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Who Was The Land Beast Of Revelation 13? (Part 2 of 2)

Who Was The Land Beast Of Revelation 13?

By Don K. Preston  (Part 2 of 2)

Youtube Video Series Link

Video #8:

We have some indicators, some very powerful evidence in Revelation that helps us identify the land beast and also the specific framework in which we must place that land beast.  I Revelation 13, the land beast causes others to worship the sea beast, to receive the mark, and to worship his image.  We’ve already demonstrated the partnership of persecution between the sea beast and the land beast in Rev 17, and that there is only one historical time that fits that which was under Nero when he was in partnership with Jerusalem to persecute the Church.  He turned on Jerusalem and destroyed the city and the temple.  Notice that we have the land beast that causes people to worship the beast and receive his mark, and in the declaration of the judgment of Babylon, Revelation 14:8, another angel came saying:

Revelation 14:8-10 [KJV]
And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

In the judgment of Babylon, those who would receive the mark and be involved in this persecution of the saints would be judged.  Notice, all of those who had even worshipped the beast would be judged along with Babylon who CAUSED men to worship the beast…this is representative judgment.  IN verse 14:14f, we have the coming of the Son of Man (Christ) with a golden crown and a sharp sickle:

Revelation 14:15-18 [KJV]
And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.

In order to appreciate this and the power of its statement, the framework of fulfillment, we need to go back to John the Baptizer.  Remember, John came in the spirit and power of Elijah. John said:

Matthew 3:12 [KJV]
Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

What is the “fan”?  It is the winnowing shovel which is an END of harvest instrument.  The angel in Revelation depicts Christ with a SICKLE, which is an instrument used DURING the harvest.  John the Baptist (Matthew 3:12) posits the resurrection as ALREADY having begun because the winnowing shove is already in his hand!  Revelation 14 is looking at things past, things present, and things about to be (Rev 1:19).  All of this proves conclusively that Revelation 13, the land beast, and Revelation 14, the coming of the Lord at the time of the harvest was to be in the 1st century.  John said his winnowing shovel is already in his hand!  We cannot deny the force of this language and when we see that the harvest was in fulfillment to Israel to reap Judah in the Last Days, then it means that the Land Beast was, in fact, Jerusalem of Old Covenant Israel.

Video #9:

The main question in the book of Revelation is: WHO is Babylon?  So we want to look at the identity of the land beast from the perspective of the vindication of the martyrs.  It is strange that many, many commentators completely overlook this absolutely most pervasive, dominant theme of Revelation which is the vindication of the martyrdom of Jesus Christ.  Not to mention his own martyred apostles and disciples AND all the righteous slain in the earth all the way back to Abel (Matt 23:35). Now, in that light, take a look at Revelation 1:7

Revelation 1:7 [KJV]
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

This coming of the Lord in the book of Revelation would be in vindication of the suffering of Jesus at the hands of Babylon.  So the question is…who killed Jesus?  It was the land beast, Babylon, the city where the Lord was slain!  Now look how this conflates and agrees perfectly with Jesus on trial.  Pilate declares Jesus innocent of all charges and he said I wash my hands of the blood of this innocent man.  Also notice that Acts 4 says, citing the Psalms:

Acts 4:25-28 [KJV]
Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

Here are the Jews in conspiracy with Pilate (Rome) to kill the Lord.  The Jews are the movers and shakers in his death, but when Pilate exonerates himself and washes his hands of the blood of Jesus, the Jews cry out “Let his blood be on us and on our children.” (Matt 27:25) As pointed out in my book, “Who Is This Babylon?” (Don K. Preston), the answer to the Jews’ declaration “Let his blood be on us and on our children” is found in Revelation in judgment of the land beast, the city where the Lord was slain.  It’s fascinating that the book of Revelation focuses on the judgment of THAT CITY more than any other topic.  This is about the vindication of the death of Jesus when THE JEWS THEMSELVES cried out…”Let his blood be on us and on our children.”  The entire book of Revelation is God saying “You asked for it….you’re getting it.”

Video #10:

To identify the Land Beast, one of the things we absolutely have to see is that the land beast is in full cooperation with the sea beast to persecute the saints.  If you don’t have the mark of the beast, you’re persecuted, you can’t buy, you can’t sell.  Martyrdom lies at the foundation of the entire doctrine and theology of the sea beast and land beast.  Throughout Revelation, from chapter 1 through chapter 22, we find the emphasis on the vindication of the martyrs.  We actually find the indication of past suffering and martyrdom, present suffering and martyrdom, and future suffering and martyrdom, but…that future suffering and martyrdom is placed within a very imminent context.  Revelation 6:9-11:

Revelation 6:9-11 [KJV]
And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

So, we have a land beast joining with the sea beast to persecute the saints.  The souls under the alter (Rev 6) want vindication to come AGAINST THOSE WHO DWELL ON THE EARTH who have been guilty of persecuting them. Notice that they are promised that vindication would come in a “little season.” NOT in 2000 years, not in 5000 years, but in a LITTLE while.  Now, ask yourself a question….when did Jesus say that all of the blood, of all the righteous, shed upon the earth all the way back to ABEL, would be judged and vindicated?

Matthew 23:35-36 [KJV]
That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

What authority, what evidence do we have, to divorce Matthew 23, the vindication of all the martyrs, from Revelation 6?  There is NO evidence, nothing in the text to suggest such a dichotomy.  That means, since the souls under the altar are looking for vindication (i.e. judgment) on those who dwell on the earth (i.e. the land beast), and that vindication was promised “in a little while,” when we conflate that with Matthew 23, it definitively identifies the Land Beast as the persecutor, as 1st century Jerusalem.  And the vindication of those martyrs of Revelation 6, Revelation 13, Revelation 14, Revelation 19, and at the END OF THE MILLENNIUM……as occurring in 70A.D.

Video #11:

In Revelation 14, we have almost certain identification of the land beast as Old Covenant Israel.  In Revelation 14, after the announcement of the imminent judgment of Babylon, notice in Revelation 14:17f:

Revelation 14:17-19 [KJV]
And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

We have to understand the Book of Revelation is immanently Hebraic in thought. It alludes to, cites, and echoes over 400 Old Covenant passages.  As a Hebrew Christian, reading the book of Revelation, you were saturated with the thought, terminology, motifs, and language of the Old Covenant.  So when Revelation 14 speaks of the imminent harvest of the “vine of the earth”, twice John is referencing the vine of the land, the vine of the earth.  So if you are a Hebrew saturated in Old Covenant terminology, who do you think is the “vine of the land”?  It is none other than Old Covenant Israel:

Jeremiah 2:21 [KJV]
Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?

Isaiah 5:1-2 [KJV]
Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.

There’s no question about it. When we are attuned to the Old Testament source of the Hebrew language, it’s not difficult at all to identify the Land Beast of the book of Revelation.

Video #12:

It is critical to see that Revelation MUST be limited to the time of the Roman Empire due to Daneil’s prophecy.  It is also critical to see this identity of this Land Beast in terms of being the persecutor of God’s people through partnership with the sea beast (Rome).  Throughout the book of Revelation, when you look up the word “land” or “earth”, it is the word “ge.”  So, all through Revelation, we have references to “the land”, and to the activities of “the land” in regard to persecution of the saints and judgment coming on “the earth” or “the land.”  We want to pay particular attention to Revelation 6:9-11.

Revelation 6:9-11 [KJV]
And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

The martyrs are looking for vindication of their martyrdom at the hands of “them that dwell on the earth.”  This is the Land Beast who has persecuted them unto death in partnership with the Sea Beast. When we look at this theme of martyr vindication, it is amazing how little attention some commentators give to this theme in the book of Revelation.  From the first chapter to the last, the story of Revelation concerns the vindication of the murder of Jesus Christ and all the innocent blood of all the righteous shed on the earth all the way back to ABEL. So, we have to ask ourselves this question:  How do we divorce the book of Revelation, with what it says about the vindication of the martyrs, from what Jesus said about the vindication of the martyrs?  Jesus spoke in his ministry over and over again about the coming, imminent vindication of all the martyrs.  In Matthew 23, Jesus stood in the temple at Jerusalem and castigated the Jewish leaders and said “YOU are those who bear witness that you are the sons of those who killed the prophets, for you say ‘If we would have been alive in the days of our fathers, WE would not have killed the prophets!’” and then he said “Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers’ guilt! Behold, I send to you prophets, wise men, and scribes, some of them you shall crucify, scourge, and chase from city to city, that upon YOU shall come all the righteous blood of all the righteous shed upon the earth, from righteous Abel to Zacharias son of Barachias whom you slew between the altar and the temple.” Jesus himself defined and described Old Covenant Jerusalem as the party GUILTY of shedding all the blood on “the Land.”  Jerusalem is the LAND BEAST guilty of shedding the blood of the LAND. Unless one can find some scriptural definitive evidence to divorce Jesus’ definition of the entity that shed the blood ON THE LAND from Revelation 6, 13, 14, 20-22….then we have undeniably clear evidence that the “Land Beast” was, in fact, Old Covenant Jerusalem.

Video #13:

We’ve pointed out that the entire book of Revelation deals with the theme of the vindication of the martyrs of God. It’s not just some “future” group of martyrs.  The martyrs in view in Revelation is a comprehensive element that, as good Bible students, we must consider the evidence of the rest of the Bible as it agrees with, segues with, Revelation.  In Matthew 23, Jesus said it was Old Covenant Jerusalem that had killed the prophets.  Old Covenant Jerusalem was going to kill HIM. (Matt 20-23)  Old Covenant Jerusalem was going to kill his personal apostles and prophets that would be sent to them and they would fill up the measure of their guilt in doing so and judgment would fall on them in that generation.  In 1st Thessalonians 2, Paul reminds the congregation how they were being presently persecuted by the Jews, their countrymen (confirmed in Acts 17).  He also reminds them of how the Jews had killed the prophets in the past, had now slain Jesus, they were now killing the apostles and prophets, filling up the measure of their sin, and judgment was about to fall in that generation.  Who disagrees that Paul was echoing what Jesus had said?  So in Revelation we have the Sea Beast and the Land Beast in union to persecute the saints.  The Land Beast was Babylon, the city where the LORD was slain, but Babylon was also the entity that killed the prophets (Rev 16:6).  Notably, the term “The Prophets”, when used in the N.T. without a contextual qualifier, invariably refers to the O.T. prophets.  So here is Babylon that has killed the prophets and is where the Lord was slain.  In Revelation 18:20-24:

Revelation 18:20-24 [KJV]
Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.

When was this judgment coming? Very, very soon!

Revelation 22:6 [KJV]
And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

Revelation 22:7 [KJV]
Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

Revelation 22:10 [KJV]
And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

Revelation 22:12 [KJV]
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

Revelation 22:20 [KJV]
He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

So, in Matthew, we have the killing of the O.T. prophets, Jesus himself, the N.T. prophets and apostles, the filling up of the measure of sin, and judgment coming in that generation.  In Paul, we have O.T. Israel killing the O.T. prophets, the killing of Jesus and his apostles and prophets, filling up the measure of their sin, and judgment is coming very soon.  In Revelation, we have the past killing of the O.T. prophets, the city Babylon is where the Lord was slain, they are killing the apostles and prophets of Jesus, the cup of her sin (Rev 17:6f) is now full and judgment was coming imminently.  This DEMANDS that the Sea Beast and the Land Beast, in their partnership of persecution, must be kept within a 1st century context because the focus is on Babylon and Babylon is the city where the Lord was slain.  Therefore, you cannot destroy that pattern of the killing of the O.T. Prophets, Jesus, his apostles and prophets, filling up the measure of sin, and imminent judgment.  You can’t divorce it from Jesus, which means Babylon is Jerusalem and you can’t divorce it from Paul.  Babylon, the Land Beast….was JERUSALEM.

Video #14:

We have examined the concept from Rev 13 that there is a partnership of persecution between the Sea Beast and the Land Beast.  The Land Beast, according to Rev 17, is to be identified with the city Babylon who rides upon the beast, sitting on seven mountains.  This raises the question “WHO was Babylon?”  The interpretations for these prophecies and the identity of Babylon are as varied as the number of Christian church denominations today.  Many think the Roman Catholic Church or the Pope is depicted or a Revived Roman Empire in modern times or possibly the actual city of Babylon In Iraq will be revived in modern times.  Revelations has NOTHING to do with any of these interpretations because NONE of these entities or their timeframes fit the requirements given in both Revelation and Daniel.  We have already shown irrefutably that the events of Revelation MUST fall within the time frame of the 1st century AD.  Revelation 18 identifies this Babylon FIVE TIMES as that “Great City.”  In chapter 11, the “Great City” is identified as the city “where also our Lord was crucified.”  That is an interpretive phrase.  Notice John is initially told that this “Great City” is spiritually called “Sodom and Egypt.”  In the Bible, there is only ONE city that is ever spiritually designated as “Sodom.”  Isaiah 1, Ezekiel 16, Ezekiel 23.  In Deuteronomy 32:32, Yahweh said that in Israel’s Last Days, she would become the VINE OF SODOM.

Deuteronomy 32:32 [KJV]
For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter:

In Galatians 4:22f, Paul identifies Old Covenant Jerusalem as Hagar who was the Egyptian Bondwoman in Genesis 21:

Genesis 21:9-10 [KJV]
And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.

Galatians 4:22-26 [KJV]
For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

So, we have two spiritual designations that are applied in scripture to Jerusalem and then the Holy Spirit interprets who it is by saying it is “where also our Lord was crucified.”  Jesus was not slain in Babylon, the streets of the Vatican, or the streets of New York City.  Whatever city you identify as Babylon, as “that Great City, it MUST be “the city where the Lord was slain.”  If your “Babylon” does not match that Holy Spirit-inspired description, then you’ve got the WRONG BABYLON.

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Who Was The Land Beast Of Revelation 13? (Part 1 of 2)

Who Was The Land Beast Of Revelation 13?

By Don K. Preston  (Part 1 of 2)

Youtube Video Series Link

These are the notes I took while watching Don Preston’s video serious of the same name, so the writing style is a bit more relaxed and casual.  However, the information Don presents is irrefutable.  There are 14 videos in this series and Don’s teaching is excellent and very thorough.  The link to the series playlist on YouTube is shown above.

Video #1:

There were actually two beasts involved in Revelation, a land beast and a sea beast and we will actually identify both of them.  We cannot isolate Revelation 12, 13, and 14 in our understanding of the identity of the Land Beast of chapter 13.  One of the keys to understanding the identity of either of these beasts is to understand Hebraic thought of the 1st century.  The Hebrews understood that the sea represented the pagan Gentile world.  The Hebrews were not known as seafarers and were more of a land-based people.  The “land” for Israel did not represent “dirt” it represented the covenant land of Israel.  It is not simply “land” to them, but “THE Land.”  When Hebrew writers referred to “THE Land,” they were referring to the land of Israel.  If that well known, well established usage of the term “The Land” is being used here in Revelation 13, as opposed to “THE Sea,” then what we find is that the writer is describing a pagan authority joining with Israel to persecute the saints of God.  This becomes within itself one of the most definitive proofs that Revelation was written prior to the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., prior to the time of Domitian.  We’re told: “Revelation was written during the time of Domitian, so Domitian was the beast!”  NO he was not.  The identification of the sea beast as a pagan gentile force, and the land beast as related to Israel, demands there was a partnership between a pagan force which is the dominant force, and Israel in some way or fashion, in a partnership of persecution against the body of Christ.  If true, this proves Revelation was written prior to the fall of Jerusalem in AD70 and it proves Domitian was not the Beast, as we shall see.

Video #2:

We’re dealing with apocalyptic language which is highly metaphoric and hyperbolic.  It should never be pressed to the extreme “nth” degree of literalism.  That completely and totally misses the point of apocalyptics. That’s one of the reasons why the dispensational view of Revelation is so misplaced.  It takes Hebrew scripture which was never meant to be taken literally and imposes a modern, literalistic hermeneutic upon it and then people say “Oh look!  We’re expecting a future atomic warfare!” Apocalyptic language was never meant to be taken literally.

In Revelation 13, we have two beasts depicted, a sea beast and a land beast.  We have to go back to chapter 12 to discover that both beasts are empowered by the Dragon.  The Dragon in chapter 12 is the “mover and shaker” of the persecution.  The Dragon is the one that attempted to slay the man-child that was to be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords in Revelation 19.  It is the Dragon that is pursuing the seed of the woman and notice that, in Revelation 13 and 14, John then sees the beast of the sea and he says in verse 2:

Revelation 13:2 [KJV]
And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

So the Dragon is the real POWER behind the land and sea beasts which is obviously Satan:

Revelation 12:9 [KJV]
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

In John 12:30-31, Jesus, speaking of Satan, said:

John 12:31 [KJV]
Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

Here is Jesus in John 12 talking about the impending overthrow of the Great Dragon.  In Revelation 12, we have the casting of the Dragon out of heaven, but remember it was that same Dragon that empowered both the sea beast and the land beast.  Whatever identities that we feel we must assign to the sea and land beasts, they are both empowered by Satan the Dragon and Jesus said that the power of his cross would lead to the casting out and overthrow of Satan.  Virtually all scholars admit that Revelation 13:1-2 is speaking about the same (fourth) sea beast of Daniel 7.

Daniel 7:3 [KJV]
And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.

Daniel 7:7 [KJV]
After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

Daniel 7:11 [KJV]
I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.

Daniel 7 spoke of the coming of four world empires and that fourth world empire is the SAME days of the sea beast of Revelation.  The fourth empire in Daniel is the Roman Empire.  This gives us another textual connection that tells us something.  No matter what else we may think of the Dragon, the sea beast, and the land beast, we are limited to the days of Rome  because that is how John is applying Daniel.  We therefore, cannot look beyond the days of Rome for the fulfillment of Revelation 13.  Revelation 13 is about the Dragon and the sea beast and the sea beast is the fulfillment of Daniel 7, but Daniel 7 and the fourth beast is the Roman Empire.  Therefore, Revelation 13 HAD to be fulfilled in the days of Rome.  Rome fell in 476 AD, so we can’t get Revelation 13 beyond that date.  However, when we couple that with Revelation 12 when Jesus said the Dragon would be cast out (John 12:30-31), we find that we aren’t even close to 476 AD, we are in JESUS’ GENERATION.  Therefore, the Sea Beast of Revelation 13 was ROME.

Video #3:

In Revelation 13, we have a partnership of persecution between the sea beast (Rome) and the land beast. The land beast causes everyone to worship the sea beast, but the partnership between the two is the most important aspect. Revelation 13 develops this extensively where we have the beast who is in partnership with Babylon.  Babylon sits on the beast which sits on the 7 mountains.  In Revelation 17, we have the beast and Babylon in persecutorial partnership, but then the beast turns on the woman, Babylon, hates her, destroys her and burns her with fire.  We are told Revelation was written under Domitian and he is called “the beast.”  However, there are problems with this view.  Scholars and historians realize that Domitian never instigated any type of systematic persecution of the Church!  Domitian was also NEVER in a persecution partnership with ANY city against the Church.  He NEVER destroyed any “partner” city by fire and he never destroyed Rome either.  When we look at the historical facts, we find very quickly that a late dating of the writing of Revelation DOES NOT FIT and, secondly, the identity of Domitian as “the Beast” DOES NOT FIT.  So, who was John writing about when he said in Revelation 17:10 “and there are seven kings; five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come”?  There is only ONE historical situation which fits this prophecy and it fits the prophecy PERFECTLY.

Video #4:

Revelation 17 depicts the same identical partnership as Revelation 13, but it uses slightly different imagery.  In Revelation 17, we have the same sea beast (Rome) with seven heads and ten horns, but now we have that enigmatic city called a woman (and also identified as a whore) with the name of MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT and there is a partnership between the beast and the woman against the saints.  In Revelation 17, the beast and Babylon are of one mind.

