Understanding Biblical Double Applications

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Once we become more of a serious Bible student there soon comes to our awareness the understanding of Biblical double applications. For  the textbook example case, let us read —

“But Peter stood up with the eleven, raised his voice, and addressed them: “You men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, know this and listen carefully to what I say. In spite of what you think, these men are not drunk, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. But this is what was spoken about through the prophet Joel:

‘And in the last days it will be,’ God says, ‘that I will pour out my Spirit on all people, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy, and your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. Even on My servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. And I will perform wonders in the sky above and miraculous signs on the earth below, blood and fire and clouds of smoke. The sun will be changed to darkness and the moon to blood before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes. And then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Acts 2:14-21)

Peter was no doubt serious in proclaiming Joel’s prophecy as coming true. Yet we know, looking back from our time, that the Joel prophecy could not have been the primary or first application of the prophecy. In other words the scroll has unrolled enough for us to see clearly rather than dimly as Peter saw.

The message gives us a great understanding in another double application —

 

Question: “Explain Matt. 24:15, 16. ‘When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whose readeth, let him understand:) then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains.’ Does not this scripture refer to the destruction of the ancient Jerusalem in the Christian era?”

   Answer: In order to clear the scripture in question, it is necessary to study the verses preceding it and the verses that follow. It is generally understood that this scripture was a prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem in the Christian era. Nevertheless, a close study of the same will prove that at that time this scripture met only a partial fulfillment as did Joel 2:28-31 on the day of Pentecost. See The Acts 2:16-21.

   We call attention to the fact that Christ was asked to explain concerning His statement when He said: “There shall not be left here [in Jerusalem] one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down” (Matt. 24:2) as they said: “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 pointed out that all these events will be preceded by certain signs and that His followers were to thus observe the time and escape the ruin of each event in question which span the time from the destruction of Jerusalem to Christ’s second coming — the end of the world.

   In this long period of time there were many things to transpire in fulfillment of prophecy and the signs were to forewarn His followers, but the more outstanding events were the destruction of Jerusalem, the fall of the Christian church under the domination of the popes, the great tribulation during the 1260 years of papal rule, His coming and the end of the world.

   Now let us concentrate and give undivided attention to the words of the Master: “For then [when the abomination of desolation, spoken by Daniel the prophet, ‘stand in the holy place’ and when they ‘flee into the mountains’] shall be great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Matt. 24:21.)

   It will be noticed that the “tribulation” which Christ mentions in this scripture was to come to His followers and not to the Jews who rejected Him, for He says: “Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. That is, if the “tribulation” spoken of here was the destruction of the Jews, then the days of their destruction and of the city should have been shortened and some elect ones of the wicked Jews inside the city should have been “saved,” which thought is contrary to historical facts and to the thought the Master’s words contain.

Hence, as the “tribulation” is not the destruction of the city or the slaying of the Jews, but rather the persecution by the popes against the saints in the 1260 year period, and as the days of the destruction of the Jews was not shortened, it is obvious that Jesus was directly and prophetically forewarning His followers who were to fall under the persecution at the time the popes set aside the truth of God (Dan. 8:12) and instead placed the abomination; that is, the pagan system of worship in the “holy place” — the church. For further study on the subject, see “The Shepherd’s Rod,” Vol. 2, pp. 126-147.

   Therefore, Matt. 24:15 primarily contains valuable instruction for the disciples of the early Christian church, but it finds its perfect fulfillment with the setting up of the papacy. Moreover, as the S.D.A. denomination admits that the “great tribulation” is the persecution of the Christian in the days of the popes, and that the shortening of the “days” was the cessation of the martyrdom before the 1260 year period ended in 1798, it follows that the “abomination of desolation” cannot wholly be applied to something at the time ancient Jerusalem fell, for Jesus’ language proves that the “abomination of desolation” was the cause of the great tribulation and not of the destruction of Jerusalem.

In other words, if the fleeing to the mountains is the fleeing from Jerusalem and of its destruction, then the great “tribulation” should be the slaying of the Jews; and the shortening of the “days” must denote a quick dissolution of the city so that the Christians could shortly return, and every Bible student knows that this was not the case.

   Consequently, the scripture is so worded as to furnish a warning to those disciples who were then in Jerusalem although the warning is made directly to those who were to flee to the mountains from the reign of the popes. (Sym. Code, vol.1, no.13, p.10-11)

We highlighted the red part to show that our King is so far-sighted that the reason double applications exist is to give understanding to different eras of His people to know Truth. We also notice that there is one “perfect fulfillment” of the application.

Then there is the classic example of SOP’s second application of the timing of Ezek. 9. This is why it’s important to understand this important Biblical interpretation. Many S.D.A.’s get hung up on some prophecies due to their lack of understanding this concept.

