Preterism vs Dispensationalism

Discussion in 'Bible Prophecy' started by Joshuastone7, Jan 19, 2021.

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    Timothy Kline

    Timothy Kline New Member

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    Good evening, brother,

    I don't know that I ever settled on when the 70th week began, or understood all the different approaches to the ninth chapter of Daniel. I've seen many approaches to it, all valid from their point-of-view. I think my first introduction was from Scofield's notes, and that led to a variety of interpretations and applications.

    Here's a decent enough chart I found as I was trying to brush back up on the 70th week topic:


    Mind you, these are the four most popular methods to approaching Daniel 9 and there are a lot many others out there.

    All (excluding the Maccabean view) agree that the 70 years started with the Jewish exile into Babylon's captivity and ended with their release from captivity by Cyrus, who then commanded them to go and rebuild Jerusalem. I've read elaborations explaining Cyrus being an anointed one of God, and so on from there.

    On this, I think I agree that the 70 years began with Jewish exile and ended with their release from captivity.

    But that started the clock running on the matter Gabriel brought to Daniel. You refer to this matter as the 70 weeks, or seven sevens is the literal translation.

    This period of seven sevens likely would've called to Daniel's mind how Jehovah God had instructed Moses in this numerical system, when He was establishing the Year of Jubilee:

    "You shall count seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, so that the time of the seven weeks of years shall give you forty-nine years." — Leviticus 25:8 English Standard Version ESV

    Based on Jehovah's timetable, Gabriel was informing Daniel of a period of 490 years, which can then be used alongside Daniel 9:24-27:

    1/2 week = 3.5 years
    1 week = 7 years
    7 weeks = 49 years
    62 weeks = 434 years

    Gabriel makes the matter clear:

    "Seventy 'sevens' are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy." — Daniel 9:24 New International Version (NIV)

    Most Bible translations mishandle the original language here, or should render it more correctly as "weeks of years," since the link with the Year of Jubilee and the seven weeks of years numbering system was established within the Mosaic Law itself— both which would have resounded with Daniel.

    We have the following purposes and intent of this prophetic period of seven sevens (70 weeks of years or 490 years, or, arguably even milestones or markers to gauge the lateness of the prophetic hour):

    • to finish transgression
    • to put an end to sin
    • to atone for wickedness
    • to bring in everlasting righteousness
    • to seal up vision and prophecy
    • to anoint the Most Holy

    I'll stop there for now and let you add to or respond to what I've covered so far.

    Your brother,
    Timothy



     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Greetings brother,

    I have a question: Why do you suppose the eunuch when baptized is not said to receive the Spirit, but Cornelius and his family did? (Acts 8:36).
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Here's a thought process for you, brother:

    What if a single prophecy can be proven to apply in our day? Would that open up the possibility for others as well?

    I submit for your consideration all prophecies pertaining to our redemption.

    "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer" (Mth 21:22, NIV).

    All Scriptures pertaining to our redemption and subsequent reward through Christ Jesus are prophetic, are they not? Therefore all prophecy can not have been fulfilled in and before the first century. In fact, prophecy must be fulfilled in each individual believer, does it not?

    Now, if this is the case, where does one draw the line in prophecy?

    AJ
     
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    Timothy Kline

    Timothy Kline New Member

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    I guess it would depend on one's definition of "prophecy" although I don't view Matthew 21:22 as prophetic.

    Here's why: Jehovah raised prophets when... ? It was when His nation, Israel, started going apostate in her unfaithfulness to her Husbandly owner. When the people were faithful as a nation, there was never any need for a prophet to rise up in Israel. Prophets called out the sins of God's nation, and it usually involved going into captivity for a while— until God ended the constant cycle of the nation of Israel and divorced the harlotrous wife which had killed every prophet Jehovah sent to her, and stamped the decree of divorce with the burning up of Jerusalem the harlot in the events culminating in 70CE.

    So, there's that.

    A second scripture that gives me pause as far as reading Matthew 21:22 as prophetic or a prophecy relevant in my day:

    "In many parts, and many ways, God of old having spoken to the fathers in the prophets, in these last days did speak to us in a Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He did make the ages..." —Hebrews 1:1-2 Young's Literal Translation

    The prophets pointed to two things, as I presently am seeing: the arrival of the heir to David's throne, the Messiah, who would commence the Messianic Age. . . and second: the end of the Law of Moses, or, the Mosaic Age, as I usually refer to it. The time during which it was commensurate upon a person seeking to serve God to do so under the constraints of the Law.

