AGAINST ERROR

A process of elimination is employed here towards discovering the Bible's placement of the "thousand years" Millennium within the Last Day timeline. This seemed appropriate when it was found that there were more than a few theories among believers throughout the 20 centuries of Christianity concerning the "thousand years" Millennium.  Upon inspection it became clear that these theories were made of differing combinations of certain fundamental errors. Click each Millennial theory to reveal the errors below:

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...

2 Peter 3:8-10
But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one DAY is as a THOUSAND YEARS, and a THOUSAND YEARS as one DAY. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 10 But the DAY of the Lord will come ...

Psalms 90:4
For a THOUSAND YEARS in Thy sight are like yesterDAY when it passes by, or as a watch in the NIGHT.

Romans 13:11-12
And this do, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. 12 The NIGHT is almost gone, and the DAY is at hand.
NASB
Related Scriptures: 30-70AD: the Night was almost gone, and the Day was at hand

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Unintended Error vs. Intentional Deception

Saint Augustine differentiates between two kinds of doctrinal error:

  1. Unintended inaccuracy that the Bible teacher shares in his earnest effort to promote love for God and neighbor. It has no malicious intent.

  2. Intentional deception that the Bible teacher designs to take advantage of believers, to drive them away from obedience to Christ or to sow discord among them.

Saint Augustine differentiates between mistaken teachers (type 1) and malicious deceivers (type 2). I would add to that lesson that it is wrong for one to assume himself immune from unwittingly teaching errors (type 1), all the more so if he condemns as type 2 deceivers those who are just trying to bless people with their Bible studies while making unwitting mistakes, (type 1). Jesus said, "You will know them by their fruits," LINK. (Note: Jesus did not say, "You will know them by their creeds" or "by their super-apostle commentaries" or "by their denominational sign" or "by their theological jargon, extra-biblical vocabulary" or "by their name-dropping of famous Christians" or "by their friends," etc.).

From: Saint Augustine's City of God and Christian Doctrine, pages 845-847

Chapter 36.—That Interpretation of Scripture Which Builds Us Up in Love is Not Perniciously Deceptive Nor Mendacious, Even Though It Be Faulty. The Interpreter, However, Should Be Corrected.
40. Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbor, does not yet understand them as he ought. If, on the other hand, a man draws a meaning from them that may be used for the building up of love, even though he does not happen upon the precise meaning which the author whom he reads intended to express in that place, his error is not pernicious, and he is wholly clear from the charge of deception. For there is involved in deception the intention to say what is false; and we find plenty of people who intend to deceive, but nobody who wishes to be deceived. Since, then, the man who knows practises deceit, and the ignorant man is practised upon, it is quite clear that in any particular case the man who is deceived is a better man than he who deceives, seeing that it is better to suffer than to commit injustice. Now every man who lies commits an injustice; and if any man thinks that a lie is ever useful, he must think that injustice is sometimes useful. For no liar keeps faith in the matter about which he lies. He wishes, of course, that the man to whom he lies should place confidence in him; and yet he betrays his confidence by lying to him. Now every man who breaks faith is unjust. Either, then, injustice is sometimes useful (which is impossible), or a lie is never useful.

41. Whoever takes another meaning out of Scripture than the writer intended, goes astray, but not through any falsehood in Scripture. Nevertheless, as I was going to say, if his mistaken interpretation tends to build up love, which is the end of the commandment, he goes astray in much the same way as a man who by mistake quits the high road, but yet reaches through the fields the same place to which the road leads. He is to be corrected, however, and to be shown how much better it is not to quit the straight road, lest, if he get into a habit of going astray, he may sometimes take cross roads, or even go in the wrong direction altogether.

Chapter 37.—Dangers of Mistaken Interpretation.
For if he takes up rashly a meaning which the author whom he is reading did not intend, he often falls in with other statements which he cannot harmonize with this meaning. And if he admits that these statements are true and certain, then it follows that the meaning he had put upon the former passage cannot be the true one: and so it comes to pass, one can hardly tell how, that, out of love for his own opinion, he begins to feel more angry with Scripture than he is with himself. And if he should once permit that evil to creep in, it will utterly destroy him. “For we walk by faith, not by sight, 2 Cor 5:7. Now faith will totter if the authority of Scripture begin to shake. And then, if faith totter, love itself will grow cold. For if a man has fallen from faith, he must necessarily also fall from love; for he cannot love what he does not believe to exist. But if he both believes and loves, then through good works, and through diligent attention to the precepts of morality, he comes to hope also that he shall attain the object of his love. And so these are the three things to which all knowledge and all prophecy are subservient: faith, hope, love.

ERROR: 1-1000AD MILLENNIUM medieval Millennialism, medieval Postmillennialism

1-1000AD MILLENNIUM medieval Millennialism, medieval Postmillennialism

This view holds that the Millennium (1000 years) of Revelation 20:1-7

  • BEGAN AT THE BIRTH OF CHRIST AT 1 AD.
  • WAS EXPECTED TO END AT 1000 AD.

It incorporates the following errors:

This is the prevailing, "orthodox" view of medieval Christianity.  It dates the beginning of the Millennium from the birth of Christ at 1 AD, "the first year of our Lord," calculating the reign with Christ from the day of His birth, the Incarnation.  But early Christianity did not expect this first Millennium of Christianity to go on indefinitely but anticipated its end to come at 1000AD, no sooner, no later.  In fact, the system of dating years from the birth of Christ was motivated by the fearful need to provide a countdown to year 1000AD.  Hiistory records fearful anticipation throughout Christendom of Judgment Day at the close of their Millennium at 1000AD.  This error was made manifest when the End did not come in 1000AD as they had dreaded, (thus providing the impetus to contrive the Amillennial system as the new "orthodoxy").

Nevertheless, early post-medieval Christianity did continue to hold to a future end to the Millennium -- future to their perspective in time soon following those first ten centuries of Christianity.  They did not, however, expect a Millennium that would still be going on long into 2016AD as modern Amillennialism-Postmillennialism would teach.  So, there is actually a strong disconnect between the Millennialism of medieval Christianity and the modern doctrines of Ammillennialism/Postmillennialism today over 1000 years after the 1-1000AD Millennium ended.  This also shows the detachment between medieval Christianity's belief in an actual 1000-year Millennium, (latin, "thosand years"), and the mystically personal Millennium of today's Idealism and its hybrid, "Preterist-Idealism."

Finally, there is a strong disconnect between the Millennial doctrine of medieval Christianity and the modern teachings of Premillennial Dispensationalism.  So strong was the conviction by medieval Christianity that the Millennium had already begun that the teaching of a Millennium that was yet to begin was formally rejected as heresy, the heresy of "Chiliasm."  And anyone teaching that the Millennium had not already started was rejected as a heretic, a "Chiliast."  So there is no room for today's Premillennial Dispensationalists to reach back to early Christianity for support in denouncing those who disagree with their calculations of a future Millennium:  they would sooner receive a slap to the face from the medievals. LINK   Today's Premillennial Dispensationalism, (akin to "Chiliasm"), attempts to justify its deep disagreement with medieval Christianity by appealing to Scriptures that make clear that Christ returns at the beginning of the Millennium, not after its ending. 

Fatally, all systems that begin the Millennium before the disappearance of the Apostles, (i.e., before 70AD), share the same error: they logically lead to Universalism. They do this by claiming that an event occurring at the beginning of the Millennium, (Rev 20:4-6's "Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones"), was a coming to covenant life, (i.e., being "Born-Again"), rather than a bodily resurrection. This drives the conclusion that Rev 20:4-6's "Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead" at the end of the Millennium is the coming to covenant life of everyone else, "the rest of the dead." Thus, the fate after death of (a) blessed & holy martyrs for Christ and that of (b) the rest of the dead is eventually the same: they come to covenant life, ("Born-Again"). That teaching is honestly known as "UNIVERSALISM." In this fashion, all systems that begin the Millennium, (and therefore the first Resurrection), before the disappearrance of the Apostles logically lead to Universalism, a cancerous, false teaching, (see 2 Timothy 2:17-19). Thus, many arguments against the 30-70AD Millennium of Hyper-Preterism (Full Preterism & Covenant Eschatology) also apply against 30AD-Future Millennium system of Amillennialism, as well, LINK.

THERE IS NO UNBROKEN, MONOLITHIC BLOC CONCERNING THE DOCTRINE OF THE MILLENNIUM FROM EARLY, MEDIEVAL CHRISTIANITY TO TODAY.
So, we can only go back to the actual, original, inspired words of SCRIPTURE to decide the matter.
while respecting the beliefs of global Christianity, medieval and modern, to give hints.

After first stripping away everything that does not reconcile with Scripture, ProphecyHistory.com attempts to reconcile the various schools of thought concerning the Millennium into an understanding that fits within both Scripture & global Christian belief of all eras.

May God grant grace, wisdom & understanding to both reader & writer alike through the Word of God, Jesus Christ our Teacher.
Amen.

ERROR I: "The 1000 years of Rev 20:1-7 starts before Christ's Return"

 

  1. The "1000 years" Millennium starts with the binding, casting & sealing of Satan into his prison below in the Abyss, (Rev 20:1-3), and with the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4, the first of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  2. The Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones of Rev 20:4 = 1 Thess 4:16's Rising of the Dead in Christ. Otherwise would mean the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4), was an event distinct & prior to 1 Thess 4:16, that it was a past experience in the lives of the Apostles, thus driving the conclusion that Rev 20:4 was a "coming to covenant life," (being born-again). This, in turn, would drive the conclusion that the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead of Rev 20:5a was a "coming to covenant life," as well, since it uses the same words in an adjacent verse. The implication, then, would be that whether one lives & dies as "Blessed & Holy" or as "the Rest of the Dead," he still eventually "comes to covenant life," making faith & obedience to Christ irrelevant to one's eternal fate. That conclusion is Universalism, a cancerous doctrine at odds with Scriptures' command to obey to the Word of God the Judge of all men. Note also, Rev 20:5a ≠ 1 Thess 4:16 because there is no mention of non-Christians, ("the Rest of the Dead" of Rev 20:5a), being raised up alongside "the Dead in Christ" in 1 Thess 4:16.

  3. The Rising of the Dead in Christ, (1 Thess 4:16 & Rev 20:4), cannot begin before the Return of Christ since 1 Thess 4:16 teaches these events happen in the same moment.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord HImself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. 5 Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know full well that THE DAY OF THE LORD will come just like a thief in the night. 3 While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that THE DAY should overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of DAY. We are not of night nor of darkness; 6 so then let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us be alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. 8 But since we are of THE DAY, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him. 11 Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB
 


I b.  ERROR: Theories starting the "1000 years" Millennium before 2nd Timothy was written. (Hymenaeus)

  1. The "1000 years" Millennium starts with the binding, casting & sealing of Satan into his prison below in the Abyss, (Rev 20:1-3), and with the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4, the first of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  2. The Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones of Rev 20:4 = the Resurrection that Paul insisted was still future to the time 2 Timothy 2:18 was penned, (around 62AD). Otherwise would mean the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones was a past experience in the lives of the Apostles equating it with the error of Hymenaeus & Philetus.

  3. Therefore, the "1000 years" Millennium of Rev 20:4-6 cannot begin before 2 Tim 2:18 was written around 62AD because that would support the error of Hymenaeus & Philetus that the apostle Paul condemned as a cancerous doctrine.

2 Timothy 2:17-18
Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place [prior to the writing of this epistle], and thus they upset the faith of some.

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB
 


I c. ERROR: Theories starting the "1000 years" Millennium before the New Testament was completed. (Satan)

  1. The "1000 years" Millennium starts with the binding, casting & sealing of Satan into his prison below in the Abyss, (Rev 20:1-3), and with the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4, the first of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  2. Following their resurrection, the Blessed & Holy ones reign with Christ throughout the "1000 years" Millennium, (Rev 20:4-6), while Satan remains sealed into his prison in the Abyss below, (Rev 20:1-3 & Rev 20:7).

  3. The "1000 years" Millennium ends with the release of Satan from his prison in the Abyss below, (Rev 20:3 & Rev 20:7), and with the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead, (Rev 20:5a, the second of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  4. The New Testament records more harrassment from Satan against God's People, (Christians), during the 30-70AD period in which the New Testament was written than all other history combined, describing Satan fittingly as "a roaring lion walking about, seeking whom he may devour," LINK, hardly bound & imprisoned into the Abyss below. Additionally, there is no credible hermeneutic by which to construe the casting out of individual demons from individual men by Jesus in the Gospels as the binding, casting & sealing of Satan into the Abyss below as foreseen over 20 years later in Rev 20:1-3, LINK. If the period recorded by the New Testament, about 30-70AD, describes the state of affairs during the "1000 years" Millennium when the Devil/Satan is bound, cast & sealed into his prison in the Abyss below as Rev 20:1-3 describes, and yet, despite this Satan was still able to perform all his activities against Christians the New Testament so abundantly records, then it is fair to conclude from Scripture that the Devil/Satan is able to keep performing among us today and into the future much the same activities recorded by the New Testament since not even that prison could stop him, if the Millennium had indeed begun prior to the completion of the New Testament writings c. 70AD.

  5. The New Testament anticipates the reign of the Saints to begin no sooner than Christ's anticipated Return, the good & faithful servants each receiving delegated authority from the Lord Jesus as their reward for their service while He was away, There is no credible hermeneutic by which to construe that reigning had already begun prior to the completion of the New Testament corpus, LINK. If the period recorded by the New Testament, (c. 30-70AD), is what we experience whenever, (per Rev 20:1-6), the Saints reign with Christ then we should expect life under the reign of the Saints & Christ to continue to be the same as during New Testament times: singles should be advised not to marry because of the distress & darkness of the times whenever Saints rule and the Devil/Satan is imprisoned; God's ministers should expect to be hounded from town to town and treated like the scum of the earth and have messengers of Satan sent to buffet them, etc., just like Paul & the rest of the Apostles during the time the New Testament was written, (30-70AD), if the Saints indeed reigned then, the "1000 years" Millennium having supposedly already begun.

1 Peter 5:8-11
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. 10 And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 11 To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB


I d. ERROR: Theories starting the "1000 years" Millennium before the arrival of the Beast & his mark.

  1. The "1000 years" Millennium starts with the binding, casting & sealing of Satan into his prison below in the Abyss, (Rev 20:1-3), and with the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4, the first of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  2. The Blessed & Holy Ones are the dead who refused to worship the Beast and receive his mark, Rev 20:4.

  3. It is not possible to be awarded the Blessed & Holy Resurrection, (the first resurrection of Rev 20:4-6), before being beheaded for refusing the Beast & his mark before the Beast & his mark even arrive to test Christians.

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB


 

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ERROR III: "The 1000 years of Rev 20:1-7 ends at Christ's Return"

III a. ERROR: Theories ending the "1000 years" Millennium at Christ's Return. (Paul)

  • If the Apostles believed the coming of the Lord Jesus was at the end of the "1000 years" Millennium of Rev 20:1-7 and 2 Peter 3:8-10, Paul could not have taught the likelihood of himself being among those who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord as he plainly does in 1 Thess 4:16-17. A Postmillennial eschatology would have forced him to plainly place himself among those "fallen asleep" at the coming of the Lord. Futher, all apostolic alarm of Christ's "soon" return would have been replaced by the comforting doctrine of a "1000 years" Millennium countdown to Christ's coming. (That's a long snooze button). Read more ...

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.


III b. ERROR: Theories ending the "1000 years" Millennium at Christ's Return. (Universalism)

  1. The "1000 years" Millennium ends with the release of Satan from his prison in the Abyss below, (Rev 20:3 & Rev 20:7), and with the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead, (Rev 20:5a, the second of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  2. The Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead of Rev 20:5a1 Thess 4:16 the Raising of the Dead in Christ because that would mean the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4), was an event a "1000 years" Millennium prior to 1 Thess 4:16, that it was a past experience in the lives of the Apostles, thus driving the conclusion that Rev 20:4 was a "coming to covenant life," (being born-again). This, in turn, would drive the conclusion that the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead of Rev 20:5a was a "coming to covenant life," as well, since it uses the same words in an adjacent verse. The implication, then, would be that whether one lives & dies as "Blessed & Holy" or as "the Rest of the Dead," he still eventually "comes to covenant life," making faith & obedience to Christ irrelevant to one's eternal fate. That conclusion is Universalism, a cancerous doctrine at odds with Scriptures' command to obey to the Word of God the Judge of all men. Note also, Rev 20:5a ≠ 1 Thess 4:16 because there is no mention of non-Christians, ("the Rest of the Dead" of Rev 20:5a), being raised up alongside "the Dead in Christ" in 1 Thess 4:16. However, there is mention in 1 Thess 4:13 of "the rest who have no hope" which does, in fact, correspond to Rev. 20:5a "The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed."

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB


III c. ERROR: Theories ending the "1000 years" Millennium at Christ's Return. (Satan)

  1. Along with the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead, (Rev 20:5a), the "1000 years" Millennium ends with the release of Satan from his prison below in the Abyss, (Rev 20:3 & Rev 20:7).

  2. Satan cannot be released at Jesus' "soon" Return since Jesus promised to "soon crush Satan under your feet," (Rom 16:20), not "soon release Satan from the Abyss beneath," (Rev 20:3 & Rev 20:7).

  3. Satan cannot be released as Jesus Returns. Therefore, the "1000 years" Millennium cannot end as Jesus Returns.

Romans 16:17-20
Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. 18 For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. 19 For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good, and innocent in what is evil. 20 And the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS. 7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB


Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

ERROR IV: "Christ failed to return before His generation passed away"

  1. Jesus taught His Return would come to pass before the Apostle's generation passed away, LINK.
  2. Jesus' Apostles understood, expected & taught Christ's Return before their generation passed away, LINK.
  3. Though "neither the day nor the hour," (date & time), of Christ's Return was known by Jesus & His Apostles, they did plainly understand which generation would see it, their generation, LINK. The individuals who saw the Master go away were to be the very ones to see Him come back, as all the parables of a returning master describe, LINK.
Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

ERROR: 30AD-FUTURE MILLENNIUM modern Amillennialism

30AD-FUTURE MILLENNIUM  modern Amillennialism

This view holds that the Millennium (1000 years) of Revelation 20:1-7

  • BEGAN AT THE CROSS-RESURRECTION-ASCENSION-PENTECOST AROUND 30AD.
  • WILL END AT A TIME STILL FUTURE.

It incorporates the following errors:

All systems that begin the Millennium before the disappearance of the Apostles (before 70AD) share the same error: they logically lead to Universalism. They do this by claiming that an event occurring at the beginning of the Millennium, (Rev 20:4-6's "Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones"), was a coming to covenant life, (being "Born-Again"), rather than a bodily resurrection. This drives the conclusion that Rev 20:4-6's "Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead" at the end of the Millennium is the coming to covenant life of everyone else. Thus, the ultimate fate of holy believers and that of everyone else is eventually the same: they come to covenant life, ("Born-Again"). That teaching is honestly known as "UNIVERSALISM." In this fashion, all systems that begin the Millennium before the disappearrance of the Apostles logically lead to Universalism, a cancerous, false teaching. Thus, the main arguments against the 30-70AD Millennium of Hyper-Preterism, "Full" Preterism & Covenant Eschatology also apply against 30AD-Future Millennium systems, as well, LINK.

ERROR I: "The 1000 years of Rev 20:1-7 starts before Christ's Return"

 

  1. The "1000 years" Millennium starts with the binding, casting & sealing of Satan into his prison below in the Abyss, (Rev 20:1-3), and with the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4, the first of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  2. The Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones of Rev 20:4 = 1 Thess 4:16's Rising of the Dead in Christ. Otherwise would mean the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4), was an event distinct & prior to 1 Thess 4:16, that it was a past experience in the lives of the Apostles, thus driving the conclusion that Rev 20:4 was a "coming to covenant life," (being born-again). This, in turn, would drive the conclusion that the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead of Rev 20:5a was a "coming to covenant life," as well, since it uses the same words in an adjacent verse. The implication, then, would be that whether one lives & dies as "Blessed & Holy" or as "the Rest of the Dead," he still eventually "comes to covenant life," making faith & obedience to Christ irrelevant to one's eternal fate. That conclusion is Universalism, a cancerous doctrine at odds with Scriptures' command to obey to the Word of God the Judge of all men. Note also, Rev 20:5a ≠ 1 Thess 4:16 because there is no mention of non-Christians, ("the Rest of the Dead" of Rev 20:5a), being raised up alongside "the Dead in Christ" in 1 Thess 4:16.

  3. The Rising of the Dead in Christ, (1 Thess 4:16 & Rev 20:4), cannot begin before the Return of Christ since 1 Thess 4:16 teaches these events happen in the same moment.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord HImself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. 5 Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know full well that THE DAY OF THE LORD will come just like a thief in the night. 3 While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that THE DAY should overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of DAY. We are not of night nor of darkness; 6 so then let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us be alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. 8 But since we are of THE DAY, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him. 11 Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB
 


I b.  ERROR: Theories starting the "1000 years" Millennium before 2nd Timothy was written. (Hymenaeus)

  1. The "1000 years" Millennium starts with the binding, casting & sealing of Satan into his prison below in the Abyss, (Rev 20:1-3), and with the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4, the first of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  2. The Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones of Rev 20:4 = the Resurrection that Paul insisted was still future to the time 2 Timothy 2:18 was penned, (around 62AD). Otherwise would mean the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones was a past experience in the lives of the Apostles equating it with the error of Hymenaeus & Philetus.

  3. Therefore, the "1000 years" Millennium of Rev 20:4-6 cannot begin before 2 Tim 2:18 was written around 62AD because that would support the error of Hymenaeus & Philetus that the apostle Paul condemned as a cancerous doctrine.

2 Timothy 2:17-18
Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place [prior to the writing of this epistle], and thus they upset the faith of some.

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB
 


I c. ERROR: Theories starting the "1000 years" Millennium before the New Testament was completed. (Satan)

  1. The "1000 years" Millennium starts with the binding, casting & sealing of Satan into his prison below in the Abyss, (Rev 20:1-3), and with the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4, the first of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  2. Following their resurrection, the Blessed & Holy ones reign with Christ throughout the "1000 years" Millennium, (Rev 20:4-6), while Satan remains sealed into his prison in the Abyss below, (Rev 20:1-3 & Rev 20:7).

  3. The "1000 years" Millennium ends with the release of Satan from his prison in the Abyss below, (Rev 20:3 & Rev 20:7), and with the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead, (Rev 20:5a, the second of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  4. The New Testament records more harrassment from Satan against God's People, (Christians), during the 30-70AD period in which the New Testament was written than all other history combined, describing Satan fittingly as "a roaring lion walking about, seeking whom he may devour," LINK, hardly bound & imprisoned into the Abyss below. Additionally, there is no credible hermeneutic by which to construe the casting out of individual demons from individual men by Jesus in the Gospels as the binding, casting & sealing of Satan into the Abyss below as foreseen over 20 years later in Rev 20:1-3, LINK. If the period recorded by the New Testament, about 30-70AD, describes the state of affairs during the "1000 years" Millennium when the Devil/Satan is bound, cast & sealed into his prison in the Abyss below as Rev 20:1-3 describes, and yet, despite this Satan was still able to perform all his activities against Christians the New Testament so abundantly records, then it is fair to conclude from Scripture that the Devil/Satan is able to keep performing among us today and into the future much the same activities recorded by the New Testament since not even that prison could stop him, if the Millennium had indeed begun prior to the completion of the New Testament writings c. 70AD.

  5. The New Testament anticipates the reign of the Saints to begin no sooner than Christ's anticipated Return, the good & faithful servants each receiving delegated authority from the Lord Jesus as their reward for their service while He was away, There is no credible hermeneutic by which to construe that reigning had already begun prior to the completion of the New Testament corpus, LINK. If the period recorded by the New Testament, (c. 30-70AD), is what we experience whenever, (per Rev 20:1-6), the Saints reign with Christ then we should expect life under the reign of the Saints & Christ to continue to be the same as during New Testament times: singles should be advised not to marry because of the distress & darkness of the times whenever Saints rule and the Devil/Satan is imprisoned; God's ministers should expect to be hounded from town to town and treated like the scum of the earth and have messengers of Satan sent to buffet them, etc., just like Paul & the rest of the Apostles during the time the New Testament was written, (30-70AD), if the Saints indeed reigned then, the "1000 years" Millennium having supposedly already begun.

1 Peter 5:8-11
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. 10 And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 11 To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB


I d. ERROR: Theories starting the "1000 years" Millennium before the arrival of the Beast & his mark.

  1. The "1000 years" Millennium starts with the binding, casting & sealing of Satan into his prison below in the Abyss, (Rev 20:1-3), and with the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4, the first of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  2. The Blessed & Holy Ones are the dead who refused to worship the Beast and receive his mark, Rev 20:4.

  3. It is not possible to be awarded the Blessed & Holy Resurrection, (the first resurrection of Rev 20:4-6), before being beheaded for refusing the Beast & his mark before the Beast & his mark even arrive to test Christians.

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB


 

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

ERROR II: "The 1000 years of Rev 20:1-7 is not an actual 1000 years"

ERROR II: Counting the "1000 years" Millennium not an actual 1000 years

The Millennium, (Latin for "1000 years" as are the Bible's actual words), is a finite period of time with epoch events marking its start and end points:

  1. The "1000 years" Millennium starts with the binding, casting & sealing of Satan into his prison below in the Abyss, (Rev 20:1-3), and with the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4, the first of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  2. Following their resurrection, the Blessed & Holy ones reign with Christ throughout the "1000 years" Millennium, (Rev 20:4-6), while Satan remains sealed into his prison in the Abyss below, (Rev 20:1-3 & Rev 20:7).

  3. The "1000 years" Millennium ends with the release of Satan from his prison in the Abyss below, (Rev 20:3 & Rev 20:7), and with the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead, (Rev 20:5a, the second of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB


 

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

ERROR III: "The 1000 years of Rev 20:1-7 ends at Christ's Return"

III a. ERROR: Theories ending the "1000 years" Millennium at Christ's Return. (Paul)

  • If the Apostles believed the coming of the Lord Jesus was at the end of the "1000 years" Millennium of Rev 20:1-7 and 2 Peter 3:8-10, Paul could not have taught the likelihood of himself being among those who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord as he plainly does in 1 Thess 4:16-17. A Postmillennial eschatology would have forced him to plainly place himself among those "fallen asleep" at the coming of the Lord. Futher, all apostolic alarm of Christ's "soon" return would have been replaced by the comforting doctrine of a "1000 years" Millennium countdown to Christ's coming. (That's a long snooze button). Read more ...

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.


III b. ERROR: Theories ending the "1000 years" Millennium at Christ's Return. (Universalism)

  1. The "1000 years" Millennium ends with the release of Satan from his prison in the Abyss below, (Rev 20:3 & Rev 20:7), and with the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead, (Rev 20:5a, the second of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  2. The Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead of Rev 20:5a1 Thess 4:16 the Raising of the Dead in Christ because that would mean the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4), was an event a "1000 years" Millennium prior to 1 Thess 4:16, that it was a past experience in the lives of the Apostles, thus driving the conclusion that Rev 20:4 was a "coming to covenant life," (being born-again). This, in turn, would drive the conclusion that the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead of Rev 20:5a was a "coming to covenant life," as well, since it uses the same words in an adjacent verse. The implication, then, would be that whether one lives & dies as "Blessed & Holy" or as "the Rest of the Dead," he still eventually "comes to covenant life," making faith & obedience to Christ irrelevant to one's eternal fate. That conclusion is Universalism, a cancerous doctrine at odds with Scriptures' command to obey to the Word of God the Judge of all men. Note also, Rev 20:5a ≠ 1 Thess 4:16 because there is no mention of non-Christians, ("the Rest of the Dead" of Rev 20:5a), being raised up alongside "the Dead in Christ" in 1 Thess 4:16. However, there is mention in 1 Thess 4:13 of "the rest who have no hope" which does, in fact, correspond to Rev. 20:5a "The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed."

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB


III c. ERROR: Theories ending the "1000 years" Millennium at Christ's Return. (Satan)

  1. Along with the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead, (Rev 20:5a), the "1000 years" Millennium ends with the release of Satan from his prison below in the Abyss, (Rev 20:3 & Rev 20:7).

  2. Satan cannot be released at Jesus' "soon" Return since Jesus promised to "soon crush Satan under your feet," (Rom 16:20), not "soon release Satan from the Abyss beneath," (Rev 20:3 & Rev 20:7).

  3. Satan cannot be released as Jesus Returns. Therefore, the "1000 years" Millennium cannot end as Jesus Returns.

Romans 16:17-20
Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. 18 For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. 19 For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good, and innocent in what is evil. 20 And the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS. 7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB


Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

ERROR IV: "Christ failed to return before His generation passed away"

  1. Jesus taught His Return would come to pass before the Apostle's generation passed away, LINK.
  2. Jesus' Apostles understood, expected & taught Christ's Return before their generation passed away, LINK.
  3. Though "neither the day nor the hour," (date & time), of Christ's Return was known by Jesus & His Apostles, they did plainly understand which generation would see it, their generation, LINK. The individuals who saw the Master go away were to be the very ones to see Him come back, as all the parables of a returning master describe, LINK.
Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

ERROR: 30-70AD MILLENNIUM Hyper-Preterism, Full-Preterism, Covenant Eschatology

 

30-70AD MILLENNIUM  Hyper-Preterism, Full-Preterism, Covenant EschatologyThis view holds that the Millennium (1000 years) of Revelation 20:1-7

  • BEGAN NEAR THE CROSS AROUND 30AD.
  • ENDED NEAR OLD JERUSALEM'S DESTRUCTION AROUND 70AD.

It incorporates the following errors:


 Are you not throwing the baby out with the bathwater?
No. I am only throwing out the bathwater. I am only throwing out the theories that have Rev 20:1-10's "Thousand Years" ending around 70AD. I am firmly holding on to "the baby," that is, the realization that: the Nero-Beast Tribulation is history; that Jesus has Returned long ago; the "Day of the Lord/Millennium/Thousand Years" is a past event; the New Heavens, New Earth, and New Jerusalem arrived at old Jerusalam's 70AD departure; the Saints have reigned with Jesus ever since; God's dwelling has been with men ever since and will remain forevermore! Emmanuel, God with us! The Saints have been made heirs of God and co-heirs with Jesus who has received all authority in Heaven and Earth!

 
There have been many concepts that have come out of Preterism that are disagreeable…
True.
 
...do we therefore cast aside the entire view?
We only cast aside the theories that do not fit Scripture such as:
I) Theories that posit the ending of Rev 20:1-10's "1000 Years" at 70AD.
A) Resultant theories that posit the beginning of Rev 20:1-10's "1000 Years" prior to writing of 2 Tim 2:18
1) Resultant Hymenaen heresies timing "the first resurrection" of Rev 20:4-6 prior to writing of 2 Tim 2:18
a) Resultant Gnostic-like heresies that make the Resurrection out to be
i) Resultant Universalist-Lawless heresies that add to the Word of God pronouncing:
"Since the blessed & holy martyrs 'came to covenant life' at start of the 1000 years, Rev 20:4,
then the 'rest of the dead come to covenant life' too, at end of the 1000 years, Rev 20:5."
 
 
For example you espouse that the Millennium concluded in 1070 yet even though I disagree, I do not cast aside the view of past fulfillment.
Exactly. You have just answered your own question. Even though I reject the theories that posit the ending of Rev 20:1-10's "1000 years" at 70AD, I do not cast aside the view of past fulfillment, either.
 
So you assert that a 30-70AD Millennium leads to universalism?
I have not merely asserted this, I have proven and documented it. Follow the links in the post to which you responded and you will find ample support for my statements. If you need still more, I am prepared to provide it. For the purpose of keeping this post easy to follow, I have left off the links I am prepared to provide to substantiate my statements here.
 
Well why can not the same be said about a Millennium ending in 1070?
NO. Because the 70-1070AD Millennium begins AFTER 2 Tim 2:18 was penned, so does the Resurrection of the Saints at Rev 20:4. This means that the Saints' Resurrection was a "coming to life" of their bodies as was the "coming to life" of "the rest of the dead" at Rev 20:5. The righteous are bodily resurrected as are the unrighteous, (albeit at different times). But since the unrighteous had NOT received "eternal/covenant life" in their souls prior to their judgment, (ie. their names were not written into the Lamb's Book of Life prior to their judgment), they are eternally condemned to the Lake of Fire ("Second Death") per Rev 20:15. This distinction at judgment between those who had and those who did not have eternal/covenant life gives no place to Universalism. But, as stated above, the 30-70AD Millennial theories lead to the conclusion that: "After the 1,000 years, 'the rest of the dead come to covenant-spiritual-eternal life' (Rev 20:5) as did the Saints (Rev 20:4)" - and that is Universalism & Lawlessness.
 
 
Scripture does not declare universalism regardless of what others put forth.
True. Scripture does not support universal salvation and nor do I.
 
Therefore, if it is shown a Pre-70 Millennium and universalism is unscriptural, your argument must be revisited.
I agree. And I thank you for your congenial attitude here that is rare in the discussion. My argument for a 70-1070AD Millennium is really the way to preserve the past fulfillment view through the withering attacks to come. My opponents do not yet realize it, but I have been pointing out to the them the way of escape and preservation rather than the destruction of the past fulfillment (Preterist) view of eschatology. When the withering attacks come down like unstoppable acid rain, those who who have read with an open heart will know where to find refuge.
 
 
See also: Resurrection-transformation of the mortal-natural body at Judgment
http://prophecyhistory.com/?q=node/195

Revelation 20:4-6 ~ foreseen around 62AD in the predictive vision by Christ's exiled Apostle John
And I foresaw THE SOULS OF those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection.
NASB
 
The Rev 20:4-6 passage is talking about:
Two groups of "SOULS."
A) The first group of souls are faithful martyrs of Jesus who rejected the Mark of the Beast (Nero).
B) The second group of souls are identified simply as, "the rest of the dead"
implying that both groups of SOULS are of people who are dead, (Christ's martyrs versus the rest).
It is their bodies that are dead since Christian martyrs (the first group) can never have dead souls.
Again, it is their bodies that are dead since Christian martyrs (the first group) can never be described as "spritually dead."
Therefore, Rev 20:4-6 is talking about the coming to life of bodies after death, "resurrection."
Both groups of SOULS were each coming to animate bodies again after death, "resurrection."

 

ERROR I: "The 1000 years of Rev 20:1-7 starts before Christ's Return"

 

  1. The "1000 years" Millennium starts with the binding, casting & sealing of Satan into his prison below in the Abyss, (Rev 20:1-3), and with the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4, the first of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  2. The Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones of Rev 20:4 = 1 Thess 4:16's Rising of the Dead in Christ. Otherwise would mean the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4), was an event distinct & prior to 1 Thess 4:16, that it was a past experience in the lives of the Apostles, thus driving the conclusion that Rev 20:4 was a "coming to covenant life," (being born-again). This, in turn, would drive the conclusion that the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead of Rev 20:5a was a "coming to covenant life," as well, since it uses the same words in an adjacent verse. The implication, then, would be that whether one lives & dies as "Blessed & Holy" or as "the Rest of the Dead," he still eventually "comes to covenant life," making faith & obedience to Christ irrelevant to one's eternal fate. That conclusion is Universalism, a cancerous doctrine at odds with Scriptures' command to obey to the Word of God the Judge of all men. Note also, Rev 20:5a ≠ 1 Thess 4:16 because there is no mention of non-Christians, ("the Rest of the Dead" of Rev 20:5a), being raised up alongside "the Dead in Christ" in 1 Thess 4:16.

  3. The Rising of the Dead in Christ, (1 Thess 4:16 & Rev 20:4), cannot begin before the Return of Christ since 1 Thess 4:16 teaches these events happen in the same moment.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord HImself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. 5 Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know full well that THE DAY OF THE LORD will come just like a thief in the night. 3 While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that THE DAY should overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of DAY. We are not of night nor of darkness; 6 so then let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us be alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. 8 But since we are of THE DAY, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him. 11 Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB
 


I b.  ERROR: Theories starting the "1000 years" Millennium before 2nd Timothy was written. (Hymenaeus)

  1. The "1000 years" Millennium starts with the binding, casting & sealing of Satan into his prison below in the Abyss, (Rev 20:1-3), and with the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4, the first of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  2. The Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones of Rev 20:4 = the Resurrection that Paul insisted was still future to the time 2 Timothy 2:18 was penned, (around 62AD). Otherwise would mean the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones was a past experience in the lives of the Apostles equating it with the error of Hymenaeus & Philetus.

  3. Therefore, the "1000 years" Millennium of Rev 20:4-6 cannot begin before 2 Tim 2:18 was written around 62AD because that would support the error of Hymenaeus & Philetus that the apostle Paul condemned as a cancerous doctrine.

2 Timothy 2:17-18
Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place [prior to the writing of this epistle], and thus they upset the faith of some.

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB
 


I c. ERROR: Theories starting the "1000 years" Millennium before the New Testament was completed. (Satan)

  1. The "1000 years" Millennium starts with the binding, casting & sealing of Satan into his prison below in the Abyss, (Rev 20:1-3), and with the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4, the first of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  2. Following their resurrection, the Blessed & Holy ones reign with Christ throughout the "1000 years" Millennium, (Rev 20:4-6), while Satan remains sealed into his prison in the Abyss below, (Rev 20:1-3 & Rev 20:7).

  3. The "1000 years" Millennium ends with the release of Satan from his prison in the Abyss below, (Rev 20:3 & Rev 20:7), and with the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead, (Rev 20:5a, the second of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  4. The New Testament records more harrassment from Satan against God's People, (Christians), during the 30-70AD period in which the New Testament was written than all other history combined, describing Satan fittingly as "a roaring lion walking about, seeking whom he may devour," LINK, hardly bound & imprisoned into the Abyss below. Additionally, there is no credible hermeneutic by which to construe the casting out of individual demons from individual men by Jesus in the Gospels as the binding, casting & sealing of Satan into the Abyss below as foreseen over 20 years later in Rev 20:1-3, LINK. If the period recorded by the New Testament, about 30-70AD, describes the state of affairs during the "1000 years" Millennium when the Devil/Satan is bound, cast & sealed into his prison in the Abyss below as Rev 20:1-3 describes, and yet, despite this Satan was still able to perform all his activities against Christians the New Testament so abundantly records, then it is fair to conclude from Scripture that the Devil/Satan is able to keep performing among us today and into the future much the same activities recorded by the New Testament since not even that prison could stop him, if the Millennium had indeed begun prior to the completion of the New Testament writings c. 70AD.

  5. The New Testament anticipates the reign of the Saints to begin no sooner than Christ's anticipated Return, the good & faithful servants each receiving delegated authority from the Lord Jesus as their reward for their service while He was away, There is no credible hermeneutic by which to construe that reigning had already begun prior to the completion of the New Testament corpus, LINK. If the period recorded by the New Testament, (c. 30-70AD), is what we experience whenever, (per Rev 20:1-6), the Saints reign with Christ then we should expect life under the reign of the Saints & Christ to continue to be the same as during New Testament times: singles should be advised not to marry because of the distress & darkness of the times whenever Saints rule and the Devil/Satan is imprisoned; God's ministers should expect to be hounded from town to town and treated like the scum of the earth and have messengers of Satan sent to buffet them, etc., just like Paul & the rest of the Apostles during the time the New Testament was written, (30-70AD), if the Saints indeed reigned then, the "1000 years" Millennium having supposedly already begun.

1 Peter 5:8-11
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. 10 And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 11 To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB


I d. ERROR: Theories starting the "1000 years" Millennium before the arrival of the Beast & his mark.

  1. The "1000 years" Millennium starts with the binding, casting & sealing of Satan into his prison below in the Abyss, (Rev 20:1-3), and with the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4, the first of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  2. The Blessed & Holy Ones are the dead who refused to worship the Beast and receive his mark, Rev 20:4.

  3. It is not possible to be awarded the Blessed & Holy Resurrection, (the first resurrection of Rev 20:4-6), before being beheaded for refusing the Beast & his mark before the Beast & his mark even arrive to test Christians.

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB


 

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

ERROR II: "The 1000 years of Rev 20:1-7 is not an actual 1000 years"

ERROR II: Counting the "1000 years" Millennium not an actual 1000 years

The Millennium, (Latin for "1000 years" as are the Bible's actual words), is a finite period of time with epoch events marking its start and end points:

  1. The "1000 years" Millennium starts with the binding, casting & sealing of Satan into his prison below in the Abyss, (Rev 20:1-3), and with the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4, the first of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  2. Following their resurrection, the Blessed & Holy ones reign with Christ throughout the "1000 years" Millennium, (Rev 20:4-6), while Satan remains sealed into his prison in the Abyss below, (Rev 20:1-3 & Rev 20:7).

  3. The "1000 years" Millennium ends with the release of Satan from his prison in the Abyss below, (Rev 20:3 & Rev 20:7), and with the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead, (Rev 20:5a, the second of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB


 

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

ERROR III: "The 1000 years of Rev 20:1-7 ends at Christ's Return"

III a. ERROR: Theories ending the "1000 years" Millennium at Christ's Return. (Paul)

  • If the Apostles believed the coming of the Lord Jesus was at the end of the "1000 years" Millennium of Rev 20:1-7 and 2 Peter 3:8-10, Paul could not have taught the likelihood of himself being among those who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord as he plainly does in 1 Thess 4:16-17. A Postmillennial eschatology would have forced him to plainly place himself among those "fallen asleep" at the coming of the Lord. Futher, all apostolic alarm of Christ's "soon" return would have been replaced by the comforting doctrine of a "1000 years" Millennium countdown to Christ's coming. (That's a long snooze button). Read more ...

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.


III b. ERROR: Theories ending the "1000 years" Millennium at Christ's Return. (Universalism)

  1. The "1000 years" Millennium ends with the release of Satan from his prison in the Abyss below, (Rev 20:3 & Rev 20:7), and with the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead, (Rev 20:5a, the second of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  2. The Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead of Rev 20:5a1 Thess 4:16 the Raising of the Dead in Christ because that would mean the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4), was an event a "1000 years" Millennium prior to 1 Thess 4:16, that it was a past experience in the lives of the Apostles, thus driving the conclusion that Rev 20:4 was a "coming to covenant life," (being born-again). This, in turn, would drive the conclusion that the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead of Rev 20:5a was a "coming to covenant life," as well, since it uses the same words in an adjacent verse. The implication, then, would be that whether one lives & dies as "Blessed & Holy" or as "the Rest of the Dead," he still eventually "comes to covenant life," making faith & obedience to Christ irrelevant to one's eternal fate. That conclusion is Universalism, a cancerous doctrine at odds with Scriptures' command to obey to the Word of God the Judge of all men. Note also, Rev 20:5a ≠ 1 Thess 4:16 because there is no mention of non-Christians, ("the Rest of the Dead" of Rev 20:5a), being raised up alongside "the Dead in Christ" in 1 Thess 4:16. However, there is mention in 1 Thess 4:13 of "the rest who have no hope" which does, in fact, correspond to Rev. 20:5a "The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed."

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB


III c. ERROR: Theories ending the "1000 years" Millennium at Christ's Return. (Satan)

  1. Along with the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead, (Rev 20:5a), the "1000 years" Millennium ends with the release of Satan from his prison below in the Abyss, (Rev 20:3 & Rev 20:7).

  2. Satan cannot be released at Jesus' "soon" Return since Jesus promised to "soon crush Satan under your feet," (Rom 16:20), not "soon release Satan from the Abyss beneath," (Rev 20:3 & Rev 20:7).

  3. Satan cannot be released as Jesus Returns. Therefore, the "1000 years" Millennium cannot end as Jesus Returns.

Romans 16:17-20
Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. 18 For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. 19 For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good, and innocent in what is evil. 20 And the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS. 7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB


Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

30-70AD Millennialism: Foundation of Preterist Universalism

"9) 40 year Millennium? Mt.23, Rev.20, Revelations Recapitulation Structure

 
Hank a 40 year millennium seemed to bother you, and Steven you said it was “possible.” Please see my section on Peter’s 1,000 years and John’s in Rev.20 on (pp.46-52). Also, note my quotes of Rabbi’s who understood (Ps.90) to teach a 40 year millennium."

My Response: UNIVERSALISM and the 30-70AD MILLENNIAL VIEW

 

Blue = those martyred for the Word of God, for refusing to worship the Beast (aka Nero Ceasar), rejecting the Beast's mark.

Brown = those who accepted the Mark of the Beast (aka Nero Ceasar), that is, “the rest of the dead” of Rev 20:5.

 

 

Rev 1:9 (penned circa 62-66AD at beginning of the Tribulation to encourage rejection of the Beast and his mark)
I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos, because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
...
Rev 13:16-18 (penned circa 62-66AD at beginning of the Tribulation to encourage rejection of the Beast and his mark)
16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand, or on their forehead, 17 and he provides that no one should be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.
...
Rev 20:1-7 (penned circa 62-66AD at beginning of the Tribulation to encourage rejection of the Beast and his mark)
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.
7 And when the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, …
NASB.
 
Virtually all Bible students agree that
Rev 20:4’s came to life” = “resurrection of Rev 20:5.
No argument there.
 
 
But those who insist that Rev 20:1-10 describes the 30-70AD situation are seduced to suppose that
Rev 20:4-5’s “came to life" = "resurrection" = "have everlasting life" of John 3:16
Thing is,
Rev 20:4’s “came to life” must equal “come to life” of Rev 20:5
 
That is,
Rev 20:4’s “came to life” reward to those beheaded & Martyred from the Tribulation who rejected Beast & his mark
= Rev 20:5's “came to life” reward to the rest of the dead at the end of the "thousand years" (of 30-70AD supposedly).
 
So,
IF Rev 20:4’s “came to life” = "have everlasting life" John 3:16
AND Rev 20:4’s “came to life” = “come to life” of Rev 20:5
THEN Rev 20:5’s “come to life” = "have everlasting life" John 3:16
THEREFORE,
Rev 20:5’s
The rest of the dead did not "come to life" until the thousand years were completed.”
=The rest of the dead did not "have everlasting life" until the thousand years were completed.”
 
THAT IS,
The "life" rewarded the Martyrs from the Tribulation for being beheaded for the Gospel and for rejecting Beast & his mark,
= the same "life" automatically granted freely to the rest of the dead, ie, everybody else, after the “thousand years,”
("Really just 40, but not really, probably only 14, possibly less, Claudius to Nero, but it was enough nonetheless, it was “perfectly complete” ")
 
SO,
What do we normally call it when
The dead, Beast-accepters get to “come to life" = "have everlasting life" as the beheaded, martyred Beast-rejecters?
 
(Remember, we all agree that Rev 20:4’s "came to life" = "resurrection" of Rev 20:5).
 
What do we normally call it when
dead, Beast-marked sinners automatically receive “resurrection" = "have everlasting life" as the Saints?
 
 
WE CALL IT "UNIVERSALISM."

THEY CALL IT "UNIVERSAL SALVATION."

THEY CALL IT "COMPREHENSIVE GRACE."

 
So we see that Pre-70AD Millennialism has an inescapable connection with Universalism via its Gnostic-style deviation from orthodox resurrection. Remember, it was Hymenaeus & Philetus who were saying things like, "Since the 1st Resurrection of the Just that is already past was all about people "coming to covenant life" in Christ (Rev 20:4), then the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead when Jesus comes back will be about everybody else "coming to covenant life" in Christ (Rev 20:5), too: nobody but the Devil is going to Hell! Yippee!" (2 Tim 2:11-18). But Paul strongly affirmed that he had not yet attained to the Resurrection of the Just because it had not yet occurred as of his writing of Phillippians 3:10-13 around 62AD.
 
 
 
Note: It should not be overlooked that
the first man to champion The 30-70AD Millennial View in 1971
= the same man around whom is celebrated "The Transmillenial View," often identifed as Preterist Universalism, today.
 
 
 
 
And for those "Full" Preterists who oppose Universalism, I find it highly ironic that those who vigorously oppose Preterist Universalism should just as vigorously cling to the very eschatological & soteriological foundations that provide the support for it. Eventually, one would think that a reasonable mind would put 2 & 2 together and realize they've been defending the very foundations of what they attack.
 
 
 
 
 
 
And this is love, that we walk after Christ's commandments ~2 John 6

 

Consistent Full Preterist conclusions lend themselves to Universalism

By Todd Dennis, a relevant excerpt from his' PreteristArchive.com website:
http://preteristarchive.com/Preterist/Idealism/dennis-todd_06-03.html

IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT TODD DENNIS USES THE TERM "FULL PRETERISM"
TO REFER TO THE SAME THING CALLED BY PROPHECYHISTORY.COM AS "30-70AD MILLENNIALISM"
THAT IS: "FULL PRETERISM" = "30-70AD MILLENNIALISM"


INVESTIGATING THE "HYMENAEAN CHARGE"

I hope this page helps explain why I'm personally making the move as far away from full preterism as possible. It is recognized that dogmatic full preterist "true believers" will always take issue with the points on this page; however, my intent is really only to show the open-hearted that there is a need to question the legitimacy of full pret assumptions and seriously evaluate all its claims to the point of registering the consequences. This applies to all doctrinal shifts during our lives, which process will hopefully never end. Having promoted the view for over a decade, though, I feel a real sense of responsibility to point out the errors discovered.
We can often find ourselves in trouble when we build unproved assumptions upon assumptions. It is easy enough to get so far ahead of facts, that what was left unproven quickly turns into a fundamental point upon which layers of further assumptions are built. Please take, for instance, the following line of reasoning from the earliest known full preterist author. Notice that between his 'if' and 'then' logical argument lies piles and piles of assumptions -- all of which are taken as a whole, and treated as settled and obvious :
Now, if at the destruction of Jerusalem there was a taking away of the first covenant; a removing of .the old heaven and earth, and a burning up of the same ; and if sin, Satan, death, and hell have their true and scriptural meaning in reference only to the two covenants of Sinai and Sion, as consequent upon the Adamic transgression - and proof to the contrary is defied - if these things be so, then are we warranted in concluding….
By attempting to make the fulness of the consummation of the ages fit into the historical year of AD70, full preterist systems build upon a fundamental truth which is very much still a matter of debate. Accordingly, those systems seek to find natural imagery in that period which answers to the prophecies of the Bible according to that fundamental, unassailable presumption.
When those settled issues are challenged, the systems are so committed to what lies far ahead -- generally unwilling to investigate the critical principles which lay far behind -- that the objections are typically dismissed with a wave of the hand and treated with scorn. This is a problem.
This anti-Berean approach yields many negative consequences, doctrinally and interpersonally.
Doctrinally, the trend of using natural people and events to explain spiritual and eternal realities in Christ results in the declaration that the shadows are actually the substance (It is upon this basis that full preterism is being investigated as actually being "Hyper Preterism" after all). As noted, the substance is regarding "things not seen" -- AD70 best being seen as the confirmation perhaps.. but not as the actual substance of the promises and inheritances to God's people -- which are spiritual in nature, and much more glorious (II Cor. 1:20). (It is helpful to consider the "Land Promises to Israel" in this regard. More details regarding this hermeneutical method are listed here)
The consequences to interpersonal communication and intrapersonal behavior are apparent enough, and are displayed on message boards from every Christian system around the Internet. It seems axiomatic that the sowing of absolute self-certainty in one's own position yields a sense of superiority and pride. If it gets frustrated and frantic, this "magical thinking" quickly turns into narcissism and can even be deadly to people and marriages.

In regards to the "hyper preterist" charge, it appears that upon both of these grounds - doctrinal and personal - those who claim that the resurrection is "in AD70" actually do fulfill the charges against the heretic Hymenaeus: 2 Timothy 2:18: "Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. ." (by the way, this doesn't mean that the resurrection is to be expected at some historical point in the future either, so the charge of my view being partial preterism is mistaken).
Without any regard for the argument that Paul was merely stating that he was a little ahead of his time (the resurrection coming within 10 years), this is not germane to the point in question. Whether stating that the resurrection was in AD60 (Hymenaeus), 70 (Full Preterism), or 2006, if one is teaching that the resurrection of all the dead is past already, then they are placing themselves underneath the consideration of this statement by Paul.
There are also other aspects of Paul's problem with the teaching of Hymenaeus besides simply his timing of the resurrection, as well. By seeking to "overthrow the faith" of sincere people, the heretic was treating the body of Christ destructively and with disrespect -- placing his love for his beliefs above his love for his brother. This same 'scalping' tendency can be seen among many full pret "true believers," who openly relish overthrowing the faith of Futurists in order to establish their own. No longer is the focus on leading the lost to Christ; instead, evangelistic zeal is given over to 'teaching the truth of Covenant Eschatology' and overthrowing the beliefs of brothers and sisters in Christ. This is no small issue, particularly considering the violence and venom that is associated with a lot of that work which pits itself against the Body in a wholly divisive way. This methodology is explicitly condemned in the Word.
In addition to the previously mentioned "hymenaean hallmarks" of teaching that the resurrection is over, and in seeking to overthrow the faith of believers, there is a third significant reason why this view is being investigated as "hyper-preterism" -- the common teaching that there is no longer need for faith at all. The reasoning is that, since AD70 brought the fullness, and, no longer seeing through a glass darkly we now see face to face, our faith has been turned to sight. This is akin to the common teaching that since believers were given all of Christ in AD70, there is no more need for the Holy Spirit. By believing that the fullness came in history, it is often taught that there is no longer place for those things in part. Therefore, by teaching that there is no more need for faith, that view would indeed "overthrow the faith of some" -- and I have seen it happen many times.
The claim from a former full preterist that the hymenaean charge rings true (in both the error and the overthrow of faith) would hopefully raise serious flags of warning. And yet, those who are "true believers" in the view reflexively dismiss the hymenaean charge with a wave of the hand, and will say something like "this charge is nothing new, and has been dealt with before." Regarding this infamous "oh-so-certain" self-assurance of certain Christians, ignorance is bliss. As a result of the hobbyist approach to theology, which is in large part a child of the World Wide Web, systems are typically sculpted in a very shoddy manner. That which doesn't support the predetermined result is typically put aside pending further study -- or ignored altogether. Perhaps there is a legitimate reason why certain arguments against the view are used time and again.
CONSISTENT FULL PRETERIST CONCLUSIONS LEND THEMSELVES TO UNIVERSALISM
Despite the appearance of broad consensus, there are really precious few areas of general agreement among (or even within) the various full preterist hybrids. It has been joked that there are as many full preterist leaders as there are full preterists, but it is not far from the truth to say that each has their own unique spin on doctrine.
Regardless of the differences from one system to another, however, what may be most important to observe is the level of consistency presented within themselves. It seems that all full preterist approaches can be seen as falling within varying degrees of consistency in application of their fundamental hermeneutic of AD70 consummation.
Those who are relatively new to the view tend to think that they know what is all about based upon a cursory reading of Matthew 24:34, but it really does take a few years to get past the initial burst of re-discovery in order to recognize the logical and scriptural conclusions of the hermeneutic itself. Without waiting on the Lord and patiently learning as the Spirit provides, we may learn the errors of our ways through negative experience. This is one reason why it is important to resist the impulse to "know everything overnight."
Consistency within the system is really what sets the newbies apart from the more experienced, generally speaking. Just like with Dispensationalism, one can believe that Jesus is King now, but if the system will not allow it, then they are just inconsistent, and inexperienced within their own hermeneutic, not really representing it for what it teaches. The same is true, in my opinion, with that form of full preterism which teaches that everything was fulfilled historically by AD70, and yet that not everyone in the world enjoys its benefits.
By assuming a fundamental hermeneutic which applies the blessings of prophecy to all people in history post AD70 -- not making the important clarification IN CHRIST -- the errors start to compound, and a particular trend of doctrine starts to emerge. This particular stream has been recognized by a large number of people who are now embracing doctrines of Universalism, or comprehensive grace and redemption.
It is often said in full preterist circles that one's eschatology directly effects their doctrine of salvation.. and this is certainly the case. Forms of Universalism, as a result of a more consistent application of the completely fulfilled eschatology, are being increasingly recognized, from with and without, as the true face of full preterism. Though a trend within a system cannot disprove a system, the fundamental hermeneutic can.
There are a number of uniquely full preterist conclusions which, though they may not naturally lead to doctrines of Universalism, certainly do lend themselves to this view. And though I do not embrace Universalism myself, I absolutely recognize that to them belongs the progressive banner of full preterism, and that they are correct to declare themselves the most consistent preterists.
With the basic assumption (which I do not share) that the passing of the Mosaic Law was the focus of eschatology, a number of Universalist-friendly conclusions emerge. Though not all systems embrace every one of these conclusions, they are all certainly representative of general full preterist views :
· Satan was utterly destroyed in AD70
· "The Sin" was utterly destroyed in AD70
· "The Law" totally passed away in AD70 (Covenant Eschatology in particular)
· Everyone is in the "New Heavens and Earth" post AD70
· Everyone is in the "Age to Come" post AD70
It must be clearly stated again that the charge is not that full preterism or covenant eschatology leads to Universalism, but that this trend of thought lends itself to those conclusions. For instance, there are views of "Comprehensive Redemption" and "Comprehensive Grace" exploding throughout the movement, and finding wide exposure at the leading websites. Although some disclaim any direct connection to Universalism, there seems little point in denying that they are just a pace or two away... perhaps even walking up to the edge of the cliff, if not taking the fatal step. From the founder of Covenant Eschatology himself, to vocal contributors on many websites (pro and con), to numerous private individuals with whom I correspond, the direction of inquiry relates to how the destruction of sin and the law relates to the broad application of redemption in the post ad70 world. The numbers do not lie, and point directly to the intimate relationship between all forms of full preterist eschatology and Universalism. In the coming months, the two hundred year history of Preterist Universalism will be presented here. For now, notice that the earliest known Full Preterist book was written by a man who shortly thereafter adopted Universalism:


EARLIEST KNOWN FULL PRETERIST BOOK, WRITTEN SHORTLY BEFORE HIS CONVERSION TO UNIVERSALISM!


