You are hereJ. S. Russell’s Position on the Millennium, the Neglected Third Way of Preterism

J. S. Russell’s Position on the Millennium, the Neglected Third Way of Preterism

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By Duncan - Posted on 06 July 2006

Where Russell position is different from full preterism is that it does not hold that all Bible prophecy was fulfilled by AD 70. Full preterism can be traced back to the 1970’s and Max King.The position of James Stuart Russell offers a third preterist option that is different from full preterism and traditional partial preterism. Russell’s position is essentially like the full preterist position (i.e. the one and only Second Coming, the judgment and the resurrection happened at AD 70, the resurrection having an ongoing fulfillment since AD 70. Russell’s position sees us as currently in the new heaven and earth, a symbol of the post AD 70 new covenant order). Where Russell position is different from full preterism is that it does not hold that all Bible prophecy was fulfilled by AD 70. Full preterism can be traced back to the 1970’s and Max King.It was a fundamental shift away from Russell’s position that has never been adequately discussed; in fact it is rarely even mentioned. Russell saw the millennium as beginning at AD 70 not ending at that time as full preterism necessitates. I believe that Russell was right and a wrong turn took place with the advent of full preterism. I say this because of my study of Daniel 7; I believe it lends support to Russell’s position.

It should be noted that in Russell’s system there will be a future end to evil at the end of the millennium (Rev. 20:7-10); it sees Satan as defeated just not disposed of yet. In my mind this is an improvement over full preterist paradigm which sees evil as existing into eternity (in men’s hearts). Also Russell’s position does not necessitate the hypothesis of two millenniums. There is much more to be said. I will be saying it in my forthcoming book, The Antichrist and the Second Coming. (800 pages double spaced, see contents below).

The Antichrist and the Second Coming

A Preterist Examination

Duncan McKenzie, Ph. D.

Contents

I. Introduction

II. The Coming of the Kingdom of God (Daniel 2)

III. The Little Horn of the Daniel’s Fourth Beast (Daniel 7)

IV. The King of the North and the Time of the End (Daniel 11:36-12:13)

V. The Day of the Lord

VI. The Man of Lawlessness (2 Thessalonians 2)

VII. Introduction to the Book of Revelation

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

IX. The Beast and the Harlot (Revelation 17)

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

XI. The Second Coming (Revelation 19)

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

XIII. Where Are We Now?

Appendix A: Why I disagree with the Full Preterist Paradigm

A question that relates to the sequence of the millennium in Revelation is that of the temporal relationship of the judgment committed to those who come alive for the millennium in Revelation 20:4 (And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them…”) and the judgment in Revelation 20:11-15 (Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it…and the dead were judged, vv 11-12). I refer to these two visions of thrones and judgment in Revelation 20:4 and 20:11-15 as the throne scene judgments of Revelation 20. At first glance the sequence appears clear; the setting up of thrones and judgment in Revelation 20:4 happens at the beginning of the millennium and the setting up of the great white throne and judgment in Revelation 20:11-15 happens at the end of the millennium. There is another theory on the sequence of Revelation 20:4 and 11-15, however, that is rarely discussed in the literature on Revelation; [1] it was proposed by James Stuart Russell. Russell’s position is that what is being shown in Revelation 20 is not two separate throne scenes and judgments (one in Rev. 20:4 and one in 20:11-15) separated by the millennium, but one throne scene and judgment (composed of Revelation 20:4 and 11-15) with a digression of what will happen at the end of the millennium (Revelation 20:7-10) in between. Russell’s position is that John begins describing a throne scene judgment at the beginning of the millennium in Revelation 20:4. At 20:7-10 John digresses about what would happen at the end of the millennium, and then at 20:11 he takes up again the subject of the throne scene judgment he started in 20:4. Russell thus saw the description of the throne scene and judgment that is begun in Revelation 20:4 as being continued in Revelation 20:11. The two sections (Rev. 20:4 and 11-15) are thus describing one throne scene judgment (which happens at the beginning of the millennium) not two throne scene judgments (one at the beginning of the millennium and one at its end). Russell wrote the following on this.

…we must consider the passage which treats of (sic) the thousand years, from ver. 5 to ver. 10, as an intercalation or parenthesis. The Seer, having begun to relate the judgment of the dragon, passes in ver. 7 out of the apocalyptic limits to conclude what he had to say respecting the final punishment of ‘the old serpent,” and the fate that awaited him at the close of a lengthened period called ‘a thousand years.’ This we believe to be the sole instance in the whole book of an excursion into distant futurity; and we are disposed to regard the whole parenthesis as relating to matters still future and unfulfilled. The broken continuity of the narration is joined again at ver. 11, where the seer resumes the account of what…had been interrupted by the digression respecting the thousand years, taking up the thread which was dropped at the close of ver. 4.[2]

What Russell is saying is that John begins to relate a throne scene judgment in Revelation 20:4 (And I saw thrones and they sat on them…). In verses 7-10 John digresses and talks about what will happen to Satan at the end of the millennium (“Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison…” v. 7). At verse 11 the description of the throne scene that was begun in verse 4 is continued (“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it…).

If Russell’s position is correct (which I believe it is) then the one throne scene and judgment described in Revelation 20:4 and 20:11-15 is as follows.

Rev. 20:4 And I saw thrones and they sat on them and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witnesses to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years

(Parenthesis of 7-10 of what happens at the end of the millennium)

Rev. 20:11-15 Then I saw a great throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and heaven fled away and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

If Russell’s position is correct then the picture that emerges is that of the saints of verse 4 (composed of either dead believers or symbolically all believers, living and dead) joining in with God in judging the unbelieving dead in verse 11. If this is true then verse 4 (“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them…”) is referring to the same judgment that verses 11-12 are (“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it…and the dead were judged”). It should be noted that Scripture supports this interpretation of Revelation 20:4, 11-15 and its picture of the saints joining with God in the judgment.

