House Divided Chapter Four NT Time Texts Partial Preterist Keith A. Mathison Vs. Full Preterist Michael J. Sullivan – The Millennium Revelation 20

House Divided Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist Response to

When Shall These Things Be?

 
Chapter Four
The Eschatological Madness of Mathison or How Can These Things Be?

The Millennium Revelation 20
Michael J. Sullivan
Copyright 2009 and 2013 – All rights reserved.  No part of this book (or article) may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher or author of this chapter/article (Vision Publishing or Michael J. Sullivan), except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. 
Millennium
Mathison writes: “ . . . [T]he hyper-preterist interpretations of the millennium fail to take seriously the long-term time text involved. . . . When the word thousand is used in Scripture, it refers either to a literal thousand or to an indefinite, but very large, number” (209).
Response:  
Psalm 50:10 is often cited, usually by postmillennialists, to teach that “a thousand” symbolizes literally “many thousands or millions.” For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. (Ps. 50:10)
Postmillennialists reason that God owns the cattle on every hill; therefore “a thousand hills” symbolizes or represents “many thousands or millions of hills.” Thus, they reason, we are led by Scripture to interpret the “thousand years” in Revelation 20 to mean “many thousands or millions of years.”
That reasoning sounds solid at first glance. However, the context of Psalm 50:10 does not lead us to a principle that a symbolic “thousand” always signifies “many thousands.” It leads us to the principle that a symbolic “thousand” signifies “fullness.” The “thousand” of Psalm 50:10 is interpreted for us two verses later:
The world is Mine, and the fullness thereof. (Ps. 50:12b)
In Psalm 90:4, a “thousand years” is as “yesterday” and as “a watch in the night.” In 2 Peter 3:8, a “thousand years” is as one “day.” In those verses, a “thousand” (and “yesterday” and “a watch” and a “day”) is used to teach us that to God, a small piece of time is no different than a fullness of time. (Compare Job 7:7; Ps. 39:5; 90:2; 144:4; Heb. 13:8; Jms. 4:14.) Thus in Psalm 105:8, a “thousand” corresponds with “forever”: He has remembered His covenant forever, the word that he commanded to a thousand generations. (Ps. 105:8)
In scriptural usage, a symbolic “thousand” can be likened to “one” (day / yesterday / a watch in the night), or used in reference to millions of hills, or to eternity (“forever”). A “thousand” can be likened unto or used to represent a number lesser or greater than a literal thousand. Only its context can determine its literal numerical meaning, but the basic idea that is communicated by the number is “fullness.” As G. K. Beale wrote, “The primary point of the thousand years is probably not a figurative reference to a long time . . .”[1]
How one interprets the thousand years in Revelation 20 depends on one’s eschatological framework. The passage does not interpret itself, but must be interpreted by the overall eschatology of Scripture. Within the preterist interpretive framework, the biblical-eschatological context of Revelation 20 should lead us to interpret the “thousand years” to signify the time of the Christological filling up of all things (Eph. 1:10; 4:10). That time was from the Cross of Christ to the Parousia of Christ in AD 70. That was the time during which “the [spiritual] death” which came through Adam and was magnified through “the law” was in process of being destroyed. The literal timeframe of the “thousand years” was roughly forty years.
Mathison admits that he does not know if there were any rabbis who used the number 1,000 to symbolize forty years (210). Reformed theologian G. K. Beale tells us that some Jews considered the length of the intermediate messianic reign to be forty years. He also states that one Jewish tradition made an anti-type connection between Adam’s lifespan (almost 1,000 years) and a reign of Messiah for a (possibly symbolic) thousand years.[2] Many Christians have attempted to make this connection and have also paralleled the thousand years of 2 Peter 3:8 with John’s thousand years in Revelation 20:2–6.
Adam falling short of the 1,000-year lifespan by 70 years (Gen. 5:5) may represent his being created a mortal being and perishing in sin outside of God’s presence. If this is the case, then it is more than reasonable that the number 1,000 took on the symbolism and representation of Christ’s and the church’s victory over Death in contrast to Adamic man’s vain existence apart from God’s salvation (Eccl. 6:6).
Some Evangelicals and Reformed theologians along with some preterists such as Milton Terry do not understand the long lifespans in the early chapters of Genesis to be literal.[3] They believe that the lifespans were symbolic and contained numerological elements. But even if Adam’s lifespan was a literal 930 years, this does not exclude an anti-typical, symbolic 1,000 years in Revelation 20.
When Messiah came as “the last Adam,” His reign in and through the church for a symbolic thousand years brought the church not to the dust of the earth separated from God’s presence, but to the Tree of Life and into the very presence of God (Rev. 20–22:12). Through faith in and union with Christ as the Last Adam (the Tree of Life and New Creation), Christians have achieved what Adam could not. The church was clothed with “immortality”; it attained unto the “fullness” of life in AD 70; and it will never die for the aeons of the aeons (2 Cor. 1:20; 1 Cor. 15:45–53; Rev. 21–22; Jn. 11:26–27).
All of the authors of WSTTB understand that the Second Coming is the event that brings the millennium to its consummation. However, the only future coming of Jesus discussed in the book of Revelation is the one that would take place shortly (Rev. 3:11; 22:6–7, 10–12, 20). Both Mathison and Gentry concede that this imminent coming of Christ took place in AD 70. But then they err in assuming that the imminent coming of Jesus in Revelation was not His “actual second coming” (182).
To conclude my section on the millennium of Revelation 20, please consider the following exegetical, orthodox, and historical points:

  1. 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). There is no exegetical evidence that Revelation 20 does not fall within these inspired parameters.
  2. As G.K. Beale has said, the symbol of the thousand years does not have to be taken as describing a long period of time (i.e., thousands of years).
  3. It has also been acknowledged by Reformed theologians that many Rabbis believed that the period of Messiah was to be 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. 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).
  4. Reformed partial preterists such as Keith Mathison, Kenneth Gentry, and James Jordan teach 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 amillennialists such as Simon Kistemaker teach that Revelation 20:5–15 recapitulates the same judgment and consummation scenes that are depicted in chapters 1–19 and 21–22. Full preterists hold to both of these Reformed and “orthodox” positions in interpreting the bookof Revelation.
  5. 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 we have seen, 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.
  6. If it is true that a) the coming of Christ in Matthew 24 and 25 is referring to the AD 70 judgment, as Mathison and other partial preterists are now proposing, 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 24:27-31 — 25:31ff. is descriptive of the one end-of-the-age Second Coming, judgment, and resurrection event (the creedal position), then d) the authors of WSTTB have some explaining to do, because these orthodox doctrines form the “this-generation” fortyyear 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. 16:27-28) 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. If it is true that a) the judgment and resurrection of the dead in Daniel 12:1-4, 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 authors of WSTTB have 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
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 view of the millennium is: 1) consistent with the teaching of Revelation, 2) falls within the “orthodox” views the Reformed church, 3) is in harmony with the analogy of Scripture, and 4) has historical support from Rabbis who saw a forty-year transition period between the two ages. Our view on the millennium is exegetically sound and orthodox. It is not as “difficult” as Mathison attempts to portray it.
[1] . G. K. Beale, The New International Greek Testament Commentary: The Book of Revelation (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1999), 1018.
[2] . Ibid., 1018–1019.
[3] . Carol A. Hill, Making Sense of the Numbers of Genesis (http://www. asa3.org/aSA/PSCF/2003/PSCF12–03Hill pdf); Milton S. Terry, Biblical Apocalyptics: A Study of the Most Notable Revelations of God and of Christ (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 62.
 
 

Exposing and Refuting Sam’s Sloppy “Exegesis” of Matthew 16:27-28 Part 2: ​Cherry-Picking John Calvin ​& "Verily I Say Unto You"

Exposing and Refuting Sam’s Sloppy “Exegesis” of Matthew 16:27-28 Part 2:

Cherry-Picking John Calvin & “Verily I Say Unto You”