The Second Advent of Jesus Christ: A Past Event
(1845)


HERMENEUTICAL INCONSISTENCIES (AND NOVELTIES) WITH NON-UNIVERSALIST FORMS OF FULL PRETERISM
I recognize that full preterist Calvinists absolutely reject the broadening of redemption to every last person in the world, but I believe this fact is based more on their commitment to Reformed soteriology than to their determination for absolute full preterist consistency. Clearly, a Calvinist would never embrace Universal redemption, regardless of how consistent it may or may not be with their chosen eschatology. This is akin to Pentecostal Preterism maintaining the continued applicability of the Apostolic administration, despite have passed beyond their consummation in AD70, as their full preterist eschatology teaches. Not being willing to leave the greater aspect of their theology, yet wishing to hold to full preterism, a happy (though inconsistent) median is found, and the rest is "winked at" in regards to consistency.
In light of the question of consistency, it should be considered how a consistent full preterist view, which acknowledges that the law, the devil, sin, and such were utterly destroyed in AD70, could not be considered lending itself to Comprehensive Redemption?
Considering the sweeping nature of the fundamental assumption of world-wide New Covenant / New Heavens and Earth application in the post-AD70 environment, the answers given to that question demand intense scrutiny. Though particular answers to that dilemma have been offered, they usually require the creation of a previously unknown damning "law of Christ" or some other "doctrinal patch" to cover this hole -- such as a redefinition of "second death," or the creation of a brand new laws which secure for them the balance between particular atonement with universal eschatology. Obviously, the Reformed answer will be that Adam's death still applies to those not in Christ -- which is precisely the point of this article.. that the consummation is to be found IN CHRIST, and not in history. To say that the "consummation of the ages is in ad70" in a universal fashion, and then to make the reception of atonement individually in Christ regardless of that consummation is the inconsistency with which the "historical corporate consummationism" of the Reformed (all limited atonement full preterist systems) are forced to live.
To frame the consistency issue in terms of the Consummation of atonement itself the question must be asked : how many "consummations" are there? Is AD70 the only consummation.. or are there multiple consummations - with a second one which takes place when the person in Adam is "dead and raised in the likeness of Christ", as per certain full preterist systems? Those FP systems which teach "Immortal Body at Death" seem to suggest three different consummation: first in AD70, then in being "born again", and then after physical death. Universalism, on the other hand, typically teaches that there is but one consummation - that in AD70, which settled the issues of Adam and Christ. Preterist-Idealism, on the other hand, though likewise teaching that there is but one true consummation, focuses it as being in Christ, which settles the matter of death, atonement and consummation - AD70 being the outward show of that work of Christ as likewise revealed in AD30.
For now, suffice it to point out just two other dilemmas regarding the consistency of the Reformed approach. Consider the destruction of death and the devil. It is taught among Reformed full prets that death was defeated for all, yet that one must be in Christ to receive its benefits. This is unlike the teaching regarding Satan, though, who is said to be destroyed regardless of one's status in Christ. The issue of consistency with the Reformed also plays itself out in recognition of the limitation of the term 'world.' On one hand, a rightful limitation to being 'in Christ' is seen in terms of "first things," but when it comes to "last things" these limitations are discarded in favor of an end that effects absolutely all. These points will be given a fuller presentation in the months to come.
At the very least, it should be considered that Max King, the founder of Covenant Eschatology, and the man most experienced in the view -- therefore the most likely to have developed a consistent approach -- has developed a Universalist-friendly message of "Comprehensive Grace" to maintain consistency between his eschatology and his soteriology. It appears that countless other full preterists have walked down the path created by the Reformed preterists into the Universalist camp. Certainly, the most vocal and visible -- if not fastest growing -- group of full preterists are the Universalists... whereas the Calvinist influence and numbers appear to be diminishing.
So just as Apostolic / Pentecostal Full Preterism accepts the message of complete fulfillment in that generation up to a point (stopping short of the apostolical gifts), Limited Atonement Full Preterism accepts the message of absolute consummation of all things in AD70 up to a point (stopping short of the effects of Adam's fall). I don't begrudge them their right to do it.. I completely understand and would expect nothing else ; however, so far as consistency goes, they are challenged in my opinion. My point being that in order to truly judge Full Preterism, it must be done using the most consistent approach.
HOW FULL PRETERISM FAILS THE INDIVIDUAL
In spite of this critical look at the trends within Full Preterism and Covenant Eschatology to Universalism, theology is not the motivational factor in this article's call for a much closer re-evaluation of the consequences of looking to history for ultimate prophetic consummation. Having been a church pastor, the consequences of theology upon the hearts and spiritual lives of listeners is known to be of primary and most urgent concern.
For those who have left churches, or found themselves experiencing intense isolation, the personal costs of separating based upon "last things" are clear enough. What is ironic is that, after having left previous fellowships due to disagreements with "last things" find themselves experiencing even more intense isolation due to disagreements with "first things" among those whom they generally agree in the "last things." Having attempted for a decade to forge a unified fellowship of Preterist using the Internet, I realize that the sense of isolation can become even more intense even with the new technology. I've often seen this lack of unity (and oftentimes intense divisionism) lead to grievous disillusionment -- with many walking away from Christianity altogether, as there seemed to be nowhere else to go.
By making "last things" the primary basis of fellowship, there is an inherent consequence of isolation. This trend of compounding isolation and subsequent disillusionment is no fluke. This trend is probably very similar in other sects, but it is certainly true in full preterism. This isolationism seems to gradually increase hopelessness and dissatisfaction. And even if it doesn't effect the "believer" the house, it can very much have an effect on spouses and children. This might be the reason for the massive turnover in full pret. Certainly, there are natural consequences in uniting around something besides the cross of Christ.
For those who wonder why more people do not embrace full preterism, one answer lies in its coldness. Not only doesn't that theology reach within the hearts of people, it doesn't even try. Though those in positions of leadership may tend to think that convincing the minds of people is the critical part of their work, no amount of head knowledge can cover for heart suffering. The dramatic turnover in full preterism has been particularly noticeable over the last 10 years, and the inability of the logical "mind" to satisfy the spiritually hungry "heart" is what I think leads most people to seek better answers -- or, rather, to embrace any eschatology, so long as the more important aspects of that theology are able to minister deep within to the very real tensions and tears that are experienced today.
This appeal is meant to be a recommendation to the authors and teachers within the movement , to search within and see if the "head" certainty that full preterism provides sufficiently provides the peace and rest that are promised for God's people.
FORSAKING THE INDIVIDUAL FOR THE CORPORATE
The most common complaint against the full preterist view is its inability to answer the "what now?" questions... but there is a concern that runs much deeper. By identifying the corporate "consummation of the ages" as having been settled for all time in AD70, the individual believers' "transition period" is removed from today, being made a first century reality alone. This error neglects the importance of the "glory to glory" process at work in the life of the believer, (as they pass from old to new within themselves) and chooses rather to accept that there is no sin, death, or devil to be contended with today. In short, full preterist doctrine chooses the corporate over the individual, and this betrayal results in much suffering for those left grappling with the very real transition process within their lives.
By insisting that the devil, law, sin and death have been utterly destroyed for all in AD70, it leaves a sense of failure within those who find themselves still very much under the chains of law and sin in their own lives. Though many teachers may think that a proper doctrinal explanation of the victory we have in Christ should be sufficient to overcome this internal crisis, it is not nearly so effective; in fact, when your heart is suffering, the last thing that is needed is a pep talk or a mind game. No amount of head knowledge can heal heart suffering... rather, it makes the pain even more acute, and the situation seem even more hopeless.
This plight has been the reality for countless simple students, who don't have the luxury of the self-certainty displayed by many of the more convinced leaders and teachers. And what is striking is that even as many of those in leadership positions in the past have dropped out as a result of their own inability to find rest and peace within the full preterist framework, the fundamental problem is left unaddressed. Dismissing the applicability of the tensions displayed in the New Testament, I believe, has a lot to do with this. By assuming perfection and total completion, we lose the results that come from the tension between old and new, and are only left with confusion as to why things aren't better than they are. Consequently, some have left the faith altogether, believing that full preterism -- representing gospel truth -- exposes the failure of the gospel. Clearly, this line of thought does not reflect a large percentage of those who have fallen away from the movement. Nor is the dropout trend intended to be portrayed as inevitable. There are those in every movement, such as the true believers in the last days of Jerusalem, that will never turn from their certainty in the cause, no matter how much struggle is happening within them, or how many people are suffering around them.
It is my sincere message to any "true believer" full preterists who are in crisis personally, to consider that there is an explanation within the context of fulfilled eschatology that will comfort the heart, while providing understanding for the tensions of your circumstance.
FOCUS ON THE INDIVIDUAL HERE AND THE CORPORATE THERE
Part of this answer is recognizing that what is accomplished corporately in the spiritual realm plays itself out in the process of time. Like the work of the cross of Christ, what is a corporate reality in the eternal state must be applied to each individually in time. We would not say that we received the benefit of the shed blood in AD30, not having yet been born (or born again), even though Christ died in that historical day. Rather, we would tend to see that corporate fulfillment dispensed to each sinner saved this day and beyond. The redemption purchased for the entire Body of Christ is given when you "confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thy heart that God hath raised him from the dead -- then thou shalt be saved." Likewise, focusing solely on a corporate consummation in AD70, placing it as settled for all time in the natural realm, without individual application today, denies the "transition period" within the individual, and the importance of the "glory to glory" process at work in the life of the convert today.
If we can contemplate what the personal imagery of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ means, besides just one man coming back to life (as had been done before), then we begin to see what spiritual reality that event signified, and how it all points straight into the deepest part of our hearts. Approaching the cross of Christ from a purely natural mindset, however, cannot help but yield a lower view of just what was accomplished then.

Likewise, the fall of natural Israel in AD70, which has been given as an banner to bespeak the same reality -- only this time using national imagery -- should be approached with the same view towards internal realities. For a closer examination of this concept, read aboutJerusalem as a picture of the Heart.

EXTERNALIZING VS INTERNALIZING SCRIPTURE
Another consequence of embracing the view of a consummation of the ages as a past event in history is that felt within the heart of the individual. By removing that prophetic imagery which speaks of our walk in Christ into the very distant past, we are left looking outward for revelation, as opposed to inward. The lessons of the Word which are meant for today, are limited to time and place, and restricted to the past.
The Word of God is indeed written TO us.. and not just FOR us. It is meant to be deeply internalized, and taken to refer to our day.. not that now-extinct world leading up to the fall of the temple in Jerusalem in the historical year 70.

SCRIPTURES "NOT FOR TODAY" WHEN SEEING AD70 AS THE CONSUMMATION OF THE AGES
Another consequence of the assumption that AD70 was the "consummation of the ages" is that all the writings of the Bible are understood as having a context of the old age, seeing as how all scriptures are believed to have been written prior to the coming of the new administration. At the very least, all scriptures are made suspect, pending further review. In most cases, the purpose of the Bible is limited to the "Old Covenant age" and are considered to represent an entirely different administration of God. With this "AD70 terminus" view, many passages of Scripture as not seen as being for today. In fact, there is a great debate as to which passages actually do apply to the New Covenant age. A few, such as Revelation 21 and 22, with the leaves of the tree of life being used for the healing of the nations, are generally accepted as referring to the "historical New Covenant age". However, numerous key passages, such as Christ's prayer "thy kingdom come," are seen as referring to the era "before AD70".
This trend of thinking slices and dices the Word, eliminating, in some cases, the need for prayer, the need for faith, and the existence of the Holy Spirit -- as well as the applicability of the Gospel of Christ itself !
At the very least, all scriptures are made to pass through the "AD70 Filter" to see how the historical consummation might effect the outcome of the passage in question. It is this wary eye which crosses over key verses such as "it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment," seeing as how the judgment is taken as a past event in AD70.
To state that we are in a completely different administration than they were is a fundamental presupposition which yields much of the conclusions under review here. The first generation of Christians cannot be cut off from all subsequent generations, as though they lived in a different dispensation than we do today. We mustn't let the external particulars of history turn us away from the fact that the gospel was being preached, and that the tensions they faced in their day are precisely those we feel in ours. As noted above, Paul wrote that if any was in Christ, they were already a new creation -- well before AD70. Instead of seeing the New Testament as revealing the way things were, I believe it reveals the way things are.

FULL PRETERISM : WEIGHED AND FOUND WANTING
It is my hope with the latest direction of the website that partial preterism can be employed as the primary means of reaching the truth of shadow and substance. Though full preterism is a bit more precise with the external fulfillments of prophecy (by not looking the future history for end-times fulfillment) whatever advantage this may provide is more than nullified by the vast amounts of damaging doctrines reached as a result of embracing its fundamental conclusions.
Though many might get upset with me characterizing full preterism as dangerous, it is an issue that must be addressed squarely and honestly. Is it dangerous to one's faith to say that the Holy Spirit is no longer for today, having been marginalized by the parousia of Christ? Absolutely. It is an overthrow of people's faith to claim that faith itself is not for today, having been superseded by sight? Certainly. Is it destructive to teach that the gospel is not for today as many do, having been a specific message to the Jews of the approach of the kingdom? Without question. (I am in the process of archiving the many different Full Preterist definitions of "hyper-preterism")
Obviously, those who embrace the full preterist view have no desire to believe or propagate dangerous doctrine. However, it is not enough to say this, while icily dismissing critical commentaries which come out against the view as being "nothing that we haven't heard before." Considering the seriousness of the charges (and I hope also considering the credibility of the source), dogmatism and self-certainty should be set aside in favor of a sober and humble approach.
Those who find themselves agitated at the content of this letter have missed my sincere call for healing and growth. I am not demanding that anyone else see things the way I do -- and I am certainly not expecting others to repent of full preterism, as I have been led. I would hope that a serious re-evaluation be considered, at least. And this reflection need not be based solely upon the points that I have presented, but should also include whatever nagging heart feelings may have always been around, yet which have been dominated and overthrown by an unhealthy certainty of mind.
This study is the result of more than a decade of intense study on the doctrines of all forms of Preterism. I pray that it has been helpful to you in some way.
mercy and truth,
todd

The Nature of Resurrection

Phillip - I actually arrived this type of view on my own, when I started comparing scriptures with scriptures then later learned that others taught that already. I am not a very good writer, but there are others much more well studied, such as Don Preston, Sam Frost, and Max King that would take a similar view. While I would not say that I have nailed it. I do think that this is closer to Paul's idea of the "body of Christ" and resurrection.
MichaelB’s view, the 30-70AD Millennium view, that the resurrection that Paul and the Apostles looked forward to was the spiritual/covenant life they already had via faith in Christ, is fatally flawed, (2 Tim 2:11-18 Phillippians 3:10-13). It leads directly to Universalism, the kind of preterist Universal Salvation that rallys around Max King aka “Comprehensive Grace” that goes "Beyond Salvation" as presented by Jesus and His Apostles in the New Testament record. This is forthrightly explained at this link: http://thekingdomcome.com/sullivans_interaction#comment-2077 .
.
Let us remember that it was Hymenaeus & Philetus who were saying things like, "Since the 1st resurrection of the just that is already past was all about people "coming to spiritual/covenant life" in Christ (Rev 20:4), the resurrection of the rest of the dead when Jesus comes back will be about everybody else "coming to spiritual/covenant life" in Christ (Rev 20:5), too: nobody but the Devil is going to Hell!" (2 Tim 2:11-18 Phillippians 3:10-13). This is how Pre-70AD Millennialism's Gnostic-style "spiritual/covenant resurrection" leads directly to Universalism.
If resurrection was simply "re-animated bodies" etc then
A) Those that say Eijah and Enoch went straight to heaven and were "raptured" got resurrection before Jesus.
B) People were resurrected long before Jesus was, so he would not be the first-fruitts from the dead.
C) Therefore: Even Jesus "resurrection" is more than just his re-animation. It is more significant than that. His physical rising from the grave was simply a sign of something greater.
Kenneth Perkins wrote this in regards to the futurist view...I thought it was worth sharing. Very solid.
My answers, straight answers, no dancing:
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A) TRUE. Elijah and Enoch were caught up to heaven. Let’s see how that conclusion is inescapable when one actually looks at the Scriptures. Gen 5:24 and 2 Kings 2:11
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B) FALSE. While it is true that people were resurrected long before Jesus was, (Elijah & Moses ~ Mat 17:3-4, Abraham, Isaac & Jacob ~ Mark 12:26-27 and John 5:21), it would be false to conclude that Jesus was not the First Fruits offering from the dead just because He was not the first to be resurrected from the dead. Per Lev 19:23-25, the first fruit offered from a tree were NOT the first fruit it ever produced.
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C) TRUE. So, MichaelB admits that Jesus’ “resurrection” was his bodily re-animation. And all the further significations of Christ’s resurrection are all derived from this fact. One of the significations is this: Jesus' bodily re-animation is the very definition and demonstration of “resurrection,” and “come to life” (Rev 20:4-5) that the New Testament writers eagerly anticipated following their new birth into the New Covenant at water baptism. (2 Tim 2:17-18, Philippians 3:11-12).
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MichaelB goes on to expound his position further:
(1) Jesus' resurrection was after three days; according to this logic, the believer's resurrection should also be after three days. (Even those who believe in a future resurrection obviously deny this.)
(2) Jesus' body never decayed in the grave; according to this logic, the believer's body should not decay in the grave. (Objective observation disproves this notion.)
(3) Jesus was resurrected with the wounds inflicted during His lifetime; according to this logic, the believer will spend eternity with the wounds and impairments of physical life.
My responses:
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(1) FALSE. Jesus preached that those who heard him preaching would have to wait til He came back to execute Judgment before they would be raised, John 5:26-29. This was obviously to take longer than 3 days but would occur later at Jesus’ Return. Those who died before He Returned would have to wait, wait longer than 3 days, til He Returned before they all died.
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(2) FALSE. Though Jesus’ biological body never decayed in the grave, this does not mean that the believer’s biological body should never decay in the grave. Jesus’ biological body was a notable exception as a prophetic sign (Acts 13:22-38). Should the death&resurrection of each Christian be the cause of preaching the forgiveness of sins, too, just like Jesus’? Further, following Christ’s resurrection of His flesh & bone body, a body He made a point to demonstrate was no ghost (Luke 24:36-43) by actually eating fish and honey before their very eyes, Jesus ascended and was glorified. Now, whether Jesus received His glorified, spiritual body upon presenting His flesh & bone body as a sin offering for Mankind to the Father in Heaven OR Jesus’ resurrected, flesh & bone body was “changed/exchanged in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” per 1 Cor 15:52, we do not know. But we do know that following Christ’s ascension, He does not appear in flesh & bone form ever again, Acts 22:6-8 and 1 John 3:2 and Rev 1:10-18). Throughout the period in which the New Testament was being written 30-70AD, born again believers looked forward to their resurrection at Christ’s Return with eager anticipation. But Christ’s Return brought a blessed change in the resurrection process, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth” (Rev 14:13). What blessing? There is no longer an interval between their death, resurrection, and glorification. From Christ’s Return circa 70AD and onward, God’s Chosen People are resurrected, ("exchanged in a twinkling of an eye" per 1 Cor 15:52), straight from their old biological, natural bodies into their spiritual bodies without delay: this is the blessing of Rev 14:13 and the reason we do find discarded biological bodies in the graves of Christians ever since.
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(3) FALSE. See answer number (2) above.
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BONUS:
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IF "resurrection" is the answer to "death,"
THEN we might gain some insight into the meaning of "resurrection" by reviewing some facts about "death."
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FACT: God warned Adam that he would "die" the "day" he ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil. "Day" had already been defined in this context by saying "there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day," etc., (Gen 1:31), the period between "evening&mornings" in which Adam was made. Since God cannot lie, (Heb 6:18), Adam "died" that very day, (no poetic or prophetic or figurative license taken). And yet, Adam's biological body remained animated unitl he "died" (same exact word whether Hebrew or Greek Text), 930 years later, Gen 5:5, when Adam's biological, natural body ceased to be animated. Adam "died" 2 times: Adam "died" the very day he ate the fruit per Gen 2:17 AND Adam "died" 930 years later, as well per Gen 5:5 : "died" is the same exact word in both cases, (whether Hebrew MT or LXX Greek Old Testament texts). Add to this the entirety of the Biblical record of uses of the word "died." (There is a very powerful reason why God kept Adam from eating from the Tree of Life after Adam's soul died that day he ate the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil, Gen 3:22-24).
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Evidently, Bible teaches that there are 2 distinct dimensions to "death," (Mat 10:28, Rev 2:11, Rev 20:6, Rev 20:14-15):
1) "Death" when the inner man, the soul of man, "dies" when separated from intimate fellowship with Life, ie, God Himself.
2) "Death" when the outer man, the biological, natural body, "dies" when separated from its animating soul.
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THEREFORE,
God's answer to this "Death" with 2 distinct dimensions.
must be a godly "Resurrection" with 2 distinct dimensions.
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2 Distinct Dimensions of godly Resurrection:
1) "Resurrection" of the soul of man via being Born-Again per John 3:16 and
2) "Resurrection" of the body of man via the resurrection that all the New Testament writers eagerly anticipated with Christ's Return per encouraging promises in passages such as 2 Tim 2:17-18, Philippians 3:11-12, and Rev 20:4-5. But woe to the man whose body is resurrected while his soul remain dead, separated from fellowship with God. Such is the fate of "the rest of the dead who come to life" in Rev 20:4-6, Rev 20:11-15. There is a very powerful reason why God kept Adam from eating from the Tree of Life after Adam's soul died that day he ate the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil (Gen 3:22-24) and it wasn't to keep Adam from being born again. It was to keep Adam's body from living forever while his soul remained dead. God wanted to bring about the redemption/resurrection of Adam's soul BEFORE granting him immortality of body, a spiritual body, a spiritual body that would be glorified at judgment rather than condemned.
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But those who obtain "resurrection" of the inner man via being born again in obedience to John 3:7 obtain one dimension of the "everlasting life" of John 3:16 immediately. Their inner man can no longer die. When such an individual's outer man, his biological, natural body, goes on to physically die, the Christian is described as being not "dead" but "asleep" (1 Cor 15:16, 1 The 4:13-15, 2 Pet 3:4). His outer man is dead but his inner man remains very much alive. So sure is this promise within that remains remains alive, this promise that the outer man will be resurrected, come to life per Philippians 3:11-12 & Rev 20:4, that the experience is rightly described as "being asleep." One whose inner man has been resurrected via the New Birth has more certain confidence that he will awake again into an animated body than the confidence he had that he would wake up every morning throughout his biological experience. The Christian has within him the promise that the 2nd Death will not affect him (Rev 2:11). But when he "sleeps," (biological, natural death), this time, he awakes into a spiritual body (1 Cor 15:44), his old, biological, natural body being "exchanged in twinkling of an eye" for his new, glorified, spiritual body (1 Cor 15:50-55). Hallelujah! Glory to God through Jesus Christ, the Firstborn from the Dead who is now the Judge of the Living and the Dead! Hallelujah!
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Job 19:25-27
25 I know that my Redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.
26 And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;
27 I myself will see him
with my own eyes — I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!
NIV
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It really is unwise
to confuse the two dimensions of "death"
as well as
to confuse the two dimensions of "resurrection"
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The 30-70AD Millennium view, that the resurrection that Paul and the Apostles looked forward to was the spiritual/covenant life they already had via faith in Christ, is fatally flawed, (2 Tim 2:11-18 Phillippians 3:10-13). It leads directly to Universalism, the kind of preterist Universal Salvation that rallys around Max King aka “Comprehensive Grace” that goes "Beyond Salvation" as presented by Jesus and His Apostles in the New Testament record. This is forthrightly explained at this link:
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Let us remember that it was Hymenaeus & Philetus who were saying things like, "Since the 1st resurrection of the just that is already past was all about people "coming to spiritual/covenant life" in Christ (Rev 20:4), the resurrection of the rest of the dead when Jesus comes back will be about everybody else "coming to spiritual/covenant life" in Christ (Rev 20:5), too: nobody but the Devil is going to Hell!" (2 Tim 2:11-18 Phillippians 3:10-13). This is how Pre-70AD Millennialism's Gnostic-style "spiritual/covenant resurrection" leads directly to Universalism.
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And this is love, that we walk after Christ's commandments. ~2 John 6

Debate: Preston-Benton 2007: Obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the Cross of Christ

Benton-Preston Debate
 
Benton’s Third Affirmative
 
The proposition:
 
Obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross of Christ.
 
I am delighted with the exchange that Don and I have engaged in studying and writing of our convictions on these two propositions. I know I have profited from the challenge that this debate has presented to me, and am convinced that the reader will find this debate to be very beneficial to his own spiritual development in faith. Both of us are convinced that we have the truth, but both cannot actually be right. Therefore, we encourage the reader to think and study this material carefully and seek to know the truth by careful study of God’s word.
 
As I lay out my final affirmative it has become clear again to me that Don has avoided the role of the negative, trying throughout to prolong his part in the affirmative and trying to pull me back into the negative of HIS material instead of him being in the negative to answer MY material. My second affirmative was almost a repeat of the first affirmative because Don was so involved with trying to continue the last debate topic and giving it some needed assistance, and I felt, and still feel, that I need to keep my affirmatives before Don and the readers to show that they still have not been dealt with sufficiently. In this final affirmative I will rehash the strength of my proposition and meanwhile show the pitiful nature of Don’s responses and the kind of material he has relied upon to give his own proposition an appearance of credibility.
 
Just before I started writing my third negative, I jotted down every passage that Don used to prove his proposition. I looked at each one in context and compared it to his proposition. Without his commentary and extra verbiage, you cannot look at his proof-texts and reach his conclusions. Like the Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that Watchtower publications shed light on the scriptures and that you cannot read the scriptures alone and have the same light, so it is the case here that you cannot read Don’s verses and have the same light without his additional comments. On the other hand, I listed all the passages that I used, looking at each one in context. I believe the average reader can read these verses in their context and reach the same conclusions as I have reached. This is the difference in our propositions and in the scripture arguments used to support those propositions.
 
Now, I am going to list my arguments again, adding additional reviews of those counter-arguments that Don did attempt. This will make it longer, but it will help you to see that Don has not really answered my material. I want the reader to also notice the difference in our proof-texts as well as how we followed each other’s arguments. There is a huge difference in the way I conducted my answers when I was in the negative and the way Don has been ordering his answers in the negative. If a man has the truth, let him take up the arguments one by one and answer them. If Don had answered each scripture sufficiently, it would have forced me to start using other arguments. A good negative will usually cause the one in the affirmative to abandon a scripture usage and start making other arguments. In this case, I have had little to do but show a few misuses of a scripture while retaining the same arguments I made in my first affirmative. See if Don will take these up one by one!
 
Proof of the Proposition
 
ALL AUTHORITY IN JESUS
Matthew 28:18
 
After Jesus’ death on the cross, Jesus said that “all authority in heaven and on earth had been given to Him”.
He instructed the disciples to make disciples and teach them to “observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you”. The following are implications of Jesus’ statements:
 
Obligation to the Law of Moses had ceased. It could not have part authority at the same time that Jesus had ALL authority.
The Law of Moses did not command people to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This command comes out of the authority of Jesus Christ.
Because Jesus had ALL authority, baptized believers were to observe all that Jesus commanded. Jesus could not rightly command new things, such as baptism in His name, while people were still obligated to the Law of Moses.
 
Since he (Don) admitted that Christians rightly “died to the Law of Moses” (Rom.7:4), and Paul said they could do so because the Law was nailed to the cross and abolished (Col.2:14f; Eph.2:14f), then Don is saying that Jews who became Christians escaped the obligation to the Law of Moses. But, all Jews were obligated to Jesus and never escaped that responsibility via Deut.18:15f and all other anticipations of the Messiah. Moses demanded that all Israel hear Jesus. God approved Jesus with miracles and signs (Acts 2:22) and thus obligated Israel to hear Jesus. Jesus’ resurrection was a declaration that He was the Son of God (Rom.1:3-4). The resurrection was the last sign Jesus was going to offer them (the sign of the prophet Jonah). Thus, God obligated all to hear Jesus over Moses and Elijah after the resurrection (Matthew 17:5, 9). All authority had been given to Jesus. Therefore, Don’s position requires that unbelieving Jews were obligated to Jesus and Moses at the same time. This is what he said could not be so in the millennium. His only other alternative is to say that some Jews remained obligated to Moses, but not obligated to believe and obey Jesus. This is not a very comfortable position for a gospel preacher to be in.
 
What did Don say?
 
He said that Jesus’ statement in Matthew 28:18 was “proleptic” because Jesus was not yet seated on His throne.
 
Answer:
 
First, “all authority has been given” to Him. Did you notice that tense? Sitting on the throne does not give Him authority. It merely expresses His rightful authority to be on that throne. He sits on the throne because He HAS authority given Him to do so. Don chides me several times as if I ignore the present tense of certain verses. He ignores the fact that there is a past tense here and that on that past tense the inherent right to command His disciples to baptize all nations. He would have no right to command this new thing except Moses’ law has been “taken out of the way and nailed to the cross” (Col.2:14f; Eph.2:11-14). But, if God was obligating anyone to stay under the Law, He could not also be obligating them to recognize the all authority of Jesus and to be baptized in His name. With the authority of Moses out of the way, Jesus has now all authority to command the disciples to go to all nations and make disciples, baptizing them in His name.
 
Secondly, Jesus has all authority because principalities and powers had been disarmed by means of Jesus’ death on the cross (Col.2:14-17), the middle wall of division between Jew and Gentile broken down by means of Jesus death on the cross (Eph.2:11-15), the authority over death itself in His own hands (Rev.1:18), and thus giving Jesus full authority on the spot to command His disciples to go to all nations with the authoritative news and baptize with heavens’ full blessings in place. Please make note that if the disciples start to carry out these orders, it is because Jesus had full authority, not proleptic authority, to command. Now, when did the disciples begin to act on these orders? Hint: See Acts 2.
 
Thirdly, by having all authority given Him, and Moses having obligated all Jews to heed this greater Prophet (Deut.18:15f with Acts 3:17-26), Jesus then had authority to enjoin things that Moses had not enjoined. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper would now be practiced in Jesus’ authoritative name because there was no longer any authority residing in the Law of Moses to prevent this.
 
Fourthly, we must make note that before Jesus was given all authority, no man had a right to “die to the Law” (Rom.7:4). After Jesus was given “all authority” no man had a right to stay under the Law and thereby ignore Jesus’ authority.
 
Fifthly, Don repeatedly ignored the fact that if some Jews COULD AND SHOULD “die to the Law”, then all Jews were OBLIGATED to die to the Law. Were the Jews obligated at all to Jesus? If they were, then they were obligated to die to the Law of Moses and live unto God through Jesus. But, if all Jews were obligated to believe and obey Jesus, then they were not obligated to remain under the Law of Moses.
Obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross of Christ. All authority was given Jesus from that point.
 
What did Don Say this time?
 
He repeated that Jesus was not yet on his throne when He spoke Matthew 28:18. He added, “Jesus had not yet fulfilled the High Priestly function of entering the MHP.”
 
Answer:
 
So, in essence, once Jesus is on the throne and enters the MHP, then “all authority” will be a reality and the law will have been changed and annulled, and all will be obligated to the “all authority” of Jesus. Don’s answer does not help him in the least, because both his seating on the throne and entering the MHP as our High Priest happened between His statement of the Great Commission and the first day of Pentecost in Acts 2. But, Jesus could sit on the throne as Priest and King because He was given all authority to do so, and that was still 40 years before the destruction of Jerusalem. I contend that “all authority” was given Jesus when He overcame death. Thus, with that authority He can take the throne as rightful KING and with that authority show Himself a “priest forever”(Psa.110) and take the rightful PRIESTLY action of entering the MHP. He does this because authority is already His to do so, given on grounds of His perfect obedience and submission to the Father’s will. As soon as the disciples carry out the commission to preach remission of sins in His name and baptize people under His authority, we have then the “abolishing of the law of commandments” (Eph.2:14f), the “annulling of the former will” (Heb.7:18), and a “change of the Law”(Heb.7:12) as accomplished facts that allows people the right to “die to the Law” right then and long before the destruction of Jerusalem. Once Jesus is established as High Priest of the unchangeable, forever kind, the Law will have been changed and abolished. Furthermore, the New Testament “was established”, and all of this happened 40 years before the destruction of Jerusalem.
 
Matt 28:18 says, And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
 
Adam Clarke made these observations:
 
[And Jesus came and spake unto them] It is supposed by some that the reason why any doubted was, that when they saw Jesus at first, he was at a distance; but when he came up, drew near to them, they were fully persuaded of the identity of his person.
[All power is given unto me] Or, All authority in heaven and upon earth is given unto me. One fruit of the sufferings and resurrection of Christ is represented to be, his having authority or right in heaven to send down the Holy Spirit-to raise up his followers thither-and to crown them in the kingdom of an endless glory: in earth, to convert sinners; to sanctify, protect, and perfect his church; to subdue all nations to himself; and, finally, to judge all mankind. If Jesus Christ were not equal with the Father, could he have claimed this equality of power, without being guilty of impiety and blasphemy? Surely not; and does he not, in the fullest manner, assert his Godhead, and his equality with the Father, by claiming and possessing all the authority in heaven and earth?-i.e. all the power and authority by which both empires are governed? –Unquote!
 
Because Jesus disarmed other “authorities” in His death (Col.2:15), including the authority of the Law of Moses to impose food, drink, festivals, new moons and Sabbaths” (Col.2:16), Jesus now has all authority to command His disciples to baptize ALL NATIONS in and under Jesus’ full authority. Because the law of commandments was “abolished in His flesh” (Eph.2:15), He now has all authority to bring Jew and Gentile into union in one body “through the cross”(Eph.2:16). Because Jesus has given His own blood, He has now disarmed the great dragon from authoritative accusations against the people of God (Rev.12:11). Thus, He has all authority in the heavenly realm and in the earthly realm. Based on that established authority, remission of sins could now be preached and enjoyed by means of the highest authority (Luke 24:44-49; Acts 2:33, 37-38; 3:19). Don has claimed that this could not be so till Jesus “came back out of the MHP in AD 70”. Amazingly, Don has also contended that Jesus cannot have all authority until every kind of promise made in the Old Testament is fully realized and fulfilled. Therefore, the Law of Moses still had authority to command Jews to keep supporting the Levitical priesthood and thereby neglect so great salvation offered under the better priesthood and covenant. Amazingly, he also contends that they did become obligated to Jesus alone after the destruction of Jerusalem. But, at neither time, after the cross nor after the destruction of Jerusalem have they done anything but ignore Jesus and keep their efforts under the Law of Moses.
 
Gen.49:10
 
Amazingly also, Don used Gen.49:10 to claim that the “scepter” of Judah was the Torah and Judah’s relationship with YHVH, and that this would remain until Shiloh came in the destruction of Jerusalem. However, this is extreme eisegesis on his part. The scepter is not the Torah, but the right of royalty symbolized by the king’s royal staff (scepter). Shiloh came and broke down the middle wall of division (Eph.2:11-16) and opened the door for the gathering of the people. All nations began to flow into the Lord’s house (Isa.2:1-4) and the people gathered to Him in “the general assembly” (Heb.12:23), and all of this happened long before the destruction of Jerusalem. 3,000 Jews began “gathering to him” on the day of Pentecost after “all authority” had been given to Him and “remission of sins started being preached in His name”. Thousands more began gathering to the mountain of the Lord’s house. Further, the Law of the Lord went forth from Jerusalem (Isa.2:1-4) with the full authority of the Lord behind it. It is easy to see that Don is so blinded by his AD 70 doctrine to the end that every verse has become tainted and reread with those colored glasses. Gen.49:10 does not connect with AD 70. Jesus is the last of the royal line. Shiloh came in Jesus, and people gathered to Him from all nations beginning on the Pentecost after His resurrection. (Isa.2; Acts 2ff; Heb.12:23).
 
 
 
THE PROPHET THAT ISRAEL MUST HEAR
 
Deuteronomy 18:15f
 
Obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross because the Prophet like Moses (Jesus) lived to fulfill the Law before taking it out of the way to establish the second (Law or covenant). The law of commandments was abolished at the cross (Eph.2:11-16), and He took away the first covenant that He might establish the second (Heb.10:8-10). Please make note again that the second covenant cannot be established without first taking away the first. Only by taking away the first can Jesus then have “ALL” authority. When He accomplished the fulfillment of the Mosaic Law requirements and took it out of the way, then His message and voice would be the authoritative voice, and Moses said that all Israel would be obligated to hear and obey that voice and that if they refused, they would be cut off. Thus, all who were required to obey the Law of Moses were required by that Law to get ready to heed Jesus when that Prophet took over the position of lawgiver typified by Moses. Moses said that the children of Israel would be obligated to hear and heed the Prophet. Peter said that the Jews were required to repent and be converted because that Prophet had arrived and Jesus is the one spoken of in all the prophets (Acts 3:17-26). If the Jews had ever been responsible to Moses, it is now that they must believe him in accepting the obligations that the greater prophet (Jesus) would have divine right to require of them.
 
What did Don Say?
 
He focused on whether anyone would be “cut off” in the same way unbelieving Jews were cut off.
 
I further pointed out that Jesus’ all authority was given over Moses after the cross and resurrection.
 
On the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt.17:1ff) God exalted Jesus above Moses and Elijah and it was told the disciples that after the resurrection it should be told that God said “Hear Him (Jesus)”. The Prophet must be heard, and all Israel was obligated to hear Him. None were allowed to refuse to hear him, and none would be allowed to prefer Moses over Him. Therefore, all Jews are required to repent and be converted to Him, and the cross ended obligation to the Law of Moses and ratified the new covenant and thereby obligated all to the new Lawgiver, Jesus Christ. Thus, Obligation to the Law Ended At The Cross because the Law obligated all to listen to Jesus at the proper time (Deut.18:15f; Acts 3:22f).
 
What did Don say?
 
Not a word about the significance of the “Hear Him” passages of Deut.18:15f and of Matthew 17 that placed obligation upon all people to listen to the authoritative voice of Jesus over Moses and Elijah after the cross and resurrection. That silence is very revealing.
 
The point totally missed by Don was that Moses obligated all Jews to hear and obey Jesus. Failure to do so is because they were unbelievers cut off from God (Rom.11) and later cut off from among God’s people in a physical way. Unbelievers do not believe Moses (in Deut.18:15f) and, as a result, would not believe and obey Jesus. As unbelievers, the Jews were meeting none of the “obligations” (remember both propositions) before God. God was not obligating them to Moses instead of Jesus. He was not obligating the Jews to continue rituals of the Law in spite of Jesus. God, through Moses, and through the divinely prophetic word of Deut.18:15f now made more sure, obligated all Jews to relinquish their hold on the Mosaic covenant and surrender to the Greater Prophet, Jesus Christ. Obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross of Christ, because then the old Law could be taken out of the way in order to allow the Greater Prophet to take the Law-giver position that Moses had typified and prophesied.
What did Don say THIS TIME?
 
Amazingly he began a long effort to combine the Transfiguration scene with 2 Peter 1:16 that talks about their eyewitness testimony to the first coming of the Lord (parousia in the flesh and on into that Mountain episode) and then he tried to make a second connection with the SECOND coming (parousia) mentioned in chapter 3. His logic chain was nothing short of amazing. The parousia (coming) that Peter describes in 2 Peter 1:16 is the one he SAW and was witness to. The parousia (coming) of the Lord described in 2 Peter 3 was one that was still ahead (“the day of the Lord WILL come” –v.10). So, Don was wearing his AD 70 glasses again and trying desperately to get the passing of the Law and Prophets into the second coming slot of 2 Peter 3. Jesus, on the other hand, connected the issue of the passing of the authoritative voice of Moses and the Prophets to “after the resurrection”(Matthew 17:9). Why? Because all authority would be His after He disarmed all other principalities and powers, and that would happen in His death and resurrection over the power of death (Col.2:14-17). Jesus knew He was going to “abolish in His flesh the law of commandments” at the cross (Eph.2:14f). To talk about “hearing only Jesus” (as depicted in the Transfiguration scene) before the law was nailed to the cross would put the disciples in a bind with one law telling them one thing and Jesus telling them another. So, when the death of Christ and His resurrection disarmed all other authorities, they could then tell what they saw on the Mount of Transfiguration. Thus, it agrees with my proposition and does not agree with Don at all.
 
In an attempt to make it appear that this disagrees with my earlier point that some prophecies can be fulfilled later, Don said that I said that only the Law of Moses could pass and that I said that the Prophets would or may never pass. The readers should know that this is not a truthful representation of what I said at all. In fact, what I said about the “commandments” (the binding and commanding voice of the Law and the Prophets, what they commanded and imposed upon the Jews) was that they are/were the obligations upon man. But, I said that some promises of God can be, were, and will be fulfilled later. Don knows that Christian Jews were free from the Law and Prophets (as to what they obligated Jews to do) before all the promises of God were all carried out. He has admitted that Christian Jews escaped and “died to the Law” (Rom.7). He admits that this happened right after the cross and beginning on the day of Pentecost of Acts 2. But, he also recognizes that it did not mean that every promise of God had been fulfilled or that Christians were “dead to promises” of God that might still be in the works. Thus, his argument is phony, misleading, and invalid. He knows what I said about the Law and the Prophets had to do with “obligations” that these imposed upon MAN, not promises that God would yet and will yet carry out. Moses and Elijah were representations of God’s authoritative and commanding voice for a passing system of command and obligation. The voice on the mount takes them out of the picture and says “This is My Son, HEAR HIM”. Jesus said to start telling this vision after HE WAS RAISED (Matt.17:9). Then His was the single authoritative voice.
 
Peter said that the Jews were obligated to repent and be converted to Jesus based on Deut.18:15f. No Jew was obligated to continue to ignore Jesus and to keep the Law of Moses instead (Acts 3:17-26). They were not obligated to the Law of Moses except to surrender it, die to it, and obey Jesus and live unto God through Him. What happened on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17), Jesus’ resurrection and being given “all authority” combine with the obligations of Deut.18:15 and Acts 3:17-26 to show that Moses and Elijah (representative of Moses and the Prophets or the Law and the Prophets) no longer had authority. It was all in Jesus. Thus, Don did not touch the argument, and it stands as originally stated.
 
He made a desperate run on the Mount of Transfiguration event and claimed that the WHEN of the passing of the Law and Prophets was not identified. However, the reader will remember that Jesus said that this could be told after the resurrection.
 
I have urged that the “law of commandments” was abolished because the Bible says so (Col.2:14F; Eph.2:14f). I have said that some promises (whether found in the Torah or Prophets) can be fulfilled whenever God has in mind to do those things and He can cancel man’s obligations to the Law of commandments at such time as He plans. Obligations were found in the Law, and the Prophets mainly upheld the Law and admonished the Jews to keep the commandments. Thus, the Law and the Prophets ceased to hold people to hear and obey at the same time. At whatever time people were to cease hearing and obeying MOSES (the Law), they were to cease hearing and OBEYING ELIJAH (the Prophets). At whatever time they were obligated to hear and obey JESUS ALONE (which was right after the RESURRECTION) then that is the time when the Law and the Prophets would cease to have authority for demanding obedient ears. The idea of the transfiguration episode is to point out the time when all ears and obedience must be to JESUS ALONE. Jesus said that program would start right after the RESURRECTION. Now, there are some promises that God will yet keep. But, the obedience of the people belongs to Jesus, and both Deaut.18:15f and the events of the Matthew 17 Transfiguration show that our part is to listen to and obey Jesus ALONE. The Law of commandments was taken out of the way. God will keep His promises regardless of when He releases people from one law and enjoins obligations to another.
 
Don did ask an important question that I wish to address now that we have had Deut.18:15f in the front of our attention. He asked:
 
If obedience and acceptance of Jesus as Messiah was obedience to the Law, how would this be possible if the Torah had already passed away? How can you obey a covenant or Law that has been abrogated?
 
Answer:
 
First, the law was abolished at the cross (Eph.2:15). That is undeniable to those who accept the inspiration of Paul. Yet, still Christians were to do certain things out of that Law just because it was an expression of what is RIGHT. In Eph.6:1-4 children are instructed to “obey your parents in the Lord for this is RIGHT”. Then he quotes from the abolished LAW to show what is RIGHT. Would we say, “how can Christians obey an abolished law?” Does this pose the same problem?
 
I would say that the system of Law in-total carries principles that are always “right”, and “right” is not something that passes away even if the Law carries those principles for a while. There are also within a given Law things that are not matters of right or wrong, but matters of preference or matters of ritual or matters of special insight or knowledge. We are responsible to know and utilize available knowledge from God. Thus, the scriptures of the Old Testament continued to be a resource for faith-building, for instruction in righteousness, and for the rebuking of sin (2 Tim.3:15-17). In our own Land there are laws passed to honor veterans on a certain day, for example. A Day is set aside for that purpose. Within our law stealing is a violation. Do away with US Law now and enter another country. Is Veterans Day a law? No! But stealing is still a matter of right and wrong. So, abrogating a law does not release one from all principles of right and wrong. Christians were “dead to the Law”, yet obligated to right and wrong matters expressed in that Law such as honoring parents. The Law of Moses continues to give light on issues of right and wrong. Though the Law of commandments was abolished and Christians were “dead to the Law” (Rom.7) still Christians were very much aware of the righteousness of the Law and the need to fulfill it (Rom.8:3f; 13:8-10). At the same time, they knew not to let people bind circumcision or days, feasts, and Sabbaths of the Law (Col.2:14-17). So, abrogated Law can still serve useful purposes. See our earlier comments when we were dismantling Don’s argument on “The Strength of Sin” in 1 Corinthians 15.
 
Now, pre-information about the Messiah is knowledge responsibility and it does not cancel responsibility to that knowledge just because the Law that carried that knowledge has ceased to be the binding Law. If a special knowledge from God is available in an abrogated Law, we still hold responsibility to the knowledge and wisdom it provides. Thus, all are responsible for the knowledge that Deut.18:15f imparts about a greater Prophet to come. Special predictions do not abrogate with a temporary Law. Thus, all Jews were and still are responsible for the knowledge they had instilled in them from their Law. Further, if they do not recognize that their Law has been abrogated, they are still responsible for the light they have.
 
Secondly, if a man believes he is obligated to the Law of Moses, his conscience is to be protected till he learns better. In actuality, Saul is a case in point. He was wrong about Jesus and wrong about Jesus’ disciples, and he thought that he was obligated to do all that the Law required. His conscience was wrong because his information was wrong. He was obligated to the Lord Jesus and did not know it until that day on the road to Damascus. Further, he did not realize that he was actually in conflict with the Law of Moses in not letting it school him TO Christ (Gal.3:23f). He began letting it school him after that encounter on the road to Damascus. So, we must conclude that a man is responsible to what he thinks knows, and when he learns better, his responsibilities change.
 
Thirdly, obligations of right and wrong never pass. So, a person is always responsible to God to be honest with God and have a heart ready to learn from God. The Jews were always responsible to God to be honest and receptive to His words. Even if the Law had been abolished and they were ignorant of that fact, they were always obligated to the responsibility of seeking God. Seeking God is a matter found in the Law, but is not limited to the Law. When a Law containing admonitions to seek God is generally annulled, the requirement to seek God supersedes the Law. Although the Messiah was anticipated before the Law of Moses came to be, the Law of Moses may enhance that knowledge and expand responsibility to that coming Messiah. When the Messiah comes you are responsible to the Messiah and to ALL you knew about Him from your sources. So, Don’s question is good, but is filled with some assumptions that do not hold true. His rule is that when a law is abrogated, whether I know or acknowledge it or not, it can require nothing of me, and I bear no responsibility to the years of training and knowledge it imparted to me. The principle of Jesus is that “to whom much is given, much is required”. Saul converted and realized that his ignorance was no excuse and the knowledge he had of the Law was extremely useful, and even though he was free from the Law, he was not free from the instructions it gave or the hope it imparted. It was always useful. He was obligated to the Prophet it predicted in Deut.18:15f and the Servant predicted in Isa.53. Yet, he was free from the bondage of the Law and now realized it in Christ.
 
Fourthly, all post AD 70 Jews are responsible to seek God, to let the Law tutor them and bring them to Christ. Would Don say now, “How can you obey a covenant or Law that has been abrogated?” He thinks the Law was abrogated in AD 70. So, does that mean that Jews today have no responsibility to the prophetic word made more sure? Would he say that there is no obligation to do what Moses had enjoined in Deut.18:15f??? Why is this dilemma a perceived problem for me after the cross, but not for Don after AD 70?
 
 
THE TRUE TABERNACLE ESTABLISHED
Hebrews 3:1-6
 
Obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross because Jesus built His House by means of His death. Jesus’ house is greater than Moses’ house. Jesus is greater than Moses and deserves to be heard over Moses. The greater house and TRUE tabernacle has been established (Hebrews 3:1-6; 9:11). No one has obligation to hold to the lesser house and lesser law-giver while rejecting the true and greater house and greater lawgiver. Therefore, as soon as the true house was established, and that was by means of his death, then that is when obligation to the Law of Moses ended and obligation to Jesus’ full authority began.
 
What did Don say?
 
He said the house was “being built” and that it was not “complete”
 
Answer:
 
First, we need to ask Don a very relevant and powerful question that should expose the weakness of his negative here. Since the house was “being built”, does this mean that obligation was to Moses until Jesus quit building His house? Isn’t it still growing? Did it stop growing after the destruction of Jerusalem? If it continued to grow after the destruction of Jerusalem, then Don has no point.
 
Secondly, the passage clearly says that the house of Jesus Messiah had been “established”. Therefore, no one was allowed, much less “obligated” to continue to ignore it. It was “established” and will ever continue to build (thus is ever being built as souls continue to be added to it). Therefore, Don did not touch the argument. It too still stands.
 
What did Don say THIS TIME?
 
He says there is a textual variant in Hebrews 9:11 that allows the idea of “good things that are ABOUT TO COME”.
 
Answer:
 
Of the good things to come toon mellontoon agathoon. But Codex Vaticanus (B) and Codex Bezae (D) read genomenoon (that are come). It is a nice question which is the true text. Both aspects are true, for Christ is High Priest of good things that have already come as well as of the glorious future of hope. Westcott prefers genomenoon, Moffatt mellontoon.
(from Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament)
 
Robertson’s comments do not allow that the Law of Moses was still an obligation, because all the good things then and in the future were under the High Priesthood of Jesus already in operation providing those good things.
 
Another scholarly work does not agree with Don’s contention here:
 
But Christ has already come as the High Priest of the good things that are already here. The tent in which he serves is greater and more perfect; it is not a man-made tent, that is, it is not a part of this created world.
 
Since verse 8, the writer's main interest has no longer been in the two compartments of the "sanctuary." What matters in verses 11-12 is the comparison between (a) the high priest going through the curtain into the Most Holy Place on the Day of Atonement, and (b) Christ, by his sacrifice of himself, passing into heaven to take up the highest and holiest "place" beside God.
 
But probably completes the contrast prepared in verse 2 (see comments). There may, however, be difficulty in introducing a conjunction such as But at the beginning of verse 11, since the clause which it introduces is not in direct conflict or opposition to the immediately preceding clause. It introduces a contrast with the entire paragraph which precedes. It may therefore be necessary to use a somewhat expanded expression such as "In contrast with all of this" or "On the other hand."
 
Christ has already come: already is implicit. The phrase probably refers neither to his coming to earth nor to his arrival in heaven after his ascension, but to his "appearing" or "being shown" as High Priest (compare verse 26). If, however, one wishes to avoid indicating precisely the point to which Christ has come, it may be possible to translate Christ has already come as the High Priest as "Christ has already become the High Priest."
 
Manuscript evidence is rather evenly balanced between "the good things that have come" (RSV text and UBS Greek New Testament text, TEV text, JB note, NEB text, TOB note) and "good things to come" (KJV, RSV note, Mft, JB text, TEV note, NEB note, Brc, TOB text). "Good things to come" fits in too easily with the context and with Heb 10:1, so the more difficult reading, "good things that have come," is rather more likely to be the original text.
 
It may be difficult to relate the High Priest to the expression the good things that are already here. It may be possible to translate High Priest of the good things that are already here as "the High Priest who provides the good things that are already here" or "the High Priest who has caused to happen the good things that are already here." It is important when rendering the good things to avoid an expression referring only to material things. The reference is to the good experiences which people have, and therefore the good things that are already here may be expressed as "the good experiences that we already have" or "the good which we have already experienced."
(from the UBS Handbook Series).
 
However, Vincent gives a hint of the variant Don alludes to, but denying it is a valid variant. He says:
 
Of good things to come toon (NT:3588) genomenoon (NT:1096) agathoon (NT:18). According to this reading, the King James Version is wrong. It should be "of the good things realized," or "that have come to pass." The King James Version follows the reading mellontoon (NT:3195), "about to be." So Tischendorf and T. Weiss with Westcott and Hort read genomenoon (NT:1096). Blessings not merely prophetic or objects of hope, but actually attained; free approach to God, the better covenant, personal communion with God, the purging of the conscience.
(from Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament)
 
Don is building his case on flimsy contextual scholarship that even if allowed would not argue that God was obligating the Jews to keep the Law of Moses instead of believing Jesus and enjoying the better things He was ALREADY PROVIDING and would yet provide.
 
Then, Don went into his specious argument about entrance into the MHP again. He keeps saying that I deny that people now have access into the MHP. That is ridiculous. It drives Don up the wall that I never walked into the trap he thinks others have walked into on his MHP argument. I said Paul went to be with Christ (Phil.1:23) and that was before the destruction of Jerusalem. He hasn’t liked what I said, so he has resorted to putting words and positions in my mouth that I have not taken. He keeps saying that I deny the blessing of the way into the MHP provided in Christ. It doesn’t help Don’s position at all because his position would mean that Paul could not be with Christ until the destruction of Jerusalem (if I may be allowed to use Don’s own tactic).
 
He said the church is not now growing and that the apostles had in mind a state of being, of fullness in Christ. Well, then they had that a long time before the destruction of Jerusalem. Paul told the church that you are “complete in Him” (Col.2:10). So, Don still loses the argument. It does not say that you WILL BE complete after the destruction of Jerusalem. He then said that the true tabernacle could not be established if it was still growing. The inspired writers say that it was BOTH established and growing. Don doesn’t like this because he knows that if it was established and people were already entering it before the destruction of Jerusalem, then it ruins his whole premise that obligation was to the entire system of Law until the destruction of Jerusalem when HE says that everything was fulfilled. He knows that if ONE Jew was obligated to enter this established true tabernacle before the destruction of Jerusalem, then all Jews were so obligated. The very fact that the true tabernacle WAS ESTABLISHED means that the copy and shadowy types have to be traded in for the better. He wants some Jews to remain obligated to the Law of MOSES, even though Moses obligated all Jews to hear the greater Prophet Jesus. Once he admits that all Jews were obligated to Jesus and the better tabernacle, then he surrenders his proposition that says that in spite of the greater Prophet and Messiah’s proven credentials and His mighty power over death itself, some Jews remained “obligated by God” to continue to keep the Law of Moses instead. In spite of the fact that Moses obligates them to Jesus, and Jesus obligates all to die to the Law and serve God in newness of spirit, still Don insists that Jews were obligated to two Laws at once or the Law of Moses only.
 
Amazingly, Don thinks that the temporary miraculous gifts are proof that some Jews remained obligated to the Law of Moses while the church was being aided and equipped in nurturing it in its infant state of growth. What the gifts did was further prove that God was with the church and thus obligating unbelieving Jews and all others all the more to surrender their mistaken loyalty to the Law of Moses and any other system when the better covenant and system was now in play. No, the fact that the church was assisted miraculously only serves to settle Christian convictions in the new system and further obligate the unbelieving world to listen to Christ and quit acting like God was still obligating them to Moses. They did not establish the New Testament and bring it slowly and gradually into effect, they assisted the church in planting themselves in it and stabilizing themselves within the framework of that established covenant. The foundation was laid but the people needed miraculous assistance in learning how to differentiate between true apostolic doctrine and every wind of doctrine that was blowing upon their own unstable faith. The gift of prophecy to one member at Corinth, for example, did not reveal things that contradicted what was already “taught from the beginning”. The essentials were already “delivered to you”(1 Cor.11:2,23;15:3). They were responsible to compare everything they heard to what they heard from the beginning.
 
1 John 2:24-27
 
Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning . If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that He has promised us — eternal life.
 
26 These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. 27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. NKJV
 
Notice that what was taught at the beginning is the key to abiding in the Son and in the Father. Notice that the miraculous “anointing” (Holy Spirit with His gifts) helped remind them and give them stability when someone came along to try to deceive them. Everything was to be compared to what was taught at the beginning. It was all there from the start and the miraculous gifts did not phase it in, but assisted in keeping people focused on it, learning more from it, and stabilizing them upon that foundational teaching. There was the constant need to “keep in memory what I have preached to you”(1 Cor.15:2f). The point we are making is that the New Testament (written on hearts by means of oral teaching) was not gradually revealed and did not gradually come into effect (which is what Don is claiming). The New Covenant was established early and began to be preached from the very beginning. But, the preservation of that gospel needed divine assistance in stabilizing the church upon that foundation and helping them to grow more knowledgeable of it. But, let us not forget that the Hebrews writer is showing that Moses’ tabernacle was inferior to the house Jesus has built (3:1-6) and that Christ CAME as High Priest (thus changing the law -7:12) and He came WITH “the greater and more perfect tabernacle”(9:11) and thus OBLIGATED all to accept the better and “die to” the former and inferior. If the new and better tabernacle was established, then all were “obligated” (our propositions) to these greater things in Christ.
 
When that which is perfect is come” refers to the stabilized state of maturity provided in the full resources of the written word in which full availability of knowledge fills the human heart with all that need be known about Him so that Christ is “formed in us” and instability is less of a threat. With the New Testament established and written only in hearts, it became easy for false teachers to create instability by causing members to forget what they heard or to blur the meaning and applications of what they heard. The design of the gifts and the accumulation of the written word was to provide a mature and stable resource for pushing out all false concepts and filling the heart with completeness in Christ. While the perfect revelation of Jesus was in development, the New Testament was fully in effect through the spoken gospel, and all had heard (Rom.10:16-21) and therefore all were responsible and obligated to Christ and the new covenant and new Priesthood. My admission that the fully written revelation of the New Testament is essentially a stabilizing and maturing resource for Christians, who already had the new covenant written in their hearts by means of the spoken word, is not an admission that the new covenant was not yet in effect or that the old covenant had not yet been changed, annulled, and abolished in His flesh. Nor, is this an admission that the new covenant was being phased in and the old phased out. Obligation was fully to the Messiah. However, greater understanding or knowledge fills us with Christ. First principles of the oracles of God write the new covenant on our hearts, and greater knowledge fills us with treasures of wisdom and knowledge, a resource for maturity and stability. What our perfect and complete written new testament does is preserve for us the first principles of the oracles of God (what was initially written on hearts in the gospel) AND the resources of greater wisdom, knowledge, or understanding that has the power and potential to stabilize us and let Christ be “formed in us”.
 
