So, Where is the New Heaven and New Earth if all was fulfilled in 70 A.D.?

 

Recently we’ve been discussing the subject of Eschatology which is the study of last things. For those of you new to the site we are specifically examining Full Preterism, an eschatological belief that all prophecies were fulfilled on or about A.D. 70. I must say the discussions have been interesting to say the least however there are things that FP’s believe that I just can’t seem to grasp in the light of Scripture…..

 

 

Revelation 21:1-4 NKJV

 

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

 

 

John claims he saw a new heaven and a new earth in a vision. Consider the prophet Isaiah;

 

Isaiah 65:17 “ For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth;

And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.

 

Isaiah 66:22For as the new heavens and the new earth Which I will make shall remain before Me,” says the LORD, “ So shall your descendants and your name remain.

 

Or the Apostle Peter;

 

2Peter 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

 

 

Where is the new heaven and new earth John, Isaiah and Peter spoke about? If righteousness dwells in this new heaven and new earth, as Peter points out then how come there is so much unrighteousness in this new heaven and new earth? If all was fulfilled in AD70 then this is the new heaven and new earth, correct? If full preterism is a valid biblical belief system then those espousing this can easily explain this to me.

 

What about the New Jerusalem that John describes as “coming down from heaven”? Where is this? Surely something of this magnitude would have been witnessed by someone. Why didn’t someone, anyone that witnessed this write about this major event? This would be BIG NEWS wouldn’t it? If FP is a valid biblical belief system then they can easily supply the answer to this as well.

 

If Full Preterism is a valid biblical belief system, and that all was fulfilled what about verse 4 of the Revelation text? John claims there would be no more death, tears, sorrow or crying. This is what John claims he saw in a vision and if all was really fulfilled this would or should be the case, right?

 

How come every time I turn on the news I see death and sorrow and tears? If Full Preterism is to be believed as a valid biblical truth and all was fulfilled then why is there death and sorrow and tears in the New Jerusalem? John says there won’t be. Unless I’m imagining things death sorrow and tears exist today. Why is that?

 

This is just the beginning. I’d like some answers to these questions before I go any further. Of course a biblical explanation would be nice and if Full Preterism is a valid biblical belief then those espousing such beliefs shouldn’t have any problems whatsoever answering these questions.

 

Finally. Any and all comments had better be Scripture based and free of ad hominems or your comment will be deleted.

 

 

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23 thoughts on “So, Where is the New Heaven and New Earth if all was fulfilled in 70 A.D.?

  1. “Heaven and Earth Passed Away”
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    By David B. Curtis

    We looked last week at the time statements in the Bible as to the coming of the Lord. We saw that he said he would come — while some that were standing there were still living; in that generation; soon; quickly; at hand; he said his coming was near. Everywhere that the Bible talks about the Lord’s coming it gives us a time statement. The NT saints fully expected the Lord to return in their lifetime. How could we possibly miss this? Yet the majority of believers today, some two thousand years later are still saying that the Lord will return soon. Can the same event be imminent at two different periods of time separated by two thousand years? Someone said to me that they felt that the Lord said he was coming soon because he wanted every generation to be watching for Him. Think about that. What that means is that when he told the first century believers that he was coming back soon, he really didn’t mean it, he was giving them false information to keep them looking for Him. Can you live with that? If that was the case what else did he tell them that wasn’t true? Do we have a God who intentionally deceives men? Isn’t it much easier to simply believe what Jesus said and believe that he came back in the first century?

    What is at stake here is the inspiration of Scripture. If Jesus was mistaken or if he lied to us then what good is the rest of the Bible? There are those opponents who say that if you believe that Jesus came back in the first century then you don’t need to read your Bible any more. I don’t understand that argument, but if Jesus didn’t come back in the first century, when he said that he would then you might as well throw your Bible out because if it isn’t inspired, it isn’t any good. I believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and therefore without errors.

    Christianity is intellectual, faith is understanding and assent to what God has told us. God says in Isaiah chapter 1, “come now let us reason together.” This is important because you are a product of your thinking. Proverbs 23:7 says (NKJV) ” For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”

    What is really frightening about this is that in our culture thinking is not really that important. Do you realize this? We are not so concerned about thinking as we are about two other things, emotion and pragmatism. We’re concerned about feelings, and we’re concerned about success. We’re not so concerned about thinking. People don’t ask the question, is it true, is it right? They ask the question, does it work and how will it make me feel. Emotion and pragmatism. This is tragic, especially because it has taken over the Christian Church. Even in theology, it’s sad to say, the issue is not always is it right or true, but will it offend or upset someone. We worry about how the truth will make people feel. In Acts 17:11 the Bereans were noble because they searched the scriptures, not to see if these things felt good, or to see if these things worked, or even to see if these things would offend, but to see if these things were “so,” to see if they were right and true. Some folks have said to me,”If I believe that Jesus came back in 70 AD it might effect some areas of my life. Such as; will a mission board take me, will I be accepted at certain colleges, could I work in an AWANA program?” Listen, please listen to me carefully. Those are the wrong questions! The first, the foremost, the only important question that we need to ask is: IS IT TRUE? If it’s true we’ll have to live with the consequences that the Lord gives us, but the issue here is truth, is it true?

    Proverbs 23:23 (NKJV) Buy the truth, and do not sell it, Also wisdom and instruction and understanding.

    When I first came to see as truth the fact that the Lord had come in 70 AD and all prophecy had been fulfilled my first objection was, “This means we are living in the new heaven and the new earth!” My response to that was “Yea right! If this is the New heaven and earth we got ripped off.” Why did I feel that way? It was because I was looking for a physical fulfillment of 2 Peter 3 and Revelation 21-22. I thought that those passages were speaking of physical truths, I now know differently, I didn’t understand apocalyptic language. The thing that changed my mind was seeing how the OT Scripture used the concept of heaven and earth. Lets look at how the Bible uses the concept of heaven and earth, I think you’ll see that it is not always used physically.

    Lets start by reading 2 Peter 3. Most Christians would say that this is the end of the world as we know it, the destruction of planet earth. It sure sounds that way doesn’t it? That is how I had always seen it.