Revelation 17:12-17 [KJV] And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

So, here you have the partnership of persecution between the beast and his confederates (ten horns) and the woman, Babylon.  But this partnership turns sour and the beast and his confederates turn on that woman and they hate her and burn her with fire.  This is critical to understand because most commentators claim that Domitian was the “Beast.”  But the problem with this view is that Domitian was never in a partnership with anyone else, no city, no kingdom, to persecute the Christians.  As previously pointed out, there was NO systematic persecution of Christians by Domitian AT ALL.  However, when we look at Nero Caesar, we find that Nero was the very FIRST Roman Emperor to persecute the Church.  But what most don’t realize is that Nero was in partnership with the Jews.  Nero’s wife, Popea, was a Jewess. Likewise, most of his inner circle of counselors were Jews.  It is also known that when the persecution began against the Christians, there was an ambassage from Jerusalem of Jewish priests IN ROME who were actively attempting to prosecute Paul.  It is widely believed when the fire broke out at Rome, that Nero’s Jewish counselors are the ones who suggested to Nero that if he wanted to take the heat off of himself for setting the city ablaze, that he should blame this tragedy on the Christians.  And thus, the Roman Empire began widespread persecutions of the Christians.  But, in 66 AD, Jerusalem revolted and Nero sent his armies and destroyed Jerusalem completely.  All these historical events fit the prophecy PERFECTLY.

Video #5:

The land beast and sea beast of Revelation 13 form a partnership of persecution against the body of Christ.  This partnership is demonstrated again in Revelation 17 with the scarlet beast and Babylon.  If you compare the sea beast of Rev 13 and the scarlet beast of Rev 17, you find they are one and the same.  They both arise out of the waters.  If you compare the land beast of Rev 13 with Babylon, the Whore who sits on the beast of Rev 17, you will find the Whore Babylon of Rev 17 and the land beast of Rev 13 are ALSO one and the same.  Babylon is said to be the city where the Lord was slain which means that Babylon was Old Covenant 1st century Jerusalem!

Revelation 11:8 [KJV]
And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

In Rev 17, we also see that the partnership between the scarlet beast and Babylon (sea beast and land beast of Rev 13) goes sour and the beast hates her, leaves her naked and desolate and burns her with fire.  When you consider all these things, you find there is only ONE historical context that fits the timing and framework in which John posits all these things.  People like to say Domitian was “the Beast.”  But that won’t work because only ONE Roman emperor was ever in a partnership with any other city to persecute the Church where the partnership went sour and Rome turned on the city and destroyed it by fire.  This is EXACTLY what happened at Jerusalem in 70 A.D.!  Nero and Rome are the sea beast of Revelation 13 and the scarlet beast of Revelation 17.  Jerusalem is both the land beast of Revelation 13 and the whore Babylon riding the scarlet beast in Revelation 17.

Video #6:

There are some things in Revelation which absolutely demand that we confine the events to John’s generation as being urgently imminent for the 1st century.  We cannot extend anything in Revelation beyond the Roman empire, let alone 2000 years into the future.  Critically, in Revelation 13 we have the sea beast and the land beast who persecute the saints in partnership.  In Chapter 14, we gain some insights as to the identity of those who are persecuted.  We are told about the 144,000 who are out of the twelve tribes of Israel.  These are the righteous remnant.  In chapter 7, we are told this 144,000 have come out of the Great Tribulation and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  Therefore, both beasts and the 144,000 belong together temporally.  In Revelation 14, John again sees the 144,000 and identifies them as virgins, undefiled with women, the firstfruits unto God and the Lamb redeemed from the earth. They are the 1st generation of Hebrew Christians depicted as martyrs for their faith.  Who was it who persecuted them?  Both Rome and Jerusalem (Babylon!), with Jerusalem being the driving force behind the persecution in alliance with Rome.  The sea beast and the land beast persecute the 144,000 who go through the Great Tribulation, but these 144,000 are also the firstfruits from the 1st CENTURY CHURCH!  This means that the Great Tribulation was IN THE 1ST CENTURY!  This means that Armageddon was also IN THE 1ST CENTURY!

Video #7:

We’ve already pointed out the correlation between Rev 13 and Rev 17, in which we find that the land beast is actually Babylon.  This is obviously critical because Revelation, particularly chapters 18 and following, specifically identifies Babylon as the focus of God’s wrath for her persecution of the saints.  As in chapter 13, the land beast causes people to worship the sea beast and the focus of all of that is the partnership between the sea beast and land beast to persecute the saints.  Interestingly, in chapter 13, we have the land beast conspiring with the sea beast to persecute the saints, those who would not receive the mark of the beast.  The 144,000 also have a mark to identify them as the followers of the Lamb (Rev 14:1f).

Revelation 14:6-10 [KJV]
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

So, who made people worship the Beast?  The Land Beast…and the Land Beast is BABYLON!  The main point to understand with the passage above is that this great angel flying through the heavens, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those that dwell on the earth, said the HOUR of God’s judgment on Babylon HAS COME.  Where do we find the idea and motif of the preaching of the gospel into all the world before the time of the end?  In Matthew 24, Jesus predicted the fall of the city of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple.  The disciples immediately asked him when shall these things be and what shall be the sign of your parousia and of the end of the age?  Please don’t make the mistake of believing that the parousia and the end of the age refer to something DIFFERENT from the fall of Jerusalem and destruction of the temple.  They are absolutely and inextricably tied together.  Jesus gave the signs of that impending destruction, his parousia, and the end of the age.  What was one of those signs?  He said this gospel of the kingdom must be preached in all the world (oikoumenē) as a witness to the nations (ethnos), THEN comes the end.  Jesus said the gospel would be preached in all the world IN HIS GENERATION and that HIS GENERATION would not pass until all those things were fulfilled (Matthew 24:14,34) Paul testified in Colossians 1:23 that IN FACT the gospel HAD ALREADY BEEN PREACHED TO EVERY CREATURE WHICH IS UNDER HEAVEN. This is precisely why John could now say in Revelation that the hour of the judgment of Babylon IS HERE. By the time John wrote Revelation, the gospel HAD been preached into all the world.

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Isaiah Puts It ALL Together…

What does the book of Isaiah have to say about the Resurrection, Salvation, the Regathering of Israel, the Inclusion of the Gentiles, the Judgment, the Slaying of Satan/Leviathan, the Vindication of the Martyrs, and the Messianic Wedding Banquet?

In this post, I am going to prove to you that all the above events are tied temporally in prophecy to a specific time and place in the eschatology of Israel’s Last Days.  This is irrefutable proof that should leave no doubts in anyone’s mind as to the spiritual finality of the events of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.  We’ll begin by looking at Paul’s doctrine of the Resurrection found in 1 Corinthians 15.

In 1 Corinthians 15:54-55, the apostle Paul cites verses from Isaiah 25:8 and Hosea 13:14 as foundational passages for his doctrine of the Resurrection.

1 Corinthians 15:54-55 [KJV]
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

Isaiah 25:8 [KJV]
He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.

Hosea 13:14 [KJV]
I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.

This correlation is foundational to the Resurrection.  However, there is a lot more prophetic gold to be mined from the book of Isaiah that I want us to look at today. I want to give you some irrefutable PROOF from the Old Testament that shows definitively that the Resurrection, the Messianic Banquet (also known as the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in Revelation), the Regathering of the Diaspora (lost 10 Tribes of Israel), the in-gathering of the Gentiles with Israel, the post-Millennial Judgment, the Slaying of Satan/Leviathan, the Vindication of God’s Martyrs….ALL of these prophetic events and themes have their termination and fulfillment at the coming of the Lord against Israel of the flesh in 70 A.D.

Most of us have been told and taught from our earliest Sunday School lessons as good Protestant Christians that Christ is supposed to return someday yet in the future to establish his Kingdom here on earth and that we will be “raptured” to meet him in the air. Some folks are pre-tribulation rapture believers, some post-tribulation, amillennialists, and all variants in between. But I am going to prove to you by the scriptures that all of these future views of the Coming of the Lord are absolutely falsified by the Old Testament prophecies.

I will use a few supporting scriptures from other O.T. books, but the main passage from the end of Isaiah 24 through chapter 28 will suffice. Let’s start by establishing the two main temporal statements which Isaiah uses to describe WHERE and WHEN all these prophetic events will unfold. The two key phrases are “in that day” and “in this mountain.” The phrase “in that Day” refers to the Great & Terrible Day of the Lord which occurs in the Last Days of Israel’s Old Covenant. The second phrase, “in this mountain,” refers to Mount Zion which is where the spiritual House of God (the Messianic Temple) will be established in the Last Days of Israel’s Covenant when Messiah comes.

In Acts 2, we have the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost where, on that day alone, over 3000 Jewish converts believe in Jesus Christ and are washed of their blood guilt for having slain the Lord. This was the fulfillment of Zechariah 13:1 and Joel 2.  Peter says that what they were witnessing that day with the supernatural gift of tongues was THE FULFILLMENT of Joel chapter 2 which is a prophecy of the Last Days of Israel’s covenant just before the “Great and Terrible Day of the Lord”:

Joel 2:28-32 [KJV]
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

Zechariah 13:1 [KJV]
In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.

Notice also that Joel’s prophecy also makes mention of Mount Zion and Jerusalem as being the place of deliverance for the remnant whom the LORD shall call. The term “Mount Zion” represented the very hope of Israel. Zion is the Mountain of the House of God established in the LAST DAYS as spoken in Micah 4:

Micah 4:1-2 [KJV]
But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

So then, let us now look at Isaiah chapter 25 and begin to identify the end time prophetic events which will occur “in that day” and “in this mountain.” The first one is the Messianic Banquet, or Marriage Supper of the Lamb as described in Revelation 19:7-9.

Revelation 19:7-9 [KJV]
Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

Isaiah 25:6 [KJV]
And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.

There you have the Great Feast of the Lord “in this mountain” made unto ALL PEOPLE. This is also known as the Messianic Banquet. But how do we know that “in this mountain” is really speaking of “Mount Zion” in Isaiah 25? We can positively identify this mountain by going back to the antecedent reference of Mount Zion found at the end of Isaiah chapter 24. Remember that chapter and verse headings were not inserted into scripture until well after these things were written for easy reference.

Isaiah 24:23 [KJV]
Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.

Ok, so we have the Messianic Banquet occurring in Mount Zion and we know Mount Zion is specifically the Last Days establishment of the Mountain and House of God (Messianic Temple). We know that Revelation speaks of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb at the end of the Millennial reign of Christ in Revelation 19:7-9 following the destruction of the city of Babylon. In previous studies, we have identified “Babylon” as a spiritual or prophetic code word for the city of Jerusalem.

The next two prophetic events on the list are found immediately in the next few verses after the Messianic Banquet reference and they are Salvation and the Resurrection.

Isaiah 25:7-9 [KJV]
And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

Here again we have the reference to “in this mountain” and now we have the first “in that day” key reference. God will destroy the vail of separation that covers the nations which is the removal of their sin and shame, or “the rebuke of his people.” This is the salvation of the Lord which occurs at the Resurrection. Remember also that this section contains Isaiah 25:8 which Paul cited in 1 Corinthians 15:54 in his doctrine of the Resurrection where Death is swallowed up in victory and God wipes away tears from off all faces!

The last prophetic event tie we find in chapter 25 is to the destruction and judgment of Jerusalem in the Last Days, especially in the final verse of the chapter. Notice the language used where God says “the fortress of the high fort of thy walls shall he bring down, law low, and bring to the ground, even to the dust.” This is exactly what happened at the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70. Josephus says that the Roman army plowed up the very foundations of the city right down to the dust of the ground.

Isaiah 25:10-12 [KJV]
For in this mountain shall the hand of the LORD rest, and Moab shall be trodden down under him, even as straw is trodden down for the dunghill. And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst of them, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth his hands to swim: and he shall bring down their pride together with the spoils of their hands. And the fortress of the high fort of thy walls shall he bring down, lay low, and bring to the ground, even to the dust.

In Isaiah 26, the prophecy continues with the odd combination of the song of salvation being sung at the same time the city of brought down to the dust. This theme of simultaneous destruction and redemption in Jerusalem is also found in other O.T. prophesies, especially the book of Hosea where we find the story of God divorcing, slaying and departing from Israel for her spiritual idolatry and harlotry, but in her Last Days he Returns, Resurrects, and Remarries her. Note this similar combination of rejoicing and destruction in this passage and almost a verbatim repeat of the language from Isaiah 25:12 about bringing down those that dwell on high and laying them low, “even to the dust”:

Isaiah 26:1-5 [KJV]
In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength: For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust.

Near the end of the chapter, we find the combined message of Resurrection of the people with Christ associated with the vindication of the martyrs when “the LORD cometh out of his place to punish inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity” at which time the earth discloses her blood and reveals her slain.

Isaiah 26:19-21 [KJV]
Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

In the VERY next verse at the beginning of chapter 27, we find the slaying of Leviathan, which is the great crooked, piercing serpent, which is none other than Satan the “dragon that is in the sea.” Notice again that his slaying occurs with the temporal referent of IN THAT DAY:

Isaiah 27:1 [KJV]
In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.

Immediately following in the next few verses, also “IN THAT DAY,” we have a song being sung to Israel/Jacob of blessing and protection of the LORD after Leviathan is slain:

Isaiah 27:2 [KJV]
In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine. I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day. Fury is not in me: who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together. Or let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me. He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.

And how does Jacob make peace with God and receive the blessing? It is through God’s judgment which purges the iniquity (blood-guilt) of Jacob, when he makes the stones of the altar into CHALKSTONES that are beaten in sunder and the defenced city is forsaken and made desolate!  This is when God shows the people which he formed NO MERCY and NO FAVOR…this was undeniably, irrefutably done at Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

Isaiah 27:9-11 [KJV]
By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; and this is all the fruit to take away his sin; when he maketh all the stones of the altar as chalkstones that are beaten in sunder, the groves and images shall not stand up. Yet the defenced city shall be desolate, and the habitation forsaken, and left like a wilderness: there shall the calf feed, and there shall he lie down, and consume the branches thereof. When the boughs thereof are withered, they shall be broken off: the women come, and set them on fire: for it is a people of no understanding: therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them, and he that formed them will shew them no favour.

In the last portion of Isaiah 27, after the slaying of Satan and the blessing of Jacob through his judgment and purging of sin is the consummative Regathering of the Diaspora and the Gentiles, represented by Assyria and Egypt, together with Israel IN THAT DAY when the Great Trumpet is blown and all men come to worship God in his holy mount (Zion) at Jerusalem. However, please note something VERY important. The physical temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D. was NOT built on Mount Zion. It was built on Mount Moriah. That is because Mount Zion and the Messianic Temple are a spiritual mountain and temple not made by human hands. Remember in Revelation there is a NEW Jerusalem and a New Heavens and Earth because the first (the types and shadow versions) are destroyed.  Also important to note is the symbology of the phrase “Heaven and Earth” as it relates directly to the Temple, not the physical planet earth and the universal cosmos.

Isaiah 27:12-13 [KJV]
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem.

Now, chapter 28 I will try to summarize and wrap this study up. What we find in chapter 28 is the decree of judgment to those who sit in judgment, but refuge to the residue of his people who trust in the cornerstone that God laid in Mount Zion. It would be good if you will read the entire passage of Isaiah 25 through 28 to see how it all flows together as I have described. But here are the key verses from chapter 28 which establish the main theme of this chapter.

Isaiah 28:1-6 [KJV]
Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine! Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand. The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet: And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up. In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people, And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.

Note that any time you see the phrase “Lord of Hosts” it is generally referring to the armies of the Lord in battle for judgment. Here we have the armies of the Lord presented as a crown, or diadem of beauty to the RESIDUE of his people….only the faithful few who believe and trust in him. To the rest who are scornful and sit in judgment over Jerusalem, he comes as a spirit of judgment, giving strength to the Roman armies who brought the battle to the gate of Jerusalem and destroyed it in 70 A.D.

Isaiah 28:13-19 [KJV]
But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.

In summary, the Lord’s plan all along was to lay in ZION the chief cornerstone, Jesus Christ, Yeshua Messiah, in Israel’s Last Days when the New Covenant would be established at the passing of the Old Covenant system. This cornerstone would be the foundation of the Messianic Kingdom and Temple, the spiritual house of God in Mount Zion, that would be radically different than the old temple and kingdom. This is the Temple not made with human hands:

Acts 7:48-49 [KJV]
Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?

Instead, this temple would be made of “lively stones” which Peter spoke of in 1 Peter 2:4-6.  Notice also that Peter cites Isaiah 28:16 in this passage:

1 Peter 2:4-6 [KJV]
To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

Instead of a nebulous 2000+ year “Last Days” period, the Last Days of Israel lasted roughly 40 years. This was from the time of Jesus’ public ministry from AD30 through the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 A.D. All the scripture I just gave you from Isaiah and other supporting scriptures (and MUCH more I could have provided) shows that ALL these events, the Resurrection, the Salvation of God, the Slaying of Satan, the Messianic Banquet, the in-gathering of the Gentiles, the Regathering of Israel, occurred and culminated with the judgment of Israel and the vindication of the Martyrs of God in 70A.D. There was and IS NO 2000 YEAR GAP…

The Messianic Kingdom and Temple are HERE NOW…inside the hearts of those who trust in the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who established them in Israel’s Last Days, Yeshua Messiah, Jesus Christ.

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The Resurrection Of The Dead

This study was compiled from notes I took while viewing the video series by Don K. Preston, D.Div.  There were 25 short videos in this series and the link is posted below the title if you wish to view them.

The Resurrection was the Hope of Israel and that hope was precisely what Paul and the apostles preached…the Resurrection of Israel.  As I’ve said elsewhere, there is NOTHING to be found in the New Testament writings that isn’t based on the fulfillment of Israel’s promises from YHWH.  The church of the New Testament was the “one new man” made of twain from Ephesians 2:15 whereby YHWH brought both Hebrews and Gentiles together at the Resurrection to form one body, one faith, one baptism…all in Christ as Israel resurrected from the dead.  The New Covenant hope of Christ and his apostles was ISRAEL’s Old Covenant Hope of the Resurrection and it is now OUR CURRENT SPIRITUAL REALITY in this post 70 A.D., fully-realized, eternal Messianic Kingdom of Christ.  All glory to God!

The Resurrection From The Dead

By Don Preston

Youtube Video Series Link

Video 1:

Is the Resurrection a physical, bodily, fleshly event?  The raising of biologically decomposed bodies from the ground or is it a spiritual reality?  Just because something is “spiritual” does not mean it isn’t REAL.  In fact, the spiritual is eternal and is, in God’s terms, “more real” than the temporal/physical things which scripture says are merely the shadows of things to come.

The coming of Christ, the parousia would be to overcome the “death” introduced by Adam.  As through one man, sin entered into the world, therefore death passed upon all men because all men sinned.

God said “in the day you eat thereof, you shall surely die.”

James 2:26 says “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.”  God said “in the day you eat thereof, you shall surely die.”

  1. God did not say you will die two deaths
  2. God did not say you will begin to die
  3. God did not say you will be sentenced to die
  4. God did not say you will become mortal…we already ARE mortal.

Therefore, the death that Adam and Eve suffered was spiritual death…separation of fellowship and alienation from the presence of God…it was NOT biological death.

Since the death that Adam introduced was spiritual death and not biological death and since the death which Christ’s resurrection and coming was meant to overcome was the death introduced by Adam, then the death that Christ overcame by his resurrection was spiritual death and alienation from God.  He did not come to fix what wasn’t broken.  Physical death was not and is not the problem.  This doctrine falsifies ALL futurist views of eschatology.

Video #2:

We know that “in the day” refers specifically to THAT 24 HOUR DAY because the very same phrase applied to what the serpent told Eve:

Genesis 3:5 [KJV]

For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

 

Surely,  Adam and Eve came to know good and evil THAT DAY because they were ashamed of their nakedness and hid themselves from God.

Genesis 3:7 [KJV]

And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

There is NO argument for extrapolating the phrase “in the day” to mean a 1000 year day in order to justify a fleshly, biological meaning for “death.”  Yes, it can be said that Adam and Eve certainly DID fulfill the requirement that God laid out in terms of “dying” physically within a 1000 year “day,” but that is only evidence of the Lord being proven righteous in ALL his sayings and is NOT a proof that biological death is being discussed by the text.  CLEARLY, the type of death in question is spiritual death in the form of separation from God’s presence.

Video #3:

Don further explains the points from the previous videos.

Video #4:

LIFE is defined as being in the presence of God.  This is why DEATH is defined as the opposite, NOT being in the presence of God.  The death Adam and Eve suffered THAT DAY was separation from God when they were cast out of the Garden.  The penalty was receive the same day as the transgression and the same day in which they received their knowledge of good and evil…the same day they ate the fruit.