Gal 4:19
 
[Until Christ be formed in you] The name Christ is often used to denote his religion, or the principles of his gospel; see the note at Rom 13:14. Here it means, until Christ reigns wholly in your hearts; until you wholly and entirely embrace his doctrines; and until you become wholly imbued with his spirit; see Col 1:27.
(from Barnes' Notes)
 
 
Christ be formed in you - that you may live only Christ, think only Christ (Gal 2:20; Eph 3:17), and glory only in Him. His death, resurrection, and righteousness (Phil 3:8-10; Col 1:27).
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary)
 
The Galatians were “sons”(Gal.4:6), thus born into Christ, but Christ needed to be “formed in you (them)” so that they carried Christ in themselves as a protective mother would her forming child within her womb. It seems then that the imagery is that there was life seed of Christ originally planted in them but not “forming” the essence of Christ in them. They had “begun in the Spirit” but were seeking to be “perfected”(Gal.3:3) by the flesh, the law of circumcision. Paul’s thought here and in 1 Corinthians 13 and in Eph.4:11-16 is that greater knowledge of Christ is essential for stabilization and maturity in Christ. We are not perfected with just birth into the kingdom. Fuller knowledge and revelation is needed for growth, development, and stabilization. “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18). The Spirit of the Lord was not leading some people to stay under the Law and others to allow Christ’s glory to grow within. Don tries to get this passage to work in his phase-in-phase-out theory. The only thing Paul is concerned about is allowing the full glory of Christ ALONE to bring ever-progressing stages of glory to His disciples or, rather, within the disciples. The formation of Christ within is a process even when the new covenant is fully in effect. So, the whole counsel of new testament obligations were delivered early in oral form (Acts 20:27; 1 Thess.1:6; 2:13; 4:1,2) and the accumulation of more wealth of knowledge in the form of written apostolic documents provided wisdom from above to help form Christ within from one degree of glory to another, until the resources for spiritual maturity and stabilization was obtained. So, “that which is perfect” is the full resource of wisdom and knowledge that enhances and encompasses the new covenant that was put into effect by means of Jesus’ death, and delivered orally into hearts. That fuller resource is now available in the collection of 27 New Testament books. What is now encapsulated within these collected books was already in effect, binding, and obligating all men to hear and obey. Wisdom, insight, understanding, and greater knowledge expands the form of the New Testament, but the essence of the New Testament was “first spoken by the Lord and confirmed unto us by those who heard Him”(Heb.2:3-4). It was already “established” and the spiritual tabernacle and spiritual priesthood was already “established”. Enhancing and expanding wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, provides maturity with regard to the New Testament, but it does not phase it in. It stabilizes the people already in it. The written version preserves the original teaching and enhances and expands the understanding of it, thus bringing us to Christ and forming Christ more fully in us.
 
THE GREAT HIGH PRIEST ESTABLISHED
Hebrews 4:14
 
Obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross because Jesus is a Great High Priest over the Aaronic priesthood. His priesthood was established long before the destruction of Jerusalem and was activated in His death wherein He offered Himself without spot to God. His priesthood was in place long before AD 70 and the destruction of Jerusalem (Heb.8:1). His priestly work was far greater in that He “passed through the heavens” instead of through a mere copy of things like Aaron had done previously. (Heb.4:14; 8:1). Therefore, obligation could not remain upon the Jews to continue under the lesser system while the greater was in place.
 
What did Don say?
 
He said: “…the fact that Jesus had confirmed the New Covenant through His death does not mean that the Old Covenant had passed.”
 
Answer:
 
First, catch the power of this! Don says that in spite of the fact that the greater priesthood and covenant had been confirmed, still some Jews remained obligated to carry on and support the lesser covenant and Levitical priesthood instead.
 
Secondly, if one Jew could be obligated to the Law of Moses instead of believing and obeying Jesus, then all Jews were obligated to the Law of Moses instead of Jesus. If one Jew was obligated to Jesus and to “die to the Law”, then all Jews were obligated to Jesus and to “die to the Law”.
 
Thirdly, please note again that Don’s admission that the priesthood had been established means OF NECESSITY that the law had to have “changed” in order for the new priesthood to be established (Heb.7:12). One cannot happen with out the other, and the new priesthood did not phase in. It was fully “established”. Thus, the law was “changed” long before the destruction of Jerusalem.
 
Fourthly, no Jew could be obligated to the type or shadow of the Law of Moses when the greater reality was fully in place and attested and confirmed by God. If one is “obligated to keep the Law of Moses” (our propositions) instead of having to obey Jesus, then those people are not obligated to the greater but to the lesser. Can you believe that this is what Don has been affirming?
 
Fifthly, if Jesus was High Priest before the destruction of Jerusalem, then salvation was available in a way that had not been offered before. Yet, Don is telling us that God was obligating some Jews to keep following the ministration of death and was thus obligating them to “neglect so great salvation”. Read Hebrews 1-2 and see if you think that God was obligating anyone to continue listening to Moses instead of Jesus.
 
What did Don Say THIS TIME?
 
He says again that Christ could become that priest by dying to the Torah in His own death and entering that realm where He could serve out from under the Law of Moses.
 
Answer:
 
First, Jesus could not be a priest without changing the Law (Heb.7:12). His whole mission was to be a “forever priest” not a temporal earthly priest. Jesus could serve as priest because He fulfilled and abolished the Law of commandments (Eph.2:14f) and could thus change the Law. Serving in heaven itself is what was foreshadowed in the temporal earthly tabernacle. He could not be a priest on earth on two counts: 1) because the old law calls for LEVItical priests, and 2) because He was the priest that fulfills what the earthly copies could only copy in inferior typology. Thus, His mission was to fulfill the Law, then change the Law, and offer the heavenly realities of the good things typified in the temporal earthly copies. Don keeps saying that He couldn’t serve on earth because the Law was still binding on earth. No, Don, He couldn’t serve on earth because His mission was to be a “forever priest” operating in the MHP of heaven itself.
 
I want to keep reminding the readers that Don allows Jesus to change the law in the heavenly realm before and without it all first being “fulfilled” according to his argument on Matthew 5:17. He allows people to enter Jesus’ death in their minds and be free from obligation to the Law of Moses even before it was all “fulfilled”. He claims that all people were not “obligated” to enter Jesus’ death and die to the Law of Moses, but that they could if they wanted to.
 
 
THE PRIESTHOOD AND LAW CHANGED
Heb 7:12
 
12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. KJV
 
In regard to this verse, we have several observations that demonstrate the validity of my proposition. First, the priesthood “changed” and when it did, there was, of necessity, a change of the law. The law commanded a Levitical priesthood. If Jesus is priest, and disciples were obligated to His priesthood AND the Levitical priesthood at the same time, then the early disciples were obligated to accept Jesus’ offering and continue the animal sacrifices for 40 years at the same time. The priesthood changed at the cross when Jesus offered Himself as a sacrifice.
 
What did Don say?
 
He said the change was just “initiated” but not “FULL REALITIES”. He said that the law “was BEING CHANGED” and that the priests at Jerusalem were still serving “according to the Law” and Jesus could not be “priest on earth” while that Law was still in process of being changed.
 
Answer #1 on “the Law was BEING CHANGED”
 
First we must make note that the priesthood was “being changed” by virtue of the prophecy of Psalm 110:4 and the plan of God from eternity. Don totally misses the point. Hebrews 7:12 is analyzing the Levitical priesthood and what further need to have the Psalm 110 prediction of a new order (Melchizedek order) if the Levitical priesthood were sufficient. The prediction meant that the priesthood was “being changed” by God’s intent. When the priesthood was put in place is when the Law will have already been “changed”. Since Don has admitted that the priesthood has been put in place, then the Law changed “of necessity”. The Hebrews writer is not arguing that the priesthood is now in the process of being changed and will be a full reality in AD 70. He is arguing that from the standpoint of God’s intentions and prophecy and declaration in Psalm 110 it was purposely “being changed” and will have required a change of the Law too when that new priesthood was put in place. When Jesus finally can be said to “have an unchangeable priesthood” (7:24), then at that moment we have that priesthood in place, the Law will have been changed.
 
Answer #2 on the priests at Jerusalem were still serving “according to the Law”.
 
First, many Jews still, to this day, practice circumcision “according to the Law”, but that does not prove that GOD is still holding them under “obligation” to that Law.
 
Secondly, to say that GOD was “obligating” Jews to remain Levitical priests and other Jews to continue to support that priesthood would mean that those people were “obligated” to reject the new and better things of Christ. Who can believe that? To say that Jews continue to have things they do “according to the Law” does not prove that God was and still is “obligating” them to continue those things instead of obeying Jesus.
 
Answer #3 on Christ not being allowed by still binding Law to be “priest on earth”
 
First, the Hebrews writer is arguing that the priests on earth were serving the copy and shadow of the HEAVENLY things. If Jesus was going to be the “heavenly” thing foreshadowed by the earthly things, then He could not be a “priest on earth”. He could not be a priest on earth because the earthly priests were serving the copy and shadow role. Jesus could not do THAT because He is the heavenly and real thing of which earthly priests were only “copies”. The Law called for the earthly, Levitical priests. Jesus could not be a priest of that kind on two accounts: 1) He is from the tribe of Judah (unauthorized for priesthood under the Law), and 2) He is the real substance of heavenly things depicted by the earthly copies and shadows. The Hebrews writer is not arguing that Jesus could not be a priest on earth because there was still binding Law still going on down here, but because the planned role for Jesus was “heavenly” and not earthly (Heb.8:5; 7:16,24,28; 8:1). He “HAS OBTAINED” a more excellent ministry (notice the past tense, Don). This is also because a “forever priest” (Psalm 110 and Heb.7:15-18) has to be heavenly not earthly. Thus, we cannot but make note that Don has perverted the whole reason why Jesus could not be priest on earth. Shame on you, Don.
 
Secondly, has the priesthood changed? Yes! Then the law that demanded the Levitical priesthood has changed. The priesthood being changed long before AD 70 means that the law was changed long before AD 70. Don can keep blowing smoke by misuse of scripture, but the Law has changed because Jesus has become priest and king according to prophecy (Psalm 110; Zech.6:12, 13). Our appeal to Hebrews 7:12 as evidence that obligation to the Law has ceased as of the moment that Jesus became priest is still standing rock solid and has not been moved by Don’s textual maneuvers.
 
In order for Don to disprove the validity of my proposition, he will have to prove that there was no change of priesthood before AD 70.
 
The priesthood was changed and put in place in the death of Jesus on the cross, and therefore, the change of the Law was in place for that to take place. The priesthood was changed in Jesus’ offering of Himself in His death (Heb.7:27). Therefore, obligation changed from obligation to the Levitical priesthood to obligation to the greater priesthood of Jesus Christ.
 
What did Don say THIS Time?
 
He said that he affirms that Jesus did indeed receive the Melchizedecan priesthood, but that he did so by entering another realm where the law could not apply.
 
Answer:
 
First, this is a total dodge of what Heb.7:12 is saying. It is saying that a change of priesthood necessitates a change of the LAW. Don is saying that if Jesus goes into the other realm and becomes a priest there, then no change of the Law is necessary, for the Law is for people in this earthly realm. But, if that is what the Hebrews writer had in mind, he could and should have said so. Instead the Hebrews writer is arguing that the Psalm 110 prediction anticipates a new priesthood and therefore a CHANGE OF THE LAW. Not a change of where people could hide from the Law, or where people could claim immunity from the LAW, but a CHANGE OF THE LAW itself.
 
Secondly, Don then made another ridiculous claim that “Terry wants us to believe that Christ could not serve in earth because the Jerusalem priests were just a bunch of bullies that would not let him in the Temple!” That is beyond laughable to one of the most incredible claims I have ever heard, especially coming from a gospel preacher. It is like Don is not even reading what I say, but just inventing things to make me appear woefully ignorant so that he can appear to be holding the stronger arguments. There is no statement from me that comes even close to inferring what Don says here. You can tell from this and the fact that he does not attempt to take up my arguments on each passage and show the fallacy of my use or misuse of the passage, that he is struggling. He just floats around making more affirmative arguments, throws in a few straw-man arguments that he made up, and then maybe will attempt an answer to a few of my arguments, but usually with more phony arguments. This one takes the cake.
 
Thirdly, the admission on his part that Jesus DID indeed receive the Melchizedecan Priesthood long before the destruction of Jerusalem is a nail in his coffin, for He has a High Priest who cannot give remission of sins for forty more years when He then ends the old covenant and fully installs the second covenant by coming back out of the MHP. We only THOUGHT the Jews had remission of sins in ACTS 2:38-40. In his first negative he said: When the New Covenant fully arrived, Israel’s sin would be forgiven- (“their sins and iniquities will I remember no more”)—something that could never happen while the Old Covenant stood valid (remember Hebrews 9:9-10!). And again he said: “Both passages anticipated the forgiveness of sin with the full arrival of that New Covenant” (and he argued that full arrival took place in AD 70). That means that Jesus was High Priest for forty years but could not give forgiveness to anyone for that entire period. The fact of the matter is that Israel was receiving remission of sins immediately after the cross, which proves that the Law had changed and the Priesthood of Christ could fully operate. This is why I have cautioned the reader to be very careful with swallowing some of his earliest assumptions, for it will color and taint every passage he connects to those earliest of assumptions. Now, we are to conclude that the Law did NOT CHANGE when Jesus received the Melchizedecan Priesthood, AND we are to believe that remission of sins hinged entirely on when Jesus “came back out of the MHP”, and that was forty years after He received the priesthood. But, when you let Don string those scriptures together along with his assumptions attached to them, he can sound fairly convincing. When you step back and notice that he started with assumptions he did not and could not really prove, then his string of arguments unravel and fall into a pitiful heap.
 
 
Better Mediator and Covenant Established
Heb 8:6
 
6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. NKJV
 
Obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross because a better covenant has been established by a better Mediator. Obligation could not continue to the lesser Mediator and lesser, inferior covenant when the better covenant was established. This better covenant was established by Jesus’ death.
 
Heb 9:14-18
15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. NKJV
 
The better Mediator and better covenant could not be rightly turned down under pretense of being loyal to God. God held all accountable to hear and obey His Son (John 12:48). None could remain under obligation to Moses instead. All are obligated to come “to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel”. (Heb.12:24).
 
WHAT DID Don say?
 
He said the New Covenant was not “signed, sealed, and delivered” when Hebrews was written. The Better Mediator and covenant was “initiated” but not “fully delivered”.
 
Answer:
 
First, it is amazing that Don makes this argument. He kept chiding me about not believing the present tense on certain passages. Yet, these verses show that the New Covenant “WAS ESTABISHED” and was in force after Jesus died. Who is really the one who avoids dealing with the tenses?
 
Secondly, when the greater covenant, prophesied in Jer.31:31f, was mediated and established, then it was “signed, sealed, and delivered”. It was prophesied to be unlike the Sinai covenant that was fully delivered on Sinai and ratified by blood of animals, but would be written in hearts. Because it was “written in hearts” Paul could say early on that he had “declared the WHOLE COUNSEL of God” (Acts 20:27). When any new doctrine came along the apostles told brethren to compare it to what they “heard from the beginning” (Acts 15:24; 1 Cor.15:1, 2; Gal. 1:8). Thus, the New Testament was written on hearts, fully delivered, and ratified (signed and sealed) by the blood of Christ long before AD 70.
 
Thirdly, the new covenant was signed by the blood of Christ in hearts, sealed by the miraculous confirmation of the Holy Spirit in hearts, and delivered by Jesus’ spoken word at the first and confirmed to us by those who heard Him (Heb.2:1-4; Mk.16:20; Hebrews 9:14-18). It was also “delivered” in oral form so that what was preached “at the beginning” became the measure to use to test all new ideas. Written in hearts instead of on tablets of stone, it passed from faith to faith (Rom.1:16-17; 10:18). The prophet Isaiah said “who has believed our report?” Peter said these things that had been prophesied “have now been announced unto you through them that preached the gospel unto you by the Holy Spirit sent forth from heaven” (1 Peter 1:12). Isaiah obligated the Jews to believe the report. No one was allowed to ignore the report and pretend that we can ignore it until it is signed, sealed and delivered in the destruction of Jerusalem.
 
Fourthly, the fact that the New Testament had not yet been written out on paper to preserve and extend that message to future generations does not mean that the material had not already been written in hearts and “signed, sealed, and delivered”. The written message helps us to have it written on our hearts. But, it was “confirmed to us by those who heard Him” (Heb.2:3). The new covenant was written in hearts, sealed by miraculous confirmation, and “established” by Jesus death. Don’s argument that it was merely “initiated” but not fully delivered is false. It may not have been fully preserved in “written-on-paper form, but it was “delivered” and “confirmed” in oral form and with Holy Spirit confirmation so as to confirm its “establishment”, and this was long before the destruction of Jerusalem.
 
Fifthly, Don’s argument that Jesus’ death did indeed “confirm the covenant” but that it was only an “initial” confirmation until the old got through being “ready to vanish away” at the destruction of Jerusalem is built on faulty premises. Jeremiah 31 refers back to the Sinai covenant that was fully heard, declared, and ratified by blood. Moses came and told the people ALL the words of the Lord and all the judgments. And all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words which the Lord HAS SAID we will do” (Ex.24:3). Additionally, “Moses wrote all the words of the Lord” (Ex.24:4). He took “the Book of the Covenant” and read it. The people agreed to do all the Lord said (Ex.24:7). Blood was then sprinkled on the people and Moses said, “This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you according to all these words” (Ex.24:8). Jeremiah is referring back to THAT fully declared covenant. He said a “NEW” covenant was coming that would be unlike that fully declared covenant at Sinai. The Hebrews writer then comments that when Jeremiah spoke of a “new” covenant, it was a declaration that the first covenant was then getting old and ready to vanish away. Don comes along and argues several errors: 1) that Jeremiah could not be saying the old covenant was getting old because it was not all written yet. But, the truth is that Jeremiah is not at all concerned about later appendages. He is speaking of the fully delivered covenant that God made with Israel when He brought them out of Egypt. 2) that the word “new” could not be an admission that the first was then growing old and nigh unto vanishing away because “nigh” means very soon, not hundreds of years later. But the Hebrews writer says that saying “A new covenant” is itself a statement about the oldness of the Sinai covenant, and oldness implies readiness to vanish away (Heb.8:13). Don argues that it was not growing old at all when Jeremiah mentioned a “new” covenant coming. In fact, his argument is that it was not even fully born until Malachi wrote his final word. Then it was still new. Jeremiah is not taking about the old covenant with all the appendages accumulated until Malachi, but the covenant given at Sinai (that fully given one). By the time Jeremiah wrote and said a “new covenant” was coming that would be unlike that Sinai covenant, the Sinai covenant was then growing old and ready to vanish away. Regardless of what Don wants to make of the term “nigh”, we know exactly when the first covenant was “abolished” (Eph.2:14f). Thus, it had been old and “ready” to vanish away ever since there was a new covenant announced as coming. Now, regardless of what Don wants to make of “ready to vanish away”, he has already admitted that Jesus confirmed the New Covenant in His death. He further said that Israel’s sins could not be forgiven until the New Covenant was fully arrived and the old covenant had been removed. So, if Israel could be forgiven under the New Covenant (fully arrived or not), it would mean then that the old had vanished away. All we have to do is look and see when “remission of sins” was preached, and we will know when the old had vanished away and when the new was fully in place. Starting on the day of Pentecost, 3,000 Jews received “remission of sins” (Acts 2:38-40). That means, according to Don’s own argument, that the old covenant had vanished away. Remember he said remission of sins is “something that could never happen while the Old Covenant stood valid”. Thus, if Jews got “remission of sins” in Acts 2 and forward, then the old covenant was indeed removed and the new covenant established. So, Don helped to prove my case. Remission of sins began at Jerusalem starting on that first Pentecost when the Holy Spirit confirmed the word of the apostles, and remission of sins was actually experienced and fully enjoyed.
 
Sixthly, he argues from Rom.11 that the Jews would not receive remission of sins until the old covenant was removed at the destruction of Jerusalem. However, the context is not speaking of anything but the way the true Israel would be saved. It does not say they will be saved when the new covenant is fully revealed in AD 70. It is saying that all Israel will be saved in the same manner as the early remnant of Jews were saved from Pentecost forward and in the same way that Gentiles were saved by faith in the gospel of Christ. Jesus was the Deliverer come out of Zion and He would turn ungodliness from Jacob. Any who would yet be saved would be saved in the same manner as others already had been. Don takes this out of context and makes a different application than the context allows. Remission of sins was already offered and the new covenant that made that possible was already established, and because God has always wanted the Jews to turn from their sins to Christ and be forgiven, the point in Romans 11 is that that door would be open when any Jew was willing to be saved in like manner.
 
Additional Notes on Romans 11:25-27
 
25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
 
"The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
27 For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins."
 
28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, 31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all. NKJV
 
What does this passage say and mean? Paul asks in Romans 11:1 if God had cast off “his people” whom He had foreknown. Paul said “God forbid!”. The real Jew never was cast off. He was the physical kin of Abraham but he was a believer. Earlier, Paul said the real Jew is one inwardly (2:28f). Thus, to the unbelieving Jews Jesus said that they were of their father, the devil (Jno.8) and that if Abraham were their father, they would do the works of Abraham. So, God has never cast off real Jews, and Paul is a case in point. The believing Jew was never rejected and all of them would be saved. However, some would be late in coming around. Some never would, but those would be ones who were not true Israelites (children of believing Abraham). God does not acknowledge Jews in the flesh who do not carry the faith of Abraham. God had been pleading with the whole group of physical descendants through the gospel, stretching out His hands to a disobedient people. Paul’s prayer and concern for them is evident in his prayer that they might be saved (10:1,16-21). Foy Wallace asked, “If salvation will be offered to Israel before, at, or after the return of Christ, independent of the gospel which Paul preached to them—why such anxiety in Paul’s heart for them? If Paul knew that they all ultimately were to be saved and restored, regardless of the gospel…..how could he have felt such despairing anxiety for Israel’s salvation?”(God’s Prophetic Word, pg.149). Paul was afraid that many Jews were not just “hardened in part” but hardened to the point of no appeal and no turn of events being able to reach them. However, he seems to hold out hope that some that he could consider “Israel” were still reachable because they were only “hardened in part”.
 
Paul is saying that just as Gentiles, once unbelievers, were saved by the gospel, so too the part of unbelieving Jews that were only partially hardened could still be reached. Those partially hardened Jews are still considered Israel until they are fully hardened. They are the “all Israel” that would yet be saved. Thus, Gentiles were at one time disobedient but mercy still extended to them, so the mercy of God will also be held out for any Israelite in the flesh who wants to come into His mercy by the gospel after the Gentile “fullness” had time to make them jealous and come back in to faith. The reason God’s mercy will always be opened to them and all is because that is the nature of His mercy, and such mercy had long been expressed in the promise to send Jesus to turn away ungodliness from Jacob (Isa.59:20) and in His promise to “take away their sins” (Jer.31:31f). Both of those things came true in Jesus’ ministry, death, resurrection, and offer of the gospel (good news) of these things. On Pentecost, Jesus turned away ungodliness from 3,000 and growing, and all of them had their sins taken away (Acts 2:38-47). Some Jews “hardened in part”, but their hardness resulted in Gentile opportunity and salvation. Gentile “fullness” (so many enjoying the benefits of salvation in Jesus the Messiah) would work toward more exposure of the gospel to other Jews who had only hardened “in part”. These who were only hardened in part would/could yet be saved . As the “remnant” had been saved, so the partially hardened Israelite will come around when the fullness of the Gentile conversion experience softens that partial hardness to the point of their believing the gospel too.
 
Thus, I conclude that “Israel” does not include hardened unbelievers of physical descent from Abraham. They are not the “all Israel” that will be saved. Israel includes the “remnant” of the Jews who already accepted the gospel and had remission of sins, and the partially hardened Jews who would yet be softened and become jealously affected by so many Gentiles obeying the gospel. All Israel (true believers now and in the future) will be saved. All Israel (the remnant now and the partially hardened Jews that will yet turn) will be saved. They will be saved in this manner. They will be saved because God promised “the Deliverer”(Jesus) would “turn away ungodliness” from Jacob. That prophecy came true on Pentecost (Acts 2 ). They will be saved because God promised a covenant to “take away their sins”. That prophecy came true on Pentecost (Acts 2:38,40). Believing Jews were the true Israel from Pentecost onward. Hardened and partially hardened Jews were turned from, and this opened the door for believing Gentiles to be grafted in, and this move would build to a point that jealousy causes the partially hardened Jew to reconsider the gospel and “so all Israel (true Israelites in faith) will be saved in this manner.
 
I was baffled by Don’s arguments on this passage. He misused it to say that all Israel would be saved at the destruction of Jerusalem when Isa.59 and Jer.31:31f would be fulfilled. I could see no connection between Don’s arguments on the passage and the passage itself. He kept saying the quotation from the Old Testament in Isa.59 and Jer.31 using the future tense was proof that when Paul quoted it in Rom.11 it means it was still in the future, along with Paul’s statement that “all Israel WILL be saved”. Thus, he concludes that this passage supports his case that “obligation to keep the Law of Moses ended at the destruction of Jerusalem”, and the new covenant would then come into full force.
 
Answer:
 
First, the passage does not argue that the Deliverer would come in the future (from Paul’s time, but was future from Isaiah and Jeremiah’s time) and turn away ungodliness from Jacob or Israel. This happened in Jesus’ first parousia.
 
Acts 3:26
 
26 To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities." (almost a quote of Isa.59). Notice that the turning of Jacob from ungodliness was the mission of Jesus in the first coming. To this Paul agrees in his letter to Titus:
 
Titus 2:11-14
 
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. NKJV Notice that Paul includes himself and his own race in what the grace that HAS APPEARED accomplished. This was the reason Jesus came into the world to start with.
 
Matt 1:21
21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins." NKJV
 
Secondly, Jesus did mediate and establish the covenant of Jeremiah 31:31f and granted forgiveness of sins to Jews starting on the day of Pentecost. Remission of sins was preached in His name, and remission of sins was fully enjoyed. (Heb.9:15; 12:24; 8:6; Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38; 10:43). Notice this next verse:
 
Acts 5:30-32
 
30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. 31 Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him." NKJV
 
Therefore, beyond all doubt, this blessing was enjoyed after the cross and long before the destruction of Jerusalem. The apostles witness to it and the Holy Spirit witnesses to it. Who is Don to deny that it was a present reality?
 
Quoting Don:
Since the gospel gives what the promised Jeremiad covenant was to give, we conclude that the gospel of Christ is the promised Jeremiad covenant. Further, since the gospel can never be removed or replaced, we conclude that there cannot be another covenant, in any proposed millennium, that will supercede or replace the gospel of Christ.
God kept His word. The New Covenant has been established by Christ through his death. –Unquote!
Now, when was the gospel (the Jeremiah 31:31 covenant) preached? In Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost. Therefore, according to Don’s own words, the Jeremiad covenant came into force on the day of Pentecost and was established through Jesus’ death. Therefore, Paul is not promising that it WILL be established in another parousia. The point Paul was making is that these promises from Isaiah 59 and Jeremiah 31 do not close the door on sinful Israel but keeps the door open for such sinners being forgiven. So, while hardness was only in part in some Israelites, they would yet be saved, grafted back in, and be a part of the true Israel of God. ALL true Israelites will be saved. God’s covenant was about establishing a relationship with sinners for whom He would “take away their sins”.
Obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross of Christ because remission of sins was offered and experienced by Jews in Jesus’ name from Pentecost forward. All Jews could be saved “in this manner”.
Thus, my argument stands that obligation to the lesser mediator and covenant could not continue while obligation to the greater Mediator and Covenant was “established” and in place.
 
What did Don say THIS time?
 
He said, “That New Covenant began to be delivered (probated) on Pentecost….and fully revealed through the miraculous ministry”.
 
Answer:
 
First, notice that Don says that the covenant began to be certified as valid (probated) so that he can say it went through forty years from merely “beginning to be probated” to actually being fully probated and ready to be carried out. Ladies and Gentlemen, if the blood of Christ did not probate the will or covenant, then we should find the early church waiting till it was fully probated to start carrying out any new covenant activities. The Lord’s supper, for example, should not have been observed until the covenant was fully probated. Don says that it took forty years to get it all probated so that it could then be executed. Believe it if you can!
 
Secondly, let us suppose that Don is right that it was probated piece-meal, a little at the time, and the part that was probated on the day of Pentecost was then in effect. How many of the Jews there assembled that day were “OBLIGATED” to that now probated portion of the new covenant? How many Jews were obligated to believe on the Lord? How many Jews were obligated to repent? How many Jews were obligated to stay with the law of Moses? How many Jews on the day of Pentecost were obligated to listen to the confirmed word of the apostles (“those who heard Him”-Heb.2:1-4)? How many Jews COULD AND SHOULD have received remission of sins THAT DAY? Check back and see if Don answers this.
 
 
THE OLD COVENANT ANNULLED
Heb 7:18
 
18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. KJV
 
[For there is verily a disannulling] There is a total abrogation, proagousees entolees, of the former law, relative to the Levitical priesthood.
(From Adam Clarke's Commentary)
 
A setting aside. The Law which existed before in regard to the priesthood becomes now abrogated in consequence of the change which has been made in the priesthood; see the note at Heb 7:12.
(from Barnes' Notes)
 
Disannulling - a repealing.
 
Of the commandment - ordaining the Levitical priesthood. And, as the Levitical priesthood and the law are inseparable, a repealing of the law also (note, Heb 7:11).
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary)
 
When did this annulling of the old commandment take place? It took place when Jesus became a priest after the order of Melchizedek and offered Himself as a sacrifice. As soon as the new priesthood took over, the Law of Moses was changed and annulled. This did not wait till AD 70. It happened at the cross of Jesus Christ. Therefore, once again I have proven the validity of my proposition. And, without controversy, while proving my own proposition to be true, we have also further demonstrated that Don’s proposition cannot be true.
 
But, there are many other critical passages that also add to the validity of my proposition.
 
What did Don say?
 
He said this annulling was in process as the new covenant was in process of being revealed.
 
Answer:
 
First, the Hebrews writer is arguing that “there is an annulling” of the Levitical system already anticipated by God’s testimony of Psalm 110 regarding having a “priest forever” with the power of an “endless life” (Heb.7:16-18). There is an annulling of the old system anticipated by the prophecy of Psalm 110. When that priesthood is established, then the old Levitical Law will have been annulled. But, the priesthood and new covenant “was established”. Therefore, the old system and commandment was annulled. The priest “has come” (7:16). The process of annulling had finally come. Don has some serious problems with these points.
 
Secondly, the New Testament and “forever priesthood” were established. Therefore, all were obligated to “die to the Law” and God was obligating no one to stay under the old, annulled covenant.
 
Therefore, Don did not answer this argument either. If the new priesthood, predicted in Psalm 110, was “established” (notice that past tense Don) and “confirmed” (notice that past tense again Don), then the old covenant has been annulled and “abolished” (Eph.2:14f) and “taken out of the way and nailed to the cross” (Col.2:14f). No one was obligated to continue the annulled Law and priesthood. All were obligated to hear and obey the new mediator, prophet, priest, and king. Don’s argument that this covenant and priesthood was not yet “perfected and complete” is false. The whole argument of Hebrews is that the whole old system was imperfect and that the new system provided in Christ was “established” (8:6), “unchangeable” (7:25), written on hearts and fully confirmed (2:1-4), and established by Jesus’ blood as perfect. It had been fully established and ratified by the precious blood of Christ. It was “once for all” delivered to the saints (Jude 3). The fact that it had not been written on paper for preservation does not mean that the covenant was not complete already.
 
When Don argues that the new covenant was not complete until it was all written on paper, just remember that the prophecy of Jeremiah was that it would be written on hearts. Remember that Paul said that the “whole counsel” of God had been declared. Remember that it was first “spoken by the Lord” and “confirmed to us by those who heard Him” (Heb.2:1-4). The Law was “abolished” in Jesus’ flesh and nailed to the cross (Eph.2:14f; Col.2:14f) and “annulled” when the new “forever priesthood” was installed and established. Brethren were “complete” in Christ (Heb.13:20, 21; Col.1:28; 2:10). The annulling of that inferior system was anticipated in the prophetic word, and made more sure by the establishment of the new mediator and priesthood of Jesus Christ.
 
Thus, once again, this scripture and evidence of my proposition remains untouched. It still stands rock-solid in support of my proposition. Obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross of Christ – because the establishment of the new priesthood of Christ “annulled” the old command for the Levitical priesthood.
 
What did Don say THIS time?
 
Don made no response. His only response has been that in essence the old covenant was going through a 40 year annulling process while the new covenant was going through a 40 year probating process.
 
Answer:
 
Remember that Psalm 110 predicted a priest after the order of Melchizedek, which implies that there would be an annulling of the former command to install Levitical priests. Don admits that Jesus became priest which made all Jews obligated to Him. But, if Jesus was installed as priest, then the former command for the Levitical priesthood was “annulled”. There was no longer any OBLIGATION to install, recognize, or support the inferior priesthood when the greater priesthood was installed. Hebrews 7:18 is devastating to Don’s position, and that is why he has avoided it like the plague. He may say something now that I will have no chance to reply, but the reader will remember that I presented each of these arguments in all three of my affirmatives. If he answers now, it will be because he knows I have no chance to respond. He did try to make it a present tense matter from the perspective of the Hebrews writer, but you just look at it closely and realize that the Hebrews writer is arguing from the standpoint of the Psalm 110 prediction. The prediction of a new priesthood was put into play because of the weakness of the Levitical system, and the prediction anticipated that there is an annulling of the former commandment (the command associated with the Levitical priesthood). The installment of the new priesthood annuls the former and “establishes” the new. Be very careful to watch for the way Don handles these passages.
 
THE BETTER TESTAMENT ESTABLISHED
Heb 7:22
 
22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. KJV
 
This testament came into effect when Jesus died (Hebrews 9:15-17). So, when the better testament came into effect, obligation to the older, weaker, and annulled testament with its Levitical priesthood, ceased to hold people under obligation to it. When the better testament came into effect at Jesus’ death, obligation to the New Testament began, and obligation to the Old Testament ceased. Thus, we have further demonstrated the validity of the proposition. In order for Don to answer this, he will have to show that the better testament was not in effect until AD 70.
 
What did Don say?
 
He said again that it was “initiated” but not completely established.
 
Answer:
 
The Hebrews writer, based on Jeremiah’s prophecy, was saying that all that was necessary was that this covenant be “written on their hearts” and that it was “established” and was ratified by His blood. Don’s argument is that it cannot be established or ratified until it is completely written on paper. There is no scriptural basis for that argument. The Hebrews writer says it “was established”. Don says it will be established only after it is all written on paper by the time of the destruction of Jerusalem. We do not deny the need to preserve the new covenant in written form for future generations in order to also have it written on their hearts, but the point is that it was fully “established” and written where God promised to write it long before it was preserved on paper and long before the destruction of Jerusalem. Thus, once again, Don has not even touched the argument based on this scripture. Obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross of Christ – because the Law of Moses could not continue when the new and BETTER covenant WAS ESTABLISHED.
 
What did Don say THIS time?
 
He said that it was not his position that it had to be put on paper and that I had misrepresented him on that.
 
Answer:
 
The written material is the only thing that progressed during that 40 year period. However, the word spoken by the Lord and confirmed to us by those who heard Him was early in operation, “was established”(Heb.8:6; 9:15f), and was written on hearts as Jeremiah predicted early on. What was heard “at the beginning” became the measure of all teaching as to whether to believe it or reject it. The written version accumulated over time to preserve and enhance and defend the already established new covenant. Don is now admitting that it did not have to be written on paper to be established and confirmed. If the new covenant was established by Jesus’ blood then the old was annulled when the new was established.
Surety of a Better Covenant
Heb 7:22
 
Surety, [enguos] - ensuring in His own person the certainty of the covenant to us, by becoming responsible for our guilt, by sealing the covenant with His blood, and by being openly acknowledged as our triumphant Saviour by the Father, who raised Him from the dead. Thus he is at once God's surety for man and man's surety for God: so Mediator between God and man (Heb 8:6).
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary)
 
Jesus is surety, because He is eternal, not temporal and earthly, was promised with an oath of God to be a forever priest. Fully backed by God’s oath, we have a permanent High Priest. This gives surety that this New Covenant that came into effect by His death is a much better covenant to be under. Thus, when He came, lived His perfect life, died, and arose again, he became the guarantee that this New Covenant would be much better than the old. He is also the surety that it is safe to “die to the Law”. It is a misuse of this verse to say that He is a surety that the New Testament WILL BE BETTER in AD 70. Jesus was the surety that the covenant He established was far greater than the one annulled.
 
THE UNCHANGEABLE PRIESTHOOD ESTABLISHED
Heb 7:24
 
24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. KJV
 
If the priesthood of Jesus began at any time before AD 70, and the above statement shows that He “HAS” an unchangeable priesthood, then the law and its obligations ceased at whatever time the new priesthood of Christ became effectively honored by God and man as a valid priesthood.
 
What did Don say?
 
NOT A WORD!
 
Expanded argument:
 
The Hebrews writer acknowledges the priesthood of Jesus as superior and that it “has” (get that tense again Don) been established. He (Jesus) HAS an UNCHANGEABLE priesthood because it is the “forever” kind prophesied in Psalm 110. But, we could not have that priesthood in place without first changing the Law. To have the new priesthood in place means that the Law has been changed. One could not happen without the other. The change and annulling of the old was anticipated by prophecy. It was changed and annulled when we have an unchangeable, forever kind of priesthood in place. Jesus was not in process of being established as unchangeable priest. He HAS an unchangeable priesthood and new covenant fully “established”. It would not be established when it was all written out on paper, or when the temple was destroyed. It was established by means of Jesus’ death. It was already established and bringing benefits of salvation long before the destruction of Jerusalem. Thus, my proposition stands untouched. Don is going to have to do better than he did on that first negative. Obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross of Christ – because Jesus HAS an unchangeable priesthood in place at that point.
 
What did Don say THIS time?
 
His only response has been that Jesus could not be priest on earth, so He entered another realm where the Law could not apply to Him. In that heavenly realm He could be priest of another order while the Levitical priesthood continued its earthly obligations before God.
 
Answer:
 
The Hebrews writer is arguing that the new Melchizedek priesthood necessitates a CHANGE OF THE LAW, not a change of jurisdiction of the Law. Not a change of where people could hide from the Law, or where people could claim immunity from the LAW, but a CHANGE OF THE LAW itself. The fact that Jesus’ unchanging priesthood was established and in operation means that all obligation belongs to Him.
 
 
THE GREATER MINISTER OF THE GREATER SANCTUARY ESTABLISHED
Heb 8:1-2
 
8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;
 
2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. KJV
 
This verse shows that the new High Priest, Jesus, is now operating in the true tabernacle. When He set Himself on the right hand of the throne, He was King and Priest. Obligation to the Law of Moses ceased, and obligation to the new King and Priest, Jesus Christ began. This began long before AD 70. Therefore, the evidence shows that my proposition is correct and Don’s proposition is incorrect or false.
 
What did Don say?
 
He said the “New Temple was being built” (Eph.2:19 – 4:16; 1 Pet.2:5).
 
Answer:
 
Please make note of the tenses above that we HAVE (not will have) such a High Priest. He IS SET (not will be set), and that His tabernacle has been PITCHED (not will be pitched).
 
First, the Hebrews writer is arguing that the “true tabernacle” has been “erected” (past tense) via Hebrews 8:1-2. Thus, since the minister and true tabernacle are in place, then the old has been changed and annulled. No one is obligated to the old. All are obligated to the new and better.
 
Secondly, Don implies that the true tabernacle would be erected or pitched after the destruction of Jerusalem. We “have” (present tense) a High Priest in Jesus. He was a minister of an already “pitched” tabernacle long before AD 70. Therefore my point still stands, and Don still has not touched it.
 
Thirdly, as long as souls are being “added” to the church, it will be a church that is “being built” with new souls added all the time. But, there was nothing in AD 70 that made it “pitched” or “established”. This all happened long before AD 70. In order for Don’s argument to have any merit at all, he will have to contend that souls were not being added to the church after AD 70. Watch and see if he will touch this issue.
 
Fourthly, since this new tabernacle has been erected, all men are required to “die to the Law” that condemns and to enter Jesus’ new and living way. None are obligated to keep the inferior system and thereby “neglect so great salvation”. None are led by the Spirit of God to remain under the Law. Therefore, all who kept themselves under the Law were NOT doing what the SPIRIT was leading and obligating them to do. Remember the propositions.
 
Fifthly, Don’s argument means that in AD 70 the temple can cease “being built” and the old covenant can THEN be fully annulled and the new covenant fully established. Can anyone not see the serious flaws in Don’s reasoning? Since his argument is that the old was not fully annulled until the destruction of Jerusalem, then his argument here has to be that the tabernacle of Jesus was then “fully built, complete, and established” and no more additions can take place because that would put it back in the “being built” mode, and that would then put the old covenant back into play. When we think through the consequences of Don’s arguments it becomes increasingly clear that his string of scripture arguments are a string of misconstrued and contextually misapplied scriptures.
 
My argument that Jesus was already a minister of the true tabernacle that was already erected is based on very clear scriptures. The reader can see the difference between the clarity of the scriptures I have used, and the vagueness of the scriptures Don has used. You have to decide if the new covenant was in place and the new tabernacle pitched before the destruction of Jerusalem. If it was, then at that point there was no one who was obligated to the shadows and copies of the earthly services when the heavenly realities were in place and calling for all men to “die to the Law”. Don is saying, without any proof, that God was still obligating some people to keep the shadows. This is unbelievable and very unfortunate.
 
What did Don say THIS time?
 
He said that the tabernacle of Christ was not fully built and as long as it was in development, the old covenant was still binding.
 
Answer:
 
Again, how many Jews could and should have entered Jesus’ spiritual temple on the day of Pentecost? No matter how much revelation and building would go on, how many Jews on the day of Pentecost remained obligated to the Law of Moses instead of Jesus Christ? How many were obligated to hear and heed the apostles? Was the spiritual tabernacle pitched on that day? If it was, then who was obligated by Moses in Deut.18:15, the miracles and empty tomb of Jesus and the miraculous confirmation of the apostle’s doctrine to enter that greater spiritual tabernacle? The answer is every one was obligated to Jesus, and none were obligated to continue with the annulled priesthood or covenant.
 
 
THE BETTER COVENANT ESTABLISHED
Heb 8:6-7
 
6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
 
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. KJV
 
This passage shows that the new and better covenant WAS established, and that before AD 70. The old and inferior covenant, the Law of Moses, was changed, annulled, and replaced with the better covenant. This new covenant was in effect after Jesus died on the cross (9:15-17). Obligation to the old covenant ceased at the cross, and obligation to the new law and new lawgiver began at the cross. Thus, we have added further evidence that my proposition is true, and the proposition of my retractor is incorrect or false.
 
What did Don say?
 
Again, all he said was it was merely “initiated” but not fully delivered.
 
Answer :
 
First, you cannot “establish” a covenant that has not been fully delivered. This better covenant “was established”. Therefore, it was fully delivered. It is called elsewhere “the faith once for all delivered” (Jude 3). It is described as “the gospel…delivered” (1 Cor.15:1-2). It is described as “first spoken by the Lord” and “confirmed to us by those who heard Him” (Heb.2:1-4). It is described as “written on the heart” (Jer.31; Heb.8). Thus, once it was written on the heart, confirmed, and sealed by Jesus’ blood, then it was fully established, ratified, and fully binding upon all.
 
Secondly, the better covenant WAS ESTABLISHED (not “will be “ established at the destruction of Jerusalem). Next time Don chides me on TENSES, just remember that he is acting very hypocritical. He misuses the context of those verses he tries to hammer me with while totally ignoring the many tenses that clearly and contextually obliterate his own proposition. Just remember, the New Covenant WAS ESTABLISHED and was written on hearts and ratified by Jesus’ blood long before the destruction of Jerusalem. My first affirmative still stands untouched by Don’s first negative. He cannot pervert the word and get people to put “initiated” in the place of “established”, except for those who may have already swallowed his earlier misuse of scriptures. Obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross of Christ – because the new covenant “was established” by means of the cross.
 
What did Don say THIS time?
 
Not a word!
 
 
THE TIME OF REFORMATION ESTABLISHED
Heb 9:10
 
10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. KJV
 
The imposition of the law that obligated people to certain meats and drinks, and divers washings and carnal ordinances was changed at the time of reformation. At the time of reformation people would no longer be imposed upon by those obligations. But, the time of reformation was when we got a new King and Priest in Jesus Christ. But, Jesus became a King and Priest in His death, resurrection and ascension to the throne. This was long before AD 70. Therefore, the law and all its’ impositions ended when Jesus brought in the time of reformation, and that was when He became King and Priest, 40 years before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. Thus, once again, we have demonstrated the biblical soundness of the proposition, and we have proven that Don Preston signed a proposition that is not sustainable.
 
What did Don say?
 
He went back to his argument about men entering the MHP (most holy place). He argued that the time of reformation would not take place till “the wrath of God, contained in the seven bowls was completed.” He based this argument on Revelation 15.
 
Answer:
 
First, Revelation says nothing about man entering the MHP after the wrath of God is complete. It merely indicates that there was no entrance into the temple (holy place or most holy place) for the duration of these plagues. However, people were entering the spiritual temple spoken of here from Pentecost (Acts 2) onward with the exception of this pause. We can see this even in the book of Revelation itself. (See 7:15; 11:1). Don would switch “temple” for “Most Holy Place” and make us think that here is the time that people could enter the MHP. I’m amazed at how far Don is willing to go to try to make his theory appear to work.
 
Secondly, I have not said, as Don continuously accuses me, that there is not a sense in which the dead in CHRIST go to be with Christ in the MHP. All of his misrepresentations of me are just fabrications to make it appear that he is answering me and exposing severe holes in my arguments. When Don says such things as “Terry says that man still is not today in the Presence of God, and does not enter the MHP when he dies!,” just go back and check up on Don. Find where Terry says what Don says I said. Keep checking up on Don. He will sound legitimate as long as you do not check behind him on what he says I said or say, or as long as you do not check behind him to see if he is assuming some things into a text of scripture.
 
Thirdly, the time of reformation is when the law is changed so that the “forever priest” of Psalm 110 can be put in place and the carnal, earthly copies of heavenly things can be replaced with the heavenly things.
 
HIGH PRIEST OF THE GOOD THINGS TO COME – Heb.9:11
 
Don takes this expression as proof of his phase-in theory (the Priesthood being phased in and then installed completely after the destruction of Jerusalem).
 
However, the context is looking at things from the standpoint of time when the tabernacle was still standing. From that vantage point the tabernacle structure, furnishings, and carnal ordinances were imposed with a view to representing on earth the heavenly, better things to come. Psalm 110 and Zechariah 6, along with the typology of the earthly tabernacle, were promising better things to come (better than those carnal things themselves could offer). Jesus came as High Priest of the good things to come. That is, He came to give us those things foreshadowed by the earthly tabernacle and ministry. What were some “good things to come” that were foreshadowed by the earthly tabernacle? “The greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands” is among “the good things to come” and symbolized by the imposed earthly services in the tabernacle made by hands. Christ coming as High Priest was one of the main “good things to come” symbolized by the old system of the Aaronic High Priesthood. His own blood entering the real Most Holy Place was the “good thing to come” symbolized by the animal blood and earthly priest entering the earthly tabernacle. This is the CONTEXTUAL point of this passage. It is in no way saying or implying that Christians of those first several decades had to wait for good things to come when Jesus’ priesthood is finally phased in (per Don’s argument). Eternal redemption was already “obtained” (9:12) for us long before the destruction of Jerusalem. That was obtained by our Great High Priest who was long anticipated by the old system as a then “good thing to come”.
 
Since we have now obtained the Great High Priest, eternal redemption, a better conscience-purging system (9:14), a better Mediator, a greater and more perfect tabernacle, and a better covenant prophesied by Jeremiah, then we have moved from the imposed symbolism of the “good things” anticipated, to the good things realized. We have therefore entered the “time of reformation” when the shadows would no longer be needed, serve any further useful purpose, or be any further ‘imposed”. Why impose the inferior when the better has arrived? We have now, long before the destruction of Jerusalem, a new priest, new tabernacle, new covenant, new and living way. All of these were anticipated by the former types, shadows and prophecies of the old “imposed” system. But, after the faith has come, “we are no longer under the tutor, the Law”. All of these things including “great salvation” were in place long before AD 70. These began at the cross and were in place 40 years before the destruction of Jerusalem. Thus, the evidence clearly supports my proposition.
 
THE LAW, HAVING A SHADOW OF THE GOOD THINGS TO COME – Heb.10:1
 
Don also used this verse out of context as part of his phase-in theory. However, it is not saying that the “good things to come” are future to the writing of Hebrews, but were “good things to come” from the standpoint of what “shadows” of the Law anticipate by virtue of being a “shadow” rather than the substance (the good thing to come).
 
We have demonstrated again that Don’s theory is supported by misused present tense expressions, and that he has labored to support his theory by ignoring the context, by ignoring other tenses in the context that devastate his theory, and by avoiding answering points in the context. This is not a good approach if one would establish credibility. Obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross of Christ –because the time of reformation began when a new covenant and new priesthood WAS ESTABLISHED.
 
What did Don say THIS time?
 
He argued again that Revelation 15 shows that no one ever entered the MHP until after the seven bowls of wrath were poured out.
 
Answer:
 
First, Don hopes we will swallow his assertion that “temple” (naos-greek) was the MHP because John saw the ark of the covenant in the naos (temple). Well naos is the general term for the holy and most holy place. Don argued that there is a naos versus heiron distinction that validates his contention that “temple” in Revelation 15 is the MHP. His naos argument is faulty because it (naos) does not refer exclusively to the MHP.
 
And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple (naos) , and departed, and went and hanged himself. Matt 27:5 KJV. Did Judas throw the money down in the MHP?
According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple (naos) of the Lord. Luke 1:9 KJV Did Zachariah burn incense in the MHP? He was not a High Priest. Did he go into the MHP? The point is that these verses use the word “naos”. Don knows it does not exclusively refer to the MHP, but he has built a doctrine around entering the MHP when we die and it serves his interests to make Revelation 15 a proof text that no one could enter the MHP until the destruction of Jerusalem. In Revelation 11:1 there were those who worshiped God at the naos. The church is metaphorically called the naos.
 
TEMPLE (naos)
d) in apostolic teaching, metaphorically, (1) of the church, the mystical body of Christ, Eph 2:21; (2) of a local church, 1 Cor 3:16,17; 2 Cor 6:16; (3) of the present body of the individual believer, 1 Cor 6:19; (4) of the "Temple" seen in visions in the Apocalypse, 3:12; 7:15; 11:19; 14:15,17; 15:5,6,8; 16:1,17; (5) of the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb, as the "Temple" of the new and heavenly Jerusalem, Rev 21:22.
(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words)
 
The point is that if the church is the naos, and Don’s argument is that the naos is the MHP, then it follows that the church had been part of the MHP long before the seven bowls of wrath in Rev.15, and the vision would only show a PAUSE of entrance into the naos that would allow entrance AGAIN after the seven bowls of wrath were complete. If there was entrance going on before the bowls of wrath, then it destroys Don’s whole line of argument. He has built his whole doctrine around the premise that entrance into the MHP was not opened until the destruction of Jerusalem. Now, by arguing that the word naos in Rev.15 proves his case about when entrance was first granted into the MHP, he has backed himself into a corner. Naos refers to the temple and the church is the naos, with God in us and we in God. Eph 2:21-22- in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple (naos) in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. NKJV – Therefore, entrance into the naos started back on Pentecost (Acts 2). The Hebrews writer said now “we have boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus”. The way in is a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh and because we have Jesus as our High Priest over the house of God, lest “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith”(Heb.10:19-22). This is devastating to Don’s whole argument because it shows that people could boldly enter the Holiest long before the destruction of Jerusalem, and it shows that they could enter even while they lived and because they had Jesus as High Priest over the house they were in and we are in.
 
Heb 10:19
 
[Boldness to enter] Parreesian eis teen eisodon. Liberty, full access to the entrance of the holy place, toon hagioon. "This is an allusion to the case of the high priest going into the holy of holies. He went with fear and trembling, because, if he had neglected the smallest item prescribed by the law, he could expect nothing but death. Genuine believers can come even to the throne of God with confidence, as they carry into the divine presence the infinitely meritorious blood of the great atonement; and, being justified through that blood, they have a right to all the blessings of the eternal kingdom.
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary)
 
[Boldness to enter into the holiest] Margin, "liberty." The word rendered "boldness" - parreesian - properly means "boldness of speech," or freedom where one speaks all that he thinks (notes, Acts 4:13); and then it means boldness in general, license, authority, pardon. Here the idea is, that before Christ died and entered into heaven, there was no such access to the throne of grace as man needed. Man had no offering which he could bring that would make him acceptable to God. But now the way was open. Access was free for all, and all might come with the utmost freedom. The word "holiest" here is taken from the holy of holies in the temple (notes on Heb 9:3), and is there applied to heaven, of which that was the emblem. The entrance into the most holy place was forbidden to all but the high priest; but now access to the real "holy of holies" was granted to all in the name of the great High Priest of the Christian profession.
 
[By the blood of Jesus] The blood of Jesus is the means by which this access to heaven is procured. The Jewish high priest entered the holy of holies with the blood of bullocks and of rams (notes Heb 9:7); but the Saviour offered his own blood, and that became the means by which we may have access to God.
(from Barnes' Notes)
 
Just remember that when Don asks if we go directly to the MHP (heaven) when we die, we avoid his eschatological surmising by simply saying that we go there now while we are alive in Christ. In fact, we can now come boldly to the throne of grace (Heb.4:16) and now enter and draw near (Heb.10:19-22). People have been doing this ever since the day of Pentecost, and none had to wait till the destruction of Jerusalem. Don’s theories are based on one assumption attached to a misused verse after another.
 
THE NEW TESTAMENT ESTABLISHED
Heb 9:15-17
 
15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
 
16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
 
17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. KJV
 
The writer of Hebrews pinpoints the time of the New Testament. It was in effect after Jesus died. It was in effect forty years before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. Thus, my proposition is in agreement with this passage too. How can any man say that God was holding people obligated to the old covenant and not the new covenant for the 40 years before the destruction of Jerusalem? Yet, Don K. Preston is affirming that God was obligating people to obey Moses even though the new covenant prophesied by Jeremiah was established in Jesus’ death. He is also denying my proposition that says that obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross. Thus, he is taking the position that God was obligating some Jews to both Jesus and Moses at the same time. Remember that he tells the millenialists that this cannot happen, yet he says it did happen for 40 years.
 
 
What did Don say?
 
Again, all he said was that it was merely “initiated” but not fully delivered when Hebrews was written.
 
Answer:
 
First, as we have seen numerous times before, the new covenant WAS “first spoke by the Lord and confirmed to us by those who heard Him” (2:1-4), and it “was established” and it was “written on hearts” early enough for all to look back to the beginning when the “whole counsel” was fully delivered and it was “once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). All that was written on paper later was merely written expressions of the truth already written in hearts and delivered orally. Thus, our point stands. The New Testament was established and all Jews were obligated to not “neglect so great salvation”. No Jew was allowed to neglect or ignore it. No Jew was obligated to the old, annulled covenant instead. No Jew was “led by the Spirit” to stay under the Law. All Jews were obligated to believe and obey Jesus, the Messiah and “die to the Law” and to recognize that it was “abolished in His flesh” and “nailed to the cross”. All Jews who rejected the new covenant were “resisting the Holy Spirit” (Acts 7:51-53) and were worthy of worse punishment than those who had rejected Moses’ Law (Heb.10:28-29).
 
The order for the old covenant “establishment” was this:
 
First, Moses had spoken every precept to all the people – Heb.9:19
Secondly, the covenant was sprinkled with blood and ratified.
 
Please make note that Jeremiah referred back to that fully revealed and fully ratified covenant given at Sinai. Therefore, Don’s argument that more old testament was still being written when Jeremiah wrote, is not a valid argument. Jeremiah predicted a better covenant that would not be like the fully delivered SINAI covenant. The Hebrews writer comments that God made that Sinai covenant old and ready to vanish away whenever He used the word “new” in reference to a needed and better covenant ahead. Regardless of later appendages to that Sinai covenant, that Sinai covenant was fully revealed at Sinai and was fully blood-ratified by animal blood. The nature of that covenant was temporal and sustained by temporal means, with temporal props.
 
Now, the second, better covenant “was established” and ratified by the precious blood of Christ. Its nature was that it would be “written on the heart” and not on tables of stone. Therefore, it was NOT waiting to be fully delivered in AD 70. The written-on-paper version would accumulate to give us a preserved form of the spoken new covenant, but the new covenant was spoken by the Lord and confirmed long before AD 70. Thus, again, the careful reader can see that Don propped his own argument up with a faulty argument, and therefore did not answer the fact that the greater covenant was fully established long before AD 70. My argument still stands, and my proposition is still sustained.
 
