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)

30-70AD What is the Narrative of Revelation?

From: http://planetpreterist.com/news-5533.html

by Duncan McKenzie

Volume II: The Book of Revelation

I. Introduction to the Book of Revelation

II. The Beast and the False Prophet (Revelation 13)

III. The Beast and the Harlot (Revelation 17)

IV. The Beast and the Fall of Babylon (Revelation 18)

V. The Second Coming (Revelation 19)

VI. The Millennium and New Heaven and New Earth; Preliminary Considerations

VII. The Millennium and New Heaven and New Earth (Revelation 20-22)

VIII. Where Are We Now?

What is the Narrative of the book of Revelation?

Is there a narrative to Revelation? Does it have a unifying storyline? Despite the many complexities of the book, the answer to this question is a definite yes; there is a clear storyline to Revelation. Revelation is a tale of two cities, Babylon and New Jerusalem; these two cities are also said to be two women, the harlot and the bride (Rev. 17:1-3; Rev. 21:9-10). The judgments of Revelation culminate with the destruction of one of these women and then the marriage of the other. The harlot (Babylon) is destroyed and then the bride (New Jerusalem) becomes married (Rev. 19:1-7).

There is an exact parallel of Revelation’s contrast of two women/cities in Galatians. In Galatians 4:21-31 we are told of two women who are two wives (Hagar and Sarah) who correspond to two cities (physical Jerusalem and heavenly Jerusalem). We are told that these two women/cities are symbolic of two communities of people, those under the old covenant and those under the new covenant.

Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewomen. But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh and he of the freewoman through promise, which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar- for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children- but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all…But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. Galatians 4:21-31 NKJV emphasis added

It is obvious that the “Jerusalem above” of Galatians 4:26 corresponds to the New Jerusalem of Revelation (which comes down out of heaven, Rev. 21:2, 10); but could first-century Jerusalem (Gal. 4:25) correspond to Mystery Babylon (Rev. 17:5)? The answer is Yes! Babylon is called “the great city” in Revelation (Rev. 17:18; 18:21), The very first place in Revelation that we encounter “the great city” (Rev. 11:8) we are told that it was where Jesus was crucified (i.e. Jerusalem). Like pagan Babylon, Jerusalem had destroyed God’s Temple (i.e. Jesus, John 2:18-22) and was persecuting God’s people. In Revelation, as in Galatians (4:29), one women persecutes the other (i.e. the harlot persecutes the bride, Rev. 17:6; 18:24, cf. Matthew 23:29-37). Similarly in Revelation, as in Galatians (4:30), one of the two women is cast out (Rev. 18:21) while the other woman receives her inheritance (the Lord takes the bride as His wife).

It should be noted that, like the two women of Galatians, the two women of Revelation are also two wives. It is obvious that the bride is a wife, as she becomes married (Rev. 21:9). It is easy to miss that the harlot is also a wife (cf. Ezek. 16:32), a widowed wife. Unfaithful Israel went from being a queen to a widow when she had her King killed (Rev. 18:7; cf. Matt 21:5). Again, the subject of Revelation is exactly the same as Galatians 4:21-31; both are talking about two women/cities who are two wives. The contrast of these two women is being used as a vehicle to contrast the two covenants and those who were part of them.

The judgments of Revelation climax in chapter 17-19 with the destruction of the persecuting city of Babylon (Rev. 18:24) and then God marries His bride (Rev. 19:7). The exact same scenario of the burning of a wicked city (Matt. 22:7; Rev. 18:8) followed by a wedding is found in Matthew 22:

And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding and they were not willing to come. Again he sent out other servants, saying ‘Tell those who are invited “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.”’ But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. And the rest seized his servants treated them spitefully, and killed them. But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies destroyed those murders and burned up their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests. Matthew 22:1-10.

The above parable (which obviously speaks of the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem) explains why it is that right after the destruction of harlot Babylon that the bride becomes married.