We cannot use the “yeah, but” hermeneutic when speaking of the death Adam and Eve suffered.  We cannot agree that the death was spiritual and covenantal on the one hand and then say “yeah, BUT” and try to make God’s threat of death apply to temporal, biological death.

Video #5:

If physical death was the curse of Adam, then who was the first to experience the death of Adam?  ABEL was the first person to die physical death.  Was Cain able to do that to Abel which God was NOT able to do to Adam and Eve?  Cain died first, but Adam and Eve died later.  Jesus did NOT come to redeem us from the death of Abel…he came to redeem us from the death of ADAM….spiritual death.

Video #6:

The death of Adam represents biological death according to most Christians.  It is true that Jesus died the death of Adam in man’s place, so that those living in the power of Christ’s resurrection do not have to die the death of Adam.  But if that “death” was physical, biological death, then do you see the FALLACY of this position?  You cannot say that Christ died the death of Adam to save us FROM the death of Adam and then turn around and say “Oh yeah, we still die the death of ADAM!”  It is true that AFTER Christ’s resurrection, WE still continue to die physical death.  To hold that physical, biological death is the death which Adam died completely negates the power of Jesus’ substitutionary death on our behalf.

Video #7:

Jesus work in the atonement was to take on himself the penalty of sin to make the atonement for sin so that those IN HIM and in the power of his atonement would not have to pay the penalty.  We are told that the penalty for sin is physical, biological death.  Therefore, those in Christ should not have to pay the penalty.  But if physical, biological death is the “death” that was in view when Adam fell, then why are we STILL DYING?  Does this mean that NO ONE is living in the power of Jesus’ Resurrection?  NO…the death of Adam was spiritual death and alienation from God….covenantal death.

Video #8:

Is physical death the enemy of the child of God?  If when we die as a Christian, having been redeemed by the blood of Christ, go directly into heaven following biological death, then how is biological death considered an “enemy” when it is actually USHERING me into HEAVEN?  Where is the THE CURSE OF ADAM?  We have to conclude, if physical death IS the enemy of the child of God, then even the child of God remains under the curse and power of sin!  Forgiveness and redemption are rendered null and void.  This is completely false.  Physical death is NOT the enemy of the Child of God.

Video #9:

Most Christians would agree that the child of God is forgiven of all sin currently.  The bible says the wages of sin is death.  Forgiveness brings the abolishment of sin.  So then, why do we still die physical, biological death?  Therefore, the death of Adam cannot be referring to physical, biological death.  Jesus said “If a man keeps my commandments, he will NEVER die.”  There is no question that Jesus was NOT talking about physical, biological death.

Video #10:

Paul says in Acts 26:23 speaking to King Agrippa, that Christ was the FIRST to be raised from the dead.  Christ was the first born from the death of Adam.  However, there were others who were raised from the dead much prior to Jesus.  Lazarus, the daughter of Jairus, and the widow’s son raised by Elijah.  It is clear that Jesus was NOT the FIRST to be raised from physical, biological death.  This can ONLY mean that Jesus is the FIRST to be raised from spiritual or covenantal death, meaning the death of separation from God.  This “death of separation from God” is further proven true by Christ’s mournful cry from the cross where he cried out “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”  Christ bore and experienced the punishment of separation from God for us and he was the FIRST to be raised from a death of alienation from God.  It was not his physical, biological death that was concerned, although that happened simultaneously.  Christ’s resurrection was ALSO a physical, biological resurrection in order to fulfill what Christ spoke to the Pharisees and scribes that they would receive the SIGN OF JONAH, with him being in the ground and raised from the dead after three days.

Video #11:

WHEN does the Bible say the resurrection would occur?

The time of the resurrection had arrived in the first century according to both old and new testament prophets.  Biblically speaking, the resurrection is posited as taking place ON ZION.  Isaiah Chapter 25:6-8

“In that day,” the day of the Messianic banquet, the Lord will destroy death and wipe away all tears “ON THIS MOUNTAIN,” on Zion.  Zion is the locus of all eschatological blessings in all O.T. prophecies which include salvation, the Messianic kingdom, Messianic banquet, the Messianic temple, etc.  Hebrews was written to a Hebrew audience thoroughly familiar with all the O.T. prophecies and they knew how central Zion was to the eschatological Hope of Israel.  This Hope was not isolated from Abraham, Abel, Moses, or all of Israel…it was ALL the same eschatological hope, focused the Heavenly City (Hebrews 11:13-16)  That city is ZION.  The Resurrection and Zion go hand in hand.  If Zion is there…the resurrection is there.  Hebrew 12:18-24 says “YOU have come to Mount Zion.”

Hebrews 12:18-24 [KJV]
For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

Video #12:

The Messianic Wedding Banquet and the Resurrection?

The Messianic Banquet and the Resurrection go hand in hand.  The statement of “on that Day” found in Isaiah 24 and “in this mountain” found in Isaiah 25, puts these two events together in both time and place.  Isaiah 24 speaks of the judgment of all Israel in verses 21-23:

Isaiah 24:21-23 [KJV]

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited. Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.

The “host of the high ones” and the “kings of the earth” are speaking of the covenant people, Israel.  This is not, as is automatically assumed by the layperson, speaking of GENTILE kings.  The O.T. prophecies consistently and commonly speak of fierce judgment along with simultaneous rejoicing where the Day of the Lord is concerned.  This is because the coming of the Kingdom would bring great loss for some, but eternal gain for others.  In Matthew 8, Jesus commended the centurion for his great faith in the healing of his servant.  He then said many will come from east and west [Believers made up of Gentiles, Disaspora believers, and the Remnant of believing Israel ] and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Kingdom, but the children of the Kingdom [unbelieving fleshly Israel] will be cast out into outer darkness.  The presence of the ancient fathers of the Kingdom at the Messiah’s Wedding Banquet means they now have a change of status…they are resurrected!  The Resurrection, which occurs at the END of the Millennium, and the Banquet are occurring at the same time.  Isaiah 25:6-12 vividly speaks of the wedding banquet occurring at the same time of the Resurrection, the judgment of the Sons of the Kingdom [old covenant Israel] and the deliverance of God’s salvation.

Isaiah 25:6 [KJV]

And in this mountain [ZION!!] shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. [THIS is the wedding banquet of the LAMB!] And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation. [THIS is speaking of eternal SALVATION!!]  For in this mountain shall the hand of the LORD rest, and Moab shall be trodden down under him, even as straw is trodden down for the dunghill.  And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst of them, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth his hands to swim: and he shall bring down their pride together with the spoils of their hands. And the fortress of the high fort of thy walls shall he bring down, lay low, and bring to the ground, even to the dust. [THIS is the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple!!]

Video #13:

Isaiah, The Resurrection and the Banquet

As previously noted, Isaiah 25 says the Messianic Banquet or Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Revelation) will be at the time of the Resurrection.  Matthew 8:11 says that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would sit down in the kingdom at the banquet at the time when the Sons of the Kingdom (Old Covenant Israel) were cast out.

Paul quotes this passage from Isaiah 65 in Romans 10 to speak of the condition of Israel of his day:

Isaiah 65:1-3 [KJV]

I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name. I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts; A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick;

Again in Isaiah 65, because of Israel’s rebellion, the Lord says he would call the Gentiles, a people who had never been called.  Paul quotes Isaiah here and applies it to his ministry.  So, we know that Isaiah 65 was being fulfilled in the 1st century.  Further, as a result of Old Covenant Israel’s sin, speaking to them, the Lord says:

Isaiah 65:10 [KJV]

And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for my people that have sought me. But ye are they that forsake the LORD, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number. Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed: Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit. And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord GOD shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name: That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes. For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

In the Last Days, God says the majority of Israel will be slain, but he will preserve a righteous remnant unto himself.  This is shown in Isaiah 65:8-10

Isaiah 65:8 [KJV]

Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants’ sakes, that I may not destroy them all. And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there. And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for my people that have sought me.

Paul also speaks of the righteous elect remnant in Romans 11 in answering whether God has cast away his people Israel?  He says in Romans 11:1f:

Romans 11:1-29 [KJV]

I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew…. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace…What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded….I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy…. For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

On Pentecost, the fountain for cleansing of sin and unrighteousness was opened spoken of in Zechariah 13:1 when the Spirit was given in fulfillment of Joel 2:32.  From that day forward, the elect remnant of Israel began coming into the Kingdom as the firstfruits unto Christ.  Later, the Gentiles would begin to come into the Kingdom beginning with the house of Cornelius and all those who would be converted under Paul’s ministry and the other disciples who went abroad into the nations beyond Israel.  From these converts would also come the regathering of the Diaspora who were now blended into the Gentile nations.  Thus, ALL ISRAEL would be saved in the Resurrection in the Last Days, all them who called upon the Lord and whose name was written in book, as spoken in Daniel 12:1-2

Daniel 12:1 [KJV]

And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

And the result of all these things coming to pass would be the New Heavens and New Earth…the Kingdom under the New Covenant of Christ with the body of Christ as the bride, the New Jerusalem .  All these things would come when Old Covenant Israel was destroyed as Daniel 12:7-10:

Daniel 12:7-10 [KJV]

And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.  And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

Video #14:

Daniel 12 and the Resurrection

Daniel was given a prophecy of the “time of the end” in verse 4….a prophecy of the Great Tribulation in verse 1….and a prophecy of when all his people who were written in the book would be saved in verse 1.  In verse 7, the angel in linen stood upon the waters and declared, swearing by him that liveth forever, that “when he [Messiah] shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.”  In Daniel’s day, the identify of the “holy people” could only be Old Covenant Israel.  What was the source of their power?  Their only source of Israel’s power was her covenant with Yahweh, the Law of Moses, and their access to that power was the Temple.  The holy people CANNOT be the Church here being destroyed because the Church, the body of Christ and his Kingdom, will exist forever and will never be destroyed in the so-called “end of the church age.”  Daniel 2:44, 7:13-14, Psalms 89, Isaiah 9:6-9 and others declare such a doctrine to be patently false:

Daniel 2:44 [KJV]

And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

Daniel 7:13-14 [KJV]

I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

 

Psalms 89:2-4 [KJV] For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens. I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.

 

Isaiah 9:6-7 [KJV] For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Thus, the resurrection would be when Old Covenant Israel’s relationship with Yahweh was finally terminated.  In Hebrews 8:13, Paul cites Jeremiah 31 and Yahweh’s  promise of a New Covenant that was not like the law of Moses.  That time for the New Covenant had come in the 1st century and Paul says that Israel’s Covenant was now decaying and waxing old and READY TO VANISH.  The power of the holy people was completely shattered in 70 A.D.

Video #15:

Isaiah 26:19-21 [KJV] Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

This is the resurrection of the body out of the dust at the coming of the Lord at the destruction of the “earth” and the time of the resurrection when the martyrs of God will be vindicated.  There is a direct correlation between the resurrection and coming of the Lord and the vindication of the martyrs which harmonizes with Revelation 20.  Also notice the “coming out of the dust” which parallels with Daniel 12:2.  The first six verses of Rev 20 is the beginning of the Resurrection with Christ as the first-fruits, and then you have the consummation of the Resurrection in 10-12 which is the time of the vindication of the martyrs.  The resurrection of Isaiah 26, 25, 1 Cor 15, and Rev 20 are all correlated and the resurrection of Isaiah 26 is the end of the Millennium Resurrection.   Jesus said all the righteous blood shed upon all the earth all the way back to ABEL would be vindicated in Matthew 23:29-37.  Are the dead from Isaiah 26:19-21 included in that comprehensive body of martyrs of Matthew 23?  If not, then where is the exegetical foundation and evidence to exclude them from this judgment and vindication?  And where is the evidence to exclude them from the martyrs of Revelation 6, 12, 16, 20? There is none, they are ALL of the same group….Jesus said ALL the righteous blood shed upon the earth… ALL of these “resurrections” and “martyrs” to be vindicated happened at 70 A.D.

Video #16:

Isaiah 65 and the Resurrection

Everyone agrees that Revelation chapter 20:10-12 is the end of the Millennium.  At the end of the Millennium, heaven and earth are destroyed and we have a new creation with new heaven and earth and new Jerusalem.  John specifically cites Isaiah 65:17.  The resurrection is at the time of the destruction of the old creation and the establishment of the New Jerusalem and the New Heavens/Earth.   Isaiah 65 posits the time of the new creations at the same time when God tells Old Covenant Israel:  “The Lord God will slay you and call his people with a new name.”  What is our justification for saying that Revelation is about the destruction of the Christian age and the destruction of the literal, physical heaven and earth at a time unrelated to the fulfillment of Isaiah 65, having nothing to do with the destruction of Old Covenant Israel, but rather, somehow being the END of the Christian Age, which the Bible already says HAS NO END.  Don’t forget that Paul said in Hebrews 8:13 that Irael’s covenant and the law was now decaying and waxing old and READY TO VANISH in the face of the establishment of the New Covenant.

Video #17:

The Great Tribulation and the Resurrection are posited TOGETHER in the O.T.

The old testament clearly expresses the framework for the Resurrection.  Virtually every O.T. prophecy of the Resurrection posits that event in the immediate context of the Great Tribulation.  The Great Tribulation belongs to the 1st century (Daniel 12:1-2).  Isaiah 26:16f We have been in pain in the pains of childbirth, describes the birth pains of the Messiah and the Great Tribulation.  Jesus said in predicting the fall of Jerusalem, the Great Tribulation would be in the 1st century in the context of the Lord’s coming against Jerusalem.  Thus, the Great Tribulation and the Resurrection are inseparable linked temporally speaking.  Jesus posited the Great Tribulation at the time of the fall of Jerusalem in AD70, therefore, the Resurrection, Isaiah 26 and Daniel 12, are inseparable connected to the judgment of Jerusalem.  Revelation posits 144,000 out of each of the 12 tribes of Israel (Rev 14:2-14 Rev 7:14) and the angel tells John they are those who have come out of the Great Tribulation.  Who are they?  These are the firstfruit of those redeemed to God from man.   THE FIRST GENERATION OF HEBREW CHRISTIANS.  This is proof that the Great Tribulation belongs to the 1st century!  When was the Great Tribulation to occur?  At the end of the Millennium….Rev 20:8f.  Satan is loosed at the end of the Millennium.

Video #18:

1 Corinthians 15

Nearly everyone was taught that the resurrection found in 1 Corinthians 15 is in some way related to the END of the Christian Age.  The problem with this position is that the Christian Age HAS NO END.  Isaiah 9 says:

Isaiah 9:7 [KJV] Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Luke 1 says:

Luke 1:32-33 [KJV]

He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

So what is the “increase?”  There is no increase without evangelism.  Jesus, speaking of his gospel which is preached for the redemption of man said:

Matthew 24:35 [KJV] 

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

If we posit the fulfillment of 1 Corinthians 15 at the END of the Christian age, the our basic assumption about this passage is WRONG.  The resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 would come at “the end.”

The end of WHAT?  There is irrefutable evidence in the text itself that the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 could not be at the end of the Christian age.  Proofs offered in the next video.

Video #19:

Israel and the Covenant Promises

Paul’s discourse in 1 Corinthians 15 is his greatest and lengthiest on the resurrection found in the N.T.  Fundamentally, we must honor the fact that no matter what our concept of 1 Corinthians 15, no matter when we might think it is supposed to be fulfilled, the indisputable fact is that the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 would be in fulfillment of God’s Old Covenant promises, made to Old Covenant Israel after the flesh.  The Amillennialists generally hold a fundamentally view that God was completely through and DONE with Old Covenant Israel at the cross.  Some are now saying, and increasingly so, that God’s covenant relationship with Israel was terminated at 70 A.D.  Still others hold that God will not terminate his covenant with Old Covenant Israel until the physical resurrection at the end of history.  This view is astounding because, if true, then it means Old Covenant Israel remains as GOD’s COVENANT PEOPLE TODAY!  This suggests that either God is maintaining TWO covenant people (Old Covenant Israel and the Church) and TWO covenants…OR WORSE….that the Church is NOT God’s covenant people at all TODAY!  These views create a very difficult dilemma.  But here is the indisputable FACT…Paul in preaching while he’s on trial about the resurrection says:

Acts 24:13-15 [KJV]

Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me. But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be [Grk “mello” = is ABOUT to be] a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.

Acts 26:22 [KJV]

Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.

Paul says clearly that he got HIS resurrection doctrine from MOSES and the O.T. prophets!  If this is true, then when we come to 1 Corinthians 15, we had BETTER be able to go to the O.T. and find THAT SAME resurrection doctrine in the O.T. because Paul said:

1 Corinthians 15:53 [KJV]

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

Paul quotes directly from Isaiah 25:8 and Hosea 13:14 and he is clearly looking for the SAME promises Yahweh made to Old Covenant Israel after the flesh!  He is NOT looking for the fulfillment of some NEW prophecy or promise made to the CHURCH that is divorced from Old Covenant ISRAEL!  If your resurrection doctrine and interpretation of 1 Corinthians 15 is not taken from, drawn from, and based on the Old Covenant promises made to Old Covenant Israel after the flesh, you have the WRONG doctrine of the resurrection.  Do not assume, though, that the fulfillment of these promises would be in terms of a fleshly, bodily resurrection “after the flesh”…it just means that Paul was to based his doctrine on promises made TO old covenant Israel after the flesh.

Video #20:

Paul’s Resurrection Hope

Paul says his doctrine of the Resurrection was NOTHING but the hope of Israel found in Moses and the Prophets, as referenced earlier.  Paul also said that when the resurrection was fulfilled it would be the fulfillment of Isaiah 25:8, “Death is swallowed up in victory” and Isaiah said it would be “in this mountain” that death would be destroyed.  The mountain is ZION according to Isaiah 24:23.  This passage in Isaiah 25 also says “in that day,” the same day in which the Lord would destroy death, he would ALSO make a “great banquet of fine things.” This is the Messianic Banquet.  The Messianic Banquet is posited at the end of the Millennium resurrection of Isaiah 25:8, which is also further posited as the time of Israel’s salvation in Romans 11:25-27 when the fullness of the Gentiles come in.  Thus, the destruction of death would occur at the END of the Millennium, which is the time of the Resurrection, which is also the time of Israel’s salvation.  In Matthew 8:11, Jesus says that many shall come from the east and the west to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob IN THE KINGDOM.  This passage is definitely speaking of the Messianic Banquet and the Abrahamic Fathers have been resurrected.  Jesus then says that this would also be the time when the Sons of The Kingdom would be cast into outer darkness.  This obviously doesn’t mean the CHURCH, because the church will NEVER be cast out.  According to Galatians 4:21-31, the only “Sons of God” that were to be “cast out” are identified as the Old Covenant seed of Israel, the sons of the covenant of Sinai, the sons of the Bondwoman.  These were the inhabitants of 1st century Israel and Jerusalem who were cast out for persecuting the TRUE Seed of Abraham, Old Covenant Israel.  So then, the Resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 would be established at the Messianic Banquet and that would be established when Old Covenant Israel was cast out.

Video #21:

Hosea and 1 Corinthians 15

It is vital that we keep in mind that Paul’s resurrection doctrine was nothing but the Hope of Israel.  This is important because both Amillennialists and Post Millennialists say that God was through with Israel in the 1st century.  But this position ignores the PROMISES that Yahweh made to her.  It is illogical to say that God was through with through with Old Covenant Israel in the 1st century, but we’re still looking for the fulfillment of those SAME promises, made in the Old Testament, made to Old Covenant Israel, at the end of the CHRISTIAN age of the New Covenant.  There is just no logical or Biblical support for such an idea.  We’ve already looked at how Paul draws from Isaiah 24-25, but now let’s look at some other O.T. passages he appeals to in Hosea.  The story of Hosea is the story of Divorce, Departure, and Death.  Because of Israel’s sin, God divorced her. (Hosea 2:2)  When God divorced her, he departed from her (Hosea 5:15) When God departed from Israel, he KILLED her. (Hosea 13:1, 9:16, 6:5, 4:5)  But there is also a story of REDEMPTION in Hosea, one of Remarriage, Return, and Resurrection.  God said, in the last days he would betroth Israel to himself again. (Hosea 2:19-20)  He also said he would return to her again. (Hosea 6:1-3)  Verse 6:2 is a specific picture of the Resurrection.  This means the Resurrection will be at the time of the Remarriage of Israel which is the same time of the RETURN.  And Matthew 25:1-13 is the return of Christ, the Bridegroom, for the Wedding.  In Matthew 22, a king made a great wedding feast for his son.  He sent out his servants to call those who had already been invited.  Whose wedding promise was it?  It was Old Covenant Israel’s wedding promise because God said he would remarry her in the Last Days.  Isaiah 62, Hosea 6.  In Matthew 22:1-14, the king sent his servants to bid the guests who had been invited to come to the wedding feast.  The guests spurned the invitation, so the king sent still more servants telling them to come, for the feast was ready.  The guests persecuted and killed the king’s servants.  When the king had heard, he was very angry and sent out his army and destroyed those wicked murderers and burned up their city.  He then sent out even more servants to call guests to fill up the tables at his banquet.  It is impossible to read this passage in Matthew without seeing the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in AD70, unless one has never heard of that event in history.  There is no postponement of the wedding, no delay, no gap in time.  The important question is…where is the wedding posited?  It is at the destruction of the city whose inhabitants killed God’s servants.  Remember, the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 is the same resurrection of Hosea, but Hosea’s resurrection would come at the time of the Wedding Banquet.  And Jesus Himself placed the time of the wedding at the destruction of Jerusalem.  This is POWERFUL!!

