articles of chapter 8

Has Jesus’ second coming already taken place?

Preteristic understanding of the Christian faith
Life now in the Kingdom of Christ according to the Preterists
The Millennial Kingdom of Christ
When will Christ come? What are the conditions that must be met?
Luke Chapter 21: Times of the Gentiles
“This generation”
Mark Chapter 13: The great tribulation
Matthew Chapter 24: The Prophecies of Jesus to the Apostles on the Mount of Olives
”Taste death”
Mat 10:23 … you certainly will not have gone through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes”
What happens, when a believer dies today?
What is the Lord’s Day? How does it relate to the Second Coming of Christ?
Does the Revelation tell of the destruction of Jerusalem?
Have the claims of the preterists come true?
Did Jesus come already?
What is the rule of Christ on earth like?
What promises in the Bible have not been fulfilled?
Christ and the Saints rule with iron scepter
Earth is a paradise of peace and happiness
Has Satan already been destroyed?
Jesus, Israel and the Jews
The Last Judgment and God’s Punishment

 

Preteristic understanding of the Christian faith   

Preterism is the belief that claims Jesus came to earth for the second time in 70 AD. Also, the Preterists believe that all the prophecies that the Bible speaks of at the Second Coming of Christ are fulfilled. Futurists, the opposite of the preterists, consider that most of the Bible predictions of the end time are still to be fulfilled. Such predictions include, in particular, the Second Coming, the Resurrection of Jesus, and the Last Judgment. Preterists, therefore, believe that these key predictions have already been fulfilled.

The three core evidence of the Preterists for the Second Coming of Jesus are Mat 10:23, 16:28 and 23:24.

Mat 10:23 “So when they persecute you in one town, flee to the next. For truly I tell you, you certainly will not have gone through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

Mat 16:28 “Most assuredly I tell you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste of death, until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.

Mat 24:34 “Most assuredly I tell you, this generation will not pass away, until all these things are accomplished.

 

If the timing question of the second coming of Jesus were to be solved solely by the three verses above, the solution would surely be clear: Jesus returned to earth before the destruction of Jerusalem in year 70 and the destruction of the Jewish people. I will examine these in more detail in this article. You will find that it is not as simple as one might deduce from these core fractions. Key points are “this generation,” “before all of these happen,” and “preaching the gospel to allbefore the end. The destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 also meant the destruction of the Jewish people. At the same time, it was the end of the Old Covenant and the beginning of the New Covenant of Christ.

In this writing, I will try to explain the core of the preterist doctrine and will also provide my answers to the arguments put forward and their reasoning. Preterists have indeed worked hard and found learned theologians to justify their positions. That’s a tribute to them. And no doubt, one must admit that many times in the Bible the message of Christ, “I am coming soon,” is emphasized. That is so, and I cannot but say that God’s concept of time is different from that of us humans. The Bible uses the word yowm to denote the day, but it is also term for an indefinite period. A thousand years to God is like one day.

While presenting the doctrines of the Preterists, I use my arguments to substantiate my own, mainly futuristic view. The language used by the Bible and Jesus’ many promises of his upcoming schedule, “soon” or “fast,” easily lead the Bible reader to believe like the preterists. Too often, we are the first to grasp the explanation that comes to mind without noticing what the second Bible says. For example: Jesus made a parable known as the “fig tree”. The fig tree is an emblem of Israel and has been used to make predictions about Israel’s future. However, the whole phrase used by Jesus says, “And he spoke unto them the parable: See the fig tree and all the trees” (Luke 21:29). So, consider all the relevant Bible verses.

There are many Christian beliefs in the world. They are all based on a particular interpretation of the Bible. This also applies to Preterism; its proponents have done thorough work and present numerous Bible verses in support of the doctrine. God has undoubtedly seen the doctrinal chaos of the various interpretations of the Bible. What is his purpose when he has allowed such a doctrinal mess to occur? After all, there were different interpretations of the Old Testament in Israel in the time of Jesus, such as the Pharisees and Sadducees. I dare say that the salvation of man is not dependent on whether he has chosen the “right” faith. Even in times of the great tribulation, just shouting one word, Jesus, is enough.

According to the teachings of the Preterists, when Christ came to earth for the second time, the first resurrection took place: 1 Cor 15:51 “Let me tell you a secret. Not all of us will die, but all of us will be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed.”

If this happened, as the preterists claim in 70 AD, why did some of the apostles stay on earth and died only after year 70? All the apostles were to come to rule under Christ in the spiritual kingdom he led.

Second question: Suppose the Apostles and other Saints began to rule the world with Christ with an iron scepter, as the Bible tells us. Why has it lasted nearly two thousand years, and the world is still in a state of disarray? Christianity is divided and is only part of the religions of the world. Shouldn’t the administration of Christ, if it were ruling, have had better results in the two millennia?

Some preterists believe that the coming of the Son of Man in his glory was already fulfilled at the death of Jesus on the cross. They believe that the apocalyptic signs are already fulfilled, e.g., the sun is darkening (cf. Mar 13:24-15:33), Mat 24:29 “But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give his light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.” (14: 63, 15: 5) and “they will see” (cf. Mark 13: 26-15: 31, 15:39) However, some critics point out that something is missing, as 2 Peter 3:10 says, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.” Mat 24:30, “and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. Then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.” (Wikipedia)

 

Preterist org justifies their teaching by as follows:

“Preterist” means past in fulfillment, and “Futurist” means the future in fulfillment. Preterist basically means the opposite of Futurist. Futurists believe most end-time prophecies (especially the big three events — the Second Coming, Resurrection, and Judgment) are yet to be fulfilled. Preterists believe that most or all of Bible Prophecy (especially the big three events) has already been fulfilled in Christ and the on-going expansion of His Eternal Kingdom. Many Futurists do not really believe that Christ has been successful in fully establishing His Kingdom. They think it was indefinitely postponed when the Jews rejected and crucified Jesus. (Preterist org.)

It becomes crystal clear that the “Last Days” and the “Great and Terrible Day of the Lord” was referring to that terminal generation of Jews who lived right before Jerusalem was destroyed. At AD 70, Jesus returned and ended the last days of the Jewish nation. It was God’s Great and Glorious Day for the vindication of His people, and an Awesome Day of Judgment and destruction for those who had rejected and crucified Him and persecuted His followers. Acts 2:16-20 had its fulfillment at AD 70! The last days of the Jewish nation ended then. The new Eternal Kingdom age began. We are no longer living in “the Last Days,” nor is the “Great and Terrible Day of the Lord” still ahead of us. We are in the Eternal Kingdom now.

Thus, the establishment of the eternal kingdom of Christ at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD was the fulfillment of all things promised to God’s chosen people, a true spiritual Israel, which included both believing Jews and believing Gentiles. (cf. Rom 2:28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit not in the letter; whose praise is not from men, but from God.)

We have seen that the kingdom had to arrive during the lifetime of some of Jesus’ disciples. It came in the wake of the destruction of Jerusalem when “all these things happened,” and Jesus came to judge between sheep and goats. It is spiritual in nature and will last forever.

Rom 9:6-8 “Now it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all Israelites truly belong to Israel,
7 and not all of Abraham’s descendants are his true descendants. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that descendants will be named for you.”
8 That is, it is not the children of natural descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as descendants.”

9:22-24 “What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath made for destruction,
23 and that he might make known the riches of his glory on vessels of mercy, which he prepared beforehand for glory,
24 including us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but from the Gentiles as well?
25 As he says in Hosea, “Those who are not my people I will call my people, and the one who was not loved I will call my loved one.”

Rom 11:7 “What is it then? What Israel seeks for, that he has not obtained; but the election has obtained, and the rest have been blinded,”

 

Life now in the Kingdom of Christ according to the Preterists

“If Christ has already returned and established His Eternal Kingdom, what does that mean for us saints today? Some think that our life now should be like heaven on earth. But that is not the description of life in the Kingdom that Jesus and the apostles gave us. They taught a lot about what life on earth would be like after the Kingdom arrived. And now that the kingdom has arrived, all of that teaching about how to live in the kingdom fully applies to us. It did not somehow lose its relevancy to us at AD 70. Instead, it only just began to be fully relevant and applicable to us after AD 70.”

