Guests: and

In our modern world, views of prophecy, especially with reference to the “last days” or the “end of time” (apocalyptic/eschatology) fall into four basic categories:

A. Preterist: The “liberal” rationalist, critical perspective that denies the possibility of predictive prophecy as well as God’s active involvement in the world. The Bible is simply a human book describing what human beings thought about God. Thus Daniel would be seen as written “after the fact” (ex eventu), typically, after the “abomination of desolation” perpetrated by Antiochus Epiphanes in 168-65 BC. Jesus’ reference to the “desolating sacrilege” as still being future in His day (Matt. 24:15), reveals the inadequacy of the strict preterist view for dealing with biblical material.

B. Futurist: The “conservative,” fundamentalist, dispensationalist perspective that rejects conditional prophecy, and insists that all (as yet unfulfilled) prophecies will be fulfilled in detail at some point in the future. In this century, dispensationalism has been the most popular perspective on eschatology among conservative evangelicals.

C. Historicist: The traditional Reformation perspective, generally held by Adventists, sees prophecy as outlining a continuous, on-going sequence of events leading up to the end of time. Daniel 2 and 7 to 9 are the key chapters. The book of Revelation is seen to augment and expand the basic pattern found in Daniel. While the book of Revelation often echoes Daniel and other portions of the Old Testament, a continuous historical line is not as evident in Revelation as it is in Daniel, though a pattern can be overlaid on the material in Revelation, so that the seven churches in Revelation 2-3, for example, are seen to represent seven eras of history.

D. Idealist: The perspective that seeks to combine all the views, resulting in multiple applications: past, present, future, and throughout history. Ernst Kaesemann’s line, “apocalyptic is unbeatable because it is reheatable” applies here — the “time of the end” is always near and imminent. Thus the “desolating sacrilege” of Daniel could refer to several different events. For Daniel himself, it was the destruction of the temple in 586; for the Jews at 165, it was the desolation of the temple at the hands of Antiochus; in the New Testament it was the destruction of AD 70; and after the destruction of all earthly temples, the believer looks to the heavenly sanctuary and its restoration, an insight that came to Seventh-day Adventists as a result of the Great Disappointment on October 22, 1844.

A biblical example of reapplication: Joel 2:10-11, 25, 28-32 (grasshopper plague, dark day and other signs in the heavens; prophetic gift), reapplied in Acts 2:16-21 (Pentecost), reapplied in part in Revelation 6:12-17 (sixth seal; second coming).

Links to Addendum A and Addendum B for Lesson 10

Comments are closed.