A Full Preterist Response to Kenneth Gentry’s Articles: DANIEL 12, TRIBULATION, AND RESURRECTION and ACTS 24:15 AND THE ALLEGED NEARNESS OF THE RESURRECTION

A Full Preterist Response to Kenneth Gentry’s Articles:  DANIEL 12, TRIBULATION, AND RESURRECTION and ACTS 24:15 AND THE ALLEGED NEARNESS OF THE RESURRECTION 
By:  Michael J. Sullivan
“At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time.  And at that time your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book.  2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt (cf. John 5:28-29; Matthew 13:39-43/24:3, 30-31; Acts 24:15; Revelation 20:5-15).  3Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever“But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end (Matthew 13:39-43/24-25); many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase (of Messiah and new covenant salvation).”  Then I, Daniel, looked; and there stood two others, one on this riverbank and the other on that riverbank. And one said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be (vss. 1-4)?”  Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things (including the resurrection and glorification of vss. 2-3) shall be finishedAlthough I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, “My lord, what shall be the end of these things (again they are all fulfilled together)?”  And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 10 Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand. 11 “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. 12 Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.  13 But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days.
Introduction
There are several things that are missing from Mr. Gentry’s new view that the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 was fulfilled corporately in AD 70 in his book,[1] article on his site,[2] or in the various lectures he has given where this passage comes up.
First, there is no humble acknowledgment that his new position on this text is the result of Full Preterist arguments pressing him to it over several years.  Nor is there any humble apology or acknowledgment to the Full Preterist community (or even to his futurist readers for that matter) for his past faulty eisegesis oF cherry-picking the time and fulfillment of the resurrection from the other eschatological events he took as fulfilled in AD 70 (the shattering of Jerusalem in judgment, the tribulation, and the three and a half years’ time frame).  Contextually the passage tells us that “all these things” not “some of these things” would be fulfilled together during the same “time of the end” period (Dan. 12:7).
Secondly, not only does Gentry neglect to tell his readers that his change on Daniel 12:2 is a result of full preterism pushing him in that direction, he doesn’t think twice about accepting the fact that men like him and James Jordan have actually stolen and are teaching the full preterist view on the resurrection and judgment of the dead.  Here is what they are proposing happened which is the full preterist view:

  • There was an “already/becoming/not yet” or progressive resurrection taking place for Israel roughly between AD 30 – AD 70.  In AD 70 the Church (God’s new covenant corporate Israel) was raised from the carcass of old covenant corporate Israel.
  • The souls of OT saints such as Daniel and Christians whom died prior to AD 70 were raised out of Hades or Abraham’s Bosom and inherited God’s kingdom/presence/eternal life at that time.

In a nut shell, that is the full preterist view on the judgment and resurrection of the living and dead between AD 30 – AD 70.  The only difference between progressive partial preterists and full preterists at this point is that full preterists do not go beyond what is written and make up an additional “already/becoming/not yet” eschaton beyond AD 70 which allegedly involves a casket resurrection at the end of history – to appease the creeds and or creedal supporters and publishers.
Thirdly, perhaps Gentry is not remorseful for his eisegesis and cherry-picking Daniel 12:2 from the rest of the AD 70 fulfillments he has given in this chapter, because he knows his new interpretation continues with this deplorable approach.  Let me explain.  There is no exegetical defense of Gentry’s novel view that the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 can have two or multiple fulfillments (one in AD 70 and a “consummate” physical one at the end of time).  Therefore, Gentry has come full circle on performing eisegesis (reading things into the text that are not there) or cherry-picking the eschatological events in Daniel chapter 12 from verse 2.  If Gentry can give Daniel 12:2 two fulfillments (one in AD 70 and one in our future), then what is to stop the dispensationalist from saying something like this:  “There may have been some kind of fulfillment of the Great Tribulation in an AD 66–70 (Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:21) and in the “desolation” of Jerusalem and her temple in AD 70 (Dan. 9:27; Matt. 24:15), but those events were only typological or preview fulfillments for Israel today after Israel rebuilds her temple in the near future.”  Or why should Gentry oppose the amillennialist teaching that, while the Great Tribulation may have had some aspect of fulfillment in the events leading up to AD 70, we should not consider it as one historic event but an “already but not yet” process the church goes through until the end of history?  Gentry gives Daniel 12:2 two fulfillments but won’t allow dispensationalism or any other futurist system to do the same thing with the Great Tribulation, the three and a half years, or the Abomination of Desolation in Daniel 9:27. Jesus in Luke 21:20-22 and Matthew 13:39-43 did not say that all Old Testament prophecy or the resurrection and glorification of Daniel 12:2–3 would be fulfilled in two totally different ways spanning thousands or millions of years from AD 70 to the end of world history. He said that these things would all be fulfilled in His generation (“this generation”) at the end of the old covenant age.
It is more than inconsistent for Gentry and other partial preterists when debating premillennialists, dispensationalists, and amillennialists to argue that their preterist fulfillments in Matthew 24 and 95% of the book of Revelation were fulfilled in AD 70 and cannot have double, multiple, or be placed in a 2000+ “already-not yet” fulfillment reaching beyond AD 70; and then turn around and use this very argument on the resurrection when debating and trying to dismiss Full Preterist exegesis!  Selah.  For example Gary DeMar, rejects openness to the double fulfillment, mixed fulfillments, or future fulfillment theories in the Olivet Discourse:
“Either the Olivet Discourse applies to a generation located in the distant future from the time the gospel writers composed the Olivet Discourse or to the generation to whom Jesus was speaking; it can’t be a little bit of both. As we will see, the interpretation of the Olivet Discourse in any of the synoptic gospels does not allow for a mixed approach, a double fulfillment, or even a future completion. Matthew 24:34 won’t allow for it.”[3]
And Gentry teaches that a theory of “double fulfilling” AD 70 fulfillments in the book of Revelation, for example, is “pure theological assertion” that has “no exegetical warrant.”[4]  We couldn’t agree more!  So if it is true that the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 is found in the Matthew 24 and in the book of Revelation, then it would be “pure theological assertion” to claim another fulfillment of that resurrection is yet future to us.  Per Gentry, his approach has “no exegetical warrant” to it.
Similarly, Gentry and other partial preterists have attempted to blur and muddy their NT two comings of Christ (the parousia), two great commissions, two end of the ages, two fulfillments of the passing of the first creation and arrival of the new, and now two judgments and resurrections of the dead under the guise of two “already and not yet” eschatons.  If you have seen the plethora of exegetical problems with the dispensational double vision eschaton of a “the parousia” consummation/coming of Christ for Israel before the millennium and then another “the parousia” (“secret rapture”) consummation/coming of Christ for the Church, then one can easily see how partial preterism suffers from the same kind of eisegetical double vision hermeneutic which rips apart the harmony and analogy of the NT Scriptures!  Partial preterism teaches that there was one “already and not yet” 1)  roughly between AD 30 – AD 70 for Israel, and then what appears to be the first “not yet” in AD 70 becomes the “already” of the second “already and not yet” 2)  AD 70 – end of time for the Church.  They have learned from their futurist opponents that when an AD 70 fulfillment is exegetically developed their opponents “out” seems to be to throw it into a scholarly “already and not yet” scene.  This is Gentry’s approach now in debating Full Preterists which according to him is “pure theological assertion” with “no exegetical warrant.”  Even partial preterist Joel McDurmon tried this in his debate with Don Preston.  When pressed into a corner on such passages as Daniel 12:2/1 Corinthians 15/Revelation 20 – McDurmon admitted that these passages “could” have had “a” fulfillment in AD 70, but await another fulfillment/manifestation.  To claim that the resurrection and or judgment of the dead in 1 Corinthians 15 and Revelation 20 “could have a fulfillment in AD 70” is a huge admission which “gives the farm away.”
Fourthly, when one considers Gentry’s older writings and new writings on the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 they definitely do lead us to Full Preterism.  In the past Gentry has argued that the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 is the same “one” resurrection as what we see in these texts (Matt. 13:39-43; John 5:28-29—6:40; Acts 24:15; 1 Corinthians 15; Revelation 20).  This is a Full Preterist view.  In his new writings he is arguing that the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 was fulfilled spiritually and corporately in AD 70.  This too is a Full Preterist position.
Fifthly, Gentry never explains how Daniel (the person ie. his soul) was raised and received everlasting life in AD 70 (cf. Dan. 12:2, 13).  How and how many times must Daniel be raised from the dead to inherit eternal life and the kingdom?!?  Does Gentry believe that Daniel was raised out of Abraham’s Bosom (as James Jordan believes according to Revelation 20) in AD 70 and inheriting everlasting life was being raised into God’s presence?  Who knows because Gentry cannot articulate his position or attempt to answer the tough questions.
Lastly and most importantly, there is no exegetical work done by Gentry on where the judgment, resurrection, and “end” of Daniel 12:1-4 is referenced and alluded to in the NT (ex. Matt. 13:39-43/Matt. 24:3, 31; John 5:28-29; 1 Corinthians 15; Acts 24:15; Revelation 20) in order to prove that the Full Preterist view that the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 was consummately fulfilled in AD 70 is the wrong view.  As I will demonstrate in the bulk of this article, Ken doesn’t want to even acknowledge the collecting of these dots because he knows how reformed creedal eschatology and how full preterism has “connected these dots!” Gentry simply asserts that his new view that the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 was fulfilled in AD 70 does not lead to Full Preterism.   He  references only a few passages in the gospels and in the book of Revelation which he feels is an AD 70 fulfillment of Daniel 12:2 (where most commentators and orthodoxy has not made the connections) while ignoring the main passages such as Matthew 13:39-43; John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15 and Revelation 20 (where commentators and orthodoxy has made the connections)!   Here are the passages which Gentry applies to Daniel 12:2 and note how the relevant passages I listed are ignored:
“Christ himself points out that some from Israel will believe and be saved, while others will not (e.g., Mt 10:34–36; 13:11–15), that in the removing of the kingdom from Israel many will be crushed and scattered like dust (Mt 21:43–45). He even speaks of the saved Jews as arising from the “shadow of death” (Mt 4:16). Though in AD 70 elect Jews will flee Israel and will live (Mt 24:22), the rest of the nation will be a corpse: “wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather” (Mt 24:28). Indeed, in AD 70 we see in the destruction of the city of Jerusalem (Mt 22:7) that “many are called, but few are chosen” (Mt 22:14).
Second, elsewhere he employs the imagery of “regeneration” to the arising of the new Israel from out of dead, old covenant Israel in AD 70: “You who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Mt 19:28).
This paralleling of divine blessing and divine curse, of life and death (cf. Ro 11:15) for those in Israel is a frequent theme (under varied images) in the Book of Revelation
Third, God’s angels protect some Jews from the winds of judgment, while not protecting others (Rev 7:1–9). John measures some Jews for safe-keeping in the temple, while not measuring others (11:1–2). Some stand high upon Mt. Zion in safety (Rev 14:1–5), while others do not (Rev 14:17–20).
Returning now to Daniel, it appears that Daniel is drawing from the hope of the future, literal resurrection and applying it symbolically to the first century leading up to the tribulation in AD 70. That is, he is portraying God’s separating believing Jews out of Israel through the winnowing of Israel in AD 70. Again, this is much like Ezekiel’s practice in his vision of the valley of dry bones.
Fourth, though Ezekiel’s prophecy is concerned with Israel as a whole, whereas Daniel shows that Israel’s hope is the believing remnant.
In Daniel 12:4 the prophet hears a command to seal up his message until Israel’s end, thus delaying its prophesied actions. In Revelation 22:10 John receives a command precisely the opposite of Daniel’s, resulting in Revelation as a whole being opened and thereby fulfilled shortly: “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near” (Rev 22:10; cp. 1:1, 3; 22:6).”[5]
I feel this is by far the most glaring weakness of Gentry’s new view on Daniel 12:2, and therefore I will go ahead and do the exegetical work he can’t do and won’t do while quoting and referencing other reformed theologians to make the full preterist case.

