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Failed Futurist Speculations

By Jay Rogers
Published January 4, 2019

The most frequent challenge to the preterist view of Daniel comes from the futurist or dispensational premillennnialist viewpoint. I have made a more thorough rebuttal to dispensational premillennialism, classical premillennialism and amillennialism in a book I co-wrote, The Four Keys to the Millennium, which presents and critiques four millennial views of four authors. In brief summary, dispensationalism is a system that first appeared in 1829. It is based on a severe separation of the Old and New Covenants, holding the Church and Israel to be two separate “People of God.” This eschatological view applies all millennial prophecies of the Old Testament to a future earthly reign of Christ.


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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Dispensationalism experienced a boost when the nation of Israel appeared as a geo-political entity in 1948 and later captured the city of Jerusalem during the Seven Day War in 1967. Several well-publicized failed predictions were made by best-selling Christian authors that the Second Coming of Christ would come “in this generation,” or forty years later in 1988. Then when that prediction failed, some dispensationalists predicted 2007. Dispensationalism is now on the wane as the year 1948 fades in the rear view mirror. More and more well-known theologians are turning toward the preterist view.

Yet even when the nation of Israel was born about 70 years ago, books refuting dispensational error appeared, such as George L. Murray’s Millennial Studies: A Search for Truth, first published in 1948. Murray remarked that the very words in Daniel that are meant to point the Jews to the coming of the Jesus Christ are strangely twisted to predict the coming of a future Antichrist in the dispensationalist system.

The closing verse of Daniel 9 has long been a stronghold for dispensationalism. Here, it is alleged, the angel describes and predicts the coming of the Antichrist. Instead of reading out of the passage what it contains, the tendency is to read into it what some people think it ought to teach.

By way of explanation, many dispensationalists readily agree that the prophecy of Daniel 9, which is reiterated in Matthew 24, was fulfilled when the Roman legions led by Vespasian and his son Titus surrounded Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple. However, they insist that the prophecy is incomplete. In the dispensationalist view, a future Antichrist will revive the Roman Empire, allow the Jews in the modern state of Israel to rebuild the Temple and make a seven year peace treaty that will last until he betrays the covenant “in the middle of the week” bringing an end to the sacrifices by committing the “abomination that causes desolation.” The full context of this passage is as follows in the New King James Version.

“And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;
And the people of the prince who is to come
Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
The end of it shall be with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are determined
Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate” (Daniel 9:26,27).

As Murray states above, the passage is clearly about the Messiah being “cut off” in the middle of the seventieth week (a “week” signifying seven years) bringing “an end to sacrifice and offering” (Daniel 9:26,27). Yet the dispensationalist maintains that this “seventieth week” has been delayed for almost 2000 years and will not be fulfilled until a future Roman Empire is revived and the Temple at Jerusalem rebuilt. Murray’s book contains a quote by a Bible teacher who recognized the error of this position after many years of having taught it.

“For twenty years, I also believed and taught that the Roman Empire would be restored in the last days of the age in which we live … I must confess that in so doing I depended largely upon the ideas and interpretations which I had imbibed from great and Godly teachers, in whom I had unlimited confidence. I did not realize that I was teaching interpretations of the text in place of the Word itself, and had never made an exhaustive study of the Scriptures involved in this idea … I went over these prophecies again was finally led to see that my only ability for maintaining that the Roman Empire would be rebuilt was a footnote in my favorite edition of a study Bible. So for twenty years I had taught as a prophecy of God’s Word a human conclusion based upon an ambiguous paragraph.”

A central presupposition of dispensationalism is that there will be a revived Roman Empire in the end-times in which the Antichrist will be revealed. Many Christians of our day are basing much of their interpretation of Daniel, Matthew 24 and Revelation on the deeply held belief that there must be a revived Roman Empire in the end-times. This is often seen as the European Union. In fact, as I was writing this book in the summer of 2016, Great Britain separated from the European Union. Someone forwarded me this Facebook post from a frantic dispensationalist.

Great Britain separated from the European Union! This is Bible prophecy happening before our eyes! They have voted to separate from the EU. This is going to finish off the U.S. economy and bring in the global collapse, order out of chaos/the Antichrist reign. The Lord foretold this would happen in His word. Pray hard saints!

Daniel 7:4 – The first was like a lion (Great Britain), and had eagle’s wings (United States): I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man (man of lawlessness), and a man’s heart was given to it.

Yes, they are leaving the European alliance they have with the 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. Thus they are separating from the European states, which will finish off our economy. This separation is foretold in the Bible along with the one world currency that will follow the global economic collapse.

The first beast is a combination of Europe, Great Britain, the USA and Roman rule. Great Britain separating from Europe/America will crash our economy and when our economy crashes, the order out of chaos will begin and the Antichrist will rise soon afterwards.

This post is not intended for those who will not receive or understand it. Daniel 12 makes it clear: this prophecy would not fully be fulfilled till the last days, the end before the coming of the Lord. If you cannot read and understand that, I don’t need confusion for those who are willing to read and understand the Spirit.

Of course, this type of crude interpretation is ridiculous. Yet Daniel 9:27 has become the foundation for the popular idea that a revived Roman Empire is the necessary precursor to the Second Coming of Christ. This dispensationalist bias has even made its way into Bible translations. The New Living Translation, which is a paraphrase, not a dynamic equivalent or a literal translation of the Bible, renders Daniel 9:27 as follows.

The ruler will make a treaty with the people for a period of one set of seven, but after half this time, he will put an end to the sacrifices and offerings. And as a climax to all his terrible deeds, he will set up a sacrilegious object that causes desecration, until the fate decreed for this defiler is finally poured out on him (New Living Translation).

This may be contrasted with other translations, which add the words “will come one” instead of simply “he” in order to demonstrate the subject of two independent clauses is a different figure separated by a period of time. In the preterist view, the two figures are Jesus Christ and Vespasian who were separated in time by a period of 40 years.

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 (New American Standard Bible).

There is not a single place in the Bible – except a misinterpretation of Daniel 9:27 – that supports the prediction that there will be a revived Roman Empire in the future. That was popularized over 100 years ago in a footnote in the Scofield Reference Bible. Christians read that interpretation into the Scriptures. Then the idea of a revived Roman Empire became the context to interpret other prophecies about first century Rome in Daniel, Zechariah, Matthew 24 and Revelation. Many futurists readily admit that these are prophecies about first century Rome because they really came to pass. But they also maintain there will be a dual fulfillment in the future. My challenge to futurists is to produce the scriptural foundation for a future revived Roman Empire.


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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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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - A Christian Manifesto (DVD)

That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!

Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.

Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.

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Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

Running Time: 257 minutes

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The Abortion Matrix: Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death (DVD)

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Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?

This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.

Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.

The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?

As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).

Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.

Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!

Running Time: 195 minutes

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God's Law and SocietyGod's Law and Society (DVD)

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God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.

Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!

Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:

1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?

Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.

Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!

Running Time: 240 minutes

Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.

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The Abortion Matrix DVD: Update

The Abortion Matrix:
Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death

is a 195-minute presentation that traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God has produced. You can order this series on DVD, read the complete script and view clips on-line...
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