Video #22:

New Covenant Resurrection

Again, Paul said that his doctrine of the Resurrection was NOTHING BUT the Hope of Israel after the flesh.  The problem with this TRUTH is that the three futurist views of eschatology almost unanimously say the promise of the resurrection occurs at the end of the Christian Age in fulfillment of God’s promises to the CHURCH.  Noted Amillenialist, Kim Riddlebarger, says God has already fulfilled all of the O.T. promises made to Israel and now, with the coming of Christ, we have a brand NEW set of promises to the church.  Loraine Boettner, a noted Postmillennialist, says when we want to know about the 1st coming of Christ, we go to the O.T. and he came exactly as he was predicted to come there.  However, Boettner said in his book on the Millennium, when we want to know about the 2nd coming of Christ and the end of the age, we go STRICTLY to the N.T. because the O.T. promises have either been transferred to the Church or forfeited by Israel.  Wow!  Paul knew NOTHING of such a doctrine!!  God’s O.T. promises made to O.T. Israel after the flesh.  This does NOT mean the PROMISES themselves are fleshly to be fulfilled in a fleshly way, but rather that the promises HAD to be fulfilled to Old Covenant Israel.  They were NOT transferrable or irrevocable.  Romans 11:28-29.  When we approach 1 Corinthians 15, if we come to that passage that from the perspective that it is NOT about the fulfillment of God’s O.T promises made to O.T. Israel after the flesh, we come with a WRONG presupposition!  The Psalmist said in 11:3 “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”  We MUST have the right foundational understanding of the text.  Most approach 1 Corinthians 15 and interpret it as if it speaks about the end of the Christian Age and the end of time when Paul says “and then comes the end.”  For Paul, it was the end of ISRAEL’s covenant promises and her covenant age.  Most approach the passage saying, “This is in fulfillment of 1 Thessalonians 4, Romans 8, or Revelation 20; therefore these are NEW Covenant promises!”   WRONG!  There are NO New Covenant promises which are DIVORCED FROM, SEPARATE FROM God’s Old Covenant Promises made to Old Covenant Israel.  Remember, Paul said the Resurrection would be in fulfillment of Isaiah 25, Hosea 13, and, of course, Daniel and Ezekiel.  These are ALL O.T. promises made O.T. Israel after the flesh.  It’s a fact that neither the Amillennialists nor Post Millennialists deal with this properly.  The Premillennialists, ostensibly, have it right, but they completely overlook the context, framework, and the NATURE and TIME of the fulfillment of these O.T. promises.  Bottom line, if we don’t honor the fact that the Resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 is in fulfillment of God’s O.T. promises made to O.T. Israel after the flesh, then we are DOOMED to misunderstand and misinterpret the Resurrection doctrine of 1 Corinthians 15.

Video #23:

Resurrection and Torah

The most important thing about interpreting any piece of literature, the Bible or not, is setting the proper context and framework.  Lamentably, most people approach 1 Corinthians 15 (and the Bible in general) from a Grecian worldview and/or they approach it as if it was written specifically to US in the 21st century.  They read it as if it really wasn’t written to the Corinthians and that it really wasn’t written about the fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel.  This is all patently FALSE.  When we approach 1 Corinthians 15 with false presuppositions concerning to whom it was written, the proper life situation of the audience; and if we assume that it is about the end of time and the end of the Christian age, then we are likely doomed to misunderstand it. Paul says that the resurrection, passing from mortality to immortality, would be accomplished when THE LAW, which is the strength of THE SIN, would be overcome.  What LAW is the strength of SIN? Paul uses the term THE LAW 117 times in his epistles.  When he uses the term “THE LAW” without any contextual qualifier, (such as in Romans 8) it invariably refers to the Law of Moses…Torah!!  There are NO contextual qualifiers in 1 Corinthians 15 to define THE LAW as anything other than THE LAW OF MOSES, TORAH, as used by Paul in all other contexts. Therefore, the Resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 would be when the Law of Moses would be removed.  This agrees perfectly with Daniel 12 which foretold the Resurrection to Eternal Life, and that Resurrection was to be when the power of the holy people was completely shattered. (Daniel 12:7)  What was Israel’s one and only power?  Torah….their Covenant with Yahweh.  So, we have Daniel 12 predicting the Resurrection to Eternal Life when Torah would end….and 1 Corinthians 15 speaking of the Resurrection to Eternal Life when THE LAW that was the strength of THE SIN, which is TORAH, would be removed.  Irrefutable!

Video #24:

The Vindicated Martyrs

Paul said that the Resurrection he was anticipating, found in 1 Corinthians 15, which is also the end of the Millennium Resurrection of Revelation 20, the eschatological, end times, end of the age Resurrection, and would be in fulfillment of Isaiah 25:8 “He shall swallow up Death in victory.” Gues what?  Isaiah 25 and 26 both foretold the Resurrection.  Isaiah 26:19 “the earth shall give up her dead”  Isn’t this the same thing found in Isaiah 25:8?  Sure is!  All eschatological positions consider both of these to be the same resurrection.  But interestingly, the Resurrection of 26:19 is ALSO at the Coming of the Lord (Isaiah 26:20) and in the very next verse we have the Vindication of the Martyrs!

Isaiah 26:19 [KJV]

Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

Jesus said all the blood of all the martyrs all the way back to creation would be judged in HIS GENERATION  in the judgment of Jerusalem.  But this means that Isaiah 26 would be fulfilled in AD70, which also demands that the end of the Millennium Resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 (same Resurrection in Isaiah 25 and 26) was fulfilled in AD70.  The connections are direct, undeniable, and emphatic.  It doesn’t get any clearer than this.

Video #25:

Hosea and 1 Corinthians 15

Here are some key markers in 1 Corinthians 15 to help set the proper context for the chapter.  Paul quotes from Hosea 13:14 “O’ Grave, where is thy victory.” Let’s break Hosea down into some broad headings:

  1. Divorce – The 10 Northern Tribes had committed spiritual adultery, as a result, God divorced her (Hosea 2:1-5).
  2. Departure – When God would divorce her, he departed. (Hosea 5:15)
  3. Death – When God divorced her and departed, God slayed her and Israel died. (Hosea 13:1, 9:16, 6:5, 4:5)

The story of Redemption and Resurrection also breaks down into three easy headings:

  1. Remarriage – The Lord said “I will betroth her to me again in righteousness.” (Hosea 2:19)
  2. Return – “He shall come unto us as the rain.” (Hosea 6:3)
  3. Resurrection – “After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.” (Hosea 6:2)

The story of the Resurrection Paul was anticipating in 1 Corinthians 15 IS the story of the Remarriage!  The Remarriage, God’s Return, and the Resurrection are inseparable.  The Marriage was a favorite topic of Christ.  Jesus’ parable in Matthew 22:1-14 gives the story of the Wedding and the Messianic Banquet which is also the story of the Judgment and Vindication of the Martyrs at the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70.  Old Covenant Israel spurned the wedding invitation, persecuting and killing the servants sent to invite them, the apostles of Christ who were preaching “The Kingdom has drawn near!”  As a result, the Lord sent out his armies and he destroyed them and burned their city.  And then the Lord said, “Send out the servants, call everyone in so that my wedding banquet may be FULL. The wedding proceeded as planned with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70.  Paul tied the Resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 to the fulfillment of Hosea.  And Hosea predicted the Resurrection would be at the time of the Wedding.  Jesus said the Wedding would be when Old Covenant Jerusalem was destroyed.  Therefore, the Resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 would be at the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70.  When we allow the Bible to interpret itself, when we see that 1 Corinthians 15 is about the fulfillment of God’s Old Covenant Promises made to Old Covenant Israel after the flesh…THEN we see it is God’s faithfulness to Old Covenant Israel so that then all men might be called INTO the salvation that God created to be brought THROUGH Old Covenant Israel.  The Bible makes a lot of sense, but when you divorce 1 Corinthians 15 from the promises God made to Old Covenant Israel, you doom yourself to a wrong interpretation of the doctrine of the Resurrection from the dead.

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A New Testament Eschatological Study of Greek Aion – Part Five

A New Testament Eschatological Study of Greek

Part Five – “aion” [αἰών]

 

Strong – G165

αἰών

aiōn

ahee-ohn’

From the same as G104; properly an age; by extension perpetuity (also past); by implication the world; specifically (Jewish) a Messianic period (present or future):—age, course, eternal, (for) ever (-more), [n-]ever, (beginning of the, while the) world (began, without end). Compare G5550.

 

Thayer – G165

αἰών

aiōn

Thayer Definition:

1) for ever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity

2) the worlds, universe

3) period of time, age

Part of Speech: noun masculine

A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from the same as G104

Citing in TDNT: 1:197, 31

 

Total KJV Occurrences: 129

ever, 72

Mat 6:13, Mat 21:19, Mar 11:14, Luk 1:33, Luk 1:55, Joh 6:51, Joh 6:58, Joh 8:35 (2), Joh 12:34, Joh 14:16, Rom 1:25, Rom 9:5, Rom 11:36, Rom 16:27, 2Co 9:9, Gal 1:5 (2), Phi 4:20 (2), 1Ti 1:17 (2), 2Ti 4:18 (2), Heb 1:8 (2), Heb 5:6, Heb 6:20, Heb 7:17, Heb 7:21, Heb 7:24, Heb 13:8, Heb 13:21 (2), 1Pe 1:23, 1Pe 1:25, 1Pe 5:11 (4), 2Pe 3:17-18 (2), 1Jo 2:17, 2Jo 1:2, Jud 1:13, Jud 1:25, Rev 1:6 (2), Rev 4:9-10 (4), Rev 5:13-14 (4), Rev 7:12 (2), Rev 10:6 (2), Rev 11:15 (2), Rev 14:11 (2), Rev 15:7 (2), Rev 19:3 (2), Rev 20:10 (2), Rev 22:5 (2)

world, 37

Mat 12:32, Mat 13:22, Mat 13:39-40 (2), Mat 13:49, Mat 24:3, Mat 28:20, Mar 4:19, Mar 10:30, Luk 1:70, Luk 16:8, Luk 18:30, Luk 20:34-35 (2), Joh 9:32, Act 3:21, Act 15:18, Rom 12:2, 1Co 1:20, 1Co 2:6-8 (4), 1Co 3:18, 1Co 8:13, 1Co 10:11, 2Co 4:4, Gal 1:4, Eph 1:21, Eph 3:9, Eph 3:21, Eph 6:12, 1Ti 6:17, 2Ti 4:10, Tit 2:12, Heb 6:5, Heb 9:26

never, 8

Mar 3:29, Joh 4:14, Joh 6:35, Joh 8:51-52 (2), Joh 10:28, Joh 11:26, Joh 13:8

evermore, 3

2Co 11:31, Heb 7:28, Rev 1:18

ages, 2

Eph 2:7, Col 1:26

end, 2

Eph 3:21 (2)

eternal, 2

Eph 3:11, 1Ti 1:17

worlds, 2

Heb 11:2-3 (2)

course, 1

Eph 2:2

Concordance to the Greek Scriptures – G165

Total Occurrences: 129

αιωνα (34)

Mat_21:19, Mar_3:29, Mar_11:14, Luk_1:55, Joh_4:14, Joh_6:51, Joh_6:58, Joh_8:35 (2), Joh_8:51-52 (2), Joh_10:28, Joh_11:26, Joh_12:34, Joh_13:8, Joh_14:16, 1Co_8:13, 2Co_9:9, Eph_2:2, 2Ti_4:10, Heb_1:8, Heb_5:6, Heb_6:20, Heb_7:17, Heb_7:20-21 (2), Heb_7:24, Heb_7:28, 1Pe_1:23, 1Pe_1:25, 2Pe_2:17, 1Jn_2:17, 2Jn_1:2, Jud_1:13

αιωνας (32)

Mat_6:13, Luk_1:33, Rom_1:25, Rom_9:5, Rom_11:36, Rom_16:27, 2Co_11:31, Gal_1:5, Php_4:20, 1Ti_1:17, 2Ti_4:18, Heb_1:2, Heb_11:3, Heb_13:8, Heb_13:21, 1Pe_4:11, 1Pe_5:11, Jud_1:25, Rev_1:6, Rev_1:18, Rev_4:9-10 (2), Rev_5:13-14 (2), Rev_7:12, Rev_10:6, Rev_11:15, Rev_14:11, Rev_15:7, Rev_19:3, Rev_20:10, Rev_22:5

αιωνι (8)

Mat_12:32, Mar_10:30, Luk_18:30, Rom_12:2, 1Co_3:18, Eph_1:21, 1Ti_6:17, Tit_2:12

αιωνος (25)

Mat_13:22, Mat_13:39-40 (2), Mat_13:49, Mat_24:3, Mat_28:20, Mar_4:19, Luk_1:70, Luk_16:8, Luk_20:34-35 (2), Joh_9:32, Act_3:21, Act_15:18, 1Co_1:20, 1Co_2:6 (2), 1Co_2:8, 2Co_4:4, Gal_1:4, Eph_3:21, Eph_6:12, Heb_1:8, Heb_6:5, 2Pe_3:18

αιωνων (29)

1Co_2:7, 1Co_10:11, Gal_1:5, Eph_3:9, Eph_3:11, Eph_3:21, Php_4:20, Col_1:26, 1Ti_1:17 (2), 2Ti_4:18, Heb_9:26, Heb_13:21, 1Pe_4:11, 1Pe_5:11, Rev_1:6, Rev_1:18, Rev_4:9-10 (2), Rev_5:13-14 (2), Rev_7:12, Rev_10:6, Rev_11:15, Rev_14:11, Rev_15:7, Rev_19:3, Rev_20:10, Rev_22:5

αιωσιν (1)

Eph_2:7 

 

NT GREEK Concordance

aiwn  aion

Mat_6:13  Mat_12:32  Mat_13:22  Mat_13:39-40  Mat_13:49  Mat_21:19  Mat_24:3  Mat_28:20  Mar_3:29  Mar_4:19  Mar_10:30  Mar_11:14  Luk_1:33  Luk_1:55  Luk_1:70  Luk_16:8  Luk_18:30  Luk_20:34-35  Joh_4:14  Joh_6:51  Joh_6:58  Joh_8:35  Joh_8:51-52  Joh_9:32  Joh_10:28  Joh_11:26  Joh_12:34  Joh_13:8  Joh_14:16  Act_3:21  Act_15:18  Rom_1:25  Rom_9:5  Rom_11:36  Rom_12:2  Rom_16:27  1Co_1:20  1Co_2:6-8  1Co_3:18  1Co_8:13  1Co_10:11  2Co_4:4  2Co_9:9  2Co_11:31  Gal_1:4-5  Eph_1:21  Eph_2:2  Eph_2:7  Eph_3:9  Eph_3:11  Eph_3:21  Eph_6:12  Php_4:20  Col_1:26  1Ti_1:17  1Ti_6:17  2Ti_4:10  2Ti_4:18  Tit_2:12  Heb_1:2  Heb_1:8  Heb_5:6  Heb_6:5  Heb_6:20  Heb_7:17  Heb_7:21  Heb_7:24  Heb_7:28  Heb_9:26  Heb_11:3  Heb_13:8  Heb_13:21  1Pe_1:23  1Pe_1:25  1Pe_4:11  1Pe_5:11  2Pe_2:17  2Pe_3:18  1Jn_2:17  2Jn_1:2  Jud_1:13  Jud_1:25  Rev_1:6  Rev_1:18  Rev_4:9-10  Rev_5:13-14  Rev_7:12  Rev_10:6  Rev_11:15  Rev_14:11  Rev_15:7  Rev_19:3  Rev_20:10  Rev_22:5 

 

 

Original study by Donald Hochner, copied from http://www.ecclesia.org/truth/aion.html)

This is the last of five articles on the Greek words. We are going to study the Preterist’s view on the Greek word “aion” which means “age (dispensation, or indefinite time), era, or a period of time.” When you see the phase the “age” in the NT, ask yourself, which age? Or the end of which age? In Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the NT we read, “As the Jews distinguished the time before the Messiah, and the time after the advent of the Messiah” (p. 19). It describes human history as divided up into two ages. The NT writers considered themselves to have been living at a terminal point of these ages. This did not mean that history was to end in their generation but they were anticipating an age to come.

Some English Bible translations use the word “world” instead of “age.” We need to be careful to examine how the English word is used like “world” because there are three different Greek words with one English word that are “kosmos,” “oikoumene,” and “aion.” We ought to check the meaning of the Greek word to get a correct interpretation of the Bible. It is very significant to understand eschatology because in this area many Futurist views have stumbled.

A critical error for many Futurists is made when the Mosaic Age is considered as being consummated at the cross. They believe the Church Age will end at the parousia of Christ or the cataclysmic and final end of the world. But what age do we call the age after the Church age? Nothing. Many of the Futurist’s believe we are living in the last days. I don’t think so and I will show you.

In these passages in the NT, we have two ages in contrast: “This age” and the “age to come.” The expression “age to come” implies that “this age” must come to end. Will the “age to come” also have an end? If not, then the expression “last days” must apply to the closing period of “this age.” So, in the end of “this age” (the Old Covenant) is when God’s eschatological program will be completed or consummated. In other words, time was divided by the Jews into two great periods, the Mosaic Age and the Messianic Age. The Mosaic Age is done away and we have been in the age of the Messianic administration of the new covenant since 70 AD. Hence, from 30-70 AD (40 years = a generation), the church was in the period of transition, changing from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant. It is the period of the bondwoman (Hagar is Mt. Sinai) and the free woman (Sarah is the Jerusalem above). Read Gal. 4:21-31. The bondwoman (Israel) was cast out (70 AD) and we are children of the free woman (Church).

Before we go further, I think we can look into the rabbinical writings from the early second century. It is interesting that many Rabbis believed that the period of the Messiah was to be only a transition stage between this age and the Age to Come, and opinions differed on the time of its duration. ‘How long will the days of Messiah last?’ R. Akiba [c. 120-140 AD] said, Forty years, as long as the Israelites were in the wilderness. … R. Eliezer (b. Hyrcanus) [c. 80-120 AD] said, A thousand years. … Other versions read: ‘R. Eliezer [c. 80-120 AD] said, The days of the Messiah will be forty years. …[quoted from Everyman’s Talmud, by Abraham Cohen, pub. by E.P. Dutton & Co., 1949. Page 356]. They debate how long will this period would be. Many believe it would be a generation of about 40 years, like the wilderness wandering or the reigns of David and Solomon, even though others thought of it as a thousand years.

Also read in Luke 19:11-27 from the parable of Jesus Christ. Verse 11 says that some Jews supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately. Jesus told them a parable of the nobleman. Notice in verse 12 that the nobleman is getting ready to leave to a far country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return. We know from the rest of the story that the nobleman is Jesus, the slaves are the servants of God, and the citizens that hate Jesus are the Jews. The nobleman returns in their lifetime. The point is, before Jesus went up into heaven He told the disciples to do their duty before He came back. Jesus went up to a far place (heaven) to receive a kingdom for Himself (Dan. 7:13-14). We know what happened to His disciples and what the Jews did to them. Finally, Jesus returned and slew His enemies in 70 AD. He brought His kingdom of which the saints took possession (Dan. 7:22-27; Matt. 21:43-45). Also read in Luke 19:41-44. I Hope this will give you a better idea.

