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Adventures in Eschatology: Daniel’s 70th Week Pt.3

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jesus-crucifixionThe Partial Preterist Side

A Case for Amillennialism: Kim Riddlebarger

This book was not a commentary but a book affirming the position of Amillennialism. It was given to me by a friend and I decided to use it as one of my references since he does address the text in some detail.

 Mr. Riddlebarger (further as RIDD) argues that throughout the bible, from Genesis to Revelation, Jesus Christ is the central figure in redemptive history and eschatology. He argues that the pillar passage of dispensationalism in Daniel 9:24-27. They would argue as followed:

  • This text speaks of God’s dealing with Israel & Gentiles
  • The gap between the 69th & 70th week of Daniel is the church age.
  • This is the main text to interpret Matthew 24 and other texts in Revelation.

RIDD states that the dispensationalist interprets the NT through the OT rather than allowing the greater revelation to interpret the Old.

Points of Exegesis

2 Chronicles 36:21 states that the 70 years spoken of in Jeremiah was completed. This is why in v.22 it mentions the first year of Cyrus, because Israel’s exile was over and the time of redemption had begun. Isaiah saw the events of Cyrus when he could say to Jerusalem “let it be rebuilt” (Isaiah 44:28). –Also see Daniel 10:1 for a parallel to 2 Chronicles 36:22

RIDD argues that this decree of Cyrus ended the 70 weeks and the new 70 weeks would begin. This last 70 weeks would end with the coming of the Messiah prince who would be “cut-off” (v.29) which is very similar to the language of Isaiah 53:8-11. There is a covenant made in v.27 by “the prince”. That prince is identified as “Messiah the prince” The dispensationalist, according to RIDD, insists that the Messiah is cut-off after 62 sevens. There is at least 2000 years between the 69 and 70 sevens. He argues that the dispensationalist is inconsistent with the professed “literal” hermeneutic here since there is no mention of a gap found in the text. RIDD argues that the dispensationalist confuses Christ with the antichrist. He sees the confusion based upon v.24 and what exactly will be accomplished at the completion of the 490 years. He continues by stating that the decrees in v.24 are accomplished during the 490 years in order for those blessings to be available to God’s people. They are enjoyed for all after the 490 years. In Christ’s obedience and death, all these things were accomplished (Romans 6:1-2,14; 5:12-19; 6:23; 3:21-26). In other words all the events in Daniel 9 were accomplished in the first coming of Christ.

The covenant made in v.27 was the New Covenant which was ratified by the “cutting-off” of Christ. He argues that the covenant made was one that existed already because of the use of “firm” in v.27. It was a covenant that was “made strong” or “prevailed” not a new covenant. The security for that was the shed blood of Christ.

What happens at the last part of the 1 week or 3 ½ years? RIDD argues that we find the answer in Rev. 12:14 which John interprets as “a time, times and a half time”. It depicts the symbolism of the church on earth during the entire time of its existence and tribulation.

The sacrifices & offerings were ended in the 2nd clause of v.27. How can this be if the sacrifices continued after Christ’s death until A.D. 70? RIDD argues that, in a religious sense, they didn’t. This is seen in Hebrews 9:26. Those sacrifices after the death of Christ were an abomination which were shadows of the sacrifice of the Messiah.

 

seventy_weeks_lgTHE SEVENTY WEEKS: Philip. Mauro

I know I shouldn’t have favourites regarding these 4 books I’m presenting however this book was definitely the best of the bunch.

Mr. Mauro begins by stating that Daniel was studying Jeremiah 25:11 & 29:10 and reading that the desolation of Jerusalem was 70 years. This period was about to expire and the decree by which they would be allowed to go back into their land to rebuild was at hand.  Mauro believes that this was done within two years by Cyrus (Ezra 1:1) which fulfilled Jeremiah’s words.  The express purpose of this was that “the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled.

Mauro states, as most expositors would agree, that seventy sevens = 490 years. He argues that the starting point of the 70 weeks is the decree of Cyrus (Ezra 1:1) to rebuild. He argues that there are two main subjects in the prophecy:

  • The coming and cutting off of the Messiah
  • The destruction & desolation of the city and sanctuary

 Mauro brings the question to the table…when did the 490 years begin? When did the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem go forth? He argues that from the “commandment” till “Messiah the Prince” is 483 years (7 weeks + 62 Weeks) He then argues that 2 Chronicles 36:22-23 and Ezra 1:1-4 demonstrate that the decree to rebuild was from Cyrus. He turns to Isaiah 44 & 45 to show that God had deemed that Cyrus (naming him 2 centuries before he became king) would rebuild the city.

