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Behind The Veil of

Moses
Looking Past the Shadow of the Old Covenant,
to find the Substance of the New Covenant
and the Nature of the Second Coing
B! Brian L"
Martin
Behind the Veil of Moses
Original Edition Manuscript September 2003
Copyright 2003 by the author, Brian ! Martin
Co"er art #Moses recei"ing the $en Commandments%
by &usta"e 'ore
Preface
As I prepare this work for publication, two questions rattle around in my head: What am I doing?, and Why am
I doing it? Since I have no formal education in the Bible or Theoloy, one miht easily dismiss this work! "n the
other hand, as I allude to in the #onclusion, if the layperson is unqualified to $rihtly divide the %ord of Truth&
for them self, then we risk returnin to a two'tiered #hurch ( the clery, and the laity which must accept their
teachins!
The views presented here are not new, havin been presented by many other more qualified persons! )et as I
bean my own research into these thins some si* years ao, several thins stood out to me! +irst, much of
what is written seems to be aimed at those in theoloical circles! Second, some material, either because of its
depth or sheer volume, had been less than appealin to many readers! ,astly, because of the $warm& debates
often incited by these views, and the labels often applied to those that hold them, much of what is written in
their defense comes across with a certain $attitude&! Therefore, this volume is presented as a work by a
layperson, for the layperson, as well as, it is hoped, in the spirit of come let us reason together-
.urin my /0 years in the 1etrochemical industry, I have had a penchant for perusin some of the more
technical information available in order to more fully understand my work environment! This, coupled with what
I2m told is a certain talent for written communication, has resulted in a ood deal of my career spent writin
"peratin 1rocedures and 3anuals, and conductin trainin sessions on the same! This bent has also carried
over into my personal Bible study! I en4oy the $deeper& theoloical works 5those that I can understand6, and
bein challened by alternate, or even opposin views! I have always believed that if I can2t allow my views to
be challened, perhaps it is because I2m not very comfortable with, or knowledeable of, those views! +or this
reason, when certain roups come knockin at my door, I allow them to challene my Biblical perspective, if for
no other reason than to find out how well I know what I believe!
It was with this mindset that I first bean e*plorin Bible prophecy from this new 5to me6 anle! "ver the years,
as I slowly came to accept these views, I wrote various studies as part of my process of $workin throuh& the
issues! In addition to these studies, some of the material presented here bean as emails, discussin these
thins with those who do not hold these views! These emails were my attempts to defend my point of view in
liht of the challenes raised! I never had any thouht towards publishin any of my work, and in fact saw no
cohesive theme to it! Althouh all the studies were centered on Biblical prophecy, they were merely a collection
of independent writins! Then came the theme of $behind the veil of 3oses&, and they all fell into place! A little
editin, and some additional material to fill in the aps resulted in this current work! %hile in no way am I
claimin, $Thus saith the ,ord& in these matters, I do credit the unseen hand of the 7oly Spirit in puttin this
toether ( it certainly is beyond my abilities!
I once read if the only bird that sang was the one with the most beautiful voice, then the forest would be silent!
In liht of that, thouh I don2t possess one of the more qualified or beautiful $voices&, I offer this volume to
those in the $forest& of #hristianity who may be out of earshot of those other voices!
In 7is Service
Brian ,! 3artin
"ctober /889
Table of Contents
Behind The Veil of Moses ........................................................................................................................................ 1
By Brian L. Martin ............................................................................................................................................... 1
Abbreviations ........................................................................................................................................................... 1
Books of the Bible ..................................................................................................... 1
Old Testament ....................................................................................................... 1
New Testament ..................................................................................................... 1
Versions of the Bible ................................................................................................. 2
Introd!tion .............................................................................................................................................................. "
#art I$ Behind the Veil .............................................................................................................................................. %
If &o Are 'illin( To )e!eive It ......................................................................................................................... *
............................................................................................................................................................................ 11
The Veil of Moses .............................................................................................................................................. 12
A++endi, to The Veil of Moses ......................................................................................................................... 1%
Matthew -enry.s /ommentary on the 'hole Bible 0 2 /or "$1201* ............................... 1%
Barnes. Notes .................................................................................................................... 1%
2 /or "$12 ......................................................................................................................... 1%
2 /or "$1" ......................................................................................................................... 1%
2 /or "$11 ......................................................................................................................... 1*
Adam /larke.s /ommentary 2 /or "$1" .......................................................................... 1*
2amieson3 4asset3 and Brown /ommentary 2 /or "$1" .................................................. 1*
The 'y!liffe Bible /ommentary 2 /or "$1201" .............................................................. 15
The New /ovenant and The #riesthood ........................................................................................................... 61
The New /ovenant and Israel ............................................................................................................................ 66
The New /ovenant and /anaan ......................................................................................................................... 77
#art II$ 8nveilin( The 9e!ond /omin( ................................................................................................................. %7
#ttin( On The Veil: .......................................................................................................................................... %%
The ;atin( of )evelation ................................................................................................................................... %5
The Millennim ............................................................................................................................................. *<
#remillennialism =/hiliasm > from the ?reek for @thosandAB ..................................................................... *<
#ostmillennialism ........................................................................................................................................... *<
Amillennialism ............................................................................................................................................... *<
This ?eneration .................................................................................................................................................. *7
Adien!e )elevan!e ....................................................................................................................................... **
A+o!aly+ti! Lan(a(e ....................................................................................................................................... 5%
Matthew 21 ...................................................................................................................................................... 1<"
/omin( In The /lods ..................................................................................................................................... 112
9eventy Times 9even ....................................................................................................................................... 11*
A++endi, to 9eventy Times 9even .............................................................................................................. 1"1
)evelation3 A; %< and The Cnd of The 'orld ................................................................................................ 111
The New -eavens and New Carth ............................................................................................................... 116
The Carth vs. The Land ................................................................................................................................ 16<
)evelation and A; %<. ................................................................................................................................. 16"
/on!lsion ................................................................................................................. 171
The Veiled ?eneration ..................................................................................................................................... 172
And they shall say3 @&o are my ?odDA -osea 2$173 1502<3 2" NE2V .......................... 1*1
9mmary to #art II ........................................................................................................................................... 1*1
#art III$ Beyond The Veil ..................................................................................................................................... 1*%
/om+letin( the 9tr!tre ................................................................................................................................. 1**
The #artial or The #erfe!t ................................................................................................................................ 1*5
The )a+tre ...................................................................................................................................................... 151
The )esrre!tion .............................................................................................................................................. 15"
The Millennim ............................................................................................................................................... 2<"
Is This All There Is: ......................................................................................................................................... 2<5
/on!lsion ........................................................................................................................................................... 217
Biblio(ra+hy ........................................................................................................................................................ 215
#bbreviations
Books of the Bible
Old Testament
:enesis :en!
;*odus ;*od!
,eviticus ,ev!
<umbers <um!
.euteronomy .eut!
=oshua =osh!
=udes =ud!
>uth >uth
? Samuel ? Sam!
/ Samuel / Sam!
? @ins ? @ins
/ @ins / @ins
? #hronicles ? #hron!
/ #hronicles / #hron!
;Ara ;Ara
<ehemiah <eh!
;sther ;sther
=ob =ob
1salms 1s!
1roverbs 1rov!
;cclesiastes ;ccles!
Son of Solomon Son of Sol!
Isaiah Isa!
=eremiah =er!
,amentations ,am!
;Aekiel ;Aek!
.aniel .an!
7osea 7osea
=oel =oel
Amos Amos
"badiah "bad!
=onah =on!
3icah 3ic!
<ahum <ah!
7abakkuk 7ab!
Bephaniah Beph!
7aai 7a!
Bechariah Bech!
3alachi 3al!
New Testament
3atthew 3att!
3ark 3ark
,uke ,uke
=ohn =ohn
Acts Acts
>omans >om!
? #orinthians ? #or!
1
/ #orinthians / #or!
:alatians :al!
;phesians ;ph!
1hilippians 1hil!
#olossians #ol!
? Thessalonians ? Thess!
/ Thessalonians / Thess!
? Timothy ? Tim!
/ Timothy / Tim!
Titus Titus
1hilemon 1hilem!
7ebrews 7eb!
=ames =ames
? 1eter ? 1et!
/ 1eter / 1et!
? =ohn ? =ohn
/ =ohn / =ohn
9 =ohn 9 =ohn
=ude =ude
>evelation >ev!
Versions of the Bible
@in =ames Cersion @=C
<ew American Standard <ASB
<ew American Standard'Dpdated <ASD
<ew International Cersion <IC
<ew @in =ames Cersion <@=C
)oun2s ,iteral Translation ),T
2
$ntroduction
By and lare, the #hristian community is quick to point out how the =ews missed their 3essiah ( by failin to
rihtly understand and interpret the "ld Testament Scriptures which prophesied 7is comin! They were lookin
for an ;arthly @in to reestablish Israel as the prominent nation in the world, with =erusalem as 7is capitol!
7indsiht, it is said, is /8E/8, and lookin back it seems so obvious to #hristians that much of the "ld
Testament prophecies were fulfilled in a spiritual manner by a heavenly kindom obtained throuh race, as
opposed to a physical kindom obtained throuh national heritae! As the apostle 1aul states:
For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of
Abraham; but, "In Isaac your seed shall be called." That is, those who are the children of the flesh,
these are not the children of od; but the children of the !romise are counted as the seed. "om #$%&#
'()*
The physical aspect of the kindom was not to be fulfilled at #hrist2s first comin, but at 7is Second #omin, or
so we are tauht! This is why the =ews didn2t reconiAe 7im as their 3essiah! 1aul used the alleory of the veil
that 3oses put over his face to describe this misunderstandin and misinterpretation of the "ld Testament
passaes:
Therefore, since we have such ho!e, we use great boldness of s!eech && unli+e ,oses, who !ut a veil
over his face so that the children of Israel could not loo+ steadily at the end of what was !assing away.
-ut their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the .ld
Testament, because the veil is ta+en away in /hrist. -ut even to this day, when ,oses is read, a veil
lies on their heart. 0 /or 1$20&2% '()*
The purpose of this volume is to propose, and hopefully support, the premise that #hristianity, while havin
removed the veil far enouh to have reconiAed #hrist in 7is first comin as the 3essiah, has failed to
completely remove the veil from the "ld #ovenant in order to fully discern the nature of the <ew #ovenant,
and with it, the Second #omin of #hrist! 1aul describes the veil of 3oses as symbolic of the veiled
characteristic of the typoloy and symbolism of the "ld #ovenant! The "ld #ovenant was a $veiled&
representation of the <ew #ovenant!
Thouh the <ew #ovenant is not entirely spiritual in nature, it is primarily so! Thus the !hysical nature of the
"ld #ovenant was a $veiled& representation, throuh types and symbols, of the s!iritual nature of the <ew
#ovenant! Those who read 3oses 5the "ld #ovenant6 with the veil still on do not see past the physical types to
the spiritual substance!
%hile the removin of the veil is a one'time act in reference to conversion, it is a process in reference to the
discernin of the <ew #ovenant:
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the 3ord4s glory, are being transformed into his li+eness
with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the 3ord, who is the 5!irit. 0 /or 1$26 'I* 7em!hasis
added8
1aul said that even to his present day the veil remained over the Israelites2 hearts reardin the "ld #ovenant!
They couldn2t see past the $physical& type to the spiritual fulfillment! =ust as 3oses removed the veil when he
turned to speak with :od, so the veil of the heart is removed when one turns to #hrist!
But 4ust as the "ld #ovenant involved much more than bein of =ewish heritae ( e!!, the ,evitical ,aw, the
1riesthood, the Tabernacle and it2s services ( so the <ew #ovenant involves much more than 4ust bein $born
aain&! Althouh we have turned to #hrist, and the veil has been lifted so that we miht reconiAe 7im as our
Savior and 3essiah, have we allowed the veil to be completely lifted so that we now fully reconiAe the
"
spiritual fulfillment of what the "ld #ovenant typified in the ,aw, the 1riesthood and the Tabernacle, etc!? 7ave
we continued the process of bein transformedF of pressin on?
That the $unveilin& is a process is demonstrated by the author of 7ebrews! 7e desired to e*pound to his
readers #hrist2s spiritual fulfillment, in the <ew #ovenant, of the typoloy of 3elchiAedek in the "ld Testament!
Instead, he felt he must admonish them for havin been slack in the $unveilin& process:
9 of whom :,elchi;ede+< we have much to say, and hard to e=!lain, since you have become dull of
hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the
first !rinci!les of the oracles of od; and you have come to need mil+ and not solid food. For everyone
who !arta+es only of mil+ is uns+illed in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. -ut solid food
belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses e=ercised to
discern both good and evil. >eb ?$22&2@ '()*
Thus we can see that, althouh the veil is lifted when one comes to #hrist, that is only the beinnin! There
remain $meatier& thins of the "ld #ovenant typoloy that are only understood when one has become skilled in
the word of rihteousness, is spiritually mature, and by reason of use 5<ASB G practice6 have their senses
e*ercised 5<ASB G trained6 to do so!
The followin e*amples are readily reconiAed as bein "ld Testament types, or fiures, that had a <ew
Testament fulfillment! Thus we easily see the precedent established of the "ld #ovenant typifyin the <ew
#ovenant! %hat hasn2t been so easy to see, is the far'reachin truths embodied in these types! As with
3elchiAedek in 7ebrews, there is much to say, and hard to e=!lain, since we are perhaps a little more dull of
hearin than we care to admit! If at first some of the implications seem $hard to swallow&, may we suest that
it is because we have come to need mil+, and are unskilled in solid food?
#da
'evertheless death reigned from Adam to ,oses, even over those who had not sinned according to the
li+eness of the transgression of Adam, who is a ty!e of >im who was to come. "om ?$2@&2? '()*
And so it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being." The last Adam became a life&giving
s!irit. 2 /or 2?$@? '()*
#braha, $shael and $saac
For it is written that Abraham had two sons$ the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. -ut
he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through
!romise, which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants... al @$00&0@ '()*
Priesthood and sacrifices
And having been !erfected, >e :)esus< became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey >im,
called by od as >igh Ariest "according to the order of ,elchi;ede+,"9 >eb ?$#&22 '()*
9 you also, as living stones, are being built u! a s!iritual house, a holy !riesthood, to offer u! s!iritual
sacrifices acce!table to od through )esus /hrist. 2 Aeter 0$? '()*
Therefore by >im let us continually offer the sacrifice of !raise to od, that is, the fruit of our li!s, giving
than+s to >is name. >eb 21$2?&2% '()*
%erusale
9 for this >agar is ,ount 5inai in Arabia, and corres!onds to )erusalem which now is, and is in
bondage with her children && but the )erusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. al @$0B
'()*
1
-ut you have come to ,ount Cion and to the city of the living od, the heavenly )erusalem9 >eb
20$00 '()*
$srael
-ut it is not that the word of od has ta+en no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor
are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, "In Isaac your seed shall be called."
That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of od; but the children of
the !romise are counted as the seed. "om #$%&6 '()*
For in /hrist )esus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. And as
many as wal+ according to this rule, !eace and mercy be u!on them, and u!on the Israel of od. al
%$2? '()*
The &ingdo ( #hrist2s @indom is spiritual, not of this world!
'ow when >e was as+ed by the Aharisees when the +ingdom of od would come, >e answered them
and said, "The +ingdom of od does not come with observation; nor will they say, D5ee hereE4 or 45ee
thereE4 For indeed, the +ingdom of od is within you." 3u+e 2B$0F&02'()*
)esus answered, ",y +ingdom is not of this world. If ,y +ingdom were of this world, ,y servants would
fight, so that I should not be delivered to the )ews; but now ,y +ingdom is not from here." )ohn 26$1%
'()*
Therefore, since we are receiving a +ingdom which cannot be sha+en, let us have grace, by which we
may serve od acce!tably with reverence and godly fear. >eb 20$06 '()*
=ust this cursory lance reveals that much of the physical nature of the "ld Testament covenant and kindom
was a type, a foreshadow, of the <ew #ovenant! But have we truly ascertained the depth to which the "ld
#ovenant typified the <ew? As #hristians, we often are amaAed at how a =ew can $overlook& more than 988
3essianic prophecies that =esus fulfilled durin 7is first comin, and how 7e was the consummate antitype of
the shadows seen in all of the temple sacrifices and offerins! $7ow&, we ask ourselves, $can someone inore
such obvious te*t, and find alternate meanins and interpretations? 7ow can one&, for e*ample, $look for
another interpretation for Isaiah H9, when the crucifi*ion so obviously fits it?&
And yet, ironically, much of #hristianity has done the very same thin! By havin a preconceived concept of
#hrist2s Second #omin, as the =ews did with 7is first comin, we have $overlooked& obvious te*t, and found
alternative meanins and interpretations! It2s time to peel the veil back a little farther!
%e have a distinct advantae over the first century =ews in the area of rihtly interpretin "ld Testament
prophecies! %e are provided with the inspired commentary of the <ew Testament authors on many of these
"ld Testament passaes! %hile not every "ld Testament prophecy is interpreted for us by a <ew Testament
author, enouh are to lay a foundation, establish a precedent, and provide us with a sprinboard for
interpretin most, if not all, of the rest! +or e*ample, in :alatians 9 1aul, by inspiration of the 7oly Spirit,
interprets the seed of Abraham as bein #hrist, not Abraham2s physical offsprin:
'ow to Abraham and his 5eed were the !romises made. >e does not say, "And to seeds," as of many,
but as of one, "And to your 5eed," who is /hrist. And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred
and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by od in /hrist, that it
should ma+e the !romise of no effect. For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of !romise; but
od gave it to Abraham by !romise. al 1$2%&26 '()*
Thus, the promises iven to Abraham and his seed are realiAed in #hrist, not in the =ews! That this has far'
reachin implications cannot be overstated! 3any, while lookin for physical and material fulfillments to these
promises in the nation of Israel, have overlooked the fact that they are s!iritually fulfilled in #hrist! This is not a
personal opinion or a private interpretation of Scripture ( this is 5cri!ture inter!reting 5cri!tureE "ne has to
wonder, apart from 1aul2s divinely inspired commentary, how many of us would have reached this same
6
conclusion? As we shall see, 1aul refers to this as $removin the veil of 3oses&! There are many such
e*amples where the <ew Testament authors, by the inspiration of the 7oly Spirit, provide an interpretation of
"ld Testament passaes that is much different than what their contemporary =ews held! They were allowed to
look behind the veil of 3oses, but their contemporaries failed to follow alon! Dnfortunately, much of the
#hurch today has also failed to appreciate this discernment of the <ew Testament authors ( especially in
reards to the Second #omin of #hrist! >eardin the inspiration of the <ew Testament authors, we would o
so far as to say that when they comment on "ld Testament passaes, they do not provide an interpretation,
but the interpretation! :uided by these <ew Testament authors, let2s look behind the veil of 3oses!
7
Part $' Behind the Veil
%
$f (ou #re )illing To *eceive $t
"For all the !ro!hets and the law !ro!hesied until )ohn. And if you are willing to receive it, he is GliHah
who is to come. >e who has ears to hear, let him hearEI ,t 22$21&2?
1rior to embarkin on a comparison of the two covenants, we can ain some valuable insiht from an e*ample
of =esus 7imself pullin the veil back for the disciples! It was prophesied in the "ld Testament that the ,ord
would send ;li4ah the prophet to the Israelites 4ust prior to the comin of the 3essiah! As the disciples bean to
realiAe that #hrist was the promised 3essiah, they questioned 7im about the comin of ;li4ah, since they
hadn2t seen him:
And >is disci!les as+ed >im, saying, "Why then do the scribes say that GliHah must come first?" ,t
2B$2F
%hat was #hrist2s reply? ;li4ah had comeI
)esus answered and said to them, "Indeed, GliHah is coming first and will restore all things. -ut I say to
you that GliHah has come already, and they did not +now him but did to him whatever they wished.
3i+ewise the 5on of ,an is also about to suffer at their hands." Then the disci!les understood that >e
s!o+e to them of )ohn the -a!tist. ,t 2B$22&21
#learly the disciples had understood the prophecies enouh to know that ;li4ah was to come first, yet they had
missed the fulfillment of those prophecies before their very eyes! Because they were still lookin upon the veil,
they didn2t understand that the ;li4ah of the "ld #ovenant was a $type& that saw it2s fulfillment in =ohn the
Baptist! They properly understood the timin of the fulfillment 5;li4ah before 3essiah6 but not the nature 5not
literally ;li4ah, but one in the spirit of ;li4ah6 of the fulfillment! ,et2s look at the specific prophecies:
The voice of one crying in the wilderness$
"Are!are the way of the 3."J;
,a+e straight in the desert
A highway for our od.
Gvery valley shall be e=alted
And every mountain and hill brought low;
The croo+ed !laces shall be made straight
And the rough !laces smooth;
The glory of the 3."J shall be revealed,
And all flesh shall see it together;
For the mouth of the 3."J has s!o+en." Isaiah @F$1&?
"-ehold, I send ,y messenger,
And he will !re!are the way before ,e.
And the 3ord, whom you see+,
Will suddenly come to >is tem!le,
Gven the ,essenger of the covenant,
In whom you delight. -ehold, >e is coming," 5ays the 3."J of hosts9
K-ehold, I will send you GliHah the !ro!het
-efore the coming of the great and dreadful day of the 3."J. And he will turn
The hearts of the fathers to the children,
And the hearts of the children to their fathers,
3est I come and stri+e the earth with a curse." ,alachi 1$2, @$?&%
*
And now, let2s look at the Scriptures concernin =ohn the Baptist:
In those days )ohn the -a!tist came !reaching in the wilderness of )udea, and saying, ""e!ent, for the
+ingdom of heaven is at handE" For this is he who was s!o+en of by the !ro!het Isaiah, saying$ "The
voice of one crying in the wilderness$ 4Are!are the way of the 3."J; ,a+e >is !aths straight.4"
As they de!arted, )esus began to say to the multitudes concerning )ohn$ "What did you go out into the
wilderness to see? A reed sha+en by the wind? -ut what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft
garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in +ings4 houses. -ut what did you go out to see?
A !ro!het? Les, I say to you, and more than a !ro!het. For this is he of whom it is written$ 4-ehold, I
send ,y messenger before Lour face, Who will !re!are Lour way before Lou.4I
"For all the !ro!hets and the law !ro!hesied until )ohn. And if you are willing to receive it, he is GliHah
who is to come. >e who has ears to hear, let him hearEI ,t 1$2&1; 22$B&2F, 21&2?
As it is written in the Aro!hets$ "-ehold, I send ,y messenger before Lour face, Who will !re!are Lour
way before Lou. The voice of one crying in the wilderness$ 4Are!are the way of the 3."J; ,a+e >is
!aths straight.4" )ohn came ba!ti;ing in the wilderness and !reaching a ba!tism of re!entance for the
remission of sins. ,ar+ 2$0&@
-ut the angel said to him, "Jo not be afraid, Cacharias, for your !rayer is heard; and your wife
Gli;abeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name )ohn. And you will have Hoy and gladness,
and many will reHoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the 3ord, and shall drin+ neither
wine nor strong drin+. >e will also be filled with the >oly 5!irit, even from his mother4s womb. And he
will turn many of the children of Israel to the 3ord their od. >e will also go before >im in the spirit
and power of Elijah, 4to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,4 and the disobedient to the
wisdom of the Hust, to ma+e ready a !eo!le !re!ared for the 3ord. 3u+e 2$21&2B :em!hasis add<
And you, child, will be called the !ro!het of the >ighest; For you will go before the face of the 3ord to
!re!are >is way9 3u+e 2$B%
"This is he of whom it is written$ 4-ehold, I send ,y messenger before Lour face, Who will !re!are Lour
way before Lou.4I 3u+e B$0B
'ow this is the testimony of )ohn, when the )ews sent !riests and 3evites from )erusalem to as+ him,
"Who are you?" >e confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, "I am not the /hrist." And they as+ed
him, "What then? Are you GliHah?" >e said, "I am not." "Are you the Aro!het?" And he answered, "'o."
Then they said to him, "Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you
say about yourself?" >e said$ "I am 4The voice of one crying in the wilderness$ ",a+e straight the way
of the 3."J," 4 as the !ro!het Isaiah said." )ohn 2$2#&01
#learly =esus 7imself tauht that =ohn the Baptist was the $;li4ah& who was prophesied to come and prepare a
way for the ,ord! )et the way that 7e states it seems to imply that 7e understood that the fulfillment wasn2t
entirely obvious to those around 7im! ;ven =ohn acknowleded that he wasn2t ;li4ah, yet he knew that he was
the voice of one crying in the wilderness! <otice aain =esus2 words in 3atthew ?? 5emphasis added6:
2@ And if you are willing to receive it, he is GliHah who is to come.
2? He who has ears to hear, let him hearE
IF you are willin to receive itI This almost suests that #hrist thouht some of them miht have a hard time
swallowin the fact that a prophecy that they had waited centuries to see fulfilled, had 4ust been fulfilled before
their eyes! It appears that #hrist knew, as the disciples2 question implies, that they were takin the prophecy
much too literally, lookin for the literal "ld Testament ;li4ah! Is it too far fetched to conclude that many have
made the same mistake reardin other prophecies? The =ews misinterpreted the $second'comin& of ;li4ah
5
and the first comin of the 3essiah because of the veil of 3oses! Dnfortunately, the church is lookin at many
of the prophecies reardin the Second #omin of #hrist throuh the same veil!
%e will pursue that thouht later! +irst, let2s look closer at the prophecy of ;li4ah and the fulfillment by =ohn the
Baptist! The followin chart lists the details of the ministry of $;li4ah&, and whether or not they were literally
fulfilled:
Prophecy Fulfilled Literally?
The voice of one cryin in the wilderness )es, =ohn lived and preached in the
wilderness
;very valley shall be e*alted
And every mountain and hill brouht low
No, there is no record of eoraphical
chanes
The crooked places shall be made straiht
And the rouh places smoothF
No, same as above
The lory of the ,">. shall be revealed,
And all flesh shall see it toether
No, not to all flesh toether
I send 3y messener,
And he will prepare the way before 3e
)es, =ohn preached repentance, for the
@indom was at hand
I will send you ;li4ah the prophet
Before the comin of the reat and dreadful
day of the ,">.!
No, not ;li4ah himself
And he will turn
The hearts of the fathers to the children,
And the hearts of the children to their
fathers,
,est I come and strike the earth JlandK with
a curse!L
Althouh there was individual repentance of
the people in response to his preachin,
Israel as a nation did not repent, hence it2s
destruction in 08 A!.! %as the earth struck
with a curse? %hen we realiAe that the
7ebrew can be translated $land& as well as
$earth&, we can see in the destruction of
=erusalem a fulfillment of this portion!
"ver half of the details concernin the comin of ;li4ah were not fulfilled in a literal senseI @eep in mind that
not bein literally fulfilled 5in a physical, material sense6 isn2t synonymous with not bein fulfilled at all! 1hilip
3auro states it as follows:
- that in Scripture the contrast is not between the s!iritual and the literal, but between the s!iritual and
naturalF for a passae of Scripture may refer, when taken Lliterally,L either to Lthat which is naturalL or to
Lthat which is s!iritual!L In other words, the literal interpretation may call for a thin which e*ists in the
realm of nature, or for the counterpart of that thin which e*ists in the realm of spiritual realities- The
>o!e of Israel$ What Is lt?, #hapter II Jemphasis in oriinalK
The <ew Testament specifically teaches that =ohn the Baptist was the fulfillment of the "ld Testament
prophecies in Isaiah and 3alachi about the comin messener, ;li4ah! Because he was not literally ;li4ah, we
must look for some other type of fulfillment! #all it what you will ( s!iritual, ty!ical, or symbolical ( there is a
fulfillment to be found! =ohn the Baptist wasn2t ;li4ah resurrected 5or returned to earth6, but he was a prophet in
the s!irit of GliHah, proclaimin the way of the ,ord! The literal valleys and mountains, and the crooked and
rouh places did not chane, but could they represent the difficulty of comin to :od throuh the
encumbrances of the 3osaic ,aw and the priesthood? =ust as the torn curtain in the temple symboliAed a new
access to the presence of :od, the valleys and mountains, the crooked and rouh pathways of the law have
1
been replaced by #hrist, the one 3ediator between :od and man! The ospel truly is a smooth and level
4ourney compared with the ,aw! ,ook at =esus2 response to the disciples one more time:
)esus answered and said to them, "Indeed, GliHah is coming first and will restore all things. -ut I say to
you that GliHah has come already, and they did not +now him but did to him whatever they wished.
3i+ewise the 5on of ,an is also about to suffer at their hands." Then the disci!les understood that >e
s!o+e to them of )ohn the -a!tist. ,t 2B$22&21
;li4ah had already come, and they didn2t know him! ,ikewise, they didn2t know #hrist at 7is first comin! Dnless
we make every effort to allow the <ew Testament to remove the veil from the "ld Testament prophecies
concernin the nature of #hrist2s kindom and the <ew #ovenant, we are in daner of misinterpretin details
concernin the Second #omin! The interpretation of the Second #omin held by most #hristians today
sounds stranely like the $veiled& interpretation the =ews had of 7is first comin! But we2re ettin ahead of
ourselvesI
"bviously we can see symbolic, or spiritual, fulfillment to prophecy, confirmed by =esus 7imself, in one place in
the BibleF perhaps it is to be found in other places as well! In fact, should we not e*pect it? <o one would arue
that the spirit 5the intent, the ob4ective, the substance6 of the prophecy concernin ;li4ah was fulfilled! To do so
would be callin #hrist a liar!
?
/ #or! 9:M states that the letter of the law kills, but the Spirit ives life! The
1harisees were livin e*amples of this ( they took the law, the spirit of which was to lead them to #hrist, and
made a dead reliion out of it! Are we in daner of doin the same thin with prophecy? Are we so intent on
literaliAin every last detail, and then lookin for the fulfillment in our mornin paper, that we are in daner of
missin the spirit of the prophecy altoether, 4ust as the disciples were about to do with =ohn the Baptist?
$7ow can we know anythin, then&, you miht ask, $if everythin is spiritual?& Before you throw your hands up
in despair, let2s consider a few points! +irst, the premise is not that everything is spiritual, rather that not
everythin is literal, or more precisely, natural! Second, consider #hrist2s response to the disciple2s question
about ;li4ah! 7e didn2t rebuke them for bein inorant, or say $ye of little faith&! 7e affirmed their basic
understandin of the prophecy, $-Indeed, GliHah is coming first and will restore all things-& 7e then went on to
clarify their understandin! Is there not a lesson to be learned here? %hen unsure about the interpretation and
fulfillment of prophecy, who should be our primary resource? Should it not be =esus, as opposed to the latest
prophecy pundit? And how else do we seek out #hrist2s knowlede than by studyin the Bible? %e should
especially use the inspired interpretations of the <ew Testament to e*plain the "ld Testament! To be sure,
there are many honest and educated Bible scholars, commentators, etc!, that can offer valuable insiht! But we
must remember that each is writin from hisEher particular bias, even if unintentionally! The question that we
must ask ourselves is, when the inspired commentary of the <ew Testament doesn2t fit with the popular and
even time'tested interpretations we hold dear, are we willing to receive it?
1
This bes the question, if #hrist had not mentioned that =ohn the Baptist was $the ;li4ah to come&, would the #hristian
community still be lookin for him, as the =ews are today? Stranely enouh, many actually are to a certain deree, by
assinin one of the two witnesses in >evelation as bein ;li4ah!
1
The Veil of Moses
? 'ot that we are sufficient of ourselves to thin+ of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency
is from od, % who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the
5!irit; for the letter +ills, but the 5!irit gives life. B -ut if the ministry of death, written and engraved on
stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not loo+ steadily at the face of ,oses because
of the glory of his countenance, which glory was !assing away,6 how will the ministry of the 5!irit not
be more glorious? # For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness
e=ceeds much more in glory. 2F For even what was made glorious had no glory in this res!ect,
because of the glory that e=cels. 22 For if what is !assing away was glorious, what remains is much
more glorious. 20 Therefore, since we have such ho!e, we use great boldness of s!eech M 21 unli+e
,oses, who !ut a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not loo+ steadily at the end of
what was !assing away. 2@ -ut their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains
unlifted in the reading of the .ld Testament, because the veil is ta+en away in /hrist. 2? -ut even to
this day, when ,oses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 2% 'evertheless when one turns to the 3ord, the
veil is ta+en away. 2B 'ow the 3ord is the 5!irit; and where the 5!irit of the 3ord is, there is liberty. 26
-ut we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the 3ord, are being transformed into
the same image from glory to glory, Hust as by the 5!irit of the 3ord. 0 /or. 1$?&26 '()*
In the above passae the apostle 1aul contrasts the "ld and <ew #ovenants! Althouh the "ld #ovenant was
lorious, it was a lory that was passin away! It was the letter that kills, a ministry of death and condemnation!
It was also a physical covenant, written on stones and lived out in the priesthood and the ,evitical law!
In contrast, the <ew #ovenant is of the Spirit, and lived out in the Spirit ( where the 5!irit of the 3ord is, there
is liberty. -ut we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the 3ord, are being transformed
into the same image from glory to glory, Hust as by the 5!irit of the 3ord. This transformin process takes place
by the inner man bein conformed to the Spirit of :od, not by the outer man conformin to e*ternal laws, as
with the "ld #ovenant:
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may
!rove what is that good and acce!table and !erfect will of od.
"om. 20$0
I have been crucified with /hrist; it is no longer I who live, but /hrist lives in me; and the life which I
now live in the flesh I live by faith in the 5on of od, who loved me and gave >imself for me. al. 0$0F
1aul uses the veil of 3oses, which dimmed the passin lory of the countenance of his face, as an alleory of
the "ld #ovenant, with its passin lory, veilin the surpassin lory of the <ew #ovenant! %hile the "ld
#ovenant spoke in types and shadows, the <ew #ovenant was proclaimed with great boldness 5@=C G
plainness, ),T G freedom6 of s!eech! %hereas 3oses covered his face with a veil that the Israelites miht not
look steadily at what was passin away, 1aul states that the ospel is proclaimed boldly, for the veil is removed
in #hrist! Several commentators make note of this fact! To preserve our flow of thouht, we have included
these comments in the Appendi* followin this chapter! %e provide two quotations here as samples:
The ospel is a more clear dispensation than the lawF the thins of :od are revealed in the <ew
Testament, not in types and shadows! 53atthew 7enry2s #ommentary on / #or! 9:?/'?N6
The obscurity which rested on the prophecies and types of the former dispensation is withdrawnF and
as the face of 3oses could have been distinctly seen if the veil on his face had been removed, so it is in
reard to the true meanin of the "ld Testament by the comin of the 3essiah! %hat was obscure is
now made clearF and the prophecies are so completely fulfilled in him, that his comin has removed the
coverin, and shed a clear liht over them all! 3any of the prophecies, for e*ample, until the 3essiah
1
actually appeared, appeared obscure, and almost contradictory! Those which spoke of him, for
illustration, as man and as :odF as sufferin, and yet reininF as dyin, and yet as ever'livinF as a
mihty 1rince, a conqueror, and a kin, and yet as a man of sorrowsF as humble, and yet lorious: all
seemed difficult to be reconciled until they were seen to harmoniAe in =esus of <aAareth! Then they
were plain, and the veil was taken away! #hrist is seen to answer all the previous descriptions of him in
the "ld TestamentF and his comin casts a clear liht on all which was before obscure! 5from Barnes2
<otes, commentary on / #or! 9:?O6
3any of the =ew2s conceptions of the teachins of the "ld Testament were incorrect because they failed to
realiAe that the "ld #ovenant was merely a shadow of the <ew #ovenant! The <ew Testament confirms that
the material thins of the "ld #ovenant were co!ies, shadows and symbols of spiritual counterparts found in
the <ew #ovenant:
5o let no one Hudge you in food or in drin+, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which
are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of hrist.
/ol 0$2%&26 '()*
For if >e were on earth, >e would not be a !riest, since there are !riests who offer the gifts according
to the law; who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as ,oses was divinely
instructed when he was about to ma+e the tabernacle. For >e said, !"ee that you ma#e all things
according to the pattern shown you on the mountain$! >eb 6$@&? '()*
9 the >oly 5!irit indicating this, that the way into the >oliest of All was not yet made manifest while the
first tabernacle was still standing. %t was symbolic for the !resent time in which both gifts and
sacrifices are offered which cannot ma+e him who !erformed the service !erfect in regard to the
conscience9 >eb #$6&# '()*
Therefore it was necessary that the copies :the Tem!le and its furnishings< of the things in the
heavens should be !urified with these :the blood of animals<, but the heavenly things themselves with
better sacrifices than these. For /hrist has not entered the holy !laces made with hands, which are
copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to a!!ear in the !resence of od for us; >eb #$01&0@
'()*
For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things,
can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, ma+e those who
a!!roach !erfect. >eb 2F$2 '()* 7em!hases added8
%ycliffe, whose commentary appears in the Appendi* followin this chapter, makes an observation that, while
most would ive assent to, many have failed to apprehend the ramifications ( our openin passae in /
#orinthians is 1aul2s ins!ired inter!retation of the "ld TestamentI The same Spirit that inspired 3oses as he
penned the accounts contained in the 1entateuch also inspired 1aul to interpret and e*pound upon portions of
that te*t! As / Timothy 9:?M says, All 5cri!ture is ins!ired by od9 5<ASD6 Some would say that the Scripture
referred to here is only the "ld Testament! But 1eter equates the writins of 1aul with the "ld Testament
Scriptures:
9 as also our beloved brother Aaul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also
in all his e!istles, s!ea+ing in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which
untaught and unstable !eo!le twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the
"criptures. 0 Aeter 1$2?&2% '()* 7em!hasis added8
If we believe that 1eter was inspired as he wrote this, then we have confirmation that when 1aul comments on
the "ld Testament, it is an inspired commentary! +urthermore, if we accept that our present <ew Testament
was written and compiled under the inspiration of the 7oly Spirit, then we have in our possession an inspired
commentary on many "ld Testament passaes! :ranted, it is not a verse'by'verse commentary, but
concernin those passaes that it does interpret, we would do well to put every volume written by man back on
1
the shelf, and discover W>AT J.G5 T>G 5/"IATN"G 5AL? +or every commentary written by man, no
matter his education, insiht, inspiration or communication skills, is the product of a fallible bein! The <ew
Testament, however, was authored by the 7oly Spirit, whose ministry it is to lead people into the Truth:
9 +nowing this first, that no !ro!hecy of 5cri!ture is of any !rivate inter!retation, for !ro!hecy never
came by the will of man, but holy men of od s!o+e as they were moved by the >oly 5!irit. 0 Aeter
2$0F&02 '()*
>owever, when >e, the 5!irit of truth, has come, >e will guide you into all truth; for >e will not s!ea+ on
>is own authority, but whatever >e hears >e will s!ea+; and >e will tell you things to come. )ohn 2%$21
'()*
Dnfortunately, instead of interpretin the "ld Testament throuh the lens of the <ew Testament, we tend to put
both testaments side'by'side, and then try to harmoniAe our individual interpretations of the <ew Testament
with our interpretation of the "ld Testament! %hile it is true that all MM books of the Bible are inspired, and that
the Bible is truly $one book&, we have failed to completely rasp the interrelation of those books, particularly
between the two testaments! %e tend to view the Bible as MM volumes, which we attempt to interpret with the
use of e*ternal ,e*icons, #ommentaries, .ictionaries, etc! %hat we have failed to fully appreciate is that the
last /0 books are, in many instances, a divinely ins!ired ,e*icon, #ommentary, .ictionary, etc!, for the first 9P
books! Aain, not a verse'by'verse commentary, but enouh of a commentary to establish interpretative
principles that should cause us to take a hard look at what is espoused in uninspired commentaries, reardless
of their popularity or appeal! This is not to say that the 7oly Spirit doesn2t still inspire preachers, teachers and
authors, but this is a different level of inspiration! %e believe that the #anon falls under the type of inspiration
described in / 1eter ?:/? - for !ro!hecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of od s!o+e as they
were moved by the >oly 5!irit, while all other inspiration falls under ? #orinthians ?O:9/ The s!irits of !ro!hets
are subHect to the control of !ro!hets 5<IC6! In those areas that the <ew Testament interprets the "ld
Testament, it should be the first, last and final word! Instead of 5re6interpretin the <ew Testament to fit our a
!riori interpretation of the "ld Testament, all "ld Testament interpretations should alin themselves with those
passaes which are divinely interpreted for us by the <ew Testament! And once the <ew Testament authors
establish a precedent for interpretin particular "ld Testament te*ts, we must accept nothin less than
scriptural support to deviate from that precedent! As 3a* >! @in states in The 5!irit of Aro!hecy:
But it is never wise to allow our concept of a Biblical sub4ect to place us in opposition to inspiration! 5p!
??H6
3ilton S! Terry says the followin in -iblical >ermeneutics 5note that hermeneutics is the study of the
methodoloical principles of interpretation6:
It is of the first importance to observe that, from a #hristian point of view, the "ld Testament cannot be
fully apprehended without the help of the <ew! The mystery of #hrist, which in other enerations was
not made known unto men, was revealed unto the apostles and prophets of the <ew Testament 5;ph!
9:H6, and that revelation sheds a flood of liht upon numerous portions of the 7ebrew Scriptures! 5p! ?N6
%e believe that Terry2s point''the "ld Testament cannot be fully apprehended without the help of the <ew''
cannot be over'emphasiAed! The "ld Testament contained mysteries that were not fully revealed apart from
the :ospel! There were truths in the "ld Testament that were shrouded in darkness, awaitin the $flood of
liht& of revelation to the <ew Testament apostles and prophets to be shed upon them! This is confirmed by the
followin passaes:
Then >e turned to >is disci!les and said !rivately, "-lessed are the eyes which see the things you see;
for I tell you that many !ro!hets and +ings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and
to hear what you hear, and have not heard it." 3u+e 2F$01&0@ '()*
9according to the revelation of the mystery +e!t secret since the world began but now made
manifest9 "om 2%$0?&0% '()*
1
9and to ma+e all see what is the fellowshi! of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has
been hidden in od who created all things through )esus /hrist; to the intent that now the manifold
wisdom of od might be made +nown by the church to the !rinci!alities and !owers in the heavenly
!laces9 G!h 1$#&2F '()*
9how that by revelation >e made +nown to me the mystery 7as I have briefly written already, by which,
when you read, you may understand my +nowledge in the mystery of /hrist8, which in other ages was
not made +nown to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the 5!irit to >is holy a!ostles and
!ro!hets9 G!h. 1$1&? '()*
9which od, who cannot lie, !romised before time began, but has in due time manifested 9 Titus 2$0&
1 '()*
1aul states that the mystery of #hrist was not revealed prior to the :ospel ae! Therefore, to formulate any
doctrine apart from the fuller revelation of the <ew Testament apostles is attemptin to build a house before
the foundation is finished! This is because the revelation iven to the <ew Testament apostles was not merely
building u!on the foundation laid by the "ld Testament prophetsQit was !art of that foundation:
'ow, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citi;ens with the saints and
members of the household of od, having been built on the foundation of the a!ostles and !ro!hets,
)esus /hrist >imself being the chief cornerstone9 G!h 0$2#&0F '()*
-eloved, I now write to you this second e!istle 7in both of which I stir u! your !ure minds by way of
reminder8, that you may be mindful of the words which were s!o+en before by the holy !ro!hets, and of
the commandment of us, the a!ostles of the 3ord and 5avior9 0 Aeter 1$2&0 '()*
-ut you, beloved, remember the words which were s!o+en before by the a!ostles of our 3ord )esus
/hrist9 )ude 2B '()*
'ow the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve a!ostles of
the 3amb. "ev 02$2@ '()*
This revelation to the apostles and prophets is the removin of the veil of 3oses! >ather than lettin the
theoloical elite interpret the "ld Testament for us, we must allow the inspired authors of the <ew Testament to
interpret the "ld Testament! Thus we are truly lettin Scripture interpret Scripture, instead of lettin man
interpret Scripture! To construct a theoloy based solely upon the "ld Testament is to formulate doctrine before
all of the facts are in! Those missin facts were revealed to the apostles and prophets of the <ew Testament!
As we shall see in the comin chapters, it was because the =ews based their theoloy solely upon the "ld
Testament that they were in such opposition to the #hristian #hurch! The #hurch, which had the full revelation,
could now correctly formulate doctrine and reveal that which had previously been a mystery! Those =ews who
accepted the full revelation removed the veil of 3oses and became sons and dauhters of :od 5=ohn ?:?/6!
Those who stubbornly refused it continued on in their inadequately founded doctrine, and the veil of 3oses
remained over their hearts!
Because it was to the apostles and prophets of the <ew Testament, and not any subsequent theoloians, that
the mysteries of :od were revealed, we feel that it is with them that the search for understandin Bible
prophecy must bein and end! Aain, this is not to say that we cannot benefit from the education and iftin of
others within the Body of #hrist! 7owever, we must come to all e*tra'biblical interpretations with the same
attitude as the Bereans:
'ow the -ereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message
with great eagerness and e=amined the 5cri!tures every day to see if what Aaul said was true. Acts
2B$22 'I*
1
.o the interpretations in the commentaries on our shelves reardin "ld Testament prophecy 5and by
implication, our understandin of it6 aree with the interpretations presented by the <ew Testament authors?
As 1aul wrote his epistle to the #orinthians, he said that the =ews still had a $veil& over their hearts when
3oses was read! )et they were e*perts in the law 5so <IC, .arby G $doctors of the law&, most versions read
$lawyers&6! But their e*pertise was only in studyin and interpretin the veil, not discernin the truth hidden
behind it! The veil is only removed in #hrist, therefore if we are to discern the truth represented by the types
and shadows of the "ld #ovenant, our startin place should be with those who did turn to 7im ( the inspired
authors of the <ew Testament!
The precedent of the <ew Testament authors understandin "ld Testament prophecy is established for us in
the :ospels, where we often read a phrase such as $that it miht be fulfilled what was spoken by the
prophet-&
Then was fulfilled what was s!o+en by )eremiah the !ro!het, saying$
"A voice was heard in "amah,
3amentation, wee!ing, and great mourning,
"achel wee!ing for her children,
"efusing to be comforted,
-ecause they are no more."
,att 0$2B&26 '()*
5o the 5cri!ture was fulfilled which says, "And >e was numbered with the transgressors."
,ar+ 2?$06 '()*
1erhaps it was because most of the =ews had completely missed the fact of these fulfilled prophecies, that the
:ospel authors took pains to establish these fulfillments! In essence, what they were sayin was, $this is
what2s behind the veil&! They were tryin to reveal as much as possible! In 1art / of the Appendi* to this
chapter we provide a list of references where the :ospel authors are declarin fulfilled "ld Testament
prophecy! ;ven thouh the :ospel authors were writin after'the'fact, they still felt it necessary to e*plain the
fulfillments of these "ld Testament prophecies! Thus they were providin an inspired commentary on those "ld
Testament passaes! %hat we have failed to fully rasp is that this action continues past the :ospels, into Acts
and the ;pistles! The interpretations that the <ew Testament authors provide are often markedly different than
what prevailin teachins are tellin us today! But we must remember that they were also markedly different
from the prevailin teachin of their contemporaries, which led to the persecution of #hristians by the =ews! In
choosin between markedly different interpretations of "ld Testament passaes, and in establishin doctrine,
we choose the inspired authors of the <ew Testament over and aainst any theoloian or prophecy e*pert,
past or present!
In order to establish a -iblical interpretation of the <ew #ovenant, and the time of the return of the 3ediator of
that covenant 57eb N:MF P:?HF ?/:/O6, shouldn2t we first lay a foundation of the inspired interpretation of the <ew
Testament authors? Anythin that doesn2t conform to that foundation must surely be questioned!
1
#++endi, to The Veil of Moses
Aart 2$ *arious /ommentators on The *eil of ,oses
%e have provided several commentaries reardin 1aul2s passae on the veil of 3oses! %hile the te*t
in bold font is that which is most pertinent to our study, we have included the reater conte*t to assure
the reader that we are not mishandlin the quotes! %e list the Scriptural passae in question, with the
commentary thereafter:
20 Therefore, since we have such ho!e, we use great boldness of s!eech M 21 unli+e ,oses,
who !ut a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not loo+ steadily at the end of
what was !assing away. 2@ -ut their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil
remains unlifted in the reading of the .ld Testament, because the veil is ta+en away in /hrist. 70
/or. 1$20&2@8
,atthew >enry4s /ommentary on the Whole -ible & 0 /or 1$20&26
#oncernin the duty of the ministers of the ospel to use reat plainness or clearness of speech! They
ouht not, like 3oses, to put a veil upon their faces, or obscure and darken those thins which they
should make plain! The gospel is a more clear dispensation than the law; the things of God are
revealed in the New Testament, not in types and shadows, and ministers are much to blame if they
do not set spiritual thins, and ospel'truth and race, in the clearest liht that is possible! Thouh the
Israelites could not look stedfastly to the end of what was commanded, but is now abolished, yet we
may! We may see the meaning of those types and shadows by the accomplishment, seeing the
veil is done away in hrist and he is come, who was the end of the law for righteo!sness to all
those who believe, and whom "oses and all the prophets pointed to, and wrote of#
-arnes4 'otes
0 /or 1$20
It denotes openness, simplicity, freedom from the obscurity which arises from enimatical and
parabolical, and typical modes of speakin! This stands in opposition to fiure, metaphor, and alleory'
to an affected and labored concealment of the idea in the manner which was common amon the
=ewish doctors and paan philosophers, where their meanin was carefully concealed from the
common, and from all e*cept the initiated! $t stands opposed also to the necessary obsc!rity
arising from typical instit!tions like those of "oses# %nd the doctrine of the passage is, that
s!ch is the clearness and f!llness of the hristian revelation, arising from the fact, that it is the
last economy, and that it does not look to the f!t!re, that its ministers may and sho!ld !se clear
and intelligible lang!age# They sho!ld not !se lang!age abo!nding in metaphor and allegory#
0 /or 1$21
The phrase rendered LthatL pros 5<T:O9?O6 to 5<T:9HNN6 evidently connects what is affirmed here with
the statement about 3osesF and shows that the apostle means to say that 3oses put the veil on his
face in order that the children of Israel should not be able to see to the end of his institutions! That
3oses had such a desin, and that the puttin on of the veil was emblematic of the nature of his
institutions, 1aul here distinctly affirms! <o one can prove that this was not his desinF and in a land
and time when types, and emblems, and allegorical modes of speech were m!ch !sed, it is
highly probable that "oses meant to intimate that the end and f!ll p!rpose of his instit!tions
were designedly concealed#
JTo the endK - Dnto the end, purpose, desin, or ultimate result of the ,aw which he established! A
reat many different interpretations have been proposed of this! The meanin seems to me to be this:
There was a glory and splendor in that which the instit!tions of "oses typified, which the
children of Israel were not permitted then to behold! There was a splendor and luster in the face of
3oses, which they could not aAe upon, and therefore he put a veil over it to diminish its intense
1
brihtness! $n like manner there was a glory and splendor in the !ltimate design and scope of his
instit!tions, in that to which they referred, which they were not then &able,& that is, prepared to
look on, and the e'ceeding brightness of which he of design concealed# This was done by
obsc!re types and fig!res, that resembled a veil thrown over a da((ling and splendid ob)ect#
The word &end,& then, $ s!ppose, does not refer to termination, or close, b!t to the &design,
scope, or p!rpose& of the "osaic instit!tions; to that which they were intended to introd!ce and
ad!mbrate# T*%T +N, was the "essiah, and the glory of his instit!tions# %nd the meaning of
-a!l, $ take to be, is, that there was a splendor and a glory in the gospel which the "osaic
instit!tions were designed to typify, which was so great that the children of $srael were not f!lly
prepared to see it, and that he designedly threw over that glory the veil of obsc!re types and
fig!res; as he threw over his face a veil that partially concealed its splendor! Thus interpreted, there is
a consistency in the entire passae, and very reat beauty! 1aul, in the followin verses, proceeds to
state that the veil to the view of the =ews of his time was not removedF that they still looked to the
obsc!re types and instit!tions of the "osaic .aw rather than on the glory which they were
designed to ad!mbrate; AS I+ they should choose to look upon the veil on the face of 3oses rather
than on the splendor which it concealed!
0 /or 1$2@
J%hich vail JsicK is done away in #hristK In the manifestation, or appearance of =esus the 3essiah, the
veil is removed! The obsc!rity which rested on the prophecies and types of the former
dispensation is withdrawn; and as the face of "oses co!ld have been distinctly seen if the veil
on his face had been removed, so it is in regard to the tr!e meaning of the Old Testament by the
coming of the "essiah# What was obsc!re is now made clear; and the prophecies are so
completely f!lfilled in him, that his coming has removed the covering, and shed a clear light
over them all# "any of the prophecies, for e'ample, !ntil the "essiah act!ally appeared,
appeared obsc!re, and almost contradictory# Those which spoke of him, for ill!stration, as man
and as God; as s!ffering, and yet reigning; as dying, and yet as ever/living; as a mighty -rince,
a con0!eror, and a king, and yet as a man of sorrows; as h!mble, and yet glorio!s1 all seemed
diffic!lt to be reconciled !ntil they were seen to harmoni(e in 2es!s of Na(areth# Then they were
plain, and the veil was taken away# hrist is seen to answer all the previo!s descriptions of him
in the Old Testament; and his coming casts a clear light on all which was before obsc!re#
Adam /lar+e4s /ommentary 0 /or 1$21
The splendour of 3osesR countenance was so reat that the Israelites could not bear to look upon his
face, and therefore he was oblied to veil his face: this, it appears, he did typically, to represent the
types and shadows by which the whole dispensation of which he was the minister was covered#
So that the Israelites could not steadfastly look '' could not then have the full view or discernment of
that in which the 3osaic dispensation should issue and terminate!
)amieson, Fausset, and -rown /ommentary 0 /or 1$21
1lainly the history 5;* 9O6 implies that 3osesR veil was put on because of their not havin been able to
Rlook stedfastly at him!R -a!l here 34 or 51657 passes from the literal fact to the tr!th symboli(ed,
the blindness of =ews and =udaiAers to the ultimate end of the law: statin that 3oses put on the veil
that they miht not look stedfastly at 5#hrist, >om ?8:OF the Spirit, / #or 9:?06 the end of that 5law in its
mere letter6 which 5like 3osesR lory6 is done away! <ot that 3oses had this purposeF but often :od
attributes to 7is prophets the purpose which 7e has 7imself! Because the =ews would not see, :od
4udicially ave them up so as not to see! They would only see 3oses under a leal veil, so that they
could not see #hrist the end of the mere letter law'veil done away in 7im! The lory of 3osesR face is
antitypically #hristRs lory shinin behind the veil of leal ordinances 5=ohn H:OH'O06! The veil, taken off
to the believer, is left on to the unbelievin =ew, so that he should not see 5Isa M:?8F Acts /N:/M'/06! 7e
stops short at the letter, not seein the end! The evanelical lory of the law, like the shinin of 3osesR
face, cannot be borne by a carnal people, and therefore remains veiled to them until the Spirit takes
away the veil 5/ #or 9:?O'?06!
1
The Wycliffe -ible /ommentary 0 /or 1$20&21
3oses used to put 5the verb is in the imperfect tense6 a veil on his face so that the Israelites could not
see the end of the fadin splendor 5>SC6! $n -a!l8s inspired interpretation of the OT, the
evanescent glory that shone from "oses8 face after his comm!nion with God becomes typical
of the passing glory of the old dispensation#
Aart 0$'ew Testament "eferences to Fulfilled .ld Testament Aro!hecy
,att 2$00; ,att 0$2?; ,att 0$2B; ,att 0$01; ,att @$2@; ,att 6$2B; ,att 20$2B; ,att 21$2@; ,att 21$1?;
,att 02$@; ,att 0%$?@&?%; ,att 0B$#; ,att 0B$1?; ,ar+ 2$2?; ,ar+ 2@$@#; ,ar+ 2?$06; 3u+e 2$2; 3u+e
@$02; 3u+e 00$2%; 3u+e 0@$@@; )ohn 1$0#; )ohn 20$16; )ohn 21$26; )ohn 2?$0?; )ohn 2B$20; )ohn 2#$0@;
)ohn 2#$06; )ohn 2#$1%
1
The Two Covenants and the Two Sons of #braha
Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? For it is written that Abraham had
two sons$ the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. -ut he who was of the bondwoman
was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through !romise, which things are symbolic.
For these are the two covenants$ the one from ,ount 5inai which gives birth to bondage, which is
>agar && for this >agar is ,ount 5inai in Arabia, and corres!onds to )erusalem which now is, and is in
bondage with her children && but the )erusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all9 'ow we,
brethren, as Isaac was, are children of !romise. al @$02&0%, 06 '()*
In his letter to the :alatians, 1aul was addressin #hristians who were bein influenced by =udaiAers ( =ews
who tauht that entile believers had to follow the law of 3oses in order to be accepted by :od! They couldn2t
see past the veil! They didn2t realiAe that theirs was the covenant that was passin away, while the ospel of
race was the everlastin covenant of surpassin lory! They were tryin to et #hristians, who were walkin
in the covenant of the substance, to conform to the covenant of the shadow:
. foolish alatiansE Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes
)esus /hrist was clearly !ortrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you$ Jid you
receive the 5!irit by the wor+s of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? >aving begun
in the 5!irit, are you now being made !erfect by the flesh? al 1$2&1 '()*
It is true that the early =ewish #hristians continued observin the law! %e believe that 1aul e*plains why this
was so:
Though I am free and belong to no man, I ma+e myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as
!ossible. To the )ews I became li+e a )ew, to win the )ews. To those under the law I became li+e one
under the law 7though I myself am not under the law8, so as to win those under the law. To those not
having the law I became li+e one not having the law 7though I am not free from od4s law but am under
/hrist4s law8, so as to win those not having the law. To the wea+ I became wea+, to win the wea+. I
have become all things to all men so that by all !ossible means I might save some. I do all this for the
sa+e of the gos!el, that I may share in its blessings. 2 /or #$2#&01 'I*
;ven thouh 1aul observed the law, he was not under it, that is, he was not bound by it! The early =ewish
believers2 observance of the law was not a matter of salvation, but one of evanelism! This is borne out by the
letter issued by the =erusalem council concernin entile believers:
The a!ostles, the elders, and the brethren,
To the brethren who are of the entiles in Antioch, 5yria, and /ilicia$
reetings.
5ince we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your
souls, saying, "Lou must be circumcised and +ee! the law" && to whom we gave no such commandment
&& it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our
beloved -arnabas and Aaul, men who have ris+ed their lives for the name of our 3ord )esus /hrist. We
have therefore sent )udas and 5ilas, who will also re!ort the same things by word of mouth. For it
seemed good to the >oly 5!irit, and to us, to lay u!on you no greater burden than these necessary
things$ that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from se=ual
immorality. If you +ee! yourselves from these, you will do well.
2
Farewell. Acts 2?$01&0# '()*
So we see that observance of the law, the "ld #ovenant, was not necessary for salvation! In fact, 1eter, when
addressin the council, stated Kbut we 5=ewish believers6 believe that through the grace of the 3ord )esus
/hrist we shall be saved in the same manner as they 5entile believers6, that is, throuh race 5Acts ?H:??6!
In :alatians O 1aul reasoned from the law to demonstrate the futility of trustin in it! Tell me, you who desire to
be under the law, do you not hear the law? )ou who have been allured by the pomp and ceremony of the law,
don2t you understand what it teaches? 1aul then e*plains how the two sons of Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac,
and their different mothers, represent the two covenants! These things are symbolic 5<ASD G alleorical, <IC G
fiurative, <,T G illustrative6! #an2t you see behind the veil, 1aul is askin? .on2t you realiAe that the covenant
you refuse to let o of is passin away? In / #orinthians, 1aul stated that the "ld #ovenant was one of death
and condemnation, and was passin away! 7e confirms that in :alatians:
-ut, as he who was born according to the flesh then !ersecuted him who was born according to the
5!irit, even so it is now. 'evertheless what does the 5cri!ture say? "/ast out the bondwoman and her
son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman." 5o then, brethren,
we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free. al @$0#&12 '()*
The "ld #ovenant would not share in the inheritance of the <ew! =ust as 7aar and Ishmael were cast out, so
the "ld #ovenant was passin away:
In that >e says, "A new covenant," >e has made the first obsolete. 'ow what is becoming obsolete and
growing old is ready to vanish away. >eb 6$21 '()*
The daner for the :alatians was that they desired to alin themselves with a covenant that would soon be
done away with! Althouh the "ld #ovenant, with its physical temple, laws and rituals, may have seemed to
have more $substance& than the ospel of race, 4ust the opposite is true:
9 for the +ingdom of od is not eating and drin+ing, but righteousness and !eace and Hoy in the >oly
5!irit. "om 2@$2B '()*
Therefore, if you died with /hrist from the basic !rinci!les of the world, why, as though living in the
world, do you subHect yourselves to regulations && "Jo not touch, do not taste, do not handle," which all
concern things which !erish with the using && according to the commandments and doctrines of men?
These things indeed have an a!!earance of wisdom in self&im!osed religion, false humility, and neglect
of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh. /ol 0$0F&01 '()*
The daner for #hristians today is not that of bein enticed to observe the law, but of nelectin to fully
comprehend the truths about the <ew #ovenant that 1aul and others have revealed! There are two items in
this present passae that demand our further attention, for they are foundational truths upon which much of
<ew Testament prophecy rests! This is especially true when we consider that 1aul2s alleory is a divinely
inspired commentary, in which the 7oly Spirit is pullin back the veil from the "ld Testament types, to reveal
the substance! These two are: ?6 the nature of the <ew #ovenant, andF /6 the end of the "ld #ovenant, which
was ready to vanish away in the <ew Testament days! These two truths are like hines, anchored to the
framework of the "ld Testament, and upon which the door of <ew Testament prophecy swins!
The Nature of the New Covenant
The "ld #ovenant, which was represented by 7aar and Ishmael, consisted of 3ount Sinai in Arabia, and the
=erusalem of 1aul2s day! It was material and physical! The <ew #ovenant, on the other hand, consists of
spiritual counterparts:
9 but the )erusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. al @$0%&0B '()*
2
For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to
blac+ness and dar+ness and tem!est9-ut you have come to ,ount Cion and to the city of the living
od, the heavenly )erusalem9 >eb 20$26, 00 '()*
The Israelites received the "ld #ovenant at 3ount Sinai, which was written on stone and eventually had
=erusalem as its focal point! #hristians receive the <ew #ovenant at 3t! Bion, written on their hearts, and their
citiAenship is in the heavenly =erusalem:
For this is the covenant that I will ma+e with the house of Israel after those days, says the 3."J$ I will
!ut ,y laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their od, and they shall be ,y
!eo!le. >eb 6$2F '()*
For our citi;enshi! is in heaven9 Ahil 1$0F '()*
The "ld #ovenant was the letter of the law, which killed! The <ew #ovenant was the Spirit of the law, which
brouht life:
9 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the 5!irit; for
the letter +ills, but the 5!irit gives life. 0 /or 1$% '()*
The "ld #ovenant was earthly, and material! The <ew #ovenant is heavenly and spiritual! This is illustrated by
Ishmael and Isaac! Ishmael was born of the flesh, while Isaac was the son of promise, born after Abraham and
Sarah became physically unable to have children! Ishmael was natural, Isaac was supernatural! The flesh of
Abraham and 7aar could not produce the son of promise! ,ikewise the "ld #ovenant, the law, could not
produce rihteousness:
Therefore, if !erfection were through the 3evitical !riesthood 7for under it the !eo!le received the law8,
what further need was there that another !riest should rise according to the order of ,elchi;ede+, and
not be called according to the order of Aaron?... for the law made nothing !erfect; on the other hand,
there is the bringing in of a better ho!e, through which we draw near to od. >eb B$22, 2# '()*
For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no !lace would have been sought for a second. >eb
6$B '()*
For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can
never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, ma+e those who a!!roach
!erfect. >eb 2F$2 '()*
Isaac was not born of the flesh, but of the power of :od! ,ikewise, the <ew #ovenant has the power to
cleanse us from sin and make us rihteous:
-ut now the righteousness of od a!art from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the 3aw and the
Aro!hets, even the righteousness of od, through faith in )esus /hrist, to all and on all who believe.
"om 1$02&00 '()*
For what the law could not do in that it was wea+ through the flesh, od did by sending >is own 5on in
the li+eness of sinful flesh, on account of sin$ >e condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous
reOuirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not wal+ according to the flesh but according to
the 5!irit. "om 6$1&? '()*
This dichotomy of the material vs! spiritual natures of the covenants is reinforced in :od2s promise to Abraham
reardin his offsprin:
9 blessing I will bless you, and multi!lying I will multi!ly your descendants as the stars of the heaven
and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall !ossess the gate of their
2
enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed my
voice. en 00$2B&26 '()*
7ere we see two classes of descendents, represented by the stars of the heaven and the sand on the
seashore! "nce aain, earthly and heavenly fiures ( material and spiritual! 3atthew 7enry sees the
$heavenly& descendants as the #hurch, and the $seed& in which all nations shall be blessed as #hrist:
:en //:?H'?P
And so here is a promise,
5?!6 "f the reat blessin of the Spirit: In blessin, I will bless thee, namely, with that best of blessins
the :ift of the 7oly :hostF the promise of the Spirit was that blessin of Abraham which was to come
upon the :entiles throuh =esus #hrist, :al 9:?O!
5/!6 "f the increase of the church that believers, his spiritual seed, should be numerous as the stars of
heaven!
59!6 "f spiritual victories: Thy seed shall possess the ate of his enemies! Believers, by their faith,
overcome the world, and triumph over all the powers of darkness, and are more than conquerors!
1robably Bacharias refers to this part of the oath 5,uke ?:0O6, That we, bein delivered out of the hand
of our enemies, miht serve him without fear! But the crown of all is the last promise!
5O!6 "f the incarnation of #hrist: In thy seed, one particular person that shall descend from thee 5for he
speaks not of many, but of one, as the apostle observers, :al 9:?M6, shall all the nations of the earth be
blessed, or shall bless themselves, as the phrase is, Isa MH:?M! In him all may be happy if they will, and
all that belon to him shall be so, and shall think themselves so! #hrist is the reat blessin of the
world! Abraham was ready to ive up his son for a sacrifice to the honour of :od, and, on that
occasion, :od promised to ive his Son a sacrifice for the salvation of man!
5from 3atthew 7enryRs #ommentary on the %hole Bible: <ew 3odern ;dition, ;lectronic .atabase!
#opyriht 5c6 ?PP? by 7endrickson 1ublishers, Inc!6
This foundational truth about the spiritual nature of the <ew #ovenant cannot be overemphasiAed! It is upon
this foundation that we will establish, in the followin chapters, what the <ew Testament teaches about
components of this covenant ( e!!, the kindom, the temple, the priesthood, Israel, etc! True, the application
of this truth can be taken too far, but usually 4ust the opposite is true because we have failed to fully appreciate
this concept! Aain we must ask ourselves, are we willin to receive it? And if we are not, does that lessen the
truth in the slihtest? If the disciples had not been willin to receive =ohn the Baptist as ;li4ah, would that have
made him any less of a fulfillment of those "ld Testament prophecies? If we balk at the idea of the <ew
#ovenant bein primarily spiritual in nature, does that chane the covenant in the least? %e need look no
further than the first century =ews to answer that question! They balked at this idea, and died lookin for the
3essiah, who had been walkin amon them!
The -nd of the Old Covenant
As with the nature of the <ew #ovenant, the end of the "ld #ovenant, ' more specifically its time'frame ' is
foundational! <ew Testament prophecy associates much with the endin of the "ld #ovenant! Therefore, if we
can establish when it ended, we will have established when those items associated with it took place!
>eturnin to the alleory of Ishmael and Isaac, 1aul makes another application to the two covenants, and
more specifically to the adherents of those two covenants:
'ow we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of !romise. -ut, as he who was born according to the
flesh then !ersecuted him who was born according to the 5!irit, even so it is now. 'evertheless what
does the 5cri!ture say? "/ast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not
be heir with the son of the freewoman." 5o then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but
of the free. al @$06&12 '()*
1aul says that 4ust as Ishmael persecuted Isaac, so it was in his day ( the children of the "ld #ovenant 5law6
were persecutin the children of the <ew #ovenant 5promise6:
2
And 5arah saw the son of >agar the Ggy!tian, whom she had borne to Abraham, scoffing. Therefore
she said to Abraham, "/ast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not
be heir with my son, namely with Isaac." en 02$#&2F '()*
Dnder the inspiration of the 7oly Spirit, 1aul interprets the scoffin of Ishmael as persecution! %ere the
#hristians of 1aul2s day 5followers of the <ew #ovenant6 bein persecuted by the =ews 5followers of the "ld
#ovenant6? AbsolutelyI
At that time :after the stoning of 5te!hen by the )ews< a great !ersecution arose against the church
which was at )erusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of )udea and 5amaria,
e=ce!t the a!ostles. And devout men carried 5te!hen to his burial, and made great lamentation over
him. As for 5aul :a )ew<, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men
and women, committing them to !rison. Acts 6$2&1 '()*
9 and when they :the )ewish council< had called for the a!ostles and beaten them, they commanded
that they should not s!ea+ in the name of )esus, and let them go. Acts ?$@F&@2 '()*
Then 5aul, still breathing threats and murder against the disci!les of the 3ord, went to the high !riest
and as+ed letters from him to the synagogues of Jamascus, so that if he found any who were of the
Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to )erusalem. Acts #$2&0 '()*
'ow after many days were !ast, the )ews !lotted to +ill him :Aaul, Hust after his conversion<. Acts #$01&
0@ '()*
'ow about that time >erod the +ing stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. Then he
+illed )ames the brother of )ohn with the sword. And because he saw that it pleased the &ews, he
!roceeded further to sei;e Aeter also...'ow behold, an angel of the 3ord stood by him, and a light
shone in the !rison; and he struc+ Aeter on the side and raised him u!, saying, "Arise Ouic+lyE" And his
chains fell off his hands9And when Aeter had come to himself, he said, "'ow I +now for certain that
the 3ord has sent >is angel, and has delivered me from the hand of >erod and from all the
e'pectation of the &ewish people." Acts 20$2&1, B, 22 '()* 5emphasis added6
-ut when the )ews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blas!heming,
they o!!osed the things s!o+en by Aaul. Acts 21$@? '()*
-ut the )ews stirred u! the devout and !rominent women and the chief men of the city, raised u!
!ersecution against Aaul and -arnabas, and e=!elled them from their region. Acts 21$?F '()*
Then )ews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having !ersuaded the multitudes, they stoned
Aaul and dragged him out of the city, su!!osing him to be dead. Acts 2@$2# '()*
-ut the )ews who were not !ersuaded, becoming envious, too+ some of the evil men from the
mar+et!lace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an u!roar and attac+ed the house of )ason, and
sought to bring them out to the !eo!le. Acts 2B$? '()*
-ut when the )ews from Thessalonica learned that the word of od was !reached by Aaul at -erea,
they came there also and stirred u! the crowds. Acts 2B$21 '()*
So we see that Ishmael persecutin Isaac was a foreshadow, findin it2s substance in the =ews
persecutin the #hristians! =ust as Ishmael and Isaac coe*isted for a time, so the two covenants
coe*isted for a time ( but only for a time! Ishmael was not to share in the inheritance with Isaac,
therefore he and 7aar were cast out! In the same manner, the "ld #ovenant, with its types and
shadows, had no place amonst the substance of the <ew #ovenant! Thouh it was coe*istin with it
durin the days of the <ew Testament, its end was imminent:
2
For if what is !assing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious. 0 /or 1$22 '()*
In that >e says, "A new covenant," >e has made the first obsolete. 'ow what is becoming obsolete and
growing old is ready to vanish away. >eb 6$21 '()*
These verses show us that the "ld #ovenant was still in e*istence durin the days of the <ew Testament, but
that it was rowin old and ready to vanish away! Althouh the <ew #ovenant had already been inauurated,
and the "ld declared obsolete, the "ld #ovenant hadn2t passed away yet! Ishmael was still dwellin with
Isaac! Both the / #orinthians and 7ebrews passaes quoted above were written after 1entecost! Therefore we
know that nothin in #hrist2s earthly ministry, nor the outpourin of the 7oly Spirit, can be equated with the "ld
#ovenant vanishin and Ishmael bein cast out!
7avin already established that the "ld #ovenant consisted of the material thins ( the temple, the priesthood,
etc!, all we have to do is find the time when these thins $passed away&! 7istory indisputably establishes that
time for us ( the destruction of =erusalem and the temple, by Titus and the >oman army in A. 08! The =ewish
historian, =osephus, informs us as to the totality of that destruction:
Book 0, #hapter N ' And where is now that reat city, the metropolis of the =ewish nation, which was
fortified by so many walls round about, which had so many fortresses and lare towers to defend it,
which could hardly contain the instruments prepared for the war, and which had so many ten thousands
of men to fiht for it? %here is this city that was believed to have :od himself inhabitin therein? It is
now demolished to the very foundations, and hath nothin but that monument of it preserved, I mean
the camp of those that hath destroyed it, which still dwells upon its ruinsF
Book M, #hapter ?' -but for all the rest of the wall, it was so thorouhly laid even with the round by
those that du it up to the foundation, that there was left nothin to make those that came thither
believe it had ever been inhabited! This was the end which =erusalem came to by the madness of those
that were for innovationsF a city otherwise of reat manificence, and of mihty fame amon all
mankind!
5from =osephus: %ars of the =ews! 1# Study Bible formatted electronic database #opyriht S /889 by
Biblesoft, Inc! All rihts reserved!6
7aar, who corres!onds to )erusalem which now is 5the physical city of 1aul2s time6, and Ishmael had been
cast out! 1hysical =erusalem was destroyed, and the "ld #ovenant had passed away! "nly the )erusalem
above remained! In the ne*t several chapters we2ll e*plore some of the spiritual fulfillments in the <ew
#ovenant of the physical types that were done away with in the "ld!
2
2
The Two Sons of Abraham As A Foreshadow of The Two Covenants
The New Covenant and The &ingdo
As we noted earlier, the reason that the =ews missed =esus as their 3essiah is because they had
misinterpreted "ld Testament prophecies concernin 7is ministry! "ne of the primary areas of their
misunderstandin was the nature of the @indom of :od! They were lookin for a restoration of the kindom
as it was under .avid ( a literal, physical kindom, with the 3essiah reinin on the throne of .avid in
=erusalem! A brief look at some "ld Testament prophecies reveals how one could arrive at that understandin:
"5ing and reHoice, . daughter of CionE For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst," says the
3."J. ",any nations shall be Hoined to the 3."J in that day, and they shall become ,y !eo!le. And I
will dwell in your midst. Then you will +now that the 3."J of hosts has sent ,e to you. And the 3."J
will ta+e !ossession of )udah as >is inheritance in the >oly 3and, and will again choose )erusalem. -e
silent, all flesh, before the 3."J, for >e is aroused from >is holy habitationE" Cech 0$2F&21 '()*
Thus says the 3."J$
KI will return to Cion,
And dwell in the midst of )erusalem.
)erusalem shall be called the /ity of Truth,
The ,ountain of the 3."J of hosts,
The >oly ,ountain.I Cech 6$1 '()*
'ow it shall come to !ass in the latter days
That the mountain of the 3."J4s house
5hall be established on the to! of the mountains,
And shall be e=alted above the hills;
And all nations shall flow to it.
,any !eo!le shall come and say,
"/ome, and let us go u! to the mountain of the 3."J,
To the house of the od of )acob;
>e will teach us >is ways,
And we shall wal+ in >is !aths."
For out of Cion shall go forth the law,
And the word of the 3."J from )erusalem.
Is 0$0&1 '()*
At that time )erusalem shall be called The Throne of the 3."J, and all the nations shall be gathered to
it, to the name of the 3."J, to )erusalem. 'o more shall they follow the dictates of their evil hearts. )er
1$2B '()*
'ow it shall come to !ass in the latter days
That the mountain of the 3."J4s house
5hall be established on the to! of the mountains,
And shall be e=alted above the hills;
And !eo!les shall flow to it.
,any nations shall come and say,
"/ome, and let us go u! to the mountain of the 3."J,
To the house of the od of )acob;
>e will teach us >is ways,
And we shall wal+ in >is !aths."
For out of Cion the law shall go forth,
And the word of the 3."J from )erusalem. ,ic @$2&0 '()*
#hristianity has been divided over the interpretation of these, and similar, passaes! Are they to be taken
literally, with =esus reinin bodily in physical =erusalem? "r do they have a spiritual fulfillment, seen in #hrist
2
reinin in 7is church? Dsin the <ew Testament as a commentary on the sub4ect, =ohn +! %alvoord finds
support for a literal kindom:
The history of interpretation in the <ew Testament likewise ives credence to the fulfillment of
the promise of the messianic kindom! As brouht out in connection with the .avidic covenant, 3ary
was assured that her child, =esus, would sit on the throne of .avid and rein over the house of =acob
forever 5,uke ?:9/'996! "bviously, 3ary shared the faith of other =ews that when the 3essiah came he
would set up his kindom on earth! :abriel2s reaffirmation is evidence that this was :od2s interpretation
of the "ld Testament prophecies!
=esus himself affirmed that the disciples would sit on thrones 4udin the twelve tribes of Israel
in the future kindom 5,uke //:/P'986! %hen the disciples asked =esus about the time of the
restoration of the kindom of Israel in Acts ?:M, he told them that :od had not revealed the time 5v! 06,
but he did not say that they were in error!
/
But do these <ew Testament passaes demand a literal interpretation of the kindom? #oncernin the
disciples sittin on thrones, 1aul states that believers were already sittin in the heavenly places in #hrist
=esus 5;ph /:M6, who 7imself is seated at the riht hand of the +ather 5;ph ?:/8F #ol 9:?6! .oes this not at
least open the door for spiritual thrones, and therefore spiritual reinin and 4udment?
:abriel2s reaffirmation to 3ary is merely an echo of :od2s prophecies in the "ld Testament! It doesn2t interpret
them at all! And while =esus did not correct the disciples for askin about a literal kindom, neither did 7e
affirm their position! The most we can discern from this passae is that the disciples 5and 3ary6, bein =ews,
were still holdin to the e*pectations that they had been tauht from their youth, not whether those
e*pectations were correct or incorrect:
Therefore, when they had come together, they as+ed >im, saying, "3ord, will Lou at this time restore
the +ingdom to Israel?" And >e said to them, "It is not for you to +now times or seasons which the
Father has !ut in >is own authority.I Acts 2$%&B '()*
%hy did the disciples ask this question? Because from their youth they were tauht that Israel would one day
be restored as the preeminent nation on earth! The 3essiah would rein in =erusalem, and all nations would
come there to worship 7im! In 7is answer #hrist neither rebukes them for askin amiss, nor does 7e confirm
the correctness of their query!
%e really cannot determine from #hrist2s answer what the nature of the @indom is! Althouh 7e spoke to
them for O8 days of thins pertainin to the @indom after 7is resurrection 5Acts ?:96, we have no record of
those thins! So aain, we don2t know if 7e was teachin 7is disciples about a physical @indom or a spiritual
one! Based upon what the disciples had been tauht, and their present understandin, it was only natural for
them to ask about a physical, restored Israel as the @indom of :od! But as we look past Acts ?:M, we notice a
chane in their understandin! %e believe that 1entecost, and the subsequent ministry of the 7oly Spirit in the
early church, is a pivot point in understandin the truths of :od:
"I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. >owever, when >e, the 5!irit of
truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for >e will not s!ea+ on >is own authority, but
whatever >e hears >e will s!ea+; and He will tell you things to come. )ohn 2%$20&21 '()*
7em!hases added8
At the end of Acts ?, 4ust prior to 1entecost, the Apostles cast lots to find a replacement for =udas, to be
numbered amon the twelve! This seems to be such an unspiritual solution for such a weihty matter! 1erhaps
this is why, after bein chosen by the lot to be numbered with the other eleven apostles, 3atthias is never
mentioned aain! 1aul, on the other hand, is stated as bein an apostle no less than nine times! #hrist 7imself
didn2t choose the twelve until after spendin a niht in prayer:
2
p! ??N ,aHor -ible Aro!hecies, =ohn +! %alvoord
2
'ow it came to !ass in those days that >e went out to the mountain to !ray, and continued all night in
!rayer to od. And when it was day, >e called >is disci!les to >imself; and from them >e chose twelve
whom >e also named a!ostles9 3u+e %$20&21 '()*
But after 1entecost, the Apostles never use lots aain! It is the Spirit that directs their lives, usin a vision to
send 1eter to the :entiles, forbiddin 1aul to minister in Asia, settin apart 1aul and Barnabas for the ospel,
etc! Similarly, they now understood the Scriptures! 1rior to 1entecost their understandin was limited to either
direct teachin or special revelation! By and lare, they were inorant as to the meanin of Scripture:
5imon Aeter answered and said, KLou are the /hrist, the 5on of the living od.I
)esus answered and said to him, K-lessed are you, 5imon -ar&)onah, for flesh and blood has not
revealed this to you, but ,y Father who is in heaven.I ,t 2%$2%&2B '()*
Then >e said to them, "These are the words which I s!o+e to you while I was still with you, that all
things must be fulfilled which were written in the 3aw of ,oses and the Aro!hets and the Asalms
concerning ,e." And >e o!ened their understanding, that they might com!rehend the 5cri!tures. 3u+e
0@$@@&@? '()*
Then Aeter answered and said to >im, "G=!lain this !arable to us." ,t 2?$2? '(*)
Jo you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many bas+ets
you too+ u!? 'or the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many large bas+ets you too+ u!?
