O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

If I understand Full Preterism correctly, the Great White Throne Judgment occurred in 70AD.  At that time, people were judged and "the death" was finally destroyed.  I also get the impression that the idea is it is an ongoing judgment for people who die in our time (if not, what happens to people who die in our time?).  Since the text explicitly says that the LAST THING to be destroyed is "the death", if we see it as ongoing don't, we have to wait for the end of the ongoing judgment of people who are currently dying before "the death" itself is destroyed?  In other words, if there is an ongoing judgment against people as they die, it doesn't seem to me that "the death" can be destroyed yet.

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So, are we saying that the Daniel 12/GWT event was a one time thing (where both the good and bad are judged) and that what happens now is a different type of final judgment in which only the good are judged?

Interesting and timely question. This morning I was listening to the radio on my drive to work, and heard Dr. Irwin Lutzer comment that the GWT jusgment was only for sinners, and the only thing being decided there was the severity of their punishment in hell. What a strange, and Catholic, view of the afterlife!

Anyway, the GWT, IHMO, is something we have to discuss by asking first what "judgment" means. In our modern mindset, we think of it always as a negative thing. That is, whenever someone "judges", then the result is always a bad thing. Yet Jesus said that in the judgment, He would separate the sheep from the goats. I think this metaphor is telling.

Basically, what I am hearing is that judgment can punitive, but it can also be rewarding in nature. It can be a time of separation - the good from the bad. Or, it can be a simple procedure where people a judge to help them decide what to do!

Judgment doesn't always have to be "judicial", in the sense of a lawgiver deciding or interpreting what side of the law something comes down on. In fact, in the books of the Judges, the pre-king judges were there simply for deciding matters between two people, based not on existing law, but on the morality of an issue. Sometimes, judgment was appealed to heaven, and they hauled out the urim and thummin, or they cast lots to decide matters. Either way, it was not always a proceeding where a final fate was decided.

Therefore, we ought not err thinking the GWT is automatically a condemnatory process. It might not be.


Yes the GWT Judgment happen in 70AD. The judgement of  Revelation 20 is the same as Matthew 25:31f and is the same judgment of Mat 16:27  For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. Mat 16:28  Truly, I say to you,there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."


Your other questions have to be answered within this framework.

Joh 11:25  Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, Joh 11:26  and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

Christians don't need a resurrection "we never die" Unbelievers never had life.


Something to note is Rev 20 is after the new H&E so it's can't be future.


The second coming,judgment and resurrection of the dead were all to happen at the same time.The OT bears this out.

Isaiah 2:1-4

"The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”


It's a discussion that deserves a lot more attention and I'm sorry this is all i had time for today but i wanted to acknowledge i think it's a great question and hope more people will respond. 

From my prêteristic view of pantelism I understand the GWT AD70 judgment as applicable to OC Israel. This is where the world of man changed from God’s perspective in relation to His dealings with humankind. Covenant renewal as experienced through “the Israel of God” ON BEHALF OF their brethren historic Israel wrought her redemption; this had the affect of bringing reconciliation to the world beyond [Rom 11:12, 15].


IF then as Pantelism contends, through the AD70 Parousia of Christ the LAST enemy to be destroyed was "the death" [1Cor 15:26]; and IF along with the death its paralysing venom of the sin duly empowered by the law likewise suffered demise [1Cor 15:56]; and further… IF God by virtue of this, having reconciled all things in heaven and on earth to Himself through the blood of Christ's cross [Col 1:20], THEN regardless of what you or I or anybody else thinks or reasons – LOGICALLY… with the LAST enemy gone – God therefore has no more enemies.

Now even IF in the ignorance or arrogance of some men's feeble minds they consider themselves enemies of God, from HIS perspective they are not [Col 1:21]. The logic then is clear cut… if from a consistent prêterist conclusion the last enemy “DEATH” having been destroyed, then such consistency also dictates that there can be no more enemies THEREAFTER! And so, with God having made peace, and the Scriptures testify He has, then who are we to question His gracious will?

