Daniel 9:24-27 From Babylonian Bondage to Messianic Jubilee Sabbath Rest and Inheritance "in Christ" By AD 70 (Introducing Full Preterist Chronomessianism)

By: Michael J. Sullivan – Copyright 2018 – all rights reserved. Thank you for your Christian charity and honesty in advance.

Introduction:

The first thing any Futurist Pastor, commentary, Bible College or Seminary professor and or scholar is going to tell you is just how “very difficult” (allegedly) and that there are just so many “various views” of Daniel 9:24-27 to navigate through. And of course, this is true for the Futurist, and they readily admit this confusion on our Lord’s teaching in the Olivet Discourse and the book of Revelation as well. This is probably due to the fact that Daniel 9:24-27 is a microcosm and recapitulation of Daniel chapters 2; 7 and 12 and these three verses in essence function as a fulfillment of all OT prophecy and thus is the corner stone to understanding the Olivet Discourse and the book of Revelation (that is understand all prophecy). But for the Sovereign Grace Full Preterist, confusion on Daniel 9:24-27 (as well as the OD and book of Revelation) is removed and a very simple, exegetical and common-sense interpretation emerges from all the confusion Futurism has given us.

Solutions Summarized “Reformed and Always Reforming”

My approach will be to describe various views of Daniel’s seventy seven’s prophecy and seek to harmonize them with Jesus’ teaching that this prophecy and the entire OT would be fulfilled in His contemporary generation (Lk. 21:20-32).

1). The Historical and or Christotelic Messianic View: While there may be some differences between Calvin, Luther, and modern Calvinists such as Gary DeMar, Joel McDurmon, Kenneth Gentry, R.C. Sproul, and E. J. Young, these men old and modern, may be said to represent this position. This view sees Daniel 9:24-27 as Jesus (not some “antichrist”) coming to usher in or inaugurate the New Covenant or Kingdom of God. This view emphasizes the time period covered by the prophecy to be fulfilled around AD 30-35 or so, but also gives lip service that it concludes with the destruction of the temple in AD 70.

It is important to point out that within Partial Preterism, it is taught that Daniel’s “the end” “time of the end” or Jesus’ “end of the age” in Matthew 13:39-43 and 24:3, 14 refers to Christ coming to close the Old Covenant age in AD 70 and that there was a spiritual, corporate and covenantal resurrection that was fulfilled during this time.  Basically, they have stolen the Full Preterist view of the resurrection but that’s another issue.

There is also some confusion as to when the decree begins some starting it with Cyrus in his command to rebuild the temple/city in 538 BC and yet others with the various kings (Ezra 6:14) and thus place it more around in 457 BC.  Those that start the count with Cyrus end up 50 years before Christ’s birth and over a 100 years short of AD 70.  These folks either end up adopting a spiritual view (ex. see Kline and Storms below) or reworking the numbers to arrive at Christ’s birth to AD 65 (see Lurie below).

2). The Symbolic and Sabbatical Messianic View:  Is held by men such as Meredith Kline, Keil,C. F. & Delitzsch, F., Ian Duguid, Sam Storms and Andrew Steinman (all sharing different denominational backgrounds). While this view focuses on the redemptive work of Christ as the fulfillment of the seventy sevens prophecy, it does not try and force what is really a roughly 600 years period into a literal 490. This view sees the number 490 being symbolic of various periods of time in redemptive history. Therefore, unlike the Futurist historical messianic view, this view sees the fulfillment extending until the Second Coming – to close the “last days” or bring about “the end” or end of the age.

3).  Ten 49 Cycles of the Sabbath Jubilee (490 yrs.) or From 424/422 BC to the Destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70: This view is held by Margaret Barker and was held during first century Judaism and during the development of the NT.  The 70 7’s of Daniel 9:24-27 refer to the first century Jewish expectation that Messiah would accomplish redemption for Israel roughly between AD 17/26 to AD 66/70.  Jewish tradition goes on to see the 490 years period extending from the first Temple’s destruction in 424/422 BC (Jewish calendar) to AD 70.  I will argue that Jesus in fact did fulfill this 10 th. Jubilee cycle between AD 26 – AD 66-70.

The second view is accurate to point out the 490 years are connected to the Jubilee and dealing with a theological point concerning sabbath rest extending to the Second Coming of Christ to close the age.  However, it errs in that it fails to acknowledge that Christ posits its redemptive end and unfolding of the kingdom to be fulfilled:

  1. at the destruction of the first century temple and city (Dan. 9:24, 26-27/Matt. 24:15/Luke 21:20-22),
  1. the “end of the age” or “the end” in (Matt. 24:3, 14) is referring to the end of the old covenant age in AD 70 and not the end of world history or the end to the new covenant or Christian age, and…
  1. Jesus posits the fulfillment of redemption and the arrival of his kingdom and second coming to take place within the same AD 30 – AD 70 “this generation” time period (Luke 21:27-32).

The view I will be arguing for is #3 which acknowledges all of these key elements to Daniel’s prophetic material while embracing a first century chronological setting for the prophecy.

Perhaps we have missed something in Daniel 9:25. The Hebrew very well can support “From the the issuing of the WORD [prophetic word of Jeremiah] to restore and rebuild Jerusalem…there will be [490 yrs.]…” That is, the 490 years prophecy includes the 70 years of Babylonian captivity and therefore does not begin the countdown when it ends. Jeremiah not only prophesied of the beginning of the 70 years, but the restoration of the Jews to come back in the land and the New Covenant the Messiah would usher in.
 
“Jews for Judaism” mock Christians for not understanding the countdown begins with the prophetic “WORD” of Jeremiah and not a secular king. But this is the MISSING piece I needed and FURTHER supports that Yeshua is the Messiah! First let’s look at what Jews for Judaism writes,
 
“The angel Gabriel reveals to Daniel this additional understanding of the 70 years extending them from 70 years to 70 weeks of years stretching the time span to 490 years that span from the destruction of the first Temple to the Destruction of the second Temple. This prophesy also included a description of events that would unfold if the Jewish people did not repent properly.
 
Although there appears to be a discrepancy in chronology between the Jewish and secular Gregorian calendars of 166 years (with the secular dates earlier) it is clear that Jewish record keeping is more reliable and consistent concerning these events. Babylonian calendars changed arbitrarily with every new Babylonian king and limited archeological discoveries often reflect their arbitrary chronology. (According to secular chronology 586 BCE is the year incorrectly associated with the destruction of the first Temple the Jewish).” (Jews for Judaism).
 
Yeshua would have used the Jewish calendar. As I demonstrated in one sermon and two of my articles thus far, if you start the countdown from the destruction of the first temple using the Jewish calendar (424/422BC) and begin the 10 jubilee’s (490 yrs.) count from there, you end up at AD 26/28 to BEGIN that 10th Jubilee cycle. This is when Yeshua opens the scroll of Isaiah 61/Luke 4. Yeshua/Messiah MUST accomplish ALL of the redemptive events in Dan. 9:24-27 and Isaiah 61 BEFORE the second temple is destroyed in AD 70. Yeshua – from AD 26/28 to AD 66-70 accomplished redemption from the cross to parousia or “day(s) of vengeance” (Isa. 61/Lk. 21:20-22) within that last Jubilee cycle perfectly!
45878532_10156697132264192_8128908576199540736_n
Visio-Eschatology-chronomessianism-7 
This is probably the coolest thing I have seen since learning the doctrines of grace and then Full Preterism. I’ll have to try and set up a debate with “Jews for Judaism” and defend this position. As far as I know, I’m the only Full Preterist out there that has seen this and is defending it.
 
Of all people, I appreciate Sam Frost, for pointing out the 70 years are included in the 490 years and the Hebrew supports the “word” going back to Jeremiah. 70 years of captivity times 7 for breaking the sabbaths of Leviticus 23, 25-26 gives you 490 years. Unfortunately all Sam can see is a non-Messianic prophecy, whereas all I can see is a PERFECT Messianic prophecy fulfilled by AD 70. Selah.

Premise #1If it is true that Daniel 9:24-27 is about Christ establishing His New Covenant Kingdom age with the prophecy ending with the destruction of Jerusalem to close the Old Covenant age in AD 70,…

Premise #2…and if it is also true that Daniel 9:24-27 is connected to Daniel 2; 7; and 12 and covers the “last days” extending to the Second Coming of Jesus to bring an “end” to the age and thus usher in the New Creation or world of righteousness,…

Premise #3 – and if it is also true that the Jew during the first century expected Messiah to come soon to fulfill the 10th. cycle of the Jubilee (490 yrs. – with no 2,000 plus years and counting gaps) and Yeshua showed up during this “set time” to fulfill the soteriological and eschatological expectations of Daniel 9:24-27 and Isiah 61:1-11…

Conclusion/Synthesis (Sovereign Grace Full Preterism)– …Then in honoring NT imminence, the above historic views of the church, and the historical expectation and setting of the 10th. Jubilee cycle among the Jews of Yeshua’s day—we conclude it must be true and orthodox to believe that Daniel 9:24-27 was fulfilled when Christ (in Israel’s last days) appeared (in His first and second appearings as High Priest Heb. 9-10:37) to close the Old Covenant age and establish and mature the New Covenant age by AD 70. This is the time when all OT prophecy was fulfilled (Lk. 21:20-22), and the sign and revelatory gifts ceased along with the office of Prophet from the Church.  Selah.
The rest of this article will further prove the conclusion reached above.

Jewish Traditions of Daniel 9:24-27 and 7:13-14

And by way of introduction, we should also note that this passage was known to be messianic among some Jews.  Dr. Michael Brown points out a well known Rabbinic commentator took the prophecy as both fulfilled by AD 70 and yet at the same time as fulfilled in the times of Messiah,

“…Rashi taught that the prophecy pinpointed the death of Agrippa and the destruction of the Temple–major events in the last generation of the Second Temple era–but then simply drifted off to the distant future in terms of the final fulfillment of the prophecy.”  (Dr. Michael Brown, ANSWERING JEWISH OBJECTIONS to JESUS, Volume Three, Baker Books, 2003, p. 90).

“…He [Rashi] interprets the destruction of the city and the sanctuary as pointing to that same event under Titus the Roman general.  As translated by Jewish historian Heinrich W. Guggenheimer, “the power of his reign [Titus] will be blown away by the Messiah.”  Third, he makes reference again to God’s kingdom coming in power through the Messiah, but once more, it is merely appended without explanation.” (Ibid. 89).

“…He [Rashi] explains how all the prophesied events culminate and unfold in a time period on generation after Jesus and then says, “And the real end of the story will take place in the days of the Messiah” — which, according to traditional Judaism, still have not arrived, now two thousand years later.”  (Ibid. 90).
Ironically, Dr. Brown is guilty of the very thing he accuses Rashi of – saying out of one side of his mouth that the prophecy was fulfilled by AD 70, but then out of the other side of his mouth saying it will be fulfilled in the far distant future.  However, Brown out of one side of his mouth claims “…everything Daniel 9:24-27 reached its fulfillment by 70 C.E.” Yet [out of the other side of his mouth] “It is also possible that on the basis of our Messiah’s atoning work, the ultimate fulfillment will take place at the end of this age, when Jesus returns.” (Ibid., p. 98).

Brown misses the NT’s teaching that AD 70 was the event that proved Christ would come “in a very little while and would NOT delay (Heb. 10:37) and was the event the Church could look back upon and know that Christ and His Kingdom “had already come” in “power” (Mt. 16:27-28/Mrk. 8:38–9:1).  The fulfillment of “all” the events in Daniel 9:24-27 by AD 70 caused the miraculous revelatory “visions” and thus the office of “prophet” to “end” “stop” or “cease” confirming the claims of Christ to be God and come “As the Ancient of Days” (Dan. 7:13 (OG) LXX; 9:24; Mt. 26:62-64/Rev. 1:1, 7-18; 1 Cor. 1:5-8; 13:8-12).  This is especially troubling since Brown claims to be a Charismatic (many touting him as a “prophet”) yet admits he has “prophesied” falsely (ironically of modern Israel) in the past.

Here are some more statements that underscore the passage was seen to be Messianic:

San 97a:  “Our masters taught as follows of the particular seven-year period at whose end [Messiah] son of David will appear” (This seems to refer directly to the Danielic final week!)

San 97b:  “Rav said: All times set for redemption have passed, and the matter now depends only on repentance and good deeds” (All time calculations had been fulfilled).

San 97b:  “R. Samuel bar Nahmani said in the name of R. Jonathan: Blaste be the bones of those who presume to calculate the time of redemption. For they are apt to say, ‘Since redemption has not come at the time expected, it will never come.’ Rather, one must wait for it…what then delays its coming? The measure of justice delays it…”

I couldn’t agree more that these Jews did in fact miss and reject the redemptive work of their Messiah (Jesus the Christ) in Daniel’s last seven and “Judaism” hasn’t been the same since AD 70 – having reached her “end” during that terminal “crooked and perverse generation” (Deut. 32:5, 20/Acts 2:20-40/Luke 17:20-21, 25; 21:32). Moses predicted that many of them would not be able to “discern” their “end” (Deut. 32:29).

As so-called Christian “Zionists” like Dr. Michael Brown like to point out — the fact remains, if Messiah didn’t come before the destruction of the second temple and in AD 70, then Messiah didn’t come at the appointed time to the Jewish people and their future Messianic expectations are false. But I would add, just as the modern Zionist is in trouble if Messiah didn’t come before the Temple was destroyed in AD 70, it is equally true for the Christian so-called “Zionist” such as Brown, if Messiah’s Second Coming didn’t occur when the Temple was destroyed in AD 70, the Christian view of OT and NT prophecy comes tumbling down as well and is no less credible than modern Zionists twisting of Daniel 9:24-27. Both modern “Jewish” “Zionist” views seek a physical fulfillment/ manifestation of the Kingdom which is rejected by Christ and the NT authors. Fortunately, a sound Christian Sovereign Grace Full Preterist solution and sound exegesis is here. Selah.

It is also important to point out in connection with Daniel 7 and 9 that the Jews prior to the arrival of Jesus, also had a Messianic view of Daniel 7:13-14 and a concept of the “two powers in heaven.” That is a belief that God is both a Spirit being in heaven and there is a second person of the Godhead that is His Son that is equally eternal and the “Word” and can manifest Himself as an angel or man on earth. In about AD 100, this view was condemned as “heresy” because Jesus and the Christians were affirming that Christ was the fulfillment of this divine Messiah.

The Overall Structure, Historical Context and Theme

When Israel disobeyed the covenant it is said, “The land will be abandoned by them, and will make up for its Sabbaths while it is made desolate without them.” (Lev. 26:43). In Second Chronicles we read, “All the days of its desolation, it kept Sabbath to fulfill Sabbath to fulfill seventy years” (2 Chron. 36:21 NSAB). As those 70 years of captivity were ending and the land had received its Sabbath rest, Daniel prays for his people and is given a prophetic time explaining Israel’s imminent deliverance from the Babylonian captivity and yet at the same time, encompassing her coming Messiah within a period of 70 sevens in which there would be a greater rest and restoration for Israel.

The Anointed/Prince/Ruler/Messiah Jesus is the anti-type of (or the new) Cyrus delivering Israel from her bondage of sin and raising her from the graves of sin-death. And this partial restoration back into the land typified through Nehemiah and Ezra pointed to an anti-typical eschatological gathering “in Christ” at the end of the OC age in AD 70 (Matt. 13:39-43, 49; 24:30-31—25:31-46).

Various Chiastic Structures Considered

 Of the book of Daniel in general:

A – Daniel 1–Daniel Exiled into Babylon – land of death.
B – Daniel 2–Nebuchadnezzar’s Vision (Statue representing four kingdoms)
C– Daniel 3–Deliverance from the Fiery Furnace
D– Daniel 4–Nebuchadnezzar Humbled (seven years of insanity)
D– Daniel 5–Belshazzar Humbled (handwriting on the wall)
C– Daniel 6–Deliverance from the Lion’s Den
B– Daniel 7-9–Daniel’s Visions (Four kingdoms represented in various ways)
A– Daniel 10-12–Daniel’s Vision – end of the Exile and Promise to Be Raised in Another Restoration under Messiah

In this chiasm we can see how “B” chapters 7 and 9 elaborate on when the spiritual kingdom of Daniel 2 arrives. The Second Coming and arrival of the kingdom take place during the time of the Roman Empire in chapter 7. In chapter 9:24-27 we have a further development in that it will involve the Messiah suffering and His coming in judgment upon Jerusalem that will establish the spiritual New Covenant Kingdom.

Here is one that connects Daniel 7 with 12 (cf. A1-2) and sees 9:24-27 (C1) as the central part:

A1 (2:4b-49) – A dream of four kingdoms replaced by a fifth.
B1 (3:1–30) – Daniel’s three friends in the fiery furnace.
C1 (4:1–37) – Daniel interprets a dream for Nebuchadnezzar.
C2 (5:1–31) – Daniel interprets the handwriting on the wall for Belshazzar.
B2 (6:1–28) – Daniel in the lions’ den.
A2 (7:1–28)– A vision explained of four world kingdoms replaced by a fifth.
A1 (7)– Judgment of the dead & kingdom’s arrival.
B1 (8) – A vision of third kingdom & “time of the end.”
C1 (9)– 70 7’s “abomination of desolation” “the end” and Atonement/Consummation
C2 (10–11) – “abomination of desolation” “the end.”
B2 (11) – A vision of second & third kingdom & “time of the end.”
A1-2 (12)– Vision explained: Consummation of Kingdom – Judgment / Resurrection & “time of the end.”
I prefer the above chiasm since it correctly connects Daniel 2, 7, 9 and 12.
Of Daniel 9:24-27 as the central theme and summary from chapter 8-12:
A. Vision of Future Gentile Kings and Kingdoms (8:1-27)
B. Darius the Mede (9:1-2)
C. Daniel’s Distressed Prayer (9:3-19)
D. Angelic Messenger – Daniel Commended (9:20-23)
E. The Seventy ‘Sevens’ and the Messiah (9:24-27)
D. Angelic Messenger – Daniel Commended (10:1-11)
C. Daniel’s Terror Comforted (10:12-21)
B. Darius the Mede (11:1)
A. Vision of Future Gentile Kings and Kingdoms (11:2- 12:4)
While this chiasm seeks to emphasize Daniel 9:24-27, I think it is important to note that while Daniel 9:24-27 is central, Daniel 12:1-7 is in essence a recapitulation of the same prophetic time period and promise – just described differently.
A further breakdown of Daniel 9:25-27:
chiasm-of-daniel-925-27
In this chiasm, (and in the study or story of Israel’s covenant and redemptive history) we should take notice that what is physically re-built and restored under the Old Covenant and being “in the land” will eventually be destroyed and shaken one last time in order to make way for spiritually re-building and establishing Christ’s New Covenant Kingdom or New Jerusalem / Temple “in Christ.” This is what many scholars have referred to as the “two Jerusalem’s.”  When the physical city is being destroyed, God is saving His remnant and the New Jerusalem. The NT makes this connection in Galatians 4 and the tale of the two cities/wives in Revelation – one physical (OC Jerusalem) and subject to being imminently destroyed in AD 70, and the other spiritual (NC Jerusalem) to imminently descend from heaven and be a sanctuary for sinners to flee to post AD 70 (Rev. 17–22:17).  In Daniel 9:24-27 there is a destruction of one Jerusalem and Most Holy Place, and an yet an anointing of another.

As David Green writes (see article after this one), this is “The Preterist Paradox”:

“To the prophet Daniel, the prophecy of the “seventy weeks” might have sounded contradictory. Gabriel first told him (in verse 24) that at the end of “seventy weeks,” the transgression would be finished, an end would be made of sins, atonement would be made for iniquity, everlasting righteousness would be brought in, and the Most Holy Place would be anointed. But then when Gabriel came to the end of the prophecy, he said that the Messiah would be killed and that the city and the sanctuary would be defiled, desolated, and destroyed in the flood of war. Gabriel offered no further explanation.

How could the devastating ending of the “weeks” in verses 26 and 27 be compatible with the joyful ending of the “weeks” in verse 24? How could the “seventy weeks” be consummated in both the destruction of the temple (Dan. 9:26) and in the anointing of the temple? (Dan. 9:24). Or how could the resurrection of the dead and glorification of the saints be fulfilled when the power of the holy people is shattered? (Dan. 12:1-3,7)

This paradox is the heart of the preterist interpretation of Bible prophecy. It is what the futurists and the Jews have missed for centuries upon centuries: The destruction of (earthly) Jerusalem signified the advent of (heavenly) Jerusalem. The destruction of the (earthly) Most Holy Place meant the consummated anointing of the (heavenly) Most Holy Place. The (spiritual) sons of the kingdom inherited the kingdom when the (fleshly, unbelieving) sons of the kingdom were cast out of the kingdom (Matt. 8:12; 13:38, 43). This is the preterist key that unlocks the meaning of the “seventy weeks,” and of Zechariah 14, and a host of other prophecies of the Last Days.” (David Green, From Babylon to Babylon: An Exposition of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks).

Seventy Sevens Literal or Symbolic? 

Symbolic or Theological View

Lee Irons and Meredith Kline are at least correct in pointing out that Daniel’s seventy sevens prophecy is not a literal 490 years chronology:

“The seventy “weeks” (literally “sevens”) comprise a definite period of time until the coming of the Messiah and the destruction of Jerusalem…a period that is actually longer than a literal 490 years.”

“…the point of the seventy weeks is not to provide a precise chronological prediction but to make the profound theological point that the coming of Christ and the abrogation of the Old Covenant order will usher in the eschatological Sabbath rest for the people of God.”[1]

Sam Storms following Kline writes,

“Let us remember that not only were the Israelites themselves to rest on the 7th day, the land also was to rest in the 7th year. When Gabriel spoke of the “sevens,” 70 of which were decreed for Israel, he had in mind the 7 year period, the 7th year of which was a sabbatical year of rest for the land (Lev. 25:2-7). Kline proceeds to make the point that the sabbath itself, whether for the people or the land, functioned “as a prophetic symbol of the consummation of the covenant order. As elaborated in the Mosaic covenant . . . the sabbath served as a sign of the messianic age of redemptive liberation, restitution, and rest [see esp. Heb. 4:1-11]”.

It would appear, then, that this precise chronological or numerical framework was chosen not because Gabriel desired to set calendrical boundaries of a beginning and end in which the six-fold goal of 9:24 would be accomplished. Rather, he chose this framework, first, because it is sabbatical, and second, because the sabbath (and the number 7) bore special symbolic import for the nation Israel.
This point is confirmed when we observe that Gabriel spoke of “70” of these units of 7, hence 490 years. Why did he not choose 30 or 50 or 80 “sevens” instead of “70 sevens”? The reason is found in Lev. 25:8-55 and the observance of the year of JUBILEE. Let us note particularly vv. 8-12.

When we examine the year of jubilee in detail we discover that its provisions were as follows: (1) the return of all property, according to the original Mosaic distribution, to the original owner or to his family; (2) the release of all Jewish slaves; (3) the cancellation of debts; and (4) the land is to lie fallow, i.e., it is neither to be sown, pruned, reaped, nor gathered for an entire year.

The Jubilee, therefore, was a year in which social justice and equity, freedom, pardon, release, and restoration were emphasized and experienced. The jubilee signalled a new beginning, the inauguration of moral, spiritual, and national renewal. Hence it is no surprise that the jubilee became a symbol and prefigurement of the ultimate redemption, release, and restoration that God would accomplish spiritually on behalf of his people. Indeed, the eschaton, the final day of salvation to be inaugurated by Messiah, was conceived and described in terms of the release ordinance of the Mosaic year of jubilee.
This all takes on special significance when we realize that there is decreed for Israel a total period of seventy sevens of years or 490 years, which is to say 10 JUBILEE ERAS, “an intensification of the jubilee concept pointing to the ultimate, antitypical jubilee”.

The purpose of the 70 weeks prophecy, outlined in Dan. 9:24, was to secure that ultimate salvation, that release, redemption, and restoration of which the Jubilee year was a type or symbolic prefigurement. When Jesus declares that in himself the jubilee of God [Lk. 4:16-21/Isa. 61:1-2] has come he is saying, in effect, that the 70 weeks of Daniel have reached their climax. The new age of jubilee, of which all previous jubilees were prefigurements, has now dawned in the person and ministry of Jesus. THE GOAL OF THE 70 WEEKS PROPHECY IS THE CONSUMMATE JUBILARY SALVATION OF GOD! That is why the chronological frame of reference in which it is said to transpire is jubilary in nature: 10 jubilees = 490 years! The meaning of the period, therefore, is THEOLOGICAL, not calendrical. The 70 weeks are not designed to establish precise chronological parameters for redemptive history. Rather, they serve to evoke a theological image, namely, that in “Messiah Jesus” God will work to effect the final jubilee of redemptive history. The 10 jubilee framework (i.e., the 490 years or 70 weeks) is thus symbolic of the divine work of redemption, at the conclusion of which the eternal and perfected jubilee will appear: THE NEW HEAVENS AND NEW EARTH (Rev. 21-22).

According to the conclusions reached above, the first half of Daniel’s 70th week runs from the baptism of Jesus to 70 a.d. The destruction of Jerusalem and its temple in 70 a.d. is the middle of the week, and the present church age is its latter half. Kline concurs and summarizes as follows:
“When we survey the fulfillment of Gabriel’s prophecy from our vantage point, it appears that the last half of the 70th week is the age of the community of the new covenant, disengaged from the old covenant order with whose closing days its own beginnings overlapped for a generation. In the imagery of the NT Apocalypse, the last half week is the age of the church in the wilderness of the nations for a time, and times, and half a time (Rev. 12:14). Since the 70 weeks are 10 jubilee eras that issue in the last jubilee, the 70th week closes with the angelic trumpeting of the earth’s redemption and the glorious liberty of the children of God. The acceptable year of the Lord which came with Christ will then have fully come.” (Sam Storms, Daniel’s Seventy Weeks, https://www.samstorms.com/all-articles/post/daniels-70-weeks)

My brief response to Sam Storms and Meredith Kline here:

Ironically, in Sam Storm’s three part series on Matthew 24 he admits that the coming of Christ and the blowing of the trumpet of Matthew 24:30-31 very well could refer to AD 70.  He also defends the position that the “heaven and earth” of (Mt. 24:35 and Mt. 5:17-18) is referring to the Temple and Old Covenant heaven and earth that “passed away” in AD 70.  And since virtually all scholars agree that John’s version of the Olivet Discourse is the book of Revelation, it is more than ironic that Storms won’t make the AD 70 fulfillments he holds to or favors in interpreting Matthew 24 to be present here in the book of Revelation.  The “this generation” coming of Christ in AD 70 found in Matthew 24 which causes “heaven and earth” to “pass away” (Mt. 24:30-35 and Mt. 5:17-18) is the same same “soon” coming of Christ in Revelation which causes the “heavens and earth” to “pass away” (Rev. 21–22:7).

Yeshua came to fulfill both halves of the last seven between AD 30 – AD 70.  Since the NT places the “soon” Second Coming event in Revelation to be in AD 70 (to judge Babylon the Great Harlot City or Old Covenant Jerusalem – Rev. 11:8), this is when the New Creation or New Jerusalem of Revelation 21-22 reaches her mature state, and thus we see His face and therefore, vision and prophecy are sealed up or have come to reach there desired goal (Rev. 22:4-7/1 Cor. 13:8-12/Dan. 9:24).  This destroys Sam Storms heretical Charismatic theology.

The jubilee is ushered in at the seventh or last trumpet of which in John’s day there would be “no more delay” and corresponds to Yeshua’s saying it would be blown at His Second Coming — within His “this generation” (Rev. 10-11/Mt. 24:30-34).

Therefore, moving from the seventh and last trumpet of Revelation 10-11 we move into Kline’s appeal to the 3.5 years of Revelation 12.  It is interesting that Storms in his article takes the flight of Luke 21:20ff. and Matthew 24:15ff. to be fulfilled just prior to the Roman’s treading down Jerusalem from AD 66 – AD 70, but when the same flight and protection event is described with symbolic language in Revelation 12, this is somehow symbolic of the Church age instead of the AD 66 – AD 70 period?!?

Kline agrees that the Old Covenant overlapped the New Covenant for the “generation” between AD 30 – AD 70.  Therefore, if the OC age was “soon to vanish” (Heb. 8:13) then there is no reason not to accept this was due to the fact that Jesus was coming to come in the same time period “in a very little while and would not delay” to bring an end to that last days age (Heb. 9:26-28–10:37).  That “generation” was the overlapping of the two ages and the “already and not yet” period.  Post AD 70 (after the trumpet has blown) we don’t live or “wander” in the “wilderness” according to the book of Hebrews, because the “heavenly land” and “city” Abraham and the OT saints longed for was “about to come” and did in AD 70 (Heb. 11:14ff.; 13:14YLT)! 

Thus, I would disagree with Kline and Storms that the first half of the seven is from the baptism of Jesus to AD 70 and yet somehow we are in the last half (3.5) awaiting its completion.  No, both halves of the last seven were fulfilled from Christ’s first coming to His Second Appearing “in a very little while” (i.e. in AD 70).  The Church is not waiting within the last half of the seven for it’s completion, it has been fulfilled at His parousia in AD 70 and that is why we are in the 50th / jubilee rest and liberation of the New Covenant age which has no end (Ephs. 3:20-21).   Due to Sam’s commitment to Futurism and Charismatic false teaching, he misses the accurate unfolding or sequence of the theology contained within Daniel 9:24-27 and how it is developed in the rest of the NT.  To miss when the that seventh trumpet is blown, is to blow the theological accuracy and point of Jesus’ development of the prophecy.

No matter how we understand the seventy sevens, they are patterned after the number seven and point to Messiah bringing us into His heavenly land – rest in Him.

INTRODUCING FULL PRETERISM CHRONOMESSIANISM THE CALENDAR OF SABBATICAL CYCLES — THE PROPER AD 26–AD 66-70 CONTEXTUAL APPROACH TO DANIEL 9:24-27 AND ISAIAH 61–63:1-6

What modern Christian commentators have missed in Daniel 9:24-27 is the context is addressing Daniel being concerned with the prophetic “word” of Jeremiah (Jer. 25 and 29) and the angel is not discussing beginning the 490 years count down beginning with a “decree” of a Gentile king, but rather explaining the “word” of Jeremiah connected with what God had revealed to Daniel in the vision of Daniel 7.  The 70 years of Babylonian captivity is included within the 490 years prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27.  The 70 years of captivity are connected to the Babylonian dominance over Israel but there were three more Gentile kingdoms to go before true and New Covenant restoration under Messiah would be achieved.  The 70 years x  7 (based on breaking the sabbath laws of Lev. 25-26) = 490 years.

The next major error, is that Yeshua was a Jew and He along with the Jews of the first century would have used the Jewish calendar which dated the destruction of the first temple around 420 BC and not the Gentile calendar of 586 BC.  Therefore, first century “Chronomessianism” began the 490 years countdown from the destruction of the first temple to an anticipated arrival of the Messiah before the destruction of the second temple.  Messiah had to arrive at the end of the last and 10th jubilee to accomplish all the soteriological and eschatological events listed in Daniel 9:24-27 and Isaiah 61:1-11.  They expected Messiah to arrive right around AD 26 – AND HE DID!  But because they missed the spiritual nature of His Kingdom (Lk. 17:20-37), they missed the fulfillment of this powerful prophecy unfold before their very eyes from AD 26 — AD 66-70. Even though Daniel prophesied of a spiritual kingdom (Dan. 2 and 7) and it was clear from their own prophets that they would not be able to “discern” their own “end” when it drew “near” in that particular “perverse and crooked generation” (Deut. 32/Acts 2:40/1 Pet. 4:5-7). The fact that God would be coming to judge their unbelief and not the Romans was prophesied to be a “strange work” (Isa. 28). Their carnal expectations caused them to miss Isaiah’s “new work” of the spiritual New Covenant.

This is the “year of the Lord’s favor” or the eschatological time frame that Eden was GIVEN BACK to man and his SLAVERY from “the death” that came through Adam and Satan was completely removed. The trumpets have been blown, and Post AD 70 we are in the eternal NC age of Jubilee – come enter the gates of the New Jerusalem and celebrate with us (Isa. 65-66/Rev. 21-22:17). Experience the redemption, rest and inheritance that is yours and that can ONLY be found “in Christ” where all the promises of God have been fulfilled (2 Cor. 1:20/Lk. 21:20-22). Selah!

In the Jewish mind,

“422 BC is associated with when the first temple burned 70 Sabbaticals (490 years) before the second temple burned in 70 AD.” (A Treatise on the Sabbatical Cycle and the Jubilee, 1866, by Dr. B. Zuchermann, Professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary).

And,

“The 2nd century CE rabbinic work Seder Olam Rabbah, which formed the basis of the era counting of the Hebrew calendar, interpreted the prophecy of seventy weeks in Daniel 9:24-27 as referring to a period of 490 years, with a “week” being interpreted as a period of seven years, which would pass between the destruction of the First and Second Temple. This is used to date the destruction of the First Temple to 423 BCE (3338 AM) – about 165 years after the current scholarly dating of the event. The discrepancy between these two dates is referred to as “missing years”.” (Missing Years, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missing_years_%28Jewish_calendar%29).

The Jews connected the destruction of the first temple (424/422BC), the seventy years of Babylon captivity, the restoration and rebuilding of the Temple (under Ezra and Nehemiah 515BC – 70 yrs. from the first Temple’s destruction), to the destruction of the Temple in AD 70 —- as the 10th. Jubilee cycle or 490 years! They expected Messiah to arrive right around AD 26 (AND HE DID!) to fulfill all of His redemptive promises given to them through the prophets, but because they missed the spiritual nature of His Kingdom (Lk. 17:20-37), they missed the fulfillment of this powerful prophecy unfold before their eyes in the redemptive events from AD 26 — AD 66-70. Even though Daniel prophesied of a spiritual kingdom (Dan. 2 and 7) and it was clear from their own prophets that they would not be able to “discern” their own “end” when it drew “near” in that particular “perverse and crooked generation” (Deut. 32/Acts 2:40/1 Pet. 4:5-7). The fact that God would be coming to judge their unbelief and not the Romans was prophesied to be a “strange work” (Isa. 28). Their carnal expectations caused them to miss Isaiah’s “new work” of the New Covenant.

We must enter into the Jewish and historical context when approaching Daniel 9:24-27 as relating to the Sabbatical calendar and the redemption of Israel.

While I would differ on some points with Ben Zion Wacholder, I would agree with the majority of these quotes and that there is sufficient,
*** “…evidence in the biblical, Qumran׳ New Testament, and rabbinic literature for a hitherto unnoticed but apparently at one time widespread belief, that the inevitable coming of the messiah would take place during the season when Israel celebrated the sabbatical year. Sabbatical messianism, or chronomessianism, are appropriate terms for a phenomenon that inspired a search in the scriptural prophecies for the exact date of the redeemer’s coming. Although most powerful in the apocalyptic tradition, chronomessianism appears as well in the mainstream of Judaism. The locus classicus of chronomessianic doctrine is found in Daniel 9, particularly in the mysterious verses 24-27.” (Ben Zion Wacholder, CHRONOMESSIANISM THE TIMING OF MESSIANIC MOVEMENTS AND THE CALENDAR OF SABBATICAL CYCLES, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati, p.1, bold emphasis MJS).
More quotes from his article that I found useful include the following:
*** “The pre-history of chronomessianism may be traced in several biblical pasages. Isa. 23:15-18 predicts that Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, at the end of which time the Lord will again remember the famous city.Jeremiah employs the 70-year period for the length of Judah’s coming exile in Babylonia (Jer. 25: 11-12; 29: 10).  The use of the number 70 might reflect the Jewish affinity for the numeral seven and its multiples, evidenced in weekly and yearly sabbaths (shemittah) and the jubilee; alternately, it might have been a common Near Eastern convention for the maximum life expectancy or the normal span of two or three generations. Whatever that number’s function in Jeremiah, Zech. 1:12 regards the number 70 as the precise length of Judah’s exile. By fusing Jeremiah’s “70-year prophecy” with the assertion in Lev. 26:34-35, 43, that during the exile the land would atone for the sabbaths that Israel had violated, 2 Chron. 36:21-23 suggests not only that Jeremiah’s words came true, but explicitly interprets Cyrus’ edict as having reference to them.
Whatever the precise meaning of these passages, the credit for inventing sabbatical messianism belongs to the author of Daniel 9.” (Ibid., pp. 1-2).  
*** “The ancient Jewish exegesis of Dan. 9:24-27 differs from modern scholarship in two significant ways. With a few exceptions, all medieval and recent commentators translate the key-word shavu’a (supposedly following the LXX) as heptomad or a “week,י’ seven years.  The ancient exegetes, it will be shown, understood shavu’a to refer to the seven- year cycle, the last year of which was “the year of the Lord” (Lev. 25:2), the equivalent of the year of shemittah or release (Deut. 15:1-2), when debts were canceled and land lay fallow. The difference between the two interpretations is that, according to the former, any septennial number will do; according to the latter, however, each seven-year period had its fixed place in a series, precise in beginning and end. A second difference stems from the first. Modern exegetes interpret the passage without reference to Jewish chronology current at that time.  The ancients, however, took it for granted that the numbers in 9:24-27 had to harmonize with their calendar of sabbatical cycles.  No student would undertake to determine the day of the week without reference to the Jewish or Christian calendar; yet none of the nineteenth or twentieth century commentators, I have concluded, tries to harmonize Daniel with the sabbatical cycles as they were uninterruptedly observed during intertestamental and early rabbinic times.” (Ibid., pp. 2-3).

*** “The recently published fragments from a partially preserved pesher offer a fascinating presentation of sabbatical chronomessianism.  Although written in the familiar Qumran style, the pesher applied Daniel’s insight into what evidently was an anthology of biblical passages related to the sabbatical and jubilee themes, but which also included allusions to the reigns of the Righteous (Melchizedek) and Wicked (Melchiresha). After commenting on Lev. 25:13 in regard to the Israelites’ return to their patrimony in the year of דרור (jubilee), the remission of debts in Deut. 15:2, and freedom (דרור) to the captives, proclaimed in Isa. 61:1, llQMelch 3 II continues: “Its interpretation is: that He will proclaim them to be among the children of Heaven and of the inheritance of Melchizedek… For He will restore (their patrimonies?) to them and proclaim freedom to them and make them abandon all of their sins. This shall take place during the sabbatical cycle (shabu’a) of the first jubilee following the nitne] jubilees, and on the Day of Atonement falling at the en[d of the jujbilee, the tenth; To forgive on it (the day of atonement) for all of (the sins) of all the children of [God and] the men of the lot of Melchizedek.”  Although its main thought is quite clear, the precise chronology of the pesher remains obscure. There is no doubt, however, that the tenth jubilee alludes to the chronology of Dan. 9:24’s 70 sabbatical cycles, which equals 10 jubilees, when Melchizedek will overcome Me(a)lchiresha°. Any lingering doubt that this is so disappears when one reads in line 18 of our fragment: “And the herald of good tidings (Isa. 52:7a) refers to the messiah, the Spirit concerning whom it was said by Dan[iel (9:25): ‘Until the coming of the messiah, the prince, 7 sabbatical cycles…'”  Despite the fact that the pesher utilizes a long list of biblical passages, Dan. 9:24-27 remained the key to the author’s chronology of sabbatical messianism.” (Ibid., pp. 10-11).

*** “Chapters 29-30 of Seder Olam, which may be regarded as a kind of midrash on Dan. 9:24-27, tailor the chronology of the burnings of the First and the Second Temples to make them conform to the author’s view of Daniel’s sabbatical numbers: 10 Jubilees = 70 Sabbatical cycles = 490 years elapsed from Nebuchadnezzar’s to Titus’ conquests of Jerusalem.” (Ibid., p. 11).
*** “It is evident that the observance of the sabbatical years and jubilees during the intertestamental times played a far larger role in the consciousness of Israel than has been hitherto recognized. Immense as were the effects of the calendar of sabbatical cycles on the agricultural and social life of the people, its influence was no less on the formulation of Jewish religious beliefs. Concepts such as creation, history, apocalypse, and eschatology all became enmeshed with the calendar of sabbatical cycles. In the 7th year debts were cancelled, hard labor in the fields stopped; the voice of freedom was heard throughout the land as the steps of the messiah were believed to have become more and more audible.” (Ibid. p. 18).

James M. Hamilton Jr. also comments on this relevant Qumran material in relation to Daniel 9:24-27 and the eschatological jubilee of 490 years:
“This seems to indicate that the reference to ‘Melchizedek’ in this passage should be understood along the lines of the David Psalm 110.  In that case, 11Q Rule of Melchizedek bears witness to a hope for a David and Melchizedekian figure who will be anointed by the Spirit, make atonement for his people (the sons of light, i.e. the seed of the woman), thereby freeing them from their sins, proclaiming liberty to the captives, enabling the return from exile, and all these magnificent things take place at the tenth jubilee.” (James M. Hamilton Jr., With the Clouds of Heaven The book of Daniel in biblical theology, IVP, p. 162, bold emphasis MJS).

I believe Hamilton is correct to see this material including the Messianic second exodus and Messianic gathering motif as well.  He includes the blowing of the trumpet and eschatological gathering of Isaiah 27:13 with Daniel 9:24-27 (Ibid.).  This is significant in that both Yeshua and Paul connect the trumpet gathering of Isaiah 27:13 with the Second Coming of Christ and resurrection to take place in their generation and in the lifetime of their contemporaries (Mt. 24:30-34; 1 Thess. 4:15-17).  This trumpet eschatological gathering at Christ’s Second Coming in the events of AD 66 – AD 70 is described by Luke as the “days of vengeance” which correlate to Isaiah’s “day of vengeance” during this last eschatological cycle of the Jubilee (Lk. 21:20-32/Isa. 61–63).

Margaret Barker comes the closest to my position because she at least connects this last 10th cycle to the “soon” AD 66 – AD 70 fulfillments to the prophecy of Revelation.

“The seventy weeks of years, 490 years, were ten Jubilees, and the alternative way of reckoning this period was as ten Jubilees. Jewish tradition remembered that the 490 years ended in 68CE; calculation from the second temple Jubilee sequence beginning in 424BCE gives 66CE. A two years discrepancy is hardly significant in the light of what this implies, namely that the tenth Jubilee began in 17/19 CE. In other words, tenth Jubilee fervour and expectations were the context for the ministry of Jesus.” (Margaret Barker, THE TIME IS FULFILLED JESUS AND THE JUBILEE, 1999, http://www.margaretbarker.com/Papers/JesusAndTheJubilee.pdf).

She points out in the article that there seems to be some confusion or discrepancy on the years 422 BC or 424 BC from the second Temple Jubilee and then the next issue to work through would be if one should be calculating based on 50 or 49 for a Jubilee cycle. But if I’m reading her correctly, then 422 BC or 424 BC is where the 10 Jubilee’s countdown from Daniel 9:24-27 begins in Jewish tradition and the first century context in which Jesus and the NT authors ministered.

When I calculate Jubilees (based on 50 and not 49) from the “sign” in (Isaiah 37:30ff.) for Hezekiah in 722 BC, and work backwards until I get to a jubilee in 422 BC and the second Temple, and then calculate the 10 jubilee’s from 422 BC, this brings us to AD 27 as the 10th. Jubilee cycle.

But to be thorough, here are the various ways to calculate where the 10.th Jubilee cycle began in the lifetime of Yeshua based upon two dates for the second Temple 424 BC/422 BC and or using and counting from a 49 or 50 Jubilee year approach:

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Based upon Josephus, one can calculate a seventh year sabbath in AD 27. So based upon this information and my math, the 10th Jubilee cycle is in around AD 26/28 and this is when Jesus makes the declaration in the synagogue that He is the fulfillment of the Jubilee of Isaiah 61:1-11 in Luke 4:16-21. This would give a Jubilee Sabbatical or seventh year sabbatical in the following years (all falling within the last 10th Jubilee cycle 490 years):

1). AD 26/28 — Yeshua begins fulfilling the soteriological and eschatological 10th. cycle of the Jubilee — ministry — “cut off” — inaugurates NC age — First half of Daniel’s last “7.”

2). AD 33/35 – Seventh year sabbath

3). AD 40/42 – Seventh year sabbath

4). AD 47/49 – Seventh year sabbath

5). AD 54/56 – Seventh year sabbath

6). AD 61/63 – Seventh year sabbath

7). AD 67/69 — Yeshua fulfilling “Days of vengeance” — end of OC age — maturity of NC age — last half of Daniel’s last “7” AD 67 falls within the parousia or Second Coming of Christ event — that is the “day of vengeance” of (Isa. 61:2) which was fulfilled within Yeshua’s contemporary “this generation” and described by Him as “…the days of vengeance in fulfillment of all that has been written” and Israel’s “redemption” (Lk. 21:20-22; 27-32=Dan. 9:24-27/Isa. 61:1-11).

Josephus also records that the temple was destroyed on the 10th of Ab, the same date on which the first temple was destroyed (Josephus, Wars, 6:4:5).

*** All of Israel’s feast days (Spring and Fall) were fulfilled during this last “7” of Daniel’s 70 7’s prophecy – which was the anticipated Messianic “last days” 10th. cycle of the Jubilee in Yeshua’s day. This understanding of the OT prophets and tradition of the day along with the view that when Messiah came He would usher in a transitionary reign of the second exodus generation between their Old Covenant “this age” and the Messianic New Covenant “age about to come” are the views of Jesus and the inspired NT authors. Selah. For a review of our study on Israel’s feast days go here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/berean-bible-church/part-2-25-1018-mon-sat-exodus-23-and-israels-feasts/10155296783138616/

It has become very clear to me that Leviticus 23-26 is the key to understanding how Yeshua fulfilled all the feasts of Israel within that last 10th cycle of Jubilee (of which Israel’s calendar and redemptive history was based off) and the second exodus generation!  Click on chart to enlarge:

Visio-Eschatology-chronomessianism-7

There are a couple of different ways in calculating the 10 Jubilee or 490 years cycle. Some begin with 424 BC others 422 BC. Some calculate based on the 49 years others include the 50thyear. So I ran the numbers on all the possible scenarios. Barker used the calculation seen in #3. But I also find #’s 2 and 4 interesting because AD 26 or AD 28 would be during Jesus’ earthly ministry and His announcing that He is the fulfillment of the Jubilee prophecy in Isaiah 61 and Daniel 9. He would then shortly be ”cut off” (crucified) and His Second Coming as High Priest in AD 66 – AD 70 would still fall within that 10 th.Jubilee cycle of 490 years. This transition period also fulfilled the 40 years second exodus generation motif from their OC “this age” to the NC “age about to come” that they calculated based upon Isa. 10-11, Ps. 90 and other passages.

I did find someone (and I do not share her eschatology obviously) who calculated the jubilee cycle as I had (see #2 in the chart). Marie Casale writes,

“According to Luke 3:21-23, Jesus began to be about 30 years of age when he was baptized by John the Baptist. Having been born in the fall of 5 BC, he was baptized in the fall of 26 AD at the time of his birthday. Then, according to the scriptures, after his fall baptism, he went immediately into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan for forty days. (Mat 4:1-2) He returned to Jerusalem for the first Passover of his ministry, April 9, 27 AD. (Jhn2:13-25) Some time later Jesus began preaching in Galilee after John the Baptist was put in prison. (Mar 1:14-15, Mat 4:12, Luk4:14-15)

The next event after this was that Jesus preaches in Nazareth on the Sabbath day – Luk4:16-30 * Luk4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

Luk4:17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

Luk4:18 The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to SET AT LIBERTY them that are bruised, Luk4:19 To preach THE ACCEPTABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.

Luk4:20 And he closed the book, and he gave [it] again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. Luk4:21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

The message in Luk4:19 has to do with the announcement of ‘the acceptable year of the Lord’. This must be the Sabbath year of 26 AD.

Jesus would have probably announced these words on the Feast of Pentecost in 27 AD. The next holy day, the Day of Trumpets in 27 AD, would begin the second year of his ministry.

The message in Luk4:18 also has to do with a ‘proclamation of liberty’. Liberty was to be proclaimed as we see here in the commandments of the Sabbath year and of the Jubilee year. (cf. Deut. 15:12-18). (Marie Casale, THE SABBATH JUBILEE YEARS POINT TO THE MINISTRY OF CHRIST).

The “Already and Not Yet” of the Jubilee Cycle of Isiah 61/Luke 4

I should briefly address those such as Dr. Michael Heiser whom point out that Yeshua did not quote the “day of vengeance” when he quoted Isaiah 61 in Luke 4:18 because of an alleged 2,000 plus “already and not yet” period.

  1.  In Jewish hermeneutics often times a Rabbi would quote just one section of a prophecy and the audience knew the theological context of the entire passage was referenced as well.
  2. Even for those that discuss Yeshua was only addressing the “already” aspect of fulfilling the Jubilee of Isaiah 61 through His earthly ministry and passion — this does not address the NT places the “not yet” being fulfilled in the first century “this generation,” “soon,” “quickly,” “at hand,” “about to,” “would not be delayed,” etc…  This and the 10th Jubilee cycle had to be fulfilled within 49-50 years from AD 26.  In Luke 4:18 Jesus may be focusing on the first half of the last 7 if Daniel 9:24-27; but this does not prove the “not yet” of the last half of the 7 is 2,000 plus years and counting.

