Understanding The Bible
STUDY REFERENCE
Clarence E. Mason's "ESCHATOLOGY 1"
SECTION 2G - Revelation 4-19
THE AGE OF JUDGMENT and
THE DISPENSATION OF EXPECTANCY

 

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BY THE AUTHOR
Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
1970

Edited by Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.


  1. Revelation 4-19 THE AGE OF JUDGMENT and THE DISPENSATION OF EXPECTANCY
    There are now three views held by premillennialists as to what to do with the 70th Week of Daniel 9. Earlier premillenarian writers were largely concerned with the judgments, beasts, movements of nations and armies, suffering individual Jews who repented, Armageddon, Christ's deliverance of Israel by His return, but--preeminently--with THE ANTICHRIST.

    Alexander Reese and others, by the virulence of their attack on the pre-tribulation position, aroused a storm of opposition. Much of the discussion on both sides has been characterized by heat rather than light. The major issue has now become when the Church will be raptured. This issue was secondary in Scofield's day. Hence, there was no spelling out of the time of the rapture m detail.

    However, the end result of this turn of events has been salutary, resulting in:
    (1) Far more study concerning the nature of the period
    (2) Far more emphasis upon the distinction between Israel and the Church ^&
    (3) A growing spirit of tolerance and a removal of the discussion from the ^f place of being considered "a heresy. " All recognize devout believers are the only ones interested in the matter.

    There are three possible views as to how the 70th Week should be viewed,
    1. View One: 70th WEEK IS TO BE UNDERSTOOD AS A COMPLETION OF THE ISRAELITISH AGE OF LAW
      Proponents of this view call attention to the fact that the Church age is an insert between the 69th and 70th Weeks and urge that it does not affect the theological continuity of the 70th Week as following the 69th. Thus, they urge that the same people (Israel and nations) are again dealt with on the same principles as before the cross.

      Objections to this viewpoint are:
      1. The incarnation, cross, resurrection, and ascension of Christ cannot permit the idea of leaving Israel, and the nations in the same place theologically. They have had Messiah historically among them and rejected Him.
      2. They have had the witness of His resurrection.
      3. They have had the witness of a completed Bible.
      4. They have had the witness of the career of the Church throughout 2000 years of history.
      5. They will, in that period after the rapture have the presence of the apostate portion of the Church as proof that something else has been here and changed the status of things current at the end of the 69th Week.

        All these factors presume a far greater stewardship of light than they had under the dispensation of Law.
         
    2. View Two: 70th WEEK CONSIDERED AS JUDGMENT AT THE END OF THE "MYSTERY" PERIOD (Mt. 13)

      Proponents urge:
      1. "Mystery of kingdom" and "Church mystery" periods are historically coextensive.
      2. Nevertheless, the true Church is taken to heaven before the return of Christ to the earth. Thus, the apostate church continues the mystery period on the earth and the true church is simply considered as awaiting completion of the judgments on earth before returning with Christ to the earth.

        Objections:
        1. The view confuses "last days" of Israel with "last days" of the Church.
        2. It almost inevitably makes us say to our hearers that there is no good reason to object to the idea that all the church could be here through the whole period.
        3. The age is called Grace by Scofield. Yet, the 70th Week is the very opposite of grace. It is the climax of the wrath of God in judgment.
           
    3. View Three: THE 70th WEEK. SHOULD BE CONSIDERED A DISTINCT ENTITY IN ITSELF
      There are so many great events and the period has such distinctive principles that it cannot properly be made the end of any other period. It embodies principles that are very different from previous dispensations.

      Proponents urge:
      1. On the basis of 1 Cor. 10:32 Jews are not Gentiles; the Church is not Jews or Gentiles. All three are distinct,
      2. The Church is not in the 69 weeks; hence, not in the 70th Week. The apostate church is really not the Church, but unrepentant Jews and Gentiles, falsely posing as the Church.
      3. There is no good reason to believe Old Testament saints go up with the Church at the translation. Both Old Testament and New Testament descriptions picture saved Israelites and Gentiles going into the kingdom, not up to meet the Lord.
      4. The distinctive principle of judgment sets apart the age.
      5. Kingdom preaching will include the facts of His historical first coming and atoning death and resurrection.
      6. This view is not open to the objections listed under Views One and Two.

        Possible problem:
        This view would tend to divorce the 70th Week from Weeks 1-69. But, since there has been a divorcement timewise between the 69th and 70th Weeks, the addition of considerable light emphasizes that the period is not a continuation but a completion of the 70th Week upon different principles than the 69 weeks. Dan. 9:24-27 recognizes that it is after the 69 weeks that Messiah is cut off. The destruction of the city and the temple after the 69th Week, and before the covenant starting the 70th Week, imply an interval. The N.T. supplies the details of that interval.

        If this period be viewed as a separate age (as per View Three), the following may be noted:
        1. The key personages are the Beast and False Prophet.
        2. The extent of the period is the 70th Week of the prophecy of Daniel 9, (that period from the rapture of the Church to meet the Lord in the air to the second advent of Christ to the earth).
        3. The general Scripture portions are found throughout all the Old Testament prophets and Rev. 4-19, especially.
        4. The characteristic or state of man during its course will be judgment upon man's sin.
        5. The special responsibility instituted by God will be response to the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom. Mt. 24:14
        6. The failure of man under the test is seen in the rejection of the witness of the 144, 000, the worship of the Beast, and the following of the False Prophet.
        7. The resultant judgment will be seen in the destruction of the Harlot system (Rev. 17 and 18), the overthrow and judgment of human governments (Rev. 19:20, and the overthrow of Gentile powers (Rev. 19:17-19).
        8. The gracious intervention of God will deliver the saints by the visible return of Christ to the earth. The race is not blotted out (the days shortened) and many will be saved in the tribulation period (Rev. 7; Mt. 25:31-46).

 

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