Ted, I won't modify the text... it affects "all mankind" BECAUSE OF Christ. Those "in Christ” being the ones through whom such is made known. Christ came as the servant of all – those “in Christ” likewise follow their master.


In essence – what happens for Israel then happens for the world. To the degree Israel frustrated [in disobedience] their calling as the world’s light unto Yahweh to that degree the world stayed in chaotic darkness i.e., ignorance; that is, in ignorance as to the closeness of God...


Act 17:27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.

From God's eternal and timeless perspective, all are reconciled through the Messiah. Does this have to occur only in this physical life?



Hey Doug,


Here is something from volume II of my book


Death and Hades Thrown into the Lake of Fire

In Revelation 20:14 Death and Hades are thrown into the lake of fire.  Beale discusses a number of possible meanings for this; the following are the two he considers preferable:


‘Death and Hades’ may be a metonymy in which the container is substituted for the contained.  That is, that they are ‘cast into the lake of fire’ is another way of saying that unbelievers formerly held in the temporary bonds of ‘death and Hades’ will be handed over to the permanent bonds of the lake of fire.  This may be supported by v. 15, where, ‘were cast into the lake of fire’ is repeated, but clearly in reference to unbelievers consigned to judgment.

Or it may be that v 14 affirms that ‘death and Hades,’ as the location of those who have suffered ‘the first [physical] death’ in the preconsummation age, has come to its end and is now incorporated into or superseded by ‘the lake of fire’ as the location of those suffering ‘the second [spiritual] death’ in the postconsummation age.  Therefore, final perdition now enters in place of the provisional.[1] brackets in original


I agree with Beale thoughts here (although disagree on his futuristic timing); as he notes, these two possibilities are not mutually exclusive.  I see the casting of Death and Hades into the lake of fire as symbolizing both the AD 70 casting of the unrighteous dead into the lake of fire and the destruction of the intermediate state of the unrighteous dead at that time.  At AD 70 the intermediate state of the dead was done away with.  Those who die after AD 70 who are in the Lamb’s Book of Life go directly to be with the Lord (with their resurrection bodies).  Those who are not in the Book of Life are judged and go directly to the lake of fire.  Just as the reigning of the saints in 20:4 is an on going process (cf. Rev. 22:3-5), with new believers entering into it post-AD 70, so the AD 70 judgment of unbelievers is ongoing from that point on.  Believers that die after AD 70 are evaluated for rewards (Rev. 14:13); unbelievers that die after AD 70 face a final judgment and the lake of fire.  Smalley writes the following in terms of the ongoing nature of the judgment.


If the justice which is administered in this scene is final and comprehensive, it must presumably affect the living as well as the dead, and the righteous as well as the unrighteous.  But it has already been suggested that John’s vision in 20.5-15 is ‘final’ in an eschatological, rather than chronological, sense.  In the same way, the ‘first resurrection (verses 5-6) and the ‘last judgement (verses 11-15) belong in Johannine thought to an ongoing process of salvation through judgment which is experienced by believers and unbelievers at any time up to and including the climax of salvation history.  Thus the serious vision of judgement in Rev. 20.11-15 is salvific, as well as timeless and general in its reference.  See on 11.15-18.


The Judgment of the Living

In 2 Timothy 4:1, Paul talks about Jesus judging “the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom.”  As for this judgment of the living at AD 70, I believe that an initial judgment—a spiritual separation of living believers from non-believers—happened at that time.  At AD 70 there was a separation among the living in terms of who was part of God’s kingdom and who was not (cf. Matt. 25:31-46).  Believers were spiritually gathered into the New Jerusalem (symbolic of the new covenant) while non believers where excluded from it (Rev. 22:14-15).  The New (covenant) Jerusalem came to earth at AD 70 (Rev. 21:1-2).  This is not a physical city that dropped out of the sky, it is symbolic of the AD 70 full establishment of God’s kingdom on earth (cf. Dan. 7:17-27).  It is those who are part of the new covenant “city” that have access to the tree and water of life (Rev. 21:3-8; 22:1-5).  Only those who are in the Lamb’s Book of Life are part of the New Jerusalem bride (Rev. 21:27); on the outside are those who are not part of the new covenant.


