A Full Preterist Response To Partial Preterist Joel McDurmon's Article “The Passing of Away of Heaven and Earth in Revelation 20:11 and 20:1” Part 2 – Joel "Fled" From Pheugo in Revelation 16:20

Since Joel McDurmon appealed to his articles on 2 Peter 3 for further study and to support his distinctions of two different de-creation events – one alleged direct and literal fulfillment in Revelation 20:11 of the planet earth, and another covenantal and spiritual of the Old Covenant (OC) system passing and yielding to the NC creation by AD 70 in Revelation 21:1 — I examined and critiqued that article for Part 1of this two part response.  In Part 1 we saw how American Vision Partial Preterists are all over the map.  On one hand Matthew 24:29, 35=2 Pet. 3 (with other parallels being made) and was fulfilled in AD 70.  John Lightfoot (one of DeMar and Gentry’s favorite PP to quote) claimed that the elements here were  “only” referring to the OC creation passing away.  I quoted DeMar’s sources as informing us that Matthew 24 material should not have any other double/mutiple kinds of futuristic fulfillments.  And then there was Gentry whom would claim that Matthew 24 and 2 Peter 3 can have “typological” or fuller fulfillments to come.
In “hand” one we have American Vision’s presentation given to Dispensationalists, and in second, is their presentation they give to Full Preterists.  If Partial Preterists can approach Matthew 24-25/2 Peter 3/Rev. 20-22 (and other NT crucial texts such as contained in the book of Hebrews, 1 Cor. 15 and John 5:28-29) and give them double/multiple, recapitulation of patterns, manifestations of future fulfillment, then so can Dispensationalists give these same kind of meanings of futuristic fulfillments to Israel, Jerusalem, the Temple, the signs and even “this generation” etc…  Since Partial Preterists are now coming to crucial NT eschatological texts and claiming their direct imminent eschatological “not yet” anti-type AD 70 fulfillments are only further types of another “fuller-fulfillment,” then their debate with Dispensationalism is over!  And when reading McDurmon and Gentry when it comes to a NT writer using Gen. 1-3 material and what can or cannot be referring to AD 70 and a more literal fulfillment to come, the confusion and contradictions mount even higher.
In this article I want to primarily address Joel McDurmon’s exegetical “fleeing” from mentioning the Greek word pheugo in (Revelation 16:20) when he was trying to make a distinction between two different eschatological de-creations being under discussion due to two different Greek words being used in Revelation 20:11 “fled away” (pheugo) and 21:1 “passed away” (parechomai).
Joel McDurmon’s eisegetical distinctions between Revelation 20:11 – “fled away” (Greek pheugo) and Revelation 21:1 – “passed away” (Greek parechomai)
McDurmon writes,
Revelation 20:11 says earth and heaven “fled away” (ESV) from the face of the enthroned One. The verb here is ephugen (from pheugo). It means “run away” in the Monty Python sense: “retreat” or “flee” in the sense of seeking safety from an imminent threat. We get our word “fugitive” from pheugo.
Pheugo is a common word used some 279 times throughout the New Testament and Old Testament LXX, but almost always has the distinct meaning of running away out of fear or self-protection. For example, Genesis 39:12, 13 and 15 (LXX) use the word to describe Joseph fleeing from Potiphar’s wife who had him by the garment. The Exodus is described with this word (Ex. 14:5). So is David fleeing Saul who wants to murder him (1 Sam. 19:18), Ahaziah fleeing Jehu (2 Ki. 9:27), God’s enemies in general (Ps. 68:1; Prov. 28:1), Jonah fleeing God’s presence (Jon. 1:3), Baby Jesus’ family fleeing Herod (Matt. 2:13), persecuted disciples leaving town (Matt. 10:23; 24:16), fearful disciples scattering after Jesus’ crucifixion (Matt. 26:56). The list is long, and the word is consistent in this meaning.
Revelation 21:1, on the other hand, says “the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.” The verb here is apelthan (an aorist of aperchomai).”[1]
As one can clearly see McDurmon didn’t go through the proper hermeneutical/exegetical steps of pointing out how pheugo was used earlier and within the book of Revelation itself when it comes to a de-creation text/event:
“And every island fled (Greek pheugo) away, and the mountains were not found.” (Rev. 16:20).
Obviously Joel McDurmon “fled” from this text as in, “Run away in the Monty Python sense: “retreat” or “flee” in the sense of seeking safety from an imminent threat [Full Preterism]” because he and other Partial Preterists take this de-creation text as the fleeing/passing of the OC creation – not the literal creation.  So much for his “argument” that two different events are referred to because two different Greek words are used!
American Vision new-comer Sam Frost has been claiming that his and McDurmon’s view of fulfillment is that of such scholars as G.K. Beale and yet Beale identifies the de-creation and judgment of Revelation 6:14, 16:20, 20:11 and 21:1 as the same eschatological end time or “not yet” event/judgment,
“Almost identical language has already been used of the last judgment in 6:14 and 16:20 (see there, esp. for OT background). That this signifies the end-time cosmic destruction is apparent further from 21:1, which affirms that “a new heaven and a new earth” replaced the vanishing “first heaven and first earth,” which had fled away. “A place was not found for them” is from Dan. 2:35 Theod., where it is used of the destruction of the wicked kingdoms at the end time.”[2]
And again,
“The absolute nature of the judgment is continued by a picture of the further breakup of the cosmos: “every island fled, and the mountains were not found” (see on 6:14). Virtually identical descriptions in 6:14 and 20:11 also indicate the conclusive, universal destruction of the earth at the judgment day. That parts of the world “were not found” (οὐχ εὑρέθησαν) anticipates the same portrayal of Babylon’s final, definitive destruction repeated three times in ch. 18 (οὐ μὴ εὑρεθῇ in 18:21, 22, and similarly in 18:14).
Note the striking parallel language in 6:14; 20:11; and 16:20:

6:14

16:20

πᾶν ὄρος καὶ νῆσος ἐκ τῶν τόπων αὐτῶν ἐκινήθησαν (“every mountain and island were moved from their places”)  πᾶσα νῆσος ἔφυγεν καὶ ὄρη οὐχ εὑρέθησαν (“every island fled, and the mountains were not found”) 

20:11

 
ἔφυγεν ἡ γῆ καὶ ὁ οὐρανός καὶ τόπος οὐχ εὑρέθη αὐτοῖς (“the earth and the heaven fled, and a place was not found for them”)   

