By Samuel M. Frost, Th.M.
The first two parts of this series are found here and here. To this day they have not been thoroughly rebutted. It is often assumed by many that John’s Revelation is speaking of things that would happen, all of them, in 70 AD. They assume this on the basis that John noted “the time is at hand” (1.3; 22.10). I used to assume the same thing. In fact, I took it for granted that this is what was meant by the phrase. The “time” here was assumed to be the time of the coming of Jesus in the near future to John.
Upon, however, an actual investigation – one that is not trying to prove 70 AD – this idea simply falls apart. First off, let us look at the phrase itself in the Greek text: yar ho kairos enggus. That is, “for the time near”, literally. There is no verb. The verb is supplied by translators. Second, this is a Purpose Clause, “for” the time is near. The RSV has “Blessed is he who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written therein; for the time is near.” The reason for keeping, reading and hearing is “because” the time is near. No one would disagree with that.
First, when on consults the “scholars” one will find on this certain phrase a wide variety of interpretations. I stopped quoting scholars. I have not stopped reading them (by the tank loads – and since my son lives with me while completing his Bachelor’s, I have access to all kinds of books on campus, Go Ball State Cardinals!). One of the common things in any Introduction to Revelation is that the author of the book is identified with the same author of John’s Gospel (and letters). I accept this on the basis of stylistics – that is, there are many, many phrasings in Revelation that are only found in both the Gospel and Revelation. Scholars have argued, then, that the author is the same (and for various other reasons). I accept this.
Second, the phrase “ho kairos enggus” is simply two nouns without a verb, This is unusual. For, we have this very phrase (in meaning) often repeated in both the OT and NT. In Mark 1.15 for example, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Here the verb “fulfilled” is in the Perfect Tense (has come, and is now). The word “near” is also a verb form of enggus, and in the Perfect Tense as well. In Luke 21.8 we find an interesting saying, “He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.” Now, the phrasing here, “the time is come” is ho kairos enggiken where “near” is a verb in the Perfect Tense. Yet, this is precisely what we find in the NT proclamation: the time has come. Apparently, then, there would be a false message of announcing “the time is near” and a true message of announcing the “time is near.” Jesus announced that the time has come. Paul equally announced that “now is the Day of salvation”. The Latter Times had indeed come upon them as announced (Acts 2). Nowhere in the NT is it stated that the time is coming somewhere out in the future. The NT message is clear from the very first arrival of Jesus on the scene: the time has been fulfilled. The Kingdom of God has come. Therefore, anyone expressing the idea that this time had not yet come, but would be saying later on in the future, “the time has come” would mean that Jesus was wrong. Jesus said at the time he began to minister that the time had come. If someone else was saying a few decades later “the time has come” they were off. Therefore, we must conclude that the time that had come was the same time mentioned by Jesus when he began his ministry. And, not only that, but had come in terms of his Incarnation. This was the coming of the Righteous One.
Now, what is interesting about John and his phrase, “the time near” is that he does not use the verb enggizo, but prefers (always) to use the noun, enggus. That is, he uses a Predicate instead of a verb. “And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem” (John 2.13). Here, “at hand” is expressed with a Predicate and Noun, enngus (the same is found in John 3.23; 6.4; 6.19; 7.2; 11.18; 11.55; 19.20; 19.42). The Predicate is in the Imperfect Tense. However, in another Gospel, repeating the same phrase, “And the feast of the unleavened food was coming nigh, that is called Passover” (Luke 22.1). Here, Luke uses “enggizen” (had draw near) with the Perfect Tense. John used a Predicate, Luke used the verb. Both express the same idea in Greek. “He said, “Go into the city to a certain one, and say to him, `The Teacher says, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at your house with my disciples'” (Matthew 26.18). Here Matthew uses the noun (enggus) with the Predicate in the Present Indicative. This is clear demonstration of the phrase “the time is at hand” being referenced to something that would happen in two days time. That is the normal understanding of the term “near” when used in contexts of time. “Near” does not ever mean something 20, 30 or 40 years from now in any context!
