Introduction to Biblical Prophecy

Beware. This blog site may be uncomfortable to some Christians who have blindly accepted what you have been taught about Bible prophecy without checking it against God’s Word. Remember: We are instructed to search the Scriptures to find out whether the things we have been taught are so (Acts 17:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:21). 

This is a very brief introduction to my book: Christian Hope through Fulfilled Prophecy: Is Your Church Teaching Error about the Last Days and Second Coming? The Surging Preterist Challenge to Eschatology. It is available at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/176-8842997-0637736?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=christian+hope+through+fulfilled+prophecy

Have you ever been concerned that what your church is teaching about Bible prophecy does not match up to what the Bible actually says?

Biblical eschatology appears to be undergoing a radical revision among scholars. R. C. Sproul, for example, perhaps the most influential theologian in America, has said that his views on eschatology had changed to a version of “preterism.” Preterism is the view that most if not all prophecy was fulfilled in the 1st century. Hank Hanegraaff (the popular Bible Answer Man) has adopted a similar view. On the other hand, Dallas Theological Seminary, a highly influential center of dispenational “end times” prophecy, appears to be modifying its views. Christians have simply tired of the continual failed predictions about the end of the world, which have been a persistent but embarrassing theme of many Christians. We are ready to take a fresh look at what the Bible actually teaches. The coming years are likely to witness an upheaval in the field of eschatology.

Eschatology—the study of prophetic “last things”—is an area in which there is remarkable disagreement among Christians. It is a complicated area for several reasons. One reason is that there are so many passages of Scripture on the topic that must be reconciled. Over one-fourth of the New Testament is about this, and includes such topics as: a new heaven and new earth, the Day of the Lord, a Great Tribulation, the “rapture,” the Second Coming of Jesus, and more.

In my book, CHRISTIAN HOPE through FULFILLED PROPHECY, I explain the different views of Bible prophecy: premillennialism, postmillennialism, amillennialism,  historicism, idealism, and preterism. Surprisingly, the church has never had a serious and concluding discussion on eschatology. The continued failed predictions of the Second Coming and the end of the world have been embarrassingly wrong. Much clarity is needed.

There are over 100 passages in the New Testament that declared the imminence of the prophesied events. It is clear that Jesus and his disciples expected his return while some of them were still alive—in their own generation. (See Preterism 101.) 

Here are just a few interesting passages, to which the question must be asked, “Were Jesus and the writers of the New Testament wrong?”:

  • In Matthew 10:23, Jesus told his disciples that He would return before they had finished going through all the towns of Israel.
  • In Matthew 16:27-28, Jesus told his disciples that He would return before some of them had died.
  • In Matthew 26:64, Jesus told Caiaphas, the scribes, and the elders that they would personally see Him returning in judgment.
  • In Luke 21:22 and 32, Jesus told his disciples that all prophecy would be fulfilled in THEIR generation. In Luke 21:36 Jesus further emphasized that the prophetic events He just listed were ABOUT TO HAPPEN. (See the New International Version or Young’s Literal Translation.)
  • In 1 Peter 4:7, Peter said that the “end of all things” was at hand (for him and his contemporaries).
  • In 1 John 2:18, John insisted that it was “the last hour.”
  • In Revelation 1:1-3 and 22:6, 12, 20 Jesus said to the first-century Christians that the events of Revelation “must shortly take place” and further that his return was “soon.”

head-in-the-sand

What’s at stake? Well, nothing short of the authority of Scripture and indeed the divinity of Christ. Perhaps the number one charge against Christians over the years is that Jesus promised his return in his own generation—that virtually all of the New Testament writers spoke of this as well—but they were wrong. So, they say, Jesus did not return as he predicted, making him a false prophet, and thus the Bible is unreliable. For example, skeptics Bertrand Russell in his book Why I Am Not a Christian, and Albert Schweitzer in his book The Quest of the Historical Jesus, made this charge. Jewish and Muslim critics make this charge as well.  

Indeed, even the famous Christian apologist C. S. Lewis recognized the problem. In reference to various passages of Scripture, including the “Olivet Discourse” found in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21, Lewis said this:

“Say what you like, the apocalyptic beliefs of the first Christians have been proved to be false. It is clear from the New Testament that they all expected the Second Coming in their own lifetime. And, worse still, they had a reason, and one which you will find very embarrassing. Their Master had told them so. He shared, and indeed created, their delusion. He said in so many words, ‘this generation shall not pass till all these things are done.’ And He was wrong. He clearly knew no more about the end of the world than anyone else. It is certainly the most embarrassing verse in the Bible.”

Christians address these challenges by putting their head in the sand. This must change. In my book I explore the compelling biblical and historical evidence that Jesus (and his disciples) were right all along, proving the opponents of Christianity wrong, and confirming the incredible accuracy of Scripture! While this may seem strange at first glance to those unschooled in biblical apocalyptic language, I examine whether Christians have wrongly interpreted the “last days” as the end of physical universerather than the end of the Old Covenant Age. And perhaps they have compounded the error by wrongly expecting a return of Jesus in his pre-ascension body, rather than a coming in judgment (similar to numerous comings of Yahweh in the Old Testament).

What I and my several contributors explore is the possibility that most, if not all biblical prophecy has already been fulfilled—the preterist viewThis is a minority view among Christians today. But authors Gary DeMar and Francis X. Gumerlock in their book The Early Church and the End of the World argue that forms of preterism were an important, if not the dominant, view in the early and medieval church. It is again gaining ground as Christians return to Scripture for answers.

The torrent of popular books and claims about biblical prophecy in recent decades, aside from taking up lots of shelf space in Christian book stores, seems to have a peculiar appeal to lay believers who, curiously enough, find hope in an expected destruction of the planet and its replacement with a utopia in which even carnivorous animals will take up vegetarianism. It is simply taken for granted that the Bible predicts and explains an end of time, and that there is no number of elapsed centuries spent waiting for it that cannot be called the “end times.”

Such notions should be critically examined. My book should be of considerable interest to any Christian who takes the Bible seriously, but is not confused, confounded, and frustrated with the near comical, but the sad state of affairs that afflicts modern Christianity on the question of the supposed end of all things.

Instead of reading the Bible through the lens of the daily newspaper, perhaps Christians should read it through the lens of first-century audience. In doing so, the reader may agree that the prophetic events were fulfilled in AD 70 with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, and along with them the end of the Old Covenant system of sacrifices for sin. Every objection to the preterist view is examined in detail in the book.

There is always much resistance to a challenge to widely held beliefs. We often have very ingrained presuppositions and we have much at stake if most of our neighbors hold to a common (but perhaps incorrect) view of something. There is the problem of what psychiatrists call “cognitive dissonance,” which is “a mental conflict that occurs when . . . confronted with challenging new information, most people seek to preserve their current understanding of the world by rejecting, explaining away, or avoiding the new information.”

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Fear not to be challenged and changed. See other articles on this site. And check out the book at Amazon!

                                                                   —Charles S. Meek

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Prophecy Questions for Christians

Apocalypse edited

Don’t just let your eyes glaze over with these questions. This is a serious study of Scripture and Christians must come to grips with the implications of this material.

Note that the questions are organized by topic. Here are the topics:

A. Questions about the “End of the Age,” “Last Days,” and the “Day of the Lord”

B. Questions about the timing of the Second Coming (the Parousia) according to Jesus

C. Questions about the timing of the Parousia according to the New Testament writers

D. Questions about the book of Revelation

E. More Questions

James Stuart Russell (1816-1895) in his classic work The Parousia says this, “In prophecy, as in poetry, the material is regarded as the type of the spiritual, the passions and emotions of humanity find expression in corresponding signs and symptoms in the inanimate creation. The earth convulsed with earthquakes, burning mountains cast into the sea, the stars falling like leaves, the heavens on fire, the sun clothed in sackcloth, the moon turned into blood, are images of appalling grandeur, but they are not necessarily unsuitable representations of great civil commotions—the overturning of thrones and dynasties, the desolations of war, the abolition of ancient systems, the great moral and spiritual revolutions.” 

A. Questions about the “End of the Age,” “Last Days,” and the “Day of the Lord”: 

1. In such passages as Matthew 13:40; Matthew 13:49; Matthew 24:3; Matthew 28:20, etc., isn’t Jesus referring to the end of an age (Greek aion)  rather than the end of the world (Greek kosmos)? In other words, if the author was talking about the end of the world, wouldn’t he have used kosmos when he actually used aion? (Compare the King James Version, which has been confusing people for a long time, with newer translations including the New King James Version.)

2. Since the thrust of the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24/25; Mark 13; Luke 21) is the destruction of the temple, isn’t it reasonable to believe that the age in question was the age of the Old Covenant order—especially since the ancient Jewish system of temple sacrifices for sin ended with the destruction of the temple in 70 AD?

3. The end time mentioned in the book of Daniel was to be when the burnt offering was taken away (Daniel 9:27, 11:31, and 12:11). Since burnt offerings ended in 70 AD, must not this be the time line, thus the “last days” of which the Bible speaks?

4. Considering audience relevance, can John’s declaration that “it is the last hour” (1 John 2:18) be construed to be far future events? (The last times become the last days, which become the last hour, as the decisive moment was now imminent.)

5. Didn’t Peter proclaim the last days to be the time of Pentecost, or more generally the time in which he and his hearers were living (Acts 2:14-20)?

6. Doesn’t Peter insist that the Old Testament prophecies were being fulfilled in his day (Acts 3:23-24)?

7. Doesn’t Peter in his epistles reiterate, or at least strongly imply and reaffirm, that the last times were in his era (1 Peter 1:5, 20; 1 Peter 4:7; 2 Peter 3:3, 12)? Remembering that Peter puts the last days in the first generation in Acts 2, read all of 1st and 2nd Peter to see if the imminency of the events of which he speaks is not evident.

8. Wouldn’t readers of Peter’s epistles have understood the radical nearness of the coming judgment? How else can you interpret Peter’s words in 1 Peter 4:7 that “The end of all things is near/at hand”? Unless you think Peter was a quack, doesn’t it make sense that he is speaking of the end of all Old Covenant things?

9. Isn’t the other New Testament writers’ understanding of what was to happen  explained by Paul when he says in 1 Corinthians 10:11 that “the end of the ages has come” and in 1 Corinthians 7:29-31 that it was the form or fashion of the world that was passing away, not the end of the physical universe?

10. When the writer of Hebrews (Hebrews 1:2) refered to his day and time as “these last days,” can he be referring to the far distant future? Don’t Hebrews 9:26 and Hebrews 10:25-27 confirm a first century setting?

11. Can there be any doubt that James 5:3-9 is telling his readers that they themselves are in the last days?

12. Does any mention of the “last days” or equivalent (last times, last hour) in the New Testament clearly refer without exception to any time outside of the first century (Hebrews 1:2; Acts 2:17; 1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 3:1; James 5:3; 2 Peter 3:3; Jude 18; 1 John 2:18)?

13. Again considering audience relevance, doesn’t Paul imply in 1 Corinthians 1:7-8 and 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 that the Day of the Lord will come during the lifetimes of his readers? Does it make any sense for Paul to tell his Thessalonian Christian brothers in 52 AD to be watchful for the Day of the Lord if the catastrophe was not to take place until thousands of years later?

14. The phrase “the day of the Lord” is used in 17 or so passages in the Old Testament (Isaiah 2:12, 13:6, 13:9; Ezekiel 13:5, 30:3; Joel 1:15, 2:1,11,31, 3:14; Amos 3:8:18-20; Obadiah 15; Zephaniah 1:7, 14-18; Zechariah 14:1; Malachi 4:5) and in some 5 passages in the New Testament (Acts 2:20; 1 Corinthians 5:5; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2; 2 Thessalonians 2:2; 2 Peter 3:10). It is also alluded to in other passages (Revelation 6:17, 16:14). Since this phrase in the Old Testament at least sometimes refers to historical judgments that have already been fulfilled in some sense (Isaiah 13:6-22; Ezekiel 30:2-9; Joel 1:15; Joel 3:14; Amos 5:18-20; Zephaniah 1:14-18), isn’t it reasonable to infer that the times in the New Testament that we see this term may also refer to already fulfilled events?

15. Since other times in the Old Testament where we see the term “day of the Lord” refer to divine judgments that will take place toward the end of the age (Joel 2:30-32; Zechariah 14:1; Malachi 4:1-5), and since we can reasonably infer that the “end of the age” was the end of the Old Covenant age which ended in 70 AD, isn’t this consistent with a 70 AD fulfillment of the New Testament mentions of the Day of the Lord?

16. If you think there is more than one “end of the age” or “last day” or “Day of the Lord” period—one in the first century, and one in the 21st century—where is the Scripture support for this view?