 
Destruction of mountains was a sign of the end of the cosmos in Jewish apocalyptic (1 En.1:6; Assumption of Moses10:4; Sib. Or. 8.234–35).”[3]
McDurmon basically tried to mock Preston’s charts of parallels in his various books in the debate as too simple, and yet the FACTS are that Don isn’t coming up with anything new when it comes to these parallels!  It is called the “analogy of Scripture” and the vast majority of reformed exegesis upholds these kinds of parallels and recapitulation within the book of Revelation.  As usual McDurmon was just blowing smoke!
Beale is correct in that the phrase “a place was not found for them” in Revelation 12:8, 16:20 and 20:11 is taken from Daniel 2:35 but it is not discussing the inaugural defeat of Satan, but the final defeat of him as the immediate context demonstrates in 20:10 and how the rest of the NT describes his imminent defeat (Rom. 16:20/Gen. 3:15).
Sam Frost / Joel McDurmon and Hermeneutics in Revelation 20 
Joel was pleased at the debate to hand out free copies of Sam Frost’s (non-exegetical) little thin book on why he is now a Partial Preterist.  But Frost continues to believe that the thousand years millennium in Revelation 20 was roughly between AD 30 – AD 70 – combining what Amilennialists teach on the recapitulation structure of the book (Rev. 20 with chapters 1-19, 21-22) and what Partial Preterists teach on AD 70 fulfillments of chapters 1-19, 21-22.  But Frost fails to follow this same historical/grammatical and “organic development” approach in Revelation 20:5-15!  Sam has told us before that Partial Preterist exegetes harden their hearts on what the plain meaning of the text is in order to seek “the validation of men.” And that is what I believe McDurmon, DeMar and Frost have done in Revelation 20:5-15.  I have been saying in for years and agree with Frost in that this arbitrary hermeneutic of Partial Preterism is just a symptom of a greater problem. And while we are on that note of arbitrary hermeneutics…
Where Is the Matthew 25:31-46 and Revelation 20:10-13 Partial Preterist Parallel Hermeneutic?!?
American Vision’s Gary DeMar is on record as teaching:

  • John’s version of the Olivet discourse can be found in the book of Revelation.
  • Matthew 25:31-46 is descriptive of Christ coming in the judgment of AD 70.
  • That Matthew 24-25 can be paralleled to the vast majority of eschatological passages in the NT to prove AD 70 fulfillments and thus disprove Dispensationalism.

Therefore, it is pure eisegesis and a creedal bias which causes Partial Preterism and American Vision writers to avoid making these parallels here!  Does not orthodox Christianity and reformed creedal theology claim that Matthew 25:31-46 is a description of the Second Coming and final judgment — connecting it to the same judgment of Revelation 20:10-13?!? As I pointed out in “Part 1” of my response to Joel’s article, these parallels should have been developed but because it would continue to lead American Vision readers into Full Preterism or upset creedal supporters, these parallels were not:
1)  Matthew 25:31=Revelation 20:11 — Christ/God on the Throne to Judge.
2)  Matthew 24:29, 35=Revelation 20:11 — Heaven and Earth pass/flee.
3)  Matthew 25:31/Matthew 16:27=Revelation 20:12 — “all men” “each person” “all Nations” “the rest of the dead” “small and great “according to what they have done.”
4)  Matthew 25:41-46=Revelation 20:10, 14-15 — Wicked along with the Devil thrown into Lake of Fire for eternal punishment.    
Daniel 12:1-7 and Revelation 20:5-13
Beale also points out that there is no greater influence upon the book of Revelation than that of the book of Daniel.  Well, again this is no small problem for Joel McDurmon and American Vision who are now in print as informing their readers that the judgment and resurrection of the dead in Daniel 12:1-7 took place in AD 70.  We are told by Partial Preterists that John picks up where Daniel leaves off – and we couldn’t agree more!
Conclusion:
I don’t think it is a huge mystery as to why McDurmon “fled” from mentioning Revelation 16:20 and these other texts and issues in his article on Revelation 20:11 and 21:1.  Personally, I tend to believe it was more than sloppy or non-existent exegesis, it was borderline dishonesty or as Frost once wrote “seeking the validation of men” – but I will leave it for the readers to decide.  McDurmon has failed on an exegetical level to prove his case that Revelation 20:11 is a text which directly points to a literal de-creation event at the end of history while others such as Revelation 21:1 have a dual/double meaning of fulfillment– 1) AD 70 covenant de-creation and 2) an alleged literal/global de-creation referent.



[1] Joel McDurmon, The “passing” away of heaven and earth in Revelation 20:11 and 21:1 http://americanvision.org/5738/the-passing-away-of-heaven-and-earth-in-revelation-2011-and-211-4/#.UCkxAaOJr3A
[2] G.K. Beale, (1999). The book of Revelation: A commentary on the Greek text. New International Greek Testament Commentary (1032). Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle, Cumbria: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press.
[3] G. K. Beal, Ibid., (844).

In What Sense Did Jesus Leave, Stay and Then Return In AD 70 – Brief Study of Acts 1:6-11–3:17-23 and The Anaology of Scripture

By David Green / Michael Bennett / Michael Sullivan
Talbotism or Partial Preterism would ask:
. . . Jesus left. And unless you ignore his promise to be with them until the end of the age, you would have to agree that there is a sense in which he didn’t leave. Well, it seems awfully obvious to me now that the sense in which he left was in regards to his human nature; which includes a body. He physically left them. Acts 1 clearly demonstrates that.  And there is nothing illogical about that answer.  If that isn’t the sense, then what is? . . . In what sense did he leave and in what sense did he stay. . . ?
David Green’s Comments:

My response:
The answer to Talbotism’s question is found in the answer to these seven questions:
1. “…until Christ is formed in you.” (Gal. 4:19)
The church was looking forward to when Christ would be formed in it.  But Christ was already in the church.  “In what sense” then was He later “formed” in the church?
2. “in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit” (Eph. 2:21,22).

The church was looking forward to when it would become God’s “holy temple” / dwelling.”  But the church was already God’s temple/dwelling.  “In what sense” then did the church later become God’s temple/dwelling.
3. “So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith….”
(Eph. 3:17)

Paul’s desire was that God would strengthen believers with might by Christ’s Spirit in the inner man “so that Christ would dwell in [their] hearts through faith.”  But Christ was already dwelling in believers’ hearts through faith.  “In what sense” then did Christ later dwell in believers’ hearts through faith?
4. “to whom God 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” (Col. 1:27).

The church’s glorious hope (her expectation) was “Christ in you.”  But Christ was already in the church.  “In what sense” then did Christ later dwell in the church?
5. “And so we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the Morning Star arises
in your hearts
.” (II Peter 1:19)

Believers were looking forward to “the day” when “the Morning Star” would arise in their hearts.  But the Morning Star (Jesus) was already dwelling in their hearts.  “In what sense” then did Jesus later arise in believers’ hearts?
6. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me” (Rev. 3:20;  This promise was written to believers.).

Jesus told believers that if any one of them opened the door, He would “come in to him, and will dine with him.”  But Jesus was already dwelling in believers and dining with them.  “In what sense” then did Jesus later dwell in believers and dine with them?
7. “…If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him.” (Jn. 14:23)

Only spirit-indwelt believers love Jesus.  Yet Jesus said that a time would come when the Father and the Son would make their abode in Spirit-indwelt believers.  Yet the Son was already dwelling in Spirit-indwelt believers.  “In what sense” then did Jesus and the Father later make Their abode in Spirit-indwelt believers?
The rhetorical question of the two men in white apparel: “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?
Their question implied that it was pointless for the disciples to stand there gazing up into the sky as Jesus went up.
But, why/how was it pointless for Jesus’ disciples to stand there gazing up into the sky as He went up?