Jesus’ Teaching on the Resurrection and Judgment of Daniel 12:1-4

Matthew 13:39-43/Daniel 12:2-3
Historical Argument:
The Jews during the times of Jesus and the NT era believed in two ages.  The first “this age” was that of the Mosaic old covenant law and prophets and the “age to come” or “age about to come” was that ushered in by Messiah and answered to the new covenant age.
“The end of this age” Exegetical Argument#1:
The new covenant age had not yet begun when Christ was teaching his audience about the judgment and resurrection which would take place at the end of their “this age” (Christ had not shed His blood yet).  Clearly the “this age” he is discussing is the old covenant age and the harvest/judgment/gathering/resurrection which would take place at that time.
Partial Preterist (Orthodox) Admission to Full Preterism confirms this interpretation:
Some of Gentry’s partial preterist colleagues have come to the conclusion that the parable of the wheat and tares was also fulfilled in AD 70.  For example, Joel McDurmon (Gary North’s son-in-law, and Director of Research for Gary DeMar’s American Vision):[6]
It is clear that Jesus did not have in mind the end of the world, nor did He mean the final judgment.  Rather, Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 describe the judgment that would come upon unbelieving Jerusalem. During this time, the angels would “gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity” (13:41) and these would be judged with fire.  Many of them literally were burned in fire during the destruction of Jerusalem.  During this same time, however, the elect of Christ— “the children of the kingdom” (v. 38)—will be harvested.  While the explanation of the parable does not tell us their final end, the parable itself has the householder instructing the harvesters to “gather the wheat into my barn.”  In other words, they are protected and saved by God.
This, of course, is exactly what happened to the Christians. Not only were they saved in soul, but they mostly fled Jerusalem before the Roman siege.  This was consequent to Jesus’ advice to flee and not look back once the signs arose (Matt. 24:16-22); indeed this would correspond with the angels’ work of harvesting the elect (24:30).[7]
“The end” or “This age” Exegetical Argument #2:
“The end” of “this age” is equivalent to Daniel’s “time of the end” in (Daniel 12:4) and thus answers to the same time period.  That this is the same “time of the end” resurrection is clarified even stronger in our next argument.
“Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father” Exegetical Argument #3:
Virtually every commentator understands that Jesus is referencing the resurrection and glorification of (Daniel 12:2-3) in which the wise and righteous rise and “shine like the firmament” and “like the stars forever and ever.”
Gentry simply avoids the exegetical facts that Jesus is teaching the harvest/judgment/resurrection of Daniel 12:1-4 would be fulfilled at the end of the old covenant age in AD 70.  Here merely assumes that the parable of the wheat and tares will be fulfilled at the end of the Christian age or “end of history.”  Following James Jordan, the closest Gentry wants to come to applying the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 to Matthew 13:39-43 (the parable of the wheat and tares) is oddly in the parable right before it in Matthew 13:11-15 (the parable of the soils):
“Christ himself points out that some from Israel will believe and be saved, while others will not (e.g., Mt 10:34–36; 13:11–15), that in the removing of the kingdom from Israel many will be crushed and scattered like dust (Mt 21:43–45).”[8]
The harvest is the end of the age” Exegetical Argument #3
Gentry writes of Daniel’s resurrection,
“That is, he (Daniel) is portraying God’s separating believing Jews out of Israel through the winnowing of Israel in AD 70.”[9]
Uh, but isn’t it Jesus here in Matthew 13:39-43 that is connecting the resurrection/glorification of Daniel 12:2-3 with a “harvest” and thus a “winnowing of Israel in AD 70”?!?  Don’t be afraid of the text Ken.  At least another partial preterist Peter Leithart, who understands that the parable of the wheat and tares was fulfilled in AD 70 correctly writes, “Jesus has now come with His winnowing fork, and before the end of the age, the wheat and tares will be separated.  The end of the age thus refers not to the final judgment but to the close of “this generation.”[10]  Gentry takes the eschatological harvest/judgment/gathering of John the Baptist’s teaching in Matthew 3:7-12 as fulfilled in AD 70, so why is Ken so afraid of Jesus’ harvest/judgment/gathering in Matthew 13:39-43 as being the same harvest fulfilled in AD 70?  The answers I believe are as follows:
First, if Gentry concedes that the harvest/gathering/judgment/resurrection took place at the end of the old covenant age in AD 70, then this is but one more passage he has surrendered to full preterism – thus once again demonstrating that his writings and that of partial preterism in general “leads to full preterism” (something Gentry try’s to deny but everyone from any other eschatological school of thought knows to be true).
Secondly, if Gentry concedes that the harvest/gathering/judgment/resurrection of Matthew 13:39-43 took place in AD 70, then the harmony of Jesus’ teaching in the gospel of Matthew and exegetical evidence would demonstrate that the eschatological gathering at the “end of the age” in (Matthew 24:3, 30-31—chapter 25) was also fulfilled in AD 70 along with  the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20 at “the end [of the old covenant] age.”
Thirdly, if Gentry concedes that the harvest/gathering/judgment/resurrection of Matthew 13:39-43 took place in AD 70, then a “double,” “multiple,” “type / anti-type,” “already not yet” sell on the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 becomes virtually impossible to make to reformed/creedal orthodox folks who finance his ministry or creedal publishers who publish his materials.  This is also why American Vision and Gary DeMar have avoided this issue as well in my opinion.  If Jesus is directly teaching that the judgment and resurrection of Daniel 12:1-4, 13 would take place at the end of the old covenant “this age,” it would be pure and direct eisegesis (reading into the text something that is not there) to claim that somehow He meant that TWO different kinds of resurrections would take place in two different “this age” time frames spanning thousands or millions of years.  Early creedal statements and that of the Church fathers believed the “age to come” or “age about to come” was still future and when it came the Second Coming and judgment and resurrection of the living and dead would occur.  They did not teach that the NT’s use of the “age to come” or “age about to come” was fulfilled in AD 70 as partial preterists are now admitting and conceding to full preterism.
Concluding Daniel 12:1-4/Matthew 13:39-43 and the teachings of progressive partial preterism.  Directly or indirectly, progressive partial preterism has conceded to full preterism that Jesus taught the judgment and resurrection of the dead in Daniel 12:2-3 was fulfilled between AD 30 – AD 70 at the end of the old covenant age in fulfillment of the parable of the wheat and tares.  This begs the question as to if Jesus elsewhere in the gospels taught this AD 70 doctrine of the judgment and resurrection of the dead and if the rest of the NT applies the judgment and resurrection of the dead in Daniel 12:1-4 to AD 70 or the end of time.  To this issue we continue.
Matthew 24-25/Daniel 12:1-4

   Daniel 12:1-12

Olivet Discourse
1.  Tribulation and Abomination that causes   Desolation  (Dan. 12:1, 12) 1.  Tribulation and Abomination that causes   desolation

(Matt. 24:15, 21; Lk. 21:20-23)

2.  Judgment and Deliverance  (Dan. 12:1) 2.  Judgment and Deliverance

(Lk. 21:18-22, 28; Matt. 24:13)

3.  Resurrection  (Dan. 12:2-3) 3.  Resurrection (Matt. 13:40-43; 24:30-31; Lk.   21:27-28)
4.  The End (Dan. 12:4, 6, 8-9, 13) 4.  The End (Matt. 24:13-14)
5.  When would all this take place?  “. . .when the power [The Law] of the holy people [Israel] has been completely shattered [the destruction   of the city and the sanctuary in AD 70], all these things [including the judgment   and resurrection] shall be finished.”  “But you, go your way till the end; for you   shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days.”   (Dan. 12:7, 13) 5.  When would all this take place?  “There shall not be left here one stone upon   another, that shall not be thrown down” [the destruction of the city and the   sanctuary in AD 70].”  “Verily I say   unto you, This generation shall   not pass, till all these things [judgment & resurrection] be   fulfilled.”(Matt. 24:1, 34)

 
Argument #1 The Analogy of Scripture “Parallels”
Of course progressive partial preterists such as Gary DeMar and Keith Mathison have surrendered to full preterism the belief that Matthew 24-25 cannot be divided into two comings of Christ (one in AD 70 and another at the end of time), but rather one in AD 70.  Gentry has nowhere to go at this point except to concede that this is now a legitimate and orthodox position to take although Luther, Calvin and the WCF all have taught that the coming of Christ in the OD is indeed the Second Coming.  For example the Reformation Study Bible, is in perfect harmony with full preterism in interpreting the parallel’s in Matthew 24:30-31 as being the same eschatological event with the following passages:
“But the language of [Matthew 24:31] is parallel to passages like 13:41; 16:27; 25:31, as well as to passages such as 1 Cor. 15:52 and 1 Thess. 4:14–17.  The passage most naturally refers to the Second Coming.”
It is important to note that full preterist hermeneutical “parallels” are reformed “parallels.”  Let’s briefly enjoy the analogy of Scripture which partial preterism arbitrarily rips asunder in hopes of trying to deal with NT imminence and stay creedal at the same time.
Matthew 24-25/Luke 21 & Matthew 13 Parallels
Evangelism in the world takes place (Mt. 24:14/Mt. 13:38).
There is persecution, tribulation, apostasy, & faithfulness (Mt. 24:9-13/Mt. 13:19-30).
The subject is the growth and reception of the kingdom at which time the judgment at the “end of the age” takes place (Lk. 21:31-32/Mt. 13:43; Mt. 24:3/Mt. 13:40).
The Son of Man comes with His angels to gather the sheep/wheat into His barn/kingdom and the wicked goats/tares are gathered and thrown into the fire and burned (Mt. 24:30-31, 25:31-41/Mt. 13:39-42).
Matthew 24-25/Luke 21 & 1 Corinthians 15 Parallels
Christ’s coming/parousia and trumpet call (Mt. 24:27, 31/1 Cor. 15:23, 52).
This is the time of “the end” (Mt. 24:3, 14/1 Cor. 15:24).
At this time God judges His enemies (Mt. 21:43à22:41-44à24-25/1 Cor. 15:24-28).
This is the time for inheriting the kingdom (Lk. 21:31-32/1 Cor. 15:24).
This is the time for God’s final redemption when the sin, the death, and the Law are destroyed for God’s people (Lk. 21:27-28/1 Cor. 15:23, . The temple’s destruction =’s the death being swallowed up in victory over “the [Mosaic Torah] Law” (1 Cor. 15:55-56/Dan. 12:7).
Matthew 24 & 1 Thessalonians 4-5 Parallels
Reformed and Evangelical commentators such as G.K. Beale see that in 1 Thessalonians 4–5, Paul is drawing from Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24.
“That both [1 Thessalonians] 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. . . .”[11]
Christ returns 1 Thess. 4:16=Matt. 24:30
From heaven 1 Thess. 4:16=Matt. 24:30
Accompanied by angels 1 Thess. 4:16=Matt. 24:31
With a trumpet of God 1 Thess. 4:16=Matt. 24:31
Believers gathered to Christ 1 Thess. 4:17=2 Matt. 4:31, 40-41
In clouds 1 Thess. 4:17=Matt. 24:30
Time unknown 1 Thess. 5:1-2=Matt. 24:36
Coming like a thief 1 Thess. 5:2=Matt. 24:43
Unbelievers unaware of impending judgment 1 Thess. 5:3=Matt. 24:8
Judgment comes as pain upon an expectant mother 1 Thess. 5:3=Matt. 24:8
Believers not deceived 1 Thess. 5:4-5=Matt. 24:43
Believers to be watchful 1 Thess. 5:6=Matt. 24:37-39
Warning against drunkenness 1 Thess. 5:7=Matt. 24:49
Beale goes on to write:
“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).”[12]
Gentry, to support his argument that 2 Thessalonians 2 was fulfilled in AD 70, says that “Most commentators agree that the Olivet Discourse is undoubtedly a source of the Thessalonian Epistles.[13]  Unfortunately Gentry’s sources of authority end up proving too much.  For example, both D.A. Carson and G. Henry Waterman (the same source Beale uses) make virtually the same parallels between Matthew 24–25 and 1 Thessalonians 4–5 that we do.
Another partial preterist and outspoken critic of full preterism Keith 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.”[14]  The notion that Mathison is trying to pawn off here in his new book From Age to Age, is that Jesus in Matthew 24-25 was not teaching on his Second Coming (thus Mathison contradicts Luther, Calvin, and the WCF) and had very little to say about it at all in the gospels, and that it was the Holy Spirit who allegedly leads Paul to develop the doctrine of the Second Coming more in-depth in 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15.  Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up folks!  Where is this taught in the reformed creeds and what early church fathers were teaching this?  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 and arbitrary to claim preterist parallels between Matthew 24 and 2 Thessalonians 2[15] and between Matthew 24 and 1 Thessalonians 5 to support AD 70 fulfillments of Pauline eschatology,[16] and then deny the obvious parallels between Matthew 24 and 1 Thessalonians 4.  But this is what partial preterists such as Mathison do to remain creedal and support doctrines the Scripture does not teach.  This is why partial preterism is a nothing more than a stepping stone to full preterism.
Argument #2 – Christ came to fulfill “all” of the “jots and tittles” of the OT law and prophets in AD 70 (Matthew 5:17-18=Matthew 24:35).  This would have to include the judgment and resurrection of Daniel 12:1-4
Gentry says that when Christ referred to the fulfillment of “all things written” in (Luke 21:22), He was referring to Old Testament prophecies only, and that Christ therefore did not include the resurrection of all men and the Second Coming in the term “all things written.”[17]  But if Jesus came to fulfill “all” of the “jots and tittles” of the OT law and prophets when “heaven and earth” pass and if Reformed, Evangelical and partial preterist theologians are admitting that “heaven and earth” in (Matthew 5:17-18) refers to the Temple and or old covenant world of Israel which perished in AD 70, then “Houston we have a problem” for Gentry and partial preterism!  Some of the best Reformed theologians have taught that “heaven and earth” in Matthew 5:18 refers to the old covenant system which passed away in AD 70.  Reformed theologian John Brown:
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.[18]
Evangelical theologian Crispin H.T. Fletcher-Louis agrees:
. . . [T]he principal 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] and Matthew 5:18 refer then to the destruction of the temple as a passing away of an old cosmology. . . .[19]
One of Gentry’s co-author and partial preterist colleague’s Gary DeMar agrees and goes further building upon John Brown’s observations:
“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).  In other contexts, when stars fall, they fall to the earth, a sure sign of temporal judgment (Isa. 14:12; Dan. 8:10; Rev. 6:13; 9:1; 12:4).  So then, the “passing away of heaven and earth” is the passing away of the old covenant world of Judaism…[20]
Exegetically, Jesus says nothing about two passing’s of “heaven and earth.”  And another interpretive problem for progressive partial preterists such as Gary DeMar would be that they take both “heaven and earth” passages passing in (Matthew 5:17-18/Matthew 24:35) as the old covenant temple or world perishing in AD 70.  Follow me with these exegetical/logical points along with the teachings of reformed eschatology and see where we end up.
If the analogy of Scripture teaches us that these passages are “parallel” and thus are the same eschatological time of the end judgment and resurrection events (ie. Matthew 13:39-43=Matthew 24:31ff.=Daniel 12:1-4) and…
If Jesus’ statement of coming to fulfill “all” the OT “jots and tittles” of the law and prophets (Matthew 5:17-18) includes the judgment and resurrection of Daniel 12:1-4 (no one I know denies this).  And…
If all of the OT “law and prophets” were fulfilled when Israel’s “heaven and earth” passed in AD 70 (the necessary implication of partial preterism).  And…
If the passing of “heaven and earth” in both of these passages took place in AD 70 (ie. Matthew 5:17-18=Matthew 24:35), and…
If it is true per partial preterism (DeMar and others) that Matthew 24 cannot have double, multiple or have mixed fulfillments beyond AD 70,…
Then… the judgment and resurrection of Daniel 12:1-4 (necessarily implied in Matthew 5:17-18 and found in Matthew 13 and Matthew 24) took place at the end of the old covenant age in AD 70 and therefore, cannot have a double, mixed or fulfillment beyond AD 70.  Remember partial preterist teaching on the fulfillment of Matthew 24:  “Either the Olivet Discourse applies to a generation located in the distant future from the time the gospel writers composed the Olivet Discourse or to the generation to whom Jesus was speaking; it can’t be a little bit of both. As we will see, the interpretation of the Olivet Discourse in any of the synoptic gospels does not allow for a mixed approach, a double fulfillment, or even a future completion. Matthew 24:34 won’t allow for it.”[21]
Gentry’s assertion that Matthew 24:30-31 is not dealing with the Second Coming or resurrection event (and it’s possible that neither is Matthew 24:36ff.) is simply not valid.  It is not valid because 1)  Jesus is simply discussing the same end of the age gathering He addressed in Matthew 13:39-43 (which is Daniel 12:2-3), 2)  Pauline parallels between Matthew 24-25 / 1 Thessalonians 4-5 prove Jesus was addressing the gathering of the elect as the resurrection, 3)  When Jesus says He came to fulfill the OT law and prophets when Israel’s old covenant “heaven and earth” would pass away in such passages as Matthew 5:17-18/Luke 21:22/Matthew 24:35, He not only has the judgment and resurrection of Daniel 12:1-4 in view in Matthew 24-25 but also of what commentators and theologians have called “Isaiah’s little apocalypse” (Isa. 24—28):
“IN THAT DAY (the last day of the old covenant age) the Lord will thresh from the flowing Euphrates to the Wadi of Egypt, and you, O Israelites, WILL BE GATHERED (cf. Matt. 13:39-43, 49/Matt. 24:30-31/2 Thess. 2:1) up one by one. And in THAT DAY A GREAT TRUMPET WILL SOUND (Matt. 24:30-31/1 Thess. 4:15-17/1 Cor. 15:52) those who were perishing in Assyria and those who WORSHIP THE LORD ON THE HOLY MOUNTAIN IN JERUSALEM.” (Isa. 27:13).
Of Isaiah 27:13‘s connection with the NT texts I inserted above, let’s turn to G.K. Beale and D.A. Carson for support:
“The trumpet as a sign of the day of the Lord in 1 Cor. 15:52 recalls Isa. 27:13…” Of 2 Thessalonians 2:1, “The content of Paul’s appeal in this section concerns not only “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,” but also “our gathering to him.” The immediate reference to this latter subject is the comforting picture given in the previous letter of how all believers, both those who have died and those who are still alive, will be gathered together to Jesus at his return (1 Thess. 4:16–17). The motif, however, goes back to the widespread OT hope in the gathering together of the scattered exiles to their own land on the day of the Lord (Ps. 106:47 [105:47 LXX]; Isa. 27:13; 43:4–7; 49:12; 56:8; Jer. 29:14; 30:3, 18; 31:8, 23; 33:7; Joel 3:1–2; Zech 2:6; Tob. 14:5; 2 Macc. 1:27; 2:7, 18; Pss. Sol. 17:50; T. Ash. 7:6–7; T. Naph. 8:3). This hope was taken over by Jesus and his scattered followers to refer to the final gathering of God’s people with the Messiah (Matt. 24:31 par.; cf. 23:37 par.).[22]
Within “Isaiah’s little apocalypse” the resurrection is to take place at the time of this trumpet gathering in Isaiah 27:13 and on a mountain where the wedding feast takes place Isaiah 25:6-8.  In Jewish weddings the feast always follows the wedding which leads us to our next argument.
Argument # 3 Wedding=Resurrection
If the parousia of Christ in both Matthew 24-25 is pointing to Christ coming to close the old covenant age in AD 70 (DeMar and Mathison’s view with Gentry seeing no problem with it), and if the wedding takes place at this time (cf. Matthew 25:1-13), then it necessarily follows that the resurrection of Isaiah 25:6-8 was also fulfilled in AD 70.
Daniel’s time of the end judgment and resurrection had to either be fulfilled at the end of the old covenant age in AD 70 or at the end of the Christian age – it can’t be both!  Either the passing of “heaven and earth” and the fulfilling of all the OT law and prophets were fulfilled when Israel’s old covenant world “heaven and earth” passed away with the destruction of the temple in AD 70, or it refers to the literal planet at the end of time – it can’t be both!  Either Christ came in His parousia and the wedding/resurrection took place in AD 70 or it takes place at the end of time – it can’t be both!  Whey?  Because in the words of DeMar,  “…Matthew 24:34 won’t allow for it.”
Concluding the teachings of progressive partial preterism on Matthew 24-25/Daniel 12:1-4.  Through 1)  the analogy of Scripture and 2) seeing that Jesus came to fulfill all the OT law and prophets by AD 70 in such passages as Matthew 5:17-18/Matthew 24:35/Luke 21:22 full preterism is justified in taking a consistently reformed position that the judgment and resurrection of the dead described by Jesus and Daniel in Matthew 13:39-43=Daniel 12:1-4=Matthew 24-25 were events fulfilled at the end of the old covenant age in AD 70.  This is when all OT prophecy was fulfilled (cf. Luke 21:20-22/Matthew 5:17-18/Matthew 24:35) and there can be no double, multiple, or mixed fulfillments of this prophetic material beyond AD 70.  This is consistent reformed eschatology pure and simple.  Selah.
John 5:28-29/Daniel 12:1-2
Commentators have long understood that Daniel 12:2 is the source for Jesus’ teaching on the resurrection in John 5:28-29 because the only OT passage which mentions a resurrection for both the righteous and the wicked is Daniel 12:2 and the only OT passage addressing “eternal life” is Daniel 12:2.  G.K. Beale points out an additional connection – in that Jesus is following the (OG) LXX of Daniel 12:1-2, 4 when it comes to this coming resurrection “hour” of both believers and unbelievers:[23]
The “already” or imminent “already”