Again quoting Russell, “His ‘coming’ or ‘coming again,’ always refers to one particular event and one particular period.” And: “The phrase, ‘the end of the ages’ (Heb 9:26; 1 Cor 10:11) is equivalent to the ‘end of the age’ (Mat 13:39, 40, 49, 24:3, 28:20) and ‘the end” (Mat 10:22, 24:6, 24:13, 24:14;  1 Cor 1:8, 15:24; Heb 3:6, 3:14, 6:11; 1 Pet 4:7; Rev 2:26). All refer to the same period, viz. the close of the Jewish age, or dispensation—that is, The Old Covenant—which was now at hand….It is sometimes said that the whole period between the incarnation and the end of the world is regarded in the New Testament as the ‘end of the age’ [or the ‘last days’]. But this bears a manifest incongruity in its very front. How could the end of a period be a long protracted duration? Especially how could it be longer than the period of which it is the end? More time has already elapsed since the incarnation than from the giving of the law to the first coming of Christ: so that, on this hypothesis, the end of the age is a great deal longer than the age itself.”

B. Questions about the timing of the Second Coming (the Parousia) and judgment—according to Jesus:

1. Doesn’t Jesus make it clear that the days in which He and his contemporaries were on earth—his literal generation—were the days of vengeance to fulfill ALL Old Testament prophecy (Luke 21:22, 32)? If there is any yet any unfulfilled prophecy, why did Jesus say that his days were the days of vengeance to fulfill ALL that was written?

2. Doesn’t Luke 21:20, 22 provide biblical proof for 70 AD fulfillment of prophecy? (“When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near….For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written.”)

3. The term Parousia is the Greek word used 24 times in the New Testament which is often translated as “coming,” that is Christ’s Second Coming or his return. Can’t this term also legitimately mean “divine presence” or “nearness,” or even in specific reference to Christ’s punishment of Jerusalem or finally the wicked? (See Strong’s #3952.) Isn’t it indeed translated as “presence” in 2 Corinthians 10:10 and Philippians 2:12? Doesn’t this understanding at least open up the possibility of a past fulfillment of Jesus’ words in Luke 21: 22, 32?

4. Doesn’t Matthew 10:23 clearly say that his Parousia would be before his disciples finished going through the cities of Israel?

5. Doesn’t Matthew 16:27-28 clearly say that his Parousia would be before all his disciples had died? Isn’t it also clear that this could not mean the time of the transfiguration (just a few days away) unless Jesus thought that some of his disciples would die in those few days? (Compare the language here to see if it is not essentially the same as in the Olivet Discourse, just a few chapters later in Matthew 24/25).

6. The term generation (this generation) is used in 23 passages in the New Testament outside of the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21), and every time it clearly means without debate the generation of people alive when Jesus spoke. Isn’t it reasonable to interpret this generation the same way in the Olivet Discourse? How can “this generation” in Matthew 24:34 be talking about people thousands of years later? Jesus does not say “some future generation.” (For confirmation, here is a list of all the times that generation is used in the New Testament: http://www.searchgodsword.org/desk/?l=en&query=generation&section=2&translation=nas&sr=1&Enter=Perform+Search).

7. Note especially that Jesus, in Matthew 23:35-36 uses this generation to refer to people living right then and there—the scribes and Pharisees. Wouldn’t this have strong implications about his meaning just a few verses later in Matthew 24?

8. Isn’t the focus of Jesus in his “this generation” prophecies (Matthew 12:38-45; Matthew 23:36; Mark 8:38-9:1; Luke 11:50-51) about judgment upon Israel? Wouldn’t this coincide with the destruction of Israel and the temple in 70 AD?

9. Don’t many of Jesus’ parables speak directly to the coming judgment on Israel and the Jewish leaders—The Parable of the Wicked Tenants (Matthew 21:33-46; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19), The Parable of the Wedding Banquet (Matthew 22:1-14), The Parable of the Fig Tree (Luke 13:6-9, ref Mark 11:12-21, Isaiah 5:1-7). etc.? Don’t they perfectly fit the destruction of Israel and the temple in 70 AD?

10. If Jesus’ Second Coming would be the world seeing him coming in a physical body, why does Jesus say “In a little while and the world will see me no more” in John 14:19?

12. If you think that Matthew 24 speaks of two different time periods, some to near events (Matthew 24:1-34), and some to far away (Matthew 24:35ff), please comment on this statement:  The problem with this idea is that in Luke 17, where Jesus speaks of the same events (“the day that the Son of Man is revealed”), Luke mixes the events up and thus cannot be divided out. When were these events to take place?  Jesus tells us: the “generation” alive when he spoke those words.  Here is a web link:  http://www.worldwithoutend.info/start/articles/ed_stevens_03-matt24.htm.

13. The unbelieving Jews of Jesus’ day were looking for their Messiah, but when he arrived they did not recognize him. They were looking for a Messiah that would reign over a materialistic kingdom. Could it be that Christians have made the same mistake as the Jews, and are still looking for a Second Advent in a way different than what Jesus meant—when in fact he came just as promised in the generation of those then living, but in a way different from what was expected?

C. Questions about the timing of the Parousia and coming judgment—according to the New Testament writers:

1. Doesn’t every book in the New Testament (except Philemon) attest to the expectation of a soon fulfillment of the great prophesied evens spoken of by the prophets?

2. Here are all 19 times the phrase “at hand” is used in the New Testament:

http://www.biblegateway.com/keyword/?search=at+hand&searchtype=phrase&version1=47&spanbegin=47&spanend=73.

Doesn’t James’ pronouncement that the Lord’s Coming is near/at hand (James 5:7-9) mean just that? Can it possibly mean anything other than the literal interpretation? If “at hand” means 2000 years later or longer, how could the original audience (or anyone else for that matter) know when “at hand” would be? Why isn’t there a single instance in the New Testament that says Christ’s coming was not “at hand”?

3. What about Paul’s comment that the “time is short” (1 Corinthians 7:29-31)? Can “short” mean “long?” What time frame did Paul have in mind when he said that the present form of the world was passing away? What time frame would Paul’s readers have understood? (To quote R. C. Sproul, “Surely the Corinthians would not have understood Paul to be urging them to do something because the time is short when in fact it is thousands of years away.”)

4. When Paul says that “the end of the ages has come” (1 Corinthians 10:11), could he mean the “end of the world”? If so, why didn’t he say what he meant? If so, why does the Bible speak of the world NEVER ending (Psalms 78:69; 89:36-37, 93:1, 96:10, 104:5, 148:4-6; Ecclesiastes 1:4; Ephesians 3:21)? Isn’t it clear that Paul did not have the end of the world in mind since he spoke of more distant ages and generations elsewhere (Ephesians 2:7; Ephesians 3:21)? Doesn’t Paul clarify in 1 Corinthians 7:29-31 that what is soon to pass away is the present form or fashion of the world, not the world itself?

5. Isn’t Paul strongly suggesting in Colossians 3:4-6, 1 Timothy 6:11-21, and Titus 2:11-13 that he and his readers would witness Jesus’ Parousia?

6. Doesn’t it seem clear in 1 Thessalonians 1:4-10 and 2:14-19 that the Parousia and judgment was imminent—the time frame being so close at hand that it “has come upon them?” Isn’t the wrath here the same as in Luke 21:21-28, which is limited to Jesus’ generation?

7. Did Jesus come to grant relief to the Thessalonians as promised by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 1:4-10? Would it make any sense to reassure those to whom he is speaking that relief was on its way in thousands of years? (That would be like your calling 9/11 for a life threatening situation and the dispatcher says the ambulance will be there soon or quickly, but doesn’t show up for many years later. For this to mean that soon or quickly means that whenever they do come in the future that they would come very fast—would make language ridiculous.)

8. If Paul taught that some of those to whom he was writing would still be alive at the Second Coming (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), but in fact none were since the Second Coming was thousands of years away, was Paul really inspired?

9. When the writer of Hebrews (Hebrews 10:37) states that Jesus was coming again in a very very little while (will not delay/tarry), what time-frame reference did he have in mind? Is there any doubt about the time frame of a first-century fulfillment of last-things events according to Hebrews 8:6-14, 9:26-28, and 10:25?

10. Consider Peter’s words in 1 Peter 1:5-7, 20; 4:5-17—salvation ready to be revealed, the last times and the end of all things/fiery trial were at hand/near for Peter’s readers, in which Christ’s glory would be revealed, and the time for judgment had come! What time frame reference did Peter have in mind?

11. Also consider Peter’s words in 2 Peter 3:1-18—as you look forward to the Day of the Lord and the speed of its coming, with its destruction of the heavens by fire, ushering in a new heaven and earth, etc. While an end-of-the-world interpretation is the standard one for this passage, wouldn’t you agree, that in light of Peter’s comments in 1 Peter, that this Day of the Lord and the new heaven and earth would be known to those to whom he was speaking? Isn’t the language here similar to the Olivet Discourse—fire symbolizing God’s judgment and foreshadowing of the fires that burned the temple in 70 AD?

12. Given the overwhelming imminence of the events described in Peter’s epistles, and given references to Old Testament language with which Peter and his readers would have been familiar (Isaiah 65:17; Isaiah 66:22; Haggai 2:6), as well as New Testament language (Hebrews 12:26-28, etc.), is it reasonable and consistent to interpret “new heaven and earth” as a theological (covenental) term rather than a cosmological term? That is, could this refer to a new religious order at the end of the Jewish age?

13. When Peter in 2 Peter 3:8 said that a day is like a thousand years, can this be literal? Wouldn’t it be nonsense if so? A short time cannot really mean a long time, can it? Isn’t Peter merely quoting Psalm 90:4 to assert that God is sovereign over time and that his perspective on time differs for ours? Indeed, in context, isn’t Peter using this phrase to tell his listeners that the expected events would be soon in coming rather than a long time away?

14. Doesn’t more confirmation about Peter’s language come from an understanding of the term elements in 2 Pet. 3:10-13 (incorrectly translated as “heavenly bodies” in some translations, see Strongs #4747), in that while literalists think this term refers to physics, the term is always used in the New Testament in connection with the Old Covenant order (Gal. 4:3, 9; Col. 2:8, 20; Heb. 5:12)?

15. Really, now. Is there a shred of credible evidence that the first century Jews and Jewish Christians were anticipating a cosmic catastrophe that would terminate time, burn up planet Earth, and end human history?

16. Isn’t Jesus’ promise that Peter refers to in 2 Peter 3:13 concerning the new heavens and new earth the one that Jesus mentions in the Olivet Discourse, and which Jesus told us would be in his generation?

17. Since Jeremiah 4:23-31 uses heaven and earth language about the imminent fall of Jerusalem in 587 BC, isn’t it reasonable to view the heaven and earth language in the New Testament as a parallel to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD?

18. If Jesus’ purpose for coming in the flesh was to destroy the devil (Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 3:8), and Paul said Satan would be crushed shortly in the first century (Romans 16:20), how can Satan still be here? Did Jesus forget to destroy Satan and decide to let Satan linger 2000 years longer?

19. Are there any passages in the Bible that clearly offer a time-reference for the Parousia past the first century?

20. Did Paul and the other inspired writers mislead their readers about the timing of the Parousia, or did Jesus in fact come—but in a different sense than what most futurists envision?

Christians widely acknowledge that the New Testament writers expected the Parousia along with a cataclysmic world-changing event to occur soon, thus openly admitting the time-texts to be of first century fulfillment. From whom did they get this expectation? Wasn’t it from Jesus himself? This is most perplexing. How can all of these supposedly inspired writers have been wrong? Is not the logic obvious—that if they were wrong they were not really inspired?! Should not our conclusion be that the New Testament writers were in fact correct and the modern interpreters are wrong in thinking that it was the end of the world (rather than the end of an age) that was in view?

D. Questions about the book of Revelation:

1. Don’t Revelation 1:1-3, 3:11, 22:6, 22:7, 22:10, 22:12, 22:20 mean what they say—that Revelation is about things that MUST SHORTLY HAPPEN (soon after Revelation was written)? Can we overlook or minimize audience relevance? Can “soon” or “quickly” mean far distant future—or that when Jesus does come that he will come quickly? Wouldn’t that be like telling your daughter that you will pick her up from school soon, and not showing up for years later? When Paul said the he trusted that Jesus would send Timothy to the Philippians soon, could that have meant thousands of years later?

2. Don’t the instructions in Revelation 22:10 not to seal the words of this prophecy stand in deliberate contrast to the instructions Daniel received at the end of his book to seal the words of his prophecy? Isn’t this a strong implication that, in contrast to Daniel (Daniel 12:4, 9), the time for the culmination of prophecy was imminent—indeed near, thus at hand (Revelation 22:10)?