Matthew 19:28 Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

1 Corinthians 6:2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

Initially I rejected Russell idea (that Revelation 20:4 and 11-15 were describing one judgment that happened at the beginning of the millennium) as being interesting but unlikely. What finally convinced me that Russell was right, was comparing what is clearly one throne scene and judgment at the beginning of the saints possessing the kingdom in Daniel 7:9-10 (which is when thrones are put in place) with Revelation 20:4 and 11-12. In Daniel 7 there is only one throne scene judgment shown; it is at the beginning of the saints possessing the kingdom, the beginning of the millennium, and it contains the elements of both Revelation 20:4 and 11 (as Russell’s position would predict). This is consistent with the proposition that Rev. 20:4 and 11 are showing one throne scene judgment that happens at the beginning of the millennium. Consider the following comparison of these scriptures. I am using the New Revised Standard Version here and have added the letters A-E for points of comparison. I have also added to Daniel 7 the corresponding verses in Revelation 20 in parentheses.

Dan. 7:9-11 NRSV

As I watched, [A] thrones were set in place (Rev. 20:4) and [B] an Ancient One took his throne (Rev. 20:11), his clothing was white as snow and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames and its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and flowed out from his presence. [C] A thousand thousands served him and ten thousand times ten thousand stood attending him (Rev. 20:12). [D] The court sat in judgment (Rev. 20:4) and [E] the books were opened (Rev. 20:12). I watched then because of the noise of the arrogant words that the horn was speaking. And as I watched, the beast was put to death, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. emphasis added

Rev. 20:4 NRSV

Then [A] I saw thrones, and [D] those seated on them were given authority to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. emphasis added

(Parenthesis of 7-10 of what happens at the end of the millennium)

Rev. 20:11-12

Then I saw [B] a great white throne and the one who sat on it; the earth and the heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them. And I saw [C] the dead, great and small standing before the throne, and [E] books were opened. Also another book was opened, the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their works, as recorded in the books. emphasis added

Notice that it is only by combining the elements of both Revelation 20:4 and 11-12 that one gets all five of the elements of the one throne scene of Daniel 7:9-10.

Daniel 7:9-10 Revelation 20:4, 11-12

[A]
Dan. 7: 9. As I watched, thrones were set in place
Rev. 20:4 I saw thrones

[B]
Dan. 7:9 an Ancient One took his throne, his clothing white as snow.
Rev. 20:11 I saw a great white throne and the one who sat on it.

[C]
Dan. 7:10 A thousand thousands served him and ten thousand times ten thousand stood attending him.
Rev. 20:12 I saw the dead, great and standing before the throne.

[D]
Dan. 7:10 The court sat in judgment
Rev. 20:4 those seated on them [the thrones] were given authority to judge

[E]
Dan. 7:10 books were opened
Rev. 20:12 books were opened

Daniel 7:9-10 lends strong support for Russell’s idea that Revelation 20:4 and 20:11-12 is one throne scene and judgment (at the beginning of the millennium) not two judgments (separated by the millennium).[3] Note that the NRSV makes element C look different in Daniel and Revelation; the NRSV makes it sound like the ones before the throne are attending the One on the throne. If you look at the NKJV and NASB, however, they give the impression that there are two groups before the throne, those attending God and those there for judgment (“thousands upon thousands were attending Him, and myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; the court sat, and the books were opened.” Dan. 7:10 NASB). If the NASB and NKJV give the correct sense (which I believe they do) then the myriads before the throne in Daniel 7:10 correspond to the dead before the throne in Revelation 20:12, both groups are facing the judgment. If none of those before the throne in Daniel 7:10 are facing judgment, then who is? It would be very strange indeed to show a judgment with no one to be judged.

After examining Daniel 7:9-11, I came to the conclusion that Russell was right; the throne scene and judgment begun in Revelation 20:4 is then continued in Revelation 20:11. Revelation 20 is showing what Paul said would happen at the Second Coming (1 Cor. 6:2); the saints in verse 4 are partnering with God as He judges the world in verses 11-15. Notice how Daniel first saw thrones and then he saw the Ancient of Days take His throne, Dan. 7:9 (“As I watched, thrones were set in place {A} and an Ancient One took his throne” {B}). This is exactly what one gets when one connects Revelation 20:4 with 20:11 (4. “And I saw thrones and they sat on them {A}…11. Then I saw a great throne and Him who sat on it” {B}).

Again, what led me to accept Russell's solution that Rev. 20:4 and 20:11-15 are really describing one throne scene (with the parenthetical statement of what ultimately happens to Satan at the end of the millennium in vv. 7-10) is that it is only in by combining both Rev. 20:4 and 11-12 that you get all five of elements that are found in the one throne scene (which happens at the beginning of the kingdom reign) in Dan. 7:9-11. Daniel’s vision of this throne scene shows the elements of Revelation 20:4 (thrones set up with those sitting on them given the authority to judge) as happening at the same time that elements of Revelation 20:11-12 happen (God takes His throne, myriads are before the throne and the books are opened). This judgment was to happen at the beginning of the saints possessing the kingdom, the AD 70 beginning of the millennium. The millennium began right after the defeat of Antichrist (the little horn/individual beast, Dan. 7:9-11, 21-22; Rev. 19:20-20:4); this was the time of the AD 70 Second Coming not AD 30.

Revelation 20:4 and 11-12 are talking about one throne scene and judgment explains the judgment that is committed to those on the thrones in verse 4, the meaning of which is unintelligible if verses 4 and 11-15 aren’t connected. Aune, commenting on this problem, said the following on Revelation 20:4-6, “nothing remotely connected with [krima] ‘judgment’ is found in the narrative; i.e., the right to judge given to those enthroned is apparently not exercised within this pericope.” [4] brackets mine Aune further wrote that Rev. 20:4 “looks like the beginning of a judgment scene that is fragmentary, for the judgment itself does not occur (i.e., [krima], ‘judgment’ has no real function in this textual unit)”[5] brackets mine. This last point is very important; it is strong evidence against the possibility that John was deliberating splitting of the judgment in Daniel 7:9-10 into two separate judgments (not that I have ever seen anyone make this argument). If John were deliberately splitting the throne judgment of Daniel 7 into two judgments, one would think he would have done a more coherent job. That is, the judgment that the saints on thrones in Revelation 20:4 participate in does not make sense if it is not connected to the throne judgment of Revelation 20:11-12. It thus see no indication that John was separating the judgment of Daniel 7 into two judgments (separated by the millennium) in Revelation 20. In Daniel 7:9 thrones are put in place (cf. Rev. 20:4) at the same time that the Ancient of Days is seated (cf. Rev. 20:11).

