Announcement

Collapse

Eschatology 201 Guidelines

This area of the forum is primarily for Christian theists to discuss orthodox views of Eschatology. Other theist participation is welcome within that framework, but only within orthodoxy. Posts from nontheists that do not promote atheism or seek to undermine the faith of others will be permitted at the Moderator's discretion - such posters should contact the area moderators before posting.


Without turning this forum into a 'hill of foreskins' (Joshua 5:3), I believe we can still have fun with this 'sensitive' topic.

However, don't be misled, dispensationalism has only partly to do with circumcision issues. So, let's not forget about Innocence, Conscience, Promises, Kingdoms and so on.

End time -isms within orthodox Christianity also discussed here. Clearly unorthodox doctrines, such as those advocating "pantelism/full preterism/Neo-Hymenaeanism" or the denial of any essential of the historic Christian faith are not permitted in this section but can be discussed in Comparative Religions 101 without restriction. Any such threads, as well as any that within the moderator's discretions fall outside mainstream evangelical belief, will be moved to the appropriate area.

Millennialism- post-, pre- a-

Futurism, Historicism, Idealism, and Preterism, or just your garden variety Zionism.

From the tribulation to the anichrist. Whether your tastes run from Gary DeMar to Tim LaHaye or anywhere in between, your input is welcome here.

OK folks, let's roll!

Forum Rules: Here
See more
See less

"...and they shall be given..." and a Pre-Wrath Rapture

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • "...and they shall be given..." and a Pre-Wrath Rapture

    Dan 7:25 He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. (ESV)


    A frequent argument that is used in rapture-timing debates is based in the above scripture. Many post-tribber’s use this scripture in their favor to support a rapture at the end of the 70th week of Daniel; and many pre-tribber’s will bring forth this argument as negative evidence against a pre-wrath rapture. Surprisingly, the logic used in both is nearly identical.
    Most Pre-millennialists agree that there is a future 7 year time span that will consummate the last days and lead into Christ’s Millennial kingdom. Similarly, most would agree that at the midpoint of the 70th week, the AC will set-up the AoD in the 3rd temple (whatever form it may be) and that the AoD will be followed by an intense period of persecution that Jesus called “great tribulation”. Because the AoD occurs at the midpoint of the 70th week and the above scripture indicates that “they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time”, it is argued that the GT will last for 3.5 years, ending at (or near, depending on the exact starting point) the end of the 70th week.
    This logic leads post-tribbers to conclude that the rapture cannot occur until after this 3.5 year span and leads pre-tribbers to conclude that a second half rapture as posited by pre-wrath cannot be correct due to the same 3.5 year requirement. The other problems with a post-trib and pre-trib rapture notwithstanding, this appears to be a genuine problem with a pre-wrath interpretation. How are we to reconcile a second-half rapture at an unknown time with a known 3.5 year requirement?
    In general, pre-wrath’s rebuttal has taken the form of emphasizing the ‘cutting short’ aspect of the persecution as given by Christ in the Olivet Discourse. It is argued that the period cannot reasonably be considered to be cut-short if it lasts the full 3.5 years; such an interpretation undermines the underlying Greek. How can it extend the entire length of time as given by Daniel and yet be cut-short, according to Christ?
    While the pre-wrath interpretation of ‘cutting short’ better accords with the meaning of the Greek word used and it merges nicely with other pre-wrath interpretations, it doesn’t satisfactorily explain the 3.5 year span as given by Daniel. To posit a ‘progressive revelation’ view seems weak at least and desperate at worst. Of course, the whole of scripture is needed for a complete view; but, in this case, it is not so much a developing of a theme or idea that we see. Rather, it smacks very closely of an outright contradiction in the pre-wrath belief.
    So is there a resolution to the issue for pre-wrath? Is there a way to accept both Daniel’s and Christ’s revelations about this time span at face value, with a plain-sense meaning (one of the main planks of the pre-wrath platform)? I believe there is; and I believe it centers around changing an interpretive assumption that is slipped into the argument at the outset. Unfortunately, all three views at times have been guilty of accepting this assumption; and by simply changing the focus of one word, the entire issue is resolved, the pre-wrath interpretation is without contradiction and the criticism is removed.
    So what is this critical assumption? It is my belief that simple pronoun ‘they’ creates the problem. The assumption is that this word refers to the ‘saints’ earlier in the verse. What will the AC do? He “shall wear out the saints of the Most High”. How long will he do this? “[T]hey shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.” This seems completely straightforward; what other interpretation is there? Daniel refers to people being persecuted; ‘they’ obviously is a pronoun used of people, right? Perhaps not. Upon re-reading this verse recently, it occurred to me that ‘they’ did not have to refer to ‘saints’ at all; it could rather be referring to “the times and the law” immediately prior to the ‘they’ phrase.
    The main line of evidence for this change comes from the underlying Aramaic itself. Now, to be fair, I am not a Aramaic grammarian; I do not read or write Aramaic. However, I do have access to a good concordance, dictionary and interlinear translation; my conclusion flows from my use of these tools (tools everyone should learn to use incidentally). Specifically, the word ‘they’ does not strictly exist in the original Aramaic. The phrase, “and they shall be given”, is a single word in Aramaic, the word “yehab” and means to give, or to be given. The ‘they’ has been inserted by the translators to better clarify and adjust the flow in English.
    It is my contention that this phrase should refer to the times and law that the AC hopes to change. This makes sense in English too; normally, when trying to figure out what a pronoun is referring to, the general rule of thumb is that it is nearest previous noun or nouns. This is not a hard and fast rule and context still applies; but such an interpretation of this verse in English is completely plausible since both ‘saints’ and ‘times and laws’ are plural. I verified this interpretation with an OT scholar at a seminary here that I highly respect. He agreed that the reference is somewhat ambiguous and could be either ‘the saints’ or ‘the times and laws’. The AC desires to change the times and laws and they will be given into his hands for 3.5 years. So the statement is not so much a statement of the extent of the wearing out of the saints, as it is a statement that the AC’s authority to make such changes will be limited to only 3.5 years. Two other pieces of evidence argue against a 3.5 year GT interpretation.
    First, the term ‘wear out’ is equated with the persecution spoken of by Christ in the Olivet Discourse as seen above. However, an examination of the word translated ‘wear out’ reveals a sharp distinction. Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Bible Dictionary reveals that ‘bela’ means to wear away or wear out, but in a figurative sense (as in this passage); it means to harass constantly. Further, the given definition points out that the usage is only in a mental sense.
    In contrast, the GT is physical persecution leading to the death of untold numbers of Christ’s followers. So, even if the case could be made that ‘they’ refers to the saints and not the times and laws, the wearing out of the saints cannot be the same as the GT since only a mental harassing is in view. It seems to imply a verbal tirade and public denouncement of the saints at most, much as it is revealed that he will speak against the Most High.
    Second, this accords with the mainline pre-wrath belief that the AC’s ability to persecute believers will extend only so far as Christ will allow, even though his authority to act in the world and hold dominion will extend throughout the end of the 70th week. The onset of Christ’s Second Parousia will be the rapture of the church and it will be at this time that the GT will be truly cut short by His return. This is given further support by Paul in II Thess 2:8 in which he reveals that the AC will be ‘destroy[ed] by the brightness of His coming’. ‘Destroy’ does not mean physical death or annihilation; rather, ‘katargeo’ means to render idle or useless and ineffective.
    The AC will set up the AoD and then begin his program of destroying those faithful to Christ. He will have authority to act so because God allows him to do so. However, when Christ returns and the Second Parousia begins, the AC’s ability to continue will be curtailed. The faithful surviving remnant will be raptured away from his persecution and the presence of Christ again on earth will prevent him from continuing his persecution of others. He will stay in power and have authority to rule and challenge Christ. But his kingdom will end when the 7th trumpet sounds and “The kingdom of the world [will] become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ…” (Rev 11:15). And ultimately, his life will end at the battle of Armageddon.

