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The Post AD 70 Reign of God's People

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By Duncan - Posted on 03 July 2010

There has been some discussion by preterists lately on the post AD 70 status of the kingdom of God. Some say that the end of the age came at AD 70 and that Jesus has delivered the kingdom to his father (1 Cor. 15:23-28). While I agree with this (cf. Matt. 10:21-22; 24:1-3, 6, 13-14; 1 Cor. 10:11; Heb. 9:26; 1 Peter 4:7; 1 John 2:18; Rev. 2:26) it does not mean that God’s people are no longer involved with the kingdom. The fact is, Scripture shows God’s people fully possessing the kingdom at AD 70.

Let me say at the outset that I am not looking to debate the millennium here. If one wants to say the millennial kingdom was from AD 30-70 and that the post AD 70 rule of the saints is the eternal kingdom, that is fine. I do not believe it is correct (I see the millennium beginning at AD 70), but I want to put the millennial question to the side so my full preterist brethren can hear what I am saying about the post AD 70 reign of the saints. I am keeping my discussion relatively bare bones in an attempt at clarity. Because certain aspects of what I am saying need some background, however, I have included a number of links (If you want the full treatment, read my book!)

Daniel 7 clearly shows the saints fully possessing the kingdom of God at AD 70, right after the great tribulation:

I was watching; and the same [little] horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom. vv. 21-22

The little eleventh horn here represents Titus in AD 70; he was a general at that time and not yet emperor (hence a “little” horn). This coming of God to defeat the little eleventh horn is when the saints fully possessed the kingdom of God. It is shown in Revelation in the form of the coming of the Word of God to defeat the beast in Rev. 19:11-27 and then the saints possess the kingdom in Revelation 20:4 (but I do not want to discuss that :-) For the identity of the little horn of Daniel 7 and the connections with the beast of Revelation see my article here By the way, I was quite interested to find out that my position that Titus is the little horn of Daniel 7 is the classic Jewish position. See here for Rashi’s commentary on Daniel 7

This sequence of the saints fully possessing the kingdom of God right after the great tribulation is shown again in Daniel 7:24-27.

The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; he shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue three kings. He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time [cf. Dan. 12:7]. But the court shall be seated [cf. Dan. 7:10], and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and destroy it forever. Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him. vv. 24-27

Daniel and Revelation are ultimately showing spiritual rulers (notice the spiritual princes and kings in Daniel 10:13, 20-21). Notice also that the beast of Revelation comes out of the abyss, (Rev. 11:7; 17:8). His is an eighth demonic king (Rev. 17:11) and corresponds to the little horn who is an eighth ruler after three horns are removed (11-3=8, Dan. 7:7-8). It was not a human ruler that would come out of the abyss; it was a spiritual ruler (he was the demonic prince of the Romans who would work through Titus cf. Dan. 9:26). This is an unveiling of the “rulers of the darkness” of the pre AD 70 age, “the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:12). These rulers would be coming to nothing at AD 70 (1 Cor. 2:6). Daniel 7 is thus not showing the fall of Rome (which had well over 100 emperors during its history); it is showing the fall of the eleven demonic rulers behind the pre AD 70 Roman Empire. Ultimately it is showing the end of Satan’s ruler in the kingdoms of man (Luke 4:5-7; John 14:30; Rev. 11:15-18) which is why Nebuchadnezzar’s whole statue collapses at once (Dan. 2:34-35, 44-45). For my discussion of this see “The Supernatural Rulers Portrayed in Daniel and Revelation”

With that way too brief intro, here are the eleven physical rulers that these spiritual rulers worked through.

1. Julius Caesar (49-44 BC)
2. Augustus (31BC- AD 14)
3. Tiberius (AD 14-37
4. Gaius a.k.a. Caligula (AD 37-41)
5. Claudius (AD 41-54)
6. Nero (AD 54-68)
7. Galba (AD 68-69---------
8. Otho (AD 69)------------- 3 horns pulled out (Dan. 7:8)
9. Vitellius (AD 69)---------
10. Vespasian (AD 69-79)
11. Titus in AD 70, the little eleventh horn of Dan. 7

Daniel’s fourth beast has eleven rulers, which, starting with Julius, brings one to Titus, the eleventh Caesar. The reference to him being a “little horn” speaks of him in AD 70. It was when he was a general that he warred against Daniel’s people for “a time and times and half a time” (the three-and-a-half years of March/April AD 67-August/September AD70, Dan. 7:25; cf. Dan. 12:7; Rev. 11:2). The three rulers removed before the little horn (Dan. 7:7-8) refer to the three short-lived emperors of AD 68-69 (Galba, Otho, and Vitellius) that Titus and Vespasian won out over in their quest for the Roman throne. The change of the times of religious observation and Jewish law (v. 25) was accomplished by Titus and his father around this time when they set up the equivalent of a new Sanhedrin in Yavneh. The blasphemies of the little horn speak of the blasphemies made by Titus when he captured the Temple (See the Babylonian Talmud, Gitten 56b)