Was it because Jesus wasn’t going to come back for many years?  Was it because the disciples had a lot of work to do and didn’t have time to stand around?
Neither of these reasons were the explanation the two men gave for their rhetorical question.  They did not say, “Why stand ye gazing up into heaven?  Jesus isn’t going to come back for a long, long time.”  Nor did they say, Why stand ye gazing up into heaven?  You have a lot of work to do and limited time in which to do it.”
No, according to the two men, it was pointless to stand there gazing into the sky as Jesus went up, because Jesus was going to “come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).
In the futurist framework, that argument, of course, makes no sense.  There was no point in looking into the sky as Jesus went up because He was going to come back physically?  That’s a non sequitur.
In the preterist framework though, the words of the two men do make sense.
There was no point in looking for Jesus to come back down out of the sky, because He was to come in the manner in which they had “seen” him going into the sky:
Hidden from ordinary sight, in divine glory (Acts. 1:9; 1 Tim. 3:16).
Michael Bennett comments:
Milton Terry (1898)
“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, what manner, occurs, it points to a general concept rather than the particular form of its actuality. Thus, in Acts vii, 28, it is not sonic 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.”
“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.
“To make the one statement of the angel in Acts 1:11, 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.”[1]
If “in like manner” means “in exactly the same way” then:
• How does Jesus come from heaven riding on a white horse (Rev. 19:11)?
• How does He come “with ten thousand of His saints” (Jude 14)?
• How does He come “as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west” (Matt. 24:27)?
• How does He come “with a loud command [shout] . . . and with the trumpet call of God” (1 Thess. 4:16)?
• How does He come “in blazing fire with his powerful angels” (2 Thess. 1:7)?
We have seen various legitimate reasons / arguments and statements why Acts 1 is not about a future coming it is in regards to the AD70 coming of Christ a “2nd” time (Heb. 9:26-28).  Here is another more point – consider the CONTEXT regarding the kingdom. and the dates that the Father sets that no one knows. Where have we seen that and are there time texts etc. attached to those. After all that is the context of Acts 1. That is the question that is being answered by the “two men dressed in white.”
Immediate Context of Acts 1:9-11
“3After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 6So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 10They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11″Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
The context of Acts 1 is:

  • The coming of the kingdom.
  • You (disciple’s – contemporary audience) do not know the time or dates.
  • The disciple’s preaching the gospel to all the world.

Needless to say – the kingdom was “near” and that is a time text and Matthew 24 cannot be divided into 2 comings because Luke 17 mixes the event so not knowing the day / hour (Matt. 24:36) or times / dates (Acts 1:6ff.; 1 Thess. 5:1ff.) etc. was a reference to AD 70.   Also note that both are about the gospel reaching the world etc.
(Matthew 10:7) “As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.
(Matthew 24:14, 34, 36)  “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. 34I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 36″No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

Michael Sullivan’s Comments:
1)  How Christ went and would return
In our book House Divided, pages 101-102 I wrote:
“Mathison errs when he says 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.”
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).
. . . 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 (Heb. 5:7). 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.”
2)  Christ’s return will follow the completion of the Great Commission
On pages 98-104 I noted how Keith Mathison in one of his books claims:
Acts 1:9-11 has – “…no reference to time connected with the prediction of the return of Christ.” (WSTTB?, 185, emphasis mine)
But in another book he writes,
The time frame is hinted at in the preceding context.  The disciples are given a commission to be Christ’s witneses “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, bold emphasis mine).
God saved 3,000 believers (new exodus motif. 3,000 died at giving of law 3,000 live from NC life in the Spirit – the law produces death the Spirit life etc…) from “every nation under heaven” in (Acts 2:5, 41) and sent them back out into their “every nation under heaven” and or “world” (Greek ge) to proclaim the gospel.  By AD 70 “every nation under heaven” and this “world” (Greek ge) Jesus is referring to had been preached to (Rom. 1:18, Cols. 5-6, 23).  Therefore, the “implication” of Partial Preterism and that of Mathison, is that Christ returned in AD 70 when the “time frame” of “the disciples commission” was fulfilled.  Selah.
3)  The “restoration of the kingdom” (Acts 1:6) .
is also inseparably connected to the coming of the Lord in (v. 11).  And yet, the “restoration” of the kingdom Jesus identified with John the Baptist/Elijah — preaching repentance because of an imminent wrath and judgment associated with the  the great and dreadful day of the Lord (Matt. 3:7-12; Matt. 11:10-14; Matt. 17:10-13; Isaiah 11; Mal. 3-4).  Oddly another coming of the Lord Partial Preterism claims took place in AD 70.  ecause Peter was preaching to his contemporary audience telling them to act (per Gentry)!
4)  The “Great and dreadful day of the Lord” in (Acts 2:20ff.)
Partial Preterism also teaches that the contemporary repentance preached to Peter’s generation in Acts 2 along with the “great and dreadful day of the Lord” was fulfilled by AD 70 (Acts 2:20–40).   One of Gentry’s reasons being that Peter was preaching to his contemporary audience telling them to act! Let’s now pick back up the “restoration of the kingdom” or the “restoration of all things” — contemporary exhortation to act in repentance in connection with the Lord’s return in Acts 3 and Hebrews 9:24–10:37.
5)  Picking back up the “restoration of the kingdom” or “until the time comes for God to restore everything” “times of refreshing” (Acts 3:17-23) etc…
These NT terms reached there fullness and mature state when the Second Coming of Lord took place in AD 70 (Luke 21:27-32/Acts 3:17-23/Heb. 9:24–26-28–10:1YLT, 25, 37).  So far according Partial Preterism the coming of the Lord in Acts 1:11 and Acts 2:20-21 took place in AD 70.
But what about in chapter 3 — is there anything in this chapter that would indicate a different coming of the Lord spread out over thousands or millions of years?  Per the logic and reasoning of Gentry in Acts 2, the same Jewish contemporary audience is being exhorted to repent  and if they didn’t  this coming of the Lord would result either in their sins being forgiven (those that would repent), and for  those who refused to repent – they would be “completely cut off from among his people” (Acts 3:17-23). These are those who would not listen to the greater prophet than Moses (Christ) predicted by Moses in Deuteronomy 18:15-19.  And what was the message of “this prophet” (Jesus)?  Was it not that His return in their generation would mark the fulfillment of all that has been written in the OT – time of redemption for those that trusted and repented and the time of punishment for those who would not (Luke 21:22-32)?!? 
Luke 21:20-32 & Acts 3:17-23

  • Same coming of the Lord.
  • Same salvation/redemption for believers and punishment for unbelievers – Jews “his people.”
  • Same fulfillment of all the OT prophets and scriptures.

