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Was Matthew 16:28 Fulfilled At the Transfiguration?

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This is part one of what will be a two part series.

“Very I say unto you, there are some standing here that shall not taste of death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

Matthew 16:27-28 continues to be a source of great consternation to Bible students. Jesus’ emphatic statement about the time of his coming, the judgment and the kingdom challenges all futurist eschatologies. The number of “explanations” that have been offered to mitigate the power of Jesus’ words is amazing. Most of these explanations are so patently ridiculous that one has to wonder at the desperation of traditionalists who make them.

The most common objection to Jesus’ straightforward words is that his prediction was fulfilled just eight days later in the Transfiguration vision. We are told that the Transfiguration fulfilled Jesus’ prediction, but, that in fact, his parousia– that which was predicted in Matthew 16:28 will occur at the end of the current Christian age. See my book Can You Believe Jesus Said This? for a discussion and refutation of the leading objections to Jesus’ prediction. This book is a definitive refutation of the idea that the Transfiguration was the complete fulfillment of Matthew 16:27-28.

So, what this means is that Matthew 16:28 was not actually fulfilled in the Transfiguration at all. It was a visionary forecast of the true fulfillment. See my in-depth study of the Transfiguration in my Like Father Like Son, On Clouds of Glory. You will be absolutely amazed at the significance of that marvelous event! It is even widely admitted that the Transfiguration was not the event itself that Jesus predicted but was somehow a typological, or symbolic vision of the fulfillment of what Jesus predicted. More on this later, so stay tuned!

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