From what I understand, some commentators do claim Jesus’ declaration of the Jubilee of Luke 4:18-21/Isaiah 61 was made in an actual Jubilee year sabbath period, but it is not developed much by them or proven the way I have (and confirmed to me by Marie Casale). If this is accurate and we have a Jubilee sabbath rest year in AD 26/AD 28, then Jesus is in essence saying: “You know the 10th Jubilee of Daniel 9:24-27 that you are expecting as the time of Messiah coming to visit you with salvation and judgment, well, I am Him and the time of this prophetic period being fulfilled is taking place in your hearing and before your very eyes.” The Lord would confirm in (Luke 21:20-22, 27-32; Mt. 24:15-34) that all of the seventy sevens (and thus their “redemption”) would be fulfilled when the “abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel” took place within their contemporary “this generation.” When the Roman armies stepped foot on Israel’s land (known to them to be “a holy place” Mt. 24:15/Lk. 21:20-22) this event (the judgment of Jerusalem) brought the 70 7’s prophecy of Daniel to a perfect fulfillment and fulfilled all OT prophecy (as in Daniel 12:1-7).

Here are some more helpful insights from Barker’s article in not just developing the first part of the 10th. cycle to the earthly ministry of Christ, but the last part of the cycle to the “soon” AD 70 judgment,

*** “The Qumran Melchizedek text (11QMelch), written in the middle of the first century BCE but not necessarily composed at that time, describes the events of the tenth Jubilee14. Only fragments have survived so it is possible that the complete text described the other nine Jubilees also. The text begins by quoting the Jubilee laws in Leviticus 25 and Deuteronomy 15, interpreting them ‘for the last days’. The captives who are to return are people whose teachers have been ‘hidden and kept secret’ and these ‘people of the inheritance of Melchizedek’ will return. There is insufficient text for certainty, but this looks like a group who have been secretly preserving the teachings of the first temple, when there was a Melchizedek priesthood. In the tenth Jubilee they would ‘return’, perhaps to the temple as priests? The liberty of the Jubilee is interpreted as release from iniquities, the beginning of the atonement which will occur on the Day of Atonement at the end of the tenth Jubilee. The return and the release from iniquity were to happen in the first week, the first seven years, of the tenth Jubilee i.e. approximately 19-26 CE. If Jesus was born in 7/6 BCE15 and was baptised when he was about thirty years old (Luke 3.23), he began his ministry during the crucial first ‘week’ of the tenth Jubilee.

11 QMelch alludes many times to the Jubilee oracle in Isaiah 61: ‘… the LORD God has anointed me… to proclaim liberty to the captives (Isa.61.1, ‘proclaim liberty’, deror. being a quotation from Lev.25.10). The coming Melchizedek is to rescue his own people (? the sons of light, but the text is damaged here) from the power of Belial. There was to be a messenger of peace announcing to Zion ‘Your God reigns’, thus fulfilling Isaiah 52.7. The messenger was probably Melchizedek, but again the text is too damaged for certainty. He would be the anointed one prophesied in Daniel 9.25, but described in 11 QMelch as ‘anointed of the Spirit’, a conflation with Isaiah 61.1. The anointed one would instruct in the end times of the world16 and some people (the text is broken here) would establish the covenant, another Day of Atonement theme.

This gives the context for the opening scenes of the gospels. In the first week of the tenth Jubilee Jesus was baptised with the Spirit, which was interpreted as his anointing (Acts 10.38). After his time in the desert he returned to Galilee announcing ‘the time is fulfilled’ i.e. the tenth Jubilee is inaugurated and ‘Melchizedek’ is here, ‘the Kingdom of God is at hand, repent’, because the final Day of Atonement was also at hand at hand, ‘and believe the good news’ of the Jubilee release. Luke’s account of Jesus in the synagogue at Nazareth shows that he claimed to have inaugurated the final Jubilee; no other interpretation can be put on the claim to have fulfilled that day (Luke 4.21) the Jubilee prophecy in Isaiah 61 which was central to the Melchizedek expectations of the time. 17

The first miracle was an exorcism (Mark 1.21-26), setting one of his own people free from the power of Belial. He spoke of a woman bound by Satan and released her (Luke 13.16), of slaves to sin whom the Son could release (John 9.31-38). He forgave sins and illustrated his teaching with a parable of two debtors whose debts were cancelled (Luke 7. 41-48). The healing miracles restored to the community people who would have been excluded as ritually unfit: the disabled, the lepers, a woman who was bleeding. This was the great ingathering of the Jubilee. Jesus spoke of those who would inherit the earth (Mat.5.5) and at the Last Supper, he spoke of the New Covenant and of his blood poured out for the remission of sins (aphesis, the Jubilee word, Mat.26.28).

The Jubilee also brought the Day of Judgement, vividly described in 11QMelch. Melchizedek would take his place in the heavenly assembly and, as described in Psalm 82.1, begin to judge the `elohim, the heavenly beings. This was to be the year of Melchizedek’s favour, a very significant alteration to Isaiah 61.2, which proclaims the Jubilee as the year of the LORD’s favour. Similarly with Psalm 82.1; it is Melchizedek who takes his place in the heavenly assembly, whereas in the original Psalm it is God. The only possible conclusion is that Melchizedek, the heavenly high priest, was the LORD, the God of Israel. In 11 QMelch he has armies and brings the vengeance of divine judgement, and these were expected to appear in the tenth Jubilee. 11 QMelch explains why Jesus is depicted as judge and warrior in the Book of Revelation and why the Book of Revelation is described as ‘The revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave him to show to his servants what must soon take place’ (Rev.1.1). These were the teachings of Melchizedek, revealing in the tenth Jubilee the ends times of the world. When the Lamb takes his place in the heavenly assembly (Rev.5.6-14 fulfilling Ps.82.1) the judgement begins. The Word of God rides out from heaven, wearing a white robe sprinkled with blood; he is the high priest who has taken the atonement blood into the holy of holies. He rides out with his with his army (Rev.19.11-16) and the judgement follows.

The letter to the Hebrews explained the role of Jesus as the new Melchizedek (Heb.7.11), the one who had attained the priesthood by ascent, being raised up, not by descent from Aaron18. The crucifixion and ascension had been recognised as the enthronement of the Lamb, exactly as described in Hebrews 10.12: ‘When Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, there to wait until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet’. The remainder of the tenth Jubilee was the time of waiting until the final battle and victory when the Great High Priest would emerge to complete the Atonement and conclude the Jubilee.” (Ibid.).

*** “The seventh seal [of Revelation] would bring the return of the heavenly high priest to complete the great atonement at the end of the tenth Jubilee which was, by that time, imminent. In August 66CE, the nationalists gained entrance to the temple area and burned all records of debt20, the start of the Jubilee.” (Ibid.).

***” There is insufficient evidence to say with confidence how closely the Parousia expectations of the early church were bound up with the Jewish nationalism of the first century CE. They had Jubilee expectations in common, but the present form of the gospels invites us to believe that Jesus spiritualised the Jubilee, interpreting release from debt and slavery as forgiveness of sins and release from the power of Satan. This, however, is exactly the interpretation in 11QMelch, which was quite clear about the events of the tenth Jubilee. A spiritual interpretation of Jubilee does not necessarily indicate a separate agenda from the nationalists. Jesus did warn that the blood of the prophets would be required of his generation (Luke 11.50), in other words, that the Day of Judgement would occur within the lifetime of his hearers. This explains the urgency of his words: ‘The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the good news’.” (Ibid.).

*** “The Jubilee was used to measure time in the second temple period even when a literal application of the land laws was no longer possible10. Later tradition divided the history of Israel into Jubilees, but the remarkable coincidence of important events and Jubilee years does suggest that the Jubilee system was a significant factor in Israel’s actual history and not just in the memory of its historians.” (Ibid.).

That the Jubilee of Isaiah 61 was considered an imminent eschatological expectation in Jesus’ days is supported by other scholars:

“In 11Q13 phrases from Isa. 61:1–2 are linked with Lev. 25:13; Deut. 15:2; Ps. 7:8–9; 82:1–2; Isa. 52:7 to portray the expectation of the eschatological Jubilee (M. P. Miller 1969; J. A. Sanders 1975: 85). (Pao, D. W., & Schnabel, E. J. (2007). Luke. In Commentary on the New Testament use of the Old Testament (p. 288). Grand Rapids, MI; Nottingham, UK: Baker Academic; Apollos).

My Response to Margaret Barker’s Article

Jubilee Used to Measure Time and the History of Israel

As to Barker’s insight into the Jews dividing up their history in jubilee years and expectations of Messiah coming to fulfill Daniel’s 10th cycle of Jubilee during the times of Jesus — see my comments on the eschatological genealogies of Matthew and Luke’s gospels and George F. Moore’s article, Fourteen Generations: 490 Years: An Explanation of the Genealogy of Jesus, The Harvard Theological Review, Vol. 14, No. 1 (Jan., 1921), pp. 97-103 Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Harvard Divinity School.

The “Days of Vengeance” – Luke 21:20-32 and the 10th. Jubilee Cycle

Yeshua predicted that His coming soteriological and eschatological “redemption” “kingdom” “days of vengeance” of the Jubilee of Isaiah 61–66 would arrive at the sound of a trumpet and would be accomplished within His first century “this generation” audience (Lk. 21:20-32/Mt. 24:30-34). This was the fulfillment of “all that had been written” in the OT (Lk. 21:20-22ff.), which would obviously include Isaiah 61–66 and Daniel 2; 7; 9 and 12.

The Book of Hebrews and the 10th Jubilee Cycle

In chapters 3-4 the author demonstrates that the OT predicted “another sabbath rest” for Israel to enter into of which the land promise was only a type. In chapters 9-10 this “approaching day” of sabbath rest is connected to His Second Appearing as the Great High Priest to finish His atonement work. The first century Church was “eagerly” awaiting this return that is described as taking place in the last days of the Old Covenant age and “in a very little while” and would “not delay.” He was “about to” (Greek mello) burn up His Old Covenant apostate Jewish enemies and place them under His feet at this AD 66 – AD 70 Second Appearing.

In chapter 7 Melchizedek only functioned as a type of Christ, therefore the fist century imminent expectations of the eschatological “last days” Melchizedek is rightfully applied to Christ as Messiah and God to accomplish what they thought this figure would.

The Book of Revelation and the 10th Jubilee Cycle

The book of Revelation picks up where Daniel leaves off. Daniel had to “seal up the vision” because the time of fulfillment was “far off” (Dan. 12), whereas John is told the opposite concerning the SAME prophecy. He is told to “NOT seal up the vision” because the time of fulfillment is “at hand” (Rev. 22). Most of the book of Revelation deals with Daniel’s final “7” and places it being fulfilled in a fist century AD 66 – AD 77 period (i.e. “shortly” “soon” “at hand” “about to” “quick”).

Revelation also addresses issues of atonement, forgiveness of sin, sabbath rest and restoring man’s original Edenic inheritance in Christ at His “soon” Second Coming event during AD 66 – AD 70.

Yeshua – the Only Messianic Candidate

No matter how you look at it, the Jews were expecting Messiah to arrive during the Roman Empire and during the 10th Jubilee cycle/period and thus be made manifest to them between AD 17/19 or AD 26/28 Jesus was the ONLY one claiming to be Messiah and fulfilling this prophecy in His day, that I know of. Jesus arriving during this 10th. Jubilee cycle and proclaiming “liberty” along with His physical miracles, demonstrated that He indeed was who He claimed to be. Who else during this period was making this specific claim and having the miracles to back it up?!? And who else was prophesying that He would come on the clouds as the Ancient of Days and destroy the Temple within that same generation (Mt. 24:15-34/Lk. 21:20-32)?!?

Daniel 9:24-27 and the 10th. Jubilee Cycle Fulfilled Between AD 26–AD 66-70

When you read the commentators concerning these six promises Messiah will accomplish in the last 7 — which is divided into 2 3.5 periods, many recognize there is an “already and not yet” of Messiah’s redemptive work (cf. Heb. 9-10) that must be fulfilled between Him being “cut off” (the cross – or “already”) and His Second Appearing as High Priest out from the Temple–to finish the atoning process.  Others have seen that the seventy sevens prophecy simply ends with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.  And yet others will readily admit that the coming of the Son of Man upon the clouds in Daniel 7:13 is developed by Jesus in Matthew 10:22-23; 16:27-28; 24:1-34 as Him coming in judgment upon Jerusalem in AD 70 through the Romans.  Connecting these observations together, we see that Jesus gives a “this generation” period to be the “already and not yet” period for these events to take place and NOT a 2,000 plus years and counting period.  This becomes clear in the first of these six events of which we not turn.

Other Historical Works Confirm the Same Contemporary Time Frame of Inspired NT Imminence

This Age and the Age About to Come
N.T. Wright correctly points out Jesus’ and Paul’s teaching on the “end of the age,” is in harmony with “…the ‘two-age’ structure…of Pharisaic/rabbinic Judaism.”  The “end of the age” in Mt. 13:39, 43; Mt. 24:3; Heb. 9:26 Wright correctly identifies as “…the fall of Jerusalem and the Parousia of Jesus.” (The RESURRECTION OF THE SON OF GOD, p. 645).  Wright is correct here on the ages and the parousia of Christ occurring in AD 70, except by “parousia” we see a reference to the Second Coming of Christ (not the ascension) consummating the OC age in judgment and ushering in and brining to maturity the New Covenant age in which we live today.
The 40 Years Generation “Transition” Between the Old Covenant and New Covenant Ages
“Many Rabbis believed the period of Messiah was to be a transitionary stage between “this age [OC age] and the “age to come” [NC age] (Rev. Dr. A. Cohen, Everyman’s TALMUD, p. 356).  “‘How long will the days of the Messiah last?  R. Akiba said, ‘forty years, based upon how long the Israelites were in the wilderness before inheriting the land” (Ibid.).
This “transition stage” or second exodus of a 40 years generation type/anti-type understanding is developed for us by Yeshua in the Gospels, John the Baptist, the Apostle Paul, the author of Hebrews and forms the infallible and prophetic NT’s view of inspired imminence (cf. Mt. 3-4; 24:34; 1 Cor. 10:11; Heb. 3-4; 10:25, 37; 11—13:14YLT).
The Essenes & Inspired NT Imminence
Among the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Essenes interpreted Habakkuk 2, the book of Daniel and Ezekiel 38-39 regarding the coming of Messiah in judgment, the “last days” and end time battle to be referring to the same time of fulfillment that Yeshuah and the NT authors did:

  • Essenes believed they were the “final generation” that would experience “the end of the [OC] age.” (1QpHab 7:1-2)
  • Yeshua and Peteraffirmed “the end” or “end of the age” was “near” in their contemporary generation (Mt. 24:3-34; Acts 2:20-40/Deut. 32:5, 20; 1 Pet. 4:5-7).  Hebrews affirms the appointed time of Habakkuk’s prophecy had arrived and thus Yeshua’s Second Appearing to finish the atonement process would come “in a very little while” and would “not delay” at the approaching last days of the OC age (Heb. 9:28–10:37-38/Hab. 2:3-4).
  • The Essenes believed based upon Daniel 9:24-27, Habakkuk 2, Ezekiel 38-39 and other OT passages that their “last days” “generation,” would experience the end time war of Gog and Magog — when Rome came against apostate Jerusalem and their priesthood (1QpHab 9:5-11; 12:5-13).  They also believed Messiah would come and join them to defeat both the Romans and the apostate priesthood of Jerusalem.  After the community was almost wiped out by the Romans, they joined their apostate Jerusalem enemies in the events of AD 66 – AD 70 to fight Rome.  But event then they remained hopeful that Messiah would come and deliver them and destroy both of the Romans and apostate Jerusalem in this end time battle.
  • Yeshua and Johnaffirm “the last days” end time battle would be “near” in their generation when God would judge OC Jerusalem (or Babylon) for slaying Yeshua and His Apostles and Prophets (Lk. 21:20-24, 32/Dan. 9:26-27; Lk. 23:28-31/Isa. 2-4; Rev. 6:10-11; 11:8; 16; 19; 20).

We can imagine that while the Essenes were seeking to self-fulfill their carnal earthly views of the Messianic kingdom by going to Jerusalem and joining the war of AD 66 – AD 70, the Christians would be leaving the city being delivered by Messiah and knowing the kingdom “within” them was arriving RIGHT ON TIME (Lk. 17:20-37; 21:20-32).
Alright, back to Daniel…

1).  Finish transgression

Jerusalem “filled up” or “finished transgressions” against God and His Messiah within Jesus’ “this generation” (Mt. 23:31-38; Dan. 9:24a).  Dr. Michael Brown cites James E. Smith as understanding this verse likewise to be, “To fill up [or restrain] the transgression.  Within the 490 year period the people of Israel would commit their final transgression against God.  Jesus indicated that the leaders of his generation were about to fill up the measure of the sin of their forefathers (Matt. 23:32)…” (Michael Brown, AJOJ, Vol. 3, 93).

And Brown himself takes this interpretation when he writes,

“…take seriously Yeshua’s words spoken in Matthew 23:32, when he sarcastically exhorted the hostile Jewish leaders of his day, “Fill up the measure of the sin of your forefathers!”  Thus, the generation that rejected the Messiah would suffer the culmination of the sins of all the previous generations:  “Upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth…I tell the truth, all this will come upon this generation” (Matt. 23:35a, 37).” (Ibid., p. 96, bold emphasis MJS).

Unfortunately, Brown’s commitment to Futurist Zionism causes him to not “take seriously Yeshua’s words spoken in Matthew 23…,” because this is the consummative judgment of the living (the Pharisees) and the dead (martyrs) going all the way back to Genesis.  As that contemporary generation was ending, the book of Revelation confirms the same first century time frame of fulfillment in that the vindication of he martyrs blood at the hands of the great harlot city Babylon (which is OC Jerusalem where the Lord was crucified – Rev. 11:8) would be fulfilled in a “very little while” at the “soon” Second Coming of Christ (Rev. 6:10-11; 17–22:6-7, 10-12, 20).  The judgment and resurrection of the dead is once again connected with the fall of Jerusalem in Daniel 12:1-7.

Arminianism and Brown portrays and interprets Matthew 23:37 as it being Jesus’ will to save the vast majority within Jerusalem, but because of their free will and rejection, He simply could not pull it off.  Some within Dispensationalism also claim that Jesus wanted to save the majority in Israel and establish His kingdom on earth at His first coming, but again due to unbelief, He couldn’t and had to resort to “plan b” (the cross).  But somehow, we are to be assured that man’s “free will” and rejection of Christ will not be a problem for God’s will when He comes a second time, when the vast majority within Jerusalem allegedly will cry out with their free will at that time in repentance, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”
The Context of Matthew 23
Matthew 23:37-39 is a part of the entire teaching and context beginning in v. 1.  Jesus is pointing out the hypocrisy of the Pharisees (vss. 1-12).  Then Jesus begins pronouncing 7 judgmental “woes” upon them in vss. 13-39.  It is important to note Jesus’ emotional disposition is that of righteous anger at the Pharisees, and not Him weeping over the fact that He simply cannot accomplish His will to save the majority among Jerusalem.
Israel’s sin of blood guilt (whereby she killed the righteous among them throughout her history) was “filling up” from the time of Cain’s killing of righteous Abel, to those NT prophets and teachers Jesus would send to them – of which they too would persecute and kill (from AD 30 – AD 66 – vss. 32-34, cf. Matt. 10:17-23).  In vss. 35-36, 38 Jesus makes it abundantly clear that the time of judgment for all their bloodshed would fall upon them/their “this generation” – when their “house”/temple would be left desolate in AD 70.  This particular “this generation” was prophesied by Moses in Deuteronomy to experience her “end” (Deut. 32:5, 20/Acts 2:20-40).  At this time the righteous remnant among Israel (the “Israel within Israel” trusting in Messiah) along with the believing Gentiles would “rejoice” for God judging OC Israel’s sin of blood guilt and bringing her to this end (Deut. 32:43).
Matthew 23:37 
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”
First, this verse leading into vss. 38-39 is apart of Jesus’ 7th and last judgment “woe” began in v. 29.  Again, Jesus’ disposition is that of righteous anger not Him weeping because His will is being thwarted because the majority within Jerusalem would not believe in Him.
Secondly, in the context of this chapter, “Jerusalem” should be identified as the “Pharisees” who sought not to let others enter the kingdom v. 14.  And the “children” would include some of those that they sought to lay heavy burdens upon v. 4.
Thirdly, “gathering” here is the Messianic new exodus gathering predicted by the prophets (ex. Isa. 11:10-12).  Some Jews during Jesus’ day saw this new exodus being another 40 years generation or transitionary period between the OC “this age” of the law and prophets, and the NC or Messianic “age to come” based upon Psalm 90:15 and other texts.  This is the inspired time frame of Jesus and the rest of the NT writers.  There is an “already and not yet” aspect to this gathering which falls within Jesus’ “this generation” prophecy.
The “already” aspect of it can be said to have begun with the preaching of the gospel by Jesus in the gospels (and Pentecost and beyond) by which He was gathering the first fruits into His kingdom.  According to Paul and Peter, this is God gathering Jew and Gentile into one spiritual New Man or Temple.
The “not yet” aspect of this Messianic gathering and the blowing of the trumpet at His Second Coming to close the end of the OC age in AD 70 would be the full harvest when He gathered all of His elect within that generation and caused them to inherit the kingdom.  Both the “already” and “not yet” aspects to this Messianic judgment and gathering are said to take place within Jesus’ AD 30 – AD 70 “this generation” or at the end of His Old Covenant “this age” (Matt. 13:29-43; 23:36; 24:30-34).
In respect to the “already” – this gathering involved Jesus gathering “the children” to hear His preaching.  The leadership or Pharisees / “Jerusalem” sought to hinder this process or “would not” allow it (that is to the best of their abilities).  John 9-10 is probably a good commentary here on this concept.  The blind man is healed but his family is scared because the Pharisees had begun persecuting anyone who believed in Jesus – by kicking them out of the synagoue 9:22. Jesus goes on to depict the Pharisees here as the truly “blind” ones and then in chapter 10 as “thieves” “robbers” and “hired hands” while He is the faithful Shepherd gathering His sheep (such a the blind man healed in chapter 9) into safety and green pastures.  He also goes on to affirm that none of His sheep the Father gives Him (by name in election) would fail to come to Him in faith and would not perish (cf. chapter 10).  This refutes the Arminian and Brown’s twisting of Matthew 23:37.
God sovereignly foreordained and used the persecutions of the Pharisees to kill His Son and persecute the early church.  Why?  Because this was His prophetic and ordained will and method of establishing His kingdom – not a means by which it got postponed or God’s will get’s frustrated in saving all He ordains to come to Him.
Before leaving this subject of Jewish persecution and a coming judgment, Paul addresses this problem as well in 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 where the Jews were persecuting Christians and seeking to hinder the preaching of the gospel.  He also expected the eschatological “not yet” first century “wrath” and “trouble” to come upon those first century Jews (in their lifetimes) – this being consistent with the teachings of John the Baptist and Jesus elsewhere (cf. Matt. 3:7-12GNT; Lk. 21:20-32; 2 Thess. 1:5-7).
Matthew 23:38-39
“Look, your house is left to you desolate.  For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
First, Jesus’ phrase “For I tell you” or “verily, verily I say unto you,” is always a linking phrase of emphasis to drive home the point of His teaching that has just gone before.  So the “coming” of v. 39 begins with connecting what follows with the judgment in AD 70 – ie. when “your house/temple is left to you desolate” v. 38.  Therefore, this is not some 2,000 and counting years “coming” of Christ that is designed to save the vast majority of Israel in our future.
Secondly, the exegete needs to examine the context of that OT text Jesus is quoting from and see what event He has identified with it elsewhere in His teachings.  Jesus is quoting and applying Psalm 118:26 here in Matthew 23:39 to Him coming in judgment upon Jerusalem and her temple in AD 70.  This is consistent with how Jesus has used Psalm 118 elsewhere.  In Matthew 21:42-45 Jesus references Psalm 118:22 to prove He is the Cornerstone by which the Pharisees would stumble over – and thus be judged.  This was the time when the kingdom would be taken from them and given to another nation bearing its fruits.  Consistent with Jesus, Peter uses Psalm 118 to refer to a coming salvation and judgment that was “ready” and “at hand” in his day (1 Peter 1:5-12—2:4-10–4:5-7).
Therefore, the burden of proof is upon the Futurist such as Brown to demonstrate that Jesus is using Psalm 118 in a completely different way – ie. referring to a 2,000+ years distant future context – ie. for Jerusalem’s mass salvation, and not her imminent judgment in AD 70.  Brown despises what he calls “replacement theology,” and yet when all the law and prophets were fulfilled by AD 70 (Lk. 21:20-22), the OC kingdom was “taken” and “given” to the Jew/Gentile Church in its spiritual/transformed/matured form.  When the OC kingdom is “taken” from Israel after the flesh is when the OC “vanished” and the Jew/Gentile Church inherited the spiritual and heavenly New Jersalem/City (Heb. 8:13; 13:14YLT).
Thirdly, Psalm 118:26 was commonly known as “The Song of Ascent.” The Song of Ascent was supposed to be a song of joy and salvation that the Jews would sing on the walls of Jerusalem welcoming the pilgrims for her feast days.  But God made Christ a Cornerstone or Rock by which Israel “stumbled” producing a “strange work” (Isa. 28:21 – ie. God would come to judge them – and not their enemies).  Instead of being met and welcoming pilgrims for the feasts, they were met with and forced to welcome – God coming in judgment through the Roman armies (as God had “come” in the OT – through the Assyrians, Babylonians, etc…).That the Jews would not “discern what their end would be” was predicted in yet another song – the Song of Moses (Deut. 32:29).
Again, Jesus’ disposition is that of righteous anger and thus He is using irony in appealing to a song that was typically used of salvation and peace, to be a song sung welcoming her enemies for her judgment!  The Jews were bottled up in Jerusalem in AD 66 – AD 70 deceiving themselves into thinking that God was going to save them from the Romans and usher in the kingdom in fulfillment of OT prophecies (the very mentality that Jesus warned about concerning the coming false prophets in Matt. 24).
Matthew 23-25
The climatic question that was begging in the minds of the disciples is that they wanted to know more specifically when and what signs Jesus might give concerning his coming to vindicate the persecutions coming and the blood of the martyrs, destroy the city and temple within their generation. Jesus had already given a subtle sign of Him coming during one of the feasts when they would be singing the Son of Ascent on the walls (Mt. 23:38-39/Ps. 118). And they already understood He would come in judgment to close their OC age (cf. Mt. 13:39-51). They were not “confused” to associate His coming with the destruction of the temple and the end of their OC age. They knew it would take place in their lifetimes (cf. Mt. 10:17-23; Mt. 16:27-28) and generation (Mt. 23:36-39), they just wanted more clarity when Jesus brings up the Temple and it’s destruction again in Matthew 24 and Jesus gave it to them. The climatic and concluding answer given by Jesus to the disciples as to when all of these things would take place was “this generation” (Mt. 24:34). This closes the inclusio of His “this generation” which was begun in Matthew 23.
Matthew 23-25 involves ONE Second Coming event to close the OC age in the AD 30 – AD 70 “this generation.” The discourse has NOTHING to do with a literal bodily coming of Jesus to close world history. The recapitulation structure of the OD dismantles the division theories of futurists and even that of Postmillennial Partial Preterists. Selah. The coming of Christ in Matthew 23:38-39–24:27-31 is the Second Coming. The “gathering” (Mt. 24:30-31) is the rising of the dead (of all the dead) that takes place at the end of the age already discussed in Matthew 13:36-43/Daniel 12:1-4.   
“This Age” & “Age to Come” / The Second Exodus 40 Years Generation & Days of Messiah 
The Jew during Jesus’ day understood “this age” to be the OC age of the law and prophets and the “age to come” to be the NC age of Messiah which would follow.  As I point out in my/our book, it is Reformed and orthodox Christian interpretation to identify Jesus and Paul’s “this age” to be the OC age (not the Christian age) and the “age to come,” to be the NC age of Messiah arriving when the OC age passed away in AD 70. (Michael Sullivan, David Green, Ed Hassertt, House Divided Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist Response to When Shall These Things Be?, (Ramona, CA:  Vision Publishing, Second Edition, 2013), 91). Jesus and Paul do not depart from this traditional Jewish two age structure as they look to an imminent fulfillment coming in the lifetimes of their first century audiences – in which the old would pass and the new arrives in a mature state (ie. AD 70).
Isaiah 11 predicted a second exodus coming for Israel.  The Jews prior to Christ and during his day based upon Psalm 90:15 and other OT passages, also believed “the days of Messiah” would be a transition period between the OC “this age” and the Messianic NC “age to come” and that this would be another Forty Year exodus period:
“How long will the days of Messiah last?  R. Akiba said, Forty years, as long as the Iraelites were in the wilderness.” (Dr. BOAZ COHEN, NEW AMERICAN EDITION Everyman’s TALMUD, (New York:  E.P. Dutton & CO., 1949), 356).
Amazing how Dr. Michael Brown does not address these Jewish traditions of interpretation and or Christian exegesis and then seek to harmonize them with Messiah’s own teaching and that of the infallible NT Apostles and Prophets.  The NT likewise teaches a 40 years second exodus generation of a pre-parousia “transitional” reign of Messiah Yeshua from their OC “this age” (which was passing away and ready to vanish) to the NC “age about to” arrive in it’s mature state–roughly from AD 30 – AD 70.  

2).  Put an end to sin

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

3).  To atone for wickednessor the covering over of iniquity

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

4).  To bring in everlasting righteousness

At the Day of the Lord in AD 70, He brought in “everlasting righteousness” or a “world of righteousness” per 2 Peter 3 – the “end of all things” being “at hand” in Peter’s day (1 Peter 4:5-7). “but also on ours, to whom it [righteousness] is about to bereckoned — to us believing on Him who did raise up Jesus our Lord out of the dead,” (Romans 4:24). “For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope.” (Galatians 5:5).  See “Appendix A” at the end of this article which discusses the fulfillment of Isaiah 61-66 in relation to entering into the New Creation within the 10th cycle of the Jubilee rest and inheritance – i.e. between AD 26/27–AD 66-70.

Please see my exegesis of the Day of the Lord ushering in the New Creation of Isaiah 61-66 later in this article.

5).  To seal up vision and prophet

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

Don Preston offers a concise major consensus upon scholars concerning the meaning of “seal up vision and prophet”:

1.) “Prophecies and prophets are sealed, when by the full realization of all prophecies prophecy ceases, no more prophets any more appear.” (Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, Vol. 9, (Grand Rapids; Eerdmans, 1975), 344).
2.) “The impression of translators being that all visions and prophecies were to receive completed fulfillment in the course of these seventy weeks. It appears…, to be more agreeable to the context to suppose that the prophet is speaking of the absolute cessation of all prophecy. I Cor. 13:8.” (Charles John Ellicott, Commentary on the Whole Bible, (Cassell and Co; London, 1884), 387).
3.) “The vision and prophet will be sealed, that is accredited, because their final accomplishment has been reached in those events of blessing for God’s earthly people.” (A. C. Gaebelein, The Prophet Daniel, (Grand Rapids; Kregel, 1968), 133).
4.) “The reference is not to the accrediting of the prophecy, but to sealing it up so that it will no longer appear. Its functions are finished and it is not henceforth needed.” (Edward J. Young, The Prophecy of Daniel, (Grand Rapids; Eerdmans, 1953), 200).
5.) “The words taken together refer to the final fulfillment of revelation and prophecy, i.e., when their functions are shown to be finished.” (James Leon Wood, A Commentary on Daniel,(Grand Rapids; Zondervan, 1973), 250).
6.) “To set seal to them, to ratify and confirm the prophet’s prediction.” “The close of the seventy weeks will bring with it the confirmation of the prophetic utterances.” “A.V. and R.V. ‘seal up,’ means to close up, preclude from activity, the sense of the expression upon this view, being supposed to be that, prophecies being fulfilled, prophet and vision will be needed no more.” ( S. R. Driver, The Book of Daniel, (Cambridge University Press Warehouse, 1905), 136).
7.) “The idea is, that everything in the form of prophetic visions and predictions that had been produced in the course of theocratic development from the time of Moses should receive ‘sealing’ i.e. Divine confirmation and recognition, in the form of actual fulfillment (I Kings 21:8).” (John Peter Lange, Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, Ezekiel-Daniel, edited by Phillip Schaff, (Grand Rapids; Zondervan, 1876), 195).
8.) “To fulfill the anticipations of all prophetic books.” ( J. R. Dummelow, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, (New York, McMillan Co., 1923), 540).
9.) “The idea seems to be that they would at that time be all sealed, in the sense that they would be closed or shut up–no longer open matters–but that the fulfillment would, as it were, close them up forever.” Barnes also cites Hengstenberg, Gesenius’ Hebrew Lexicon, and Langerke as concurring with the idea that vision and prophecy are sealed by fulfillment.” (Albert Barnes, Daniel Vol. II, (Grand Rapids; Baker, 1978), 145).
10.) “The sealing up of vision and prophet implies the confirming and fulfilling of all the sacred oracles that had spoken of the great day of the Lord and the glorious age to follow, in which the earth would be full of the knowledge of the Jehovah.” ( Milton S. Terry, Biblical Apocalyptics, (Grand Rapids, Baker, 1988 reprint), 201).  For more on this see Don’s book, Seal up Vision and Prophecy.

The basic meaning of these words:
Seal  – chathamto make an end, seal (up), stop.
Vision – chazowna dream, revelation, or oracle: -vision.
Prophecy or Prophet – nabiy’ Is used 316 times in the OT and is translated prophet 312 times and only once is it translated prophecy here in Dan. 9:24.

Our passage is teaching us that when Daniel 9:24-27 (which is a concise prophecy of all OT prophecy) is fulfilled, then the office of “prophet” will “cease.”
I was meditating on Jeremiah 23 the other day and the false prophets and priests claiming to speak for God in God’s name — and how outraged God was at this! Yet Charismatics simply continue to claim to be prophets and prophesy in His name falsely on a REGULAR basis. Some Charismatics admit an 80% failure rate of “prophecies” being the result of them talking to themselves, thinking dreams are from God when they aren’t or making predictions that don’t come true. Does not Jeremiah say that false prophets are guilty of claiming to have visions and dreams that come from “delusions in their own minds” (Jer. 23:16, 25-26)? Is God not “against” those that speak in His name giving false prophecy saying, ‘The LORD declares.’ Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams.” And these false prophets “lead my people away with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them.” And “But you must not mention ‘the oracle of the LORD’ again, because every man’s own word becomes his oracle and so you DISTORT THE WORDS OF THE LIVING GOD, THE LORD ALMIGHTY, OUR GOD.” (Jer. 23:16, 25-36).
The other thing we need to point out is that it was the false prophets in Ezekiel’s day that turned the “at hand” coming of the Lord in judgment upon Jeremiah’s contemporaries to be twisted into something that would be far off for others to experience and not them (cf. Ezek. 7 and 12).  The false prophets of the Charismatic Movement claim that the NT inspired Apostles and Prophets declaring an “at hand” and “soon” first century Second Coming event, wasn’t really “at hand” for them, but their so-called “prophets” and “prophecies” make these promises allegedly truly “at hand” or “near” in our day!  Amazing how that works.
I was also reminded of some statements I have read by my Charismatic opponent next month in his book, Playing With Holy Fire.  Let me address the serious error’s of Dr. Brown and the Charismatic view of modern “prophets” and failed “prophecies” uttered in God’s name.
False and Failed “Prophets” and “Prophecy”
In Brown’s book Authentic Fire in one of the appendix sections he has another author (Sam Storms) peddle the Charismatic view that NT prophets could make false predictions or their “prophecies” may not be 100 % accurate. After all Brown uttered a false prophecy about Israel (see below) – right? Might as well admit NT prophecy fails, if yours do and you want to be portraying yourself as being “biblical” and others actually consider you a “prophet” – right?!?
I tried getting the audio or transcript of Brown’s “prophecy” but couldn’t. So here is an article addressing Brown’s false and failed “prophecy” I found online:
“Michael Brown’s False Prophecy
By now we are all familiar with the prophecy – first denied to be a prophecy, then admitted to be a prophecy, then denied to be a prophecy – issued by John Kilpatrick on April 6, 1997 against CRI and its president, Hank Hanegraaff.
However, it has been discovered that John Kilpatrick is not the first Brownsville Assembly of God staff member to have prophecied falsely. As far back as 1987, Dr. Michael Brown, Brownsville’s chief apologist, issued one of his own.
“…While speaking at that Jerusalem gathering, Michael Brown proceeded to tell the attendees that “tonight,” that night, would be a “history making” night insomuch as the Holy Spirit would descend in power and fire as earth-shaking and monumental as the literal day of Pentecost detailed in Acts, chapter 2. On a video of this speech in the presence of Israeli Messianic leaders including such leading scholars as Dr Arnold Fruchtenbaum who all witnessed the false prophetic predictions, Michael Brown went so far as to interpret the national disaster of forest fires destroying 20% of Israel’s reforested land as emblematic of the outpouring. [Reported in the Moriel Newsletter Number 9; Jacob Prasch Ministry] Somewhere around 2am, when it became apparent nothing “earth shaking” was going to occur that evening, Brown’s “prophecy” fizzled and he subsequently issued a letter of apology, attempting to claim that the reason nothing came of it was because several people in attendance were allegedly praying “against” his “prophesy”. He would ultimately go on to admit that, in fact, he must not have been “in the Spirit” when he made the aforementioned proclamation.
A transcript of this infamous meeting will be made available once we have the tape.
Article by Bob Hunter and Debra Bouey.” http://op.50megs.com/ditc/brownprophecy.htm
Brown tries to address this issue in his book, Playing With Holy Fire (pp. 89-92). Just when you think you are getting a sincerely humble confession from Brown, it is un-done with Brown boasting about how much he fasted before giving this false prophecy and that in the end, it was allegedly “the greatest outpouring in the history of modern Israel” and “technically speaking what I spoke came to pass” (Ibid. pp. 90-91). And of course the false or failed aspect he uttered apparently didn’t come true because it was “conditional” (Ibid. p. 91)?!?
MacArthur in his book Strange Fire documents Charismatics admitting that 80% of their “prophecies” never come true. They don’t see any problem with this. Wow. They should be glad they are not living in the OT.
Brown tries to distance his failed prophecies and countless others in the movement by exhorting his fellow-charismatics to instead of using OT and NT language of “thus says the LORD…” use, “I sense the Lord could be showing me this…” (Ibid., p. 82 bold MJS). Brown claims NT prophecy and that of Charismatics can be in error (unlike what the Bible teaches Deut. 18:15-22) because unlike the OT period, so many have the gift (Ibid., p. 83). Really? So the Holy Spirit in the OT had NO PROBLEM communicating to the prophets and them having a 100% accuracy rating, but because the Holy Spirit has more on His plate when He came upon all kinds of Jews, Samaritans, God-fearers, and Gentiles in the NT (from Pentecost to AD 70) and allegedly today (per Charismatic false doctrine), a 80% error rate is now allowed and we can just re-define the nature of prophecy and the office of prophet to fit their failed “experiences”?!? Wow! Let that sink in folks!
While at was at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa under Pastor Chuck Smith I personally heard many so-called “prophecies” that centered around the “soon” coming rapture and or Second Coming of Jesus in the after glow services. They were uttered by “prophets” or those alleged gifted with the gift of prophecy. Some were given through someone speaking gibberish (not a known foreign language) and then “interpreted” as something like, “I am coming for you soon my beloved. Maranatha, come Lord Jesus!” They of course felt comfortable with this because after all Hal Lindsey and Pastor Smith were teaching that the generation from 1948 to 1988 would experience the “soon” coming rapture.
From what I understand the Brownsville “revival” also uttered similar “soon” Second Coming prophesies. This is not uncommon. All of your major cults started in the early eighteenth century were giving “prophecies” or dogmatic teachings about the “soon” Second Coming to take place in their generation. These same cults argued that the main church had been in apostasy until God began restoring the church through their teachings. While the Pentecostal and Charismatic moment or the Brownsville “revival” may not go that far, they definitely teach that if you didn’t make the “pilgrimage” to their church, where the Holy Spirit was allegedly really moving, you were missing out. And within the Charismatic Movement, if you are not experiencing what they are, you are “quenching the spirit” in your life etc. If you rebuke them in love with the Word some would go as far as saying you are “touching God’s anointed” or “blaspheming the Spirit.”
1 Corinthians 13:8-12
I would agree with Charles John Ellicott connecting the “sealing up of vision and prophet” to 1 Corinthians 13:8-12, “The impression of translators being that all visions and prophecies were to receive completed fulfillment in the course of these seventy weeks. It appears…, to be more agreeable to the context to suppose that the prophet is speaking of the absolute cessation of all prophecy. I Cor. 13:8.”
1 Corinthians 13:8-12 describes the “this generation” eschatological “already and not yet” transition period roughly from AD 30 – AD 70.  There was a PROCESS taking place.  Something “partial” that need to be “complete” or a child growing into the “maturity” of manhood.  When this process was finished the “in part” “childish” miraculous “things” of prophecy, tongues and knowledge would no longer be needed and “pass away” or “cease.”  In AD 70 they did just that!
The miraculous sign and revelatory gifts were given to the early church to confirm HOW (spiritually) and WHEN (their “generation” and “soon”) the OT prophecies concerning Israel would be fulfilled.  They were looking at God’s glory in the face of Christ through the mirror or revelation of the OT Scriptures — seeing how they were being fulfilled in Christ and through His New Covenant Body – the Church/Israel of God/Zion/New Jerusalem/Temple etc…  They were in the process of being transformed (obviously spiritually) from Old Covenant glory to New Covenant glory.  They did not fully know what they (the New Covenant Body) would look like apart from the Old Covenant Body when it would “soon vanish” in AD 70.  They did full understand what the New Covenant body would look like and how it would function without the earthly system they had know for thousands of years.  But they would “be like Him when He appeared” in that they would have His righteousness accredited to them apart from the works performed under the Old Covenant system and abide in the New Covenant “world of righteousness” He ushered in in AD 70.
The process of a child becoming a man was the process by which Christ was fulfilling the OT Scriptures and maturing the Church from the Old Covenant system within that transitionary period of the two covenants.  The OC age with it’s types and shadows was “passing away” and “ready to vanish” while the NC age was “about to” come at the “soon” Second Coming of Christ.
The office of “prophet” would  “cease” when “that which is perfect” (the Second Coming and arrival of the New Creation) arrived in AD 70 (1 Cor. 1:7-8/13:8-12/Rev. 21-22:6-7, 10-12, 20). The NT bears witness that “all” would be fulfilled imminently in AD 70 (cf. 1 Cor. 10:11; 1 Pet. 1:4-12; 4:5-7).  This effective destroys all of the “last days” cults, Islam and all forms of Charismatic and Pentecostal theology whom claim that they were/are given divine revelation and or that there are modern day “prophets” today (Muhammad, Joseph Smith, the Watchtower, the New Apostolic Reformation, Pentecostals, Charismatics, etc…).
Other Charismatic arguments are easily refuted:

  1.  The sign and revelatory gifts last throughout the “last days” until the Second Coming (Acts 2; 1 Cor. 1:5-8; 13:8-12).  Yet the Bible teaches the “last days” were the last days of the Old Covenant age that would end at the “soon” Second Coming event whereby we see God’s face today in the New Covenant New Creation (Rev. 21-22:4-7, 20).
  2. The sign and revelatory gifts last and are “with” the Church until she has finished the Great Commission — which is the main “sign” before Jesus returns (Mt. 24:14; Mrk. 13:10; Acts 1:8; Mrk. 16:15-18/Mt. 28:18-20).  Yet the INSPIRED Apostle used the very same Greek words Jesus used and said it had already been fulfilled in his ministry (Cols. 1:5-6, 23; Rms. 10:18; 16:25-26).

The miraculous sign and revelatory gifts primary function then was to confirm that the OT promises of the New Covenant would transform Israel into a spiritual body and Temple.  To PROVE Yeshua’s spiritual fulfillments of the OT promises of the kingdom to be “in Him” and through and “in” His followers–was a message that went directly against their hyper-literal traditions of reading the Law and the Prophets and needed miraculous confirmation.  This is what Charismatic Zionists such as Dr. Michael Brown miss completely which force them into having to re-define the gifts of tongues from known human languages into gibberish and infallible prophecy into their admitted 80% fallible “prophetic” version!  Brown thinks he and other men like Benny Hinn are in the business of “revival” and transforming the Church and culture.  But they aren’t!  Brown and many like him have  missed the PURPOSE of the sign and revelatory gifts completely.  And his appearance in modern Israel (which is not the Biblical Israel of the OT and NT) giving false prophecies while at the same time promoting his false teaching of Zionism concerning the physical land, temple, Levites and animal sacrifices is further evidence he just doesn’t understand the purpose of the gifts and thus provides us with a perfect transition into our next redemptive event Messiah would accomplish by AD 70.

6).  To anoint the most holy place

Christ anointed and consummated the New Covenant Church as His Most Holy Place and Bride in AD 70 (Ex. 20, 29-31, 40; cf. Hebrews 9:6-10; Revelation 11:18-19, 19–21:16).

David Green writes,

“Finally, it was through the anointing of the Holy Spirit that the whole city of Jerusalem was made new and became “the Tabernacle of God,” when the worldly Holy Place fell in 70 (Heb. 9:1, 8). Under the old covenant, every article of God’s tabernacle was consecrated by the anointing of oil (Ex. 30:25-30; 40:9; Lev. 8:10, 12). In the same way, in the Last Days, God taught His elect ones the truth of His gospel through the anointing of the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 1:21,22; I Jn. 2:20,27), until all of them had come to know Him (Jn. 6:39). Then came “the end” (Dan. 9:26), when the Body of Christ, all His holy ones, the living and the dead, were raised up to become His anointed (God-taught) “Most Holy Place” in the new covenant world (Jn. 6:44-45; Eph. 2:21-22; Heb. 8:11-13; Rev. 21:3).” (David Green, From Babylon to Babylon).

The OT promises of the New Covenant described in terms of a perpetual Temple, Levitical Priesthood, Sacrifices, Land, Jerusalem, etc…

The other day I was reading some comments made by Charismatic Zionist Dr. Michael Brown out on the “anointing of the Most Holy Place” (Dan. 9:24) and that of Jeremiah 23 and particularly in Jeremiah 33:15-22.  Here New Covenant land promises are connected to perpetual Temple sacrifices of the Levitical Priesthood.

As usual Dr. Brown talks out of both sides of his mouth when he interprets the “anointing of the Most Holy Place” to the Church but at the same time a physical future temple:

“…it could refer to the spiritual temple–i.e., the redeemed people of God, who, according to the New Testament authors, have become a holy dwelling place for the Spirit.  This Temple was, in fact, inaugurated by Jesus the Messiah, and the community of believers who make up this Temple are, in fact, anointed by the Spirit of God.  On the other hand, the reference could be to a still-future Temple, the Messiah’s millennial Temple in Jerusalem.” (AJOJ, Vol. 3, p. 98).

Let’s look at another New Covenant promise made to Old Covenant Israel:

“…nor will the priests, who are Levites, ever fail to have a man to stand before me continually to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings and to present sacrifices.” (Jer. 33:17-18).

Amazingly, Brown who many in the Charismatic Movement consider a “prophet” has to likewise interpret this passage “literally” and thus embarrassingly writes of this passage in his commentary on Jeremiah,

“How exactly these Levitical priests will fulfill their mission remains to be determined, but God’s promise to them is certain.” (THE EXPOSITOR’S BIBLE COMMENTARY REVISED EDITION #7 Jeremiah – Ezekiel, Zondervan, 2010, p. 425).

There’s no mystery here folks. The Church is the New Covenant New Heavens and and New Earth of Isaiah 65-66 (Isa. 65:17/2 Cor. 5:17). She is the New Covenant Temple of Ezekiel 37-48 (Ezek. 37:27/2 Cor. 6:16). She is the New Jerusalem/Zion/Heavenly City or “Nation” born and “given” the kingdom that Abraham and the OT saints looked to and was in the process of “coming down” and “about to” arrive at Christ’s “soon” coming in AD 70 (cf. Isa. 65-66/Mt. 21:43-45/1 Pet. 2:9/Heb. 10–13:14YLT/Gals. 3-4/Rev. 3:11-12NIV–21-22). Isaiah 66:19-22 makes it clear that those who survived the Day of the Lord in AD 70 (the Second Coming is an in time event not an end of time event) would preach the gospel and stream into the New Covenant “Holy Mountain” or “New Jerusalem” with others and function AS the sacrifices and Levites,

“19 and I will set a sign (Mt. 24:30-31) among them. And from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory. And they shall declare my glory among the nations. 20 And they shall bring all your brothers from all the nations as an offering to the Lord, on horses and in chariots and in litters and on mules and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the Lord, just as the Israelites bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord. 21 And some of them also I will take for priests and for Levites, says the Lord. 22 “For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make shall remain before me, says the Lord, so shall your offspring and your name remain.”

There are “sinners” and evangelism taking place in the spiritual New Covenant New Heavens and New Earth of Isaiah 65-66/Revelation 22:17 post AD 70 by which the nations are being healed. The Church and Christians are the “Levites” offering up our lives as a living sacrifice of praise to God! If not, Brown’s eschatology is no less deplorable than the hyper-literal Dispensationalism of MacArthur, Ice, and the rest of those “delusional” (God’s word) “prophets” or so-called “prophecy experts” which would have the consummation of redemption brought in through the Second Coming being — a PHYSICAL temple being re-built and some being consistent having Christ smelling the stench of PHYSICAL animal sacrifices being offered up at the hands of the PHYSICAL “Levitical Priesthood.” Good brief! All the genealogies of the Jews were burned up in AD 70. When Brown was asked by Gary DeMar what tribe he was from, Brown said, “We THINK the tribe of Judah.” Brown has no clue what tribe he is from let alone how to literal “Levites” are coming back.

Jeremiah 3:16

Brown finds this passage that refutes his Zionism “intriguing” (Ibid., 112).  In the New Covenant age the Old Covenant “ark” “will NEVER enter their minds or be remembered; it will not be missed, nor will another one BE MADE.”  (Jer. 3:16).  And yet Zionist’s like Dr. Michael Brown and John Hagee believe they have an entire “ministry” based upon getting the Church excited concerning what is taking place in modern Israel and so-called “prophecies” of a future physical Temple, Ark and Levitical Sacrifices being “made” again and re-instituted as the climax of redemptive history.  Wow.  In my estimation Brown’s Historic Premillennial Zionism is no less extreme and unbiblical than John Hagee’s Dispensational Zionism.  Selah.

