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Using Scripture to Interpret Scripture

Using Scripture to Interpret Scripture

In this article, I want to bring out things I learned from questions about the memes and articles that I post on social media. My friends who hold to the Futurist school of eschatology ask me interesting questions which cause me to think and do further research.

The "all the world" of Matthew 24:14

Matthew 24:14 "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."

Is "all the world" the entire world? Is the "end" the end of the world?

I looked up what Bible commentator Adam Clarke (1760-1832) had to say about it. He writes:

In all the world, εν ολη τη οικουμενη. Perhaps no more is meant here than the Roman empire; for it is beyond controversy that πασαν την οικουμενην, Luke 2:1, means no more than the whole Roman empire: as a decree for taxation or enrolment from Augustus Caesar could have no influence but in the Roman dominions.
Luke​​ 2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

That sure sounds reasonable to me! We know from history that "all the world" of Luke 2:1 could not have included anything outside of the Roman Empire. How big was the Roman Empire? It didn't even include all of Europe!

MapRomanEmpire

If the "all the world" if indeed limited to the Roman Empire, what is the "end shall come"? The context of Matthew 24 tells me it's referring to the end of the Jewish religion, not the end of the world as many people think. The destruction of the Temple is the end of the Jewish worship of animal sacrifices.

"All the Tribes of the Earth" of Matthew 24:30

Matthew 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Does this refer to everyone on earth in the future just before the return of Christ? Of all the occurrences of the word tribe or tribes other than Matthew 24:30, they are all talking about the tribes of Israel and only the tribes of Israel. Can Jews determine which tribe they are from today? NO! Why not? Because all their genealogies were destroyed with the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD.

The "end of the world" of Matthew 24:3

Matthew 24:3  And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

This sounds like at least some of Matthew 24 is talking about the Endtime just before the return of Jesus, but what do the other two synoptic Gospels of Mark and Luke have to say?

Mark 13:4 Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? Luke 21:7  And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?

Neither Mark nor Luke say "end of the world", only Matthew does. A better translation would be "end of the age" meaning the Jewish age. Why can I say that? Because "these things" are clearly about the destruction of the Temple! The destruction of the Temple is the end of the Jewish religion of daily animal sacrifices for sin. The death of Jesus was the final sacrifice for our sins.

Mark 13:1-2 "And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here! And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down."

Jesus is clearly talking about the destruction of the Temple, not the end of the world.

The "abomination of desolation" of Matthew 24:15

Matthew 24:15  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

Popular contemporary eschatology says that the Abomination of Desolation happens in the middle of the final 7 years of man's rule on earth just before the return of Jesus Christ. Is that what the Bible actually says? I've written many articles on this which I will not get into here. I just want to compare Matthew 24:15 with other Scriptures.

What verse in the Book of Daniel is Jesus referring to? The second half of Daniel 9:27!

...and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Abominations by whom? The armies of Rome! Make what desolate? Jerusalem and the Temple! Do you think I'm stretching the interpretation of the second half of Daniel 9:27 to say that? Luke 21:20 confirms it!

Luke 21:20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.

How clearer can that be?! Luke 21:20 clearly defines the abomination of desolation of Matthew 24:15 as the Roman army which destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple, and yet the vast majority of the English-speaking evangelical world thinks it's all about and Endtime Antichrist setting up his image in a rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem! That's pure speculation on their part and is NOT based on Scripture!

Matthew 24:16 makes much more sense when you understand the abomination of desolation is talking about the Roman army.

Matthew 24:16  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

Who is Jesus talking to? His disciples! Why did He tell them to leave Judaea and flee into the mountains? To save their lives from death at the hands of the Romans!

Luke 21:20-22 "And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. {21} Then let them which are in Judæa flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. {22} For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled."

As you can see in Luke 21, it adds more detail. Jesus added, "...let not them that are in the countries (outside Judaea) enter thereinto." Meaning, don't attempt to go to Judaea or Jerusalem when you see the Roman army going there or you're apt to be killed! And who would heed Jesus' warning? Only the believers, His disciples, not the unbelieving Jesus Christ rejecting Jews. They did just the opposite, fled to the Temple thinking they would be safe there, and were all killed.

The "Great Tribulation" of Matthew 24:15

Matthew 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

All famous popular Endtime teachers such as John MacArthur interpret the Great Tribultion as a future Endtime event. They fail to take the passage in context or compare it with the other two synopic Gospels.

