John the Baptist 27 AD "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." (Matthew 3:2) 27 AD "Who warned you to flee from the wrath about to come?" (Matthew 3:7) 27 AD "The axe is already laid at the root of the trees." (Matthew 3:10) 27 AD "His winnowing fork is in His hand." (Matthew 3:12) 27 AD "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 4:17) 27 AD "The kingdom of God is at hand." (Mark 1:15) 27 AD “Who warned you to flee from the wrath about to come?” (Luke 3:7) 27 AD “The axe is already laid at the root of the trees. " (Luke 3:9) 27 AD "His winnowing fork is in His hand…." (Luke 3:17) Jesus the Christ 28 AD "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 10:7) 28 AD "You shall not finish going through the cities of Israel, until the Son of Man comes." (Matthew 10:23) 28 AD "....the age about to come." (Matthew 12:32) 28 AD “The kingdom of God has come near to you.” (Luke 10:9) 28 AD “The kingdom of God has come near.” (Luke 10:11) 30 AD "The Son of Man is about to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds." (Matthew 16:27) 30 AD "There are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom." (Matthew 16:28; cf. Mark 9:1; Luke 9:27) 30 AD "'When the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vine-growers?' '....He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and will rent out the vineyard to other vine-growers, who will pay him the proceeds at the proper seasons.' '....Therefore 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.' ....When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them." (Matthew 21:40-41,43,45) 30 AD "This generation will not pass away until all these things take place." (Matthew 24:34) 30 AD "From now on, you [Caiaphas, the chief priests, the scribes, the elders, the whole Sanhedrin] shall be seeing the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven." (Matthew 26:64; Mark 14:62; Luke 22:69) 30 AD "What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vine-growers, and will give the vineyard to others. ....They [the chief priests, scribes and elders] understood that He spoke the parable against them." (Mark 12:9,12) 30 AD "This generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” (Mark 13:30) 30 AD “What, therefore, will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy these vine-growers and will give the vineyard to others." …The scribes and the chief priests …understood that He spoke this parable against them.” (Luke 20:15-16,19) 30 AD “These are days of vengeance, in order that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:22) 30 AD "This generation will not pass away until all things take place.” (Luke 21:32) 30 AD "Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.' Then they will begin to say to the mountains, 'Fall on us,' and to the hills, 'Cover us.'” (Luke 23:28-30; Compare Revelation 6:14-17) 30 AD "I will come to you. …In that Day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.' …'Lord, what then has happened that You are about to disclose Yourself to us, and not to the world?'" (John 14:18,20,22) 30 AD "If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?" (John 21:22) The Disciples 30 AD "We were hoping that He was the One who is about to redeem Israel.” (Luke 24:21) Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles 52 AD “…we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord… …We who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds… …You, brethren, are not in darkness, that the Day should overtake you like a thief.” (1 Thessalonians 4:15,17; 5:4) 52 AD “May your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23) 52 AD “It is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire.” (2 Thessaloniams 1:6-7) 56 AD “The time has been shortened.” (1 Corinthians 7:29) 56 AD “The form of this world is passing away.” (1 Corinthians 7:31) 56 AD “Now these things …were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” (1 Corinthians 10:11) 56 AD “We shall not all fall sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52) 56 AD "Maranatha!" [The Lord comes!] (1 Corinthians 16:22) 56 AD “Godliness …holds promise for the present life and that which is about to come.” (1 Timothy 4:8) 56 AD “I charge you …that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Timothy 6:14) 56 AD “…storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for that which is about to come, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.” (1 Timothy 6:19) 57 AD “He has fixed a day in which He is about to judge the world in righteousness…” (Acts 17:31) 58 AD “Not for [Abraham's] sake only was it written, that [faith] was reckoned to him [as righteousness], but for our sake also, to whom it is about to be reckoned.” (Romans 4:23-24) 58 AD “If you are living according to the flesh, you are about to die.” (Romans 8:13) 58 AD “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18) 58 AD "It is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand." (Romans 13:11-12) 58 AD “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” (Romans 16:20) 60 AD “There is about to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.” (Acts 24:15) 60 AD “As he was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment about to come…" (Acts 24:25) 61 AD "...not only in this age, but also in the one about to come.” (Ephesians 1:21) 61 AD “In the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self… …Avoid these men. For of these are those who enter into households and captivate weak women… …These also oppose the truth… …But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all…” (2 Timothy 3:1-2,5-6,8-9) 61 AD “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is about to judge the living and the dead…” (2 Timothy 4:1) 62 AD “The Lord is near.” (Philippians 4:5) 62 AD "The gospel …was proclaimed in all creation under heaven." (Colossians 1:23; Compare Matthew 24:14; Romans 10:18; 16:26; Colossians 1:5-6; 2 Timothy 4:17; Revelation 14:6-7; cf. I Clement 5,7) 62 AD “…things which are a shadow of what is about to come.” (Colossians 2:16-17) 63 AD “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son.” (Hebrews 1:1-2) 63 AD “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who are about to inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14) 63 AD “He did not subject to angels the world about to come.” (Hebrews 2:5) 63 AD “…and have tasted …the powers of the age about to come.” (Hebrews 6:5) 63 AD "For ground that drinks the rain which often falls upon it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near a curse, and it's end is for burning.” (Hebrews 6:7-8) 63 AD “When He said, 'A new covenant,' He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.” (Hebrews 8:13) 63 AD “The Holy Spirit is signifying this, that the way of the [heavenly] Holy Places has not yet been revealed, while the outer tabernacle is still standing, which is a symbol for the present time. Accordingly both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience, since they relate only to food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until a time of reformation.” (Hebrews 9:8-10; Compare Galatians 4:19; Ephesians 2:21-22; 3:17; 4:13) 63 AD “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things about to come…” (Hebrews 9:11) 63 AD “Now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin.” (Hebrews 9:26) 63 AD “For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things about to come…” (Hebrews 10:1) 63 AD “…as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25) 63 AD “…the fury of a fire which is about to consume the adversaries.” (Hebrews 10:27) 63 AD “For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay.” (Hebrews 10:37) 63 AD “For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the one that is about to come.” (Hebrews 13:14) Peter the Apostle to the Circumcision 30 AD “This is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: 'And it shall be in the last days…'” (Acts 2:16-17) 62 AD “…salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:5) 62 AD “He …has appeared in these last times for the sake of you.” (1 Peter 1:20) 62 AD “In the last days mockers will come. …For this they willingly are ignorant of…” (1 Peter 3:3,5) 62 AD “They shall give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” (1 Peter 4:5) 62 AD “The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.” (1 Peter 4:7) 62 AD "For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God.” (1 Peter 4:17) 62 AD “…as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is about to be revealed.” (1 Peter 5:1) 62 AD “We have the prophetic word …which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the Day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.” (2 Peter 1:19) 62 AD “Their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” (2 Peter 2:3) 62 AD “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God.” (2 Peter 3:10-12) James 62 AD "Speak and so act, as those who are about to be judged by the law of liberty." (James 2:12) 62 AD “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. …It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure!” (James 5:1,3) 62 AD “Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord.” (James. 