    These two events— the end of the Mosaic Age and the start of the Messianic Age— are simultaneous fulfillments of the Law and the Prophets. It is self-evident that we as Christians are no longer bound to keeping the Sabbath as prescribed by the Law given through Moses— every day of our lives we rest from our fleshly works. I haven't ever felt I had to sacrifice an animal to offer a prayer to God. That requirement was already fulfilled on the Lamb of God, yes? And the other differences from life under the Law of Moses believers have been blessed with when it comes to not only the worship of our God but in enjoying a personal relationship with Him... well, the list has no end!

    Here's another scriptural example that comes to mind for me:

    "Do not suppose that I came to throw down the law or the prophets--I did not come to throw down, but to fulfil; for, verily I say to you, till that the heaven and the earth may pass away, one iota or one tittle may not pass away from the law, till that all may come to pass." —Matthew 5:17–18 Young's Literal Translation

    Jesus is here establishing that the Law of Moses remains in effect until all may come to pass— that is, what the prophets witnessed to Jerusalem and the nation of Israel, and the arrival of David's heir.

    Since all the prophets pointed to Jesus, as well as the absolute final destruction of Jerusalem, their role is complete in their fulfillment as a lasting testimony to all believers of every nation. Simply put: God ceased to send prophets once He sent His only-begotten Son, which goes back to Hebrews 1:1-2. Anyone claiming to be a prophet today... not scripturally they ain't.

    If Men won't even listen to His Son, then God help such Men, because there is no other. There will be no more prophets sent, no recourse or excuse. The stamp of the events of the first century are so indelibly engraved upon our history that it's unavoidable. We even mark the first century off from every century before it with BC/E and AD/CE year after year.

    For it is the time for the judgment to have begun from the house of God; and if from us first, what will be the outcome of those disobeying the gospel of God? —1 Peter 4:7 Berean Literal Bible

    A scary thought, falling into the hands of the Living God (Hebrews 10:31), yet down through the centuries Men continue to live in disobedience, do they not? And they perish. They cease to exist. A rare few might live on in reference books, but given enough time the most famous of men are eventually forgotten apart from the ancient believers such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob... Daniel, and Samuel, all who served from their youth up and didn't live to see the Promise in their lifetime yet maintained faith and faithfulness. We remember such ones, for sure, and others we meet in the pages of our Bibles.

    But if the verse you cited is prophetic in nature, it precedes us in its fulfillment since I presently see all prophecy as fulfilled in the events of the first century— as borne out by Hebrews 1:1-2 and Matthew 5:17-18. The Law and the Prophets are inextricably joined in the Hebrew Scriptures, and both had their fulfillment in events of the first century, so I cannot say that the Law has passed but not the Prophets (i.e. hoping toward a future fulfillment in relation to our present time), since Jesus establishes that the Law is not fulfilled apart from the Prophets ("till all [that is, all the Prophets' prophecies] may come to pass").

    Another example of the interconnectedness of the Law and the Prophets from the Teacher:

    "All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." — Matthew 22:40

    And Jesus' testimony in Luke's gospel account:

    "The Law and the prophets were until John. From that time the kingdom of God is proclaimed, and everyone forces his way into it." —Luke 16:16

    There's other passages that can and should be considered, as well: Luke 24:27 and Acts 26:22, et al.

    I'll grant that Jesus' words recorded at Matthew 21:22 had their fulfillment in the acts of the Apostles as they engaged in miraculous works that we today read about in our translated scriptures.

    Did it also apply to other things they might have prayed for apart from instances like we read of Peter and Paul and the expression of God's holy spirit in their ministries and witness?

    Does it apply to us today? Some Christians place additional caveats on the written word: can't ask for a sports car, mansion, or a million dollars (I know, I know— there are preachers on the world scene who assert that you CAN ask for these things AND get them).

