The Falling Stars

How do you reconcile Daniel 9.26, and chapter 7 with passages that allude to a Middle-Eastern Antichrist?

I too had a question and would appreciate any thoughts or comments you might have, once you get some free time to respond. My question is in regards to Revelation 6.13 –

I believe that these judgment series (The Seals, Trumpets, and Bowls of Wrath) are to be interpreted in a literal sense, as God’s eschatological judgments. And I believe that this verse ( 6.13) was also written in the context of there being literal cosmic disturbances taking place before the Day of the Lord. However, it seems illogical to me to assume that literal stars will collide with our atmosphere. With this reference to ‘stars’, do think that John could possibly have been making an allusion to angels instead of (or as well as) literal planetary stars? Could this verse coincide with Daniel 8.10 or Rev. 12.7?

I appreciate your thought and time.

Sorry to be so long getting to your question. I don’t see any conflict with what I believe the scripture intends only in terms of what appears to the senses, just as when the scripture speaks of the sun going down. It is the language of phenomenological perspective – actual and literal, as you say – but it does not intend to convey scientific actuality.

You are quite right to mark the parallel with Dan 8:10 and Rev 12:4. I’ve never seen the casting down of a third part of the stars to be anything other than the future martyrdom of a third of the tribulation saints, in keeping with Dan 8:10, and not some primordial fall of the angels, as typically taught from this passage.

As to Michael’s eviction of Satan in verse 7, I think that’s too early to fit with the verse in Rev 6:13, since I see Michael’s eviction of Satan as happening at the beginning of the tribulation, in keeping with Dan 12:1. When Michael stands up, “all hell breaks loose”, so to speak. Great woe is announced because this is the “short time” of Satan’s unrestrained wrath (vs 12), which, of course, marks the beginning of the final 3 1/2 years of unequaled tribulation.

In contrast, the events of the sixth seal do not start until the very time of the day of Lord. In fact, I do not see a neat succession of seals, trumpets, and vials, as typically taught. Don’t get me wrong. I DO see an orderly succession in each unit of seven. It’s just that I see the seals and trumps and bowls as somewhat staggered. You don’t just have one set completed and then another starts. It doesn’t go like that, though that’s the usual teaching. Rather, some of the seals, trumpets, and vials are taking place concurrently, but each unit of seven terminates at the day of the Lord, so that the sixth seal takes us up to the day of the Lord, and so also the seventh trumpet (Rev 11:15-19), which also takes us to the time of the seventh vial (Rev 16:17-18).

There’s a case for this. I can’t do it justice in a short space, but will return to it another time. All is to say that Rev 6:13 seems to come later, as part of the cosmic disturbance described in Joel 2:31 and Mt 24:29. And this is shown to come AFTER the tribulation, but BEFORE the great day of the Lord. Isa 13:10 and many other scriptures describe the day of the Lord in this way.

Again, I don’t think we can spread out the day of the Lord to include the tribulation for the reasons I gave in a recent email, which you might have seen. So, the phenomena associated with the sixth seal takes us to the day of the Lord, which is at the end of the tribulation, whereas the activity of Dan 8:10 starts at the beginning and continues through the tribulation.

It is not incorrect to see the relation of the casting down of the stars as a physical sign that the proud powers of the air are now being dethroned, but I would not let the language concerning the displacement of the stars hinder from understanding the passage to refer to physical phenomena as it will “appear” from our perspective. I think what we are seeing in these references are the visual effects of an all-out nuclear war. There are many passages that strongly suggest this is taking place when the Lord returns to “destroy those that are destroying the earth” (Rev 11:18). And, “except those days were shortened no flesh would have survived” (Mt 24:22). These, and a considerable collection of other scriptures show that this cosmic phenomena is all happening significantly at the same time, namely, the ‘day of the Lord’ (see Isa 24:19; Zech 14:12; 2Pet 3:10 et al).

Now that is a discussion I would invite sometime. This is why I see a more physical character to the fulfillment, and not only the final demise of the powers, which also is true, since the millennium doesn’t begin without the eviction and binding of Satan.

In brotherly love, Reggie

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