“Jesus taught many parables about what life in the kingdom would be like. Some of those parables talk about the afterlife in heaven, while others talk about how we should live our lives here on earth. The kingdom exists in both realms. That is why Jesus taught us to pray that His kingdom would come on earth as it already is in heaven. Things here in this physical life have always been and will always be imperfect. Perfection is only found in heaven. But when the eternal kingdom arrived in AD 70, it began the process of renewal and regeneration. And even though longed for. It is exactly what those first-century saints hoped for and expected and wait life on this earth will never reach perfection, the good news of the kingdom will continue to purify the culture and heal the nations throughout all generations to come” (Ezek 47:8-12)

“This means that Hades was emptied at the coming of Christ. Saints no longer go there at death. Instead, we receive our new immortal bodies and go to heaven. Since we do not go to Hades, we will not need to be raised back out of Hades. This means that there is a “better hope” and a “better resurrection” and a “better country” to live in forever.”

“This is the same afterlife hope that saints of all ages have ed anxiously for. And that hope was fulfilled. Now we saints no longer have to go to Hades and wait for a resurrection back out of there. Instead, at death we immediately receive our new immortal bodies and go to heaven. That fulfilled hope is a better hope.”

“So, Jesus’ predictions were fulfilled. He did not fail, nor do we need to engage in theological gymnastics to try to explain-away the seeming delay or postponement of His return. It happened right on schedule. Many theologians know that the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD was important in God’s scheme of redemption, but never understood its full significance. It has to do with the consummation of the plan of redemption. The final events of the redemptive drama came to pass in the first century within the apostles’ generation (before A.D. 70). Christ’s kingdom is here now. Paradise has been restored in Christ (for our afterlife in heaven above). Christ has conquered all His enemies and has given us His Eternal Kingdom, “of the increase of which there shall be no end” (Isaiah 9:6-7). Preterist .org

 

The Millennial Kingdom of Christ

Isa 2:1 “This is what Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2 It shall happen in the end of days, that the mountain of Yahweh’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be raised above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. 3 And many peoples shall go and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, 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 Jehovah’s word from Jerusalem. 4 He will judge between the nations, And will decide concerning many peoples; And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning-hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war any more.”

Already at the turn of the 700s and 600s BC, the Prophet Isaiah saw a vision of the Kingdom of God at the end of time. It appears from the vision that it is a description of the Millennial reign of Christ and the Saints. In verse 4, “He” means Christ. This Kingdom will rule at the end of time. A taste of God’s Kingdom was received on the first Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out on a large crowd in Jerusalem.

Preterists calculate that the kingdom of God began in 70 AD, when the Roman army destroyed Jerusalem and when Christ came to earth to rule for the second time in spirit form. So, in their view, the kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom. In this way, it is easy to explain why the changes in the physical world that Isaiah tells us, are not visible. So, the lion is eating grass spiritually, but in the real world, it is a meat-eating beast.

Has such a millennial period been in the history of mankind? If that were the case, there would probably be plenty of evidence, writings, works of art etc. Satan is bound, too, and he cannot attract and deceive humanity. All this wonderfulness has happened in the real, physical world. The millennial Kingdom of Christ will be realized in the real world, at least according to Isaiah. Not in another world, that is, in the spiritual realm. The duration of a millennial kingdom may not be precisely 1000 years. The ‘Millennium’ may also be a figurative expression of an extended period. Preterists, in fact, believe that the Millennium lasted only 40 years, from the death of Christ to 70 AD.

About the time after the Millennium, John states in his revelation: “I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth have passed away, and the sea is no more. I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready like a bride adorned for her husband.” (Rev 21:1-2)

We must live in the last days, for Paul says: 2 Tim 3:1 “But know this, that in the last days, grievous times will come.
2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
3 without natural affection, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good,,
4  traitors, headstrong, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God;
5 holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power thereof. Turn away from these, also.”

 

When will Christ come? What are the conditions that must be met?

Luk 21:29 “He told them a parable. “See the fig tree, and all the trees.
30 When they are already budding, you see it and know by your own selves that the summer is already near.
31  Even so you also, when you see these things happening, know that the Kingdom of God is near.
32 Most assuredly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things are accomplished.
33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.
34 “So be careful, or your hearts will be loaded down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that day will come on you suddenly.
35 For it will come like a snare on all those who dwell on the surface of all the earth.”
Luke warns of future Tribulation: God’s Kingdom is near when the signs (see the earlier verses) are fulfilled. Tribulation reaches all people on earth. It is not a local destruction on Jerusalem. The destruction of Jerusalem also meant great distress to the Jewish population. Luke 21:35 says, however, that the Tribulation will come like a snare to all who dwell on the surface of the earth, not just the small Jewish population. Again, this shows that persecution and the transfer of Jews among the nations of the world is not the end of the Old Testament Jewish world, nor is it an affliction for everyone on earth.

In the first half of chapter 21, Jerusalem is said to be surrounded by troops, but then we jump into time and expressions such as “trampled down by the Gentiles” and “the times of the Gentiles.” Luk 21:24 “they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and be led captive into all the nations … “Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”

What does “times of the Gentiles” mean? After the destruction of the city of Jerusalem, and especially its temple, the people of Israel are being destroyed or displaced by the Roman Empire. Gentiles inhabit Jerusalem, “trampled on” until 1967, when the Israeli army also invaded East Jerusalem.

Mat 24:33 “In the same way, when you see all these things, you will know that he is near, right at the door. 34 Verily I say to you, this generation will not have passed away until all these things shall have taken place.”

A couple of questions to what Matthew says: When you see all this – what’s all? Second, this generation is not going to disappear. The generation is 70 years. Jerusalem is being trampled on by the Gentiles. Pulling these together, we can conclude that once the signs of Tribulation have been fulfilled and Jerusalem is no longer trampled upon by the Gentiles, from that moment count the time of the generation and then Christ will come.

 

Luke Chapter 21: Times of the Gentiles

Luk 21:23 Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who nurse infants in those days! For there will be great distress in the land, and wrath to this people.
24 They will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
25 There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars; and on the earth anxiety of nations, in perplexity for the roaring of the sea and the waves.
26 People will faint with fear and apprehension because of the things that are to come on the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken loose.
27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
31 In the same way, when you see these things taking place, you will know that the kingdom of God is near.
32 Most assuredly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things are accomplished.

In verse 24, “they will fall by the sword, they will be taken captive among all nations,” is well suited to the destruction of the Roman legions and the associated destruction and dissolution of the Jewish people among all nations. Its central feature is that Jerusalem will be “trampled down by the Gentiles” and, of course, the complete destruction of a large and beautiful temple.

 

This generation” Mat 24:34 (likewise Mar 13:30 Luk 21:32)

Most assuredly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things are accomplished. What are those events?

What does Luke and also Matthew and Mark mean when they say, ‘this generation’? He refers to the events he said above. Now we have to think carefully about when these things in chapter 21 will happen? Some of the events described already took place in the year 70. However, the mention of the times of Gentiles cannot be correct at the time. Yes, Jerusalem was trampled upon by the Gentiles, but the times of the Gentiles were not fulfilled.

Luke depicts the signs of the time of Christ’s coming: the Israelites will be led among all nations, Jerusalem will remain “trampled on” by the Gentiles until the time is up. There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars, and in the nations, there will be anxiety and despair. AND THEN, they see Christ coming in the cloud with great power and glory.

This is accompanied by Luke’s 21st Chapter fig tree metaphor.

Luk 21:29 “He told them a parable.  See the fig tree, and all the trees.
30 When they are already budding, you see it and know by your own selves that the summer is already near.
31  In the same way, when you see these things taking place, you will know that the kingdom of God is near..
32 Truly I tell you, this generation will not disappear until all these things take place.”

Verse 29 invites you to look at the fig and all trees. The fig tree depicts Israel, and  other “trees” describe other peoples, other Bible predictions, and their fulfillment. Often only the fig tree is remembered and what has happened to Israel.

For Israel, fig tree leaves have erupted, and ‘summer’ is near. The State of Israel was born in 1948. This prophecy is also known to reflect the coming of the Kingdom of God. “This generation” expression again! Many count 70-80 years for a generation. Since the birth of the State of Israel, there is today hardly any time left for “this generation” to end. Clear signs are preceding Christ’s Second Coming, such as Jerusalem being held by the Gentiles [being trampled on]and Jerusalem is no longer the Holy City of the Jews. Christ comes after the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. We know from history that this has now happened to Jews. The Romans conquered Jerusalem in 70 AD, and that meant the end and destruction of the Jewish religion and destruction of the entire Kingdom – until the diaspora ended about a hundred years ago and the return of the Jews began.

