Home > Daniel's 70 Weeks, Dispensationalism, The 3 ½ years > Herbert L. Peters and the 3 ½ years

Herbert L. Peters and the 3 ½ years

Herbert L. Peters (1946-2007) was the owner of an insurance business in Lake Isabella, Calif. He was the founder of the Bible prophecy website Fulfilled Prophecy. He became interested in Bible prophecy after reading Hal Lindsey’s books. Peters thought that he had found a flaw in the dispensational interpretation of the events in the final week of Daniel’s 70 weeks. He noticed that in Daniel 12:7, the time, times and a half extends to the end of the age. In that period the power of the saints is scattered. This he took to be referring to a final three and a half year tribulation, when the seven seals of Revelation would be opened, and the seven trumpets would be blown. First a treaty of some kind would be made between a European union of 10 nations and the Jewish state in Palestine. Peters tentatively identified this treaty or covenant with an obscure document, called “Recommendation 666,” which involved an agreement referred to as the “European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument” (ENPI). He wrote a book about his idea that this might be the treaty referred to in Daniel’s prophecy. [1] Peters wrote on January 2, 2007: [2]

Some are asking what I was expecting to see come Jan. 1, 2007. As you may know, I believe it’s possible we could be entering into Daniel’s 70th week. My answer is always the same. Since all 70 weeks of Daniel’s prophecy are specifically for the Jewish people and their holy city (Daniel 9:24), I expect to see political movement regarding the final status issues of Old Jerusalem. And, as a result, I expect to see Israel entering into a time of false peace and a return to their temple sacrifices. To be expecting anything more would come, in my opinion, from having unbiblical expectations.

Peters overlooked Isaiah’s prophecy that said that the mountain of the Lord’s house, mount Zion and Jerusalem, would be raised up, and established in the tops of the mountains. [Isaiah 2:1-3] In the New Testament, Isaiah’s prophecy has been fulfilled, as Jerusalem has been raised up to become the heavenly Jerusalem; Hebrews 12:22 says: “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.”

Paul seems to have had Daniel 9:27 in mind when he wrote: “Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers.” [Romans 15:8] When he referred to the circumcision, Paul clearly meant those who believe in Christ. He said, “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” [Philippians 3:3] So Daniel’s prophecy applies to the Jerusalem which was raised up, the “mountain of the Lord’s house.” Daniel referred to Jerusalem as “thy holy mountain” in his prayer. [Daniel 9:16] This must be the same Jerusalem that was raised up, as Isaiah’s prophecy had foretold. It was raised up, when Jesus ascended to heaven.

Peters proposed an alternative to the popular dispensational view of the 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy. He wrote: [3]

Although the dispensational view teaches that Revelation chapter four marks the beginning of Israel’s final seven-year period, the book of Daniel appears to teach that Revelation chapter four marks the beginning of the Great Tribulation, which is only a 3 1/2-year period. You see, Daniel places the throne room scene of Revelation chapter four happening after the Antichrist is boasting great things. And, from other related passages, we know that this boasting occurs in the middle of the seven-year period — when the Antichrist goes into the Temple and declares himself to be God.

At first I pretty much kept my new thinking to myself. Then, I ran across something that gave the idea further support. I read a piece by an expert on the original biblical languages who pointed out that John in Revelation was making direct word connections back to the book of Daniel. As an example, he said that the book that was sealed in Daniel chapter 12 should be understood as the scroll with seven seals in Revelation chapter 5.

If that’s truly the case, then once again it suggests that the events unleashed by the breaking of the seven seals on the scroll could happen over a 3 1/2-year period, not seven. That’s because, in Daniel 12 where the book is sealed, an angel asks how long until the end of these wonders. The reply is, time, times and a half time (3 1/2 years), until the power of the holy people is shattered.

Peters described his view of the 70th week, as two half-weeks of  3 ½ literal years. He wrote:

The first half of this seven-year period will be a time of a false hope and false peace for the world and the Middle East — allowing Israel to return to her Temple sacrifices. While this false peace is gaining way, a new world political, economic and religious order will be established and enforcement mechanisms created.

In the middle of Israel’s seven-year period, when the enforcement mechanisms are in place, that’s when I believe the Antichrist will go into the rebuilt Jewish Temple, declare himself to be God, and put an end to Israel’s animal sacrifices and offerings. In some fashion, perhaps through emergency powers, the Antichrist and his 10 kings will by then have taken control over the revived Roman Empire. Along the way, the Antichrist will have subdued three kings out of the 10.

The Antichrist and his 10 kings will then — after his appearance in the Temple — begin their 3 1/2-year war against the saints of God. Perhaps as a method to identify these saints, the Antichrist and the False Prophet will require that everyone be given a mark that, for well-known religious reasons, only the true saints of God will refuse.

Peters thought that the final 7 years might have begun on 1 January 2007, which would have implied that the final three and a half years would begin mid 2010. Peters died, unexpectedly, in 2007, but the hype that his predictions generated were reflected in the popularity of his prophecy website, operation of which passed to his daughter, Holly Pivec. In September 2010, the timeline proposed by Peters and the idea that the last seven years had begun in 2007, was abandoned. Pivec wrote: [4]

For the ENPI theory to remain valid, my father – Herb Peters, the founder of FP – believed that some significant events needed to occur by now that haven’t – such as peace in the Middle East and the appearance of the abomination of desolation. The fact that they haven’t yet occurred leaves two options: (1) either the ENPI theory has failed; or (2) the ENPI theory is valid, but his – and our – assumptions about what needed to occur by this point in time were mistaken. At this moment, we can’t say definitively which option is the correct one.

