An Open Letter To Alex Jones of Infowars.com and to the Rothschilds, Klaus Schwab, Yuval Harari, and Those Attempting the Globalist Coup D’Etat,

Dear Mr. Alex Jones,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       4/14/2023

I wanted to follow-up on my call and comments to you on your “wildcard” call-in show yesterday (4/13/23) and your follow-up comments / challenges of what you believe are for the view of “Preterism” at minute markers 1:42-45 and then 1:49ff.  Let me first address why I called in since I never had time to discuss that, and then I will address your questions and or challenges on Preterism being the correct or incorrect interpretation of the Olivet Discourse and the book of Revelation.  By the way, I of course am willing to come on your show to discuss / debate with yourself or a panel of “prophecy experts” you would want to put together to debate the role of modern Israel in Bible prophecy and if the war of Armageddon / Gog and Magog has or has not been fulfilled — and what are the implications of each view in our strategies against the New World Order?

The purpose for my call

I believe we both know that the World Economic Forum / The New World Order / United Nations and their attempted “Globalist Coup D’Etat” of the nations of the world climaxes in them instigating a war between Israel and Iran or the Muslim world (Albert Pike and others have been pretty clear on this).  This could happen before the election but if Trump gets re-elected in 2024 this is definitely the ace up the sleeve the New World Order (NWO) and they will pull it out to usher in their Agenda 2030 plan which they hope will bring about their global currency and one world government tyranny.  Unfortunately, I don’t believe the Church, nor you are completely prepared to address what is coming.  Let me explain.

Since so much of the Church today holds to the heretical view of Premillennial Dispensational Zionism (and you hold to some of these tenants yourself), how do you expect to motivate them to fight the New World Order (NWO) and this coming war between Israel and the Muslim world since they believe the Bible teaches everything is supposed to get worse and worse until they allegedly get “raptured” off the planet just before the war takes place?!?  In other words, they WANT this war to take place and the Talmudic Zionists have been infiltrating, grooming and supporting this un-biblical system since C.I. Scofield.  They have been manipulating Evangelical Zionists to give them money to “re-build the temple” and to “bless God’s people” so that they in return will be blessed.  But of course, as I demonstrate in my book, Armageddon Deception, modern “Jews” are Khazarians and modern Israel isn’t the fulfillment of ANY NT or OT prophecy but is rather nothing more than the State of Rothschild and the New World Order.  Thus, they are a growing part of the “invisible world government” so many have talked about over the last 150 years and are no TRUE ally to what a more Christian founding of the U.S. once was.  The Rothschild’s were not only trained in international banking but in the Talmud which teaches world dominion through enslaving Christians and non-Jews through monetary means and that killing Christians and non-Jews is an “act of worship.”

But my point is they will be able to pull this war off because Islam WANTS and needs this war to fulfill its version of the Second Coming of Jesus which oddly will help them kill and enslave the Christians and Jews and usher in a worldwide rule under them.  And of course Talmudic Zionism needs this war to usher in what many of them think will usher in their military Messiah that will rebuild the temple and usher in a one world government — giving each Jew 2,800 Christian and Gentile slaves.  Unfortunately, Evangelical Zionists are no less gullible – twisting the Scriptures and trying to self-fulfill prophecies that were fulfilled between AD 67 – AD 70 to bring about this war so they can get “raptured” and usher in what you (Alex Jones) thinks will be a Premillennial “utopia on earth.”  In short, if you don’t take some time to seriously study your Bible Alex, you are no less a SUCKER for what is coming than the three groups I listed and you have no long-term strategy to deal with this threat.

Their GOAL – Monetary and Religious Global “RESET”

The GOAL of the more Satanic or Atheist side of this system is to not just create a monetary vacuum that they will offer as a “solution,” but to bring about disillusionment upon their own Talmudic Zionists and within Islam and Christianity to adopt their new religion of transhumanism / pantheism / nihilism.  And when the Jewish Messiah doesn’t show up, the “Man of Sin” doesn’t show up, no version of an Islamic or Christian Second Coming of a 5 foot 5 Jew comes riding on a physical cloud down to save the day and usher in a global “utopia” takes place – religious disillusionment will be at its all-time high!

So, the monetary “great reset” will either be the U.S. and the other nations going back to printing our own debt-free currency and prosecuting these tyrants or rolling over to them for a very long and dark period.  And the religious “great reset” will be Christians going back to studying their Bibles to see these are actually prophecies that are not in our near future, but were fulfilled when and how Jesus and the NT authors said they would (i.e. adopting Full Preterism).  THEN Christians will be equipped to deal with the disillusionment of many “Jews” and Muslims over their failed prophecies as well.  Granted, the history of all three groups is to just re-group and start making more “carrot and stick” “soon” future predictions in hopes of self-fulfilling their prophetic texts, but I do believe after this war (if it takes place as planned) will backfire and be an explosion of revival and reformation in the area of Biblical teaching in the area of Biblical prophecy.  And we will see many conversions to Christianity from many “Jews” and Muslims.

Here is an outline to the content of this letter as it pertains to our very brief discussion on air.

1).  Is first century Rome, her armies, Nero and Titus mentioned as fulfilling the end of the age war with the Beast of Daniel 7; 9:24-27; 12:7; Luke 21:20-32; Revelation 16; 19-20?

2).  “If all prophecy has been fulfilled and the end of the age war was in AD 67 – AD 70 and Titus was the Antichrist, what about:

a).  The Devil being in chains?

b).  Where is Christ returning to earth?

c).  Where are the giant pillars of fire that destroy whole cities?

d).  There was no worldwide mark of the beast in which the entire world saw the beast right?

e).  Are we really going to say for the last 2,000 years that this is a Christ on earth utopia?”

3). What about the “Man of Sin” and coming of Christ in 2 Thessalonians 1-2?

1).  Is first century Rome, her armies, Nero and Titus mentioned as fulfilling the end of the age war with the Beast of Daniel 7; 9:24-27; 12:7; Luke 21:20-32; Revelation 16; 19-20?

Daniel 2 and 7 / Matthew 24 / Luke 21

According to Daniel 2 and 7 the Messiah’s Second Coming on the clouds and establishing His Kingdom would take place during the time of the fourth kingdom which was Rome – and would not occur beyond that time at the end of world history.  Daniel 2 identifies His Kingdom as being different than the other earthly kingdoms – it would be eternal and spiritual.  Daniel 7 also predicts a time of severe persecution and death for the saints before they would experience Messiah coming on the clouds and inheriting His Kingdom.

Jesus connects Him coming upon the clouds (the Second Coming), severe persecution and death for first century saints, and the arrival of His Kingdom to “ALL” take place within His contemporary AD 30 – AD 70 “this generation” in the Matthew 24 / Mark 13 / Luke 21. Jesus also teaches us that “all” OT prophecy would be fulfilled by AD 70 and thus within His generation (Lk. 21:22-32).

Daniel 9:24-27 / Luke 21

1). Finish transgression

Jerusalem “filled up” or “finished transgressions” against God and His Messiah within Jesus’ “this generation” (Mt. 23:31-38; Dan. 9:24a).  As that contemporary generation was ending, the book of Revelation confirms the same first century time frame of fulfillment in that the vindication of the martyrs’ blood at the hands of the great harlot city Babylon (which is OC Jerusalem where the Lord was crucified – Rev. 11:8) would be fulfilled in a “very little while” at the “soon” Second Coming of Christ to vindicate them (Rev. 6:10-11; 17–22:6-7, 10-12, 20).

Peter also affirms that the judgment of the living (e.g. the Pharisees) and the dead (e.g. the martyrs) was “at hand” (1 Pet. 4:5-7).

2). Put an end to sin

As we have seen in our brief discussion of entering into the Sabbath rest in the book of Hebrews, Christ put an “end to sin” at His imminent, “in a very little while,” Second Appearing as the Great Anointed High Priest fulfilling the new covenant promises made to Israel and to close the “last days” of the old covenant age in AD 70 (Heb. 9:26-28/10:37; Rom. 11:26-27/13:11-12; Dan. 9:24b.).

3). To atone for wickedness or the covering over of iniquity

See references in #2. In the new covenant creation, our sins are remembered no more and covered in the depths of the sea (Isa. 65-66; Micah 7:19).

4). To bring in everlasting righteousness

Per Peter, at the Day of the Lord in AD 70, He brought in “everlasting righteousness” or a “world of righteousness” which was to arrive in an AD 70 “at hand” time frame – “the end of all things is at hand” – in Peter’s day (1 Pet. 4:5-7; 2 Pet. 3).  This was the “inheritance” and “salvation of the soul” that was “ready to be revealed” to Peter and his contemporaries (1 Pet. 1:4-12; Acts 2:20-40).  Paul likewise preached that this righteousness was about to be given to the early Church: “But also, on ours, to whom it [righteousness] is about to be reckoned  — to us believing on Him who did raise up Jesus our Lord out of the dead” (Romans 4:24).  “For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope” (Galatians 5:5).

5). To seal up vision and prophet

Many commentators agree that Daniel 9:24-27 is a tiny snapshot of fulfilling the first and second redemptive comings of Jesus. Yet at the same time, commentators struggle with the fact that the prophecy ends with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 per Jesus (Lk. 21:20-22, 32).  Jesus’ teaching is clear that all of Israel’s OT promises and prophetic material concerning His redemptive work (including His Second Coming) would be accomplished within the AD 30 – AD 70 “this generation” (Luke 21:22-32).

OT scholars Keil and Delitzsch correctly give the meaning of “seal up vision and prophet” to be:

“Prophecies and prophets are sealed, when by the full realization of all prophecies prophecy ceases, no more prophets any more appear.”[1]

6). To anoint the most holy place

Christ anointed and consummated the new covenant Church as His Most Holy Place and Bride in AD 70 (Ex. 20, 29-31, 40; cf. Hebrews 9:6-10; Revelation 11:18-19, 19–

21:16).  As David Green writes,

“Finally, it was through the anointing of the Holy Spirit that the whole city of Jerusalem was made new and became “the Tabernacle of God,” when the worldly Holy Place fell in 70 (Heb. 9:1, 8). Under the old covenant, every article of God’s tabernacle was consecrated by the anointing of oil (Ex. 30:2530; 40:9; Lev. 8:10, 12).  In the same way, in the Last Days, God taught His elect ones the truth of His gospel through the anointing of the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 1:21,22; I Jn. 2:20,27), until all of them had come to know Him (Jn. 6:39).  Then came “the end” (Dan. 9:26), when the Body of Christ, all His holy ones, the living and the dead, were raised up to become His anointed (God-taught) “Most Holy Place” in the new covenant world (Jn. 6:44-45; Eph. 2:21-22; Heb. 8:11-13; Rev. 21:3).”[2]

The 490 years

The Jews used their own calendar (that was off by 160 years from the Gentile one) and periods of jubilees (49-50 years) to divide prophetic time and the coming fulfillment of Daniel 9:24:24-27.  The prophecy was broken down in 10 Jubilee periods – 10 x 49 = 490 years. They saw the prophecy beginning with the destruction of the first temple in roughly 420 BC and ending with the destruction of the temple in AD 70 (420 BC – AD 70 = 490 years).  But of course, they won’t tell you that in their early literature they understood Daniel 7:13 and Daniel 9:24-27 to be a Messianic prophecy of a divine and eternal Messiah that had to show up before the destruction of the temple in AD 70 (something I address in my book in much detail).

The War like a Flood – Abomination of Desolation / Luke 21  

According to Daniel 9:24-27 and 11QMelch., Jesus would come in the 10th. Jubilee which they calculated to be somewhere between AD 17 – AD 28.  And Messiah had 49-50 years (that 10th Jubilee period) to accomplish all of His redemptive work before the destruction of the temple in AD 70.  The last Messiahic 7th week or 7 years of Daniel 9:24-27 is divided in half or two 3 ½ years periods.  Jesus inaugurates the New Covenant (NC) through His death and is “cut off” between AD 27 – AD 30.  Then the last 3 ½ years period is the “war” “like a flood” or “desolation” of temple per Daniel 9:26-27 which was fulfilled during AD 67 – AD 70.

The Jews called their land a “holy place” and thus when the Roman armies set foot on their land and surrounded the city, they were the “abomination” that would cause “desolation” for Jerusalem and her temple (Mt. 24:15/Lk. 21:20).  These were the “times of the Gentiles” (the last “3 ½ years” of Dan. 9:24-27 and Dan. 12:7) when the Roman armies treaded underneath their feet Jerusalem and led them into captivity throughout the Empire (Lk. 21:20-24).

Evangelical Zionism has a 2,000 year plus gap between the 69th and 70th seven of

Daniel 9:24-27 with the “prophetic clock starting up again with the events of 1948” which is completely read into the text and is unbiblical.  And it plays right into the hands of the Talmudic Zionist Globalist movement!

 Daniel 12 / Revelation 11

 Daniel 12 recapitulates many aspects of Daniel 7 and 9 and again addresses the abomination of desolation and war or this last “3 ½ years” period “when the power of the holy people would be completely shattered” and they were between AD 67 – AD 70.  This was also the time the judgment and resurrection of the dead would be fulfilled in that vs. 7 says “ALL these things” which includes verses 1-7.  Revelation 11:1-18 picks up this “3 ½ years” period of AD 67 – AD 70 when the Roman nations would trample Jerusalem (“the city where the Lord was crucified”) under her feet and would be the time for the judgment of the dead.

Post AD 70 there is no valid “Judaism” or ethnic Jew that has a covenant with God outside of having faith in Jesus / Messiah.  There are no more sacred space Old Covenant promises of blessings “in the land” only blessings “in Christ” under the New Covenant.

Interpreting Imminence in Revelation and the NT correctly

Since you are claiming the book of Revelation is predicting Transhumanism, A.I., computer chips as the “mark of the beast” etc., you have clearly ignored the inspired NT time indicators and are twisting Scripture to fit what you think about the New World Order.  Unfortunately, men like Patrick Wood butcher Revelation as well claiming the 15 minute cities is the the fulfillmetn of  “Babylon” in Revelation.  These kind of abuses of God’s PURE Word must stop.  Not only are you bringing reproach upon the name of Christ and His Word, you are discrediting Christianity to an unbelieving world.  Let’s briefly turn our attention to how many try and abuse the imminent time texts in Revelation and the NT and give a brief response.

1).  The “symbolic”, “principle”, “ideal” and “eschatological time” view

Simon Kistemaker, in order to walk the creedal party line, decides that the time texts in Revelation should be understood in an “ideal” way or should be somehow “symbolically” interpreted as “…the meaning of eschatological time, expressed not in chronological periods, but in terms of principle.”189

Response:  I hate to sound disrespectful here, but it sounds like someone is smoking weed or crack when I hear bizarre comments like these.  Or maybe this is coming from some secular philosophical department somewhere?  Or perhaps some liberal neo-orthodox seminary?  Unfortunately, none of these are the case.  Kistemaker is clearly trying his best to hide behind very vague and so-called “scholarly” or philosophical language.  Why?  It’s because he knows he has no lexical support for making these kinds of comments!  I’m sorry, but the truth is that the Futurist and creedal emperor really doesn’t have any clothes on here, folks.

This sounds like other kinds of gibberish I hear such as Jesus’ Second Coming is “always near” (ex. Anthony A. Hoekema),[3] or “For the NT writers, the nearness of the Parousia is not so much chronological nearness as a “salvation-history nearness.”[4]

John MacArthur claims the NT authors truly expected Christ’s “soon”, “will not delay” coming to occur in their lifetimes, but then says that’s just what Christ wants all of us to think and expect. Yet MacArthur also affirms that Christ may continue to “delay” His coming another 2,000 years and counting.  If language means anything, how on God’s green earth can Christ’s Second Coming be genuinely “near” and “will not delay” for the inspired writers of the NT, genuinely “near” and “will not delay” for us, and yet at the same time Christ could delay His coming for another 2,000 years?!?  MacArthur’s friend. R.C. Sproul. correctly called this kind of philosophical mumbo jumbo and exegetical gymnastics as on par with liberal “neo-orthodoxy,” and he corrected men like F.F. Bruce for trying to defend similar dribble:

“When F. F. Bruce speaks of faith making the time be ‘at hand,’ this sounds all too much like Rudolf  Bultmann’s famous theology of timelessness, which removes the object of faith from the realm of real history and consigns it to a super temporal realm of the always present hic et nunc [here and now].”[5]

There is also some irony here for those Futurist, Reformed commentators like Kistemaker, Hoekema, etc. who claim to want to honor God’s sovereignty in the redemptive history of men.  We hear from them that “God will accomplish what He sets out to do when He says and decrees it to take place” kind of rhetoric.  John uses a very strong word in Revelation 1:1 to indicate that the prophecy most assuredly will be fulfilled “shortly” when he says it “must (Greek dei) shortly take place.”  This word means, “necessity established by the counsel and decree of God, especially by that purpose of his which relates to the salvation of men by the intervention of Christ and which is disclosed in the Old Testament prophecies.”  The Second Coming or appearing of Christ as our Great High Priest “in a very little while and will not delay” (Heb. 9:26-28—10:37) “relates to the salvation of men,” and to teach otherwise is to go against the sovereign decrees and purposes of God!  To claim Christ didn’t come when He decreed and purposed to is not something any real Calvinist should attempt to teach. Selah.

Not only is a denial of God’s sovereignty inseparably connected to a denial of NT imminence, but an indirect attack on the inspiration of Scripture is in view as well.

As Gary DeMar writes,

“Any student of the Bible who does not interpret these time texts to mean anything other than close at hand is in jeopardy of denying the integrity of the Bible.[6]

The inspired writers were “led into all truth…concerning things to come” (the timing and nature of the Second Coming). They were not giving us what they “felt” might happen when they taught Christ was going to come in their lifetimes, generation, soon, etc.

2).  The “when Jesus decides to come He will come really fast then” view

“Must shortly or quickly (Greek en taxei in the taxos word group) take place” (Rev. 1:1; see also: 2:16; 3:11; 22:6-7, 12, 20) is a key phrase.

Premillennial Zionist John Walvoord writes of en tachei,

“…indicating a rapidity of execution after the beginning takes place. The idea is not that the event may occur soon, but that when it does, it will be sudden (Lk. 18:8; Acts 12:7; 22:18; 25:4; Rms. 16:20).”[7]

Let me summarize this view as teaching “whenever Jesus decides to come, then He will come really quickly.”  This is like me calling the fire department in an emergency and they tell me, “Don’t worry, we will be there “shortly”, “quickly” and our arrival will be “near.”  And yet when they pull up a week later after my house has burnt down I say, “I thought you were coming ‘quickly.’ What happened?!?”  And they reply, “Well, what we meant was when we decide to come, then we would drive very quickly at that point.”  This is how Dispensationalist Thomas Ice has also sought to interpret the tachos word family with no success.[8]

Response:  None of the translations I have consulted give this imaginative meaning to en tachei.  Not only this, but Arndt & Gingrich translate en tachei (in Lk. 18:8; Acts 12:7; 22:18; 25:4; Rom. 16:20; Walvoord’s “proof texts”) as “soon, in a short time.”  And even outside of the Bible (e.g. LXX or Josephus) taxos means – yes, you guessed it – “quickly” or “without delay.”  And even if one were to grant this unsubstantiated meaning to en tachei, what of the other Greek words John used to communicate imminence in Revelation such as “near” / “at hand” (Greek engus) (Rev. 1:3; 22:10) or “about to be” (Greek mello) (Rev. 1:19; 3:10)?  Clearly, John is using a wide range of imminent words such as en tachei, taxos, and mello harmoniously to prophesy that Christ’s Second Coming would be fulfilled imminently and not thousands of years later.

The Book of Revelation is filled with a contemporary first century group of Christians experiencing persecution and martyrdom, in which Jesus comforts them by explaining that He will return “soon” and in a “little while” to vindicate them from their first century persecutors and give them “relief” at His appearing from these Jewish persecutors – their “countrymen” the Pharisees, or the “synagogue of Satan” (Rev. 6:10-11; Mt. 23:30-36, Mt. 24; 1Thess. 2:14-16/2Thess. 1:6-7).  Jesus was either faithful to return and gave them relief from these first century persecutors or He didn’t.  It’s really that simple.

 3).  “Jesus was just saying His coming was a certain event to occur” view

This is what the Greek words actually are in Revelation 22:20 to communicate both genuine imminence and the thought of certainty:

Surely [Greek nai – means ‘certainly’] I am coming quickly” [Greek tachu – means an event will be ‘without delay’ or take place ‘soon’].

Notice the text does not say, “Surely I am coming surely/certainly” (that would be redundant).

If all Jesus was trying to communicate was that His coming was “certain” to happen someday, there were Greek words He could have used instead of the taxos, engus, and mello word groups!

4).  “Revelation is teaching that the beginning or inauguration of fulfillment was near, not the consummation of fulfillment” view

Perhaps the latest trend, and innovative “scholarly” approach from some Futurists to avoid the obvious, is to claim that the “inauguration” of fulfilled prophecy was genuinely “at hand” when John wrote Revelation, but not the consummation of the prophecy.  G.K. Beale writes:

“The focus of ‘quickness’ and ‘nearness’ in vv 1-3 is primarily on inauguration of prophetic fulfillment and its ongoing aspect, not on nearness of consummated fulfillment… Indeed, what follows shows that the beginning of fulfillment and not final fulfillment is the focus.”[9]

Response:  This is so obviously wrong and it’s disturbing that a publisher even paid for these kinds of comments to go into print for the Christian public to read, let alone portray them as “scholarly”!  The entire book of “Revelation” or “prophecy [singular] of this book” [singular] was to be fulfilled “shortly” or “soon” (Rev. 1:1; 22:18-20).  And everyone knows that the Second Coming and judgment described as taking place “soon” is the “consummative” event, and Pentecost and the giving of the Holy Spirit was the “inauguration” event that took place some 30 years in the past when John wrote!

Alex, now let’s get into some of the specifics that we didn’t have time to dig into on the show:

The War of Revelation – Armageddon and Gog and Magog

Alex, you had also mentioned that in your thinking “Preterism” was the view that Titus’ siege on Jerusalem was the fulfillment of the book of Revelation and that is very close to the truth.  Here is a section taken from my book on that subject and addressing the “five months” and “locust” of Revelation 9:

The Five months / the locust / Titus – “The earthly reflection of Apollyon is Vespasian’s son Titus, the commander of the Legio XV Apollinaris (Fifteenth Apollonian Legion). Initially the commander of the Fifteenth Legion, Titus then went on to succeed his father as general over all the Roman legions during the Jewish War after his father had become Caesar, a title also bestowed on Titus at his father’s coronation. As Caesar, Titus was entitled to worship as a god in the imperial cult, and like Apollo, the son of Zeus, could also be labeled the Son of God–a perfect title for the beast.

At the start of the Jewish War, Titus was the general of the Fifteenth Legion. With Apollo as its patron, the Fifteenth Legion was suitably nicknamed Apollinaris, a name meaning “devoted to Apollo.” The Fifteenth Legion would always carry an emblem of Apollo or one of his holy animals wherever it went. Not surprisingly, the locust was one of Apollo’s holy animals. Now it is easy to see why the author of Revelation chose locusts to symbolize the soldiers of the Roman army following the precedence set in Joel. So “devoted to Titus” was his army that at the taking of the Jewish temple, they unanimously declared him emperor of Rome in fulfillment of v. 11 in which Apollyon is said to have been “king over them.”

This play on words for “Apollo”–the god of death and plague–and “Destroyer” in the name Apollyon perfectly describes the man directly responsible for the remaining plagues of Revelation who was the “destroyer” of Jerusalem.  And who coincidentally besieged the city FOR EXACTLY 5 MONTHS just as stated in Rev 9:10!” (Armageddon Deception, p. 231)

The beast as Nero and Rome

1).  The Beast – Beasts in Daniel represented the four Gentile Kingdoms (Babylon, Medes & Persians, Greece and Rome) that would rule over Israel (Dan. 7:1-7).  But the fourth beast took on qualities of the other three, and was more “dreadful and exceedingly strong” than the others.  It also is described as taking on some of the attributes of the other beasts (Dan. 7:7) as we see in Revelation 13. This could be simply because Rome was the fourth beast and had consumed and assimilated those other world empires, and she thus takes on those characteristics and power as well.

2).  The 10 horns – The beast is described as having 10 horns, seven heads, and rising out of the sea.   The 10 horns is possibly a reference to Rome whereby she was divided into 10 provinces making up the Empire, which were: Italy, Achaia, Asia, Syria, Egypt, Africa, Spain, Gaul, Britain, and Germany.

3).  The seven heads – is most likely a reference to the seven hills of Rome, which was a symbol of the imperial city. Revelation 17:9-10 informs us that the seven heads are seven mountains on which the harlot (apostate Israel) sits. 

4).  Rising out of the sea – is referring to Satan calling on this beast from the sea which often times in Scripture represents the Gentiles, or in this case would be Rome.

Most Partial and Full Preterists see the corporate “beast” in this chapter to be the Roman Empire and her head to be Nero.  With Rome and Nero being the beast, the following evidence is given in the book of Revelation:

a).  Seven mountains – Rome was known to be the famous “city on seven hills,” and the seven heads is later interpreted as seven mountains (cf. 17:7).

b).  The beast comes up out of the sea – and the sea in Scripture often times represents Gentile nations and powers, as do fierce animals with horns (13:12).

c).  The seven heads are not just seven mountains, but seven kings (17:9-10) – of which five have fallen or have previously died when John is writing (Julius, Augustus, Tiberius, Gaius, and Claudius), the current one “now is” (the sixth being Nero), and when the seventh (Galba) comes, his reign would be brief.

d).  Rome and Nero persecuted and killed Christians with ferocity – “prevailing” against them for a time, as even Daniel 7 predicted, before they would inherit the kingdom. Nero was known as a “beast” and put Christians on stakes, lit them on fire and rode his chariot naked. He also was crazy and often placed young boys in animal skins and raped them.

e).  Nero / Beast committed “blasphemies” – through making coins of himself, depicting himself as the sun god or a new Apollo worthy of worship (13:5-6, 8).

f).  Nero Caesar the reference to John’s common first century cryptogram – Archaeologists have documented the Hebrew spelling (Nrwn Qsr – Nero Caesar) which comes to 666 or six hundred and sixty-six. Alphabets also functioned as a numerical system (n = 50; r = 200; w = 6; n = 50; q = 100; s = 60; r = 200) – which gives us 666.

g).  The mark of the beast – If one did not take the mark of the beast (that is, acknowledging that he was the supreme king – “we have no king but Caesar”), Rome made the buying and selling of goods difficult and often times put them to death for not making this declaration.

h).  The 3 ½ years persecution – Nero was engaged in a war with the Jews for 42 months or 3 ½ years – from November AD 64 – June AD 68 (13:5).

i).  The beast revives – After Nero died, the Roman Empire seemed to have come to an end with several civil wars erupting, but the Empire recovered and revived (13:3, 7).

The last of Daniel’s four beasts is Rome and it comprises both Roman elements (iron) and that of the apostate Jews and Herodian dynasty (clay) (Dan. 2:40-43). These groups have a love-hate relationship which made the kingdom vulnerable and weak.  At first, they both come together in seeking to destroy Christ and the early church, but since clay does not mix or cling with iron, the apostate Jews (clay) rebel against the Romans (iron) and this results in the Roman-Jewish War.

As we move into Revelation, the beast theme is addressing Nero the sixth king, the Roman Empire (the sea beast), the apostate Jews (the land beast) and the Satanic seven-headed beast or dragon from the underworld who is pulling the strings of these other beasts to come against Christ, His saints and to eventually turn on each other in order to tear apart Jerusalem and her temple.  Therefore, the judgment of Satan within the beast theme was also fulfilled “shortly” in AD 70 along with the other enemies in the great end of the age war of AD 67 – AD 70.

While the Roman Empire did not end in AD 70, its ability to rule or “shake” God’s Kingdom did. The four Gentile world empires that ruled over God’s people in Daniel were able to “shake” God’s old covenant kingdom (destroy and loot her city and temple).  But in AD 70, Rome’s power to do so was destroyed and lost because postAD 70 God’s kingdom (city and temple) on earth is set up within the hearts of His people and thus could no longer be shaken, plundered or destroyed as the old had.  The riches of this kingdom are found in the righteousness of Christ buried deep within the hearts and souls of His people, never to be taken!  It is in this way that the entire statue of Daniel 2 (the four Gentile kingdoms & apostate Jews) comes crashing down when the stone (Christ & His Kingdom) strike it in AD 70.

And while the Roman Beast was not completely destroyed in AD 70, Satan/the Ancient Serpent/the Dragon, whose demonic legions influenced Rome and apostate Judaism, was cast into the Lake of Fire and “crushed” “shortly” (Rms. 16:20/Gen. 3:15) in AD 70.

This end-time “the Battle” of Revelation 19 goes on to describe the covenant-cursing divorce and judgment of God’s old covenant wife/Jerusalem, while at the same time He consummates His marriage to His new covenant wife/the New Jerusalem (the Church).  While the wedding feast takes place for the new covenant Wife/Jerusalem, the old covenant harlot wife/Jerusalem gets fed to the birds – “all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh” (Rev. 19:6-9; 21).

This is in direct harmony with Jesus’ teaching concerning the Roman-Jewish War, in that old covenant Judaism would be left a dead body feasted upon by the birds (Mt. 24:28/Lk. 17:37).  John is also in lock step with Jesus concerning the eschatological wedding theme, when at the time of the wedding God was going to send His armies (the Romans) to “kill those [Jewish] murderers” and “burn their city” (Mt. 22:7).  Like the unfaithful wife of a priest, Jerusalem is both stoned and burned in the unfolding events of AD 67 – AD 70.

Revelation 16 – “the war” and Armageddon

The texts I want to develop here in Revelation 16 are primarily verses 14-16, 19-20:

“They are demonic spirits that perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle (or the war) on the great day of God Almighty. “Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.” Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon” (Rev. 16:14-16).

“The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath.  Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found” (Rev. 16:19-20).

The first point I would like to make and that we should pay careful attention to, is that the context for the gathering of the armies in “Armageddon” and the coming “THE war of the Great Day of God” that ensues in Revelation 16, is for the purpose of judging Babylon. Therefore, to understand when this war takes place, we need to identify who Babylon is in the prophecy.

Earlier in Revelation 11:8 we are told that Babylon or this “great city” is old covenant Jerusalem – “where our Lord was crucified.” So “Armageddon” and “the war” here has nothing to do with Babylon or the great city being the Roman Catholic Church, or the lands or nations of modern-day Iran, Iraq, Syria, Muslims, China, the Russians, or even modern Israel. This is a “war” and judgment upon old covenant Jerusalem.

The rest of the prophecy tells us why “the war” comes about or why Babylon is to be judged.  In chapters 17-18 we learn that it is because old covenant Jerusalem, or Babylon, has played the harlot and has a history of killing all the prophets God sends to her, and that Babylon has gotten drunk off the blood of the apostles, prophets, and martyrs (again, that Jesus promised to send to her in Matthew 23, before He judged that generation and desolated their temple).  As a result, God then judges her because she has now filled up the measure of their suffering, and thus the cup of God’s wrath is now full and ready to be poured out.  The time of avenging the last apostles and prophets Jesus had sent to her, along with all the blood of the martyrs going as far back as Genesis, had come!

The coming “Great Day” of God’s judgment and wrath in Revelation 16, in relation to bringing judgment upon Israel’s sin of bloodguilt, has also been previously addressed in Revelation 6.  In Revelation 6 John is consistent with Jesus’ time frame of “the war” and vindication of the martyrs as developed in Isaiah 2-4. John tells us that the vindication for the martyrs would be in a “very little while” after their number would be completed.  This corresponds with Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 23 where He says the blood of the martyrs would be filled up or completed within their generation.

John, like Jesus in Luke 23, also cites the last days war and coming Day of judgment of Isaiah 2—4 in Revelation 6:15-17.  Here people are seeking to hide themselves, in caves and among the rocks of the mountains, from the majesty of the Lord’s “Great Day” of judgment coming. And in both Revelation 6 and our Armageddon prophecy here in Revelation 16, parallel de-creation language is used.  “Every mountain and island was removed” in chapter 6 is parallel to “every island fled away and the mountains could not be found” in chapter 16.  So thus far John is using the last days war of Isaiah 2-4 against old covenant Jerusalem for shedding the blood of the martyrs and announcing that they would be judged imminently in that first century generation just as Jesus used Isaiah 2-4 in Luke 23:28-30 and Matthew 23:31-39.

So then what relationship does the term “Armageddon” have with “the war of the Great Day of God”? Armageddon simply means “Mount Megiddo.” And yet there is no “mountain” there because it is a plain, with the closest mountain being Mount Carmel.  This term and the geographical locations are referred to because they function as a symbol for famous battles Israel and her enemies had there.  As David Chilton and Farrer explain,

“Megiddo” thus was for St. John a symbol of defeat and desolation, a “Waterloo” signifying the defeat of those who set themselves against God, as Farrer explains: “In sum, Mt. Megiddo stands in his mind for a place where lying prophecy and its dupes go to meet their doom; where kings and their armies are misled to their destruction; where kings and their armies are misled to their destruction; and where all the tribes of the earth mourn, to see Him in power, whom in weakness they had pierced.”[10]

Others such as Dr. Michael Heiser make a connection that this war takes place in literal Jerusalem known as “the Mount of Assembly.”  Here is a sampling of Heiser’s points,

“…the Hebrew phrase behind John’s Greek transliteration of our mystery Hebrew term  is actually h-r-m-‘-d.  But what does this mean?  If the first part (h-r) is the Hebrew word  har (“mountain”), is there a har m-‘-d in the Hebrew Old Testament?”[11]

“The phrase in question exists in the Hebrew Bible a har mo’ed.  Incredibly, it is found in Isaiah 14:13,…”[12]

“The result in the case of Armageddon is dramatic.  When John draws on this ancient Hebrew phrase, he is indeed pointing to a climactic battle at Jerusalem.  Why?  Because Jerusalem is a mountain—Mount Zion.  And if Baal and the gods of the other nations don’t like Yahweh claiming to be the Most High and claiming to run the cosmos from the heights of Zaphon/Mount Zion, they can try to do something about it.

And of course they do.  Armageddon is about how the unbelieving nations, empowered  by…the prince of darkness—Lord (ba’al) of the dead, prince Baal (zbl ba’al), Beelzebul—will make one last, desperate effort to defeat Jesus at the place where Yahweh holds council, Mount Zion, Jerusalem.”[13]

This now harmonizes with Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24; Luke 21 and the book of Revelation–with the end of the [old covenant] age war taking place when the Romans would surround and tread Jerusalem (the city that crucified the Lord) beneath their feet in the events of AD 67 – AD 70.

Christ coming as “a thief” in the following verse is another way of describing the coming of “the Great Day of God.”  And we know from Revelation 3:3, 11 that Christ coming as a thief was His AD 70 “soon” coming.  Not only this, but His coming as a thief once again connects this event to Christ coming in the generation of AD 30 – AD 70 (cf. Mt. 24:34-43).

In putting this together so far, we learn:

Major Premise:  Revelation 16-18 teaches us that the gathering for “the war” in “Megiddo” was for the purpose of bringing judgment upon the great city of Babylon (identified in 11:8 as old covenant Jerusalem – “where the Lord was crucified”) for shedding the blood of the martyrs.

Minor Premise:  But the war designed to judge old covenant Jerusalem and vindicate the martyrs in Revelation 16-18 is referring to the same “Great Day” of judgment and vindication of the martyrs in Revelation 6 to take place “in a very little while,” and is the “last days” war of Isaiah 2-4.

Conclusion:  Therefore, both Jesus and John prophesied that “the war” and vindication of the martyrs in Isaiah 2-4 would be fulfilled in the AD 30 – AD 70 “this generation” or “in a very little while,” when Jerusalem (or Babylon the great city) would be judged in “THE war” between AD 67 – AD 70.

Revelation 19-20 – “the war” of Gog and Magog  

“And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth/land, and their armies, gathered together to make [THE] war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army” (Rev. 19:19).

Again, chapters 18-19 are contextually tied to the defeat of the “great city” of “Babylon,” which in Revelation 11:8 and Matthew 23 has been identified as Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified, and the persecutor of the OT prophets and NT apostles and prophets Jesus would send to her.

Revelation 19:11-21 is simply another recapitulation of the same end-time battle and judgment we have seen in chapters 11 and 16 – except described differently with different imagery, etc.

Amazingly, the Dispensational Zionist “prophecy experts” claim that the rider of the white horse in Revelation 6:2 is the “antichrist,” but there is absolutely no exegetical evidence for this.  Here in chapter 19, once again the rider of the white horse is described as Jesus Christ.  In chapter 6 Christ comes on the white horse (His Second Coming) conquering – thus vindicating the martyrs “in a very little while” in the “great day of His wrath,” pouring out the covenant curses of Deuteronomy 28 upon the land of Israel.  We previously saw Jesus appealing to the old covenant curses of Deuteronomy 28 in connection with the end-time war in the Olivet Discourse.

Men like James Jordan, [14] Gary DeMar[15] and David Lowman believe the battle of Gog and Magog was fulfilled during the time of Esther when Haman gathered the nations of the then known world to come and attack Israel but were defeated by God.  Let me seek to summarize the main points of this position:

1).  “Ezra and Nehemiah both mention the large amounts of silver and gold that the Jews brought back from exile. These are the same items we are told the approaching armies were attacking to plunder.

2).  The battle with Haman’s armies takes place after Israel is returned to the land, during Darius’ reign. Ezekiel prophesied until just a few short decades before this time.

3).  Esther and Ezekiel’s enemies from the north both include Persia and Ethiopia.

4).  In a very short battle [in Esther], the Israelites destroy Haman’s army, killing nearly 100,000 despite being greatly outnumbered.

5).  Both passages state that the Jews were attacked by all of Persia’s provinces. DeMar argues well for parallel boundaries between the Persian Empire in Esther’s day and Gog/Magog and her allies in Ezekiel’s vision.

6).  In Ezekiel’s vision, the Jews were living in unwalled towns. DeMar notes that this was also the case in Esther’s day, which makes sense since they were part of the Persian Empire at that time, an empire known for its benevolence and for taking good care of its subjects.

7). Haman (the enemy of Esther) is shown to be an “Agagite,” and even a “Gogite” in some manuscripts. Also the invaders in Ezekiel’s vision would be buried in the Valley of “Hamon-Gog.”

Others, such as William Hendriksen, see the first historical and typological reference to the war of Gog and Magog to be during the time of the Seleucids:

“The expression ‘Gog and Magog’ is borrowed from the book of Ezekiel, where the term undoubtedly indicates that power of the Seleucids especially as it was revealed in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes, the bitter enemy of the Jews. The center of his kingdom was located in North Syria. Seleucus established his residence there in the city of Antioch on the Orontes. To the east his territory extended beyond the Tigris. To the north the domain over which the Seleucids ruled included Mesheck and Tubal, districts in Asia Minor. Accordingly, Gog was the prince of Magog, that is, Syria. Therefore, the oppression of God’s people by ‘Gog and Magog’, refers, in Ezekiel, to the terrible persecution under Antiochus Epiphanes, ruler of Syria.”[16]

If this view is correct and the attack of Gog and Magog (Syria under Antiochus Epiphanes) was the last great oppression which Israel endured to close the OT, it stands to reason that John in the book of Revelation would use this as a symbolic or type/anti-type description of the end-time battle to close the old covenant age and to liberate the new covenant Israel of God.

Either way, John is using the symbolism of a past battle of Gog and Magog within Israel’s history to depict a future (but “shortly,” “at hand,” “soon,” and “about to be”) persecution and battle for John and his contemporaries to experience and relate to.

Also notice that ancient weapons were being used and burned (Ezek. 38:4-5; 39:9), which would fit the warfare, destruction and fire of AD 67 – AD 70 more than it would a description of nuclear or modern-day warfare.

Here we have Satanically-led nations being gathered from the four corners of the earth (or better translated as the land of Palestine) to make war and surround the New Jerusalem (the Church).  The Greek word here for “earth” is ge, which is consistently and accurately translated as “land” in Revelation in Young’s Literal Translation.  These are not nations gathered from all ends of the globe, but rather are from the world as they knew it (the Roman Empire) or the “land” of Palestine or that of the Jews.

But who are the “nations” involved?  Well, the Roman army consisted of all the nations of the then known world that she had conquered, and as we have seen both Nero and Rome were known as a/the “beast” which persecuted and thus waged war against the early Church (the New Jerusalem / the saints God loves).

But the apostate Jews, known to be a part of the beast, also persecuted and waged war against the first century Christians and, as James Stuart Russell points out, they too were understood to be “nations” and “kings”:

“In our Lord’s time it was usual to speak of the inhabitants of Palestine as consisting of several nations. Josephus speaks of ‘the nation of the Samaritans…” ‘the nation of the Galileans…’ etc… Judea was a distinct nation, often with a king of its own; so also, was Samaria; and so, with Idumea, Galilee, Perea…all of which had at different times princes with the title of Ethnarch, a name which signifies the ruler of a nation.”[17]

So, what we have here is an apocalyptic description of perhaps one or both persecuting powers – the Romans and apostate Jews – seeking to destroy new covenant Jerusalem.  Before the Christians fled to Pella, there was in a sense a city (the new covenant Jerusalem from above) within a city (residing physically within the walls of the then present old covenant Jerusalem from below).

At some point, the Christians see the sign of Jerusalem being surrounded by armies (Jewish, Roman or both) and flee the city to Pella as the Lord directed them.  They were protected by God while the nations who persecuted the Church destroyed each other and were defeated in their effort to destroy the New Jerusalem.  In Revelation 21-22, the gates of the New Jerusalem are continually open post-AD 70 in the new covenant age – not only as a symbol for evangelism for the nations to come into her for salvation and healing, but as a symbol that there is no threat of her destruction because God has defeated her enemies and watches over her.

Christian Full Preterism brings together and harmonizes the classic Christian Amillennial view and the Christian Partial Preterist view regarding the time frame of this ONE end-time war in the book of Revelation.  Consider the following:

Major Premise:  If “THE war” and judgment scenes of Revelation 16-20 are depicting ONE “time of the end” event (through typical prophetic recapitulation – Classic Amillennial View),

Minor Premise:  But “THE war” and judgment scenes of Revelation 16-19 were fulfilled in and by AD 70, (Partial Preterist View),

Conclusion: Therefore, “THE war” (which is ONE and the same) and judgment scenes of Revelation 16-20 were fulfilled in and by AD 70 (the Full Preterist View).

The Martyr Vindication Theme

The “soon” Second Coming that took place at the end of the millennium was to vindicate the martyrs here in Revelation 20.  Again, this is consistent with what we saw in Revelation 6 and 16-18 along with Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 23-24.

Through the imprecatory prayers of the persecuted Church and the cries of the martyrs, they call fire down upon the apostate mountain of old covenant Jerusalem and have it thrown into the sea (Mt. 21:18-22 / Rev. 8:1-8).  It was through the preaching of the gospel in the then known world, the filling up the measure of Israel’s guilt in their killing of the martyrs, and the imprecatory prayers of the saints that God took the kingdom from Israel and gave it to the Church in her restored, matured, and glorified form.

Contrary to the teachings of Muslims, Zionists, and Dispensational Zionists, and the ignorant speculations of Hollywood and the media, the gathering of the armies for “THE war” in the battle of Armageddon and or “The war” of Gog and Magog was an event that was fulfilled in Jesus’ contemporary generation and thus “shortly” fulfilled in John’s day.  When the first century Christians saw the sign of either the Zealot / Idumean armies or the Roman armies surrounding Jerusalem, they left the city and God used these armies to bring desolation and destruction upon the city and temple.

The Church today is not to look to a sign of “wars and rumors of wars” or nuclear developments in the Middle East that allegedly will bring about “THE” final war and “rapture” of the Church. And she most assuredly is not to fund and support them – directly or indirectly!

2).  “If all prophecy has been fulfilled and the end of the age war was in AD 67 – AD 70 and Titus was the Antichrist, what about:

a).  The Devil being in chains?

b).  Where is Christ returning to earth?

c).  Where are the giant pillars of fire that destroy whole cities?

d).  There was no worldwide mark of the beast in which the entire world saw the beast right?

e).  Are we really going to say for the last 2,000 years that this is a Christ on earth utopia?”

Alex, Jesus explicitly tells you that “all” OT prophecy would be fulfilled in His contemporary “this generation” – do you believe Him or not (Lk. 21:22-32)?

The Bible never identifies one person as the “antichrist” – 1 John says there were “many antichrists” and he is referring to the Judaizers.  So no I don’t believe Titus was the “antichrist.”  I think you are trying to refer to the “Beast” (Nero which I have already covered) or to the “Man of Sin” (which I will cover in a bit).

a).  What about the Devil being in chains?

Jesus “bound” the Devil during His earthly ministry (cf. Mt. 12:22-32).  And this was so the gospel would be preached throughout the then known world of the Roman Empire and able to bear forth fruit and of which it was (Cols. 1:5-6, 23; Rms. 10:18; 16:25-26).  It was also to restrain the Roman army (which consisted of the “nations” they had conquered) from coming against Jerusalem before the gospel could be spread throughout the Roman Empire (Rev. 20:2-3).  The binding of Satan with a figurative chain was to limit him in these particular areas – not to make all of his activities to cease between AD 27 – AD 70.  He in fact was let loose for a “short time” between AD 66 – AD 70 to “deceive the nations” within the Roman world and Jewish world to come up against Jerusalem and make her and the temple “desolate.”

b).  Where is Christ returning to earth?

Acts 1:11

The Bible teaches that Jesus would return in the Father’s glory and thus as the Father had come upon the clouds in the OT.  The Father was physically unseen but was figuratively “seen” coming upon the clouds through invading armies (Assyrians, Babylonians, etc…).

Many Futurists insist that Jesus’ physical body was seen for some period of time as He ascended into the sky.  However, verse nine simply says, “He was lifted up, and a cloud received Him from their eyes.” Jesus was certainly seen just before He was “lifted up” (Acts 1:9). But it is not at all certain that He was directly seen as He ascended into the sky.

In verse 11, the disciples were told that Jesus would come in a similar manner or way to how they had seen Him enter heaven (the sky).  The continuity (or similarity – “in a similar way”) of Him coming as He had entered heaven is found in the fact that He would come in the heavenly glory-cloud of His Father (Mt. 16:27).  Jesus was not physically seen after He was received into the glory-cloud.  It was while He was hidden from sight in that cloud that He was indirectly seen entering the sky.  A son can “see his father” as his father’s plane is taking off from the runway and off into the sky, without directly physically seeing his father’s body.  In seeing the plane (which contains his father and the other passengers), he can still correctly say, “I can see dad; there he goes.”  And He was to come in like manner.  Therefore, He would not be physically or directly seen when He came “in like manner,” in the cloud, to indwell His church at the end of the old covenant age (Luke 17:20–37; John 14:2–3, 23).