>ow is it you do not understand that I did not s!ea+ to you concerning bread M but to beware of the
leaven of the Aharisees and 5adducees? ,t 2%$#&22 '()*
And >e said to them, KJo you not understand this !arable? >ow then will you the understand all the
!arables?I ,ar+ @$21 '()*
For >e taught >is disci!les and said to them, "The 5on of ,an is being betrayed into the hands of
men, and they will +ill >im. And after >e is +illed, >e will rise the third day." -ut they did not understand
this saying, and were afraid to as+ >im. ,ar+ #$12&10 '()*
They did not understand that >e s!o+e to them of the Father. )ohn 6$0B '()*
>is disci!les did not understand these things at first; but when )esus was glorified, then they
remembered that these things were written about >im and that they had done these things to >im.
)ohn 20$2% '()*
Althouh they lacked discernment durin #hrist2s ministry, after 1entecost, the disciples understood the
Scriptures! +or e*ample, 1eter beins by immediately e*poundin on =oel2s prophecy and 1hilip is able to
e*plain Isaiah H9 to the ;unuch, etc!:
-ut Aeter, ta+ing his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them$ ",en of )udea and
all you who live in )erusalem, let this be +nown to you and give heed to my words. "For these men are
not drun+, as you su!!ose, for it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was s!o+en of through
the !ro!het )oel$
4A'J IT 5>A33 -G I' T>G 3A5T JAL5,94
Acts 0$2@&2B '()*
The ospels were written after 1entecost, and thus with hindsiht the authors were able to say, $this was done
that the words of the prophet miht be fulfilled&! %e believe that the disciples didn2t reconiAe at the time that
prophecy was bein fulfilled before their eyes 5e*cept in a very limited way6, but after 1entecost they did, and
therefore pointed it out as often as possible in the ospels! But notice who is informin the people of all of this
2
fulfilled prophecy in the :ospels ( a ta* collector, an understudy of a fisherman, a 5possibly :entile6 doctor,
and a fisherman! <ot the reliious leaders, not the scribes, Sadducees nor 1harisees:
And the disci!les came and said to >im, KWhy do Lou s!ea+ to them in !arables?I >e answered and
said to them, K-ecause it has been given to you to +now the mysteries of the +ingdom of heaven, but to
them it has not been given.I ,t 21$2F&22 '()*
These things we also s!ea+, not in words which man4s wisdom teaches but which the >oly 5!irit
teaches, com!aring s!iritual things with s!iritual. -ut the natural man does not receive the things of the
5!irit of od, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he +now them, because they are s!iritually
discerned. -ut he who is s!iritual Hudges all things, yet he himself is rightly Hudged by no one. For "who
has +nown the mind of the 3."J that he may instruct >im?" -ut we have the mind of /hrist. 2 /or
0$21&2% '()*
The reliious leaders of the day did not even reconiAe that =esus was the 3essiah! They knew all of the
passaes concernin 7im, but wronly interpreted them! %hen asked, they knew that 7e was to be born in
Bethlehem, yet they didn2t reconiAe the #hild that was born there! It was these same reliious leaders that
missed the 3essiah who were also teachin about a restored Israel as the @indom of :od! The disciples
were also fairly inorant of the Scripture prior to 1entecost, continuin in the assumption that the @indom was
physical! 7owever, after 1entecost their teachin about the @indom is quite noteworthy! It is closely tied with
the teachin of the ospel:
-ut when they believed Ahili! as he !reached the things concerning the #ingdom of od and the
name of &esus hrist, both men and women were ba!ti;ed. Then 5imon himself also believed; and
when he was ba!ti;ed he continued with Ahili!, and was ama;ed, seeing the miracles and signs which
were done. 'ow when the a!ostles who were at )erusalem heard that 5amaria had received the word
of (od, they sent Aeter and )ohn to them9 Acts 6$20&2@ '()*
-ut none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race
with Hoy, and the ministry which I received from the 3ord )esus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of
(od. And indeed, now I +now that you all, among whom I have gone !reaching the #ingdom of (od,
will see my face no more. Acts 0F$0@&0? '()*
And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disci!les, they returned to
3ystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disci!les, e=horting them to continue in the
faith, and saying, "We must through many tribulations enter the #ingdom of (od." Acts 2@$02&00
'()*
1aul also e*perienced re4ection by the =ews for his teachin about the @indom:
And he went into the synagogue and s!o+e boldly for three months, reasoning and !ersuading
concerning the things of the #ingdom of (od. -ut when some were hardened and did not believe,
but s!o+e evil of the Way before the multitude, he de!arted from them and withdrew the disci!les,
reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus. Acts 2#$6&# '()*
5o when they had a!!ointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he e=!lained and
solemnly testified of the #ingdom of (od, !ersuading them concerning )esus from both the 3aw of
,oses and the Aro!hets, from morning till evening. And some were !ersuaded by the things which
were s!o+en, and some disbelieved. Acts 06$01&0@ '()* 7em!hasis added8
#ertainly the =ews wouldn2t have struled with a teachin that affirmed their belief in a physical kindom!
#ould it be that one of the mysteries of the +ingdom of heaven, and one of the truths and things to come that
the Spirit uided the disciples into was the nature of the @indom of :od? In The >o!e of Israel$ What Is It?,
1hilip 3auro elucidates this thouht:
"
%hat then is the true and biblical L7ope of IsraelL? To obtain a full answer to this question it is
necessary that we search the Scriptures from beinnin to end! But in order merely that we may have
in mind a eneral idea of the answer while we pursue our study, it will suffice to refer to a few incidents
in 1aulRs ministry, as recorded in the last chapters of Acts!
The sub4ect is very prominent there, and indeed it was because of 1aulRs views and his preachin in
reard thereto that he was furiously persecuted by the =ews, and was finally sent in chains to >ome!
+or we have his own testimony to Lthe chief of the =ewsL at >ome, to whom, when he had called them
toether, he said: L+or this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you and to speak with youF
because that, for the ho!e of Israel I am bound with this chainL 5Acts /N:?0'/86!
Inasmuch as what 1aul had been preachin, both to the =ews and also to the :entiles, was the ospel
of =esus #hrist, and nothin else, it follows that the true Lhope of IsraelL is an essential part of that
ospelF and therefore it is a matter reardin which we cannot afford to be mistaken!
The above quoted statement of 1aul to the =ewish leaders at the imperial city is very illuminatin! It
shows, to bein with, that, whatever it was he had been preachin as Lthe hope of Israel,L it was
somethin so contrary to the current )ewish notion thereof that it caused the people to clamour for his
death 5Acts //://6, and led to his bein formally accused before the >oman :overnor as La pestilent
fellow, and a mover of sedition amon all the =ews throuhout the worldL 5Acts /O:H6! 7ad he been
preachin what the =ews themselves believed to be, and what their rabbis had iven them as, the true
interpretation of the prophecies 5namely, that :odRs promise to Israel was a kindom of earthly
character which should have dominion over all the world6 they would have heard him with intense
satisfaction! But what 1aul and all the apostles preached was, that what :od had promised afore by
7is prophets in the 7oly Scriptures was a kindom over which =esus #hrist of the seed of .avid should
rein in resurrection, a kindom which flesh and blood cannot inherit, a kindom which does not clash
with the duly constituted overnments of this world, and one into which the :entiles are called u!on
terms of !erfect eOuality with =ews 5Acts ?9:/9, 9OF Acts ?0:/,9,0F >om ?:?'OF ?O:?0F ? #or ?H:H8F ? 1t
?:?/F cf! ,uke /O:/M6!
Thus the teachin of #hrist and 7is apostles in respect to the vitally important sub4ect of the @indom of
:od, the hope of Israel, came into violent collision with that of the leaders of IsraelF and because of this
>e was crucified and they were persecuted! Jemphasis in oriinalK
%ithout doubt, the fact that :entiles were coheirs of the @indom was one of the mysteries of the @indom
5;ph 9:M6! But how do we resolve that with a physical @indom? Are believin :entiles now considered
$spiritual =ews&? 7ow will :entiles participate in a physical @indom revolvin around national =ews? %ill the
#hurch and <ational Israel coe*ist? After >e who has made both one, and has bro+en down the middle wall of
se!aration, having abolished in >is flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in
ordinances, so as to create in >imself one new man from the two, thus ma+ing !eace, and that >e might
reconcile them both to od in one body through the cross 5;ph /:?O'?M6, is 7e oin to divide them into two
separate entities aain? "r will the #hurch be contained within the physical kindom of Israel? If that2s the
case, and there is neither =ew nor :reek, then can we really call that @indom !hysical or national Israel?
;ven that scenario seems to have $spiritual& connotations!
If one searches for the word $kindom& from Acts ( >ev!, it seems that there is only one passae that is
definitely speakin of a physical kindom ( Acts ?:M! After 1entecost we don2t see the kindom in a physical
conte*t! Admittedly, not all usaes are definitely spiritual either, but most seem to be ( for e*ample:
The kindom is not eatin and drinkin 5>om ?O:?06
+lesh and blood cannot inherit the kindom 5?#or ?H:H86
.elivered from the power of darkness into the kindom of 7is Son 5#ol ?:?96
1aul is preserved for 7is 7eavenly @indom 5/Tim O:?N6
The unshakable kindom, not made Jin the physical realmK 57eb ?/:/0'/N6
The bulk of the remainin $kindom& passaes refer to walkin worthy of the kindom, and those deeds of the
flesh that will prevent access to the kindom! These passaes speak more to the spiritual walk of #hristians on
this earth, as opposed to a future e*istence! "ne is hard pressed to find a sinle passae that speaks of a
physical kindom after 1entecost! "n the other hand, there are several that indicate a spiritual nature, several
"
that link it with the preachin of the ospel, and several that show that the =ews did not receive 1aul2s teachin
about the kindom with all 4oy 5thus puttin that teachin at odds with their current interpretation6! The
remainder, as we have noted, seem to lean towards our walk in the Spirit! %hen added toether, we think that
the scales tip heavily in favor of a spiritual kindom!
Is it too far fetched to believe that, after 1entecost, 4ust as the Spirit directed the ministries of the disciples and
there was no more need for castin lots, so the Spirit had corrected the erroneous teachin of the =ewish
leaders of the day reardin a physical kindom? The Spirit had led them into all truth, and tauht them of the
things to come! %hy would =esus, 1aul and others even need to teach about the kindom, unless the current
teachin of the =ewish leaders was either inadequate or inaccurate? .o we not see, subsequent to 1entecost,
the Spirit pullin back the veil, and, throuh the Apostles, revealin the substance of the @indom of the <ew
#ovenant?
In liht of the many passaes that indicate a nonphysical nature for the @indom of :od, how do we resolve
those passaes that seeminly speak of physical thins ( sittin on thrones, rulin and reinin, receivin
authority over cities, etc? "ne has to wonder, how does anyone describe a realm, a dimension, which e*ists
outside of our known physical universe? 7ow can nonphysical thins be described to beins that only know
and understand physical thins? ,ook at the problem <icodemus had understandin the spiritual concept of
salvation, of bein $born aain&! 7e was a teacher of Israel, but he did not understand thins of heaven 5=ohn
9: ?8'?/6! To him those mysteries had not been iven! 7e was still thinkin of the literal, physical realm! Is it
possible that we are doin the same with "ld Testament prophecies? #onsider this passae from .aniel:
"Lou, . +ing, were watching; and behold, a great imageE This great image, whose s!lendor was
e=cellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. This image4s head was of fine gold, its chest
and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bron;e, its legs of iron, its feet !artly of iron and !artly of clay.
Lou watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struc+ the image on its feet of iron and
clay, and bro+e them in !ieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bron;e, the silver, and the gold were
crushed together, and became li+e chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away
so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struc+ the image became a great mountain and
filled the whole earth.
"This is the dream. 'ow we will tell the inter!retation of it before the +ing. Lou, . +ing, are a +ing of
+ings. For the od of heaven has given you a +ingdom, !ower, strength, and glory; and wherever the
children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, >e has given them into
your hand, and has made you ruler over them all && you are this head of gold. -ut after you shall arise
another +ingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third +ingdom of bron;e, which shall rule over all the
earth. And the fourth +ingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron brea+s in !ieces and
shatters everything; and li+e iron that crushes, that +ingdom will brea+ in !ieces and crush all the
others. Whereas you saw the feet and toes, !artly of !otter4s clay and !artly of iron, the +ingdom shall
be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, Hust as you saw the iron mi=ed with ceramic clay.
And as the toes of the feet were !artly of iron and !artly of clay, so the +ingdom shall be !artly strong
and !artly fragile. As you saw iron mi=ed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but
they will not adhere to one another, Hust as iron does not mi= with clay. And in the days of these +ings
the od of heaven will set u! a +ingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the +ingdom shall not be
left to other !eo!le; it shall brea+ in !ieces and consume all these +ingdoms, and it shall stand forever.
Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it bro+e in
!ieces the iron, the bron;e, the clay, the silver, and the gold && the great od has made +nown to the
+ing what will come to !ass after this. The dream is certain, and its inter!retation is sure." Jan 0$12&@?
'()*
3ost commentators reconiAe these successive kindoms as Babylon, 3edo'1ersia, :reece and >ome! The
final kindom, which is set up by :od, is often assumed to be yet future by these same commentators! But if
this is the case, why does the vision only acknowlede four empires, and then remain silent about all
succeedin empires for the ne*t /,888 5and who knows how many more6 years? %hat about the British
empire, and now the Dnited States? %hy such a ap? "n the other hand, if the stone represents the #hurch
"
as a spiritual @indom 5cut without hands, correspondin to 3t! Bion of 7ebrews ?/:?Nff6, then it was
established in the days of those kins of the >oman empire, and there are no aps! Thus the imae represents
earthly history from .aniel2s day until the establishment of the #hurch! The fact that the final kindom is made
of stone, whereas the previous ones were made of various metals, also indicates a different nature for this
kindom!
#learly, the =ews missed their 3essiah because they were lookin for a physical kindom! The disciples were
also lookin for a physical kindom prior to 1entecost! After 1entecost, when they received the 7oly Spirit,
%ho led them into all truth and tauht them of the things to come, their understandin of the nature of the
kindom was enlihtened, and they no loner tauht of a physical kindom! >ather they applied spiritual
interpretations to "ld Testament prophecies, and used them to describe the #hurch and associated the
kindom with the ospel! The veiled had been removed!
In ca! A. 98 =esus told the disciples "It is not for you to +now times or seasons which the Father has !ut in
>is own authorityI 5Acts ?:06! But after appro*imately /8 years of instruction by the 7oly Spirit 1aul said,
concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you
yourselves +now !erfectly that the day of the 3ord so comes as a thief in the night. ? Thess H:?'/ J;mphases
added '' These words 5times and seasons6 are the same in the :reek in both passaesK
"f these two verses, 3a* >! @in comments:
$The times and the seasons& is equated with the $restorations of the kindom,& and this time and
season was withheld from the apostles! They were not permitted to know the day or hour! ,ater, 1aul
wrote the Thessalonians and reminded them that no man could know the $times and the season,&-The
apostles didn2t know the $times and seasons& before 1entecost 5Acts ?:N JsicK6, nor did they know them
after 1entecost 5? Thess! H:?6 The 5!irit of Aro!hecy, p! ?9N
But does 1aul actually say that no man could know the times and the seasons? <o, what he says is,
concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. Is he then
contradictin =esus2 statement in Acts that the disciples were not permitted to know the times and seasons, as
@in sees it? Aain, no ( what he says is that the Thessalonians didn2t need to be instructed about the times
and the seasons! %hy? For you yourselves +now !erfectly91aul states! The intimation is not that, because no
man could know about the times and seasons, there was no point in 1aul writin about them! >ather, the
implication is that they already +new, and knew perfectly! +urthermore, 1aul2s statement implies that had there
been a need for instruction, he could have supplied it! Therefore 1aul must have known about the times and
the seasons! If one man could know about them, then certainly others could as well!
The scenario that better fits these two passaes, in our opinion, is that the Spirit had been removin the veil!
They now understood the times and the seasons ( that the @indom of :od was spiritual in nature, that it was
wrapped up in the day of the ,ord, and that it was comin in their lifetimes! %e believe that one of the
mysteries of the @indomE#hurch was not that the #hurch Ae was parenthetical, but that the #hurch Ae is
the Ae to come, and the :ospel is the <ew #ovenant!
That the @indom of :od was transferred from the physical realm of the "ld #ovenant, to the spiritual realm of
the <ew #ovenant, is attested to by the $veiled& typoloy of Saul and .avid! In these two kins of Israel, we
see a parallel to the alleory of Ishmael and Isaac! %here Ishmael and Isaac typified the two covenants, Saul
and .avid typify the two kindoms! In ? Samuel ?H, Saul was commanded to utterly destroy the Amalekites 5v!
96! But Saul and the people spared @in Aa and the best of the livestock 5v! P6! Because of Saul2s
disobedience, the @indom of Israel was taken from him:
-ecause you have reHected the word of the 3."J, >e has also reHected you from being +ing. 2 5am
2?$01 'A5N
-ut 5amuel said to 5aul, "I will not return with you; for you have reHected the word of the 3."J, and
the 3."J has reHected you from being +ing over Israel." As 5amuel turned to go, 5aul sei;ed the edge
"
of his robe, and it tore. 5o 5amuel said to him, "The 3."J has torn the +ingdom of Israel from you
today and has given it to your neighbor, who is better than you. Also the lory of Israel will not lie or
change >is mind; for >e is not a man that >e should change >is mind." 25am 2?$ 0%&0#
This foreshadows the fact that the @indom of :od, which had been entrusted to national Israel, was also
taken from them and iven to someone $better&:
">ear another !arable$ There was a certain landowner who !lanted a vineyard and set a hedge around
it, dug a wine!ress in it and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country.
'ow when vintage&time drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its
fruit. And the vinedressers too+ his servants, beat one, +illed one, and stoned another. Again he sent
other servants, more than the first, and they did li+ewise to them. Then last of all he sent his son to
them, saying, 4They will res!ect my son.4 -ut when the vinedressers saw the son, they said among
themselves, 4This is the heir. /ome, let us +ill him and sei;e his inheritance.4 5o they too+ him and cast
him out of the vineyard and +illed him. Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he
do to those vinedressers?" They said to >im, ">e will destroy those wic+ed men miserably, and lease
his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons." )esus said to
them, ">ave you never read in the 5cri!tures$
4The stone which the builders reHected
>as become the chief cornerstone.
This was the 3."J4s doing,
And it is marvelous in our eyes4?

Therefore I say to you, the +ingdom of od will be ta+en from you and given to a nation bearing the
fruits of it. And whoever falls on this stone will be bro+en; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to
!owder." 'ow when the chief !riests and Aharisees heard >is !arables, they !erceived that >e was
s!ea+ing of them. -ut when they sought to lay hands on >im, they feared the multitudes, because they
too+ >im for a !ro!het. ,t 02$11&@% '()*
The reliious leaders of the =ews realiAed that #hrist had spoken this parable aainst them! The @indom was
to be taken from them! But to whom was it to be iven? The #hurch ( those children of Abraham represented
by Isaac, the son of the promise:
'ot everyone who says to ,e, D3ord, 3ordP will enter the +ingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of
,y Father who is in heaven will enter. ,t B$02'A5-
)esus answered them, KTo you it has been granted to +now the mysteries of the +ingdom of heaven,
but to them it has not been granted.I ,t 21$22 '5A-
The @indom is not made up of any nationality, but of believers of all nations:
9 and do not su!!ose that you can say to yourselves, DWe have Abraham for our fatherP; for I say to
you that from these stones od is able to raise u! children to Abraham. ,t 1$# 'A5-
-ut it is not as though the word of od has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from
Israel; "om #$% 'A5-
There is neither )ew nor ree+, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female;
for you are all one in /hrist )esus. al 1$06 'A5-
That the @indom was taken from national Israel and iven to the church, never to return, is borne out by the
typoloy of Saul! The @indom of Israel was taken from Saul, and it never returned to his lineae! This also
speaks aainst the #hurch bein a parenthetical ap in the administration of the @indom of :od, with an
eventual return to a physical kindom in Israel:
"
"The 3."J has torn the +ingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to your neighbor, who is
better than you. Also the (lory of %srael will not lie or change His mind) for He is not a man that
He should change His mind." 2 5am 2?$0# 5emphasis added6
.avid, the newly anointed kin, became the type of #hrist, the man after :od2s own heart! The 3essiah is
called the $Son of .avid&, not the $Son of Saul&! After Saul disobeyed :od, Samuel anointed .avid as kin of
Israel! )et .avid did not ascend to the throne until after the death of Saul! In the interim, he respected :od2s
anointed 5Saul6, even thouh he was persecuted by him!
7ere aain we see a picture of the <ew #ovenant of the ospel coe*istin with the "ld #ovenant of the ,aw
5:al O6! The =ewish believers continued in their respect and observance of the ,aw, even thouh they were
persecuted by the =ews! =ust as .avid waited on :od to remove Saul from the throne, so the <ew #ovenant
waited for :od to officially end the "ld #ovenant that it miht succeed it:
When >e said, "A new covenant," >e has made the first obsolete$ *ut whatever is becoming
obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear. >eb 6$21
'ow when these things have been so !re!ared, the !riests are continually entering the outer
tabernacle !erforming the divine worshi!, but into the second, only the high !riest enters once a year,
not without ta+ing blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the !eo!le committed in
ignorance. The >oly 5!irit is signifying this, that the way into the holy !lace has not yet been disclosed
while the outer tabernacle is still standing, which is a symbol for the present time. >eb #$%&#
The first covenant was obsolete, but hadn2t disappeared yet! %hile the tabernacle 5Temple6, which sinified the
"ld #ovenant, was still standin, the fullness of the <ew #ovenant had not yet been disclosed! The Temple
was destroyed in A. 08, endin the "ld #ovenant forever, and finaliAin the establishment of the <ew
#ovenant!
%hen Israel asked for a kin, :od said that they had re4ected 7im from bein @in over them:
The 3."J said to 5amuel, K3isten to the voice of the !eo!le in regard to all that they say to you, for
they have not reHected you, but they have reHected ,e from being +ing over them.I 2 5am 6$B
+rom the time that Israel re4ected :od as their @in, until the time that .avid ascended to the throne 5even
thouh he had been anointed much earlier6, about O8 years elapsed:
5aul was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty two years over Israel. 2 5am
21$2
"Then they as+ed for a +ing, and od gave them 5aul the son of (ish, a man of the tribe of -enHamin,
for forty years. Acts 21$02
+rom the time that Israel re4ected their 3essiah 5ca! A. 986, until the time that the "ld #ovenant was
eradicated 5A. 086, about O8 years elapsed! .avid, who is a type of #hrist in the <ew #ovenant, ascended the
throne of the physical kindom at 98 years of ae! #hrist, the fulfillment of that type, bean preachin that the
spiritual @indom of :od was at hand at 98 years of ae!
Javid was thirty years old when he became +ing, and he reigned forty years. 0 5am. ?$@
When >e began >is ministry, )esus >imself was about thirty years of age. 3u+e 1$01
Thus, in the transference of the physical @indom from Saul to .avid, we see a foreshadow of the spiritual
@indom transferred from national Israel to the #hurch! And 4ust as we never see the physical kindom
"
returned to the lineae of Saul, so we should not e*pect the spiritual @indom to return to national Israel! The
kindom of :od is not physical, as =esus 7imself said:
)esus answered, ",y +ingdom is not of this world. If ,y +ingdom were of this world, then ,y servants
would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the )ews; but as it is, ,y +ingdom is not of this
realm." )n 26$1%
'ow having been Ouestioned by the Aharisees as to when the +ingdom of od was coming, >e
answered them and said, KThe +ingdom of od is not coming with signs to be observed9I 3u+e 2B$0F
The kindom was torn from the physical realm and delivered into the spiritual realm, never to return, as typified
by the kindom bein torn from Saul:
"The 3."J has torn the +ingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to your neighbor, who is
better than you. Also the lory of Israel will not lie or change >is mind; for >e is not a man that >e
should change >is mind." 2 5am 2?$0#
Therefore I say to you, the +ingdom of od will be ta+en from you and given to a nation bearing the
fruits of it..." 'ow when the chief !riests and Aharisees heard >is !arables, they !erceived that >e was
s!ea+ing of them. ,t 02$@1&@? '()*
"
"
Saul And David As Foreshadows of The Kingdoms
The New Covenant and The Te+le
If there was a focal point to the "ld #ovenant, it was the Temple at =erusalem! The Temple was the
centerpiece of the ,evitical ,aw, therefore all =ewish males were to appear before it three times a year 5.t!
?M:?M6! %ithin the temple, inside the 7oly of 7olies, the presence of :od dwelt above the mercy seat of the Ark
of the #ovenant 5,ev! ?M:/F <um! 0:NP6! ;ven the disciples of #hrist were enamored by the Temple:
Then as >e went out of the tem!le, one of >is disci!les said to >im, "Teacher, see what manner of
stones and what buildings are hereE" ,ar+ 21$2 '()*
Then )esus went out and de!arted from the tem!le, and >is disci!les came u! to show >im the
buildings of the tem!le. ,t 0@$2&0 '()*
%ith the Temple playin such a central role in the "ld #ovenant, shouldn2t we e*pect a counterpart in the <ew
#ovenant? And shouldn2t that counterpart be 4ust as central to the <ew #ovenant as the Temple was to the
"ld? %hat could be more central to the ospel than those who believe it ( the saints, the lambs of :od ( those
who have received 7im and become sons and dauhters of :od? #onsider the followin passaes:
Jo you not +now that you are the temple of (od and that the 5!irit of od dwells in you? If anyone
defiles the tem!le of od, od will destroy him. For the tem!le of od is holy, which temple you are.
2 /or 1$2%&2B
.r do you not +now that your body is the temple of the Holy "pirit who is in you, whom you have
from od, and you are not your own? 2 /or %$2#
And what agreement has the tem!le of od with idols? For you are the temple of the living (od. 0
/or %$2%
'ow, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citi;ens with the saints and
members of the household of od, having been built on the foundation of the a!ostles and !ro!hets,
)esus /hrist >imself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together,
grows into a holy tem!le in the 3ord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place
of (od in the "pirit$ G!h 0$2#&00
/oming to >im as to a living stone, reHected indeed by men, but chosen by od and !recious, you
also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, 2 Aeter 0$@&?
9 but if I am delayed, I write so that you may +now how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of
(od, which is the church of the living (od, the !illar and ground of the truth. 2 Tim 1$2?'()*
7em!hases added8
In liht of these passaes, can there be any doubt that we, the saints of #hrist, are the temple of the <ew
#ovenant? Althouh none of the above passaes is a quote from the "ld Testament, it is not difficult to make
the connection to Bechariah M:
Ta+e the silver and gold, ma+e an elaborate crown, and set it on the head of )oshua the son of
)eho;ada+, the high !riest. Then s!ea+ to him, saying, 4Thus says the 3."J of hosts, saying$
"-ehold, the ,an whose name is the -"A'/>E
From >is !lace >e shall branch out,
And >e shall build the tem!le of the 3."J;
Les, >e shall build the tem!le of the 3."J.
>e shall bear the glory,
And shall sit and rule on >is throne;
"
5o >e shall be a !riest on >is throne,
And the counsel of !eace shall be between them both."4
Cech %$22&21 '()*
This man, whose name is the B>A<#7, is =esus #hrist!
There shall come forth a "od from the stem of )esse,
And a -ranch shall grow out of his roots.
The 5!irit of the 3."J shall rest u!on >im,
The 5!irit of wisdom and understanding,
The 5!irit of counsel and might,
The 5!irit of +nowledge and of the fear of the 3."J.
>is delight is in the fear of the 3."J,
And >e shall not Hudge by the sight of >is eyes,
'or decide by the hearing of >is ears;
-ut with righteousness >e shall Hudge the !oor,
And decide with eOuity for the mee+ of the earth;
>e shall stri+e the earth with the rod of >is mouth,
And with the breath of >is li!s >e shall slay the wic+ed.
"ighteousness shall be the belt of >is loins,
And faithfulness the belt of >is waist.
Is 22$2&? '()*
5See also Is O:/F H9:/F =er /9:HF 99:?HF Bech 9:N6
$Branch& is a term for the 3essiah, who we know is =esus:
Branch
-of the 3essiah, a branch out of the root of the stem of =esse 5Is ??:?6, the Lbeautiful branchL 5O:/6, a
Lrihteous branchL 5=er /9:H6, Lthe BranchL 5Bech 9:NF M:?/6!
5from ;astonRs Bible .ictionary, 1# Study Bible formatted electronic database #opyriht S /889
Biblesoft, Inc! All rihts reserved!6
As we read earlier in the <ew Testament passaes, the temple that #hrist built, and is continuin to build, is
7is #hurch! =esus declared that 7e would build 7is #hurch 53t! ?M:?N6, but the only reference that 7e ever
made to constructin a temple was that of raisin the temple of 7is body from the rave:
)esus answered and said to them, "Jestroy this tem!le, and in three days I will raise it u!." Then the
)ews said, "It has ta+en forty&si= years to build this tem!le, and will Lou raise it u! in three days?" -ut
>e was s!ea+ing of the tem!le of >is body. )ohn 0$2#&00 '()*
Therefore, even thouh we don2t have a <ew Testament quote of Bechariah M:?/, statin that the #hurch is the
fulfillment of that prophecy, Scripture leaves us no other option! The prophecy states that the B>A<#7, whom
we know to be =esus, would build 7is temple! =esus never spoke of buildin a physical temple, but 7e did
speak of buildin 7is #hurch! The <ew Testament authors confirm that the #hurch, and the individuals that
constitute it, are indeed the temple and the house of :od! Added to this is the fact that the <ew Testament
authors never mention the buildin of a future physical temple by #hrist! To interpret Bechariah M:?/ as a
physical temple would be forcin that passae to stand aainst the teachin of the <ew Testament, when there
is an obvious and fittin spiritual fulfillment available!
"nce we acknowlede the spiritual nature of the temple in Bechariah M:?/, we have established a precedent
that may possibly be applied to other "ld Testament prophetic passaes about the temple! In fact, iven that
this precedent is clearly established by Scripture, mustn2t we require the same scriptural support to force us to
interpret other prophetic temple passaes as referrin to a !hysical temple? 7avin already demonstrated that
=esus never referred to the establishment of a future physical temple, nor did the <ew Testament authors (
"
rather they equated the temple of :od with the #hurch ( where are we oin to find the scriptural support for a
future physical temple?
In his e*haustive volume, The /oming 3ast Jays Tem!le, .r! =! >andall 1rice arues aainst the spiritual
temple position in several ways! "ne is by showin that althouh =esus cleansed the Temple and foretold its
destruction, 7e still revered it as $7is +ather2s 7ouse&! This, 1rice believes, demonstrates that #hrist saw no
inherent need to do away with the physical temple, but merely the corrupt system that ministered in it, thus
leavin the door open for a future physical temple! %e aree that the Temple was the +ather2s 7ouse, and
remained so until 7e $moved out& in A. 08! =osephus records an interestin fact alon these lines that
occurred durin the siee of =erusalem:
3oreover, at that feast which we call 1entecost, as the priests were oin by niht into the inner Jcourt
of the temple,K as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the first
place, they felt a quakin, and heard a reat noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a reat
multitude, sayin, L,et us remove hence!L Jbrackets in the oriinalK 5from =osephus: %ars of the =ews,
#hapter H, 1# Study Bible formatted electronic database #opyriht S /889 by Biblesoft, Inc! All rihts
reserved!6
1rice also tries to demonstrate that 1aul2s doctrine did not preclude a future, physical, temple by showin that
he also did not denirate it, and by claimin that 1aul2s alleory of the #hurch as the Temple referred only to
the spiritual aspect of the physical Temple:
1aul used the Temple as a fiure of speech in his political and social metaphors! It is sinificant to note
that he employed the :reek distinction between naos 5as representative of the spiritual aspect of the
Temple6 and heiron 5as representative of the physical aspect of the Temple6-If 1aul was seekin to
denirate the Temple as a defunct institution and promote the view that the church was the new
spiritual temple, then we would have e*pected him to abandon a term 5naos6 that emphasiAed the
Temple2s spiritual sinificance and incomparable holiness! "n the other hand, if 1aul rearded the
Temple with reverence, then he would have found this the ideal term to refer to the temple when
affirmin the sanctified nature of the church and its people! J;mphasis in the oriinalK
9
%e don2t deny that 1aul revered the Temple, and even remained a practicin =ew subsequent to his
conversion to #hristianity! As we shall develop, the #hurch, as the spiritual temple of :od, was anointed on
1entecost! 7owever, it coe*isted with the physical Temple for forty years, until :od removed the physical
Temple durin the destruction of =erusalem! This fits perfectly with the typoloy of .avid, who was anointed
kin, but still rearded Saul as $the ,ord2s anointed& until the day that :od removed him from office! Thouh
1aul revered the Temple while it was standin, we can not deny that he tauht that the "ld #ovenant ( of
which their present day =erusalem and the Temple were part and parcel ( was a ministry of death, and was
passin away! >eardin 1rice2s distinction between the :reek words naos and heiron, we feel that naos,
which 1rice says represents the spiritual aspect of the temple, is the perfect term to describe the spiritual
fulfillment of the physical type!
1rice also develops four reasons why 1aul miht have used the Temple metaphor for the #hurch, of which only
the headins are iven here:
1aul2s education in =erusalem as a 1harisee
1aul2s 4ourney to =erusalem to learn from the apostles
1aul2s view of the church as sharin the same theoloical distinctives as the =erusalem Temple
1aul2s metaphorical use was consistent with the hermeneutics of first'century =udaism!
O
%e prefer another reason that 1aul used the Temple as a metaphor for the #hurch ( he was inspired by the
7oly Spirit to do so!
"
+. 2**3 The Coming Last Days Temple3 ;r. 2. )andall #ri!e
1
++. 2**025<3 Ibid
1
The Millennial Te+le
#hapters O8'OM of ;Aekiel describe his vision of :od2s future temple ( future to ;Aekiel, who saw this vision
durin Israel2s captivity, after Solomon2s temple had been destroyed! ;Aekiel watches as a man whose
appearance was like the appearance of bronAe, takes painstakin measurements of the temple, its2 courtyards,
ates and structures! The sacrifices and feasts are also described in detail, very reminiscent of 3oses2
description of the tabernacle and its services in the book of ;*odus! .oes ;Aekiel2s temple belon to a yet
future millennial period? There is certainly no <ew Testament support for a future physical temple! Some have
equated it with the temple mentioned in >evelation! It is the belief of many, and of this author, that the temple
of >evelation is one and the same with the temple that was destroyed in A. 08! This theme will be e*plored
further in 1art II! 1uttin the >evelation passaes aside for the moment, we are left with no <ew Testament
support for a future physical temple! =esus prophesied the destruction of the temple of 7is day, but never
prophesied of a future rebuilt temple! <one of the <ew Testament authors mention a future physical temple! So
we must ask ourselves, are the ;Aekiel passaes compellin enouh that we must understand them to be of a
future physical temple that is for some reason outside the scope of the <ew Testament? "n the other hand,
perhaps we should be askin ourselves if the ;Aekiel passaes can find a fulfillment in the spiritual temple of
:od, the #hurchI
1hilip 3auro, in The >o!e of Israel$ What Is It?, has dealt quite e*tensively on this very topic! %e offer several
quotes from chapter TII of that work, in which he discusses the $millennial& temple of the latter chapters of
;Aekiel! It should be noted that 3auro writes prior to ?PON, before Israel was reestablished as a nation, hence
his reference to if Israel occupies the land of #anaan aain:
IS IT T7; 1,A< "+ A T;31,; +"> T7; 3I,,;<<ID3?
"ne solution of the problem we are studyin 5a solution much favored in certain quarters6 is that
;AekielRs vision relates to 3illennial timesF that Israel will then be reconstituted as a nation on earth and
as such will re'occupy the land of 1alestineF and that then the temple shown to ;Aekiel will be erected
on 3t! 3oriah, and the system of worship described in these chapters will be instituted and carried on!
This view is characteristic of that peculiar system of interpretin the Scriptures which we are e*aminin
in the present volume JdispensationalismKF for, accordin to the principles thereof, all difficulties in the
prophetic %ord, and all problems of like nature are solved by the simple e*pedient of postponin their
fulfillment to the 3illennial ae! Thus the 3illennium becomes the convenient and promiscuous
dumpin place of all portions of Scripture which offer any difficultyF and the unhappy consequence is
that many prophecies which were fulfilled at the first comin of #hrist, or are bein fulfilled in this ae of
the ospel, and many Scriptures, such as the Sermon on the 3ount, which apply directly to the saints
of this dispensation, are wrenched out of their proper place, and are releated to a distant future, much
to the loss of the people of :od and to the dislocation of the Scriptures as a whole!
The LpostponementL system doubtless owes the popularity it en4oys to the circumstance that its method
is both safe and easy! It is safe because, when a fulfillment of prophecy is releated to the 3illennium,
it cannot be conclusively refuted until the time comes! All date'settin schemes owe their measure of
popularity to the same fact! It is easy because it relieves the Bible student of the trouble of searchin for
the meanin and application of difficult passaes!
But, comin to the special case in hand, which is illustrative of many others, we are bold to say, and
undertake herein to show, that there are insurmountable ob4ections to the view that ;AekielRs temple is
for 3illennial times!
To bein with, there is no proof that, even if Israel does indeed occupy the land of #anaan aain as an
earthly nation, they will restore the ancient system of temple'worship, either accordin to the plan
shown to and described by ;Aekiel, or accordin to any other plan! "n the contrary, we maintain that
the Scriptures plainly forbid that supposition! +or it was by :odRs own hand that the ancient system of
worship was abolished and obliteratedF and the obliteration thereof was for reasons so closely
connected with the redeemin work of the ,ord =esus #hrist, that to reestablish it aain would be to do
dishonor to that work and its results!
1
Althouh 3auro raises several issues with releatin ;Aekiel2s temple to the millennium, perhaps the most
potent is that of the last sentence, which bears repeatin:
+or it was by :odRs own hand that the ancient system of worship was abolished and obliteratedF and
the obliteration thereof was for reasons so closely connected with the redeemin work of the ,ord
=esus #hrist, that to reestablish it aain would be to do dishonor to that work and its results!
Truly, one has to ask what purpose or place a revived system of types and shadows would have in the
presence of the spiritual fulfillment of those types? ;specially when the fulfillment is the ,amb of :od 7imselfI
%hile the =ews may not care about dishonorin #hrist, clearly #hristians should have no desire to see the
3osaic law reestablished! That ;Aekiel2s temple is identified with the "ld #ovenantal system of sacrifice is
established by 3auro:
At present we wish only to point out that the most conspicuous features of the temple shown in this
vision are the various appointments for the slauhter of animals, and for offerin the same upon the
altar, sprinklin their blood, etc! Thus we find a description of the tables, eiht in number, for slayin the
burnt offerins and other sacrifices, and upon which Lthey laid the instruments wherewith they slew the
burnt offerin and the sacrificeL 5O8:9N'O96! Therefore, in the clear liht of the ;pistle to the 7ebrews
and of all Scripture pertainin to the Sacrifice of #hrist, it is impossible to place this temple in any
dispensation subsequent to #alvary!
3auro even anticipates those who see these revived types e*istin with the fulfillment in some sort of
$memorial& manner:
But an attempt has been made to avoid this ob4ection and to make possible the locatin of ;AekielRs
temple in the 3illennium, by sayin that the sacrifice of animals in that era will be only for a LreminderL
or a LmemorialL of the former days! But this is a very weak effort of the imaination! +or what warrant
have we for supposin that :od would require any memorial of those sacrifices which, even in the time
when they were needed, 7e had no pleasure? And how preposterous is the idea that 7e would require
the slauhter of innumerable creatures merely to revive the memory of those other defective sacrifices
which could never take away sinsI Surely they who advance this idea have forotten the Scriptures
which they all apply to the 3illennium, and which says, LThey shall not hurt nor destroy in all 3y holy
mountainL 5Is ??:P6!
But the passae itself completely refutes this ideaF for it plainly declares that the sacrifices there
specified were not at all for a remembrance or a memorial, but were for the very different purposes of
sin offerins, trespass offerins, peace offerins, etc!F also for cleansin the house, makin
reconciliation both for the princes of Israel and for the people, and the like! All the five offerins of the
levitical system are mentioned by name 5O8:9P, O/:?9, O9:/0F OH:?0F OM:/86F and provision is made for
sprinklin the blood of the sin offerin upon the corners of the altar, upon the posts of the house and
court in order to cleanse them 5O9:/8F OH:?N,?P6! In a word the sacrifices are the levitical sacrifices, and
they are e*pressly declared to be for the identical purposes thereof! 7ence it is impossible to locate this
temple, as an actual structure 5apart from the spiritual sinification thereof6, in any other era than that of
the law!
%e would add to 3auro2s arument the fact that #hrist has already instituted the memorial for 7is sacrifice,
known as $the ,ord2s supper&! 7ere the bread and the wine, not animal sacrifices, memorialiAe 7is body and
blood, broken and shed for the <ew #ovenant 5,u //:?P'/86! %hile acknowledin that there may be further
spiritual sinificance to ;Aekiel2s temple, 3auro makes a stron case for the physical nature of its e*istence
within the era of the law! @nowin that the era of the law, the "ld #ovenant, ended in A. 08, can we find
;Aekiel2s temple within that era? Aain we quote from 3auro:
+irst we would point out that, in the si*th year of =ehoiachinRs captivity, that is to say, while SolomonRs
temple was yet standin, ;Aekiel had a wonderful vision in which he saw the lory of the ,ord departin
1
from the house 5N:?F ?8:?N6! The vision of the new temple was ?P years laterF for ;Aekiel is careful to
record that it was Lthe fourteenth year after that the city was smittenL 5O8:?,/6!
%hat then was the immediate purpose of this vision? %e think this question admits of a simple answer
in the liht of the passae itself and that of other Scriptures!
;Aekiel prophesied durin the captivity! That captivity was to be of seventy years duration, as predicted
by =eremiah! At its end the captives were to return and re'build the city and the temple! This new
temple was to serve as the sanctuary of :od until #hrist should come! :odRs plan had always been to
ive to 7is people the e*act pattern of the sanctuary they were to build for 7is <ame! To 3oses 7e had
shown the pattern of the tabernacle, ivin him at the same time the strictest in4unctions to make every
detail in e*act accordance with that pattern! ,ikewise to .avid :od had revealed the pattern of the
temple which was to be built at =erusalem, with all its appointments, vessels of service, etc! LAll this,L
says .avid, Lthe ,ord made me understand in writin by 7is hand upon me, even all the works of this
patternL 5? #hr /N:??'?P6!
And now aain a house was about to be built for the <ame of the ,ord in =erusalem! Therefore, havin
in mind 7is invariable method in such case, we should e*pect to find at this period a revelation from
heaven of the pattern to be followed in the buildin of that house! And 4ust here we do find the
revelation from :od of the completed pattern and appointments of a temple, with directions to the
prophet to show the same to the house of Israel!
+urthermore we find that even as 3oses was admonished to make all thins like unto the pattern
shown him Lin the mount,L so ;Aekiel was taken to La very hih mountainL where this pattern was
shown himF and he was bidden to set his heart upon all that should be shown him, and to declare all he
should see to the house of Israel 5O8:9, OF OO:H6!
So far as we are aware there is no evidence now available as to the plan of the temple built in the days
of ;Ara! 7erod the :reat had so transformed it in the days of #hrist, thouh without interruptin the
reular services and sacrifices, as to destroy all trace of the oriinal desin! That question, however,
which we cannot now answer, does not affect the question of the purpose for which the pattern was
revealed to ;Aekiel!
:ranted, 3auro2s premise does not aree with some of the current $popular& interpretations, but in liht of the
fact that neither =esus nor the <ew Testament authors teach of a future physical temple, perhaps we should be
ree*aminin the $popular& interpretations! It only makes sense that if :od revealed specific plans to 3oses
about the tabernacle, and to .avid about the first temple, that 7e would do the same reardin the second
temple! ;specially when we consider that this pattern was continued on into the <ew #ovenant with the
spiritual temple, the #hurch! "ne of the titles of the #hurch is $The Bride of #hrist&! In the book of >evelation
the Bride is synonymous with The <ew =erusalem! =ust as the specific details of the tabernacle and the temple
of the "ld #ovenant were revealed from heaven, so the details of the spiritual temple, the Bride of #hrist and
the <ew =erusalem are revealed from heaven:
Then I, )ohn, saw the holy city, 'ew )erusalem, coming down out of heaven from od, !re!ared as a
bride adorned for her husband9 "ev 02$0 '()*
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last !lagues came to me
and tal+ed with me, saying, "/ome, I will show you the bride, the 3amb4s wife." And he carried me away
in the 5!irit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy )erusalem,
descending out of heaven from od, having the glory of od. >er light was li+e a most !recious stone,
li+e a Has!er stone, clear as crystal. Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve
angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the
children of Israel$ three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three
gates on the west.
'ow the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve a!ostles of
the 3amb. And he who tal+ed with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. The
city is laid out as a sOuare; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed$
1
twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are eOual. Then he measured its wall$ one
hundred and forty&four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. The construction
of its wall was of Has!er; and the city was !ure gold, li+e clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the
city were adorned with all +inds of !recious stones$ the first foundation was Has!er, the second
sa!!hire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardony=, the si=th sardius, the seventh
chrysolite, the Gighth beryl, the 'inth to!a;, the tenth chryso!rase, the eleventh Hacinth, and the twelfth
amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve !earls$ each individual gate was of one !earl. And the street of
the city was !ure gold, li+e trans!arent glass. "ev 02$#&02 '()*
Admittedly, there appears to be some confusion in the typoloy at first lance, because in the very ne*t verse
=ohn states, $but I saw no tem!le in it, for the 3ord od Almighty and the 3amb are its tem!le&! %ho is the
temple ( the #hurch, or :od? %e must remember that types and shadows are limited in their ability to
represent the true article! %e have already established that the <ew Testament authors equated the #hurch
with the spiritual fulfillment of the temple in the <ew #ovenant! =ust as :od2s presence dwelt amon the
Israelites in the Temple, so the presence of 7is 7oly Spirit now dwells within us! %hen =ohn, in the peculiar
apocalyptic lanuae of the =ews, e*pands the typoloy of the #hurch from bein a temple, to bein the
heavenly =erusalem, it is only fittin that :od would be the temple within that city, for that is where 7is
presence dwelt in the physical type! The fact that there is no temple in =ohn2s vision only confirms that the "ld
#ovenant was to pass away! There was no loner to be an intermediate system between :od and man, for
there is one ,ediator between od and men, the ,an /hrist )esus 5? Tim /:H6!
+or the purpose of our study, the point of this >evelation passae is the description of the detail and desin of
the heavenly =erusalem! As previously stated, this heavenly =erusalem is also the Bride of #hrist, the #hurch
and the spiritual temple of the <ew #ovenant! Thus we see the pattern of ivin detailed information of the
desin of both the tabernacle and the temple to 3oses and .avid, culminatin in the description of the
heavenly =erusalem iven to =ohn! Therefore, if the desin iven to ;Aekiel was not for the rebuildin of
Solomon2s temple 5which had been destroyed6, then that pattern is broken! <ote also that, 4ust as with 3oses
and ;Aekiel, =ohn was taken up on a mountain to receive the description of the temple 5Bride of #hrist6!
<one of the above points perhaps compel us to remove ;Aekiel2s temple from some future millennium! But
taken as a whole, we believe that we are compelled at least to demand e=!licit scriptural statements that
require that it be put into a future ae, especially when none of the <ew Testament authors mention it! And we
see no such references to either a future temple, or of a future ae other than that of the ospel 5we will take
the millennium under consideration in a later chapter6!
3auro mentioned that althouh the actual structure of the temple beloned to the era of the law, it may still
have $spiritual sinification&! %e should e*pect nothin less, seein that our study to this point has been
centered upon those very $spiritual sinifications&!
In order to lay a foundation for a spiritual application of ;Aekiel2s vision, 3auro calls into question the prevalent
understandin of where the disciples were on the day of 1entecost when the 7oly Spirit came upon them!
3ost, without hesitation, would say that they were in the upper room! %e have condensed 3auro2s treatment
on the sub4ect, but hopefully not so much as to prevent the reader from reconsiderin the $prevalent
understandin&:
All that is said concernin the Lupper roomL is, that the apostles, after witnessin the ,ordRs ascension
from 3ount "livet, returned to =erusalem and went to an upper room, where 1eter, =ames, =ohn and
the other of the eleven apostles were lodin 5Acts ?:?96! %hat appears from the record, and all that
appears, is that those :alileans, durin their stay in =erusalem, had their lodins in an Lupper roomL!
There is no suestion at all that the sleepin quarters of those eleven men was also the meetin place
of the one hundred and twenty disciples of #hrist who were in =erusalem at that time! Still less reason
is there for supposin that the mornin of the reat +east'day would have found them athered in such
a place-
1
There was, in fact, but one !lace in the city of =erusalem where devout =ews, or whatever sect, would
have conreated on that morninF and there was but one !lace where the events recorded in Acts /
could possibly have transpired! That place is the Tem!le-
,uke records the ,ordRs commandment to 7is disciples to tarry in the city of =erusalem until they should
be endued with power from on hih 5,uke /O:OP6! The brief record of this verse does not state whether
or not the ,ord desinated any particular place in =erusalem where they were to await the promised
enduementF but the further record iven in verses H/ and H9 of what they did in obedience to the 3ord4s
commands, supplies this information! +or we read that Lthey worshipped 7im and returned to
=erusalem with reat 4oy, and were continually in the Tem!le praisin and blessin :odL 5,uke /O:H/,
H96-
%hen ,uke takes up, in the book of Acts, the thread of the narrative he dropped at the end of his
:ospel, he says 5speakin of the apostles6 that LThese all continued 5lit! were continuin6 with one
accord in prayer and supplication with the women, and 3ary the mother of =esus, and with 7is
brethren!L 5Acts ?:?O6 %e have here in substance a repetition of what is recorded in the last verse of
,ukeRs :ospel, namely that, durin the ten days followin the ,ordRs ascension, 7is disciples were
LcontinuallyL toether waitin upon :od 5they Lcontinued with one accord in prayer and supplicationL6!
The record in Acts omits mention of the place where they so continued but that information was not
needed, seein it had already been definitely stated in ,uke /O:H/, H9! But the evanelist adds the
interestin facts that the women, 3ary the mother of the ,ord, and 7is brethren, were with them! All
this, be it remembered, was done by the ,ordRs e*press instructions! They were of course prayin for
the promised enduement from on hih 5,uke ??:?96-
In passin we would note how unlikely it is that the disciples, to the number of one hundred and twenty,
should 5or could6 be usin for their place of atherin the Lupper roomL which served the apostles for
sleepin quarters-
Thus the day of 1entecost cameF and the occurrence of the great Feast&day would furnish an additional
reason why they should be found assembled in the Temple! The services ' the offerin of the mornin
sacrifice and incense, with the accompanyin prayers 5in which they would undoubtedly have taken
part6 ' bean at sunrise! This service bein concluded, they would naturally be LsittinL in their
customary placeF and then it was that LsuddenlyL out of heaven came that sound Las of a rushin wind!L
The words Lthey were all with one accord in one placeL 5compare ?:?O6 indicate that they were in their
customary atherin place in the Temple! Similar words found at the end of chapter / lend emphasis to
thisF for we find there the statement that, after about three thousand souls had been LaddedL to them,
they still continued with one accord in the Tem!le 5Cerse OM6! This shows that what they had been
doin as a small company they LcontinuedL to do, still Lwith one accord,L as an e*ceedinly lare and
growing company! It shows further that the place where they were athered when the 7oly Spirit came
upon them must have been of such dimensions as to admit of three thousand more being "added" to
themF and it need hardly be said that the Temple was the only building in )erusalem o!en to the !ublic,
where this would have been possible!
By havin before our eye the several statements of Scripture that bear upon the matter we are
e*aminin it will be seen, we think, that there is no room for doubt about it! These are the statements:
.!ke 491:4, :5! LAnd they worshipped 7im, and returned to =erusalem with reat 4oy, and were
continually in the Temple, praisin and blessin :od!L
%cts 6169# LAll these were continuing with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and
3ary the mother of =esus, and with 7is brethren!L
This must needs have been in the Temple, since it is impossible that they should have been
Lcontinually in the TempleL and at the same time should have been Lcontinuin with one accordL in
another place!
%cts 416! LAnd when the day of 1entecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one !lace!L
%cts 419;# LAnd they, continuing daily with one accord in the Tem!le.L
1
These passaes reiterate that the disciples continued, durin all the period in question, in one placeF
and the first and last passaes quoted state that the place was the Temple-
%hat is seeminly implied is that they were, as we should e*pect, in the Temple, for the purpose of
takin part in the appointed services of the reat feast day! .urin an intermission in those ceremonies
they would naturally be LsittinL toether in their customary meetin'place within the Temple area! %hat
seems to be impressed upon us by this verse is that, durin the accomplishin of the various
ceremonies of the day of 1entecost, the disciples were not dispersed and minled with the reat
crowds of worshippers, but kept toether, and were with one accord in one place ' not scattered about!
It can hardly be doubted, therefore, that at the moment the Spirit descended upon them they were all in
one place somewhere within the lare area of the Temple, presumably in SolomonRs 1orch-
It should also be specially noted that no pious =ews would be anywhere but in the Temple on that day-
%e conclude, therefore, that the material 7ouse of :od served as the womb for the spiritual 7ouse,
and that from it the #hurch was to come forth, and soon did come forth! +or a little while the two were
identified, as the true spiritual LIsrael of :odL was, for awhile, identified with LIsrael after the fleshL ' the
spiritual seed of Abraham with his natural seed! And this is in keepin with the revealed ways of :od!
Jemphases in the oriinalK
#an there be any doubt that the place where the disciples were athered, all in one accord, was not the upper
room, but the temple? Before we look further into the implications this has on spiritual applications, we must
take another look at 3auro2s concludin pararaph above! <ote how he states that the material >ouse of od
served as the womb for the s!iritual >ouse. This is in perfect harmony with our study! :od2s presence, which in
the "ld #ovenant dwelt in the temple, was now descendin upon 7is <ew #ovenant temple! And not only was
the physical temple a type of the spiritual one, it was the birth place of itI
<otice also that he says, For a little while the two were identified, as the true s!iritual "Israel of od" was, for
awhile, identified with "Israel after the flesh" & the s!iritual seed of Abraham with his natural seed. %e would
further refine this statement by sayin that for a while the two coe=isted ( the physical temple with the spiritual
temple! =ust as Ishmael and Isaac coe*isted for a while, so did the "ld #ovenant and the <ew, so did Israel
after the flesh and Israel of :od, and so did the physical temple and the spiritual temple! To this thouht we will
return, but we must conclude the spiritual application of ;Aekiel2s temple!
In ;Aekiel chapter O0, ;Aekiel is shown a vision of water flowin from under the threshold of the temple! As the
waters flow from the temple, they et deeper and deeper! These waters are waters of healin, as stated in v! P:
And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very
great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live
wherever the river goes. G; @B$# '()*
These waters bear a strikin resemblance to the waters proceedin from the throne of :od in >evelation:
And he showed me a !ure river of water of life, clear as crystal, !roceeding from the throne of od and
of the 3amb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore
twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the
nations "ev 00$2&0 '()*
Bechariah speaks of $livin waters& flowin from =erusalem 5Bech ?O:N6, and =oel of a fountain flowin from the
house of the ,">. 5=oel 9:?N6! Since we have no rounds for a physical temple after A. 08, and since these
prophecies were not seen as bein fulfilled in the earlier physical temple, can we assin them to the spiritual
temple? This is precisely why 3auro laid the foundation of the 7oly Spirit fallin upon the disciples at the
temple:
As with respect to BechariahRs prophecy concernin the Llivin watersL 5Bech ?O:N6, - so with respect to
this vision of ;Aekiel, we confidently submit that the fulfillment thereof is in the livin waters of the ospelF
1
which bean, on the day of 1entecost, to flow out from the Temple at =erusalem! "ur ,ord uses the
e*pression Lrivers of livin water,L in =ohn 0:9NF and the meanin of the e*pression is iven in the ne*t
verse: LBut this spake 7e of the Spirit, which they that believe on 7im should receive!L This e*planation
controls the passae we are considerin!
That these livin waters of healin are the ospel messae in the power of the 7oly Spirit seems to be attested
to by the followin:
Therefore with Hoy you will draw water
From the wells of salvation. Is 20$1 '()*
)esus answered and said to her, "If you +new the gift of od, and who it is who says to you, 4ive ,e a
drin+,4 you would have as+ed >im, and >e would have given you living water." The woman said to >im,
"5ir, Lou have nothing to draw with, and the well is dee!. Where then do Lou get that living water? Are
Lou greater than our father )acob, who gave us the well, and dran+ from it himself, as well as his sons
and his livestoc+?I )esus answered and said to her, "Whoever drin+s of this water will thirst again, but
whoever drin+s of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. -ut the water that I shall give him will
become in him a fountain of water s!ringing u! into everlasting life." )ohn @$2F&2@ '()*
-ut as many as received >im :those who dran+ of the living water as described to the woman at the
well<, to them >e gave the right to become children of od, to those who believe in >is name$ who
were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of od. )ohn 2$20&21
'()*
.n the last day, that great day of the feast, )esus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him
come to ,e and drin+. >e who believes in ,e, as the 5cri!ture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers
of living water." -ut this >e s!o+e concerning the 5!irit, whom those believing in >im would receive;
for the >oly 5!irit was not yet given, because )esus was not yet glorified. )ohn B$1B&1# '()*
And the 5!irit and the bride say, "/omeE" And let him who hears say, "/omeE" And let him who thirsts
come. Whoever desires, let him ta+e the water of life freely. "ev 00$2B '()*
%e feel that the #hurch, as the custodian of the ospel, is the temple to which all nations stream to for
instruction from the ,ord! Bion, the mountain of the ,ord, is the heavenly =erusalem, the mountain which
cannot by touched 57eb ?/:?N'/96:
In the last days
the mountain of the 3."J4s tem!le will be established
as chief among the mountains;
it will be raised above the hills,
and all nations will stream to it.
,any !eo!les will come and say,
"/ome, let us go u! to the mountain of the 3."J,
to the house of the od of )acob.
>e will teach us his ways,
so that we may wal+ in his !aths."
The law will go out from Cion,
the word of the 3."J from )erusalem. Is 0$0&1 '()*
5o )esus said to them again, "Aeace to youE As the Father has sent ,e, % also send you$! )ohn 0F$02
'ow all things are of od, who has reconciled us to >imself through )esus /hrist, and has given us the
ministry of reconciliation, that is, that od was in /hrist reconciling the world to >imself, not im!uting
their tres!asses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. +ow then, we are
ambassadors for hrist, as though od were !leading through us. 0 /or ?$26&0F 7em!hasis added8
1
%hereas the nation of Israel used to be :od2s representatives on earth, those in the #hurch are now 7is
ambassadors of the <ew #ovenant ( the ospel ( reconcilin unbelievers to :od! Truly, all nations are comin
to that $temple&! Thus we see the #hurch as not only the fulfillment of the "ld #ovenant typoloical temple, but
also the fulfillment of prophetic passaes reardin the temple! As we mentioned at the outset of our study, it
was the =ews2 misinterpretation of these and similar passaes, which was the cause of them missin their
fulfillment!
%e now return to the sub4ect of the coe*istence of the physical temple and the spiritual temple! As we have
previously established, the "ld #ovenant was passin away 5/ #or! 9:?NF 7eb! N:?96! The <ew #ovenant, on
the other hand, is to be everlastin:
'ow may the od of !eace who brought u! our 3ord )esus from the dead, that great 5he!herd of the
shee!, through the blood of the everlasting covenant9 >eb 21$0F '()* 7em!hasis added8
Accordinly, we should e*pect to see an end to the physical Temple, while the spiritual temple lasts forever:
Then )esus went out and de!arted from the tem!le, and >is disci!les came u! to show >im the
buildings of the tem!le. And )esus said to them, "Jo you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to
you, not one stone shall be left here u!on another, that shall not be thrown down." ,t 0@$2&0 '()*
Then as >e went out of the tem!le, one of >is disci!les said to >im, "Teacher, see what manner of
stones and what buildings are hereE" And )esus answered and said to him, "Jo you see these great
buildings? 'ot one stone shall be left u!on another, that shall not be thrown down." ,ar+ 21$2&0 '()*
And I also say to you that you are Aeter, and on this roc+ I will build ,y church, and the gates of >ades
shall not !revail against it. ,t 2%$26 '()*
=esus not only predicted the destruction of the physical temple, but also the prevailin of the spiritual temple (
7is #hurch! As previously mentioned, the physical temple was destroyed in A. 08! =osephus says that from
the time of .avid, who made preparations to build the temple, to it2s destruction by Titus was ?,?0P years! The
spiritual temple has lasted nearly /,888 years and is still rowin!
,astly, as we have with the two covenants and the two kindoms, we look for an illustration by type of the
transference of the two temples! 7ere we do not see one as easily reconiAable as that of Ishmael and Isaac,
nor of Saul2s robe bein torn! But we believe that we are not left wantin, and that we need not twist the
Scripture to make it fit! %e2ll let the reader be the 4ude!
%e have already seen that the "ld #ovenant was a $ministry of death&, for it was of the letter of the law, which
kills 5/ #or 9:M'06! The <ew #ovenant, the ospel, while it was of the Spirit, which ives life, was also known
as the $ospel of peace&:
And how shall they !reach unless they are sent? As it is written$
">ow beautiful are the feet of those who !reach the gos!el of !eace, Who bring glad tidings of good
thingsE" "om 2F$2? '()*
9 and having shod your feet with the !re!aration of the gos!el of !eace9 G!h %$2? '()*
The word which od sent to the children of Israel, !reaching !eace through )esus /hrist9 Acts 2F$1%
'()*
race to you and !eace from od our Father and the 3ord )esus /hrist. "om 2$B '()*
For to be carnally minded is death, but to be s!iritually minded is life and !eace9 "om 6$% '()*
1
Althouh .avid received instructions from the ,ord 5? #hron /N:??'?P6, and made preparations to build the
temple, he was not allowed to do so because he had shed blood:
Then (ing Javid rose to his feet and said, ">ear me, my brethren and my !eo!le$ I had it in my heart to
build a house of rest for the ar+ of the covenant of the 3."J, and for the footstool of our od, and had
made !re!arations to build it. -ut od said to me, DLou shall not build a house for ,y name, because
you have been a man of war and have shed blood.P 2 /hron 06$0&1 '()*
.avid2s son, Solomon, was the one who built the temple:
'ow >e said to me, 4It is your son 5olomon who shall build ,y house and ,y courts; for I have chosen
him to be ,y son, and I will be his Father. 2 /hron 06$% '()*
Solomon2s name means peaceful:
"ld Testament: N8?8 Shelomoh 5shel'o'moR6F from "ld Testament: 0PMHF peacefulF Shelomah, .avidRs
successor:
@=C ' Solomon!
5BiblesoftRs <ew ;*haustive StronRs <umbers and #oncordance with ;*panded :reek'7ebrew
.ictionary! #opyriht 5c6 ?PPO, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc!6
So we see .avid associated with death in the sheddin of blood, 4ust as the "ld #ovenant was a $ministry of
death&! =ust as .avid wasn2t allowed to build the temple, because he was a man of blood, so the "ld #ovenant
couldn2t $build& the #hurch, because it was a $ministry of death&! 7owever, .avid was allowed to prepare for
the buildin of the temple, and that temple and the "ld #ovenant prepared for the #hurch and the <ew
#ovenant by foreshadowin them! And 4ust as the physical temple was built by Solomon 51eaceful6, so the
<ew #ovenant was the ospel of peace, and the spiritual temple was built by and indwelt by the 1rince of
1eace:
For unto us a /hild is born,
Nnto us a 5on is given;
And the government will be u!on >is shoulder.
And >is name will be called
Wonderful, /ounselor, ,ighty od,
Gverlasting Father, Arince of Aeace.
Is #$% '()*
1
6
The Physical Temple As A Foreshadow of The Spiritual Temple
The New Covenant and The Priesthood
Therefore, holy brethren, !arta+ers of the heavenly calling, consider the A!ostle and >igh Ariest of our
confession, /hrist )esus9 >eb 1$2 '()*
The epistle to the 7ebrews, perhaps more than any other <ew Testament book, describes the transition of the
covenants, and the supremacy of the <ew over the "ld! "ne of the areas in which the author focuses is the
chanin of the law and the priesthood! That chane was necessitated by the shortcomins of the "ld
#ovenant law:
Therefore, if !erfection were through the 3evitical !riesthood 7for under it the !eo!le received the law8,
what further need was there that another !riest should rise according to the order of ,elchi;ede+, and
not be called according to the order of Aaron? For the !riesthood being changed, of necessity there is
also a change of the law. For >e of whom these things are s!o+en belongs to another tribe, from which
no man has officiated at the altar. For it is evident that our 3ord arose from )udah, of which tribe ,oses
s!o+e nothing concerning !riesthood. >eb B$22&2@ '()*
Althouh #hrist does fulfill the type seen in the hih priest of the "ld #ovenant, 7is 1riesthood is even more
encompassin, reachin past the "ld #ovenant to the days of Abraham and fulfillin the type seen in
3elchiAedek, the priest of Salem! As mentioned in the Introduction, this connection was missed by the =ews
because of the $veil of 3oses&, accordin to 1aul, or their $dullness of hearin&, accordin to the author of
7ebrews! ,et2s e*plore the fulfillment of the ,evitical priesthood first, after which we will return to 3elchiAedek!
+irst, both the hih priest and #hrist were appointed by :od:
For every high !riest ta+en from among men is a!!ointed for men in things !ertaining to od, that he
may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. >e can have com!assion on those who are ignorant and
going astray, since he himself is also subHect to wea+ness. -ecause of this he is reOuired as for the
!eo!le, so also for himself, to offer sacrifices for sins. And no man ta+es this honor to himself, but he
who is called by od, Hust as Aaron was. 5o also /hrist did not glorify >imself to become >igh Ariest,
but it was >e who said to >im$
"Lou are ,y 5on,
Today I have begotten Lou."
>eb ?$2&? '()*
Dnder the "ld Testament law, the priests bean their ministry in the temple 5or tabernacle6 at ae thirty:
Then the 3."J s!o+e to ,oses and Aaron, saying$ "Ta+e a census of the sons of (ohath from among
the children of 3evi, by their families, by their fathers4 house, from thirty years old and above, even to
fifty years old, all who enter the service to do the wor+ in the tabernacle of meeting. 'um @$2&1 '()*
7see also 'um @$01, 1F, 1?, 1#, @1, @B; 2 /hron 01$18
'ow )esus >imself began >is ministry at about thirty years of age 3u+e 1$01 '()*
As our spiritual 7ih 1riest, =esus serves in the true tabernacle 5temple6, the heavenly one ( not the physical
type of that tabernacle:
'ow this is the main !oint of the things we are saying$ We have such a >igh Ariest, who is seated at
the right hand of the throne of the ,aHesty in the heavens, a ,inister of the sanctuary and of the true
tabernacle which the 3ord erected, and not man. For every high !riest is a!!ointed to offer both gifts
and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this one also have something to offer. For if >e were on
earth, >e would not be a !riest, since there are !riests who offer the gifts according to the law; who
6
serve the co!y and shadow of the heavenly things, as ,oses was divinely instructed when he was
about to ma+e the tabernacle. For >e said, "5ee that you ma+e all things according to the !attern
shown you on the mountain." -ut now >e has obtained a more e=cellent ministry, inasmuch as >e is
also ,ediator of a better covenant, which was established on better !romises. >eb 6$2&% '()*
%e have already read that the ,evitical priesthood could make no one perfect 57eb 0:??6, but #hrist is the
3ediator of a better covenant, which is established on better promises:
For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no !lace would have been sought for a second. >eb
6$B '()*
7avin reiterated the imperfection and shadowy nature of the "ld #ovenant, the author of 7ebrews then oes
on to describe the better covenant, by quotin =eremiah! "nce aain the 7oly Spirit is takin us behind the veil
of 3oses, by ivin us a divinely inspired interpretation of an "ld Testament passae:
-ecause finding fault with them, >e says$ "-ehold, the days are coming, says the 3."J, when I will
ma+e a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of )udah && not according to the
covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I too+ them by the hand to lead them out of the
land of Ggy!t; because they did not continue in ,y covenant, and I disregarded them, says the 3."J.
For this is the covenant that I will ma+e with the house of Israel after those days, says the 3."J$ I will
!ut ,y laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their od, and they shall be ,y
!eo!le. 'one of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, 4(now the 3."J,4 for all
shall +now ,e, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their
unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." >eb 6$6&20 '()*
7)er 12$12&1@8
There can be no doubt that the "ld #ovenant to which the author of 7ebrews has been referrin is the 3osaic
covenant of =udaism! <either can there be any doubt that the new and better covenant is the ospel of #hrist,
yet this passae from =eremiah is typical of "ld Testament passaes that are often used to support a physical
rein in the <ew #ovenant, perhaps in a millennial period! )et the <ew Testament saints were already livin in
the <ew #ovenant! )es, the "ld #ovenant hadn2t passed away yet, but it was in the process of doin so:
In that >e says, "A new covenant," >e has made the first obsolete. 'ow what is becoming obsolete and
growing old is ready to vanish away. >eb 6$21 '()*
But the <ew #ovenant didn2t have to wait for the "ld #ovenant to pass away before it could be inauurated! In
a previous chapter we have seen how the two covenants coe*isted for a time, as illustrated by Ishmael and
Isaac! Thus, while the "ld #ovenant was becomin obsolete, the <ew Testament saints were already
e*periencin the <ew #ovenant! If that be the case, and the inspiration of the 7oly Spirit has applied =eremiah
9?:9?'9O to the ospel, how can we say that it refers to a yet future era? To do so would be sayin that the
<ew #ovenant is merely a type of an even $<ewer&, and even $better& #ovenant! That this is not the case is
borne out in the typoloy of 3elchiAedek, and #hrist2s fulfillment of it:
For this ,elchi;ede+, +ing of 5alem, !riest of the ,ost >igh od, who met Abraham returning from the
slaughter of the +ings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth !art of all, first being
translated "+ing of righteousness," and then also +ing of 5alem, meaning "+ing of !eace," without
father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made
li+e the 5on of od, remains a !riest continually. >eb B$2&1 '()*
%ho better fits the titles $kin of rihteousness& and $kin of peace& than #hrist? The mention that 3elchiAedek
was without mother, father, or enealoy, havin neither beinnin of days nor end of life, we believe, alludes
to his brief appearance on the stae of :od2s history! 3elchiAedek2s interaction with Abraham involves only
three verses in :enesis chapter ?O! "bviously he must have e*isted prior to meetin Abraham, as well as after
leavin him, but none of this is recorded for us! The 7oly Spirit inspired the author of 7ebrews to interpret this
as him having nether beginning of days, nor end of life!
6
,ikewise, #hrist only stepped onto the physical stae of :od2s history for a brief time, thouh 7e e*isted for
eternity before 7is incarnation, and will e*ist for eternity after it! Because of 7is eternal nature, #hrist, like
3elchiAedek, remains a 1riest continually! Aside from :enesis ?O and the book of 7ebrews, the only other
mention of 3elchiAedek is in 1salm ??8:O:
The 3."J has sworn
And will not relent,
"Lou are a !riest forever
According to the order of ,elchi;ede+."
'()*
That the =ews knew this passae from 1salm ??8 was a 3essianic passae is demonstrated by =esus usin
verse ? to turn the tables on them as they tried to trip 7im up in 7is understandin of the "ld Testament:
And >e said to them, ">ow can they say that the /hrist is the 5on of Javid? 'ow Javid himself said in
the -oo+ of Asalms$
4The 3."J said to my 3ord,
"5it at ,y right hand,
Till I ma+e Lour enemies Lour footstool."4
Therefore Javid calls >im 43ord4; how is >e then his 5on?"
3u+e 0F$@2&@@ '()*
=esus was askin, $how can the #hrist 5the 3essiah6 be both .avid2s Son and his ,ord&? 7e was usin a
3essianic passae to confound them! The conte*t of 1salm ??8 shows that the 3essiah was still the sub4ect
when :od swore, $)ou are a priest forever accordin to the order of 3elchiAedek&! ;ven thouh the =ews
understood that the 3essiah would be a priest accordin to the order of 3elchiAedek, because of the veil of
3oses they failed to make the connection between that passae and =esus, or the fact that the priesthood
would chane! The author of 7ebrews pulls the veil back for us, revealin =esus to be the 1riest accordin to
the order of 3elchiAedek!
The point to take note of is the fact that the 3essiah will be a priest forever! =ust as the author of 7ebrews says
that 3elchiAedek remains a priest continually, so .avid prophesies that the 3essiah would be a priest forever,
accordin to the order of 3elchiAedek! The author of 7ebrews drives this point home by quotin the phrase a
!riest forever four times ( H:MF M:/8F 0:?0, /?! The author also stresses that this eternal priesthood is accordin
to the order of 3elchiAedek 5H:M, ?8F M:/8F 0:?, ?8, ??, ?H, ?0, /?6, to which he assins a transcendent, or
spiritual, nature:
9 without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life,
but made li+e the 5on of od, remains a !riest continually. >eb B$1 '()*
This eternal 1riesthood of #hrist is in areement with of the increase of >is government and !eace there will
be no end 5Isa P:0 <@=C6, and the everlasting covenant 57eb ?9:/86! There is no end to the <ew #ovenant,
the ospel of #hrist, nor any future chanes to be made to the <ew #ovenant:
-ut >e, because >e continues forever, has an unchangeable !riesthood9 >eb B$0@ '()*
The "ld #ovenant was temporary, but the <ew #ovenant is everlasting and unchangeable! This is a key to
understandin the theme of $the last days&, which is woven throuhout the <ew Testament! The reference
cannot be to the last days of the #hristian era, for it is everlastin and unchaneable! Because the early
#hurch was already in the last days 5Acts /:?M'?0, 7eb! ?:/6, we must understand those days to be the last
days of the era of =udaism, of the "ld #ovenant, for we know that it was comin to an end:
6
For if what is !assing away :the .ld /ovenant< was glorious, what remains :the 'ew /ovenant< is
much more glorious. 0 /or 1$22 '()*
In that >e says, "A new covenant," >e has made the first obsolete. 'ow what is becoming obsolete and
growing old is ready to vanish away. >eb 6$21 '()*
The sub4ect of the last days will be further developed in 1art II! %e have one last thouht to consider in this
chapter! In the "ld #ovenant, there was one hih priest, with many subordinate priests to minister in the
tabernacle 5or temple6! In the <ew #ovenant, =esus is the 7ih 1riest! %ho are the subordinate priests?
9 you also, as living stones, are being built u! a s!iritual house, a holy !riesthood, to offer u! s!iritual
sacrifices acce!table to od through )esus /hrist. 2 Aeter 0$?&% '()*
-ut you are a chosen generation, a royal !riesthood9 2 Aeter 0$# '()*
To >im who loved us and washed us from our sins in >is own blood, and has made us +ings and
!riests to >is od and Father, to >im be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. "ev 2$?&% '()*
%e are a holy priesthood, with =esus as our 7ih 1riest! %e are offerin up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to
:od throuh =esus #hrist:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of od, that you !resent your bodies a living
sacrifice, holy, acce!table to od, which is your reasonable service. "om 20$2 '()*
Therefore by >im let us continually offer the sacrifice of !raise to od, that is, the fruit of our li!s, giving
than+s to >is name. -ut do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices od is well
!leased. >eb 21$2?&2% '()*
6
The New Covenant and $srael
-ut it is not that the word of od has ta+en no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor
are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, "In Isaac your seed shall be called."
That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of od; but the children of
the !romise are counted as the seed. "om #$%&6 '()*
In the above passae 1aul once aain differentiates between the fleshly and spiritual children of Abraham, as
he did in :alatians O! In the :alatians passae the two sons of Abraham were used to illustrate the two
covenants! 7ere 1aul is describin the two Israels ( natural Israel and spiritual Israel! The fact that the physical
offsprin of Abraham were not automatically heirs of the <ew #ovenant is introduced back in the :ospels:
Therefore bear fruits worthy of re!entance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, 4We have Abraham
as our father.4 For I say to you that od is able to raise u! children to Abraham from these stones. 3u+e
1$6 '()*
"I +now that you are Abraham4s descendants, but you see+ to +ill ,e, because ,y word has no !lace in
you. I s!ea+ what I have seen with ,y Father, and you do what you have seen with your father." They
answered and said to >im, "Abraham is our father." )esus said to them, "If you were Abraham4s
children, you would do the wor+s of Abraham. -ut now you see+ to +ill ,e, a ,an who has told you the
truth which I heard from od. Abraham did not do this. Lou do the deeds of your father9 you are of
your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do." )ohn 6$1B&@2, @@ '()*
=esus acknowleded that the =ews were Abraham2s physical descendants, but went on to tell them that they
weren2t Abraham2s $spiritual& children! If they were, they would do the works of Abraham! Instead, they were
doin the deeds of their $spiritual& father ( the devil! 1aul develops this theme in the alleory of Ishmael and
Isaac! %e have already looked at the fleshly and spiritual seed of Abraham representin the "ld 5fleshly6
#ovenant and the <ew 5spiritual6 #ovenant in :alatians! In >omans, 1aul applies the alleory to two Israels (
fleshly Israel and spiritual Israel! It is only fittin that fleshly Israel would foreshadow the spiritual Israel of the
<ew #ovenant, and that fleshly 5or national6 =ews would have spiritual counterparts:
For he is not a )ew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he
is a )ew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the 5!irit, not in the letter; whose
!raise is not from men but from od. "om 0$06&0# '()*
For in /hrist )esus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. And as
many as wal+ according to this rule, !eace and mercy be u!on them, and u!on the Israel of od. al
%$2?&2% '()*
Aain, there were hints in the "ld Testament of spiritual applications to these physical types, but they were
behind the veil of 3oses! :od was never lookin for a physical nation of people, identified by the circumcision
of the flesh, but for a spiritual people identified by the circumcision of the heart:
-ut if they confess their iniOuity and the iniOuity of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which they
were unfaithful to ,e, and that they also have wal+ed contrary to ,e,
and that I also have wal+ed contrary to them and have brought them into the land of their enemies;
if their uncircumcised hearts are humbled, and they acce!t their guilt &&
then I will remember ,y covenant with )acob, and ,y covenant with Isaac and ,y covenant with
Abraham I will remember; 3ev 0%$@F&@0 '()*
6
And the 3."J your od will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the
3."J your od with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. Jeut 1F$% '()*
/ircumcise yourselves to the 3."J,
And ta+e away the fores+ins of your hearts,
Lou men of )udah and inhabitants of )erusalem,
3est ,y fury come forth li+e fire,
And burn so that no one can Ouench it,
-ecause of the evil of your doings."
)er @$@ '()*
For all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart." )er
#$0% '()*
#learly :od is not lookin for a people that ritualistically follow a set of rules 5as represented by physical
circumcision6, but for those whose hearts are towards 7im 5as represented by circumcision of the heart6! As we
shall see in the ne*t chapter, 1aul connects the atherin of scattered Israel, in the passae from
.euteronomy 98 above, with the salvation messae of the ospel! In >omans /, as we have read, he states
that circumcision, in the <ew #ovenant, is of the heart! So we see that even in the initiation of the "ld
#ovenant by the sin of physical circumcision, the seed of the <ew #ovenant, with its circumcision of the
heart, was planted!
1reviously we have established that the <ew Testament often provides a divinely inspired commentary and
interpretation of the "ld Testament! In liht of that, consider how the followin "ld Testament passaes, which
many take to refer to the restored nation of Israel, are interpreted by the apostles:
".n that day I will raise u!
The tabernacle of Javid, which has fallen down,
And re!air its damages;
I will raise u! its ruins,
And rebuild it as in the days of old;
That they may !ossess the remnant of Gdom, And all the entiles who are called by ,y name,"
5ays the 3."J who does this thing.