Brown’s Contradictions

On the one hand when Brown is debating Reformed Covenant Theology or Preterism he likes to ridicule these systems as “replacement theology,” and that we are guilty of not interpreting the restoration of Israel’s promises in the OT “literally.” Yet, when debating unbelieving Jews, Brown argues for a spiritual fulfillment of these OT prophecies. Here is an example of Brown now claiming the temple, priesthood and sacrifices of the temple mentioned in Ezekiel is spiritual, because for a Jew — it would be natural to describe spiritual blessings in the Old Covenant land and sacrificial system in which he lived,

“Perhaps the Scripture passage [Ezekiel] was never meant to be literally fulfilled.” (AJOJ Vol. 2, 177).

The prophetic events [by Ezekiel, Haggai and Zechariah] were describing,

“…events so glorious that they could only be described as a new creation and a second exodus.” (Ibid.)

“Ezekiel the priest was shown a vision of future glory, and for him, nothing could be more glorious than a restored Temple. And for a priest like Ezekiel, nothing could more certainly speak of purification and atonement than blood sacrifices. Nothing could convey a greater sense of promise that God would again favor his people than a vision such as this.” (Ibid.)

“This brings us back to the theme of the prophesied return from exile and rebuilding of the Second Temple. Either the words of the prophets were not fulfilled because the Bible is not true…” “…or God fulfilled his promises [spiritually] through the coming of the Messiah into the world (which makes sense in light of dozens of other Scripture passages – quoting Ephs. 2:21-22; 2 Cor. 6:16–7:1; Rom. 12:1; 1 Pet. 2:4-5; Heb. 13:15-16; ).” (Ibid.)

The OT prophets,

“…spoke in language that they [historically & culturally] had…” (Ibid., 180).

“How then would the Spirit, communicate through Ezekiel, speak of God providing atonement for his people, of him dwelling in our midst, of the provision of forgiveness and reconciliation, of freedom from slavery and oppression? Could it be that he would do so through a glorious Temple vision, complete with sacrifices, offerings, and priests? I think this is a possibility worthy of consideration.” (Ibid., 180).

But right when you think Brown is understanding Jesus’ and the inspired NT’s Apostolic hermeneutic of interpreting all of Israel’s New Covenant restoration promises spiritually by being “in Christ” and not “in the land,” Brown has to please his Charismatic Premillennial [mostly Dispensational] base and begins postulating that after the Second Coming there may be a third literal re-built temple with sacrifices (per Dispensational “Evangelicals,” Ibid., 180ff.). But there is an interesting point that Brown makes in defense for this view,

“Just as sacrifices were offered for forty years after Yeshua’s death and resurrection–and Messianic Jews apparently participated in some of those sacrificial rites (see Acts 21:17-26)–it could be that sacrifices will be offered in a future Temple, without being in conflict with the atonement provided for us in Jesus.” (Ibid., 181)

The theological 500 pound gorilla in the room that Brown is missing here, is that the Messianic 40 years “second exodus” “already and not yet” NT transition period–roughly between AD 30 – AD 70, included a time when the Old Covenant was still “imposed” and thus all of the “jots and tittles” of the law were binding upon Jewish Christians “until” it would “all” be fulfilled — that is, when the Old Covenant “heavens and earth” would “pass away” or “soon vanish” at the “in a very little while” Second Appearing of Christ in AD 70 (Heb. 8:13–10:37; Mt. 5:17-18).

Because Brown misses the inspired NT’s 40 years transitional “already and not yet” period, this causes Brown out of one side of his mouth when debating Covenant Theology and Preterism to argue for New Covenant OT promises being fulfilled PHYSICALLY (just look what they say!), but when debating unbelieving Jews, to argue for these same OT promises being fulfilled SPIRITUALLY (because for a Jew this is how he would communicate blessings in terms of Temple, Priesthood, Sacrifices, etc…). It is interesting that Brown is willing to give the OT Temple, Priesthood and Sacrifice promises a spiritual fulfillment in the New Covenant, but NEVER the Land (at least that I’ve seen). You can’t have a spiritual temple and sacrifices without some spiritual land – period. This is why “ALL [not some] of the promises [in the OT] and yes and amen in Christ” (2 Cor. 1:20).

Daniel 9:25 – Beginning the countdown with the “Decree” or the Prophetic “Word” of Jeremiah?

Some take the “decree (of Cyrus) to restore and re-build Jerusalem” found in (2 Chron. 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-4; Isa. 44:24, 26, 28; 45:13; cf. Josephus, Antiquities, xi, 6, 12) as the fulfillment of this verse.  However, a literal chronology from Cyrus does not reach the times of Christ.  Ezra 6:14 seems to connect the decree as an unfolding event through the king(s) of Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes–of which some see the decree beginning in 457 BC in order to arrive at Christ’s ministry in AD 26/27.  But those who usually take this position end the 490 years in around AD 32-35.  But clearly the prophecy extends to AD 70.  This is where the concept of a “gap” is not necessary.  It’s more of Yeshua fulfilling the 10th. Jubilee “cycle.”  Between AD 26–AD 66-70 not only fulfills the second exodus generation motif of Isaiah 11 and first century Jewish expectations that Messiah would have a transition reign between the OC “this age” and the NC “age about to come,” but Yeshua has 49-50 years to fulfill the Jubilee of Daniel 9:24-27 and Isaiah 61 which are grounded in the feast day sabbaths of Leviticus 23, 25-26.

Perhaps we have missed something in Daniel 9:25. The Hebrew very well can support “From the the issuing of the WORD [prophetic word of Jeremiah] to restore and rebuild Jerusalem…there will be [490 yrs.]…” That is, the 490 years prophecy includes the 70 years of Babylonian captivity.  The context of what Daniel is reading of Jeremiah’s prophecy coupled with the Hebrew supporting the prophetic “word” going back to Jeremiah develops the idea that 70 years of captivity times 7 for breaking the sabbaths of Leviticus 23, 25-26 gives you 490 years.  Odd, how I learned that the countdown includes the 70 years of captivity from someone who hates Full Preterism  (Sam Frost) and an anti-Christian anti-Yeshua site (Jews for Judaism).  While all they can see is a non-Messianic prophecy, all I can see is a PERFECT Messianic prophecy fulfilled by AD 70. Selah.

The rebuilding in the “difficult times” can be read in Ezra and Nehemiah. The first 62 sevens represents a period from the rebuilding of Jerusalem by Nehemiah and Ezra to the first coming of Jesus – the “Anointed One.” Jesus was anointed by the Father to preach the good news of the Gospel to Israel and gather a believing remnant and the Gentiles/Greeks to Himself.

The Parallel Connections Between Verses 26-27 and the Last 7 Establishing the Everlasting New Covenant Between AD 30 – AD 70

There is a parallel structure here that should not be missed as it pertains to Messiah fulfilling the last 7 of this prophecy which involves His redemptive work from cross to parousia in AD 70 in order to establish the New Covenant. There is a parallel structure here with verse 27 expounding more upon verse 26 and then climaxing with verse 27 putting an end to sacrifices in AD 70.

  • A– verse 26: “Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah [māšîaḥ] will be cut off and have nothing,”
  • B– verse 27: “And the people of the prince [nāgîd] who is to come will destroy [or spoil] the city and the sanctuary. And its end will comewith a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.”
  • A– verse 27: “And he will make a firm/strongcovenant with the many during(or in the midst of, not “for”) one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering”
  • B– verse 27: “And on the wing of abominations will comeone who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”

The parallels suggest that not only is Daniel being comforted by the angel in that although Messiah will be “cut off” this will in fact result in the strengtheningof a new covenant made with the many; but that this covenantal process will end when Jerusalem is judged.

Isaiah 9-10 and Daniel 9:24-27

I agree with Meredith Kline who sees the connection between

Isaiah 9-10 and Daniel 9:26-27:

“Particularly significant for the meaning of higbir in Daniel 9:27 is the use of gibbor in Isaiah 9 and 10. Isaiah identified the Messiah, the Son of David, as “the mighty God” of the covenant formula by declaring His name to be ‘el gibbor (Isa. 9:5, [6]). Then in Isaiah 10 this messianic ’el gibbor is mentioned again in the very passage from which Daniel 9:27 derives its thought and wording alike (see verses 21-23). Isaiah spoke there of God’s mighty messianic fulfillment of covenant blessing and curse: a remnant of Jacob would return unto ’el gibbor, but in overflooding (sotep) judicial righteousness the annihilation (kalah) that was determined (neherasah) would befall the land. Daniel 9:26b, 27 echoes Isaiah’s prophecy: the covenant would be made to prevail (higbir), as a blessing for the many who were the faithful remnant, but as a curse in the form of the determined annihilation (kalah weneherasah) which would be poured out on the abominations of apostate Israel like a flood (setep). The unmistakable dependence of Daniel 9:27 on Isaiah 10:21 ff. points directly to the ’el gibbor of Isaiah 10:21 as the inspiration for the higbir of Daniel 9:27.This confirms the conclusions that the subject of higbir is not antichrist or any other than the anointed one whose name is ‘el gibbor and that the object of higbir, the covenant made to prevail, is the redemptive covenant sealed by the reconciling blood of Christ [i.e. the New Covenant].” (Meredith G Kline, “The Covenant of the Seventieth Week,” in The Law and the Prophets: OldTestament Studies in Honor of Oswald T. Allis (Nutley, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1974), 8-9).

As I have addressed in previous articles, I think the entire Messianic block of Isaiah 7-11 is prophesying the first and second comings of Messiah to occur within the second exodus generation (AD 30 – AD 70) and during this specific generation, establish and bring to maturity the New Covenant age that we live in today post AD 70.

Limited and Definite Atonement for “the Many” in the New Covenant

It is more than troubling that Dispensationalism turns a wonderful promise of Christ making the New Covenant with the believing Church (remnant Jews and Gentiles) into a covenant between the “antichrist” and “apostate Jews.” This is none other than the fulfillment of Jeremiah 31:31-33; as is so clearly laid out for us in Matthew 26:28; Luke 22:20; Hebrews 8:7-12–10:15-37 and truly embraces the eschatological fulfillment of the OT Law and the Prophets – in Christ’s first and second appearings in Israel’s last days.

Again the parallels between Isaiah and Daniel are striking. In Isaiah 53 Christ is likewise prophesied to be “cut off out of the land of the living” and yet “by His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many(Isa 53:8, 11). Jesus makes it clear in Matthew 26:28 that His shed blood is for the disciples and those whom He prays for that will come to Him through their message (cf. John 17:9-26). Jesus as the High Priest of the New Covenant does not offer His blood for the “world,” nor does He pray for the world! John 17 harmonizes well with John 3:16 when we understand that Jesus is telling a Jew who thought salvation was only for the Jews, that His salvation was for the “world” (that is believing Jews and Gentiles). The literal Greek reading of John 3:16 is, “in order that every one believing in him may not perish.” As R.K. McGregor Wright observes, “There is no word for “whosoever” in the original…” “…John 3:16 states explicitly that the purpose of God in sending his Son to die was limited to atoning for believers only, that they ‘should not perish, but have everlasting life.’” (R.K. McGregor Wright, NO PLACE for SOVEREIGNTY What’s Wrong with Freewill Theism, p. 159). Jesus only lays down His life for those sheep the Father has given Him and they alone come to Him (John 6 and 10).

Daniel 9:26

The Anointed One/Prince/Ruler/Leader/Messiah (Jesus the Christ), would be “cut off” after the 62 sevens. Again, Isaiah 53 teaches us the same about a coming Messiah who would be cut off and have nothing (with some Jews conceded Isa. 53 is Messianic). “The people (the Jews or Roman soldiers) of the Ruler (Jesus), will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end (of the seventy sevens) will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.” Between AD 66 – AD 70 not only did the Romans surround the city, but the Idumeans (Jewish Zealots) did as well and entered Jerusalem resulting in the city being divided into three warring sects – all shedding blood over the Temple area and for control of Jerusalem. War and blood shed took place within the Temple and thus it was subject to abominations. The Romans (who were also under the control of Christ) did very little except wait it out and let “the people” that rejected their Messiah to devour (sometimes literally) each other. Also, through the imprecatory prayers of the Christians (people of the Prince), Jerusalem was destroyed with its apostate mountain removed and thrown into the Lake of Fire (Matthew 21:18-22; Revelation 8:8).

Daniel 9:27

The “He” here is still the Messiah (not an alleged “Anti-Christ”) and through His sacrifice He established the New Covenant for the “many” (ie. the Church the new Israel of God). This last seven was from the anointing of Jesus in His first coming to His anointing the Church (His Most Holy Place New Jerusalem) in His Second in AD 70. His Wife and or New Jerusalem is described as a perfect cube as the MHP place was (cf. Rev. 21:16 & “the first” [Holy Place] representing the OC community being removed in AD 70 and “the second” [the Most Holy Place] representing the NC community and its establishment during the time of the “new order” fully arriving at the end of the OC age in AD 70 in a “very little while” cf. Heb. 9:6-10, 26-28; 10:37). Christ came and overshadowed Jerusalem with desolation and determined wrath upon the desolate in AD 70 (cf. Matthew 24:15ff/Luke 21:20-24).

Typological Considerations – Cyrus a Type of Christ:

  • Both of their births and future rules were threatened at birth. Astyages, King of Media, the grandfather of Cyrus saw in a dream that Cyrus would threaten his kingdom and thus sought to have him killed at birth. Herod was threatened by Jesus and sought to kill Him at birth.
  • Both anointed to set captives free.
  • Both called Shepherds.
  • Both their rules involved a deliverance of Israel and the Gentiles from the captivity of Babylon.
  • Both were born Kings to deliver Israel from 70 years of Babylonian bondage. From birth to parousia, Christ reigned over Israel (roughly for 70 years) calling the believing remnant to “come out” from among “Babylon” which in Revelation is OC Jerusalem where the Lord was slain.
  • Both were involved in gathering the Jews and Gentiles from the four corners of the earth and making the kingdoms of the world theirs. Post AD 70 Christ”s reign is an everlasting reign and He continues to bring healing to the nations through the everlasting gospel.
  • Cyrus’ predicted coming ended the 70 years of Babylonian captivity; while JESUS’ predicted Second Coming brought an end to the seventy sevens prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27.
  • Both were involved in gathering the Jews into the promised land to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple — with Jesus gathering God’s Church into the NC spiritual land, city and temple.
  • The Hebrew OT Tora (not the Christian OT) ends with Chronicles – giving a chronology and ending with the praises and accomplishments of Cyrus’ rule, authority and accomplishments. Matthew’s gospel begins (The Christian NT) with a chronology tracing JESUS back to Abraham – through whom the curse of Babel would be eventually reversed (through the seed of Messiah) and was by AD 70. Matthew ends his gospel declaring JESUS as having all rule and authority over the nations.

Our Life Cycle and Israel’s Redemptive Life Cycle Move Within the Cycles of Sevens

1). Seven of Days (7 days) — Work six days rest on the seventh (Gen. 1:31-2:3; Ex. 31:12-17).

2). Seven of Weeks (49 days) — Time between the feast of First Fruits and the feast of Pentecost (Deut. 16:9-12; Lev. 23:15-16).

3). Seven of Months (7 months) — The seven months of the Jewish religious calendar which contain all seven of the Jewish feasts (Deut. 16; Lev. 23).

*** The three months gap between the 4 Spring Feasts and the 3 Fall Feasts represent the overlapping of the Old Covenant “this age” (that was passing away and would “soon vanish”) and the New Covenant “age about to come” (and did in AD 70)! This prophetic gap of four months was called by the Rabbi’s, “The time for waiting the judgment” and was the period or season by which the 10th eschatological Jubilee cycle Messiah  Yeshua was fulfilling all OT prophecy (Lk. 21:20-22/Dan. 9:24-27).

4). Seven Years (7 years) — Israel was to work the land for six years and then let it rest for the seventh year (Lev. 25:1-7).

5). Seven of Sevens of Years (49 years) — The period of time between each celebration of the Year of Jubilee (Lev. 25:8-17).

6). Seven of Decades (70 years) — Man’s average life span (Ps. 90:10). After 70 years man’s physical body returns to the dust and he remains in a spiritual body fit for the after life and the spiritual realm. During the 70 years between Christ’s birth to parousia, and the “last days” of Israel, Israel transitioned from a physical Old Covenant body to a New Covenant spiritual body.

7). Seven of Sevens of Decades (490 years) — In Jewish tradition, “422 BC is associated with when the first temple burned 70 Sabbaticals (490 yrs.) before the second temple burned in 70 AD.” (Dr. B. Zuchermann, Professor at Jewish Theological Seminary).  The Jews believed Messiah would come to establish the Kingdom during the 10th Jubilee cycle (490 yrs. from first temples destruction). Jesus’ first coming in AD 26 was a jubilee yr. and ushered in the 10th. cycle (Lk. 4/Isa. 61). Christ as High Priest accomplished His atonement process between AD 30 – AD 70 fulfilling Israel’s Second Exodus. (Dan. 9:24-27; Isa. 10-11).

The Sovereign Grace Full Preterist view harmonizes the various Christian views on this crucial passage while at the same time honors the first century historical context of Messiah arriving during the 10th cycle of the Jubilee and during the Roman Empire to establish His kingdom and usher in the eschatological rest and inheritance.
As Margaret Barker demonstrated in developing the findings of the Dead Sea Scrolls, just prior to Yeshua’s birth and during His earthly ministry — right up to AD 66, there was a 10th. eschatological Jubilee cycle and Messianic frenzy expectation.
The symbolic view which understands Daniel 9:24-27 as addressing not only the first coming of Yeshua, but also His second is correct.  They simply will not submit to the exegetical facts that the prophecy and Jesus Himself connects His Second Coming with the fall of Jerusalem in the AD 30 – AD 70 “this generation” (Lk. 21:20-32).
The soteriological and eschatological sabbath connected to the 490 years does not have to be “symbolic” of “10 Jubilee eras (490)” of which the last 3.5 of the last 7 — is STILL waiting to be fulfilled for the last 2,000 and plus years.  If one uses the Jewish calendar and thinks the way the first century Jew did, then the last Messianic and eschatological 10th. cycle of the Jubilee was from 424/422 BC to AD 26/27–AD 66-AD 70.
The Seventy Sevens prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 predicted both redemptive comings of Messiah which would reach there fulfillment when OC Jerusalem and her Tempe would be judged and desolated. The desolation of Jerusalem coinciding with the fulfillment of all the main eschatological events are once again recapitulated in Daniel 12:1-7 and thus fulfilled “when the power of the holy people would be completely shattered” in AD 70.
From the birth of Israel’s Messianic King (Jesus the Christ) to His Second Appearing at the end of her OC age in AD 70, is roughly another more significant 70 years for her coming out of bondage and slavery from “Babylon” into the freedom/rest and salvation found not “in the land” but “in Christ.” And thus typologically, just as Cyrus was predicted and anointed to fulfill prophecy by setting the captives free from the 70 years of Babylonian captivity — within 70 years of Christ’s predicted First and Second Comings, He fulfilled Daniel’s 70 7’s prophecy. Selah.
Christ’s Second Coming in AD 70 was also the reversal of God’s disinheritance of the 70 nations and creating one new Israel of God whereby the nations are blessed in the New Covenant age today (Gen. 10-15; Mt. 21:43-45; Gals. 3-6; 1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 22:17).
If Christ didn’t fulfill BOTH of His redemptive comings as the Churches Great High Priest between AD 30 – AD 70 during that last and 10th. Jubilee cycle (during the time of the 4th. Gentile power / Roman Empire and when both the OC and NC age overlapped) – then not only did the Jews miss their Messiah, but many Christians have missed the climax of their professed Christian faith and are thinking just as carnally as they first century Jews were when it comes to the Kingdom of Christ.
Christ through His work on the cross and parousia – is our Jubilee Sabbath rest and the anchor of our soul in full assurance of salvation.  The events of AD 66 – AD 70 will always be a reminder of what God thinks of man centered religion grounded in “free will” and a salvation of works.  He despises it and will destroy those that approach Him in this way.  But for those of us who trust in the finished work of Christ, He has become for us our “inheritance,” “salvation of the soul” and thus established His kingdom and presence “within” us.  If this isn’t exciting enough for you, then go buy a failed Hal Lindsey book at a garage sale for twenty-five cents.  As for me and my house, we will serve and worship the Lord in spirit and in truth.  Selah.

A Deeper Exegesis of the Jubilee Rest and Inheritance of Isaiah 61-66 and Relevant NT Texts 

Since there are sound exegetical and Qumran 10th. cycle (490 yrs.) Jubilee connections between Daniel 9:24-27 and Isaiah 61–66, I will develop more aspects of fulfillment within Isaiah 61–66.  The “day of vengeance” of Isaiah 61:2 is the coming of God to reward and judge in Isaiah 62.  Then the “day of vengeance” is picked back up in Isiah 63:1-6.  This Second Coming event is what ushers in the eschatological jubilee sabbath/inheritance of the New Jerusalem and the New Creation of Isaiah 65-66.

And since the imminent “coming of the Son of Man” passages of Matthew 10:22-23; 16:27-28; 24:30-34 have there OT reference in Daniel 7:13 (which is inseparably connected to Dan. 9:24-27) we will examine Matthew 16:27-28 in detail as well.

Isiah 62/Matthew 16:27-28

“Behold your salvation comes; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense is with him.” (Isa. 62:11).

Isaiah 62 addresses the eschatological wedding and Second Coming of Christ motifs. Yeshua refers to Isaiah 62:11 in His promise to return in judgment during the lifetimes of His first century audience in Matthew 16:27-28 and Mark 8:38—9:1.

“For the Son of Man is about to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his words. “Assuredly, I say to you there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom. (Mt.16:27-28)

I will lay forth several exegetical arguments proving that Mt. 16:27-28 cannot be divided into speaking of two different events which is the typical futurist approach. Most commentators teach verse 27 is speaking of the second coming and that in verse 28 Jesus decides to no longer address the second coming but that some of the disciples would live to witness one of three events: 1) The transfiguration, 2) The ascension of Christ, or 3) Pentecost. Before digging into a vigorous exegesis of the passage, I shall quote Westminster “divine” John Lightfoot on our text and then build upon some of his foundational comments,

“[The kingdom of God coming in power.] In Matthew, it is the Son of man coming in his kingdom. The coming of Christ in his vengeance and power to destroy the unbelieving and most wicked nation of the Jews is expressed under these forms of speech. Hence the day of judgment and vengeance: I. It is called “the great and terrible day of the Lord,” Acts 2:20; 2 Thess 2:2,3. II. It is described as “the end of the world,” Jeremiah 4:27; Matthew 24:29, &c. III. In that phrase, “in the last times,” Isaiah 2:2; Acts 2:17; 1 Tim 4:1; 2 Peter 3:3; that is, in the last times of that city and dispensation. IV. Thence, the beginning of the “new world,” Isaiah 65:17; 2 Peter 3:13. V. The vengeance of Christ upon that nation is described as his “coming,” John 21:22; Hebrews 10:37: his “coming in the clouds,” Revelation 1:7: “in glory with the angels,” Matthew 24:30, &c. VI. It is described as the ‘enthroning of Christ, and his twelve apostles judging the twelve tribes of Israel,’ Matthew 19:28; Luke 22:30. Hence this is the sense of the present place: Our Saviour had said in the last verse of the former chapter, “Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels,” to take punishment of that adulterous and sinful generation. And he suggests, with good reason, that that his coming in glory should be in the lifetime of some that stood there.”[1]

a). “For The Son of Man Is About To Come…”

The YLT, DARBY, WUESTNT, and WEY translations correctly translate Jesus’ return here as “about to come” or “soon to come.” These translations are accurate since this is the consistent usage of the Greek word mello in Matthew’s gospel let alone it’s predominate usage in the rest of the New Testament. Let’s briefly see how mello is used in Mathew’s gospel:

1) In (Mt. 2:13 WEY) Herod is “about to” seek to kill Jesus, and therefore Joseph and Mary need to “escape”. Mello here is communicating a near imminent danger not just a general danger to be aware of.

2) In (Mt. 17:12b WEY) Jesus’ point is not that He is going to suffer, but that His suffering is rapidly approaching or is “about to” take place.

3) In (In Mt.17:10-13) mello is used twice. The first occurrence refers to Elijah’s “about to” appearing in the future fulfilled sense. In other words, Elijah was the one the entire nation understood to be “about to come” and the text tells us that he had come in the person of John the Baptist. John is the fulfillment of the nation’s expectancy of Elijah’s “about to” or “soon to come” presence — preparing the way for His “about to come” “great and dreadful day” of Mal.4:5-6 as previously discussed. Therefore, this is but one more piece of exegetical evidence that is in harmony with what Jesus and John the Baptist had been teaching previously Mt. 3:2-12; 4:17; 10:7, 15-23, 16:27-28. His return would be in some of their lifetimes or “The Son of Man is about to come…” Why? Well, since Elijah who was expected to come “soon,” had come in the person of John, Jesus’ second coming could be expected soon, for Elijah must first come, “before the great and dreadful day of the Lord” comes Mal. 4:5-6. The second occurrence of mello in this passage is not referring to the general fact that Jesus is going to suffer, but that He was “about to” suffer and be mistreated as John the Baptist was.

4) Here in (Mt. 17:22; 20:22 WEY) as in point #2 above, Jesus’ emphasis is not the mere fact that he is going to suffer, but that His suffering is rapidly approaching.

5) In (Mt. 24:6 WEY) “Before long” is consistent with Jesus promising that “all these things” (including the signs) would occur in the twelve’s contemporary “this generation” (Mt. 24:34). To conclude this point, Christ’s “about to” coming in verse 27 is consistent with Christ’s coming in the lifetime of “some” of the crowd listening to him in verse 28. After thousands of years of the nations and Israel awaiting the Seed of the woman or the coming of the Messiah and His kingdom, the span of some of the crowd’s lifetime was a short time for them to wait and was thus “about to” happen.

b). “Verily I say unto you…”

Jesus’ phrase “verily,” “truly,” or “most assuredly I say unto you,” is used 99 times[2] in the gospels and gives the meaning of “Absolutely,” “really,” “may it be fulfilled,” and is used as a phrase of emphasis to drive home a point that has gone before it. It is never used to introduce a new subject.[3] Another Editor of a multi-authored book seeking to refute our position states of our text, “…verse twenty-seven looks at the establishment of the kingdom in the future, while a promise of seeing the Messiah in His glory is the thought of verse twenty-eight. They are two separate predictions separated by the words ‘truly I say to you’”[4] But Mr. Ice does not produce one passage where Jesus’ phrase “Truly I say unto you” is ever used to separate the subject matter previously discussed! Since he cannot produce any evidence for his statement, his point at the very least is unscholarly and at worst, irresponsible and deceptive.

c). “Some standing here shall not taste of death” and “the kingdom of God.”

As we study Christ’s teachings elsewhere in the Gospels and other related passages in the Old and New Testaments concerning: 1) The physical death of some of the 12 and their first century contemporaries along with 2) The Son of Man coming and the arrival of the kingdom of God in power, we discover Christ is addressing a very specific and prophetic persecution coming in the Apostolic generation than just alluding to some of them dying off of because of mere old age. The only event in the teachings of Jesus that associates the death of some of the Apostles with the Kingdom of God is the persecution preceding his second coming Mt.10:16-23; Lk.21:16-32; Mt.23:31-36; Jn.21:19-22; Rev.6:10-11, 17; 16:6, 15; 18:5, 20. The only exception to this is the death of Judas. Daniel’s prophecy confirms Jesus’ teaching. Daniel in (Dan. 2, 7, 9, 12) taught: 1) the kingdom would come and be established during the time of the Roman Empire. 2) There would be a time of persecution and death for believers during this period. The “little” horn would wage “war with the saints” and “prevail against them (thus some of them would be martyred) “Until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and (at this time) the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.” The prevailing in war with the saints from the little horn answers to the persecution and “death” of some of the Apostles and their contemporaries. Jesus made it clear that Daniel’s prophecy would be fulfilled in His generation (Mt.24:15, 34; Lk.21:20-22).

Some of our opponents have made some real crucial mistakes in trying to refute us on this text. Thomas Ice makes another blunder, “A further problem with the preterist view is that our Lord said “some of those standing here…” It is clear that the term “some” would have to include at least two or more individuals…” “…Peter notes that “John only survived among the 12 disciples till the destruction of Jerusalem” (Ice, Controversy, p.88). In other word’s Ice is claiming that the twelve were the only audience Jesus was addressing in this text and therefore if only John was alive till the destruction of Jerusalem, then that does not meet the definition of “some” because “some” necessitates more than one. However, Mark’s account clearly states, “Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said:…” (Mk. 8:34 – 9:1).

When we study Christ’s teaching on the “death” of some of His first century disciples in the Gospels it is always in the context of some of them living (while others would not) to witness His Second Coming and inheriting the Kingdom. Jesus’ teaching on the death of some of His disciples and some of them living to witness a specific event is never addressing the transfiguration event, the ascension of Christ, or Pentecost. It is always referring to His Second Coming and to that the Old and New Testaments bear unanimous witness.

d). “…in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of man also shall be ashamed of him, when he cometh…”(Mk. 8:38).

Those, whom Christ would be ashamed of at His coming, would be “this adulterous and sinful generation” of A.D. 30 – A.D. 70. Under the old covenant God was married to Israel Ex. 19. This marriage was both pictured as a monogamous marriage (God married to a Mother/Israel) and then after the splitting of the northern kingdom and the southern kingdoms, a polygamous marriage. The picture then becomes God taking two daughters (sisters) as His wives: 1) Israel (Aholah / Samaria capital of Israel) and 2) Judah (Aholibah / Jerusalem capital of Judah) Jer.31:31-32; Ezk. 1:1-4; 1Kings 11:9-13. These two sisters were notorious for their adultery and playing the prostitute (cf. Ezk. 23:3; Jer. 3).

Although God divorced Israel through the Assyrian captivity, He remained married to His other harlot wife Judah, from which line Jesus would come. Judah/Jerusalem was judged by the Babylonian captivity but never divorced Ezk. 23:22-45. Under the old covenant a wife caught in adultery would be stoned and the wife of a priest would be burned. In Revelation the harlot wife of old-covenant Jerusalem was both stoned and burned! Mathison admits that Jerusalem is Babylon in Revelation. Therefore, Mt.16:27/Mrk.8:38 is describing the judgment of the “adulterous generation/wife” in an “about to be” A.D. 70 time frame. Concerning the phrase “be ashamed of” – The old covenant wife would be left without a wedding garment naked and ashamed while the His new covenant wife would be clothed in Christ’s righteousness as His new creation “house from above” thus unashamed and “further clothed” Mt.22:1-14; Rev.3:18; 19:8/2Cor.5:1-21.

Isaiah 62 and the Eschatological Marriage Theme Continued…

Matthew 8:10-12:

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

Gentry writes,

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

Strengths:

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

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

Weaknesses:

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

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

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

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

D.A. Carson writes,

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

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

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

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

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

Strengths:

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

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

Weaknesses:

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

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

Matthew 22:1-14:

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

Joel McDurmon writes of verses 2-7,

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

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

Strengths:

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

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

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

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

Weaknesses:

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

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

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

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

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

Matthew 25:1-13

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

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

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

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

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

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

Context of Isaiah 25:6-9

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

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

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

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

Context of Isaiah 65:12-14

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

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

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

Putting it Altogether “Bridging the Gap” 

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

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

A (Mt. 8; 22; 25) = Wedding or wedding feast, end of the age, and parousia fulfilled by AD 70.

B (Isa. 25:6-9) = The wedding feast & resurrection are fulfilled together “in that day.”

C (1 Cor. 15) = The resurrection and end of the age are fulfilled at the parousia.

If A bears some relation to B…

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

…and B bears the same relation to C,…

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

…then A bears it to C.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When we harmonize what Postmillennialists are teaching when it comes to the eschatological wedding feast and a spiritual resurrection taking place in AD 70 at Christ’s parousia, with what other Futurists are teaching on this being THE ONE consummative event for the Second Coming, resurrection and wedding to occur at the end of the age —- we get Full Preterism. This will become apparent as well when studying the parable of the wheat and tares along side of Daniel 12 which will be next and Part 5 of this series.

e). “…There, are, certain of those here standing, who shall in nowise taste of death, until they see the kingdom of God, already come in power.” (Mrk.9:1 Rotherham Translation).

In Mark’s parallel account, some of the disciples live to see Christ’s return and kingdom coming when he uses the perfect participle while Matthew uses the future tense. In other words Mark is saying that some of the disciples would live to be able to look back on this event knowing that the coming of the Lord and His kingdom had already come in power. Kenneth Gentry concedes this point citing J.A Alexander: “Here “come” is “not, as the English words may seem to mean, in the act of coming (till they see it come), but actually or already come, the only sense that can be put upon the perfect participle here employed.”[12] Thus, His disciples were to expect its exhibition in power. It was not powerfully to evidence itself immediately, for many of His disciples would die before it acted in power. Yet it was to be within the lifetimes of others, for “some” standing there would witness it. This seems clearly to refer to the A.D. 70 destruction of the temple and removal of the Old Testament means of worship (cf. Heb. 12:25-28; Rev.1:1, 3, 9). This occurred as a direct result of Jesus’ prophecies (John 4:21-23; Matt.21:33ff.; 23:31-34:34).”[5]

I experientially know and can see from reading my Lord’s words and the testimony of the Scriptures themselves that the historical destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 proves without a shadow of doubt He has established His Kingdom “within” me and the rest of His Body. Jesus tells the disciples that some of them would live to “see” His coming and that the Kingdom would have already come in power to bear witness to His return. The Greek word here for “see” is eido. Strong’s Concordance defines eido as to “know how” and “perceive” as well as physical sight. Through observing with the physical senses the destruction of the outer shell of the old-covenant kingdom’s temple and City in A.D.70, “some” of Jesus’ contemporary audience would be able to “perceive” and “know how” Christ’s spiritual Kingdom had come “within” them Lk.17:20-37; Cols.1:27; Jn.14:2-3, 23. This text is one of many that refutes a literal so called “rapture” or literal resurrection off the earth for the living and remaining at Christ’s return! The fact that they would remain on the earth and “know” He had come coincides with what we saw the prophet Isiah teach of the “survivors” of the “Day of the Lord” to culminate the “last days.” Keeping Isaiah’s prophecy in mind once again, let’s turn our attention to the next exegetical point on the timing of “rewards” mentioned in our text.

f). The “reward” of Isa.40 & 62, Mt.16:27-28, & the Rev. 1-3; 20-22:12 Connection.

The “about to” coming of the Son of Man to reward the righteous and the wicked mentioned in Mt.16:27-28 is taken from the “last days” prophecy of the coming “Day of the Lord” in (Isa.2-3:10-11; Isa.40:10; Isa.62:11). Since everyone agrees that Jesus quoting Isa. 2:19 in Lk.23:30 refer to the A.D. 70 judgment, and Mathison understands Christ coming to vindicate the martyrs in Rev.6:15 and give rewards in Rev. 22:12 as the A.D. 70 coming of Christ and judgment; therefore is there any reason he should not apply Mt. 16:27-28 to the same event?

Parallels (analogy of faith) Between Mt.16:27 Rev.22:12:

· “The Son of Man is about to come in the glory of His Father with His angels,

· “Behold I am coming soon

· “then He shall reward every man according to his works

· “and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his workshall be”

When Mt.16:27-28 is taken together with the book of Revelation from beginning to end, both form an inescapable A.D.70 time of fulfillment harmony. Mathison and Gentry agree with us that the audience and subject matter of the book of Revelation was written to seven historical churches in Asia Rev.1:4 who were told that they would experience the coming of the Lord, judgment, and receive rewards in an “at hand,” “about to be,” “shortly,” time frame Rev.1:1, 3, 7, 19-mello;” Rev.2:5, 7, 10-11, 16, 17, 25-29; Rev.3:4-5, 10-12, 18, 21; 22:6-7, 10-12, 20. But once we get into the book of Revelation, is the “coming” of Christ associated with His judging the City and rewarding “every man” including “the dead,” (Rev. 11:13, 18) the ascension event or His second coming and imminent return in A.D. 70?

The (OG) LXX of Daniel 7:13 reads, “Upon the clouds of heaven came one like a Son of Man, and he came as the Ancient of Days” (whereas the the Aramaic and the Tehodotionic LXX have “he came up to the Ancient of Days”). It would appear that Jesus and John follow the (OG) LXX rendering as it fits better with Revelation 1:7, 13-17 where Jesus is described coming on the clouds as the Ancient of Days. The context here and elsewhere in the NT where a reference to Daniel 7:13 is referred to is that Christ is coming down from heaven upon the clouds in judgment upon Jerusalem – this is not a coming “up to” the Father in AD 30. Besides this, the context of Daniel 7 has to do with the general judgment when the books are opened etc…, not the ascesion event.

Any unbiased reader of both sides of the reformed house divided can see: 1) the time statements point to an A.D. 70 time of fulfillment (per Mathison & Gentry), and 2) the coming of Christ in the book of Revelation refers to the second coming to render judgment and reward every man–the living and the dead (per most Reformed and Evangelical) commentators. When we combine these two observations from the Reformed community we arrive at our position. Jesus’ teaching here in Mt.16:27-28 and elsewhere in the gospel of Matthew lays the foundation of what we see with the A.D. 70 imminence throughout Revelation.

g). Mt. 16:27-28 and the Olivet Discourse connection.

Jesus in the Olivet discourse ties the same subject matter in with both Mt. 16:27 & 28. Not only is the same subject matter taken as one unit in the Olivet Discourse, but the same time frame for the second coming is reiterated by Christ, “This generation”:

1) Christ comes in glory Luke 9:26

1) Christ comes in glory Matthew 24:30

2) Christ comes with angels Matthew 16:27

2) Christ comes with angels Matthew 24:31

3) Christ comes in judgment Matthew 16:27

3) Christ comes in judgment Matthew 24:28-31; 25:31-34

4) Christ and the kingdom come in power Mark 8:38

4) Christ and the kingdom come in power Luke 21:27-32

5) Some of the disciples would live Matthew 16:28

5) Some of the disciples would live Luke 21:16-18

6) Some of the disciples would die Matthew 16:28

6) Some of the disciples would die Luke 21:16

7) Christ would be ashamed of the disciples generation Mark 8:38

7) All of this would occur in the disciples generation Matthew 24:34

This is a very specific historical event and is not addressing several comings of Christ at: 1) the ascension, 2) Pentecost, 3) A.D. 70, and 4) a future coming to end history.

Partial Preterist Gary DeMar of American Vision is on record as teaching:

· John’s version of Matthew 24-25 can be found in the book of Revelation.

· Matthew 16:27=24:30=25:31-46 and 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 to avoid making these parallels here:

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.

Since Partial Preterists such as Gary DeMar tell us that the imminent time indicators within the book of Revelation point us to an AD 70 fulfillment of its content, there is no exegetical evidence which would indicate that Revelation 20:5-15 does not fall within the “shortly,” “about to be,” “at hand,” “quickly” time frame. And since Partial Preterists such as James Jordan or Joel McDurmon tell us that the judgment and resurrection of Daniel 12:1-3 was fulfilled in AD 70 and that “John picks up where Daniel leaves off,” then once again we see evidence for the judgment and rewarding of Revelation 20:5-15 being fulfilled in AD 70.

h). Matthew 16:27-28 and the Transfiguration event.

Mathison states, “It has also been suggested that the “coming” of the Son of Man in 16:28 refers to the Transfiguration (cf. Matt. 17:1-8). (p.176). It is also suggested by many of the same commentators that the transfiguration event is a prelude or foretaste of the Second Coming described in verse 27. So what is the relationship? In the vision, when Peter wants Moses and Elijah to remain and abide with the other disciples and Jesus, God causes the glory of Moses and Elijah to disappear. The theology of the vision is directed at the appearing and disappearing of the old-covenant order pictured in the glory of Moses and Elijah (the law and the prophets), with the emphasis on the eternal abiding glory of the new-covenant words of Christ – “here Him” (Mt. 17:5-8; cf. Mt.24:35). To seek the abiding glory and nature of the old covenant (Moses and Elijah) along with the new (the glory of Christ) was the theological error of the Judaizers and mockers of Peter’s day were making! With this in mind we can now understand Peter’s appeal to the vision as an apologetic against the mockers and false teachers of his day.

The 1Pet. 1:16-19 text is now very easy to understand. Peter is under attack by the Judaizers whom are claiming that he and the other disciples have been teaching Christians “cleverly devised stories” about the second coming (2Pet.1:16a). Peter’s apologetic against this charge is that he has two other Apostolic witnesses that will bear witness that they got their teaching of the second coming from direct revelation from the Father and the Son on the Mount of Transfiguration–verses 16b-18. Although Peter does not use the Greek word metamorphoo, he describes the Church going through a similar process–in verse 19a he says it is “…a light shining in a dark place, until the Day dawns and the Morning Star rises in your hearts.” The “day” singular is none other than the “last day” of John’s gospel and the “in that day” or last day (singular) of (Lk.17/Mt.24-25).

There are only two other places in the New Testament where this Greek word transfigured or transformed metamorphoo is used (Rms.12:2 & 2Cor. 3:18). Paul’s “therefore” of Rms.12:1 is linking it with his teaching on the unsearchable riches of the new-covenant “mystery” (Jew/Gentile) or salvation that he has been developing throughout and reaches its peak here in (11:15, 25-36; cf. 1Cor.2). In chapters 7-8 the issue with the old-covenant law of sin and death and the new-covenant law of the spirit, is realized within the “mind” and fleshing that out (so to speak), through a spiritual walking in the newness of this new-covenant life. In chapters 12 and on, are the practical applications of living out this new-covenant salvation and life which was imminently coming at Christ’s return 13:11-12. They were not to be conformed to the old-covenant world, but be “transformed” through the new – “by the renewing of” their minds”! This was and continues to be a “spiritual act of worship” in the new-covenant age (cf. verse 1; Jn.4:24). Paul shows how this new-covenant life is to be worked out individually within the corporate Body of Christ in verses 3-16. He then closes with words connected with Christ’s new-covenant law (the true riches and meaning that were always there within the old) given on the Mount in verses 17-21/cf. Matthew 5.

The only other New Testament passage in which metamorphoo is used is in 2Cor. 3:18. This is likewise a very clear covenantal contrasting section within Paul’s writings. The Church was in the process of “being transformed” into the likeness of Christ which was connected with the old-covenant veil being lifted from the eyes of their minds and hearts. This was obviously not a literal or biological transformation process but a spiritual and covenantal one! The old-covenant glory was “passing away” (2Cor. 3:7-11) just as the glory of Moses and Elijah had disappeared in the vision given on the mount!

Since we agree with most who understand the transfiguration event to be a foreshadowing or prefiguring of the parousia we need to ask where in the vision are the following: 1) the passing and burning of the planet earth, 2) Christ floating down on a literal cloud someday and 3) corpses flying out of their caskets at the end of time to be united with their spirits? The vision of the parousia in the transfiguration event gives us a theological picture/description of what the parousia was going to be all about – the passing and fulfilling of the old-covenant promises and the bringing in and establishing of the new by A.D. 70.

The Orthodox and Organic Development of Full Preterism on Matthew 16:27-28

The “orthodox” (or straight) truth on Matthew 16:27-28 is found in the middle of the classic Amillennial view and the Partial Preterist view: 1) (Matthew 16:27) is the actual Second Coming event (as is Matt. 24:30–25:31) and 2) (Matthew 16:28) teaches us that it was to take place within the lifetime of “some” of those standing and listening to Jesus and thus in their first century “this generation.”

The Jubilee “Day of Vengeance” of Isaiah 63:1-6 and Revelation 14:17-20; 17:5-6; 19:15
Isaiah 63:1-6:
Who is this who comes from Edom, in crimsoned garments from Bozrah, he who is splendid in his apparel, marching in the greatness of his strength? “It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save.” 2 Why is your apparel red, and your garments like his who treads in the winepress? “I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with me; I trod them in my anger and trampled them in my wrath; their lifeblood spattered on my garments, and stained all my apparel. 4For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and my year of redemption had come. 5I looked, but there was no one to help; I was appalled, but there was no one to uphold; so my own arm brought me salvation, and my wrath upheld me. 6I trampled down the peoples in my anger; I made them drunk in my wrath, and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”
We are continuing our glorious study of the Jubilee begun in Isaiah 61:1-11. While there is the promise of the glorious rest and re-taking the inheritance of the New Creation and Tree of Life in Christ that will be coming in chapters 65-66, the “day of vengeance” is the other side of the coin described for us in Isaiah 61:2 and Isaiah 63:1-6.  We have briefly alluded to Yeshua developing both the Jubilee theme of “redemption” and the “days of vengeance” in Luke 21:20-32 as pertaining to Christ’s Second Coming being fulfilled in the fall of Jerusalem in the events of AD 66 – AD 70. So we now need to turn to John’s version of the Olivet Discourse in the book of Revelation to develop Isaiah 63:1-6.
Revelation 14:17-20  
17 Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over the fire, and he called with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, “Put in your sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.” 19 So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20 And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse’s bridle, for 1,600 stadia.
As David Chilton noticed (Days of Vengeance, 374) in Revelation 6:9-11 the martyrs are pleading under the golden altar of incense for vengeance upon their enemies.  God’s answer is that vengeance will be “in a very little while.”  Then at the beginning of the trumpets vision, the angel combines the prayers of the saints in the censer with fire and casts it upon the land in judgment (cf. Rev. 8:3-5).  Now the same angel over “the fire” appears from God’s altar of fire to once again depict the vengeance of God’s wrath upon “Babylon” (OC Jerusalem 11:8) in chapter 14 being described as a harvest of grapes being crushed in God’s winepress of wrath.  This is a harvest and “wrath” that was “about to come” upon the threshing floor of the land of Israel as was depicted by John the Baptist in (Mt. 3:2-12).  Another key to seeing this prophecy being applied to the AD 66 – AD 70 judgment is the distance of bloodshed of “sixteen hundred stadia.”  This was the distance of the land of Israel.  This is NOT a global day of vengeance and wrath, but rather, a covenantal and local one upon OC Jerusalem.
We should note that sabbath rest is a theme here in this chapter as well. The righteous dead who die in the Lord post AD 70 “…rest from their labors” while the wicked are tormented with fire in presence of the Lamb “day and night” and they “have no rest” (Rev. 14:11).
Revelation 17:5-6; 18:6: 
“And on her forehead was written a name of mystery:  Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of the earth’s abominations.  And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs.”  
Here in chapters 17-18 the Great Harlot Wife / Babylon (OC Jerusalem) is guilty of drinking and getting “drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.” (Rev. 17:5).  Therefore, she will be paid back “double” for her deeds with the angels and Romans and “mixing a double portion” for her to drink from the cup of God’s wrath (Rev. 18:6).
Revelation 19:15-18
15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. 17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, 18 to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.”
Again, this is another reference to Isiah 63:1-6 and the day of vengeance.  In Isiah His robe has the blood of his enemies and here His name “King of kings and Lord of lords” is written upon it.  There is a contrast between being invited to the Wedding Supper of the Lamb (19:1-9) and being devoured by the Romans and the animals at the Great Supper of God (19:17-19) from which the blood comes on His robe.
Isaiah 66:15-16:
“For behold, the LORD will come with fire, and his chariots like the whirlwind, to render his anger in fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.  For by fire will the LORD enter into judgment, and by his sword, with all flesh; and those slain by the LORD shall be many.”
2 Thessalonians 1:5-9
This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. 11 To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Was the Apostle Paul a true prophet when he wrote under inspiration that Christ would be revealed from heaven and give those first century Christians “relief” from their Jewish persecutors and render judgment and “trouble” upon their enemies in the events of AD 66-AD 70 or not (2 Thess. 1:5-8)?!? If not, then the NT prophets are no less reliable than the false prophets in Jeremiah’s day and modern Charismatics!

OT Echo to 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9

G.K. Beale and D.A. Carson point out the OT reference for Paul here in 2 Thessalonians 1:6-8 is Isaiah 66:15

“The claim that it is just for God “to repay [antapodounai] those who afflict you with affliction, and you who are being afflicted with rest” involves the OT principle of retribution—the lex talionis, “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.” Although Scripture frequently affirms the theme of divine recompense, at times also using the identical verb “to repay” (Deut. 32:35; Ps. 138:8 [137:8 LXX]; Obad. 15; cf. Isa. 63:4), the allusions to Isa. 66 in the subsequent verses strengthen the possibility that Paul has that same passage in view here. In fact, there are two verses from Isa. 66 that are relevant: “The voice of the Lord repaying [antapodidontos] retribution to his enemies” (66:6); “For the Lord will come like a fire, and his chariots like the whirlwind, to repay [apodounai] his punishment with anger, and his rebuke with a flame of fire” (66:15).”

“…1:8a – It appears likely, therefore, that the alternate reading “in a flame of fire” is in fact original and that this phrase involves an allusion to Isa. 66:15. Paul uses the imagery of a flaming fire to portray in a powerful manner the frightening judgment that awaits those who have been oppressing the Thessalonian believers.