Daniel 12:1:    “And at that hour…” John 5:25:    “…an hour is coming and now is…”
Daniel 12:2:    “Many of those who sleep in the width of the earth will arise   [anatesontai]…some unto eternal life and others to reproach…and to   eternal shame.” John 5:24:    “…he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life,   and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into   life.”

 The “not yet”

Daniel 12:1:    “And at that hour…” John 5:28:    “…for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear   His voice,
Daniel 12:2:    “Many of those who sleep in the width of the earth will arise   [anatesontai]…some unto eternal life and others to reproach…and   to eternal shame.” John 5:29:    “and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection   [anatasin] of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection   [anatasin] of judgment.”MJS – also related:1 John 2:18:    “Dear children it is the last hour…”Revelation   14:7:  “…the hour of His judgment has come.”

From the very start Gentry is at odds with reformed theologians such as G.K. Beale.  Both believe that the resurrection of John 5:28-29 is the “not yet” of a physical resurrection at the end of history, but consider the problem in that Beale believes the “not yet” resurrection “hour” of Daniel 12:1-2—John 5:28-29—1 John 2:17—Revelation 14:7 are all the same event to be fulfilled at the end of history, while Gentry on the other hand believes the judgment and resurrection “hour” of Daniel 12:1-2—1 John 2:17—Revelation 14:7 were fulfilled in AD 70!  However, both reformed views form full preterism when it comes to John’s judgment and resurrection “hour.”  Beale (nor the classical Reformed amillennial position) does not give the “not yet” judgment and resurrection of Daniel 12:1-4 TWO end of the age (“not yet”) fulfillments as the progressive partial preterists are now forced to do — in order to try and be consistent with NT imminence while trying to please creedal supporters at the same time.
In commenting on the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 Gentry mentions the spiritual and corporate nature of the resurrection for Israel in Ezekiel 37 a lot to support his corporate view of Israel being raised into the new covenant Israel by AD 70.  Well, since there was a spiritual and corporate resurrection of the dead coming out of their graves in Ezekiel 37 and there is a spiritual fulfillment for the dead rising within the immediate context of John 5:24-26, there is no exegetical reason why the new covenant anti-type coming resurrection hour out of graves in John 5:28-29 is not also a corporate and spiritual resurrection.
Since partial preterism is now teaching that the resurrection of John 5:28-29 is the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 and are fulfilled together, and that the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 happened in AD 70, it necessarily follows that they need to prove without a shadow of doubt that the resurrection of John 5:28-29 is a physical/biological resurrection which takes place at the end of history and not the AD 70 one.  And if I’m not mistaken Joel McDurmon has also said that this passage could have had a fulfillment in AD 70 just like there “could” have been one in 1 Corinthians 15 and Revelation 20.  Gentry and partial preterism in general have not brought forth any compelling exegetical evidence that John 5:28-29 refers to a biological resurrection at the end of history.
David Green in response to Strimple in our book House Divided Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist Response to When Shall These Things Be?, has updated his response a bit on this passage (see pages 178-180):
Strimple Argument #6: John 5:28-29 obviously teaches a physical resurrection of the dead in that it speaks of a time in which “all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment” (297).
Answer: In order to understand John 5:28 and 29, we must first look three verses above it, in John 5:25, where Jesus said that the hour “now is” when “the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live.”  As most Reformed interpreters agree, Jesus in that verse was referring to the preaching of His death and resurrection.  The preaching of that message commenced at Pentecost.  “The dead” were physically living people who were spiritually dead in sin, and “the voice of the Son of God” was the gospel.  Having heard the gospel, those who were spiritually “dead” were spiritually resurrected.  They lived in that they received eternal life through faith in the gospel (“the voice of the Son of God”).
Then, in verses 28 and 29, Jesus expanded His teaching on the resurrection to include those who were not only spiritually dead, but who were also physically dead.  He did not call them “dead” (as He had already called the living who were spiritually dead), but He referred to them through another figure of speech as “all who are in the graves.”  They were not literally in their graves or tombs, of course, but were in Hades/Sheol.
What is often missed in this passage is that, like the physically living in verse 25, the physically dead in verse 28 were also going to live by means of hearing Christ’s “voice.”  As we know from verse 25, that “voice” is the gospel.  The physically dead therefore were going to hear the gospel (cf. 1 Pet. 4:6.) and were, as a result of hearing the gospel, going to be resurrected (regenerated, born from out of death and Hades).  This means that the physically dead were, like the physically living, spiritually dead.  And this inescapably means that both the physically living and the physically dead were going to be spiritually resurrected by means of the gospel-voice of the Son of God.  One resurrection in two main stages:  First, the last days saints; then, the Old Testament dead (“the rest of the dead” in Revelation 20:5). Note the parallels between John 4:21, 23 and John 5:25, 28:

  1. . . . [T]he hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth. . . . (Jn. 4:23)
  2. . . . [T]he hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. (Jn. 4:21)

1. . . . [T]he hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. (Jn. 5:25)
2. . . . [T]he hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice. . . . (Jn. 5:28)
These two sets of prophecies are parallel.  They speak of the same timeframes, which were these:
Pentecost (AD 30)
1. The true worshipers would worship the Father in spirit and in truth.

  1. The dead would hear the voice of the Son of God, and live.

Fall of Jerusalem (AD 70)

  1. God’s worshipers would no longer worship Him in Jerusalem.

2. All who were in the graves would hear His voice.
After hearing the gospel, the dead were raised out of their Adamic graves (Hades) in the end of the age.  And those among them who believed the gospel received eternal life in the kingdom of God.  But those who hated the gospel (those who had done evil) were raised out of Hades only to stand before God and to enter into “eternal punishment” / “the second death” (Matt. 25:46; Jn. 5:28-29; Rev. 20:14).”
Gentry agrees with full preterism that Jesus’ “already and not yet” eschatological “hour” in John 4 is between AD 30 – AD 70 when the old covenant mountain and temple worship is removed and the new established,[24] but then Gentry would claim Jesus’ same phrases on the coming eschatological “hour” in John 5 allegedly deal with the end of time.  We again find this arbitrary and exegetically unconvincing.

The Apostle Paul’s teaching on the Resurrection and Judgment of Daniel 12:1-4

We now turn our attention to Pauline eschatology and how Paul develops the resurrection of  Daniel 12:2, 13 in the NT.  Does Paul follow the same teaching that Jesus does in the gospels concerning an imminent AD 70 “hour” and judgment/resurrection of the living and dead?
Acts 24:15/Daniel 12:2
Paul, in agreement with Daniel and Jesus, also taught that the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 was imminent in the first century:  “having hope toward God, which they themselves also wait for, that there is about to be a rising again of the dead, both of righteous and unrighteous (Acts 24:15, YLT & WEY)
Argument #1 – Paul taught the OT resurrection:
The Apostle Paul taught, “…nothing but what the Prophets and Moses said was going to take place” (Acts 26:21-23).  This would obviously include Daniel 12:2
Argument #2 – Only one place in Prophets that predicted a resurrection for both groups:
There is only one passage found in “the law and prophets” (Acts 24:14-15) that explicitly speaks of a resurrection of believers and unbelievers, and that is Daniel 12:2.  This is Paul’s source in Acts 24:15, as virtually any commentary or scholarly work agrees.
Argument #3 – Paul’s resurrection was “about to” take place:
Paul says that Daniel’s resurrection was “about to” take place.  Although Gentry has completely ignored arguments 2-3 above, he has tried to appeal to lexical and language works such as BDAG to get rid of the imminence in this passage.[25]  He and other partial preterists appeal to YLT and WEY translations in supporting passages they want to be fulfilled in AD 70 when debating futurists, but somehow everyone is supposed to think that these translations must be in error if they posit the resurrection as being imminent in the first century when debating full preterist’s.  Unbelievable. 
Argument #4 – The burden of proof is now upon Gentry:
Gentry’s new progressive partial preterist interpretation that the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 was fulfilled in AD 70 begs the question – if Jesus in the gospels and John in the book of Revelation apply the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 to AD 70, then why is it a stretch to believe that the Apostle Paul isn’t developing the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 in Acts 24:15 to AD 70 as well?
In Gentry’s article Acts 24:15 AND THE ALLEGED NEARNESS OF THE RESURRECTION,[26] he claims this passage does not support a full preterist interpretation concerning the judgment and resurrection of the dead.  Since Gentry and his partial preterist partners in crime have stolen a full preterist view of an AD 30 – AD 70 “already and not yet” resurrection (one that was progressive, spiritual, and corporate for Israel resulting in the souls of saints being raised out Hades or Abraham’s Bosom) the burden of proof is now upon Gentry to prove that Acts 24:15 isn’t the AD 70 judgment and resurrection he claims did take place in AD 70 (no matter if mello here should be translated as “about to” or not)!
Argument #5 – Cowards are usually found hiding and unable to respond:
Gentry will not allow myself, Don Preston or William Bell to add comments under his articles on his site, because he doesn’t want to look bad and have us demonstrate to his readers how indeed his teachings are in fact leading people to full preterism.  Nor does he want it publicly pointed out how he is avoiding 3 out of the 4 arguments that we have given on this passage (see above).  I continue to find Gentry arrogant, deceptive, ignorant and unscholarly when he behaves in such a manner.
Romans 13:11-12/Romans 8:18-23 YLT/Romans 11:11-27 & Daniel 12
Again since Paul taught no other things on the resurrection except that which could be found in the law and the prophets, it is no stretch to see that Daniel’s “hour” (cf. OG LXX) in Daniel 12:1-2 of resurrection is not only Jesus’ or John’s in (John 5:28-29) but also in Paul’s (Romans 13:11-12).  If Beale is correct in that the judgment and resurrection of Daniel 12:1-2 has an “already and not yet” aspect to it, and he makes parallel’s to the (OG) LXX with that of the “already and not yet” “hour” of John 5:24-29, then I see no reason why Paul is not drawing from that same “hour” and waking out of “sleep” here:  “Besides this you know what hour it is (cf. 1 John 2:17-18), how it is full time (the end time or time of the end of Daniel 12:4) now for you to wake from sleep (Dan. 12:2). For salvation (cf. Dan. 9:24 – finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness) is nearer to us now than when we first believed (the NT’s “already”); the night is far gone, the day is at hand (the NT’s AD 70 “not yet”). Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on (the transformation resurrection process) the armor of light; (Romans 13:11-12).

