A CRITIQUE OF FULL PRETERISM AND A DEFENSE OF HISTORICISTIC POST-MILLENNIALISM
J. PARNELL MCCARTER
Truths are often learned in the context of debates with error.
Dedicated to the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland,
A good and faithful servant.
©2002 J. Parnell McCarter. All Rights Reserved.
Jenison, MI 49428
The Puritans’ Home School Curriculum
I have written this abridged critique of full preterism, as well as a more expanded critique, as part of my preparation for a public debate with full preterist Don Preston (minister and author) scheduled for August 18, 2002 on the nationwide Genesis Radio Network. Its goal is to present in summary format an explanation of why full preterism, along with the general preteristic hermeneutic, should be rejected. And while it is primarily a critique of full preterism, it is also a defense of historicistic post-millennialism. For it is not sufficient simply to reveal the fallacies of preterism; it is necessary to present the alternative which properly interprets the eschatological prophecies of scripture. For those who are interested in the discussion now underway between historicistic (aka historical) post-millennialists and preterists, I hope this treatment will at least be a helpful introduction. It is by no means exhaustive, but hopefully it will prove expansive.
There is another objective, however, underlying this project, consisting of a public debate as well as this book responding to full preterism. As Christians, we are called upon to defend the Christian faith. It is a goal of The Puritans’ Home School Curriculum to equip our children to understand and defend the doctrines of scripture so excellently summarized in the Westminster Standards and the Three Forms of Unity. Hopefully this book, and the project of which it is a part, will illustrate to children reading it just one example of how the reformed faith is being defended. By reading this book, they should not only learn something about the issues involved on the particular topic, but also how one may apply knowledge of the faith in defense of that faith. As parents, we should be building defenders of the reformed Protestant faith.
- J. Parnell McCarter
So what is historicistic post-millennialism anyway and why does it matter?
Historicism interprets the eschatological prophecies in Revelation, II Thessalonians 2, Matthew 24 and other relevant passages as unfolding over the whole history of mankind, from the First Advent to the future Second Advent. This contrasts with futurism which tends to confine their fulfillment to some future time in a relatively short time frame, and with preterism which tends to consign their fulfillment to the distant past. Historicism identifies that Man of Sin and Beast of Revelation with the Romish Papacy. Post-millennialism interprets the millennium of Revelation 20 as following the diminution and eradication of spiritual power of the Romish Papacy and her daughter whores, when reformed Protestantism will enjoy greater prosperity. Historicistic post-millennialism has been a standard position of the Protestant Reformation, exemplified in such historic reformed confessions such as the Westminster Standards, and held by men like John Calvin, Samuel Rutherford, and Jonathan Edwards.
I am here then to defend my Christian hope which is so eloquently expressed in the Westminster Larger Catechism thus:
“in the second petition [of the Lord’s Prayer], (which is, Thy kingdom come) acknowledging ourselves and all mankind to be by nature under the dominion of sin and Satan, we pray, that the kingdom of sin and Satan may be destroyed, the gospel propagated throughout the world, the Jews called, the fullness of the Gentiles brought in; the church furnished with all gospel-officers and ordinances, purged from corruption, countenanced and maintained by the civil magistrate: that the ordinances of Christ may be purely dispensed, and made effectual to the converting of those that are yet in their sins, and the confirming, comforting, and building up of those that are already converted: that Christ would rule in our hearts here, and hasten the time of his second coming, and our reigning with him forever: and that he would be pleased so to exercise the kingdom of his power in all the world, as may best conduce to these ends.”