Thus, when Jesus referred to his time being at hand to celebrate the Passover, it was within a couple of days upon his arrival to Jerusalem, using a Present Tense. When, however, Jesus was expressing the arrival of The Time of his Coming and the Promised Salvation, it is expressed using a Perfect Tense: the time has now come and is now here. The Perfect tense captures both the Present and the Past (in John’s case, using the Imperfect past Tense in predicate form).
In fact, we find the NT authors using the Perfect Tense consistently and constantly. The time has come upon us. The Day has come upon us. The ends of the ages have come upon us. The arrival of Jesus was the arrival of the Day and the Time: “now is the Day of Salvation”.
Therefore, in keeping with the consistency of this analysis, when John announced in Revelation 1.3 that the “time is near” he is not saying this detached from the time when Jesus first announced it upon the dawn of his ministry. That would make John one of the false prophets saying, “the time has come! Here he is!” Jesus flatly said to avoid such a one. Rather, in Jesus Christ, John was announcing the same thing: the time has come with the ministry, suffering, death, resurrection and ascension of the son of man to the throne of David in heaven. This is not a future time. This is a now time.
And, we find this confirmed in our analysis in that John’s first vision in the Revelation is of the Exalted Christ, “who was, is, and now comes” (Present Active Indicative, not Future). John sees “the son of man” (Revelation 1.13), who is reflecting the image of the Ancient of Days (vv.13-ff), Who is the One the son of man is “before” – where he is in heaven, before the throne of the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7.9-14). John is not waiting for the time. The time has come. Jesus is Lord. “From him who is and who was and who comes; and from the seven Spirits that are before his throne; and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (Revelation 1.8-ff).
This is why the Revelation is given to us: for the time is come, the Reign of Messiah as prophesied and promised in the Prophets has come. Salvation is in the right hand of God, and he dispenses it to each according to his deeds. There is so much more here that can be said, and I suggest the other articles on this site on the Body of Christ and his Parousia.
Author: Samuel M. Frost, Th.D.
Samuel M. Frost has gained the recognition of his family, peers, colleagues, church members, and local community as a teacher and leader. Samuel was raised in the Foursquare Gospel tradition and continued in the rising Charismatic Movement of the early 1980’s. While serving in local congregations he was admitted to Liberty Christian College in Pensacola, Florida where he lived on campus for four years earning his Bachelor’s of Theology degree. It was there under the tutelage of Dr. Dow Robinson (Summer Institutes of Linguistics), and Dr. Frank Longino (Dallas Theological Seminary) that he was motivated to pursue a career in Theology. Dr. Robinson wrote two books on Linguistics, Workbook on Phonological Analysis (SIL, 1970) and Manuel for Bilingual Dictionaries: Textbook (SIL, 1969). It was under these teachers’ guidance that Frost entered into his Master’s studies, being granted a scholarship for Greek I and II at Pentecostal Theological Seminary, accredited, in Cleveland, Tennessee (adjunct of Lee University). Frost completed his study under Dr. French Arrington (The Ministry of Reconciliation, Baker Books, 1980), who used the text of J. Gresham Machen, New Testament Greek for Beginners.
Frost studied Hebrew for two years under Dr. Mark Futato (author, Beginning Biblical Hebrew, Eisenbrauns, 2003) and Dr. Bruce K. Waltke (author, An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax, Eisenbrauns, 1990) at Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, Florida. With combined credits from PTS and RTS, Samuel completed his Master of Arts in Christian Studies and Master of Arts in Religion from Whitefield Theological Seminary in Lakeland, Florida under the direct tutelage of Dr. Kenneth G. Talbot, co-author of the well reviewed work, Hyper-Calvinism and Arminianism (Whitefield Media, 2005) with Dr. Gary Crampton (and Foreword by the late, Dr. D. James Kennedy). Dr. Talbot also oversaw Samuel’s Dissertation, From the First Adam to the Second and Last Adam (2012) earning him the Magister Theologiae (Th.M.) degree. He also helped put together A Student’s Hebrew Primer for WTS, designed and graded exams for their Hebrew Languages course.