The phrase “in like manner” simply means “in a similar way” – not exactly the same way (which seems to be how most falsely interpret the passage).  Jesus didn’t ascend riding on a horse with a sword proceeding from His mouth, did He?  Did “every eye” on the planet earth see Him leave?  “The exact same way” argument offered by hyper-literalists self-implodes upon itself when they apply other Second Coming passages literally to His ascension event and demand an “exact same way” of fulfillment.

Futurists are not correct when they say that Jesus was going to come back in the same way that He “departed.”  The Scriptures teach that Jesus would come in the same way He had entered the sky. He entered the sky hidden from literal eyesight in the cloud of God’s glory.

Here is the order of events:

  1. As they looked, He was taken up (Acts 1:9).
  2. A cloud received Him from their eyes (Acts 1:9).

These first two events could very well have happened simultaneously.  Even Partial Preterist, Keith Mathison, admits that the verse could be translated, “He was lifted up; that is, a cloud received Him out of their sight.”[18]  It is a very real possibility that Jesus was instantly hidden in the cloud at the moment His feet left the earth.

  1. Then the disciples saw Him going into the sky. That is, they looked intently into the sky as He was ascending in the cloud (Acts 1:10–11).

In the Old Testament, God was never literally or directly seen coming in His glory when He judged or saved Israel and other nations. Jesus was not literally seen again after He entered the cloud of God’s glory.  He was “taken up in glory” (1 Tim. 3:16) and He would come in glory as the Ancient of Days (cf. Dan. 7:13 OG LXX; Rev. 1:7-17).

The Lord God had become flesh.  John bore testimony to the fact that looking at and touching Jesus was to look at and touch God Himself (John 1:14; 1 John 1:1).  God was physically seen in the flesh, but this was temporary for the second person of the Godhead (Heb. 5:7), even as He had been born into and under the old covenant system with its temporal types and shadows (Gal. 4:4; Rom. 5–8; 2 Cor. 3; Heb. 8:13)Though Jesus is no longer in the flesh, He forever retains His human nature.  He is forever Man, even as the saints in heaven today, who are no longer in their physical bodies, are still human/man by nature.  Neither the Son of Man nor those who are in Him, whether in heaven or on earth, are “nonhuman” as some Futurists theorize.

Ironically, the point of the question, “Why do you stand here looking into the sky,” was that Jesus was not going to return to His physical form.  It was futile for the disciples to long for Jesus to return to the earthly form He had taken when He was born of Mary.  In His ascension, Jesus had returned to His pre-incarnate glory.  The question of the two men was rhetorical, and it meant, “There is no use in standing here longing for Jesus to return to you and to be as He was in the days of His flesh.  He will come, but He will come in the manner you saw Him enter heaven—hidden from physical eyes in the cloud of the Father’s glory.”

We agree with the majority of commentators and cross reference systems which see the in-like-manner coming of Jesus in Acts 1:11 as being parallel with the coming of

Jesus on or in the cloud(s) in Matthew 16:27–28, 24:30–31, 26:64–68; Luke 21:27, and Revelation 1:7.  But as we have seen, all of these other texts were fulfilled by AD 70.  Partial Preterists agree that all of these other passages were fulfilled in AD 70, yet hold onto Acts 1:11 to support their Futurist creeds.  They admit that Christ was figuratively “seen” (perceived, understood) at a figurative “coming” in/on the clouds in AD 70, but they deny that this was the fulfillment of Acts 1:11.

Partial Preterist Milton Terry, in contrast, took a lucid, biblical approach, seeing Matthew 24:30–31, 34; Acts 1:11; and Revelation 1:7 as all being fulfilled in the fall of Jerusalem at the end of the old covenant age:

“Whatever the real nature of the Parousia, as contemplated in this prophetic discourse, our Lord unmistakably associates it with the destruction of the temple and city, which he represents as the signal termination of the preMessianic age.  The coming on clouds, the darkening of the heavens, the collapse of elements, are, as we have shown above, familiar forms of apocalyptic language, appropriated from the Hebrew prophets.

Acts i, 11, is often cited to show that Christ’s coming must needs be spectacular, “in like manner as ye beheld him going into the heaven.” But (1) in the only other three places where [“in like manner”] occurs, it points to a general concept rather than the particular form of its actuality. Thus, in Acts vii, 28, it is not some particular manner in which Moses killed the Egyptian that is notable, but rather the certain fact of it. In 2 Tim. iii, 8, it is likewise the fact of strenuous opposition rather than the special manner in which Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses. And in Matt. xxiii, 37, and Luke xiii, 34, it is the general thought of protection rather than the visible manner of a mother bird that is intended. Again (2), if Jesus did not come in that generation, and immediately after the great tribulation that attended the fall of Jerusalem, his words in Matt. xvi, 27, 28, xxiv, 29, and parallel passages are in the highest degree misleading. (3) To make the one statement of the angel in Acts i, 11, override all the sayings of Jesus on the same subject and control their meaning is a very one-sided method of biblical interpretation. But all the angel’s words necessarily mean is that as Jesus has ascended into heaven so he will come from heaven. And this main thought agrees with the language of Jesus and the prophets.”[19]

Zechariah 14:4-5

My friend David Green has addressed this passage well,

“Note that in Zech. 14:4-5, a mountain became a valley of salvation; and what were once valleys became mountains. This is virtually the same metaphor that was used by Isaiah, Matthew and Luke: “…Make ready the way of the Lord. Make His paths straight. Every valley shall be filled up, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough roads smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” (Isa. 40:3-4; Matt. 3:3; Lk. 3:4-5).

According to this prophecy, whatever stood in the Church’s way was going to be removed. Instead of a rough and winding highway over a mountain range (the wearying burden of the corrupted Jewish leadership), the Church would be given a straight and smooth road (the easy yoke of Christ). The Way of escape and salvation would overcome all that opposed It.  So, in Zech. 14:4-5, the obstacle that opposed the Church would be shattered and overcome by a great valley that would extend to the other side of the obstacle. This is why Zechariah mentioned “the Mount of Olives” by name. That mountain stood in front of the City of Jerusalem, in the path of any who would flee directly to the East away from the City. The Mount of Olives thus served as a physical symbol of a spiritual obstacle or barrier, because of its location in front of Jerusalem.  As Zechariah’s obstacle was split and made into a way of salvation, so through Christ Jesus was the “veil” of condemnation torn in two and replaced with the Way of salvation for all men. (Matt. 27:51; Heb. 9:8; 10:19-20) So too was the barrier of “the dividing wall” torn down and replaced with the peace of Christ in all nations. (Eph. 2:14-15) And so too was the destroying “mountain” of Babylon (the Jerusalem of slavery) burned up, cast into the sea, and replaced with the freedom of the glory of the children of God. (Jer. 51:25; Matt. 21:21; Mk. 11:23; Rev. 8:8).  Zech. 14:4-5 is a prophecy of Gospel salvation. Before God destroyed His enemies in A.D. 70, He removed the barrier between His elect and their salvation. He provided a Way of escape and of salvation for His Church. That “Way” was Christ, His Word, His Gospel. At the sound of His Gospel-Voice, His disciples fled from the corruption of the world and from the wrath of God (Matt. 3:7; Lk. 3:7; 21:36; Rom. 2:3; Heb. 2:3; 6:18; 12:25; II Peter 1:4; 2:20; Rev. 12:6; 18:4). Abiding in His Word, they were hid under the refuge of the shadow of His Wings, in the valley of His Mountains. (Zech. 14:5).” (David Green, pretcosmos.com Q&A)

There is simply NO prophecy in the OT or NT which teaches Jesus post AD 70 is still in a physical body and will one day float down on a physical cloud to dwell on the earth in an earthly “utopia” as you have asserted.

c).  Where are the giant pillars of fire that destroy whole cities?  

 I’m not sure what texts you are referring to here.

d).  There was no worldwide mark of the beast in which the entire world saw the beast 

 1).  the whole world or earth saw such and such in Revelation:

The Greek word ge for “earth” in Revelation is used some 67 times and should be translated as “land” as it is in Luke 21,

But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land (Greek ge) and wrath upon this people” (Luke 21:20-23).   

The word can refer to the land of Israel or the land of the Roman Empire.  You are reading the book of Revelation without studying the Greek and in the first century genre it was written in.  If I recall Youngs Literal Translation correctly translates ge as “land” throughout Revelation.

2).  the mark of the beast

I have touched upon this already.  The apostate Jews took the mark of the Roman beast when they rejected their Messiah and declared, “we have no king but Caesar.”  If you didn’t acknowledge or worship Caesar as the “son of god” throughout the Roman Empire (take this mark), they made it difficult to “buy and sell.”  And the land beast (apostate Jews) kicked Christians out of the synagogues and held funerals for them – making them dead to them and thus would not buy or sell to them.  The temptation to compromise and take the mark of the sea or land beast was very real in the first century.  The location on the hand or forehead comes from the OT where the Jew was to put the Law / Word of God on/in his forehead (thus meditating on the Word) and on the hand (now putting it into practice with good works).  It was never referring to placing something literally on the forehead and hand.  Thus trying to make this a fulfillment of the New World Order wanting to track and surveille us with computer chips or saying Transhumanism if the fulfillment of this text is grossly misguided to say the very least.

d).  Are we really going to say for the last 2,000 years that this is a Christ on earth utopia?

You are stuck in a false first century unbelieving Jewish concept of a coming Kingdom of God on earth utopia idea.  This is the carnal Messianic kingdom the Jews expected and wanted and which Jesus rejected (cf. Jn. 6).  The Premillennial and Zionist simply pushes or “postpones” this unbiblical concept of the Messianic kingdom off into the future when Jesus allegedly will come “soon” in our generation.

Contrary to this thinking, Jesus taught His Kingdom was “not of this world” and that when He returned in the first century generation “from heaven” it would “not come with [physical] observation” but would rather be fulfilled and realized “within” His people (Lk. 17:20-37 / Lk. 21:27-32).

Isaiah 65:17-23—chapter 66 says that there will be physical death, child birth, labor, and sinners being evangelized in the New Heavens and New Earth.  After Christ comes “soon” in AD 70 and the New Jerusalem comes down, the “Nations” outside in the darkness invited by the Church and the Holy Spirit to “come” and receive “healing” through the gospel and come into the gates and partake of eternal life – pictured as Christ being the Tree of Life and the Holy Spirit being the living water.

The idea that Christ one day is going to float down on a physical cloud and set up an earthly “utopia” is simply not biblical Alex.

3).  What about the “Man of Sin” and coming of Christ in 2 Thessalonians 1-2?

1). The immediate context and logical observations from 2 Thess. 1-2:a). Who were being “troubled”? In the previous chapter we are told that the Second Coming of Christ would give “relief” to the persecuted first century Thessalonian church who were experiencing “trouble” and persecution (2 Thess. 1:5-10). The Thessalonian church consisted of Jewish and Gentile believers who heard Paul preach in the Synagogues (Acts 17).b). Who were giving the Thessalonians “trouble” and how and when would Christ come and give them the same kind of “trouble,” they were giving the Thessalonians and thus render judgment and wrath upon them? The Thessalonians were persecuted by “jealous Jews” who stirred up trouble from not only the Jewish community but the Gentiles. These Jews were “filling up” the measure of their sin and were thus “about to be” judged or experience God’s wrath in the coming events of AD 67 – AD 70 (1 Thess. 2:14-16/Mt. 23:29-36; Acts 17:1- 31YLT). We are told that they would experience the same kind of “trouble” they were giving the Christians at Christ’s coming. And indeed, they did. When their Jewish and Gentile proselyte persecutors went to Jerusalem for the Passover in the events of AD 66 – AD 70, God laid a “trap” for them (Ps. 69:21-22). When the Christians saw the Roman armies surrounding Jerusalem and then retreat, they fled the city from the “wrath” that was about to come but the unbelieving Jews and Gentile proselytes listened to the false prophets and John Levi to stay in Jerusalem and fight the Romans in the great rebellion (Lk. 21:20-32).c). If Paul taught a Futurist physical coming of the Lord and some were teaching that the Lord had “already come” (2 Thess. 2:1-2) prior to AD 70, then why wasn’t Paul’s apologetic – “just look out your window – the earth hasn’t been burned up, you haven’t been physically raptured and all the bodies are still in the graveyards? Obviously, He hasn’t come!” But Paul correctly understood that the Second Coming of the Lord event upon the clouds was similar to how God had come upon the clouds in the OT through the Assyrians or Babylonians, except this time it would be through the Romans. Therefore, Paul does not correct an error of a spiritual common prophetic or apocalyptic coming of the Lord to take place in the Thessalonians lifetimes.2). The Jewish “rebellion” & “man of lawlessness” had to take place first and his “restrainer” had to be taken out of the way (2 Thess. 2:1-8 ESV).a). John Levi of Gischala was a “lawless man” in that he lied and convinced the Jews to revolt against the Romans, committed sacrilege in the temple, killed the High Priest in the temple and caused the sacrifices to stop in the temple. He thus placed himself in the temple as God – a greater authority than the Romans and God’s Torah. John Levi was alive when Paul wrote and the “he” or “it” of the restraining force God had in place was also alive at the time. The High Priest Ananus encouraged the people to resist John of Levi and the Zealot plan to overthrow Rome, but once John killed Ananus and overtook the temple, the war/rebellion was in full bloom.b). But what of the language of the “rapture” of 1 Thess. 4:15-17 and the destruction of the man of lawlessness of 2 Thess. 2:8? This coming of Christ was “by the Word of the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:15) found in Mt. 24:30-34. Jesus taught the first century AD 30 – AD 70 “this generation” and contemporary “you” that they would be gathered in the Kingdom at His coming. Likewise, Paul taught this “gathering” or “catching away” was for his first century “we” contemporaries. Both Jesus and Paul are using common Hebraic and prophetic apocalyptic language. Just read Psalm 18 – how is God described in coming to deliver David from his earthly enemies who persecuted him? Did people physically see God “come down” on the wind in a chariot with fire coming out of His mouth devouring David’s enemies while He “took” David in deliverance (Ps. 18:8-19)?!?

Conclusion

Alex, you have recently mentioned that you need more time off so you can meditate on God’s Word and think about what is coming next with the New World Order’s planning.  Well, I strongly exhort and encourage you to study these issues out more.  I sent you two copies of my book and now this letter to meditate on.  You have ignored the imminent time texts of Jesus and the inspired NT writers and have literalized spiritual or apocalyptic language.  You have abused God’s Word on Infowars.com and let some of your guests do it as well.  You have also pretended to be some kind of prophet claiming you get “downloads” from the Holy Spirit in dreams and visions etc.  The office of prophet and the miraculous gifts of prophesying “stopped” or “ceased” in AD 70 when the temple was destroyed (Dan. 9:24 / 1 Cor. 13:8-12).  I used to be a Charismatic and thought I was seeing and experiencing miraculous things, but they simply were not what we see in the gospels or in the book of Acts.

I would enjoy you moderating a debate between myself and one of your best theologians which I discern would be Jay Dyer along with one of your Pastor Zionist friends and let’s discuss and take the Barnes v. Fuentes debate up a notch and discuss and debate what the Bible says about modern Israel, the war of Armageddon / Gog and Magog, and how God will defeat the New World Order – as He has all of His enemies throughout the Bible.

In Christ,

Michael Sullivan

Open Letter to the New World Order

Dear Rothschilds, Klaus Schwab, Yuval Harari, and those involved in this Globalist Coup d’Etat,

You have worked behind the scenes for the last 400 years or so and have been identified by many as the “invisible government” or the “puppet masters” pulling the strings in starting revolutions and even installing many of our politicians and that of many other countries.  Clearly you have installed Biden as our “dog king” to demonstrate your power and influence you believe you have.  And Klaus you are correct that you have “infiltrated / penetrated” the governments of the world.

But let’s be extremely clear – you are not the sovereign puppet masters, in fact, God is sovereignly playing you to do exactly what He wills:

“To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.  What he tears down cannot be rebuilt; those he imprisons cannot be released.  If he holds back the waters, there is drought; if he lets them loose, they devastate the land. To him belong strength and insight; both deceived and deceiver [that’s you] are His.” (Job 12:13-16).

The Rothschild’s study of the Talmud was all in VAIN!  Your Messiah will NEVER come and trying to bring him through war and world conquest has nothing to do with the OT or reality and will never come to fruition.  And to the Atheist and Satanic aspects to your narcissistic cult – you have a meaningless and powerless life.  Christ “crushed” “Satan” “shortly” in AD 70 (Rms. 16:20/Gen. 3:15) and you are simply following your own lusts for power – not deriving it from Satan or demons.  You can only go as far as God allows you to as Pharoah learned and King Nebuchadnezzar learned after God humbled him:

“At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation.  All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing.  He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth.  No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” (Dan. 4:34-35).

God “hardens” hearts like yours as He did with Pharoah to demonstrate His “power” and “wrath” (cf. Rms. 9).  You are the puppets, and the only Living and True God is the “puppet master” and unto Him belongs the Kingdoms of this world (Rev. 11:17-18).

Watching the Tigers Fight from the Mountain Top

The Chinese stratagem from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War includes the concept of China sitting on a mountain top provoking and watching the tiger’s fight. Then when the victor is weakened from the fight, China will come in to finish the opponent and get rid of all threats.  We have watched you implement this philosophy mastered by the Rothchild’s, Globalist banks and the New World Order who start and profit from both sides of wars and then steps in as the saviors to offer a global peaceful solution.  We have China, Islam, Talmudic Zionism and the New World Order all thinking that they are sitting on the mountain top watching the other systems fight and that somehow someday, they will swoop in and usher in their version of a tyrannical one world government for the nations to obey.

Christ Rules from Heaven & Mount Zion

But the truth of the matter is that God sits enthroned on Mount Zion and He raises up wicked men to judge wicked men to accomplish His own purposes.  Therefore, we do not fear the New World Order, China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Islam, Zionism, etc. — because we know the sovereign God (the King of kings) who rules the world from Mount Zion and laughs at those seeking to overthrow Him and rule the world (Psalm 2).  He uses their own plans against them (Esther – Haman) and always accomplishes His will.

An example of this can be seen with what I have written to Alex in this letter concerning the book of Revelation.  God sovereignly put in the heart of the sea beast (Rome) and the land beast (apostate Jews) to come against Christ and His Church, but God used the persecution to purify and strengthen the faith of His Church.  And in the end, He put it in the hearts of the Romans and Jews to devour themselves while allowing the Church to flee from Jerusalem to Pella and escape that “wrath” and “tribulation.”  God sits enthroned over the hearts of all men and their wars and uses them to accomplish His purposes.  They may intend their wars and schemes for evil, while God will work them out to glorify Himself and ultimately benefit His Church.

Christ has been raised and has ascended to heaven and currently rules in fulfillment of the Davidic covenant (Acts 2:22-35).  In fulfillment of Psalm 110, the author of Hebrews demonstrates that He placed His “enemies” “under His feet” in the “Day” that was “drawing near” when He was “about to consume” these “enemies” with “fire” at His coming “in a very, very little while” which would “not be delayed” in the judgment and events of AD 67 – AD 70 (Heb. 10:13-37).  Remember what Jesus said and did to those who said they would not have Christ reign over them – “But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.” (cf. Lk. 19:11-27).

Christ and the Church rule the world / nations with a rod and the sword of the Spirit (the everlasting law of the gospel (Rev. 2:26-27; Rev. 21–22:17).  The elect from among the nations of the world flow through the gates of the New Jerusalem/Zion to receive spiritual “healing.”  Those that come into the New Jerusalem “learn war no more” – that is there is no more barrier between Jew and Gentile or hostility between God and man – in that the gospel gives a peace and security that the Old Covenant system and owning all the money and resources in the world could not provide.

There will always only be One a World Government or Mount Zion from which Christ and the Church reins over the Nations – and it can never be destroyed.

Conclusion:

As far as your obsession with accumulating riches, power, and desire to play God and either deny there is an afterlife or seek to extend your lives through transhumanism or somehow download your souls into computers–you would do well to heed the wisdom coming from the Psalms, Proverbs, Peter and Christ Himself:

Psalm 49:5-8, 15:  “…those who trust in their wealth and boast of the abundance of their riches…Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice.” “Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol; death shall be their shepherd, and the upright shall rule over them in the morning.  Their form shall be consumed in Sheol, with no place to dwell.  But God WILL RANSOM my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will TAKE me [“SNATCH ME,” “RECEIVE ME” “PULL ME” “RAISE ME UP”] TO HIMSELF.”  “For when he dies he will carry nothing away; his glory will not go down after him.”  “His soul will go to the generation of his fathers, who will NEVER SEE LIGHT.”

Psalm 73:23-26:  Previous context – unlike the wicked who may prosper in this life,…

“Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will TAKE me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you?  And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

The Psalmist in Pslam 73 became envious for a time of how the wicked accumulate wealth and seem to go unpunished.  But then He,

“Discerned their end” – “Truly YOU SET them in slippery places; you MAKE them FALL to RUIN.  How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors!  Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms” (Ps. 73:16-20).

The souls of the wicked are NOT redeemed from Sheol by God to “see light” or to be taken into God’s presence.  BUT the souls of the righteous are redeemed from Sheol to be “taken” into God’s “light,” “glory” and presence “forever” or in the “morning” [or in the resurrection].

Since the gold and silver man stores up in “this life” “cannot ransom his soul,” what is worth more than gold and silver and can ransom or save man from the power of Sheol and eternal separation from God?

A). 1 Pet. 1:4-5, 17-22: Concerning the “ready to be revealed” “inheritance” and “salvation of the soul” in AD 70 Peter writes, “…you were ransomed…not with perishable things such as gold and silver, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish…having purified your souls.”

B).  1 Pet. 1:5, 7:  “…by God’s power are being kept/guarded through faith…[being]…more precious than gold that perishes…”.

It’s almost as if Peter is opened to Psalm 49 and is developing it’s soteriological and eschatology hope: Only the blood of Christ and God guarded faith (which are more valuable than gold and silver) can “ransom” or “save” the “soul” and allow it to enter God’s “inheritance” that He, as a righteous Heavenly Father, has provided for His children.

And the Proverbs yield great wisdom on this subject of the afterlife and traveling upon “the way”:

Prov. 8:35-36:  Indeed, who finds me finds life eternal, and the treading of her path/way is immortality.

Prov. 12:28:  In the path/way of virtue is eternal [Dahood] life , And the treading of her way is immortality [Delitzsch & Dahood – or ESV & AVT “no death”]

Prov. 14:24:  The path/way of life eternal is upward for the prudent, thus escaping Sheol below.

In the gospels we learn that Jesus is “The Way” mentioned and predicted in the Proverbs and those that put their trust in Him and thus travel upon this Way would at His Parousia and resurrection event be called or “gathered” “upward” to receive “eternal life” or “never die” (1 Cor. 1:30; Jn. 14:6; Jn. 11:25-26; Jn. 3:16, 36; Jn. 8:24; Mt. 24:30-31/1 Thess. 4:15-17/Rev. 11:12). The point of Matthew 24:30-31 or 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 is not that the living would physically disappear off the planet and or not see and experience physical death, but rather they would receive “eternal life” and thus “never die” meaning—they would never be separated from God through the spiritual “THE death” that came through Adam the very day he rebelled against God. And the souls of the dead would be raised out of Abraham’s bosom or Hades and gathered or carried away by Christ and His angels into the Father’s presence to also inherit eternal life and “never die” (be subject to the curse and separation of Adamic death again). Both groups are no longer held captive or spiritually separated by “THE sin” and “THE death” that came through Adam – for Christ overcame them for both groups at His Parousia in AD 70.

Jesus made it very clear for those that seek to gain riches in this life and rule over and persecute the poor, that at the end of their life, they lose their soul to eternal torment and the righteous rule over them in the riches of having eternal life in God’s presence (cf. Mt. 16:26; Lk. 12:13-21; Lk. 16:19-31).

Dictators and their ambitions of ruling the world are temporary, they fall into the snares they plan for the righteous, only serve to accomplish God’s purposes, and they can only go as far as God allows them to (Dan. 4:34-35). Their ambitions come and go, but Christs’ rule through His Church will never cease.  The Globalist elite must “Kiss the Son/King lest they perish” and thus have no hope of overcoming the curse of sin and death and the judgment that awaits them (Ps. 2:12).  In short, Klaus Schwab and his World Economic Forum will never rule the world and all the money in the world cannot extend or buy the soul from the power of sin, death and what awaits in the afterlife. Only the blood of Christ and God-given and guarded faith is the holy exchange which “saves the soul” from sins committed against God and the power of death.

I see your attempts to start a war between Israel and the Muslim world to create a one world currency and government – controlled by you, but we will resist you and print our own debt free currency and the religious vacuum this war will create will only be used by God to refine and discipline His people and to draw weary sinners through the gates of the City to the Living God (Rev. 22:17).  You have failed and you will continue to fail.  Any successes you think you have is only being used of God as evidence to cast you into the Lake of Fire upon your death and to refine and discipline His Church throughout the world.  God’s New Covenant Kingdom cannot be “shaken” and no amount of money or technology will give you eternal life.  Only those who place their trust in Christ will “never die” (Jn. 8:51) and thus will never be separated from Him.  “If you do not believe that I AM [“he” is not in the original], you will indeed die in your sins” (Jn. 8:24).

In Christ’s Righteousness Alone,

Michael Sullivan

[1] Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, Vol. 9, (Grand Rapids; Eerdmans, 1975), 344

[2] David Green, From Babylon to Babylon, preteristcosmos.com

[3] Anthony A Hoekema, THE BIBLE AND THE FUTURE, (Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI:  1979), 126

[4] Ibid.

[5] R.C. Sproul, The Last Days According To Jesus (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1998), 108-109

[6] DeMar, Last Days Madness, Ibid., (1999 edition), 393, emphasis MJS

[7] John Walvoord, The Revelation of Jesus Christ, (Chicago, Moody, 1966), 35

[8] Thomas Ice, Tim LaHaye, Ibid., 103.

[9] G.K. Beale, THE NEW INTERNATIONAL GREEK TESTAMENT COMMENTARY NIGT, The Book of

Revelation, (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdman’s Publishing Company, 1999), 182

[10] David Chilton, Days of Vengeance, (Fort Worth, TX: Dominion Press, 1987), 412

[11] Michael S. Heiser, THE UNSEEN REALM Recovering the Supernatural worldview of the Bible, (Bellingham, WA:  Lexham Press, 2015) 371

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid., 373

[14] James B. Jordan, The Battle of Gog and Magog, http://www.biblicalhorizons.com/biblicalhorizons/no-2-the-battle-of-gog-and-magog/

[15] Gary DeMar, IDENTIFYING THE GOG-MAGOG ALLIANCE WHY THE END OF THE WORLD IS NOT IN YOUR FUTURE, (Powder Springs, GA, American Vision Press, 2008).

[16] William Hendriksen, More Than Conquerors, (Grand Rapids, MI, Baker Book House, 7th reprint 1990), 193.

[17] James Russell, The Parousia, (Grand Rapids, MI:  Baker Book House, third printing, 1990), 105

[18] Keith A. Mathison, From Age to Age:  The Unfolding of Biblical Eschatology, (Phillipsburg, NJ:  P&R Publishing, 2009), 459

[19] Milton S. Terry, A Study of the Most Notable Revelations of God and of Christ (Grand Rapids, MI:

Baker Book House, 1988), 246-247

A Full Preterist Response to the “Inconsistent Orthodox” Hyper-Creedal Inquisition of Gary DeMar

Introduction

(3/8/23 update – This article is still in the process of being written.  I will also be providing links to Gary DeMar’s podcasts where he is responding to his critics)

Recently a public letter signed by Jason Bradfield, Uri Brito, Ardel Caneday, Jeff Durbin, John Frame, Sam Frost, Ken Gentry, Phillip Kayser, Brian Mattson, Andrew Sandlin, Keith Sherlin, Jeffery Ventrella, James White, and Doug Wilson was publicly published demanding that Gary DeMar answer their questions or face their wrath and withdrawal of support to American Vision because they “love” him.  What is Gary’s crime?  Gary has posted that he wants the debate between Partial and Full Preterism to continue because he feels that both sides need to hash some issues out and that he wants the freedom to “study” these issues for himself. Not to mention he has some questions for them that they aren’t answering (ex. the parallels / the analogy of faith between Mt. 24 and 1 Thess. 4-5; etc…).

Apparently, Gary is not allowed by the hyper-creedalists to “study” these issues out for himself or get answers from them publicly.  It’s a one-way street.  I find this odd since they claim to embrace:

“Scripture alone,”

“Reformed and always reforming,”

Believe in the “priesthood of all believers,” and

Confess and embrace what the WCF confesses and teaches about itself – that it may be in error as previous creeds and confessions have and is subject to revision based upon the exegesis and authority of the Word of God and His Spirit working through His Body.

Some claim to be public “apologists” and yet have NO “answer” or “defense” (1 Pet. 3:15) to Biblical questions we have provided to them in private and public for many years regarding their Futurist misplaced “hope.”  The original context of 1-2 Peter and that of 1 Peter 3:15 is that there were “mockers” denying the truly imminent coming of the Lord – promised to take place in their generation.  And thus the “salvation” and “inheritance” of the new covenant creation that was “ready to be revealed” (1 Pet. 1:4-12; 2 Pet. 3).  These first century Full Preterist Christians living pre-AD 70, had to be equipped to teach anyone asking them about this imminent “hope” that was within them.  Post AD 70 this is a “hope realized” (Prov. 13:12) of which we are prepared to “give and answer” and “defend” while men such as Kenneth Gentry, Doug Wilson, Jeff Durbin and James White have a “delayed” or “sick” “hope” (Prov. 13:12) or multiple unbiblical eschatological hopes that they are unable and unwilling to “defend.”

But as time goes on our book response – House Divided Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology... to When Shall These Things Be? is aging well by demonstrating the Reformed Church has forgotten its humble roots.  She and Luther once stood strong against the doctrinal contradictions coming from the various Popes, creeds, confessions, and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church – but has now embraced many doctrinal and eschatological contradictions herself, and worse yet, begun imposing the same kind of hyper-tradition and hyper-creedal “argumentation” and “inquisition” tactics that the Roman Catholic Church once wielded upon her!

Short Version

Here is the short version of my response to this hypocritical public letter levied against Gary DeMar.  The authors and the eschatological systems they espouse are divided on which texts teach the “glorious Second Coming” to “end world history” whereby Christ “comes” to “judge the righteous and the unrighteous” or to “judge and reward all men according to what they have done” – that is the “quick and the dead.”  This is why they offered NO texts in their letter let alone any exegesis.  Some of these men take the following passages as fulfilled in AD 70 and yet want Gary to concede that these eschatological CONCEPTS must be fulfilled in the future or like Full Preterists he must be punished!  Texts that some of these men and or their systems believe were fulfilled in AD 70 are the following:

Daniel 12:1-7, 13 / Acts 17:31YLT / Acts 24:15YLT / Romans 8:18-23YLT / 1 Thessalonians 4-5 / Matthew 24:3, 27-31; 25:31 / 1 Corinthians 15:23 / Matthew 13:39-43 / Matthew 16:27-28 / Revelation 22:7, 10-12, 20 / 1 Peter 4:5-7, 17 / 2 Timothy 4:1YLT / Revelation 1-19; 21-22

Anyone studying this issues for a long time can see that if the above passages were imminently fulfilled in AD 70, then “the farm has been given away” to Full Preterism.  And if people are allowed to embrace or EVEN study and ask questions concerning the glaring inconsistencies, that voice MUST be tarred and punished at all costs.

When, how and with what authority did these men and other Partial Preterists make most of the above texts (95% of the NT teaching) concerning the glorious return of Christ, the judgment and resurrection of “all men,” and the passing of the first creation and arrival of the new fulfilled in AD 70 “orthodox” views for the Church?  And thus with what authority do they have to condemn us for either being consistent with the imminent time texts or implementing the historic Churches teaching using the analogy of faith to connect other parallels to these AD 70 fulfilled passages?  If the WCF and the creeds are wrong on texts like these, are they wrong on other parallel eschatological texts that the Church sees are equivalent to them?

It appears to me that at least Gary does not seem to be willing to bow the knee to the authority of eschatological CONCEPTS allegedly fulfilled in the Future, but rather to “Scripture alone” and to “see the work” or “exegesis” of those and other texts in question.  If these men truly “loved” their brother one would think they would labor with him with an open Bible?  But these kind of men have a horrible track record in the un-Christian way they have treated men like Walt Hibbard of Great Christian Books, David Chilton, and the list will continue to grow – as they see these want-to-be authoritarian Emperors walk around with no clothes on.

And those signers of the letter that don’t see these passages as being imminently fulfilled in AD 70, ironically and hypocritically label the other signers of the letter to be “HYPER Partial Preterists” (that is not “orthodox” or true Partial Preterists like themselves).  They also accuse them of being “inconsistent” (that is if they were “consistent” exegetically and logically their positions would lead to Full Preterism).  The signers of this letter have engaged in building a hypocritical “house divided” that simply will “not stand.”   

Instead of the authors of this letter gnashing their teeth at DeMar and Full Preterism, maybe they should spend more time trying to reconcile their MAJOR differences on key texts (see above) instead of trying to condemn people to hell for piecing their mess together into a consistent, logical and exegetical system?  Just a thought.  But attacking others and doing one-sided hit pieces on Full Preterim is much easier than debating us or doing the hard work of reformation.  I get it – stay comfortable and lazy.

I will first post the letter and then we will take it a part exegetically and logically.

The Letter

“An Open Letter to Gary DeMar,

Dear Gary:

We are your brothers in the Lord, long-time friends, supporters, co-laborers in his Word, and co-promoters and defenders of the Christian worldview. We have contacted you privately twice in the last few months regarding our concerns, with the following.

We are writing to you once again with an earnest plea regarding your doctrinal transitioning that we are witnessing.

Gary, we seriously and deeply hope that you will receive this as from deeply-burdened hearts and that you will respond to us as to those who love you in the Lord and have appreciated your public ministry.

As you know from our previous correspondence, we are deeply concerned over the eschatological direction you seem to be taking of late. Andrew Sandlin heard you speak at a conference in Texas about a year ago. At that time he was surprised that you would not acknowledge whether you believe in a future final judgment and a future physical resurrection of the dead. When asked, you also stated that you would not call full preterists “heretics.”

Due to certain statements you made publicly on Facebook recently, Ken Gentry asked you if you would affirm three simple, basic doctrinal positions. These questions have intentionally been kept limited and simple in order to avoid entangling interaction with the many variations within and permutations of Full Preterism (aka Consistent Preterism; aka Covenant Preterism; aka Hyperpreterism).

Furthermore, they have also been confined to doctrines clearly declared in the American Vision Statement of Faith. Those simple yes-or-no questions are now simplified and clarified even more:

  1. Do you believe in a future bodily, glorious return of Christ?
  2. Do you believe in a future physical, general resurrection of the dead?
  3. Do you believe history will end with the Final Judgment of all men?

To refuse to affirm the future, physical resurrection, the final judgment of the righteous and the unrighteous, and the tactile reality of the eternal state is to refuse to affirm critical elements of the Christian faith. To contradict these doctrines is not merely to contradict a few specific biblical texts; it is to contradict indispensable aspects of the Christian faith and the biblical worldview. As blunt as it might sound, it is to strike at crucial aspects in the very heart of the Christian faith.

This private letter of inquiry has been agreed upon by the signatories listed below. Please, Gary, receive this not as an attack upon you, but as a humble concern for your doctrinal orthodoxy and the integrity of American Vision. Please set the matter straight regarding these three fundamental issues so that we can lay this matter to rest. We love you and are continuing to pray for you.

In the love of Christ the Lord,

Jason Bradfield, Uri Brito, Ardel Caneday, Jeff Durbin, John Frame, Sam Frost, Ken Gentry, Phillip Kayser, Brian Mattson, Andrew Sandlin, Keith Sherlin, Jeffery Ventrella, James White, Doug Wilson”

Granted I don’t know all the men signing this letter and their various positions on major eschatological texts, but some I do.  Let’s briefly look at what THEIR positions are, and we will quickly see why there were no Biblical passages cited in the letter and why they have avoided our questions and challenges to debate for many years!

Will history end with the Second Coming, transformation of the planet, and judgment and resurrection of all men?

Isaiah 65-66 / 2 Peter 3 / Revelation 21-22

Of course, the letter provides NO Scripture to support the Bible teaches the “end of world history.”  Why is that?  It’s because some signing this letter believe the coming of Christ and passing away of the first heavens and earth and arrival of the new of 2 Peter 3 and Revelation 21-22 is addressing Christ’s spiritual coming in AD 70 and the first heavens and earth that passed away was the old covenant age / world and the “new” is the new covenant age / world which replaced it in AD 70.  Those teaching this who signed the letter would be Doug Wilson and Jeff Durbin.  Gentry affirms the de-creation and re-creation of Revelation 21-22 was fulfilled at the “soon” coming of Christ in AD 70.  Others who signed the letter would see these passages as teaching the Second Coming event which produces the “end of world history,” and entering the “tactile reality of the eternal state.”  But these passages are clear enough – after this coming of the Lord and de-creation and new creation event is fulfilled imminently in AD 70, there are sinners present and evangelism taking place.  There is no promise here to “end world history.”  And notice that these passages only state that there is ONE passing away of the first heavens and earth and arrival of the new – not two (one in AD 70 and another at the alleged end of world history).

When we take a combined look at some of the best theologians within the Reformed and Evangelical communities, we find a Full Preterist interpretation of virtually every eschatological de-creation prophecy in the Bible.  Combined, John Owen, John Locke, John Lightfoot, John Brown, R.C. Sproul, Gary DeMar, Kenneth Gentry,

James Jordan, Peter Leithart, Keith Mathison, Crispin H.T. Fletcher-Louis, Hank Hanegraaff, and N.T. Wright (to name just a few) teach that the passing away of heaven and earth (cf. Matt. 5:17–18; 24:3, 29, 35; 1 Cor. 7:31; II Peter 3; I Jn. 2:17– 18; Rev. 21:1) refers to the destruction of the temple or to the civil and religious worlds of men—either Jews or Gentiles; and that the rulers of the old covenant system or world, along with the temple, were the “sun, moon, and stars,” which made up the “heaven and earth” of the world that perished in AD 70.  See the following works:

John Owen, The Works of John Owen, 16 vols. (London: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1965–68), 9:134–135. John Lightfoot, Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica: Matthew – 1 Corinthians, 4 vols. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, [1859], 1989), 3:452, 454. John Brown, Discourses and Sayings of our Lord, 3 vols. (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, [1852] 1990), 1:170. John Locke, The Clarendon Edition of the Works of John Locke: A Paraphrase and Notes on the Epistles of St Paul Volume 2, (NY: Oxford University Press, 1987), 617–618. R.C. Sproul, The Last Days According to Jesus (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1998). Kenneth Gentry, He Shall Have Dominion (Tyler TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1992), 363–365. Kenneth Gentry (contributing author), Four Views on the Book of Revelation (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1998), 89. Gary DeMar, Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church (Powder Springs: GA, 1999), 68–74, 141–154, 191–192. James B. Jordan, Through New Eyes Developing a Biblical View of the World (Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, Publishers, 1998), 269–279. Crispin H.T. Fletcher-Louis (contributing author) Eschatology in Bible & Theology (Downers Grove, Illinois: Inter Varsity Press, 1997), 145–169. Peter J. Leithart, The Promise of His Appearing: An Exposition of Second Peter (Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2004). Keith A. Mathison, Postmillennialism: An Eschatology of Hope (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1999), 114, 157–158. N.T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1996), 345–346. N.T. Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2003), 645, n.42. Hank Hanegraaff, The Apocalypse Code (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2007), 84–86.

These interpretations are, individually considered, “orthodox.” Yet when Full Preterists consolidate the most defensible elements of Reformed and Evangelical eschatology, anti-Preterists unite in opposition to even some of their own stated views. 

James White and other Reformed Baptist Pastors have falsely accused those of us who take these passages as fulfilled in AD 70 as believing “we are in the eternal state” or that somehow, we deny the existence of the eternal state or heaven because we believe they were fulfilled in AD 70.  But Jeff Durbin and Doug Wilson in their treatments of 2 Peter 3 and Revelation 21-22 have clearly stated these passages are NOT a description of heaven or the eternal state!  So White of course is simply using a scare tactic, and apparently isn’t even aware of what people in his own church and formers of this letter are teaching on these CRUCIAL “end of world history” texts!  We believe the “eternal state” or “heaven” is where the dead are now after being raised out of Hades / Abrahams bosom in AD 70 and where we go when we die post AD 70.

Questions on Isa. 65-66 / 2 Peter 3 / Revelation 21-22 for the authors of this letter to answer:

The WCF states that the “soon” coming of Christ in the book of Revelation is the Second Coming event which would cause the first creation to pass away and ushers in the new one.  When did it become “orthodox” to believe this coming of Christ is actually His spiritual coming in AD 70 and the de-creation and new creation here are the old and new covenantal worlds of Israel and the Church?  Who determined its “orthodoxy”?

Sam Frost has stated this is “inconsistent” “HYPER-Partial Preterism.”  He has testified that it is this exegetical “inconsistency” that brought him into “Full Preterism.”  If it’s “hyper” it’s not orthodox and if it’s “inconsistent” and it were to be “consistent” then it leads to Full Preterism.  Indeed, a very incoherent statement coming from one of the signers of the letter.

The Partial Preterists in this letter believe that at the “soon” coming of Christ in Revelation 22:7, 10, 20 the New Jerusalem came down from heaven to earth and that we are currently in the New Jerusalem / New Creation and we are “healing the nations” by preaching the gospel and inviting sinners to come through the gates of the City (22:17).  Hebrews 13:14 confirms this City was “about to come” and did in AD 70.  If this is the case, then the curse of “the death” is “no more” (Rev. 21:4) for those of us who are in the New Jerusalem / New Creation post AD 70.  One of the authors of this letter Philip Kayser, believes the coming or parousia of 1 Corinthians 15:23 was fulfilled in AD 70 and yet others of the letter believe it is at this parousia event that “all” are raised and the curse of “the death” of verses 54-56 is done away and overcome for the believer.  So did the “soon” coming or “parousia” of Revelation 22:7-12, 20 and 1 Corinthians 15:23 bring about the promise to “overcome” “the death” and is there “no more the death” for the believer today in the new covenant age that “was about to” come in AD 70 or not?  Didn’t Jesus teach that those of us who believe in Him would “never die”?  Thus the “soon” coming of Christ in Revelation and expected by the living saints in Corinthians overcame the curse of spiritual death that came through Adam.  This was a promise made and a promise kept!

Will history end and the planet be transformed at the physical bodily return of Jesus to raise and judge the quick and the dead?

Daniel 12:1-7, 13 / Acts 17:31YLT / Acts 24:15YLT / Romans 8:18-23YLT / 1 Thessalonians 4-5 / Matthew 24:3, 30-31 / 1 Corinthians 15 / Matthew 13:39-43 / Matthew 16:27-28 / Revelation 22:10-12  / 1 Peter 4:5-7, 17 / 2 Timothy 4:1YLT / Revelation 1-19; 21-22

Again, since some of the signers of this letter believe the above passages were fulfilled in AD 70, it is clear as to why no Scripture references were provided in this cowardly public rebuke of Gary DeMar.

Daniel 12:1-7, 13 

Kenneth Gentry and Partial Preterism as a system has been challenged by us for many years to explain why they can eisegetically cherry-pick the judgment and resurrection of the just and unjust from Daniel 12:2-3 from the other AD 70 events such as the Tribulation in verse 1.  After all Daniel is told that “ALL these things” listed in verse 1-4 would be fulfilled together during a period of “three and half years” “when the power of the holy people is completely shattered” (vss. 5-7).  They finally came around to admit Daniel 12:2-3 teaches a spiritual resurrection was fulfilled in AD 70.  But who made and had the authority to make that an “orthodox” position?  How long did it take in order to become “orthodox”?

Kenneth Gentry concedes,

“In Daniel 12:1-2 we find a passage that clearly speaks of the great tribulation in AD 70.” “…But it also seems to speak of the resurrection occurring at that time…”

“Daniel appears to be presenting Israel as a grave site under God’s curse: Israel as a corporate body [like Ezek. 37] is in the “dust” (Da 12:2; cp. Ge 3:14, 19).”

“…the arising of the new Israel from out of the dead, [of] old covenant Israel in AD 70…” (Kenneth L. Gentry, JR., HE SHALL HAVE DOMINION A POSTMILLENNIAL ESCHATOLOGY THIRD EDITION REVISED AND EXPANDED, (Draper, VA:  Apologetics Group Media, 2009), 538-540).

When I challenged Ken on this in the Q&A period at the Criswell Conference on the Millennium, he claimed Daniel 12 teaches a double fulfillment of the resurrection or an “already and not yet.”  He claims there was a spiritual and corporate resurrection of the dead in AD 70 and yet at the same time the text is teaching there will be an end of world history physical judgment and resurrection of the dead.  Of course, when you actually read Daniel 12:2-4 you can’t derive this from the text itself.  It is simply read into the text (eisegesis) so that Ken can admit the resurrection and judgment would be fulfilled when the Tribulation and deliverance is fulfilled (AD 67 – AD 70), and yet at the same time make a statement that saves his creedal carrier.

The text mentions this resurrection would be fulfilled at only ONE eschatological “not yet” “end” period and not two per Gentry (the “end” of the Jewish or old covenant age and then another alleged “end” to world history).  Wycliffe emphasizes the importance of kairos being used in the LXX when he translates Daniel 12:4: “Daniel, close up the words, and seal the book, until the time ordained (or the appointed time).”  This “ordained” or “appointed” time of the end would be during the Roman Jewish war – during the “three and half years” war of AD 67 – AD 70 “when the power of the holy people (first century Jews) will be completely shattered.”  It is the last half of the broken seven years of Daniel’s seventy-sevens in Daniel 9:24-27.  All of the soteriological and eschatological events listed in Daniel 9:24-27 were fulfilled within that last and 10th Jubilee as expected by first century Judaism (cf. 11QMelch).