1:8b – Paul continues to comfort his persecuted readers by picking up again the OT idea of divine retribution that he introduced in 1:6. Whereas that earlier verse balances the punishment of Thessalonians’ persecutors with the reward that believers will receive, this verse stresses only the negative half of judgment: “giving vengeance [didontos ekdikēsin] to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.” The phrase “give vengeance” (didōmi ekdikēsin), with slight variations, occurs several times in the LXX (Num. 31:3; Deut. 32:35; 2 Kgdms. 4:8; 22:48 [2 Sam. 4:8; 22:48]; Ps. 17:48 [18:47 ET]; Ezek. 25:14, 17). It is striking, however, that this phrase occurs also in Isa. 66:15 (apodounai … ekdikēsin)—the same text alluded to in the immediately preceding phrase, “a flame of fire.” The action of “giving vengeance” in Isa. 66:15, as in the other OT texts containing this phrase, is ascribed to God. In Paul’s use of this phrase, however, the divine work of meting out judgment is transferred to the returning Christ (the participle didontos modifies tou kyriou Iēsou).

This vengeance will be given not only to the persecutors of the Thessalonians, but also to a much larger group: “to those who do not know God, and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.” Several commentators have concluded from this double clause that Paul has two distinct groups in mind, most likely Gentiles and Jews (so, e.g., Dobschütz 1909: 248; Frame 1912: 233; Marshall 1983: 177–78). This “two group” interpretation appeals not only to the repetition of the definite article tois, but also to the description of the people in each clause. The first clause refers to “those who do not know God” (tois mē eidosin theon), an OT expression that typically refers to Gentiles (Job 18:21; Ps 79:6 [78:6 LXX]; Jer. 10:25) and that has this meaning elsewhere in Paul’s letters (Gal. 4:8–9; 1 Thess. 4:5; cf. 1 Cor. 1:21). The second clause refers to “those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus” (tois mē hypakouousin tō euangeliō tou kyriou hēmōn Iēsou), an expression that may well allude to Isa. 66:4, where “they did not obey [God]” (ouch hypēkousan mou) refers to the Jewish people. (Weima, J. A. D. (2007). 1-2 Thessalonians. In Commentary on the New Testament use of the Old Testament (pp. 884–885). Grand Rapids, MI; Nottingham, UK: Baker Academic; Apollos).

Beale and Carson have no problem connecting the coming of Christ in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 with 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10 with the Day of the Lord judgment of Isiah 2-4. Other than the trumpet gathering and resurrection of Isaiah 27:12-13, G.K. Beale and D.A. Carson connect this coming of the Lord “from heaven” of 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 with Isaiah 2:10-12’s “in that day” “Day of the Lord” judgment,

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

But Beale and Carson also connect 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 with Isaiah 2,

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

But let’s quote the passage in context,

“This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering—since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels.”

Here we clearly see that when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven, it is for the purpose of giving “relief” to first century Christians who were being persecuted by Jews who were filling up the measure of their sins (1 Thess. 2:14-16). At the same time He was going to give relief to these first century Christians, by judging or “repaying” their Jewish persecutors with the same kind of affliction and pressure they were giving them. He did this when by laying a trap for them when they made their journey to Jerusalem and were convinced by the false prophets to stay within the city and were judged with His “wrath” between AD 66 – AD 70. Jesus taught the time of vindication and the judgment for the living and the dead in Matthew 23 would be in His “this generation.” And the time of vindicating the first century Church pictured as a persistent widow in Luke 18:1-8 would be “quickly” and not 2,000 plus years and counting.

Of this passage Beale and Carson write,

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

So since both 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 fulfill the coming of the Lord “from heaven” in the judgment found in Isaiah 2, let’s examine when Jesus and John see Isaiah 2 being fulfilled.

Jesus – Luke 23:27-30:

27 And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. 28 But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us (from Isa. 2:19 and Hos. 10:8).

There’s a consensus among the commentators that this passage was fulfilled in God’s judgment upon Jerusalem in AD 70.

John – Revelation 6:15-17:

15 Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us[a] from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”

Postmillennialists correctly tell us that every reference to the coming of the Lord in Revelation was said to be fulfilled “soon,” “at hand,” “quickly” or “about to be” fulfilled in AD 70.  This is when the martyrs blood would be vindicated in just – “a little while longer” (vss. 10-11).

Concerning Isaiah 2; Revelation 6; and 2 Thessalonians 1, Gentry argues that Christ had to come in judgment in AD 70 to vindicate those being persecuted in Revelation 1-3 & Revelation 6 because if He hadn’t (per futurism), God would be “mocking their [first century] circumstances.” Gentry also appeals to Matt. 23-24 in developing the AD 70 time-frame for the fulfillment of the Thessalonians to be relieved and vindicated from their Jewish persecutors in 1 Thessalonians 2:14-20. But this begs the obvious heremeneutical question – as to why doesn’t 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10 also form the foundation for Christ’s coming to relieve the Thessalonians from their first century Jewish persecutors?!?

If futurism’s 2,000+ year delay of Christ’s coming creates a “cruel mockery” for the persecuted in the book of Revelation, then why doesn’t Gentry’s futuristic 2000+ years delay of Christ’s coming to relieve the Thessalonians and judge their persecutors in 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10 create a “cruel mockery” for their first century “circumstances?” Again, this is why Gentry’s critics charge him with inconsistent hermeneutics and holding to a view that only serves as a stepping stone to Full Preterism.

Premise #1 If it is true and orthodox to believe that Luke 23:27-30; Revelation 6:10-17; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 2 Thessalonians 1:7 all fulfill the “last days” “in that day” judgment of Isaiah 2.

Premise #2 And if it is true and orthodox to believe that 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and 2 Thessalonians 1:7 are the same and ONE Second Coming coming event and that both passages fulfill the “last days” “in that day” judgment of Isaiah 2 (Full Preterists agree with Amillennialists and Premillennialists),…

Premeise #3And if it is also true and orthodox to believe that 2 Thessalonians 1:7 fulfills Isaiah 2’s “last days” “in that day” judgment in AD 70 (Full Preterists agree with Partial Preterists such as Gary DeMar on this point),…

ConclusionThen it necessarily follows and is also true and orthodox to believe that the ONE Second Coming event of 1 Thessalonians 4:16 fulfilled the “last days” “in that day” judgment of Isaiah 2 in AD 70 just as 2 Thessalonians 1:7 was fulfilled at this time.

1 Thessalonians 1:10

“for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.” (1:9-10).

The Thessalonians were to eagerly wait for Christ. The definition of anaménō

“…(from 303 /aná, “up, completing a process,” which intensifies 3306 /ménō, “wait, remain”) – properly, earnestly wait (linger, abide); actively wait with rising intensity and clarity about what is hoped for (note the prefix, ana).  Thayers – “to wait for one (with the added notion of patience and trust).”

Even Dispensationalists such as Pastor John MacArthur writes of this passage,

“…the immanency of the deliverance was something Paul felt could happen in their lifetimes.”

Did Paul just “feel” it could happen or did he write it as an inspired and authoritative Apostle being led into all truth “trusting” in the very words of Jesus Himself that He would return at the end of the OC age, in their generation, and in some of their lifetimes (Matt. 10:22-23; 16:27-28; 24:27-34)?!?

Make no mistake about it, MacArthur’s Futurism effectively portrays Christ and the Apostle Paul as false prophets – out of ignorance or not, this is the undeniable conclusion. MacArthur needs to worry less about the serious implications of Charismatic false prophecy and teaching and take the forest out of his own eye in this area! Why would I conclude MacArthur’s failed Futurism has any less bad implications for the church than false Charismatic doctrine? They ALL ignore the message of Christ and the Apostolic Prophetic message and have invented their own “delusional” (God’s term) understandings of them. Selah.

Christ comes “from heaven.” The definition of “heaven” here can mean the literal sky and clouds where the birds fly, but in Pauline eschatology the term “from heaven” is primarily dealing with God’s heavenly dwelling where His presence is along with the angelic hosts.

Christ comes to “rescue” the Thessalonians to Himself.

The definition of rescue here is rhýomai (from eryō, “draw to oneself“) – properly, draw or (pull) to oneself; to rescue (“snatch up”); to draw or rescue a person to and for the deliverer. To draw or snatch from danger, rescue, deliver. This is more with the meaning of drawing to oneself than merely rescuing from someone or something (Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers).

Christ comes to rescue the Thessalonians from the “coming wrath.”

God laid a trap for the persecuting Jews whom went to Jerusalem for the feast days in AD 66 and they experienced God’s wrath. Christians that did go to Jerusalem to fellowship with the Jerusalem Church in AD 66 ALL fled together from the city and were rescued from this wrath.

Jews who especially sympathized with the Jewish revolt were persecuted throughout Rome during this period – 50,000 died in Egypt alone. Christians were known for being peaceful law abiding citizens for the most part. They fled to Pella and were safe. This was a known anti-Jewish town filled with a lot of Greek veterans. They did not support the Jewish rebellion against Rome and so had no problems accepting the peaceful Christians who likewise did not support the rebellion against Rome or the false prophets proclaiming an earthly messianic kingdom.

Just a brief point – the flight of the Christians in fulfillment Daniel’s prophecy of the seventy weeks was the point in time that God “sealed up” that is, brought to an end the office of prophet and the gift of prophecy (Dan. 9:24-27/Lk. 21:20-32).

Paul’s doctrine on an imminent coming of Christ and wrath is in line with Jesus’ teaching:

“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. “Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are in the midst of the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city; because these are days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled. “Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people; and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” (Lk. 21:20-23).

And Postmillennialists admit the coming of Christ in Matthew 25:31 was fulfilled in AD 70 and there was a judgment of the dead that took place as well according to 1 Peter 4:5-7, 17 and Revelation 11. Therefore, Jesus responds to the dead as well about this being a time of wrath,

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Harmonizing the coming of Christ in 1 Thessalonians 1:10 with 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17

1. First century audience – “you” “us.”

1. First century audience – “we.”

2. Eager expectation – imminence

2. “We who are still alive…” – imminent expectation.

3. Christ comes “from heaven.”

3. Christ comes “from heaven.”

4. Jesus’ resurrection is mentioned as a sign or event guaranteeing that the living would be rescued.

4. Jesus’ resurrection is mentioned as a sign or event guaranteeing the dead in Christ would be raised and the living would be brought into God’s presence.

5. “Snatches” from wrath but to Christ.

5. “Catches/snatches away” to Christ.

The Partial Preterism of Kenneth Gentry & Keith Mathison

Mathison and Gentry don’t deal with the imminence here in connection with Jesus’ teaching in the OD. This is odd since they claim to want to address imminence and they both admit Paul is drawing from Jesus’ teaching in the OD! They also fail to demonstrate how the deliverance from this wrath here in chapter 1 is an allegedly future event for us, while Paul’s treatment of Christ coming attended with “wrath” in the very next chapter (cf. 1 Thess. 2:16) is fulfilled by AD 70. Again, no consistent hermeneutic and no agreement among them.

The Partial Preterism of Gary DeMar

Unlike Gentry and Mathison, Gary DeMar concedes that the coming of Christ here in 1 Thessalonians 1:10 was fulfilled in AD 70. But Gary fails to do any exegetical work to harmonize his Preterist interpretation of 1 Thessalonians 1:10 with his futurist creedal view of 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17. In both passages Christ comes “from heaven” to “snatch” or “catch” away His people to Himself. On what exegetical grounds is the first apocalyptic language fulfilled in AD 70 while the later is physical and 2,000 plus years removed?!? Again, no consistent hermeneutic or flow of Paul in his writings per the man pleasing and man fearing tradition laid out within Postmillennial Partial Preterism. Why would the Thessalonians think these are two different comings of Christ “from heaven” to “snatch” or “catch” His people to Himself?!? DeMar is no less guilty of perverting God’s prophetic Word through Paul than the Charismatics and MacArthur. Lord willing this isn’t the legacy he wants to leave. While he needs to count the cost for embracing the truth (ex. knowing what Gary North put David Chilton through), he needs to embrace it and “shout it from the rooftops.” Selah. 3). 

I’ll stick with the reliability of SGFPism’s understanding of Apostolic NT imminence verses the false prophets and false prophecies of Futurism and Charismatic Futurist false prophets ANY DAY! God’s Word is STILL “a hammer that breaks” apart the false doctrines and false prophecies of those that are uttered in His name and He still vindicates the prophecies of the Lord and His faithful New Covenant shepherds that were “led into all truth concerning things to come.” We rest in THEIR prophetic Word and that our Lord is truly the “Faithful and True Witness.”

THE NEW CREATION PROMISES OF ISAIAH 65-66; REVELATION 21-22; 2 PETER 3 AND ROMANS 8:18-23YLT
Unknown-2Reformed theologians such as John Owen and John Lightfoot along with many others, correctly understood the “elements” here not as the rocks and tress of the planet earth, but of the old-covenant law and the “Day of the Lord” occurring in AD 70.  John Owen in his sermon on 2 Peter 3 also describes Isaiah 51:15-16 as the Old Covenant system except unlike Spurgeon he correctly and clearly states it passed away and her “elements” burned up in AD 70.  Since the foundation to the promise of 2 Peter 3 is Isaiah 65, it is relevant to what Spurgeon would have been reading on the subject.  Please note that he says the passing and burning of the first heavens and earth is “ONLY” referring to the OC system and the New is only the gospel of the NC dispensation:
“I shall only observe, by the way, not to look into the difficulties of these verses, that I not be too long detained from my principal intendment, – that the apostle makes a distribution of the word into heaven and earth, and saith, they ‘were destroyed with water, and perished: We know that neither the fabric or substance of the one or other was destroyed, but only men that lived on the earth; and the apostle tells us, verse 5, of the heavens and earth that were then, and were destroyed by water, distinct from the heavens and the earth that were now, and were to be consumed by fire; and yet, as to the visible fabric of heaven and earth, they were the same both before the flood and in the apostle’s time, and continue so to this day; when yet it is certain that the heavens and earth whereof he speaks were to be destroyed and consumed by fire in that generation. We must, then, for the clearing our foundation, a little consider what the apostle intends by `the heavens and the earth’ in these two places:
“1. It is certain, that what the apostle intends by the ‘world,’ with its heavens and earth, verses 5, 6, which was destroyed by water; the same or somewhat of that kind, he intends by ‘the heavens and the earth’ that were to be consumed and destroyed by fire, verse 7. Otherwise there would be no coherence in the apostle’s discourse, nor any kind of argument, but a mere fallacy of words.
“2. It is certain, that by the flood, the world, or the fabric of heaven and earth, was not destroyed, but only the inhabitants of the world; and therefore the destruction intimated to succeed by fire, is not of the substance of the heavens and the earth, which shall not be consumed until the last day, but of persons or men living in the world.
“3. Then we must consider in what sense men living in the world are said to be the ‘world,’ and the ‘heavens and earth’ of it. I shall only insist on one instance to this purpose, among the many that may be produced, Isa. 51. 15, 16. The time when the work here mentioned, of planting the heavens, and laying the foundation of the earth, was performed by God, was when he ‘divided the sea,’ verse 15, and gave the law, verse 16, and said to Zion, ‘Thou art my people,” – that is, when he took the children of Israel out of Egypt, and formed them in the wilderness into a church and state. Then he planted the heavens, and laid the foundation of the earth, – made the new world; that is, brought forth order, and government, and beauty, from the confusion wherein before they were. This is the planting of the heavens, and laying the foundation of the earth in the world. And hence it is, that when mention is made of the destruction of a state and government, it is in that language that seems to set forth the end of the world. So Isa. xxxiv. 4; which is yet but the destruction of the state of Edom. The like also is affirmed of the Roman empire, Rev. vi. 14; which the Jews constantly affirm to be intended by Edom in the prophets. And in our Saviour Christ’s prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem, Matt. xxiv., he sets it out by expressions of the same importance. It is evident, then, that in the prophetical idiom and manner of speech, by ‘heavens’ and ‘earth,’ the civil and religious state and combination of men in the world, and the men of them, are often understood. So were the heavens and earth that world which was then destroyed by the flood.
“4. On this foundation I affirm, that the heavens and earth here intended in this prophecy of Peter, the coming of the Lord, the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men, mentioned in the destruction of that heaven and earth, do all of them relate, not to the last and final judgment of the world, but to that utter desolation and destruction that was to be made of the Judaical church and state; for which I shall offer these two reasons, of many that might be insisted on from the text: –
“(1.) Because whatever is here mentioned was to have its peculiar influence on the men of that generation. He speaks of that wherein both the profane scoffer and the those scoffed at were concerned, and that as Jews; – some of them believing, others opposing the faith. Now, there was no particular concernment of that generation in that sin, nor in that scoffing, as to the day of judgment in general; but there was a peculiar relief for the one and a peculiar dread for the other at hand, in the destruction of the Jewish nation; and besides, an ample testimony, both to the one and the other, of the power and dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ – which was the thing in question between them.
“(2.) Peter tells them, that, after the destruction and judgment that he speaks of, verse 13, ‘We, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth,’ etc. They had this expectation. But what is that promise? where may we find it? Why, we have it in the very words and letter, Isa. Ixv. 17. Now, when shall this be that God will create these ‘new heavens and new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness?’ Saith Peter, ‘It shall be after the coming of the Lord, after that judgment and destruction of ungodly men, who obey not the gospel, that I foretell.’ But now it is evident, from this place of Isaiah, with chap. lxvi., 21, 22, that this is a prophecy of gospel times ONLY; and that the planting of these new heavens is NOTHING BUT the creation of gospel ordinances, to endure forever. The same thing is so expressed, Heb. xii. 26-28.
“First, There is the foundation of the apostle’s inference and exhortation… ‘Seeing that I have evinced that all these things, however precious they seem, or what value soever any put upon them, shall be dissolved, – that is, destroyed; and that in that dreadful and fearful manner before mentioned, – in a way of judgment, wrath, and vengeance, by fire and sword; – let others mock at the threats of Christ’s coming. – he will come, he will not tarry; and then the heavens and earth that God himself planted, – the sun, moon, and stars of the Judaical polity and church, – the whole old world of worship and worshippers, that stand out in their obstinacy against the Lord Christ, – shall be sensibly dissolved and destroyed. This, we know, shall be the end of these things, and that shortly.’ “
And more from Owen:
“1. Because in every such providential alteration or dissolution of things on the account of Christ and his church, there is a peculiar coming of Christ himself. He cometh into the world for the work he hath to do; he cometh among his own to fulfil his pleasure among them. Hence such works are called ‘his coming;’ and ‘the coming of his day.’ Thus James exhorts these very Jews to whom Peter here writes, with reference to the same things, James v. 7-9, ‘Be patient unto the coming of the Lord.’ But how could that generation extend their patience to the day of judgment? ‘Nay,’ saith he, ‘that is not the work I design, but his coming to take vengeance on his stubborn adversaries;’ which he saith, verse 8, ‘draweth nigh,’ is even at hand; yea., Christ, ‘the judge, standeth before the door,’ verse 9, ‘ready to enter;’ – which also he did within a few years. So upon or in the destruction of Jerusalem (the same work), Luke xxi. 27, the Son of man is said to ‘come in a cloud, with power and great glory;’ – and they that escape in that desolation are said to ‘stand before the Son of man,’ verse 36. So, in the ruin and destruction of the Roman empire, on the account of their persecution, it is said that ‘the day of the wrath of the Lamb was come; Rev. vi. 16, 17.” (John Owen, The Works of John Owen, Banner of Truth pub., Vol. 9 see pp. 132-135, 138-139, MJS emphasis added).
And John Lightfoot agrees.  Notice what he says of Christ’s coming in Matthew 24 and 2 Peter 3 and the de-creation and new creation language:
Unknown-3
“That the destruction of Jerusalem is very frequently expressed in Scripture as if it were the destruction of the whole world, Deut. xxxii. 22; ‘A fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell’ (the discourse there is about the wrath of God consuming that people; see ver. 20, 21), ‘and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains’ Jer. iv. 23; ‘I beheld the earth, and lo, it was without form and void; and the heavens, and they had no light; The discourse there also is concerning the destruction of that nation, Isa. lxv. 17; ‘Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered,’ And more passages of this sort among the prophets. According to this sense, Christ speaks in this place; and Peter speaks in his Second Epistle, third chapter; and John, in the sixth of the Revelation; and Paul, 2 Cor. v. 17.”
More of Lightfoot on this subject:
“With the same reference it is, that the times and state of things immediately following the destruction of Jerusalem are called ‘a new creation,’ ‘new heavens,’ and ‘a new earth,’ Isa. lxv. 17; `Behold, I create a new heaven and a new earth’ When should that be? Read the whole chapter; and you will find the Jews rejected and cut off; and from that time is that new creation of the evangelical world among the Gentiles.
“Compare 2 Cor. v. 17 and Rev. xxi. 1, 2; where, the old Jerusalem being cut off and destroyed, a new one succeeds; and new heavens and a new earth are created.
“2 Pet. iii. 13: `We, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth’ The heavens and the earth of the Jewish church and commonwealth must be all on fire, and the Mosaic elements burnt up; but we, according to the promise made to us by Isaiah the prophet, when all these are consumed, look for the new creation of the evangelical state.”
“That the destruction of Jerusalem and the whole Jewish state is described as if the whole frame of this world were to be dissolved. Nor is it strange, when God destroyed his habitation and city, places once so dear to him, with so direful and sad an overthrow; his own people, whom he accounted of as much or more than the whole world beside, by so dreadful and amazing plagues. Matt. xxiv. 29, 30, `The sun shall be darkened,’ Then shall appear the `sign of the Son of man,’; which yet are said to fall out within that generation, ver. 34. 2 Pet. iii. 10, `The heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat,’. Compare with this Deut. xxxii. 22, Heb. xii. 26: and observe that by elements are understood the Mosaic elements, Gal. iv. 9, Coloss. ii. 20: and you will not doubt that St. Peter speaks ONLYof the conflagration of Jerusalem, the destruction of the nation, and the abolishing the dispensation of Moses.” (John Lightfoot, COMMENTARY ON THE NEW TESTAMENT FROM THE TALMUD AND HEBRAICA, Vol. 2, pp. 318-319; Vol. 3, p. 452-453, Hendrickson pub, 2003, MJS emphasis added).
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As I document in our book, House Divided Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology…pp. 116-123 Lightfoot didn’t see the physical planet as being in a process of “decay” or poetically “groaning” to be the subject matter in Romans 8 either!  He correctly understood the passage to be the “creation of men” groaning under sin.  Postmillennial Partial Preterists such as Gary DeMar concedes mello in Romans 8:18 YLT should be translated as “the glory ABOUT TO BE revealed in you…” and is referring to AD 70.  Therefore, contextually this allegedly “end of the planet” or physical “renewal of the planet” passage and “redemption of the body” was “about to be” fulfilled in AD 70 – at the “near” coming of the Lord when Satan was to be “crushed shortly” (cf. Rms. 13:11-12; 16:20) and has NOTHING to do with the Futurist or creedal concept.  Here is that material (HD, 116-123):
John Lightfoot associated the “earnest expectation of the creature”
and the “whole creation groaning” with the mind and heart of man, and interpreted this passage as having nothing to do with the planet Earth— not even poetically.
. . . [T]his vanity [or futility] is improperly applied to this vanishing, changeable, dying state of the [physical] creation. For vanity, doth not so much denote the vanishing condition of the outward state, as it doth the inward vanity and emptiness of the mind. The Romans to whom this apostle writes, knew well enough how many and how great predictions and promises it had pleased God to publish by his prophets, concerning gathering together and adopting sons to himself among the Gentiles: themanifestation and production of which sons, the whole Gentile world doth now wait for, as it were, with an out stretched neck.” (John Lightfoot, COMMENTARY ON THE NEW TESTAMENT FROM THE TALMUD AND HEBRAICA, Vol. 2, p.422, Hendrickson pub. 1979, emphasis added.) 
And again,
The Gentile world shall in time be delivered from the bondage of their sinful corruption, that is, the bondage of their lusts and vile affections, (under which it hath lain for so long a time,) into a noble liberty, such as the sons of God enjoy. If it be inquired how the Gentile world groaned and travailed in pain, let them who expound this of the fabric of the material world tell us how that groaneth and travaileth. They must needs own it to be a borrowed and allusive phrase…” (Ibid., p. 227).
Lightfoot is on solid ground here citing 2 Peter 1:4; 2 Corinthians 11:3; and 1 Corinthians 15:33. Not only is there lexical evidence to interpret “vanity,” “corruption,” and “decay” as ethical and moral putrefaction in the heart and mind of man, but contextually the passage has nothing to do with hydrogen or oxygen or squirrels longing for a better day when they won’t get hit by cars.
“The sufferings of this present time.” As much as I can relate to R.C. Sproul Jr. losing his hair and gaining some weight around his midsection (WSTTB, ix), Paul’s mention of the “sufferings” and “the redemption of the body” have nothing to do with those kinds of issues. The context of the “groaning” of the first-century Christians can be found in the previous chapter. The sufferings Paul has in mind here were eschatological —the birth pains that were to precede Christ’s return in AD 70 (Matt. 24:8; Rom. 8:22). They had to do with the last days persecutions and with the saints of the universal church groaning under the tyranny of Sin and Condemnation under the Law.
For Paul, Sin had produced “death,” but not physical death. Contrary to Mathison’s assertions, “the body,” “death,” and “the flesh” in Romans 5–8 have nothing to do with the idea of men biologically dying as a result of Adam’s sin. Paul’s concern is with corporate-covenantal Death, as even some Reformed theologians teach.[3]   “Bondage,” according to the immediate context, had to do with groaning under the condemnation of the Law (cf. Rom. 7:2, 7, 15).
The “redemption” associated with the coming of the Son of Man in AD 70 entailed much more than a physical flight to the wilderness of Pella, as some commentators have proposed. Appealing to the principle of the analogy of Scripture, John Murray and other Reformed theologians understand Paul in Romans 8 to be speaking of the same “redemption” that Jesus discussed in the Olivet Discourse:
Now in Luke 21:28 . . . [t]his word ‘redemption’ (apolutrosin), when used with reference to the future, has a distinctly eschatological connotation, the final redemption, the consummation of the redemptive process (cf. Rom. 8:23; 1 Cor. 1:30; Eph. 1:14; 4:30). Hence analogy would again point to the eschatological complex of events.[4]
The following chart confirms that the “redemption” of Christ’s disciples in the first century in Luke 21:28 was the redemption of “the body” in Romans 8:18–23:

Romans 8 Olivet Discourse & Luke 17
Present sufferings (Rom. 8:17–18) Suffering to come (Matt. 24:9)
Receive and share in Christ’s glory (Rom. 8:17–18) Christ comes in glory (Matt. 24:30)
Glory will be “in” them (Rom. 8:18) Kingdom will be realized “within”at Christ’s return (Lk.17:21–37; 21:27–32)
Redemption and salvation – resurrection (Rom. 8:23–24; cf. 11:15–27; 13:11–12) Redemption and salvation – resurrection (Lk. 21:27–28; Matt. 24:13, 30–31/Matt. 13:39-43/Dan. 12:2-3)
Birth pains together (Rom. 8:22) Birth pains of the tribulation (Matt. 24:8)
This was “about to” take place (Rom. 8:18) This would all happen in their “this generation” (Matt. 24:34)

On page 200 of WSTTB, Mathison expresses willingness to concede that the imminence in Romans 13:11–12 was fulfilled in AD 70. The passage reads:
. . . it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. . . .
But The Reformation Study Bible, of which Mathison is an editor, harmonizes Romans 13:11 with Romans 8:23, correctly teaching that “salvation” in that verse is not merely deliverance from persecution (as Mathison theorizes in WSTTB): “salvation. Here in the sense of future, final redemption (8:23).”[1] The connection between these two passages is made even stronger when we allow the Greek word mello in Romans 8 to be translated the way it is predominately used in the New Testament:
For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory about to be revealed in us. (Rom. 8:18, YLT)
It is more than arbitrary for partial preterists such as Gentry to honor Young’s literal translation of melloin Revelation 1:19 when debating Dispensationalists and Amimmennialists, but then not honor it in Romans 8:18 when debating full preterists. Mello is used in the aorist infinitive in both verses. Gentry writes of mello in Revelation 1:19:
…this term means “be on the point of, be about to.” …According to Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible, Revelation 1:19 reads: “Write the things that thou hast seen, and the things that are, and the things that are about to come[mello] after these things.” The leading interlinear versions of the New Testament concur. This is surely the proper translation of the verse.[2]   …when used with the aorist infinitive — as in Revelation 1:19 — the word’s preponderate usage and preferred meaning is:
“be on the point of, be about to. The same is true when the word is used with the present infinitive, as in the Rev. 3:10.[3] Unfortunately, none of the major translators cited above translates Revelation 1:19 in a literal fashion.[4]
Where is Gentry’s disappointment when it comes to translators not translating Romans 8:18 by the same grammatical standard? It is nowhere to be found, even though there are two other Greek words of imminence (apokaradokia and apekdekomai — “eagerly waiting”) within the immediate context.
At least partial preterist Gary DeMar has tried to be more consistent with a proper translation of mello in Romans 8:18. Citing Robert Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible he writes:
“Whatever the glory is it was ‘about to be revealed’…”[5]
We appreciate the honesty on properly translating mello here as “about to be revealed,” but contextually there is no ambiguity as to what the imminent manifestation of this “glory” was — the liberation of creation from its groaning and bondage, the full adoption of the sons of God, and the “redemption of the body” (vss. 18-23).
Interestingly enough though, according to Gentry and Mathison one of the things that was “about to come after” John wrote Revelation 1:19 was the arrival of the New Jerusalem and New  Creation of Revelation 21:1ff. Mathison and Gentry tell us in their other works that the time texts in Revelation point to a near fulfillment of the passing of “the first heaven and earth.” They point out that Revelation 21:1 is referring to the passing of the old covenant “creation” in AD 70 and is a fulfillment of Isaiah 65–66. Gentry even says:
The absence of the sea (Rev. 21:1) speaks of harmony and peace within. In Scripture the sea often symbolizes discord and sin (13:1–2; cf. Isa. 8:7–8; 23:10; 57:20; Jer. 6:23; 46:7; Ezek. 9:10).  Christianity offers the opposite: peace with God and among humankind (Luke 2:14; Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:12–18; Phil. 4:7, 9).
But then Mathison and Gentry assign an “expanded” meaning to 2 Peter 3, which discusses the same promises in Isaiah 65–66. They suggest that Peter is addressing the geological “elements” of the planet while the Apostle John, referencing the same Old Testament passage, is not.
This is not only arbitrary, it is amazing. If Gentry and Mathison can give prophetic New Testament passages “expanded” meanings to fit their eschatology, then they have surrendered their debate with Dispensationalists, who constantly employ this strategy to force their eschatology upon New Testament passages.
In Mathison’s section on the “Restoration of Creation” (195–197), he appeals to the literal and global beginnings of Genesis 1–3 to point out that preterists have interpreted “the end” in Romans 8 and in the rest of the New Testament in an inaccurate way. But Mathison should be open to considering the interpretations of Genesis 1–3 that are presented by some within the Reformed tradition and by other futurists.
Combined, authors such as Augustine, Milton Terry, David Snoke, Meredith Kline, and dispensationalist John Sailhamer teach the following:

  • Man was created a physical dying creature like all the plant and animal life around him.
  • The physics of the creation did not change after Adam.
  • Genesis 1–2 uses the Hebrew word eretz, which should be translated as “land” or “ground” and not [planet] “earth.”
  • God’s emphases in the early chapters of Genesis are not scientific but theological, emphasizing the origins of sin in the heart and man’s need for the Seed of the woman to redeem him from Sin.

As the theological emphasis in Genesis 1–2 is on the local land of Eden, which is both theologically and geographically tied to Israel’s Promised Land, so too is the emphasis of the New Testament on a Great Commission preached to the nations of Israel and to the Roman Empire with a judgment that would affect the nations of that world.
Both the localized and covenantal judgment in Eden and the one in AD 70 affected and continue to affect all humankind. The introduction of spiritual death (condemnation and alienation from God within the heart and conscience of man through Adam) was overcome by Christ’s death, resurrection, and indwelling presence in AD 70. All men and nations of the world are either inside the new Israel and New Jerusalem or outside her gates — as the gospel continues to bring healing and judgment to the nations today and forever (cf. Rev. 21–22:17).
When we take a combined look at some of the best theologians within the Reformed and Evangelical communities, we find a preterist interpretation of every eschatological de-creation prophecy in the Bible. Combined, John Owen, John Locke, John Lightfoot, John Brown, R.C. Sproul, Gary DeMar, Kenneth Gentry, James Jordan, Peter Leithart, Keith Mathison, Crispin H.T. Fletcher-Louis, Hank Hanegraaff, and N.T. Wright teach that the passing away of heaven and earth (Matt. 5:17–18; 24:3, 29, 35; 1 Cor. 7:31; II Peter 3; I Jn. 2:17–18; Rev. 21:1) refers to the destruction of the temple or to the civil and religious worlds of men—either Jews or Gentiles; and that the rulers of the old covenant system or world, along with the temple, were the “sun, moon, and stars,” which made up the “heaven and earth” of the world that perished in AD 70.”63 
DiscoursesAndSayings_SET
Reformed theologian John Brown not only stresses that the passing of “heaven and earth” in Matthew 5:18 is the OC system, but that those familiar with the OT should understand the phrase as such:
“But a person at all familiar with the phraseology of the Old Testament Scriptures, knows that the dissolution of the Mosaic economy, and the establishment of the Christian, is often spoken of as the removing of the old earth and heavens, and the creation of a new earth and new heavens.” (John Brown, Discourses and Sayings of Our Lord(Edinburg: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1990 [1852]), 1:170, MJS – emphasis added).
Like we saw with The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, Owen and Lightfoot — those that are familiar with the OT Scriptures have and continue to see this while you and liberals don’t.
Scholars that aren’t even Preterists (but often times give the impression that they are leaning in such a direction), such as G.K. Beale are admitting that the Jew understood his land or Temple to be a “heaven and earth,”
“…that ‘heaven and earth’ in the Old Testament may sometimes be a Unknown-4way of referring to Jerusalem or its temple, for which ‘Jerusalem’ is a metonymy.” (G.K. Beale, The Temple and the Church’s Mission A
biblical theology of the dwelling place of God, (Downers Grove, Illinois: Inter Varsity Press, 2004), 25). See also J.V. Fesko, Last things first Unlocking Genesis 1-3 with the Christ of Eschatology, (Scottland, UK, 2007), 70.
I called in a radio show where Beale was being interviewed concerning this quote in his book and asked him why he didn’t apply his statements here with Jesus’ and the disciples discussion of the Temple in Matthew 23-24.  He avoided the subject and merely began name-calling.  Sad indeed.
But Evangelicals are making the Full Preterist connections with NT texts where Beale is afraid to.  Evangelical Crispin H.T. Fletcher-Louis makes the following comments on the heaven and earth in Matthew 5:18 and Mark 13:31/Matthew 24:35:
519MJRVKT5L._SX317_BO1,204,203,200_“The temple was far more than the point at which heaven and earth met. Rather, it was thought to correspond to, represent, or, in some sense, to be ‘heaven and earth’ in its totality.” And “. . . [T]he principle reference of “heaven and earth” is the temple centered cosmology of second-temple Judaism which included the belief that the temple is heaven and earth in microcosm. Mark 13[:31] [or Matthew 24:35] and Matthew 5:18 refer then to the destruction of the temple as a passing away of an old cosmology. (Crispin H.T. Fletcher-Louis a contributing author in, ESCHATOLOGY in Bible & Theology Evangelical Essays at the Dawn of a New Millennium, (Downers Grove, Illinois: Inter Varsity Press, 1997), 157).

51vnAiyJTxL._SX319_BO1,204,203,200_Gary DeMar is exegetical and contextually consistent when he admits that the passing of “heaven and earth” in Matthew 24:35 is the same subject (the fall of OC Jerusalem and her OC world/age) and de-creation event as 24:29,
“The darkening of the sun and moon and the falling of the stars, coupled with the shaking of the heavens (24:29), are more descriptive ways of saying that “heaven and earth” will pass away” (24:35).” (Last Days Madness, 192).
DeMar and the Present Tense of 2 Peter 3:11
I agree with Gary DeMar that Futurists are biased to not see the present tense in 2 Peter 3:11,
“In fact, St. Peter was quite specific about the fact that he was not referring to an event thousands of years in their future, but to something that was already taking place:
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements (stoicheia) will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things are being dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements (stoicheia) are being melted with fervent heat? (2 Pet. 3:10–12)
Contrary to the misleading renderings of translators blinded by their presuppositions, St. Peter insists that the dissolution of “the present heaven and earth”—the Old Covenant system with its obligatory rituals and bloody sacrifices—was already beginning to occur: the “universe” of the Old Covenant was coming apart, never to be revived.”
https://americanvision.org/…/what-does-peter-mean-by-the-p…/
But could DeMar, other Futurists and translator’s be “blinded by their presuppositions” when the NT is quite specific about the fact that the resurrection was not referring to an event thousands of years off in their future, but to something that was already taking place and would “soon” be fulfilled.
Was physical death to be overcome at the imminent parousia in Paul’s contemporary “we” audience OR the spiritual death and separation brought through Adam the very day he sinned?
“…death is being destroyed” (1 Cor. 15:26 WUESTNT).
“But God is giving it a body” (1 Cor. 15:32).
“…it is being sown…” (1 Cor. 15:38).
“…it is being raised in glory…” (1 Cor. 15:43).
“…it is being raised in power…” (1 Cor. 15:43)
“…It is being sown a natural body, it is being raised a spiritual body…” (1 Cor. 15:43).

Was a physical lowly body in the process of being conformed to a physical/spiritual glorious body at Christ’s “at hand” Second Coming in Paul’s day, OR was the OC body being transformed and conformed to the NC glorious body of Christ?
“…becoming conformed…” (Phil. 3:21YLT).
Would this understanding not be consistent with Paul elsewhere,
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory [Old Covenant glory] to another [New Covenant glory]. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Cor. 3:18)
Was the physical heavens and earth in the process of being destroyed/dissolved or was it the OC heavens and earth or world?
“…are being destroyed/dissolved.” (2 Pet. 3:11).
Peter is consistent with Paul,
“those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.” (1 Cor. 7:31).
“The world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God remains forever.” (1 Jn. 2:17)

Isaiah 66:15-16:
“For behold, the LORD will come with fire, and his chariots like the whirlwind, to render his anger in fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.  For by fire will the LORD enter into judgment, and by his sword, with all flesh; and those slain by the LORD shall be many.”
2 Thessalonians 1:5-9
This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. 11 To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 
The Jubilee “day of vengeance” is carried from Isiah 61 all the way to Isiah 66 which ushers in the sabbath rest of the New Creation.  Paul draws upon Isaiah 66 in 2 Thessalonians 1:5-9 and informs us that it is in the events of AD 66 – AD 70 that Christ would be revealed from heaven in vengeance giving relief to the first century Thessalonians while at the same time “repaying” with wrath and vengeance a “trouble” of fire and judgment.  These wicked Jews that were persecuting these Christians in the Thessalonians epistles, would go to the annual feasts and be ensnared by the false prophets prophecies of a coming deliverance from the Roman armies.  Therefore, they were consumed in the fire of God’s judgment in the events of AD 66 – AD 70 when Christ as revealed from heaven.
Old Covenant Salvation “in the Land” vs. New Covenant Salvation “in Christ” 

In typological form Israel’s promises were fulfilled during the reign of Solomon.  God’s promise to make Abraham a great nation and make his descendants as numerous as “the dust of the earth” and as the stars of the heavens was fulfilled in the OT (Gen. 12:2; 13:16 = 2 Chron. 1:9; 1 Chron. 27:23; 1 Kings 4:11).  Even Israel’s land promises “from the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates” were fulfilled (Gen. 12:7; 22:17 = 1 Kings 4:20; Josh. 11:23; 21:41-45; Neh. 9:21-25).

Once we reach the NT we learn that Israel’s promises have their ultimate fulfillment not in the literal land or literal real-estate, but rather in the New Covenant or being “in Christ.”  Christ Himself and those united to Him through faith are blessed with Abraham and fulfill the seed promise (Gal. 3:9, 16, 18, 28-29).  We also learn that Abraham’s faith in the promise was rooted in a spiritual fulfillment of a heavenly land and city that were “about to” be received at Christ’s “in a very little while” Second Coming to close the OC age (cf. Heb. 9:26-28—10:37—11:10-16—13:14YLT).  Even Paul’s statement that believers would inherit “the world” (Rms. 4:13) is understood in context to mean believers (Jew and Gentile) in all nations (Rms. 4:11-12, 16-17).

The heavenly land and city (New Jerusalem) that Abraham looked to for the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promise (along with the prophets promise of a New Creation – Isaiah 65-66) was in the process of coming down in John’s day and “shortly” did at Christ’s “soon” Second Coming in AD 70 (cf. Rev. 1:1, 3:12NIV—chapters 21:1–22:20).  This is not a literal cubed city/tabernacle/MHP that will someday float down to earth, but rather the perfecting of the New Covenant people of God or New Covenant believers (the “Jerusalem from above” – Gals. 4).  The coming Tabernacle/Temple of Ezekiel 37, 40-48 is referring to the Body – the Church (Ezek. 37:27=2 Cor. 6:16).  Again, the New Creation is not physical real-estate, but rather New Covenant believers (Isa. 65:17 = 2 Cor. 5:17).

Literal land or global real-estate inheritance concepts coming from say Premillennialism and Postmillennialism are “heretical” and on par with unbelieving “Jewish dreams and myths” originating in a hyper-literal non-apostolic hermeneutic and we reject them as such.

The Jew understood his Temple and Land to be a “heaven and earth” with the light of Torah radiating from it, while the Gentiles were in utter darkness outside.  Once a Gentile converted to the teaching of Torah and believed in Jehovah he entered the land and was declared a “new creation.”  This gives the historical context on how Revelation ends the way it does.  The Church is the spiritual New Jerusalem / Most Holy Place dwelling of God and a New Heaven and Earth with the light of the Gospel radiating from her bidding the nations to enter her with open gates.

Post AD 70 Salvation is Complete – No More Death, Tears or Pain (Rev. 21-22)
Because “the death” that came through Adam is spiritual death (alienation from God) realized through the commandment-breaker Adam and amplified or increased under the Law of Moses (the old covenant), we can see how God gave His elect the victory over “the death” in the end of the old covenant age of condemnation. The fact that men die physically is in no way evidence that the “spiritual conflict” of “the death” continues for the church throughout the new covenant age.
God’s people under the old covenant, unlike God’s people today, experienced covenantal and spiritual death (cf. Hosea 13:1–14; Isa. 25–27; Eze. 37). What made physical death dreaded for the saints under the old covenant was that they died with the awareness that their sins had not yet been taken away. In the new covenant creation, Jesus promises that whether we biologically die in Him or biologically live in Him, we “never die” (John 11:25–26). This was not the case before Christ.
Thus under the old covenant, the residents of Jerusalem wept because they did not have a lasting atonement or eternal redemption. They longed and groaned for the day of Messiah’s salvation. Until that day would come, they knew their sins were not put away (Heb. 9:26–28; 10:4, 11). The promise that there would be no more mourning or crying or pain does not refer to any and every kind of mourning, crying, and pain. It refers to mourning, crying, and pain concerning God’s people being dead in sin under the condemnation, curse, and slavery of God’s law. That sad Adamic state is no more. In the Son, God’s people are “free indeed” (Jn. 8:36).
As Athanasius wrote in his Festal Letters, iv. 3, “For when death reigned, ‘sitting down by the rivers of Babylon, we wept,’ and mourned, because we felt the bitterness of captivity; but now that death and the kingdom of the devil is abolished, everything is entirely filled with joy and gladness.”
Under the old covenant, when David or the nation was exiled from Zion and God’s city and temple, there was much inner pain, weeping, and bondage that followed (2 Sam. 15:30; Ps. 137; Isa. 14:3; Isa. 22:4–5; Jer. 9:1; 13:17; Jer. 22:9–10; Lam. 1:16; Joel 2:17). Under the new covenant, the heavenly country and Jerusalem are not subject to being made desolate or shaken by invading armies as was the old (Isa. 62:4; Heb. 12:27–28). The concept of the gates of the New Jerusalem always being open, even at night (Isa. 60:11; Rev. 21:25), is not merely a picture of evangelism; it is also a picture of security for the residents of God’s City. The believer, through faith in Christ, is the new covenant creation and it is impossible for him to be exiled from the City (2 Cor. 5:17; Rev. 3:12; 22:12). The new covenant believer is characterized as one whose weeping has ended, because God has forever taken away his sin and united Himself with him (Isa. 60:20; 65:14, 18–19; Jn. 17:21–23).
Christians in the new covenant world do not shed tears in agony and cry out to God to save them from the Adamic Death of Sin, as Jesus Himself did on our behalf (Heb. 5:7). “The sting [pain] of the Death” cannot harm us anymore (1 Cor. 15:56) because the power of Sin has been removed through Jesus, the Law-Fulfiller who clothes us and indwells us. Now we live and reign with Christ in the new covenant world, wherein dwells the Righteousness of God.
It is noteworthy that Partial Preterists usually avoid any mention of Paul’s declaration that Satan would be “crushed” “shortly” (Rom. 16:20). The reason for this is that the majority consensus among all brands of commentators is that the “crushing” of Satan in Romans 16:20 is a direct reference to the final “crushing” of Satan as predicted in Genesis 3:15 and Revelation 20. Manifestly, the judgment and wrath that came in AD 70 was not merely “a” “minor” judgment. It was “the” judgment. It was the crushing of Satan.
Future eschatologies would challenge us with the empirical reality that Death and Satan could not have met their ultimate demise in AD 70 because, after all, just look around and you will clearly see that people still physically die and that there are wars and murders taking place all over the world today. Are these clear evidence that Satan and his demonic hordes are active in our world?
There were certainly times that Satan moved men, such as Judas, to commit sins. But the Bible does not teach us that this was ever the norm. James tells us that wars and fights come from within men (Jms. 4:1) instead of from Satan and demons. Satan’s primary purpose has come to an end: He can no longer function as the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:10), because Christ came out of Zion a second time at the end of the old covenant age to put away Sin once and for all for His church (Acts 20:28; Rom. 11:26–27; 13:11–12; Heb. 9:26–28).
Our salvation and Christ’s Second Appearing/Coming as the Churches great High Priest are not events that take place at the end of time, but rather within time – namely at the end of the OC age in AD 70.  The seed of the woman has overcome the Sin, the Death, the Law and crushed Satan for His heavenly people – the Church/New Creation.  You may not feel perfect or like a city of jewels and gold, but that is how God views you through His Son’s finished redemption –  accomplished and applied for you through His work on the cross and Second Appearing.  Go now and preach this message (Rev. 22:17)!  

Concluding the Messianic Soteriological and Eschatological Promises of Isaiah 61-66

There can be little doubt that Yeshua was the ONLY Messianic candidate that came saying He was the fulfillment of the 10th cycle of the Jubilee of Daniel 9:24-27 and Isiah 61 (Lk. 4:18) in His earthly ministry and redemptive work on the cross and “day of vengeance” or Second Coming between AD 26 – AD 66-70.

Jesus not only appealed to the soteriological and eschatological promises of Isiah 61:1-11 to be fulfilled within His contemporary generation but Isaiah 62:11 as well (Mt. 16:27-28/Mrk. 8:38–9:1).

When we examine the same “day of vengeance” of Isiah 61:2 in Isaiah 63:1-6 — comparing it to John’s version of the Olivet Discourse (the book of Revelation), we again see this is a judgment upon OC Jerusalem — the harlot wife or “Babylon” and thus covenant wrath being poured out upon her land.

In Isiah 66 Messiah is once again described as coming to judge the wicked from heaven by fire and Paul in 2 Thessalonians 1:5-9 describes this as Christ being revealed from heaven to give relief to the first century church and render divine retribution of fire to their Jewish persecutors.  Did Christ come and give the first century Thessalonians “relief” from their Jewish persecutors, or do we have very old first century Christians still living and roaming the earth today among us still waiting for the Lord to come and give them relief?

It is this “soon” Second Coming of Christ that ushers in the New Creation or Jubilee Sabbath rest and restores the Church to Her inheritance in Christ as the Tree of Life (Rev. 21-22:6-7, 10-12, 20).

Jesus is the “Faithful and True Witness” having fulfilled His Messianic promises as Prophet, Priest and King in the time and manner He claimed to. He is the greatest expositor of the Law and the Prophets and we need to align our theology with His. Do not go “beyond what is written” and confess that “If God be true” makes “everyman a liar” in your particular theological circle you are currently swimming in, then so be it.  Selah.

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[1]Lee Irons, Meredith Kline, J. Ligon Duncan, David W. Hall, Hugh Ross, Gleason L. Archer, THE GENESIS DEBATE Three Views on the Days of Creation,(Mission Viejo, CA: Crux Press, Inc., 2001), 227. I would also agree with Keil and Delitzsch onthe point that this is not a reference to a literal 490 years ofchronology: “That by this word common years are to be understood, is indeed taken for granted by many interpreters, but a satisfactory proof of such a meaning has not been adduced. Moreover, in favour of year-weeks (periods of seven years) it has been argued that such an interpretation was very natural, since they hold so prominent a place in the law of Moses; and the Exile had brought them anew very distinctly into remembrance, in asmuch as the seventy years’ desolation of the land was viewed as a punishment for the interrupted festival of the sabbatical years: 2 Chron. 36:21 (Hgstb., Kran., and others). But since these periods of seven years, as Hengstenberg himself confesses, are not called in the law שָׁבֻעִיםor שָׁבֻעֹות, therefore, from the repeated designation of the seventh year as that of the great Sabbath merely (Lev. 25:2, 4, 5;26:34, 35, 43; 2 Chron. 36:21), the idea of year-weeks in no way follows. The law makes mention not only of the Sabbath-year, but also of periods of seven times seven years, after the expiry of which a year of jubilee was always to be celebrated (Lev. 25:8ff.). These, as well as the Sabbath-years, might be calledשָׁבֻעִים. Thus the idea of year-weeks has no exegetical foundation. Hofmann and Kliefoth are in the right when they remark thatשָׁבֻעִיםdoes not necessarily mean year-weeks, but an intentionally indefinite designation of a period of time measured by the number seven, whose chronological duration must be determined on other grounds.”(Keil,C. F., & Delitzsch, F. (1996). Commentaryon the Old Testament(Vol. 9, pp. 717–718). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson). See also David Green’s comments as to why Daniel 9:24-27 can’t be a literal 490 years – see his Q & A #’s 96-97 http://www.preteristcosmos.com/question5.html#note97
[2]Ibid. 227.

