Prophecy: Prophetic Historicism Versus Futurism
August 8, 2019 Ab 7 (Mo 5 sacred-Mo 11 secular), 5779

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There are two major positions when it comes to interpreting the apocalyptic prophecies of the Bible. One belief advances the premise that the prophecies of the Bible largely pertain to the end of the age, and are either being fulfilled now or are yet to come. This position is known as Futurism.

The opposing position is called Historicism. I advance Prophetic Historism because I am a prophet of the Lord Jesus Christ. Those holding the Historicist position contend that the prophecies of the Bible are fulfilled in the past and some Historicist's look for future fulfillments of those same prophecies as a continuation of events that are already in progress or, in some cases, a reenactment of something that has already occurred.

Historicism was the belief of the vast majority between 1520 and 1920. Since, 1920, Futurism has held sway

Major Historicist Positions
1. The prophecy of Daniel's 70 Weeks, found in Daniel Chapter 9 has already been fulfilled in its entirety.
2. The Antichrist is not one particular man, but has been fulfilled and is still being fulfilled by the papacy of the Roman Catholic Church.
3. The prophesied ten-horn kingdom of Revelation 13 and 17 existed at the time of the dissolution of the Roman Empire, and the papacy rose up among these ten kings.
4. The Great Tribulation lasted 1,260 years. Some Historicists believe it has passed, while others do not. Varying periods of 1,260 years, with different starting dates and ending dates, are described. Some of these dates are still considered to stretch into the future by some Historicists.
5. Matthew 24 is seen as partially fulfilled by most Historicists. Some believe it to be totally fulfilled.

The Futurist position (excerpts taken here and in other places in this article from Irvin Baxter's article: "Historicism vs Futurism")
1. There is a gap between the 69th and 70th week of Daniel's 70 Weeks" prophecy. The first 69 weeks have been fulfilled. The 70th week, a seven-year period, is yet to come to pass.
2. Though there have been many antichrists throughout the years, the Bible prophesies one Antichrist who will rule a one-world government for three and one-half years immediately before the coming of Jesus Christ at Armageddon.
3. The prophesied ten-horn kingdom is yet to appear on earth, and the Antichrist will arise among these ten kings.
4. The Great Tribulation is yet future and will last for three and one-half years. (Some Futurists believe it will last for seven years.) It will occur during the last half of Daniel's 70th week, and will be terminated when the Antichrist is destroyed by Jesus Christ at Armageddon.
5. Most of Jesus' prophecies in Matthew 24 deal with events of the endtime and have yet to be fulfilled.

Let us consider item #1 above:
Has the prophecy of Daniel's 70 Weeks already been fulfilled in its entirety?
Daniel 9:24-27

King James Version
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."

Who is the "he" referring to in verse 27 and who will confirm the covenant for seven years? That is the important question.

Historicists believe the Messiah is the only one who could possibly have fulfilled and who will ever fulfill verse 24, and who is explicitly mentioned in verse 25 and 26 as the subject of those verses, and He is the "he" who was prophesied to confirm the covenant in verse 27. A person referred to as "the prince that shall come" in verse 26 is believed to be the Roman General Titus, who destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

Futurists teach that it will be the "prince that shall come"--the Antichrist. They cast this prophecy out to an indeterminable future.

Yes, this question is very easy to answer.

Futurists erroneously claim that Daniel 9:24-27 refers to the same "abomination of desolation" as that referred to in Daniel 11 and Daniel 12. That is not the case. There was nothing set up in the temple by the Romans during the time frame of fulfillment of this Daniel 9 prophecy (457 B.C. to 34 A.D.) Daniel 9 does not say anything at all about anyone who "shall place the abomination that maketh desolate". It is an entirely different event from that which is referred to in Daniel 11.

The Daniel 11:30-31 prophecy tells us in no uncertain terms that it is definitely an Antichrist (the king of the north) and his followers who take away the daily sacrifice and place the Abomination of Desolation. This was fulfilled in great detail by Antiochus Epiphanes in 167 B.C. The whole story is painstakingly detailed in 1 Maccabees, Chapter 1 in the Apocrypha.

30 "For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.
31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate."

This Daniel 11 passage is obviously not referring to the Messiah. Would the Messiah ever "have indignation against the holy covenant?” Would He ever "pollute the sanctuary of strength?” Obviously not! The entirety of Daniel 11:21-45 is referring to the actions of the king of the north--an antichrist named Antiochus Epiphanes, who really lived and died and fulfilled all of these things to the very letter about two hundred years before Jesus Christ was crucified and resurrected. Will this have any reenactment at the time of the end? Daniel 9 certainly has nothing to say about that or to fortell it.

Futurists are confusing the fact that Jesus Christ put an end to sacrifice and offering by pouring out His blood in an atoning sacrifcie with the actions of an antichrist, two hundred years earlier, who poured pigs blood upon the altars of Israel.

Confirming the covenant for seven years
Daniel 9:27 says that "he" will confirm the covenant for one week (seven years). Historicists say that Jesus confirmed the covenant of the New Testament during his three and one-half years of ministry. He was then crucified in the midst of the week (after 3 1/2 years), and then was caught up into heaven 43 days later. The apostles then fulfilled the balance of the seven year period in their preaching to the Jews, prior to the taking of the gospel to the Gentiles.