Blessed are those who do His commandments that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.  But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murders and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. Revelation 22:14-15[2]


Again, since AD 70, non-believers face a final judgment at death and are separated for eternity from the Lord in the lake of fire (Rev. 21:8).  In contrast to the judgment that awaits non-believers at death, rewards await believers when they die.  “Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, ‘Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on’[ cf. Rev. 14:8, the AD 70 fall of harlot Jerusalem] ‘Yes’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.’” (Rev. 14:13).  Revelation 14:14-20 goes on to show the time of the Second Coming (using the harvest as a symbol of the end of the age, cf. Matt. 13:36-43) and the separation of those who belong to the Lord and enter his rest from those who do not.

[1] Beale, The Book of Revelation, 1035.

[2] The symbol of the new covenant city coming to earth at AD 70, with some in it who have access to the tree of life and some outside of it that don’t have such access is the antithesis of universalism.

Thanks for all of the responses so far.  It's fascinating to me that so many smart people can come up with such divergent opinions (and we haven't seen every position described yet).  While I understand that the brand of Full Preterism held to by most here is not "universalist", I don't understand how that can be if "the death" (separation from God) was done away with 2,000 years ago.  If covenantal death disappeared 2,000 years ago, on what grounds are people condemned today?  It seems to me that the only way this could happen is if they never had the possibility of being in the covenant to begin with.  This brings up some disturbing implications (you either have a Limited Atonement for humans, or some "people" not evolved enough to be capable of a covenant relationship with God).




I'm not sure i see where the problem is.


You write "if "the death" (separation from God) was done away with 2,000 years ago.  If covenantal death disappeared 2,000 years ago, on what grounds are people condemned today?"


1.The death wasn't done away for all men...only those that come into the NH&E for outside.

Rev 21:27  But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.


2.You asked "on what grounds are people condemned today?" 

John 5:24 (NKJV) "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. 
Everlasting life is not to live physically forever, it is to escape the judgement of God.


You wrote "This brings up some disturbing implications (you either have a Limited Atonement for humans, or some "people" not evolved enough to be capable of a covenant relationship with God)."

You'll have to explain this a little better for me as I'm not sure i understand what you mean.

John, have you considered viewing the likes of Rev 21:27 & Jn 5:24 as applicable to covenant Israel alone? Doing so would certainly consistent with a prêteristic hermeneutic – IOW, when you say "the death wasn't done away for all men" that would be because "all men" weren't subject to it. The reign of "the death" from Adam to Moses is rightly indicative of this, i.e., this places the death in the covenant setting of Israel's life – Adam being proto-Israel.



Does Rev 21:27  foster the same concept of Israel that the fullness of the Gentiles of Rom 9-11 were being brought into?  If that is so then "all Israel" appears to encompass the oppurtunity for all men to come clean.  All men are subject to the death found in Adam becasue that was the only avenue to God. So the removal of Adam's "the sin", "the death" because of "the law" reconciles all men who seek God. It becomes a moot action for those who don't or reject it as the apostate Jews did.

Norm: If that is so then "all Israel" appears to encompass the oppurtunity for all men to come clean. 


Norm, as I see it… "all Israel" being redeemed did indeed afford or encompass the opportunity "for all men to come clean" – in fact it [Israel] was God's way or means for this to be so [Jn 4:22b].


Being duly reconciled has placed man in the position of responding to the call of God to service; that all don't respond affirmatively does not undo their reconciliation – they simply miss the great privileges of it, e.g., carnal Israel of the desert missed the greater goodness that faithfulness grasped; but they were no less loved and lured of God towards it.


It's like God already owns ALL the fruit in the bowl – at his pleasure He takes of any of the fruit He placed in the bowl and specifically cleanses it [sanctifies] for His particular purpose.




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