5:7) 62 AD “You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” (James. 5:8) Jude the brother of James 62 AD “For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation. …About these also Enoch …prophesied, saying, 'Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly…'” (Jude 1:4,14-15) 62 AD “But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, 'In the last time there shall be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.' These are the ones who cause divisions…” (Jude 1:17-19) John the Apostle whom Jesus loved 62 AD “The darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.” (1 John 2:8) 62 AD “The world is passing away, and its desires.” (1 John 2:17) 62 AD “It is the last hour.” (1 John 2:18) 62 AD “Even now many antichrists have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour.” (1 John 2:18; Compare Matthew 24:23-34) 62 AD “This is that of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.” (1 John 4:3; Compare 2 Thessaloniams 2:7) 63 AD “…to show to His bond-servants, the things which must shortly take place.” (Revelation 1:1) 63 AD “The time is near.” (Revelation 1:3) 63 AD “Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come.” (Revelation 2:25) 63 AD “I also will keep you from the hour of testing which is about to come upon the whole world.” (Revelation 3:10) 63 AD “I am coming quickly.” (Revelation 3:11) 63 AD “And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is about to rule all the nations with a rod of iron.” (Revelation 12:5) 63 AD "And in her [the Great City Babylon] was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth." (Revelation 18:24; Compare Matthew 23:35-36; Luke 11:50-51) 63 AD “…to show to His bond-servants the things which must shortly take place.” (Revelation 22:6) 63 AD "Behold, I am coming quickly. " (Revelation 22:7) 63 AD "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near." (Revelation 22:10; Compare Daniel 8:26) 63 AD "Behold, I am coming quickly.” (Revelation 22:12) 63 AD "Yes, I am coming quickly." (Revelation 22:20)

70-1070AD Premillenial Preterism

By Duncan McKenzie, Ph.D. (Duncan@peoplepc.com)

From: http://www.preteristarchive.com/PartialPreterism/mckenzie-duncan_pp_05.html

Anybody who has been around preterism for any length of time may be thinking “Oh great just what we need another brand of preterism!” In this article I will not be offering another brand or form of preterism but highlighting an existing form that isn’t discussed much. The form of preterism I will be discussing is James Stuart Russell’s premillennial preterism. Simply stated Russell’s position was that the one and only Second Coming (the Parousia) happened in AD 70. Russell saw the Second Coming as beginning the millennium in AD 70 (not ending it at that time as full preterists teach); this made him a premillennialist.

Premillennial Preterism at first sounds like an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms, (something like “thunderous silence”). The reason for this is because we usually associate premillennialism with futurism. For example Hal Lindsey, who is a futurist, is a premillennialist. The term “premillennial,” however, simply speaks of the sequence of the Second Coming and the millennium it doesn’t address their timing. A premillennialist believes that Jesus returns before (pre) the millennium. A premillennial futurist like Lindsey believes Jesus will return in the future to begin the millennium. A premillennial preterist like Russell believes that Jesus returned in past (AD 70) and started the millennium at that time.
James Stuart Russell, the author of the classic preterist work The Parousia (1878) was a premillennial preterist. His position falls in-between current day full preterism and traditional partial preterism (I use the term “traditional partial preterism” to distinguish it from Russell’s premillennial preterism, which, while technically partial preterism, is much closer to full preterism). Full preterism could be classified as either amillennial or postmillennial, it says that Jesus’ Second Coming occurred at the end of the millennium in AD 70. Because full preterists believe all prophecy was fulfilled by AD 70 they are forced to fit the millennium in before AD 70. Their usual solution is to say the millennium was the 40-year period between AD 30 and AD 70. Actually, full preterists have to cut the millennium down from 40 years to make it fit before AD 70. Revelation 20:7-10 says that after the 1000 years of the millennium are ended Satan is released from the abyss to deceive the nations and gather them together for a massive invasion of Jerusalem. One has to fit this time at the end of the millennium in before AD 70 also. If one starts the millennium at AD 30 he or she has to subtract the period at its end (when Satan is loosed) from the 40 years to determine the actual length of the “1,000 year” reign.
Traditional partial preterists maintain that AD 70 was a coming of Jesus in judgment on Israel, but believe that the “real” Second Coming is to happen in the future. Again Russell’s position is in between full preterism and traditional partial preterism. Like full preterists Russell believed that AD 70 was the time of the one and only Second Coming, like partial preterists he didn’t believe that all the prophecy in the Bible was fulfilled at that time. Since the definition of a full preterist is one who believes that all prophecy was fulfilled by AD 70, technically Russell was a partial preterist. Instead of believing that the Second Coming in AD 70 ended the millennium (as full preterists do), Russell saw the Second Coming as beginning the millennium. To simply call Russell’s position either full preterism or partial preterism does not adequately describe his position; this is why I am proposing the term “premillennial preterism.” Premillennial preterism is the position I ascribe to and neither the label of full preterist or partial preterist really fit it (although it is much closer to full preterism then it is to traditional partial preterism).

Russell’s position on the book of Revelation was that all of it was fulfilled around AD 70 except for Revelation 20:5-10. Russell saw Revelation 20:5-10 as forming a parenthesis of future things. Below is Revelation 20:4-11, I have highlighted Russell’s proposed parenthesis of verses 5-10.

Revelation 20:4-11

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.
5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. 7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
11. Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them
John, being shown the beginning of the millennium in verse 4 (which was about to start) is briefly enlightened of about what will happen at its end (Rev. 20:5-10). At Revelation 20:11 (to the end of Revelation) John goes back to describing events that were about to happen. Notice how John breaks from “I saw” in verse 4 and returns to “I saw” at verse 11. Russell said that John was relating vision (of things that were about to happen) with the “I saw” in verse 4. At verse 5 he breaks into prophecy of future events at the end of the millennium. At verse 11 he returns to vision again using “I saw”. Thus the judgment at verse 11 is not a separate judgment but a continuation of the description of the judgment John started at verse 4.
