My First Lecture of the 2017 PPW Conference Part 3: The Problems For Postmillennialism -Wedding and Resurrection (Jn. 3-5)

In John 3, Matthew 3 and Mark 1 we learn that John the Baptist is one of the groomsmen or “friend of the groom” (Paul is the other) that is preparing the hearts and way of the remnant of Jerusalem for the restoration and reformation that is coming in an “at hand” harvest judgment and salvation.  Jesus was baptized not because of any sin He needed to repent of, but so He could fulfill the prophets — as the Messianic Groom, King and High Priest. Those that were being baptized during the transition period were communicating that they agreed to be betrothed and married to Jesus as Messiah.

John is baptizing in the “desert” which is where the Messianic meeting and betrothal period was said to take place. This being on one side of the Jordan is also communicating that God’s messianic second exodus was ready to begin. Israel must prepare her heart before she can enter the Father’s New Covenant heavenly home/kingdom/land.

Baptism also represented that the Church was corporately dying and rising from the Old Covenant age and glory into the “about to come” New Covenant age and glory. They were to be baptized “for” (Greek eis– or with a view to obtaining) “the remission of sins” at Christ’s Second Appearing (as the coming messianic Great High Priest and Groom) that would “in a very little while” “restore” or transform Israel (Acts 2:38; Acts 3:20-23; Heb. 9:15-28—10:37; Rms. 11:26-27; Lk. 21:27/Mt. 24-25).

John 4 and the Woman at the Well

As John 3 introduces and begins preparing the hearts of Judah (one sister) to her messianic groom, John 4 is a depiction of Israel (now the half-breeds of the Samaritans assimilated in the Assyrian captivity) being introduced to her messianic groom.

In John 4, Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at the same well and at the same time (“midday”) that Jacob met his wife Rachel (Gen. 29:7 / John 4:6). We are told she has had five husbands (4:18). I believe God providentially ordered and orchestrated this woman’s life and circumstances of having five previous husbands, to match the history of Israel so as to give a deeper meaning as to when Messiah would meet her and her people in a coming wedding/salvation.  Allow me to explain what I mean…

After Israel was divorced through the Assyrian captivity, we are told in 1 Kings 17:30-31 that there were five groups that settled in Samaria, each worshipping their own pagan gods: The Babylonians worshipped Marduk; the men of Cuth worshipped Nergal; the men of Avva worshipped Nibhaz and Tartak; the men of Sepharvaim worshipped their city gods; and King Hadad worshipped Anath. So they broke covenant by physically intermarrying with these foreigners and spiritually they became married to their false gods. Because of this, the Jews of Jesus’ day considered the Samaritans defiled and unclean. In Jewish law and custom, a woman may be divorced up to two or three times at the most. Anymore divorces and remarriages than two or three, the woman would be considered socially immoral or unclean. Therefore, Samaria, like the woman at the well, had five husbands and per the Jews, both her and her people would be considered immoral and unclean. But God in His tender mercy, now stood before her and her people, as their true husband, ready to fulfill His promise that in Israel’s “last days” He would once again betroth and marry her to Himself.

In John 4 Jesus stands as one greater than Jacob, in that He not only gives living water, but He will be the Husband that will be able to unite the divided worship and people of the Samaritans and Jews into one people (or Bride) again and bring them to worship and feast at Mount Zion (cf. Isa. 25:6-9).

He can make what was once considered unclean and defiled – clean again. Just as Jesus had cleansed 10 lepers and made them go to the priest to undergo inspections and ceremonial baptism. This was done in order to now declare they were clean and that they were undergoing a change in social status so as to be embraced back into the covenant community.

John 4 and the Harvest Motif

One source I was reading said that “the sixth month of the year which on the Hebrew calendar is called Elul.  Like most of month’s in the Hebrew calendar, the name is not Hebrew, but was brought by Judah from the Babylonian captivity. Elul ( ‫אֱלוּל  ) is actually an Akkadian word that means harvest, and according to Jewish tradition, the word is an acronym for אֲנִי לְדוֹדִי וְדוֹדִי לִי – “Ani L’dodi V’dodi Li” – “I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine . . .” (Song of Solomon 6:3). Jesus is connecting the coming eschatological wedding with the harvest motif when He instructs the disciples on the meaning of the woman bringing the town to hear Him teach and the time of harvesting has come (John 4:35-38).  The Samaritans will be apart of God’s harvest and resurrection promises – as foretold in the OT.

In 1 Corinthians 15 Jesus is the Firstfruit of the Jewish firstfruits of the coming resurrection harvest. The land of Israel is the threshing-floor, God’s winnowing fork was already in His hand, and the harvest would take place at the sound of a trumpet at the gathering into the Kingdom at the end of the Old Covenant age – at Christ’s Second Coming (Mt. 3:10-12; Mt. 13:39-43/Dan. 12;2-3; Mt. 24:30-31).  This would be the time of the resurrection “hour” which is also picked up in John 5.

The “already and not yet” of the coming eschatolocial “hour” in John 4-5

There are three concepts that connect John 4 and 5 together with Daniel 12 and they are:

1).  The coming “hour.”

2).  The receiving of “eternal (resurrection or harvest) life.”

3).  The chiastic structure of John 4-5 on this coming “hour” of “eternal life.”

The Old Greek (OG) Septuagint (LXX) of Daniel 12:1, 4 reads:  “And at that hour…” “the hour of the end.

Now let’s connect the “already and not yet” and the (OG) LXX of Daniel 12:1-4 with the chiastic structure of John 4-5 concerning this coming “hour”:

A).  John 4:21: “…[T]he hour is coming (“not yet”), when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.

        B).  John 4:23: “…[T]he hour cometh, and now is

        (“already), when the true worshipers shall worship the

Father in spirit and in truth.”

        B).  John 5:25:  “…[T]he hour is coming and now is

        (“already”), when the dead shall hear  the voice of the

Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

A).  John 5:28: “…[T]he hour is coming (“not yet”), in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice…”

(Special thanks to Jerald Davis for pointing out the chiasm structure here).

During the Earthly Ministry of Christ or Pentecost (AD 26-30) – the “already”

The true worshipers would worship the Father in spirit and in truth (receiving eternal life).

The dead would hear the voice of the Son of God, and live (receiving eternal life).

Fall of Jerusalem (AD 70) – the imminent “not yet”

God’s worshipers would no longer worship Him in Jerusalem (because they received eternal life and entered and ascended to the New Jerusalem / Mount Zion).

All who were in the graves would hear His voice (because they received eternal life and entered and ascended to the New Jerusalem / Mount Zion).

During the Earthly Ministry of Christ or Pentecost (AD 26-30) – The “Already”

  • Daniel 12:1: “And at that hour…”
  • John 5:25: “…an hour is coming and now is…”

Fall of Jerusalem (AD 70) – The Imminent “Not Yet”

  • Daniel 12:1: “And at that hour…”
  • John 5:28: “…for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice,”

During the Earthly Ministry of Christ or Pentecost (AD 26-30) – The “Already”

  • Daniel 12:2: “Many of those who sleep in the width of the earth will arise [anatesontai]…some unto eternal life and others to reproach…and to eternal shame.”
  • John 5:24: “…he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”

Fall of Jerusalem (AD 70) – The Imminent “Not Yet”

  • Daniel 12:2: “Many of those who sleep in the width of the earth will arise [anatesontai]…some unto eternal life and others to reproach…and to eternal shame.”
  • John 5:29: “and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection [anatasin] of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection [anatasin] of judgment.” (also related:  1 John 2:18: “Dear children it is the last hour…” and Revelation 14:7:  “…the hour of His judgment has come”).

Postmillennial Partial Preterists are now teaching that the coming resurrection “hour” of Daniel 12:1-4 had an “already and not yet” progressive resurrection of Israel and the Church which climaxed in a spiritual resurrection of the dead and transformation in AD 70.

They also teach that the coming eschatological “hour” of John 4 was fulfilled in AD 70 along with 1 John 2:18 and Revelation 14:7.  But based upon the chiastic structure of John 4-5 connecting them with the SAME coming “hour” of “eternal life” in Daniel 12:1-4, it is pure eisegesis to isolate John 5:28-29 and claim it is a different “hour” 2,000+ years away that involves a different kind (biological) of resurrection, judgment and reception of eternal life.   John described the resurrection and judgment of the dead in Revelation 20:1-15 as an “already and not yet” resurrection that would be fulfilled “shortly” and Christ’s “soon” Second Coming event (Rev. 1:1—22:6-7, 10-12, 20).

The Apostle John did not have TWO eschatological already and not yet “hours” — this is a bogus invention of Postmillennialists who want to try and honor the Bible’s clear teaching on imminence on the one hand, but on the other, make it null and void due to their creedal “traditions.” 

The NT teaching on the resurrection is this:

*  There was an evangelistic resurrection or salvation of the soul taking people out of death and darkness into life and light of eternal life.

*  There was a corporate and covenantal resurrection by which the old covenant Israel/body was being changed/transformed/being raised into the new covenant Israel/body roughly during AD 30 – AD 70.

*  There was a resurrection of souls out from among Hades/Abraham’s Bosom to inherit eternal life in God’s presence.

*  This resurrection was from (and an overcoming of) “the [spiritual] death” that came from Adam the very same day he sinned against God.