Some try to escape this problem of the judgment that never happens in Revelation 20:4 by saying that judgment committed to those on the thrones means that they rule, not that they are involved in a judgment. Mounce noted, however, that although the OT term for “to judge” (Heb. mishphat) has connotations of both judging and ruling, the Greek word for “to judge” (krima) does not carry such a range of meaning (he cites Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich, and Danker “as showing no such meaning for [krima]”)[6] Again, my position is that the judgment of Revelation 20:4 is not fragmentary; the judgment John begins to describe at the beginning of the millennium in Revelation 20:4 is continued in 20:11. Thus Revelation (like Daniel) is showing one judgment at the beginning of the saints possessing the kingdom (the millennium, Dan. 7:26-27), not two judgments (one at the beginning of the millennium and one at the end).

That Revelation 20:4 and 11-15 are describing one throne scene judgment at the beginning of the millennium (not one at the beginning and one at the end) explains why there is no Second Coming shown at the end of the millennium in Rev. 20:7-10 (which is a fatal problem for postmillennialists). Both full preterists and most traditional partial preterists are post-millennialists. Full preterists say that the Second Coming happened in AD 70 at the end of the millennium. Most traditional partial preterists say the Second Coming will happen in the future at the end of some form of a millennium. Look at what Revelation says about the end of the millennium, however; it does not mention the Second Coming as happening at that time.

Rev. 20:7-10 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

This is the only unequivocal statement in Revelation concerning the end of the millennium, and the Second Coming is not even mentioned. We are shown God’s judgment on Gog and Magog here (the fire coming from God in vs. 9) but that is hardly the Second Coming. There is no Second Coming mentioned in this section.[7] In the same manner there is no coming of God shown in Ezekiel 38-39, which is the passage that Revelation 20:7-10 is referring to. The coming of God happens at the beginning of the saints inheriting the kingdom (Dan. 7:21-27). This is when thrones are set up, at the beginning of the millennium (Dan. 7:7-12). What many have construed as a judgment at the end of the millennium in Revelation 20:11-15 is just the continuation of the judgment John was describing that happens at the beginning of the millennium in Revelation 20:4. Again, understanding that the judgment of Revelation 20:4 and 11-15 are one judgment at the beginning of the millennium helps to explain why the Second Coming is not shown at the end of the millennium. Daniel 7 (which is what the millennial teaching of Revelation 20 is drawn from) only shows one judgment and it was to happen at the AD 70 coming of God (the Second Coming) at beginning of the saints possessing the kingdom (the beginning of the millennium, Dan. 7:7-11, 21-27).

As I mentioned earlier, I originally rejected Russell’s position on the millennium. Allow me to share some of my earlier ideas on the millennium, as I think they are initially attractive but ultimately lead in the wrong direction. My earlier position (which I now think is mistaken) was that Rev. 20:4 was the 70 AD beginning of the millennium and that Rev. 20:11-15 was the resurrection and judgment at the end of the millennium (which I saw as the end of time). I thus was in agreement with Russell that the millennium began at AD 70 but was extending Russell’s view on future things (relative to us) from Revelation 20:10 to 20:15. That is, Russell’s position is that only Revelation 20:7-10 speaks of future things whereas my former position saw Revelation 20:5-15 as dealing with future things (i.e. I saw Rev. 20:10-15 being a future judgment at the end of the millennium). In my former position I saw Revelation 21 as returning to AD 70, as the topic of the New Jerusalem/bride started in Revelation 19:7 is continued (Rev. 21:2, 9-10). My position seemed fine at first but on closer inspection I discovered logistical problems that could not be remedied.

In Rev. 21:1 (which my old position had said was AD 70) there is no more sea. If the sea (symbolic of Satan’s domain) ceased to exist in AD 70 how could it be around to give up the dead in it at (what my old position had said was) the end of time in Rev. 20:13? Also in Rev. 20:11 heaven and earth/Land flee and there is no place found for them. If this was the end of time, how is it that there is a new heaven and earth/Land in Rev. 21:1 (which my old position said was AD 70)? The necessity of a new heaven and Land in Revelation 21:1 (which I was saying was AD 70) was because the old heaven and Land had fled in Rev. 20:11 (which I was saying was the end of time). To say Revelation 21:1 is AD 70 while Revelation 20:11 is the end of time did not make sense. If Revelation 21:1 is referring to an AD 70 new heaven and new Land then the old heaven and old Land fleeing in Revelation 20:11 must also be referring to AD 70. Similarly, If Revelation 20:11 is the end of time then Revelation 21:1 should be the end of time. The new heaven and new Land in Rev. 21:1 is a direct result of the fleeing of the old heaven and old Land in Rev. 20:11. If Rev. 21:1 is AD 70 then Rev. 20:11 should also be AD 70. Since one is the direct result of the other, one can not separate the two time periods.[8] The logical inconsistencies of my previous position presented an insurmountable challenge. Since I knew that the full preterist solution that the millennium was the period from AD 30 to AD 70 was wrong, I went back and reexamined, and ultimately accepted, Russell's position.