 

Mark Chapter 13: The great tribulation

Mark writes: 13:19 “For in those days there will be a time of tribulation a kind that has not happened from the beginning of the creation that God made until now and certainly will never happen again.
24 But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light,
25 the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken.
26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.”

Mark also shows that the Tribulation will be so great that such has not been since the beginning of all creation, and that there will never be such anymore. It is understandable that the Jews feel the destruction of Jerusalem and the persecution and expulsion of the Jewish people from Israel among the nations, is a great distress. If you look at the map, you will see that on a global scale it is a question of the suffering of a small land and a small nation. Jesus Christ, however, in my view, spoke of the worldwide Tribulation (42 months) and following the Tribulation even more horrible Day of the Lord (42 months):

2 Pet 3:10 “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

Such a terrifying global day must come before Christ comes. How do the preterists explain that history does not know that such phenomena have occurred?

Matthew Chapter 24: The Prophecies of Jesus to the Apostles on the Mount of Olives

 24:2 “But he answered them, Don’t you see all of these things? Most assuredly I tell you, there will not be left here one stone on another, that will not be thrown down. 3 As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? What is the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?”

The disciples asked three questions. When would the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, take place. Second, what is the sign of Jesus’ second coming? And yet, What is the sign of the end of the age? – It was not about the end of the world, but the end of the (world) age.

24:5 “For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they shall mislead many.”

Jesus warned the disciples of the coming delusion, the false Christs. These deceive gullible people by tricking them into believing in the ‘miracles’ they have done.

24:6 “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you aren’t troubled, for all this must happen, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be famines, plagues, and earthquakes in various places.”

The wars and news of wars were coming – several wars, not just one war on Israel. In verse 7, Jesus specifies that there are many wars all over the world; nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 8 “but all these things are the beginning of birth pains.”

24:9 “Then shall they deliver you up to tribulation, and shall kill you; and you will be hated of all the nations for my name’s sake.”

Does “you” in verse 9, refer to the affliction and hatred of the apostles? My understanding is that hatred and persecution are widespread among Christians. There were persecutions during several Roman emperors, and they finally came to an end when Emperor Constantine made Christianity a state religion in the early 300s.

24:10 “Then many people will fall by the way and will betray one another and hate one another.
11 Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people,
12 and because lawlessness will increase, the love of many people will grow cold.”

Jesus predicted that as a result of persecution, many would give up their faith, and false prophets would cause confusion. Lawlessness in societies is increasing.

However, verse 13 promises: “But the person who endures to the end will be saved.”

14 “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

What is the interpretation of verse 14 ‘in the whole world’? Or Colossians 1:23, which testifies: “you must remain firmly established and steadfast in the faith, without being moved from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.” – According to the apostles’ understanding, the gospel had already been proclaimed to all nations: Rom 16:26, “but which has now been made manifest, and by prophetic scriptures, according to the commandment of the eternal God, made known for obedience of faith to all the nations.”

However, at the time of Apostle Paul, the gospel was not preached to all nations. Isaiah predicts 66:19 “I will set a sign among them, and I will send such as escape of them to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the isles afar off, who have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations.” – Isaiah mentions that “those who are escaped” will be sent to the Gentiles to proclaim the gospel message. Who are these that escaped? They are the ones who have survived the great Tribulation by calling on the name of Jesus.

Joel 2:32 “It will happen that whoever will call on the name of Jehovah shall be saved; For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape, As Jehovah has said, And among the remnant, those whom Jehovah calls.”

If the phrase “all nations in the world” is judged by modern knowledge, one cannot agree with the apostles’ view. This is evidenced by the Lord’s promise, recorded above by Isaiah, to send fugitives to proclaim the gospel to Gentiles who have not even heard of God. And the gospel was to be preached to all nations! Indeed, evangelistic work is now done around the world, and the Bible or part of it is now printed in a few thousand languages.

What about, “then comes the end”? Does this mean that great tribulation will end? Or that the world ends? The world does not end end; God has promised that “the earth shall remain forever” (Eccl. 1:4). The end means the end of all upheaval and turmoil when Christ comes the second time, and the first resurrection takes place. Christ takes over the leadership of the Kingdom of God on earth, the so-called Millennial kingdom, where the Saints who have resurrected reign under Christ.

Mat 24:15 “When, therefore, you see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), – 16  then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”

It is so urgent to escape that you do not even have time to return to retrieve your coat. Jesus urges you to pray that you do not have to flee in the cold winter season or on the Sabbath. Escape is difficult for pregnant and infants and their mothers.

In the time of Jesus, Judea was a large area centered on Jerusalem. This would suggest that the issue is the gathering of Roman troops to destroy Jerusalem. As one reads on a few verses, it is clear that a disaster far greater than the destruction of Jerusalem is coming.

24:21 “For at that time there will be great tribulation, the kind that has not happened from the beginning of the world until now and certainly will never happen again. 22 Unless those days had been shortened, no flesh would have been saved. But for the sake of the chosen ones, those days will be shortened.”       ”For the sake of the chosen ones,” tells that the living Saints participating in the first resurrection are still on earth. They, too, have to suffer from Tribulation.

Verses 21-22 emphasize that tribulation is so great that the kind that has not happened from the beginning of the world until now and certainly will never happen again. What conclusions can you draw from the two verses above? They have an excellent description of the intensity and effects of the tribulation. One might ask, when Israel was only a tiny land and an insignificant land compared to the Roman Empire as a whole, how would the rebellion and disorder that it caused be in any way significant to the great world power? However, Rome sent a small army, just a few legions, to defeat the rebellion to teach others. This minor frontier frenzy does not fulfill the hallmarks of the Great Tribulation described in verse 21, a tribulation of unprecedented magnitude and never to be. Surely there have been many  more considerable anxieties! An example is the 20th century World Wars, which killed about one hundred million people. Of course, the destruction of Jerusalem was significant for a small Jewish nation, but Matthew speaks of the whole world.

Matthew continues. When the anxiety is over, the sun and moon darken, the stars fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens shake.

24:29 “But immediately after the oppression of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; 30 and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. Then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.”

Many signs that must be fulfilled for Jesus Christ to come the second time. When we see these signs, we can rest assured that Christ’s coming is near, ‘at the door.’ Verse 34 affirms:

24:31 “He will send out his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together his chosen ones from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. 32 “Now from the fig tree learn this parable. When its branch has now become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that the summer is near.
33 Even so you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 Most assuredly I tell you, this generation will not pass away, until all these things are accomplished.

When he comes, Christ sends his angels, who, as the trumpet sounds, gather Christ’s own from all over the world.

When will all this happen, only our God Jehovah knows. Not even the Son knows (or knew when he told the Apostles about these coming events). Despite all the signs, these devastating events come as a surprise to most of humanity, just like the flood did.

Again, I ask, what is ‘this generation’ during which everything happens? We can also put it this way: (a) Is this generation the one which lived in Israel just before 70 AD? Or, b) is ‘this generation’ one that has not yet emerged?

If you support the preterist view, you answer a. If you support the futuristic view, your answer is b.

How do we know which is the correct answer? There are many signs. To find the right answer, all you have to do is decide: could the criteria have all been fulfilled before 70 AD? Or, are there one or more of the hallmarks that could not be filled before the year of 70? Or has it even been shown that some or all of the signs are still not fulfilled?

 

“Taste death” 

The next Matthew 16:28 (and Mark 9:1 and Luke 8:52) are obscure. Mat 16:28 “Most assuredly I tell you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste of death, until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.

What explains Jesus saying, “there are some among you who do not taste death …” What does it mean to taste death? Why not say directly, die? Numerous passages in the Bible use the word ἀποθνῄσκω apothnöskō to die, which means natural death, violent death, eternal death. Could the phrase used by the apostles suggest that tasting death means merely dying for a short time, unlike the usual meaning of death for a long time in the tomb, awaiting the resurrection sometimes to come. ‘Tasting death’ would be a death as a short-lived expectation of the Lord.

If the preterists are wrong and Christ did not return to earth around 70 AD, what does it mean? Few understand! This means that the people whom Christ referred to in his promise (“do not taste death”) are still living, waiting, nearly 2,000 years old, for Christ’s promise – that they will not die until he returns as king.