Orthodox Partial Preterists such as Kenneth Gentry need to give exegetical and logical reasons why the resurrection of John 5:28-29 is a literal biological resurrection to take place at the end of time when they affirm with Full Preterism that:

  1. The resurrection in the immediate context is spiritual (John 5:24-27). The spiritual voice (through the gospel) produces spiritual resurrection (Jesus in vss. 28-29 is not dealing with a literal voice and biological resurrection).
  1. The eschatological “not yet” coming “hour” of (John 4) is referring to AD 70.
  1. The resurrection of Daniel 12:2-3 was fulfilled spiritually in AD 70 (Jesus referencing it in John 5:28-29).
  1. Jesus elsewhere teaches that the resurrection of Daniel 12:2-3 would be fulfilled at the end of the old covenant age in AD 70 (Matthew 13:39-43; Matthew 24:3, 30-31, 34).
  1. John’s eschatological last “hour” in (1 John 2:17-18) and “hour” of judging the dead in (Revelation 14:7) was fulfilled in AD 70.

Gentry’s progressive Partial Preterism continues to lead his readers into the Full Preterist movement since he continually will not respond to our book and arguments directed towards him.  Selah.  He deserves the criticism from other futurists that his hermeneutics “lead to Full Preterism.”

John the Baptist in Matthew 3 and John 3 is the “friend of the bridegroom” who was introducing Judah to her last day’s messiah / groom. They were preparing their hearts in faith and undergoing a betrothal baptism with a view to the coming restoration/resurrection/remission of sins promises contained in the law and prophets.

In John 4 the messiah is being introduced to His last day’s bride of Israel (the lost and scattered 10 tribes who had become the Samaritans). Though she had been unfaithful and had gone through 5 husbands, messiah would make her clean and faithful to Himself and marry her again.

While I dealt with the betrothal “already and not yet” aspect to Israel’s baptism and her coming change of status in AD 70, below are some other NT betrothal concepts.  Let me first point out that there are four phases to the Jewish betrothal:

  • The wedding arrangement.
  • The betrothal ceremony.
  • The betrothal preparation or transition period (usually one year).
  • The secret arrival of the groom, seven days of consummation and wedding feast.
  1. The Wedding Arrangement

This was usually done between the father of the groom and the father of the bride.  Sometimes this was done when the groom and bride were still children.  In eternity past the Father chose His sheep or the Church as the Bride for His Son (knowing/loving them by name) and the Son gave His life as the purchase price or dowry for them (John 10:11-29; Ephes. 1:4-11; 5:25; Rms. 8:29; 1 Pet. 1:2, 18-19; 1 Cor. 6:19-20).

A written contract or covenant was created which addressed the groom and brides responsibilities in the marriage (again food, clothing and sexual pleasure).  In Jesus’s sermon on the mount (the anti-type of Ex. 19-24), He comforts His bride by telling her that she won’t have to worry about food and clothing as long as she seeks Him and His Kingdom first (Mt. 6:25-34).  If she hungers and thirsts after His righteousness and if she keeps herself pure, she will be fed full of His righteousness and see God (Mt. 5:6, 8) at the consummation.

  1. The Betrothal Ceremony

The Cup of Wine – The groom would pour his potential wife a cup of wine (which represented blood or a oneness of flesh and covenant) and if she drank from it, she agreed to become his wife – or to become one flesh with him (cf. John 6; Matt. 26:17-30).  There was also a celebratory meal the followed the betrothal ceremony (again communion).  In AD 70 and beyond, the Church celebrates this cup of the new covenant or communion “a new [spiritually] in the Kingdom” or perhaps in the form on an ongoing wedding feast celebration of thankfulness for His incredible gift of eternal and resurrection life.

Baptism – I have addressed Jesus as the groom meeting Judah in John 3 and Matthew 3 and them undergoing the ceremonial baptism.  The baptism for the bride symbolized that she was undergoing a change in status over the next year into a maturing process from daughter to a wife.  Roughly from AD 26-30–AD 70 the Church/Bride was undergoing a baptism in which She was dying to the OC age/man and rising into the life of the NC age/man, or dying to the OC system/husband and being betrothed and rising into her status of being married to Christ (Rms. 6-7).  The baptism was a covenant ceremony that was “for” (eis – with a view to”) Christ’s Second Coming to give the “remission of sins” and “restore all things” (Acts 2-3).

There were Gifts Exchanged – The groom would give the bride a seal, pledge, or confirmatory gifts of his love to assure her that he would come again and receive her and consummate the marriage.  Jesus gave the early church the gift of the Holy Spirit and the miraculous as confirmatory signs that He would return and consummate the marriage with her “face to face” (cf. Jn. 14; Acts 2:1-43; 1 Cor. 1:5-8; 13:12; Ephs. 1:13-14).

The only “gifts” the bride could offer was her faith and repentance.  But Scripture tells us that in reality even these were gifts given by God so there would be no grounds for boasting and to demonstrate that salvation is of the Lord (Acts 5:31; 11:18; 2 Cor. 7:9-10; 2 Tim. 2:25; Ephs. 2:8-10).

There was a Ceremonial Meal – Which sealed and brought an end to the betrothal ceremony (cf. John 6:54-59; Matt. 26:17-30; 1 Cor. 11:24-26; Acts 2:1ff.).

In Acts 2 the disciples were celebrating Pentecost which was also known as the “Feast of Harvest” or the “Day of First Fruits”, and it was a feast during which the people brought as an offering the first fruits of their grain harvest to thank God, as well as to express their trust that He would bless the rest of the coming harvest. So here in Acts 2 you have the closing of the betrothal ceremonial meal and the parting gift given by the groom – the giving of the gift of the Holy Spirit and the charismata.   In the book of Acts you also have the gift of the Holy Spirit being given and filling the Samaritans and Gentiles with the charismata demonstrating that they too are a part of the bride of Christ.

  1. The betrothal preparation or transition period (usually one year).

Going to Prepare a Room – The groom would have already gotten his father’s permission to build a room or honeymoon suite onto his father’s house where he would then consummate his love for his bride. The groom would announce that he was “going to prepare a place” for her and would “come again when it was ready” (cf. John 14:2-3).  The Father’s “House” is His Temple, and the “rooms” the side-rooms. The Holy Spirit was sent to form Christ in Her and transform Her into His image, whereby He and the Father could abide within Her.

Only the Father Knew the Time of the Wedding – When the groom was asked when the wedding would take place, he replied that “only his father knows the time” (cf. Matt. 24:36; Acts 1:6-7). This “hour” (Mt. 24:36) was fulfilled at Christ’s coming in AD 70 as many Partial Preterists admit.

There Were up to Two Groomsmen – John the Baptist is one groomsman (the “friend of the bridegroom”) while the Apostle Paul is the other — calling the Gentiles into Israel’s New Covenant marital blessings and betrothing the Church as a chaste virgin (2 Cor. 11:2).

The Bride Wore a Veil – The bride would wear a veil to show that she was spoken for during this period.  Individually the OC veil was being taken off when one heard the gospel and began to see Christ’s face (2 Cor. 3-4), but corporately and covenantally, it wouldn’t be taken off fully until the wedding night when She came “face to face” with Her husband when He came for her  “soon” (1 Cor. 13:10-12/Rev. 21-22:4-7).

The Bride Prepared her Wedding Garment – The bride over the next year had the responsibility to consecrate herself and make her own Wedding Garments and Keep Them Clean – During the transition period the eschatological bride is putting off the garments of the old man and putting on Christ the new man. She is seeking and longing for the wedding day when she will be further clothed with the house/temple from heaven and with immortality. She is keeping herself pure and making sure there are no spots and wrinkles in her wedding garment (Ephs. 5:25-27; 2 Cor. 4-5/Rev. 21; Isa. 52:1; 1 Cor. 15:53-54; Rev. 19:7-8).

  1. The secret arrival of the groom, seven days of consummation and wedding feast.

With a Shout and Sound of a Trumpet – When the groom would come with his party he would come with a “shout” (I’m guessing his friends would shout, “the groom is coming”) and the sound of a trumpet.  This trumpet sounded in Jesus’ “this generation” at His Second Coming in AD 70 (Mt. 24:30-31, 34 / 1 Thess. 4:15-17 / 1 Cor. 15 / Rev. 10-11).

Sexual Consummation – Some sources suggested that previously there was an agreement that when the groom came for the bride, they could sexually consummate the marriage at the bride’s father’s house.  Other’s suggested the consummation took place at the groom’s father’s house.  Either way, after the coming for the bride, the groom would take the bride to his father’s house where there would be more sexual consummation and a honeymoon lasting seven days.

 Wedding Feast – During these seven days, a celebratory wedding feast was taking place whereby the guests wore the garments the groom’s father had provided (demonstrating they had been invited) and at which time the bride would wear her glorious wedding garment (Isa. 25:6-9/Mt. 8:10-11/Mt. 22:1-14; Rev. 19 & 21; Isa. 52:8/1 Cor. 13:12/Rev. 22:4).

And at the wedding in AD 70 and beyond in the NC age, He fulfills all aspects of the marital covenant as He is the Churches “bread from heaven” (John 6), the “Hidden Manna,” (Rev. ), we have have been clothed in His righteousness and immortality (1 Cor. 15:53-54), and we are “face to face” with Him and His banner over us is love (1 Cor. 13:12/Rev. 22:4).

 Summary and Connections Between the Wedding Feast, Harvest and Resurrection

In John 3-5 the “already and not yet” of the wedding motif is connected with the eschatological “already and not yet” motifs of harvest and resurrection.  Partial Preterists such as Kenneth Gentry arbitrarily tell us that the “already and not yet” coming eschatolocial “hour” of John 4 was fulfilled between AD 30 – AD 70, but when Jesus uses the same phrases of the coming “already and not yet” eschatological “hour” in John 5, that somehow is turned into 2,000 years and counting time frame. But one can only arrive at this conclusion based upon the creeds and not the text.