Notice that the judgment committed to God’s people in Rev. 20:4 (“and judgment was committed to them”) is something that has been promised to the believers at the judgment at Jesus’ Second Coming (which full preterists correctly say was AD 70).
“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?” 1 Cor. 6:2.
The judgment committed to God’s people in Revelation 20:4 is the judgment that Paul was telling his readers they would participate in the future (at the judgment at the Second Coming in AD 70). To say millennium of Revelation 20:4 is talking about AD 30 doesn’t fit the judgment that is shown being committed to believer.
Russell gave the following connection between the judgment given to God’s people in Rev. 20:4 and the judgment promised to the disciples.
We further observe that there is a manifest allusion in this passage [Rev. 20:4] to the promise of our Lord to His disciples, ‘Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel’ (Matt 19:28). That period has now arrived. The regeneration, when the kingdom of the Messiah was to come, is now regarded as present and the disciples are glorified with their glorified Master…The Parousia 519-520 emphasis mine
In an attempt to show that the millennium began at AD 30 there are those in both the full and partial preterist camps that say the “regeneration” began at AD 30. Matthew 25:31 dispels this notion. Jesus had said in Matt. 19:28 that the regeneration would be at the time when He would “sit on the throne of His Glory.” Matthew 25:31 puts this time when Jesus sits on the throne of His glory at the Second Coming in AD 70.
Matthew 25:31
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. emphasis mine
This fits an AD 70 beginning to the millennium. Jesus promised his followers the power of judgment in the regeneration when he would sit on the throne of His glory (Matt 19:28). Matt. 25:31 puts this time of Jesus sitting on His throne of glory as being at the Second Coming. For full preterists this is an AD 70 event not an AD 30 event. The millennium (Rev. 20:4) shows this AD 70 event of judgment being given to believers (Paul included all believers as participating in the judgment of the world at the Second Coming 1 Cor. 6:2).
Traditional partial preterists put Matt. 25:31 in the future at what they see as the final Parousia. Logically then they should put the regeneration in the future although many of them also seem to want to put the regeneration at AD 30 (at least that is what David Chilton taught when he was a traditional partial preterist. David Chilton The Days of Vengeance (PDF) 509 &510 Chilton became a full preterist shortly before he died in 1997). Again the regeneration was when Jesus was to sit on the throne of His glory (Matt. 19:28), which was to happen at the Second Coming (Matt.25:31). Whenever one wants to make the Second Coming is when they should be saying the regeneration was or will be (of course the correct answer is that the regeneration was in AD 70 at the Second Coming of Jesus).
Revelation 21:4&5 show the regeneration.
4. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.
5. “Then He who sat on the throne said “Behold, I make all things new.…”
Full preterists correctly say that the Rev. 21:5 regeneration is an AD 70 event, they are inconsistent when they try to put the Matt 19:28 regeneration (when authority and judgment were promised to the disciples) back to AD 30 to try to try and make the millennium start in AD 30. That would make two different regenerations (which is about as consistent as traditional partial preterists making two different Parousias).
In Russell’s mind the millennium was a near event in terms of its beginning but the end of it would be in the distant future from when John wrote. When Max King came along in the early 70’s he put forth the proposition that all prophecy (including the millennium) was fulfilled by AD 70. This was the birth of modern day full preterism. A fundamental shift occurred at this time from Russell’s premillennial preterism to full preterism. Again the full preterist position is that the millennium (and the season at its end) was from around AD 30-70, and that the Second Coming in AD 70 occurred at its end. It is this shift that Max King made away from Russell’s position that I am seeking to highlight. I personally believe it was a mistake but either way people need to be more aware of it (so they can make up their own minds). Let me interject here that even though I disagree with full preterists they are obviously my brothers and sisters in Christ. Max King appears from his writings to clearly be a fellow believer who is searching for the truth just as I am. I have some disagreements with his position but I am not questioning his character as a person or his commitment as a Christian. As I have said my position is much closer to full preterism than traditional partial preterism. Of course the final authority is not Russell or King but Scripture, all conservative (Bible believing) preterists agree on this.
Russell said the following about those who in his day (the mid to late 1800’s) were trying to fit the millennium in before AD 70 (which is what full preterists propose).
Some interpreters indeed attempt to get over the difficulty [of the end of the millennium not being one of the things that were at hand when John wrote] 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 [of AD 70]; 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 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;’ and we agree with [Moses] Stuart that no reasonable difficulty can be made on account of this single exception to the rule. We shall also find as we proceed that the events referred to as taking place after the termination of the thousand years are predicted as in a prophecy, and not represented as in a vision. Indeed the passage, chap. 20:5-10, seems evidently introduced parenthetically, interrupting the continuity of the narrative, which is again resumed, as we shall see, at ver. 11. James Stuart Russell, The Parousia pg. 514 emphasis mine
Russell was saying that John started describing the judgment at the beginning of the millennium (AD 70) in verse 4. He breaks into prophecy about what will happen at the end of the millennium in verses 5-10 and then returns to describing the judgment at the beginning of the millennium in verse 11. Russell’s position is thus in agreement with full preterists over most things (the Second Coming and judgment were in AD 70, we are currently in the New Jerusalem etc.). The disagreement between Russell’s position and full preterism would be over Revelation 20:5-10 and the idea that all prophecy had to be fulfilled by AD 70. Thus Russell saw Satan as still on the scene after AD 70, though limited in his ability to deceive the nations (the meaning of the symbol of Satan being bound and put in the bottomless pit as he was not bound with a literal chain and put in a pit in the earth at AD 70). In contrast full preterists see Satan as being eternally off the scene, confined to his final place of judgment (the lake of fire) in AD 70.
That Russell, the father (grandfather?) of modern preterism considered trying to fit the millennium in before AD 70 “violent and unnatural” should not be taken lightly (it is usually ignored or brushed aside by full preterists as they embrace Russell as one of their own). This is a strong condemnation of the full preterism’s premise that all prophecy was fulfilled by AD 70.
The full preterist proposition of starting the millennium at or around AD 30 runs into a very big problem right off the bat. Consider the millennium verse of Revelation 20:4.