By Michael J. Sullivan

In part one of this refutation we examined Sam Frost’s inability to even cite or mention let alone  interact at all with passages that reformed theologians (along with Full Preterists) consider parallel passages or same time eschatological events to Matthew 16:27 such as Matt. 13:39-43/Dan. 12:2-3; Matt. 24:30-31—25:31ff.  Then these teachings of Christ on His Second Coming and judgment are then the foundation upon which the Apostle Paul develops them in 1 Thess. 4:15—5:11/1 Cor. 15:23-24, 51-52.  Frost attempted to downplay these powerful parallel passages by not mentioning them and acting as if paralleling these as the same events were something unique to Full Preterism or Dispensational “Left Behind” hermeneutics.  I of course pointed out how absurd and inaccurate this was.  We also examined how Partial Preterists on a regular basis parallel their Preterist interpretation of Matthew 24-25 with other NT passages in order to refute Dispensationalism, but then fail to address the parallels between Matt. 24-25/1 Thess. 4:15—5:11 or say Matt. 25:31-46/Rev. 20:10-15.          
We shall now turn our attention to other aspects of Sam’s article. 
Sam writes,
Step One: Harmony
Luke 9.26-27 states, “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my saying, of him likewise will the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come  in his own majesty, and in the majesty of his Father, and of the holy angels. 27. And I say to you, There truly are some standing here who will not taste death, till they see the kingdom of God.”
Instead of “the son of man coming in his kingdom” we find, “the kingdom of God”.  This may or may not have significance in terms of emphasis on the meaning of Matthew‘s “son of man coming in his kingdom”.  We will consider the Greek text in a moment.
Mark 8.38-9.1 reads, “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him likewise will the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. 1. And he said to them, Verily, I say to you, There are some among those who stand here that will not taste death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.”
Here we have yet a third rendering, “kingdom of God come with power.”  Is seeing the kingdom of God, have seen the kingdom of God come in power, and the son of man coming in his kingdom all equatable terms?  If so, which one has the emphasis of meaning?  That is, is “seeing the kingdom of God” the same as “the son of man coming in his kingdom”, where the emphasis is on kingdom instead of the the coming of the son of man?  What is meant, then, by the coming of the son of man?  That I am be frivilous here over the details is countered by eminent scholar, Krister Stendahl (Harvard), who asks, “But coming in what sense”?, in noting the variations here.  We will note the Commentaries in a moment as well.
Well, yes there are parallel accounts to Matthew 16:27-28 in Mark and Luke with slight variations.  This of course proves nothing.  So let’s move on:
Step Two: The Greek Text
As with any thorough exegesis, we must consult the Greek text together with any differing manuscripts (copies) that have come down to us to the present time.  In Mat we have an issue with “works” over the other consideration, “deeds”.  Not really a gigantic problem.  Mark has “with” instead of Luke‘s “and” in the phrase, “with the holy angels”/”and of the holy angels”.  Again, not a large problem.  The sense of the text is not lost once we can recover the sense, and it is here that the real problem occurs: the variations of the phrases, “son of man coming in his kingdom”, “see the kingdom of God” and “have seen the kingdom of God come with power”.  I will consider other aspects of syntax in the Commentary section.
First Sam says there isn’t a problem then he claims there is.  As in “Step One” there is nothing here even worth responding to. Sam goes on:
Step Three: Asking the Right Possible Questions
As with any exegesis, asking the right questions is key.  With Stendahl has already asked one: “coming in what sense?”  Secondly, although it is obvious (and everyone agrees) that whatever Jesus is speaking of here was to “come” within the time span of those “standing” there at the time of Jesus’ utterance (roughly 31-33 AD), the nature of this “coming” and “seeing” is what is targeted.  Is this a single event?  Would it be a series of events?  Would it be an event with an inaugural consideration (that is, in Greek, ingressive).  For example, Calvin commented: “By the coming of the kingdom of God we are to understand the manifestation of heavenly glory, which Christ began to make at his resurrection, and which he afterwards made more fully by sending the Holy Spirit, and by the performance of miracles; for by those beginnings he gave his people a taste of the newness of the heavenly life, when they perceived, by certain and undoubted proofs, that he was sitting at the right hand of the Father.”  Taken all together, Calvin understood that these several events (resurrection, ascension, sending of the Spirit, miracles of the Apostles, et al) represents the ways in which the kingdom of God came with “power” – the coming of the son of man in his kingdom.  In other words, AD 70 is not even in consideration here.
We must ask, though, more questions.  What is meant by “rewarding each person according to his deeds”?  Surely, contests the Hyper Preterist, this is an end time event?  And, here, he would be able to appeal to a usual modern, Christian, cultural way of understanding this expression innundated with Left Behind popularizations.  This assumes, however, that the cultural understanding is the biblical understanding, and we must always be careful not to reread our culture back into the texts.  The Christian has normally heard (popularly) that the “rewards” of the saints that happens only once, only at one time: at the end of the world and the final judgment.  This is supposedly supported by appealing to Revelation 20:11-15 where we find, indeed, “they were judged, each man, according to his works” (not quite the same phrase as “rewarded”).  Then, on top of this, it is assumed that this event in Rev is the same event as spoken of here since, as I have already pointed out, the same language is used.  But, to jump from Mat to Rev based on a string of words, then to say, they must be talking about the same thing is a logical leap with several steps missing!  That’s what Hyper Pretersists do a lot: take huge hurdles.
