was prefilled in prophetic type in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and is therefore yet to be fulfilled in history," my guess is that Matthew 24:15 is the verse which proves it, in more ways than one.

Yes, this is going to be a good series!

SeanOsborne said...

Correction:

I intended to write that Daniel 9:20-27 and Matthew 24 are one and the same subject matter from the exact same prophetic source.

Nathan Jones said...

You're soooo right, Sean, about WND. They might be a good at reporting what is rarely reported, but they do it in such a slick, used car salesman sort of way that it's painful to read at times. I've discontinued getting their e-updates because they're nothing more than alarmist ads to buy their merchandise.

Glad you're enjoying the series! I always enjoy your military assessments.

SeanOsborne said...

Nathan,

Check my new blog assessment regarding Arab polling data.

The polling data confirms the comment I made at 7:56 am above regarding the agenda of the Arabs for a single Arab Muslim state where Israel currently exists.

Anonymous said...

Thank you everyone... love to get a better insight to this stuff.

C~ in Salem

Expected Imminently said...

Son of Thunder

You're back! :D

Midrash, what has been will be again! (or summat like that?)

Anonymous said...

I'm still concerned about Doc NoFog. Last time he was absent for some time it was due to health issues.

He may need some prayin'.

rg

Expected Imminently said...

rg
Exactly my thoughts about DrNofog!

Lets agree together to ask The Lord to intervene in whatever way required and to bless him and his family with the Love and Peace of God that passes all understanding.

SeanOsborne said...

Four days ago I wrote in a comment above:

"The Arabs want not only ALL of Jerusalem, but ALL of Israel.

Moreover, the negotiation in Washington DC will very likely fail due to the undeniable fact that the Arab Muslims have never wanted nor would they ever accept a two-state solution.

Had they wanted the two-state solution they could have had it with the original United Nations partition plan of 1947 (United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181). The Arab Muslims have been at war ever since attempting to nullify U.N.G.A.R. 181 in favor of what they truly desire - a single ArabMuslim state.


The rationale for my being extremely blunt in my comments with respect to Arab Muslims was confirmed in this morning's edition of the secular Jewish newspaper, The Jerusalem Post, and by PA leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Headline: Abbas: No 'historic compromise' on Jerusalem, borders

The text of this report:

"In interview with 'Al-Quds', PA president says Palestinians won't recognize Israel as a Jewish state, accuses Netanyahu of trying to "strip" Israeli-Arabs of their rights.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas rejected Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's talk about an "historic compromise" and said there would be no compromises on core issues such as Jerusalem and borders.

Abbas also reiterated his rejection of Netanyahu's demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state. "We're not talking about a Jewish state and we won't talk about one," Abbas said in an interview with the semi-official Al-Quds newspaper. "For us, there is the state of Israel and we won't recognize Israel as a Jewish state."

Abbas said that in recent meetings with leaders of the Jewish community in the US, he made it clear that the Palestinians would not recognize Israel as a Jewish state. "I told them that this is their business and that they are free to call themselves whatever they want," Abbas said. "But [I told them] you can't expect us to accept this."

Abbas said that by raising the issue of Israel's right to be a Jewish state, Netanyahu was seeking to "strip" Israeli-Arabs of their rights and turn them into illegal citizens. He said that Netanyahu's goal was also to block any chance of Palestinian "refugees" from returning to their original homes inside Israel.

Asked about the possibility of dismantling the PA, Abbas said he did not rule out such an option if he reached the conclusion that the peace talks are hopeless. However, he stressed that this option was not on the table at present.
"

There can be no question that the Pslam 83 and associated prophecies are rapidily approaching their final fulfillment. Any day now.

Expected Imminently said...

Sean

You are so right! There is only one thing preventing this prediction, and that's when The Lord decides it suits him for it to happen.

I'm not sure where I read yesterday that Abbas (I think) said that this meeting is the final one, no more after this. It sounded ominous to me?
Sue