Since Scripture does not separate Israel’s last days eschatological motifs of wedding, harvest and resurrection, and since we appreciate Partial Preterists such as James Jordan, Kenneth Gentry, and Gary DeMar finally admitting the resurrection of the dead in Daniel 12:2-3 was fulfilled spiritually in AD 70 (and yet claim we await another physical resurrection at the end of time), when will they begin to openly teach TWO NT betrothals, weddings, and wedding feasts – one spiritual in AD 70 and one at the end of time?  Consistency to their hermeneutic demands it.  We will wait and see.  Again it is more than inconsistent for Postmillennial Partial Preterists to criticize Premillennial Dispensationalists for teaching TWO eschatological resurrections and TWO weddings, when in fact their faulty double vision hermeneutic does the same!

To Listen or View This Series:  

My First Lecture of the PPW 2017 Conference Part 1: The Problems For Postmillennialism – My Approach and Methodology http://fullpreterism.com/my-lecture-on-the-problems-of-postmillennialism-at-the-2017-ppw-conference-the-wedding-and-resurrection-motif/

My First Lecture of the 2017 PPW Conference Part 2:  The Problems For Postmillennialism – God’s Divorce, Re-marriage and NC Betrothal http://fullpreterism.com/my-lectures-given-at-the-2017-ppw-on-the-problems-with-postmillennialism-wedding-resurrection-part-2-gods-ot-marriage-divorce-betrothal-and-remarriage-promises/

My First Lecture of the 2017 PPW Conference Part 3:  The Problems For Postmillennialism -Wedding and Resurrection (Jn. 3-5) http://fullpreterism.com/my-2017-ppw-lecture-on-the-problems-with-postmillennialism-wedding-resurrection-part-3-john-3-5-and-nt-betrothal-and-marriage/

My First Lecture of the 2017 PPW Conference Part 4:  The Problems For Postmillennialism – Wedding and Resurrection (Mt. 8:10-12/Mt. 22:1-14/Mt. 25:1-13) http://fullpreterism.com/my-2017-ppw-lecture-on-the-problems-with-postmillennialism-wedding-and-resurrection-part-4-mt-810-12-221-14-251-13isa-256-9/

My First Lecture of the 2017 PPW Conference Part 5:  The Problems For Postmillennialism – The Parable of the Wheat and Tares and the Resurrection (Mt. 13:39-43/Dan. 12:2-3) http://fullpreterism.com/my-2017-ppw-lecture-on-the-problems-with-postmillennialism-in-the-parable-of-the-wheat-and-tares-the-end-of-the-age-and-the-resurrection-mt-1339-43dan-122-3/

My Second Lecture of the 2017 PPW Conference Part 1:  The Problems For Postmillennialism – The Olivet Discourse (Mt. 23-24; Mt. 24:3, 14/Acts 1:8-11) http://fullpreterism.com/lecture-2-at-the-2017-ppw-problems-for-postmillennialism-in-the-olivet-discourse-house-divided-the-break-up-of-postmillennialism-and-the-formation-of-full-preterism-taking-its-place/

My First Lecture at the 2017 PPW Conference Part 2: The Problems For Postmillennialism – God’s Divorce, Re-marriage and NC Betrothal

Introduction

 In Part 2 of this series, we will begin by examining the various steps and phases contained within a Jewish betrothal/marriage process.  From there we will look at God’s OT betrothal and marriage to Israel, God’s divorce and putting to death of Israel and then His promises of a coming New Covenant betrothal and marriage to the Church (the remnant, Samaritans and Gentiles).

 Jewish Views of Betrothal and Marriage 

A Jewish betrothal or marriage period would begin with the groom presenting the bride and her father with a ketubah or covenant which would include the dowry price. The covenant would include that the groom would provide food, clothing, and sexual satisfaction to the bride, and that she would not seek these from any other or give her husbands provisions to another man.

The groom would pour his potential wife a cup of wine (which represented blood or a oneness of flesh and covenant) and if she drank from it, she agreed to become his wife – or to become one with him.

During this time the groom and the bride would be baptized (a ritual called mikvah) based upon their new status and the covenant they agreed to. The bride was in a transition state from being under the headship of her father to her new husband.

The bride would wear a veil to show that she was spoken for and would take it off when she consummated her marriage union with her husband.

The groom would give the bride “gifts” as a confirmatory token of his love that guaranteed he indeed would return for her.

When people would ask the groom when the wedding was to take place, he would answer, “Only my father knows” for the decision was in his hands.  When all the father’s provisions and plans were set to take place, he would then give his word to his son to go and get his wife.

The groom was to go and “prepare a home” or honeymoon suite onto his father’s house.

The betrothal period could last up to a year and there could be up to two groomsmen that would mediate issues between the bride and groom during this time.

When the father decided it was time, the groom came with his party with a “shout” and the sound of a trumpet to get his bride. She and her bridesmaids were to always be prepared for the journey to the groom’s father’s house by having lamps and oil next to their beds. When the groom did come to the house of the bride’s father, often times it was agreed upon that the consummation would take place there. A bloody sheet would be hung the next day indicating and proving she was a virgin.

From there the groom’s party and the bride’s party would travel to the groom’s father’s house where they would engage in a seven-day honeymoon period.

The celebratory wedding feast would follow.  There were usually two aspects to the wedding invitation – one that you agreed to come, and then the other at a latter time indicating when the feast would take place.

The reader at this point is buzzing with NT references to fill in the above concepts.  I’ll do just that in a bit.  But first let’s see where we might find the betrothal process in the OT and review God’s marriage, divorce and promises of remarriage

God Married Israel – Exodus to Entrance and Possession of the Land

Israel’s Betrothal Period

According to Hosea 2:15, Jeremiah 2:2, and Ezekiel 16:3, God’s marriage covenant begins with Him delivering Israel from Egypt and extends to her entering the land of Canaan. The betrothal period probably begins as far back as God approaching and expressing interest in Father Abraham and his descendants in Genesis 12-22. But due to unbelief, there is a delay in the honeymoon period or in reaching the Father’s House which would be entering, taking possession of all the land, and establishing the Temple.  Conquering the land and establishing the Temple would equate to consummation.

The marriage match and betrothal begins with God approaching Father Abraham in Genesis 12-22. In these chapters God seeks to marry Abraham’s offspring by creating a great nation or bride through him miraculously. Abraham agrees to fulfill his part of the covenant by moving to the land of Canaan and believing that God is capable of raising his son Isaac from the dead in order to fulfill God’s promise. The covenant sign of the coming marriage is ratified in blood (oneness) through circumcision. It will take many years before the marriage takes place.

Moses and Aron and then Moses and Joshua are the groomsmen mediating and preparing the bride for God.

Again the coming marriage is ratified in blood through the Passover lamb delivering the bride from the slavery of Egypt.

The bride undergoes a baptism through the Red Sea symbolizing her coming change of status from a daughter to a coming wife.

The insurance or dowry price for the bride seems to be both the blood of the Passover lamb and the land of Canaan.

In Exodus 19-24 we see a contract of marriage and an agreement taking place.  The betrothal ceremony included a feast and this is what we see when the 70 elders and Moses (representing Israel) eat a mean with God at Mount Saini — confirming the covenant.  Others see this as the actual wedding and Israel’ saying “I do” and perhaps the wedding feast?  Possible, but I tend to think we are still in the betrothal period at this point.

The marital gifts may be the Law and the Prophets and the confirmatory miracles worked through them.   There were roughly 65 years of miracles performed through Moses and Josuah, and then another 65 years or so of miracles from Jesus’ birth to His parousia in AD 70 performed by the foundation of the Church – the Apostles and Prophets.

Again, because of Israel’s unbelief, the journey to the Father’s house (Canaan) to consummate the marriage is delayed.

Review of Israel’s Marriage to God and a Coming New Covenant Marriage Under Messiah

 The ancient marriage contract was based off of Exodus 21:10-11 and Ezekiel 16

In Exodus 21:10-11 we learn that the law stated after taking a second wife, a husband remained obligated to fulfill his marital covenant to his first wife which was threefold: 1. feed, 2.  clothe, and 3.  satisfy her sexually. If he neglected to fulfill his covenant with the first wife, she was “free to go” (and marry another). The man’s role was to financially provide the wife with food and clothing and she was expected to help prepare meals, make clothing, satisfy her husband sexually, and not to give these to any other man. It was debated on how long one could refrain from sex to his or her partner – some Rabbis said one week, others said two. If the man failed to meet his covenant obligations in these three areas, the wife was “free to go” and marry another. If the wife sought a combination of these three conditions of the covenant from another man or gave her husbands provisions to another man, she would be stoned or divorced by the husband.

God is Faithful to the Covenant

In Psalm 132:13-14 we see God faithful to His marital covenant when it says that the Lord ‘desires’(sexually) Jerusalem, and that he ‘clothes’ her priests, and ‘satisfies her poor with food’.

While Hosea 2:3-13 informs us that God gave Israel food and clothing, Ezekiel 16:10, 13 states that He did this in abundance: “I clothed you with an embroidered dress and put leather sandals on you. I dressed you in fine linen and covered you with costly garments.” “Your food was fine flour, honey and olive oil.”

Even during the wilderness wandering God miraculously gave manna as food, caused their sandals to not wear out, and provided His intimate presence in their midst through the cloud and tabernacle.

When the Kingdom is eventually split the marriage is described as God being faithfully married to two adulterous sisters (Israel and Judah).

But Since Israel is Unfaithful to the Covenant, God Divorces Her While He Remains Faithful to Unfaithful Judah

In Ezekiel 16 we not only learn of God’s faithfulness as a husband, we also learn of Israel’s unfaithfulness as a wife in that she takes the costly cloth and food God provided for the both of them and she uses it to make clothing for her idols and gives the food as a sacrificial offering to them. She also withholds her affection from God and commits adultery with these idols and false gods – thus violating all three aspects of the marital covenant. In Hosea we learn that since Israel has abused God’s marital provision, He will cause her to fall prey to famine and nakedness (Hos. 2:3-13).