While I believe that Russell’s proposition that Revelation 20:4 and 20:11-15 form one judgment at the AD 70 beginning of the millennium is correct, it does bring up a difficulty. Revelation 20:5a says, “But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished.” This would seem to be at odds with the position which I am advocating which sees one resurrection of the righteous and wicked happening at the beginning of the “thousand years,” not a resurrection of the righteous at the beginning of the “thousand years,” (Rev. 20:4, 6) and then another resurrection, of the wicked (or wicked and righteous) at the end. As I investigated this difficulty, I discovered that there is some question as to whether the part of verse 5 (5a) that speaks of the rest of the dead coming alive after the thousand years was in the original text of Revelation. Notice how the NRSV highlights how Revelation 20:5a interrupts the flow of John’s thought from verse 4 to 5b. In an attempt to smooth this interruption out, the NRSV (as well as the NIV) puts 5a in parentheses (I have added a and b to v. 5).

4. Then I saw thrones, and those seated on them were given authority to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5a. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) b. This is the first resurrection. Rev. 20:4-5 NRSV

As it stands, Revelation 20:5 does not make sense, 5a. reads “But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished.” 5b. reads “This is the first resurrection.” This makes it sound like the rest of the dead coming to life after the thousand years constitutes the first resurrection. Aune said the following about how verse 5a interrupts this passage, “Since the clause interrupts the thought of the passage, it may have been an annotation added at a final stage of composition.”[9] Beale said the following on the awkwardness of Revelation 20:5a. The rest of the dead did not come to life… “is omitted by several good mss. [see footnote] because it was abrupt and seemed out of place or, more likely because a copyist’s eye skipped from ‘years’ at the end of v. 4 to the following ‘years’ [in verse 5].”[10]

I don’t believe that Revelation 5a is missing in some of the best manuscripts of Revelation simply due to a copyist’s error (this type of error is referred to as a “homoioteleuton”). Revelation 5a is absent in a little over a third of all manuscripts of Revelation including two of the three best (Sinaiticus and 2053 don’t have it, Alexandrinus does). James Parkinson wrote the following on Revelation 20:5a and whether it is part of the original text of Revelation.

In the Greek of Rev 20:5 the first sentence ends with “the thousand years,” just as does the last sentence of the preceding verse. Thus, if it is assumed both sentences were in the original, it would have been an easy mistake for the copyist’s eye to skip from the first “the thousand years” to the second, thus accidentally omitting a sentence. Indeed, Tischendorf, Alford, and others automatically regard it as an accidental omission (technically referred to as a “homoioteleuton”). However, if the sentence in question were originally a comment, with the same terminal words, the automatic judgment has no way to detect it as spurious. In the case of Rev 20:5, the sentence, “The rest of the dead lived not until the thousand years were finished” (Greek: ...until were finished the thousand years) has sufficient theological import that it is unlikely it would disappear quietly from about 37% of the manuscripts (from a progressively higher percentage in centuries before the fourteenth). While the Millennarian sentiment of Papias (early 2nd century) and others might welcome accidental omission, the anti-Millennarian spirit from Constantine onwards would severely punish it. The sentence itself interrupts the context, perhaps implying that the first resurrection is the absence of a resurrection! The earlier Aecumenius text (in manuscript 2053, preserving a text of ca. A.D. 600) omits the sentence both times, but it is added in the commentary; it suggests the sentence itself may have originated similarly. Subsequent additions of the Words “But” and “again” seem like an effort to smooth out a foreign sentence. The absence of the disputed sentence in two of the three best manuscripts does not permit the question to be automatically dismissed, particularly because its absence from the Aramaic (Syriac), and from the popular family 82, implies that it is not a local accidental omission. Nevertheless, the manuscript evidence is not so strong as to remove all doubt; so it is here listed under Probable Corrections. [11]

I believe that Revelation 5a may well have been a gloss, an early marginal comment by a scribe that got incorporated into the text of Revelation. R.H. Charles wrote the following along these lines.

As another illustration of the critical value of the form of the text I will give the vision of the kingdom of Christ and the glorified martyrs in 20:4-6. This vision would consist of seven stanzas of two lines each, but for the prosaic addition in the fifth stanza 20:5a: ‘the rest of the dead lived not till the thousand years were fulfilled.’ If this were original we should expect it to be introduced by a conjunction and that an adversative one: ‘And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years, but the rest of the dead lived not.’ But no such conjunction is given. Hence the words appear to be a marginal gloss incorporated in the text. Moreover, it intervenes between two lines which should not be separated; for the second line (‘This is the first resurrection’) defines what the first line means. Thus the first stanza should be read: 20: 4i And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years; 5b This is the first resurrection.’[12]

The Syriac Philoxenian version of the New Testament (from the sixth century) reads the way that Charles suggests as being correct. It omits Revelation 20:5a (“the rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended” NRSV) and connects the 2 lines that Charles felt are incorrectly separated. It gives an idea of how I believe Revelation 20:4-6 should read.

04 And I saw thrones, and [persons] sat on them, and judgment was given to them, and to the souls that were beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God: and these are they who had not worshipped the beast of prey, nor its image, neither had they received the mark upon their forehead or on their hand; and they lived and reigned with their Messiah those thousand years. 05 This is the first resurrection. 06 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in this first resurrection: over them the second death hath no dominion; but they shall be, [nay] are, priests of God and of his Messiah; and they will reign with him the thousand years.[13] brackets in original

This reading is much less awkward, but more importantly, it is consistent with the teaching of the rest of Scripture that there is only one resurrection event of the physical dead (although that resurrection continues since its AD 70 beginning).[14] Nowhere else in Scripture does it show two resurrections of the physical dead separated in time. It should be clear that Revelation 20:4 is referring to the time of the resurrection, as it shows the coming to life of the souls of those who had been killed[15] by the beast. These were the souls of believers (the saints overcome by the beast, cf. Rev. 13:7), being resurrected. This is not a spiritual coming to life, as the dead here were saints; they were already spiritually alive (cf. Rev. 6:9-11). Johnson said the following about how the coming alive of the martyrs of the beast is not speaking of a spiritual coming to life.