He demonstrates that in Isaiah 44:26-27, that Cyrus was prophesied to rebuild the city (also see Isaiah 45:13). Cyrus was to rebuild Jerusalem and restore the captive Jews which is exactly what Daniel said in v.24: From the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. Daniel would have known the prophecy of Isaiah. Josephus, in antiquities, quotes Cyrus as saying that he decreed that the Jews would rebuild their city (see P.33)

It should be noted that Ezra doesn’t explicitly say “Cyrus decreed the building of the city” but it is implicitly taken. Notice Ezra 6:6-12 how the Jewish opposers had complained yet the search showed that the temple was to be rebuilt upon the authority of Cyrus (see Ezra 9:9…a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem” Mauro argues that Artaxerxes could not have been the one who decreed the rebuilding. (see p37-38)

Mauro states that we are not told, in v.24, the starting point of the 490 years or how the predicted events will be accomplished however we are told these things in the following verses. Mauro argues that the 6 points mentioned in v.24 were accomplished when the Messiah was cut-off. He argues that the “know therefore” of v.25 explains the prophecy contained in v.24

 

The 6 points:

To finish the transgression: The transgression was why they were in captivity (v.11). This transgression was not post but future. Mauro argues that the transgression spoken of here was the crucifixion of the Messiah (see. P.45-46)

To make an end of sins: Christ put an end to sin by offering Himself (Heb. 9:14; 10:12) and had purged our sins (Heb. 1:3)

To make reconciliation for iniquity: The death and sacrifice of the Lord Jesus made reconciliation (Romans 5:8-10). This was totally accomplished and there is no doubt about it (Colossians 1:12-22)

To bring everlasting righteousness: Christ’s death did accomplish this (1 Corinthians 1:30). This was brought in by Christ (Romans 3:21-26). It is the enduring righteousness (Isaiah 51:8) and is the very essence of the Kingdom (Matthew 6:33 & Romans 14:17) and that which the branch of David brought (Jeremiah 23:5-6)

To seal up the vision and prophecy: Mauro would take this as the sealing up of God’s word to the Israelites. In other words, it is a part of the judgment against them. Mauro sees this prophesied elsewhere explicitly (Isaiah 28:16; 29:1, 10-11; and implicitly (Isaiah 6:10). Mauro sees the siege of 70 A.D. as a fulfillment of Isaiah 29.

To anoint the most holy place: Mauro initially believed that the anointing would be when the Lord entered into the heavenly sanctuary (Heb. 9:23-24) however his position is at the time of writing this that the anointing was that of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:21) who anointed the spiritual temple (2 Corinthians 6:16) of the people of God.

 

Messiah the Prince

Mauro deals with what event in the earthly life of the Lord Jesus happened in the 483rd year from the decree of Cyrus. Mr. Mauro asks “when was Jesus of Nazareth presented to Israel as the anointed one or Messiah? (P.56). he sees this at His baptism where He was anointed for His ministry and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him (Acts 10:38). Shortly after His baptism, the Lord went to the Synagogue where He read: “He has anointed me to preach the gospel”. (see Luke 4:16-21). Mauro argues that after His baptism he was constantly before the people in His Messianic character, fulfilling His Messianic mission (P.57-58). He pronounced Himself as Messiah to the woman of Samaria (John 4:25-26)

Mauro makes an interesting remark in that the confession of Christ as Messiah was the mark of the church (Matt. 16:18; 1 Cor. 3:11). It could also be said that it is a sign of the new birth (1 John 5:1). Mauro argues that there is no other event that could be seen as a fulfilment of the 483 years.

The “time” of the cutting off of the Messiah is his next point. He sees this as the cross! Mauro sees:

  • The 6 predicted things in v.24 where accomplished by the cutting-off at the cross.
  • The covenant with the many (v.27) was confirmed and the sacrifice & offerings stopped
  • The judgment was to fall on the city, the temple and the people.

 

A very good argument that Mauro presented was that the cutting off was after the 62 weeks. The “cutting-off” wasn’t to happen during the 69th week but during the 70th week. It was within the 490 years from the beginning of the decree that the predictions inv.24 were fulfilled. The personal ministry of the Lord Jesus was within the final week. It is only after the 69th week that the cutting off occurs. Mauro sees the Lord’s ministry was 3 ½ years in duration, hence from His anointing to His death is in the midst of the 70th week. The text in v.27 says that He will cause the sacrifices and offerings in the middle of the last week to stop hence 3 ½ years. They stopped because He offered Himself a sacrifice for sin “once and for all”.