Mat 10:23 you certainly will not have gone through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”

The preterists have chosen this verse as an important verse to show how soon Christ will return; the apostles would not have time to fulfill Christ’s commandment (Mat. 28:19) to spread the gospel message to the whole world and would not even go through the cities of Israel before his return.

How many cities might Israel have at that time? Today, with over 5 million inhabitants in Israel, there are about 70 cities. What was Israel like two thousand years ago? Perhaps in Jesus’ time, there was a smaller population and fewer cities than at present. If each apostle visited the towns assigned to him – on average, six – how long would it take? What did Jesus mean by “visiting the cities of Israel”. Probably preaching the word of the gospel and traveling to six cities and traveling, in a geographically small area, would roughly take 5 to 6 weeks. Even if the apostles had traveled together from one city to another, it could not have taken forty years, from the time of Jesus’ death to 70 AD, when, according to Preterists, he was to come to earth the second time.

This verse in Matthew 10:23 is one of Jesus’ significant verses used to describe his speedy return to earth. However, this verse does not prove the message of Jesus, but rather shows that Jesus’ purpose does not appear in the verse as it is generally interpreted.

Going through the cities of Israel would have been an effortless task compared to the other duty assigned to the apostles, preaching the gospel to all nations as a testimony. The fulfillment of this condition is explained as “all nations” or “the whole world” at that time meant the Roman Empire, that is, the countries around the Mediterranean. At that time, the world was not even understood to be a globe, and the ‘whole world’ is much, much larger than the Roman Empire and includes countless nations. The Apostles would not have had an opportunity to evangelize the peoples of the world. The first task Jesus said was impossible for the disciples, was however easy and possible. The second task was difficult, if not impossible, for the disciples. How do we explain this contradiction?

 

What happens when a believer dies today?

According to the Preterist view, “We born Christians are now living our spiritual lives after 70 AD in the spiritual realm of the New Covenant, in complete security in Christ.” We will survive on this earth for a fixed period of time, after which we will die. At that time, we will immediately put on our new immortal, glorified, visible, spiritual, individual, heavenly bodies, and celebrate eternity with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Further, “we shall not remain in our tombs waiting for the resurrection and the final judgment and entry into the kingdom of God.”

According to the Preterists, “The Kingdom that was to come soon, was spiritual. It was not a physical realm. The Pharisees and the Jews in general were waiting for a physical kingdom for Israel. Jesus rejected the whole idea. His Kingdom was a spiritual one that belonged to believers (Jewish believers and other believers). Those who defend the physical kingdom, either then or in the future, will promote something that Christ opposed.”

Luk 17:20 “And having been asked by the Pharisees, When is the kingdom of God coming? he answered them and said, The kingdom of God does not come with observation; neither will they say, ‘Look, here!’ or, ‘Look, there!’ for behold, the Kingdom of God is within you.”

Preterists say: “It includes all born-again believers who are all spiritually placed in the Body of Christ. In God’s eternal perspective, His New Covenant kingdom is a spiritual one in which righteousness dwells.” From the perspective of God’s eternity, the kingdom of His New Covenant is a spiritual kingdom in which righteousness dwells. Phil 4:5; Titus 3:5; James 5:8; 2 Peter 3:13; Rev. 22:10 “And he said unto me, Do not lock the words of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.”

From the perspective of God’s eternity, the Kingdom of His New Covenant is a spiritual realm where righteousness dwells.

 

The Apostles longed to come to Christ after his resurrection. Paul especially wrote about it; Phl 1:23 ”Indeed, I cannot decide between the two. I have the desire to leave this life and be with Christ, for that is far better.” Is it so that Paul would have come to Christ immediately after his death, without having to wait for the first resurrection?

According to Preterists, “the dead are still alive” (i.e., conscious) in the unseen spiritual realm (Hades). They weren’t annihilated, or unconscious like the Sadducees believed. ” According to them, the dead are still “alive” (aware of their condition) in the invisible spirit world (Hades). According to Old Testament teaching, when a person dies, his soul, both righteous and unbelieving, “died” and remained in the state of unconsciousness until the resurrection. During the time of Jesus, the Sadducees did not believe in the afterlife, even for the righteous. They did not believe that the souls or spirits of the dead were in any state of consciousness.

Preterists say, Jesus disagreed with the Sadducees and rejected the Sadducees’ claim that the dead know nothing and that they are unconscious. The Preterists claim, the dead will remain in the state of consciousness until the resurrection.

Preterists also refer to verses 1 Peter 3:18-19 and verses 4:6, asking: Why did Jesus preach to the dead if they were completely unconscious and knew nothing? 18 “Because Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God; being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; 19 in which he also went and preached to the spirits in prison,

 1 Pet “4:6 For to this end was the gospel preached even to the dead, that they might be judged indeed as men in the flesh but live as to God in the spirit.”

The Bible says in Eccl 9:5, “For the living know that they will die, but the dead don’t know anything, neither do they have any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.” If this is literally true, how was it possible that Jesus did not believe it but went to preach to the dead and completely unconscious. Preterists might still ask how it was possible at all if Jesus died, and God had not yet brought him to life. Wasn’t Jesus really “dead” in the crucifixion? Or did God give him the gift of eternal life at the time of death? John 5:26. “For as the Father has life in himself, even so he gave to the Son also to have life in himself.” John testifies in his gospel that obtaining eternal life goes even further; John 17: 2, “For you have given him authority over all humanity so that he might give eternal life to all those you gave him.”

Preterist certain evidence of consciousness after death.

Luke 23:43 Jesus said to him, “Assuredly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”  

The three crucified were on the verge of death. One of the criminals beside Jesus said to Jesus, “Jesus, remember me when you come to your kingdom.” To this Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Those who believe this verse signifies Jesus’ promise to the crucified next to him that “this day” he will enter into paradise with Jesus, will consider this a sure testimony of post-mortal consciousness.

Unfortunately, this is not all that certain. It’s about the place of the comma. During that time, no commas were used in the Greek language, but commas were added afterward. The meaning of the sentence changes entirely as the comma is moved: “Verily I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” C.f. “Verily I say you today, you will be with me in Paradise.” In the second sentence, Jesus does not promise a place in paradise on the same day, but it will come true later.

 

What is the Lord’s Day? How does it relate to the Second Coming of Christ?

2 Tes 2:1 “Now, brothers, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to him, we ask you
2 not to be quickly shaken in your mind, nor yet be troubled, either by spirit, or by word, or by letter as from us, saying that the day of Christ had come.
3 Let not any one deceive you in any manner, because it will not be unless the apostasy have first come, and the man of sin have been revealed, the son of destruction;

4 he who opposes and exalts himself against all that is called God or that is worshiped; so that he sits as God in the temple of God, setting himself up as God.”

Paul specifies the signs of the Second Coming of Jesus and calls for restraint.

Already during Paul’s time, there were “Preterists of the time.” In his second epistle to Timothy, Paul mentions Hymeneus and Philetus. 2:17 “and what they say will spread everywhere like gangrene. Hymenaeus and Philetus are like that.  18 They have abandoned the truth by claiming that the resurrection has already taken place, and so they destroy the faith of others.”

Paul gives instructions to his congregants for the coming of the Lord’s Day. The letter was written around 50-54. There were rumors about the coming of Christ or the beginning of the prophesied Lord’s day, and the congregation was troubled. It was not clear to everyone that the coming of Christ was preceded by certain events that Paul described in his epistle. First, the apostasy occurs, and the man of lawlessness appears. The adversary, the child of perdition, who exalts himself above all and declares himself to be God. This is the Antichrist, Satan’s closest helper. The ‘apostasy’ is currently underway. People call themselves Christians, but they are not interested in God’s word, and they want to live the life of this world.

The life of the people described in Ephesians was similar: 2:1 “You were made alive when you were dead in transgressions and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the powers of the air, the spirit who now works in the children of disobedience; 3 among whom we also all once lived in the lust of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.”

Is there historical evidence of the Antichrist, who would have declared himself to be God in the temple of God? If the Preterist timetable were correct, this declaration would have taken place before the temple was destroyed in 70. No such statement is known to history. Such a proclamation is not possible because after 70 AD, God’s temple no longer exists.

The Bible tells about the Lord’s Day in the Old Testament, through many prophets. This is the day of the Lord’s wrath, following the 3.5 years of tribulation I wrote above. Matthew 24 records that the Tribulation preceding Lord’s Day is so great that such never has been and will never be. However, this period does not compare to the following Day of the Lord.

