Matthew Chapter 24
VERSE 29 continued, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”
Having taken a look at some of the literal fulfillment of this verse let us now examine,
The (ongoing) Symbolic Fulfillment
“While the literal signs served their designed purpose in drawing general attention to the Time of the End, we believe that the symbolic fulfillment are no less striking and even more interesting to those whose mental and spiritual perceptive is awakened so as to enable them to appreciate them.
1) The sun as a symbol represents the Gospel light, the truth--and thus Christ Jesus.
2) The moon as a symbol represents the light of the Mosaic Law. As the moon is a reflection of the light of the sun, so the Law was the shadow or reflection beforehand of the Gospel.
3) The stars as symbols represent the inspired teachers of the church--the apostles.
4) The heavens, as already shown, represent the ecclesiastical powers of Christendom.
A combination of all these symbols is found in Revelation (12:1) where the "woman" symbolizing the early Church is represented as clothed with the sun, that is, resplendent in the full, clear light of the unclouded Gospel. The moon under her feet represents that the Law which supports her is nevertheless not the source of her light. The twelve stars about her head as a crown represent her divinely appointed and inspired teachers--the twelve apostles.
With this outline of the meaning of these symbols before our minds, let us examine afresh this feature of our Lord's great prophecy of the signs which are to indicate the end of this age.
Wherever we look we can recognize the fact that while God's consecrated people are being specially fed and enlightened at the present time, yet with the nominal church it is not so. Its sun is being darkened; its moon is being turned into blood; and its stars are falling. The center of the Gospel light has from the first been the cross of Christ, the ransom; and however boldly Papacy set up the competitive sacrifice of the Mass, the saints of God have always held fast to this blessed center of all God's promises and of all his people's hopes. They have held to it, even though its philosophy has been almost entirely hidden from their view.
True, there have been a few all along whom, not understanding the ransom, and unable to harmonize it with other truths, and especially with their most cherished errors (viz. the Trinity, the immortality of the Soul, and eternal torment as the wages of sin), rejected it. These, however, were rare exceptions to the rule.
But since A.D. 1878--the very point of trial-time indicated in the Scriptures --the parallel to the time of Christ's rejection at the first advent, when the cross of Christ became to the Jew a stumbling block--the stumbling here has made great progress, until today only a small minority of the professed ministers of the cross recognize its value or preach it. On the contrary, much of the teaching now aims to disclaim and disprove that we were "bought with a price, even the precious blood of Christ," and substitutes for this the theory of Evolution, claiming that Christ's value to the sinner consists in his words and example merely.
Thus the sunlight of the Gospel is daily becoming more and more obscure; and although this denial of the value of the precious blood as our redemption price has not so generally extended from the pulpit to the pew, yet, false doctrines long held sacred, together with reverence for leaders and learning, have made the way so easy that a large majority of all who get sufficiently awake to consider the subject fall an easy prey to this doctrine of Evolution, which denies the Scriptural doctrine of a primal fall and of a ransom from it. The Scriptures variously forewarn us of this great falling away, as well as of this darkening of the faith of the Church at this time; so that the Son of Man when he comes will find the faith very scarce on the earth. (Luke 18:8)
A psalm describing this period declares: "A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee [the faithful saints, members of the body of Christ, whose elect members will now shortly be completed]." Psa 91:7
Continued with next post.
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