There are at least two reasons this issue matters and should be subject to excommunication if an erroneous heresy is embraced:
· First, an error on this issue, whether in the preterist direction or the futurist direction, is predicated upon a dangerous hermeneutic. If this hermeneutic is logically and consistently applied, it will affect even doctrines as basic as those found in the Apostles’ Creed. For instance, **if** the preteristic hermeneutic were correct and terms like “shortly” necessarily imply **all** fulfillment of the described event is in 70 A.D., then all of the events in the book of Revelation must have been ultimately fulfilled in 70 A.D., because the term “shortly” in Revelation 1:1 is descriptive of the whole of the revelation, and not just some parts. But if all of its elements were ultimately fulfilled (including the millennium, Great Day of Judgment in Revelation 20, and the New Heavens and New Earth in Revelation 21), then it is simply erroneous to adhere to a future visible, universal Day of Judgment and Advent, because all of such elements would have been fulfilled in 70 A.D. Simply put, full preterism is the logical end of the preteristic hermeneutic. (And, in my opinion, a rationalistic conception of the new heavens and new earth is its final logical end. For in the description of the new heavens and new earth of Revelation 21, heaven comes down to earth and they meet. So what we currently experience would be the new heavens and new earth, and there would be no more.) And to take another example, that of dispensationalist futurism, Patrick Fairbairn is quite right that the logical end of its hermeneutic is Judaism. **If** prophecies, like concerning the coming Temple prophesied in the book of Ezekiel, are to be interpreted literally, then there will be animal sacrifices required in a literal Temple even after Christ’s First Advent, and the Apostles were deceptive liars to say otherwise. Furthermore, it would imply Christ and His Apostles were frauds in the way they applied Old Testament prophecy, saying things like Jesus’ body is the Temple. It should come as no surprise that there is even some movement of dispensationalists towards Judaism in our day. Neither should it be a surprise that there is a movement of partial preterists to full preterism. Too, it should be remembered that the same basic methodology by which we identify the Anti-Christ that is the Man of Sin and Beast of Revelation, must be employed to identify the Christ. The two are not separated with regards to methodology. So an error in the one will necessarily affect the other.
· Second, the word of God states that as the prophecies are fulfilled, Christ’s elect church will be able to do things like properly identify the Man of Sin and support the effort to establish the post-millennium through the instrumentality of preaching. The Apostle Paul implies that Christians will be able to identify that Man of Sin described in II Thessalonians 2:3 when He comes. And the book of Revelation implies that Christians will promote, and not oppose, that “the kingdoms of this world…become [the kingdoms] of our Lord”. They will not oppose the latter because of some false premise that reformed Christian nations with reformed established churches must wait until after Christ’s visible Second Advent. (It is the instrument of the preaching of the gospel, also called the sword out of Christ’s mouth, which will usher in reformations and the millennium [see Revelation 14:6, 19:15,21], though finally the new heavens and new earth will be ushered in by Christ’s Second Advent.) In these matters, “none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.” (Daniel 12:10) That does not mean every last detail of prophecy should necessarily be interpreted properly (for then probably none of us would qualify), but on the chief doctrines of eschatology and the identity of the Man of Sin which are laid out in the Westminster Standards, there should be no denial.
Now that I have weighed in on the issue’s significance, let me now defend the proper position on the issue itself.
THE DAY OF JUDGMENT USHERING IN
THE NEW HEAVENS AND NEW EARTH
Preterists assert that the 70 A.D. judgment is the Great Day of Judgment. But the 70 A.D. judgment is not the ultimate Great Day of Judgment described in scripture, any more than the aftermath of 70 A.D. is the ultimate new heavens and new earth. On the ultimate Great Day of Judgment Christ will visibly come and judge all the living and the dead who have ever lived- sending the wicked into hell eternally and the righteous to reside eternally with Him in the New Heavens and New Earth. Sin and suffering will then be done away with in heaven and earth.
Consider these descriptions of the Great Day of Judgment:
1. In Matthew 25 we read: “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world....’ Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels....’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life”
2. II Thes 1 we read: "On “that day” (singular), “when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe”
3. Rev 20: “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”
And consider this description of the new heavens and new earth:
Rev 21: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
The judgment of 70 A.D. was only a type of the Great Day of Judgment. As the theologian Patrick Fairbairn wrote, “
“There is a coming spoken of in New Testament Scripture which may be designated in the proper sense terminal, and therefore also visible; so that every eye shall see it, and every heart be filled either with joy or dismay on account of it. And there are comings of a provisional kind, which all point toward the ultimate manifestation, and differ from it only in being less palpable in their nature, and less complete and lasting in their results.” (p. 449)
TYPOLOGY IN SCRIPTURAL PROPHECY I
I would like to first resume my discussion of typology in scriptural prophecy. It is fundamental to the argument of preterism that typology has ceased in New Testament prophecy, but this position is wrong.