'()* Amos #$22&20
In Acts ?H, durin the council at =erusalem, =ames applies this passae to the #hurch, and the :entile
believers bein added to =ewish believers:
And after they had become silent, )ames answered, saying, ",en and brethren, listen to me$ 5imon
has declared how od at the first visited the entiles to ta+e out of them a !eo!le for >is name. And
with this the words of the !ro!hets agree, Hust as it is written$
4AfterE this I will return
And will rebuild the tabernacle of Javid, which has fallen down;
I will rebuild its ruins,
And I will set it u!;
5o that the rest of man+ind may see+ the 3."J,
Gven all the entiles who are called by ,y name,
5ays the 3."J who does all these things.4 Acts 2?$21&2B '()*
1aul assins the followin passae from Isaiah with the =ews, who would be ever hearing but never
understanding! Therefore, salvation was sent to the :entiles! "bviously individual =ews did accept #hrist, so
we take this to mean that as a people they were no loner the custodians of the ospel! That was $torn& from
them and iven to the :entile #hurch, who would bear fruit!
6
And >e said, "o, and tell this !eo!le$
4(ee! on hearing, but do not understand;
(ee! on seeing, but do not !erceive.4
,a+e the heart of this !eo!le dull,
And their ears heavy,
And shut their eyes;
3est they see with their eyes,
And hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart,
And return and be healed." Is %$#&2F
And it came to !ass after three days that Aaul called the leaders of the )ews together9 Then they said
to him, "We neither received letters from )udea concerning you, nor have any of the brethren who
came re!orted or s!o+en any evil of you. -ut we desire to hear from you what you thin+; for concerning
this sect, we +now that it is s!o+en against everywhere." 5o when they had a!!ointed him a day, many
came to him at his lodging, to whom he e=!lained and solemnly testified of the +ingdom of od,
!ersuading them concerning )esus from both the 3aw of ,oses and the Aro!hets, from morning till
evening. And some were !ersuaded by the things which were s!o+en, and some disbelieved. 5o when
they did not agree among themselves, they de!arted after Aaul had said one word$ "The >oly 5!irit
s!o+e rightly through Isaiah the !ro!het to our fathers, saying,
4o to this !eo!le and say$
4>earing you will hear, and shall not understand;
And seeing you will see, and not !erceive;
For the hearts of this !eo!le have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
3est they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
3est they should understand with their hearts and turn,
5o that I should heal them."4
"Therefore let it be +nown to you that the salvation of od has been sent to the entiles, and they will
hear itE" And when he had said these words, the )ews de!arted and had a great dis!ute among
themselves. Acts 06$2B, 02&0# '()*
The followin passaes are applied by 1aul to the #hurch, made up of =ews and :entiles! It is interestin that
in the conte*t of 7osea /:?P :od says I will betroth you to me forever!
4Let the number of the children of Israel
5hall be as the sand of the sea,
Which cannot be measured or numbered.
And it shall come to !ass
In the !lace where it was said to them,
4Lou are not ,y !eo!le, 4There it shall be said to them,
4Lou are sons of the living od.4 >os 2$2F 'A5-
Then I will sow her for ,yself in the earth,
And I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; Then I will say to those who were not ,y
!eo!le, 4Lou are ,y !eo!leE4
And they shall say, 4Lou are my odE4" >os 0$01 'A5-
9 that >e might ma+e +nown the riches of >is glory on the vessels of mercy, which >e had !re!ared
beforehand for glory, even us whom >e called, not of the )ews only, but also of the entiles? As >e
says also in >osea$
"I will call them ,y !eo!le, who were not ,y !eo!le,
6
And her beloved, who was not beloved."
"And it shall come to !ass in the !lace where it was said to them,
DLou are not ,y !eo!le,4
There they shall be called sons of the living od." "om #$01&0% '()*
Accordin to 1aul, while the =ews were :od2s people in the "ld #ovenant, the #hurch is now 7is people in the
<ew #ovenant:
I will wal+ among you and be your od, and you shall be ,y !eo!le. 3ev 0%$20 'A5-
For you are the tem!le of the living od. As od has said$
"I will dwell in them
And wal+ among them.
I will be their od,
And they shall be ,y !eo!le." 0 /or %$2%
As we have seen earlier, 1aul says in :alatians O that we 5the #hurch6 are children of the promise, belonin
not to an earthly =erusalem, but the =erusalem that is above! 1eter describes the #hurch with the same terms
that :od formerly described Israel:
-ut you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people9
who were once not a !eo!le but are now the people of (od9 2 Aeter 0$@&#a, 2Fa
'ow therefore, if you will indeed obey ,y voice and +ee! ,y covenant, then you shall be a special
treasure to ,e above all !eo!le; for all the earth is ,ine. And you shall be to ,e a #ingdom of
priests and a holy nation. G= 2#$?&%
For you are a holy people to the 3."J your od; the 3."J your od has chosen you to be a !eo!le
for >imself, a special treasure above all the !eo!les on the face of the earth. Jeut B$%
Also today the 3."J has !roclaimed you to be His special people, Hust as >e !romised you, that you
should +ee! all >is commandments, and that >e will set you high above all nations which >e has
made, in !raise, in name, and in honor, and that you may be a holy people to the 3."J your od, Hust
as >e has s!o+en." Jeut 0%$26&2# 7em!hases added8
.oes this mean, then, that the #hurch has replaced Israel? <o, rather the #hurch is the spiritual fulfillment of
the physical type, 4ust as #hrist did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it 53t H:?06! =ust as #hrist and the
#hurch, as elements of the ne*t stae of :od2s redemptive plan, didn2t abolish or annul the previous stae, so
the law did not annul the previous promise to Abraham and his Seed:
'ow to Abraham and his 5eed were the !romises made. >e does not say, "And to seeds," as of many,
but as of one, "And to your 5eed," who is /hrist. And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred
and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by od in /hrist, that it
should ma+e the !romise of no effect. For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of !romise; but
od gave it to Abraham by !romise9 Is the law then against the !romises of od? /ertainly notE For if
there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the
law. -ut the 5cri!ture has confined all under sin, that the !romise by faith in )esus /hrist might be
given to those who believe. -ut before faith came, we were +e!t under guard by the law, +e!t for the
faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to /hrist, that we
might be Hustified by faith. -ut after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. al 1$2%&26, 02&0?
'()*
The law, in effect, was a $placeholder& between the promise iven to Abraham and his Seed, and the fulfillment
of that promise in #hrist and the ospel! It kept the people under guard until the faith of the <ew #ovenant
6
came! Althouh :od2s plan of redemption has proressively unfolded, 7e has always had 7is elect, a remnant
( spiritual Israel! 1aul demonstrates this in Abraham:
Joes this blessedness then come u!on the circumcised only, or u!on the uncircumcised also? For we
say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. >ow then was it accounted? While he was
circumcised, or uncircumcised? 'ot while circumcised, but while uncircumcised. And he received the
sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that
he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness
might be im!uted to them also, and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the
circumcision, but who also wal+ in the ste!s of the faith which our father Abraham had while still
uncircumcised. "om @$#&20 '()*
Abraham was one of :od2s elect before he was circumcised! In fact, circumcision was iven to him as sin of
his rihteous position with :od! In this way he was not 4ust the father of the physical =ews, but also the father
of all those who believe ( the spiritual =ews! Thus we see that :od had a people 5;noch, <oah, Abraham, etc!6
unto 7imself prior to national Israel and the law! Israel and the law were 4ust the ne*t stae of :od2s plan of
redemption! They were desined to lead 7is people to #hrist, the consummation of 7is plan:
Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to /hrist, that we might be Hustified by faith. al 1$0@&0?
'()*
:od2s redemptive plan proressed in the "ld Testament from the sin of circumcision iven to Abraham, to the
,aw and national Israel! In the same manner 7is plan proressed in the <ew Testament from the ,aw and
national Israel, to the <ew #ovenant and the #hurch! =ust as the law was lorious, but the <ew #ovenant is
more lorious 5/ #or 9:0'??6, so national Israel was lorious, but the #hurch 5spiritual Israel6 is more lorious!
Dnfortunately, most of 7is people of the "ld #ovenant failed to make the transition into the ne*t level of the
plan of redemption! They were still starin at the veil of 3oses! Throuhout the aes, those that did walk
accordin to :od2s plan, in whatever particular stae they were livin, were 7is elect!
%hile most miht acknowlede, and even receive the points thus far discussed about spiritual Israel, there
remains a stickin point! %hat about 1aul2s statement in >omans ??:/M that all Israel shall be saved? If this is
referrin to national, fleshly Israel, doesn2t that fly in the face of everythin we2ve seen so far about the "ld
#ovenant passin away, and findin it2s fulfillment in the <ew? Dp to this point, everythin has harmoniAed
concernin the transition from the "ld to the <ew #ovenant! ;ach item has seen a physical type in the "ld
#ovenant, which coe*isted with its2 spiritual fulfillment durin the transition period, and then finally passed
away! +or national Israel to continue on 5or reemere6 in the <ew #ovenant disrupts the pattern that has so
perfectly repeated itself thus far!
This is not to say that =ews cannot be saved, for salvation is to the =ews first 5>om ?:?M6! The early #hurch
was almost e*clusively =ewish! The problem is not with =ews bein saved, but with the =ewish nation bein
saved! 7ow can the type and the antitype coe*ist for any loner than the transition period? If the type doesn2t
pass away, then it cannot properly be considered a type, for by definition a type is somethin that imperfectly
foreshadows an ultimate fulfillment! )et apart from this passae in >omans ??, everythin else about fleshly
and spiritual Israel fits perfectly into the pattern that we have seen in the other elements of the covenants! Is
there an alternative to all fleshly 7national8 Israel bein saved?
And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written$
"The Jeliverer will come out of Cion,
And >e will turn away ungodliness from )acob;
For this is ,y covenant with them,
When I ta+e away their sins."
"om 22$0%&0B '()* 7em!hasis added8
<otice that the verse does not say, $And then all Israel will be saved&, but says, $And so all Israel will be
saved!& This is no small matter, for the conte*t is not sayin that after the precedin event5s6, then all Israel
6
will be saved, but rather, in the manner described by the precedin event5s6 all Israel will be saved! The :reek
word translated so is F:
<T:900P
houto 5hooR'to6F or 5before a vowel6 houtos 5hooR'toce6F adverb from <T: 900N; in this way 3referring to
what precedes or follows71
@=C ' after that, after 3in7 this manner, as, even 3so7, for all that, like 3/wise7, no more, on this
fashion 5'wise6, so 3in like manner7, th!s, what! 5emphases added6
#onsider these usaes of by 1aul elsewhere in >omans:
Therefore, Hust as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death
s!read to all men, because all sinned && 7For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not im!uted
when there is no law. 'evertheless death reigned from Adam to ,oses, even over those who had not
sinned according to the li+eness of the transgression of Adam, who is a ty!e of >im who was to come.
-ut the free gift is not li+e the offense. For if by the one man4s offense many died, much more the
grace of od and the gift by the grace of the one ,an, )esus /hrist, abounded to many. And the gift is
not li+e that which came through the one who sinned. For the Hudgment which came from one offense
resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in Hustification. For
if by the one man4s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance
of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the .ne, )esus /hrist.8
Therefore, as through one man4s offense Hudgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even
so through one ,an4s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in Hustification of life. For as
by one man4s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one ,an4s obedience many will be
made righteous. ,oreover the law entered that the offense might abound. -ut where sin abounded,
grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through
righteousness to eternal life through )esus /hrist our 3ord. "om ?$20&02
Therefore we were buried with >im through ba!tism into death, that Hust as /hrist was raised from the
dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should wal+ in newness of life. "om %$@
For the death that >e died, >e died to sin once for all; but the life that >e lives, >e lives to od.
Li#ewise you also, rec+on yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to od in /hrist )esus our
3ord. "om %$2F&22
I s!ea+ in human terms because of the wea+ness of your flesh. For Hust as you !resented your
members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now !resent
your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness. "om %$2#
-ut indeed, . man, who are you to re!ly against od? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it,
"Why have you made me li#e this?" "om #$0F
-ut what does the divine res!onse say to him? "I have reserved for ,yself seven thousand men who
have not bowed the +nee to -aal." Gven so then, at this !resent time there is a remnant according to
the election of grace. "om 22$@&?
For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so
we, being many, are one body in /hrist, and individually members of one another. "om 20$@&?
9 in mighty signs and wonders, by the !ower of the 5!irit of od, so that from )erusalem and round
about to Illyricum I have fully !reached the gos!el of /hrist. And so I have made it my aim to !reach
the gos!el, not where /hrist was named, lest I should build on another man4s foundation, "om 2?$2#&
0F
7em!hases added8
7
It is easy to see from the above e*amples how the word so is often used as a hine between an illustration,
and that which is bein illustrated:
As 4udment came to all men, so the free ift came to all men
As many were made sinners, so many will be made rihteous
As sin reined in death, so race reins in rihteousness
#hrist died to sin, so we should die to sin
%e have been slaves of uncleanness, so now be slaves of rihteousness
There was a remnant in ;li4ah2s day, so there was a remnant in 1aul2s day
"ur physical bodies have many members, so the Body of #hrist has many members
%hat, then, is the other half of the $hine& for >oman ??:/M? It is verse /H:
0? For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in
your own o!inion, that blindness in !art has ha!!ened to Israel until the fullness of the (entiles has
come in$ 0% And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written$
"The Jeliverer will come out of Cion,
And >e will turn away ungodliness from )acob;
0B For this is ,y covenant with them,
When I ta+e away their sins."
"om 22$0?&0B 7em!hasis added8
%hat does the other half of the $hine& tell us about the manner by which all Israel will be saved? By the
fullness of the :entiles comin inI But this implies that Israel of v! /M is spiritual Israel, while the Israel of v! /H
is physical 5national6 Israel! %e have already read 1aul2s definition of Spiritual Israel earlier in >omans:
-ut it is not that the word of od has ta+en no effect. For they are not all :s!iritual< Israel who are of
:!hysical< Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, "In Isaac your
seed shall be called." That is, those who are the children of the flesh :!hysical Israel<, these are not the
children of od :s!iritual Israel<; but the children of the !romise are counted as the seed. "om #$%&6
But is it not convoluted to chane the meanin of a word from one verse to the ne*t, we miht ask? 1erhaps,
e*cept that we see 1aul has already established the precedent in >omans P:M'N above! #onsider too the
followin passae by 1aul, in which he is also describin a mystery 5note that 1aul is the only author in the
epistles that uses the term mystery, and that it is intricately bound up with the sub4ect of the #hurch6:
"For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be Hoined to his wife, and the two shall
become one flesh." This is a great mystery, but I s!ea+ concerning /hrist and the church. G!h ?$12&10
7ere 1aul takes a passae that e*plicitly says it is dealin with husbands and wives, and says that he is
speakin of #hrist and the church! 7e has poured a spiritual meanin into a physical term in order to illustrate
a point! %e believe that he is doin the same thin in >omans P'??, movin back and forth between physical
and spiritual Israel! Indeed, no one strules with the fact that 1aul applies different meanins to the term
Israel in the same sentence, in >omans P:M For they are not all :s!iritual< Israel who are of :!hysical< Israel9
The fact that 1aul is not referrin to all of national Israel bein saved is supported by other statements he
makes in this section of Scripture! #onsider the openin verses of this section:
I tell the truth in /hrist, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the >oly 5!irit, that I
have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from
/hrist for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites9 "om #$2&@
7
%hy was 1aul e*periencin such sorrow over his countrymen 5physical Israel6, if he knew that all !hysical
Israel was oin to be saved? %hy was he ready to ive up his salvation 5be accursed from #hrist6 for
somethin that was oin to happen anyway? 7is sorrow makes sense, however, if the all Israel bein saved
is spiritual Israel, and not 1aul2s countrymen accordin to the flesh! But what about the fact that 1aul says that
:od has not re4ected 7is people?
I say then, has od cast away >is !eo!le? /ertainly notE For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of
Abraham, of the tribe of -enHamin. "om 22$2
"bviously 1aul is speakin here of his physical heritae and lineae! But is the question askin has od cast
away the 'ATI.' of Israel from being >is chosen !eo!le? "r is it askin somethin else? ,et2s look at the
conte*t:
-ut they :!hysical Israel< have not all obeyed the gos!el. For Isaiah says, "3."J, who has believed our
re!ort?" 5o then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of od. -ut I say, have they not
heard? Les indeed$ "Their sound has gone out to all the earth, And their words to the ends of the
world." -ut I say, did Israel not +now? First ,oses says$ "I will !rovo+e you to Healousy by those who
are not a nation, I will move you to anger by a foolish nation." -ut Isaiah is very bold and says$ "I was
found by those who did not see+ ,e; I was made manifest to those who did not as+ for ,e." -ut to
Israel he says$ "All day long I have stretched out ,y hands To a disobedient and contrary !eo!le." I
say then, has od cast away >is !eo!le? /ertainly notE For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of
Abraham, of the tribe of -enHamin. od has not cast away >is !eo!le whom >e fore+new. .r do you
not +now what the 5cri!ture says of GliHah, how he !leads with od against Israel, saying, "3."J, they
have +illed Lour !ro!hets and torn down Lour altars, and I alone am left, and they see+ my life"? -ut
what does the divine res!onse say to him? "I have reserved for ,yself seven thousand men who have
not bowed the +nee to -aal." Gven so then, at this !resent time there is a remnant according to the
election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer of wor+s; otherwise grace is no longer grace. -ut
if it is of wor+s, it is no longer grace; otherwise wor+ is no longer wor+. What then? Israel has not
obtained what it see+s; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. "om 2F$2%&22$B
#onsider the followin option! 1aul has 4ust described national Israel as not all bein obedient to the ospel!
7e says that :od, throuh the ospel, was found by those who did not seek 7im, while Israel is called a
disobedient and contrary people! The implication is that Israel did not find :od, while the :entiles did!
Therefore, 1aul asks the question has od cast away >is !eo!le from the chance of findin 7im, from the
possibility of obtainin salvation? /ertainly notE For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe
of -enHamin, and I am saved by the ospel of race ( I have not been cast awayI od has not cast away >is
!eo!le whom >e fore+new. %hom did 7e foreknow? The remnantI .r do you not +now what the 5cri!ture
says of GliHah, how he !leads with od against Israel, saying, "3."J, they have +illed Lour !ro!hets and torn
down Lour altars, and I alone am left, and they see+ my life"? -ut what does the divine res!onse say to him?
"I have reserved for ,yself seven thousand men who have not bowed the +nee to -aal." ;li4ah, like 1aul,
realiAed that his nation had re4ected :od, and that they were truly a disobedient and contrary !eo!le, yet :od
had reserved a remnant for 7imself! Gven so then, at this !resent time there is a remnant according to the
election of grace ( the ospel. And if by grace, then it is no longer of wor+s ( physical lineae; otherwise grace
is no longer grace. -ut if it is of wor+s ( carte blanche acceptance based upon national heritae, it is no longer
grace ( individual acceptance base upon faith; otherwise wor+ is no longer wor+.
What then? :!hysical< Israel has not obtained what it see+s; but the elect :s!iritual Israel< have obtained
it, and the rest :of !hysical Israel< were blinded9 blindness in !art has ha!!ened to :!hysical< Israel
until the fullness of the entiles has come in. And so :by the entles coming in< all :s!iritual< Israel :the
elect< will be saved.
%e believe that this view is strenthened when we make a proper distinction between the "live tree and the
branches of 1aul2s alleory in the precedin conte*t:
7
And if some of the branches were bro+en off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among
them, and with them became a !arta+er of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against
the branches. -ut if you do boast, remember that you do not su!!ort the root, but the root su!!orts
you. Lou will say then, "-ranches were bro+en off that I might be grafted in." Well said. -ecause of
unbelief they were bro+en off, and you stand by faith. Jo not be haughty, but fear. For if od did not
s!are the natural branches, >e may not s!are you either. Therefore consider the goodness and
severity of od$ on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in >is goodness.
.therwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in,
for od is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature,
and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are
natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? "om 22$2B&0@ '()*
#learly the branches that were broken off were unbelievin =ews, while the branches that were rafted in were
:entile believers! The branches do not represent nations, but individuals! :od did not raft the :entiles in on a
national basis, but on an individual basis! So when 1aul says that the natural branches, which were previously
broken off, can be rafted in aain, we believe that he is referrin to =ews comin to a savin knowlede of
#hrist on an individual basis!
Because the :entiles are depicted as a $wild olive tree&, and the =ews are depicted as $natural branches, the
$natural& "live tree is sometimes understood as bein the nation of Israel! If this is so, then why were =ews
$broken off& ( did they stop bein Israelites? And why were :entile believers rafted in ( did they start bein
Israelites? <o, the $natural& "live tree represents :od2s elect, 7is remnant! .urin the "ld #ovenant the nation
of Israel was the recipient and administrator of that stae of :od2s redemptive plan! Therefore it is sometimes
difficult to distinuish between the nation of Israel and the elect! %e have read earlier, in 1aul2s quote from the
"ld Testament, where :od is tellin ;li4ah that althouh most of Israel had one after Baal, 7e still had a
remnant! That the "live tree represents specifically the elect, and not national Israel, is demonstrated by Arthur
#ustance, in his study Three Trees$ And IsraelPs >istory 5from volume M of The Joorway Aa!ers ' Time And
Gternity6! In it he defines the three aspects of a nation2s, or individual2s, e*istence: secularF spiritualF and
reliious:
<ations as a whole may also be viewed as havin two kinds of history which are e*perienced
concurrently! Alon with the secular there is a spiritual history which is not usually clearly identified and
sometimes not even reconiAed! 7owever, there was one nation whose spiritual history required even
reater attention than their political history! This is the nation Israel-
All nations have a secular history, but only those nations which have e*perienced somethin of a true
spiritual awakenin have had a spiritual history! 3any African peoples, for e*ample, achieved
nationhood in the past, lon before missionaries reached them to effect any kind of spiritual awakenin,
and they therefore en4oyed a national history but not a spiritual one! But there is a third kind of history
which they e*perienced and which would be the proper sub4ect of study for those interested in their
religious beliefs and practices! Thus it seems necessary to reconiAe that both individuals and nations
may have three distinctly different kinds of history: a secular or worldly historyF a spiritual history which
results from a enuine rebirth of a number of its citiAensF and a reliious history which reflects
somethin that seems to be deeply rooted in human nature and is probably found in every society,
namely, a reconition of a supernatural and larely invisible world impinin upon our own-
The history of Israel is a unique one, for they have not been numbered amon the nations as an
ordinary people 5<umbers /9:P6! Thus, while these three kinds of historical perspective, enerally
speakin, apply to all nations which have had any spiritual life, they apply uniquely to Israel and are
uniquely so treated in Scripture! 7ere the distinction between IsraelRs temporal history, their reliious
history, and their spiritual history is absolutely clear! IsraelRs birth as a nation in the ;*odus, the
establishment of the people in a homeland, the buildin of a capital city, the foundin of a monarchy,
the triumphs and traedies of their enaements with neihbourin people, their captivity and near
annihilation, their restoration and strules under the >oman emperors, their one reat national
opportunity which they failed to reconiAe and their subsequent national suicide and dispersion
7
throuhout the world '' all these are properly part and parcel of their temporal history as a nation! The
circumstances surroundin the specialiAed trainin of 3oses, the construction of the Tabernacle in the
wilderness, the buildin of the Temple in the lorious rein of Solomon, the radual accumulation of a
collection of sacred writins, the study of which led in time to the formation of synaoues and schools
and a vast body of reliious tradition and ordinance, the destruction and rebuildin of the Temple, the
development of distinctly opposed reliious sects, the reliious philosophy which led to many of the
conflicts with >ome, the blindness of the leaders in failin to perceive what was truly spiritual, and the
final destruction of the Temple under Titus in A!.! 08 '' all these 5as well as the subsequent
development of synaoues outside the 7oly ,and6 would form the appropriate materials for a reliious
history of Israel!
But throuhout, there runs another thread which is evanescent and ill'defined, e*cept insofar as it is
always related to a minority '' termed not infrequently the "emnant '' whose real history is truly known
only to :od! It is illustrated by the seven thousand in ;li4ahRs day who had not bowed the knee to Baal!
%e do not know of what tribe they were, whether they were poor or rich, nor even what happened to
them subsequently! They had no social structure that would have set them off as a sect, for ;li4ah, with
his profound knowlede of what was oin on in his country was apparently quite unaware of them!
They were individuals known to the ,ord! They had a history all riht, but the record of it was not kept
here! Throuhout the whole of "ld Testament times such people were to be found, for :od never left
7imself without this witness! ;noch, who Lwalked with :od,L was one of these!
Because Scripture takes into account these three dimensions in dealin with IsraelRs history, this
composite is set forth symbolically by the use of trees: the vine to portray IsraelRs national history, the
olive tree to portray her spiritual history, and the fi tree to portray her reliious history! These three
trees are used in this symbolic sense, not merely in parables where they are hypothetical, but in
circumstances where the references to them are strictly historical, where the writer has in view real
trees that e*isted at the time of writin! Jemphasis in oriinalK
#ustance oes on to establish from Scripture how the vine, the olive tree and the fi tree represent,
respectively, national Israel, spiritual Israel and reliious Israel! The difference between spiritual Israel and
reliious Israel is personified by the 1harisees and Sadducees, who, althouh they were very reliious, from a
spiritual standpoint they were whitewashed tombs, full of dead men2s bones 53t /9:/06! #ustance introduces
the association between the olive tree and spiritual Israel, the remnant, as follows:
In contrast with the vine which has a horiAontal rowth, the olive rows vertically toward heaven! That
the olive tree is associated symbolically with the spiritual history of Israel is stated with equal
e*plicitness in Scripture! The choice of such a tree is most appropriate, for it is from its fruit that olive oil
is obtained, and this is the oil of anointin which symboliAes the anointin of the 7oly Spirit!
The very first mention of the tree is, not une*pectedly, in connection with the restoration of the earth
after the +lood! <oah sends out a dove, and the dove returns with an olive leaf 5:enesis N:?8, ??6! Both
the dove and the leaf reinforce the spiritual implications, the emerence of new life! Because :od has
always left 7imself with some witness in Israel in times of direst 4udment, the prophets in foretellin
what would happen to the nation because of their disobedience speak of the cuttin down of the vine
and the fi tree and their destruction in the landF but never is it stated that the olive tree will suffer such
total uprootin! Thus =eremiah, the prophet of doom, added the warnin 5in =eremiah ??:?M6 that
althouh the reen olive would suffer in this comin 4udment, he does not speak of its total
destruction, but warns only that the branches of it will be broken! This seems to be the basis of the
simile used by 1aul in >omans ??:?0'/0!
Althouh #ustance believed that national Israel would someday be spiritually restored, we feel that it is
because he limited the scope of the three trees alleory to three aspects of national Israel! :ranted, most of
the Bible deals with national Israel, but as we have seen, Israel was only one stae of :od2s redemptive plan!
#ustance admits that ;noch, who lived lon before the nation of Israel e*isted, was one of :od2s remnant! And
we have also seen that Abraham was considered rihteous prior to circumcision 5i!e!, apart from the law6!
Therefore we feel that althouh the three trees center on the nation of Israel, they encompass :od2s entire
redemptive plan throuhout history! This is confirmed by the fact that when Adam and ;ve sinned, they
covered their nakedness with fi leaves! The fi represents the reliious dimension, and here we see the first
7
reliious act in the Bible! Someone has defined reliion as man tryin to work his way to :od, and here Adam
and ;ve are tryin to restore their previous state of e*istence in the siht of :od!
The typoloy of the trees is also supported by the fact that =esus cursed the fi tree because it had no fruit (
the outward reliion of man cannot produce spiritual life ( and the parable of 4udment upon the vinedressers,
also for not presentin fruit to the landowner! That the fi tree withered from the roots 53ark ??:/86 sinifies
that it was completely dead ( there would be no future bloom! This also parallels the @indom of :od ( as
represented by the vineyard ( bein taken from national Israel and iven to the #hurch, never to return, 4ust as
with the "ld Testament kindoms of Saul and .avid!
=ust as we see the fi tree reachin back past national Israel, so we believe that the olive tree reaches forward
past national Israel, representin :od2s elect throuhout time! Thus the olive tree of 1aul2s alleory is :od2s
elect, and is in the process of transitionin from the "ld #ovenant to the <ew #ovenant! Those branches (
individual =ews ( which did not make the transition, as evidenced by their lack of fruit 5cf! =n ?H:?ff6, were
broken off! Those :entiles 5who were not natural partakers of the "ld #ovenant6 who believed in #hrist were
rafted into the olive tree of the <ew #ovenant! If the uncultivated branches 5:entiles without the ,aw, which
foreshadowed the <ew #ovenant they were fellow heirs of6 could be rafted in, how much more can the
natural branches 5=ews, who were the custodians of that foreshadow6 be rafted back in?
"nce aain, the above interpretation is not inline with popular views concernin the future of the present day
nation of Israel! 7owever, it restores the harmony of the two covenants that we have seen up to this point!
.rawin from the chapter about =ohn the Baptist, we have to ask ourselves in this case, are we willin to
receive it? "r will we allow the traditions of man to make the %ord of :od of no effect 53k 0:?96?
7
The New Covenant and Canaan
Is the physical land of Israel promised to the =ews forever? A cursory look at Scripture seems to affirm that it is:
And the 3."J said to Abram, after 3ot had se!arated from him$ "3ift your eyes now and loo+ from the
!lace where you are && northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I
give to you and your descendants forever. en 21$2@&2? '()*
Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of
/anaan, as an everlasting !ossession; and I will be their od." en 2B$6 '()*
>e remembers >is covenant forever,
The word which >e commanded, for a thousand generations,
The covenant which >e made with Abraham,
And >is oath to Isaac,
And confirmed it to )acob for a statute,
To Israel as an everlasting covenant,
5aying, KTo you I will give the land of /anaan
As the allotment of your inheritance,"
As 2F?$6&22 '()*
It certainly appears that the land of #anaan was promised to Abraham2s seed forever! But in the
previous chapter we saw that Abraham2s children of the promise were not physical =ews, but spiritual
=ews:
That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of od; but the children of
the !romise are counted as the seed. "om #$6&# '()*
For it is written that Abraham had two sons$ the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. -ut
he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through
!romise,9'ow we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of !romise. al @$00&01, 06 '()*
Scripture affirms for us that the spiritual seed of Abraham, the #hurch, are the heirs of the promise! This is
because we are 4oint heirs with #hrist, %ho is the $seed& of Abraham in %hom the promises are fulfilled:
The 5!irit >imself bears witness with our s!irit that we are children of od, and if children, then heirs
Q heirs of od and Hoint heirs with /hrist, if indeed we suffer with >im, that we may also be glorified
together. "om 6$2%&2B '()*
'ow to Abraham and his 5eed were the !romises made. >e does not say, "And to seeds," as of many,
but as of one, "And to your 5eed," who is /hrist9 And if you are /hrist4s, then you are Abraham4s
seed, and heirs according to the !romise. al 1$2%, 0# '()*
In spite of this clear teachin of Scripture, many in the #hurch believe that :od !romised the land to the =ews
forever! This may be due in part to the belief that all physical Israel will be saved ( a physical nation would
require a physical land! To be sure, the land was promised to Abraham2s descendents! 7owever, 1aul clearly
states the recipients of the promises to Abraham were realiAed by his spiritual seed of the <ew #ovenant,
typified by Isaac!
But this presents us with a problem ( how does a physical land fit with the spiritual heirs of a spiritual kindom?
Is the #hurch to eventually be headquartered in the land of Israel? If so, then we are back to the problem we
faced in the precedin chapter of havin an element of the "ld #ovenant continuin on in the <ew #ovenant!
7
"n the other hand, if the pattern that has worked so well to this point is to fit here, we must find a spiritual
antitype to the physical land of Israel! #an we do this?
#anaan was the $1romised ,and& that the eneration of 3oses 4ourneyed towards:
Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of
/anaan, as an everlasting !ossession; and I will be their od." en 2B$6
I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Ggy!tians, and to bring them u! from that land
to a good and large land, to a land flowing with mil+ and honey, to the !lace of the /anaanites and the
>ittites and the Amorites and the Aeri;;ites and the >ivites and the )ebusites. G= 1$6
Is there a correspondin $promised land& that the #hurch is lookin forward to?
In ,y Father4s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to !re!are a
!lace for you. And if I go and !re!are a !lace for you, I will come again and receive you to ,yself; that
where I am, there you may be also. )ohn 2@$0&1
So we see that both #anaan and 7eaven are $1romised ,ands&! They are also both places of bounty:
Then they came to the *alley of Gshcol, and there cut down a branch with one cluster of gra!es; they
carried it between two of them on a !ole. They also brought some of the !omegranates and figs9Then
they told him, and said$ "We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with mil+ and honey, and
this is its fruitI. 'um 21$01, 0B
And he showed me a !ure river of water of life, clear as crystal, !roceeding from the throne of od and
of the 3amb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore
twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the
nations. "ev 00$2&0
The bulk of 7ebrews 9 U O speaks to the parallels of the Israelites enterin #anaan, and #hristians enterin
their $final rest&, or heaven! #onsider this portion of chap! O:
Therefore, since a !romise remains of entering >is rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come
short of it. For indeed the gos!el was !reached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard
did not !rofit them, not being mi=ed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter
that rest9 For if )oshua had given them rest, then >e would not afterward have s!o+en of another day.
There remains therefore a rest for the !eo!le of od. >eb @$2&1a, 6&# '()*
7ere aain the author of 7ebrews is pullin back the veil, and revealin to us that the physical $promised land
of rest& was 4ust a type of the true place of rest for :od2s people! =ust as #anaan was the final rest for physical
Israel, so 7eaven is the final rest for spiritual Israel! That the physical land was only a type, and not the final
rest, is borne out by the followin:
-y faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the !lace which he would receive as an
inheritance. And he went out, not +nowing where he was going. -y faith he dwelt in the land of !romise
as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and )acob, the heirs with him of the same !romise;
for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and ma+er is od. >eb 22$6&2F '()*
These all :the early Aatriarchs< died in faith, not having received the !romises, but having seen them
afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and !ilgrims on
the earth. For those who say such things declare !lainly that they see+ a homeland. And truly if they
had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had o!!ortunity to
return. -ut now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore od is not ashamed to be
called their od, for >e has !re!ared a city for them. >eb 22$21&2% '()*
7
7ere the Scripture e*plicitly states that Abraham dwelt in the land of !romise as in a foreign country! %hy?
Because even thouh it was the promised land, it was not the final restin place! %hile in the promised land,
Abraham was waitin for the city whose builder and maker was :od, in that heavenly country! So we see the
earthly $promised land& as a type of the heavenly $promised land&!
This theme is reiterated in the life of .avid! %hen .avid desired to build a house for the ,ord, :od replied
throuh <athan the prophet that not .avid, but his son, would build the house! But first, :od makes an
interestin statement to .avid:
'ow therefore, thus shall you say to ,y servant Javid, 4Thus says the 3."J of hosts$ "I too+ you from
the shee!fold, from following the shee!, to be ruler over ,y !eo!le, over Israel. And I have been with
you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you, and have made you a
great name, li+e the name of the great men who are on the earth. ,oreover I will a!!oint a !lace for ,y
!eo!le Israel, and will !lant them, that they may dwell in a !lace of their own and move no more; 0
5am B$6&2F '()* 7cf. 2 /hron 2B$#8
%hile .avid was dwellin in =erusalem, the capitol of Israel 5#anaan6, :od told him that 7e would appoint a
place for 7is people Israel, and would plant them that they may dwell in a place of their own! <otice the future
tense in what :od said ( I will appoint, I will plant! )et Israel had been in the land of #anaan for appro*imately
O88 yearsI <ot only that, but at the time that :od spoke this, they were at perhaps the Aenith of the kindom
years, as evidenced 4ust a few verses earlier:
'ow it came to !ass when the +ing was dwelling in his house, and the 3."J had given him rest from
all his enemies all around, that the +ing said to 'athan the !ro!het, "5ee now, I dwell in a house of
cedar, but the ar+ of od dwells inside tent curtains." 0 5am B$2&0 '()*
7ow much more $planted& could the Israelites have been, than havin rest from all of their enemies? %hy then,
at the peak of the .avidic kindom, would :od speak of yet appointin a place for Israel, and yet plantin
them? Because, 4ust as the earthly kindom was merely a temporary foreshadow of the spiritual kindom, so
the land that it was planted in was a foreshadow of the spiritual dwellin place of the citiAens of that heavenly
kindom!
.oes this mean that all of the promises reardin Israel and the land are to only be taken in a spiritual sense,
and that physical Israel and physical #anaan were never in view? Absolutely notI The land was promised to
them, and they did enter it! This is the assurance to the believer that 4ust as :od brouht physical Israel into
physical #anaan, so 7e will brin spiritual Israel into spiritual #anaan!
The apparent problem of the $forever& lanuae disappears when we investiate further and find that Israel2s
occupation of the land was conditional! Their occupation of it was dependant upon their obedience to :od2s
commands! And 4ust as 7e promised that 7e would bless them in the land, 7e also promised to destroy them
from it if they became disobedient:
'ow, , %srael, listen to the statutes and the Hudgments which I teach you to observe, that you may
live, and go in and possess the land which the 3."J od of your fathers is giving you. Jeut @$2&0
'()*
When you beget children and grandchildren and have grown old in the land, and act corru!tly and
ma+e a carved image in the form of anything, and do evil in the sight of the 3."J your od to !rovo+e
>im to anger, I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that you will soon utterly perish
from the land which you cross over the )ordan to !ossess; you will not prolong your days in it, but
will be utterly destroyed. Jeut @$0?&0B '()*
7
Lou shall not go after other gods, the gods of the !eo!les who are all around you 7for the 3."J your
od is a Healous od among you8, lest the anger of the 3."J your od be aroused against you and
destroy you from the face of the earth. Jeut %$2@&2? '()*
Gvery commandment which I command you today you must be careful to observe, that you may live
and multi!ly, and go in and possess the land of which the 3."J swore to your fathers. Jeut 6$2
'()*
Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the 3."J your od, and follow other gods, and serve them
and worshi! them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish. As the nations which the
3."J destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of
the 3."J your od. Jeut 6$2#&0F '()*
Therefore you shall #eep every commandment which I command you today, that you may be strong,
and go in and possess the land which you cross over to !ossess, and that you may prolong your
days in the land which the 3."J swore to give your fathers, to them and their descendants, 4a land
flowing with mil+ and honey.4 Jeut 22$6&# '()*
Ta+e heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and
worshi! them, lest the 3."J4s anger be aroused against you, and >e shut u! the heavens so that
there be no rain, and the land yield no !roduce, and you perish -uic#ly from the good land which
the 3."J is giving you. Jeut 22$2%&2B '()*
And it shall be, that Hust as the 3."J reHoiced over you to do you good and multi!ly you, so the L,./
will rejoice over you to destroy you and bring you to nothing; and you shall be pluc#ed from off
the land which you go to !ossess. Jeut 06$%1 '()* 7em!hases added8
So we see that the promise of the physical land was conditional! Time and space prevent us from detailin the
numerous acts by which the Israelites failed to meet those conditions! If the reader is not familiar with them,
then suffice it that :od 7imself foretold that Israel would break 7is covenant:
And the 3."J said to ,oses$ "-ehold, you will rest with your fathers; and this !eo!le will rise and !lay
the harlot with the gods of the foreigners of the land, where they go to be among them, and they will
forsa+e ,e and brea+ ,y covenant which I have made with them. Then ,y anger shall be aroused
against them in that day, and I will forsa+e them, and I will hide ,y face from them, and they shall be
devoured. And many evils and troubles shall befall them, so that they will say in that day, 4>ave not
these evils come u!on us because our od is not among us?4 And I will surely hide ,y face in that day
because of all the evil which they have done, in that they have turned to other gods. Jeut 12$2%&26
'()*
Added to this conditional element of possessin the land, is the testimony of =oshua that the promises to
Abraham were fulfilled:
5o the 3."J gave to Israel all the land of which >e had sworn to give to their fathers, and they too+
!ossession of it and dwelt in it. The 3."J gave them rest all around, according to all that >e had
sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the 3."J delivered all
their enemies into their hand. 'ot a word failed of any good thing which the 3."J had s!o+en to the
house of Israel. All came to !ass. )osh 02$@1&@? '()*
Then he :5olomon< stood and blessed all the assembly of Israel with a loud voice, saying$ "-lessed be
the 3."J, who has given rest to >is !eo!le Israel, according to all that >e !romised. There has not
failed one word of all >is good !romise, which >e !romised through >is servant ,oses. 2 (ings 6$??&
?% '()*
7
So we see that the promises to physical Israel were fulfilled! Any further fulfillment, as 1aul asserts, is spiritual
in nature, and belons to the $children of the promise& ( spiritual Israel! But what of .euteronomy chapter 98
5and similar passaes6, which speaks of a future atherin of Israel after they have been scattered because of
their disobedience?
"'ow it shall come to !ass, when all these things come u!on you, the blessing and the curse which I
have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the 3."J your od drives
you, and you return to the 3."J your od and obey >is voice, according to all that I command you
today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, that the 3."J your od will
bring you bac+ from ca!tivity, and have com!assion on you, and gather you again from all the nations
where the 3."J your od has scattered you. If any of you are driven out to the farthest !arts under
heaven, from there the 3."J your od will gather you, and from there >e will bring you. Then the
3."J your od will bring you to the land which your fathers !ossessed, and you shall !ossess it. >e
will !ros!er you and multi!ly you more than your fathers. Jeut 1F$2&? '()*
3any see the fulfillment of this passae in the re'established nation of Israel, and its current repopulation! It
cannot be denied that for the last fifty years =ews have been returnin there from the all the nations where they
have been scattered! But is this the fulfillment of .euteronomy 98? %e believe that a closer look at the te*t
cateorically rules out that possibility! The reason that the =ews were scattered was because they turned away
from :od! 3oses clearly laid out their options in chapters /0'/P! The blessins and curses of :od hined upon
the actions of the Israelites after they took possession of the land! <o less than five times does the phrase $if
you-& occur in chapter /N! The blessins and curses are an $ifEthen& proposition!
The "ld Testament and the ospels are replete with e*amples of Israel turnin away from :od! They had
fulfilled the $if& part of the clause of the curse, after which :od fulfilled the $then& part! #ertainly :od would
have been un4ust if 7e had brouht the curses upon Israel, if they hadn2t fulfilled the $if& portion by breakin 7is
covenant! >eturnin to the promise of restoration in chapter 98, we see that it is also an $ifEthen& proposition:
'ow it shall come to !ass, when all these things come u!on you0 and you return to the L,./ your
(od and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all
your heart and with all your soul, that the 3."J your od will bring you bac+ from ca!tivity, and
have com!assion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the 3."J your od has
scattered you9 For the 3."J will again reHoice over you for good as >e reHoiced over your fathers, if
you obey the voice of the L,./ your (od, to #eep His commandments and His statutes which
are written in this -oo+ of the 3aw, and if you turn to the L,./ your (od with all your heart and
with all your soul$ Jeut 1F$2&1, #&2F '()* 7em!hasis added8
#learly the atherin of Israel described above is conditional upon their return to :od in obedience, with all
their heart and soul! So the question must be asked, have they done that? ,est we think that a return to "ld
Testament ritualistic reliion would suffice for present day Israel, remember #hrist2s words about comin to
:od:
9 I am the way, the truth, and the life. 'o one comes to the Father e'cept through 1e. )ohn 2@$%
'()* 7em!hasis added8 7cf. Acts @$208
The "ld #ovenant has passed away, and we are in the <ew #ovenant, the :ospel ae! Therefore, a
resurrection of the "ld #ovenant would not constitute a return to :od! The only way to return to :od is throuh
#hrist! But not only is present day Israel not #hristian, it is not even practicin =udaism on a national scale!
Accordin to =! >andall 1rice, in The /oming 3ast Jays Tem!le, $modern'day Israel is larely a secular state&
and $larely non'reliious& 5p! /H6! #onsider the followin quote:
.espite a secular society comprisin about NHV of the population and a secular overnment in control
of the state, the reliious parties represented in the Israeli @nesset 51arliament6 have manaed to force
conformity to =ewish law since the foundin of the state! p! /0 5emphasis added6
%
#learly the =ews have not returned to :od with all their heart and soul, not by any stretch of the imaination!
And if :od would have been un4ust in brinin the curses upon them if they hadn2t fulfilled the $if& portion of the
curse, wouldn2t 7e likewise be un4ust to ather them when they haven2t fulfilled the $if& portion of this promise?
Therefore present day Israel cannot be seen as a fulfillment of .euteronomy 98!
+or those who believe that the curses of .euteronomy /N, which were ultimately fulfilled in A. 08 at the
destruction of =erusalem, brouht an end to the nation of Israel, and :od2s dealin with them, what is to be
done with chapter 98? %e believe that the answer lies in the fact that 1aul, under the inspiration of the 7oly
Spirit, applies the conte*t of this passae to the ospel:
For this commandment :about the blessing and the curse< which I command you today is not too
mysterious for you, nor is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, KWho will ascend into
heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?I 'or is it beyond the sea, that you
should say, KWho will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?I -ut the
word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it. Jeut 1F$22&2@ '()*
-ut the righteousness of faith s!ea+s in this way KDJo not say in your heart, DWho will ascend into
heaven?P 7that is, to bring /hrist down from above8 or, DWho will descend into the abyss?PI 7that is, to
bring /hrist u! from the dead8. -ut what does it say? KThe word is near you, in your mouth and in your
heartI 7that is, the word of faith which we !reach8$ that if you confess with your mouth the 3ord )esus
and believe in your heart that od has raised >im from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart
one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the
5cri!ture says, KWhoever believes on >im will not be !ut to shame.I For there is no distinction between
)ew and ree+, for the same 3ord over all is rich to all who call u!on >im. For Kwhoever calls on the
name of the 3."J shall be saved$2 "om 2F$%&21
1aul equates the promise of restoration not with physical =ews and the land of Israel, but with spiritual =ews
and the ospel! In :od2s siht there is no distinction between =ew and :reek! This arees with the author of
7ebrews2 application of =eremiah2s <ew #ovenant to the :ospel 5=er 9?F 7eb N6! The connection between
.euteronomy 98 and the ospel is further strenthened by :od2s promise to those whom 7e athers:
And the 3."J your od will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the
3."J your od with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. Jeut 1F$%
For circumcision is indeed !rofitable if you +ee! the law; but if you are a brea+er of the law, your
circumcision has become uncircumcision. Therefore, if an uncircumcised man +ee!s the righteous
reOuirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? And will not the
!hysically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the law, Hudge you who, even with your written code and
circumcision, are a transgressor of the law? For he is not a )ew who is one outwardly, nor is
circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a )ew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is
that of the heart, in the 5!irit, not in the letter; whose !raise is not from men but from od. "om 0$0?&
0#
As we have studied earlier, the circumcision of the heart identifies the $children of promise&, the ospel saints
of the <ew #ovenant! That the ospel of the cross is the means for atherin the scattered people of :od is
seen in the followin passae:
And one of them, /aia!has, being high !riest that year, said to them, "Lou +now nothing at all, nor do
you consider that it is e=!edient for us that one man should die for the !eo!le, and not that the whole
nation should !erish." 'ow this he did not say on his own authority; but being high !riest that year he
!ro!hesied that )esus would die for the nation, and not for that nation only, but also that >e would
gather together in one the children of (od who were scattered abroad. )ohn 22$@#&?0 7em!hasis
added8
%
%hile .euteronomy 98 certainly contains physical terms 5land, livestock, etc!6, we cannot deny 1aul2s inspired
application of it to the ospel! In the passae above we see the ospel as effectin the atherin of :od2s
children! The misperception of eternal promises to physical Israel occupyin physical #anaan, in our opinion, is
corrected by the followin points:
The promises reardin physical Israel occupyin the physical land were conditional
Scripture affirms that all the promises concernin physical occupation were fulfilled
Any remainin fulfillments are of a spiritual nature, to the spiritual seed of Abraham, not the physical
seed
The divine commentary of the <ew Testament equates :ods2 atherin of scattered Israel with the
ospel
7avin cleared the hurdle of the $forever& promises about the land, we are once aain in perfect harmony with
the pattern of the previous chapters! The physical land of Israel is a type of heaven, both of them bein
$1romised ,ands&! Aain, the physical element of the "ld #ovenant foreshadows the spiritual fulfillment of the
<ew #ovenant!
%
The
st
!eneration of "ational #srael As A Foreshadow of
The
st
!eneration of Spiritual #srael
Suar! to Part $
And ,oses indeed was faithful in all >is house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which
would be s!o+en afterward9 >eb 1$?&% '()*
As we have demonstrated in the precedin chapters, all of the administration of 3oses ( the #ovenant, the
kindom, the temple, the priesthood, the Israelites and the land ( was a testimony of thins which would be
spoken afterward, in the <ew #ovenant! And thouh they were veiled, there were allusions in that old
administration of a future, better administration ( e! !, a priest forever accordin to the order of 3elchiAedek,
Abraham dwellin as a straner in the 1romised ,and, etc! 1erhaps $allusions& is puttin it too mildly, for the
<ew Testament says that the old administration $witnessed& to the rihteousness of the ospel:
-ut now the righteousness of od a!art from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the 3aw and the
Aro!hets9 "om 1$02 '()*
Dnfortunately, the =ews missed that $witness of the ,aw& and the testimony that there was somethin behind
the veil of 3oses, and most of them fell short of realiAin the <ew #ovenant! Instead of lookin for, and
understandin the substance of the <ew #ovenant, they were tenaciously holdin onto the shadow of the "ld
#ovenant! This became the ma4or point of contention between =udaism and #hristianity:
Then some rose u! and bore false witness against >im, saying, "We heard >im say, 4I will destroy this
tem!le made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.4" ,ar+ 2@$?B&
?6 '()*
Then they secretly induced men to say, "We have heard him :5te!hen< s!ea+ blas!hemous words
against ,oses and od." And they stirred u! the !eo!le, the elders, and the scribes; and they came
u!on him, sei;ed him, and brought him to the council. They also set u! false witnesses who said, "This
man does not cease to s!ea+ blas!hemous words against this holy !lace and the law; for we have
heard him say that this )esus of 'a;areth will destroy this !lace and change the customs which ,oses
delivered to us." Acts %$22&2@ '()*
When allio was !roconsul of Achaia, the )ews with one accord rose u! against Aaul and brought him
to the Hudgment seat, saying, "This fellow !ersuades men to worshi! od contrary to the law." Acts
26$20&21 '()*
And when they heard it, they glorified the 3ord. And they said to him, "Lou see, brother, how many
myriads of )ews there are who have believed, and they are all ;ealous for the law; but they have been
informed about you that you teach all the )ews who are among the entiles to forsa+e ,oses, saying
that they ought not to circumcise their children nor to wal+ according to the customs. Acts 02$0F&02
'()*
Then Aaul too+ the men, and the ne=t day, having been !urified with them, entered the tem!le to
announce the e=!iration of the days of !urification, at which time an offering should be made for each
one of them. 'ow when the seven days were almost ended, the )ews from Asia, seeing him in the
tem!le, stirred u! the whole crowd and laid hands on him, crying out, ",en of Israel, hel!E This is the
man who teaches all men everywhere against the !eo!le, the law, and this !lace; and furthermore he
also brought ree+s into the tem!le and has defiled this holy !lace." Acts 02$0%&06 '()*
Because of the lack of understandin of the transition from physical to spiritual, and the necessity for the
physical type to be done away with, the teachins of #hrist and the Apostles were perceived as attempts to
chane the ,aw of 3oses! The =ews didn2t realiAe that #hrist, as the 3essiah, came to fulfill the law, so that
the type could be done away with, and 7e miht be established as 3ediator of the <ew #ovenant:
%
Jo not thin+ that I came to destroy the 3aw or the Aro!hets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. ,t
?$2B&26 '()*
-ut now >e has obtained a more e=cellent ministry, inasmuch as >e is also ,ediator of a better
covenant, which was established on better !romises.
>eb 6$% '()*
Thouh the e*perts in the ,aw devoted their lives to understandin it, still they failed to see that #hrist was its
fulfillment, in spite of 7is clear attempts to enlihten them:
For if you believed ,oses, you would believe ,e; for he wrote about ,e. -ut if you do not believe his
writings, how will you believe ,y words?" )ohn ?$@%&@B '()*
Lou search the 5cri!tures, for in them you thin+ you have eternal life; and these are they which testify
of ,e. -ut you are not willing to come to ,e that you may have life. )ohn ?$1#&@F '()*
Is it possible that the #hurch also has been uilty of not fully removin the veil? To be sure, we have removed
it far enouh to perceive and enter into the <ew #ovenant! But have we truly understood the overwhelmin
spiritual nature of that covenant, as unfolded in the Scriptures? In the Introduction we said that while the <ew
#ovenant is not entirely spiritual in nature, it is primarily so! #ertainly, from 1entecost on, physical people livin
on this physical ;arth have been born aain into the spiritual kindom! But while we may have acknowleded
spiritual aspects to the <ew #ovenant, how many have coalesced those aspects into a comprehensive whole,
to reveal the e*tent to which the <ew #ovenant is spiritual in nature? It is hoped that 1art I of this work has
done 4ust that! 7avin established this foundation, in 1art II we will attempt to build upon it by removin the veil
from the Second #omin of #hrist! In order to do this, we must look usin the same vision of 1aul and the <ew
Testament saints:
9 we do not loo+ at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things
which are seen are tem!orary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 0 /or @$26 '()*
%
%
Part $$' .nveiling The Second
Coing
%
Putting On The Veil/
7avin spent several doAens of paes and numerous scriptural quotes in establishin the spiritual nature of
the <ew #ovenant, we are presented with an interestin dilemma! .oes not the popular understandin of the
Second #omin of #hrist ( in which 7e vanquishes the physical armies of the ;arth, sets up a physical throne
in physical =erusalem, and reins over a physical @indom ( sound suspiciously like the e*pectations of the
=ews for 7is first comin? 7ence the question of this chapter2s title, Autting .n The *eil? Is it possible that, 4ust
as the =ews allowed the veil of 3oses to shroud elements of #hrist2s first comin, the #hurch has allowed it to
shroud elements of 7is Second #omin? #ould it be that, while we think we can discern the speck in the eyes
of the =ews reardin #hrist2s first comin, our own vision is clouded by a speck 5if not a plank6 in reards to
7is Second #omin?
%ouldn2t a return to the physical realm be tantamount to puttin the veil of 3oses back on, and of resurrectin
the physical types and puttin them over and aainst their spiritual fulfillments? %e have already demonstrated
that the "ld #ovenant was obsolete, and in need of chane:
For if what is !assing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious. 0 /or 1$22 '()*
In that >e says, "A new covenant," >e has made the first obsolete. 'ow what is becoming obsolete and
growing old is ready to vanish away. >eb 6$21 '()*
Therefore, if !erfection were through the 3evitical !riesthood 7for under it the !eo!le received the law8,
what further need was there that another !riest should rise according to the order of ,elchi;ede+, and
not be called according to the order of Aaron? For the !riesthood being changed, of necessity there is
also a change of the law. >eb B$22&20 '()*
There is no intimation that the $passin away& was to be merely temporary, nor that any elements of the "ld
#ovenant were to play some future role in the <ew #ovenant! >ather, we see that the "ld #ovenant had
fulfilled its purpose ( therefore it was obsolete and no loner needed! As 1aul states, the law was not aainst
the promise 5the "ld #ovenant was not aainst the <ew6, but was desined to reveal our sin, and prepare us
for redemption throuh faith in #hrist! "nce that faith 5redemptive plan6 was revealed, the law had served its
purpose:
Is the law then against the !romises of od? /ertainly notE For if there had been a law given which
could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. -ut the 5cri!ture has confined
all under sin that the !romise by faith in )esus /hrist might be given to those who believe. -ut before
faith came, we were +e!t under guard by the law, +e!t for the faith which would afterward be revealed.
Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to /hrist, that we might be Hustified by faith. -ut after faith
has come, we are no longer under a tutor. al 1$02&0? '()*
"n the other hand, there is no indication of an end to the <ew #ovenant, but instead the declaration that it is
everlastin:
And it is yet far more evident if, in the li+eness of ,elchi;ede+, there arises another !riest who has
come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the !ower of an endless
life. For >e testifies$
"Lou are a !riest forever
According to the order of ,elchi;ede+."
-ut >e, because >e continues forever, has an unchangeable !riesthood. >eb B$2?&2B, 0@ '()*
'ow may the od of !eace who brought u! our 3ord )esus from the dead, that great 5he!herd of the
shee!, through the blood of the everlasting covenant9 >eb 21$0F '()*
%
#hrist2s priesthood is unchaneable, and 7is blood was shed for an everlastin covenant! So by what
scriptural support and hermeneutic do we reapply elements of the obsolete "ld #ovenant to the <ew
#ovenant? Althouh not every "ld Testament prophecy dealin with Israel, the land, the kindom, the temple,
etc!, is interpreted for us by the <ew Testament authors, clearly those which are set the precedent for spiritual
applications! That bein the case, shouldn2t we demand undeniable compulsion from Scripture to break that
precedent in other passaes?
But we can find no such compulsion in the <ew Testament! After 1entecost there is no mention of a future
physical kindom! After describin the #hurch as the Temple of :od, there is no mention of a future physical
temple! After statin that true Israel is made up of spiritual =ews circumcised in the heart, 1aul never says that
in the future bein a true Israelite will be dependent upon a bloodline and physical circumcision!
This is borne out in the "ld Testament typoloy as well! After bein cast out, Ishmael is never reintroduced into
:od2s redemptive history! After the kindom is torn from Saul, it never returns to his family line! After Solomon
5who represents the ospel of peace6 builds the temple, .avid 5who represents the ministry of death6 never
builds one that supersedes it! The fact that Abraham didn2t have a third son, and that the kindom remained in
the .avidic line, indicate that there is no ae after the ae of the <ew #ovenant, which is everlastin!
#learly then, we can find no support in Scripture which allows us, after havin removed the veil, thus
reconiAin #hrist in 7is first comin, to pull that very veil over 7is Second #omin! The <ew #ovenant was
the ne*t and final phase in :od2s proressive plan of redemption!
But, some may arue, the error of the =ews was not that of wholesale misinterpretation, it was only that of
applyin their interpretation to the wron comin of the 3essiah! They were lookin for the ,ion of =udah and a
reinin @in, but =esus came as the ,amb of :od and a sufferin servant! 7owever, in 7is Second #omin
=esus is the ,ion of =udah and reinin @in! Thus the =ews weren2t misinter!reting as much as they were
misa!!lying the "ld Testament passaes! The #hurch, they say, has correctly applied to 7is Second #omin
what the =ews e*pected in 7is first comin!
At first lance this sounds plausible! But it is merely a hollow attempt to sustain a structure that cannot be
supported by Scripture! As we have amply demonstrated by Scripture, the purpose of the "ld #ovenant was to
foreshadow and lead to the <ew #ovenant! "nce fulfilled by #hrist, its purpose was achieved and it became
obsolete and eventually passed away! The <ew #ovenant is everlastin and unchaneable, thus closin the
door on the possibility of some type of return to portions of the "ld #ovenant! Added to this is the fact that the
<ew #ovenant is a better covenant 57eb 0://, N:M6, therefore to reintroduce elements of the "ld #ovenant
would only dilute or corrupt it! Surely we won2t deny that #hrist can be the ,ion of =udah, and rein as @in
over 7is s!iritual @indom, the #hurch?
Instead of tryin to pull the veil of 3oses over the Second #omin, isn2t it time that we remove it? Thouh
easier said than done, we need to erase from the blackboard of our minds the traditions of man! Then, on a
clean slate, we can write down only what is tauht in Scripture!
In the followin chapters we will attempt to do 4ust that! Buildin upon our foundation of the <ew #ovenant, and
its spiritual nature, we will e*plore the three main eschatoloical te*ts ( the book of >evelation, =esus2 "livet
discourse in 3atthew /O 5and its parallels in 3k ?O and ,uke /?6, and .aniel2s seventy weeks! These will not
be e*positional studies, but rather an attempt to view these te*ts in a different framework ( one that fits the
scriptural foundation laid in 1art I!
%
The 0ating of *evelation
In a previous chapter we mentioned that the only reference in the <ew Testament to what could be interpreted
as a future !hysical temple was in the book of >evelation! This is because of the instructions to =ohn in
>evelation ?? to measure the temple, but to leave out the court, for it was to be trampled by the :entiles! This
tramplin by the :entiles indicates that the temple is not the heavenly one! Because the widely held date for
the writin of >evelation is ca! A. PM, well after the temple of =esus2 day was destroyed in A. 08, this temple
that =ohn is told to measure is interpreted to be a future one!
%e also noted that there are those who believe that the physical temple referred to in >evelation is the same
one that was destroyed in A. 08! This is based upon certain evidence that >evelation was actually written in
ca! M8'MH A., before the temple was destroyed, and that the temple of =esus2 day is the one >evelation has in
view! Accordinly, in this viewpoint, there is no reference to a future physical temple!
*evelation' The 1our Ma2or Views
A little known fact, at least in some #hristian circles, is that there are four primary views, or interpretive
positions for the book of >evelation! <aturally there are many subdivisions within each of the four, and the lines
between the four are not always black and white, but sometimes ray! The followin information is leaned
mostly from "evelation M Four *iews, edited by Steve :re! Because 3illennial views are often confused as
bein views of >evelation as a whole, the 3illennial views are defined as well!
3istoricist
Sees the Book of >evelation as a prewritten record of the course of history, from the time it was written, to the
end of the world! +ulfillment is thus considered to be in proress at present and has been unfoldin for nearly
two thousand years!
Preterist
Sees the fulfillment of >evelation2s prophecies as already havin occurred in what is now the ancient past, not
lon after the author2s own time! Thus the fulfillment was in the future from the point of view of the inspired
author, but it is in the past from our vantae point in history! Some 1reterists believe that the final chapters of
>evelation look forward to the Second #omin of #hrist! "thers think that everythin in the book reached its
culmination in the past!
1uturist
1ostulates that the ma4ority of the prophecies of the Book of >evelation have never yet been fulfilled and await
future fulfillment! +uturist interpreters usually apply everythin after chapter four to a relatively brief period
before the return of #hrist!
S+iritualist 4$dealist, S!bolic5
.oes not attempt to find individual fulfillments of the visions, but takes >evelation to be a reat drama depictin
transcendent spiritual realities, such as the spiritual conflict between #hrist and Satan, between the saints and
the antichristian world powers, and depictin the heavenly vindication and final victory of #hrist and his saints!
+ulfillment is seen either as entirely spiritual or as recurrent, findin representative e*pression in historical
events throuhout the ae, rather than in one time, specific fulfillments! The prophecy is thus rendered
applicable to #hristians in any ae!
%
The Millenniu
The 3illennium is the ?,888 year rein of #hristEbindin of Satan described in >evelation chapter /8! There are
three ma4or views, or interpretations of the 3illennium! Thouh often confused with eschatoloical viewpoints
5above6, they are in fact separate! ;ach of the three views of the 3illennium has its2 adherents in each of the
four eschatoloical views, thouh some of the views offer themselves to each other more readily than others!
Preillennialis 4Chilias 6 fro the 7reek for 8thousand95
The belief that the Second #omin of #hrist will precede the millennial kindom! Takin a mostly literal
approach, premillenarians e*pect a period of one thousand years2 duration, durin which #hrist will rein with
his saints here on earth prior to the establishment of the eternal new heavens and new earth! The millennial
rein will be characteriAed by international peace and 4ustice resultin from the universal enforced rule of #hrist
over saved and unsaved alike! At the end of time, Satan2s brief period of freedom will put humanity to one final
test 4ust before the final 4udment!
There are two principal varieties of premillennialism: historic premillennialism and dispensational
premillennialism or, simply, dispensationalism! The latter differs from the former in its emphasis on the
continuin centrality of national Israel in :od2s eschatoloical proram and in anticipatin a >apture of
#hristians to heaven before the beinnin of the Tribulation!
1remillennialism has been accused by its critics of promotin a pessimistic outlook for the temporal future,
althouh, if this is what Scripture teaches, premillennialists can hardly be faulted for such pessimism! This view
is most likely to be held by those adoptin a futurist approach to >evelation!
Postillennialis
Teaches that #hrist returns after the millennial period! Accordin to this view, the millennial kindom will be
established throuh the evanelistic mission of the church! This enterprise will be so successful that all or most
people will become #hristians, resultin in a thousand years of peace on earth before #hrist2s Second #omin!
1ostmillennialists are often 5thouh not always6 inclined toward the preterist approach to >evelation, since their
optimistic view of the future works better if the disasters described in >evelation are seen as belonin to a
time now past, rather than to the end of history!
#illennialis
Dnderstands the thousand years of >evelation /8 to symboliAe an indefinitely lon period of time, which
happens to correspond to the entire span of time from the first comin of #hrist until his Second #omin! 3ost
aspects of chapter /8 5like most aspects of the rest of >evelation6 are believed to be symbolicF the bindin of
Satan happened spiritually at the #rossF the rein of the saints is the present aeF the loosin of Satan is a
final period of deception comin on the world in the end of the aeF the fire from heaven that devours the
wicked is the Second #omin of #hrist! Amillennialists have been found amon adherents of several of the
various approaches to >evelation, but only rarely the futurist!
It should be remembered that the various eschatoloical approaches to >evelation are not linked inseparably
to any particular millennial position, so that one2s eschatoloy does not necessarily dictate which approach to
the millennium is to be preferred!
It is our opinion that of the four ma4or views defined above, the one that fits best upon the scriptural foundation
that was laid in 1art I, is that of 1reterism! This view holds to the early date for the writin of >evelation, and
sees it as a prophecy of the impendin destruction of =erusalem! The last days spoken of in the <ew
Testament were the last days of the "ld #ovenant, and >evelation was a prophecy, couched in apocalyptic
lanuae, of its passin! ,ike Ishmael and Isaac, the "ld and <ew #ovenants had coe*isted for a time ( ca!
98'08 A.! In A. 08 Ishmael was $cast out&, and the "ld #ovenant passed away! <ot coincidently, the time
span of that coe*istence was rouhly O8 years, the lenth of a Biblical eneration! In the remainder of 1art II
*
we will attempt to scripturally establish these views, and their ramifications! Thouh the reader may be
surprised, or even shocked, by some of the interpretations put forth, we trust that the fair treatment and respect
of the 7oly Scriptures thus far has earned the author the privilee of bein heard out!
As one can see from the definitions above of the four ma4or views, only 1reterism depends upon an early date
for the writin of >evelation! To that we now turn our attention! %e bein with a quote from 3a* @in2s The
5!irit of Aro!hecy:
Since our prophetical structure is consummated in the fall of =udaism, it is essential that the pre'
destruction of =erusalem placement of >evelation be authenticated! :enerally, the date of >evelation is
assined to two periods of >oman historyF namely, durin the rein of <ero in the early or mid M82s and
in the latter part of .omitian2s rein, about A!.! PM! Since a claim for either date cannot be
substantiated by history, and scholars are about equally divided on the two dates, we shall consider the
internal evidence that overwhelminly favors the early <eronian date!
The Things <hown "!st <hortly ome To -ass
=ohn2s introductory statement that the thins shown in the >evelation messae must shortly come to
pass 5>ev ?:?6, furnishes us with ins!ired testimony that it is not a book of prophecy that stretches over
centuries and millenniums, but rather it contained a succession of immediate events! This is further
supported in verse three! $Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy,
and keep those thins which are written therein: for the time is at hand!& There is no principle of
e*eesis that can eliminate from prophecy of Scripture a plain statement of time such as shortly and at
hand! These time statements were implanted to impress upon the recipients of that messae the urent
need for hearin, readin, understandin, and keepin the thins that were written therein! Also, they
must serve as a uide for future enerations in a proper placement of the >evelation messae, lest the
true meanin of :od2s word and eternal purpose becomes lost in a Babel of confusion! If a time
statement resident in a Scripture cannot be trusted, neither can any other portion of that Scripture!
A further emphasis upon the immediacy of those events is made in the last chapter of the book! In
verse si* the anel affirmed that $These sayins are faithful and true: and the ,ord :od of the holy
prophets sent his anel to shew unto his servants the thins which must shortly be done!& Then in
verse ten =ohn was instructed to $Seal not the sayins of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at
hand!& Thus, the messae of >evelation is securely trapped at both ends by time statements that hold
its contents a prisoner of first century historical events! All that remains is the identity of those events,
which should be quite discernible from the backround of prophecy that bears upon the end'time!
The $dentity of =evelation With The Book of ,aniel
>evelation, 4ust as the book of .aniel, is an end'time messae, e*cept .aniel2s book is a !ro!hecy of
the end'times, whereas >evelation is a revealing of that end'time, bein written at the time of the end!
.aniel2s prophecy was sealed until the time of the end 5.an ?/:P6, but =ohn was forbidden to seal his
book because it was a revelation of what had been sealed in .aniel2s prophecy, and the time for those
thins was at hand 5>ev //:?86! <ow what did .aniel prophesy? 7e foretold of the destruction of
=erusalem and the temple 5.an P:/M, /06! 7e predicted the comin of the Ancient of days 5#hrist6 and
the saint2s possessin the kindom 5.an 0:/?, //6! 7e saw in connection with the comin of #hrist, the
4udment and the defeat of the beast 5.an 0:P'??6, followed by #hrist2s receivin an eternal kindom of
world wide dominion 5.an 0:?9, ?O6!
H
Jemphasis in the oriinalK
If we could put ourselves in the place of the oriinal readers of >evelation, be it A. MH or A. PM, when we read
terms such as $at hand& and $shortly come to pass&, would we understand them to mean two thousand years in
the distant future? >eardless of when one believes >evelation to have been written, there is an undeniable
messae that the events depicted were to transpire within the lifetime of the oriinal readers! Some arue that
the word translated $shortly& and the word translated $quickly& in >evelation /8:M, ?/, /8 5behold I am coming
Ouic+ly6 are from the same root word in the :reek! Therefore, they arue that the events of >evelation were
6
1p! /HM'/H0 The 5!irit of Aro!hecy, 3a* >! @in ( /
nd
1rintin ?PN9
*
not soon to take place, but when they did occur it would be s!eedily! 7ow does that arument hold up in the
followin verse, which translates $shortly& from the same root word in the :reek?
9+nowing that shortly I must !ut off my tent, Hust as our 3ord )esus /hrist showed me. 0 Aeter 2$2@
'()*
Both =ohn and 1eter had =esus reveal somethin to them that would shortly take place! Are we to assume that
what =esus revealed to 1eter was not that he was about to die, but that when he did die it would be quickly?
=ust as a plain readin of / 1eter ?:?O leads us to believe that 1eter was about to die, so a plain readin of
>evelation leads us to believe that the events it foretold were about to take place! =! Stuart >ussell states it
both powerfully and eloquently:
)et if the book were meant to unveil the secrets of distant times, must it not of necessity have been
unintelliible to its first readers '' and not only unintelliible, but even irrelevant and useless! If it spake,
as some would have us believe, of 7uns and :oths and Saracens, of mediaeval emperors and popes,
of the 1rotestant >eformation and the +rench >evolution, what possible interest or meanin could it
have for the #hristian churches of ;phesus, and Smyrna, and 1hiladelphia, and ,aodicea? ;specially
when we consider the actual circumstances of those early #hristians '' many of them endurin cruel
sufferins and rievous persecutions, and all of them eaerly lookin for an approachin hour of
deliverance which was now close at hand '' what purpose could it have answered to send them a
document which they were ured to read and ponder, which was yet mainly occupied with historical
events so distant as to be beyond the rane of their sympathies, and so obscure that even at this day
the shrewdest critics are hardly areed on any one point? Is it conceivable that an apostle would mock
the sufferin and persecuted #hristians of his time with dark parables about distant aes? If this book
were really intended to minister faith and comfort to the very persons to whom it was sent, it must
unquestionably deal with matters in which they were practically and personally interested! And does not
this very obvious consideration suest the true key to the Apocalypse? ,ust it not of necessity refer to
matters of contem!orary history? The only tenable, the only reasonable, hypothesis is that it was
intended to be understood by its oriinal readersF but this is as much as to say that it must be occupied
with the events and transactions of their own day, and these comprised within a comparatively brief
space of time!
.$"$T%T$ON O> T$"+ $N T*+ %-O%.?-<+#
This is not a mere con4ecture, it is certified by the e*press statements of the book! If there be one thin
which more than any other is e*plicitly and repeatedly affirmed in the Apocalypse it is the nearness of
the events which it predicts! This is stated, and reiterated aain and aain, in the beinnin, the middle,
and the end! %e are warned that Wthe time is at hand;P WThese thins must shortly come to pass,2
WBehold, I come Ouic+ly;P WSurely I come Ouic+ly.P )et, in the face of these e*press and oft'repeated
declarations, most interpreters have felt at liberty to inore the limitations of time altoether, and to
roam at will over aes and centuries, reardin the book as a syllabus of church history, an almanac of
politico'ecclesiastical events for all #hristiandom Jsic< to the end of time! This has been a fatal and
ine*cusable blunder! To nelect the obvious and clear definition of the time so constantly thrust on the
attention of the reader by the book itself is to stumble on the very threshold! Accordinly this inattention
has vitiated by far the reatest number of apocalyptic interpretations! It may truly be said that the key
has all the while hun by the door, plainly visible to every one who had eyes to seeF yet men have tried
to pick the lock, or force the door, or climb up some other way, rather than avail themselves of so
simple and ready a way of admission as to use the key made and provided for them!
M
J;mphasis in
oriinalK
>ussell asks a pointed question ( if the book unveils the secrets of the distant future 5distant to the oriinal
readers6, must it not, then, have been unintelliible, and even irrelevant and useless to them? %e trust that the
reader understands that >ussell is not denyin the $livin and powerful& characteristic of the %ord 57eb O:?/6,
nor the timeless profitability of all Scripture 5/ Tim 9:?M6! >ather, unlike .aniel2s prophecy, which was declared
7
pp! 9MM'9M0, The Aarousia, =! Stuart >ussell ( ?PPP Baker Books edition
*
to not be for .aniel2s eneration, the >evelation ives every indication that it was for the eneration of its2
oriinal readers:
-ut you, Janiel, shut u! the words, and seal the boo+ until the time of the end; many shall run to and
fro, and +nowledge shall increase. Jan 20$@ '()*
And he said to me, "Jo not seal the words of the !ro!hecy of this boo+, for the time is at hand. >e who
is unHust, let him be unHust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be
righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still." "ev 00$2F&22 '()*
:abriel tells .aniel to seal up the prophecy until the time of the end! The end of what? As we shall see in a
comin chapter, the end of the ae, not the end of the world! =ohn, on the other hand, is told to not seal up the
prophecy because the time was at hand! In fact, so close was it that there is seeminly not even enouh time
for a person to chane their ways! >eturnin to the quote from @in, why were the oriinal readers e*horted to
hear, read, understand, and keep the thins that were written in >evelation, if they referred to events of the
distant future? ;ven if one holds to the later date 5A. PM6 for the writin of >evelation, mustn2t we look for
events and fulfillments within the time frame of that eneration?
If we are willin to receive 5remember =ohn the Baptist?6 that the events of >evelation were to transpire within
the lifetime of the oriinal readers, then we must look to history to see what ma4or events happened shortly
after ca! A. MH, and A. PM! %hile there may have been some upheaval in the >oman ;mpire shortly after A.
PM, surely those events are eclipsed by the destruction of =erusalem in A. 08, shortly after ca! A. MH! It should
also be noted that the siee of =erusalem, which led to its eventual destruction, commenced in ca! MM'M0 A.!
%hen we consider that the Bible is :od2s unfoldin plan of redemption, and >is 7istory, not necessarily world
history, can there be a better fit for the catastrophic prophecies of >evelation than that of the 4udment upon
the apostate =ews, who said of their 3essiah, $crucify 7im, crucify 7im&? This was none other than the $castin
out of Ishmael& and the $passin away of the "ld #ovenant&! #ertainly any upheaval in the >oman ;mpire
would pale in comparison to the destruction of =erusalem, when viewed from the perspective of :od2s
redemptive plan!
Dndoubtedly the reader that is unfamiliar with 1reterism is askin a host of questions! $%hat about one third of
the rass bein destroyed, one third of the waters turnin to blood, the plaues, the mark of the Beast, the
return of #hrist&, etc!, etc! It is hoped that the subsequent chapters will sufficiently address these issues! "ur
purpose at hand is to establish the time frame of the events of >evelation, after which we will turn our attention
to the substance of those events!
The fact that >evelation, .aniel and =esus2 "livet discourse are all related to the end'times, and that both
.aniel and the "livet discourse 5at least to a deree6 foresee the destruction of =erusalem and the temple, only
solidifies our position that >evelation is also a revealing of that destruction! Alfred ;dersheim, in The Tem!le
Its ,inistry and 5ervices, arees that the internal evidence points to a date prior to the destruction of
=erusalem for the writin of >evelation! 7e notes 5pp! PH'PM6 that only the reader who has studied rabbinical
accounts of the temple services can discern the references to minute details of those services, in both
>evelation and the :ospel of =ohn! Based upon these references, he thus concludes that not only was =ohn
probably at some time a participant in those services, but that both of his accounts were written before those
services had ceased at!
%hile @in opted to rely solely on the internal evidence for datin >evelation, which is very convincin in itself,
we can perhaps strenthen our position with some e*ternal evidence as well! %e commend to the reader the
e*cellent volume by .r! @enneth ,! :entry, =r!, -efore )erusalem Fell! In it we feel that :entry not only casts
serious doubts on the late date authorship, but thorouhly establishes the early date! <ot only does he
e*pound upon the internal evidence, which we have already briefly e*plored, but he also e*haustively
e*amines the e*ternal evidence! The chief e*ternal evidence for a late date of >evelation is the testimony of
the early church fathers! :entry demonstrates that the testimony of these fathers is built upon one quote of
Irenaeus, one of the earliest fathers! 7e states:
*
Dndoubtedly, Irenaeus2s observation is the stronest weapon in the late date arsenal-Irenaeus is an
$obstacle& who cannot be overlooked by the early date school!
0
:entry oes on to illuminate the ambiuity of Irenaeus2 te*t, and offer alternative translations which lend
themselves to an early date interpretation! 7e also e*amines Irenaeus2 credibility as a historian, notin that he
claimed that =esus lived to be almost H8 years of ae! %e quote a few pararaphs from :entry2s A 5ummation
of the Garly Jate Argument at the close of his book:
In attemptin to demonstrate the proper datin of this most influential book of our sacred canon, our
investiation carefully considered both the e*ternal and internal witness of >evelation! Althouh much
weiht has lon been credited the e*ternal evidence, especially that associated with Irenaeus, we
noted that such a procedure is in daner of quietin the voice of :od in deference to the voice of man!
That is, when enaed from the perspective of an unflinchin commitment to Scripture as the %ord of
:od, it should be the procedure of Biblical Introduction to allow the most weiht to the Scripture2s self&
testimony reardin its own historical composition! In deference to common practice, however, and in
liht of the nature of the present work as larely concerned with a rebuttal to the current late date
position, we bean with an inquiry into the e*ternal considerations of tradition!
In the portion of this study dealin with the e*ternal evidence, we ave e*tensive consideration to the
statement of Irenaeus reardin >evelation2s date! There we noted that the commonly received
interpretation of Irenaeus is not without ambiuity! The all'important question in the matter is: .id
Irenaeus mean to say that "evelation was seen by =ohn in .omitian2s rein? "r did he mean that )ohn,
who saw the >evelation, was seen in .omitian2s rein? By the very nature of the case, verbal inflection
alone is incapable of resolvin the matter! 3ore helpful are the conte*tual indicators available that
suest Irenaeus meant the latter of the two options!
;ven if this re'interpretive approach to Irenaeus fails, however, we pointed out that Irenaeus was
sub4ect to error ( even on matters he claims to have heard from first'hand sources 5such as when he
asserted that =esus lived to be almost fifty years old6! It is time for biblical scholars and #hurch
historians to consider afresh Irenaeus2s statement reardin >evelation! ;specially is this the case
since so much weiht is ranted to his witness, despite its ambiuity!
N
Jemphasis in the oriinalK
%e aree with :entry, that in puttin so much weiht on the e*ternal evidence for the date of >evelation, we
are in daner of quietin the voice of :od in deference to the voice of man! That bein said, we feel that
:entry thorouhly nullifies the e*ternal evidence for a late date, while fortifyin the internal evidence for an
early date!
>eturnin to the directive iven to =ohn to measure the temple, we note that >ussell observes that measurin
is often a term associated with 4udment! Thouh at times, as in ;Aekiel2s passae, measurin may refer to
construction, the conte*t of >evelation, as 4udment upon the apostate nation of Israel, fi*es this measurin as
bein for destruction! That measurin is an indication of 4udment is not unheard of in the Scriptures, as the
followin verses indicate:
Also I will ma+e Hustice the measuring line,
And righteousness the !lummet
Isa 06$2B '()*
Thus >e showed me$ -ehold, the 3ord stood on a wall made with a !lumb line, with a !lumb line in >is
hand. And the 3."J said to me, "Amos, what do you see?"
And I said, "A !lumb line."
Then the 3ord said$
"-ehold, I am setting a !lumb line
In the midst of ,y !eo!le Israel;
%
p! OM, -efore )erusalem Fell, revised edition ( American Cision 1ress
*
+. ""13 Ibid
*
I will not !ass by them anymore.
The high !laces of Isaac shall be desolate,
And the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste.
I will rise with the sword against the house of )eroboam."
