- The Great Tribulation was to end and Kingdom of the Heavens, New Heavens, New Earth, New Jerusalem, Millennium & Judgment were to arrive with Jesus' 2nd Coming: John 14:1-3, Mat 25:31-46, Rev 20:11-15.
- Jesus said He would Return with His Kingdom & Power before all those who heard His preaching died, Matthew 16:28 & Mark 9:1
- The Dead in Christ rose first as Jesus
- Christ Returned at the Last Day as the Judge, John 6:40 & John 6:54 & 1 Thessalonians 4:16. This was the First Resurrection of the two foreseen in Rev 20:4-6, marking the beginning of the 1000 years. The Wicked One was destroyed by the brightness of Christ's coming, 2 Thess 2:8, sending Satan bound, cast & sealed into the Deep (Abyss, Bottomless Pit), Rev 20:1-3.
- This 1000 Years was as a Day with the Lord = Day of Judgment = Day of the Lord = Day of God which was still future as of the writing of 2Peter 3:4-12 & Rev 20:1-6. Satan remained bound, cast & sealed into the Deep (Abyss, Bottomless Pit) throughout this 1000 years, fulfilling what was foreseen in Rev 20:1-3.
- The Rest of the Dead were raised up at the end of this 1000-year-long Day of the Lord, Revelation 20:5a
- Satan was released after the 1000 years for a short time which ended with Fire from Heaven, (Reformation), Rev 20:7-10.
- The Reign of God, Christ & the Saints continues on perpetually, forever & ever without end. Amen.
Let us look at it again with more detail:
- Jesus was to come back before the Apostles' generation passed away. (Matthew 24:30 and Matthew 24:34), Preterism 101.
- He was to bring with Him the Home He went away to prepare for His followers, (John 14:1-3), The Heavenly Jerusalem = The Christian Community both Seen & Unseen.
- Paul & the churches already had the redemption/resurrection/raising up of their souls (aka "Eternal life"). All New Testament references to already “having been raised up” (Ephesians 2:6) or already “having been made alive” (Col 2:12-13 and Col 3:1) in past/present tense are referring to this redemption/resurrection of their souls that they had already. They had “eternal life” in their souls. They had eternity in their hearts, (Eccl 3:11). They each entered into it individually at baptism, the washing & regeneration, redemption & resurrection of their souls: their souls were saved. This was the guarantee towards that which they each yearned to obtain, "Having Eternal Life" is not equal to "The Resurrection of the Just".
- But Paul & the churches were looking forward to the redemption/resurrection/raising up of their bodies at Christ's Return, at the arrival of the Day of the Lord ( Rom 8:11 and Rom 8:23 and 1 Thess 4:13-18 to 1 Thess 5:1-2 and Phillippians 3:10-13 and 1 Cor 15:21-23 and 1 Cor 15:42-53 and 2 Cor 4:14 and 2 Tim 2:11-18). All of the future tense references to "resurrection" and "will be raised up" are correctly placed here, The Expectation and Logic of a 'Literal Catching Up' at AD 70 and Soul & Body: the 2 Parts of Resurrection.
- This "will be raised up" was to occur upon arrival of the Last Day, (John 6:54), and is quite distinct from the “having eternal life” they were already enjoying, 70AD: "The Last Day" & Christ Arrive, His Servants Raised to Reign.
- Preterism positions the arrival of the Last Day to be around 70AD: at the last day of the last physical Temple, its last animal sacrifices, its last generation of levitical priests, the last day of the ancient, earthly Jerusalem from below, (Gal 4:21-26). "He removes the first that He may establish the second," (Heb 10:9), Preterism 101.
- Revelation 1:1 announces that the visions that follow are predictive in nature, they portray in visual poetry "the things that must shortly come to pass" following the giving of the Revelation's visions to John by Jesus Christ around 63AD. Since these visions foretell events on God's itinerary, it is permissible to render John's use of "I saw" as "I foresaw." Rev 4:1 introduces the portrayal of events that were to occur shortly after its writing around 63AD. Rev 20:4 is a visionary vignette foreseeing this "raising up" of Christ’s followers upon arrival of the Last Day, as Jesus had promised in John 6:54. The souls of those who had been slain for serving Jesus, for rejecting the Beast and his mark, come to life, the "Resurrection the First." Blessed and holy are they that were to partake of it, and Paul wanted to be in that number, Phillippians 3:10-13.
- Per 2 Peter 3:8, the long anticipated “Day of the Lord" is “the thousand years,” and an actual 1,000 years as humans would count them comprises “the Day.” Just as the manna stopped appearing whenever the last day of the week (the Sabbath) arrived, (Exodus 16:25), Scripture stopped being produced when the Last Day arrived, 2 Peter 3:2-15 Day of Judgment = 1 Day with Lord = 1000 Years = Day of the Lord = Day of God.
- At the end of Rev 20:4’s thousand years "the rest of the dead" are raised, Rev 20:5. Christ's faithful martyrs from the Tribulation are raised up at the beginning of the Day, and the rest of the dead are raised up at the end of the Day, Rev 20:4 "come to life" = "come to life" of Rev 20:5.