3. In other words, Daniel was to be sealed because it was for “many days” (Daniel 10:14, NKJV), which turned out to be 500 years until the time of the writing of the book of Revelation.  And if that is true, how can “at hand” in Revelation be 2000 years?

4. Why would John write to the seven churches if his message was not directly and principally for them? Wasn’t the book written specifically and obviously about events relevant to John’s first readers? Wasn’t the book to have been read out loud to the churches? How could hidden meanings of things to come thousands of years later have been relevant to these first century Christians?

5. Do you really think that Revelation should be given literal or scientific interpretations (a third of the sun smitten, etc. in 8:12)? Isn’t this language drawn from an Old Testament context—the judgment and destruction of nations (Isaiah 14:12 and Jeremiah 9:12-16)?

6. Why should we read the “thousand years” in Revelation 20 as literal, when the number thousand is used figuratively elsewhere in the Bible to mean perfection, completion, etc. (Deuteronomy 7:9; 1 Chronicles 16:15; Psalm 50:10; Psalm 105:8)?

7. If the teaching that 1 day = 1000 years and 1000 years = 1 day to the Lord (2 Peter 3:8) is how we are to read time in Scripture, does that mean that the 1000 years in Revelation 20 is a single 24 hour day?

8. If Revelation was written after 70 AD, why does John give time statements throughout the book pointing to imminent events which fit the description of Jerusalem’s destruction from Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 17/21?

9. If Revelation was written after 70 AD, why was John told to measure the temple (Revelation 11:1-2), if the temple was already destroyed?

10. If Revelation was written after 70 AD, why is there nothing mentioned about the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple?

11. If Revelation was written after 70 AD, how could there be other apostles alive (Revelation 2:2), when all the apostles except John were dead before 70 AD?

12. Doesn’t John make it clear in Revelation 1:9 that the tribulation was already present when he wrote the book?

13. What purpose would it serve for John to tell the first readers of his prophecy to “calculate” the number of the beast if he was not to born for thousands of years later?

14. John told the seven churches in Asia that “Behold, He is coming with the clouds and every eye shall see him, even those who pierced him.” Doesn’t that mean that those who killed Jesus would be alive when Jesus returned? If you think this statement refers to heaven, doesn’t the mention of “tribes” in the same passage (Revelation 1:7) refer to the tribes of Israel, confirming a first century fulfillment?

15. When John says in Revelation 14:7 that “the hour of his judgment has come,” could he possibly be talking about the far distant future?

16. Is there anything in the text of Revelation to suggest that John speaks of generations and generations into the future?

17. If Revelation would occur thousands of years after it was written, why does John say the sixth king is the one who “is” which would mean his present day (Revelation 17:10)?

18. If the 144,000 from Revelation 7 and 14 are still yet in the future, why are they described as “firstfruits” (Revelation 14:4)? Since they are the “firstfruits,” wouldn’t they be the first Christians rather than the last ones?

19. Who was the “great city” Babylon of Revelation 18-19? Isn’t she identified as the city where the Lord was slain in Revelation 11:8, i.e. first-century Jerusalem?

20. Since John did not place the Olivet Discourse in his gospel, as did the other three gospel writers, is it reasonable to think that Revelation is an expanded version of the Olivet Discourse, and would be fulfilled in the same time frame. i.e. “the generation of those living in the first century per Luke 21:22, 32)?

E. More Questions:

1. If most Bible prophecy has not been fulfilled or is being fulfilled today, why doesn’t ANY New Testament passage say its fulfillment would be 2000 years later?

2. If “like manner” is exactly how Jesus would return as he left in Acts 1:11, does that mean Jesus left riding a white horse (Revelation 19:11)?

3. If “like manner” is exactly how Jesus would return as he left in Acts 1:11, does that mean Jesus left with a sword coming out of his mouth (Revelation 19:15)?

4. If “like manner” is how Jesus would return as he left, wouldn’t he be in fact hidden per Acts 1:9?

5. If the Jews in the first century missed the first coming of Jesus because of their ignorance of the scriptures (Mark 12:24), isn’t it entirely possible that Christians living in the twenty-first century have missed the second coming of Jesus for the same reason?

The good news is this: Christ’s work of redemption is complete! If you are confident that this is true, Christ’s Second Coming has already happened!

Don’t these questions show that Jesus did in fact come—in judgment—in 70 AD, just as he predicted?!

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Prophecy Questions Futurists Cannot Really Answer

confused

There is astounding disagreement among Christians on Bible prophecy. I love the church. But about a dozen years ago I decided that I could no longer blindly listen to my pastoral staff on this subject, and I became determined to get to the bottom of this subject. There were too many questions I had that the church just could not answer adequately.

I became convinced that Jesus was telling the truth when He said that ALL prophesied last-things events would be fulfilled in his generation. I became a preterist. Preterism is the view that most, if not all prophetic events happened with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. It appears to be the fastest growing view of eschatology as other systems are being discredited. There is a dramatic upheaval beginning to boil in the church on eschatology, that is, Bible prophecy.

Over one-fourth of the New Testament is concerned with eschatology. If you are willing to consider a different viewpoint from the one you may now hold, below are some of the questions I could not honestly answer as a futurist:

  • Why have Christians made failed predictions about the end of the world for 2000 years now?
  • If time means nothing to God, why does God constantly use time-restricted statements about the fulfillment of prophecy—such as: shortly, at hand, near, quickly, soon, last times, last hour, last days, this generation, etc.?
  • Why did Jesus frequently insist that his PAROUSIA (Second Coming) and indeed the fulfillment of all prophecy would be fulfilled while some of his disciples were still alive (Matthew 10:23; Matthew 16:27-28; Mathew 26:64; Luke 21:22, 28, 32; Revelation 1:1-3; Revelation 22:6, 12, 20)? Was Jesus simply wrong? If so, can we trust Him on other things He said?
  • If the teaching that one day is a 1000 yrs and a 1000 years a day to the Lord. . . . DOES THAT MEAN?—1000 yrs in Revelation are a single 24 hour day (2 Peter 3; Revelation 20)?
  • If any of the New Testament was written after AD 70, why is there no mention anywhere in the New Testament IN THE PAST TENSE about the incredible events surrounding the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem in that year?
  • If the Great Tribulation is still future to us, why did Jesus tell the first century Christians that they could avoid it by fleeing to the mountains (Luke 21:21; ref. Matthew 24:21)? And why did the Apostle John tell his readers a few years later that THEY were in the tribulation (Revelation 1:9)?
  • If the book of Revelation is for us today, why would John write to the 7 churches if it had nothing to do with them? Why would John torture these first-century Christians with impossible and intricate symbolic labyrinths that applied only to people 2,000 years later? Why does Revelation say some 30 times that the events MUST be fulfilled SOON? (Examples: Revelation 1:1-3; 22:6, 12, 20)
  • Why does Hebrews 10:37 say that in a VERY VERY (“very” is there twice in the Greek) LITTLE WHILE Jesus would return and not delay? Were the writer of Hebrews and the other biblical writers that expressed the same thing FALSE PROPHETS?
  • If the biblical “last days” are in the 21st century, why does Peter and Paul both say the last days were in their time (Acts 2:16-17; Hebrews 1:1-2)?
  • If the biblical “last days” started in the first century, but continue to this day, why did Peter say the end of all things was at hand, and the judgment was about to begin when he was writing (1 Peter 4:7, 17)?
  • John said it was the “last hour” (1 John 2:18). Does that mean that its fulfillment is now 17 million hours late?
  • If the GREAT COMMISSION is not yet fulfilled, why did Paul say it had been fulfilled when he was writing (Roman 1:8; 10:18; Colossians 1:5-6)?
  • If “heaven and earth” have not yet passed away, does that mean that not one jot or tittle has passed from the law and Jesus has not fulfilled it yet (Matthew 5:17-18)?
  • If the NEW JERUSALEM is a future physical location, how is it possible that the Hebrews in the first century were already there (Hebrews 12:22)?
  • If Jesus was going to return literally and physically (Acts 1:11), why do we read that his ascension was hidden from view by a cloud? If Jesus is going to return LITERALLY “in like manner” (Acts 1:11), does that also mean that He will return riding a white horse (Revelation 19:11)?
  • If Jesus was to return in a physical, visible appearance to the whole world, why did He tell his first-century disciples (John 14:19) that the world would never see him again?
  • If the King James Version of the Bible really speaks of an end to the physical universe, why is “end of the world” found there consistently translated as “end of the AGE” in modern translations?
  • If the last-days events are still future to us, why are there over 100 passages in the New Testament that declare that these events would happen soon?
  • How many more ways could the writers of the New Testament have stated the imminent fulfillment of the last-days events (soon, near, this generation, while some of you are still alive, must shortly take place, the end is at hand, etc.)?
  • If the prophetic passages were fulfilled once in the first century, and then again thousands of years later, why is there no hint of this by Jesus and the biblical writers?

Charles Meek is the author of a new book CHRISTIAN HOPE THROUGH FULFILLED PROPHECY: IS YOUR CHURCH TEACHING ERROR ABOUT THE LAST DAYS AND SECOND COMING?

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Prophecy Questions Specifically for Dispensationalists

Please see the other articles in this blog, beginning with “Introduction to Biblical Prophecy.”

A. Haven’t dispensationalists been consistently wrong on prophecy (see links below)?—

http://americanvision.org/4545/before-harold-camping-there-was-chuck-smith/

http://planetpreterist.com/news-2008.html

http://www.examiner.com/x-16146-Wilmington-Religion–Politics-Examiner~y2009m7d15-Eschatology-A-past-history-of-failed-prophecies

http://againstdispensationalism.blogspot.com/2009/04/obituary-of-dispensationalism.html

http://www.americanvision.org/article/chuck-smiths-prophetic-confusion/

http://www.americanvision.org/article/making-bad-prophecy-predictions-vanish/

http://publisherscorner.nordskogpublishing.com/2009/01/is-it-time-for-doomsday-or-for-building.html 

http://www.ministryserver.com/rwsr/Part01_Introduction.htm

http://www.andrewcorbett.net/articles/fortune-telling-prophecies.html

http://www.verumserum.com/the-return-of-christ/eschatological-word-studies#toc-three-greek-words-for-the-return

In fact, every generation since Christ has heard predictions of the end in their day, as detailed in the book by Francis Gumerlock entitled The Day and the Hour (http://francisgumerlock.com/books/the-day-and-the-hour/.

B. Questions about Israel:

1. Could the dispensational distinctive of separation between Israel and the church be incorrect? On the Jewish Day of Pentecost in Acts 2, if you asked Peter and the disciples if they were part of “Israel” or the “Church,” what would they say? Wouldn’t they say they were both? Don’t Romans 11 and Hebrews 8 show that the gentiles were grafted in as the Israel of God, rather the Jews maintaining a separate line of salvation? Doesn’t Galatians 3:14 further identify the nature of the blessing that would come to all the other nations in addition to Israel through Christ? Doesn’t Galatians 3:6-8 and Galatians 3:29 tell us that believers are the spiritual descendants of Abraham?

2. If God has two different plans for Jews and Gentiles, why does Paul say there isn’t any more distinction (Romans 10:12; Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11)?

3. Isn’t the gospel the salvation for everyone who believes—both Jew and Gentile (Romans 1:16)?

4. If Israel and the Christian church are two different groups of people who have two separate covenants, and the hope of Israel is the resurrection (Acts 23:6, 24:14-15, 26:6-8), why is it taught that Christians will experience any type of resurrection, being that it is only for Israel (http://bible.org/article/contemporary-interpretative-problems-%E2%80%94-resurrection-israel)?

5. Don’t the following passages further confirm that the New Israel (New Jerusalem) does not mean a literal restored nation of Israel: Matthew 21:43; Romans 2:28-29, 9:6, 10:12; Galatians 6:15-16; Philippians 3:3; Colossians 3:11; Hebrews 8:8, 8:13; 1 Peter 2:9-10; Revelation 21:2? In 1 Peter 2:9-10 isn’t Peter applying Old Testament terms for Israel to the church, asserting the continuity between Old Testament Israel and the New Testament church—representing them as one people of God? Isn’t it a reasonable interpretation that Revelation 12:2 is speaking about a heavenly Jerusalem (see Hebrews 12:22-23)?

6. Are there any references in the Bible to the temple being built a third time? If there is going to be a rebuilt Jewish temple in the future, why does Scripture say God does not dwell in temples made with hand anymore (Acts 7:48, 17:24)?

7. Don’t all the New Testament texts comparing Israel to a fig tree point to Jerusalem’s destruction rather than its restoration?

