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

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

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

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

 

It incorporates the following errors:

 


 

 Postmillennialism and Universalism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Postmillennialism refutes itself

Postmillennialism teaches the following points:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keith A. Mathison

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Pretzel Logic of "Orthodox" partial Preterism

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

DANIEL 12

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

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

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

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

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

PRETZEL LOGIC

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

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

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

2 Thessalonians 1:6-2:3

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

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

 

Do Different Greek Words Refer to Different Comings?

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

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

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

Here is what Gentry does:

1 Thessalonians 4:15- parousia is final coming

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

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

However,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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Matthew 24: Is Double Fulfillment Possible?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Testament (NT) anti-type: Jerusalem

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ERROR: Bi-Millennialism

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

Bisecting Bi-Millennialism:

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

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

Notice how:

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

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

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

And notice how:

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

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

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

Bi-Millennial Preterism correctly admits that:

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

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

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

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

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

CONCLUSION:

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

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

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


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


RELEVANT LINKS:

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