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BOOKS:  BIBLICAL STUDIES (1500BC-AD70) / EARLY CHRISTIAN PRETERISM (AD50-1000) / FREE ONLINE BOOKS (AD1000-2008)

Church-State Relations and the Book of Revelation
By Todd Dennis, Curator (Futurist: 1979-1996; Full Preterist: 1996-2006; Idealist: 2006-Forevermore)



The Consummation of the Ages


Bimillennialism

1/1/11: Administrative - Migrating writings of nominal Full Preterists from /Hyper to a new location.  The works of professing Full Preterists who have stretched beyond the confines of clearly defined Full Preterism are classified under "Progressive Preterism".  Those formerly staunch supporters of Full Preterism who have publicly written about a pause for doctrinal review will likewise be listed.

 

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EARLY CHURCH

Ambrose
Ambrose, Pseudo
Andreas
Arethas
Aphrahat
Athanasius
Augustine
Barnabus
BarSerapion
Baruch, Pseudo
Bede
Chrysostom
Chrysostom, Pseudo
Clement, Alexandria
Clement, Rome
Clement, Pseudo
Cyprian
Ephraem
Epiphanes
Eusebius
Gregory
Hegesippus
Hippolytus
Ignatius
Irenaeus
Isidore
James
Jerome
King Jesus
Apostle John
Lactantius
Luke
Mark
Justin Martyr
Mathetes
Matthew
Melito
Oecumenius
Origen
Apostle Paul
Apostle Peter
Maurus Rabanus
Remigius
"Solomon"
Severus
St. Symeon
Tertullian
Theophylact
Victorinus

HISTORICAL PRETERISM
(Minor Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 or Revelation in Past)

Joseph Addison
Oswald T. Allis
Thomas Aquinas
Karl Auberlen
Augustine
Albert Barnes
Karl Barth
G.K. Beale
Beasley-Murray
John Bengel
Wilhelm Bousset
John A. Broadus

David Brown
"Haddington Brown"
F.F. Bruce

Augustin Calmut
John Calvin
B.H. Carroll
Johannes Cocceius
Vern Crisler
Thomas Dekker
Wilhelm De Wette
Philip Doddridge
Isaak Dorner
Dutch Annotators
Alfred Edersheim
Jonathan Edwards

E.B. Elliott
Heinrich Ewald
Patrick Fairbairn
Js. Farquharson
A.R. Fausset
Robert Fleming
Hermann Gebhardt
Geneva Bible
Charles Homer Giblin
John Gill
William Gilpin
W.B. Godbey
Ezra Gould
Hank Hanegraaff
Hengstenberg
Matthew Henry
G.A. Henty
George Holford
Johann von Hug
William Hurte
J, F, and Brown
B.W. Johnson
John Jortin
Benjamin Keach
K.F. Keil
Henry Kett
Richard Knatchbull
Johann Lange

Cornelius Lapide
Nathaniel Lardner
Jean Le Clerc
Peter Leithart
Jack P. Lewis
Abiel Livermore
John Locke
Martin Luther

James MacDonald
James MacKnight
Dave MacPherson
Keith Mathison
Philip Mauro
Thomas Manton
Heinrich Meyer
J.D. Michaelis
Johann Neander
Sir Isaac Newton
Thomas Newton
Stafford North
Dr. John Owen
 Blaise Pascal
William W. Patton
Arthur Pink

Thomas Pyle
Maurus Rabanus
St. Remigius

Anne Rice
Kim Riddlebarger
J.C. Robertson
Edward Robinson
Andrew Sandlin
Johann Schabalie
Philip Schaff
Thomas Scott
C.J. Seraiah
Daniel Smith
Dr. John Smith
C.H. Spurgeon

Rudolph E. Stier
A.H. Strong
St. Symeon
Theophylact
Friedrich Tholuck
George Townsend
James Ussher
Wm. Warburton
Benjamin Warfield

Noah Webster
John Wesley
B.F. Westcott
William Whiston
Herman Witsius
N.T. Wright

John Wycliffe
Richard Wynne
C.F.J. Zullig

MODERN PRETERISTS
(Major Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 or Revelation in Past)

Firmin Abauzit
Jay Adams
Luis Alcazar
Greg Bahnsen
Beausobre, L'Enfant
Jacques Bousset
John L. Bray
David Brewster
Dr. John Brown
Thomas Brown
Newcombe Cappe
David Chilton
Adam Clarke

Henry Cowles
Ephraim Currier
R.W. Dale
Gary DeMar
P.S. Desprez
Johann Eichhorn
Heneage Elsley
F.W. Farrar
Samuel Frost
Kenneth Gentry
Steve Gregg
Hugo Grotius
Francis X. Gumerlock
Henry Hammond
Hampden-Cook
Friedrich Hartwig
Adolph Hausrath
Thomas Hayne
J.G. Herder
Timothy Kenrick
J. Marcellus Kik
Samuel Lee
Peter Leithart
John Lightfoot
Benjamin Marshall
F.D. Maurice
Marion Morris
Ovid Need, Jr
Wm. Newcombe
N.A. Nisbett
Gary North
Randall Otto
Zachary Pearce
Andrew Perriman
Beilby Porteus
Ernst Renan
Gregory Sharpe
Fr. Spadafora
R.C. Sproul
Moses Stuart
Milton S. Terry
Herbert Thorndike
C. Vanderwaal
Foy Wallace
Israel P. Warren
Chas Wellbeloved
J.J. Wetstein
Richard Weymouth
Daniel Whitby
George Wilkins
E.P. Woodward
 

FUTURISTS
(Virtually No Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 & Revelation in 1st C. - Types Only ; Also Included are "Higher Critics" Not Associated With Any Particular Eschatology)

Henry Alford
G.C. Berkower
Alan Patrick Boyd
John Bradford
Wm. Burkitt
George Caird
Conybeare/ Howson
John Crossan
John N. Darby
C.H. Dodd
E.B. Elliott
G.S. Faber
Jerry Falwell
Charles G. Finney
J.P. Green Sr.
Murray Harris
Thomas Ice

Benjamin Jowett
John N.D. Kelly

Hal Lindsey
John MacArthur
William Miller
Robert Mounce

Eduard Reuss

J.A.T. Robinson
George Rosenmuller
D.S. Russell
George Sandison
C.I. Scofield
Dr. John Smith

Norman Snaith
"Televangelists"
Thomas Torrance
Jack/Rex VanImpe
John Walvoord

Quakers : George Fox | Margaret Fell (Fox) | Isaac Penington


PRETERIST UNIVERSALISM | MODERN PRETERISM | PRETERIST IDEALISM

Kurt M. Simmons
FULL PRETERIST
 

(Covenant Eschatology is) "a dangerous system of theology"
 


"It is easy to see the analogy to our case. Our paternal inheritance in heaven has been purchased by our Kinsman Redeemer (Christ), with whom we are joint-heirs of eternal life. The transaction was paid in blood, and the evidence of the purchase has been sealed in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, by whom we cry "Abba, Father." This yearning serves as the earnest of our heavenly inheritance until it comes into our actual possession."

