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Notes on Daniel: Why A Preterist View is Needed

By Jay Rogers
Published July 21, 2019

One reason futurist dispensationalism became popular in the late 1800s to early 1900s was because of the conjecture of the liberal Higher Critics. The authority of Scripture was derided by liberals who saw in Matthew 24, and elsewhere in the New Testament, a promise of the Second Coming in the first century. Jesus stated plainly that “This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled” (Matthew 24:34). According to liberals such as Bertrand Russell in Why I am not a Christian, since Jesus had not returned bodily to the earth by AD 70, then this prophecy was obviously wrong.


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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In response, most fundamentalists of the 20th century decided to twist the meaning of Matthew 24 toward a future fulfillment. But it is difficult to explain verse 34, “this generation,” as having an application beyond the “generation” of Jesus and the Apostles. This is one reason why many conservative scholars have now turned back to preterism.

Preterists, historicists and futurists all agree that at least some of Matthew 24 was fulfilled in the first century. Even the dispensationalist author Hal Lindsey, in The Late Great Planet Earth, admits that this passage had a partial first century fulfillment. Likewise, many preterists agree that parts of the Mount Olivet passage (Matthew 24, 25) have a future eschatological significance. All orthodox views of Scripture are “partial preterist” views. However, once we accept preterism to any degree, we ought to consider this paradigm to interpret similar passages of Scripture.

This is an important principle when critiquing the historicist view as well. Scripture must interpret Scripture. Historicists often assert that the Jesuits published the first preterist interpretation of Revelation in 1614, An Investigation into the Hidden Sense of the Apocalypse by Luis del Alcázar. They paint the preterist view as Roman Catholic propaganda that was concocted in order to deflect from the Protestant teaching that the papacy is the Antichrist. Yet John Calvin’s preterist treatment of Daniel, first preached in 1561, precedes Alcázar. I often hear historicists say that all of the Reformers were historicists. However, when Calvin preached his preterist exposition on Daniel, he also made applications from Daniel 7 and 9 to Revelation 13 and 17.

A partial preterist view can be traced to one of the earliest Christian commentaries on Daniel, which is contained in The Stromata (or Miscellanies) by Clement of Alexandria in AD 180, and the first known full commentary on Revelation by Victorinus of Pettau in AD 260. Contrary to the claim that preterism is a Jesuit invention, the preterist view has a strong pedigree tracing back to the early Church Fathers. Preterism is not a strange, new doctrine, but a view that is being reclaimed and retaught in our day.


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Your comments are welcome!

Jay,

If you want a copy of my Prophecies of Daniel 2, just let me know.

JSE

Posted by John S. Evans on 10/13/2009 10:21 PM #

Can you send me your commentaries on Daniel 7 and 8 and 9?

Posted by Robert Park on 07/01/2011 03:04 PM #

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The Four Keys to the Millennium (Book)

Foundations in Biblical Eschatology

By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.

All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?

These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.

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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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Why Creeds and Confessions? (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 219 pages

Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy

Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.

Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.

Why Creeds and Confessions? provides a foundation of biblical orthodoxy as a defense against the false and truly heretical doctrines advanced by the spirit of this age.

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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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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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