We will look into the eschatological passages of the Bible with the Greek word “aion.” I am using the NASB.

Matt. 12:32 – “And whoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age, or the age [about] to come.”

Why did the Lord say it shall not be forgiven, either this age OR the age about to come? Because these two ages will always have the sin of men.

Matt. 13:39, 40 – “And the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels. Therefore just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.”

Read Matt. 13:38-43. This is significant in light of Rev. 14. (C.f. Rev. 20) and the imminence of the harvest. Jesus said the harvest was to occur at the end of the age in His generation. This is CRITICAL because you will see the phase “end of the age” in the NT. Read Matt. 24:3 and 34 which is very helpful to understand the timeline in the eschatology study. This is a real dilemma for the Futurist’s views.

Matt. 13:49, 50 – “So it will be at the end of the age; the angels shall come forth, and take out the wicked from among the righteous, and will cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Read Matt. 13:47-50. The same idea as previously mentioned (#2). Jesus spoke another parable about the kingdom of heaven. This is important in light of Matt. 25:31-46 (c.f. Mark 8:38 – 9:1) where Jesus was speaking of the first-century generation. Specifically, Jesus was speaking to His disciples of when He would come in the glory of His Father with the holy angels at the end of the age.

Matt. 24:3 – “And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age.”

Most Bible interpreters think that the disciples wanted to know about the end of the planet. However, the disciples did not ask about the end of the “world” (Gk: kosmos or oikoumene). So, they asked about the end of the aion (age). As Jesus’ disciples had just heard His prediction of “desolation” for the temple and city, they no doubt felt bewildered and wondered, “Lord, you cannot mean this temple!” Read Matt. 23:31-38. They must have been astonished when Jesus told them that the temple was going to be destroyed, with not one stone left upon another (Matt. 24:1-2). According to the eyewitness, Josephus, after the temple was destroyed, “Caesar [Titus] gave orders that they should now demolish the entire city and temple, …which the Roman valor had subdued; but for all the rest of the wall, it was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been inhabited” (Wars of the Jews; VII.I.1).

Compare two parallel passages in Mark 13:4, ‘Tell us (disciples), when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?’ and in Luke 21:7, ‘And they questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, when therefore will these things be? And what will be the sign when these things are [about] to take place?” In Matt. 24, the Lord answered to the disciples’ questions that all of these events will be upon “this generation” (v. 34; Mark 13:30; Luke 21:31). No argument and case closed.

I want to emphasize that anytime you see the term “the end,” it does not mean the end of the physical universe or the end of our earthly life. It means the end of the Mosaic Covenant. In this context of Matt. 24, you will notice “the end” three times in verses 6, 13, 14. The question is, when would “the end” be? Clearly Jesus answered that question with the phrase, “this generation” in verse 34. It means within 40 years, which would fall sometime between 30-70 AD. Check the other passages with the term “the end” in Matt. 10:22; 13:39, 40, 49; 28:20; Mark 13:7, 13; Luke 21:9; 1 Cor. 1:8; 10:11; 15:24; Heb. 3:6, 14; 6:11; 9:26; 1 Peter 4:7; Rev. 2:26. Hopefully this will make sense to you.

Matt. 28:20 – “Teaching them to observe all that I command you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Read Matt. 28:18-20. Jesus told His disciples He will always be with them even to the end of the (Old Covenant) age. Our Lord did not mean to teach or imply that after the age ended, He would no longer be with them. The end of that age was a goal in eschatology or the scheme of redemption. Jesus was assuring His disciples that He would be with them without fail and of course, continue after 70 AD.

Mark 10:30 (Luke 18:30) – “But that he shall receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.”

Read Mark 10:28-31. This one may not be clear but I think Matt. 19:28 would be helpful. It says, “Truly I say to you that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” What a statement! Jesus was saying they will judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Luke 22:28-30; Rev. 20:4-15) during the destruction of Jerusalem in 66-70 AD. That was the end of the Jewish age and we are in the age to come, the eternal life.

Luke 20:34-36 – “And Jesus said to them, ‘The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, not are given in marriage; for neither can they die anymore, for they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.”

Jesus knew the Sadducees were testing Him. He was talking about the age to come in the first century when the resurrection would occur and the people would not marry or die anymore. They would be like angels. This is what Paul explains in 1 Cor. 15:35-50. At death the elect shed their physical bodies, and continue living in their spiritual immortal bodies with God in heaven forever. It is not raised a physical body and then changed. Those of us who are in Christ have passed out of death and judgment into life and resurrection in the presence of God. That is why the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection. But the Pharisees believed in the physical, fleshly resurrection as many Futurists do.

1 Cor. 2:6-8 – “Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, not of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”

Paul was saying that if the rulers of this age (those who crucified Christ) had understood, they would not have killed Jesus. But God already predestined from the ages past that that would occur. At that time of writing, THIS (Old Covenant) AGE IS PASSING AWAY!

1 Cor. 10:11 – “Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”

Read 1 Cor. 10:1-11. Paul admonished the Corinthians church to avoid the same mistakes as Israel did while they were in the wilderness with Moses. They were written for their instruction because the ENDS OF THE AGES HAVE COME in their generation.

2 Cor. 4:4 – “In whose case the god of this world [age] has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

This seems to me that Satan had blinded many unbelievers in that age (before 70 AD). In Rom. 16:20 Paul says that shortly Satan would be crushed (Gen. 3:15). His power to oppose the consummation of redemption is over.

Eph. 1:21 – “Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one [age] to come.”

Notice how Paul’s anticipation can seen in his recognition of the supremacy of Jesus Christ – far above all things, every name that is named, not only in THIS AGE, BUT ALSO THE ONE (AGE) TO COME. Every name that is named in all generations, ages without end. Phil. 2:9-11 says, ‘Therefore also God highly exalted (past tense) Him, and bestowed (past tense) on Him, the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father’ (emphasis mine – DWH).

Eph 2:7 – “In order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

Paul was saying after the consummation of all things (the scheme of redemption, not of the creation) Jesus Christ would show the surpassing riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness toward us. In other words, we can see in the Bible from the Fall of Man, God clothed Adam and Eve with the garments of skin, a type of Christ and He made a promise. We can see that the meaning of the sacrifice and the atonement was progressively given by OT revelation. Then, finally at the end of the age God delivered us from sin, death, Hades, and Satan through His Son. We can see the grace of God throughout history. The scheme of redemption is completed. So is the Bible.

Heb. 1:1-2 – “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, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world [ages].”

Since God spoke in the OT in many parts and in many ways, finally in the LAST DAYS He had spoken in the first century generation through His Son. Jesus was in the last days of the Old Covenant period. The New Covenant age is “the eternal covenant” (Heb. 13:20) and an everlasting age has no “last days.” So, the Old Covenant age has become obsolete and it passed away in the 70 AD judgment and destruction of Jerusalem (Heb. 8:13). The “world” is not the correct term in the English translation and it might cause some confusion or misunderstanding. The word should be “ages.” God made two “ages,” the Old Covenant and the New Covenant.

Heb. 6:5 – “And have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age [about] to come.”

Clearly, the writer knew that the age was about to come when Jesus returns.

Heb. 9:26 – “Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.”

Read carefully because it is CRITICAL. Notice it says, “But now once at the consummation of the ages He has put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” Obviously Jesus was in the last days of the Old Covenant or Mosaic Age when He died on the cross.

Heb. 11:3 – “By faith we understand that the worlds [age] were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.”

Again, the word “worlds” is not the correct term in Greek and it should be “ages” that were prepared by the Word of God.

In conclusion, we have studied five articles with the Greek words with some historical background, and let the Scripture interpret the Scripture. In my opinion, the Preterist view is the most simple and straightforward of all the eschatology views, if we let the Scripture speak for itself. Otherwise we will face out the hermeneutic gymnastics or dividing the Word of God that can confuse us.

The Preterist’s perspective only seems strange to many Christians today because they have not done any serious study or “homework” on their own. Most of the time they receive their instruction from “Christian” preachers, books, or television. Many people in the churches, and the pastors alike, would rather read the footnotes from the Bible (like Ryrie or Scofield or any “Study Bible”) than study the scriptures for themselves. Some of them are very ignorant in the history of the Church, the Greek words, or the sound biblical interpretation. That is a shame!

I urge you in the presence of God, study to show yourself approved to God by handling accurately the word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15) as the Bereans did (Acts 17:11). Examine everything carefully; hold fast what is good (1 Thes. 5:21). If you do that, be ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you with gentleness and reverence (1 Peter 3:15). If some of you are teachers or want to become a teacher, we shall incur a stricter judgment (James 3:1). We are accountable before our Lord. This is our duty.

The Bible is concerned with redemption history, not world history or the destruction of the creation world. I like the way Ed Stevens wrote, “Bible prophecy can be understood, but Futurist views have fallen far short for many reasons: their extreme physical/literalizing approach, their seeming inability to distinguish between figurative and literal language, and their failure to properly take into account the historical-grammatical-cultural context of the prophecies (specifically what they meant to their original audience). Even the most difficult prophetic passage comes alive when approached properly. It is time to look at some alternatives, and the Preterist view is a great place to start.”

I pray that these five articles I wrote will help you to understand the Scripture better and cause you to reexamine your eschatology view.

In the Beloved (Christ), we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, Amen (Eph. 1:7).

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A New Testament Eschatological Study of Greek Stoicheion – Part Four

A New Testament Eschatological Study of Greek

Part Four – “stoicheion” [στοιχεῖον]

 

Strong – G4747

στοιχεῖον

stoicheion

stoy-khi’-on

Neuter of a presumed derivative of the base of G4748; something orderly in arrangement, that is, (by implication) a serial (basal, fundamental, initial) constituent (literally), proposition (figuratively): – element, principle, rudiment.

 

Thayer – G4747

στοιχεῖον

stoicheion

Thayer Definition:

1) any first thing, from which the others belonging to some series or composite whole take their rise, an element, first principal

1a) the letters of the alphabet as the elements of speech, not however the written characters, but the spoken sounds

1b) the elements from which all things have come, the material causes of the universe

1c) the heavenly bodies, either as parts of the heavens or (as others think) because in them the elements of man, life and destiny were supposed to reside

1d) the elements, rudiments, primary and fundamental principles of any art, science, or discipline

1d1) i.e. of mathematics, Euclid’s geometry

Part of Speech: noun neuter

A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from a presumed derivative of the base of G4748

Citing in TDNT: 7:670, 1087

 

Total KJV Occurrences: 7

στοιχεῖον

stoicheion

elements, 4

Gal_4:3, Gal_4:9, 2Pe_3:10, 2Pe_3:12

rudiments, 2

Col_2:8, Col_2:20

principles, 1

Heb_5:12

Concordance to the Greek Scriptures – G4747

Total Occurrences: 7

στοιχεια (6)

Gal_4:3, Gal_4:9, Col_2:8, Heb_5:12, 2Pe_3:10, 2Pe_3:12

στοιχειων (1)

Col_2:20

 

NT GREEK Concordance

stoicheion

Gal_4:3  Gal_4:9  Col_2:8  Col_2:20  Heb_5:12  2Pe_3:10  2Pe_3:12 

 

Original study by Donald Hochner, copied from http://www.ecclesia.org/truth/stoicheia.html)

This is the fourth of five articles with Greek words. We are going to look into the Preterist’s view on “elements.” The Greek word for elements used here is “stoicheia,” and it appears in the NT only seven times. When you see the terms like “elements,” ask yourself what this means? In Young’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, the literal meaning of the word is “element, rudiment, principle.” In other words, these are the elements of religious training, or the ceremonial precepts that are common to the worship of Jews and of Gentiles. We will look into it and you may find out.

Why I am talking about this is because the Futurists believe the elements of the physical heavens and earth were going to melt away or be burned up, especially in 2 Peter 3. Does this word “elements” refer to the scientific idea of the elements of matter, all the “atoms” of the universe? Or the periodic table of elements? I don’t think so! We will first look into seven passages with the word “elements” or in Greek “stoicheia.” I am using Young¹s Literal Translation of the Holy Bible.

Gal. 4:3, 9 – “So also we, when we were babes, under the elements of the world were in servitude…and now, having known God — and rather being known by God — how turn ye again unto the weak and poor elements to which anew ye desire to be in servitude?”

Notice Paul uses the word twice. This context is clearly his discussion of the relationship of the Jew to the old law of Moses, in verses 1-7; the Gentiles who had served idols in verse 8. The blessings, by the way, are contrasted, which are in Christ. So, the Jews were held in bondage to the old law of Moses or the tradition of men. Paul exhorted the Christian brethren not to return to the bondage to that Law. The Law was our tutor to bring us into Christ that we might be justified by faith (Gal. 3:23-24). No man could keep that Law perfectly. The Gentiles served worthless idols. Both had been in bondage to the stoicheia of the world. Therefore, the use of “elements” is not about the physical world.

Col. 2:8, 20-22 – “See that no one shall be carrying you away as spoil through the philosophy and vain deceit, according to the deliverance of men, according to the rudiments of the world, and not according to Christ, …If, then, ye did die with the Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances? — thou mayest not touch, nor taste, nor handle — which are all for destruction with the using, after the commands and teachings of men.”

Again, Paul uses the word twice. In verse 8 he pleads with the Colossian church not to allow anyone to deceive them by way of worldly philosophy, or traditions of men according to the elements or rudiments of the world. In this context, there were two different dangers they confronted: Judaistic activities in verses 16-17, and possibly some cultic or pagan activities in verse 18. The point is, once again, this one is not about the material creation.

Heb. 5:12 – “For even owing to be teachers, because of the time, again ye have need that one teach you what [are] the elements of the beginning of the oracles of God, and ye have become having need of milk, and not of strong food.”

This writer laments to the Jewish Christians (Hebrews) the fact that they had not grown in Christ as they should. The writer says they need someone to teach them again with “milk, not solid food” in elementary principles of God’s oracles before becoming teachers and mature. Obviously, this “stoicheia” is not about atoms or the creation of the universe.

2 Peter 3:10-13 – “And it will come — the day of the Lord — as a thief in the night, in which the heavens with a rushing noise will pass away, and the elements with burning heat be dissolved, and earth and the works in it shall be burnt up. All these, then, being dissolved, what kind of persons doth it behoove you to be in holy behaviours and pious acts? waiting for and hasting to the presence of the day of God, by which the heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements with burning heat shall melt; and for new heavens and a new earth according to His promise we do wait, in which righteousness doth dwell”

Notice Peter uses the word twice. In both views he says the elements will be destroyed or burned up. So far, we (hopefully) agree that the fact “elements” does not, in its other previous passages, ever refer to the physical universe.

Nowhere do the Scriptures teach that this physical creation will be destroyed. In the beginning God created the universe and it was good. The sin of men only affected the human race. This is what we call “total depravity.” In fact, the Scripture speaks of the earth’s permanence (Ps. 104:5; Ecc. 1:4) and the church throughout all generations (Eph. 3:21). Read in Gen. 8:21, after the great flood God looked down the flow of time and into man’s heart and said “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth (total depravity), and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.” This one is not speaking only about the flood in Gen. 9:15. This is CRITICAL! God would never again curse the ground nor destroy every living creature. Could God reverse His promise? He cannot lie. We must keep in mind that the Bible itself is in harmony as the Scriptures interpret the Scriptures. God is not a God of confusion.

We will do some study in 2 Peter 3:10-13. In verse 10, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief” is the parallel to other passages in Matt. 24:42-44 (Jesus was speaking to His disciples in their generation), in 1 Thes. 5:2-10 (see in verse 3 about the destruction of Jerusalem), and in Rev. 3:3 (to the church in Sardis) which are referring to the first-century audience. This would fit all together in one theme.

In verse 12, notice “looking (Gk: prosdokao – fervent, expecting, anticipating) and hastening (Gk: speudo – speeding, eagerness) the coming (Gk: parousia – presence, coming, advent) of the day of God.” Peter uses this word “prosdokao” three times in verse 12, 13, and 14. And each verse says the brethren to whom he was writing were looking (expecting) and hastening the day of God in their lifetime, for the end of all (Jewish) things was AT HAND (1 Peter 4:7).

In verse 13, “But according to His promise (see Rom. 4:13, 16; Eph. 3:6; Heb 4:1; 9:15; 10:36-39; 12:25-29 and many more about the promise of God) we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.”

First we will look at what “heavens and earth” means. It means that when God made His covenant with Israel at Mt. Sinai, He planted the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth. See in Deut. 32:1; Isa. 1:1-4; 24:1-5; 51:15, 16. So, it is clearly not a literal heavens and earth. It is the covenant of God. Did you know that the great reformer John Owen embraced the preterist interpretation in 2 Peter 3? (Works, 16 vols. in 9:134-38).

Peter tells us they expected the “new” heavens and earth. We ought to check out the word “new” that he used. There are two words translated as “new” in the NT. They are “neos” and “kainos.” Interesting, neos is new in time, never been before, or that which has recently come into existence. Other one is kainos which means new in quality, not time. So, Peter uses kainos in this verse. Now, if someone takes the position that the new heavens and earth is a literal way, it is inconsistent with the word of kainos. If God destroys this earth and creates another, that would be a new (neos) earth not a new (kainos). We have seen in the NT that it says we have a new (kainos) covenant (Heb. 8), a new (kainos) creation (2 Cor. 5:17) and the church is a new (kainos) Jerusalem (Rev. 21:2 c.f. Heb. 12:22).

Lastly, “the new heavens and a new earth” must have come into Peter’s mind from the book of Isaiah, chapters 65 and 66. Notice before God creates the new heavens and a new earth, He will pour out His wrath against Jerusalem, His rebellious people (Isa. 65:1-7, 11-17; 66:3-6, 15-18, 24). This involves the making of a new Israel or the Church (Isa. 65:8-10, 15; 66:7-14). When God created the new heavens and earth, notice that physical death will remain (Isa. 65:20, 66:24), spiritual home construction and agriculture will continue (Isa. 65:21-22 = 1 Cor. 3:6-8; 9:7-11), it will have descendants (Isa. 65:23, 66:22), the Lord will hear their prayers (Isa. 65:24), it will have evangelism (Isa. 66:19), it will have new priests (66:21), as well as weekly and monthly worship (in other word, everyday Isa. 66:23); and there will be an everlasting hell where the worm shall not die, and the fire shall not quenched to those who have transgressed against the Lord (Isa. 66:24). The new heavens and earth is referring to the eternal state while we live in the physical realm in earthly bodies; it must be referring to a period in human history. This is the period of the Kingdom of God which Christ rules in the hearts of the believers. The Kingdom of God is made without hands (spiritual – Dan. 2:34, 44-45; c.f. Col. 2:10-11). If we take the statements from the scriptures at face value, then we should conclude that the first heavens and the first earth passed away and was replaced by the glorious reign of the Lord Jesus Christ, the kingdom without end.

The fact is that anytime Scripture uses the phase “last days” (and similar expression) it means, not the end of the world or physical universe, but the period from 30-70 AD. This was the period during which the Apostles were preaching and writing, the “last days” of Old Covenant Israel before it was forever destroyed in the destruction of the Temple (and consequently the annihilation of the Old Covenant sacrificial system). Read Acts 2:16-21; 1 Tim. 4:1-3; 2 Tim. 3:1-9; Heb. 1:1-2; 8:13; 9:26; James 5:7-9; 1 Peter 1:20; 4:7; 2 Peter 3:3-4; 1 John 2:18; Jude 17-19; Rev. 1:1-3; 22:6-10, 12, 20. The Old Covenant Israel is done. All the prophecies are fulfilled. The Bible is completed. The scheme of redemption has been accomplished. The tree of life has been restored (Jesus Christ gave us everlasting life) which Adam lost.

I would recommend you to read in Athanasius’ On the Incarnation of the Word, Section 40 Verses 1-8 because I do not have enough space. Athanasius, the early Christian writer from the fourth century, made a significant preterist statement.

In conclusion, what we have seen so far is that the Preterist’s view is consistent with the Scriptures. The Futurist’s views do not agree with the Scriptures for several reasons. The first reason is their views are based on their church traditions or creeds. The second reason is the lack of careful analysis of the original Greek words used in the Bible and their proper meaning. The Futurists also did not carefully compare different Scriptures to determine their actual meaning.