  • The Age to Come and the Eternal State (2011) "The error underlying all of these is the assumption that "this age" refers to the pre-Messianic age (or "Mosaic" age by the King/Preston/Bell/Fenely view), and "that age" to the present Christian age on earth. However, the dichotomy is not between the age extant when Jesus spoke versus that which was yet to come. The dichotomy is between this life versus the next life; this world versus heaven above."
  • The Time of Reformation (2011) What was the "time of reformation" in Hebrews 9:1-10? Some suppose it points to AD 70, others the cross. Which is correct?   ‎"If Christians could not legally and covenantally enter the Most Holy Place prior to AD 70, then the New Testament was not yet in force. But the writer of Hebrews makes clear that that the New Testament came into force at the Testator's (Jesus') death (Heb. 9:17). But as the New Testament verily came into force with Jesus' death, then were believers admitted into the presence of God, cleansed and justified from sin before AD 70. The writer thus encourages believers to have "boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus," signifying that they should boldly embrace the New Covenant, leaving behind the relics of Moses without hesitation or fear. "

  • 4/2/11: Mea Culpa, On Ephesians 1's 'Redemption of the Purchased Possession' (2011) "Dozens and dozens and dozens of verses affirm that redemption and justification were complete and possessed by the church from and after the cross. Not one verse can be produced showing that justification came in AD 70, or that the church remained under the debt of sin after the cross." (Read the entire Sword & Plow there too)


PRESTON / SIMMONS DEBATE - THE CROSS VS AD70

"This is the long and short of Don’s teaching: nothing happened at the cross."  "The cross has vanished from Don’s soteriology. "


Kurt Simmons “I repudiate all things Max King!  It is because I have learned better that we are having this discussion at all. Here are the issues of this debate: "
 

  • To what event does scripture attach man’s salvation, the death of Christ upon the cross, or his coming in wrath upon the Jews and Romans?   (Simmons: Cross ; Preston: AD70)

  • Was the law fulfilled and did the legal efficacy of the Old Testament end at the cross, or did it remain valid and binding until the second coming?     (Simmons: Cross ; Preston: AD70)

  • Was remission of sins and fulness of grace available from and after the cross, at Pentecost when the gospel was first preached were sins remitted and washed away, or was salvation from sin postponed until Jerusalem fell?     (Simmons: Cross ; Preston: AD70)


PROGRESSIVE WORKS

  • Urgent Corrections Preterism Must Make (2007)  "Did Christ come in the events marking the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70?  Unquestionably, but it is equally clear that his coming was not limited to Palestine.  The Psalms, Daniel, the prophets, Revelation, the epistles, language, and history all combine in one united voice to declare Christ’s coming was world wide. Admitting all this evidence into our paradigm is one of the chief challenges Preterism faces in coming years."

  • Four Errors Current Among Preterists (2007)  "The idea that the heavens and earth destroyed at the eschaton were the old law, naturally led to the idea that the new heavens and earth are the New Testament. King taught it; I taught it; many of us taught it. Unfortunately, it just is not true."

EARLIER WORKS

  • Why the Single Millennium Model Forces a Futurist Eschatology (2004) "The single millennium model forces the reader to adopt a futurist eschatology because the reign of the martyrs who die under the beast is followed by yet another contest prior to the second coming of Christ. ..the images of Rev. 20:1-10 are not progressive, but are a recapitulation. There were not three end-time battles, but one; the battle of Gog and Magog is the same battle described elsewhere in Revelation under different symbols."
  • Appendix “A” - Proposed Chronological Table of Historical Fulfillment
  • The Eschatological Change (2004) "bearing in mind that Paul spoke in a mystery and that the eschaton came and went in A.D. 70 without the actual or personal translation of believers to heaven, we are compelled to give an explanation of what the language really means. What “change” did believers experience in A.D. 70, how was mortality swallowed up by life, and in what sense were they translated to meet the Lord in the air?"
  • The Angels of the Bottomless Pit (2004) ""In a previous article discussed the identity of Revelation’s great red dragon. There we concluded that the dragon had a duel identity first, as a metaphor for the prince of this world - sin and death - and, second, the embodiment of sin and death in the world civil power as the enemy of God and his people (viz., Egypt, Assyria, Babylon) or, more specifically for purposes of Revelation – Imperial Rome. "
  • The Great Red Dragon (2004) "the binding of the Dragon is central to the imagery of Revelation twenty, perhaps the most difficult and elusive chapter in the whole Bible. Whole schools of interpretation have grown up around the imagery of Revelation twenty and the binding of the Dragon; Pre-, Post-, and A-millennialism define the "millennial reign" of Christ and the saints by Dragon’s binding."
  • Rethinking II Peter III: Toward a More Expansive Understanding of the Eschaton (2003) "In this article we examine II Peter 3:7-13 and decide that the heavens and earth that were marked for destruction involved considerably more than merely Old Testament Judaism, Jerusalem, and the temple."
  • The Consummation of the Ages (2003) "(30% discount on purchases of three or more copies; 40% discount on purchases of five or more) Over 15 pages of charts and timelines detailing historical fulfillment of Israel's Last Days and Revelation's imagery
  • The Resurrection of the Flesh (2003) "Since physical bodies are no part of the first resurrection, what basis is there to believe they will be part of the second resurrection of the soul in heaven? To the contrary, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” (I Cor. 15:50)"
  • The Binding of the Great Red Dragon (2003) "The reign of the righteous in paradise did not depend upon the punishment of the wicked in tartarus. If a single soul was never shut up in tartarus, the righteous would still have reigned in paradise. There simply is no correlation between the blessed estate of the one and the punishment of the other. This is equally true of the Dragon and the martyrs. There is no indication that the reign of the martyrs is somehow defined or dependent upon the binding of the Dragon; not a single word to this effect appears in the text. "
  • What is Bimillennial Preterism? (2003) "Bimillennial Preterism is a school of Biblical eschatology that advocates there are two millennial periods contemplated by the text of Rev. 20:1-6, rather than the traditional single millennium advanced by other schools and commentators. 
  • What is Preterism? (2002)

Dating the book of Revelation - "Arethas makes similar comments, and states concerning Rev. 7:4 “When the evangelist received these oracles, the destruction in which the Jews were involved was not yet inflicted by the Romans.” 