    Maybe one's spouse or their child has a fatal disease, but the family is otherwise a remarkable example of faith and charity in their neighborhood. Surely the other spouse or parents of said child would beseech our Father in earnest for the child's life, but if we use a verse like Matthew 21:22 to bolster that family's hope, surely we are doing them a disservice, and grave harm should death into that family and the remaining family member(s) are stumbled in their faith— after all, did not Jesus promise that anything we ask of God in Jesus' name we will receive!?

    Even so, we understand that the provision is not a blank check— that some sort of qualifier is in place. The qualifier is the ultimate Will of God. We may not understand the outworking of His Will, but we are beholden to say, even as Jesus did, "Yet not my will but Your Will be done."

    Having said all that, I read in Matthew 21:22 the promise that led to miracles and other spiritual gifts in the first century, but I also read in the same passage yet another facet of the wondrous new covenant we enjoy in this Age that provides the sure promise that God now listens to all of us (sans the high priest of the Law of Moses, for example) and wants only the very best for us— and is the God who is the source of salvation and relief from Adam's Sorrow, as it were, able to fulfill our every need and has prepared Eternity for us.

    Even as believers, none of us wants tribulations and tests of our faith, and our first impulse is to ask that God bring such trials to an end, make things easier again for us... when we should be following the example left for us by Jesus and the Apostles, who didn't pray to God that bad situations always be someone else's dilemma. No, they consistently prayed that God help them maintain their faithfulness in the face of hostility, tribulation, and even their own deaths, to serve as worthy vessels of light and witness to all who come after them that all things are possible with God, and fear no man who can only kill and destroy the body of flesh.

    Anyhow, I've ranted long enough, lol!

    Submitted for your perusal and consideration,
    A fellow believer named Timothy
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Greetings brother!

    Do you feel the same way about Noah, Moses, John the Baptist, Daniel, Jesus, etc.......? Were these all not prophets? I can't say they were sent to God's people because of their errors. They all had their own commissions as prophets and messengers of God, aside from the errors of God's people. Did they not?

    Curious: What purpose did Revelation play in the first century before 70 CE? (Of course, that is saying had Revelation been penned before then.) Is there any proof that the Revelation was utilized and deciphered in assistance to those in the first century?

    Curious: Is there evidence that every eye saw the Lord in the clouds?
    Revelation 1:7 NASB: "BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him."

    Does not all contextual indications point to a literal and personal-coming
    of Christ in that verse?

    Then, where is the promised deliverance from persecution that is associated with the Christ's coming? I don't see that in the first century either.

    And if you attempt an application to Christians, they suffered long after the first century. There certainly is no evidence they were delivered either.

    It seems to me the context in Revelation 7 shows our Lord comes to rescue his people when revealed in the clouds.

    Also, what would a localized judgment have to do with the seven churches in Asia? If you apply our Lords coming locally to Judea, then that does not include those seven churches of Asia.

    For instance, the promise to shield the Philadelphian church from judgment is meaningless if that judgment occurs far beyond the borders of that city.

    Then we have the two angels' comments at our Lord's ascension. Did they not say He would return in like manner as He left? The context of Acts 1:9-11 appears to me to be speaking of a physical return in the clouds, just as He left physically in the clouds. To say otherwise would be to contradict these two angels; would it not?

    What do you do with the inconsistency regarding the identity of “those who pierced Him,” “the tribes of the earth,” and “the land (or earth).'” Are they limited to Jews and their land, or do they include Romans and the rest of the world?

    One cannot limit "those who pierced him" to Jews only and elsewhere include the Romans as objects of Christ's "cloud coming."

    How can you limit "the tribes of the earth (or land)" to Israel only when Zechariah 12:10 speaks of their mourning as repentance, not despair? "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son."

    I could continue, but that's probably good for now.

    I would just say two things: One, the claim the book of Revelation was written before 70CE reminds me a bit like the Watchtower saying Jerusalem was destroyed in 607BCE.

    And the second thing is: God's Word is written in a futurist arrangement. It just doesn't make sense to gather the completed work into one manuscript only after everything had been fulfilled. Including I've seen no evidence that any prophecy of Revelation had been understood and utilized by anyone in any time in history.

    But anyway, brother, you've read my book, so you know how I stand on this subject. :)

    Peace and love through our Lord Christ Jesus, unto GOD...

    Joshua
     

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