G.K. Beale has also shown the connection between the (OG) LXX of Daniel 12:1-4 being the “hour of the end” and this being the eschatological “not yet” “hour” of John 4-5.  And yet curiously Gentry admits Jesus’ phrase in John 4 of an “hour is coming and is now here” is referring to the “already and not yet” period of AD 30 – AD 70.  But when the same phrase is used by Jesus in John 5, it somehow is referring to another “already and not yet” eschatological hour spanning from AD 30 to the end of world history.  But why?  Gentry reasons it’s because John 5 discusses “all” coming out of their “graves” so this has to be a physical resurrection.  But Gentry just got done telling us that the terminology of a resurrection coming out of the “dust” does not have to be taken literally or physically and this is a resurrection just like Ezekiel 37 were people come out of their “graves” which was likewise not referring to physical or literal graves.  And of course Reformed Partial Preterist eschatology has admitted that the eschatological and soteriological coming “hour” of judgment and wrath taught by Jesus and John elsewhere was imminently fulfilled in AD 70 (cf. Mt. 24:36; 1 Jn. 2:17-18; Rev. 6:17; etc…). Hmm, nothing to see here – keep walking.

The Jews understood the “in that day” “trumpet gathering” of Isaiah 27:12-13 to be the resurrection event and then they would “worship the LORD on the holy mountain at Jerusalem.”  Jesus in Matthew 24:30-31 places this “trumpet” resurrection “gathering” to be in His generation to close the old covenant age and in John 4-5 He places this time of worship and resurrection to be fulfilled in the coming eschatological “hour” of Daniel 12 – which is inseparably connected to Jerusalems salvation and judgment in the events of AD 70.  The Samaritans and Jews were debating over the physicality of this place of worship, and yet Jesus and the NT authors see this to take place within the spiritual new covenant Jerusalem / Mount Zion which wold replace the physical old covenant system in AD 70.

Another exegetical issue Gentry has no good answer for is this – if he can give the resurrection and judgment of the dead event (inseparably connected to the historic events of the Tribulation AD 67 – AD 70) in Daniel 12:2-3 a double fulfillment, then why can’t other Futurist views give the Tribulation or Abomination of Desolation two fulfillments – one in AD 70 and another at the end of world history with another rebuilt Temple etc.?!?  Gentry forbids this kind of double fulfillment or “already and not yet” but he sure imposes it when trying to get around the challenges of Full Preterism!

Phillip Kayser another co-signer of the letter also agrees that Daniel 12 teaches that there was an imminent resurrection of the dead that was fulfilled in AD 70.  Gentry does not address how Daniel himself would be raised in this resurrection (Dan. 12:13) – he will only commit to a corporate spiritual resurrection.  Kayser on the other hand believes that “many” (how many?) were physically raised from the dead in AD 70 per Daniel 12:2-3:

Notice that the great tribulation (v. 1) immediately precedes a resurrection (vv. 2-3)

Let’s read Daniel 12:1-3. The context in chapter 11 ends with Herod the Great hearing news from the east, being troubled by the news that the wise men bring him, killing many, and then ending up dying himself. So it is a first century context. Chapter 12:1 begins,

At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book.

The book of Revelation has been talking about Daniel’s Great Tribulation. But notice what happens right during that time. Verse 2:

And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.

Notice that “many” are raised, not all (v. 2). This implies another resurrection. Yet Daniel will be raised at the end of the time period being discussed (end of Old Covenant – or AD 70).

Notice that it says “many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake.” It doesn’t say “all.” The word “many” implies that there are others who will be raised at yet another different time. So hopefully you can see that it is crystal clear that there is a resurrection in AD 70, but it is not the last one.” (Philip G. Kayser, Barley Harvest, https://kaysercommentary.com/Sermons/New%20Testament/Revelation/Revelation%2011/Revelation%2011_11-14.md?fbclid=IwAR3FVoxOgmAD5zTylIPuyGGpSLqLpTQ3LzPn5yKuTkVf7BGbS-7R19xDZfc).

Kayser, like Gentry, understands that this resurrection is inseparably connected to the Tribulation period in the events of AD 67 – AD 70.  And like Gentry he attempts to get around his creedal problem by creating TWO different resurrections – one in AD 70 and another at the end of world history.  His argument on the word “many” to make this distinction falls flat as David Green addressed in our book,

“Regarding the word “many” in Daniel 12:2:  The word is not used in contrast to “all” (as “the many” is used to limit the term “all men” in Rom. 5:12, 15, 18-19) or in contrast to “a few.”  The angel simply referred to a large number of people; to multitudes (NIV).  No inference can be made from the context as to whether “many” referred to all or to only a portion of the dead.  Only subsequent scriptures revealed that the “many” in Daniel 12:2 referred to the whole company of all the dead from Adam to the Last Day.” (House Divided Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology…, p. 178).

Unlike Gentry (and Jordan below) Kayser believes that there was a PHYSICAL resurrection of the OT dead and those who died in Christ in the events of AD 70.  Amazing how Josephus and Roman historians missed this PHYSICAL event — so many decaying corpses coming out of their literal graveyards in AD 70!

James Jordan who is a Partial Preterist also writes the following on the resurrection of Daniel 12 being fulfilled by AD 70 and comes the closest to the truth:

“The resurrection of [Dan. 12:2] seems to connect to the evangelistic and teaching ministry spoken of in verse 3; thus, it is some kind of historical resurrection that is spoken of, a resurrectional event in this world, in our history.”  Daniel 12:2 tells us that in the days of Jesus the nation will undergo a last spiritual resurrection…” “Thus, a resurrection of Israel is in view..”.

The death of the Church in the Great Tribulation, and her resurrection after that event,…”

What Daniel is promised is that after his rest in Abraham’s bosom, he will stand up with all God’s saints and join Michael on a throne in heaven, as described in Revelation 20, an event that came after the Great Tribulation and in the year AD 70.” (James B. Jordan, THE HANDWRITING ON THE WALL A Commentary on the Book of Daniel, (Powder Springs, GA:  American Vision, 2007), pp. 618-21, 628).

Let’s now harmonize “Orthodox Partial Preterism” on the Resurrection and Judgment of Daniel 12:

1).  There is an “already and not yet” or progressive process before the “end” “time of the end” “hour of the end” of this resurrection.

2).  It is Israel’s last spiritual resurrection where her physical old covenant corporate body is transformed into or rises into the new covenant corporate spiritual body of the Church in AD 70.

3). This resurrection resulted in the OT dead one’s being raised out of Abraham’s bosom/Hades to inherit eternal life and God’s presence in AD 70.

Questions on Daniel 12 for the authors of this letter to answer:

Of course, neither Gentry nor Jordan give any kind of full exegesis of Daniel 12.  We are left with such question as the following:

1).  On what exegetical grounds does Gentry give this eschatological “not yet” judgment and resurrection of the dead event TWO “ends” or TWO “appointed” / “decreed” (LXX) end time periods when the text only gives it ONE?

2).  Why won’t Gentry agree with Jordan that the passage says that Daniel himself would be raised at this ONE “end” event and how was he personally raised at the “end” of the Jewish age in AD 70 (v. 13)?

3).  When the NT cites or refers to the resurrection of Dan. 12, how are we to determine which is the spiritual resurrection “end” time event in AD 70 and which one is the alleged physical “end” of world history event?

4).  Why wasn’t there any admission here that some Jews before Jesus and in His day believed there would be a spiritual resurrection out of Hades (as Jordan is teaching) at the end of their old covenant Mosaic age and that it would be within 40 years after Messiah would be “cut off”?  Seems like if you are going to come up with a view not taught in the early church fathers, you might want to develop a “historical context” for it?

5).  Why didn’t Gentry and Jordan publicly confess that Full Preterism has been challenging them on their inconsistencies and cherry-picking of Daniel 12:2-3 and that they needed to respond but ducked addressing this issue for decades?

6).  Why didn’t they cite or admit that the spiritual resurrection position they are giving Daniel 12 – they got from being challenged by Full Preterists and that it is actually our view?  And if not, again, when and where did any church father teach Daniel 12:2-3, 13 was a spiritual resurrection fulfilled in AD 70?

7). When and who made this spiritual resurrection of Daniel 12 an “orthodox” position and with what authority did they do so?  Clearly some of the authors of the letter do not believe it is “orthodox.”  And some Partial Preterists won’t answer the public and private questions/challenges that verse 7 brings — which connects the “tribulation” (which they claim was fulfilled in AD 70) and “time of the end” with the resurrection (ex. Doug Wilson, Jeff Durbin, and James White – please “answer” this exegetical challenge).

Acts 17:31YLT:

Recently there has been some debate and interaction between Gary DeMar and Ken Gentry on the translation of the Greek word mello (cf. Gary DeMar, How Should the Greek Word ‘Mello’ be Translated? https://americanvision.org/posts/how-should-the-greek-word-mello-be-translated/?fbclid=IwAR0tzWk2fvZ2As8Y-u8oRejYWDjsYwn3E3YXL_GEhmbHK6Z9_sR3WX9Ohz8).

In this dispute on Facebook and elsewhere, Acts 17:31YLT has also been brought up as a creedal text and some of the authors of this letter have challenged the Full Preterist position and even Gary with “how was the Roman world ‘about to be’ judged in AD 70”?  But of course, this is the very position of one of the authors of the letter!  Philip G. Kayser writes this of mello in Acts 17:31,

“So where do we get the idea that there would be an imminent resurrection in AD 70? It’s implied in the word firstfruits. If the AD 30 resurrection is a firstfruits resurrection, then the rest of the barley harvest should shortly happen.

Second, the next subpoint gives a boatload of Scriptures which speaks of an imminent judgment against Jerusalem, connected with an imminent resurrection that was about to happen, and an imminent age that was about to begin. Unfortunately, the Greek word μέλλω in each of those verses is sometimes translated away [which is what Gentry has sought to do seeing the resurrection train coming – MJS]. But that Greek word always refers to something that is about to happen. How do premils handle these verses? Well, they use them to prove that the Second Coming is about to happen and has been about to happen for the last 2000 years. Well, 2000 years after those Scriptures were written is not something that is about to happen. I won’t take the time to go through the whole long list of Scriptures that have the Greek word μέλλω, but each of those references in your outline show some massive changes that would happen soon in AD 70. For now I want to focus on the verses that speak of a resurrection that was about to happen, since that is the one that so many people miss.

Acts 17:31 speaks about a resurrection. It says, “because He has appointed a day on which He will judge [And the Greek word is μέλλω – “is about to judge” the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” Why would Christ’s resurrection be a guarantee of imminent judgment? Because Daniel connects judgment against Israel with resurrection. And we will look at the Daniel passage in a moment.

So, Christ’s resurrection was a downpayment or an assurance (a firstfruits, so to speak) that guaranteed that there was about to be a judgment day with another resurrection. In terms of the barley harvest imagery that the Jews were familiar with, that would make sense because Christ’s firstfruits resurrection was the assurance of the rest of the barley harvest.” (Philip G. Kayser, Barley Harvest, https://kaysercommentary.com/Sermons/New%20Testament/Revelation/Revelation%2011/Revelation%2011_11-14.md?fbclid=IwAR3FVoxOgmAD5zTylIPuyGGpSLqLpTQ3LzPn5yKuTkVf7BGbS-7R19xDZfc).

So, the “appointed” or “decreed” “time” of the judgment and resurrection of Daniel 12:2-4 (LXX) and Acts 17:31 was “about to be” fulfilled in the lifetime of Paul’s audience and it was fulfilled in AD 70.  Daniel 12 nor the NT places TWO eschatological “appointed” or “decreed” time(s), just ONE and it is imminently to be fulfilled in AD 70 and is inseparably connected to the “hope of the twelve tribes of Israel” and to her destruction and judgment.

Questions for the signers of the letter on Acts 17:31YLT:

How many “appointed” “decreed” “hour of the end” judgments and resurrections are there in Daniel 12:1-7 and Acts 17:31YLT?  Was only one “about to be” fulfilled in AD 70 or not?  And if not “where is your work” to prove that?  How many of you are buying that the NT is teaching TWO eschatological harvests and judgments of the living and dead – one imminent in AD 70 and one at the end of world history?  Is that “creedal” and “orthodox”?

What if a combination of the authors of the letter are correct – the more classic Amillennial view is correct in that this is just ONE divinely “appointed” “end” or “end of the age” judgment and resurrection of the dead event for the righteous and unrighteous and Partial Preterism is correct in that it was “about to be” fulfilled at the divinely appointed end of the old covenant or Jewish age in AD 70?  Instead of the authors of this letter gnashing their teeth at DeMar and Full Preterism, maybe they should spend more time trying to reconcile their MAJOR differences on key texts like these instead of trying to condemn people to hell for piecing their mess together into a consistent, logical and exegetical system?  Just a thought.

Acts 24:15YLT:

Kayser again a co-signer of the letter writes of mello on this crucial passage,

“I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. (Acts 24:15)

The word “will be” is the Greek word μέλλω which refers to something very very near. It is more literally translated “that there is about to be a resurrection of the dead.” Well, he said that about ten years before the AD 70 resurrection, so it was literally true. Look down at verse 25 where μέλλω occurs again.

Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come [literally, the judgment about to come], Felix was afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.” (v. 25)

It was the very imminence of this judgment that made Felix afraid.” (Ibid.)

There are other issues in Acts 24:14-15YLT; Acts 26; and Acts 28 whereby Paul states that his resurrection “hope” only comes from the OT “Law and the Prophets” and it was the ONE “hope” of the “twelve tribes of Israel.”  Post AD 70 there are no longer any ethnic, covenantal or national “twelve tribes of Israel.”  Christ sent the Roman armies to burn their genealogical records in the Temple and took the Kingdom from them and gave it to the Nation of the Church which bears forth fruit today (Mt. 21:43-45).  That’s why when Gary DeMar debated Zionist Jew Dr. Michael Brown and asked him what Tribe he was from he said, “I THINK I’m from Judah.”  Lol.  Jordan also demonstrates there are no ethnic covenantal Jews post AD 70 in his work on Romans 11 and the salvation of “all Israel.”

And the NT only knows of ONE eschatological “hope” of the parousia and resurrection.  These Partial Preterists that have an eschatological “hope” and “resurrection” in AD 70 and then another one at the end of time are twisting the Scriptures as even any good Amillennialist will agree with in condemning the Partial Preterist TWO comings, TWO judgments and resurrection – TWO “hopes” nonsense.

In an article on Acts 24:15 on his site Gentry cites BDAG as support that mello should not be translated as “about to be” here but conveniently does not share with you that BDAG does translate mello as “about to be” in our next key passage – Romans 8:18-23YLT.

Questions for the signers of the letter on Acts 24:15YLT:

How many judgments and resurrections of righteous and unrighteous are there according to Daniel 12:2-7, 17 and Acts 24:15YLT?  If only one at the “end of world history” please show your work!  If TWO – one in AD 70 and one at the end of world history – show your work.  If many of you only see ONE consummative “end” for this judgment and resurrection, then why does one of the signers teach it was “about to be” fulfilled in AD 70?  Ken, since you admit there was a spiritual resurrection of the just and unjust of Daniel 12:2-3 in AD 70 PROVE without a shadow of doubt that Paul in Acts 24:15YLT is not referring to THAT AD 70 resurrection – but the alleged “end of world history” one. Contextually in Acts 24; 26 and 28 this judgment and resurrection of the dead event is connected to the ONE “hope” of the “twelve tribes of Israel” and is not referring to “the end of world history.”  Again, the OT context of Daniel 12 and historical context of Acts itself limits this judgment and resurrection of the just and unjust to “about to” take place when there were ethnic and covenantal “tribes of Israel” and just before Jerusalems judgment in the events of AD 67 – AD 70. There is no Futurist “end of world history” judgment and resurrection case here either.  Next.

Romans 8:18-23YLT:

The bold co-signer of this Philip Kayser again writes of mello in this key passage,

“Turn next to Romans 8:18. The whole context is the reversal of every facet of the curse, including the resurrection of our bodies, which in verse 23 Paul calls the “redemption of our bodies.” But I want you to notice the use of the word μέλλω in verse 18.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be [literally, “which is about to be”] revealed in us. (v. 18)

In context Paul is saying that this glory is the redemption of our bodies. That glory is about to be revealed in us. Paul had already revealed that he would die prior to Christ’s coming in AD 70, so he was about to be raised in AD 70.” (Ibid.).

Here is a proper and complete exegesis of Romans 8:18-23YLT since Kayser leaves so many exegetical questions unanswered:

Why has Kenneth Gentry retracted his comments of when mello is used in the aorist infinitive it “surely means” “about to be” fulfilled in AD 70?  It’s because Paul’s theology in Romans 5–8:23 describes the same resurrection and overcoming of “THE Sin,” “THE Death,” and “THE Law” of 1 Corinthians 15. It is also the “appointed time” and “redemption” of Luke 21 and the resurrection of Daniel 12:2-3 which both men believe were fulfilled in AD 70.

Paul’s “ALREADY” Resurrection in Romans 6:

Rms. 6:3-4YLT/NRV/MNC: “are ye ignorant that we, as many as were baptized [that is united/planted through faith not water] to Christ Jesus, to his death were baptized? With him through the baptism to the death [spiritual], that even as Christ was raised up out of the dead through the glory of the Father, so also, we in newness of life might walk [or proceed in a new state of life – MNC]. The PROCESS of resurrection & overcoming Adamic “THE Death” had begun.  The uniting into Christ’s “death” was spiritual and “also” being raised with Him and walking in the newness of His resurrection had begun and was spiritual.

Paul’s “Not Yet” Resurrection in Romans 6:

Rms. 6:5:  “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will [future] certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.”

Rms. 6:8:  “And if we died with Christ [to THE sin of Adam], we believe that we also shall [future] live with him [that is be accepted & enjoy His presence forever at His coming],”

Rms. 6:10YLT/AB/GNT:  “for in that he [Christ] died, to THE sin he died once, and in that he liveth, He lives to God [in unbroken fellowship w/ Him].

A uniting into the death and resurrection of Christ in these texts are spiritual and have to do with being in or living in unbroken fellowship with God.

Rms. 7: “when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died.” “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death [the body of Adam/Moses].”

Here Paul is portraying himself as being under Torah “in the flesh” before his conversion or is personifying himself as being in the corporate body of Adam and or Israel being under “THE Law.” For those in this corporate body, the Law of Moses only served to stir up or magnify the presence of “THE sin” and produced spiritual death or the awareness of being in the state of spiritual death.

Rms. 8:18-22YLT: For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory about to be revealed in us; for the earnest looking out of the creation doth expect the revelation of the sons of God; for to vanity was the creation made subject — not of its will, but because of Him who did subject [it] — in hope, that also the creation itself shall be set free from the servitude of the corruption to the liberty of the glory of the children of God; for we have known that all the creation doth groan together, and doth travail in pain together till now.  And not only [so], but also we ourselves, having the first-fruit of the Spirit, we also ourselves in ourselves do groan, adoption expecting — the redemption [resurrection] of our body;”

1). What time is it?—”…the sufferings of this present time (Greek kairos) or should be understood or translated – “the [now eschatological] appointed time…” man has been waiting for and the Prophets predicted has arrive (similarly 1 Pet. 1:1-12).

This is not kronos which means a duration of chronological time, but rather kairos meaning God’s “appointed time” “when things come to a head, a crisis or consummation.” How and where does Jesus use kairios that is related to Paul’s eschatology here in Romans?

Luke 21:8, 27-28: “For many will come in my name, saying, “I am he!’ and, “The [kairios or appointed time of “redemption” v. 28] is at hand!’ Do not go after them.” Why? Because…

Mrk. 13:10/16:15: “The gospel MUST FIRST be preached to “ALL NATIONS” or “TO THE WHOLE CREATION (Greek kitisis = Rms. 8:19-23).

How does Paul use kairos elsewhere in Romans?

Rms. 13:11-12: Besides this you know the [kairos or appointed] time, that the hour [that is “the hour/time of the end” of Dan. 12:1-4 OG LXX] has come…for you to wake from sleep [that is to “wake from the sleep” or enter into the fulfillment of the resurrection of Dan. 12:2-3]. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night [of the OC age] is far gone; the day [of the NC age of resurrection] is at hand.

Since the Gentile and Jewish “creation” had all heard the gospel, they and Paul knew they had entered into the eschatological “appointed time” of “redemption” or “to awake from the sleep” Jesus and Daniel prophesied. Therefore, Paul taught with inspired certainty that this “appointed time” was “at hand” or “about to be” or “soon to be” fulfilled by AD 70.

2). Contextually, what is the “glory” “about to be revealed” (v. 18)?

A). The immediate and previous context in (v. 17) makes it clear– “…in order that we may also be glorified with Him.”

This is what Paul taught earlier in Rms. 6:5 – “if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall be united with Him in a resurrection like His.”  The resurrection of Christ here results in unbroken fellowship with the Father (v. 10) and so they too would “live with Him” (v.8).  Resurrection = Presence of God restored.  The context following our verse also makes it clear (vss. 19-23):  They are waiting for the revealing of the adoption as sons or the glory of the children of God, the liberation of the creation, and the “redemption of the body” (vss. 19-23).

3). Where is this glory to be revealed (v. 18) and what is this unseen hope of (v. 24)? “…in us.”

 Paul writes elsewhere:

Cols. 1:27: “to whom God has willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory,”

Lk. 17:20-37/Lk. 21:27-32: When Christ would come from heaven in His contemporary “this generation” He and the kingdom would come in GLORY and power and be “WITHIN” His people and no one would be able to say “see here” or “see there.”

This was a “hope” “about to be” realized in AD 70 not the “sick” and 2,000 plus years and counting physical “hope” of Futurism (Prov. 13:12).

4). When would this eschatological “waiting” in (vss. 19-23) for the “glory” in them to be revealed (v. 18)? It was “about to be revealed” or “soon to be revealed” in AD 70.

Paul here uses the Greek word mello in the aorist infinitive. Gentry writes of John’s use of mello in the aorist infinitive in Rev. 1:19:

“…this term means “be on the point of, be about to.” According to Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible, Revelation 1:19 reads: “Write the things that thou hast seen, and the things that are, and the things that are about to come [mello] …after these things.” The leading interlinear versions of the New Testament concur. This is surely the proper translation of the verse. …when used with the aorist infinitive — as in Revelation 1:19 — the word’s preponderate usage and preferred meaning is: “be on the point of, be about to. The same is true when the word is used with the present infinitive, as in the Rev. 3:10. Unfortunately, none of the major translators cited above translates Revelation 1:19 in a literal fashion. (Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., The Beast of Revelation, (First Edition, Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1989), pp. 23–24, 141-142, emphasis MJS).

John Lightfoot is Gentry and DeMar’s favorite Partial Preterist theologian and yet he understands Rms. 8:18-23 in the following Full Preterist manner:

John Lightfoot on “creation”:

He identifies the “creation” of Rms. 8 with the gospel having been preached to “every creature” by AD 70 according to Mrk. 16:15 and Cols. 1:23. He points out the Jews understood the term to be, “…applied to the Gentiles…,” and that the OT prophets predicted the “…gathering together and adopting sons to himself among the Gentiles…”

John Lightfoot on vanity, bondage & corruption:

After citing Rms. 1:21; Ephs. 4:17; and 1 Cor. 3:20; 2 Pet. 1:4; 2 Cor. 1:3; 1 Cor. 15:33 where these terms are referring to the inner sin of man he writes,

“. . . [T]his vanity [or futility] is improperly applied to the [physical] creation. For vanity, doth not so much denote the vanishing condition of the outward state [of the planet], as it doth the inward vanity and emptiness of the mind.” The Gentile world shall in time be delivered from the bondage of their sinful corruption, that is, the bondage of their lusts and vile affections, (under which it hath lain for so long a time) into a noble liberty, such as the sons of God enjoy. If it be inquired how the Gentile world groaned and travailed in pain, let them who expound this of the fabric of the material world tell us how that groaneth and travaileth. They must needs own it to be a borrowed and allusive phrase.” (John Lightfoot, Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica, Volume 4 (Hendrickson publications), 157, 158-159)

John Lightfoot on the “Redemption of the Body”:

“And of the same body [in context he is referring to the corporate Jew/Gentile mystical body of Christ just mentioned in Eph. 4:13] is his meaning in that obscure and much-mistaken place (Rom. viii.23; “And not only they,” i.e. ‘the whole creation,’ or πασα κτισις, ‘every creature,’ which means no other thing, than ‘the Gentile or heathen world’: not only they groan to come into the evangelical liberty of the children of God, but we, also, of the Jewish nation, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, groan within ourselves, waiting for the redemption, to wit, the adoption of our [corporate] body:” we wait for the redeeming and adopting of the Gentiles, to make up our [corporate] mystical [Jew / Gentile] body. (John Lightfoot, Sermon on “Many Mansions,” cf. https://biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/lightfoot/vol06.pdf… pp. 322-323).

Major Premise: The context makes it clear that the eschatological appointed time of the liberation of creation, the glory of the children of God, the adoption of the sons of God and the resurrection of Daniel or redemption of the body would all be fulfilled together when the glory would be revealed in Rms. 8:18.

Minor Premise: Since Paul uses the Greek word mello in the aorist infinitive, the glory was “about to be revealed in” the Church in AD 70 [Gary DeMar / Philip Kayser / Gentry’s appeals to BDAG  ]. The creation here is the creation of men being delivered from the effects of inner sin and has nothing to do with the planet earth being transformed or redeemed [John Lightfoot].

Conclusion: The liberation of creation, the adoption and revealing of the sons in glory, and the redemption of the body was “about to be” fulfilled in AD 70. At Christ’s “at hand” parousia to close the dark OC age in AD 70, the corporate Body of the Church has been set free or has arisen from the condemning corporate body of Adam / Moses and thus from The Sin, The Death & The Law. In short, the resurrection & deliverance of Rms. 5–8:23YLT is the resurrection & deliverance of 1 Cor. 15 from The Sin, The Death & The Law—-but in Romans it was “about to be” fulfilled in AD 70 and was (Rms. 8:18-23YLT)!  And in 1 Cor. 15 Paul expected it to take place within the lifetime of those in Corinth – “we shall not all sleep…”.

There are many parallels between Romans 8 and Luke 17:20-37 and the Olivet Discourse.  Not only that, but the eschatological second exodus theme is present.  This is powerful when considering the “historical Jewish context” of some of the Jewish who believed there would be another 40 years “generation” “second exodus” between their old covenant “this age” and the Messianic or new covenant “age about to come”:

The New or Second Exodus Motif in Romans 8:18-23YLT was “About to be” Fulfilled in AD 70
1). Israel – God’s “children” or “sons” (Deut. 32:5, 19-20) 1). Church – God’s “children” or “sons” (8:14, 16, 21)
2). God “created/made” Israel through the exodus event (Deut. 32:6; Isa. 51:15-16) 2). The “creation” of believing Gentiles and Jews the focus & not physical creation (8:22)
3). God “led” Israel (Deut. 32:12) 3). Church “led” by the Spirit (8:14)
4). Israel was “groaning” to be “set free” and “redeemed” from Egyptian slavery/bondage           (Ex. 6:2-9) 4). The Jew/Gentile Church/Creation were “groaning” to be “set free” & “redeemed” from the inner “bondage,” vanity, and corruption of Adamic sin (8:20-22)
The Appointed Time of Fulfillment of the Olivet Discourse & Lk. 17 was “At Hand” & “About to be” Fulfilled in Romans 8—13:11-12 by AD 70
1). Suffering & eschatological birth pains coming (Mt. 24:8-9) 1). Suffering & eschatological birth pains currently taking place (8:17-18, 22)
2). Kingdom to be realized “within” a person at Christ’s Second Coming                                       (Lk. 17:20-37/Lk. 21:27-32) 2). Christ’s “glory” would be “revealed IN” the Church at Christ’s Second Coming                     (8:18; 13:11-12; cf. Cols. 1:27)
3). Called to “straighten up / lift heads” because “redemption” would be “drawing near” in their contemporary “this generation” (Lk. 21:27-28) 3). Look for with “eager expectation” (Gk. apekdechomai & apokaradokia– “to eagerly wait for fulfillment with an outstretched neck and head lifted forward”) (8:19-23)
4). Second Coming & “gathering” (resurrection) at the end of the Old Covenant age described “…as sunshine comes out from the east and is seen even in the west…” or “shining like the sun in the Kingdom” (Mt. 24:27-31 Aramaic English NT; Mt. 13:39-43 fulfillment of Dan. 12:2-3) 4).  Second Coming & “awaking from sleep” (resurrection) described as the arrival of “the [eschatological New Covenant age] Day” (13:11-12 fulfillment of Dan. 12:2-3)
5). The “time” (Gk. “kairos” better translated as the eschatological “appointed time of fulfillment or consummation”) would be “near” in the first century “generation” or by AD 70 (Lk. 21:8, 32 “the time ordained” of Dan. 12:4 Wycliffe Translation) 5). The “time” (Gk. kairos better translated as the eschatological “appointed time of fulfillment or consummation”) was “near” and “about to be” fulfilled in AD 70 (8:18YLT; 13:11-12)

Questions for the signers of the letter on Romans 8:18-23YLT / Romans 13:11-12:

Here we have the same exegetical issues as with Daniel 12:1-4 and its connection with Acts 17:31YLT and Acts 24:15YLT.  For Paul there was only ONE “hope” “appointed” or “decreed” time of fulfillment of the judgment and resurrection of Daniel 12 and it was “at hand” and “about to be” fulfilled in AD 70.  Is Lightfoot’s view that the “creation” of Romans 8 is the “creation of men” and not referring to the planet “orthodox” to believe?  If not, why not?

1 Thessalonians 1:10:

Like in Acts 17:31YLT, Philip Kayser interprets Paul discussing Christ coming from heaven as something to be fulfilled “soon” in AD 70 and the “wrath” associated with His coming was about to fall upon “Israel and Rome” just as he took the judgment “about to” come upon the “world” of the Jews and Rome in Acts 17:31YLT:

“The last verse of chapter 1 introduces a theme that will be repeated throughout the book – that these saints were eagerly waiting for Jesus to come and to do something soon. He isn’t talking about people 2000 years later. He is talking about these newly converted Thessalonians whom he has taught “to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” Which wrath to come? Well, let’s jump ahead to 2:16. Speaking of the Jews who killed Jesus and persecuted Paul, it says, “forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost.” It was about to fall. Though Paul had instructed these Christians that they would have to endure the Great Tribulation, none of them would have to endure God’s great wrath that was about to be poured out upon both Israel and Rome. But more on that when we get to chapter 4. He is not talking here (in chapter 1:10) about Christ’s coming at the end of history. He is talking about the imminent coming Jesus had promised in Matthew 24 that would happen within that generation. It was something to wait expectantly for during the first century. Mounce says that that word “wait” means to expect it. It is a waiting with an expectation that it is about to happen. It’s imminent. They will experience it.” (Kayser, 1 Thessalonians).

1 Thessalonians 4-5 / Matthew 24:3, 27-31 / 1 Corinthians 15:23:

We must continue with the wonderful admissions that Mr. Philip Kayser has provided for us to answer these three questions the authors of this letter have challenged Mr. DeMar with and indirectly have challenged Full Preterism with over the years. Let’s be clear – the authors of this letter and their Partial Preterist system has conceded that the coming or parousia of Christ in Mt. 24:27-31; 25:31; 1 Thess. 4-5; and 1 Cor. 15:23 WAS fulfilled in AD 70 and everyone is supposed to just look the other way as they want to hypocritically declare we are “damanable heretics” for agreeing with these statements and then trying to harmonize them with the work of the Spirit or the “analogy of faith” principle of interpretation that has been performed through the rest of the Reformed Church (the classic Amillennial position) — and how they have interpreted these texts and the “parallels” they acknowledge.  Nothing to see here folks – keep moving!

1 Thess. 4:16-17:

Kayser teaches that,

“…verse 16 tells us what happens to the bodies of those who died prior to AD 70 – that body and soul they go to heaven, while verse 17 tells us what happens to the souls of those who die after AD 70, and that he doesn’t deal with their bodies till a brief statement in chapter 5.” (Ibid.)

And,

“…I believe this particular passage speaks of the very visible appearing of Christ with His angelic armies and chariots that came against Jerusalem. This is the coming referred to in the first half of Matthew 24, where Jesus said that He would come before that generation passed away. This is the perfect answer to liberals.” (Ibid.)

While we appreciate the honesty that this parousia of Christ was fulfilled in AD 70, the rest of Kayser’s exegesis and comments are an epic historical train wreck that every school of eschatology can destroy let alone “liberals.”  Here is a Partial Preterist that believes the OT dead ones and those who died in Christ prior to AD 70 were physically and biologically raised in AD 70 and everyone missed it and didn’t record such an event?!?  Now he claims he disagrees with other Preterists on a physical “rapture” of the living in AD 70 such as Ed Stevens, Milton Terry, Stuart Russell, Mike Bull, etc… (all of whom I see as defending Partial Preterism – a physical fulfillment – Full Preterism is “defined on BOTH the timing and NATURE [spiritual] of fulfillment”).  But if you add in the physical rapture view of the Partial Preterists in AD 70, then you have the dead and the living OT and NT saints coming out of graveyards and flying into the sky and no one noticed and recorded it?!?  No, I’m afraid this is not the “perfect solution to the liberals.”  Lol.

But the Full Preterist view does answer the skeptics argument perfectly because Jesus taught that when He was revealed from heaven at His coming and arrival of the Kingdom, one would not be able to say, “see here or see there” because the Kingdom would be revealed spiritually “within” the heart of a person (Lk. 17:20-37/Lk. 21:27-32).  Since Jesus taught one wouldn’t be able to physically see the event because it would be spiritually fulfilled within a person, and the resurrection involved souls/spirits being raised out of Hades in AD 70, then the liberal argument – “Jesus and the NT authors promised it would be physically fulfilled “soon” in their generation BUT it didn’t happen, so Jesus is a false prophet and the Bible is not inspired” — has no validity!

Another problem for Philip Kayser is that he takes the coming of Christ in Matthew 24:27-30 / 1 Thessalonians 4-5 / 1 Corinthians 15:23 / Revelation 1:7 / Acts 1:11 as a physically and bodily seen – that is a five foot eight Jesus coming on a physical cloud.  If Paul had taught the Thessalonians and other churches that Christ’s coming on the clouds was going to be physically seen and the resurrection of the dead ones and their beloved brethren in Christ whom had died would be raised physically and biologically – then this makes no sense of how Paul argued in 2 Thessalonians 2:2-3 and 2 Timothy 2:17-18 concerning those that were teaching that the coming of Christ and resurrection had “already” been fulfilled.  If these were physically seen events all Paul would have ad to say to refute these errors would have been, “how could you believe our Lord’s coming and the resurrection of the dead event has already been fulfilled – did you physically see Christ bodily on a cloud and have the graveyards been emptied”?  But since orthodox Partial Preterism admits Paul was teaching there was a spiritual coming of Christ and a spiritual resurrection of the dead event that would imminently occur in AD 70, Paul’s response to this error in not correcting the nature of it and only the timing – makes perfect sense.

Additional problems for Kayser is that he says the coming of the Lord will only affect and raise the dead.  The living are only “caught up” at their deaths.  This is not consistent with 1 Corinthians 15 in that it is at the coming of the Lord or “at the last trumpet sound” that both the dead and the living will be raised and “changed” at “the twinkling of an eye” (vss. 51-52).  So while we do agree that the living that experience Christ’s coming in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 will be alive on earth post AD 70 [not physically “raptured” off the planet], both 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 being in harmony with each other and Luke 17:20-27/Lk. 21:27-32 –  teach there will be an inner and spiritual transformation of being “caught away” or “changed” the living undergo in inheriting the Kingdom at His parousia.

Since this is an important passage let me briefly exegete it.

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven…” (v. 16)

How had God described His “coming down from heaven” to “reveal Himself” (2 Thess. 2:7) and “rescue” (1 Thess. 1:10) His people being persecuted in the past?  Notice how David describes God coming down from heaven to rescue him from his enemies:

“In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.  The earth trembled and quaked (literally?), and the foundations of the mountains shook (literally?); they trembled because he was angry.  Smoke rose from his nostrils (literally?); consuming fire came from his mouth (remember 2 Thess. 1:7 – Jesus is “revealed from heaven in blazing fire…”), burning coals blazed out of it.  He parted the heavens and came down (literally?); dark clouds were under his feet.  He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind.  He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him— the dark rain clouds of the sky.  Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced (literally?), with hailstones and bolts of lightning.  The LORD thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded (a literal voice?).  He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy, with great bolts of lightning he routed them.  The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare (literally?) at your rebuke, LORD, at the blast of breath from your nostrils.  He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.  He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me” (Ps. 18:6-17).

Christ is coming here in 1 Thessalonains 4:16-17 as God had come from heaven and on the clouds in the OT, as we discussed in our exegesis of the Olivet Discourse.  If the Church is willing to admit that the coming of Christ in Matthew 24-25 was fulfilled spiritually with Jesus, describing His coming using common apocalyptic language of the prophets, and the Church is willing to admit that Paul’s teaching of Christ’s coming here in 1 Thessalonians 4-5 is the same event as described by Jesus in Matthew 24-25, THEN it is no stretch to understand that Paul likewise is using common apocalyptic language of the prophets and that 1 Thessalonians 4-5 was also fulfilled in AD 70 just as Matthew 24-25 was.

In fact, NT Wright comes very close to admitting that all of the language of 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 is common apocalyptic language:

“Unfortunately, it [the language of 1 Thess. 4:16] is also a highly contentious passage, being used with astonishing literalness in popular fundamentalism and critical scholarship alike to suggest that Paul envisaged Christians flying around in mid-air on clouds.  The multiple apocalyptic resonances of the passage on the one hand, and its glorious mixed metaphors on the other, make this interpretation highly unlikely.” (N.T. Wright, THE RESURRECTION OF THE SON OF GOD Christian Origins and the Question of God, vol. 3 (Minneapolis, MN: 2003), 215, emphasis MJS)

We couldn’t agree more with Mr. Wright in that Paul is using common apocalyptic language.  Yet it is not figurative language of a physical resurrection at the end of world history, but rather figurative language of a spiritual resurrection by which souls are raised out of Hades into God’s presence, and of God’s presence “meeting” the living within their hearts while on earth (cf. Lk. 17:20-37).  If it is agreed by the Partial Preterist that the language of Jesus in Matthew 24:30-31 is describing Christ’s non-literal coming, on non-literal clouds, with a non-literal trumpet sound, and that the “gathering” is an inward resurrection of giving eternal life that the gospel produces (no biological change), while others correctly see Matthew 24:30-31 and 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 to be the same event, then we suggest the “catching away” for the living is not into physical clouds (as Wright admits), but is God producing the consummative giving of His presence and of eternal life to His saints while here on earth.

OT Echo to 1 Thessalonians 4:16

Other than the trumpet gathering and resurrection of Isaiah 27:12-13 (which I have addressed already), G.K. Beale and D.A. Carson connect this coming of the Lord “from heaven” with Isaiah 2:10-12’s “in that day”, “Day of the Lord” judgment:

“The main clause of 1 Thess. 4:16, “because the Lord himself will come down from heaven,” recalls…the prophetic literature of the OT that envisions “the day of the Lord,” when God will come to judge the wicked and save the righteous (Isa. 2:10–12;…).” (Weima, J. A. D. (2007). 1-2 Thessalonians. In Commentary on the New Testament use of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI; Nottingham, UK: Baker Academic; Apollos), 880, emphasis MJS).

But they also connect 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 with Isaiah 2, which reads:

“This (in context – giving the Thessalonians relief from their Jewish persecutors) will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.  He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out (excommunicated [from the heavenly temple] as they had done to the Christians) from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.” (Ibid., emphasis MJS).

On this passage, Beale and Carson write,

“…eternal destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.” This description clearly echoes the triple refrain of Isa. 2:10, 19, 21, where on the day of the Lord the wicked are commanded to hide themselves behind rocks and in caves “from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might whenever he will rise to terrify the earth.” (Ibid., 885, emphasis MJS).

So, since both 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 fulfill the coming of the Lord “from heaven” in the judgment found in Isaiah 2, let me remind the reader that Jesus appeals to this same OT passage and understands it to be fulfilled by AD 70:

“And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him.  But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.  For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us” (from Isa. 2:19 and Hos. 10:8) (Lk. 23:27-30).

There’s a consensus among the commentators that this passage was fulfilled in God’s judgment upon Jerusalem in AD 70.  We have found plenty of exegetical evidence that Paul too identifies the Lord coming in the judgment of Isaiah 2 to be fulfilled by AD 70.  Even John in Revelation 6:15-17 appeals to the coming of the Lord in His wrath in Isaiah 2 to be fulfilled “in a very little while” to avenge the first century martyrs in AD 70 (cf. Rev. 6:11-17).

Did Christ come from heaven to deliver and give “relief” to the first century Thessalonians from their persecutors and did God render wrath upon those persecutors in AD 70 or not (2 Thess. 1:7-9)?  The answer is clearly “yes.”  Notice the promise was NOT – “someday thousands of years in the future I will give you relief [at a time you won’t need it] when I come from heaven and destroy your enemies.”

Another important point to make on 1 Thess. 1:7-10 is that one of the signers of this letter just came up with a completely NEW (never before seen in the history of the church) exegesis of 2 Thess. 1.  Sam Frost claims the “coming” or “parousia” here is actually Christ’s ascension event!

“…with the trumpet call of God and the dead in Christ will rise first.” (v. 16)

There is definitely a chronological order, with the dead rising first and then the gathering, catching away or change for the living taking place second.  Even Jesus addresses the dead first in John 11:

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die [OT worthies like Abraham or Daniel, along with those who recently died prior to AD 70], yet shall he live [be raised out of Abraham’s bosom or Hades to inherit God’s presence and eternal life], and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die [that is not that they would never see biological death, but rather inherit God’s “within” kingdom and presence of eternal life]. Do you believe this (John 11:25-26)?”

We agree with the scholarship of G.K. Beale who correctly understands the gathering of the elect at the end of the age in Matthew 24:3, 30-31 in his commentary on 1 & 2 Thessalonians as the resurrection event:

“Paul’s particular combination of references from Matthew 24 shows that he interprets the whole of the Matthean text as referring to woes preceding the final coming of Christ (and though Matthew does not explicitly mention the idea of resurrection, he implies it in the phrase “gather his elect” in 24:31, which implies the gathering of all believers, both living and dead).” (Beale, Ibid., 1-2 Thessalonians, 138, emphasis MJS)

However, this creates a “thorny problem” for Beale when he begins leaning in the direction of a Partial Preterism in a more recent work where he writes:

“…it is likely better to see [Matt. 24:30]…fulfilled not at the very end of history but rather in AD 70 at the destruction of Jerusalem, in which the Son of Man’s coming would be understood as an invisible coming in judgment, using the Roman armies as his agent.” (Beale, Ibid., A New Testament Biblical Theology the Unfolding of the Old Testament in the New, 369)

Beale admits, at least indirectly, that holding to both of these views he has defended creates a “thorny problem” for him that deserves “further study” to resolve.  I gave him a copy of our second edition of HD and told him we did the “further study” and our exegesis of 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 solves the “thorny problem” that he has created for himself.  But Beale’s “thorny problem” is simply a microcosm of the problem that the Futurist Church has as a whole.

“Gathered up” (Greek Harpazo) (v. 17)

The NCV translates harpazo as “gathered up,” thus giving it a theological and parallel connection to the eschatological gathering of Matthew 13:39-43, Matthew 24:30-31 & 2 Thessalonians 2:1.  Other translations render it “snatched away” or “will be seized.”

Harpazo means to “take one’s plunder openly and violently, catch or snatch away.” Sometimes it is addressing someone being pulled, snatched away or rescued by someone from an enemy.  But is 1 Thessalonians 4:17 discussing an inward spiritual rescuing into Christ’s glory cloud presence, or an outward and upward catching away into physical clouds in the sky and a biological change?

Here are some very clear uses of harpazo being an inward spiritual event:

1). Matthew 12:29 – Satan was “bound” and Christ was “carrying away” (harpazo) his plunder, which were people that were rightfully His who were held captive by Satan and demons.  But how was He doing this?  It was by casting out demons (an inward spiritual reality), and in some cases actually giving faith to these individuals to follow him (again an inward spiritual reality).

2). Matthew 11:12 – “the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing (Christ casting out demons openly and publicly taking Satan’s plunder), and (in return) the forceful men (believers) lay hold of it” (harpazo – through faith, vigor, power, and determination in light of present persecution – such as in the case of John).  People were violently laying hold of the kingdom through having faith (a spiritual and inward reality).

3). Matthew 13:19 – In the parable of the sower, the wicked one comes and snatches away (harpazo) what was sown in his heart (again, an inner spiritual reality).

4). John 10:12 – The wolf (Pharisees, sons of Satan) sought to snatch (harpazo) and scatter the sheep/ people of Israel.  How did the Pharisees seek to “snatch” and “scatter” the Jews from following Jesus?  The first phase involved seeking to deceive them in their hearts and minds (an inward snatching) by convincing them that He was not the Christ by perverting the Scriptures and accusing Him of having a demon, etc.  The second phase was a physical excommunication or scattering of Christians from their synagogues.

5). John 10:28-29 – Anyone who has faith in Jesus cannot be “snatched” (harpazo) out of the Father’s hand.  That is, he cannot be influenced (snatched inwardly) in his or her mind and heart to leave God.  Like Peter, “Where else can we go, Lord? You alone have the words to eternal life.”  The gift of faith is spiritually preserved in the heart and soul of the believer.  He cannot be deceived to the point of committing the sin unto death (1 Jn. 3:9). Again, this is an inner spiritual reality of the heart/mind/soul of man.

6). Acts 8:39 – This simply means that the Holy Spirit directed Philip in His heart and mind (inwardly) to go elsewhere and the Eunuch did not see him again.  There’s nothing in the text to support the idea that Philip was “raptured” into the atmosphere and was then instantly dropped off miles and miles away from where he was.

The eschatological “already” of the inward kingdom gathering and catching away was spiritual, and the eschatological “gathering” and “catching away” in the kingdom at Christ’s return would also be a spiritual event in AD 70.  As we noted in our exegesis of Luke 17:20-37/Lk. 21:27-32, Jesus said when that the kingdom would come at His return (to gather all His elect Mt. 24:31), it would be an experience to occur “within” an individual and not something that could be seen with the physical eyes.

The inward realm of redemption or catching away is further evident from a study of the next two words, “clouds” and “air.”

“…in the clouds…” (v. 17)

As I have demonstrated thus far in our study of Christ coming on the clouds in the Olivet Discourse and God coming on the clouds in the OT, this is common apocalyptic language and not referring to physical clouds we see in the sky.

To “meet” the Lord… (v. 17)

This Greek word, to “meet,” is wedding language and is only used twice in the NT – here and also in the wedding motif that Jesus develops in Matthew 25:1-13 (which Partial Preterists correctly teach was fulfilled spiritually in AD 70).