After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.” Again they said, “Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!” And the twenty-four elders and the four living creature fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying “Amen! Alleluia!” Then a voice came from the throne saying, “Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!” And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thundering saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” Revelation 19:1-7

The harlot motif is a common Old Testament image for unfaithful Israel: Lev 17:7; Lev 20:5-6; Num 14:33; Num 15:39; Deut 31:16; Judg 2:17; Judg 8:27; 1 Chr. 5:25; 2 Chr 21:11; Ps 73:27; Hosea 1:2; Hos 2:2-5; Hos 4:15; Hos 9:1; Jer. 2:20; Jer 3:2,9,13: Jer 5:7,11; Jer 13:27; Eze. 6:9; Eze 16; Eze 23; Eze 43:7,9. The harlot of Revelation is arrayed in the colors of the Temple and clothes of the High Priest (Rev. 17:4; Rev. 18:16; cf. Ex. 28). The merchandise of harlot Babylon is the merchandise that was used in the construction and furnishings of the Temple (Rev. 18:12) as well as its sacrifices (v. 13) see my article “The Merchandise of Babylon” http://planetpreterist.com/news-2786.html. The plagues of Babylon (pestilence, mourning, famine and burning, Rev. 18:8 NASB) are exactly what happened to Jerusalem (not Rome) at AD 70.

The destruction of the harlot city in Revelation is drawn from the destruction of Jerusalem in Ezekiel 16. In Ezekiel 16 God said that the nations that Jerusalem had been unfaithful with (committing spiritual harlotry) would turn on her and destroy her with fire (vv. 35-43). Harlot Jerusalem is portrayed in Ezekiel 16 as being dressed in the furnishings of the tabernacle, her “food” consisting of items used in the sacrifices (vv. 10-13). This parallels the harlot Babylon being dressed in the furnishings of the Temple and garments of the High Priest, her “merchandise” consisting of items used in the sacrifices (Rev. 18:13). Revelation 17-19 is showing, the AD 70 burning of unfaithful Jerusalem and her Temple at the end of the old covenant age. Moses was told that this would happen in the “latter days”

And the Lord said to Moses: ‘Behold, you will rest with your fathers; and this people will rise and play the harlot with the gods of the foreigners of the land, where they go to be among them, and they will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them. Then My anger shall be aroused against them in that day, and I will forsake them and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured. And many evils and troubles shall befall them, so that they will say in that day, ‘Have not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us?’…and evil with befall [them] in the latter days (Deut. 31:16-17, 29).

This is the storyline of Revelation: God judges and ultimately destroys His unfaithful old covenant wife and then marries His new covenant bride.

Lastly, scholars have been slow to catch on to what we preterists have been saying about harlot Babylon. NT Wright noted that there has even been hostility to this interpretation:

Recent commentators (e.g. Massyngberde Ford, 1975) have suggested the great and wicked city [of Rev. 17-19] is not Rome but Jerusalem (cf. Rev. 11:8). I have discovered that this suggestion arouses anger in some circles, which is not explained simply as annoyance at an exegetical peculiarity (plenty of those are to be found in all the journals, but they merely arouse curiosity). What is at stake here, and for whom?

N.T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God, Christian Origins and the Question of God, vol. 2 (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1996), footnote, 358.

Saying the harlot is unfaithful Israel is hardly an exegetical peculiarity; it is not a tangential interpretation driven by the quest for novelty. Given the consistent OT portrayal of God’s unfaithful old covenant people as the harlot, unfaithful Israel should be the starting point in one’s examination of the harlot of Revelation. There are only two exceptions (where a Gentile city is called a harlot) in the whole OT for goodness sake!

Consider one of the conclusions that Wright came to in his study of the gospels:

When we read through the synoptic tradition (and John, for that matter) we find a great deal of warning of coming judgment, in all strands of the traditions, and all pointing in one direction. Jesus, I shall now argue, predicted that judgment would fall on the nation [of Israel] in general and on Jerusalem in particular. That is to say, he reinterprets a standard Jewish belief (the coming judgment which would fall on the nations) in terms of a coming judgment which would fall on impenitent Israel. The great prophets had done exactly the same. Jerusalem, under its present regime, had become Babylon.

emphasis mine, Jesus and the Victory of God, 322-323

Wright noted that his conclusion “may be held by some to carry implications for the reading of Rev. 17-19.” ibid 358

Since Jesus borrowed from the language of the fall of Babylon in talking about the fall of Jerusalem (Matthew 24:29 cf. Is. 13:10, 13) it should not be surprising that John did the same in Revelation.

For more on Babylon and the theme of Revelation see: “A Summary of Harlot Babylon” http://planetpreterist.com/news-2817.html “The Covenant Judgments of Revelation” http://planetpreterist.com/news-5109.html Duncan



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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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