The post AD 70 reign of the saints at the full establishment of the kingdom of God is also shown in the parable of the minas:

Now as they heard these things, He spoke another parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately. Therefore He said: “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’ But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’ And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. Then came the first, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’ And he said to him, ‘Well done good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’ And the second came, saying ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’ Likewise he said to him, ‘You also be over five cities.’ Then another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ And he said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow. Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him and give it to him who has ten minas.’ (But they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas.’) For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given: and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. But bring those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.’” Luke 19:11-27

Jesus told this parable because his disciples mistakenly thought the kingdom of would be established immediately. Even though Jesus would receive the kingdom at his AD 30 ascension (Dan. 7:13-14; Matt 28:18), the full establishment of it would not happen till his Second Coming. It is at the return of the nobleman that his servants fully enter into the reign of his kingdom. (see the parallel parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-46 where Jesus’ servants inherit the kingdom at his coming). The Second Coming is shown as the coming of God in Daniel 7:21-27. For a discussion of the relationship of the AD 30 coming of the Son of Man in Daniel 7:13-14 and the AD 70 coming of the Ancient of Days to defeat the little horn in Daniel 7:21-22 see my article “The Two Comings of Daniel 7.”

The full establishment of the kingdom of God happened at the time that those citizens who did not want the nobleman to ruler over them (i.e., the Jews, cf. John 1:11) were destroyed (Luke 19:27). The Jews would be cast out of the kingdom at its AD 70 full establishment.

And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 8:11-12).
See also Matt. 21:33-43 (“Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.”)

This destruction of the Jews at the AD 70 full establishment of the kingdom of God is shown in Revelation 11:15-18.

Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ and He will reign forever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, “We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign. And the nations were enraged and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.”
Revelation 11:15-18 NASB

The kingdom of this world that Satan had a princely rule over (cf. Luke 4:5-6) fully became the kingdom of God at AD 70. It should be noted that the phrase “destroy those who destroy the earth” (v. 18) is better translated as “destroy those who destroy the Land.” The Greek word gē is often better translated as “Land” (i.e. the land of Israel) in Revelation rather than “earth.”

While Jesus won all power on heaven and on earth at the cross (“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Matt. 28:18), it would not be until his parousia at AD 70 that he would fully exercise this authority (Matt. 25:31-46). Thus, Satan was still permitted to be the god of the pre AD 70 age (2 Cor. 4:4)—“the prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2). Jesus destroyed the power of Satan at the cross (Heb. 2:14; 1 John 3:8), and the kingdom of God was established in heaven at that time (at the ascension of the Messiah Rev. 12:1-12) but not yet on earth. At AD 30 Satan was cast out of heaven (Rev. 12:9-10; cf. John 12:31-32) and the kingdom was established in heaven, but not yet fully on earth (note Rev. 12:12). Thus, prior to AD 70 the whole world was still “under the sway of the wicked one (1 John 5:19; cf. Heb. 2:5-9). This was the already/not yet of the kingdom. Between AD 30 and AD 70 the kingdom was fully established in the heavenly realm but not yet fully established in the earthly realm. I go into more detail on this in my article “When was the kingdom of God Fully Established?”

It was at AD 70 that God fully implemented his kingdom authority in the earthly realm—the time when he took his “great power and began to reign” (Rev. 11:17). This was the time that all enemies were defeated (I Cor. 15:23-26; cf. 1 Cor. 2:6; Rom 16:20). This collapse of Satan’s rule in the kingdoms of man (cf. Luke 4:5-7) is shown in the form of the collapse of Nebuchadnezzar’s image in Daniel 2 (vv. 34-35, 44-45) and the four beasts being simultaneously stripped of their authority in Daniel 7 (vv. 11-12) as the saints inherit the kingdom (vv. 21-27). Daniel 2 and 7 show the kingdom of God being fully established during the reign of the tenth king of Rome (Vespasian) at the time that the eleventh little horn (Titus) warred against Daniel’s people for three and a half years (Dan. 7:23-27). You can see my discussion of Daniel 2 and 7 in my book: Daniel 7 is especially important; it shows Jesus’ ascension, (vv 13-14), the judgment (vv. 7-11), the parousia (vv. 21-22) and the saints inheriting the kingdom (vv. 23-27). You can read most of my chapter on Daniel 7 at the google preview. Start on page 99.

Revelation says that the one who was faithful until Jesus’ parousia in AD 70 would fully enter into the rule that Jesus had received at AD 30.