Samuel’s studies lead him into an issue in the field of Eschatology where his scholarship and unique approach in Hermeneutics garnered him recognition. Because of the controversial nature of some of his conclusions, scholars were sharp in their disagreement with him. Frost’s initial work, Misplaced Hope: The Origins of First and Second Century Eschatology (2002, Second Edition, 2006 Bi-Millennial Publishing), sold over four thousand units. While arguing for the Reformation understanding of sola Scriptura as defined by the Westminster Confession of Faith, Frost’s book launched a heavily footnoted argument for a total reassessment of the doctrine known as the Second Coming of Christ. The conclusion was that the events of the war of the Jewish nation against their Roman overlords in 66-70 C.E. formed the New Testament authors’ eschatological outlook, and went no further than their own first century generation; a view otherwise known as “full” or "hyper" Preterism. Internationally recognized Evangelical author and speaker, Steve Wohlberg remarked, ‘On the “preterist” side today…we have such influential leaders as Gary DeMar, Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., David Chilton, R.C. Sproul, Max King, James Stuart Russell, Samuel M. Frost, and John Noe. To these scholars…the beast is not on the horizon, he’s dead” (Italics, his)” (End Time Delusions, Destiny Image Publishers, 2004, page 133). It should be noted that only Noe, King and Frost supported the “full” Preterist position.
Thomas Ice and co-author of the best selling Left Behind series, Tim LaHaye, quote Frost’s work, Misplaced Hope, as well in their book, The End Times Controversy: The Second Coming under Attack (Harvest House Publishers, 2003, page 40). Dr. Jay E. Adams, who single handedly launched “a revolution” in Christian Counseling with his work, Competent to Counsel: An Introduction to Nouthetic Counseling, (1970, Zondervan), also wrote an analysis of Frost’s work in Preterism: Orthodox or Unorthodox? (Ministry Monographs for Modern Times, INS Publishing, 2004). Adams wrote of Misplaced Hope as a "useful, scholarly work" (p.6 - though he disagreed with the overall thesis). Dr. Charles E. Hill, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, wrote of Misplaced Hope that Frost, “attacks the problem of the early church in a much more thoroughgoing way than I have seen” (When Shall These Things Be? A Reformed Response to Hyper Preterism, Ed. Keith Mathison, Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing, 2003, ‘Eschatology in the Wake of Jerusalem’s Fall’ p. 110-ff.). There were several other works as well that took the scholarship of Frost seriously, like Ergun Caner in The Return of Christ: A Premillennial Perspective, Eds., Steve W. Lemke and David L. Allen (B&H Publishing, 2011).
Because of the controversial nature of Frost’s conclusions on these matters, it was difficult to find a denomination within the Church-at-Large to work in terms of pastoral ministry. That situation changed when Samuel was called by a Bible study group in Saint Petersburg, Florida to found a congregation. Christ Covenant Church was established in 2002 operating under the principles outlined by Presbyterian historian James Bannerman’s work, The Church of Christ: A Treatise on the Nature, Powers, Ordinances, Discipline, and Government of the Christian Church (Banner of Truth Trust, 1974, original, 1869). By-Laws and a Constitution were drawn up in the strictest manner for what was considered an “Independent” establishment of a Presbyterian Church, granted that a “call” was received and recognized by Presiding Elders duly ordained from existing and recognized denominations. Two Elders, one ordained in the Reformed Presbyterian Church (Mike Delores), and another ordained in the Presbyterian Church of America (Dr. Kelly N. Birks, now deceased) tested and reviewed the call, ordaining Samuel on October 20th, 2002, the Twenty Second Sunday after Trinity. Proper forms were submitted to Tallahassee, Florida with the stamp of a Notary Public Witness. Christ Covenant Church (CCC) functioned as a local church for five years with a congregation as large as 30 members. Frost was gaining recognition after Misplaced Hope had been published in January of that year, and conferences were hosted that included debates with another prominent "full" Preterist educator, Don K. Preston. CCC hosted best-selling authors, Thomas Ice, and Mark Hitchcock from Dallas Theological Seminary; and Dr. James B. Jordan (Westminster Theological Seminary), well-known author/pastor in Reformed theological circles. Frost was invited for the next several years to speak at over 25 conferences nation-wide, was featured in articles and an appearance on local news in Tampa for one of CCC’s conferences. The Evangelical Theological Society also invited Samuel to speak at the Philadelphia conference (Frost is currently a Member of ETS as well as Society of Biblical Literature).