    One of the major areas of difficulty in understanding correctly “heaven and earth” in the New Testament is the misunderstanding of how God referred to nations by this phrase in the Old Testament. Seeing the biblical concept of “heaven and earth” in the Old Testament will help us greatly in correctly understanding its use in New Testament passages. Rather than to assume that each time we encounter the phrase, we are to immediately think of this physical universe and its elements.

    Genesis 1:1 (NKJV) In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

    Now is this literal or figurative? I think that this is clearly literal. I believe in a literal six day creation. Do you? Or do you believe that because with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day that creation took six thousand years?

    Leviticus 26:14-20 (NKJV) ‘But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments, 15 and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant, 16 I also will do this to you: I will even appoint 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. 17 I will set My 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 pursues you. 18 ‘And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. 19 I will break the pride of your power; I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze. 20 And your strength shall be spent in vain; for your land shall not yield its produce, nor shall the trees of the land yield their fruit.

    God warns Israel that she must listen and obey Him in the commandments that He has given them. God uses various terms and expressions in describing what it will be like if they despise His statutes, but notice particularly verse 19: “and I will break the pride of your power, and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass.” Compare Genesis 1:1 with Leviticus 26:19, are the terms “heaven and earth” to be understood in the same way? They clearly do not mean the same thing in each verse. Notice how the character of Israel’s disposition in God’s view is personalized, “YOUR heaven” and “YOUR earth.” So the terms “heaven” and “earth” belong or relate to Israel, they evidently constitute a “heaven” and “earth.”

    Isaiah 1:1-2 (NKJV) The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. 2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! For the LORD has spoken: “I have nourished and brought up children, And they have rebelled against Me;

    Who is God speaking to here the physical creation? No, he is speaking to Israel. I think we can see this idea clearly if we look at Isaiah 51

    Isaiah 51:15-16 (NKJV) But I am the LORD your God, Who divided the sea whose waves roared; The LORD of hosts is His name. 16 And I have put My words in your mouth; I have covered you with the shadow of My hand, That I may plant the heavens, Lay the foundations of the earth, And say to Zion, ‘You are My people.'”

    The time of planting the heavens and laying the foundation of the earth that is referred to here, was performed by God when He divided the sea (ver. 15) and gave the law (ver. 16), and said to Zion, Thou art my people; that is, when He took the children of Israel out of Egypt, and formed them in the wilderness into a covenant nation. He planted the heavens and laid the foundation of the earth: that is, brought forth order, and government.

    This idea is seen more clearly as we look at other passages where mention is made of the destruction of a state and government using language which seems to set forth the end of the world, as the collapse of heaven and earth.

    Isaiah 13:1 (NKJV) The burden against Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.

    In this chapter God is talking about the judgement that is to fall upon Babylon. The word burden is the Hebrew word massa’, (mas-saw’) an utterance, chiefly a doom. This introduction sets the stage for the subject matter in this chapter and if we forget this, our interpretations of Isaiah 13 can go just about anywhere our imagination wants to go. This is not an oracle against the universe or world but against the nation of Babylon.

    Isaiah 13:6 (NKJV) Wail, for the day of the LORD is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty.

    Isaiah 13:9-13 (NKJV) Behold, the day of the LORD comes, Cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, To lay the land desolate; And He will destroy its sinners from it. 10 For the stars of heaven and their constellations Will not give their light; The sun will be darkened in its going forth, And the moon will not cause its light to shine. 11 “I will punish the world for its evil, And the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. 12 I will make a mortal more rare than fine gold, A man more than the golden wedge of Ophir. 13 Therefore I will shake the heavens, And the earth will move out of her place, In the wrath of the LORD of hosts And in the day of His fierce anger.

    Now remember he is speaking about the destruction of Babylon but is sounds like world wide destruction. The terminology of a context cannot be expanded beyond the scope of the subject under discussion. The spectrum of language surely cannot go outside the land of Babylon. If you were a Babylonian and Babylon was destroyed would it seem like the world was destroyed? Yes! Your world would be destroyed.

    Isaiah 13:17 (NKJV) “Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, Who will not regard silver; And as for gold, they will not delight in it.

    This is an historical event that took place in 539 BC. When the Medes destroyed Babylon the Babylonian world came to an end. This destruction is said in verse 6 to be from the Almighty, and the Medes constitute the means that God uses to accomplish this task. The physical heaven and earth were still in tact, but for Babylon they had collapsed. This is apocalyptic language. This is the way the Bible discusses the fall of a nation. This is obviously figurative language.

    In Isaiah 24-27 we see the invasion of Israel by Nebuchadnezzar. He carries them away to captivity. Notice the language that he uses.

    Isaiah 24:3-6 (NKJV) The land shall be entirely emptied and utterly plundered, For the LORD has spoken this word. 4 The earth mourns and fades away, The world languishes and fades away; The haughty people of the earth languish. 5 The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants, Because they have transgressed the laws, Changed the ordinance, Broken the everlasting covenant. 6 Therefore the curse has devoured the earth, And those who dwell in it are desolate. Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, And few men are left.

    Isaiah 24:19-20 (NKJV) The earth is violently broken, The earth is split open, The earth is shaken exceedingly. 20 The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, And shall totter like a hut; Its transgression shall be heavy upon it, And it will fall, and not rise again.

    What I want you to see in these verses is how God refers to Israel as the earth. He says the earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly…the earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again” (Verses 1,3,4,19,20) Notice how many times God referred to Israel as the “earth.” This is apocalyptic language speaking of the destruction of the people of Israel.

    In Isaiah 34 we have a description of the fall of Edom, notice the language that is used.

    Isaiah 34:3-5 (NKJV) Also their slain shall be thrown out; Their stench shall rise from their corpses, And the mountains shall be melted with their blood. 4 All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, And the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll; All their host shall fall down As the leaf falls from the vine, And as fruit falling from a fig tree. 5 “For My sword shall be bathed in heaven; Indeed it shall come down on Edom, And on the people of My curse, for judgment.

    This is Biblical language to describe the fall of a nation. It should be clear that it is not to be taken literally. Lets look at one other OT use of this language.