Mark called it "affliction".

Mark 13:19 For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.

Luke called it "days of vengeance".

Luke 21:22 "For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled."

Affliction and vengeance on whom? The people of God? NO! It's talking about God's punishment on the Christ-rejecting Jews through the destruction of their city and their Temple!

Now let's get away from the prophecies Jesus gave in the Olivet Discourse and discuss other controversial words and their meanings.

The "Covenant" of Daniel 9:27

Daniel 9:27a "And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease ..."

We already talked about the latter half of this verse. The first half is even more important as it is, in my opinion, the most misinterpreted prophecy in the entire Bible! I wrote many articles on this website about Daniel 9:27 and the 70th Week of Daniel which I hope you will take time to read after this. This is a very brief summation about the meaning of the word Covenant in Daniel 9:27.

Popular contemporary eschatology interprets the Covenant of Daniel 9:27 as some kind of treaty the Antichrist makes with the Jews at the beginning of the final 7 years of Satan's reign over the earth just before the coming of Christ. I summit to you that this is nothing but pure speculation! It's actually a lie cooked up by Jesuit Francesco Ribera circa 1590 to put the Antichrist at the very end of time so that Protestant Christians will stop calling the Popes of Rome the Antichrist, and stop calling the office of the papacy the seat of the Antichrist!

What then is the covenant of Daniel 9:27? Verse 4 of the same chapter tells us what it is!

Daniel 9:4 "And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;"

The covenant of verse 4 is clearly talking about the covenant God made with Abraham, the covenant of grace based on faith, belief in the Word of God.

Genesis 15:6  And he (Abraham) believed in the LORD; and he (the LORD) counted it to him for righteousness.

The "he" of Daniel 9:27, meaning the person who confirms the covenant is therefore none other than our Lord Jesus Christ! This is by no means my private interpretation. It's exactly what the Protestant reformers taught about Daniel 9:27. It's a Messianic prophecy talking about the ministry of Jesus and His disciples over a period of 7 years, the 70th Week of Daniel. I wrote extensively about this is many articles and won't repeat it here except to say the Apostle Paul confirms this fact in Galatians 3:17:

Galatians 3:17 "And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ..."

Confirmed in Christ is the same as confirmed by Christ. See also, What is “The Covenant” of the Book of Daniel?

The "Beast" of Revelation Chapter 13

Revelation 13:1 "And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy."

Popular contemporary eschatology says the Beast is the Antichrist, but Daniel chapter 7 uses the word "beast" as a metaphor for governments or empires.

Daniel 7:3 "And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another."

A study of Daniel chapter 7 and a little knowledge of history tells us these four great beasts were the Babylonian, Medo-Persia, Greek and Roman empires. It makes a lot of sense to me to identify the Beasts of Revelation 13 as empires.

There are two Beasts in Revelation chapter 13.

Revelation 13:11 "And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon."

Some say the first Beast, the one with the head that received the wound unto death, and his deadly wound was healed, is the revived Roman empire under leadership of the Vatican and Jesuit Superior General. I believe that. Some say the Beast that came up out of the earth that speaks like a lamb is the American empire. Maybe so. It's not the purpose of this article to try to prove that.

If you want to associate the Beasts of Revelation 13 with an individual, that's OK with me as long as you associate his empire with him. If you do, it would be a succession of individuals that represent the Beast the same as a succession of popes represent the Antichrist.

I would definitely say the Beasts of Revelation 13 are here today and have been with us for a very long time, before any of us were born.

Any additional topics and any suggestions on how to improve this article are appreciated.

Request.
Tess and James Arendt
James & Tess Arendt

My name is James Arendt. I was raised in the Hegewisch neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, served in the USAF from 1970 to 1974, and became a full-time missionary for Christ living 40 years in Japan, 3.5 years in Russia, and a few months in other countries such as Finland, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, South Korea, Taiwan and mainland China where I also served the King of Kings, Jesus, as an Ambassador for His Kingdom. My full bio.

If you like this website, you can show your appreciation by sending me a gift toward my support. My wife Tess and I moved from the island of Guam USA in June 2023 to the city of Allen in the province of Northern Samar, one of the poorer provinces in the Philippines. My only work is maintaining my websites, Deep Truths, and James Japan which costs me $300 per year now. And Tess is ministering to the local people giving them regular Bible Studies in three groups, children, teenagers and adults.

Photos of Tess's Bible study.

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