Video description: In this BONUS SESSION that accompanies the MARANATHA FAST & GLOBAL BIBLE STUDY, Dalton Thomas lays out 8 reasons why Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24-25 should be understood as prophecy and not history.
Dalton Thomas believes that the prophecies in Matthew 24-25 were not fulfilled in the first century.
Most of Matthew 24 was fulfilled in the first century, in that generation of wicked Jewish leaders who rejected Messiah and delivered Him up to be killed. In Matthew 23, Messiah rebuked them and proclaimed that judgment was coming upon them in that generation, which took place during the Jewish-Roman War of 66-70 AD.
The latter part of Matthew 24 and Matthew 25 seem to be pointing to Messiah’s return in the future. The text was added by Matthew, but Mark did not include it after his recording of the Olivet Discourse. And Luke applied the text of the latter part of Matthew 24 and Matthew 25 to a different sermon, thus not associating it with the Olivet Discourse.
Dalton Thomas says that reason #1 is that the disciples asked when will these things be?
They did not ask about His return, as Dalton implies. The phase ‘thy coming’ is referring to Messiah telling the Jewish leaders that judgment was coming upon them in the generation, and that the temple would be desolated.
The context of the prophecy is the second temple, not a third temple. The age is the latter days of the Jewish nation, not the end of the world. The former days took place before the Babylonian captivity and the latter days took place from when they were released from Babylon until the Roman army desolated Jerusalem, the temple and the Jewish nation.
Dalton says that it’s not academic or intellectual to apply these prophecies to the first century. How is it that Dalton doesn’t understand the symbolism being used, as it is defined in the Old Testament? It’s pointing to leadership systems being cast down from power. In this case, the Jewish High Priest (sun), Sanhedrin (moon) and priests (stars), which took place in 70 AD.
Dalton says that in the Olivet Discourse, there is not a single metaphor. He says that it’s literal, but ignores that Messiah proclaimed that all of these things in this generation.
The truth is that Messiah used symbolic language to point to a literal fulfillment.
Dalton says that it’s replacement theology to teach that it was fulfilled in the first century.
For people believing in dispensationalism, that seems to be true. But Messiah’s Ekklesia is founded on believing Jews, and is made up of Jews and Gentiles. There is no replacement. True Israel has always been made up of those who believe in the Father by faith and who strive to obey His commandments out of love and reverence for Him.
Dalton Thomas says that reason #2 is the grammatical integrity of Matt 24.
He casts aside the integrity of Messiah proclaiming that all of these things would take place in that generation. Ten times in Matthew the term ‘this generation‘ is used, and the previous nine times it points to the generation of Jews who existed during Messiah’s ministry.
Dalton says that it applies to ‘the generation that sees all of these things will not pass away.’ He inserted that sees all of these things, but even then Messiah’s disciples saw all of those things.
He says that you can’t separate the destruction of the temple from the time of great tribulation, but the context is about the second temple, not an end-times temple! And the great tribulation is connected to it, as it took place during the Jewish-Roman War of 66-70 AD.
Dalton Thomas says that reason #3 is because because of the second coming of Jesus didn’t take place.
This is true. Preterist says that Messiah returned, but the context of Matthew 24 is not about Messiah’s return, but rather about His coming on the clouds in power and glory, pointing to His judgment of the Jewish nation.
Messiah told the High Priest that he would see Him come in power and glory. Was Messiah mistaken? No! The High Priest of Israel saw the desolation of Jerusalem, the temple and the Jewish nation, and understood that it was righteous judgment against the Jewish leaders, which Messiah proclaimed in Matthew 23.
Dalton Thomas says that reason #4 is because the gathering of the saints
Messiah gave His disciples the signs to look for, to know when to escape Judea. When they saw the abomination of desolation in 66 AD, they took the opportunity to flee to the mountains as Messiah told them.
The unbelieving Jews stayed in Jerusalem, and three divisions of the Roman army desolated them.
After the Jewish-Roman War of 66-70 AD, trumpets were used to gather them together to map out a plan. Some stayed in the Decapolis area, some returned to Jerusalem to minister to people there and others went out into the Roman Empire to preach the Gospel.
Dalton Thomas says that reason #5 is because there was no abomination of desolation in 70 AD.
That is true as it happened in 66 AD. Luke 21:20-21 tells us that the abomination of desolation is when an army surrounds the Holy temple. The Jews understood this reference, as Daniel 8 points to Antiochus and his Grecian army doing exactly that.
The abomination of desolation took place in 66 AD when Cestius and his army surrounded the temple and were ready to take the city captive. Then for no explained reason, they left. The saints took the opportunity to flee to the mountains as Messiah told them.