Daniel 12:1:    “And at that hour…” Romans 13:11:    “…you know what hour it is…”
Daniel 12:4:    “the end time” or “time of the end” Romans 13:11:    “…how it is full time…”
Daniel 12:2:    “Many of those who sleep in the width of the earth will arise Romans 13:11:    “The hour has come for you to wake up from your sleep…”

Partial preterists such as Jordan and Gentry believe that Jesus and the Apostle John taught that the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 had a spiritual and corporate body resurrection process taking place between AD 30 – AD 70.  We have this already and imminent not yet process in Paul’s theology on the resurrection in this passage as well pointing to AD 70.
Argument #1 – Imminence:
The resurrection of Romans 13:11-12 was the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 and it was “at hand.”
Argument #2 – The analogy of Scripture:
Partial preterists have acknowledged that Romans 13:11-12 was fulfilled in AD 70 and yet the Reformed Study Bible and classic amillennialists believe that the restoration of creation and the resurrection or redemption of the body in Romans 8:18-23 are the same events.  We couldn’t agree more and accept both of these reformed conclusions!
Argument #3 – Imminence in Romans 8:18-23 YLT and analogy of Scripture:
In our second edition of House Divided Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology (pages 116-120) I pointed out how Gary DeMar (Mathison and Gentry’s partner in crime when it comes to trying to overthrow full preterism) agrees with us and the YLT and WEY translations that the glorification of the Church or the “glory” that was “about to be revealed” points to an AD 70 fulfillment of (Romans 8:18).  At least this is more progressive and honest than Gentry’s more than inconsistent “scholarship” on mello here.  I wrote the following and would like a response from Mr. Gentry:
“It is more than arbitrary for partial preterists such as Gentry to honor Young’s literal translation of mello in 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.[27]    …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.[28]  Unfortunately, none of the major translators cited above translates Revelation 1:19 in a literal fashion.[29]
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’…”[30]
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).”
To further complicate matters for progressive partial preterists such as Gentry, Mathison and DeMar on Paul’s imminent expectation of the glorification of the Church, liberation of creation, full adoption of the sons of God and the resurrection or redemption of the body in Romans 8:18-23 is my reference to John Lightfoot (one their favorite partial preterists to quote) who in no uncertain terms held to a full preterist view of the “creation” groaning – being men and not the planet earth (not even poetically).
And of course one final response to Gentry here on the use of mello in Romans 8:18 – Ken used BDAG as virtually his end all argument in his attempt to translate mello in (Acts 24:15) as “shall” or “will” instead of “about to be,” and yet BDAG references (Romans 8:18) as “about to be revealed.”  Once again we find partial preterist’s such as Gentry being unable to deal with what other partial preterists teach on important texts and or are using grammatical arguments and linguistic works arbitrarily.
Argument #4 – Romans 11:11-27:
Gentry, and his anti-full preterist co-authors in WSTTB? and other partial preterist associates form full preterism – the imminent glorification, restoration of creation, and resurrection in (Romans 8:18-23) and (Romans 13:11-12) were “about to be” fulfilled in an AD 70 “at hand” time frame along with a third resurrection text partial preterists take as fulfilled in AD 70 (“all Israel shall be saved” being “life from the dead”) which to my knowledge Gentry has not acknowledged along with Mathison (Romans 11:11-27) (see pages 126-128):
“Mathison neglects to interact with other partial preterists such as DeMar and Jordan who teach that “all Israel” was saved by AD 70 and that covenantally, there no longer remain “ethnic” Jews after AD 70.[31] Why was not the view of DeMar and Jordan one of the many “possible interpretations” within Mathison’s eschatology of uncertainty?”
To drive the point home again – if it is true that there was a spiritual corporate (process and covenantal) resurrection which was fulfilled to close the old covenant age in AD 70 (climaxing with dead saints such as Daniel himself being raised out of Hades or Abraham’s Bosom) per orthodox partial preterism, then why wouldn’t the Apostle Paul be teaching this kind of resurrection in Acts 24:15 YLT; Romans 8:18-23 YLT; Romans 13:11-12; and Romans 11:11-27?  If not why not Mr. Gentry?  And if so partial preterists such as Joel McDurmon need to prove from these passages that both an AD 70 resurrection is in view but an ultimate physical one is found in the text as well.
1 Corinthians 15/Daniel 12:1-4
Again, we would concur with Reformed Study Bibles, commentators and theologians whom state that Paul is following Christ’s eschatology and thus the two are “parallel” in such passages as Matthew 13:39-43; Matthew 24-25; 1 Thessalonians 4-5 and 1 Corinthians 15.  Or that Daniel’s resurrection is Paul’s in 1 Corinthians 15.  But can Gentry and Jordan’s progressive AD 30 – AD 70 resurrection for Israel resulting in the dead being raised out of Hades be seen in 1 Corinthians 15?  As Joel McDurmon has admitted there could have been an AD 70 fulfillment of the passage.

Daniel 12

1 Corinthians 15

1.  Resurrection unto “eternal life” (v. 2) 1.  Resurrection unto incorruptibility or immortality (vss. 52–53)
2.  Time of the end (v. 4) 2.  Then cometh the end (v. 24)
3.  When the power of the holy people [the Mosaic OC law] is completely shattered (v.   7) 3.  When victory over “the [Mosaic OC] law” comes (v. 56)

Argument #1 The rising of the dead:
There definitely seems to be good reason to plug Gentry’s progressive and corporate view of the resurrection of Israel into 1 Corinthians 15.
Wuest’s translation of the present tense of (1 Cor. 15:25) correctly renders the last enemy of death as in the process of “being” destroyed.  Obviously this is not a fleshly corpse resurrection taking place over the last two thousand years.  Are corpses coming out of the ground?  Are men living to be 500-900 years old?  No.  But between AD 30 – AD 70 the administration of the old covenant condemning power of “the law” was present and its promises contained in the Law and Prophets had not been completely fulfilled (Matt. 5:17-19/1 Cor. 15:54-56).
In Hosea, Israel had been sown in death and captivity but she was in the process of being raised from something greater than a Gentile power (ie. “the death” that came through Adam), united together, and transformed through the good news of the new covenant.  Israel’s process of being transformed and being sown and rising from old covenant glory into new covenant glory in (1Cor. 15 & 2 Cor. 3) should be viewed together.  The Greek and grammar of these passages being in the present passive indicatives renders a more probable translation of “if the dead are not rising,”(vss. 16, 29, 32), “the death being destroyed” (vs.26), “But God is giving it a body,” (vs.38) and,  “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is being sown in corruption; it is being raised in incorruption:  It is being sown in dishonour; it is being raised in glory: it is being sown in weakness; it is being raised in power:  It is being sown a natural body; it is being raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body” (vss.42-44).  Gordon Fee in his work on (1Cor.15) puzzles over this,
“The grammar of this sentence is somewhat puzzling…” “The sentence literally reads, “The last enemy is being destroyed.”[32]
Perhaps something else that might be “puzzling” in 1 Corinthians 15 that my friend Don K. Preston pointed out to me at the Criswell Conference concerning (1 Corinthians 15:49) is that  the text does not say “we shall bear the image” it is literally “let us bear the image.”  It is in the subjunctive, (phoresomen) not simple future!  That first century Christians were playing an active role in their resurrection (through the sovereign power and free grace of God) is something that we have already seen in the “already and not yet” resurrection of Romans 13:11-12/Daniel 12:1-2.
Most if not all of Gentry’s amillennial co-authors in WSTTB? would agree with the Reformed Study Bible for example which equates the parousia and or resurrection of Matthew 13:39-43; Matthew 24:27-31 with 1 Corinthians 15:
But the language of [Matthew 24:31] is parallel to passages like 13:41; 16:27; 25:31, as well as to passages such as 1 Cor. 15:52 and 1 Thess. 4:14–17.  The passage most naturally refers to the Second Coming.”
The classic amillennial position is that the one end time resurrection and judgment of Daniel 12:1-4 is the resurrection and judgment Paul is developing in 1 Corinthians 15.  So…
Argument #2 – Analogy of Scripture:
If it is true that the resurrection and judgment of Daniel 12:1-4 was fulfilled in AD 70 (per Gentry) and if it is also true that the resurrection and judgment of Daniel 12:1-4 is the same time of the end resurrection described by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 (which cannot be double fulfilled – per classic amillennial view), then the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 was fulfilled in AD 70.  This is a perfectly logical and reformed conclusion to make regarding the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15.
There are many more full preterist arguments that Gentry needs to respond to when it comes to 1 Corinthians 15 which are addressed in chapter seven of our book, House Divided Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology.

The book of Revelation and Daniel 12:1-4

Revelation 20/Daniel 12
Gentry has been very outspoken that the millennium of Revelation 20 was not fulfilled by AD 70 and yet at the same time holds that there was a progressive judgment and resurrection for Israel between AD 30 – AD 70.  In our second edition of HD, I added seven closing arguments or points on the millennium of Revelation 20 which would also refute Gentry’s futuristic position (pages 131-133):
“In scriptural usage, a symbolic “thousand” can be likened to “one” (day / yesterday / a watch in the night), or used in reference to millions of hills, or to eternity (“forever”). A “thousand” can be likened unto or used to represent a number lesser or greater than a literal thousand. Only its context can determine its literal numerical meaning, but the basic idea that is communicated by the number is “fullness.” As G. K. Beale wrote, “The primary point of the thousand years is probably not a figurative reference to a long time . . .”[33]
To conclude my section on the millennium of Revelation 20, please consider the following exegetical, orthodox, and historical points:
Kenneth Gentry informs us that the book of Revelation is about things which were past, present, and “about to be” fulfilled in John’s day (Rev. 1:19, YLT). There is no exegetical evidence that Revelation 20 does not fall within these inspired parameters.
As G.K. Beale has said, the symbol of the thousand years does not have to be taken as describing a long period of time (i.e., thousands of years).
It has also been acknowledged by Reformed theologians that many Rabbis believed that the period of Messiah was to be a transitionary stage between “this age/world and the age/ world to come.”  These Rabbis (such as R. Adiba), understood this transition period to be forty years, based upon how long the Israelites were in the wilderness before inheriting the land. This type/anti-type understanding is developed for us in the book of Hebrews (cf. Heb. 3-4; 10:25, 37; 11—13:14, YLT).  And as we have noted from Reformed partial preterists such as Joel McDurmon and Gary DeMar, it is within the realm of Reformed orthodoxy to believe that Jesus’ and Paul’s “this age/world” was the old covenant age, and that “the last days” were the days of transition between the old covenant age and the new covenant age (AD 30 – 70).
Reformed partial preterists such as Keith Mathison, Kenneth Gentry, and James Jordan teach that the content of Revelation 1-19 and 21-22 was fulfilled by AD 70, at which time there was a judgment and resurrection of the dead and arrival of the new creation.  And amillennialists such as Simon Kistemaker teach that Revelation 20:5–15 recapitulates the same judgment and consummation scenes that are depicted in chapters 1–19 and 21–22.  Full preterists hold to both of these Reformed and “orthodox” positions in interpreting the book of Revelation.
In criticizing the premillennial view, which often seeks to isolate Revelation 20 from the rest of the New Testament, amillennialists and many postmillennialists hold that Revelation 20 falls within the “already and not yet” of the “last days” period in the New Testament, and that this transition period is depicted in the parable of the wheat and tares, or in Matthew 24–25.  But as we have seen, it is “orthodox” to believe the “last days” ended with the old covenant age in AD 70, and that the harvest/gathering and coming of Christ in Matthew 13 and 24–25 was fulfilled by AD 70.
If it is true that a) the coming of Christ in Matthew 24 and 25 is referring to the AD 70 judgment, as Mathison and other partial preterists are now proposing, and if it is true that b) John’s version of Matthew 24-25 is found in the book of Revelation, and if it is true that c) Matthew 24:27-31 — 25:31ff. is descriptive of the one end-of-the-age Second Coming, judgment, and resurrection event (the creedal position), then d) the authors of WSTTB have some explaining to do, because these orthodox doctrines form the “this-generation” forty year millennial view of full preterism.

MATTHEW 24-25

REVELATION 20:5-15

Resurrection and   judgment Matt. 24:30-31 (cf. Matt. 13:39-43/Dan. 12:2-3) Matt. 25:31-46 (cf.   Matt. 16:27-28) Resurrection   and judgment Rev. 20:5-15
De-creation   heaven and earth pass/flee matt. 24:29, 35 (cf. Matt. 5:17-18) De-creation   heaven and earth pass/flee Rev. 20:11 (cf. Rev. 6:14; 16:20; 21:1)
Christ   on throne to judge Matt. 25:31 God   on throne to judge Rev. 20:11
Wicked   along with Devil eternally punished Matt. 25:41-46 Wicked   along with Devil eternally punished Rev. 20:10, 14-15

If it is true that a) the judgment and resurrection of the dead in Daniel 12:1-4, 13 were fulfilled by AD 70 (per Gentry), and if it is true that b) Daniel 12:1-4, 13 is parallel to Revelation 20:5-15 (classic amillennial view), then c) once again the authors of WSTTB have some explaining to do, in that these orthodox views form the “this-generation” forty-year millennial view of full preterism.

DANIEL   12:1-2

REVELATION   20:5-15

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

Therefore, the reader should be able to discern that the full preterist view of the millennium is: 1) consistent with the teaching of Revelation, 2) falls within the “orthodox” views the Reformed church, 3) is in harmony with the analogy of Scripture, and 4) has historical support from Rabbis who saw a forty-year transition period between the two ages. Our view on the millennium is exegetically sound and orthodox. It is not as “difficult” as Mathison attempts to portray it.”
Mr. Gentry wants to apply his AD 30 – AD 70 judgment and resurrection view of Daniel 12:1-4 in Revelation 7 and 14 but doesn’t want to touch upon where everyone clearly sees Daniel 12:1-4 being fulfilled in the book of Revelation – ie. Revelation 20!  This appears to be once again an arbitrary creedal philosophy guiding him and not a commitment to “sola scriptura” or sound exegesis.  Again, Ken has already informed his readers that anyone wanting to give multiple or double fulfillments to his AD 70 fulfillments in the book of Revelation, would be guilty of “pure theological assertion” which  has “no exegetical warrant.”[34]  So he can’t then turn around and claim that John in Revelation 7 and 14 is giving the judgment and resurrection of Daniel 12:1-2 two fulfillments.  He sure would have to disagree with partial preterist Joel McDurmon who claimed there could have been an AD 70 fulfillment of the resurrection in Revelation 20 but it would also have to have another “final” fulfillment at the end of time.  McDurmon’s comments are indeed “pure theological assertion” without “exegetical warrant.”
I’m sure Ken would say that John in Revelation 7 and 14 is using the judgment and resurrection of Daniel 12:1-4 typologically to point to AD 70 whereas in Revelation 20 he is using Daniel 12:1-4 to refer to the “final” resurrection.  But once again reformed theology sees an “already” resurrection process for the living taking place in Revelation 20 culminating in what partial preterist James Jordan sees as a resurrection for Daniel’s soul being raised out of Hades or Abraham’s Bosom (per Daniel 12:2, 13/Revelation 20).  After all, where in Revelation 20 is there any mention of a physical or biological resurrection per Gentry?  Only “souls” are mentioned.  And your typical amillennialist is going to tell us that the same end time resurrection and judgment of the dead in Revelation 7, 11 and 14 is then recapitulated in Revelation 20.  These are orthodox views that full preterists have taken on the judgment and resurrection of the dead in Revelation 11, 7, 14 and 20.  We have no desire to “go beyond what is written” or “add” to the prophetic material in Revelation so that we can be creedal.  When creedal tradition seeks to trump sound exegesis, it’s time for the true reformed Christians to make a stand on sound exegesis and what the historical church (combined amillennial and partial preterists) have written on the millennium of Revelation 20.