Question No. 145:–“If the slaughter of Ezekiel Nine takes place in the church before the close of probation, then why does ‘The Great Controversy’ p. 656 say: ‘Now all have made their decision; the wicked have fully united with Satan in his warfare against God…The mark of deliverance has been set upon those ‘that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done?’ Now the angel of death goes forth, represented in Ezekiel’s vision by the men with the slaughtering weapons, to whom the command is given….The work of destruction begins among those who have professed to be the spiritual guardians of the people.’ 

“Does not the above reference, which seems to place the slaughter of Ezekiel Nine after the close of probation, refute the teachings of ‘The Shepherd’s Rod’?” 

  Answer:–The query reveals that the questioner has not thoroughly studied or understood what “The Shepherd’s Rod” teaches, for “The Great Controversy” does not refute “The Shepherd’s Rod,” but rather strengthens it. It has been proved that before the close of probation there are two “fruits,” the 144,000 and the great multitude (Revelation 7:9), to be separated at two different times–the former’s taking place before the close of probation while “the door is closed to those who would not enter,” and while “His hand is still stretched out to save.” (“Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 9, p. 97), thus showing, as does “Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 3, p. 266, that the sealing of the hundred and forty-four thousand is the closing work for the church, whereas the sealing work for the great multitude is the closing work for the world.

Thus, while, in the time of God’s destructive judgments before the close of probation, the door is closed to one class, it is open to another class for whom “His hand is still stretched out to save,” clearly showing that probation closes first for the tares in the church. Moreover, as the time is that of God’s destructive judgments–the separation of the tares from the wheat–the slaughter of Ezekiel Nine is that which severs the wicked from among the just. (Matt. 13:49.) 

  Therefore, as there are two separations, there is a double fulfillment of Ezekiel’s slaughter: one in the church before the close of probation, and the other in the worldly churches after the close of probation, when everyone has made his decision. The unfaithful spiritual guardians, or the false watch-men, of the people are the first to fall in the worldly churches, just as the “ancient men” who are in the S.D.A. church are the first to fall. (“Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 5, p. 211.)This is the only explanation that will harmonize every statement on this subject found in the Spirit of Prophecy and in the Bible. ( Sym. Code, vol. 3, p.8)

The above question is often used, particularly among the S.D.A. leaders, to dispel the Lord’s Rod message. Yet if one looks at all the other relevant references concerning Ezekiel 9 (Bible, SOP and Rod), just as in Peter’s Joel statement, we cannot accept that the Church judgment is to be in the time of the plagues. This can only be a secondary application.

In our last example we show a “present truth” quandary. The following is an often debated subject with us Elijah messengers, yet if we use the double application method we may find some harmony and clearer understanding of “Jacob’s time of trouble”. However, this complicated subject may even get into a “third application” due to Spirit of Prophecy’s putting it in the times of the plagues. Definitely requires deep study to make sense of it all!

For the sake of this post we’ll stick to the Rod understanding of this subject. We find from the original writings that there appears two different time settings (applications), one pre-Church purification and one post, for Jacob’s trouble. Remember this trouble comes from Esau.

 

Let us read the secondary first —

Isa. 66:5, 6 — “Hear the Word of the Lord, ye that tremble at His Word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for My name’s sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: but He shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.  A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the Lord that rendereth recompence to His enemies.”

  Some have already had the experience of being carried bodily out of the churches for no other reason than for having read “The Shepherd’s Rod,” and for having said, “I believe what It says.”  Of course, it is incredible that men should act like demons.  It is nevertheless so, and God Himself testifies against their demon practice. 

We do not pity ourselves, and are not at all angry at our adversaries, but we are sorry about their spiritual blindness, misery, poverty, and nakedness, for we know that the coming joy is to be ours, and the sorrow and shame and gnashing of teeth, theirs.  This we know as verily as Jacob knew that God was with him in his flight from the face of Esau.

The Esaus of today, though, do not know this.  No, they do not know it any more than Esau of old knew of Jacob’s night vision of the ladder that extended from heaven to Jacob’s dew-soaked bed.” (Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 45 , p.14-15)

As clear as words can make it, the Rod shows trouble “today” as well in brother Houteff’s day coming from –Esau. There is no doubt concerning this trouble as some Elijah messengers have experienced being physically removed from church by the strong-arm of the Law for absolutely nothing but quietly attending service by mad and demon like Elders, Pastors, and other leaders of the S.D.A Church! Esaus indeed!

“The S.D.A. church, repeating the history of the Jews (5 T 160), will be swayed by its “priests” and “rulers” today to take a course against “the faithful servants of God “similar to that followed by the priests and rulers in their treatment of Christ’s and the apostles’”. As the 144,000 become more and more like their Saviour, “the light of the world.” making manifest the “darkness and error” enveloping the church, the leaders in their “fanatical hatred” of the saints will move “the mob to a mad fury” against them and, in desperation born of blind and raging hatred, will reach out for the civil arm of power to accomplish their evil ends, merging the following type into antitype.” (Sym. Code, vol. 1, no.9, p.3).