8. Weren’t the Jews as a nation rejected (Matthew 8:8-13, 21:33-46, 22:1-4, 23:31-39; John 8:37-47; Romans 9:30-10:4; Romans 11:7)?

9. Wasn’t the “Israel of God” (Galatians 6:15-16) given to the those individuals, either Jew or Gentile, who believe (Matthew 3:9; Romans 2:28-29; Galatians 3:28-29, 4:24-31; Hebrews 8:13, 12:12-24; 1 Peter 2:5-10; Revelation 3:9)?

10. When the Jews rejected Jesus weren’t their branches broken off and the Gentiles “grafted in” (Romans 9:6-8, 11:11-24) along with a remnant of Jews (Romans 11:5)?

11. Doesn’t the New Testament (Ephesians 2:20-22; 1 Peter 2:4-8) explain that while the physical temple is about to be destroyed, it is being replaced by the church with Christ as the cornerstone and Christians as the living stones?

12. Is there anywhere in the New Testament that explicitly supports the land promises made to Israel are yet to be fulfilled?

13. Doesn’t the distinctive of the separation between Israel and the church inevitably teach that there are two paths to salvation—law for Jews and grace for everyone else? Didn’t C. I. Scofield himself say; “As a dispensation, grace begins with the death and resurrection of Christ… The point of testing is no longer legal obedience as the condition of salvation, but acceptance or rejection of Christ…” (Scofield Reference Bible, page 1115). Doesn’t the labeling of the current dispensation as the Age of Grace at the very least confuse the issue of justification? Aren’t both law and grace (gospel) present in both the Old Testament and New Testament? Isn’t the notion that God saved Old Testament Jews by law, but now saves New Testament Christians by grace unbiblical (Romans 4, 5)? Didn’t God preach the gospel beforehand to Abraham (Galatians 3:8)? Doesn’t Paul in Galatians 3 clearly state that no man is justified by the law, and quotes the Old Testament to prove it? On the other hand, aren’t there plenty of statements in the New Testament about obeying the law (Matthew 5:19; Matthew 7:16-20; Matthew 13:36-43; Matthew 25:31-46; Romans 3:31; James 2:10-17)?

14. When Jesus says in John 14:6 that no man comes to the Father but through him, doesn’t Jesus mean what he says? “No man” would include Jew or Gentile, doesn’t it?

15. Do you believe that two-thirds of Israelis will be slaughtered in a Holocaust II (John Walvoord’s book Israel in Prophecy)? If so, how can you call yourself pro-Israel? When you pray for Jesus to come soon or the imminent rapture, aren’t you preaching or even asking for a near term slaughter of the Jews? Isn’t this teaching based almost entirely on one verse—Zechariah 13:8—yet the New Testament places the previous verse (13:7) squarely in the time of Christ? Isn’t it true that there is no prediction in the book of Revelation about the annihilation of two-thirds of all Jews living in Israel by the Antichrist?

16. If we are in the New Covenant era, which scripture says is forever, why would God go back to a temple system of the Old Covenant which Paul called bondage (Galatians 4)?

17. If God was going to go back to animal sacrifices for sin in a future millennium, does that mean Christ died in vain (Galatians 2:21)?

18. If the promises to Israel are forever and unconditional, why does God say it is conditional in Deuteronomy 28?

19. Why can Jesus’ earthly kingdom be set up in earthly Jerusalem, when Jesus himself said the hour was coming when worshipping God would NOT be in Jerusalem (John 4:21)? 

Gary DeMar, author of the book Last Days Madness says this about interpretation of words:  “If the Bible can be interpreted so ‘soon’ can mean ‘late,’ and ‘near’ can mean ‘distant,’ and ‘shortly’ can mean ‘delayed,’ and vice versa, then the Bible can mean anything and nothing. Does God have two methods of measurement? When God says ‘love,’ are we to read ‘hate?’ Can we trust a God whose words can mean their opposite?”

C. Questions about hermeneutics (biblical interpretive method):

1. Dispensationalists say that you interpret the Bible literally, but do you do so appropriately and consistently? For example, when Isaiah (Isaiah 55:12) describes the mountains and the hills breaking into song and the trees clapping their hands, do is this to be taken this literally? When Isaiah (Isaiah 13:9-13) describes God shaking the earth from its place and making the stars not show their light (predicting doom on Babylon), wasn’t this intended to be taken seriously but non-literally? Or when God says that he will make the sun go down at noon (Amos 8:8-9), was this literal or rather an emphatic statement about his coming judgment on the northern kingdom of Israel (2 Kings 17:3-6)? When Jesus says that he is the “vine,” does that mean he is a woody plant?

2. When Colossians 1:23 states, “This is the gospel you heard and that has been proclaimed [past tense] to every living creature under heaven.” —do you interpret this literally? Had the gospel been declared to the American Indians? No, of course not. This passage, and many others that could be given, refers to the spread of the gospel in the first century across the local region of the known world.

3. If prophetic language is literal, why did none of the cosmic events described in Isaiah 13 literally happen when it was fulfilled according to Daniel 5?

4. Doesn’t the Bible throughout use figures of speech such as symbolism, allegory, parables, hyperbole, and so forth to make a point—but which are not always intended to be interpreted literally?

5. If the Bible is to be interpreted 100% literally, why are the terms like “at hand,” “quickly,” “shortly,” etc. not read literally?

6. If “soon” means “2000 years or longer,” does that mean it was going to take Timothy 2000 years to be sent to the Philippians (or to us) by Paul (Philippians 2:19)?

7. If the Bible is to be interpreted 100% literally, why do some dispensationalists say the seven churches in Asia (Revelation 1-3) are “church ages” and not “literal” churches?

8. Can we agree on these four criteria for interpreting the Bible: interpreting it (a) the way it was intended to be interpreted by the author, (2) the way it would have been understood by the original hearers, (c) in context of both the immediate passages and the rest of the Bible (letting Scripture interpret Scripture), (d) interpreting the more difficult passages in light of the clearer ones, (e) in order that all of Scripture is harmonized? 

D. Questions about the Rapture and the Tribulation:

1. Is there anywhere in the New Testament a trace of evidence for a secret, invisible, instantaneous rapture of the church?

2. If Jesus is going to rapture the church out of the world, why does Jesus pray for the exact opposite thing to happen (that the church would NOT be taken out of the world) in John 17:15?

3. Is there any verse in the Bible that teaches a “seven year tribulation?”

4. Doesn’t the Jewish War of 66-70 AD qualify as a great tribulation, given that that over a million Jews were killed, their nation was dissolved, their temple decimated, and along with it went their whole world order and the centerpiece of their religion—the centuries old system of animal sacrifices for sin?

5. If the great tribulation (Daniel 12:1; Matthew 24:21) is global, why did Jesus only tell those living in Judea to flee to the mountains to avoid the tribulation (Matthew 24:16, Luke 21:20-22)? In other words, why would the Great Tribulation be a global event if people could escape it by fleeing to the mountains? If the great tribulation is global, why did Daniel only refer to it occurring to those who were the “children of my people”?

6. If the Great Tribulation associated with the Second Coming was to be global, why does Jesus compare it to Sodom and Gomarrah which was clearly local (Luke 17:25-32), also Peter (2 Peter 2:5-9)?

7. If the Great Tribulation is future, why did Jesus say it (the great day of judgment) would fall upon his generation (Matthew 12:38-45; 16:1-4; 23:29-39)?

8. Doesn’t Daniel tell us exactly when the time of distress (12:1), the resurrection (12:2), the time of the end (12:9), and the abomination of desolation (12:11)—all occur when the power of the holy people has finally been broken (12:7) and the burnt offering taken away (12:11)? Can there be ANY doubt that this was 70 AD?

9. If the rapture is still an event to come in the future, why do the time-frame implications given in 1 and 2 Thessalonians suggest that Paul expected the events of which he speaks in these books to occur while some of those alive at the time were still alive? Go back and re-read these passages with this idea in mind: 1 Thes 1:10, 2:16, 4:17; 2 Thes 1:7, 5:4, 5:8-9.

 E. Questions about the Kingdom of God:

1. How can Jesus’ kingdom be physical/earthly when Jesus rejected a physical kingdom in John 6:15; John 18:36?

2. How can Jesus’ kingdom have not yet come, when John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, and the apostles all declared the “kingdom of God is at hand” (Matthew 3:2, 4:17, 10:7; Acts 28:31)?

3. Why would Jesus’ kingdom be set up in earthly Jerusalem, even though Paul said earthly Jerusalem was bondage and the old covenant (Galatians 4:24-25)?

4. Since Jesus declared that the Kingdom had come when he cast out demons, didn’t he usher in the kingdom during his time on earth (Matthew 12:28-29; Luke 10:8-20; Luke 11:20)?

5. How can Jesus’ kingdom be seen by everyone when Jesus himself said it comes NOT with observation (Luke 17:20)?

6. Is it a conflict to long for an earthly kingdom of peace and joy while expecting God to destroy the planet?

7. Why would Jesus’ kingdom be set up in earthly Jerusalem, knowing Jesus condemned their city several times (Matthew 21-Matthew 25)?

8. How can the “millennial” kingdom of God be of the Jews when Jesus himself said that he took the kingdom away from them and gave it to the gentiles who produce the fruits (Matthew 21:43)? If Jesus took the kingdom from the Jews and gave it to the gentiles, why is there no scripture to show another transfer back to the Jews?

9. Doesn’t John in Revelation 11:15 declare that the kingdom of the world had become the kingdom of God?

10. Has the failure to recognize that we are living in the kingdom of heaven today contributed to the malaise of the church?

11. Does the idea of a future millennial reign of Jesus on earth sound too much like Jehovah’s Witness theology? (Jehovah’s Witnesses got their start with books entitled the Millennial Dawn.)

Russell says, “The coming, the judgment, the kingdom, are all coincident and contemporaneous, and not only so, but also nigh at hand…So long as the Theocratic nation existed, and the temple, with its priesthood and sacrifices and ritual, remained, and the Mosaic law continued, or seemed to continue, in force, the distinction between Jew and Gentile could not be obliterated. But the barrier was effectually broken down when law, temple, city, and nation were swept away together, and the Theocracy was visibly brought to a final consummation. That event was, so to speak, the formal and public declaration that God was no longer God of the Jews only, but that He was now the common Father of all men…”

F. More Questions for Dispensationalists:

1. Why do dispensationalists say we are: (1) on earth…  (2) when we die, we go to heaven…  (3) at the rapture, we come back to earth…  (4) at the rapture we go back to heaven…  (5) at the Second Coming we come back to earth seven years later to be there for 1000 years…  (6) after the 1000 years, we go to a new heaven and earth?

2. If dispensationalists can believe in an invisible, spiritual coming of Christ for the “rapture,” then why do they condemn preterists for teaching in that very same nature of fulfillment in 70 AD?

3. Is there a single verse that explicitly teaches that the antichrist will make a covenant with the Jews and then break it?

4. Is there a single verse that explicitly teaches that Jesus will reign on earth for a literal thousand years, or that Jesus will sit on David’s throne in Jerusalem during the millennium?

5. Does the Bible speak of a literal thousand year reign of the saints outside of Revelation 20—a chapter that is perhaps the most complex and highly symbolic section of the most symbolic and complex book in the Bible? Is it likely that something so dramatically significant would not appear elsewhere in the Bible?

6. Is there any explicit teaching that animal sacrifices and circumcision will be reinstated during the millennium of Revelation 20?

7. In a literal millennium, are premillennialists relying on faith in total bureaucracy for the world? Doesn’t this view put too much faith in man being able to live sinlessly?

See also: http://www.biblicalpreteristarchive.com/statements/70-Qs.htm (Many of our questions came from this source.)

As Russell put it, writing in the nineteenth century, “Is it conceivable that an apostle would mock the suffering and persecuted Christians of his time with dark parables about distant ages?…If it spoke of, as some would have us believe, of Huns and Goths and Saracens, of mediaeval emperors and popes, of the Protestant Reformation and the French Revolution, what possible interest or meaning could it have for the Christian churches of Ephesus, and Smyrna, and Philadelphia, and Laodicea?…It may be safely affirmed that on this hypothesis [Revelation] is incapable of interpretation: it must continue to be what it has so long been, the material for arbitrary and fanciful speculation.” Note: In the twenty-first century, such references by prophecy enthusiasts have morphed into Russia, China, Iran, nuclear holocaust, or whatever the news of the day happens to be.

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Articles on Eschatology

End of the World dating

Note: For some unknown reason, when the links below are viewed in Internet Explorer, the margins of the text may be uneven. It is best to view the articles in Firefox, Google Chrome, or Safari. Also note that you can increase the font size with the plus sign. The articles might be revised from time to time.