The reference to “souls” (psychas) immediately recalls 6:9, where the same expression is used of the slain witnesses under the altar. The word describes those who have lost their bodily lives but are nevertheless still alive in God’s sight. This term prepares us for their coming to (bodily) life again at the first resurrection. It is a mistake to take psychas to imply a later spiritual resurrection or rebirth of the soul, as did Augustine and many since. These martyrs are also those who did not worship the beast or his image or receive his mark on them (cf. 13:1-17; 15:2).[16]

Only one resurrection, a first, is explicitly mentioned in Revelation 20 (although such a designation could infer a second). Personally I believe that two resurrections are inferred here but that they are not separated in time. That is, they are two aspects of one resurrection event. Again, this is consistent with the rest of Scripture which shows only one resurrection of the physically dead that includes the righteous and the wicked. Jesus talked about two resurrections of the physical dead, but they were part of the same resurrection event. The first resurrection was to life, the second was to condemnation, “Do not marvel at this, for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth- those who have done good, to the resurrection of life and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” (John 5:28-29; cf. Dan. 12:1-2; 7). These two resurrections that Jesus referred to were to happen at the same time; they were not to be separated by a period of time (such as the millennium).

[1] This position is not discussed by either Aune or Beale (who between the two of them cover quite a lot of ground) or any other current day commentary on Revelation that I am aware of.

[2] J. Stuart Russell, The Parousia, New Edition (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1999), 523-524. Originally published in London by T. Fisher Unwin, 1887.

[3] Russell made little to no use of the book of Daniel in The Parousia. This is unfortunate as Daniel supports his position.

[4] David Aune, Revelation 17-22, Word Bible Commentary vol. 52c, gen. eds. Bruce Metzger, David Hubbard and Glen Barker, NT ed. Ralph Martin (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1998), 1079.

[5] David Aune, Revelation 17-22, Word Bible Commentary vol. 52c, gen. eds. Bruce Metzger, David Hubbard and Glen Barker, NT ed. Ralph Martin (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1998), 1084. Aune sees the seemingly disorganized arrangement of this part of Revelation 20 as due to “hysteron-proteron,” the reversing of the logical order of narrative events.

[6] In spite of this, Mounce suggests that “rule” may be the meaning here. Robert H. Mounce, The Book of Revelation, rev. ed., The New International Commentary on the New Testament, gen. eds. Ned Stonehouse, F.F. Bruce and Gordon Fee (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing, 1998), 364. Mounces citation for the meaning of krima is found in W. Bauer, W.F. Arndt, F.W. Gingrich, and F. Danker, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (2nd ed., Chicago, 1979), 450-51.

[7] Postmillennialists assume (as do most others) that the judgment of Revelation 20:11-15 happens at the end of the millennium, it is taken for granted by them that the Second Coming has to happen at this time even though it is not shown.

[8] Some partial preterists maintain that Revelation 20:11 is the end of time and yet Revelation 21:1 is AD 70. One can disconnect these two verses in terms of their timing. The new heaven and new Land in Rev. 21:1 is a direct result of the fleeing of the old heaven and old Land in Rev. 20:11. If Rev. 21:1 is AD 70 then Rev. 20:11 should also be AD 70. If Revelation 20:11 is the end of time then Revelation 21:1 should be the end of time. The new heaven and earth of Rev. 21 happen right after the fleeing of the old heaven and earth in Rev. 20.

[9] David Aune, Revelation 17-22, Word Bible Commentary vol. 52c, gen. eds. Bruce Metzger, David Hubbard and Glen Barker, NT ed. Ralph Martin (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1998), 1090.

[10] G. K. Beale, The Book of Revelation, The New International Greek Testament Commentary, eds. I. Howard Marshall and Donald Hagner, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999), 1015. The manuscripts that Beale cites are the following: Sinaiticus, 2030, 2053, 2062, 2377; also the better mss of the Majority text of the Apocalypse, the Syriac, Vic, Bea. Note: ‘Vic’ stands for Victorinus Petavionensis, which means that Victor, a Bishop in Austrian around 300 (very early) quotes the passage and omits 20:5a. ‘Bea’ stands for the Commentary on the Apocalypse written by Beatus of Liebana (Spain) in the late 8th century which quotes this passage, again without 20:5a. These are very interesting-showing Western Europe’s acceptance of this version of the text. This reading, then, occurred in Syria, Egypt, and Austria. I am indebted to Stephen Douglas for helping me better understand the manuscript evidence.

[11] “Manuscript Evidence and the English New Testament” http://www.heraldmag.org/olb/contents/reference/mscript1.pdf accessed 6-20-2006

The few references I know of that mention the question of Rev. 20:5a are the following:

The Greek New Testament According to the Majority Text - Hodges & Farstad

Concerning the Text of the Apocalypse - H. C. Hoskier

International Critical Commentary on Revelation - R. H. Charles.

See http://www.thechristadelphians.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=448.

[12] R.H. Charles, The British Academy Lectures on the Apocalypse, (London: Oxford University Press, 1922), 44-45.

[13] James Murdock, The New Testament: Translated from the Syriac Peshitto Version (New York: Stanford and Swords, 1852), Gary Cernava 1996. The text that this version of Revelation is based on is from the 6th century. Earlier editions of the Syriac New Testament did not contain Revelation; see Gentry, Before Jerusalem Fell, 106.

[14] The resurrection continues as people have continued to believe since AD 70. It continues in the spiritual sensed when one is born again. It continues in its ultimate sense when the believer dies and puts on his or her resurrection body (cf. Rev. 14:8-13).

[15] I have had full preterists try to make this fit an AD 30 beginning of the millennium. They say that these are the souls of those who would be killed by the beast (future to AD 30). Revelation 20:4, however, says that these souls of the martyrs of the beast had been killed (past tense). If the millennium began at AD 30 this would require a pre-AD 30 individual beast and mark (Rev. 13:11-18) to produce the martyrs that come alive in the millennium.

[16] Alan F. Johnson, Revelation in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Revised Edition: vol. 13 Hebrews-Revelation, Tremper Longman III and David E. Garland gen. eds. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006), 767. While Johnson and I agree that the souls coming to life n Rev. 20:4 is a reference to dead people being resurrected (as opposed to merely a spiritual coming to life) Johnson would not agree with me that the Second Coming and resurrection happened (or more correctly, started) at AD 70.