Amos B$B&# '()*
-ut the !elican and the !orcu!ine shall !ossess it,
Also the owl and the raven shall dwell in it.
And >e shall stretch out over it
The line of confusion and the stones of em!tiness.
Isa 1@$22 '()*
The 3."J has !ur!osed to destroy
The wall of the daughter of Cion.
>e has stretched out a line;
>e has not withdrawn >is hand from destroying;
Therefore >e has caused the ram!art and wall to lament;
They languished together.
3am 0$6 '()*
As we noted in our chapter on The Two /ovenants and the Two 5ons of Abraham, Ishmael and 7aar
represent the "ld #ovenant and physical =erusalem! Ishmael was cast out, and the "ld #ovenant done away
with in A. 08 at the destruction of =erusalem! %hen we view the book of >evelation from this frame work,
especially in liht of the above passaes, we can easily see it as a rand vision of #hrist2s prophecy:
'ow as >e drew near, >e saw the city and we!t over it, saying, "If you had +nown, even you, es!ecially
in this your day, the things that ma+e for your !eaceE -ut now they are hidden from your eyes. For
days will come u!on you when your enemies will build an emban+ment around you, surround you and
close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not
leave in you one stone u!on another, because you did not +now the time of your visitation." 3u+e
2#$@2&@@ '()*
In the forthcomin chapters we will see 4ust how precisely this prophecy was fulfilled durin the fall of
=erusalem! %hile we have only briefly addressed the datin of >evelation, we hope that we have been
thorouh enouh to impress upon the reader the probability that >evelation was written prior to the destruction
of =erusalem! As we continue our study, we feel that it will be seen that with an early date, >evelation fits
naturally into place in the eschatoloical puAAle, whereas a late date is forcin it into a place where is does not
belon!
*
This 7eneration
As we noted in the end of 1art I, and illustrated in the accompanyin diaram, the time that the two covenants
coe*isted was forty years ( a Biblical eneration! If we can accept that >evelation 5as well as .aniel and
=esus6 foretold the destruction of =erusalem in A. 08, it2s amaAin how the various pieces of the puAAle that
say $all these thins shall come upon this eneration& fall into place! %e say $fall& into place, because this is
what they naturally do, rather than bein $forced& into place in some other era of history!
For as the lightning that flashes out of one !art under heaven shines to the other !art under heaven, so
also the 5on of ,an will be in >is day. -ut first >e must suffer many things and be reHected by this
generation. 3u+e 2B$0@&0? '()*
Is there any doubt as to which eneration is the one at whose hands #hrist $suffered many thins and was
re4ected&? <o one claims that it is today2s eneration, or a future eneration! "bviously it was #hrist2s current
eneration! By what riht, then, do we interpret the followin passaes as any eneration but #hrist2s current
eneration?
Therefore, indeed, I send you !ro!hets, wise men, and scribes$ some of them you will +ill and crucify,
and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and !ersecute from city to city, that on you may
come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of
Cechariah, son of -erechiah, whom you murdered between the tem!le and the altar. Assuredly, I say to
you, all these things will come u!on this generation. ,t 01$1@&1% '()*
Then )esus went out and de!arted from the tem!le, and >is disci!les came u! to show >im the
buildings of the tem!le. And )esus said to them, "Jo you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to
you, not one stone shall be left here u!on another, that shall not be thrown down." 'ow as >e sat on
the ,ount of .lives, the disci!les came to >im !rivately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be?
And what will be the sign of Lour coming, and of the end of the age?" ...it is near && at the doorsE
Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means !ass away till all these things ta+e !lace." ,t
0@$2&1, 11b&1@ '()*
For whoever is ashamed of ,e and ,y words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the
5on of ,an also will be ashamed when >e comes in the glory of >is Father with the holy angels. ,ar+
6$16 '()*
Therefore the wisdom of od also said, DI will send them !ro!hets and a!ostles, and some of them they
will +ill and !ersecute,P that the blood of all the !ro!hets which was shed from the foundation of the
world may be reOuired of this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Cechariah who
!erished between the altar and the tem!le. Les, I say to you, it shall be reOuired of this generation.
3u+e 22$@#&?2 '()* 7em!hases added8
#ertainly #hrist2s current eneration is still in view in these passaes! This is demonstrated by the disciples2
question about the end of the ae! %hat ae were they e*pectin to end? <ot the #hurch ae of the <ew
#ovenant, for as we have seen, it is everlastin and unchaneable! Besides, if we hold that the #hurch ae
bean at 1entecost, then the #hurch ae hadn2t even beun yetI ;ven if we view the <ew #ovenant as
startin at the death and resurrection of #hrist, that hadn2t happened yet at the time of the disciples2 question
either! Surely they weren2t e*pectin the end of the ae to come, but of their present ae ( that of the ,aw and
the "ld #ovenant! The fact that that ae ended in A. 08 fits perfectly with $this eneration& not passin away!
To make the eneration that #hrist and the <ew Testament authors spoke to, different from the eneration that
they spoke of, is to force the piece into the puAAle at a place where it wasn2t desined to fit! As an e*ample of
*
forcin a piece into the puAAle, we return to =ohn the Baptist! >ecall that he 5in the spirit of ;li4ah6 was sent
before the reat and terrible day of the ,ord:
K-ehold, I will send you GliHah the !ro!het
-efore the coming of the great and dreadful day of the 3."J. And he will turn
The hearts of the fathers to the children,
And the hearts of the children to their fathers,
3est I come and stri+e the earth with a curse." ,alachi @$?&%
If we force the eneration that all these things were to come to pass upon to be still future, then either =ohn the
Baptist showed up nearly /,888 years too early, or the reat day of the ,ord is nearly /,888 years late! "n the
other hand, if we realiAe that the word $earth& can also be translated $land&, and see the curse as the
destruction of =erusalem, then the $piece& of =esus2 and =ohn2s eneration fits quite naturally!
%e cannot over' emphasiAe the understandin of the term this generation, for it is a main point of +uturist
eschatoloy
P
! %e need to make several points here! +irst, if you look up these passaes in your red'letter
edition Bible, all the words will be in red! ;very one of these is #hrist speakin! Second, the same :reek word
5XYZY[, enea6 is used for generation in all of the passaes! Third, this word is used O9 times in the <ew
Testament, and is never translated $race&, as some attempt to do with it in 3atthew /O:9O! In the @=C it is twice
translated $time& or $times&, and twice $aes&! In the <@=C, three of those instances were chaned to
$eneration& or $enerations&! The standout is ;phesians 9:H! 7ere it is in conte*t:
For this reason I, Aaul, the !risoner of /hrist )esus for you entiles && if indeed you have heard of the
dis!ensation of the grace of od which was given to me for you, how that by revelation >e made
+nown to me the mystery 7as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may
understand my +nowledge in the mystery of /hrist8, which in other ages was not made +nown to the
sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the 5!irit to >is holy a!ostles and !ro!hets9 G!h 1$2&?
7em!hasis added8
%e would ask the reader, which word could replace ages and not chane the meanin of the passae ( races,
or generations? 7ow then, can we read the passaes above, and think that they refer to any eneration other
than the one to which #hrist was speakin? %hat eneration saw #hrist bein three days and three nihts in
the heart of the earth? By what eneration was #hrist re4ected, and caused to suffer many thins? The
eneration to which 7e was speakin? AbsolutelyI 7ow then can the other passaes not also be referrin to
that same eneration? 7ow can we say that 4udment is not decreed upon the eneration that #hrist was
speakin to?
$"h, but it was decreed&, some will say, $but it is reserved for the last days, when all will be 4uded! It doesn2t
say that those people will Wrise up in 4udment2 in that eneration, but that Win the 4udment ( which is still future
( they will rise up2, and then condemn it& 53t ?/:O?'O?6!
"r, some may say that that eneration was 4uded in 08 A!.! But that was 4ust the 4udment of that eneration,
not the final 4udment at the Second #omin! There is still the :reat Tribulation and the :reat %hite Throne
4udment yet to occur!
%hat, then, do we do with ,uke /?:9/ 5cf! 3t /9:9M6, which states Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will
by no means !ass away till all things ta+e !lace? %hat are $all thins&? The :reat Tribulation and the :reat
%hite Throne 4udment! %hat does $assuredly& mean? %hat does it mean when =esus 7imself says
$assuredly&? 7ow could it be any more emphatic? ;arlier in this same passae, =esus said:
"-ut when you see )erusalem surrounded by armies, then +now that its desolation is near. Then let
those who are in )udea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her de!art, and let not
those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are
written may be fulfilled. 3u+e 02$0F&01 '()* 7em!hasis added8
5
The belief that the Second #omin is yet to happen in our future!
*
The key to properly placin $this eneration& is audience relevance! But what of the disciples2 question about
#hrist2s return''what will be the sign of Lour coming? Are we to assin that to their current eneration as well?
Aain, audience relevance is the key!
#udience *elevance
%hile the Bible is written for all people, it was not written to all people! The book of ? #orinthians was written to
a specific church in the first century! %hile there are timeless truths in it, there are also time specific events!
+or e*ample:
'ow concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of alatia, so you
must do also$ .n the first day of the wee+ let each one of you lay something aside, storing u! as he
may !ros!er, that there be no collections when I come. And when I come, whomever you a!!rove by
your letters I will send to bear your gift to )erusalem. -ut if it is fitting that I go also, they will go with me.
2 /or 2%$2&@ '()*
The timeless truth is that it2s prudent to lay aside money ahead of time for various needs within the church! The
time'specific event is that 1aul was oin to send someone with the ift to =erusalem! Too often when we read
pronouns such as we, you, us, etc!, we read ourselves into the te*t! #onsider the followin:
-e an=ious for nothing, but in everything by !rayer and su!!lication, with than+sgiving, let your
reOuests be made +nown to od; and the !eace of od, which sur!asses all understanding, will guard
your hearts and minds through /hrist )esus. Ahil @$%&B '()* 7em!hasis added8
.o we not include ourselves in the yo!r of this passae? %as 1hilippians written to you or me? The yo!r here
is the 1hilippian saints, not us! .oes this mean that the truth communicated applies to only them? Absolutely
notI %e merely illustrate how we unconsciously read ourselves into the te*t! #onsider the followin:
KThen we went ahead to the shi! and sailed to Assos, there intending to ta+e Aaul on board; for so he
had given orders, intending himself to go on foot. And when he met us at Assos, we too+ him on board
and came to ,itylene. 3e sailed from there, and the ne=t day came o!!osite /hios. The following day
we arrived at 5amos and stayed at Trogyllium. The ne=t day we came to ,iletus.I Acts 0F$21&2? '()*
7em!hasis added8
7ere is an e*ample of where we donPt read ourselves into the te*t! %hy? Because it is event'specific! It2s not
teachin a spiritual truth! But aren2t the $end of the ae&, and the Second #omin of #hrist event'specific
items? 3ustn2t we, then, use the same hermeneutic of audience relevance in dealin with those events?
#onsider the followin passaes concernin those events! The pronouns are in a bold font, and the event is
underlined! >emember that the audience is the first century church:
"For the 5on of ,an will come in the glory of >is Father with >is angels, and then >e will reward each
according to his wor+s. Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not
taste death until they see the 5on of ,an coming in >is +ingdom." ,t 2%$06
Then )esus went out and de!arted from the tem!le, and >is disci!les came u! to show >im the
buildings of the tem!le. And )esus said to them, "Jo you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to
you, not one stone shall be left here u!on another, that shall not be thrown down." 'ow as >e sat on
the ,ount of .lives, the disci!les came to >im !rivately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be?
And what will be the sign of Lour coming, and of the end of the age?" ...>e is near, right at the door.
Truly I say to you, this generation will not !ass away until all these things ta+e !lace." ,t 0@$2&1, 11b&
1@ '()*
"And if I go and !re!are a !lace for you, I will come again, and receive you to ,yself; that where I am,
there you may be also." )ohn 2@$1
*
"-ut this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the od of our
fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the 3aw, and that is written in the Aro!hets;
having a ho!e in od, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly 5:k! Implies
about to be6 be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wic+ed ." Acts 0@$2@&2?
"And this do, +nowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awa+en from slee!; for now
salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. 3et
us therefore lay aside the deeds of dar+ness and !ut on the armor of light." "om 21$22&20
"so that you are not lac+ing in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our 3ord )esus /hrist," 2 /or
2$B
"Therefore do not go on !assing Hudgment before the time, but wait until the 3ord comes who will both
bring to light the things hidden in the dar+ness and disclose the motives of men4s hearts; and then each
man4s !raise will come to him from od." 2 /or @$? Jwritten specifically to the orinthiansK
"-ut this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives
should be as though they had none; and those who wee!, as though they did not wee!; and those
who reHoice, as though they did not reHoice; and those who buy, as though they did not !ossess; and
those who use the world, as though they did not ma+e full use of it; for the form of this world is !assing
away." 2 /or B$0#&12
"'ow these things ha!!ened to them as an e=am!le, and they were written for our instruction, u!on
whom the ends of the ages have come." 2 /or 2F$22
"-ehold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all slee!, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the
twin+ling of an eye, at the last trum!et; for the trum!et will sound, and the dead will be raised
im!erishable, and we shall be changed." 2 /or 2?$?2&?0
"3et your forbearing s!irit be +nown to all men. The 3ord is near." Ahil @$?
"For they themselves re!ort about us what +ind of a rece!tion we had with you, and how you turned to
od from idols to serve a living and true od, and to wait for >is 5on from heaven, whom >e raised
from the dead, that is )esus, who delivers us from the wrath to come." 2 Thess 2$#&2F
"For who is our ho!e or Hoy or crown of e=ultation? Is it not even you, in the !resence of our 3ord
)esus at >is coming?" 2 Thess 0$2#
"For if we believe that )esus died and rose again, even so od will bring with >im those who have
fallen aslee! in )esus. For this we say to you by the word of the 3ord, that we who are alive, and
remain until the coming of the 3ord, shall not !recede those who have fallen aslee!. For the 3ord
>imself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trum!et of
od; and the dead in /hrist shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught u!
together with them in the clouds to meet the 3ord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the 3ord.
Therefore comfort one another with these words." 2 Thess @$2@&26
"'ow may the od of !eace >imself sanctify you entirely; and may your s!irit and soul and body be
!reserved com!lete, without blame at the coming of our 3ord )esus /hrist." 2 Thess ?$01
"This is a !lain indication of od4s righteous Hudgment so that you may be considered worthy of the
+ingdom of od, for which indeed you are suffering. For after all it is only Hust for od to re!ay with
affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the
3ord )esus shall be revealed from heaven with >is mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution
to those who do not +now od and to those who do not obey the gos!el of our 3ord )esus. And these
will !ay the !enalty of eternal destruction, away from the !resence of the 3ord and from the glory of >is
*
!ower, when >e comes to be glorified in >is saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who
have believed&& for our testimony to you was believed." 0 Thess 2$?&2F
"'ow we reOuest you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our 3ord )esus /hrist, and our gathering
together to >im, that you may not be Ouic+ly sha+en from your com!osure or be disturbed either by a
s!irit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the 3ord has come." 0 Thess
0$2&0 :The implication here is that there was such an e*pectation of the day of the ,ord, that some
thouht that it had already come! This also supports the arument that they understood it to be a
spiritual comin, not a physical one, as we shall develop in a later chapterK
"I charge you in the !resence of od, who gives life to all things, and of /hrist )esus, who testified the
good confession before Aontius Ailate, that you +ee! the commandment without stain or re!roach until
the a!!earing of our 3ord )esus /hrist," 2 Tim %$21&2@
"For the grace of od has a!!eared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness
and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the !resent age, loo+ing for the
blessed ho!e and the a!!earing of the glory of our great od and 5avior, /hrist )esus;" Titus 0$22&21
"and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsa+ing our own
assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you
see the day drawing near." >eb 2F$0@&0?
"For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of od, you may receive what
was !romised. F." LGT I' A *G"L 3ITT3G W>I3G, >G W>. I5 /.,I' WI33 /.,G, A'J WI33
'.T JG3AL." >eb 2F$1%&1B
"4ou too be !atient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the 3ord is at hand." )ames ?$6
"(now this first of all :first century saints<, that in the last days moc+ers will come with their moc+ing,
following after their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the !romise of >is coming? For ever since the
fathers fell aslee!, all continues Hust as it was from the beginning of creation." 0 At 1$1&@
"/hildren, it is the last hour; and Hust as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists
have arisen; from this we +now that it is the last hour." 2 )ohn 0$26
"And now, little children, abide in >im, so that when >e a!!ears, we may have confidence and not
shrin+ away from >im in shame at >is coming." 2 )ohn 0$06
KI am coming Ouic+ly; hold fast what you have, in order that no one ta+e your crown." "ev 1$22
%ithout doubt, the <ew Testament eneration was tauht by =esus and the inspired <ew Testament authors
that the return of #hrist would occur in their eneration! If we read the <ew Testament with this in mind, we
bein to see passaes that formerly we didnRt equate with the imminence of 7is return as bein e*actly that,
e!! '
2 /or @$? "Therefore do not go on !assing Hudgment before the time, but wait until the 3ord comes who
will both bring to light the things hidden in the dar+ness and disclose the motives of men4s hearts; and
then each man4s !raise will come to him from od."
%hat we miht have considered as a eneral directive to the church throuhout the aes, we now see as a
directive to a particular church in a particular ae! This particular church was instructed to wait until the ,ord
comes, which 1aul seems to imply they would see 5why wait for somethin youRll never see in your lifetime?6!
Also, when we read the pronouns Lwe&, $you&, etc! we should take them as meanin specific people, not an
ethereal collection of saints! Thus, when you include all passaes with phrases such as Lat hand..., near...,
!assing away..., soon..., wait until..., loo+ for...,& etc!, the list becomes quite substantial!
5
%hen one starts readin the <ew Testament from the perspective of the first century church and an imminent
Second #omin, the list rows even loner! These are 4ust the verses that are the most apparent! <otice also,
that there is not one verse in the whole 'ew Testament that even hints at a far'distant, future, Second #omin
5at least to our knowlede6! 1erhaps the closest would be 1eter, when he defends the ,ordRs delay, quotin
3oses from 1salm P8, sayin that, L- with the 3ord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as
one dayL / 1eter 9:N! But thatRs how :od sees time! %ith us, a day is a day! And it is conveniently overlooked
that this passae is a $two'way street&! There is 4ust as much precedent to interpret timin passaes in the
opposite $direction& ( e!!, when =esus said that 7e would die and rise aain on the third day, usin this
passae from 1eter we could interpret 7im as meanin that 7e would rise 9,888 years later! Added to this is
the fact that 1eter tells his readers 4ust four verses later that they are to be lookin for the comin of the day of
the ,ord! To this we add 3ilton S! Terry2s comment, from -iblical >ermeneutics 5note that Terry wrote in the
late ?N882s, and used variant spellins of fulfill and fulfillment6:
The lanuae in question is a poetical citation from 1salm P8:O, and is adduced to show that the lapse
of time does not invalidate the promises of :od! %hatever he has pleded will come to pass, however
men may think or talk about his tardiness! .ays and years and aes do not affect him! +rom everlastin
to everlastin he is :od 51s P8:/6! But this is very different from sayin that when the everlastin :od
promises somethin shortly, and declares that it is close at hand, he may mean that it is a thousand
years in the future! %hatever he has promised indefinitely he may take a thousand years or more to
fulfil, but what he affirms to be at the door let no man declare to be far away! 5p! OPM6
Some do counter the $imminency& passaes with the followin so'called $delay& passaes:
Therefore you also be ready, for the 5on of ,an is coming at an hour you do not e=!ect. "Who then is a
faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due
season? -lessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say
to you that he will ma+e him ruler over all his goods. -ut if that evil servant says in his heart, 51y
master is delaying his coming,5 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drin+ with the
drun+ards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not loo+ing for him and at an hour
that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and a!!oint him his !ortion with the hy!ocrites. There
shall be wee!ing and gnashing of teeth. ,t 0@$@@&?2 '()*
"Then the +ingdom of heaven shall be li+ened to ten virgins who too+ their lam!s and went out to meet
the bridegroom. 'ow five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish too+ their
lam!s and too+ no oil with them, but the wise too+ oil in their vessels with their lam!s. -ut while the
bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and sle!t. And at midnight a cry was heard$ 4-ehold, the
bridegroom is coming; go out to meet himE4 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lam!s. And
the foolish said to the wise, 4ive us some of your oil, for our lam!s are going out.4 -ut the wise
answered, saying, 4'o, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell,
and buy for yourselves.4 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready
went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying,
43ord, 3ord, o!en to usE4 -ut he answered and said, 4Assuredly, I say to you, I do not +now you.4 Watch
therefore, for you +now neither the day nor the hour in which the 5on of ,an is coming.I ,t 0?$2&2@
'()*
"For the +ingdom of heaven is li+e a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and
delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to
each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a Hourney. Then he who had received
the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And li+ewise he who had
received two gained two more also. -ut he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid
his lord4s money. 6fter a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
,t 0?$2@&2# '()* 7em!hases added8
5
That these passaes speak of a delay we do not deny! But the delay is not one of millennia, or even centuries,
but rather in each parable the e*pected arrival ( thouh delayed ( happens within the lifetime of those awaitin
it:
9 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not loo+ing for him9
And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came9
After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them$
The point of the parables was to teach the listeners to e*pect the return of the Son of 3an, not within a few
months or even years, but certainly within the lifetime of some of those listenin! This arees with what the
<ew Testament authors tauht, as well as =esus 7imself:
For the 5on of ,an will come in the glory of >is Father with >is angels, and then >e will reward each
according to his wor+s. Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death
till they see the 5on of ,an coming in >is +ingdom. ,t 2%$0B&06 '()*
#onsider >ussell2s commentary on the above passae:
This remarkable declaration is of the reatest importance in this discussion, and may be rearded as
the key to the riht interpretation of the <ew Testament doctrine of the 1arousia
?8
! Thouh it cannot be
said that there are any special difficulties in the lanuae, it has reatly perple*ed the commentators,
who are much divided in their e*planations! It is surely unnecessary to ask what is the coming of the
5on of man here predicted! To suppose that it refers merely to the lorious manifestation of =esus on
the mount of transfiuration, thouh an hypothesis which has reat names to support it, is so palpably
inadequate as an interpretation that it scarcely requires refutation! The same remark will apply to the
comments of .r! ,ane, who supposes it to have been partially fulfilled by the resurrection of
#hrist!!!7ow could the resurrection of #hrist be called 7is comin in the lory of 7is +ather, with the
holy anels, in 7is kindom, and to 4udment? "r how can we suppose that #hrist, speakin of an
event which was to take place in about twelve months, would say, RCerily I say unto you, There be some
standin here which shall not taste of death till they seeR it? The very form of the e*pression shows that
the event spoken of could not be within the space of a few months, or even a few years: it is a mode of
speech which suests that not all present will live to see the event spoken ofF that not many will do soF
but that some will! It is e*actly such a way of speakin as would suit an interval of thirty or forty years,
when the ma4ority of the persons then present would have passed away, but some would survive and
witness the event referred to! 5The Aarousia, pp! /P'9?6
>ather than counterin the imminency passaes, we feel that these $delay& passaes actually strenthen the
case for $this eneration&! To be sure, there are verses e*hortin the readers to wait, to be patient, endure, etc!
But they are encouraed to do so because the time is shortI 7an in there 4ust a while loner "For yet a little
while, And >e who is coming will come and will not tarry" 57eb! ?8:906! 7ow encourain, or ethical, would it
be to LteaseL the <ew Testament believers with somethin that was really /,888 years 5or more6 away? 7ow
could the Thessalonians comfort one another with the return of #hrist 5? Thess O:?N6, if it wouldn2t happen for
at least /,888 years?
7avin established that there is an impressive amount of te*t indicatin that the return of #hrist was imminent
0,FFF years ago, there are a limited number of possible e*planations for the apparent discrepancy that comes
with them:
1<
ThayerGs Le,i!on defines Parousia as follows$
1. +resen!e$
2. the +resen!e of one !omin(3 hen!e3 the !omin(3 arrival3 advent +arosia
In the N.T. es+e!ially of the advent3 i.e.3 the ftre3 visible3 retrn from heaven of 2ess3 the Messiah3 to raise the dead3 hold
the last Hd(ment3 and set + formally and (loriosly the kin(dom of ?od
=from Thayer.s ?reek Le,i!on3 Cle!troni! ;atabase. /o+yri(ht =!B 2<<< by BiblesoftB
5
?! #hrist and the <ew Testament authors were mistaken in their understandin of the timin of the
Second #omin!
/! #hrist and the <ew Testament authors understood the timin, but deliberately misled their
eneration! 5+or any of a number of reasons, which are secondary to the point at hand6
9! In liht of our understandin of 5the nature of6 how #hrist will return 5based upon our understandin
of Scripture6, we must be misunderstandin these verses concernin when 7e will return! In other
words, our understandin of the nature of 7is return dictates that we must reinterpret the verses
concernin the timing of 7is return! 5This is the Futurist position, also the dominant position of the
church today6
O! In liht of our understandin of when #hrist will return 5based upon the above Scriptures, ;T! Al!6, we
must be misunderstandin the verses that describe how 7e will return! In other words, our
understandin of the timing of 7is return dictates that we must reinterpret the verses concernin the
nature of 7is return! 5This is the Areterist position6
Those who believe that #hrist was the Son of :od incarnate, that the Bible is the inspired %ord of :od, and
that the authors wrote as they were Linspired by the 7oly SpiritL can immediately dismiss the first two
possibilities! %hat we are left with are two options: ?6 either the imminency passaes don2t mean what they
appear to meanF or /6 the passaes describin #hrist2s physical return to a physical kindom don2t mean what
they appear to mean! %e cannot say that we believe the Bible teaches an imminent Second #omin to the
<ew Testament #hurch, and still be waitin for it /,888 years later! 7ow imminent is that? 5<ote that while itRs
not possible that both the timin and the nature have been properly understood, it is possible that both have
been misunderstood6
Because the ma4ority of prophecy teachers and pundits adhere to a yet future Second #omin, the bulk of
#hristianity has been raised upon the premise that it is the timing issue that has been misunderstood ( that
even thouh the <ew Testament sounds like it is teachin that #hrist would return in that eneration, that2s not
what it2s really sayin! To deal with the apparent imminent Second #omin, several devices have been
employed! #hristRs discourse in 3atthew /O has been divided into sections ' some verses relatin to what the
disciples would see, some verses relatin to what a future, unnamed eneration will seeF some say that the
various <ew Testament authors, as they looked forward in time in the Spirit, saw distant events as we see
mountain ranes in the distance, not realiAin the spacious valleys 5of time6 that separate the ranes! Then
there is the fact that La day with the ,ord is as a thousand yearsL, so that while /,888 years have passed for
us, only two days have passed for :od, so that from 7is perspective the Second #omin is still LsoonL! And the
list oes on! Some e*planations miht find a footholdF others require a stretch of more than the imaination!
+or e*ample, .r! =! >andall 1rice handles the "livet discourse as follows:
The "livet .iscourse, as interpreted by the schools of 7istoricism and 1reterism, is e*clusively a
warnin of 4udment that was fulfilled with the Temple2s destruction by the >omans in A!.! 08- In
1reterism, the basis for this interpretation rests upon understandin the phrase $this eneration& as
always havin reference to the first'century eneration to whom =esus spoke! +uturism, by contrast,
accepts some uses of $this eneration& as havin reference to the people of =esus2 day, but only
because the immediate conte*t demands this application!
??
7ere 1rice admits that the conte*t demands, at least in part, that the eneration that =esus spoke of was also
the eneration 7e was speakin to! )et he intimates that +uturists allow this application with reluctance, only
because the immediate conte*t demands it! %e wonder, if the conte*t didn2t demand this application, by what
$scriptural& precedent would +uturists apply it to a future eneration? %e believe that when a specific
eneration asks =esus specific questions, and 7e answers by sayin )"D watch for these thins, we should
not apply it to other enerations unless the conte*t demands that we do so! 1rice continues:
11
#+. 2%%02%53 The Coming Last Days Temple3 ;r. 2. )andall #ri!e
5
"ther uses, however, determined by their conte*ts, may refer to enerations of different time periods!
+or e*ample, the use of $this eneration& in 3atthew /9:9M is applied as an indictment 5in conte*t6 to
the eneration of the scribes and 1harisees 53atthew /9:/P6 whose actions aainst =esus demonstrate
their affinity with previous persecutors of the prophets 5verses 98'9H6! =esus then pronounces 4udment
with the words $all these thins shall come upon this eneration!& The phrase $these thins& must also
be interpreted in its conte*t! In this case, the ne*t verse 5verse 9M Jwe believe 1rice intended vv! 90'9NK6
describes $these thins& as the future e*perience of Temple desolation! It is important to observe here
that when =esus2 statement was made, $this eneration& indicated a future eneration! It was future
from the perspective of the sins $this eneration& 5in conte*t6 would yet commit 5complicity in the
crucifi*ion6 and the 4udment they would receive 5the >oman destruction in A!.! 08 ( see ,uke /?:/8'
/O6
=esus2 use of a future sense of $this eneration& in a near future 4udment conte*t sets a precedence
for its interpretation in a conte*t of far future 5eschatoloical6 4udment! J;mphasis in the oriinalK
?/
This appears to us to be linuistic ymnastics! Because all the sins for which that eneration was to be 4uded
had not yet been committed by them, 1rice sees a future perspective to the eneration that =esus was
speakin to! 7e then uses this $foot in the door& of near future 4udment conte*t, to set a precedent for far
future 4udment! But we arue, what can be more plain and clear than the fact that future events were
prophesied to the current eneration? The futuristic perspective is not that of a future generation, but of future
events for that current eneration! 1rophecy, by its very nature, has a futuristic conte*t! But if we are to believe
that future events in prophecy ive us the license to $raise the anchor& of the time'stamp of a iven prophecy,
then we are adrift, and at the whim of every wind and wave of prophetic interpretation! >ecall 3a* >! @in2s
statement:
If a time statement resident in a Scripture cannot be trusted, neither can any other portion of that
Scripture!
?9
Terry echoes these thouhts:
The same may be said Jthat uncertainty and confusion are introduced into biblical interpretationK about
e*plicit desinations of time! %hen a writer says that an event will shortly and speedily come to pass, or
is about to take place, it is contrary to all propriety to declare that his statements allow us to believe the
event is in the far future! It is a reprehensible abuse of lanuae to say that the words immediately, or
near at hand, mean ages hence, or after a long time- for it is manifest that if there could be such
ambiuity and uncertainty in respect to time, there miht be no less ambiuity and uncertainty in
respect to every thin else- 5pp! OPH'OPM, -iblical >ermeneutics6 Jemphasis in oriinalK
1rice then attempts to illustrate this far future precedent with 3oses2 farewell speech to the Israelites:
;ven thouh in conte*t =esus may refer to the future $this eneration& as $you,& this is a conventional
usae of lanuae with respect to reference and thus it does not have to apply to a present audience!
Such usae may also be found in the "ld Testament! +or e*ample, 3oses speaks in a way similar to
=esus when he says, $So it shall be when all of these things have come upon you& 5.euteronomy
98:?a, 5emphasis added66! ;ven thouh he is speakin to the present eneration 5$you&6, it is evident
from the conte*t that his words speak about a future eneration that will live thousands of years later
and into the eschatoloical period!
?O
%e would aree with 1rice, that here the $you& referred to is a distant future eneration! As we have previously
seen, this passae from .euteronomy 98 is an ifEthen, conditional, prophecy! If and when the Israelites conduct
themselves in a particular manner, then :od will respond in a particular manner! The time'stamp in this
12
+. 2%53 Ibid
1"
+. 2673 The Spirit of Prophecy
11
+. 2*<3 The Coming Last Days Temple
5
prophecy is open'ended: $So it shall be when all of these thins have come upon you&! In fact, we believe that
3oses puts the time'stamp on this whole prophecy of blessins and curses in the ne*t chapter:
For I +now that after my death you will become utterly corru!t, and turn aside from the way which I
have commanded you. And evil will befall you in the latter days, because you will do evil in the sight of
the 3."J, to !rovo+e >im to anger through the wor+ of your hands." Jeut 12$0# '()*
%e see this as referrin to the ultimate corruption and evil of the latter days of the "ld #ovenant! In the speech
of 3oses, the $when& of the events was determined by the Israelites themselves! 7e wasn2t tellin them when
the events would happen, but what would be the results when they did occur! "n the other hand, =esus took
reat care to stress when the 4udment 7e was speakin of would occur ( in this 57is6 eneration! %e believe
that a simple and plain readin of the te*ts, in both cases, provides the most loical and harmonious
interpretation!
The reason many believe that the Second #omin is yet future, is because they have not removed the veil of
3oses, as was demonstrated in the first chapter of this section! ,ike the =ews of the first century, they have
wronly interpreted passaes that describe the day of the ,ord, and the elements of the <ew #ovenant that it
consummates! 7avin laid a sound scriptural foundation of the spiritual nature of the <ew #ovenant in 1art I,
we can safely say that option 9 above 5that the imminency passaes don2t refer to the <ew Testament
eneration6 is not viable! "ption 9 assumes a physical interpretation for the nature of the <ew #ovenant and
#hrist2s return that is essentially puttin the veil back on!
But what about the other possibility? %hat if the imminent return passaes are understood at face value, and
we must reinterpret our understandin of the nature of #hristRs return? As +uturists, we have been willin to
accept that the timing of #hristRs return has been misunderstood 5because it sounds like the <ew Testament
eneration e*pected 7im6, and we have therefore tried to reinterpret those timin verses so that they comply
with our interpretation of the nature of 7is return! %hy, then, canRt we at least entertain the premise that we
may have misunderstood the nature of 7is return, and try to reinterpret the $nature& verses so that they comply
with the timin of 7is return? %hat ives one precedent over the other, e*cept our own pre4udices?
?H
%hen we say $reinterpret the nature verses&, what we mean is that we must remove the veil of 3oses! It was
the nature of the 3essiah2s first comin that the =ews misinterpreted, not the timin! The same was true of the
disciples and the $second comin& of ;li4ah! Because of the prophecy of .aniel2s seventy weeks, the =ews of
the <ew Testament eneration were lookin for the 3essiah! Thus we see Simeon waitin for the 3essiah 5,u
/:/Hff6, others bein deceived by false 3essiahs, and insurrections popular 53t /0:?MF Acts H:9M6 because of
the e*pected 3essianic deliverance from >oman rule! Some of the =ews thouht that #hrist was ;li4ah 53t
?M:?O6, because they knew that ;li4ah must come before the 3essiah did! 1aul stated that durin his day
whenever 3oses was read, the =ews still had a veil on! They didn2t miss their 3essiah because 7e didn2t come
at the time they e*pected 7im to! They missed 7im because 7e didn2t come in the way they e*pected 7im to!
,ikewise, the #hurch must remove the veil of their e*pectations from the Second #omin, and search the
5cri!tures to find out whether these things are so 7Acts 2B$228!
If we allow the timin passaes to speak for themselves, then the pieces of the puAAle fit perfectly! The <ew
Testament eneration was e*pectin the end of the ae and #hrist2s return! =ust as .avid waited after bein
anointed kin for :od to remove Saul from the throne, so the #hurch, after bein $anointed& at 1entecost, was
waitin for :od to remove the vesties of the earthly kindom, and consummate the fullness of the spiritual
kindom! That wait was the space of one eneration, the $last days& eneration, which the <ew Testament
authors said that they were in:
-ut Aeter, ta+ing his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them$ ",en of )udea and
all you who live in )erusalem, let this be +nown to you and give heed to my words. "For these men are
16
It should be noted that 1reterists do not 4ust take hold of the timin JimminencyK verses, and then try to make the nature
verses fit their a !riori doma! >ather, they claim scriptural precedent for their interpretation of the nature verses, and thus
would say that they are not interpretin Scripture, but allowin Scripture to interpret Scripture!
5
not drun+, as you su!!ose, for it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was s!o+en of through
the !ro!het )oel$
4A'J IT 5>A33 -G I' T>G 3A5T JAL5,94
Acts 0$2@&2B '()*
od, after >e s!o+e long ago to the fathers in the !ro!hets in many !ortions and in many ways, in
these last days has s!o+en to us in >is 5on. >eb 2$2&0 '()*
3ittle children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many
antichrists have come, by which we +now that it is the last hour. 2 )ohn 0$26 '()*
Added to all the evidence that $this eneration& is the eneration of the <ew Testament, is the fact that the <ew
Testament authors, by the inspiration of the 7oly Spirit, were able to see behind the veil of 3oses and
understand that all of the "ld Testament prophets were foreseein the <ew Testament eneration:
-ut when you see )erusalem surrounded by armies, then +now that its desolation is near9 For these
are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled$ 3u+e 02$0F, 00 '()*
Les, and all the !ro!hets, from 5amuel and those who follow, as many as have s!o+en, have also
foretold these days. Acts 1$0@
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and
the encouragement of the 5cri!tures we might have ho!e. "om 2?$@ 'I*
And all these Jheroes of the faithK, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the
!romise, od having !rovided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart
from us J$us& bein the author and readers of 7ebrews, not you and I K! >eb 22$1#&@F
.f this salvation the !ro!hets have inOuired and searched carefully, who !ro!hesied of the grace that
would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the 5!irit of /hrist who was in them was
indicating when >e testified beforehand the sufferings of /hrist and the glories that would follow. To
them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now
have been reported to you through those who have !reached the gos!el to you by the >oly 5!irit
sent from heaven && things which angels desire to loo+ into. 2 Aeter 2$2F&20 5emphasis added6
.on2t the above passaes indicate that the <ew Testament eneration was the focal point of "ld Testament
prophecy, and that all thins were summed up within that eneration? If we believe, as we so often hear, that
we are in $the last days&, one has to wonder ( $the last days& of what? The last days of the "ld #ovenant? If
so, then $the last days& have endured for nearly /,888 years ( loner than the covenant itselfI And how can we
say that the "ld #ovenant hasn2t completely passed away? %hat is left of it that is yet to pass away? "r are
we in the last days of the world as we know it, waitin for the elements to be burned with fire, and replaced with
a new heavens and a new earth? Althouh these phrases are found in the Bible, are we to understand them in
a literal, physical sense? %e think not, as we shall demonstrate in the comin chapters!
As untraditional and forein as it sounds, the interpretation which best fits is that the last days were the last
days of the "ld #ovenant, which $passed away& in A. 08! 1eter announced in ca! A. 98 5Acts /6 that they
were in the last days! Thus the last days encompassed the forty years from 98 ( 08 A., which was the last
days eneration! That was the eneration that asked =esus about the end times, that was the eneration 7e
spoke of, and that was the eneration upon which $all these thins& came to pass! In the subsequent chapters
we shall attempt to fortify this assertion!
5
#+ocal!+tic Language
K-ehold, the day of the 3."J comes,
/ruel, with both wrath and fierce anger,
To lay the land desolate;
And >e will destroy its sinners from it.
For the stars of heaven and their constellations
Will not give their light;
The sun will be dar+ened in its going forth,
And the moon will not cause its light to shine.
Therefore I will sha+e the heavens,
And the earth will move out of her !lace,
In the wrath of the 3."J of hosts
And in the day of >is fierce anger.I
KThe earth Oua+es before them,
The heavens tremble;
The sun and moon grow dar+,
And the stars diminish their brightness.I
>econiAe these passaes about the tribulation? Are they from the ,ord2s "livet discourse, or the book of
>evelation? Sorry, those are trick questions, which isn2t fair! But don2t they sound like a description of the
tribulation? #ompare:
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be dar+ened, and the moon will not give its
light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the !owers of the heavens will be sha+en.I ,t 0@$0#
KI loo+ed when >e o!ened the si=th seal, and behold, there was a great earthOua+e; and the sun
became blac+ as sac+cloth of hair, and the moon became li+e blood.I "ev %$20
KThen the fourth angel sounded$ And a third of the sun was struc+, a third of the moon, and a third of
the stars, so that a third of them were dar+ened. A third of the day did not shine, and li+ewise the night.I
"ev 6$20
KThen the tem!le of od was o!ened in heaven, and the ar+ of >is covenant was seen in >is tem!le.
And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthOua+e, and great hail.I "ev 22$2#
AmaAin similarities, aren2t there? The first "ld Testament passae was from Isaiah ?9, describin the 3edes
overthrowin the Babylonians! The Second was from =oel /! ,et2s look closer at Isaiah ?9! 1oints to be
emphasiAed have a bold font:
The burden against -abylon which Isaiah the son of Amo; saw.
"3ift u! a banner on the high mountain, "aise your voice to them; Wave your hand, that they may enter
the gates of the nobles.
I have commanded ,y sanctified ones; I have also called ,y mighty ones for ,y anger; Those who
reHoice in ,y e=altation."
The noise of a multitude in the mountains, 3i+e that of many !eo!leE A tumultuous noise of the
#ingdoms of nations gathered together7 8he L,./ of hosts musters 8he army for battle$
8hey come from a far country, From the end of heaven) 8he L,./ and His weapons of
indignation, 8o destroy the whole land$
3ail, for the day of the L,./ is at hand7 %t will come as destruction from the 6lmighty$
5
8herefore all hands will be limp, Every man5s heart will melt,
6nd they will be afraid$ Pangs and sorrows will ta#e hold of them) 8hey will be in pain as a
woman in childbirth) 8hey will be ama9ed at one another) 8heir faces will be li#e flames$
-ehold, the day of the 3."J comes, /ruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, To lay the land desolate;
6nd He will destroy its sinners from it$
For the stars of heaven and their constellations 3ill not give their light) 8he sun will be
dar#ened in its going forth, 6nd the moon will not cause its light to shine$
!% will punish the world for its evil, And the wic+ed for their iniOuity; I will halt the arrogance of the
!roud, And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
I will ma+e a mortal more rare than fine gold, A man more than the golden wedge of .!hir.
8herefore % will sha#e the heavens, 6nd the earth will move out of her place, In the wrath of the
3."J of hosts And in the day of >is fierce anger.
It shall be as the hunted ga;elle, And as a shee! that no man ta+es u!; Gvery man will turn to his own
!eo!le, And everyone will flee to his own land.
Gveryone who is found will be thrust through, And everyone who is ca!tured will fall by the sword.
Their children also will be dashed to !ieces before their eyes; Their houses will be !lundered And their
wives ravished.
"-ehold, I will stir u! the ,edes against them, Who will not regard silver; And as for gold, they will not
delight in it.
Also their bows will dash the young men to !ieces, And they will have no !ity on the fruit of the womb;
Their eye will not s!are children.
And -abylon, the glory of +ingdoms, The beauty of the /haldeans4 !ride, Will be as when od
overthrew 5odom and omorrah.
It will never be inhabited, 'or will it be settled from generation to generation; 'or will the Arabian !itch
tents there, 'or will the she!herds ma+e their shee!folds there.
-ut wild beasts of the desert will lie there, And their houses will be full of owls; .striches will dwell
there, And wild goats will ca!er there.
The hyenas will howl in their citadels, And Hac+als in their !leasant !alaces. >er time is near to come,
And her days will not be !rolonged."
%e note two thins here! +irst, :od is said to muster nations from the end of heaven to deliver 4udment upon
the Babylonians! Thus :od is deliverin 7is 4udment throuh forein armies! Second, when we read this
passae, especially the items in bold, do we believe that all of them literally happened when the 3edes and
1ersians overthrew Babylon? %e2ve never heard it tauht that way! #onsider Albert Barnes2 commentary:
$saiah 651@# They shall be in !ain as a woman that travaileth This comparison is often used in the
Scriptures to denote the deepest possible pain and sorrow, as well as the suddenness with which any
calamity comes upon a people
$saiah 6516A# For the stars of heaven This verse cannot be understood literally, but is a metaphorical
representation of the calamities that were comin upon Babylon! The meanin of the fiure evidently is,
that those calamities would be such as would be appropriately denoted by the sudden e*tinuishment
of the stars, the sun, and the moon! As nothin would tend more to anarchy, distress, and ruin, than
thus to have all the lihts of heaven suddenly and forever quenched, this was an apt and forcible
representation of the awful calamities that were comin upon the people! .arkness and niht, in the
Scriptures, are often the emblem of calamity and distress! The revolutions and destructions of
kindoms and nations are often represented in the Scriptures under this imae!
That certainly seems plausible! But then the question arises, if these e*planations are plausible here, why not
in 3atthew /O and the book of >evelation? In the many prophetic "ld Testament passaes with similar
lanuae, there appears to be no controversy over their fulfillment 4ust because theoloians have found no
historical evidence for the Kearth being moved from its !lace; the sun, moon and stars not giving forth their
light; the heavens being rolled together as a scroll, etc.I )et in spite of this scriptural precedent for non'literal
interpretations of apocalyptic lanuae, literal interpretations are assined to this same lanuae in the <ew
Testament when it is associated with the Second #omin! Added to this is the fact that the timin passaes,
5
which we earlier demonstrated are to be read at face value, are applied to some future eneration! It seems
that many in the church, when interpretin the Second #omin passaes, have inored Biblical precedent in
two areas: ( ?6 apocalyptic lanuae 5which determines the nature of 7is return6F and ( /6 the imminency, or
timin phrases! ,est the reader think that this scriptural precedence consists of only a couple of passaes,
consider the followin:
And all the hosts of heaven shall be dissolved, And the heavens
shall be rolled together as a scroll; And all their host shall fall down,
As the leaf falleth from off the vine, And as a falling fig from the
fig&tree. Isaiah 1@$@ Jconcernin the destruction of IdumeaK
When I !ut out your light, I will cover the heavens, and ma+e its stars dar+; I will cover the sun with a
cloud, And the moon shall not give her light. All the bright lights of the heavens I will ma+e dar+ over
you, And bring dar+ness u!on your land,4 5ays the 3ord .J. G;e+iel 10$B&6 Jconcernin the
destruction of 1haraoh, kin of ;ypt!K
The earth Oua+es before them, The heavens tremble; The sun and moon grow dar+, And the stars
diminish their brightness.
The sun and moon will grow dar+, And the stars will diminish their brightness.
The 3."J also will roar from Cion, And utter >is voice from )erusalem; The heavens and earth will
sha+e; -ut the 3."J will be a shelter for >is !eo!le, And the strength of the children of Israel. )oel
0$2F; 1$2?&2% JThe ,ord, concernin the 4udment of 7is enemies!K
"And it shall come to !ass in that day," says the 3ord .J, "That I will ma+e the sun go down at noon,
And I will dar+en the earth in broad daylight; Amos 6$# JThe ,ord, concernin 4udment aainst the
house of =acob!K
Then Javid s!o+e to the 3."J the words of this song, on the day when the 3."J had delivered him
from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of 5aul. And he said$ "The 3."J is my roc+ and
my fortress and my deliverer; The od of my strength, in whom I will trust; ,y shield and the horn of
my salvation, ,y stronghold and my refuge; ,y 5avior, Lou save me from violence. I will call u!on the
3."J, who is worthy to be !raised; 5o shall I be saved from my enemies. When the waves of death
surrounded me, The floods of ungodliness made me afraid. The sorrows of 5heol surrounded me; The
snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called u!on the 3."J, And cried out to my od; >e
heard my voice from >is tem!le, And my cry entered >is ears. Then the earth shoo+ and trembled; The
foundations of heaven Oua+ed and were sha+en, -ecause >e was angry. 5mo+e went u! from >is
nostrils, And devouring fire from >is mouth; /oals were +indled by it. >e bowed the heavens also, and
came down With dar+ness under >is feet. >e rode u!on a cherub, and flew; And >e was seen u!on
the wings of the wind. >e made dar+ness cano!ies around >im, Jar+ waters and thic+ clouds of the
s+ies. From the brightness before >im /oals of fire were +indled. The 3."J thundered from heaven,
And the ,ost >igh uttered >is voice. >e sent out arrows and scattered them; 3ightning bolts, and >e
vanOuished them. Then the channels of the sea were seen, The foundations of the world were
uncovered, At the rebu+e of the 3."J, At the blast of the breath of >is nostrils. >e sent from above,
>e too+ me, >e drew me out of many waters. >e delivered me from my strong enemy, From those who
hated me; For they were too strong for me.I 0 5amuel 00$2&26 J.avid2s description of the ,ord
deliverin him from his enemies and the hand of @in SaulK 5+urther readin: 1s MN:0'PF ?OO:H'MF 7ab
9F 3icah ?:9'OF6
Are you beinnin to see a pattern emerin? The =ews used a very symbolic, fiurative lanuae when
describin momentous events, such as battle victories, deliverance from enemies, nations fallin, etc! In the
precedin chapters of / Samuel, where the victories that .avid sins this son of praise about are recorded,
there is no mention of any of these apocalyptic events happenin! This is merely the literary style for describin
:od2s 4udment, whether predictive, or after the fact!
5
Is there any reason to think that this literary style chaned in the <ew Testament? Is there scriptural precedent
to support a chane? In liht of what we have seen concernin =ohn the Baptist fulfillin prophecy in a non'
literal 5physical6 manner, it appears that this linuistic form was still used in #hrist2s day! <otice this phrase
from / Sam //:??:
And >e was seen u!on the wings of the wind
%as :od literally seen? .id they see the $smoke from 7is nostrils& 5v!P6? If we can accept that this is 4ust
typical of the =ewish fiurativeEapocalyptic lanuae, then what about the followin?
-ehold, >e is coming with clouds, and every eye will see >im, even they who !ierced >im.
Isn2t $comin with clouds& a lot like bein $upon the wins of the wind&? Aside from our own personal desire, is
there any reason to believe that $every eye will see 7im& is any different from $7e was seen upon the wins of
the wind&? %hat do you think ' is the last verse fiurative as well? Be careful how you answer, because the last
verse is not from the "ld Testament, it is >ev ?:0! <ow what do you think? 7ave we one from bein fiurative
to bein literal? If so, when did the chane take place? %e have already established the fiurative lanuae in
the e*ample of =ohn the Baptist! In fact, a similar passae was fulfilled by =ohn the Baptist, of which it was
prophesied that KThe glory of the 3ord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it togetherI 5Is O8:H6! 7ow is
that any different than $every eye shall see him-&? If the =ews had for centuries used this kind of lanuae for
national upheaval, shouldn2t there have been some instruction to the people that the same kind of lanuae in
the "livet discourse and the book of >evelation was to now be taken literally? %e2re talkin about a ma4or
chane in the linuistics of a nation! 1ut yourself in the place of one of the disciples! )ou were raised on the
"ld Testament! ;very time you hear about the sun oin dark and the stars not shinin, it2s associated with the
fall of a nation! <ow =esus has 4ust said that the temple would be destroyed! 7e wept over the city because the
people didn2t know the time of their visitation! And 7e says that immediately after the tribulation of those days
5durin which the temple would be destroyed6 the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not ive its lihtF the
stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken! =ust as in the "ld Testament,
apocalyptic lanuae is associated with :od2s 4udment! If you are one of the disciples, do you take that to
mean that the sun will really be darkened, or do you think, $7e2s talkin about an event as serious as what
happened to those nations in the "ld Testament&? >emember your =ewish mindset and backround, and the
fact that you have heard nothin that says that this is any different! .o you think that the disciples thouht
=esus was talkin about literal astronomical phenomena, or serious 4udment? "r imaine for a moment that
amonst =esus2 audience were the authors of the "ld Testament passaes previously discussedF Samuel,
.avid, Isaiah, ;Aekiel, et! Al! 7ow do you suppose that they would have understood this very familiar lanuae
as =esus tauht?
If the apocalyptic lanuae associated with 4udment in the "ld Testament was never interpreted in a literal
manner, shouldn2t =esus have told 7is listeners, and =ohn his readers, that that same apocalyptic lanuae
was to now be taken in a literal sense? #onsider aain this chapters2 openin passae from Isaiah, and how
closely it parallels >evelation:
$saiah 65
The .ord !sing the "edes to p!nish Babylon
=evelation
The .ord !sing the =oman army to p!nish $srael
3spirit!al Babylon7
O The noise of a multitude in the mountains, ,ike that
of many peopleI A tumultuous noise of the kindoms
of nations athered toetherI The ,">. of hosts
musters The army for battle!
H They come from a far country, +rom the end of
heavenF The ,">. and 7is weapons of indination,
To destroy the whole land!
>ev ?M:?O $for they are spirits of demons, performin
sins, which o out to the kins of the whole world, to
ather them toether for the war of the reat day of
:od, the Almihty!&
>ev ?P:?P $And I saw the beast and the kins of the
earth and their armies, assembled to make war aainst
7im who sat upon the horse, and aainst 7is army!&
1
$saiah 65
The .ord !sing the "edes to p!nish Babylon
=evelation
The .ord !sing the =oman army to p!nish $srael
3spirit!al Babylon7
M %ail, for the day of the ,">. is at handI It will
come as destruction from the Almihty!
0 Therefore all hands will be limp, ;very manRs heart
will melt,
N And they will be afraid! 1ans and sorrows will
take hold of themF
They will be in pain as a woman in childbirthF They
will be amaAed at one anotherF Their faces will be
like flames!
>ev M:?H $And the kins of the earth and the reat men
and the commanders and the rich and the stron and
every slave and free man, hid themselves in the caves
and amon the rocks of the mountainsF&
>ev M:?M $and they said to the mountains and to the
rocks, $+all on us and hide us from the presence of 7im
who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the ,ambF&
>ev M:?0 $for the reat day of their wrath has comeF and
who is able to stand?&&
>ev P:M $And in those days men will seek death and will
not find itF and they will lon to die and death flees from
them!&
P Behold, the day of the ,">. comes, #ruel, with
both wrath and fierce aner, To lay the land desolateF
And 7e will destroy its sinners from it!
>ev ??:?N $And the nations were enraed, and Thy
wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be
4uded, and the time to ive their reward to Thy bond'
servants the prophets and to the saints and to those
who fear Thy name, the small and the reat, and to
destroy those who destroy the earth!&
?8 +or the stars of heaven and their constellations
%ill not ive their lihtF The sun will be darkened in
its oin forth, And the moon will not cause its liht
to shine!
>ev M:?/ $And I looked when 7e broke the si*th seal,
and there was a reat earthquakeF and the sun became
black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon
became like bloodF&
>ev M:?9 $and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a
fi tree casts its unripe fis when shaken by a reat
wind!&
>ev N:?/ $And the fourth anel sounded, and a third of
the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars
were smitten, so that a third of them miht be darkened
and the day miht not shine for a third of it, and the
niht in the same way!&
?9 Therefore I will shake the heavens, And the earth
will move out of her place, In the wrath of the ,">.
of hosts And in the day of 7is fierce aner!
>ev M:?O $And the sky was split apart like a scroll when
it is rolled upF and every mountain and island were
moved out of their places!&
?H ;veryone who is found will be thrust throuh, And
everyone who is captured will fall by the sword!
>ev ?P:/? $And the rest were killed with the sword
which came from the mouth of 7im who sat upon the
horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh!&
1
$saiah 65
The .ord !sing the "edes to p!nish Babylon
=evelation
The .ord !sing the =oman army to p!nish $srael
3spirit!al Babylon7
?P And Babylon, the lory of kindoms, The beauty
of the #haldeansR pride, %ill be as when :od
overthrew Sodom and :omorrah!
/8 It will never be inhabited, <or will it be settled
from eneration to enerationF <or will the Arabian
pitch tents there, <or will the shepherds make their
sheepfolds there!
/? But wild beasts of the desert will lie there, And
their houses will be full of owlsF "striches will dwell
there, And wild oats will caper there!
// The hyenas will howl in their citadels, And 4ackals
in their pleasant palaces! 7er time is near to come,
And her days will not be proloned!L
>ev ?N:/ $And he cried out with a mihty voice, sayin,
$+allen, fallen is Babylon the reatI And she has
become a dwellin place of demons and a prison of
every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and
hateful bird!&
>ev ?N:N $$+or this reason in one day her plaues will
come, pestilence and mournin and famine, and she will
be burned up with fireF for the ,ord :od who 4udes her
is stron!&
>ev ?N:P $$And the kins of the earth, who committed
acts of immorality and lived sensuously with her, will
weep and lament over her when they see the smoke of
her burnin,&
>ev ?N:?8 $standin at a distance because of the fear of
her torment, sayin, R%oe, woe, the reat city, Babylon,
the stron cityI +or in one hour your 4udment has
come!R$
>ev ?N:/? $And a stron anel took up a stone like a
reat millstone and threw it into the sea, sayin, $Thus
will Babylon, the reat city, be thrown down with
violence, and will not be found any loner!&
Is it so far'fetched to think that the book of >evelation is 4ust an e*tensive prophecy of the destruction of
=erusalem, written in the established style of =ewish prophetic lanuae? If we were to take some of the
individual "ld Testament verses under discussion here, and similar verses from <ew Testament prophecy, strip
them of their references, and pull them from a hat one at a time, one wonders how would we determine which
are literal and which are symbolic in fulfillment? Aren2t they all describin national calamities? Aren2t they all
$seein& the ,ord come in 4udment in the uise of forein armies? Aren2t they all describin these events in
earth'movin, heaven'fallin terms? %hat happened between the times of the "ld Testament apocalyptic
lanuae and =esus2 "livet discourse 5which we are tauht is literal6 that completely chaned the =ewish style
and understandin of prophetic lanuae? In this we fear that we have one beyond puttin the veil back on,
for even the =ews understood the nature of this lanuae!
1
Matthew :;
As we have proressed throuh our study, we have systematically, and scripturally, removed support for a
supposed future return of #hrist to establish a physical kindom, while establishin support for a Second
#omin durin the destruction of =erusalem! In this chapter we turn our attention to our ,ord2s "livet discourse!
Althouh there are parallel passaes in 3ark and ,uke, we will center our study on 3atthew2s account, as this
seems to be the primary te*t used by prophecy students!
As we mentioned earlier, we are not attemptin a verse'by'verse e*position of the eschatoloical te*ts found in
.aniel, 3atthew /O and >evelation! >ather, we are attemptin to provide an alternate framework to the current
one upon which a future physical kindom is built! The framework we seek is one that fits upon the foundation
laid in 1art I, and provides for the harmony of all the themes of the eschatoloical te*ts! That bein said, we
wish to look at two main points concernin 3atthew /O: ( ?6 the eneration of 3atthew /O was the <ew
Testament $last days& eneration, andF ( /6 a brief look at fulfillments of 3atthew /O!
This eneration ( Althouh we have addressed this issue in a previous chapter, we revisit it here because it is
an interal part of 3atthew /O! %hat eneration was =esus speakin of in 7is "livet address? Audience
relevance would dictate that it was the same eneration that 7e was speakin to! 7owever, two primary
devices are used to circumvent this understandin! The first is by $redefinin& the term $eneration&! Some use
an alternate meanin of the :reek $enea&, translatin it $race&! Thus they say that what =esus was sayin was
that the =ewish race wouldn2t pass away before all these thins came to pass! Althouh $race& is a possible
meanin for $enea&, it is never translated that way in the Bible! As we have previously shown, other usaes of
$enea& in the Bible reveal that $race& is an untenable renderin! 5Some say that $enea& is not referrin to the
=ewish race in eneral, but to a wicked people, or eneration! Thus =esus is sayin that this type of race 5i!e!,
wicked6, or eneration, won2t pass away! This position seems so tenuous as to barely warrant addressin! The
implication is that =esus is prophesyin 4udment, and then sayin that the people who are to receive that
4udment won2t pass away until it happens!6
Another device used to remove $this eneration& from the last days of the "ld #ovenant, is to divide 3atthew
/O into two sections! This is done because of the obvious references in it, and in the parallel accounts of 3ark
and ,uke, to the destruction of =erusalem in A. 08! Althouh the dividin point is debated, the premise is that
the events and the people referred to in the first section apply to that eneration and the destruction of
=erusalem, while the events and people of the second section apply to a yet future eneration at the Second
#omin! Thus its proponents are able to $have their cake, and eat it too&, by allowin the obvious prophecy of
=erusalem2s destruction to stand, while still maintainin their framework for a future return of #hrist to a
physical kindom! 3atthew 7enry divides the discourse at verse /P, while Albert Barnes admits that it is
sometimes difficult to tell to what particular sub4ect ( the destruction of =erusalem, or the final 4udment (
=esus2 remarks apply:
3t /O:9
J%hen shall these thins be?K There are three questions here:
?! when those thins should take place
/! what should be the sins of his own comin
9! what should be the sins that the end of the world was near
To these questions 7e replies in this and the followin chapters! This 7e does, not by noticin them
distinctly, but by interminlin the descriptions of the destruction of =erusalem and of the end of the
world, so that it is sometimes difficult to tell to what particular sub4ect his remarks apply! The
1>I<#I1,; on which this combined description of two events was spoken appears to be, that Lthey
could be described in the same words,L and therefore the accounts are interminled! A similar use of
lanuae is found in some parts of Isaiah, where the same lanuae will describe the return from the
Babylonian captivity, and deliverance by the 3essiah!
1
5from BarnesR <otes, ;lectronic .atabase! #opyriht 5c6 ?PP0 by Biblesoft6
1rovided in the first table below, we believe, is evidence that neither of these devices is scripturally sound!
>eardless of possible definitions for the word $enea&, we feel that in this case it is defined by the conte*t! %e
have emphasiAed the pronoun ?OB in the te*t of 3atthew /O in the left'hand column! This is to point out that
however $enea& can be translated, it was the hearers of #hrist who were e*horted, warned, iven sins, told
what to do and what not to do, etc! <otice that #hrist continues to directly address the disciples throuhout 7is
entire discourse, implyin that all of the warnins, sins and instructions would apply to them!
The chart also illustrates why dividin 3atthew /O into two sections does not stand! As ;dward ;! Stevens has
illustrated in What >a!!ened In BF AJ?, to assin the divisions of 3atthew to two different enerations would
wreak havoc on the parallel passae of ,uke ?0! %hile ,uke ?0 is not an account of the "livet discourse, it
contains much of the same material! In it =esus answers the 1harisee2s question of the comin @indom, and
further instructs 7is disciples! It is obviously one continuous discourse, yet if 3atthew /O addresses two
enerations, then =esus 4umped back and forth between these two enerations in 7is ,uke ?0 address! %e
have shown a division in 3atthew /O between verses 9O and 9H 5althouh as noted, some commentators
divide it between vv! /N and /P6, with vv! ?'9O relatin to the destruction of =erusalem, and vv! 9H'H? relatin to
a 5supposedly6 future eneration! Cerses 9H'H? are hihlihted in ray to show the division! The riht'hand
column of the table below contains the passae from ,uke ?0! Those portions of the ,uke passae that are
parallels of te*t in the first section of 3atthew /O 5addressin the <ew Testament eneration6 are in a bold font,
while those that are found in the second section of 3atthew 5addressin a yet future eneration6 are
hihlihted in ray! Thus we can see that if =esus switched between two different enerations once in 3atthew
/O, then he did it no less than four times in ,uke ?0! 7ow would 7is listeners be e*pected to keep thins
straiht? The reader is encouraed to review the table several times in order to rasp the different aspects that
are presented!
"atthew 49
Then =esus went out and departed from the temple, and 7is disciples came
up to show 7im the buildins of the temple! / And =esus said to them, L.o
?OB not see all these thins? Assuredly, I say to ?OB, not one stone shall
be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down!L
9 <ow as 7e sat on the 3ount of "lives, the disciples came to 7im privately,
sayin,LTell us, when will these thins be? And what will be the sin of )our
comin, and of the end of the ae?L
O And =esus answered and said to them: LTake heed that no one deceives
?OB! H +or many will come in 3y name, sayin, RI am the #hrist,R and will
deceive many! M And ?OB will hear of wars and rumors of wars! See that
?OB are not troubledF for all these thins must come to pass, but the end is
not yet! 0 +or nation will rise aainst nation, and kindom aainst kindom!
And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places! N
All these are the beinnin of sorrows!
P LThen they will deliver ?OB up to tribulation and kill ?OB, and ?OB will be
hated by all nations for 3y nameRs sake! ?8 And then many will be offended,
will betray one another, and will hate one another! ?? Then many false
prophets will rise up and deceive many! ?/ And because lawlessness will
abound, the love of many will row cold! ?9 But he who endures to the end
shall be saved! ?O And this ospel of the kindom will be preached in all the
world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come!
?H LTherefore when ?OB see the Rabomination of desolation,R spoken of by
.aniel the prophet, standin in the holy placeL 5whoever reads, let him
understand6, ?M Lthen let those who are in =udea flee to the mountains! 6C
.et him who is on the ho!setop not go down to take anything o!t of his
ho!se# 6@ %nd let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes#
Bold te't indicates passages from
the first part of "att 49, which is
assigned to the c!rrent generation
and the destr!ction of 2er!salem#
7ihlihted te*t indicates passaes
from the last part of 3att /O, which is
assined to a future eneration!
.!ke 6C14A/5C
<ow when 7e was asked by the
1harisees when the kindom of :od
would come, 7e answered them and
said, LThe kindom of :od does not
come with observationF /? nor will
they say, RSee hereIR or RSee thereIR
+or indeed, the kindom of :od is
within you!L
// Then 7e said to the disciples, LThe
1
?P But woe to those who are prenant and to those who are nursin babies
in those daysI /8 And pray that ?OB= fliht may not be in winter or on the
Sabbath! /? +or then there will be reat tribulation, such as has not been
since the beinnin of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be! // And
unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be savedF but for the
electRs sake those days will be shortened!
/9 LThen if anyone says to ?OB, R,ook, here is the #hristIR or RThereIR do not
believe it! /O +or false christs and false prophets will rise and show reat
sins and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect! /H See, I have
told ?OB beforehand!
4; &Therefore if they say to ?OB, 8.ook, *e is in the desertD8 do not go
o!t; or 8.ook, *e is in the inner roomsD8 do not believe it# 4C >or as the
lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the
coming of the <on of "an be# 4@ >or wherever the carcass is, there the
eagles will be gathered together#
/P LImmediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not ive its lihtF the stars will fall from heaven, and the
powers of the heavens will be shaken!
98 Then the sin of the Son of 3an will appear in heaven, and then all the
tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of 3an comin on
the clouds of heaven with power and reat lory! 9? And 7e will send 7is
anels with a reat sound of a trumpet, and they will ather toether 7is
elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other!
9/ L<ow learn this parable from the fi tree: %hen its branch has already
become tender and puts forth leaves, ?OB know that summer is near! 99
So ?OB also, when ?OB see all these thins, know that it is near Q at the
doorsI 9O Assuredly, I say to ?OB, this eneration will by no means pass
away till all these thins take place!
9H 7eaven and earth will pass away, but 3y words will by no means pass
away!
9M LBut of that day and hour no one knows, not even the anels of heaven,
but 3y +ather only! 90 But as the days of <oah were, so also will the comin
of the Son of 3an be! 9N +or as in the days before the flood, they were
eatin and drinkin, marryin and ivin in marriae, until the day that <oah
entered the ark, 9P and did not know until the flood came and took them all
away, so also will the comin of the Son of 3an be! O8 Then two men will be
in the field: one will be taken and the other left! O? Two women will be
rindin at the mill: one will be taken and the other left! O/ %atch therefore,
for ?OB do not know what hour your ,ord is comin! O9 But know this, that
if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he
would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into! OO
Therefore ?OB also be ready, for the Son of 3an is comin at an hour ?OB
do not e*pect!
OH L%ho then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler
over his household, to ive them food in due season? OM Blessed is that
servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doin! O0 Assuredly, I
say to ?OB that he will make him ruler over all his oods! ON But if that evil
servant says in his heart, R3y master is delayin his comin,R OP and beins
to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, H8 the
master of that servant will come on a day when he is not lookin for him and
at an hour that he is not aware of, H? and will cut him in two and appoint him
his portion with the hypocrites! There shall be weepin and nashin of
teeth!
<@=C
days will come when you will desire to
see one of the days of the Son of
3an, and you will not see it! 45 %nd
they will say to yo!, 8.ook hereD8 or
8.ook thereD8 ,o not go after them
or follow them! 49 >or as the
lightning that flashes o!t of one
part !nder heaven shines to the
other part !nder heaven, so also
the <on of "an will be in *is day#
/H But first 7e must suffer many
thins and be re4ected by this
eneration! /M And as it was in the
days of <oah, so it will be also in the
days of the Son of 3an: /0 They ate,
they drank, they married wives, they
were iven in marriae, until the day
that <oah entered the ark, and the
flood came and destroyed them all!
/N ,ikewise as it was also in the days
of ,ot: They ate, they drank, they
bouht, they sold, they planted, they
builtF /P but on the day that ,ot went
out of Sodom it rained fire and
brimstone from heaven and destroyed
them all! 98 ;ven so will it be in the
day when the Son of 3an is revealed!
56 &$n that day, he who is on the
ho!setop, and his goods are in the
ho!se, let him not come down to
take them away# %nd likewise the
one who is in the field, let him not
t!rn back# 9/ >emember ,otRs wife!
99 %hoever seeks to save his life will
lose it, and whoever loses his life will
preserve it! 9O I tell you, in that niht
there will be two men in one bed: the
one will be taken and the other will be
left! 9H Two women will be rindin
toether: the one will be taken and the
other left! 9M Two men will be in the
field: the one will be taken and the
other left!L
90 And they answered and said to
7im, L%here, ,ord?L
So 7e said to them, &Wherever the
body is, there the eagles will be
gathered together#&
<@=C
1
#ommentators disaree on where to divide 3atthew /O, in order to separate the A. 08 eneration from a
future Second #omin eneration! And this after one of the events has already passed! If we are unable to
discern which portions are historic, and which are predictive, one wonders how =esus2 listeners could discern,
from their perspective, the near predictive from the far predictive! This is especially true of ,uke ?0, where
=esus switches enerations no less than four timesE %hen we recall that the disciples were continually
demonstratin their inorance of =esus teachins, and needed the simplest of parables e*plained to them, we
can hardly imaine them $keepin up& with their 3aster as 7e traversed millennia in 7is answer to them!
In order to demonstrate that we need not wait for future fulfillments of the $sins& of 3atthew /O, this second
table lists several fulfillments from Biblical and historical accounts! In the left'hand column are fulfillments found
in Scripture, which pertain to the events of the .ay of the ,ord! In the riht'hand column are accounts from
=osephus of thins that took place durin the .ay of the ,ord! The te*t of 3atthew /O is provided in the center
column!
>!lfillments >rom <cript!re,
and =elated Te'ts
"atthew 49 >!lfillments >rom *istory
Acts ??:/N
Then one of them, named
Aabus, stood up and showed
by the Spirit that there was
oin to be a reat famine
throuhout all the world, which
also happened in the days of
#laudius #aesar!
<@=C
Acts N:?
At that time a reat persecution
arose aainst the church which
was at =erusalemF and they
were all scattered throuhout
Then =esus went out and
departed from the temple, and
7is disciples came up to show
7im the buildins of the temple!
/ And =esus said to them, L.o
you not see all these thins?
Assuredly, I say to you, not one
stone shall be left here upon
another, that shall not be thrown
down!L
9 <ow as 7e sat on the 3ount
of "lives, the disciples came to
7im privately, sayin, LTell us,
when will these thins be? And
what will be the sin of )our
comin, and of the end of the
ae?L
O And =esus answered and said
to them: LTake heed that no one
deceives you! H +or many will
come in 3y name, sayin, RI am
the #hrist,R and will deceive
many! M And you will hear of
wars and rumors of wars! See
that you are not troubledF for all
these thins must come to pass,
but the end is not yet! 0 +or
nation will rise aainst nation,
and kindom aainst kindom!
And there will be famines,
pestilences, and earthquakes in
various places! N All these are
the beinnin of sorrows!
P LThen they will deliver you up
to tribulation and kill you, and
you will be hated by all nations
Book /, #hapter H!
But there was an ;yptian false
prophet that did the =ews more
mischief than the formerF for he
was a cheat, and pretended to be
a prophet also, and ot toether
thirty thousand men that were
deluded by himF
Book M, #hapter H
A false prophet was the occasion
of these peopleRs destruction, who
had made a public proclamation in
the city that very day, that :od
commanded them to et upon the
temple, and that there they should
receive miraculous sins of their
deliverance! <ow there was then a
reat number of false prophets
suborned by the tyrants to impose
on the people, who denounced this
to them, that they should wait for
deliverance from :odF
Book H, #hapter ?8
But the famine was too hard for all
other passions, and it is
destructive to nothin so much as
to modestyF for what was
otherwise worthy of reverence was
in this case despisedF insomuch
that children pulled the very
morsels that their fathers were
eatin out of their very mouths,
and what was still more to be
pitied, so did the mothers do as to
1
>!lfillments >rom <cript!re,
and =elated Te'ts
"atthew 49 >!lfillments >rom *istory
the reions of =udea and
Samaria, e*cept the apostles!
<@=C
#ol ?:H'M
of which you heard before in the
word of the tr!th of the gospel,
M which has come to you, as it
has also in all the world
<@=C
#ol ?:/9
if indeed you continue in the
faith, rounded and steadfast,
and are not moved away from
the hope of the gospel which
you heard, which was preached
to every creat!re !nder
heaven,
<@=C
>om ?8:?M'?N
But they have not all obeyed the
ospel! +or Isaiah says, L,">.,
who has believed our report?L
So then faith comes by hearin,
and hearin by the word of
God# But I say, have they not
heard? )es indeed:
LTheir sound has one out to all
the earth,
%nd their words to the ends of
the world#&
<@=C
? =ohn /:?N
.ear children, this is the last
hourF and as you have heard
that the antichrist is comin,
even now many antichrists
have come# This is how we
know it is the last hour!
<IC
? =ohn O:?
beca!se many false prophets
have gone o!t into the world#
for 3y nameRs sake! ?8 And
then many will be offended, will
betray one another, and will hate
one another! ?? Then many
false prophets will rise up and
deceive many! ?/ And because
lawlessness will abound, the
love of many will row cold! ?9
But he who endures to the end
shall be saved! ?O %nd this
gospel of the kingdom will be
preached in all the world as a
witness to all the nations, and
then the end will come#
?H LTherefore when you see the
Rabomination of desolation,R
spoken of by .aniel the prophet,
standin in the holy placeL
5whoever reads, let him
understand6, ?M Lthen let those
who are in =udea flee to the
mountains! ?0 ,et him who is
on the housetop not o down to
take anythin out of his house!
?N And let him who is in the field
not o back to et his clothes!
?P But woe to those who are
prenant and to those who are
nursin babies in those daysI
/8 And pray that your fliht may
not be in winter or on the
Sabbath! /? +or then there will
be reat tribulation, such as has
not been since the beinnin of
the world until this time, no, nor
ever shall be! // And unless
those days were shortened, no
flesh would be savedF but for the
electRs sake those days will be
shortened!
/9 LThen if anyone says to you,
R,ook, here is the #hristIR or
RThereIR do not believe it! /O +or
false christs and false
prophets will rise and show
reat sins and wonders to
deceive, if possible, even the
elect! /H See, I have told you
beforehand!
/M LTherefore if they say to you,
R,ook, 7e is in the desertIR do not
their infantsF and when those that
were most dear were perishin
under their hands, they were not
ashamed to take from them the
very last drops that miht preserve
their lives:
Book O, #hapter O
for there broke out a prodiious
storm in the niht, with the utmost
violence, and very stron winds,
with the larest showers of rain,
with continued lihtnins, terrible
thunderins, and amaAin
concussions and bellowins of the
earth, that was in an earthquake!
These thins were a manifest
indication that some destruction
was comin upon men, when the
system of the world was put into
this disorderF and any one would
uess that these wonders
foreshowed some rand calamities
that were comin!
Book M, #hapter H
3oreover, the eastern ate of the
inner Jcourt of theK temple, which
was of brass, and vastly heavy,
and had been with difficulty shut by
twenty men, and rested upon a
basis armed with iron, and had
bolts fastened very deep into the
firm floor, which was there made of
one entire stone, was seen to be
opened of its own accord about
the si*th hour of the niht! <ow
those that kept watch in the temple
came hereupon runnin to the
captain of the temple, and told him
of itF who then came up thither,
and not without reat difficulty was
able to shut the ate aain! This
also appeared to the vular to be a
very happy prodiy, as if :od did
thereby open them the ate of
happiness! But the men of learnin
understood it, that the security of
their holy house was dissolved of
its own accord, and that the ate
was opened for the advantae of
1
>!lfillments >rom <cript!re,
and =elated Te'ts
"atthew 49 >!lfillments >rom *istory
<@=C
? #or ?8:??
<ow all these thins happened
to them Jthe ;*odus enerationK
as e*amples, and they were
written for our Jthe <T
enerationK admonition, !pon
whom the ends of the ages
have come#
<@=C
o outF or R,ook, 7e is in the
inner roomsIR do not believe it!
/0 +or as the lihtnin comes
from the east and flashes to the
west, so also will the comin of
the Son of 3an be! /N +or
wherever the carcass is, there
the eales will be athered
toether!
/P LImmediately after the
tribulation of those days the sun
will be darkened, and the moon
will not ive its lihtF the stars
will fall from heaven, and the
powers of the heavens will be
shaken! 98 Then the sin of the
Son of 3an will appear in
heaven, and then all the tribes of
the earth will mourn, and they
will see the Son of 3an comin
on the clouds of heaven with
power and reat lory! 9? And
7e will send 7is anels with a
reat sound of a trumpet, and
they will ather toether 7is
elect from the four winds, from
one end of heaven to the other!
9/ L<ow learn this parable from
the fi tree: %hen its branch has
already become tender and puts
forth leaves, you know that
summer is near! 99 So you
also, when you see all these
thins, know that it is near Q at
the doorsI 9O %ss!redly, $ say
to yo!, this generation will by
no means pass away till all
these things take place# 9H
7eaven and earth will pass
away, but 3y words will by no
means pass away!
9M LBut of that day and hour no
one knows, not even the anels
of heaven, but 3y +ather only!
90 But as the days of <oah
were, so also will the comin of
the Son of 3an be! 9N +or as in
the days before the flood, they
were eatin and drinkin,
marryin and ivin in marriae,
until the day that <oah entered
their enemies! So these publicly
declared that the sinal
foreshowed the desolation that
was comin upon them! Besides
these, a few days after that feast,
on the one and twentieth day of
the month Artemisius, J=yar,K a
certain prodiious and incredible
phenomenon appeared: I suppose
the account of it would seem to be
a fable, were it not related by
those that saw it, and were not the
events that followed it of so
considerable a nature as to
deserve such sinalsF for, before
sun'settin, chariots and troops of
soldiers in their armor were seen
runnin about amon the clouds,
and surroundin of cities!
3oreover, at that feast which we
call 1entecost, as the priests were
oin by niht into the inner Jcourt
of the temple,K as their custom
was, to perform their sacred
ministrations, they said that, in the
first place, they felt a quakin, and
heard a reat noise, and after that
they heard a sound as of a reat
multitude, sayin, L,et us remove
hence!L
5from =osephus: %ars of the =ews,
1# Study Bible formatted
electronic database #opyriht S
/889 by Biblesoft, Inc! All rihts
reserved!6
1
>!lfillments >rom <cript!re,
and =elated Te'ts
"atthew 49 >!lfillments >rom *istory
? Thess H:O
But yo!, brethren, are not in
darkness, so that this .ay
should overtake yo! as a thief!
<@=C
/ 1eter 9:9'O
knowin this first: that scoffers
will come in the last days,
walkin accordin to their own
lusts, O and sayin, L%here is
the promise of 7is comin? +or
since the fathers fell asleep, all
thins continue as they were
from the beinnin of creation!L
<@=C
the ark, 9P and did not know
until the flood came and took
them all away, so also will the
comin of the Son of 3an be!
O8 Then two men will be in the
field: one will be taken and the
other left! O? Two women will be
rindin at the mill: one will be
taken and the other left! O/
%atch therefore, for you do not
know what hour your ,ord is
comin! O9 But know this, that if
the master of the house had
known what hour the thief would
come, he would have watched
and not allowed his house to be
broken into! OO Therefore yo!
also be ready, for the <on of
"an is coming at an ho!r yo!
do not e'pect#
OH L%ho then is a faithful and
wise servant, whom his master
made ruler over his household,
to ive them food in due
season? OM Blessed is that
servant whom his master, when
he comes, will find so doin! O0
Assuredly, I say to you that he
will make him ruler over all his
oods! ON B!t if that evil
servant says in his heart, 8"y
master is delaying his
coming,E 9F and beins to beat
his fellow servants, and to eat
and drink with the drunkards, H8
the master of that servant will
come on a day when he is not
lookin for him and at an hour
that he is not aware of, H? and
will cut him in two and appoint
him his portion with the
hypocrites! There shall be
weepin and nashin of teeth!
<@=C
Dpon realiAin the detail with which the destruction of =erusalem in A. 08 fulfills the apocalyptic prophecies of
=esus and =ohn, many resort to a double'fulfillment scenario in order to maintain a future Second #omin!
Thus, while admittin that the destruction of =erusalem can be seen in these prophecies, they consider that
event as a partial', or typical'fulfillment, of the ultimate fulfillment realiAed in a future Second #omin!