- John established a pattern of introducing each visionary vignette with "And I saw," or perhaps better said, "I foresaw." The visionary vignette of Rev 20:11-15 introduces another immediate consequence of Babylon's Fall (Jerusalem's 70AD fall): the Judgment. Whoever's name was not written in the Lamb's Book of Life was to be tossed into the Lake of Fire, aka “The Second Death,” the final destination of Old Testament Death, Hell, etc. One does not escape Death & Hell by being sentenced to the same destiny. Christ-rejectors among “the rest of the dead” of Rev 20:5, who “lived again” at the end of “the thousand years,” awake to the condemnation of the Second Death, New Heavens, New Earth, New Jerusalem & "The 1,000 Years" each began at Return of Christ.
- Introducing again with, "And I foresaw," Rev 21-22 describes yet another immediate consequence of old Jerusalem's 70AD crushing: the coming down from the Heaven of that home for His People that Jesus brings with Him at His Return (John 14:1-13). “Whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder,” ( Mathew 21:43-45 ). This is good news because, "He removes the first that He may establish the second," (Heb 10:9). And, per Dan 2:34-35, this did not just crush the world of ancient Judaism, it crushed the whole world of Gentile paganism, "You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth." Daniel 2:31-45 The Stone that became a Great Mountain The times of the Gentiles' domination over God's People had ended at last. And the era of Christendom's dominion was inaugurated with the vanquishing of its first enemy, Revelation's Harlot. Within 250 years, the last world-dominating, pagan superpower was driven to its knees, declaring itself a Christian nation. And the dominant religion of the dominant world powers has been the religion of Christ ever since. There is neither biblical evidence nor historical trend that this will ever change.
- The prophecies of cataclysms, and all about the Beast and the Harlot, all that has happened in the past already. The same generation that saw Jesus minister and then leave also were the very same who saw His Return and all of the Tribulation that preceded that tribulation-vanquishing Return. As great a tribulation God’s People shall never see again. This knowledge fills us with much needed optimism and confidence towards the future: there remains no Bible-mandated cataclysm dooming to futility our good-hearted efforts to make the world a better place. It was this kind of optimism and confidence and energy that overcame every giant obstacle and carried men to the moon and back alive. And with this kind of can-do optimism and confidence we can invigorate our efforts to overcome every giant obstacle to make the world a better place, and bless our children and their children, our home countries, our hometowns. There is no glass ceiling hanging our Mankind's head preventing him from progressing forward and upward into better times ahead. There is no end, no limits, no boundaries to human potential except those caused by our own ignorance & disobedience. Tomorrow is a blank page waiting to be written between God & us. God dwells among men, (Rev 21:3 and John 14:21-23 and Matthew 1:23). And God has invited us to co-author with Jesus -The Word- the great story of Humanity’s future. Tomorrow is strictly determined by what we do with Jesus Christ today - not by fatalistic judgments upon previous generations - generations long since buried & judged. We Christians get to be the Caleb's, the great, optimistic, hope-giving, visionary leaders among every generation, declaring before the daunting, giant obstacles of our times, "Let us go up at once and take the Land, for we are well able to overcome them!" ( Num 13:30 ), The Power of the Preterist View.
A) There are ongoing elements of the New Covenant beginning about the time of Christ's first appearrance and never ending: Eternal Life (aka redemption/resurrection of the souls of believers); the ministry of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit; the Everlasting Covenant in Christ's Blood, that is, the eternal, unchanging Law of Christ.
B) However, the bulk of the events predicted in the New Testament and foreseen in Revelation were completed in full by 70AD and left behind an example of how God judges human affairs: the detailed sequences of trumpets, vials etc. of the predicted vengeance upon ancient Jerusalem/Babylon and the Beast and False Prophet, etc.
C) There are temporary elements that began at Christ's second appearance around 70AD and ended an actual 1,000 years later: the sealing of Satan bound &cast into the Bottomless Pit; and the reign of the Tribulation's resurrected martyrs ruling over human affairs from the invisible, spiritual realm - (much as Middle Age Catholicism perceived the martyred Saints to have received delegated authorities from the Chief Martyr - minus the doctrines about directing prayer to these martyred-yet-living-and-involved Saints, of course).
D) There are ongoing elements beginning at Christ's second appearance around 70AD and never ending: the Resurrection the First, the Judgment, the Second Death aka Lake of Fire; the new order of the New Heavens; New Earth; New Jerusalem, the reign by all of the Saints forever & ever, etc.
E) However, there are certain temporary elements that began an actual 1,000 years after 70AD and ended shortly afterward: the temporary release of Satan to attempt to reprise his ancient role as the organizational head over evil spiritual influences whereby the Pre-Parousia world order was organized into saint-harassing, idol-worshipping empires whose leaders demanded worship. This period was cut short by God's rescuing vindicaton of the New Jerusalem Camp of the Saints with spiritual fire from Heaven, (early Reformation fires), resulting in Satan's final sentence to the Second Death aka Lake of Fire.
F) There are ongoing elements beginning an actual 1,000 years after 70AD and never ending: the rest of the dead coming to life again, awakening to their Judgment sentence.
G) And finally, there is an ongoing element beginning after the period of Satan's release (after the 1,000 years after 70AD) and never ending: Satan remains forever in the Second Death, (aka Lake of Fire), since the time of the coming down of fire from Heaven.