During this time Samuel had submitted one more book, Exegetical Essays on the Resurrection of the Dead (TruthVoice, 2008; repr. JaDon Publishing, 2010); and co-wrote, House Divided: A Reformed Response to When Shall These Things Be? (Vision International, 2010). Frost also wrote several Forewords for up and coming authors who were influenced by his teaching materials, as well as cited many times in books, lectures and academic papers. However, because of certain aspects of Hermeneutics and Frost’s undaunted commitment to scholarship (with always a strong emphasis on the personal nature of devotional living to Christ), several challenges to the "hyper" Preterist view he espoused finally gave way, largely due to the unwavering commitment to Samuel by the Dean of Whitefield Theological Seminary, Dr. Kenneth G. Talbot, who continually challenged him. In what shocked the "hyper" Preterist world, Samuel announced after the Summer of 2010 that he was in serious error, and departed the movement as a whole, along with Jason Bradfield, now Assistant Pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church, Lakeland, Florida . Christ Covenant Church had dissolved after 2007 while Samuel continued as a public speaker and writer, largely due to reasons that would unravel Frost’s commitment to "hyper" Preterism as a whole.
The documentation of Frost’s departure was published by American Vision’s Founder, Gary DeMar, with a Foreword by Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry. Why I Left Full Preterism (AV Publishing, 2012) quickly ran through its first run. The book was later republished under the arm of Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry and is sold today (GoodBirth Ministries Publishing, 2019; though still available in Kindle form from American Vision). Dr. Gentry also gave mention to Frost in his book, Have We Missed the Second Coming: A Critique of Hyper Preterism (Victorious Hope Publishing, 2016), noting him as "one of the most prominent" teachers within Full Preterism (135). Dr. Keith Mathison, Professor of Systematic Theology at Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Florida, endorsed the book as well. Samuel has gone on to write, Daniel: Unplugged (McGahan Publishing House, 2021); The Parousia of the Son of Man (Lulu Publishing, 2019); God: As Bill Wilson Understood Him, A Theological Analysis of Alcoholics Anonymous (Lulu Publishing, 2017). He is also active as a certified Chaplain with the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana, and enrolled with ICAADA (Indiana Counselor’s Association on Alcohol and Drug Abuse), and worked directly under Dr. Dennis Greene, Founder of Christian Counseling and Addictions Services, Inc., for a year. Frost’s passion is in the education of the local church on various issues and occasionally works with Pastor Alan McCraine with the First Presbyterian Church in Lewisville, Indiana, and Bethel Presbyterian Church, Knightstown, Indiana, where he periodically is called upon to give the sermon. Samuel, with his wife, Kimberly, helped to establish Heaven’s Bread Basket food pantry that donates food items to local families in need once a month – a ministry of the Session of First Presbyterian Church, Lewisville, Indiana.
Samuel also works part time at Ace Hardware in New Castle, Indiana for several years. He has a solid, family reputation in the community, and has performed local marriages and funerals. He also sits on the Board of the Historical Preservation Committee in New Castle. Recently, he has completed his two year quest for a Th.D from Christian Life School of Theology Global, Georgia.
View all posts by Samuel M. Frost, Th.D.
11 thoughts on “What About the Time Texts? Part 3”
Sam, I wonder if you still interpret this text the same way:
I would like to understand how 1 John 2:28 would have an application in 70 AD.
“At his parousia, which we may certainly establish as an AD 70 terminus a quo, the saints would then have more boldness and not be ashamed. 3.2 is the terminus ad quem, the ultimate end of that which had already come.”