Articles by Charles Meek:

What is Evangelical Preterism?

What Are the Biblical Last Days? (Part 1)

What Are the Biblical Last Days? (Part 2)

Preterism 101: List of Prophetic Imminence Passages

History of False Prophets among Our Christian Brothers

What Does the Bible Say about the Nature of the Second Coming?

What Does the Bible Say about the Timing of the Second Coming?

When Was the Olivet Discourse Fulfilled?

Who Is the Beast of Revelation?

Who Is the Babylon of Revelation?

When Was Revelation Written?

Who is the Antichrist?

What is the Day of the Lord?

What Is the New Heaven and New Earth?

What Is the Rapture?

Completed Redemption

Introduction to the Book of Daniel

What the Early Church thought about Daniel’s 70th Week

If the Parousia Happened in AD 70, Why Is There No Written Record?

What Is Hyper-Preterism?

Salvation after AD 70

The Personhood View of the Resurrection

The Two Resurrections of Revelation 20

Why I Have Become Increasingly Skeptical of the CBV View

The Preterist and the Institutional Church

The Soul

Articles by other authors:

Edward E. Stevens on CBV part 1

Edward E. Stevens on CBV part 2

Kurt Simmons on Resurrection

Jerel Kratt on Exploring the Jewish Hope of Resurrection

Jerel Kratt on Spiritual Body

*******************************************************************

I will continue to add articles, so check back!

You are invited to see reviews and details of my book CHRISTIAN HOPE THROUGH FULFILLED PROPHECY at Amazon.com. Also, to learn more about apologetics, theology, and eschatology, check out my websites listed below and “like” them if you can! (To receive all of our posts in the future at Facebook, hover over the “Liked” symbol and click on “Get Notifications.”)

http://www.faithfacts.org

https://www.facebook.com/Faithfacts.org

https://www.facebook.com/EvangelicalPreterism

Readers are also invited to offer your feedback to these articles. I especially appreciate any suggestions for improvement. These articles may be updated and revised from time to time. Email me at cmeek01@msn.com with your thoughts.

 

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Preterist Websites

Preterist websites are exploding in number. Some are listed below. Many, though not all, are from a full preterist perspective; others are from a partial preterist perspective. We are not endorsing any of these in particular. Indeed, some may be teaching things with which we strongly disagree. There is a lot of room for debate among Christians, but if it is brought to our attention that any of these sites are teaching things that seem particularly egregious and dishonoring to God, we will delete them from the list. But we offer the list here to give the reader an opportunity to see differing views and to do independent research.

Preterist Questions and Answers:

http://apostolicpreterist.com/Preterist_Q___A.html (Virgil Vaduva quoted)

http://ecclesia.org/truth/preterist-questions.html (Richard Anthony)

http://livingthequestion.org/resources (Riley O’Brien Powell)

http://www.preterist.org/preteristQA.asp (Edward E. Stevens)

http://preteristcosmos.com/questionsandanswers.html (David A. Green)

Here are places to go for preterist books and other resources:

http://americanvision.com 

http://www.store.bibleprophecy.com/

http://www.preterist.org/preteristbookstore.asp

These sites are hubs for preterist websites, books, sermons, Facebook pages, and networking:

http://www.thefulfilledconnection.com  (Allyn Morton)

http://asiteforthelord.com/id20.html (Tony Denton)

Misc. Preterist Websites:

http://www.faithfacts.org (the apologetics site of the author, Charles S. Meek)

http://www.allthingsfulfilled.com (William Bell)

http://www.lastdays-eschatology.net (William Bell)

http://americanvision.org (Gary DeMar)

http://www.asiteforthelord.com (Tony Everett Denton)

http://www.bereanbiblechurch.org/home.php (Berean Bible Church, David Curtis)

http://beyondtheendtimes.com/index.html (Ken Davies)

http://www.bibleprophecy.com (Don K. Preston)

http://www.eschatology.org (Don K. Preston)

http://donkpreston.com (Don K. Preston)

http://fulfilledradio.com (Don Preston)

http://www.biblepreterist.com (Michael Alan Nichols)

http://www.biblicalpreteristarchive.com

http://bibleprophecyfulfilled.com (Gary Parrish, Michael Day, Terry Kashian, David Warren)

http://www.biblicalfulfillment.org (Jessie Mills)

http://www.bluepointbiblechurch.org/peace (Blue Point Bible Church)

http://www.charlescoty.com/Theology.html (Charles Coty)

http://www.charlescoty.blogspot.com (Charles Coty)

http://lastdayspast.com(Charles Coty)

http://congregationofchrist.org (Spring and Case Church of Christ)

http://deathisdefeated.ning.com (John Scargy)

http://www.drkellynelsonbirks.com (Kelly Birks)

http://www.equip.org (Hank Hanegraaff)

http://eschatology.com (Ward Fenley)

http://www.eschatology101.com (Jim Wade)

http://www.fulfilledcg.com (Brian Martin)

http://fulfilled-eschatology.blogspot.com  (Tim Liwanag)

http://fullpreterism.com (Mike Sullivan with various contributors David Green, Ed Hassertt, Don Preston, William Bell)

http://www.kennethgentry.com (Kenneth Gentry)

http://kloposmasm.com/ (Adam Maarschalk)

http://lightshine70.wordpress.com (Frank Speer)

http://www.ligionier.org (R. C. Sproul)

http://lynnish.tripod.com/index.html (Lynn Schuldt)

http://moonmeanderings.wordpress.com (Tina Rae Collins)

http://newcovenanteyes.com (New Covenant Eyes Church, Alan Bondar)

http://www.newcreationministries.tv  (Ward Fenley, Brian Maxwell, Shannon Shogren)

http://www.ncfgeorgetown.com/#/Home (New Covenant Fellowship Church)

http://ontimejournal.com (Thomas K. Burk)

http://planetpreterist.com (Virgil Vaduva)

http://premillpreterism.ning.com (Douglas Wilkinson)

http://www.preterism.info (Michael Fenemore)

http://preterismmatters.webs.com

http://preterism.ning.com (Michael Bennett)

http://preterism-preterist-taffy.blogspot.in (Taffy Boyo)

http://preterist.org (Edward E. Stevens, International Preterist Association)

http://www.buzzsprout.com/11633 (Edward E. Stevens)

http://www.preteristarchive.com (Todd Dennis)

http://www.preteristcentral.com (Kurt Simmons)

http://www.prophecyrefi.org  (John Noe)

http://www.raptureless.com (Jonathan Welton)

http://restorationgj.com (Timothy King)

http://revelationrevolution.org  (Daniel Morais)

http://www.treeoflifeministries.info (Mike Sullivan)

http://www.wix.com/edwhynotme/fandd#! (Ed Hassertt)

http://reasonbyfaith.wix.com/rbfm (Ed Hassertt)

http://www.thenarrowpath.com (Steve Gregg)

http://www.theos.org/forum/index.php (Steve Gregg)

http://theparousiaofchrist.blogspot.com (Terry Cropper)

http://www.truthaccordingtoscripture.com/index.php (Mesa Biblical Church)

http://truthinliving.net/category/eschatology (Robert Pike)

http://worldwithoutend.info/wwewp  (John Paul Crandell)

http://www.worldwithoutend.info (Victory Baptist Church, Philippines)

Facebook Pages:

FaithFacts.org (Charles Meek)– https://www.facebook.com/Faithfacts.org

Evangelical Preterism (Charles Meek, Robert Wells, Tim Cruz, Sandra Cruz, Tony Pomales)– https://www.facebook.com/EvangelicalPreterism

Bible Fulfilled Prophecy (Mike Zeman)– https://www.facebook.com/groups/BibleFulfilledProphecy/?fref=ts

Charismatic Preterist Movement– http://www.facebook.com/groups/61453512279/?fref=ts

Consider Yesterday: An End of Times Study (Michael Miano)– http://www.facebook.com/groups/163393613718548

Covenant Creation (Dan Kortkamp, Hollan Linn)– http://www.facebook.com/groups/267807176662617/?fref=ts

Covenant Talk (Tony Denton/Terry Cropper)– http://www.facebook.com/groups/284173635861

Eschatology Debate Forum (Jason Watt)https://www.facebook.com/groups/111918628939632/

Eschatology Forum (Robert Summers)– http://www.facebook.com/groups/136437016438914/?fref=ts

Fulfilled Communications Group (Brian Martin)– http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fulfilled-Communications-Group/250077615062640

Fulfilled Eschatology (Allyn Morton)– http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fulfilled-Eschatology/258474497545872

Fulfilled Eschatology Only (Tim Liwanag, Jerry William Bowers)– https://www.facebook.com/groups/FulfilledEschatologyOnly

Full Preterism (Mike Sullivan)https://www.facebook.com/pages/Full-Preterism/1388457738088478.

Jesus Logos Preterism (Gary Alan Hagen)–https://www.facebook.com/groups/627709830605833

Noble Bible Students (Tim Liwanag) — https://www.facebook.com/groups/noblebiblestudents/members/

Power of Preterism Network (John Paul Crandell) — https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-POWER-of-Preterism-Network/225663914176295

PretCosmos (David A. Green)https://www.facebook.com/groups/PretCosmos

Don Preston– http://www.facebook.com/don.k.preston

Preterism: Past in Fullfillment– http://www.facebook.com/groups/14470981285/?fref=ts

Preterism Review (James Metzger)– http://www.facebook.com/preterism.review

Preterist Archive (Todd Dennis)– http://www.facebook.com/PreteristArchive

Preterist Forum for the New Comer (Rodney Alexander, Gerrie van Wyk, Robin L. Elliot)– http://www.facebook.com/groups/preteristforthenewcommer/?fref=ts

Preterist Friends (John Harding)– http://www.facebook.com/groups/117599281637889/?fref=ts

Preterist and Fulfilled Theology (Donald Hochner)– http://www.facebook.com/groups/381541645214446/?fref=ts

Preterist Gear/Allyn Morton– http://www.facebook.com/pages/Preterist-Gear/184288971670376

Preterist Now (David Pease)–http://www.facebook.com/groups/108327465864609/?fref=ts

Preterist of NW Arkansas– http://www.facebook.com/groups/159153630826023/?fref=ts

Preterist Theological Society (Joseph Vincent)– https://www.facebook.com/groups/503623276380355/

Preterist Voice Announcement Center– http://www.facebook.com/groups/204032893052224/?fref=ts

Prophecy Fulfilled/B. S. Raju– http://www.facebook.com/prophecy.fulfilled

Questions Dispensationalists Cannot Honestly Answer (John Paul)–https://www.facebook.com/70questions

Really Genuine Preterism (Joe Simpson)–   https://www.facebook.com/groups/466877400093721/495192323928895/?notif_t=group_activity

Rethinking Eschatology (Jason Watt)– http://www.facebook.com/groups/RethinkingEschatology

The Parousia of Christ (Shannon Brook Parker, Terry Cropper)– http://www.facebook.com/groups/361332340564417

The Pret-Net Group (Quentin Duffy)– http://www.facebook.com/groups/370690392959571

The Ongoing Eternal Kingdom of Christ (Terry Cropper) https://www.facebook.com/groups/500260916735119

World without End (John Paul)http://www.facebook.com/groups/181149025240235

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Endnotes 1-137 (Christian Hope)

Below are the endnotes for my book Christian Hope through Fulfilled Prophecy: Is Your Church Teaching Error about the Last Days and Second Coming? The Surging Preterist Challenge to Eschatology. (Available at Amazon.com.)

1. http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/12/13/us-usa-weather-religion-idUKBRE8BC1CX20121213.

2. The war is sometimes referred to as the First Jewish Roman
War or The Great Revolt. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Jewish%E2%80%93Roman_War.

3. Flavius Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, Book 6 (6.9.3). Available
online at http://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/JOSEPHUS.HTM. The
number of dead is far more even than the US Civil War, which is estimated
to be between 600,000 and 750,000.

4. Flavius Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, Book 6 (6.3.4). Available
online at http://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/JOSEPHUS.HTM.

5. Flavius Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, Book 5 (5.10.5) and Book
6 (6.9.4). Available online at http://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/JOSEPHUS.HTM.

6. See these websites:
• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Jewish%E2%80%93Roman_War
• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish%E2%80%93Roman_wars
• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Masada
• http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/jewishtemple.htm.

7. http://www.preteristcosmos.com/question5.html#note95.

8. Many scholars place the year of Jesus death on the cross at AD
33. So the intervening time till the destruction of the temple would have
been 37 years.