RevelationMan's picture

If the Second Coming of Jesus is, as I have proposed many times, the three and a half year period from 67 to 70, then doesn't it clear up most of the confusion.

Christians are persecuted by Nero from 64 to 67/68. Jerusalem is the focus of Rome from 67 to 70. Then Daniel 7, 9, & Revelation 20 make much more sense. The Millennium is simply 10x10x10 or 30 years from 33/34 to 64 & then Satan (through Nero) attacks the church.

Revelation 17:12-18 explains the transition from persecuting the Lamb/church to the destruction of Jerusalem.

Does any of this make sense to anyone?

Eric Fugett

ThomasS's picture

Actually, no...

(1) ...as you will have a hard time identifying "Babylon the great" with Jerusalem;

(2) ...as you will have a hard time locating the Roman Empire in Dan 7;

(3) ...as you will have a hard time finding Biblical literature suggesting that the number "1000" means only "30"?

Hope this helps!

Th. S.

RevelationMan's picture

Thomas,

In response to your response (1), I would advise you to compare the description of "Babylon the Great" with the descriptions of Jerusalem in Josephus, The Wars 5.5, 6.8.5, & 7.1.1. The description of Babylon the Great in chapter 18 is also similar to the one given of Jerusalem in Lamentations 5:18.

For response (2) Daniel 2 & 7 are similar in that they mention four kingdoms. With that in mind, the kingdom of God would be established in the time of the 4th kingdom (Daniel 2:44). I believe that would be the kingdom that Jesus referred to over & over again in the gospels. When do you suppose that the church was established? And Rome also had 10 provinces.

As for (3), you have a point. There is no Bibllical literature suggesting what I have said there. It may very well be a stretch. However, mathematical cubes were known at that time and most of the book of Revelation appears to be encoded with numbers like "666" for example. So even though it is a stretch it still fits well within the Biblical time frame of events being discussed.

Please read the literature & passages that I suggested. I'm not interested in arguing for arguing's sake. I hope we are all in search of truth.

Eric

Eric Fugett

ThomasS's picture

Eric,

Just a few points:

Ad (1): For your information, Josephus does not call Jerusalem "Babylon". He does not locate Jerusalem on seven mountains either.

In the first century (B)CE, only one great city was well known as situated on seven mountains. This great city was also called "Babylon". This city was Rome, not Jerusalem.

Furthermore, John has reused many OT texts against many nations (Judah, Tyre, Babylon etc.) in his oracle against "Babylon the great".

Ad (2): According to Daniel, the stone kingdom would be established after the fall of all four kingdoms. Just take a close look at the Aramaic in Dan 2:44!

Ad (3): The "little horn" in the Book of Daniel is identified with Antiochus IV (cf. Dan 8). He was no Roman "king".

Hope this helps!

Th. S.

RevelationMan's picture

Thomas,

Are you a Preterist?

(1) The woman/prostitute described in chapter 17 is Jerusalem. The description of the woman & of Babylon the Great is Jerusalem. The beast on the seven hills is Rome. Five had fallen, one is (Nero) & one will come for a short reign (Galba). This leads us to (2)

What is the governing/ruling body that we both agree this is talking about here? ROME!!!!!! Why did you not respond to the church being the Kingdom that Jesus was talking about in the gospels & that Daniel was talking about in chapter 2?

(3) If the time period that both Daniel & Jesus spoke of is the 1st Century, how do you propose to take it back to the 160's & 170's BC? Is Antiochus mentioned in Daniel? Yes. Daniel 8, & Daniel 11. Is Greece mentioned in Daniel? Yes, Daniel 2, 7, 8, 11. Is Rome mentioned in Daniel? Yes, Daniel 2, 7, 9, 12.

Eric Fugett

ThomasS's picture

RevelationMan,

You wrote:

>

Yes, I am a "classic" Preterist. I do, however, not subscribe to the radical Preterism tought by J. Stuart Russell. Russell's kind of Preterism seems to be a novelty and unknown befor the 19th Century CE.

You wrote:

>

First, I think you are wrong re: the identity of the harlot described in Rev 17.

Second, the beast is not (situated) "on the seven hills". The beast has seven heads. Obviously, the seven heads are on the beast -- not the other way around!

Now, these seven heads symbolise two things: (1) seven "kings" and (2) seven "mountains".

The beast is not a city (Rome), but an empire (viz. the Roman Empire)!

As to the seven "kings", I really don't see how you can identify the "one who [is]" with Nero. Like Robinson ("Redating the New Testament"), I think Nero was already dead.

You wrote:

>

First, you cannot seriously identify the fourth beast in Dan 7 with the beast in Rev 17. John has made it quite clear that they are different.

Second, I have never argued that the "stone" in Dan 2 does not symbolise the Church. In harmony with Dan 2 I think God's kingdom would be established after the fall of all four empires. Obviously, the Church was established long before the fall of the Roman Empire.

Again, I think you should take a good look at the Aramaic in Dan 2:40-45.

Finally, you wrote:

>

You are correct in seeing Antiochus IV in Dan 8. In my opinion, he is the "little horn". This is one of many reasons for not identifying the fourth beast in Dan 7 with the Roman Empire. (In Dan 7, the "little horn" comes from the fourth beast, not the third!)

Hope this helps!

Th. S.

valensname's picture

Maybe I'm not reading it correctly, but does your position hold to an "end of time?" Meaning the end of time here in this physical universe?

Glenn

Duncan's picture

Glen,

Just a quick comment (I don't usually comment. That is nothing personal to anybody, just that I don't have time to spend a week or so debating and answering questions). Not sure about an end of time (although eventually the sun will burn out). What I am sure of is a definitive end to evil in the universe, something the full preterist paradigm does not have. What I see as future to us is Rev. 20:7-10 and the disposal of evil (Satan has already been defeated). Revelation doesn't provide much information about what happens after that.

Duncan

Barry's picture

"What I am sure of is a definitive end to evil in the universe, something the full preterist paradigm does not have."