#oncernin double'fulfillment scenarios, 3ilton S! Terry says the followin:
1
The hermeneutical principles which we have now set forth necessarily e*clude the doctrine that the
prophecies of Scripture contain an occult or double sense! It has been alleed by some that as these
oracles are heavenly and divine we should e*pect to find in them manifold meanins! They must needs
differ from other books! 7ence has arisen not only the doctrine of a double sense, but of a threefold and
fourfold sense, and the rabbis went so far as to insist that there are $mountains of sense every word of
Scripture!& %e may readily admit that the Scriptures are capable of manifold practical a!!licationsF
otherwise they would not be so useful for doctrine, correction, and instruction in rihteousness 5/ Tim
9:?M6! But the moment we admit the principle that portions of Scripture contain an occult or double
sense we introduce an element of uncertainty in the sacred volume, and unsettle all scientific
interpretation! $If the Scripture has more than one meanin&, says .r! "wen, $it has no meanin at all!&
$I hold,& says >yle, $that the words of Scripture were intended to have one definite sense, and that our
first ob4ect should be to discover that sense, and adhere riidly to it- To say that words do mean a
thin merely because they can be tortured into meanin it is a most dishonourable and danerous way
of handlin Scripture& 5G=!ository Thoughts on 5t. 3u+e, vol! I, p! 9N96! $This scheme of interpretation,&
says Stuart, $forsakes and sets aside the common laws of lanuae! The Bible e*cepted, in no book,
treatise, epistle, discourse, or conversation, ever written, published, or addressed by any one man to
his fellow beins 5unless in the way of sport, or with an intention to deceive6, can a double sense be
found-& 5-iblical >ermeneutics, pp! OP9'OPO (Academie Books, Bondervan 1ublishin 7ouse6
Jemphasis in oriinalK
Terry also comments on the difference between typoloy and double'fulfillment:
Some writers have confused this sub4ect by connectin it with the doctrine of type and antitype! As
many persons and events of the "ld Testament were types of reater ones to come, so the lanuae
respectin them is supposed to be capable of a double sense-But it should be seen that in the case of
types the lanuae of the Scripture has no double sense! The types themselves are such because they
prefiure thins to come, and this fact must be kept distinct from the question of the sense of lanuae
used in any particular passae! 5p! OPO, Ibid6
#oncernin double'fulfillment and the /O
th
chapter of 3atthew, Terry comments:
The twenty'fourth of 3atthew, so commonly relied on to support this theory, has been already shown to
furnish no valid evidence of either an occult or a double sense! 5p! OPH, Ibid6
As Terry noted, while Scripture has only one sense in matters of interpretation, it may have many applications!
7e provides further comment on this:
The precious words of promise to :od2s people find more or less fulfilment in every individual
e*perience! But these facts do not sustain the theory of a double sense! The sense in every case is
direct and simpleF the applications and illustrations are many! Such facts ive no authority for us to o
into apocalyptic prophecies with the e*pectation of findin two or more meanins in each specific
statement, and then to declare: This verse refers to an event lon past, this to somethin yet futureF this
had a partial fulfilment in the ruin of Babylon, or ;dom, but it awaits a rander fulfilment in the future!
The 4udment of Babylon, or <ineveh, or =erusalem, may, indeed, be a type of every other similar
4udment, and is a warnin to all nations and aesF but this is very different from sayin that the
lanuae in which that 4udment was predicted was fulfilled only partially when Babylon, or <ineveh, of
=erusalem fell, and is yet awaitin its complete fulfillment-! To assume, in the absence of any hint, that
we have an enima, and in the face of e*plicit statements to the contrary, that any specific prophecy
has a double sense, a primary and a secondary meanin, a near and a remote fulfilment, must
necessarily introduce an element of uncertainty and confusion into biblical interpretation! 5p! OPH, Ibid6
,astly, we offer >ussell2s thouhts on double'fulfillment:
1
There is another theory, however, by which many suppose that the credit of the apostles is saved, and
yet room left for avoidin the acceptance of their apparent teachin on the sub4ect of the comin of
#hrist! This is, by the hypothesis of a !rimary and !artial fulfilment of their predictions in their own time,
to be followed and completed by an ultimate and !lenary fulfilment at the end of human history!
Accordin to this view, the anticipations of the apostles were not wholly erroneous! Somethin really did
take place that miht be called Wa comin of the ,ord,2 Wa 4udment day!2 Their predictions received a
Ouasi fulfilment in the destruction of =erusalem and in the 4udment of the uilty nation! That
consummation at the close of the =ewish ae was a ty!e of another and infinitely reater catastrophe,
when the whole human race will be brouht before the 4udment seat of #hrist and the earth consumed
by a eneral conflaration! This is probably the view which is most commonly accepted by the ma4ority
of e*positors and readers of the <ew Testament at the present day!
The first ob4ection to this hypothesis is, that it has no foundation in the teachin of the Scriptures! There
is not a scintilla of evidence that the apostles and primitive #hristians had any suspicion of a twofold
reference in the predictions of =esus concernin the end! <o hint is anywhere dropped that a primary
and partial fulfilment of 7is sayins was to take place in that eneration, but that the complete and
e*haustive fulfilment was reserved for a future and far distant period! The very contrary is the fact!
%hat can be more comprehensive and conclusive than our ,ord2s words, WCerily I say unto you, This
eneration shall not pass, till A,, these thins be fulfilled2? %hat critical torture has been applied to
these words to e*tort from them some other meanin than their obvious and natural oneI 7ow has
XYZY[ been hunted throuh all its lineae and enealoy to discover that it may not mean the persons
then livin on the earthI But all such efforts are wholly futile! %hile the words remain in the te*t their
plain and obvious sense will prevail over all the losses and perversions of inenious criticism! The
hypothesis of a twofold fulfilment receives no countenance from the Scriptures! %e have only to read
the lanuae in which the apostles speak of the approachin consummation, to be convinced that they
had one, and only one, reat event in view, and that they thouht and spoke of it as 4ust at hand!
%e believe that in #hrist2s "livet discourse, the eneration that 7e spoke to was the same eneration 7e
spoke of! .ividin 7is discourse, searchin for alternate meanins for XYZY[ and lookin for double'fulfillments,
are devices used to wrestle the plain and clear meanin away from the te*t! Thus, aruments from the "livet
discourse for a future return of #hrist are removed, and scriptural evidence is provided for 7is return durin
$that eneration&, as promised! :ranted, this calls for sweepin chanes in our understandin of the nature of
7is return! As with the apocalyptic lanuae which describes that return, we believe that scriptural precedent
supports these $sweepin chanes&!
1
Coing $n The Clouds
The reader may be surprised to learn that the Incarnation was not the only instance of :od comin down to
earth mentioned in the Bible! #onsider the followin e*ample from the book of =udes:
Then Jeborah said to -ara+, "N!E For this is the day in which the 3."J has delivered 5isera into your
hand. >as not the 3."J gone out before you?" 5o -ara+ went down from ,ount Tabor with ten
thousand men following him.
And the 3."J routed 5isera and all his chariots and all his army with the edge of the sword before
-ara+; and 5isera alighted from his chariot and fled away on foot.
-ut -ara+ !ursued the chariots and the army as far as >arosheth >agoyim, and all the army of 5isera
fell by the edge of the sword; not a man was left. )udges @$2@&2%
2 Then Jeborah and -ara+ the son of Abinoam sang on that day, saying$
0 "When leaders lead in Israel, When the !eo!le willingly offer themselves, -less the 3."JE
1 ">ear, . +ingsE ive ear, . !rincesE I, even I, will sing to the 3."J; I will sing !raise to the 3."J
od of Israel.
: !L,./, when 4ou went out from "eir, 3hen 4ou marched from the field of Edom, The earth
trembled and the heavens !oured, The clouds also !oured water;
? The mountains gushed before the 3."J, This 5inai, before the 3."J od of Israel.
;< 8he L,./ came down for me against the mighty.
0F They fought from the heavens; The stars from their courses fought against 5isera. )udges ?$2&?, 21,
0F '()* 5emphasis added6
<otice v! ?9 says e*plicitly that $the ,">. came down-& <ow some miht be quick to say that 7e came in
4udment, but not physically! Isn2t the book of >evelation describin the ,ord2s 4udment? In e*pectin a
physical comin, are we not makin the same mistake that the ?
st
century =ews did, in e*pectin their 3essiah
to physically deliver them from the >omans and to rein from =erusalem? <ote also that, 4ust as in the e*ample
of .avid from a previous chapter, the historic account in =udes seems to be a typical battle scene, while the
ensuin son of praise describes the victory as $the ,ord comin down&! The followin are additional e*amples
of the ,ord $comin down&:
And they heard the sound of the L,./ (od wal#ing in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam
and his wife hid themselves from the !resence of the 3."J od among the trees of the garden. en
1$6 '()*
-ut the L,./ came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the
3."J said, "Indeed the !eo!le are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to
do; now nothing that they !ro!ose to do will be withheld from them. /ome, let Ns go down and there
confuse their language, that they may not understand one another4s s!eech." 5o the 3."J scattered
them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. Therefore its
name is called -abel, because there the 3."J confused the language of all the earth; and from there
the 3."J scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth. en 22$?&# '()*
And the 3."J said, "-ecause the outcry against 5odom and omorrah is great, and because their sin
is very grave, % will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry
against it that has come to ,e; and if not, I will +now." en 26$0F&02 '()*
1
8hen (od appeared to &acob again, when he came from Aadan Aram, and blessed him9Then od
went u! from him in the !lace where >e tal+ed with him. en 1?$#, 21 '()*
And )ose!h said to his brethren, "I am dying; but (od will surely visit you, and bring you out of this
land to the land of which >e swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to )acob." en ?F$0@ '()*
And the 3."J said$ "I have surely seen the o!!ression of ,y !eo!le who are in Ggy!t, and have heard
their cry because of their tas+masters, for I +now their sorrows. 5o % have come down to deliver
them out of the hand of the Ggy!tians, and to bring them u! from that land to a good and large land, to
a land flowing with mil+ and honey9 G= 1$B&6 '()*
And let them be ready for the third day. For on the third day the L,./ will come down u!on ,ount
5inai in the sight of all the !eo!le. G= 2#$22 '()*
5o the 3."J said to ,oses$ "ather to ,e seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you +now to be
the elders of the !eo!le and officers over them; bring them to the tabernacle of meeting, that they may
stand there with you. Then % will come down and tal+ with you there. 'um 22$2%&2B '()* 5emphases
added6
So we see that :od has come down to man on many occasions, often in association with 4udment or
deliverance! As students of the %ord, have we ever insisted that all of these $comins& were physical, bodily
manifestations of :od? %e don2t claim that :od physically came down and delivered .avid and .eborah from
their enemies, yet we must trust the Bible when it says that :od came down in those instances! %e seem to
have no problem understandin those comins as $spiritual, metaphorical& comins of :od!
%hy, then, when the descriptions of #hrist2s Second #omin echo those same themes of 4udment upon 7is
enemies, and deliverance of 7is people, do we apply the physical nature of the Incarnation to it, and not the
spiritual nature established by the precedent in the "ld Testament? The reason that most people make this
application is because #hrist2s physical body ascended into heaven, and 7e was said to be comin back in like
manner:
'ow when >e had s!o+en these things, while they watched, >e was ta+en u!, and a cloud received
>im out of their sight. And while they loo+ed steadfastly toward heaven as >e went u!, behold, two
men stood by them in white a!!arel, who also said, ",en of alilee, why do you stand ga;ing u! into
heaven? This same )esus, who was ta+en u! from you into heaven, will so come in li+e manner as you
saw >im go into heaven." Acts 2$#&22 '()*
Based upon the statement of the anels, most believe the implication is that =esus will return bodily! 7owever,
we recall to the reader our study on the :reek word $houto&, from the chapter The 'ew /ovenant and Israel,
where we focused on the phrase $and so all Israel shall be saved&! 7outo means $in this way ( referrin to
what precedes or follows&! This same :reek word is used in Acts ?:?? This same )esus, who was ta+en u!
from you into heaven, will so come in li+e manner as you saw >im go into heaven. 7e will come in like manner
as 7e was taken up! 7ow was 7e taken up? -while they watched, >e was ta+en u!, and a cloud received
Him out of their sight$ %hile many in the #hurch make the focus that #hrist bodily ascended, therefore 7e
must bodily return, we believe that the other references to 7is comin, and the use of $houto& place the
emphasis on 7is returnin in the clouds! If someone departs for a destination on a plane, and we are told that
they are returnin in the same manner as they left, do we understand that to mean their physical condition
5wearin the same clothes, arm still in a cast, etc!6, or that they are comin back on a plane? The anel did not
say that =esus would return in the same condition that 7e left, but in the same manner! The focus is not on the
condition of the traveler, but on the mode of transportation ( in the cloudsI <otice how this theme is prevalent
in Second #omin passaes:
Then the sign of the 5on of ,an will a!!ear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn,
and they will see the "on of 1an coming on the clouds of heaven with !ower and great glory. ,t
0@$1F '()*
1
Again the high !riest as+ed >im, saying to >im, "Are Lou the /hrist, the 5on of the -lessed?" )esus
said, "I am. And you will see the 5on of ,an sitting at the right hand of the Aower, and coming with
the clouds of heaven." ,ar+ 2@$%2&%0 '()*
Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught u! together with them in the clouds to meet the
3ord in the air. 2 Thess @$2B '()*
-ehold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see >im, even they who !ierced >im. And all
the tribes of the earth will mourn because of >im. Gven so, Amen. "ev 2$B '()*
Then I loo+ed, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat ,ne li#e the "on of 1an, having on
>is head a golden crown, and in >is hand a shar! sic+le. "ev 2@$2@ '()* 5emphases added6
Is this comin in the clouds somethin new to the early church, or had they heard the term before? "nce
aain, we turn to the "ld Testament:
Then the earth shoo+ and trembled; The foundations of the hills also Oua+ed and were sha+en,
-ecause >e was angry. 5mo+e went u! from >is nostrils, And devouring fire from >is mouth; /oals
were +indled by it. >e bowed the heavens also, and came down With dar+ness under >is feet. And >e
rode u!on a cherub, and flew; >e flew u!on the wings of the wind. >e made dar+ness >is secret !lace;
>is canopy around Him was dar# waters 6nd thic# clouds of the s#ies$ From the brightness before
>im, His thic# clouds !assed with hailstones and coals of fire. The 3."J thundered from heaven,
And the ,ost >igh uttered >is voice, >ailstones and coals of fire. >e sent out >is arrows and scattered
the foe, 3ightnings in abundance, and >e vanOuished them. Then the channels of the sea were seen,
The foundations of the world were uncovered At Lour rebu+e, . 3."J, At the blast of the breath of
Lour nostrils. As 26$B&2? '()* 7em!hasis added8
%e have already looked at the parallel passae from / Sam! // in an earlier chapter! The reader is reminded
of the apocalyptic lanuae, used by .avid in describin the ,ord deliverin him from Saul! .avid makes these
statements in his son of thanksivin, yet not one of these items is mentioned in the historic account in
Samuel! But we diress, for our current sub4ect is comin in the clouds! %e offer further e*amples, once aain
hihlihtin specific phrases in a bold font:
>e lays the beams of >is u!!er chambers in the waters,
3ho ma#es the clouds His chariot,
3ho wal#s on the wings of the wind, As 2F@$1 '()*
The burden against Ggy!t.
*ehold, the L,./ rides on a swift cloud,
And will come into Ggy!t;
The idols of Ggy!t will totter at >is !resence,
And the heart of Ggy!t will melt in its midst. Is. 2#$2 '()*
-low the trum!et in Cion,
And sound an alarm in ,y holy mountainE
3et all the inhabitants of the land tremble;
For the day of the L,./ is coming,
For it is at hand=
6 day of dar#ness and gloominess,
6 day of clouds and thic# dar#ness,
3i+e the morning clouds s!read over the mountains. )oel 0$2&0 '()*
od is Healous, and the 3."J avenges;
The 3."J avenges and is furious.
1
The 3."J will ta+e vengeance on >is adversaries,
And >e reserves wrath for >is enemies;
The 3."J is slow to anger and great in !ower,
And will not at all acOuit the wic+ed.
8he L,./ has His way
%n the whirlwind and in the storm,
6nd the clouds are the dust of His feet. 'ah 2$0&1 '()*
The great day of the 3."J is near;
It is near and hastens Ouic+ly.
The noise of the day of the 3."J is bitter;
There the mighty men shall cry out.
That day is a day of wrath,
A day of trouble and distress,
A day of devastation and desolation,
A day of dar+ness and gloominess,
6 day of clouds and thic# dar#ness9 Ce!h 2$2@&2? '()*
So aain we must ask ourselves, when the early #hristians 5mostly =ewish converts6 heard, or read, of #hrist
comin in the clouds to 4ude 7is enemies and deliver 7is saints, what imaes were con4ured up in their
minds! .id they see the 3ount of "lives splittin in two, the heavens rollin up like a scroll and the stars fallin
from the sky, or did they see somethin else? Almost all of the above passaes describe :od comin to
various nations in 4udment ( 4udments that occurred years before the <ew Testament era! There is nothin
to indicate that any of the apocalyptic details literally happened, nor that anyone believed that they had! So
what did happen? These nations were attacked, in various derees, by forein armies! Those armies,
knowinly or not, were :od2s instruments of 4udment aainst these nations! Aain, what did the early church
envision as the comin of the ,ord in 4udment? >emember our ,ord2s admonition to them:
"-ut when you see )erusalem surrounded by armies, then +now that its desolation is near. Then let
those who are in )udea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her de!art, and let not
those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are
written may be fulfilled. -ut woe to those who are !regnant and to those who are nursing babies in
those daysE For there will be great distress in the land and wrath u!on this !eo!le. And they will fall by
the edge of the sword, and be led away ca!tive into all nations. And )erusalem will be tram!led by
entiles until the times of the entiles are fulfilled. 3u+e 02$0F&0@ '()*
Apostate Israel had played the harlot before :od lon enouh! They had become 7is enemy, and the enemy
of 7is new chosen people, the #hurch! 7e was about to come in 4udment to them and destroy their city and
temple, indicatin an end to the "ld #ovenant, and confirmin the <ew #ovenant, which they had been
persecutin! In 08 A!.!, after 9 ?E/ years of fihtin 5the time, times and half a time, the ?/M8 days, the O/
months of >evelation6 the >oman army was victorious, and concernin the temple, not one stone was left upon
another!
The predisposition to interpret the Second #omin as havin a nature more like the incarnation, than of the
previous e*amples from the "ld Testament, we believe, is due larely to the followin three items:
?! A misunderstandin of the nature of the <ew #ovenant
4# Interpretin the statement of the anels in Acts ?, This same )esus, who was ta+en u! from you
into heaven, will so come in li+e manner as you saw >im go into heaven, as focusin on 7is
physical body, rather than on 7is bein cauht up in the clouds!
9! #hrist is the $first fruits& of the redeemedF therefore 7is physical, bodily resurrection is indicative
of our future bodily resurrection ( thus necessitatin a more $physical& nature to the Second
#omin!
1
The first item was the sub4ect of 1art I of our study! %e have attempted to address the second item in this
chapter, as well as the chapter on A!ocaly!tic 3anguage! 7opefully the reader, if not convinced, at least admits
that the <ew Testament lanuae describin the Second #omin is strikinly similar to that of "ld Testament
comins, which enerations of #hristians have had no problem understandin in a spiritual, metaphorical
sense! The third item is, admittedly, not an easy topic, yet we will endeavor to shed some liht on it in a later
chapter!
In liht of the "ld Testament e*amples of $comins of the ,ord&, and the apocalyptic lanuae that is
ine*tricably wrapped up with them, we feel that a serious reconsideration is due reardin the nature of the
Second #omin of #hrist! Is not the book of >evelation a $revealin& of #hrist comin in 7is lory, metin out
4udment to 7is enemies, and brinin deliverance to 7is people? And is not this $comin& also clothed in the
same apocalyptic lanuae that we have seen in the "ld Testament? If we truly allow Scripture to interpret
Scripture, do not the "livet discourse and >evelation continue in the "ld Testament precedent of $comins of
the ,ord& in 4udment and deliverance? .oesn2t the evidence favor 7is comin in the clouds of 4udment, as
opposed to physically touchin down on earth?
,est some think that by claimin a $spiritual& return of #hrist, as opposed to a physical one, that we are
denyin the physical, bodily resurrection of our ,ord, we emphatically affirm our conformity to the doctrine of
7is bodily resurrection! "ur focus here is not on the substance of our ,ord as 7e ascended, but the manner in
which 7e ascended ( in the clouds! As mentioned earlier, we will attempt to deal with the issue of the
substance of our ,ord2s resurrected body and its implications in a later chapter!
It may be arued that reardless of the substance of our ,ord2s resurrected body, there is an undeniable
emphasis as to the visual aspect of 7is return:
'ow when >e had s!o+en these things, while they watched, >e was ta+en u!, and a cloud received
>im out of their sight. And while they loo+ed steadfastly toward heaven as >e went u!, behold, two
men stood by them in white a!!arel, who also said, ",en of alilee, why do you stand ga;ing u! into
heaven? This same )esus, who was ta+en u! from you into heaven, will so come in li+e manner as you
saw Him go into heaven." Acts 2$#&22 '()*
-ehold, >e is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who !ierced >im. And all the
tribes of the earth will mourn because of >im. Gven so, Amen. "ev 2$B '()* 7em!hases added8
That there seems to be a visual aspect to the Second #omin we are not too quick to deny! But how is this any
different than Kthe glory of the 3ord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it togetherI, bein fulfilled durin
the ministry of =ohn the Baptist? #onsider also the way that =esus described to 7is disciples how 7e would be
$seen& by them:
"A little while longer and the world will see ,e no more, but you will see ,e. -ecause I live, you will live
also. At that day you will +now that I am in ,y Father, and you in ,e, and I in you. >e who has ,y
commandments and +ee!s them, it is he who loves ,e. And he who loves ,e will be loved by ,y
Father, and I will love him and manifest ,yself to him." )udas 7not Iscariot8 said to >im, "3ord, how is it
that Lou will manifest Lourself to us, and not to the world?" )esus answered and said to him, "If anyone
loves ,e, he will +ee! ,y word; and ,y Father will love him, and We will come to him and ma+e .ur
home with him.I )ohn 2@$2#&01 '()*
=esus said that the world would not see 7im, but that 7is disciples would! =udas asked how this could be!
=esus2 response was that 7e and the +ather would make Their home with them! Surely we understand this to
refer to a spiritual relationship between :od and man, and not dwellin in a physical house! The world will not
see 7im because they have no relationship with 7im! The $seein& that the disciples would e*perience was in
the spiritual realm, with the eyes of their heart 5;ph ?:?N <ASD6!
%e don2t disallow that that eneration may have seen #hrist in some sense at 7is return! 7e showed 7imself
to many to establish 7is resurrection 5? #or ?H:O'N6, why not do the same to establish 7is return in 4udment,
1
especially to those who pierced 7im? And we mustn2t foret the supernatural events recorded by =osephus
durin the destruction of =erusalem:
-for, before sun'settin, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor were seen runnin about amon
the clouds, and surroundin of cities! 3oreover, at that feast which we call 1entecost, as the priests
were oin by niht into the inner Jcourt of the temple,K as their custom was, to perform their sacred
ministrations, they said that, in the first place, they felt a quakin, and heard a reat noise, and after
that they heard a sound as of a reat multitude, sayin, L,et us remove hence!L 5from =osephus: %ars
of the =ews, 1# Study Bible formatted electronic database #opyriht S /889 by Biblesoft, Inc! All rihts
reserved!6 Jbrackets in oriinalK
<o Scriptures come to mind which would preclude =esus from appearin to those upon whom 4udment was
fallin, that they miht know by %hom and why they were bein 4uded! %ho can say that those who pierced
7im
?M
didn2t see 7im in some form or fashion, and realiAe that the 3essiah %hom they had re4ected had
returned as =ude? "r that the 1harisees, who understood the ,ord2s parables were spoken aainst them,
realiAed they were bein fulfilled when the landowner came to slay 7is enemies and ive the vineyard
5kindom6 to another 53t /?:99'OO6, and that havin re4ected the weddin invitation, the @in had sent out 7is
armies to destroy them and burn up their city 53t //:?'?86? "r that the Sanhedrin that condemned #hrist saw
7im, as 7e said they would, at the right hand of the ,ighty .ne and coming on the clouds of heaven? 53t
/M:MO6
In areas where Scripture is silent, or speaks little, we feel it wise to follow suit! Believin that the ma4ority of
Scripture arues for a spiritual return of #hrist in the clouds of 4udment, as described by apocalyptic
lanuae, we feel constrained to speak no further on if, how, and by whom #hrist was seen at 7is return!
17
$those who pierced 7im& we take as meanin the =ews who cried, $crucify 7im, crucify 7im&, not necessarily the >oman
soldiers who actually nailed 7im to the cross! This arees with the prophecy of Bech! ?/:?8
1
Sevent! Ties Seven
7avin looked at >evelation and the "livet discourse, we turn to the prophecy of .aniel2s seventy weeks!
%hile many studies on the topic involve intricate timelines and mathematics, we have kept these to a
minimum, havin opted for a different approach! As we stated at the end of the first chapter of 1art II, we are
not providin e*positional studies, but a new framework, built upon the scriptural foundation laid in 1art I, to
which e*positional studies may be applied! "nce the reader has apprehended this framework of eschatoloy, it
is hoped that they will bein their own e*positional studies! %e are confident that the reader will find that the
pieces fit this new paradim, without bein forced into placed, much better than the futurist paradim!
Althouh we don2t launch directly into .aniel, we think that the reader will find our approach brins a harmony
to the seventy weeks of .aniel and the last days that has perhaps not been realiAed before! %e have assined
the more technical aspects of the seventy weeks to an appendi* at the end of the chapter!
Then Aeter came to >im and said, "3ord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?
N! to seven times?" )esus said to him, "I do not say to you, u! to seven times, but u! to seventy times
seven. ,t 26$02&00
+or some time we have pondered a theory reardin 1eter2s question! %e wonder if 1eter, an uneducated
fisherman, had discovered the symbolic sinificance of seven as the number of completion 5fullness6, and was
tryin to impress his 3aster with his discernment? %hile it is 4ust speculation on our part, and inconsequential
to the te*t, we were surprised that we were not alone in the matter:
This indicates that 1eter had indeed made e*cellent proress but that he had not yet arrived at true
spiritual discernment! 7is suestion of forivin seven times went considerably beyond the ma*ims of
the rabbis who admonished foriveness three times but not four times, basin their position upon the
word of :od to Amos, L+or three transressions of .amascus and for four, I will not revoke the
punishmentL 5Amos ?:O6! ;ven 1eterRs relatively mananimous foriveness until seven times, however,
fell far short of =esusR requirement of unlimited foriveness! )ames -urton /offman /ommentary
till seven timesG''This bein the sacred and complete number, perhaps his meanin was, Is there to
be a limit at which the needful forbearance will be full? )amieson, Fausset and -rown /ommentary
Imaine, however, 1eter2s dismay when =esus not only does not confirm his deduction, but raises the number
e*ponentially! #ertainly no one can keep track of that many wrons suffered at the hand of one person! ;ven if
#hrist had confirmed the initial number of seven, if one was keepin count, it could be arued that they weren2t
forivin at all!
?0
3ost commentators put no sinificance on the number OP8 5seventy times seven6, other than
it is hih enouh to not be taken literally, but rather teaches that we are to always forive:
#hrist did not mean that #hristians should keep a leder, e*actly calculatin a precise number such as
OP8, or usin a variant readin, 08 times and 0! This simply means that a #hristian must have the
spiritual resources to keep on forivin! +oriveness of others was made a constant pre'condition of
manRs foriveness by the +ather, not only in these words of =esus here, but upon other occasions as
well! The business of foriveness is so important that #hrist immediately introduced one of his lonest
parables in order to reinforce the teachin and repeat the absolute necessity of foriveness at the
conclusion of it! )ames -urton /offman /ommentary
#hristRs meanin is, that a man should be all the days, and every day of his life, forivin those that sin
aainst him, as often as they repent and acknowlede their faultF and that no time is to be set for the
e*ercise of the race of forivenessF but as often as there are ob4ects and occasions, thouh ever so
1%
? #or! ?9:H K3ove9 does not ta+e into account a wrong suffered- 5<ASD6
1
many and frequent, it should be usedF and which he illustrates by the followin parable! The 'ew )ohn
ill G=!osition of the Gntire -ible
Bntil seventy times seven''that is, so lon as it shall be needed and souht: you are never to come to
the point of refusin foriveness sincerely asked! )amieson, Fausset and -rown /ommentary
That this is the main point of =esus2 reply we totally aree! >ealiAin, however, that all Scripture is inspired, and
that not a 4ot or tittle will pass away without bein fulfilled, is there a deeper sinificance to #hrist2s statement?
Althouh OP8 is certainly hih enouh to preclude an individual from keepin track of rievances, it seems too
specific to be 4ust an indeterminate lare number! In fact, it seems that one thousand, or multiples thereof, is
established in Scripture as the number which indicates an indeterminate lare number of fullness or
completeness! #onsider the followin:
Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall !ut ten thousand to flight; your enemies
shall fall by the sword before you. 3ev. 0%$6 '()*
,ay the 3ord od of your fathers ma+e you a thousand times more numerous than you are, and bless
you as >e has !romised youE Jt 2$22 '()*
Therefore +now that the 3ord your od, >e is od, the faithful od who +ee!s covenant and mercy for
a thousand generations with those who love >im and +ee! >is commandments; Jt B$# '()*
>ow could one chase a thousand, And two !ut ten thousand to flight, Nnless their "oc+ had sold
them, And the 3ord had surrendered them? Jt 10$1F '()*
If one wished to contend with >im, >e could not answer >im one time out of a thousand. )ob #$1
'()*
For every beast of the forest is ,ine, And the cattle on a thousand hills. As ?F$2F '()*
For a day in Lour courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a door+ee!er in the house of my
od Than dwell in the tents of wic+edness. As 6@$2F '()*
For a thousand years in Lour sight Are li+e yesterday when it is !ast, And li+e a watch in the night. As
#F$@ '()*
6 thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; -ut it shall not come near you.
As #2$B '()*
Lour nec+ is li+e the tower of Javid, -uilt for an armory, .n which hang a thousand buc+lers, All
shields of mighty men. 5o @$@ '()*
It shall ha!!en in that day, That wherever there could be a thousand vines
Worth a thousand she+els of silver, It will be for briers and thorns. Is B$01 '()*
A little one shall become a thousand, And a small one a strong nation. I, the 3ord, will hasten it in its
time." Is %F$00 '()*
A fiery stream issued And came forth from before >im. 6 thousand thousands ministered to >im; 8en
thousand times ten thousand stood before >im. Jan B$2F '()*
1
For thus says the 3ord od$ "The city that goes out by a thousand 5hall have a hundred left, And that
which goes out by a hundred 5hall have ten left to the house of Israel." Amos ?$1 '()*
26
7em!hases
added8
%hy did =esus answer with seventy times seven, instead of a thousand times seven? It would have been more
in line with Biblical numeroloy! It certainly wouldn2t have chaned the effect of the answer concernin
foriveness, e*cept to heihten it! #ould there be a secondary lesson communicated by seventy times seven?
%e believe so! %e think that it is no coincidence that the same number, e*pressed by the same formula, is
found in the book of .aniel:
5eventy wee+s JsevensK are determined For your !eo!le and for your holy city, To finish the
transgression, To ma+e an end of sins, To ma+e reconciliation for iniOuity, To bring in everlasting
righteousness, To seal u! vision and !ro!hecy, And to anoint the ,ost >oly. Jan #$0@ '()*
$Seventy sevens& is the same as $Seventy times seven&! In the case of .aniel, it is referrin to years ( seventy
sets of seven years ( thus, OP8 years are determined for your !eo!le and for your holy city! #ould it be that
:od had foriven the Israelites each year at )om @ippur 5the .ay of Atonement6 for the OP8 determined years
( not 4ust until seven times, but until seventy times seven ( and then 7e would forive them no more? <ot only
do we feel that this premise is possible, but as we shall see in our study, we feel that this is in fact what is
meant, and that when viewed from this perspective the seventy weeks of .aniel fit harmoniously with all that
we have studied to this point! Alfred ;dersheim makes an interestin observation reardin the .ay of
Atonement ceremony of the $scapeoat&:
The lot havin desinated each of the two oats, the hih'priest tied a tonue'shaped piece of scarlet
cloth to the horn of the oat for AAaAel Q the so'called Wscape'oat2 Q and another round the throat of
the oat for =ehovah, which the was to be slain! The oat that was to be sent forth was now turned
round towards the people, and stood facin them, waitin, as it were, till their sins should be laid on
him, and he would carry them forth into Wa land not inhabited!2 Assuredly a more marked type of #hrist
could not be conceived, as 7e was brouht forth by 1ilate and stood before the people, 4ust as 7e was
about to be led forth, bearin the iniquity of the people! And, as if to add to the sinificance of the rite,
tradition has it that when the sacrifice was fully accepted the scarlet mark which the scape'oat had
borne became white, to symboliAe the racious promise in Isaiah ?:?NF but it adds that this miracle did
not take place for forty years before the destruction of the TempleI
?P
Accordin to tradition, says ;dersheim, the scarlet cloth did not miraculously turn white for forty years before
the destruction of the Temple! \uotin from the Babylonian Talmud 5)oma 9Pb6, 1rice adds to this:
"ur >abbis tauht: .urin the last forty years before the destruction of the Temple the lot $for the ,ord&
did not come up in the riht handF nor did the crimson'colored strin Jsuspended in the Temple to show
the acceptance of the pascal sacrificeK become whiteF nor did the westernmost liht shineF and the
doors of the Temple would open by themselves, until >! )ohanan b! Bakkai rebuked them, sayin:
$Temple, Temple, why will you yourself be the alarmer? I know about you that you will be destroyed, for
Bechariah b! Ido has already prophesied concernin you: W"pen your doors, " ,ebanon, that the fire
may devour your cedars2L 5Bechariah ??:?6 Jbrackets in oriinalK
#ountin back forty years from the year of the Temple2s destruction brins us to ca! A. 98, the years of #hrist2s
ministry and crucifi*ion! #ould it be that in crucifyin their 3essiah, the =ews had $filled up the measure of their
sin&, and that :od had foriven until seventy times seven, but would o no further? %e turn now to .aniel2s
seventy weeks!
The Sevent! )eeks of 0aniel
1*
That $a thousand& is often used as an indeterminate number representin $fullness or completeness& could have serious
implications on the $millennium& of >evelation /8!
15
#. 2<13 The Temple$ #ts %inistry and Service
1
.aniel was iven the prophecy of the seventy sevens in answer to his prayers concernin the approachin end
of the 08 years of Babylonian captivity, as prophesied by =eremiah:
And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the +ing
of -abylon seventy years. )er 0?$22 '()*
In the first year of Jarius the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the ,edes, who was made +ing over
the realm of the /haldeans in the first year of his reign I, Janiel, understood by the boo+s the number
of the years s!ecified by the word of the 3."J through )eremiah the !ro!het, that >e would
accom!lish seventy years in the desolations of )erusalem. Then I set my face toward the 3ord od to
ma+e reOuest by !rayer and su!!lications, with fasting, sac+cloth, and ashes9 . 3ord, according to all
Lour righteousness, I !ray, let Lour anger and Lour fury be turned away from Lour city )erusalem, Lour
holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniOuities of our fathers, )erusalem and Lour !eo!le
are a re!roach to all those around us. Jan #$2&1, 2% '()*
In this we can see a bit of parallel between .aniel2s OP8 and =esus2 OP8! .aniel approached :od for
foriveness for his people 5his brothers6, based upon the seventy years of =eremiah2s prophecy! :od built upon
the seventy, multiplyin it by seven, to disclose the OP8 years determined upon Israel! 1eter approached =esus
concernin foriveness towards his brother5s6, and based his question on the number seven! =esus built upon
the seven, multiplyin it by seventy, to disclose the OP8 times one is to forive his brother!
The 08 years of =eremiah2s prophecy is itself based upon another OP8'year period in Israel2s history! %hen
Israel came into the promised land, they were instructed to let the land observe a sabbath ( lay fallow ( every
seven years:
And the 3."J s!o+e to ,oses on ,ount 5inai, saying, "5!ea+ to the children of Israel, and say to
them$ "When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall +ee! a sabbath to the 3."J.
5i= years you shall sow your field, and si= years you shall !rune your vineyard, and gather its fruit; but
in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the 3."J. Lou
shall neither sow your field nor !rune your vineyard. What grows of its own accord of your harvest you
shall not rea!, nor gather the gra!es of your untended vine, for it is a year of rest for the land. 3ev
0?$2&? '()*
Lou shall +ee! ,y 5abbaths and reverence ,y sanctuary$ I am the 3."J9 -ut if you do not obey ,e,
and do not observe all these commandments 9 I will bring the land to desolation, and your enemies
who dwell in it shall be astonished at it. I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after
you; your land shall be desolate and your cities waste. Then the land shall enHoy its sabbaths as long
as it lies desolate and you are in your enemies4 land; then the land shall rest and enHoy its sabbaths. As
long as it lies desolate it shall rest for the time it did not rest on your sabbaths when you dwelt in it. 3ev
0%$0, 2@, 10&1? '()*
#ommentators tell us that for OP8 years Israel did not observe the sabbath for the land! Therefore :od e*acted
the sabbaths by force, sendin the =ews into captivity and causin the land to be desolate, as 7e had warned
them in ,ev /M! This was the captivity prophesied by =eremiah, and was to last 08 years, because the land had
missed 08 sabbatical years:
In the OP8 year time period between the accession of kin Saul and the Babylonian captivity, Israel did
not observe the commanded sabbaths for the land! The inspired writer of / #hronicles stated
cateorically that the captivity lasted seventy years, LDntil the land had en4oyed its sabbaths: for as lon
as it lay desolate, it kept sabbaths, to fulfill the threescore and ten yearsL 5/ #hronicles 9M:/?6- "ne
year out of every seven for OP8 years equals e*actly Lseventy years!L
Also, notice in this connection that .aniel the prophet 5.aniel P:/6, in the first year of the 3edian kin
.arius, took note of the seventy years which :od, accordin to the prophet =eremiah, would
accomplish for the desolation of =erusalem! L+urthermore, .anielRs seventy prophetic weeks are based
upon the seventy years of the captivity 5.aniel P:/, /O6!L )ames -urton /offman /ommentary
1
seventy years'' 5=er /0:06! The e*act number of years of Sabbaths in four hundred ninety years, the
period from Saul to the Babylonian captivityF rihteous retribution for their violation of the Sabbath 5,ev
/M:9O, 9HF /#hron 9M:/?6! The seventy years probably bein from the fourth year of =ehoiakim, when
=erusalem was first captured, and many captives, as well as the treasures of the temple, were carried
awayF they end with the first year of #yrus, who, on takin Babylon, issued an edict for the restoration
of the =ews 5;Ara ?:?6! .anielRs seventy !ro!hetic wee+s are based on the seventy years of the
captivity 5compare .an P:/, /O6! )amieson, Fausset and -rown /ommentary
%hy did :od say $enouh is enouh& after OP8 years? %hy wait until 08 sabbaths had been missed? %hy not
after 4ust O ( the symbolic number of the earth, or after 0 ( the symbolic number of completion ( had been
missed? Is it possible that the answer lies in =esus2 response to 1eter2s question, should I forgive my brother
u! to seven times?
)esus said to him, "I do not say to you, u! to seven times, but up to seventy times seven9
#ould it be that :od, in 7is infinite wisdom, has predetermined limits to which 7e will allow 7is race to be
presumed upon, and then 7is holiness demands that 7e act in 4udment? 7e told <oah that >is 5!irit will not
strive with man forever 5:en M:96, and reardin this very captivity under discussion, =eremiah told the people:
5o the 3."J could no longer bear it, because of the evil of your doings and because of the
abominations which you committed. Therefore your land is a desolation, an astonishment, a curse, and
without an inhabitant, as it is this day. )er @@$00 '()*
This concept of a limit, of a set measure, is woven throuhout the Scriptures:
-ut in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the ini-uity of the 6morites is not yet
complete. en 2?$2% '()*
"-ut you have not called u!on ,e, . )acob; And you have been weary of ,e, . Israel. Lou have not
brought ,e the shee! for your burnt offerings, 'or have you honored ,e with your sacrifices. I have
not caused you to serve with grain offerings, 'or wearied you with incense. Lou have bought ,e no
sweet cane with money, 'or have you satisfied ,e with the fat of your sacrifices; -ut you have
burdened ,e with your sins, 4ou have wearied 1e with your ini-uities. Is @1$00&0@ '()*
Lou have forsa+en ,e," says the 3ord, "Lou have gone bac+ward. Therefore I will stretch out ,y hand
against you and destroy you; % am weary of relentingE )er 2?$% '()*
And in the latter time of their +ingdom, When the transgressors have reached their fullness, A +ing
shall arise, >aving fierce features, Who understands sinister schemes. Jan 6$01 '()*
And do you thin+ this, . man, you who Hudge those !racticing such things, and doing the same, that
you will esca!e the Hudgment of od? .r do you des!ise the riches of >is goodness, forbearance, and
longsuffering, not +nowing that the goodness of od leads you to re!entance? -ut in accordance with
your hardness and your im!enitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath
and revelation of the righteous Hudgment of od, who "will render to each one according to his
deeds"9 "om 0$1&% '()*
What if od, wanting to show >is wrath and to ma+e >is !ower +nown, endured with much
longsuffering the vessels of wrath !re!ared for destruction, and that >e might ma+e +nown the
riches of >is glory on the vessels of mercy, which >e had !re!ared beforehand for glory, even us whom
>e called, not of the )ews only, but also of the entiles? "om #$00&0@ '()*
Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers4 guilt. ,att. 01$10 '()*
1
For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of od which are in )udea in /hrist )esus. For you
also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, Hust as they did from the )udeans, who +illed
both the 3ord )esus and their own !ro!hets, and have !ersecuted us; and they do not !lease od and
are contrary to all men, forbidding us to s!ea+ to the entiles that they may be saved, so as always to
fill u! the measure of their sins; but wrath has come u!on them to the uttermost. 2 Thess 0$2?&2%
'()* 7em!hasis added8
+or us it would be impractical, if not impossible, to keep track of OP8 infractions! But for :od it would be a
simple task:
Are not five s!arrows sold for two co!!er coins? And not one of them is forgotten before od. -ut the
very hairs of your head are all numbered. Jo not fear therefore; you are of more value than many
s!arrows. 3u+e 20$%&B '()*
>e counts the number of the stars; >e calls them all by name. As 2@B$@ '()*
:od allowed the "ld Testament Israelites to continue in disobedience for OP8 years, and then used the
Babylonians as 7is servants to take them into captivity! The city and the temple were destroyed! The land then
en4oyed its2 sabbaths for 08 years! It was toward the end of this 08'year captivity that .aniel prayed to :od to
forive them for their sins! :od2s answer was that there would now be another period of seventy determined
for Israel, which in turn represented another period of OP8 years:
5eventy wee+s JsevensK are determined For your !eo!le and for your holy city, To finish the
transgression, To ma+e an end of sins, To ma+e reconciliation for iniOuity, To bring in everlasting
righteousness, To seal u! vision and !ro!hecy, And to anoint the ,ost >oly. Jan #$0@ '()*
Si* items are listed which will be accomplished by the end of the seventy weeks! Althouh not one of the si*
items, interwoven with them are the temple bein destroyed, and the land bein made desolate once aain ''
the very same thins that occurred after the first OP8 year periodI
"5eventy wee+s are determined
For your !eo!le and for your holy city,
To finish the transgression,
To ma+e an end of sins,
To ma+e reconciliation for iniOuity,
To bring in everlasting righteousness,
To seal u! vision and !ro!hecy,
And to anoint the ,ost >oly.
(now therefore and understand,
That from the going forth of the command
To restore and build )erusalem
Nntil ,essiah the Arince,
There shall be seven wee+s and si=ty&two wee+s;
The street shall be built again, and the wall,
Gven in troublesome times.
And after the si=ty&two wee+s
,essiah shall be cut off, but not for >imself;
And the !eo!le of the !rince who is to come
5hall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
The end of it shall be with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one wee+;
-ut in the middle of the wee+
>e shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who ma+es desolate,
1
Gven until the consummation, which is determined,
Is !oured out on the desolate." Jan #$0@&0B '()*
The parallels do not end with 4ust the destruction of the temple and the land becomin desolate! #onsider the
followin:
,oreover all the leaders of the !riests and the !eo!le transgressed more and more, according to all the
abominations of the nations, and defiled the house of the 3ord which >e had consecrated in )erusalem.
And the 3ord od of their fathers sent warnings to them by >is messengers, rising u! early and
sending them, because >e had com!assion on >is !eo!le and on >is dwelling !lace. -ut they
moc+ed the messengers of od, des!ised >is words, and scoffed at >is !ro!hets, until the wrath of the
3ord arose against >is !eo!le, till there was no remedy. 0 /hron 1%$2@&2% '()*
KAnd now, because you have done all these wor+s,I says the 3ord, Kand I s!o+e to you, rising u! early
and s!ea+ing, but you did not hear, and I called you, but you did not answer, therefore I will do to the
house which is called by ,y name, in which you trust, and to this !lace which I gave to you and your
fathers, as I have done to 5hiloh.I )er B$21&2@ '()*
And the 3ord has sent to you all >is servants the !ro!hets, rising early and sending them, but you have
not listened nor inclined your ear to hear. )er 0?$@ '()*
Therefore, indeed, I send you !ro!hets, wise men, and scribes$ some of them you will +ill and crucify,
and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and !ersecute from city to city9 ,t 01$1@
'()*
">ear another !arable$ There was a certain landowner who !lanted a vineyard and set a hedge around
it, dug a wine!ress in it and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country.
'ow when vintage&time drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its
fruit. And the vinedressers too+ his servants, beat one, +illed one, and stoned another. Again he sent
other servants, more than the first, and they did li+ewise to them. Then last of all he sent his son to
them, saying, 4They will res!ect my son.4 -ut when the vinedressers saw the son, they said among
themselves, 4This is the heir. /ome, let us +ill him and sei;e his inheritance.4 5o they too+ him and cast
him out of the vineyard and +illed him. Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he
do to those vinedressers?"
They said to >im, ">e will destroy those wic+ed men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other
vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons."
)esus said to them, ">ave you never read in the 5cri!tures$
4The stone which the builders reHected
>as become the chief cornerstone.
This was the 3."J4s doing,
And it is marvelous in our eyes4?
Therefore I say to you, the +ingdom of od will be ta+en from you and given to a nation bearing the
fruits of it. And whoever falls on this stone will be bro+en; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to
!owder." ,att 02$11&@@'()*
In both time periods the Israelites had messeners sent to them to warn them of their ways! They mistreated
them on both occasions! In the "ld Testament they filled up the measure of their sins by not observin the
sabbath for the land! In the <ew Testament they filled up the measure of their sins by killin the ,ord of the
sabbath! In the "ld Testament, :od sent Babylon to make their land desolate! In the <ew Testament, 7e sent
the >omans to make spiritual Babylon 5Israel6 desolate! ,et2s look closer at the <ew Testament Israelites
$fillin up the measure of their sin&:
Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the
!ro!hets. Fill u!, then, the measure of your fathers4 guilt. 5er!ents, brood of vi!ersE >ow can you
esca!e the condemnation of hell? ,t 01$12&11 '()*
1
=ohn :ill2s #ommentary:
Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers!
"f their sinsF for there were bounds and limits set how far they should proceed, and no furtherF as yet
they had not ot to the end of their iniquity: their fathers had one reat lenths in sin, but their iniquity
was not yet full, as is said of the Amorites, 5:enesis ?H:?M6 these their sons were to fill it up! They had
shed the blood of many of the prophetsF and indeed there were none of them but they had persecuted
and abused, in one shape or another: some they entreated shamefully, others they beat: some they
stoned, and others they put to death with the sword, or otherwiseF and now their children were about to
fill the measure brimful, by crucifyin the Son of :od, which they were at this time meditatin and
contrivinF and by persecutin and slayin his apostles, and so would brin upon them the veneance
of :od! The =ews well enouh understood these words, which were spoken to them in an ironical way,
and e*pressin what they were about, and what they would hereafter do, and what would be the issue
and consequence of it: they have a sayin, that $the holy blessed :od does not take veneance on a
man, until his measure is filled up&F accordin to 5=ob /8://6! %hich the #haldee paraphrase renders,
$when his measure is filled up, then shall he take veneance on himF&
>obertson2s %ord 1ictures:
>ill ye !p
The keenest irony in this command has been softened in some 3SS! to the future indicative! L+ill up
the measure of your fathersF crown their misdeeds by killin the prophet :od has sent to you! .o at last
what has lon been in your hearts! The hour is comeL 5Bruce6!
=ohn %esley2s #ommentary:
Cerse 9/! Fill ye u! ' A word of permission, not of command: as if he had said, I contend with you no
loner: I leave you to yourselves: you have conquered: now ye may follow the devices of your own
hearts! The measure of your fathers ' %ickedness: ye may now be as wicked as they!
By crucifyin #hrist, the heir of the vineyard, the <ew Testament =ews filled up the measure of sin for the
second OP8'year period! =udment was now due upon that eneration:
Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers5 guilt$ 5er!ents, brood of vi!ersE >ow can you esca!e the
condemnation of hell? Therefore, indeed, I send you !ro!hets, wise men, and scribes$ some of them
you will +ill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and !ersecute from city
to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous
Abel to the blood of Cechariah, son of -erechiah, whom you murdered between the tem!le and the
altar. 6ssuredly, % say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. ,t 01$10&1%
7em!hasis added8
<otice, however, that the fillin of the measure bean way back in :enesis with Abel! All the righteous blood
shed on the earth had come upon that eneration! That could be because the crucifi*ion of #hrist was the final
act that filled up the measure, or it could also be because crucifyin #hrist ( :od in the flesh ( was more
heinous than if they had literally killed every rihteous man from Abel to Bechariah within their own eneration!
This OP8'year period seems to address the entire span of wickedness of the $"ld #ovenant&, prior to the
ospel! >ecall the si* items that were to be accomplished by its end:
5eventy wee+s 7sevens8 are determined For your !eo!le and for your holy city,
To finish the transgression,
To ma+e an end of sins,
To ma+e reconciliation for iniOuity,
To bring in everlasting righteousness,
To seal u! vision and !ro!hecy,
1
And to anoint the ,ost >oly. Jan #$0@ '()*
The list seems to speak of a very definitive end! Thins are bein wrapped up! The end of sin and
transression, and the usherin in of everlastin rihteousness! This is none other than the chanin of the
#ovenants, from the "ld #ovenant of the ,aw ( which was the strenth of sin 5? #or ?H:HM6 ( to the <ew
#ovenant of :race, the everlastin rihteousness of the :ospel!
3any people believe that there is a ap between the MP
th
and 08
th
weeks of .aniel, and that the 08
th
week, and
the si* items listed above, are yet to occur! %e refer the reader to 3auro2s treatment of the fulfillment of these
items in the appendi* at the end of this chapter! %e briefly summariAe them as follows:
1. To finish the transgression ( by crucifyin #hrist, the =ews filled up the measure of their transression,
thus it was finished and 4udment was due upon that eneration!
2. To ma+e an end of sins ( #hrist offered one sacrifice for sins forever 57eb ?8:?/6, and !urged our sins
57eb ?:96
". To ma+e reconciliation for iniOuity ( prior to #hrist2s atonin sacrifice, we were enemies of :od! <ow we
have been reconciled to 7im 5>om H:N'??6
1. To bring in everlasting righteousness ( the everlastin <ew #ovenant provides a rihteousness apart
from the law of the "ld #ovenant, by which no flesh was 4ustified 5made rihteous6 >om 9:?P'/M
6. To seal u! vision and !ro!hecy ( not a fulfillin, but a sealin up! This was part of the punishment upon
national Israel! Both vision and prophet ( eye and ear ( were closed up, so that seeing they would not
see, and hearing they would not hear 5Is M:?8F Acts /N:?0'/N6
7. And to anoint the ,ost >oly ( this is the pourin out of the 7oly Spirit upon the #hurch at 1entecost,
anointin the temple of the livin :od 5/ #or M:?M6, the 3ost 7oly!
In The Gnd Times /ontroversy, co'edited by Tim ,a7aye and Thomas Ice, Ice has a chapter dealin with the
seventy weeks of .aniel! In it he devotes several paes to defendin a ap between the MP
th
and 08
th
weeks!
7e bases his arument on the OP8 years of unobserved Sabbaths for the land, upon which the seventy year
Babylonian captivity was based! Statin that the Israelites were in the 1romised land for about N88 years prior
to their captivity, Ice asserts that the OP8 years of unobserved Sabbaths were not consecutive years! Thus
there were aps in the accumulation of those OP8 years! 7e then says:
%hy is this important? Because many of the critics of the literal interpretation of .aniel P:/O'/0 insist
that it is unreasonable to have aps in that OP8'year period! "f course, it is not, since there were many
aps in the OP8'year period related to the Babylonian captivity!
/8
<ote that Ice equates a $literal& interpretation as one havin a ap! %e would counter, what could be more
$literal& than that the 08
th
week commenced immediately followin the MP
th
week, 4ust as the MP
th
followed the
MN
th
, and so on? Ice, in attemptin to refute :ary .e3ar, who arues aainst any aps in .aniel2s weeks, says:
But he fails to observe the fact that the OP8 years of .aniel P:/O'/0 are derived from the OP8 years of
Israel2s violation of the sabbatical years that were prescribed by :od in 7is covenant with the nation!
/?
;ven thouh .e3ar reconiAes the cause for .aniel2s prayer and :abriel2s subsequent revelation of
the 08'weeks prophecy to .aniel, he fails to reconiAe that the 08'year captivity was based upon a
OP8'year period that contained multiple aps of time!
//
By demonstratin the aps in the OP8'year period that led to Israel2s captivity, Ice feels that he has established
Biblical precedence for aps in prophetic time statements, most notably .aniel2s 08 weeks! %e feel that there
are several errors in this supposition! The least of these is that Scripture does not record for us when Israel did
and did not observe a Sabbath for the land! Therefore we cannot say with absolute certainty that the OP8 years
in which they didn2t observe it were not the last OP8 consecutive years of their occupation of #anaan! In fact,
2<
+. "2<3 The &nd Times Controversy
21
+. "213 Ibid
22
+. "223 Ibid
1
this appears to be the understandin of the previously quoted commentaries of =ames Burton and =amieson,
+ausset and Brown!
Secondly, the fact that there may be aps in the accumulation of the OP8 years of sabbatical violation is a moot
point! :od decreed to Israel that they were to allow the land to observe a Sabbath every seven years, and if
they didn2t, 7e would scatter them amon the nations so that the land could en4oy its Sabbaths:
And the 3."J s!o+e to ,oses on ,ount 5inai, saying, "5!ea+ to the children of Israel, and say to
them$ "When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall +ee! a sabbath to the 3."J.
5i= years you shall sow your field, and si= years you shall !rune your vineyard, and gather its fruit; but
in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the 3."J. Lou
shall neither sow your field nor !rune your vineyard. What grows of its own accord of your harvest you
shall not rea!, nor gather the gra!es of your untended vine, for it is a year of rest for the land. 3ev.
0?$2&? '()*
Lou shall +ee! ,y 5abbaths and reverence ,y sanctuary$ I am the 3."J9 -ut if you do not obey ,e,
and do not observe all these commandments, 9 I will bring the land to desolation, and your enemies
who dwell in it shall be astonished at it. I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after
you; your land shall be desolate and your cities waste. Then the land shall enHoy its sabbaths as long
as it lies desolate and you are in your enemies4 land; then the land shall rest and enHoy its sabbaths. As
long as it lies desolate it shall rest for the time it did not rest on your sabbaths when you dwelt in it. 3ev.
0%$0, 2@, 10&1? '()*
:od never prophesied how lon 7e would let Israel continue in disobedience before they would be punished,
nor did 7e put any type of time statement on the warnin! All :od said was, if you donPt obey ,e9I will bring
the land to desolation! 7e never set a limit to the missed Sabbaths! The only reason that we know it was OP8
years is because we know the lenth of the punishment that resulted! Therefore, since there is no time element
in :od2s warnin to Israel, there is nothin to have a $ap& in!
<e*t, Ice states that $the OP8 years of .aniel P:/O'/0 are derived from the OP8 years of Israel2s violation of the
sabbatical years&! This is only true by association and inference! .aniel P:/O'/0 never makes mention of OP8
years '' it speaks only of seventy weeks! In fact, OP8 years are never mentioned in either case, but are arrived
at only by calculation! The OP8 years of .aniel2s prophecy are understood from the fact that the weeks are
$weeks& of years! Thus, in the strictest sense, the OP8 years of .aniel are not derived from the OP8 years of
sabbatical violation! >ather, .aniel2s 08 weeks are derived from Israel2s 08 years of captivity, in which there
were no aps! %e feel that :abriel2s messae was divinely worded in such a manner as to compare two
periods of 08, not two periods of OP8, which brins us to our final point!
That the seventy years of captivity were consecutive, and without aps, is attested by .aniel2s reason for
intercedin for his nation:
In the first year of Jarius the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the ,edes, who was made +ing over
the realm of the /haldeans Q in the first year of his reign I, Janiel, understood by the boo+s the
number of the years s!ecified by the word of the 3."J through )eremiah the !ro!het, that >e would
accom!lish seventy years in the desolations of )erusalem. Then I set my face toward the 3ord od to
ma+e reOuest by !rayer and su!!lications, with fasting, sac+cloth, and ashes. Jan #$2&1 '()*
.aniel set to prayer because he $understood& that the end of =eremiah2s prophesied 08'year captivity was
near! If there had been aps in that 08'year period, he would have been premature in his actions! Also worthy
of note is :abriel2s statement concernin the seventy weeks decreed upon .aniel2s people and holy city:
(now therefore and understand9 Jan #$0? '()*
=ust as .aniel could understand =eremiah2s prophecy of 08 years, so he was to understand :abriel2s prophecy
of 08 weeks of years! Both prophecies were iven for the purpose of understandin specific time frames! 7ow
1
could .aniel possibly understand the times decreed upon his people, if those times had undisclosed aps in
them? ;specially when at least one ap is four times as lon as the entire time span of the prophecy?
;ven @in has a need for a ap between the MP
th
and 08
th
weeks! This is because he sees the destruction of
=erusalem in A. 08 as one of the events of the 08
th
week, which is separated by forty years from the
fulfillments of #hrist2s first advent, which he places in the MP
th
week, in ca! 98'99 A.! %e believe that this ap
not only is not necessary, but on the contrary, that any ap undermines the purpose for ivin a prophetic
timeline! If .aniel2s seventy weeks continued uninterrupted throuh the four hundred silent years between
3alachi and 3atthew, how can we possibly entertain the thouht that they would then be suspended and not
address perhaps the most fertile forty years of Biblical history? .aniel2s weeks are broken into three sections (
seven weeks, si*ty'two weeks and one week! If we can put a ap between sections two and three 5weeks MP U
086, why not put a ap between sections one and two 5weeks 0 U N6? %e believe, and hope to demonstrate
that, 4ust as .aniel went to prayer because he understood the seventy continuous years of =eremiah2s
prophecy, so the vision he received in answer to his prayer was one that could be understood by its readers as
seventy continuous weeks of prophetic time!
%e believe that the 08
th
week took place durin the years of #hrist2s ministry! The 08
th
week bean with the
baptism of #hrist, which marked the beinnin of 7is public ministry! 9] years later, in the midst of the week,
7e was crucified! To maintain continuity in our study, the supportin material for this view is in the Appendi* at
the end of this chapter! 7owever, we provide here a table to illustrate the ma4or differences between the
+uturist and 1reterist understandins of .aniel2s prophecy:
>!t!rist -reterist
Seventy weeks are determined +or your people and
for your holy city,
To finish the transression,
To make an end of sins,
To make reconciliation for iniquity,
To brin in everlastin rihteousness,
To seal up vision and prophecy,
And to anoint the 3ost 7oly!
/H L@now therefore and understand,
That from the oin forth of the command To restore
and build =erusalem
Dntil 3essiah the 1rince,
There shall be seven weeks and si*ty'two weeksF
The street shall be built aain, and the wall, ;ven in
troublesome times!
/M LAnd after the si*ty'two weeks Hat the end of the
;F
th
week, or after 9@5 yearsI 3essiah shall be cut
off, but not for 7imselfF
And the people of the prince Ha yet f!t!re
%ntichristI who is to come Shall destroy the city
and the sanctuary Ha f!t!re reb!ilt templeI#
%e consider the shaded portions parenthetical, in that
they ive additional information about .aniel2s people
and the 7oly #ity, but are not specifically one of the si*
items to be fulfilled within the 08 weeks! <otice how in v!
/H, after describin the comin of the 3essiah after
seven and si*ty'two weeks, the latter portion of the verse
oes back to provide additional data reardin the
restoration of =erusalem in the first seven weeks!
Seventy weeks are determined +or your people and for
your holy city,
To finish the transression,
To make an end of sins,
To make reconciliation for iniquity,
To brin in everlastin rihteousness,
To seal up vision and prophecy,
And to anoint the 3ost 7oly!
/H L@now therefore and understand,
That from the oin forth of the command To restore and
build =erusalem
Dntil 3essiah the 1rince,
There shall be seven weeks and si*ty'two weeksF
The street shall be built aain, and the wall, ;ven in
troublesome times!
/M LAnd after the si*ty'two weeks Hin the CA
th
weekI
3essiah shall be cut off, but not for 7imselfF
And the people Hthe =oman armyI of the prince Hcan be
either Tit!s as the literal commander of the =oman
army, or "essiah the -rince as the spirit!al
commanderI who is to come Hthere is no time
1
The end of it shall be with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are
determined! /0 Then he Hthe f!t!re %ntichristK
shall confirm a covenant with many for one week
Hallowing the 2ews to re/instit!te the sacrificial
system of the .awI;
But in the middle of the HCA
th
I week 7e Hthe
%ntichristI shall brin an end to sacrifice and
offerin Hby s!spending his agreementI#
And on the win of abominations shall be one Hthe
%ntichristI who makes desolate Hby entering the
temple and declaring himself to be GodI,
;ven until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate!L
.an P:/O'/0 <@=C
indicator when he will comeI Shall destroy the city and
the sanctuary Hf!lfilled in %, CAI#
The end of it shall be with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are determined! /0
Then he HhristI shall confirm a covenant Hthe gospelI
with many H=om# :16:, 6FI for one week Hlit#, in a week
J i#e#, the CA
th
week, the years of hristEs ministryI;
But in the middle of the week 7e HhristI shall brin an
end to sacrifice and offerin Hby offering *imself as the
.amb who takes away the sins of the worldI#
And on the win of abominations shall be one HTit!s and
the =oman armiesI who makes desolate Hby
desecrating the *oly ity and Temple comple' by
their presence, and their insignia of allegiance to
aesarI,
;ven until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate!L
.an P:/O'/0 <@=C
The crucifi*ion was the finishin transression, the measure was filled up! %hen #hrist was crucified, 7e put
an end to sin, and made reconciliation for iniquity, thereby brinin an end to the need for sacrifice and
offerin:
For it is not !ossible that the blood of bulls and goats could ta+e away sins. >eb 2F$@ '()*
The ne=t day )ohn saw )esus coming toward him, and said, "-eholdE The 3amb of od who ta+es
away the sin of the worldE )n 2$0# '()*
'ot with the blood of goats and calves, but with >is own blood >e entered the ,ost >oly Alace once
for all, having obtained eternal redem!tion. >eb #$20 '()*
9 not that >e should offer >imself often, as the high !riest enters the ,ost >oly Alace every year with
blood of another && >e then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now,
once at the end of the ages, >e has a!!eared to !ut away sin by the sacrifice of >imself. >eb #$0?&0%
'()*
#hrist offered 7imself at the end of the ae 5of the "ld #ovenant6 to put away sin! The blood of bulls and oats
could not take away sin! They were merely a shadow of the ,amb of :od who takes away the sin of the world!
They were 4ust an annual reminder and postponement until the 3essiah was cut'off, but not for 7imself! This is
why, after the crucifi*ion, the scarlet cloth didn2t turn white! +oriveness was now found in #hrist, not in the
1ascal ,amb! After demonstratin how all si* items of .aniel2s prophecy were fulfilled durin #hrist2s ministry
5see Appendi* at the end of the chapter6 in The 5eventy Wee+s and the reat Tribulation, 1hilip 3auro writes:
+urthermore, by runnin our eye rapidly over verses /H, /M we see that the comin of #hrist and 7is
bein Lcut offL are announced as the means whereby the prophecy was to be fulfilledF and that there is
added the foretellin of the destruction of =erusalem by Titus the >oman Lprince,L and the LdesolationsL
of =erusalem, and the wars that were to continue throuh this entire ae Lunto the end!L
1
Althouh the prophecy of the destruction of =erusalem is iven to .aniel at the same time as the prophecy of
the OP8 years, it is not one of the si* items that were to take place within that time frame! %e believe that it is
attached to the prophecy of the 08 weeks because it was a momentous event that occurred to .aniel2s people
and holy city! That it is closely tied with the si* items of the 08 weeks is affirmed by #hrist, who said that the
4udment would come upon the eneration 7e was speakin to, the one which would fill up the measure of
their sin:
Fill u!, then, the measure of your fathers4 guilt9so that u!on you may fall the guilt of all the righteous
blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Cechariah, the son of -erechiah,
whom you murdered between the tem!le and the altar. Truly I say to you, all these things will come
u!on this generation. )erusalem, )erusalem, who +ills the !ro!hets and stones those who are sent to
herE >ow often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chic+s under her
wings, and you were unwilling. -ehold, your house is being left to you desolateE ,t 01$10, 1?&16 '()*
In a similar passae from ,uke, we can see that =esus is foreseein the >oman conquest of =erusalem in A.
08:
'ow as >e drew near, >e saw the city and we!t over it, saying, "If you had +nown, even you, es!ecially
in this your day, the things that ma+e for your !eaceE -ut now they are hidden from your eyes. For days
will come u!on you when your enemies will build an emban+ment around you, surround you and close
you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave
in you one stone u!on another, because you did not +now the time of your visitation." 3u+e 2$@2&@@
'()*
=osephus testifies that the >omans built $banks& around the city, as well as closed the people in:
Book H, #hapter M ' 7e also at the same time ave his soldiers leave to set the suburbs on fire, and
ordered that they should brin timber toether, and raise banks aainst the city
Book M, #hapter P ' for they were come up from all the country to the feast of unleavened bread, and
were on a sudden shut up by an army, which, at the very first, occasioned so reat a straitness amon
them, that there came a pestilential destruction upon them, and soon afterward such a famine, as
destroyed them more suddenly- <ow this vast multitude is indeed collected out of remote places, but
the entire nation was now shut up by fate as in prison, and the >oman army encompassed the city
when it was crowded with inhabitants! Accordinly, the multitude of those that therein perished
e*ceeded all the destructions that either men or :od ever brouht upon the world
5from =osephus: %ars of the =ews, 1# Study Bible formatted electronic database #opyriht S /889 by
Biblesoft, Inc! All rihts reserved!6
+or those who feel that there is an unwarranted delay for the day of the ,ord, from .aniel2s 08
th
week 5ca! A.
986 until A. 08, we believe that answer is found in properly applyin the time statements of .aniel2s prophecy!
%hile .aniel spoke of the desolation of the Temple and the destruction of the city, the events are not tied to a
specific week of the prophecy! The time'specific events prophesied by .aniel were events of the 3essiah2s first
comin! %hen the 3essiah came, >e ave the time statement for the .ay of the ,ord ( this generation! %hile
the .ay of the ,ord could have come at anytime after 1entecost upon that eneration, it was stretched to the
limits of what is considered a eneration 5O8 years6! %e believe that it is because =esus 7imself asked for it,
as 7e hun upon the cross! As 7e was sufferin the very act that filled up the measure of the =ews2 sin, 7e
was intercedin for them:
Then )esus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not +now what they do." And they divided >is
garments and cast lots. 3u+e 01$1@ '()*
Althouh 4udment had been prophesied, and could not be cancelled, it could be postponed! And that is
e*actly what happened! A Biblical eneration is considered to be O8 years! By withholdin the 4udment of the
=ews from the years of #hrist2s earthly ministry in ca! A. 98, until A. 08, :od allowed the ma*imum amount of
1
time for individual =ews to repent 5even thouh as a nation they had re4ected 7im6! Accordin to the
intercessory prayer of =esus on the cross, and the prayer of 7abakkuk, -in wrath remember mercy 57ab 9:/6
:od waited forty years to send 4udment! If 7e had waited any loner, it would no loner have been that
eneration:
The 3ord is not slac+ concerning >is !romise, as some count slac+ness, but is longsuffering toward us,
not willing that any should !erish but that all should come to re!entance. 0 At 1$# '()*
This was the time of the coe*istence of the two covenants! It was durin the first portion of this time period that
the ospel was preached to the =ew first 5Acts ?9:OMF >om ?:?M6 because, as we have shown in a previous
chapter, :od had not re4ected 7is people! Salvation was still available to them, but on an individual basis, not
on a national basis! The forty'year coe*istence of the covenants was :od2s lonsufferin, not willin that any
should perish!
5eventy wee+s are determined For your !eo!le and for your holy city9
<otice that :od does not say >is people and >is holy city, but rather .aniel2s! :od was respondin to .aniel2s
prayer, where he asked, $. 3ord, according to all Lour righteousness, I !ray, let Lour anger and Lour fury be
turned away from 4our city )erusalem, 4our holy mountain $! )et :od tells .aniel that seventy weeks are
determined upon your people and for your city! This is because :od2s holy people and holy city are not
physical, but spiritual! Because the two covenants coe*isted in the last days, both the physical and spiritual
Israel, kindom, temple, =ew and land are the sub4ects of end time prophecy, as noted by 3a* >! @in:
It must be remembered that in the end'time, :od is dealin with two Israels, two =erusalems, and two
temples, brinin salvation, blessin and lory to true spiritual Israel, and destruction, ruin, and
everlastin shame to rebellious fleshly Israel! 5p! /HN, The 5!irit of Aro!hecy6
.aniel was a =ew, and it was the =ewish people and the =ewish city that had the time determined upon them!
As we saw in 1art I, they were merely physical types of :od2s spiritual people and city, which is the #hurch!
:od2s holy people are not of any particular national race:
For there is no distinction between )ew and ree+, for the same 3ord over all is rich to all who call
u!on >im. "om 2F$20 '()*
There is neither )ew nor ree+, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you
are all one in /hrist )esus. al 1$16 '()*
where there is neither ree+ nor )ew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, 5cythian, slave nor
free, but /hrist is all and in all. /ol 1$22 '()*
At the chanin of the covenants, the type was done away with and the anti'type was established! The forty'
year period from 98'A. 08 was a transition period! This is why there is such a note of finality, a tone of
$wrappin it all up&, in .aniel2s prophecy! As we have discussed earlier, all of the "ld Testament prophets were
foretellin this time 5Acts 9:/OF ? 1t ?:?8'?/6! .aniel2s prophecy foretold the end of the "ld #ovenant that dealt
with his people, the =ews, and his city, =erusalem! =esus told 7is listeners that they were livin in that end time:
5o when you see the 4abomination of desolation,4 s!o+en of by Janiel the !ro!het, standing where it
ought not 7let the reader understand8, then let those who are in )udea flee to the mountains. ,+ 21$2@
'()*
%hy was there a eneral e*pectation of the 3essiah by the =ews in #hrist2s day? Because they understood
the prophecy of .aniel, the only prophecy in the Bible that has specific time indicators attached to it! #onsider
the followin quote from 1hilip 3auro2s The 5eventy Wee+s and the reat Tribulation:
1
The messae of :abriel, found in .aniel P:/O'/0, differs from all other prophecies in several
particulars, and chiefly in that it contains a measuring line of LdeterminedL lenth, whereby the years
were to be measured from a iven event 5one of the reat landmarks in =ewish history6 down to the
comin of the 3essiah and the accomplishment of 7is work of redemption! The full lenth of that line
was seventy Lheptads,L i.e., sevens 5or LweeksL6 of years, makin a total lenth of OP8 years! The
declared purpose of the prophecy 5v! /O6 was to foretell the e=act time of the occurrence of certain
thins which are of supreme importance to mankind- in the liht of this sure word of prophecy it is
easy to see that, when the ,ord =esus bean preachin in :alilee, sayin LThe time is fulfilled, and the
kindom of :od is at handF repent ye, and believe the ood newsL 53k ?:?O, ?H6, 7e was referrin to
Lthe timeL measured out or LdeterminedL in this prophecy, and that 7e was callin upon the people of
Israel to LrepentL and Lbelieve,L as the condition of receivin the new birth 5=ohn 9:9, H6 and thereby
enterin into the salvation of the kindom of :od! 5#hapter 06
The $time& of .aniel2s prophecy was upon the =ews! #learly the prophesied rebuildin of the temple had
already been accomplished, so the only $time& left to be fulfilled was the 08
th
week! That week started with the
baptism of #hrist, and they were now approachin the middle of the week! #onsider the followin verses
aainst the backdrop of .aniel2s prophesied time:
And suddenly they :the demons< cried out, saying, "What have we to do with Lou, )esus, Lou 5on of
od? >ave Lou come here to torment us before the time?" ,t 6$0# '()*
And >e said, "o into the city to a certain man, and say to him, 4The Teacher says, ",y time is at hand;
I will +ee! the Aassover at your house with ,y disci!les."PI ,t 0%$26 '()*
'ow after )ohn was !ut in !rison, )esus came to alilee, !reaching the gos!el of the +ingdom of od,
and saying, "8he time is fulfilled, and the #ingdom of (od is at hand. "e!ent, and believe in the
gos!el." ,+ 2$2@&2? '()*
>y!ocritesE Lou can discern the face of the s+y and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this
time? 3u 20$?% '()*
Lou go u! to this feast. I am not yet going u! to this feast, for 1y time has not yet fully come." )n B$6
'()* Jthis is the feast of Tabernacles, most likely in the early fall of /P A., whereas the 1assover in 3t!
/M:?N above is durin the week of #hrist2s crucifi*ion in the sprin of 98 A.! Thus here =esus tells 7is
brothers that 7is time hasn2t f!lly comeK
The :ospels reveal to us the events of the 08
th
week! 5That the crucifi*ion occurred in the middle of the 08
th
week ives the appearance of 9] years that are unaccounted for! See the Appendi* for an e*planation of this6!
#ould it be that #hrist deliberately answered 1eter with the same formula of .aniel2s prophecy? It was
because of this prophecy that the =ews 5includin 1eter6 were e*periencin $3essiah fever&! In 7is answer,
=esus reaffirmed that they were correct! 7e also hinted that foriveness had a limit, and that they had almost
reached it! It seems that while they correctly anticipated the 3essiah, they had some how overlooked the city
and the sanctuary bein destroyed!
Conclusion
%hen =esus told 1eter that he was to forive his brother up to OP8 times 5seventy times seven6, we believe
that 7e was alludin to .aniel2s OP8 determined years! Thus 7e was indicatin the limit to :od2s patience and
mercy, and reaffirmin that the 4udment was at hand! The reason 4udment was declared durin #hrist2s
ministry in the 08
th
week 5ca! A. 986 upon that eneration, but did not occur until A. 08, was because :od
displayed mercy in withholdin the 4udment as lon as possible! 7ad 7e waited any loner, the 4udment
would not have been upon the eneration that :od said it would come upon, and it is impossible for :od to lie
57eb M:?N6! Thus we have the eschatoloy of .aniel in perfect harmony with our framework of the two
covenants, and their coe*istence durin the $last days& eneration of the <ew Testament church!
1
% omparison of the Two 9FA/?ear 2!dgments
Old Testament New Testament
Warned by -rophets / #hron 9M:?O'?M =er! /H:O 3t /9:9O
.and ,esolate =er /H:?? ,u /?:/8
God !ses a foreign army
to destroy the Temple
By Babylonians / #hron
9M:?0'?N
By >omans 3t /O:?'/
,ate of ,estr!ction ?8
th
of Ab ?8
th
of Ab
!p of Wrath =er /H:?H'?M >ev ?O:P, ?M:?P
+nd with a KCAL 08'year captivity 08
th
%eek
"eas!re >illed Bp By not observin the sabbaths
By not observin the ,ord of the
sabbath!
The Mings
OP8 years bean with Saul
crowned as @in
OP8 years ended with =esus crowned
with thorns
1
#++endi, to Sevent! Ties Seven
The followin material is from 1hilip 3auro2s The 5eventy Wee+s and the reat Tribulation.
The CA
th
Week was ,!ring hristEs "inistry, and was the +nd of the Old ovenant
<ow as to the time of this transcendent event, it is e*pressly stated that it was to be "after the threescore and
two weeks!L That part of the determined period was to brin us only "unto the 3essiah!L <one of the predicted
events were to happen within the si*ty'nine weeks! The e*piration thereof left only Lone weekL 5v! /06 of the
appointed seventy! 7ence, within that one remaining wee+ ,essiah must be cut off if the !redictions of verse
0@ were to be fulfilled within @#F years from the beginning of the !ro!hetic !eriod. For it should be carefully
noted, in view of certain interpretations which have been put forth within recent years, that, we have not yet
come to the fulfillment of any one of the si= things foretold in Janiel #$0@. The e*piration of the ON9 years has
brouht us only LuntoL the "ne in %hom those si* thins, which involve the whole !ur!ose of od in
redem!tion, were to be accomplished! Si*ty'nine weeks of the determined seventy have passed! .nly one
wee+ remains. It follows, therefore, of necessity, that the predictions of verse /O must be fulfilled in that wee+.
%ithin the ne*t seven years the transression of Israel must be finished, reconciliation must be made for
iniquity, and everlastin rihteousness must be brouht in, else the prophecy would utterly fail!
But this is 4ust what miht have been understood from verse /O alone! The words Lseventy weeks are
determinedL are enouh to inform us that the seventieth week was the one which would see the
accomplishment of the predicted eventsF for if they, or some of them at least, were not to fall in that last week,
then the prophetic period would not have been announced as one of seventy weeks, but as one of a lesser
number! In fact, the very manner in which the prophecy is iven to us ' the last week bein set off from the rest
for special and separate mention indicates the e*ceptional importance of that week! And this is easily seenF for
if we look attentively at the terms of the prophecy we perceive that our 3ord4s !ersonal ministry lay entirely
within the seventieth wee+. %e ask our readers to lay firm hold of this fact! The prophecy plainly says there
should be MP weeks "unto the Anointed "ne!L Then, to make this clear beyond all doubt, it says, LAnd after the
threescore and two weeks shall 3essiah be cut off!L This definitely !laces >is whole ministry within the
seventieth consecutive wee+ from the decree of /yrus.
The prophecy of the Seventy %eeks is manifestly an account, iven beforehand, of the second period of the
national e*istence of the =ewish people! They were to last as a nation only long enough to fulfill the 5cri!tures,
and to accom!lish the su!reme !ur!ose of :od, in brinin forth the ,essiah, and !utting >im to death. The
time allotted for this was OP8 years! This bein accomplished, :od had no further use for Israel! 7is dealins
thenceforth were to be with another people, that Lholy nationL 5I 1et! /:P6, composed of all who believe the
ospel, and who LreceiveL the "ne %ho was re4ected by L7is ownL 5=ohn ?:??'?96!
The <i' items that were to be f!lfilled in the CA
th
week1
;$ 8o finish the transgression. The LtransressionL of Israel had lon been the burden of the messaes of
:odRs prophets! It was for their LtransressionL that they had been sent into captivity, and that their land and
city had been made a LdesolationL for seventy years!
.aniel himself had confessed this, sayin, L)ea, all Israel have transgressed Thy law, even by departin that
they miht not obey Thy voice! Therefore the curse is poured upon usL 5ver! ??6! But the anel revealed to him
the distressin news that the full measure of IsraelRs LtransressionL was yet to be com!leted; that the children
were yet to fill u! the iniquity of their fathersF and that, as a consequence, :od would brin upon them a far
greater LdesolationL than that which had been wrouht by <ebuchadneAAar! +or Lto finish the transressionL
could mean nothin less or other than the betrayal and crucifi*ion of their promised and e*pected 3essiah!
1
%e would call particular attention at this point to the words of the ,ord =esus spoken to the leaders of the
people shortly before 7is betrayalF for there is in them a strikin similarity to the words of the prophecy of
:abriel! 7e said: "Fill ye u! then the measure of your fathers . . . that upon you may come all the rihteous
blood shed upon the earthL 53att! /9:9/6! In these words of #hrist we find first, a declaration that the hour had
come for them Lto finish the transressionLF and second, a stron intimation that the predicted desolations were
to come, as a 4udment, upon that eneration, as appears by the words Lthat u!on you may come!L
"ur ,ordRs concludin words at that time have reat sinificance when considered in the liht of this prophecy!
7e said, LCerily I say unto you, all these thins shall come u!on this generation"; and then, as the awful doom
of the beloved city pressed upon 7is heart, 7e burst into the lamentation, L" =erusalem, =erusalem,L endin
with the sinificant words, LBehold, your house is left unto you desolate."