    Nahum 1 (NKJV) The burden against Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite. 2 God is jealous, and the LORD avenges; The LORD avenges and is furious. The LORD will take vengeance on His adversaries, And He reserves wrath for His enemies; 3 The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, And will not at all acquit the wicked. The LORD has His way In the whirlwind and in the storm, And the clouds are the dust of His feet. 4 He rebukes the sea and makes it dry, And dries up all the rivers. Bashan and Carmel wither, And the flower of Lebanon wilts. 5 The mountains quake before Him, The hills melt, And the earth heaves at His presence, Yes, the world and all who dwell in it.

    The subject of this judgement is Nineveh, not the physical world. This is the way God describes the fall of a nation. If this language describes the judgement of God on nations, why, when we come to the New Testament, do we make it be the destruction of the universe? It is only because we do not understand how the Bible uses this apocalyptic language. With this understanding of how “heaven and earth” is used in the OT lets look at 2 Peter 3.

    This was by far the text that I struggled with the most. I could not understand how we were in the New heavens and the New earth. As you read different commentaries you will read things like, “this is by far the strongest passage to prove the consummation of time, the termination of the earth as we know it.”

    2 Peter 3:1-2 (NKJV) Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), 2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior,

    Peter is reminding us of what has already been said. The NT does not contain brand new prophecies that just dropped out of the sky containing new information. 2 Peter 3 is just a reiteration of what has already been written by the prophets that spoke before. Peter gives us a key to interpretation. That key is that what he is saying has been written by the OT prophets. Keep that in mind.

    2 Peter 3:3-4 (NKJV) knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”

    Peter said that these scoffers would come in the last days, when are the last days?

    Micah 4:1 (KJV) But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.

    Micah prophecies that God’s kingdom will be established in the last days.

    Acts 2:14-20 (NKJV) But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 15 “For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 “But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.

    So according to Peter the last days began at Pentecost and these last days included and ended with the great and awesome day of the Lord.

    Hebrews 1:1-2 (NKJV) God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;

    The “last days” refers to the last days of the house of Israel, the last days of the Old Covenant. The last days are the period from 30 AD to 70 AD. Isn’t it interesting that during that time the scoffers were already asking, “were is the promise of His coming?” If they were questioning His coming then, about 35 years after his death, what would they be saying today, two thousand years later? They knew that his coming was to be soon.

    Now some use the argument from verses 5-7 that the world was destroyed in Noah’s day and the world will be destroyed again. Lets consider that argument.

    2 Peter 3:5-7 (NKJV) For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. 7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

    Peter says that the world consisted of heaven and earth, and that they were destroyed by water and perished. We know that substance of neither heaven or earth was destroyed, but it was the evil men that were destroyed. Peter makes a distinction between the heaven and earth of Noah’s day, which were destroyed and the heaven and earth that existed then which were to be destroyed by fire. The literal visible fabric of heaven and earth were the same after the flood as they were before the flood. Lets remember what we saw in the OT as to the apocalyptic use of heaven and earth. The destruction of heaven and earth refers to the civil and religious state, and the men of them. What was it that really perished in the flood? Look at verse 6 — by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. It was the world that perished, right? Now what does the word world mean? It is the orderly arrangement of society, it wasn’t the dirt. Now how do you go from an ungodly society that was destroyed to the destruction of the entire universe? The literal earth was not destroyed. What is to be destroyed is the ungodly nation of Israel. Nowhere do the Scriptures teach that the physical creation will be destroyed. Notice what God said after the flood of Noah’s day.

    Genesis 8:21 (NKJV) And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma. Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.

    Now, folks will say that the Lord destroyed the earth by water one time and He’ll destroy it by fire the next time. Is God’s promise here to just change his method of destroying everything. Is there comfort in being destroyed by fire instead of water? Or is he promising not to destroy the earth again?

    Psalms 148:4-6 (NKJV) Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, And you waters above the heavens! 5 Let them praise the name of the LORD, For He commanded and they were created. 6 He also established them forever and ever; He made a decree which shall not pass away.

    What decree did God make concerning the establishment of the heaven and the earth that will never pass away.? Genesis 8:21! God said that he would never again destroy every living thing. God can be trusted, He keeps his word.

    2 Peter 3:8-9 (NKJV) But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

    We looked at these verses last week, they are simply saying that God keeps his promises.

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

    What is “the day of the Lord?” It is a time of judgement on Israel, it is the end of the Old Covenant age. We have a parallel passage in:

    Matthew 24:42-44 (NKJV) “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 “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. 44 “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

    Peter is talking about Jesus second coming at the end of the Jewish age. When the Lord comes, the heaven and earth of the Old Covenant age will pass away. Let me give you a question here to think about — where is the millennium in Peters discussion? Peter is talking about the Lord coming and when He does we go right into the New heaven and earth.

    When we read the word, elements here we think of the scientific idea of the elements of matter, all the atoms of the universe burning up. But is this what the word elements means? The Greek word for elements is stoicheia (stoy-khi’-on) it is only used seven times in the NT.

    Galatians 4:3 (NKJV) Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world.

    Galatians 4:9 (NKJV) But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?

    Colossians 2:8 (NKJV) Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

    Colossians 2:20-22 (NKJV) Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations; 21 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” 22 which all concern things which perish with the using; according to the commandments and doctrines of men?

    Hebrews 5:12 (NKJV) For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.

    In Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, the literal meaning of the word is “element, rudiment, principle.” In other words, this is the elements of religious training, or the ceremonial precepts that are common to the worship of Jews and of Gentiles. Obviously, this “stoicheia” (stoy-khi’-on) is not about atoms or destruction of the universe.

    2 Peter 3:11-13 (NKJV) Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

    What is being dissolved? The OC system is being dissolved not the universe. Where do we have a promise about a new heaven and earth? Peter was surly thinking of the book of Isaiah, chapters 65 and 66.

    Isaiah 65:17 (KJV) For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

    If you read Isaiah 65 and 66 you will notice that before God creates the new heavens and a new earth, He will pour out His wrath against Jerusalem, His rebellious people (Isa. 65:1-7, 11-17; 66:3-6, 15-18, 24). When God created the new heavens and earth, notice that the physical death will remain (Isa. 65:20, 66:24), home construction and agriculture will continue (Isa. 65:21-22), we will have descendants (Isa. 65:23, 66:22), the Lord will hear their prayers (Isa. 65:24),there will be evangelism (Isa. 66:19). The new heavens and earth therefore, cannot be referring to the eternal state; it must be referring to a period in human history. This is the period of the Kingdom of God which Christ rules in the hearts of the believers. The Kingdom of God is made without hands (spiritual – Dan. 2:34, 44-45; c.f. Col. 2:10-11). If we take the statements from the scriptures at face value, then we should conclude that the first heavens and the first earth passed away and was replaced by the glorious reign of the Lord Jesus Christ, the kingdom without end. Notice that in this New Heaven and earth righteousness dwells, as it does in the New Covenant.

