Keith Hunt - What Does the Future Hold - Page Five   Restitution of All Things

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What does the Future Hold?

Going through Marvin Pate's book #5

                      WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?

                                Part Five

Matthew 24 has its counter-parts in Mark 13 and Luke 21. There are THREE
general interpretations to this prophecy of Jesus.

1. Jesus is referring exclusively to His second coming at the end of this age.
Pate adds "in particular to the seven-year tribulation period. So as Pate goes 
on to say, "With this reading, taling Matthew as an example, verses 3-14 refer
to the first three and a half years of the future tribulation period to be poured
out on the earth while verses 15-31 refer to the second half of the tribulation 
period, often called the Great Tribulation; and immediately after the Great 
Tribulation comes the return of Christ and the millennium" (Pate, p. 63).

Again this shows the mixed up theology of some of the "fundamental" fellows of
Protestantism. The first part is CORRECT - Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; is 
ONLY to do with the very end times and the second coming of Christ. The first
verses of Matthew 24, making this very clear. The disciples asked when "one stone
would not be left on another" and "the coming" of Christ.

The fact is that this prophecy has NEVER been fulfilled, for today the "Wailing Wall"
in Jerusalem was part of the outer Temple wall of the Temple of Jesus' day.

This prophecy has YET to come to pass. In other studies on this website I have gone
into great detail to expound for you Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21.

Then you will notice once more the mention of a last SEVEN YEAR tribulation period.
This is where such interpreters go astray again. You can search high and low, search 
forever in the NT books, all of them; you can search forever in Revelation and Matthew
24; Mark 13; Luke 21; and you will never find any such period as 7 years of the end
of this age mentioned. You will find in the book of Revelation 42 months, 1260 days,
a times (plural) and time (singular) and half a time = to 42 months or 1260 days.
You will find end time prophets from fundamental Protestantism teaching over and over
and over (as if it is absolute written in stone truth) that there will be a last 7 
year period of tribulation at the end of this age. NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM

WHERE do they come up with such an idea, seeing as not one verse in the NT teaches
this idea of a 7 year tribulation?
They come up with it from a SERIOUS mistake in understanding Daniel chapter nine.
And this chapter nine of Daniel I have expounded to you in DETAIL in this website.

The great tribulation at the end of this age is for about (I say about for Daniel 12 
adds more days) 42 months, 1260 days, as the book of Revelation teaches.

2. The second interpretation of this Olivet prophecy of Jesus' is as Pate says, the
already/not-yet dynamic. So with this idea Matthew 24:3-14 refers to the fall of
Jerusalem in AD70 (the already aspect) and is the back-drop to verses 15-31, the
future second coming of Christ at the end of history to the tribulation and estab-
lishment of the Kingdom of God on earth.

To say the least this is a silly interpretation as verses 1-3 in Matthew clearly
prove. The question put to Christ, the part of the Temple STILL standing (the Wailing 
Wall) in Jerusalem, proves this prophecy has never been fulfilled. It is an end time
prophecy - 100 percent end time.

3. The third view as Pate says is the postmillenialism/preterism view. For them the
Olivet prophecy refers exclusively to the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans in AD70.
Such teachers point to "this generation shall not pass away until..." and to the
tribulation the Jews had in the fall of Jerusalem in AD70. It was for the Jews a 
great tribulation indeed. They will argue the false prophets were the pseudo-prophets
who announced that God was about to deliver Jerusalem from the Romans and set up His
Kingodm. The wars and famine and earthquakes are to them, all the things that took
place in the fall of Jerusalem in AD70. For them Jesus in "a way" returned at Jeru-
salem's destruction.

Obviously some pretty fancy foot-work and large leaps of "analogy type" interpretation
must go along with this understanding of Matthew 24; Mark 13; and Luke 21.

What such people do with the angels leading the saints to Jesus in verse 30,31 ....
well I'm sure they have some way of spiritalizing it away.