Hopefully this will help a lot and cause you to rethink your view of eschatology. Blessed are those
who abide His Word.

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The Dating Of Revelation – Part 1 of 3

Notes condensed from original video series by Don K. Preston

Original Video Series Link

Video #1:

To say that the dating of the book of Revelation is a critical element to understanding this book of prophecy is a HUGE understatement.  Clearly, if Revelation was written in the AD90’s then it’s not predictive of the fall of Jerusalem in AD70 and the end of the Old Covenant age and, therefore, it contains an eschatology which is outside of the boundaries of COVENANT eschatology.  Determining the proper dating of this book is absolutely critical.  Likewise, determining the identity of Babylon in Revelation is equally critical.  Both of these elements go hand in hand because the judgment of Babylon was at hand, coming shortly, and coming soon at the Day of the Lord.  So we must do an examination of both elements; the dating of Revelation standing on its own merits, but also the dating of Revelation as it relates to the topic of “WHO is this Babylon?”  Any interpretation or study of the book of Revelation that does not take seriously the language of Revelation 1:1-3 as the framework and context is not doing proper justice to the investigation of the book of Revelation.  Notice what the beginning of the book says:

Revelation 1:1-3 [KJV]

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

 

The first and most critical thing to understand about Revelation will be, for most people with a futurist eschatological paradigm, an eye opening shock.  It is an absolutely glaring truth which you will wonder why you never saw it before.  Yet, when you do see this truth for the first time, you will NEVER look at the book of Revelation again in the same way.  The key to understanding the book of Revelation has been hanging right on the doorpost all along mostly ignored by the commentators.  Here it is.

Please read carefully the first verse of Revelation 1:1 above.  The first statement is “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.”  The word “revelation” means “unveiling.”  The next statement is “which God gave unto him.”  This means that God the FATHER gave this message to CHRIST.  Christ has now received a major Revelation about himself from God the FATHER.  This is VERY significant!! The next part of the verse explains WHY the Revelation was given and says “to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass.”  So, we have the Father giving an important revelatory message to Jesus Christ the Son for the purpose of showing (revealing) things to his (Christ’s) SERVANTS (the body of Christ) things which must SHORTLY come to pass.  Do you catch the power and significance of the imminent time statement “things which must SHORTLY come to pass”??

One of the primary arguments used to negate all of the time statements contained in Revelation is the claim that John couldn’t honestly be saying the time for fulfillment was truly at hand.  After all, Jesus said he didn’t know the day or the hour, so if JESUS didn’t know the day or hour, then surely JOHN did not know either.  There is a major problem with that position.  Notice what Jesus says in Matthew 24:36:

Matthew 24:36 [KJV]

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

So the FATHER knew the hour of the Day of the Lord, the parousia of Christ.  And Revelation 1:1 shows the FATHER, who knew the day and the hour, was now revealing, unveiling all the details of the entire event, to HIS SON JESUS CHRIST who then shows it to his servants through John’s vision!  AND…these things would SHORTLY come to pass!

This wasn’t John expressing his hope or wishful thinking about the nearness of these events.  It wasn’t Jesus in his incarnate ignorance expressing some vague generality about when these things would take place. It was the FATHER HIMSELF, who knew the day and the hour, who sent the Holy Spirit, to tell John, to REVEAL to the 1st century churches that these things MUST (Greek: dei = divine necessity) SHORTLY COME TO PASS!  If the FATHER, who knew the day and the hour, was revealing through the Spirit, through Jesus, through John, to the churches that the time was AT HAND….then you and I have NO basis whatsoever for saying:

  • That God cannot tell time and…
  • That John could not know the day or the hour because Jesus himself did not know it.

Any interpretation of Revelation that seeks to distort, ignore, or deny the FACT that it was the FATHER HIMSELF who knew the day and the hour, who was revealing the IMMINENCE of those events is a WRONG interpretation.  The traditional views and applications of Revelation fall far OUTSIDE the parameters of “SHORTLY COME TO PASS.”

Video #2:

When God communicates in time and when he makes promises in time ABOUT time, God is bound by his word to act within the parameters of TIME.  God cannot lie.  What many people overlook or miss, is the word TIME.  The Greeks had a couple of different words for time.  The generic word for time without any specificity is “chronos.”  However, that is NOT the word used in Rev 1:3.  The word used here is “kairos.”  Kairos means “the divinely appointed time.”  In other words the specific day and the hour that God KNEW and had decisively appointed and determined for those events to come to pass.  God APPOINTED the Last Days period and KNEW the DAY and HOUR of judgment.  All of these are in the divine counsel and the divine purpose of God in which he determined the “kairos,” the divinely appointed time.  It is impossible to overemphasize that this is the FATHER who knew the day and the hour and who had appointed the TIME for the Last Days and HE was saying the judgment was now AT HAND.

The Greek word for “at hand” was “eggus” (pronounced “en-goos”) which can be used in both a special geographical or a temporal manner.  To use eggus in a special geographical way to say Jesus was near to Jerusalem would normally indicate that he was close to Jerusalem TEMPORALLY.  So, there’s really no huge disconnect between the special geographical use and the temporal use of eggus.  The main point is that, in the context of Revelation, the appointed time IS AT HAND.  Therefore, without any doubt, the temporal use is being emphasized.

So, Revelation emphatically tells us, that the appointed time was NEAR.  But here’s the problem as relates to the late dating of the book of Revelation.  What event, POST 95 A.D., qualifies as the Day of the Lord?  What event, POST 95 A.D., that was “shortly, soon to come to pass, coming quickly”, actually occurred as a judgment on Babylon, whomever you choose to identify as Babylon?  The answer to that is there were absolutely NO other events that could qualify.  If, however, we take the early date of Revelation, then all of the URGENT time statements make absolutely PERFECT SENSE.  But if we take the 95 A.D. dating of Revelation and say that Revelation was talking about events that haven’t happened yet 2000 years LATER…then all of those time statements mean NOTHING. But remember….God CAN tell time.  When God communicates in time, makes promises about time, God is bound by his own character to keep his time promises…and HE DID!

Video #3:

Many commentators have said that establishing the date of the writing of the Revelation is one of the most critical issues to interpreting the book of Revelation.  If we place the book of Revelation in the wrong historical, temporal context, then we must be able to find events that match the imminent context.  The late dating of Revelation provides NO EVENTS that fulfill the “at hand”, “must shortly come to pass” framework after 98-95 A.D. which match the Biblical definition of the “The Day of the Lord” against this enigmatic city “Babylon.”

Let’s consider the issue of the transfiguration of Christ and the dating of Revelation.  John said “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day.”  More than a few commentators have stated, we believe correctly, that John was saying that he was taken to see the Day of the Lord through the Spirit in visionary form.  He saw a vision of Christ.  What John saw has a tremendously significant similarity to the vision of the Transfiguration in Matthew 17.  John did not see Christ as a regular Jewish man, he saw a vision very similar to the glory in which Jesus appeared on the mount of Transfiguration.  The Transfiguration was a vision of Christ in his 2nd coming glory according to Peter:

2 Peter 1:16-18 [KJV]

For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

We must understand that the Transfiguration was NOT a vision of the end of the Roman Empire, not of the end of time, not of the destruction of planet Earth, it was not of the raising of physical bodies out of their graves, it was a vision of the END OF THE LAW OF MOSES AT THE COMING OF THE LORD.  Both of these Hebrew fathers, Moses and Elijah, appeared with Jesus in glory, but then Moses and Elijah disappeared when the voice came from Heaven declaring “This is my beloved Son, HEAR HIM!” Christ was left alone appearing in the glory of his 2nd coming.  His glorified appearance was a very radical transformation of Jesus’ incarnate body, so much so that the disciples were greatly frightened.  Moses and Elijah faded away, but the voice of the Father said that his glorified Son was the one to HEAR!  PLEASE catch the power of this!  This vision signified the passing of the Old Covenant Law of Moses at the coming of the Lord in the glory of his Father!  Christ’s coming in judgment of Babylon would be the END of the Mosaic Law and Prophets.

Peter, James and John all saw the vision of the Transfiguration of Christ which Peter later testified was the vision of Christ’s coming in glory, the Day of the Lord.  John ALSO saw a vision of The Day of the Lord in his Revelation in which there were many statements that Jesus said he would come quickly and that the time was at hand.  Revelation 1:1 says the vision was given to show the servants of Christ “things which must shortly come to pass.”  But the coming of the Lord in the Transfiguration was the END of the Law and Prophets!  This is a very troublesome issue for those who insist that the Mosaic Law and the Prophets passed away at the cross because Peter said the Transfiguration was a vision of the 2nd coming…not of the cross!  John was seeing the fulfillment of the Transfiguration, the Transfiguration was a vision of the 2nd Coming, and the 2nd Coming was to be at the end of the Law and the Prophets. If, therefore, you say Revelation is about the coming of the Lord at the fall of Rome, then you posit the ending of the Mosaic Law and the Prophets at the fall of Rome!  Likewise, if you say that Revelation is about the coming of the Lord and you claim it hasn’t happened, then you are saying the MOSAIC LAW AND THE PROPHETS HAVE NOT PASSED!

Only the fall of Jerusalem and the end of the Old Covenant Age of Israel AT THAT EVENT qualifies:

  • to be the time of the passing of the Law and the Prophets and…
  • to match the “coming quickly, at hand, must shortly come to pass” language of the book of Revelation.

John’s Revelation was a vision of the fulfillment of the Day of the Lord, the same thing seen at the vision of the Transfiguration.  But what they saw at the Transfiguration was the END of the Mosaic Law and the Prophets.  Therefore, wherever you put the fulfillment of Revelation, the coming of the Lord, it is THERE that the Law and the Prophets pass away.

Video #4:

If we wrongly date the writing of the book of Revelation, then we are doomed to a false interpretation of Revelation, and thus, a false interpretation of eschatology as a whole.  Very clearly, John’s eschatology in Revelation is the same as that of Jesus in the Olivet Discourse, and the same eschatology of Paul in Thessalonians.  So, if we have the wrong context and setting for our understanding of Revelation, then we have the wrong context and setting for our understanding of Jesus’ eschatology, and Paul’s, James’, and Peter’s!

Revelation 1:7 is one of the most often quoted verses to prove that it HASN’T been fulfilled..that it refers to OUR future.

Revelation 1:7 [KJV]

Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

 

We are told the time is coming when every person on the globe will see him coming on the clouds.  This interpretation overlooks the actual wording of the text and who is the real focus of the text.  “And every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him.”  Despite the poor translation of the KJV, this is very clearly a judgment against those who killed Jesus.  We must take Revelation 1:7 and conflate it with Revelation 11:8 which tells us of the two witnesses who were slain in the city where the Lord was slain.  You have Revelation 1:7, the judgment of those who pierced him.  You have Revelation 11:8, the judgment of the city where the Lord was slain.  It seems that we have absolutely perfect correlation between Revelation 1:7 and Matthew 27:25.  Jesus was on trial, Pilate found him innocent and attempted three times to release him, but the Jews would have nothing of it.  Finally, Pilate said “Would you then have me release Barabbas?”  “Yes!” they replied.  Pilate said “My hands are innocent of the blood of this innocent man.”  They responded, “Let his blood be upon us and on our children.”  In Matthew 27:25 we have the Jews acknowledging their blood guilt for killing Jesus.  Revelation 1:7 is the coming of the Lord against those who were guilty of piercing him!  When was the blood of Jesus avenged?  When did the blood guilt for killing Jesus fall upon Israel?  There is really no debate about this…it was at the destruction and fall of Jerusalem and their temple in 70 A.D.  And that means that Revelation 1:7, as it predicts the coming of the Lord against those who pierced him, is the same thing as when Jesus said “There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”  It applied, and was to be fulfilled, and WAS fulfilled at the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.  This means that the book of Revelation WAS WRITTEN BEFORE that time.

Video #5:

Those who adhere to a late date (98-95 A.D.) for the writing of Revelation generally proclaim that the evidence for this is CLEAR.  However, once you begin to look into this issue, you soon discover, quite stunningly so, how very little evidence actually exists for this view.  Most of this evidence is tenuous at best, not independent, and, most importantly, it is not internal evidence taken from within the book of Revelation itself.  The only evidence for the late date is purely external evidence which surprisingly violates and contradicts what the book of Revelation says about itself; its application, its framework, and its context, and thus, its dating.  I am of the opinion that if a person does an in-depth, objective study of the book of Revelation with regard to its dating, that will come to no other conclusion but that it was written BEFORE the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and applied directly and prophetically to that event.

As Jesus speaks to the church at Philadelphia, they are being persecuted by the Jews (which is significant of itself), but Christ says in Revelation 3:10

Revelation 3:10 [KJV]

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall [Greek “mello” = IS ABOUT TO] come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Take note of the fact that John was writing to the churches in Asia who were being persecuted the Jews and yet there is MORE persecution about to come and the Lord says “I will keep you from the trial that is about to come.”  Now, everyone admits that 1 Peter was written before the fall of Jersualem in 70 A.D.  Peter is writing to the very same identical churches of Asia that John was writing to in Revelation.  Except that in 1 Peter 4, Peter writes to them and says

1 Peter 4:12 [KJV]

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

This is an unfortunate translation and Smith’s Literal Translation renders this much better:

1 Peter 4:12 [SLT]

Dearly beloved, be not astonished at the refining of fire in you, being for trial to you, as a strange thing happening to you:

The fiery trial was already happening AMONG THEM in the present tense.

Jesus, through John in Revelation, predicts the coming of a trial on the churches of Asia and says “It’s about to come!”  They were already being persecuted by the Jews, but more is coming.  Peter, writing to the same identical churches, says “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is already among you.” Why were they not supposed to think it strange that it was happening to THEM?  I suggest it is just exactly like 1 Thessalonians 3:2-4 where Paul says:

1 Thessalonians 3:2-4 [KJV]

And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith: That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know. 

 

I also suggest to you that John said the fiery trial is coming, it’s about to come…which is future tense.  Peter, then writing to the identical people said the TRIAL IS HERE.  But Peter was writing BEFORE the Fall of Jerusalem.  So, if Peter, writing to the very same people, about the very same issue, says it is HERE, and if Peter is writing about what John and Jesus predicted, then since Revelation said “it is COMING”, but Peter said “IT IS HERE”, then of absolute necessity, the book of Revelation MUST have been written before 70 A.D.

Video #6:

Revelation 2:12-15 [KJV]

And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

There are those who suggest that the condition of the churches in Asia mentioned in Revelation demands a late date for the writing of the book of Revelation.  I suggest that the conditions of those seven churches in Asia demand exactly the opposite, an early dating.  First of all, notice the problem at Pergamos is a Jewish persecution issue.  The Lord says they dwell where Satan dwells and where his throne is.  Notice that in the previous letter to Smyrna, they were being persecuted by those who say they are Jews, but are not, they are the synagogue of Satan.  In rhe letter to the church at Philadelphia, they were engaged against those who say they are Jews, but they are not, they are the synagogue of Satan.  Now, if the synagogue of Satan in Smyrna and Philadelphia represent the forces of Jewish persecution, then we have every reason to believe that Pergamos, “where Satan dwells” and “where his seat is”, was likewise facing those very same forces of Jewish persecution as Smyrna and Philadelphia.

Now also notice that the issue at Pergamos mentioned in Revelation was specifically the doctrine of eating of meats sacrificed to idols.  However, it is important to understand this issue was an early issue of controversy within all the churches with brand new converts coming out of paganism and idolatry.  With these converts now learning that the idol was nothing, they were now eating meat sacrificed to idols.  However, the Jewish converts, who had been taught by Torah, that the eating of meats or anything sacrificed to pagan idols was an abomination were in conflict and controversy with these new converts.  So Paul had to write in the 50’s to the church at Rome and address this issue as early as the Jerusalem controversy.  This was a very early in the church’s existence.  When Paul wrote the letter to the Corinthians, 1 Corinthians 8 & 10, he addressed this same controversy between Jew and Gentiles.  But with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and the division between Jews and Gentiles then being made very clear, the issue of Torah observance became a moot issue, especially by the time of the 90’s when the book of Revelation is proclaimed to have been written.  These facts strongly suggests an EARLY dating of Revelation.

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The Dating Of Revelation – Part 2 of 3

Notes condensed from original video series by Don K. Preston

Original Video Series Link

Video #7:

One of the most helpful ways to determine the dating of Revelation is to determine the dominant theme of the book.  Here’s why that is important.  Without any controversy whatsoever, the dominant theme in Revelation is martyr vindication.  From the very beginning until the end, this theme is repeated over and over again; martyr vindication.  In almost every chapter, martyr vindication is laying right there at the top of the page, and yet, this theme and motif is one of the most IGNORED topics when men go to actually interpret the book of Revelation.  Yet nothing is more critical to understanding the book of Revelation and here’s why.  From Genesis 4 to Revelation 22, the story of the Bible is repeated over and over again, which includes the story of the coming of the Kingdom, the story of the Resurrection, and all of these doctrines and motifs are inextricably tied to the doctrine of martyr vindication.  For example, the Millennium is absolutely about martyr vindication.  Those who have been beheaded for the word of God are given robes and thrones and reign for 1000 years until the judgment of their persecutor (Satan) comes at the end of the Millennium.  We will develop this much more over the next few videos.

Video #8:

There is not another concept that is more directly related to the dating of the book of Revelation than the vindication of the martyrs.  It is mentioned either explicitly or implicitly in almost every chapter of the book.  Here’s a quick, informal chronology:

Chapter 1, those who pierced Jesus would see him, John said I am your brother IN the great tribulation. Letters to the seven churches:  Two of these churches are specifically said to be under persecution at the hand of the Jews and promised vindication at the coming of the Lord (Chapters 2 & 3).  Chapter 5, the Lamb who was slain was counted worthy, that’s martyr vindication. Chapter 6, the souls under the altar who had been beheaded and martyred for the word of God were promised vindication at the Great Day of the Lord.  Chapter 7, the 144,000 are those who have come out of the Great Tribulation and are about to be vindicated at the Day of the Lord.  Chapter 8, we find the prayer of the saints from Chapter 6 now coming up before the Lord and the Seventh trumpet blows to bring in the Great Day of the Lord which is their vindication.  Chapter 11, we find the city where the two prophets of God are, but that city slays those two prophets.  By the way, this city is also where the Lord was slain, but the two prophets are raised from the dead and ascend up on high, their vindication at the Great Day of the Lord in the destruction of that city, it is the time of the rewarding of the prophets.  Chapter 12, Satan is the great persecutor who attempts to kill the man child, failing that, he then pursues the seed of the man child to destroy them, but they are protected.  Satan knows he has only a little while until he’s destroyed…at martyr vindication.  Chapter 13, two beasts appear, one out of the sea and one out of the land. These beasts persecute the saints.  Chapter 14, the declaration of the impending judgment of Babylon…who is Babylon and what is her main offense?  She is the Land Beast in partnership with the Sea Beast to persecute the Saints!  Chapter 16, the beginning of the description and judgment of this persecuting power and the prophets are told to rejoice because their vindication is at hand.  Chapter 17, the Sea Beast (Rome) who has been in a partnership with the Land Beast, Babylon, against the saints, now turns on Babylon, hates her and burns her with fire.  This is the judgment of the persecuting power, the Great Whore who rides the Sea Beast.  Chapters 18 & 19, the description of the judgment of Babylon and in Chapter 19 the great Paean of Victory is sung, “Rejoice for he has avenged the blood of his martyrs!” Chapter 20, a recapitulation of the entire vision, or at least the recapitulation of Chapters 6 and 12.  Those who had been beheaded by the beast are seated on thrones and reign with Christ for 1000 years until the Great White Throne Judgment where Satan, the persecutor, is destroyed at the end of the Millennium.  The New Heaven and New Earth follow as the rewarding of all of God’s saints and martyrs. Vindication has come!

We’ve probably even missed a few things here, but I think this is quite sufficient to demonstrate the great significance and pervasiveness of the doctrine of the avenging of the blood of the martyrs in the book of Revelation.  In following segments, we will demonstrate that, not only is martyr vindication the dominant theme of Revelation, but also how it agrees with the Old Testament promises of martyr vindication, how it agrees with Jesus and with Paul in their doctrines, and how all of this definitively demands that the book of Revelation was written prior to the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and was predictive of the judgment of Old Covenant Israel in 70 A.D.

