Daniel 9 and the Secret Rapture
A Sermon on the "Rapture" (Daniel 9)
Is the secret rapture of the church a true biblical teaching? In this sermon, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones focuses on Daniel 9 as a passage frequently used in the discussion of the end-times, yet the language it employs is often mysterious and open to debate over its meaning. At the center of the debates are verses 24–27 which refer to various weeks that the events will fall on. Some interpret these events as still awaiting fulfillment, but Dr. Lloyd-Jones makes his case for why he believes the events to have been fulfilled with the life of Jesus Christ, the destruction of the temple, and defeat of the Jewish people in 70 A.D. Dr. Lloyd-Jones also provides a commentary on a topic that has been steadily gaining traction in evangelical circles: the rapture of Christians. He posits that many people are surprised to learn that this theological idea is not commonly found until after the 1800s. How should Christians approach this topic? Listen to this sermon as Dr. Lloyd-Jones provides an alternative view of Daniel 9, and a biblical foundation for understanding the idea of an end-times rapture of the global church.
- The sermon continues a series on the second coming of Christ and prophecy. Dr. Lloyd-Jones aims to consider different views on prophecy to expand horizons.
- Daniel 9:24-27 is discussed. There are three main views: 1) It's history, not prophecy, 2) There is a gap between the 69th and 70th week, and the 70th week is in the future. 3) It was fulfilled in 70 AD. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues for the third view.
- Verse 24 refers to finishing transgression, ending sin, reconciling iniquity, bringing righteousness, sealing prophecy, and anointing the holy. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says this happened through Jesus.
- Verse 25 presents no difficulty. Verse 26 refers to the Messiah being cut off after 69 weeks. This happened with Jesus's death.
- Verse 27: "He" refers to the Messiah, not the prince. The Messiah confirmed the covenant for one week, then caused sacrifice to cease by his death. The abominations and desolation refer to the destruction of the temple in 70 AD.
- The "gap theory" is inconsistent in how it treats the divisions of 7 and 62 weeks versus 69 and 70 weeks. The 70 weeks follow sequentially after the 69 weeks.
- Another view discussed is the "preliminary rapture" - that Jesus will come secretly to rapture believers before the tribulation. This view started in 1830.
- The preliminary rapture view says Jesus's coming and appearing are different. His coming is only for the church, in secret. His appearing is with the church, to defeat the Antichrist.
- The origin of the preliminary rapture view is traced to prophetic utterances in Edward Irving's church, as stated by scholar Tregellis. Teachings from supposed revelations should be viewed with suspicion.
- Not all early Brethren leaders accepted the preliminary rapture view, e.g. B.W. Newton, George Muller.
- 1 Thessalonians 4-5, 2 Thessalonians 1-2, and 1 Corinthians 15 are suggested as passages to consider regarding the preliminary rapture view.
- Dr. Lloyd-Jones urges careful, prayerful consideration of these matters with guidance from the Holy Spirit.
Great Biblical Doctrines
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.