    In summary then, the passage in Daniel 7 does not lend itself to the clear interpretation that most people ascribe to it. For the post-tribber, it does not offer the needed support for a 3.5 year tribulation and for the pre-tribber it does not amount to an honest critique of the pre-wrath view. The underlying grammar does not necessarily support the idea that the saints are given into the AC’s hand for 3.5 years; rather, it may imply the extent of the AC’s ability to rule and seek to change the times and laws. And, even if the phrase “and they shall be given” could be shown to refer to the saints, what is in view is not physical persecution, but verbal and mental harassment. The AC’s persecution will be cut short by the return of Christ sometime during the second half of the 70th week, he will be rendered useless and he will ultimately be killed at Armageddon.

    tharkun

  • #2
    It would be inconsistent for God to suddenly punish the righteous along with the unrighteous. Always God has made sure to deliver the righteous away from his wrath. God's wrath is appointed to those who don't believe. (John 3:36)

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes, I agree. I'm not sure what in the above might lead you to think I'm advocating wrath on believers? Can you elaborate?

      Comment


      • #4
        tharkun

        I hold to a post trib rapture view. There is only one rapture. The tribulation is the persecution of the saints. The wrath of God is poured out after God has removed all His saints from the earth.


        The pre trib view is a pre wrath view. Holding that the tribulation period is the wrath of God. The whole basis of a pre trib rapture is in that belief!

        I'm not following your questions. Can you phrase your question in one sentence? Or is it really more than one question?

        . . . How are we to reconcile a second-half rapture at an unknown time with a known 3.5 year requirement?
        . . . . How can it extend the entire length of time as given by Daniel and yet be cut-short, according to Christ?
        So is there a resolution to the issue for pre-wrath? Is there a way to accept both Daniel’s and Christ’s revelations about this time span at face value, with a plain-sense meaning (one of the main planks of the pre-wrath platform)? . . .
        So what is this critical assumption? . . .
        . . . What will the AC do? He “shall wear out the saints of the Most High”. How long will he do this? . . .
        “[T]hey shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.” This seems completely straightforward; what other interpretation is there? Daniel refers to people being persecuted; ‘they’ obviously is a pronoun used of people, right? Perhaps not. . . .
        . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

        . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

        Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

        Comment

        Related Threads

        Collapse

        Topics Statistics Last Post
        Started by eschaton, 10-19-2020, 02:05 PM
        0 responses
        20 views
        0 likes
        Last Post eschaton  
        Started by KingsGambit, 07-29-2018, 07:36 PM
        72 responses
        13,075 views
        0 likes
        Last Post eschaton  
        Started by Darfius, 07-26-2015, 12:35 AM
        29 responses
        17,460 views
        0 likes
        Last Post eschaton  
        Started by seanD, 02-05-2014, 03:15 PM
        41 responses
        9,429 views
        0 likes
        Last Post seanD
        by seanD
         
        Working...
        X