The terrible and unparalleled character of the 4udments which were poured out upon =erusalem at the time of
its destruction in A! .! 08 has been lost siht of in our day! But if we would learn how reat an event it was in
the eyes of :od, we have only to consider our ,ordRs anuish of soul as 7e thouht upon it! ;ven when on the
way to the #ross it was more to 7im than 7is own approachin sufferins 5,u /?:/N'986!
The apostle 1aul also speaks in similar terms of the transressions of that eneration of =ews, who not only
crucified the ,ord =esus, and then re4ected the ospel preached to them in 7is <ame, but also forbade that 7e
be preached to the :entiles! %herefore the apostle said that they "fill u! their sins alwaysF for the wrath is
come upon them to the uttermost " 5?Thess /:?H, ?M6! +or they were indeed about to undero :odRs wrath Lto
the uttermostL in the approachin destruction of =erusalem, and in the scatterin of the people amon all the
nations of the world, to suffer e*treme miseries at their hands! These Scriptures are of much importance in
connection with our present study, and we shall have occasion to refer to them aain!
It is not difficult to discern why the list of the si* reat thins comprised in this prophecy was headed by the
finishin of the transressionF for the same act, which constituted the crownin sin of Israel, also served for the
puttin away of sin 57eb! P:/M6, and the accomplishin of eternal redemption 57eb! P:?/6! They did indeed take
7im, and with wicked hands crucified and slew 7imF but it was done Lby the determinate counsel and
foreknowlede of :odL 5Acts /:/96! The powers and authorities of =udea and of >ome, with the :entiles and
the people of Israel, were indeed athered toether aainst 7imF but it was to do what :odRs own hand and
counsel had determined before to be done 5Acts O:/M'/N6! There is nothin more wonderful in all that has been
made known to us, than that the people and their rulers, because they knew 7im not, nor the voices of their
own prophets which were read every Sabbath day, should have fulfilled them in condemning 7im 5Acts ?9:/06!
Therefore, amon the many prophecies that were then Lfulfilled,L a promise be iven to that which forms the
sub4ect of our present study!
>$ 8o ma#e an end of sins. "n this item we need not dwell at lenthF for we have already called attention to
the marvelous workins of :odRs wisdom in causin that the e=treme sin of man should serve to accomplish
eternal redemption, and so provide a com!lete remedy for sin! +or the crucifi*ion of #hrist, thouh it was truly
a deed of diabolical wickedness on the part of man, was on 7is own part the offerin of 7imself without spot to
:od as a sacrifice for sins 57eb! P :?O6! It was thus that 7e Loffered the one Sacrifice for sins foreverL 57eb!
?8:?/6!
%e understand that the sense in which the death of #hrist made Lan end of sinsL was that thereby 7e made a
perfect atonement for sins, as written in 7ebrews ?:9, Lwhen 7e had by 7imself !urged our sins4" and in many
like passaes! It is to be noted however, that the 7ebrew word for LsinsL in this passae means not only the sin
itself, but also the sacrifice therefore! 7ence it is thouht by some that what the anel here foretold was the
makin an end of the sin&offering required by the law! That was, indeed, an incidental result, and it is
mentioned e*pressly in verse /0! But the word used in that verse is not the word found in verse /O, which
means sin or sin&offering. It is a different word, meanin sacrifice. %e conclude, therefore, that the words, Lto
make an end of sins,L should be taken in their most obvious sense!
5# 8o ma#e reconciliation for ini-uity The word here translated LreconciliationL is usually rendered Latone& '
but accordin to StronRs #oncordance it e*presses also the thouht of appeasin or reconcilin! %e shall,
1
therefore, assume that our translators had ood reason for usin the word Lreconciliation!L If, however, it be
taken that LatonementL is the better renderin, the conclusion would not be affectedF for both atonement and
reconciliation were made by the death of #hrist upon the cross!
The need of reconciliation arises from the fact that man is by nature not only a sinner, but also an enemy of
:od 5>om! H:N, ?86! 3oreover, it is because he is a sinner that he is also an enemy. As a sinner he needs to
be 4ustifiedF and as an enemy he needs to be reconciled! The death of #hrist as an atonin sacrifice
accomplishes both in the case of all who believe in 7im! In >omans H:N'?8 these two distinct, but closely
related, thins are clearly set forth! +or we there read, first, that Lwhile we were yet sinners #hrist died for us,L
and second, that Lwhen we were enemies we were reconciled to od by the death of 7is Son!L
>econciliation has to do directly with the kindom of :od, in that it sinifies the brinin back of those who
were rebels and enemies into willin and loyal submission to :od! In this connection attention should be iven
to the reat passae in #olossians ?:?/'//, which shows that, as the result of the death of #hrist, those who
have Lredemption throuh 7is blood, the forgiveness of sins" 5v! ?O6, are also translated into the +ingdom of
od4s dear 5on 7v. ?96, #hrist Lhavin made !eace for them throuh the blood of 7is cross, by 7im to
reconcile all things unto >imself "; and the apostle adds, LAnd you, who were sometime alienated and enemies
in your mind, yet now hath 7e reconciled in the body of 7is flesh, throuh deathL 5vv! /8'//6!
It is certain, therefore, that, when #hrist =esus died and rose aain, atonement for sin and reconciliation for the
enemies of od were fully and finally accomplished as a matter of historic fact! It is important, and indeed
essential, to a riht interpretation of this prophecy, to keep in mind that atonement and reconciliation were to be
accomplished, and actually were accomplished, within the measure of seventy wee+s from the going forth of
the decree of (ing /yrus.
It is thus seen that the prophecy has to do with the reat and eternal purpose of :od to establish 7is kindom
and to brin pardoned and reconciled sinners into it as willin and loyal sub4ects of #hrist, the @in! And when
the time drew near the kindom was proclaimed by the ,ord and by 7is forerunner as Lat hand!L The ,ordRs
own words, when taken in connection with the prophecy of :abriel, are very sinificant! 7e said: LThe time is
fulfilled, and the kindom of :od is at handL 53k! ?:?H6! The time whereof 7e spoke was that declared in this
reat prophecyF which is the only prophecy which ives the time of 7is comin! 7ence 7is words were really
the announcement of 7is approachin death, resurrection and enthronement in heaven, as the heavenly @in
of :odRs heavenly kindom!
:$ 8o bring in everlasting righteousness$ >ihteousness is the most prominent feature of the kindom of
:od! To show this we need only cite those familiar passaes: LSeek ye first the kindom of :od and 7is
rihteousnessL 53att! M:996F Lthe kindom of :od is rihteousness and peace, and 4oy in the 7oly :hostL
5>om! ?O:?06! "ne characteristic of :odRs rihteousness, which 7e was Lto brin inL throuh the sacrifice of
#hrist 55>om! 9:/?'/M6, is that it endures foreverF and this is what is emphasiAed in the prophecy! A work was to
be done, and now has been done, which would brin in everlasting righteousness & everlastin because based
upon the #ross, as foretold also throuh Isaiah, L3y rihteousness shall be foreverL 5Isa! H?:N6! =esus #hrist
has now been made unto DS Lrihteous' 5? #or! ?:986F and this is in fulfillment of another reat promise:
Lbehold the days come, saith the ,ord, that I will raise Dnto .avid a rihteous Branch, and a @in rein and
prosper And this is 7is <ame whereby 7e shall be called =;7"CA7 "D> >I:7T;"DS<;SSL 5=er! /9 :H, M6!
:# 8o seal up vision and prophecy. This we take to mean the sealin up of :odRs word of prophecy to the
Israelites, as part of the punishment they brouht upon themselves! The word Lseal upL sometimes means, in a
secondary sense, to make secure, since what is tihtly sealed up is made safe aainst bein tampered with!
7ence some have understood by this item merely that vision and prophecy were to be fulfilled! But we are not
aware that the word Lsealed upL is used in that sense in the Scriptures! +or when the fulfillment of prophecy is
meant, the word Lto fulfillL is used! %e think the word should be taken here in its primary meaninF for it was
distinctly foretold, as a prominent feature of IsraelRs punishment that both vision and !ro!het & i.e., both eye
and ear ' were to be closed u!, so that seeing they would see not, and hearing they would hear not 5Isa! M:?86!
3oreover, this very sealin up of vision and prophecy as a part of the chastenin of Israel was foretold by
Isaiah in that reat passae where he speaks of #hrist as the +oundation Stone 5Isa! /N:?M6! +ollowin this is a
1
prediction of LwoeL to the city where .avid dwelt 5/P:?6! So we have here a prophecy which is parallel to that of
:abriel! The latter spoke of the cuttin off of 3essiah to be followed by the destruction of =erusalemF and
Isaiah also spoke of #hrist as :odRs +oundation Stone, laid in Bion 5resurrection6 and then of the overthrow of
the earthly Bion! As to this overthrow :od speaks throuh Isaiah very definitely sayin, LAnd I will camp
aainst thee round about and will lay siee aainst thee with a mount, and raise a fort aainst thee, and thou
shalt be brouht downL 5Isa! /P:?'O6! Then the prophet speaks of a comin storm and tempest and devourin
fire and also of the multitude of the nations that were to fiht aainst the city 5vv! M'P6! And then come these
sinificant words: L+or the ,ord :od hath poured out upon you the spirit of dee! slee!, and hath closed your
eyes, the !ro!hets4 and your rulers, the seers, hath >e covered. And the vision of all is be unto you as the
words of a boo+ that is sealed" 7vv. ?8, ??6! This manifestly corresponds with :abrielRs words Lto seal up vision
and prophet!L 3oreover, the word Lsealed,L in Isaiah /P:??, is the same as in .aniel P:/O! These words of
Isaiah also ive a remarkably accurate description of the spiritual blindness of the people and their rulers in
#hristRs day, who, thouh they read the prophets every Sabbath day, yet because they +new not their voices,
fulfilled them in condemnin 7im 5Acts ?9 :/06!
The fulfillment of Isaiah M also comes in here! +or the ,ord 7imself declared that, in 7is day, was fulfilled the
word L:o and tell this people, >ear ye indeed but understand notF and see ye indeed, but perceive not! 3ake
the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and
hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healedL 5Isa! M:P, ?8F 3att! ?9:?O,
?H6! =ohn also quotes this prophecy and applies it to the =ews of his day 5=ohn ?/:9P'O?6F and 1aul does the
same 5Acts /N:/H'/06!
7ence we should note with deep interest the question which this sentence of 4udment prompted Isaiah to ask,
and the answer he received! ;vidently the prophet understood that the 4udment pronounced in the words
quoted above was to be one of terrible severity, for he at once inquired an*iously, L7ow lonL the period of
4udicial blindness was to last! The answer was, LDntil the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses
without man, and the land be utterly desolate, and the ,ord have removed men far away, and there be a great
forsa+ing in the midst of the land" 7Isa! M:??, ?/6!
7ere we have a clear prediction of that which #hrist 7imself prophesied when the desolation of =udea, and the
scatterin of the =ews amon all nations 5,u! /?:/O6!
?$ 8o anoint the most holy place. %hen these papers were first written and published in serial form, we were
of opinion that this prediction had its fulfillment in the entrance of the ,ord =esus #hrist into the heavenly
sanctuary 57eb! P:/9, /O6! But subsequently a copy of .r! 1useyRs work on Janiel the Aro!het came into our
hands, and we were much impressed by the e*position of this passae iven by that reat 7ebrew scholar,
who so ably defended the Book of .aniel from the assaults of the destructive critics! 7e pointed out that the
word anoint had acquired a settled s!iritual meanin, citin the words of Isaiah M?:?, /, which our ,ord applied
to 7imself as 7e %hom :od had Lanointed!L .r! 1usey also pointed out that, inasmuch as the same word is
used in the very ne*t verse of .aniel Lunto the Anointed, the 1rinceL it is to be assumed that words so closely
united must be used with the same meanin! This ives the idea of an Lanointin of an All 7oly placeL by the
pourin out of the 7oly Spirit thereon! .r! 1usey cites much evidence in support of this ideaF but without oin
into the discussion of the matter at lenth, we will simply state that we were led thereby to the conclusion that
the coming of the >oly 5!irit u!on the disci!les of /hrist, on the day of 1entecost, thereby anointing 5see /
#or! ?:/?6 a spiritual temple "the tem!le of the living od" 70 #or! M:?M6, furnishes a fulfillment of this detail of
the prophecy, a fulfillment which is not only in keepin with the other five items, but which brins the whole
series to a worthy clima*!
These si* predicted events, which we have now considered in detail, were, accordin to the words of :od by
:abriel, to be accomplished within the LdeterminedL 5or limited, or Lmarked offL6 period of seventy sevens of
yearsF and we have shown ' indeed it is S" clear as hardly to be open to dispute ' that all si* items were
completely fulfilled at the first comin of #hrist, and in the LweekL of 7is crucifi*ion! +or when our ,ord
ascended into heaven and the 7oly Spirit descended, there remained not one of the si* items of .aniel P:/O
that was not dully accom!lished.
1
The CA Weeks %re onsec!tive 3no gap7
%e come now to the view, held and tauht by many modern e*positors of ood repute, that the week which
came ne*t after the MPth week from the startin point, and which was in fact the 08th actual wee+, as time is
ordinarily reckoned, is not to be taken as the 08th week of the prophecyF but that the prophetic period is to be
rearded as havin been interrupted at the end of the MPth week, Lthe clock of prophecy havin stopped!L They
hold that some period of seven years yet in the indefinite future is to be taken 5when it comes6 and added to
the MP weeks now past to make up the complete number of 08! "r, as it is sometimes e*pressed, this entire
ae of over ?P88 years, comes in as a LparenthesisL between the MPth and the 08th week of the prophetic
period! %e deem this view to be erroneous, and believe we can show clearly that it is not supported by, but is
contrary to, the testimony of Scripture! %e maintain that the 08th week of the prophecy occurred 4ust where we
would e*pect to find the 08th number of any series, and that is ne*t after the MPthF or in other words that the
08th actual or historical week was also the 08th !ro!hetic wee+!
%here periods of time are iven beforehand in the prophecies of the Bible they always mean that the time'
units composin the period named are continuous! This must be so, else the prediction would serve only to
deceive those who believed it! %e have no other way of describin and limitin a period of time than by statin
the number of time'units 5hours, days, months, or years6 contained therein! It is therefore a necessary law of
language that the time'units be understood as being connected together without a brea+.
.
As a most pertinent e*ample of this, let us consider the period of seventy years, with which the period of
seventy wee+s of years is so closely connected! :od had foretold to =eremiah that Lafter seventy years be
accomplished at Babylon, I will visit you, and perform 3y ood word toward you, in causin you to return to this
placeL 5=er! /P:?86! +rom this word .aniel "understood the number of Lears whereof the word of the ,ord came
to =eremiah the prophetLF and thereupon he set his face to see+ the fulfillment of that promise! 7ave not we
e*actly the same reason to understand that the Lseventy wee+s" of years mean what they appear to mean, that
.aniel had for understandin that the words Lseventy yearsL were to be taken in accordance with their plain
and obvious meanin?
Surely the two instances are e*actly alike! #an we even imaine such a thin as that :od, in ivin that
promise to =eremiah, intended that the seventieth year of the predicted period '' that in which the captivity of
Israel was to be returned '' was to be separated from the other si*ty'nine, and postponed for say five hundred
years? %ould not .aniel, in that case, have been miserably deceived throuh simply believin the %ord of
:od? +or obviously, everythin depended upon that seventieth year, without which the period would not be
one of Lseventy years!L Take away the seventieth year, and a plain simple statement becomes utterly devoid of
meanin! 7ave we then any more riht or reason to imaine that the last week of the seventy '' that in which
the si* reat thins, of .aniel P:/O were to be accomplished '' is to be separated from the other si*ty'nine, and
postponed for a score of centuries? %e submit to every candid mind that the two cases are e*actly parallel,
and that the same principle of interpretation must be applied to the seventy weeks of years, as to the seventy
years! And the more so are we bound to apply the same principle of interpretation to both because there is
manifestly an intended parallel between the seventy years which ended with the decree of #yrus, and the
seven times seventy years which began at that reat event! +or 4ust as the endin of the captivity of =udah in
the seventieth year was necessary Lthat the word of the ,ord miht be fulfilled,L so likewise the
accomplishment of the si* thins predicted in .aniel P:/O must take place in the seventieth week of years, else
the prophecy would utterly fail, and the word of the ,ord would be falsified! That those si* thins did take place,
one and all, in the seventieth consecutive week from the startin point of the prophetic period, is a fact which
cannot be disputed!
+urthermore, in every other case in Scripture where :od has foretold the measure of time within which a
specified thin was to happen, the time'measure so indicated was intended to be taken in its plain and ordinary
sense! %e ive some e*amples:
The O98 years so4ournins of AbrahamRs posterity, whereof :od had spoken to him 5:en! ?H:?9F ;*! ?/:O8F
:al! 9:?06 were accomplished to a day 7G=. 20$@2, @08.
1
The seven years of plenty and seven years of famine, which =oseph foretold, were fulfilled accordin to the
plain meanin of the words 5:en! OH:M6!
The forty years wanderins of the Israelites in the wilderness, which :od appointed as a punishment for their
unbelief 5<umb! ?O:9O6, were forty consecutive years!
But let us take a stroner illustration! "ur ,ord, in foretellin 7is own death, declared aain and aain that Lthe
third day,L or Lin three days,L or Lafter three days,L 7e would rise aain! Those e*pressions all mean one and
the same thin, and would never be taken in any sense but one! Suppose, however, that some inenious
person should now come forward with the idea that #hrist did not rise from the dead on the third consecutive
day after 7is death, but that 7is resurrection is yet futureF and suppose he should endeavor to make the words
of #hrist aree with this view by sayin that the third day, on which 7e was to rise, did not follow immediately
after the other two, but there was an unmentioned LparenthesisL of about two thousand years in between,
would he not have for his view as much foundation in the words of Scripture as those who would insert a
LparenthesisL of two thousand years between the MPth and 08th week of :abrielRs prophecy?
The remainder of the seventieth week
At this point in our e*position it appears desirable to notice a question which has arisen in the minds of some in
reard to the fraction of the seventieth week remainin after the death, resurrection and ascension of #hrist,
whereby the predictions of verse /O 5of .aniel P6, as well as those of the first half of verse /0, were fulfilled! To
some it seems that our e*position leaves three and a half years not accounted for if, however, we ive
attention to the terms of the prophecy we will clearly see that it affords no warrant for such a question! Those
who ask it have evidently failed to take into consideration the fact that, in this prophecy, the unit of the time
measure is a he!tad, not a year! If we think of the Seventieth L%eekL as a period of seven years, then it would
indeed appear as if there were three years and over which were not accounted for by the e*position! But if, on
the other hand, we take the prophecy as it is iven, that is to say, in heptads, not years, then it will be clearly
seen that all the seventy heptads are accounted for! +or our e*position simply follows the terms of the
prophecy, which are quite plain, and which locate certain events Lin the midst ofL the last heptad, but do not
locate any events at the end thereof! If, therefore, any part of the determined period is unaccounted for, it is the
prophecy itself, and not this writerRs e*position thereof, that is chareable! But the fact is that the prophecy
accounts first for si*ty'nine heptads 5which reached Lunto the 3essiahL6 and then it accounts s!ecifically for
the one remainin heptad, and for the whole of it, by tellin what was to happen in the midst thereof! Thus the
prophecy 5and the e*position which simply follows it6 leaves no part of the prophetic period unaccounted for!
Those who raise the above question must further assume that some predicted event was to mark the very end
of the last LweekL of the determined period! But a lance at the prophecy itself will suffice to show that such
assumption is contrary to its terms! +or by the e*press terms of the prophecy the clima* of the thins predicted
in it '' that is to say, the death, resurrection and ascension of #hrist ' ' was to take place, not at the end of the
last week, but Lin the midst of the weekL 5v! /06!
Accordin to verse /O, which ives the substance of the prophecy in condensed form, si* specified thins were
to happen within a measured period of seventy heptads, startin, as appears by verse /H, from the oin forth
of the decree to restore and to build =erusalem, which thins required for their accomplishment that #hrist
should die, should rise aain, and should ascend into heaven! +rom the fact that seventy heptads are
mentioned it would be reasonable to infer that the full number 5seventy6 would be necessary to the complete
fulfillment of the prophecyF and this inference is confirmed and made a certainty by what immediately followsF
for the ne*t verse disposes of si*ty'nine weeks, which reach only Lunto the 3essiah, leavin all the si*
predicted thins yet to take place! 7ence they must needs take place in the seventieth heptad!
But there is nothin so far to indicate in what !art of the remainin week those thins were to be accomplished!
Therefore, had they happened at the beinnin thereof, the prophecy thus far would have been perfectly
fulfilled, leavin no part of the seventy weeks unaccounted for! +or it must be remembered that we have not to
do with years but with he!tads. But the last verse of the prophecy is more specific! It contains the definite
statement that the reat events which were to fulfil the predictions of verse /O would happen Lin the midst of"
the last heptad! And, in areement with this, it appears clearly by the :ospel of =ohn that the crucifi*ion of our
1
,ord took place in the midst of the heptad which bean with the baptism of #hrist and 7is manifestation to
Israel 5=ohn ?:9?6, which bean, in other words, at the end of the si*ty'nine heptads which reached unto the
3essiah! Thus the entire period specified in the prophecy is fully accounted for!
It is pertinent in this connection to point out that the Scriptures habitually disreard fractional remainders of a
time'unit, whether it be a day, a week, a month, or a year! Thus, if it were foretold that a thin 5such as the
return out of Babylon6 would happen in a certain year, its occurrence in the first month of that year would be a
perfect fulfillment of the prediction, and the remainin eleven months would be simply disrearded as bein
without sinificance for the purpose of the prophecy!
"r to take another e*ample, our ,ord declared to 7is disciples concernin 7is approachin death and
resurrection that Lin three days,L and Lafter three days,L 7e would rise aain! If, therefore, 7e arose the very
first hour of the third day, 7is prediction was fulfilled, the remainin hours of that day bein without sinificance
so far as the prediction is concerned! They do not have to be accounted for!
+or one can readily see that if a prophecy should call for the happenin of a certain event on a specified day,
and the thin were to happen about noon of that day, the prophecy would be perfectly fulfilled, and there would
be no question at all as to what becomes of the remainin half day! 1recisely so it is with the Seventy %eeks,
for it obviously makes no difference that the time'unit is in this instance a LweekL instead of a day! But the
prophecy we are studyin is more definite than the supposed illustration, in that it declares specifically that the
thins foretold would occur in the midst of the last week!
Several able e*positors, includin .r! 1usey and .r! Taylor, to whose works we have already referred, offer the
suestion that the fraction of a Lweek,L which was une*pired at the date of the #rucifi*ion, measured the time
5endin with the martyrdom of Stephen6 durin which the ospel was preached e*clusively to the =ews! But
inasmuch as the date of StephenRs death is not known with certainty we can accept the above only as a
possibility! In our opinion the prophecy does not call for a specific event to mark the end of the last week,
thouh such there may have been, and quite possibly the death of Stephen was that event! Jall emphases in
the oriinalK
1
*evelation, #0 <= and The -nd of The )orld
;ven in liht of an early date for >evelation, apocalyptic lanuae, audience relevance, cloud comins of the
,ord and the imminency passaes, the reader may be askin, $%hat about the end of the world, and the new
heavens and new earth? Isn2t >evelation describin lobal 4udments and catastrophes?& This, we aree, is a
common perception of Biblical end'times! But is it scripturally accurate? %e have seen thus far that the focus
of eschatoloy is upon :od2s redemptive plan, and the transition from the "ld to the <ew #ovenant! .oes the
Bible also speak of lobal 4udment and the end of the world? "r can we fit the whole of eschatoloy into the
events of A. 08? By $fit&, we do not mean $force& the events into our framework! >ather, we believe that when
the common misperception is peeled back, an accurate interpretation of Scripture allows the pieces to fall into
their natural place!
-nd of The )orld vs" -nd of The #ge
%e have previously established that the $last days& referred to in the Bible were the last days of the "ld
#ovenant! But doesn2t the Bible also speak of the end of the world? %ell, yes and no! The phrase $end of the
world& can be found in the Bible, primarily in the @in =ames Cersion, but it is an unfortunate translation! Almost
invariably, in passaes that speak of the end of the world, or of the world to come, the :reek word that is
translated $world& is $aion& 5or $aioon&6, from which we et our word $eon&! %hile $world& may have had that
connotation in ?M?? when the @=C was published, a more accurate translation of this word for contemporary
;nlish is $ae&, as the translators of the <ew @in =ames Cersion have shown! 1rovided below are the bulk of
the passaes in the @=C that refer to the end of the world, or the world to come, and their <@=C counterparts:
1t ;<=<@-:A
The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the rea!ers are the
angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
()*
The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the rea!ers are the
angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.
'()*
1t ;<=:@
5o shall it be at the end of the world$ the angels shall come forth, and sever the wic+ed from among the
Hust9 ()*
5o it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, se!arate the wic+ed from among the
Hust9 '()*
1t >:=<
And as he sat u!on the mount of .lives, the disci!les came unto him !rivately, saying, Tell us, when
shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? ()*
'ow as >e sat on the ,ount of .lives, the disci!les came to >im !rivately, saying, "Tell us, when will
these things be? And what will be the sign of Lour coming, and of the end of the age?" '()*
1t >B=>A
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you$ and, lo, I am with you alway,
even unto the end of the world. Amen. ()*
1
9 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even
to the end of the age." Amen. '()*
1ar# ;A=<A
-ut he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers,
and children, and lands, with !ersecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. ()*
9 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time Q houses and brothers and sisters and
mothers and children and lands, with !ersecutions Q and in the age to come, eternal life. '()*
Lu#e ;B=<A
Who shall not receive manifold more in this !resent time, and in the world to come life everlasting. ()*
9 who shall not receive many times more in this !resent time, and in the age to come eternal life.
'()*
Lu#e >A=<:-<C
And )esus answering said unto them, KThe children of this world marry, and are given in marriage$
-ut they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead,
neither marry, nor are given in marriage9I ()*
)esus answered and said to them, KThe sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. -ut those
who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are
given in marriage9I '()*
; or ;A=;;
'ow all these things ha!!ened unto them for ensam!les$ and they are written for our admonition, u!on
whom the ends of the world are come. ()*
'ow all these things ha!!ened to them as e=am!les, and they were written for our admonition, u!on
whom the ends of the ages have come. '()*
(al ;=:
Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this !resent evil world, according to the will
of od and our Father9 ()*
9 who gave >imself for our sins, that >e might deliver us from this !resent evil age, according to the
will of our od and Father9 '()*
Eph ;=>;
Far above all !rinci!ality, and !ower, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only
in this world, but also in that which is to come9 ()*
9 far above all !rinci!ality and !ower and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only
in this age but also in that which is to come. '()*
Heb ?=C
And have tasted the good word of od, and the !owers of the world to come9 ()*
9 and have tasted the good word of od and the !owers of the age to come9 '()*
Heb @=>?
For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world$ but now once in the end of the
world hath he a!!eared to !ut away sin by the sacrifice of himself. ()*
1
>e then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of
the ages, >e has a!!eared to !ut away sin by the sacrifice of >imself. '()*
It2s easy to see from the above @=C passaes where the concept of the end of the world came from! It is
equally easy to see from the <@=C that the world that was endin was not the physical world, but the world 5or
ae6 of =udaism and the "ld #ovenant! This is in complete areement with what we have already studied
concernin the last days and the transition of the covenants! But what about 1eter2s reference to the world
bein 4uded by fire, and the elements melted by fervent heat?
For this they willfully forget$ that by the word of od the heavens were of old, and the earth standing
out of water and in the water, by which the world that then e=isted !erished, being flooded with water.
-ut the heavens and the earth which are now !reserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until
the day of Hudgment and !erdition of ungodly men9 -ut the day of the 3ord will come as a thief in the
night, in which the heavens will !ass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent
heat; both the earth and the wor+s that are in it will be burned u!. Therefore, since all these things will
be dissolved, what manner of !ersons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, loo+ing for and
hastening the coming of the day of od, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire,
and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 'evertheless we, according to >is !romise, loo+ for new
heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 0 Aeter 1$?&B, 2F&21 '()*
Are the elements that 1eter is referrin to the physical elements of this planet? The :reek word here is
$stoicheion&:
<T: O0O0
somethin orderly in arranement, i!e! 5by implication6 a serial 5basal, fundamental, initial6 constituent
5literally6, proposition 5fiuratively6: @=C ' element, principle, rudiment!
5BiblesoftRs <ew ;*haustive StronRs <umbers and #oncordance with ;*panded :reek'7ebrew
.ictionary! #opyriht S ?PPO, /889 Biblesoft, Inc! and International Bible Translators, Inc!6
%hile it can mean the physical elements of the universe, is that the meanin of / 1eter? #onsider the other
uses of $stoicheion& in the <ew Testament:
Gven so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements :stoicheion< of the world.
-ut when the fullness of the time had come, od sent forth >is 5on, born of a woman, born under the
law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the ado!tion as sons. al @$1&?
'()*
-ut now after you have +nown od, or rather are +nown by od, how is it that you turn again to the
wea+ and beggarly elements :stoicheion<, to which you desire again to be in bondage? Lou observe
days and months and seasons and years. al @$#&2F '()*
-eware lest anyone cheat you through !hiloso!hy and em!ty deceit, according to the tradition of men,
according to the basic principles :stoicheion< of the world, and not according to /hrist. /ol 0$6 '()*
Therefore, if you died with /hrist from the basic principles :stoicheion< of the world, why, as though
living in the world, do you subHect yourselves to regulations Q "Jo not touch, do not taste, do not
handle," which all concern things which !erish with the using Q according to the commandments and
doctrines of men? /ol 0$0F&00 '()*
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first
principles :stoicheion< of the oracles of od; and you have come to need mil+ and not solid food. For
everyone who !arta+es only of mil+ is uns+illed in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. -ut solid
food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses
e=ercised to discern both good and evil. >eb ?$20&2@ '()*
1
;ven thouh 1aul uses the :reek word $kosmos& for world 5instead of $aeon& ( ae6 in these passaes, can
there be any doubt as to the $world& that 1aul is referrin to? 7e 4u*taposes bein in bondae under the
elements to bein redeemed from the law! A few verses later he says that those who are turnin aain to the
elements are observin days and months and seasons and years ( all elements of the law! In #olossians /:N
he states that the principles of the world are accordin to the tradition of men, as opposed to the tradition of
#hrist! In vv! /8'// he equates the basic principles of the world with the commandments and doctrines of men!
The author of 7ebrews uses the term to describe the milk of the word of rihteousness! It is obvious that the
physical world is not the sub4ect of these passaes, but rather, the $world& of the law and the "ld #ovenant!
Are we to then apply a different meanin to the term in 1eter2s writins? %e believe that we should look for a
meanin in line with the precedent established in the Scriptures above, before we apply alternate meanins! If
we take the elements of 1eter2s writin to mean the elements of the "ld #ovenant, we have no problem seein
the fulfillment of his prophecy in A. 08, when =erusalem and the Temple, the very icons of the "ld #ovenant,
were indeed burned with fervent heat! >ussell quotes .r! =ohn "wens on the two 4udments described by
1eter, one by flood, the other by fire:
It is certain that by the flood, the world, or the fabric of heaven and earth, was not destroyed, but only
the inhabitants of the worldF and therefore the destruction intimated to succeed by fire is not of the
substance of the heavens and the earth, which shall not be consumed until the last day, but of person
or men livin in the world!
.r! "wen2s sermon on / 1eter 9:??, reprinted ?0/?
/9
%e turn now to the historic accounts of =osephus, who describes the 4udment of fire upon the $world& of
=udaism:
Book M, #hapter O ( And now the soldiers had already put fire to the ates, and the silver that was over
them quickly carried the flames to the wood that was within it, whence it spread itself all on the sudden,
and cauht hold on the cloisters! Dpon the =ews seein this fire all about them, their spirits sunk
toether with their bodies, and they were under such astonishment, that not one of them made any
haste, either to defend himself or to quench the fire, but they stood as mute spectators of it only!
7owever, they did not so rieve at the loss of what was now burnin, as to row wiser thereby for the
time to comeF but as thouh the holy house itself had been on fire already, they whetted their passions
aainst the >omans! This fire prevailed durin that day and the ne*t alsoF for the soldiers were not able
to burn all the cloisters that were round about toether at one time, but only by pieces!
But as for that house, :od had, for certain, lon ao doomed it to the fireF and now that fatal day was
come, accordin to the revolution of aesF it was the tenth day of the month ,ous, JAb,K upon which it
was formerly burnt by the kin of BabylonF
Book M, #hapter H ( %hile the holy house was on fire, every thin was plundered that came to hand,
and ten thousand of those that were cauht were slainF nor was there a commiseration of any ae, or
any reverence of ravity, but children, and old men, and profane persons, and priests were all slain in
the same mannerF so that this war went round all sorts of men, and brouht them to destruction, and as
well those that made supplication for their lives, as those that defended themselves by fihtin! The
flame was also carried a lon way, and made an echo, toether with the roans of those that were
slainF and because this hill was hih, and the works at the temple were very reat, one would have
thouht the whole city had been on fire!
)et was the misery itself more terrible than this disorderF for one would have thouht that the hill itself,
on which the temple stood, was seethin hot, as full of fire on every part of it, that the blood was larer
in quantity than the fire, and those that were slain more in number than those that slew themF for the
round did no where appear visible, for the dead bodies that lay on itF but the soldiers went over heaps
of those bodies, as they ran upon such as fled from them!
2"
+. "663 The Parousia
1
And now the >omans, 4udin that it was in vain to spare what was round about the holy house, burnt
all those places, as also the remains of the cloisters and the ates, two e*ceptedF the one on the east
side, and the other on the southF both which, however, they burnt afterward! They also burnt down the
treasury chambers, in which was an immense quantity of money, and an immense number of arments,
and other precious oods there repositedF and, to speak all in a few words, there it was that the entire
riches of the =ews were heaped up toether, while the rich people had there built themselves chambers
Jto contain such furnitureK! Jbrackets in oriinalK
5from =osephus: %ars of the =ews, 1# Study Bible formatted electronic database #opyriht S /889 by
Biblesoft, Inc! All rihts reserved!6
Seein that the Biblical precedent for the use of the :reek word $stoicheion& applies it to the elements of a
scheme or system, and chiefly those of the "ld #ovenant, and that history records the physical representatives
of those elements bein burned with fire, we see no need to look for further or alternative interpretations!
#ertainly Scripture does not require that 1eter is referrin to the physical universe bein burned up! >ussell
comments as follows:
The imaery here employed by the apostle naturally suests the idea of the total dissolution by fire of
the whole substance and fabric of the material creation, not the earth only but the system to which it
belonsF and this no doubt is the popular notion of the final consummation which is e*pected to
terminate the present order of thins! A little reflection, however, and a better acquaintance with the
symbolic lanuae of prophecy, will be sufficient to modify such a conclusion, and to lead to an
interpretation more in accordance with the analoy of similar descriptions in the prophetic writins!
+irst, it is evident on the face of the question that this universal conflaration, as it may be called, was
rearded by the apostle as on the eve of takin place '' WThe end of all thins is at hand2 5? 1et! O:06!
The consummation was so near that it is described as an event to be Wlooked for, and hastened unto2
5ver! ?/!6 It follows, therefore, that it could not be the literal destruction or dissolution of the lobe and
the created universe concernin which the spirit of prophecy here speaks! But that there was at the
moment when this epistle was written an awful and almost immediate catastrophe impendinF that the
lon'predicted Wday of the ,ord2 was actually at handF that the day did come, both s!eedily and
suddenly; that it came Was a thief in the nihtF2 that a fiery delue of wrath and 4udment overwhelmed
the uilty land and nation of Israel, destroyin and dissolvin its earthly thins and its heavenly thins,
that is to say, its temporal and spiritual institutions '' is a fact indelibly imprinted on the pae of history!
/O
>ussell notes, alludin to =osephus, the 4udment upon the material structures of the "ld #ovenant is a fact
indelibly imprinted on the pae of history! In liht of this, and all we have studied concernin the transition of
the covenants, we feel that 1eter2s e*pectations were wholly fulfilled!
The New 3eavens and New -arth
But what about 1eter2s statement to his readers that they were, according to >is !romise, lookin for a new
heavens and new earth? Some see the promise that 1eter refers to as Isaiah MH:?0:
For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth;
And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. '()*
Isaiah MH speaks of :od2s elect receivin 7is blessins, while those who have re4ected 7im receive 7is
4udments! In a previous chapter, Israel and the 'ew /ovenant, we saw how 1aul applied Isaiah MH:?'/ 5I was
found by those who did not see+ ,e6 to the entiles receivin the ospel and to the =ews, as a nation,
re4ectin it 5All day long I have stretched out ,y hands to a disobedient and contrary !eo!le6! The elect, 7is
#hurch, in which there is neither =ew nor :entile 5:al 9:/N6 are the heirs accordin to the promise! Thus the
new heavens and new earth of Isaiah are in a passae that 1aul associates with the ospel! This is
reminiscent of the author of 7ebrews associatin =eremiah2s new covenant 5=er 9?:9?ff6 to the ospel 57eb N6!
Isaiah MH continues:
21
++. "150"2<3 The Parousia
1
% K-ehold, it is written before ,e$
I will not +ee! silence, but will re!ay Q
Gven re!ay into their bosom Q
B Lour iniOuities and the iniOuities of your fathers together,"
5ays the 3."J,
"Who have burned incense on the mountains
And blas!hemed ,e on the hills;
Therefore I will measure their former wor+ into their bosom." Isa %?$%&B '()*
7ere we see a parallel to #hrist2s statement to the scribes and 1harisees, fill u!, then, the measure of your
fathersP guilt- that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth 53t /9:9/, 9H6! Thouh Israel
had been rebellious for enerations, once their uilt was $filled up&, :od repaid it into their bosom, the iniquity
of the sons and the fathers toether upon that eneration!
6 KAs the new wine is found in the cluster,
And one says, DJo not destroy it,
For a blessing is in it,P
5o will I do for ,y servants4 sa+e,
That I may not destroy them all.
# I will bring forth descendants from )acob,
And from )udah an heir of ,y mountains;
,y elect shall inherit it,
And ,y servants shall dwell there.I Is %?$6&#'()*
The descendants that :od will brin forth from =acob, and the heirs of :od2s mountains, are the elect, whom
we have already seen to be the #hurch, spiritual Israel!
22 "-ut you are those who forsa+e the 3."J,
Who forget ,y holy mountain,
Who !re!are a table for ad,
And who furnish a drin+ offering for ,eni.
20 Therefore I will number you for the sword,
And you shall all bow down to the slaughter;
-ecause, when I called, you did not answer;
When I s!o+e, you did not hear,
-ut did evil before ,y eyes,
And chose that in which I do not delight." Is %?$22&20 '()*
>ememberin that in :od2s eschatoloical picture there are two Israels in view, physical and spiritual, we see
in this ne*t portion of te*t 7is pronouncement of 4udment upon physical Israel, who did not answer when 7e
called! Therefore they were numbered for the sword, and delivered to the slauhter:
". )erusalem, )erusalem, the one who +ills the !ro!hets and stones those who are sent to herE >ow
often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you
were not willingE 5eeE Lour house is left to you desolate9 3u+e 21$1@&1? '()*
In the followin portion of Isaiah MH, we see a comparison of the two Israels:
Therefore thus says the 3ord .J$
"-ehold, ,y servants shall eat,
-ut you shall be hungry;
-ehold, ,y servants shall drin+,
-ut you shall be thirsty;
-ehold, ,y servants shall reHoice,
1
-ut you shall be ashamed;
2@ -ehold, ,y servants shall sing for Hoy of heart,
-ut you shall cry for sorrow of heart,
And wail for grief of s!irit.
2? Lou shall leave your name as a curse to ,y chosen;
For the 3ord .J will slay you,
And call >is servants by another name; Is %?$21&2? '()*
As prophesied in v! ?H, :od did slay physical Israel in A. 08, and spiritual Israel is called by another name:
And the disci!les were first called /hristians in Antioch. Acts 22$0% '()*
7ow is it that the elect, 7is servants, shall e*perience all of these blessins? By :od providin a new heavens
and a new earth! These are seen as the means by which the blessins are achieved by the way in which they
are introduced-For behold, I create-& %e could use the analoy of a randparent describin the blessins
that their randchildren were to receive, for behold, I have made you sole heirs in my will!
2B "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth;
And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.
26 -ut be glad and reHoice forever in what I create;
For behold, I create )erusalem as a reHoicing,
And her !eo!le a Hoy.
2# I will reHoice in )erusalem,
And Hoy in ,y !eo!le;
The voice of wee!ing shall no longer be heard in her,
'or the voice of crying.
0F 'o more shall an infant from there live but a few days,
'or an old man who has not fulfilled his days;
For the child shall die one hundred years old,
-ut the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.
02 They shall build houses and inhabit them;
They shall !lant vineyards and eat their fruit.
00 They shall not build and another inhabit;
They shall not !lant and another eat;
For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of ,y !eo!le,
And ,y elect shall long enHoy the wor+ of their hands.
01 They shall not labor in vain,
'or bring forth children for trouble;
For they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the 3."J,
And their offs!ring with them.
0@ It shall come to !ass
That before they call, I will answer;
And while they are still s!ea+ing, I will hear.
0? The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
The lion shall eat straw li+e the o=,
And dust shall be the ser!ent4s food.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all ,y holy mountain," 5ays the 3."J. Is %?$2B&0? '()*
The new heavens and new earth are the dwellin place of :od2s people, 7is elect 5v! //6! Thouh many try to
place this passae in a future physical kindom durin the millennium, as we have previously established, the
<ew Testament does not speak of a future physical kindom, nor of any ae beyond the ae of the everlastin
<ew #ovenant! That the new heavens and new earth refer to the spiritual kindom of the ospel is not unheard
of, as evidenced by 3atthew 7enry2s commentary on this passae:
1
Is MH:?0'/H
If these promises were in part fulfilled when the =ews, after their return out of captivity, were settled in
peace in their own land and brouht as it were into a new world, yet they were to have their f!ll
accomplishment in the gospel ch!rch, militant first and at lenth triumphant! The =erusalem that is
from above is free and is the mother of us all! $n the graces and comforts which believers have in
and from hrist we are to look for this new heaven and new earth! It is in the ospel that old thins
have passed away and all thins have become new, and by it that those who are in #hrist are new
creatures, / #or H:?0! It was a mihty and happy chane that was described v! ?M, that the former
troubles were forottenF but here it rises much hiher: even the former world shall be forotten and
shall no more come into mind! Those that were converted to the #hristian faith were so transported with
the comforts of it that all the comforts they were before acquainted with became as nothin to themF not
only their foreoin riefs, but their foreoin 4oys, were lost and swallowed up in this! The lorified
saints will therefore have forotten this world, because they will be entirely taken up with the other: +or,
behold, I create new heavens and a new earth! See how ine*haustible the divine power isF the same
:od that created one heaven and earth can create another! See how entire the happiness of the saints
isF it shall be all of a pieceF with the new heavens :od will create them 5if they have occasion for it to
make them happy6 a new earth too! The world is yours if you be #hristRs, ? #or 9://! When God is
reconciled to !s, which gives !s a new heaven, the creat!res too are reconciled to !s, which
gives !s a new earth# The future lory of the saints will be so entirely different from what they ever
knew before that it may well be called new heavens and a new earth, / 1eter 9:?9! Behold, I make all
thins new, >ev /?:H! 5emphasis added6
5from 3atthew 7enryRs #ommentary on the %hole Bible: <ew 3odern ;dition, ;lectronic .atabase!
#opyriht 5c6 ?PP? by 7endrickson 1ublishers, Inc!6
Isaiah mentions the new heavens and new earth aain at the end of chapter MM:
00 "For as the new heavens and the new earth
Which I will ma+e shall remain before ,e," says the 3."J,
"5o shall your descendants and your name remain.
01 And it shall come to !ass
That from one 'ew ,oon to another,
And from one 5abbath to another,
All flesh shall come to worshi! before ,e," says the 3."J.
0@ "And they shall go forth and loo+
N!on the cor!ses of the men
Who have transgressed against ,e.
For their worm does not die,
And their fire is not Ouenched.
They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh." Is %%$00&0@ '()*
>ather than assinin this passae to some future ae beyond that of the ospel 5of which the <ew Testament
authors make no mention6, we see vv! //'/9 as referrin to the everlastin covenant, of which all flesh may
partake:
9 by so much more )esus has become a surety of a better covenant. Also there were many !riests,
because they were !revented by death from continuing. -ut >e, because >e continues forever, has an
unchangeable !riesthood. >eb B$00&0@ '()*
'ow may the od of !eace who brought u! our 3ord )esus from the dead, that great 5he!herd of the
shee!, through the blood of the everlasting covenant9 >eb 21$0F '()*
For you are all sons of od through faith in /hrist )esus. For as many of you as were ba!ti;ed into
/hrist have !ut on /hrist. There is neither )ew nor ree+, there is neither slave nor free, there is
1
neither male nor female; for you are all one in /hrist )esus. And if you are /hrist4s, then you are
Abraham4s seed, and heirs according to the !romise. al 1$0%&0# '()*
The corpses that were seen 5v!/O6 were not those of some future Armaeddon battle, but those of the
eneration that filled up their transressions aainst :od, by crucifyin 7is Son! Thus the Isaiah passaes
reardin the new heavens and new earth do not need to be $forced& into some unknown future ae, but can
be seen as havin their fulfillments in the events of A. 08, and the chanin of the covenants!
There is another Scripture to which 1eter may be referrin as >is !romise of a new heavens and earth! 1eter
is writin shortly before his martyrdom 5/ 1t ?:?O'?H6 in ca! A. M0! :iven the early date for the writin of
>evelation, it is possible that 1eter is quotin =ohn:
'ow I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had !assed away.
Also there was no more sea. "ev 02$2 '()*
Aain we must ask, are the physical heaven and earth in view here, or are they metaphors for the "ld and
<ew #ovenants! %e cannot deny that both 1eter and =ohn e*pected this new heavens and earth shortly, for
the time was at hand! This fact arues aainst a physical interpretation, since nothin of its kind occurred
within that time frame! %e offer >ussell2s commentary on the passae:
%e now find ourselves surrounded by scenery so novel and so wonderful that it is not surprisin that
we should be in doubt where we are! Is this earth, or is it heaven? ;very familiar landmark has
disappearedF the old has vanished, and iven place to the new: it is a new heaven above usF it is a new
earth beneath us! <ew conditions of life must e*ist, for Wthere is no more sea!2 1lainly we have here a
representation in which symbolism is carried to its utmost limitsF and he who would deal with such
oreous imaery as with prosaic literalities is incapable of comprehendin them! But the symbols,
thouh transcendental, are not unmeanin! WThey serve unto the e*ample and shadow of heavenly
thinsF2 and all the pomp and splendour of earth are employed to set forth the beauty of moral and
spiritual e*cellence!
It is impossible to reard this picture as the representation of any social condition to be realised upon
earth! There are, indeed, certain phrases which at first seem to imply that earth is the scene where
these lories are manifested: the holy city is said to Wcome down out of heavenF2 the tabernacle of :od
is said to be Wwith menF2 Wthe kins of the earth2 are said to Wbrin their lory and honour into itF W but, on
the other hand, the whole conception and description of the vision forbid the supposition of its bein a
terrestrial scene! In the first place, it belons to Wthe thins which must shortly come to passF2 it falls
strictly within apocalyptic limits! It is, therefore, no vision of the futureF it belons as much to the period
called Wthe end of the ae2 as the destruction of =erusalem doesF and we are to conceive of this
renovation of all thins, '' this new heaven and new earth, as contemporaneous with, or in immediate
succession to, the 4udment of the reat harlot, to which it is the counterpart or antithesis!
Secondly, %hat is the chief fiure in this visionary representation? It is the holy city, new =erusalem! But
the new =erusalem is always represented in the Scriptures as situated in heaven, not on earth! St! 1aul
speaks of the =erusalem which is above, in contrast with the =erusalem below. 7ow can the =erusalem
which is above belon to earth? There cannot be a reasonable doubt that the city which is here
depicted in such lowin colours is identical with that which is referred to in 7eb ?/://, /9: W)e are
come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the livin :od, the heavenly =erusalem, and to an
innumerable company of anelsF to the eneral assembly and church of the first'born, which are written
in heaven, and to :od the =ude of all, and to the spirits of 4ust men made perfect!2 #learly, therefore,
the holy city is the abode of the lorifiedF the inheritance of the saints in lihtF the mansions of the
+ather2s house, prepared for the home of the blessed!
"nce more, this conclusion is certified by the representation of its bein the dwellin'place of the 3ost
7ih 7imself: WThe ,ord :od Almihty and the ,amb are the temple of itF2 Wthe throne of :od and of the
,amb shall be in itF2 Whis servants shall serve him, and they shall see his face!2 In fact, this vision of the
holy city is anticipated in the catastrophe of the vision of the seals, where the hundred and forty and
four thousand out of all the tribes of the children of Israel, and the reat multitude that no man could
number, are represented as en4oyin the very same lory and felicity, in the very same place and
1
circumstances, as in the vision before us! The two scenes are identicalF or different aspects of one and
the same reat consummation!
%e therefore conclude that the vision sets forth the blessedness and lory of the heavenly state, into
which the way was fully opened at the Wend of the ae,2 or Wsunteleia tou aionos2, accordin to the
showin of the ;pistle to the 7ebrews!
/H
Jemphasis in oriinalK
,astly, we come to the shakin of the heavens and earth in 7ebrews ?/:
5ee that you do not refuse >im who s!ea+s. For if they did not esca!e who refused >im who s!o+e on
earth, much more shall we not esca!e if we turn away from >im who s!ea+s from heaven, whose voice
then shoo+ the earth; but now >e has !romised, saying, "Let once more I sha+e not only the earth, but
also heaven." 'ow this, "Let once more," indicates the removal of those things that are being sha+en,
as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be sha+en may remain. Therefore, since we
are receiving a +ingdom which cannot be sha+en, let us have grace, by which we may serve od
acce!tably with reverence and godly fear. >eb 20$0?&06 '()*
#oncernin this shakin of the earth and the heavens, >ussell says:
%hat, then, is the reat catastrophe symbolically represented as the shakin of the earth and heavens?
<o doubt it is the overthrow and abolition of the 3osaic dispensation, or old covenantF the destruction
of the =ewish church and state, toether with all the institutions and ordinances connected therewith!
There were Wheavenly thins2 belonin to that dispensation: the laws, and statutes, and ordinances,
which were divine in their oriin, and miht be properly called the Ds!iritualiaP of =udasim '' these were
the heavens, which were to be shaken and removed! There were also Wearthly thins:2 the literal
=erusalem, the material temple, the land of #anaan ' these were the earth, which was in like manner to
be shaken and removed! The symbols are, in fact, equivalent to those employed by our ,ord when
predictin the doom of Israel! WImmediately after the tribulation of those days Jthe horrors of the siee of
=erusalemK shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not ive her liht, and the powers of the
heavens shall be sha+enP 53t /O:/P6! Both passaes refer to the same catastrophe and employ very
similar fiuresF besides which we have the authority of our ,ord for fi*in the event and the period of
which 7e speaks within the limits of the eneration then in e*istenceF that is to say, the references can
only be to the 4udment of the =ewish nation and the abroation of the 3osaic economy at the
1arousia!
/M
Jemphasis and bracket in oriinalK
Althouh this understandin of the new heavens and earth is far removed from what much of #hristianity
believes, we feel '' that when the Scriptures are allowed to speak for themselves '' it is the most natural and
straihtforward interpretation!
The -arth vs" The Land
1reviously we saw how the translation of a particular :reek word has led to the misunderstandin that the
Bible speaks of the end of the world, when it was the end of the age that was in view! %e turn our attention
now to a similar situation, in which the :reek word IJ 5e6 can be translated as $earth& or $land&! >ussell
addresses both of these issues:
%e shall see that Rthe kindom of :odR is represented as arrivin at its consummation at the period of
the destruction of =erusalem!
That event marks the denouement of the reat scheme of divine providence, or economy, as it is called,
which bean with the call of Abraham and ran a course of two thousand years! %e may reard that
scheme, the =ewish dispensation, not only as an important factor in the education of the world, but also
as an e*periment, on a lare scale and under the most favourable circumstances, whether it were
possible to form a people for the service, and fear, and love of :odF a model nation, the moral influence
26
++. 62%062*3 The Parousia
27
++. 2*5025<3 The Parousia
1
of which miht bless the world! In some respects, no doubt, it was a failure, and its end was traic and
terribleF but what is important for us to notice, in connection with this inquiry, is that the relation of
#hrist, the Son of .avid and @in of Israel, to the =ewish nation e*plains the prominence iven in the
:ospels to the 1arousia, and the events which accompanied it, as havin a special bearin upon that
people! Inattention to this has misled many theoloians and commentators: they have read Rthe earth,R
when only Rthe landR was meantF Rthe human race,R when only RIsraelR was intendedF Rthe end of the
world,R when Rthe close of the ae, or dispensation,R was alluded to! At the same time it would be a
serious mistake to undervalue the importance and manitude of the event which took place at the
1arousia! It was a reat era in the divine overnment of the world: the close of an economy which had
endured for two thousand yearsF the termination of one aeon and the commencement of anotherF the
abroation of the Rold orderR and the inauuration of the new! It is, however, its special relation to
=udaism which ives to the 1arousia its chief sinificance and import!
/0

3uch confusion has arisen from the indiscriminate use of the word Wworld2 as the translation of the
different :reek words aion, kosmos, oikoumene, and e! The unlearned reader who meets with the
phrase Wthe end of the world,2 inevitably thinks of the destruction of the material lobe, whereas if he
read Wconclusion of the ae, or aeon,2 he would as naturally think of the close of a certain period of time
'' which is its proper meanin! %e have already had occasion to observe that aion is properly a
desination of time, an age; and it is doubtful whether it ever has any other sinification in the <ew
Testament! Its equivalent in ,atin is aevum, which is really the :reek aion in a ,atin dress! The proper
word for the earth, or world, is kosmos, which is used to desinate both the material and the moral
world! "ikoumene is properly the inhabited world, Wthe habitable2, and in the <ew Testament refers often
to the "oman Gm!ire, sometimes to so small a portion of it as Aalestine. :e, thouh it sometimes
sinifies the earth enerally, in the ospels more frequently refers to the land of Israel! 3uch liht is
thrown upon many passaes by a proper understandin of these words!
/N
Jemphasis in oriinalK
;verythin in our study to this point has shown that Biblical eschatoloy is focused upon the nation of Israel,
the #hurch, and the chanin of the covenants! This is especially so when we realiAe that the Bible never
speaks of the end of the world, as many think, but of the end of the ae! In liht of these facts, would not
4udments and catastrophes on a lobal scale be awkwardly out of place? The solution is found in usin the
framework of eschatoloy that has been consistent so far, to properly determine the translation for the :reek
word $e&! As >ussell noted above, #hrist2s relation to the =ewish nation, as their 3essiah and @in, e*plains
the bearin that 7is Second #omin has upon that people! Inattention to this has caused many to read $the
earth, the human race& and $the end of the world&, when $the land, Israel& and $the end of the ae& were in
view!
By not realiAin that the focus of eschatoloy is upon Israel and the chanin of the #ovenants, $e& has often
been translated $earth&, when $land&, specifically the land of =udea, is in view! This is especially true in the book
of >evelation! In the @=C, in 3atthew throuh =ude, nearly one'third of the occurrences of $e& are translated
$land&! In >evelation, not one of the eihty uses is translated $land&! .oes this perhaps indicate a bias on the
part of the translators, even if subconscious, for a particular eschatoloical view? %e are not proposin that all
of these instances should be translated as $land&, nor are we pretendin to be qualified to determine which
ones should! 7owever, in liht of the overwhelmin support for Biblical eschatoloy bein focused upon the
"ld #ovenant and its environs, shouldn2t $land& be the preferred translation, unless conte*t demands the
broader translation of $earth&?
%ith that in mind, we offer the reader several passaes from >evelation which employ $e&, with both possible
translations! "nce it is understood that $earth& is not necessarily the mandatory translation, but is determined
by conte*t, we feel that what previously seemed so obviously to be 4udments on a lobal scale, can be
rihtfully put in their place in the lands and people of Israel:
-ehold, >e is coming with clouds, and every eye will see >im, even they who !ierced >im. And all the
tribes of the earth :land< will mourn because of >im. Gven so, Amen. "ev 2$B '()*
2%
++. 167016%3 The Parousia
2*
++. 27102763 Ibid
1
7ere we feel the conte*t of they who !ierced >im 5not the >omans who drove the nails, but the =ews who cried
$crucify 7im&6, and the tribes, speaks of Israel! Therefore the land of =udea, and not the earth, is in view!
Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to ta+e !eace from the
earth :land<, and that !eo!le should +ill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. "ev %$@
'()*
And I loo+ed, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, "Woe,
woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth :land<, because of the remaining blasts of the trum!et of the
three angels who are about to soundE" "ev 6$21 '()*
5o the angel thrust his sic+le into the earth :land< and gathered the vine of the earth :land<, and threw it
into the great wine!ress of the wrath of od. "ev 2@$2#&0F '()*
Then I heard a loud voice from the tem!le saying to the seven angels, "o and !our out the bowls of
the wrath of od on the earth :land<." "ev 2%$2 '()*
=esus pronounced woes upon the scribes and 1harisees 53t /96, and said that the eneration that would see
all of these thins 5of the tribulation6 was that of 7is contemporary =ews! Thus the 4udments and wrath are not
bein poured out upon the entire earth, but upon the land of =udea, where that eneration dwelt! <otice also
the $vine of the earth JlandK& is reaped ( the vine representin national Israel!
When >e o!ened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word
of od and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, ">ow long, .
3ord, holy and true, until Lou Hudge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth :land<?" "ev
%$#&2F '()*
And in her was found the blood of !ro!hets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth :land<."
"ev 26$0@ '()*
For true and righteous are >is Hudgments, because >e has Hudged the great harlot who corru!ted the
earth :land< with her fornication; and >e has avenged on her the blood of >is servants shed by her."
"ev 2#$0 '()*
=esus told the scribes and the 1harisees that upon them would come all the rihteous blood shed on the earth
JlandK 53t /9:9H6! The precedin verses from >evelation are =ohn2s vision of that 4udment!
These have !ower to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their !ro!hecy; and they have
!ower over waters to turn them to blood, and to stri+e the earth :land< with all !lagues, as often as they
desire. "ev 22$% '()*
:od warned Israel that if they turned from 7im, that 7e would send plaues upon them 5,ev /M:?9'/?F .eut
/N:?H, //, HN'M?6 ' not upon the whole earth! >ather, after $destroyin& the earth once, 7e promised that 7e
would not do it aain, which forces us to reconsider our understandin of 1eter2s prophecy of the world, havin
been destroyed by water the first time, bein reserved for destruction by fire:
And the 3."J smelled a soothing aroma. Then the 3."J said in >is heart, "I will never again curse
the ground for man4s sa+e, although the imagination of man4s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I
again destroy every living thing as I have done.
"While the earth remains,
5eedtime and harvest,
/old and heat,
Winter and summer,
1
And day and night
5hall not cease." en 6$02&00 '()*
%e develop the theme of the plaues as :od2s 4udment in the comin chapter! Aain we see that =ohn2s
vision of the plaues in >evelation is referrin to that 4udment!
All who dwell on the earth :land< will worshi! him :the beast<, whose names have not been written in the
-oo+ of 3ife of the 3amb slain from the foundation of the world. "ev 21$6 '()*
In -efore )erusalem Fell, :entry establishes <ero as the Beast of >evelation! 7ence, those who worshipped
him were not all who dwelt on the earth, but all who dwelt in the land of =udea, and cried out, Kwe have no +ing
but /aesarI 5=n ?P:?H6!
As we have previously seen, the eschatoloical 4udments in the Bible are not the end of the world, but the end
of the ae of the "ld #ovenant! 7opefully we have also demonstrated that those same 4udments were not
e*pected upon the entire earth, but upon the land of =udea, the throne of the "ld #ovenant! %e close this
section with some select quotes from >ussell, beinnin with his commentary on the first trumpet 4udment of
>evelation N:?:
The standpoint of the Seer is still heaven, thouh the scene on which the main action of the piece is
take to place is the earth, or rather the land! It cannot be too carefully borne in mind that it is Israel,''
=udea, =erusalem '' on which the prophet is aAin! To roam over the breadth of the whole earth, and
to brin into the question all time and all nations, is not only to bewilder the reader in a labyrinth of
perple*ities, but wholly to miss the point and purport of the book! WThe .oom of IsraelF or, the ,ast .ays
of =erusalem,2 would be no unsuitable title for the Apocalypse!
/P
Secondly, the reader will observe the persons on whom the predicted woes are to fall '' Wthe inhabiters
of the land!2 As in chap! M:?8, so here, ge must be taken in a restricted sense, as referrin to the land of
Israel! The renderin of ge by earth, instead of land, and of aion by world, instead of age, have been
most fruitful sources of mistake and confusion in the interpretation of the <ew Testament! %ith sinular
inconsistency our translators have rendered ge sometimes earth, sometimes land, in almost
consecutive verses, reatly obscurin the sense! Thus in ,uke /?:/9, they render ge by land: Wthere
shall be reat distress in the land2 Jepi tes esK, bein compelled to restrict the meanin by the ne*t
clause, '' WAnd wrath upon this people!2 But in the ne*t verse but one, where the very same phrase
recurs, '' Wdistress epi tes es,2'' they render it Du!on the earth.P In the passae now before us the woes
are to be understood as denounced, not upon the inhabitants of the lobe, but of the land, that is, of
=udea!
98
A very fruitful source of confusion and error in the interpretation of the <ew Testament is the capricious
and uncertain way in which $e& is rendered in our Authorised Cersion! Sometimes, thouh rarely, it has
its proper meanin, the land; but more frequently it is translated the earth, and our translators never
seem to have iven themselves any trouble to inquire whether the word should be taken in its widest or
in a more restricted sense!
9?
Jemphasis and bracket in oriinalK
*evelation and #0 <="
;ven if we accept the early date for the writin of >evelation, and acknowlede that it is not referrin to the end
of the world or lobal 4udments, we may still ask if this e*travaant prophecy is to be understood as the
destruction of 4ust one city, namely, =erusalem! Thouh there may be many reasons that these doubts are
harbored, we list three that we feel are key to the issue:
25
+. 1<%3 The Parousia
"<
+. 11<3 Ibid
"1
++. 15"01513 Ibid
1
?! The nature of the apocalyptic lanuae of the =ews, as we have seen, is hihly symbolic and hyperbolic
when describin :od2s 4udment upon 7is enemies, and the deliverance of 7is people! Dnfortunately,
we have been tauht to literaliAe it in >evelation!
/! It is not 4ust the destruction of =erusalem that is in view, but the end of the 3osaic economy, the end of
an era and a nation!
9! There are few in the church today who realiAe the severity of the events surroundin the destruction of
=erusalem!
7avin dealt with the first item in the chapter A!ocaly!tic 3anguage, we turn to the second item! %e must
realiAe that the nation and economy that ended in A. 08 had e*isted for nearly ?,H88 years! %hen :od
watches over a people for that lon, and then ultimately has to pour out 7is wrath upon them, should we
e*pect anythin less than the most e*travaant, symbolic and hyperbolic lanuae to describe it? %hen we
consider that most of the book of ;*odus is dedicated to the birth of that nation, should we be surprised that
there is a book dedicated to its death? %e withhold further comment on the issue, in favor of >ussell2s:
In conclusion, we cannot help advertin to one other consideration, which we are persuaded has had
much to do with the erroneous interpretation of this prophecy J#hrist2s "livet discourseK, viA!, the
inadequate appreciation of the importance and randeur of the event which forms its burden ' the
consummation of the aeon ae, and the abroation of the =ewish dispensation!
That was an event which formed an epoch in the divine overnment of the world! The 3osaic economy,
which had been ushered in with such pomp and randeur amidst the thunders and lihtenins of Sinai,
and had e*isted for well nih si*teen centuries, which had been the divinely instituted medium of
communication between :od and man, and which was intended to realise a kindom of :od upon
earth ' had proved a comparative failure throuh the moral unfitness of the people of Israel, and was
doomed to come to an end amid the most terrific demonstration of the 4ustice and wrath of :od! The
temple of =erusalem, for aes the lory and crown of 3ount Bion ' the sacred shrine, in whose holy
place =ehovah was pleased to dwell ' the holy and beautiful house, which was the palladium of the
nationRs safety, and dearer than life to every son of Abraham ' was about to be desecrated and
destroyed, so that not one stone should be left upon another! The chosen people, the children of the
+riend of :od, the favoured nation, with whom the :od of the whole earth deined to enter into
covenant and to be called their @in ' were to be overwhelmed by the most terrible calamities that ever
befell a nationF were to be e*patriated, deprived of their nationality, e*cluded from their ancient and
peculiar relation to :od, and driven forth as wanderers on the face of the earth, a byword and hissin
amon all nations! But alon with all this there were to be chanes for the better! +irst, and chiefly, the
close of the one would be the inauuration of the rein of :od! There were to be honour and lory for
the true and faithful servants of :od, who would then enter into the full possession of the heavenly
inheritance! 5This will be more fully unfolded in the sequel of our investiation!6 But there was also to be
a lorious chane in this world! The old made way for the newF the ,aw was replaced by the :ospelF
3oses was superseded by #hrist! The narrow and e*clusive system, which embraced only a sinle
people, was succeeded by a new and better covenant, which embraced the whole family of man, and
knew no difference between =ew and :entile, circumcised and uncircumcised! The dispensation of
symbols and ceremonies, suited to the childhood of humanity, was mered in an order of thins in
which reliion became a spiritual service, every place a temple, every worshipper a priest, and :od the
universal +ather! This was a revolution reater far than any that had ever occurred in the history of
mankind! It made a new worldF it was the Rworld to come,R the Joikoumene mellousaK of 7ebrews ii! HF
and the manitude and importance of the chane it is impossible to over'estimate! It is this that ives
such sinificance to the overthrow of the temple and the destruction of =erusalem: these are the
outward and visible sins of the abroation of the old order and the introduction of the new! The story of
the siee and capture of the 7oly #ity is not simply a thrillin historical episode, such as the siee of
Troy or the fall of #arthaeF it is not merely the closin scene in the annals of an ancient nation ' it has
a supernatural and divine sinificanceF it has a relation to :od and the human race, and marks one of
the most memorable epochs of time! This is the reason why the event is spoken of in the Scripture in
terms which to some appear overstrained, or to require some reater catastrophe to account for them!
But if it was fittin that the introduction of that economy should be sinalised by portents and wonders,
1
earthquakes, lihtenins, thunders, and trumpet'blasts ' it was no less fittin that it should o out amid
similar phenomena, fearful sihts and reat sins from heaven! 7ad the true sinificance and randeur
of the event been better apprehended by e*positors, they would not have found the lanuae in which
it is depicted by our ,ord e*travaant or overstrained!
9/
%hen we consider what actually transpired at the destruction of =erusalem, we should e*pect nothin less than
the lanuae of >evelation!
"ur third item from above, and final point in this chapter, is what occurred in A. 08! %hen one beins to
e*amine =osephus2 account of those days, they will find that the descriptions of >evelation are not so
e*travaant or overstrained, as >ussell puts it! %hat follows, interspersed with Scripture, are various quotes
from =osephus reardin the siee and destruction of =erusalem:
#oncernin the wicked eneration 5remember that 4udment was upon apostate Israel for re4ectin their
3essiah6 =osephus says:
Book H, #hapter ?8 ' It is therefore impossible to o distinctly over every instance of these menRs
iniquity! I shall therefore speak my mind here at once briefly: ' That neither did any other city ever suffer
such miseries, nor did any ae ever breed a eneration more fruitful in wickedness than this was, from
the beinnin of the world!
Book H, #hapter ?9 ' And here I cannot but speak my mind, and what the concern I am under dictates
to me, and it is this: I suppose, that had the >omans made any loner delay in comin aainst these
villains, that the city would either have been swallowed up by the round openin upon them, or been
overflowed by water, or else been destroyed by such thunder as the country of Sodom perished by, for
it had brouht forth a eneration of men much more atheistical than were those that suffered such
punishmentsF for by their madness it was that all the people came to be destroyed!
5from =osephus: %ars of the =ews, 1# Study Bible formatted electronic database #opyriht S /889 by
Biblesoft, Inc! All rihts reserved!6
+alse 1rophets and messiahs:
>ussell quotes =osephus as sayin $the country was full of robbers, maicians, false prophets, false 3essiahs,
and impostorsR who deluded the 1eople with promises of reat events!&
99
Another element of the tribulation of
those days was famine 53t /O:0, >ev M:H'M6:
Book H, #hapter ?8 ' But the famine was too hard for all other passions, and it is destructive to nothin
so much as to modestyF for what was otherwise worthy of reverence was in this case despisedF
insomuch that children pulled the very morsels that their fathers were eatin out of their very mouths,
and what was still more to be pitied, so did the mothers do as to their infantsF and when those that were
most dear were perishin under their hands, they were not ashamed to take from them the very last
drops that miht preserve their lives: and while they ate after this manner, yet were they not concealed
in so doinF but the seditious every where came upon them immediately, and snatched away from them
what they had otten from othersF for when they saw any house shut up, this was to them a sinal that
the people within had otten some foodF whereupon they broke open the doors, and ran in, and took
pieces of what they were eatin almost up out of their very throats, and this by force: the old men, who
held their food fast, were beatenF and if the women hid what they had within their hands, their hair was
torn for so doinF nor was there any commiseration shown either to the aed or to the infants, but they
lifted up children from the round as they hun upon the morsels they had otten, and shook them
down upon the floor! But still they were more barbarously cruel to those that had prevented their comin
in, and had actually swallowed down what they were oin to seiAe upon, as if they had been un4ustly
defrauded of their riht! They also invented terrible methods of torments to discover where any food
was, and they were these to stop up the passaes of the privy parts of the miserable wretches, and to
"2
++. 710773 The Parousia
""
+. 753 The Parousia
1
drive sharp stakes up their fundamentsF and a man was forced to bear what it is terrible even to hear, in
order to make him confess that he had but one loaf of bread, or that he miht discover a handful of
barley'meal that was concealedF and this was done when these tormentors were not themselves
hunryF for the thin had been less barbarous had necessity forced them to itF but this was done to
keep their madness in e*ercise, and as makin preparation of provisions for themselves for the
followin days!
Book M, #hapter 9 ' <ow of those that perished by famine in the city, the number was prodiious, and
the miseries they underwent were unspeakableF for if so much as the shadow of any kind of food did
any where appear, a war was commenced presently, and the dearest friends fell a fihtin one with
another about it, snatchin from each other the most miserable supports of life! <or would men believe
that those who were dyin had no food, but the robbers would search them when they were e*pirin,
lest any one should have concealed food in their bosoms, and counterfeited dyinF nay, these robbers
aped for want, and ran about stumblin and staerin alon like mad dos, and reelin aainst the
doors of the houses like drunken menF they would also, in the reat distress they were in, rush into the
very same houses two or three times in one and the same day! 3oreover, their huner was so
intolerable, that it oblied them to chew every thin, while they athered such thins as the most sordid
animals would not touch, and endured to eat themF nor did they at lenth abstain from irdles and
shoesF and the very leather which beloned to their shields they pulled off and nawed: the very wisps
of old hay became food to someF and some athered up fibres, and sold a very small weiht of them for
four Attic JdrachmaeK! But why do I describe the shameless impudence that the famine brouht on men
in their eatin inanimate thins, while I am oin to relate a matter of fact, the like to which no history
relates, either amon the :reeks or Barbarians? It is horrible to speak of it, and incredible when heard!
5from =osephus: %ars of the =ews, 1# Study Bible formatted electronic database #opyriht S /889 by
Biblesoft, Inc! All rihts reserved!6 Jbrackets in oriinalK
At this point =osephus oes on to describe a nursin mother who killed, roasted and ate her son, and how
even the >omans, when they heard of it, took pity upon the calamity that had fallen upon the =ews! %holesale
carnae was also prophesied:
And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; ,t 0@$00
DAnd when he had o!ened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, /ome.
And I loo+ed, and behold a !ale horse; and his name that sat on him was Jeath, and >ell followed with
him. And !ower was given unto them over the fourth !art of the earth :land<, to +ill with sword, and with
famine, and with death, and by the beasts of the earth.4 "ev %$B, 6
#onsider the horrors that =osephus describes in the followin passaes, includin the fact that ?!? million
people perished:
Book M, #hapter P ' <ow the number of those that were carried captive durin this whole war was
collected to be ninety'seven thousandF as was the number of those that perished durin the whole
siee eleven hundred thousand, the reater part of whom were indeed of the same nation Jwith the
citiAens of =erusalemK, but not belonin to the city itselfF for they were come up from all the country to
the feast of unleavened bread, and were on a sudden shut up by an army, which, at the very first,
occasioned so reat a straitness amon them, that there came a pestilential destruction upon them,
and soon afterward such a famine, as destroyed them more suddenly- <ow this vast multitude is
indeed collected out of remote places, but the entire nation was now shut up by fate as in prison, and
the >oman army encompassed the city when it was crowded with inhabitants! Accordinly, the
multitude of those that therein perished e*ceeded all the destructions that either men or :od ever
brouht upon the worldF Jbrackets in oriinalK
Book H, #hapter ?/ ' So all hope of escapin was now cut off from the =ews, toether with their liberty
of oin out of the city! Then did the famine widen its proress, and devoured the people by whole
houses and familiesF the upper rooms were full of women and children that were dyin by famine, and
1
the lanes of the city were full of the dead bodies of the aedF the children also and the youn men
wandered about the market'places like shadows, all swelled with the famine, and fell down dead,
wheresoever their misery seiAed them! As for buryin them, those that were sick themselves were not
able to do itF and those that were hearty and well were deterred from doin it by the reat multitude of
those dead bodies, and by the uncertainty there was how soon they should die themselvesF for many
died as they were buryin others, and many went to their coffins before that fatal hour was come! <or
was there any lamentations made under these calamities, nor were heard any mournful complaintsF but
the famine confounded all natural passionsF for those who were 4ust oin to die looked upon those that
were one to rest before them with dry eyes and open mouths! A deep silence also, and a kind of
deadly niht, had seiAed upon the cityF while yet the robbers were still more terrible than these miseries
were themselvesF for they brake open those houses which were no other than raves of dead bodies,
and plundered them of what they hadF and carryin off the coverins of their bodies, went out lauhin,
and tried the points of their swords in their dead bodiesF and, in order to prove what metal they were
made of they thrust some of those throuh that still lay alive upon the roundF but for those that
entreated them to lend them their riht hand and their sword to dispatch them, they were too proud to
rant their requests, and left them to be consumed by the famine! <ow every one of these died with
their eyes fi*ed upon the temple, and left the seditious alive behind them! <ow the seditious at first
ave orders that the dead should be buried out of the public treasury, as not endurin the stench of
their dead bodies! But afterwards, when they could not do that, they had them cast down from the walls
into the valleys beneath!
Book H, #hapter ?9 ' And, indeed, why do I relate these particular calamities? while 3anneus, the son
of ,aAarus, came runnin to Titus at this very time, and told him that there had been carried out throuh
that one ate, which was intrusted to his care, no fewer than a hundred and fifteen thousand eiht
hundred and eihty dead bodies, in the interval between the fourteenth day of the month Tanthieus,
J<isan,K when the >omans pitched their camp by the city, and the first day of the month 1anemus
JTamuAK! This was itself a prodiious multitudeF and thouh this man was not himself set as a overnor
at that ate, yet was he appointed to pay the public stipend for carryin these bodies out, and so was
oblied of necessity to number them, while the rest were buried by their relationsF thouh all their burial
was but this, to brin them away, and cast them out of the city! After this man there ran away to Titus
many of the eminent citiAens, and told him the entire number of the poor that were dead, and that no
fewer than si* hundred thousand were thrown out at the ates, thouh still the number of the rest could
not be discoveredF and they told him further, that when they were no loner able to carry out the dead
bodies of the poor, they laid their corpses on heaps in very lare houses, and shut them up thereinF as
also that a medimnus of wheat was sold for a talentF and that when, a while afterward, it was not
possible to ather herbs, by reason the city was all walled about, some persons were driven to that
terrible distress as to search the common sewers and old dunhills of cattle, and to eat the dun which
they ot thereF and what they of old could not endure so much as to see they now used for food! %hen
the >omans barely heard all this, they commiserated their caseF while the seditious, who saw it also,
did not repent, but suffered the same distress to come upon themselvesF for they were blinded by that
fate which was already comin upon the city, and upon themselves also! Jbrackets in oriinalK
5from =osephus: %ars of the =ews, 1# Study Bible formatted electronic database #opyriht S /889 by
Biblesoft, Inc! All rihts reserved!6
#onsider the followin parallels:
And the +ings of the earth :land<, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every
slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the roc+s of the mountains, and said to
the mountains and roc+s, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of >im who sits on the throne and from
the wrath of the 3ambE "ev %$2?&2B
Book M, #hapter 0 ' So now the last hope which supported the tyrants, and that crew of robbers who
were with them, was in the caves and caverns under roundF whither, if they could once fly, they did not
e*pect to be searched forF but endeavored, that after the whole city should be destroyed, and the
1
>omans one away, they miht come out aain, and escape from them! This was no better than a
dream of theirsF for they were not able to lie hid either from :od or from the >omans!
5from =osephus: %ars of the =ews, 1# Study Bible formatted electronic database #opyriht S /889 by
Biblesoft, Inc! All rihts reserved!6
DAnd in the same hour there was a great earthOua+e, and the tenth !art of the city fell, and there were
slain in the earthOua+e seven thousand men, and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the
od of heaven.P "ev 22$21
Book O, #hapter O ' -for there broke out a prodiious storm in the niht, with the utmost violence, and
very stron winds, with the larest showers of rain, with continued lihtnins, terrible thunderins, and
amaAin concussions and bellowins of the earth, that was in an earthquake! These thins were a
manifest indication that some destruction was comin upon men, when the system of the world was put
into this disorderF and any one would uess that these wonders foreshowed some rand calamities that
were comin!
5from =osephus: %ars of the =ews, 1# Study Bible formatted electronic database #opyriht S /889 by
Biblesoft, Inc! All rihts reserved!6
They had tails li+e scor!ions, and there were stings in their tails. "ev #$2F
And great hail from heaven fell u!on men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. "ev 2%$02
Book H, #hapter M ' The enines, that all the leions had ready prepared for them, were admirably
contrivedF but still more e*traordinary ones beloned to the tenth leion: those that threw darts Jsome
translations of =osephus call those enines $scorpions&K and those that threw stones were more forcible
and larer than the rest, by which they not only repelled the e*cursions of the =ews, but drove those
away that were upon the walls also! <ow the stones that were cast were of the weiht of a talent, and
were carried two furlons and further! The blow they ave was no way to be sustained, not only by
those that stood first in the way, but by those that were beyond them for a reat space! As for the =ews,
they at first watched the comin of the stone, for it was of a white color, and could therefore not only be
perceived by the reat noise it made, but could be seen also before it came by its brihtnessF
accordinly the watchmen that sat upon the towers ave them notice when the enine was let o, and
the stone came from it, and cried out aloud, in their own country lanuae, T7; ST"<; #"3;T7 so
those that were in its way stood off, and threw themselves down upon the roundF by which means, and
by their thus uardin themselves, the stone fell down and did them no harm! But the >omans
contrived how to prevent that by blackin the stone, who then could aim at them with success, when
the stone was not discerned beforehand, as it had been till thenF and so they destroyed many of them
at one blow!
5from =osephus: %ars of the =ews, 1# Study Bible formatted electronic database #opyriht S /889 by
Biblesoft, Inc! All rihts reserved!6
And )esus said to them, "Jo you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall
be left here u!on another, that shall not be thrown down." ,t 0@$0
Book 0, #hapter N ' And where is now that reat city, the metropolis of the =ewish nation, which was
fortified by so many walls round about, which had so many fortresses and lare towers to defend it,
which could hardly contain the instruments prepared for the war, and which had so many ten thousands
of men to fiht for it? %here is this city that was believed to have :od himself inhabitin therein? It is
now demolished to the very foundations, and hath nothin but that monument of it preserved, I mean
the camp of those that hath destroyed it, which still dwells upon its ruinsF
5from =osephus: %ars of the =ews, 1# Study Bible formatted electronic database #opyriht S /889 by
Biblesoft, Inc! All rihts reserved!6
So total was the destruction of =erusalem that =osephus says Wthere was no loner anythin to lead those who
visited the spot to believe that it had ever been inhabited!2 %e encourae the reader to e*amine the accounts
1
of =osephus for him' or herself, for there is too much to include in this brief section! 7opefully these few
passaes have revealed the e*tent of the 4udment in 08 A!.!, and how they were $-the days of vengeance,
that all things which are written may be fulfilled!& ,uke /?:// 5emphasis added6
S+litting the Mount of Olives
Althouh not a <ew Testament passae, Bechariah2s account of the ,ord touchin the 3ount of "lives,
causin it to be split in two, is a flaship passae for many futurists! Because there is no record of the 3ount of
"lives ever bein split in two, this passae must be future, they claim! Therefore we will briefly e*amine this
prophecy!