John writes: Rev 1:10, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day” …  John was believed to have written the book of Revelation in about 94-96, meaning that the destruction of Jerusalem was well known to him.

There is also a conflicting testimony of the writing of Revelation. Rev 11:1 ”A reed like a rod was given to me. Someone said, “Rise, and measure God’s temple, and the altar, and those who worship in it. 2 Leave out the court which is outside of the temple, and don’t measure it, for it has been given to the gentiles. They will tread the holy city under foot for forty-two months.” – The angel gave John a yardstick to measure the temple of God in Jerusalem. Verse 2 specifies the measurement task and says that the court has been given to the Gentiles, and they will tread the holy city for 42 months. When John wrote the book of Revelation, the temple at Jerusalem had not yet been destroyed. On this basis, perhaps the writing of the book of Revelation might be in the 60s.

Isa 2:12 “For there shall be a day of Jehovah of hosts upon everything proud and lofty, and upon everything lifted up, and it shall be brought low;
4:2 In that day there shall be a sprout of Jehovah for beauty and glory, and the fruit of the earth for excellency and for ornament for those that are escaped of Israel.
13:6 Howl, for the day of Jehovah is at hand; it cometh as destruction from the Almighty.
13:9 Behold, the day of Jehovah comes, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the earth desolate; and he will destroy the sinners thereof out of it.                                                                        13:13 Therefore I will make the heavens to shake, and the earth shall be removed out of her place, at the wrath of Jehovah of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.”

Joel 1:15 “Alas for the day! for the day of Jehovah is at hand, and as destruction from the Almighty shall it come.
2:1 Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain; let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of Jehovah cometh, for it is at hand;
2:11 Jehovah thunders his voice before his army; For his forces are very great; For he is strong who obeys his command; For the day of Jehovah is great and very awesome, And who can endure it?”

2:31 “The sun shall be changed to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of Jehovah come.”

Amos 5:20 “Shall not the day of Jehovah be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?”

Obadja 1:15 “For the day of Jehovah is near all the nations: as you have done, it shall be done to you. Your deeds will return upon thine own head.”

Sefanja 2:2 “before the appointed time when the day passes as the chaff, before the fierce anger of Jehovah comes on you, before the day of Jehovah’s anger comes on you. 3 Seek Jehovah, all you humble of the land, who have kept his ordinances. Seek righteousness. Seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of Jehovah’s anger.”

Malakia 4:5 “Behold, I send unto you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and terrible day of Jehovah.”

Act 2:20 “The sun will be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes.”

1 The 5:2 “For you yourselves know well that the day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night.”

2 Pet 3:10 “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.”

 

Does the Revelation tell of the destruction of Jerusalem?

For the Revelation to tell of the destruction of Jerusalem, John should have written it before the year of 70. John is believed to have written it in 94-96 when he was exiled to Patmos, well after 70. John’s death is thought to have occurred perhaps in 96. However, the Preterists disagree and believe that the book of Revelation was written before the year 70 and describes the destruction of Jerusalem. “It was during this four-year great tribulation” (c. AD 62-66) that James, Paul, and Peter undertook martyrdom. Apostle John was exiled to the island of Patmos, where he wrote the book of Revelation.”

The most important question, however, is Jesus’ assurance that he will come soon and what will happen with his coming.

Rev 22:6 “He said to me, “These words are faithful and true. The Lord God of the spirits of the prophets sent his angel to show to his bondservants the things which must happen soon.”

7 Behold, I come quickly. Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”

10 He said to me, Don’t seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand.

12 Behold, I come quickly. My reward is with me, to repay to each man according to his work. 22:20 He who testifies these things says, Yes, I come quickly.” Amen! Yes, come, Lord Jesus.”

The Preterists believe that Jesus meant by the quick coming that he would witness the destruction of Jerusalem and Judaism, when the Roman legions destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70. Is the “Great City, Babylon” of Revelation Jerusalem? It has traditionally been believed that Babylon means Rome. However, the Preterists want to confirm their interpretation that the Revelation was written before 70 and describes the imminent destruction of Jerusalem. If John wrote the book of Revelation after year 70 AD,  what upcoming events does it refer to, if not the destruction of Jerusalem and the collapse of the status of Judaism? There was no catastrophe of this magnitude in the “world” of the first century. Wouldn’t God have written in the Bible a prophecy and a warned about the grim future for Jerusalem and His people?

Rev 18:16-17 describes the ‘great city’ as saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, she was dressed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls! Every hour such great riches are made desolate. Every shipmaster, and everyone who sails anywhere, and Mariners, and as many as gain their living by the sea, stood far away, 19 “How terrible, how terrible is it for the great city, where all the ships at sea have become rich because of her Wealth! For in one hour she has been destroyed!”

– It is unlikely that Jerusalem would have accumulated so much wealth and splendor, but Rome did. It should also be noted that Jerusalem is not a coastal city with owners of ships at sea. It must be possible to determine the place and time of events according to historical facts.

Jesus prophesies of Jerusalem in Mat 23:35-38 “that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zachariah son of Barachiah, whom you killed between the sanctuary and the altar. Most assuredly I tell you, all these things will come upon this generation. Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets, and stones those who are sent to her! How often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not! Behold, your house is left to you desolate.” – Again the question of ‘this generation’ arises.

If Jesus did not come at that time, as he promised to come back “soon,” we are still waiting for his coming, almost two thousand years after the promise. It is good to remember and understand that “a thousand years to God is like one day.” I cannot say with certainty which interpretation is correct.

 

Have the claims of the Preterists come true?

Mat 19:28 “Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly I tell you that you who have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on the throne of his glory, you also will sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Luk 22:30 “that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom. You will sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

Christ promised each apostle, as a reward for following him, permission to sit on the throne of a Jewish tribe and judge this one tribe of Israel. Second, the apostles were promised to sit at Christ’s table to eat and drink. Eating and drinking only occurs in the physical world. However, the Preterists explain that the Christ-led Kingdom is a spiritual kingdom, where you neither eat nor drink. If eating and drinking is a figurative expression, what could it mean?

Isaiah’s descriptions of the New World, the Millennial kingdom:

Isa 65:19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people; and there shall be heard in her no more the voice of weeping and the voice of crying. 20 There shall be no more there an infant of days, nor an old man who has not filled his days; for the child shall die one hundred years old, and the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.

Is Jerusalem currently, or has it ever been, after the year 70 AD, a kingdom of happiness as pictured in the verses above? Infant mortality has been eliminated, and people have a life span of over 100 years. The sinner has time to repent until his centenary. – I do not believe that infant mortality has been eradicated, nor people’s life expectancy increased significantly.

22 “They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree shall be the days of my people, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands”.  

24 “It shall happen that, before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” 

This is the most significant upheaval in the communication between God and man. Of course, even now, we can trust God to hear and listen to our requests and prayers. In the Kingdom of Christ, God answers as soon as man speaks to him. This is not the case in our physical world, but Preterists claim that the kingdom of Christ is spiritual.

25 “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, says Jehovah.”

The relationship between mankind and animal life has undergone a complete change: wolves and other predators have become vegetarians. Humans are vegetarians, provided they are in the physical bodies. This must be the case with the above examples; Humans have not yet attained immortality. It is after the prophecies of Revelation have been fulfilled that men are in the spiritual bodies and have received the gift of immortality from God.

Such a society of happiness and contentment can only materialize in Christ’s Millennial Kingdom. Is there any evidence that these promises have been fulfilled. If it can be shown that these promises or predictions have been achieved after 70 AD, it also means that Christ and the Saints are ruling. If these descriptions are not met, it is likely that either

– Christ has not come, and the first resurrection has not happened, or

– Christ and the Saints reign in the invisible spirit world, and Isaiah’s prophecies have not been fulfilled. I do not even consider the possibility that the lion and the sheep, as spirit creatures, would eat grass in all harmony.

 

Did Jesus come already?

What else does the Bible say about the coming of the kingdom of God? The kingdom of God does not come in a visible way. The Kingdom of God is in your midst.

Luk 17:20 “Being asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, he answered them,  The Kingdom of God doesn’t come with observation; 21 neither will they say, ‘Look, here!’ or, ‘Look, there!’ for behold, the Kingdom of God is within you.