Since the OT prophets predicted the “restoration of the kingdom” or “the restoration of all things,” when Christ would come from heaven (Acts 1:6-11/3:17-23) and Partial Preterist’s admit that the OC “heaven and earth” of (Matt. 5:17-18) passed away in AD 70 — therefore, the coming of Christ and the restoration of all things pertaining to God’s kingdom found in the law and prophets were fulfilled and reached there mature state by D 70.
And verse 24 wraps up the sermon informing us that all which has gone before (all the OT’s Prophets testimony) “foretold these days” – that is the “last days” and coming of the Lord in salvation or judgment that was preached in the previous chapter in ( Acts 2:17-21, 38-40; see also 1 Peter 1:4-12).  Many Partial Preterists believe the “last days” were from AD 30 – AD 70.  This being the case, the Lord comes from heaven at the end of “the last days” of the OC age at which time He came from heaven to save the remnant and “judge His people (Israel).”  And these same Partial Preterists we are addressing in this article would affirm that the salvation of Israel in Romans 11 was also fulfilled by AD 70.  Since it is grammatically impossible to separate the time given for Christ to come from heaven to reward with forgiveness of sins and or judge these first century Jews “his people” in (Acts 3:19-23) in their “last days” or “these days,” we must ask these Partial Preterists if there is going to be another Old Covenant “Israel” “his people” in the future when Christ returns but yet again?
The bottom line exegetical facts are from Acts 1:6–3:23 we have the:

  • Same contemporary exhortation/audience directed at the Jews to repent for killing their Messiah.
  • Same coming of the Lord in salvation or judgment that we saw in chapter 2.
  • Same “restoration” motif and coming of the Lord we saw in Acts 1:6-11!
  • Same “last days” or “these days” time period (AD 30 – AD 70) for these OT predictions to take place.

Hebrews 9:24-28–10:37 “Time of reformation” “Appear a second time apart from sin.”
Partial Preterist Mathison cites (Heb. 9:28) as an “indefinite reference” of the second coming since the verse allegedly does not contain a time text (WSTTB?, p. 202). But R.C. Sproul in refuting Kistemaker says that this passage includes both His first and second coming occurring by AD. 70 and that a “considerable time” is very much an issue with this text,
This passage refers to both the first and second appearances of Christ. The context for his first appearance is “the end of the ages.” Yet his followers are still waiting for him to appear a second time.” “…If Christ’s first coming at “the end of the ages” has already occurred and if considerable time has elapsed since that coming, then it is impossible to identify “the end of the ages” with the end of time. If the second appearing of Christ here refers to his judgment on Jerusalem, it would still fit in the framework of “the end of the ages” that is not the end of all time.[2]
But probably the best and most straightforward statement comes once again from Partial Preterist Milton S. Terry,
The ‘end of the age’ means the close of the epoch or age—that is, the Jewish age or dispensation which was drawing nigh, as our Lord frequently intimated. All those passages that speak of ‘the end,’ ‘the end of the age,’ or ‘the ends of the ages,’ refer to the same consummation, and always as nigh at hand.” “…the writer regarded the incarnation of Christ as taking place near the end of the aeon, or dispensational period. To suppose that he meant that it was close upon the end of the world, or the destruction of the material globe, would be to make him write false history as well as bad grammar. It would not be true in fact; for the world has already lasted longer since the incarnation than the whole duration of the Mosaic economy, from the exodus to the destruction of the temple. It is futile, therefore, to say that the ‘end of the age’ may mean a lengthened period, extending from the incarnation to our times, and even far beyond them. That would be an aeon, and not the close of an aeon. The aeon of which our Lord was speaking was about to close in a great catastrophe; and a catastrophe is not a protracted process, but a definitive and culminating act.[3]
This text is where we get the term “the Second coming” of Jesus , and we have partial preterists such as Sproul and Terry conceding to a common sense Full Preterist interpretation of the passage as possibly or being fulfilled at the end of the OC age in AD 70.  Mathison just avoids the issues but in another work does say of Hebrews 9:1-28,
“In 9:1-10, the author continues his argument by explaining the temporary nature of the Old Testament tabernacle and its ceremonies. The tabernacle and its sacrifices were never intended by God to be permanent. They were to continue until the “time of reformation” (v.10).12 Hebrews 9:11-28 describes what happened when this time of reformation arrived.” (Postmillennialism, ibid., p.132).
He then goes on to quote Philip E. Hughes whom agrees with us that the imagery here is that of the High Priest going into the Most Holy Place tabernacle/temple on the Day of Atonement to make sacrifice and intercede for the covenant people before coming back out “a second time” in declaring that the sacrifice had been accepted and applying or sprinkling the blood etc… The problem for Mathison, is that the time texts within the broader and immediate context of this chapter demand “the time of reformation” process or the eschatological “not yet,” to arrive in its fullness within an imminent AD 70 time frame and not millennia. In his debate with Full Preterism, he does not want to draw attention to this fact let alone allow the imminent contextual flow surrounding the passage to be an exegetical factor (8:13, 9:6-10, 10:1, 13/17, 25, 37) which Sproul says is an exegetical issue that needs addressing. We couldn’t agree more! Once again we find Mathison’s response more than “shallow,” it is nonexistent!
Just in passing, on Hebrews 9:8, — I would agree with commentators who would identify the “first” compartment being the Holy Place (not the entire tabernacle) – symbolizing the Old Covenant age still having a “legal standing,” “have status” or “functioning” and the Most Holy Place being representative of the New Covenant age in-breaking upon the old.  Full and complete face to face access (of the age changing process between AD 30 -AD 70) is given behind the veil within the Most Holy Place at the blowing of the last trumpet when the Second Coming of Christ takes place in AD 70 (Rev. 11:15-19; 21:16–22:3-4, 6-7, 10-12, 20; 1 Cor. 13:12/2 Cor. 3:7–5:10/6:16).
The context of Hebrews 9-10 is the same in which we see developed in Acts 1:6–2:20ff.–3:17-23:

  • A exhortation given to a contemporary audience regarding an imminent judgment/salvation (forgiveness of sin).
  • Concerning the “time of reformation” connected to…
  • The coming of the Lord – a second time.