9. Edward E. Stevens, Introduction to the New Testament Canon, for
the Fulfilled Covenant Bible, Michael Day, editor, April 2011. This work
was still in progress and yet unpublished as of mid 2012. Here is the entire article: http://www.bibleprophecyfulfilled.com/bible/Intro_to_NT_Stevens.pdf. We highly recommend this article to our readers. Stevens is the founder of the International Preterist Association, website http://preterist.org.

10. The Reformation Study Bible, published in 2005, has contributions
from over fifty esteemed scholars; General Editor R. C. Sproul, Sr. In the introduction to the book of Luke, this source says (page 1451), “Luke and Acts may have been written about A.D. 63. Acts ends with Paul still under house arrest in Rome, and it is reasonable to think that if Luke knew of Paul’s release or death he would have mentioned it. Luke notes that the prophecy of Agabus was fulfilled (Acts 11:28); he would surely have done the same with Jesus’ prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem (Luke 21:20) if he was writing after A.D. 70. Acts mentions nothing that must be dated after A.D. 62 and shows no knowledge of Paul’s letters. All these factors argue for an early date.” In the introduction to the book of Matthew, The Reformation Study Bible (page 1359) states, “Further, there is some evidence in the context of the book that Matthew was written before the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. The Gospel warns against the Sadducees, a group that rapidly declined from prominence after A.D. 70 and ultimately ceased to exist. The language used to describe the destruction of Jerusalem in ch. 24 reflects Old Testament prophecies of the divine judgment that Jesus foresaw as connected with the coming of His kingdom. There is no need to explain the content of ch. 24 as the author’s memory of a historical event.” Scholars generally agree that Mark was written before Matthew and Luke. The Reformation Study Bible was published by Ligonier Ministries, 400 Technology Park, Lake Mary, FL  32746.

11. Here is a partial list of authors who argue for dating the New
Testament prior to AD 70:

  • David Chilton, Paradise Restored: An Eschatology of Dominion (Tyler, Texas: Dominion Press, 2000)
  • Gary DeMar, Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church (Powder Springs, Georgia: American Vision, 1999), Fourth revised edition. Available from their website http://americanvision.org/DeMar is considered a partial preterist. 
  • Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation (Powder Springs, Georgia: American Vision, 1998). Gentry is considered a partial preterist/postmillennialist
  • Arthur M. Ogden, The Avenging of the Apostles and Prophets(Pinson, Alabama: Ogden Publications, 2006), Third Edition. Excellent argumentation for the early pre-70 date of the book of Revelation. Available from their website: http://www.aogden.com/index.shtml.  
  • John A. T. Robinson, Redating the New Testament (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The Westminster Press, 1976). (Robinson is considered a liberal scholar who was convinced that the entire New Testament was written prior to AD 70.) 
  • J. Stuart Russell, The Parousia: The New Testament Doctrine of Christ’s  Second Coming (Bradford, Pennsylvania: International Preterist Association, 2003), originally published in 1878. 
  • Milton S. Terry, Biblical Hermeneutics: A Treatise on the Interpretation of the Old and New Testaments (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Academie Books, a division of Zondervan Publishing House, 1984), originally published in 1898. Available in a free online versionat http://www.preteristarchive.com/Books/1883_terry_biblical-hermeneutics.html 
  • Cornelius Vanderwaal, Hal Lindsey and Biblical Prophecy (St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada: Paideia Press, 1978). 

12. The Reformation Study Bible says, “Revelation was written during a time of persecution, probably near the end of the reign of the Roman Emperor Nero (A.D. 54-68) or during the reign of Domitian (A.D. 81-96). Most scholars favor a date about A.D. 95.” As a preview to Chapter 9, these websites list numerous advocates for a pre-AD 70 authorship of Revelation:
http://livingthequestion.org/revelation/
http://www.preteristarchive.com/BibleStudies/ApocalypseCommentaries.

13. C. S. Lewis, The World’s Last Night: And Other Essays (New York, NY: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1960), pages 97-98. Available online at http://www.archive.org/details/worldslastnighta012859mbp.

14. Quote by Michael A. Fenemore and Kurt M. Simmons in The Twilight of Postmillennialism; Fatal Errors in the Teachings of Keith A. Mathison, Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. etc. (Preterism.info Publishing, 2010), page 57.
See http://www.preterism.info/jews-reject-futurism.htm.

15. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_prophecies_of_Joseph_Smith.

16. Stevens is the founder of the International Preterist Association,
website http://preterist.org.

17. J. I. Packer, Fundamentalism and the Word of God, (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1958), pages 69-70.

18. Francis X. Gumerlock, The Day and the Hour: Christianity’s Perennial Fascination with Predicting the End of the World (Powder Springs, Georgia: American Vision, 2000), page 2. One can also find various lists of historic false prophets on the Internet, such as these websites:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unfulfilled_Christian_religious_predictions
http://www.abhota.info/index.htm
http://www.ministryserver.com/rwsr/Part01_Introduction.htm
http://americanvision.org/4545/before-harold-camping-therewas-chuck-smith/
http://publisherscorner.nordskogpublishing.com/2009/01/is-it-time-for-doomsday-or-for-building.html
http://politicaloutcast.com/2012/12/bible-scholar-predicts-end-of-world-and-immobilizes-millions/.
• (The interested reader can search for more such sites in the Internet.)

19. Cited by Don K. Preston, The Last Days Identified (Ardmore, OK: JaDon Productions LLC, 2004), page 79. See also this article by Daniel Walther entitled “RESEARCH: Martin Luther and the End of the World”: http://www.ministrymagazine.org/archive/1951/December/martin-luther-and-the-end-of-the-world.

20. From “American Lutheran Views on Eschatology and How
They Related to the American Protestants” by John M. Brenner.

21. The reader can find numerous lists of failed predictions on the
Internet. Sources include:
• Kenneth Dahl, http://www.facebook.com/notes/letting-god-escape/50-things-i-did-not-learn-in-church-about-the-end-timesby-ken-dahl/301690093241071,  also Dahl’s book All  These Things http://kennethdahl.com/allthesethings.pdf.
• Gary DeMar, Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church (Powder Springs, Georgia: American Vision, 1999), Fourth revised edition, chapter 1.
http://www.bible.ca/pre-date-setters.htm.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dates_predicted_for_apocalyptic_events.

22. See:
• Gary DeMar and Francis X. Gumerlock, The Early Church and the End of the World (Powder Springs, Georgia: American Vision, 2006), pages 27-38.
• Gary DeMar, Is Jesus Coming Soon? (Powder Springs, Georgia: American Vision, 2006).
• See also Samuel M. Frost, Misplaced Hope: The Origins of First and Second Century Eschatology (Colorado Springs, CO: Bimillennial Press, 2002).

Online sources for many of the preterist quotes from the early church fathers include:

23. See Francis X. Gumerlock, The Day and the Hour: A Chronicle of Christianity’s Perennial Fascination with Predicting the End of the World (Powder Springs, Georgia: American Vision, 2000). Most of what the early Church Fathers wrote remain untranslated—some 218 Latin and 166 Greek volumes.

24. Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History (Church History), Book lll, chapters 28, 39. Available online here: http://ncbible.info/MoodRes/History/EusebiusChurchHistory.pdf. See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eusebius_of_Caesarea, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papias_of_Hierapolis.

25. Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History (Church History). Noteworthy are Book lll, chapters 7, 8, and 39 (against Papias and Irenaeus). Available online here: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers

Eusebius, The Proof of the Gospel (Demonstratio Evangelica) trans. W. J. Ferrar, 2 vols. in 1 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1981). Some noteworthy passages about the Lord’s coming in AD 70 include: Book VI, Chapter 13, paragraphs 13-18; Book VI, Chapter 18, paragraphs 26 and 27; Book VIII, Introduction first paragraph; Book VIII, Chapter 4, paragraphs 144, 146, 147; Book X, Chapter 7, paragraph 214. Available online at these sites:

Eusebius, Theophania. Noteworthy sections include: Book III, paragraph 4; Book IV, paragraphs 16-22, 28-29, 34-36; Book V, paragraph 17. You can see the work online at these links, as well as a summary by Samuel Lee:

See also:

See also Gary DeMar and Francis X. Gumerlock, The Early Church and the End of the World (Powder Springs, Georgia: American Vision, 2006), Chapter 2 and pages 74-75. The authors point out that in addition to Eusebius’ view that Matthew 24 was fulfilled in AD 70, Eusebius also placed crucial passages from Zechariah as having been fulfilled prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.

See also Don K. Preston, We Shall Meet Him in The Air: The Wedding of the King of Kings (Ardmore, Oklahoma: JaDon Management Inc., 2010), pages 292-294.

26. The Reformation Study Bible (Lake Mary, Florida: Ligonier Ministries,
2005), page 1185.

27. Henry A. Virkler, Hermeneutics: Principles and Processes of Biblical
Interpretation (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1981), page 16.

28. Christians take different approaches to the Bible. (1) It is authoritative. This view holds that, while there may be errors in the Bible, it is accurate enough to be a basis for Christianity. In this view, the Bible “contains” the word of God but is not in its entirety the word of God. (2) It is the inspired word of God in its entirety. This is a higher standard based on self-identification within the Bible itself, including: the term “thus says the Lord” used over 400 times in the Old Testament, the term “God said” used 42 times in the Old Testament and 4 times in the New Testament, the term “God spoke” used 9 times in the Old Testament and 3 times in the New Testament, the term “the Spirit of the Lord Spoke” used 3 times in the Old Testament, also specific passages such as Psalm 119:99, 160; Matthew 15:6; Mark 7:13; John 10:35; Acts 3:18; Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 7:12; 1 Timothy 3:15-16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Peter 3:14-16. (3) It is inerrant (without any error in the original manuscripts). This is an inference from the previous position, as well as a result of critical textual analysis. (4) It is infallible, that is it could not possibly err—this being the highest standard.

See the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy:

http://www.bible-researcher.com/chicago1.html.

See also:

http://www.faithfacts.org/search-for-truth/questions-of-christians/is-the-bible-really-gods-word.

29. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antichrist_(historicism). The Westminster Confession formerly had a statement in it about the Pope being the antichrist, but that was removed. There is at least one denomination that we are aware of that still says the Pope is the antichrist in its official statements: the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Church.

30. We are not suggesting that the Bible contradicts science. It does not. Sometimes Christians assume that the Bible is speaking of scientific things when it is really speaking of theological things.

31. J. Stuart Russell, The Parousia: The New Testament Doctrine of Christ’s Second Coming (Bradford, Pennsylvania: International Preterist Association, 2003), originally published in 1878, page 328-329.

32. http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2889&t=KJV.

33. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistle_of_Barnabas and also specifically verse 16:5 of the Epistle of Barnabas: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/barnabas-lightfoot.html.

34. J. Stuart Russell, The Parousia: The New Testament Doctrine of
Christ’s Second Coming (Bradford, Pennsylvania: International Preterist
Association, 2003, originally published in 1878), page 198.

35. Don K. Preston, from an article “The Passing of the Elements: 2
Peter 3:10”: http://www.preteristarchive.com/Hyper/0000_preston_elements.html.

36. David Green, Michael Sullivan, Edward Hassertt, Samuel Frost, House Divided: Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology, A Response to When Shall These Things Be? (Romana, CA: Vision Publishing, 2009), page 165.

37. See Joseph M. Vincent II, The Millennium: Past, Present, or Future? A Biblical Defense for the 40 Year Transition Period (Ardmore, OK: JaDon Publishing, 2012), pages 63-80. Jubilees is considered canonical by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, as well as Jews in Ethiopia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_Of_Jubilees).

38. Daniel 2:28; 7:26; 8:17; 8:19; 9:26-27; 10:14; 11:27; 11:40; 12:4; 12:9; 12:13. Not all of these refer to the same end. There are various periods of time prophesied in Daniel. Some are clearly about pre-Messianic worldly kingdom dynasties and are often identified as such in the text, for example Daniel 8:20 and 8:21. So the “time of the end” in these instances refers to the end of those dynasties. However, some are clearly Messianic references, such as those identified with the term “Son of Man” (Daniel 7:13 and 8:17), which Jesus applied to himself. Daniel 7:9-27 clearly ties to the Second Coming predictions made by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24/25; Mark 13; Luke 21) in which Jesus promises to return in judgment on clouds in his generation. In terms of confirming full preterism, Daniel 12 is the most important first century AD eschatological reference in the book of Daniel.

39. The NASV translates Daniel 12:4 as the “end of time.” But this is a mistranslation. Other translations such as NKJV, ASV, and NIV correctly translate it “time of the end.”

40. The removal of the daily sacrifice could refer to a time shortly before the destruction, when the zealots brought an end to the priesthood and sacrifices. Or it could potentially refer to a time even earlier around AD 66 when the Jews stopped making sacrifices to Caesar.