If the coming of God’s Kingdom happens in an unseen way, likely, the Kingdom’s administration and its leadership will also be invisible. This raises an important question; Are the coming of the kingdom of God (not visible) and the coming of Christ Himself (visible, seen by all the people of the earth) two different events? What we can say with certainty from the Bible is that the Second Coming of Christ is an event that is visible to every person in the world. Mat 24:30, “and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. Then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.”

If the coming of God’s kingdom happens in an unseen way, likely, the kingdom’s administration and its leadership will also be invisible. This raises an important question; Are the coming of the kingdom of God (not visible) and the coming of Christ Himself (visible, seen by all the people of the earth) two different events? What we can say with certainty from the Bible is that the Second Coming of Christ is an event that is visible to every person in the world.

Could it be that the Kingdom of God has come, but Christ has not yet come? Had these been linked together, the public coming of Christ would surely have been noted and much written about. Or else, Christ comes in a very open and visible way. Still, when he comes, his kingdom’s administration is not visible. Maybe that’s just it. The coming of Christ is, according to the Bible, a very visible event. We do not know how visible the government of the Kingdom of Christ is, only that Christ rules with an iron scepter.

Already, we can experience the Kingdom of God within us if we are born again. When Christ and the Saints reign, the government may be invisible.  Christ and the Saints may, if necessary, take on a visible, physical body as Christ did when he appeared to the Apostles after his resurrection.

 

The coming of Christ and the Kingdom of God is near.

Jam 5:8-9 “You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 9 Don’t grumble, brothers, against one another, so that you won’t be judged. Behold, the judge stands at the door.

1 Pet 4:7 But the end of all things is near. Therefore, be of sound mind, self-controlled, and sober in prayer.

Mat 10:23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee into the next, for most assuredly I tell you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel, until the Son of Man has come.

Mat 16:28 Most assuredly I tell you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste of death, until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

Mat 24:34 Most assuredly I tell you, this generation will not pass away, until all these things are accomplished.”

Here are some interpretations of the Preterists for a few verses of Revelation. I added my opinion:

Rev 6:9-10 “When he opened the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been killed for the Word of God, and for the testimony of the Lamb which they had. 10 They cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, Master, the holy and true, until you judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”

“Here we see the “Souls” broken down in the heavenly temple (under the altar) before the final resurrection and judgment, while life proceeds as usual on earth. These martyrs, whose bodies were clearly “dead,” have their own memories, and remember that they have become martyrs and they are suing their murderers. They are apparently “conscious” without their bodies in the heavenly kingdom before the final resurrection when they would have received their new immortal bodies. If the “soul-sleeping doctrine” is correct, this passage would be completely inexplicable, hopelessly mysterious, and a blatant misrepresentation of reality in the invisible spiritual realm.”

Personally, I think this could be a vision the same way the rest of the book of Revelation is. John was given visions, and this vision of executed believers was one of them. God knows all that has happened and knows how to convey the message to whom he wants. Eccl 9:5 “For the living know that they must die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no place, but their memories are forgotten.”

Rev 22:14-15 “Blessed are those who do his commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.”

“Preterists regard the above passage in Revelation as a text that sweeps beliefs such as belief in Annihilation and Universalism. ‘Note that this text speaks of the condition of the dead after the final resurrection (AD 70). The righteous have their new immortal bodies and are inside the heavenly city. The unsaved are still conscious and located outside the gates of the heavenly city. The unsaved did not receive “immortality” at the last judgment, but they are still in awareness, so this necessarily means that “immortality” is not the same as “soul consciousness”. These unsaved people are still aware after the resurrection, even though their bodies are dead, and they did not receive immortality” in the resurrection. They will consciously remain outside of heaven forever after the resurrection event. Not only does this undo the idea of ​​”soul dreaming,” but it shows that the wicked not only cease to be (annihilation) and are not given a “second chance” to repent and accept Christ and “get to heaven” (universalism).”

The above is what Preterists think. The last chapter in this article explains my view of the final judgment and the punishment of God.

Preterism seems to include the belief that in 70 AD was the “last resurrection,” defining who was saved and who was not. But where is the final judgment? According to the Preterists, when the Saints die, they receive in 1 Cor 15: 51-52 the promised Spiritual body and ascend to heaven.

I have interpreted this change leading to the first resurrection together with Christ’s own (who rise from their graves) to meet Christ at his coming the second time. Preterists believe that they will ascend to heaven in the spiritual resurrection body. The Resurrected Saints will serve as co-rulers with Christ. When they are in the Kingdom of God (that is, the Millennial Kingdom led by Christ), they have spiritual bodies just as Christ did when he resurrected. They are invisible or, if desired, they may take a physical body as Christ did after his resurrection. They can suddenly move from place to place, just like Christ. 2 Cor 5:1 says: “For we know that if the earthly house of our tent is dissolved, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens. 5:8 We are of good courage, I say, and are willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be at home with the Lord.”

Preterists may rely on this passage in the Corinthians that Paul believes that believers have a “tabernacle” in heaven. Jesus said as the reason for his ascension to heaven, “I go to make a place for you, and I will come back and take you to be where I am.” Will Christ make preparations in heaven and take the apostles there? On the other hand, Christ said he would come back to earth, and the apostles would be there with Christ to reign over one tribe of Israel. Readers, when talking about heaven, are probably lifting their gaze upwards towards heaven. Still, as I interpret it, heaven is not the place up there. It may well be here with us, invisible. Jesus also told of the coming of the Kingdom of God, that is, the Kingdom of heaven, that its coming cannot be seen, and it cannot be said that it is here or there. The Kingdom of God is within you. (The Kingdom of God is within you, is in your midst)

The common Christian today believes that when he dies, his body will be laid in a grave and the soul that has become detached from the body will travel to Hades to await the resurrection. Then, we will regain our physical body and live forever in the New World on earth. Or in heaven; Revelation tells us that God descends to earth. Rev 21:10 “and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven.”  What do the ordinary Christians believe about the afterlife? His body will be put in a grave, yes. What about the soul? Does the soul go to heaven? Where do we wait for our resurrection and the resurrection bodies, in heaven or the grave?

 

What is the rule of Christ on earth like?

Paul describes the yearning of believers in the physical body to “go home” to the Lord. Home in heaven means the kingdom of God, also called the Kingdom of heaven. Now it has just happened, according to the Preterists, that Christ has already come to us and established with the Saints his Millennial Kingdom from which he rules us and all the nations of the world.

The Saints of the First Resurrection have been tasked to lead people on earth and in the physical body under Christ, with iron rods if necessary.

Rev 2:27 “He will rule them with a rod of iron, shattering them like clay pots; as I also have received of my Father:
12:5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. Her child was caught up to God, and to his throne.
19:15 Out of his mouth proceeds a sharp, double-edged sword, that with it he should strike the nations. He will rule them with a rod of iron. He treads the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God, the Almighty.”

If the Preterist view is correct, Christ and the saints still rule the nations of the world with an iron scepter. They have to do this because there are all sorts of false doctrines in the world. Of course, there is also a possible interpretation that the administration of Christ does not interfere with the administration of the physical world. Still, in the invisible Kingdom, they control the dead who have entered there and have received the resurrection body. But those who enter Christ’s Kingdom do not need to be ruled by an iron scepter because they are born again of God’s children.

When Christ comes the second time, the nations will be amazed at everything that has happened. Gradually, the situations begin to clear up, and the leadership of Christ, and the Saints becomes apparent to all. Not all world leaders want to submit to “some Christ.” Then he can feel the iron scepter of Christ – and submit to his will. Christ’s coming has destroyed all the powers of the world, and the leaders of the world cannot but submit to the will of Christ. Christ places his faithful Saints in leading positions of the world, one to lead five cities, another ten, according to the parable of Jesus.

The rule of Christ and the Saints is called the Millennial kingdom. Does it last for a thousand years or more or less? However, in my interpretation, it is just a thousand years. It began six thousand years from the days of Adam and Eve, or six days of God. The Millennium is the 7th day. After that comes the final judgment and, for those who have survived, the new world in New Jerusalem. This is called the Eighth Day in the Apocrypha. 

 

What promises in the Bible have not been fulfilled?

 Not everyone was accepted into the kingdom of Christ?