However, it is a good question since it is raised within the popular understanding of “final judgement”.  The Hyper Preterist wants you to think, then, that Jesus is unequivocally saying here: “some of you standing here before me will not die until the Final Judgement has happened!”  But, is this the true (or only) sense of the passage?  The fact that the Hyper Preterist is confident that it is does not make it true.  The fact that he or she can even make some sort of exegetical case (based on popular understandings) that it is does not make it true.  I can make a case for baptismal regeneration.  It doesn’t make it true, says the Reformed, who can make a case for infant baptism.  And so on.
First, as I pointed out in part 1 and in the introduction to this article our culture or “Left Behindism” has nothing to do with how the reformed historic Christian Church has connected Matt. 16:27 with the Second Coming and final judgment at the end of the age in Matt. 13:39-43/Dan. 12:1-3; Matt. 24:30-31—25:31-46; Rev. 20:10-15, 22:10-12.  Sam is just not being honest here and his desperation is more than glaring.  Even John Calvin whom Frost cherry-picks and appeals to in Matt. 16:28 (but not verse 27) makes these same kind of Full Preterist connections.  Was Calvin guilty of being influenced by “Left Behind” eschatology and hermeneutics as Frost charges the Full Preterist?  Per Frost he must have been influenced by a view that wasn’t even invented yet!
Secondly, Sam (nor Calvin whom he cherry picks on v. 28 and not on v. 27) deals with Jesus’ phrase, “Verily I say unto you” in the beginning of Matt. 16:28a. which He uses to connect and emphasize a subject already being discussed.  In other words Christ in verse 28 is bringing home the point and teaching of v. 27 with an additional important and startling point – some of you will be alive to witness this very coming (that He just discussed in v. 27)!  So exegetically, this statement connects the two comings as one, so whatever your understanding of Christ’s coming is in verse 27 is the proper understanding one should have in v. 28.  Since the phrase connects the two comings as the same event, it is interesting that Sam doesn’t want to deal with this issue in connection with quoting Calvin on the “coming” in Matt. 16:28 while neglecting to address what he says of Christ’s coming in v. 27:
“…he shall appear as the judge of the world.” 
For Calvin, this is the final Second Coming event.  Interestingly enough Calvin also interprets Matthew 13:39-43/Dan. 12:2-3 in the same way:
Then will the righteous shine. What a remarkable consolation! The sons of God, who now lie covered with dust, or are held in no estimation, or even are loaded with reproaches, will then shine in full brightness, as when the sky is serene, and every cloud has been dispelled. The adverb then (τοτε) is emphatic; for it contains an implied contrast between their present state and the ultimate restoration, by the expectation of which Christ animates those who believe in him. The meaning therefore is, Though many wicked men now hold a high rank in the Church, yet that blessed day is assuredly to be expected, when the Son of God shall raise his followers on high,…”
Calvin also takes the coming of the Son of Man in Matthew 24:30-31 and 25:31 as the same coming as Matt. 16:27:
“…therefore he declares that he will appear openly at his last coming and, surrounded by the heavenly power,”
Of the “redemption” associated to this coming and gathering of the angels in Luke 21:27-28 Calvin writes,
It is therefore called here (as in #Ro 8:23) redemption; because we shall then obtain truly and perfectly the consequences of the deliverance obtained through Christ. Let our ears therefore be awake to the sound of the angel’s trumpet, which will then sound, not only to strike the reprobate with the dread of death, but to arouse the elect to a second life; that is, to call to the enjoyment of life those whom the Lord now quickens by the voice of his Gospel; for it is a sign of infidelity, to be afraid when the Son of God comes in person for our salvation.
Again, Sam is “cherry picking” Calvin and according to Frost Calvin is guilty of our “modern” “cultural” “Left Behindism” before it ever came into being since like the Full Preterist he takes these comings of Christ as His Second Coming or the judgment/resurrection event to close the age.      
Perhaps Sam does not want to challenge that “Verily I say unto you” is linking the two comings in vss. 27-28 as the same event(s)?  It seems to me that he wants to consistently interpret the coming of Christ in vss. 27-28 as the same coming and yet different at the same time throwing everything at the passage hoping something will stick:  1) Jesus allegedly comes (?) in judgment(?) on the clouds(?) with angels(?) in the resurrection event(?), 2)  Jesus allegedly comes/goes(?) in judgment(?) on the clouds(?) with the angels(?) in the ascension(?), 3)  Jesus allegedly comes(?) in judgment(?) on the clouds(?) with angels(?) at Pentecost.  Where in the depictions of Jesus’ resurrection, ascension, or Pentecost do we see Jesus described as coming on the clouds with angels to judge and reward all men?  Desperate men make desperate “arguments.” 
Thirdly, Sam claims, Full Preterists “…jump from Mat to Rev based on a string of words, then to say, they must be talking about the same thing is a logical leap with several steps missing!”  Actually, I don’t do this in our book or my online article in covering Matt. 16:27-28.  I develop my exegesis within Matthew’s gospel and in Jesus’ teachings first before going to Revelation.  But as we will see , Sam no less “jumps from Matthew 16:27-28 to Revelation 5” hoping to develop Christ coming in his ascension theory, instead of where everyone else goes when they get to the book – Revelation 20:11-15 or 22:10-12.  But we will cover Sam’s desperation in Revelation 5 shortly.  
Conclusion:
As the reader can see in Frost’s article he cherry-picks John Calvin on the “coming” of Christ in Matt. 16:28 – leaving out his view of the coming of the Son of Man in Matt. 16:27; Matt. 24:30-1/Luke 21:27-28.  Calvin nor Frost deals with the exegetical argument of the Full Preterist that Jesus’ phrase of “Verily I say unto you” links the same subject matter of v. 27 with v. 28.  In other words the “about to” coming of the Son of Man in v. 27 is the same coming of Christ in v. 28 which would take place within some of the disciples lifetimes. 
In part 3 we will examine Frost’s theory that the coming of the Son of Man in both Matt. 16:27-28 was fulfilled at the ascension “coming” in AD 30 – giving specific attention to Revelation 5 which is where Frost’s article leads his readers.  According to Sam’s theory, this is apparently when Christ took the scroll and began opening the seals judging and rewarding all men.  However, Christ taking the scroll and opening the seals is not AD 30, but rather a depiction of Christ coming in judgment  – pointing the reader to His imminent Second Coming when He begins opening the seals judging and rewarding from roughly AD 66 – 70 (cf. Rev. 22:6-7, 10-12).
 