Secondly, it seems that Don thinks the expression “seal up vision and prophecy” in Daniel 9 just counters all of these clear expressions found in Hebrews and positively proved that the old covenant could only end at the destruction of Jerusalem. But, again the context of the expression pertains to all that Jesus the Messiah was going to accomplish. All the blessings visualized, dreamed about, and anticipated, including especially the blessing of Gen.12:1-4 for all nations will have come to fruition in Jesus, and those visions and prophecies will have reached their conclusion in the Messiah. Sealing up vision and prophecy does not argue that the Old Testament would remain in effect until Jerusalem was destroyed. The context does not demand or allow the phase-in theory of Don, nor the phasing out of the old. Obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross of Christ – because a testament is of force after men are dead, and Jesus DIED to establish the New Testament.
 
THE BETTER SACRIFICE ESTABLISHED
Heb 9:23-27
 
Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now (not later –TWB) to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another — 26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. NKJV
 
Obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross because a better sacrifice made in Jesus requires obligation and indebtedness to Jesus. The copies that Moses, the old covenant, and the old priesthood and sacrifices employed, cannot be “obligations” when the TRUE and BETTER has come to replace the copies with SUBSTANCE. To say that the copies remained as “obligations” even while the TRUE and SUBSTANCE was in place is to say that which no verse says or implies, and AGAINST all evidence. It calls upon us to believe that either: 1) obligation was to Moses instead of Jesus, or 2) obligation was to both Jesus and Moses at the same time, or 3) obligation was to Jesus the Greater and possessor of “all authority”. The copies of the heavenly things were annulled when Jesus changed the law and priesthood and went into HEAVEN ITSELF. The copies were replaced by the real thing by Christ.
 
What did Don say?
 
He said it was not “consummated” until AD 70.
 
Answer:
 
Amazingly, Don has argued that Jesus “has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself”(Heb.9:26), but did not actually accomplish giving us “remission of sins” until He could come back out of the MHP and thereby “consummate” or finish what He intended. So, people were waiting for 40 years after the death and resurrection for the remission of sins to be preached as a reality. Can you believe that Don is affirming this position? Is this the position espoused by GOSPEL preachers of the first century? Don is not in a good position. He is telling us that no one had “eternal redemption” (9:12), a “purged conscience” (9:14), “sins actually put away” (9:26), been “perfected forever” or “sanctified” (10:14), “hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience” (10:22), or had the experience of “the blood of the covenant by which he WAS sanctified” (10:29), until AD 70. He is saying that none of these things could really be experienced and enjoyed until AD 70 when Jesus supposedly “consummated” the offering by “coming back out of the Most Holy Place”. This is critical, and I am amazed that a gospel preacher is being supported to preach such a thing. He has been drinking too long at denominational fountains. If you, dear reader, are convinced that the Bible teaches that the blood of the covenant DID in fact sanctify and sprinkle from an evil conscience and provide actual remission of sins immediately after His death on the cross, then you KNOW that Don’s position cannot be right. He says, in essence, that the better sacrifice of Jesus was not able to do any of these things until He supposedly “came back out of the MHP” in AD 70. If you think Don answered my affirmative and my appeal to the established sacrifice of Jesus via Heb.9:23-27, with this argument on “consummation” and “coming back out of the MHP”, then I’ve got some ocean front property in Arizona that I will be willing to sell you real cheap. Obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross of Christ –because a BETTER SACRIFICE had been established then.
 
What did Don say THIS time?
 
Not a word, and who can blame him when his whole position undermines the validity of the blood of Jesus Christ for forty years? His whole doctrine is built around a “consummation” theory of Jesus having to “come back out of the MHP” before His sacrifice can benefit us. Thus, you have seen what blindness comes with this AD 70 doctrine. It is a position that turns the first forty years after Jesus’ death upside-down. It turns the teaching of the New Testament on end and changes every verse it touches. Nothing is clear any more. There is a fitting description that would still apply to doctrines like this. It is like a cancer. It consumes until it destroys every major doctrine of the New Testament.
 
2 Tim 2:17-18
And their message will spread like cancer . Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, 18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some. NKJV
 
THE BETTER MEANS OF SANCTIFICATION ESTABLISHED
Heb.10:9-10
Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
10 By the which will we are sanctified (not will be-TWB) through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. KJV
 
Obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross when Jesus came to do God’s will and thereby take away the first will or covenant that he may establish the second. We make note here that taking away the first was essential to establishing the second. The offering of the body of Jesus took place forty years before AD 70. That offering of the body presented the New Testament period of reformation and ended that first covenant, the Law of Moses. It was taken away, and in the words of Paul to the Romans, “we have become dead to the Law”. We are (presently and before AD 70) sanctified, the writer says. The offering of Jesus’ body provided a new and living way. When this means of sanctification became available, then the old means of sanctification according to the Law of Moses ceased to hold us to any obligation of said law. When sanctification through Jesus’ offering became available, then we became obligated to Jesus, and no longer obligated to Moses. The passage before us affirms that the sacrifices and offerings were not adequate and that God had planned to take those away that He may establish the body by which the adequate offering could be performed. The first system was “taken away” so that the second system of sanctification through the offering of the body of Jesus could be established. That second way was established by Jesus’ offering, and that was long before the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem. Thus, we have proven by the scriptures that my proposition is true and Don’s previous proposition is further proven to be false.
 
What did Don say?
 
He said it was “initiated” but not fully delivered and established. He says the text says, “He is (present tense) taking away the first that he might (subjunctive) establish the second.”
 
Answer:
 
First, Don is very careless with the context of these present tenses again. I encourage the reader to look carefully at the context of the present tense here. Is the writer arguing that Jesus is in the process of taking away the first means of sanctification under the old covenant, so that He can establish the second means of sanctification in AD 70 when the new covenant can fully come into effect? Absolutely not! Again, the Hebrews writer is arguing from the standpoint of the Old Testament scripture that admitted that God was not satisfied with the sacrifices and offerings under the Law, and so He was going to prepare a body in which His will would be carried out. From that moment that David wrote Psalm 40, the implication THEN was that “He is taking away the first that He might establish the second”. But catch this, after the body was prepared and offered, we can NOW (long before AD 70) say, “By THAT will we HAVE BEEN (not “will be) sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb.10:10). Thus, from David’s standpoint, the first will for sanctification through burnt offerings and sin offerings according to the Law of Moses was something he could say then that God “is taking away”, and now that Jesus DID God’s will in the body prepared for Him, the Hebrews writer can then follow up that predicted theme to say that what was once only in purpose and plan is now the accomplished will by which will “we have been sanctified”. Don needs to pay attention to that PAST TENSE, and to also be more careful with the CONTEXT of the present tenses.
 
The first way of sanctification was something God had been purposing to take away. When David wrote Psalm 40, he could say God “is taking away” this means so that He may establish the second. Therefore, the first, the Mosaical way, was taken away. We “have been” sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus once for all, and thus the second will for sanctification purposes was fully established. People did not have to wait till AD 70 to become sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus. The second was established. Therefore the first had been taken away in order to establish the second. Don is seriously mistaken. We hope he will repent and acknowledge this serious mistake. But, if he does not, then the reader will see the contextual misuse he made of this present tense and will know that he did not answer this evidence for this proposition. They will know that my proposition was adequately sustained by the evidence. Obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross of Christ – because the second will for sanctification was established.
What did Don say THIS time?
 
Not a word. Now, because he made no response and I have no more opportunity to cross-examine his response, he will probably come back in his final negative to talk about some of these things. Please come back to this material and see if he sidestepped the issues again.
 
THE HANDWRITING OF REQUIREMENTS TAKEN OUT OF THE WAY
Col 2:13-18
14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.
 
16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. NKJV
 
The handwriting of requirements is a reference to that Law of Moses that imposed food and drink laws, festivals, new moons and Sabbaths. That law could not be used as a basis for judging others at the time Paul wrote Colossians. This was several years before AD 70. Paul said that law was “nailed to the cross”. Now we know beyond all shadow of doubt that “obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross”. Thus, I have proven the validity of my proposition, and have shown that Don’s proposition cannot be right.
 
What did Don Say?
 
He admitted it was taken out of the way for Christians at the cross, but that it was not taken out of the way until AD 70 for unbelieving Jews. Thus, his contention is that the Law began to undergo a process of phasing out. He thinks Col.2:17 confirms this.
 
Answer:
 
First, let us observe the TENSES again that Don ignores. A) “He HAS TAKEN IT (the handwriting of requirements) OUT OF THE WAY”. What tense is that Don? B) HAVING NAILED it to the cross (Col.2:14). What tense is that Don?
 
Secondly, let us look at the present tense of Col.2:17 for a moment. Don has argued that Paul said the food, drink, festivals, new moons and Sabbaths ARE (present tense) a shadow of things to come, that this present tense proves that God was still “obligating” the Jews to keep those shadows. This is a mistaken use of the context, again. The shadow anticipated “things to come” which was a “substance” that cast the shadow. The substance is the “good things to come” anticipated by the shadows. Unbelieving Jews were still ignorantly practicing the shadows in ignorant anticipation of “things to come”, not knowing that the substance had come in the person and work of Christ. There is another crucial present tense that follows: “The substance IS (present tense) of Christ”. The people judging Christians in regard to the Law were simply ignorant that the substance had arrived to take priority over the shadows, to make people “complete in Him” (Col.2:10), and to “take away the first that He may establish the second”. The first is “taken out of the way” and nailed to the cross”. No one is obligated to the first that was composed of shadows of good things to come, when the good thing anticipated had arrived in substance. All are obligated to the substance. Unbelief is not excusable, and keeping the shadows was not an obligation. Believing in Jesus, the substance is the obligation of all. Ignoring Jesus and keeping the Law is NOT the obligation of God upon the Jews.
 
Thirdly, W. E. Vine comments on this text as follows:
Quote:
2:17 which are a shadow of the things to come;—the “which” refers to the five details just mentioned. They are typical, giving a certain representation, but, as a shadow they have no independent existence; in themselves they are futile to accomplish what the mind of God purposed by them. They are useful in indicating something represented by them. The things to come are not things future to the present period; they are regarded as future from the time when they were appointed, future from the standpoint of the Law.
but the body is Christ’s.—the word sōma, body, here signifies the substance, the reality. The shadow was appointed through Moses, and, so to speak, belonged to him. The substance has to do with Christ, centers in Him, and thus belongs to Him. He is the great object of all that the types and shadows set forth. As to meat and drink Christ said, “I am the living bread,” and “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink.”
As to the feasts, the Passover typified Christ’s expiatory sacrifice; the feast of unleavened bread pointed to the purity and sincerity which the believer experiences by reason of His relation to, and fellowship with, Christ: the feast of the ingathering of the firstfruits typified Christ as “the Firstfruits of them that have fallen asleep” (1 Cor. 15:20). His resurrection is the guarantee of theirs. THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF W.E.VINE – Unquote!
 
Another scholarly work comments:
Paul characterizes these rules and the beliefs which they are based on as a mere shadow of things in the future, that is, they are unreal, they are not valid. What is meant by "what is to come" (RSV)? JB NEB TNT NIV translate "what was to come" (see Beare, Moule) which may better represent the idea, since the reality has already come in Christ. So the translation may be "They are only a shadow of things to come " or "They are only a shadow of what was to come." For a similar distinction between Jewish Law and the Gospel see Heb 8:5; 10:1.
The phrase all such things must often be translated as "such rules," or "such observances," or even "obeying such rules."
The concept of a shadow of things in the future may be extremely difficult to comprehend in some languages, for it may be difficult to imagine the future casting a shadow. In certain instances, however, one may speak of "a reflection" or even of "a mirror reflection." Therefore a shadow of things in the future may be expressed as "a mirror reflection of what will happen in the future." If, however, one assumes that the reference is to the past as something which has already occurred in the incarnation, then one may speak of "a reflection of what was to happen," and if necessary, as "a reflection of what was to happen and which did happen." Otherwise, the expression might be interpreted to mean that the purpose implied in such rules was actually voided.
The reality is Christ translates the Greek "but the body (is) of Christ." The word "body" is used occasionally in the sense of substance or reality, that is, what is real, true, as opposed to delusion or illusion (commentators cite passages in Philo and Josephus). Some commentators suggest that "body" here refers also and specifically to "the body of Christ," the Church, in which the real, as opposed to the unreal, has been made manifest. No translation, however, attempts to make this thought explicit (but see NAB "the reality is the body of Christ").
The reality is Christ may be expressed as "what is real is Christ" or "what exists is Christ."
(from the UBS Handbook Series)
 
Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges, The Epistles To The Colossians and to Philemon, p.105 says:
Tov mellonton,”of the things to come”, i.e. from the point of time when the five things were enjoined. The things that were “future from the standpoint of the Law.” So also in Rom.5:14; Heb.10:1; 6:5; cf. also Heb.9:8, 9. – Unquote!
 
The Expositor’s Greek Testament, vol.3, p.531 comments: It is future from the point of view of Judaism.
 
Thus, the false teachers missed the substance and completeness in Christ and argued for their present and future practice as if the substance (soma - body) had not yet arrived. Specifically we know that Christ is our Passover (1 Cor.5:7). Thus, He is also our food, drink, and Sabbath (rest – see Matthew 11:28f). He is the “body” of all that the shadows anticipated. He is “the good things to come” from the standpoint of the Law. Although Don would like us to see Hebrews 4 as a future Sabbath rest, his own arguments would demand that that Sabbath rest was fully entered in AD 70. Since Christ gives rest from sin and condemnation, we can see Sabbath in His death on the cross and our entrance into that rest. There remains the rest of the Promised Land to the faithful in Christ, but that poses no more problem for my position than for Don’s.
 
Now, let us look from the standpoint of unbelieving Jews. Is the passage saying that if Jews would prefer the shadows, that God is still holding that Law in place until some more “good things to come” arrive for them? No! Unbelieving Jews were just wrong all the way around. They were not obligated to continue the shadows in hopes of other good things to come. They were obligated to repent and obey the gospel and trade the shadows for the substance in Christ. The words of Jesus would judge them (John 12:48). They were obligated to “believe the report” (Isa.53:1ff; Rom.10:16-21). Faith comes by hearing the word of God (Rom.10:17). They were not listening. Therefore, they were not doing what they were “obligated” to do (remember the propositions).
 
Don did not prove that the Jews had more “good things to come” by keeping obligation to the shadows. Thus, he is wrong about this passage. He did not prove that God was holding unbelieving Jews obligated to the Law of Moses and obligated to continue the priesthood of Levi. He NEVER told us how the Jews could be both obligated to believe and obey Jesus AND continue the shadows of the Law. He never really wiggled his way out from under the embarrassment of his two-law theory. Thus, we cannot accept that he really answered the fact that the handwriting of requirements was taken out of the way at the cross. This passage still stands to verify my proposition. Obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross of Christ – because the handwriting of requirements was then taken out of the way and nailed to the cross.
What did Don say THIS time?
 
He repeated his contention that because Hebrews 4 speaks of a remaining Sabbath rest for the people of God, that this shows that the Law was still binding. He insisted again that “things to come” means that new moons and Sabbaths were still binding and looking to future fulfillment.
 
Answer:
 
The future rest is for obedient believers in Christ. The typology is likely from God’s Sabbath rest at the beginning and before the Law of Moses. But, the promise of Psalm 95 extends the idea that God had a “rest” in mind that His obedient people could share with Him some day. Thus, this rest reaches back even before the Law of Moses into the minds of men from the beginning, especially after the fall and loss of Eden’s Paradise to coming into a promised rest with God. While the rest is typified from God’s rest after His creation, it does not seem to necessarily carry the Mosaic covenant Sabbaths as an unaccomplished type and antitype fulfillment. Thus, I conclude that the Sabbaths of the Law of Moses typified rest in Christ (Matthew 11:28). Thus, we have rest or Sabbath from our sins and times of refreshing in Him. That is why the Sabbaths of Col.2:16 could not be bound. Those Sabbaths were shadows fulfilled and replaced with the substance in Christ. The Sabbath rest that reaches back before the Law of Moses into the hope of all mankind from the beginning is the hope of rest with God where no tension exists because of sin, and all labor and toil and struggle can be relaxed in eternal bliss with God. Those pre-Law of Moses hopes were still alive and remained. Even Abraham was desiring a better heavenly city and God was preparing a city for them (Heb.11:16). The reminder in Psalm 95 that there was still a rest that God wanted to share with people was still alive and had been carried by hearts of men before the Law and during the Law. So, I cannot grant Don the validity of even this argument. The law of commandments was nailed to the cross. The shadows were replaced with the reality and substance in Christ. Therefore, since that Mosaic Law was no more authoritative, no man was to judge us in regard to new moons or Sabbaths. The substance they depicted is found in Christ where we are complete. In summary, the “rest” (Sabbath) spoken of in Hebrews 4 is based on the rest God entered after his creation (Gen.2) and is not based on the typology of the Sabbaths imposed by the Law of Moses. Therefore, we do not grant Don his argument that the Jewish Sabbaths had not yet been fulfilled in the substance in Christ.
 
Word Biblical Commentary on Colossians says:
 
The expression “things to come” (ta mellonta) does not refer to what lies in the future from the standpoint of the writer (as Meyer, 387, argued), so pointing, for example, to the time of the Second Coming, for then the skia (“shadow”) would not have been superceded and the ordinances referred to would retain their importance. Rather, the expression is to be interpreted from the period when the legal restrictions of verse 16 were enjoined; it is future from the standpoint of the OT (cf.Williams, 105, Lahnemann, Kolosserbrief, 136, and Schweizer, 120). Christ has arrived. The substance has already come. The regulations belonged to a transitory order, and have lost all binding force. Hence the RSV translation “a shadow of the things to come” is ambiguous, if not misleading; better is the NIV rendering “a shadow of the things that were to come”. (Colossians, p.140).-Unquote!
 
Don needed a verse that showed beyond all shadow of doubt that the Law was not nailed to the cross or abolished and that it was still being carried out under obligation to God. This verse is definitely not proof of that contention. Like all of his other proof-texts, it is not clearly a verse that proves his contention.
 
THE LAW OF COMMANDMENTS ABOLISHED
Eph 2:14-17
 
For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.
NKJV
 
The law of commandments was abolished in His flesh. The Law of Moses was no longer an obligation when Jesus abolished it in His flesh. All one has to do to determine when the law of commandments was abolished is to determine when Jesus was “in His flesh” and on “the cross”. When did Jesus put to death the source of enmity between Jew and Gentile? He did this when He abolished it in His flesh. When did He make possible the unification of Jew and Gentile in one body? He did this “through the cross”. The cross became the means of abolishing the law contained in ordinances. Therefore, we have shown conclusively again, that my proposition is true: Obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross of Christ.
 
But, there is so much more.
 
What did Don say?
 
NOT A WORD! But given his position, who can blame him for ignoring verses that directly deny and contradict his proposition? Should we say anything further about the PAST TENSES that he also ignores in this passage? “He HAS made both one” and “He HAS broken down the middle wall of division between us” and “having abolished in His flesh the law of commandments”. Don says that Jesus didn’t really do it in His flesh. He says that Jesus merely “initiated” it then, but would really abolish it in AD 70.
 
Now catch the power of this next argument! Don has argued that the law was abolished in Christ for believers even before it was all fulfilled (thus cancelling any validity to his Matthew 5:17 argument), and even before Jesus “consummated” the new covenant by “coming back out of the MHP” (thus cancelling an validity to his argument that consummating the covenant in this way was necessary). He has Christians not being obligated to a still binding Law of Moses but bound to an initialized but not consummated new covenant for forty years. He has unbelieving Jews still bound to the Levitical priesthood even though the greater, prophesied and fully established priesthood of their Messiah was already in place. In this case, ALL were obligated to believe and enter Jesus’ death, while none were obligated to remain under the Law of Moses, but at the same time NONE could actually be out from under the Law of Moses until it was ALL fulfilled, and NONE could actually be under obligation to an “unconsummated” covenant until it is consummated. He has Christians meeting their obligation to “die to the Law”, but leaving them under an unconsummated covenant. He has unbelieving Jews obligated to believe in Jesus but also obligated to keep the Law of Moses and the Levitical priesthood at the same time, while also being free to leave the obligations to the Law of Moses and entering with Christians an unconsummated new covenant. Now see if you can untangle the mess Don has made of the scriptures. I must confess that I get lost in the endless entangling weaves of his argumentation.
 
“Obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross of Christ”. All were obligated to believe and enter Jesus’ death. None were obligated to remain under the Law of Moses. My proposition is nearly a quote of Eph.2:14f. But, Don’s proposition was not even a quote or a necessary inference from any passage he offered. He says that Jews were both obligated to Jesus (John 12:48) and the Law of Moses at the same time. What an amazing “obligation” they were under! The passage that Don did not even make an attempt to discuss says specifically that Jesus abolished the law of commandments. It tells us in no uncertain terms WHEN He did so. The reader can decide if this passage sustains my proposition or if it sustains Don’s. Obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross of Christ – because the Law of Commandments were “abolished in His flesh” by way of the cross.
 
What did Don say THIS time?
 
Not a word again! Now how can we even listen to his last negative when both of his first two negatives of this proposition clearly avoided answering my key arguments? If he says something now, I will have no chance to respond. This is why we switch propositions. The negative is supposed to follow the affirmative and answer each of his major arguments, not offer more affirmative material and ignore the rules of debate. If he had answered my first affirmative instead of ignoring it, it would have given me two more chances to cross-examine his answers. Now, if he decides to answer, it will be obvious to the reader that he chose the debater’s tactic of waiting till his own argument on the passage can go without cross-examination.
 
Caldwellcomments on the passage with these insightful observations:
Quote:
Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances. All this was effected by Christ when he abolished (katargesas) the source of the enmity, the Law itself To “abolish is to make null and void, to render inoperative and no longer mandatory, to make useless, to cancel, or to abrogate. The Law of Moses was the source of enmity (echthran) between the two people. Their animosity, feuding, and alienation resulted from national application of the ordinances and promises of the Law to only one side in the dispute.
 
Christ nailed the Law to his cross (Col1:20-22; 2:14; Heb.10:1-10). The separating influence, the Law, had divided the nations because it was a national law, designed for Israel only. The Law, in which they had taken so much pride, had been the very source of their separation. Christ took away the entire Mosaic legal system contained in ordinances and left the Jew with no reason for special pride (Col.2:14;Rom.7:1-4; Gal5:2-4; 2 Cor.3:14). –Unquote! (Truth Commentaries, Ephesians, p.96-97).
 
Don’s only comment throughout the debate on this passage was that “Christ destroyed the commandments IN THE BODY OF HIS DEATH” ,and he makes of that that it was not really abolished, but his death merely removed him out from under it. So, in essence, Don is contending that the Law was not abolished as the passage says, but that when any man dies he is removed from obligation to the Law. Then, he contends that men can mentally enter Jesus’ death and thereby removed themselves out from under the unabolished and binding Law. Paul says that Jesus “abolished the Law”. Don says that Jesus “abolished some people’s obligation to the Law”. Which is correct? Well, Paul is obviously correct. He is inspired of God and his words reflect the mind of God. Don’s words contradict the word of God. He strings together some unclear verses and endows them with assumptions, while ignoring and altering the very clear passages. Here is a passage that tells us exactly when the Law of commandments was abolished. Here is a verse that tells us WHAT was abolished, namely, the LAW. Don denies WHAT was abolished and WHEN it was abolished. He says it was not abolished at the cross, even though this text clearly says it was. Additionally, we must remember that God tore out of the temple when Jesus died to indicate He was no longer to be associated with that earthly temple. The tearing of the veil is intimately connected with Jesus’ death on the cross and the abolishing of the Law. Consider the following observations from others:
 
The Veil Was Rent
 
That the veil is called the "hem of God's garment" is fascinating because, when Jesus died and the veil tore in two, God tore his garment at the temple, signifying the rending of the Levitical priesthood. Yes, God tore his garment, just as Caiaphas tore his robe rending the Aaronic priesthood. God was declaring that the Levitical priesthood was forever fulfilled by the death of his Son, the perfect high priest:
Heb 7:26 For such a high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
Heb 7:27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
The veil represented the flesh of Jesus Christ, and as his body was torn and beaten for us, so the veil was torn away. This symbolized that, as children of God, we are NO LONGER separated from our Creator God and the Holy of Holies, and Jesus Christ was the forerunner into that holy place:
Heb 6:19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;
Heb 6:20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
Heb 10:20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
You may wonder how the writers of the gospels knew that the veil of the temple was torn. During certain feast days, the door of the temple was left open and one was able to see inside the temple. When the veil was torn, the Aaronic priesthood was officially severed from existence, and a new covenant through the blood of our new high priest, Jesus Christ, was established.
The final words of Jesus Christ on the cross included, "It is finished":
Joh 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
If you were to study Hebrew customs, you would discover that these same words were said by the high priest when offering a sacrifice at certain feast days, including Passover. The high priest would stretch out his arms and say "Naghid", which in Hebrew means "It is done". Jesus also had his arms stretched out, and as the perfect final sacrifice, he cried "It is finished". Yet more evidence of the transfer of the priesthood to Jesus Christ.
 
The veil of the Temple torn from top to bottom.
 
A. Here was a sign to be observed first by the Jews, particularly by the priestly establishment that had demanded Jesus' death by the Romans. Josephus says that the Temple veil separating the Most Holy Place from the outer room was 60 feet tall, 30 feet across, and as thick as a man's hand. For it to tear was a mighty sign, probably a noisy one, and certain to attract horrified attention.
B. This was a sign that the Jewish dispensation, by the act of God Himself, was at an end. The privileges of law, priesthood and national covenant had separated Jew from Gentile for over 1,000 years. Now God was removing the barriers, creating in His Son a new covenant of grace, offered to "every creature" (Ephesians 2:14,15; Mark 16:15,16).
C. Here was notice that now, by Christ's death, God was making known in public view the revelation of the mystery which had been hidden from past ages. In the cross of Jesus, the "curtain" was torn away from the secret purpose of grace, exposing to historical vision God's wrath against sin, His love for sinners, and His way of satisfying both in divine justice. As the gospel of Christ is proclaimed, angels see what neither they nor the prophets could know before - that the new Christian community is the concrete demonstration of the eternal plan of redemption; in His Son, and in Him alone, God reconciled, redeemed, justified, sanctified and glorified all those who would be united with Him by living faith (Ephesians 3:1-11; 1 Peter 1:9-12).
D. This was a sign that the way into the heavenly Holy Place was now opened for human travel, cleared and paved by the atoning work of God's Son our Forerunner and Scout (Hebrews 6:19,20; 10:19, 20).
 
The Cross Abolished Animal Sacrifice
 
The idea that God continued the first covenant and its animal sacrifices in order to establish the second covenant and the sacrifice of Christ, is not the Hebrew writer's position. He says that Jesus "takes away the first that he might establish the second" (Heb 10:4-10). Who will you believe? Those who say that God continued to recognize animal offerings, or the inspired writer who says God had abolished them?
Some will reply that there is no question of whether Christ abolished animal sacrifice. Of course he did. The question is when. They will say not at the cross, but in AD70 at the destruction of Jerusalem. But the Hebrew writer says it was when Jesus came to do God's will in offering his body once for all.
In the following verses he makes it perfectly clear that the sacrifices still being offered in the temple were "no longer any offering for sin" because Christ had offered "one sacrifice for sins for all time" (Heb 10:11-22).
Who will you believe? Those who say animal sacrifices still made atonement, or the inspired writer who says they were no longer any offering for sin?
 
Matt 27:51
This rending of the veil was emblematical, and pointed out that the separation between Jews and Gentiles was now abolished, and that the privilege of the high priest was now communicated to all mankind: ALL might henceforth have access to the throne of grace, through the one great atonement and mediator, the Lord Jesus. See this beautifully illustrated in Heb 10:19-22.(from Adam Clarke's Commentary)
 
But now, the one atoning Sacrifice being provided in the precious blood of Christ, access to this holy God could no longer be denied; and so the moment the Victim expired on the altar, that thick veil which for so many ages had been the dread symbol of separation between God and guilty men was, without a hand touching it, mysteriously "rent in twain from top to bottom:" - "the Holy Spirit this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was NOW made manifest!" How emphatic the statement, "from top to bottom;" as if to say, Come boldly now to the Throne of Grace; the veil is clean gone; the Mercyseat stands open to the gaze of sinners, and the way to it is sprinkled with the blood of Him - "who through the eternal Spirit hath offered Himself without spot to God"! Before, it was death to go in, now it is death to stay out. See more on this glorious subject at Heb 10:19-22.
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary)
 
These points are devastating to Don’s position. That is why he avoided answering my argument and chose to keep offering more affirmative material and demanding that I answer him some more. No, readers, I followed Don’s arguments when I was in the negative, and it was his turn to follow my arguments. He chose not to do so unless or until he would be in position not to be cross-examined. Readers, I encourage you to make careful note of what Don says about this passage.
 
THE LAW SERVED ITS PURPOSE IN BRINGING US TO CHRIST
Gal 3:24-25
24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. NKJV
 
Paul said that “we are no longer under a tutor” which he has identified as “the law”. He wrote Galatians early in his ministry, long before AD 70. My proposition says that “obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross”. Don’s proposition says that obligation to the Law of Moses continued until AD 70. Who do we believe? The inspired message from Paul is that long before AD 70, he could safely say, “we are no longer under the law”. When did faith come? It came long before AD 70. Well, whenever faith came, we were no longer under obligation to the Law of Moses. The first system was taken away so that He could establish the second. In Galatians 4 Paul says that the second covenant was in place. The first was taken away and the second was established. ALL were obligated to the second, and only condemned unbelievers kept themselves attached to the tutor and failed to believe the tutor who was trying to get them ready to graduate to faith in Jesus Christ.
 
What did Don say?
 
Not a word! It’s as if he was not satisfied with the job he did with his proposition and spent most of his time back on the former proposition trying desperately to prop it back up, and spent very little in answer to the affirmative of THIS proposition we are supposed to be discussing now. Again, look closely! It is amazing how closely Paul’s inspired words come to stating my proposition: “After faith HAS COME, we are NO LONGER under the tutor (the Law of Moses).” Readers, please keep coming back to the proposition. People were “no longer under the Law” because the Law brings one to Christ. Otherwise, all one has is a MISUSED Law, and how could GOD be obligating anyone to a MISUSED Law that DOES NOT “bring one to Jesus”? But, if the Law “brings one to Christ”, how could one remain obligated to the Law of Moses to continue to keep its shadows? If the Law does NOT bring one to Christ, then it is only a misused Law and not the Law of Moses at all. But also keep in mind that people could lawfully be out from under the Law of Moses when faith came (faith in Jesus) and that long before the destruction of Jerusalem. But, the fact that people COULD and WERE out from under the Law indicates that Don’s argument on Matthew 5:17 was faulty. People could be out from under the Law before and without it all first being fulfilled down to every kind of prophecy. Galatians 3:24-25 remains untouched and still testifies to the truth of my proposition. Obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross of Christ – because the faith came so that we would no longer need the tutor or Law (it having accomplished its mission of bringing us to Christ).
 
What did Don say THIS time?
 
Not a word! But, we can probably expect him to say something when he cannot be cross-examined.
 

THE ALL OR NONE PRINCIPLE
Gal 5:3-6
3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.
NKJV
 
In this passage, Paul tells us clearly that the law that bound circumcision is not a law to which we are obligated. But, he argues that if one were inclined to bind one aspect of the law, namely circumcision, then the logic of such a move would be to feel indebted to keep the WHOLE law. It is all or none. You either take all of the Law of Moses, or you take Christ at His word that He has ALL AUTHORITY. If Jesus has ALL authority, then Moses and the law has no longer ANY authority. Paul does not give us room to think that people were obligated to the Law of Moses and to Christ for even those first forty years. For the time between Jesus death on the cross in AD 30 and all the way past AD 70 to the present, we have obligation to the full authority of Jesus Christ alone.
 
What did Don say?
 
He said I totally ignored “audience relevance” and that I do not, myself, believe that the New Covenant had been “fully delivered”.
 
 
Answer:
 
Actually, Deut.18:15f and Acts 3 showed the “audience relevance”. The Jews were totally responsible to the “all authority” given to Jesus. From then on, it was to Jesus only that they owed faith, submission, obligation, and obedience of faith. Otherwise, they were meeting NONE of their obligations. By rejecting Jesus, they could give no obedience to Moses, for he sends all to Christ. By rejecting Jesus, they could give no allegiance to God, for He gave Christ to save all from sin and condemnation. There was no ground in-between. Furthermore, I do believe the New Covenant was fully delivered. It was not on paper or stone, but it was fully delivered and ratified by the blood of Christ. See earlier notes on this. Thus, my proposition stands firmly supported by the All or None principle of Gal.5:3-6. That principle works in reverse just as well as in forward gear. Think about it! If the Jews were obligated to ANY of the Law of Moses, they were obligated to ALL of it including the obligation it enjoined to HEED the greater Prophet like Moses (Deut.18:15f). But, if they are obligated to THAT PROPHET, then that Prophet obligates them to recognize His “all authority” whereby they would be obligated to “no longer” be under Moses, but Jesus. Thus, again, my proposition stands untouched. Obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross of Christ –because from then on it is ALL or NONE of the Law of Moses, and the ALL principle always send one to Christ and the NONE principle is because Christ has ALL the authority.
 
What did Don say THIS time?
 
He says that Paul was not addressing Non-Christian Jews and therefore the application is not relevant.
 
Answer:
 
It is true that Paul is not directly addressing non-Christian Jews. However, the point is that the truth he stated is very relevant. All people were obligated by Moses to get ready to listen to the greater Prophet who was to come (Deut.18:15f). They knew they were obligated to all the words God would put in His mouth and that he “shall speak to them ALL that I command Him” (v.18). Thus, the obligation placed upon them was to Hear Him (the Prophet, who was JESUS). Peter reminded the unbelieving Jews of their obligation by Moses to hear that greater prophet “in ALL THINGS, WHATEVER HE SAYS TO YOU” (Acts 3:22f). Thus, non-Christian Jews were under the obligation to HEAR that Prophet in all things or be destroyed. The implication becomes obvious. They too (those unbelieving Jews) were under obligation to ALL the Messiah-Prophet said, or NONE of Moses. Why? Because Moses does not provide the option of doing only a few of the things he (Moses) said. But, one thing he said was that all Israel would have to listen to Jesus. It would then be ALL of Jesus or NONE of MOSES. There was no middle ground for any Jew. If ALL of Moses, then Moses passes them on to Christ. When a Jew fulfills his obligations to Moses, he is tutored to accept Jesus Christ (Gal.3:24f). If he is not schooled by Moses to come to Christ, then he has a misused version of Moses. People were “no longer under the Law” because the Law brings one to Christ. Otherwise, all one has is a MISUSED Law, and how could GOD be obligating anyone to a MISUSED Law that DOES NOT “bring one to Jesus”? But, if the Law “brings one to Christ”, how could one remain obligated to the Law of Moses to continue to keep its shadows? If the Law does NOT bring one to Christ, then it is only a misused Law and not the Law of Moses at all. But also keep in mind that people could lawfully be out from under the Law of Moses when faith came (faith in Jesus) and that long before the destruction of Jerusalem. What Paul says to Christian Jews in Galatia is that they were under obligation to Jesus totally as they had been tutored by Moses to do. This means also that non-Christian Jews were obligated by the Tutor (the Law) to graduate to Jesus. If they did not, then they were failing God and the Law. They were meeting NONE of their obligations before God. Don may not like the relevance of this, but it is still very relevant.
 
THE SPIRIT LEADS ALL OUT FROM UNDER THE LAW
 
Furthermore, we could add that obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross because the Spirit leads all to Christ and no longer leads ANY to stay under the bondage of the Law. (Gal.5:18). Therefore, whoever was led by the Spirit was not under the Law, and whoever chose to remain under the Law was not led by the Spirit. The Spirit obligated no one to continue under the Law, and obligated ALL to come into Christ. Therefore, the Spirit could not be obeyed while rejecting Jesus and continuing as if obligated to the Law of Moses. Thus, again, my proposition is proven to be true.
 
What did Don say?
 
Not a word! Who can blame him? It is totally devastating to his position. Catch the power of this! Don says that GOD was obligating some people to keep the Law of Moses on up to the time of the destruction of Jerusalem. Paul, on the other hand, says that NO ONE could be “led by the Spirit” and also “be under the Law”. So, how could God (the Spirit) be “obligating” the Jews to keep the Law of Moses? Is He not leading all men to Christ so that “we are no longer under the Law” (3:24f)? Now, get this! If unbelieving Jews are “led by the SPIRIT” then they are not under the Law. But, if they are “under the Law”, then they are NOT led by the Spirit. But, if they are under the Law and at the same time “not led by the Spirit”, then how can GOD be the one “obligating” them to keep the Law of Moses? If they are “keeping the Law of Moses” because GOD is obligating them to, then they ARE led by the Spirit to do so. The power of this verse is that it does not provide any wiggle-room for Don. It traps his position and exposes it as false. No one can be fulfilling obligations to God and be obligated to keep the Law of Moses after faith in Jesus has come. Obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross of Christ – because the Spirit leads ALL to Christ and leads NONE to stay under the Law of Moses.
 
What did Don say THIS time?
 
He said that this ignores the transition period and ignores the fact that they could only come into Christ when the gospel was preached to them.
 
Answer:
 
First, the gospel HAD been preached to them. How many Jews heard on the day of Pentecost alone? How many were obligated then? ALL were obligated to Jesus then. Paul said they heard but were a disobedient and contrary people (Rom.10:17-21). To the Colossians he spoke of the gospel “which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven”(Col.1:23). Of this verse one commentary says, “Not merely 'is being preached,' but has been actually preached. Pliny, not many years subsequently, in his famous letter to the emperor Trajan (B. X., Ep. 9:7 ), writes, 'Many of every age, rank, and sex are being brought to trial; for the contagion of that superstition (Christianity) has spread over not only cities, but villages and the country.'
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary)
 
The fact remains that instead of it being a “specious” argument, it is factual that though Saul thought he was doing the right thing in persecuting the church, he was not led by the Spirit. As Stephen said to him and all, “you always RESIST the Holy Spirit” (Acts 7:51f). Saul later came to realize that what Stephen had said was true. He became Paul the servant of Jesus Christ, and repeated the sentiment of Stephen, “if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law” (Gal.5:18). Don says that people were under obligation of the Spirit of God to continue to keep the Law of Moses until AD 70. He is just wrong. The law was abolished at the cross. The Spirit had plentifully prepared honest hearts to graduate to Jesus at the proper time to where they could no longer be under the Law. Those who are led by the Spirit of God know beyond doubt and regardless of the spin Don puts on various scriptures that the law of commandments were “abolished in His flesh” and annulled when He became High Priest. Those who listen to the Spirit of God know beyond doubt that no one was to remain under the Law and all were obligated to come into Christ. “We are no longer under the Law” was the Spirit truth taught long before the destruction of Jerusalem.
 
Don’s logic chain was flawed from the start, and every link in his chain was full of assumptions, therefore his conclusion is wrong. He has not established:
That the Torah was the power of the holy people referred to,
That the Law was still binding up to the destruction of Jerusalem,
That Daniel 12 and 1 Corinthians 15 are talking about the same identical thing that happens at the same identical time or that both passages are talking about the same kind of resurrection.
Therefore, Don’s arguments have all been assumptions built on top of further assumptions, and each assumption is full of holes. Thus, his argument on Daniel 12 and 1 Corinthians 15 did not stand.
 
Galatians 4:22f
 
Don ignored my counter-points on this passage. So, I offer them here again.
First, as Paul wrote, the second covenant was in place, and he was himself converted over from being associated with Hagar and Mount Sinai. He argues that Hagar and Mount Sinai correspond to “Jerusalem which now is”. Paul is claiming that he was no longer associated with that Jerusalem. Paul is arguing that we are not obligated to the first covenant but the second covenant. If anyone remained associated with the Old Covenant, it was by BLIND CHOICE, not by obligation of God. From God’s perspective, all are obligated to Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant. Those who rejected this Mediator and Covenant would be cast out at the destruction of Jerusalem. In this text, they are cast out because they rejected the New Covenant and all that the Old had promised. “Casting out” the Old Covenant in the destruction of Jerusalem does not mean that God was holding people “obligated” to live by that covenant.
 
Secondly, He is casting out the covenant and the children of that covenant because they preferred the bondage of that system over the liberty of the New Covenant. Waiting a while to visibly cast them out, is not the same as keeping people under “obligation” to that covenant. When were they “broken off” the tree of God? Paul says it was when they did not “believe”(Rom.11:15-21) when “the faith had come”(Gal.3:23-25). So, the covenant was cancelled at the cross (Eph.2:14; Col.2:14f), the unbelievers were “broken off”(Rom.11) and all that was left was to “gather them and throw them into the fire”(Jno.15:6). This is the phase called “casting out” in Gal.4:30.
 
Thirdly, Paul was not under two covenants at once. No one had a “right” or “obligation” to prefer the first covenant over the second. This is why I asked Don, and he did not answer, if all Jews were “obligated” to Jesus. If all Jews were obligated to Jesus, and they were (Jno.12:48), then they were obligated to His priesthood, sacrifice, and New Covenant. If they were obligated to Jesus in all these ways, then they could NOT also be obligated to the Old Covenant with priesthood and sacrifices at the same time.
The only thing that we really got out of Don here was that on the matter of Romans 11 where Paul said the unbelieving Jews were “broken off” , he said there was “an already-but-not-yet reality at work”. How convenient! My point was that they were already broken off but not yet cast into the fire. That fits the facts of the case, and it also shows that obligation to keep the law of Moses was not in place. Condemnation for not believing Jesus was in place, and this persecuting child will be visibly cast out and burned in the fires of destruction.
 
Please make note that the second covenant was already established and was like freewoman Sarah giving birth to her promised child. Paul says she IS free (right then and long before AD 70) and she IS the mother of us all (thus already in effect long before the destruction of Jerusalem. Thus, no man was obligated to stay under bondage to the first covenant when they had opportunity to be free under the new covenant. If that second covenant was already in place as a mother giving birth to free children, then my proposition is supported by this passage. Don’s contention has been that Christ could not really make men free until he comes back out of the MHP and consummates the covenant in AD 70. Paul, a Jew, had already experienced freedom under the second covenant long before the destruction of Jerusalem. How could such blessings be enjoyed under an unconsummated covenant? Watch Don on this too!
 
Don’s Progression of Assumptions
 
His view of eschatology distorts every thing it touches. Notice the progression of errors:
 
Every promise has to be fulfilled in order for the law to be abolished (error based on eisegesis of Matthew 5:17).
The days of vengeance (destruction of Jerusalem) is when “all things which are written may be fulfilled”(Luke 21:22).
Therefore, even the promise of Isaiah 25:8 and Hosea 13:14 quoted in 1 Cor.15:54-55 had to be fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in order for the “all things which are written”(Luke 21:22) to be fulfilled.
Therefore, the resurrection of Daniel 12 and 1 Cor.15 are the same, and therefore the conclusion that the resurrection is past, and the conclusion that death has been swallowed up, the mortal changed to immortal, all in AD 70.
 
When we refuse to allow Don the assumptions he attaches to each verse, then his theory does not work. So, let us analyze each point individually again.
Error #1 is when he assumes that Matt.5:17 means the law cannot be abolished until every promise in the OT is fulfilled. Jesus fulfilled whatever was included under “the least of these COMMANDMENTS” and “took them out of the way nailing them to His cross” and “abolished in His flesh the law of commandments (Matt.5:19; Eph.2:14f; Col.2:14f). Also inherent within Don’s error #1 is the error that allows Jesus to abolish the law for SOME without every promise first being fulfilled. So, his first error is full of assumptions that we cannot grant to him and the text does not demand or allow, and the above inherent errors falsify his usage of Matt.5:17 and his proposition.
 
Error #2 is when he expands Luke 21:22 to include more than the context demands. Granted that “all things that are written” sounds all-inclusive, but a little thought would show that it is all things within a certain category. For example, the days of vengeance would not fulfill the things written about the birth of the Messiah, His death and resurrection. Those days would not fulfill the “law of commandments contained in ordinances”. Don wants this passage to mean only “the rest of what’s left that wasn’t fulfilled in Jesus”, but it says, “all things that are written”. So, what does it mean? Take a look at each context and you will find that “all things” is all things within a certain category. See Luke 2:39; 11:41. In Luke 18:31 “all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished” on that trip to Jerusalem. But, there were things written by the prophets that concerned the Son of Man that were NOT “all” accomplished on that trip to Jerusalem. In Jesus’ final moments on the cross John comments that “after this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst”. But, the resurrection had not been accomplished, so “all things” means “all things” within a certain category. Further, while “all things” were put under man’s feet (Psa.8:6), the Hebrew writer admits that “we do not YET see all things put under him” (Hebrews 2:8). Thus, there are contextual limitations to “all things” in a given context. “All things that are written” in the context of Luke 21:22,32 have to do with all things that pertained to the end of the Jewish Temple system, but not all things about the Messiah, His kingdom, final judgment, or the fulfillment of the righteous requirements of the Law, or the final putting down of death and Hades, or the final end of sin. If we allow Don too much eisegesis with Luke 21:22,32, he will make it appear that he has a valid point. If we carefully watch each context, we find that his theory is out of harmony with too many plain passages of scripture. Error #2 therefore cannot stand.
 
Error #3 is built on the first two errors. If you grant the first two errors and treat them as true exegesis of the text and context of Matt.5:17 and Luke 21:22, then you are prepared to swallow his theory that Isaiah 25:8 and Hosea 13:14 had to have been fulfilled by the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, and therefore, you are ready to accept that the resurrection described in 1 Corinthians 15 that promises that “when this mortal shall have put on immortality then will be brought to pass the saying that is written, ‘O death where is your sting”- was fulfilled in the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem. Paul quotes Isa.25:8 and Hosea 13:14 and says those OT scriptures would be fulfilled in the resurrection. So, if you would accept Don’s first two errors, then you are ready to accept his third error that the resurrection had to have occurred when “all things” had to be fulfilled in the days of vengeance. Thus, you are ready to swallow the theory that the resurrection DID occur in AD 70. You then have to believe that death was swallowed up in victory. We cannot grant the assumptions applied each step of the way. The assumption that “promises” beyond the scope of the covenant cannot even be mentioned in a covenant, and in this case the old covenant, is a false assumption. A covenant can mention things that will exist beyond the scope of its own life or time limitations. To say it cannot is ludicrous. Where did we get that rule? Who made it up, and upon what basis? The Sinai covenant looked to an earlier time before its own existence, back to the beginning, and it can and does mention things beyond its own scope of life to a new covenant, a new king that will not continue the covenant that mentions this fact, a new priesthood, a new kingdom age, and to a future time when death will end and man will be fully restored back to God. Those things do not have to come to pass before the covenant that mentions it is replaced. The laws contained in ordinances were abolished at the cross. The promises of better things, or of a time when death would finally be swallowed up in victory, did not keep people under obligation to keep the Law of Moses until every promise was fulfilled or that the destruction of Jerusalem become a magical moment when obligation suddenly ended. We cannot grant that Don has proven that Isaiah 25:8 and Hosea 13:14 fit within the contextual scope of the “all things” mentioned in Luke 21:22,32. Therefore, he has not proven his proposition or the arguments he used to build his case.
 
Error #4 was in combining Da.12 with 1 Cor.15 and asserting that both texts are speaking of the same kind of resurrection AND assuming that both kinds happened at the same time or were the same resurrection in AD 70. But, a spiritual resurrection is the focus of Dan.12 and is of the sort mentioned in John 5:24 and Rom.11:15, while the resurrection of 1 Cor.15 is of the same nature as Jesus’ literal resurrection from physical death, and the whole argument of 1 Cor.15 is based on that resurrection being the “firstfruits” of all that will follow later. Thus, we could not grant Don the assumptions he made on both passages.
 
I understand why he wanted to make his eschatological theories so vitally important to proving his proposition. But, we cannot grant him such liberty of assumptions. Too many clear passages show that obligation shifted from Moses and the Prophets to Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant. Unbelieving Jews were not obligated to keep the Law of Moses while ignoring the new law and Prophet like Moses (Jesus, the Messiah). All were obligated to die to the Law of Moses and all were obligated to give up their hold on that abolished system. All were obligated to hear that Prophet (Deut.18:15f; Acts 3:19,22-26). All will be judged by the words of Jesus (John 12:48). All were obligated to the Law of the Lord that went forth from Jerusalem (Acts 2ff with Isaiah 2:1-4). No one remained obligated to keep the Law of Moses instead. It is not all right to reject Jesus, His kingship, kingdom, priesthood and sacrifice, and continue as if obligated to the Law of Moses. That Law was abolished in His flesh. The wrath of God was upon those who continued to reject Jesus and who therefore pretended to be keeping obligations under Moses. Moses sends people to Christ where are all authority resides. All the world was obligated to “hear ye Him” (Matt.17), allowing Moses and the Prophets to have fulfilled their mission.
 
2 Corinthians 3 Does Not Show a Phasing In Of The New Testament and a Phasing Out of the Old Still In Progress
2 Cor 3:11
For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.
[For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.] Here is another striking difference between the law and the Gospel. The former is termed to katargoumenon, that which is counterworked and abolished; the latter to menon, that which continues, which is not for a particular time, place, and people, as the law was; but for ALL times, all places, and all people. As a great, universal, and permanent GOOD vastly excels a good that is small, partial, and transitory; so does the Gospel dispensation, that of the law. (from Adam Clarke's Commentary).
 
The Law was still glorious to the Jew who had a veil still on their heart as they read the Old Testament (2 Cor.3:15). The veil is taken away in Christ. That is, in Christ one can see the end of the fading glory of the old covenant depicted in Moses’ face. Turning to the Lord takes away the veil and brings one into present liberty. Notice that Jews were keeping it only because a veil was over their heart (that is not good, and certainly not an “obligation” of God to handle the Old Testament the way they were handling it). Notice also that “turning to the Lord” would remove the veil so they could see their need to come into Christ for liberty (they were obligated to turn to the Lord, and they were not obligated to stay under the Old Covenant with a veil over their hearts). Notice also that people who could not see the value and truth of the gospel were then “perishing” (thus not fulfilling their “obligations” to handle the word of God correctly so the veil on their heart could be removed (4:2,3).
 
The versions that say “is passing away” are not without question. The same word appears in other passages to say:
 
Rom 7:6 - But now we are delivered (not “will be delivered” or “are being delivered”) from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. KJV
2 Cor 3:13 - And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished (not “is being abolished”) :
2 Cor 3:14 - But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. KJV
Eph 2:15 - Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; KJV
 
The weight of the evidence (though not 100% conclusive) is that “is done away” is most consistent with the context and with the other clearer passages such as Eph.2:15. This passage has no doubt or question-marks attached. We must conclude that Don is trying to build his case on questionable renderings. He combines questionable renderings with other passages that he takes out of context. Then, with his string of proof-texts, none of which clearly prove his proposition, he ignores clearer passages and declares that he has proven his proposition.
 
Additionally, there are other valid explanations that would allow for the present tense and still not be saying that God was holding people “obligated” to continue under the Law of Moses. For example, it is plausible to view that the law of commandments was “abolished”, just as Paul said in Eph.2:15, while also recognizing that unbelieving Jews are not convinced of it now but soon will be when the external evidence mounts up to the destruction of their temple. In the context Paul speaks of those “who glory in appearance and not in heart” (5:12). It could be that Paul is referring to the Jews who still had the veil over their hearts in reading the Old Testament as the ones glorying in appearance. That is, they thought that the presence of the temple and the ongoing work of the priests at that temple was evidence that the Law had not been “abolished” (even though the temple veil was torn from top to bottom, they could replace it and claim that God was still there). On the other hand, those with the light of the gospel and the word of God handled correctly knew that “old things have passed away” and “behold, all things have become new” (2 Cor.5:17). So, those who had light knew that the law of commandments had been abolished, but those who were blind and gloried in “appearance” would see the system externally pass away if they would not be persuaded by the events surrounding the cross, the torn temple veil, and the resurrection of Jesus. So, Paul could be speaking perceptionally of those who had a veil over their hearts and were blinded by the god of this world that the old covenant “is passing away” (if we could grant that present tense beyond all shadow of doubt). So, with doubt about the tense, the law “is done away”, and with regard to those who glory in appearance it “is passing away”. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is (present tense) already ‘liberty” from that old killing system. Where the Spirit of the Lord is not found, in the blinded who read the old testament with a veil over their hearts and who glory in “appearance” (external things), the old testament “is passing away”. There is no Lord and no Spirit attached to that system and therefore no ‘obligation” by God for them to continue neglecting so great salvation in the Lord. Their only obligation was to take that veil off of their hearts and “turn to the Lord”(2 Cor.3:16; same word as when Peter obligated the Jews to “turn” and be converted –Acts 3:19). Thus, there was no “obligation” upon the Jews except to “turn” to the Lord. The passage does not affirm an ongoing “obligation” (our propositions) to keep the Law of Moses.
 
Alternative Explanation of Zechariah 11
 
Don made his argument on this passage only in his second negative. I will not have a chance to respond to his counter-arguments because he introduced it late in the debate. I offer here my thoughts on the passage, and acknowledge that some sentences given in bold italics (though the transmission may not show this) are comments I found helpful and true from Fred Miller’s “Commentary on Zechariah”.
 
Zec. 11:7 And I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock.
Jesus started out feeding Israel in general,compassionately seeing them as “sheep without a shepherd” but eventually seeing only the poor (perhaps lowly in spirit) as the ones who would actually feed under His shepherding. Paul claimed that Jesus’ followers were as sheep lead to the slaughter, yet, “more than conquerors through Him who loved us”(Rom.8:36-37). Miller: The innocent among God's people are here called "the flock of slaughter" because they are treated like sheep whose shepherds seek only their own profit and care not for the flock. This describes the nation's religious leaders at the time of Messiah's visit. God still has a plan for the remnant, here called the flock of slaughter, which is at once revolutionary, and violent, marking the end of his covenant.
 
Zec. 11:8- Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul loathed them, and their soul also abhorred me. 11:9 Then said I, I will not feed you; that that dies, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another.
 
"The three shepherds." If they are not pictures of the rulers of the High Priests, the Pharisees, and the Sadducees, then they are leaders, at the time indicated, of like stature. That is, they are the major recognized shepherds of the people. Of these shepherds Jesus of Nazareth leveled the most scathing rebukes and reserved epithets for them that no one calls any other man unless they are the most despicable enemies (Matt.23). "My soul loathed them." Of them Jesus said, "Let them alone, they are blind leaders, themselves heading for and leading others into the pit."-Unquote! So, Jesus let them alone. As far as He was concerned they could eat each other’s flesh while Jesus’ disciples would eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God (John 6). Jesus would have loved and provided care and protection to the leaders “but you were not willing”. Thus, they were left to their own demise which eventually would lead to them eating each other’s flesh.
Zec. 11:10 And I took my staff, even Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people. 11:11 And it was broken in that day; and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the LORD.
Verse 10 all the people: Hebrew "kal ha'ammiym," , means "all peoples" and may mean different states. The breaking of the covenant with all the people must refer to the change of covenants at the cross. "All the people" may mean all the tribes of Israel who, although not existing as separate bodies politic at the time this prophecy was uttered, did so exist when the covenant was made on Mt.Sinai. Thus it is the covenant that "I had made with all the peoples," not only with the house of Judah. It is that covenant which was broken when the betrayal and wounding of the Messiah took place, for that covenant was taken out of our way and was nailed to the cross. Both the wounding of the cross and the betrayal that led to it are foretold and are in the context and are dependant on the figure in this passage. Inquote! -Jesus temporarily allowed His Beauty to be broken in two in His humiliated and broken body on the cross so that He could end the covenant made with all Israel at Sinai. Paul agrees and says that He “abolished in His flesh…the law of commandments”(Eph.2:15). The disciples, the poor among the flock, waited upon Jesus, and knew that “it was the word of the Lord”. They related it to passages like Isaiah 53 and perhaps this one too.
 
Zec. 11:12 And I said unto them, If you think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. 11:13 And the LORD said to me, Cast it to the potter; a goodly price that I was prized at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.
This is one of those amazing prophecies that cannot be explained away and which caused the apostle Paul to say that his beloved Jewish nation still wears a veil on their heart in the reading of the Old Testament. Judas contracted to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver which he afterward regretted. He threw down the money in the Temple. The priests determined that it could not be put in the Temple treasury since Jesus had been put to death and it was the price of blood. In the meantime Judas hanged himself in a clay pit belonging to a potter. This abandoned pit was purchased with the 30 pieces of silver and the location was made a community burial ground for indigent people. Judas had hanged long enough that his body disintegrated and he was buried where he fell. The money which had been used for Jesus' price ended up in the hand of the potter. It was the same 30 pieces of silver when Judas received them, cast them down, the priests bought the field with them, and the potter put them in his purse. Unquote. These are scenes surrounding the great event of the cross of Jesus Christ, His death in an ugly (not beautiful) moment in which betrayal was involved, and the breaking of the old covenant with Israel was to establish the second way of sanctification. He takes away the first in a not-so-beautiful moment “that He may establish the second (Heb.10:9).
 
Zec. 11:14 Then I cut asunder my other staff, even Bands, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.
 
We must make note here that by breaking His staff called “Beauty”, he engaged something that looked ugly that accomplished his plan to abolish the covenant made with Israel at Sinai. During this time there was the betrayal and deal made for thirty pieces of silver. Thus, the timing of breaking the covenant fits better at the time of the cross rather that at the destruction of Jerusalem. This agrees with the clear declaration of Paul that the law of commandments was abolished at the cross (Col.2:14f; Eph.2:14f). Now, another thing accomplished at the cross was breaking the bonds of brotherhood between Judah and Israel. Jesus said that He did not come to give peace but a sword and a man’s foes would be those of his own household (Matt.10:34-39). The events of the cross and resurrection, and the preaching of the gospel, set Jews into decision time and many families were divided in their convictions (Acts 2ff). Now, those who sided with the truth of Jesus Christ were united and found brotherhood even among Gentiles (Eph.2). But, the brotherhood between Judah and Israel was never the same after the death, and resurrection of Jesus.
My conclusion is that language of Zechariah does not fit Don’s position as well as it fits mine. The New Testament lays out the breaking of the covenant as an event around the cross (Heb.7:12; Eph.2:14f) at which time Jesus’ staff of Beauty was broken in His humiliation. The leaders of Israel had already been told that their house would be left desolate and at the death of Jesus, God tore out of their house (ripping the veil from top to bottom), no longer claiming it as His house. Their house was left empty of God. Also found in this text is the poor among the flock being able to see that this was the word of the Lord (from Pentecost onward the poor-in-heart disciples showed clearly that Jesus’ death was associated with the word of the Lord (using Isaiah 53 and other passages to demonstrate this). Meanwhile, during these same events Zechariah mentions the deal for thirty pieces of silver. Again, the New Testament associates this with events around the cross and not at the destruction of Jerusalem (Matt.27:3-10). Also, after those events we can see how “Bonds” were broken in the decisions that families had to make from Pentecost onward. While Don tries to bring the “eating of each other’s flesh” into the very moment of the “breaking of the covenant”, I would see the eating of each other’s flesh as the eventual consequence of Jesus “letting them alone” because they were blind leaders of the blind and both would eventually fall into the ditch (Matt.15:14). They abhorred Jesus and He loathed them, calling them a “brood of vipers” and “whitewashed walls”. The eventual consequence was that they would wind up eating each others flesh.
 