Rev. 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. The 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. emphasis mine
One of the groups that enter the millennium consists of martyrs who had not worshipped the beast or his image. These believers had overcome the beast at the cost of their lives Cf. Rev. 12:11. The beast was to be an eighth king (Rev. 17:11) he was to come after Nero (AD 54-68) who all preterists agree was the sixth king (the one ruling when Revelation was written, Rev. 17:10). The beast was to be destroyed at the Second Coming in AD 70 (Rev. 19:11-21). Whoever one wants to say the beast was (I am not going into his identity here) he existed around the time of AD 70 as he fights against Jesus at the Second Coming (Rev. 19:11-21). The mark of the beast is discussed in Revelation chapter 13. John was warning his readers not to take it. The millennium was being held out as a reward to those who would face the beast, some of them would be killed in the process of resisting him. Now to say the millennium started around AD 30 means that some of those coming alive at that time (AD 30) had been martyred by the beast. This just doesn’t fit the timing of Revelation. One would have to come up with a pre-AD 30 beast (and remember the beast was to be an eighth king that was to come after Nero! {54-68} Rev. 17:11). Even if one comes up with a pre-AD 30 beast, why were Christians being warned about him some 35 years after the fact? (Revelation was probably written around AD 65). If the mark of the beast were a pre AD 30 phenomenon then Jesus should have been warning about it in AD 30 instead of John warning about it in AD 65. Again, the people who come alive for the millennium had overcome the beast, this fits an AD 70 beginning to the millennium not an AD 30 beginning.
At this point some would say that at times in Revelation the beast refers to a person and at times it refers to the Roman Empire, thus a pre AD 30 mark of the beast could refer to the general worship of the emperor. It is true that at times the beast speaks of an individual and at other times the kingdom which he was a part of is stressed (consider Rev. 12:3 where it is the dragon with 7 heads and 10 horns not the beast) but the mark of the beast (which those who enter the millennium hadn’t taken) refers to a specific man. He was to be an eighth king, who was to come after the sixth king who was Nero (AD 54-68) Rev. 17:10&11. Revelation chapter 13 makes this point.
Revelation 13:16-18
16. He [the land beast, a.k.a. the false prophet Cf. Rev. 19:20] causes all, both small and great rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads,
17. and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or 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 it is the number of a man: His number is 666. emphasis mine
The (sea) beast and the land beast of Revelation 13 represent specific persons (the land beast was from the “land” of Israel. He is the one who enforces the sea beast’s mark. The sea beast of Rev.13 is “the beast,” the land beast is later referred to as the “false prophet,” Rev. 19:20). In Revelation 19:19-20 the beast and false prophet fight against Jesus at the AD 70 Second Coming and are thrown into the lake of fire at that time. I don’t think anybody would want to take the position that this was referring to the Roman Empire being thrown into the lake of fire at AD 70. To try and say that the mark of the beast was simply worshipping the Roman Empire (so one can say the mark of the beast was a pre AD 30 phenomenon and thus say the millennium started at AD 30) is illegitimate. It is an attempt to avoid the clear AD 70 implications of those who enter the millennium, they “had not received his [the beast’s] mark on their foreheads or on their hands” Rev. 20.4. Again, the mark of the beast had to do with a specific ruler (“Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man”). One cannot legitimately make the beast (who was an eighth king that was to come after Nero (AD 54-68) who was the sixth king Rev. 17:10&11) and his mark a pre AD 30 phenomenon.
In Revelation chapter 14 John saw three angels. The first had the everlasting gospel to preach to every inhabitant of the earth (Rev. 14:6). This was something Jesus said had to happen by the Second Coming (AD 70) Matt. 24:14; cf. Col. 1:5&6. The second angel proclaims that Babylon (Jerusalem) is fallen (Rev. 14:8), again an AD 70 event. The third angel proclaims
Revelation 14:9 “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation…”
Again this is an AD 70 event as the beast was to come after Nero {AD 54-68} (the sixth king Rev. 17:10&11) and fights against Jesus at the Second Coming (Rev. 19:11-21). The very next thing John sees in Revelation chapter 14 (vs.14-16) is One like the Son of Man on a cloud reaping the harvest of souls from the earth (the Second Coming). These are all AD 70 events. To try and make the third angel’s pronouncement about the mark of the beast speak of the time around AD 30 is, as Russell said, doing violence to Scripture but that is what one has to do to fit the millennium in before AD 70. Of course another option for full preterists would be to come up with two beasts, one pre AD 30 and one around the time of AD 70, but this is absurd.
One of the underlying problems here is that full preterists use verses like Luke 21:22 to establish a higher order interpretive principle, what I call a “meta-hermeneutic.” Full preterists interpret Luke 21:22 (“For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled”) as saying that all prophecy in the Bible was to be fulfilled by AD 70. If this is true (which it isn’t) then the millennium must fit in before AD 70 even though the context of Revelation clearly doesn’t allow for it. In my article “Was All the Prophecy in the Bible Fulfilled by AD 70” (on the partial preterism section of the Preterist Archive under my name) I examine Luke 21:22. In that article I argue that a meta-hermeneutic (a higher order interpretive principle), because it forms the basis for how one interprets Scripture, needs to be examined very carefully and be very solid. I argue that when one examines Luke 21:22 in terms of it meaning that all the prophecy in the Bible was to be fulfilled by AD 70 that meaning does not hold up. The importance of full preterists reexamining Luke 21:22 cannot be overemphasized, it is a linchpin in their “all fulfilled by AD 70” foundation of full preterism. This hermeneutic constraint (that all Bible prophecy must be fulfilled by AD 70) is what makes full preterists feel they need to fit the millennium in before AD 70. Again see my article.
Another difference between full preterism and Russell’s premillennial preterism centers on the current location of Satan. Full preterists teach that Satan was banished to the abyss in AD 30 (at what they see as the beginning of the millennium) and then to his final place of torment, (the lake of fire), in AD 70. Full preterists thus take the position that evil was dealt with as fully as it ever will be in AD 70. This means evil will have no final end or if it does Scripture doesn’t address it. Full preterists believe that Satan was put in his final place of torment in AD 70 and evil continues to live on the earth for eternity; they say that evil still exists because it lives on in men’s hearts. This explanation of why evil is still around even though Satan is supposed to be in his final place of torment may satisfy full preterists but I don’t think it satisfies anyone else. The overwhelming majority of Christians would have a big problem with the full preterist contention that evil is to continue into eternity with no final end. Premillennial preterism says that Satan was bound or limited in his ability to deceive the nations at AD 70 and still awaits his final destruction. This explains why evil is still around, it also says that at a point in the future evil will be permanently banished from the universe (in the lake of fire, Rev. 20:10).