Mauro sees the “being cut-off and having nothing” as similar language to Isaiah 53:8. The “having nothing” would be that he had no prosperity to continue His name. This was a great calamity. He didn’t have a place to rest His head.

Mauro sees the “prince” in v.26 as Titus the Roman General. The destruction of the city & sanctuary was in A.D. 70. He sees the “flood” as being the army that invaded.  Mauro would argue that Christ “confirmed” the new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Heb. 8:6-13; 10:1-18).

The “he” that is in contention should be taken as the Messiah because:

  • The prophecy is primarily about Christ
  • Titus never made a covenant with the Jews.
  • There is nowhere in this text where it talks about a prince making a covenant with them in the future.

Christ confirmed the covenant: He does so in Matt. 26:28 by instituting the NT. Notice the language used by Matthew (New Covenant, many). The “many” wasn’t for all people (see Acts 3:23; Romans 11:17 & Luke 2:34)

In the Midst of the week:  Christ’s ministry lasted 3 ½ years then He was crucified.

He shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease: There is no questioning that Christ put an end to these things (Hebrews. 8-10)

 

Mauro continues the argument and makes the point to mention that the “he” in v.27 is Christ. He argues that the following views cannot be substantiated by scripture:

  • That there is a future Roman prince who will make a covenant with Israel
  • That the covenant will be for 1 week
  • That the purpose will be to permit Jews to do their sacrifices
  • That the prince will break the covenant in the midst of the week.
  • Texts such as Matt.24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-9 & Revelation 13:3-15 do not substantiate these claims.

Mauro states that the other sides view argues that the 70th week is a prophetic period that has been interrupted for at least 2000 years after the 69th week hence the 70th week is still future.  Mauro argues that “it is therefore a necessary law of language that time units be understood as being connected together without a break. “(see P.94 )

Mauro sees that the last 3 ½ years in the last week as non-essential. What this means is that we are not told that anything happens but only that after in the midst of the week that the Messiah is cut-off.

 

Conclusion

There were many good arguments for both sides of the debate and to be honest there are several books and articles that I wish to read to further my study of this important text. I believe Mauro made probably the best case for his position out of all these commentators. I found Mr. Paisley a little better balanced in respects to affirming his position than Mr. Ironside. Obviously, as I had previously mentioned, if you have any comments, I’m all ears!

Written by shawnkjmcgrath

September 9, 2009 at 8:29 pm

Adventures in Eschatology: Daniel’s 70th Week Pt.2

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jewish-templeDispensational Side

This Daniel: Harold Paisley

I began my study with some commentaries from the dispensational camp. My first reading was from a man by the name of Harold Paisley entitled “This Daniel”. Mr. Paisley is an able commentator who’se commentary on Daniel is very easy to follow. Harold Paisley’s “This Daniel” was the second book I ever bought since ironically I was into prophecy during the first days of my conversion but for some reason I had lost interest. Let’s take a look at some of the points Mr. Paisley brought out in his small volume.

He begins this section by mentionning that Darius was the same man who threw Daniel into the lion’s den. The first year of Darius marked the end of the 70 weeks of captivity. Paisley sees much like most commentators that this is speaking of the nearing of the restoration in their own land. Mr. Paisley also sees this as a finishing of the prophecy of Jeremiahs 25 & 29

 V.24-27

Mr. Paisley’s argument is that vs. 24-27 are about the unfolding of the future of Israel hence for the most part these events are all future. He stresses the importance of these passages to the point where he states that “any leader who has a wrong conception of these verses will be astray in his ministry of eschatology”. As you can see, dispensational pre-millennialism banks much on this particular passage. Paisley sees in these passages (vs.24-27) seven personages; mainly:

  • Artexerxes: Who gave the commandment to restore & rebuild (Nehemiah 2:1)
  • Messiah the prince: The Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 21:15)
  • Titus the Roman: he who destroyed the city in AD 70
  • The coming prince: the little horn of chapter 7, head of the Roman Empire.
  • The false prophet: He is the one who is in cahoots with the coming prince and confirms the covenant to protect Israel in the future. He is teh ruler over the land of the antichrist. (John 5:43; Rev. 13:11-12)
  • The Desolator (JND): The last king of the north in chapter 8
  • The King of Kings: Christ in His glorious return.