Zechariah 11 has some complicated ways of wording, but the New Testament clears up the moment of the breaking of Beauty and Bonds and the breaking of the covenant as something that happened at the cross (Eph.2:11ff). It is also clear that the eating of each other’s flesh was a consequence of not being willing to let Jesus be their shepherd and feed them with His very life-blood. The passage does not force the conclusion that the covenant ends when the eating of each other’s flesh began.
 
Don Admits Two Laws At Same Time
 
While he argues that this is workable because God had two laws at same time for different people (Jews had Old Testament and Gentiles had other moral law), the problem he fails to address is that Jews were obligated to Jesus, the Messiah and Mediator of the New Testament (via Deut.18:15f; Acts 3:19f; Jno.12:48) at the same time that Don says that the Old Covenant was also still binding. So, this puts the same people obligated to two laws at once. He says the believers were released from obligation to the old, but that still puts unbelievers under obligation to Jesus and Moses at the same time. Remember his argument to the millenialists.
 
Romans 7
Don said:
Let me clear something up right here before proceeding. Terry says: "Since he (Don) admitted that Christians rightly "died to the Law of Moses" (Rom.7:4), and could do so because the Law was nailed to the cross..."
Now, once again, Terry totally misrepresents what I have said. He claims that I have admitted that the Law was nailed to the Cross. TERRY, YOU KNOW I HAVE SAID NO SUCH THING! This is a BLATANT MISREPRESENTATION of my view. –Unquote!
 
Answer:
That is correct! As I look back, that was not what Don said. So, I apologize to you Don. You did not say the law was nailed to the cross. You did say that Christians “died to the Law” and implied that it was right for them to do so. Paul is the one that said it was “abolished in His flesh”(Eph.2:14f) and said the “handwriting of requirements” was “nailed to the cross” (Col.2:14f). Now, if it was right for some Jews to “die to the Law”, and in fact were under obligation of Deut.18:15f to do so when the greater Prophet was raised from the dead (Matt.17; Acts 3:22f), then ALL Jews were obligated to die to the Law (Rom.7). Paul said that the cross disarmed all other principalities and powers and released Christians from obligation to new moons, feasts, and Sabbaths (Col.2:14-17). But, all are obligated to become Christians. Now, since all were obligated to hear Jesus, they were obligated to die to the Law that had been abolished and nailed to the cross.
 
Don Repeats His False Claim:
This claim is akin to your "Romans 7" argument, where you claimed that you made such a powerful argument that Preston had to concede! In fact, you had not even mentioned Romans 7! (emphasis mine –TB). I am confident that when I pointed this false claim out, that Terry frantically did a search to find where he had used Romans 7, and where I had capitulated. Of course, he could not find anything, and his total silence on it proves that he did misrepresent the facts! _Unquote!
 
Answer:
 
Don had said earlier that he could not find any reference to Romans 7 in my first negative when he used his “search” tool. Therefore, he concluded falsely that I had said nothing about it. I thought then that it would have been better if Don would just read my negatives instead of using a search tool. I let the issue go before because it was not all that important to me and I had thought that Don would eventually go back and read it again and find that he was the one mistaken. But since he brings it up again (a second time indicates it was very important to him), it is time to show him that I did refer to this passage in my first negative. Here it is:
 
If Don is right, then when Paul wrote that “you have become dead to the law through the body of Christ”(Rom.7:4), this means that you became dead to every promise ever made in the Old Testament, and cannot expect that God will fulfill any more promises. If “the Law” is as comprehensive in every passage as Don says, then it was wrong for anyone who knew the law to become dead to it until the destruction of Jerusalem. Since Don argues that every aspect of the Old Testament system had to remain bound upon every Jew until the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, then it was wrong for any Jew to become “dead to the law” or feel free to feel “delivered from the Law”(Rom.7:6), until that future time came. There is something suspicious about what Don is mixing in his pot. (Benton First Negative, pg.4)
 
Now, I’ll be expecting an apology from Don for MISREPRESENTING ME.
 
Conclusion
 
We set out to look at the evidence that pertains to the proposition: Obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross of Christ.
 
Were Jewish Unbelievers “Obligated to the Law of Moses After The Cross”?
 
They were obligated to BELIEVE Moses and the Prophets. (Don admits)
They were therefore obligated to hear and obey Jesus the Messiah about Whom they had spoken. (Don admits)
They were obligated to OBEY Jesus. (Don admits)
They were obligated to cease pretending to obey Moses. (Don admits)
They were obligated to cease pretending to believe Moses while not believing He of whom Moses spoke.(Don admits)
They were obligated to come out from under the curse of the Law by believing in Jesus.(Don admits)
Those who viewed themselves as under obligation to the Law of Moses were NOT led by the Spirit. (Don couldn’t admit this).
Therefore, obligation was to hear and obey Jesus or they were meeting none of their obligations before God.
 
Don said it was a faulty argument. But He admitted 6 of the 7 points. Even without that 7th point the conclusion is still the same. So, it still devastates Don’s proposition and supports mine. But the 7th point is still valid also. Any Jew who rejected Jesus was “resisting the Holy Spirit”(Acts 7) in the tutoring the Law engaged to bring them to Christ. They get a failed grade from the Holy Spirit because they were not meeting any of their “obligations” before God.
 
The Proposition: Obligation to the Law of Moses ended at the cross of Christ.
 
Look at it closely! Can you read the New Testament and conclude that Jews had an option to reject Jesus the Messiah and keep the Law of Moses? If they did not have an option to continue under the Law of Moses, then they were fully obligated to Jesus to listen to him and obey Him. It does not matter that some promises of God were yet in the works, their obligations to God was to listen to the Messiah, Jesus, and obey His all authority.
 
Look carefully at each scripture reference I have used in these three affirmatives. See if they support the proposition. See if Don cross-examined each one and showed clearly how they do not support the proposition. Be sure he used each scripture accurately. If I have misused every text or context, then don’t believe what I have affirmed. If I did not misuse the scriptures, then you are obligated to GOD to believe those scriptures. Please come back after Don’s final negative and see if Don took up each verse and answered what I said. If I am right, then Don is wrong, and a lot of his eschatology is built on flawed arguments built on misused scriptures. If I am wrong, then I need to humble myself under God to believe and teach His truth. I will need to reconsider everything I thought I believed. At this point, Don and I are fully convinced that we each have the truth and the other does not. You, the reader, will have to sift through everything to see who, if either, is representing the truth of God. God bless all in your search for truth. And, again, I hope the best things for Don. So, Don, let me say to you that I appreciate your efforts to defend what you believe, and I hope the Lord will grant you wisdom to see and know the truth, and I hope we both can see each other in heaven. God bless you and all!
 
Terry W. Benton
 
 
 
 
 
 

Debate: Preston-Simmons 2010

From:  http://preteristcentral.com/Preston-Simmons%20Kurt1stNeg.htm

Preston-Simmons Debate

 The Perfection of Salvation and Passing of the Old Covenant

 FIRST NEGATIVE BY KURT SIMMONS

 

He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbor cometh and searcheth him out.  Proverbs 18:17

  

Don is a wonderful brother and good friend. His work defending Preterism is unsurpassed.  I am sure we will all learn a great deal from this exchange. I am thankful that we can have this sort discussion in a spirit of brotherly love and affection. 

I should say at the outset, that Don offers quotes from my books to substantiate his case.  But, these do not really help Don.  As I informed Don when we entered this discussion, although at one time I shared many of his views, I no longer do.  I repudiate all things Max King!  It is because I have learned better that we are having this discussion at all.  Here are the issues of this debate:

  • To what event does scripture attach man’s salvation, the death of Christ upon the cross, or his coming in wrath upon the Jews and Romans?

  • Was the law fulfilled and the legal efficacy of the Old Testament end at the cross, or did it remain valid and binding until the second coming?

  • Was remission of sins and fulness of grace available from and after the cross, at Pentecost when the gospel was first preached were sins remitted and washed away, or was salvation from sin postponed until Jerusalem fell?

Every Christian knows that the Bible places salvation at the cross.  The cross was the defining event of salvation history that makes resurrection possible.  Paul said, “God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal. 6:14). Paul told the Colossians God had “forgiven you all trespasses;” Christ’s blood had “blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us;” Jesus “took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross, triumphing over principalities and powers in it” (Col. 2:14, 15).  These are the very essentials of the gospel; everything of redemptive significance from sin happened at the cross.  There are no more basic doctrines to the faith delivered “once for all” to the saints than these. The cross is bedrock Christian stuff.

Yet, Don finds himself on the wrong end of every one of these propositions.  Don places salvation from sin at the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70 rather than Calvary AD 33. Don denies that the law was fulfilled (satisfied) at the cross.  He believes instead that the Old Testament was valid and binding until AD 70; he affirms that man continued under bondage to sin until Jerusalem fell, and that then, and not before, was man justified and restored to a full and perfect relationship with God. My study of Don’s books and articles leads me to conclude that under his system man is not saved by the addition of grace at the cross, but by removal of the law at the fall of Jerusalem.

Consider: If the cross triumphed over the law, if Jesus paid the debt of sin in his death, the law could have no further power over Christians.  A debt paid is extinguished forever.  But if the cross did not triumph over the law at Calvary, if man had to wait until the law was removed to be justified from sin, then nothing happened at the cross.

Let us repeat that lest it be missed.  If the cross did not triumph over the law at Calvary, if man had to wait until the law was removed to be justified from sin, then nothing happened at the cross.  This is the long and short of Don’s teaching: nothing happened at the cross.

Historical Background to this Discussion – Understanding Our Positions

It will be helpful to the reader to understand Don’s and my respective positions if we pause briefly to survey the history of Preterism over the last 40 years and the different schools that have grown up.  If you have read Don’s books, you may have noticed that Don refers to his particular version of eschatology as “Covenant Eschatology.”  Covenant Eschatology is not Preterism.  Preterism merely assumes a “contemporary-historical” interpretation of New Testament prophecy regarding Christ’s second coming; it affirms that the second coming, including the general resurrection, occurred in the events culminating in the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. Covenant Eschatology affirms all this and more.

Covenant Eschatology is the brain-child of Max King, a Church of Christ preacher who came to the front of the modern Preterist movement with the publication of his book “The Spirit of Prophecy” (1971. Warren, OH).  The phrase “Covenant Eschatology” was coined by King’s father-in-law, C.D. Beagle.  Covenant Eschatology sees Biblical eschatology in terms of covenantal transformation from Moses to Christ.  The two identifying features of Covenant Eschatology are King’s spiritualized view of the resurrection and the notion that the Old Testament was valid and the saints under the debt of sin until AD 70.

According to King, Judaism was a “power or system of death”, and “became a ‘body of death’ by the old law.[1]  For King, the “resurrection of the body or the church” applies to the raising up of the church “from the Jewish body...at the fall of Judaism.”[2]  “One must look to the Jewish system as the state and power of death to be destroyed by the reign of Christ.”[3]  “Paul is conscious that death’s defeat hinges upon sin’s defeat, and that the defeat of sin is tied to the annulment of the old aeon of law…For Paul, death is abolished when the state of sin and the law are abolished.”[4]  “When the ‘ministration of death written in tables of stone’ was finally destroyed, death was swallowed up in victory.”[5] 

Of course, this is all perfectly frivolous.  The Gentile churches of Athens, Collosse, Thessalonica, Rome, and Ephesus in the “grave of Judaism?”  “Raised from the Jewish body” at Jerusalem’s fall?  The sheer fantasy and nonsensical nature of the teaching aside, the sum and substance of King’s spiritualized view, then, is that mankind was in bondage to sin by virtue of the Mosaic law, but was justified from sin by removal of the law at AD 70. Therefore, for King, “resurrection” equals “justification” and justification results from removal of the law. “The defeat of sin is tied to the annulment of the old aeon of law...death is abolished when the state of sin and the law are abolished.”

The idea that the general resurrection was in AD 70 is perfectly sound. All Preterists are agreed in this.  However, once the spiritualized view is adopted and resurrection is equated with justification, the cross is displaced by the second coming; justification is moved from Calvary to the fall of Jerusalem.  However, Covenant Eschatology doesn’t stop there; it does not merely change the timing by which justification accrued to the church.  No, it goes much, much further, and actually changes the means of justification itself. 

Covenant Eschatology affirms that it is only by removal of the Old Law that justification is possible.  In other words, the very substance of our salvation becomes removal of the law, rather than the addition of grace.  Paul said, “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Rom. 5:20).   Grace overcomes law!  Paul places grace at the cross; the idea that the law had to be removed is totally foreign to Paul’s soteriology (theology of salvation).  The grace inherent in Christ’s cross triumphs over sin and the law.  However, Covenant Eschatology says “where grace did abound, the law did much more abound.”  The cross does not triumph over law; bondage to sin survives the cross, and is only taken away in AD 70!  Thus, the cross is totally negated and annulled.  It has no part in salvation. If it does, Don should please tell us what that part is, for I confess I cannot find or understand it in his system.

Don, like many others, came under the early influence of King.  King was at the front of Preterism in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s until his system of eschatology led him into Universalism.  We believe that King’s system is inherently Universalistic, but that is not a matter we can take up here.[6]  Don has not followed King into Universalism, but otherwise embraces King’s views. In fact, it was King who first (so far as I know) asserted that Rom. 11:25-27 referred to the second coming (which is Don’s affirmative in this debate).[7]  Don is very explicit that “forgiveness of sin did not arrive until AD 70”.  Don is also very explicit that it is only by removal of the law that man is justified: “The destruction of the temple signaled that God’s covenant with Israel was now fulfilled. He had kept his Word and, ‘brought life and immortality to light through the gospel’ (2 Timothy 19f). The ‘law of life in Christ Jesus’ (Romans 8:13), now stood triumphant over the law that was ‘the strength of sin,’ (Romans 7:7f)[8]” (emphasis Don’s). PLEASE NOTE: Don says the law had to be removed before sin was defeated!  What Paul places at the cross, Don moves to AD 70! Here is another quote: “You cannot logically affirm the fulfillment of the resurrection in AD 70... and not affirm the end of whatever law it was that held the condemning power over man.”  Thus, according to Don, we are saved by the removal of law, not the addition of grace. The cross accomplished nothing, for it is not until AD 70 when the law is removed that sin is defeated.  The cross has vanished from Don’s soteriology.

 

Max King’s Soteriology & Eschatology

Resurrection = Justification  = Removal of Old Law (AD 70)

“death is abolished when the state of sin and the law are abolished”

WHERE IS THE CROSS?

 

This brief review should help the reader understand the origin of Don’s and my differences and what is at stake. Reduced to its simplest form, it is a question of Covenant Eschatology versus Cross-based Soteriology.  Did justification obtain at the cross, or at the fall of Jerusalem? Did the cross fulfill the law and cancel the debt of sin, or did it not? That is the question.

What Don Must Prove

Don has the affirmative, therefore the burden of proof is his.  His proposition states, “The Bible teaches that the coming of Christ for salvation in Romans 11:25-27 occurred in AD 70 at the climax and termination of the Mosaic Covenant Age.”  We have already seen that Rom. 11:27 involves salvation from sin. Hence, Don must prove: 

1)      The coming referred to is the second, not first, advent of Christ.

2)      The judgment and sentence associated with sin hung over the saints until AD 70; viz., the cross did not cancel sin’s debt.

3)      AD 70 represented the legal climax and termination of the Mosaic Covenant age; viz., the law, including circumcision, animal sacrifices, the priesthood, dietary restrictions, etc, was valid and binding until AD 70.

4)      The judgment and sentence associated with sin were set aside in AD 70 by annulment of the law.

Don must prove each of these to carry his burden of proof.  I need only negate one of these to prevent him from carrying his proposition.  It is like a trial where the prosecution must prove each element of the crime, but the defense need only negate one element to win acquittal.  Don therefore has the heavier, more onerous task.  We would ask the reader to PLEASE NOTE that Don has not and cannot produce even ONE VERSE that states the saints were under the debt of sin until AD 70.  NOT ONE.  I can, and when it is my turn to be in the affirmative will, produce dozens of verses that expressly state that justification was a present possession of the saints, that they had forgiveness of sins and fulness of grace before AD 70.  I will produce some in this negative.  But Don has not and cannot produce EVEN ONE. His whole ability to keep men under the debt of sin until AD 70 is based upon argumentation from faulty assumptions to wrong conclusions.  You know the type I mean.  Jehovah’s witnesses say “The Bible prohibits eating blood.  People who are sick are fed intravenously.  What is introduced into the body intravenously is therefore equivalent to eating.  Blood transfusions are conducted intravenously. Therefore, blood transfusions are equivalent to eating blood and unlawful.” Seems logical, right?  But there is not one verse in the Bible that actually teaches against blood transfusions. The whole thing is built upon deductive reasoning. Don is a MASTER of deductive reasoning; his books are saturated with logical syllogisms.  But virtually anything can be proved this way.  “All crows are black. This bird is black. Therefore, this bird is a crow.”  Really?  Are crows the only birds that are black?  Might not this bird be a raven or some other species?  What we need are not syllogisms, but VERSES! And Don has NONE. He cannot produce even one verse that says New Testament saints were under the debt of sin until AD 70.  His whole ability to make you think the saints were under the debt of sin until AD 70 is based upon faulty argumentation. Don builds exegetical paradigms in the sky.  But since Jehovah’s Witnesses can prove by logic and argumentation that blood transfusions are unlawful, that you can’t celebrate birthdays, you can’t vote, and Christ isn’t God, this sort of thing really proves NOTHING.  Here is a box.  Let Don put in it all the verses he can that expressly state the saints were under the debt of sin from and after the cross.  At the end of this discussion the box will still be empty and Don will not have carried his proposition.

 

 

Don’s Box

Verses?

 

 

I can produce PAGES OF VERSES that make salvation, justification, grace, and forgiveness of sin the present possession of the saints.  Don cannot produce even one verse. What does that tell you about Don’s system of eschatology? The most important, single topic in the WHOLE BIBLE and Don does not even have ONE VERSE.  Startling isn’t it?  This is a wake up call for those that embrace the Corporate Body View![9]  Your whole edifice is built upon a supposition that does not have a single verse to support its most basic supposition!  Don’t believe me?  Just try and find one to put in the box!

I am sure Don would like me to take the bait and use up my allotted space following him down all sorts of rabbit trails, answering questions, and interacting with his affirmative. Why should I?  He has not produced a single verse to substantiate the most important topic of this discussion, if not the whole Bible.  Why should I involve myself in discussion about the proper exegesis of Isaiah 26, 27 and 59 and what light that may or may not throw on Rom. 11:25-27 if Don cannot produce even ONE VERSE to show the debt of sin still hung over the saints from and after the cross?  I do not say this to embarrass or belittle Don. I am sure Don does not even realize that he doesn’t have a single verse he can produce.  I am hoping to save my brother from what I deem a dangerous system of theology, a system of theology that negates the cross, by now calling it to his attention.  As the quotes Don produces from my earlier works show, I too was at least partly under similar misapprehensions at one time. But I have studied and have disabused myself of them, and I thank God I have seen my error.  I pray God will grant that I may see and repent all my errors!  Imagine the culpability of impugning the cross of Christ, even unintentionally!  Don, for your own sake, take the challenge; bring forward your verses. And when you can’t produce even one, awake as from a trance out of the system of teaching you have become enmeshed in; renounce Max King’s Covenant Eschatology. Preterism is completely sound. But this?  Never!

I have now used up just over five pages. I could stop here and not write another word.  The burden of proof is Don’s. He never has and never will produce even one verse stating that the saints were under the debt of sin by the law until AD 70.  But, since I have the space, I will gratuitously continue on.  Since, I only need to negate one of the points of Don’s proposition, I will focus upon what matters most: 1) when justification accrued to the saints, and 2) when the Old Covenant was legally abrogated and nullified.   We will deal with the last first.

Don’s favorite proof text for extending the validity of the law until AD 70 is probably Matt. 5:17, 18. This is a favorite Preterist proof text, and it is horribly abused.  So, let us begin here.  Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”  Three points need to be discussed: 1) the meaning of “heavens and earth” – metaphoric or parabolic? 2) Fulfillment of the law; and 3) Nullification of the law.

Heavens & Earth

Normal Preterist misuse of this passage proceeds upon the assumption that Jesus uses “heavens and earth” in a mystical, metaphoric sense, a hidden double meaning where they are symbols for the Old Testament temple and system.  Don does this all through his books. He argues that the Jews viewed the temple as “heaven and earth” and that Jesus is mystically referring to it here.  Don believes that the “heavens and earth” of Matt. 24:35 mystically refer to the temple complex.  He believes the “heavens and earth” of Heb. 12:26, 27 and II Pet. 3 are the Old Testament law and system, the “covenantal world of the Jews.”  This is wrong; it contradicts the established usage of the prophets whereby the “shaking” of the heavens and earth in times of national and world judgment had no covenantal significance whatever (Isa. 13:-13; 34:1-10; Ezek. 32:7, 8; Joel 3:16, 17; Hag. 2:6, 7, 21, 22).  Don is aware that the prophets’ use of the heavens and earth to describe times of judgment upon the world and various nations, and that they carry no covenantal significance.  He cites them in his books.  In fact, he cites N.T. Wright, who says that the prophets employ imagery of shaking the heavens and earth, not covenantally, but socio-politically and militarily.[10]  Indeed, Don makes identical statements himself.[11]  There is not one single occasion in the whole Bible where the heavens and earth refer to the Old or New Testaments – not one.  They are always socio-political, never covenantal. 

More to the point, Jesus does not use "heaven and earth" in Matt. 5:18 metaphorically in any event. Rather, Jesus evokes the heavens and earth parabolically. He compares the word of God to the heavens and earth as things divinely permanent, immutable, and irremovable to show that, as the cosmos has been established by God's word and cannot fail or be removed, so the promises and prophecies contained in the law and prophets cannot fail, but must surely be fulfilled.  What Jesus is actually saying, then,  is that it is easier for heaven and earth to pass than that a single dot or stroke of the law to pass without first being fulfilled. And, in fact, he says this very thing in Luke 16:17:  "And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail."  This parallel saying therefore controls our interpretation and precludes making more out of Matt. 5:18 than the Lord himself intended. A simple comparison of similar passages will prove that the permanence and immutability of the heavens and earth are evoked parabolically to show that it would be easier for them to fail than God’s purpose and word to fail; there is nothing “covenantal” intended at all. (See Matt. 24:34; Lk. 16:17; Jer. 31:35, 36.)

Law Fulfilled   

This is the very heart of the matter.  Don urges that Jesus has his second coming in view in Matt. 5:18 and that the law was therefore not fulfilled until that time; Don argues that the law was valid, binding and obligatory until AD 70. This is wrong.  Jesus is speaking about his earthly mission, not second coming, telling the Jews why he was come.  Matt. 5:17 establishes this fact beyond dispute: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law and prophets; I am not come to destroy but to fulfill.” 

What coming is in view? The second? No! The first. When would Jesus fulfill the law? At his second coming? No!  His first!  He did not say, “I will come again and then fulfill,” but “I AM COME TO FULFILL!” Jesus fulfilled the law at his first coming. There is simply no avoiding the obvious meaning of the text.  From the Nativity to Calvary, Christ fulfilled the law. Over and over again we encounter the evangelists’ testimony “now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled” (Matt. 1:22); “Then was fulfilled that which was spoken” (Matt. 2:17); “But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled” (Matt. 26:56).  Matthew alone makes statements of this sort 13 times.  (Matt. 1:22; 2:15, 17, 23; 4:14; 8:17; 12:17; 13:35; 21:4; 26:54, 56; 27:9, 35)  Mark makes similar statements twice (Mk. 14:49; 15:28); Luke twice (4:21; 24:44); John eight times affirms “these things were done that the scripture should be fulfilled” (Jn. 12:38; 13:18; 15:25; 17:12; 19:24, 28, 36, 37). Thus, twenty-five times in the gospels we are informed Jesus fulfilled the law and prophets.  Acts adds to this four more (Acts 1:16; 3:18; 13:27, 29). Indeed, Jesus, before he died, cried out from the cross “It is finished!” (Jn. 19:30; cf. Matt. 27:50), showing that he had completed the work his Father gave him to do.  Luke even states “And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre” (Acts 13:29).  And when all was fulfilled regarding Jesus’ life, God fulfilled the remainder when he raised him from the dead (still first coming)!

“And we declare unto you glad tiding, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again” (Acts 13:32, 33).

GOD HATH FULFILLED! First coming, not second!  The gospels abundantly prove that Jesus fulfilled the law and prophets in his first coming beginning with the Nativity.  However, it is at the cross that the debt of the law was paid, terminating the Old Covenant.  The end and object of the whole law was the cross of Christ.  The temple, the ceremonies, the priesthood, and untold other incidentals and minutia of the Mosaic law all stood as one grand object lesson, one great prophetic type pointing to Christ and his all-sufficient sacrifice upon the cross.  Jesus’ death fulfilled the law of sin and death, which required blood sacrifice in atonement for sin.  “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh atonement for the soul” (Lev. 17:11).  The blood of bulls and goats could not take away sins (Heb. 10:4).  But the blood of Christ could and did. Jesus was the greater and more perfect sacrifice, which the priesthood, temple service, and animal sacrifices looked to. 

“Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldst not, but a body hast thou prepared for me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.” Heb. 10:5-7)

Notice what the writer states, “When HE COMETH INTO THE WORLD.” What coming is this?  Clearly, it is the first coming.  “I COME TO DO THY WILL, O GOD.”  What was God’s will?  That Jesus fulfill the law, providing redemption.  Fulfilling the law was a first coming event, not second.  Any question is resolved by what the writer of Hebrews says next. 

“Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By which will we are sanctified by the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb. 10:8-10).

Here is unequivocal evidence that the sacrifice of Christ fulfilled the law.  The writer says “HE TAKETH AWAY THE FIRST, THAT HE MAY ESTABLISH THE SECOND.”  What is the first? The Old Testament! When would the Old Testament be taken away? When the law of blood sacrifice was once for all fulfilled.  What is the “second” Christ came to establish? The New Testament!  God’s will that Christ satisfy the debt of sin becomes for us THE NEW TESTAMENT!  We are SANTIFIED ONCE FOR ALL by the offering of the body of Jesus. The writer of Hebrews thus continues: “For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.”  HATH PERFECTED FOREVER.  When? At his second coming? No! His first coming.  Don wants our perfection to be put off to AD 70; he wants to keep the debt of sin hanging over the saints until the second coming when they are “resurrected” (justified) by removal of the law. Don embraces a “cross-free” salvation; his eschatology demands it.  You cannot place justification at the cross and have a spiritualized resurrection in AD 70!  But the writer of Hebrews uses the perfect tense, saying the work was already accomplished.  “HATH PERFECTED FOREVER.” Jesus has perfected us forever by the addition of grace, not removal of the law.  Memorize that:  WE ARE SAVED BY THE ADDITION OF GRACE, NOT REMOVAL OF LAW! GRACE TRIUMPHS OVER LAW! The second coming added nothing to the cross. It was a complete irrelevancy in terms of man’s redemption from sin.  (If you doubt that, just go back and look at Don’s empty box!)

The writer of Hebrews said above that in Jesus’ death the first covenant was taken away and the second was established.  He calls this second covenant a “will.”  We have all heard of a “last will and testament.”  When does a testator’s will attain legal authority and power?  The Hebrew writer answers: “A TESTAMENT IS OF FORCE AFTER MEN ARE DEAD” (Heb. 9:17).  This verse is dispositive of the issue when the gospel brought justification to man; it is conclusive of the issue when the New Testament came into force and effect: At Jesus’ death, not AD 70!  This same lesson is set out in Rom. 7:1-4 (emphasis added):

Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?  For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but IF THE HUSBAND BE DEAD, SHE IS LOOSED FROM THE LAW OF HER HUSBAND.  So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.  Wherefore, my brethren, YE ARE BECOME DEAD TO THE LAW BY THE BODY OF CHRIST; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. 

Paul here uses the law of marriage as an analogy for Israel and the Old Testament.  The “woman” is Israel; her “husband” is the Lord; the law of the marriage union was the Old Testament (cf. Jer. 2:2; Ezek. 16:8).  Paul says that the Mosaic law was binding upon Israel while her husband lived, and that she would be an adulteress if she married another while her first husband was alive.  In Rev. 18:7, national Israel, under delusion that the Old Testament was still in force, boasts “I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.” But she was indeed a widow, for she had murdered her husband in the person of the Son of God, when she caused him to be crucified. Jesus’ death ended the law of Israel’s husband.  Under Paul’s analogy, “marrying another” means entering into another covenant, here obeying the gospel of Christ.  However, Paul says there is no fear of adultery, because “YE ARE BECOME ARE DEAD TO THE LAW BY THE BODY OF CHRIST”!  Could it be clearer?  The Old Testament had dominion over Israel; its obligations were as indissoluble as the marriage bond; while it continued in force the debt of sin remained unpaid; man was not justified.  But by the death of Jesus, that covenant had been annulled and the saints were justified and freed to marry another; they were loosed from the Old Testament that they might be married to Christ under the gospel. Paul thus says “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2). 

Notice the verb tense: “HATH MADE ME FREE” – this is the perfect tense - “FROM THE LAW OF SIN AND DEATH.” The perfect tense shows completed action.  The first century saints had been freed from the law of sin and death by marriage to Christ under the New Testament.  AD 70 does not figure in the equation at all!  No waiting until AD 70 to be acquitted from the debt of sin!  It is true that the consummation of the marriage did not occur until the eschaton (Rev. 19:7). But the consummation was merely the time when husband and bride cohabited together and shared sexual intimacy.  It is NOT the point at which the marriage contract became binding or of legal force and effect.  The marriage contract was fully effective under Old Testament law from and after the betrothal.  A woman found to have engaged in sexual relations with another man during the betrothal period was guilty of adultery and subject to the penalty of death (Deut. 22:23, 24. Matt. 1:28, 29).  Paul said he had betrothed the church to Christ by the gospel (II Cor. 11:2).  By Don’s argument, the bride was impure and defiled, stained with sin until AD 70 when Christ consummated the marriage with her. But Paul says “not so!”  The gospel had washed and purified the bride from sin – justified her from the debt of the law – during the betrothal period that Christ “might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:25-27). 

Jesus justified the church from sin that he might present it to himself at the consummation not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.  It could not be more plain or clear.  AD 70 is simply nowhere in sight.  Don’s argument makes the church an adulteress, for she has contracted marriage to another while the law of her first husband was still valid and binding; he has Jesus a polygamist with two wives at one time, Old Testament Israel and the New Testament church, and he has Jesus consummate the marriage before his wife is washed and made pure!  (See I Cor. 6:11 for confirmation when the washing occurred.)

A last text and we shall conclude this part: “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:14).  NOT UNDER THE LAW. Clearly, the notion that the law was valid and the saints were under the power of sin until AD 70 cannot be sustained. There are just too many texts that directly contradict that proposition.  What does this mean? It means that Max King’s Covenant Eschatology and spiritualized resurrection are false; worse than false, they are found to destroy the cross of Christ.  It is a dangerous doctrine and must be fully rejected. 

Nullification of the Law  

Don's reading of Matt. 5:18 has it that no part of the law or prophets would pass until all parts were fulfilled; if a single prophecy remained to be fulfilled, then the whole law was still valid, binding, and obligatory. To quote Don himself: “There is no escape from this fact: If any Old Testament prophecies remain unfulfilled, then the Old Testament remains in force.”[12]  In other words, it all goes out at once, or not at all.  But this is not what Jesus meant or even what he said. He did not say, "verily I say unto you that no part of the law or prophets will pass until all parts of the law and prophets are fulfilled." How could he?  Micah prophesied Jesus could be born in Bethlehem (Mic. 5:2). That prophecy was fulfilled and passed away.  Isaiah prophesied Jesus would be born to a virgin (Isa. 7:14). That prophecy was fulfilled and passed away.  There are hundreds of prophecies that came and went before AD 70.  But by Don’s argument, there can be no progressive fulfillment of scripture, no progressive fulfillment of the law.  All parts remain valid as long as even one part is unfulfilled.  This simply makes no sense at all.  What Jesus actually is saying in Matt. 5:18 is that “not the least part of the law will pass except it first be fulfilled.” The idea that all must be fulfilled before any of it passed away is a misreading of the text.

Don says the whole law goes out at once, or not at all.  Until all the law was fulfilled, all was valid and binding.  Thus, by Don’s own admission, if I can show that even one law was nullified, if I can show that the disciples were free to ignore even one law, then they were free to ignore the whole law (exclusive of the moral law, for it will never be nullified).  Here there can be no doubt. The New Testament shows that long before AD 70 the disciples were loosed from the sacrificial law, the dietary laws, the laws prohibiting them to eat or keep company with Gentiles, and they were loosed from circumcision.  Israel’s dietary laws, laws against marrying and keeping company with Gentiles, and law of circumcision served primarily to keep Israel separate from the nations around her.  These laws were tied to the land promises and were inter-related. The laws of the temple also separated the Jews from the Gentiles, who were compelled to worship in the outer court. However, Paul says all these laws were abolished by Christ:

“For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself one new man, so making peace” (Eph. 2:14, 15). 

The “middle wall of partition” refers to the wall in the temple that separated the court of the Jews from the court of the Gentiles.  The temple and wall, of course, stood until AD 70. But Paul says that the legal separation represented by this wall was done away at the cross.  This wall being legally abrogated and done away, the laws and ordinances related to it were abolished as well, including dietary restrictions (Acts 10:9-15; cf. Mk. 7:14-23; Rom. 14:14; I Tim. 4:3-5), laws against keeping company with Gentiles (Acts 10:28-48), the Sabbath and feast days (Col. 2:16); and circumcision (Gal. 5:2, 11).  Notice the verb tense of the passage above, “HATH ABOLISHED IN HIS FLESH...THE LAW OF COMMANDMENTS.”  This is the perfect tense, showing completed action.  The laws Moses set in place to separate Jew and Gentile were abolished in Jesus’ flesh upon the cross. Thus, we find Peter and other disciples keeping company and table fellowship with Gentiles (Gal. 2:11, 12).  But when certain false, Judaizing brethren came down from Jerusalem saying (like Don) that the law was still binding and valid, Peter withdrew table fellowship. But Paul rebuked Peter to the face for his duplicity to the truth of the gospel.  The issue of circumcision also came up, and the Jerusalem Counsel decided that these laws were no longer binding (Gal. 2:1-10; Acts 15).  Don agrees. Don says the land promises were tied to circumcision, but that Paul taught “circumcision was invalid” and that he “unequivocally condemned the religious practice of circumcision.”  According to Don, “If God removed circumcision, the sign and seal of the Abrahamic land promise, then the Land Covenant was null and void.”[13] Don says “When Paul wrote...circumcision no longer availed, God had abrogated that mandate.”[14]

Don says that no law would pass until all was fulfilled; he says no law would pass until all passed together; all were valid until none were valid.  Yet here is unequivocal evidence that a vast body of laws integral to the temple service and daily life of the Jews was ABOLISHED IN JESUS’ FLESH.  The law of the temple service imposed and enforced the rite of circumcision (Acts 21:28, 29).  If circumcision was abrogated, then so was the temple service.  Paul made no distinction between circumcision and the feast days and other observances of the Jews; his repudiation of circumcision applied equally to them all (Gal. 4:10; cf. Col. 2:16).  The land covenant, the law of circumcision, the dietary laws, the feast days, the temple ritual, and laws against keeping company with Gentiles were swept away by the cross!  Therefore, by Don’s argument all was fulfilled and the law abolished before AD 70. Consider:

No law would pass until all was fulfilled; all were valid until none were valid.

But Jesus abolished and rendered invalid in his flesh (cross) the law of commandments contained in ordinances.

Therefore, in Jesus’ flesh (cross/crucifixion) the law was fulfilled.

The Cross, The Time of Reformation, and the Age to Come

But if the law was fulfilled and was abrogated at the cross, what about verses like II Cor. 3:11, 13, 14 which states the Old Testament was still “being annulled” or Hebrews 8:13, which says “that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away?” What about verses that mention the “age to come?”  What about Heb. 9:9 which mentions the “present time” during which sacrifices were still offered?  Don’t these teach that the law somehow remained?  Did the two covenants overlap, so that both were valid at the same time?  Rom. 7:1-4 teaches that the Old Testament terminated in Jesus’ death that his people might enter a new marriage relationship under the New Testament.  If the Old Testament was still binding, the saints would be guilty of adultery for entering a second marriage contract while the law of their first husband was still valid. Therefore, we may safely reject the view that the covenants were both legally valid at the same time.  Any lawyer will tell you it is a legal impossibility to have two testaments in force at one time.  The only way to have two valid wills, whose terms are conflicting, is for one to be deemed a codicil or amendment of the other.  But Jesus was very clear that the gospel was not a piece of new cloth to be added to the tatters of the Old Testament (Mk. 2:21); the two covenants would not co-exist side-by-side or be valid at the same time.  What then is the solution? 

The answer lies in the distinction between the legal efficacy of the law and its outward forms.  The Emancipation Proclamation ostensibly freeing the slaves was made Sept. 22, 1862.  It became effective Jan. 1, 1863. Yet, it was not until April 9, 1865, that Lee surrendered and the war concluded.  Thus, despite the legal proclamation freeing the slaves, the institution of slavery continued for at least two more years, if not longer. The outward forms continued even though their legal efficacy and validity was gone!  The two covenants were similar.

Although Jesus abrogated the Old Testament at the cross, the outward forms of the law – the temple and ritual, the Jewish polity and nation – continued for almost 40 years. The Old Testament was like a tree whose root was severed and dead.  The trunk and branches did not immediately wither and fall over, but decayed and waxed old over time, and were ready to vanish at the end of 40 years (Heb. 8:13). The writer of Hebrews shows that the Old Law was not valid when he says, “then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary” (Heb. 9:1). His use of the past tense to show its validity was gone.  “The first covenant had,” not the “first covenant has.”  The fact that the trunk of the Mosaic tree remained for a time did not mean its root was alive, no more did the fact that the temple and ritual continued to linger on mean that it was valid or approved of God.  Just the opposite, God called the temple ritual an abomination because it stood as an implicit denial of Jesus’ Sonship and atoning sacrifice.

“Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool, where is the house that ye build unto me?...He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sarificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a god’s neck: he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine’s blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.”  Isa. 66:1-3

Stephen quoted this prophecy before the Sanhedrin in defense against the charge he blasphemed the temple (Acts 7:49, 50).  Thus, from at least as early as Acts 7 (AD 34), the church recognized that Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary had supplanted the temple service and that it was rejected by God.  However, according to Don the ceremonial law was still valid and binding.  How can something God abominated have been valid and binding?

Don says “One  reason we must see the transition from the Old to the New as an on going process empowered by the Cross but not consummated at the Cross is because that transformation was a ‘last days’ work of the Spirit, and the work of the Spirit did not begin until after the Cross.”[15]  I would challenge Don again to please show us how the cross figures in his system, how it empowered anything at all.  According to Don, the cross did not triumph over the law, it did not satisfy and annul the debt of sin, it did not justify the saints.  No, Don makes all of these things happen at the second coming and then only by removal of the law at the fall of Jerusalem. The cross does nothing, accomplishes nothing, is nothing under King’s system.  If we are wrong in this, we welcome correction and look forward to Don’s answer.  But to return to the matter more immediately at hand, according to Don, the transition period equals the transformation period that began at the cross. But what is the time of transformation if not the “time of reformation” mentioned Heb. 9:10-11?  In that passage, the writer states that the ceremonial law was imposed until the time of reformation.  Don makes the time of reformation begin in AD 70. But as reformation and transformation mean the same thing, it is clear that the time of reformation began at the cross. The gifts of the Holy Ghost led the apostles into all truth for the specific purpose of affecting reform (Jn. 16:13). When the gifts ceased, the time of reformation was over, not begun.  Don therefore has it backward; he makes the ceremonial law valid and the time of reformation begin where the gifts of the Holy Ghost end!  But the ceremonial law pointed to Christ; they foreshadowed Jesus’ work on the cross. Therefore, they were fulfilled in AD 33, not AD 70. Consider:

The ceremonial law was imposed until the time of reformation.

The time of reformation was marked by the ministry of the Spirit

But the ministry of the Spirit began immediately following the cross.  Therefore,

The ceremonial law was imposed only until the cross.

Don argues that the Atonement ritual was not fulfilled, the shadow and typology of the Old Law was still valid, and the law therefore binding and obligatory until AD 70.  We deny this emphatically.  Don assumes that Christ’s ascension equals the High Priest entering the Most Holy Place, thus postponing completion of the Atonement ritual until Christ emerged at his second coming. Don forgets that the High Priest entered the Most Holy Place twice (Lev. 16:14, 15).  Yes, TWICE! There were two sacrifices in the atonement ritual: a bull and a goat; blood was carried in twice, once for each sacrifice.  But Jesus died only once; he made a once-for-all sacrifice when he died on the Calvary.  We believe that the typology of sprinkling the blood before the Mercy Seat was fulfilled when Jesus died.  The Hebrew writer agrees, saying that Jesus opened the way into the Most Holy Place through his FLESH (Heb. 10:20).  That is, in his death Jesus pierced the legal veil separating man from God.  This is why the veil was “rent in twain” from top to bottom when Jesus died, showing that the way was now open and the atonement COMPLETE (Matt. 27:51).  The Hebrew writer thus urges Christians to ENTER the presence of God within the Most Holy Place – before AD 70! (Heb. 10:19-22; cf. 6:19).  In other words, the legal barrier separating men from God was totally removed in the cross, almost 40 years before AD 70.  Isn’t that what Colossians says, that Jesus blotted out the debt of sin, took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross, triumphing over the law in it?  (Col. 2:14, 15). 

Don wants us to believe that Jesus stood sprinkling his blood for FORTY YEARS (seems long!). But the writer of Hebrews does not portray Jesus standing, offering his blood, but SITTING at God’s right hand waiting for his enemies to be put beneath his feet (Heb. 1:3; 2:8; 8:1; 10:11-14). Jesus being seated is set in opposition to the priests who stood daily ministering.  His being seated is specifically cited as proof that the atonement was COMPLETE and man was PERFECTED. “But this man, after he has offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right had of God...for by one sacrifice he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.”  In the verses that follow, the writer urges believers to ENTER where Don says they could not go – the Most Holy Place, the Presence of God!  (Heb. 10:19-22).  Regardless of what interpretation DON may want to place upon Heb. 9 to postpone atonement, God spoke decisively when he caused the veil symbolizing the debt of sin to be rent in twain at the cross. God deemed the Atonement ritual FULFILLED and the way into his presence OPENED in JESUS’ DEATH.

Man could not enter the Most Holy Place until the atonement was complete and the law fulfilled;

But the veil was ripped in two in Jesus’ death, and the Hebrew writer urged Christians (pre-AD 70) to enter the Most Holy Place through the blood of Christ. Therefore,

The atonement was complete and the law fulfilled in Jesus’ atoning sacrifice!

Perhaps we can interact with some of Don’s material in our next negative, assuming he can produce a verse (even one) expressly stating the saints remained under bondage to sin from and after the cross. Don has a heavy burden of proof to show that the cross did not cancel the debt of sin or triumph over the law.  Let’s see if Don can put any verses in that box. 

Meanwhile, here are a couple questions for Don.

1) Did the cross cancel the debt of sin under the law? 

2) Does the cross (grace) triumph over law, or did law have to be removed for man to be justified? 

These are two very simple gospel questions that we may all use as a standard to measure Max King.  If Don says, NO the cross did not triumph over the law or cancel the debt of sin he will have repudiated the cross of Christ (a dangerous deed I hope Don will not do!). If he says, YES, then Don will have repudiated Max King, Covenant Eschatology, and the Corporate Body View.  Which will it be? Let us all labor with Don in prayer that he chooses aright.


 

NOTES:


[1] . King, The Spirit of Prophecy (Warren, OH, 1971),145

[2] Ibid, p. 195

[3] Ibid, p. 144

[4] Max R. King, The Cross and the Parousia of Christ, p. 644 (emphasis added).

[5] Max R. King, The Spirit of Prophecy, p. 145

[6] Consider this syllogism: All men were under the debt of sin by the law (where there is no law, there is no transgression Rom. 4:15; all have sinned and come short of the glory of God Rom. 3:23). No man could be justified from sin until the law was removed. But the law was removed for all men for all time in AD 70. Therefore, all men were justified from the law.  Notice that the cross and obedience of faith logically are not required under King’s system for justification.  Men are not saved by responding to the gospel one-by-one, but corporately by removal of the law, hence, Universalism.

[7] The Spirit of Prophecy, pp.215; McGuiggan –King Debate (Warren, OH), pp. 250-253; 268.

[8] Don K Preston, Like Father, Like Son, On Clouds of Glory (Ardmore OK, 2006), p. 109.

[9] “Corporate Body View” is a term describing King’s notion that the church/mankind were “corporately” justified (“resurrected”)  by removal of the law in AD 70.

[10] “This language denotes socio-political and military catastrophe.”  N.T. Wright, Jesus the Victory of God (Minneapolis, Fortress, 1996), p. 361.

[11] “It is emotive language, hyperbolically expressing the catastrophic end to a social order, the end of a kingdom.”  Don K Preston, Like Father, Like Son, On Clouds of Glory (Ardmore OK, 2006), p. 33.

[12] Don K. Preston, Like Father, Like, Son, On Clouds of Glory (JaDon Productions, Ardmore, 2006), pp. 190.

[13] Don K. Preston, Like Father, Like, Son, On Clouds of Glory (JaDon Productions, Ardmore, 2006), pp. 134, 135.

[14] Ibid, p. 180.

[15] Ibid, p. 212 (emphasis in original).

First Fruits offered were not the first fruit produced

Some wonder: "How can Christ be 'The Firstfruits from the Dead' if other people have been raised from the Dead first?"

One way to answer that is to recall how a tree's first offering of fruit was actually its fourth year of producing fruit as described below:

Lev 19:23-25

23 'And when you enter the land and plant all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as forbidden. Three years it shall be forbidden to you; it shall not be eaten. 24 'But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, an offering of praise to the Lord. 25 'And in the fifth year you are to eat of its fruit, that its yield may increase for you; I am the Lord your God.
NASB
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Don't worry, Jesus is still "The Firstfruits from the Dead" even though He is not the first person to be raised from the dead.
Even as, Jesus is still "The Firstborn of All Creation" even though He is not created nor the first to be born into Creation.

As "The Firstfruits from the Dead," Jesus is the select representative of those raised from the Dead.
As "The Firstborn of All Creation," Jesus is the select representative of all born into Creation.

Let us remember that "select" = "chosen"
and that the oil of anointing signified that God had chosen the one anointed
and that "The Anointed One"(English) = "Christ" (Greek) = "Messiah" (Hebrew)
When we say, "Jesus Christ" which is the same as saying "Jesus is the Christ"
we are saying all of the above.

*Feel FREE to claim as your own anything I write - while I retain the right to do the same the same with it.*

Former Pret?

More than one former "Full" Preterist has felt drawn to publically list me (at least briefly) as a "Former Preterist." That may be accurate, afterall, since I dropped the word "Preterist" a lot from my websites because of the negative associations the term has come to take on. ("ProphecyHistory.com" used to be "TulsaPreteristAssociation.com")

But the fuller record is that my eschatology has not changed significantly since around this time in 1996 when it dawned upon me after reading my One-Year Bible (December always ends with Revelation) that the putting in of the 2 different sickles in Revelation must have been the climaxes of the tribulation of Saints (rapture) and the destruction of the wicked (slaying of Jews throughout the Roman world during Rome's war against the Jews 66-73AD).

Since early 1997 I've held, (like Augustine & most of the Church during the Middle Ages & Martin Luther & Reformers that followed), to a 1000-year Millennium encompassing the 1000-year period of the Middle Age(s). This was followed by the challenging age in which Satan was released, (as Martin Luther & other Reformers taught concerning the times in which they lived). That period of Satan's release, in turn, terminated as the heavenly fires of the Reformation stoked the fires of holy enlightenment once again and ushered in the subsequent age of Discovering the New World; Modern Science; and Government by all the People, for all the People and of all the People, etc. in which we ourselves now live. God has been faithful to keep His every promise and has guided Mankind into paths of modern marvels & conveniences. "By the goodness of God are men drawn to repentance." To the appreciative heart, we are all surrounded by expressions of God's love for the common man, calling him to repentance, to faith in Christ Jesus.

When I first began to fellowship with "Full" Preterist folk, the above paragraph is what I imagined they were also embracing. But I was sadly disappointed, finding their brand of Preterism, that of a 30-70AD Millennium, lends itself to a whole host of errors, notably Universalism & lawlessness. And once "Full" Preterists learned what I stood for, they quickly labeled me a Partial-Preterist.

Ironically though, Partial-Preterists would reject me as a "Full" Preterist because I declare the Resurrection of the Just (the first Resurrection of Rev 20:4-6) to have begun with Christ's circa 70AD Return/Rapture and that the resurrection of "the rest of the dead" began 1000 years later circa 1070AD.

So my position is kind of a hot potato rejected by both "Full" and "Partial" Preterists who are too busy casting anathemas at each other to give my view proper consideration: I get caught in the crossfire between "Full" and "Partial" Preterists. That's okay, though, I present my view as a sacrifice of incense to God - I only care that He be pleased with it and really do not feel threatened for my ego's survival when they turn their noses away from it.

Todd Dennis (http://PreteristArchive.com) went back and forth trying to categorize me until he settled in on Modern Preterist but not "Full" Preterist. The reason being this: I hold that all the major prophecies have all been fulfilled in our past - just not at those times decreed by "Full" Preterists. I start with historical, "Partial" Preterism and boldly end the Millennium an actual 1000 years after its 70AD start; no funny math. Satan is released as the Millennium ends around 1070AD and he is cast into the Lake of Fire as the heavenly fire of the Reformation comes into flame. I cannot say when, exactly, but that heavenly fire may actually have begun before Martin Luther's appearrance. I see Wycliffe as very monumental, perhaps the beginning of that heavenly fire that continued for centuries and, continuing into our times, vanquishes every high thing that attempts to organize evil again into an idol-worshipping, saint-subjugating superpower empire of the pre-Christian age.

I am not sure that my view of a 70-1070AD Millennium, which remains unchanged, properly places me as a "Former Full Preterist" since I never adhered to any form of the 30-70AD Millennium advocated by them. Since I was never a "Full" Preterist I am not now a "Former Full Pret." Since I have not changed my eschatology since I began to share it in 1997, I cannot be labeled a former anything. The truth be known, I had inklings that the Bible's Millennium was the Middle Age(s) since I made an adult decision to follow Christ back in 1986. And I carefully followed up on that hunch over the years until it culminated in a Bible-supported conviction early 1997. It both tickles and annoys me that certain out there label me alternately as Partial-Preterist, Hyper-Preterist or Former Preterist. I just do not understand those who profess Christ but focus so much upon denouncing others who profess Christ. I suppose they would quiet if I just parroted their views, paying them intellectual homage akin to what a schoolyard bully seeks when he yearns for the moment you say, "uncle," and fall in line under his pecking order. I just firmly believe Christ has called us higher to a higher way. We have one Teacher, one Master, one Rabbi, and He is the Christ Jesus, and we are all brothers.

Take care and may God guide your studies and your steps through Jesus Christ our Lord & Savior.

I am very pleased by the current wave of critical scrutiny debunking the awkward & forced conjecture called "Full" Preterism which in no wise provides basis for the smug conceit which too often accompanies the propagation of "Full" Preterism.

"Better a faithful nobody than a famous fool."

Mythbusting "All Things Fulfilled by 70AD"

A certain "Full Preterist", (aka 30-70AD Millenialist), argued saying:

"Please allow me to go back to the basics for a minute. As Jesus was explaining to His disciples sitting around Him in Matt 24 what the signs of the end would be, Jesus established the "time frame". Matt 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. As Preterists we believe all these things came to pass with the fall of Herod’s temple in AD 70."

What the 30-70AD Millennialist writes here is accurate enough IF we confine his statements strictly to the actual events described in Matt 24. But he does not. The very fact that his comments were in response to my rejection of his 30-70AD Millennium is evidence that he, (as those he studies), mentally insert Rev 20:1-10's events into the text of Matt 24. Simply nowhere to be found in Matt 24 is any mention of a 1000, 40, or 13 year "Millennium" which:

  1. Starts with Satan being bound/Abyssed/sealed while Nero-Beast-Martyred Saints "come to [spiritual] life" & ruling with Christ (pre-Parousia) and then
  2. Ends with Satan's release as the wicked "come to [spiritual] life" as Jesus comes back. Its just not there. Look again, Mat 24.

What the "Full Preterist", (30-70AD Millenialist), is really getting at here as "The Basics of Preterism," (as has been presented to him), is 30-70AD Millenialism's overarching notion for Bible interpretation:

#1) "Not just Matt 24's events, but ALL LAW & PROPHETS MUST BE FULFILLED BY 70AD."

A great expose' of this error may be found here: http://www.preteristarchive.com/Preterism/Progressive/2001_mckenzie_not-fulfilled-ad70.html by Duncan McKenzie. For the sake of brevity, I will go on to add to Duncan McKenzie's arguments with the following:

[Take particular note of how different Greek words, (significantly different Strong's #'s), still find connection between Prophetic Utterance & Historic Fulfillment. Why? Because the connections of word-meaning are every bit as strong as connections of word-grammar, if not more so]. CONTEXT.

Matthew 5:17-20 (around 27AD, at the beginning of Jesus' public ministry)
Think not that I am come to destroy the Law [of Moses], or the Prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil (Strong's #4137). 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law [of Moses], till all be fulfilled (Strong's #1096). 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Pre-70AD Millennialism, (a la Max King-era preterism), would have us to believe that this statement by Jesus means that the Old Testament Law of Moses was to remain binding and in full effect until all the Law & Prophets are fulfilled; and that this fulfillment did not occur until 70AD. This notion is what drives them to insist that whatever is found in pages of the Bible MUST be fulfilled before 70AD because the Law of Moses remains binding until all is fulfilled. But let's consider something else Jesus said:

John 19:28-30 (around 30AD, at the ending of Jesus' public ministry)
After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished (#5055), that the scripture might be fulfilled (#5048), saith, "I thirst!" 29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, "It is finished!" (#5055): and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Whatever Pre-70AD Millennialism may say this means, here's what "It is finished! (#5055)" meant to Paul back around 58AD, long prior to 70AD's "all things fulfilled," (so-called).

Romans 10:3-4 (around 58AD, when Paul departs from Corinth, well prior to 70AD's supposed "fulfillment of all [Bible] things")
For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end (#5056) of the Law [of Moses] for righteousness to every one that believeth.

And here's a glimpse of how Peter & Paul's understanding of "It is finished! (#5055)" worked out into the daily lives of Christians back around 49AD, long before "all things fulfilled" (supposedly) in 70AD.

Galatians 2:11-21 (around 49AD, Paul, the new guy, publically confronts veteran leader Peter at one of the first Christian conferences ever)
But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. 13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. 14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, "If thou [Peter], being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? 15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law [of Moses], but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the Law [of Moses]: for by the works of the Law [of Moses] shall no flesh be justified. 17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. 18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19 For I through the Law [of Moses] am dead to the Law [of Moses], that I might live unto God. 20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the Law [of Moses], then Christ is dead in vain!"

Paul, a Hebrew of the Hebrews, a (former) Pharisee son of a Pharisee, (Philippians 3:5-8), was so certain that "all be fulfilled" already to retire the Law [of Moses] per Mat 5:18 that he considered obedience to the commandments of the Law [of Moses] entirely optional. Paul would freely obey or discard the Law [of Moses] depending upon the cultural concerns of whatever people group he was trying to reach for Christ. Obeying even the least of those commandments was for Paul strictly a cultural concern of sensitivity towards reaching followers of Old Testament Judaism for Christ.

1 Corinthians 9:18-23 (around 57 AD, Paul writes to the church at Corinth)
When I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. 19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the Law [of Moses], as under the Law [of Moses], that I might gain them that are under the Law [of Moses]; 21 To them that are without Law [of Moses], as without Law [of Moses], (being not without law to God, but under the Law of Christ,) that I might gain them that are without Law [of Moses]. 22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.

So, did Christ, the churches, and Paul and Peter themselves consider themselves "the least in the kingdom of heaven" because they broke the commandments of the Law of Moses and "lived after the manner of Gentiles"? I dare any Pre-70 Millennialist to say that they were. No, it was the Judaizers who went around saying things like, "All things have not been fulfilled yet, so Jesus says you need to keep obeying the Law [of Moses] until they are!" So we see that Pre-70AD Millennialism has something very much in common with the Judaizers, the NT enemies of the Gospel. (Not to mention again the inescapable connection with Universalism via Pre-70AD Millenialism's Gnostic-style deviation from orthodox resurrection). Remember, it was Hymenaeus & Philetus who were saying things like, "Since the 1st resurrection of the just that is already past was all about people "coming to spiritual life" in Christ (Rev 20:4), the resurrection of the rest of the dead when Jesus comes back will be about everybody else "coming to spiritual life" in Christ (Rev 20:5), too: nobody but the Devil is going to Hell!" (2 Tim 2:11-18 Phillippians 3:10-13).
http://prophecyhistory.com/node/46

http://prophecyhistory.com/node/47

Evidently enough, Christ, the Apostles & the churches of the 30-70AD period believed and taught that all things necessary to retire the Old Testament Law & Prophets, all the things Jesus had been talking about in the Matt 5:17-20 context, had already been fulfilled at Jesus' death shout from the Cross, "It is finished!" (John 19:30).