In Jewish betrothals and weddings, the groomsmen would go ahead of the groom and blow a trumpet at a time the virgin and her bridesmaids were not expecting.  Once at the virgin’s father’s house, it was customary for the groom to consummate his marriage sexually there before taking her to his father’s house where they would continue consummating the union for seven days and having the wedding feast.

This Greek word for “meet” was also often used of a king or dignitary coming to make his home in a city which his empire or kingdom had conquered or was about to conquer.  On the news of the imminent coming of the king or dignitary, at the sound of a trumpet the members of the city would go out of the city and “meet” him and escort him back to their home/town.  The king’s presence was established WHERE the people already lived. Again, the imagery does not support a literal “rapture” of people off of planet earth, but rather of God coming to rule and reign in the hearts of His people where they are – living on planet earth.

It is at the wedding feast that the resurrection and overcoming of death is fulfilled per Isaiah 25:6-9 and yet Partial Preterists such as Gentry, Wilson, Durbin, and now White tell us that the eschatological divorce of old covenant Israel was fulfilled in AD 70 and the eschatological marriage to the Church was also fulfilled by AD 70.  You can’t have the feast without the wedding and you can’t have the resurrection and overcoming of “the death” without the wedding and feast.  If the “in that day” wedding and feast of Isaiah 25:6-9 was fulfilled in AD 70 per Partial Preterism and if the parousia of 1 Corinthians 15:23 was imminently fulfilled in the lifetime of some of the Corinthians as Partial Preterism maintains, then the resurrection event and overcoming of “the death” of 1 Corinthians 15:54-56 was fulfilled in AD 70.  This is not complicated.  But you can begin to see WHY these men have to shut DeMar up from encouraging others to simply “study” and ask questions.  When people start asking them questions – they look bad and that can’t be tolerated.

“…in the air” (v. 17)

But what of this meeting the Lord in the “air” (Greek eros)?  The Strong’s Greek Dictionary defines it as: “From ‘aemi,” to breath unconsciously, to respire.  By analogy, to blow.  The air, particularly the lower and denser air as distinguished from the higher and rarer air.”

So the point is that this is the air “in” or “within” us.

The Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains lists Eph 2:2, 1 Thess. 4:17, and Rev. 16:17 in its definition of eros as meaning “the space inhabited and controlled by [spiritual] powers.”

The Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament says of the “air” in Ephesians 2:2 – “…Jewish conceptions, according to which, among other things, the air is the abode of demons.”

Ephesians 2 refers to Satan as the “prince and power of the AER.”  He dwelt in the spiritual realm which extended to the souls of men.  The war we see Christ and Satan fighting in the NT is for the spiritual condition of men – within their hearts and minds.  Paul goes on to say that Satan “now works in the children of disobedience.”  And consistently Jesus defines His kingdom as something that He is setting up “in” and “within” men, and transforming them into His image spiritually.

Prior to AD 70, Satan used his demonic legions to “possess” individuals within the realm of their minds and the spiritual realm of their being.  Satan used the old covenant Mosaic law to blind their spiritual eyes, hearts and minds in the realm of the “air” – within their souls, hearts, and minds to produce an arrogant and zealous selfrighteousness which apart from Christ could only lead to utter despair (cf. 2 Cor. 3; Gal. 4:17-18; Rom. 7). Christ “bound the strong man” and was raising and delivering Christians from the darkness and death of this spiritual kingdom realm into His own realm (cf. Eph. 2:1-10).  Christ snatched away His beloved and spoke peace and joy into the “air” of her heart, soul, and mind when He said, “It is finished” (Rev. 16:17/Heb. 9-10/1 Cor. 15)!

The powers of Satan, demons, the condemnation of the law, and the spiritual death Adam brought upon men were all conquered by Christ at His parousia in AD 70 for those who put their faith in Him.

Had Paul meant to clearly communicate that believers would physically fly off the planet into the sky and atmosphere above, he would have used the Greek word “ouranos,” which clearly states this as its meaning.

The picture of the “rapture” is that Christ came down from heaven in / on a cloud to earth where He gathered the living into His presence, “within” us where we function as His Most Holy Place dwelling and throne through which He rules the nations.  This is what we also see in Revelation where the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven to earth and God establishes His presence within His Church here.

Let me give further evidence not only that there will not be an end-of-world-history physical rapture of Christians off the planet, but likewise there was not a biological rapture or change of the living in AD 70.

1). Paul could have easily rebuked the false teachers and Christians that were tempted to believe the Lord had “already come” (2 Thess. 2:2) by simply saying, “Aren’t you still here and the dead still in their graves? Obviously, He has not come!”  But since Paul did not hold to the physical rapture view or a literal resurrection attended by Christ’s Parousia, he did not argue this way.  Obviously, Paul understood the Lord’s coming to be a spiritual and unseen event as our Lord taught (Lk. 17:20-37/21:27-32), which was consistent with the “Day of the Lord” language of the prophets in the OT.

2). The coming of Christ in 2 Thessalonians 1:9 is the coming of the Lord in Isaiah 66:5, 15, where Isaiah describes Christian survivors (66:19) who are found alive on planet earth continuing to preach the gospel in the new creation / new covenant age.

3). As we have seen in our exegesis of Mark 8:38-9:1, the Greek is different than Matthew 16:27-28 and actually teaches that those who were alive to witness Christ’s coming would be able to look back (while still alive on earth) on the historical events of Him coming in power and great glory in the destruction of Jerusalem and thus know that He and His kingdom had “already come.”

4). After Christ and the Father come and make their home (dwelling – mone – John 14:2, 23) within the believer, they were told, “I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe” (14:29).  If they were literally raptured, I don’t think they would need to be reminded or exhorted to believe that it had been fulfilled!  These words make more sense if it was a spiritual fulfillment that could not be seen with the physical eyes, and therefore it would take faith to believe that the Father and the Son had set up their presence within them.

5). Jesus of course directly promised to not remove the Church off of planet earth (John 17:15).  Church history tells us that Christians were not raptured, but that they instead fled to Pella (in modern day Jordan). Historically, Pella is one of the first known Christian churches.  Church history tells us that the Apostle John was still alive during Domitian’s reign in the mid-AD 90’s and that Timothy, Titus, and Luke lived beyond AD 70.

There is simply no exegetical evidence of a physical rapture at Christ’s coming in AD 70 or some imagined one at the end of world history.  The physical rapture view is probably one of the greatest scams perpetrated upon the Church.  It makes the sleeping giant of the Evangelical Church numb to getting involved in our culture and politics because they expect things to simply get worse so that they can get “raptured” just before it gets really bad.  After all, “you don’t polish brass on a sinking ship.”  We MUST get involved in our politics and be the salt and light of this great country and that of the world!

Gary DeMar and Kenneth Gentry on Matthew 24 and 1 Thessalonians 4-5   

Gary posted a parallel chart of Matthew 24 and 1 Thessalonians 4-5 by Amillennialist G.K. Beale on his Facebook wall and wrote the following:

“If you believe like I do that at least Matthew 24:1-34 was fulfilled in the leadup to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 (see my book ‘Last Days Madness’ where I argue that all of Matt. 24 was fulfilled), what do you think of 1 Thess. 4:13-18? Were those events also fulfilled in the same way and at the same time? I suspect most people would say no. They would argue that the events are not concurrent. Among amils and postmils, the Thessalonian verses refer to the Second Coming while dispensationalists apply them to the “rapture of the church.” The agreement is they consider 1 Thess. 4:13-18 to be an unfulfilled prophecy.

G.K. Beale in his commentary on 1 and 2 Thessalonians in The IVP New Testament Commentary Series (2003) argues that they are parallel accounts (page 137). This creates a dilemma for some preterists. If Beale is right, then 1 Thess. 4 is not a reference to the Second Coming. Beale is not a preterist. He believes both accounts are still future.

Should we believe a well-respected Bible teacher and commentator like Beale that they are parallel and refer to the same time or declare him to be incompetent and just plain wrong?”  It’s interpretations like Beale’s that mess up “all-our-ducks-in-a-row” interpretation systems that lead people to ask questions.”

Notice how Partial Preterist Ken Gentry and Keith Mathison admit Matthew 24 is a source for Paul’s eschatology in 1-2 Thessalonians because of “parallels”:

Since Kenneth Gentry has to get rid of the apostasy in order to prop up Postmillennialism, he has to have 2 Thessalonians 2 fulfilled in AD 70.  However, in order to do this, he has to appeal to the OD and recognize that Paul is drawing from material Jesus says would be fulfilled in the AD 70 “this generation.” Therefore, Gentry admits that,

“Most commentators agree that the Olivet Discourse is undoubtedly a source of the Thessalonian Epistles.” (Kenneth Gentry, Perilous Times: A Study in Eschatological Evil (Texarkana, AR: Covenant Media Press, 1999), 100, n. 19. Here Gentry cites D.A. Carson, Matthew, in Frank E. Gaebelein, ed., The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 12 vols. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984), 8:489; and G. Henry Waterman, The Sources of Paul’s Teaching on the 2nd Coming of Christ in 1and 2 Thessalonians, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 18:2 (June 1975); 105–113.

Yet, Gentry’s sources of authority end up “proving too much” in that both D.A. Carson and G. Henry Waterman make virtually the same parallels between Matthew 24 and 1 Thessalonians 4–5 that we do (big “oops”) and that DeMar is now challenging his readers to at least “study” more carefully than before.  But before we get to those parallels, let’s continue to examine the “parallel” hermeneutic of Postmillennialism. Keith Mathison following Gary DeMar believes 2 Thessalonians 2 was fulfilled in AD 70 and Paul was following Jesus’ eschatology in Mt. 24 because of “these parallels”:

1). a coming of our Lord (2 Thess. 2:1; cf. Matt. 24:27, 30),

2). a gathering together to Him (2 Thess. 2:1; cf. Mattt. 24:31),

3). apostasy (2 Thess. 2:3; cf. Matt. 24:5, 10-12),

4). the mystery of lawlessness (2 Thess. 2:7; Matt. 24:12),

5). satanic signs and wonders (2 Thess. 2:9-10; cf. Matt. 24:24),

6). a deluding influence on unbelievers (2 Thess. 2:11; cf. Matt. 24:5, 24).” (Mathison, From Age to Age, 515).

And of course, DeMar and Mathison make the AD 70 “parallels” between Mt. 24 and 1 Thess. 5 as well. Thus, Mt. 24 is no less of Paul’s “source” for his eschatology in 2 Thess. 2 and 1 Thess. 5 than it is for his teaching in 1 Thess. 4:15-17 — and that is what Gary is now open to consider and what is making Gentry and the others so nervous.  But since Gentry and Jordan have conceded that Daniel 12:2-3 teaches there was a spiritual resurrection in AD 70, why isn’t 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 that same resurrection?!?

Let’s not only look at the parallels between Mt. 24 and 1 Thess. 4 that Gary wants his Partial Preterists to re-consider as possibly being fulfilled in AD 70.  But don’t forget that one of the authors of this letter attacking Gary ACTUALLY publicly states the coming / parousia of 1 Thess. 4:16-17 was fulfilled in AD 70!  Pot call kettle black!  But let’s look at how Paul is drawing on the Olivet Discourse throughout all of 1 Thessalonians not just 4:16-17:

Paul’s eschatology in 1 Thessalonians is Jesus’ eschatology in Matthew 23-24 / Luke 21

1 Thessalonians 1–5

Matthew 23–24 / Luke 21

1). Present persecution & suffering (1:6; 2:14) 1). Persecution, suffering & death (Mt. 23:34)
2). First century audience “you” “us” to experience Second Coming (1:9-10) 2) First century audience “you” to experience the Second Coming (Mt. 23-24 / Lk. 21)
3). Imminence – “eagerly wait” (1:9-10) 3). Imminence – “raise your heads” because fulfillment will be “near” in their “this generation” (Lk. 21:27-32)
4). Christ “comes/parousia” (2:19) 4). Christ “comes/parousia” (Mt. 24:27)
5). Comes “from heaven” (1:10) 5). Comes “on clouds of heaven” (Mt. 24:30)
6). To “snatch” from wrath to Christ (1:10) 6). To “gather” to Christ (Mt. 24:30-31)
7). Delivers believers from “wrath” but first century Jew’s experience “wrath” (1:10; 2:16) 7). Exhorted to flee from the Roman armies and the coming “wrath” upon Jews (Lk. 21:20-23)
8). Jews killed prophets, Jesus & persecuting the Thessalonians (2:14-15 / Acts 17) 8). Jews killed the OT prophets and NT prophets Jesus sends in that generation (Mt. 23:29-36)
9). Jews “filling up” sin of blood guilt (2:14-15) 9). Jews “filling up” sin of blood guilt (Mt. 23)
10). Coming of the Lord and wrath poured out to the “end/telos” (1:10–2:16) 10). Coming of the Lord and wrath poured out by the “end/telos” of the old covenant age (Mt. 24:3-30/Lk. 21:20-23)
11). Wedding terminology – Thessalonians exhorted to be “spotless” and a “blameless” [bride] as Christ “comes” for her [as the Groom] (3:13) 11). Wedding terminology – Only Father knows the time of the wedding (not even the Son), at the “shout of a trumpet,” be “wise” and “watch” (Mt. 24:30-31, 36; 25:1-13)
12). Christ “comes/parousia” (4:15-17) 12). Christ “comes/parousia” (Mt. 24:27)
13). “Descends from heaven” (4:16) 13). “Upon the clouds of heaven” (Mt. 24:30)
14). Accompanied by “Archangel” (4:16) 14). Accompanied by “angels” (Mt. 24:31)
15). At the sound of a “trumpet” (4:16) 15). At the sound of a “trumpet” (Mt. 24:31)
16). Believers “caught” to Christ (4:17) 16). Believers “gathered” to Christ (Mt. 24:31)
17). Wedding terminology – “MEET” the Lord in the clouds at His “trumpet” coming (4:16-17) 17). Wedding terminology – only Father knows the time of the wedding (not even the Son), at the “shout of a trumpet” Christ comes as Groom to “MEET” the bride (Mt. 24:30-31, 36; 25:1-13)
18). Exact time unknown (5:1-2) 18). Exact time unknown (Mt. 24:36)
19). Christ comes as a “thief” (5:2, 4) 19). Christ comes as a “thief” (Mt. 24:43)
20). Unbelievers caught off guard (5:3) 20). Unbelievers caught off guard (24:37-39)
21). Time of eschatological “birth pains” (5:3) 21). Time of eschatological “birth pains” (24:8)
22). Believers not deceived (5:4-5) 22). Believers not deceived (24:43)
23). Believers to be “watchful” (5:6) 23). Believers to be “watchful” (24:42)
24). Warning against “drunkenness” (5:7) 24). Warning against “drunkenness” (24:49)
25). “Sons of the DAY” (5:4-8) 25). Comes as “SUNSHINE” from the east to the west (24:27 Aramaic NT).  Jesus previously taught – the “gathering” at the “end of the age” causes believers to “shine like the SUN” (Mt. 13)

Again, we are thankful that a Partial Preterist in this letter agrees that the parallels of Christ’s coming between Mt. 24:30-31 and 1 Thess. 4:15-17 are the same event and were fulfilled in AD 70 while other authors of the letter (and within the Reformed community) see these texts describing Christ’s “glorious Second Coming” event.  We agree with BOTH “orthodox” positions – and so this makes us “damnable heretics”?!?

But since Philip Kayser is correct that both Matthew 24:30-31 and 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 are the same event and that both were fulfilled in AD 70, but wrong in interpreting the resurrection as a physical one, we should now consider Partial Preterist James Jordan’s admission that Matthew 24:30-31 is referring to a spiritual resurrection in AD 70,

“Let us summarize Matthew 24:29-31. Immediately after the great affliction, the great persecution and martyrdom of the apostolic church, the world will be changed from the Old to the New Creation. No longer will sun and moon determine liturgy and worship; the former covenant with its lunar liturgy will be broken forever. No longer will angelic stars and heavenly powers govern humanity, for in Jesus, mankind has at last come of age. No longer will angels rule the world. They will vacate their heavenly thrones.

At that time, the promised sign will be given, a sign that shows that Jesus, a man, is truly enthroned in heaven. That sign is the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. The Jews will mourn over Jerusalem, and they will realize that the Church, which they had hoped to destroy, has now ascended to the Ancient of Days and has been given the Kingdom promised in Daniel 7. Those saints have been gathered by the angels in connection with the seventh and last trumpet described in the book of Revelation, their souls gathered from all the heavenly places in Paradise where they had been waiting for this day. The saints are gathered before the Throne in the highest heavens, and shortly will sit down on thrones with their Lord and Master. They will be the new stars and moon and will sit where the angels formerly sat in heaven.” (James B. Jordan MATTHEW 23-25 A LITERARY, HISTORICAL, AND THEOLOGICAL COMMENTARY, (Powder Springs, GA: The American Vision Inc., – this book is currently at the printer to be published), p. 180).

So now we have an admission from a major Partial Preterist theologian – James Jordan that BOTH Daniel 12:2-3 and Matthew 24:30-31 are addressing a spiritual resurrection for the dead ones at Christ’s parousia in AD 70 while other Partial Preterists are admitting the coming of Christ in Matthew 24:30-31 and 1 Thessalonians 4-5 are the same event and fulfilled in AD 70.  Now we are getting somewhere – that is if we are open to being honest in that the creeds and our Futurist traditions have been in error just as they have been on a host of issues that the Protestant Reformation had to take head-on.

As you can see Partial Preterism and Futurism without Full Preterism to “bridge the gap” has been a “House Divided” and falling apart for a long time.  But the hyper-creedalists in this letter just don’t want to address their own inconsistencies let alone someone like Gary (who has a large following) asking others to “study” for themselves and then having them go and ask these men the tough questions and asking them to “show the exegetical work”!  Kenneth Gentry and Doug Wilson have been able to censor Full Preterists and duck debates with us for a very long time.  They don’t want Gary asking the tough questions publicly demonstrating that the creedal Emperor may not have his clothes on!

Major Premise:  The coming of Christ and gathering of the elect in Matthew 24:30-31 is the Second Coming and resurrection event – with Paul describing this same event in 1 Thessalonians 4-5.  And Christ being revealed from to render wrath upon His enemies in 1 Thessalonians 4-5 and 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 are the same event – being the “last days” “in that day” judgment of Isaiah 2 (classic Amillennial view).

Minor Premise: But the coming of Christ in Matthew 24:30-31 is descriptive of a spiritual resurrection event for the dead to experience and was fulfilled in AD 70 (ex. Partial Preterist James Jordan).  And the Thessalonians did receive “relief” by fleeing to Pella and their persecutors did receive “trouble” and “wrath” when Christ was revealed from heaven in the events of AD 67 – AD 70.  The “last days” judgment of Isaiah 2 is a NT term referring to the last days of old covenant Israel and went from AD 30 – AD 70 (Partial Preterism).

Conclusion:  Therefore, the ONE Second Coming and resurrection event described by Jesus and the Apostle Paul in Matthew 24:30-31; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 was fulfilled in the “last days” of old covenant Israel (AD 30 – AD 70) and specifically in the events of AD 67 – AD 70 (Full Preterism – “reformed and always reforming”).

1 Corinthians 15:

It is also astounding that one of the critics of DeMar in this letter (again Philip Kayser) also believes the coming or parousia of Christ in 1 Corinthians 15:23 is the same coming or parousia of Matthew 24:27 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16 that was fulfilled in AD 70!  Kayser writes of Christ’s AD 70 coming / parousia in 1 Corinthians 15:23,

“So, when Paul speaks of bodies being raised each in his own order, he is listing the AD 30 firstfruits resurrection, then the resurrection at Christ’s coming in AD 70, then the resurrection at the end of time. The word for coming is παρουσία (parousia) and refers to the visible appearance in the sky that we saw was recorded by first century historians…” (Ibid.).

While we appreciate Gary asking his readers and followers to look at the parallels between Matthew 24 and 1 Thessalonians 4-5 in order to “study” to see if 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 was also fulfilled in AD 70, we should point out that Gary is wanting to do an “in-depth study of 1 Cor. 15.”  Once we see that Paul’s eschatology in 1-2 Thessalonians is Jesus’ eschatology in Matthew 24, we need to consider if Paul’s eschatology in 1 Corinthians 15 is Jesus’ eschatology in Matthew 24 as well.  After all, In the Reformed Study Bible edited by Postmillennial Partial Preterists R.C. Sproul and Keith Mathison, we learn this of Matt. 24:30-31:

“But the language of Matt. 24:31 is parallel to passages like 13:4116:27; and 25:31 [passages which Partial Preterist Postmillennialists say were fulfilled in AD 70], as well as to passages such as 1 Cor. 15:52 and 1 Thess. 4:14-17.  The passage most naturally refers to the Second Coming.”

I believe even Sam Frost (one of the signers of the letter to DeMar) would agree with the above statement. But of course, the problem is that “orthodox” Partial Preterists trying to honor NT imminence and apocalyptic language, have correctly surrendered the coming or parousia of Christ in all the above passages to AD 70.  Sam realizes that if the resurrection and “end” of Daniel 12 was spiritually fulfilled in AD 70 to close out the “end of the OC or Jewish age” and the coming of Christ and resurrection of Matthew 24:30-31 and 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 are the same event and were also fulfilled spiritually in AD 70, then 1 Corinthians 15 is the next domino to fall and is naturally fulfilled in AD 70 as well.  This is why he refers to the other Partial Preterist signers of the letter as “HYPER-Partial Preterists” and “inconsistent.”  So I’m a “damnable heretic” for making the classic Amillennial view and the Partial Preterist views exegetically consistent?  I’m a “damnable heretic” for believing TWO “orthodox” views of the Reformed Church?  Go figure – nothing to see here, keep walking folks!

Let’s looks at those “parallels” between Jesus’ eschatology in the Olivet Discourse and Paul’s eschatology in 1 Thessalonians 4-5 and 1 Corinthians 15:

And since we have Partial Preterists (some attacking Gary DeMar) that are admitting either the resurrection or coming/parousia of Daniel 12:1-7, 13 / Matthew 24:27-31 / 1 Corinthians 15:23 was fulfilled in AD 70, let’s get a visual of those connections – many of which any good classic  Amillennialist would make as well:

If A (Mt. 24/Lk. 21) is = to B (Daniel 12:1-7)
Tribulation as never before 24:21-22 Tribulation as never before 12:1
Evangelism 24:14 Leading others to righteousness 12:3
End of the [OC] age 24:3, 14 Time of the end 12:4
Resurrection & or inheritance of the Kingdom 24:31; 13:43; Lk. 21:31-32 Resurrection & inheritance of the Kingdom 12:2-3, 13
Jerusalem surrounded, trodden down = times of the Gentiles (AD 67 – AD 70) Lk. 21:20, 24 Consummation – 3 ½ years when power of the holy people is shattered 12:7
And if B (Daniel 12:1-7) is = to C (1 Cor. 15)
Resurrection unto eternal life 12:2 Resurrection unto incorruptibility or immortality 15:52-53
time of the end of OC age 12:4 time of the end of OC age 15:24
When the power [the Mosaic OC Law] of the Holy people is completely shattered 12:7 Victory over “the [Mosaic OC] Law” 15:26
At the “end” of the OC age, OT dead would be raised at the same time the NT righteous living would shine in the Kingdom 12:2-3, 13 If the dead of the OT are not raised, neither would those who died in Christ be raised 15:15-18
Then A (Mt. 24/Lk. 21) is = to C (1 Cor. 15)
Christ to come (Greek: parousia) at sound of a trumpet 24:27-31 Christ to come (Greek: parousia) at sound of a trumpet 15:23, 52
“The end” (Greek telos, the goal) 24:3, 14 “The end” (Greek telos, the goal) 15:24
Kingdom (goal reached) Lk. 21:31-32 Kingdom consummation (goal reached) 15:24
All prophecy fulfilled Lk. 21:22 All prophecy fulfilled 15:54-55
Victory over the Mosaic Law/Temple 24:1 Victory over the Mosaic Law 15:55-56
Contemporary “you” or “we” 24:2ff. Contemporary “you” or “we” 15:51-52
“All” of the elect (dead & living) gathered (or raised) in the Kingdom 24:31; Lk. 21:28-32 “The [OT] dead” raised with the dead “in Christ” 15:15-18
Two or more things that are equal to another thing are also equal to each other
Matthew 24/Luke 21 Daniel 12:1-7 1 Corinthians 15
Gather/Raise “all” (dead & living) the elect at “end” of OC age 24:3, 31 OT dead raised with NT saints at the end of OC age 12:2-4, 13 OT dead raised with NT dead & living at “the end” of the OC age 15:15-18, 24
All OT fulfilled when Jerusalem surrounded, trodden down & times of Gentiles (3 ½ yrs.) fulfilled Lk. 21:22-24 – AD 67 – AD 70 Judgment and resurrection of the dead fulfilled at the end of the OC age, in a 3 ½ years period & Israel’s power shattered Resurrection of Daniel 12:2-3, 13; Hosea 13:14 and Isaiah 25:8 fulfilled at the end of OC age & in the lifetime of Paul’s 1st cent. audience 15:51, 54-55

Now let’s form some basic and logical arguments from what we have gathered from the positions of those writing this letter attacking Gary DeMar.

Major Premise: The resurrection and coming / parousia of Christ in Daniel 12:2-3, 13 / Matthew 24:3, 27-31 / 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 / 1 Corinthians 15:23 is the consummative ONE Second Coming and “end” of world history creedal resurrection and judgment of the dead event (classic Reformed Amillennialist authors and contributors to the letter).

Minor Premise:  BUT there was a resurrection and coming / parousia of Christ in AD 70 to close out the “end” of the Jewish or old covenant age in AD 70 according to Daniel 12:2-3, 13 / Matthew 24:3, 27-31 / 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 / 1 Corinthians 15:23 (Reformed Partial Preterism and author(s) or contributors to the letter).

Conclusion:  The resurrection and coming / parousia of Christ in Daniel 12:2-3, 13 / Matthew 24:3, 27-31 / 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 / 1 Corinthians 15:23 is the consummative ONE Second Coming and “end” of the old covenant age and was thus fulfilled in AD 70 (Sovereign Grace Full Preterism – “Reformed and always reforming”).

Questions for the signers of the letter on Matthew 24-25 / 1 Thess. 4-5 / 1 Corinthians 15:

Some of the signers of this letter (like DeMar, Mathison, Terry, etc…) do not see Matthew 24-25 divided into TWO sections with TWO comings.  And some of you take the “end of the age” (Mt. 24:3) as referring to the old covenant age in AD 70.  Therefore, what is your exegetical evidence that the OD is referring to the end of world history?  And if the coming of Christ in Matthew 24 is the SAME coming of Christ in 1 Thessalonians 4-5 and 1 Corinthians 15 and yet that coming / parousia was fulfilled in AD 70, then obviously your hyper-creedal “Futurist” case against DeMar and Full Preterism has no case in these texts as well.  Next.

Matthew 13:39-43:

As we have seen the classic Amillennial Reformed position is to equate the “end” or “end of the age” “gathering” in Matthew 13:39-43 and Matthew 24:3, 30-31 to be the ONE Second Coming and resurrection event of Daniel 12:2-3, 13.  We agree!  And yet the Partial Preterists claim the “end of the age” resurrection in these texts were fulfilled in AD 70!  We agree.  Once again, the authors of this letter are pressing Gary on a resurrection and judgment of the dead to take place at the “end” of world history and yet some of their best theologians are correctly seeing this as taking place at the “end” of the old covenant age in AD 70!

Jesus of course cites the resurrection of Daniel 12:2-3 in Matthew 13:39-43 and places it’s fulfillment at the “end” of that current old covenant age.  Jesus’ “end” and “shining like the sun or stars” in the resurrection is the “end” and “shining like the stars” predicted by Daniel 12.  And yet Partial Preterist Joel McDurmon, commenting on the end of the age harvest judgment of Matthew 13:39-43, concedes it is the end of the old covenant age that is in view and not the end of world history:

“It is clear that Jesus did not have in mind the end of the world, nor did He mean the final judgment. Rather, Matthew 13:2430, 36-43 describe the judgment that would come upon unbelieving Jerusalem. During this time, the angels would “gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity” (13:41) and these would be judged with fire.  Many of them literally were burned in fire during the destruction of Jerusalem.  During this same time, however, the elect of Christ— “the children of the kingdom” (v. 38)—will be harvested.  While the explanation of the parable does not tell us their final end, the parable itself has the householder instructing the harvesters to “gather the wheat into my barn.”  In other words, they are protected and saved by God.

This, of course, is exactly what happened to the Christians.  Not only were they saved in soul, but they mostly fled Jerusalem before the Roman siege.  This was consequent to Jesus’ advice to flee and not look back once the signs arose (Matt. 24:16-22); indeed, this would correspond with the angels’ work of harvesting the elect (24:30).” (Joel McDurmon, Jesus v. Jerusalem: A Commentary on Luke 9:51 – 20:26, Jesus’ Lawsuit Against Israel (Powder Springs, GA: The American Vision, Inc., 2011), 48-49; see entire section 43-51).

McDurmon even develops Jesus’ two age model (“this age” = old covenant age) and “age to come” or “age about to come” (the new covenant age) in Pauline eschatology to be one and the same.  After making his case in Ephesians 1:21; 2:1-7; 3:8-11; Colossians 1:26; 1 Corinthians 10:11; Hebrews 9:26, he concludes:

“So, from the teaching of Jesus, Paul and the author of Hebrews, we get a very clear picture of the two primary ages:  one that endured up until the time of Christ, and another that began around that same period.  I believe these two periods, being hinged upon the coming and work of Christ, pertain obviously to the Old and New Covenant administrations.” (Ibid.)

Let’s get a visual and make the argument based upon the analogy of faith and the admission of these eschatological systems attacking DeMar.

Since A (Daniel 12) is = to B (Matthew 13):
Tribulation on National Israel as never before 12:1 13:40-42
Time of the end / end of “this” OC age separation 12:1, 4, 9, 13 13:39-41
Saints rise and shine in the eternal kingdom 12:2-3 13:43
Wicked rise to shame in eternal condemnation 12:2 13:39-42 
And if B (Matthew 13) is = to C (Matthew 24-25):
Pre-kingdom evangelism by Jesus’ evangelism 13:37-38 24:14
Tribulation on National Israel as never before 13:40-42 24:21-22
End of “this” age / end of the age separation 13:39-41 24:30-31; 25:31-41
Sons of the day / hour shine with the Son 13:43 24:27, 30-31, 36
Inheritance of and entrance into the kingdom 13:43 25:34/Luke 21:30-32 
Then A (Daniel 12) is = to C (Matthew 24-25)
Tribulation and sanctification / Great Tribulation 12:1, 10 24:21-22
Hour / day / time of the judgment (aka separation) 12:1-2, 4 (OG) LXX 24:36; 25:31-33
Fulfillment at the time of the end / end of the age / the shattering of Israel’s world/power or her “heaven and earth” (the Temple etc…) / during the “3 ½ years” or “time of the Gentiles” treading down Jerusalem (AD 67 – AD 70) 12:4, 7, 9, 13 24:3, 13-14, 28-29, 34-35; Lk. 21:24 
Inheritance of and entrance into the kingdom 12:2-3, 13 25:34/Luke 21:30-32 
The sons of the day / hour shine with the Son of life 12:3 24:27, 30-31, 36
Kingdom age evangelism via God’s shining ones 12:3 24:14, 25:29
Two or more things that are equal to another thing are also equal to each other
Kingdom age evangelism Dan. 12 = Mt. 13 = Mt. 24-25
Tribulation like never before Dan. 12 = Mt. 13 = Mt. 24-25
Time of the end (shattering of Israel’s power) / end of the Old Covenant age (destruction of OC Israel’s Temple) Dan. 12 = Mt. 13 = Mt. 24-25
Chosen ones raised and shine to eternal life and wicked raised to eternal condemnation / the righteous raised to shine and tares burn / sheep inherit eternal life goats to eternal punishment Dan. 12 = Mt. 13 = Mt. 24-25

Once again, we can see how the two main orthodox Reformed positions on the end of the age resurrection of Matthew 13:39-43; Matthew 24:3, 30-31; and Daniel 12:1-7 has formed the Sovereign Grace Full Preterist position:

Major Premise:  The “end of the age” “gathering” of Matthew 13:39-43 and Matthew 24:3, 31 as predicted in Daniel 12:2-3 is the ONE consummative resurrection event inseparably connected to the ONE Second Coming event of Matthew 24:27, 30-31 – classic Amillennialism.

Minor Premise:  But the “end of the age” “gathering” of Matthew 13:39-43 and Matthew 24:3, 31 was fulfilled spiritually at Christ’s spiritual coming in Matthew 24:27-30 to close and bring an end to the old covenant age in AD 70.  In AD 70 God raised and gathered the souls/spirits of men such as Daniel out of Hades or Abraham’s bosom into God’s presence to inherit eternal life – Partial Preterism.

Conclusion/Synthesis/Reformed and Always Reforming:  Therefore, the ONE consummative Second Coming and “end of the age” “gathering” resurrection event of Matthew 13:39-43 and Matthew 24:3, 27-31 and Daniel 12:1-7 was fulfilled during the 3 ½ years of AD 67 – AD 70 to close the old covenant age in AD 70 – at which time souls/spirits where raised out of Hades and into God’s presence or thrown into “everlasting punishment” – Sovereign Grace Full Preterism.

Questions for the signers of the letter on Matthew 13:39-43 / Daniel 12:2-3, 7:

Some of you claim the resurrection of Daniel 12:2-3 and Matthew 13:39-43 is ONE consummative “end of the age” event while others see TWO.  Please show your work and bring a consistent non-divided case or drop it.  If Jeff Durbin takes the “end of the age” in Matthew 24:3 why would the “end of the age” of Matthew 13:39-43 be a different “end of the age”?

Matthew 16:27-28 / Revelation 22:10-12:

Here we come up against another problem for the authors of this letter.  Do these passages teach Christ’s “glorious Second Coming” at the “general resurrection and judgment” of “all men” at “the end of world history”?  Not according to the Partial Preterists in this letter!  “Each person” / “every man” / “all people” / “each one” / “everyone” etc… were “rewarded for what he has done” within the lifetime of those standing next to Jesus and thus at His “soon” coming in AD 70 according to Matthew 16:27-28 and Revelation 22:7-12.

These are creedal texts which allegedly teach this “glorious Second Coming” / “end of world history” / “general resurrection and judgment of all men” that the letter want’s Gary to submit to, but many of them take as fulfilled in AD 70.  Is it no wonder there were no Scripture reference let alone any exegesis of them to back their eschatological Futurist CONCEPTS.

Questions for the signers of the letter on Matthew 16:27-28 / Revelation 22:10-12:

Are you guys “creedal” or not?  Does not the WCF and other creeds refer to these texts as the Second Coming event and general judgment to “reward all men according to what they have done” and this is true OR were they fulfilled within the lifetime of Jesus’ contemporaries and thus “soon” in the events of Jerusalem’s fall in AD 70?  “Show your work.”

When and who made these texts fulfilled in AD 70 to be an “orthodox” view?  If we can change the creeds on these texts can other texts that are seen to be “parallel” with them also wrong and can they also be revised and seen to be fulfilled in AD 70?  Who has the authority to have done this or can do it with more passages “parallel” to these?

1 Peter 4:5-7, 17 / 2 Timothy 4:1YLT:

Once again, we have creedal passages which allegedly teach the “glorious Second Coming” at which time God is going to judge all men – the “quick (alive) and the dead” and yet some of the Partial Preterists that penned this letter see them as fulfilled in an AD 70 “at hand” and “about to be” time frame!

Gentry believes the “living and the dead” of 1 Peter 4:5-7 were judged in an “at hand” time frame in AD 70 but will never explain to us how the “dead” were judged without them being raised at the same time!  Philip Kyser concedes that 2 Timothy 4:1YLT is referring to Christ’s glorious coming and kingdom that was “about to judge the living and the dead” in AD 70.

Questions for the signers of the letter on 1 Peter 4:5-7, 17 / 2 Timothy 4:1YLT:

Ken Gentry – how were the dead judged in AD 70 without them being raised?  Again, these are creedal texts and the authors of this letter state they were fulfilled in AD 70 and thus are not referring to the judgment and resurrection of “all men” at the end of “world history.”  Who made and when were these AD 70 fulfillments of these passages determined to be “orthodox” or are they not “orthodox”?  No consistent case here – Futurist and Hyper-creedal case thrown out!

Revelation 11 & Revelation 20 / Daniel 12:

The Partial Preterism of Gentry, Wilson, Durbin and White are once again challenged with just how many general judgments of the dead does the OT and NT teach?  Revelation picks up where the book of Daniel leaves off.  Daniel is told that the judgment and resurrection of the dead of 12:2-3 will take place during a period of “three and a half years” “when the power of the holy people is completely shattered and Revelation 11 picks up stating Jerusalem (where the Lord was slain) would be trodden down under the feet of the nations for that same prophesied “three and a half years” period (i.e. AD 67 – AD 70) and that this would result in the judgment of the dead and the opening up of God’s presence (Rev. 11:1-18).

Please consider the following seven exegetical, orthodox, and historical points which prove that the millennium was roughly a forty years period from AD 27 – AD 67 or AD 30 – AD 70.

1). Imminence

Kenneth Gentry informs us that the book of Revelation is about things which were past, present, and “about to be” fulfilled in John’s day (Rev. 1:19, YLT).  Therefore, there is no exegetical evidence that Revelation 20 does not fall within these inspired parameters.  The millennium was still future when John wrote, and therefore the end of the millennium falls within those things that were “about to be” fulfilled.  As Vern Poythress and Simon Kistemaker (also contributors to The Reformation Study Bible) have pointed out in their works, if the imminent time texts in Revelation 1:1 and 22:20 are to be taken literally and refer to AD 70, and since they function as brackets or bookends, then the millennium of Revelation 20 would have also been fulfilled by AD 70.

Therefore, both of these views teach that the end of the millennium resurrection and judgment of the dead were fulfilled “shortly” in AD 70.  Why would I be considered a “heretic” for agreeing with both?

2). The symbolic nature of the thousand years

As G.K. Beale (the NT editor to The Reformation Study Bible) has taught in his commentary on Revelation, the symbol of the thousand years does not have to be taken as describing a long period of time (i.e., thousands or millions of years).

Therefore, the thousand year millennium can be a symbolic depiction of a relatively short period of time – 40 years.

3) Rabbinic typology of a forty year millennial period –historical argument

It has also been acknowledged by Reformed theologians such as Beale that many Rabbis believed that the period of Messiah was to be a transitional stage between “this age/world” and “the age/world to come.”  These Rabbis (such as R. Adiba) understood this transition period to be 40 years, based upon how long the Israelites were in the wilderness before inheriting the land.  This type/anti-type understanding is developed for us in the book of Hebrews (cf. Heb. 3-4; 10:25, 37; 11—13:14, YLT).

And as we have noted from Reformed Partial Preterists such as Joel McDurmon and Gary DeMar, it is within the realm of Reformed orthodoxy to believe that Jesus’ and Paul’s “this age/world” was the old covenant age, and that “the last days” were the days of transition between the old covenant age and the new covenant age (AD 30 – 70).

But we are also told by Amillennialists that the millennium of Revelation 20 is the period between the NT’s “this age” and the “age to come.”

We of course agree with all of the above propositions, which when combined, place the millennial period to be a period of roughly 40 years between the old covenant age (which was passing away and ready to vanish) and the new covenant age which was “about to” come in its mature form in AD 70.

4). Recapitulation

Reformed Postmillennial Partial Preterists, such as Kenneth Gentry and James Jordan, are correct to teach that the content of Revelation 1-19 and 21-22 was fulfilled by AD 70, at which time there was a judgment and spiritual resurrection of the dead and arrival of a spiritual new creation or spiritual new heavens and new earth.  And Amillennialists, such as Simon Kistemaker and Robert Strimple, are correct to teach that Revelation 20:5–15 recapitulates the same judgment and consummation scenes that are depicted in chapters 1–19 and 21–22.

Revelation 1-19 & 20-22 Partial Preterism – fulfilled by AD 70 Revelation 20 Classic Amillennialism – these are the same events or judgments in the other chapters (recapitulation)
1). Past persecution w/ more persecution to come and vindication of martyr’s motif. (Rev. 6 and 12) 1). Past persecution w/ more persecution to come and vindication of martyr’s motif
2). Future persecution to last for a “little while” and Satan has “a little while” longer (Rev. 6 and 12) 2). More persecution to come and Satan loosed for “a little while”
3). “Every mountain and island were removed from their places” / “every island fled (Greek pheugo), and the mountains were not found” “…for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away” (Rev. 6; 16; 21-22) 3). “The earth and the heaven fled (Greek pheugo), and a place was not found for them” (this implies the “new” creation of 21-22 took its place).
4). Judgment of the dead (Rev. 11) 4). Judgment of the dead
5). The last days “the war” of Ezek.38-39 fulfilled (Rev. 16 and 19) 5). The last days “the war” of Ezek. 38-39 fulfilled
6). Enemies of the Church (beast, harlot, false prophet) thrown in fire (Rev. 17 and 19) 6). Devil thrown in fire (see also “crushed”“shortly” (Rom. 16:20/Gen. 3:15)

Therefore, since Full Preterists hold to both of these reformed and “orthodox” positions in interpreting the book of Revelation, and the end of the millennium resurrection and judgment event was fulfilled in AD 70, why would I be considered a “heretic” for agreeing with both of these “orthodox” and common sense views?

5). Is Revelation 20 an isolated event? The “already and not yet”, “this age and the age to come” and the “last days” millennial period 

In criticizing the Premillennial view, which often seeks to isolate Revelation 20 from the rest of the New Testament, Amillennialists and many Postmillennialists hold that Revelation 20 falls within the “already and not yet” of the “last days” period in the New Testament, and that this transition period is depicted in the Parable of the Wheat and Tares, or in Matthew 24–25.  But as I have shown thus far, it is “orthodox” to believe the “last days” ended with the old covenant age in AD 70, and that the harvest/gathering and coming of Christ in Matthew 13 and 24–25 was fulfilled by AD 70.

Therefore, since the period between “this age and the age to come” is the millennial period, and it was the transition period between the old covenant age and the new covenant age (AD 30 – AD 70), and the “last days” is also the transition and millennial period of Revelation 20 but was also from AD 30 – AD 70, the end of the millennial resurrection and judgment of the dead was fulfilled when the old covenant age passed away and the last days ended in AD 70.  Why would I be considered a “heretic” for agreeing with both common sense “orthodox” views?

6). The Second Coming in Matthew 24-25 ends the millennium of Revelation 20

If it is true that a) the coming of Christ in Matthew 24 and 25 is referring to the AD 70 judgment, as Partial Preterists are teaching, and if it is true that b) John’s version of Matthew 24-25 is found in the book of Revelation, and if it is true that c) Matthew 24:27 – 25:31ff. is descriptive of the one end-of-the-age Second Coming, judgment, and resurrection event (the creedal position), then d) the Reformed community has some explaining to do, because these “orthodox” doctrines form the “this-generation” forty year millennial view of Full Preterism:

Matthew 24-25 Revelation 20:5-15
1). Resurrection and judgment – Mt.24:30-31 (cf. Mt. 13:39-43/Dan. 12:23); Mt. 25:31-46 1). Resurrection and judgment – Rev. 20:5-15
2). De-creation heaven and earth pass/flee – Mt. 24:29, 35 (cf. Mt.5:17-18) 2). De-creation heaven and earth pass/ flee- Rev. 20:11 (cf. Rev. 6:14; 16:20; 21:1)
3). Christ on throne to judge – Mt.25:31 3). God on throne to judge – Rev. 20:11
4). Wicked along with devil eternally punished – Mt. 25:41-46 4). Wicked along with devil eternally punished – Rev. 20:10, 14-15

7). The analogy of faith between Daniel 12:1-13 and Revelation 20

And if it is also true that a) the judgment and resurrection of the dead in Daniel 12:14, 13 were fulfilled by AD 70 (per Gentry), and if it is true that b) Daniel 12:1-4, 13 is parallel to Revelation 20:5-15 (classic amillennial view), then c) once again the Reformed community has some explaining to do, in that these orthodox views form the “this-generation” forty-year millennial view of Full Preterism:

Daniel 12:1-2 Revelation 20:5-15
1). Only those whose names are written in the book would be delivered/saved from eternal condemnation (Dan. 12:1-2) 1). Only those whose names are written in the book would be delivered/saved from the lake of fire (Rev. 20:12-15)
2). This is the time for the resurrection and judgment of the dead (Dan. 12:1-2) 2). This is the time for the resurrection and judgment of the dead (Rev. 20:5-15)

Therefore, the reader should be able to discern that the Full Preterist, AD 27 – AD 67 or AD 30 – AD 70, “this generation” millennial view:

A). is consistent with the teaching of Revelation itself when it comes to imminence and recapitulation…

B). falls within the “orthodox” views of the Reformed church…

C). is in line with the analogy of Scripture and…

D). offers historical support from many Rabbis who promoted a 40 year transitional period between the two ages.

Our view on the millennium is both exegetically sound and orthodox. Finding support for the Full Preterist view of the millennium is not as difficult as many portray it. Selah.

And just as we don’t see Revelation 20 discussing the Premillennial Zionist position – Jesus sitting on an earthly throne in Jerusalem with a re-built temple where a priesthood is once again performing animal sacrifices, it also doesn’t teach a biological corpse resurrection which all Futurists hold to.  The resurrection in Revelation 20 involves the souls of men being released from Hades to inherit God’s presence and eternal life or eternal punishment.  This fits with Jewish concepts of the resurrection prior to NT times, during Jesus’ day and the kind of spiritual resurrection some orthodox Partial Preterists have taught.

Questions for the signers of the letter on Revelation 11 & Revelation 20 / Daniel 12:

Both Daniel 12 and Revelation 11 connect the resurrection and judgment of the dead with the historical event of Jerusalem’s judgment for “three and a half years” (AD 67 – AD 70).  How were the dead judged in Revelation 11 during this period without the resurrection of the dead being fulfilled (this is for Ken Gentry, Doug Wilson, Jeff Durbin and James White)?  And since the book of Revelation is laid out in recapitulation, wouldn’t the judgment of the dead of Revelation 11 be the end of the millennium judgment of the dead in Revelation 20:5-15 – like most classic Amillennialists point out?  If not, why not?  And if it is true (per at least two of the writers of this letter Gentry and Kayser) that there was a spiritual resurrection and judgment of the “just and unjust” in Daniel 12:2 in AD 70, why wouldn’t Revelation 11 and Revelation 20:5-15 be that AD 70 spiritual judgment and resurrection of the dead event?  If not, why not?