Mr. Paisley continues by arguing that all the “events” of v.24 are accomplished during the 70 weeks in the future for Israel. He states that these events or “blessings” are at the end of the 70 weeks when Israel will truly repent and receive the blessings of the sacrifice of Christ. The phrase “bringing everlasting righteousness” (NASB) is a reference to the one thousand year reign of Christ on the earth. The last two “events” are accredited to give substance to the vision and Daniel as a prophet. The “anointing of the holy place” is the anointing of the holy of holies in the millennial temple, literally rebuilt in Jerusalem.

Mr. Paisley sees an importance in dividing the “weeks” properly to which we would agree in its significance.  70 weeks would refer to “seventy heptads” or “sevens” He would argue that the seventy sevens refers to 490 years followed by 434 years (62 weeks) and one week of seven years. His main argument is that 69 weeks have already occurred and the 70th week is still in the future.

The command to rebuild, argues Mr. Paisley, took place in 445 B.C. (Nehemiah 2:1) by Artaxerxes. This is quite a different position than the partial-preterist takes. He sees the 434 years pointing to the presentation of the Messiah to Israel and their rejecting Him in the first coming. He then states that following the death of the Messiah, the city & sanctuary  are destroyed during the Roman siege in A.D. 70 which is the 69th week. He sees a very large gap between the 69th and 70th week. This is generally where the preterist critiques the dispenstationalists consistency in arguing for a literal interpretation since it is stated that the text doesn’t allow for a gap. This “time” is when the Jews would be scattered and troubled.

Mr. Paisley would argue that “the prince” is the head of the revived Roman army. He comes to power in the middle of the week (argues from Daniel 7) The covenant in v.27 is between “the prince” and “Israel” but not with all Jews (the many). These are made up of 10 Kingdom confederacy in his opinion. The covenant itself is for the protection from the king of the north & south hence it is not the New Covenant in question here. The one who comes , the “desolator”, invades Israel and He is the last king of the north, mainly the Assyrian.

I felt that this was a good presentation of the dispensational position and coincided with most commentators except for maybe a few points.  As could be seen, for the most part, the events of Daniel 9 are still future and will be accomplished in the rise of the beast, a covenant between Israel and the anti-Christ, the rebuilding of the temple and God’s final dealings with ethnic Isreal.

 

ironsideH.A. Ironside

I decided to offer a second commentary from the dispensational side simply to solidify what was already said by Mr. Paisley. Mr. Ironside (further known as HAI) was a well known and respected dispensationalist hence I feel is a good witness in interpretating this side of the debate. HAI, much like Mr. Paisley, sees the importance of the prophecy of the 70th week. He states “if the seventy weeks are misunderstood, then an effort must be made to bend all the other prophetic scriptures into accord with that misrepresentation. (P.111) There is no question in his mind and most dispensationalist that this text is key.

He argues that seventy weeks = seventy years to which all these things are linked to Israel. He states that heptad is a generic term such as dozen. HAI argues that the seventy weeks are only running on while there is a remnant acknowledged by God (p.116). He argues that the cycle of seventy weeks is divided into three parts:

  • Seven sevens (49 years): The time when the walls and city were rebuilt
  • Sixty-two sevens (434 years): This is the time before the Messiah is cut-off
  • Seven Sevens (49 years): yet to be fulfilled and will only be when there is a remnant in Judah.

Much like Mr. Paisley, he sees that a time was nearing its end since the 490 years had come to a close in the Babylonian Captivity. HAI sees the events of v.24 as not yet been accomplished. In other words, the 2nd 49 years has not been accomplished. He argues that the command to restore and build is in Nehemiah 2:1 hence it happened in 445 B.C. and denies the command was given in Ezra 1 in the days of Cyrus because it was only the rebuilding of the house of God at Jerusalem, the temple of Zerubbabel. He states that this has to be Artaxerxes. Once again, this is a main point of contention in the debate.

HAI argues that there is not really a chronological order in the 490 years but simply three series. The 62 weeks follow the completion of the seven weeks. Chronologically, it should follow as:

7 weeks →62 weeks →1 week = 70 weeks

Time, times and half times is what we see in Daniel 7:25 & 12:7he states which is found in the book of Revelation. HAI sees this in comparing the seven times when Nebuchadnezzar was driven out which is basically represented by 3 ½ years. He sees that at the end of the 69th week, the Messiah was cut-off. He argues that everything was “ticking out the years one after another in fulfillment”. In other words everything was playing out consecutively and consistently until that time. After the death of the Lord, the clock stopped and has not began again since that day.