In Isaiah 50 and Hosea 1 we are informed that God never gave Judah a certificate of divorce (as He did to unfaithful Israel) and therefore He remained married to her.  For after all Messiah would come through her.  God did judge her unfaithfulness through the Babylonian captivity, which is described not as a divorce, but a temporary separation.

Judah’s actual divorce according to Hosea 6:7f. would come in Israel’s last days when at the same time a remnant would be saved / transformed or remarried.  The divorce would be through captivity and slavery just as Israel had gone through a divorce when God caused the Assyrians to take them captive.  This time God would send the Idumean and Roman armies to desolate, cause her to fall by the sword and be taken captive in AD 70.  In both cases the divorce is a national and covenantal death/destruction.  In the OT law the unfaithful wife of a Priest was to be both stoned and burned.  In Revelation, the unfaithful Harlot City of Babylon (OC Jerusalem where Jesus was slain 11:8) is both destroyed by stoning and burned while the NC marriage with the Church or New Jerusalem is consummated and the feast enjoyed.  All this would be fulfilled “shortly” in AD 70 (Rev. 1:1—-22:6-7, 20).

There is a promise of remarriage and unity of the two into one bride or Nation again in Israel’s “Last Days”

Hosea and the OT prophets message is about God divorcing and killing (spiritually and covenantally) Israel through the Assyrian captivity with a promise of remarriage and resurrection coming for her in her last days (not the last days of the Church age) under Messiah.  Hosea, Jeremiah and Ezekiel prophesy that in the “last days” and in “the day of Jezreel,” Israel and Judah would once again be united into a single nation or wife under the New Covenant that Messiah would bring in and therefore they once again would call God “my husband” (Hos. 1:11; Hos. 2:14-23; Jer. 3:18; Ezek. 37:15-6).  It would be at this time that Isaiah predicted that Israel would see God/her Groom “eye to eye” or “face to face” (Isa. 52:8).

The doctrine of the eschatological marriage is interconnected with the time of the resurrection.  The destruction (killing and divorce) of OC Jerusalem takes place when her “power is completely destroyed” (Dan. 12:2-7).

In Part 3 of this series we will look at Jesus as the Messianic Groom beginning to introduce and fulfill His betrothal/marriage/resurrection promises to Israel (who became the Samaritans) and OC Jerusalem and how He begins uniting the two into one NC bride.

To View or Read  This series:

My First Lecture of the PPW 2017 Conference Part 1: The Problems For Postmillennialism – My Approach and Methodology http://fullpreterism.com/my-lecture-on-the-problems-of-postmillennialism-at-the-2017-ppw-conference-the-wedding-and-resurrection-motif/

My First Lecture of the 2017 PPW Conference Part 2:  The Problems For Postmillennialism – God’s Divorce, Re-marriage and NC Betrothal http://fullpreterism.com/my-lectures-given-at-the-2017-ppw-on-the-problems-with-postmillennialism-wedding-resurrection-part-2-gods-ot-marriage-divorce-betrothal-and-remarriage-promises/

My First Lecture of the 2017 PPW Conference Part 3:  The Problems For Postmillennialism -Wedding and Resurrection (Jn. 4-5) http://fullpreterism.com/my-2017-ppw-lecture-on-the-problems-with-postmillennialism-wedding-resurrection-part-3-john-3-5-and-nt-betrothal-and-marriage/

My First Lecture of the 2017 PPW Conference Part 4:  The Problems For Postmillennialism – Wedding and Resurrection (Mt. 8:10-12/Mt. 22:1-14/Mt. 25:1-13) http://fullpreterism.com/my-2017-ppw-lecture-on-the-problems-with-postmillennialism-wedding-and-resurrection-part-4-mt-810-12-221-14-251-13isa-256-9/

My First Lecture of the 2017 PPW Conference Part 5:  The Problems For Postmillennialism – The Parable of the Wheat and Tares and the Resurrection (Mt. 13:39-43/Dan. 12:2-3) http://fullpreterism.com/my-2017-ppw-lecture-on-the-problems-with-postmillennialism-in-the-parable-of-the-wheat-and-tares-the-end-of-the-age-and-the-resurrection-mt-1339-43dan-122-3/

My Second Lecture of the 2017 PPW Conference Part 1:  The Problems For Postmillennialism – The Olivet Discourse (Mt. 23-24; Mt. 24:3, 14/Acts 1:8-11) http://fullpreterism.com/lecture-2-at-the-2017-ppw-problems-for-postmillennialism-in-the-olivet-discourse-house-divided-the-break-up-of-postmillennialism-and-the-formation-of-full-preterism-taking-its-place/

My First Lecture af the PPW 2017 Conference Part 1: The Problems For Postmillennialism – My Approach and Methodology (Analogy of Faith)

I am in the process of turning my 2017 PPW lectures on The Problems for Postmillennialism into an article series.  After that, I will be turning them over to be put into a book (along with some of my material in HD).  I am hoping to have some co-authors in the book as well – but I’m waiting on that possibility.

My Approach

 I will be implementing and following five major premises in critiquing Postmillennial Partial Preterism when it comes to Jesus’ teaching of the eschatological wedding feast, the parable of the wheat and tares and His teaching in the Olivet Discourse.  These are as follows:

Premise #1 –  The Analogy of Faith or Analogy of Scripture Hermeneutic.  Scripture teaches us (and the creeds teach us), that Scripture interprets Scripture and Scripture cannot contradict Scripture.

Premise #2 –  Since #1 is true, basic mathematics and logic can be used such as If A bears some relation to B and B bears the same relation to C, then A bears it to C.  If A = B and B = C, then A = C.  Therefore, things which are equal to the same thing are also equal to one another. If equals be added to equals, the wholes are equal.

Premise #3 – Since Christ came to fulfill every “jot and tittle” of the law and prophets, and Paul’s “one hope” centered around him preaching no other things except that which could be found in the law and prophets, when Jesus or a NT authors quotes or echo’s an OT passage, it should be addressed and then it’s context should be developed.   

Premise #4 – While OT prophecy does contain typology which may have more than one fulfillment, the NT however is the full or anti-type “in Christ” New Covenant fulfillment of those OT promises.  Therefore, the Second Coming, end of the age, judgment and resurrection of the living and dead along with the arrival of the New Creation do not have further typological, double or mixed fulfillments.

Premise #5 – The Holy Spirit has organically guided the Church in eschatology:  When combined, the classic Amillennial and Postmillennial Partial Preterist views actually FORM Full Preterism.

Premise #6 –  The WCF itself informs us that creeds and confessions have erred in times past and may continue to be wrong:  Therefore, since the creeds are in error on the time and nature of fulfillment concerning the Second Coming, Judgment and Resurrection of the living and dead and the arrival of the New Creation, they must be revised to align themselves with Scripture.

Premise #7 –  This may take considerable time.  Related to #3 and #4, since the Reformed doctrine of forensic justification was a relatively new doctrine (prior to Luther it was not taught for 1,500 years), it may take the Church (through the Holy Spirit) considerable time to formulate a Biblical position or synthesize (“Reformed and always reforming”) it’s views on any given doctrine to make it Biblical and consistent.  If it took the Church 300 years to formulate it’s view on the deity of Christ and the Trinity and it took 1,500 years for the doctrine of forensic justification to emerge, it cannot logically and historically be denied that Full Preterism can be (and we believe is) the organic development emerging from the Church in the last 100 years.

Introduction & Overview of Postmillennialism’s Problems

Let me briefly give a summary of some of the hermeneutical and theological problems contained within Postmillennialism that caused me to leave that system.

Double Trouble

 While Postmillennialists such as Kenneth Gentry have criticized Dispensationalism for teaching TWO two comings of Jesus and TWO resurrections for the dead (due to it’s TWO plans for the Church and Israel), Gentry and Postmillennialism have created in essence the same problem for itself.  In essence Postmillennialism has created TWO “already and not yet” NT eschatons where the Bible only teaches there is one.  Full Preterists and other systems have been critical (and rightly so) of this false teaching:

  1. Does the NT teach there is ONE or are there TWO Great Commissions to be fulfilled (Mt. 13:37-38; 24:14; 28:18-20/Mrk. 16:15-17, 20; Acts 1:8)?!? The classic Amillennial view would agree with Full Preterism in that this is ONE eschatological event to be fulfilled at the end of the age, while Postmillennialism would see TWO fulfillments, one in AD 70 and another at the end of world history.
  1. Does the NT teach there is ONE or are there TWO comings of the Son of Man per Mt 16:27-28; 24:27, 30-31, 25:31/1 Thess. 4-5/1 Cor. 15; Rev. 1:1—22:20)?!? The classic Amillennial view would agree with Full Preterism in that this is ONE eschatological event to be fulfilled at the end of the age, while Postmillennialism would see TWO fulfillments, one in AD 70 and another at the end of world history.
  1. Does the NT teach there is ONE or are there TWO end of the age resurrections and judgments of the living and dead per Mt. 13:39-43/Dan. 12:2-3, 13/1 Cor. 15/Rev. 11; 20/1 Pet. 4:5-7)?!? The classic Amillennial view would agree with Full Preterism in that this is ONE eschatological event to be fulfilled at the end of the age, while Postmillennialism would see TWO fulfillments, one in AD 70 and another at the end of world history.
  1. Does the NT teach there is ONE or are there TWO eschatological weddings or wedding feasts connected to ONE or TWO resurrections (Isa. 25:6-9; Mt. 8:11-12; Mt. 22:1-14; Mt. 25:1-13; Rev. 19-21)?!? The classic Amillennial view would agree with Full Preterism in that this is ONE eschatological event to be fulfilled at the end of the age, while Postmillennialism would see TWO fulfillments, one in AD 70 and another at the end of world history.
  1. Does the NT teach there is ONE or are there TWO arrivals of the New Creation or passing away of heaven and earth per Mt. 5:17-18; 24:35; 2 Peter 3; Rev. 21-22; Rms. 8:18-23YLT?!? The classic Amillennial view would agree with Full Preterism in that this is ONE eschatological event to be fulfilled at the end of the age, while Postmillennialism would see TWO fulfillments, one in AD 70 and another at the end of world history.