Major Premise:  it is true and “orthodox” to believe there is only ONE consummative resurrection and judgment of the dead event of Daniel 12:2-3 and Revelation 11 and it is the end of the millennium judgment and resurrection of the dead event of Revelation 20:5-15.  This ONE “soon” Second and Glorious Coming of Jesus throughout Revelation ends the millennium of Revelation 20 and fulfills this judgment and resurrection event (Reformed Classic Amillennialism).

Minor Premise:  BUT it is also true and “orthodox” to believe the judgment and resurrection of the dead event of Daniel 12:2-3 and Revelation 11 were spiritually fulfilled in AD 70 at the “soon” and spiritual coming of Christ to close out the Jewish or old covenant age (Partial Preterism).

Conclusion:  THEREFORE, it is also true and “orthodox” to believe the ONE end of the age divinely “appointed” time for the judgment and resurrection of the dead event of Daniel 12:2-3; Revelation 11; and Revelation 20:5-15 were spiritually fulfilled at the ONE “soon” Second and Glorious Coming of our Lord in AD 70 to close the Jewish or old covenant age and bring an end to the millennium.

Major Premise:  The consummative end of the millennium events listed in Revelation 20:5-15 have been recapitulated or are elsewhere described in Revelation 1-19 and Revelation 21-22 (classic Amillennialism).

Minor Premise:  But the consummative events of Revelation 1-19 and Revelation 21-22 were fulfilled in AD 70.  Christ came “soon” spiritually to establish the New Heavens and New Earth and to judge and raise the dead (Partial Preterism).

Conclusion:  THEREFORE, since the consummative end of the millennium events listed in Revelation 20:5-15 are the same events that have been recapitulated in chapters 1-19 and 21-22, and since the events listed in chapters 1-19 and 21-22 were fulfilled in AD 70, then so were the events listed in chapter 20:5-15.

And since we have seen how 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 was fulfilled in AD 70, we can now connect this coming / parousia of Christ which ends the millennium of Revelation 20:

Acts 1:11:

I previously heard that Philip Kayser taught Acts 1:11 was also fulfilled in AD 70.  He has corrected that for me and stated he has never taken that position.  I sincerely apologize for making that error.

Like the coming of Christ in Matthew 24:27-31 / 1 Thessalonians 4-5 / 1 Corinthians 15:23 / Revelation 1:7 – some Partial Preterists such as Milton Terry or say Mike Bull see these passages and Acts 1:11 as fulfilled in AD 70.

If Gentry feels so strongly about Acts 1:11 being fulfilled in the future and to deny this is damnable heresy, then why does he publish and profit off of Milton Terry who took Acts 1:11 as fulfilled in AD 70?!?

Unlike Gentry, Wilson and Durbin, Partial Preterists such as Milton Terry and Mike Bull took/take a lucid, biblical approach, seeing the cloud comings of Jesus in Matthew 24:30–31, 34; Acts 1:11; and Revelation 1:7 as all being fulfilled in the fall of Jerusalem at the end of the Jewish or old covenant age.  Milton Terry writes the following of Acts 1:11:

“Whatever the real nature of the parousia, as contemplated in this prophetic discourse, our Lord unmistakably associates it with the destruction of the temple and city, which he represents as the signal termination of the pre-Messianic age. The coming on clouds, the darkening of the heavens, the collapse of elements, are, as we have shown above, familiar forms of apocalyptic language, appropriated from the Hebrew prophets.

Acts i, 11, is often cited to show that Christ’s coming must needs be spectacular, “in like manner as ye beheld him going into the heaven.” But (1) in the only other three places where [“in like  manner”] occurs, it points to a general concept rather than the particular form of its actuality. Thus, in Acts vii, 28, it is not some particular manner in which Moses killed the Egyptian that is notable, but rather the certain fact of it. In 2 Tim. iii, 8, it is likewise the fact of strenuous opposition rather than the special manner in which Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses. And in Matt. xxiii, 37, and Luke xiii, 34, it is the general thought of protection rather than the visible manner of a mother bird that is intended. Again (2), if Jesus did not come in that generation, and immediately after the great tribulation that attended the fall of Jerusalem, his words in Matt. xvi, 27, 28, xxiv, 29, and parallel passages are in the highest degree misleading. (3) To make the one statement of the angel in Acts i, 11, override all the sayings of Jesus on the same subject and control their meaning is a very one-sided method of biblical interpretation. But all the angel’s words necessarily mean is that as Jesus has ascended into heaven so he will come from heaven. And this main thought agrees with the language of Jesus and the prophets.” (Milton S. Terry, A Study of the Most Notable Revelations of God and of Christ (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 246-247).

Partial Preterist Keith A. Mathison has suggested that the coming of Christ in Acts 1:11 would be fulfilled when the Great Commission of Acts 1:8 is fulfilled.  Thus, according to this point, it is rather easy to demonstrate throughout the book of Acts itself and Paul’s other writings that Acts 1:8-11 was fulfilled by AD:

Major Premise:  The Great Commission and or cloud coming of Christ in Matthew 24:14, 30 / Acts 1:8-11 / Revelation 1:7 is the same event and describe the “glorious Second Coming” of Jesus (classic Reformed Amillennial view).

Minor Premise:  But the Great Commission and or cloud coming of Christ in Matthew 24:14, 30, Revelation 1:7 was fulfilled spiritually in AD 70, and the coming of Christ in Acts 1:11 was fulfilled in AD 70 (Partial Preterist authors – Milton Terry, Mike Bull, etc…).

Conclusion: The Great Commission and or cloud coming of Christ in Matthew 24:14, 30 / Acts 1:8-11 / Revelation 1:7 is the same event and describes the “glorious Second Coming” of Jesus fulfilled spiritually in AD 70 (Sovereign Grace Full Preterism – “Reformed and always reforming”).

Questions for the signers of the letter on Acts 1:11:

The signers of this letter and books and authors they promote are “divided” on this text as well.  Are we allowed to hold to the “Reformed” “orthodox” position and that of the analogy of faith believing the cloud coming of Christ in Acts 1:11 / Matthew 24:30 / Revelation 1:7 is the same event and the Reformed “orthodox” Partial Preterist view that they were all fulfilled in AD 70 or not?  When and who made it “orthodox” to take the cloud coming of Christ in Matthew 24:30 / Revelation 1:7 as fulfilled in AD 70?  If Partial Preterists such as Gentry and Wilson have the authority to make those AD 70 cloud comings “orthodox” and correct the creeds and early church fathers, then why can’t Partial Preterist Milton Terry and other Partal Preterists and Full Preterists make our AD 70 exegesis of Acts 1:11 “orthodox” for everyone to follow?

Conclusion:

As we have seen the classic Amillennialist and authors of this letter to Gary DeMar do NOT see TWO “comings,” “ends,” “resurrections,” “judgments” of “all men” and that of the “living and the dead.”  Nor do they see the passing away or consummations of TWO heavens and earths or two arrivals of the new at TWO “comings”/parousia(s) of Christ in all of these texts — while the Partial Preterist system and that of some of the men in this letter – do see these events as fulfilled in AD 70.  That’s not a small disagreement – that’s a contradiction and bringing forth a hypocritical judgment against the brethren as far as I’m concerned.  Let’s expound upon this visually and see how the Holy Spirit has been working through the Classic Amillennial view and the Partial Preterist view to form the consistent orthodox/true view of Full Preterism:

Why have I put Ken Gentry, Phillip Kayser, and Milton Terry to represent the Partial Preterist view in the chart?  Because Gentry and Kayser signed the letter attacking DeMar and Ken sells and promotes the writings of Partial Preterist Milton Terry.

This is why I believe Gary DeMar requested to see their exegetical and historical “work” on “specific texts” and this is why the threat of this public letter offers no texts let alone exegetical work or proof!  Therefore, in my humble opinion the authors of this letter (just like the divided authors of WSTTB?) offered a “house divided” approach that did “not stand” and had no teeth.  They offered no Scriptural support or evidence for their claims to support an “end of world history” “judgment and resurrection of the dead of the just and unjust” or that of “the living and the dead.”  “Case dismissed” or “thrown out” as far as I can see.

Here is how I would answer the three questions:

Do you believe in a future bodily, glorious return of Christ?  No, the analogy of faith principle of interpretation would require Acts 1:11 to be fulfilled when Matthew 24:30 and Revelation 1:7 are fulfilled and the Partial Preterists of this letter correctly see Matthew 24:30 and Revelation 1:7 as spiritually fulfilled in AD 70.  And Partial Preterist authors of whom you publish and sell such as Milton Terry took Acts 1:11 as fulfilled in AD 70.

Do you believe in a future physical, general resurrection of the dead?  No, the general resurrection and judgment of the dead according to Daniel 12:2-3, 7, 13 teaches that the righteous and the unrighteous dead would be judged during a “three and a half years” period “when” Jerusalem was judged between AD 67 – AD 70 or “when the power of the holy people is / was completely shattered.”  This is why Paul taught this “appointed” or “decreed” time of judgment and resurrection for the dead was “about to be” fulfilled in the lifetime of his contemporaries (Acts 17:31YLT and Acts 24:14-15YLT).  And according to Acts 24; 26; and 28 this judgment and resurrection is once again tied to first century Jerusalem in that it was the “hope of the twelve tribes of Israel” – which do not exist today.  The Bible only teaches ONE eschatological “hope” of the “end” of the age resurrection event and it was fulfilled at the end of the old covenant age in AD 70 and is a “hope realized” for us to experience now (Prov. 13:12) and when we die and enter the heavenly realm. And further more at least two of the authors of this letter (Gentry and Kayser) believe Daniel 12:2-3 teaches there was a resurrection and judgment of the dead in AD 70 with one (Kayser) conceding there was a judgment and resurrection of the dead in Acts 17:31 / Acts 24:15 / 1 Thess. 4-5 / 1 Cor. 15 / Rms. 8:18 that was fulfilled in AD 70.  Your Partial Preterist theologians cannot agree on if the resurrection of Daniel 12 and say that of Matthew 24:31 was fulfilled spiritually or physically in AD 70 but the Scriptures are clear it was a spiritual resurrection that was fulfilled.

Do you believe history will end with the Final Judgment of all men?  Per “orthodox” Partial Preterism, the typical “end of the world” or “end of world history” type passages such as 2 Peter 3 and Revelation 21-22 were fulfilled imminently in AD 70.  And the Bible teaches that after the first heavens and earth of Isa. 65-66 / 2 Pet. 3 / Rev. 21-22 pass away and the new arrives, there will be evangelism continuing to take place.  The Bible does not predict “the end of world history” but rather the “end of the [old covenant] age” / the “time of the end [of the old covenant age]” / “hour of the end” in AD 70.  I do not seek to “go beyond what is written” and speculate that it teaches the “end of world history.”  The judgment of “all men” or the “quick and the dead” was fulfilled at Christ’s coming in judgment in the lifetime of the first century church (Mt. 16:27-28), “soon” at the Second Coming event in AD 70 (Rev. 22:7, 10-12) and thus was “about to be” fulfilled or “at hand” in the first century (2 Tim. 4:1YLT; 1 Pet. 4:5-7, 17).  “All men” however must die and be judged (Heb. 9:27).  Thus no man that ever lives will not be judged by a Righteous and Holy God.

Debate Challenges:  Myself and Don Preston have requested a one-on-one debate or partner debate with some of the men listed in this letter – Kenneth Gentry, Doug Wilson, Jeff Durbin or James White.  It’s been many years for these men in not answering public biblical questions or even responding to challenges to debate.  So, it’s kind of ironic that they are demanding that Gary DeMar answer their questions / challenges in a public forum.  Again – hypocrites.  Sam has yet to be able to convince Gentry, Wilson, Durbin or White to be his partner in debating me and Preston so as to refute his chapter in the first edition of “House Divided” where he discussed “Inconsistent Orthodoxy.”  Maybe it’s because he refers to them as “HYPER Partial Preterists” (that is “unorthodox preterists”) and “inconsistent” (that is if they were “consistent” they would be Full Preterists).  Selah.

Gary DeMar begins his response:

What Does the Bible Teach?: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-gary-demar-podcast/id1500969161?i=1000602952969

Things We Know and Things We Don’t: https://garydemar.libsyn.com/things-we-know-and-things-we-dont

Gary’s Third Response – “But It’s All So Simple!” https://garydemar.libsyn.com/but-its-all-so-simple

OPEN LETTER & CHALLENGE TO DEBATE THE ELDERS (JEFF DURBIN, LUKE PIERSON & JAMES WHITE) OF APOLOGIA CHURCH – OVER THEIR PUBLIC COMMENTS OF FULL PRETERISM

Dear Pastors Jeff Durbin, Luke Pierson & James White or To Whom it May Concern at the APOLOGIA Church,

I recently listened to your podcast on “hyper-preterism” (see link at end of article) and as a Sovereign Grace Full Preterist apologist, author and debater — I would like to TRULY “engage” with you over your public statements of my position. I co-authored, “House Divided Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology…” and interacted with Keith A. Mathison and Simon Kistemaker and their attempts to refute Full Preterism in their co-authored book, “When Shall These Things Be?…” I have a background in being a Reformed Baptist, so I am very familiar with your views. I have challenged James White to debate but of course he “won’t debate eschatology.” The sad thing is when “Reformed” “Apologists” make these kind of statements (along with “dreading” teaching Matthew 24) when the facts are one cannot separate soteriology from eschatology or failing to realize that the call to “defend” our “hope” is an eschatological passage itself (1 Pet. 3:15/Cols. 1:27/Jn. 14:2; 23/Rev. 21:16/1 Cor. 15:28). I recently debated Charismatic Dr. Michael Brown (White’s friend) over 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 because Sam Waldron and White did such a horrible job of dealing with their foundational text with exegetical “integrity.”  Reformed theology can exegetically deal with 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 if we allow the Preterist “soon” AD 70 coming of Christ and arrival of the New Covenant creation of Revelation 22:4-7 to be a parallel passage.

Major Premise:  “That which is perfect” and the seeing of God’s face in 1 Corinthians 13:10-12 is the Second Coming and arrival of the New Creation event of Revelation 22:4-7.

Minor Premise:  But the “soon” coming of Christ and arrival of the New Covenant creation in Revelation 22:4-7 was fulfilled in AD 70.

Conclusion:  Therefore, “that which is perfect” or the “soon” Second Coming and arrival of the New Covenant Creation of 1 Corinthians 13:10-12 and Revelation 22:4-7 was fulfilled in AD 70 and when the miraculous revelatory and sign gifts of the Church “ceased.”

I conducted myself as a Christian gentleman and abided by the debate rules.  In fact the only criticism I got from the FP community was that I was “too soft” on him – lol. I would do the same in engaging with you.  Here is my debate with Dr. Brown over 1 Corinthians 13:8-12: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5DZRv56eQg&t=962s

Here was my review and further thoughts on the debate:  https://fullpreterism.com/reviewing-and-critiquing-my-debate-with-charismatic-dr-michael-brown-over-1-corinthians-138-12-and-introducing-a-full-preterist-chronomessianic-interpretation-argument-on-daniel-924-27-that-went-un/

Jeff, you claimed that it was so important that Reformed Christians have a “consistent eschatology” and that we need to accept the 100 plus time texts were fulfilled by AD 70 — if not, Christians aren’t dealing with these texts with “Christian integrity.” So where was James White or Sam Waldron to discuss the 100 plus time texts with you?!? Maybe because you would have had a 100 or more contradictory statements and exposed your eschatology is not as “consistent” as you claimed? I have on record Partial Preterists asserting that Premillennial or Amillennialists that don’t believe those 100 plus time texts were fulfilled in AD 70 are coming dangerously close to denying the inspiration and infallibility of Scripture. And I have other statements from Amillennialists who mock the Partial Preterist two comings theory to be no better than the two coming theory of the pre-trib rapture theory. Or they admit that if you accept those 100 plus time texts were fulfilled in AD 70, a “consistent hermeneutic” would require you go all the way into Full Preterism. Amazing how you didn’t address any of these issues. WHY?

Here is how your Partial Preterism and James White and Waldron’s classic Amillennialism “consistently” forms (not refutes) Full Preterism:

I also noticed how you didn’t discuss how Partial Preterism does believe the resurrection of Daniel 12:2-3 was fulfilled spiritually in AD 70 and that the coming of Christ in BOTH Matthew 24 AND 25:31 was fulfilled in AD 70. Let’s discuss creedal “orthodoxy” and “consistency” on admissions like this. Nor did you go over how Partial Preterist Milton Terry took Acts 1:11 as fulfilled in AD 70. Very telling.

Your Partial Preterist guest Andrew Sandlin claimed we could have gotten a “splinter” if we touched the Tree of Life in Genesis. So does he believe the “Tree of Life” and cubed New Jerusalem is something we touch or will touch physically and get a splinter?!?

Of course the truth is the New Jerusalem was in the process of “coming down” (Rev. 3:11-12 NIV) and did arrive on earth at Christ’s “soon” Second Coming event in AD 70. The “Jerusalem from above” is the NC Church and the picture of her coming out of heaven to earth is descriptive of her maturity process from AD 30 – AD 70.  Now her gates are open and through the gospel the nations are being healed. The Tree of Life and Living Water are Christ and the Holy Spirit giving eternal life to all who enter by faith. Again, are there TWO arrivals of the New Jerusalem and the Tree of Life coming to earth?!? Are we going to get a “splinter” on Christ?

He also claims we will all be getting older before his third coming of Christ arrives (based on Isaiah 65). So Jeff, will the anatomy of animals begin changing as well – lions and wolves will eat straw and not ox or sheep before this imaginary third coming of Jesus? When do we begin allowing our children to play with poisonous snakes before this third coming of Jesus is fulfilled? Like Dispensationalism, its interesting where this hyper-literalism leads. Let’s discuss the “consistency” of these Partial Preterist interpretations.

Please respond to my gracious challenge so we can go over the propositions and format of the discussion/debate. I have heard from some on facebook that you might be willing to have a partner debate and they suggested you and Gary DeMar. Gary has been avoiding a public discussion / debate with us for over 30 years so we would gladly welcome him as your partner. He has publicly defended or supported that the coming of Christ in Matthew 24 and 25:31 was fulfilled in AD 70 (as has Keith Mathison). If I recall, Gary also holds to the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 as fulfilled in AD 70 as well? Myself and Don have wanted to press him on those admissions for years. If he isn’t willing to be your partner you may try your co-Elder James White.

While James is not a Partial Preterist and “doesn’t debate eschatology,” he does debate the atonement and if he agrees with your show that Full Preterism denies or perverts the atonement, then he could debate my debate partner (Don Preston) on that subject.

Don and James can debate the death/sin of Adam and the life/righteousness of Christ in our union with His resurrection (primary texts Romans 5-11 / 1 Corinthians 15) as the hope of Israel (the nature of a substitutionary atonement/death & resurrection) and Jeff, we can debate the timing of the Second Coming, judgment and resurrection of the dead, arrival of the New Creation and Reformed orthodoxy with the importance of having a “consistent hermeneutic.” I will be in touch with you and hope we can set something up in a FP “soon” time frame. Once we hear back from you we can discuss debate propositions, format and where it could take place. I personally favor in person debates and having access to power point slides in front of a live audience and not Internet debates.

Thank you for your time.

In Christ,

Michael Sullivan

My Response to Jeff Durbin’s Podcast:

1). “It is important for (Reformed) Christians to have a CONSISTENT eschatology” and to have “Christian INTEGRITY” by admitting there are over 100 imminent time texts in the NT which were fulfilled in AD 70.

This of course was one of the main issues we dealt with in “House Divided Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology…” – and that is, exposing this myth that they have a “consistent eschatology.” Just put James White, Sam Waldron, Keith Mathison and Kenneth Gentry on the show with Jeff and I would expose that myth rather quickly. Let’s run through just SOME examples. Since Jeff admitted all of Luke 21 and Matthew 21-24 was fulfilled in AD 70 along with the rest of the NT’s 100 plus time texts, lets address some of these issues.

Luke 21 / Matthew 21-25 – forms NT eschatology & “consistency” / “integrity”

Jeff (a Partial Preterist – PP) admits the coming of Christ and redemption of Luke 21 was fulfilled in AD 70. Yet classic Amillennialists such as Waldron and White would admit this is the Second Coming (SC) event and the “redemption” is the “redemption of the body” in Romans 8:18-23. While there, will Jeff please explain the “time text” of mello and admit like Gary DeMar that this glorification was “about to be” and was fulfilled in AD 70 (Rms. 8:18 YLT)? Or maybe elaborate on Reformed PP theologian John Lightfoot admitting the creation groaning and subject to decay here is addressing sin in the creation of man and not the physical planet? Was Lightfoot a “gnostic”? Obviously, this is not a minor inconsistency for you but not us – lol.

And obviously there are all of the parallels (the analogy of faith or analogy of Scripture hermeneutic) between Matthew 24 and 1 Thessalonians 4-5 which most Reformed theologians and commentators would say is the ONE SC event — of which Jeff must deny.  Jeff maintains the coming and “gathering” into the kingdom of Matthew 24:30-31/Luke 21:27-32 was fulfilled spiritually while White and Waldron would say Matthew 24:30-31/Luke 21:27-32 is the SC and resurrection event. How can we make these two views TRULY “consistent” with exegetical “integrity”? Easy:

Jeff, White and Waldron along with MOST Reformed theologians and commentators would agree with US (not you) that the analogy of faith (parallels & Paul’s eschatology is Jesus’) principle of interpretation demonstrates the coming of Christ in Matthew 24 IS the parousia of Christ in 1 Thessalonians 4-5 AND 1 Corinthians 15:
So Jeff is maintaining the coming of Christ and the “redemption” of Luke 21 was fulfilled in AD 70, yet others like Waldron and White would claim this is the ONE SC and resurrection event. Jeff would maintain that the coming and “gathering” of Christ in Matthew 24:27-31 was fulfilled spiritually in AD 70 and yet Waldron and White would claim this is the ONE SC and resurrection event. If you call that being exegetically “consistent” “integrity” – I have other descriptive adjectives.

Not only should we allow Paul and Jesus to be harmonized in Matthew 24 / 1 Thessalonians 4-5 / 1 Corinthians 15, but we should allow Paul to interpret himself in comparing Romans 5-8 with 1 Corinthians 15.  First note the corporate body themes within Romans 5-8 and biological death not being the subject:

Now compare Romans 5-13 with 1 Corinthians 15:

Again Jeff, the “glory” and “redemption of the body” that was “ABOUT TO BE REVEALED” (Rms. 8:18-23 YLT) IS the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15. See David Green’s exegesis of 1 Corinthians 15 and response to Strimple in our book for more details on that subject.

Having “consistently” and with “integrity” interpreted Paul’s teaching in light of Jesus,’ we shall now examine Paul’s OT sources in 1 Corinthians 15 and see what they may reveal.  James White and his father were/are fans of the WUESTNT and yet he correctly pointed out how “the last enemy” “the death” was in the process of “BEING destroyed.” If this is biological death, “Houston we have a problem.” For an exegesis of 1 Corinthians 15 see David Green’s response to Strimple in HD and my exegesis here: https://fullpreterism.com/ppw-2017-the-problems-for-postmillennialism-in-the-olivet-discourse-the-resurrection-of-matthew-24-25-and-1-corinthians-15/

Jeff mentions the seriousness of believing in a physical judgment and resurrection of the dead at the end of world history. But of course Jeff isn’t telling you that his Reformed PP brethren have admitted that the resurrection and “end” of Daniel 12:1-3 was spiritually fulfilled at the end of the OC age in AD 70. Why not discuss the lack of “consistency” and what PPism really teaches Jeff – since you are claiming to “care” so much about us and have all this exegetical “integrity” – seriously?!? Let’s discuss the Reformed PP implications of taking the “end of the age” and resurrection of Daniel 12:1-3=Matthew 13:39-43=Matthew 24:3-31 as fulfilled spiritually in AD 70.

The Olivet Discourse forms Pauline and NT eschatology and the resurrection of Daniel 12:2-3 IS the resurrection of the NT. No wonder you didn’t want to discuss “consistency” and this admission of PPism.

The “ALL these things” of Matthew 24:34 and Daniel 12:7 and the Resurrection of the Dead

Someone sent me a video of you teaching on the Olivet Discourse and going over the parallels and overview of Daniel 2, 7, 9 and 12 with Jesus’ teaching.  What was missing was any discussion of the resurrection of Daniel 12:2-3, 7:

Before leaving the subject of this message you preached in comparing Daniel with the OD, I want to briefly address your teaching on the 70 7’s of Daniel 9:24-27.  I too believe this is a “glorious” passage but it is MORE glorious to not end the 490 years before AD 70, but with the destruction of the city.  There is no exegetical evidence that the events are all fulfilled before AD 70 but by AD 70:

Jeff, since you take the “ALL these things” (Mt. 24:3-34 or Lk. 21:5-32) as referring to AD 70, wouldn’t the “ALL these things” of Daniel 12:7 be referring to the resurrection event being fulfilled within the 3.5 years along with the Tribulation and Desolation or “when the power of the holy people [was] completely shattered” in AD 70? If not why not? Since Partial Preterism admits the “end of the age” is the OC age in Matthew 13:39-43 and Matthew 24:3 then this is when the resurrection of Daniel 12:2-3 was also fulfilled. If not why not?

The Partial Preterist admission of the resurrection of Daniel 12 being fulfilled spiritually “gives the farm away” since it is the end of the millennium resurrection of Revelation 20 which John tells us would be “shortly” or “about to be” fulfilled (Rev. 1:1, 9YLT).  When we combine various views within Reformed eschatology in regards to the time texts and the recapitulation structure of Revelation it is not difficult to see how the resurrection of Revelation 20 was fulfilled by AD 70:

The resurrection of Daniel 12 is also the resurrection of John 5 and 1 Corinthians 15:

I find it also interesting that the “already and not yet” of the coming “hour” of John 4-5 is the eschatological “hour” of Daniel 12 and Partial Preterists admit the “not yet” of the coming hour of John 4 was fulfilled in AD 70 but the exact same phrases found in the next chapter somehow refers to a far distant 2,000 plus and counting hour. Creating TWO “already and not yet” periods or an “already and not yet and not yet” periods of Partial Preterism is hardly “consistent” Jeff:

We have allowed Jesus in Matthew 24 to interpret Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4-5 and 1 Corinthians 15.  We have allowed Paul to interpret himself (Rms. 5–13:11-12).  We allowed Paul’s OT sources to help interpret Paul, and we have allowed the Reformed PP admission and classic Amillennial admissions that the resurrection of Daniel 12 was spiritually fulfilled in AD 70 and yet it is the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 – to help us interpret 1 Corinthians 15. This is called “consistent” exegetical “integrity” Jeff. You are stuck on 1 Corinthians 15 and John 6 in the same way an Arminian is stuck on John 3:16 or 1 John 2:2. It’s time to dig deeper my friend or go back to the White and Waldron compromise and denial of NT imminence model. Those are your choices. Partial Preterism has already conceded that between AD 30 – AD 70 there was a corporate body progressive resurrection and that Daniel 12:2-3 supports this. They also affirm 1 Corinthians 15 IS the resurrection of Daniel 12:2-3. I have “consistently” harmonized your PPism while at the same time harmonize the contradictions between your PPism and White’s classic Amillennialism. You are welcome

James White on the Olivet Discourse

Jeff, your co-Elder James White tells us the truth is in the “middle” of Hyper-Preterism and Dispensationalism when interpreting Matthew 24. What exactly is in the “middle”? Clearly he is referring to Reformed Partial Preterism (your view) and that of his and Waldron’s classic Amillennial view. BUT the “middle” of these two views IS the Sovereign Grace Full Preterist view:

Major Premise: The coming of Christ in the OD is the ONE SC event to be fulfilled at the end of the age (Reformed Amillennialism)

Minor Premise: BUT the coming of Christ in the OD was fulfilled at the end of the OC age spiritually in Jesus’ contemporary “this generation” in AD 70 (Partial Preterism)

Conclusion / “CONSISTENCY”: THEREFORE, The ONE SC event predicted by Christ in the OD was fulfilled spiritually at the end of the OC age in AD 70 (Sovereign Grace Full Preterism). This is what we call, “Reformed and always reforming” and exegetical and historical “consistency.”

Jeff’s PPism is obviously NOT “consistent” and lacks “integrity” when put alongside Waldron and White’s classic creedal and Amillennial view. The “end of the age” or “end” judgment and resurrection of the dead of Daniel 12 IS the “end” and resurrection of Matthew 13:39-43/24:31; John 5-6; 1 Corinthians 15 and Revelation 20:5-15. After all Jeff, Paul said this resurrection was “about to be” fulfilled in his day (Acts 24:15 YLT). So much for having “integrity” or “consistency” in dealing with those 100 plus time texts. Jeff, why not have a podcast explaining to us HOW within your PPism the judgment and resurrection of the dead was fulfilled spiritually in AD 70 (1 Pet. 4:5-7; Rev. 11:8ff.; Dan. 12:2-3 [and it’s NT references]) – and invite Waldron and White on?!? If you truly “care” and want to show us how “consistent” and “orthodox” (creedal) you are, let’s get with it brother. Let’s have White and Waldron on the show to discuss the timing of the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 in light of your PPism and those 100 plus NT time texts.

The Apologia Church Confession of Faith

The Apologia Church confession of faith on eschatology simply says you believe Jesus is “coming again to judge the living and dead.” But Peter says the living and the dead were to be judged in an AD 70 “at hand” time frame (1 Pet. 4:5-7). How many judgments of the living and dead does Apologia Church teach from the pulpit and explain for us HOW the dead were judged in AD 70? And if the dead were judged, they were raised as well right? Please explain HOW the dead were raised and judged in AD 70.

Maybe you and Dr. White could debate these subjects and let us see how much “consistency” emerges?

Since you have admitted the 100 plus time texts refer to AD 70, by all means explain how Paul referencing Genesis 3:15 and how “Satan” was “crushed” “shortly” in AD 70, but this wasn’t the “shortly” end of the millennium judgment of Satan in Revelation 20. Again, if you truly “care” you will have “an answer to ANYONE who asks” you about these matters (1 Pet. 3:15). If you aren’t willing to discuss and debate these issues, please stop pretending you “care” are “consistent” creedal “orthodox” etc… My guess is you won’t be an actual “apologist” and address these issues. But hey, I hope you will prove me wrong.

Psalm 110 / Hebrews 10 / 1 Corinthians 15

Your co-host Pastor Luke Pierson, mentioned a discussion he had with a FP who claimed these texts don’t mention a Second Coming following Christ putting his enemies under His feet?!? Hebrews 10:13-37 is VERY clear that the “enemies” were “about to be” burned with fire when Christ was going to come in a “very little while” and would “not delay” in AD 70. These first century “enemies” were in the process of being placed under Christ’s feet just as the “last enemy” “the death” was “bEING destroyed” (1 Cor. 15 WUESTNT). Has physical death been in the process of “being destroyed” for 2,000 plus years? Who’s really denying the efficacy of the atonement? Not me!

Harmonizing Luke 21 and Matthew 24-25

Jeff, you claimed Luke 21 is the coming of Christ in AD 70 but apparently Matthew 24-25 includes the SC? Wow, so when Luke is discussing Jesus’ teaching on this matter he totally forgets to tell his Gentile audience about the end of world history and about Jesus’ actual SC – because they are Gentiles? That is your “apologetic” against FPism and Bible skeptics? Sad my friend. The truth of course is that Luke and Mark were written to of a more Gentile audience (agree there), but since the phrase “end of the age” is more Jewish and Christ spoke to the Jews in parables, Matthew is going to add that to his account along with more parables. Nothing here to support TWO comings – good try though. Matthew 24-25 is written with recapitulation (as is the book of Revelation) and is dealing with ONE Second Coming event just as Mark and Luke are. This is called exegetical “integrity” while your view has none:

The wedding of Matthew 22; 24-25 / Revelation 19-21 / Isaiah 25:6-9

Jeff, you claim the eschatological wedding and wedding feast of Matthew 22; 24-25 and Revelation 19-21 was fulfilled in AD 70, BUT the Reformed classic Amillennialist will correctly point out to you that this is WHEN “the last enemy” “the death” is “swallowed up” (Isa. 25:6-9/1 Cor. 15). Again, we harmonize these two competing “Reformed” views and make them TRULY “consistent” and “orthodox” (straight) with “integrity” while your view does not.

Matthew 8:10-12:

10 When Jesus heard this [expression of the Gentile’s faith], he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith. 11 I tell you, many will come from east and west [Gentiles] and recline at the table [wedding feast of Isa. 25:6-9] with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven [in the resurrection], 12 while the sons of the kingdom [Pharisees and unbelieving Jews] will be cast out into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Gentry writes,

“In Matthew 8:11-12 we read of the faithful gentile who exercises more faith than anyone in Israel. We hear once again of the people from the east. This time they sit with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (the rightful place of the Jews). While the Jews themselves are “cast out” into “outer darkness.” (He Shall Have Dominion, p. 175). And, “God is preparing to punish his people Israel, remove the temple system, and re-orient redemptive history from one people and land to all peoples throughout the earth.” “This dramatic redemptive-historical event…ends the old covenant era…” (He Shall Have Dominion, p. 342).

Strengths:

The “casting out” of the “subjects of the kingdom” is a reference to OC Israel being judged in AD 70, at which time the believing Jewish/Gentile Church takes her place at the end of the OC era (but notice he is afraid of using the term “age”).

The “casting out into darkness” where there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth” he says refers to AD 70.

Weaknesses:

There is no mention of Isaiah 25:6-9 as Jesus’ source (cf. Mt. 5:17-18). They do the same thing in the OD when it comes to the resurrection gathering of Isa. 25-27/Mt. 24:30-31!

There is no consistency on Jesus’ phrases of being “cast out into darkness” where there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth” to Matthew 24:51 and 25:30. There is nothing throughout Matthew’s gospel that indicates there are TWO (casting out into outer darkness, weeping and gnashing of teeth) judgments in Jesus’ teaching throughout the gospels.

Unanswered questions – Why isn’t this the fulfillment of the resurrection of Daniel 12:2-3, 13 and Revelation 20 in AD 70 when Daniel’s soul was raised out of the realm of the dead to inherit eternal life and God’s presence – since some Postmillennialists are teaching this now?

Commentators who are not Postmillennial Partial Preterists have no problem pointing out the OT passages Jesus is referring to when He addresses the eschatological wedding feast.

D.A. Carson writes,

“The picture is that of the “messianic banquet,” derived from such OT passages as Isaiah 25:6–9 (cf. 65:13–14)…” and “…the presence of Gentiles at the banquet, symbolized the consummation of the messianic kingdom (cf. Mt 22:1–14; 25:10; 26:29). “Son of” or “sons of” can mean “sons of the bridal chamber” [9:15; NIV, “guests of the bridegroom.” (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew, Mark, Luke (Vol. 8, pp. 202–203).

Bloomberg writes, “Jesus characterizes that bliss as taking “their places at the feast,” the messianic banquet image depicting the intimate fellowship among God’s people in the age to come (cf. Isa 25:6–9; 65:13–14).” (Blomberg, C. (1992). Matthew (Vol. 22, p. 142). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers).

Leon Morris connects this “feast” with “the coming bliss of the messianic banquet,” to be fulfilled “in the world (or age) to come.” (Morris, L. (1992). The Gospel according to Matthew (p. 195). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press).

R.C. Sproul’s Reformation Study Bible admits that the table and feast of Matthew 8:11 is,

“A reference to the messianic banquet theme of Is. 25:6-9. Gentiles now appear in place of the natural sons.” (p. 1684).

Strengths:

Jesus is teaching on the fulfillment of the messianic wedding banquet and resurrection of Isa. 25:6-9 and inheriting the new creation of 65:12-14 at the end of the then current age, and in the age to come.

They connect the judgment of being “cast out into darkness” where there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth” with Matthew 24:51 and 25:30 as ONE separating judgment throughout Matthew’s gospel.

Weaknesses:

They ignore the time texts and clear references to the ONE AD 70 judgment throughout Matthew’s gospel and the time texts of the wedding and resurrection in Mt. 24-25 and Revelation – “this generation,” “soon,” etc…

The hermeneutical steps are incomplete in that no work is done on the context of Isaiah 24-25 or Isaiah 65 which demonstrate an “in time” and local judgment and not an end of time and global transformation event.

Matthew 22:1-14:

And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, 2 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, 3 and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. 4 Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”’ 5 But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, 6 while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. 7 The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. 8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9 Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ 10 And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11 “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. 12 And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Joel McDurmon writes of verses 2-7,

“Here the first servant-messengers (another reference to the prophets, no doubt) were simply ignored. Another wave of servant-messengers (more prophets) are treated as such a nuisance that while some still ignored them, “the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them” (v. 6). Jesus is certainly adding [the murdering of the servants or prophets] here as part of the same indictment of Jerusalem He would give again in (Matt. 23:34-36).”
“The murderers were the entire generation of Israelites….” “…the armies would set the murderers’ city on fire (again exactly what happened in AD 70).”

And of verses 8-14, “…yet, after this destruction…” “…during this post-destruction wedding feast, some would sneak in who did not belong.” “…Whether [the man w/out the wedding garment] should be interpreted as the Judaizers who would cause so much dissention in the NT Church, or whenter these should just be understood as general heretics in the Church, is not clear.” (Jesus v. Jerusalem, 157-158, bold emphasis MJS).

Strengths:

The Great Commission invitation to the feast is between AD 30 – AD 70 in verses 1-7.

The sending out, rejection and killing of the servants is equated to Mt. 23 and the AD 70 judgment.

The judgment and burning of the city closes the OC era/age in AD 70.

The AD 70 judgment is once again characterized as being “cast out into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Weaknesses:

Again there is no mention that Jesus came to fulfill Isaiah 25:6-9 or 65:12-14 because they would have to address the timing and nature of the resurrection.

Postmillennialists miss that Mt. 22:1-14 is structured with recapitulation:

a). vss. 1-7: 1. There is an invitation to the wedding feast, 2. It is rejected, and 3. this rejection leads to the judgment of Jerusalem in AD 70 – burning their city.

b). vss. 8-13: 1. There is an invitation, 2. BUT there is NEW information given to us about the same time period that vss. 1-7 didn’t tell us about. This rejection results in the invitation to the undesirables – the 10 northern tribes/Samaritans and Gentiles (as laid out in Acts 1:8) and describes the success of the GC between AD 30 – AD 70. And then finally 3. There is a judgment for their rejection (except this time it’s described differently – with a Jew or Judaizer trying to achieve salvation by works of the law and not through belief in the Son and His grace – who is then “CAST” out in outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (which is the same language used for the AD 70 judgment Postmillennialists give Mt. 8:11-12). So there is no exegetical evidence that vss. 8-13 is a post AD 70 GC resulting in a different judgment at the end of time.

As far as commentators that are not Postmillennial or Partial Preterist, they again have no problem connecting our Lord’s teaching here with the eschatological wedding feast consummation and resurrection of Isaiah 25:6-9. And most give lip service to God sending His armies to burn the city to be the AD 70 judgment (some such as Kistemaker try and downplay it). But these men refuse to interpret the rest of the parable as referring to AD 70 let alone connect Isaiah 25:6-9 with that judgment since it would destroy their Futurism.

Matthew 25:1-13

1″At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6″At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ 7″Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ 9″‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ 10″But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11″Later the others also came. ‘LORD, LORD,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ 12″But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ 13″Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

Postmillennialists such as Keith Mathison, Gary DeMar, Joel McDurmon, Mike Bull, etc… no longer divide Matthew 24-25 into two comings of the Lord. They correctly see every reference to the coming of Christ in the OD to be His spiritual coming in AD 70.

As I pointed out earlier, the reference to “day and hour” not being know by the Son but only the Father (24:36) is echoing the OT betrothal/marriage/resurrection motifs coming in Israel’s last days terminal generation (AD 30 – AD 70) — of which Jesus came to fulfill (Lk. 21:22; Mt. 5:17-18).

Others such as Kenneth Gentry see the coming of the Lord and “day and hour” in 24:36—25:31-46 as THE Second Coming consummative event with apparently another eschatological wedding and wedding feast to follow!

So again Postmillennialists are face with TWO eschatological marriages, feasts and resurrections when the NT only knows of ONE.

So let’s do what the Postmillennialists won’t do (they won’t even MENTION Jesus fulfilling Isa. 25:6-9) and what the other Futurists won’t (they mention Jesus is fulfilling Isa. 25:6-9 or Isa. 65:12-14 but then won’t develop those OT contexts).

Context of Isaiah 25:6-9

“On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine- the best of meats and the finest of wines. 7On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; 8he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The LORD has spoken. 9In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”

In context, the Messianic wedding banquet comes as a result of judgment upon OC Israel for her breaking the old covenant Torah (cf. Isa. 24:5). This makes no sense in the Amillennial paradigm because all the Mosaic Law was supposed to have been fulfilled and passed away at the cross.

The Messianic wedding banquet comes when OC Jerusalem is judged with her city becoming a “heap of rubble” (cf. Isa. 25:2). Again this points to an “in time” and local event and not an end of time or global destruction and renewal.

Therefore, Jesus is using Isaiah 24-25 consistently and accurately to demonstrate that the Messianic wedding banquet and resurrection would be fulfilled in AD 70 when OC Israel would break Torah, was judged, and her city and Temple were left in a heap of rubble.

Context of Isaiah 65:12-14

12I will destine you for the sword, and all of you will fall in the slaughter; for I called but you did not answer, I spoke but you did not listen. You did evil in my sight and chose what displeases me.” 13Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “My servants will eat, but you will go hungry; my servants will drink, but you will go thirsty; my servants will rejoice, but you will be put to shame. 14My servants will sing out of the joy of their hearts, but you will cry out from anguish of heart and wail in brokenness of spirit.

Here we are told that God was going to judge OC Israel “by the sword” and their fathers “in full” measure. But at the same time would save a remnant along with the Gentiles (cf. Roms. 10:20—chapter 11).

In that day of judgment, the remnant of believing Jews and Gentiles would feast at the wedding supper and be called by a new name (an everlasting NC name – the New Jerusalem) while OC Israel would not feast, starve and would be remembered no more. This is in line with the “soon” AD 70 coming of the Lord throughout the book of Revelation. In Revelation 19-21, while the Church (the transformed Israel of God) feasts at the wedding feast, OC Israel not only starves, but is actually feasted upon by the birds of the air.

Putting it All Together “Bridging the Gap”

The Analogy of Faith or Analogy of Scripture Hermeneutic: Teaches Scripture interprets Scripture, and Scripture cannot contradict Scripture.

In mathematics and logic: If A bears some relation to B and B bears the same relation to C, then A bears it to C. If A = B and B = C, then A = C.  Therefore, things which are equal to the same thing are also equal to one another. If equals be added to equals, the wholes are equal.

A (Mt. 8; 22; 25) = Wedding or wedding feast, end of the age, and parousia fulfilled by AD 70.
B (Isa. 25:6-9) = The wedding feast & resurrection are fulfilled together “in that day.”
C (1 Cor. 15) = The resurrection and end of the age are fulfilled at the parousia.

If A bears some relation to B…

Jesus in A (Mt. 8; 22; 25) uses B (Isa. 25:6-9) to teach that His eschatological wedding feast would be fulfilled at His parousia to close the end of the OC age in AD 70.

…and B bears the same relation to C,…

Paul uses B (Isa. 25:6-9) in C (1 Cor. 15) to teach that the resurrection would take place at Christ’s parousia and at “the end [of the age].”

…then A bears it to C.

Both Jesus in A (Mt. 8; 22; 25) and Paul in C (1 Cor. 15) use a common source B (Isa. 25:6-9) to teach the resurrection will be fulfilled “at the end [of the OC age]” parousia event.

Therefore, things which are equal to the same thing are also equal to one another. If equals be added to equals, the wholes are equal.

The ONE Parousia/Second Coming, Eschatological Wedding, End of the Age and Resurrection event of A (Mt. 8; 22; 25), B (Isa. 25:6-9) and C (1 Cor. 15) was fulfilled in AD 70.

Premise #1: Since it is true that Jesus taught the wedding feast of (Mt. 8; 22; 25) would be fulfilled at His parousia to close the OC age in AD 70 (Postmillennialists now agree with Full Preterists).

Premise #2: And since it is also true that Jesus in (Mt. 8; 22; 25) came to fulfill (Isa. 25:6-9) (Amillennialists and Full Preterists agree).

Premise #3: And since it is also true that Paul teaches Jesus’ parousia would fulfill the resurrection of (1 Cor. 15) (all agree).

Premise #4: And since it is also true that the end of the age, the end, parousia and resurrection of (Mt. 8; 22; 25) and (1 Cor. 15) are the same event (Amillennialists and Full Preterists agree).

Conclusion: Then it is also true that the wedding feast, parousia, the end of the OC age and resurrection of (Mt. 8; 22; 25), (Isa. 25:6-9) and (1 Cor. 15) were fulfilled in AD 70. (Full Preterism Synthesis)

Jeff, how many eschatological wedding and wedding feasts do you want to defend?!?  Time to man up my friend.  The righteous are as bold as a lion – and yet you, White and Waldron are no where to be found to “defend” your eschatological “hope” of the wedding and wedding feast.

Luke 21:22 – the fulfillment of all that has been written (in the OT)

And in your discussion of Luke 21, where was any discussion of this passage? If Jesus came to fulfill “all” that was written in the OT concerning His Second Coming within His contemporary “this generation,” then obviously that would include the resurrection of Daniel 12:2-3 and Isaiah 25:6-9.

