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Notes on Daniel: Hermeneutics

By Jay Rogers
Published July 18, 2019

Hermeneutics is defined as a method or approach to interpreting Scripture. A confusing difficulty with the great diversity of eschatological approaches persists to our day. Is the correct approach to Daniel and Revelation preterist, historicist, futurist or idealist?


In the Days of These Kings (Book)

Perfect-bound Paperback — 740 pages

The Book of Daniel in Preterist Perspective

“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Daniel 2:44).

The overarching message of Daniel is that Jesus the Messiah is even now ruling over the nations. He is the King of kings. Daniel tells us that Messiah’s kingdom will advance in the whole world from “generation to generation” (Daniel 4:4,34). Christ’s dominion is “given to the people of the saints of the most High” (Daniel 7:22). Our purpose then is to see “all people, nations, and languages … serve and obey him” (Daniel 7:14,27).

This comprehensive work offers a fascinating look at the book of Daniel in preterist perspective. Great attention is paid to the writings of ancient and modern historians and scholars to connect the dots and demonstrate the continuity of Daniel’s prophecy with all of Scripture.

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While most prophecy is forth-telling rather than foretelling, the Prophets and John’s Revelation also speak of things “yet to be.” What was “yet to be” often had a temporal immediacy. King Belshazzar saw his Chaldean Empire conquered by the Medo-Persian Empire that same night, just as Daniel had prophesied. But other prophecies were fulfilled centuries later. And some biblical prophecies – such as the Second Coming of Christ, the General Resurrection, the Final Judgment, and a New Heavens and a New Earth – have yet to be fulfilled.

One problem with interpreting prophecies is that they sometimes seem to have several fulfillments. Certainly, some references to Antiochus IV Epiphanes can be found in Daniel’s prophecy. However, the abomination that causes desolation (Daniel 9:26,27; 12:11) referred to by Jesus in the Mount Olivet Discourse (Matthew 25:15,16), cannot refer to Antiochus, even though when Daniel is read in isolation from Matthew 24, Antiochus might seem to fit the description.

These difficulties are only superficial problems that may be solved by looking at audience relevance and key time indicators in the text. Predictive prophecies refer to the blessings, curses and judgments of God. There is a direct cause-effect relationship between God’s promised judgment and the outcome of a prophecy. When Daniel foresaw the successive overthrow of four kingdoms, this was directly related to the persecution of God’s people by these nations. The Babylonians, Medo-Persians, Greeks and Romans came under judgment because they usurped the rule of God’s chosen people over the Promised Land.

Using the Book of Revelation as an example, when John saw the destruction of the Beast, the False Prophet and the Whore of Babylon, this was the direct result of the persecution of the Church by Nero and the Jews. This came to pass in the first century when Nero was killed, the city of Jerusalem was destroyed and the Roman Empire began to come under progressive judgment by God through internal strife.

There are historical applications we can make, such as the invasion of Rome by barbarian hordes in the beginning of the Middle Ages, and futuristic applications, such as the judgment of Gog and Magog at the end of the millennium (Revelation 20). However, the immediate application of most of the Book of Revelation is explicitly stated. Judgment was to happen soon, “the time is near” (Revelation 1:3). The angel showed John “things which must shortly take place” (Revelation 22:6). To say that the papacy or the Roman Catholic Church is going to be judged for its persecutions of Christians in the time that John describes in Revelation is anachronistic. It ignores the repeated temporal urgency as well as the historical and literary context of the Book of Revelation.

For instance, according to Revelation 11:2, John was writing when the Temple at Jerusalem still stood and prophesied that the Temple “is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” At very least, the futurist and the historicist ought to concede that John was writing to seven churches that were currently undergoing or were about to undergo “tribulation.” If John saw events in a vision that had an immediate first century application, then how can the papacy or a future one-world government be interpreted as the Beast or the Whore of Babylon?

While I agree that God has judged those who persecuted believers throughout history, I do not see a cause-effect relationship between the persecutions of Christians by the first century Roman emperors and the persecution of Protestants by Rome during the Reformation (at least not in this prophecy).

Since the papacy did not exist in the first century, then how can the Roman Church of the Middle Ages be responsible for persecutions of Christians in the first century? How can a future Antichrist figure be responsible for first century persecutions? A futurist or historicist hermeneutic is anachronistic because these events did not coincide in history.


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Frank Schaeffer Will You Please Shut Up! (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 200 pages

A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism

Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner

The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.

Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.

Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.

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Massacre of Innocence (DVD)

Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion

This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.

Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.

“… an extraordinary statement … a powerfully articulate presentation about what abortion really means, and why a great and moral nation like the United States must not allow the slaughter to continue.”
— Congressman Robert K. Dornan

Running time: 85 minutes

Packaged in a double DVD case with the updated The Abortion Matrix DVD.

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Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.

The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

Welcome to the Second American Revolution!

This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.

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The Beast of Revelation IdentifiedThe Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!

Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)

Running Time: 145 minutes

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Martin Luther: Digitally Remastered 1953 Classic (DVD)

“Here I stand … I can do no other!”

With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.

The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.

Running time: 105 minutes

Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each; 10 or more for $4 each; and 100 or more for $2.50 each.

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