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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," Fall Edition 1889

Daniel 9:27--The Difference It Makes

Daniel 9:27 provides the exegetical watershed for two opposing systems of salvation history/end-time Bible prophecy understanding, depending on whether one sees Christ, or Antichrist, as the intended "covenant-maker" of that text.

In the late nineteenth century a completely novel theory arose among he Plymouth Brethren sect in England that placed Antichrist as the central figure in Daniel 9:27. According to the Plymouth Brethren sect member, Sir Robert Anderson's, exegesis, the text was talking about a coming "Roman Antichrist" orchestrating a peace treaty with the Jews for seven years in Daniel 9:27, a segment of time proposed as some yet future "great tribulation period" that is to intervene between Edward Irving and John Nelson Darby's split-off any moment secret rapture of the church, and Christ's visible, public second coming.

From these core interpretational roots, based on Sir Robert Anderson's theory of the Seventy Weeks, as set forth in his now classic work, The Coming Prince, the whole modern system of popular dispensational premillennial teaching arose. And so pervasive has this system of teaching become, that, in many places today it has assumed the status of "the gospel truth." Not to believe or accept the dispensational scenario as gospel, in these circles, is tantamount to not believing the Bible.

If one charitably imagines that such prejudicial mind set is not so deeply ingrained and entrenched, as we have here described, then let one cross swords with it a little while, and see just how shunned and unpopular one becomes--it is literally "the reproach of the Cross" to contradict this heresy in most evangelical fundamentalist circles of our land today, and if you have not discovered this fact yet for yourself, you soon will.

The attempt to make a certain novel "Johnny come lately" theory of interpreting Daniel's prophecy of the Seventy weeks a badge of orthodoxy and standard-bearer for the whole modern biblical fundamentalist cause in America today, however, must be viewed to be as irresponsibly foolish as it is academically untenable. All free-wheeling prejudices aside, reality is that the conservative Holiness people who have subscribed to Darbyism's teachings have been led astray. The "antinomian" ideological system that they have thus bought into has put them majorily out of sync with their historic Wesley Methodist heritage and with Wesleyan-Arminian theology.

The secret for renewal in the modern Wesleyan Holiness movement, then, lies in returning to our historical and theological roots, and that has everything to do with our understanding of how John Wesley and the early Methodists interpreted Scripture.

They had a covenantal understanding, as most Protestants did, of Daniel 9:27. The received teaching of primitive and of historic Methodism was not the Roman Antichrist theory of Sir Robert Anderson and of modern American Calvinist\fundamentalist dispensational premillennialism. Check the record.

Change your view.

Enter, brave new world!

Related Article Links

Reinventing Fundamentalism--In the Wesleyan Mode
Dispensationalism: A Calvinistic Viewpoint?