Just to remind our audience, a ‘type’ is a figure or symbol of something to come, such as an event in the Old Testament that foreshadows and prophesies of another in the New Testament. For example, the rest that the Israelites enjoyed in Canaan when they came out of Egypt is a type of the promised rest believers will enjoy when they enter heaven, and King David is a type of King Jesus.
Similarly, Old Testament Israel was a type of Jesus Christ. To understand this, let’s recall the words of Exodus 4, where God says of Israel: "Thus saith the Lord, Israel is My son, My first-born; and I say unto thee, Let My son go.” By calling Israel His first-born son, God was in effect saying that the Old Testament church was a type of His true Son, Jesus. For example, consider how that at an early age Jesus went into Egypt before returning to Nazareth, which Matthew 2:15 indicates fulfilled the experience of Israel, “out of Egypt have I called my son.”
And we can see how the rest of Jesus’ life also was foreshadowed by the history of Israel. Thus, Israel was baptized in crossing the Red Sea according to I Corinthians 10, paralleling how Jesus was baptized in the Jordan. And Israel endured a 40 year wilderness experience, as Christ endured 40 days in the wilderness. And Israel was destroyed in the Babylonian conquest, as Christ was killed. Following the Babylonian captivity, we learn in Ezekiel 37 that Israel was resurrected from dry bones, paralleling how Jesus rose from the dead, and the Temple of Himself was re-built.
As another example, the Old Testament church was a type of the New Testament church. Just as Israel was baptized in crossing the Red Sea, the New Testament church was baptized by the Spirit at Pentecost. This New Testament church came out of the earthly Jerusalem. This earthly Jerusalem had mis-used its 70 weeks prophesied in Daniel, which is equal to 490 years according to the day-year principle. In so doing, the earthly Jerusalem ruled by Judaists henceforth took on the status of a figurative Egypt, as we read in Revelation 11:8, which says “…Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified…”. And it was out of this figurative Egypt that the New Testament church came, just as the Old Testament church came out of Egypt.
And just as Israel went through the wilderness following its baptism, so we read in Revelation 12 how the New Testament church had a wilderness experience of 1,260 years (calculated according to the day-year principle). Just as Israel came through its wilderness and entered Canaan, and as Christ had overcome Satan after His wilderness experience, so the Christian church came out of its wilderness experience in the Protestant Reformation. Just as Israel went through many trials even after its wilderness experience, so has the church. And as Old Testament Israel was subject to Babylonian oppression, so Christ’s church we read in Revelation 17 was subject to a mysterious Babylonian oppression. We read in Revelation 17:9 that this figurative Babylon’s seat of power was in the city of 7 hills, which is certainly Rome. We read in Revelation 12 and 13 how it oppresses Christ’s true church, becoming transformed from the Pagan-to-Papal Roman Empire, the Beast taking on Lamb-like characteristics. It was a mystery, because one would not have expected that which was within Christendom to oppress its own. But this Beast has the title ‘Son of Perdition’ – the very same title ascribed in scripture to the traitorous Christian Judas. Thus what entered the wilderness years as a virgin church in Rev 12, we find in the wilderness has played the harlot in Rev 17.
But just as the Babylonian oppression ceased for Israel, so we read it will cease in the future for the church. And just as Israel enjoyed a time of restoration, so we read the church will yet enter an era of post-millennial restoration, primarily through the instrumentality of the preaching of the gospel according to Revelation 14:6 and 19:15. Then as Magog was released against Israel, the figurative Magog will be released upon the New Testament church. But just as Christ came to the rescue of His Old Testament church in the First Advent, so Christ will come to the rescue of His church in the coming Second Advent. And just as the First Advent ushered in a typical new heavens and new earth according to Isaiah 65, so the Second Advent will usher in the ultimate new heavens and new earth we find in Revelation 21.
TYPOLOGY IN SCRIPTURAL PROPHECY II
There are a few more points I need to make regarding typology.