Colossians 2:13-17 (around 62AD, Paul writes to the church at Colossae)
...Having forgiven you all trespasses;
14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; ... 16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Below here is what the Apostles & the churches thought of those still teaching that the Law [of Moses] must still be kept up "until all things be fulfilled" someday, (supposedly) at 70AD.

Galatians 3:9-15 (around 49AD, Paul still recounting the meaning behind his public confrontation of Peter's hypocrisy)
So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. 10 For as many as are of the works of the Law [of Moses] are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the Law [of Moses] to do them. 11 But that no man is justified by the Law [of Moses] in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 12 And the Law [of Moses] is NOT of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. 13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law [of Moses], being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. 15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. ...

Acts 15:5-35 
But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. 6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they [Gentile converts to Christ]. … 19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, … 21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day. 22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren: 23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, Cilicia: and 24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment: 25 It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, … 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; … they delivered the epistle: 31 Which when they had read, they rejoiced …

So again, In review here: Did Christ, the churches, and Paul and Peter themselves consider themselves "the least in the Kingdom of Heaven" because they broke the commandments of the Law of Moses and "lived after the manner of Gentiles" per Gal 2:14? NO. (I dare any Pre-70 Millennialist to say that they were). No, it was the Judaizers who went around saying things like, "All things have not been fulfilled yet, so Jesus says you need to keep obeying the Law [of Moses] until they are!" So we see that Pre-70AD Millennialism has something very much in common with the Judaizers, the New Testament enemies of the Gospel. (Not to mention again the inescapable connection with Universalism via Pre-70AD Millenialism's Gnostic-style deviations from orthodox resurrection). Remember, it was Hymenaeus & Philetus who were saying things like, "Since the 1st resurrection of the just that is already past was all about people "coming to spiritual life" in Christ (Rev 20:4), the resurrection of the rest of the dead when Jesus comes back will be about everybody else "coming to spiritual life" in Christ (Rev 20:5), too: nobody but the Devil is going to Hell!" (2 Tim 2:11-18 Phillippians 3:10-13). Nowhere to be found in Matt 24 is any mention of a 1000, 40, or 13 year "Millennium" which 1) starts with Satan being bound/Abyssed/sealed while Nero-Beast-Martyred Saints "come to [spiritual] life" & ruling with Christ and then 2) ends with Satan's release as the wicked "come to [spiritual] life" as Jesus comes back. Its just not there.
http://prophecyhistory.com/node/46 

http://prophecyhistory.com/node/47

The Scriptures cited here above show plainly enough what the Apostles & the churches thought of those still teaching that the Law [of Moses] must still be kept up "until all things be fulfilled" (supposedly) at 70AD. Evidently enough, Christ, the Apostles & the churches of the 30-70AD period believed and taught that all things necessary to retire the Old Testament Law & Prophets, all the things Jesus had been talking about in the Matt 5:17-20 context, had already been fulfilled at Jesus' death shout from the Cross, "It is finished!" (John 19:30).

Evidently enough, understanding phrases "all things fulfilled" requires more than a few connect-the-dots Greek word associations that 30-70AD Millennialism puts so much, too much, stock into. Understanding requires we look at what the Apostles understood it to mean, as well, comparing Scripture-Text with Scripture-Text, Scripture-Meaning with Scripture-Meaning, considering date/place/time/audience/expectations CONTEXT as well as well-informed, external confirmations from objective historical evidences, ie, unimaginary, real, live Scripture-History connections. This is not a religion that's all in the head.

Again, a great expose' of the 30-70AD Millennialism: "All Things Fulfilled 70AD" error may be found here: http://www.preteristarchive.com/Preterism/Progressive/2001_mckenzie_not-fulfilled-ad70.html by Duncan McKenzie. I differ with him in that I actually name an ending date to the Millennium that started at Christ's circa 70AD Return. I place it an actual thousand years later. http://prophecyhistory.com/node/506

Timeline: 

3 Questions for every 30-70AD Millennialist

A "Full" Preterist once wrote:
"Some see the millennium starting in Jesus’ earthly ministry where He bound Satan “the strong man” and began taking the spoil (AD 26 – AD 66). Others see it between Pentecost to AD 70 roughly a 40 year period. These are minor details to me because Jesus’ time frame of “this generation” and the recapitulation structure of Revelation along with the time statements at the beginning AND END of Revelation necessitate that the millennium ended in AD 70."
The above describes some very loose reasoning:
  • Jesus did NOT bind Satan during His earthly ministry - He was simply describing the process by which a demon is cast out of man so that he can be saved, (Matthew 12:25-29 and Mark 3:22-27 and Luke 11:17-26). Whether in a vision or otherwise, Jesus relates in Luke 10:17-20 that He saw Satan fall from Heaven: Jesus did NOT say He had already cast Satan into the Bottomless Pit and Seal him in there per Rev 20:1-3. The plain fact is that Luke 10:17-20 simply communicates that Jesus saw Satan fall from Heaven to Earth, NOT from Earth to the Bottomless Pit, bound and sealed.
  • The urgent reminders of Christ's impending Return placed at the beginning and middle and end of the vision recorded in Revelation in no wise dictate that everything described in the vision must end at His Return. Jesus is simply reminding of the timing of that key event around which the vision is organized. Sullivan's logic, when not applied selectively, necessitates that the New Heavens, New Earth and New Jerusalem must end at Christ's Return, as well. Please reference the actual time statements listed for that last Revelation portion of Dave Green's Preterism 101 and see how they look forward to the blessings about to begin, not end, with Christ's Return.
Some reasonable questions about the view advocating a 30-70AD fulfillment of Rev 20:1-10 are fair to ask here, no?
1) YES or NO. (Then explain)
The Bible records more activity of the Devil/Satan among men during the 30-70AD period than all other Bible history put together. (Compare abundance of New Testament references to "Satan" and the "Devil" to the Old Testament's).
2) YES or NO. (Then explain)
IF from 30-70AD, (the virtual entirety of the period recorded by the New Testament), Satan/Devil were taken out by being bound, cast into the Bottomless Pit, (Abyss), and sealed as Rev 20:3 describes, and yet, despite this binding/Abyssing/sealing, Satan was still able to perform all his activities the New Testament so abundantly records,
THEN is it fair to conclude from Scripture that the Devil/Satan is also able to perform among us today much the same activities recorded by the New Testament?
3) YES or NO. (Then explain)
Likewise,
IF the 30-70AD period as recorded by the New Testament is what we get when, per Rev 20:1-10, the Saints reign with Christ,
THEN should we expect to experience life today just as the Saints of New Testament times, since the Saints are likewise reigning today? AND singles should be advised not to marry because of the distress & darkness of the times whenever Saints rule and Satan/Devil is taken out? AND God's ministers today should expect to be hounded from town to town and treated like the scum of the earth and have messengers of Satan sent to buffet them, etc., just like Paul & the other apostles were in New Testament times, (30-70AD), when the Saints, according to your view, were reigning with Christ per Rev 20:1-10?
And, of course, supporting details to any answer to my opening question are still left wanting:
Can we get specifics about this declared 30-70AD fulfillment of Rev 20:1-10?
  • Which exact passage of Scripture tells us that Satan was bound, cast & sealed into the Abyss around 30AD?
  • Which exact passage of Scripture tells us that Satan was released a full 40 years later around 70AD?
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Just so we don't lose sight of the actual verses that the 30-70AD Millennium view insists were fulfilled between 30-70AD:

(red = before Christ's Return blue=after Christ's Return)

Revelation 20:1-10 (penned circa 62-65AD at beginning of Tribulation to encourage rejection of the Beast & his mark)
20:1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.

4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will [future to 62AD] be priests of God and of Christ and will [future to 62AD] reign with Him for a thousand years.
7 And when the thousand years are completed, Satanwill be released from his prison, 8 and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. 9 And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. NASB
You don't get a kingdom without a king, and you don't reign with Christ 'til Christ Returns to reign.
Luke 19:11-20 (circa AD 30, just before entering Jerussalem on colt, ~ 1 week prior to the Crucifixion)
11 And while they were listening to these things, He went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately. 12 He said therefore, "A certain nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return. 13 "And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas, and said to them, 'Do business with this until I come back.' 14 "But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, 'We do not want this man to reign over us.' 15 "And it came about that when he returned, after receiving the kingdom, he ordered that these slaves, to whom he had given the money, be called to him in order that he might know what business they had done. 16 "And the first appeared, saying, 'Master, your mina has made ten minas more.' 17 "And he said to him, 'Well done, good slave, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, be in authority over ten cities.' 18 "And the second came, saying, 'Your mina, master, has made five minas.' 19 "And he said to him also, 'And you are to be over five cities.'
NASB
Mat 25:14-23 (circa 30AD, days prior to Crucifixion, Olivet Discourse - Parables section)
Note again: the faithful servants were to be "made rulers over many things" AFTER their Lord Returns.

When exactly was Satan bound, cast & sealed into Bottomless Pit for even 40 years between Romans 16:20 and 70AD?

 

"And the God of Peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly."

~ The Letter of Christ's Apostle Paul to Christians living in Rome around 56-58AD, (Rom 16:20)

 

 

ONE QUESTION for those who insist that Revelation 20:1-10's

"The 1000 Years"+"The Little Season of Satan's Release"

all took place in the less than 14 years between Romans 16:20's "soon" fulfillment and A.D.70:

(Much less than 14 years unless we assume that God crushed Satan beneath their feet the very day after Romans was written).

 

DURING WHICH OF THESE VERSES BELOW WAS SATAN BOUND, CAST & SEALED INTO THE BOTTOMLESS PIT?

 

Every attempt to posit The 1000 Years+The Little Season of Satan's Release into period between the fulfillment of Romans 16:20 and 70AD presents a self-refuting credibility problem: It demands one lay aside the very hermeneutic that deduces the A.D. 70 Return of Christ in the first place, "Take all the time texts strictly serious."

 

First, a quick review of the Text in question, Rev 20:1-10:

1) "The 1,000 Years" is demarked by epoch events which define distinct beginning and ending points.

2) "The 1,000 Years" begins with Satan being bound, cast & sealed into the Bottomless Pit (Abyss) so that he could deceive the nations no more.

3) "The souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years" - those who were beheaded during the Beast's reign for refusing the mark of the Beast are made to live and reign with Christ while Satan is bound - the reward of their faithfulness.

4) "The 1,000 Years" ends with Satan being released for "a little season" to deceive again the Nations (the Gentiles).

5) After "The 1,000 Years," and after "The Little Season," and after the Satan-led armies are destroyed by fire from Heaven, Satan is then cast into the Lake of Fire where the Beast & the False Prophet have been awaiting his arrival.

 

 

Revelation 20:1-10

20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

 

4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands [ie during "The Tribulation"]; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

 


 

 

 

Here it is now,

BETWEEN WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING VERSES WAS SATAN BOUND, CAST & SEALED INTO THE BOTTOMLESS PIT?

FOR 1,000 OR 40 OR EVEN 5 YEARS?

FOR EVEN 5 MINUTES?

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And if you are gutsy enough:

1) Which exact verse shows Satan being bound, thereby demarking the beginning of "The 1,000 Years"?

2) Which exact verse shows Satan being released, thereby demarking the end of "The 1,000 Years"?

3) Can you organize these verses into 3 categories: a) BEFORE, b) DURING, and c) AFTER "The 1,000 Years" that Satan was bound & cast in the Abyss?


 

 

Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles
58 AD  And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.  Romans 16:20 ~Christ's persecuted Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians at Rome

61 AD  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world [kosmos], according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:  Ephesians 2:2 ~Christ's imprisioned Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians at Ephesus

61 AD  Neither give place to the devil.  Ephesians 4:27 ~Christ's imprisioned Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians at Ephesus

61 AD  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Ephesians 6:11-13 ~Christ's imprisioned Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians at Ephesus

 

James the Lord's brother
Before 62 AD
 
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil , and he will flee from you.  James 4:7 ~before Jerusalem Church pillar James was martyred for the Faith

 

Peter the Apostle to the Circumcision
62 AD
 
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil , as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:  1 Peter 5:8 ~Christ's soon-to-be-martyred Apostle Peter wrote to the dispersed churches about their fiery trial

 

John the Apostle whom Jesus loved
62 AD
 
Love not the world [kosmos], neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world [kosmos], the love of the Father is not in him.16 For all that is in the world [kosmos], the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world [kosmos].17 And the world [kosmos] passeth away , and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. ...22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist , that denieth the Father and the Son.  1 John 2:15-18, 22 ~Christ's soon-to-be-exiled Apostle John wrote

62 AD  And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.  1 John 4:3-4 ~Christ's soon-to-be-exiled Apostle John wrote

62 AD  And we know that we are of God, and the whole world [kosmos] lieth in wickedness.  1 John 5:19 ~ Christ's soon-to-be-exiled Apostle John wrote

62 AD  For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.  2 John 7-11 ~Christ's soon-to-be-exiled Apostle John wrote

 

Jesus in the vision of Revalation
63 AD
 
I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.  Revelation 2:9 ~Christ's exiled Apostle John foresaw in the predictive vision (Rev 1:1 & Rev 4:1) for the 7 Churches of Asia

63 AD  I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.  Revelation 2:13 ~Christ's exiled Apostle John foresaw in the predictive vision (Rev 1:1 & Rev 4:1) for the 7 Churches of Asia

63 AD  But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan , as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.  Revelation 2:24 ~Christ's exiled Apostle John foresaw in the predictive vision (Rev 1:1 & Rev 4:1) for the 7 Churches of Asia

63 AD  Behold,I will make them of the synagogue of Satan , which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.  Revelation 3:9 ~Christ's exiled Apostle John foresaw in the predictive vision (Rev 1:1 & Rev 4:1) for the 7 Churches of Asia

 

Jesus revealed to John the Apostle by the vision of Revelation
63 AD
 
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan , which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. 13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. 14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. 15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. 16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.  Revelation 12:9-17 ~Christ's exiled Apostle John foresaw in the predictive vision (Rev 1:1 & Rev 4:1) for the 7 Churches of Asia

63 AD  Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.  Revelation 20:1-3 ~Christ's exiled Apostle John foresaw in the predictive vision (Rev 1:1 & Rev 4:1) for the 7 Churches of Asia
NKJV

 

 

Conclusion:

27-67AD: The New Testament documents more of Satan's interactions against godly men -Christians- during the 27-67AD period than all other history combined. Satan, the god of that age per 2 Cor 4:4, was walking about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, 1 Peter 5:8.

 

 

RELEVANT LINKS:

Honestly, does the Bible really teach that Satan was bound, cast & sealed into the Deep (Abyss) while Christians ruled with God & Christ throughout the bulk of the 30-70AD period? (Actually, wasn't such blessings what they were expecting to arrive with Christ's soon Return?)

When exactly was Satan bound, cast & sealed into Bottomless Pit for 1000 years between 30-70AD?

When exactly was Satan bound, cast & sealed into Bottomless Pit for even 40 years between Romans 16:20 and 70AD?

3 Questions for every 30-70AD Millennialist

30-70AD: Matthew 23-25 Last Days Tribulation - They knew which GENERATION, their GENERATION

30-70AD: SATAN walked about freely as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour

 

 

 

 

 

 

And this is love, that we walk after Christ's commandments ~2 John 6

 

Was All The Prophecy in the Bible Fulfilled by A.D.70?

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"If a full preterist violates the meta-hermeneutic of "all fulfilled by AD 70" they are, by definition, no longer a full preterist. So while full preterists use other rules of interpretation for a given passage, ultimately the fulfillment of a passage has to fit in before AD 70. If it doesn't then a full preterist would have to change his or her paradigm."
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By far the most frequent question I am asked in relation to my articles that have appeared on this web site is, "What about Luke 21:22?" "Doesn't it say all the prophecy in the Bible would be fulfilled by AD 70?" The reason I am asked this question is because, although my position sees AD 70 as being the time of Jesus' Second Coming, I still look for certain events to be fulfilled in the future. For example, I see the end of the millennium when Satan is cast into the lake of fire as being in the future.
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Luke 21:22 is the corner stone of the full preterist hermeneutic that all the prophecy in the Bible was fulfilled by AD 70.
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Luke 21:20-22 is as follows:
20. But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.
21. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her.
22. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. All Bible quotations are from the NKJV unless otherwise noted.
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Full preterists maintain that the "all things" referred to here means that all the prophecy in the Bible was fulfilled by AD 70. While I have a great deal of agreement with full preterists, I disagree with their interpretation here. Let me emphasize, however, that I am in total agreement with my full preterist brothers and sisters that the Second Coming of Jesus happened at AD 70.
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My short answer to the question of what Luke 21:22 means is that it is saying all things written about the days of vengeance that would come upon the Jews when they violated the covenant would be fulfilled by AD 70. It is not saying that all prophecy in the Bible would be fulfilled by AD 70.
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There are many passages that speak of God's vengeance on His Old Covenant people if they broke the covenant. The two major passages are found in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28-32.
.Leviticus 26:14&15
14. But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments
15. and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant, I will also do this to you.
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God goes on to list a number of plagues and punishments He would bring on the Jews.
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Leviticus 26:25 And I will bring a sword against you that will execute the vengeance of the covenant...
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Deuteronomy chapters 28-32 also talk of God’s vengeance on the Jews if they broke the covenant.
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Deuteronomy 32:40-43
40. For I raise My hand to heaven, and say, As I live forever.
41. If I whet My glittering sword, and My hand takes hold on judgment, I will render vengeance to My enemies, and repay those who hate Me.
42. I will make My arrows drunk with blood, and My sword shall devour flesh, with the blood of the slain and the captives, from the heads of the leaders of the enemy.
43. Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people; for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and render vengeance to His adversaries; He will provide atonement for His land and His people.
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If I may digress for a moment, notice how in both of these passages that speak of God's judgment on His Old Covenant people for breaking the covenant, the judgment is associated with a sword. With that in mind consider the following quote from Josephus. Talking about the events leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem, he wrote the following:
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"This is how the unhappy people were beguiled at this stage by charlatans and false messengers of God, while they disregarded and disbelieved the unmistakable portents that foreshadowed the coming desolation, and, as though thunderstuck (sic), blind, senseless, paid no heed to the clear warnings of God. It was like this when a star that looked like a sword stood over the city and a comet that continued for a whole year." Josephus, War of the Jews (6,5,3).
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A star in the shape of a sword loomed over Jerusalem in the days preceding its desolation! This was a sign of God's coming judgment, His sword to "execute the vengeance of the covenant."
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Jesus said that the vengeance for all the righteous blood shed on the earth would be visited on the generation that rejected him.
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Matthew 23:32-36
32. Fill up then, the measure of your father’s guilt.
33. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?
34. Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city.
35. that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah whom you murdered between the temple and the altar
36. Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.
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God's Old Covenant people had been judged before for breaking the covenant (Daniel 9:10-13) but the ultimate judgment would come in AD 70, on the generation that rejected and killed Jesus. This was because the Jews rejecting and killing Jesus was the ultimate act of breaking of the Covenant (Luke 20:9-16). In killing Jesus the Jews were killing their husband, God (see Hosea chapter 2). This is why Babylon, the harlot city, is said to be a widow (even though she denies it Rev. 18:7&8). This left the Lord free to marry another people (Hosea 2:19-23), which of course He did! (Rev. 19:1-10)
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In Revelation chapter 6 we see the souls of those killed for the word of God crying out for God's righteous vengeance. They are told to wait just a little while longer.
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Revelation 6:9-11
9. When He opened the fifth seal I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.
10. And they cried with a loud voice, saying "How long, O Lord, holy and true until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" ("earth" should be translated "land" here.)
11. Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.
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Vengeance for the blood guilt of those who rejected Jesus was about to be poured out on the dwellers on the land in the book of Revelation. It is the subject of most of the book. This is no doubt the reason that David Chilton named his commentary on Revelation "The Days of Vengeance". Let me interject here that the Greek word "ge" which is translated "earth" in most of Revelation, is often better translated "land" (i.e. the promised land). Compare Revelation 1:7 with Zechariah 12:10-14. It is the tribes of the land who were to mourn at Jesus’ Second Coming not the tribes of the earth. In Revelation 13:11-18, the second beast doesn’t come out of the "earth", he comes out of the "land" (of Israel). That is, he was Jewish, the false prophet. (Rev. 19:20). This distinction becomes very important in a verse like Rev. 6:8 where a fourth of the population of the earth (land) is killed. A fourth of those living on the earth where not killed around AD 70, a fourth of those on the land (and more) were. For a more thorough treatment of this subject see the following: K. Gentry, Before Jerusalem Fell pgs. 127-131; J.S. Russell, The Parousia pgs. 380-381, 392-393; D. Chilton, The Days of Vengeance pgs. 129-130.
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The prophet Isaiah also wrote about God's days of vengeance. Isaiah 35:3&4
3. Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees.
4. Say to those who are fearful-hearted "Be strong, do not fear!" Behold your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you.
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See also Isaiah 61:2 and 63:1-6
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There was much written in the Old Testament about God's days of vengeance on His Old Covenant people when they broke the covenant. All these scriptures would be fulfilled in their ultimate sense on the generation that killed Jesus. These were the days of vengeance and all that was written about them would be fulfilled in the days leading up to AD 70. This is not the same, however, as saying that all the prophecy in the Bible would be fulfilled by AD 70.
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For those who need more convincing (which would probably be most of the full preterists reading this article) consider Luke 18:31.
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Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, Behold we are going up to Jerusalem, and ALL THINGS which are written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished. emphasis mine
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Jesus tells His disciples that "all things" written about Him by the prophets would be accomplished at Jerusalem. If we used the logic that full preterists are using on Luke 21:22 we would say that ALL the prophets said about Jesus was fulfilled at the cross. Well of course the Second Coming of Jesus wasn't fulfilled at the cross (Luke 21:27). If one tried to make the "ALL THINGS" in Luke 18:31 include the Second Coming they would be making a big mistake. One would end up trying to fit the Second Coming in with, or before, the crucifixion. What Luke 18:31 is saying is that all that was written about Jesus suffering, dying and rising in victory on the third day would be fulfilled in His death and resurrection at Jerusalem. That is, all the specifics that were written about these events would be fulfilled, not all things written about Jesus. To make the "all things" refer to all the prophecies in the Bible about Jesus being accomplished by that time would be flat out wrong. Yet this would be the exact same logic that full preterists are using on Luke 21:22. This should be cause for full preterists to reconsider the emphasis they put on Luke 21:22 necessitating the fulfillment of all prophecy by AD 70.
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Now consider Luke 24:44-48. Jesus, after His resurrection, said the following to His disciples:
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Luke 24:44. Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me."
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Once again did this mean all the prophecies in the Law, Prophets and Psalms about Jesus were fulfilled by the time of His resurrection? Of course not, Jesus’ Second Coming and millennial reign still awaited fulfillment. What Jesus meant was that everything that happened at Jerusalem had to have happened to fulfill all the prophecies about Him dying and rising again. He didn't mean that all the prophecies in the Bible regarding Him were fulfilled at that time. This is made clear as He continues in the following verses.
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Luke 24:45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
46. Then He said to them "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day,
47. and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
48. And you are witnesses of these things."
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Another "all things" verse is found in Luke 21:32:
Luke 21:28 Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.
29. Then He spoke to them a parable: Look at the fig tree, and all the trees.
30. When they are already budding you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near.
31. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.
32. Assuredly I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place.
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Once again Luke gives us an "all things" taking place statement. Does this mean all the prophecies in the Bible were to be fulfilled by the end of that generation or does it mean all the things Jesus had mentioned (the great tribulation, abomination of desolation, Second Coming, etc.) would take place in that generation? Looking at the parallel passages in Matthew and Mark helps to answer this question.
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Matthew 24:32. Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.
33. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near-at the very doors!
34. Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things are fulfilled.
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Mark 13:28 Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.
29. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that it is near-at the doors!
30. Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.
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Looking at the parallel passages helps to answer the question as to the meaning of "all things" taking place, in Luke 21:32. According to Matthew and Mark the "all things" in Luke 21:32 means "all these things", the things Jesus had been talking about, not all the prophecies in the Bible being fulfilled by that generation.
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To summarize, Luke 21:22 is saying that all things that were written in the Old Testament about the days of vengeance would be fulfilled by AD 70 with the destruction of Jerusalem. To say the "all things" of Luke 21:22 means that all the prophecies in the Bible were to be fulfilled by AD 70 is unwarranted. This becomes clear when one examines other passages in Luke that speak of "all things" being fulfilled or accomplished (Luke 18:31, 24:44, 21:32). Luke's use of "all things" speaks of all the specifics of a given prophetic event being fulfilled, not all the prophecies in the Bible being fulfilled.
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Having said that all the things Jesus spoke about the days of vengeance (not all the prophecy in the Bible) happened by AD 70, a logical question would be "So what is left to be fulfilled?" Allow me a somewhat lengthy digression to address this by talking about the judgment of the nations. This was one of the things Jesus had said would happen before the generation that was listening to Him had passed away (Matthew 25:31-46). Full preterists posit that this judgment, that happens at Jesus’ Second Coming, happens at the end of the millennium. Since Jesus came at AD 70 their reasoning is that the millennium must have ended at that time. I of course agree that the Second Coming happened at AD 70 but I believe that the judgment of the nations happened at the beginning of the millennium not the end.
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In looking at the resurrection at the beginning of the millennium (Rev. 20:4), notice that one of the categories of people that come alive are the souls of those "who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands" (Rev 20:4). The beast and his mark had to do with events that happened around AD 70. Whoever a full preterist may say the beast was (most say he was Nero), all would say he existed around AD 70. This is because he was destroyed around the time of the Second Coming of Jesus (Rev. 19:11-21). To make the time of the first resurrection (Rev. 20:4) AD 30 and the time of what appears on the surface to be the second resurrection (Rev. 20:11-15) AD 70 (the usual full preterist proposal) does not fit. If the first resurrection happened at AD 30 what mark of the beast had the martyrs who came alive for the 1000-year reign overcome? And why were Christians just finally being warned about this mark some 35 years after AD 30? Rev. 14:8-13 (Revelation was probably written around AD 65). Once again, to try and make the resurrection at the beginning of the millennium happen around AD 30 simply does not fit. Full preterists have to try to make it fit because they need to have the millennium end by AD 70 (all prophecy fulfilled by AD 70). Thus they end up trying to fit the 1000-year reign into the forty-year period of AD 30 to AD 70. The 1000-year reign didn't end at AD 70 it began at that time. One reason God was revealing it was to provide encouragement to those who would face the beast and his mark (Rev. 13:7-10). That is, He was encouraging those who were about to face the beast to be faithful until the Second Coming by showing how they would reign with Him at that time (Rev. 2:25-27; 3:20& 21; 20:4).
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At the resurrection of Revelation 20:4 (which I maintain happened at AD 70) John saw "thrones, and they sat on them and judgment was committed to them" (Rev 20:4). The word "judgment" here (Greek, "krima") has to do with "the power and business of judging" (Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon). In other words it is talking about believers being involved with God in the decision making process and verdict as He judged the world. This was the judgment that Jesus told His disciples they would participate in at His Second Coming (AD 70).
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Matthew 19:28 So Jesus said to them, "Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
29. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.
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The resurrection at the beginning of the millennium shows the thrones, the judging and the eternal life that Jesus had promised to His disciples at His Second Coming.
Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
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Those who would want to say the regeneration of Matthew 19:28 refers to AD 30 run into a very big problem. Matthew 19:28 says the time when the disciples would sit on thrones judging Israel would be "when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory." Matthew chapter 25 clearly puts the time of Jesus sitting on the throne of His glory at His Second Coming (AD 70).
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Matthew 25:31&32
31. When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.
32. All the nations will be gathered before Him and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.
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The time when Jesus had promised His disciples they would sit on thrones judging Israel referred to the time of His Second Coming (AD 70).
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At the beginning of the millennium (which I maintain began at AD 70) John saw "thrones, and they sat on them and judgment was committed to them" (Rev. 20:4). This judgment was the same one that Paul said would be committed to believers at Jesus’ Second Coming (AD 70).
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1 Corinthians 6:2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
3. Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?
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The Lord’s judgment began at the house of God (1 Peter 4:17). Thus I see the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10), when believers were judged in terms of rewards (1Cor. 3:10-15) taking place right before the saints participated in the judgment of the world at AD 70.
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Jesus judged the world at His Second Coming (AD 70), when He sat "on the throne of His glory" (Matthew 19:28 & 25:31). The souls that came alive to rule in the millennium (Rev. 20:4) were the same ones that were told to wait just a little longer (until the Second Coming) for God to avenge them (Rev. 6:9). Believers participated in the judgment of the world and are now sharing in the Lord’s rule over the nations (Rev. 2:25-27; 2 Timothy 2:10-12; Rev. 5:9&10). Once again this rule, the 1,000-year reign (the 1,000-years being symbolic of the Day of the Lord, 2 Peter 3:8) didn't end at AD 70 it began at that time. It was the kingdom coming with power that some of those listening to Jesus would still be alive to see (Mark 9:1, Matthew 16:27&28). The start of the millennium was about to happen at AD 70, but the end of the 1,000-year rule was, by necessity, in the distant future. The end of something that lasts a 1,000 years would have been understood by the original audience as something in the distant future. Thus the end of it would have been seen as being outside of the things that were about to take place.
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My position sees the resurrection and judgment at Jesus' Second Coming (AD 70) as the resurrection of Rev. 20:4-6. Originally I had posited that the judgment in Rev. 20:4 and Rev. 20:11-15 were two different judgments separated by the millennium. This is the same sequence that full preterists propose but my view of the timing was different. Full preterists see a resurrection (believers coming alive spiritually) at AD 30 (Rev. 20:4) and one at AD 70 (Rev. 20:11-15) with the millennium in between. I had seen a resurrection at AD 70 (Rev. 20:4) and one at the end of time (Rev. 20:11-15) with the millennium in between. I have now come to agree with J.S. Russell that Rev. 20:4 and 20:11-15 aren’t two different judgments separated by the millennium but one judgment with a parenthetical statement of future things (Rev. 20:5-10) in between. Thus Revelation 20:11-15 is not a separate judgment, but a continuation of the description of the judgment of Revelation 20:4. Russell said the following regarding this:
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"The result of the whole is, that we must consider the passage which treats of the thousand years, from ver. 5 to ver. 10, as an intercalation or parenthesis. The seer, having begun to relate the judgment of the dragon, passes in ver. 7 out of the apocalyptic limits to conclude what he had to say respecting the final punishment of ‘the old serpent,’ and the fate that awaited him at the close of a lengthened period called ‘a thousand years.’ This we believe to be the sole instance in the whole book of an excursion into distant futurity; and we are disposed to regard the whole parenthesis as relating to matters still future and unfulfilled. The broken continuity of the narration is joined again at ver. 11, where the Seer resumes the account of what he beheld in vision, introducing it by the familiar formula ‘And I saw.’"
J.S. Russell The Parousia pg. 523
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What Russell was saying was that the description of the judgment in Rev. 20:4 is continued in Rev. 20:11. Revelation 20:5-10 (the millennium, the release of Satan from the abyss for a season, the Gog and Magog invasion, Satan cast into the lake of fire) forms a parenthesis of things that happen during and at the conclusion of the millennium. If one puts aside the parenthesis of Revelation 20:5-10 for a moment the following description of the judgment appears:
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Revelation 20:4-12
4. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshipped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years
(Verses 5-10, parenthesize of things future to AD 70)
11. And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.
12. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds… NASB
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Russell saw the parenthesis of Revelation 20:5-10 (the millennium, the release of Satan from the abyss for a season, the Gog and Magog invasion, the casting of Satan into the lake of fire) as the only part of Revelation that projected into the distant future (future to AD 70). I have come to agree with him that Revelation 20:5-10 is the only part of Revelation that deals with post AD 70 subject matter. My previous position had seen Revelation 20:5-15 as dealing with things that were to happen after AD 70. I now view my previous extension of Russell’s parenthesis (extending it from Rev. 20:5-10 to Rev. 20:5-15) as untenable.
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Getting back to the original subject of my paper. The second most common argument used by full preterists for saying all prophecy was fulfilled by AD 70 would probably be the imminency of the time statements in the book of Revelation. That is, the many statements of the nearness of the things predicted in Revelation. J.S. Russell, the author of The Parousia and one of the biggest influences on modern preterism was one of the staunchest spokesmen for the imminency of the time statements in Revelation.
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"If there be one thing which more than any other is explicitly and repeatedly affirmed in the Apocalypse it is the nearness of the events which it predicts. This is stated, and reiterated again and again, in the beginning, the middle, and the end...
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As this is a point of the highest importance, and indispensable to the right interpretation of the Apocalypse, it is proper to bring forward the proof that the events depicted in the book are comprehended within a very brief period of time.
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The opening sentence, containing what may be called the title of the book, is of itself decisive of the nearness of the events to which it relates:
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CHAP. 1:1 'The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants what things must shortly come to pass.' J.S. Russell, The Parousia, pg. 367
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As vehement as Russell was about the nearness of the time statements of Revelation necessitating an AD 70 fulfillment, he made an exception in the case of the millennium and the subsequent casting of Satan into the lake of fire. As I have stated, Russell saw the millennium as beginning in AD 70 and extending into the future. Thus he saw Revelation 20:5-10 as a parenthetical passage of things not yet fulfilled. He saw the rest of the book (the new heaven and new earth, the new Jerusalem etc.) as going back to things that were about to happen (around AD 70). Thus Russell saw Revelation 21 and 22 as being fulfilled at AD 70. He said the following about those who would try to fit the millennium in before AD 70.
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"Some interpreters indeed attempt to get over the difficulty by supposing that the thousand years, being a symbolic number, may represent a period of very short duration, and so bring the whole within the prescribed apocalyptic limits; but this method of interpretation appears to us so violent and unnatural that we cannot hesitate to reject it. The act of binding and shutting up the dragon does indeed come within the 'shortly' of the apocalyptic statement, for it is coincident or nearly so, with the judgment of the harlot and the beast; but the term of the dragon's imprisonment is distinctly stated to be for a thousand years, and thus must necessarily pass entirely beyond the field of vision so strictly and constantly limited by the book itself. We believe, however, that this is the solitary example which the whole book contains of this excursion beyond the limits of 'shortly'." J.S. Russell, The Parousia, pg. 514
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What Russell was saying was that those who were trying to fit the millennium in before AD 70 were very wrong. Current day full preterism is trying to do just that. The usual full preterist solution for the 1,000-year reign is to try and make it the 40 year period from AD 30 to AD 70. The fact that Russell considered this interpretation "violent and unnatural" should have full preterists examining their position closely. Probably no one more than Russell would have liked to fit the millennium into the things that were about to happen (AD 70). Russell of course saw the millennium as about to happen in terms of it beginning at AD 70 not ending at that time. J.S. Russell was as motivated as one could be to fit the millennium in before AD 70. Six verses, Revelation 20:5-10 (the millennium, the loosing of Satan for a season, the Gog and Magog invasion, and subsequent banishment of Satan to the lake of fire) out of the whole book of Revelation that he could not in good conscience fit in between AD 30 and AD 70. For Russell to fit the millennium in before AD 70 may have put all his ducks in a row, but apparently he thought it would have been the wrong row! Russell's refusal to crunch the millennium in before AD 70 and his denouncement of the method of those who do, are reason enough to reconsider the "all fulfilled by AD 70" rule of full preterism.
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The fact that J.S. Russell saw the millennium beginning at AD 70 and extending into the future means that he would not be a full preterist by today's standards. This brings up a very important point. Current day full preterism, (with its hermeneutic that all the prophecy in the Bible was fulfilled by AD 70) is a relatively recent development. As near as I can tell it had its start in the late sixties and early seventies with Max King's writings. Now being new does not in and of itself make a position right or wrong, and I am certainly not impugning the integrity of Max King. Ultimately it is Scripture alone that is the final authority. I do think, however, that new theological ideas need to be scrutinized very closely.
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What is new about current day full preterism is the hermeneutic that all prophecy has to have been fulfilled by AD 70. Full preterists have developed this as a meta-hermeneutic (if I may coin a term). A hermeneutic is a rule or principle of how to interpret the Bible. By "meta" I mean something that is higher or transcending. So by meta-hermeneutic I mean a hermeneutic that is higher or more important; that is, a higher order, guiding interpretative rule or principle. If a full preterist violates the meta-hermeneutic of "all fulfilled by AD 70" they are, by definition, no longer a full preterist. So while full preterists use other rules of interpretation for a given passage, ultimately the fulfillment of a passage has to fit in before AD 70. If it doesn't then a full preterist would have to change his or her paradigm.
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The concept I am employing of meta-hermeneutic is not necessarily negative. For example I would call the belief in the innerrancy of Scripture a meta-hermeneutic. Thus those of us who hold to it seek to have a given passage be consistent with the rest of Scripture. Those who are more liberal in their interpretation of the Bible don't feel this need to make the Bible consistent. For them to say the Second Coming didn't happen in the first century (when the NT writers said it would) is no problem. They don't adhere to the higher order, guiding rule of innerrancy.
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Creedalists use the creeds as a meta-hermeneutic. Thus, whatever passage they are interpreting has to fit in with their creed's statement of a future physical Second Coming. This brings up a very important point. One has to examine one's meta-hermeneutics very carefully. This is because they draw the parameters or boundaries for the rest of one's interpretive principles. That is, they become the underlying assumptions that one bases one’s whole approach to the interpretation of Scripture on. For example the creedalist as long as he or she accepts the creeds as a meta-hermeneutic can never see AD 70 as the time of the Second Coming, most of church tradition doesn't allow for it. Instead the creedalists have to go through all sorts of theological gymnastics trying to differentiate between a coming in judgment (AD 70) and the "real" Second Coming in the future. As long as they hold their creeds as a meta-hermeneutic, creedalists will have to strain to come up with artificial distinctions between two comings of Jesus. Once again, one’s higher guiding interpretative rules need to be examined very carefully, they limit the possibilities of one's interpretive system. This is why I am advocating for a closer examination of the "all fulfilled by AD 70" meta-hermeneutic. To my knowledge the "all prophecy fulfilled by AD 70" rule has never really been questioned by those who see AD 70 as the time of the Second Coming. John L. Bray would be an exception to this but even he just came to the conclusion that AD 70 was the Second (and final) Coming of Jesus in the last few years. The usual choice has been between traditional partial preterism, that sees AD 70 as a coming of Jesus in judgment (but not the Second Coming), and full preterism with its all fulfilled by AD 70 meta-hermeneutic. I am trying to show that there is a very viable option in between these two traditional positions. Of course those who would chose the position I am advocating will probably still end up being labeled as a heretic by those who subscribe to the creeds as a meta-hermeneutic, sorry!
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Russell came to many of the same conclusions as full preterists do (as do I) but he did so by letting the context of each section of Scripture determine when its fulfillment was. He did not have a meta-hermeneutic that all prophecy had to have been fulfilled by AD 70. Thus when he came to the conclusion that the millennium started at AD 70 he was able to adjust his interpretation of Revelation accordingly. Again Russell wasn't working from the meta-hermeneutic of current day full preterists that all prophecy had to have been fulfilled by AD 70.
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In writing my paper on Revelation chapter 12, I approached the chapter with no particular agenda in terms of applying it before AD 70 or after. In a nutshell, the conclusion I came to was that Satan was cast out of heaven at Jesus' resurrection and then was loose on the earth until AD 70. It was at that time, at the Second Coming, that Satan was bound, cast into the abyss, and the millennium began. If I was working under the meta-hermeneutic of the full preterist (that all has to be fulfilled by AD 70) I would have had to drastically alter my conclusions so I could fit everything in before AD 70. I would dare say that a full preterist reading my conclusions here on Revelation 12 would be almost sure I was wrong even before reading my paper. It would either be my being wrong or his or her paradigm being wrong. Guess which way most people lean when they feel their paradigm is being threatened (they usually "circle the wagons" seeking to discount the perceived threat). In my mind having to fit all prophecy in before AD 70 is just as stifling to the search for the Truth of Scripture as having to fit all prophecy into a creedal formula is. We all need to be careful that it is the Truth of Scripture that we are defending and not simply our view or paradigm. Unfortunately many times it is not easy to tell the difference between the two.
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SUMMARY
In this paper I have examined the proposition that all the prophecies in the Bible were fulfilled by AD 70. This proposition is used as a meta-hermeneutic (a higher order interpretive rule or principle) by full preterists. I examined the two most common arguments to support this meta-hermeneutic (Luke 21:22, and the imminency of the time statements of Revelation). I found these arguments not to be as solid as they appear on the surface. I argued that a meta-hermeneutic, because it helps to form the underlying assumptions of one’s Biblical interpretive system, needs to have a very solid Scriptural foundation. I don't think the "all the prophecy in the Bible fulfilled by AD 70" meta-hermeneutic has that solid foundation. First because I don't find the arguments for it convincing. Second, and just as important, I see portions of Scripture that contradict it (i.e. Revelation 12 showing Satan being cast to the earth at AD 30, not into the abyss; the millennium beginning at AD 70 at the Second Coming). I have called for a re-examination of the "all prophecy fulfilled by AD 70" meta-hermeneutic of full preterism.
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As one who does not recognize the constraint of all prophecy having to be fulfilled by AD 70, let me outline my position. I am summarizing here; for some of the rationale behind my thinking read my other articles, "A New Preterist Perspective" (although this paper modifies the section in that paper labeled "Resurrections") and "Revelation Chapter 12".
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First, I agree with full preterists that the Second Coming of Jesus happened at AD 70. To me this is the heart of preterism. I don't look for a third coming (Jesus would have to leave for that to happen!). I also agree that our salvation was made complete at the Second Coming. I also agree with full preterists that Christians have had access to the New Jerusalem and tree of life since the Second Coming (AD 70), Praise the Lord! Looking at Revelation chapter 12, I see that Satan was cast to the earth at Jesus' resurrection (John 12:31). He was loose on the earth until the Second Coming (AD 70). Looking at Revelation chapters 17-20, I see Jesus' Second Coming as happening at the destruction of Jerusalem (the fall of Babylon) in AD 70. The beast was defeated around that time, and thrown into the lake of fire. Satan was bound and cast into the abyss at that time (AD 70) and the millennial reign of believers began. It was at this time that the resurrection and judgment of Revelation 20 happened. I see this resurrection as an ongoing one that all believers participate in, ruling and reigning with Jesus. I see a final abolishment of evil at the end of the millennium when Satan and all that is evil will be thrown into the lake of fire.
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A major disagreement I have with full preterists is over their view of the current status of evil. Full preterists see Satan and all other enemies of Jesus as being abolished (thrown into the lake of fire) at AD 70. Thus full preterists see Satan as totally off the scene today, although evil still lives on in the hearts of men. In their view evil may diminish as the Kingdom expands but it never really ceases to exist. I look for a more definitive abolishment of all evil at the end of the millennium (Rev. 20:7-10). My position sees Satan as being active today. He was defeated at the cross (Matthew 28:18) but that does not mean he doesn't still produce destruction in the world today.
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I see us currently in the end part of the millennial reign when Satan is released from the abyss to go out and deceive the nations. That is why I think we have been experiencing such a rise in spiritual darkness in the last 3 or 4 decades. Spiritually speaking this is our world and we need (by prayer and sharing the word of God) to be more active in our rule of it. The Christian army advances on its knees! In the same manner as the children of Israel, when they inherited the promised land (Joshua 1:3), everywhere we set our feet (bringing God's rule) has already been given to us. In my opinion any form of preterism that doesn’t emphasize the active ruling of the Christian today (primarily through prayer) is on the wrong track. I don't look for the world to become totally Christian (like the post-millennialist does). I look for a continuing polarization of dark and light. That is, I look for the dark (non-Christians) to get darker and the light (Christians) to get brighter as the Kingdom expands. How optimistic or pessimistic others may view my position does not concern me as much as how well it lines up with Scripture.
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I see God's sovereign hand in bringing the Jews (after the flesh) back to the land of Israel. He owes them absolutely nothing from the Old Covenant, but is grafting those who will come to faith in Jesus back into the tree of Israel (which we are a part of). God is dealing positively again with the Jews (after the flesh) for His name's sake (so His enemies don’t think it was they who overthrew Israel), for the sake of the Fathers (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob etc.) and because His calling is irrevocable. Many preterists (both partial and full), would disagree with me on this but are at a loss to explain what God is currently doing with physical Israel. I look for increasing numbers of Jews (after the flesh) becoming true Jews (believers in Jesus). I also look for increasing antagonism from those Jews who won't be grafted back into the tree of true Israel. I look for peace to come to the land of Israel and at a time after that I look for the Gog and Magog invasion to happen. At that time Satan and all that is evil are thrown into their final place of judgment and destruction, the lake of fire. This is when Jesus, having abolished all enemies, all that is evil, delivers the Kingdom up to the Father (I Cor.15:22-26). We then live on in the eternal fulfillment of being with our God and Lord (what I call the eternal state) where we will have fullness of joy in their presence and with each other!
Duncan McKenzie

All Bible Things Were Not Fulfilled by A.D.70

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Dear Reader,
Its reasonable to raise the concern that all Scripture/Prophecy would need to be fulfilled by 70AD, especially since several good men among modern Preterists since Max King's 1970's-era milestone, Spirit of Prophecy , have given attractive arguments for such a conclusion. But it must be remembered that they all owe an even greater debt to James S. Russell's 19th century mountain-moving tome, The Parousia: A Critical Inquiry into the New Testament Doctrine of Our Lord's Second Coming , which centers fulfillment of prophecy around the "Day of the Lord" rather than any date. Russell is among the greatest, if not the first, to prove conclusively that the "Day of the Lord" dawns with Christ's Return circa 70AD. Nobody gets a 70AD Return of Christ without the Bible skills championed by James Stuart Russell. Nobody.
As you've inescapably concluded by now, my approach can be fairly introduced by this soundbite:
Eschatology, (the explanation of last things), revolves around "The Day of the Lord" rather than the date "70AD."
When we regard 2 Peter 3:8 (and Ps 90:4) to suggest that Rev 20's "The 1,000 Years" = "The Day of the Lord" of which the Law & Prophets and the NT speak,
and we recall that the focus about which eschatology revolves is "The Day of the Lord" rather than the date "70A.D.,"
we come to realize that all the Law & Prophets find their fulfillment with "The Day of the Lord," the beginning thereof circa 70A.D.
The above are just reiterations of what I have been saying all along. You deserve a tailor made answer to your concern here, though. I generally prefer to make my own such arguments, but I'm pressed for time right now and believe you also deserve a prompt reply. Please accept this link for now to Duncan McKenzies' approach in the which I find much merit. (Though Duncan also makes some Partial-Preterist statements with which I disagree. But this is part of the beauty of my approach, as I see it, it satisfies the valid concerns of Partial-Preterists while coming to the triumphant conclusions in which Full Preterism rejoices: there is no end, there is no fatalistic sentence upon past generations dooming our future, Tommorrow is a blank page to be co-authored together by God & the Blood-bought, Redeemed: Tommorrow is determined by what we do with Jesus Today, not by the failures of generations long since silenced. May the view I have been presenting serve as a bridge of understanding between Partial & Full Preterists that brings a more united front in presenting the glorious reality that Jesus is Back and living among us. The shout of a king is among the His Chosen People, the Church!). I will try to compose a fresh, personal answer to this claim that all prophecy be fulfilled by the 1st century when I find time.
May God bless through Jesus Christ our Teacher all who read, may He open our eyes to see wonderful things in His Word, granting us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him and may He grant us the grace to grow in the knowledge that does not puff up, but rather, multiplies grace & peace. Amen.
BONUS QUESTION:
How might this passage have possibly been fulfilled by A.D.70?

Isa 65:20-23
20 "No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days,
Or an old man who does not live out his days;
For the youth will die at the age of one hundred
And the one who does not reach the age of one hundred
Shall be thought accursed.

21 "And they shall build houses and inhabit them;
They shall also plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22 "They shall not build, and another inhabit,
They shall not plant, and another eat;
For as the lifetime of a tree, so shall be the days of My people,
And My chosen ones shall wear out the work of their hands.
23 "They shall not labor in vain,
Or bear children for calamity;
For they are the offspring of those blessed by the LORD,
And their descendants with them.
NASB

Observations:
1) People are working with their hands and they live to outlast the things they build.
2) People are being born and dying but living "as the days of a tree," which is not forever, but indeed a blessed, long time.
(There are sequoias calculated to live 2,000 years, redwoods up to 800 years, like Adam who lived 935 years).
3) Some people among them are regarded as "accursed," ie, under God's disapproval. They live less than 100 years.
4) It is considered a tragic loss to die in one's youth at age 100.
And this is love, that we walk after Christ's commandments ~2 John 6

Questioning "Full" Preterism, Covenant Eschatology

Question: Does not the declaration by some Full Preterists that the work of the Cross was not fully in effect until 40 years later have profound effects?

ERROR: 70AD-FUTURE MILLENNIUM Post-Millennialism, Partial-Preterism

70AD-FUTURE MILLENNIUM Post-Millennialism, Partial-Preterism

This view holds that the Millennium (1000 years) of Revelation 20:1-7

  • BEGAN ABOUT OLD JERUSALEM'S DESTRUCTION IN 70AD.
  • WILL END AT A TIME STILL FUTURE.

 

It incorporates the following errors:

 


 

 Postmillennialism and Universalism

  1. Postmillennialism says that the Millennium began long ago, (at Christ's birth, death, resurrection, Pentecost, or at old Jerusalem's destruction).
  2. Postmillennialism says that the 1,000 years of Rev 20:1-7 is actually a good deal longer than a 1,000 years.
  3. Postmillennialism says that the Lord will return at the end of this 1000+ year Millennium, (rather than its beginning).
  4. Postmillennialism forgets that Paul considered the Lord's Return possible within his lifetime, (1 Thess 4:17), not a 1000 years later or more.
  5. Postmillennialism says that the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4), is a past event and is, therefore, something different than the Resurrection of Christians at the Lord's Return, (1 Thess 4:17), a future event according to Postmillennialism.
  6. Postmillennialism teaches that the resurrection of Rev 20:4 (that of the Blessed & Holy ones) is past so it was not a bodily resurrection but a coming to covenant life.
  7. Therefore, Postmillennialism makes the same mistake as Idealism, Amillennialism, and "Full" Preterism by interpreting "resurrection" in Rev 20:4 as "coming to covenant life." This forces the conclusion that "resurrection" in Rev 20:5 is the "coming to covenant life," as well, since these two adjacent verses speak of resurrection of the two groups of the dead with the same words and grammer, LINK.
  8. The logical conclusion is the same: if resurrection in Rev 20:4 is "coming to covenant life" then the resurrection in Rev 20:5 is "coming to covenant life," as well. That is, Postmillennialism also supports the false teaching that "the rest of the dead" (Rev 20:5) eventually receive the same covenant standing as the "blessed and holy" (Rev 20:4): they both eventually "come to covenant life" whether they are among the souls of the blessed & holy martyrs or from among the rest of the dead. That is Universalism. Because of this error, many of the same arguments against "Full" Preterism apply against Postmillennialism, also, LINK.

Any time the Resurrection Rev 20:4 is made out to be something different than the Resurrection of 1 Thess 4:17, it invariably is contrived a “coming to covenant life” which, in turn, supports the conclusion of Universalism.

So, only Futurism and the 70-1070AD Millennium can possibly make a stand against Universalism. All the other systems support Universalism by their wrong view of the Resurrection of Blessed & Hoy One's of Rev 20:4 which then supports Universalism's view of the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead, Rev 20:5. They refuse to equate the resurrection of Rev 20:4 with 1 Thess 4:17 at the coming of the Lord.

Rev 20:4 is not equivalent to being born-again. Rev 20:4 is the same event as 1 Thess 4:17. It is the Resurrection of the Just, the Blessed & Holy ones, the coming to life again of the Dead in Christ and their being changed into a bodily form just like what Jesus enjoys.

ERROR II: "The 1000 years of Rev 20:1-7 is not an actual 1000 years"

ERROR II: Counting the "1000 years" Millennium not an actual 1000 years

The Millennium, (Latin for "1000 years" as are the Bible's actual words), is a finite period of time with epoch events marking its start and end points:

  1. The "1000 years" Millennium starts with the binding, casting & sealing of Satan into his prison below in the Abyss, (Rev 20:1-3), and with the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4, the first of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  2. Following their resurrection, the Blessed & Holy ones reign with Christ throughout the "1000 years" Millennium, (Rev 20:4-6), while Satan remains sealed into his prison in the Abyss below, (Rev 20:1-3 & Rev 20:7).

  3. The "1000 years" Millennium ends with the release of Satan from his prison in the Abyss below, (Rev 20:3 & Rev 20:7), and with the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead, (Rev 20:5a, the second of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB


 

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

ERROR III: "The 1000 years of Rev 20:1-7 ends at Christ's Return"

III a. ERROR: Theories ending the "1000 years" Millennium at Christ's Return. (Paul)

  • If the Apostles believed the coming of the Lord Jesus was at the end of the "1000 years" Millennium of Rev 20:1-7 and 2 Peter 3:8-10, Paul could not have taught the likelihood of himself being among those who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord as he plainly does in 1 Thess 4:16-17. A Postmillennial eschatology would have forced him to plainly place himself among those "fallen asleep" at the coming of the Lord. Futher, all apostolic alarm of Christ's "soon" return would have been replaced by the comforting doctrine of a "1000 years" Millennium countdown to Christ's coming. (That's a long snooze button). Read more ...

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.


III b. ERROR: Theories ending the "1000 years" Millennium at Christ's Return. (Universalism)

  1. The "1000 years" Millennium ends with the release of Satan from his prison in the Abyss below, (Rev 20:3 & Rev 20:7), and with the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead, (Rev 20:5a, the second of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  2. The Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead of Rev 20:5a1 Thess 4:16 the Raising of the Dead in Christ because that would mean the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4), was an event a "1000 years" Millennium prior to 1 Thess 4:16, that it was a past experience in the lives of the Apostles, thus driving the conclusion that Rev 20:4 was a "coming to covenant life," (being born-again). This, in turn, would drive the conclusion that the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead of Rev 20:5a was a "coming to covenant life," as well, since it uses the same words in an adjacent verse. The implication, then, would be that whether one lives & dies as "Blessed & Holy" or as "the Rest of the Dead," he still eventually "comes to covenant life," making faith & obedience to Christ irrelevant to one's eternal fate. That conclusion is Universalism, a cancerous doctrine at odds with Scriptures' command to obey to the Word of God the Judge of all men. Note also, Rev 20:5a ≠ 1 Thess 4:16 because there is no mention of non-Christians, ("the Rest of the Dead" of Rev 20:5a), being raised up alongside "the Dead in Christ" in 1 Thess 4:16. However, there is mention in 1 Thess 4:13 of "the rest who have no hope" which does, in fact, correspond to Rev. 20:5a "The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed."

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB


III c. ERROR: Theories ending the "1000 years" Millennium at Christ's Return. (Satan)

  1. Along with the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead, (Rev 20:5a), the "1000 years" Millennium ends with the release of Satan from his prison below in the Abyss, (Rev 20:3 & Rev 20:7).

  2. Satan cannot be released at Jesus' "soon" Return since Jesus promised to "soon crush Satan under your feet," (Rom 16:20), not "soon release Satan from the Abyss beneath," (Rev 20:3 & Rev 20:7).

  3. Satan cannot be released as Jesus Returns. Therefore, the "1000 years" Millennium cannot end as Jesus Returns.

Romans 16:17-20
Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. 18 For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. 19 For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good, and innocent in what is evil. 20 And the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS. 7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB


Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

ERROR IV: "Christ failed to return before His generation passed away"

  1. Jesus taught His Return would come to pass before the Apostle's generation passed away, LINK.
  2. Jesus' Apostles understood, expected & taught Christ's Return before their generation passed away, LINK.
  3. Though "neither the day nor the hour," (date & time), of Christ's Return was known by Jesus & His Apostles, they did plainly understand which generation would see it, their generation, LINK. The individuals who saw the Master go away were to be the very ones to see Him come back, as all the parables of a returning master describe, LINK.
Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

Postmillennialism refutes itself

Postmillennialism teaches the following points:

(A) "…postmillennialism teaches that the 'thousand years' of Revelation 20 occurs prior to the Second Coming. (p. 10); An essential doctrine of postmillennialism is that prior to the Second Coming, the messianic kingdom will grow until it has filled the whole earth." (p. 191)

(B) “As far as Paul knew, Christ could have returned in his lifetime.” (p. 194)

(C) "When the word 'thousand' is used in Scripture, it refers to a literal thousand or to an indefinite, but very large, number." (p. 209)
[Cited from Keith A. Mathison's Postmillennialism: An Eschatology of Hope, (Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 1999]

Point (A) is what distinguishes Postmillennialism & Amillennialism from the other end-time views: it is what gives "Postmillennialism"' its name.
Point (B) is accepted by virtually all Bible interpreters based upon 1 Thess 4:17 and like passages, LINK.
Point (C) is accepted by all but the few "Full" Preterists.

Clearly, however:
(A) and (B) oppose (C): If Paul thought the Millennium preceded the Second Coming (A) that could have occurred within his lifetime (B), there is no way he would believe the Millennium to last 1000 or more years (C).

(B) and (C) oppose (A): If Paul thought Jesus could have returned within his lifetime (B) and that the Millennium is 1000 or more years (C), there is no way he would have believed the Millennium precedes the Second Coming (A).

(C) and (A) oppose (B): If Paul thought a 1000+ year (C) Millennium preceded the Second Coming (A), there is no way he would have expected Jesus to return within his lifetime (B).

Simply put, (A), (B) and (C) cannot each be true (unless the Apostle Paul be discredited, which is unthinkable, or that he thought his natural lifetime might extend over 1000 years, which is unsupported by Scripture). The accepted truth of (B) and (C) reject the conjecture of (A). Postmillennialism & Amillennialism are self-refuting. Read more ...