HAI sees the prince in v.26 as “that dreadful character yet to arrive on the scene..he is emphatically the beast of revelation ch.13:1 and 17:3” (P118) The beast or the prince is the one who makes a covenant with the many. HAI sees the 70th week beginning when the Jews are restored to their land and city hence in the future. The prince, in the middle of the week (3 ½ years) will violate the covenant and the sacrifice &offerings will cease. He and Paisley disagree on this point since Paisley didn’t really see the beast breaking his covenant. After this, the great tribulation will begin for 1260 days.

HAI states that the interpretation that the prince who shall come who confirms the covenant is the Lord Jesus as something that is peculiar. They argue that the Lord Jesus never confirmed a covenant for 7 years. He argues that even though the blood of Christ is called “the blood of the everlasting covenant”, it still is not a covenant for one week of years.

Also, In the Q & A section at the end of the book, it is argues that the great tribulation is at the last half of the final week.

Now, let’s move on to the partial-preterist side of the tibor to see the differences in interpretation.

Written by shawnkjmcgrath

September 5, 2009 at 8:26 am

Adventures in Eschatology: Daniel’s 70th Week Pt.1

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CyrustheGreatandHebrewsSeventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place. 25″So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. 26″Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. 27″And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”

I would like to begin sharing my thoughts on eschatology by perhaps addressing specific texts that seem tremendously important in light of the different views. Once I’ve addressed the first few I will continue by perhaps commenting on some of the argumentation used in various forms by various authors. I would like to make it very clear that what I am posting are merely notes and not a full exposition of the texts in question. There are some great websites and books available which deal more fully into the matter at hand.

One of the priority texts that has seen various interpretations in light of eschatological studies is the text of Daniel chapter 9. It is referred to as the chapter containing the “70 Weeks” which it seems is a base text for the interpretation of many other eschatological passages in scripture. There have been many writings made available to expound the exegesis of this text and I’m certain that some might be disappointed that I didn’t add them here in these notes however there is only so much time in a day! There are two interpretations that I would like to present mainly the understandings are the dispensational futurist view and the Covenant partial-preterist views. I have decided to use two different authors per side of the tabor hence, in other words, four resources to help me in my understanding of this text. There were other commentaries that I had consulted however they merely reiterated what was found in these volumes. Perhaps through the notes you might see it worthy to purchase these books and examine the content yourselves!

Background:

The time that Daniel received this vision was “in the first year of Darius, son of Ahasuerus, of Median Decent”. This would have been Darius’ first year as king of the Chaldeans. Daniel was “reading the books which were revealed to Jeremiah” which would have been found in 2 Chronicles 36:21; Jeremiah 25:11-12; 29:10. Daniel was paying special attention to the “number of years” for the completion of the desolation of Jerusalem which was 70 years. Daniel was awaiting the end of the captivity of Jerusalem. It seems that Daniel was meditating on the completion of the desolation of Jerusalem (70 years) when this caused him to seek God in prayer and supplication. Daniel prayed to Yahweh and refers to Him as: The great and awesome God” (or the great and dreaded/terrible God-KJV/JND) and He who keeps His covenant & lovingkindness.

Daniel prays for Himself and the people by confessing:

  • We have sinned
  • Committed iniquities
  • Acted wickedly
  • Rebelled
  • Turned aside from the commandments and ordinances
  • Didn’t listen to the prophets

In contrast Daniel affirms that to Yahweh belongs: righteousness (v.7) and compassion & forgiveness (v.9) while to Israel belongs open shame (v.8). The true petition that Daniel asks Yahweh is to “turn away His anger and wrath from Jerusalem”.

Daniel inclines the Lord to:

  • Shines his face on the desolate sanctuary
  • Incline His ear and hear
  • Open His eyes and see the desolation

The answer through Gabriel (vs. 24-27)

The answer to Daniel’s prayer is given by Gabriel which can be broken down as 70 weeks decreed. The things decreed for this time are as followed:

  • The finish of transgression
  • The end of sin
  • The atonement for iniquity
  • Bringing everlasting righteousness
  • The sealing of the vision
  • Prophecy (or prophet)
  • Anointing of the holy place

In light of all this it is said that from the time Jerusalem will be rebuilt and Messiah prince “will be” 70 weeks and 62 weeks and it will be rebuilt. The messiah is said to be cut-off after 62 weeks. The people of the prince destroy the city and sanctuary. The end then will come as: a flood, a war & desolation and after this the prince will:

  • Make a covenant with many for 1 week
  • In the middle of the week sacrifices and offerings will stop

After this there is “one” who comes on “the wings of abominations” to make desolate.

