Summary: The popular dispensational view, or the “Home Alone” view is that these things allegedly deal with ten nations arising from the European federation, the Antichrist, a revived Roman Empire, a seven-year peace treaty with national Israel, and the Great 666
In my two experiences of ordination, in both cases I was challenged on eschatology, the study of end times issues. First in 1990 from a dispensational perspective - I was not committed to the pretribulation rapture, because I could not see it in Scripture. In about 1992 I became postmillennial and when I wen into the PCA in 1999, all of the “flatline Amill” types were worried about postmillennial optimism - of course that had to let me in, since I quoted back to them Q. 191 of the Larger Catechism which is pretty optimistic about the kingdom of God.
Looking at Daniel, we see that the kingdom’s coming and advance are not like getting, "all my meals for free..." But He does promise advance, often through the persecution of an Antiochus Epiphanes or the murderous onslaughts of a Herod or the barbarism of a Nero. Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot — in His own timing, Christ is reigning and will overcome His enemies. Certainly all of these are judged in hell. Therefore, we are to "be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Cor. 15:58).
As we get into this, just note that this is before us in the text. I don’t want to demonize dispensationalists, but on the other hand, we must teach what the text says and address the serious faults of views that grab the popular mind.
1) THE SENSATIONALIST VIEW
2) THE SOUND VIEW
1) THE SENSATIONALIST VIEW
THE [DISP]-SENSATIONAL VIEW - HOME ALONE
While I have preached and it is clear in Daniel 2, 7, and 8 at least that Jesus is currently Ascended and reigns as meditorial king over all the world — still this message, which is perfectly clear everywhere in Scripture — is short-circuited by a popular interpretation of Daniel, chapter 9. And now we come again to End Times Twilight Zone. This chapter is truly the basis for an End Times Circus. The most critical passage in the whole futurist view of Left Behindism is Daniel 9:24-27. It addresses the "seventy weeks" of years which are set "for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy" (Dan. 7:24). On the face of it, this looks like what Jesus did in His life, death, and resurrection.
Not so say the prophecy ringmasters. These things allegedly deal with ten nations arising from the European federation, the Antichrist, a revived Roman Empire, a seven-year peace treaty with national Israel, and the Great 666 Tribulation. It is precisely because of this passage that there is a basis for a secret "Rapture" of the Church in which unbelievers are "left behind." According to our dispensational brethren, the last seven years of the "seventy weeks" is yet future, even though the other sixty-nine weeks led up to Christ in the first advent. Christian believers must be Raptured out of the world. After this God will once again deal with ethnic Israel in the final "seventieth week of Daniel." So in the words of Thomas Ice, "What about Israel?"
The whole mess is because of a misinterpretation of Daniel 9:24-27, which requires a strict separation of God’s dealing with the Church vs. Israel in this allegedly future "seventieth week." The secret "Rapture" of the church, when unbelievers are "left behind" "Home Alone," is to get the Church out of the way so God can once again deal exclusively with Israel.
As strange as this nightmare may seem, this whole view pivots upon the word, “prince” in Daniel 9:26.
Daniel 9:25-26: Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times. And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
You can see from dispensational books, the undue emphasis:
Daniel: The Key to Prophetic Revelation, by John F. Walvoord
Sir Robert Anderson, "The Coming Prince" (1895)
Desecration: Antichrist Takes the Throne (Left Behind No. 9) Tim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins
Though many wise and serious scholars say this is one of the most difficult passages to pin down in all of Scripture, listen to what our friends make of this:
Walvoord comments that the “interpretation of Daniel 9:24-27 is of major importance to premillennialism as well as pretribulationism.” Being such, it is the “key” to prophecy and, consequently, “one of the most important prophecies of the Bible.”