[1] John Lightfoot, COMMENTARY ON THE NEW TESTAMENT FROM THE TALMUD AND HEBRAICA, Vol. 2, p.422, Hendrickson pub. 1979, emphasis added.

[2] ESV English-Greek Reverse Interlinear New Testament.

[3] Don Preston states in his tract, Can You Believe Jesus Said This?!?, p. 11-12, “Unless “verily” is being used as an introduction and not for emphasis in Matthew 16:28/Mark 9:1 there is only one place in all the New Testament where the word is used to introduce a new subject [John 10:1]. In all other occurrences,…THE WORD IS ALWAYS USED TO EMPHASIZE A STATEMENT ABOUT A SUBJECT THAT IS ALREADY UNDER CONSIDERATION! Don was mistaken on (Jn.10:1). See my comments on (Jn.10:1) and how it applies to the previous context. Pink says, “The Pharisees’ ‘casting out’ of the poor beggar was, in reality, the Shepherd leading him out from the barren wilderness of Judaism to the green pastures of Christianity.” Christ in this text is contrasting the false shepherds of the Pharisees just mentioned to Himself. “Verily” is expanding the teaching of the miracle and bringing forth a deeper meaning to what had just happened. Arthur W. Pink, EXPOSITION OF THE GOSPEL of JOHN, 1Vol. unabridged version, p. 511, Zondervan pub., 1975, emphasis added. James Boice concurs, “What is the context? Well, obviously, the context is to be found in the preceding chapter in the story of the man born blind and in his mistreatment by those who were the leaders of the people. I say this is obvious because of the absence of any transitional words at the beginning of chapter 10. When John indicates a transition either geographically or in time he usually says something like ‘after these things,’ ‘after this,’ “on the next day,’ or ‘as Jesus passed by.’ Here the words of Jesus flow on immediately after his comments about the Pharisees at the end of chapter 9 and therefore are related to them.” As soon as we recognize this, we recognize that the thieves and robbers must refer to the false shepherds of Israel (the Pharisees) and that the sheepfold represents Judaism. The ones who hear Christ’s voice and respond to His call are those of His own who are within Israel, of whom the man born blind is an example.” James Montgomery Boice, The Gospel of John An Expositional Commentary Five Volumes In one, Zondervan pub.[emphasis MJS], 629-630, emphasis added.

[4]Tim LaHaye, Thomas Ice, END TIMES CONTROVERSY THE SECOND COMING UNDER ATTACK, (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2003), 87, emphasis added.

[5] Kenneth L. Gentry Jr., HE SHALL HAVE DOMINION A POSTMILLENNIAL ESCHATOLOGY, (Draper, VA: Apologetics Group Media, Third edition 2009), 219-220, emphasis added

 

TEMPLE THEOLOGY AND IMAGERY OF GENESIS 1-4 TO REVELATION 21-22 – THE COSMOLOGY OF ISRAEL’S COVENANT, LAND AND TEMPLE PROMISES FULFILLED IN AD 70 AND WITHIN THE NEW COVENANT "AGE WITHOUT END"

By:  Michael J. Sullivan

copyright 2008 – Thank you so much for your understanding and Christian charity and integrity in advance.

Editorial note:  Years ago I spoke at a Preterist conference and developed the temple imagery from Genesis – Revelation.  The message was never taped and I didn’t have time to cover all of my material.  Here is some of that material I covered at the conference.  I do NOT make Genesis issues a test of fellowship and I try and approach the subject with some humility since I still have a lot to work through.  The purpose of this article is to explore some of the Dispensational and Reformed views of Genesis 1-3 and see how they may or may not fit within the Biblical Preterist View.  I hope you enjoy this article and it stimulates your thinking and studies.

As of late, I have been revising this article (I just love this subject).  Additions include a better development of the temple being patterned off of the human anatomy demonstrating two aspects to man:  1.  his physical body which is temporal and 2.  his soul/spirit/conscience that was designed to relate to God (who is Spirit) and continues in the heavenly realm after death.  In a similar way in Hebrews 9:1-10 ESV the Holy Place represents the temporal OC system that was “ready to vanish” and the Most Holy Place represents the eternal NC system that was “about to” mature and house God’s people today in the NC age (Rev. 21:16 – perfect cube=MHP).

I have also added three appendix sections dealing with the temple measurements and there possible significance, and the “rapture” John 14 and 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.  Why?  On the issue of the “rapture” – John 14 is rich in temple imagery itself and secondly, I will be arguing that the “rapture” was fulfilled “within” the minds and hearts of God’s people in the early Church and is still the realm by which we know and experience Him today in the New Covenant age.  This will become relevant towards the end of the article when I demonstrate that Solomon’s temple is patterned after the anatomy of a man and where and how God’s glory cloud and presence guides our lives today.  These articles on John 14 and 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 were not originally designed to harmonize with this article, but I think you will find how they correlate as you go through them.  Lord bless.    

Introduction and Outline

Here is an outline and flow of thought for you to follow in reading this article:

1).  Since Revelation 21-22 is describing events that were to “shortly” take place in AD 70 and the first heavens and earth that passed away is the Old Covenant system and the second is the New Covenant system, perhaps there are some concepts in Genesis 1-3 that some Futurists have developed that we can also consider when it comes to this “restoration of creation” motif.

2).  Taking a look at other various views within the church over Genesis 1-4 that emphasize a more local, theological/functional and apocalyptic description of the “beginnings” that may correspond with how Revelation describes the “end” of the Old Covenant age/creation.

3).  Examining how Genesis 1-4 is laid out in temple imagery and developing the theology of Adamic “THE death” is overcome through Christ.

4).  Understanding that the Bible often uses “heaven(s) and earth” to refer to the land of Israel, Jerusalem, the temple or the Old Covenant system itself.

5).  Taking a look at the second exodus motif and recapitulation – in relation to coming into the land of Israel and to the temple.  And also how Messiah recapitulates Israel’s redemptive history in a second exodus.

6).  We want to examine how the temple structure itself resembles and is patterned after the human anatomy.  Also note how it is a corporate man (Israel) and God or Messiah.

7).  Examine how the Holy Place represents the OC age that passed away in AD 70 and the Most Holy Place represents the NC age that matured and took its place.

8).  Share what I believe the three sections of the temple represent (courtyard, Holy Place and Most Holy Place) along with the four to five sections of the temple itself (including porch, “golden attic” and treasury cell).

9).  An exegesis of how there is no more death, tears and pain today as we live in the New Creation or New Jerusalem (the Most Holy Place).

10).  And lastly, there are three appendix sections.  First, some meditations on the numerology of Solomon’s temple man and how the numbers 40, 70 and 120 play a role in Israel’s redemptive history and man’s life span.  Also, how the temple is laid out in measurements corresponding to Phi. the Golden Ratio and the Fibonacci series communicating eternal life coming in the New Covenant age under the seed of the woman or Messiah.  And the last two deal with texts on the “rapture” and resurrection (cf. John 14 and 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17) that supports this authors thesis concerning the imminent “near” “salvation of the soul” that took place “within” (the realm of redemption from Genesis to Revelation) the believer in AD 70 and continues for those who walk through her gates today in the NC “age/world without end.”

Genesis 1 – 3 and the “Restoration of Creation” Motif

Keith Mathison in his book (When Shall These Things Be?) seeking to refute Biblical Preterism does not inform his audience of the different reformed views of the creation account in the early chapters of Genesis; but simply plugs in his personal presuppositions and shallow exegesis of Genesis 1-3 into such texts as Isaiah 64-66; Romans 8; 2 Peter 3; and Revelation 21-22. He simply assumes that at a future second coming the curse of Adam’s physical death and decay which allegedly has been passed down upon all mankind and animal life will one day be “restored” to a state of non-biological death and decay. Mathison believes that any futuristic paradigm (even Dispensationalism) is to be preferred over the “Hyper-Preterist” view when it comes to “the end” in (Mt. 24-25; I Cor. 15; & Revelation). Therefore, according to Mathison’s logic he and his readers should equally be open to considering some developments of the “beginning” in (Gen. 1-3) from those within his reformed tradition and other futurists (including Dispensationalists).

Here is a list of combined admissions from reformed and dispensational theologians that unravel Mathison’s presuppositions in Genesis and of which I feel better fit a Full Preterist interpretation and emphasis of what the “restoration of creation” is as seen through the NT.  I will focus on the views held by Augustine, Milton Terry, the Day Age view (David Snoke), the Framework view (Meredith Kline), John Sailhmaer and John Walton.  These combined admissions and concepts build the following paradigm:

1).  The 7 days of creation and the Sabbath rest of God in (Gen.1-2) are not literal 24 hour days but symbolic and figurative. Augustine argued this position 14 centuries before Darwin and evolution was ever an issue. In other words his concerns were exegetical and no one was accusing him of being a liberal or evolutionist for making his exegesis![1] He argued that there cannot be three 24 hour days without the creation of the sun and solar system which were created on the fourth day. Building upon Augustines exegesis, reformed theologian Meredith G. Kline has likewise argued that the days are not 24 hour days set forth in perfect chronological and sequential order, but rather are described with Hebrew parallelism using Sabbatical symbolism.

Days 1 & 4 – The creation of light on Day 1 is further described in parallel recapitulation with Day 4 in the creation of Luminaries which were to govern the day and night and separate the light from the darkness.

Days 2 & 5 – The creation of the sky and seas on Day 2 is further described in parallel recapitulation with Day 5, which describes the creation of the animals that would rule within these kingdoms.

Days 3 & 6 – The creation of the land and vegetation on Day 3, corresponds to the creation of animals and man that inhabit and rule in this domain – with man commissioned to rule over them all.

Day 7 – On this day God using anthropomorphic and metaphorical language “rests.” He is King over all of the dominions and creatures created on the 6 Days.

Kline is also in agreement with reformed Day Age advocates that Scripture teaches prior to the fall of Adam, animals were carnivorous, died, and that apart of man’s dominion over them was that he could kill them for warmth and food.[2]

2).  Milton S. Terry who is referenced by many Christians scholars understood the 7 days of creation figuratively as he did the 7 trumpets in Revelation–which he saw as corresponding to a judgment upon the local land of Palestine in AD 70,

“The seven days of the cosmogony are no more to be interpreted literally than are the seven trumpets of the Apocalypse. Indeed, the repetitions of “God said” in Genesis suggest some analogies to be found in the sounding of the seven trumpets. At the sounding of the first trumpet the earth was smitten; at the second, the sea; at the third, the rivers and fountains; at the fourth, the sun; at the fifth, the abyse; at the sixth, the armies of Euphrates were set loose, and, at the seventh, “great voices in heaven” announced the advent and reign of the Lord and his Anointed. The days of Genesis are as symbolical as the trumptest of the Apocalypse, and can no more successfully be identified (or shown to correspond) with ascertained aeons of geology and cosmical evolution than can the trumpets with successive historical events.”[3]

Terry points out that even many hyper-literal Rabbis understood the early chapters of Genesis in a not so literally way, but rather as a,
“vivid pictorial representation of the origin of growth and sin in the human heart” or “…guilt in the human consciousness.” (Ibid., 50-51).

3).  Reformed theologian and Day Age advocate David Snoke does not believe there is a gap between (Gen.1:1) and the rest of the creation account and states that (Gen.1:1) should probably be translated “heavens and land.”

“It is enough to say that the term “the heavens and the land” refers to “everything as far as the eye can see.” “…The beginning of the Bible is concerned about the physical land of the Hebrews, and it stays focused on that physical history up through the stories of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”[4]

4).  Dispensationalist John Sailhamer sees the emphasis of Genesis 1-2 as dealing with the creation of a localized area of land (Heb.eretz – Eden) and not the globe. Like others, he points out the recapitulation and Hebrew parallel structure of the two chapters,

“Often the two creation narratives in Genesis 1 and 2 have been thought to be only loosely connected: While Genesis 1 is about God’s preparing the earth, Genesis 2 is about the garden. Such a reading, however, misses an important point. In their present placement within the Pentateuch, the two narratives are about the same events and have the same setting. What we see God doing in Genesis 2, the garden of Eden, is the same as that of chapter 1, the land. Since chapter 2 is clearly an account of God’s preparing the garden of Eden as man’s dwelling place, chapter 1 must also be about God’s preparing the garden.”[5]

Many reformed theologians have made the theological connections between the land of Eden and the Garden with that of the promised land of Israel. However, Sailhamer went a step further and indicates that not only are there theological connections but perhaps geographical ones that need to be considered as well,

 “The garden of Eden extended from the “river that flows through all the land of Cush” to the “River Euphrates.” Since in Genesis the land of Cush is linked to Egypt (Genesis 10:6), the second river, the Gihon (Genesis 2:13), was apparently understood by the author as “the river of Egypt.”

“…When we move to Genesis 15, we find that the land promised to Abraham – the promised land – is marked off by these same two rivers, the Euphrates and the River of Egypt (Genesis 15:18). Note that the area marked off by these two rivers in Genesis 15 is essentially the same region covered by the garden of Eden in Genesis 2. When the general boundaries are compared, it becomes clear that the writer of the Pentateuch intends us to identify the two locations with each other. God’s promise of the land to the patriarchs is thus textually linked to His original “blessing” of all humanity in the garden of Eden.”[6]

The Hebrew communicates that the state of the land of Eden in (Gen.1:2) would better be translated as “uninhabitable,” “inhospitable,” or “wilderness” as was the wilderness area Israel wandered in for forty years before inheriting the promised land (Sailhamer, ibid., pp.63-66). These are excellent observations and I would add that when Israel broke law in the promised land God was able to turn her land back into a wilderness (Deut.28) using (Gen.1:2) as a creation/de-creation referent, “I beheld the earth (better translated – “land”), and indeed it was without form, and void; And the heavens, they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled, And all the hills moved back and forth. I beheld, and indeed there was no man, And all the birds of the heavens had fled. I beheld, and indeed the fruitful land was a wilderness, And all its cities were broken down At the presence of the LORD, By His fierce anger. For thus says the LORD: “The whole land shall be desolate; Yet I will not make a full end. For this shall the earth mourn, And the heavens above be black, Because I have spoken. I have purposed and will not relent, Nor will I turn back from it. The whole city shall flee from the noise of the horsemen and bowmen” (Jer.4:23-29).

5).  Snoke and other reformed theologians see Adam as being created a physically dying creature along with all the other plant and animal life. This position also holds that there were carnivorous animals, pain, and physical death in the creation before Adam sinned. Physical pain in the birth of offspring was already present and Eve’s would simply be “increased” after the curse. God’s “good” creation already had elements of judgment built into Adam’s environment such as physical death, darkness, and the threat of the sea and Leviathan, etc. to communicate the goodness of God’s hedge about him in the Garden.[7] Snoke also believes that the same laws of physics and the world that existed before the fall is essentially the same world we live in today.

We do not have to imagine an entire reshaping of the world, with new laws of physics and new, carnivorous species of animals, for creation to be groaning. It is perhaps not going too far to say that the increase of the woman’s labor pains in the curse of Genesis 3:16 is symbolic of the increase of the labor pains of the whole world.” “…God could, presumably, make a world in which time existed but not decay. But such a world would have to have utterly different laws of physics from our own world—and the world of Genesis 1 sounds very much like it is supposed to be our world, not another.”[8]

I agree with Snoke that the planet before and after the fall is the same, but I would disagree that the physical planet is currently in a state of “decay” to the point of eventually running down until it is re-created at Christ’s return (Snoke allegedly sees this taught in Rev. 21-22). Scripture simply does not teach the destruction or re-creation of the planet and if the physical planet is being addressed in Ecclesiastes, it would necessitate that God has given it the ability to rejuvenate itself and last “forever,” “Generations come and generations go, but the earth abides forever” (Ecl.1:4). And I don’t think Snoke is “going too far” in seeing Eve’s labor pains being “increased” as “symbolic” with the world “groaning” in (Rms.8). But as Snoke points out the story of redemption involves Christ dieing for men not giving eternal life to animals and trees (Old Earth, p.64). Therefore, the world or intelligible creation (Gk. kistisis) of men under sin through Adam in (Rms.8) definitely groan and experience “futility” and “vanity” (cf. ecl.) apart from Christ. However, when it come to groaning in labor pains, I see the symbolism more with Israel “groaning” under the yoke of Torah and in labor pain never able to produce Gentile children/converts into the kingdom (Isa.26:17-18) whereas the Church did and continues today in the new covenant age.

6). The Framework view defended by reformed theologians Herman Ridderbos and Meredith Kline see the Genesis account not so concerned with a strict literalism, but rather is a form of literary genre set forth in a covenantal framework to help us understand the introduction of sin in mans heart and conscience.  Again, Farrar and Milton Terry would seem to agree, “Even the rabbis, stupidly literal as were their frequent methods, were perfectly aware that the story of the fall was a philosopheme—a vivid pictorial representation of the origin and growth of sin in the human heart.” And “We behold in symbolic outline the development of the sense of guilt in the human consciousness.[9]

7).  John Walton goes as far as to say,

“Genesis 1 was never intended to offer an account of material origins and that the original author and audience did not view it that way.  In fact, the material cosmos was of little significance to them when it came to questions of origins.”

“I propose that people in the ancient world believed that something existed not by virtue of its material properties, but by virtue of its having a function in an ordered system.  Here I do not refer to an ordered system in scientific terms, but an ordered system in human terms, that is, in relation to society and culture.”

“In a functional ontology, to bring something into existence would require giving it material properties.  Consequently, something could be manufactured physically but still not “exist” if it has not become functional.  (John Walton, THE LOST WORLD OF GENESIS ONE Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate, see pp. 26, 113).  For Walton, the ancients simply assumed God or the gods created all that they saw and that their creation accounts focused more on “functionality.”  In other words what theological function and message could they relay with the materials of creation.

***  At the end of this article in addressing the temple theology and imagery in Revelation 21-22, I will seek to pull some of these concepts (1-7) together and demonstrate how the book of Revelation uses material within the physical creation in order to give them “functional” significance by depicting the Old Covenant world passing away and yielding to the New Covenant world at Christ’s “soon” and “in a very little while” AD 70 Second Coming (Rev. 22:6-7; Heb. 9:26-28–10:37).

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Genesis 1-4 Temple Theology and Imagery

copyright 2008 – this image may not be used for any other articles or for any purpose without the permission of Michael J. Sullivan.

The Holy Place and Most Holy Place

Adam was formed from the dust of Eden (the inner courtyard) and “put” in the Garden (Holy Place). The Hebrew word for “put” in (Gen.2:15) elsewhere in the O.T. has to do with God’s “rest” and “safety” for the Israelites in the Promised Land and the “dedication” of something before the Lord (Gen.19:16; Deut.3:20; 12:10; 25:19; Ex.16:33-34; Lev.16:23; Num.17:4; Deut. 26:4, 10 “under the altar” – Jewish “firstfruits” Christians and martyrs under the “altar” Rev. 6 & 20). The idea is that like Israel, God put Adam in His presence to test him. If He obeyed law in the Garden he would be rewarded with God’s presence and experience His blessings of protection. If he disobeyed, he would covenatally and spiritually die and be driven eastward out of God’s presence.

In ancient times “images” of the god’s were placed within the temples and Kings of these Nations themselves were seen to reflect the “image” of the gods. Adam was given the first torah (law) and made in the “image” of God and was thus God’s first covenant “priestly” or “kingly” representative commissioned to have dominion over the land beginning in the Garden/Holy Place area – to “be fruitful and multiply,” “keep,” and “guard” (manage) the area.

Many are correctly seeing that Adam was much more than a gardener as the Aramaic translation of (Gen.2:15) would indicate,

“to toil in the Law and to observe it’s commandments.” Sailhamer translates the Hebrew and grammar of this text as, “to worship and obey” (Sailhmer, ibid., p.76).

The idea being that of Adam being commissioned to serve and worship God in the Garden and guard the area from unclean intruders – such as the serpent. When these two words are used together in the O.T. they reflect this meaning and refer to the priests and Israel keeping God’s law and the priests having the authority (equipped with swords) to slay intruders (like the cherubim). When Israel would not “keep” the law and would “serve” other god’s they were banished into exile from the sanctuary/land as Adam and Cain were (1Kings 9:1).

Some futurists such as Dick Fischer do not believe that Adam was the first man but should probably be considered the first covenant man typofying the Great Commission realized in Christ,

“Adam, as God’s chosen, was the first man capable of achieving God’s kingdom, and that was passed down through his generations until Christ’s sacrifice at the cross changed the equation and brought a new covenant. Presumably any outsiders in Adam’s day would have been outside the covenant, and unable to enjoy this unique status…”   “…As the first type of Christ, Adam may have had a similar mission. Adam’s task was probably to bring the word of God’s kingdom to the polytheistic heathen living all around him.” (Dick Fischer, In Search of the Historical Adam: Part 1,  http://home.att.net/~jamspsu84/ttocartic.html).

G.K. Beale following the lead of N.T. Wright and others, correctly makes the connection of the Great Commission of Adam in Genesis 1:28 being passed down to Noah, Abraham, and his descendants (citing:  Gen.1:28; Gen. 9:1, 7; Gen.12:2-3; Gen. 17:2, 6, 8; Gen.22:17-18; Gen.26:3-4, 24; Gen.28:3-4; Gen.35:11-12; Gen.47:27). Beale and G. Vos make the accurate connections with the early patriarchs in Genesis of making small scale sanctuaries to be pointing to the establishment of God’s presence in the temple in Jerusalem and then ultimately to God’s presence in the New Creation.[11]

The scattering and covenantal spiritual death of Adam.

Adam as God’s Kingly High Priest was put in the Garden (the Holy Place) and in the midst of the two trees (the Most Holy Place). Within the MHP of the tabernacle and then Israel’s temple was the Ark of God’s presence where the two tablets of Torah [tree of knowledge of good and evil] and two items representing eternal life or the Tree of Life [Aaron’s staff miraculously budding and the heavenly manna].

Adam and Eve were told by God and the Serpent (deceiver or shining one) that in the day they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that they would: 1) “die” (Gen.2:17) and 2) their “eyes would be open” (Gen.3:5). The account tells us that the very day Adam sinned against God he died a covenantal or spiritual sin/death in which his eyes were opened to his shame and guilt before God. Some reformed theologians have conceded that Adam would have died like all of the other animals in the Garden had he not eaten of the fruit. Therefore, God and Moses point in describing Adam’s biological death in (Gen.3:19) is where he would die – outside of the Garden (Holy Place and MHP) and thus outside of God’s presence back to the “dust” (the Inner Courtyard) where he was first formed. To be outside of God’s presence is to be dead spiritually and the place of his physical death would bear witness to his spiritual state.

Adam is pictured as the High Priest of Israel going into the MHP “presence of the Lord” to be tested and commissioned to pray, worship, and offer up the sacrifice in the “cool of the day.”[12] When the Priest would go into the Sanctuary to offer up sacrifices to God on behalf of the people, they would tie a rope around his ankle in case his heart was not right and God struck him down dead in His presence. In this way Adam is seen as failing the test and God is now driving (dragging him out) of His presence from the HP and MHP of the Garden sanctuary. In the “dust” of this area Adam would be called to labor verses worship, and it would be “increased” through the sweat of his brow in the same way that Eve’s labor pain would be. This is not a proof text that this was the first time a weed, a thorn or pain for Eve was ever present in creation let alone outside the Garden where the “dust” was. The hardness of the ground and the toil and work involved here is communicating the result of the spiritual death, shame, and guilt  infused upon the heart and conscience of Adam after he sinned. In the same way God would bring drought and famine hardening the land of Israel (Deut. 28) when as God’s son he  sinned. This was an outward sign communicating the hardness of their hearts in rebellion against His law. Through the prophets He would thus exhort them to “break-up the fallow ground” of their hearts through repentance and enter back into covenant relationship to Him.

The serpent, shining one, divine council and sacred space
Just a brief note here on “Satan” and sacred space.  The angelic deceiver here in Genesis is jealous of God bringing man into His presence and being apart of the divine council.  Although he temporarily succeeds is getting man kicked out of God’s presence, this backfires, in that it was all apart of God’s plan (so as to bring His Son into the world) and thus have a perfect man (the God-man Jesus) judge him and have man to be a joint ruler and participant in judging the angels at His coming to close the OC age in AD 70.  The deceiver is ultimately judged by man – whom he is jealous of and attacks.  The vindication and plan of God is beautiful to behold indeed.  And for the most part, God has established His presence “within” His people today and we are apart of His divine council and exercise His will by preaching the good news of the everlasting gospel.

 The Outer Courtyard: The scattering of Cain and vindication of Abel.

Cain killed Abel at the entrance of the Garden under the “altar” which was as close to the Garden/Sancturary to offer up sacrifices as they could get. “Under the altar” is where all of the martyrs from Abel to the New-Testament Apostles and Prophets would be until God would vindicate and reward them with entrance into the New Creation in Jesus’ “this generation” and in an A.D. 70 “little while” and “soon” time frame (Mt.23:30-36; Rev.6:9-11; Rev.20; 22:12/Mt.16:27-28). We must challenge the Reformed “preterist” authors of WSTTB? Gentry and Mathison, with a question since both admit that Abel was vindicated and rewarded in an A.D. 70 “this generation” and “in a little while” time period.[13] The question being, “HOW was Abel, Abraham, Daniel, and Peter rewarded with the MHP New Creation of (Rev.21-22) in a “little while” associated with the “soon” coming of Christ, without be resurrected at that time?

Sticking with the temple imagery in (Gen.1-4), Cain is banished even further eastward than Adam to live outside the Land of Eden altogether into the Outter-Court of the Gentiles. He is banished to live among the people of Nod (Gen.4). There of course has been controversy within various theological views over who the people and civilization of Nod were. Were these people the products of incestuous relations between the offspring of Adam and Eve before the gene pool got contaminated? If not, was this a contemporary people and civilization living during the time of Adam and his clan to whom he had a commission to?

No matter how one answers these questions, it is irrelevant to the theological point of the text. That being, when one dies spiritually he continues on a journey (pictured eastward) into futility, fear, and bondage outside of God’s land/presence into the death and darkness of being in the outer-court of the gentiles. The ancient city of Babel also resided eastward, in the out-court of Eden as the enslaving power of Babylon lay in the out-court of Israel’s Promised Land.

Harmonizing the Theology and Imagery of Genesis 1-3 with Revelation 21-22 and Bringing Man Into The Kingdom Of Heaven or the Most Holy Place Presence of God

In evaluating some of the most important thinkers within the development of reformed and dispensational theology on the early chapters of Genesis, we get the following results which help develop what the NT teaches concerning the new creation and unravels Futurist presuppositions of Genesis 1-3.  Let’s look at some of these Futurist concepts and then apply them to a proper Full Preterist paradigm — as it pertains to how the NT develops the corporate body / temple and individual body / temple concepts and how God uses these concepts to describe His relationship with us.

1).  The 7 days of creation are not literal 24 hour chronological days, but written in: a) symbolic, b) sabbatical, c) covenantal, d) with Hebrew parallelism and recapitulation, and contain genre of e) allegory, metaphor, and apocalyptic language.

2) Before Adam sinned there was biological death, pain, and decay of plant and animal life – which included Adam. The laws of physics have not changed pre-fall or after Adam’s sin.

3) The narration and theological emphasis of Adam’s fall communicates “a philosopheme—a vivid pictorial representation of the origin and growth of sin in the human heart.” And “We behold in symbolic outline the development of the sense of guilt in the human conscience.”

4) The theological emphasis of the temple cosmology of (Gen.1-2) is the local Land (Hebrew eretz) of Eden which is theologically and geographically connected to Israel’s Promised Land.[14]

5) Moses creation account (given through the direct revelation of God) serves as a theistic apologetic to the surrounding enemies and nations of Israel. Another apologetic of Moses is his use of the genealogies of Israel tracing them them back to Adam – the first covenantal man in their land. This communicates that they not only have a direct commission by Jehovah to inherit the land, but they have a legal right through decent as well.

6) I would agree with Kline in seeing Adam as a real historical figure and not a “myth.” Jesus is described as the New Creation within another 7 day picture in John’s prologue to his gospel (Jn.1-4) which is arranged topically to communicate this New Creation motif.[15] This of course does not mean that Adam was described as a “myth” anymore than Jesus was.

I personally believe elements of the Day Age and Frame Work views better support the exegesis of what the new-testament teaches concerning the “restoration of creation.” As the theological emphasis on (Gen.1-2) is on the local land of Eden which is both theologically and geographically tied to Israel’s Promised Land and the “earth/land” of their surrounding civilizations or nations (Nod, Babel, Babylon Assyria, ect.); so too is the emphasis and development of the new-testament being a great commission preached to the nations of Israel and the Roman Empire with a localized judgment affecting the nations of the those worlds by A.D. 70. Both of these localized and covenantal judgments affected and continue to affect all people everywhere. The introduction of sin described by its spiritual death, guilt, and shame within the human heart and conscience of man through Adam, is overcome by Christ’s death, resurrection, and parousia/presence in A.D.70. All men and nations of the world find themselves relating theologically to being in or out of Adam, Israel, Christ, and the New Jerusalem as the gospel continues to bring healing and judgment to the nations today (Rev.21-22). I would agree with David Snoke that God had sovereignly created evil, death, pain and suffering before Adam’s fall and that these serve his purposes. I would simply add that the evil of sinners outside the City of God continuse to serve His purposes as the everlasting gospel continues to be preached (Rev.21-22).

Most Futurists assume that the fall of Adam affected more than man’s heart and conscience, in that it brought about physical death, pain, suffering, and decay for the entire globe. Until a successful global great commission of the planet’s nations has been achieved in putting down all of God’s enemies and physical death and pain have been completely eliminated, Christ’s return and the new creation cannot be said to have come in their fullness. However, as we will see, these Futurist propositions are not exegetically sound. I will be refuting these Futurist presuppositions using a corporate covenantal view of redemption using temple imagery from Genesis to Revelation. My primary emphasis and motifs through using this structure will be on developing two main themes: 1) Death and life through Adam, Israel and  Christ and 2) the Great Commission being fulfilled and preached “every nation and creature under heaven” and throughout the entire “world” by AD 70.

We are now prepared to examine some of these themes throughout the O.T. and examine there N.T. fulfillments. We also have a better picture of Genesis 1-3 and therefore to understand Biblically what is meant by the “Restoration of Creation.” This is further illuminated through seeing the old-covenant people of God and their temple as a creation of the “heavens and earth/land.” Therefore, let’s focus our attention on these elements of the creation.

Mathison begins his section of “Old Testament Eschatology” with God redeeming Israel and making a covenant with her at Mount Sinai (WSTTB?, p.157). However, he conveniently does not tell his readers that this redemption from Egypt and gathering at Sinai, was a creation of the “heavens and earth/land.” As one of the greatest thinkers ever produced within reformed theology, Dr. John Owen, states of (Isa.51:15-16),

“…the time when the work here mentioned, of planting the heavens, and laying the foundation of the earth, was performed by God when he ‘divided the sea’ (v. 15), and gave the law (16), and said to Zion, ‘Thou art my people’- that is, when he took the children of Israel out of Egypt, and formed them in the wilderness into a church and state. Then he planted the heavens, and laid the foundation of the earth-made a new world; that is brought forth order, and government, and beauty, from the confusion wherein before they were. This is the planting of the heavens, and laying the foundation of the earth in the world.”[16]

And the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge agrees,

The heavens. ‘Heaven’ and ‘earth’ are here put by symbolic language for a political universe. That is, that I might make those who were but scattered persons and slaves in Egypt before, a kingdom and polity, to be governed by their own laws and magistrates.”[17]

During this creation, God had made Mnt. Sinai a temporary temple structure that would be further realized in the hand made building of the tabernacle and temples of Israel. These would find there spiritual and anti-type fulfillments “In Christ” and through His Body – the Church as the New Temple and Mount Zion:

  1. Moses as High Priest permitted in Most Holy Place / at top of the mountain (Ex 24:2).
  2. 70 Elders functioning as Priests enter Holy Place (Ex 19:22; Ex 24:21).
  3. Israelites at base of mountain where Moses offered up burnt offerings and sacrifices and placed the blood on the altar (Ex 19:12,23; Ex 24:5,6).

In the Jewish mind however, God’s creation of the heavens and earth/land in (Gen.1-2) and (Isa.51:15-16) were not completed until God had created the “heavens and earth/land” of the tabernacle and God’s presence rested in the midst of them,

“When, however, the Tabernacle was set up and the Holy One, blessed be He, caused the Shecinah to rest within it, He said, “Let it be written that on this day the world was created”’ (Num. R. x111. 6). The implication seems to be that until the Shechinah took up its abode among men through the erection of the Sanctuary, the world could not really be said to exist in the full sense of the term.”[18]

This seems to support John Walton’s understanding of the ancient mind, in that, something doesn’t truly exist until it has a “functional” meaning to the covenant community.

In the “creation of the world” of the tabernacle, God creatively says in fiat language seven times: “The Lord said,”[19]

Genesis 1 Creation of the“Heavens and Earth/Land”

“God said…” 7 times

Exodus 25, 30, 31 Creation of Tabernacle“Heavens and Earth/Land”“The Lord said…” 7 times
1) Gen.1:3 1) Ex.25:1
2) Gen.1:6 2) Ex.30:11
3) Gen.1:9 3) Ex.30:17
4) Gen.1:14 4) Ex.30:22
5) Gen.1:20 5) Ex.30:34
6) Gen.1:24 6) Ex.31:1
7) Gen.1:26   cf. vv. 11, 28, 29 7) Ex.31:12

 

Reformed professor at R.T.S. in Atlanta J.V. Fesko, follows Beale’s research and has made even some more parallels:

Day Creation Tabernacle
Day 1 Heavens are stretched out like a curtain (Ps. 104:2) Tent (Exod.26:7)
Day 2 Firmament (Gen. 1:2) Temple veil (Exod.26:33)
Day 3 Waters below firmament Laver or bronze sea (Exod. 30:18)
Day 4 Lights (Gen.1:14) Light stand (Exod. 25:31)
Day 5 Birds (Gen. 1:20) Winged cherubim (Exod. 25:20)
Day 6 Man (Gen. 1:27) Aaron the high priest (Exod. 28:1)
Day 7 Cessation (Gen. 2:1)
Blessing (Gen. 2:3)
Completion (Gen.2:2)
Cessation (Exod. 39:32)
Mosaic blessing (Exod. 39:43
Completion (Exod. 39:43)
[20]

 

Unlike the “Hyper-Creedalists,” Jesus and the NT authors did not have two separate eschatons – one for Israel in AD 70 and one at the end of the Church age that reverts to a literal re-creation of Genesis 1-2. The Jews such as Josephus whom lived during the times of Jesus & the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, understood the temple as referring to the heavens and earth and the temples destruction was the context of Jesus’ teaching in the Olivet Discourse (Mt.24:1-35 –Mt.25).[21]

Reformed theologians such as Amillennialist G.K. Beale admit the O.T. “heavens and earth” can be referring to the physical Temple and the City, “…heaven and earth” in the Old Testament may sometimes be a way of referring to Jerusalem or its temple, for which ‘Jerusalem’ is a metonymy.”[22] Some evangelical theologians agree,

“The Temple was far more than the point at which heaven and earth met.37 Rather, it was thought to correspond to, represent, or, in some sense, to be ‘heaven and earth’ in its totality (H.T. Fletcher-Louis, ibid. p.157).

Having seen that Israel’s land, city temple and covenant was referred to as “heaven and earth” and represented such, let’s briefly look at the Israelite trip through Israel to the temple as recapitulating Israel’s OC redemptive history.  After this we can continue breaking down the various sections and items of the temple to see what they represent.

The Exodus and the Trip Through Israel to the Temple & the Three Sections of the Temple Explained

When a pilgrim traveled to Jerusalem for the feasts they were recapitulating Israel’s history.  So too, when the Priests walked through the courtyard to the Holy Place (and the High Priest through to the Most Holy Place), they were recapitulating Israel’s redemptive history – a trip from bondage to paradise:

  • Egypt –>Israel
  • Goshen –>Priests court
  • Israelite house and blood on doorposts –>Altar
  • Red Sea–>Bronze Sea
  • Mt. Sinai (functioned as temple)/Promised Land/Paradise–>Temple/Paradise.

This is my understanding of the three sections of the temple area and what they represent.

1).  Courtyard:

a).  In relation to Israel – Corporate body/Israel’s journey and exodus outside of her land on her way to the promised land (representitive of the Holy Place – see #2 below). Water basin – crossing the Red Sea and Jordan. Mount and altar – possibly a reference to passover and placing blood on doorposts.  Since it is on a mount, possibly a reference to Mount Sani as well.

b).  In relation to man – Man stands on land/earth – his existence is a temporal journey from the physical to the spiritual realm.

2).  Holy Place: 

a).  In relation to Israel – This represents the “heavens and earth/land” of Israel (her coming into the Promised Land) – the OC body/temple (Heb. 9:1-10 ESV).  Again, the Jew understood his land and Jerusalem and God’s covenant with them there to be a “heavens and earth.” Those outside her land or “heavens and earth” were the Gentiles in darkness needing to make the journey to Jehovah and her land so as to be converted to Torah and be declared by the rabbi’s as a “new creation.”

b).  In relation to man – This is the torso and represents man’s physical body or temporal existence.

3).  Most Holy Place:

a).  In relation to Israel – This represents heaven (God’s invisible dwelling place). It also represents the NC body/temple (Heb. 9:1-10 ESV).

b).  In relation to man – The MHP represenst the head/mind/soul/spirit/personality/conscience of man. The “spiritual” side of man that has a relationship with God (who is Spirit) and through faith, can continue in His presence forever due to the redemptive work Christ (His cross and parousia).

Then there is the temple itself that seems to be composed of four or five sections:

1).  Porch – pelvis/reproduction. God is married to Israel and produces seed/covenant children.

2).  Holy Place – see above.

3).  Most Holy Place – see above.

4-5).  “Golden attic” or “Treasury” Cell – Perhaps this is the spirit and the reasoning faculty or soul is more symbolic of the Ark.

Between AD 30 – AD 70 that generation was undergoing a second exodus (Isa. 11), whereby the remnant believing Jews and Gentiles were coming out of the bondage and slavery of Adamic sin/death and OC Jerusalem (in Revelation described as Egypt or Babylon) — through the blood of Christ and His parousia – bringing them into and making them God’s MHP dwelling.  It was also understood that Messiah would recapitulate Israel’s redemptive history and we see this in His ministry as well.

NT Parallels of the New Exodus Theme:

1).  An edict was sent out to kill the male children during the time of Moses (Exodus1:22) and an edict was issued by Herod to kill the male children in hopes of killing Jesus (Matthew 2:16).

2).  After killing the Egyptian Moses fled to Midian until the wrath of the king passed (Exodus 2:15) and Joseph and Mary, fled with Jesus to Egypt until the wrath of the king passed (Matthew 2:14).

3).  God called Moses back to his country to be his people’s deliverer (Exodus 3:10) just as Jesus was called back to His country (Matthew 2:20) to be their deliverer.

4).  God kept Moses 40 days in the wilderness before giving the law on a mountain (Deut. 9:11; Exodus19) and He likewise kept Jesus 40 days in the wilderness before placing Him on a mount to give the New Covenant law and thus the true interpretation of the old (Matthew 4:1-chapter 5). Both received glory on top of a mountain. While being tested by Satan for 40 days Jesus quotes three scriptures found in the Exodus wilderness testing: (Matthew 4:4/Deut. 8:3; Matthew 4:7/Deut. 6:16; Matthew 4:10/Deut. 6:13 & Deut 10:20).

5).  God through Moses appointed 70 elders (Numbers 11:16) and Jesus appointed 70 disciples (Luke 10:1). Old Covenant Israel consisted of 12 tribes and Jesus forms the restored Israel with an inner core of 12 disciples.

6).  God’s Old Covenant people were delivered from His judgment upon Egypt by the first Passover. This deliverance was substitutional in nature and was brought about through the shedding of a lamb’s blood. God’s New Covenant people were delivered from the wrath (“His blood be upon us and our children”) that would be poured out upon Jerusalem/Egypt/Revelation 11:8 through the New Covenant Passover blood of Jesus (the lamb of God). In the first exodus the death of “first born” of humans and animals were to appease God’s wrath. In the New Covenant exodus Jesus is both the “first born” and the “Lamb.”

7).  In God forming Old Covenant Israel during this time it was a creating of the heavens and earth (Isa.51:15-16). Through the cross and parousia of Jesus a New Covenant heavens and earth were being created and would replace the former Old Covenant one “shortly” (Isaiah 65-66; Matthew 5:17-18; Matthew 24:35; 2 Peter 3; and Revelation 21-22).

8).  In the formation of Old Covenant Israel, God was bringing about deliverance from the physical bondage and slavery of Egypt. In the New Covenant transitionary period, God was creating and delivering a remnant of New Covenant Israel out from the spiritual bondage and slavery of the Old Covenant “elements of the world” which was the law.

9).  Fifty days after the first Passover and the giving of the law (Exodus 19) 3,000 died for idolatry (Exodus 32:28). Fifty days after the Passover in Jesus’ blood 3,000 are saved and filled with the Spirit (Acts 2).

10).  There was a miraculous outpouring of the Spirit’s work in building the Old Covenant tabernacle (Exodus 31:1-11). The AD 30 – 70 generation also saw the miraculous work of God in profound ways. There was a miraculous outpouring of the Holy Spirit’s work in the “last days” in which the building and erecting of the spiritual New Covenant tabernacle/temple of God was taking place. The first was a physical building with the hands and the later was a spiritual building by the laying on of hands of the Apostles. The Church was and is clearly the New Covenant kingdom tabernacle or temple that was predicted by the prophets of which Jesus was the corner stone (Acts 15/Amos 9; Mark 12:10-11; Acts 4:11/Psalm118, Ephesians 2:20, 1 Peter 2:4-10/Psalm 118, Isaiah 28:16; 2 Corinthians 6:16/Ezekiel 37:26-27). Just as Micah 7:15 predicted miracles would occur in this new exodus under Messiah – so the miracles lasted until He returned to end her age and fulfill Israel’s promises (Mark 16:15-18/Matthew 28:18-20, 1 Corinthians 13:8-12).

11).  God was grieved with the unbelieving Old Covenant generation and did not allow them to enter the promised land (Heb.3:10). Only a remnant entered (one Jew/Joshua and one Gentile/Caleb).  God was grieved with the adulterous and wicked generation of His day and did not allow them to inherit His heavenly rest in His kingdom – “In Christ” (Mark 8:31-9:1, Matthew 23:34-46, Hebrews 3-4).  Only a remnant entered (Jews and Gentiles).

12).  The wilderness wandering generation was baptized into Moses by passing through the red sea whereby they would receive a physical salvation from their persecutors. The water which did not touch them did destroy their enemies (1Corinthians 10:1-2). There likewise was a baptism of fire and persecution in which the first century Church underwent that was separating the gold (true believers) from the wood (professing believers) and would eventually burn up the persecutors (Matthew 3:11; Luke 8:13-14; 1 Corinthians 3:13; 1 Peter 4:12; 1 Thessalonians 2- 3; 2 Thessalonians 1:4-12). The children or remnant of Moses generation that went through the red sea would enter into the rest and salvation of the Promised Land. Likewise the remnant of spiritual Israel would inherit and enter the Heavenly Country “In Christ” (Hebrews 3-4, 12) with Peter describing the spiritual New Covenant salvation and entrance into the kingdom as the salvation of the “soul” (1 Peter 1:4-12).

Deuteronomy 32’s Terminal Generation

“And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end (- end of OC age – Matthew 10:22-23, Matthew 24:3, Matthew 13:39-40,) shall be: for they are a very perverse generation (Matthew 23:36, Matthew 24:34, Mark 8:38; Acts 2:40), children in whom is no faith. They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people (Romans 10:19, 11:11); I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation (Mt.21:43; 1 Peter 2:9). For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire (- OC elements – 2 Peter 3; Revelation 8:8) the foundations of the mountains (- OC elements – 2 Peter 3; Revelation 8:8) .” (Deut. 32:20-22).

Moses’ eschatology in Deuteronomy 31-32 is clear enough and harmonizes with inspired imminent time texts of the NT authors.  When a specific generation within Israel’s history arrives, her “last days” “end” would be “near” and most within her would not be able to “discern” it (except for the remnant).  Peter and the NT authors identify their generation as the “last days” “generation” that would witness the “near” “end” of Israel’s OC age — and these prophetic revelations were fulfilled perfectly by AD 70.  This is the generation Jesus addresses throughout His ministry and the one the NT authors confront and comfort concerning an imminent judgment and salvation.

So exactly how did the OC tabernacle/temple and her city represent the “heavens and earth/land”?  And if Solomon’s Temple is patterned after the anatomy of man, how does this system or building represent man’s relationship with God?

12108302_10153649560129192_1936005813988403087_n

1). The Inner Courtyard 

The bronze basin or laver was described as the “sea” (1Kings 7:23-26) and refers to the crossing of Israel through the Red Sea.

The altar which was on a little hill in the courtyard, in a proper Hebrew translation means and symbolized “from the bosom of the earth” or “the mountain of God” (Ezk. 43:14-16). These two items in the inner-courtyard represented the waters and seas (the crossing the Red Sea / Jordan) and of Mount Sinai or Mount Zion associated with the known land that the Hebrew nation was familiar with throughout her redemptive history. The common Israelite was permitted within the gate of the inner courtyard only on certain occasions. Thus Israel in the Promised Land represented redeemed humanity/a redeemed cosmos or “kingdom of priests” to the surrounding Nations (Ex. 19:6).

2). The Holy Place 

Unknown-2The golden lamp stand of 7 lights represented the seven visible light sources of ancient man and the Hebrew Nation – sun, moon, and 5 planets. The Hebrew word “lights” meorot,  in Gen.1 and throughout the Pentateuch is used of the “lights” of the tabernacle lampstand. These were given to serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years” for Israel (Gen.1:4):

  • 7th. Day of the week is the Sabbath.
  • 7th. Month of the year – is the month corresponding to the Day of Atonement. (Lev.16:29)
  • 7th. Year is for the release of debts and slavery (Deut.15)
  • 7th. Of the seven year cycle would be the year of jubilee (Lev.25).[23]

The Second coming or Day of the Lord has arrived and there is no more darkness in this eternal day of the kingdom. There are no more holy days for everyday is a Sabbath and celebration in God’s Kingdom under the new creation.

The Holy Place had ten stands that held a lamp stand with seven candles/lights.  Ten times seven brings us to the number seventy which may correspond to the number of persons representing Israel (cf. Ex. 1:5) and the nations of the world (cf. Gen. 10-11).  The total length of the temple from the porch through the MHP is also marked by the number 70 (cubits).  Perhaps the concept of Israel being a light to the nations is involved here and was ultimately fulfilled through the New Covenant Israel of God or the Church bringing the gospel to every nation under heaven by AD 70 and today in the NC age (Acts 2; Rms. 10:18; 16:25-26; Cols. 1:5-6, 23; Rev. 22:17).

The light also represents God guiding Israel in the wilderness by a pillar of fire at night.  These are ultimately fulfilled in Jesus who is the light and life of the world.

In Jewish tradition the candle represents man’s physical body and the light his soul/spirit that would be filled with the transforming light / revelation / knowledge of Torah.  Jesus said that anyone following His teachings would be filled with light, while those that did not would be full of darkness.  This the illumination or regeneration of the soul/spirit that comes through the preaching of the gospel that transforms us from spiritual death to resurrection life.

The showbread was a memorial of God’s provision in the wilderness through the giving of mana from heaven, which again pointed to Christ (described in Revelation as God’s “hidden Mana” as a reward to the Church Rev. 2:17) and eternal life (John 6).

Underneath the showbread table were pitchers and cups to drink wine.  The bread and the wine together symbolized the flesh and blood or mortality of man.  The torso of the HP represents the physical body or mortality of man, while the MHP represents his soul/spirit that continues into the heavenly realm at death for believers.

In the temple representing a human figure, the altar of incense represents the sacrifices of the heart and the smell of this ascending into the MHP or entering up to and through the nostrils of God in heaven (pictured by the two poles of the Ark).  The smell enters God’s nostrils and proceeds into the Ark where the two trees are and is the basis upon which God judged the heart of man.  God alone can judge the heart based upon approaching Him through His Son (the Tree of Life/Arron’s rod blossoming/Manna) or seeking to approach Him through self-righteousness and one’s own works or the works of the law (the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil/tablets of Law).

3). The Most Holy Place

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The Ark has many functions soteriological and eschatological functions.  Visually it depicts God’s nose smelling the sacrifice of the heart (the altar in the HP) just outside the curtain and in front of the MHP.  It also carries with it the idea of a throne, chest and footstool.  It represents heaven, the unseen realm where God dwells and is where God’s presence dwelt in the earthly tabernacle with His “footstool” touching their land. The two golden cherubim guarding and looking down into the ark with no visible image of God between them, represents God’s presence among the angels in heaven and His invisible presence among His people on earth. As mentioned earlier, the items of the law, Aaron’s rod, and Unknown-4manna, represent the two trees in the garden and man being in Adam or Christ – under the curse of the law or under grace in Christ.

While the Bible does not confirm this – some traditional sources say that a jar of anointing oil was also in the Ark to assist in anointing the furnishings.  If this were true, perhaps the oil here would represent the Holy Spirits creative work in illuminating the mind and raising the dead soul to life in order to receive the gospel.