Not only are there types which we must recognize in scriptural prophecy, there are types within types. And each type symbolizes and pictures the whole. For example, the history of how Israel endured the wilderness experience and entered the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua, we read in Hebrews 4 is not only a type of the whole history of Old Testament Israel, it is a type of all of human history, in which Jesus brings His elect church into the eternal Promised Sabbath rest. Similarly, the period described in the opening of the 7 seals - which seems to describe the era up to the judgment on the earthly Jerusalem in 70 A.D.– is a type of the history of the New Testament church up to the post-millennium, as well as a type of the history of the New Testament church up to the Great Day of Judgment ushering in the new heavens and new earth.
Now let’s return to our consideration of the prophetic type we find in Haggai 2:6, speaking of the shaking of heaven and earth. The type itself concerns the restoration in Jerusalem and specifically the re-building of the Old Testament Temple then, following the Babylonian captivity. When just this prophetic type is considered, it is certainly true that it was fulfilled in a very short time. The prophet Haggai was part of the generation which returned to Jerusalem from the Babylonian captivity, and Haggai’s prophecies prompted the re-building of the Temple within a short time span, to great effect. Hence we read in Haggai 2:6, “Yet once, it [is] a little while, and I will shake the heavens…” Now this re-building of the Temple in Haggai’s day was a type of Christ’s passion and resurrection on the third day, for Christ described that event too as a building of the Temple (which was Christ Himself), according to John 2:19. This rebuilding of the Temple of Christ’s body in His First Advent shook heaven and earth in typological fulfillment of the Haggai 2:6 prophecy, as we read in Hebrews 12:26-28 (“…Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this [word], Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace…”) So Haggai 2:6 not only prophesied the re-building of the Temple in Haggai’s day, but also the work and resurrection associated with Christ’s First Advent, which was centuries later. And as previously noted, it has typologically prophesied as well the yet future Second Advent, when the heavens and earth will again be shaken, and the Temple of Christ’s body will dwell with man in the New Earth. Finally, as previously noted as well, we learn an important lesson from the Haggai 2:6 prophecy about prophetic interpretation. A scriptural prophecy can employ language of imminence because the prophesied type itself is to occur shortly, even if the anti-type which it also prophesies occurs centuries later. While I do not believe this is the only reason why we find language of imminence used in prophecy of the Day of Judgment and in the book of Revelation’s prophecies (and I have previously provided other reasons that this language of imminence was used), I think it goes a long way in explaining it.
The Apostles wrote of an Advent that was in their past (speaking of the first advent, they said things like “Jesus *came* to save sinners”) as well as one in their future (speaking of the second advent, they would warn the disciples to be prepared). That the Apostles spoke of an imminent coming of Christ that was typical of a yet future ultimate coming, this would follow the pattern of the Haggai 2:6 prophecy to the T.
And how do the books of Daniel and Revelation prophesy the Protestant Reformation, following a church wilderness experience? According to Daniel 12:11, “from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” The abomination that maketh desolate refers to the destruction of the earthly Jerusalem and Temple in 70 A.D. In 70 A.D. the church definitively left the figurative Egypt of earthly Jerusalem, and earthly Jerusalem ruled by Judaists was destroyed like Pharoah and his armies. This was followed by the church’s wilderness experience according to Revelation 12. Revelation 12 describes it as lasting 1,260 years (according to the day-year principle), while Daniel 12 describes it as lasting 1,290 years. The difference is 30 years. Now 30 years was the time from Christ’s birth to His public ministry, and it symbolizes the time of birth to public ministry in His prophets. If we add 1,260 years to 70 A.D., we get 1330 A.D. And 30 years later is 1360 A.D. So who was born in 1330 A.D. and began his public ministry in 1360 A.D.? John Wycliffe, the Morningstar of the Reformation. Daniel 12:12 goes on to speak of the blessing of those who will make it to 1,335 years, which is 1405 A.D. By 1405, the Reformation was firmly planted in the British Isles with the Lollards, and it had been planted in continental Europe with Huss. But just as in Israel’s history, there remained and remains a long saga even after coming out of the wilderness.
Preterists assert there are no types in the New Covenant era.
But our first day of the week Christian Sabbath, called the Lord’s Day, which is a type of the Promised Eternal Sabbath rest, is testimony against any such notion.
Let me supply some reasons we know the Babylon described in Revelation is not the earthly Jerusalem.
First, Jerusalem is not based in the city of 7 hills.