Video #9:

Since the dominant theme of Revelation is the vindication of the martyrs, then identifying their persecutors and the time of their judgment settles the issue of eschatology in the book of Revelation.  So then, who are the persecutors?  Without question in Chapter 1, the Lord’s coming would be seen by those who pierced him…that would be the Jews.  In Chapters 2 and 3, at least three of the seven churches were being persecuted by “the synagogue of Satan”, those who say they are Jews, but are not for they are liars, of the throne of Satan.  In chapter 11, we have the two prophets who lie slain in the city where the Lord was slain…this can be no other city but Old Covenant Jerusalem.  In chapter 16, Babylon is the city guilty of the blood of the Prophets.  The term “the Prophets” or “Prophets” when used without any textual qualifier, is invariably a reference to the Old Covenant Prophets.  What city, biblically, was guilty of killing the prophets of God? Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Chronicles all say that Jerusalem is the city that killed the Prophets.  Jesus himself said that it was not possible for a prophet to perish outside of Jerusalem.

Luke 13:33 [KJV]

Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.

 

Jesus also said to the Scribes and Pharisees in Jerusalem:

Matthew 23:34-35 [KJV]

Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.

Catch the power of this…unless we have some overwhelming evidence to divorce Revelation from the rest of the Biblical evidence and testimony about who it was that killed the prophets, then it could ONLY be Old Covenant Jerusalem, and NO OTHER CITY, that killed the prophets of God.  Since Revelation depicts Babylon as the city that killed the two prophets, the city that had slain the Prophets, and that had slain the apostles and prophets of Jesus, this is absolutely definitive proof as to the identity of the persecutors.  So when was judgment coming on the persecutors of the Prophets?  Jesus said:

Matthew 23:35-36 [KJV]

That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

 

This is absolutely definitive!  Once you identify the persecutors, then unless you can divorce Revelation from ALL prior testimony, then Jerusalem IS BABYLON and her judgment was imminent, this means that Revelation was written BEFORE Jerusalem fell in 70 A.D.

Video #10:

Again, it is absolutely critical to properly date the writing of Revelation because it undeniably declares that the things written therein would be fulfilled very, very soon and that the time was at hand.  There is not one syllable of evidence in the book to suggest that it was going to be fulfilled over a broad panoramic scope of human history involving thousands and thousands of years.  We have already identified the dominant theme and motif of Revelation is undeniably that of martyr vindication.  We have also suggested that to identify the persecutors of the martyrs is to identify the proper TIMING of Revelation.  We also demonstrated that it was the Jews being identified as the persecutors of Revelation.  What many people miss, particularly true of the dispensationalists, is that they fail to see Israel as the persecutor of the martyrs.  Instead, they see Israel as the VICTIM being persecuted.  This is patently FALSE.

Let us demonstrate something else that is absolutely critical.  Revelation, in its promise of vindication, utilizes and appeals to Old Covenant prophecies of the Last Days vindication of the martyrs in the judgment of Israel.  The first text is from Isaiah 2 through 4.  This is a united discourse set in the “Last Days”, climaxing in the Great Day of the Lord (Isaiah 2:19-21).

Isaiah 2:19-21 [KJV]

And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.

It would be the time of “the war” when Israel’s men would fall by the edge of the sword.

Isaiah 3:25 [KJV]

Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war.

 

It would also be the time of the glorious appearing of the Branch (Isaiah 4) and the salvation of the Remnant (Isaiah 4:4) and it would be the time in which God would avenge the blood-guilt of Jerusalem by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of fire.

Isaiah 4:2 [KJV]

In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.

 

In Isaiah 2:19-21 shown above, Isaiah predicted the coming of the Great Day of the Lord, the time in the Last Days, the judgment of Jerusalem for her blood guilt, when men would run to the hills and cry out to the mountains “Fall on us, hide us from the presence of the Lord!”  In Revelation 6, the martyrs under the altar cry out for vindication and the answer to their prayer is the Great Day of the Lord.  This day is described as the day when men would run to the mountains and rocks, crying for them to fall upon them and hide them from the wrath of the Lamb.  This is the fulfillment of Isaiah 2.

 

Revelation 6:9-11 [KJV]

And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

 

Revelation 6:14-17 [KJV]

And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

So, Isaiah predicted the Last Days vindication of the martyrs at the Day of the Lord when men would run to the mountains and cry for the rocks to fall on them to hide them from the presence of the Lord.  This would be when Jerusalem was judged for her blood guilt.  Revelation promises vindication of the martyrs at the Great Day of the Lord in the Last Days when men would run to the mountains and rocks and cry out for them to fall on them to hide them from the presence of the Lord.  This is a direct citation of Isaiah.  Isaiah is clearly a prediction of the judgment of Jerusalem at the time of vindication of the martyrs and John quotes Isaiah verbatim. Therefore, the Great Day of the Lord of Revelation 6 is the Day of the Lord in judgment of Jerusalem in vindication of the martyrs.

Video #11:

The book of Revelation does not project itself forward into many generations to come. Instead, it was something extremely imminent.  Again, the dominant theme of this book is the vindication of God’s martyrs.  Absolutely critical to understand is that the book of Revelation is about the fulfillment of Old Covenant promises made to Israel about events (i.e. martyr vindication) to occur in Israel’s Last Days…not at the end of time, not at the of the Christian Age, but in ISRAEL’S Last Days.  One of the pivotal Old Covenant prophecies of this, absolutely paradigmatic, is Deuteronomy 32, the Song of Moses.  This was Jesus’, Paul’s, Peter’s, and John’s template as they developed their eschatologies.  In the preamble of the Song of Moses, Moses said:

Deuteronomy 31:29 [KJV]

For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.

Moses is telling us that Israel will become utterly corrupt in her Last Days.  In Deuteronomy 32:7, Israel is called upon to look down through time to realize that these events would take place after many generations to come in her latter days.

Deuteronomy 32:7 [KJV]

Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.

Thus, the subject matter is of the Last Days after many generations.  In verses 19f and 29f, we are told twice that Deuteronomy 32 has to do with Israel’s Last Days.  So what would happen in those Last Days?

Deuteronomy 32:43 [KJV]

Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people.

In Deuteronomy 32, in Israel’s Last Days, God “will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries.”  In Revelation 19:1-2, in the judgment of Babylon, the heavens declare the victory of God at the fall, judgment, and destruction of Babylon, for he “HATH avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.”  This is a verbatim, direct echo and fulfillment of Deuteronomy 32:43!

Deuteronomy 32 predicted what would happen to Israel in her last days. In Revelation 19, in describing the fall of Babylon (for shedding the blood of the saints!), the song is sung, “God HATH AVENGED THE BLOOD OF HIS SERVANTS AT HER HAND!”  It is widely recognized that Revelation 19, which as we have already seen depicts Jewish persecution of the saints and depicts the Last Days , is a direct echo of Deuteronomy 32.  This means that Revelation 19, at the very LEAST, is about the judgment of Israel for shedding the blood of the saints.  Did Jesus say anything about this topic?  He absolutely did…

Matthew 23:35 [KJV]

That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

 

Unless you can divorce Matthew 23 from Deuteronomy 32 and from Revelation, this means that Revelation is about the imminent fall of Jerusalem in fulfillment of Matthew 23 and Deuteronomy 32.  This further means that Revelation was written BEFORE the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

Video #12:

As we’ve already stated, without dispute, the dating of Revelation is absolutely critical to the subject of eschatology.  All scholars admit this, and yet, strangely enough, it is largely taken for granted that the book was written in the 90’s after the fall of Jerusalem.  Yet, no one can seem to provide an event that was imminent to John and his audience in 98-95 A.D. that matches the destruction of “Babylon” that was truly imminent when he wrote.  Most assuredly, any suggestion that Babylon is New York City, or the Roman Catholic Church, or America lies far, far outside of the purview of “things which must shortly come to pass…for the time is at hand.” And yet, this very fact seems to be largely ignored by most scholars and the church in general.

We’ve been discussing the fact that THE DOMINANT THEME of Revelation is martyr vindication.  As noted in the last segment, many people seem to overlook the fact that Revelation is about the fulfillment of God’s Old Covenant promises made to Old Covenant Israel.  This alone suggests that the book of Revelation is about the end of Old Covenant Israel…Israel’s covenant age, not about the end of the Christian church age. Furthermore, we are told by many that the Church is completely unrelated to Israel and the fulfillment of her promises.

One of the prophecies of the fulfillment of the theme of martyr vindication is found in Isaiah 25 through 27.  In Don Preston’s debate with Joel McDermon, he appealed to Isaiah 24 through 27 extensively, demonstrating that the prophecy of the defeat of death of Isaiah 25 is the source of Paul’s eschatology of his “end of the Millennium resurrection hope” of 1 Corinthians 15.  Amazingly, McDermon’s only defense against this was to say he didn’t see the word “final” for resurrection in Isaiah.  It is an absolutely horrible and invalid hermeneutic to suggest that two passages must be different merely on the basis of one passage not using one specific given word that appears in the other. Paul said his doctrine of the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15 would be in fulfillment of Isaiah 25:8.

1 Corinthians 15:54 [KJV]

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

 

Isaiah 25:8 [KJV]

He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.

 

McDermon said because Isaiah did not include the word “final” it could not be referring to the end of the Millennium Resurrection.  Paul believed it did and we’ll accept Paul’s word on the matter.  But in regard to the doctrine of the Resurrection and of the vindication of the martyrs, notice that Isaiah 25:8 very clearly posits the Resurrection also at the time of the Messianic Banquet.

Isaiah 25:6 [KJV]

And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.

As we continue on in Isaiah 25-27, we discover that chapter 26 predicts the Resurrection:

Isaiah 26:19-22 [KJV]

Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

 

But also notice that the Resurrection is also at the Coming of the Lord out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth.  This is also the time when the earth shall disclose her blood and shall no more cover her slain!  This is the vindication of the martyrs!  The Resurrection, the Coming of the Lord, and the Vindication of the Martyrs all at the same time!  This Resurrection is the “end of the Millennium” Resurrection from Isaiah 25:8 which serves as the source of Paul’s Resurrection doctrine in 1 Corinthians 15.  Now, also note that this is ALSO the time of the destruction of Leviathan (Satan!) in Isaiah 27:1!

Isaiah 27:1 [KJV]

In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.

This is the destruction of Satan at the end of the Millennium of Revelation 20, but it’s also the time of the vindication of the martyrs in which the earth gives up her slain…the resurrection of Revelation 20, at the END of the Millennium.  But when would all this take place?  Isaiah 27 is very emphatic…that all of this would take place when…

Isaiah 27:9 [KJV]

By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; and this is all the fruit to take away his sin; when he maketh all the stones of the altar as chalkstones that are beaten in sunder, the groves and images shall not stand up. Yet the defenced city shall be desolate, and the habitation forsaken, and left like a wilderness: there shall the calf feed, and there shall he lie down, and consume the branches thereof. When the boughs thereof are withered, they shall be broken off: the women come, and set them on fire: for it is a people of no understanding: therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them, and he that formed them will shew them no favour. 

 

…when the Lord maketh the stones of the altar like chalkstones that are beaten asunder and the fortified city shall be desolate, the habitation forsaken, when he that made them will not have mercy on them and show them no favor.  Without doubt, this is clearly a prediction of the fall and destruction of the Temple and the city of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

So, the end of the Millennium Resurrection of Revelation 20 will be when Leviathan, Satan, would be destroyed at the end of the Millennium, when the earth would disclose the blood of the martyrs, when God would turn the stones of the altar to chalkstones and would forsake and no longer remember the people that he had created, and turn the fortified city into a heap….and don’t forget that the Messianic Banquet is also posited at this time as well.  All of this is just like Revelation teaches that at the destruction of Babylon, the Resurrection and the vindication of all the martyrs would take place at the end of the Millennium.

Since Isaiah predicted the vindication of the martyrs, the destruction of Satan, the coming of the Lord, the Messianic Banquet, the Resurrection, all at the time of the destruction of the city, the altar, and the forsaking of the people that he had created, and since Revelation puts all of this at the END of the Millennium, then this means Revelation was written PRIOR to the Fall of Jerusalem.  And by the way, this also proves that the Millennium was a forty year period of time, not 1000 years, ending with the destruction of Satan, the city of Jerusalem, and the vindication of the martyrs.

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The Dating Of Revelation – Part 3 of 3

Notes condensed from original video series by Don K. Preston

Original Video Series Link

Video #13:

We’ve previously discussed that Revelation is about the fulfillment of the Song of Moses in Deuteronomy 32.  The Son of Moses speaks of Israel’s Last Days and speaks of the avenging of the blood of the martyrs and that Revelation 19 at the fall of Babylon cites Deuteronomy 32:43 as now fulfilled.

There is an apparent contradiction where Deuteronomy 32:7f says this song is for many generations to come, yet Deuteronomy 32:35 seems to also say these things are “at hand.”  However, this phenomenon is found very often in the Old Testament and it is called “projected imminence.”  The Old Testament writers knew that what they were speaking about, whenever it concerned the Last Days, was not for their day.  Also, Peter emphatically tells us that the Old Testament prophets, when speaking of Messiah, the Last Days, and their eschatological expectations, knew they were not speaking of their own day. So any claim that the Old Testament prophets foretold the time of the end as being near in THEIR day and, therefore, that time doesn’t mean anything, such claims are entirely specious and false.  Peter says that the Old Testament prophets, when speaking of the parousia of Christ, the salvation to come at the Day of the Lord, knew they were not speaking of their OWN DAY, but they were speaking of Peter’s day! (1 Peter 1:9-12).

1 Peter 1:9 [KJV]
Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

Now, here is Moses speaking of Israel’s latter end and Last Days, saying that it would be for many generations to come after Moses’ death,  and yet saying those things were seemingly near.  So what’s going on?  Moses is being projected through the Spirit into the Last Days to speak of what would be near, imminent, and at hand when the Last Days finally arrived.  We find many instances of this in the Old Testament.  For example, Isaiah 60 speaks of the New Jerusalem, the time when there is no need of the sun or the moon, the walls of the city are all precious stones.  But this is Revelation 21 and notice in Isaiah 60:22, the Lord says, “the LORD will hasten it in his time.”  This is projected imminence.

In Joel chapters 2-3, it is a prediction of the Last Days, when the Spirit would be poured out and the Lord would save the Remnant of Israel, leading to the salvation of all men who would call on the name of the Lord.  Notice in 3:1, “in those days and in that time” which wasn’t actually near in Joel’s day.  Now, there was an “at hand” day of the Lord in Joel’s day, but the statement above, “in those days and in that time” delineates this day of the Lord from the “at hand” day of the Lord which actually occurred in Joel’s day.  Joel was now being told of events that would occur in the future Last Days at that time. W then, what would be true in the Last Days?  Joel 3:14…the Day of the Lord is near in the valley of Jehoshaphat.  But did this mean that Joel was actually saying that this day that he’s speaking of as the Last Days was near to HIM?  No, he just told us that the Day of the Lord he’s talking about in 3:14 comes AFTER the previous Day of the Lord that he was first speaking about.  There are TWO “Days of the Lord” in Joel.  The first one is found here:

Joel 1:15 [KJV]

Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.

Joel 2:1 [KJV]

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;

The second one begins here:

Joel 2:28-32 [KJV]

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

And Joel references the second “Last Days” coming of the Lord again here, saying that “in those days, and in that time…”

Joel 3:1 [KJV]

For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,

…That it would then be considered “near…”  This is projected imminence.

Joel 3:14 [KJV]

Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.

Remember that Peter said that when the Old Testament prophets spoke of the Last Days, the eschatological “Day of the Lord”, the coming of eternal salvation at that Day of the Lord (1 Peter 1:3-5), they knew they were not speaking of THEIR OWN day, but of Peter’s day.  And, thus, we find passages like Daniel 12:

Daniel 12:9 [KJV]

And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

Daniel 12:13 [KJV]

But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.

 

Video #14:

Joel predicted that in the Last Days, the Holy Spirit would be poured out, Jerusalem (Zion) would be the capital of the Messianic Kingdom, the Remnant would be saved and all nations would then be brought into the presence of God, those who would flow to Jerusalem.  Notice that chapter 3, verse 1 says “in those days, and in that time” (What days?  What time?  In the Last Days) God will gather all nations to judgment.  This the same thing as we find in Revelation 16:16 where God gathers the nations to Armageddon where God’s great and awesome day would take place.

Now let’s look at Joel 3:17.

Joel 3:17-21 [KJV]

So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim. Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the LORD dwelleth in Zion.

Notice a few key elements in this passage.  First we see that “in that day” there would be the fountain that would flow from Zion.  Here is Revelation 21:6 with the “fountain of the water of life flowing freely out of the city of New Jerusalem!”  And also from Revelation 22:1 with the “pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the the Lamb!” This is ZION, the New Jerusalem!

Also, at that time, YHWH would dwell in Zion.  Zion is the capital of the Kingdom, the New Jerusalem.  John said, “I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven…And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and be their God.” (Revelation 21:1-2) Joel predicted God dwelling in Zion and here is God doing that very thing in new Jerusalem in Revelation 21. And God promised the avenging of the blood of his martyrs.  We have shown that Revelation is about the final defeat of the enemies of God…Babylon.  This city is spiritually called “Egypt” in Revelation 11:8.  Joel said that Egypt would become a desolation.

Joel 3:19 [KJV]

Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land.

These are “code words”, spiritual terms being applied to this last days period “in that day.”  The book of Revelation, in every point, follows the book of Joel.  But Joel is told that “in those days” the Day of the Lord will be near (Joel 3:14).  Remember that Peter, on the day of Pentecost, when the Spirit has fallen upon them and they have spoken in tongues, they’ve been accused of being drunk, Peter stands up and rebuts the accusations saying…

Acts 2:15-16 [KJV]

For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

So what did Joel predict?  The coming of the Last Days, the Coming of the Lord!  When the Last Days arrived, the Day of the Lord would be AT HAND.  When the Last Days arrived, the Lord would dwell in Zion and when the Last Days arrived, God would avenge the blood of his martyrs. Peter said they were IN THE LAST DAYS.  “This is THAT which was spoken by the prophet Joel.”  And then he said, in Act 2:40, “Save yourselves from this untoward generation!”

Isaiah 60:22, predicted the events of the Last Days, just like Joel.  In Isaiah 60:22, YHWH said “in his time,” in other words, when the Last Days finally arrive, “I the LORD will hasten it.” You must catch the power of that!

Joel said when the Last Days arrived the Day of the Lord would be near.  When the Last Days arrived YHWH would avenge the blood of the saints.  Peter, quoting Joel, said “We’re living the Last Days…save yourselves from this untoward generation.”  What is the application of this to Revelation?  Revelation anticipated the fulfillment of Joel which Peter said was being fulfilled in THIS GENERATION.  The fulfillment of Joel, as foretold in Revelation, was to be in THAT 1st century generation and this means that Revelation was written before the fall of Jerusalem in the 1st century.

Video #15:

Martyr vindication was one of Jesus’ favorite topics. This should come as no surprise because Paul says in Romans 15:8 that Jesus was made a servant to the circumcision to confirm the promises made to the fathers.  So if Jesus came to confirm the Old Covenant prophecies made to Old Covenant Israel, then surely he should have spoken of martyr vindication.  We find this to be exactly the case everywhere we look in Jesus’ stories.  Look at Matthew 16 beginning from verse 21 where Jesus spoke of his own impending personal death.  He then spoke of those who would follow him and of his coming in that generation in judgment.  In Matthew 21, we find the story of the vineyard and the evil servants who killed other servants sent to them.  They finally killed the Son and the Father would miserably destroy those servants and take the kingdom and give it to another nation who would produce the fruits of the vineyard.  In Matthew 22, the wedding feast of the King’s Son, the invitations were sent out, the guests refused to come and mistreated the King’s servants and killed them.  The King was extremely wroth and sent out his armies to destroy the wicked servants and burned their city.  Matthew 23, Jesus spoke of how it was Old Covenant Jerusalem and Israel who had killed all of the prophets and would kill HIS apostles and prophets.  Then all of the blood of all the righteous shed on the earth all the way back to Abel would be required and vindicated in THAT generation.  In Luke 18, Jesus said, urging his disciples to pray constantly to be avenged for the vindication of their suffering.

