O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
By Michael Sullivan
If you have read many of my articles off of my sites or have read my chapter in “House Divided Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology…” you should be able to follow these points well:
1) Reformed Partial Preterist author Kenneth Gentry in his writings informs us that the book of Revelation is about things which were in the past, present, and things which were “about to be” fulfilled in John’s day (Rev. 1:19 YLT). Therefore, there is no exegetical evidence that Revelation 20 does not fall within these inspired time indicators.
2) As G.K. Beale has reminded us, it is reformed and orthodox to believe that the thousand years is not just a symbolic number, but is one that does not have to be taken to describe a long time (ie. thousands of years etc…): “The primary point of the thousand years is probably not a figurative reference to a long time…” (Beale, G. K. (1999). The book of Revelation: A commentary on the Greek text. New International Greek Testament Commentary (1018). Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle, Cumbria: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press.).
3) It has also been acknowledged by reformed theologians Such as Beale when approaching the millennium of Revelation 20, that many Rabbis believed that the period of Messiah was to be only a transitionary stage between “this age/world and the age/world to come.” These Rabbis (such as R. Adiba), understood this transition period to be forty years, based upon how long the Israelites were in the wilderness before inheriting the land (Beale, ibid., 1018-1019; see also, A. Cohen, Everyman’s TALMUD, 356). This type/anti-type understanding and same kind of “this generation” or “in a very little while” time frame of “another day” approaching in which the “better” heavenly land/city/resurrection would be inherited or take place is developed for us in the book of Hebrews (cf. Heb. 3-4; 10:25, 37; 11—13:14YLT). And as we have noted from reformed Partial Preterists such as Joel McDurmon or Gary DeMar, it is within the realm of reformed orthodoxy to believe that Jesus’ and Paul’s “this age/world” was the OC age and that the “age/world to come” refers to a transition period between the OC age and the NC age (ie. between AD 30 – AD 70).
4) Reformed Partial Preterists such as Keith Mathison, Kenneth Gentry and James Jordan correctly teach us that the content of Revelation 1-19 and 21-22 was fulfilled by AD 70 (at which time there was a judgment and resurrection of the dead and arrival of the new creation). And yet Amillennialists such as G.K. Beale and Simon Kistemaker correctly teach that Revelation 20:5-15 simply recapitulates these verses and themes or are paralleled to the same events related to the same judgment and consummation scenes depicted in chapters 1-19 and 21-22. We hold to both of these reformed and common sense “orthodox” positions in interpreting the book of Revelation and this becomes relevant in our discussion of the millennium of Revelation 20.
5) In criticizing the Premillennial view which often seeks to isolate Revelation 20 from the rest of the NT, the Amillennial and Postmillennial views hold that Revelation 20 falls within the “already and not yet” of the “last days” period in the NT. Or this transition period can be found in the parable of the wheat and tares or the time frame leading up to the coming of Christ in Matthew 24-25. But as we have seen, it is “orthodox” to believe the “last days” ended with the OC age in AD 70, and that harvest gathering and coming of Christ in Matthew 13 and Matthew 24-25 was fulfilled by AD 70 (cf. the writings of and combinations found in Gary DeMar, Joel McDurmon, Peter Leithart, Keith A. Mathison, etc…).
Therefore, the reader should be able to discern that the Full Preterist AD 30 – AD 70 “this generation” millennial view is: 1). consistent with the teaching of Revelation itself, 2) falls within the “orthodox” views of the Reformed church, 3) is in line with the analogy of Scripture and 4) offers historical support from many Rabbis whom promoted a forty years transitional period between the two ages. Our view on the millennium is both exegetically sound and orthodox. Finding support for the Full Preterist view of the millennium is not as difficult as many portray it – selah.
All of your points are well taken. I would not argue the fact that there is support for the FP position. I'm not sure it's conclusive however. I have not yet seen a convincing argument dealing with Duncan Mckenzie's analysis of Revelation 20, especially his comparison with the Daniel 7.