Postmillennialism Continues to Concede Texts and Views to Full Preterism

  1. Matthew 5:17-18 – John Brown and Postmillennialists such as DeMar believe that the “heaven and earth” here represents the OC system which passed away in AD 70. If this is true, then “ALL” the “jots and tittles” of the promises contained in the law and prophets were fulfilled at this time (including the resurrection of Isa. 25:6-9; Hos. 13 and Dan. 12).
  1. Matthew 24-25 – Postmillennialists such as Gary DeMar and Keith Mathison believe the OD cannot be divided and therefore the coming of Christ in both chapters were fulfilled spiritually in AD 70. Full Preterism harmonizes the correct view that the coming of the Son of Man in the OD is the Second Coming event, and the progressive Postmillennial view that it was fulfilled spiritually in AD 70.
  1. Matthew 13:39-43 – Postmillennialists Peter Leithart and Joel McDurmon believe the parable of the wheat and tares was fulfilled in the AD 30 – AD 70 “generation” and at the end of the OC age in AD 70. Reformed theology teaches this is the time frame for the millennium at which time the judgment and resurrection takes place.  Therefore, the judgment and resurrection was fulfilled at the end of the OC age in AD 70 (see next point).
  1. Daniel 12:2-3, 13 & Revelation 20 – Postmillennialist James Jordan believes there was a spiritual, progressive, corporate and covenantal resurrection for Israel and the Church between AD 30 – AD 70. At Christ’s parousia in AD 70 righteous souls were raised out of Abraham’s Bosom to inherit eternal life and reign with Christ on thrones.  Just a side note – Jordan has basically stolen the Full Preterist view of the resurrection and not given us the credit!  He also believes AD 30 – AD 70 was a “kind of a millennium” while Postmillennialist Sam Frost believes it was the millennium (but is constantly changing his views or uncertain of them).  If the resurrection and judgment of Daniel 12:1-4 was fulfilled spiritually in AD 70 and it IS the judgment and resurrection of Revelation 20:5-15, then Revelation 20:5-15 contain events that were “about to take place” or be fulfilled in John’s day (Rev. 1:19YLT—Rev. 22:6-7, 20).
  1. Romans 8:18-23YLT – Postmillennialist John Lightfoot believed the creation groaning and the decay in this passage have nothing to do with the physical planet and the second law of thermal dynamics, but rather man groaning inwardly for the redemption coming in Christ. Gary DeMar believes this glorification of the Church (and thus contextually the redemption of the body) was “about to be” (Greek mello in 8:18YLT) fulfilled at Christ’s imminent coming in AD 70.  Reformed theology teaches Romans 8:18-23 is the “salvation” that would be “at hand” for “all Israel” (13:11-12 and 11:26-27) and stemming from the redemption and coming of Christ in Jesus’ generation (Lk. 21:27-28).  We of course agree with these connections and the inspired AD 70 time frame they generate.
  1. Romans 11:26-27 – Postmillennialists Gary DeMar and James Jordan believe “all Israel” was “saved” in AD 70. This demonstrates that AD 70 was much more than a physical deliverance, salvation and redemption, but one that resulted in the taking away of sin (vs. 27).  DeMar is also on record as teaching the New Covenant was “consummated” when the Old passed away in AD 70.  Again, this would teach a soteriological and inward salvation and redemption for the Church was achieved in AD 70 (as Full Preterism teaches).
  1. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 – Postmillennialist Mike Bull (and Milton Terry whom Postmillennialist draw from), teach and have taught, that Paul is following Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24:30-31 here, and therefore this passage finds it’s fulfillment in AD 70.
  1. Acts 1:11 – Again Postmillennialist Mike Bull (and Milton Terry whom Postmillennialists draw from), correctly teach this coming of Christ is the coming of Christ in Matthew 24-25 that was fulfilled in AD 70.
  1. The “Last days” – Postmillennialists such as DeMar and McDurmon believe this NT phrase is descriptive of Israel’s last days from AD 30 – AD 70 and not for the Church stretching out to the end of world history. The Reformed Church teaches the millennium is present during the “last days” and encapsulates the periods between Christ’s first and second comings – at the end of which is the arrival of the ONE judgment and resurrection of the dead and arrival of the New Creation.
  1. “This age and the age to come” – Postmillennialists such as DeMar and McDurmon believe “this age” is the OC age and the “age to come” is the NC age.  Between AD 30 – 70 was the transition of these ages when the OC age passed away and according to DeMar the New was “consummated.”  Again, the Reformed Church using the two age model has correctly taught that the “this age” and “age to come” is the millennial period – at the end of which is the arrival of the ONE Second Coming, Judgment and Resurrection of the dead, followed by the ONE arrival of the New Creation.  The Holy Spirit has used both of these orthodox views to form the truly orthodox (that is straight or consistent) view of Full Preterism.

Postmillennialism is Inconsistent in it’s Use of Imminence and Recapitulation

  1. Since Gentry now believes the judgment and resurrection of Daniel 12:1-4 was fulfilled spiritually in AD 70, and yet all commentators agree Paul in Acts 24:15YLT is appealing to this judgment and resurrection. Therefore, there is no reason why Paul was not teaching this passage was “about to be” fulfilled spiritually in AD 70!  Even if mello here was to be translated “will” instead of “about to be,” there is no reason why Paul does not have the spiritual fulfillment in AD 70 in view (per Gentry’s view).  And since Gentry appeals to BDAG to argue that mello here should not be translated as “about to be,” where is Gentry’s support for BDAG informing us that mello in Romans 8:18YLT should be translated as the glory that was “about to be revealed in” the Church?!?  After all here in Romans 8:18 we have the same Greek construction as Revelation 1:19 which Gentry argues should be translated with imminence and pointing to AD 70.
  1. Postmillennialists claim to take the imminent time texts literally and AD 70 fulfillments are not supposed to have double or mixed fulfillments.  They also claim there are two different eschatology’s – one for Israel in AD 70 and an Adamic one that will be fulfilled at the end of world history.  Therefore, Romans 16:20 creates a problem for them in that it uses an imminent time text “shortly” and appeals to the Adamic eschatology of Genesis 3:15.  Apparently Satan’s final “crushing” (Gen. 3:15/Rms. 16:20) was not fulfilled “shortly” in AD 70 per Paul, but rather is turned into “a” crushing or one of many in redemptive history. Of course that is not what the text teaches and exegetes over the centuries have been correct to connect this crushing and final defeat of Satan in Romans 16:20 with the coming of Christ in Matthew 24-25:31-46 and Revelation 20:10—22:6-12, 20.  Therefore, the final crushing and judgment of Satan was fulfilled “shortly” and Christ’s “soon” spiritual coming in AD 70.
  1. Kenneth Gentry appeals to the imminent time texts and recapitulation within Revelation to prove chapters 1-19 and 21-22 were fulfilled in AD 70. But then this hermeneutic is abandoned and not applied to Revelation 20.  Why?   Because he believes the creeds are “infallibly certain” to teach we are still in the millennium and at the end of this period there will be a physical resurrection and a physical passing away of heaven and earth.  Gentry knows he can’t cross this line and therefore based upon the traditions of men (not exegesis or following his own hermeneutic), he becomes more than inconsistent and arbitrary.  We agree with Gentry that Revelation 1-19; 21-22 was fulfilled “shortly” in AD 70 while also agreeing with Amillennialists such as Kistemaker and Poythress, whom point out that if these chapters were fulfilled in AD 70, then sRevelation 20:5-15 must also have been fulfilled “shortly” in AD 70.  This is because the time texts in Revelation 1—22 form bookends or an inclusio to the entire prophecy.  Not only this, but Revelation 20 recapitulates the same judgment scene as the other chapters.  The time texts and recapitulation in Revelation (and in Matthew 24-25) sink Gentry’s bogus and creedally arbitrary hermeneutic.

Postmillennialists Can Never Agree on Which Texts Were Fulfilled Spiritually in AD 70 and Which One’s Allegedly Are Physically Fulfilled at End of World History

Anyone reading the exegesis of Postmillennialists such as Kenneth Gentry, Gary DeMar and Mike Bull on such passages as Daniel 12:1-4; Matthew 24-25; 1-2 Thessalonians; 1 Corinthians 15 or 2 Peter 3 can readily see an inconsistent or contradictory hermeneutic within this system regarding Christ’s parousia.  Personal pronouns such as “you” and “we” point to an AD 70 fulfillment or they don’t!  The coming of Christ in Matthew 24-25 was fulfilled in AD 70 and forms the eschatology of Paul, Peter and John in ALL of 1-2 Thessalonians; 2 Peter 3 and ALL of Revelation or it doesn’t!  And since the OD forms NT eschatology, we can use “parallels” and “similar language” between the OD with other NT eschatological texts or we can’t.  And when we read the classic Amillennialist and Historic Premillennialist and the way they connect these passages, we are further led into Full Preterism.

The Earthly Kingdom “Manifestation” of Dominion Postmillennialism is Carnal, Violent and “Heretical” 

We agree with Amillennial creeds and theologians that see the earthly kingdom fulfillments/manifestations of Premillennialism and Postmillennialism to be on par with “Jewish dreams” and therefore “heretical.”