**
"Full" Preterists hold (A) and (B) by denying (C), claiming the "1000 years" was 40 years or less.
Idealists hold (A) and (B) by denying (C), claiming the "1000 years" is a mystic number without historical import.
Premillennial Dispensationalists deny (A), hold on to (C) but downplay (B), claiming "coming soon" can mean anywhere between zero to 2000 years or beyond.
70-1070AD Millennium denies (A) while holding (B) and (C), claiming "soon" means "soon" and "1000 years" means "1000 years" and Saints' reign with Christ begins at their Resurrection at Christ's Return, 1 Thess 4:17 = Rev 20:4.

Keith A. Mathison

 

From: http://www.preterism.info/mathison.htm

In his book Postmillennialism: An Eschatology of Hope, (Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 1999), Keith Mathison says this:

…postmillennialism teaches that the “thousand years” of Revelation 20 occurs prior to the Second Coming. (10); An essential doctrine of postmillennialism is that prior to the Second Coming, the messianic kingdom will grow until it has filled the whole earth. (191)

This is why Mathison cannot accept preterism: there is no room for his millennium which has already spanned more than 1,900 years; and there is no sign this bloated era is about to end anytime soon. Mathison despises the preterist position so much, he edited another book devoted to debunking it (When Shall These Things Be? [Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 2004]). However, he, evidently, became so confused with the task he ended up debunking postmillennialism instead. In 1 Thessalonians 4, Paul refers to the “coming of the Lord” and twice uses the phrase “we who are alive and remain” (1 Thess. 4:15, 17). Clearly, Paul thought he might be alive until the second coming. This is not something one would expect a postmillennialist to admit. However, amazingly, Mathison does. He writes,

As far as Paul knew, Christ could have returned in his lifetime” (194).

What is Mathison thinking? Does he not recognize the implication? If Paul thought Jesus could have returned within his lifetime, there is no way he could have believed in the postmillennialism Mathison promotes. If Paul was a Mathison-style postmillennialist, he would not have expected the second coming for at least a thousand years! So, with one sentence, Mathison has obliterated postmillennialism.  A few pages later, he reiterates his previous position contradicting himself again:

When the word “thousand” is used in Scripture, it refers to a literal thousand or to an indefinite, but very large, number. (209)

It doesn’t take great insight to see that if Paul thought Jesus “could have returned within his lifetime,” then, obviously, he did not foresee the “very large number” of years required to fill “the whole earth” with the messianic kingdom; and if Paul didn’t know anything about an enormous millennium, it’s hard to believe that any of the other apostles did. In fact, we know they didn’t. See The Apostles Predicted a First-Century Return of Christ.

The Pretzel Logic of "Orthodox" partial Preterism

From: http://planetpreterist.com/news-5441.html

The Pretzel Logic of "Orthodox" partial Preterism
Posted on Sunday, February 03 @ 14:33:19 PST by Duncan McKenzie
 

by Duncan McKenzie
This is an excerpt from my book, The Antichrist and the Second Coming. The book is done but I am still revising and refining it. I am still not sure how I am ever going to get the thing into print. It has three strikes against it: 1. It is written from a preterist perspective. 2. It is too long (about 850 pages). I am technically not qualified to write it. I have a Ph.D. but it is in psychology not theology. Please pray that God makes a way.

While I am what Kenneth Gentry would term a hyperpreterist (I believe the Second Coming, resurrection and judgment happened at AD 70, or more correctly the resurrection and judgment began at AD 70 cf. Rev. 14:13), I am not a full preterist. I do not think all prophecy was fulfilled by AD 70 (I still look for Rev. 20:7-10 to be fulfilled). I find J.S. Russell’s position to be correct. He saw the Second Coming, resurrection and judgment as happening at AD 70 but saw that as the beginning of the millennium (full prets. say AD 70 was the end of the millennium). I think the book of Daniel backs up Russell on this (see my article, “J.S. Russell’s Position on the Millennium, the Neglected Third Way of Preterism” http://planetpreterist.com/news-5017.html (or click on my name on the left under columnists).

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sequence shown in Daniel 7 is the following: God comes and defeats the Antichrist (the little horn) and then thrones are put in place as the court is seated and the saints receive the kingdom. This sequence is shown three times: .Dan. 7:7-11, 19-22; 23-27. The same sequence is shown in Revelation 19:11-20:4. The Word of God comes and defeats the Antichrist (the beast) in Rev. 19:11-21 and then the saints receive the kingdom in Rev. 20. This sequence explains why some of those who come alive at the beginning of the millennium had been killed for not taking the mark of the beast (Rev. 20:4). This is a direct reference to the events of Revelation 13 (which were about to happen when John wrote). These souls of believers (cf. Rev. 6:9) had been killed during the tribulation of AD 67-70 (Rev. 13:4-7) and are being resurrected at AD 70 to share in the millennial reign. The martyrs of the beast being resurrected at the beginning of the millennium in no way fits the AD 30 beginning of the millennium that full preterists teach. It is a huge red flag that should not be ignored.

Enough about that, however, I am here to critique traditional partial preterism, not full preterism. I just want the reader to know that just because partial preterism is wrong, that does not mean that full preterism is 100% right. There is something in-between. Now that I have stepped on the toes of my full preterist brethren let me get back to the task at hand, stepping on the toes of my partial preterist brethren.

DANIEL 12

One does not have to look too hard to find problems with partial preterism. The partial preterist position argues that the tribulation happened at AD 70 but the resurrection happens in the distant future. Look at Daniel 12, however. It shows the resurrection happening right after the great tribulation. These events were to happen at the AD 70 shattering of the Jewish nation:

At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt…it shall be for a time, times, and half a time, and when the power of the holy people has bee completely shattered all these things shall be finished. Dan. 12:1-2, 7

Partial preterists usually try to get around this in two ways:

1. They say there is really a gap of thousands of years between vv 1 and 2. That is about as convincing as the gap of thousands of years that dispensationalists claim happen between the 69 and 70th week in Daniel 9:26-27

2. They say that this is not the resurrection but is some sort of national resurrection. This is wrong because it is clearly showing a resurrection of individuals. If one wants to see what a national resurrection looks like see Ezekiel 37. Added to this, Daniel’s people are shattered at this time (Dan. 12:7); that is hardly showing a national resurrection. By the way Revelation 11:15-18 shows the same thing, the resurrection happening at the AD 70 destruction of those who were destroying the Land (is often better translated as “Land,” the Land of Israel, in Revelation rather than “earth”).

PRETZEL LOGIC

The partial preterist position of two separate comings of Jesus can lead to some very questionable distinctions between the supposed comings. Consider the following comments by Gentry in discussing 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2.

Though he [Paul] speaks of the Second Advent just a few verses before ([in 2 Thess.] 1:10), he is not dealing with that event here [in 2 Thess. 2:1-2]. Of course, similarities exist between the Day of the Lord upon Jerusalem in AD 70 and the universal Day of the Lord at the Second Advent. The one is a temporal betokening of the other, being a distant adumbration of it. The Second Advent provides a final hope for the eternal resolution to their suffering; the A.D 70 Day of the Lord affords an approaching temporal resolution (cp. Rev. 6:10). Orthodox scholars from each of the millennial scholars agree that Christ brings these two events into close connection in the Olivet Discourse, Indeed, Christ’s disciples almost certainly confuse the two (Matt. 24:3). The same connection seems to exist here as well. [Kenneth L. Gentry, Perilous Times: A Study in Eschatological Evil (Texarkana AR: Covenant Media Press, 1999), 100]

I invite the reader to look at first and second chapters of 2 Thessalonians (see below). See if you can find the two different comings of Jesus supposedly found there; they are three verses apart! Maybe I am missing the adumbration. Gentry maintains that the first coming (2 Thess. 1:7-10) is a reference to the future Second Coming and the next (2 Thess. 2:1) is to the AD 70 coming. I have underlined the supposed two different comings of Jesus.

2 Thessalonians 1:6-2:3

Since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed [Gentry sees the preceding as referring to a future Second Coming]. Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. Now brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, [Gentry sees this as referring to the AD 70 coming] we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition. brackets mine

Gentry is saying that Paul is talking about a future final advent in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 but a mere three verses later switches to the AD 70 coming 2 Thessalonians 2:1! Gentry is forced into this far-fetched position because 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 is talking about the judgment (which Gentry says is still future) while 2:1 is talking about the AD 70 gathering of God’s people (cf. Matthew 24:29-34, which Gentry correctly believes is AD 70). Such are the extremes that partial preterists are forced into to try and maintain their distinction between an AD 70 coming of Jesus and a supposed future final advent.

 

Do Different Greek Words Refer to Different Comings?

Gentry’s defense for his distinction of the two separate comings in 2 Thessalonians 1-2 is that the word that Paul uses for the Lord’s final advent in 2 Thessalonians 1:10 (Gr. elthe) is different from the word he uses for the advent in 2 Thessalonians 2:1 (Gr. parousia). [Gentry, Perilous Times, 100-101] It is hard to take this distinction very seriously, however, since Gentry himself says that the word parousia (which he applies to AD 70 in 2 Thess. 2:1) refers to the final advent in 1 Thessalonians 4:15. Thus Gentry makes his elthe/parousia distinction in 2 Thessalonians 1-2 where it suits his position and ignores it in 1 Thessalonians 4 where it doesn’t!

Preston astutely critiqued the inconsistencies in Gentry’s attempts to use the Greek to differentiate the AD 70 coming of Jesus from a supposed final Second Coming:

Gentry says 1 Thessalonians 4:13f and 2 Thessalonians 1[:7-12] are the same event, i.e. the Final Advent. But there is a major problem here for Gentry. Remember that he delineates between 2 Thessalonians 1[:10] and chapter 2[:1] because of the use of elthe in chapter 1 and parousia in chapter 2. [But] 1 Thessalonians 4[:15] and 2 Thessalonians 1[:10] contain the same ‘different words’ as do 2 Thessalonians 1[:10] and 2 Thessalonians 2[:1]! In 1 Thessalonians 4 Paul uses the word parousia (v. 15, the same world used in 2 Thessalonians 2:1), to describe the coming of the Lord. However, remember that in 2 Thessalonians 1:10 Paul uses elthe, and Gentry insists that this word indicates a different coming than parousia. Why then does he not delineate between [parousia and elthe in] 1 Thessalonians 4[:15] and 2 Thessalonians 1[:10]? This is inconsistency exemplified.

Here is what Gentry does:

1 Thessalonians 4:15- parousia is final coming

2 Thessalonians 1:7f- elthe, is final coming.

So, Paul uses different words to describe the same event, and Gentry has no problem with this.

However,

2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 is parousia, and is AD 70, but,

1 Thessalonians 4:15, 17 is parousia and is the “final coming.”

So, Paul uses the identical words, and in both contexts he speaks of the gathering of the saints. But, Gentry insists that these are two totally different events, disparate in nature and time.

If the use of different words (parousia-v-elthe), does not demand different events in Gentry’s application of 1 Thessalonians 4 [:15] and 2 Thessalonians 1[:10], then why does the use of those same different words demand two different events in 2 Thessalonians 1[:10] and 2 Thessalonians 2[:1] (elthe-v-parousia)? And, if different words can be used describe the same event, then why does not the use of the identical words demand the reference to the same event (1 Thessalonians 4:15, parousia / 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2, parousia)? [Don Preston The Elements shall Melt with Fervent Heat: A Study of 2 Peter 3 (Ardmore OK: JaDon Productions LLC, 2006), 223-224 Great stuff Don!]

Is Paul talking about a different coming in the first chapter of 2 Thessalonians than he is in the second chapter? How could the coming in 2 Thessalonians 1:10 (These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes in that Day to be gloried in His saints…”) be referring to end of time and the coming in 2 Thess 2:1 (Now brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him…) be referring to AD 70? Again, the supposed two different comings are only three verses apart and no distinction is made between the two!

If that isn’t bad enough, the coming of Jesus with His angels in 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 (which Gentry says is the end of time) is said in Matthew 16 to happen within the lifetime of some of Jesus’ hearers. Compare 2 Thessalonians 1:6-8 with Matthew 16:27-28; I have included A and B for points of comparison.

Since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us [A] when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire [B] taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who don’t not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:6-8

[A] For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and [B] then He will reward each according to his works. Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom. Matt. 16:27-28

Gentry says 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 is the end of time but is forced to admit that Matthew 16:27-28 is AD 70 (because of the time referent it contains in v. 28). Both of these sections, however, are talking about the same thing: A: Jesus coming in God’s glory with the angels, and B: the judgment. Again, Gentry’s partial preterist distinction doesn’t hold up to biblical scrutiny.

If Paul is talking of two different comings of Jesus in 2 Thessalonians 1:6-2:3 he certainly did not make it very clear. Gentry seems to be suggesting that Paul didn’t make the distinction because he wasn’t totally clear on it himself (“Christ’s disciples almost certainly confuse the two [comings in] Matt. 24:3. The same connection seems to exist here as well”). For Gentry to suggest that the distinction between the supposed two comings of Jesus may not be clear because the NT writers may not have been clear about the comings puts him on very thin ice. If the NT writers were not clear on two separate comings of Jesus then it would mean that they were not making the distinction between two comings of Jesus that partial preterists do. If that is the case then the teaching of partial preterism on this issue is superior to the revelation of Scripture. This is thin ice indeed.

It is indefensible distinctions between an AD 70 coming and the supposed true Second Coming at the end of time that leads me to reject the traditional partial preterist position; it just doesn’t hold up to biblical or logical scrutiny. The Coming of Jesus in Revelation 19 is referring to the one and only Second Coming at AD 70. With harlot Israel destroyed, Jesus comes and defeats the beast from the abyss. This was the Parousia; it was the beginning of the judgment and resurrection (Dan. 12:1-7; Rev. 11:15-18) as well as the millennium (Dan. 7:7-12, 21-22; Luke 19:11-27; Rev. 19:11-20:4).



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Duncan McKenzie is a columnist for PlanetPreterist.com. Duncan has Masters and Ph.D degrees in Psychology and currently lives in Los Angeles, California.

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Matthew 24: Is Double Fulfillment Possible?

Matthew 24: Is Double Fulfillment Possible?
by Michael A. Fenemore of Preterism.info

Some teach that Matthew 24 was to be fulfilled twice. This view recognizes a first-century fulfillment, but suggests a second one with worldwide implications is unfulfilled. Even though Jesus said nothing to indicate the Olivet Prophecy would be fulfilled twice, that is apparently what Dr. Oral Roberts believes. Immediately after the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001, he stood up before the students and faculty of Oral Roberts University and suggested the disaster was an indication that Matthew 24 was about to be fulfilled. However, Roberts must believe in a first-century fulfillment, at least to some degree, simply because it’s undeniable. History records that the destruction of the Jewish temple mentioned by Jesus in the first two verses took place in AD 70. So Roberts’ futuristic scenario requires a second fulfillment; a new temple and its subsequent destruction. This might sound plausible initially; however, on closer examination, a verse-by-verse double-fulfillment proposal is exposed as absurd. Keith A. Mathison of R. C. Sproul’s Ligonier Ministries says the double-fulfillment theory cannot be “ruled out” (When Shall These Things Be? (Phillipsburg, NY: P&R Publishing, 2004), 180). Actually, it can easily be ruled out. We might wonder whether those who promote the double-fulfillment theory ever took the time to test it by reading over the text even once.

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matt. 24:14, NIV throughout)

Is the “great commission” to be fulfilled twice? Since “the end” was to come immediately after, it must have already occurred following the first fulfillment. Does the end come twice? If it does, the first one wasn’t the end, was it? Some might suggest this “end” may refer to the end of the Jewish age, and in a greater fulfillment, the end of the Church age. However, nothing in Matthew 24 supports that interpretation. The modern second fulfillment is usually presented as a worldwide catastrophe, but notice verse 20:

Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.

What relevance would that have to anyone today? Outside of modern-day Israel, relatively few people in the world keep the Sabbath. And what if they do? In the time of Jesus, the gates of Jerusalem were shut on the Sabbath preventing escape (Neh. 13; 19,22; Jer. 17:21,24). However, that is not a problem for anyone in the world today. Most Christians probably live out their entire lives without ever praying that their “flight” will not take place on the Sabbath. Mark’s account of the Olivet Discourse adds this:
You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues… (Mark 13:9a)
This is referring to councils of Pharisees and Sadducees. Obviously, it was meant for those living in the first century. It's unlikely that any Christians today are concerned about being “flogged in the synagogues.”

For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now — and never to be equaled again. (Matt. 24:21)

Since this time of trouble was “never to be equaled again,” how could it occur twice? Some will protest that this kind of language is hyperbole, common in the Old Testament (OT); it wasn’t intended to be taken literally. This is true. But then, the same people should be able to accept that the rest of Matthew 24 is replete with the same OT-style hyperbole. They should not require a second fulfillment just because some events didn’t occur just the way Jesus described them.

And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. (v. 31)

This is referring to the “last trumpet” of 1 Cor. 15:51-52; the Resurrection of the Dead and the moment when the living Christians would be “changed.” Are the “elect” to be gathered twice? If all of Matthew 24 was to be fulfilled twice, then clearly, the Resurrection must have occurred during the first fulfillment within the lifetimes of Christ’s listeners. But if all the dead in Hades were resurrected in the first century, how could they be resurrected again at another time in the future? It’s doubtful anyone believes any of this. Yet Oral Roberts, Keith Mathison and countless others present double fulfillment as a viable option.

The double-fulfillment concept is an untenable fabrication created in desperation, probably deemed necessary because its adherents expect literal fulfillments of the highly figurative, cosmic predictions in Matthew 24 and other places which, of course, have never occurred (and never will). In some cases we find types and anti-types in Scripture. For instance, Israelite worship under the Old Covenant was a type or “a shadow of the things that were to come” under the New Covenant (Col. 2:16-17).

However, the New Covenant does not create more shadows for greater fulfillments later. Here is an example of biblical typology:

OT type: Babylon
An oracle concerning Babylon that Isaiah son of Amoz saw (Isa. 13:1); …The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light. (v.10)

New Testament (NT) anti-type: Jerusalem

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem (Matt. 23:37); Immediately after the distress of those days “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light…’” (Matt. 24:29)

In Matthew 24, Jesus referred back to Isaiah to demonstrate that sinful Jerusalem had become the anti-type of OT Babylon. Jerusalem’s destruction would be the anti-type of Babylon’s destruction. (Most expositors completely miss this parallel and then fail to recognize that in Revelation, “Babylon the Great” is symbolic of Jerusalem.)

It’s all fulfilled. There is no third fulfillment. Matthew 24 is not a type of something in the future; it’s an anti-type of something in the past. The NT does not create new types that require future anti-types. Types and anti-types might be considered double fulfillments by some, but if a double-fulfillment rule should be applied without exception to all biblical predictions, we should expect two Messiahs, two crucifixions, two Judgments, two Kingdoms, etc. It gets ridiculous.

Evidently, many influential Bible teachers spend little time testing the double-fulfillment model before teaching it to trusting Christians. They continually predict events that were actually fulfilled long ago. Herod’s temple was destroyed in AD 70, so they must predict a “rebuilt” one. Many prophecies require a Roman Empire, but since it no longer exists, and hasn’t for over 1,500 years, they predict a “revived” one. However, if they would give up their literal-fulfillment requirements (stars falling from heaven, etc.) and fully accept the first and only fulfillments of NT prophecies, there would be no need for a flimsy double-fulfillment theory, and Christians could be spared a lot of useless speculation.

by Michael A. Fenemore of Preterism.info
Download this article and discover more at: Preterism.info
______________________________________________________________________________
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. The "NIV" and "New International Version" trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademarks Office by International Bible Society. Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society.

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matt. 24:14, NIV throughout)

Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.
You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues… (Mark 13:9a)

For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now — and never to be equaled again. (Matt. 24:21)

And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. (v. 31)

An oracle concerning Babylon that Isaiah son of Amoz saw (Isa. 13:1); …The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light. (v.10)

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem (Matt. 23:37); Immediately after the distress of those days "‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light…’" (Matt. 24:29)

ERROR: Bi-Millennialism

Michael Fenemore does a fine job with his preceding article: Matthew 24: Is Double Fulfillment Possible? He demonstrates the thoughtful Bible skills that deduce the Lord's 70AD Return. What mystifies me, though, is when others who also esteem such Bible skills and thereby come to the same 70AD conclusion, then go on to violate those very Bible skills to fudge together all manner of dubious theories. What comes to mind specifically in regards to "double-fulfillment" theories would be "Full-Preterism's" very own "Bi-Millennium" theories that see in the Rev 20:1-10 passage two distinct "1000 Years" periods, simply because John relates the vision by sometimes writing, "A thousand years" while at other times writing, "THE thousand years." Ludicrous! Why don't we just start coming up with Bi-Salvation theories? Or Double-Messiah theories? Or Dual-Covenant theories? Or two different "God's People": one group who loves Jesus and another who hates Him? Or dubious guesses of the Apostles predicting Double-Days of the Lord? Ridiculous! (Actually, history records people doing exactly these things). Such fancies and loose handling of Holy Writ are NOT how the 70AD Return of Christ was deduced in the first place.

Bisecting Bi-Millennialism:

Revelation 20:1-10
[Before the 1000 years start]
And I foresaw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for A thousand years, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until THE thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.
[During the 1000 years]
4 And I foresaw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I foresaw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for A thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until THE thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for A thousand years.
[After the 1000 years are completed]
7 And when THE thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. 9 And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

NASB ("I foresaw" is substituted for "I saw" since this is was a predictive vision, Rev 1:1 & Rev 4:1)

Notice how:

A) Rev 20:2 Foresaw how Satan was to be bound, cast and sealed into the abyss (bottomless pit) for A thousand years.

B) Rev 20:4 Foresaw how the souls of Christ’s martyrs who rejected the Beast (Nero) came to life and reigned with Christ for A thousand years.

C) Rev 20:6 Explained this was to be the first resurrection of the two mentioned here: the blessed group of souls were foreseen to resurrect and then reign with Christ for A thousand years, but the rest of the dead were foreseen to resurrect after the thousand years end.

And notice how:

D) Rev 20:3 Foresaw that Satan was to be released from the abyss at the end of the thousand years just referred to in Rev 20:2 : therefore, Rev 20:3’s “THE thousand years” = “A thousand years” of Rev 20:2. D=A
E) Rev 20:5 Foresaw that the rest of the dead were not come to life again until the end of the thousand years just referrred to in Rev 20:4 : therefore, Rev 20:5’s “THE thousand years” = “A thousand years” of Rev 20:4. E=B

F) Rev 20:7 Foresaw that Satan was to be released from his prision, (the abyss of Rev 20:3), upon completion of the thousand years just referred to in Rev 20:6 (and in Rev 20:3) : therefore, Rev 20:7’s “THE thousand years” = “A thousand years” of Rev 20:6 (and of Rev 20:3). F=C .

Additional observation: Rev 20:7 = Rev 20:3 Both verses foresee Satan being released at the end of the thousand years from the imprisoning abyss into which he had been bound & cast at the beginning of the thousand years: F=D . And since, as shown previously, F=C and D=A, therefore F=D=A=C .

Bi-Millennial Preterism correctly admits that:

A=B=C
“A thousand years” in Rev 20:2 = “A thousand years” in Rev 20:4 = “A thousand years” in Rev 20:6.

D=E=F
“THE thousand years” in Rev 20:3 = “THE thousand years” in Rev 20:5 = “THE thousand years” in Rev 20:7

But, as shown above, it is equally obvious from the Bible Text that:

D=A Rev 20:3’s “THE thousand years” = “A thousand years” of Rev 20:2
E=B Rev 20:5’s “THE thousand years” = “A thousand years” of Rev 20:4
F=C Rev 20:7’s “THE thousand years” = “A thousand years” of Rev 20:6 (and of Rev 20:3)

THEREFORE: A=B=C = D=E=F

CONCLUSION:

Every appearance of the term “thousand years” in the Rev 20:1-10 passage is referring to one and the same, exact period of time, recent innovation notwithstanding.

There is no more two Millenniums in Rev 20:1-7
than there are two Tribulations in Mat 24.

BIBLE SKILL EMPHASIZED HERE: no amount of appeals to distant texts can escape the plain message of the immediate context.
Context, context, context:
1) Every passage must first be reconciled with its immediately surrounding passages,
2) Then those passages are to be reconciled with their immediately surrounding chapters,
3) Then they are to be reconciled with the entirety of the book in which they are found,
4) Then they are to be reconciled with the remainder of the New Testament, Apostolic Teaching,
5) And finally, they are to be reconciled with the more distant passages within the corpus of Holy Writ, the Bible.
A measure of credibility is forfeited when this context principle is ignored.


BONUS OBSERVATION: anyone who:
1) says that the 1000 years ended at 70AD and then
2) says that Jesus Returned at 70AD has just taught that
3) Satan was released when Jesus came back.
(review Rev 20:3, 7)


RELEVANT LINKS:

Honestly, does the Bible really teach that Satan was bound, cast & sealed into the Deep (Abyss) while Christians ruled with God & Christ throughout the bulk of the 30-70AD period? (Actually, wasn't such blessings what they were expecting to arrive with Christ's soon Return?)

ERROR: FUTURE-FUTURE MILLENNIUM Premillennial Dispensationalism, Chiliasm

FUTURE-FUTURE MILLENNIUM Futurism, Premillennial Dispensationalism, Chiliasm

This view holds that the Millennium (1000 years) of Revelation 20:1-7

  • WILL BEGIN AT A TIME STILL FUTURE.
  • WILL END AT A TIME STILL FARTHER FUTURE, A LITERAL 1000 YEARS AFTER IT BEGINS.

 

It incorporates the following error:


Teachings of a Millennium to begin in the future were discredited in early Nicene times by the most of the notable of Christian leaders, Eusebius and Augustine among them. They denounced it as the heresy of "Chiliasm," ("1000-ism"), so named due to its adherents' fixation upon a yet future, 1000-year, visible reign of Christ. Chiliasm lost traction as mainstream Christians began to realize that they were already living within the Millennium, delighting themselves in the relative abundance of peace that came with Constantine's victory and the Nicene era. The Middle Age's belief that the Millennium would end around 1000AD coupled with its still greater conviction that martyred Christians were already enjoying a glorified existence with powers over the affairs of men testify to the historic belief that the Millennium and its First Resurrection were regarded as past events. Chiliasm came back with renewed vigor in modern times as "Premillennial Dispensationalism." Modern Chiliasm, Premillennial Dispensationalism, "futurism" change the meaning of the words of Scripture that refer to the timing of the Lord's Return-Rapture, the arrival of the Last Day, the beginning of the Millennium in order to fit their Millennium into our future, now nearly fifity generations since Christ's ascension. Many a frank article is available that refutes this system.

ERROR IV: "Christ failed to return before His generation passed away"

  1. Jesus taught His Return would come to pass before the Apostle's generation passed away, LINK.
  2. Jesus' Apostles understood, expected & taught Christ's Return before their generation passed away, LINK.
  3. Though "neither the day nor the hour," (date & time), of Christ's Return was known by Jesus & His Apostles, they did plainly understand which generation would see it, their generation, LINK. The individuals who saw the Master go away were to be the very ones to see Him come back, as all the parables of a returning master describe, LINK.
Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

The Ninety-Five Theses Against Dispensationalism

95 THESES AGAINST DISPENSATIONALISM

1. Contrary to the dispensationalists’ claim that their system is the result of a “plain interpretation” (Charles Ryrie) of Scripture, it is a relatively new innovation in Church history, having emerged only around 1830, and was wholly unknown to Christian scholars for the first eighteen hundred years of the Christian era.

2. Contrary to the dispensationalist theologians’ frequent claim that “premillennialism is the historic faith of the Church” (Charles Ryrie), the early premillennialist Justin Martyr states that “many who belong to the pure and pious faith, and are true Christians, think otherwise.” Premillennialist Irenaeus agreed. A primitive form of each of today’s three main eschatological views existed from the Second Century onward. (See premillennialist admissions by D. H. Kromminga, Millennium in the Church and Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology).

3. Contrary to the dispensationalists’ attempt to link its history to that of early premillennial Church Fathers, those ancient premillennialists held positions that are fundamentally out of accord with the very foundational principles of dispensationalism, foundations which Ryrie calls “the linchpin of dispensationalism”, such as (1) a distinction between the Church and Israel (i.e., the Church is true Israel, “the true Israelitic race” (Justin Martyr) and (2) that “Judaism ... has now come to an end” (Justin Martyr).

4. Despite dispensationalism’s claim of antiquity through its association with historic premillennialism, it radically breaks with historic premillennialism by promoting a millennium that is fundamentally Judaic rather than Christian.

5. Contrary to many dispensationalists’ assertion that modern-day Jews are faithful to the Old Testament and worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Hagee), the New Testament teaches that there is no such thing as “orthodox Judaism.” Any modern-day Jew who claims to believe the Old Testament and yet rejects Christ Jesus as Lord and God rejects the Old Testament also.

6. Contrary to the dispensationalists’ assertion that the early Church was premillennial in its eschatology, “none of the major creeds of the church include premillennialism in their statements” (R.P. Lightner), even though the millennium is supposedly God’s plan for Israel and the very goal of history, which we should expect would make its way into our creeds.

7. Despite the dispensationalists’ general orthodoxy, the historic ecumenical creeds of the Christian Church affirm eschatological events that are contrary to fundamental tenets of premillennialism, such as: (1) only one return of Christ, rather than dispensationalism’s two returns, separating the “rapture” and “second coming” by seven years; (2) a single, general resurrection of all the dead, both saved and lost; and (3) a general judgment of all men rather than two distinct judgments separated by one thousand years.

8. Despite the dispensationalists’ general unconcern regarding the ecumenical Church creeds, we must understand that God gave the Bible to the Church, not to individuals, because “the church of the living God” is “the pillar and support of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15).

9. Despite the dispensationalists’ proclamation that they have a high view of God’s Word in their “coherent and consistent interpretation” (John Walvoord), in fact they have fragmented the Bible into numerous dispensational parts with two redemptive programs—one for Israel and one for the Church—and have doubled new covenants, returns of Christ, physical resurrections, and final judgments, thereby destroying the unity and coherence of Scripture.

10. Contrary to the dispensationalists’ commitment to compartmentalizing each of the self-contained, distinct dispensations, the Bible presents an organic unfolding of history as the Bible traces out the flow of redemptive history, so that the New Testament speaks of “the covenants [plural] of the [singular] promise” (Eph 2:12) and uses metaphors that require the unity of redemptive history; accordingly, the New Testament people of God are one olive tree rooted in the Old Testament (Rom 11:17-24).

11. Contrary to the dispensationalists’ structuring of redemptive history into several dispensations, the Bible establishes the basic divisions of redemptive history into the old covenant, and the new covenant (Luke 22:20; 1 Cor 11:25; 2 Cor 3:6; Heb 8:8; 9:15), even declaring that the “new covenant ... has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete is ready to disappear” (Heb 8:13).

12. Contrary to the dispensationalists’ frequent citation of the King James Version translation of 2 Tim 2:15, “rightly dividing” the truth, as evidence for the need to divide the biblical record into discrete dispensations, all modern versions of Scripture and non-dispensational commentators translate this verse without any allusion to “dividing” Scripture into discrete historical divisions at all, but rather show that it means to “handle accurately” (NASB) or “correctly handle” (NIV) the word of God.

13. Because the dispensational structuring of history was unknown to the Church prior to 1830, the dispensationalists’ claim to be “rightly dividing the Word of Truth” by structuring history that way implies that no one until then had “rightly divided” God’s word.

14. Dispensationalism’s argument that “the understanding of God’s differing economies is essential to a proper interpretation of His revelation within those various economies” (Charles Ryrie) is an example of the circular fallacy in logic: for it requires understanding the distinctive character of a dispensation before one can understand the revelation in that dispensation, though one cannot know what that dispensation is without first understanding the unique nature of the revelation that gives that dispensation its distinctive character.

15. Despite the dispensationalists’ popular presentation of seven distinct dispensations as necessary for properly understanding Scripture, scholars within dispensationalism admit that “one could have four, five, seven, or eight dispensations and be a consistent dispensationalist” (Charles Ryrie) so that the proper structuring of the dispensations is inconsequential.

16. Despite the dispensationalists’ commitment to compartmentalizing history into distinct dispensations, wherein each “dispensation is a distinguishable economy in the outworking of God’s purpose” and includes a “distinctive revelation, testing, failure, and judgment” (Charles Ryrie), recent dispensational scholars, such as Darrell Bock and Craig Blaising, admit that the features of the dispensations merge from one dispensation into the next, so that the earlier dispensation carries the seeds of the following dispensation.

17. Despite the dispensationalists’ affirmation of God’s grace in the Church Age, early forms of dispensationalism (and many populist forms even today) deny that grace characterized the Mosaic dispensation of law, as when C. I. Scofield stated that with the coming of Christ “the point of testing is no longer legal obedience as the condition of salvation” (cf. John 1:17), even though the Ten Commandments themselves open with a statement of God’s grace to Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery” (Exo 20:1).

18. Contrary to the dispensationalists’ structuring of law and grace as “antithetical concepts” (Charles Ryrie) with the result that “the doctrines of grace are to be sought in the Epistles, not in the Gospels” (Scofield Reference Bible - SRB, p. 989), the Gospels do declare the doctrines of grace, as we read in John 1:17, “For the law was given by Moses; but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ,” and in the Bible’s most famous verse: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

19. Contrary to the dispensationalists’ historic position that the Sermon on the Mount was designed for Israel alone, to define kingdom living, and “is law, not grace” (SRB, p. 989), historic evangelical orthodoxy sees this great Sermon as applicable to the Church in the present era, applying the Beatitudes (Matt 5:2-12), calling us to be the salt of the earth (Matt 5:13), urging us to build our house on a rock (Matt 7:21-27), directing us to pray the Lord’s Prayer (Matt 6:9-13), and more.

20. Despite the dispensationalists’ vigorous assertion that their system never has taught two ways of salvation (Couch), one by law-keeping and one by grace alone, the original Scofield Reference Bible, for instance, declared that the Abrahamic and new covenants differed from the Mosaic covenant regarding “salvation” in that “they impose but one condition, faith” (SRB, see note at Ex. 19:6).

21. Contrary to the dispensationalists’ central affirmation of the “plain interpretation” of Scripture (Charles Ryrie) employing (alleged) literalism, the depth of Scripture is such that it can perplex angels (1 Pet 1:12), the Apostle Peter (2 Pet 3:15-16), and potential converts (Acts 8:30-35); requires growth in grace to understand (Heb 5:11-14) and special teachers to explain (2 Tim 2:2); and is susceptible to false teachers distorting it (1 Tim 1:7).

22. Despite the dispensationalists’ claim to be following “the principle of grammatical-historical interpretation” (Charles Ryrie), they have redefined the method in a way that is rejected by the majority of non-dispensational evangelicals (and even “progressive dispensationalists”) who see that the Bible, while true in all its parts, often speaks in figures and types—e.g., most evangelicals interpret the prophecy in Isaiah and Micah of “the mountain of the house of the Lord being established as the chief of the mountains” (Isa 2:2b, Mic. 4:1b) to refer to the exaltation of God’s people; whereas dispensationalism claims this text is referring to actual geological, tectonic, and volcanic mountain-building whereby “the Temple mount would be lifted up and exalted over all the other mountains” (John Sailhammer) during the millennium.

23. Despite the dispensationalists’ conviction that their “plain interpretation” necessarily “gives to every word the same meaning it would have in normal usage” (Charles Ryrie) and is the only proper and defensible method for interpreting Scripture, by adopting this method they are denying the practice of Christ and the Apostles in the New Testament, as when the Lord points to John the Baptist as the fulfillment of the prophecy of Elijah’s return (Matt 10:13-14) and the Apostles apply the prophecy of the rebuilding of “the tabernacle of David” to the spiritual building of the Church (Acts 15:14-17), and many other such passages.

24. Despite the dispensationalists’ partial defense of their so-called literalism in pointing out that “the prevailing method of interpretation among the Jews at the time of Christ was certainly this same method” (J. D. Pentecost), they overlook the problem that this led those Jews to misunderstand Christ and to reject him as their Messiah because he did not come as the king which their method of interpretation predicted.

25. Despite the dispensationalists’ partial defense of their so-called literalism by appealing to the method of interpretation of the first century Jews, such “literalism” led those Jews to misunderstand Christ’s basic teaching by believing that he would rebuild the destroyed temple in three days (John 2:20-21); that converts must enter a second time into his mother’s womb (John 3:4); and that one must receive liquid water from Jesus rather than spiritual water (John 4:10-11), and must actually eat his flesh (John 6:51-52, 66).

26. Despite the dispensationalists’ interpretive methodology arguing that we must interpret the Old Testament on its own merit without reference to the New Testament, so that we must “interpret ‘the New Testament in the light of the Old’” (Alan Johnson), the unified, organic nature of Scripture and its typological, unfolding character require that we consult the New Testament as the divinely-ordained interpreter of the Old Testament, noting that all the prophecies are “yea and amen in Christ” (2 Cor 1:20); that “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev 19:10); and, in fact, that many Old Testament passages were written “for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Cor 10:11) and were a “mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past” (Col. 1:26; Rev 10:7).

27. Contrary to the dispensationalists’ claim that “prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the first coming of Christ ... were all fulfilled ‘literally’” (Charles Ryrie), many such prophecies were not fulfilled in a “plain” (Ryrie) literal fashion, such as the famous Psalm 22 prophecy that speaks of bulls and dogs surrounding Christ at his crucifixion (Psa 22:12, 16), and the Isaiah 7:14 prophecy regarding the virgin, that “she will call His name Immanuel” (cp. Luke 2:21), and others.

28. Despite the dispensationalists’ argument that “prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the first coming of Christ ... were all fulfilled ‘literally’” (Charles Ryrie), they can defend their argument only by special pleading and circular reasoning in that they (1) put off to the Second Advent all those prophecies of his coming as a king, though most non-dispensational evangelicals apply these to Christ’s first coming in that He declared his kingdom “near” (Mark 1:15); and they (2) overlook the fact that his followers preached him as a king (Acts 17:7) and declared him to be the “ruler of the kings of the earth” (Rev 1:5) in the first century.

29. Despite the dispensationalists’ central affirmation of the “plain interpretation” of Scripture (Charles Ryrie) by which their so-called literalism provides “a coherent and consistent interpretation” (John Walvoord), it ends up with one of the most ornate and complex systems in all of evangelical theology, with differing peoples, principles, plans, programs, and destinies because interpreting Scripture is not so “plain” (despite Charles Ryrie).

30. Despite the dispensationalists’ argument for the “literal” fulfillment of prophecy, when confronted with obvious New Testament, non-literal fulfillments, they will either (1) declare that the original prophecy had “figures of speech” in them (Scofield), or (2) call these “applications” of the Old Testament rather than fulfillments (Paul Tan)—which means that they try to make it impossible to bring any contrary evidence against their system by re-interpreting any such evidence in one of these two directions.

31. Despite the dispensationalists’ strong commitment to the “plain interpretation” of Scripture (Charles Ryrie) and its dependence on Daniel’s Seventy Weeks as “of major importance to premillennialism” (John Walvoord), they have to insert into the otherwise chronological progress of the singular period of “Seventy Weeks” (Dan 9:24) a gap in order to make their system work; and that gap is already four times longer than the whole Seventy Weeks (490 year) period.

32. Despite the dispensationalists’ commitment to the non-contradictory integrity of Scripture, their holding to both a convoluted form of literalism and separate and distinct dispensations produces a dialectical tension between the “last trumpet” of 1 Cor. 15:51-53, which is held to be the signal for the Rapture at the end of the Church Age, and the trumpet in Matt. 24:31, which gathers elect Jews out of the Tribulation at the Second Coming (Walvoord). Dispensationalists, who allegedly are ‘literalists,’ posit that this latter trumpet is seven years after the “last” trumpet.

33. Despite the dispensationalists’ desire to promote the historical-grammatical method of interpretation, their habit of calling it the “plain interpretation” (Charles Ryrie) leads the average reader not to look at ancient biblical texts in terms of their original setting, but in terms of their contemporary, Western setting and what they have been taught by others — since it is so “plain.”

34. Despite the dispensationalists’ confidence that they have a strong Bible-affirming hermeneutic in “plain interpretation” (Charles Ryrie), their so-called literalism is inconsistently employed, and their more scholarly writings lead lay dispensationalists and populist proponents simplistically to write off other evangelical interpretations of Scripture with a naive call for “literalism!”

35. Despite the dispensationalists’ attempts to defend their definition of literalism by claiming that it fits into “the received laws of language” (Ryrie), However, subsequent to Ludwig Wittgenstein's studies in linguistic analysis, there is no general agreement among philosophers regarding the "laws" of language or the proper philosophy of language (Crenshaw)."

36. Despite the dispensationalists’ claim to interpret all of the Bible “literally”, Dr. O.T. Allis correctly observed, "While Dispensationalists are extreme literalists, they are very inconsistent ones. They are literalists in interpreting prophecy. But in the interpreting of history, they carry the principle of typical interpretation to an extreme which has rarely been exceeded even by the most ardent of allegorizers."

37. Despite the dispensationalists’ claim regarding “the unconditional character of the [Abrahamic] covenant” (J. Dwight Pentecost), which claim is essential for maintaining separate programs for Israel and the Church, the Bible in Deuteronomy 30 and other passages presents it as conditional; consequently not all of Abraham’s descendants possess the land and the covenantal blessings but only those who, by having the same faith as Abraham, become heirs through Christ.

38. Despite the dispensationalists’ necessary claim that the Abrahamic covenant is unconditional, they inconsistently teach that Esau is not included in the inheritance of Canaan and Abraham’s blessings, even though he was as much the son of Isaac (Abraham’s son) as was Jacob, his twin (Gen 25:21-25), because he sold his birthright and thus was excluded from the allegedly “unconditional” term of the inheritance.

39. Despite the dispensationalists’ claim that the Abrahamic covenant involved an unconditional land promise, which serves as one of the bases for the future hope of a millennium, the Bible teaches that Abraham “was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Heb 11:10), and that the city, the “new Jerusalem,” will “descend from God, out of Heaven” (Rev. 21:2).

40. Despite the dispensationalists’ commitment to the “holy land” as a “perpetual title to the land of promise” for Israel (J. D. Pentecost), the New Testament expands the promises of the land to include the whole world, involving the expanded people of God, for Paul speaks of “the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world” (Rom 4:13a).

41. Despite the dispensationalists’ claim that the descendents of the patriarchs never inhabited all the land promised to them in the Abrahamic covenant and therefore, since God cannot lie, the possession of the land by the Jews is still in the future; on the contrary, Joshua wrote, “So the LORD gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it… Not a word failed of any good thing which the LORD had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass” (Joshua 21:43,45).

42. Despite the dispensationalists’ so-called literalism demanding that Jerusalem and Mt. Zion must once again become central to God’s work in history, in that “Jerusalem will be the center of the millennial government” (Walvoord), the new covenant sees these places as typological pointers to spiritual realities that come to pass in the new covenant Church, beginning in the first century, as when we read that “you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb 12:22; cp. Gal 4:22-31).

43. Despite the dispensationalists’ fundamental theological commitment to the radical distinction between “Israel and the Church” (Ryrie), the New Testament sees two “Israels” (Rom. 9:6-8)—one of the flesh, and one of the spirit—with the only true Israel being the spiritual one, which has come to mature fulfillment in the Church. (The Christian Church has not replaced Israel; rather, it is the New Testament expansion.) This is why the New Testament calls members of the Church “Abraham’s seed” (Gal 3:26-29) and the Church itself “the Israel of God” (Gal 6:16).

44. Despite the dispensationalists’ claim that Jews are to be eternally distinct from Gentiles in the plan of God, because “throughout the ages God is pursuing two distinct purposes” with “one related to the earth” while “the other is related to heaven” (Chafer and Ryrie), the New Testament speaks of the permanent union of Jew and Gentile into one body “by abolishing in His flesh the enmity” that “in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace” (Eph 2:15), Accordingly, with the finished work of Christ “there is neither Jew nor Greek” in the eyes of God (Gal 3:28).

45. Contrary to dispensationalism’s implication of race-based salvation for Jewish people (salvation by race instead of salvation by grace), Christ and the New Testament writers warn against assuming that genealogy or race insures salvation, saying to the Jews: “Do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you, that God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham” (Matt 3:9) because “children of God” are “born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12b-13; 3:3).

46. Contrary to dispensationalism’s claim that “the Church is a mystery, unrevealed in the Old Testament” (J. D. Pentecost), the New Testament writers look to the Old Testament for its divine purpose and role in the history of redemption and declare only that the mystery was not known “to the sons of men” at large, and was not known to the same degree “as” it is now revealed to all men in the New Testament (Eph 3:4-6), even noting that it fulfills Old Testament prophecy (Hos 1:10 / Rom 9:22-26), including even the beginning of the new covenant phase of the Church (Joel 2:28-32 / Acts 2:16-19).

47. Despite dispensationalism’s presentation of the Church as a “parenthesis” (J. F. Walvoord) in the major plan of God in history (which focuses on racial Israel), the New Testament teaches that the Church is the God-ordained result of God’s Old Testament plan, so that the Church is not simply a temporary aside in God’s plan but is the institution over which Christ is the head so that He may “put all things in subjection under His feet” (Eph 1:22; 1 Cor. 15:24-28).

48. Contrary to dispensationalism’s teaching that Jeremiah’s “New Covenant was expressly for the house of Israel ... and the house of Judah” (Bible Knowledge Commentary)—a teaching that is due to its man-made view of literalism as documented by former dispensationalist (Curtis Crenshaw) and the centrality of Israel in its theological system—the New Testament shows that the new covenant includes Gentiles and actually establishes the new covenant Church as the continuation of Israel (Luke 22:20; 1 Cor 11:25; 2 Cor 3:6).

49. Contrary to dispensationalism’s claim that Christ sincerely offered “the covenanted kingdom to Israel” as a political reality in literal fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies (J. D. Pentecost), the Gospels tell us that when his Jewish followers were “intending to come and take Him by force, to make Him king” that he “withdrew” from them (John 6:15), and that he stated that “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting, that I might not be delivered up to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm” (John 18:36).

50. Despite the dispensationalists’ belief that Christ sincerely offered a political kingdom to Israel while he was on earth (J. D. Pentecost), Israel could not have accepted the offer, since God sent Christ to die for sin (John 12:27); and His death was prophesied so clearly that those who missed the point are called “foolish” (Luke 24:25-27). Christ frequently informed His hearers that He came to die, as when He said that “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matt 20:28;) and Scripture clearly teaches that His death was by the decree of God (Acts 2:23) before the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8). Thus, dispensationalism’s claim about this offer implicitly involves God in duplicity and Christ in deception.

51. Contrary to the dispensationalists’ belief that Christ “withdrew the offer of the kingdom” and postponed it until He returns (J. D. Pentecost), Christ tells Israel, “I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and be given to a nation producing the fruit of it” (Matt 21:43) and “I say to you, that many shall come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven; but the sons of the kingdom shall be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt 8:11-12).

52. Despite dispensationalism’s commitment to Christ’s atoning sacrifice, their doctrine legally justifies the crucifixion by declaring that he really did offer a political kingdom that would compete with Rome and made him guilty of revolting against Rome, even though Christ specifically informed Pilate that his type of kingship simply was “to bear witness to the truth” (John 18:37), leading this Roman-appointed procurator to declare “I find no guilt in Him” (John 18:38).

53. Contrary to the dispensationalists’ urging Christians to live their lives expecting Christ’s return at any moment, “like people who don’t expect to be around much longer” (Hal Lindsey), Christ characterizes those who expect his soon return as “foolish” (Matt 25:1-9), telling us to “occupy until He comes,” (Luke 19:13 ) and even discouraging his disciples’ hope in Israel’s conversion “now” by noting that they will have to experience “times or epochs” of waiting which “the Father has fixed by His own authority” (Acts 1:6-7).

54. Contrary to dispensationalism’s doctrine that Christ’s return always has been “imminent” and could occur “at any moment” (J. D. Pentecost) since his ascension in the first century, the New Testament speaks of his coming as being after a period of “delaying” (Matt 25:5) and after a “long” time (Matt 24:48; 25:19; 2 Pet. 3:1-15).

55. Contrary to dispensationalists’ tendency to date-setting and excited predictions of the Rapture, as found in their books with titles like 1980s: Countdown to Armageddon and Planet Earth 2000: Will Mankind Survive, Scripture teaches that “the son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will” (Matt 24:44), “at an hour which you do not know” (Matt 24:50).

56. Despite the dispensationalists’ frequent warning of the signs of the times indicating the near coming of Christ (Lindsey), their doctrine of imminency holds that no intervening prophecies remain to be fulfilled. Consequently, there can be no possibility of signs (John Walvoord); and as “there was nothing that needed to take place during Paul’s life before the Rapture, so it is today for us” (Tim LaHaye). Christ himself warned us that “of that day and hour no one knows” (Matt 24:36a).

57. Despite the dispensationalists’ claim that Christ could return at any minute because “there is no teaching of any intervening event” (John Walvoord), many of their leading spokesmen hold that the seven churches in Rev 2-3 “outline the present age in reference to the program in the church,” including “the Reformation” and our own age (J. D. Pentecost).

58. Despite the dispensationalists’ widespread belief that we have been living in the “last days” only since the founding of Israel as a nation in 1948, the New Testament clearly and repeatedly teach that the “last days” began in the first century and cover the whole period of the Christian Church (Acts 2:16-17; 1 Cor 10:11; Heb 1:1-2; 9:26)

59. Despite the dispensationalists’ claim that the expectation of the imminent Rapture and other eschatological matters are important tools for godly living, dispensationalism’s founders were often at odds with each other and divisive regarding other believers, so that, for instance, of the Plymouth Brethren it could be said that “never has one body of Christians split so often, in such a short period of time, over such minute points” (John Gerstner) and that “this was but the first of several ruptures arising from [Darby’s] teachings” (Dictionary of Evangelical Biography).

60. Contrary to the dispensationalists’ creation of a unique double coming of Christ—the Rapture being separated from the Second Advent—which are so different that it makes “any harmony of these two events an impossibility” (Walvoord), the Bible mentions only one future coming of Christ, the parousia, or epiphany, or revelation (Matt. 24:3; 1 Cor. 15:23; 1 Thess. 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2 Thess. 2:1, 8; Jas. 5:7; 2 Pet. 3:4; 1 Jn. 2:28), and states that He “shall appear a second time” (Heb 9:28a), not that He shall appear “again and again” or for a third time.

61. Despite the dispensationalists’ teaching that “Jesus will come in the air secretly to rapture His Church” (Tim LaHaye), their key proof-text for this “secret” coming, 1 Thess 4:16, makes the event as publicly verifiable as can be, declaring that he will come “with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God.”

62. Contrary to dispensationalism’s doctrine of two resurrections, the first one being of believers at the Rapture and the second one of unbelievers at the end of the millennium 1007 years after the Rapture, the Bible presents the resurrection of believers as occurring on “the last day” (John 6:39-40, 44, 54; 11:24), not centuries before the last day.

63. Contrary to dispensationalism’s doctrine of two resurrections, the first one being of believers at the Rapture and the second one of unbelievers at the end of the millennium 1007 years after the Rapture, the Bible speaks of the resurrection of unbelievers as occurring before that of believers (though as a part of the same complex of events), when the angels “first gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up” at the end of the age (Matt 13:30b).

64. Despite dispensationalism’s commitment to the secret Rapture of the Church by which Christians are removed from the world to leave only non-Christians in the world, Jesus teaches that the wheat and the tares are to remain in the world to the end (Matt 13:), and he even prays that the Father not take his people out of the world (John 17:15).

65. Despite the dispensationalists’ emphasis on the “plain interpretation” of Scripture (Charles Ryrie) and the Great Tribulation in Matthew 24, admitting that Christ was pointing to the stones of the first century temple when He declared that “not one will be left upon another” (Matt 23:37-24:2), they also admit inconsistently that when the disciples asked “when shall these things be?” (Matt 24:3), Matthew records Christ’s answer in such a way that He presents matters that are totally unrelated to that event and that occur thousands of years after it (Bible Knowledge Commentary).

66. Despite the dispensationalists’ commitment to so-called literalism in prophecy and their strong emphasis on the Great Tribulation passage in Matthew 24, they perform a sleight of hand by claiming that when Jesus stated that “this generation will not pass away until all these things take place” (Matt 24:34), He did so in a way inconsistent with every other usage of “this generation” in Matthew’s Gospel (e.g., Matt 11:16; 12:41, 42) and even in the immediate context (Matt 23:36), so that “this generation” can somehow point thousands of years into the future “instead of referring this to the time in which Christ lived” (Walvoord).

67. Dispensationalism’s teaching of the rapid “national regeneration of Israel” during the latter part of the seven-year Tribulation period (Fruchtenbaum) is incomprehensible and unbiblical because the alleged regeneration occurs only after the Church and the Holy Spirit have been removed from the earth, even though they were the only agents who could cause that regeneration: the institution of evangelism on the one hand and the agent of conversion on the other.

68. Contrary to dispensationalists’ view of the mark of the beast, most of them seeing in the beast’s number a series of three sixes, the Bible presents it not as three numbers (6-6-6) but one singular number (666) with the total numerical value of “six hundred and sixty-six” (Rev 13:18b).

69. Contrary to many dispensationalists’ expectation that the mark of the beast is to be some sort of “microchip implant” (Timothy Demy), Revelation 13 states that it is a mark, not an instrument of some kind.

70. Contrary to dispensationalists’ belief in a still-future geo-political kingdom which shall be catastrophically imposed on the world by war at the Battle of Armageddon, the Scriptures teach that Christ’s kingdom is a spiritual kingdom that does not come with signs, and was already present in the first century, as when Jesus stated, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst” (Luke 17:20-21).

71. Despite the dispensationalists’ claim that their so-called literalistic premillennialism is superior to the other evangelical millennial views because Revelation 20:1-6 is one text that clearly sets forth their system, this view imposes the literalistic system unjustifiably and inconsistently on the most symbolic book in all the Bible, a book containing references to scorpions with faces like men and teeth like lions (Rev 9:7), fire-breathing prophets (Rev 11:5), a seven-headed beast (Rev 13:1), and more.

72. Dispensationalism’s claim that Revelation 20:1-6 is a clear text that establishes literalistic premillennialism has an inconsistency that is overlooked: it also precludes Christians who live in the dispensation of the Church from taking part in the millennium, since Revelation 20:4 limits the millennium to those who are beheaded and who resist the Beast, which are actions that occur (on their view) during the Great Tribulation, after the Church is raptured out of the world.

73. Despite the dispensationalists’ view of the glory of the millennium for Christ and his people, they teach, contrary to Scripture, that regenerated Gentile believers will be subservient to the Jews, as we see, for instance, in Herman Hoyt’s statement that “the redeemed living nation of Israel, regenerated and regathered to the land, will be head over all the nations of the earth.... So he exalts them above the Gentile nations.... On the lowest level there are the saved, living, Gentile nations.”

74. Despite dispensationalism’s claim that the Jews will be dominant over all peoples in the eschatological future, the Scripture teaches that “In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians will come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, ‘Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.’” (Isa. 19:23-25).

75. Despite dispensationalism’s “plain and simple” method that undergirds its millennial views, it leads to the bizarre teaching that for 1000 years the earth will be inhabited by a mixed population of resurrected saints who return from heaven with Jesus living side-by-side with non-resurrected people, who will consist of unbelievers who allegedly but unaccountably survive the Second Coming as well as those who enter the millennium from the Great Tribulation as “a new generation of believers” (Walvoord).

76. Despite dispensationalists’ claim to reasonableness for their views, they hold the bizarre teaching that after 1000 years of dwelling side-by-side with resurrected saints who never get ill or die, a vast multitude of unresurrected sinners whose number is “like the sand of the seashore,” will dare to revolt against the glorified Christ and His millions of glorified saints (Rev 20:7-9).

77. Despite the dispensationalists’ fundamental principle of God’s glory, they teach a second humiliation of Christ, wherein He returns to earth to set up His millennial kingdom, ruling it personally for 1000 years, only to have a multitude “like the sand of the seashore” revolt against His personal, beneficent rule toward the end (Rev 20:7-9).

78. Despite the dispensationalists’ production of many adherents who “are excited about the very real potential for the rebuilding of Israel’s Temple in Jerusalem” (Randall Price) and who give funds for it, they do not understand that the whole idea of the temple system was associated with the old covenant which was “growing old” and was “ready to disappear” in the first century (Heb 8:13).

79. Contrary to dispensationalists’ expectation of a future physical temple in the millennium, wherein will be offered literal animal blood sacrifices, the New Testament teaches that Christ fulfilled the Passover and the Old Testament sacrificial system, so that Christ’s sacrifice was final, being “once for all” (Heb 10:10b), and that the new covenant causes the old covenant with its sacrifices to be “obsolete” (Heb 8:13).

80. Contrary to dispensationalism’s teaching that a physical temple will be rebuilt, the New Testament speaks of the building of the temple as the building of the Church in Christ, so that “the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord” (Eph 2:21); the only temple seen in the book of Revelation is in Heaven, which is the real and eternal temple of which the earthly temporary temple was, according to the book of Hebrews, only a “shadow” or “copy” (Heb 8:5; 9:24).

81. Despite the dispensationalists’ attempt to re-interpret Ezekiel’s prophecies of a future sacrificial system by declaring that they are only “memorial” in character, and are therefore like the Lord’s Supper, the prophecies of that temple which they see as being physically “rebuilt” speak of sacrifices that effect “atonement” (Ezek. 43:20; 45:15, 17, 20); whereas the Lord’s Supper is a non-bloody memorial that recognizes Christ as the final blood-letting sacrifice.

82. Despite the dispensationalists’ commitment to the Jews as important for the fulfillment of prophecy and their charge of “anti-Semitism” against evangelicals who do not see an exalted future for Israel (Hal Lindsey), they are presently urging Jews to return to Israel even though their understanding of the prophecy of Zech 13:8 teaches that “two-thirds of the children of Israel will perish” (Walvoord) once their return is completed.