Partial Preterism (in this case as seen in the hateful Talbot cult obsessed with bearing false witness against Full Preterism – almost on a daily basis as documented on David Greens pretcosmos yahoo list) continues in its hardness in fighting against the analogy of Scripture when trying to reconciling all of the component parts of Acts 1-3 with passages they say were fulfilled by AD 70.  The vast majority of Christianity and creedal statements understands the coming of Christ in Acts 1:11 as the same event as depicted in Matthew 24-25/1 Thess. 4-5/Rev. 1:7 etc… They also correctly identify the Great Commission in Acts 1:8 with that of Matthew 24:14; Mark 16:15-18/Matthew 28:18-20.  If the church is still in the “last days” (depending on which Mathison or Partial Preterist book you read now days) and the commission of the disciples has not been reached throughout the “world” / “every nation under heaven” or to “all nations,” then Mathison and reformed Partial Preterists should be open to speaking in tongues and reworking their theology on the charismata (Acts 1-2; Mark 13:10; 16:15-18).  Selah.
Conclusion:
When we compare Acts 1:6-11 with the rest of the NT addressing its various motifs —

  • How Christ went (hidden in the glory cloud) was being formed in the Church and returned “in like manner” (hidden in glory and “in” or “within” the Church).
  • When the “restoration of the kingdom” would come connected to its day/hour and times and seasons…
  • The Great Commission being preached throughout the “world” (Greek ge) being when…
  • Christ would appear a “second time” at the end of the Old Covenant age (even quoting Partial Preterist theologians themselves on Acts 1:9-11/Heb. 9:26-28/Matt. 24-25/Rev. 1:7) we can readily see…
  • That the Second Coming of Christ was fulfilled by AD 70.

Partial Preterists have to continue to kick against the goads seeking the “validation of men” in order to please their creedal supporters and hide from these “simple” truths of Scripture.  We affirm that the creeds are correct in that Acts 1:6-11/Acts 3:20-21/Matt. 24:30-31; 25:31ff. are one event and describe the judgment and resurrection of the “quick and the dead.”  But according to Luke in the book of Acts and Jesus, these were event’s that were “about to” take place in Jesus’ and Luke’s first century “this generation” (Acts 17:31YLT/WEY; Acts 24:15YLT/WEY; Matt. 24:30-34).  And yet this article/response is to Talbot-Jason and Talbot-Frost whom are now quoting reformed creeds and confessions which actually connects Acts 1:11 with Matthew 24:30; 2 Peter 3 and Revelation 22:20 (which they claim happened in AD 70) as the SAME EVENT!  Partial Preterism continues to lead their readers into Full Preterism no matter what they do – selah.  [facebook][tweet][stumble][pinterest][follow id=”Username” ]


[1] Milton Terry, Biblical Apocalyptics: A Study of the Most Notable Revelations of God and of Christ; Baker Book House; pp. 246-247 see note #34 too)
[2] R.C. Sproul, THE LAST DAYS ACCORDING TO JESUS, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1998), 106.
[3] Milton S. Terry, Biblical HERMENEUTICS A Treatise on the Interpretation of the Old and New Testaments, (Zondervan Publishing House, 1986), 441-442.

 

The ABC’s of Matthew 24-25=1 Thessalonians 4-5=1 Corinthians 15 Embracing the Organic Development of Full Preterist Synthesis Or the Myth of Orthodox “Unity” on the “Essentials” – You Decide

The ABC’s of Matthew 24-25=1 Thessalonians 4-5=1 Corinthians 15

 Embracing the Organic Development of Full Preterist Synthesis

Or the Myth of Orthodox “Unity” on the “Essentials” You Decide

By Michael J. Sullivan
Copyright 2009 – revised and expanded 2013

Since this article is by far one of my most popular ones and has helped so many people come out of their journey from reformed Amillennialism and Partial Preterism into Full Preterism, I decided to add a section at the end which further demonstrates how Full Preterism synthesizes and is the organic development of the two reformed competing views on many eschatological subjects and key texts — all the while exposing the myth that these two views can somehow be “united” in the alleged future “essentials” of eschatology.  For footnotes of what I say about each view – one should get a copy of our book, House Divided Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist Response to When Shall These Things Be?.
Hermeneutics is defined as “the study or science of interpreting the Scriptures.” The Westminster Confession of Faith correctly states that, “The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture, is the Scripture itself; and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.”[1] J.I. Packer understands this to mean “that we must give ourselves in Bible study to following out the unities, cross-references and topical links which Scripture provides.”[2]
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. Or the property of equality is transitive – for 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 = (Matt. 24:27-31, 34)
B = (1 Thess. 4:15-17)
C = (1 Cor. 15)

THE CURRENT CONTRADICTION & DIVIDED HOUSE OF FUTURISM WITHOUT FULL PRETERISM:

Orthodox Reformed Partial Preterism (ex. R.C. Sproul, Kenneth Gentry, Gary DeMar, Keith Mathison, etc…) Teaches the Church That:
A (Matt. 24:27-31) was fulfilled when Christ returned in AD 70 in Jesus’ “this generation” (Matt. 24:34). For the Partial Preterist Jesus’ statement of “this generation” (AD 30-70) connected with the NT’s imminent time texts “at hand,” “shortly,” “soon,” “quickly,” “in a very little while,” “about to,” also refer to an AD 70 fulfillment (cf. Romans 13:11-12; 1 Peter 4:5-7; James 5:7-9; Hebrews 8:13–10:37; Revelation 1:1, 3:11, 10:6-7, 22:6-7, 10-12, 20) and are the “speak more clearly” texts.  We agree with them on this point.  While ignoring the “clear” proposition of Biblical Preterism and traditional Amillennialism that A (Matt. 24:27-31) is equal to B (1 Thess. 4:15-17), they do affirm that both B (1 Thess. 4:15-17) and C (1 Cor. 15) are equal to each other and are the Second Coming and resurrection events.
Orthodox Reformed Classic & Creedal Amillennialism Teaches the Church That:
A (Matt. 24:27-31) = B (1 Thess. 4:15-17) and that both A (Matt. 24:27-31) and B (1 Thess. 4:15-17) = C (1 Cor. 15).  For example the very Reformed Study Bible in which Partial Preterists R.C. Sproul and Keith Mathison are editors we learn this from an Amillennialist contributor concerning Matt. 24:29-31:
“But the language of Matt. 24:31 is parallel to passages like 13:41; 16:27; and 25:31 [passages Partial Preterists 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.”[3]
Luther, Calvin and even the WCF itself affirms that Matt. 24:30-31/Luke 21:27-28 is the Second Coming event.  While ignoring the “clear” proposition of Biblical and Partial Preterism on Jesus’ use of “this generation” and the imminent time texts, the traditional Amilennialist sees that the analogy of Scripture and the fact that the NT only teaches ONE second coming (not a third) is the hermeneutical “speak more clearly” teaching of Scripture.  We agree with them on this proposition as well.