Daniel 12 describes the 3 1/2 years of the Jewish-Roman War of 66-70 AD. There was 1290 days from when the abomination of desolation took place until the temple was captured and all sacrifices stopped. The siege lasted 45 days and ended abruptly when the last stronghold of Jews surrendered, which fulfilled the 1,335 days.
Dalton blames Arabs for burning down the temple, but Jewish historian Josephus says that Jews lit the temple on fire and the Roman soldiers joined in.
Dalton Thomas says that reason #6 is because the resurrection of the dead.
He says that Messiah is quoting Daniel 12:1-3. Those verses helped Daniel understand that the Jews who believed in Messiah, whose names are written in the book of life, would be saved from the calamity of the Jewish-Roman War of 66-70 AD. Josephus does not document any of Messiah’s followers being killed during that time, so indeed they were delivered.
Daniel 12:2 is not pointing to literal dead people being raised to life, but rather Jews who were dead in their sins being awakened so that they believed in their promised Messiah, to inherit everlasting life.
Dalton Thomas says that reason #7 is because of the deliverance of Israel.
True Israel is made up of those who believe by faith and they were delivered from the calamity of the Jewish-Roman War of 66-70 AD.
Paul proclaimed that ‘not all Israel is Israel’ and that ‘all Israel will be saved.’ He is pointing to this very time, when the true Israelites, the Jews who believed in Messiah, were saved from the brutal Roman attack. And the unbelieving Jews stayed in Jerusalem and either killed each other or were killed by the Roman army.
We know that within a generation, the Jewish-Roman War of 66-70 AD caused Jerusalem, the temple and the Jewish nation to be desolated. 1.1 million Jews died in and around Jerusalem from famine, pestilence, infighting, suicide, evisceration, crucifixion and by the Roman sword.
Dalton Thomas says that reason #8 is because of the global dimensions of Matthew 24.
These wars took place as the Roman beast kingdom was conquering nations. Tacitus, the Roman historian, says of this period: “It was full of calamities, horrible with battles, rent with seditions, savage in peace itself.” (PNTC)
The Jews suffered tumult under a series of incompetent and insensitive Roman leaders, who did not hesitate to kill people.
- Caligula tried to erect his statue in the Jewish temple; the Jews resisted.
- In Caesarea, Jews and Syrians went at each others’ throats for mastery of the city; 20,000 Jews were put to death. Similar bloodshed occurred in Alexandria and Damascus.
- The Jewish rebellion itself took place in 66 AD.
- Tacitus in the Annals refers to disturbances, insurrections, war, and commotions in as diverse places as Germany, Africa, Gaul, Parthia, Britain, and Armenia.
- Josephus says that Roman civil wars in this era were so common that he didn’t see a need to write about them in detail. The Roman civil wars were especially pronounced between 68-70 when three emperors held the top spot in short order and their rival troops fought it out.
The Gospel was proclaimed to the world by the time that New Testament books were written. Let’s look at Scripture references to show the spread of the Gospel:
“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.” Romans 1:8
“But I say, Have they not heard (the Gospel)? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.” Romans 10:18
“Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:” Romans 16:25-26
“If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.” Colossians 1:23
Upon the Apostle Stephen’s stoning, a great persecution was raised against all who professed their belief in the Messiah. We are immediately told by St. Luke, that “there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem;” and that “they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.”
Dalton Thomas is sadly mistaken about the fulfillment of Matthew 24. He takes it all literally, instead of understanding the symbolic language that Messiah used to point to a literal fulfillment.
Matthew records that Messiah pointed to “this generation” ten times. In the final time, Messiah said, “Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”Matthew 24:34
The nine previous mentions are pointing to the Jews who opposed Messiah. Are we to believe that the tenth time that He described “this generation,” that He is pointing to the end times? No!
The context of Messiah’s Olivet Discourse is the desolation of the temple that He was just in when He rebuked the Jews and said, “Verily I say unto you, all these things shall come upon this generation.”
All of the things that Messiah described from Matthew 23:36 to Matthew 24:33 were fulfilled by 70 AD when the Romans desolated Jerusalem, the temple, and the Jewish nation. The enemy has deceived people about the symbolism of the sun, moon, and stars being darkened; Messiah coming in power and glory; and the elect being gathered. But the Bible gives the proper definitions for the symbols.
We need to take Messiah at His Word and look at how the things that He described were about the Jewish nation, for their punishment of continuing their rebellion against the Father, for delivering Messiah up to be killed, and for persecuting His disciples.
The Olivet Discourse is directed related to the 70th Week of Daniel 9, which says that the city and temple will be desolated because of the abominations of the Jews.
If you’re seeking for truth, and not to defend a belief, this book will prove out the fulfillment of Messiah’s Olivet Discourse. It will help you see that it’s not about the end times so that you’re not misled about the fulfillment of Revelation, as we await Messiah’s promised return.