Russell said the following about the time at the end of the millennium (Rev. 20:7-10) when Satan is released before being put in his final place of confinement (the lake of fire).
“We must consequently regard this prediction of the loosing of Satan, and the events which follow, as still future, and therefore unfulfilled. We know of nothing recorded in history which can be adduced as in any way a probable fulfilment of this prophecy. Wetstein has hazarded the hypothesis that possibly it may symbolise (sic) the Jewish revolt under Barcochebas, [the Bar Kosiba War, 132-135 AD] in the reign of Hadrian; but the suggestion is too extravagant to be entertained for a moment.
There is an evident connection between this prophecy and the vision in Ezekiel concerning Gog and Magog (chaps. 38&39), which is equally mysterious and obscure. In both the scene of conflict is laid in the same place, the land of Israel; and in both the enemies of God meet with a signal and disastrous overthrow.”
Notice that Russell (unlike full preterists) puts the final destruction of Satan in the future. Russell was not working under the full preterist meta-hermeneutic that all prophecy had to be fulfilled by AD 70. When Russell was writing in 1878 there was no Israel and it didn’t appear there ever would be again. An invasion of the land of Israel is less “mysterious” in our day now that there is an Israel (after the flesh) to invade. See my article “A New Preterist Perspective” for my views on Israel and Gog and Magog (In a nutshell, I look for peace to come to the nation of Israel as Ezek. 38:8-11 says Israel would be dwelling in unwalled villages when the Gog and Magog attack happens, this would indicate her being at peace. How or exactly when this peace will happen I am not sure but it is coming. When peace finally does come to Israel then begin to keep an eye on Russia, as those are the conditions for the Gog and Magog invasion. Again see my article for more details).
Full preterists tend to spiritualize the Gog and Magog invasion (Rev. 20:7-10) and put it right before AD 70. Because of this are almost forced to say it is the same war as in Revelation 19:11-21. Notice some critical differences between the two wars, however. The Rev. 19 war features the beast and false prophet. In the Gog and Magog war they are absent. At the end of the Rev. 19 war the beast and false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire (Rev. 19:20). At the end of the Gog and Magog war Satan is thrown into the lake of fire where the beast and false prophet already are (Rev 20:10). This puts the Gog and Magog war after the Rev. 19 war. It explains why the beast and false prophet are not mentioned in the Gog and Magog war as that war happens after the Rev. 19 war (when they were put in the lake of fire). Since full preterists (correctly) put the Rev. 19 war at AD 70 there is no room for another major war (Gog and Magog) after it but before AD 70. Thus to end the millennium (which is when the Gog and Magog invasion happens) at AD 70 doesn’t fit.
To me the natural sequence of Revelation chapters 19 and 20 is the following. The Revelation 19:11-21 war happens at the one and only Parousia in AD 70. The beast and false prophet were put into the lake of fire at that time (Rev. 19:20) and Satan was bound for the millennium (Rev. 20:1). (Those who want the millennium to start at AD 30 say that at Revelation 20 the scenario goes back to AD 30, this is what is known as a “recapitulation.” I believe Revelation has recapitulations I just don’t see one at Rev. 20. I see Rev. 20 as continuing the description of what happens after the Second Coming which has been described in Rev. 19:11-21.) At the end of the millennium (which I believe we are in) Satan is loosed and gathers the nations for the Gog and Magog invasion. He is of course defeated (he didn’t have a chance, he was defeated at the cross) and then is thrown into the lake of fire where the beast and false prophet are waiting for him (Rev. 20:10). The full preterist position says the Satan, the beast and false prophet were all thrown into the lake of fire at the same time (AD 70). That is just not what Revelation 19 and 20 show.
It should be clear that while the similarities between full preterism and premillennial preterism are many, the differences are important. Among other things these differences affect how we should be living now. If Satan is still around (even though bound or limited) it would mean our reigning with Jesus should be more active then if he is totally off the scene for eternity. It is my belief that we are living in the time at the end of the millennium when Satan is loosed to deceive the world (see my article on the Preterist Archive, “A New Preterist Perspective”). I believe this is why we have seen such a rise of evil in the world in the last half of the 20th century. Spiritually speaking this is our world (the Christian’s); we need to be more active in our rule by prayer (corporate and individual) and sharing the good news of the Bible. Jesus won all power and authority in heaven and on earth at the cross (Matt. 28:18). That authority was fully transferred to His people at the Second Coming (the kingdom coming with power (Matt. 16:28; Mark 8:31& 9:1; Rev. 2:26) this was the beginning of the millennium. Pre-millennial futurists put the millennium in the future, full preterists put it in the past. The outcome of both of these positions is the same, inactivity. When is the last time you saw a full preterist article calling for more prayer? . Come to think of it when is the last time you saw any preterist article (full or partial) calling for more prayer? I am not saying they are not out there I just haven’t seen any. We need to be applying the authority that preterism (both full and partial) teaches we have. This authority is primarily implemented through prayer; the Christian army advances on its knees. Spiritually speaking this world is the Christians but just as the Children of Israel had to possess the Promised Land (which I am equating with entering the millennium in AD 70) we have to possess this world. When the children of Israel entered the Promised Land they were told “Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you” Joshua 1:3. I believe that is how it is for the Christian today, spiritually speaking this is our world but we need to be possessing it (by prayer and sharing God’s word). By the way the Children of Israel possessed the Promise Land by the sword, we turn the sword into a plowshare; we possess with the plowing (sowing God’s word) and reaping (“They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks” Isaiah 2:4). Again the primacy of prayer in our rule with Jesus over the nations cannot be over emphasized.
Revelation 2:25-27 says that at AD 70, believers (at the church at Thyatira) would be given authority over the nations (while full prets. and partial prets. would disagree over which Coming of Jesus this is referring to I think both would agree the reference is to AD 70).
25. But hold fast what you have till I come.
26. And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end to him I will give power over the nations
27. He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’ as I also have received from My Father.
The “end” referred to in Rev. 2:26 is not the end of the world but the AD 70 end of the Old Covenant age Cf. Heb. 9:26; 1 Cor. 10:11, I think both full and partial preterists would agree on that also.
