Most adherents of the Futurist interpretation do not even have a clue as to where the seven year tribulation is derived from in the scripture itself, though it happens to be the host period of every key event that differentiates their view from the historical position.
There are two foundational scripture passages upon which the seven year tribulation is based:
I. Matthew 24. 1-31.
Verse 21 mentions, For then there will be great tribulation, during the abomination of desolation discourse from whence I discern is derived the term, The Great Tribulation. Then verse 29 records that Immediately after the tribulation of those days Jesus will come in His power and the elect will be resurrected. The futurist believe that both of these mentions of tribulation are referring to the same event and period of time. However no reference is made of a time duration for either mention in the text of this chapter. The application of a seven year duration is where the scriptural gymnastics begin, but it is not where they end. Where we must turn to create our coveted seven year duration is to the Daniel Seventy Weeks passage which up until several hundred years ago was thought to be completely fulfilled in the first century according to the Protestant Historicist mindset.
II. The Seventy Weeks Prophecy from Daniel Chapter Nine
(24) Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. (25) Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. (26) And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. (27) And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. KJV
These four verses comprise the entire text of the seventy weeks prophecy. There are two schools of thought on the interpretation of verse 27. The Futurist being the most popular today, hinges upon the acceptance of several presumptions:
Presumption 1. That the seventieth week of Daniel, unlike the first sixty-nine weeks, is not contiguous: meaning that there is an undetermined gap or interval of time between the sixty-ninth and the seventieth weeks of years, and that this gap has been going on for almost two thousand years.
This first presumption cannot be supported by any accepted interpretive method and there is nothing in the text, nothing in the chapter, nothing in the book of Daniel nor the entire Bible which explicitly supports inserting a undetermined gap of time between the sixty-ninth and seventieth weeks of the prophecy. Therefore it must be assumed upon wishful thinking or pure conjecture and there must be a total disregard for the literal meaning of the text. This however is exactly what the Futurists have accepted whether they know it or not!
About July 2011 I posted a challenge on my blog and youtube page to Chuck Missler to Show Me The Gap.1 To this day neither he or anyone else has stepped up to the challenge. We should not be surprised that no one can come forth with a viable defense, perhaps it is better to just ignore the impossible. Nevertheless most adherents are not bothered by such challenges to their favored prophetic scenario and continue to hold to their long accepted comfort without question. When something has been so long and so completely and widely reinforced it is very difficult for any but the most scholarly minded truth seeker to even consider an alternative to what has been accepted as truth, whether it is actually true or not.
This presumption has become “the truth” for most of the modern Christian and Evangelical mind, so much so that the Raptures have become synonymous with the Resurrection, and anyone who challenges the unbiblical Raptures in the mind of those deluded is indeed challenging the very biblical Resurrection. You notice that I use the plural Raptures whereas most adherents speak of the coveted event in the singular, Rapture. But the fact remains that the Rapture doctrine consists of a multiple choice between three Raptures: Pre-tribulation; Mid-tribulation and; Post-tribulation. This is a very important part of the delusion in that,
1. it gives the the consumer a part in developing the prophecy to suit his own desire or comfort level, he chooses his own position and is now psychologically invested to defend it and,
2. it offers alternate options, when in the future as each successive rapture choice fails, in order to string the consumer along once the starting event of the seven year tribulation deception occurs.
3. At the end of the seven years when none of the raptures materialize the adherent will reject the Bible, based upon the failure of a false interpretation or will unknowingly turn to the true Anti-Christ who will now appear to have had the true interpretation of the Revelation all along.
Additional sub-presumptions are needed make this first one work: It must be presumed that the Daniel seventieth week immediately precedes the return of Christ for his millennial reign and that the resurrection of the dead immediately precedes, divides, or follows the final week of the same prophecy. Neither of these can be established by the express reading of the Daniel text, but are based solely upon conjecture.
Presumption 2. That the “he” of the text is not the proper first person antecedent “Messiah” of the two previous verses, but the second person “prince” of the previous verse from the phrase “the people of the prince that shall come…”
I have yet to find another occurrence where “he” in the text of scripture is not preceded by a first person antecedent and understood as such. Please try it for yourself, out of 5350 Verses Found, 7360 Matches for the word “he” in the KJV OT there are none that I could discover that would violate this fundamental rule of grammar. He is always preceded by a first person antecedent. This is very problematic for the Futurist adherent simply because the only first person antecedent in our text is the Messiah Himself, named twice, and not an unknown end-time Anti-Christ who is named nowhere. However in some newer english versions the first person “Messiah” has been completely removed from the text and replaced with “an anointed one.” I would like to know just who the Futurist believe this anointed one is? The fact that the identity is now ambiguous changes nothing. Whether one believes it is the Messiah or not, this “anointed one” is still the only first person antecedent in the text that qualifies. If you were to use “he” in a conversion without referring to your first person antecedent, those trying to follow you would certainly become confused somewhere along the conversation and stop you for clarification of just who “he” is. One cannot introduce “he” into a dialogue without a clear first person antecedent and not expect people to become immediately confused, and as the scripture saith, God is not the author of confusion.