Postmillennial Dominionism believes the following must take place before Jesus’ THIRD coming can be fulfilled:

  1. The biology of man is in the process of changing whereby he will live to be in the 900’s before Christ’s coming can be fulfilled.
  1. Animal anatomy is in the process of changing whereby their desires to eat meat will end and they will only desire to eat hay and grass. Likewise, poisonous snakes will no longer desire to bite children when they fall into their dens or when children desire to play with them.
  1. The rights of unbelievers to vote are to be taken from them. In certain circumstances unbelievers and even Christian “heretics” that do not conform to Dominion Postmillennialism and it’s understanding of the Scriptures will be stoned to death (or shot in the head) when they disobey or disagree with these standards.

Ken Talbot is Sam Frost’s mentor and an important board member for DeMar’s American Vision.  He stated, in a lecture entitled, “The History of Creation, Part 5” (26:20 – 28:35):

“WHEN we are in charge [i.e., when people who agree with Ken Talbot ‘s Theonomic Postmillennialism are in charge], WHEN the law of God is there, folks it’s either obey, or get hung.  Take your choice.  Well, you can throw stones if you want to (that Gary North’s view), but I think there’s better ways of doing it than throwing stones.  Just quick executions…because God says you’re incorrigible.  And you’re a blight on society, and you are a road bump that we don’t want to deal with in our kingdom.  And you’re gone.”

Of course Jesus nor any NT author EVER taught ANY of these Dominion Postmillennial concepts to be connected with an earthly manifestation/fulfillment of the kingdom.  And they most definitely didn’t say they were necessary before His THIRD coming could be fulfilled.  These violent, seeing double of everything and science fiction theories arising from Postmillennialism makes the violent, seeing double of everything and science fiction of Dispensationalism look like nothing!  Yet Postmillennialist’s such as Gary DeMar claim the real problem today is the un-bibical and science fiction eschatology Dispensationalism?!?  And he won’t adopt Full Preterism because he likes the un-bibical and science fiction “worldview” of Dominion Postmillennialism?  Wow, go figure!

My First Lecture of the PPW 2017 Conference Part 1: The Problems For Postmillennialism – My Approach and Methodology http://fullpreterism.com/my-lecture-on-the-problems-of-postmillennialism-at-the-2017-ppw-conference-the-wedding-and-resurrection-motif/

My First Lecture of the 2017 PPW Conference Part 2:  The Problems For Postmillennialism – God’s Divorce, Re-marriage and NC Betrothal http://fullpreterism.com/my-lectures-given-at-the-2017-ppw-on-the-problems-with-postmillennialism-wedding-resurrection-part-2-gods-ot-marriage-divorce-betrothal-and-remarriage-promises/

My First Lecture of the 2017 PPW Conference Part 3:  The Problems For Postmillennialism -Wedding and Resurrection (Jn. 4-5) http://fullpreterism.com/my-2017-ppw-lecture-on-the-problems-with-postmillennialism-wedding-resurrection-part-3-john-3-5-and-nt-betrothal-and-marriage/

My First Lecture of the 2017 PPW Conference Part 4:  The Problems For Postmillennialism – Wedding and Resurrection (Mt. 8:10-12/Mt. 22:1-14/Mt. 25:1-13) http://fullpreterism.com/my-2017-ppw-lecture-on-the-problems-with-postmillennialism-wedding-and-resurrection-part-4-mt-810-12-221-14-251-13isa-256-9/

My First Lecture of the 2017 PPW Conference Part 5:  The Problems For Postmillennialism – The Parable of the Wheat and Tares and the Resurrection (Mt. 13:39-43/Dan. 12:2-3) http://fullpreterism.com/my-2017-ppw-lecture-on-the-problems-with-postmillennialism-in-the-parable-of-the-wheat-and-tares-the-end-of-the-age-and-the-resurrection-mt-1339-43dan-122-3/

My Second Lecture of the 2017 PPW Conference Part 1:  The Problems For Postmillennialism – The Olivet Discourse (Mt. 23-24; Mt. 24:3, 14/Acts 1:8-11) http://fullpreterism.com/lecture-2-at-the-2017-ppw-problems-for-postmillennialism-in-the-olivet-discourse-house-divided-the-break-up-of-postmillennialism-and-the-formation-of-full-preterism-taking-its-place/

House Divided Chapter Seven The Resurrection of the Dead Amillennialist Robert B. Strimple Vs. Full Preterist David A. Green Part 6 John 5:28-29

House Divided

Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist Response to

When Shall These Things Be?

Chapter Seven

The Resurrection of the Dead 

Part 6 John 5:28-29

 

David A. Green

Copyright 2009 and 2013 All rights reserved.  No part of this book (or article) may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher or author of this chapter/article (Vision Publishing or David A. Green), except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

Strimple Argument #6: John 5:28-29 obviously teaches a physical

resurrection of the dead in that it speaks of a time in which “all who are

in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good

to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection

of judgment” (297).

 

Answer: In order to understand John 5:28 and 29, we must first look

three verses above it, in John 5:25, where Jesus said that the hour “now is

when “the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear

shall live.” As most Reformed interpreters agree, Jesus in that verse was

referring to the preaching of His death and resurrection. The preaching

of that message commenced at Pentecost. “The dead” were physically

living people who were spiritually dead in sin, and “the voice of the Son of

God” was the gospel. Having heard the gospel, those who were spiritually

dead” were spiritually resurrected. They lived in that they received eternal

life through faith in the gospel (“the voice of the Son of God”).

 

Then, in verses 28 and 29, Jesus expanded His teaching on the resurrection

to include those who were not only spiritually dead, but who were

also physically dead. He did not call them “dead” (as He had already called

the living who were spiritually dead), but He referred to them through another

figure of speech as “all who are in the graves.” They were not literally

in their graves or tombs, of course, but were in Hades/Sheol.

 

What is often missed in this passage is that, like the physically living

in verse 25, the physically dead in verse 28 were also going to live

by means of hearing Christ’s “voice.” As we know from verse 25, that

voice” is the gospel. The physically dead therefore were going to hear

the gospel (cf. 1 Pet. 4:6.) and were, as a result of hearing the gospel,

going to be resurrected (regenerated, born from out of death and Hades).

This means that the physically dead were, like the physically living,

spiritually dead. And this inescapably means that both the physically

living and the physically dead were going to be spiritually resurrected

by means of the gospel-voice of the Son of God. One resurrection in

two main stages: First, the last days saints; then, the Old Testament

dead (“the rest of the dead” in Revelation 20:5).

 

After hearing the gospel, the dead were raised out of their Adamic

graves (Hades) in the end of the age. And those among them who believed

the gospel received eternal life in the kingdom of God. But those

who hated the gospel (those who had done evil) were raised out of Hades

only to stand before God and to enter into “eternal punishment” /

the second death” (Matt. 25:46; John 5:28-29; Rev. 20:14).

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House Divided Chapter Seven The Resurrection of the Dead Amillennialist Robert B. Strimple Vs. Full Preterist David A. Green Part 5 Daniel 12:1-3

House Divided

Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist Response to

When Shall These Things Be?

Chapter Seven

The Resurrection of the Dead 

Part 5 Daniel 12:1-3

 

David A. Green

Copyright 2009 and 2013 All rights reserved.  No part of this book (or article) may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher or author of this chapter/article (Vision Publishing or David A. Green), except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

Strimple Argument #5: Daniel 12:1-3 says that “many of those who

sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to

shame and everlasting contempt.” This is obviously referring to a physical

resurrection of the dead. Additionally, God tells us that this prophecy

is to be fulfilled in “the time of the end” (Dan. 12:4), which is the end

of human history (295).

 

Answer: Daniel’s prediction of the resurrection of the dead begins

with these words: “And at that time . . . ” “That time” refers back to the

end of chapter 11. Philip Mauro in his book, The Seventy Weeks and

the Great Tribulation, argues convincingly that Daniel 11 ends with a

prophecy of Herod the Great.[1]

 

Herod, the first enemy of the incarnate Christ, died very shortly

after Christ was born. It was “at that time” that Christ (“Michael,” “the

Chief Messenger”) stood up for the saints. It was at that time that Christ

came into the world for His people and took on the body of sacrifice

that the Father had prepared for Him (Dan. 12:1; Heb. 10:5-7; Ps. 40:6;

cf. Rev. 12:7).

 

It was the “stand” for the elect that Christ made in His Incarnation

that led to the “war in heaven” (Matt. 11:12; Rev. 12:7), which in turn

led to fleshly Israel being overtaken in the death-throes of the Great

Tribulation (Dan. 12:1). Jesus promised that that time of distress was

going to take place within His own generation, and that it would be consummated

in the destruction of the city and the sanctuary (Dan. 9:26;

12:1; Matt. 24:1-2, 21, 34). That event took place in August-September

of AD 70.

 

According to the angel who spoke to Daniel, it was at that time that

the power of the holy people would be shattered (Dan. 12:7), that the

church would be delivered (Dan. 12:1), that the resurrection of the dead

would take place, and that the righteous would inherit the kingdom

 (Dan. 12:2). Jesus, in harmony with Daniel, promised that the kingdom

would be taken from the wicked and given to the righteous in the lifetime

of the chief priests and Pharisees (Mat. 21:43-45). Therefore, “the

time of the end” (not “the end of time,” as it is sometimes mistranslated)

in Daniel 12:4, 9 was not the end of human history; it was the end of

redemptive history in Christ’s generation.

 

It was in AD 70, therefore, that many who slept in “the earth’s dust

awoke. To “sleep in dust” is a figure of speech. The dead were not literally

sleeping, nor were they literally in the dust. They were “in dust

only insofar as, in their death, they had not ascended into God’s presence

in Christ. In terms of the righteousness and life of God, they were

earth-bound. From a literal standpoint, they were in Sheol/Hades (the

abode of the Adamic dead), and it was from out of Sheol that they were

raised to stand before the heavenly throne of God (Dan. 12:1-2).