In Jeremiah 3:16-17 it is predicted in the Messianic NC age that the Ark would not be around or be remembered because God would be enthroned and rule through the Church – NC “Jerusalem.”  The concept of God on a throne ruling  today in the NC age is Him ruling through the minds and hearts of His people (the New Jerusalem).

It is also important to point out why the MHP was elevated and the significance of the foundational rock it was built upon.

Tony Badillo writes,

“Jewish tradition tells us that Jacob (father of the twelve Israelite tribes) saw the Temple in advance in his dream at Luz.  After seeing angels ascending and descending on a stairway (‘ladder’), he says in Genesis 28:17, ‘This is none other than God’s house …,” and in v. 19 renames the place Bethel, House of  God, which is also a designation for the Temple. Later he changes it again to El Bethel (God house of God) 35:7; and God, in turn, renames him Israel, 35:10.  As shown below, Jacob’s raised head corresponds to an elevated Holy of Holies and his ‘pillow stone’ (28:11)  to the Even Shetiyah or ‘Foundation Stone’ where Abraham had earlier bound Isaac (22:9 -11). In other words, as he slept – unbeknownst to him – his head and body became a model for the Temple that was eventually built atop Mount Moriah by King Solomon (2 Chronicles 3:1). Today this site is called Haram al-Sharif by the Arabs, and the  Temple Mount by the Israelis and others.

Why was Jacob given the dream at this time? Not solely because he was fleeing the wrath of his brother Esau, but also because he was on his way to Mesopotamia to find a wife and create a family, i.e., a “house”. Isaac practically ordered him to leave and start his own family (Genesis. 28: 1, 2), that he might multiply and become an “company of peoples,” v. 3; and later it is said his two wives are the “builders” of the House of Israel, Ruth. 4:11. Jacob, therefore, constructed a human temple, a house of twelve tribes (plus the Levites) and centuries later these twelve, with hired Phoenician craftsmen, raised Solomon’s stone temple, the ‘House of God’. Therefore, the dream concerns the building of two houses, Israel’s (Jacob’s) and God’s.” (Tony, Badillo, www.templesecrets.info).

The Veil Between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place

jacob5Margaret Baker correctly notes that the veil between the Holy Place and Most Holy Place represented the barrier between the physical heavens and earth and the spiritual realm of heaven where God abides,

“Josephus, who was himself a priest (Life 1), says that the tabernacle was a microcosm of the creation, divided into three parts: the outer parts represented the sea and the land but ‘…the third part thereof… to which the priests were not admitted, is, as it were, a heaven peculiar to God’ (Ant.3.181). Thus the veil which screened the holy of holies was also the boundary between earth and heaven.”  (Margaret Barker, Beyond the Veil of the Temple. The High Priestly Origin of the Apocalypses).

Just a little more on the veil between the HP and MHP which divided the physical earth with the unseen realm of heaven where God abides.  Don Preston correctly points out,

“Both Josephus and Philo explore at some length the cosmic symbolism of the tabernacle / temple and its paraphernalia (Philo Mos. 2:71-145; Josephus Ant. 3:123, 179-187).54 Both agree that the woven work of the tabernacle and the temple veil are made from four materials symbolizing the four elements – earth, water, air and fire (War 5:212-213; Ant. 3:138-134; Quaestiones in Exodum 2:85, cf. Mos. 2:88).” [24]

I would agree with Preston that these elements are “…the stoicheia, that Peter refers to in 2 Peter 3:10!”[25] The precursor to the “elements” of the old covenant law disappearing and the elements of the new covenant creation beginning to take its place, was graphically experienced when the veil was ripped in two at Christ’s crucifixion (Mrk. 15:28; Mrk. 14:24). This was understood as an omen or sign of things to come for the Jews whom had heard Jesus prophecy of the destruction of the temple and the end Israel’s old covenant age within their generation. Complete access to God for the new covenant community would be achieved when these “elements” (2Pet. 3:10) of the old covenant veil/world, would be completely taken out of the way and the new stood complete and mature in an AD 70 time frame (Heb. 8:13; Heb. 9:6-10; Heb. 10:25-37).

Since the veil separated the physical creation of “earth” from the spiritual realm of “heaven,” if the temple also is patterned after the anatomy of a man, what does this signify?  Most likely just that man was created to function both in the physical realm and is a spiritual being — able to have a relationship with God (who is Spirit) and has a soul/spirit that can continue in God’s presence and exist forever.  Man is divided into two parts – a physical body that is temporal and a spirit/soul, that can potentially continue into God’s presence.

There has been a lot of speculation on the meaning of the three chains over the veil.  I’ll offer my theory.  In Revelation 1:18 Jesus has the keys of death and Hades.  When the OC economy (represented by the Holy Place) was removed and OC Jerusalem/Babylon judged in AD 70, this marked the historical event by which one could know that the judgment and resurrection of the dead took place and access to the Most Holy Place was granted (cf. Rev. 11).  The judgment and resurrection of the dead in Revelation 11 is recapitulated again in Revelation 20 which is when death and Hades is emptied and those souls/spirits were judged and burned in the lake of fire, or rewarded into the MHP of heaven and God’s presence.  During His death, Jesus preached to the spirits in prison – and no doubt informing them that His time to judge the wicked and or grant access for the righteous into God’s presence had come.  In Hebrews 9-11, at Christ’s “in a very little while” “second appearing” He would remove the “first” (OC Holy Place) and restore and perfect the “second” (NC Most Holy Place) by opening it up and bringing about the “better resurrection.”  Peter was given the keys (cf. Mt. 16:18) and in the book of Acts, he instructs the Jewish Church in Jerusalem that God had placed Gentiles on the same level as they had been, and that access to God’s presence and power had been granted to them as well – and James confirms this by teaching their conversions is how the tabernacle of David was being restored and rebuilt.

As far as there being three chains over the MHP veil, this could represent the three sections of the temple being sealed off except for the priests to enter through them, or 3 being for emphasis – communicating that only Christ is worthy (the seed of the woman / the true Great High Priest) and has the keys and authority to enter through these chambers to heaven/paradise and be a trail blazer to bring His NC posterity in with Him. Or a combination of these.

Let’s now look at how the veil was the barrier between the OC age and the NC age and the transition period between AD 30 – AD 70.   The HP represents the physical temporal types of the OC system and the MHP the spiritual anti-types of the NC system where God abides with His people today.

The Old Covenant Age = the Holy Place & The New Covenant Age = the Most Holy Place

The ESV helps clarify that the “first section” of the HP represents the OC age/system and the “second” represents the MHP as the NC age or things about to come at the “time of reformation”: 

“1 Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly place of holiness. 2 For a tent[a] was prepared, the FIRST section, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence.[b] It is called the HOLY PLACE. 3 Behind the second curtain was a SECOND SECTION[c] called the MOST HOLY PLACE, 4 having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s staff that budded, and the tablets of the covenant. 5 Above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail. 6 These preparations having thus been made, the priests go regularly into the FIRST SECTION, performing their ritual duties, 7 but into the SECOND only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people. 8 By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy place(s) (I PREFER NKJ here – “way into the HOLIEST OF ALL” or MHP) is not yet opened as long as the FIRST SECTION (HP) is still standing (or still has legal standing cf. Mt. 5:17-19)9 (which is SYMBOLIC for the PRESENT AGE = OC AGE).[d] According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, 10 but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body IMPOSED (OC body “first section” – still has legal standing but passing away 8:13) until the time of reformation (physical or “first section/HP” body yields to “second section/MHP” or NC spiritual body).”

Of Hebrews 9:8 the JFB commentary correctly notes,

“The Old Testament economy is represented by the holy place, the New Testament economy by the Holy of Holies.” 

The Holy Place was 40 cubits long (1 Kings 6:17) and I believe this to be representing Israel’s 40 years wilderness wanderings before entering the Promised Land and the 40 year reigns of David and Solomon in which God granted a typological peace in the land – when Jerusalem was taken by David, and Solomon built the Temple (whereby God dwelt with His people).  David and Solomon’s reigns mark the end to the typological exodus in the OT.  So in my mind, the 40 cubits represented a testing and transition place for the High Priest to travel before entering into the Most Holy Place to perform his priestly duties on behalf of the people once a year on the Day of Atonement.

I believe the 40 cubits of the temple also may point us to the NT anti-type 40 year transition period in which the Church is led into – and actual becomes God’s Most Holy Place by AD 70 at His return (Rev. 21:16—22:6-7, 10-12, 20) and brought the in-breaking NC “age about to come” to its mature state.  The first compartment physical/typological (OC / HP) is now gone, and the spiritual/anti-type everlasting NC / MHP remains (Rev. 21:16):

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Israel’s Great Commission and 40 years of War and Peace

God chose Israel (a corporate Adam) to be His elect son and commissioned him to now subdue (Hebrew kabash) the wicked nations of the land (Num. 32:29; 2 Sam. 8:11; 1 Chron. 22:18-19) and to have dominion (Hebrew radah) (rule, reign, possess, plunder, & make slaves of) the other nations of the land (Lev. 25:44-46; 1 Kings 4:21-25; Isa.14:2). Under the old-covenant God primarily dealt with His chosen Nation Israel and His purpose among the Nations was to drive them out and exterminate them and their idol’s from His Land (Deut.6-7). The Jewish mindset considered the Promised Land of Israel with its Holy City and temple to be the Garden of God and where the light and life of Torah resided. They considered the heathen Gentile Nations to be dogs and wild beasts of the field in utter darkness and death needing to be re-created and subdued under the teaching of Torah. At times members of some of the surrounding Gentile Nations would hear and witness the power of Israel’s God and would want to be gathered into the Nation and land in order to worship and serve Jehovah. The rabbinical usage and terminology of describing this conversion was to refer to the Gentile convert as a “new creation” or “creature.” Thus the “subduing” and exercising “dominion” over the earth/land finds its fulfillment in the conversion of the hearts and minds of people (Jew and Gentile) to the law of God. God said to not turn away the Gentile “alien” because at one time Israel’s forefathers (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) were “aliens” and “sojourners” in Canaan and Israel herself were “aliens” in Egypt – therefore they were to love them and treat them as if they were one of their own (Ex. 6:1-4; Lev.19:34). The Gentile “aliens” would be circumcised and partake of the Passover (Ex.12:48). They could offer up burnt offerings and sacrifices to God, had to keep torah just as the Israelites, and were likewise susceptible to the covenant cursings if they disobeyed just as the native born Israelites (Lev.17:8-13; Num.15). It is a point of debate, but it appears that even in type form, they could inherit the land as well (Ezk. 47:22-23). This lays the foundation for seeing the Jew / Gentile oneness “In Christ” under the new covenant. Even a precursor glimpse of the OC Jew/Gentile type of NC salvation destroys true “hyper-preterism.”[26]

Although it can be correctly stated that Israel was not successful in fulfilling the great commission and being a light to the gentiles due to their propensity to fall into the sin of an exclusive self righteousness, it can also be stated that she temporary (in type form) did fulfill the great commission in a limited way. As God promised, Israel through Jehovah’s power did subdue and rule over all the land driving out the unclean beasts of the gentile nations: (Josh. 21:43-45; 1 Kings 8:56; Neh. 9:7-8). They experienced a typological subduing of God’s enemies and peace through the 40 year reigns of David and Solomon, which typified the warfare and peace of Christ’s pre-parousia reign and the early Church in subduing their enemies (Psalm 110/Heb. 10:13-37/1 Cor. 15:23-26) — this being a 40 year millennial reign before Christ returned in AD 70.  The Great Commission was fulfilled in Jesus’ and Paul’s generation before “the end” of the Old Covenant age:

                                                PROPHECY            FULFILLMENT

“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world (Greek oikumene) for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:14) “But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed:

‘Their sound has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world (Greek oikumene)” (Romans 10:18)

“And the gospel must first be published among all nations (Greek ethnos)” “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, (Greek ethnos)…” “…I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” (Mark 13:10; Mt.28:19-20) “…My gospel… has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations (Greek ethnos)…” (Romans 16:25-26)

“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world(Greek kosmos) and preach the gospel to every creature” “…And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues (Greek glossa) (Mark 16:15, 17)

 

“…of the gospel, which has come to you, as it has also in all the world(Greek kosmos), as is bringing forth fruit…,” (Colossians 1:5-6).
And he said unto them ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (Greek kitisis) “ (Mark 16:15) “…from the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature (Greek kitisis) under heaven, of which I, Paul became a minister” (Colossians 1:23)

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth/land (Greek ge)” (Acts 1:8).

 

Prophecy had begun to be fulfilled: “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues (Greek glossa), as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation (Greek ethnos) under heaven.

 

“But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: ‘Their sound has gone out to all the earth/land (Greek ge), and their words to the ends of the world” (Romans 10:18)

 

Prophecy would be fulfilled “shortly” : “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth/land (Greek ge), and to every nation (Geek ethnos), and kindred (Greek phule) and tongue (Greek glossa), and people, (Greek laos)” (Rev.1:1; Rev.14:6). See also Revelation 10:6-7; 20:3; 22:10-11 in regards to the Great Commission success to the “nations” and imminent fulfillment of the Great Commission motif.

 

All of the terms and Greek words Jesus used for the Great Commission were used by Paul in the past tense to communicate the commands fulfillment within their contemporary generation.  These terms were never meant to be global and it is pure eisgesis to read and understand them through Western eyes and vocabulary.

Having examined how the Church fulfilled the Great Commission before Christ returned to close the OC age and bring the NC age to maturity in AD 70, let’s consider more how the temple was laid out in the form of a man and make some observations.

The Temple Seen as “Heaven and Earth” and Man as Physical Body & a Spiritual Being (the Salvation of the Soul/Conscience) — Our Flesh / Spirit Bodily Existence/Change and Israel’s OC / NC Bodily Existence/Change – Bible / Theology 101

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Some Christian theologians (such as James B. Jordan, Tony Badillo and even some so-called “Jewish” ones) have seen that the Temple represents or is patterned off of man’s anatomy.  Special thanks to Tony for his labors in this field and the artwork provided here is from his web site:  http://www.templesecrets.info/

If this is true, per the garden temple and what was in the ark of Israel’s Temple (Arron’s bud=Tree of Life & tablets of stone=Law) represents what is taking place in man’s mind and conscience. Man can be ruled by Christ and have the NC mind of Christ (the Tree of Life/Eternal life) and experience sabbath rest, love, joy and peace, or he can try and live a life of independence and rebellion against God and or seek to approach Him through the self-righteous works of the law (the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil) which leads to futility, despair and spiritual death and separation from Him.  We learn from the book of Hebrews in chapters 9-10 that the blood of bulls and goats could not atone for sin and overcome the guilt that sin produces.  But the blood of Christ as the perfect sacrifice and His appearance a second time out of the Temple (as both the sacrifice and the High Priest) to sprinkle and apply that blood to the eagerly awaiting congregation solved this problem and produces a clear conscience before God’s presence in the NC age today.

Adam was first formed from the dust, and then God breathed life into him and he was uniquely made in God’s image (Gen. 1:26-27; 2:7).  Man was made both a physical and spiritual being capable of having a relationship with God who is Spirit.  I believe the Holy Place represents the physical part of man (his heavens and earth) and the Most Holy Place – his soul or spirit, that relates to God in the spiritual realm.  The physical body is like the HP OC system in that it was designed and purposed to be temporal and pass away – while the spirit/soul/personality/conscience of a believer is like the MHP NC system, which was designed to reach into the the spiritual realm and have a relationship with God and continues in God’s presence forever.  The only barrier today that exists are those who are inside the New Jerusalem and those outside her gates.  When one becomes born from above he inherits the kingdom of heaven or access to God’s presence in the New Jerusalem (MHP Rev. 21:16; 22:17).  Before that time, he is a natural man governed by the things of earth in hopeless darkness and separation from God.  At physical death another transition occurs where the physical body (heaven and earth) passes away and the spirit or soul (“heaven” – continues into the spiritual heavenly realm in God’s presence).

high-priestWe have seen how Israel’s physical Temple was not only referred to as “heaven and earth,” but represented the cosmos (as ancient Israel understood it in relation to her promised land).  And since the Temple imagery is taken from man’s anatomy, it is no wonder why theologians have pointed out that the High Priest himself is a microcosmos,

“Both Josephus and Philo understand the jewels on the priestly breast-piece to be symbolic of the twelve constellations.  Josephus (War 4.324) affirms that priests are referred to as leading the ‘cosmic worship.’  Likewise, both Josephus and Philo understand the garments of the high priest to symbolize the whole cosmos (Philo, Vit. Mos. 2.117-126, 133-135, 143; Josephus Ant. 3.180, 183-187).” (G.K. Beale,The Temple and the Church’s Mission a biblical theology of the dwelling place of God, 47).

“One of the Aramaic translations of Exodus 28:17 and 39:10 affirms a cosmic symbolism of the stones:  the ‘four rows of precious gems [were] corresponding to the four corners of the world.” (Ibid., 48).

Putting this all together, the priests torso with the twelve stones represents the physical heavens and land / Holy Place / Old Covenant economy and the priests head represents heaven where God dwells / the Most Holy Place / New Covenant economy.

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In the MHP above the Ark was what was called the “golden attic” and behind the MHP were some priest cells and a place to store the treasure.  God’s glory cloud rested above the Ark and close to the “golden attic.”  God’s glory cloud (pictured by the high priest’s turban) above the Ark represented the presence, mind and will of God or man’s mind needing to be renewed and transformed to do God’s will and have dominion as His image bearer through the preaching of the gospel and healing the nations.  The inscription of “Holy to the LORD” over the priests forehead corresponds to dealing with the conscience / mind / spirit / soul of man — where he has the potential to meet with God and have a relationship with Him.  The goal of redemption was to purge the conscience (Heb. 9-10) and have man become “Holy to the Lord.”  At Christ’s imminent Second Coming, God “raptured” the Church into His presence or into the MHP glory cloud(s) (1 Thess. 4:15-17).  In AD 70 and into the NC age, The Godhead has made His home “in” us (Jn. 14:2-3, 23) and because this is not something that can be seen, it required faith to realize it’s fulfillment (Jn. 14:29; Lk. 17:20-21–37; 21:27-32; Mrk. 8:38-9:1).  When one trusts in the finished work of Christ, God’s glory cloud/presence purges the conscience and enlightens the mind – to have the mind of Christ.  He truly is enthroned in our hearts and minds and is at work in us both to will and do according to His good pleasure.  Since Christians today in the New Covenant age are the MHP/NJ of God, we have become a spiritual and heavenly people.  We have a spiritual/heavenly birth/seed, are a spiritual/heavenly temple/man/New Jerusalem, are a spiritual/heavenly land and are a spiritual/heavenly New Heavens and New Earth.  God has established heaven on earth, in that He resides within His people and is accomplishing His will through us – as we are instrumental in bringing healing to the nations through preaching the everlasting gospel (Rev. 22:17).

I would add that to experience God’s presence, to know our purpose in life, be guided by Him and to do His will — is the ultimate “treasure” for the child of God.  Nothing on earth compares.  Jesus’ blood and a child of God’s faith in it is more precious that gold and silver.  Selah.

The Spirit or Soul of Man Working Between the Heart (Incense Altar) and the Head/Brain (Ark)

Modern science is learning more and more about the relationship between the heart and the head/brain.  We used to think that the heart was just a muscle and pump, but we are learning it has neurons and it’s own nervous system (a miniature brain if you will).  Therefore, it has it’s own short term and long term memory as well.  We also used to think that the brain fed the heart information but now are learning that the heart sends the brain much more information.  So when it comes to forming who we are (decisions, passions, desires, etc…), it’s not just the brain or an “either or” situation, but a “both and” when it comes to the hearts involvement.

I think it is entirely possible that the mind and the heart “believe” and are active in embracing the propositions of the gospel — with God creatively moving in these areas raising the soul/spirit to life and transforming us from the inside out — from death, sin and darkness to life, righteousness and light.  The Church is God’s corporate body/temple (and also individually to some degree) of which He places and fills with living waters in order to bring healing to the nations through the gospel (cf. John 7:37-38/ 2 Corinthians 6:16/Ezekiel 37:27/Revelation 21-22:17).  Our lives should be transformed and radiate positive energy of love, joy and peace (the fruits the Spirit) which can be used as a secondary means of grace drawing sinners to our Savior.  We often hear people wanting to be around or not be around others because they either produce “positive energy” or “negative energy.”  We are not only spiritual beings but electrical beings as well.  The heart itself produces a wave or electrical field reaching 6-10 feet beyond ourselves.  What we are meditating on (“set your minds on things above” where Christ is) dictates who we are, and the energy and life that will flow from us to others.  May God give us the grace to live in such a way that draws people to us as a platform to teach them the gospel of Christ.  Having said that, God will sovereignly draw His people, open their hearts and enlighten their minds and hearts to His redemptive work as preached through the everlasting gospel. There is no substitute for the power of God opening the heart to the gospel.

Jesus’ 40 Days Prior to Him Ascending and Returning to His Glory Cloud (Acts 1)

I have lectured and written on the 40 cubits of the Holy Place (HP) in Solomon’s Temple representing the transition generation between AD 30 – AD 70 entering into and becoming God’s Most Holy Place (MHP) at Christ’s parousia in AD 70 for many years (beginning in a lecture I gave at a NCMI conference & in written form beginning in the pretcosmosyahoo list).

But what of the 40 days Jesus ministered to the disciples concerning the kingdom before he ascended into the glory cloud in Acts 1? Forty not only represents a period of testing but a transition of levels or forms. After 40 years of wilderness wanderings, Israel went through the rivers of Jordan (as many see as a symbol of man dying and his soul passing on in the afterlife) and entered into the Promised Land (as many see as being a symbol of paradise or the man’s existence in the afterlife separated from the physical body).
 
It is also interesting that the smoke and aroma that ascends from the altars not only represent the prayers from the souls/spirits of man (or corporate Israel or the corporate church), but the separation of the physical body and the soul/spirit at death.  Some have pointed out this process demonstrates Israel’s concept of the afterlife in the ancient world (Tony Badillo, The Portrayal and Ascension of the Immortal Soul or Spirit in the Levital Offerings, http://www.templesecrets.info/spsoul.html).
I would tend to agree with that observation.  Robert Johnston observes,
“When the blood of the animal is poured on the base of the altar of the earth, its soul is sanctified and is released to appear at the base of the altar of God in heaven.  This depicts what happens to each individual soul who has committed his or her life to God when they die.  The Apostle John saw this and testified, ‘And when he had opened the 5th seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held.” (Robert Johnston, Leviticus:  Visions Beyond the Wilderness, p. 129).
Obviously being Futurists, I would have disagreements with these men at points, but the concept of the smoke/cloud ascending to heaven as the soul/spirit of man  in representation or in actuality at physical death and continuing in God’s presence, is the issue I want us to see.
 
The 40 days Jesus spends with the disciples is His teaching them the higher spiritual level’s of fulfillment concerning the NC kingdom AND the spiritual form it will take at His Second Appearing when the kingdom would be taken from the Jews and given to the Church.  At the end of those 40 days, Yeshuah being consumed into the glory cloud represents Him going behind the HP (40 cubits) veil and back into the glory (glory cloud) existence He had with the Father before the world began (a non-physical existence). His sacrifice was acceptable in the Father’s site and He is received back into the spiritual heavenly MHP realm. Yeshua, being a man posed an immaterial soul/spirit and Him being fully God — means He equally possessed an immaterial aspect to Him. Yeshua’s physical body was raised the third day which meant it saw no decay (as prophesied – the body saw decay on the fourth day). This however does not necessitate that He must always remain in a fleshly physical body forever. What God did with Yeshua’s physical body, we don’t know, because we are not told. We should be silent where the Scripture is silent. However, I don’t think it is unreasonable to speculate that the human soul/spirit of Yeshua could remain in a spiritual human/bodily form as was the case with Moses and Samuel for example.
 
Israel’s 40 days followed by another 40 years patter in the OT may be recapitulated to a degree after Jesus ascends after the 40 days and then will return at the end of that generation. That is, Paul informed the first century generation of the Church that She needed to “fill up” what was lacking in Jesus’ sacrifice. That is, the death of the early martyrs needed to be filled up before Christ would return in a “very little while” or “soon” in AD 70 to close the millennium of Revelation 20 and judge the living and the dead (Rev. 6; 16; 20-22:6-7, 20). It would only be at the end of this death and rising process that the Church would move from the 40 cubits of the “first” OC then “present” age and system, to become the fully matured and “age without end” remaining “second” NC MHP dwelling of God (Heb. 9/Rev. 21:16; Ephs. 3:20-21).
Christ was the “first fruits” “firstborn” of the resurrection and trailblazer to open up God’s presence in the MHP heavenly realm/Temple for His people.

A “Hyper-Spiritual Hermeneutic” / “Replacement Theology” (?!?) and Covenant Theology / Covenant Eschatology

Reformed theologians have no problem admitting that Israel’s OC cultus bodily existence died and was torn down in AD 70 never to rise again to exist in that form. They even admit that NC spiritual Israel rose out from among that dead OC corpse in AD 70 at Christ’s spiritual Parousia (along with souls being raised out of Hades into God’s presence).  They tell us that the spiritual “true” and “real” “substance” of that redemptive bodily existence is here and that Israel will never arise to function in that OC body (cf. book of Hebrews).  Many of them do not argue for a future physical/spiritual “glorified” union of national Israel’s or her OC/NC body cultus. We Couldn’t agree more!

Dispensationalists argue that Reformed and Covenant Theology is imposing a “hyper-spiritual hermeneutic” upon the OT/OC Body promises, and yet Covenant Theologians fire back that they are simply following the NT hermeneutic — moving from OC physical type and shadow to NC spiritual realities in Christ.  Is this redemptive bodily existence and resurrection for Israel considered “hyper-spiritual” “replacement theology” or “gnostic” in their treatment of the OT/OC body promises by Reformed or Covenant Theology?  No, not at all.

But when it comes to our bodily existence and resurrection, we are told by them that there HAS to be a difference – and Full Preterists are called every name in the book (some of the very same names and labels Dispensationalists call them).
Yet, the OC bodily cultus and existence is patterned after man’s bodily existence. Man’s physical body is fleshly and temporal (like the OC body is described) and when our weak and frail bodies (like the body of OC Israel) return to the dust, our spirits have a spiritual bodily existence (that was even present in the OT – prior to the resurrection in AD 70).  That which is “true” and the “substance” of who we truly are —  that is, what remains before God forever (spirit/soul – personality, memories, volitional choices, redeemed soul “in Christ” etc…) is the focal point of God’s Covenantal redemptive plan for man.  The OC / NC  bodily change was “about to be” a “better resurrection” than anything Israel had experienced under her OC bodily existence.

Some opponents of Full Preterism or Covenant Eschatology object that by saying that man is “subhuman” and not a “person” without the physical body.  He MUST one day be “restored” physically.  If this is the case, then the OC bodily existence of Israel with her Temple and sacrifices should also be restored in the future — and thus Reformed theology should be taking a harder and more open look at Dispensationalism. Selah.

Covenant Theology in their treatment of Israel’s Body is accused of not just using a “hyper-spiritual hermeneutic,” but of “replacement theology” – that is replacing Israel’s OC fleshly body with a purely spiritual NC body. And they just laugh at those silly Dispys who obviously don’t understand the NT hermeneutic – physical to spiritual.

YET, THEN Reformed Covenant Theology comes along and accuses us of in essence the very same thing – using a “hyper-spiritual hermeneutic” and having an unbiblical “replacement theology” – in that we ignore the physical significance of the decaying body (once it has returned to dust) and have “replaced it” with a spiritual bodily existence.

Israel’s OC / NC bodily dying/rising change only makes sense in what we know of man’s bodily flesh / spirit change at death — when the spirit goes back to God who made it (having a spiritual bodily existence) after the physical body returns to the dust. That is, Israel’s bodily existence is patterned after man’s.  Paul uses what we have always known of the physical body returning to the dust and receiving a spiritual body at death, to explain how OC Israel was being transformed and being raised into the NC glorious spiritual Body of Christ in 1 Corinthians 15 and 2 Corinthians 3–6:16.  Many are confused over this — even some claiming to be Full Preterists.

One Temple/Body Representing the Physical and Spiritual Worlds and the Transition at Death & Transition of Covenant Bodies

The physical tabernacle or temple represented the physical universe and God’s spiritual unseen heavenly realm — the Holy Place represented the physical heavens and earth and the Most Holy Place God’s unseen heavenly realm.
For man, the Holy Place represents his physical bodily existence in the world connected with his soul/spirit which is capable of having a spiritual relationship and is able to enjoy the presence of an unseen God.  The Most Holy Place represents man’s soul/spirit or immaterial part of him that ascends into God’s heavenly Most Holy Place presence when the physical body returns to the dust.  So at physical death the HP/physical body returns to the dust but the MHP/spiritual soul/spirit of man continues.  There is a transition of compartments at which time only the spiritual MHP aspect of man remains.

Likewise between AD 30 – AD 70, the OC “present age” or HP was still connected with the NC maturing age or the MHP.   In AD 70 at Christ’s “in a very little while” Second Appearing as the Churches High Priest, the OC age or HP “soon vanished” and all that remained was the NC age or MHP where God dwells within His covenant people (Heb. 8–10;37).  The OC physical Temple/Man and his glory passed away and the glory of the spiritual Temple/Man and his exceeding glory remains.

Conclusion:  We Have Something Better Than “Paradise Restored”We Have Eternal Life Where There is No More Death, Tears or Pain.

Because “the death” that came through Adam is spiritual death (alienation from God) realized through the commandment-breaker Adam and amplified or increased under the Law of Moses (the old covenant), we can see how God gave His elect the victory over “the death” in the end of the old covenant age of condemnation. The fact that men die physically is in no way evidence that the “spiritual conflict” of “the death” continues for the church throughout the new covenant age.

God’s people under the old covenant, unlike God’s people today, experienced covenantal and spiritual death (cf. Hosea 13:1–14; Isa. 25–27; Eze. 37). What made physical death dreaded for the saints under the old covenant was that they died with the awareness that their sins had not yet been taken away. In the new covenant creation, Jesus promises that whether we biologically die in Him or biologically live in Him, we “never die” (John 11:25–26). This was not the case before Christ.

Thus under the old covenant, the residents of Jerusalem wept because they did not have a lasting atonement or eternal redemption. They longed and groaned for the day of Messiah’s salvation. Until that day would come, they knew their sins were not put away (Heb. 9:26–28; 10:4, 11). The promise that there would be no more mourning or crying or pain does not refer to any and every kind of mourning, crying, and pain. It refers to mourning, crying, and pain concerning God’s people being dead in sin under the condemnation, curse, and slavery of God’s law. That sad Adamic state is no more. In the Son, God’s people are “free indeed” (Jn. 8:36).

As Athanasius wrote in his Festal Letters, iv. 3, “For when death reigned, ‘sitting down by the rivers of Babylon, we wept,’ and mourned, because we felt the bitterness of captivity; but now that death and the kingdom of the devil is abolished, everything is entirely filled with joy and gladness.”

Under the old covenant, when David or the nation was exiled from Zion and God’s city and temple, there was much inner pain, weeping, and bondage that followed (2 Sam. 15:30; Ps. 137; Isa. 14:3; Isa. 22:4–5; Jer. 9:1; 13:17; Jer. 22:9–10; Lam. 1:16; Joel 2:17). Under the new covenant, the heavenly country and Jerusalem are not subject to being made desolate or shaken by invading armies as was the old (Isa. 62:4; Heb. 12:27–28). The concept of the gates of the New Jerusalem always being open, even at night (Isa. 60:11; Rev. 21:25), is not merely a picture of evangelism; it is also a picture of security for the residents of God’s City. The believer, through faith in Christ, is the new covenant creation and it is impossible for him to be exiled from the City (2 Cor. 5:17; Rev. 3:12; 22:12). The new covenant believer is characterized as one whose weeping has ended, because God has forever taken away his sin and united Himself with him (Isa. 60:20; 65:14, 18–19; Jn. 17:21–23).

Christians in the new covenant world do not shed tears in agony and cry out to God to save them from the Adamic Death of Sin, as Jesus Himself did on our behalf (Heb. 5:7). “The sting [pain] of the Death” cannot harm us anymore (1 Cor. 15:56) because the power of Sin has been removed through Jesus, the Law-Fulfiller who clothes us and indwells us. Now we live and reign with Christ in the new covenant world, wherein dwells the Righteousness of God.

It is again noteworthy that many Partial Preterists tell us that we are to take Christ coming “shortly” in the NT to refer to Christ’s coming in AD 70 and yet when it is applied to the ultimate destruction of Satan, they don’t want to discuss Romans 16:20 because to interpret this passage as it should would require going against the creeds.  For example Keith Mathison avoids any mention of Paul’s declaration that Satan would be “crushed” “shortly” (Rom. 16:20) in his work on Postmillennialism and in his chapter addressing the time texts in WSTTB. The reason for this is that the majority consensus among all brands of commentators is that the “crushing” of Satan in Romans 16:20 is a direct reference to the final “crushing” of Satan as predicted in Genesis 3:15 and Revelation 20. Manifestly , the judgment and wrath that came in AD 70 was not merely “a” “minor” judgment. It was “the” judgment. It was the crushing of Satan.

Future eschatologies would challenge us with the empirical reality that Death and Satan could not have met their ultimate demise in AD 70 because, after all, just look around and you will clearly see that people still physically die and that there are wars and murders taking place all over the world today. Are these clear evidence that Satan and his demonic hordes are active in our world?

There were certainly times that Satan moved men, such as Judas, to commit sins. But the Bible does not teach us that this was ever the norm. James tells us that wars and fights come from within men (Jms. 4:1) instead of from Satan and demons. Satan’s primary purpose has come to an end: He can no longer function as the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:10), because Christ came out of Zion a second time at the end of the old covenant age to put away Sin once and for all for His church (Acts 20:28; Rom. 11:26–27; 13:11–12; Heb. 9:26–28).

Our salvation and Christ’s Second Appearing/Coming as the Churches great High Priest are not events that take place at the end of time, but rather within time – namely at the end of the OC age in AD 70.  The seed of the woman has overcome the Sin, the Death, the Law and crushed Satan for His heavenly people – the Church/New Creation.  You may not feel perfect or like a city of jewels and gold, but that is how God views you through His Son’s finished redemption –  accomplished and applied for you through His work on the cross and Second Appearing.  Go now and preach this message (Rev. 22:17)!

The early chapters of Genesis were never meant to be interpreted with a hyper-literal  hermeneutic and nor should they be viewed through the lens of science.  From Genesis to Revelation we have a story of God’s redemptive plan whereby His goal is to overcome spiritual death and separation and abide with His people forever through faith in His Son.

Adam’s story is Israel’s story — and Adam and Israel’s story is the story of man in general.  Put in the best conditions, we will always fail and realize we are dead and unable to please God.  Without the coming of Christ (the seed of the woman cf. Gen. 3:15) to take the Adamic curse upon Himself and give His New Covenant Church perfect righteousness and life, we have nothing to offer God and will die in our sins.  Therefore, we have something better than Adam or Israel ever had — eternal life “in Christ.”

The Jewish mind understood his land and temple to not just be “heaven and earth,” but to be heaven on earth where God’s light of the Torah resided. The light of Torah was to function as a vehicle to conquer and convert the unclean nations outside her land. These nations were in “darkness.” This is the imagery we see in how Revelation ends. The emphasis is not global but local. The New Creation comes down in the form of a City and in the shape of a perfect cube communicating that the Church is the New Creation that has become the Most Holy Place of God. It then rests in a local area with the nations of the world in darkness coming to her to enter the gates for healing through the light of the Gospel. While this is the familiar local imagery and theology the Jewish mind would understand, the reality is under the NC there is no longer “sacred space” as there was under the OC or in other religions. This was made clear by Jesus in that His Kingdom (that would come at His Second Coming in their generation) would not come physically, but would be located “within” the heart where the living waters flow from to heal the nations (cf. Lk. 17:20-37/Lk. 21:27-32; Jn. 7:37-38/Ezek. 47/Rev. 21-22:17).  

Christians today are not “in the land” nor are we to set our minds on the things of the land (per Premillennialism and Postmillennialism), but rather are “in Christ” having the mind of Christ — a clear conscience and have inherited eternal life and will “die no more.” We rejoice that Jesus appeared at the end of the last days of the old covenant age.  He came during that time to establish and fulfilled the “another day,” and “sabbath rest” which was imminently approaching and truly did come “in a very little while” and did “not tarry” through His redemptive work in the cross and Hi parousia in AD 70.  The Second Coming is an in time event and not an end of time event.  This is the good news of Sovereign Grace Full Preterism.  Futurism teaches a “sick” “hope deferred” eschatology while Sovereign Grace Full Preterism teaches a hope realized and access to Christ / The Tree of Life right NOW for the sinner outside the gates of the New Jerusalem (cf. Prov. 13:12/Heb. 10:37/Rev. 22:4-17).  Weary sinner, lay down your life of self and trying to be independent of God, so that you may find true and abundant life in Christ.  

[1] Meredith Kline, The Genesis Debate, p.90, Crux Press, 2001.
[2] Meredith Kline, KINGDOM PROLOGUE GENESIS FOUNDATIONS FOR A COVENATAL WORLDVIEW, p.54, Wipf & Stock pub., 2006.
[3] Milton S. Terry, Biblical Apocalyptics A Study of the Most Notable Revelations of God and of Christ, p.44, Baker Book House, 1988.
[4] Snoke, ibid., p.133-134.
[5] John Sailhamer, GENESIS UNBOUND, pp. 50-51, , Multnomah Books, 1996.
[6] Sailhamer, ibid., pp. 72. Sailhamer also finds reformed theologian John Lightfoot agreeing with some of his observations here, see p. 216 n.3.
[7] David Snoke, A Biblical Case for an Old Earth, pp. 47-98, Baker Books pub., 2006.
[8] Snoke, ibid., pp.73-74 emphasis added.
[9] Terry, ibid., pp.50-51.
[10] chart taken from: Earnest L. Martin, PhD, 1977, The Temple Symbolism In Genesis http://askelm.com/doctrine/d040301.htm
[11] G.K. Beale, The Temple and the Churches Mission, pp.96-98, Apollos Press, I.V.P., 2004. As I pointed out to Mr. Beale on the John Anderson radio show in critiquing and asking questions of his book, that the great commission had been fulfilled by A.D. 70 and the Church is currently in the “new world” (Cols.1:5-6, 23). His response was that the “new world” has been “inaugurated” and that the Greek in these texts communicates that the great commission was and still is in the process of being fulfilled. After getting cut off, and Beale calling me and all preterists “heretics,” I sent a private email letter to Mr. Beale pointing out his error and reminding him that his statements were false, “This is simply a false statement.  Paul states that the gospel “had been preached to every creature under heaven.”  Not only is the past tense obvious in the English translations, but surely you know that it is in the Aorist passive tense here?  Something cannot be bearing fruit unless it had been planted first.  There is nothing logical or exegetical in your comments of (Cols.1:23).  This is the same “argument” Thomas Ice uses with no success.”
[12] The sacrifices in Israel were performed in the “cool of the day” around 9 a.m. or 3p.m. when the cool sea breeze would sweep over the Palistine region (ibid. Martin).
[13] Mathison, Ibid., Postmillennialism An Eschatology of Hope pp.111-112ff., pp.143-144, 148. Interestingly we find Mr. Mathison much bolder in this work on the time texts referring to A.D. 70 than he is in his response to us J
[14] The ancient mind saw their people, their land, and their religion, as the center of the “heavens and earth/land.” In other words, their world poetically speaking, revolved around them as the center of the universe. This does not mean however, that they could not conceptualize nor believe that their God or gods had made the dry land, sky, universe, or the spiritual realm as far as their eye could see and heart could image the unseen realm. The creation of all things presupposes and is necessary to understand the various creation accounts of the “heavens and earth/land” of ancient eastern culture and the areas their God or gods mandated them to conquer.
[15] David Chilton, PARADISE RESTORED A BIBLICAL THEOLOGY OF DOMINION, pp.61-63, Dominion Press, 1985.
[16] Owen, John, The Works of John Owen, Banner of Truth pub., Vol.9 pp. 134-135.
[17] Jerome Smith, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge Revised and Expanded, Thomas Nelson Publishers, p. 802
[18] A. Cohen, Everyman’s TALMUD, p.43, Dutton pub. 1949, emphasis added.
[19] Beale, ibid., p.61. Beale also quotes a Rabbi who says, “the Tabernacle is equal to the creation of the world” and then substantiates the claim by comparing the various things created on each day of creation to the seven similar items created in the tabernacle (Tanhuma Yelammedenu Exodus 11:2
[20] J.V. Fesko, Last Things First Unlocking Genesis 1-3 with the Christ of Eschatology, p.70, Mentor Imprint Christian Focus Publications, 2007. I would agree with the premise of the book, “…one must interpret Genesis 1-3 in the light of Christ and Eschatology.”
[21] Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews, The Works of Josephus, p.87, Book 3, Chapter 6, Par. 4, Section 123, Hendrickson pub. 1987. Josephus, ibid, p.90, Book 3, Chapter 7, Par.7, Section 181. “However, this proportion of the measures of the tabernacle proved to be an imitation of the system of the world: for that third part thereof which was within the four pillars, to which the priests were not admitted, is, as it were, a Heaven peculiar to God…” “When Moses distinguished the tabernacle into three parts, and allowed two of them to the priests as a place accessible to the common, he denoted the land and the sea, these being of general access to all; but he set apart the third division for God, because heaven is inaccessible to men
[22] Beale, ibid., p.25. On the John Anderson radio show I challenged Beale’s thesis in reverse stating that the context and de-creation language of (Mt.24:1-3, 35) was the judgment upon Jerusalem and her temple in A.D. 70. Beale HAD NO ANSWER TO THAT.
[23] Vern Poythress, The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses, pp. 18-19, P&R pub., 1991.
[24] H.T. Fletcher-Louis, ibid., pp.145, 152, 160-161. Emphasis added
[25] Don Preston, The Elements Shall Melt With Fervent Heath, p. 198, JaDon Productions LLC, 2006.  I was reading G.K. Beale’s work on The Temple And The Churches Mission and it further solidified my view that “heavens and earth” of Mt.24:35 was referring to the Temple. I sent a copy of the book to Don to take a look at. It helped Don develop his chapter on “Israel, The Temple And “Heaven And Earth.”
[26] I have only interacted with one “hyper-preterist” and they are very few in number. They claim that the O.T. and N.T. only taught that God would save Jews and that Gentiles are not included in the resurrection that occurred in AD 70. They assert that the scattered tribes of Israel are the “Gentiles” of the NT.  They believe there is no salvation for anyone post AD 70.  The truth of course is that Gentiles were included in the exodus and in coming back into “the land” with the Israelites under the OC.  And when converted the Gentile proselytes were labeled by the Rabbis as a “new creation” along with them.  Typologically speaking, this points us to the NC and Jews and Gentiles being united “in Christ” as a “new creation.”  Gentiles and “foreigners” were to be included in the NC second exodus and salvation in Christ (Isa. 11; 49; 56).  We need to keep our definitions clear. As a real Calvinist would object to Arminians and 4 point “Calvinists” who would say that 5 point Calvinists are really “Hyper-Calvinists” because of their “logic,” we too reject to the false label of “Hyper-Preterists.” Theologically a “Hyper-Calvinist” is one who does not evangelize and likewise a “Hyper-Preterist” doesn’t see the need to preach salvation today because he doesn’t believe such exists.  We reject both “hyper” views and preach the Sovereign and Free gospel of Christ today in the New Covenant “age without end.”

Appendix A – The Measurements in Solomon’s Temple and There Possible Numerical Significance 

Admittedly there is an element of speculation here, but I would like to examine if there may be some numerological significance to the measurements of Solomon’s temple.

20 – The Pulpit commentary writes on the significance of a perfect square,
“To the ancients the square seemed the most appropriate shape to express the idea of moral perfection. The idea of the cube consequently was that of entire completeness, of absolute perfection. A little light is thrown on this subject by the use of τετράγωνος among the Greeks. See the quotation from Simonides in Plat. Protag. 334 A; Arist. Rhet. 3:11; Eth. Nic. 1:10, 11, and compare the familiar “totus teres atque rotundus.”

This is why the New Jerusalem is described as a perfect cube in Revelation 21:16 – indicating that at Christ’s imminent Second Coming in AD 70, He has taken up residence in His people and Jesus’ righteousness has been imputed, inherited and applied to us.

In the Bible, a child became mature and a man or a woman at the age of 20.  Perhaps the Most Holy Place then represents not just completeness and perfection, but the maturity of the Church/New Jerusalem going from child to mature manhood in AD 70 when the childhood state of the miraculous gifts “ceased” (cf. 1 Cor. 13:8-12; Ephs. 4-5).

Within second temple Judaism, there was a belief that the Godhead consisted of two divine beings – God and the Word (both eternal).

40 – The 40 cubits of the Holy Place possibly represented the 40 years of wilderness wandering and reigns of David and Solomon.  Some have pointed out that the two pillars being 40 cubits high also represent the reigns of David (strength) and Solomon (establishment or peace).  Since the pillars were hollow they didn’t have any structural value — so there purpose seemed to be symbolic.  The anti-types that correspond to the 40 years wilderness wanderings (and the 40 year reigns of David and Solomon) corresponding to the roughly AD 30 – AD 70 40 year’s transitional generation time period, whereby Christ as the great High Priest/King ascended and then returned a second time apart from sin and applied His salvation to the eagerly awaiting congregation.  This was the “another day” of Sabbath rest that was approaching (Hebrews 3-4, 9-10:37).
The age of forty for a man in Jewish society marked another level in wisdom attained.

50 – The porch (10 cubits) and the Holy Place (40) brings us to 50.  In the NT the feast of harvest or wheat harvest is called “the day of Pentecost” which means “50.”  At the end of the OC age in AD 70, the Church was brought into the barn/kingdom/MHP – that is raised gloriously into God’s presence (Mt. 13:39-43/Dan. 12:2-3, 7, 13).  Also, according to Leviticus 25:8-12 after the 49 year, comes the 50th — that is the year of jubilee.  This was the time in which the poor received their land back and slaves were set free — a time of true rest and salvation.  Thus the 10 cubits of the porch plus the 40 cubits of the Holy Place, brings us into the Most Holy Place presence of God where there is true liberty, peace and a true ceasing from works (resting in the finished work of Christ).  Thus at the age of fifty a priest was to retire (rest).  That is, just as the High Priest would travel 50 cubits before entering behind the veil to go into the MHP, this was the period of his life where he could retire in this life and rest.

60 – The two compartments of the Holy Place (40 cubits) and Most Holy Place (20 cubits) come to 60.  Six in the Bible is the number for man.
The total length of the temple including the porch (10 cubits) brings it to be 70 cubits in length.

70 – I believe the total length of 70 cubits (10 porche, 40 HP, and 20 MHP) represents the table of 70 nations in Genesis 10-11. Israel was originally commissioned to be a light to the Gentiles and thus have salvation be brought to them.  In some sense she represents the nations in that Jacob’s family members were 70 when they went into Egypt before becoming a “great nation,” and God set up 70 elders to assist Moses, perhaps to demonstrate her covenant rule and headship over the nations through Torah? Then Jesus sending out the 70 disciples to preach the gospel of the kingdom represented how He and the Church would form the restored Israel of God ruling over the nations through the gospel. Either way, Israel failed in her mission to the 70 nations and the 70 bulls sacrificed (cf. Num. 29:12-34) on the feast of booths were to picture that salvation was to be extended to them.

Possibly, the High Priest’s journey of walking 70 cubits on the Day of Atonement, represents and pictures Messiah’s presence and redemptive work among Israel form His birth to parousia (70 years)? Christ as the High Priest and perfect sacrifice is the ONLY “Hope of the nations.”

In Acts 2 we see Babel being restored in that Jews from all nations under heaven were gathered, and the language of the one gospel miraculously unites those of differing languages. They eventually go back to these nations and spread the gospel forming one “elect and holy nation” in the Kingdom.

Seven represents new creation and perfection.  As the Holy Spirit hovered over the waters in Genesis, so He did over Mary.  This communicates that Jesus Himself fulfills the new creation promises and those united to Him in faith.
Seventy to eighty were the average length of mans life (cf. Ps. 90:10).  If one adds the 10 cubits of the treasury and priests cells on the back of the MHP, this would bring us to 80 (the longest estimated average age).

Some of the Jews believed that the “days of Messiah” would be seventy so as to complete the probationary period of which Adam fell short.  Adam 930 + 70 (Jesus from birth to parousia) = 1,000.

120 – The highest point of the temple was the porch at 120 cubits.  This may be a way of the Israelites depicting Moses living to be 120 years old – falling short of inheriting the Promised Land.  Remember, according to Hebrews 9 the “first” section (the Holy Place) represents the OC economy and Moses House.  The law in and of itself could not bring us into the inheritance or the MHP presence of God.

It may also be of interest in that there were 120 priests with 120 trumpets at the dedication (2 Chr. 5:12).  And this number shows up again in the Holy Place where there are 120 loaves of shewbread (12 loaves per table and 10 tables).
120porch_40
The interpretation of the Mosaic Law is also represented by the number 120.  Ezra helped organize the copying and formation of the inspired OT Scriptures by bringing 120 elders (priests and Levites) together to form the Great Synagogue (or Great Assembly).

Perhaps the Holy Spirit filling and guiding the 120 disciples in the book of Acts pictures the Church functioning now as the new Sanhedrin (Acts 1:14-26)?  That is, the early Spirit filled Church is seen as miraculously equipped and has divine authority from God to demonstrate how all of God’s promises in the law and prophets were being fulfilled in Christ and those that placed their faith in him (ex. Acts 15 / Amos 9).  The theme of the book of Acts is HOW God’s promises made to Israel were being fulfilled (not postponed per the Dispensational system) through the Church (God’s new Israel and elect holy nation).