83. Contrary to dispensationalism’s populist argument for “unconditional support” for Israel, the Bible views it as a form of Judeaolotry in that only God can demand our unconditional obligation; for “we must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29); and God even expressly warns Israel of her destruction “if you do not obey the Lord your God” (Deut 28:15, 63).

84. Contrary to dispensationalism’s structuring of history based on a negative principle wherein each dispensation involves “the ideas of distinctive revelation, testing, failure, and judgment” (Charles Ryrie), so that each dispensation ends in failure and judgment, the Bible establishes a positive purpose in redemptive history, wherein “God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him” (John 3:17) and “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.” (2 Cor 5:19a).

85. Despite dispensationalism’s pessimism regarding the future, which expects that “the present age will end in apostasy and divine judgment” (Walvoord) and that “almost unbelievably hard times lie ahead” (Charles Ryrie), Christ declares that He has “all authority in heaven and on earth” and on that basis calls us actually to “make disciples of all the nations” (Matt 28:18-20).

86. Despite the tendency of some dispensationalist scholars to interpret the Kingdom Parables negatively, so that they view the movement from hundredfold to sixty to thirty in Matt 13:8 as marking “the course of the age,” and in Matt 13:31-33 “the mustard seed refers to the perversion of God’s purpose in this age, while the leaven refers to the corruption of the divine agency” (J. D. Pentecost), Christ presents these parables as signifying “the kingdom of heaven” which He came to establish and which in other parables he presents as a treasure.

87. Despite dispensationalism’s historic argument for cultural withdrawal by claiming that we should not “polish brass on a sinking ship” (J. V. McGee) and that “God sent us to be fishers of men, not to clean up the fish bowl” (Hal Lindsey), the New Testament calls Christians to full cultural engagement in “exposing the works of darkness” (Eph 5:11) and bringing “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor 10:4-5).

88. Despite dispensationalism’s practical attempts to oppose social and moral evils, by its very nature it cannot develop a long-term view of social engagement nor articulate a coherent worldview because it removes God’s law from consideration which speaks to political and cultural issues.

89. Despite the dispensationalists’ charge that every non-dispensational system “lends itself to liberalism with only minor adjustments” (John Walvoord), it is dispensationalism itself which was considered modernism at the beginning of the twentieth century.

90. Despite the dispensationalists’ affirmation of the gospel as the means of salvation, their evangelistic method and their foundational theology, both, encourage a presumptive faith (which is no faith at all) that can lead people into a false assurance of salvation when they are not truly converted, not recognizing that Christ did not so quickly accept professions of faith (e.g., when even though “many believed in His name,” Jesus, on His part, “was not entrusting Himself to them.”—John 2:23b-24a).

91. Despite the dispensationalists’ declaration that “genuine and wholesome spirituality is the goal of all Christian living” (Charles Ryrie), their theology actually encourages unrighteous living by teaching that Christians can simply declare Christ as Savior and then live any way they desire. Similarly, dispensationalism teaches that “God’s love can embrace sinful people unconditionally, with no binding requirements attached at all” (Zane Hodges), even though the Gospel teaches that Jesus “was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine’” (John 8:31) and that he declared “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27).

92. Despite the early versions of dispensationalism and the more popular contemporary variety of dispensationalism today teaching that “it is clear that the New Testament does not impose repentance upon the unsaved as a condition of salvation” (L. S. Chafer and Zane Hodges), the Apostle Paul “solemnly testifies to both Jews and Greeks repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).

93. Contrary to dispensationalism’s tendency to distinguish receiving Christ as Savior and receiving him as Lord as two separate actions, so that saving faith involves “no spiritual commitment whatsoever” (Zane Hodges), the Bible presents both realities as aspects of the one act of saving faith; for the New Testament calls men to “the obedience of faith” (Rom 16:26; James 2:14-20).

94. "Despite dispensationalism’s affirmation of “genuine and wholesome spirituality” (Charles Ryrie), it actually encourages antinomianism by denying the role of God’s law as the God-ordained standard of righteousness, deeming God’s law (including the Ten Commandments) to be only for the Jews in another dispensation. Dispensationalists reject the Ten Commandments because “the law was never given to Gentiles and is expressly done away for the Christian” (Charles Ryrie)—even though the New Testament teaches that all men “are under the Law” so “that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may become accountable to God” (Rom 3:19)."

95. Despite dispensationalism’s teaching regarding two kinds of Christians, one spiritual and one fleshly (resulting in a “great mass of carnal Christians,” Charles Ryrie), the Scripture makes no such class distinction, noting that Christians “are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you,” so that “if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him” (Rom 8:9).

“Dispensationalism has thrown down the gauntlet: and it is high time that Covenant theologians take up the challenge and respond Biblically.” -- Dr. Robert L. Reymond, author, A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith

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ERROR: MYSTIC MILLENNIUM Idealism, Preterist-Idealism

MYSTIC MILLENNIUM Idealism, Preterist-Idealism

This view holds that the Millennium (1000 years) of Revelation 20:1-7

  • HAS NO BEGINNING OR ENDING DATES IN HISTORY.
  • IT IS STRICTLY A PERSONAL JOURNEY IN CHRIST.

(In essence, Idealism cannot see the difference between the application of prophecy's lessons and prophecy's historical fulfillments).


It incorporates the following errors:

 


 

Idealism:

  1. Asserts that the Resurrection of blessed & holy ones in Rev 20:4 is a past experience in the life of a Christian, that it is, therefore, not a bodily resurrection.
  2. So Idealism erroneously concludes, then, like "Full" Preterism, that the Resurrection of Rev 20:4 is a "coming to covenant life," (born again).
  3. But this logically drives the conclusion that the Resurrection of Rev 20:5 is the "coming to covenant life" of the rest of the dead, as well, since it uses the same words in an adjacent verse.
  4. So, whether one lives and dies as a "blessed & holy" martyr for Christ (Rev 20:4) or as "the rest of the dead" (Rev 20:5), he "comes to covenant life," nonetheless. Such doctrine renders obedience to Christ irrelevant to one's eternal fate. And that, again, lends support to the cancerous doctrine of Universalism.

In conclusion, much of the same arguments against "Full" Preterism, (Covenant Eschatology), can justly be applied against Idealism as well, LINK and LINK.

Despite Idealism, Rev 20:4 is not equivalent to being born-again. Rev 20:4 is the same event as 1 Thess 4:17. Rev 20:4 is the Resurrection of the Just, the Blessed & Holy ones, the coming to life again of the dead in Christ and their being changed into a bodily form just like what Jesus enjoys.


Notwithstanding, while I do see some measure of value in some of the the Idealist approachs to the Scriptures, (the renewed focus upon personal relationship-obedience to Christ, for instance), I also see some room for caution with the Idealist approach to prophecy & history. It should not be taken too far.

 
Frankly, some of the approaches I take can be regarded as "Idealist", too, I suppose. For example, I see resurrected-glorified Saints reigning from the unseen realm in the stead of the Eph 6:12 principalities-powers since the time of Christ's circa 70AD Return. These are Saints, brothers in the faith who have gone on to invisible glory, having been perfected through suffering, biological death, then judgment and resurrection-glorification. This is very ancient and catholic doctrine (in the original sense). And some folk might see some measure of Idealism in it.

And while I agree with Idealism that God's movements in the unseen realm are to be the centerpiece of Man's attention, I also concede that God's unseen movements have very real impacts upon the seen realm. This is why the historical does, indeed, still have some merit. Still, it takes faith to see the hand of God moving through our lives and, indeed, through the histories of the lives of men, nations & civilizations.

Even as Jesus would use parables to describe heavenly concepts with very earthly object lessons, God works through history, intervening in our physical reality, to give us confirmable evidence as to His invisible rule from the spiritual realm.

So I think it important to not lose our awareness of landmark, documentable, historic points of contact between God & Mankind, fulfillments of prophecy. Because if we take the Idealism too far, to the point where we lose all mooring points between our theology and documentable reality - then all we have left is a story that makes us feel better. Whether the story is true or not, it is no longer objectively confirmable - we only have the subjective witness of an inner, personal feeling. Some may call that "faith", but faith is blessed and stimulated by the witness of reality, too, Romans 1:1-4 & Romans 1:19-20. This is also why many believed following the miracles of Jesus and His Apostles and the holy exploits Christ's servants through the centuries since.

And holding onto a story by a feeling, without connection between our belief and reality, when the day comes when we don't feel better, our feel-good, hot-air balloon story comes crashing down and we cannot reason to ourselves or others why "the greatest story ever told" is any more worthy of belief than the confused stories of any of the Christless false religions.

So, the prophecy-history connection is important, (to me anyways), to point out that God is very much involved with Mankind, that He cares enough to intervene in our reality, that we are following something that is rooted deeply into reality and not just some cleverly designed fables. But I am convinced that Jesus is the Truth: and that "truth" is just another way of saying "reality" even as "The Logos" can justifiable by translated "The Explanation (of Reality)." So, to me, the Gospel is NOT the greatest story ever told: no, the Gospel is far and away the single, best, most credible explanation of what's really going on that I have ever encountered, bar none. And any explanation of reality MUST interact credibly and frequently with reality, reality as we experience it, reality as men have recorded it diligently, painstakingly throughout the centuries.
That is why, I believe, God placed it upon my heart years ago to start drawing the connections between the Bible's prophecies and the Bible's own accounts of their historical fulfilments. Joseph's early dreams - Joseph later becoming Lord of Egypt & his brothers. The baker & wine taster's prophetic dreams - the fates of the wine taster & baker. Pharoah's prophetic dreams of good/bad cows - the historical reality of good/bad years. The prophetic promises of inheriting the Promised Land - the historic realities of Joshua's conquering & possessing the Promised Land. The prophecy that David would be king - the historic reality that David became king. The prophecies that the Jews would go into Babylon - the historic reality of the Exile. Malachi prophesying about the Elijah to come before the Lord - the historic reality of John the Baptist being that Elijah that was to come. The prophesies that the Messiah would be born Bethlehem - the historic reality that Jesus the Messiah was born in Bethlehem. Etc, etc, etc.... It seemed that God wanted me to pay careful attention to such connections as I would work my way through my One-Year Bible again and again as a prerequisite to ultimately gaining the ability to draw the connections between the New Testament's prophesies and their later, post-New Testament fulfillments. Perhaps certain blessings of understanding only come to those willing to do their homework. I hope to please the Lord with mine.

May the above be understood in a favorable light, not as an attempt to brag (about what, really?) but an attempt to explain my interest in the matter. It is my hope to show idealistic young people that their dreams of making the world a better place are not in vain, but rather, they are favored by God who is also working to make the world a better place, too. We have a brighter and brigher future ahead of us but it will take a stout optimism to overcome the giants we must face down with every generation. "The wicked flee at the sound of a leaf, but the righteous are bold as a lion." "Let us go up at once and take the land, for God has given it to us and we are well able to possess it!" Through faith in Christ born of a good understanding, we CAN conquer tomorrow for the benefit of our fellow men.

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength and with all your mind."

Revelation 21:7
7 "He who overcomes shall inherit these things..."
NASB

1 John 5:4-5
4 For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
NIV

 

ERROR I: "The 1000 years of Rev 20:1-7 starts before Christ's Return"

 

  1. The "1000 years" Millennium starts with the binding, casting & sealing of Satan into his prison below in the Abyss, (Rev 20:1-3), and with the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4, the first of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  2. The Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones of Rev 20:4 = 1 Thess 4:16's Rising of the Dead in Christ. Otherwise would mean the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4), was an event distinct & prior to 1 Thess 4:16, that it was a past experience in the lives of the Apostles, thus driving the conclusion that Rev 20:4 was a "coming to covenant life," (being born-again). This, in turn, would drive the conclusion that the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead of Rev 20:5a was a "coming to covenant life," as well, since it uses the same words in an adjacent verse. The implication, then, would be that whether one lives & dies as "Blessed & Holy" or as "the Rest of the Dead," he still eventually "comes to covenant life," making faith & obedience to Christ irrelevant to one's eternal fate. That conclusion is Universalism, a cancerous doctrine at odds with Scriptures' command to obey to the Word of God the Judge of all men. Note also, Rev 20:5a ≠ 1 Thess 4:16 because there is no mention of non-Christians, ("the Rest of the Dead" of Rev 20:5a), being raised up alongside "the Dead in Christ" in 1 Thess 4:16.

  3. The Rising of the Dead in Christ, (1 Thess 4:16 & Rev 20:4), cannot begin before the Return of Christ since 1 Thess 4:16 teaches these events happen in the same moment.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord HImself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. 5 Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know full well that THE DAY OF THE LORD will come just like a thief in the night. 3 While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that THE DAY should overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of DAY. We are not of night nor of darkness; 6 so then let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us be alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. 8 But since we are of THE DAY, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him. 11 Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB
 


I b.  ERROR: Theories starting the "1000 years" Millennium before 2nd Timothy was written. (Hymenaeus)

  1. The "1000 years" Millennium starts with the binding, casting & sealing of Satan into his prison below in the Abyss, (Rev 20:1-3), and with the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4, the first of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  2. The Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones of Rev 20:4 = the Resurrection that Paul insisted was still future to the time 2 Timothy 2:18 was penned, (around 62AD). Otherwise would mean the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones was a past experience in the lives of the Apostles equating it with the error of Hymenaeus & Philetus.

  3. Therefore, the "1000 years" Millennium of Rev 20:4-6 cannot begin before 2 Tim 2:18 was written around 62AD because that would support the error of Hymenaeus & Philetus that the apostle Paul condemned as a cancerous doctrine.

2 Timothy 2:17-18
Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place [prior to the writing of this epistle], and thus they upset the faith of some.

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB
 


I c. ERROR: Theories starting the "1000 years" Millennium before the New Testament was completed. (Satan)

  1. The "1000 years" Millennium starts with the binding, casting & sealing of Satan into his prison below in the Abyss, (Rev 20:1-3), and with the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4, the first of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  2. Following their resurrection, the Blessed & Holy ones reign with Christ throughout the "1000 years" Millennium, (Rev 20:4-6), while Satan remains sealed into his prison in the Abyss below, (Rev 20:1-3 & Rev 20:7).

  3. The "1000 years" Millennium ends with the release of Satan from his prison in the Abyss below, (Rev 20:3 & Rev 20:7), and with the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead, (Rev 20:5a, the second of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  4. The New Testament records more harrassment from Satan against God's People, (Christians), during the 30-70AD period in which the New Testament was written than all other history combined, describing Satan fittingly as "a roaring lion walking about, seeking whom he may devour," LINK, hardly bound & imprisoned into the Abyss below. Additionally, there is no credible hermeneutic by which to construe the casting out of individual demons from individual men by Jesus in the Gospels as the binding, casting & sealing of Satan into the Abyss below as foreseen over 20 years later in Rev 20:1-3, LINK. If the period recorded by the New Testament, about 30-70AD, describes the state of affairs during the "1000 years" Millennium when the Devil/Satan is bound, cast & sealed into his prison in the Abyss below as Rev 20:1-3 describes, and yet, despite this Satan was still able to perform all his activities against Christians the New Testament so abundantly records, then it is fair to conclude from Scripture that the Devil/Satan is able to keep performing among us today and into the future much the same activities recorded by the New Testament since not even that prison could stop him, if the Millennium had indeed begun prior to the completion of the New Testament writings c. 70AD.

  5. The New Testament anticipates the reign of the Saints to begin no sooner than Christ's anticipated Return, the good & faithful servants each receiving delegated authority from the Lord Jesus as their reward for their service while He was away, There is no credible hermeneutic by which to construe that reigning had already begun prior to the completion of the New Testament corpus, LINK. If the period recorded by the New Testament, (c. 30-70AD), is what we experience whenever, (per Rev 20:1-6), the Saints reign with Christ then we should expect life under the reign of the Saints & Christ to continue to be the same as during New Testament times: singles should be advised not to marry because of the distress & darkness of the times whenever Saints rule and the Devil/Satan is imprisoned; God's ministers should expect to be hounded from town to town and treated like the scum of the earth and have messengers of Satan sent to buffet them, etc., just like Paul & the rest of the Apostles during the time the New Testament was written, (30-70AD), if the Saints indeed reigned then, the "1000 years" Millennium having supposedly already begun.

1 Peter 5:8-11
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. 10 And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 11 To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB


I d. ERROR: Theories starting the "1000 years" Millennium before the arrival of the Beast & his mark.

  1. The "1000 years" Millennium starts with the binding, casting & sealing of Satan into his prison below in the Abyss, (Rev 20:1-3), and with the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4, the first of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  2. The Blessed & Holy Ones are the dead who refused to worship the Beast and receive his mark, Rev 20:4.

  3. It is not possible to be awarded the Blessed & Holy Resurrection, (the first resurrection of Rev 20:4-6), before being beheaded for refusing the Beast & his mark before the Beast & his mark even arrive to test Christians.

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB


 

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

ERROR II: "The 1000 years of Rev 20:1-7 is not an actual 1000 years"

ERROR II: Counting the "1000 years" Millennium not an actual 1000 years

The Millennium, (Latin for "1000 years" as are the Bible's actual words), is a finite period of time with epoch events marking its start and end points:

  1. The "1000 years" Millennium starts with the binding, casting & sealing of Satan into his prison below in the Abyss, (Rev 20:1-3), and with the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4, the first of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  2. Following their resurrection, the Blessed & Holy ones reign with Christ throughout the "1000 years" Millennium, (Rev 20:4-6), while Satan remains sealed into his prison in the Abyss below, (Rev 20:1-3 & Rev 20:7).

  3. The "1000 years" Millennium ends with the release of Satan from his prison in the Abyss below, (Rev 20:3 & Rev 20:7), and with the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead, (Rev 20:5a, the second of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB


 

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

ERROR I: "The 1000 years of Rev 20:1-7 starts before Christ's Return"

 

  1. The "1000 years" Millennium starts with the binding, casting & sealing of Satan into his prison below in the Abyss, (Rev 20:1-3), and with the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4, the first of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  2. The Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones of Rev 20:4 = 1 Thess 4:16's Rising of the Dead in Christ. Otherwise would mean the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4), was an event distinct & prior to 1 Thess 4:16, that it was a past experience in the lives of the Apostles, thus driving the conclusion that Rev 20:4 was a "coming to covenant life," (being born-again). This, in turn, would drive the conclusion that the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead of Rev 20:5a was a "coming to covenant life," as well, since it uses the same words in an adjacent verse. The implication, then, would be that whether one lives & dies as "Blessed & Holy" or as "the Rest of the Dead," he still eventually "comes to covenant life," making faith & obedience to Christ irrelevant to one's eternal fate. That conclusion is Universalism, a cancerous doctrine at odds with Scriptures' command to obey to the Word of God the Judge of all men. Note also, Rev 20:5a ≠ 1 Thess 4:16 because there is no mention of non-Christians, ("the Rest of the Dead" of Rev 20:5a), being raised up alongside "the Dead in Christ" in 1 Thess 4:16.

  3. The Rising of the Dead in Christ, (1 Thess 4:16 & Rev 20:4), cannot begin before the Return of Christ since 1 Thess 4:16 teaches these events happen in the same moment.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord HImself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. 5 Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know full well that THE DAY OF THE LORD will come just like a thief in the night. 3 While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that THE DAY should overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of DAY. We are not of night nor of darkness; 6 so then let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us be alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. 8 But since we are of THE DAY, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him. 11 Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB
 


I b.  ERROR: Theories starting the "1000 years" Millennium before 2nd Timothy was written. (Hymenaeus)

  1. The "1000 years" Millennium starts with the binding, casting & sealing of Satan into his prison below in the Abyss, (Rev 20:1-3), and with the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4, the first of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  2. The Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones of Rev 20:4 = the Resurrection that Paul insisted was still future to the time 2 Timothy 2:18 was penned, (around 62AD). Otherwise would mean the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones was a past experience in the lives of the Apostles equating it with the error of Hymenaeus & Philetus.

  3. Therefore, the "1000 years" Millennium of Rev 20:4-6 cannot begin before 2 Tim 2:18 was written around 62AD because that would support the error of Hymenaeus & Philetus that the apostle Paul condemned as a cancerous doctrine.

2 Timothy 2:17-18
Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place [prior to the writing of this epistle], and thus they upset the faith of some.

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB
 


I c. ERROR: Theories starting the "1000 years" Millennium before the New Testament was completed. (Satan)

  1. The "1000 years" Millennium starts with the binding, casting & sealing of Satan into his prison below in the Abyss, (Rev 20:1-3), and with the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4, the first of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  2. Following their resurrection, the Blessed & Holy ones reign with Christ throughout the "1000 years" Millennium, (Rev 20:4-6), while Satan remains sealed into his prison in the Abyss below, (Rev 20:1-3 & Rev 20:7).

  3. The "1000 years" Millennium ends with the release of Satan from his prison in the Abyss below, (Rev 20:3 & Rev 20:7), and with the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead, (Rev 20:5a, the second of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  4. The New Testament records more harrassment from Satan against God's People, (Christians), during the 30-70AD period in which the New Testament was written than all other history combined, describing Satan fittingly as "a roaring lion walking about, seeking whom he may devour," LINK, hardly bound & imprisoned into the Abyss below. Additionally, there is no credible hermeneutic by which to construe the casting out of individual demons from individual men by Jesus in the Gospels as the binding, casting & sealing of Satan into the Abyss below as foreseen over 20 years later in Rev 20:1-3, LINK. If the period recorded by the New Testament, about 30-70AD, describes the state of affairs during the "1000 years" Millennium when the Devil/Satan is bound, cast & sealed into his prison in the Abyss below as Rev 20:1-3 describes, and yet, despite this Satan was still able to perform all his activities against Christians the New Testament so abundantly records, then it is fair to conclude from Scripture that the Devil/Satan is able to keep performing among us today and into the future much the same activities recorded by the New Testament since not even that prison could stop him, if the Millennium had indeed begun prior to the completion of the New Testament writings c. 70AD.

  5. The New Testament anticipates the reign of the Saints to begin no sooner than Christ's anticipated Return, the good & faithful servants each receiving delegated authority from the Lord Jesus as their reward for their service while He was away, There is no credible hermeneutic by which to construe that reigning had already begun prior to the completion of the New Testament corpus, LINK. If the period recorded by the New Testament, (c. 30-70AD), is what we experience whenever, (per Rev 20:1-6), the Saints reign with Christ then we should expect life under the reign of the Saints & Christ to continue to be the same as during New Testament times: singles should be advised not to marry because of the distress & darkness of the times whenever Saints rule and the Devil/Satan is imprisoned; God's ministers should expect to be hounded from town to town and treated like the scum of the earth and have messengers of Satan sent to buffet them, etc., just like Paul & the rest of the Apostles during the time the New Testament was written, (30-70AD), if the Saints indeed reigned then, the "1000 years" Millennium having supposedly already begun.

1 Peter 5:8-11
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. 10 And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 11 To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB


I d. ERROR: Theories starting the "1000 years" Millennium before the arrival of the Beast & his mark.

  1. The "1000 years" Millennium starts with the binding, casting & sealing of Satan into his prison below in the Abyss, (Rev 20:1-3), and with the Resurrection of the Blessed & Holy Ones, (Rev 20:4, the first of the two groups of souls of dead people that are resurrected in Rev 20:4-6).

  2. The Blessed & Holy Ones are the dead who refused to worship the Beast and receive his mark, Rev 20:4.

  3. It is not possible to be awarded the Blessed & Holy Resurrection, (the first resurrection of Rev 20:4-6), before being beheaded for refusing the Beast & his mark before the Beast & his mark even arrive to test Christians.

Revelation 20:1-8
1 And I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a THOUSAND YEARS, 3 and threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he should not deceive the nations any longer, until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a THOUSAND YEARS. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the THOUSAND YEARS were completed). This is the first resurrection. 6 Blesssed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a THOUSAND YEARS.7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out ...
NASB


 

Revelation 20 & Universalism

I know you are busy, but could you take just a brief moment and fill me in on
  • [Part A] how you view the Rev. 20 passage and
  • [Part B] how a wrong view there can open the door to universalism.
Being slow of mind, it will help me to get up to speed. So thanks so much for doing this. Don't take a lot of time, just a brief response. ~WH
 
The above is a reasonable 2-part question. What follows is my 2-part answer.
 
[Part A] How I view the Rev 20 passage can be found at: LINK
 
[Part B] How the wrong view Rev 20, "Rev 20 was all fulfilled by 70 AD," leads to Universalism:
  1.    Revelation 20:4 describes the coming to life of the souls of those slain for their witness for Jesus and for rejecting the mark of the Beast. This is the first of two groups of souls resurrected from the dead in Rev 20:4-6. Since the participants of this first resurrection are declared blessed and holy, we may justly call this, "The Blessed & Holy Resurrection." Its participants are rewarded by reigning with Christ for a thousand years and are granted immunity from the anticipated Second Death.
  2.    Revelation 20:5 describes the coming to life of "the rest of the dead" at the end of the thousand years. We may call this, "The Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead."
  3.    Whether one understands the term "thousand years" to mean 1000 years, 1000 hours, or a 1000 seconds, it is still describing a span of time with the aforementioned events marking its starting and ending points.
  4.    When this span of time is made to terminate at 70AD, the starting point is made to be some time before the disappearance of the New Testament writers. This forces the Blessed & Holy Resurrection (Rev 20:4) to become an experience already available to the New Testament writers while yet in their mortal-natural bodies of flesh, (error of Hymenaeus, 2 Timothy 2:18). To accommodate this, the "come to life" of Revelation 20:4 is made to mean "come to covenant life."
  5.    Someone who buys into point 4) then reads Revelation 20:5a and sees that "the Rest of the Dead" eventually "came to covenant life" with the same grammar and vocabulary by which the Blessed & Holy of Revelation 20:4 "come to covenant life" a thousand years earlier.
  6.    He concludes, then, that whether one dies as a Blessed & Holy witness for Jesus (Rev 20:4) or as the Rest of the Dead (Rev 20:5), his final stance with God is the same: he still "comes to covenant life." That belief is commonly known as Universalism.
Summary: "Full" Preterism (Covenant Eschatology) interprets the word "covenant" into the Text of Rev 20:4-6 to make the Blessed & Holy Resurrection (first resurrection, Rev 20:4) precede Christ's Return by decades so that the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead (Rev 20:5a) may occur at the moment of Christ's Return. Consistently applied, this addition to the Text forms the basis for "Full" Preterist Universalism.

Revelation 20:4-5 ~foreseen around 63AD in the predictive vision given to the exiled Apostle John of "things shortly to come to pass," Rev 1:1 & Rev 4:1
And I foresaw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I foresaw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to convenantal life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to convenantal life until the thousand years were completed.
NASB

Rev 20:4 "come to life" = "come to life" of Rev 20:5

Response to ProphecyHistory.com's "Rev 20 & Universalism"
[D quoting W]
>> .....could you take just a brief moment and fill me in on
> > how you view the Rev. 20 passage and how a wrong view there
> > can open the door to universalism........

[D quoting ProphecyHistory.com]
> 5) When one then reads Revelation 20:5 and sees that "the
> rest of the dead" eventually "came to life" with the same
> grammar and vocabulary by which the Just of Revelation 20:4
> "come to life" earlier, he natually concludes that "the rest
> of the dead" eventually come to "be born again," or "have
> eternal life," or attain the same "spirituo- covenant
> STANCE with God."
>
> 6) He concludes that whether one lays down his life as a
> martyr for Jesus (Rev 20:4) or if goes along with the rest of
> the dead (Rev 20:5), his final status with God is the same:
> he attains to the same "spirituo-covenant STANCE with God."
> That belief is commonly known as Universalism.


[D]
Hi John, :)

Those who took part in "the first resurrection" were "blessed and holy" (Rev. 20:4-6). The implication is that not everyone who took part in the subsequent resurrection was blessed and holy. Rev. 20:12-15 confirms that not everyone who partook of the latter resurrection was blessed and holy.
In the Received Text, "the same vocabulary" is not used. In Rev. 20:4, the Greek word is zao (lived). In Rev. 20:5, the Greek word is anazao (lived again). But even if we go with the Alexandrian textbase, which uses the same word in both verses, the fact that those who took part in "the first resurrection" and those who made up "the rest of the dead" both had "life" ("zao") does not necessarily mean that they both had the same kind of life. In Rev. 13:14, the beast also "came to life" ("same vocabulary": zao). In Rev. 16:3, every soul that had "life" died ("same vocabulary": zao). In Rev. 19:20, the beast and the false prophet were both cast "alive" into the lake of fire ("same vocabulary": zao). These instances of "life" (zao) in the book of Revelation do not mean the same kind of life. Therefore no conclusion can be drawn from the mere repetition of the word in Rev. 20:4 and 5.
"Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice [the gospel] of the Son of God; and those who hear shall live [the first resurrection]. (Jn. 5:25)

"Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs [the rest of the dead] shall hear His voice, and shall come forth [i.e., shall live]; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment" (Jn. 5:28,29).

D
.
Rebuttal: Rev 20:4’s “come to life” = “come to life” of Rev 20:5
[D quoting W] .....could you take just a brief moment and fill me in on how you view the Rev. 20 passage and how a wrong view there can open the door to universalism........
[ProphecyHistory.com] Let us notice how W asked for a brief explanation specifically about Rev 20 and nothing more.
[D quoting ProphecyHistory.com]
5) When one then reads Revelation 20:5 and sees that "the rest of the dead" eventually "came to life" with the same grammar and vocabulary by which the Just of Revelation 20:4 "come to life" earlier, he naturally concludes that "the rest of the dead" eventually come to "be born again," or "have eternal life," or attain the same "spirituo- covenant STANCE with God."
6) He concludes that whether one lays down his life as a martyr for Jesus (Rev 20:4) or if goes along with the rest of the dead (Rev 20:5), his final status with God is the same: he attains to the same "spirituo-covenant STANCE with God." That belief is commonly known as Universalism.
[ProphecyHistory.com] Notice how you, (D), omitted mention of the context I provided by omitting my point 4). Was it inconvenient to your argument? Here it is again:
[from original article by ProphecyHistory.com]
4) When this span of time [Rev 20:1-10's "Thousand Years"] is made to terminate at 70AD, the beginning point is made to be sometime during the lifetime of the New Testament writers. This forces the Resurrection of the Just (v4) to become something that the New Testament writers already possessed while still in their bodies of flesh, (the error of 2 Timothy 2:18 – “the timing” does indeed affect “the nature”). The Resurrection of the Just, (Revelation 20:4), then becomes "being born again/baptised," or "having eternal life," or "spirituo-covenant STANCE with God.”
[D] Hi John, :)
[ProphecyHistory.com] Nice to meet you.
[D] Those who took part in "the first resurrection" were "blessed and holy" (Rev. 20:4-6). The implication is that not everyone who took part in the subsequent resurrection was blessed and holy. Rev 20:12-15 confirms that not everyone who partook of the latter resurrection was blessed and holy.
[ProphecyHistory.com] Agreed. You are butressing my point all the more here. Thank you. Firstly, you just identified Rev 20:4 and Rev 20:5 as resurrections; resurrections of two different groups of souls. You state my case that Rev 20:5's resurrection of "the rest of the dead" CANNOT be equated with "being born again/baptised," "having eternal life," "enjoying spirituo-covenant STANCE with God." Therefore, I say, Rev 20:4's resurrection CANNOT be "being born again/baptised," "having eternal life," "enjoying spirituo-covenant STANCE with God," since as I demonstrated, the tightly bound verses of Rev 20:4 and Rev 20:5 employ the same grammar and vocabulary to describe what occurs to the two groups of souls.
[D] In the Received Text, "the same vocabulary" is not used. In Rev. 20:4, the Greek word is zao (lived). In Rev. 20:5, the Greek word is ana-zao (lived again).
[ProphecyHistory.com] This is grasping, especially noteworthy since 30-70AD Millennialism relies heavily upon associating similarly worded passages to make its claims. "Lived" of Textus Receptus' Rev 20:4 is virtually identical with Textus Receptus' Rev 20:5's "lived again." The bond between them is tightened all the more when we hold in view the actual passage "And I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast [Nero], neither had received his mark upon their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were fininshed." Verse 5's use of the word "But..." communicates that the notable difference between these two events was the timing, a thosand years later. Its straining to say that v4 is using "lived" to say "they were born again, received eternal life, attained to a spirituo-covenant STANCE with God" but v5 is using "lived again" to say a different thing altogether. The one who does this forfiets credibility on any other association between Scriptures.
[D] But even if we go with the Alexandrian textbase, which uses the same word in both verses, ...
[ProphecyHistory.com] A second weighty admission of fact on your part. You just said that the earliest major Text base in our possession, a Text base upon which many Bible scholars hold in such esteem as to prefer it for Bible translations, agrees with what I wrote about how Rev 20:4's Resurrection of Just souls employs the same vocabulary and grammar to describe Rev 20:5's Resurrection of "the rest of the dead." You are conceding much more ground than you imagine to be gaining. And the Majority Text employs the same word in both Rev 20:4 & 5, as well.
[D] ...the fact that those who took part in "the first resurrection" and those who made up "the rest of the dead" both had "life" ("zao") does not necessarily mean that they both had the same kind of life....
[ProphecyHistory.com] A third admission of fact: both the Just of Rev 20:4 and Rev 20:5's "the rest of the dead" both had "life" ("zao"). Again, you are straining to veer away from the plain words of the Text. You are trying to find a way to say that two adjacent verses, employing the same vocabulary about the same subject (resurrection of the souls of the Just and "the rest of the dead") are talking about two different kinds of "zao." Not credible, especially when one recalls what great lengths to which 30-70AD Millennialists go to make their points by associating similarly worded passages.
[D] In Rev. 13:14, the beast also "came to life" ("same vocabulary": zao). In Rev. 16:3, every soul that had "life" died ("same vocabulary": zao). In Rev. 19:20, the beast and the false prophet were both cast "alive" into the lake of fire ("same vocabulary": zao). These instances of "life" (zao) in the book of Revelation do not mean the same kind of life.
[ProphecyHistory.com] False. They can ALL easily mean the same kind of life: animation of a body. So can Rev 20:5. Further, we know that not a one of those mentioned verses can possibly be equated with "being born again/baptised," "having eternal life," "enjoying spirituo-covenant STANCE with God." So why make such a strained effort to defend this one stand out (Rev 20:4) to represent "being born again/baptised," "having eternal life," "enjoying spirituo-covenant STANCE with God" ?
[D] Therefore no conclusion can be drawn from the mere repetition of the word in Rev. 20:4 and 5.
[ProphecyHistory.com] Once again, you have just conceded another piece of my argument: you just admitted that Rev 20:4 and Rev 20:5 employ the same word to describe the action upon these two groups of souls. But you insist upon a false conclusion based upon strained, self-refuting arguments. Meanwhile, a host of truly credible arguments out there against 30- 70AD Millennialism's word associations fall on deaf ears.
[D] "Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice [the gospel] of the Son of God; and those who hear shall live [the first resurrection]. (Jn. 5:25)
"Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs [the rest of the dead] shall hear His voice, and shall come forth [i.e., shall live]; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment" (Jn. 5:28,29).
[ProphecyHistory.com] D, If you cannot admit to the plain connection between two adjacent verses (Rev 20:4 & Rev 20:5) from the same passage (Rev 20:4-6 – as you mentioned) that employ the same vocabulary ("zao") to talk about the same process ("resurrection" - your own word), then you wield no credibility to make any other connection, whether correctly or not. Let's remember how W's question limited the scope to a brief treatment of Rev 20. "Could you take just a brief moment and fill me in on how you view the Rev. 20 passage and how a wrong view there can open the door to universalism?" Why not keep the focus on demonstrating the relationships between the contiguous verses of the Text in question,(Rev 20), before attempting associations with more distant passages?
I believe I have amply satisfied W's question and overcome your (D's) objections. I may be busy getting a house ready to rent these coming 3 weeks, but will try to check in for additional interaction. Please do not feel slighted if it takes me a while. Please do not consider my firm doctrinal stance against your handling of Scripture here to be against your person. And do not feel shy to critique my words.
ProphecyHistory.com
*Feel FREE to claim as your own anything I write - while I retain the right to do the same the same with it.*

"Having Eternal Life" is not equal to "Being Raised Up at the Last Day"

Having eternal life is not being raised up at the Last Day, John 6:39-40 & John 6:44 & John 6:54.
Having eternal life is not the Resurrection unto Life, John 5:28-29.
Having eternal life is not the Resurrection of the Just to which Paul predicted, Acts 24:15.
Having eternal life is not the Resurrection of the Dead for which Paul still yearned, Philippians 3:1-14.
Having eternal life is not the dead in Christ rising first at Christ's Return, 1 Thess 4:16.
Having eternal life is not the First Resurrection, Rev 20:4-6.

Someone else has written, "Preterism is an interpretive system that is locked on the events of 66-70 A.D. It views this as the decisive eschatological event. The Second Coming, Resurrection of the Dead and Great Judgment are seen as having taken place in and around these years."

I agree with this statement. And I would be considered a Preterist for doing so. But I see an inconsistency is its author's system of thought as layed out in other places. Though he admits that the Last Day and its associated events began somewhere around 66-70AD, he continues to confuse the blessing of Eternal Life that was granted BEFORE these events with the Resurrection that was to come AFTER these events. But Jesus made a distinction between the two:

"Whoso eatheth My Flesh, and drinketh My Blood, hath Eternal Life, and I will raise him up at the Last Day." ~ Jesus, circa AD 28.
Jesus uses present tense "hath" to describe what Lord's Supper partakers ALREADY HAD BEFORE the Last Day, ("Hath Eternal Life").
Jesus uses future tense "I will" to describe what Lord's Supper partakers WERE TO RECEIVE AT the Last Day, ("I will raise him up").
(This promise would be innane if Jesus was going to raise up everybody else at the Last Day, too).

The Scriptures that speak in past or present tense of what believers already had in Christ are talking about them already having "Eternal Life."
The Scriptures that speak in future tense of what believers would receive at the anticipated Resurrection are talking about "Being Raised Up."
But many Preterists gladly confuse the two: they like to equate John 6:54's "Eternal Life" with John 6:54's "Being Raised Up."
(As mainstream Christianity would put it, "They confuse Justification with Resurrection").

So when someone gladly and consistently and insistently and publically equates
A) all the Scriptures that describe what pre-Parousia Christians ALREADY HAD BEFORE the Last Day, ("Hath Eternal Life"),
with
B) all the Promised blessings that were TO BE GRANTED AT the Last Day, ("I will raise him up"),
he is only attempting to spread his confusion. (Why not just back up and quietly think again?)



IN SUMMARY:

IF we hold to a Preterism defined strictly in this wise: "Preterism is an interpretive system that is locked on the events of 66-70 A.D. It views this as the decisive eschatological event. The Second Coming, Resurrection of the Dead and Great Judgment are seen as having taken place in and around these years," that is, the Last Day occured in or about 66-70 A.D.

AND we agree with Jesus in John 6:54 that those who were regular partakers of the Lord's Supper already had Eternal Life
and were to receive Resurrection at the Last Day,

THEN we should agree that there is no honest way any of those Scriptures describing what Christians already had prior to the Parousia can be employed to describe the Resurrection for which those Christians yearned. Already received pre-Parousia blessings (Eternal Life) are distinct from anticipated post-Parousia blessings (Resurrection). "Eternal Life" and "The Resurrection of the Just" are not the same thing.

For a fuller explanation of the distinction between "Eternal Life" and "the Resurrection of the Just" please follow this link:

Soul & Body: the 2 Parts of Resurrection

In brief,

1) "Eternal Life" = Resurrection of the Inner Man, the Soul

2) "Raised Up" = Resurrection of the Outer Man, the Body

"Whoso eatheth My Flesh, and drinketh My Blood, hath Eternal Life, and I will raise him up at the Last Day." ~ Jesus, around AD 28, (John 6:54)

"Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in Hell." (Matthew 10:28)



*Feel FREE to claim as your own anything I write - while I retain the right to do the same the same with it.*

The Postribulational (i.e. post AD 70) Beginning of the Millennium

From: http://planetpreterist.com/news-5174.html

The Postribulational (i.e. post AD 70) Beginning of the Millennium
by Duncan McKenzie
Revelation 20:1-4 shows the binding of Satan and the beginning of the reign of the saints that is commonly known as the millennium.

1. Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

2. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.

3. and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousands years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.

4. And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

This is the famous passage of the binding of Satan and the reign of Jesus and His people. On the surface this passage appears relatively simple; on closer inspection, however, it turns out to be one of the most difficult and debated passages in the Bible. One of the first matters to attend to in understanding the millennium is the question of how it fits in sequentially in relation to the rest of Revelation. Is the binding of Satan in Revelation 20:1 a continuation of the events of Revelation 19 (the AD 70 fall of Babylon and the Second Coming) or is there a recapitulation (a going back and restating events that happened earlier)? Some say that there is a recapitulation here, that Revelation 20 is going back to the time of Pentecost (c. AD 30) or even the beginning of Jesus’ ministry (c. AD 26). My position is that Revelation 20 is a continuation of the (AD 70) events of Revelation 19, not a recapitulation to the time around AD 30.

In considering the sequence of Revelation 19-20, it is helpful to broaden one’s focus. Here is Revelation 19:11-20:4 without the chapter separation (chapter separations were not part of the original manuscript). For brevity I have left out Revelation 19:12-18 which is mostly a description of the One on the white horse (the Word of God, Rev. 19:13).

Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True and in righteousness He judges and makes war…And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh. Then I saw an angel coming down form heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshipped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. Revelation 19:11, 19-20:4

Notice the sequence in Revelation19-20. The individual beast and false prophet (the one who made people take the mark of the beast Rev. 13:11-18) are captured at the Second Coming in chapter 19 and put in the lake of fire. Satan is then taken and thrown in the abyss as the kingdom is established in chapter 20. Those who had lost their lives for not taking the mark of the beast (cf. Rev. 19:20; 13:15-16) are then resurrected in Revelation 20:4 at the beginning of the millennium. God was letting His first century audience know that the one who was faithful to Him to the point of death (cf. Rev. 2:10-11) would still get to participate in the soon coming millennial reign (Rev. 2:25-27; 3:21).

Notice the reference to the mark of the beast as a past event in both chapter 19 and 20. Revelation 20 is a continuation of the AD 70 narrative of the Second Coming not a recapitulation to AD 30.

Rev. 19:20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.

Rev. 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshipped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

In Revelation 13:1-10 the seven churches were warned about the soon coming individual beast (cf. Rev. 17:18) that would overcome the saints. In Revelation 13:11-18 they were warned about his mark on the head and hand (cf. Rev. 14:8-11). These events of the tribulation were to happen in the forty-two month period (of AD 67-70) immediately preceding the Second Coming.

And he [the beast] was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months…It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation…[and] as many as would not worship the image of the beast [were] to be killed. Rev. 13:5, 7, 15 brackets mine

In Revelation 19 we are shown the defeat of the beast by the Second Coming. The saints that had been killed for not taking the beast’s mark are shown among those that come to life in chapter 20 as the millennium begins. Revelation 20 is thus a continuation of the AD 70 narrative of chapter 19; it is not a recapitulation back to AD 30. Again, One of the groups that come alive at the beginning of the millennium consists of those who had been killed for not taking the mark of the beast. They had gone through the great tribulation (cf. Rev. 7:9-17) and are being resurrected at AD 70 to participate in the millennium.

The sequence I have proposed above is shown in Daniel 7. 1. The Antichrist (the little eleventh horn, Dan. 7:19-20) overcomes the saints. 2. He is defeated by the coming of God. 3. The court is seated (thrones are put in place as the kingdom reign begins, Dan. 7:8-11) as the saints possess the kingdom.

I was watching; and [1] the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, [2] until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and [3] the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom. Dan. 7:21-22

Again, the same sequence that is shown in Daniel is shown in Revelation. 1. The Antichrist (the individual beast) overcomes the saints (Rev. 13:5-7). 2. He is defeated by the coming of God (Rev. 19:11-21). 3. The saints then possess the kingdom as the millennium begins (Rev. 20:4). This is a pre-millennial sequence; the Second Coming happens right before God’s people possess the kingdom of God. This was James Stuart Russell’s position; he considered any attempts to fit the millennium in before AD 70 to be “violent and unnatural.” [J.S. Russell, The Parousia (Baker, 1999), 514]. It is at the AD 70 coming of God that the saints inherited the kingdom. This explains why one of the groups the come alive at the beginning of the millennium consists of believers who had been killed for not taking the mark of the beast. The millennium began right after the great tribulation at the AD 70 Second Coming, not at AD 30. Again, it was at the coming of God (what the NT will show as the Second Coming) that God’s people possessed the kingdom of God (Dan. 7:21-22; cf. Rev. 19:11-20:4).

Now a full preterist can not accept what I have written here, at least not if he or she wants to stay a 100% full preterist. Full preterism necessitates that all Bible prophecy was fulfilled by AD 70. Thus full preterists have to reject an AD 70 beginning to the millennium; if the millennium did begin at AD 70 it means there is still prophecy yet to be fulfilled (e.g. Satan’s loosing from the abyss at the end of the millennium, Rev. 20:7-10). Full preterists are left with a choice of either accepting what I am saying about an AD 70 beginning of the millennium (which is not going to happen) or attempt to separate the millennial kingdom (which they see as being from around AD 26-30 to sometime before AD 70) from the saints possessing the kingdom at the AD 70 Second Coming (Dan. 7:21-22). Most full preterists (wanting to stay card carrying full prets.) will attempt the latter option (differentiating the beginning of the millennium from the saints possessing the kingdom at the AD 70 Second Coming). Again if a full preterist acknowledges the start of the millennium as being the same as the AD 70 coming of the kingdom (cf. Matt. 19:28; Rev. 20:4) then they violate their basic premise of all prophecy fulfilled by AD 70.

Comparing Daniel 7 with Revelation 20, it is impossible to make a legitimate case that the AD 70 establishment of the kingdom of God of Daniel 7 (vv. 19-27) and the millennium of Revelation 20 are speaking of two different reigns. Of the AD 70 establishment of the kingdom, Daniel 7:9-10 (NRSV) reads, [A] “As I watched, thrones were set in place…[B] The court sat in judgment” (brackets mine). Of the millennium, Revelation 20:4 (NRSV) reads, [A] “Then I saw thrones, and [B] those seated on them were given authority to judge.” I don’t see how one can make these to be two separate events, the first starting at AD 70 the second supposedly starting at AD 30.

It is the AD 70 defeat of the Antichrist (the little eleventh horn) by the coming of God that begins the kingdom reign (Dan. 7:8-11, 21-27). The thrones put in place (Dan. 7:9) at this time (AD 70) of the establishment of the kingdom correspond to the thrones that God’s people occupy at the beginning of the millennium (Rev. 20:4). The beginning of the millennium similarly shows believer’s victory over the Antichrist (the individual beast). Revelation 20:4 speaks of “… [those] who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or hands” (Rev. 20:4; cf. Rev. 13:11-18; 15:2; 19:11-21). The saints inheriting the kingdom of God in Daniel 7 corresponds to the beginning of the millennium in Revelation 20. They are talking about the same event, the setting up of thrones and judgment as God’s kingdom is fully established on earth at AD 70.

Again the sequence that is shown in both Daniel and Revelation is the same. 1. The little horn/beast overcomes the saints. (Dan. 7:21, 25; Rev. 13:5-7). 2. He is defeated by the AD 70 Second Coming (Dan. 7:22; Rev. 19:11-21). 3. It is at this time that the saints possess the kingdom as the millennium begins (Dan. 7:9-10, 22, 25-27; Rev. 20:4). Daniel 7:21-22 presents this sequence simply and clearly.

I was watching; and [1] the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, [2] until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and [3] the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom. Dan. 7:21-22

There is much more to be said. I will hopefully be saying it soon. I am reaching 900 pages (double spaced) with my book, The Antichrist and the Second Coming, A Preterist Examination. I have two or three more months of revisions and then need to get the manuscript to an editor (Is there an editor in the house? If so contact me at Duncan@peoplepc.com ).

For more on J.S. Russell’s position on the millennium see, http://planetpreterist.com/news-5017.html

For more on the Connection between the little horn of Daniel 7 and the beast of Revelation see, http://planetpreterist.com/news-2622.html


First Resurrection CANNOT Be Those Raised During Crucifixion 30AD

Here's why the 1st Resurrection CANNOT be equated with the resurrection of just persons at Christ's Crucifixion:

Let's look at the actual Text
.
Matthew 27:50-53
50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
And let's look at the only passage of Text that actually contains the words "First Resurrection," (Greek has it "The Resurrection the First).

Revelation 20:4-7
I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection .
6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection : on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,


Observations:

1) It is understood that Revelation's visions were given AFTER the Cross, AFTER the "many bodies of the saints which slept arose" thereat. Therefore, Rev. 20:6's exhortation to faithfulness during the impending adversity, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection" would be inane - merely informing those first readers of Revelation that those folk who came back to life decades previously at the Cross were "blessed and holy." Lazarus also had come back to life just a week or so before; as had the widow's son at Nain (Luke 7:15) and the synagogue ruler's daughter (Mark 5:35-43) had earlier in Jesus' ministry; a boy came back to life when Elisha layed upon him (2 Kings 4:32-35); a man came back to life upon falling upon Elisha's bones (2 Kings 13:21); Moses appeared very much alive on the Mt. of Transfiguration (Mat 17:1-4) centuries after his death recorded centuries before (Deut 34:5). None of these were the First Resurrection of Rev 20.

2) Rev 20:4 actually describes those who rewarded by the First Resurrection as "the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands" -an overt reference to the very Tribulation the Revelation was given as encouragement to overcome. This Tribulation came many years AFTER THE CROSS. Again, these cannot be the same folk who were resurrected at the Cross several decades before the beheadings, Beast worship, Beast-image worship, Beast-mark receiving, etc, began.

3) Rev 20:6 speaks in future tense -future to the giving of the Revelation- of those resurrected in this First Resurrection: "They shall be priests ... " and "[they] shall reign with Him a 1,000 years..."

4) Rev 20:7 "When the 1,000 years are expired, Satan shall be loosed..." Those who insist that the First Resurrection takes place with those resurrected at the Cross circa 30ad, and then go on to assert that "1,000 years" really means "40 years," must also say that Satan is loosed when Jesus comes back at the end of the make-believe "1,000 years" in 70ad: Entirely at variance with the conclusion of Preterism's message, The 70ad Victory of Christ.

Other words could be rightly employed here, but let it suffice to say that it is entirely untenable to posture that those raised at the Cross represent Revelation's First Resurrection. Preterist Christians can do better than this, the very hermeneutics that deduce the Preterist perspective demand it.
*Feel FREE to claim as your own anything I write - while I retain the right to do the same with it*

When exactly was Satan bound, cast & sealed into Bottomless Pit for 1000 years between 30-70AD?

ONE QUESTION for those who insist that

"The Tribulation"+"The 1,000 Years"+"The Little Season of Satan's Release"

all took place during the 40 years between A.D. 30 and A.D. 70:

DURING WHICH OF THESE VERSES BELOW WAS SATAN BOUND IN THE BOTTOMLESS PIT?

Every Preterist attempt to posit The Tribulation+The 1,000 Years+The Little Season of Satan's Release into A.D. 30-70 presents a self-refuting credibility problem: It demands one lay aside the very hermeneutic that deduces the A.D. 70 Return of Christ in the first place, "Take all the time texts strictly serious."

 

First, a quick review of the Text in question:

  1. "The 1,000 Years" is demarked by epoch events which define distinct beginning and ending points.
  2. "The 1,000 Years" begins with Satan being bound, cast & sealed into the Bottomless Pit (Abyss) so that he could deceive the nations no more.
  3. "The souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years" - those who were beheaded during the Beast's reign for refusing the mark of the Beast are made to live and reign with Christ while Satan is bound - the reward of their faithfulness.
  4. "The 1,000 Years" ends with Satan being released for "a little season" to deceive again the Nations (the Gentiles).
  5. After "The 1,000 Years," and after "The Little Season," and after the Satan-led armies are destroyed by fire from Heaven, Satan is then cast into the Lake of Fire where the Beast & the False Prophet have been awaiting his arrival.



 

Revelation 20:1-10

20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

 

4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands [ie during "The Tribulation"]; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.


 

7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.


 

Here it is now,

BETWEEN WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING VERSES WAS SATAN BOUND IN THE BOTTOMLESS PIT?

FOR 1,000 OR 40 OR EVEN 5 YEARS?

FOR EVEN 5 MINUTES?

.

And if you are gutsy enough:

1) Which exact verse shows Satan being bound, thereby demarking the beginning of "The 1,000 Years"?

2) Which exact verse shows Satan being released, thereby demarking the end of "The 1,000 Years"?

3) Can you organize these verses into 3 categories: a) BEFORE, b) DURING, and c) AFTER "The 1,000 Years" that Satan was bound & cast in the Abyss?


 

Jesus the Christ
27 AD
  Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan : for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.  Matthew 4:10 ~to the Devil

28 AD  And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?  Matthew 8:28-29 ~to devils possessing a man

28 AD  And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.  Luke 10:18-20 ~to His Disciples

30 AD  But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan : thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.  Matthew 16:23 ~to the Apostle Peter

30 AD  And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.  Luke 22:31-32 ~to His Apostle Simon Peter

30 AD  Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world [kosmos] be cast out.  John 12:31 ~to His Disciples

30 AD  Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. 27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.  John 13:26-27 ~at the Last Supper

30 AD  Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world [kosmos] cometh, and hath nothing in me.  John 14:30 ~to His Disciples

30 AD  Of judgment, because the prince of this world [kosmos] is judged.  John 16:11 ~to His Disciples

 

Peter the Apostle to the Circumcision
35 AD
  Acts 5:3
But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?  ~Christ's Apostle Peter spoke to Ananias

 

Jesus appeared to Saul of Tarsus (Paul the Apostle) 
37 AD
 
And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; 17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, 18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.  Acts 26:15-18 ~Christ appeared to Paul and called him to become the Apostle to the Gentiles 

 

Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles
51 AD
 
In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil , who are taken captive by him at his will.  2 Timothy 2:25-26 ~Christ's soon-to-be-executed Apostle Paul wrote to his assistant Timothy

52 AD  Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.  1 Thessalonians 2:18 ~Christ's persecuted Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians at Thessalonica

52 AD  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 2 Thessalonians 2:7-9 ~Christ's persecuted Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians at Thessalonica

56 AD  Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan , that they may learn not to blaspheme.  1 Timothy 1:20 ~Christ's soon-to-be-executed Apostle Paul wrote to his assistant Timothy

56 AD  Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.  1 Timothy 3:6-7 ~Christ's soon-to-be-executed Apostle Paul wrote to his assistant Timothy

56 AD  For some are already turned aside after Satan.  1 Timothy 5:15 ~Christ's soon-to-be-executed Apostle Paul wrote to his assistant Timothy

56 AD  In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.  1 Corinthians 5:4-5 ~Christ's persecuted Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians at Corinth

56 AD  Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.  1 Corinthians 7:5 ~Christ's persecuted Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians at Corinth

56 AD  But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.  1 Corinthians 10:20-21 ~Christ's peresecuted Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians at Corinth  [Kind of looks like the ages of when paganism was rampant was the very same that the devil(s) were on the loose, no?]

57 AD  Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.  2 Corinthians 2:11 ~Christ's persecuted Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians at Corinth

57 AD  But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:4 In whom the god of this world [aionos "age"] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.  2 Corinthians 4:3-4 ~Christ's persecuted Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians at Corinth

57 AD  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.  2 Corinthians 11:14-15 ~Christ's persecuted Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians at Corinth

57 AD  And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.  2 Corinthians 12:7 ~Christ's persecuted Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians at Corinth

58 AD  And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.  Romans 16:20 ~Christ's persecuted Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians at Rome

61 AD  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world [kosmos], according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:  Ephesians 2:2 ~Christ's imprisioned Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians at Ephesus

61 AD  Neither give place to the devil.  Ephesians 4:27 ~Christ's imprisioned Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians at Ephesus

61 AD  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Ephesians 6:11-13 ~Christ's imprisioned Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians at Ephesus

 

James the Lord's brother
Before 62 AD
 
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil , and he will flee from you.  James 4:7 ~before Jerusalem Church pillar James was martyred for the Faith

 

Peter the Apostle to the Circumcision
62 AD
 
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil , as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:  1 Peter 5:8 ~Christ's soon-to-be-martyred Apostle Peter wrote to the dispersed churches about their fiery trial

 

John the Apostle whom Jesus loved
62 AD
 
Love not the world [kosmos], neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world [kosmos], the love of the Father is not in him.16 For all that is in the world [kosmos], the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world [kosmos].17 And the world [kosmos] passeth away , and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. ...22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist , that denieth the Father and the Son.  1 John 2:15-18, 22 ~Christ's soon-to-be-exiled Apostle John wrote

62 AD  And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.  1 John 4:3-4 ~Christ's soon-to-be-exiled Apostle John wrote

62 AD  And we know that we are of God, and the whole world [kosmos] lieth in wickedness.  1 John 5:19 ~ Christ's soon-to-be-exiled Apostle John wrote

62 AD  For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.  2 John 7-11 ~Christ's soon-to-be-exiled Apostle John wrote

 

Jesus in the vision of Revalation
63 AD
 
I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.  Revelation 2:9 ~Christ's exiled Apostle John foresaw in the predictive vision (Rev 1:1 & Rev 4:1) for the 7 Churches of Asia

63 AD  I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.  Revelation 2:13 ~Christ's exiled Apostle John foresaw in the predictive vision (Rev 1:1 & Rev 4:1) for the 7 Churches of Asia

63 AD  But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan , as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.  Revelation 2:24 ~Christ's exiled Apostle John foresaw in the predictive vision (Rev 1:1 & Rev 4:1) for the 7 Churches of Asia

63 AD  Behold,I will make them of the synagogue of Satan , which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.  Revelation 3:9 ~Christ's exiled Apostle John foresaw in the predictive vision (Rev 1:1 & Rev 4:1) for the 7 Churches of Asia

 

Jesus revealed to John the Apostle by the vision of Revelation
63 AD
 
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan , which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our b