End of world history and the PP missing de-creation text

Jesus nor the NT writers ever predicted the end of the planet earth as is simply assumed by so many here in Matthew 24:3, 29, 35 and elsewhere in the NT. When we take a combined look at some of the best theologians within the Reformed and Evangelical communities, we find a preterist interpretation of virtually every eschatological de-creation prophecy in the Bible. Combined, John Owen, John Locke, John Lightfoot, John Brown, R.C. Sproul, Gary DeMar, Kenneth Gentry, James Jordan, Peter Leithart, Keith Mathison, Crispin H.T. Fletcher-Louis, Hank Hanegraaff, and N.T. Wright teach that the passing away of heaven and earth (Matt. 5:17–18; 24:3, 29, 35; 1 Cor. 7:31; II Peter 3; I Jn. 2:17–18; Rev. 21:1) refers to the destruction of the temple or to the civil and religious worlds of men—either Jews or Gentiles; and that the rulers of the old covenant system or world, along with the temple, were the “sun, moon, and stars,” which made up the “heaven and earth” of the world that perished in AD 70. (John Owen, The Works of John Owen, 16 vols. (London: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1965–68), 9:134–135. John Lightfoot, Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica: Matthew – 1 Corinthians, 4 vols. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, [1859], 1989), 3:452, 454. John Brown, Discourses and Sayings of our Lord, 3 vols. (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, [1852] 1990), 1:170. John Locke, The Clarendon Edition of the Works of John Locke: A Paraphrase and Notes on the Epistles of St Paul Volume 2, (NY: Oxford University Press, 1987), 617–618. R.C. Sproul, The Last Days According to Jesus (Grand Rapids, MI: BakerBooks, 1998). Kenneth Gentry, He Shall Have Dominion (Tyler TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1992), 363–365. Kenneth Gentry (contributing author), Four Views on the Book of Revelation (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1998), 89. Gary DeMar, Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church (Powder Springs: GA, 1999), 68–74, 141–154, 191–192. James B. Jordan, Through New Eyes Developing a Biblical View of the World (Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, Publishers, 1998), 269–279. Crispin H.T. Fletcher-Louis (contributing author) Eschatology in Bible & Theology (Downers Grove, Illinois: Inter Varsity Press, 1997), 145–169. Peter J. Leithart, The Promise of His Appearing: An Exposition of Second Peter (Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2004). Keith A. Mathison, Postmillennialism: An Eschatology of Hope (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1999), 114, 157–158. N.T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1996), 345–346. N.T. Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2003), 645, n.42. Hank Hanegraaff, The Apocalypse Code (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2007), 84–86. C. Jonathin Seraiah, The End of All Things: A Defense of the Future (Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2002).

These interpretations are, individually considered, “orthodox.” Yet when Full Preterists consolidate the most defensible elements of Reformed and Evangelical eschatology, anti-preterists unite in opposition to even some of their own statedviews. The Full Preterist combines the two competing “orthodox” views on the coming of the Lord and de-creation of Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24-25 to form a consistently exegetical and historical position:

CLASSIC AMILLENNIAL VIEW: The coming of the Son of Man in Matthew 24-25 is the ONE second coming event as is the de-creation spoken of here.

PARTIAL PRETERIST VIEW: The coming of the Son of Man happened spiritually and the end of age, de-creation of verses 3, 29 and 35 are descriptive of the passing of the old covenant creation/age and the establishing the new by AD 70.

SOVEREIGN GRACE FULL PRETERIST VIEW (Synthesis/”CONSISTENCY”of above views – “Reformed and always reforming”): The coming of the Son of Man is the ONE second coming event (as is the de-creation spoken of in verses 3, 29, 35) whereby Christ came spiritually to end the old covenant creation/age in the events of AD 66 – AD 70 and establish the new.

Then there is the exegetical fact that what you place as the “end” of world history, the OT and NT instructs us is the “end” of the OC age and per the Futurist hyper-literal hermeneutic there is birth, sin, evangelism and death taking place postSecond Coming / arrival of the New Creation (Isa. 65-66/Rev. 22:17).

Revelation

And what about the book of Revelation? Jeff Durbin claims the imminent coming of Christ through the prophecy is referring to AD 70, while Waldron, White and other classic Amillennialists along with the WCF and London Baptist Confession of Faith would affirm this is the ONE SC event which ends the millennium of Revelation 20. Doesn’t the Partial Preterism of Jeff and classic Amillennial view of Waldron and White FORM Full Preterism – hardly refuting it?!?

One Partial Preterist Joel McDurmon desperate to find a physical end of world history passing of the heavens and earth claimed “heaven and earth” “fleeing” in Revelation 20 was physical because the Greek word pheugo was used. Of course he wasn’t “consistent” when he failed to comment on how pheugo is used within Revelation itself to refer to the de-creation of Israel in Revelation 6 and 16. This deceptive hermeneutic as not only inconsistent, but lacking “Christian integrity” – something Jeff claims his PPism is offering:

Seven Brief Points Which Prove The Full Preterist View of the Millennium of Revelation 20 is Exegetical and Orthodox

1)  Reformed Partial Preterist author Kenneth Gentry in his writings informs us that the book of Revelation is about things which were in the past, present, and things which were “about to be” fulfilled in John’s day (Rev. 1:19 YLT). Therefore, there is no exegetical evidence to support that Revelation 20 does not fall within these inspired time indicators.  In fact even Gentry’s reformed peers understand that if one interpret the imminent time texts at the beginning and end to be referring to AD 70, then everything is fulfilled by AD 70, “But 1:3 and 22:10 are like bookends enclosing the whole prophecy of Revelation. The fulfillment of everything, not just a part, is near.”  (Vern S. Poythress, THE RETURNING KING A GUIDE TO THE BOOK OF REVELATION, (Phillipsburg, New Jersey: P & R Publishing Company, 2000) 34).

2)  As G.K. Beale has reminded us, it is reformed and orthodox to believe that the thousand years is not just a symbolic number, but is one that does not have to be taken to describe a long time (ie. thousands of years etc…):  “The primary point of the thousand years is probably not a figurative reference to a long time…” (Beale, G. K. (1999). The book of Revelation: A commentary on the Greek text. New International Greek Testament Commentary (1018). Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle, Cumbria: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press.)

3).  It has also been acknowledged by reformed theologians Such as Beale when approaching the millennium of Revelation 20, that many Rabbis believed that the period of Messiah was to be only a transitionary stage between “this age/world and the age/world to come.”  These Rabbis (such as R. Adiba), understood this transition period to be forty years, based upon how long the Israelites were in the wilderness before inheriting the land (Beale, ibid., 1018-1019; see also, A. Cohen, Everyman’s TALMUD, 356).  This type/anti-type understanding and same kind of “this generation” or “in a very little while” time frame of “another day” approaching in which the “better” heavenly land/city/resurrection would be inherited or take place is developed for us in the book of Hebrews (cf. Heb. 3-4; 10:25, 37; 11—13:14YLT).  And as we have noted from reformed Partial Preterists such as Joel McDurmon or Gary DeMar, it is within the realm of reformed orthodoxy to believe that Jesus’ and Paul’s “this age/world” was the OC age and that the “age/world to come” refers to a transition period between the OC age and the NC age (ie. between AD 30 – AD 70).

4).  As the imminent time texts point to a fulfillment of Revelation 20, so does the recapitulation or parallel structure of Revelation point an AD 70 fulfillment for the millennium.  Reformed Partial Preterists such as Keith Mathison, Kenneth Gentry and James Jordan correctly teach us that the content of Revelation 1-19 and 21-22 was fulfilled by AD 70 (at which time there was a judgment and resurrection of the dead and arrival of the new creation).  And yet Amillennialists such as G.K. Beale, Robert Strimple and Simon Kistemaker correctly teach that Revelation 20:5-15 simply recapitulates these verses and themes or are paralleled to the same events related to the same judgment and consummation scenes depicted in chapters 1-19 and 21-22. We hold to both of these reformed and common sense “orthodox” positions in interpreting the book of Revelation and this becomes relevant in our discussion of the millennium of Revelation 20.  Revelation 20 is not an isolated island standing away from the time texts or from the structure the book was written in.

5).  In criticizing the Premillennial view which often seeks to isolate Revelation 20 from the rest of the NT, the Amillennial and Postmillennial views hold that Revelation 20 falls within the “already and not yet” of the “last days” period in the NT.  Or this transition period can be found in the parable of the wheat and tares or the time frame leading up to the coming of Christ in Matthew 24-25.  But as we have seen, it is “orthodox” to believe the “last days” ended with the OC age in AD 70, and that harvest gathering and coming of Christ in Matthew 13 and Matthew 24-25 was fulfilled by AD 70 (cf. the writings of and combinations found in Gary DeMar, Joel McDurmon, Peter Leithart, Keith A. Mathison, etc…).

6).  Consider the following:

a. if it is true that Matthew 24 – 25 cannot be divided and the coming of Christ and judgment in these chapters refer to AD 70 (Gary DeMar/Joel McDurmon and Keith Mathison or it is “possible” that they do ie. Kenneth Gentry) and…
b.  if “John’s version of Matthew 24-25 is found in the book of Revelation” (Gary DeMar) and…
c.  if it is true that Matthew 24:27-31—25:31ff. is descriptive of the one and end of the age  Second Coming, judgment and resurrection event as is Rev. 20:5-15 (the classic Amillennial or creedal position) and…
d.  if it is hermeneutically valid to “parallel” Matthew 24-25 material with the book of Revelation, then Partial Preterism along with the classic Amillennial view have some explaining to do in that their views form the “this generation” forty years millennial view of Full Preterism…

Matthew 24-25 Revelation 20:5-15
Resurrection and judgment Matt. 24:30-31 (cf. Matt. 13:39-43/Dan. 12:2-3) Matt. 25:31-46 (cf. Matt. 16:27) Resurrection and judgment Rev. 20:5-15
De-creation heaven and earth pass/flee Matt. 24:29, 35 (cf. Matt. 5:17-18) De-creation heaven and earth pass/flee Rev. 20:11 (cf. Rev. 6:14; 16:20; 21:1)
Christ on throne to judge Matt. 25:31 God on throne to judge Rev. 20:11
Wicked along with Devil eternally punished Matt. 25:41-46 Wicked along with Devil eternally punished Rev. 20:10, 14-15

7).  Consider the following:

a.  if the judgment (opening of the book), resurrection, time of the end of Daniel 12:1-4, 13 was fulfilled by AD 70 (Partial Preterism Kenneth Gentry and James Jordan) and…
b.  if the judgment (opening of the book), resurrection, time of the end of Daniel 12:1-4, 13 is the same eschatological time of the end events as described for us in Revelation 20:5-15 (classic Amillennial view) and…
c.  if “John in the book of Revelation picks up where Daniel leaves off” (Partial Preterism John Lightfoot, Gary DeMar, James Jordan) and “parallels” between Daniel 12 and Revelation 20 are hermeneutically valid to make (classic Amillennialism), then once again Partial Preterism along with classic Amillennialism have some explaining to do in that their views form the “this generation” forty years millennial view of Full Preterism…

Daniel 12:1-2 Revelation 20:5-15
Only those whose names are written in the book would be delivered/saved from eternal condemnation Dan. 12:1-2 Only those whose names are written in the book would be delivered/saved from the lake of fire Rev. 20:12-15
This is the time for the resurrection and judgment of the dead Dan. 12:1-2 This is the time for the resurrection and judgment of the dead Rev. 20:5-15

Conclusion:

Therefore, the reader should be able to discern that the Full Preterist AD 30 – AD 70 “this generation” millennial view is:

1). consistent with the teaching of Revelation itself,
2)  falls within the “orthodox” views of the Reformed church,
3)  is in line with the analogy of Scripture and
4)  offers historical support from many Rabbis whom promoted a forty years transitional period between the two ages.
Our view on the millennium is both exegetically sound and orthodox. Finding support for the Full Preterist view of the millennium is not as difficult as many  portray it – selah.

Your PP view that somehow Revelation 1-19 and 21-22 was fulfilled imminently in AD 70, but the end of the millennium judgment and resurrection of the dead of chapter 20 wasn’t, has no exegetical support.

Luke 21 / Matthew 24-5 and Acts 1-3

Jeff mentioned Acts 1:11 as just no way being fulfilled in AD 70. Of course what Jeff didn’t tell you is that one of the main if not main Partial Preterist theologian Milton Terry saw this passage being fulfilled in AD 70. Interesting how Jeff’s BEST PP theologian agrees with us and not him. He claims he is being “consistent” and having “integrity” but fails to mention how PP theologians both take Acts 1:11 and the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 as fulfilled in AD 70. Sorry, I just don’t see this as acting out of “Christian integrity” or exegetical “consistency.”

But again, the creeds and majority of Reformed theologians and commentators see the coming of Christ here in Acts 1:11 being the same coming of Christ in Matthew 24:30 and the evangelism or Great Commission (GC) of Matthew 24:14 being the same as Acts 1:8. In fact my Reformed PP opponent Keith Mathison has told us that when the GC of Acts 1:8 is fulfilled is when Christ coming on the clouds of Acts 1:11 will be fulfilled. So let’s examine these issues briefly.

We would agree with the creedal or classic Amillennialist that the Second Coming of Christ in Matthew 24 IS the same Second Coming event Luke lays out in Acts 1 – 3:

 

Of course the TRUTH is that Jeff’s Partial Preterism leads to the “consistent” Full Preterist view and when we combine the various Futurist positions (such as that of James White and Sam Waldron) they definitely form the “consistent” Sovereign Grace Full Preterist position. Yes I’m going to post this again in case you missed it:

Obviously the “consistency” and “integrity” belongs to my view and not yours. But good try though.

2). Logical fallacies, scare tactics and misrepresentations

Your logical fallacies and scare tactics were legion my friend. Your inability to defend what you said in the program and logical fallacies are what make me “angry” — let’s get the facts straight.

a). False claims that Full Preterists don’t see the Gentile inclusion in the OT and NT

Of course I have been a Sovereign Grace Full Preterist for over 30 years and have NEVER denied this. Not only have I not denied it, but establishing Jew and Gentile in ONE body/man is the essence of Full Preterism or Gospel Eschatology. Myself and other Full Preterists destroy the small amount of real “Hyper-Preterists” out there that do deny this. Let’s get the facts straight.

b). The assertion that we deny the physical resurrection of Christ, His deity or atonement.

This was SO desperate and sad. Again, over 30 years in the movement and I have NEVER believed the things you are tying to claim we believe! But it is YOU who deny the High Priestly atonement and redemption of Christ that was “about to be” fulfilled when He appeared a “second time” out of the Temple – at the end of the OC age in a “very little while” to take away our sin (Lk. 21:27/Heb. 9:26-28–10:37; Rms. 11:26-27/13:11-12).

c). Is Partial Preterism or Full Preterism more effective at refuting Bible skeptics and upholding the deity of Christ?

Some Jews did believe (all the way up until around AD 100) that Daniel 7:13 was not only Messianic, but He would somehow be divine (based on His description and that only God came upon the clouds). The OG LXX states that the one like the Son of Man would “come upon the clouds AS (not up to) the Ancient of Days.” This is exactly how Jesus is described in Revelation 1:7-18 – the Ancient of Days and the Alpha and Omega. Jeff, you are confused it is OUR view that more effetely refutes Bible critics (liberals, Islam & Zionists) regarding an imminent Second Coming (not “a” coming) that either refutes or upholds the claims of Jesus’ deity. Good try though.

d). “Come home the light is always on” 

The Father and Son have come and made their “home” within us and the light is always on in the New Jerusalem (Jn. 14:23 / Rev. 21:16ff.).  I don’t have to be a “member” of a Reformed Baptist Church to “be home.  Your appeals to “come hone” to mother church has been echoed by the Roman Catholic Church. Be consistent in your appeals to church tradition, counting noses and this manipulative nonsense and go Roman Catholic as some other “Reformed” theologians have.

I’m sure John Eck exhorted Luther to “come home” to compromise as well. I’ll pass on your offer Jeff, but if you and White want to actually continue the work of the Reformation “Reformed and always reforming” — we are always looking for some good men. David spent a lot of time in the caves and persecuted before his time of elevation. Such is the time frame of Full Preterism but we are going and will continue to grow with God adding “mighty men of valor” to our ranks daily.

e). You claim Full Preterists are “angry”

Jeff, how LONG has it been since your boy Keith A. Mathison said he would respond to my chapter response to him in our book, HD but hasn’t?!? You men claim you “care” and will “respond” to these issues but NEVER do. You “caring,” your alleged “integrity” and “consistency” are ALL scams. I think you may be mistaken over my “anger” it is being jealous and zealous for the Name and integrity of Christ as the “Faithful and True Witness” and not tolerating your false piety (you “care”) and false appeals to “consistency” etc…

You are allowed to be “angry” at Arminians when they censor you and won’t respond to your arguments but we aren’t allowed to be angry at your compromise, your censorship and failure to address the issues. Wow.

f). Lack of godliness

Another cheap shot below the belt. Again, I’ve been a SGFP for 30 years and my life has been nothing but blessed and my faith strengthened. So much so that I don’t have to stoop to these low levels you have had too. And you wonder why Full Preterists are “angry” – lol. The truth is we are “jealous / zealous” for His Name and He accomplished “ALL” (atonement as High Priest, judgment and resurrection of the dead, arrival of the New Creation) that He said He would “WHEN” (“this generation” “about to be” “will not be delayed”) He said He would.

And of course Futurist Calvinists have never been characterized as “bitter” “angry” or “one sighted” on their pet doctrines of election etc…?!? Never accused as being too focused on doctrine and not on “loving” others etc… Jeff, you really do need to come up with some real arguments – this false piety and manipulative garbage doesn’t work.

g). Conflating “Hyper-Preterism” with Full Preterism – and “leaving Christianity”

Sovereign Grace Full Preterism believes in the sovereign and free grace of God, the Trinity, the deity of Christ, etc… There have been MANY Futurists and Calvinists that have also left the faith and have gone into Open Theism, Catholicism and adopted bible skeptic arguments as to why the Scriptures are not inspired (you know them because James White has debated them!). So I could conclude that Futurism or Calvinism breeds unbelief if I were to adopt your horrific line of “logic” disguised as “caring.” And you wonder why you come across “angry” Full Preterists – lol.

When I attended The Master’s College and was a 5 point Calvinist 4 point “Calvinists” called my position on limited atonement to be “Hyper Calvinist” (before MacArthur made the change).  It’s just a way of trying to shut down the conversation and scare people from studying the view.  The truth of course is that a Hyper Calvinist is someone who does not Evangelize and a true Hyper Preterist is a small group of individuals who don’t see salvation post AD 70 for anyone.

h). The charge of “gnosticism”

I find it interesting that when Paul is addressing the error of a pre-AD 70 coming of the Lord and resurrection view, that he NEVER refers to the view as overly spiritual and thus gnostic. If it was the physical view you hold to, his powerful apologetic would have simply been something like this, “How can you believe the SC and resurrection has “already” occurred? We are still here aren’t we? The grave yards are still full aren’t they? The “end” of world history hasn’t taken place now has it? Again, power argument from silence that speaks VOLUMES.

To charge Jesus and the NT authors and the New Covenant anti-types of fulfillment as “gnostic” is a serious one.

  • Your Partial Preterism is about as “consistent” and has about as much “integrity” as a four point “Calvinist.” And just as four point “Calvinism” isn’t really Calvinism and only serves as a stepping stone which leads to real Calvinism, so too, your compromised Partial Preterism is not real, exegetical or true Preterism – of which only continues to lead your students to us and the truth. Selah.
  • I find it interesting that the “House Divided” of “When Shall These Things Be?…” approach has now made its way into your very own local church with you being a PP and James White being a classic Amillennialist (along with his mentor Sam Waldron). Let me know when you and White want to actually “engage” and do the work of an Apologist by debating us and stop pretending you as Elders are “consistent.” Until then, God’s people will see your approach for it was/is.
  • If you are not willing to actually do the work of an apologist and debate us, please do not claim you are “engaging” our view.

Jeff, is it “gnostic” to believe the teachings of Jesus that when He was revealed from heaven (His Second Coming) the Kingdom would not be seen with the physical eyes but placed “within” the believer (Lk. 17:20-37 / Lk. 21:27-32)? In fact Paul stated that this “glory” was “about to be revealed IN” them in AD 70 (Rms. 8:18YLT). We are the New Jerusalem or God’s Most Holy Place dwelling that comes down from heaven to earth at His “soon” Second Coming (Rev. 21:16–22:6-7, 20) of which Christ (the Tree of Life) and Living Water (Holy Spirit) flow from from within us. Nothing “gnostic” here my friend just “consistent” exegetical “integrity.” It is your view that gives these spiritual interpretations in AD 70 BUT to be creedal, then give them TWO or DOUBLE fulfillments (why not just go back to Dispensationalism then?). It is ironic to watch PPism tell Amillennialist and Dispensationalists that they are not allowed to give their AD 70 passages double fulfillments (the Tribulation, Desolation, destruction of the Temple, apostasy, etc…), but when they get in trouble with the creeds or are pressed for consistency from FPism, they begin talking about TWO comings, TWO passings of heaven and earth, TWO arrivals of the new heavens and earth, TWO judgments and resurrections of the dead, etc… That’s NOT “consistent” exegetical “integrity” friend.

David Green answers this charge of gnosticism in our book,

“Strimple Argument #10: Because preterists deny the physicality of the resurrection of the dead, preterists are teaching a new form of the old heresy of Gnosticism (313). Preterism is therefore a physical body – disparaging doctrine.

Answer: Before answering this argument, we must first note that though preterists deny the physicality of the resurrection of the dead, preterists do not agree with the Gnostics on the meaning of “resurrection.” Preterists do not believe that “resurrection” is a mystical attainment that is realized through knowledge, secret or otherwise. The Reformed preterist understanding of life in Christ is radically other than the Gnostic understanding.

We believe that we are raised to life through one thing, and one thing only: Faith in the historic (real, actual, physical) death and resurrection of God the Son, the Creator of Heaven and Earth. The Gnostic
denial of this core gospel truth is one of the central errors that made them heretics in the worst sense of the word.

As for the idea that preterism necessarily leads to the Gnostic view that the body is to be despised or that it is evil, this can be quickly dismissed with a look at Matthew 22:30. It is in that verse that Jesus said
that those who had physically died would, in the resurrection of the dead, “neither marry nor be given in marriage.”

The opponents of preterism accept this teaching of the Lord, but they do not realize that if the preterist interpretation (a non-physical resurrection) necessarily implies that the physical body must be despised or viewed as evil, then Jesus’ teaching (no more marriage for those who participate in the resurrection of the dead) necessarily implies that marriage, and by implication sex and reproduction, must also be despised or viewed as evil.

If the preterist teaching that the physically dead saints were raised non-physically necessarily implies that the physical aspect of man is to be despised or that it is evil, then Jesus’ teaching that there is no marriage for the physically dead after they are raised must likewise necessarily imply that marriage, sexuality, and reproduction are to be despised or considered evil. If one conclusion is necessarily true, the other is necessarily true. If preterism is necessarily anti-body Gnosticism, then Jesus was, by the same logic, necessarily anti-marriage, anti-sex, and anti-reproduction. Therefore, the futurist claim that preterism is necessarily Gnostic (physical-body-disparaging) is fallacious.

The truth is that marriage, sex, reproduction, and the physical body are all good and temporary (Job 14:12; Eccles. 9:6; 1 Cor. 6:13). “Temporary” does not equal “despised” or “evil.” As with the temporality of marriage, sex, and reproduction, the temporality of the physical body in no way minimizes or negates the eternality of the Spirit-empowered works that are wrought by means of it. A temporal “tabernacle” (2 Pet. 1:13-15) in which and through which we obey and worship God “in spirit and in truth” is by no stretch of the imagination evil or to be despised.

Ironically, the reason that the physically dead saints who were raised in AD 70 did not get remarried and procreate again is because they were raised in a non-biological manner. They were and are spirits, “like the angels” (Matt. 22:30; Heb. 1:7). The Sadducees, like the futurists after them, did not understand this.

Before I conclude this answer, there is another, related charge of Strimple against preterists that I should address here, and that is that preterists are naturalistic rationalists and skeptics. This accusation comes as a surprise because it is difficult to understand how one could simultaneously be a Gnostic and a naturalistic rationalist. How can preterists believe in an over-spiritualized resurrection of the dead and at the same time be steeped in, as Strimple puts it, old-fashioned, blatantly naturalistic, “the universe is a closed system” rationalism? (307, 310, 328, 339)

As though these accusations were not contradictory enough, Strimple admits elsewhere that preterists are devoted to the defense of the divine origin and the divine authority of the Scriptures: “ . . . [T]he motivation behind their theology and their exegesis is apologetic” (289). The question now is how can preterists be defenders of the divine origin and authority of Scripture and also be naturalistic rationalists and skeptics and Gnostics at the same time?

While it is true that we can find certain preterists who have argued that a physical resurrection of the dead is an impossibility because of the dispersal of molecules throughout the aeons, it is not correct to paint preterists in general as people who argue in that manner. I am sure that I speak for the vast majority of preterists of Reformed background when I say that God is able at any time to physically resurrect all people of all generations.

Preterists do not reject a physical resurrection of the dead because we believe in a “closed universe,” or because we think that God lacks ability, or because we are skeptics or rationalists or naturalists, or because we have a Gnostic, matter-despising bent. We reject a physical resurrection of the dead for one reason and one reason only: Because we believe that the Word of God—the divine origin and authority of which we are championing—teaches a spiritual, non-physical (yet “bodily”) resurrection of the dead in the end of the old covenant age.

Our belief in the inerrancy and divine authority of the Bible, and in the deity of Christ, and in the goodness of God’s physical universe, and in regeneration by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone does not prove that we are correct in our understanding of the resurrection of the dead, but it does prove that we are not “naturalistic Gnostics.” (HD, pp. 176-179).

For those that want to watch this sad attempt at refuting Full Preterism here is a link to Jeff’s podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDFWNE6ut7o

We have no problem pointing our readers to the heretical Futurist teachings on the Second Coming, but they are constantly CENSORING us and not debating us. That should tell you everything

I’m ready to debate when you are Jeff:

Or as I left a message on your phone — I am also willing to do a partner debate.  Don Preston has already agreed to be mine.  Please ask your co-Elder James White if he would be willing to be your partner. If he believes we are a “cult” and or he believes our view of the judgment and resurrection of the dead being fulfilled in AD 70 has somehow perverted the gospel and atonement, then this isn’t just a debate “about eschatology” and falls within the realm of subjects his ministry debates.  Or Gary DeMar would be fine as well.  Perhaps you could find one of the co-authors of WSTTB? to come on and be your partner as well?  Please do get back with me.

Still in progress…

Open Letter To Mel Gibson and Two Movie Proposals – 1. “AD 70 / The Parousia” and 2. “The Armageddon Conspiracy”

 

Dear Mr. Gibson,

My name is Michael Sullivan and I am a Christian Full Preterist author and apologist. I am anticipating your film “Rothchild” and this indicates to me that you may understand the destructive nature of modern Zionism in all of its various forms. Below are two movie proposals/plots that are designed to counter not just the false vies of Zionism, but that of Islam and hopefully will educate the public on the circular theological problems perpetuating war in the Middle East. The theological premise behind these movies is that the “end of the age” “holy war” in the “holy land” is a PAST event – i.e. between AD 67 – AD 70. If this can be proven (and it can) and it makes its way into the public (and it can through a movie), then we can solve part of the problem of Isalm, Israeli Zionism and Evangelical Zionism from trying to self-fulfill this “holy land” “holy war” in the Middle East.

Please prayerfully consider these proposals.

What will you get out of this project?

1). It will be a sequel to “The Passion of The Christ” which has long been anticipated and it will counter the Trojan horse of Islam and Zionism that we are both concerned with. Remember, for some reason in “The Passion of The Christ” you left out Jesus’ words on the way to the cross found in Luke 23:28-30 which is a quote taken from Isaiah 2:19 depicting the “in that day” coming of the Lord in judgment upon the Jews in AD 67 – AD 70 when they would cry out, “…to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us’ “from the splendor of His majesty.” This is the battle of Armageddon depicted in Revelation that would be fulfilled “shortly” in John’s lifetime (Rev. 1;1; 16:17-21). Did you leave this out for fear of being labeled “anti-Semitic”? When you were charged with this, you said you were simply portraying what “was in your gospels.” So let’s portray what’s fully in there and not worry what others will say.

2). It will be a crowning long lasting legacy for you, your family, and country to remember you by.

What do I want out of this?

1). To leave a legacy which will in the long run heal the Middle East Crisis.

2). Just to make enough money so that I can devote myself to studying, writing and lecturing on eschatology and nutrition and leave a modest inheritance for my children. This is what I’m requesting and hoping from you: 1. I get paid for the proposals/plots (whatever you think is fair and according to industry standards). 2. I get paid (again whatever you think is fair) to be an advisor to the script-writer whom you choose for the project. If I could have one-two assistants myself, that would be great. 3. I get paid a small percentage of the movies residual profit (again what you think is fair).

Copyright 2009 Michael J. Sullivan – Thank you in advance for your honesty and integrity.

Introduction / Objective:

Here are two movie proposals/plots that function as “Informational Warfare” to help solve the problem of Islam, Israeli Zionism and Premillennial Christian Zionism from trying to constantly self-fulfill (playing the victim or conquest card) the “in the land,” “holy war,” the “end is near – AGAIN” battle of Armageddon. The more the Biblical truth get’s out here in the U.S. to Evangelical Christians and Jews and Muslims in the Middle East – that this war was fulfilled between AD 67 – AD 70, the better. This theology has been tested in the articles and book listed at the end of these proposals.

Title: “AD 70 – The Parousia”
By: Michael J. Sullivan (author, debater, conference speaker & radio host), 12 Chase Lane, Sylva, NC 28779; (828) 507-1375
Proposal for: Mel Gibson
Genre: Action / Controversial / Religious

This is a movie that incorporates the success behind such action movies produced by Ridley Scott – The Kingdom of Heaven & The Gladiator along with religious controversy draws from such men as Ron Howard and Tom Hank’s – The Divinci Code.

The Historical Setting & Controversial Twist

The religious twist or controversy to this movie that will make it a financial success and sets it apart from anything that has ever been produced thus far, is that the NT places Jesus’ Second Coming during the Roman / Jewish War (between AD 67 – AD 70) and not as an end of time event (per the traditional view). While many religious movies have focused on the years AD 26 – AD 33, none have focused on AD 67 – AD 70, let alone have developed this period as the Second Coming. And yet Jesus tells us that “the end” (of the old covenant age – not the end of world history) and His coming, would take place within His contemporary “this generation” when his first century audience saw “Jerusalem being surrounded by armies” (Matt. 24:3-34, Lk. 21:20-32). We know from church history that Rome surrounded Jerusalem in AD 67 and then briefly retreated. This is when the Christians fled Jerusalem to Pella and were safe (heeding Jesus’ prophecy), while the Jews listened to the false prophets (Jesus said would come) and were destroyed by the Romans.

Synopsis:

Cornelius (played by Chris Pratt – Christian and UFC fan) is a skilled Roman Centurion warrior who converts to Christianity and begins converting many Roman soldiers. Word of this reaches Nero (played by ________) whom places Cornelius as a gladiator/prisoner – forced to combat as punishment for not acknowledging the one true king (himself). Cornelius is separated from his wife and son between AD 63 – AD 66 and is forced to defend himself in the arena against demon possessed beasts and other valiant gladiators. But God empowers and sustains Cornelius through these battles in order to make a statement against Nero and Rome. God is miraculously protecting him in the arena as a symbol that He will preserve the Church from the Dragon (cf. Rev. 12) – when she flees Jerusalem to Pella.

Cornelius eventually escapes from Roman captivity but only to be captured by John Levi of Gischala (played by ________ – who will shortly take over Jerusalem and lead the revolt against Rome). Cornelius eventually breaks free and reaches his family in Jerusalem in AD 66. After the death of Peter at the hands of Nero, God will use Cornelius to lead the Christian Church in Jerusalem to Pella before the Roman / Jewish war (Armageddon) begins and lays siege to Jerusalem.

Characters / Actors: Cornelius (Chris Pratt – Christian and UFC fan), Nero (________), Jon Levi of Gischala (_________), Titus (_________), Apostle Peter (__________), Josephus (________).
Budget: 100 – 135 million.
Box office profit: 600 million or more.

Why this movie will be a financial success: There is really one word that would describe why Ron Howard’s The Divinci Code made money, and that word is controversy. Even though the movie had bad theology and history behind it, because it stirred up theological controversy (was Jesus married? Did he have a child? Was he divine as he claimed?) – it made money. It was the subject of virtually every adult Sunday School class and Pastor’s sought to refute it from the pulpits. Therefore, even Christians went and saw the movie just to see what all the hub-bub was about. The controversy even created free advertising for the movie. My movie is different than Howard’s in that the history and theology backing it, is 100% accurate. Not to mention no one has been able to refute my/our book, House Divided. The controversy that the Second Coming and battle of Armageddon was truly fulfilled “shortly” (Rev. 1:1–22:6-7, 20) and is not in our future, will surpass anything The Divinici Code produced.

Possible obstacle resolved: The budget for a war in Jerusalem will be high. For “Part I” it may be possible to write this script and sell it to Ridley Scott – who has access to this construction from previous movies he has done with a similar motif?

SECOND MOVIE – MODERN APPLICATION

Title: “AD 70 and the Armageddon Conspiracy”
By: Michael J. Sullivan (author, debater, conference speaker & radio host), 12 Chase Lane, Sylva, NC 28779, (828) 507-1375
Proposal for: Mel Gibson
Genre: Action / Controversial / Religious
Synopsis: There are two stories being played out that will merge together.

Story #1

The main character (Chris Hunt) is an accomplished mixed martial artist, theological scholar and debater.

When Hunt was young he was homeschooled on the mission field by his parents. His father was a well known Biblical scholar but left that life for the mission field. His father also had a trade being a mixed martial arts instructor. Hunt’s father trained him in theology, philosophy and mixed martial arts. Chris leaves his parents on the mission field to attend college in the U.S. and compete professionally in the U.F.C.

But the death of his parents at the hands of Muslims on the mission field has left Hunt bitter. Hunt leaves his conservative roots behind and begins teaching theology at a liberal Seminary with a bent on proving Jesus as just a good moral teacher with a failed prophecy as a legacy. Hunt is drawn to this theology because of the death of his parents and for intellectual reasons. His arguments are simple – Jesus promised that His Second Coming would take place in the lifetime and generation of his first century disciples (Matt. 10:22-23; Matt. 16:27-28; Matt. 24:34), and since the end of the world did not take place at that time – Jesus’ prophecy failed. And since the rest of the NT followed Jesus’ first century time of fulfillment – “at hand,” “in a very little while,” “shortly, “soon” it too is a failure (1 Pet. 4:5-7; Heb. 10:37; Rev. 1:1—22:6-7) and cannot be “inspired” as claimed.

Hunt lays paralyzed in his depression and despair until a student in his class begins challenging him in a way he has never encountered before. One of his students is a Full Preterist and begins showing him how all these predictions pointed to Christ’s Second Coming taking place when Jerusalem fell in AD 66 – AD 70 and that the language Jesus uses in Matthew 24 (stars falling etc…) is apocalyptic language (symbolic/metaphoric genre) and is not literal. Hunt learns that Jesus nor the NT writers were ever predicting the end of the world (as commonly taught in most churches), but rather involve predictions of Christ’s return to bring an end to the old covenant age/world and establishing the new covenant age (which is spiritual). God awakens Hunt’s faith for a mission he is uniquely qualified for…

Story #2

Muslim apologist Shabir Ally is from Iran and is falsely portraying himself as a peaceful moderate. He comes to the U.S. to debate various Christian theologians claiming the Jesus of the NT is a false prophet and therefore Allah gave Muhammad the Quran as a superior revelation. While this is a legitimate tour by Ally, no one knows that his inner circle is a terrorist network planning a nuclear attack on U.S. soil. At least no one except two F.B.I. agents who begin noticing some suspicious activity.

Shabir is also an accomplished fighter in the U.F.C. and is using this as an avenue to get into the States.

The merging of the two stories

Shabir challenges Hunt to a debate and to fight in in the U.F.C. Tensions are high between the U.S. and Iran and both countries are pushing both the fight and the debate.

Hunt takes a debate with Shabir in Los Angels, California. Chris thinks God has called him to take down Shabir’s arguments in a debate, but the mission becomes much more involved as the evening develops. Toward the end of the debate, Shabir and his network take the audience hostage announcing their plans of detonating their nuclear device. Hunt now has to use his mixed martial arts training and team up with the F.B.I. — along with the audience he has won over in debate, to kill the terrorists and disarm the nuke.

Not only this, but extreme Dispensational Zionists such as John Hagee have the President’s ear and are trying to convince the President that these are signs of the end times and that the U.S. needs to get ready for Armageddon. God is going to use Hunt in a variety of ways to disarm this conflict which will also involve educating the President on these issues.

Why this movie will be a financial success: Again, this movie involves religious controversy which does nothing but provide free advertisement and brings in a larger audience. The movie also touches on the issues of the day – Islamic eschatology views everything in the news today as a “fulfillment” of their “end time” prophecies leading to a “holy war” with the West. Unfortunately, many Dispensational Zionist “Christians” read their Bible’s through the lens of current events (ex. Hal Lindsey or say John Haggee) as well and claim what is taking place today in the Middle East also supports an alleged “imminent” “end time” “holy war” and “rapture” for the Church.

Only through education can these problems come to light let alone be solved. The fact that these NT “end time” “holy war” (Armageddon) prophecies have already been fulfilled between AD 67 – AD 70 is a major step in the right direction to healing this conflict.

Characters / Actors: David Hunt (Chris Pratt – Christian and UFC fan), F.B.I. agent (________ ), and Muslim terrorist (________ ).
Budget: 30 – 70 million.
Box office profit: 300 million or more.

The Theology & History Behind the Movie – 100% Solid! See My Articles:

1). How the Bible Refutes Modern “In the Land,” “the End is Near – AGAIN,” “Holy War” False Religion (Islam, Israeli Zionism, and Christian Premillennial Zionism):

Part 1 Islam – Refuting and Healing “Holy Land” “End Time” “Holy War” Eschatology: https://fullpreterism.com/a-full-preterist-response-to-holy-land-end-time-holy-war-eschatologies-part-1-islam/

Part 2 Judaism – Refuting and Healing “Holy Land” “End Time” “Holy War” Eschatology:https://fullpreterism.com/a-full-preterist-response-to-holy-land-end-of-time-holy-war-eschatologies-part-2-judaism-the-article-facebook-doesnt-want-yo/

Part 3 “Christian” Dispensational Zionism – Refuting and Healing “Holy Land” “End Time” “Holy War” Eschatology: https://fullpreterism.com/a-full-preterist-response-to-holy-land-end-time-holy-war-eschatologies-part-3-christian-dispensational-zionism/

2). How the “Last Days” Battle or War of Armageddon and Gog and Magog was Fulfilled Between AD 67-AD 70 along with Zechariah 12-14 Article: https://www.facebook.com/notes/mike-sullivan/the-last-days-the-war-of-isaiah-2-4-daniel-9-12-revelation-16-19-20-fullfilled-b/10153941401569364/

3). How the Nations Have Beaten and Continue to Beat Their Swords into Plowshares and Have Learned War No More as They Stream Into the New Jerusalem:
https://www.facebook.com/notes/mike-sullivan/the-last-days-day-of-the-lord-of-isaiah-22-4-10-19-21-and-2-thessalonians-15-10-/10155254904044364/

4). How Matthew 24-25; the “Rapture” of 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 and the Resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 Were All Fulfilled by AD 70:  https://fullpreterism.com/my-second-lecture-at-the-ppw-2017-conference-part-3-the-problems-for-postmillennialism-the-olivet-discourse-the-gathering-of-the-electresurrection-event-of-matthew-2430-31-1-thessalonia/

 

5). Understanding the book of Revelation and How it was Fulfilled by AD 70:

a). A Pre-AD 70 Date for the Book of Revelation – A Full Preterist Response to Dr. Simon Kistemaker:
https://www.facebook.com/notes/mike-sullivan/a-pre-ad-70-date-for-the-book-of-revelation-a-full-preterist-response-to-simon-k/10155311579099364/

b). How Futurists Have Failed to Deal with Imminence in Revelation:
https://www.facebook.com/notes/mike-sullivan/the-various-failed-attempts-by-futurists-to-deal-with-imminence-in-the-book-of-r/10155045480034364/

c). Revelation 1-4:
https://www.facebook.com/notes/mike-sullivan/unveiling-christ-and-his-bride-exegetical-essays-in-the-book-of-revelation-chapt/10154616917064364/

d). Revelation 5-10:
https://www.facebook.com/notes/mike-sullivan/unveiling-christ-and-his-bride-exegetical-essays-in-the-book-of-revelation-chapt/10154616922304364/

e). Revelation 11-13:
https://www.facebook.com/notes/mike-sullivan/unveiling-christ-and-his-bride-exegetical-essays-in-the-book-of-revelation-chapt/10154616926529364/

f). Revelation 14-19:
https://www.facebook.com/notes/mike-sullivan/unveiling-christ-and-his-bride-exegetical-essays-in-the-book-of-revelation-chapt/10154616928719364/

g). Revelation 20-22:
https://www.facebook.com/notes/mike-sullivan/unveiling-christ-and-his-bride-exegetical-essays-in-the-book-of-revelation-chapt/10154616931499364/

And don’t forget to get a copy of my/our book: “House Divided Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology…” Available on Amazon here:

https://www.amazon.com/House-Divided-Bridging-Reformed-Eschatology/dp/146759671X

P.S. – If in God’s providence anyone reading this knows Mel Gibson or can get this letter to him, I would greatly appreciate you passing it on to him. And if you can get it to him, and you are a Full Preterist having a desire to be in the project, I would love to hire you as one of my assistants. Lord bless.

Friends who stand by Mel in rough times:

History of AD 67 – AD 70 – the Parousia of Christ:

An Open Letter to Phil Johnson and John MacArthur Regarding: Charismatics/Dr. Michael Brown, Inconsistencies, Lies, Liberals, R.C. Sproul, S.E.S. & Last Days Cults

An Open Letter to Phil Johnson (and by extension John MacArthur –10/19/2017),

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Dear Mr. Phil Johnson,

I appreciate you calling me back in regards to my debate with Charismatic Dr. Brown over 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 and possibly trying to get it at The Master’s Seminary or University along with our hopes of someone representing your views on the text and subject matter.  I have been calling and writing Grace Community and The Masters Seminary for several months now with no response until today.  I wanted to briefly address some of the things you mentioned to me on the phone that were more than inconsistent and in some cases just blatantly wrong and needing public correction and an apology.

Inconsistencies on What “heretic(s)” “Step(s) Foot” on The Master’s Campuses

18556061_10155363997605990_4266574590684128712_nYou mentioned you would never allow Dr. Michael Brown or myself “to step foot” on The Master’s Seminary, University or Grace Community because it is Pastor MacArthur’s position that “heretics” like us are not to be given a platform or given equal time in a debate or in any kind of public discussion with you.  Yet when I was a student at The Master’s College professor Brian Morley allowed a Mormon apologist come to our class and we engaged with him.  Sounds like you arbitrarily pick and choose what “heretics” you want to engage with.  I even invited Greg Bahnsen to speak at TMC and I’m guessing MacArthur considers his Theonomy to be “heretical” as well – right?  Yet he spoke in many of my classes being asked challenging questions and giving them to and from the students and faculty.

Of course the glaring problem here is that your Dispensational Premillennialism and Brown’s Historical Premillennialism has been condemned as “heretical” by the early creeds for it’s hyper-literal understanding of God’s kingdom on earth – being likened to “Jewish dreams.”  And Sproul and others consider your progressive dispensationalism no less “heretical” than pure dispensationalism.  And the drama on who is “heretical” continues  when these same early Amillennial creeds would consider Sproul’s hyper-literal kingdom manifestations/fulfillments of Postmillennialism to also be “heretical” and on par with “Jewish dreams” as well.  And yet I’m willing to engage with you, Brown and Sproul even though you constitute a “heretical” group.  Selah.  That’s what the field of apologetics is all about Phil.  Why even teach apologetics to your students if you are so afraid turn them loose to actually engage with them?!?

Since you can’t address the Charismatic exegetical arguments on 1 Cor. 1:5-8; 1 Cor. 13:8-12, Acts 2, Mark 16:15-20/Mt. 28:18-20; “the already and not yet of the kingdom,” etc., you just call them “heretics” and talk about their abuses and extremes (Word of Faith, how many times they sing choruses of worship songs, etc…).  This “apologetic” (which it really isn’t) has produced no fruit within the Charismatic movement.  All it has done is further proven to them that you don’t have the exegetical answers to their questions and challenges.

I shared with you how when I first attended The Master’s College that I had discussions with Pastor MacArthur on these passages and he never answered the arguments (as a Charismatic from Calvary Chapel I was VERY open to leaving that position but committed to a proper exegesis of these texts that were clearly eschatological).  I also shared with you that C.W. Smith (my theology major advisor and a professor at TMC whom taught Greek and through 1-2 Corinthians) told me that MacArthur’s Greek and contextual argument as to why tongues ceased in AD 70 but prophecy and knowledge pass away thousands of years later at the New Creation was inconsistent and weak and that he didn’t agree with it.  You actually scoffed at me for saying this and yet it is 100% true.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  Your attitude suggested that MacArthur couldn’t answer my challenges as a student or that he couldn’t possibly be wrong on 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 — just doesn’t match the facts.  He has been wrong on very important issues and texts before…

After leaving my 4 point “Calvinist” position behind as a student and becoming a 5 point Calvinist I also had a discussion with MacArthur about his weak and inconsistent position on limited atonement and recommended him reading Gary Long’s book, Definite Atonement and his syllabuses on the sovereignty of God in salvation (which I printed out for him).  I’m glad John changed his view on that subject later but John r22491621_10155710466904192_5794897158961308659_nemains wrong in having no exegetical defense against Charismatic texts (listed above) and has no exegetical refutation of Preterism.  John now agrees with Sproul that when he hears someone say he is a 4 point Calvinist he is thinking to himself  “oh, you mean you are a confused Arminian.”  You and MacArthur would also agree with me that Partial Preterism when played out consistently leads to Full Preterism.

The only problem is that you and MacArthur are like the eschatological 5 point Arminian and your Premillennial “heresy” of hyper-literalism is an heir to the Pharisees doctrine of an earthly kingdom.  It doesn’t matter if you “postpone” it to a future coming of Jesus that you have imagined for yourself – error is error.  The problem with Sproul’s Partial Preterism (the 4 point “Calvinism” of eschatology so to speak) is that it too portrays Christ as a failure to redeem His Church how and when He said He would (Heb. 9–10:37).  Christ as our great High Priest came to not provide atonement for all humanity but to actually atone and propitiate the sins of the “many” — the Church.  But to not accept that Christ came out a “second time” from the heavenly temple to the eagerly waiting congregation at the end of the OC age “in a very little while” and would “not tarry” is also to portray Christ as a failed High Priest.  Sproul is very conflicted, uncommitted and creedally ambiguous in his book The Last Days According to Jesus on Hebrews 9-10.  Both 4 point “Calvinism” and “Partial Preterism” are inconsistent and portray a failed Christ in His offices of Prophet, Priest and King in these chapters.  Selah.

Lies and Scare Tactics – Who Are These Preterist’s That Deny the Physical Resurrection of Jesus?

You also shared with me how I’m a worse “heretic” than even Dr. Brown.  You claimed that “Full Preterism believes or leads to denying the physical resurrection of Jesus.”  When I challenged you on this — stating I’ve been a Full Preterist for 27 years and personally have never known or communicated with anyone that believes this, you assured me there were and that this was documented in one of MacArthur’s books.  As it turns out, you are referring to Ward Fenley whom I shared the view with many years ago and who has NEVER denied that Christ was raised physically.  I just spoke with him on the phone after our conversation and he says that’s a pure lie.  He provided me with this statement:

“I have never denied the physical resurrection of Christ. In fact, in my article, “Christ’s Post Resurrection Mode” I go out of my way to show He arose physically from the grave.”