Pate goes on to say that the postmillennial interpretation of Revelation 1-19 restricts 
the fulfillment of the prophecies therin to the first century AD. Pate tells us that the 
preterist viewpoint wants to take seriously the historical setting of Revelation by
relating it to its author and audience. Hence, the apostle John addressed his book to real
churches that faced the dire tribulations in the first century AD.

As Pate relates about one certain teacher L.Gentry Jr. John was desired to tell the first
century Church about the gathering storm of persecution that was coming. Second it was to 
brace the Church for a major course of redemptive history, a situation with the destruction
of Jerusalem and the Temple.

The preterists view must somehow, with whatever meants of interpretation make the book of
Revelation fitting into the first century AD. And in so doing the coming of Christ is in-
terpreted as Jesus coming in the form of the Roman Empire and its General to destroy the
city of Jerusalem and its Temple in AD70.

As Pate has shown the preterist view does not believe in the literal and bodily return
of the Messiah Jesus, but must put His return in some analogy or spiritualists context
of the first century AD.

It is worth reprinting the overall view of the the postmillennial/preterist reading of 
Revelation 1-19 as given by Pate in his book:

With the preceding as background, here is a summary of the
postmillenmal/preterist reading of Revelation 1-19. Revelation
1:1-3 predicts that the events of Revelation will happen soon,
very soon, and they did - in AD 70, no more than two or three
years after John recorded his heavenly visions. Revelation 1:7
predicts that these prophetic events coincided with the coming of
Christ to judge Jerusalem. Revelation 2-3 records the trials and
temptations of Jewish Christians in Asia Minor during the 60s AD,
when non-Christian Jews betrayed their kinsmen (Jewish
Christians) to the Roman authorities, who in turn persecuted
Jewish Christians because they did not worship Caesar. But
Revelation 4--5, with their descriptions of the heavenly worship
of Christ, reminded and encouraged Christians at that time that
Jesus is Lord, not Caesar.

Revelation 6-18 predicts the coming judgments that Christ will
dispense on Jerusalem for selling out Jewish Christians to Rome.
The seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments depict divine judgment on
Palestine during the Jewish revolt, especially from AD 66 to 70,
through the hands of the Roman generals Vespasian and Titus. Thus
the seal judgments unfold the Roman legions' destruction of
Galilee (66-68), while the trumpet and bowl judgments (AD 69-70)
depict Rome's turning up the heat on Palestine by defeating Judea
and laying siege to Jerusalem. Revelation 17-18 predicts the fall
of the "holy city" itself, the New Babylon!

Revelation 19 is a prediction of the actual coming of Christ to
demolish Jerusalem in AD 70. Along the way, Revelation tells the
two options Christians will have: either they can abandon their
faith by worshiping Caesar, the beast, the Antichrist (Revelation
13;16), or they can be faithful to Christ by refusing to worship
Caesar (Revelation 7; 14). This last response is portrayed as the
sealing or protecting of the 144,000. This number is a symbolic
reference for the church, the true Israel, which has permanently
replaced national Israel as the people of God, according to
postmillennialists. We can come up with the number 144,000 as
follows: 12 (tribes of Israel) times 12 (apostles) times 1000.
The former response (worshiping Caesar) leads to spiritual death,
while the latter response (being faithful to Jesus) leads to
eternal life.

But if Revelation 19 was fulfilled at the parousia (coming) of
Christ to judge Jerusalem in AD 70, how does the millennium
factor into this prophetic equation? After all, postmillennialism
teaches that Christ will return after the millennium. So how is
it that we can equate the time before AD 70 with the millennium?
Revelation 20 provides the answer for the preterist.

The postmillennial view begins its interpretation of Revelation
20 by stating two facts. First, Revelation 20 is the only passage
in Scripture that speaks of a "millennium," a reign of Christ for
a period of one thousand years. So the concept is rare, at best.
Second, the millennium is a symbolic expression to be interpreted
figuratively, which is in keeping with the symbolic nature of the
book of Revelation. Indeed, one thousand is used symbolically of
God's calculation of time: one thousand years before the eternal
God is like only one day (Ps. 90:4; cf. 2 Peter 3:18).