Oh yes it does. And herein I suspect is the greater issue and what is "behind" the reluctance to fully embrace the fulfillment of all things written".
It is how one defines "sin" that is becoming the issue.
The new age is a status (sin has been put away) that has place and space and time to apply what it is exponentially!
I would anticipate that in another 1000 years we will not be having this discussion.

The new age, is a new beginning. That new beginning of a new creation needs to be defined. When it has been defined correctly then it will be proclaimed that the then "present evil age" has passed away and "all" offences have been gathered out in that then present evil age.
This is full preterism!
Barry

we are all in this together

valensname's picture

Barry,

I've wondered of those who hold to a no more evil on Earth view or in Heaven...what they do with free will choice? Do people in their view now become robots and can only choose to do good? Even angels in Heaven beholding the spiritual glory of God, sin, they have free will choice. I wonder why those who hold this view believe that no evil or what I view as no choice to do evil or can't do anything evil, do with changing how God created us having free will choice? Just something I have thought about :-).

Glenn

davo's picture

valensname: I've wondered of those who hold to a no more evil on Earth view or in Heaven...what they do with free will choice?

G'day Glenn,

As to your question I'm not quite sure what they dosure, but I think we err when we lump "evil" and "sin" in the one basket. Evil or "calamity" is and was God's invention -- He alone created the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. It was "sin" however that gained entrance into creation via Adam, not evil -- THAT was already by the design of God, present. Not only this, but we have the testimoney of Scripture saying thus:

Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

davo

Barry's picture

Glenn, those are good questions.

I've written a number of times on the topic of Adam, prior to the so called "fall".

Paul said, "by ONE MAN sin came into the world".
Adam was a self-determining being made in the image of God. He could have done immature, inappropriate things through self-determination which would not have been classified as "sin". He could eat too many prunes and learn the consequences LOL!
He was an adult with adult responsibilities.

What we call free will simply means self-determining within defined limits. Self-determination (freedom to eat from any tree) does not define "sin" until God makes it so (not to eat of this one tree of K of G and E).
Unless of course we would try and claim that Adam had no free will prior to the fall.
So then the only "sin" Adam was capable of is eating of the forbidden tree. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT GOD HAD NO FURTHER TEACHING AND INSTRCUTIONS AND GUIDENCE FOR HIM.

When people "sinned" it was "the offence" of the one man's disobedience, which increased.
Sin is a biblical "eschatological" term. It is not to be taken out of its eschtological connotation.
Our continued growth, maturity, transformation, development, must be defined in other terms than "the offence" of the "one man's disobedience".
Christ has put away sin.

Note: I made a spell check error on exponentially which should read experientially on my above post.
JMO Barry

we are all in this together

paul's picture

Sounds like an important read! Thanks.
Paul Richard Strange, Sr.
Waxahachie Texas

atavistadvocate's picture

I have just published a 10 chapter PDF dealing with what may be the ultimate question as to who these entities in the 66--70 war were. The book Time Oracle starts with Babylon and ends with the Roman dominance over Judea. In light of Daniel 2, 7, 9, and 12, it appears that affairs in Judea and events to happen to Judea are the main thrust of Matthew 24 and the book of Revelation. Of course Rome plays a major role in bringing things to pass--but is it reasonable to believe, based on the Old or New Testament, that the Caesars were the issue of worship in the A.D.70 drama? I do not believe any evidence from history supports such a claim. I think it would be great if someone could take both sidess of this question i.e., a Jewish Fourth Kingdom, which I present in my book, and the traditional Roman Fourth Kingdom and critque them both on their merits and weaknesses. I believe a Jewish Fourth Kingdom view STRENGTHENS the Preterist argument far more than the Roman one does. Those of you who are not familiar with the Jewish Fourth Kingdom outlook I encourage to obtain a copy of my book: Time Oracle: Experience What Christians Believed in the First Place @

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=130004776812

Thanks,
Markos

Markos Mountjoy
mm80220@aol.com

ThomasS's picture

I am not able to see how you could be able to say anything about Rome 'in light of Daniel 2, 7, 9, and 12'...

Also, there is no evidence for the fourth kingdom being "Jewish". This is a new theory without any real support.

For a better understanding of Daniel, you should consult the commentaries by Collins, Goldingay, Lucas, Koch, Rinaldi, and Stuart.

Hope this helps!

Th. S.

Duncan2's picture

This part of the article did not come out right. It is supposed to be parallel columns (is it possible to fix this Virgil? thanks.). Until this can be fixed (assuming it can), here is a presentation of it that is a little more clear. Again, it is only by connecting Rev. 20:4 and 20:11-12 that you get all of the five points of what is clearly one judgment in Daniel 7:9-10

Duncan

[A]
7: 9. As I watched, thrones were set in place
20:4 I saw thrones

[B]
7:9 an Ancient One took his throne, his clothing white as snow.
20:11 I saw a great white throne and the one who sat on it.

[C]
7:10 A thousand thousands served him and ten thousand times ten thousand stood attending him.
20:12 I saw the dead, great and standing before the throne.

[D]
7:10 The court sat in judgment
20:4 those seated on them [the thrones] were given authority to judge

[E]
7:10 books were opened
20:12 books were opened

Duncan's picture

I hope this (what I posted above) clarifies this part of the auricle. I got mashed up in the process of posting and I don't have to power to change it. Let me just summarize the point of this article.

Russell's position on the millennium says that Rev. 20:4 and 20:11-15 form one judgment that happens at the beginning of the millennium. As far as I can see Russell never referred to the book of Daniel in "the Parousia," but that is exactly what Dan. 7:9-10 shows; one judgment (that contains all the elements, A-D, of both Rev. 20:4 and 20:11-12). Dan. 7 shows this judgment as happening at the time of the Second Coming when the saints inherited the kingdom (Dan. 7:21-27). This was at the AD 70 defeat of the little 11th horn Dan. 7:7-12. This happened at the Second Coming. This is when the little horn was defeated and thrones were put in place (Dan. 7:21-22; cf. Matt 19:28).