THE BETTER HERMENEUITCS, LOGIC & SYNTHESIS OF BIBLICAL OR FULL PRETERISM 

Orthodox (“straight”) Biblical Preterism Objects To The Combined Contradictory Statements In That If…
A (Matt. 24:27-31) was fulfilled in AD 70, and if A (Matt. 24:27-31) is equal to both B (1 Thess. 4:15-17) and C (1 Cor. 15), then both B (1 Thess. 4:15-17) and C (1 Cor. 15) were fulfilled at Christ’s parousia in AD 70. In other words, “Things which are equal to the same thing are also equal to one another. If equals be added to equals, the wholes are equal.”   
“If A (Matt. 24:27-43) bears some relation to B (1 Thess. 4:15 – 1 Thess. 5)” or “A=B”:
If A (Matt. 24) is = to B (1 Thess. 4-5) and B (1 Thess. 4) is = to C (1 Cor. 15) Then A (Matt. 24) is = to C (1 Cor. 15)

Since A (Mat. 24) = B (1 Thess. 4)
Christ Returns from Heaven 24:30 4:16
With Voice of Arch Angel 24:31 4:16
With Trumpet of God 24:31 4:16
Caught/Gathered Together with/to Christ 24:31 4:17
“Meet” the Lord in the Clouds 24:30 & 25:6 4:17
Exact Time Unknown 24:36 5:1-2
Christ Comes as a Thief 24:43 5:2
Unbelievers Caught Off Guard 24:37-39 5:3
Time of Birth Pangs 24:8 5:3
Believers Not Deceived 24:43 5:4-5
Believers to Be Watchful 24:42 5:6
Exhorted to Sobriety 24:49 5:7
Son/Sunlight Shinning From E. to W. / Sons of the Day 24:27, 36, & 38 5:4-8
And B (1 Thess. 4) =  C (1 Cor. 15)
The Sleeping to Be Raised 4:13-14 15:12-18
The Living to Be aught/Changed 4:15-17 15:51-52
Christ’s Coming (Greek: Parousia) 4:15 15:23
At the Sound of the Trumpet 4:16 15:52
Encouraged to Stand Firm 4:18 15:58
Same Contemporary “We” 4:15-17 15:51-52
Then A (Matt. 24)  =  C (1 Cor. 15)
Christ to Come (Greek: Parousia) 24:27 15:23
His People to Be Gathered/Changed 24:31 15:52
To Come with the Sound of a Trumpet 24:31 15:52
To Be “The End” (Greek telos, the goal) 24:3, 14 15:24
Kingdom Consummation (goal reached) Luke 21:30-32 15:24
All Prophecy Fulfilled at This Point Luke 21:22 15:54-55
Victory over the Law/Temple Mat. 24:1 15:55-56
Same Contemporary “We” Mat. 24:2ff 15:51-52

Two or More Things that Are Equal to Another Thing Are Also Equal to Each Other.

Matthew 24                     1 Thessalonians 4          1 Corinthians 15 

At His Coming (24:27-31) = At His Coming (4:16) = At His Coming (15:23)
At the Trumpet (24:31) = At the Trumpet (4:16) = At the Trumpet (15:52)
Dead Raised, All Gathered (24:31) = Dead Raised (4:16) = Dead Raised (15:35-44)
All Living Gathered
(24:31)
= Living Caught Together to Him (4:17) = Status of Living Changed (15:51)

PREMISE #1:  The parousia/coming of Christ in Matthew 24 took place in AD 70 (according to partial preterists and Biblical preterists)
PREMISE #2:  The parousia/coming of Christ in Matthew 24 is the same coming of Christ in 1 Thessalonians 4-5 and 1 Corinthians 15 (according to traditional amillennialists and Biblical preterists)
CONCLUSION:  The parousia/coming of Christ in 1 Thessalonians 4-5 and 1 Corinthians 15 took place in AD 70.
Preterists unite these two clear premises from both groups:
1. Partial Preterism – The imminent time texts concerning the parousia of Christ, judgment/resurrection of the dead = AD 70 and…
2. Classical Amillennialism – The analogy of Scripture supports only one NT “hope” of a Second Coming/judgment/resurrection of the living and dead.
Therefore, we “…speak more clearly” and consistently in our debate with futurists.  The divided corporate Reformed “House” contains the two premises (which we assume are true) and we are simply uniting the two valid premises into one new House.  We’re validating the Reformed and Sovereign Grace House by accepting both of it’s competing premises, and then uniting them, further honoring the Reformed and Sovereign Grace House.  This has and will continue to appeal to Reformed and Sovereign Grace believers as Biblical preterism spreads throughout their churches.   We are making a motion to revise the creeds to make them more “orthodox” (straight) with the “more clear” teaching of Scripture–“Sola Scriptura” and “Semper Reformanda”–selah.
If A = B and B = C, then A = C. Things which are equal to the same thing are equal to each other.
A (Matt. 24:27-31, 34 fulfilled in AD 70) = B (1 Thess. 4:15-17 fulfilled in AD 70)  = C (1 Cor. 15 fulfilled in AD 70).
Again, I couldn’t agree more with the editors and authors of THE REFORMATION STUDY BIBLE:
1)  (Matthew 24:27-31, 34) is descriptive of Christ’s invisible parousia taking place in Jesus’ “this [AD 30 – AD 70] generation” and…
2) Matthew 24:27-31 “Most naturally refers to the Second Coming” and is “parallel” to or the same event as developed by the Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 and 1 Corinthians 15:52.
Synthesis or “Reformed and always reforming”:  Thus the inevitable conclusion is that the Full Preterist view is both “Orthodox” and “Reformed” – Selah.  It is exciting to see (through emails and phone calls) that students of Reformed eschatology are properly learning their ABC’s of Biblical prophecy through Full Preterism and how our view is “Bridging the Gap” between the two futurist contradictory and competing views of Partial Preterism and classic Amillennialism.
Article Expansion
Although originally this article focused on how only the Full Preterism can harmonize what reformed eschatology has taught and is teaching on Matthew 24/1 Thessalonians 4-5/1 Corinthians 15, I would like to expand this now to other eschatological subjects and key texts.  I also want to turn my attention on exposing the “reformed” myth that reformed eschatology can be united on the future (to us) “essentials of eschatology.”
The Last Days

1)      Classic Amillennialism – The NT’s use of the “latter or last days” refers to the time of Christ’s first coming and extends to His one eschatological end time event of “the parousia” / Second Coming.
2)      Partial Preterism – The NT’s use of the “latter or last days” was a period roughly from AD 30 – AD 70 which closed the Old Covenant age (Gary DeMar & Joel McDurmon).
3)      Full Preterism (Synthesis / “Reformed and always reforming”) – The NT’s use of the “latter or last days” refers to the time of Christ’s first coming and extends to His one eschatological end time event of “the parousia” / Second Coming which was a period roughly from AD 30 – AD 70 which closed the Old Covenant age.
 “This age” and “the age to come”
 1)      Classic Amillennialism – The NT’s use of “this age” is the New Covenant Christian age and the “age to come” is when the one consummative end time event of “the parousia” / Second Coming, resurrection and judgment of the living and dead and arrival of the new creation takes place.
2)      Partial Preterism – The NT’s use of “this age” was the then current Old Covenant age and the use of “the age to come” was the imminent arrival of the New Covenant or Christian age in AD 70 (Gary DeMar & Joel McDurmon).
3)      Full Preterism (Synthesis / “Reformed and always reforming”) – The NT’s use of “this age” is the Old Covenant age and the “age to come” is the New Covenant age at which time the one imminent consummative end time event of “the parousia” / Second Coming, resurrection and judgment of the living and dead and arrival of the new creation took place in AD 70.
 The Resurrection and Judgment of the living and dead
1)      Classic Amillennialism – There is only one end time consummative eschatological resurrection and judgment of the living dead event which takes place at the one “the parousia” at the “end of the age.”
2)      Partial Preterism – There was a judgment and resurrection of the living and dead at “the parousia” in AD 70 at “the end of the [Old Covenant] age” in AD 70.  This resurrection of the dead was:

  1. Spiritual and unseen.
  2. Corporate and covenantal.
  3. Of souls taken out of Abraham’s Bosom/Hades to receive eternal life in God’s presence (James Jordan).