Second, Jerusalem did not come out of the pagan Roman Empire, as the Little Horn of Daniel 7 (aka the transformed Beast of Revelation) did.
Third, the earthly Jerusalem is not a transformed and corrupted version of what had been the virgin Christian church in the wilderness, as described in Revelation 12.
Fourth, descriptions like spiritual fornication, harlotry, and whoredom **within** the context of Revelation are uniformly used of corrupted Christians, as we see in Revelation Rev 2:14, 20, 22, and 14:8. They are not used with reference to Judaists.
Don Preston has argued that Genesis 49 teaches that the Last Days ended in the Apostolic era, because the scepter departed from Judah then.
But he is wrong to say the scepter ever departed from Judah. Jeremiah 31 and Hebrews 8 say that God made a “new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah”, and Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. So Judah hardly ceased then, any more than Jesus and the New Covenant ceased then.
In fact, the Last Days could not have ceased in the Apostolic era, because what Isaiah 2 says will happen in the Last Days has not yet ultimately occurred. It says the people “shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” This is a description of the post-millennium which has yet to occur.
Let me now address how we should understand Matthew 16:27-28.
Regarding Mt 16:27, it is certainly referring to the future Great Day of Judgment, for only then will Christ “reward every man” that has ever lived “according to his works.”
And John Calvin got it right when he said of Matthew 16:28: “As the disciples might still hesitate and inquire when that day would be, our Lord animates them by the immediate assurance, that he will presently give them a proof of his future glory. By the coming of the kingdom of God we are to understand the manifestation of heavenly glory, which Christ began to make at his resurrection, and which he afterwards made more fully by sending the Holy Spirit, and by the performance of miracles; for by those beginnings he gave his people a taste of the newness of the heavenly life, when they perceived, by certain and undoubted proofs, that he was sitting at the right hand of the Father.”
There are abundant clues provided in scripture that the Great Day of Judgment would come long after the Apostolic era:
· According to Revelation 20, the Day of Judgment accompanying Christ’s advent was to occur after a “thousand years”. Now the term “thousand years” certainly suggests a long duration of time. Even full preterists like James Stuart Russell have acknowledged that the millennium symbolizes a great expanse of time.
· According to Revelation, the Day of Judgment was to occur after many events which could not have occurred in a short span of time. Rather, they are events which consist of the rise and fall of earthly kingdoms (aka “beasts), pestilences, famines, numerous wars, widespread deception within the church and apostasy, the nations and their governments becoming Christian, etc.
· II Peter 3 warns us that we should consider time indicators relating to the Second Advent in relation to divine time and not human time, and especially that what seem long times for man are short times for God. This at least hints that the Second Advent would be “soon” with respect to divine time, and not human time.
· II Thessalonians 2:2 suggests that the Second Advent was not then imminent. It reads: “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.” The Authorized Version properly translates ‘enestaken’ as ‘at hand’ in this context.
· II Thessalonians 2:3-8 indicates there would have to be widespread apostasy associated with the Man of Sin (aka the Beast of Revelation) before the Second Advent.
· Matthew 24 contrasts the timing of the destruction of Jerusalem which was to occur in the Apostolic generation with “that day” of judgment.
· According to II Corinthians 4:17, the Apostle Paul describes our current sufferings before Christ’s Advent as being “but for a moment”, but he explains in the next verse what he means by this. He says it is because this is temporal and bounded by time, but the future state will be eternal. This implies language of imminence must be considered relative to eternity.
· According to Psalm 90:3-4, our judgments will come swiftly in divine time, even if in normal human reckoning they seem to come slowly
· Luke 21:24, in combination with Romans 11, suggests that after Jerusalem is trodden down by the Gentiles (in 70 A.D.), that there will be a long duration “until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled”, and then many Jews will be converted, which shall usher in an era of great gospel prosperity on earth. All of this is suggestive of a great amount of time before the millennial reign.
· The New Testament, and especially the book of Revelation, suggests many typological and provisional comings of the Lord before the coming of the Lord on the Great Day of Judgment. This suggests an expanse of time to accomplish.