Futurist James Jordan writes regarding Daniel 12:13:

 

What Daniel is promised is that after his rest in Abraham’s bosom,

he will stand up with all God’s saints and join Michael on

a throne in heaven, as described in Revelation 20, an event that

came after the Great Tribulation and in the year AD 70.[2]

 

Regarding the word “many” in Daniel 12:2: The word is not used

in contrast to “all” (as “the many” is used to limit the term “all men” in

Rom. 5:12, 15, 18-19) or in contrast to “a few.” The angel simply referred

to a large number of people; to multitudes (NIV). No inference can be

made from the context as to whether “many” referred to all or to only

a portion of the dead. Only subsequent scriptures revealed that the

many” in Daniel 12:2 referred whole company of all the dead

from Adam to the Last Day.



[1] Philip Mauro, The Seventy Weeks and the Great Tribulation (Swengel,

PA: Reiner Publications [now Grace Abounding Ministries]), 135-162. 

[2] James B. Jordan, The Handwriting on the Wall: A Commentary on the

Book of Daniel (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision Inc., 2007), 628. (Emphases

added)

 

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House Divided Chapter 7 The Resurrection of the Dead Amillennialist Robert B. Strimple Vs. Full Preterist David A. Green Part 4 Acts 23:6 Paul’s Agreement With the Pharisees About a Coming Resurrection

House Divided

Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist Response to

When Shall These Things Be?

Chapter Seven

The Resurrection of the Dead

Part 4 Acts 23:6 Paul’s Agreement With the Pharisees on a Coming Resurrection 

David A. Green

Copyright 2009 and 2013 All rights reserved.  No part of this book (or article) may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher or author of this chapter/article (Vision Publishing or David A. Green), except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.


Strimple Argument #4: In Acts 23:6, Paul aligned himself with the

 

Pharisees regarding the resurrection of the dead. This indicates that Paul

believed with the Pharisees in a physical resurrection of the dead (296).

 

Answer: I am not aware of any evidence that the Pharisees would

have rejected a man from their party if he believed in a non-physical

resurrection of the dead. For all we know, a certain percentage of the

Pharisees (including Saul/Paul) believed in a non-physical resurrection

of the dead.

 

But even if there is evidence that belief in a non-physical resurrection

of the dead disqualified a man from being a Pharisee, the issue in

Acts 23:6-8 was not the nature of the resurrection of the dead. It was

the existence of the resurrection of the dead vs. the non-existence of the

resurrection of the dead. As we know, The Sadducees were denying that

there was any afterlife, while Paul and the Pharisees agreed that there was

an afterlife, and an imminent resurrection of the dead. Other issues connected

with the resurrection of the dead were not under consideration.

 

It has been argued by some that Paul would have had to have agreed

with every major doctrine the Pharisees taught about the resurrection

of the dead. It is argued that if he didn’t, then it would have been deceptive

for him to call himself a Pharisee in regard to the resurrection of

the dead.

 

But this argument proves too much. Are those who make this argument

prepared to say that Paul believed that the souls of dead saints

hovered over “Luz bones”? Are they prepared to say that Paul believed

in a whole host of Jewish resurrection-myths, including the myth that

the dead will be raised wearing clothes, and the myth that those who

died outside of Jerusalem would have to dig their way back to the city in

order to be resurrected?

 

But beyond such myths, we know that Paul and the Pharisees could

not have possibly agreed on every major point touching the resurrection

of the dead. Though the Pharisees agreed with Paul that the resurrection

of the dead was a true doctrine and that it was about to happen,

the Pharisees definitely did not believe that Christ Jesus Himself

was “the Resurrection” (John 11:25); and they definitely did not believe

that the resurrection “hope” of Israel was “Christ in you” (Acts 23:6;

24:15; Col. 1:27). As concerns the Christological nature of the resurrection,

Paul and the Pharisees were worlds apart. Yet Paul said he was a

Pharisee concerning the resurrection of the dead, because Paul and the

Pharisees, in contast to the Sadducees, believed in the existence of the

resurrection of the dead. With that point of agreement, Paul divided

and conquered his enemies.

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House Divided Chapter Seven The Resurrection of the Dead Amillennialist Robert B. Strimple Vs. Full Preterist David A. Green Part 3 Carnal Jewish Hopes

House Divided

Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist Response to

When Shall These Things Be?

Chapter Seven

The Resurrection of the Dead 

Part 3 Carnal Jewish Hopes

 

David A. Green

Copyright 2009 and 2013 All rights reserved.  No part of this book (or article)
may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher
or author of this chapter/article (Vision Publishing or David A. Green), except
in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

Strimple Argument #3: Mainstream Jews in the time of Jesus believed

in a physical resurrection of the dead. Martha reflected that

“standard Jewish hope” when she said that Lazarus would “rise again in

the resurrection on the last day” (John 11:24) (295-296).

 

Answer: Preterists are not the only ones who differ with the Jews

in the time of Jesus. Strimple also disagrees with them. As far as we

know, mainstream Jews at that time believed in the shadowy realm of

Hades. Strimple apparently rejects that doctrine. It is also likely that

the Jews in the time of Jesus erroneously believed that “the Christ” and

the Prophet” were two different people (John 1:25). It is probable that

Strimple rejects that mainstream Jewish doctrine as well. The Jews further

believed that the Messianic kingdom would be a literal, nationalistic

kingdom. Strimple disagrees with that “standard Jewish hope.”

 

More importantly though, many or most of the Jews at that time

believed the resurrection and judgment of the living and the dead were

about to happen. In fact, we know that most Christians in the time of

Jesus believed that very same doctrine, because there is no doubt that

the authors of the New Testament books believed it. Yet Strimple and

all other futurists categorically reject the doctrine that the resurrection

and judgment were about to happen in the apostolic generation, despite

the sure, prophetic, and authoritative word of Jesus and the Apostles:

 

The Son of Man is about to come in the glory of His Father with

His angels; and will then recompense every man according to

his deeds. Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are

standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son

of Man coming in His kingdom [to recompense every man according

to his deeds]. (Matt. 16:27-28)

 

He has fixed a day in which He is about to judge the world in

righteousness. . . . (Acts 17:31)

 

There is about to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the

wicked. (Acts 24:15)

 

As he was discussing . . . the judgment about to come. . . .

(Acts 24:25)

 

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.

(Rom. 16:20)

 

Christ Jesus, who is about to judge the living and the dead. . . .

(2 Tim. 4:1)

 

Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. . . .

(1 Pet. 4:5)

 

Evidently, Strimple feels that he is at liberty to reject the consensus

of the Jews and even of the church and of the apostles themselves in the

time of Jesus regarding the timing of the prophesied consummation. Yet

at the same time, Strimple believes that the consensus of Jews in the time

of Jesus can serve as legitimate contributing evidence against preterism.

Strimple is here using an unjust weight to judge preterism.

 

Regardless of the majority view of the Jews in Jesus’ day,[1] if we assume

that Martha did express a belief in a physical resurrection of the dead, we

can only interpret Jesus’ response to her as a correction of that belief:

 

I am the Resurrection and the Life; he who believes in Me shall

live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me

shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)

 

Biological reanimation is not the resurrection and the life. Jesus

is the Resurrection and the Life. To “live” (i.e., to be resurrected) is to

believe in Him. We who put our trust in Christ’s sin-atoning blood in

the new covenant world today are in “the Life,” and we shall “never die.”

As we will discuss in more detail below, since the consummated death

of the Adamic, old covenant “man” in AD 70, the universal church is

now and forever the resurrected, living, and “spiritual body” of Christ.



[1] According to Keith Mathison, the prevailing belief of the Jews in Jesus’

day was that “when Israel was restored in the age to come, those faithful Jews

who had died would be raised to participate in it” (172). Mathison believes

that Israel was restored in the first century (169). If we accept Mathison’s

timeframe for the restoration of Israel, and if we must accept the “prevailing

belief” of the first century Jews, then we must conclude that the resurrection

of the dead took place in the first century.

 

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House Divided Chapter Seven Amillennialist Robert B. Strimple Vs. Full Preterist David A. Green Part 2 Romans 8 and 2 Peter 3

House Divided

Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist Response to

When Shall These Things Be?

Chapter Seven

The Resurrection of the Dead 

Part 2 Romans 8 and 2 Peter 3

 

David A. Green

Copyright 2009 and 2013 All rights reserved.  No part of this book
(or article) may be reproduced in any form without permission in
writing from the publisher or author of this chapter/article (Vision
Publishing or David A. Green), except in the case of brief quotations
embodied in critical articles or reviews.


Strimple Argument #2:
According to Romans 8 and 2 Peter 3,

when the resurrection of the dead takes place, the heavens and the earth

—the whole physical creation—will be physically transformed and

physically renewed. Therefore the resurrection of the dead will also be

physical and will involve a physical transformation/renewal (321-326).

 

Answer: When Paul and Peter wrote their epistles:

 

1. God was “ready to judge the living and the dead” (1 Pet. 4:5).

2. It was “time for the judgment to begin” (1 Pet. 4:17).

3. Believers were living in “the last days” (2 Tim. 3:1; 2 Pet. 3:3).

4. Believers were living in “the last times” (1 Pet. 1:20).

5. Believers were “hastening” the coming of the day of God, when

the Morning Star would arise in their hearts (2 Pet. 1:19-20;

3:3, 5, 11-12).

6. The glory and salvation of Israel was “about to be

revealed”/“ready to be revealed” (Rom. 8:18; 1 Pet. 1:5; 5:1).