(On the Holy Spirit)
"I suppose that depends upon what you mean by having the Holy Spirit? If it means the miraculous gifts of the Spirit, No. Those were only for the brief period between AD 33-70. The gifts were given to bear testimony that the apostles were the ambassadors of Christ, and that the message of the gospel carried divine approval. But if by having the Spirit is meant Christ dwelling in our hearts by faith, loving his Word, seeking his will, having remorse for sin, loving our enemies, etc, then, Yes. No man says that Jesus is Lord but by the Holy Ghost. I Cor. 12:3. I do not conceive of this as a direct indwelling, but indirect through the word engrafted in our hearts"

(On Matthew 24:34)
"The term “preterism” is derived from the Latin praeteritus, meaning that which has past. (Praeteritus is the past participle of praeterire, to go before: prae (comparative of before) ire, to go.) The term is derived from Matt. 24:34 where it occurs in the Latin to describe the time of Christ's Second Coming: "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass ("non praeteribit haec generatio"), till all these things be fulfilled." (What is Preterism?)

(On James 5:8)
"
The nearness of Christ's Second Coming is affirmed over and over.  Paul said "But this I say, Brethren, the time is short."  (I Cor. 7:29)  James said "the coming of the Lord draweth nigh...the judge standeth before the door."  (Jm. 5:8,9)  Peter stated "the end of all things is at hand." (I Pet. 4:,7)  The Hebrew writer makes several unmistakable statements to this effect when he says "For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry."  (Heb. 10:37)  The nearness of the day is seen in the fact that his readers would "see the day approaching."  (Heb. 10:25)

  The apostle John indicated the nearness of the end when he stated they were in the "last time" (Grk. hora, "hour"):  "Little children, it is the last time; and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time."  (I Jno. 2:18)  The nearness of Christ's return is repeated over and over throughout Revelation in unmistakable terms, saying the "time is at hand"  (Rev. 1:4; 22:10), "Behold, I come quickly" (Rev. 2:5,16; 3:11; 22:12,20), "Behold, I come as a thief"  (Rev. 3:3; 16:15), and the things of the prophecy "must shortly be done." (Rev. 1:1; 22:6)

There is nothing difficult in any of this language; all who will may plainly see that Jesus and his apostles taught the first century church to be in expectation of the Lord's return.  The difficulty arises not so much from the announced time of Christ's return, but understanding its manner.  Because men have been taught that Christ's return would mark the end of the universe, its continued existence beyond the specified time frame has forced them to explain away the express statements of time by resort to theories of delayed fulfillment or double fulfillment, and assertions that Christ and the apostles were simply wrong.  Preterism rejects all such theories, maintaining that the time elements cannot be disregarded or explained away consistent with the doctrine of verbal inspiration.  The very authority of the scriptures is at stake." (What is Preterism?)

(On The Millennial Reign of Christ)
" Perhaps the simplest argument demonstrating that the subject text contemplates two millennial periods is the grammatical structure of the passages. In Rev. 20:2, John uses the indefinite article (“a”), saying an angel bound the Dragon “a thousand years.” However, in Rev. 20:3, John uses the definite article (“the”), saying a seal was set upon the Dragon that he should not deceive the nations until “the thousand years are fulfilled.” The definite article in verse three is referential; it refers back to the original mention of a thousand years in verse two. The Dragon was bound until which thousand years were fulfilled? The thousand years previously mentioned in verse two. However, verse four introduces a new subject, another thousand years. This is seen by use of the indefinite article, saying, “I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus...and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Had John intended us to understand that this thousand years was the same as the thousand-year binding of the Dragon he would have used the definite article thus: “I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus…and they lived and reigned with Christ the thousand years.” Had it been used, the definite article in verse four would have been referential, like its use in verse three, pointing back to the original thousand years introduced in verse two. To the question, “The saints reigned until which thousand years were fulfilled?” we would again receive the answer, “The thousand years the Dragon was bound.” However, use of the indefinite article obviates this possibility entirely; our attention is not directed back to the thousand years previously referred to, it points ahead to a new thousand years. Hence, the Dragon was bound a thousand years and the martyrs reigned with Christ a thousand years, two separate periods, each signified by the indefinite article. This same pattern (“a…the…a”) may be seen in numerous passages of scripture; whenever we encounter it, two subjects are identified." (What is Bimillennial Preterism?)

"I notice in Matthison's book that he faults Preterism for not having a viable theory of "the" millennium. He complains (rightly) that the 40 yr. transitional model of King et alia is too short. I agree! This is place where Bimillennialism can save the day. The millennia-equal-hades model is not subject to any complaint of this sort. The earthly, historical referent of the dragon's binding is something like 26 years (Stephen to Nero), but the symbol of the 1,000 years speaks to the timeless nature of the hadean realm. I think this obviates Matthison's objection." (8/25/2004)

(On the Olivet Discourse)
"A good deal of the confusion about the manner of Christ's Second Coming stems from a fundamental misunderstanding concerning the nature of the world that was to suffer dissolution and the nature of the world that would take its place. It is clear from the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24; Mk. 13; Lk. 21) that the world which was passing away was intimately connected to the city and temple of Jerusalem." (What is Preterism?)