Conclusion

If no written or printed response is forthcoming from Mr. Gentry and his co-authors of WSTTB? to our second edition of HD, then I will conclude with Gary North’s kind of logic in these matters and that this debate is over because no consistent exegetical one can be given.  I wanted to express my sincere appreciation to the work that Mr. Gentry and his co-authors and anti-full preterist associates have done thus far in demonstrating what full preterists have been saying all along:  the “one” Second Coming or “THE parousia” of Christ attended with the one judgment and resurrection of the living and dead was a process from AD 30 to AD 70 for Israel coming out of her old covenant world/body and into the her new covenant world/body, was spiritual, corporate, resulting in the souls of men such as Daniel (Daniel 12:13) being raised out of Hades or Abraham’s Bosom to close the old covenant age in AD 70.
This article has proven that progressive partial preterists have indeed “given the farm away” to full preterism when it comes to the judgment and resurrection of the dead.  This used to be the defining difference between the two views, but as we have seen Gentry and his progressive partial preterist associates have only stolen our AD 70 judgment and resurrection view of the living and dead (w/out giving us credit) and simply asserted with no exegetical evidence that such passages as John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15YLT; 1 Corinthians 15; and Revelation 20 teach two fulfillments or that a biological resurrection at the end of time is present in any of these passages.
Gentry co-authored a book entitled, HOUSE DIVIDED THE BREAK-UP OF DISPENSATIONAL THEOLOGY in which he and others demonstrated that progressive dispensationalists have given the farm away to covenant theology/eschatology and thus there remains nothing left to dispensationalism.  They must accept that their house is falling apart and cannot stand or accept covenant theology/eschatology.  Gentry is now on the receiving end of this kind of logic.  Our “House Divided” book has demonstrated without a shadow of doubt that progressive partial preterists such as Gentry, DeMar, McDurmon and Mathison combined with the classical amillennial and creedal views form full preterism and they can either accept this or watch their house continue to fall at the feet of full preterism.



[1] Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. He Shall Have Dominion (Draper, VA:  Apologetics Group Media, 2009 Third Edition), 538.
[2] Kenneth Gentry, DANIEL 12, TRIBULATION AND RESURRECTION, http://postmillennialism.com/2012/03/daniel-12-tribulation-and-resurrection/
[3] Gary DeMar, The Olivet Discourse: The Test of Truth, http://www. americanvision.org/blog/?p=190
[4] Kenneth Gentry, Four Views on the Book of Revelation, ed. C. Marvin Pate (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998), 43–44.
[5] Kenneth Gentry, DANIEL 12, TRIBULATION AND RESURRECTION, http://postmillennialism.com/2012/03/daniel-12-tribulation-and-resurrection/
[6]   Gary North, perhaps not knowing his own son-in-law’s position at the time, wrote in 2001: “Anyone who equates the fulfillment of [the parable of the wheat and tares] with A.D. 70 has broken with the historic faith of the church.” http://www.preteristcosmos.com/garynorth-dualism.html
[7] . Joel McDurmon, Jesus v. Jerusalem: A Commentary on Luke 9:51 – 20:26, Jesus’ Lawsuit Against Israel (Powder Springs, GA: The American Vision, Inc., 2011), 48-49; see entire section 43-51. One of DeMar’s co-authors
Peter Leithart, has also conceded that the parable of the wheat and tares was fulfilled in the first century, Peter J. Leithart, The Promise of His Appearing:  An Exposition of Second Peter (Moscow, ID:  Canon Press, 2004), 95.
[8] Kenneth Gentry, DANIEL 12, TRIBULATION AND RESURRECTION, http://postmillennialism.com/2012/03/daniel-12-tribulation-and-resurrection/
[9] Ibid.
[10] Peter J. Leithart, The Promise of His Appearing:  An Exposition of Second Peter (Moscow, ID:  Canon Press, 2004), 95.
[11] G.K. Beale, The IVP New Testament Commentary Series 1–2 Thessalo-nians (Downers Grove, IL: Inter Varsity Press, 2003), 136.  Copyright 2003 by G.K. Beale.  Some Progressive Partial Preterists are now agreeing that 1 Thessalonians 4:15–17 took place in AD 70.  Mike Bull is admitting that Gentry and Mathison are forced to “dodge and weave to put this passage [1 Thess. 4:15-17] into our future.” Mike Bull, The Last Trumpet, http://www.bullartistry.com.au/ wp/2011/06/05/the-last-trumpet/

[12] . Ibid, 136–137.

[13] .  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 1 and 2 Thessalonians,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 18:2 (June 1975); 105–113.

[14] . Mathison, From Age to Age, 515.

[15] . Mathison, Postmillenialism, 230.

[16] . Ibid, 226.

[17]Dominion, 542.

[18] .  John Brown, Discourses and Sayings of Our Lord (Edinburg: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1990 [1852]), 1:170.

[19] .    Crispin H.T. Fletcher-Louis, Edited by Kent E. Brower & Mark W. Elliot, Eschatology in Bible & Theology: Evangelical Essays at the Dawn of a New Millennium (Downers Grove, IL:  Inter Varsity Press, 1997), 145.

[20] DeMar, Last Days Madness, Ibid. Fourth revised edition, 192.
[21] Gary DeMar, The Olivet Discourse: The Test of Truth, http://www. americanvision.org/blog/?p=190
[22] Beale, G. K., & Carson, D. A. (2007). Commentary on the New Testament use of the Old Testament (747, 886–887). Grand Rapids, MI; Nottingham, UK: Baker Academic; Apollos..

[23] 0. G.K. Beale, A New Testament Biblical Theology: The Unfolding of The

Old Testament In The New (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2011), 131132.

[24] Gentry, ibid. FOUR VIEWS ON THE BOOK OF REVELATION, 43.
[25] Kenneth L. Gentry, Acts 24:15 AND THE ALLEGED NEARNESS OF THE RESURRECTION http://postmillennialism.com/2012/02/acts-2415-and-the-alleged-nearness-of-the-resurrection/
[26] Kenneth Gentry, Acts 24:15 AND THE ALLEGED NEARNESS OF THE RESURRECTION, http://postmillennialism.com/2012/02/acts-2415-and-the-alleged-nearness-of-the-resurrection/
[27] . Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., The Beast of Revelation, (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1989), 23–24.
[28] . Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Before Jerusalem Fell, (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1989), 141–142.

[29] . Ibid., 141.

[30] . Gary DeMar, Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church, (Powder Springs, GA:  American Vision, 1999), 225.

[31] Gary DeMar, All Israel will be saved:  Notes on Romans 11:26, American Vision http://americanvision.org/1234/all-israel-will-be-saved-notes-onromans/#.UG3auVGJr3A.  James B. Jordan, The Future of Israel Re-examined, July 1991. Biblical Horizons, No. 27 July, 1991

[32] Gordon D. Fee, THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS, (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans Publishing, 1987), 756.
[33] . G. K. Beale, The New International Greek Testament Commentary: The Book of Revelation (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1999), 1018.
[34] Kenneth Gentry, Four Views on the Book of Revelation, ed. C. Marvin Pate (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998), 43–44.
 

TLB Show Matthew 24:35-36ff. End of Planet Earth Change of Subject? "Heaven and earth will pass away…" "But of that day and hour…"

Most agree that Matthew 24:1-34 contain the fall of Jerusalem, but do verses 35-36ff. indicate a change of subject to another coming of Christ to end and renew planet earth?  We and other Partial Preterists such as Gary DeMar, Joel McDurmon and Keith Mathison argue “no.”  But then does it follow from these Partial Preterists that Jesus didn’t have much to say about His Second Coming in Matthew’s gospel?  Tune in and study with William Bell and myself as we tackle these issues with a grammatical historical hermeneutic.

The Living Body Show Matthew 24:30-34 The Second Coming and Resurrection/Gathering in Jesus' "This Generation"

Mike Sullivan and William Bell wrap up their series on what theologians have called, “The Big Three” (Matt. 10:22-23; 16:27-28; 24:34).  Did Jesus in fact predict that His Second Coming, end of the age, de-creation and resurrection would occur within some of the lifetimes of His contemporary audience or in their “this generation”?  Tune in and you be a Beren and be the judge.

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

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

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

By Michael J. Sullivan

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

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

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

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

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

By:  Michael J. Sullivan

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

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

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

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

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

6).  Consider the following:

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

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

7).  Consider the following:

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

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

Conclusion:

Therefore, the reader should be able to discern that the Full Preterist AD 30 – AD 70 “this generation” millennial view is:
1). consistent with the teaching of Revelation itself,
2)  falls within the “orthodox” views of the Reformed church,
3)  is in line with the analogy of Scripture and
4)  offers historical support from many Rabbis whom promoted a forty years transitional period between the two ages.
Our view on the millennium is both exegetically sound and orthodox. Finding support for the Full Preterist view of the millennium is not as difficult as many  portray it – selah.

Commentary on Revelation Chapters 8 – 12

THE UNVEILING OF JESUS
REVELATION 8-12 
 

 

 
A Layman and Scholar’s Guide to Interpreting
The Book of Revelation  
 
By: Michael J. Sullivan

Copyright 2008-04-08

 
 
 
 

Revelation 8 – 11 

 

We now embark upon the third vision. In chapter eight we are informed that the opening of the seventh seal involves the judgment described here as the blowing of seven trumpets. Among other Old Testament typological and prophetic passages, apostate Jerusalem’s fall is following the pattern of the seven trumpets blown by Israel in which Jericho fell at her feet Joshua 6.
Many commentators such as Kistemaker miss the significance of the “silence” for the length of a half an hour in Revelation 8:1. I would concur with others that this is corresponding to the work of the priest in the temple. G.K. Beale following Sweet, Chilton, and Edersheim writes,
Silence in relation to the temple liturgy. The Mishnah’s explanation of the background of the liturgy of the daily sacrifice in the temple makes even more cogent the association of prayer with the silence in Rev. 8:1 (cf. m. Tamid). The order of the service roughly resembled the order of some of the significant images in the Apocalypse: (1) trimming of the seven lamps (Revelation 1-3), (2) slaying of the sacrificial lamb (Rev. 5:6), (3) pouring of the sacrificial blood at the base of the altar (Rev. 6:9), (4) offering of incense, during a time of silence and prayer (so Luke 1:10; cf. Rev. 8:1, 4-5), (5) the burnt offering and drink offering (Rev. 16:1) together with the sounding of the trumpets (Rev. 8:6), and (6) singing of psalms (19:1-8).”[1] Chilton following Milton Terry, suggests it took the priest roughly a half an hour to perform these duties and then return to the praying congregation.[2] The final trumpet blast in chapter 11, marks the time of the judgment of “the dead” and the rewarding of the righteous. The righteous are no longer under the altar 6:10-11 but now enter and inherit the Most Holy Place. This is depicted through the imagery of the ark being revealed in verses 18-19. In Hebrews 9-11, when Jesus as the High Priest appeared out of the heavenly temple a “second time,” at the end of the old-covenant age in an “at hand” and in a “very little while,” time frame, is when all of the new covenant “better” and “true” promises were realized – including the “better resurrection.” Throughout Revelation, when old-covenant Jerusalem–the great harlot city falls, this marks the time for the judgment and resurrection of the dead to take place.

Revelation 8
 

In chapter eight we have the scene of the prayers of the saints for vindication upon their enemies earlier depicted in 6:10-11 beginning to be answered in the “in a little while” time frame. Their imprecatory prayers result in God sending an angel to take fire from the altar in which he hurls it from heaven to burn a third the land. Kistemaker connects this fiery judgment with Luke 12:49 and I would add to that the message of John’s baptism of fire and the burning of the elements to the mix of this fiery judgment Matthew 3:2-12; 2 Peter 3. But obviously this de-creation burning is not affecting the entire globe but only a “third” of the land. Gentry takes a literal interpretation quoting Josephus in reference to the storms, burning of the land, and the blood and dead bodies in the waters surrounding Palestine during the Jewish/Roman war.[3] Chilton also understood some of this language to be a literal description of war but also left open the possibility of the grass and trees representing some of God’s elect.[4] However one understands the tribulation and judgment of the third of the land of Israel here, this de-creation language is to be parallel with that of Matthew 24:29 and Revelation 6 and is describing the falling of the religious and civil powers of Jerusalem by A.D. 70.
The mountain burning with fire of which is thrown into the sea in 8:8 was addressed by Jesus in His cursing apostate Israel in the form of the withering of the fig tree. Jesus then gets the disciples involved in teaching them how to pray in removing and cursing Israel using the figure of removing a mountain through the use of imprecatory prayers in Matthew 21:18-22. Through old-covenant Jerusalem’s apostasy, they had become a destroying mountain persecuting the elect among the new covenant Israel. Like Babylon and Egypt whom had persecuted old-covenant Israel in the Old Testament, their fall and punishments for persecuting the new Israel of God, would now be wielded out upon them as their enemies had been dealt with before (Ex. 7; Isa. 19; Jer. 51; Isa. 14:3-12). Again, the darkness of the sun, moon and stars is referring to the civil and religious rulers of old-covenant Jerusalem whom rejected their Messiah and the prophets He had sent to her and now their lights (authorities) are turned out and cast to the ground.
Many such as Kistemaker do not make these simple connections to these texts and although a third of the land is being destroyed, they continue to claim this chapter is describing “a coming cosmic catastrophe that will affect the whole surface of the earth.” All of Jesus’ parables surrounding this section (Matthew 21-25) have to do with the judgment and fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. It is at this time the kingdom was taken away from apostate Israel and completely given over and transferred to the Church in redemptive history (Mt. 21:33-45).

Revelation 9
 

Chapter nine continues the blowing of the fifth trumpet which describes the same judgment, but now introducing the Abyss motif. In Matthew 12 Jesus delivers a man from demon possession and is then accused by the religious rulers that He is done this through the power of Beelzebub. Jesus informs these children of the devil, that He in fact is plundering the strong man (and by extension their “fathers”) “house” (Mt. 12:22-30) through this process. In verse 43-45 Jesus uses this on an individual level with corporate overtones involving an exhortation of their “this generation” to repent or God will send seven more spirits to torment the man’s “house.” Gentry quoting F.F. Bruce notes that within 40 years of their generation, “Titus began the siege of Jerusalem in April, 70. The defenders held out desperately for five months, but by the end of August the temple area was occupied and the holy house burned down” (cf. Wars 5).”[5] However, commentators have pointed out that the common lifespan of the locust is five months–from May to September. Josephus in Wars 5 describes how the wicked Jews refused to repent during this time period and desired death in the midst of famine and starvation.
Gentry sees verse 14-16 describing the angels participating in the judgment who were seen in the sky riding upon chariots during the siege citing Josephus, a Jewish historian and Tacitus, a Roman historian. He also sees the description found in verse 17 as the four Roman legions of soldiers that had been sent to the west side of Jerusalem,
“Here we discover the implements of the fiery destruction that Jerusalem will undergo from the Roman’s armored horsemen, iron-plated towers, battering rams, and catapults, producing their fire and smoke (a description of the Roman armament appears in Wars 3.5.2, 5-6; 6.2).”[6] Despite John’s focus on the third of the land being the subject and Revelation following the tribulation and wrath that would come upon that generation through the Roman armies, sensationalist “prophecy experts” such as Hal Lindsey and Chuck Smith claim Revelation 9:16-19 is describing a global catastrophe involving the alleged future invasion of China’s boasted 2 million strong military force. This section is also an alleged description of modern day warfare John is attempting to describe using first century language. John is alleged to be describing attack Cobra helicopters, missiles, and modern day warfare technology.[7] Then of course there is the “out of this world” “interpretation” of Charles Ryrie whom claimed John is trying to describe a U.F.O. war machine![8] Of the alleged reference here to China’s 2 million army invasion Chuck Smith sensationally knows this is the army in view and writes,
“We are speaking here of a huge army of two hundred million. Do you realize how impossible this was until recent times? How cold any nation or combination of nations in the world field an army of two hundred million people? It was only in 1860 that the earth reached a population of one billion Even if every available man alive at the time of John’s writing had been mustered, they couldn’t have fielded an army of two hundred million.

