In my last post we was in Matthew 24 and you saw what time frame Jesus speak in and what time frame the prophecy he gives in, specifically the first century before the year 70 AD. We will not let go of Matthew 24 completely yet, but bring it along with couple of other passages to see the gaps or “holes” that are added to the end-time question, to let it fit into a system. Forcing something into a system is also called Procrustes method, or bring something into a prokrustesbed, as Pentecostals and other evangelical use (Prokrustesbed = To put something on prokrustesbed is to exercise violence against the reality of getting it to fit in their system. Thus, the system scale, and not reality).
I will ask you to read Matthew 23:37 to 24:3 and you will see Jesus complains of Jerusalem and declares that the temple, who is in Jerusalem, will be destroyed, not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. (Matt.24: 2). As I mentioned in previous post about the disciples, they were surprised to hear this as he said and had to ask Jesus: “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”
Then Jesus begins his explanation on the Mount of Olives, the things to come, “Jesus answered and said unto them …”
Ok, what is now happening among Pentecostals and other evangelicals is that they go to the procrustesbed, cloaks arms and legs extend until everything fits great into their own system (the bed) and presents it for us.
One would really think that Matthew could write down the answer Jesus gave them, but for dispensationalism is this not the right way. They believe that Matthew did not write down the answer Jesus gave regarding their specific questions, but wrote down only waht He said what will happen 2000 years or so in the future.
Do you want me to believe that Jesus elegant skips to answer disciples’ questions, and then intentionally begin answering on the events that will not happen until a few thousand years?
Can you imagine … well not me either, but this is what makes the dispensation system works admirably.
Another place that zealous Pentecostals use this procrustesbed is in Daniel. In Daniel 9:24-27, Daniel uses an image of seventy weeks represents 490 years. Each week represents seven years. By breaking these 490 years into 3 parts, as Daniel does, we get: A period of 7 weeks is forty-nine years (Daniel 9:25), then follow the other part that is sixty weeks (Dan 9:25; 7 x 62 = 434 years), and the last one week, at 7 years.
Now, if the Pentecostals, evangelicals and other holders of dispentionalism, allowed the calculation of the week-by-year, it would mean that the tribulation was in the first century when the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD. This would be in line with what Jesus prophesied in Matthew 24. Why they do not allow it, I do not know, but we can ask them about the final cessation of the sacrificial system, invalidating any of the Levitical system and the destruction of their temple actually has some significance in salvation history?
A hole must be made here also, and put it in between the sixty-ninth and seventieth week. The sixty-ninth week when Jesus triumphantly rode into Jerusalem, but the next week they’ll jump far into the future for over 2000 years. Although, this whole prophetic period of 490 years, dispensationalist says that there must be a gap of more than 2000 years before the last seven years begins. ??
Why should there be so many holes? It is not really holes, but put the holes there so the Scripture can match their system. They use the procrustesbed, they stretch and cuts the body to fit.
What about the many gaps or holes they put in the Old Testament. The trend is basically the same everywhere but we can for example take Jes.9: 6.7.:
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”
This shows us that He came into history to establish his kingdom. He was born in the first century, and he established his kingdom in the first century. But this fits badly into the “bed” to the dispensationalism. Thus, caps and extends of the prophecies that speak of Jesus come to establish his kingdom, saying that this should not be read continuously, but that Christ came in the first century, then went back to heaven to be there for 2000 years or so, for then come back yet again to establish His kingdom. ??
Now, do we need to write a conclusion? No it is not really necessary, I think you can come up with one yourself.