(On the Nature of the Resurrection)
"Since physical bodies are no part of the first resurrection, what basis is there to believe they will be part of the second resurrection of the soul in heaven?" (Resurrection of the flesh)

 

Armageddon

Gog & Magog

Kings gathered by deceitful spirits (Rev. 16:13, 14)

Makes war against Christ and Saints (Rev. 11:7; 19:13-19)

Battle takes place in land of Israel (Rev. 16:16)

Battle precedes destruction of Great City (Rev. 16:19)

Battle decided by coming of Christ (Rev. 16:15)

Followed by Resurrection (Rev. 11:18)

Temple Opened (Rev. 11:19)

New Jerusalem (Rev. 21, 22)

Nations deceived and gathered (Rev. 20:9, 10)

Enemies surround Camp of Saints (church) (Rev. 20:9, 10)

Battle take place in land of Israel (Ezek. 38:8, 9, 14)

Battle in Israel's Latter Days (Ezek. 38:8, 16)

Battle decided by coming of Christ (Rev. 20:9)

Followed by Resurrection (Rev. 20:12)

Temple Opened (Ezek. 44:9, 16)

New Jerusalem (Ezek. 48:35)

 

WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID

(Others on the "Two Millennium" concept)

Thomas Brightman (1562-1607)
"believed that the rule of the Byzantine Empire of 306-1300 CE was the thousand years of the binding of Satan (Smolinski 38). Brightman did not believe the binding and the reign of Christ were concurrent but instead consecutive; 1300 to 2300 would be the period of Christ's millennial reign and Judgment Day would follow (38)."

A.E. Knoch (1921)
"THE MILLENNIUM" has become a much abused and overworked phrase. Many use it for all future bliss. Its definition has vanished into a nebulous mist. There are two distinct periods of time in the day of the Lord, each of which is a thousand years in duration. So there are really two millenniums, one of which begins and ends a bit before the other. Satan is bound for a thousand years seventy-five days before the saints are roused to reign, and he is loosed a like period before their rule is over." (The Unveiling of Jesus Christ - The Two Millenniums)

Jim Millay, Editor, Christadelphian Advocate
Question or Topic Scripture  -   "Satan" bound for a thousand years Revelation 20

"We read in Revelation 20:2,7 that "the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan" is bound for a thousand years and then loosed. There are at least two opinions on how these words should be interpreted. How would you recommend dealing with the lack of agreement?

Answer

We would normally avoid this subject. It is one that is very controversial. Whenever brethren attempt to discuss this issue, it often leads to confusion and strife, rather than edification. It is worth our consideration however, that this a subject over which brethren have earnestly contended for years, without making the interpretation a matter of fellowship.
We have consented to respond to this question in the hope that there may be some benefit in a review. This issue may demonstrate how we can weather disagreement on other matters, without further division.

Two Opinions

There are two main opinions on this subject. The traditional opinion was introduced by the pioneers, including John Thomas and Robert Roberts. Their opinion was that these verses refer to the binding of "sin in the flesh" during the 1000 year reign of Christ, and that afterward, there will be a rebellion. This view is widely accepted and is the easier of the two concepts to support, at least on the surface.

The other opinion is that there are two one thousand year periods in the chapter, and that the dragon is bound and then loosed to deceive the nations, including God and Magog, prior to the 1000 year reign of Christ. An effective defense of this opposing view requires more in-depth study." (http://www.christadelphian-advocate.org/qbox/page25.html)

Daniel Steele
"There is no evidence here that a single millennium is spoken of. The best scholars, and among them Bengel, Wesley, and Dr. Owen, assert that there are two distinct periods of a thousand years spoken of in verses 1-7. The Greek article sustains this view. The first period extends through the repression of Satan which, Bengel says, indicates the great prosperity of the Church. The second is the reign of martyrs. Both of these periods are before the second coming of Christ. Thus Bengel and Wesley, instead of being Pre-millenarians, were, in fact, what most modern Methodists are, post-millenarians. Bengel styles those who confound these two distinct millennial periods, "pseudo-Chiliasts." The Prophetic Conference thus falls under Bengel's censure as pseudos. He says: "Whilst Satan is loosed from his imprisonment of a thousand years, the martyrs live and reign, not on the earth, but with Christ; then the coming of Christ in glory at length takes place at the last day; then, next, there is the new heaven, the new earth, and the new Jerusalem." Thus the coming of Christ is two thousand years plus a little season after the binding of Satan. A harmless sort of Chiliasm is this. Says Bengel: "The confounding of the two millennial periods has long ago produced many errors, and has made the name of Chiliasm hateful and suspected." (A Substitute for Holiness, Chapter 14. Difficulties with the Thousand Years)

OTHER ADVOCATES OF THE "BIMILLENNIAL VIEW"


John Wesley's Bimillennialism

[The following is taken from Wesley's Commentary on Revelation. As the reader will see, Wesley was of the opinion that there are two distinct "thousand-year" periods contemplated by Revelation 20:1-7, not one as urged by most modern exegetes. With some qualification, we agree with Wesley that the first millennial period begins and ends before the beginning of the second. However, in our view, the first (the binding of the dragon) spoke to the reign of Claudius who enforced the religio licita, restraining persecution of the church, ending with the persecution under Nero. The second (viewed exclusive of other deceased saints) speaks of the blessed state of the martyrs in hades paradise who died under Nero (the beast). Thus, the one takes up where the other leaves off.][1]



Verse 4

[4] And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

............................................

"A thousand years — It must be observed, that two distinct thousand years are mentioned throughout this whole passage. Each is mentioned thrice; the thousand wherein Satan is bound, verses 2, 3, 7; the thousand wherein the saints shall reign, verses 4-6. The former end before the end of the world; the latter reach to the general resurrection. So that the beginning and end of the former thousand is before the beginning and end of the latter. Therefore as in the second verse, at the first mention of the former; so in the fourth verse, at the first mention of the latter, it is only said, a thousand years; in the other places, "the thousand," verses 3, 5, 7, that is, the thousand mentioned before. During the former, the promises concerning the flourishing state of the church, shall be fulfilled; during the latter, while the saints reign with Christ in heaven, men on earth will be careless and secure."
Verse 5

[5] But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

The rest of the dead lived not till the thousand years — Mentioned, verse 4.

Were ended — The thousand years during which Satan is bound both begin and end much sooner. The small time, and the second thousand years, begin at the same point, immediately after the first thousand. But neither the beginning of the first nor of the second thousand will be known to the men upon earth, as both the imprisonment of Satan and his loosing are transacted in the invisible world. By observing these two distinct thousand years, many difficulties are avoided. There is room enough for the fulfilling of all the prophecies, and those which before seemed to clash are reconciled; particularly those which speak, on the one hand, of a most flourishing state of the church as yet to come; and, on the other, of the fatal security of men in the last days of the world.