The Jewish calendar year was marked by 7 feasts.  There were 4 fall feasts followed by 3 spring feasts.  My friend Don Preston has pointed out that there was a 4 month gap/cycle between the fall and spring feasts or between the first fruits and early rains of the fall to the latter rain and harvest in the spring.

Therefore, 4 months times 30 (days in a month) brings us to 120 days of transition  for this soteriological and eschatological year to be fulfilled which was typological of Yeshua’s redemptive work from AD 30 – AD 70.

Other interesting facts on measuring Solomon’s temple (Phi, Golden Ratio & Infinite Fibonacci Series)

The rectangular shape and measurements of the temple and Ark of the Covenant was measured in the form of what is called Phi, the golden ratio or the Fibonacci series — which may communicate the concept of eternal life, infinity and what was to come in the New Covenant age or “age/world without end.”  God has placed eternity in the heart of man and this gift through His Son was going to be what the Old Covenant system (with the temple) pointed to.
RaisingPHI
ML_Spiralimages-2
Phi_division_unity
Here is something interesting I read on the Ark,

“In Exodus 25:10, God commands Moses to build the Ark of the Covenant, in which to hold His Covenant with the Israelites, the Ten Commandments, saying,
ark of the convenant “Have them make a chest of acacia wood-two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high.”
The ratio of 2.5 to 1.5 is 1.666…, which is as close to phi (1.618 …) as you can come with such simple numbers and is certainly not visibly different to the eye. The Ark of the Covenant is thus constructed using the Golden Section, or Divine Proportion. This ratio is also the same as 5 to 3, numbers from the Fibonacci series.
In Exodus 27:1-2, we find that the altar God commands Moses to build is based on a variation of the same 5 by 3 theme:
“Build an altar of acacia wood, three cubits high; it is to be square, five cubits long and five cubits wide.””
So it seems to me, since the temple and the Ark were designed and measured in such a way — it pictured  that man would enjoy God’s presence through His Son (Eternal Life/Tree of Life/True Temple) in the Messianic or coming New Covenant age.  All the promises and types and shadows contained in the law and the prophets would be fulfilled “in Christ” and our union in Him through faith.  God’s presence in our hearts and minds transforms us on many levels – giving us eternal life.  Eternal life is defined by Christ as forever learning of God (His nature and wonderful salvation).  This is a journey that we begin the moment we believe and continues on forever or into infinity.  God is the only one that is truly eternal (no beginning or end) and has decreed, planned or purposed to save some (by name) before he created any worlds (physical, OC or NC – cf. John 10).  His kingdom is an everlasting spiritual kingdom and of the increase of kingdom there is no end.  God continues to call His sheep through the gates of the New Jerusalem today (Rev. 22:17).
Appendix B John 14 and Temple and Wedding Imagery and the Charismata 
Since many have enjoyed an article I did on John 14 demonstrating the betrothal/wedding and temple imagery connected to Jesus’ Second Coming, I will begin with some of that material by way of introduction and then address verse 12 interacting with Brown and Waymeyer.
Introductory meditations on John 14 and wedding / temple imagery
Jewish weddings began with the groom presenting the father and his potential bride with a ketubah or covenant which would include the dowry price etc…  The man would pour his potential wife a cup of wine (which represented a blood or oneness covenant) and if she drank from it, she agreed to become his wife – to become one with him (cf. John 6; Matt. 26:17-30).
After this, the groom would announce that he was “going to prepare a place” for her and would “come again when it was ready” (cf. John 14:2-3). The Church is “bought” (dowry) with the price of Christ’s blood.[3]  The Holy Spirit’s power and presence with the early church was also a down payment or earnest guaranteeing the inheritance or promise of Christ’s return and that full redemption would come in that first century generation (Lk. 21:27-32).
The groom would have already gotten his father’s permission to build a room or honeymoon suite onto his father’s house where he would then consummate his love for his bride. When the groom was asked when the wedding would take place, he replied that “only his father knows the time” (cf. Matt. 24:36; Acts 1:6-7).

 

I also should note that before the betrothal period it was customary for both the bride and groom to be baptized (a ritual called mikvah).  Jesus of course was baptized in order to fulfill the law, and by one of His groomsmen at that – John the Baptist (cf. Matt. 3:13-17; Jn. 3:29-30).

During this betrothal period (which could last up to a year or two), the groom would have up to two groomsmen which would help facilitate and mediate issues between the groom and bride (in the NT I believe John the Baptist [the friend of the Bridegroom] and the Apostle Paul [betrothing the Church to Christ] fulfill these roles between Christ and the Church (cf. Jn. 3:29-30; 2 Cor. 11:2).
In the Jewish betrothal period/covenant, fornication was very serious and grounds for divorce (Matthew’s gospel being primarily written to Jews adds this material on divorce and re-marriage [along with Joseph wanting to “divorce” Marry] while the others do not – cf. Matt. 1:19; Matt. 5:31-32).

Once the room/honeymoon chamber was ready and built onto the father’s home, the groom and his friends would come for the bride – blowing a trumpet (Matt. 24:30-31/1 Thess. 4:16-17/1 Cor. 15:52; Rev. 10:6-7; 11:15-19).

The bride and her bridesmaids had their oil and lamps next to their beds in order to be ready for this event (cf. Matt. 25:1-13).

Once at the “room” of the father’s house, the couple would then engage in a seven-day honeymoon period and the feast would follow. The sheet with the blood of the bride would be hung outside the room proving she was a virgin and that the marriage was officially consummated.

Jehovah’s Betrothal/Marriage to Israel

Some debate if at mount Sinai, God betrothed or married Israel as a covenant people to Himself. When Israel split, the imagery became God being betrothed or married to two sisters. God would “divorce” the ten northern tribes through the Assyrian invasion/judgment, with the promise that He would one day again “betroth” her to Himself in the “last days” in the “desert.” He remained betrothed or married to Jerusalem – the other sister (for through her salvation and Messiah would come).

John the Baptist (the last of the OT prophets) was the groomsman whom in the desert was calling Israel to repentance and pointing her to the way of her Messiah/Groom.  Jesus’s blood inaugurated the NC and in drinking that wine, the Church agreed to be united to Him as His bride. The work and power of the Holy Spirit within the believer was the agent for the “building” up process of the “rooms” – which were within the spiritual realm (i.e. of God’s people).

In John 4, we are told that Jesus “must” go through Samaria, but why?  This is in order to fulfill OT prophecy concerning Israel’s last day’s betrothal process for the scattered Ten Northern Tribes that had been sown in the land of the Gentiles through the Assyrian captivity.  Jacob meeting his bride at the same well as Jacob was typological of Christ beginning his betrothal process for the Samaritans (pictured through the woman at the well).   In Jesus’ earthly ministry He touches the Jew, the Samaritan and Gentiles (all the groups that form the NC Bride).  As we will see, the book of Acts follows Jesus’ pattern and prior to AD 70 that mission was complete (Acts 1:8 –> Cols. 1:5-6, 23; Rms. 10:18; Rms. 16:25-26).

In AD 70, judgment and divorce would now finally come upon God’s other unfaithful sister/wife – OC Jerusalem (through stoning and burning – a judgment prescribed in the law for the adulterous wife of a priest).  This was done by means of sending “His armies” (the Idumeans and Romans) to “destroy the city” while at the same time consummating His marriage to His beloved NC Jerusalem in the same AD 70 “shortly” and “soon” time frame (cf. Rev. 1:1—chapters17-22; Mt. 22:1-14).

John 14

a).  The context or audience (vss. 1-2).

The promise of Christ’s return is given to the “your” and “you” of verses 1-2 and are the eleven Apostles.  This is consistent with the “you” and first century “this generation” of Matthew 24 that is promised to experience the coming of the Son of Man (the parousia) or Second Coming.  While the Church in the NC age post AD 70 will share in the benefits and blessings of Christ’s parousia (with the Father and Son making their home within them), this is a promise given the the Apostles and their contemporaries.

b).  “In my Father’s house are many rooms;…” (vs. 2).
Here the Father’s “house” is His spiritual heavenly Temple (2 Cor. 5:1; 2 Cor. 6:16; Rev. 21-22) and the “rooms” are the side rooms that surrounded the Holy Place of the Temple. As Arthur Pink notes,

“The many rooms in the temple prefigured these (see 1 Kings 6:5, 6; Jer. 35:1-4, etc.).”[4]

Under the OC the Father’s “house” was the earthly Temple that the Jew’s were making a den of robbers (cf. Matt. 21:13). But under the NC, the Church is God’s “house”/Temple that He was preparing (cf. Ezek. 37:27/2 Cor. 6:16; 2 Cor. 5:1).
The side rooms surrounding the Holy Place were used for: 1. The priests to dwell in. 2. To change into their priestly garments.  3. To store gold and silver (bounty), tithes, and the articles used in the Temple.  The Church during AD 30 – AD 70 is described as a Priesthood being changed into the glorious image of Christ (a spiritual and non-physical process).  The OC Tabernacle and Temple were erected gloriously with the gold and silver that Israel got from their enemies and through their tithes. In the NT, there are two things that are more costly than gold and silver and they are Christ’s blood and the God given faith given to the saints. This holy exchange is how the the NC Temple was being built up, and how believers continue to walk through the gates of the New Jerusalem post AD 70.
The imagery of “going to prepare” these side rooms is that of wedding terminology:

“…in 14:3, “I will come again and take you with me, so that where I am, you will be as well” (cf. 17:24), echoes the terminology found in Song 8:2a, where the bride says that she will bring her lover to her mother’s house. Here Jesus, the messianic bridegroom (3:29), is said first to go to prepare a place for his own in his Father’s house and then to come to take them home to be with him.”[5]

So the side rooms of the Temple are the honeymoon suites being prepared for those being built up as the spiritual/heavenly Temple during the AD 30 – AD 70 transition period – before Christ’s Second Coming occurred to close the OC age. Here the many “rooms” (plural) emphasize the individual (or “the many”) of the living saints anticipating Christ’s imminent coming in AD 70. Elsewhere, the Most Holy Place and New Jerusalem represent the NC corporate body (or “the one”) of the Church (2 Cor. 5:1; 2 Cor. 6:16; Rev. 21:16 [the NJ is a perfect cube representing the MHP]; Heb. 9:8-9/cf. JFB commentary where the OC economy = the Holy Place and the NC economy = the Most Holy Place).

“Dwelling places” “rooms” – Greek mone and the Second Coming.  

This Greek word for “room(s)” is mone and is only used twice in the NT (here in Jn. 14:2, 23).  It’s second use is found in verse 23 – “…we (The Father and Son) will come to him and make our home (Greek mone) with him.” The later here in verse 23 explains how Jesus would “receive” His people — when He and the Father (Who are the Temple Rev. 21:22) came to make their “dwelling” or abode/home within His Church.  God’s presence (the Triune God) being restored to and within the believer is what the Second Coming (or Greek parousia -presence) is all about (cf. Matt. 24:27; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; 1 Cor. 15; Rev. 21-22).
In Revelation the New Jerusalem in the form of a perfect cube (Rev. 21:16 – which is communicating that it is the Most Holy Place), was in the process of coming DOWN from heaven to earth (Rev. 3:12 NIV).   The purpose of Jesus receiving the Church to be where He was (in the Father’s presence) – is just that, to bring God’s full presence to and within the believer (while here on earth).
There are five references to the Second Coming in John 14:

1).  “I will come again,” and “take or receive you to myself” (v. 3).
2).  “We will come to him and make Our home with him” (v. 23).
3).  “I am going away and coming back to you” (v. 28).
4).  “At that day (“the last day” or the day He comes to “receive” and “manifest Himself to them”) you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you” (v. 20).
5).  “And when it (His return) does come to pass, you may believe” (v. 29).
What is interesting are the last two references to His return #4 and #5.  If it were a physical and literal “reception” “rapture”/“resurrection,” or “catching away,” then why the words “then you will know that I am in My father, and you in Me, and I in you” and “that you may believe”?   Obviously if one was whisked away in the literal clouds and your body had been literally transformed, you would “know” and there would be no doubt about it that Christ had returned (no need to “believe” that it has happened).  Jesus’ words indicate that His return and Kingdom was something that could be missed and not seen with the physical eye (Lk. 17:20-21, 21-37) – thus a need to “believe” that it had come in the spiritual realm.  This is consistent with what Jesus taught in (Mrk. 8:38-9:1) as well.  In other words the Christians remained on the earth in AD 70 and Christ and the Father made their “dwellings” “within” them (Jn. 14:2-3, 23; Cols. 1:27; 1 Pet. 1:19; Lk. 17:20-21)!

c).  “I go to prepare a place for you” (vs. 2).

How was Jesus preparing a dwelling place for His people?  In context, He was going to give them the Holy Spirit Who would be apart of the process of forming and transforming Christ and His image in them (1 Cor. 6:19; Gals. 4:19; 2 Cor. 3-4; Phil. 2:5/Rms. 12:1-2) until the “light” or “Day Star” (Christ) rose in their hearts completely (2 Pet. 1:19; cf. 1 Jn. 2:8).  They were in the process of “being built up” as the Temple (1 Pet. 2:5) of God and “putting on” the “new man” which is another metaphor for putting on the wedding garments of Christ’s righteousness which would become their own (Ephs. 4:24; Isa. 52:1/Rev. 21:2; Mt. 22:11; Rev. 16:15; 19:18/1 Cor. 1:30/2 Cor. 5:21).  This was taking place until they were fully “adorned” as the Most Holy Place or City of the Living God.  This City was likewise in the process of coming down from heaven (Rev. 3:12 NIV) and would fully come in an “at hand” time frame to bring healing to the nations.  At that point in AD 70 God’s people were found to be “glorified” “in” Him and He “in” them (2 Thess. 1:12; Rms. 8:8-11, 18 YLT; Jn. 14:20).   Thus at Christ’s coming in AD 70, the Father’s House/New Jerusalem/Most Holy Place came down to earth and fully clothed the Church and therefore the Kingdom [of heaven] was fully prepared and formed within the Church.

d).  “Truly, truly, I ay to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do, and greater worksthan these will he do, because I go am going to the Father” (v. 12).

The phrase “truly, truly” or “verily I say unto you” links this verse back to the previous verse which describes Christ’s miraculous “works” (v. 11).  Jesus appealed to the crowds to believe on Him based upon His teachings and the miracles or “works” He performed (cf. Jn. 5:36; 10:25, 26, 37, 38; 20:30-31).  Therefore, in context, the “works” the Apostles would perform are miracles as Jesus performed.  MacArthur denies this claiming these “greater works” are “spiritual rather than physical miracles” and that “Jesus did not mean greater works in power, but extent” (cf. Acts 1:8).[6]  But a hermeneutics professor Matt Waymeyer, at The Master’s Seminary disagrees with MacArthur and points out the same contextual connection that these are literal miracles:

“Brown is correct in his assertion that Jesus was referring to miraculous works in John 14:12 when He spoke of “the works that I do.” This is clear not only from the immediate context of John 14 (see verses 10-11) but also from the greater context of John’s Gospel in which the miraculous works of Jesus gave evidence of His identity (see 5:36; 10:25; 20:30-31). And what miraculous works was Jesus referring to? He doesn’t name them, but the Gospel of John—which records only a fraction of the signs and wonders Jesus performed (21:25)—provides several examples:

  • Jesus changed water into wine (2:1-11).
  • Jesus healed a boy who was about to die (4:46-54).
  • Jesus healed a man who had been crippled and unable to walk for 38 years (5:1-9).
  • Jesus fed 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish (6:1-14).
  • Jesus walked on water (6:16-21).
  • Jesus healed a man born blind (9:1-41).
  • Jesus resurrected a man who had been dead for four days (11:1-45).

According to John 14:12a, these are the kinds of miraculous works that will be performed by “he who believes” in Jesus.”[7]

I believe these literal miracles were “greater” in the extent that over a period of roughly forty years (not a mere three) more miracles and more souls were saved during the Apostles ministry (and those they laid hands on before Christ came to close the OC age), than Christ Himself performed.  They were not “greater” in the sense that their miracles were more miraculous than Christ’s miracles were, for clearly they were not – walking on water, feeding 5,000 and even raising Himself from the dead.

If Brown makes John 14:12 a promise for all believers throughout all time, Matt Maymeyer claims Brown in essence has proven too much:

But what initially appears to be Brown’s strongest argument ultimately turns out to be the most significant problem for his view. By assuming that “he who believes” is also universal in John 14:12, Brown ends up arguing that every single believer in the history of the church has performed (or will perform) the same miraculous works as Jesus, works such as healing the crippled, giving sight to the blind, and raising people from the dead.

Apart from the obvious observation that there are more than a few believers in the past two thousand years who have never raised the dead or given sight to the blind, the apostle Paul made it clear in 1 Corinthians 12:27-30 that it was never God’s design to give every Christian the ability to perform the miraculous…”

The implied answer to each of these rhetorical questions is, “No, of course not!” If it was never God’s design that all believers perform miracles and healings, how can Brown affirm an interpretation of John 14:12 which says that it was?
Brown’s interpretation of John 14:12, then, faces a significant obstacle. Even though it is undoubtedly true that every single believer will have eternal life (John 3:15, 16, 36; 6:40, 47), is not judged (John 3:18), will never thirst (John 6:35), will experience the rivers of living water (John 7:38), will live even if he dies (John 11:25, 26), believes in the Father (John 12:44), and will not remain in darkness (John 12:46), it is simply notthe case that every single believer does (or will do) the miraculous works that Jesus did (2:1-11; 4:46-54; 5:1-9; 6:1-14; 6:16-21; 9:1-41; 11:1-45). This was never the sovereign design of God for the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27-30), and it was not promised by Jesus in John 14:12.

So what does Jesus mean when He says that “He who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also”? The key is found in remembering the original audience of Jesus. In John 14-16, Judas had already departed and Jesus was exclusively addressing the eleven disciples, the very ones He would soon send out as His apostles. Even though much of John 14-16 can be applied to every believer by extension, all of what Jesus says in these chapters applies directly to the apostles and some of what He says applies onlyto the apostles (e.g., John 14:25-26; 16:13). John 14:12 falls into this latter category.

In John 14, Philip asked Jesus to show them the Father (v. 8). Jesus responded by rebuking Philip (v. 9) and asking him whether or not he believed that He is in the Father and the Father is in Him (v. 10). Then Jesus widened the scope of His instruction (the Greek transitions from singular to plural) by addressing all of the disciples and exhorting them twice to “believe” in Him (v. 11). Therefore, when Jesus referred to “he who believes in Me” in the very next verse (v. 12), it makes good sense to conclude that the scope of that phrase is limited to those whom Jesus was addressing, namely the eleven disciples. As Richard Mayhue writes, “Christ’s charge to the disciples [in John 14:12] should not automatically be assigned to all believers throughout the ages unless specifically indicated by the text. Nothing here points beyond the disciples” (The Healing Promise, 162).
The promise of John 14:12, then, is that once Jesus sends the disciples out as His apostles, they will be empowered by the Holy Spirit to perform miraculous works just like He did. Not only does this interpretation fit the immediate context of John 14-16, but the Book of Acts records that the apostles did indeed perform the miraculous works promised by Jesus in John 14:12: “many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles” (Acts 2:43; emphasis added). If the promise of John 14:12 is universal and every believer performed signs and wonders, why does Luke single out the apostles in Acts 2:43? Where is the biblical account that “many wonders and signs were taking place through all the brethren”?”[8]

Brown has responded to Waymeyer’s article in that his appeals to 1 Corinthians 12 and Acts in essence proves too much for his position because:  1.  The ability to perform miracles is given to members of the local church and not just to the Apostles, 2.  within the context of the letter the miraculous gifts are given to members of the body until Christ’s Second Coming (which Matt Waymeyer and Brown affirm is future) (cf. 1 Cor. 1:7-8; 13:8-12), and 3.  Stephen and Philip (not just the Apostles) were performing signs and wonders in the book of Acts (cf. Acts 6 & 8) and this would continue throughout the “last days” (Acts 2).
While I couldn’t agree more with Waymeyer’s contextual comments that “…though much of John 14-16 can be applied to every believer by extension, all of what Jesus says in these chapters applies directly to the apostles and some of what He says applies only to the apostles (e.g., John 14:25-26; 16:13). John 14:12falls into this latter category…,” this still does not address his Futurist position and problem that in Acts and in the various churches signs and wonders were performed by others than the Apostles and that this would continue throughout the “last days” or until the Second Coming would arrive.  Brown points out he has only addressed 3% of his arguments while avoiding the others related to eschatology and the Second Coming. This of course is not a problem I have as a Full Preterist, as I continue to overturn virtually all of Brown’s Charismatic arguments listed in Authentic Fire.

e).  The Holy Spirit would be a “helper” “advocate” (Greek paraclete) to provide power (v. 16 – and the dunamis/power and commission of Acts 1:8).
The Greek word for “helper” here is paraclete and as R.C. Sproul pointed out in his lecture at MacArthur’s Strange Fire conference this word carries with it more of a sense of giving power than merely comforting the disciples,

“…before His ascension, He told His disciples that they should tarry in Jerusalem inasmuch as they would receive power and after they would receive power they were to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the uttermost parts of the earth.

We also know that in the Upper Room, Jesus gave His longest discourse on the Holy Spirit when He said that when He would leave, He would not leave us comfortless, but that He would send along with the Father the paraclete, or what the Old King James Version of the Bible translated as the Comforter.  And there’s a little problem with that use of the term “Comforter” in translating the Greek parakletos because it goes back to earlier English, indeed Elizabethan English, when the English language was more closely informed by ancient Latin than it is today.  And the translation “comforter” had its roots in the Latin cum forte.  So what Jesus was saying when He was saying, “I’m going to send you a Comforter,” what the King James called the Comforter, was that He was saying I’m going to send you the One who will come with strength.  You know, we say a person may have a particular strength and we call it his forte and the use of the term forte is familiar to those of you who are engaged in music.  You know, that little “f” or the double “ff” stands for forte, it means you play it with strength and with power.

And so what Jesus was saying is, I’m not sending the Holy Spirit to dry your tears, to console you, to make you feel better after you’ve been beaten up by your adversaries, although He does that.  Rather the promise of the coming Spirit was for power and for strength.”[9]

He continues to point out that the book of Acts for the most part follows the Great Commission (GC) described by Jesus in Acts 1:8 — the gospel would be preached to:  1. Jerusalem, 2.  Judea, 3.  Samaria and 4.  To the Uttermost parts of the earth.  He argues that there were four Pentecost’s in the book of Acts that were unique in redemptive history (not to be continually repeated for believers throughout all ages – per Brown).  There purpose was to show the exclusive Jew (even believer) that all these groups: 1.  Jews (Acts 2), 2.  Samaritans (Acts 8), 3.  God-fearers (Acts 10), and 4.  the Gentiles (Acts 19) were on equal footing in the NC fulfilling the mystery contained in the OT Scriptures (the Jew / Gentile oneness in the NC Kingdom).[10]

But Sproul’s argument is exegetically inconsistent since he still believes that we are baptized by the Spirit today to receive power to fulfill Acts 1:8.  Where does the NT teach that one group gets baptized by or with the Spirit with one kind of dunamis/power that results in speaking in tongues and prophesying in order to fulfill the GC of Acts 1:8, while today we get baptized by the Spirit to receive a different kind of dunamis/power that doesn’t result in tongues, prophesying, or the working of miracles (just boldness) to fulfill the same GC of (Acts 1:8)?!?  Even Brown says of Acts 1:8,

“This did not only mean boldness; rather, it referred in particular to the supernatural enduement of divine power to work miracles in Jesus’ name,…” (Authentic Fire, 191).

As I pointed out in addressing Brown’s GC argument already in this series, both Mark 16:15-18 and Acts 1:8 are the same GC, and it is clearly stated that the miraculous sign gifts continue in order to fulfill that commission.  Sproul in his book, The Last Days According to Jesus appears to be somewhat confused or inconsistent on the “last days” of Acts 2 which encompasses the GC of Acts 1:8 as well, and this continues to muddy the waters for him and those listening to his teaching on the subject.

As I have demonstrated in this series, the “last days” were OC Israel’s last days ending in AD 70 and not the last days of the NC Church closing world history.  And the GC described by Jesus as a sign to be fulfilled before He would come and bring an end to the OC age in AD 70 (cf. Mt. 24:14/Mrk. 13:10/Mrk. 16:15-18/Mt. 28:18-20/Acts 1:8) was also fulfilled according to the inspired teaching of the Apostle Paul (Cols. 1:5-6, 23/Rms. 10:18/Rms. 16:25-26).

Brown asks,

“When did the dunamis of the Spirit change?  Where is it written or even hinted at that the Spirit no longer includes God’s dunamis (Authentic Fire, 192)?

Yet Brown concedes that the miraculous sign gifts continue until the GC is fulfilled (suspecting that everyone agrees it hasn’t been fulfilled or can’t prove it has).  So unlike Sproul, the Full Preterist can truly and consistently say these four Pentecost’s of the outpouring power of the Holy Spirit were unique events in redemptive history that fulfilled Acts 1:8 bringing the church to her maturity or to “the unity of the faith” (Ephs. 4) in AD 70 — whereby we don’t need more miraculous confirmation that all men are on equal ground in the NC age.  The OC with all of its distinctions between the various people groups vanished in AD 70.  Today post AD 70 we don’t live within a transition period whereby the OC and NC are overlapping, but rather as we preach the gospel (cf. Rev. 22:17) living in the mature NC age — there are only two classes of people – believers and unbelievers (those within the gates of the NJ and those without).  But before this, God had to give the early Church roughly forty years and the dunamis of the Spirit to confirm and figure this out.  It took thirty years before Peter and the Jewish Church believed Peter’s testimony of what happened to Cornelius and the Gentiles with him – proving Gentiles could be fellowshipped with and were co-equals in the NC Kingdom.

Brown admits the Spirit was a “deposit of what was to come (see Ephesians 1:14)” (Authentic Fire, p. 199).  And yet Paul tells us the what and the when of the “what was to come” in just seven verses — “not only in this age (OC), but also in the one (NC age) about to come.” (Ephs. 1:21WUESTNT).  Once again the Pauline theme of the two ages of the old and new covenants are being contrasted with the new on the verge of “about to come” in AD 70.

f).  The Holy Spirit would infallibly remind and inspire the Apostles concerning the time frame of Christ’s return (v. 26 / Jn. 16:13).

This is devastating to both Brown and Waymeyer’s Premillennial Futurist eschatology since both agree these passages apply only to the Apostles. As the NT is being written by the Apostles (and those under their authority) towards the end of that AD 30 – AD 70 “this generation,” the Apostles are being “led into all truth” “concerning things to come” (prophecy), teaching that Jesus’ Second Coming, Judgment and Resurrection of the living and dead were “about to” be fulfilled “shortly,” soon,” “quickly,” “in a very little while,” and would “not be delayed” (cf. Acts 2:20, 40; Acts 17:31YLT; Acts 24:15YLT; Rom. 8:18-23YLT/AV; Rom. 13:11-12; Rom. 16:20; 1 Cor.7:29-31; 1 Cor. 10:11; 1 Cor. 15:51; Phil. 4:5; 1 Thess. 4:15ff–5:1-10; 2 Thess. 1:5-10; 2 Tim. 4:1YLT; Heb. 8:13–10:37; Heb. 13:14YLT; James 5:7-9; 1 Pet. 1:4-12; 1 Pet. 4:5-7, 17; 1 John 2:17-18; Rev. 1:1–-22:6-7, 10-12, 20).

Clearly the NT authors (who were inspired and not simply giving their opinions) understood and were being reminded of Jesus’ teachings (Mt. 10:22-23; Mt. 16:27-28; Mt. 24:1-34) on when their Lord would return much better than the Charismatic TV “prophecy experts,” “Reformed Scholars” and many Pastors and teachers coming out of The Master’s Seminary do.  A Full Preterist is willing to “let God be true and every man a liar” if need be. Are you?

Conclusion

The focus of this article on John 14:12 was to demonstrate that the eleven Apostles were directly told (and again in Acts 1) that through their ministries they would receive the outpouring and power of the Holy Spirit.   Not only this, but they would do greater miraculous works than even Christ did.  Over roughly a forty-year period they laid their hands on and led many to Christ in fulfilling the GC of Acts 1:8.  In doing so, they indeed did do more miracles and led more to Christ than even their Lord had.  We also saw how how the eschatological imminent “not yet” wedding/temple imagery inseparably connected to Jesus’ Second Coming to “come again” and “receive” the Church was fulfilled spiritually in AD 70 (as we saw of 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 in our last study).

The one point of agreement between Brown and Waymeyer on John 14:26/John 16:13 destroys their Premillennial Futurist eschatology – the Holy Spirit did infallibly lead the Apostles and those under their leadership “into all truth” concerning “things to come” (i.e. the first century imminent time frame for their Lord’s return) and therefore it was fulfilled at the end of the OC age in AD 70.
The pre-AD 70 purpose for the miraculous outpouring of the Holy Spirit has reached its eschatological goal:

  1. To demonstrate the Jew/Gentile oneness in the NC Body/Kingdom.
  2. To confirm the Apostles authority and testimony while…
  3. Leading (infallibly by divine inspiration) the Apostles “into all truth” concerning “things to come” (i.e. the timing and nature of the Second Coming).
  4. To empower the Church to fulfill the GC – which would bring with it:  a). the complete ushering in of the NC age while brining the OC age to it’s end and b). to fulfill and bring about the full inheritance of Christ’s parousia (where the Father and Son now make their home within the believer – her chief reward).

These were unique eschatological events taking place between the overlapping of the OC and NC ages and fulfilled within history – not brining an end to it.  Therefore, the unique purpose of the miraculous outpouring of the Holy Spirit does not need to be repeated throughout the ages of the Church beyond AD 70 – as Dr. Brown has assumed and incorrectly interpreted the Scriptures.
Dr. Brown’s appeals to John 14:12 for the continuance of the sign and revelatory gifts today has once again been overturned by the sound and consistent exegesis that Full Preterism provides the Church.  Dr. Brown is willing to meet me at The Master’s Seminary to try and prove me wrong.  Will Matt Waymeyer of The Master’s Seminary be willing to address more than Brown’s 3% of texts dealing with the cessation issue?  Being a hermeneutics instructor will he be able to prove that the Full Preterist heremeneutic which correctly literalizes the time texts and allows apocalyptic language to be interpreted non-literally is someone a false or heretical hermeneutic?  Please accept our challenge to you Mr. Waymeyer – which is also extended of course to Pastor MacArthur or any instructor at the Seminary or University.  Does not our Lord instruct you to “always be ready” to defend your future hope?

To read this series of articles that are a Full Preterist response to Charismatic Michael Brown (Author of Authentic Fire)  and Cessationist John MacArthur (Author of Strange Fire) go to:  

Part 1 – My Full Preterist Response to John MacArthur’s Appeals to Church History and Reformed Theology to Solve the Charismatic Dilemma https://fullpreterism.com/1-corinthians-138-12-a-full-preterist-response-to-the-strange-fire-conference-macarthursproulpennington-cessationists-v-authentic-fire-brownwilsonpiper-cha/

Part 2 – An Overview of the Various Views of “That Which is Perfect” (1 Cor. 13:10) https://fullpreterism.com/1-corinthians-138-12-a-full-preterist-response-to-the-strange-fire-conference-macarthursproulpennington-cessationists-v-authentic-fire-brownwilsonpiper-cha/

Part 3 – My Full Preterist Response to Charismatic Michael Brown’s Argument on 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 Demonstrating That the Miraculous Sign and Revelatory Gifts of Tongues, Prophecy and Knowledge Ceased and Passed Away with the OC Age in AD 70 and John MacArthur’s Inability to Deal with the Passage  https://fullpreterism.com/my-full-preterist-response-to-john-macarthurs-strange-fire-cessationist-v-michael-brown-authentic-fire-charismatic-part-3-argument-1-an-exegesis-of/

Part 4 – My Full Preterist Response to Charismatic Michael Brown’s Argument on the “Last Days” of Acts 2 and John MacArthur’s Inability to Deal with the Passage https://fullpreterism.com/my-full-preterist-response-to-michael-brown-charismatic-authentic-fire-vs-john-macarthur-cessationist-strange-fire-the-last-days-acts-2/

Part 5 – My Full Preterist Response to Charismatic Michael Brown’s Argument on the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20 and Mark 16:15-20 and John MacArthur’s Inability to Deal with the Passage https://fullpreterism.com/my-full-preterist-response-to-john-macarthurs-strange-fire-cessationist-v-michael-browns-authentic-fire-charismatic-part-5-argument-3-the-great-commission/

Part 6 – My Full Preterist Response to Charismatic Michael Brown’s Argument on the “Already and Not Yet” of the Kingdom and John MacArthur’s Inability to Respond Biblically https://fullpreterism.com/my-full-preterist-response-to-john-macarthurs-strange-fire-cessationist-v-michael-browns-authentic-fire-charismatic-part/

Part 7 – My Full Preterist Response to Charismatic Michael Brown’s Argument on John 14:12 and John MacArthur’s (The Master’s Seminary) Inability to Deal With the Passage and the Infallibility of the Scriptures going on into John 16 https://fullpreterism.com/my-full-preterist-response-to-john-macarthurs-strange-fire-cessationist-v-michael-browns-authentic-fire-charismatic-part-2/

Part 8 – My Open Letter to my Former Pastor John MacArthur and The Master’s Seminary to Interact with Myself and Dr. Michael Brown on These Passages and When the Bible Teaches Tongues, Prophecy and Knowledge Are to Cease That Has NEVER Been Responded to https://fullpreterism.com/open-letter-to-pastor-john-macarthur-and-faculty-at-the-masters-college-seminary-sullivan-v-brown-debate-symposium-challenge/
[1] Matt Waymeyer, Michael Brown, Authentic Fire, & John 14:12, http://thecripplegate.com/michael-brown-authentic-fire-john-1412/
[2] Dr. Michael Brown, The Master’s Seminary Professor and John 14:12, https://askdrbrown.org/library/masters-seminary-professor-and-john-1412
[3] Tom Holland, CONTOURS OF PAULINE THEOLOGY A RADICAL NEW SURVEY OF THE INFLUENCES ON PAUL’S BIBLICAL WRITINGS, (Scotland, UK:  Mentor Imprint by Christian Focus Publications, 2004), 119-120.
[4] Arthur W. Pink, EXPOSITION OF THE GOSPEL OF JOHN, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1975), 758
[5] Köstenberger, A. J. (2007). John. In Commentary on the New Testament use of the Old Testament (p. 489). Grand Rapids, MI; Nottingham, UK: Baker Academic; Apollos.
[6] John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible, 1613.
[7] Matt Waymeyer, Ibid.
[8] Ibid.,
[9] R.C. Sproul, Undervaluing Pentecost, http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/TM13-3/undervaluing-pentecost
[10] Sproul, Ibid.

Appendix C – The Trumpet Catching Away and Trumpet Gathering of Matthew 24:30-31 and 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

Editorial Note:  This is a combination of various lectures and articles I have done on the “rapture” of 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.  Again, this was an internal and spiritual event, just like the New Jerusalem / Most Holy Place is not a literal cubed city that someday is going to hang off of or consume the planet earth.  We are the MHP / NJ of God’s presence and in AD 70, He gathered or caught her away into His glory cloud/presence and we enjoy that presence in our hearts and minds today.

What you have below is mainly a refutation I did of the Partial Preterist Postmillennial view that concedes the coming and gathering of Christ in Matthew 24:30-31 was fulfilled in AD 70 and has a spiritual application and fulfillment, but then they arbitrarily claim this SAME coming of Christ in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 is somehow a different coming of Christ and then begin to literalize that language.

Introduction: 

At this point I’m going to be combining some material I produced for a lecture I did at one of the Berean Bible Conferences dealing with refuting the various literal rapture positions of some Postmillennialists and Partial Preterists with what I presented this year at the PPW Conference on the Problems for Postmillennialists in Matthew 24-25. 

In order to exegetically and logically reconcile the various Postmillennial and Reformed views on Daniel 7:13; 12:1-7; Matthew 24:30-31; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and 1 Corinthians 15, I must demonstrate that the trumpet coming of Christ and the resurrection of 1 Thessalonians 4-5 and 1 Corinthians 15 are the SAME spiritual coming of Christ and spiritual resurrection Postmillennialists are saying was fulfilled in Matthew 24-25 and Daniel 12 to close the OC age in AD 70.  This is not difficult.

Again, my approach is to simply follow the hermeneutical methods of the Reformed and Postmillennialist community to build my case:

  • Paul in 1-2 Thessalonians is using Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24 as his source.
  • The “parallels” and use of “similar language” between Paul’s writings and Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24 prove the same coming and eschatological event is in view.
  • Following the “scriptural references” or the use of the analogy of faith found in The Reformation Bible produced by two Postmillennial editors.
  • The coming of the Son of Man and the resurrection of Daniel 7:13 and 12:2-3 is the ONE Second Coming and resurrection event as described for us in Matthew 24:30-31 and 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.
  • The resurrection of Daniel 12:2-3 was fulfilled spiritually at Christ’s parousia in AD 70.

The Second Coming and Resurrection Event

“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the tribes of the earth [land] will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” (Mt. 24:30-31).

In the Reformed Study Bible edited by Postmillennial Partial Preterists R.C. Sproul and Keith Mathison we learn this of Matt. 24:30-31:

“But the language of Matt. 24:31 is parallel to passages like 13:41; 16:27; and 25:31 [passages Postmillennialists such as Mathison and DeMar say were fulfilled in AD 70], as well as to passages such as 1 Cor. 15:52 and 1 Thess. 4:14-17The passage most naturally refers to the Second Coming.”

This is more than a bit odd since R.C. Sproul and Keith Mathison believe and teach the coming of Christ in Matthew 24:27-30 (and Mathison 25:31) was spiritually fulfilled in AD 70 – and yet we learn in their own Study Bible these passages “most naturally refer to the Second Coming”!

John Murray appealing to the “analogy of faith” principle of interpretation in examining this passage writes,

“There is ample allusion to the sound of the trumpet and to the ministry of angels elsewhere in the New Testament in connection with Christ’s advent (1 Cor. 15:52; 1 Thess. 4:16).  Hence verse 31 can most readily be taken to refer to the gathering of the elect at the resurrection.” (John Murray, COLLECTED WRITINGS OF JOHN MURRAY 2 Systematic Theology, (Carlisle, PA:  THE BANNER OF TRUTH TRUST, 1977), p. 391).

Before developing the “parallels” and the analogy of faith principle of interpretation between Matthew 24, 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15, let’s first examine the fact that Postmillennialism admits Paul is drawing from the OD in 1 and 2 Thessalonians and that they recognize the use of parallels to be a legitimate use of exegesis.

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

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

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

  1. a coming of our Lord (2 Thess. 2:1; cf. Matt. 24:27, 30),
  2. a gathering together to Him (2 Thess. 2:1; cf. Mattt. 24:31),
  3. apostasy (2 Thess. 2:3; cf. Matt. 24:5, 10-12),
  4. the mystery of lawlessness (2 Thess. 2:7; Matt. 24:12),
  5. satanic signs and wonders (2 Thess. 2:9-10; cf. Matt. 24:24),
  6. a deluding influence on unbelievers (2 Thess. 2:11; cf. Matt. 24:5, 24).” (Mathison, From Age to Age, 515).

And Postmillennialist Gary DeMar in his Last Days Madness teaches the coming of Christ in 1 Thessalonians 5 was fulfilled in AD 70 because Paul is drawing from Jesus’ teaching in the OD using “similar phrases” or language such as Him coming “like a thief” or the use of “birth pains.”  But notice ALL of the “parallels” and use of “similar language” Paul is taking from Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24 that DeMar arbitrarily passed over:

Matthew 24 1 Thessalonians 5
1.  Exact time unknown (24:36) 1.  Exact time unknown (5:1-2)
2.  Christ comes like a thief (24:43) 2.  Christ comes like a thief (5:2)
3.  Unbelievers caught unaware (37-39) 3.  Unbelievers caught unaware (5:3)
4.  Birth pains (24:8) 4.  Birth pains (5:3)
5.  Believers are not deceived (24:43) 5.  Believers are not deceived (5:4-5)
6.  Believers told to be watchful (24:42) 6.  Believers told to be watchful (5:6)
7.  Exhortation against drunkenness (24:49) 7.  Exhortation against drunkenness (5:7)
8.  The Day, Sunlight shinning from east to west, (24:27, 36-38) 8.  The Day, sons of light, sons of day (1 Thess. 5:4-8)

The reason why Postmillennialists such as DeMar don’t want to develop ALL of the parallels between Matthew 24 and 1 Thessalonians 5 is because if they do, the reader will inevitably see all of the parallels between Matthew 24 and the coming of Christ in 1 Thessalonians 4 and that of course would prove the eschatological trumpet gathering and catching away of Matthew 24:30-31 and 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 are the same event and were thus fulfilled in AD 70 as well.

Having looked at the main authors defending Postmillennialism today and The Reformation Study Bible(which they have edited and produced) when it comes to the use the analogy of faith, “parallels” and the use of “similar language” to make their cases in connecting Matthew 24 with that of 1 and 2 Thessalonians and 1 Corinthians 15, let’s now be more exegetically consistent and bridge the gap between their irreconcilable differences (that their creedal doctrine of a physical resurrection at the end of world history has created for them).

The Analogy of the Faith or Scripture Hermeneutic:  Teaches us that Scripture interprets Scripture and that Scripture cannot contradict Scripture.  Yet, so far from the writings and co-authors of Postmillennialists on Matthew 24; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 and 1 Corinthians 15 we are getting contradictory interpretations that can easily be resolved. 

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

  • A = (Matt. 24:27-31, 34)
  • B = (1 Thess. 4:15-17)
  • C = (1 Cor. 15)

Major Premise:  Since it is true and orthodox to believe that the coming of Christ in A (Matt. 24:27-31, 25:31ff.) was fulfilled spiritually in AD 70 (Postmillennialism & Full Preterism agree).

Minor Premise #2:  And since it is also true that A (Matt. 24:27-31; 25:31ff.) is the same or ONE Second Coming event described for us in B (1 Thess. 4:15-17) and C (1 Cor. 15) (Amillennialism, Historic Premillennialism and some Postmillennialists agree with Full Preterism),

Conclusion:  Then it is also true and orthodox to believe that both B (1 Thess. 4:15-17) and C (1 Cor. 15) were fulfilled spiritually at Christ’s ONE parousia or Second Coming event 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.”

Since A (Mat. 24) is = to B (1 Thess. 4) or “if A bears some relation to B”

Matthew 24 1 Thessalonians 4-5
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 – The trumpet gathering resurrection of Isa. 25-27
Caught/Gathered Together with/to Christ 24:31 4:17 – The resurrection of the dead of Isa. 25-27
To “Meet” (marriage term) the Lord in the Clouds 24:30 & 25:6 4:17 – The wedding/resurrection of Isa. 25-27
The 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  *This is a unique parallel that I have developed.

My Brief Testimony

Now one can see why Postmillennialists such as Gary DeMar or Keith Mathison deceptively (in my opinion) do not want to consistently draw attention to all of the “parallels” or use of “similar language” between Matthew 24 and 1 Thessalonians 5 since such a hermeneutic would beg the question from the reader, “well, what about all the ‘parallels’ and ‘similar language’ between Matthew 24:30-31 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17”?!?

This is exactly how I became a Full Preterist (even though I didn’t know such a view existed).  In 1990-91 I had a hard time with Postmillennialists only giving an exegesis of Matthew 24 up to verse 34-36.  I was doing a study on Christ coming as a thief and noticed that David Chilton in his writings (Paradise Restoredand Days of Vengeance) applied Christ coming as a thief in 24:43 as fulfilled in AD 70.  This was my conclusion as well, but this meant there were not two comings of Christ in Matthew 24-25 and Postmillennialists such as Chilton at the time was hiding this belief and not trying to develop it due to it’s conflict with the creeds.  I agreed with Amillennialists and some historic Premillennialists that saw ALL the parallels between Matthew 24 and 1 Thessalonains 4-5 as ONE event, and yet at the same time I believed Postmillennialists were accurate to believe Matthew 24 happened spiritually in AD 70.  I concluded that the “rapture” and resurrection of 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 must be understood spiritually as well.  And if Paul is drawing from Jesus’ teaching in the OD, then Paul is using apocalyptic language just as Jesus did.  It is important to note that it was in reading Scripture and Reformed works on eschatology that brought me to Full Preterism.  There were no other outside influences.  Over time God would lead me to men that saw what I was seeing – and that was very comforting!

Reformed Eschatology Makes the Same Parallels

Reformed theologian G.K. Beale agrees with Full Preterism on two issues here.  First he agrees that Paul is using recapitulation between 1 Thessalonians 4-5 (or that both chapters describe the same coming and event) and secondly, he agrees with us that Paul is drawing from Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24,

“…1 Thess. 4:15-17 describes generally the same end-time scenario as 1 Thess. 5:1-11.  Specifically, Paul narrates the resurrection at the end of the age and then recapitulates in chapter 5 by speaking about the timing of this event and about the judgment on unbelievers, which will also happen at the same time.  That both 4:15-18 and 5:1-11 explain the same events is discernible from observing that both passages actually form one continuous depiction of the same narrative in Matthew 24,…” (G.K. Beale, The IVP New Testament Commentary Series 1–2 Thessalonians (Downers Grove, IL: Inter Varsity Press, 2003), 136).

As I have previously demonstrated, Jesus used recapitulation in Matthew 24-25.  In 24:30-31 Jesus’ coming is describing the gathering or resurrection of believers.  In 25:31-46 His coming includes a judgment (and thus resurrection) for the unbelieving dead as well.  So it should not surprise us that Paul is using recapitulation here to connect 1 Thessalonians 4-5.  In 4:16-17 the emphasis on His coming is the resurrection of believers.  In chapter 5 His coming includes the judgment for unbelievers.  One has to be blind not to notice what Beale sees, “…both passages [1 Thess. 4-5] actually form one continuous depiction of the same narrative in Matthew 24…” and one has to be equally blind not to notice that Jesus’ places this coming in His generation!

Beale goes on to connect 1 Thessalonians 4-5 with Matthew 24:

“Other significant parallels include: the use of the word parousia for Christ’s coming; reference to Christ’s advent as “that day” (Mt. 24:36) or “the day of the Lord” (1 Thess. 5:2); and a description of someone coming to “meet” another (eis apantesin autou, virgins coming out to “meet” the bridegroom in Mt. 25:6; eis apantesin tou kyriou, believers “meeting” the Lord in 1 Thess. 4:17; see further Waterman 1975).”  (Beale, Ibid, 136–137).  Once again the eschatological time of the wedding in AD 70 creates problems for Postmillennialists, because this is also synonymous with the time of the resurrection of Isaiah 25:6-9/1 Cor. 15:54-56.

The “Thorny Problem” For Beale and Reformed Eschatology

In a more recent work Beale now seems to lean in the direction of Partial Preterism – that the coming of the Son of Man in Matthew 24:30 was fulfilled in AD 70 and not at the end of history:

“The clearest reference to Jesus as the Son of Man from Daniel 7:13 come in the third category (which he identifies as “those that refer to Jesus’ future coming in glory”), where there are quotations of Dan. 7:13 (Matt. 24:30, Mark 13:26, Luke 21:27).  However, it is likely better to see most of these third-category references fulfilled not at the very end of history but rather in AD 70 at the destruction of Jerusalem, in which the Son of Man’s coming would be understood as an invisible coming in judgment, using the Roman armies as his agent.  The reference in Matt. 25:31 to “the Son of Man” who will “come in His glory” and “sit on His glorious throne” is not a quotation of but rather an allusion to Dan. 7:13-14, which clearly is applied to the very end of the age at Christ’s final coming. 

If this view is correct, it may be that the AD 70 coming of Christ in judgment as portrayed by the Synoptics is a typological foreshadowing of his final coming in judgment.  However, the traditional view that the coming of the Son of Man in the Synoptic eschatological discourse refers to Christ’s final coming certainly is plausible.  This issue is a thorny one that still deserves much more study.” (G.K. Beale, A NEW TESTAMENT BIBLICAL THEOLOGY THE UNFOLDING OF THE OLD TESTAMENT IN THE NEW, (Grand Rapids, MI:  Baker Academic, 2011), 396 n. 27—397.  (emphases added)).

This indeed is a “thorny” problem for Mr. Beale to affirm in one work that the coming and implied resurrection gathering at the end of the age in Matthew 24:30-31 is the same Second Coming of Christ and resurrection event as described by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and is now trying to affirm that the coming and resurrection gathering of Matthew 24:30-31 was fulfilled in AD  70.  Why? Because both of these are full preterist or “hyper-preterist” interpretations to take on these texts.  Beale due to creedal commitments, will not accept that full preterism has done the “more study” necessary in order to reconcile the exegetical problems he and his “orthodox” colleagues have created.

But is Beale then saving himself from this “thorny” problem by citing Matthew 25:31 as “clearly” the end of time or end of the age coming of Christ?  Not when you consider that partial preterists combined such as Mathison, DeMar and McDurmon have clearly seen this passage was fulfilled in AD 70 as well and not Christ’s “actual” Second Coming. But this then creates more thorny problems for these men such as the marriage that follows Matthew 25:10 (as I discussed in lecture one on the marriage feast).  How many times does Christ in His Parousia consummate His marriage with the church within Postmillennial theology?  How can they criticize Dispensationalism for having TWO resurrections and TWO eschatological weddings when their Partial Preterism is forcing them into the same error, just a different version of TWO fulfillments for these events?!?
Mathison attempts to avoid the unified parallels between Matthew 24–25 and 1 Thessalonians 4–5 by claiming that his Reformed brothers and “hyper-preterists” merely assume that “Jesus is speaking of his second advent when he speaks of ‘the coming of the Son of Man’ in Matthew 24 and that Paul is speaking of the same thing in 1 Thessalonians 4.” (Mathison, From Age to Age, 515).  The self-evident fact of the matter however is that Mathison turns a blind eye to overwhelming evidence because Mathison assumes that partial Preterism is right. It is more than inconsistent to claim preterist parallels between Matthew 24 and 2 Thessalonians 2 and between Matthew 24 and 1 Thessalonians 5, and then deny the obvious parallels between Matthew 24 and 1 Thessalonians 4. But this is what partial preterists such as Mathison do.  (Mathison, Postmillenialism, 226, 230).