    2 Corinthians 3:9 (NKJV) For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory.

    Lets wrap this up by looking at a few more passages, turn with me to Luke 21.

    Luke 21:20-22 (NKJV) “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. 21 “Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. 22 “For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

    Jesus is speaking here of the destruction of Jerusalem, an event that was to occur forty years from the time that he spoke. He said that in that event “all things written would be fulfilled.” What does “all things” mean? Does it really mean all things? Look what Jesus said in Matthew 5:

    Matthew 5:17-18 (NKJV) “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

    Jesus does not have in mind here some specific statement of prophecy. He is not talking about a judgement of Israel, he is not speaking about a specific aspect of his atonement. The Jewish idiom “the law and the prophets” means the totality of the OT revelation. Jesus said he did not come to destroy it but fulfill it. Jesus is saying here in Matthew 5 that the old law has to be fulfilled, every jot, every tittle has to be fulfilled before it can pass away. If 2 Peter 3 is based upon the OT prophets, and it is, and if 2 Peter 3 has not been fulfilled then we are still under the OC law. That is quite simple. Do you believe that we are in the NC? If we are then the OC must have passed away. And if the OC has passed then 2 Peter 3 has been fulfilled.

    Matthew 5 is not limited to any particular prophecy, it is a comprehensive statement encompassing the entirety of the OC revelation. Christ is not here simply speaking of the Word of God, it’s talking about the OC revelation. It is not speaking of the NC, it had not yet been ratified.

    Conclusion

    “There are three heaven and earth time periods in 2 Peter 3, and the change from one epoch of time to another was referred to as a passing of heaven and earth. The object of that expression was to show a change in God’s dealings with man rather than a change in the literal, material constitution of the world itself”

    Futurists teach that the New heaven and earth of Revelation 21 and the New Jerusalem of Revelation 22 is the saved of all ages, the bride of Christ at the end of the millennium, when all things have ended and we have embarked into eternity: They have entered eternity; sin, death, hades and Satan have all been cast into the lake of fire. Remember that all evil has been disposed of, God has healed the Church of her ills, sin has been finally purged from her so that only a grandiose description of her can truly tell of her beauty. The futurists teach that the earth will be a physical paradise at this time, but is that what the Scriptures say?

    Revelation 22:1-2 (NKJV) And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 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.

    When we look at this verse, a question immediately comes to mind: why would the nations need healing? If one adopts the futurist view, then one is at pains to explain this tree. If however, one adopts the preterist view, the explanation is quite easy. Does the New Covenant gospel age end, or is it truly an everlasting covenant as Hebrews 13:20 (KJV) says, “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant.”

    Although Christ’s return vindicated the witness of the first-century church, God didn’t mean for the rest of history to be anticlimactic. His plan for us is an ever-deepening experience of Christ’s presence, and an unfolding realization of his sovereignty over all things.

    God called Israel to be a light to the nations, to lead all people into a covenant relationship with the Father. His purpose for his church, the “Israel of God,” is the same. We are to be calling the world to drink of the living water of the gospel. Let’s be faithful to our calling.

    Revelation 22:17 (NKJV) And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

    Phil: Thank you for your comment. As you can see we are about 1000 miles apart in interpretations. At least Mr. Curtis and I are. Thanks and it will be interesting to see others reactions.

  2. Phil, obviously there is a lot here to discuss. That’s a very broad question.

    Here is a list of commentary that we have provided at RCM. There is specifically a series on 2 Peter 3:

    http://thereignofchrist.com/writings/commentary.html#catid33

    Also, saying that 2 Peter 3 and Isaiah 65,66 are “fulfilled”, is not unique to full preterism.

    I learned from reformed men like John Owens that 2 Peter 3 was fulfilled in ad70. He also linked 2 Peter 3 to Isaiah, saying that Isaiah’s N.H and E is the “church age”.

    There are many postmills and amills that understand Isaiah’s New H and E as referring to the “church age”.

    So all i’m doing, as a preterist, is taking THEIR explanation of Isaiah and linking that as the same thing as Rev 21.

    Also, some of your questioning assumes a few things that are problematic. You ask, for example, “Why didn’t someone, anyone that witnessed this write about this major event?”

    So, are you suggesting that we can only know Biblical events as true if extra-biblical material validates it? If so, that is a major problem.

    Phil: I didn’t suggest anything of the sort. I just find it strange that to the best of my knowledge NO ONE wrote anything about something of this magnitude. Don’t you?

    Thanks for the links. It will be interesting to hear other Scriptural opinions.

  3. Hi Phil,

    Thank you for your graciousness in posting this response. I do understand your being 1000 miles apart in these interpretations. I was as well until I understood ancient Jewish thinking as to the term “Heavens and Earth” according to the scriptures. In Isaiah 1:1-2, God directly calls Judah and Jerusalem “The Heavens and Earth.” According to Isaiah, the vision is concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And yet, in the very next verse God calls them the “Heavens and Earth.” He is asking them to hear His words.

    We must compare scripture with scripture (The analogy of faith) in order to properly define our terms. In this case, God defines for us who the “Heavens and Earth” are. Both the Jewish historian Josephus (first century), and the Talmudic writings, confirm this understanding. It is a common understanding within ancient Hebrew writings. We need not apply a 21st century understanding to these terms and misapply this understanding to our physical planet and sky.

    1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
    The Wickedness of Judah
    2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! For the LORD has spoken:

    Blessing to you!

    Sincerely,

    –Mark

    Phil: You and I are 1000 miles apart Mark. I didn’t say I was wrong and I certainly didn’t say you were or are right. And I think you’re going to find out how much I do understand in the next few weeks. Let’s sit back and see what others have to say and let the Holy Spirit convict the hearts.