Now, here’s the key.  In every story that Jesus told of martyr vindication, that vindication would come at his coming in judgment of Old Covenant Jerusalem. Matthew 16: “There be some standing here which shall not taste of death until they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.”  Matthew 21:  “He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.”  These wicked men also killed the Son of the Lord of the Vineyard.  Who killed the Son?  Without question, it was Jerusalem.  Matthew 22: Whose city was burned by the King of the Wedding after they killed the King’s servants?  Obviously it was Jerusalem.  When Jesus spoke about all of the blood of all of the righteous being vindicated?  What did he say? “Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.” Luke 18: “I tell you that he will avenge them speedily.”  The Greek term here, “ἐν τάχει”, never emphasizes rapidity of action over imminence of action.  Every occurrence of Jesus’ promise of martyr vindication is linked with the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

So, here’s the question.  Did John speak of a totally, radically different vindication of the martyrs than that which Jesus spoke of?  NO…because Revelation is about the vindication of all of the martyrs of God.  It’s the vindication of all of the prophets and Jesus said that Jerusalem had slain all of the prophets. Revelation even alluded directly to many of Jesus’ wordings in promising the vindication of the martyrs.  And we must not forget that Babylon was “the great city…where also our Lord was crucified.” (Revelation 11:8) It was the city that would be destroyed for killing the Lord and his prophets.  Unless one can 100% divorce the martyr vindication doctrine of Jesus, inextricably bound, undeniably related to the 1st century judgment of Old Covenant Israel, and unless you can divorce Jesus’ teaching from John’s doctrine of martyr vindication in Revelation, then martyr vindication in Revelation was to take place at the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.  There hasn’t been one shred of evidence or syllable of proof to suggest that martyr vindication in Revelation is different from that taught by Jesus. If you can’t prove they are different, then Revelation was written before 70 A.D. and spoke of that same impending, soon to come to pass, martyr vindication.

Video #16:

In Matthew 21 to 23, Jesus spoke parabolically first of all and then prosaically.  He talked about how Old Covenant Israel had killed the prophets.  He accused the Jews of being the sons of those who killed the prophets.  In Matthew 21, he pointed out that they were going to kill HIM in the parable of the wicked husbandmen of the vineyard.  Jesus then predicted that Israel was going to kill the apostles and prophets that he was going to send them, in doing so, they would fill up the measure of their sin and judgment was coming in THAT generation.  I don’t know of any commentators who disagree that Jesus predicted the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. as a judgment on Israel for killing him and his apostles and prophets.  It is virtually undisputed.

Now we see Paul, in 1 Thessalonians 2:14:16, recounted how Old Covenant Israel and Judah had killed the prophets of the past, they’ve now killed Jesus, and were now in the process of killing the apostles and prophets of Jesus.  In doing so, they are filling up the measure of their sin and judgment was just about to fall on them.  I don’t know of any commentators who deny that Paul was speaking about Israel and their guilt, filling up the measure of guilt with judgment coming in 70 A.D.

1 Thessalonians 2:14 [KJV]

For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.

 

Now catch the power of this…  In Revelation, we find the city, enigmatically and spiritually called “Babylon”, and Babylon has killed the prophets (Rev 16:6f). Here is an interesting fact…any time the New Testament uses the term “the prophets” or “prophets” with no textual qualifier, it invariably refers to the Old Covenant prophets.  Also, Babylon was the great city where the Lord was slain.  Babylon was guilty of killing the apostles and prophets of Jesus (Rev 18:20,24).  In doing all of this, the cup of her sin was now full.  Her sins had reached up to heaven (Rev 18:4-5) and her judgment at the Day of the Lord was very, very near.

Jesus said it was Old Covenant Israel that had killed the prophets, would kill him, kill his apostles and prophets, fill up the measure of their sin, and be destroyed in judgment in his generation.  Paul said the identical thing…that judgment was coming on Old Covenant Israel for killing the prophets, Jesus, the apostles and prophets OF Jesus, filling up the measure of their sin, and again judgment would come in that generation.  Then we come to Revelation, and Babylon killed the prophets, killed Jesus, was killing Jesus’ apostles and prophets, her sin was almost full and her judgment was about to fall at the coming of the Lord.

And we’re supposed to think that BABYLON is New York City, or literal Babylon in Iraq, or America, or the European Union or something else??  No…Babylon did what Jesus said Jerusalem did. Babylon did what Paul said Jerusalem and Israel did.  Unless you can prove definitively that some other entity besides Jerusalem of the 1st century, then Babylon of Revelation was 1st century Jerusalem.  And this proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the book of Revelation was written PRIOR to the fall of “Babylon” (i.e. Old Covenant Jerusalem) in 70 A.D.

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A New Testament Eschatological Study of Greek Parousia – Part Three

A New Testament Eschatological Study of Greek

Part Three – “parousia” [παρουσία]

 

Strong – G3952

παρουσία

parousia

par-oo-see’-ah

From the present participle of G3918; a being near, that is, advent (often, return; specifically of Christ to punish Jerusalem, or finally the wicked); (by implication) physical aspect: – coming, presence.

 

Thayer – G3952

παρουσία

parousia

Thayer Definition:

1) presence

2) the coming, arrival, advent

2a) the future visible return from heaven of Jesus, to raise the dead, hold the last judgment, and set up formally and gloriously the kingdom of God

Part of Speech: noun feminine

A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from the present participle of G3918

Citing in TDNT: 5:858, 791

 

King James Concordance – Total KJV NT Occurrences: 24

coming, 22

Mat_24:3, Mat_24:27, Mat_24:37, Mat_24:39, 1Co_15:23, 1Co_16:17, 2Co_7:6-7 (2), Phi_1:26, 1Th_2:19, 1Th_3:13, 1Th_4:15, 1Th_5:23, 2Th_2:1, 2Th_2:8-9 (2), Jam_5:7-8 (2), 2Pe_1:16, 2Pe_3:4, 2Pe_3:12, 1Jo_2:28

presence, 2

2Co_10:10, Phi_2:12

 

Concordance to the Greek Scriptures – G3952

Total NT Occurrences: 24

παρουσια (15)

Mat_24:27, Mat_24:37, Mat_24:39, 1Co_15:23, 1Co_16:17, 2Co_7:6-7 (2), 2Co_10:10, Php_2:12, 1Th_2:19, 1Th_3:13, 1Th_5:23, 2Th_2:9, Jam_5:8, 1Jn_2:28

παρουσιαν (3)

1Th_4:15, 2Pe_1:16, 2Pe_3:12

παρουσιας (6)

 

NT GREEK Concordance

Mat_24:3  Mat_24:27  Mat_24:37  Mat_24:39  1Co_15:23  1Co_16:17  2Co_7:6-7  2Co_10:10  Php_1:26  Php_2:12  1Th_2:19  1Th_3:13  1Th_4:15  1Th_5:23  2Th_2:1  2Th_2:8-9  Jam_5:7-8  2Pe_1:16  2Pe_3:4  2Pe_3:12  1Jn_2:28

  

Red Scripture Text = Words of Christ

Original study by Donald Hochner in purple, copied from http://www.ecclesia.org/truth/parousia.html)

(with additional scripture references and comments in green by Kingdom Christian)

First, this study is based on the belief that the only way a Christian can understand God and the Church is through the Word of God – Sola Scriptura. Second, any tradition of men or teaching of men which can be shown to be contradictory with the Scripture must be rejected, no matter how long the tradition has existed and no matter how many people hold to that teaching. Third, no matter what the creeds say or teach, they are not the final authority. What saith the Scripture? This does not mean I have no value for the creeds. In fact they may be useful or helpful.

This is the third of five articles. We are going to study the Preterist’s view on “parousia,” the Greek word for “advent, coming, or presence.” Interesting, I checked in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, and it says, ‘Advent (often, return; spec. of Christ to punish Jerusalem, or finally the wicked).’ I believe there is only ONE coming of Christ, which is already in the past. Thus, this destruction of Jerusalem was caused by the providence of God, but it happened through the use of pagan human armies, just as He had done it many times in the OT (the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Medes, and others). This time, God used the Roman armies as His instrument. There are some historians (Josephus and Tacitus) who recorded when they saw some unusual signs. We will look into that a little later.

One passage says all the tribes of the earth shall see the Son of Man coming with the angels in the clouds and they will mourn over Him because God judged them for their sins (Rev. 1:7). “Earth” (Gk: ge) can be “land” or “region,” depending on the context. Young’s Literal Translation of the Holy Bible translates it just this way. I do not believe the “earth” means the whole world in Rev. 1:7. This verse comes from Zech. 12:10-14, where the land in question is clearly Israel, the tribes are plainly Jewish, and those who would see the Messiah’s coming were “those who pierced Him” – the first century Jews. Read Rev. 1:1, 3; 6:15-17 (c.f. Luke 23:27-31); 11:8.

We will look into the eschatological passages with the word “coming” or “parousia” that is used in the original text. I am going to show you that the first century generation was expecting the parousia of Christ. I am using the NASB Authorized King James Version (KC).

Mat 24:3  And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming [parousia], and of the end of the world?  (Compare parallel passages in Mark 13:4 and Luke 21:7. The disciples’ questions were related to the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the Old Covenant age (Gk: aion) and to nothing else. It is not widely separated in time, as Jesus explained the events that would lead up to His coming in that generation (Matt. 24:34; Mark 13:30; Luke 21:32).) (You should further note that the translation of the greek aion at the end of this verse as “world” is completely inaccurate.  This should properly be rendered “end of the AGE [aion]” not “end of the world.”  The implications are vastly different.)

Mat 24:27,37,39  (v24) For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming [parousia] of the Son of man be.  (v37) But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming [parousia] of the Son of man be.  (v39) And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming [parousia]  of the Son of man be.  (Jesus repeatedly said, “So shall the coming (parousia) of the Son of Man be.” The same theme is in this context. I want to point out that some Futurists believe the “double fulfillment” or “type/anti-type fulfillment” theory, a method of interpretation. In other words, the theory says that prophecy may be fulfilled in 70 AD as typical form but will be completely fulfilled, coinciding with the “final” coming of Christ in the future. This kind of approach is a questionable hermeneutic. They must prove that Jesus and the NT writers clearly distinguished between two different comings of Christ. How would the first century Christians living before 70 AD have been able to distinguish between two different comings? I have not seen anyone get around with this problem. They expected all this to occur in their lifetime. Either we have to say it is all future (and make Jesus a liar for saying any of it would occur in that generation), or make it all fulfilled at 70 AD (and preserve Jesus’ integrity).)

1 Cor 15:23-25  But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming [parousia]. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. (We must understand the Jewish festivals in the OT that are the types in Christ. Christ the first fruits, in other words, Christ and some of the saints rose from the dead or the “first resurrection” (Matt. 27:52, 53). After that, those who were at Christ’s coming, the harvest gathered. Then comes the end of the Mosaic age when His enemies (the Jewish nation: Luke 19:27; Rom. 11:28; Phil. 3:18) were put under His feet.

Notice in 1 Cor. 15:24 when it says Christ will deliver up the kingdom to the Father. Remember when the Jews rejected God from being their King and wanted Saul (1 Sam. 8:7). That was not God’s choice (though He permitted under the counsel of His will). God had someone picked out for Himself who would bring the kingdom back to Him (1 Sam. 16:1). That was David’s dynasty. A “branch” was born and finally brought the kingdom back to God after He put His enemies under His feet. This does not mean Christ quits reigning once He returns the kingdom to the Father. Christ co-reigns with the Father forever (Luke 1:31-33; Rev. 22:3). So, Jesus is our KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. We as Reformers believe in Lordship Salvation.)

1 Cor 16:17  I am glad of the coming [parousia] of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied.  (This is an example of a “parousia” that was not super-natural.)

2 Cor 7:6-7  Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming [parousia] of Titus; And not by his coming [parousia] only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more.

2 Cor 10:10  For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence [parousia] is weak, and his speech contemptible.

Php 1:26  That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming [parousia] to you again.

Php 2:12  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence [parousia] only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

1 Th 2:19  For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming [parousia]?  (Read verses’ 14-16. These passages clearly refer to the Jewish people in their generation (Matt. 23:32-36).)  (Interesting to note that parousia is rendered “coming” at the end of the verse, but the Greek word emprosthen is rendered “presence” in the same sentence.  Emprosthen means “before,” “in front of,” or “in sight of.” Parousia means “coming, advent, presence, a being near.)

1 Th 3:13  To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming [parousia] of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.  (Paul was writing to the church of the Thessalonians (1:1) in their time, not to us.)

1 Th 4:15-17  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming [parousia] of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  (Notice Paul wrote, “By the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord” in both verses 15 & 17. They were expecting an imminent parousia of Christ in Paul’s lifetime. Otherwise Paul was mistaken and not an inspired writer. The Bible is inerrant, infallible, and sufficient.  In verse 16, “With the trump of God” is parallel to Matt. 24:31, 1 Cor. 15:52 and Rev. 11:15. It is not difficult to figure it out.  Also, notice “to meet the Lord in the air” in verse 17. The word “air” is another word for heavenly or spiritual realm. The adversary was always an opponent of the plan of redemption. He was (but no longer is) the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2). In Rom. 16:20 Paul says that shortly Satan would be crushed. His power to oppose the consummation of redemption is over. Jesus now has taken over that sphere and has ruled in the air with the saints since the destruction of Jerusalem. It means a spiritual congregation in victory and not a physical one. “Thus we shall always be with the Lord.” However, James says that we still have our OWN sinful nature to deal with (James 1:13-16). We cannot blame Satan for causing us to sin. Therefore, it is the same theme in the parousia, trumpet, and the end. Otherwise the NT writers would confuse the believers in the first century if it was not the same theme.)

1 Th 5:23  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming [parousia] of our Lord Jesus Christ.  (We have seen the same theme throughout the epistle of Paul about the parousia of Christ. There is no “double-fulfillment” or multi-comings of Christ.) 

2 Th 2:1  Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming [parousia] of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, (Again, Paul wrote the same theme regarding to the parousia of Christ. Notice he wrote, “Our gathering together unto him” is parallel to 1 Thes. 4:17 and Matt. 24:31, which happened in the first century generation (Matt. 24:34). It was accomplished when the faithful remnant of Jewish believers with the engrafted Gentiles were transformed (and transferred) into Christ’s new spiritual Israel when the old fleshly-based Israel was taken away in 70 AD. See Rom. 10:18 to 11:33, especially in verses 26-29. The “gathering together” is the heavenly places in Christ – the spiritual kingdom. This closes the case for the futurists’ views.)

2 Th 2:8-9  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming [parousia]:  Even him, whose coming [parousia] is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,  (Read carefully in this context verses 2-12. In verse 2, some believers thought that the day of the Lord had come. Think about it, if they thought that the day of the Lord has come (which they assume would destroy the physical heavens and earth), why would not Paul have said that the literal heavens and earth were not destroyed? Of course they did not think of that way. So Paul explained the day of the Lord would not come unless the apostasy came first, and the man of sin was revealed in the temple of God.

This letter was written around 51 AD, before the great persecution of Nero (63 to 68 AD) which led many into apostasy. The Jewish revolt took the temple of God (66 to 70 AD). Also notice in verses 6 and 7, “And now ye (believers in Paul’s day) know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work; only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way”. The Jewish persecution was already underway when Paul wrote this epistle. The Holy Spirit was restraining its effect until the church reached a mature enough condition to persevere in due time. Therefore, it is a mistake to apply this to our own times.)

Jas 5:7  Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming [parousia] of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.  (James was the great leader of Jewish Christians in Jerusalem. Why did he write to his brethren to be patient until the coming of the Lord? Of course they were expecting the coming of the Lord in their generation. James also wrote of the apostate Jews in verses 1-6 of this chapter. The Lord Jesus Christ came in His spiritual kingdom, to judge His enemies and bless His people who waited patiently for Him.)

Jas 5:8-9  Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming [parousia] of the Lord draweth nigh. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.  (Again, James wrote that the coming of the Lord was at hand. It was near to them, only a few years away. Read the next verse, “Behold, the Judge standeth at the door.” Clearly, it was in their generation, not some 2,000 years later.)

2 Pe 1:16  For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming [parousia] of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. (Peter tried to assure the believers there would be the coming of the Lord very soon and he was not making it up.)

2 Pe 3:4  And saying, Where is the promise of his coming [parousia]? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.  (Peter wrote to the Jewish Christians to remember the words spoken by the holy prophets, the commandment of the Lord, and the apostles (vv. 1-2). He knew it was the last days of the Mosaic or Old Covenant age (Heb. 1:2) and many Jewish mockers were saying, “Where is the promise of His coming?”)

2 Pe 3:11-12  Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming [parousia] of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?  (Peter and Christians in their generation were looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God. They were expecting the heavens and earth (the Old Covenant system: Old Jerusalem, the temple, the Jewish nation, the priesthood, the genealogy, etc.) to be destroyed with the conflagration from the Roman armies in 70 AD. Read the context in vv. 3-13. I will explain more about destruction of the Old Covenant system in the next article (Part Four).)  (This is where our Westernized, Helenized mindsets prevent us from perceiving the true meanings of eastern Hebraisms, hyperbole, and apocalyptic terminology, such as “heaven and earth” and “the elements,” found all throughout Old Testament prophetic statements.  Comprehending these things is absolutely VITAL to reaching a consistent understanding of prophecy and eschatology.)

1 Jn 2:28  And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming [parousia].  (John was encouraging the believers to be faithful and have confidence when Jesus would appear at His coming. John knew it is the last hour, even many antichrists had come (v. 18). This is one of the clearest passages indicating that these events belonged to the time of writers and original hearers of the NT. If I were a first century Christian reading the books of Matthew, James, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, etc., before the great events of 66-70 AD, I would never get the impression that two or more parousia’s separated by different times were being discussed.)

Lastly, did anyone in the first century see some strange signs before end of their generation? Of course! The writings of two (maybe more) ancient, non-Christian historians seem to record such an incident. The Jewish historian Josephus wrote before the destruction of Jerusalem (66 AD), “A certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared: I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those who saw it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals; for, before sun-setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armour were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding the cities. Moreover, at that feast which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner [court of the] temple, as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said, that in the first place they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and after that they heard a sound of multitude, saying, ‘Let us remove hence” (Josephus’ Wars of the Jews VI.V.3, read the whole Book VI especially in chapter V).

The Roman historian Tacitus relates a very similar event of the destruction of Jerusalem, “Early in this year [70 AD] Titus Caesar, who had been selected by his father [Vespasian] to complete the subjugation of Judaea, …At last he encamped near Jerusalem. As I [Tacitus] am about to relate the last days of a famous city, …Prodigies had occurred, …There had been seen hosts joining battle in the skies, the fiery gleam of arms, the temple illuminated by a sudden radiance from the clouds. The doors of the inner shrine [temple] were suddenly thrown open, and a voice of more than mortal tone was heard to cry that the gods were departing. At the same instant there was a mighty stir as of departure. Some few put a fearful meaning on these events, but in most there was a firm persuasion, that in the ancient records of their priests was contained a prediction of how at this very time the East was to grow powerful, and rulers, coming from Judaea, were to acquire universal empire” (Tacitus, The Histories, Book V). You decide for yourself what you think about this.

The reason I am showing two historians is that when Jesus Christ went up into the clouds to heaven, the whole world did not see Him going up (Acts 1:9-11). Also when some men went with Saul (Paul) on the way to Damascus, they saw a bright light and heard the sound but did not see or understand when Jesus appeared (Acts 22:6-9). In the OT, Elisha and his servant saw the armies of angels surround them (2 King 6:15-17). This may be similar to what Josephus and Tacitus saw and heard.

In conclusion, there is nowhere in the NT that mentions two comings of Christ, one in the first century generation and other one in the future. Also there is nowhere that mentions the multi-parousias of Christ like the Dispensationalists claim (the parousia or “rapture” before 7 years tribulation, the parousia of Christ after the great tribulation and the parousia at the end of millennium). This does not make any sense. The Futurists are in a real dilemma, dividing the Word of God. The Preterists have no problem with the eschatological passages. All these passages above must be applied to the first century generation.

Hopefully this will help a lot and cause you to rethink your eschatological view. It is very important because it is God’s Word and we ought not to twist the Scripture.

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