That piece was written in 2011, and I have, obviously, changed my thinking on that particular verse. For me, much of what was written at that time is legit, but I do not posit the “parousia” in 70 AD. We are children of God and it is not yet made known in the sense of appearances what in fact we are. That is, being “like him” involves resurrection of the dead; a transformation of our bodies. Jesus was raised from the dead bodily and glorified bodily, entering heaven as a human being (“son of man” – which is what that term means), body and soul. I have come to emphasize the importance of this aspect that I was not seeing when I wrote that article. Thus, when he appears as son of man – the “descent” mentioned in I Thessalonians 4.16-ff – is when we (those alive, and those who are now with him in heaven) shall be “like him”. “When he appears” refers to the full appearance of the son of man, Jesus when he will restore all things, raise the dead, transform the living from death to life in an instant (“in a flash, a twinkling of an eye”). Obviously, John does not say when “we appear” to him in heaven. Secondly, this cannot be in reference to his “appearance” before the Father when he ascended the morning of his resurrection in glory (Daniel 7.13-14). It must mean, then, his bodily appearance at the time of the resurrection of the dead – when it shall be made manifest what we already are: children of God. As it stands now, I cannot “tell” if a person is a child of God by their manifest appearance in the here and now. I go by one’s confession and life in faith to make that judgment. However, when he appears, we shall be like him – transformed in body and soul as human beings as he has been so transformed in heaven now as we speak – having appeared before the Father and remains in such a state.
Again, some would say, “well, when we die and our souls go to heaven, would we not be given bodies then, since we see him as he now is?” No. For the Scriptures are unanimous that the resurrection of the dead is one time, once and for all event for all. It is the “last day” in John’s Gospel, the same author in this text. Second, the text does not say “when WE appear” but when “HE appears”. Thus, John is referring to the Second Coming of Christ. Hope that helps.
Are you saying (lol), that when Jesus stated in Revelation 3:11 11 “I am coming soon.” he was actually saying I am alreaady here now ?
Leda, “Behold, I am with you always.” 2. Jesus was walking among the congregations (Lampstands). 3. “I come quickly” (Present Active Indicative) with “en tachei” (Adverbial prepositional phrase modifying noun, describing action, not time. 4. He comes upon the clouds of heaven (Revelation 1 depicts the son of man “before the throne” – alluding in several places Daniel 7.13-14 – as “he who comes (Present Active) on the clouds”. 5. He is issues “conditional” statements regarding whether or not he would particularly be coming to some of the churches, “unless you repent, else I come with a sharp two edged sword”.
What you apparently miss is perhaps due to the notion that Jesus “left” (which he did, the son of man is in heaven, personally speaking) and does not “come” in any aspect until his descent to raise the dead (I Thess. 4.16-ff). The coming of the son of man upon the clouds is a perpetual event, not a one time event. “Kiss the Son, lest his wrath flare up en tachei – quickly” (Psalm 2.12, which Psalm is quoted in a few places in the Revelation). He comes continually in terms of the Spirit of the Lord. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man opens, I will come to him and dine” (Revelation 3.21). There is a personal way in which the son of man “comes” by means of the Spirit. We see this, too, in Stephen’s death, where he sees the son of man standing at the right hand of the Father (language in reference to Daniel 7.13-14), and upon seeing the Lord, says, “receive my spirit” – the Lord came to Stephen and received him in his death – Stephen “endured to the end.” Though no one else saw Jesus, Stephen did. He was entirely unaware of the day and hour of his death, yet he was “ready” and “filled with the Spirit” when his death came. Jesus was “with him” – the one who comes on the clouds of heaven before the Father.
Sam, when you quote Mark 1:15, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand”, you cannot equate this particular “time” with the Rev. 1:3, 22:10 verses that say “the time is at hand”. This is apples and oranges. Mark 1:15’s “time” was referring to the beginning year of Daniel’s 70th week, which ran from AD 30 – 37. It was also the “acceptable year of the Lord” that Christ referred to in His Nazareth synagogue reading of Isaiah. Jesus was merely announcing that the time for Daniel’s prophesied 70th week had just begun. (Kenneth Gentry agreed with this point about these two verses on his website when I asked him if they applied to the beginning of the 70th week.)
Also, when the false prophets each claim that they are the promised Messiah and “the time is near”, Jesus did not say their message of “the time is near” would be a false message. He merely tells His followers not to follow them, because they would NOT be the Messiah. Only half of their message was wrong: truth mixed with error – which was a typical ploy of Satan. The very reason they would deceive people of that day into believing they were the Messiah is because the disasters of those days would very much demonstrate that “the time” had drawn near.