Esau’s use of the “civil arm of power” has come true, yours truly has witnessed it when we were part of a ministry effort to pass out Shepherd’s Rod Tracts and literature at one of the Las Vegas churches a couple of years ago. This is by no means an isolated case of this “fanatical hatred” from the Esaus.

“..the few who do have the courage to carry out their convictions, straightway in consequence become targets for the Enemy’s fiercest darts of opposition, — bitterest prejudice, scandalizing falsehood and character defamation, ridicule and scorn and hatred embarrassment and hardship. 

Thus “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:12) find themselves “outcasts” (Isa. 66:5; Luke 6:22; Acts 24:14) at the hands of persecutive forces perpetuating and even outdoing the worst that was ever in Judaism and Romanism.  And what is still worse, when these revivalists of tyranny, clothed in apostle like robes, succeed in confusing and overthrowing the faith of an investigator or of a follower of Truth for this very time, they compel him to submit to rebaptism in order to be readmitted into church fellowship, even though he has become more faithful than ever before!  What astounding blasphemy!” (White House Recruiter, p.54-55)

Ok so our secondary application is thus confirmed. Let’s now look at the main primary application. We as present truth believers know that the “Fundamental Beliefs” are the pillars of our faith. Thus we cannot under-estimate these statements. Not only do Davidian Seventh-day Adventists believe in ALL the S.D.A Fundamental Beliefs, but also the DSDA’s as well. Let us look at number 6 and 7.

 

6.   That the angels’ letting loose the four winds to blow over the four corners of the earth (Rev. 7:1), does not anticipate a world war but rather a world-wide decree enforced throughout Babylon by the image-beast, and that then no one may buy or sell save he who worships “the image.” Rev. 13:15-17.

7.   That subsequently, the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7) for the 144,000, the sons of Jacob, logically develops on their way home (Gen. 32:1, 24) to the land of their fathers (Ezek. 36:28; 37:21, 25).(Fundamental Beliefs, p. 13).

Here is our most plain and powerful statement showing that the time of Jacob’s trouble” occurs AFTER the winds are let loose. And since we as present truth believers know, the winds are not let loose until the sealing of the 144,000  is completed.

But one may ask –When is this sealing done? Could it be before the Ezek. 9 church purification, thus showing support for the secondary application being the primary? The message answers it —

 

“And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord God! wilt Thou destroy all the residue of Israel in Thy pouring out of Thy fury upon Jerusalem?  Then said He unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great,…and as for Me also, Mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity.” Ezek. 9:8-10.

   After the sighing and crying ones were marked (which is not to be understood as being consummated in its entirety worldwide before the slaying follows anywhere), the slaughter completed, and the matter reported, the Lord “spake unto the man clothed with linen, and said, Go in between the wheels even under the cherub, and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims, and scatter them over the city.” Ezek. 10:2. (Tract 1, p.38-39)

The highlighted areas clearly shows that we are not to understand that the marking (or sealing)  will be consummated (completed) BEFORE the Ezek. 9 slaying starts. Thus we see that the Church purification is the time of the sealing completion–not before that! This puts the FB no. 7 solidly in the post Church purification. The journey on the way “home” to God’s land–Israel.

 

Jer. 30:4-6 — “And these are the words that the Lord spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah.  For thus saith the Lord; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.  Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child?  wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?”

The cause of the fear here forecast is fundamentally needless and unnecessary, declares the Lord.

Jer. 30:7 — “Alas!  for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.”

The people that have come to this antitypical time of trouble are returning to the homeland, are comforted.  Apparently it is bad enough to frighten all, but God’s encouraging counsel is, “Fear not.”

   Plainly, the burden of this chapter is concerning the antitypical returning to the homeland.  Though terrible the trouble may seem, yet the outcome of it is to be the same as in the type.” (Timely Greetings, volume 1, no.47, p.14)

Again we see the time of Jacob’s trouble appearing on their “returning to the homeland.” Obviously this cannot be while the Jacobites haven’t left for home yet.

Summary —

As we have shown, Biblical double applications play an important role in our correct understandings of prophecy. Our God is so far-reaching and deep that, for all we know there may be several or dozens of applications  in some prophecies yet we won’t see them until the dim light is removed and we see brightly.

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” (1 Cor. 13:12)

“Wonderful possibilities are open to those who lay hold of the divine assurances of God’s word.  There are glorious truths to come before the people of God.  Privileges and duties which they do not even suspect to be in the Bible will be laid open before them.  As they follow on in the path of humble obedience, doing His will, they will know more and more of the oracles of God.” — Testimonies, Vol. 8, p. 322.

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