Futurists argue that there is no historical or biblical proof that God turned from Jew to Gentile exactly three and one-half years after the crucifixion. Admittedly, this is true, but we accept many things the bible tells us without demanding actual proof that they occurred exactly as the bible renders them. Do we demand proof that Jonah was swallowed by a great fish? Isaiah prophesied concerning the Messiah in chapter 50, verse 6 that His beard..His hair, would be plucked off. We believe that happened to Jesus, but we have no historical or biblical proof that it occurred. We know for a fact that there was a gap in time between the crucifixion of Jesus and the time that was set for the gospel to go forth to the Gentiles. Daniel set this gap of time at 3 and 1/2 years. I accept it.

Futurism is devastated right here in the prophecies of Daniel. Chapter 9 is an entirely separate event from Chapters 11 and 12. All of Futurism falls apart without the ability to link these two separate events and combine them into one. Futurists have been so desperate to accomplish this that they have actually added these three words out of thin air, "OF THE TEMPLE" to Daniel 9:27 in the NIV version. That is correct! The book of Daniel says that Daniel had an excellent spirit, yet the Hebrew word for "TEMPLE" occurs nowhere in verses 24 through 27. The NIV translators just plugged them in here, insinuating that Daniel had been vague and imprecise and had omitted them in an oversight. Daniel was excellent! He was not vague or imprecise. No other major bible translation includes the word "TEMPLE".

We have seen two abominations in Daniel: one occurred when our Messiah was crucified. It caused a terrible desolation to later be unleashed upon Jerusalem. It did not involve the setting up of anything in the temple or the defiling of the temple in any way. Earlier, there had been such an abomination of desolation, set up in the temple, during the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. It is this abomination that Jesus refers to in Matthew 24:15-21 that was to be reenacted or fulfilled again in some later time. When would that time be?

15 "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains...
21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be."

Jesus said that the Abomination of Desolation would begin the Great Tribulation. Futurists erroneously claim that the Great Tribulation lasts for three and one-half years, as they wrongly cast Daniel 9:24-27 into the future. It was fulfilled by the work of Messiah. It Is Finished!

Matthew 24:29 tells us that, immediately after the Great Tribulation, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give her light, the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. This is apocalyptic language that is after the order of that which was signfied to John in Revelation 1:1. The Great Tribulation began in 606 A.D. when the Pope, an apostate christian, sat in the temple of God (the church) and proclaimed that he was God. This began the persecuting period of the great tribulation that lasted for 1,260 years, until 1866, when the last of the Kings of Europe had thrown off the Papal yoke. There are other periods of 1,260 years still running: one from 800 A.D. when Charlemagne granted headship over those ten kings of Revelation 13 to the Pope for the first time, unto 2060, when we wait to see what events will ensue. This event, performed by the Pope in 606 A.D., was the fulfillment of the Abomination of Desolation prophecy of Jesus as recorded for us in Matthew 24:15. Please also remember that much of Matthew 24, Luke 17, Luke 21 and Mark 13 refers to the events up to and including 70 A.D.

The Apostle Paul describes the Abomination of Desolation in II Thessalonians 2:3-4. This is fulfilled by the actions of the Pope in 606 A.D.
3 "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God."

Paul says here that the man of sin, the Antichrist, will sit "In the temple of God." Where did Jesus say that the Abomination of Desolation would take place in Matthew 24:15?--In the holy place which was in the temple. Paul went on to say that the Antichrist would sit in the temple of God claiming to be God. This is the event known as the Abomination of Desolation. It is placed by the Antichrist, not by Jesus Christ. It actually happened in 606 A.D.

What is important?
The Historicist vs. Futurist discussion is not a salvation issue, unless it leads one to believe in a pre-tribulation rapture that never happens and subsequently, that one whose false hope had just evaporated falls away from the faith. Otherwise, this should not be allowed to become divisive in the church. It is important, and it can effect salvation. We gain nothing by doing anything more than contending earnestly for these things.

Stephen L. Bening


Step 1: Go to Prophetic Superpages and click on the link in the second column to the right to Revelation Puzzle-Part 1 and scroll down to the completed Revelation Puzzle. Keep both pages open in your browser.
Step 2: Let us say you want to know more about the Great Earthquake in the Sixth Seal. Look down the Completed Revelation Puzzle until you get to the Sixth Seal, and click on the link to Revelation Puzzle-Part 4 to read the fourth article in this series. Keep this third page open in your browser as well.
Step 3-Click on the link to open the Revelation Spreadsheet Analysis Tool that you can easily find on any of the Puzzle Pieces articles. Keep all four pages open in your browser and click on the link for Revelation 6 and scroll down to verse 12, where you will find the scripture relating to the Great Earthquake. Look to the right to see the Volume Number and Page Reference where you you will find this information in the Horae Apocalypticae.
Step 4 (optional)-Refer back to Prophetic Superpages that you should still have open in your browser and click on the link to the appropriate volume of the Horae Apocalypticae, found in the third column to the right, which in this case is Horae Apocalypticae, Volume 1, Fifth Edition. Scroll to page 235 to page 252 in the Horae Apocalypticae to perform in depth research on the Sixth Seal, but be warned the the Horae Apocalypticae is COMPLICATED. Take in in small bites at first. Keep all five pages open in your browser to quickly move back and forth between the resources.

By the time you work through this seven part study, you should be ready to tackle my version of The Apocalyptic Key at The Apocalyptic Key: The 1,260 Day Prophecy Of Revelation-updated July 31, 2019

Stephen L. Bening

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