John was writing Revelation in late AD 59. (Internal proofs abound for this date, if requested.) Truly, the time for Christ’s judgment to fall on Israel starting in AD 66 was indeed “near”, and “at hand”, just as John said in Revelation 1:3 and 22:10. Indeed, the judgment which would “begin at the house of God” would soon fall on Laodicea with the AD 60 earthquake which decimated the city. God said he was “…ABOUT TO spue thee out of my mouth” – a prediction of the AD 60 quake event for the Laodicean church. The judgment of vengeance on Israel that subsequently followed would culminate in Christ’s bodily return to the Mount of Olives, including a bodily resurrection at that time.
Also, Sam, in your Nov. 9 comment to Mateus, you claim that scripture is “unanimous that the resurrection of the dead is one time, once and for all event for all.” This “once and for all” idea is incorrect. The designation of the “FIRST resurrection” (with Satan being loosed for his “little season” from AD 33-66 after that single point of time for the “First resurrection” of AD 33 in Rev. 20:5-7) – this demands at the very least a SECOND resurrection. You can’t have a “First” without having at least a “Second”.
I maintain that scripture lays out a pattern of no less than THREE bodily resurrections, according to the Old Covenant type of THREE required harvest feast celebrations at Passover, Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles. All three of these resurrections include bodies out of the dust, made incorruptible.
The Matthew 27:52-53 saints, raised as the 144,000 “FIRST-fruits” along with “Christ the FIRST-fruits” in the “FIRST resurrection” at Passover week – these examples of bodily-raised saints provided a visual example of the type of group resurrection all the saints would experience in the other two resurrection events that would eventually follow. The Matthew 27:52-53 resurrected saints never died again, and were called the “living and REMAINING” (reserved) saints of I Thess. 4:15,17 that would join the newly-resurrected saints in AD 70 on that year’s Pentecost day. Daniel’s 1,335th day falls exactly on Pentecost day in AD 70. A careful review of Josephus’ wartime records shows where this 1,335th day for the resurrection falls on the calendar. And those records mesh perfectly with the Daniel 12:11-13 prophesied order of events, down to the very day.
Sam, I would challenge you to find a transformation / translation type of change for ordinary living believers mentioned anywhere in the I Thess. 4 text. It isn’t there, and must be artificially inserted. Neither does the typical go-to companion text of I Cor. 15:51-55 say anything at all about a translation-type change for the living. Only a change for the DEAD believers is described in that entire context, which will take place in “the twinkling of an eye”. All MUST pass through a one-time “appointed” death process (Heb. 9:27), before those physically-dead forms are changed into incorruptible bodies. There’s no escaping this requirement in a presumed translation process. This means that anyone who claims that a bodily resurrection never took place in AD 70 because ordinary living believers were never translated and then “raptured” at that time have lost the argument. ONLY *RESURRECTED* SAINTS were “raptured” back then in AD 70 – those who had been made “alive” by resurrection in earlier years, who would finally depart this earth along with the group of those who had just been resurrected at Christ’s second coming in AD 70.
Even if one completely disregards the “near”, “at hand”, and “quickly” terms of Revelation, there are other verses that spell out the exact time Christ would bodily return to resurrect His saints, without resorting to a discussion of the intricacies of Greek. For example, you know this one, I’m sure: “Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.” (Matt. 10:23) This undeniably pins down Christ’s coming to a time BEFORE the 12 disciples had themselves personally visited all the cities of Israel with their evangelistic message. Since these 12 disciples aren’t alive on earth anymore, that should settle the question of the time Christ came back to earth: His SECOND coming was a first-century event for THAT generation the disciples lived in. We now await His THIRD coming for our own bodily resurrection in the future, during the time of year when the Feast of Tabernacles would have been celebrated (which is the reason for mentioning this one unfulfilled OT harvest feast out of all three required celebrations, that Zech. 14:16-19 symbolically alludes to for the New Covenant age following the AD 70 siege of Jerusalem.)
A second resurrection closed out the Old Covenant Age, and another third resurrection will close out the New Covenant Age. An Act I, followed by an Act II, with the AD 70 days of vengeance as an intermission between. The kingdom of heaven is like leaven in the breadmaking process. The dough rises twice, with a punch-down of the dough in between that smashes everything flat (as in AD 70), so that eventually the leaven can become uniformly distributed throughout the whole loaf in its second rising, before baking time at the end of this process.