Based on these two considerations, the postmillennial
interpretation takes the millennium in Revelation 20 to be a
figurative expression for the kingdom of God that appeared at
Christ's first coming. This is the new covenant predicted by the
prophets (Isaiah 40-66; Jeremiah 33; Ezekiel 36; Joel 2), which
is realized in the church and has replaced the old covenant of
Judaism. With this understanding in mind, the postmillennialist
reads Revelation 20 in the following way.

The millennium is John's symbolic portrayal of the kingdom of
God, which came at the first coming of Christ. In that light,
Revelation 20:1-3 is John's portrayal of the kingdom/ millennium
in negative terms: it meant the defeat and binding of Satan at
the cross and resurrection of Jesus (cf. Matt. 12:28-29; John
12:30-33; Revelation 12). This allowed the first generation of
Christians to preach the gospel beyond Israel so that the nations
would no longer be deceived - that is, so that they could be
converted to Christ. So the kingdom of God came with Jesus's
life, death, and resurrection. It replaced the old covenant of
Judaism with the new covenant of Christ, and it converted the
Gentile nations.

Revelation 20:4-6 depicts the millennium/kingdom of God in
positive terms. Since Satan was bound, Christ rules his redeemed
people and they reign with him (v 4). Those who died for Christ
rule with him in heaven; those who are alive rule with Christ on
earth. The "first resurrection" is spiritual in nature: it is the
conversion of the sinner to Christ (John 5:24-29; Rom. 6:8; Eph.
2:1-10; Col 3:1-4).

At the end of the millennium, according to Revelation 20:7-15,
Christ will again come to judge the world - especially
unbelieving Jerusalem.


Evaluation of Biblical Postmillennialism

Marvin Pate:

As creative and hopeful as the postmillennial view is, this
school of thought can be criticized on several points. First, as
we mentioned in the last chapter, consistency dictates that the
resurrections referred to in Revelation 20 are physical in
nature, not just spiritual. Thus if the general physical
resurrection of humanity is in view in Revelation 20:6-15 as
almost all interpreters believe, then the first resurrection must
be physical in nature. It is the resurrection of the martyred
Christians to rule with Christ.

CORRECT! Keith Hunt

Second, the New Babylon in Revelation 17-18 is Rome and the
Antichrist system it represents, not Jerusalem. Most interpreters
agree, noting the undeniable connections in Revelation 17-18 with
the seven hills of Rome, the ten first-century Roman caesars, and
the unprecendented wealth of ancient Rome.

CORRECT! Keith Hunt

Third, when the Roman Empire is taken into consideration, the
postmillennial reading of Revelation 19-20 breaks down in its
argument that the millennium was a symbol for the rule of Christ
through the triumph of the gospel over the nations. The Roman
Empire ruled the world at that time, and not until AD 313 did
Rome "fall" to the gospel, when Emperor Constantine legalized
Christianity. Furthermore, Rome's persecutions of Christians
during the first three centuries of the church are now infamous.
How could one possibly say, then, that the millennium was the
time between the first coming of Christ and his second coming to
judge Jerusalem? This is one reason some postmillennialists have
altered their view by arguing that the millennium did not begin
until AD 313 (when Christianity was legalized) and that Christ
did not return until he came to judge the city of Rome in the
fifth century through the Barbarian hordes' several invasions of
that city.

CORRECT! Keith Hunt

Fourth, Revelation 19:11-21 matches descriptions elsewhere in the
New Testament that refer to the second coming of Christ in glory
at the end of history (Matt. 24:30-31; Mark 13:26; Luke 21:27-28;
2 Thess. 2:8; Titus 2:13-14; Jude 14-15). Only with great
difficulty can these texts be explained in terms other than the
traditional understanding of the parousia, and they concur with
Revelation 19:11-21.