Because Gentry’s Postmillennial colleagues such as DeMar and Mathison no longer divide the OD, he remains committed to the creedal view that the OD does discuss the Second Coming event but now concedes that Matthew 24–25 does not necessarily need to be divided and that all of Matthew 24 could be addressing one coming of Christ in AD 70:

“Orthodox preterists see no doctrinal problems arising if we apply all of Matthew 24 to A.D. 70. We generally do not do so because of certain exegetical markers in the text. But if these are not sufficient to distinguish the latter part of Matthew 24 from the earlier part, it would not matter.” Kenneth Gentry, He Shall Have Dominion (Draper, VA: Apologetics Group Media, 2009), 540).

The fact of the mater is that they do see a “problem” here if the OD is only addressing Christ coming in AD 70 – they just don’t want to admit it.  The “problem” is that virtually all scholars and commentators tell us that Matthew 24–25 forms the foundation to and contains parallel prophetic material to Matthew 13; 1 Corinthians 15; 1 Thessalonians 4–5; 2 Peter 3; Revelation 20–21; etc… Yet Mathison and DeMar claim Matthew 24–25 was fulfilled in AD 70 and Gentry doesn’t see a problem with it?!?  How can these things be, indeed?  This is why partial preterism gains a following for a short period, and then its students end up coming to “hyper-preterism” for a more consistent and exegetical approach that is in harmony with the analogy of Scripture.

Another problem for Postmillennialists is that they admit that the last trumpet of Revelation 11 was fulfilled in AD 70, but they do not discuss the fact that the time of the last trumpet was the time for “the dead” to be judged (Rev. 11:18). This is the same problem they face in the immediate context of 1 Peter 4:7. How were the dead judged in AD 70 without the resurrection of the dead taking place? And how is this time for the dead being judged different from the time in which the dead are judged in Revelation 20? And how is this trumpet judgment in Revelation 11 different from the one in Matthew 24:30–31, 1 Thessalonians 4, and 1 Corinthians 15? The analogy of Faith and that of Scripture nullifies with finality the arbitrary Scripture-dichotomizations of partial preterism.

Important Postmillennial and Partial Preterist Admissions

In 1998 Postmillennial Partial Preterist R.C. Sproul Sr. in his book The Last Days According to Jesus was either misinformed or dishonest with the Reformed and Evangelical community when he claimed that the main difference between Full Preterism and Partial Preterism was that Partial Preterists do not believe there was a rapture or resurrection of the dead that took place at Christ’s parousia in AD 70 (see his chart on p. 157).

Postmillennial author Mike Bull departs from other Postmillennial Partial Preterists and admits,

“The similarity of the events described in [1 Thess. 4:16-17] with those described in Matthew 24 and 1 Corinthians [15] means that full preterists are correct when they observe that all three passages clearly refer to the same event.” (Bull, Those Who Have Fallen Asleep, http://www.biblematrix.com.au/those-who-have-fallen-asleep/).

One of Postmillennialists main sources of authority in building their Preterist views is Milton Terry.  However, unlike DeMar, Terry (like Postmillennialist Mike Bull) correctly saw that Paul in 1 Thess. 4:16-17 and 1 Cor. 15:51-52 was following Jesus’ teaching and eschatology in the trumpet gathering of Matthew 24:30-31.  Terry was insightful and correct to disagree with John Lightfoot (and therefore with men like DeMar and Gentry) whom see this trumpet gathering at Christ’s coming as some kind of post AD 70 evangelistic gathering lasting thousands of years and not the rapture or resurrection event that Jesus said would be fulfilled at His coming to close the OC age.  Terry criticized Lightfoot’s view for not holding to the analogy of faith hermeneutic and said it would be “accepted by very few” (Hermeneutics, 447-448).

Unfortunately for Milton Terry and Postmillennialist Mike Bull, they are off base to teach that the coming of Christ and gathering or harpazo of Matthew 24:30-31 and 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 was some kind of partial physical resurrection and or physical rapture.  I will discuss the problems with this literal interpretation later, but the fact is Postmillennial Partial Preterism or Partial Preterism in general DOES see a “rapture” or “resurrection” event taking place in AD 70 – contrary to R.C. Sproul’s comments.  Clearly Sproul knows of Milton Terry’s works!  And Postmillennialists such as Jordan, DeMar and Gentry have finally conceded that the resurrection of Daniel 12:2-3 was fulfilled spiritually in AD 70.  And surely Sproul cannot be so blind as to not see that his Reformation Study Bible is forming our view by admitting Matthew 24:30-31; 1 Thessalonains 4:16-17 and 1 Corinthians 15 are descriptions of the SAME and ONE parousia of Christ while also admitting in their other writings that Christ’s coming in BOTH Matthew 24-25 was fulfilled spiritually in AD 70?!?

Laying the context for 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 

Before giving an exegesis of 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 and solving the “thorny problem” Beale and the Reformed community have created for themselves (in adopting a physical coming of Jesus to perform a physical biological resurrection at the end of time), I want to develop the context of Christ’s coming and eschatology for Paul in 1 and 2 Thessalonians. 

1 Thessalonians 1:10

“for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.” (1:9-10).

The Thessalonians were to eagerly wait for Christ.  The definition of anaménō
“…(from 303 /aná, “up, completing a process,” which intensifies 3306 /ménō, “wait, remain”) – properly, earnestly wait (linger, abide); actively wait with rising intensity and clarity about what is hoped for (note the prefix, ana).  Thayers – “to wait for one (with the added notion of patience and trust).”

Even Dispensationalists such as Pastor John MacArthur writes of this passage, “…the immanency of the deliverance was something Paul felt could happen in their lifetimes.  Did Paul just “feel” it could happen or did he write it as an inspired and authoritative Apostle being led into all truth “trusting” in the very words of Jesus Himself that He would return at the end of the OC age, in their generation, and in some of their lifetimes (Matt. 10:22-23; 16:27-28; 24:27-34)?!?

Christ comes “from heaven.”  The definition of “heaven” here can mean the literal sky and clouds where the birds fly, but in Pauline eschatology the term “from heaven” is primarily dealing with God’s heavenly dwelling where His presence is along with the angelic hosts.

Christ comes to “rescue” the Thessalonians to Himself.

The definition of rescue here is  rhýomai (from eryō, “draw to oneself“) – properly, draw or (pull) to oneself; to rescue (“snatch up”); to draw or rescue a person to and for the deliverer.  To draw or snatch from danger, rescue, deliver. This is more with the meaning of drawing to oneself than merely rescuing from someone or something (Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament(electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers).

Christ comes to rescue the Thessalonians from the “coming wrath.”
God laid a trap for the persecuting Jews whom went to Jerusalem for the feast days in AD 66 and they experienced God’s wrath.  Christians that did go to Jerusalem to fellowship with the  Jerusalem Church in AD 66 fled the city and were rescued from this wrath.

Jews who especially sympathized with the Jewish revolt were persecuted throughout Rome during this period – 50,000 died in Egypt alone.  Christians were known for being peaceful law abiding citizens for the most part.
Paul’s doctrine on an imminent coming of Christ and wrath is in line with Jesus’ teaching:

“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. “Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are in the midst of the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city; because these are days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled. “Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people; and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” (Lk. 21:20-23).

And Postmillennialists admit the coming of Christ in Matthew 25:31 was fulfilled in AD 70 and there was a judgment of the dead that took place as well according to 1 Peter 4:5-7, 17 and Revelation 11.  Therefore, Jesus responds to the dead as well about this being a time of wrath,

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fireprepared for the devil and his angels. “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Harmonizing the coming of Christ in 1 Thessalonians 1:10 with 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17

1 Thessalonians 1:10 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17
1.  First century audience – “you” “us.” 1.  First century audience – “we.”
2.  Eager expectation – imminence 2.  “We who are still alive…” – imminent expectation.
3.  Christ comes “from heaven.” 3.  Christ comes “from heaven.”
4.  Jesus’ resurrection is mentioned as a sign or event guaranteeing that the living would be rescued. 4.  Jesus’ resurrection is mentioned as a sign or event guaranteeing the dead in Christ would be raised and the living would be brought into God’s presence.
5. “Snatches” from wrath but to Christ. 5. “Catches/snatches away” to Christ.

Kenneth Gentry & Keith Mathison

Mathison and Gentry don’t deal with the imminence here in connection with Jesus’ teaching in the OD.  This is odd since they claim to want to address imminence and they both admit Paul is drawing from Jesus’ teaching in the OD!  They also fail to demonstrate how the deliverance from this wrath here in chapter 1 is an allegedly future event for us, while Paul’s treatment of Christ coming attended with “wrath” in the very next chapter (cf. 1 Thess. 2:16) is fulfilled by AD 70.  Again, no consistent hermeneutic and no agreement among them. 

Gary DeMar

Unlike Gentry and Mathison, Gary DeMar concedes that the coming of Christ here in 1 Thessalonians 1:10 was fulfilled in AD 70.  But Gary fails to do any exegetical work to harmonize his Preterist interpretation of 1 Thessalonians 1:10 with his futurist creedal view of 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.  In both passages Christ comes “from heaven” to “snatch” or “catch” away His people to Himself. On what exegetical grounds is the first apocalyptic while the later is physical?!?  Again, no consistent hermeneutic or flow of Paul in his writings per Postmillennialis.  Why would the Thessalonians think these are two different comings of Christ “from heaven” to “snatch” or “catch” His people to Himself?!? 

1 Thessalonians 2:14-20 

“For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews, who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men, forbidding us to speak to the nations that they might be saved, to fill up their sins always, but the anger did come (past tense) upon them – [even] to the end!  “…For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan stopped us.  For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? For you are our glory and joy.” (2:14-16, 19-20)

We learn several things about this passage in connection with chapter 1:

  1. The “waiting process” of 1:10 is further clarified in chapter two as waiting for their

Jewish persecutors to “fill up the measure of their sins” before Christ comes to execute this wrath.

  1. The YLT and JFB catch something interesting about this wrath, in that it had already       begun and is actually in the past tense – “forbidding us to speak to the nations that                        they might be saved, to fill up their sins always, but the anger did come (past tense) upon them – [even] to the end! (1 Thess. 2:16).

Speaking about the past tense here JFB says this,
“not merely partial wrath, but wrath to its full extent, “even to the finishing stroke” [Edmunds]. The past tense implies that the fullest visitation of wrath was already begun. Already in A.D. 48, a tumult had occurred at the Passover in Jerusalem, when about thirty thousand (according to some) were slain; a foretaste of the whole vengeance which speedily followed (Lu 19:43, 44; 21:24).”
*This may be the event or “Day of the Lord” in judgment that the false teachers and prophets were saying had “already” been fulfilled in 2 Thess. 2?  1 & 2 Thessalonians were written between AD 50-52.

  1. 1 Thess. 2:14-20 – This “wrath” would be fully realized at “the end” (or the wrath that would be poured out at the end of the “time of the end” or end of the OC age – Dan. 12:4; Matt. 13:39-43; Matt. 24-25). 
Matthew 23-24 1 Thessalonians 1-2
1).  Prediction of persecution, suffering & death. 1).  Present persecution & suffering.
2).  The Jews killed the prophets, Jesus predicts His death (cf. Lk. 17:25), and that of the deaths of the NT prophets He would send in that generation. 2).  The Jews killed Jesus & the prophets.
3).  Jesus pronounces seven “woes” upon the Jews. 3).  Paul says the Jewish persecutors are not pleasing to God.
4).  Jews sought to hinder Christ from “gathering” and preaching the gospel to Jerusalem’s “children” so that they could be saved. 4).  Jews sought to hinder Paul from preaching the gospel so that others might be saved.
5). The Jews were “filling up the measure of their sin.” 5)  Paul says the Jews were “filling up the measure of their sins.”
6).  Christ was going to come (Gk. parousia – implied from heaven) to deliver Christians and render wrath and judgment upon that first century Jewish audience and upon their Temple – in their “this generation.” 6).  Christ was going to come (Gk. parousia – from heaven) to deliver Christians and render wrath and judgment upon that first century Jewish audience.
7)  The coming of Christ in salvation and wrath takes place at “the end (Gk. Telos) of the age” (i.e. OC age). 7).  The coming of Christ in salvation and wrath upon persecutors takes place at “the end” (Gk. Telos).
8)  Judgment of living (those Pharisees) and dead (judging Cain for Abel’s blood) & gathering of all the elect at trumpet call – in their “this generation.” 8)  Judgment of living. 

*If one were to be consistent in admitting that Christ came in AD 70 to vindicate the martyrs one would have to believe that there was a judgment and resurrection for the living and the dead (cf. Rev. 6; 11; 20). 

1 Thessalonians 3:13 

“May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.” (3:13)

The Thessalonians would be blameless (or “spotless”) and holy at Christ’s parousia.  Paul is using the eschatological marriage terminology here of Blameless / Holywithout spot.  Keith Mathison writes of this passage in connection with the resurrection,

“Paul teaches that all believers will be resurrected at Christ’s second coming (1 Cor. 15:23).  He teaches that all believers will be presented as a spotless bride at that time (Eph. 5:25-27; cf. 1 Thess. 3:13).” (Postmillennialism, 177).

And yet Gary DeMar admits 1 Thessalonians 3:10 was fulfilled in AD 70.  So per the passages Mathison appeals to in connection to the fulfillment of this passage, DeMar should believe the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15:23 was also fulfilled in AD 70 if he believes 1 Thessalonains 3:10 was.  We agree of course.  But since Mathison believes the coming of Christ and wedding or wedding feast of Matthew 8:10-12; 22:2-7; 25:1-13; Rev. 19-21 was fulfilled in AD 70, how does this coming and wedding motif get magically pushed thousands of years away into another wedding and coming of Christ?!? 

Christ comes with all his holy ones (angels, people, or both)?

First view – Angels:   The argument for angels here is that this is how the LXX of Zech. 14:5 is understood (from which this passage and Matt. 25:31 is derived from).  Angelic beings are how the term is understood in the OT (ex. Job 5:1; 15:15; Ps. 89:5,7; Dan. 8:13), and by the intertestamental period (ex. 1 En. 1:9) depicting God’s angels as being present on the last day of judgment.
Although the key word “holy ones” is not used in 2 Thess. 1:7 but rather the noun form with Christ coming with the “powerful angels,” the concept is the same.

Second view – Saints/people: In 2 Thess. 1:10 Christ comes to be glorified “in” His “holy ones” which are people “who have believed” the passage states.
Third view – “all” here refers to both people & angels – Some commentators suggest that both are in view.  This is my view – after looking at what the OT says, what the intertestamental period teaches, and finally what the NT teaches on the subject.

Let’s once again get the contextual flow as Paul gets into 1 Thessalonians 4 that Postmillennialists don’t want to recognize. 

The contextual flow from 1 Thess. 1:10–3:13 leading into 1 Thess. 4:16-17

1 Thessalonians 1:10—3:13 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17
1.  First century audience – “you” “us.” 1.  First century audience – “we.”
2.  Eager expectation – imminence 2.  “We who are still alive…” – imminent expectation.
3.  Christ comes “from heaven.” 3.  Christ comes “from heaven.”
4.  Jesus’ resurrection is mentioned as a sign or event guaranteeing that the living would be rescued. 4.  Jesus’ resurrection is mentioned as a sign or event guaranteeing the dead in Christ would be raised and the living would be “caught” away into God’s presence.
5. To be “snatched” away from wrath but to Christ. 5. To be “caught” away to Christ.
6.  Christ comes (Gk. Parousia). 6.  Christ comes (Gk. Parousia).
7.  “The end” (Gk. Telos) here is Daniel’s “time of the end” or at the “end of the age” when the judgment and resurrection takes place (Dan. 12:1-13; Matt. 13:39-43; Matt. 24:30-31; and 1 Cor. 15:24). 7.  No one disputes that the resurrection here is the resurrection to take place at “the end” in Daniel 12:1-7 or “the end” (Gk. telos) in 1 Corinthians 15:24.
8.  Christ’s coming is described with wedding terminology – they were to be “spotless” or “blameless” and “holy” in coming into the presence of their coming Groom. 8.  Paul uses a well known wedding term in which a bride would “meet” her groom.
9.  Christ comes with all His “holy ones” – that is angles and the dead he raises in chapter 4 which constitute the rest of the bride. 9.  Christ comes with those dead saints that He raised out of Abraham’s Bosom or Hades to go “meet” them so that they all could be “with the Lord forever. 

And Harmonizing Paul’s eschatology with Jesus’ 

1 Thessalonians 1:10—3:13 Matthew 23-24/Luke 21
1.  First century audience “you” “us.” 1.  First century audience “you.”
2.  Eagerly wait – imminence. 2.  “This generation.”
3.  Christ comes (Gk. Parousia) 3.  Christ comes (Gk. Parousia).
4.  Christ comes from heaven. 4.  Christ comes on clouds.
5.  To “snatch” from wrath to Christ. 5.  To “gather” to Christ.
6.  Delivers from wrath. 6.  Saves from wrath.
7.  Jews killed prophets, Jesus & persecuting Thessalonian. 7.  Jews killed prophets & will kill NT prophets Jesus sends.
8.  Jews filling up the measure of their sin of blood guilt. 8.  Jews filling up the measure of their sin of blood guilt.
9.  Wrath poured out at “the end” (Gk. Telos). 9.  Wrath poured out at “the end” or “end of the age” (Gk. Telos).
10.  Christ comes with all His holy ones (including angels and the dead per chapter 4) – which constitute the rest of the bride 10.  Christ comes and sends his angels to gather all the elect (dead and living)
11.  Christ’s coming is described with wedding terminology – they were to be “spotless,” “blameless” and “holy” in coming into the presence of their coming Groom. 11.  Christ’s coming is described with wedding terminology – “Here’s the bridegroom!  Come out and meet Him.”

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 

A day was approaching when Christ would deliver believers from their persecutions and pour out His wrath upon their persecutors (1 Thess. 1:10; cf. 2 Thess. 1:6–7). When that day came, the Lord descended from heaven with a word of command (or “a shout”), with archangelic voice, and with a trumpet call of God; and the dead in Christ rose.  Then the living in Christ and the dead in Christ were simultaneously “caught up” in “clouds” to “a meeting of the Lord in the air.”

Since the cloud-covered mountain is not literal, but is heavenly, neither then is the meeting that takes place in the heavenly mountain (i.e., in the clouds in the air) literal. Therefore, the shout, voice, trumpet, mountain, cloud, and meeting of 1 Thessalonians 4:16 are all spiritual antitypes of the literal shout, voice, trumpet, mountain, cloud, and meeting of Exodus 19 and 20 (Heb. 12:18–22).

What we have then in 1 Thessalonians 4:15–17 is the “rapturously” metaphorical language of a prophet who is speaking of antitypical, spiritual realities —the transcendent profundities of Christological glory in and among the saints in the consummation of the ages.  If this sounds like an over-spiritualization, it shouldn’t. The Lord Jesus Himself was opposed to a literal removal of the church out of the world:

I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. (John 17:15)

The “rapture” passage is no more literal than the prophecy of Ezekiel 37:4–14. In that passage, God caused a valley full of dry bones to come together. He attached tendons to them and put skin on them. Then He caused the bodies to breathe and they stood on their feet as a vast army. The bones represented the house of Israel.  They were hopelessly cut off from the land, and were said to be in “graves.” As God had done for the dry bones, He was going to do for the house of Israel.

In the same way, in 1 Thessalonians 4:15–17, God raised up His church —the first fruits of the resurrection-harvest— which was anxiously longing for the consummation of redemption and atonement.  As a mighty warrior, the Lord issued forth his shout of command and sounded the trumpet of God. Then His spiritual army arose by His power. They met Him on His way to His temple to judge the enemies in His kingdom (Mal. 3:1). That is when God afflicted the persecutors of His church, when He gave His people relief and glorified Himself in them (2 Thess. 1:8–10).

Being revealed with Christ in glory (Col. 3:4) and becoming like Him and seeing Him in His Parousia (1 Jn 3:2) had nothing to do with escaping physical death or with being literally caught up into the literal sky or with being biologically changed. It had to do with God’s people, living and dead, being “gathered together” to become His eternal Tabernacle, His spiritual Body, the New Man, the heavenly Mount Zion, the New Jerusalem in the Spirit. “This mystery is great” (Eph. 5:32), and is therefore communicated in the accommodative “sign language” of prophetic metaphor.

Since our Lord came “with His saints” and destroyed the earthly temple in AD 70 (Heb. 9:8), the church of all ages lives and reigns in glory with Him forever (Rom. 6:8; 2 Cor. 13:4; 2 Tim. 2:11–12). Now whether we are alive or asleep, we “live together with Him” (1 Thess. 5:10). This was not the case in the Old Testament, when to die was to be cut off from the people of God. As Paul says in Romans 14:8–9, “ . . . whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.” 

“According to the Lord’s own word” (4:15)

Matthew 24 – Fulfilled in AD 70 1 Thessalonians 4-5 Fulfilled in AD 70
1.  Christ comes from heaven (24:30) 1.  Christ comes from heaven (4:16)
2.  With archangelic voice (24:31) 2.  With archangelic voice (4:16)
3.  With God’s trumpet call (24:31) 3.  With God’s trumpet call (4:16)
4.  Gathered/Caught to Christ (24:31) 4.  Gathered/Caught to Christ (4:17)
5.  Believers meet Christ in clouds (24:30) 5.  Believers meet Christ in clouds (4:17)
6.  Use of contemporary “you” and parousia to be fulfilled in their contemporary generation (24:34) 6.  Use of contemporary “we” and parousia expected while some are still alive (4:15)
7.  Exact time unknown (24:36) 7.  Exact time unknown (5:1-2)
8.  Christ comes like a thief (24:43) 8.  Christ comes like a thief (5:2)
9.  Unbelievers caught unaware (37-39) 9.  Unbelievers caught unaware (5:3)
10.  Birth pains (24:8 – fulfilled in AD 70) 10.  Birth pains (5:3)
11.  Believers are not deceived (24:43) 11.  Believers are not deceived (5:4-5)
12.  Believers told to be watchful (24:42) 12.  Believers told to be watchful (5:6)
13.  Exhortation against drunkenness (24:49) 13.  Exhortation against drunkenness (5:7)
14.  The Day, Sunlight (bright light) shinning from east to west, (24:27, 36-38) 14.  The Day, sons of light, sons of day (1 Thess. 5:4-8)

The fact that Paul is drawing from Jesus’ teaching in the OD not only destroys the two comings theory of Postmillennial Partial Preterism, but the two comings theory of John MacArthur’s Pre-trib. Dispensationalism.  In his Study Bible he arrogantly and blindly writes of Paul’s words, “by the word of the Lord,”
“Was Paul referring to some saying of Jesus found in the gospels?  No.  There are none exact or even close.”

What amazing and willful ignorance it takes to look at all of these parallels and conclude that there’s nothing “even close” connecting the two!

Even if someone wants to deny that Paul is drawing from Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24, the fact remains that both Jesus and Paul are referring to some of the same OT prophecies concerning the Second Coming and resurrection.  Jesus said He came to fulfill all the the law and prophets and it would “all” be fulfilled at His coming in His “this generation” (Mt. 5:17-18; Lk. 21:22-32).  And since Paul taught no other things except that which could be found in the law and prophets, then his sources are Jesus’ sources.  Mathison’s Postmillennial theory that Jesus didn’t discuss His “actual” Second Coming in the gospels, but rather Paul was the one God had develope this doctrine is a joke on many levels.  It separates the unity between Jesus’ eschatology and Paul’s and it ignores the fact that both are teaching that they are getting their eschatology from the same OT law and prophets!

“…WE who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord…” (v. 16)

1 Thessalonians 4 Luke 21/Matthew 24
We who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord.” (v. 15) When you see…,” “…your redemption is drawing near,” “This generation.” (Lk. 21:20-32)

Keith Mathison

Mathison argues: Some have said that since Paul used the word “we” in 1 Thessalonians 4:15 and 17, Paul expected the events of 1 Thessalonians 4 to occur within his own lifetime. “The problem with this interpretation is that in several other epistles Paul talks as though he could die soon.”  Therefore “Paul [was] simply using the pronoun ‘we’ in a general way to mean ‘we Christians.’ As far as Paul knew, Christ could have returned in his lifetime, but there was nothing that demanded He do so” (WSTTB?, 194). 

To my knowledge, no preterist thinks that Paul assumed that he himself would be included in the group of believers who would remain alive to the coming of the Lord. If I were to say, “We who live long enough to see the year 2030,” there is no reason to think that I would be assuming that I myself would be among the living in 2030. My only assumption would be that some of us today would be alive in 2030.  In the same way, Paul’s words imply only that he knew that some of
his contemporaries would still be alive when Christ returned, as Christ Himself promised would be the case in Matthew 16:27–28; 24:34.

According to Postmillennialists like DeMar and Mathison, all of Paul’s “we,” “you,” and “our” statements in 1 and 2 Thessalonians refer to Paul’s own first-century audience and address Christ’s coming in AD 70—except for the statements in 1 Thessalonians 4 (“the rapture”).  Mathison and DeMar magically decide that “we” in 1 Thessalonians 4 means something other than what it means everywhere else in 1 and 2 Thessalonians. Suddenly in chapter 4, “we” includes Christians who potentially will not be alive for a million years from today. Now let us move on from arbitrary Mathisonian constructs to a biblical look at “the rapture” passage, 1 Thessalonians 4:15–17.

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

The “thorny problem” is solved when the parallels between Matthew 24 and 1 Thessalonains 4 are accepted, the first century audience expectancy is accepted, and apocalyptic language is accepted in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 just as it is in Matthew 24 (basic Hermeneutics 101 observations).
 

1 Thessalonians 4 Matthew 24
1).  The Lord comes down from heaven (v. 16). 1).  The Lord comes in or upon the clouds of heaven (27-30).
2)  Since this is the same event as Mt. 24:27-30, why isn’t it considered “orthodox” to interpret Paul as using apocalyptic language? 2).  That Jesus is using spiritual and apocalyptic language here is accepted as “orthodoxy.”

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

Apocalyptic language Psalm 18  

“6 In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. 7 The earth trembled and quaked (literally?), and the foundations of the mountains shook (literally?); they trembled because he was angry. 8 Smoke rose from his nostrils (literally?); consuming fire came from his mouth (remember 2 Thess. 1:7 – Jesus is “revealed from heaven in blazing fire…”) , burning coals blazed out of it. 9 He parted the heavens and came down (literally?); dark clouds were under his feet. 10 He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind. 11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him— the dark rain clouds of the sky. 12 Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced (literally?), with hailstones and bolts of lightning. 13 The LORD thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded (a literal voice?). 14He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy, with great bolts of lightning he routed them. 15 The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare (literally?) at your rebuke, LORD, at the blast of breath from your nostrils. 16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. 17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.

Christ is coming here in 1 Thessalonains 4:16-17 as God had come from heaven and on the clouds in the OT – ex. Did God come on a literal cloud when he judged Egypt by means of the Assyrian’s in 670 B.C.: “Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt” (Isa. 19:1)?

OT Echo to 1 Thessalonians 4:16

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

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

But they also connect 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 with Isaiah 2 which reads, 
“This (in context – giving the Thessalonians relief from their Jewish persecutors) will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.  He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out (excommunicated [from the heavenly Temple] as they had done to the Christians) from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.”
Of this passage Beale and Carson write,

“eternal destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.” This description clearly echoes the triple refrain of Isa. 2:10, 19, 21, where on the day of the Lord the wicked are commanded to hide themselves behind rocks and in caves “from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might whenever he will rise to terrify the earth.” (Ibid. 885).
So since both 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 fulfill the coming of the Lord “from heaven” in the judgment found in Isaiah 2, let’s examine when Jesus and John see Isaiah 2 being fulfilled.

Jesus – Luke 23:27-30: 

27 And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. 28 But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us (from Isa. 2:19 and Hos. 10:8).

There’s a consensus among the commentators that this passage was fulfilled in God’s judgment upon Jerusalem in AD 70.

John – Revelation 6:15-17: 

15 Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us[a] from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”

Postmillennialists correctly tell us that every reference to the coming of the Lord in Revelation was said to be fulfilled “soon,” “at hand,” “quickly” or “about to be” fulfilled in AD 70.

This is when the martyrs blood would be vindicated in just – “a little while longer” (vss. 10-11).

Concerning Isaiah 2; Revelation 6; and 2 Thessalonians 1, Gentry argues that Christ had to come in judgment in AD 70 to vindicate those being persecuted in Revelation 1-3 & Revelation 6 because if He hadn’t (per futurism), God would be “mocking their [first century] circumstances.”  Gentry also appeals to Matt. 23-24 in developing the AD 70 time-frame for the fulfillment of the Thessalonians to be relieved and vindicated from their Jewish persecutors in 1 Thessalonians 2:14-20.  But this begs the obvious heremeneutical question – as to why doesn’t 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10 also form the foundation for Christ’s coming to relieve the Thessalonians from their first century Jewish persecutors?!?

If futurism’s 2,000+ year delay of Christ’s coming creates a “cruel mockery” for the persecuted in the book of Revelation, then why doesn’t Gentry’s futuristic 2000+ years delay of Christ’s coming to relieve the Thessalonians and judge their persecutors in 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10 create a “cruel mockery” for their first century “circumstances?” Again, this is why Gentry’s critics charge him with inconsistent hermeneutics and holding to a view that only serves as a stepping stone to Full Preterism.

Premise #1 – If it is true and orthodox to believe that Luke 23:27-30; Revelation 6:10-17; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 2 Thessalonians 1:7 all fulfill the “last days” “in that day” judgment of Isaiah 2.

Premise #2 – And if it is true and orthodox to believe that 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and 2 Thessalonians 1:7 are the same and ONE Second Coming coming event and that both passages fulfill the “last days” “in that day” judgment of Isaiah 2 (Full Preterists agree with Amillennialists and Premillennialists),…

Premeise #3 – And if it is also true and orthodox to believe that 2 Thessalonians 1:7 fulfills Isaiah 2’s “last days” “in that day” judgment in AD 70 (Full Preterists agree with Partial Preterists such as Gary DeMar on this point),…

ConclusionThen it necessarily follows and is also true and orthodox to believe that the ONE Second Coming event of 1 Thessalonians 4:16 fulfilled the “last days” “in that day” judgment of Isaiah 2 in AD 70 just as 2 Thessalonians 1:7 was fulfilled at this time. 
“…with the trumpet call of God and the dead in Christ will rise first.” (v. 16)

1 Thessalonians 4 Matthew 24
Trumpet call & resurrection (v. 16) Trumpet call & gathering/resurrection (v. 31)

Beale correctly sees the gathering of the elect at the end of the age in Matthew 24:3 in his commentary on 1 & 2 Thessalonians as he resurrection event,
“Paul’s particular combination of references from Matthew 24 shows that he interprets the whole of the Matthean text as referring to woes preceding the final coming of Christ (and though Matthew does not explicitly mention the idea of resurrection, he implies it in the phrase “gather his elect” in 24:31, which implies the gathering of all believers, both living and dead).” (p. 138).

But again in his recent book, A New Testament Biblical Theology the Unfolding of the Old Testament in the New, he writes,

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

Again, Beale admits that holding to both of his views creates a “thorny problem” for him that deserves “further study” to resolve.  I told him at the Criswell conference when he spoke on the millennium with Gentry and Preston that I quoted him in our book and solved the “orthodox” “thorny problem” he has created for himself.  I have yet to hear from him!

Premise #1If it is true that the resurrection and Second Coming of Jesus as found in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 is the same “end of the age” resurrection and or Second Coming event as described for us in Daniel 12:2; Matthew 13:39-43; and Matthew 24:30-31 (Amillennialists & Full Preterists agree).

Premise #2And if it is true that Paul expected the resurrection of 1 Thessalonians 4:16 to take place within the lifetimes of some of those he was writing to (and this is further confirmed to us by what he taught in Acts 24:15 YLT – that the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 was “about to be” fulfilled) (Orthodox commentators, lexicons & Full Preterists agree).

Premise #3And if it is true that the Apostles and writers of the NT were infallibly inspired and “led into all truth concerning things to come” (cf. Jn. 14; 16 – the time and nature of Christ’s coming and the resurrection event) (all should and claim they agree with this).

Premise #4And if it is true that the “end of the age” “gathering” in Matthew 13:39-43 and 24:30-31 are the same Second Coming end of the age resurrection events (Amillennialists & Full Preterists agree).

Premise #5And if it is true and orthodox to believe that the “end of the age” and coming of the Son of Man in Matthew 13:39-43 and Matthew 24 were fulfilled by the end of the OC age in AD 70 (Postmillennialists & Full Preterists agree).

Premise #6And if it is true and orthodox to believe that the resurrection of Daniel 12:2-3 was fulfilled spiritually at Christ’s parousia to close the OC age in AD 70 (Partial and Full Preterists agree).

ConclusionThen it necessarily follows and is also true and orthodox to believe that the NT authors wrote under inspiration that the ONE Second Coming and resurrection events as described for us in Daniel 12:2-3; Matthew 13:39-43; Matthew 24:30-31; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; and Acts 24:15YLT were “about to be” fulfilled spiritually toward the end of their generation to close the OC age in AD 70 (Full Preterism – “Reformed and always reforming”).
OT Echo: Isaiah 27:12-13

Beale and Carson also connect the coming of Christ, the trumpet or gathering of Matthew 24:30-31 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16, and 2 Thessalonians 2:1, to be the fulfillment of Isaiah 27:12-13.  But this trumpet gathering resurrection, is when Israel’s sin of blood guilt would be dealt with (Isa. 27:9) and the resurrection of “Isaiah’s little apocalypse” fulfilled (Isa. 25:6-7; 26:19-21).

“Gathered up” – Harpazo (v. 17)

The NCV translates harpazo as “gathered up” thus giving it a theological and parallel connection to the eschatological gathering of (Mt. 13:39-43; Mt. 24:30-31 & 2 Thess. 2:1). Other translations render it “snatched away” or “will be seized.”
Harpazo means to “take one’s plunder openly and violently,” “catch or snatch away.”  Liddel-Scott gives an additional meaning – “to captivate” or “ravish” – ex. “I was so captivated or enraptured (inwardly) by my wife’s beauty, that I didn’t realize what time it was.”  But is 1 Thessalonians 4:17 discussing an inward or outward and upward catching away and ravishing of God’s people into the glory cloud of His kingdom?

Here are some very clear uses of harpazo:

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

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

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

John 6:65 – “No one can come to me unless the Father has (Greek didómi) caused, drawn, dragged or enabled him.”  A different Greek word is used here, but the concept is that God opens the heart first and inwardly drags/draws/causes the person to believe in Christ.  Without this active inward rescuing and initiative from God, no one can believe.  This is an inward “dragging.”

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

John 10:28-29 – Anyone who has faith in Jesus cannot be “snatched” out of the Father’s hand.  That is, that he cannot be influenced (snatched inwardly) in his or her mind and heart to leave God.  Like Peter, “Where else can we go Lord, you alone have the words to eternal life.”

Acts 8:39 – This simply means that the Holy Spirit directed Philip in His heart and mind (inwardly) to go elsewhere and the Eunuch did not see him again.  Nothing in the text to support that Philip was “raptured” into the atmosphere (waved to some birds) and was then dropped off miles and miles away from where they were.

The eschatological “already” of the inward kingdom gathering and catching away was spiritual and the eschatological “gathering” and “catching away” in the kingdom at Christ’s return would be at the end of the OC age in AD 70.  But was this “not yet” aspect an inward event as well? Jesus said when the kingdom would come at His return to gather all His elect, that it would be an experience to occur “within” an individual and not something that could be seen with the physical eyes—Luke 17:20-37/Luke 21:27-32/Matthew 24:30-31.

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

“…in the clouds…” (v. 17)

As I have demonstrated thus far (per the OT and NT prophets) Christ coming on the clouds is apocalyptic language and not referring to literal clouds.

To “meet” the Lord… (v. 17)

This Greek word to “meet” the Lord, is wedding language and is only used twice in the NT – here and in the wedding motif Jesus develops in Matthew 25:1-13 which Postmillennialists such as Mathison and DeMar are admitting was fulfilled in AD 70.  In Jewish betrothal, it was customary for the groom to consummate his marriage sexually at her father’s house before taking her to his father’s house where they would continue consummating for seven days and having the feast.  Again, since the wedding banquet follows the wedding in Jewish culture, AND the resurrection takes place at this time (cf. Isaiah 25:6-8/1 Cor. 15:54-55), then Postmillennialists are now forced to concede that the ONE eschatological wedding and resurrection was fulfilled in AD 70, or teach that there are two weddings for the Church to match their two comings, resurrections and weddings with that of Dispensationalism’s version.  Selah.

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

“…in the air” (v. 17)

But what of this meeting the Lord in the “air” (Greek eros)?

Strong’s Greek Dictionary, defines it as: “From “aemi”, to breath unconsciously, to respire.By analogy, to blow.  The air, particularly the lower and denser air as distinguished from
the higher and rarer air.”  So the point is that this is the air “in” or “within” us.

The Dictionary of Biblical Languages With Semantic Domains lists (Eph 2:2; 1 Th 4:17; and Rev 16:17) in its definition of eros as meaning, “the space inhabited and controlled by [spiritual] powers.”  The Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament says of Ephesians 2 – “…Jewish conceptions, according to which, among other things, the air is the abode of demons.”

Ephesians 2 refers to Satan as the “Prince and Power of the AER.” He dwelt in the spiritual realm not the physical – flying through the literal clouds and sky with the birds.  The war we see Christ and Satan fighting over in the NT is for the spiritual condition of men – within their hearts and minds.  Paul goes on to say that Satan, “now works in the children of disobedience.” And consistently Jesus defines His kingdom as something that He is setting up “in” and “within” men and transforming them into His image spiritually.

Prior to AD 70, Satan used his demonic legions to “possess” individuals within the realm of their minds and the spiritual realm of their being.  Satan used the old-covenant Mosaic law to blind their spiritual eyes, hearts and minds in the realm of the “air”—within their souls, hearts, and minds to produce an arrogant and zealous self righteousness which apart from Christ could only lead to utter despair (2 Cor. 3; Gal. 4:17-18; Rms. 7). Christ “bound the strong man” and was raising and delivering Christians from the darkness and death of this spiritual kingdom realm into His Ephs. 2:1-10. Christ snatched away His beloved and spoke peace and joy into the “air” of her heart, soul, and mind, when He said, “It is finished” (Rev. 16:17/Heb. 9-10/1 Cor. 15)! The powers of Satan, demons, the condemnation of the law, and the spiritual death Adam brought upon men, have all been conquered by Christ at His parousia in AD 70 and for those that put their faith in Him.

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

The picture of the “rapture” is that Christ came down from heaven in / on a cloud to earth where He gathered the living into His presence “within” us.  Just as we see in Revelation where the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven to earth and God establishes His presence with His Church here.

11 Problems for the Postmillennial or Literal AD 70 Rapture or Resurrection Views

1).  For Partial Preterist Ed Stevens – If the language of 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and Matthew 24:31 is allegedly “clear” and some kind of literal expectation, then he should be consistent with other Postmillennial Partial Preterists such as Mike Bull and begin teaching that the resurrection language is also a literal expectation and therefore the dead were raised from their physical graves and the literal dust in AD 70 as well.  And why not begin teaching that Jesus came physically in AD 70?  And while carrying out this physical expectation he might as well “reason” and go all the way in his thinking and conclude that since the de-creation language in Matthew 24 also sounds like a literal expectation, that either the prediction failed (liberalism), or spiritualize the time statements and continue hoping for these literal expectations (Futurism).  Futurism and the skeptic are his only choices at this point when he begins reasoning along these lines.

2).  Paul could have easily rebuked the false teachers and Christians that were tempted to believe the Lord had “already come” in 2 Thessalonians 2 by simply saying, “Aren’t you still here and the dead still in their graves?  Obviously He has not come!”  But since Paul did not hold to the literal rapture view or a literal resurrection view attended with Christ’s parousia, and was a real Full Preterist, he did not argue in such a way.

3).  The coming of Christ in 2 Thessalonians 1:9 is the coming of the Lord in Isaiah 66:5, 15 of which there are Christian survivors (66:19) whom are found alive on planet earth continuing to preach the gospel in the New Creation and New Covenant age.

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

5).  After Christ and the Father come and make their home (dwelling mone John 14:2, 23) within the believer, they are told, “I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe.” (14:29).  If they were literally raptured, I don’t think they would need to be reminded to believe that it had been fulfilled!  These words make more sense if it was a spiritual fulfillment that could not be seen with the literal eyes and to be realized “within” (cf. Lk. 17:20-37).

6)  Contrary Russell, Terry, Stevens, Bull and others — Jesus of course promised not to remove the Church off of planet earth (John 17:15).

7).  Church history tells us that Christians were not raptured but fled to Pella.  Church history tells us that the Apostle John was still alive during Domician’s reign in the mid AD 90’s and that Timothy, Titus, and Luke lived beyond AD 70.  Stevens claims not all the Christians were raptured, only the super spiritual ones — the others were apparently unfaithful “sleepers” he claims.  Odd, that Stevens claims to be a Calvinist and teaches such non-sense as the carnal Christian heresy!  So I guess according to this heretical view, John, Timothy, Titus, and Luke became unfaithful “sleepers” and missed the rapture of the faithful.  Oh boy!

8).  If there was a literal resurrection in AD 70 to go along with a literal rapture, we have to wonder how everyone missed recording that “all” the righteous and unrighteous dead were literally raised from the dust of the earth in fulfillment of Daniel 12:2/Acts 24:15YLT/John 5:28-29/Rev. 20:5-15 along with tens of thousands of living Christians that just simply disappeared?!?
They have tried to avoid this by claiming there was a small number of faithful Christians that were “raptured” and not all the dead were raised in AD 70.  But obviously this is NOT what Daniel 12:2 says, nor is this how it is developed in the NT.  David Green writes concerning the world “many” in Daniel 12:2,

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

9).  If the “gathering” and “catching away” of Matthew 24:31 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 were the same event and if the “gathering” of Matthew 24:31 and Matthew 13:39-43 are the same event, then why weren’t the “wicked” “tares” or “weeds” “gathered” (i.e. “raptured”) off of planet earth (the same way the wheat were “gathered” into the kingdom) in AD 70 and thrown into the fire and judged (the Lake of Fire)?

10).  During the OC to NC AD 30 – AD 70 transition period, we have the “already—becoming/transforming—and not yet” process of salvation and resurrection taking place.  If a physical transformation of the literal living or the dead was the eschatological goal of the parousia, then why weren’t the living physically being “transformed” and literally “seeing” God’s face in some way before He came?  Why weren’t they physically glowing a little before they were totally transformed into the NC glory they were receiving by AD 66?  How was “the death being destroyed” and the dead “being raised” physically in 1 Corinthians 15 prior to the parousia?

11).  Ed’s main premise for believing a literal rapture is because we don’t have any early church fathers teaching the parousia or Second Coming was fulfilled in AD 70.  Ed claims he “lost sleep” over this subject and God showed him that the literal rapture solves his sleep problem.  Of course Partial Preterists don’t have any early church fathers teaching that Babylon was OC Jerusalem or that Matthew 24:31 or 25:31 was Christ’s coming in AD 70 either.  The Reformed church didn’t have any early writings about forensic justification by faith alone prior to Luther.  Did Ed loose sleep over those things?

But Ed saws off the branch he is sitting on when we point out and ask – if Christians were literally raptured, and immediately after that, the Christian “sleepers” who were left repented of their sleepiness and started preaching the gospel—why didn’t they record the literal “rapture” of the faithful?!?  It just gets more and more foolish.  Literal rapturists argue the “sleepers” didn’t want to discuss or record God’s faithfulness in rapturing the faithful, because they would be persecuted.  This is supposed to explain the reason for the silence.  Well, if there was no literal rapture, then why couldn’t this same reasoning apply for the silence of those still alive on planet earth?  Per the rapturist, the living were afraid of persecution.  Their reasoning applies to both groups and solves no problem.
The bottom line – those that hate the truth concerning a spiritual fulfillment in AD 70 would not believe even if we had documentation of the event say in AD 85.  They would simply reason, “Oh, this is when the gnostic heresy of Full Preterism began.”  I don’t loose sleep over what the Word of God says – it actually strengthens my faith and gives me peace.

Concluding the Second Coming and Resurrection Event of Matthew 24:30-31=1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 in Relation to Daniel 7:13 and 12:2-3

When we combine what Postmillennialists and Reformed eschatology is teaching on these texts we conclude that Daniel’s soul — along with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the OT worthies such as in Heb. 11, were spiritually raised out of Hades in AD 70 into God’s presence and inherited eternal life and the Kingdom along with the living today in the NC age.

In our next study, I want to demonstrate how the coming of Christ and resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 was fulfilled spiritually in AD 70 as well.

To Watch these Lectures or Read this Series go to:  

1).  First Lecture at the PPW 2017 Conference Part 1: Problems for Postmillennial Partial Preterism – My Approach and Methodology (the Analogy of Faith) https://fullpreterism.com/my-lecture-on-the-problems-of-postmillennialism-at-the-2017-ppw-conference-the-wedding-and-resurrection-motif/

2).  First Lecture at the 2017 PPW Conference Part 2:  Problems for Postmillennial Partial Preterism – God’s Divorce, Re-marriage and NC Betrothal https://fullpreterism.com/my-lectures-given-at-the-2017-ppw-on-the-problems-with-postmillennialism-wedding-resurrection-part-2-gods-ot-marriage-divorce-betrothal-and-remarriage-promises/

3).  First Lecture at the 2017 PPW Conference Part 3:  Problems for Postmillennial Partial Preterism – Wedding and Resurrection (Jn. 3-5) https://fullpreterism.com/my-2017-ppw-lecture-on-the-problems-with-postmillennialism-wedding-resurrection-part-3-john-3-5-and-nt-betrothal-and-marriage/

4).  First Lecture at the 2017 PPW Conference Part 4:  Problems for Postmillennial Partial Preterism – Wedding and Resurrection (Mt. 8:10-12/Mt. 22:1-14/Mt. 25:1-13) https://fullpreterism.com/my-2017-ppw-lecture-on-the-problems-with-postmillennialism-wedding-and-resurrection-part-4-mt-810-12-221-14-251-13isa-256-9/

5).  Second Lecture at the 2017 PPW Conference Part 5:  Problems for Postmillennial Partial Preterism – The Parable of the Wheat and Tares and the Resurrection (Mt. 13:39-43/Dan. 12:2-3) https://fullpreterism.com/my-2017-ppw-lecture-on-the-problems-with-postmillennialism-in-the-parable-of-the-wheat-and-tares-the-end-of-the-age-and-the-resurrection-mt-1339-43dan-122-3/

6).  Second Lecture at the 2017 PPW Conference Part 1:  Problems for Postmillennial Partial Preterism in the Olivet Discourse – Structure, Context, the Disciples Question(s), the end of the age and the Great Commission (Mt. 23-24; Mt. 24:3, 14 = Acts 1:8-11) https://fullpreterism.com/lecture-2-at-the-2017-ppw-problems-for-postmillennialism-in-the-olivet-discourse-house-divided-the-break-up-of-postmillennialism-and-the-formation-of-full-preterism-taking-its-place/

7).  Second Lecture at the PPW 2017 Conference Part 2:  Problems for Postmillennial Partial Preterism in the Olivet Discourse – “In Fulfillment of ALL that has been Written” (Lk. 21:22 = Dan. 7:9-14; 12:1-7, 13; Isa. 25:6-9—27:12-13) https://fullpreterism.com/2804-2/

8).  Second Lecture at the PPW 2017 Conference Part 3: Problems for Postmillennial Partial Preterism in the Olivet Discourse (Resurrection Cont.) – the Trumpet Gathering of Matthew 24:30-31 = the Trumpet Catching Away of 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 https://fullpreterism.com/my-ppw-conference-lecture-2-the-problems-for-postmillennialism-in-the-olivet-discourse-matthew-2430-31-1-thessalonians-415-17/

9).  Second Lecture at the PPW 2017 Conference Part 4:  Problems for Postmillennial Partial Preterism in the Olivet Discourse (Resurrection Cont.) – the Trumpet Gathering of Matthew 24:30-31 = the Trumpet Change of 1 Corinthians 15 https://fullpreterism.com/ppw-2017-the-problems-for-postmillennialism-the-olivet-discourse-matthew-24-25-and-the-resurrection-of-1-corinthians-15/

10).  My Second Lecture at the PPW 2017 Conference Part 5:  Problems for Postmillennial Partial Preterism in the Olivet Discourse (Resurrection Cont.) Redemption and Redemption of the Body Luke 21:27-28 = Romans 8:18-23YLT/11:15-27/13:11-12 https://fullpreterism.com/my-ppw-conference-lecture-2-problems-for-postmillennialism-in-the-olivet-discourse-part-4-resurrection-cont-the-redemption-and-redemption-of-the-body-luke-2127-28-romans-818-23ylt/

11).  My Second Lecture at the PPW 2017 Conference Part 6:  Problems for Postmillennial Partial Preterism in the Olivet Discourse – Bringing Healing and Bridging the Gap between Gentry and DeMar’s Eschatological Madness and House Divided Approach to Matthew 24:35—25:31-46 and Revelation 20:5-15 https://fullpreterism.com/my-ppw-lecture-2-problems-for-postmillennialism-in-the-olivet-discourse-part-6-the-eschatological-madness-of-gentry-and-demar-in-matthew-24-25-and-revelation-205-15/