Daniel 7 must include the Gentiles

Fred Butler continues to post his eschatology series on the book of Daniel. He is just now getting into Daniel 7 which is the “good stuff” so to speak. Check out the latest post at this link here.

Fred is a dispensationalist, which means he is a premillennialist, which I am a premillennialist as well. But dispensationalism also leads to some other conclusions that I don’t always share. The latest post is good in a lot of ways, but there is one portion that I have to object to. Fred writes:

One theological question is to ask “who were these saints who received the KoG?” The Reformed believe it only speaks to those who are the true Israel: the Church, both in the OT and the NT.

But what exactly is the context of Daniel in this text? Who exactly would the prophet be thinking about? The entire chapter is a prophetic word contrasting the heathen kingdoms of men as they relate to the people of Israel. The only “saints” or “holy ones” or “set apart ones” would be God’s people of the nation of Israel that was at that time in bondage in Babylon. I believe this vision intends to direct us to God’s dealings with Israel at the coming of the Son of Man in the latter days.

Here is one major difference in interpretation. Fred asserts that the passage must revolve around the nation of Israel. A case could be made for this, but you would have to reach outside of the boundaries of this particular vision to prove that. But let us say for argument’s sake, that the vision does concern the nation of Israel even though the word “Israel” is nowhere in the text. Just because a theme in this passage is the nation of Israel, does this mean that only Israelites are referred to when speaking of the saints of God? Are there only Israelite saints who will inherit the kingdom of God in this passage?

Hold that thought for a minute. Now let’s turn forward to the appearance of the Messiah to the nation of Israel. When the Messiah came to Israel, He spoke these words:

3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are they that mourn : for they shall be comforted .

5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled .

7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy .

8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 Blessed are ye , when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely , for my sake.

12 Rejoice , and be exceeding glad : for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Here is the question. Are these blessings being pronounced upon the nation of Israel? Or are these blessings of inheriting the kingdom of heaven here on earth for all who believe in the Messiah, both Israelite and Gentile? The question is a valid one because it will affect all other areas of your theology, especially eschatology. If we come to a passage and we have already decided what it applies to before we even read it, we are imposing a framework upon a passage thereby limiting the applications it could have. I believe this is what Fred Butler is doing with Daniel 7. There is no reason to believe that only Israelite saints will inherit this kingdom that is being spoken of in Daniel 7. In fact, all nations are mentioned here, a clear reference to fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant, Genesis 17:4, Romans 4:17 (heir of the world mentioned in Romans 4:13). Isaiah wrote of the same consummation that Daniel wrote of, just in differing terms. But no one would question the inclusion of Gentiles within that kingdom, see Isaiah 42, 49, 60. The idea of Israel as the centerpiece should not cause us to dis-include the Gentiles from inheriting the kingdom of God right alongside the Israelites.

Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

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7 Responses to Daniel 7 must include the Gentiles

  1. Tim Arsenault says:

    I appreciate your logic here. I was reading Romans 4:1-14 about all who have “like faith of Abraham” are true heirs of God… I am with you on this. I see how dispensationalism wants to cut and paste Scripture and exclude Gentiles out of the picture…. While I give Israel her place and bifurcate Her from the Church, one position doesn’t demand the absence of the other in the outworking of God’s plan (i.e. The 70th Week).
    Daniel 9 has a built in gap. If you follow the thought from 9:26 “then after 62 weeks the messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary and its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. 27 And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week….” Here’s my thought. Jesus was crucified because they were unwilling to believe him (“cut off”) and accordingly in the flow of this prophecy would it be the very next day, if these weeks are consecutive, that Israel would sign a covenant with the Antichrist (prince). This does not make sense. If Israel rejects her true messiah and kills him, why would they turn right around and accept a false messiah the very next day? There had to be a gap here and thus God hints at this from Daniel 9. It may have been a mystery, but is this due to ignorance and lack of careful study on our part to see it. The gap was built into the text logically.
    If the gap was there then is the church age a true mystery? I say this because it is often argued that because the church was not forseen in Daniel 9 and this prophecy was given to Israel, thus the church must be asbsent when the events of the 70th week embark. Says who? I think the wish is the father of the thought. This does not jump of the pages of the N.T. to me. Just some thoughts to share… TA

  2. Kathy Hall says:

    Hey Orange,

    Tim introduced me to prewrath. Pointed me to Marv’s book and then Kristen’s dad’s book. I’ve been pestering him about your blog. Would love to see the two of you together someday. Don’t know if my head would ever stop spinning, however… Tim’s a great guy and a good friend of me and my husband… About time you posted, TA!