I appreciate you sharing your opinions, and will let them stand only to highlight the radical contrasts between our views. Of course, you have written so much here that could be addressed, and when I read it I only noted in my mind the radically different “narratives” we have (Full Preterism and Evangelical theology). You have a lot going on here, and a lot of things assumed in order to make your narrative work with the material (Scripture). I find that your statement, “without resorting to a discussion of the intricacies of Greek” is a bit telling. I have been reading Greek since 1992. What “appears” intricate to non-Greek readers is not. For example, noticing John’s periphrastic use of “enggus” in his Gospel, and his verbless syntax in Revelation 1.3. Matthew 10.23 is a direct statement concerning his Ascension (which is referred to as a “coming” in Daniel 7.13 “erchomai” – a “coming to the Ancient of Days”).
Regardless, thank you for reading. Keep studying!
Hopefully you will not misconstrue my words about “the intricacies of the Greek” as a bias against the use of the original languages. Far from it. I have considerable esteem for those who are skilled in this, including a brother who has been a Greek professor for many years. But many like myself, who have only a passing acquaintance with Greek and its ability to aid our Biblical studies, must reach for things on the “lower shelf”, so to speak. Which is why I gravitate towards using verses such as Matthew 10:23, Matthew 26:27-28 and others that don’t require expertise in the original languages to understand their meaning regarding the time of Christ’s return.
In my locale, there are many with the KJV-only perspective that would turn a deaf ear to anyone reasoning from Greek or Hebrew syntax. The ability to dialogue with this kind of person on eschatological issues is therefore limited, to some extent, and one must employ Paul’s method of being “all things to all men” in order to prove anything from scripture to them.
I would not be so presumptuous as to challenge you on your knowledge or application of the Greek, but I do know that your interpretation of Christ’s “coming” in Matt. 10:23 is off-track on simple English terms. How could that context possibly refer to Christ’s ascension-coming to the Ancient of Days in Daniel 7:13, when Christ was giving details of the disciples’ predicted POST-ascension persecutions? (i.e., synagogue scourgings, giving testimony to the Gentiles, the indwelling, post-ascension Holy Spirit speaking through them as they would stand before governors, kings and councils, etc.). All of this context is referring to the disciples’ experiences AFTER Christ’s ascension to the Ancient of Days – not before. The context would then determine the interpretation of Christ’s “coming” in that Matt. 10:23 passage to be the period of history leading to His second PHYSICAL, BODILY return to the Mount of Olives in AD 70.
Which does not preclude His third coming at the close of the New Covenant Age in our future. This has nothing to do with typical Full-Preterist dogma, but it’s the truth, since Paul does mention an end to the New Covenant Age in Ephesians 2:7, when he speaks of the “AGES TO COME” (plural – which involves that imminent New Covenant Age for Paul as well as an age following that one). The transition point between those two ages future to Paul is the time for the future third resurrection. That event will include my own bodily-resurrected transformation which will finally complete my entire salvation experience of an incorruptible body, soul, and spirit standing in God’s presence. This concept also is definitely not part of typical Full Preterist ideology. The presentation of this paradigm of three bodily resurrections is allowed, but certainly not agreed with at the Full Preterist DID site where I have offered it in the past. If you wish to label the views I expressed in the comment above as “Full Preterist”, the hosts of that DID forum would probably be offended by the connection.
It’s obvious that you yourself, Sam, have faced considerable opposition for changing your past eschatological views, for which I extend my sincere respect. This takes great courage to change course after having once been a very vocal proponent for a position you can no longer hold. On a much smaller scale and for different reasons, I, too, relinquished a 16-year membership shared with my husband among a loving SBC assembly in order to remain true to what I see scripture teaching. What I see has developed over several years into a sort of eclectic blend that reconciles with each other the salvaged portions of truth from each of the eschatological perspectives. This means that there is no available label that is an exact fit for this paradigm, nor does it need one.