Notes:

[1] Viewed from the perspective that paradise and the first resurrection were inclusive of the righteous from Abel until the general resurrection, there would be an overlap between the two millennia, but from the perspective of only the martyrs who died under Nero, the second millennium would follow the first.

DANIEL STEELE, S.T.D.



CHAPTER XIV

DIFFICULTIES IN THE THOUSAND YEARS

[Editor's note: Steele wrote against Premillennialism as taught by the Plymouth Brethren. We include chapter fourteen of his work here because of his comments that there are two millennia in Revelation twenty. Steele's book may be visited on-line at http://www.gospeltruth.net/Antinomianism/antinom_toc.htm].

We object to the millenarian scheme, because it is grounded chiefly on those portions of the Bible which are symbolic, and enigmatic, and difficult to be understood. The personal reign of Christ a thousand years is not found in the Gospels, nor in the Acts of the Apostles, nor in the Epistles of Paul, Peter, James or John, but only in the Apocalypse, which is the darkest book in the New Testament. Its striking symbols and gorgeous imagery impress the imagination and awaken the feelings. The visitor in London will find in one library a thousand commentaries on this book, all professing to unfold its mysteries, all differing, so that only one of them can be true. These writers have tried to interpret the apocalyptic numbers, and they have signally failed. From Bengel's date of the binding of Satan in 1836 down to the present time, the years fixed for the coming of Christ have passed away, and the expositors who have survived their disappointment have courageously tried again, by shifting their ground into the safer future. There are three great schools of interpreters of the Revelation: (1) The Preterists, or those who teach that the whole, or by far the greater part, has been fulfilled. Some of the most eminent German expositors, as Ewald, De Wette, Lucke, and Dusterdieck, belong to this school; also Dr. Davidson in England, and Moses Stuart in America. (2) The Historicals, who hold that the Revelation embraces the whole history of the Church to the end of the world. (3) The Futurists, who insist that this book, after the third chapter, relates entirely to future events. Some include the first three chapters, and assert that they refer to the future also.

This is the grand outline of opinions held by men equally learned and honest; yet on a book whose interpretation is in so great dispute, the doctrine of a thousand years' personal reign of Christ on the earth before the last judgment is grounded by those who would interpret the plain and the literal teachings respecting the last things by the symbolic and typical, thus inverting an acknowledged canon of interpretation. The twentieth chapter of the Revelation is the basis of pre-millenarianism. Let us now examine this chapter, and see what is not proved by its testimony.

1. There is no mention of the second advent of Christ before the thousand years. The chapter opens with the vision of an angel descending from heaven with a chain in his hand. This angel can never be proved to be Christ. Says Alford: "Angelos, in this book, is an angel; never our Lord." Thus far in the Apocalypse there is not the slightest intimation that He has made His second advent in visible term. In chapter xix. 11-21, He wars against the beast, and the kings of the earth and their armies; but the assumption that this is a literal battle fought on the earth by Jesus in person, riding on a white horse, with a sharp sword going out of His mouth, is a literalism which cannot be endured, besides being a begging of the very question in dispute. John saw the things in the opened heaven, and he saw "the armies which were in heaven." The Scriptures are unanimous in making heaven the fixed abode of Christ, until He shall come to judge mankind at the last day.

2. John saw only the souls of the martyrs. He makes no mention of their bodies. There is a grave doubt whether a bodily resurrection is here intended; but we are inclined to the literal resurrection of these martyrs. In John v. 25, we have a resurrection of souls, followed in verse 28 by a bodily resurrection. This, in the opinion of many, explains the first and the second resurrections in this chapter. The passage is obscure, admitting of different interpretations.

3. There is here no proof of the resurrection of all the righteous dead, but only of the beheaded martyrs; so that allowing the literal resurrection of these does not prove that all the saints rise at this time. Every man is to rise in his own order. Some arose at the Resurrection of Christ, and doubtless were His convoy to heaven. It may be that a special honor and blessedness await the beheaded martyrs in the fact of their resurrection and translation to heaven before the rest of the dead saints: "for one star differeth from another star in glory." This does not preclude these from standing with Enoch and Elijah, in holy boldness, before the judgment seat of Christ in the last day. This may explain Paul's aim at a martyr's death and the resurrection of the beheaded (Phil. iii. 10, 11). "On such the second death hath no power." The dying of these martyrs, in a manner so heroic, utterly vanquished the mighty enemy. An early restoration from the dominion of death, suffered prematurely for Christ, is an eminently appropriate reward: "Holy and blessed is he that hath part in the first resurrection."

4. There is in this chapter a total absence of proof that these raised martyrs reigned with Christ on the earth. The visions thus far have been located in heaven. Consistency with the whole context requires that they should reign with Christ in heaven, and not that Christ should reign with them on earth. Bengel, Wesley, Moses Stuart, and many others, say, "in heaven and not on the earth."

5. There is no evidence here that a single millennium is spoken of. The best scholars, and among them Bengel, Wesley, and Dr. Owen, assert that there are two distinct periods of a thousand years spoken of in verses 1-7. The Greek article sustains this view. The first period extends through the repression of Satan which, Bengel says, indicates the great prosperity of the Church. The second is the reign of martyrs. Both of these periods are before the second coming of Christ. Thus Bengel and Wesley, instead of being Pre-millenarians, were, in fact, what most modern Methodists are, post-millenarians. Bengel styles those who confound these two distinct millennial periods, "pseudo-Chiliasts." The Prophetic Conference thus falls under Bengel's censure as pseudos. He says: "Whilst Satan is loosed from his imprisonment of a thousand years, the martyrs live and reign, not on the earth, but with Christ; then the coming of Christ in glory at length takes place at the last day; then, next, there is the new heaven, the new earth, and the new Jerusalem." Thus the coming of Christ is two thousand years plus a little season after the binding of Satan. A harmless sort of Chiliasm is this. Says Bengel: "The confounding of the two millennial periods has long ago produced many errors, and has made the name of Chiliasm hateful and suspected."

