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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," Fall Edition 2005

Symbols Of The Gospel Age

    That Jesus spoke in parables concerning the nature of the Gospel age is incontestable. One only has to consider such passages as Matthew chapter thirteen to see this clearly

Most modern interpreters of the Bible, however, fail to understand that the Book of Revelation (which also contains the teachings and words of Jesus!) is likewise parabolic. Three "time frame" symbols are involved in parables of the Gospel age, to be found in the Book of Revelation. They are: (1) the "forty-two months" of Rev. 11:2 and 13:5; (2) the "1,260 days" of Rev. 11:3 and 12:6; and, (3) the "times, times, and a half of Rev. 12:14.

Now our great mistake lies in attempting to take these expressions literally, yet to do so is to fail to understand the "revelation" that was intended. Instead of being literal designations for a three-and-a-half year period, they are all, rather, ideational correspondents to the last half of Daniel's 70th week, and thus informants of the course and duration of the messianic age.

   What this understanding provides is a hermeneutical method for deciphering the apocalyptic meaning of the Book of Revelation, which portrays—as historicists interpreters have rightly contended for—an overview of that period of time known as the age between the advents, or the present age. Jesus is giving in parables an understanding of the present age.

Seen in this light the book becomes truly a revelation, not the muddled mess that modern Darbyite and radical preterists interpreters have made it.

How refreshing!-how utterly like our parable-speaking Lord!

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