  4. Hi Phil,

    I in no way was implying that you were wrong, or that you believed that I was right. I was simply giving you a response as to why I believe what I do. Is what I wrote a reasonable understanding? If not, why not?

    It’s one thing to just simply disagree, and quite another thing entirely when supporting one’s position with scriptural support.

    Thank you again.

    Sincerely,

    –Mark

    Phil: Oh, but you did Mark “I do understand your being 1000 miles apart in these interpretations. I was as well until I understood ancient Jewish thinking as to the term “Heavens and Earth” according to the scriptures.”….but its ok. Like I said before lets just sit back and see what others have to say

  5. Hi Phil,

    One of the things Hyper-Preterists can’t understand is that Isaiah’s NHNE is different from that of John. Isaiah’s is equivalent to the Millennium (7th day) whereas John’s looks forward to the 8th day (after the Millennium). I’ve already written an article which examines this concept and disproves the Hyper-Preterist interpretation:

    http://antipreterist.wordpress.com/2008/10/27/the-new-heavens-and-earth-literal-or-figurative/

    Brian

  6. Hi Phil,
    I can understand how you are 1000 miles apart in these interpretations because our definitions are different as to the term “The Heavens and Earth” within context to 2 Peter 3, Hebrews 1 and Revelation 21:1-4 which you referenced.
    To clarify, I define the “Heavens and Earth” reference to be about covenant people. Your definition is different than mine. Therefore, we come to radically different conclusions and are 1000 miles apart. You asked the question:

    Phil: The only radically different conclusion is yours Mark.

    “What about the New Jerusalem that John describes as “coming down from heaven”? Where is this? Surely something of this magnitude would have been witnessed by someone.”

    According to your question, one would see this New Jerusalem coming down from heaven with their physical eyeballs. Is this the intent of the writer? I think not.

    Phil: But John actually did see this with his own two eyeballs. He saw how its all going to end Mark and was commanded to write all this down by Jesus Himself because that was Jesus intentions.

    Jesus directly answers your question as to where this is.
    20 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”
    Please compare the verses above with Revelation 21:1-4. Is the language not the same?

    Phil: No Mark it isn’t the same language. The Kingdom of God is now Mark. The Revelation text is dealing with the future. You believe this already has taken place. I don’t so we will continue to disagree.

    The New Jerusalem is also referred to as the bride of Christ. Are we not the bride of Christ? Are we also not the New Jerusalem who are born from above? We are the New Heavens and Earth. Those in Christ are in the New Covenant. We are the new covenant people of God!

    Phil: Mark. A Bride is only a bride on her wedding day. This is also a future event Mark. If not then we aren’t one of the elect….

    Jesus said, “Let those that have eyes to see, see.” “Let those that have ears to hear, hear.” These are spiritual realities and must be seen with spiritual eyes and ears.
    If the futurist is looking for a physical city to come down out of the physical clouds, then I suggest he or she will miss the kingdom of God. Jesus said that it does not come with observation and you won’t be able to say that it’s over here or over there. God inhabits His people and lives within us. We are the New Temple of God with Christ being the chief cornerstone. Amen?

    Phil: See. This is why we will never agree. The Kingdom of God is in the hearts of the elect Mark. This is now. We can’t see into the heart Mark. That’s what Jesus meant. The New Heaven and the New Earth is in the future, a real physical place coming out of the clouds just as John saw it with his own two eyeballs.

    Sincerely,
    –Mark
    Phil: Thanks for taking the time to post Mark but unless we agree on the terms and it doesn’t look as though we will we don’t have much more to discuss on this particular topic.

  7. If Brian’s assertion is correct, then Jesus was mistaken and only “some” things were fulfilled rather than ALL THINGS written which Jesus claims. Brian is in direct opposition to Christ’s own statement.

    “For these are the days of vengeance, that ALL THINGS WHICH ARE WRITTEN may be fulfilled. -Luke 21:22

    In those first century days, ALL THINGS WRITTEN were fulfilled just as Jesus said they would be.

    Sincerely,

    –Mark

  8. Hi phil,
    I like your style.

    Peter tells us they expected the “new” heavens and earth. There are two words translated as “new” in the NT. They are “neos” and “kainos.” Interesting, neos is new in time, never been before, or that which has recently come into existence. Other one is kainos which means new in quality, not time.
    Phil: Hi Bill. I live i Greece. Teach at a GOC seminary. Did ya know that?

    So, Peter uses kainos in this verse. Now, if someone takes the position that the new heavens and earth is a literal way, it is inconsistent with the word of kainos. If God destroys this earth and creates another, that would be a new (neos) earth not a new (kainos). We have seen in the NT that it says we have a new (kainos) covenant (Heb. 8), a new (kainos) creation (2 Cor. 5:17) and the church is a new (kainos) Jerusalem (Rev. 21:2 c.f. Heb. 12:22).
    Phil: Nope. Wrong again but nice try Bill.

    Lastly, “the new heavens and a new earth” must have come into Peter’s mind from the book of Isaiah, chapters 65 and 66. Notice before God creates the new heavens and a new earth, He will pour out His wrath against Jerusalem, His rebellious people (Isa. 65:1-7, 11-17; 66:3-6, 15-18, 24). This involves the making of a new Israel or the Church (Isa. 65:8-10, 15; 66:7-14).
    Phil: Nope. Two different things Bill. See how I answered Mark.

    When God created the new heavens and earth, notice that physical death will remain (Isa. 65:20, 66:24), spiritual home construction and agriculture will continue (Isa. 65:21-22 = 1 Cor. 3:6-8; 9:7-11), it will have descendants (Isa. 65:23, 66:22), the Lord will hear their prayers (Isa. 65:24), it will have evangelism (Isa. 66:19), it will have new priests (66:21), as well as weekly and monthly worship (in other word, everyday Isa. 66:23); and there will be an everlasting hell where the worm shall not die, and the fire shall not quenched to those who have transgressed against the Lord (Isa. 66:24).

    Phil: But Bill. He hasn’t created a new heaven and earth yet. This is in the future Bill

    The new heavens and earth is referring to the eternal state while we live in the physical realm in earthly bodies; it must be referring to a period in human history. This is the period of the Kingdom of God which Christ rules in the hearts of the believers. The Kingdom of God is made without hands (spiritual – Dan. 2:34, 44-45; c.f. Col. 2:10-11). If we take the statements from the scriptures at face value, then we should conclude that the first heavens and the first earth passed away and was replaced by the glorious reign of the Lord Jesus Christ, the kingdom without end.