Today China boasts that she’s able to put an army of two hundred million on the field. Isn’t that an interesting figure? Why didn’t China say 150 million or 175 million or 201 million? Time magazine reported that China declares that she can now field an army of two hundred million. And John sees this great army.[9] As usual Smith looks to contemporary newspaper headlines and Time Magazine to interpret the Olivet discourse and the Book of Revelation for him instead of allowing the Bible to interpret itself! A more Biblical approach would be to understand the doubling of the myriads of myriads to be referring to an innumerable or “too many to count” reference as in 5:11 and 7:9. This is the majority opinion among the commentators from a wide rage of eschatological views, and one we would agree with,
The symbol is, no doubt, chosen to signify power, of which horsemen or cavalry are an emblem. Were two hundred thousand thousand; or, twice myriads of myriads (of. Jude 14–16, which is a quotation from Enoch; also Dan. 7:10). The number is, of course, not to be taken literally, but as signifying an exceeding great multitude. [10]
G.K. Beale notes that the number “twice ten thousand” does not occur in Biblical literature elsewhere but writes without exception,
“…(“ten thousand”) designates an incalculable immensity wherever it is used without any numerical adjective. In the LXX the plural also has a figurative connotation of an innumerable, indefinite host (Gen. 24:60; Lev. 26:8; Num. 10:35[36]; Deut. 23:30; 33:2, 17; 1 Kgs. 18:7-8; 21:12[11]; Ps. 3:7[6]; Cant. 5:10; Sir. 47:6; Mic. 6:7; Dan. 7:10; in Ps. 90[91]:7 the singular is used figuratively). Noteworthy is 1 En. 40:1, where a figurative meaning is explicitly stated as a development of Dan. 7:10 (“ten thousands of ten thousands,” to which Rev. 5:11 also alludes): “I saw thousands of thousands and ten thousand times ten thousand, I saw a multitude beyond number and reckoning” (cf. 1 En. 60:1;…” “…The same is true in other early Jewish and Christian writings (Philo, De Agricltura 35, 113; Josephus, Ant. 7.318; 1 En. 1:9; 14:22; Sib. Or.4.139; Luke 12:1; Acts 21:20; Heb. 12:22; Jude 14; 1 Clemet 34:6.” “…Therefore, a figurative meaning is demanded by a literal translation of the number, since its plural forms leave it too indefinitely stated to be calculated precisely…”[11] We prefer to stick to a grammatical historical hermeneutic that allows the Bible to interpret itself in these matters rather than Time Magazine! What we have here is a description of a multitude of demonic forces influencing the Roman armies to attack Jerusalem. Chilton gives a concise summary of this chapter,
“Thus, to sum up the idea: An innumerable army is advancing upon Jerusalem from the Euphrates, the origin of Israel’s traditional enemies; it is a fierce, hostile, demonic force sent by God in answer to His people’s prayers for vengeance. In short, this army is the fulfillment of all the warnings in the law and the prophets of an avenging horde sent to punish the Covenant-breakers. The horrors described in Deuteronomy 28 were to be visited upon this evil generation (see especially verses 49—68). Moses had declared: You shall be driven mad by the sight of what you see (Deut. 28:34).[12] Indeed the fulfillment of all that the Old Testament prophets had predicted as far as salvation for the elect and judgment upon Jerusalem would no longer be delayed as we learn in the following chapter.

Revelation 10

As there was a brief intermission or parenthesis between the opening of the sixth and seventh seals in describing the judgment scene upon old-covenant Jerusalem, so there is a parenthesis here between the sixth and seventh trumpets which involves the angel with the little scroll and the two witnesses which take up sections 10:1-11:13. In chapter ten we are introduced to an angel standing on the land and the sea preaching the gospel. We are told this involves the fulfillment or “accomplishment” of the “mystery of God” as revealed and predicted by the “prophets” in verses 1-7. The sounding the trumpet carries with it the concept of warning and the need to repent. In Biblical imagery, the land represents Israel and the sea the Gentiles. This corresponds to the “mystery” as far as the gospel is the union of both Jew and Gentile “in Christ” (Rms. 11:25; 16:25; 1Cor. 2:7; 15:51; Ephs. 1-3; 5-6; Col. 1:26-27; 2:2; 4:3; 1Tim. 3:9, 16). Here we are having a flash back to the period of the great commissions fulfillment described for us in (Mt.24:14; 28:18-20/Mrk. 16:15-18; Acts 1:7-8; 2:5 à Cols. 1:5-6, 23-24; Rms. 10:18; 16:25-26). This is now taking place just before the end of the old-covenant age right before the judgment of Jerusalem in A.D. 66-70.
Gentry in his writings gives very little attention to Relation 10 but does write, “Revelation promises there will no longer be “delay” (10:6). The ad hoc nature of the book demands a preterist approach.”[13] Mathison states, “With the destruction of the temple, the mystery will be finished (Eph. 3:4-6).[14] What Gentry and Mathison do not want to address here is that Revelation 10:7 and Jesus in Luke 21:22, are clearly teaching that ALL prophecy (of the Old Testament prophets [which foretold the judgment & resurrection] and New Testament prophets) would be fulfilled in Jesus’ “this generation” and would not be delayed! Mathison quotes (Eph. 3:4-6) in connection with the fulfillment of the “mystery” here in Revelation 10, but our text is concerned with the consummative and maturing fulfillment of this mystery. The point is that the “heirs” were about to receive the “glory” the prophets foretold and the reception of the resurrection and new creation (Rms. 8:17-23 YLT; Rev. 20-22) is the context here.
Chilton even before converting to the preterist view understood to some degree that this chapter introduces us to the first great “climax of the prophecy” as “…declared to be completed with the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet…” “…it is a day of creating heaven and earth and consummating a temple of God…” “The sounding of the seventh angel will be the irrefutable sign that the promised New Creation, the New Covenant, is an accomplished fact. The great mystery of God—the completion and filling of His new and final Temple – will have been revealed to the world (11:15-19).” And again connecting 10:6-7 with 11:15 Chilton writes, “in conformity with the Biblical pattern uniting the ideas of Sabbath and consummation, the Trumpet of the seventh angel announces that “the mystery of God has been fulfilled and accomplished (cf. 10:6-7).”[15] The consummation of prophecy through the prophets is what is in view here and partial preterists such as Mathison and Gentry need to stop “adding” to the prophecy of Revelation. There is no “inaugurating” another great commission, end of another age, which allegedly climaxes in the passing of another “first creation” at another second coming to end time per their views. Revelation knows of no such modern creedally imposed concepts.

Revelation 11
 

This chapter has been admitted by all eschatological views to be one of the more difficult chapters of Revelation to interpret. After becoming a Preterist, David Chilton admitted to me that while working on his commentary on Revelation it was a relatively easy project until he reached chapter 11. This is because we enter into the subject of the judgment of “the dead” and through symbolism and apocalyptic hyperbole and metaphor the corporate body is described by the two witnesses. The other difficulty for creedal and partial preterist view is that the resurrection is involved because it is the blowing of the seventh final trumpet in connection with the judgment of “the dead” which the majority of commentators are correct to parallel with the blowing the trumpet in Matthew 24, 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4. For the Reformed partial preterist, it becomes even more difficult when trying to reconcile an A.D. 70 fulfillment coming of the Lord with the recapitulation and parallel structure of the book as it clearly is only dealing with one judgment and resurrection of the dead being inseparably linked to Christ’s imminent coming to vindicate these first century martyrs.
a)      The measuring of the temple.  
For some dispenstational “prophecy experts,” such as my former Pastor Chuck Smith, the measuring of the temple is supposed to be proof of a supposed re-built temple coming in our generation that starts up Israel’s last days prophetic time clock again. This again is supposed to mark the nearness of the churches “rapture,”
“The Jews will rebuild their temple in Jerusalem. This could happen during the first half of the great Tribulation period. When the church is taken out and God again deals with Israel during this last seven-year period, the Antichrist will make a covenant with the nation of Israel, but in the midst of the seven year period he’ll break that covenant (Daniel 9:27). I believe that in this covenant the Antichrist will permit Israel to move ahead and rebuild their temple.
At the present time the Jews are making excavations under what is commonly called the Mosque of Omar.”[16] John MacArthur agrees that this is dealing with another rebuilt temple in our future, “A rebuilt temple will exist during the time of the Tribulation (Dan. 9:27; 12:11; Matt. 24:15; 2 Thess. 2:4).[17]  

Kistemaker understands the measuring of the temple here to be referring spiritually to the church and not to the physical temple in Jerusalem that would be trampled in A.D. 70 by the Romans (WSTTB, 220-225). He does attempt to make the connection with what Jesus predicted in Luke 21:24 in that Jerusalem would be invaded by Gentile forces, and that they would trample the city until the times of the Gentiles were fulfilled. Yet he claims the 3 ½ years mentioned here cannot be the time between A.D. 66-70, because historically that is not accurate. But then he admits in a footnote that the beginning of the war “will always be a matter of opinion.” He also says the 3 ½ years is symbolic and not referring to a literal time frame. Well, if it is a “matter of opinion,” and the three and a half years is “symbolic,” then Kistemaker has not argued well that this period cannot be referring to the fall of Jerusalem by A.D. 70. I find this somewhat odd, since Kistemaker has made quite a few references to the Olivet discourse in his commentary on Revelation to help him interpret Revelation. In fact most commentaries and cross reference works will parallel the two prophecies together. Kistemaker and others are obviously afraid of making the parallels because that forces them to address the same time of fulfillment “this generation” and prophetic events that were “shortly” to be fulfilled:

1) The great commission needs to be fulfilled first before the judgment takes place (Mt. 24:14/Rev. 10:5-7/14:6-20/20:2-3).
2) The destruction of Jerusalem/Babylon are the focus of the judgment of which all the prophets predicted (Lk. 21:20-22/Rev. 10:7/11:8).
3) The judgment involves the Gentile nations treading down Jerusalem and the temple (Lk. 21:6-7; 20-24/Rev. 11:2).
4) Jerusalem/Babylon is responsible for persecuting the saints and will be judged for their blood guilt (Mt. 23-24/Rev.6; 11; 18).
5) Jesus identifies Daniel’s prophecy of the tribulation and abomination of desolation which bring an end to all the eschatological prophecies of Daniel. Therefore the time of the end which included the 3 ½ year period to be fulfilled will be fulfilled in His generation (Mt. 24:15/Lk. 21:20-22/Dan. 12:7/Rev. 11:2).
6) The time frame of fulfillment is the same “this generation” “shortly,” “soon,” “at hand,” and “near” (Mt. 23:30-36, 38; 24:34/Rev. 1:1, 3; 22:6-7, 10-12, 20).