2 -ehold, the day of the 3."J is coming,
And your s!oil will be divided in your midst.
0 For I will gather all the nations to battle against )erusalem;
The city shall be ta+en,
The houses rifled,
And the women ravished.
>alf of the city shall go into ca!tivity,
-ut the remnant of the !eo!le shall not be cut off from the city.

1 Then the 3."J will go forth
And fight against those nations,
As >e fights in the day of battle.
@ And in that day >is feet will stand on the ,ount of .lives,
Which faces )erusalem on the east.
And the ,ount of .lives shall be s!lit in two,
From east to west,
,a+ing a very large valley;
>alf of the mountain shall move toward the north
And half of it toward the south.
? Then you shall flee through ,y mountain valley,
For the mountain valley shall reach to A;al.
Les, you shall flee
As you fled from the earthOua+e
In the days of N;;iah +ing of )udah.
Thus the 3."J my od will come,
And all the saints with Lou.
% It shall come to !ass in that day
That there will be no light;
The lights will diminish.
B It shall be one day
Which is +nown to the 3."J Q
'either day nor night.
-ut at evening time it shall ha!!en
That it will be light.
6 And in that day it shall be
That living waters shall flow from )erusalem,
>alf of them toward the eastern sea
And half of them toward the western sea;
In both summer and winter it shall occur.
# And the 3."J shall be (ing over all the earth.
1
In that day it shall be Q "The 3."J is one,"
And >is name one. Cech 2@$2&# '()*
The first point to be noticed is that Bechariah is speakin of the day of the ,">.! As we have seen in our study
so far, the day of the ,">. was e*pected by the <ew Testament saints in their eneration, and was the
castin out of Ishmael and the passin away of the "ld #ovenant! Therefore, if we cannot find a place for
Bechariah2s prophecy within those confines, then we must assume that he is referrin to another day of the
,ord, for which we have found no other scriptural support!
)et verse / describes nations bein athered aainst =erusalem, the city bein taken, houses rifled, women
ravished and people oin into captivity! 7ave we not read accounts of these very thins from the pen of
=osephus, concernin the destruction of =erusalem? %ho is the remnant, which shall not be cut off? %ho was
the remnant in the days of ;li4ah, and in the days of 1aul? Those who had not bowed their knee to Baal and
those who were the elect accordin to race 5>om! ??:O'H6! The remnant is, and always has been, spiritual
Israel!
The ne*t several verses describe the ,ord fihtin aainst those nations, and standin upon the 3ount of
"lives! 7is people shall flee throuh the valley that is created when the 3ount of "lives splits in two, and thus
the ,ord will come, and all 7is saints with 7im! .o we not have in these verses another e*ample of apocalyptic
lanuae, describin the ,ord comin in 4udment upon 7is enemies, and deliverin 7is people? Some may
arue that this description is too specific to be apocalyptic lanuae! The foundations of the earth movin, the
heavens shakin, yes, but a specifically named 3ount? But what of the mountains and valleys of the prophecy
fulfilled by =ohn the Baptist? As a forerunner to the 3essiah, who was to be =ewish, and comin to the =ews,
wouldn2t those mountains and valley have been understood to be those of the environs of =erusalem? And yet
we know that there were no eoraphical chanes as a result of =ohn the Baptist2s ministry!
"n the other hand, is there not a parallel between the prophecy of Isaiah reardin those mountains and
valleys, and Bechariah2s description before us? .o not the eoraphical hindrances to physical travel
represent the encumbrances of the law, which had shut up all men under sin, and kept them in custody until
the faith of the <ew #ovenant was revealed 5:al 9://'/9 <ASB6? The lowerin of the mountains, the raisin of
the valleys and the splittin of the 3ount of "lives represent the removin of the bondae of the law! Those
who had labored and were heavy laden under its encumbrances could now cast it aside and take upon them
the yoke of the ospel of #hrist, which was easy and its burden was liht!
Thus the 3."J my od will come,
And all the saints with Lou.
Is this phrase not reminiscent of other passaes which refer to the Second #omin?
9 so that >e may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our od and Father at the coming
of our 3ord )esus /hrist with all >is saints. 2 Thess 1$21 '()*
'ow Gnoch, the seventh from Adam, !ro!hesied about these men also, saying, "-ehold, the 3ord
comes with ten thousands of >is saints9 )ude 2@ '()*
'ow I saw heaven o!ened, and behold, a white horse. And >e who sat on him was called Faithful and
True, and in righteousness >e Hudges and ma+es war9 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen,
white and clean, followed >im on white horses. "ev 2#$22, 2@ '()*
3ovin on from here, we read that there will be no liht, and the lihts will diminish, in a day known to the ,ord!
Is this any different from that reat and terrible 4udment of which no one +nows the day or hour, not even the
angels, nor the 5on, but the Father alone 53t /O:9M6, in which the sun will be dar+ened, and the moon will not
give its light, and the stars will fall from the s+y 53t /O:/P6?
-ut at evening time it shall ha!!en
1
That it will be light.
=osephus records that on the N
th
of <isan, at 9 am that so reat a liht shone round the altar and the holy
house, that it appeared to be briht day time, for half an hour 5%ars, book M, chapter H6! %hether this is the
fulfillment of the above verse, or if it refers to the $niht& of the "ld #ovenant passin and the day of salvation
dawnin 5>om ?9:??'?/6, we can still find the events within the scope of A. 08!
The final portion of our passae speaks of livin waters flowin from =erusalem! As we have previously
studied, these are the livin waters of the ospel of #hrist, flowin not from physical =erusalem, but from the
#hurch, which is the heavenly =erusalem 5>ev /?:P'?86! Thus we feel that Bechariah does not speak of a yet
future literal splittin of the 3ount of "lives, but rather maintains the precedent of the prophets in usin
apocalyptic lanuae to describe the day of the ,ord! And we see nothin in this passae, either literal or
spiritual, which cannot be accounted for in the events of A. 08!
Conclusion
If we allow ourselves to entertain, if only for con4ecture, the premise of an early date for the writin of
>evelation, the picture that comes into focus is astoundin! It suddenly fits into the scope of the rest of Biblical
eschatoloy'':od2s redemptive plan and the chanin of the covenants! Two thins result from allowin
>evelation to fit in place as the 4udment that was to $shortly come to pass& upon the =ews of the <ew
Testament eneration! There is no loner a need to remove the "livet discourse from the eneration to which it
was delivered, and there is no need for an indeterminate ap in the specific time line of .aniel2s seventy
weeks! %e have seen that the records of =osephus provide many e*amples of fulfillments for the prophecies of
>evelation! Still, even in liht of apocalyptic lanuae, some may demand a point'by'point analysis of the
seals, trumpets vials, etc!, in a historical settin, before they reconsider their eschatoloy!
But we must remember that we are nearly two thousand years removed from the events, and thouh we do
have a historical record of them, we don2t have an ins!ired record! "n the other hand, in the case of .avid, we
have both apocalyptic lanuae and a record of the events described, written by the same inspired authorQ
Samuel! To those who would demand a point'by'point analysis of >evelation, we would ask to be shown from
the e*ploits of .avid when the foundations of 7eaven were shakenF when smoke went up from :od2s nostrils
and devourin fire from 7is mouthF when 7e rode upon a cherub and was seen on the wins of the windF
when the channels of the sea were seen and the foundations of the earth were uncovered! If we don2t demand
a point'by'point analysis of this instance of apocalyptic lanuae, then why should we demand one for
>evelation?
1
The Veiled 7eneration
In 1art I we concluded several chapters with a supportin illustration of "ld Testament typoloy! In similar
fashion, this concludin chapter of 1art II is a study of the "ld Testament typoloy of the $last days& eneration
of the <ew Testament church! %e feel that it dovetails all of the elements of this section of our study, and
provides a scriptural $foreshadow& of the eschatoloical framework that we have presented! Because we have
covered much round in this section, and the typoloy of that eneration is so rich, this chapter is somewhat
lenthy, but we feel that the reader will be rewarded for his or her efforts!
As we understand it, there are two basic classes of Biblical $types&! +irst are those that are defined in Scripture
for us! =esus described 3oses2 liftin up of the brass serpent in the wilderness as a type of 7is bein lifted up
on the cross! 7e also described =onah2s three days and nihts in the belly of a whale as a type of 7is bein
three days and nihts in the belly 5heart6 of the earth, in a tomb! 1aul describes Adam as a type of #hrist, who
is the $last Adam& 5? #or ?H:OH6!
The second class of types contains those which, thouh not defined in Scripture, are realiAed by the
discernment of the reader! These we miht call $uninspired& types ( not that the oriinal te*t delineatin the
type is uninspired, but rather that the interpretation of the type is uninspired, not bein recorded in the
Scriptures for us!
9O
+or e*ample, we have yet to discover anywhere in the Bible that defines or describes the
patriarch =oseph as a type of #hrist, yet we would be hard'pressed to deny the fact! #onsider the followin:
Both were despised by their siblins!
Both came up alive from the earth, which was supposed to hold them in death 5=oseph from the
pit, =esus from the tomb6!
Both became servants in a forein place!
Both paid the penalty for sins they did not commit!
=oseph was e*alted to the riht hand of 1haraoh, =esus to the riht hand of the +ather!
.urin the famine, relief was found only by oin to =oseph! >elief for the spiritual famine of our
souls is found only by oin to #hrist!
In the ensuin paes we will e*plore how the first eneration of national Israel 5the ;*odus era6 is a type of the
first eneration of spiritual Israel 5the <ew Testament era6! This type is established in Scripture for us by 1aul
in ? #orinthians ?8:
,oreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all
!assed through the sea, all were ba!ti;ed into ,oses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same
s!iritual food, and all dran+ the same s!iritual drin+. For they dran+ of that s!iritual "oc+ that followed
them, and that "oc+ was /hrist. -ut with most of them od was not well !leased, for their bodies were
scattered in the wilderness.
'ow these things became our e=am!les, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they
also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, "The !eo!le sat down
to eat and drin+, and rose u! to !lay." 'or let us commit se=ual immorality, as some of them did, and
in one day twenty&three thousand fell; nor let us tem!t /hrist, as some of them also tem!ted, and were
destroyed by ser!ents; nor com!lain, as some of them also com!lained, and were destroyed by the
destroyer. 'ow all these things ha!!ened to them as e=am!les, and they were written for our
admonition, u!on whom the ends of the ages have come.
Therefore let him who thin+s he stands ta+e heed lest he fall.I
2 /or 2F$2&20
"1
This definition of $uninspired& can also be applied to e*tra details relatin to the first class of types, which are not found
in Scripture, but are discerned by the reader!
1
The word $e*amples& in vv! M U ?? are from the :reek KLMNO, 5tupos6, Stron2s number H?0P! This same word
is translated $type& in >omans H:?O, which states that Adam is $a ty!e of 7im 5#hrist6 who was to come&! %hat
is not established is how much detail to read into the type! %hile the foundation of the type is inspired, by no
means do we claim any inspiration, anointin or revelation for the details to be discussed! 7owever, when
1aul, by the inspiration of the 7oly Spirit says, $all these thins happened to them as e*amples& 5types6, we
feel that the precedent is to include, rather than e*clude details!
The premise presented here is that not only is the first eneration of national Israel a picture'perfect type of the
first eneration of spiritual Israel, but that it fits best when considered from a 1reterist viewpoint, which is the
framework that has been established thus far! %hile it is understood that doctrine is not established upon
$uninspired& types or details, often these various types or details help elucidate a particular sub4ect! They can
brin out subtle nuances, sometimes e*pandin our perspective of a sub4ect! 1erhaps, on rare occasions, they
may even tip the scale of indecision one way or another! %e2ll let the reader be the 4ude:
'ow all these things ha!!ened to them as e=am!les, and they were written for our admonition, u!on
whom the ends of the ages have come. 2 /or 2F$22
%hen 1reterists read the above passae, they take the phrase, Ku!on whom the ends of the ages have comeI,
at face value, 4ust like the phrases at hand9 this generation, etc!, that we have e*plored previously! The end of
the ae of =udaism, of the ,aw, had come upon those first century readers, culminatin in the destruction of
=erusalem in A. 08!
The first question that 4umps out at us is what are K9all these things9?I +rom the conte*t of this verse, we
see that all these things were the e*periences of the early Israelites as they were delivered from the bondae
of ;ypt, and marched throuh the wilderness towards the 1romised ,and! The Apostle 1aul is admonishin
the first century #hristians 5spiritual Israel6 to learn from the mistakes of the physical Israelites, that they miht
not fall into similar circumstances! Therefore let him who thin+s he stands ta+e heed lest he fall, he writes to
them! Dp to this point we could consider 1aul2s admonition one of eneral dilience to their #hristian walk,
indeed even one that speaks throuh the aes to us! JonPt fall into the same !itfalls, donPt tri! on the same
stumbling bloc+s as those who have wal+ed this !ath before you M learn from their mista+es, he seems to be
sayin! %e miht compare this passae with similar admonitions of 1aul:
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to !ray for you, and to as+ that you
may be filled with the +nowledge of >is will in all wisdom and s!iritual understanding; that you may
wal+ worthy of the 3ord, fully !leasing >im, being fruitful in every good wor+ and increasing in the
+nowledge of od; /ol 2$#&2F '()*
9 as you +now how we e=horted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his
own children, that you would wal+ worthy of od who calls you into >is own +ingdom and glory. 2
Thess 0$22&20 '()*
But why does 1aul insert the phrase Ku!on whom the ends of the ages have comeI into this passae? Is it
merely an aside, or one of 1aul2s many doctrinal embellishments for which his writins are known? ;ither is
possible, and certainly do not detract from the sinificance of the passae as an admonition to our #hristian
walk!
%e propose, however, that the 7oly Spirit inspired 1aul to include that phrase because there is much more to
be discovered here! The theme we wish to develop is this ( 1aul was writin to the final eneration of his ae,
one that had 4ust been delivered from the bondae of sin 5permanently, not temporarily with animal sacrifices6
by the death and resurrection of #hrist, one that was oin throuh a time of testin and was standin poised
to be raptured 5the sub4ect of a forthcomin chapter6 into heaven, the spiritual 1romised ,and! To admonish
and encourae them to ta+e heed lest they fall he uses the e*ample of a previous eneration that had also 4ust
been delivered from bondae 5;ypt6, went throuh testins in the wilderness, and was standin poised to
enter the natural 1romised ,and! =ust as 3oses 5a type of #hrist6 presented to Israel the promised land and
1
they refused to enter, so #hrist 5the prophet to come, like unto 3oses ( .t ?N:?H6 presented to Israel their
3essiah, but they refused to enter $throuh veil of 7is flesh& 57eb ?8:?P'/86 into the true 7oly of 7olies, the
spiritual promised land! 7e came to 7is own, and 7is own did not receive 7im 5=ohn ?:?86! =udment was
passed on 3oses2 eneration and, appro*imately O8 years after refusin to enter the natural 1romised ,and,
they were dead, but their offsprin entered in! =udment was passed on #hrist2s eneration and, appro*imately
O8 years after refusin their 3essiah, many were dead, but their offsprin 5the #hristian church6 were raptured
into the spiritual 1romised ,and!
:ranted, at face value the passae before us is already a serious admonition toward a dilient #hristian walk:
an admonition we believe can be applied to our own walks today! 7owever, in liht of the above proposal, can
you envision how much more weiht the passae carries? 1aul is not 4ust sayin wal+ in a manner worthy of
the 3ord, he is sayin the end is come u!on us, donPt stumble now, donPt be li+e those who failed to enter in.
9H
#ompare this to how the author of 7ebrews admonishes his readers by the same e*ample:
9M
Therefore, as the >oly 5!irit says$
"Today, if you will hear >is voice,
Jo not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
In the day of trial in the wilderness,
Where your fathers tested ,e, tried ,e,
And saw ,y wor+s forty years. Therefore I was angry with that generation,
And said, 4They always go astray in their heart,
And they have not +nown ,y ways.4 5o I swore in ,y wrath,
4They shall not enter ,y rest.4"
-eware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in de!arting from the living od;
but e=hort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the
deceitfulness of sin. For we have become !arta+ers of /hrist if we hold the beginning of our confidence
steadfast to the end, while it is said$
"Today, if you will hear >is voice, Jo not harden your hearts as in the rebellion."
For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Ggy!t, led by ,oses? 'ow
with whom was >e angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose cor!ses fell in the
wilderness? And to whom did >e swear that they would not enter >is rest, but to those who did not
obey? 5o we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. >eb 1$B&2# '()*
This passae is even more pertinent, in that it is written to the 7ebrews, i!e!, =ewish believers! 7ere the author
is tellin them to e*hort one another, so that they do not depart from :od! 7e2s sayin Kour forefathers
1B
made
a similar Hourney, and failed to enter in to their rest. JonPt you do the sameI. That eneration learned that Kit is
a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living odI 57eb ?8:9?6
9N
! The author is tellin them to not be amon
the portion of this eneration destined to suffer the same consequence, of whom we read earlier they shall go
forth and loo+ u!on the cor!ses of the men who have transgressed against ,e 5Is MM:/O6!
Some miht point out that there is no $end of the ae& time stamp here, as in the ? #orinthians passae! All we
have to do is o forward seven chapters:
"6
By no means are we suestin that we have to work to earn, or keep, our salvation! %e believe that 1aul is here
encourain the #orinthians by sayin that the time is short, you2ve come throuh the wilderness, you2re about to cross
the =ordan, stand stron in your faith! #ompare :al! M:P $And let us not row weary while doin ood, for in due season
we shall reap if we do not lose heart!&
"7
#ompare =ude H ff!
"%
Assumin that the author of 7ebrews was =ewish himself, and male!
"*
$<ow the men whom 3oses sent to spy out the land, who returned and made all the conreation complain aainst him
by brinin a bad report of the land, those very men who brouht the evil report about the land, died by the plaue before
the ,">.!& <um ?O:9M'90
1
And let us consider one another in order to stir u! love and good wor+s, not forsa+ing the assembling
of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but e=horting one another, and so much the more as
you see the Jay a!!roaching. >eb 2F$0@&0? '()*
%hat day did they see approachin? The .ay of the ,ord, of the end of the "ld #ovenant, and of the rapture,
of $crossin over the =ordan into the 1romised ,and&! ,et2s di deeper, and see what we can discover!
The Big Picture
It has lon been reconiAed that the 4ourney of the Israelites from ;yptian bondae to arrival in the 1romised
,and is an overview, a synopsis, of the believers2 spiritual 4ourney! The ;yptian bondae represents the
bondae to sin prior to salvation! The Israelites were technically freed when 1haraoh, who owned them,
drowned with his army in the >ed Sea! This is a picture of the believer2s salvation! The Israelites oin down
into the sea, and then comin back up out of the sea can also be a picture of baptism, which so often
accompanies a new believer2s confession of faith! The 4ourney throuh the wilderness represents the bulk of
the believer2s spiritual life, filled with the blessins and provisions of :od, with times of testin, with new
revelation of whom 7e is and how 7e wants to interact with us! The 1romised ,and represents heaven, and
the =ordan >iver, which must be crossed, represents death
9P
! >emember the old spiritual $5wing 3ow, 5weet
/hariot&? There2s a line that says, $I loo+ed over )ordan, and what did I see, coming for to carry me home? A
band of angels, coming after me, coming for to carry me home!& It2s written from the point of view of someone
at the end of this life2s 4ourney, seein the anels of :od comin to carry them home to heaven!
%hen we think of this overview of the believer2s spiritual 4ourney, we tend to think of :entile believers! %e
believe the overview can fit all believers in all aes, in a eneral sense! 7owever, we believe the specific type,
or foreshadow, applies to the physical and spiritual =ews of the <ew Testament era! #onsider the followin:
For I am not ashamed of the gos!el of /hrist, for it is the !ower of od to salvation for everyone who
believes, for the &ew first and also for the ree+. "om 2$2% '()*
-ut in accordance with your hardness and your im!enitent heart you are treasuring u! for yourself
wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous Hudgment of od, who "will render to each one
according to his deeds"$ eternal life to those who by !atient continuance in doing good see+ for glory,
honor, and immortality; but to those who are self&see+ing and do not obey the truth, but obey
unrighteousness && indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil,
of the &ew first and also of the ree+; but glory, honor, and !eace to everyone who wor+s what is
good, to the &ew first and also to the ree+. "om 0$?&22 '()*
-ut >e answered and said, "I was not sent e=ce!t to the lost shee! of the house of Israel." ,t 2?$0@
'()*
These twelve )esus sent out and commanded them, saying$ "Jo not go into the way of the entiles,
and do not enter a city of the 5amaritans. -ut go rather to the lost shee! of the house of Israel. ,t
2F$?&% '()*
Lou are sons of the !ro!hets, and of the covenant which od made with our fathers, saying to
Abraham, 4And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.4 8o you first, od, having
raised u! >is 5ervant )esus, sent >im to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your
iniOuities." Acts 1$0?&0% '()*
.n the ne=t 5abbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of od. -ut when the )ews
saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blas!heming, they o!!osed the
"5
Some 1reterists would take issue with the =ordan representin death, believin that after #hrist consummated the <ew
#ovenant by 7is return in 08 A., all subsequent believers enter into the fullness of the $1romised ,and& upon conversion
( i!e!, acceptance of the <ew #ovenant! Althouh we will touch upon this matter in 1art III, the purpose of this volume is to
introduce the eneral framework of 1reterism, not debate the various nuances within it!
1
things s!o+en by Aaul. Then Aaul and -arnabas grew bold and said, "It was necessary that the word of
od should be spo#en to you first; but since you reHect it, and Hudge yourselves unworthy of
everlasting life, behold, we turn to the entiles. Acts 21$@@&@% '()* 7em!hasis added8
Althouh salvation is available to both =ew and :entile, it was offered first to the =ews! This, we believe, was
because they had been the e*istin stae of :od2s redemptive plan, which was the foreshadow of the ne*t!
Therefore, it was only fittin that they should be iven first choice of movin into the ne*t, and final, stae of
:od2s redemptive plan! The fact that most of the =ews did not accept the offer was what brouht reat sorrow
to 1aul:
I tell the truth in /hrist, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the >oly 5!irit, that I
have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from
/hrist for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom !ertain the
ado!tion, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of od, and the !romises; of whom
are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, /hrist came, who is over all, the eternally
blessed od. Amen. "om #$2&? '()*
Thouh there were =ewish converts, when it came to #hrist bein their promised 3essiah, as a nation the
=ews cried out $crucify 7imI& Thouh there were two spies, =oshua and #aleb, who believed that :od would
deliver the 1romised ,and to them, as a nation the Israelites cried out $would that we had died in ;yptI&
Therefore we feel that the specific typoloy belons to the last eneration of physical Israel, and the first
eneration of spiritual Israel, who coe*isted as the $last days& eneration! <ot only are the events parallel, they
seem more like mirror imaes, one a reflection of the other! ,et2s look at some details!
Moses
In the ;*odus eneration, both 3oses and =oshua are seen as types of #hrist! %hile 3oses personifies the
$Savior& aspect of #hrist, deliverin from bondae, =oshua personifies the $conquerin warrior& aspect of
#hrist, vanquishin his enemies and brinin his people into their final destination! 3oses brouht out, =oshua
led in! 3ay we suest to you that 3oses is a type of #hrist in 7is first comin, while =oshua is a type of #hrist
in 7is Second #omin? There is stron support for this premise in the Scriptures!
3oses alluded to the typoloy between #hrist and himself when he stated, $The 3."J your od will raise u!
for you a Aro!het li+e me from your midst, from your brethren.I 5.eut ?N:?H6! #hrist alluded to the connection
between them when 7e said, Kas ,oses lifted u! the ser!ent in the wilderness, so must the 5on of ,an be
lifted u!I! ,et2s e*amine the similarities!
+irst, the very name of 3oses is wrapped up in the concept of drawin out, of deliverance:
And the child grew, and she brought him to Aharaoh4s daughter, and he became her son. 5o she called
his name ,oses, saying, "-ecause I drew him out of the water." G= 0$2F '()*
Adam #larkeRs #ommentary says:
maashah 5"T: ON0?6 sinifies Lto draw out,L and 3osheh 5"T: ON0/6 is the person drawn out!
The word maashah 5"T: ON0?6, is used two other times in the "ld Testament:
>e sent from above, >e too+ me,
>e drew 7maashah8 me out of many waters. 0 5am 00$2B '()*
>e delivered 7maashah8 me from my strong enemy,
From those who hated me,
For they were too strong for me. As 26$2B '()*
1
%e find it fascinatin that the very name of 3oses foretold his ministry, his purpose in life! The same is true of
the $1rophet like& him, whom :od raised up centuries later:
And she will bring forth a 5on, and you shall call >is name )G5N5, for >e will save >is !eo!le from
their sins." ,t 2$02 '()*
Aain we turn to Adam #larke2s #ommentary:
=esus, the same as =oshua, )^howshuwa_ 5"T: 98P?6, from yaasha_ 5"T: 9OM06, he saved, delivered,
put in a state of safety!
Already we see a connection to =oshua, which we will et to! <otice here, however, that the name =esus
means he saved, delivered. =ust as with 3oses, the very name of =esus foretold his ministry, his purpose in
life! But there2s much more than 4ust what2s in a name! 7owever, we wish to stress that the purpose of this
section is not an in'depth study of 3oses as a type of #hrist, for that would be a separate study in itself!
>ather, the intent here is to demonstrate that the typoloy of 3oses centers on #hrist2s ministry in 7is first
comin! ;ven in this demonstration, because of space, we cannot e*amine every detail!
Because of 1haraoh2s fear of the Israelites rowin in number and threatenin his kindom, he decreed that all
newborn male Israelite babies were to be killed! 3oses was born durin the time of this decree! 7e escaped
death by bein placed in a reed basket by his mother, and put afloat on the <ile >iver! There, 1haraoh2s
dauhter found him and adopted him! In short, 3oses escaped death by oin to ;ypt! ,ikewise, 7erod
feared that the prophesied 3essiah would incite the Israelites to rise up aainst his kindom! 7e also issued a
decree that male Israelite babies be killed! =esus came in 7is first comin durin this decree! 7ow did 7e
escape? =oseph and 3ary fled to ;ypt with 7imI
"n the niht of the Israelites2 deliverance from ;ypt, 3oses instituted the 1assover! This is probably the most
poinant of the types of #hrist associated with 3oses! 7ere we see a lamb brouht into the home to live with
the family prior to the appointed time of sacrifice! .urin this time it is e*amined to determine that it is without
blemish and, therefore, a suitable sacrifice! "nce killed, its blood was collected in a bowl and, with a hyssop
branch, applied to the family2s doorway in three places ( the top, and both sides! <o doubt, as the hyssop
branch, drippin with blood, moved from the bowl to the top, and to each side of the doorway, some blood fell
on the round at the base of the doorway! %hen the ,ord passed throuh the land to kill the firstborn, those
homes that had the blood on their doorways would be $passed over&! =ohn the Baptist testifies to the
connection of the 1assover lamb and #hrist:
The ne=t day )ohn saw )esus coming toward him, and said, "-eholdE The 3amb of od who ta+es
away the sin of the worldE )ohn 2$0# '()*
#hrist dwelt amon the people, and was e*amined by the reliious leaders, but they could not catch 7im in
anythin 53t //:?H'OM6! ;ven 1ilate said, $I find no uilt in 7im& 5=n ?P:O6! #hrist was a suitable sacrifice! In 7is
crucifi*ion we see the blood on 7is head from the crown of thorns, and on each hand and on 7is feet from the
nails, the same positions as the doorways in :oshen! %ith 7is blood applied to the $doorways of our hearts&,
our sins are removed and spiritual death must pass over us! There is so much more to say, but we must move
on!
Thouh 3oses and the Israelites had left ;ypt, they weren2t really free until they came up out of the >ed Sea!
Thouh #hrist2s death provided deliverance from sin, it didn2t become effective until 7is resurrection! And if
/hrist is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins 72 /or 2?$2B8E Interestinly enouh, #hrist rose
from the tomb on the same day of the =ewish calendar that 3oses and the Israelites came up out of the >ed
SeaI
+or the sake of e*pediency, the followin types are iven a cursory look, with little introduction or commentary:
1
3oses cast a tree into the bitter waters, and they became sweet! =esus became cursed of :od
because 7e was haned on a tree
O8
5.eut /?://'/9F :al 9:?96! The cross of #hrist, cast into the bitter
waters of our lives, chanes them into the sweetness of salvation!
.urin 3oses2 administration, the Israelites received manna from heaven 5;* ?M6! #hrist was the true
manna from heaven 5=n! M:ON6!
%hen the Israelites cried out for water, 3oses struck the rock and water poured out! #hrist, the >ock of
our salvation, was struck for us! 7e provides the livin water 5? #or ?8:O6!
%hen =oshua led the Israelites into battle aainst Amalek, they prevailed only while 3oses had his
hands stretched out! %hen his hands rew heavy, Aaron and 7ur stood on either side of him and held
his hands out for him 5;* ?06! ,ikewise, we can only prevail aainst the battle of sin in our lives throuh
the outstretched hands of the crucified #hrist! In fact, it is our very sin, depicted by a thief on either side
of #hrist, which caused 7is hands to be outstretched 53t /0:9N6!
Throuh 3oses :od instituted the covenant of the ,aw 5;* ?Pff6! Throuh #hrist :od instituted the
<ew #ovenant! 53att /M:/NF 7eb P:?H6
3oses was the mediator of the "ld #ovenant 5;* /8:?P6! #hrist is the 3ediator of the <ew #ovenant
5?Tim /:H6!
Throuh 3oses :od instituted the Ten #ommandments 5;* /86! Throuh #hrist :od instituted a new
commandment 5=ohn ?9:9O6!
Throuh 3oses :od instituted the priesthood 5;* /N'/PF Acts 0:/H6! :od installed #hrist as our 7ih
1riest 57eb O:?O6!
3oses was not reconiAed by the people as their leader and deliverer 5;* /:?O6! #hrist also was not
accepted by the =ews as their leader and deliverer 5=ohn ?P:?H6!
Time does not permit us to look into the myriad of types of #hrist in the tabernacle, its services, the various
sacrifices, etc! 7opefully what has been presented here is adequate to demonstrate that, as a type of #hrist,
3oses was specifically a type of #hrist2s first comin, havin its ape* in 7is death and resurrection!
3oses was not allowed to lead the Israelites into #anaan because he disobeyed the ,ord! At the end of his life,
:od told him to ascend the mountain so that he could look over the =ordan >iver and see the 1romised ,and!
There he died and was $athered to his people&! 7ere we see a picture of the ascension of #hrist into heaven
at the close of 7is ministry, durin 7is first comin! Both 3oses and =esus ave farewell addresses to their
followers, then ascended from them, leavin them poised to enter a $promised land&! As a side note, 99 days
passed from the death of 3oses until the Israelites entered #anaan! #hrist was 99 years old when 7e
ascended into heaven!
%oshua
3oses was the reatest leader in the history of the =ewsF therefore we shouldn2t e*pect the life of =oshua to be
as rich in typoloy as that of 3oses! But we aren2t left empty'handed!
As with 3oses, we bein with the name! It has already been noted that )esus is the :reek equivalent of the
7ebrew )oshua! Thus =esus and =oshua shared a name! ,et2s look once more at Adam #larkeRs #ommentary:
1<
Sometimes a cross was fabricated by fastenin a crosspiece to a tree trunk, from which the branches had been
removed! Thus the crucified were literally $hun on a tree&!
1
=esus, the same as =oshua, )^howshuwa_ 5"T: 98P?6, from yaasha_ 5"T: 9OM06, he saved, delivered,
put in a state of safety!
=ust as 3oses saved, delivered, and put the Israelites into a state of safety from their life of bondae, so
=oshua would save, deliver, and put the Israelites into a state of safety from their enemies!
There is a two'fold aspect to the Second #omin of #hrist, which we believe =oshua typifies! These two facets
are: ?6 the leadin of the people into the 1romised ,andF and /6 the vanquishin of his enemies!
>" Leading the Peo+le $n
As the miracle of the partin of the >ed Sea equates with the miracle of spiritual new'birth, so the miracle of
crossin the =ordan at flood stae equates with the miracle of the translation of the saints! In each case a
physical miracle typifies a spiritual miracle! A chane in physical state 5one side of the water to the other6 of the
body typifies a chane in the spiritual state of the body!
As we have previously established, both #anaan and 7eaven are $1romised ,ands&, places of bounty and a
place of final rest! Thus the enterin of #anaan is a type of enterin heaven! To our knowlede there are only
three ways for true believers to enter heaven:
O?
?6 translation 5bypassin death6, as with ;noch and ;li4ahF /6
deathF or 96 bein amon those raptured away at #hrist2s Second #omin! %hile translation is very rare, it is
appointed for men to die once 57eb P:/06! "nce aain, while the analoy of $crossin over =ordan& can apply
to all three modes in a eneral sense, we believe that the <ew Testament writers were applyin it specifically
to the eneration that would be raptured! This was the eneration Ku!on whom the end of the ages had comeI
and who could Ksee the Jay a!!roachingI. They were admonished by the specific e*ample of the Israelites
failin to enter #anaan, to prevent them from doin the same!
Both enerations had the ospel, the $ood news&, preached to them! The Israelites had the promise of
enterin #anaan, but it didn2t profit them because they didn2t mi* it with faith! ,ikewise the ospel of #hrist
must be mi*ed with faith to profit an individual:
Therefore, since a !romise remains of entering >is rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come
short of it. For indeed the gos!el was !reached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard
did not !rofit them, not being mi=ed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter
that rest9 >eb @$2&1a '()*
-ut without faith it is im!ossible to !lease >im, for he who comes to od must believe that >e is, and
that >e is a rewarder of those who diligently see+ >im. >eb 22$% '()*
7ere we see both enerations poised to enter a promised land and their final rest, dependant upon their
response to the ospel preached to them!
%e have previously considered many of the Second #omin and >apture passaes in the chapter $This
eneration&! Thus we know that the rapture is that aspect of #hrist2s Second #omin when #hrist comes for
7is church, and takes them to the place 7e has prepared! So we see in =oshua leadin Israel into #anaan, a
foreshadow of #hrist leadin 7is church into heaven!
:" -neies Van?uished
As we mentioned earlier, the Second #omin of #hrist was two'fold! <ot only did 7e rapture 7is church, 7e
also vanquished 7is enemies! %e see the same in =oshua, who not only led Israel into #anaan, but also led
them in battle to vanquish their enemies before them! 5This is not to say that there are enemies of :od in
11
"r, more accurately, enterin the spiritual dimension! 7eaven could not be entered prior to the consummation of the
<ew #ovenant 57eb P:N6 6, therefore ;noch and ;li4ah 5as well as all other pre'Second #omin saints6 did not receive the
promise, but were waitin to be perfected with the <T eneration at the Second #omin 57eb ??:9P'O86!
1
heaven! All types and analoies break down at some point! %e believe that the point here is the two'fold
aspect to =oshua2s ministry, foreshadowin the two'fold aspect of #hrist2s Second #omin6
Throuhout Scripture, #hrist is portrayed by two diametrically opposed animals ( the lion and the lamb! In 7is
first comin 7e came as the ,amb of :od! >emember =ohn the Baptist2s quote? "-eholdE The 3amb of odI.
In #hrist2s Second #omin 7e came as the ,ion of the tribe of =udah, to pounce upon and vanquish 7is
enemies! True to form, the characters of 3oses and =oshua correspond with this! It is written that $,oses was
very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth!& 5<um ?/:96 3oses had the character of a
lamb! =oshua, on the other hand, was a warrior, a commander in battle! =oshua had the character of a lion! If
you recall from an earlier passae, the Israelites went to battle aainst Amalek! Althouh 3oses was still their
leader, he was up on the hilltop intercedin! =oshua was commandin the battle! Then of course, there2s the
famous battle of =ericho, and the subsequent battles of #anaan!
:od even revealed 7imself differently to 3oses than =oshua! To 3oses 7e revealed 7imself as $the od of
Abraham, Isaac and )acob&, and the $I A3 that I A3&! To =oshua 7e revealed 7imself as $/ommander of the
army of the 3."J&!
O/
7avin seen the type in =oshua, let2s look at the antitype in #hrist:
9since it is a righteous thing with od to re!ay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you
who are troubled rest with us when the 3ord )esus is revealed from heaven with >is mighty angels, in
flaming fire ta+ing vengeance on those who do not +now od, and on those who do not obey the
gos!el of our 3ord )esus /hrist. These shall be !unished with everlasting destruction from the
!resence of the 3ord and from the glory of >is !ower, when >e comes, in that Jay, to be glorified in >is
saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was
believed. 0 Thess 2$%&2F '()*
%e see aain the term $that Jay&, synonymous with $the Jay& of 7ebrews chapter ?8! And what happens
when 7e comes in that Jay? Two thins ( 7e will give rest to those who are troubled, and 7e will ta+e
vengeance on those who do not +now od! The rapture of the saints and the vanquishin of 7is enemies! Two
events, one .ay! Two aspects of the Second #omin, one Second #omin! ,et2s look aain at the passae
from 7ebrews, in a fuller conte*t:
And let us consider one another in order to stir u! love and good wor+s, not forsa+ing the assembling
of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but e=horting one another, and so much the more as
you see the Jay a!!roaching. For if we sin willfully after we have received the +nowledge of the truth,
there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful e=!ectation of Hudgment, and fiery
indignation which will devour the adversaries. >eb 2F$0@&0B '()*
%hy were the 7ebrews e*horted to encourae one another? So that they miht enter :od2s restI If they didn2t
enter 7is rest, what was the alternative? Fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. "nce aain, two
events, one .ay! Two final verses pertainin to #hrist as a warrior at 7is Second'#omin:
'ow out of >is mouth goes a shar! sword, that with it >e should stri+e the nations. And >e >imself will
rule them with a rod of iron. >e >imself treads the wine!ress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty
od9 And the rest were +illed with the sword which !roceeded from the mouth of >im who sat on the
horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh. "ev 2#$2?, 02 '()*
.o you see the two'fold aspect of #hrist2s Second #omin? %e stress this point because many try to separate
the events of the rapture from those of the 4udment! This, we believe, is because they reconiAe the 1reterist
framework of eschatoloy in Scripture, and therefore must assin the last days and #hrist2s Second #omin to
the <ew Testament eneration and the destruction of =erusalem! 7owever, because they have failed to fully
realiAe the spiritual nature of the <ew #ovenant and @indom, they are still lookin for a future, physical return
of #hrist to fulfill a final resurrection of the dead and 4udment! Thus they believe that the Second #omin
occurred in the framework of the destruction of =erusalem in A. 08, fulfillin the imminency passaes!
12
;*! 9:M, ?OF =oshua H:?O
1
7owever, they are lookin for a yet $third& comin of #hrist for final resurrection and 4udment! Those who hold
to this view are enerally called $1artial 1reterists&!
%e believe that the above passaes, as well as many similar ones, teach otherwise! :ranted, thouh there is
one $.ay&, it is not a /O'hour day! The Second #omin involved a process! The rapture happened $in a
moment, in the twinklin of an eye&, but the 4udment was a process, lastin appro*imately 9] years, as
described in >evelation! Similarly, the crossin of the =ordan 5enterin #anaan6 was a relatively brief event, but
vanquishin the enemies took many years! %e believe that the typoloy before us confirms this as well, in that
one person carries out both events, simultaneously! =oshua2s leadin the Israelites into #anaan, and
vanquishin their enemies, o hand in hand! )ou can2t have one without the other! %hile the events of the first
and Second #omins are obviously separate and typified by different people 53oses and =oshua6, the two
facets of the Second #omin are not separated, neither in type, nor antitype! The $+ull 1reterist& framework
that we have been presentin fits perfectly with the teachin of the <ew Testament and the typoloy of the "ld
Testament, while a 1artial 1reterist framework calls for a $third comin& of #hrist, which must be forced into the
<ew Testament teachin, and does not fit the "ld Testament typoloy! %e feel that this premise is further
strenthened by the fact that durin =oshua2s ministry and #hrist2s Second #omin all of the promises to their
respective enerations were fulfilled:
'ot a word failed of any good thing which the 3."J had s!o+en to the house of Israel. All came to
!ass. )osh 02$@? '()*
Since =oshua is a type of #hrist in 7is Second #omin, we see this thouht echoed in the events surroundin
the destruction of =erusalem, in the days of #hrist2s Second #omin:
-ut when you see )erusalem surrounded by armies, then +now that its desolation is near9 For these
are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 3u+e 02$0F, 00 '()*
,et us briefly, then, summariAe this section! 3oses personifies the first comin of #hrist! In him we see the
,amb of :od, who takes away the sins of the world! %e see the deliverance from the bondae of sin throuh
the death and resurrection of #hrist! =oshua personifies the Second #omin of #hrist! In him we see the ,ion
of the tribe of =udah, who leads 7is people into the 1romised ,and, and vanquishes their enemies! Two facets
of one Second #omin, occurrin in the same time period!
The Tiing
In our estimation, this is one of the most compellin portions, from a 1reterist perspective! After spendin about
/ years in the desert, receivin the ,aw and establishin the Tabernacle and its 1riesthood, the Israelites were
poised to enter #anaan! As we have read above, they did not mi* the promise with faith, but shrunk back in
fear! :od became anry with that eneration 5those /8 years old and older6, and made Israel wander in the
desert another 9N years, until that eneration had all died! #onsider this commentary from the book of
7ebrews:
For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Ggy!t, led by ,oses? 'ow
with whom was >e angry forty years
@1
? Was it not with those who sinned, whose cor!ses fell in the
wilderness? And to whom did >e swear that they would not enter >is rest, but to those who did not
obey? 5o we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. >eb 1$2%&2# '()*
1"
Althouh technically :od was only anry with them for 9N years after refusin to enter #anaan, the author of 7ebrews
rounds off the number to O8, which was the total amount of time spent in the wilderness! Also, O8 years is considered to
be the lenth of a eneration, so sayin that O8 years passed is the same as sayin, $that eneration passed&! This
passae in 7ebrews is not a dissertation on "ld Testament timelines, rather an e*ample of a eneration bein 4uded!
Also, :od was anry with them at times durin their /'year 4ourney from ;ypt to the border of #anaan, allowin us to
add those two years to the thirty'eiht!
1
Is there any question as to whom :od was anry with, and who died in the wilderness? The same eneration
to which :od said $I2m anry with you& is the one that perished in the wilderness! ,ikewise, the same
eneration to which =esus said $this eneration& was the eneration that saw $all these thins&! It2s almost as if
the author of 7ebrews is sayin, $is there any doubt as to which "ld Testament eneration received the
4udment of :od and didn2t enter 7is rest? <either should there be any doubt as to which eneration =esus
was referrin to&! In both cases the eneration that heard the 4udment also saw the 4udment!
:od was anry with the "ld Testament eneration for forty years, and they perished in the wilderness! Is it 4ust
coincidence, or irony, that forty years after the =ews re4ected their 3essiah, ?!? million of #hrist2s eneration
died durin the siee of =erusalem and, concernin the temple, not one stone was left upon another?
Is it 4ust coincidence that the <ew Testament authors saw the approachin .ay, and admonished the church
with the e*ample of a previous eneration that had missed their $day&? Their 4udment was not held for some
future date! As we are raphically told, $their corpses fell in the wilderness&! To say that the corpses that fell in
MM'08 A., with all of the accompanyin tribulations, were not a fulfillment of #hrist2s prophecies, is to take a
piece that is perfectly fitted in the puAAle and force it into another place!
#n #dulterous 7eneration
<otice what kind of eneration #hrist said souht for a sin! An $adulterous& eneration! The theme of Israel as
an adulterous nation is woven throuhout Scripture! %hy this term? Because Israel had been $betrothed& to
:od at 3t! Sinai 5=er /:/F 9:?OF ;A ?M:N'P, 9N6! Therefore, their unbelief and worship of forein ods was
viewed as adultery, or fornication in 7is siht! %e will develop this theme further under the headin The
Alagues!
This adulterous eneration of #hrist2s day is depicted as the reat harlot of >evelation! Their most ereious
act of harlotry had been the re4ection of the "ne to %hom they had been betrothed, their 3essiah, the
Brideroom! As in the parable of the %eddin Supper, they refused to attend, so others were invited! %hy is
Israel2s unbelief and wanderin after other ods couched in terms of moral infidelity? Because there is only one
scriptural allowance for divorce ( adultery! At 3t! Sinai Israel was betrothed to :od ( in A. 08 the divorce
became finalI
%hen :od told the Israelites that they would not enter #anaan, but would die in the wilderness, they suddenly
had a chane of heart! They decided to enter in after all! 7owever, :od said that it was too late! As in the days
of <oah, when the door to the Ark was shut, the invitation was closed 53t /O:9N'9P6! <evertheless, they tried to
o to battle aainst the inhabitants of #anaan, and were soundly defeated 5<um ?O:9P'OH6! Similarly, #hrist2s
eneration missed their invitation as well:
'ow as >e drew near, >e saw the city and we!t over it, saying, "If you had +nown, even you, es!ecially
in this your day, the things that ma+e for your !eaceE -ut now they are hidden from your eyes. For
days will come u!on you when your enemies will build an emban+ment around you, surround you and
close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not
leave in you one stone u!on another, because you did not +now the time of your visitation." 3u+e
2#$@2&@@ '()*
To summariAe ( the first eneration of the nation of Israel stood at the threshold of enterin the 1romised
,and, but due to unbelief, failed to do so! =udment was pronounced upon that eneration, and that eneration
perished! The 4udment was completed within forty years of bein decreed, the span of one eneration!
7inin upon their 4udment was the enterin of #anaan by their children! There was no lon time span
between the 4udment of the rebellious eneration, and the entrance into the 1romised ,and by those who had
not shown unbelief!
The last eneration of national Israel 5and the first eneration of spiritual Israel6 stood at the threshold of
enterin the 1romised ,and, via a new covenant mediated by their 3essiah, but due to unbelief, failed to do
so! =udment was pronounced upon that eneration, and that eneration perished in 08A.! The 4udment was
1
completed within forty years of bein decreed, the span of one eneration! 7inin upon their 4udment was
the enterin of 7eaven by the #hurch! There was no lon time span between the 4udment of the rebellious
eneration, and the entrance into the 1romised ,and by those who believed in the 3essiah!
The Offs+ring
The children of the rebellious eneration represent the <ew Testament #hurch! These children, the ne*t
eneration, did enter the 1romised ,and! The #hurch was :od2s ne*t chosen eneration, and they also
entered the 1romised ,and ( 7eaven:
-ut your little ones, whom you said would be victims, I will bring in, and they shall +now the land which
you have des!ised. 'um 2@$12 '()*
,en and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear (od, to you this
word of this salvation has been sent9
And we declare to you glad tidings M that !romise which was made to the fathers. od has fulfilled this
for us their children, in that >e has raised u! )esus. Acts 21$0%, 10 '()* 7em!hasis added8
The promise oriinally made to the =ews 5the fathers6 was re4ected by them! That promise, the :lad Tidins,
was now bein offered to the #hurch 5those who fear :od6, the children of the fathers:
">ear another !arable$ There was a certain landowner who !lanted a vineyard and set a hedge around
it, dug a wine!ress in it and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country.
'ow when vintage&time drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its
fruit. And the vinedressers too+ his servants, beat one, +illed one, and stoned another. Again he sent
other servants, more than the first, and they did li+ewise to them. Then last of all he sent his son to
them, saying, 4They will res!ect my son.4 -ut when the vinedressers saw the son, they said among
themselves, 4This is the heir. /ome, let us +ill him and sei;e his inheritance.4 5o they too+ him and cast
him out of the vineyard and +illed him. Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he
do to those vinedressers?" They said to >im, ">e will destroy those wic+ed men miserably, and lease
his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons." )esus said to
them, ">ave you never read in the 5cri!tures$
4The stone which the builders reHected
>as become the chief cornerstone.
This was the 3."J4s doing,
And it is marvelous in our eyes4?

Therefore I say to you, the +ingdom of od will be ta+en from you and given to a nation bearing the
fruits of it. And whoever falls on this stone will be bro+en; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to
!owder." 'ow when the chief !riests and Aharisees heard >is !arables, they !erceived that >e was
s!ea+ing of them. -ut when they sought to lay hands on >im, they feared the multitudes, because they
too+ >im for a !ro!het. ,t 02$11&@% '()*
They +new that this parable was spoken aainst them, yet they would soon re4ect the chief cornerstone and kill
the Beloved Son 5as in ,uke2s account6! The vineyard and kindom would be taken from them and iven to
others ( the #hristian #hurch! They would not enter in, but the $ne*t eneration& would! The first century
church was that ne*t eneration:
/oming to >im as to a living stone, reHected indeed by men, but chosen by od and !recious, you also,
as living stones, are being built u! a s!iritual house, a holy !riesthood, to offer u! s!iritual sacrifices
acce!table to od through )esus /hrist. Therefore it is also contained in the 5cri!ture,
K-ehold, I lay in Cion
A chief cornerstone, elect, !recious,
And he who believes on >im will by no means be !ut to shame.I
1
Therefore, to you who believe, >e is !recious; but to those who are disobedient,
The stone which the builders reHected
>as become the chief cornerstone,
And,
A stone of stumbling
And a roc+ of offense.I
They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were a!!ointed. -ut you are a
chosen generation, a royal !riesthood, a holy nation, His own special people9 who were once not a
!eo!le but are now the people of (od92 Aeter 0$@&#a, 2Fa '()* 5emphasis added6
The first century #hristians were iven the kindom of :od 5vineyard6! They accepted what the =ews, as a
nation, had re4ected! They were now >is own s!ecial !eo!le, fulfillin the typoloy of the =ews, who had been
a s!ecial treasure above all the !eo!les on the face of the earth9 5.t 0:M6! They entered the 1romised ,and
that had been offered to a previous $chosen people&, 4ust as in the days of 3oses:
-ut your little ones, whom you said would be victims, I will bring in, and they shall +now the land which
you have des!ised. 'um 2@$12 '()*
%here did the offsprin of the rebellious eneration o while :od 4uded that eneration? Into the wilderness,
until the time came for them to enter the 1romised ,and! To where did the #hristians flee, when =erusalem was
surrounded by armies in :od2s 4udment, awaitin their redemption that was drawin nih? Into the wilderness
5,uke /?:/8'/?6I =osephus records how #estius, in the very early staes of the >oman siee upon =erusalem,
retreated for no apparent reason:
Book /, #hapter ?P ( And now the seditious, insomuch that many of them ran out of the city, as thouh
it were to be taken immediatelyF but the people upon this took courae, and where the wicked part of
the city ave round, thither did they come, in order to set open the ates, and to admit #estius as their
benefactor, who, had he b!t contin!ed the siege a little longer, had certainly taken the city; but it
was, I suppose, owin to the aversion :od had already at the city and the sanctuary, that he was
hindered from puttin an end to the war that very day! It then happened that #estius was not
conscious either how the besieed despaired of success, nor how couraeous the people were for himF
and so he recalled his soldiers from the place, and by despairin of any e*pectation of takin it, without
havin received any disrace, he retired from the city, witho!t any reason in the world# 5emphasis
added6
%illiam %histon, the translator of =osephus2 works above, makes the followin observation concernin this
strane behavior of #estius:
There may another very important, and very providential, reason be here assined for this strane and
foolish retreat of #estiusF which, if =osephus had been now a #hristian, he miht probably have taken
notice of alsoF and that is, the affordin the =ewish #hristians in the city an opportunity of callin to mind
the prediction and caution iven them by #hrist about thirty'three years and a half before, that $when
they should see the abomination of desolation& Jthe idolatrous >oman armies, with the imaes of their
idols in their ensins, ready to lay =erusalem desolate,K $stand where it ouht notF& or $in the holy placeF&
or, $when they should see =erusalem encompassed with armies,& they should then $flee to the
mountains!& By complyin with which those =ewish #hristians fled to the mountains of 1erea, and
escaped this destruction! <or was there, perhaps, any one instance of a more unpolitic, but more
providential conduct than this retreat of #estius, visible durin this whole siee of =erusalemF which yet
was providentially such a $reat tribulation, as had not been from the beinnin of the world to that
timeF no, nor ever should be!& Jbrackets in oriinalK
%e note also that =osephus, himself a =ew, realiAed that :od had an aversion to the city and the sanctuary!
The Two and One@half Tribes
1
The tribes of >ueben and :ad and one'half of the tribe of 3anasseh decided to settle east of the =ordan >iver!
They did not receive any allotment in the land of #anaan!
OO
They are a picture of those who have an outward
appearance of #hristianity, but are not truly born'aain! They don2t enter in! Althouh by outward appearance
they seemed as much a part of Israel as the other tribes, when the time of enterin #anaan came, their true
nature was revealed ( their hearts were not set on the 1romised ,and! ,ikewise, at the rapture those who had
an outward appearance of #hristianity, but were not truly born'aain, would be revealed! 3an looks at the
outward appearance, but :od looks at the heart 5? Sam ?M:06! <ot everyone who has the outward appearance
of #hristianity will enter the @indom:
'ot everyone who says to ,e, K3ord, 3ord,I shall enter the +ingdom of heaven, but he who does the
will of ,y Father in heaven. ,any will say to ,e in that day, K3ord, 3ord, have we not !ro!hesied in
Lour name, cast out demons in Lour name, and done many wonders in Lour name?I And then I will
declare to them, KI never +new you; de!art from ,e, you who !ractice lawlessnessEI ,t B$02&01 '()*
For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of
Abraham; but, KIn Isaac your seed shall be called.I That is, those who are the children of the flesh,
these are not the children of od; but the children of the !romise are counted as the seed. "om #$%b&
6 '()*
"nly when we stand on the other side of the =ordan will we know the true conditions of the hearts of those
around us! %e will know by who is standin with us, and who didn2t cross over!
%oshua and Caleb
=ust as we will never know what the conquest of #anaan would have been like if Israel had marched in the first
time, so we will never know how events would have unfolded if Israel, as a nation, had received their 3essiah!
These national re4ections resulted in national 4udments in both cases! 7owever, even in 4udment, :od shows
mercy! In both instances, those individuals who did believe in :od2s promise were not 4uded with their
respective enerations!
=oshua and #aleb were the only two individuals from their rebellious eneration that entered #anaan 5<um
?O:986! They had believed that :od was oin to deliver the land into their hands, and were willin to enter!
Therefore, :od did allow them to enter, althouh they had to wait until 7is 4udment was carried out on the rest
of their eneration!
In the same manner, thouh the =ews as a nation re4ected #hrist as 3essiah, many =ews did receive 7im
OH
,
and were counted amon the believers! These =ews did not enter heaven at the moment of their belief, but had
to wait until #hrist came in 4udment on their eneration, at which time 7e also raptured the church!
The Plagues
1laues seem to be :od2s 4udment of choice in matters of infidelity, whether physical or spiritual! %hen
Abram introduced Sarai to 1haraoh as his sister, :od sent a plaue on 1haraoh2s house after he attempted to
add her to his harem 5:en ?/:?06! #onsider also the 4udment upon an unfaithful wife, accordin to the ,aw:
When he has made her drin+ the water, then it shall be, if she has defiled herself and behaved
unfaithfully toward her husband, that the water that brings a curse will enter her and become bitter, and
her belly will swell, her thigh will rot, and the woman will become a curse among her !eo!le. 'um
?$0B '()*
11
<um! 9/:9?'99
16
Acts ?O:?F ?0:?'O, ?8'?/F ?N:OF /?:/8
1
Is that not a plaue on an individual level? Thus we should not be surprised to see plaues as 4udments upon
Israel because, at 3ount Sinai, Israel was betrothed to :od:
o and cry in the hearing of )erusalem, saying, KThus says the 3."J$
DI remember you,
The +indness of your youth,
The love of your betrothal,
When you went after ,e in the wilderness,
In a land not sown.PI
)er 0$0 '()*
K"eturn, . bac+sliding children,I says the 3."J; Kfor I am married to you9I )er 1$2@ '()*
5o ,oses came and told the !eo!le all the words of the 3."J and all the Hudgments. And all the
!eo!le answered with one voice and said, "All the words which the 3."J has said we will do." G= 0@$1
'()*
)et even as 3oses was up on the mount ettin the final $marriae papers&, the people bean their harlotries,
by makin a olden calf and worshippin it! :od, who is a 4ealous :od 5;* /8:H6, sent a plaue amon them:
5o the 3."J !lagued the !eo!le because of what they did with the calf which Aaron made. G= 10$1?
'()*
%hen the Israelites did not trust :od to brin them into the 1romised ,and, :od viewed that as an act of
infidelity, and killed the ten disbelievin spies with a plaue:
And your sons shall be she!herds in the wilderness forty years, and bear the brunt of your infidelity,
until your carcasses are consumed in the wilderness9'ow the men whom ,oses sent to s!y out the
land, who returned and made all the congregation com!lain against him by bringing a bad re!ort of the
land, those very men who brought the evil re!ort about the land, died by the !lague before the 3."J.
'um 2@$11, 1%&16 '()* 7em!hasis added8
Israel also played the harlot with Baal of 1eor, and was 4uded with a plaue:
They Hoined themselves also to -aal of Aeor,
And ate sacrifices made to the dead.
Thus they !rovo+ed >im to anger with their deeds,
And the !lague bro+e out among them. As 2F%$06&0# '()*
As :od was establishin the Israelites as a nation, 7e warned them that if they turned from 7im, they would
suffer 7is wrath, which included plaues:
KI am the 3."J your od, who brought you out of the land of Ggy!t, that you should not be their
slaves; I have bro+en the bands of your yo+e and made you wal+ u!right.
-ut if you do not obey ,e, and do not observe all these commandments, and if you des!ise ,y
statutes, or if your soul abhors ,y Hudgments, so that you do not !erform all ,y commandments, but
brea+ ,y covenant, I also will do this to you$ I will even a!!oint terror over you, wasting disease and
fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain,
for your enemies shall eat it. I will set ,y face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies.
Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one !ursues you.
And after all this, if you do not obey ,e, then I will !unish you seven times more for your sins. I will
brea+ the !ride of your !ower; I will ma+e your heavens li+e iron and your earth li+e bron;e. And your
strength shall be s!ent in vain; for your land shall not yield its !roduce, nor shall the trees of the land
yield their fruit.
1
Then, if you wal+ contrary to ,e, and are not willing to obey ,e, I will bring on you seven times more
!lagues, according to your sins.I 3ev 0%$21&02 '()*
"-ut it shall come to !ass, if you do not obey the voice of the 3."J your od, to observe carefully all
>is commandments and >is statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come u!on
you and overta+e you$
The 3."J will ma+e the !lague cling to you until >e has consumed you from the land which you are
going to !ossess.I Jeut 06$2?, 00 '()*
"If you do not carefully observe all the words of this law that are written in this boo+, that you may fear
this glorious and awesome name, T>G 3."J L.N" .J, then the 3."J will bring u!on you and
your descendants e=traordinary !lagues && great and !rolonged !lagues && and serious and !rolonged
sic+nesses. ,oreover >e will bring bac+ on you all the diseases of Ggy!t, of which you were afraid,
and they shall cling to you. Also every sic+ness and every !lague, which is not written in this -oo+ of
the 3aw, will the 3."J bring u!on you until you are destroyed. Jeut 06$?6&%2 '()*
Dndoubtedly, all nations 5and individuals6 deserve :od2s wrath and 4udment! But from whom do we e*pect
more loyalty ( a spouse, or other relatives and acquaintances? %ouldn2t we also e*pect :od to require more
loyalty from Israel, than from other nations? After all, 7e chose them, not any other nation:
For you are a holy !eo!le to the 3."J your od; the 3."J your od has chosen you to be a !eo!le
for >imself, a s!ecial treasure above all the !eo!les on the face of the earth. Jeut B$% '()*
Israel was a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth! :od had warned them of the
penalty of turnin from 7im! In liht of these facts, doesn2t it make sense that the plaues of >evelation are
:od deliverin on 7is promise to Israel, and not the whole world? %as the whole world betrothed to :od? <o '
therefore it was impossible for the world to be unfaithful to 7im in the sense that Israel was! .id =esus say to
the world, $you have missed the day of your visitation&? Aain, no! %hile the ospel is available to all the
nations, only Israel was a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth! Therefore, only Israel
was warned about, then received the plaues that are a result of spiritual infidelity! <ot 4ust run'of'the'mill
plaues were they warned about, but seven times more !lagues, e=traordinary !lagues && great and !rolonged
!lagues, and every !lague, which is not written in this -oo+ of the 3aw, will the 3."J bring u!on you until you
are destroyed. .oes this not sound like the intensity of the plaues in >evelation? Is it coincidence that
,eviticus /M speaks of four sevenfold 4udments, and in >evelation we see four sevenfold 4udments?
And after all this, if you do not obey ,e, then I will !unish you seven times more for your sins. 3ev
0%$26 '()*
Then, if you wal+ contrary to ,e, and are not willing to obey ,e, I will bring on you seven times more
!lagues, according to your sins. 3ev 0%$02'()*
And if by these things you are not reformed by ,e, but wal+ contrary to ,e,
then I also will wal+ contrary to you, and I will !unish you yet seven times for your sins. 3ev 0%$01&0@
'()*
And after all this, if you do not obey ,e, but wal+ contrary to ,e,
then I also will wal+ contrary to you in fury;
and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. 3ev 0%$0B&06 '()*
I watched as the 3amb o!ened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living
creatures say in a voice li+e thunder, "/omeE" I loo+ed, and there before me was a white horseE Its rider
held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conOueror bent on conOuest. "ev %$2&0
'()*
Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets !re!ared to sound them. "ev 6$% '()*
1
I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign$ seven angels with the seven last plagues & last,
because with them od4s wrath is com!leted. "ev 2?$2 '()*
Then I heard a loud voice from the tem!le saying to the seven angels, "o, !our out the seven bowls
of od4s wrath on the earth." "ev 2%$2 '()*
#an Babylon, the reat harlot of >evelation, be any other than the final eneration of Israel, who was so taken
by her other $lovers& that she didn2t even reconiAe the "ne to %hom she was betrothed? Before they had
even entered the 1romised ,and, :od told 3oses that the Israelites would play the harlot, and that 7is aner
would come upon them in that day:
And the 3."J said to ,oses$ "-ehold, you will rest with your fathers; and this !eo!le will rise and !lay
the harlot with the gods of the foreigners of the land, where they go to be among them, and they will
forsa+e ,e and brea+ ,y covenant which I have made with them. Then ,y anger shall be aroused
against them in that day, and I will forsa+e them, and I will hide ,y face from them, and they shall be
devoured. And many evils and troubles shall befall them, so that they will say in that day, D>ave not
these evils come u!on us because our od is not among us?P And I will surely hide ,y face in that day
because of all the evil which they have done, in that they have turned to other gods. Jeut 12$2%&26
'()*
%hat was foretold in .euteronomy is revealed in >evelation, for it depicts the many evils and troubles that
befell the nation of Israel for their harlotries! This is further confirmed by the fact that Babylon is uilty of the
blood of the saints:
5o he carried me away in the 5!irit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast
which was full of names of blas!hemy, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in
!ur!le and scarlet, and adorned with gold and !recious stones and !earls, having in her hand a golden
cu! full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written$
,L5TG"L, -A-L3.' T>G "GAT, T>G ,.T>G" .F >A"3.T5 A'J .F T>G A-.,I'ATI.'5 .F
T>G GA"T>. I saw the woman, drun+ with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the
martyrs of &esus$ And when I saw her, I marveled with great ama;ement. "ev 2B$1&% '()*
After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth
was illuminated with his glory. And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, "-abylon the great is
fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling !lace of demons, a !rison for every foul s!irit, and a cage
for every unclean and hated birdE For all the nations have drun+ of the wine of the wrath of her
fornication, the +ings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth
have become rich through the abundance of her lu=ury."
And I heard another voice from heaven saying, "/ome out of her, my !eo!le, lest you share in her sins,
and lest you receive of her !lagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and od has remembered
her iniOuities. "ender to her Hust as she rendered to you, and re!ay her double according to her wor+s;
in the cu! which she has mi=ed, mi= double for her. In the measure that she glorified herself and lived
lu=uriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, 4I sit as Oueen,
and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.4 Therefore her !lagues will come in one day && death and
mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the 3ord od who Hudges
her.
""eHoice over her, . heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for (od has avenged you on
her7!0 6nd in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the
earth$2 "ev 26$2&6, 0F, 0@ '()* 5emphases added6
=esus told the scribes and 1harisees of 7is day that they would be uilty of $all the righteous blood shed on
the earth :land<, from the blood of righteous Able to the blood of Cechariah-& 53t /9:9H6! =ohn states in
>evelation that in Babylon was found the blood of all who were slain on the earth JlandK 5v! /O6! 7ow can
1
Babylon be anythin but =erusalem, and the apostate =ews, whose house was left unto them desolate?
#onsider also #hrist2s warnin to the disciples:

"-ut when you see )erusalem surrounded by armies, then +now that its desolation is near. Then let
those who are in )udea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her de!art, and let not
those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are
written may be fulfilled. 3u+e 02$0F&01 '()*
.oesn2t that sound like "/ome out of her, my !eo!le, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her
!lagues? The #hristians did come out of her when they saw the >oman armies surroundin =erusalem! They
fled into the wilderness, as we have noted earlier! Then came the days of veneance, and all things which are
written were fulfilled, and :od avened 7is saints, in A. 08! <otice that in >evelation ?N:N that the harlot will
be utterly burned with fire! %e have previously seen from the accounts of =osephus how =erusalem was utterly
burned and destroyed by the >omans!
In "evelation Four *iews, :re notes some of the interpretations that futurists apply to ,ystery, -abylon the
reat:
3any, includin >yrie, :aebelein, and Ironside, aree with %alvoord, who understands the harlot to be
a reliious entity, a coalition of apostate churches, head'quartered in >ome and, most probably,
dominated by the Catican- "ther commentators interpret Babylon principally in political, cultural, or
commercial terms, a representative of the anti':od systems of man in any ae!
;lsewhere in Scripture, the word harlot, when not speakin of an actual woman, enerally refers to
apostate =udaism, and alludes to the practice of spiritual adultery, usually includin the worship of idols,
as %alvoord writes:
The symbolism of spiritual adultery is not ordinarily used of heathen nations who know not :od,
but always of people who outwardly carry the name of :od while actually worshippin and
servin other ods!
5pp! O8?'O896
If the term harlot, in a spiritual sense, enerally applies to apostate =udaism, and is not ordinarily used of
heathen nations who know not :od 5e!! >ome6, why look for the meanin of ,ystery -abylon outside of those
parameters? ;specially since it was the nation of Israel who was betrothed to :od ( and thus qualified to
commit spiritual adultery ( and who refused the $weddin invitation&? :re quotes :abelein, who identifies
the harlot with >omanism, in reference to the phrase drun+ with the blood of :od2s people:
The inquisition, the torture'chambers, the countless victims who were burned to death and cruelly
tortured, the unspeakable horrors of centuries of violence and murder come to our minds as we read
this description! 5p! O806
1erhaps those events come to the minds of +uturists, but we must wonder how the horror of centuries of
violence can be applied to events which >evelation states must shortly come to !ass 5?:?6, whose time was
near 5?:96, were about to come 59:?86 and must shortly ta+e !lace 5//:M6? ;ven with a late date for the writin
of >evelation, centuries of horror cannot be fit into these terms! "n the other hand, =esus said, )erusalem,
)erusalem, the one who #ill the prophets9 your house is left to you desolate 53t /9:90'9N6!
#onsider also the fact that spiritual =erusalem has physical =erusalem as its antithesisF one is heavenly, the
other earthlyF one above, the other belowF one free, the other in bondae! %hat, then, answers to the
characteristic of spiritual =erusalem bein the Bride of #hrist? Surely it must be the harlot BabylonI Thus we
see two female characteristics in the spiritual and physical =erusalems ( the faithful Bride, and the unfaithful
bride! In liht of the fact that the Bible is a revelation of :od2s redemptive plan, and that eschatoloy focuses
on the $last days& of the "ld #ovenant and the transition to the <ew, we feel that =erusalem ( and only
=erusalem ( qualifies as the harlot of Babylon!
1
So once aain we see type and anti'type in the first and last enerations of national Israel! The first eneration
saw the plaues sent upon ;ypt because 1haraoh would not let :od2s people 57is bride'to'be6 o to 7im!
:od is a 4ealous :od! The last eneration saw the plaues sent upon their own selves because they had
re4ected the Brideroom! :od is a 4ealous :od!
Pre@ and Post@National %ews
Israel became a nation once aain in ?PON! This is one of the cornerstones of +uturist eschatoloy! +uturists
believe now that Israel e*ists once aain as a nation, the prophetic time clock, which was paused durin their
non'e*istence, has once aain restarted! The 4udments and the Second'#omin discussed above can now
take place! ;verythin that happened in A. 08 was 4ust a partial 4udment, or perhaps a type of the final
4udment, but it wasn2t the real deal!
7owever, 4ust because Israel is reconiAed by the world as a nation, does that mean that :od also reconiAes
them as such? <ot necessarily! In fact, we believe that :od is scripturally prohibited from reconiAin them as
a nation ever aainI %e have already seen that Israel was symbolically married to :od 5=er /:/, 9:?O6! %e
know that they were 4uded as a harlot, and that they didn2t attend the reat weddin supper 53t //:?'?96! As
in the parable, armies were sent out aainst the =ews, the murderers were destroyed, and their city was
burned! %hile the term $divorce& is not used concernin the final eneration of Israel, it is implied by the fact
that :od the Son is presented with a bride 5the #hurch6 in >evelation
OM
! 7ow can :od be free to marry another,
if 7e is still married to Israel? As previously stated, :od had scriptural rounds to divorce Israel:
KAnd I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, e=ce!t for se=ual immorality, and marries another,
commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.I ,t 2#$# '()*
Israel had been playin the harlot for centuries! >e4ectin her 3essiah, the Brideroom, was the last straw!
The kindom 5vineyard6 was taken from her and iven to another! <ever do we see the kindom 5vineyard6
returnin to the oriinal vine'dressers! %ho is the new bride?
For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may !resent you as a chaste virgin to /hrist. 0 /or
22$0b
@B
'()*
It is the #hurchI ;arlier we stated that :od is prohibited from reconiAin the nation of Israel ever aain, i!e!,
as 7is special, chosen people! %hy do we believe this? Because of the followin:
5eeing then that we have a great >igh Ariest who has !assed through the heavens, )esus the 5on of
od9 >eb @$2@ '()*
=esus is our 7ih 1riest! As a 7ih 1riest, 7e can only marry a certain type of bride:
>e who is the high !riest among his brethren9shall ta+e a wife in her virginity. A widow or a divorced
woman or a defiled woman or a harlot M these he shall not marry; but he shall ta+e a virgin of his own
!eo!le as wife. 3ev 02$2F, 21&2@ '()*
<ational Israel certainly does not meet the qualifications! 7owever, accordin to 1aul in / #orinthians, the
#hurch does:
For I am Healous for you with godly Healousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may
!resent you as a chaste virgin to /hrist. 0 /or 22$0 '()*
,est we think that Israel could ever be $reconciled& as a nation to :od, consider the followin:
17
>ev! ?P:0'NF //:/, P
1%
cf! ;ph! H://'99
1
When a man ta+es a wife and marries her, and it ha!!ens that she finds no favor in his eyes because
he has found some uncleanness in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, !uts it in her hand,
and sends her out of his house, when she has de!arted from his house, and goes and becomes
another mansP wife, if the latter husband detests her and writes her a certificate of divorce, !uts it in her
hand, and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who too+ her as his wife, then her
former husband who divorced her must not ta#e her bac# to be his wife after she has been
defiled; for that is an abomination before the 3ord9Jeut 0@$2&@ '()*
Based upon Scripture, :od cannot ever take the nation of Israel back to 7imself as a special people!
+urthermore, the #hurch is betrothed to :od forever:
And it shall be, in that day,
5ays the 3."J,
That you will call ,e K,y >usbandI
I will betroth you to ,e forever;
Les, I will betroth you to ,e
In righteousness and Hustice,
In loving+indness and mercy;
I will betroth you to ,e in faithfulness,
And you shall +now the 3."J
Then I will say to those who were not ,y !eo!le,
KLou are ,y !eo!leEI
And they shall say, KLou are my odEI >osea 0$2%, 2#&0F, 01 '()*
At first this passae appears to be speakin of physical, national Israel! 7owever, 1eter applies this to the
#hurch, in the passae where he establishes the #hurch as the spiritual fulfillment of national Israel2s type
ON
as
:od2s chosen people:
Therefore, to you who believe, >e is !recious; but to those who are disobedient,
The stone which the builders reHected
>as become the chief cornerstone,
And,
A stone of stumbling
And a roc+ of offense.I
They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were a!!ointed. -ut you are a chosen
generation, a royal !riesthood, a holy nation, >is own s!ecial !eo!le9 who were once not a people
but are now the people of (od9 2 Aeter 0$@&#a, 2Fa '()* 7em!hasis added8
%e believe that these verses teach that :od cannot restore the nation of Israel to $chosen people& status
aain! .oes this mean that =ews are prohibited from enterin the @indom? Absolutely notI =ews can enter on
an individual basis like everyone else, 4ust not on a national basis! This was discussed under the headin
$=oshua and #aleb&, as well as the chapter Israel And the 'ew /ovenant! The #hurch is made up of all
peoples, and is spiritual Israel, the spiritual seed of Abraham:
There is neither )ew nor ree+, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you
are all one in /hrist )esus. And if you are /hristPs, then you are AbrahamPs seed, and heirs according
to the !romise. al 1$06&0# '()*
Althouh the nation of Israel was destroyed in A. 08, individual =ews did survive the war! They survive even to
this day, thouh, as one could imaine, the bloodline must be e*tremely diluted! Similarly, there were individual
1*
This is not to imply that :od re4ected 7is former $chosen people& 5>om! ??:?ff6! >ather, as the "ld #ovenant was
replaced, most =ews refused to accept the <ew #ovenant! There was however, a remnant that did 5>om! ??:H6! As the
#ovenants chaned, so did the composition of the $chosen people&, those who walked in the #ovenants!
1
=ews before Israel became a nation! Abram, and thus his offsprin, was called a $7ebrew& 5:en ?O:?9F ;*
/:??6! Israelites were called 7ebrews until that term was replaced by the term $=ews& in the poste*ilic period!
Israel did not become a nation until :od delivered unto them the ,aw, which told them how to be a nation:
'ow the 3."J had said to Abram9I will ma+e you a great nation.I en 20$2, 0 '()*
'ow therefore, if you will indeed obey ,y voice and +ee! ,y covenant, then you shall be a s!ecial
treasure to ,e above all !eo!le; for all the earth is ,ine. And you shall be to ,e a +ingdom of !riests
and a holy nation. G= 2#$?&% '()*
"nce aain we see the first and last enerations of national Israel mirrorin each other, in that there are
individual =ews 57ebrews6 on both sides of them ( 1re'national 7ebrews 5Abraham to 3oses6 and 1ost'
national =ews 5A. 08 to the present6!
%hat about all the fanfare concernin the restored nation of Israel and the plans to rebuild the temple? ,ike the
rebellious eneration in 3oses2 day, they are tryin to force their way in after the window of opportunity has
passed! "thers received what was oriinally offered to them! The kindom was taken from Saul and iven to
.avid! It was never returned to Saul! The vineyard 5kindom6 was taken from the oriinal vine'dressers and
iven to others! It was never returned! The weddin banquet invitation was e*tended to others! It was never re'
offered to those who initially refused it!
Suar!
'ow all these things ha!!ened to them as e=am!les :ty!es<, and they were written for our admonition,
u!on whom the ends of the ages have come. 2 /or 2F$22 '()*
%hose admonition were these thins written for? The <ew Testament eneration to which 1aul was writinI
This is not to say that other enerations cannot profit from the e*amples as well! But is it oin too far to
suest that 1aul is actually sayin that ;*odus and <umbers were written for his eneration? =ust as =ohn
wrote to his readers Lbut these have been written that you may believe that )esus is the /hrist, the 5on of
od; and that believing you may have life in >is nameL 5=ohn /8:9? <ASB6, so 1aul is sayin $these things
were written-& to admonish his eneration! %hy? Because the end of the aes had come upon them! %hat
did that mean to them? Accordin to the book of 7ebrews, they were about to enter their rest! They could see
the Jay approachin! 7ow many of these thins served as e*amples? A,, "+ T7;3I It appears that all these
thins happened by divine appointment to provide an e*ample to the final eneration of national Israel and the
first eneration of spiritual Israel! ;ven thouh there were many lessons to be learned from the Israelites two'
year 4ourney towards #anaan, I believe that the emphasis here is on the fact that they did not enter, and the
accompanyin details! 1aul2s eneration was on the brink of becomin the spiritual antitype 5fulfillment6 of the
natural type! Aain, from 7ebrews:
And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the !romise, od having
something better for us, that they should not be made !erfect a!art from us. >eb 22$1#&@F '()*
%ho are $all these&? The heroes of the faith described in chapter ??! %hat promise did they not receive? The
final rest the author has been speakin of! %ho is the $us& in this passae? <ot you and II It2s the eneration
that the epistle of 7ebrews was written to!
There are other wicked enerations in Scripture that could have been used to warn aainst re4ectin :od (
e!!, <oah2s eneration, Sodom and :omorrah, etc! %hy not use these e*amples? After all, #hrist did 53t
/O:90'9PF ,u ?0:/P'986I #ould it be that althouh they were wicked, they were not adulterous? #ould it be
because those other enerations lacked the detail and would only apply in a eneral sense, whereas A,,
these thins happened to the first eneration as e*amples 5types6? The first and last enerations fit each other
detail for detail, reflections of each other! Toether they form a pair, like a pair of matched bookends! ,ook at
one and you can see the imae of the other! To put a twist on a familiar passae, the first shall be last, and the
last shall be first!
1
But the details only mirror each other from the framework of 1reterist ;schatoloy, especially in their timin! To
apply it to a +uturist perspective, one would have to distort the reflection, as in a carnival mirror! As we stated
at the outset, typoloy does not establish doctrine! #an it tip the scale of indecision? "nly you can decide that!
It is most certainly interestin, and hopefully food for thouht!
The underlyin theme of this chapter is that the typoloy of the first eneration of national Israel fits perfectly
the last eneration of national Israel 5and the first eneration of spiritual Israel6, but only if one is willin to
accept the 1reterist viewpoint 5that #hrist did come in A. 08!, althouh not in the physical sense, as is usually
tauht6! This non'physical comin of the ,ord is supported throuhout Scripture, as we have previously studied
in the chapter, /oming In The /louds! 1reterists believe that Scripture maintains non&!hysical is the rule
concernin the ,ord comin in 4udment, whereas a physical comin would be the e*ception! Indeed, many
may ladly receive the details of this study in typoloy 5that the "ld Testament ;*odus eneration was a
prophetic type of the <ew Testament $last days& eneration6, with the e*ception of one item ( the return of
#hrist in that eneration! Because of this e*ception, we feel that this last point is the crown 4ewel of this
chapter:
5o I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Ggy!tian, and to bring them u! from that
land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with mil+ and honey... G= 1$6 '()*
This is :od speakin to 3oses at the burnin bush! 7e is oin to deliver the Israelites out of ;ypt, and brin
them into #anaan! 3ore importantly, here we have presented, at face value, Scripture that says the 3ord came
down! It wasn2t physical, althouh much happened in the physical realm as evidence of 7is comin down! This
is e*actly what +ull 1reterists believe happened in A. 08! #hrist returned, delivered 7is saints, and 4uded 7is
enemies! At the risk of bein repetitive, we must say that in this framework, and only in this framework, all of
the details of our study harmoniAe perfectly! 7ow can we believe the Scriptures when they tell us that the ,ord
came down in deliveranceE4udment in the first eneration, and yet not believe them when they tell us that 7e
would do the very same to the last 57is6 eneration ( especially when we see virtually identical events takin
place?
Some may arue that :od only came down to the burnin bush, which was a !hysical apparition, and from
there 7e worked throuh 3oses 5and =oshua6 to accomplish the rest! To this we would say, $keep aruin,
because you are on your way to becomin a 1reteristI& This is precisely what happened in A. 08! There were
physical apparitions in the sky 5chariots of fire, briht lihts in the middle of the niht, etc! ' accordin to
=osephus6 and :od worked throuh the >oman armies to accomplish the rest!
:od, accordin to Scripture, did come down in the first eneration of national Israel, and promised to do the
same in the last eneration! Scripture records for us :od deliverin 7is people and 4udin 7is enemies
throuh a non'physical comin in ;*odus! There2s no denyin it! %hy should we e*pect any different type of
comin to accomplish the same thins in the last eneration? If we are willing to receive it, when we take the
veil off of the ;*odus eneration, we see the <ew Testament eneration, detail for detail! If we are not willin to
receive it, how do we e*plain all of those details? 1erhaps in the same way that the =ews e*plain all the details
of the comin 3essiah that #hrist fulfilled?I
There is a sayin that oes somethin like this$ od said it, I believe it, that settles itE Someone has taken it a
step further and said, od said it, and whether I believe it or not, that settles itE To this we ive a hearty
$Amen&! =esus said that 7e would return to that 57is6 eneration, and that that eneration would see all these
things! The <ew Testament #hurch was tauht to e*pect 7im within their lifetimes! %e have demonstrated the
scriptural precedent for apocalyptic lanuae, for comin in the clouds and for audience relevance!