The Living Body Show W/ William Bell – Matt. 5:17-18; 8:11-12; 10:17-23; 13:40-43

One of the best shows we have had so far – you don’t want to miss it!  We began to study the first of what theologians have called “The Big Three” (Matt. 10:22-23; 16:27-28; 24:34).  Listen and pass it along to your friends.

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

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

By:  Michael J. Sullivan

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.

Responding to the Critics: The Little Horn of Daniel 7

The “Little Horn” of Daniel’s Sea-Beast: A Review

Don K. Preston
In the June, 1993 issue of the Christian Courier, Wayne Jackson, an out-spoken critic of Covenant Eschatology, expounds on the little horn of Daniel 7. Our purpose here is not to set forth a positive exegesis of Daniel 7 as much as it is to show the fallacy of Jackson’s article because his interpretation is representative of the view held in the Reformation and Restoration movements.
In his article Jackson examines two views: that of “religious modernism” identifying the little horn as Antiochus Epiphanes; and the premillennial posit that the little horn is a now imminent “AntiChrist.” Upon what basis does he reject these views?
The Antiochan posit is rejected because Antiochus “was dead a hundred years before the fourth beast (the Roman empire) came into power–out of which Daniel’s little horn arose.” The premillennial view is rejected by Jackson because “the little horn of Daniel’s vision arose from the remnants of the Roman empire, which have lain in the dust of antiquity for more than 1000 years. The commencement of the little horn’s power is thus ancient, not modern.” (emp. his)
In other words, Jackson rejects these two views because one happened before the Roman empire came to being and the other comes after the empire perished. This is good logic if the fourth beast is in truth, as we also accept, the Roman empire. Jackson’s argument against these other interpretations may Continue reading “Responding to the Critics: The Little Horn of Daniel 7”