6. It is a very important point for the millenarian to prove, that the judgment of the dead before the great white Throne is that of the wicked dead only. But this vital point is not proven by this chapter. In fact, the bringing forth of the Book of Life and the casting into the lake of fire of those whose names aren't written therein, imply that some were found inscribed. Dr. Brooks' declaration that this Book of Life is a blank book, is a baseless assumption. This is not proved by the words, the rest of the dead lived not," etc. Says so eminent a Greek scholar as Dr. Owen: "Yet as the words here stand, we cannot, without, great violence, make 'the rest' (in Greek) embrace any other than the class of the pious dead, from which the martyr saints have been previously taken to participate in the first resurrection." We quote Dr. Owen, not to endorse him, but to show the difficulty of proving that this is a judgment of the wicked dead alone.

We believe that it is the general judgment of the race described in Matt. xxv. 31-46, and that "the rest of the dead" include all the human dead, both righteous and wicked, except the martyr saints, and that the good and the bad will be raised in the general resurrection and sentenced in the general judgment.

7. We look in vain, in this account of the millennium, or millenniums, for any reference to the Jews as being gathered to Jerusalem. The Revelation strangely omits to associate them with either of these chiliads. In chapter seven, the angels seal exactly twelve thousand of each of the twelve tribes, but there is no hint of the restoration of the Hebrew nation to their own land. After the day of general doom, the last great day, there descends a new Jerusalem into the new earth which has no more sea. Even then "the tabernacle of God is with men," not with the Jews.

Considering the fact that the old Testament prophecies are constantly quoted by the millenarians in proof of the personal reign of Christ on earth, with the Jews as His most loyal supporters, it is to us an insuperable objection to the doctrine, that the book of Revelation omits to place the restored Hebrew nation in any such relation to Christ, either in the old or the new Jerusalem.

If there is to be a personal reign of Christ on the earth, during a thousand years, to subdue the nations, as a substitute for the conquest now being made by the Holy Spirit, it is remarkable that these seven essential facts should be absent from the only account in the whole Bible where the millennial period is spoken of.

These important items are culled from dark prophecies, often violently wrenched from the context, and are fitted together on the pedestal of this chapter of a book which has been an inexplicable enigma to the scholarship of all the Christian ages. This style of interpretation may be satisfactory and convincing to those who accept imagery for doctrine, symbol for substance, and rhetoric for logic; but there are Christian minds which have an unconquerable aversion to stitching together selections from the symbolry of the prophets, literalizing the whole patchwork, and holding it up to the world as God's truth. Yet this is what the pre-millenarians are perpetually doing. They opened their recent Conference with the disclaimer that they had not brought their ascension robes with them. But such is the perilous fascination of their method of prophetic studies, that they will soon be attracted to an interpretation of the apocalyptic numbers and a determination of the year and day when, in the language of Mr. Barbour, "Christ is due," as we say of an express train. History always repeats itself. This has been the outcome of every great millenarian movement. The leaders may keep their own intellectual balance quite well, but by deluging Christendom with their literature, they will soon shake the minds of Christians of less steadiness who will insist on bringing to the next Prophetic Conference their arithmetical charts of Daniel's animals, if not their ascension robes. We who survived 1843 know the sequel.
 

Bengel's Bimillennialism

Excerpts from

John Albert Bengel's

Gnomon Novi Testamenti





[Editor's note: Bengel was a great Greek scholar, but wrote his treatise on the New Testament in Latin. Below is a translation by Weidner, published in three volumes by Fleming H. Revell Co., New York, Chicago, Toronto (1867). With some qualification, we agree with Bengel that the first millennial period begins and ends before the beginning of the second. However, in our view, the first (the binding of the dragon) spoke to the reign of Claudius who enforced the religio licita, restraining persecution of the church, ending with the persecution under Nero. The second (viewed exclusive of other deceased saints) speaks of the blessed state of the martyrs in hades paradise who died under Nero (the beast). Thus, the one takes up where the other leaves off.][1]





Rev. 20:4 Thrones - Judgment-seats. Beheaded - Gr. ton pepelekismenon

.................................

A thousand years - Two millennial periods are mentioned in this whole passage, each three times: the former is the millennium in which Satan is bound, ver. 2, 3, 7; the other, that of the reign of the saints, ver. 4, 5, 6. "There is," says Lange, "no foundation fore two periods of a thousand years, either in the text, or in fact, in the connection of the parts of the Apocalypse." But the second millennium extends even to the resurrection of all the dead, ver. 5; the former comes to a close before the end of the world, ver. 7, etc. Therefore the beginning and end of the former is before the beginning and end of the second.

............................

Rev. 20:7 - The thousand - Those thousand years only, during which Satan was bound; for now again Satan is treated of. The article is used demonstratively, to point out the former of the two subjects or periods of a thousand years. So the article to, the beast, ch. xiii. 15, refers not to verse 11, but to verse 1. Comp. Sept., 2 Sam. xxiii. 19, 23.



Notes:

[1] Viewed from the perspective that paradise and the first resurrection were inclusive of the righteous from Abel until the general resurrection, there would be an overlap between the two millennia, but from the perspective of only the martyrs who died under Nero, the second millennium would follow the first.


The Road Back to Preterism

Modern Preterism’s Beginnings: the Churches of Christ

By Kurt Simmons

(Early to Mid 1900s)

The Preterist movement today originated largely in the churches of Christ.  The Churches of Christ have their origin in the American Restoration Movement of the early 1800s.  The movement placed a strong emphasis in departing from traditional forms of worship and organization, and man-made creeds and dogmas, in favor of returning to the Bible as the all sufficient rule of faith and practice.  “Christ our only creed, the gospel our only plea, the Bible our only rule of faith and practice” was one of the movement’s leading slogans.  Because it was a movement whose emphasis was on doctrinal reform, the Church of Christ placed unusually strong emphasis on personal Bible study and an unmatched command of the scripture in members and leaders alike.  Emphasis on the need for doctrinal correctness and the movement’s traditional abhorrence of creeds created an environment conducive to recovering New Testament Preterism.

Foy E. Wallace Jr., the Father of Modern Preterism?

If there is a single individual that can be credited as the father of modern Preterism it is the Church of Christ preacher, evangelist, author and editor, Foy E. Wallace Jr.  Wallace was a leading figure in the Churches of Christ coming out of the 1930s.  A superb speaker, able debater, and writer, he quickly rose to national prominence in the Churches of Christ, holding numerous meetings across the U.S. each year.  Wallace also served as editor of the Gospel Advocate (Nashville), a leading monthly publication within the Churches of Christ.  In his role as editor, writer, and preacher, Wallace would help define the issues and establish the norms that would shape the church for the next fifty years.