Revelation 3:20 & 21 also speaks of believers (at the church of Laodicea) sharing in Christ’s reign at His AD 70 Coming.
20. Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
21. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
Again while full and partial preterists would disagree over whether these references (Rev. 2:26 & 3:21) to believers sharing in Jesus’ reign are speaking of the Second Coming or a judgment coming of Jesus on Israel both would agree that the time of the references is to AD 70. It is my position that these promises (given to those who overcome) of sharing in Christ’s AD 70 reign speak of the same sharing of Jesus’ reign that those who enter the millennium participate in (Rev. 20:4). Again the promises of Rev. 2:26 and 3:21 of sharing in Jesus’ authority and reign over the nations are clearly (to a preterist) AD 70 promises. Again I believe these promises corresponded to the AD 70 beginning of the millennium when judgment and authority were to be given to God’s people as they shared in Jesus’ reign. The millennial reign was being held out as a reward to those who stayed faithful to Jesus until his AD 70 (Second) Coming. “If we endure, we shall also reign with Him.” 2 Timothy2:12. Timothy, writing around AD 66, considered believers sharing in Jesus’ reign (the millennium) as a near but future event. If believers endured (to the Second Coming in AD 70) they would reign with Christ, this was the millennium (And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years Rev. 20:4).
The things being promised to the seven churches (Rev. 2:1 to 3:22) in AD 65 (which is approximately when Revelation was written) were the blessings that were to be available at the Second Coming in AD 70. Towards the end of Revelation God reminds the hearers of the book of these promises (that were to happen at AD 70) that He had made to the overcomers in the seven churches (“He who overcomes will inherit these things…” Rev. 21:7 NASB). Again the reference of Revelation 21:7 is to the promises made to the seven churches at the beginning of the book (Rev. 2:1 to 3:22). These promises were made to those who would overcome, that is, those who would stay faithful to Jesus up to His AD 70 Second Coming. The believers of the seven churches were being told about the AD 70 promises so as to provide encouragement and incentive for them to remain faithful until that time (AD 70).
The believers at the church of Ephesus had been promised access to the tree of life. (“To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God” Rev. 2:7). We see the tree of life in Rev. 22:2, to a full preterist access to the tree of life (which was in the New Jerusalem) was a clearly a promise that would have an AD 70 fulfillment.
The believers at the church at Pergamos were promised a new name (“To him who overcomes I will give… him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” Rev. 2:17). This secret name corresponded to the secret name which Jesus had at His Second Coming (“He [Jesus] had a name that no one knew but Himself” Rev. 19:12). Again the promise given to the believers of having a new name was to have an AD 70 fulfillment. By the way the promise of a new name for the believer was not a promise of a new moniker, rather it was a promise of something new about their essence and/or position Cf. Gen.17:5. The point I want to make here is that this promise of a secret name was to have an AD 70 fulfillment just as we see Jesus with a secret name at His AD 70 Coming.
The believers at the church of Sardis were promised that they wouldn’t have their name blotted out of the book of life (“He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life…” Rev. 3:5). The book of life speaks of one receiving eternal life at the judgment (Rev. 20:12), again to a full preterist the judgment in Rev. 20:12 is at AD 70, again a clear AD 70 promise.
The believers at the church of Philadelphia were promised a part in the New Jerusalem (“He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name”. Rev. 3:12). Again full preterists correctly say that the blessedness of the New Jerusalem coming down to earth was an AD 70 event (Rev. 21:2).
The pattern of the promises given to the seven churches involved telling about the wonderful things that were going to happen at the AD 70 Second Coming and offering them as incentives to those who would stay faithful until that Coming. These AD 70 incentives were being held out to the seven churches because the believers of those churches would have to face the difficult times talked of in Revelation (persecution, the great tribulation, the mark of the beast etc.). Now consider the AD 70 incentives made to the churches at Smyrna, Thyatira and Laodicea, they were all promises that related to participating in the millennium. Remember the pattern of the promises offered to the seven churches was to present the blessings that would be available to those who stayed faithful until Jesus’ Coming in AD 70, this makes the millennial promises (and hence the millennium) AD 70 events.
The believers at the church of Smyrna were promised not to be hurt by the Second death (“He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second” death Rev. 2:11). This promise is fulfilled in those who come alive for the millennium (“over such the second death has no power but they shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with Him a thousand years” Rev. 20:6. The incentive offered to the church of Smyrna was to have an AD 70 fulfillment. This AD 70 incentive was to be fulfilled at the beginning of the millennium, that puts the millennium’s beginning at AD 70. If the millennium began in AD 30 then Jesus was promising the believers at Smyrna something they already had.
The believers at the church of Laodicea were promised to sit on Jesus’ throne, that is, they would share in His rule (“to him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” Rev. 3:21). This AD 70 promise was a reference to believers sharing in Jesus’ rule, again this was to be fulfilled at the beginning of the millennium (“And I saw thrones and they sat on them and judgment was committed to them…and they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years” Rev. 20:4). Again the AD 70 promise to believers to share in Jesus’ rule was to be fulfilled at the AD 70 beginning to the millennium. If the millennium started at AD 30 Jesus was again promising something to believers that they already had, which would not be much of an incentive.
The believers at the church of Thyatira were also promised to share in Jesus’ AD 70 rule (“And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations- He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels- as I also have received from My Father.” Rev. 2:26&27). Again the “end” referred to here is the AD 70 end of the Old Covenant age. Cf. Matt. 13:36-50 (note the old King James Version mistranslated the Greek aion (which means age) in Matt. 13:36-50 as “world” the newer translations correct this mistake). The promise to believers at the church of Thyatira (which was to be fulfilled in AD 70) was of sharing in Jesus’ messianic rule. That promise was to be fulfilled in those who participate in the millennium {again indicating an AD 70 beginning of the millennium} (“Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” Rev. 20:6). Again, if the millennium began in AD 30 then Jesus’ promise to share in his messianic reign over the nations made little sense, as it would have been something the believers at Thyatira already had.
As I have said, the promises made to the seven churches were being given as incentives to encourage them to remain faithful to Jesus through the difficult times that were coming (between the writing of Revelation around AD 65 and the Second Coming in AD 70). These promises were to have an AD 70 fulfillment. In effect Jesus was saying, remain faithful to Me until My AD 70 Coming and these are the rewards you will get. To me the fact that three of the seven churches (Smyrna, Thyatira and Laodicea) were being offered AD 70 incentives that related to them entering the millennium is a clear indication of the millennium beginning in AD 70.