41. While this can be a bit confusing, the taking away of the burnt offering is also mentioned in Daniel 8:11 and 11:31. These mentions probably refer to the first such cessation of the burnt offering in the mid-2nd century BC, when King Antiochus IV Epiphanes (ruler of the Seleucid Kingdom from 175-164 BC) forbade ceremonies and the worship of God in the Jerusalem temple and in the cities of Judah. In around 168 (or perhaps 167) BC Antiochus entered the Most Holy Place and plundered the silver and gold vessels. He erected an altar to the Olympian Zeus on the altar of God in the temple court and sacrificed pigs there. The books of 1 and 2 Maccabees (books in the Roman Catholic Bible but not in the Protestant Bible) mention the abomination of desolation in reference to these actions of Antiochus. There are some confirming indications within Daniel that at least the 8:11-14 mention of the abomination of desolation/cessation of the burnt offering refers to the Antiochus abomination. First, the context is the pre-Messianic visions. Secondly, verse 8:14 indicates that the temple would be restored. The temple was indeed cleansed and rededicated under the leadership of Judas Maccabeus in 164 BC. Other instances of the burnt offering cessation and the abomination of desolation (Daniel 9:27 and 12:11) are portrayed differently by Daniel than the Antiochus situation. At the end of the AD 66-70 abomination period, instead of being cleansed, the temple would be destroyed (Daniel 9:26) and the Jewish nation would be shattered (Daniel 12:7-11).

42. Citations for these quotes are from Flavius Josephus, Jewish Wars, trans. H. St. J. Thackeray (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1976), 5:401-403, 417-420. Also, Josephus, The Essential Works, ed. Paul L. Maier (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic & Professional, 1988; Revised edition, May 17, 1995), page 358. We derived this information from Tina Rae Collins, The Gathering in the Last Days (New York: M. F. Sohn Publications, 2012), page 66.

43. The Apocrypha is a group of ancient writings that are not considered canonical, but have appeared in some versions of the Bible throughout history. Most modern Protestant Bibles omit them.

44. See Flavius Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, Book 4, Chapter 5, Paragraph 1 (4.5.1). Available online at http://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/JOSEPHUS.HTM. See also these links: http://www.preteristarchive.com/JewishWars/timeline_factional.html and http://www.preterist.org/preteristQA.asp#question17.

45. Michael A. Fenemore and Kurt M. Simmons, The Twilight of Postmillennialism; Fatal Errors in the Teachings of Keith A. Mathison, Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. etc.(Preterism.info Publishing, 2010), pages 13-17, 88.

46. Three and a half years, on a 360 day calendar, is 1260 days. On a 365 day calendar three and a half years is 1278 days. According to one source who has worked on these numbers, the Jewish month was either 29 or 30 days. Corrections were made from time to time to keep the calendar in line with the seasons. According to this source, the Jews added an “intercalary” thirteenth month to their calendar (sort of a leapmonth) every third year or so. This adjustment could account for the difference between 1290 days and 1260 days. But a strong conclusion with absolute precision remains elusive. 47. Flavius Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, Book 6 (6.1.1). Available online athttp://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/JOSEPHUS.HTM.

48. Flavius Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, Book 7 (7.1.1). Available online at http://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/JOSEPHUS.HTM.

49. If the reader is concerned that the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 was limited in scope compared to the Great Flood which you assume was worldwide, there is a book that might be of interest: Beyond Creation Science by Timothy P. Martin & Jeffrey L. Vaughn, PhD. This book makes a strong case that the Great Flood was not, as many Christians think, worldwide. Rather it was regional. They give many valid biblical arguments; for example, the Bible tells us that the Nephilim were present on the earth before the flood as well as after the flood, so
not everyone outside of Noah’s family was killed in the flood. If their arguments are valid, Jesus’ comparing the destruction of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Great Flood makes even more sense than previously thought.

50. http://preterism.ning.com/profiles/blogs/the-abomination-of-desolation.

51. J. Stuart Russell, The Parousia: The New Testament Doctrine of Christ’s Second Coming (Bradford, Pennsylvania: International Preterist Association, 2003, originally published in 1878), page 45. Available from the International Preterist Association at their website: http://www.preterist.org.

52. David Chilton, The Days of Vengeance: An Exposition of the Book of Revelation (Tyler, Texas: Dominion Press, 1987).

53. J. Stuart Russell, The Parousia: The New Testament Doctrine of Christ’s Second Coming (Bradford, Pennsylvania: International Preterist Association, 2003, originally published in 1878), pages 64, 65, and 546.

54. For the uses of these words in the New Testament see: http://www.blueletterbible.org/. See also this article: http://www.verumserum.com/the-return-of-christ/eschatological-word-studies#toc-threegreek-words-for-the-return.

55. Hebrews 9:28 in most translations states that Christ “will appear a second time.” The phrase “will appear” is the Greek verb optanomai. In John 14:3 Jesus says He “will come again.” Here the phrase “will come” is the Greek verb erchomai.

56. Gary DeMar, Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church (Powder Springs, Georgia: American Vision, 1999), Fourth revised edition, page 160.

57. J. Stuart Russell, The Parousia: The New Testament Doctrine of Christ’s Second Coming (Bradford, Pennsylvania: International Preterist Association, 2003, originally published in 1878), Appendix to Part II, pages 350-354.

58. http://newcovenanteyes.ning.com/profiles/blogs/creeds-vstruth-ed-stevens?xg_source=shorten_twitter. [This link is broken.]

59. Some people might focus on Matthew 23:39, where Jesus says: “You will not see Me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” Their objection is that this seems to be a visible coming of Jesus which they believe has not yet occurred. But this statement is in the immediate context of Jesus’ lament over Jerusalem, and in the “this generation” time frame of verse 36. Coming “in the name of the Lord” could be an affirmation of his divinity and thus consistent with Matthew 24. It seems best to understand this as “see Me in the judgment that I will bring.” Thus, the Jews would see the effects of the judgment, not Jesus visibly. See also Chapter 12 for a discussion of the visibility of Jesus’ return.

60. http://www.verumserum.com/the-return-of-christ/eschatological-word-studies#toc-three-greek-words-for-the-return.

61. J. Stuart Russell, The Parousia: The New Testament Doctrine of Christ’s Second Coming (Bradford, Pennsylvania: International Preterist Association, 2003, originally published in 1878), page 69.

62. For an interesting discussion of how some partial preterists see two separate Second Comings of Jesus in the Oliver Discourse, see this article by Daniel E. Harden entitled “When Is a Heretic Not a Heretic?”: http://www.preterist.org/articles/heretic.asp.

63. http://www.worldwithoutend.info/start/articles/ed_stevens_03-matt24.htm. Stevens is the founder of the International Preterist
Association, website http://preterist.org.

64. We note that Jesus spoke Hebrew and/or Aramaic. But the New Testament was written in Greek. The region at the time was multicultural and multilingual. So Jesus perhaps may have known Greek, or even Latin. See http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Articles/Jesus_Hebrew/jesus_hebrew.html.

65. Gary DeMar, Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church (Powder Springs, Georgia: American Vision), Fourth revised edition 1999, . DeMar is a partial preterist postmillennialist rather than a full preterist. See also these additional books: (1) Kenneth Dahl’s book All These Things: http://kennethdahl.com/allthesethings.pdf. (2) Samuel G. Dawson, Essays on Eschatology: An Introductory Overview of the Study of Last Things (Amarillo, Texas: SGD Press, 2009), pages 47-64.

66. http://hellbusters.8m.com/prophecy/DP/apostasy.html.

67. J. Stuart Russell, The Parousia: The New Testament Doctrine of Christ’s Second Coming (Bradford, Pennsylvania: International Preterist Association, 2003, originally published in 1878). This quote is a summary of Russell’s comments on pages 56 and 57.

68. John L. Bray, Matthew 24 Fulfilled (Powder Springs, Georgia: American Vision, 1996), page 85.

69. Joseph Ratzinger, Eschatology, Death and Eternal Life, Second Edition (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 1988, originally published in German in 1977), page 39.

70. Ibid, page 46.

71. We will see the word mello numerous times in our study. While some would deny the imminency connotation of this Greek word, author Joseph Vincent analyzes how the word is used in non-eschatological passages and shows that the word normally means “near in time.” See Joseph M. Vincent II, The Millennium: Past, Present, or Future? A Biblical Defense for the 40 Year Transition Period (Ardmore, OK: JaDon Publishing, 2012), pages 95-99.

72. The Parousia of Christ may have begun at Pentecost per Matthew 26:64, but the consummation (i.e., his coming with his angels in the glory of his Father and rewarding every man according to his works) happened in AD 70.

73. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7lGKIGFpNM&feature=relmfu. According to Preston there are three exceptions. See the next endnote for the full quote.

74. http://www.preteristarchive.com/Hyper/0000_preston_critical-text.html.

75. Milton S. Terry, Biblical Apocalyptics: A Study of the Most Notable Revelations of God and of Christ in the Canonical Scriptures, originally published in 1898, page 222. Terry was also the author of a classic work on hermeneutics entitled Biblical Hermeneutics: A Treatise on the Interpretation of the Old and New Testaments. See also: http://www.verumserum.com/the-return-of-christ.

76. Taken from the foreword by Gary DeMar in The Day and the Hour by Francis X. Gumerlock. These authors cite as the source for the quote: Gerald B. Stanton, “The Doctrine of Imminency: Is It Biblical?” in Thomas Ice and Timothy Demy, eds., When the Trumpet Sounds (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1997), page 222.

77. Brian L. Martin, Behind the Veil of Moses: Piecing Together the Mystery of the Second Coming (Xulon Press, 2009), page 163.

78. Scholars disagree about how long after the giving of the prophecy that its fulfillment took place. For example, some say 200 years, others say 142 years. Alan Bondar cites Walvoord’s Bible Knowledge Commentary (page 1060) as saying that Babylon was destroyed within 15 years after the prophecy. See Alan Bondar, Reading the Bible through New Covenant Eyes (Baltimore, MD: Publish America, 2010), pages 193, 331.

79. Some people challenge preterists by pointing out that certain Old Testament texts that were to be fulfilled “soon” didn’t happen until hundreds of years later. Certain of these texts are Isaiah 51:5; Ezekiel 7:7; 30:3; Jeremiah 48:16; Joel 1:15; 2:1; 3:14; Obadiah 1:15; Zephaniah 1:7, 14. Alan Bondar cites non-preterist authors who have each of these passages being fulfilled within a generation of the actual prophecy. He cites (1) Homer Hailey, Commentary on the Minor Prophets (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publishing, 1973), and (2) John F. Walvoord and Roy
B. Zuck, Bible Knowledge Commentary (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985). See Alan Bondar, Reading the Bible through New Covenant Eyes (Baltimore, MD: Publish America, 2010), pages 193, 331.

80. http://www.almac.co.uk/personal/renaux/static/death.htm.

81. http://www.andrewcorbett.net/articles/new-heavens.html.

82. http://www.almac.co.uk/personal/renaux/static/death.htm.

83. See this article by Duncan McKenzie: http://planetpreterist.com/news-5109.html.

84. Flavius Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, Book 6 (6.5.3). Available online at http://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/JOSEPHUS.HTM.

85. In addition to Josephus, Tacitus, Eusebius, and the Jewish Talmud mentioned this phenomenon. See: Josephus Wars (6.5.3.296 to 300), Tacitus Histories (Book 5), Eusebius Ecclesiastical History (Book 3, Chapter 8, Sections 1-6), Sepher Yosippon A Mediaeval History of Ancient Israel (Chapter 87, “Burning of the Temple”). See also Edward E. Stevens http://www.preterist.org/preteristQA.asp#question7.

86. Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book 3 (3.6.4, and 3.7.7). Available online at http://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/JOSEPHUS.HTM. See also http://ontimejournal.com/new-heaven-and-new-earth.

87. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Christians_in_the_Roman_Empire.

88. J. Stuart Russell, The Parousia: The New Testament Doctrine of Christ’s Second Coming (Bradford, Pennsylvania: International Preterist Association, 2003, originally published in 1878), page 366.

89. For details, see Don K. Preston, D. Div., Who Is This Babylon (Ardmore, Oklahoma: JaDon Management, Inc., 2006), pages 2-3.