CORRECT! Keith Hunt

Fifth, despite the preterist's attempt to root the entirety of
the Olivet Discourse in history at the fall of Jerusalem, the
best understanding of that tradition is to locate its ultimate
fulfillment at the time of the return of Christ. In our opinion,
the preterist viewpoint makes a fundamental mistake in
interpreting the Olivet Discourse by overlooking the parallel
structure within it that itself is informed by the
already/not-yet tension. This is especially clear in Luke 21,
where the author distinguishes between the fall of Jerusalem in
AD 70 (vv. 8-24) and the return of Christ at the end of history
(vv. 25-36). That this chronological separation of the two events
is intended by Luke is evidenced by two facts: (a) The fall of
Jerusalem had already occurred by his day (see v 20 and its
specific description of that event, as contrasted with the
generic presentations of Mark 13:14 and [possibly] Matt. 24:15);
(b) Luke omits the phrase found in Mark 13:19 (cf. Matt.
24:21)-"those will be days of distress unequaled from the
beginning ... until now - and never to be equaled again" - with
reference to the fall of Jerusalem. In other words, Luke did not
equate the afflictions surrounding that event with the end
tribulation. For Luke (and probably also Mark and Matthew, though
less explicitly), the signs of the times already began at the
fall of Jerusalem but will not be completed until the return of
Christ to end world history.

INCORRECT! Some fundamental folly starts to creep in with Pate.
Matthew, Mark, Luke - the Olivet prophecy by Jesus has NOTHING to
do with the fall of Jerusalem in AD70. The prophecy has ONLY to
do with the end time events when Jerusalem will again be
destroyed and the Wailing Wall will come down, which will fulfill
the "not one stone left upon another" and all that is written in
Revelation concerning the last 42 months, 1260 days, times, time,
and half a time, of the very end of this age and the very literal
coming of Christ to rule all nations. Breaking up the Olivet
prophecy as pertaining to AD70 and then forward to the end of
this age, is a man made invention, and is a false "gap" theory;
just as false as the false "gap" idea of Daniel 9 which
fundamental Protestants have hooked on to with such hardened glue
that they talk about a 7 year tribulation at the end time, with
such over and over routine language, as if the New Testament
teaches it over and over again. But such "gaps" and "7 year
period" are NOT MENTIONED anywhere in the NT. As I've stated
before the book of Revelation NEVER talks about any 7 year
period, but only 42 months or 1260 days - Keith Hunt

Sixth, the preterist viewpoint makes much of the immediacy of the
fulfillment of Jesus's promise in Revelation to come quickly,
applying it to the fall of Jerusalem (Rev. 1:1,3; 2:16; 3:11;
11:14; 22:6-7,10,12,20). Put another way, the coming of Jesus
Christ as recorded in 19:11-21 refers not to the second coming of
Christ at the end of history but to the coming of Christ to judge
Jerusalem in AD 70. But there is a major problem with this
theory. The preterist interpretation does not take into account
the nuance of the word "time" here (kairos, see Rev. 1:3), which
is informed by the already/not-yet eschatological tension. This
understanding, on the one hand, allows for the immediate
fulfillment of the prophecy of Jesus in Revelation to come soon,
while not denying, on the other hand, a future significance to
those prophecies as well. That is to say the preterist position
alleviates unnecessarily the tension between the already (the
first coming of Jesus) and the not-yet (the second coming of
Jesus). In effect, this viewpoint is akin to "realized
eschatology," the view that says that basically all end-time
prophecies of the New Testament were fulfilled in the first
century, an interpretation rightly criticized.