Dndeniably, od has said itE Therefore, as unpalatable as some of the implications may seem at first, we
believe that settles itE <ow the only question is, do we believe it ( are we willin to receive it?
1
Suar! to Part $$
7avin laid the foundation of the nature of the <ew #ovenant in 1art I, we have built our framework of
eschatoloy upon it in 1art II! The framework that most naturally and harmoniously fits that foundation is the
eschatoloical position of +ull 1reterism! Admittedly, much of this framework is forein to what we may have
previously understood reardin the events and nature of the Second #omin of #hrist! Thouh forein, we
feel that none of it is forced to fit, but rather falls naturally into place when we allow Scripture to interpret
Scripture, and follow the precedents set forth therein! This, we feel, cannot be said of the +uturist framework of
eschatoloy! Althouh we may have completely rearraned the pieces of the reader2s eschatoloical puAAle,
we feel that they now fit naturally into place, revealin the picture that was meant by our ,ord and the inspired
authors of the Bible concernin the $last days&! Any other arranement of the pieces is due to man forcin
them into place to display the picture he desires to see! This has been the theme of this section, and we
summariAe it as follows:
?! The <ew Testament is replete with statements indicatin that the return of #hrist ( the .ay of the ,ord
( would occur within the lifetime of the <ew Testament eneration! Those who believe that 7e did not
return in that eneration must resort to numerous devices to $e*plain& the multitude of imminency
passaes:
a. %ord play is used on several fronts! The events of >evelation which were declared to $shortly
come to pass& are not seen as happenin soon, but speedily! ;very possible nuance of the
:reek is employed to show that $this eneration& is not the eneration bein addressed!
Because of the pervasive <ew Testament teachin of an imminent return of #hrist, even the
word imminent 5which is not found in the <T6 is redefined, so that it doesn2t mean $about to
happen&, but $certain to happen&, without any intervenin events necessary first!
b! =esus is said to 4ump back and forth between 7is contemporary eneration and some future
eneration in 7is descriptions of the last days and the comin of the Son of 3an ( all with no
indication to 7is listeners that 7e is traversin millennia in 7is discourse!
c! Time statements are so distorted by multiplyin factors 5a day is as a thousand years6 and aps
that one wonders what purpose they serve at all! Instead of bein cornerstones that determine
the nature and scope of their respective prophecies, they end up as inconvenient details that
must be twisted around preconceived scenarios
d! Because =esus said that some of 7is disciples would live to see 7im comin in 7is @indom 53t
?M:/N6, we are told that they witnessed it on the 3ount of Transfiuration, or at 7is resurrection,
or on the .ay of 1entecost!
All of these devices, and several others, are forcin alternate meanins upon the time statements! But
why rasp at every possible remedy to e*plain the time statements, when "<; e*planation accounts
for every last one of them ( #hrist returned when 7e said, as the <ew Testament authors tauht that
7e would ( in that eneration?
/! >evelation has obvious parallels to #hrist2s "livet .iscourse, which was to 7is eneration, and about
the 4udment that would come upon them! #oncernin the datin of >evelation, if we heed :entry2s
warnin, and do not let the voice of man 5e*ternal evidence of the early church fathers for a late date6
quiet the voice of :od 5the internal evidence for an early date6, then we see >evelation fallin into step
with #hrist2s "livet .iscourse as 4udment upon that eneration! That notwithstandin, :entry has
soundly $quieted& the voice of man in this matter and quite capably demonstrated the early date for
>evelation from all sides!
". Because of unfortunate translations, the Bible has been perceived as describin the end of the world
and 4udments of lobal proportions! ;qually unfortunate is that fact that, after modern translations
have helped to rectify this, many continue tryin to force the rest of eschatoloy into these
misconceptions! The Bible does not speak of the end of the world, but of the end of the age! The arena
in which this took place was not the entire earth, but the land of =udea! #hrist did not pronounce woes
upon #aesar and the >omans, nor the :reeks, but upon the scribes, 1harisees and apostate =ews of
1
7is eneration! It was the nation of Israel ( who killed the prophets, and eventually the Son of :od (
upon whom 4udment was impendin, not the entire human race! The $last days& were the last days of
the "ld #ovenant, the end of the 3osaic ae! They were the transition period between the covenants,
the days that A,, the prophets had foretold 5Acts 9:/?6!
1. The apocalyptic lanuae of the =ews is hihly symbolic and hyperbolic! This is demonstrated by
numerous passaes from the "ld Testament, where typical historic battle scenes and 4udments are
described by sons of praise that speak in earth'shakin, heaven'movin terms! This type of lanuae
is understood for what it is in the "ld Testament, and taken in stride! )et when the same lanuae is
employed by =esus and =ohn, the unwarranted popular precedent is to force literal interpretations upon
the te*t! =esus and =ohn were =ews, and their listeners and readers were either =ewish or heavily
influenced by the =ewish culture! Therefore their use of apocalyptic lanuae would not be forein to
their audiences, but even e*pected, considerin the ravity of the events which they were describin!
%hat would be forein to their audience would be the idea that this lanuae, without so much as a
hint to them, was to now be understood in a literal manner, breakin all scriptural precedent with which
the audience would be familiar! "n the other hand, the natural fit is that this lanuae maintains the
symbolic and hyperbolic nature it has in the "ld Testament! Thus, in both testaments, it is used to
describe :od2s 4udment, the fall of a nation, and the transference of kindoms!
H! In addition to breakin the "ld Testament precedent for apocalyptic lanuae, many also break the "ld
Testament precedent for $comins of the ,ord& ( specifically, comin with the clouds in 4udment! "nce
aain, we take in stride the many instances in the "ld Testament where :od is said to have $come
down&, and been seen in the $clouds of 4udment&! )et when the <ew Testament says that $7e is
comin with clouds& 5>ev ?:06F that we shall meet 7im $in the clouds& 5? Thess O:?06F that when 7e
ascended 7e was received by a cloud and would return in like manner 5Acts ?:P, ??6F the action of
many is to completely inore the cloud association, and focus only on the fact the 7e was visibly seen
when 7e ascended, therefore assertin 7e will be visibly seen when 7e returns! )et there can be no
denyin that one of the ma4or aspects of 7is return was 4udment upon 7is enemies, 4ust as in the "ld
Testament cloud comins of the ,ord, which are not understood as bein physical $comins&! Aain, we
don2t deny the possibility that #hrist was visibly manifested to certain of 7is enemies durin that
4udment period! %hen the misconception of a physical @indom of :od is removed 5as we did in 1art
I6, then the only te*t which lends itself to a physical return of #hrist is that of Acts, which, when taken
toether with other <ew Testament passaes, we feel is speakin of 7is return in the clouds, as
opposed to visibly! Aain we must emphasiAe that by holdin this view we, by no means, are denyin
the bodily resurrection of #hrist!
7. 3any develop elaborate schemes of double fulfillment in order to maintain an eschatoloy that
acknowledes the relationship of the destruction of =erusalem to prophecy, and yet holds out for a
future ultimate fulfillment of these same prophecies! 7owever, if we can say that land of 1alestine is still
promised to the =ews, that there are yet $last days& to be e*perienced, and that all things which are
written are yet to be ultimately fulfilled '' in spite of scripture that clearly states that all of these thins
are historic to us '' then we may also e*pect another incarnation, crucifi*ion and resurrection, in spite of
the scriptures that clearly state that those events are also historic to us! There is 4ust as much riht for
one as for the other! To those who say that the events of A. 08 were merely typoloical of future
fulfillments, we would say that if #hrist were to appear aain in our future, there would undoubtedly be
aspects of that appearance that would not meet the e*pectations of some, and so they would claim that
it was merely a typoloical, or partial, fulfillment, and continue waitin for what they want to see! Instead
of lookin for fulfillments that fit our e*pectations, perhaps we should fit our e*pectations to the
fulfillments tauht in the Scriptures! 3odern =ews who fit their e*pectations to the Scriptures are called
3essianic =ews, acknowledin #hrist as the promised 3essiah! =ews who are lookin for fulfillments
that fit their e*pectations are still waitin for a 3essiah!
0! 3any in #hristendom are unfamiliar with the events of the destruction of =erusalem and the sinificance
of these events historically, theoloically and nationally! This has led to the perception that the
destruction of =erusalem and the end of the "ld #ovenant do not rise to the rand scale of the
prophesies of =esus and =ohn! As we have shown, it was not 4ust the destruction of a city, but the end
of an economy, the end of a nation in the eyes of :od, and 4udment upon those who killed the very
Son of :od! The records of =osephus reveal that the events accompanyin the destruction of
1
=erusalem were of a far rander scale than most have realiAed! These facts, alon with that of
apocalyptic lanuae, brin a harmonious balance between the prophecies and the events!
N! ,astly, this framework of eschatoloy is confirmed to us by the typoloy of $the veiled eneration&! 1aul,
by divine inspiration, reveals that the ;*odus eneration was a $type& of his eneration, prepared
beforehand as an illustration for them! The many details of this type quite obviously fit 1aul2s eneration
best if we view them from the framework of 1reterist eschatoloy!
Thouh all the pieces of the eschatoloical puAAle fit perfectly and naturally within the framework presented in
this section, we are sympathetic with the reader in realiAin they may be quite forein to one2s own beliefs! But
we must ask ourselves, which do we prefer ( a framework that fits naturally in our own beliefs, but is forein to
the teachin of Scripture, or one which is forein to our beliefs but fits naturally with what Scripture teaches? If
we o on feelins, then we will be in the same position as the =ews who didn2t $feel& that #hrist was the
3essiah!
In liht of all of this, one wonders what :od must think about the millions of #hristian dollars that are sent to
Israel in a effort to reestablish the ministry of death '' that obsolete covenant which 7e 7imself brouht to an
end! After it !leased >im to crush >is only begotten 5on, !utting >im to grief by rendering >im as a guilt
offering 5Is H9:?86, do we think that we honor 7im by supportin the reestablishment of those sacrifices which
>e offered >imself once for all 57eb 0:/06 to replace?
In the openin pararaph of this section, we proposed that while #hristianity reconiAes the $speck& in the eye
of the =ews, in that they didn2t reconiAe #hrist in 7is first comin, it may very well have a $speck& in its own
eye reardin the Second #omin! %e close this section with a quote from 3a* >! @in:
But what is the reaction of people today when told that #hrist came the second time in the end of the
=ewish ae? It is the same as that of a =ew when told #hrist came the first time! 7e doesn2t believe it,
even thouh he knows that time'wise that was when the 3essiah was to come! But why doesn2t he
believe #hrist came then? Simply because #hrist was not in person, purpose, and work what the =ews
thouht he should beF therefore, they are still waitin for one to come who will fulfill their earthly desires
and concepts!
Any careful and thouhtful student of :od2s %ord can readily see that the church was tauht to look for
the Second #omin of #hrist in that same eneration of his first comin! Time'wise, we know his
Second #omin was then at hand 5=ames H:N6! But many do not believe that he came then! %hy?
Because that Second #omin of #hrist was not in manner, purpose, and result what they think it should
be, therefore they are waitin for a Second #omin that will meet their demands and fulfill their
e*pectations!
OP
15
#. 1<13 The Spirit of Prophecy
1
Part $$$' Be!ond The Veil
1
Co+leting the Structure
Dsin the analoy of a house, we laid the foundation in 1art I, and erected the framework in 1art II! %hat
remains is to apply the finishin e*terior to the structure! %hile a tract of homes may have many houses with
the same floor plan, it is the different e*terior styles and colors that individualiAe them! In a similar manner,
most 1reterists hold to the foundation and framework presented thus far! It is in how they apply various
doctrines to this framework, such as the final resurrection, the rapture of the #hurch, the ministry of the 7oly
Spirit, etc!, that their individuality is e*pressed!
;ven thouh there may be several options available for the same floor plan in a tract of homes, some particular
options may be so to the dislikin of prospective buyers, that they turn away before learnin that other options
are available! They certainly have no inclination as to the soundness of the foundation and framework of the
homes, havin not even left the car to take a closer look! The same holds true for 1reterism ' some of the
positions held by various 1reterists strike the newcomer so neatively that they never take the time to consider
the soundness of the foundation and framework upon which they are built! It is for this reason we have
structured our study in the present manner! It is hoped that the reader has reconiAed the soundness of the
foundation upon which 1reterism is built, and was therefore willin to at least e*amine the framework! %e are
careful to acknowlede, however, that ' 4ust as much of the framework of 1reterism may be forein to our
beliefs ' so we mustn2t dismiss $e*terior applications& solely because they are forein to our beliefs, or strike us
neatively!
%hile we all desire to live in homes with sound foundations and frameworks, it2s the finishin touches with
which we are most keenly aware! After all, that2s where we live ( not in the house that has e*ceptional framin,
or a less than perfect foundation, but in that home with the beautiful brick sidin, or that one with the uly
shade of purple! It2s the finishin touches that either catch our eye, or turn it! Similarly, in eschatoloy, there are
certain doctrines that are $finishin touches&, which either catch our eye or turn it! %hen 1reterists tell others
that they believe #hrist returned in A. 08, based upon imminency passaes, apocalyptic lanuae, cloud
comins, etc!, these $foundational& items are quickly lossed over in favor of discussin the $finishin touches&
( $so you mean we2re in the new heavens and new earth now? %hat happened to the rapture of the #hurch?
This is the @indom of :od? %hat about the resurrection of the dead, and the 4udment throne of :od?&
Because of this, we feel, some 1reterists who may have spent years in private study to discover the foundation
and framework of 1reterism have not been afforded the same time to study its implications! %hen they share
this framework with others, they are compelled to quickly $finish the structure& in order to have a complete
packae for presentation! In this last section of our study, our intent is not so much to finish the structure, but to
present the reader with some of the $options& available! "ur reasons are threefold: ?6 to leave off from our
study now without the mention of some of these implications, we feel, would leave the reader haninF /6 to do
4ustice to these topics would require another book, andF 96 thouh we may favor some options over others, our
own studies in these matters are onoin, thus we hesitate to say too much!
It is our hope that as the doctrine of 1reterism rows, and more scholarship comes to the field, that better
qualified minds will take up the torch and illuminate these areas!
1
The Partial or The Perfect
=ust as the siAe and placements of windows lock in one2s view from a home, so in the 1reterist framework
one2s position on the $partial or perfect& locks in their perspective on other doctrines! The terms $partial& and
$perfect&, which come from ? #orinthians ?9, are also described as first'fruits and harvest, and plede 5down
payment6 and fullness:
For we +now in !art and we !ro!hesy in !art. *ut when that which is perfect has come, then that
which is in part will be done away. When I was a child, I s!o+e as a child, I understood as a child, I
thought as a child; but when I became a man, I !ut away childish things. For now we see in a mirror,
dimly, but then face to face. 'ow I +now in !art, but then I shall +now Hust as I also am +nown. 2 /or
21$#&20 '()*
For we +now that the whole creation groans and labors with birth !angs together until now. 'ot only
that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the "pirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves,
eagerly waiting for the ado!tion, the redem!tion of our body. "om 6$00&01 '()*
'ow >e who establishes us with you in /hrist and anointed us is od, who also sealed us and gave us
the 5!irit in our hearts as a pledge. 0 /or 2$02&00 'A5N
For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be
unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed u! by life. 'ow >e who !re!ared
us for this very !ur!ose is od, who gave to us the 5!irit as a pledge. 0 /or ?$@&? 'A5N
In >im, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gos!el of your salvation&&having also
believed, you were sealed in >im with the >oly 5!irit of !romise, who is given as a pledge of our
inheritance, with a view to the redem!tion of od4s own !ossession, to the !raise of >is glory... Jo
not grieve the >oly 5!irit of od, by whom you were sealed for the day of redem!tion. G!h 2$21&2@;
@$1F 'A5N 7em!hases added8
%hile the <ew Testament saints were already partakers of many aspects of the <ew #ovenant and @indom
of :od, they were waitin for a fuller e*perience! This is illustrated in the followin topics, where Scriptures are
iven which indicate the !artial measure e*perienced by the <ew Testament saints, and the !erfect measure
e*pected by them! 5The information presented here is based upon one of several unpublished articles by Ian
7ardin, The >o!e of the First /hristians M Je!osit and Fulness! It is our understandin at this writin that
these articles are bein prepared for publishin!6
Salvation'
-artial1
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of od; G!h
0$6
-erfect1
Jo this, +nowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awa+en from slee!; for now salvation is
nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us
lay aside the deeds of dar+ness and !ut on the armor of light. "om 21$22&20
*ighteousnessA%ustification'
-artial1
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have !eace with od through our 3ord )esus /hrist "om
?$2
1
-erfect1
For we through the 5!irit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness. al ?$?
*esurrection'
-artial1
-ut od, being rich in mercy, because of >is great love with which >e loved us, even when we were
dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with hrist 7by grace you have been saved8, and
raised us up with Him, and seated us with >im in the heavenly !laces in /hrist )esus, G!h 0$@&%
-erfect1
'ow od has not only raised the 3ord, but will also raise us up through >is !ower. 2/or %$2@
*ede+tion'
-artial1
%n Him we have redemption through >is blood, the forgiveness of our tres!asses, according to the
riches of >is grace G!h 2$B
-erfect1
9 who is given as a !ledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of od4s own
!ossession, to the !raise of >is glory. G!h 2$2@ 7em!hases added8
The <ew Testament saints received the fullness that they were e*pectin of these items at the consummation
of the <ew #ovenant and Second #omin of #hrist! The question then is, after the Second #omin, when do
new converts receive their fullness? Is it upon their conversion, or upon their death? There are 1reterists on
both sides of the issue! Some arue that since the <ew #ovenant has been fully consummated, and the "ld
#ovenant removed, new believers receive the fullness of the <ew #ovenant upon conversion! Based upon the
spiritual nature of the <ew #ovenant, they hold that statements which speak of us beholdin :od face to face,
of reinin with #hrist, of puttin on incorruption and immortality, etc!, are to be understood in a spiritual or
covenantal sense, and not interpreted literally!
"thers would say that if we are livin in the fullness of the <ew #ovenant, then we should have more insiht of
the Scriptures, better prayer lives and holier walks than the apostles, for they were only livin in a first'fruits
e*perience! Since this is obviously not the case, they arue that we also must be livin in a first'fruits
e*perience, which means that we will receive our fullness upon death! This is sometimes called the $Immortal
Body at .eath& 5IB.6 view! In >evelation ?O, at the consummation of the <ew #ovenant, a voice from heaven
proclaims, $-blessed are the dead who die in the 3ord from now on& 5v! ?96! 1reterists on this side of the issue
would point out that it is those who die in the ,ord, not those who believe in the ,ord from now on! This is
because up until the consummation of the <ew #ovenant the rihteous dead were not in the full presence of
:od! They had not received the promise, but were waitin to receive it alon with the <ew Testament saints at
the consummation of the <ew #ovenant and return of #hrist 57eb ??:9P'O86! But after the consummation,
blessed are the dead who die in the 3ord from now on, because there is no loner any waitin period! They
immediately receive the fullness of the #ovenant!
It would take another book to fully address this issue! "ur intent here is to ive a very brief introduction to both
sides, ivin the reader a broad picture of 1reterism! It is our further hope and prayer that, based upon the
soundness of the foundation and framework, the reader will desire to search out these matters for themselves!
1erhaps they will be the very one we mentioned earlier, who will take up the torch and illuminate the truths that
are yet to be discovered!
1
The *a+ture
#losely tied to one2s view on the partial and perfect, is one2s view of the rapture ( the catchin away of the
saints at the Second #omin! Althouh we used the term $rapture& in the chapter The *eiled eneration, most
1reterists don2t interpret the rapture in the manner populariAed by teachins such as those found in the 3eft
-ehind series of novels! >ather than a physical catchin away of the saints, they believe that it is a reference
to bein spiritually $athered& into the <ew #ovenant! %hile it is our understandin that most 1reterists hold to
a spiritual interpretation of the rapture, in the last several years there has been a roup that supports a physical
catchin away of the <ew Testament saints! This roup is larely spearheaded by ;dward ;! Stevens, and his
book G=!ectations Jemand a "a!ture! %hile many 1reterists feel that a physical rapture is too radical of a
departure from the spiritual nature of the <ew #ovenant, others feel that it more adequately e*plains the
e*pectations of the <ew Testament saints! Those that hold to a spiritualEcovenantal nature of the rapture use
the e*ample of bein born'aain, which 1aul describes as a translation:
Who hath delivered us from the !ower of dar+ness, and hath translated us into the +ingdom of his dear
5on9 /ol 2$21 ()*
"bviously this deliverance from the power of darkness, and translation into the kindom of 7is Son takes place
on a spiritual plane! Therefore we should e*pect nothin different when the saints are translated into the
fullness of that kindom at the Second #omin of #hrist! The primary rapture te*t bein ? Thessalonians O:?9'
?N, we offer a few of @in2s comments on that passae to illustrate the spiritual interpretation:
/aught u! in a /loud! $Then we which are alive and remain shall be cauht up toether with them in
the clouds, to meet the ,ord in the air:& #louds, in Biblical lanuae, are symbolic of :od2s ma4esty,
power, and presence! It is a fiure of speech denotin the lory and the elevated position of the saints
on that day of vindication! 5See 3t ?9:O9F >om N:?NF #ol 9:O6! Also, #hrist is pictured as comin in the
clouds, denotin his power and lory that would be manifested in that day!
To meet the 3ord in the Air! This atherin of the saints to #hrist in the air, to ever be with him there,
has been no small problem to the $literalists&! But air is a symbol of the heavenly or spiritual realm
wherein the overnment of :od is e*ercised! #oncernin Satan, 5before he was cast out6 it was said
that he was the prince of the power of the air! 5;ph /:/F M:??6! But #hrist conquered Satan and
cleansed the $air& and restored man to his rihtful dominion of life and rihteousness, and so shall we
ever be with the ,ord- The thouht is the lorious reunion of #hrist and his saints as promised in =ohn
?O:?'9 and 3t! /O:9?!
H8
Jemphasis in oriinalK
"n the other side of the issue are those who feel that 1reterists, after havin championed the hermeneutic of
audience relevance for the timing of the Second #omin, have abandoned it when it comes to the substance of
the second comin, citin what the <ew Testament saints were e*pectin:
Be where #hrist is
Be united with previously deceased saints
To have their bodies chaned, redeemed and transformed to be like #hrist2s lorious body
To be like #hrist
To appear with 7im in lory
A spiritual interpretation of the rapture, they arue, does not fulfill these e*pectations of the early church! To
illustrate the literal interpretation of the rapture we offer select quotes from Stevens, where he comments on
the phrase caught u! from the ? Thessalonians O passae:
6<
++. 2<702<%3 The Spirit of Prophecy
1
Some fiurative'rapturists assert that the $snatchin& is not a $catchin up& of livin saints at the
parousia, but rather a post'A. 08 process of takin of their soulsEspirits to heaven after they die! But
1aul says the livin 5and the dead with them6 are snatched then, not 4ust their souls at death later! The
only way they could make this fit their theory would be to assume that all these livin saints were
martyred riht at the time of #hrist2s parousia in A. 08 and therefore their souls were $snatched& at the
time of the parousia! But if they lived on beyond the A. 08 parousia and died later after A. 08, then
somethin is drastically wron with either 1aul2s statements here or our interpretation of them! 7e said
the $livin and remainin ones& would be snatched, not their souls after death! This is an event which
occurs to the livin at the parousia, not a process that only beins to occur to the souls of those saints
who die after the parousia from A. 08 onwards!
H?
? Thess O is literally talkin about the dead saints in 7ades bein raised out of 7ades! Then those who
are still alive and remained alive until the parousia would be $snatched away& or $cauht up& toether
with them 5v! ?06 into the air 5the spiritual realm where the anels were active6 where #hrist had 4ust
$descended& 5v! ?M6 with 7is anels! It says that #hrist would $descend from heaven& and meet them $in
the clouds& and $in the air&!
H/
"nce aain, it would take a book to fully e*plore this issue! Since our primary ob4ective in this volume is to
introduce and establish the foundation and framework of 1reterism, rather than do an e*haustive study on all
of its implications, we will leave off here! %e note that, intertwined with this issue of the nature of the rapture,
is the nature of the resurrection of the dead, to which we now turn our attention!
61
+. 663 +re0+bli!ation mans!ri+t &'pectations Demand a (apture > 4irst revision 2ly 1<3 2<<23 International #reterist Asso!iation
62
+. 6%3 Ibid
1
The *esurrection
%e have previously mentioned that within the 1reterist doctrine there are those who are 1artial 1reterists, and
those who are +ull 1reterists! The dividin point between the two is their interpretation of the resurrection of the
dead and final 4udment! +ull 1reterists believe that all Bible prophecy is fulfilled 5,u /?://6, e*cept for the
onoin aspects of the everlastin covenant! This dictates a spiritual interpretation for the resurrection of the
dead, in the eyes of many! ;ven thouh 1artial 1reterists believe that the Second #omin occurred in A. 08,
because they hold that the Bible teaches a physical resurrection of the dead, they believe that there is yet to
come a final physical resurrection and 4udment! 3ost 1artial 1reterists believe that the last few chapters of
>evelation are yet to be fulfilled!
That the resurrection is a crucial point for the acceptance of +ull 1reterism can probably not be overstated, as
>! #! Sproul2s notes:
$The reat weakness of full preterism ( and what I reard to be its fatal flaw ( is its treatment of the
final resurrection! If full preterism is to ain wide credibility in our time, it must overcome this obstacle!&
The 3ast Jays according to )esus, !g. 0F1
Sproul is not alone in his reservations about +ull 1reterists2 spiritual interpretation of the resurrection and
rapture! In his article, A /loser 3oo+ at the KAJ BF TheoryI of 3ast Things, "lan 7icks says the followin:
But :od said, LBehold I make all thins new!L The truth is, as 1aul said in ? #or ?H:H8, L+lesh and
blood cannot inherit the kindom of :od, nor does corruption inherit incorruption!L This mortal must put
on immortality and this corruptible must put on incorruption! 5Cs! H/'H96! In 3a* @inRs larest book he
spends over /H8 paes tryin to e*plain away this entire chapter! %hen it takes that much Le*plaininL
to support a theory, you know that theory has serious problems!
The book referred to is 3a* >! @in2s "The /ross and the Aarousia of /hrist", and the theory is one of the
spiritual interpretations of the resurrection of the dead! @in believes that the resurrection symbols and terms
are metaphors for the chanin of the covenants! "ther 1reterists see the resurrection in a more $literal&
sense, albeit still spiritual in nature! =ust as 1aul said that <ew Testament saints were already seated with
#hrist in heavenly places 5;ph /:M6, they maintain that, at the resurrection, the dead in #hrist were spiritually
raised to be with 7im!
In April of /889, :entry 5author of -efore )erusalem Fell6 posted an article on his web site titled /hristPs
"esurrection and .urs! In it he labels +ull 1reterists as $hyper'preterists&, and calls their spiritual interpretation
of the resurrection $a new nosticism&!
In ?PP9, .r! >! #! Sproul, .r! @enneth ,! :entry, =r!, and seven other .rs! of Theoloy, alon with >ev! 3a* >!
@in and his son Tim, athered in 3t! .ora, +lorida, for a symposium on 1reterism! 7avin had the privilee of
listenin to the audiotapes of that symposium, we can attest that by far the most controversial topic was the
resurrection of the dead!
As one can readily see, not only is the resurrection issue a crucial one within 1reterists circles, it is also a
heated one! The two main points of contention seem to be the understandin of the $spiritual body& with which
the dead are raised, and the implications of #hrist2s resurrected body, since 7e is the first'fruits of those raised
from the dead:
It is sown a natural body, it is raised a s!iritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a s!iritual
body. 2 /or 2?$@@ '()*
-ut now /hrist is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen aslee!. 2
/or 2?$0F '()*
1
-ut each one in his own order$ /hrist the firstfruits, afterward those who are /hrist4s at >is coming. 2
/or 2?$01 '()*
+ull 1reterists, who hold to a spiritual resurrection, believe that the spiritual body with which the dead are
raised is not composed of physical elements! @in oes so far as to say that when 1aul speaks of our earthly
tent bein torn down, and of our receivin a buildin from :od 5/ #or H:?6, and of the corruptible puttin on
incorruption and the mortal puttin on immortality, etc!, that they are metaphors for the "ld and <ew
#ovenants! 1artial 1reterists 5and +uturists6 believe that the spiritual body is a reconstituted physical body! It
still consists of the physical elements of this material world, but has been transformed in such a manner that it
is now capable of e*istin in the spiritual realm as well as the physical! They point to #hrist2s resurrected body
as proof of this! Since #hrist is the first'fruits of those raised from the dead, they believe we will have a body
similar to 7is! :entry, a 1artial 1reterist, attests to this in his article mentioned above:
This is why the tomb and 7is burial clothin were found empty: 7is physical body had departed from
them! The ospels present the resurrected #hrist in a material body that could be touched and handled,
which still had the wounds of the cross, which could be clun to, and could eat food!
%hile we affirm that #hrist was bodily 5physically6 resurrected, and that 7e is the first'fruits of those who are
resurrected after 7im, we believe that this $first'fruitsEharvest& loic is oversimplified! +irst, it is important to
distinuish between bein resurrected and bein raised from the dead! Bein raised from the dead is merely
H9
a re'establishment of life, of bein restored to the condition prior to death! >esurrection involves a supernatural
chane that takes place which allows us to be in the presence of :od! =esus was not the first person to be
raised from the dead! 7owever, 7e was the first person to be resurrected, never to die again! ;veryone else
who was raised from the dead eventually died aain! #hrist not only rose from the dead, but with power over
death, holdin the keys of 7ades and .eath 5>ev ?:?N6!
*esurrection and *aised 1ro the 0ead
The difference between resurrection and bein raised from the dead is illustrated for us in Scripture by the
followin e*amples of ,aAarus and =esus:
5o )esus, again being dee!ly moved within, came to the tomb. 'ow it was a cave, and a stone was
lying against it. )esus said, ""emove the stone." ,artha, the sister of the deceased, said to >im, "3ord,
by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days." )esus said to her, "Jid I not say to
you that if you believe, you will see the glory of od?" 5o they removed the stone. Then )esus raised
>is eyes, and said, "Father, I than+ Lou that Lou have heard ,e. I +new that Lou always hear ,e; but
because of the !eo!le standing around I said it, so that they may believe that Lou sent ,e." When >e
had said these things, >e cried out with a loud voice, "3a;arus, come forth." The man who had died
came forth, bound hand and foot with wra!!ings, and his face was wra!!ed around with a cloth. )esus
said to them, "Nnbind him, and let him go." )n 22$16&@@ 'A5N
'ow on the first day of the wee+ ,ary ,agdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dar+, and
saw the stone already ta+en away from the tomb. 5o she ran and came to 5imon Aeter and to the
other disci!le whom )esus loved, and said to them, "They have ta+en away the 3ord out of the tomb,
and we do not +now where they have laid >im." 5o Aeter and the other disci!le went forth, and they
were going to the tomb. The two were running together; and the other disci!le ran ahead faster than
Aeter and came to the tomb first; and stoo!ing and loo+ing in, he saw the linen wra!!ings lying there;
but he did not go in. And so 5imon Aeter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw
the linen wra!!ings lying there, and the face&cloth which had been on >is head, not lying with the linen
wra!!ings, but rolled u! in a !lace by itself. 5o the other disci!le who had first come to the tomb then
6"
By use of the term $merely&, we do not mean to downplay the miracle of someone bein raised from the dead! But when one
considers the vast difference between a second chance for a few more years in the natural realm, vs! bein transformed and ushered
into the spiritual realm for eternity, bein raised from the dead pales in comparison with bein resurrected!
1
also entered, and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not understand the 5cri!ture, that >e must
rise again from the dead. )n 0F$2&# 'A5N
<otice that =esus asked for the stone to be rolled away from ,aAarus2 tomb! %hy? So that ,aAarus could come
out of the tomb! The stone was also rolled away from =esus2 tomb, but we know that this was not necessary for
7im to e*it the tomb! %hy? Because 7e was able, in 7is resurrected body, to pass throuh material ob4ects:
5o when it was evening on that day, the first day of the wee+, and when the doors were shut where the
disci!les were, for fear of the )ews, )esus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Aeace be
with youI9 After eight days >is disci!les were again inside, and Thomas with them. )esus came, the
doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, "Aeace be with you." )n 0F$2#, 0% 'A5N
=esus didn2t need the stone rolled away to leave the tomb! 7e could have 4ust passed throuh it, as 7e did the
wallsEdoors of the room that the disciples were in! So why was the stone rolled away? Accordin to =oseph
:ood, of >ati+va ,inistries, it was not so that =esus could et out, but so that the disciples could get in! %hy
was that important? Because they saw somethin in there that made them 5at least =ohn6 believe! Believe
what? That =esus had been resurrected, for they hadn2t understood the Scripture as yet:
-ut on the first day of the wee+, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the s!ices which they
had !re!ared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not
find the body of the 3ord )esus. While they were !er!le=ed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood
near them in da;;ling clothing; and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground,
the men said to them, "Why do you see+ the living .ne among the dead? >e is not here, but >e has
risen. "emember how >e s!o+e to you while >e was still in alilee, saying that the 5on of ,an must
be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again." And they
remembered >is words, and returned from the tomb and re!orted all these things to the eleven and to
all the rest. 'ow they were ,ary ,agdalene and )oanna and ,ary the mother of )ames; also the other
women with them were telling these things to the a!ostles. -ut these words a!!eared to them as
nonsense, and they would not believe them. -ut Aeter got u! and ran to the tomb; stoo!ing and loo+ing
in, he saw the linen wra!!ings only; and he went away to his home, marveling at what had ha!!ened.
3u+e 0@$2&20 'A5N
%hen we combine the above accounts of =ohn and ,uke, we see that the women were tellin the apostles that
an anel had told them that =esus had risen! And he recalled to them the teachin of =esus, that 7e would rise
aain on the third day! But the apostles thouht it nonsense, until 1eter and =ohn went to the tomb! =ohn went
away believing, and 1eter left marveling! %hat did they see that caused them to believe the report of the
women?
And so 5imon Aeter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen wra!!ings
lying there, and the face&cloth which had been on >is head, not lying with the linen wra!!ings, but
rolled u! in a !lace by itself. 5o the other disci!le who had first come to the tomb then also entered,
and he saw and believed. )n 0F$%&6 'A5N
-ut Aeter got u! and ran to the tomb; stoo!ing and loo+ing in, he saw the linen wra!!ings only; and he
went away to his home, marveling at what had ha!!ened. 3u 0@$20 'A5N
Somethin about the linen wrappins caused the apostles to believe, not that =esus2 body had been removed,
but that 7e had risen from the dead! Accordin to =oseph :ood, the answer lies in the procedure for preparin
a body for burial! Strips of linen are coated with a ummy aromatic substance, alon with spices, and wrapped
around the body:
5o they too+ the body of )esus and bound it in linen wra!!ings with the s!ices, as is the burial custom
of the )ews. )n 2#$@F 'A5N
1
The end result was similar to what we see with mummies in classic horror films! The entire body is wrapped
with strips of linen, e*cept the face, which has a separate cloth laid over it:
When >e had said these things, >e cried out with a loud voice, "3a;arus, come forth." The man who
had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wra!!ings, and his face was wra!!ed around with a
cloth. 3u 22$@1&@@
And so 5imon Aeter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen wra!!ings
lying there, and the face&cloth which had been on >is head, not lying with the linen wra!!ings, but
rolled u! in a !lace by itself. 3u 0F$%&B'A5N
<otice that ,aAarus was able to walk out of his tomb, indicatin that his limbs were wrapped individually! <otice
also that he needed to have his wrappins removed:
)esus said to them, "Nnbind him, and let him go."
;ven if =esus had unwrapped 7imself, or had been unwrapped by someone else 5an anel perhaps6, how
would a pile of wrappins indicate to 1eter and =ohn that 7e had risen, as opposed to 7is body havin been
stolen? %hat did they see in those linens that caused them to believe and marvel? Aain, accordin =oseph
:ood, when the aromatic ums that the linens are coated with bein to dry, they form a soft cast around the
body! <ot so firm that, as with ,aAarus, a person couldn2t walk after four days, but firm enouh that if a body
were somehow able to miraculously pass throuh them, they would retain the shape of the body! In fact, one
would believe that they were still lookin at a body but for one item ( the face cloth was removed from the
wrappins, revealin a hollow soft cast in the shape of a body:
9and he saw the linen wra!!ings lying there, and the face&cloth which had been on >is head, not lying
with the linen wra!!ings, but rolled u! in a !lace by itself.
This demonstrates the difference between bein raised from the dead and bein resurrected! ,aAarus needed
his wrappins removed ( =esus passed throuh 7is wrappins 4ust as 7e did the tomb and the closed doors of
the room in which the apostles were stayin!
ChristBs *esurrected Bod!
Althouh #hrist was resurrected with the same body that 7e ministered and died in, it was manifestly different
than the body that was laid in the tomb! Those familiar with the processes of scourin and crucifi*ion are
aware of how mutilatin it is to the human body! The scourin process, we are told, can strip the flesh down to
the bone, often times revealin inner orans! Some victims don2t even survive this process to make it to the
cross! Scripture also tells us that all of #hrist2s bones were out of 4oint 51s //:?O6F that 7is beard was plucked
5Is H8:M6F 7is visae was marred more than any man 5Is H/:?O6! The mutilated body that was laid in the tomb
was no doubt unreconiAable even to those closest to 7im!
)et the resurrected body that #hrist walked around in had only two sets of wounds remainin from that
horrendous act ( the nail scars in 7is hands and feet, and the wound from the spear in 7is side ( and even
these had to be shown to 7is followers! "ther than these wounds, in none of the accounts of 7is post'
resurrection appearances is there so much as a hint of residual marks from 7is crucifi*ion! "bviously most of
the damae done to 7is body durin 7is crucifi*ion had been undone at 7is resurrection! But why most of the
damae, and not all of it? #ertainly it wasn2t due to a shortae of power on :od2s part to complete the process!
The preservin of those wounds must have been deliberate and with purpose! %e believe that those wounds
remained as testimonies and identifications to the disciples that it was indeed their crucified 3aster that they
were beholdin! The nail scars identified 7im with crucifi*ion, while the wound in 7is side identified 7im as a
particular victim of crucifi*ion ( their ,ord and 3aster! #hrist2s resurrected crucified body demonstrated to them
that 7e was not appearin in the form of a second incarnation, nor as a Spirit manifestin 7imself physically as
anels miht, but as the "ne who has the power over death, who could lay down 7is life and take it up aain
5=n ?8:?N6!
1
The question then arises, was #hrist resurrected in 7is physical body because that is the nature of all
resurrected bodies, or was it only for the purpose of demonstratin 7is resurrection to 7is followers? ;ven if it
was because that is the nature of resurrected bodies, we feel that what was e*hibited in #hrist durin those
forty days prior to 7is ascension 5was touched, handled, clun to and able to eat6 is but a facet of the nature of
a resurrected body! Are not anels capable of the same thins?
Jo not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. >eb
21$0 '()*
'ow the two angels came to 5odom in the evening, and 3ot was sitting in the gate of 5odom. When 3ot
saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. And he said,
">ere now, my lords, !lease turn in to your servant4s house and s!end the night, and wash your feet;
then you may rise early and go on your way." And they said, "'o, but we will s!end the night in the
o!en sOuare." -ut he insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house. Then he made
them a feast, and ba+ed unleavened bread, and they ate. en 2#$2&1 '()*
It would appear that the actions of #hrist durin the days between 7is resurrection and ascension were nothin
more than what anels have done! 7ow were the disciples to know that 7e wasn2t an anel, or that it wasn2t
4ust 7is spirit physically manifestin as anels do? By the crucifi*ion scars on 7is person and the empty tombI
Those scars were the only link between 7is crucified body and 7is resurrected body! Toether with the empty
tomb, they affirmed that 7e had the power to lay down 7is life and the power to take it up aain! But this
physical body that #hrist was seen in for forty days, which everyone is so fi*ated with as the first'fruits of the
resurrection, is but a facet of what 7is resurrected body is:
-ut we see )esus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with
glory and honor, that >e, by the grace of od, might taste death for everyone. >eb 0$# '()*
9when >e had by >imself !urged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the ,aHesty on high, having
become so much better than the angels, as >e has by inheritance obtained a more e=cellent name
than they. >eb 2$1&@ '()*
#hrist, after bein made a little lower than the anels in 7is incarnation, has, in 7is resurrection, become so
much better than them! %hy then, do we look at the $mere& anelic features of #hrist2s resurrected body, and
build our doctrine of the resurrection of the saints upon them? #ertainly in becomin so much better than the
anels, we would e*pect a body capable of much more than 4ust bein able to be touched, handled and able
eat! %e all accept the fact that when anels manifest themselves as men it is a very limited representation of
their nature! %ouldn2t it follow, then, that the nature of the resurrected body of #hrist, %ho is so much better
than angels, would also be only a limited representation of the nature of 7is resurrected body? )et many in the
#hurch point to that limited representation and say that is what we shall be li+e, and claim that those who are
lookin for somethin different are borderin on heresy! Isn2t the physical body of #hrist the $earthy& nature that
1aul speaks of?
The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second ,an is the 3ord from heaven. As was the man
of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly ,an, so also are those who
are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the
heavenly ,an. 2 /or 2?$@B&@# '()*
%e already bear the imae of the man of dust, and this is the imae that #hrist took upon 7imself in the
incarnation! )et compared to 7is previous lorious e*istence, the incarnation was an act of humblin, not one
of e*altation:
3et this mind be in you which was also in /hrist )esus, who, being in the form of od, did not consider
it robbery to be eOual with od, but made >imself of no re!utation, ta+ing the form of a bondservant,
and coming in the li+eness of men. Ahil 0$?&B '()*
1
Is #hrist2s resurrected physical body the image of the heavenly ,an that all resurrected saints are to bear?
Shouldn2t we e*pect somethin more alon the lines of #hrist2s e*istence before 7e made >imself of no
re!utation?
In support of this is the inspired testimony of the apostle =ohn, the beloved apostle, who, as he stood at the
foot of the cross, was the only male disciple willin to be identified with #hrist at 7is death! Thus we would not
be surprised if =ohn miht have spent more time with the resurrected #hrist than many others did! 7e, perhaps
more than anyone, would have been familiar with the nature of #hrist2s resurrected body! And yet he says the
followin:
-eloved, now we are children of od; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we +now
that when >e is revealed, we shall be li+e >im, for we shall see >im as >e is. 2 )ohn 1$0 '()*
The fact that we shall be li+e >im arees with the teachin that #hrist is the first'fruits! Therefore 7is
resurrected nature is an indication of those who follow! But notice that =ohn also says that it has not yet been
revealed what we shall be! This flies in the face of what 1artial 1reterism and +uturism teaches! Some say that
what we shall be has been revealed, and point to that same forty'day period that =ohn witnessed as that
revealin! 7ow can 7is body that was touched, handled, clun to, and was able to eat, be the nature of our
resurrected bodies, when, accordin to =ohn, that nature hadnPt been revealed yet? Also, when =ohn states for
we shall see >im as >e is, it implies that thus far they 5includin =ohn6 hadn2t seen 7im as 7e is! In no way do
we mean to denirate any aspect of the resurrection of #hrist! But we find it strane indeed that much of the
#hurch points to this nature of #hrist2s resurrected body, and insists that it is the revealin of the resurrection
first'fruits, therefore we indeed know what we shall be like, when the inspired words of =ohn point to #hrist2s
body and say it hasnPt yet been revealed what we shall beE They have constructed a resurrection scenario that
oes aainst the Scripture, and then accuse +ull 1reterists of everythin from inorance to heresy because
they don2t adhere to it, but instead suest a $spiritual& nature for the resurrection of the dead! If what we shall
be hasn2t been revealed, how can we rule out a spiritual resurrection? "n the other hand, accordin to =ohn2s
statement, we can rule out #hrist2s physical body, as seen between 7is resurrection and ascension, as what
we shall be like!
There is another description of #hrist2s resurrected body which, stranely enouh, is never put forth as a
representation of what we shall be like at our resurrection:
I was in the 5!irit on the 3ord4s Jay, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trum!et9Then I
turned to see the voice that s!o+e with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lam!stands, and in
the midst of the seven lam!stands .ne li+e the 5on of ,an, clothed with a garment down to the feet
and girded about the chest with a golden band. >is head and hair were white li+e wool, as white as
snow, and >is eyes li+e a flame of fire; >is feet were li+e fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and >is
voice as the sound of many waters; >e had in >is right hand seven stars, out of >is mouth went a
shar! two&edged sword, and >is countenance was li+e the sun shining in its strength. And when I saw
>im, I fell at >is feet as dead. -ut >e laid >is right hand on me, saying to me, "Jo not be afraid; I am
the First and the 3ast. I am >e who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen.
And I have the +eys of >ades and of Jeath.I "ev 2$2F, 20&26 '()*
%hy is it that this description of the resurrected #hrist is not put forth as 7is first'fruits nature, which we, as the
harvest to follow, will become like? %e cannot deny that #hrist is the one in view here! It is obviously after 7is
resurrection, for 7e says $I9was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore&! 7ere #hrist appears in such a
lorious manner that =ohn doesn2t seem to reconiAe 7im! =esus must tell him who 7e is! Aain, we do not
mean to diminish nor demean any aspect of the resurrected #hrist, but of the two descriptions, which is more
lorious and e*alted? %hy then, do we insist on a body that can be touched and is able eat fish, when we can
have voices like trumpets and many waters, eyes like a flame of fire, a countenance like the shinin sun, and
be so lorious that mortals fall at our feet as dead men?
%e mustn2t foret either that 1aul may have had contact with this lorious form of #hrist! 7e was blinded by a
briht liht on the road to .amascus 5Acts P:96, tauht personally by #hrist 5:al ?:??'?/6 and cauht up into
1
the third heaven in a vision, where he heard ine*pressible thins 5/ #or ?/:/'O6! #ould he have had this in
mind when he wrote the followin?
For our citi;enshi! is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the 5avior, the 3ord )esus /hrist,
who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the
wor+ing by which >e is able even to subdue all things to >imself. Ahil 1$0F&02 '()* 5emphasis added6
Literal, Ph!sical and S+iritual
In all of the doctrines that we have discussed, especially the resurrection, the meanins that are assined to
the terms literal, !hysical and s!iritual can be a source of reat confusion! It is our understandin that there are
three primary views of the resurrection:
The Literal Ph!sical
This is the view held by most +uturists and 1artial 1reterists! They believe that the Scriptures teach of a literal
resurrection of the physical body, albeit, one that has been transformed in order to e*perience the spiritual
realm! As discussed above, this is based upon #hrist2s resurrected body as seen durin the forty days between
7is resurrection and ascension! +rom a +ull 1reterist view, this would require that physical raves were
opened in A. 08, and that resurrected physical bodies ascended into heaven! Since this did not take place,
1reterists who hold this view must look for a yet future resurrection, hence they are 1artial 1reterists!
The Literal S+iritual
This view is held by some +ull 1reterists, who believe that there was a literal resurrection of the dead in A. 08,
but that they were raised with spiritual bodies! Thus the physical raves were not opened, but the spiritual
rave 57ades6 did ive up the dead! In the same manner, post'A. 08 believers that have died, have laid down
their earthly tent, and received a buildin from :od 5/#or H:?6, a spiritual body, in which they were ushered into
heaven! Thus the final resurrection is a past event as reardin prophecy, but onoin on an individual basis in
the everlastin covenant!
The S+iritualACovenantal
This view is held by some +ull 1reterists, who believe that the resurrection is not a literal resurrection of either
physical or spiritual bodies, but that its terms are metaphorical for the $death&, or layin down, of the "ld
#ovenant, and the receivin, or $puttin on& of the <ew #ovenant! Some, perhaps, have taken this view
because of the misunderstandin that to accept a literal resurrection, it must be a literal !hysical one! As
discussed earlier, we feel that the literal physical view is untenable due to =ohn2s statement, $it has not yet
been revealed what we shall be&
%e feel that 4ust because the raves of the saints are not empty does not mean that there could not have been
a literal resurrection of the dead! It is a misunderstandin of the nature of the resurrected body that has led to
the assumption that physical bodies will rise out of their raves! The resurrected physical body that most of the
#hurch insists on is far too limitin for what our resurrection bodies will actually be like! >ather than physical
bodies that are $superchared& in order to e*ist in the spiritual realm, we believe that our resurrection bodies
are spiritual, with the capability of manifestin in the physical realm, 4ust as anels are able to! =ust as seein
an anel in the form of man would not reveal the surpassin and lorious e*istence he has in the spiritual
realm, so #hrist2s resurrected form as a man did not reveal 7is surpassin and lorious e*istence, as
described in >evelation chapter ?! Thus we believe that our resurrected bodies are not physical bodies with
spiritual capabilities, but spiritual bodies with physical capabilities! %hile at first lance that miht appear to be
two ways of sayin the same thin, it is not, for the latter far surpasses the former!
+or e*ample, was =esus man becomin :od, or :od becomin man? ;ven thouh 7e was both :od and
3an, 7e was :od who became 3an, not man who became :od! ,ikewise, the resurrection body is not the
physical body e*hibitin spiritual qualities, but a new spiritual body that can e*hibit physical qualities! %e miht
say, in a loose sense, that the resurrection is the process of the incarnation in reverse! To have a physical body
implies the limitations that come with it! To say that :od transforms that body so that it no loner has those
limitations ( capabilities yes, limitations no ( we believe, is to say that the body is no loner physical! Still a
1
body, yes, but not a physical one, 4ust as 1aul says $-there is a natural body, and there is a s!iritual body& 5?
#or ?H:OO6!
In addition to this, what possible purpose would physical bodies serve in the spiritual dimension? %hen we
realiAe that the @indom of :od is spiritual, and not a physical kindom on this earth, we see no purpose for
physical bodies in the resurrection! Thus the raves of the saints did not need to be emptied, nor did bodies
need to float up to heaven, in order for the resurrection to have taken place!
The -+t! Tob
The final hurdle for a literal s!iritual resurrection is #hrist2s empty tomb! If 7is tomb is empty because 7is
physical body was raised, shouldn2t the saints, as the harvest followin 7is first'fruits, also be raised physically
and therefore have empty raves? But we must ask, how far do we carry the analoy of first'fruits and
harvest? Are all the saints to be raised with nail scars in their hands and feet? "r are they to maintain some of
their personal scars of this life, but not all of them? "ur Adamic body is from the dust, and to the dust it will
return:
For out of it you were ta+en;
For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return.
en 1$2# '()*
Because of #hrist2s sinless nature, 7is body did not return to the dust ( therefore we already see
demonstrated to us in Scripture differences between the bodies of the first'fruits and the harvest:
For Javid, after he had served his own generation by the will of od, fell aslee!, was buried with his
fathers, and saw corru!tion; but >e whom od raised u! saw no corru!tion. Acts 21$1%&16 '()*
1rior to 7is incarnation in a physical body, #hrist e*isted in the spiritual realm 57eb ?8:H6! Therefore we know
that a physical earthly body is not necessary in the spiritual realm! 1rior to 7is incarnation, it is widely held that
#hrist appeared in human form in what are known as $Theophanies& ' or more accurately, $#hristophanies&
5these are manifestations of :od the +ather and #hrist, respectively6 5:en ?NF =osh H:?9'?H6! Thus, without a
physical body, 7e was presumably able to perform all of the events that we see 7im doin after 7is
resurrection! .oes this not leave the door open for the saints to be raised spiritually, and yet still be capable of
all the characteristics of #hrist2s pre'ascension resurrected body?
#hrist did not need 7is physical body to return to heaven! Surely the nail scars and the spear2s wound could
have been restored in 7is resurrected body, 4ust as 7is torn flesh, plucked beard and displaced 4oints were!
%hy, then, was #hrist resurrected in a body 7e didn2t need, one that still displayed wounds that could have
been restored? %e feel that it was to demonstrate to 7is followers that 7e wasn2t 4ust a Spirit or host 5,uke
/O:90'9P6, but that 7e had the power to lay 7is life down, and the power to take it up aain 5=n ?8:?N6! The
nature of #hrist2s body prior to 7is ascension wasn2t to demonstrate to us the nature of our resurrected body,
but to show that 7e had conquered death, and thereby demonstrate the guarantee of our resurrection body!
Conclusion
#learly the resurrection is a comple* issue and could have volumes written about it! %hile we favor the literal
spiritual interpretation, we don2t intend to appear domatic, as our own studies and views are still in transition!
7owever, we do feel that those who decry anythin but a literal physical resurrection need to take a closer look
at the foundation upon which it is built, for to us it appears contrary to Scripture! If +uturists and 1artial
1reterists were to re'e*amine the basis upon which a literal !hysical resurrection is founded, and consider the
possibilities of a literal s!iritual one, we feel that the stima of $heretic& miht be removed from +ull 1reterists,
thus openin the doors to more acceptin and fruitful dialo! And 1artial 1reterists miht find that there is no
need for an awkward $third& comin of #hrist for a future final 4udment and resurrection!
2
%e have iven more attention to this issue than to others in this section because, as stated at the beinnin of
the chapter, it is such a watershed issue to the acceptance of 1reterism! %hen we consider the spiritual nature
of the <ew #ovenant, and the fact that flesh and blood cannot inherit the +ingdom of od 5? #or ?H:H86, we
must wonder about the insistence on a physical body in the resurrection! #oncernin the resurrection body,
1aul says:
It is sown a natural body, it is raised a s!iritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a s!iritual
body. 2 /or 2?$@@ '()*
7e does not say that it is sown a natural body and changed into a spiritual body! 7e says that there are two
bodies ( a natural one and a spiritual one! Dpon death we e*chane the physical one, which cannot inherit the
kindom of :od, for a spiritual one, which can:
'ow we +now that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from od, an eternal
house in heaven, not built by human hands. 0 /or ?$2 '()*
>owever, the s!iritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the s!iritual. The first man was of the
earth, made of dust; the second ,an is the 3ord from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are
those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly ,an, so also are those who are heavenly. And as
we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly ,an. 2 /or
2?$@%&@# '()*
This imae of the heavenly 3an which we shall bear, we feel is more analoous to the description of #hrist in
>evelation ?, than of 7is manifested appearances prior to 7is ascension! The fact that flesh and blood cannot
inherit the kindom of :od demonstrates that #hrist2s physical body was not necessary for 7im to ascend to
the +ather! This lends credence to the premise that 7is physical body was resurrected to demonstrate 7is
power over death and the rave! It is 7is resurrection power that allows us to e*chane our physical bodies for
spiritual ones, which the saints prior to the parousia were not able to e*perience! Thus the declaration of the
anel at the consummation of the <ew #ovenant, blessed are the dead who die in the 3ord from now on! 5>ev
?O:?96
The fact that #hrist had a resurrected body of flesh and bones 5,u /O:9P6, and is obviously in the @indom of
:od, seems contradictory to 1aul2s statement that flesh and blood cannot inherit the +ingdom of od! %e
believe that there are two possible solutions to this ( ?6 because #hrist was without sin from the beinnin, 7is
body was not corrupt and could therefore inherit the kindomF /6 after 7e ascended 7e was transformed into
7is spiritual body! This would also e*plain why =ohn said of 7is pre'ascension body, it had not yet been
revealed what we shall be!
%e end this chapter with the interestin observation that while 1aul says, $flesh and blood cannot inherit the
kindom&, #hrist referred to 7is resurrected body as $flesh and bone& 5,u /O:9P6! %hile we are careful not to
venture too far out into these waters, we must acknowlede that the difference between these two statements
cannot be haphaAard! An initial analysis would seem to indicate that our physical bodies, which are the flesh
and blood 1aul refers to, cannot inherit the kindom! 7owever, #hrist, bein flesh and bone, is not prevented
from doin so! Also worthy of note is the followin:
For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you u!on the altar to ma+e atonement for
your souls; for it is the blood that ma+es atonement for the soul9 for it is the life of all flesh. Its blood
sustains its life. 3ev 2B$22, 2@ '()*
The blood of the ,evitical sacrifices did not atone for sin as much as postpone the 4udment due, until true
atonement was realiAed in #hrist:
For it is not !ossible that the blood of bulls and goats could ta+e away sins. >eb 2F$@ '()*
2
'ot with the blood of goats and calves, but with >is own blood >e entered the ,ost >oly Alace once
for all, having obtained eternal redem!tion. >eb #$20 '()*
Is it possible that the blood, which is the life of this corrupt flesh, cannot dwell in the presence of the
incorruptible :od, and thus this corruptible must put on incorruption? If we can be crucified with /hrist and
buried with >im through ba!tism, but nevertheless live 5:al /:/8F >om M:O6 in a spiritual sense, can we not
also be resurrected in >is li+eness 5>om M:H6 in a spiritual sense?
2
The Millenniu
%e mentioned in the chapter The Jating of "evelation, that eschatoloical views on the date of >evelation are
not necessarily tied to a specific view on the millennium! 7owever, since the topic of the millennium is so
interal to one2s eschatoloical position, we feel it should not be left unmentioned! Because the millennium is
so enimatic, in no way do we claim to have the last word, or even a definite position! %e merely provide the
reader with some points to consider that, as with the resurrection, call into question some popular concepts
reardin the millennium, and present plausible possibilities for it to fit within the framework of 1reterism!
Before e*plorin possibilities of what the millennium is, we must establish what it is not! #rucial to this process
is understandin that the millennium is only mentioned in one chapter of the Bible ( >evelation /8, which we
provide below:
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the +ey to the bottomless !it and a great chain
in his hand. >e laid hold of the dragon, that ser!ent of old, who is the Jevil and 5atan, and bound him
for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless !it, and shut him u!, and set a seal on him,
so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. -ut after these
things he must be released for a little while. And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and Hudgment
was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to
)esus and for the word of od, who had not worshi!ed the beast or his image, and had not received
his mar+ on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with /hrist for a thousand
years. -ut the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first
resurrection. -lessed and holy is he who has !art in the first resurrection. .ver such the second death
has no !ower, but they shall be !riests of od and of /hrist, and shall reign with >im a thousand years.
'ow when the thousand years have e=!ired, 5atan will be released from his !rison and will go out to
deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth :land<, og and ,agog, to gather them
together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went u! on the breadth of the earth
:land< and surrounded the cam! of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from od out of
heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the la+e of fire and brimstone
where the beast and the false !ro!het are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Then I saw a great white throne and >im who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled
away. And there was found no !lace for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before
od, and boo+s were o!ened. And another boo+ was o!ened, which is the -oo+ of 3ife. And the dead
were Hudged according to their wor+s, by the things which were written in the boo+s. The sea gave u!
the dead who were in it, and Jeath and >ades delivered u! the dead who were in them. And they were
Hudged, each one according to his wor+s. Then Jeath and >ades were cast into the la+e of fire. This is
the second death. And anyone not found written in the -oo+ of 3ife was cast into the la+e of fire. "ev
0F '()*
<otice that there is no mention of the wolf dwelling with the lamb, the lion eating straw li+e the o=, and a little
child leading them 5Is M U MH6! <or does it say no more shall an infant from there live but a few days, or that
they shall build houses and inhabit them, they shall !lant vineyards and eat their fruit 5Is MH6! These are 4ust a
few of the conditions that are popularly assined to the millennial rein of #hrist! But by what scriptural
precedent? )es, Isaiah MH speaks of a new heavens and a new earth 5v! ?06, but as we have previously seen,
this prophetically speaks of the <ew #ovenant! The old heavens and earth were the universe, the $world& of
the =udaic "ld #ovenant! The Isaiah passae continues:
-ut be glad and reHoice forever in what I create;
For behold, I create )erusalem as a reHoicing,
And her !eo!le a Hoy.
I will reHoice in )erusalem,
2
And Hoy in ,y !eo!le;
The voice of wee!ing shall no longer be heard in her,
'or the voice of crying. Is %?$26&2# '()*
=esus prophesied the destruction of physical =erusalem, but never its rebuildin! In :alatians O, 1aul equates
physical =erusalem with 7aar, who was to be $cast out&! %e have established the spiritual nature of the <ew
#ovenant in 1art I, and demonstrated that the <ew Testament authors, after 1entecost, never allude to a future
physical kindom or temple! "n the other hand, 1aul says in :alatians O that the saints of the <ew #ovenant
belon to the =erusalem which is above! The author of 7ebrews says that the saints have come to the
heavenly )erusalem 57eb ?/://6! Therefore, the =erusalem of Isaiah MH 5and parallel passaes6 is not a rebuilt
physical city e*istin in the future!
After describin the millennial period in >evelation /8, in the ne*t chapter =ohn is shown the ,amb2s wife, the
holy )erusalem descending out of heaven 5v! ?86! Those who have not removed the veil of 3oses are still
lookin for physical fulfillments of these and similar passaes where :od speaks of establishin Israel, and
buildin =erusalem! The <ew Testament authors never speak of any ae after that of the <ew #ovenant, but
instead state that the <ew #ovenant is everlastin! As @in points out from the typoloy of Ishmael, Isaac and
the two covenants, Abraham did not have a third son! Because of this, the only place to find a yet future
physical fulfillment is in the millennial rein of #hrist! 3auro2s comment on this is worth repeatin here:
This view Jthat ;Aekiel2s temple relates to millennial timesK is characteristic of that peculiar system of
interpretin the Scriptures JdispensationalismK which we are e*aminin in the present volumeF for,
accordin to the principles thereof, all difficulties in the prophetic %ord, and all problems of like nature
are solved by the simple e*pedient of postponin their fulfillment to the 3illennial ae! Thus the
3illennium becomes the convenient and promiscuous dumpin place of all portions of Scripture which
offer any difficultyF and the unhappy consequence is that many prophecies which were fulfilled at the
first comin of #hrist, or are bein fulfilled in this ae of the ospel, and many Scriptures, such as the
Sermon on the 3ount, which apply directly to the saints of this dispensation, are wrenched out of their
proper place, and are releated to a distant future, much to the loss of the people of :od and to the
dislocation of the Scriptures as a whole!
The LpostponementL system doubtless owes the popularity it en4oys to the circumstance that its method
is both safe and easy! It is safe because, when a fulfillment of prophecy is releated to the 3illennium,
it cannot be conclusively refuted until the time comes! All date'settin schemes owe their measure of
popularity to the same fact! It is easy because it relieves the Bible student of the trouble of searchin for
the meanin and application of difficult passaes!
Accordin to 3auro, many prophecies that are bein fulfilled in this ae of the ospel are wrenched out of their
proper place! That these and other passaes miht refer to the ospel of the <ew #ovenant is not new, nor is it
a device used to $fit& them into this framework! %e have previously looked at 3atthew 7enry2s commentary on
Isaiah MH: ?0'/H concernin the new heavens and new earth! #onsider his commentary on a similar passae
from Isaiah ??:M'P:
"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
The leo!ard shall lie down with the young goat,
The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall gra;e;
Their young ones shall lie down together;
And the lion shall eat straw li+e the o=.
The nursing child shall !lay by the cobra4s hole,
And the weaned child shall !ut his hand in the vi!er4s den.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all ,y holy mountain,
For the earth shall be full of the +nowledge of the 3."J
As the waters cover the sea.
2
Is 22$%&# '()*
Isa ??:M'P
Dnity or concord, which is intimated in these fiurative promises, that even the wolf shall dwell
peaceably with the lambF men of the most fierce and furious dispositions, who used to bite and devour
all about them, shall have their temper so stranely altered by the efficacy of the ospel and race of
#hrist that they shall live in love even with the weakest and such as formerly they would have made an
easy prey of! So far shall the sheep be from hurtin one another, as sometimes they have done 5;Aek
9O:/8'/?6, that even the wolves shall aree with them! #hrist, who is our peace, came to slay all
enmities and to settle lastin friendships amon his followers, particularly between =ews and :entiles:
when multitudes of both, bein converted to the faith of #hrist, united in one sheep'fold, then the wolf
and the lamb dwelt toetherF the wolf did not so much as threaten the lamb, nor was the lamb afraid of
the wolf! The leopard shall not only not tear the kid, but shall lie down with her: even their youn ones
shall lie down toether, and shall be trained up in a blessed amity, in order to the perpetuatin of it! The
lion shall cease to be ravenous and shall eat straw like the o*, as some think all the beasts of prey did
before the fall! The asp and the cockatrice shall cease to be venomous, so that parents shall let their
children play with them and put their hands amon them! A eneration of vipers shall become a seed of
saints, and the old complaint of ' homo homini lupus ' man is a wolf to man, shall be at an end! Those
that inhabit the holy mountain shall live as amicably as the creatures did that were with <oah in the ark,
and it shall be a means of their preservation, for they shall not hurt nor destroy one another as they
have done! <ow, 5?!6 This is f!lfilled in the wonderf!l effect of the gospel !pon the minds of
those that sincerely embrace itF it chanes the nature, and makes those that trampled on the meek of
the earth, not only meek like them, but affectionate towards them! %hen 1aul, who had persecuted the
saints, 4oined himself to them, then the wolf dwelt with the lamb!
3auro provides further insiht as to the nature of the millennium:
In the interpretation of the above passae J>ev /8K, the principal question to be decided is: in what
realm do the described events take place? Are they in the realm of the natural, or in that of the
s!iritual? They who locate them in the realm of the natural, in other words who make them a part of this
earthRs history, must of necessity postpone them to a future era, reardless of whether they place
#hristRs Second #omin before the millennium or afterF for certainly no such events as are here
described have as yet transpired on earth! But, for those who locate the scenes and events of the
millennium in the realm of the unseen thins, there is no such necessity! Accordin to their
understandin of the passae those scenes and events may be already past, or they may be oin on
now!
Applyin this idea Jthat there is an unseen spiritual dimension coe*istin with the visible physical
dimensionK to the case of a prophecy whereof we know of no fulfillment, it is evident that we may do
with it either of two thins: 5?6 we may locate the fulfillment in another realm of space, or 5/6 we may
locate it in another era of time! And specifically, we may either 5?6 assume its fulfillment to be in this
realm of the natural and visible at a future era of time, or we may 5/6 assume its fulfillment to be at this
present time 5or in a time already past6 in another region of s!ace! The first of these alternatives is that
which is usually chosenF the reason bein that it is far easier for us to conceive of a future era of time
where the same state of thins with which we are familiar is still oin on, than to conceive of a realm
co'e*istent with this where a state of thins of a spiritual kind subsists! )et the latter e*planation is
obviously as satisfactory and sufficient as the former! And what we claim for it is that it has solid support
in the ScriptureF whereas the postponement of the prophecies concernin Israel, Bion and =erusalem to
a yet future era is contrary to clear statements of the word of :od!
HO
Jemphasis in oriinalK
In reards to the view that a future millennium is the 0
th
and final day in the $week& of world history,
correspondin to the seven days of creation, 3auro quotes .r! T! 1! Stafford:
61
/ha+ter 2<3 The )ope of #srael$ *hat #s #t+
2
.r! Stafford points out 5and it is important to take note of this6 that the author of >evelation did not
adopt or share in any deree whatever, the then current =ewish e*pectation of a millennium of =ewish
ascendency over the :entiles, and of world'wide peace and plenty! And he quotes Adam SmithRs 3ife
and 3etters of 5t. Aaul to the effect that the early #hristian imaination proceeded upon the =ewish
notion that the history of the world was to last for si* aes, correspondin to the si* days of #reation!
And that L4ust as the si* days of creation were succeeded by a day of rest, so the si* aes will be
followed by the 3illennium, a thousand years of peace! By and by the idea arose that each of the past
aes had lasted a thousand yearsF and hence it was reckoned that the year ?888 A! .!, would
terminate the current ae and witness the ,ordRs Advent, and the final =udment!L
As to this .r! Stafford comments as follows:
LThat there was a =ewish e*pectation of a millennium of some kind, and that it has had some influence
upon #hristian eschatoloy, is freely admitted! But that this =ewish notion is found in the <ew
Testament is denied! This false idea, like many other false ideas, has come into #hristian thouht from
=udaism, but does not belon there!L
In proof of this .r! Stafford points out that our ,ord 7imself was a martyr to 7is outspoken
Lnonconformity to =ewish notions,L and to the fact that 7e was a complete contradiction to their ideas of
the 3essiahF Lthat 1aulRs life'lon fiht was aainst =ewish notionsLF and that he Lsaved #hristianity
from the ruin which the =ewish party in the first churches would have brouht upon it!L And rihtly he
says: &The idea of a civil government on earth for a tho!sand years is not fo!nd in a single
!tterance of 2es!s, -a!l or -eter; m!ch less that hrist is going to 8set it !p8 when *e ret!rns!L
HH
5emphasis added6
As one can see, we must erase from the $blackboard& of our minds the misconceptions reardin the
millennium, before we can bein to formulate its possible fulfillments! %e summariAe this $erasin of the
blackboard& as follows:
>evelation /8 is the only chapter in the Bible that contains descriptions of the millennium! All other
descriptions are added by individual interpretation!
The <ew Testament authors never speak of any ae to come other than that of the ospel ae, which is
declared to be everlastin!
.etails other than those of >evelation /8, which are assined to the millennium, are the result of
demandin a $physical& interpretation of passaes which pertain to the <ew #ovenant!
These other passaes have been understood by others 5e!!, Barnes, 7enry6 as pertainin to the
ospel!
7avin addressed what the millennium is not, we return to >evelation /8 to see what it is:
The bindin of Satan!
The martyred souls reinin with #hrist!
The releasin of Satan to deceive the nations and ather them aainst the camp of the saints and the
beloved city!
Satan thrown into the lake of fire!
The 4udment of the dead!
%ith these items in mind, we now turn our attention to a possible interpretation for the millennium as described
in >evelation /8! %hen we reconiAe the spiritual realm in which the millennium takes place, those scenes and
events, as 3auro stated, may be already past, or they may be oin on now! Thus, some see the millennium
as fiurative of the ospel and the church ae, based upon the followin:
The <ew Testament authors speak of no other ae than the comin #hurch ae!
The bindin of Satan, #hrist 4udin 7is enemies and reinin, are all elements of the ospel ae!
$A thousand& is representative of the completeness or fullness of an item!
66
/ha+ter 2<3 Ibid
2
"thers see it as that period when the #ovenants coe*isted, the $last days& eneration, the span of
appro*imately forty years! %hile many may think it preposterous to make forty years equal a thousand years
5even thouh they have no problem makin one day equal a thousand years6, those who hold this view remind
us of the hermeneutic of audience relevance! >evelation was written by a =ew, to a larely =ewish audience, in
the apocalyptic lanuae of the =ews! Therefore we must try to ascertain what the =ewish perspective of a
millennium was in that day!
It seems, accordin to =ewish commentaries and literature, that their concept of the duration of the millennium
5a transition period between the aes6 was much different than that of modern #hristianity! %hereas modern
#hristianity sees the millennium as a period of at least a thousand years, and maybe much more 5as in the
millennial view6, the =ews saw it as maybe a thousand years, but perhaps much less! Some actually believed it
would be a forty'year period! Thus, when the <ew Testament saints read >evelation, they had a much different
mental imae of the millennium then we do! In this view, the bindin of Satan is seen as takin place durin
#hrist2s earthly ministry, as evidenced by 7is power to cast out demons:
And if I cast out demons by -eel;ebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be
your Hudges. -ut if I cast out demons by the 5!irit of od, surely the +ingdom of od has come u!on
you. .r how can one enter a strong man4s house and !lunder his goods, unless he first binds the
strong man? And then he will !lunder his house. ,t 20$0B&0# '()*
And >e said to them, "I saw 5atan fall li+e lightning from heaven. -ehold, I give you the authority to
tram!le on ser!ents and scor!ions, and over all the !ower of the enemy, and nothing shall by any
means hurt you. 3u+e 2F$26&2# '()*
'ow is the Hudgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. )ohn 20$12'()*
9 how od anointed )esus of 'a;areth with the >oly 5!irit and !ower, and how he went around doing
good and healing all who were under the !ower of the devil, because od was with him. Acts 2F$16
'I*
The reinin of the martyred souls with #hrist is seen as bein in the spiritual realm, where 1aul says that the
<ew Testament saints were currently reinin with #hrist:
9 which >e wor+ed in /hrist when >e raised >im from the dead and seated >im at >is right hand in
the heavenly !laces, far above all !rinci!ality and !ower and might and dominion, and every name that
is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And >e !ut all things under >is feet,
and gave >im to be head over all things to the church, which is >is body, the fullness of >im who fills
all in all. G!h 2$0F&01 '()*
-ut od, who is rich in mercy, because of >is great love with which >e loved us, even when we were
dead in tres!asses, made us alive together with /hrist 7by grace you have been saved8, and raised us
u! together, and made us sit together in the heavenly !laces in /hrist )esus9 G!h 0$@&% '()*
The releasin of Satan to deceive the nations and ather them aainst the beloved city is seen as occurrin
ca! MH'08 A., when heavy persecution broke out aainst #hristians from <ero and the =ews! %hile many
understand the beloved city to be =erusalem, we must remember @in2s observation that there are two
=erusalems in :od2s eschatoloy! Is the beloved city physical =erusalem, or spiritual =erusalem? "ur first clue
is in the title beloved city, for we know that physical =erusalem was not beloved in :od2s siht! >ather, =esus
wept over it and pronounced its desolation, because it was the city that killed the prophets, and stoned those
who were sent to her! ;ven as far back as .aniel :od called the =ews and =erusalem .aniel2s people and
.aniel2s holy city, not 7is 5.an P:/O6! "ur second clue is that it is the camp of the saints! The saints are the
children of promise, and of the =erusalem above 5:al O:/M'/N6, that is, the heavenly =erusalem 57eb ?/://6!
2
<e*t we see that fire comes down from :od and devours these armies which have surrounded the beloved
city! This is not physical =erusalem bein delivered, for :od sent the >oman armies to lay her waste! >ather,
as we studied in The Two /ovenants and the Two 5ons of Abraham, the fleshly seed of Abraham persecuted
the spiritual seed ( the =ews persecuted the #hristians! The +ire that :od sent was upon physical =erusalem,
in part because they had $surrounded& the camp of the saints! @in also makes the observation that the
nations that ather toether, :o and 3ao, are as numerous as the sand of the sea! This is the same
description used to describe the fleshly seed of Abraham 5:en //:?06! This confirms that the fire from :od is
comin upon physical =erusalem, who killed the prophets, persecuted the #hurch, and to whom 4udment was
due! By reconiAin the beloved city as spiritual =erusalem, and the nations that are destroyed by :od as
physical =erusalem, the battle scene is brouht back into focus with the rest of >evelation, where we see
:od2s 4udment upon apostate Israel!
The castin of Satan into the lake of fire takes place in A. 08 at the Second #omin of #hrist and the
consummation of the <ew #ovenant! The final resurrection and 4udment of the dead, havin one of the
spiritual interpretations described in the previous chapter, occur at this time also!
Althouh the precedin was a very brief overview, one can see that there is enouh scriptural support to at
least warrant its consideration for further study! <aturally, there are ob4ections to the view, one of which is the
inspired use of the term thousand years! The =ewish understandin of this time period notwithstandin, as we
stated in the chapter 5eventy Times 5even, a thousand seems to represent fullness, or completeness! If the
forty years of the last day2s eneration was the time described by >evelation /8, why did the 7oly Spirit inspire
=ohn to write $millennium&, as opposed to $eneration&? Another problem area is Satan bein cast into the lake
of fire! If this is the case, many wonder to what we are to ascribe evil and apparent demonic activity in our
present world!
Aain we note that a particular eschatoloical position does not necessarily dictate a particular millennial view!
>etunin to our analoy of a tract home, we see the millennium as the paint delivered to the construction site!
That it is for our pro4ect there is no doubt! ,ikewise, we know that the millennium also belons with our
eschatoloy! But we must determine whether the paint is all interior ( that is, unseen from the outside ( or
e*terior as well ( seen from the outside, but only as an accent of the underlyin construction! Is the millennium
wholly in the spiritual realm, unseen in the physical, or, thouh larely shaped in the spiritual realm, are there
visible $accents& of it in the physical?
%e also mustn2t lose siht of the fact that the Bible is dealin with :od2s redemptive plan, and that eschatoloy
is focused on the castin out of Ishmael and the transition of the covenants! %ith this in view, shouldn2t we
e*pect the millennium to fit within this paradim, rather than assinin it to some dis4ointed era of which none
of the <ew Testament authors speak? >eardless of how much of the millennium is realiAed in either the
spiritual or physical realms, since there is no Scriptural precedent to detach it from the eschatoloy of the $last
days& eneration, we feel compelled to find its fulfillment in that time frame! #ertainly there is no 4ustification for
creatin additional $aes& and physical kindoms which are mentioned no where else in the <ew Testament!
%hile there will always be controversy and disareements over what e*actly the millennium is, we feel that
properly reconiAin what it is not removes the ma4or obstacles to fittin it within the framework of 1reterist
eschatoloy!
2
$s This #ll There $s/
This is the inevitable, if not the initial response to the implications of 1reterism! Those who have been lookin
to be $raptured& out of this evil world feel that 1reterism robs them of the $blessed hope&! )et we have failed to
realiAe, that by claimin that the you, we and us of the <ew Testament refer to our current eneration, we have
effectively robbed the <ew Testament saints of that same blessed hope ( the very people to whom it was
promisedI As someone has said, when we read the <ew Testament we are readin someone else2s mail! This
is literally true of the epistles! <one of us are members of the church at :alatia, or ;phesus, or Thessalonica,
etc!, to which that $mail& was addressed! Althouh the Bible was written for us, it was not written to us! +rom
our perspective the Bible is a history book, but it is not a dead history book:
For the word of od is living and !owerful, and shar!er than any two&edged sword, !iercing even to the
division of soul and s!irit, and of Hoints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the
heart. >eb @$20 '()*
This means that we must separate the timeless truths and principles of the Bible from its time' and people'
specific events and promises! ;ven the <ew Testament #hurch had to do this, as they were encouraed to
read each other2s letters! Both believers and nonbelievers in the <ew Testament era were e*pected to study
the "ld Testament Scriptures, which were historical to them, and were admonished for not bein dilient in this
area! So we are to study the "ld and <ew Testament Scriptures, which are historical to us! =ust as the
1harisees of =esus2 day did not read 5nor do we6 =oshua chapter M and interpret it that they were 5or we are6 to
march around =ericho for seven days, so we can not take specific instructions and promises to the <ew
Testament eneration and apprehend them for ourselves! Similarly, we don2t e*pect that everyone named
Timothy believes that 1aul is speakin directly to them when he says, $take a little wine for your stomach& 5?
Tim H:/96! In the same manner, when 1aul replaces Timothy2s 5or any of the <ew Testament saints26 name with
the pronoun $you&, or when he refers to himself and Timothy 5or others6 as $we&, we must reconiAe the
audience relevance!
This does not mean that the spiritual truths conveyed in the Bible are not relevant to us! Thus, even if we are
not named Timothy, if we have been foreoin wine for the sake of appearances, when it could aid in our
diestive process, perhaps we could benefit from 1aul2s instructions! This discernin between timeless truths
and time' andEor people'specific events is not completely forein to us! %e do this anytime we listen to an
audiotape or watch a videotape of a previous church service, be it our own church or another church! If the
speaker refers to an event specific to his current audience, such as an upcomin church picnic, or a special
prayer meetin, we have no trouble realiAin that those events do not refer to us as we listen to or watch the
service at a later date 5perhaps even years later6! The speaker may present truths learned from their current
buildin plan, or strules with their #ity 1lanners! %e don2t take this to mean that we are in a buildin phase
ourselves, or strulin with our #ity 1lanners! But we may be able to apply the truths to a strule with a
particular neihbor! So we see that audience relevance is not somethin with which we are unacquainted!
As participants in the <ew #ovenant, instead of a priesthood that ministers over us, and a ,aw that dictates
how we are to live before our :od, we have #hrist as our 7ih 1riest, the one 3ediator between :od and man
5? Tim /:H6! The <ew #ovenant is now written on our hearts 57eb N:?86, and we work out our own salvation
with fear and tremblin 51hil /:?/6! Still, however, we can sympathiAe with the reader2s feelins of a $hollow&
interpretation, for we also raised similar questions upon our introduction to 1reterism! %e believe that there are
two primary reasons for this sense of disillusionment! The first is that the <ew #ovenant and the @indom of
:od have been overly literaliAed in their presentation to us, and we have been led to e*pect them in this
physical realm! This was our focus of study in 1art I!
2
The second reason for not appreciatin the <ew #ovenant is rooted in our inability to fully comprehend and
compare the differences between the $ministry of death& and the ospel of race! Althouh at our conversion
we were translated from the kindom of darkness into 7is @indom of liht, we do not know what it means to
be redeemed from the bondae of the law! Those who lived under it were not translated from darkness to liht,
but only from darkness into the ministry of death, the bondae of the ,aw! They had no assurance of ultimate
salvation until #hrist came to destroy the works of the evil one! )om @