Kistemaker representing futurism, and David Chilton representing preterism, both understand that the temple in view here is symbolic of the heavenly Church on earth. Preterists such as Chilton don’t have a problem understanding the 3 ½ period symbolically and not necessarily referring to a literal time frame.[18] However, what Kistemaker is missing, is that Paul and the writer to the Hebrews use both a symbolic and literal application to both temples, cities, and covenants with the understanding that both are co-existing together (cf. Gals. 4; Heb. 8:13; 9:6-10). Biblical prophets often connect the two temples/cities together in the saving of the spiritual and faithful remnant and the destruction of the literal, apostate, and old (Dan. 9:24, 27; Zech. 9-14). Commentators connect this measuring of the temple with the Old Testament background of (Ezek. 40-43; Zech. 2:1-2). The measuring of the temple in Ezekiel has to do with separating the righteous remnant from the “common” or profane (Ezek. 42:20). During the time of the temples destruction till a rebuilt one could be made, God’s presence among the faithful remnant and exiles would serve as the temple (Ezek. 11). God destroyed and shook the “heavens and earth” of Babylon through the means of the Medes and Persians so that the faithful remnant could be raised from the dead and return to rebuild the walls and temple of Jerusalem (Jer. 51; Isa. 13; Ezek. 37; Ezra, Nehemiah). In the New Testament, and under the establishing and maturing of the new covenant temple, there would be another measuring and separating taking place through the preaching of the Gospel except Babylon is apostate old-covenant Jerusalem and the believing remnant is the church or the true temple and Israel of God (Ezek. 37:27/2Cor. 6;16). God was now going to “shake” Jerusalem/Babylon one last time in order for the completion of the new covenant temple/kingdom to stand complete (Hag. 2/Heb. 12). During the time of Hebrews, this new covenant “better resurrection,” city and temple was being received and “about to” be fully realized and consummated (Heb. 9-13:14YLT). So a spiritual hermeneutic for the Church as a heavenly city and temple along with a literal referent to Jerusalem from below (the once “holy city” but now apostate Babylon) and her temple, can co-exist and are not exclusive of each other. The destruction of the outer courtyard by the Gentiles represents the apostate and unclean nation and the destruction of Jerusalem and her temple in A.D. 70; while the inner sanctuary is set apart and represents God’s heavenly and spiritual temple – the Church on earth preserved and protected as discussed earlier (Rev. 7:2-3). The final separation of the coexisting old-covenant and new-covenant temple structures, would be fulfilled “shortly” when Christ returned in A.D.70 and the New Jerusalem functions as the Most Holy Place (a perfect cube) and everyone else is considered unclean and outside the Cities gates (Rev. 21-22).
As Matthew Henry points out, the outer court of the gentiles was never even something God had ordained to be apart of the temple and was instituted by Herod,
“Some say that Herod, in the additions made to the temple, built an outer court, and called it the court of the Gentiles. Some tell us that Adrian built the city and an outer court, and called it Aelia, and gave it to the Gentiles. 2. Why was not the outer court measured? This was no part of the temple, according to the model either of Solomon or Zerubbabel, and therefore God would have no regard to it. He would not mark it out for preservation; but as it was designed for the Gentiles, to bring pagan ceremonies and customs and to annex them to the gospel churches, so Christ abandoned it to them, to be used as they pleased; and both that and the city were trodden under foot for a certain time.”[19]
Since apostate Jerusalem is constantly described as idolatrous and God’s enemy in the form of Gentile powers such as Egypt, Sodom, Babylon, etc., this idolatrous outer court of the gentiles is a fitting place to describe the apostasy of old-covenant Jerusalem and their being trodden down by Rome for 3 ½ years.
I would agree with Jay Adams who while admitting there may be some difficulties in interpreting the passage, it has a clear link to the Olivet discourse and the time of fulfillment is “without reasonable doubt” to be applied to A.D. 70,
“The climax of the first prophecy is found in chapter 12, where the destruction of Jerusalem is predicted in detail. The passage shows that the temple was still standing at the time of writing. This is unmistakable proof that Revelation was written before 70 A.D. It is measured. This symbol is used both of preservation (cf. Zech. 2:1) and destruction (cf. II Sam. 8:2, Amos 7:7, 8; Hab. 3:6). Since in the only other use of the symbol in Revelation (21:15) it is used in a preservative sense, it may be best to take it so here (n.21 – ‘This seems correct because that which is not measured is trodden under foot Rev. 11:2). It is possible that verses 1 and 2 may be correctly interpreted as predicting that everything pertaining to the physical temple is to be destroyed except the naos (the word used here for “temple”) which refers more exactly to the “holy of holies” where the Shekinah glory of God dwelt. This may signify (if correct) that there is no longer need for more than naos worship, where every believer may come boldly to the throne of grace, entering into the most holy place through the name of Christ. At any rate, on thing is definite, verse 2 strikes the same note as that found in Luke 21:24. The temple will be trodden down of the Gentiles. This speaks, without reasonable doubt, of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., though all aspects of the imagery may not be clear.”[20] This destruction of the temple as described by Jesus as the “times of the Gentiles,” is referring to the prophecies of Daniel 2, 7, 9, and 12. When Christ’s second coming occurred in A.D. 70, the kingdom got transformed and raised into an eternal and spiritual kingdom wherein it could not be “shaken” or “destroyed” as the old-covenant kingdom and temple had been throughout its history (Mt. 21:33-45; Jn. 4:21-24; Heb. 12). This is when the new Israel of God was completely transformed and raised to life, causing the Gentiles to bud forth and the nations to explode into full bloom (Rms. 11:15-27/Lk. 21:20-31, 32). As there is a physical and spiritual parallel taking place between the destruction of the literal old-covenant temple and city along with the preserving and glorifying of the spiritual new; there is also a parallel taking place concerning the times of the Gentiles. While God has sent the Gentiles to destroy the old-covenant kingdom, it is this very means by which the flood gates of Gentile salvation explodes within redemptive history in a way it never had before.
Both Mathison and Gentry agree with us that the measuring of the temple here and the treading down of the out court for 3 ½ years represents Jerusalem’s destruction in A.D. 70. Gentry even agrees with us that there is a fulfillment and mixture of the physical and spiritual in regards to the two parts of the temple being measured here and cites most of the same text I have to support this (Heb. 8:5; 9:24; Gals. 4:22-26; & Heb. 12). “In Revelation 11 God removes the shadow or copy so that the essential remains, which John here portrays as the worshipers in the heart of the temple.” [21] b)      The two witnesses & the “great city” where the Lord was slain is judged. 

 
There of course has been many different views as to who these two witnesses are: 1) Enoch and Elijah, 2) Moses and Elijah, 3) Jeremiah and Elijah, 4) Joshua and Caleb, 5) Peter and Paul, 6) John the Baptist and Jesus, 7) John and his brother James, 8) Stephen and James of Zebedee and 9) Peter and James and 10) representative of the Jewish and Gentile church. Commentators are divided on if this is referring to two individuals or the two witnesses are symbolic of the churches testimony. For example Kistemaker offers the following symbolic interpretation.
“However, I suggest a symbolic interpretation, namely, that the two witnesses represent the church of Christ that by proclaiming the gospel calls the world to repentance. First, the witnesses must address all the inhabitants of the world: peoples, tribes, languages, and nations (v. 9), which can hardly be done by only two witnesses. Second, the pairing of the witnesses is reminiscent of Jesus’ sending out his disciples two by two (Mark 6:7; Luke 10:1). The apostles also go out two by two (Acts 3:1; 8:14). Third, in Israel a verdict was confirmed on the testimony of two or three witnesses (Deut. 17:6; 19:15), and the church exerts discipline on that same basis (Matt. 18:16). Indeed, the witness of one man can be disregarded, but on the testimony of two men truth is validated (John 8:17).
Last, John relies on an Old Testament prophecy, for he describes the two witnesses as two olive trees and two lampstands (v. 4). The prophet Zechariah mentions two olive trees and a solid gold lampstand (Zech. 4:2–3); olive oil placed in the lampstand functions to spread the light and dispel the darkness. And symbolically, a lampstand is the church (1:20) made up of believers who live by the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. Thus, Zechariah identifies the two olive trees as anointed servants who serve the Lord of all the earth (Zech. 4:3, 11, 14). They seem to be Joshua the high priest and Zerubbabel the governor (Zech. 4:14), who represented the Jewish community of returnees. Similarly, I interpret the two witnesses in the Apocalypse to be representative of the entire church.”[22]  
Mathison, following Milton S. Terry’s lead, thinks these are two men but does not offer any specific names of these individuals.[23] David Chilton I believe came pretty close,
“A preliminary conclusion about the two witnesses, therefore, is that they represent the line of the prophets, culminating in John the Baptizer, who bore witness against Jerusalem during the history of Israel.”[24] Kistemaker claims two literal individuals cannot be the fulfillment here because two men such as Peter and Paul could not have accomplished a global great commission. He of course assumes what he needs to prove in that the New Testament and Revelation is predicting a global great commission instead of performing a “short work” in evangelizing the land of Israel (Mt. 10:22-23; Rom. 9:28) and Roman world as they knew it (Rms.10:18; 16:25-26; Cols. 1:5-6, 23-24). Of course Peter who headed up the gospel mission to the Jews within Jerusalem and thus the tribes of Israel, and Paul being the Apostle to the Gentiles concerning the “mystery,” were two individuals that could definitely symbolically represent the great commission being fulfilled before “the end” came. I think Chilton’s view that the witnesses represent the Old Testament prophets and the judgment and curses of the old-covenant being declared upon Jerusalem also has merit.
However, my position is a mixture between Kistemaker’s and Chilton’s. I agree with Kistemaker that the witnesses symbolically represent the fulfillment of the great commission by the church before the end comes. Chapter 10 just finished discussing this and said there would be no more “delay” and thus its fulfillment was “near” during the time John was writing. I also don’t think there are two specific individuals that are meant here because there are too many old-covenant characters being described – 1) Moses & Elijah = the testimony and fulfillment of the law and the prophets and 2) Joshuah & Zerubbabel = Christ and the church coming together as the new priesthood and king/kingdom. The correct view here is that both the old-covenant prophets and the message of the new-covenant believers through the gospel come together as a testimony against the old-covenant apostate City for rejecting her message. Just as the twenty-four elders previously represent the old-covenant 12 tribes and the new-covenant 12 apostles upon which the church is built represents the fulfillment of the message of the mystery; so we have here in the form of the two witnesses the coming together bearing testimony of these two covenants against Jerusalem. Jesus said that the Old Testament Scriptures and Moses himself, were sufficient to condemn them in John. 5:45. However, there need not be such a large gap or dichotomy between the Old Testament prophets and the new which is what I believe Chilton was doing. Remember, Jesus and Paul taught no other things except that which were written in the law and the prophets. So it is the Church as the new-covenant Israel of God of which the old-covenant bore testimony of condemning the old-covenant Jerusalem through the message of the gospel.
In spite of this common sense approach to these two witnesses the “prophecy experts” claim these men are definitely literally Elijah and the other witness is probably Moses, Enoch or Zerubbabel who will allegedly come in our future to bear witness against Israel in the great tribulation period. Chuck Smith for example decides he wants to ignore the fact that Jesus said John the Baptist was the fulfillment of the coming of Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord and says,
“Although John the Baptist was a type of Elijah, he was not the complete fulfillment of this prophecy.”[25] But where does Jesus ever say John was only a “type” of the coming of Elijah? If anything Elijah’s ministry in the Old Testament was the “type” and John the Baptist the antitype of his ministry!
In verses 7-8, we are introduced to the beast and this beast kills the two witnesses in the “great city” being described here “figuratively” as “Sodom” and “Egypt” where also the Lord had been crucified. “Beasts” in the Old and New testaments represent Satan and Gentile nations outside of the covenant seeking to deceive and kill those within the covenant community of God. Jerusalem having rejected the testimony of Christ and the church has now become apostate and thus identified with the unclean beastly creatures she abhorred throughout her redemptive history. Obviously, Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem so there is no big secret here as to the identity of this “great city” throughout the Book of Revelation. Even G.K. Beale admits the “great city” was descriptive of Jerusalem but fails to listen to even his own research,
“The title “the great city”… is used elsewhere of literal Jerusalem (Jer. 22:8; Sib. Or. 5.154, 226, 413; cf. Josephus, Ap. 1.197, 209.”[26] Most Reformed futurists want to flee this obvious connection making the “great city” and “Babylon” to be spiritually the “ungodly world” and not old-covenant apostate Jerusalem where the Lord was crucified. The “great city” is Babylon. Modern day sensationalistic prophecy gurus would have us believe that the great city of Babylon throughout the Book of Revelation is referring to such places and identities as: Iraq, Rome, the Roman Catholic Church, Russia, Korea, or wherever the newspapers and prophetic pundits are arbitrarily placing this city or the location of the antichrist these days. But Christ was not crucified in Iraq, Rome, or within the Roman Catholic Church system or the “ungodly world” system, but rather in a real historic city – Jerusalem! The blood guilt of all the prophets and martyrs of which these two witnesses represent would be required upon the “this generation” of Jesus and first century old-covenant Jerusalem (Mt. 23:30-36)!
These two witnesses are being described with hyperbole to represent the church in the first century as the martyrs of God and they were first described for us in chapter 6. This same group will be consistently depicted throughout the book – even into chapter 20. Probably the best commentary on this section especially in light of the immediate context of chapter 10’s themes of the great commission, the mystery, and the message of the prophets, can be found in Colossians 1:23-29. The Apostle Paul was filling up in his flesh what was still lacking in regards to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of the Church. And Paul and the Church were dieing daily to the old-covenant age/law in hopes of further attaining the resurrection (Rms. 5-8; Phil. 3). G.K. Beale notes that the use of “body” and “bodies” still represent the church as a corporate body,
“…(the body)” could be a collective singular.” “…But we must ask why singular forms of (“the body”) in vv 8a and 9a are followed by the plural (“the bodies”) in v 9b.” “…The likely reason for the change in number is to connote the corporate nature of the witnesses.”[27] The time frame of 3 ½ days in which they laid in the streets of the city dead in shame and without burial, tells us this is a recapitulation of the death and resurrection of Christ and has some connection with symbolic 3 ½ year period. Commentators agree,
“The three-and-half-day period during which the bodies are observed evokes the period Christ was in the tomb (though that was only three days). The further figuratively identifies the witnesses with Christ, “the fateful witness (1:5). Therefore, just as the three and a half year duration of Jesus’ ministry is identified with the course of the witnesses’ ministry (11:2-3), so also the time of his apparent defeat at the end of his ministry is associated with the conclusion of their period of testimony.[28] Of course men like Chuck Smith would once again have us believe that only in our modern day generation where the invention of television is a reality could this prophecy be fulfilled,
“At the time John wrote, it was impossible for all the world to see the bodies,…”
“…But within our generation this has become a very practical reality. Through television, people sitting in their homes will see the bodies of these two witnesses lying in he steet and the people in Jerusalem spitting on them and seeking to mutilate them. It will be televised throughout the world. This prophecy could not have been fulfilled until recent times.”[29] Because Smith and others like him presuppose that the Book of Revelation is to be literally fulfilled (at least the sections he arbitrarily says is!) and is referring to global events and not prophetic events depicting the devastation of a third of the “land” of Palestine, it must be fulfilled in “our generation.” Why? According to Smith and Lindsey and their alleged Holy Spirit led interpretations, one is to believe the Book of Revelation could not be fulfilled until our generation awaiting the inventions of the T.V. and attack Cobra helicopters! The phrase, “every people, tribe, language and nation” who were gazing upon the bodies is referring to Jews who had been gathered for the Jewish ceremonies as well as Gentile proselytes making a journey to the city just prior to them being trapped within the City and deceived by the false prophets to stay. Similarly in Acts we are told, “And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.” (Acts 2:5).
Of course it is true that apostate Jews and even the Roman Empire physically witnessed the Christians being martyred. And indeed the Jews and false prophets and teachers witnessed the Christians fleeing the City as warned by Jesus in Matthew 24. But the “seeing” of the two witnesses here being raised and ascending has more to do with a perceiving and understanding that Christ had vindicated His church and now the judgment of those whom had crucified Christ and rejected the message of the church depicted by the two witnesses is now just and fitting retribution.
And what of the loud voice calling the two witnesses to “come up here” and their ascent into heaven in verse 12? Is this a proof text for the literal rapture or a defense for a literal biological resurrection of corpses at the end of history when Christ allegedly comes again? David Chilton connected this passage to the Church’s witness being given authority when it began the process of being raised from the dead and seated with Christ in the heavenly realm citing (Eph. 1-2; Heb. 12:22-24).[30] A flash back is one possibility since the success of the great commission is a theme of the book and the immediate context of the end of chapter 10. However, this a description of the vindication and resurrection of the church at the end of the Churches witness just prior to the coming of Christ to destroy Jerusalem that is in view here. Jesus taught that the church would be “gathered” and Paul, “changed” and “caught up” in the clouds of God’s presence (Mt. 24:30-31; 1 Thess. 4:15-17; 1Cor. 15). Kistemaker makes the connection that this passage is referring to the second coming and the literal resurrection of the church at the end of time citing (1 Thess. 4:17; Rev. 1:7). Partial preterists such as Gentry, Mathison, and Sproul ignore any connection to these other parallel New Testament texts and claim the judgment of “the dead” in 11:18 is not referring to the general resurrection.[31] As usual it takes the preterist view to bridge the gap and make sense of the futurist dilemma. I would agree with making these New Testament parallels because it is the time of the seventh and final trumpet 11:15 which are also parallel themes of 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15 that portray the end and consummation. The blowing of the trumpet had a lot of salvific and covenantal imagery connected with it. It was the blowing of the trumpet at which God gathered Israel at Mount Sinai. The anti-type being God now consummately gathering the new covenant Israel up to Mount Zion. The trumpet sounded at the Harvest time. The anti-type being this was the time of the consummative harvest and resurrection of Israel to take place at the end of the old covenant age. The trumpet would sound when the groom came for the bride. The anti-type being this was the consummation in which Christ was coming to gather His Bride the New Jerusalem. The trumpet would sound as a battle cry to bring down God’s enemies as the last and seventh trumpet brought down the walls of Jericho. The anti-type here being old covenant Jerusalem is now the enemy God being destroyed for not heeding the churches message.