    Bill

    Phil: No. Its an actual physical place. Streets of gold and such. See my answers to Mark about the Kingdom of God. I like your style too Bill. It’s your interpretations that leave a little less then desired.

  9. Phil,

    First and foremost, thanks for using the term, “Full Preterism.” In spite of Brian Simmons saying the two NHNE are two different things (!), we believe that John’s vision and Isaiah’s are the same things. This means, then, that the Premillennialists are right on one hand, and wrong on another. Allow me to explain.

    On one hand, they are right in that they notice the NHNE in Isaiah is EARTHLY. “Death” “child rearing” “building” “planting” “sowing” and “accursedness” continue in Isaiah 65’s NHNE. It’s hardly a picture of heaven! This forces the Premill. to put it in the Millennium on EARTH. So far, the Prem. and the FP agrees. Isaiah’s vision is a vision on earth where many things continue on the way they normally do.

    However, in the Premill scheme they run into a problem. The NHNE of John’s vision comes AFTER the Millennium; hence, John’s NHNE is NOT Isaiah’s NHNE. Now we have two NHNE (find any support from the “fathers” on that one?).

    The Full Preterist position is that Isaiah’s vision does indeed happen on earth. AFTER the “day of the Lord” in Isaiah, history continues, but with one major difference. “Death” is swallowed up for God’s people. They are now dwelling “in righteousness” (II Peter 3), a “righteousness that comes by faith.” And, “they shall not see death..he that beleives in men shall not ever see death.” Isaiah’s vision is exactly the answer to the prayer of Jesus, “thy kingdom come thy will be done, on EARTH as it it in HEAVEN.” The NHNE is God’s Kingdom, invisible and seen with eyes to see (which all Christians have). We are in that kingdom, righteous, glorified, planting, building, having children, and expanding the tents (Isaiah 54). Many, many scholars that are evangelical see this aspect, and eventually have it end in complete renovation of the earth into eternity (postmillennialism). I strongly side with that view (our only difference, then, would be that we have no end in sight). Hope that helps.

    Sam Frost
    http://www.thereignofchrist.com

    Phil: The Kingdom is now Sam. John the Baptist said the kingdom was at hand. Jesus said the Kingdom was among them. The elect are that kingdom Sam. The Bride and where we spend eternity with Him is a different place and a different thing.

  10. “Phil: I didn’t suggest anything of the sort. I just find it strange that to the best of my knowledge NO ONE wrote anything about something of this magnitude. Don’t you?”

    I don’t find it strange. Why stop at eschatology, Phil? How about the Red Sea? How about Jericho? How about the thousands of events that occurred in Scripture that we don’t have any outside historical evidence for?
    Phil: The Red Sea and Jericho are in my bible. I accept this happened by faith in the inerrency of Scripture. Preterism expects me to accept future events as already fulflled. That’s a big difference Jason

    Also, what kind of evidence are you looking for? Doesn’t your question ASSUME that your understanding of these events is correct?

    Let me put it this way: Old Covenant Jews had certain expectations as to what the coming of the Messiah would look like. (1st advent) Jesus shows up on the scene and says he’s the man. The gospels are filled with stories of jew after jew saying that is hogwash. Why? because Jesus’ ideas did not fit into their expectations.

    Talk to an “orthodox jew” today and tell them israel’s messiah already showed up, died, rose from the dead, etc. and they will basically protest the same way you do, “how in the world can you say Isaiah’s prophecies have come to pass? what evidence do we have of this?”

    The Gospels evidence this, but they don’t accept the gospels because they don’t MEET their EXPECTATIONS.

    the problem is not Jesus….the problem is their misinterpretation of those prophecies.

    All of your questioning ASSUMES an expectation that i would say can not be substantiated from Scripture. So to then turn around and ask me to prove evidentially from extra-biblical sources that your expectations occurred can’t be done.

    If you interpret the coming of the New Heavens and Earth as something like God creating a sinless paradise on earth, then no, of course i can’t give you any eyewitness accounts. The problem however, is that EXPECTATION is not what Isaiah meant.
    Phil: John saw a new heaven and new earth that He will create Jason. This is a future event.

    Understanding Isaiah’s new heaven and earth as referring to the church age is fairly standard among some amills and postmills.

  11. Jason said:

    Talk to an “orthodox jew” today and tell them israel’s messiah already showed up, died, rose from the dead, etc. and they will basically protest the same way you do, “how in the world can you say Isaiah’s prophecies have come to pass? what evidence do we have of this?”

    The Gospels evidence this, but they don’t accept the gospels because they don’t MEET their EXPECTATIONS.

    This is a flawed comparison. God always leaves a witness. Jesus, Paul and others left us with clear signs to witness to the return of Christ. No-one (including any preterist) has produced proof of those signs being fulfilled. Those signs were given so that we would not be fooled by someone telling us that the Lord has come.

    Scriptures give us accounts of Jesus’ first coming, and so we believe. There are even non-Biblical evidences of His first coming. Jesus gave us clear signs of His return, and there are no Biblical or non-Biblical accounts of such a cataclysmic event?

    If you are telling us that the Lord has returned, please point us to the proofs of the signs having been fulfilled.

    Scriptures speak of a visible return. Proof please, or no, we won’t bite. Surely, there must be accounts of such a glorious event.

    Scriptures speak of a new heaven and a new earth. No proof, as preterists have cleverly explained that away by spiritualising it all.

    Scriptures speak of transformed saints on a global scale. Also cleverly explained away by spiritualising it. But Scriptures is clear about the fact that believers will have transformed bodies.

    There are absolutely no witnesses to this supposed return of Christ in AD70. None of the apostles left us anything to say that it happend. This is not in God’s character. He leaves us a witness by an authoritative source.

    Jesus said, “..if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

    I’m sorry gentlemen, but if you cannot or will not show evidence (not concocted manipulations of Scripture) that Jesus came the same way He (and others) said He would, I’m not biting.

