– Challenging Pre-trib Eschatology from a Futurist Perspective
Few topics in the study of Bible prophecy are more controversial than the Rapture. For decades the pre-tribulational perspective has dominated all others. In the past several years though, I’ve noticed that there have been an increasingly number of brave souls willing to question the pre-tribulation dogma from a futurist perspective. Nick Zaccardi’s new book The Third Watch is one such book.
In this book, The Third Watch, Mr. Zaccardi looks at the subject of the Rapture but he does so with a unique (at least to me) approach. That is he looks at the Rapture and the 2nd coming starting with the words of Yeshua first. Then he adds the words of the apostles and finally the book of Revelation.
Frankly, I liked this approach. For some time now I’ve bene comparing the Pre-tribulational perspective with the Pre-Wrath perspective with the realization that the Pre-trib view does not stand on as unassailable a footing as I once thought. Although Mr. Zaccacrdi’s book does not follow the standard pre-wrath template he raised some really challenging questions that my pre-trib brethren should give some serious though to. Though not totally convinced by Mr. Zaccardi’s arguments, nonetheless the has given me some very important food for thought.
For me, the best part of the book was Mr. Zaccardi’s wonderful exploration of Yeshua’s parables. He has some wonderful insights which are worth the price of the book even if you end up disagreeing with his view on the rapture.
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In the spirit of respectful criticism the weakest part of the book in my opinion was Mr. Zaccardi’s explanation of the prophecy found in Daniel 9. Mr. Zaccardi rightly identifies the importance of this prophecy, but the starting point of his interpretation is not rock solid. Here are a few points that need further clarification:
1. Mr. Zaccardi’s starting point is confusing. If I understand his explanation correctly he places the final 7 years in front of the 483 but then does not go on to clearly state when he believed the Messiah came.
2. He ignores the divine command to “restore and build Jerusalem” given by YHWH the living God of the Bible as found in Haggai 1, Zachariah 1, and Ezra 6.
3. Mr. Zaccardi’s reckoning of Biblical time is not clear. The Bible’s calendar is lunar/solar (365.24/29.53). It appears that Mr. Zaccardi uses our modern reckoning of time. His reasoning for this approach would be valuable to the reader.
4. Although I agree with his view that Yeshua fulfilled the six goals of Daniel 9:24 It would have been helpful to have this part of his explanation more fully developed within the overall context of the prophecy.
Considering the important Daniel 9 plays in our futurist perspective it would have been nice to have a more congruent and detailed explanation of how it relates to the subject of the rapture. Although I don’t agree with the chronological framework of his view on Daniel 9, I do agree that this prophecy has greatly skewed the futurist perspective of many end time events. It was good to see someone exploring the 2nd coming and rapture from a futurist perspective without being dependent on the prophecy of 70 weeks. It is my firm opinion that each prophecy of the Bible needs to stand securely in its own rite unencumbered by traditions of men.
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In closing it was good to see this subject through Mr. Zaccardi’s eyes. Even through I don’t fully agree with him, he made some really important observations about the rapture that need to be considered. Once you have considered Mr. Zaccardi’s point of view then I’d encourage you to open your Bible and see if these things be so.
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Author: Nick Zaccardi
Book Title: – The Third Watch: It’s Later Than you Think
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Book Reviewed by: William Struse