Believers in Christ, both apostles and other believers, waited for his return in faith and hope. If the Preterists are right in their doctrine and Christ returned in 70 AD, he must have accepted all 12 apostles to his invisible kingdom, according to his promise. But no. What can we conclude from this? About the fact that a few apostles were alive and lived normal human lives and died years after 70 AD.

Preterists write in their publication: “He told the apostles that all twelve of them (including those still alive) would be received to Him and sit on twelve thrones and dwell in the places He had prepared for them in His Father’s house (heaven).” Christ told the apostles that all the twelve, including those who were alive, would come to him to sit on the twelve thrones and live in the place he had prepared for them in his Father’s house (in heaven). – However, a few apostles lived and died the deaths of a normal human being in the human physical society – not in the spiritual realm of Christ.

 

Christ and the Saints rule with an iron scepter

Rev 2:27 “He will rule them with a rod of iron, shattering them like clay pots; as I also have received of my Father. 12:5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. Her child was caught up to God, and to his throne.

2 Tim 4:1 “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom.

– This is a meaningful verse. The actual judgment is to be given to humanity after the Second Resurrection. It is called the “resurrection of judgment.” I interpret this verse written by Paul to mean that when he comes for the second time, Christ will judge (punish) evil people. As Christ reigns for a thousand years, he also condemns humanity. Would it be a better word for “punishment” instead of condemnation? The Greek word κρίνω krínō also contains the meaning of punish. ‘Judgment’ in the context of Christ, on the other hand, carries the meaning of finality, and punishment leaves the possibility of a final judgment.

People who have entered the kingdom of Christ do not need to be governed by the iron hand because they are Christ’s. Instead, the external, physical world is still full of sin. However, the Bible states that Satan is the king of this world, which I interpret to mean that Christ has not yet intervened in the world ruled by Satan. According to the Bible, when Christ comes the second time, Satan will be imprisoned for a thousand years, and the world will be liberated from Satan’s power. Joh 12:31 “Now is the judgment of this world. Now the prince of this world will be cast out. 16:11 … the prince of this world has been judged.”

If Christ has already come, as the Preterists believe, Christ and the Saints have already, almost two thousand years ago, overthrown the sinful part of the world with an iron scepter. Satan has also been chained, but he has been released hundreds of years ago. Satan was able to seduce a real large crowd of people to fight the Saints. The Bible predicted this and the loss of Satan. The Bible tells how Satan and his aides were thrown into the fiery lake. Is this how it went according to the Preterists?

I should think that history books would be full of accounts of Satan’s loss, but nothing like that can be read. At this point, I think I’m leaning towards futurists.

New people are born into the Millennial kingdom of Christ. Some will get there after the trials of the Lord’s Day; they are the saved ones (the “escaped ones”) who have called on Jesus or God the Father for help. At that time, there are still many in the world who have not heard of Christ.

My interpretation is that all the inhabitants of the Millennial kingdom are mortal and in the physical body. There is no sickness and no poverty. Death is removed last, that is, at the end of the 1000-year kingdom when Satan is destroyed. Isaiah speaks of a physical kingdom where people of the nations are taught and where priests are also called among the people of the nations.

Isa 66:19 “I will set a sign among them, and I will send such as escape of them to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the isles afar off, who have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations. 66:21 Of them also will I take for priests and for Levites, says Jehovah. – These verses of Isaiah make clear the nature of the Kingdom of Christ. If there were only born-again Christians in the kingdom, there would be no need to send teachers to teach distant countries the basics of Christianity.

 

Earth is a paradise of peace and happiness

Isa 65:19 “I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people; and there shall be heard in her no more the voice of weeping and the voice of crying.”

It’s a time of peace: Mic 4:2 “Many nations will go and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, And 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 will go forth the law, And the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem.” 3 And he will judge between many peoples, And will decide concerning strong nations afar off. They will beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, Neither will they learn war any more.

It has not been realized yet, even though Christ’s second coming – according to the Preterists – happened almost 2000 years ago.

4 “But they will sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; And no one will make them afraid: For the mouth of Jehovah of Hosts has spoken. – There are many nations and states where most live in starvation and poverty without ‘fig trees’.”

Isa 32:17 “The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever. – This is what we expect, but the present physical world is not under Christ’s control.

Isa 65:21 “They shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.  22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree shall be the days of my people, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. 23 They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for calamity; for they are the seed of the blessed of Jehovah, and their offspring with them.

Isaiah witnesses how infant mortality is overcome, and infants can play safely, even with snakes. The inhabitants of the Millennial kingdom are the people on earth who will gradually build the globe over a thousand years. People spend their lives, work, get married, and have children and the elderly die. However, life expectancy increases, and even the 100-year-old is mourned as a young dead (Isa 65:20). However, death has not yet been overcome. It is not until the end of the millennium; in the final judgment, the well-judged “sheep” will at the same time have (eternal) life, and the evil will experience the “second death,” which is eternal separation from God’s communion. The fact that people are still mortal also proves that they are not really in the Kingdom of God. After all, the reigning saints received the gift of eternal life in the resurrection, and they have no power over their second death:

Rev 20:6 “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over these, the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with him one thousand years.” – The purpose of the first resurrection is to awaken righteous believers in the leadership Christ’s administration. Verse 20: 6 states that they will be priests of God and of Christ. Administration does not seem to require knowledge of the law, but true faith.

 

People’s life expectancy is increasing

Isa 65:20 “There shall be no more there an infant of days, nor an old man who has not filled his days; for the child shall die one hundred years old, and the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.”

God and man talk to each other

24 It shall happen that, before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.”

The wolf and the lamb shall feed together

25 “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, says Jehovah.

 

Has Satan already been destroyed?

Rev 20:2 “He seized the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole inhabited earth, and bound him for a thousand years, 20:7 And after the thousand years, Satan will be released from his prison,”

The book of Revelation tells how an angel became from heaven and he captured Satan and bound him for a thousand years i.e. for the whole millennium. Satan was thrown into the “abyss” so that he would no longer deceive the nations until the thousand years were over.” Why was Satan then set free to deceive the nations? Certainly, it was known that Satan would bring about the same wars that had prevailed a thousand years earlier. Why was Satan not destroyed at the beginning of the millennium? Why was Satan imprisoned and bound for a thousand years? Why had it been decided beforehand that Satan, after a thousand years in prison, was to be released?

Preterists claim that Satan has been destroyed. The fact that there is so much evil and sin rampant in the world is not, in their view, due to Satan, but due to man’s own evil nature.

My interpretation is that Satan is not yet bound, but has free authority over humanity. The Millennial kingdom has not yet begun, but I believe it will happen soon, when Satan will be imprisoned.

When Paul wrote the following verse of the Roman epistle, he conveys God’s promise that God will soon crush Satan. Rom 16:20, “And the God of peace will quickly crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” This is one of the many verses in the Bible that promises that events will happen soon or quickly. How many Christians have been waiting for such promises to be fulfilled?

The fulfillment of the promise comes together at the end of Christ’s millennium when the bound Satan is released. Satan mobilizes huge masses of supporters who seek to destroy the reign of Christ by attacking the “camp of the saints.” Revelation tells of Satan’s defeat: 20:9 “ They went up over the breadth of the earth, and surrounded the camp of the saints, and the beloved city. Fire came down out of heaven from God, and devoured them.

1 Pet 5:8 “Be sober and self-controlled. Be watchful. Your adversary the devil, walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” – This is how Peter warned the elders of the church about the dangers of Satan. How did the situation change when (and if) Christ established the kingdom of God on the earth to rule a period, which the Bible calls the Millennium. In fact, the Preterists interpret verse 8 to indicate that Satan has been destroyed. There is no sign of anything like this; Satan works as before and looks for whom to swallow. When Satan is liberated in due course, its action is far more ambitious than attracting individual believers. Satan is warring against the whole world of Christ.

It looks to me that Preterists find it difficult to believe in the very existence of Satan:

 “We could personalize our lust (James 1: 13-15) and call them the influence of Satan, or we could actually believe that there is a fallen angel (Satan) who was spiritually the father of the Jews; Jesus said: ”You are of your father the devil.” This Satan caused the Jews not to receive Jesus. But who tempted Jesus in the wilderness? It must have been a real angelic being. Preterists believe that “the ruler of this world” was cast out and his rule was taken away.

What if the Devil still exists? The Preterists say: “He has now no real spiritual power over us. It is our own lusts that affect us today (James 1:13 ss).” The Bible does not say that Satan must exist for there to be evil in the world.”