  12. In regard to the word “soon”, that the perterists are hung up on. We are to live our life as if it will occur at any moment, just as the parable of the Wise Steward in Luke 12 instructs. I understand this usage of the term “soon” to be more about conduct than timing.

  13. Get ready for their “proof” Yomi. It will be proof-text after proof-text torn out of context to put forth their pretext. It will be citations of Josephus. It will be trying to piece together the comments of ancient theologians who though may have said things that sound preteristic, their overall theology would NEVER support anything like what hyperpreterism proposes.

    Be prepared to be accused of calling Jesus a liar. Be prepared to be fed all sorts of conspiracy theories & a twisting of Scripture & history on the grandest of scales.
    Be prepared to be accused of following the “traditions of men” (See 2 Thes 2:15 — here is the “traditions” we Christians follow). Be prepared to be accused of being “sola-creedal” when in actuality no one here except the hyperpreterists seem to bring up individual creeds. Be prepared to be treated like you are stupid.

    Oh yes, the hyperpreterists will bring “proof”, but it doesn’t change the FACT that 1 day before AD70, Christians understood that Jesus’ return, the resurrection of the believers, & the judgment were yet future AND the day AFTER AD70, those same Christians were STILL looking for those events in the future. What then do hyperpreterists want us to believe? That Jesus was such a poor teacher that He couldn’t properly relate & make sure people understood His plan? That Jesus’ hand-picked apostles to whom He sent the Holy Spirit to guide them in ALL truth were also very poor teachers? Yes, some hyperpreterists DO want us to believe exactly that. That all the years Paul, Peter, & the other apostles was wasted on a bunch of dupes who didn’t realize Jesus came back in AD70, that the resurrection happened in AD70, & that the judgment happened in AD70? Is this the kind of Christianity these hyperpreterists want us to believe?

    If the INSPIRED apostles couldn’t relate & make sure the Church understood the correct eschatology, then why should I believe the “private interpretations” of a relatively new & small group of arrogant men & women in the 20-21st century who are trying to tell me the Church has completely missed the point??? Hyperpreterism is perhaps the most distorted view of the Bible & of Christianity that has EVER been.

  14. Yomi,

    Try reading Tacitus, Suetonius, 3rd Enoch, IV Ezra, Barnabas, Apocalypse of Abraham and last but not least, Josephus, who witnessed chariots in the sky, a loud voice and angelic appearances. Oh, and for the best witness of all…there isn’t any temple in Israel anymore….The Dome of the Rock is there. (“The testimony of two or three witnesses….”) I’ve just listed several. Settles it for me.

  15. Yomi,

    Have you visited my website yet? There is article after article after article explaining this, so for you to say that none of us have demonstrated any evidence is false.

    Jesus, in Mt 24, clearly connects the destruction of Herod’s temple with his coming and the end of the age. Again, even some postmills and amills understand that.

    Jesus limited the time within his generation.

    Jesus said “33 So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 34 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. 36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”

    Briefly, notice that Christ said the ‘day nor hour’ could be known, but he certainly limited it to that generation! James, writing after this, says: James 5:7-9 7 Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. 8 You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 9 Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.

    Remember. Jesus had said that when the time was near, He would be standing at the gates, or as some translate, the ‘door’. Here James is writing years later saying, “coming of the Lord is at hand“ and “the Judge is standing at the door”!! Same greek word.

    Simon Kistemaker, who actually wrote a chapter in ’When Shall These Things Be?”, the book that calls us ‘heretics’, makes an interesting comment here in his James commentary concerning the ‘judge Standing at the door’ – N.T.C., p. 167

    “In the middle of the first century of the Christian era, leaders in the church expected the Lord Jesus Christ to return within their lifetime. In his letters Paul tells his readers that the day of Christ is at hand. Of course, Paul’s two epistles to the church at Thessalonica deal primarily with the topic of Christ’s return. For Paul, the coming of Jesus was imminent…..James also mentions the doctrine of Christ’s return. In the fifth chapter of his epistle he addresses the rich who “have hoarded wealth in the last days” (v. 3). Especially in exhorting his readers to be patient, James notes that the coming of the Lord is near (vv. 7-8). Morever, he identifies the Lord with the Judge who is “standing at the door” (v.9). James anticipates that the return of the Lord will take place soon so that the wicked receive their just reward and the righteous be delivered from oppression.”

    We do have witness. James himself testified that he had witness the signs that Jesus said would indicate that he was near, standing at the door.

    Now, if want me to pull out some historical evidence for poeple floating in the sky, flesh transforming into glorified whatever, history ending, and so on…then no…i can’t produce that for you nor need i because your interpretation is flawed.

    Again, IF you are really serious about wanting some answers, my site has an entire library.

    Perhaps you should spend some time on it before accusing us of not producing anything.

    http://thereignofchrist.com

  16. Phil,

    By far this has been the most enlightening and civil discussion in this series. I know these discussions can and have turned ugly and personal and I appreciate your desire to keep things biblical.

  17. Yomi,
    I wouldn’t want to disappoint Roderick.But if you or him or anyone for that matter consider what i posted “proof-text after proof-text torn out of context”

    Then prove any of it false.All Roderick is doing is trying to avoid the issues.He knows FULL PRETERISM is based on nothing but scriptures.
    Because he now has a different view of them,everyone else is now a heretic.

    Yomi is a saying if i don’t see it i don’t believe it.The Apostles said the time was near.Jesus said if anyone said the time was near and it wasn’t they were a false prophet.Were the Apostles false? You can’t have it both ways.It’ either they were false or the time was at hand.

    Bite or not is fine with me Yomi,but don’t question my motives or why i believe.My faith is second to no ones.

    FALSE CHRISTS AND PROPHETS DECEIVING MANY: (Matt. 24:5, 11, 24). Josephus writes that many false prophets and false Messiahs appeared during the government of Felix (A.D. 53-60), deluding many. Such figures played a leading role in the Jewish revolt in late A.D. 66 that led to the Jewish War.