Also, apparently you would think the new translators could not distinguish who God meant by “an annotated one”, but in reality it is easy to discern by the translation differences that follow that they simply did not want to name the Messiah. They purposely desired that the text be more ambiguous, as ambiguous as the “prince” in the phrase “the people of the prince that shall come” in order to make him a viable candidate to become the counter-reformation end-time anti-christ character put forth by the Jesuit Ribera. This to me, is the very fingerprint of the Jesuit order on the new English versions.
In the King James Version it is crystal clear in that the characteristics attributed to the “he” in it’s translation are easily discernible as those of the first person antecedent Messiah.
1. he shall confirm the covenant – meaning that the covenant must already exist in order to be confirmed; and in compliance with the prophecy of Malachi ch. 3 where “The Lord” is explicitly called “the messenger of the covenant” when He comes “suddenly to his temple”, being a second witness to the Messiah as the proper antecedent.2 We have several more witnesses in the epistles to “confirm” our understanding:
Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: Rom. 15:8
And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. Gal. 3:17
2. he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease – which Jesus coincidently did in the midst of the seven year period immediately following his arrival at the Jordan river baptism depicted in the Gospels. Jesus caused the sacrifice and oblation to cease three and a half years after he began his ministry – by the sacrifice of himself on the cross. If one does not understand this simple truth, then one does not really understand the gospel at all.
3. he shall make it desolate – with the preposition “for the overspreading of abominations” describes this desolation announced upon Israel as a sovereign act of judgment by the Messiah, the one who is the King of Kings and very Judge of Heaven and Earth. As surely as God wielded Babylon as his sword in judgment against Judah when the first Temple was desolated,3 He, the fullness of the Godhead bodily, the resurrected and glorified Messiah wielded Rome as his sword in judgment4 against National Israel for the overspreading of abominations when the Second Temple was desolated in 70 AD.
When I try to explain this to many people they open their Bible and read something that is totally different and it is no wonder that they are confused, because their new translation says something totally different. As a matter of fact the differences are so complete that one of the two must be wrong. It is very easy to determine that if one has textual and grammatical problems and one does not, that those problems also extend to the interpretation in that translation as well.
The new English Standard Version is one of several versions that interprets the text so that it expresses something very different about the characteristics of the “he” in the same three statements.
1. he shall make a strong covenantESV – meaning that this cannot be about the covenant that already existed with Israel of which Jesus would be the messenger when he showed up in the Temple.5 But this interpretation does allow for an unknown end-time anti christ who will fit the bill of futurist doctrine and qualify to be the unknown “he” of the text.
2. he shall put an end to sacrifice and offeringESV – while this is practically the same language it takes on a purely speculative meaning in concert with the afore mentioned yet non-existent “strong covenant” and the bizarre attributes that follow.
3. on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolateESV – here the he is replaced with the ambiguous “one” once again confusing the identity, but further stating, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolatorESV so that the one desolating and desolated seem to be the same person, therefore the he’s and the “one” cannot be the Messiah regardless of whether the verses make any sense or not. The prophecy begins in verse 24 with the opening, “Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city” but the end of this interpretive translation seems to be the close of a different prophecy and not the decreed end of Daniel’s people and Holy city. With the KJV complete closure is provided for the stated opening proposition within the four verses which comprise the entire seventy weeks prophecy.
The changes in the new texts are obviously intended to drive home the point that the ambiguous one and he cannot be The Messiah. Therefore he must be the end-time anti-christ, even though it is not stated in the text, this obscurity is what we are expected to believe and accept.
These presumptions play directly into the hands of those who developed this counter-reformation end-time anti-christ scenario, because while they do not believe it nor hold it as Roman Church doctrine themselves, to the contrary they decree the belief of the resurrection and bodily return of Christ The Millenarian Heresy6 and will be perceived to be correct when the three raptures fail and they are still standing with an apparent truth, of course bolstered upon the failure of the false prophecy they developed for the very purpose of vindicating the Papacy as the very seat of the Historical and Biblical Anti-Christ.
So here we are at a time when the Temple seems to be on the verge of being built and most of the modern Christian and Evangelical world will expect to be raptured away when an agreement is established to undertake the task. Will they finally shake this great delusion or will they fall in line with the Anti-Christ Church and worship The Beast and its Image?
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ESV:English Standard Version
2 The Malachi text reads virtually the same even in the new english versions – An oversight perhaps? Mal. 3.1
3 Jer. 20.4 and 21.7
4 Luke 21.24
5 Malachi 3.1
6 http://www.catholicplanet.com/articles/article126.htm “Millenarianism refers to heretical forms of millennialism. The heresy of millenarianism believes in a visible reign of Christ over an earthly kingdom for a period of a thousand years.”