7. The night was “almost gone” (Rom. 13:12).

8. The day of salvation was “at hand” (Rom. 13:12).

9. God was “soon” to crush the ancient enemy, Satan, under the

feet of the first-century church (Rom. 16:20), in fulfillment of

Genesis 3:15.

10. “The end of all things” was “at hand” (1 Pet. 4:7).

 

If we are to let the words of Scripture say what they say in their

context, we must admit that the biblical time of eschatological crisis is

now history. The apostles Paul and Peter, through the inspiration of the

Holy Spirit, fully expected the heavens and the earth (the world) to burn

and dissolve in their own generation (2 Pet. 3:7, 10-12). Therefore, we

are to rest in faith that this event, according to God’s faithful and sure

prophetic word, was fulfilled in the apostolic generation.

 

Futurist objections notwithstanding, it requires no stretch of the

imagination to believe God’s word in this regard. We know that when

Peter spoke of the “heavens” and the “earth,” he did not mean the literal

sky and the planet. Peter believed that the heavens and the earth of

Noah’s day were destroyed (2 Pet. 3:5-6). Peter certainly did not think

that the literal stars (“the heavens”) were destroyed in Noah’s flood.

 

When Peter spoke of the end of the world (“the end of all things”), he

was speaking of the world-order in which he lived. He was speaking of

the pre-redemption world that was speedily coming to a consummation

through the power of the recently slain Lamb of God. Peter was not

writing in scientific terms concerning hydrogen and oxygen melting.

He was writing in the fervent, poetic language of the prophets concerning

the impending end of the old covenant age and the resulting liberation

of “the creature” / “all Israel” (all the saints, living and dead) from

the slavery and futility of the spiritual corruption of Sin.

 

Peter’s prophecy in 2 Peter 3 was a reiteration of Isaiah 24. In that

chapter, Isaiah spoke of the time when the sun and the moon (the heavens)

would be confounded and ashamed (Isa. 24:23) and when the earth

would be burned, broken down, dissolved, and would fade away (Isa.

24:4, 6, 19-20). Isaiah was speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem.

 

The heavens and the earth” referred to the pre-Messianic, dead-in-

Sin world of God’s people. That old creation or cosmos was dissolved,

and it vanished shortly after Peter wrote his epistles, in AD 70. There is

no biblical rationale for appending a “resurrection of the flesh at the end

of human history” to the teachings of the apostles.

 

One final note: The Bible says that after the Parousia, after the fulfillment

of all prophecy, in the new heavens and the new earth, there will

be cursed nations that will, year by year, refuse to worship God (Zech.

14:16-19). After the fulfillment of all prophecy, there will be those who

attack God’s people, though ultimately to no avail (Isa. 54:15-17). After

the fulfillment of all prophecy, there will be people loving and practicing

lies outside the city of God in the new heavens and new earth (Rev.

22:14-15).

 

Strimple says that this biblical doctrine is “incredible” and that it

does not “satisfy” him (323). It is the task of futurists to believe and to

be satisfied with what God’s word teaches concerning the eternal, Messianic

world in which we live today.

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House Divided Chapter Seven Amillennialist Robert B. Strimple Vs. Full Preterist David A. Green Part 1 2 Timothy 2:16-18

House Divided

Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist Response to

When Shall These Things Be?

Chapter Seven

The Resurrection of the Dead

Part 1 2 Timothy 2:16-18

 

David A. Green

Copyright 2009 and 2013 All rights reserved.  No part of this book (or article) may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher or author of this chapter/article (Vision Publishing or David A. Green), except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

Dr. Robert B. Strimple’s sixty-six page chapter in WSTTB can be

summed up in thirteen basic arguments that defend the doctrine

of a literal, physical resurrection of the dead. In this chapter, I will respond

to Strimple’s thirteen arguments. I will then offer a brief exposition

of 1 Corinthians 15.

 

Strimple’s Thirteen Arguments[1]

 

Strimple Argument #1: Preterists teach that the resurrection is past.

Therefore preterists are under the condemnation of the heretics Hymenaeus

and Philetus, who said that “the resurrection is past already” (2

Tim. 2:16-18) (WSTTB, 287, 312-315).[2]

 

Answer: If we read 2 Timothy 2:16-18 on the premise of futurism

(belief in a literal, physical resurrection of the dead), we will reason that

Hymenaeus and Philetus were not only wrong about the timing of the

resurrection, as Paul said they were, but that they were more importantly

wrong about the nature of the resurrection. We will reason that

the faith-overthrowing aspect of their error must have been their denial

of a biological resurrection of the dead. This would mean that the malignancy

of their doctrine had to do with the nature of the resurrection,

even though Paul condemned only their timing of the resurrection.

 

Futurism must, against the flow of thought in the text, smuggle its

own assumption (a biological resurrection of the dead) into 2 Timothy

2:16-18 in order to make it a preterist-anathematizing text. This means

that the only exegetical argument that is used for condemning preterists

as false brothers is based on the logical fallacy of question begging.

 

But if we read the passage on the premise of preterism (a non-biological

resurrection of the dead), we should reason that the error of Hymeneus

and Philetus was that they were teaching that the resurrection had

been fulfilled under the Law (1 Tim. 1:8; Titus 1:10; 3:9; Heb. 8:13). They

were teaching that “the hope of Israel” (Acts 23:6; 24:15, 21; 28:20) was

already fulfilled in the AD 60’s and that there was therefore never to be a

termination of the covenant of fleshly circumcision and animal sacrifices.

 

Their error implied that the kingdom was not going to be taken

from the scribes and Pharisees, as Jesus said it would be. It implied

that the final destruction of the city and sanctuary would never happen.

It implied that fleshly Israel had inherited the eschatological kingdom

with the church and that the ministration of death and condemnation,

with all of its reminders of sin, would continue forever. It implied that

believers, having already attained unto the resurrection (cf. Phil. 3:11–

12), would be forever under the yoke of the Law of Moses.

This is why the doctrine of a pre-70 resurrection was a radically anti-

gospel, anti-grace, faith-overturning blasphemy (1 Tim. 1:20; 2 Tim.

2:18). This is why Paul condemned the timing instead of the nature of

the error, because insofar as the realization of the hope of Israel (the resurrection)

was necessarily synchronous with the eternal disinheritance

of the Christ-rejecters in Israel, timing was everything.

 

Perhaps we cannot know with certainty what date Hymenaeus and

Philetus assigned to the resurrection. Perhaps they taught that the Jewish

revolt against Rome in AD 66 was the fulfillment of the resurrection.

Whatever the case, the resurrection error at Ephesus was a Judaizing

heresy that served to put believers back under the slavery of the Law.

 

Before we go on to Strimple’s next argument, let us look briefly at

Paul’s silence in regard to Hymeneus’ and Philetus’ concept of a non-biological

resurrection of the dead. If Paul was expecting a literal, biological

resurrection, is it not odd that his only criticism of the gangrenous

resurrection-error was in regard to its timing? Could it be that Paul

agreed with Hymeneus and Philetus in regard to the nature of the resurrection,

and disagreed with them only in regard to the timing? Paul’s

words in 2 Thessalonians 2:2-8 give us the answer to this question.

 

In that scripture, Paul told believers how they could know, after the

fact, that the Day of the Lord had taken place. First, Paul said, “the

apostasy” or “the falling away” would take place and “the man of sin”

would be revealed (2 Thess. 2:3). This “man of sin” would take his seat

in the temple of God, thus displaying himself as being God (2 Thess.

2:4). Then he would be slain and brought to an end (2 Thess. 2:8). By

the unfolding of these events, believers would know that the Day of the

Lord had come.[3] The man of sin was, after all, to be destroyed on the

Day of the Lord.

 

However, Paul had taught in his previous epistle to the Thessalonians

that on “the day of the Lord,” the dead in Christ would rise and be

caught up” together with the living (1 Thess. 4:15-5:2). If Paul thought

those events were going to involve the literal, biological metamorphosis

and removal of the dead and of the church on Earth, then Paul would

have known that there were, inescapably, only two possible ways that

anyone could know that the day of the Lord had already come.

 

Either:

 

1. You suddenly found yourself in a new body made of “spiritual

flesh” while hovering in the clouds during a meeting with the

Lord in the air.

 

Or:

 

2. You suddenly discovered that the tombs of believers were

empty and that the church no longer existed on planet Earth

and you were left behind.

 

But Paul did not use either of these arguments. Paul instead told

believers simply to look for the rise and destruction of the man of sin in

order to know that the day of the Lord had come. According to Paul, if

believers perceived that the man of sin had been destroyed, then believers

could know that the day of the Lord (and therefore the resurrection

and the “catching away” of the church) had come to pass. The resurrection

of the dead and the “catching away” were not events that involved

the molecular change or disappearance of corpses or the disappearance

of the church from planet earth.[4]



[1] Though I label these arguments as “Strimple” arguments, most of them

are not, strictly speaking, Strimple’s arguments, but are the standard arguments

used by futurists to defend the doctrine of a “resurrection of the flesh.”

[2] Strimple’s editor Mathison undercuts Strimple’s effort here (and the effort

of most or all others who anathematize preterists) by casting a haze of

uncertainty over 2 Timothy 2:17-18 and refusing to use the passage to anathematize

“hyper-preterists.” Mathison forfeits all biblical authority to anathematize

“hyper-preterists” when he implies that “the resurrection” in 2 Timothy

2:17-18 could possibly have been fulfilled in AD 70 (194-195). 

[3] The Zealots captured the temple in AD 68. They abolished the priesthood

and turned the temple of God into their own personal house of murder.

They were destroyed in AD 70.

[4] See Michael Sullivan’s response to Mathison for an exposition of 1

Thessalonians 4:14-17 and 2 Timothy 2:17-18.

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