3)      Full Preterism (Synthesis / “Reformed and always reforming”) – There is only one end time consummative eschatological resurrection and judgment of the living dead event which takes place at the one “the parousia” at the “end of the [Old Covenant] age” in AD 70.  This resurrection of the dead was:

  1. Spiritual and unseen.
  2. Corporate and covenantal.
  3. Of souls taken out of Abraham’s Bosom/Hades to receive eternal life in God’s presence.

Seeing Christ coming on the clouds at His Second Appearing (Acts 1:9-11; Matthew 24:30; Revelation 1:7 and Hebrews 9:26-28)
1)      Classic Amillennialism – The one and final visible bodily Second Appearing/Coming of Christ is described for us again in (Acts 1:11; Matthew 24:30;Revelation 1:7 and Hebrews 9:26-28).  He returns literally on the clouds at the end of the age(s) and we will see Him with our literal eyes.  Hebrews 9:26-28 is describing Christ’s appearing as our High Priest to finish and complete salvation for the Church.
2)      Partial Preterism – The “seeing” of Christ in the Greek of (Matthew 24:30 and Revelation 1:7) means to “understand” or “perceive.”  Through the events of AD 66 – AD 70 when Christ came in power through the Zealot and Roman armies they “saw” “perceived” or “understood” that He had “already” come (Mark 8:38-9:1).  It is not hermeneutically valid to separate the coming of Christ in Acts 1:11 from His coming in Matthew 24:30 and Revelation 1:7.  They are the same coming and took place in AD 70.  It is also true that hermeneutically / exegetically / logically that Christ’s appearing / coming a “second time” in Hebrews 9:26-28 is Him appearing at the end of the Old Covenant age(s) in AD 70 (Milton Terry).  Hebrews 9:26-28 is describing Christ’s appearing as our High Priest to finish and complete salvation for the Church.
3)      Full Preterism (Synthesis / “Reformed and always reforming”) – The “seeing” of Christ in the Greek of (Matthew 24:30 and Revelation 1:7) means to “understand” or “perceive.”  Through the events of AD 66 – AD 70 when Christ came in power through the Zealot and Roman armies they “saw” “perceived” or “understood” that He had “already” come (Mark 8:38-9:1).  It is not hermeneutically valid to separate the coming of Christ in Acts 1:11 from His coming in Matthew 24:30 and Revelation 1:7.  They are one and the same coming of Christ and took place in AD 70.  It is also true that hermeneutically / exegetically / logically that Christ’s appearing / coming a “second time” in Hebrews 9:26-28 is describing Him appearing at the end of the Old Covenant age(s) in AD 70 and corresponds to the same coming described in the next chapter that would be “in a very little while” and would “not be delayed” (Heb. 10:37).  Hebrews 9:26-28 is also describing Christ’s appearing as our High Priest to finish and complete salvation for the Church.
The Millennium
1)      Classic Amillennialism – The thousand years of Revelation 20 is a symbolic period of time which does not have to be a very long time.  It is a period extending from Christ’s first coming to His one eschatological end time “the parousia” / Second Coming to close “this age” and judge and raise the rest of the dead.  The WCF confirms that the coming of Christ throughout the book of Revelation is indeed His Second Coming.  Revelation 20 recapitulates or is parallel to the same judgment scene depicted in Revelation 1-19 and 21-22.
2)      Partial Preterism –  The thousand years of Revelation 20 is a symbolic period of time ending with the Second Coming of Christ and was or very possibly was from AD 30 – AD 70 (Sam Frost).  Revelation 20 does in fact “pick up where Daniel leaves off” in Daniel 12:1-7, 13 with Daniel himself being raised out of Abraham’s Bosom/Hades inheriting eternal life and enjoying God’s presence (James Jordan).  The book of Revelation is John’s version of the Matthew 24-25 which cannot be divided and refers to Christ’s coming in AD 70 (Gary DeMar).  The only coming of Christ mentioned in the book of Revelation is imminent and therefore refers to His coming invisibly in AD 70 to judge Old Covenant Jerusalem/Babylon/The Great City.  Revelation is written in a recapitulation or parallel structure, with chapters 1-19 (and some of 20) and 21-22 being fulfilled in AD 70.
3)      Full Preterism (Synthesis / “Reformed and always reforming”) – The thousand years of Revelation 20 is a symbolic period of time which does not have to be a very long time and is therefore from AD 30 – AD 70 extending from Christ’s first coming to His one eschatological end time “the parousia” / Second Coming to close “this age” and judge  of   one eschatological end time Second Coming to close “this age” and judge and raise the rest of the dead.  The coming of Christ throughout the book of Revelation is imminent and is His actual Second Coming.  Revelation 20 does in fact “pick up where Daniel leaves off” in Daniel 12:1-7, 13 with Daniel himself being raised out of Abraham’s Bosom/Hades inheriting eternal life and enjoying God’s presence.  The book of Revelation is John’s version of the Matthew 24-25 which cannot be divided and refers to Christ’s coming in AD 70.  Revelation 20 recapitulates or is parallel to the same judgment scene depicted in Revelation 1-19 and 21-22.
The “groaning of creation” and the passing/fleeing of the old heavens and earth and the arrival of the new heavens and new earth (Isaiah 65-66; 2 Peter 3 & Revelation 21-22)
1)      Classic Amillennialism – There is one consummative eschatological end time passing and fleeing of the “elements” of the first heavens and earth and arrival of the new heavens and new earth and it arrives at the one “Day of the Lord” “the parousia” or Second Coming of Christ in the NT to close the end of the age.  There is no exegetical evidence to support two passings of the heavens and earth and arrival of a new heavens and a new earth in 2 Peter 3 or in Revelation 21-22.  These passages are clearly describing the fulfillment and restoration of Genesis 1-3.  Romans 8:18-23 is one unit and is also describing the fulfillment and restoration of Genesis 1-3 and the resurrection of the dead.  And “salvation” in (Romans 13:11-12) is the “redemption” of (Romans 8:23) and the same final “redemption” described by Jesus in (Luke 21:27-28).
2)      Partial Preterism – There was a covenantal passing of the “elements” of the “first” heavens and earth and a spiritual and unseen arrival of the new heavens and new earth at Christ’s “the parousia” to close “the end of the [Old Covenant] age” in AD 70.  The Day of Lord or “the parousia” caused the passing of the Old Covenant “elements” in (2 Peter 3) and this coming and de-creation “only” refers to AD 70.  Romans 8:18 is describing the glory that was “about to be” (cf. Young’s Literal Translation) revealed “in” the first century believers in AD 70 (Gary DeMar).  The “creation” (Gk. kitisis) here is not referring to planet earth but to the creation of people as in (Mark 16:15/Colossians 1:23) (John Lightfoot).  The “bondage,” “futility” and “decay” here is not discussing the second law of thermodynamics of the planet, but rather man groaning under sin in the heart and mind (John Lightfoot).
3)      Full Preterism (Synthesis / “Reformed and always reforming”) –  There is one consummative eschatological end time passing and fleeing of the “elements” of the “first” heavens and earth and arrival of the new heavens and a new earth and it arrives at the one “Day of the Lord” “the parousia” or Second Coming of Christ in the NT to close the end of the [Old Covenant] age in AD 70.  There is no exegetical evidence to support two passing(s) or two fleeing(s) of the heavens and earth and arrival of a new heavens and a new earth in 2 Peter 3 or in Revelation 21-22.  These passages are clearly describing the fulfillment and restoration of Genesis 1-3 and were fulfilled by AD 70.  Romans 8:18-23 is one unit and is also describing the fulfillment and restoration of Genesis 1-3 and the resurrection of the dead.  Romans 8:18-23 is describing the glory that was “about to be” (cf. Young’s Literal Translation) revealed “in” the first century believers and the Church by AD 70.  The “creation” (Gk. kitisis) here is not referring to planet earth but the creation of people as in (Mark 16:15/Colossians 1:23).  The “bondage,” “futility” and “decay” here is not discussing the second law of thermodynamics, but rather man groaning under sin in the heart and mind. The “salvation” in (Romans 13:11-12) is the “redemption of the body”(Romans 8:23) and the same final “redemption” described by Jesus at His Second Coming in (Luke 21:27-28) and were all eschatological events that were “near,” “at hand” and “about to be” fulfilled in Jesus’ contemporary “this generation.”
The Olivet discourse Matthew 24-25; Luke 21 Mark 13 
1)      Classic Amillennialism – Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24-25 helps us understand all of the key eschatological themes (Second Coming/judgment and resurrection/passing of creation) developed in the rest of the NT (ex. 1-2 Thessalonians; 1 Corinthians 15; 2 Peter 3; Romans 8:18-23, 13:11-12, 16:20 and the Book of Revelation).
2)      Partial Preterism – Matthew 24-25 cannot be divided and the disciples question regarding the Temple’s destruction, His coming and the end of the age is referring to Christ’s invisible coming to close the Old Covenant age and “nothing else.”  One cannot “double fulfill” it’s content (Gary DeMar).
3)      Full Preterism (Synthesis / “Reformed and always reforming”) –  Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24-25 helps us understand all of the key eschatological events (Second Coming/judgment and resurrection/de-creation and passing of creation) developed in the rest of the NT (ex. 1-2 Thessalonians; 1 Corinthians 15; 2 Peter 3 and the Book of Revelation).  Matthew 24-25 cannot be divided and is referring to Christ’s invisible coming to close the Old Covenant age and “nothing else.”  One cannot “double fulfill” it’s content.
Indeed I could produce ABC charts here (as I have elsewhere on my sites) of the Olivet discourse with all of the main eschatological texts in the NT – 2 Peter 3, Revelation 20, etc…, just as I have with 1 Thessalonians 4-5 and 1 Corinthians 15.