While I agree with full preterists that AD 30-70 was a transition period, I disagree with them that it was the time of the believers sharing in the millennial reign of Jesus. AD 30-70 was the “already but not yet” of the kingdom. With the ministry of Jesus the kingdom of God was in the midst of His hearers (Luke 17:21 NASB). The kingdom would come with full power (the millennium) in the lifetime (AD 70) of some of those listening to Jesus (Mark 8:38&9; Luke 9:27). This AD 70 coming of the kingdom with power, when believers would rule with Jesus (the millennium) can be seen in the following parable.
Luke 19:11-27
11 Now as they heard these things, He spoke another parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately. 12 Therefore He said: "A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, 'Do business till I come.' 14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, 'We will not have this man to reign over us.' 15 And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16 Then came the first, saying, 'Master, your mina has earned ten minas.' 17 And he said to him, 'Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.' 18 And the second came, saying, 'Master, your mina has earned five minas.' 19 Likewise he said to him, 'You also be over five cities.' 20 Then another came, saying, 'Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. 21 For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.' 22 And he said to him, 'Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow. 23 Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?' 24 And he said to those who stood by, 'Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.' 25 (But they said to him, 'Master, he has ten minas.') 26 For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 27 But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.' "
Notice that this parable was told because the hearers of Jesus thought the kingdom of God was just about to come (what I would call an expectation of an AD 30 millennium). The kingdom of God would come (with full power) when the nobleman returned from the far country after receiving his kingdom (the Second Coming in AD 70). Notice the events that happen when this nobleman returns ( again symbolic of the Second Coming) there is the judgment of both the nobleman’s followers and the people who didn’t want the nobleman to rule over them (the Jews that rejected Jesus). The people who rejected the nobleman (the Jews who rejected Jesus) are destroyed at this point. A full preterist would correctly say these events are AD 70 events. This AD 70 beginning of the implementation of the nobleman’s rule when he returned from a far country was the AD 70 beginning of the millennium at the Second Coming Cf. 2 Timothy 4:1. Notice that this is the point that the servants share in the nobleman’s rule (“Well done good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities” Luke 19:17). This sharing in the rule of the nobleman’s (Jesus’) kingdom is what the millennium is all about (“And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years” Rev. 20:4). To try and make the millennium start at AD 30 goes against meaning of the parable of the nobleman. There would be a delay of the full implementation of the kingdom. The kingdom was to come with full power at the Second Coming in AD 70 (Mark 8:38 & 9:1; Luke 9:27) that was the time that believer would share in Jesus’ rule, that was the beginning of the millennium. The followers of the nobleman would share in his rule at the time when the nobleman destroyed those who didn’t want him to rule over them (the Jews, “we have no king but Caesar” John 19:15). This was at the destruction of the Jewish nation at AD 70.
Traditional partial preterists have some trouble with this parable of the nobleman. They would probably say the nobleman’s coming and destroying the subjects that didn’t want him to rule over them was Jesus’ AD 70 coming in judgment on the Jews. That the judgment of the nobleman’s followers also happens at this time presents a real problem for their position as they say that that judgment is to happen at a future coming of Jesus. Look at the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 (which traditional partial preterists say should happen in the future) it is essentially the same as the one in Luke 19:11-27. Traditional partial preterists want to put Israel’s judgment at the AD 70 Parousia and the believers judgment at a future Parousia; the parable of the nobleman puts them at the same time (at the one and only Parousia at AD 70).
Again I agree with full preterists that AD 30-70 was a transition period, I even agree with them on most of the particulars of this period; I just disagree that this transition period was the millennium. The picture of the transition period of AD 30-70 was that of the wilderness journey of Israel. Jesus’ death on the cross in AD 30 fulfilled the feast of Passover. Just as the death of the Passover lamb set in motion the events that set the Children of Israel free from the bondage of Egypt, so Jesus’ death set believers free from the bondage of Satan’s kingdom (Heb. 2:14&15). Just as the children of Israel would spend 40 years in the wilderness before they reached the Promised Land so the first Christians would go through a 40-year wilderness journey before they entered the millennium. The millennium corresponded not to the 40-year wilderness journey but to entering the Promised Land. The writers of Hebrews (who I believe was Paul) used the analogy of Israel’s wilderness journey in speaking to his audience. He warned them not to fall in the wilderness as some of the children of Israel did (Hebrews 4:11). Paul uses the wilderness parallel in 1 Corinthians 10, he warns his readers of how many of the children of Israel were laid low in the wilderness, not making it to the Promised Land (1 Cor. 10:5&6). In 1 Corinthians 9:27 Paul says he even he was careful that after preaching to others that he should not be disqualified. This brings up a very important difference between the transition period of AD 30-70 and the millennium. Those that lived in the transition period (AD 30-70) could lose their salvation, those in the millennium can not (“over such the second death has no power” Rev. 20:6). Paul (during the transition period) said to his hearers “we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end.” Heb. 3:14. Again the end is the end of the age, the Second Coming at AD 70. Paul was telling his hearers they were partakers of Christ if they were steadfast to the end Cf. Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:35-39. Consider how one of Jesus’ servants (the unprofitable one) is thrown into outer darkness at the Second Coming (Matt. 25:30). This need of staying faithful to the AD 70 end of the age was why God was constantly telling the seven churches that it was the one who overcame that would receive the promised blessings (Rev. 21:7). One of these promised AD 70 blessings was access to the tree of life (Rev. 2:7; 22:2). The promises to the churches Sardis (Rev. 3:5) and Smyrna (Rev. 2:11) highlight the point that one could lose his or her salvation during the AD 30-70 transition period.
Rev. 3:5 “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life.”
Rev. 2:11 “He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”
The clear implication of these two promises is that those of the seven churches that didn’t overcome could have their names blotted out from the book of life and could be hurt by the second death (the lake of fire, Rev. 21:8) otherwise the promises are meaningless. The promise of Rev. 2:11 was that those who overcome and remain faithful to the AD 70 Coming (even if that faithfulness costs them their lives) would not be hurt by the second death. This AD 70 promise to the church of Smyrna made around AD 65 is fulfilled in those who come alive for the millennium.
Rev. 2:11 He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.
Rev. 20:6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priest of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
What was a future promise in AD 65 (of an AD 70 blessing) is a fulfilled promise for those who enter the millennium. Again that makes the millennium an AD 70 event not an AD 30 event.