One of Wallace’s contributions toward the modern Preterist movement was his attack upon Dispensationalism (Premillennialism).  Premillennialism threatened to enter the Churches of Christ in the early twentieth century through Robert H. Boll, a prominent preacher, who also served as editor of the Gospel Advocate.  Boll became enamored with the Premillennialism of Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and began writing Premillennialist articles for the Gospel Advocate (circa 1910).  Boll was forced to resign, but continued to teach and disseminate Premillennialist doctrine within the church, gaining a following. 

The Premillennial movement within the churches of Christ was destroyed primarily by Foy Wallace Jr.  during his four year (1930-1934) tenure as editor of the Gospel Advocate and in two debates with Charles Neal.  The first Wallace-Neal debate was held in Winchester, KY., Jan. 2-6, 1933, and was later published in book form. Neal affirmed "The Bible clearly teaches that after the second coming of Christ and before the final resurrection and judgment, there will be an age or dispensation of one thousand years during which Christ will reign on the earth."  Wallace also started a publication entitled the Bible Banner to refute Premillennnial doctrine and would publish God’s Prophetic Word (1946, revised 1960), a volume of several hundred pages, which today remains one of the most thorough treatments exposing Premillennial errors.  Central to Wallace's refutation of Premillennialism was proof of the restoration of the Davidic throne and kingdom in Christ beginning with his ascension.

The other side of Wallace’s contribution to the modern Preterist movement was his commentary on Revelation, published in 1966.  Wallace devoted forty-five pages to defending the early date for composition of Revelation, and demonstrated throughout that Revelation’s major theme was the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.  Although Wallace’s commentary was merely partial Preterist, seeing in Revelation twenty’s millennia imagery extending beyond the first century and into the indefinite future, it remains a favorite in Preterist circles today.

Wallace’s efforts to establish the historical, first century context of Revelation and the fulfilled nature of the Davidic kingdom and throne in Christ’s church paved the way for later generations in the Church of Christ to arrive at the full Preterist position. 

Preterism Reaches the Grass Roots

(Mid to later 1900s)

One of the earliest advocates of fulfilled eschatology was Max R. King, a preacher from Warren, Ohio.  King published a book entitled The Spirit of Prophecy (1971), in which he argued that Christ’s second coming occurred in A.D. 70.  King’s book drew fire and a debate was held between King and Jim McGuiggan (1975), a prominent writer and preacher in the churches of Christ.  King soundly defeated McGuiggan.  The debate was later published as the McGuiggan/King Debate (1975). King’s able defense established that there was more to Preterism than met the eye and required closer looking at.  Subsequent attacks upon “Kingism” in brotherhood papers and periodicals only served to give the movement publicity and win more to its side.

Other Church of Christ preachers whose studies independently led them to the full Preterist position and who would join forces with King included Jack Scott (Pinole, CA/ Kalispell, MT), Don Preston (Ardmore, OK), and William Bell (Memphis, TN).  Together these, with Ed Stevens (Bradford, PA) and John Noë (Indianapolis, IN) (more below), would become the leading edge of the Preterist movement in the 1980s and 1990s, writing articles and reasoning with those that would meet them in public debate.  King has since lost significant influence in the movement due to peculiar beliefs about the nature of the eschatological resurrection (the “corporate body” view).  According to King, all New Testament passages about the resurrection have their primary application to the spiritual resurrection of Christ’s mystic body from Judaism’s “sin-death;” the individual’s personal resurrection from hades is only secondarily alluded to, if at all.  Although embraced by many in the early days of the movement, most preterists have moved away from King on this position.  Few today see reference to the resurrection of a corporate body anywhere in the New Testament, it being the general consensus that the eschatological resurrection spoke to the resurrection of the soul from hades; Christians dying today go straight to heaven.  King’s son, Tim, is presently at the head of Presence Ministries, an organization King founded to promote preterism, but has taken it in a direction that has further alienated it from mainstream preterism.

Ed Stevens espoused partial Preterism while at Texas Tech in 1972 through Foy E. Wallace Jr.’s commentary on Revelation, and was well on his way to full Preterism in the mid ‘70s while studying at Sunset School of Preaching in Lubbock, Texas, a Church of Christ institution, where he met King and obtained a copy of his book The Spirit of Prophecy.  King was then engaged in the written debate with McGuiggan, who was an instructor at Sunset.  Few have advanced the cause of Preterism like Stevens.  Versed in computers and HTML when the industry was still young, Stevens established an early presence for Preterism on the internet.  Stevens would go on to leave the Church of Christ, joining the Reformed Church, carrying the message there, and wining many to the cause.  His International Preterist Association continues to be a leading voice in Preterism today.

Don Preston came into the movement in the early nineties and is perhaps the most studied and able voice in Preterism today.  Don is testimony to what one man can do with the support of a congregation behind him.  His position as preacher at the Ardmore Church of Christ, where he has served for 15 years, has enabled him to devote much time and effort to the cause.  Don has published numerous articles, books, and tracts, and met many big names in debate, including Tommy Ice, F. LaGard Smith, and James Jordan.

Other Church of Christ ministers that have published Preterist works include Jesse Mills (Results of Fulfilled Prophecy, 2001, Commentary on Daniel, 2003; Commentary on Revelation, 2004); Gene Fadely (Revelations, Kingdoms in Conflict, 1995; Hebrews, Covenants in Contrast,1996; Prophecy: Year 2000 and Beyond, 1998); Tom and Steve Kloske (The Second Coming: Mission Accomplished, 2003), and Kurt Simmons (The Consummation of the Ages, 2003).Other Church of Christ ministers that have published Preterist works include Jesse Mills (Results of Fulfilled Prophecy, 2001, Commentary on Daniel, 2003; Commentary on Revelation, 2004); Gene Fadely (Revelations, Kingdoms in Conflict, 1995; Hebrews, Covenants in Contrast,1996; Prophecy: Year 2000 and Beyond, 1998); Tom and Steve Kloske (The Second Coming: Mission Accomplished, 2003), and Kurt Simmons (The Consummation of the Ages, 2003).