90. See http://livingthequestion.org/revelation/ (lists 62 scholars who support a pre-AD 70 date for Revelation). This book contains lists of authors who argue for a pre-AD 70 date for Revelation: Kenneth L.Gentry, Jr., Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation (Powder Springs, Georgia: American Vision, 1998), chapter 4. Among numerous other books that address this and which argue for a pre-AD 70 date include: (1) Don K. Preston, D. Div., Who Is This Babylon (Ardmore, Oklahoma: JaDon Management, Inc., 2006), page 249-250. (2) Gary DeMar and Francis X. Gumerlock, The Early Church and the End of the World (Powder Springs, Georgia: American Vision, 2006), pages 167-177. (3) Samuel Frost, David Green, Edward Hassertt, Michael Sullivan, House Divided: Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology, A Response to When Shall These Things Be? (Romana, CA: Vision Publishing, 2009), pages 131-149. (4) Brian L. Martin, Behind the Veil of Moses: Piecing Together the Mystery of the Second Coming. (Xulon Press, 2009), page 135. Articles about the dating of Revelation:
•http://www.preteristarchive.com/BibleStudies/ApocalypseCommentaries/Dating/Early/index.html
http://livingthequestion.org/?page_id=181
http://www.preteristarchive.com/Hyper/0000_preston_revelation-date.html
http://www.purelybiblical.com/ftp/R/Revelation.pdf.

We also note commentary by Edward E. Stevens from Introduction to the New Testament Canon, for the Fulfilled Covenant Bible project, April 2011. It is a articularly interesting and helpful article. In it Stevens lists the probable dates that each New Testament book was written: http://www.bibleprophecyfulfilled.com/bible/Intro_to_NT_Stevens.pdf. Stevens wrote that the apostle John died during the Neronic persecution, about the same time as Peter and Paul (ca. AD 64-65). Eusebius (AD 263-339) cites two men before him that said that John lived until the reign of the Roman emperor Trajan (AD 98-117)—Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria. But Eusebius also said that there were doubts as to John’s authorship of Revelation, so the accuracy of such statements is doubtful. In any case, assuming that John wrote Revelation as is commonly held, even if he did live past AD 70, that does not mean that Revelation was written after AD 70. See also: Paul L. Maier, Eusebius: The Church History, A New Translation with Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1999), pages 110-115.

For even more detail, we also refer the reader to: Edward E. Stevens, “First Century Events in Chronological Order: from the Birth of Christ to the Destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, A Pre-publication Manuscript” (International Preterist Association, 2009), pages 19-21.

91. R. C. Sproul, The Last Days according to Jesus (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1998), page 141.

92. There is another interesting possibility concerning the Irenaeus quote, which purports to tie the writing of the book of Revelation to the reign of Domitian (AD 81-96). Domitian was the son of Vespasian (and brother of Titus). Vespasian was elected Emperor in December 69. But he was not in Rome at the time. It took Vespasian six months to make his way back to Rome from Jerusalem and Egypt, where he was securing foodstuff for his soldiers. During this half year, Domitian assumed the role temporarily as Caesar. He made a name for himself at this time as being a brutal tyrant. So, if Irenaeus was indeed saying that John was writing Revelation during the reign of Domitian, he may have been referring to this  period! See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domitian.

93. R. C. Sproul, The Last Days according to Jesus (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1998), page 147.

94. Frederic Myers, Catholic Thoughts on the Bible and Theology (London: Dalby, Isbister & Co, 1879), The Fourth Book, chapter 35, page 327. Available online at http://www.archive.org/stream/catholicthoughtsonbible00myer#page/n3/mode/2up.

95. http://livingthequestion.org/revelation/.

96. http://www.truthaccordingtoscripture.com/documents/eschatology/beast.php.

97.

http://blog.adw.org/2012/11/why-the-modern-view-of-the-book-of-revelation-may-be-flawed/

98. http://www.andrewcorbett.net/articles/every-eye-see/.

99. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beast_(Revelation).

100. Don K. Preston, D. Div., Who Is This Babylon (Ardmore, Oklahoma: JaDon Management, Inc., 2006), pages 52f. This is an excellent book for those desiring to get deeper into this topic.

101. Gary DeMar, End Times Fiction: A Biblical Consideration of the Left Behind Theology (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2001), pages 126-127.

102. Gary DeMar, Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church (Powder Springs, Georgia: American Vision, Fourth Revised Edition 1999).

103. R. C. Sproul, The Last Days according to Jesus (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1998).

104. See endnote 21 at this source:

http://www.freedominchrist.net/BIBLICAL%20STUDIES/New%20Testament/Revelation/Chapter%202–Identity%20of%20the%20Beast%20of%20Revelation.htm

Endnote 21 states: Philostratus, Apollonius of Tyana,  vol., 1 [Loeb edition, vol., 16], Book IV. XXXVIII, Loeb Classical Library, translated by F. C. Conybeare (Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, 1917, 2004), 437, 438.

105. For a description of Nero, see Kenneth Dahl’s book All These Things: http://kennethdahl.com/allthesethings.pdf, page 43.

106. There is quite a bit of discussion about this on the Internet, which the reader could check if so inclined.

107. http://www.truthaccordingtoscripture.com/documents/eschatology/beast.php.

108. Gary DeMar, End Times Fiction: a Biblical Consideration of the Left Behind Theology (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers), page 143.

109. There are other preterist views of who the beast was. Edward E. Stevens has written about certain clues in Revelation that suggest that the beast was Jewish, therefore was not Nero. See Fulfilled! Magazine, Spring 2012, pages 10-12: http://www.fulfilledcg.com/Site/Magazine/magazine_previous_issues.htm.

110. Steve Gregg, Revelation, Four Views: A Parallel Commentary. (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1997), pages 466-468.

111. Anthony A. Hoekema, The Meaning of the Millennium (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1977), page 161. Cited from Joseph M. Vincent II, The Millennium: Past, Present, or Future? A Biblical Defense for the 40 Year Transition Period (Ardmore, OK: JaDon Publishing, 2012), page 103. It should be noted that Hoekema was not a preterist.

112. A helpful book is Revelation: Four Views, a Parallel Commentary, by Steve Gregg (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1997.)

113. See this article for various views:

114. Very helpful resources are Don Preston’s book Who Is This Babylon and his multi-part YouTube series (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnzgVRo-eqA&feature=related).

115. Joseph M. Vincent II, The Millennium: Past, Present, or Future? A Biblical Defense for the 40 Year Transition Period (Ardmore, OK: JaDon Publishing, 2012), page 98.

116. While some scholars place AD 30 as the year of Jesus’ crucifixion and ascension, others including the respected Lutheran historian Dr. Paul L. Maier, professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University, places the date of the crucifixion as April 3, AD 33. See http://www.mtio.com/articles/aissar30.htm. While this would make the millennium 37 years, the student of Scripture can scarcely miss the parallel of 40 years to other uses of 40 in the Bible, especially the 40 year wandering of the Exodus.

117. See David A. Green http://www.preterist.org/articles/ezekiel_38_39.asp.

118. J. Stuart Russell, The Parousia: The New Testament Doctrine of Christ’s Second Coming (Bradford, Pennsylvania: International Preterist Association, 2003, originally published in 1878), page 525.

119. It could also be that John 3 refers to national rebirth/restoration of Israel, as explained in this article by Derrick Olliff:

http://beatenbrains.blogspot.com.au/2006/08/eschatology-of-being-born-again.html.

120. It is conceivable that this first resurrection also included a physical resurrection of already martyred saints from the dead. If this is the case, one might conclude that the time span between the first and second resurrections was a period considerably shorter than 40 years. This would be consistent with Revelation 6:9-11 (“rest a little longer”). The student should not get hung up on this detail. The key to understanding Revelation 20 is verses 11-15 which was the general resurrection and judgment that happened coincident with the Second Coming.

121. Preterists offer somewhat different interpretations of who was resurrected and when per Revelation 20. Some preterists think that the first resurrection was the resurrection of the just, while the second resurrection was the resurrection of the unjust. Other preterists believe that the first resurrection refers to the resurrection from hades. And so forth.

122. Satan in these texts may be symbolic for apostate Israel.

123. One can get around this argument of the premillennial preterists by pointing out that the text does not say the beheaded were resurrected AFTER they were beheaded. It merely says “they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Thus, they “lived” before they were beheaded.

124. See Duncan McKenzie’s articles:
http://planetpreterist.com/news-5017.html,
http://planetpreterist.com/news-5174.html.

Also see his book The Antichrist and the Second Coming, A Preterist Examination (Xulon Press, 2012).

Preterist Milton Terry, a contemporary of Russell, held that verses 11-15 were still future (Milton S. Terry, Biblical Apocalyptics, 1898: http://www.preteristarchive.com/Books/1898_terry_apocalyptics.html).

McKenzie notes that verse 5a (“The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.”) does not appear in many ancient manuscripts and may not be part of the original text. If in fact this statement should not be part of the text, McKenzie’s view makes more sense as it allows for gradual “second resurrections” over time rather than a single resurrection at the end of the millennium that verse 5a would suggest. Most preterists take issue with McKenzie, Russell, and Terry’s conclusion in this matter. Don Preston has a section in his book that argues against the views of McKenzie : Don K. Preston, D.Div., Who Is This Babylon (Ardmore, Oklahoma: JaDon Management, Inc., 2006), pages 281-321. Full preterist Joseph Vincent also makes note that verse 5a is probably not part of the original text, and points out that certain translations such as the NIV and NLT have it in parentheses to separate it out. Vincent sees it this way: “The reason this is important is to avoid the misunderstanding that the ‘first resurrection’ took place at the ‘end’ of the thousand years.” (The Millennium, page 159).

125. See articles by Kurt M. Simmons: http://www.preteristcentral.com/Studies%20in%20the%20Millennia.html. Also see Simmons’ book The Consummation of the Ages.

126. See article by Ed Stevens, “A 40-Year Millennium”:http://planetpreterist.com/content/40-year-millennium. Stevens is the founder of the International Preterist Association, website http://preterist.org.

127. For a detailed discussion of this, see David Chilton, The Days of Vengeance: An Exposition of the Book of Revelation (Tyler, Texas: Dominion Press, 1987), chapter 21.

128. http://www.preterism.info/why-still-death.htm. Fenemore has also co-authored a book with Kurt M. Simmons: The Twilight of Postmillennialism: Fatal Errors in the Teaching of Keith A. Mathison, Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. et. al.

129. http://planetpreterist.com/news-5109.html.    The bride of Christ (Revelation 21:2, 9-10) is elsewhere in the Bible described as the church (Matthew 9:15; John 3:29; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:22-23, etc.).

130. http://www.preterist.org/articles/answering_mathison.asp.

131. David Chilton, The Days of Vengeance: An Exposition of the Book of Revelation(Tyler, Texas: Dominion Press, 1987), page 494, 502.

132. The concepts of salvation and redemption are linked in the New Testament to the point of being essentially equivalent. See such passages as Colossians 1:14 and Hebrews 9:15.

133. The reader can also consider such passages as Isaiah 27:9-12 and 59:17-21, as well as Romans 11:25-27.

134. Isaiah 28:11 and Joel 2:28-29 are further evidence, according to some, that speaking in tongues was a sign of God’s oncoming judgment. So, when God did judge the nation of Israel in AD 70, the gift of tongues was no longer to serve a purpose. Those who object to the interpretation that tongues ceased in AD 70 argue that in the same passage Paul says that “knowledge” will also cease. How can knowledge cease? One interpretation is that this means knowledge from the writings of the apostles; that is, the canon of Scripture would be complete by AD 70. This lends credence to the Reformation tenet that Scripture alone is sufficient for all matters of faith and life. Or perhaps a better understanding of the cessation of knowledge is that with the fulfillment of prophecy in the first century, the matters of the Old Testament that were vague for Jews became clear in their completion. For some additional discussion of the gift of tongues, see these links:
• http://www.preteristarchive.com/PartialPreterism/ma_speak.html
• http://www.treeoflifeministries.info/index.php?view=article&catid=35%3Apreterist-eschatology-all-prophecy-fulfilled-by-ad-70&id=149%3Amike-sullivan&option=com_content&Itemid=75
• http://so4j.com/faq.php#speaking_in_tongues
• http://www.preteristcosmos.com/gift.htm.

135. By one count, “kingdom” is found 122 times in the New Testament. Millennialists sometimes separate the two terms “kingdom of God” and “kingdom of heaven” in order to attempt to find a spiritual kingdom and an earthly kingdom. But this is incorrect. According to Joseph Ratzinger (Eschatology, page 26), Matthew used the term Kingdom of Heaven instead of Kingdom of God out of respect for Jewish tradition, which did not mention the name of God out of reverence. See also http://www.gotquestions.org/kingdom-heaven-God.html.

136. J. Stuart Russell, The Parousia: The New Testament Doctrine of Christ’s Second Coming (Bradford, Pennsylvania: International Preterist Association, 2003, originally published in 1878), page 344.

137. Brian L. Martin, Behind the Veil of Moses: Piecing Together the Mystery of the Second Coming (Xulon Press, 2009), page 135.

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