After talking to Ward after our call and reading the first sentence of his article I asked him why he assumed there were some Preterists out there that denied the physical resurrection of Christ.  He mentioned that being new to Full Preterism (hardly the most “prolific writer” within the movement Phil – this too was false:  King, Preston, Bell, & sovereign grace FPists – David Green, Ken Davies, etc…) at the time simply assumed that there might be Preterists out there somewhere that denied the physical resurrection of Jesus because he was told by some futurists that to be a Full Preterist, you denied the physical resurrection of Christ and the physical bodily return of Christ in our future.

Let me help explain where I think the confusion is here.  It’s like someone being new to the doctrines of grace or Calvinism and being told that your position means you “have to deny prayer or evangelism” and therefore you are a “hyper-Calvinist” because you believe in the 5 points.  I have had many discussions like these with ignorant and illogical Arminians.  Even when I was a student at The Master’s College after I embraced limited atonement I was constantly told by students that I had “gone too far” and had become a “hyper-Calvinist.”  I hadn’t become such or believed what they told me I had to believe having adopted the 5 points of Calvinism — they just had no clue what they were talking about!  And like the ignorant Arminian who uses scare tactics, that’s your and MacArthur’s approach with Full Preterism.  Pathetic.  And although I personally do not know any real “hyper-Calvinists” that don’t evangelize, they are actually out there.  When it comes to these Full Preterist’s that allegedly don’t believe in a physical raised body of Jesus – I don’t know of ANY.  You simply try and build your case with scare tactics and trying to knock down extremes — if they are in the minority or DON’T EVEN EXIST!  You and MacArthur write,

1085717“…some hyper-preterists even deny Christ was raised bodily from the dead” (John MacArthur, THE SECOND COMING Signs of Christ’s Return and the End of the Age, 12).

There is NO citation or quote from these “some” you mention!  So Ward does not deny the physical resurrection of Jesus and you haven’t given me any documentation of any that do.  Nor have you demonstrated that this is somehow a prevalent belief within Full Preterism.  Nor have you demonstrated that to not believe Jesus still has a physical body and is returning someday in a physical body “necessitates that one logically work backwards to believe Jesus didn’t rise physically.”

Are We Like the Resurrection of the Dead Deniers or ARE YOU and MACARTHUR?

After falsely claiming that Full Preterism denies the physical resurrection of Jesus, you and MacArthur sign off on this bogus statement,

“The apostle Paul seemed to have a theology very much like modern hyper-preterism in mind when he penned [1 Cor. 16-17].” (Ibid., 12).

Here is a section taken from my article on 1 Corinthians 15 which demonstrates how it is YOU being an “heir to  Dispensational theology” that has more in common with the resurrection of the dead deniers in Paul’s day who had a difficult time reconciling how the OT dead would be raised with those who had died “in Christ.”

The Error Identified

Since the Corinthians believed in Christ’s resurrection and a resurrection for those whom had died “in Christ,” then to whom is left to deny a resurrection for?  In short, the error at Corinth was an extreme view (or a hyper-dispensational or replacement theology of sorts) that divided up the people of God in extreme ways.  They could not reconcile how the dead prior to Christ’s arrival could be raised into or with the Body of Christ.  In short, they were denying a key ingredient to “the better resurrection” that the writer to the Hebrews outlines:

Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they [the OT or Old Covenant dead] might obtain a better resurrection:   And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:  They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;  (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.  And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they (“the [OT/OC] dead”) without us (the NT/NC saints “in Christ”) should not be made perfect (Heb. 11:35-40).

The resurrection of the dead deniers at Corinth saw the “better things” for those who were “in Christ” (dead or alive – their side of the cross), but could not reconcile how the OT or Old Covenant dead (on the other side of the cross) could participate in order for both groups to be “made perfect” together in the Body of Christ.  They had the NC “better things,” and thus the OT or OC dead were left without participation in the better resurrection to come – was their reasoning and error.  They did not deny the doctrine of the resurrection in general, just the all-ness or oneness (with all of God’s of people) to the resurrection event to close the OC age.

Extreme views and excluding the righteous dead was not uncommon – even among the Jews.  Some Jews believed that anyone who died outside of the Promised Land would not participate in the resurrection:

“The Talmud records speculations on the various matters connected with the process of Resurrection.  There was a firm belief that the momentous event would take place in the Holy Land.  Some Rabbi took the extreme view that only they who were interred there would share in the future life.  ‘Those who die outside the land of Israel will not live again; as it is said, “I will set delight in the land of the living.”  (Ezek. 26:20)—those who die in the land of My delight will live again, but they who do not die there will not’…” “Even a Cananite maidservant in the land of Israel is assured of inheriting the World to Come’…” (Rev. Dr. A. Cohen, Everyman’s TALMUD, (New York:  E.P. DUTTON & CO., INC., 1949), 361-362).

So in this extreme view those righteous dead who died outside of being “in the land” would not participate in Israel’s corporate resurrection.  Similarly, some at Corinth took Paul’s teaching that all prophecy or all the promises of God were fulfilled spiritually “in Christ,” to far in that they concluded the resurrection could only take place for those who believed “in Christ” (their side of the cross) – and all others perished outside of being in Him.  Therefore, since the OC dead were not present to place their faith in Christ, then they couldn’t be apart of the spiritual body that was in the process of being raised in their day.  They lost sight of the great cloud of witnesses whom saw Christ’s day and were glad and would thus share in the “better resurrection” with them.  According to both of these extreme views, men such as Moses had no resurrection hope but perished outside of being “in the land” or perished outside of being “in Christ.”

We see a similar inability to reconcile the OT promises made to Israel and how they would be fulfilled in the NT Body of Christ coming from modern day Dispensationalists whom think there are opposing theologies between the OT and NT.  There are two complete separate bodies of believers or peoples of God needing two separate comings of Christ or programs of salvation etc…  Of particular interest to our discussion here is in the comparison of dividing the OT dead from those that died “in Christ.”  Dispensationalists such as Charles Ryrie and Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer argue,

“those who died before Christ’s first advent” are not among “the dead in Christ” (Charles Ryrie).  “The Old Testament saints were not part of the New Creation in Christ,” and “the nation of Israel sustains no relation to the resurrection of Christ” (Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer).  And again per Chafer, the dead OT saints were not “in the new federal headship of the resurrected Christ…” (taken from:  Curtis Crenshaw and Grove Gunn, Dispensationalism Today, Yesterday, and Tomorrow, p. 204).

In 1937 William Everett Bell argued against Pretribulationalism providing evidence that at Christ’s Second Coming (after the Tribulation period), all the righteous dead were to be raised.  The ever evolving pertrib rapture theory countered with a two resurrection view – one for those that died “in Christ” at the “rapture” “coming,” and then one for those that died outside of being “in Christ” (OT dead not “in Christ”) seven years later (after the Tribulation) at the Second Coming.  The resurrection of the dead deniers also divided God’s people up in a way that was contrary to the teachings of Paul, except for them, the best way to avoid the problem (they created for themselves) was to deny resurrection for the dead – period and only accept a resurrection for those “in Christ.”

These examples (one within the Talmud and modern ones) should be sufficient to demonstrate how it could be possible for some to miss how the OT dead could or even would participate in the salvation of the ONE NC Body of Christ.”

Phil, you are also failing to follow Paul’s modus tollens logical argumentation that proves the resurrection of the dead deniers at Corinth weren’t denying Jesus’ physical resurrection.  Again, another excerpt from my article:

“Paul’s Modus Tollens form of Argumentation

To further prove that the resurrection of the dead deniers were not denying Christ’s resurrection or the resurrection for all in general, we need to take a look at Paul’s form of argumentation.  The futurist view makes no contextual sense if you follow Paul’s argumentation and the logic he uses.  Paul uses a familiar modus tollens or if then logical argument.  That is, “If P, then Q.  Therefore, not P.”

1).       “If P”

“If there is no resurrection of the dead ones…”

2).       “Then Q”

If the dead are not rising (and will rise)…then not even Christ has been raised.

If the dead are not rising (and will rise)…then our preaching is useless…

If the dead are not rising (and will rise)…then and so is your faith [useless].

If the dead are not rising (and will rise)…then we are found to be false witnesses about God.

If the dead are not rising (and will rise)…then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.

If the dead are not rising (and will rise)…then your and my baptism (of suffering & martyrdom) on the part of the dead is meaningless.

If the dead are not rising (and will rise)…then the Father is subject to Christ.

If the dead are not rising (and will rise)…then some of you are ignorant of God.

If the dead are not rising (and will rise)…then why are some undergoing a baptism (of suffering & persecution) on behalf of the dead?

If the dead are not rising (and will rise)…then there will be no resurrection for anyone and we all might as well eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die.

3).      “Therefore, not P”

Therefore, your (resurrection of the dead deniers) premise that the resurrection of the (OC) dead will not take place with those that had died in Christ and us —  is false (or “therefore, not P”).

Paul’s argument is also known as reduction ad absurdum.  This form of argument demonstrates that a statement is false (the dead will not rise) by showing that a false, untenable, undesirable or absurd result follows from its acceptance.  Again, Paul is using things he has in common with them and that they would affirm in order to overthrow and show how absurd their false premise that the dead ones would not rise actually was.”

As far as Full Preterism believing that Christ took upon Himself the curse of Adam’s “the death” (of which Adam died the “very day” he sinned — which was SPIRITUAL death/separation) for the Church so that they may become the righteousness of Christ –  that is true.  And since Christ was not the “first” to be raised from physical death, Him being the “firstborn” and “firstfruit” implies that He was the first to conquer “THE death” (separation) that came from Adam for His prosterity – the Church.  Christ’s physical resurrection was a sign that He had conquered and been raised from the curse and death that came from Adam.  Charismatics fail to recognize that Christ’s miracles of “SIGNS and wonders” pointed to the deeper spiritual truths of Himself and His Kingdom.  And YOU and MacArthur have failed to understand the “sign” of Jesus being raised physically and what deeper spiritual truth lies behind it when it comes to inheriting resurrection and eternal life and “dying no more.”  Pure and simple.

So let’s summarize your approach with “heretics.”  You and Pastor MacArthur’s “apologetic” method in dealing with “heretics” is to arbitrarily engage and let some “step foot” on the campuses when you feel comfortable that you can refute them (ex. Mormon apologists), but those you can’t address on an exegetical level, you simply laugh at their extremes (Charismatics), don’t engage in debate with them on an exegetical level and when completely desperate just blatantly lie about what they believe or what you think they have to believe?!?  This is neither a moral, logical or having a Christian and biblical apologetic method.  And nor can it even be pawned off as “scholarship.”  I see no citations of Preterists that deny the physical bodily resurrection of Jesus.  Preterits have been told this lie so many times that we have simply assumed that somewhere out there, there might be these “Preterists” that believe such, and yet no documentation ever surfaces – at least that I know of.  Again, I have been in this movement 27 years (longer than Ward) and have NEVER heard of such or known of any Full Preterist book promoting such heresy.  Yet reading you and MacArthur, one is to believe from your so-called “scholarship” (of NO citations) that this is somehow a prevalent belief.  At best shallow scholarship and at worse – immoral.

Who’s Really “Taking a Page From the Liberal’s Handbook” – an Imminence That’s Not Really Imminent & Did the NT Authors Really Teach the End of World History?!?

On top of claiming we deny the physical miraculous resurrection of Jesus, on page 11 you claim we are “taking a page from the liberal’s handbook.”  In my article on the imminent redemption in Romans 8 and Luke 21 I write,

“Reformed eschatology has a strong Preterist tradition, which argues that the New Testament’s eschatological statements of imminence must be taken literally because there are no contextual indicators leading us to interpret them in any other way. As Gary DeMar states, “any student of the Bible who does not interpret these time texts to mean anything other than close at hand is in jeopardy of denying the integrity of the Bible.”[3] To put a finer point on it,  R. C. Sproul suggests that any eschatology which denies a literal interpretation of the New Testament’s time texts has adopted a liberal or neo-orthodox view of God and time:  “When F. F. Bruce speaks of faith making the time be ‘at hand,’ this sounds all too much like Rudolf Bultmann’s famous theology of timelessness, which removes the object of faith from the realm of real history and consigns it to a super temporal realm of the always present hic et nunc [here and now].”[4] Sadly, this same view is so commonly articulated among Reformed and Evangelical believers[5] that few seem to recognize its liberal and mystical implications or its exegetical lack of support. In the interest of preserving eschatological futurism, many have compromised the principle of scriptural analogy by sweeping away the plain and obvious meaning of the imminence texts. In so doing, conservatives are unwittingly handling the Scriptures like Bultmann.”

So Phil, according to the Reformed early creeds not only is your Premillennialism “heretical” and on par with hyper-literal “Jewish myths,” but to compound the problem is to not take the time texts as pointing to AD 70.  For Reformed writers such as Sproul and DeMar, this is to treat the Scriptures like liberals and come dangerously close to denying the inspiration of the Scriptures.  There is this and the fact that it is the FALSE prophets that turned God’s “at hand” judgments into “far off” ones (cf. Ezek. 7 and 12).  To create an imminent hope into a “hope deferred” — according to the Scriptures themselves is a “sick” theology (Prov. 13:12).

And Phil, most “liberals” I know — like Dale Allison Jr. claim that since Jesus predicted His Second Coming and end of world history would take place in His generation, and “obviously” this didn’t happen, then Jesus was not an inspired prophet or God like he claimed.  Here is an excerpt from an article I wrote on this subject:

“Rudolf Bultmann, a liberal, wrote,

“Of course, Jesus was mistaken in thinking that the world was destined to come to an end.”[5] And again, “Jesus expectation of the near end of the world turned out to be an illusion.”[6]

A modern day liberal whom I have challenged to a debate and who declined my invitation – Dale C. Allison Jr., states that “conservative critics’ need to “acknowledge the humiliating discovery that Jesus proclaimed the divinely wrought near end of the world.”[7]

The Lord has given these men over to their confusion. Some of these modern liberals still try to hang on to some kind or form of Christianity while others are simply but “scholarly” confused and have grown cynical. For example, Clayton Sullivan and Allison write,

“…Jesus, mistaken proclaimer of the Kingdom of God, carries a comforting implication: belief accuracy or doctrinal rectitude is not a prerequisite for divine approval”[8]

“The truth, however, is like God: we can run from it, but it is always there. I, myself do not know what to make of the eschatological Jesus. I am, for theological reasons, unedified by the thought that, in a matter so seemingly crucial, a lie [Futurism – Jesus’ coming is still “near”] has been walking around for two thousand years while the truth [Jesus failed] has only recently put on its shoes. But there it is.“[9]

The “truth” being the alleged discovery that this mistaken and purely…

“…human Jesus, is just like one of us, one who holds values that are very close to our ideological commitments, a Jesus who is a social reformer and who attacks patriarchal orders, a Jesus who, as a real human person, can stand as an example and inspiration for worthy causes.”[10]

We can sum all of these liberal quotes up with the understanding that Jesus was just a good moral teacher and “inspiration” to us all, but he wasn’t God like he claimed to be because He was “mistaken” and failed to usher in the kingdom and the end of the world when he promised. However, this purely “human Jesus” these men claim to trust in and have fashioned in their own minds to be a god of sorts, can’t save them from their sins and they won’t find any “comforting implications” in him in this life or in the next!

The error in view here is the conclusion that: 1) Christ did not come within the time frame He promised – the first century Apostolic generation and 2) therefore, Jesus was just a good moral teacher and not God like He claimed to be and is. In the articles I have written on my site I have refuted these blasphemous statements and vain imaginations of Christ being a “failure” and “mistaken” in His promises to return in the lifetime and generation of the apostles.”

***I have challenged Mr. Allison to a debate on if Jesus or the NT authors ever predicted the end of world history — and he has declined.

The common error that you and Allison and other liberals share, is that you both mistakenly think Jesus and the NT authors predicted the end and or the transformation of the physical universe as the focal point of eschatology — instead of the transformation of the OC age/world to the NC age/world taking place in the first century generation (later in this letter I will demonstrate using Reformed sources [sources you and MacArthur value] that Jesus nor the NT authors taught an end to world history or the burning and renewal of planet earth).

And to accept apocalyptic language in Matthew 24 and 1 Thessalonians 4 is NOT “taking a page from liberals”!  It’s called harmonizing (the analogy of faith) them properly through exegesis – you should try it sometime Phil!

MacArthur on Apostolic NT Time Texts & Mormons Apologetics Concerning Theirs  

As I mentioned at the beginning of this letter we didn’t have a problem letting a Mormon apologist (Ara I believe his name was) “step foot” on the campus of TMC.  One of the first and most confident “arguments” the class wanted to bring up against Mormonism and to our guest, was to confront all of the failed prophecies that Joseph Smith had made about an imminent Second Coming of Jesus to be fulfilled soon in his generation.  How could Smith and the LDS claim they had true prophets and apostles if they predicted the Second Coming would take place “soon” within their lifetimes and generation?  Apparently the class was not prepared for his response.  Let me summarize what he said and the theological point he was conveying:

“Why is this a big deal for you?  According to you, Jesus is the greatest Prophet of all and didn’t He predict that He would return in the lifetime and generation He was speaking to?  And doesn’t the NT prophets follow that pattern teaching a “soon” Second Coming?  If you and your college president (John MacArthur) believe Jesus wasn’t using “this generation” with such a “wooden literalness” and “soon,” “at hand,” “quickly,” “in a little while and will not delay” can be stretched out for thousands of years per Jesus and the NT prophets, then as Mormon’s we can approach what our prophets have said on imminence the same way.”

You could have heard a pin drop!  No one wanted to touch that so they moved on to other topics – archeology and the Book of Mormon etc…  Later that evening I had dinner with him and his wife and gave a much more Biblical apologetic to the response he gave to my class.  He was shocked to hear someone actually admit that Jesus did in fact promise to return in the lifetime of those He was speaking to and in their generation.  Nor was he prepared for my second affirmative – “and He was faithful to that promising coming to close the old covenant age in AD 70.”  He admitted to me that he had never been given this response and had no rebuttal.  I also assured him that sticking his head in the sand concerning what Joseph Smith and his early “Prophets” of the LDS taught about a failed Second Coming was just as bad as what my Christian brothers and sisters had done in the class earlier that day.  His “argument” only proved that their view and the Mormon view of prophetic imminence can’t be trusted — nothing more.  While mine exonerated Jesus’ and the NT prophet’s teaching and refuted his.

But MacArthur falls right into the hands of the Mormon “argument” because in his book seeking to refute Partial Preterism and Full Preterism on imminence, he admits the inspired NT authors, Apostles and Prophets taught an imminent Second Coming for their generation (Ibid., pp. 51ff.).  John is clueless and contradictory.  He wants an imminence that is imminent but then ends up having to embrace a “carrot and stick” eschatology that has to re-define real imminence.  Go figure!

The Sovereign Grace Full Preterist knows how to deal with the last days cults when in comes to alleged ongoing “prophetic” “revelations” – because since Christ has come, that office has “ceased” (cf. Dan. 9:24/1 Cor. 13:8-12).  MacArthur had no problem with letting a Mormon “heretic” “step foot” on TMC campus and engage and give “equal time” to him because he and the staff thought it would be an easy refutation.  Yet the truth of the matter is, MacAruthur’s views on imminence plays right into their hands, and if the Second Coming wasn’t fulfilled in the first century, then prophetic revelations continue.  Selah.

The Parallels Between You and the Resurrection of the Dead Deniers, Liberals & False Prophets

  1.  The resurrection of the dead deniers had a hard time reconciling how the OC dead would or could be raised with the NC dead (“in Christ”) — just like Dispensationalism has had a hard time reconciling the two.
  2. Liberals believe Jesus and the NT authors taught an end to world history and the passing and re-cretion of planet earth at Christ’s Second Coming — just like Futurists.
  3. It was the false prophets during Ezekiel’s day that angered God by trying to turn His “at hand” coming and judgments into “far off” ones.  And to promote a “hope deferred” judgment for the unrighteous and a salvation for the remnant believers is a “sick” doctrine indeed.  Your and Simon Kistemaker’s “carrot and stick” eschatology is nothing but a “sick” doctrine that portrays Christ as a failure and is close the failure of the Arminian Christ.
  4. Your spiritualizing away the imminent time texts of the NT is on par with Neo-orthodoxy and comes close to denying the inspiration and infallibility of the Scriptures (per some Reformed scholars such as Sproul and DeMar).
  5. If MacArthur doesn’t have to interpret “this generation,” “soon,” “quickly,” “at hand,” “in a very little while and will not delay,” etc… with a “wooden literalness,” then we have to let the last days cults such as the Mormons off the hook when they appeal to the same heretical justifications and reasoning!

Your Appeal to Acts 1:11

Context and analogy of faith – Acts 1:8-11 and Matthew 24:14-34 on the Second Coming and the Great Commission (GC).

Since you and MacArthur would see the GC of Matthew 24:14 and Acts 1:8 as the same GC needing to be fulfilled before Christ’s return in Matthew 24:27-30 and Acts 1″11 — and you run The Spurgeon Center website, let’s see what Spurgeon said of Matthew 24:14:

“Before Jerusalem was destroyed, “this gospel of the kingdom” was probably “preached in all the world” so far as it was then known…”

Of course the inspired Apostle Paul makes it clear that there was no “probably” about it — Cols. 1:5-6, 23; Rms. 10:18; 1625-26 (click on chart).

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Contextually “the end” that comes when the GC of Matthew 24:14 is fulfilled, is “the end” of “the [OC] age” of which the Temple they were looking at represented, and not the end of world history or the end of the NC age which the Bible teaches “has no end” (Ephs. 3:20-21).

Let me address your appeal and assumptions regarding Acts 1:11 by starting with the GC of verse 8.  Your friend at Ligonier Ministries Keith Mathison believes that when the GC of Acts 1:8 is fulfilled is when the coming of Christ in Acts 1:11 is fulfilled.  I take no issue with that.  But of course the problem is that you and MacArthur would see the GC of Matthew 24:14 as being the same GC of Acts 1:8 and Sproul and Mathison would appeal to the Greek of Romans 10:18 to support Matthew 24:14 was fulfilled prior to AD 70.  But the fact of the matter is, that Romans 10:18 also proves Acts 1:8 was fulfilled prior to AD 70 as well:

Prophecy – Greek Ge Fulfillment – Greek Ge
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth/land.” [Gk. ge] (Acts 1:8) “But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: ‘Their sound has gone out to all the earth/land [Gk. ge], and their words to the ends of the world.’” (Rom. 10:18)
One def. of ge – “The then known lands, regions, territories, countries etc…”
1.  In Jerusalem 1.  Acts 2 – Jews
2.  And Samaria 2.  Acts 8 – Samaritans
3.  In all Judea 3.  Acts 10 – God-fearers
4.  To the earth/land 4.  Acts 19 – the Gentiles

Your Postmillennialist friends have no problem quoting Romans 10:18 to demonstrate how the GC of Matthew 24:14 was fulfilled by AD 70 because Paul uses the same Greek word oikumene (“has gone out to the ends of the world”). Yet, Paul in Romans 10:18 also uses the Greek word ge (“has gone out into all the earth”).  Therefore, if the Greek of Romans 10:18 can be applied to the GC of Matthew 24:14 — being fulfilled in AD 70, then the Greek of Romans 10:18 can also be applied to the GC of Acts 1:8 as being fulfilled by AD 70.

Jews from “every nation under heaven” (Acts 2:4-5) were saved and empowered by the Holy Spirit to go fulfill the GC of Acts 1:8 to “the end of the earth/land” of the Roman Empire.  As R.C. Sproul pointed out in his lecture at the Strange Fire Conference — the book of Acts describes four Pentecost events based upon Acts 1:8.  Since that is the case, the book of Acts maps out the success of the GC of Acts 1:8  — thus showing how the sign of the GC was being fulfilled and giving Paul his imminent expectation of the resurrection (Acts 24:15YLT).  Just a side note — If Sproul would be consistent and courageous on the “last days” of Acts 2 and the GC and coming of Christ in Acts 1 being fulfilled in AD 70, he would have a more exegetical refutation of the Charismatic Chaos infecting the Church today.

Keith Mathison connecting the GC with the the timing of the coming of Christ in Acts 1:8, 11 writes:

“The time frame (of Christ’s Second Coming) is hinted at in the preceding context. The disciples are given a commission to be Christ’s witnesses “in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). The implication is that Christ’s visible return will follow the completion of the mission to the remotest part of the earth.” (Postmillennialism, 117).

According to Mathison in the above quote, when the Great Commission in verse 8 is fulfilled, then the Second Coming of verse 11 will occur.  Is this not what we see in the Olivet Discourse – the gospel must first be preached to all the nations and throughout the world before the Coming of Christ can be fulfilled?  There is NO exegetical evidence that the GC and coming of Christ in Acts 1-2 is any different from that of Jesus’ teaching in the OD.   Postmillennialism’s contention that there are two Great Commissions given in the New Testament—one fulfilled before AD 70 and another that will be fulfilled before the allegedly yet-future Second (Third) Coming—is altogether arbitrary.

The analogy of faith – Acts 1-2 and the Olivet Discourse

The Olivet Discourse Acts 1-2
1. Only the Father has authority and knows the day and hour of the Kingdom’s arrival (Lk. 17:20-37; Lk. 21:27-32; Mt. 24:36). 1. Only the Father has authority and knows the time and dates of the kingdom’s arrival (Acts 1:3-7).
2.  The Holy Spirit (& charismata) would be given to boldly fulfill the G.C. (cf. Mt. 10:17-23; Mrk. 13:10-13) 2. The Holy Spirit (charismata) would be given to boldly fulfill the G.C. (Acts 1:4-8).
3. Jesus would come from heaven upon His glory cloud in their generation (cf. Mt. 24:14-34). 3. Jesus would come from heaven upon His glory cloud in their generation (cf. Acts 1:11; 2:20-21–40).

NOW Let’s Look at Acts 1:9-11 

Phil you and Postmillennialists such as Keith Mathison insist that Jesus’ physical body was seen for some period of time as He ascended into the sky. However, verse nine simply says, “He was lifted up, and a cloud received Him from their eyes.” Jesus was certainly seen just before He was “lifted up” (Acts 1:9).  But it is not at all certain that He was directly seen as He ascended into the sky.

In verse 11, the disciples were told that Jesus would come in the manner that they had seen Him enter heaven (the sky). The continuity (or similarity) of Him coming as He had entered heaven is found in the fact that He would come in the heavenly glory-cloud of His Father (Matt. 16:27). Jesus was not physically seen after He was received into the glory-cloud. It was while He was hidden from sight in that cloud that He was indirectly seen entering the sky.  A son can “see his father” as his fathers plane is taking off the runway and off into the sky, without directly physically seeing his father’s body.  In seeing the plane (which contains his father and the other passengers), he can still correctly say, “There’s dad, and there he goes.”  And He was to come in like manner.  Therefore, He would not be physically or directly seen when He came “in like manner,” in the cloud, to indwell His church in the end of the old covenant age (Luke 17:20–37; John 14:2–3, 23).

The phrase “in like manner” simply means “in a similar way” – not exactly the same way (which seem to be how most falsely interpret the passage).  Jesus didn’t ascend riding on a horse with a sword proceeding from His mouth did He?  Did “every eye” on the planet earth see Him leave?  “The exact same way” argument offered by hyper-literalists self-emplodes upon itself.

Postmillennialists such as Mathison are not correct when they say that Jesus was going to come back in the same way that He “departed.” The Scriptures say that Jesus would come in the same way He had entered the sky. He entered the sky hidden from literal eye sight in the cloud of God’s glory.

Here is the order of events:

1. As they looked, He was taken up (Acts 1:9).

2. A cloud received Him from their eyes (Acts 1:9).

These first two events could very well have happened simultaneously. As Mathison himself admits, the verse could be translated, “He was lifted up; that is, a cloud received Him out of their sight.” (From Age to Age, 459).  It is a very real possibility that Jesus was instantly hidden in the cloud at the moment His feet left the earth.

3. Then the disciples saw Him going into the sky. That is, they looked intently into the sky as He was ascending in the cloud (Acts 1:10–11).

In the Old Testament, God was never literally or directly seen coming in His glory when He judged or saved Israel and other nations. Jesus was not literally seen again after He entered the cloud of God’s glory. He was “taken up in glory” (1 Tim. 3:16) and He would come in glory as the Ancient of Days (Dan. 7:13-14 OG LXX).

The Lord God had become flesh. John bore testimony to the fact that looking at and touching Jesus was to look at and touch God Himself (John 1:14; 1 John 1:1). God was physically seen in the flesh, but this was temporary for the second person of the Godhead (Heb. 5:7), even as He had been born into and under the old covenant system with its temporal types and shadows (Gal. 4:4; Rom. 5–8; 2 Cor. 3; Heb. 8:13).  Though Jesus is no longer in the flesh, He forever retains His human nature. He is forever Man, even as the saints in heaven today, who are no longer in their physical bodies, are still human/man by nature. Neither the Son of Man nor those who are in Him, whether in heaven or on earth, are “nonhuman” as some futurists theorize.

Ironically, the point of the question, “Why do you stand here looking into the sky,” was that Jesus was not going to return to His physical form. It was futile for the disciples to long for Jesus to return to the earthly form He had taken when He was born of Mary. In His ascension, Jesus had returned to His pre-incarnate glory. The question of the two men was rhetorical, and it meant, “There is no use in standing here longing for Jesus to return to you and to be as He was in the days of His flesh. He will come, but He will come in the manner you saw Him enter heaven—hidden from physical eyes in the cloud of the Father’s glory.”

We agree with the majority of commentators and cross reference systems which see the in-like-manner coming of Jesus in Acts 1:11 as being parallel with the coming of Jesus on or in the cloud(s) in Matthew 16:27–28, 24:30–31, 26:64–68; Luke 21:27, and Revelation 1:7. Mathison and Gentry, however, wrench Acts 1:11 from those Scriptures. They admit that Christ was figuratively “seen” (perceived, understood) at a figurative “coming” in/on the clouds in AD 70, but they deny that this was the fulfillment of Acts 1:11.

This brings us to another problem. Mathison writes of Matthew 24:30 in his book Postmillennialism:

. . . [T]he “coming” of the Son of Man is His coming in judgment upon Jerusalem (see vv. 23–28), which is intimately connected with His ascension to the right hand of God (cf. Dan. 7:13–14). (Keith A. Mathison, Postmillennialism: An Eschatology of Hope (Phillipsburg, NJ: 1999), 114).

Later, in WSTTB, Mathison goes further and identifies the Ascension with the coming of Christ in AD 70:

. . . [W]hen [Jesus] makes reference to “the coming of the Son of Man,” . . . He may have been referring . . . to his ascension . . . and the judgment on Jerusalem. . . . ” (182, emphasis added)

For Mathison, Christ’s “coming” in Daniel 7:13–14 is somehow both a literal, visible “going up” in a literal cloud in about AD 30 and a figurative “coming” to Jerusalem from heaven in figurative clouds in AD 70. The confusion inherent in this position is plain enough. Mathison says that “the coming of the Son of Man” in Daniel 7:13– 14 is a reference to the Ascension. But then Mathison says that when Jesus used the term, He was referring to the Ascension and to the destruction of Jerusalem. Yet there is not one instance where Jesus spoke of the coming of the Son of Man where it can be taken to be a reference to His Ascension. In every case, it is His coming to earth in judgment and salvation. But this is only the tip of the Iceberg of Confusion.

Even though Mathison says that Jesus’ “coming” in AD 70 was “intimately connected with His ascension,” and even though Mathison says that both the Ascension and His coming in judgment in AD 70 are equally “the coming of the Son of Man,” and even though Mathison admits that both events were with a cloud/clouds and in the glory of the Father, and that both events were seen (Acts 1:11; Matt. 26:64), Mathison nevertheless maintains that Jesus’ “coming” in AD 70 was not the “in-like-manner” coming promised in Acts 1:11. Mathison’s position is an ineffable tangle of exegetical double vision, contradiction, and consummate confusion.
Phil, do your professors who teach hermeneutics ever tell their students to read Milton Terry’s classic and orthodox book on the subject?  Would you not allow Milton Terry to “step foot” on your campuses to lecture and answer questions to your students in a class on hermeneutics?  Are the publishers that have published his understanding that Acts 1:11 was fulfilled in AD 70 all “heretical” and equally guilty for publishing him?  Partial Preterist Milton Terry, took a more lucid, biblical approach than you, MacArthur, Sproul and Mathison seeing Matthew 24:30–31, 34; Acts 1:11; and Revelation 1:7 as all being ONE Second Coming event (like you and MacArthur) but fulfilled in the fall of Jerusalem (like Sproul nd Mathison – who at least see Rev. 1:7 and Mt. 24:30–25:31 as fulfilled AD 70) in the end of the OC age:

“Wha51JXUjtn4ML._AC_US436_QL65_tever the real nature of the parousia, as contemplated in this prophetic discourse, our Lord unmistakably associates it with the destruction of the temple and city, which he represents as the signal termination of the pre-Messianic age. The coming on clouds, the darkening of the heavens, the collapse of elements, are, as we have shown above, familiar forms of apocalyptic language, appropriated from the Hebrew prophets.

Acts i, 11, is often cited to show that Christ’s coming must needs be spectacular, “in like manner as ye beheld him going into the heaven.” But (1) in the only other three places where [“in like manner”] occurs, it points to a general concept rather than the particular form of its actuality. Thus, in Acts vii, 28, it is not some particular manner in which Moses killed the Egyptian that is notable, but rather the certain fact of it. In 2 Tim. iii, 8, it is likewise the fact of strenuous opposition rather than the special manner in which Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses. And in Matt. xxiii, 37, and Luke xiii, 34, it is the general thought of protection rather than the visible manner of a mother bird that is intended. Again (2), if Jesus did not come in that generation, and immediately after the great tribulation that attended the fall of Jerusalem, his words in Matt. xvi, 27, 28, xxiv, 29, and parallel passages are in the highest degree misleading. (3) To make the one statement of the angel in Acts i, 11, override all the sayings of Jesus on the samesubject and control their meaning is a very one-sided method of biblical interpretation. But all the angel’s words necessarily mean is that as Jesus has ascended into heaven so he will come from heaven. And this main thought agrees with the language of Jesus and the prophets.” (Milton S. Terry, A Study of the Most Notable Revelations of God and of Christ (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 246-247).

I would also add that there are some Postmillennial Partial Preterists such as author Mike Bull whom also “accept the testimony of the Scriptures” and follow Terry’s view and believe the coming of the Christ in Acts 1:11; Matthew 24-25 and Revelation 1:7 are various descriptions of His ONE Coming and was fulfilled in AD 70.

Premise #1:  The “in like manner” coming of Christ and His kingdom in Acts 1:6, 11 is fulfilled when the G.C. of verse 8 is fulfilled (Mathison agrees with Full Preterism)

Premise #2:  The gospel was preached and “went out to all the earth” in Paul’s day (Rms. 10:18) and the spiritual NC kingdom arrived at Christ’s coming in the AD 30 – AD 70 “this generation” (Lk. 21:27-32; Lk. 17:20-37; Mt. 24:27-30; 25:31) (Mathison agrees with Full Preterism).

Premise #3:  But the coming of Christ and arrival of the kingdom in Acts 1:6-11 is the same event as described by Christ in Luke 21:27-31 and Matthew 24:30, 25:31 (you and MacArthur agree with Full Preterism)

Conclusion/Full Preterist Synthesis “Reformed and always reforming”:  The “in like manner” coming of Christ and His kingdom in Acts 1:6, 11 was fulfilled in AD 70 when the gospel was preached and “went out to all the earth” (Gk. ge – Acts 1:8/Rms. 10:18) as a sign just prior to AD 70.

Jesus was “lifted up” and hidden from sight in the cloud of glory. He ascended into the sky hidden in the cloud, as His disciples watched. He was to come in the same manner in which the disciples saw Him enter into the sky: hidden in the cloud of the glory of His Father. He was “seen” in that Day in the same way that Yahweh was “seen” whenever He came on a cloud to judge nations in the Old Testament.

This was the one and only future coming of Christ that was promised in the New Testament. Therefore, Christ returned in AD 70. The analogy of Scripture confirms this interpretation. It does not confirm Mathison’s, which rips Acts 1:9–11 from its immediate and broader New Testament contexts. We agree with Terry’s comments on Matthew 24:30–31, 34; Acts 1:11; and Revelation 1:7. “We accept upon the testimony of the Scriptures” that Christ returned on/in a cloud/clouds in that generation. (Milton S. Terry, Biblical Hermeneutic (Grand Rapids, MI:  Zondervan, 1990), 468, n.1 (emphases added).

Since MacArthur likes Simon Kistemaker so much, let me refer you to my response to him on Jesus’ description in Revelation 1 as allegedly proving Jesus is still in His physical body.

Honey, I Shrunk the Angels – Jesus Depicted in Revelation & Simon Kistemaker

Although an Amillennialist, Simon Kistemaker argues that Jesus’ physical resurrection body is eternal and that it now literally “sits on God’s throne” (WSTTB?, 240). Kistemaker attempts to prove this claim by using Revelation 1:13–16. He points out that in this passage Jesus is described as wearing a robe that reaches down to his feet, and as having a golden sash around his chest, and a head with white hair, and blazing eyes, and feet as bronze, and a mouth, and a human voice, and a right hand, and a face as radiant as the sun (240, 252).

Kistemaker interprets the book of Revelation in a highly symbolic manner, even more symbolically than “hyper-preterists” interpret it at times. Yet he is woodenly literal in the above passage. But more to the point, he neglects to mention that the above passage also says that Jesus was holding “the angels of the seven churches” (the “seven stars”) in his (supposedly literal) hand (Rev. 1:16, 20). Kistemaker does not explain why those seven angels were reduced in size so that they could fit in Jesus’ physical hand. (Nor does Kistemaker tell us how many angels can fit on the head of a pin.)

Kistemaker also does not mention that Jesus is depicted here as having a sharp two-edged sword coming out of His supposedly literal mouth (Rev. 2:16), and that in Revelation 19:11, He is depicted as riding on a horse in the sky, and that in Revelation 19:12 He has “many crowns” on His head, and that in Revelation 19:13 He is wearing a bloody robe.

To make matters worse, note the contradiction between Kistemaker in WSTTB, and Kistemaker in his New Testament Commentary on Revelation:

Kistemaker, WSTTB: “Jesus’ appearance to John at Patmos was not spiritual, but physical, for John saw his head, face, mouth, eyes, hair, chest, right hand, and feet ([Rev.] 1:13–16) (252)

Kistemaker, New Testament Commentary: “[Rev. 1:16] lists three physical features [of Jesus]: his right hand, his mouth, and his face. These features ought to be understood not literally but symbolically. . . ” (Simon J. Kistemaker, New Testament Commentary, Exposition of the Book of Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 2001; fourth printing 2007), 97).

Kistemaker’s commentary was first printed in 2001, and was most recently reprinted in 2007. So we have Kistemaker saying that the description of Jesus in Revelation 1:16 was symbolic/spiritual in 2001, then saying it was physical/literal in 2004 (WSTTB), then back to saying it was symbolic/spiritual in 2007. As with Mathison, Kistemaker must temporarily change his preterist exegeses when he is attempting, in vain, to refute full preterism.

Addressing Your Appeal to Hymenaeus and Philetus 2 Timothy 2:17-18

Apparently you are at odds with your buddy Keith Mathison who concedes that 2 Timothy 2:18 “cannot” be used even to “criticize” preterists, much less anathematize them, because according to Mathison, it may very well be that “the resurrection” of 2 Timothy 2:18 truly did take place in AD 70:

. . . [2 Timothy 2:1–18] cannot be used to criticize hyper-preterism until . . . [it can be] demonstrated from other texts that nothing of the sort occurred in A.D. 70. (194)

This is quite an admission from a man who says that hyper-preterism is “a much different religion” than Christianity (213). What Bible verses can Mathison use, other than 2 Timothy 2:17–18, to brand preterism as a different religion? Answer: There are no other verses. Without 2 Timothy 2:17–18, Mathison doesn’t have a biblical leg to stand on in his condemnation of preterists. All he has are the baseless words of those, like himself, who have set themselves up to condemn us based solely on the assumption that our rejection of futurism is a damnable error.

We agree with Mathison that 2 Timothy 2:17–18 cannot be used to criticize us. But we must go further than this. Far from being an anti-preterist passage, 2 Timothy 2:17–18 is actually a condemnation of the implications of futurism. Allow me to explain. First of all, Hymenaeus and Philetus were Judaizers. They were of a class of deceivers who taught Jewish “myths” and “genealogies” (1 Tim. 1:4; Titus 1:4), and were self-appointed “teachers of the Law” (1 Tim. 1:7). They taught believers to abstain from foods (1 Tim. 4:3), no doubt using the Levitical dietary laws as a basis of their teaching.

It is because Hymenaeus and Philetus were Judaizers that Paul compared them to “Jannes and Jambres” (2 Tim. 3:8). According to ancient historians, Jannes and Jambres were Egyptian magicians who challenged Moses’ authority in Egypt. Like Jannes and Jambres, Hymenaeus and Philetus were teaching the strange doctrines of “Egypt” (Rev. 11:8), and were challenging Paul’s gospel-authority, attempting to deceive Christians into believing that God’s new wine (the new covenant land of promise) could be contained within the old, “Egyptian” wineskins of the old covenant world.

Likewise in 2 Timothy 2:19, Paul connects Hymenaeus and Philetus to the rebellion of Korah in Numbers 16:5, 26. (William Hendriksen; Simon J. Kistemaker: New Testament Commentary: Exposition of the Pastoral Epistles (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1953–2001), 268).  Korah had led hundreds of the sons of Israel to challenge Moses’ authority. As God had destroyed Korah and his followers in the wilderness, so God was “about to judge” (2 Timothy 4:1) and destroy the Judaizers Hymenaeus and Philetus and others like them (cf. Heb. 3:16–19).

According to the teaching of Hymenaeus and Philetus, because Jerusalem and the temple still stood (in about AD 67) after the resurrection had allegedly already taken place, it irresistibly followed that “the sons according to the flesh” were now the heirs of the eternal kingdom and that Paul’s Jew-Gentile gospel of grace was a lie. The blasphemous error of Hymenaeus and Philetus was that the world of the Mosaic covenant would remain forever established after the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets had taken place and the new heavens and new earth (“the resurrection”) had arrived.

This “Hymenaean” heresy is the diametric opposite of preterism. According to preterism, the old covenant came to an eternal and irrevocable termination in “the resurrection,” when all things were fulfilled in AD 70. There is absolutely no theological connection between preterism and Hymenaeus’ blasphemous lie of an everlasting “ministration of death.”

However, there is a clear connection between the heresy of Hymenaeus and the implications of futurism: If “the Law and the Prophets” are not fulfilled today, and “heaven and earth” have not passed away, and the jots and tittles of the Law have not passed away, and all things are not yet fulfilled, as futurism says, then logically and scripturally, the Law of Moses remains unfulfilled and “imposed” to this day (Matt. 5:17–19; Heb. 8:13; 9:10). This implication of futurism is exactly what the Judaizers, Hymenaeus and Philetus, taught when they said the resurrection was already past in AD 67.

Mathison and Ligonier cannot use this passage to condemn Full Preterists because they acknowledge that there was a SPIRITUAL coming OR PAROUSIA of Christ and other Reformed Partial Preterists are admitting there was a SPIRITUAL RESURRECTION of the dead that occurred in AD 70 per Daniel 12:2 and Revelation 20 (Kenneth Gentry and James Jordan).  We don’t see Paul’s apologetics against those that believed the Day of the Lord and resurrection had “already” taken place (prior to AD 70) as “How can anyone believe this, OBVIOUSLY we are all still here, the graveyards are still full and the planet earth hasn’t been burned up.”  If Paul was the Futurist that you are Phil, we would expect Paul to use this kind of reasoning and apologetic.  But because he was a Full Preterist whom recognized there was a spiritual coming of Christ and an “about to be” resurrection of the dead at the end of the OC age coming, his apologetic is different than yours.  Selah.

C.H. Spurgeon v. Phil Johnson/MacArthur on Preterist Scholarship

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I see you run or are affiliated with The Spurgeon Archive or The Spurgeon Center websites.  While not a Full Preterist, this was Spurgeon’s view of Christians engaging with Preterists that believe Christ’s one and “soon” Second Coming was fulfilled in AD 70 and what he thought of their arguments, exegesis and research:

“[Russell’s exegesis and book]…has so much truth in it, and throws so much new light upon obscure portions of the Scriptures, and is accompanied with so much critical research, and close reasoning, that it can be injurious to none and may be profitable to all.”  (Spurgeon’s comments of James Stuart Russell’s book, “The Parousia,” back cover, Baker Book House, third printing, 1990 edition).

Obviously someone you and MacArthur esteem didn’t take the cowardly bubble approach you have taken.  But you have gone even further to misrepresent us.  Sad indeed.  Sounds like Spurgeon would have said the same of my/our book, House Divided Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology… which is in your libraries.  I suggest you get someone from your seminary to actually attempt a refutation since the Reformed authors of WSTTB? are not able to respond because their views actually formed Full Preterism!  The book is said by John L. Bray to be the best defense of Preterism to date.  You might try engaging with a book like ours instead of cherry-picking Internet articles from a new Preterist in the 90’s.  Just a thought Phil.

C.H. Spurgeon’s Confusion Over the Passing of the Old Covenant Heavens and Earth and the arrival of the New Covenant Heavens and Earth

C.H. Spurgeon also had some interesting things to say about the Old Covenant being described in terms of being a “heavens and earth” that passed away and the gospel dispensation today being a New Heavens and Earth.  Spurgeon was a Premillennialist (hyper-literal “heretic” per the early Reformed creeds), yet was drawn to a Preterist hermeneutic on some very key texts and concepts.  He was very inconsistent in his use of these terms and didn’t reconcile them very well.  I’ll try and reconcile this confusion and that of R.C. Spoul’s over this in a bit.

In a sermon on Isaiah 65:17-19 Spurgeon wrote the following,

“Did you ever regret the absence of the burnt-offering, or the red heifer, of any one of the sacrifices and rites of the Jews? Did you ever pine for the feast of tabernacle, or the dedication? No, because, though these were like the Old Heavens and Earth to the Jewish believers, they have passed away, and we now live under a New Heavens and a New Earth, so far as the dispensation of divine teaching is concerned. The substance is come, and the shadow has gone: and we do not remember it.” (C.H. Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, vol. xxxvii, p. 354).