Q&A: “If Jesus Christ has returned, why is sin still rampant?”  Jesus won over us the control of sin, not the existence of sin. Sin always exists, but it no longer dominates us. The last enemy (spiritual death, judgment, or separation from the friendship of God) resulting from the control of sin is defeated. We now have access to God. While we can still sin, it can no longer hold us. Christ has set us free. Death and Hades are removed. (Edward E. Stevens)

This is how the doctrine of the Preterists goes:  According to Peter who wrote at this very time (AD 63-64), Satan had been released and was “prowling about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). Peter knew his martyrdom was near (2 Pet. 1:14) because Satan was released, and the great tribulation was underway.

– This “tribulation” fell first on the Christians (1 Pet 4:17), and immediately provoked Christ to descend with His angels in AD 66 to begin the outpouring of wrath and judgment upon the Jewish nation for three and a half years (AD 66-70).

What happens? Revelation tells us: 20:7 And after the thousand years, Satan will be released from his prison,
8 and he will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the war; the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
9 They went up over the breadth of the earth, and surrounded the camp of the saints, and the beloved city. Fire came down out of heaven from God, and devoured them.
10 The devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet are also. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

What do the Preterists say? They believe that Christ founded his Millennial kingdom as early as 70 AD. Satan was captured and imprisoned for a thousand years. Preterist doctrine means, according to simple calculus, that Satan was liberated in about 1070. What do history books tell us about this time? History does not recognize such an event.

When the Millennial kingdom ends, significant things will happen:

– The second or last resurrection follows

– Satan will be released after he has been imprisoned for a thousand years

– Satan mobilizes a great rebellion and his forces attack the saints

– Satan will lose and will be condemned to eternal punishment with his associates

– All the resurrected will receive their judgment

Ezekiel tells about Satan’s furious fight in the war of Gog:

Eze 38:16 “and you shall come up against my people Israel, as a cloud to cover the land: it shall happen in the latter days, that I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when I shall be sanctified in you, Gog, before their eyes.”

The great attack on Israel in the end-time is referred to in Ezekiel 38-39 as the “War of Gog” Zechariah 12: 1-8 and Joel 2:20 also tell about this same end-time war. So, there are prophets other than Ezekiel talking about Gog.

Sak 12:2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of reeling to all the surrounding peoples, and on Judah also will it be in the siege against Jerusalem..
3  It will happen in that day, that I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all the peoples. All who burden themselves with it will be severely wounded, and all the nations of the earth will be gathered together against it.
4 In that day,” says Jehovah, “I will strike every horse with terror, and his rider with madness; and I will open my eyes on the house of Judah, and will strike every horse of the peoples with blindness.                                                                                                                                                           5 The chieftains of Judah will say in their heart, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem are my strength in Jehovah of Hosts their God.’
6 In that day I will make the chieftains of Judah like a pan of fire among wood, and like a flaming torch among sheaves; and they will devour all the surrounding peoples, on the right hand and on the left; and Jerusalem will yet again dwell in their own place, even in Jerusalem.
7 Jehovah also will save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem not be magnified above Judah..
8  In that day Jehovah will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem. He who is feeble among them at that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of Jehovah before them.
9 It will happen in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
10 I will pour on the house of David, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication; and they will look to whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and will grieve bitterly for him, as one grieves for his firstborn.

Joel 2:18 Then Jehovah was jealous for his land, And had pity on his people.
19 Yahweh answered his people, “Behold, I will send you grain, new wine, and oil, And you will be satisfied with them; And I will no more make you a reproach among the nations.

Eze 38:17 “Thus says the Lord Jehovah: Are you he of whom I spoke in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied in those days for many years that I would bring you against them?”

 

Jesus, Israel and the Jews

Rom 2:28 “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh;
29  but he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit not in the letter; whose praise is not from men, but from God

9:6-8; But it is not as though the word of God has come to nothing. For they are not all Israel, that are of Israel.
7 Neither, because they are Abraham’s seed, are they all children. But, “In Isaac will your seed be called.”
8 That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as a seed.

9:22-24 What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath made for destruction,,
23 and that he might make known the riches of his glory on vessels of mercy, which he prepared beforehand for glory,
24 us, whom he also called, not from the Jews only, but also from the Gentiles? As he says also in Hosea, “I will call them ‘my people,’ which were not my people; And her ‘beloved,’ who was not beloved.”

11:5-7 “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace..
6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.
7 What then? That which Israel seeks for, that he didn’t obtain, but the chosen ones obtained it, and the rest were hardened.”

Rom 11:17 “But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them, and became partaker with them of the root and of the richness of the olive tree;

18 don’t boast over the branches. But if you boast, it is not you who support the root, but the root supports you..
21 for if God didn’t spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.
22 See then the goodness and severity of God. Toward those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in his goodness; otherwise you also will be cut off..
23 They also, if they don’t continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
24  For if you were cut out of that which is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree, how much more will these, which are the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
25 For I don’t desire, brothers, to have you ignorant of this mystery, so that you won’t be wise in your own conceits, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in,”

In this verse, Paul states that Israel has encountered a hardening that ends when the number of Gentiles is full.

26 “and so all Israel will be saved. Even as it is written, “There will come out of Zion the Deliverer, And he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” – And so Israel shall be saved; both natural Israel and Christians brought by the New Covenant.

The Preterists say: Thus, the establishment of the Eternal Kingdom of Christ at the Destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 was the fulfillment of all the things that were promised to God’s chosen people, the true spiritual Israel, which included both believing Jews and believing Gentiles

 

The Last Judgment and God’s Punishment

 Christians believe in the Word of the Bible, which says that after the Second Resurrection, people must face Christ at the final judgment. If the Millennial Kingdom, led by Christ and the Saints, has already come to an end, when has the second or so-called “resurrection of judgment” happened?

It also seems that the new world after the Last Judgment, as described in the last two chapters of Revelation, is not at least emphasized in the Preterist doctrine. Who do God and Christ accept in the New World? What punishment will be imposed on those whose name is not in the Book of Life?

Revelation 21 says: “I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth have passed away, and the sea is no more.
2 I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready like a bride adorned for her husband.   3  I heard a loud voice out of heaven saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with people, and he will dwell them, and they will be his with people, and God himself will be with them as their God.
4 He will wipe away from them every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; neither will there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more. The first things have passed away.”                  5 He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” He said, “Write, for these words of God are faithful and true.”

Preterists do not stress at all the collective nature of the final judgment. According to their doctrine, every human being on earth will determine his or her future individually, and that will happen as soon as man dies. Those who have lived the will of God will go to heaven as soon as they die. What happens to others?

I have always believed that there is a resurrection of judgment, followed by the final judgment. Those who are judged, are facing the “lake of fire”, which I have explained to be a figurative expression of God’s punishment. I am now writing this time ready to consider another kind of explanation of the punishment of the Last Judgment. The last two chapters of Revelation are about the time of the last judgment.

The book of Revelation tells of the end time and especially the time after the last judgment. Rev 21:2 I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God

 

Who have access to this City of God?

22:14 “Blessed are those who do his commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter in by the gates into the city.”

Who are denied access to this city, the New Jerusalem?

 Revelation verses explain: 21:27 “There will in no way enter into it anything profane, or one who causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life. 22:15 Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.”

The saved will go to New Jerusalem, where God also dwells. The condemned are sentenced to life outside the city walls. Notice what this means. Those who have been condemned by the last judgment are not constantly tortured by the lake of fire, though Revelation 21:8 says: “But for the cowardly, unbelieving, sinners, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers,  idolaters, and all liars, their part is in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

However, the last chapter of Revelation reveals where the condemned are. They are outside the holy city. I have explained before, the fiery lake to be a metaphor of the punishment that faces those whose names are not written in the Book of life. Separation from God’s communion as the punishment, and denying a person access to God’s city, must surely be a perpetual punishment.

That’s the punishment of God’s last judgment! Those who are condemned will not enter New Jerusalem but will have to look outside the city forever when those whose names are written in the Book of Life live in the city where the throne of God and Christ are. 22:5 There will be no night, and they need no lamp light; for the Lord God will illuminate them. They will reign forever and ever.

The punishment of the condemned is the eternal separation from God’s communion. They will remain outside of God’s New Jerusalem forever.

 

 

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