· The book of Revelation describes the coming experience of the Christian church to be in many notable respects a repetition of the experience of the Old Testament church, yet played out upon the world stage. So the book of Revelation describes a wilderness experience the church must endure, apostacy and deception, a Babylonian oppression, and redemption. The experience of the Old Testament church lasted for centuries, so we should not imagine the New Testament church would be any shorter. Indeed, the wilderness experience alone of the New Testament church is to last a prophetic 1,260 years (according to the day-year principle) and the redemption period is described in terms of a millennium, according to the Revelation account.
The day-year principle for interpreting prophetic time is well founded in scripture. It is taught in Leviticus 25:8, Ezekiel 4:6, and Numbers 14:34 explicitly. It is the basis for knowing that the 70 weeks prophesied in Daniel 9 would be 490 years. It is an important principle for interpreting the “1,260 days” (or “42 months”) in the book of Revelation, and is but one other reason we must reject the preterist interpretation of this Apocalyptic book., which would seek to compress its prophetic events into the first century.
CROSS EXAMINATION QUESTIONS
· In Daniel we read of events taking place 70 weeks (in other words, 490 days) later, 1290 days later, and 2300 days later, after certain specified events. Should we interpret these according to the day-year principle? If it took sometime after Daniel wrote this to the Apostolic era for the event which is to occur after the 70 weeks to be fulfilled, does it not stand to reason that the events which are to occur after 1290 days and even 2300 days will be significantly after the Apostolic era?
· Were the ‘beasts’ of Daniel merely particular kings, or were they kingdoms? And should we not assign them similar signification in the book of Revelation, which is the New Testament sequel of Daniel?
· According to Revelation 13, the Beast (which was the Roman Empire) was transformed into a deceptive Lamb-like Beast. How does that fit with Nero or with any Judaistic High Priest in Jerusalem?
· The ‘kings’ referenced in Daniel 7:17 are kingdoms. Why should we not understand the 8 successive ‘kings’ referenced in Revelation 17:10-11 to be kingdoms as well?
· If you insist ‘beast’ means a mere king in prophetic revelation, then why does Daniel 7:23 read: "The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth".
· Most preterists like Gentry say Nero was the sixth "king" of Revelation 17:10, which would imply Caesar Augustus was the second. Did Caesar Augustus really **fall**, or did he die after a long and prosperous reign? Did the Babylonian, Persian, and Greek kingdoms fall?
· Luke 21:24 says “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” So “the times of the Gentiles” is placed chronologically after Jerusalem is trodden down in 70 A.D., and Romans 11:25 indicates many Jews will no longer be blinded to the gospel when the times of the Gentiles comes to an end, which it says will issue in a great gospel prosperity. Since you do not believe this refers to the future post-millennium, when do you reference it?
· There are many comings of Christ described, even in the course of the opening of the 7 seals of Revelation. Why should we not associate these with provisional typological comings of the ultimate coming Great Day of Judgment of Revelation 20?
· Should we identify the judgment described in Revelation 20:11-15 with the judgment and destruction of Babylon described in Revelation 17-18, or is the latter typical of the judgment described in Revelation 20:11-15?
· How can we consider the millennium described in Revelation 20 as synchronous with the era outlined in Revelation 4-19, when the era described in Revelation 4-19 was a period characterized by widespread deception, yet the millennium is characterized by its absence? Specifically within the context of Revelation, does it make sense to say Satan was bound in the bottomless pit throughout the period covered in Revelation 4-19?
Just to summarize then, there is abundant evidence that:
· There is a coming final and ultimate Great Day of Judgment in which all men will be judged.
· There would be a significant expanse of time until this Great Day of Judgment.
· There would be apostacy from within Christendom, led by a wicked church based in Rome, yet daughtering whores outside herself.
· There will be a post-millennium after this whore and other wicked ones fall through the instrumentality of gospel preaching.
And with regards to the language of imminence found in New Testament prophecy, we have demonstrated that:
· The Greek language, unlike the English language, uses language of imminence as a means to express certainty, so that it was a way of expressing the certainty of the Great Day of Judgment.
· It was used to stir our constant preparation for judgment.
· It drives us to be more like God in our perspective of time.
· It was employed because various typical comings of Christ were to be fulfilled near term, even though the ultimate fulfillment was long term, following the pattern of the Haggai 2:6 prophecy.
Historicistic post-millennialism is vindicated, and full preterism is refuted.