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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," Spring Edition 2000

The Key To Interpreting The Book Of Revelation

    Dispensational premillennialists are "futurists" who attempt to interpret the Book of Revelation around the concept of a future "seven year" tribulation period, which they see as the 70th week of Daniel's prophecy of the Seventy Weeks. The Darbyite theory is fraught with endless conflict and confusion, however, because of the fact that dispensational premillennialists have fundamentally misinterpreted Daniel's prophecy of the Seventy Weeks on the one hand, and the fact that the book of Revelation says nothing about any seven year period in which Antichrist makes and breaks a covenant with the Jews on the other.

    The key to interpreting the Book of Revelation lies, rather, in seeing the last half of Daniel's 70th week as  the entire present age of the gospel calling of the Gentiles---and that hermeneutical identification is what  underlies the thematic structure of the Apocalypse.

    Dispensationalists superimpose some future seven years. We are saying  that, instead of that false organizing motif, the "key" is the last half of the Daniel's 70th week elongated to embrace the entire period of time now stretching between Christ first and second advents. T
he book of Revelation was written to the Gentile churches of Asia at the close of the first century A.D. It is thus naturally to be expected that it would unveil to those early Gentile Christians a future that they would understand as being relevant to their time, so long as they kept in harmony with those basic principles of realized messianism on which the whole primitive Christian enterprise was founded.

    Here is only one example of how the book would be interpreted by the above principle.

    Take the first mention of the last half of Daniel's 70th week--a duration time-frame found in Revelation 11:2: "the holy city shall they [the Gentiles] tread under foot forty and two months." The chronology is explained in the parallel passage of Luke 21:24: "And they shall fall by the edge of the sword and shall be led away captive into all nations; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. "

    The "forty-two months" in Revelation 11:2 is identified as being the same period of time  as "the times of the Gentiles" in Luke 21:24. And that, my friend, has been this whole gospel age, at least till June of 1967! 

The above example is only the tip of the iceberg--seedling ideas  that represent a whole new continent of insight waiting to be explored. As an introductory guide, we have tried to point you in the right direction. Now we want you to go out and do the exploring of this new continent of knowledge and understanding for yourself, and do it directly on you own.  If we told you every detail of it, you would not feel ownership. And without some stake of ownership in any system of ideas those ideas will not be meaningful, embraced, or propagated  by me, you, or anybody else. Architects of Darbyism got other people to embrace, and then start feeling ownership of their ideas. That is how dispensational premillennialism got to be so entrenched within the mindset of the masses in these modern times. Dispensationalism got to be so widespread because so many people came to feel a stake of ownership in that system of ideas.  

That's why we want you to start figuring some of this out for yourself----so you can begin to feel a sense of ownership in the system. We are not here to tell you ever detail that we ourselves may already have explored.  If we did that, you would  have no incentive to  get involved.

There is plenty of ownership to be had, friends, for nobody has a monopoly on divine truth. The truth belongs, ultimately, to God alone, and God is big enough for everybody. 

    No one will be left out of a place in stewardship of divine truth, unless it is by choice.  So we invite you now to step up to the plate and take some ownership. This new system of knowledge and understanding isn't going anywhere--once broken out, it is here to stay. Believe me, there will be a least a few people out there who will see to that!  Reader friend, you may as well get in on the ground floor and capitalize on these ideas, as anybody else.

It is all about rates of adoption into a scheme. Why not be a "first responder" rather than one who eventually comes tagging along behind the rest, who, too, may finally "see the light"?  View this as yourself being among the first awakened--know it now or not, you really are! Now there is a job to do to help awaken others. Will you arise to the occasion and accept the challenge? "Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this!"

Destiny is counting on you. "Let me not sink to be a clod, make me thy fuel, flame of God!"

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