Peters joins a crowd of prophecy exegetes, who over the centuries, have supported the idea of a gap between the ministry of Jesus and the final 3 ½ years of prophecy. They are listed according to the size of their proposed gaps, in the table below. The numbers by which the prophetic 3 ½ year period is represented, 1,335 days, 1,290 days, and 1,260 days, do not fit the natural lunar cycle, or a real 3 ½ year period, in any calendar. This suggests that it is not a natural 3 ½ years.

When Jesus ascended to heaven, and Jerusalem was raised up, as Isaiah had foretold, earthly time units no longer applied to it, as before. Most of the 70 weeks apply to the earthly city, but because Jerusalem was raised up, the final half week of the 70 weeks of Daniel’s prophecy applies to the heavenly Jerusalem. The 3 ½ years of prophecy has a heavenly or spiritual character; the units are not units of earth time.

I agree with Peters that the 3 ½ years or the time, times and a half of Daniel is the last half of the 70th week, but this 70th week, I think, is the week in which Christ confirms his covenant with the saints. It began when Jesus began his earthly ministry. This covenant was called the gospel by Paul. [Galatians 3:8] The last half-week spans the whole age of the church.

Author Gap Proposed Dates
James Stuart Russell (1816-1895)
Robert Young (1822-1888)
Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. (1950- )
37 years 67-70
Henry Hammond (1605-1660) 102 132-136
Walter Brute c. 1391 105 135-1395
B. H. Carroll (1843-1914) 220 250-1510
John Napier (1550-1617) 270 300-1560
Thomas Brightman (1562-1607) 274 304-1546
James Brocard (b. 1563) 283 313-1573
John Napier (1550-1617) 286 316-1576
Michael Servetus (1509-1553) 295 325-1585
Johann Heinrich Alsted (1588-1638) 332 362-1622
Thomas Parker (1595-1677) 360 c: 390-1649
Thomas Goodwin (1600-1680) 376 406-1666
David Chytraeus (1530-1600) 382 412-1672
Hanserd Knollys (1599-1691) 398 428-1688
Pierre Du Moulin (1568-1658) 399 429-1689
William Whiston (1667-1752) 425 455-1715
Joseph Mede (1586-1638)
William Whiston (1667-1752)
446 476-1736
James Hartley Frere (1779-1866) 502 532-1792
Bishop Thomas Newton (1704-1782)
Matthew Habershon (1789-1852)
Edward Irving (1792-1834)
Albert Barnes (1798-1870)
Henry Grattan Guinness (1835-1910)
503 533-1793
Michael Paget Baxter (1834-1910) 507 537-1797
David Simpson (1745-1799)
William Miller (1782-1849)
Uriah Smith (1832-1903)
508 538-1798
Robert Fleming (c. 1660-1716) 522 552-1794
Roderick C. Meredith (1930- ) 524 554-1814
Matthew Habershon (1789-1852) 553 583-1843
George Stanley Faber (1773-1854) 574 604-1864
Drue Cressener (1642-1718)
Robert Fleming (c. 1660-1716)
576 606-1848
Thomas Parker (1595-1677) 576 c: 600-1859
David Pareus (1548-1622)
William Whiston (1667-1752)
John Gill (1697-1771)
Bishop Thomas Newton (1704-1782)
Joseph Galloway (1731-1803)
David Simpson (1745-1799)
George Stanley Faber (1773-1854)
Edward Bishop Elliott (1793-1875)
Albert Barnes (1798-1870)
Henry Grattan Guinness (1835-1910)
576 606-1866
David Simpson (1745-1799) 636 666-1926
Bishop Thomas Newton (1704-1782) 697 727-1987
Albert Barnes (1798-1870) 722 752-2012
Bryce Johnston (1747-1805) 726 756-1999
Moses Lowman (1679-1752)
David Simpson (1745-1799)
726 756-2016
Robert Fleming (c. 1660-1716) 728 758-2000
Isaac Newton (1642-1727) 770 800-2060
Johan Albrecht Bengel (1687-1752) 834 864-1521
1028 1058-1836
Albert Barnes (1798-1870) 1043 1073-2333
Hans Hut (c. 1490-1527) 1495 1525-1528
Melchior Hoffman (1495-1544) 1496 1526-1530
Lodowicke Muggleton (1609-1698) 1622 1652-1658
Michael Paget Baxter (1834-1910) 1837 1867-1871
Joseph Franklin “Judge” Rutherford (1856-1942) 1884 1914-1918
Herbert W. Armstrong (1892-1986) 1942 1972-1975
Herbert L. Peters (1946-2007) 1977 2010-2014

References

1. Herbert L. Peters. Recommendation 666, The Rise of the Beast From the Sea. iUniverse, Inc. 2003

2. Herbert L. Peters. Expectations — What Herb Thinks. 2 January 2007

3. Herbert L. Peters. Timeline of Events. 9 January 2007

4. Holly Pivec. Our New Position Statement and Future Plans for FP. 14 September 2010

 

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