The appearance of Moses and Elijah in the transfiguration  

Before leaving the subject of the two witnesses described as Moses and Elijah (with their O.T. ministries being somewhat recapitulated here), it may be a good idea to briefly cover the appearance of Moses and Elijah in another vision and see if this will help reinforce what I have said of them here.
In Luke’s account of the transfiguration the initial theological connection is made clearer. There it says Moses and Elijah came to talk with Jesus about His “exodus” (Luke 9:31NLT & WUESTNT). This is a better translation than Jesus’ “departure” because it is communicating that Jesus is the one the law and the prophets foretold would bring about Israel’s new covenant “new exodus” redemption and salvation.[32] This will be stressed later in the gospels when Jesus takes His disciples to the upper room on the Passover, clearly teaching them that in Him is the new exodus is realized because He is the Passover Lamb of God. 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 and a rebuke from the Father ensues. The theology and point of the vision was the disappearing and fulfillment of the old covenant promises pictured in the glory of Moses and Elijah (the law and the prophets), with the emphasis now being upon the eternal abiding glory of the new covenant words of Christ – “here Him” (Mt. 17:5-8; Mt. 24:35). To seek the abiding nature of the old covenant (Moses and Elijah) along with the new covenant (Christ) was the error of the Judiazers and thus the disciples are rebuked by the Father.
Outside of the gospels, there are only two other places in the New Testament where the Greek word metamorphoo “transfigured” or “transformed” is used and the one I would like to bring your attention to is found in 2 Corinthians 3:18. Like the vision of the transfiguration, this passage is a clear covenantal contrast 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 or hearts. This was not a biological transformation process but a covenantal one! The old-covenant glory was in the process of “passing away” (2 Cor. 3:7-11, cf. Heb. 8:13) just as the glory of Moses and Elijah had disappeared in the vision.
Now the 1 Peter 1:16-19 text in connection with the transfiguration event becomes easy to understand. Years later, Peter is now 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 (2 Peter 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 about Jesus’ return through the process of direct revelation from the Father and the Son on the Mount of Transfiguration (vss.16b-18). Peter now goes on to discuss that they also have the teachings of the Prophets concerning these matters “made more certain” than what their Judaizer opponents were teaching because of the testimony of the vision, the testimony of the Prophets in the Scriptures themselves, and no doubt the testimony and teachings of Jesus—verse 19a. Although Peter does not use the Greek word metamorphoo, he describes the Church going through a similar process if they pay attention to what he, Jesus, and the Prophets are teaching. In paying heed to this instruction, it is “…a light shining in a dark place, until the Day dawns and the Morning Star rises in your hearts.” (vs.19b). The “day” singular is none other than the “in that day” or the “last day” of John’s gospel (John 4-6). Since Peter is saying that he is bring to “remembrance” the things he had written to them in his previous letter concerning their coming salvation and entrance (inheritance) into the eternal kingdom at Christ’s return foretold by all the prophets (vss.3-12/1Pet.1:4-12), we know without a shadow of doubt that this “day” when Christ would rise in their hearts was “at hand” and concerned the judgment and resurrection of the “living and the dead” (1Peter 4:5, 7).
Many commentators understand the transfiguration event to be a foreshadowing or prefiguring of the parousia. In other words the transfiguration is descriptive of the parousia in some way. I agree! But notice how the transfiguration doesn’t have anything to do with: 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 essence of the transfiguration is the passing and thus the fulfilling of the Law and the Prophets and the abiding everlasting words of the new covenant found in Jesus – “here Him.” 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 glory and the brining in of the new by A.D. 70. When Reformed theologians pay closer attention to some of their best theologians such as John Owen and John Lightfoot in their teaching that it was the “elements” of the old-covenant law that was dissolved at the coming of the Lord in A.D. 70 that is the topic in 2 Peter 3 and not the planet earth, this further harmonizes the time frame and function of what the Second Coming would be all about as taught in (Mt.16:27-17:10).
The corporate testimony and resurrection of the two witnesses symbolically represent the resurrection and transformation of the new Israel of God – the church from the glory of the old-covenant economy to the new. This was brought about with Christ’s imminent return by A.D. 70.
c). The Kingdom’s arrival and the judgment of “the dead.” 
Partial preterists such as Gentry and Mathison understand Revelation 11 being fulfilled by A.D. 70 as an inauguration of the kingdom and not the consummation of fulfillment. Their partial preterist hermeneutic does well in identifying Jerusalem as the city where the Lord was crucified and the measuring of the temple as pointing to a pre-A.D. 70 date for Revelation and time frame of fulfillment. However, as we previously noted, their view falls apart in not identifying the last trumpet with the trumpet call and consummation of fulfillment described in Matthew 24:30-31, 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15. Likewise, there are numerous indicators in this chapter alone that point to a consummative fulfillment reached at the Second and final coming of the Lord not just some minor coming of the Lord. Beale correctly parallels the judgment of “the dead” with that of the judgment of the dead at the end of the millennium in 20:12-13 and the kingdom’s arrival with that of 1 Corinthians 15,
“Our overall analysis of 11:15-19 argues that the hymn speaks of the consummated form of the kingdom. The striking parallel noted below between 11:18a and 20:12-13 suggests strongly that this is the case. The consummate nature of the kingdom is also indicated by the greater emphasis on God’s reign rather than Christ’s. This suggests a parallel with 1 Cor. 15:25-28, where God’s rule is emphasized over Christ’s because the consummation of Christ’s…”[33] 
Beale is critical of Chilton’s partial preterism where Chilton identifies the judgment of the dead here as a vindication of the righteous dead martyrs and not an inclusion of the judgment of the wicked dead which would clearly identify this passage as the consummative judgment and resurrection event. Beale correctly points out that the word for “judge” here (Gk. krino) as used elsewhere in Revelation, refers to the consummate judgment of the wicked (6:10; 16:5; 18:8, 20; 19:2, 11; 20:12-13).  In Revelation 20:12-13 where again the judgment of the dead is the topic, the phrase to describe those partaking is the “small and great” which is used here in 11:19. These are death blows to the partial preterist view. But that this chapter is identifying the judgment of Babylon or the “Great City” as old-covenant Jerusalem in A.D. 70 as the time of the kingdom’s arrival and the judgment of “the dead” is a death blow to the futurist paradigm of Beale and others. Our position consistently maintains the clear and common sense and exegetical approaches of each view.
d). God’s temple in heaven was opened and the ark seen. 
 
Here again is another clear indicator of the consummation being reached at Christ’s Second Coming not just “a” coming of Jesus in A.D. 70. Beale correctly makes the typological connections between the first exodus and the second with the sounding of the trumpet brining God’s people into the rest of the new creation,
“The seventh trumpet may be built around a segment from the Son of Moses in Exod. 15:13-18. There God is praised for redeeming his people by “calling them into your holy resting place” (v 13); when “the nations heard” about this deliverance “they became enraged” (…in Exod. 15:14 LXX, as in Rev. 11:18); in spite of the nations’ rage, God brought his people into his “habitation” and “sanctuary (Exod. 15:17). So then, it is declared, “the Lord reigns forever and ever” (v 18, see the verbatim parallel in Rev. 11:15). These allusions are an appropriate way to conclude the series of trumpets, since the first six have been modeled on the exodus plagues, which have led up to Exodus 15. Furthermore, the appearance of the ark in Rev. 11:19…” “…calls to mind the fall of Jericho, which marked the successful conclusion of Israel’s entry into the Promised Land after the exodus and wilderness wanderings.”
“…In that episode the ark followed the trumpet blowers. This suggests further that 11:15-19 forms the content of the seventh trumpet. There are no more half-weeks (cf. 11:2-3, 10-11); the full week of consummation has been reached.”[34] Beale also cites many Jewish writings in which they understood that when the ark would be revealed to Israel–again that this would be the time of judgment and the resurrection of the dead. The appearance of the ark is symbolic of God’s presence and the time of inheriting the new creation,
“This presence of God without a literal reappearance of the ark is the idea of Rev. 11:19, which is expanded in 21:3, 22, where the establishment of the end-time temple is interpreted as God’s presence in the midst of his people.” “Therefore, the ark in 11:19 is a suitable symbol for both the judgment and the reward of the last dayTherefore, the full answer to the saints’ petition for vindication in 6:9-11 is revealed in 11:15-19.”[35]  
Obviously we have a major contradiction taking place within Reformed eschatology! Partial preterists such as Gentry, Mathison and Sproul would tell us that the vindication of the martyrs in 6:9-11 literally took place in a “little while” referring to Christ returning in A.D. 70, which is accurate. But Beale and others being faithful to the recapitulation structure of Revelation sees these texts identified with the consummation judgment and rewarding of the saints at the final return of Christ and the inheritance of the new creation. Both are right and both are wrong. It is only the preterist that can truly come and solve this dilemma by building a paradigm using the correct propositions of each side.

 
Revelation 12
 

The woman clothed with the sun and crowned with 12 stars having the moon underneath her feet is the church described as the faithful or New Israel. She is giving birth to a “male child” who is not Christ, but rather other members of the collective body of the church. In the Old Testament unbelieving Israel would be in labor groaning but could only give birth to “wind” and could not bear forth a child – or give birth and bring salvation to the peoples of the earth (Isa. 26:17-18). However, faithful Israel is able to bring forth the male child and salvation for the world in one day:
“The sound of noise from the city! A voice from the temple! The voice of the LORD, Who fully repays His enemies! “Before she was in labor, she gave birth; Before her pain came, She delivered a male child. Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, She gave birth to her children. Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?” says the LORD. “Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb?” says your God. “Rejoice with Jerusalem, And be glad with her, all you who love her; Rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn for her; That you may feed and be satisfied With the consolation of her bosom, That you may drink deeply and be delighted With the abundance of her glory.” For thus says the LORD: “Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, And the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream. Then you shall feed; On her sides shall you be carried, And be dandled on her knees. As one whom his mother comforts, So I will comfort you; And you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.” When you see this, your heart shall rejoice, And your bones shall flourish like grass; The hand of the LORD shall be known to His servants, And His indignation to His enemies” (Isa. 66:6-14).
This is a reference to the time of the birth pains Jesus discussed in Matthew 24:8 and the groanings of child birth in Romans 8:18-23 which also depicted the resurrection. Israel after the flesh would groan in pain wanting what the church had and was about to give birth to, but because of their rejection of Christ, their womb was cursed only to give birth to wind. The sufferings and groanings of the Church were momentary and would bring forth salvation to the world. Here in Isaiah “a male child” also represents “her children” plural. So we have Israel becoming born again and transformed through the metaphor of child birth. This is not referring to Mary giving birth to Jesus. That this male child is given a rod to rule the nations is the fulfillment of the promise given to the church in Revelation 2:27.
The child being snatched up to heaven in verse 5 is but yet another description of what we saw of the two witnesses being raised up and called up to heaven in chapter 11. Resurrection and new birth are parallel concepts describing the transformation of church as God’s new Israel and kingdom.
The mother fleeing and being given wings to flee to the desert for 1,260 days or 3 ½ years represents the church fleeing for safety to Pella as Christ exhorted her to do once she saw the Roman armies surrounding Jerusalem in Luke 21:20-23. The dragon represents Satan moving within his servants of the synagogue of Satan who persecuted the Christians and then sought to deceive them into staying within Jerusalem to fight the Romans.
In verse 10ff. we reach the consummation once again. Satan and the apostate heavenly civil and religious rulers of Israel are cast to the earth (cf. Mt. 24:29). These were the accusers of the brethren – a scene played out for us in the book of Acts of which the church finally receives “relief” from at Christ’s parousia (2 Thess. 2:14-16). This is also the time of vindication in which they will rule over their enemies through the means of Christ coming to render upon their enemies “tribulation” and “wrath” (1 Thess. 2:14-16; 2 Thess. 1:5-10).



[1] Beale, Ibid., 452.
[2] Chilton, Ibid., 229-230.
[3] Gentry, Four Views, Ibid., 58-60.
[4] Chilton, Ibid., 236-237.
[5] Gentry, Four Views of Revelation, Ibid., 61, (emphasis added).
[6] Gentry, Ibid., 63-64
[7] Hal Lindsey, There’s a New World Coming (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1973), 124, 140. Hal Lindsey, Apocalypse Code, (Palos Verde, CA: Western Front Ltd., 1997), 42.
[8] DeMar, Ibid., 134-135. Lindsey also follows this U.F.O. view appealing to Luke 21:11 and 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 for his “support.”
[9] Smith, Ibid., 100, (bold emphasis added).
[10] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Hrsg.): The Pulpit Commentary: Revelation. Bellingham, WA : Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2004, S. 266
[11] Beale, Ibid., 509, (bold emphasis added).
[12] Chilton, Ibid., 251-252.
[13] Gentry, Four Views, Ibid., 43.
[14] Mathison, Postmillennialism, 151.
[15] Chilton, Ibid., 267-268, 286.
[16] Chuck Smith WHAT THE WORLD IS COMING TO A Commentary on the Book of Revelation, pp. 107-108, The Word For Today Pub., 2001.
[17] John MacArthur, MACARTHUR STUDY BIBLE, ibid., p.2005.
[18] Chilton, Ibid., 272-273, 274-275.
[19]Henry, Matthew: Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible : Complete and Unabridged in One Volume. Peabody : Hendrickson, 1996, c1991, S. Re 11:1
[20] Jay Adams, THE TIME IS AT HAND, pp.68-69, published by JAY E. ADAMS, Philadelphia, 1969.
[21] Gentry, ibid., pp.65-66. See also, Mathison, ibid., pp. 145, 151
[22] Kistemaker, Ibid., 329.
[23] Mathison, Postmillennialism, Ibid., 151-152.
[24] Chilton, Ibid., 276.
[25] Smith, Ibid., 112.
[26] Beale, Ibid., 591.
[27] Beale, Ibid., 594, (emphasis added).
[28] Beale, Ibid., 594-595.
[29] Smith, Ibid., 114.
[30] Chilton, Ibid., 284.
[31] Of what I have read of Kenneth Gentry and Keith Mathison, they simply ignore any discussion of the judgment of the living and the dead in Revelation 11:18 or say 1 Peter 4:5, 7.
[32] Tom Holland, CONTOURS OF PAULINE THEOLOGY A RADICAL NEW SURVEY OF THE INFLUENCES ON PAUL’S BIBLICAL WRITINGS, (IV20 1TW, Scotland, UK: Mentor Imprint by Christian Focus Publications, 2004), 28, 151, 225.
[33] Beale, Ibid., 614.
[34] Beale, Ibid., p. 618-619.
[35] Ibid., p. 619, bold emphasis added.