    Phil: Bill. There are false christs deceiving many today. Everytime folks in the WoF Movement say they are “anointed” what they are saying is they are Messiahs. That isn’t supposed to happen in the NHNE is it?

    ii. WARS AND RUMORS OF WARS (Matt. 6-7). These would not have been perceived as an unusual sign during most periods of world history, but during the pax Romana war was extremely rare. E.g., Epictetus writes that “Caesar has obtained for us a profound peace. There are neither wars nor battles” (Discourses 3:13:9) Josephus and Tacitus both write of the unsettledness of the empire leading up to A.D. 70 (see below).
    Phil: The same things occur today. Again these aren’t supposed to be occuring in the NHNE are they?

    iii. FAMINES (Matt. 24:7). Josephus writes that during Claudius’ reign (A.D. 41-54) there were four seasons of great scarcity. In the fourth year of his reign, the famine in Judea was so severe that the price of food became enormous and great numbers died. Cf. Acts 11:28. He also describes starvation and cannibalism during the final five-month siege of Jerusalem (Wars 5.12.3 and 6.5.1)
    Phil: Same as above yet aren’t supposed to be happening in the NHNE…at least not according to Scripture

    iv. EARTHQUAKES (Matt. 24:7). These occurred in Caligula’s (A.D. 37-41) and Claudius’ (A.D. 41-54) reigns. Josephus reports many earthquakes in A.D. 68 in the midst of the Jewish War. He describes one particularly terrifying quake and lightning storm, remarking,”anyone would guess that these wonders foreshadowed some grand calamities that were coming” (Wars 4.4.5). Tacitus reports them throughout Rome, also nterpreting them as portents of impending divine judgment (Histories, 1.2-3)

    Phil: Again the same. According to Scripture this shouldn’t be happening should it?

    v. PERSECUTION (Matt. 24:9-10) – Jesus predicts the coming persecution and martyrdom of the church, and Israel’s impending judgment, adding: “I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation” (Mt 23:32-36). The NT reports the intense persecution of Christians by the Jews in Acts 8:1 and 1 Thess. 2:14-16.

    vi. APOSTASY (Matt. 24:10-13): Hebrews reflects Jews apostatizing and returning to Judaism (Heb. 2:1-3, 3:6 and 14, 6:4-6, 10:26-27). Cf. Gal. 5:4; 1 Jn. 2:18-20, and 4:3, but especially 2:24, all of which report apostacy during the time of the apostles. Also 1 Tim. 4:1, 2 Pet 2:1-2 and 20-21.

    vii. GOSPEL PREACHED IN ALL THE WORLD (Matt. 24:14): “World” is Roman world. NT statements that this had taken place by A.D. 70 – Acts 24:5, Rom. 1:8 and Col. 1:6, 23: “All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing. … This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I Paul, have become a servant.”

    Respectfully
    Bill

    Phil: The rest of your references shouldn’t be happening in the NHNE. Your reference to “all the world” is spot on my friend. In Pauls mind the Gospel was preached…..and that means those of the elect were the Bride of Christ according to FP beliefs. Guess what? We MISSED IT and are NOT the Body of Christ because we weren’t invited to the wedding feast because THEY didn’t preach the Gospel to US Bill……

  18. Brian,

    Good point – ALL doesn’t always mean ALL without exception – and they know that when they put forth argument in the battle against universalism and the ALL texts, but fail to engage that understanding when they come to the area of eschatology. Go figure.

    Boyd –

    I agree with your position on “soon”.

  19. Brian,

    “Jesus certainly didn’t fulfill “all things” in A.D. 70.”

    According to Brian, Jesus lied. This is a direct contradiction to Jesus own words.

    “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. 22 For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.”

    I’m sorry Brian your article does not fly. Jesus in His own context and definition of the “Days of Vengeance”, defines for us that “when you see the armies surrounding Jerusalem”. It is in the context of it’s destruction in A.D. 70. It is amazing how an entire article can be refuted with 3 sentences of scripture.

    Sincerely,

    –Mark

  20. Hi Phil,

    Thank you for at least being honest when you said, “See. This is why we will never agree.”

    Presupposing that we will NEVER agree, shows me that there is no real intent in finding the truth. One must always be willing to be wrong in order to ever be right about anything.

    [Phil] Thanks for taking the time to post Mark but unless we agree on the terms and it doesn’t look as though we don’t have much more to discuss on this particular topic.

    [Mark] I agree Phil.

    [Phil] “No. Its an actual physical place. Streets of gold and such.” “…a real physical place coming out of the clouds just as John saw it with his own two eyeballs.”

    [Mark] So I guess Phil that you will be able to point to it and say, “It’s over here, or over there” contrary to Jesus own words. This is the same mentality of Nicodemus when asking how he should re-enter his mother’s womb. Sadly, the futurist has made this a physical understanding rather than spiritual. Let me know when you “see” that space station come down out of the sky…just kidding!;-)

    Oh well! I do appreciate the time you have allowed for others to at least see our differences. Perhaps it will spur many to read our responses and material studying to show themselves approved unto God. I simply can’t waste any more time with this type reasoning.

    Again, thank you Phil for the opportunity and the time.

    Sincerely,

    –Mark

  21. Dorothy,

    The argument you used with your “greek scholar” friend is hardly a proof. there is a great deal left out (conveniently). I have been considered a Greek scholar by my elder peers (seminary teachers) and have studied Greek since 1992 (in seminary and out). So, what does that prove? I do agree with the fact that Strong’s is donwplayed. If you have a Strong’s Concordance, burn it. It’s outdated and old hat. Daniel Wallace was misused as well (I have his book).

    I studied the Greek word “mello” in all 110 NT occurence, all Apostolic Fathers references, and all LXX references. It basically is a future-intrinsic word that sharpens the vague Future Indicative. The Future Indicative can mean any time in the future, 10 minutes, 10 years, or 10,000 years. When “mello” is used, the sharpening takes place. THAT is why it is often translated as “certain” – because it is not something vague, it is something to occur certainly in the near future. The root listing, listing number one, in EVERY lexicon is “about to be; soon to take place.” In semantics, we start with the first listing unless context tells us otherwise. The first listing is the first because it is the most FREQUENT definition. The other listings underneath it are derived from that first meaning. Thus, “certain” is deriveed from the fact that something is definitely going to take place soon. This is the normal usage of the word (Kenneth L. Gentry agrees).

    We can go further and bring in the big dogs, like the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (Brown, Colin), or Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Kittel)..take your pick, I won’t mind.

    Samuel M. Frost, M.A.R.
    http://www.thereignofchrist.com

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