Again believers during the transition period (AD 30-70) could lose their salvation (fall in the wilderness so to speak) those coming alive for the millennium could not. This fits the millennium beginning in AD 70 not AD 30. I praise God that we who are born again after AD 70 are among those who have access to the tree of life and can’t be hurt by the second death! I believe that Revelation 14:13 describes the blessedness of those born again after AD 70.
Rev. 14:13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on” Yes says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors and their works follow them.
The “rest” that Paul had told his readers was coming (and exhorted them to be diligent to enter) at the Second Coming (Hebrews 4:1-11) has come in Revelation 13:14. Again we who are born after AD 70 (born into the millennium so to speak) are born into this rest, to this I say praise the Lord! Again those who enter the millennium receive a secure salvation as they can not be hurt by the second death (the lake of fire, Rev. 21:8), this fits an AD 70 beginning of the millennium not an AD 30 beginning.
I believe that the “1,000 years” of the millennium (Rev. 20:4) is symbolic of the Day of the Lord (“with the Lord one day is as a thousand years…” 2 Peter 3:8). The Day of the Lord was something that Peter saw as being very close but in the future from when he wrote 2 Peter (probably in the mid AD 60’s.). The Day of the Lord (which a 1,000 years would be a fitting symbol of) was to start at the Second Coming in AD 70 (2 Peter 3:10-13) this was the beginning of the “1000 years” of the millennium.
Full preterists try to make the millennium 40 years. One problem with this is that by far the most common symbolic use of the number 40 in the Bible is that of a time of trial and testing (in the Flood it rained for 40 days, the Children of Israel were 40 years in the wilderness, Jesus tested in the wilderness for 40 days, 40 minus 1 lashes {2 Cor. 11:24, the “minus 1” was so the punishment didn’t mistakenly go over 40} etc.)
“The period of forty days or years is an important one in Scripture and in Jewish tradition. As the church fathers observed, it is most often associated with hardship, affliction and punishment.” Leland Ryken ,et al, Dictionary of Biblical Imagery 305
A time associated with hardship, affliction and punishment is hardly a fitting symbol for the millennium. Those coming alive for the millennium are said to be “blessed” (Rev. 20:6). Forty years is not a very good number to represent a blessed period. Those entering the millennium had just come through the 40 years of testing (the wilderness transition period AD 30-70), the blessed period (the millennium) was to start at AD 70. Added to this, it is difficult to make the millennium last 40 years if one starts it in AD 30. One has to fit the “1,000 year” reign and the time Satan is released from the abyss at the end of the 1,000 years (Rev. 20:7-10) into the 40 year period. That makes the millennium less than forty years. Even if one somehow gets around this (by trying to start the millennium before AD 30 or making the time when Satan is loosed at its end extraordinarily short) and makes the millennium 40 years, as I said the number 40 is a lousy symbol for a blessed period such as the millennium. If one is going to say the 1,000 years of the millennium is a symbolic number (which I believe it is) one has to say what the 1000 years are symbolic of. As I have said I believe the 1000 years of the millennium are symbolic of the Day of the Lord (“with the Lord one day is as a thousand years…” 2 Peter 3:8). The Day of the Lord was to start at the Second Coming in AD 70 (2 Peter 3:8-13). I am not sure what full preterists would say the 1000 years of the millennium are symbolic of (some say it is symbolic of 40 which they connect with King David’s reign, but that doesn’t make sense).
I could write more, like, why did Peter say in the early 60’s AD that the devil was walking about like a roaring lion? That doesn’t sound like he was bound and in the abyss to me. Why does Paul (writing around 55 or 56 AD) refer to the devil as “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4) again that doesn’t sound very bound. Again I could write more but I think I have written enough for now.
To summarize: James Stuart Russell’s position was that the millennium began at AD 70 at the one and only Parousia. In the early 1970’s a shift occurred away from Russell’s premillennial preterism to full preterism. This shift was subsequently buried. I have endeavored to offer some reasons why I think this shift from Russell’s premillennial preterism to full preterism has resulted in some mistakes and needs to be reexamined. I have called for the use of the term “premillennial preterism” to differentiate Russell’s position from full preterism and traditional partial preterism. Like the full preterists Russell saw AD 70 as the time of the one and only Second Coming (the Parousia), like the partial preterists he did not see all the prophecy in the Bible as fulfilled at that time. Premillennial preterism agrees with the most of the tenants of full preterism (AD 70 was the time of the Second Coming, resurrection and judgment, we are currently in the New Jerusalem etc.). The main disagreement between premillennial preterism and full preterism is with the hermeneutic constraint of full preterists that all the prophecy in the Bible had to have been fulfilled by AD 70 and the outgrowth of this, that the millennium had to have ended by AD 70. Full preterists usually embrace Russell, they are not as enthusiastic about me when I elaborate on his position.
Russell’s book The Parousia should be required reading for any preterist. If one would like to read more of my thoughts I have the following articles on the partial preterist section of the Preterist Archive. (Russell can be found on the full preterist section of the Preterist Archive, while I am on the partial preterist section. This highlights the fact that premillennial preterism falls somewhere between the classifications of full preterism and traditional partial preterism). My articles are the following.
A New Preterist Perspective” In this article I discuss Israel, Gog and Magog and where I think we are now.
Revelation Chapter 12” In this article I discuss how Rev. 12 shows Satan being thrown to the earth when God’s people entered the wilderness period at AD 30 (not into the abyss at that time as the full preterist position would predict).
Was All The Prophecy In The Bible Fulfilled By AD 70?” In this article I examine Luke 21:22, one of the foundations of the “all fulfilled by AD 70” hermeneutic constraint of full preterism.
Revelation Book Of The Covenant Curses Of Leviticus And Deuteronomy.” In this article I look at the covenant curses of Leviticus and Deuteronomy and how they provide the background for many of the images in the Book of Revelation. One interesting thing God said was that after he had brought all the covenant curses on Israel and scattered them to the nations (which happened in AD 70) he would bring them back to the Land, even if it meant gathering them from the farthest parts under heaven (Deut. 30:1-10).
I am currently working on a book on the Antichrist/Beast. I have written 250 pages and have about 100 more pages to go. In the book I offer a different candidate for the beast than Nero. I am not going into the identity of my candidate right now but trust me the book will be a revelation (excuse the pun). By the way I am looking for a publisher if there are any out there.
Duncan McKenzie