But hold fast what you have till I come, and he who overcomes and keeps my works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations. He shall ruler them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels—as I also have received from My Father Rev. 2:25-27

Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. Rev. 3:20-21


With the above as background, the following from Jesus makes more sense: “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power” (Mark 9:1). The parallel passage in Matthew reads as follows:

For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and 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.
Matthew 16:27-28

Jesus was saying that some of his hearers would still be alive when the kingdom came with power at his Second Coming (cf. Matt. 24:29-34; Luke 19:11-27). As spiritually significant as this would be, it would not be an observable event (Luke 17:20).
Some try to escape the clear ramifications of Jesus’ statement about his coming in his kingdom in Matthew 16:27-28 by claiming that it refers to the transfiguration (cf. Matt. 17:1-10). This makes little sense, however. Why would Jesus indicate only some would live to see an event (the transfiguration) that happened six days later? Jesus’ angels are certainly not shown as being present at Jesus’ transfiguration. Furthermore, notice that Jesus said he would “reward each according to his works” at the time of his coming with his angels (Matt. 16:27). This refers to the judgment that would happen at the Second Advent, (cf. Dan. 7:7-11, 21-26; Rev. 22:10-12), not the transfiguration. It was an event far enough in the future that only some of his younger audience would live to see it. Indeed, this coming of the kingdom with power would happen approximately forty years (a generation) from when Jesus made those statements (cf. Matt. 24:15-34). This coming of Jesus in the fullness of his kingdom is shown in Matthew 25.

When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Matthew 25:31-34

This time of the full establishment of the kingdom of God at AD 70 is shown in Luke 22.

But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one on Me, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Luke 22:28-30).

Any question that the coming of Jesus to sit “on the throne of His glory” is referring to the AD 70 kingdom reign is put to rest in the parallel passage in Matthew.

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” (Matt. 19:28).

The kingdom reign would fully begin at the AD 70 regeneration; this would happen at the time of the judgment of Israel. This was the time of the spiritual renewal of all things, the time of the new heaven and new earth (Rev. 21:3-5). In Isaiah 65 the new heaven and new earth are created at the time that God destroys his unfaithful old covenant people and fully establishes his faithful servants in the new heaven and new earth (Is. 65:1-19: See Romans 10:20-21 where Paul says Is. 65:1-2 is ultimately contrasting rebellious Israel with God’s new covenant people. See also Isaiah 51:15-16 where the creation of the old covenant is likened to the creation of heaven and earth.) The spiritual restoration of the new heaven and new earth would happen at the Second Coming (Acts 3:19-24; notice that this restoration is spoken to Israel in the context of them either turning to Jesus (the Prophet Moses spoke of) or being destroyed (vv. 22-23). Unfortunately for them, they chose the latter.

How Then Shall We Rule?
Theological study is a means to an end; it is not an end in itself. The end, or goal, of that study is to know how to live in alignment with God and His purposes. If one’s study of Scripture is not being applied to one’s life and world it is of little benefit. I have not seen much on the practical applications of preterism; without it preterism is just an intellectual exercise. Allow me to quote Daniel 7 again,

I was watching; and the same [little] horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom . . . Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time. But the court shall be seated [cf. v. 10], and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and destroy it forever. Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him. vv. 21-22, 25-27

While there is disagreement among preterists on who the little horn of Daniel 7 is, most agree these verses point to AD 70. The spiritual dominion of this planet was given to God’s people at AD 70. It was at the return of the nobleman (Luke 19:11-27) that his followers are given authority over cities. This is an important point; the kingdom of God is administered today by his people. So how do we rule with our Lord? The biggest single way is through prayer.

While God is sovereign, his plan has always been to partner with his people in accomplishing his purposes (cf. Gen. 2:19). Jesus told his disciples to “pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Matt. 9:38); the implication of this being that God was going to send laborers into the field in response to the prayers of his people. Jesus further told his disciples to pray “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10). The implication here being that God’s will is not always done on earth but believers should pray that it would be. The concept of God partnering with his people is also seen in Matthew where the idle servant is condemned for not doing the Master’s bidding, “You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed.” (Matt. 25:26). This illustrates the point that it is God’s plan to implement his will by working through his people.

This is the situation with God’s kingdom today; we partner with our Lord in exercising his rule. The kingdom and dominion of this world were given to the saints at AD 70. We exercise this dominion through prayer and sharing God’s love in word and action. It is still true that the one who wants to be greatest in the kingdom should be the greatest servant (Mark 9:33-37); we should be servant-rulers! (A nice little paradox.) The essence of prayer has not changed; it should still be that God’s will be done on earth as it is in done in heaven. What has to happen, is that we need to get off our behinds and get on our knees and starting ruling with Jesus!

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