CORRECT! What people do not see is that God looks on "time" much
DIFFERENTLY than we do. For us 70 years is a lifetime, or a long
time per se. When we think of Jesus' return we would all like it
to be in a "short time" as we live, in our life time. But the
truth is 70, 100, 500, 2,000 years to the Lord is less than the
blinking of an eye. When some of the galaxies of the universe are
10 BILLION LIGHT YEARS AWAY (light travels at 186,000 miles per
SECOND!) then 2,000 years to God is as NOTHING. Secondly when the
events of Revelation take place - the last 42 months - then Jesus
will be coming QUICKLY - Keith Hunt
Seventh, furthermore, a careful reading of Revelation 11 seems to
indicate that God, even though having permitted the destruction
of Jerusalem (see 11:1-2), is not yet finished with
Israel/Jerusalem. We suggest that Revelation 11 is informed by
the threefold paradigm operative in Romans 11, a pattern that
envisions the future restoration of the Jewish nation. Romans 11
makes the basic point that God still has a plan for the Jews.
(Correctly - for Israel - the Jews are only the tribes of Judah,
Benjamin and Levi - Keith Hunt)

Paul provides three arguments to that effect.

1. Israel's rejection of Jesus Messiah is partial, not total.
Jewish Christians are ample testimony to that fact (11:1-12,
where Elijah and Moses represent the Jewish Christian community
at the end of history).
2. Israel's rejection of the Messiah serves a merciful purpose -
it is the divine means for reaching Gentiles with the gospel
(11:11-29). This plan will be in effect until the end of history,
at which time the fullness of the Gentiles will have arrived. The
dominance of the Gentiles in the plan of God began with the
destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 (compare Rev. 11:2 with Luke
21:24) and will continue until God has accomplished his purpose
with them (Rom. 11:25).
Israel's rejection of the Messiah is temporal, not eternal. One
day Christ will return, and "all Israel will be saved"
(11:25-36). At that culminating point, God will then restore
Israel unto himself. This seems to be the sense behind Revelation
11:13. The seven thousand who will be killed in Jerusalem by an
earthquake (a minority), leaving the rest of the city (the
majority) to repent and turn to God, constitutes a reversal of
the Elijah/remnant motif. In the Old Testament during Elijah's
day, only he and the faithful seven thousand did not bow the knee
to Baal, while the rest of the nation did. But in the end time,
the opposite will take place - the witness of Elijah (and Moses,
11:3-12), (the two witnesses are no where said to be Elijah and
Moses - they will not be for both Elijah and Moses are dead and
await the resurrection at Christ's coming - see my other studies
on this website regarding "DEATH - then  What?" - Keith Hunt)

along with the divine earthquake affirming their message (v 13),
will bring the majority of Jews to faith. This is John's
apocalyptic way of saying what Paul had earlier said - "all
Israel will be saved." That is, the nation as a whole will become
the remnant, the ones who are faithful to God. Interestingly
enough, the conversion of Jerusalem to Christ happens right
before his second coming (11:15-19; cf. 19:11-21).

CORRECT! Keith Hunt

Eighth, all interpreters agree that Revelation 21-22, which
follows John's description of the millennium in Revelation 20,
describe the perfect eternal state of the new heaven and the new
earth. The logical conclusion of the postmillennial
interpretation is that, if the millennium occurred between AD 30
(the first coming of Jesus) and AD 70 (the second coming of Jesus
to destroy Jerusalem), then from AD 70 until the present would
have to correlate with the blissful eternal state.
But this is something that not even the postmillennialist would
conclude! And even though the postmillennialists at this point
just label all of this symbolic language and say it should be
interpreted figuratively, their own reading of Revelation 19-22
dictates that the eternal state began in AD 70.

These eight criticisms of the biblical postmillennial/preterist
school of thought are the reasons this viewpoint has never
enjoyed the majority opinion among evangelical Christians; for
that matter, neither has liberal postmillennialism, but for a
different set of reasons we noted earlier in this chapter.


The postmillennial view has come under fire because most
interpreters of the New Testament feel uncomfortable with
overemphasizing the already aspect (thy kingdom came) to the
exclusion of the not-yet aspect (thy kingdom come). Most
interpreters prefer to read Revelation as predicting matters of
end-time prophecies through the grid of the already/not-yet
perspective. That is the subject of our next chapter.

End of Quote from Pate


Keith Hunt

To be continued

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