Non-Church of Christ names that have risen to the top of the movement include John Noë and John Anderson.  Noë has been active in the movement since the early nineties.  Noë is the first full Preterist to be awarded a PhD (2003).  Noë’s published works include The Apocalypse Conspiracy (1991), Beyond the End Times (1999), Shattering the Left Behind Delusion (2000), and Dead in their Tracks (2001).  Noë has also recently had a Preterist article - An Exegetical Basis for a Preterist-Idealist Understanding of the Book of Revelation - accepted and awaiting publication in JETS (Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society), which he has been a member of for many years.  John Anderson has hosted a weekly radio broadcast since Feb. 2001, which has carried the message of Preterism to untold thousands across the U.S. and around the world.  John joined Don Preston in debating Tommy Ice and Mark Hitchock (2003), and has hosted a conference in Sparta, NC, since 2001, featuring many leaders from within the movement.

Today, Preterism has leaped over all denominational boundaries and claims champions and adherents from every major church in Christendom.

Preterism Reaches the Grass Roots

(Mid to later 1900s)

One of the earliest advocates of fulfilled eschatology was Max R. King, a preacher from Warren, Ohio.  King published a book entitled The Spirit of Prophecy (1971), in which he argued that Christ’s second coming occurred in A.D. 70.  King’s book drew fire and a debate was held between King and Jim McGuiggan (1975), a prominent writer and preacher in the churches of Christ.  King soundly defeated McGuiggan.  The debate was later published as the McGuiggan/King Debate (1975). King’s able defense established that there was more to Preterism than met the eye and required closer looking at.  Subsequent attacks upon “Kingism” in brotherhood papers and periodicals only served to give the movement publicity and win more to its side.

Other Church of Christ preachers whose studies independently led them to the full Preterist position and who would join forces with King included Jack Scott (Pinole, CA/ Kalispell, MT), Don Preston (Ardmore, OK), and William Bell (Memphis, TN).  Together these, with Ed Stevens (Bradford, PA) and John Noë (Indianapolis, IN) (more below), would become the leading edge of the Preterist movement in the 1980s and 1990s, writing articles and reasoning with those that would meet them in public debate.  King has since lost significant influence in the movement due to peculiar beliefs about the nature of the eschatological resurrection (the “corporate body” view).  According to King, all New Testament passages about the resurrection have their primary application to the spiritual resurrection of Christ’s mystic body from Judaism’s “sin-death;” the individual’s personal resurrection from hades is only secondarily alluded to, if at all.  Although embraced by many in the early days of the movement, most preterists have moved away from King on this position.  Few today see reference to the resurrection of a corporate body anywhere in the New Testament, it being the general consensus that the eschatological resurrection spoke to the resurrection of the soul from hades; Christians dying today go straight to heaven.  King’s son, Tim, is presently at the head of Presence Ministries, an organization King founded to promote preterism, but has taken it in a direction that has further alienated it from mainstream preterism.

Ed Stevens espoused partial Preterism while at Texas Tech in 1972 through Foy E. Wallace Jr.’s commentary on Revelation, and was well on his way to full Preterism in the mid ‘70s while studying at Sunset School of Preaching in Lubbock, Texas, a Church of Christ institution, where he met King and obtained a copy of his book The Spirit of Prophecy.  King was then engaged in the written debate with McGuiggan, who was an instructor at Sunset.  Few have advanced the cause of Preterism like Stevens.  Versed in computers and HTML when the industry was still young, Stevens established an early presence for Preterism on the internet.  Stevens would go on to leave the Church of Christ, joining the Reformed Church, carrying the message there, and wining many to the cause.  His International Preterist Association continues to be a leading voice in Preterism today.

Don Preston came into the movement in the early nineties and is perhaps the most studied and able voice in Preterism today.  Don is testimony to what one man can do with the support of a congregation behind him.  His position as preacher at the Ardmore Church of Christ, where he has served for 15 years, has enabled him to devote much time and effort to the cause.  Don has published numerous articles, books, and tracts, and met many big names in debate, including Tommy Ice, F. LaGard Smith, and James Jordan.

Other Church of Christ ministers that have published Preterist works include Jesse Mills (Results of Fulfilled Prophecy, 2001, Commentary on Daniel, 2003; Commentary on Revelation, 2004); Gene Fadely (Revelations, Kingdoms in Conflict, 1995; Hebrews, Covenants in Contrast,1996; Prophecy: Year 2000 and Beyond, 1998); Tom and Steve Kloske (The Second Coming: Mission Accomplished, 2003), and Kurt Simmons (The Consummation of the Ages, 2003).Other Church of Christ ministers that have published Preterist works include Jesse Mills (Results of Fulfilled Prophecy, 2001, Commentary on Daniel, 2003; Commentary on Revelation, 2004); Gene Fadely (Revelations, Kingdoms in Conflict, 1995; Hebrews, Covenants in Contrast,1996; Prophecy: Year 2000 and Beyond, 1998); Tom and Steve Kloske (The Second Coming: Mission Accomplished, 2003), and Kurt Simmons (The Consummation of the Ages, 2003).

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Date: 15 Feb 2011
Time: 09:18:01

Your Comments:

Dr. Preston as is his habit, does not keep John 16:7 in context. Earlier Jesus had told his disciples that he would not leave them desolate, "I come to you," and in verse 28. "I go away and I come to you" (am coming present tense). Therefore Jesus was not absent on Pentecost when the Spirit came, he was present. Is this the coming in power of Matthew 16:28? Also those passages in Daniel such as 2:44 refer to the "Kingdom which shall never be destroyed" points to the church spoken of in Matthew 16:18-19.

In Matthew 16:13-20 Jesus told Peter that he was going to build his church and give Peter the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus identifies the church as the Kingdom of heaven in this context or he gave Peter the keys to something other than the church. Jesus then said he was to suffer and his disciples would suffer verses 21-26. Notice the conjunction for or "Gar" in the Greek in verses 25,26 and 27. "For" is explanatory and supports what was previously said.The "for" of verse 27 refers and supports what Jesus said about forfeiting life of verses 21-26. Verse 28 does not begin with "for" but "verily" which goes all the way back to the kingdom context of verses 13-20. It is Dr. Preston who separates verse 28 from the context of chapter 16.

 

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