Prior to the peak of dispensationalism’s popularity in the 20th century, books containing multiple proofs of preterist fulfillments of biblical prophecy were commonly used in evangelism. In the 1865 edition of his work, Evidence of the Truth of the Christian Religion Derived from the Literal Fulfillment of Prophecy, the Scottish scholar Alexander Keith wrote, “Prophecy has been rightly called a ‘growing evidence.’ Of late years evidence has greatly accumulated.” Keith then demonstrates the effectiveness in evangelism in showing prophetic proofs coupled with modern research and archaeological discoveries demonstrating that the Bible is truly a supernatural book.
Blaise Pascal famously quipped that within every living person is a desire to know a supernatural God. “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.” And as St. Augustine prayed, “You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in You.” Faith in a living God will not be reinforced by numerous failed speculations treating the prophecies of the Bible as yet-to-be-fulfilled predictions. The Bible is instead a collection of historical accounts and fulfilled prophecies that provide an irrefutable witness to God’s presence and work among His people.
The study of Daniel from a preterist perspective addresses some deep questions that cannot be answered from a futurist or liberal method of interpretation. God is closer to us than our next breath. As His children we can know His will for human history. Only the preterist view of Daniel deals with the Bible’s first principles in a satisfactory manner.
Is there a God?
If God exists, how can we know Him?
Does God communicate with us in such a way that we can be certain?
What is God’s will for our lives?
What is the meaning and purpose of history?
When the preterist fulfillment of Daniel is demonstrated, it not only reveals the existence, immanency and personality of God, but it also greatly empowers the believer with a life transforming worldview. If Daniel was written by a Hebrew prophet and statesman living in Babylon in the sixth century BC, then it is certainly a book of supernatural prophecy. The prophet Daniel related direct messages from God to His people in the form of dreams and visions seen in the presence of angels.
This underscores why a recovery of the preterist view of Daniel is so important. The futurist interpretation cannot debunk liberal conjecture. The fact that Christ’s victorious kingdom came in the first century as the “stone cut out without hands” (Daniel 2:34,44) debunks both liberal Higher Criticism and futurist premillennialism – and especially dispensational premillennialism. If the Book of Daniel was indeed written by the prophet Daniel and all of the prophecies have been fulfilled in specific detail, then it is a powerful testimony to God’s active presence in human history. It is the most remarkable predictive prophecy ever written.