  3. Hey, welcome aboard, Tim! Any friend of Kathy’s, is certainly a friend of PreWrath. I mean, friend of mine.

    You’ve got some pretty good thoughts concerning the gap in between the 69th and 70th week. I’ve blogged about it before. The destruction of the temple and Jerusalem show that there is an extended period of time in between there. I’ve debated with these Preterists before and they can’t come up with an explanation why the one who puts an end to the sacrifice is directly linked to the one who desolates and receives his decreed end. It’s all in the same thought flow. The decreed end must be the end of the 70th week thereby accomplishing all of the objectives in Daniel 9:24.

    Funny you should mention the word “mystery”. Someone was just asking me about that. Keep stopping by.

    Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

    -The Orange Mailman

  4. Tim Arsenault says:

    Thanks for the right hand; sorry it’s taken me so long to come aboard and join in the conversation.
    Well-put on questinging the fulfillment of all of 9:24…. we obviously have not seen
    “to make an end of sin and to bring in everlasting righteousness.” I’m a living testimony that this has not been fulfilled.

    Another thought is Paul’s stewarship in Eph. 2 where he is given the mystery of the Gentiles inclusion into the blessing of Abraham… What does he mean when he says “fellow heirs” and “fellow memembers” of the body? Is there one body? I don’t want to go as far as covenant theologians in replacement theology; Israel still has her place and will have fulfillment (Rom. 11:25-26). In the eternal state there is one body or bride. And in our present state there is one body, those who have like faith as Abraham who believed God and it was reconned unto him as righteousness. But is this not the criterion for all ages, faith in what God has revealed in progression, truth to greater truth?
    I give Israel her place (Deut. 26:18-19,presently Ez. 36… dry bones) and God will bring her to Himself through a terrible means it appears (tribulation). I believe Ezekiel mentions that in the Kingdom, ten Gentiles will grab the heal of one Jewish person and beg them to take them to the Holy City (sorry for the lack of reference, it’s late and I don’t have my concordance). But was it not Gods’ design to use this nation to reach the rest of the world (sort of God’s mega-phone)? (Ex. 19:5,6) And as God’s mega-phone the other nations would see God’s interaction with Israel and be drawn to her. Is this not the hint we see when Moses hit the ground in Num 14 because Moses was jealous for God’s testimony among the nations if He were to wipe out these people for their rebellion. I don’t remember the reference, as Israel was faithful to their covenant with God, the Nations (Gentiles) would see this and say “what nation has a God so near to it is this nation.” Israel was to be a light the world, and through Abraham all the families of the earth were to be blessed (Gen. 12:3). We come full circle to Rom 11:18. God has a place for National Israel, but we also receive the blessings through faith.
    Is this not what is hinted at in Gal. 3:14-16, not wishing to take this out of context. Paul says the blessings of Abraham have come to the Gentiles; how? Because the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed…” Now here Paul pulls in an interperpretation and says that “seed” here is not plural but singular and is referring to Christ. That the promises are “in Christ”… this is Paul’s repetition in Ephesians… “in Him” or “in Christ.” That our blessings come by our identification with Christ… i.e. adoption as sons. we receive the inheritance through adoption (Rom. 11:17). Was this not God’s design from the beginning? Gen. 12:3. So while Israel has a special place in God’s eyes; it’s not right for us to make such a bifurcation of her and the Gentiles so much so that we cut and paste Scripture to include or exclude who will be present when the 70th week embarks. Rev. 7:9- certainly doesn’t play any favoritism. The all encompassing word I can think of to cover who’s included is “elect.” (Matt. 24:31?)

    Sorry it’s late . TA

    • I’ve contemplated these things as well. It will take a little time, but on my old blog, in the upper left corner, go to the post entitled Prophetic Apocalyse in the Psalms. This is a control panel for many posts. Toward the bottom there is a section on the salvation of the Gentiles which is a series I did on Romans 15:8-12. I’ve also recently done a series on Jeremiah’s Covenant Revelation. That’s all on the old blog as well. After examining Jeremiah 30-33, I came over to the New Testament to expand on Jeremiah’s original revelation of the new covenant, the everlasting covenant, and the Davidic Covenant. I still have a couple of posts left to write on that. The one that may interest you is the preservation of ethnic Israel distinctions, or something like that.

      http://theorangemailman.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!FD6CC4005A27EADA!1249.entry

      Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

      -The Orange Mailman

  5. Tim Arsenault says:

    Thanks, Ill have to figure this one out. Kathy can help me. Anyhow another thought came to mind regarding the inclusion of the Gentiles and their inheritance of the Kingdom. Remember Simeons blessing in Luke 2:32 “A light of revelation to the Gentiles and the glory of Thy people Israel..” All of this while he is a young baby. You do have two distinct groups, but both are mentioned in the blessing! TA

    • Hey Tim-

      I did a series on Romans 15:8-12 on my other blog. Each verse that Paul quotes from the OT there shows Gentiles rejoicing alongside the nation of Israel. Every time I bring this up to A-Millennialists, I swear I can hear crickets chirping.

      Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

      -The Orange Mailman

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