Conclusion

As one can plainly see the assertion that reformed orthodox eschatology is and can be united concerning the following:

  • The seeing of Christ on the clouds (the Second Coming) at the end of the last days or end of the age(s)…
  •  The judgment and resurrection of the dead at the end of the last days and end of the age(s)…
  • The liberation of creation and arrival of the New at the end of the last days or end of the age(s)…

…is nothing but a pure myth as long as the classic Amillennial position holds to the NT’s “one hope” “the [one] parousia” of Christ is future and the Partial Preterist view says it happened in AD 70.  As long as AD 70 is the “X factor” in all of these crucial eschatolocial passages and and it continues to be “orthodox” and the creedal Amillennial view affirms they are one and the same “end of the age” event, the ONLY way to harmonize the two is with the Full Preterist view.  This is how I came to the Full Preterist view – by comparing Scripture with Scripture (Matt. 24-25=1Thess. 4-5) and realizing the classic Amillennial view and Partial Preterist views were teaching (no matter if they realized it or not) that Christ’s ONE Second Coming happened in the First Century ie. AD 70.
Both the Amillennialist and the Postmillennial Partial Preterist claim that if Full Preterism is true then the Holy Spirit failed in guiding the Church in truth.  And yet if this is the case, this begs the question as to which “truth” did the Holy Spirit guide the Church in Amillennialism or Partial Preterism?  Does the Holy Spirit contradict Himself?  The truth of course is that this is not an either or choice between the two competing views since as I have demonstrated they are both right and yet at the same time both wrong.  The Holy Spirit is guiding the Church through Full Preterism as it unites the two views.  The truth has always been with us, it just hasn’t been put together correctly because of all of the in-fighting between the two and their upholding the reformed creeds as if they have the same authority as the Bible (tradition over Scripture).  And answering a foolish argument according to its folly – are they willing to say that the Holy Spirit failed to lead the Church on the issue of forensic justification for 1500 years prior to Luther?  Do they forget that the Roman Catholic Church and John Eck pointed out that Luther had to be wrong because he was teaching something totally new that had not been taught by the Church Fathers prior to him?!?
When will the Partial Preterist and the classic Amillennialist stop shooting at each other and writing the IVP 3-4 view type books (without Full Preterism being allowed to present the truth)?  The Partial Preterist view fires away at the Amillennial and Premillennial Dispensational views by arguing that they come dangerously close to denying the inspiration and infallibility of the Bible in their handling of the imminent time texts or their approaches to them are more akin to liberal treatments (DeMar & Sproul).  The Amillennialist fires back that the Partial Preterist is denying the reformed creeds (and shouldn’t be considered “reformed”) ripping asunder texts which are united through the analogy of Scripture principle of interpretation.  Wouldn’t it be more constructive for these two groups to humbly sit down at the table with Full Preterists to discuss the creedal position that the creeds are not infallible (as were the previous creeds they radically reformed) and thus really are subject to Scripture and change on eschatology — and that if both the classical Amillennialial and Partial Preterist views are true, then Full Preterism is true!  The day will come and it is inevitable – it is just a matter of when.

 


[1] Westminster Confession of Faith, I. ix.
[2] J.I. Packer, The Interpretation of Scripture, from ‘Fundamentalism’ and the Word of God (Inter-Varsity Press, 1958), pp. 101-114. http://www.bible-researcher.com/packer1.html
[3]   THE REFORMATION STUDY BIBLE, R.C. Sproul General Editor, (Orlando: FL, Ligonier Ministries) 1401.
[4] If we translate astrape in Matthew 24:27 as a “bright light” from the sun (instead of lightning) coming from the east and shining to the west, then this parallel that I have seen is also possible.