Written by shawnkjmcgrath

September 2, 2009 at 7:07 pm

Adventures in Eschatology

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clockI have been addressing over the last few months issues surrounding the study of the differences between Dispenstational/Covenant theology and also all the eschatological sub-categories that surround these two basic hermeneutical positions. I must admit that it is a very large and complex area of study. I have much to learn and alot of reading and studying still to do. What I thought might be beneficial for some is that I post my notes as different articles so that perhaps some might have some corrections, comments or might even learn something from my study. I have a long way to go hence I will probably be contuing this as a little series of posts throughout a long period of time.  There could obviously be long gaps in between posts hence you might have to bare with me. Once again, I must implore you to read this with a grain of salt since I’m still learning as I go. I’m certain some will disagree with perhaps some of my conclusions (even though I really don’t have many at this point) but this is how I learn; by having to discuss and verify my materials. In other words, don’t be shy to post comments!

I want to take the time to perhaps define what it is that I’m actually addressing within these posts. Let me define some of the terminology and issues surrounding these particular idioms.

When I stated that I had taken on the study of eschatology what I mean is that I am examining what the bible has to say regarding the “things of the end”. What is going to happen when all things end! It is the study of events that are going to happen later on in the future. I am basically dealing with what will happen at the return of Christ, the resurrection and the final judgment/final consummation. There has always been tremendous interest in this particular field and a wide variety of interpretations regarding the things of the end.

The Millennium

When we use the term the millennium what we are implying by this terminology is exactly what we generally get in the english language, mainly “a thousand year” period. The term is found in Revelation 20 where the events of this particular extent of time is dealt with by the apostle John. There are basically three main schools of thought relating back to the interpretation of what is meant by “the millennium”. They would be defined as followed:

  • Premillenialism: This view sees the return of the Lord Jesus Christ as being before the Millenium. In other words when the Lord returns, He will set up at that time His Kingdom and reign for a literal 1000 years. 
  • Postmillenialism: This particular theolgical stance sees the Lord Jesus’ return as being after the millienial age. They still see the millenium as 1000 years but as a golden age prior to the coming of the Lord.
  • Ammillenialism: This term technically means “no millenium” however it is defined generally as the millenium being symbolic of the time between the first and second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Rapture

The term “rapture” simply means to be “caught up” and derived from the Greek term “harpagesometha” found in the text of 1 Thessalonians 4:17 wherer we read: we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. In other words the rapture is the removing of believers who are alive during the 2nd coming of the Lord Jesus. There are also three schools of thought regarding the issues surrounding when this event will take place.

  • Pre-Tribulation: The Pre-Tribulation rapture is the view that the rapture will occur before the beginning of the Tribulation period. In other words those who are believers will never see the tribulation but will be taken away prior to its beginning.
  • Mid-Tribulation: The Mid-Trib position is that the rapture happens half-way through the seven-year Tribulation. In other words believers will go through the tribulation but will be caught up during this time.
  • Post-Tribulation: Quite obviously this states that the rapture will occur at the end of the Tribulation period. In other words the believers will continue through the tribulation as witnesses of the Lord Jesus until the very last day.

Preterism vs. Futurism

The main point of the debate between these two views is found in the interpretation of the text of Matthew 24. A preterist would argue that the events spoken of by the Lord Jesus have already occured during the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus and the Romans in A.D. 70. There are two schools of preterism mainly the full-preterist who sees everything in Matt. 24 as accomplished and the partial-preterist who sees the majority being accomplished but with the return of the Lord still being future. The futurist view sees the events in Matt. 24 as being still in the future and nothing in these texts were necessarily accomplished in A.D. 70.

Dispensationalism vs. Covenantal theology

There are two schools of interpretation when addressing the scriptural attestation of eschatological matters. Mainly we have the dispensational camp and the Covenental camp. There are fundamental differences in the way both theologies view matters such as the Kingdom of God, Israel and the church and roughly everything we have just listed above.  It seems that both parties argue for the literat-grammatical interpretation of scripture while accusing the other of being inconsistent. Another point that I have noticed is that there are many “straw-man” arguments used by both sides to attempt to make the other “look bad”. I will not be addressing these in particular since I don’t feel they carry any weight in my study.

Anyhow, I do hope you enjoy and as soon as I have some time to get these posts together, I will gladly offer them here.

Written by shawnkjmcgrath

August 15, 2009 at 9:12 am