We know that Spurgeon read his contemporary James Stuart Russell’s book who did take the OC system as the Old Heavens and Earth and the NC to be the New Heavens and Earth.  We also know that Russell quoted Reformed theologians that Spurgeon read that had the same concepts.  Therefore, I think it should be clear that Spurgeon was confused and giving passages double or multiple senses where there was no exegetical warrant to do so.

But first let’s go to a source John MacArthur values in order to identify that the OC system was described as a creation of the heavens and earth.  MacArthur says the following of The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge:

“The one book, apart from the Bible itself, that I value most in my studies.”

And yet the book agrees with Full Preterists such as myself and men such as John Owen on the particular issues that the Old Covenant system was a “heavens and earth” created at the first exodus.  Of Isaiah 51:15-16 it informs us:

“The heavens. ‘Heaven’ and ‘earth’ are here put by symbolic language for a political universe. That is, that I might make those who were but scattered persons and slaves in Egypt before, a kingdom and polity, to be governed by their own laws and magistrates.” (Jerome Smith, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge Revised and Expanded, Thomas Nelson Publishers, p. 802).

Unknown-2Reformed theologians such as John Owen and John Lightfoot along with many others, correctly understood the “elements” here not as the rocks and tress of the planet earth, but of the old-covenant law and the “Day of the Lord” occurring in AD 70.  John Owen in his sermon on 2 Peter 3 also describes Isaiah 51:15-16 as the Old Covenant system except unlike Spurgeon he correctly and clearly states it passed away and her “elements” burned up in AD 70.  Since the foundation to the promise of 2 Peter 3 is Isaiah 65, it is relevant to what Spurgeon would have been reading on the subject.  Please note that he says the passing and burning of the first heavens and earth is “ONLY” referring to the OC system and the New is only the gospel of the NC dispensation:

“I shall only observe, by the way, not to look into the difficulties of these verses, that I not be too long detained from my principal intendment, – that the apostle makes a distribution of the word into heaven and earth, and saith, they ‘were destroyed with water, and perished: We know that neither the fabric or substance of the one or other was destroyed, but only men that lived on the earth; and the apostle tells us, verse 5, of the heavens and earth that were then, and were destroyed by water, distinct from the heavens and the earth that were now, and were to be consumed by fire; and yet, as to the visible fabric of heaven and earth, they were the same both before the flood and in the apostle’s time, and continue so to this day; when yet it is certain that the heavens and earth whereof he speaks were to be destroyed and consumed by fire in that generation. We must, then, for the clearing our foundation, a little consider what the apostle intends by `the heavens and the earth’ in these two places:

“1. It is certain, that what the apostle intends by the ‘world,’ with its heavens and earth, verses 5, 6, which was destroyed by water; the same or somewhat of that kind, he intends by ‘the heavens and the earth’ that were to be consumed and destroyed by fire, verse 7. Otherwise there would be no coherence in the apostle’s discourse, nor any kind of argument, but a mere fallacy of words.

“2. It is certain, that by the flood, the world, or the fabric of heaven and earth, was not destroyed, but only the inhabitants of the world; and therefore the destruction intimated to succeed by fire, is not of the substance of the heavens and the earth, which shall not be consumed until the last day, but of persons or men living in the world.

“3. Then we must consider in what sense men living in the world are said to be the ‘world,’ and the ‘heavens and earth’ of it. I shall only insist on one instance to this purpose, among the many that may be produced, Isa. 51. 15, 16. The time when the work here mentioned, of planting the heavens, and laying the foundation of the earth, was performed by God, was when he ‘divided the sea,’ verse 15, and gave the law, verse 16, and said to Zion, ‘Thou art my people,” – that is, when he took the children of Israel out of Egypt, and formed them in the wilderness into a church and state. Then he planted the heavens, and laid the foundation of the earth, – made the new world; that is, brought forth order, and government, and beauty, from the confusion wherein before they were. This is the planting of the heavens, and laying the foundation of the earth in the world. And hence it is, that when mention is made of the destruction of a state and government, it is in that language that seems to set forth the end of the world. So Isa. xxxiv. 4; which is yet but the destruction of the state of Edom. The like also is affirmed of the Roman empire, Rev. vi. 14; which the Jews constantly affirm to be intended by Edom in the prophets. And in our Saviour Christ’s prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem, Matt. xxiv., he sets it out by expressions of the same importance. It is evident, then, that in the prophetical idiom and manner of speech, by ‘heavens’ and ‘earth,’ the civil and religious state and combination of men in the world, and the men of them, are often understood. So were the heavens and earth that world which was then destroyed by the flood.

“4. On this foundation I affirm, that the heavens and earth here intended in this prophecy of Peter, the coming of the Lord, the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men, mentioned in the destruction of that heaven and earth, do all of them relate, not to the last and final judgment of the world, but to that utter desolation and destruction that was to be made of the Judaical church and state; for which I shall offer these two reasons, of many that might be insisted on from the text: –

“(1.) Because whatever is here mentioned was to have its peculiar influence on the men of that generation. He speaks of that wherein both the profane scoffer and the those scoffed at were concerned, and that as Jews; – some of them believing, others opposing the faith. Now, there was no particular concernment of that generation in that sin, nor in that scoffing, as to the day of judgment in general; but there was a peculiar relief for the one and a peculiar dread for the other at hand, in the destruction of the Jewish nation; and besides, an ample testimony, both to the one and the other, of the power and dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ – which was the thing in question between them.

“(2.) Peter tells them, that, after the destruction and judgment that he speaks of, verse 13, ‘We, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth,’ etc. They had this expectation. But what is that promise? where may we find it? Why, we have it in the very words and letter, Isa. Ixv. 17. Now, when shall this be that God will create these ‘new heavens and new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness?’ Saith Peter, ‘It shall be after the coming of the Lord, after that judgment and destruction of ungodly men, who obey not the gospel, that I foretell.’ But now it is evident, from this place of Isaiah, with chap. lxvi., 21, 22, that this is a prophecy of gospel times ONLY; and that the planting of these new heavens is NOTHING BUT the creation of gospel ordinances, to endure forever. The same thing is so expressed, Heb. xii. 26-28.

“First, There is the foundation of the apostle’s inference and exhortation… ‘Seeing that I have evinced that all these things, however precious they seem, or what value soever any put upon them, shall be dissolved, – that is, destroyed; and that in that dreadful and fearful manner before mentioned, – in a way of judgment, wrath, and vengeance, by fire and sword; – let others mock at the threats of Christ’s coming. – he will come, he will not tarry; and then the heavens and earth that God himself planted, – the sun, moon, and stars of the Judaical polity and church, – the whole old world of worship and worshippers, that stand out in their obstinacy against the Lord Christ, – shall be sensibly dissolved and destroyed. This, we know, shall be the end of these things, and that shortly.’ ”

And more from Owen:

“1. Because in every such providential alteration or dissolution of things on the account of Christ and his church, there is a peculiar coming of Christ himself. He cometh into the world for the work he hath to do; he cometh among his own to fulfil his pleasure among them. Hence such works are called ‘his coming;’ and ‘the coming of his day.’ Thus James exhorts these very Jews to whom Peter here writes, with reference to the same things, James v. 7-9, ‘Be patient unto the coming of the Lord.’ But how could that generation extend their patience to the day of judgment? ‘Nay,’ saith he, ‘that is not the work I design, but his coming to take vengeance on his stubborn adversaries;’ which he saith, verse 8, ‘draweth nigh,’ is even at hand; yea., Christ, ‘the judge, standeth before the door,’ verse 9, ‘ready to enter;’ – which also he did within a few years. So upon or in the destruction of Jerusalem (the same work), Luke xxi. 27, the Son of man is said to ‘come in a cloud, with power and great glory;’ – and they that escape in that desolation are said to ‘stand before the Son of man,’ verse 36. So, in the ruin and destruction of the Roman empire, on the account of their persecution, it is said that ‘the day of the wrath of the Lamb was come; Rev. vi. 16, 17.” (John Owen, The Works of John Owen, Banner of Truth pub., Vol. 9 see pp. 132-135, 138-139, MJS emphasis added).

And John Lightfoot agrees.  Notice what he says of Christ’s coming in Matthew 24 and 2 Peter 3 and the de-creation and new creation language:

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“That the destruction of Jerusalem is very frequently expressed in Scripture as if it were the destruction of the whole world, Deut. xxxii. 22; ‘A fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell’ (the discourse there is about the wrath of God consuming that people; see ver. 20, 21), ‘and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains’ Jer. iv. 23; ‘I beheld the earth, and lo, it was without form and void; and the heavens, and they had no light; The discourse there also is concerning the destruction of that nation, Isa. lxv. 17; ‘Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered,’ And more passages of this sort among the prophets. According to this sense, Christ speaks in this place; and Peter speaks in his Second Epistle, third chapter; and John, in the sixth of the Revelation; and Paul, 2 Cor. v. 17.”

More of Lightfoot on this subject:

“With the same reference it is, that the times and state of things immediately following the destruction of Jerusalem are called ‘a new creation,’ ‘new heavens,’ and ‘a new earth,’ Isa. lxv. 17; `Behold, I create a new heaven and a new earth’ When should that be? Read the whole chapter; and you will find the Jews rejected and cut off; and from that time is that new creation of the evangelical world among the Gentiles.

“Compare 2 Cor. v. 17 and Rev. xxi. 1, 2; where, the old Jerusalem being cut off and destroyed, a new one succeeds; and new heavens and a new earth are created.

“2 Pet. iii. 13: `We, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth’ The heavens and the earth of the Jewish church and commonwealth must be all on fire, and the Mosaic elements burnt up; but we, according to the promise made to us by Isaiah the prophet, when all these are consumed, look for the new creation of the evangelical state.”

“That the destruction of Jerusalem and the whole Jewish state is described as if the whole frame of this world were to be dissolved. Nor is it strange, when God destroyed his habitation and city, places once so dear to him, with so direful and sad an overthrow; his own people, whom he accounted of as much or more than the whole world beside, by so dreadful and amazing plagues. Matt. xxiv. 29, 30, `The sun shall be darkened,’ Then shall appear the `sign of the Son of man,’; which yet are said to fall out within that generation, ver. 34. 2 Pet. iii. 10, `The heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat,’. Compare with this Deut. xxxii. 22, Heb. xii. 26: and observe that by elements are understood the Mosaic elements, Gal. iv. 9, Coloss. ii. 20: and you will not doubt that St. Peter speaks ONLY of the conflagration of Jerusalem, the destruction of the nation, and the abolishing the dispensation of Moses.” (John Lightfoot, COMMENTARY ON THE NEW TESTAMENT FROM THE TALMUD AND HEBRAICA, Vol. 2, pp. 318-319; Vol. 3, p. 452-453, Hendrickson pub, 2003, MJS emphasis added).

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As I document in our book, House Divided Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology…pp. 116-123 Lightfoot didn’t see the physical planet as being in a process of “decay” or poetically “groaning” to be the subject matter in Romans 8 either!  He correctly understood the passage to be the “creation of men” groaning under sin.  Postmillennial Partial Preterists such as Gary DeMar concedes mello in Romans 8:18 YLT should be translated as “the glory ABOUT TO BE revealed in you…” and is referring to AD 70.  Therefore, contextually this allegedly “end of the planet” or physical “renewal of the planet” passage and “redemption of the body” was “about to be” fulfilled in AD 70 – at the “near” coming of the Lord when Satan was to be “crushed shortly” (cf. Rms. 13:11-12; 16:20) and has NOTHING to do with the Futurist or creedal concept.  Here is that material (HD, 116-123):

John Lightfoot associated the “earnest expectation of the creature”

and the “whole creation groaning” with the mind and heart of man, and interpreted this passage as having nothing to do with the planet Earth— not even poetically.

. . . [T]his vanity [or futility] is improperly applied to this vanishing, changeable, dying state of the [physical] creation. For vanity, doth not so much denote the vanishing condition of the outward state, as it doth the inward vanity and emptiness of the mind. The Romans to whom this apostle writes, knew well enough how many and how great predictions and promises it had pleased God to publish by his prophets, concerning gathering together and adopting sons to himself among the Gentiles: themanifestation and production of which sons, the whole Gentile world doth now wait for, as it were, with an out stretched neck.[1]

And again,

The Gentile world shall in time be delivered from the bondage of their sinful corruption, that is, the bondage of their lusts and vile affections, (under which it hath lain for so long a time,) into a noble liberty, such as the sons of God enjoy. If it be inquired how the Gentile world groaned and travailed in pain, let them who expound this of the fabric of the material world tell us how that groaneth and travaileth. They must needs own it to be a borrowed and allusive phrase…”.[2]

Lightfoot is on solid ground here citing 2 Peter 1:4; 2 Corinthians 11:3; and 1 Corinthians 15:33. Not only is there lexical evidence to interpret “vanity,” “corruption,” and “decay” as ethical and moral putrefaction in the heart and mind of man, but contextually the passage has nothing to do with hydrogen or oxygen or squirrels longing for a better day when they won’t get hit by cars.

“The sufferings of this present time.” As much as I can relate to R.C. Sproul Jr. losing his hair and gaining some weight around his midsection (WSTTB, ix), Paul’s mention of the “sufferings” and “the redemption of the body” have nothing to do with those kinds of issues. The context of the “groaning” of the first-century Christians can be found in the previous chapter. The sufferings Paul has in mind here were eschatological —the birth pains that were to precede Christ’s return in AD 70 (Matt. 24:8; Rom. 8:22). They had to do with the last days persecutions and with the saints of the universal church groaning under the tyranny of Sin and Condemnation under the Law.

For Paul, Sin had produced “death,” but not physical death. Contrary to Mathison’s assertions, “the body,” “death,” and “the flesh” in Romans 5–8 have nothing to do with the idea of men biologically dying as a result of Adam’s sin. Paul’s concern is with corporate-covenantal Death, as even some Reformed theologians teach.[3]   “Bondage,” according to the immediate context, had to do with groaning under the condemnation of the Law (cf. Rom. 7:2, 7, 15).

The “redemption” associated with the coming of the Son of Man in AD 70 entailed much more than a physical flight to the wilderness of Pella, as some commentators have proposed. Appealing to the principle of the analogy of Scripture, John Murray and other Reformed theologians understand Paul in Romans 8 to be speaking of the same “redemption” that Jesus discussed in the Olivet Discourse:

Now in Luke 21:28 . . . [t]his word ‘redemption’ (apolutrosin), when used with reference to the future, has a distinctly eschatological connotation, the final redemption, the consummation of the redemptive process (cf. Rom. 8:23; 1 Cor. 1:30; Eph. 1:14; 4:30). Hence analogy would again point to the eschatological complex of events.[4]

The following chart confirms that the “redemption” of Christ’s disciples in the first century in Luke 21:28 was the redemption of “the body” in Romans 8:18–23:

Romans 8

Olivet Discourse & Luke 17

 

Present sufferings (Rom. 8:17–18) Suffering to come (Matt. 24:9)
Receive and share in Christ’s glory (Rom. 8:17–18) Christ comes in glory (Matt. 24:30)
Glory will be “in” them (Rom. 8:18) Kingdom will be realized “within”at Christ’s return (Lk.17:21–37; 21:27–32)
Redemption and salvation – resurrection (Rom. 8:23–24; cf. 11:15–27; 13:11–12) Redemption and salvation – resurrection (Lk. 21:27–28; Matt. 24:13, 30–31/Matt. 13:39-43/Dan. 12:2-3)
Birth pains together (Rom. 8:22) Birth pains of the tribulation (Matt. 24:8)
This was “about to” take place (Rom. 8:18) This would all happen in their “this generation” (Matt. 24:34)

On page 200 of WSTTB, Mathison expresses willingness to concede that the imminence in Romans 13:11–12 was fulfilled in AD 70. The passage reads:

. . . it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. . . .

But The Reformation Study Bible, of which Mathison is an editor, harmonizes Romans 13:11 with Romans 8:23, correctly teaching that “salvation” in that verse is not merely deliverance from persecution (as Mathison theorizes in WSTTB): “salvation. Here in the sense of future, final redemption (8:23).”[1] The connection between these two passages is made even stronger when we allow the Greek word mello in Romans 8 to be translated the way it is predominately used in the New Testament:

For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory about to be revealed in us. (Rom. 8:18, YLT)

It is more than arbitrary for partial preterists such as Gentry to honor Young’s literal translation of melloin Revelation 1:19 when debating Dispensationalists and Amimmennialists, but then not honor it in Romans 8:18 when debating full preterists. Mello is used in the aorist infinitive in both verses. Gentry writes of mello in Revelation 1:19:

…this term means “be on the point of, be about to.” …According to Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible, Revelation 1:19 reads: “Write the things that thou hast seen, and the things that are, and the things that are about to come [mello] after these things.” The leading interlinear versions of the New Testament concur. This is surely the proper translation of the verse.[2]   …when used with the aorist infinitive — as in Revelation 1:19 — the word’s preponderate usage and preferred meaning is:

“be on the point of, be about to. The same is true when the word is used with the present infinitive, as in the Rev. 3:10.[3] Unfortunately, none of the major translators cited above translates Revelation 1:19 in a literal fashion.[4]

Where is Gentry’s disappointment when it comes to translators not translating Romans 8:18 by the same grammatical standard? It is nowhere to be found, even though there are two other Greek words of imminence (apokaradokia and apekdekomai — “eagerly waiting”) within the immediate context.

At least partial preterist Gary DeMar has tried to be more consistent with a proper translation of mello in Romans 8:18. Citing Robert Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible he writes:

“Whatever the glory is it was ‘about to be revealed’…”[5]

We appreciate the honesty on properly translating mello here as “about to be revealed,” but contextually there is no ambiguity as to what the imminent manifestation of this “glory” was — the liberation of creation from its groaning and bondage, the full adoption of the sons of God, and the “redemption of the body” (vss. 18-23).

Interestingly enough though, according to Gentry and Mathison one of the things that was “about to come after” John wrote Revelation 1:19 was the arrival of the New Jerusalem and New  Creation of Revelation 21:1ff. Mathison and Gentry tell us in their other works that the time texts in Revelation point to a near fulfillment of the passing of “the first heaven and earth.” They point out that Revelation 21:1 is referring to the passing of the old covenant “creation” in AD 70 and is a fulfillment of Isaiah 65–66. Gentry even says:

The absence of the sea (Rev. 21:1) speaks of harmony and peace within. In Scripture the sea often symbolizes discord and sin (13:1–2; cf. Isa. 8:7–8; 23:10; 57:20; Jer. 6:23; 46:7; Ezek. 9:10).  Christianity offers the opposite: peace with God and among humankind (Luke 2:14; Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:12–18; Phil. 4:7, 9).

But then Mathison and Gentry assign an “expanded” meaning to 2 Peter 3, which discusses the same promises in Isaiah 65–66. They suggest that Peter is addressing the geological “elements” of the planet while the Apostle John, referencing the same Old Testament passage, is not.

This is not only arbitrary, it is amazing. If Gentry and Mathison can give prophetic New Testament passages “expanded” meanings to fit their eschatology, then they have surrendered their debate with Dispensationalists, who constantly employ this strategy to force their eschatology upon New Testament passages.

In Mathison’s section on the “Restoration of Creation” (195–197), he appeals to the literal and global beginnings of Genesis 1–3 to point out that preterists have interpreted “the end” in Romans 8 and in the rest of the New Testament in an inaccurate way. But Mathison should be open to considering the interpretations of Genesis 1–3 that are presented by some within the Reformed tradition and by other futurists.

Combined, authors such as Augustine, Milton Terry, David Snoke, Meredith Kline, and dispensationalist John Sailhamer teach the following:

  • Man was created a physical dying creature like all the plant and animal life around him.
  • The physics of the creation did not change after Adam.
  • Genesis 1–2 uses the Hebrew word eretz, which should be translated as “land” or “ground” and not [planet] “earth.”
  • God’s emphases in the early chapters of Genesis are not scientific but theological, emphasizing the origins of sin in the heart and man’s need for the Seed of the woman to redeem him from Sin.

As the theological emphasis in Genesis 1–2 is on the local land of Eden, which is both theologically and geographically tied to Israel’s Promised Land, so too is the emphasis of the New Testament on a Great Commission preached to the nations of Israel and to the Roman Empire with a judgment that would affect the nations of that world.

Both the localized and covenantal judgment in Eden and the one in AD 70 affected and continue to affect all humankind. The introduction of spiritual death (condemnation and alienation from God within the heart and conscience of man through Adam) was overcome by Christ’s death, resurrection, and indwelling presence in AD 70. All men and nations of the world are either inside the new Israel and New Jerusalem or outside her gates — as the gospel continues to bring healing and judgment to the nations today and forever (cf. Rev. 21–22:17).

When we take a combined look at some of the best theologians within the Reformed and Evangelical communities, we find a preterist interpretation of every eschatological de-creation prophecy in the Bible. Combined, John Owen, John Locke, John Lightfoot, John Brown, R.C. Sproul, Gary DeMar, Kenneth Gentry, James Jordan, Peter Leithart, Keith Mathison, Crispin H.T. Fletcher-Louis, Hank Hanegraaff, and N.T. Wright teach that the passing away of heaven and earth (Matt. 5:17–18; 24:3, 29, 35; 1 Cor. 7:31; II Peter 3; I Jn. 2:17–18; Rev. 21:1) refers to the destruction of the temple or to the civil and religious worlds of men—either Jews or Gentiles; and that the rulers of the old covenant system or world, along with the temple, were the “sun, moon, and stars,” which made up the “heaven and earth” of the world that perished in AD 70.”63 

DiscoursesAndSayings_SET

Reformed theologian John Brown not only stresses that the passing of “heaven and earth” in Matthew 5:18 is the OC system, but that those familiar with the OT should understand the phrase as such:

“But a person at all familiar with the phraseology of the Old Testament Scriptures, knows that the dissolution of the Mosaic economy, and the establishment of the Christian, is often spoken of as the removing of the old earth and heavens, and the creation of a new earth and new heavens.” (John Brown, Discourses and Sayings of Our Lord (Edinburg: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1990 [1852]), 1:170, MJS – emphasis added).

Like we saw with The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, Owen and Lightfoot — those that are familiar with the OT Scriptures have and continue to see this while you and liberals don’t.

Scholars that aren’t even Preterists (but often times give the impression that they are leaning in such a direction), such as G.K. Beale are admitting that the Jew understood his land or Temple to be a “heaven and earth,”

“…that ‘heaven and earth’ in the Old Testament may sometimes be a Unknown-4way of referring to Jerusalem or its temple, for which ‘Jerusalem’ is a metonymy.” (G.K. Beale, The Temple and the Church’s Mission A
biblical theology of the dwelling place of God, (Downers Grove, Illinois: Inter Varsity Press, 2004), 25). See also J.V. Fesko, Last things first Unlocking Genesis 1-3 with the Christ of Eschatology, (Scottland, UK, 2007), 70.

I called in a radio show where Beale was being interviewed concerning this quote in his book and asked him why he didn’t apply his statements here with Jesus’ and the disciples discussion of the Temple in Matthew 23-24.  He avoided the subject and merely began name-calling.  Sad indeed.

But Evangelicals are making the Full Preterist connections with NT texts where Beale is afraid to.  Evangelical Crispin H.T. Fletcher-Louis makes the following comments on the heaven and earth in Matthew 5:18 and Mark 13:31/Matthew 24:35:

519MJRVKT5L._SX317_BO1,204,203,200_“The temple was far more than the point at which heaven and earth met. Rather, it was thought to correspond to, represent, or, in some sense, to be ‘heaven and earth’ in its totality.” And “. . . [T]he principle reference of “heaven and earth” is the temple centered cosmology of second-temple Judaism which included the belief that the temple is heaven and earth in microcosm. Mark 13[:31] [or Matthew 24:35] and Matthew 5:18 refer then to the destruction of the temple as a passing away of an old cosmology. (Crispin H.T. Fletcher-Louis a contributing author in, ESCHATOLOGY in Bible & Theology Evangelical Essays at the Dawn of a New Millennium, (Downers Grove, Illinois: Inter Varsity Press, 1997), 157).

51vnAiyJTxL._SX319_BO1,204,203,200_Gary DeMar is exegetical and contextually consistent when he admits that the passing of “heaven and earth” in Matthew 24:35 is the same subject (the fall of OC Jerusalem and her OC world/age) and de-creation event as 24:29,

“The darkening of the sun and moon and the falling of the stars, coupled with the shaking of the heavens (24:29), are more descriptive ways of saying that “heaven and earth” will pass away” (24:35).” (Last Days Madness, 192).

Why am I going over this?  Well, MacArthur sees “that which is perfect” and the seeing of God’s face in 1 Corinthians 13:10-12 as the arrival of the New Creation in Revelation 22:4-12.  And you allowed R.C. Sproul to speak at the Strange Fire Conference who takes the arrival of the new creation of Revelation 22:4-12 as being fulfilled and coming in spiritually at Christ’s “soon” coming in AD 70.  Now we can begin to solve some of the inconsistencies and problems I experienced at The Master’s College and from reading Reformed authors and now Sproul’s conflicted Reformation Study Bible.

Harmonizing MacArthur and Sproul’s Conflicting Views on When the Gifts of Tongues, Prophecy and Knowledge Are to Cease

Let’s first look at the conflicted message MacArthur and The Master’s College were teaching me on this passage and then we will move on to what Reformed theologians such as Sproul are now saying.  Let’s be real clear and honest here Phil – the real reason you won’t engage in a debate or dialog with Dr. Brown and myself over 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 is because you have no sound consistent exegetical answer — period!  The Strange Fire book and Tom Pennington’s lecture demonstrated this by giving a very fast fly-by — “there’s so many different views…” to this crucial text.  That and even instructors in John’s own college don’t find the context or the Greek to support his view.

  • Premise #1 (MacArthur):  Tongues ceased in AD 70 but prophecy and knowledge will pass away when the ONE arrival of the New Creation is fulfilled.  “That which is perfect” being the Cannon of Scripture is not correct.
  • Premise #2 (TMC – C.W. Smith):  There is no exegetical or strong Greek case for MacArthur’s view.  Tongues, Prophecy and knowledge all cease and pass away when “that which is perfect comes.”
  •  In my estimation the above two views form Charismatic doctrine (tongues, prophecy and knowledge cease at a future time — the New Creation), or they form Full Preterism — since tongues ceased in AD 70, then the others did too when the New Covenant New Creation arrived at the “soon” coming of the Lord in AD 70.
  • Conclusion/Synthesis:   If tongues ceased in AD 70 and the other gifts are to cease when tongues did, then the spiritual New Creation arrived at the “soon” AD 70 coming of Christ — like R.C. Sproul and Keith Mathison teach in Revelation 22:4-7.  Phil why is it such a stretch to get yourself or MacArthur and R.C. Sproul to discuss these passages with us?  Why so much fear Phil?  The righteous are “as bold as a lion” and yet you, MacArthur and your professors are acting like scared kitty cats.

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But in all honesty Phil you aren’t the only fearful ones.  R.C. Sproul and Mathison still have not responded to our book and won’t interact with us on these issue either.  And here’s why:

  • Premise #1 (R.C. Sproul): The “soon” coming of Christ in Revelation 22:6-7, 20 was fulfilled spiritually in AD 70. This historical event caused the passing of the Old Covenant Creation while bringing about the arrival of the spiritual New Covenant Creation.  As a result, we see God’s face today spiritually in the New Covenant Heavens and Earth.
  • Premise #2 (Sproul’s Reformation Study Bible): But the “soon” coming of Christ in Revelation 22:6-7, 20 is the Second Coming event and so is “that which is perfect” in 1 Corinthians 13:10-12.  We will only see God’s face clearly when these passages are fulfilled at the Second Coming.
  • Conclusion: Therefore, if both propositions are true (and we believe they are “Reformed and always reforming”) then the “soon” Second Coming of Christ and seeing of God’s face as described for us in Revelation 22:6-7, 20 and 1 Corinthians 13:10-12 were fulfilled spiritually in AD 70 when the Old Covenant creation passed away and the glory of the spiritual New Covenant creation took it’s place.   Therefore, the miraculous sign and revelatory gifts of tongues, prophecy and knowledge ceased in AD 70.

In order to exegetically solve the Charismatic problem and harmonize their contradictions, they would have to become Full Preterists – and they don’t want anyone pointing that out.  In other words, if “A” (Rev. 22:4-7) was fulfilled “soon” and spiritually in AD 70, but “A” (Rev. 22:4-7) is also equal to “B” (1 Cor. 13:8-12), then “B” (1 Cor. 13:8-12) was also fulfilled “soon” and spiritually in AD 70.  Therefore, these three gifts ceased together in AD 70 and we see God’s face today clearly in the New Covenant Heavens and Earth.  See there Phil, we just fixed Spurgeon’s and Sproul’s confusion over this issue of the OC and NC heavens and earth passing and arriving — while at the same time giving the Charismatic an exegetical reason why these gifts really did “cease” at the “soon” Second Coming event!  And it wasn’t difficult at all.

Sproul final
Like yourself and MacArthur, Sproul and Mathison have a lot of explaining to do concerning their “heretical”  Postmillennial Partial Preterism (per the early Amillennial creeds) since it along with their Reformation Study Bible leads us to Full Preterism:

Premise #1:  Editors of this Reformed Study Bible (R.C. Sproul & Keith Mathison) teach that the coming of the Son of Man upon the clouds in Matthew 16:27-28 and Matthew 24:27-30; 25:31 was fulfilled spiritually in AD 70 before some of those standing next to Jesus died and in their generation (Full Preterists agree).

Premise #2:  But the The Reformation Study Bible itself teaches that the coming of the Son of Man upon the clouds in judgment to gather the elect in Matthew 16:27; Matthew 24:27-31; 25:31ff. is addressing Christ’s ONE eschatological hope or ONE Second Coming and resurrection event and forms the foundation to Paul’s eschatology and are thus “parallel” (using the analogy of faith principle of interpretation) to Christ’s trumpet parousia/catching away or parousia/change in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17–chpt. 5 and 1 Corinthians 15 (Full Preterists agree).

Conclusion/Sythesis/Full Preterism:  The principle of “Reformed and always reforming” (and that the creeds may be in error) should be honored in order to harmonize these conflicting views.  The clear time texts of Matthew 16:27-28 and Matthew 24:27-34 are to be honored just as the analogy of faith (“parallels”) between Jesus’ eschatology and Paul’s eschatology in 1 Thessalonians 4-5 and 1 Corinthians 15.  Both instruct us that Jesus and Paul were teaching the Second Coming and resurrection event would be fulfilled at “the end” of the OC age in AD 70 and an event to be expected in some of their lifetimes.

Click on this chart and enlarge if you need to (very important):

22449867_10155710467539192_9014182051600458209_n

By the way this chart destroys MacArthur’s two comings of Jesus separated by seven years (rapture “coming” then second coming 7 years later) and Sproul’s two coming theory separated by thousands or millions of years (coming in AD 70 then another at the end of world history)!  Phil, let’s get real here, isn’t the truth that men like you, MacArthur, Sproul and Mathison just don’t want the public and your students to see your current embarrassment and conflicting views over eschatology and 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 and other revenant passages?  I get it.  Sproul and RTS are right there with you.

Phil you and MacArthur are sticking your heads in the sand on the NT imminent time texts re-defining them into meaninglessness, while Sproul and Mathison are imploring a more than inconsistent hermeneutic on the time texts (ex. Acts 24:15 YLT/Dan. 12:2; Rms. 16:20/Gen. 3:15) and unable to allow Scripture to interpret itself, because to do so they would have to agree to revise the creeds in the area of eschatology.  And no one wants to do that after being so INVESTED in them at this point.

I’ll deal with Brown’s Premillennial “heresy” he shares with you and his Charismatic “heresy” on 1 Corinthians 13:8-12. And you, MacArthur and Sproul can crawl back into your very well funded shell and bubble pretending you guys are doing apologetic work against Charismatics and Preterists.  Wow.

What Kind of Apologetics Does The Master’s Seminary Teach —

Bubble Apologetics?

I remember after my 4 point Calvinist instructor and director of Calvary Chapel Bible College (Richard Goswiller) got fired for being Calvinistic t– the next director began purging the library of Calvinist works.  Calvary Chapel was a “bubble” – scared to be popped by any other views.  That reminds me now of what The Master’s University and Seminary has become when it comes to trying to exegetically deal with Charimsatics or Preterists.   They regularly mock Charismatics and Preterists and yet will not defend their Futurism in honest debate or scholarship.  It’s a pure mystery to me as to why you would even have classes on apologetics at your University or Seminary if MacArthur, yourself and your staff can’t live out an honest Christian apologetic in your lives and ministry.  Selah.

I have been in conUnknown-1tact with Southern Evangelical Seminary and they are going to see if they can find a professor that will have a public “discussion” with Dr. Brown and myself over 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 and the cessation question.

Oddly, right after holding a conference on apologetics, they are telling me that they don’t really have anyone “qualified” to discuss this passage and issue with us.  They are currently asking Dr. Richard Howe if he would be willing to step up to the plate.  I think it’s not charitable for them to say Brown’s Charismatic views are a “black stain” upon his ministry (which I agree with), but then not be willing to engage with him and myself (along with the students and faculty members) on this matter in a public setting.  If we are both wrong to have an eschatological view of this passage — then someone at SES should prove it.  The Seminary and Norman Geisler have been critical both of Brown’s Charismatic views and Preterism in general. Therefore, I welcome a debate/”discussion” with Mr. Geisler to prove (among many things) that his Premillennial interpretation and translation of “this generation…” (Mt. 24:34) as, “this Jewish race will not pass away until all theses be fulfilled” has not exegetical merit whatsoever!

imagesI continue to pray for a Bible College or Seminary setting for this discussion/debate.   I thought Reformed Theological Seminary of Charlotte would be a great place to have this debate or discussion with the students and faculty as well.  But they won’t let me past a secretary.   Even though I have co-authored a book responding to Keith Mathison, they pretend I haven’t had any “direct engagement” with them and pretend we don’t exist.  My/our book remains in their seminary library unanswered and their instructors refuse to dialog or debate me.

Latest update on the Sullivan v. Brown debate — If S.E.S. can’t find anyone “qualified” for actually performing apologetics (after having a conference on the subject), then we will have the debate at Dr. Brown’s church sometime in January or February.  I will post updates on the date and time.

My Previous Letter Sent June 14th, 2016

Dear Pastor John MacArthur and faculty at The Master’s University / Seminary,

My purpose in this letter is to request a forum to debate Charismatic Apologist Dr. Michael L. Brown (author of Authentic Fire A Response to John MacArthur’s Strange Fire), and if possible to have Pastor MacArthur or one of the professors at The Master’s College or Seminary participate and present their position (a symposium of sorts).  I also believe it would be productive to bring in some Reformed Theologians on the topic (see below).

Pastor MacArthur you may remember me as a student at The Master’s College in the early 90’s –  I also attended Grace Community and worked at the churches bookstore?  As a student I had just left 4 point Calvinism behind and embraced limited atonement.  I was giving you a lot of material on that subject including Gary Long’s book and syllabus – on Definite Atonement.  I also was trying to get you and the faculty to hire my former Director and Bible College professor from Calvary Chapel Bible College – Dr. Richard Goswiller.  You may also remember me as one asking many questions in that early class where you made yourself available for questions?  I talked to you and asked questions regarding your inconsistent 4 point “Calvinist” position (that I just left for the 5 point view) and Partial Preterism (which I had just begun to study).  I also gave you arguments as to why I felt the miraculous sign gifts were still for today which included:

  1. If “that which is perfect” and the “face to face” sight (the Second Coming and New Creation) has not come (1 Cor. 13:8-12/Rev. 22:4-7), then the miraculous sign gifts are still for the church today.  My exegesis of 1 Cor. 13:8-12 here.
  2. If we are still in the “last days” (cf. Acts 2), then the miraculous sign gifts are still for the church today.  My exegesis of Acts 2 and the last days here.
  3. If the Great Commission and end of the age of Matt. 24:14/Mark 16/Matt. 28/Acts 1:8 had not been fulfilled, then the miraculous sign gifts are still for the church today.  My exegesis of the Great Commission texts here.
  4. If we are still in the “already and not yet” phase of the kingdom, then the miraculous sign gifts are still for the church today.  My response – The “not yet” Kingdom and Second Coming arrived in an “at hand” and AD 30 – AD 70 “this generation” time frame (Lk. 21:27-32).

During that year of College not only would I go on to become a 5 point Calvinist, but I also studied and left behind Dispensationalism, Amillennialism and Partial Preterism for Full Preterism (as I combined what the Classic Amillennialist and Partial Preterist were saying of Matthew 24/1 Thess. 4-5 and many other crucial eschatological texts).  I initially came to Full Preterism not even knowing it was a view – just through my personal studies (my testimony here).  Full Preterism not only was an answer to my prayers regarding eschatology, but it also was the antidote to the Charismatic arguments I didn’t see you addressing with me in person or in reading your books or listening to sermons.  I recently read your book(Strange Fire) and Dr. Brown’s response (Authentic Fire) and gave a two-part lecture response to them at The Berean Bible Conference  (those DVD’s are still being edited).  Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to address all of the 4 points listed above in those lectures – which was a response to Dr. Brown and how you and the conference speakers did not deal with these arguments.  However, I have been responding to these 4 points in a series of articles on my web site:  fullpreterism.com.

As a student at The Master’s College I do remember us inviting a Mormon Apologist to one of our classes.  We were challenged to research Mormonism and be prepared to ask him challenging questions.  It was a very healthy learning / back and forth experience for all involved.  Textbooks can only equip a Christian so much and at some point we need to debate and personally engage the culture and various positions face to face.  I appreciate my professor for doing this.  I also invited Dr. Greg Bahnsen to our college and he lectured in various classes and answered challenging questions from students and staff.  Again, this was healthy for the students and faculty.  If The Master’s College can engage with Mormon and Reconstructionist Apologists, surely she can engage Charismatic and Full Preterist Apologists over the subject of Strange Fire and when the Bible teaches the sign and revelatory gifts are to cease?

Currently my debate with Dr. Brown is centered on 1 Corinthians 13:8-12.  The position I will be defending is a combination of the corporate maturity view and the eschatology view – when Christ and the New Creation came spiritually and “soon” (cf. Rev. 22:4-7) in AD 70, the Church stood mature and complete from the Old Covenant system.  In Dr. Brown’s debate with Reformed Apologist James White over the gift of healing, White completely ignored Brown’s argument on 1 Cor. 1:5-8/13:8-12.  In his debate with another Reformed author – Sam Waldron, Sam had a very difficult time explaining his or Richard Gaffin’s view of the passage.  Obviously your own right-hand man Phil Johnson didn’t do so well in his discussions with Dr. Brown over the Strange Fire conference.  Which I found odd in that there was no discussion over Scripture (which was probably something Phil didn’t want to discuss since Brown has been asking for a debate and discussion over Scripture on this subject for a long time now).

Please host and or participate in this debate.  Or better yet here is my suggestion that I believe will bring the most healing to the body:

A symposium on the subject of when the sign and revelatory gifts are to cease according to Scripture – addressing those 4 points/passage listed above.  Here are the participants I am requesting to participate:

  • Reformed Partial Preterist Cessationist – R.C. Sproul / Keith Mathison / Gary DeMar.
  • Historic Premillennial Charismatic – Michael Brown.
  • Reformed Charismatic – John Piper.
  • Dispensational Cessationist – John MacArthur (or co-Pastor or Professor).
  • Reformed Amillennial Cessationist – Sam Waldron or James White.
  • Sovereign Grace Full Preterist Cessationist – Michael Sullivan.

Each view must cover those 4 points and respond to the others exegesis and treatment of them.  So there is no confusion let me briefly outline my view:

  1. “That which is perfect” and the “face to face” sight (1 Cor. 13:8-12) is the Second Coming and arrival of the New Creation which arrived at the end of the OC age/heaven and earth “soon” in AD 70 (cf. Rev. 21-22:4-7). Thus the sign and revelatory gifts of tongues, prophecy and knowledge “ceased” in AD 70.
  2. The “last days” (of Acts 2 and elsewhere in the NT ) is descriptive of the last days of the OC age which ended in AD 70. Thus the sign and revelatory gifts ceased at the end of the last days of the OC age in AD 70.
  3. The Great Commission of Matt. 24:14, 34/Matt. 28:18-20/Mrk. 16:15-20/Acts 1:8 was a sign that preceded Christ’s coming at the end of the AD 30 – AD 70 “this generation” and was fulfilled prior to “the end” or “end of the [OC] age” (cf. Rms. 10:18, 16:25-26; Cols. 1:5-6, 23). Thus the sign and revelatory gifts ceased in AD 70.
  4. The “already and not yet” of the kingdom was roughly between AD 30 – AD 70 when the OC and NC overlapped – with the old passing away and “ready to vanish” while the new was “about to be” fully revealed.   The “not yet” aspect of the “kingdom” was to be fulfilled at Christ’s imminent and first century “this generation” Second Coming (Lk. 21:27-32).  Thus the sign and revelatory gifts ceased in AD 70.

As I argued in my/our book, House Divided Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist Response to When Shall These Things Be? the truth in the eschatology debate (and in the miraculous signs and revelatory gifts debate) is to be found in combining the Reformed Classical Amillennial view with the Reformed Partial Preterist views – “Reformed and always reforming.”  These views not only form Full Preterism, they effectively refute the “Charismatic Chaos” and confusion that have plagued the church.  In your Strange Fire book and conference, you appealed to Reformed and Puritan theology.  Obviously I do not believe you have followed your own advise in the area of Reformed Theology as it applies to eschatology let alone in how it applies to this area of when the Bible teaches the sign and revelatory gifts are to cease (My response to you on how these two Reformed views form Full Preterism and solve the Charismatic debate).  As a former student of yours, I have and am willing to debate and interact with these other views on these passages and subjects – are you?

Please show Dr. Brown and myself that Grace Community and The Master’s College and Seminary is not a bubble that just talks about Theology and Apologetics – but in reality is unwilling to actually do the work of an Apologist.  This is what I have found to be the case with my other former church and Bible College – Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, and Calvary Chapel Bible College.  They now even have an “Apologetics” school that is unwilling to debate me.  Amazing that they are incapable of debating one of their own graduates.

I am thankful to Dr. Brown who has debated Don Preston (over Romans 11) and is now willing to debate me over (1 Cor. 13:8-12).  Pastor MacArthur, will you please engage us on these exegetical issues as to when the Bible teaches the sign and revelatory gifts are to cease?  I must confess my agreement with Dr. Brown and the Charismatic community that your Strange Fire Conference spent so much time on the subject of extremes within the Charismatic movement and very little time and lectures dedicated to an exegetical treatment of the cessation issue (which is the heart of the matter).  I am hoping what I am suggesting here will help deal with these valid criticisms of your conference.

As I have been writing this letter I have left messages and am in the process of being in contact with The Master’s College and Seminary.  Per the request of the receptionist at Grace Community, I will send this via email so that it will be passed along to you.  I will also post this on my web site as a public and open letter and send you a snail mail version along with a copy of my/our book.  At the very least please read my responses to Keith Mathison on the NT time texts (chapter 4) and Simon Kistemaker on the date of Revelation (chapter 5) and then David Green’s response to Mr. Strimple on the resurrection (chapter 7).

In Christ,

Michael Sullivan

To read this series of articles that are a Full Preterist response to Charismatic Michael Brown (Author of Authentic Fire)  and Cessationist John MacArthur (Author of Strange Fire) go to:  

Part 1 – My Full Preterist Response to John MacArthur’s Appeals to Church History and Reformed Theology to Solve the Charismatic Dilemma http://fullpreterism.com/1-corinthians-138-12-a-full-preterist-response-to-the-strange-fire-conference-macarthursproulpennington-cessationists-v-authentic-fire-brownwilsonpiper-cha/

Part 2 – An Overview of the Various Views of “That Which is Perfect” (1 Cor. 13:10) http://fullpreterism.com/1-corinthians-138-12-a-full-preterist-response-to-the-strange-fire-conference-macarthursproulpennington-cessationists-v-authentic-fire-brownwilsonpiper-cha/

Part 3 – My Full Preterist Response to Charismatic Michael Brown’s Argument on 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 Demonstrating That the Miraculous Sign and Revelatory Gifts of Tongues, Prophecy and Knowledge Ceased and Passed Away with the OC Age in AD 70 and John MacArthur’s Inability to Deal with the Passage  http://fullpreterism.com/my-full-preterist-response-to-john-macarthurs-strange-fire-cessationist-v-michael-brown-authentic-fire-charismatic-part-3-argument-1-an-exegesis-of/

Part 4 – My Full Preterist Response to Charismatic Michael Brown’s Argument on the “Last Days” of Acts 2 and John MacArthur’s Inability to Deal with the Passage http://fullpreterism.com/my-full-preterist-response-to-michael-brown-charismatic-authentic-fire-vs-john-macarthur-cessationist-strange-fire-the-last-days-acts-2/

Part 5 – My Full Preterist Response to Charismatic Michael Brown’s Argument on the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20 and Mark 16:15-20 and John MacArthur’s Inability to Deal with the Passage http://fullpreterism.com/my-full-preterist-response-to-john-macarthurs-strange-fire-cessationist-v-michael-browns-authentic-fire-charismatic-part-5-argument-3-the-great-commission/

Part 6 – My Full Preterist Response to Charismatic Michael Brown’s Argument on the “Already and Not Yet” of the Kingdom and John MacArthur’s Inability to Respond Biblically http://fullpreterism.com/my-full-preterist-response-to-john-macarthurs-strange-fire-cessationist-v-michael-browns-authentic-fire-charismatic-part/

Part 7 – My Full Preterist Response to Charismatic Michael Brown’s Argument on John 14:12 and John MacArthur’s (The Master’s Seminary) Inability to Deal With the Passage and the Infallibility of the Scriptures going on into John 16 http://fullpreterism.com/my-full-preterist-response-to-john-macarthurs-strange-fire-cessationist-v-michael-browns-authentic-fire-charismatic-part-2/

Part 8 – My Open Letter to my Former Pastor John MacArthur and The Master’s Seminary to Interact with Myself and Dr. Michael Brown on These Passages and When the Bible Teaches Tongues, Prophecy and Knowledge Are to Cease That Has NEVER Been Responded to http://fullpreterism.com/open-letter-to-pastor-john-macarthur-and-faculty-at-the-masters-college-seminary-sullivan-v-brown-debate-symposium-challenge/

In Christ,

Mike Sullivan

www.fullpreterism.com

PS – I may be adding some more documentation and facts to this letter to Phil over the coming weeks.