Duncan

Reformer's picture

IMO, explanations -- such as this -- that must resort to the use of a "parenthesis" when none is obvious in the text, and also must violated the time restrictions the book of Revelation places upon the whole of its prophecy, are inferior to explanations that fully honor the time-restrictions.

As such, I suggest that the millennium was 40 years in length and transpired (past tense) thusly.

It commenced with Jesus' baptism and anointing in the Jordan River in A.D. 26; was heralded by his resurrection and the “first resurrection” of many, but not all, Old Testament saints in A.D. 30; progressed as his 1st-century followers “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6 KJV); and ended in A.D. 66. Satan’s loosening to “deceive the nations” (Jews, Romans, and others) into the Roman-Jewish War began in A.D. 62 or 64 and ended six to eight years later at Daniel’s “time of the end” in the fall of Jerusalem in the Fall of A.D. 70 (Dan. 12:4). When the “last days” were finally over and the “power of the holy people has been [was] finally broken” (Dan. 12:7), the rest of the dead were raised on the “last day” (singular) of those “last days” (plural) and Satan was cast into the lake of fire, sometime between A.D. 70 and 73.

The viability of this 40-year time span being the millennial reign of Christ can also be drawn from and enhanced by Jesus’ end-time parable of the talents. He spoke of “a man [Jesus] going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them [his 1st-century disciples] . . . . After a long time [but within their lifetime – i.e. 40 years] the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them [judgment]” (Matt. 25:14, 19).

Full preterist King, summarizes his perspective on this short length of time for Christ’s millennial reign this way:
"The impressive thing about Christ’s consummating reign is that He did not have to reign over a long period of time in order to achieve all that a thousand-year reign symbolized . . . . The point of Christ’s reign is missed when the thousand years symbol is made to mean a long, indefinite period of time." (The Cross and the Parousia of Christ, p-214-215).

Lastly, I propose that the fulfillment of a 40-year, millennial reign from A.D. 26 to 66, a 6 to 8-year loosing of Satan from A.D. 62 or 64 to 70, and “the end of all things” (1 Pet. 4:7) and the judgment (1 Pet. 4:17) in A.D. 70 – 73, which were all termed as “at hand” in that same 1st-century time context (Rev. 1:3; 22:11; 1 Pet. 4:7), is the most Christ-honoring, scripture-authenticating, and faith-validating of all the millennial and eschatological views I have seen so far. This is the strength to be kept. It coincides exactly with the present-age and right-hand reign that Paul described in Ephesians 1:20-22:
". . . which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age" [i.e., his millennial reign] but also in the one to come [i.e., post A.D. 66-70].

Those who would object to a past-fulfillment interpretation for Revelation’s millennial period, or for any aspect of its prophecy, must overlook or otherwise non-literally interpret Revelation’s self-imposed, prologue, and epilogue time statements. Again, the fulfillment context for the whole of this prophecy was time restricted by the book itself. That is the discipline that must be honored and the strength that must be kept.

And, yet, Revelation's prophecy contains an exegetical basis for an ongoing, idealistic relevance as well.

Also, let's dump the non-scriptural terminology and unscriptural concept of the so-called "second coming." This only complicates matters unnecessarily.

Duncan2's picture

Reformer,

Let me try one more time. What terminology do you suggest we adopt to replace the phrase "the second coming."

Duncan

Reformer's picture

Sorry for the delay in responding. I've been on vacation and out of touch (computer-wise) for the past ten days.

I'd suggest "coming on the clouds" (Matt. 24:30), or judgment coming or end-of-the-age coming, or consummatory coming.

What would you suggest?

Duncan's picture

Personally I have no problem with Second Coming ("...To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time..." Heb. 9:28).

I don't like "coming on clouds" because there are a number of cloud comings ( I would say that Dan. 7:13-14 is the AD 30 ascension and enthronement of Messiah not His AD 70 coming, cf Rev. 12).
A partial preterist like Gentry would use "judgment coming" to differentiate AD 70 from the real Second Coming that he sees as still future. The same is basically true for "end of the age coming".

"Consummatory coming" is more like it.

AD 70 was the definitive coming of God. The tabernacle of God is with men, He is dwelling with us now (Rev. 21:3). I don't think it is appropriate to talk about comings of God after AD 70 because He would have to leave for there to be another coming. I have no problem with your concept (if I understand it correctly) if the word "manifestation" is used. I don't see any more comings of God (again He would have to leave us to come again) but I do see the possibility of post AD 70 manifestations of the definitive AD 70 coming. So what you might call post AD 70 comings of God, I might call post AD 70 manifestations of God.

Has your article been presented or published?

Duncan

Reformer's picture

My article has been presented and accepted by the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. It is now awaiting publication this fall (tentatively).

Also, I have no problem advocating comings of Jesus post A.D. 70. -- both visible and non-visible. In fact, this article lays down a strong exegetical basis for such.

Duncan2's picture

Reformer,

What term do you suggest we use instead of "the second coming?"

Duncan

davo's picture

That IMO is a great summary -- to the point and succinct :).

davo

Ransom's picture

Having read a few chapters of this book already, I would like to issue this advice.

Don't waste your time arguing too much with this article posted here. Think of this as whetting your appetite for the book. In the same way that you cannot simply dismiss the well-developed system of preterism simply because you know good and well that Christ's second coming could not already have occurred, Duncan's work is so massive and well-constructed that it requires immersion. Encountering a point here or there that one's current system denies often gives one a false sense of absolution from closely examining the new system and honestly dealing with its answers to the current system's objections.

Responsible preterists will read this book. I do not say that you will be convinced, but I daresay you will be irresponsible if you remain unconvinced without well-informed objections to his points after seeing them in their proper context.

ThomasS's picture

It should be noted that according to Dan 7 (cf. Dan 2), "the saints are possessing the kingdom (the beginning of the millennium, Dan. 7:7-11, 21-27)" after the fall of the fourth beast.

It should also be noted that according to the NT , there were several 'anti-christs', not just one.

Thomas S.

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