As a necomer to Preterism please explain how the interpretative transition is made, mathematically, from 1,000 to 40 years? Thanks
Here is what Mike has written in response to this question on his PretCosmos blog.HD is a reference to the book he co wrote "House Divided"
You would have a better chance at interaction with him at that site as he doesn't get over as often.
"As I pointed out in HD the 1,000 years is thematic or depicting completeness/fulness of the NT's teaching on the "already and not yet" of receiving resurrection or eternal life that Adam never achieved (Psalm 90:1-4; Isaiah 65:20-22 LXX). At the end of the OC age the Church or righteous are gathered into and thus shine in the Kingdom -- thus having been raised unto "eternal life" (Dan. 12:2-3/Matt. 13:39-43)."
Thanks John the links you provided are much appreciated . I will go there and check it out. Blessings
There is no problem seeing the "transition" between the two because:
1) The 1,000 years is a figurative number (not literal).
2) The "this generation" (30-40 years) reference is literal.
3) The 1,000 years is a figurative number for the literal "this generation" time frame.
Thanks for this. I am sure you are right but I am a new preterist and I have yet to understand why 1000 years is taken as figurative language and why it is linked to 30 - 40 year generation.
Perhaps it is too soon for me to be here. What I mean is that at present on this site, I feel like an alien who has just been dropped onto another planet. Perhaps I have some exploration to do elsewhere to get some basics. I only hope I find the right tracks. LOL
There are many great preterist web sites with excellent introductory articles.Check out the links on the front page here.
A number of books have been written that are especially helpful and easy to follow such as House Divided which i linked you to earlier.
Another of my favorites is "Beyond Creation Science" as it attempts to explain both Genesis and Revelation from the Full Preterist hermeneutic.
Take the time to visit this site and read chapter one and I think you won't be disappointed.
Always feel free to ask any questions you have here and I and others will do our best to answer.
Blessings and good luck on your journey!
Thanks very much John. I have been a Seventh-day Adventist for half my existnce and since leaving that cult my understanding of prophecy has taken a severe battering and I no longer knew what to think until the good Lord led me to safety in preterism. So, yes, I need introduction; its never to late to go back to school is it? :)
I also am a former SDA of many years. I came out 14 years ago, and one thing that helped me make that transition was reading partial preterist material on eschatology by folks like R.C. Sproul and Kenneth Gentry. I still have high regard for these scholars even though I have moved closer to the full preterist position than they would be comfortable with. I guess some would call me a progressive preterist which puts me somewhere between "full" and "partial". Anyway, I can fully sympathize with your situation as a former SDA... trying to find your way in the maze of evangelical Christianity. There are many theological issues that we have to deal with when coming out of SDA paradigms. I've worked my way through them now, so If I can be of any help I would be glad to correspond with you. My personal email address is email@example.com, if you'd prefer to correspond privately. God bless you in your journey!
In Christ, Bill Carsley
Brian, I just noticed on your profile that you're from the Philippines. I have been to the Philippines, and my wife Razel is a Filipina. Looks like we have a number of connections...
Wow, what can I say to an offer like that? Amazing how the Lord provides. I have another ex-SDA friend who was helped out by Dr Desmond Ford. For a while we have journeyed together but suddenly our paths have diverged. He is caught up with Ford's eschatology (dual fulfilment of Revelation) and I with (full?) preterist eschatology (single fulfilment of Revelation). Consequently, our paths are diverging and since I expressed serious reservations about futuristic projections, emails and general conversation have suddenly dried up like the hills of Gilboa, leaving me in a vacuum. This is because I no longer have a sounding board to express new ideas and challenges as they come in from present studies on the preterist approach.
I have come to realise just to what extent a wrong eschatological approach impacts one's understanding of how God judges sin. I am sure that since the two go hand in hand; get one wrong and the other suffers.
So, Bill, I will most definitely take you up on your kind offer. Please take a look at my profile meantime and you will see where I am at today. You will see that my theology has undergone a radical change in a relatively short space of time since leaving Adventism in 2007-8.
You will be hearing from me in due course. Blessins.
Actually, I am from the UK now living (or melting) in the Philippines, but my wife, Loida is Filipino. So, yes indeed, we do have connections!!