Again, thanks for the post. As for one section, I will post what you wrote and deal with that:
“I do know that your interpretation of Christ’s “coming” in Matt. 10:23 is off-track on simple English terms. How could that context possibly refer to Christ’s ascension-coming to the Ancient of Days in Daniel 7:13, when Christ was giving details of the disciples’ predicted POST-ascension persecutions? (i.e., synagogue scourgings, giving testimony to the Gentiles, the indwelling, post-ascension Holy Spirit speaking through them as they would stand before governors, kings and councils, etc.). All of this context is referring to the disciples’ experiences AFTER Christ’s ascension to the Ancient of Days – not before. The context would then determine the interpretation of Christ’s “coming” in that Matt. 10:23 passage to be the period of history leading to His second PHYSICAL, BODILY return to the Mount of Olives in AD 70.”
First off, I am not the only person that recognizes the validity of Jesus referring to his ascension (which is his “coming into the kingdom”). Jesus sent his disciples to go “in the cities of Israel” (Matthew 10.5,6). Thus, their mission begins here. They went and preached, “the kingdom of God has come near” (Perfect Indicative, HAS COME and IS present). The healed the sick, drove out demons, and then returned to Jesus upon a successful campaign.
However, Matthew inserts a greater part of their mission -their mission when sent out again – that would involve persecution. That obviously did not happen upon their first journey. Jesus told them not to worry about what they would say, “for the Spirit will tell you” (10.20). This means, then, that the Spirit would “empower” them to complete the mission they have started.
THEN, Jesus says, “You will not finish going through the cities of Israel UNTIL the son of man comes.” The Subjunctive/Condition “until…comes” means that they will not EMBARK upon the finishing of what they have STARTED already (“going through the cities”) until the son of man comes. He will come BEFORE they finish.
Now, the cities of the Gentiles, and Samaria were forbidden in the INITIAL sending. Only the cities of Israel. They did not go through every city. They came back to Jesus after going through a few cities, but certainly not all of them. However, we are full aware of the fact that at the end of Matthew, the commission is “to the NATIONS.” That is, “Jerusalem (a city in Israel), Judea (cities in Israel), Samaria (EXPANDING the mission) and the “utter most parts of the earth” (the Nations).
When they COMMENCE to FINISH going through the cities, they are EMPOWERED by the SPIRIT because the second leg of their mission through the cities of Israel will involve persecution. They will need POWER from on high. And right here we know this POWER is sent from the one “who all power has been given” (Matthew 28.18); echoing Daniel 7.14 (“and he received all power, and a kingdom…”) He came into his kingdom and power, with the angels in heaven “before the Father” – to where he was “coming to” (Daniel 7.13 uses “erchomai” which Matthew also uses); “and I saw the son of man coming (erchomai) to the Ancient of Days…” – “until the son of man comes (erchomai).” It is well noted that Matthew draws from Daniel.
Finally, the clincher for me, is that just a few verses more, Jesus states, ” So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven” (10.32). In this passage, in the very context of their mission, Jesus is seen as being “in heaven” and “before the father” – where he was to “come” before on his ascension, receiving power, kingdom, glory and honor with the angels. Upon their commencement to FINISH what they STARTED, Jesus ascended before the Father in heaven, received all power, and empowered them by the Spirit (Acts 2) to COMPLETE their mission to the cities of Israel, AND to ENLARGE that mission to the Nations.
Thus, it is entirely within the Greek text, and entirely within the context of Matthew as a whole (Matthew builds on this and explicitly mentions it further in chapter 16 with the same aspect of the Advent of the son of man before the Father “who is in heaven”. His “parousia” before the Ancient of Days (a term used in the Greek of Daniel – the LXX, or Septuagint, Daniel 7.13).
Matthew’s bringing in of the coming persecutions makes perfect sense in light of this understanding, because they would NEED the power of the Spirit to endure what was ahead.
Hi, Sam! How are you doing? Talking from Brazil here… I’m so glad I’ve found a former full preterist, because it seems like FP is the last stage one studying eschatology can get. I myself started as a dispensationalist and went all the way towards that train of thought! Anyway, I have spent “massive” time in your blog and I’m well acquainted with your Daniel/parousia theory/interpretation, therefore I would like to learn what are your thoughts on the text of II Thessalonians 2. Which coming of the Lord is Paul dealing with there?
I have to admit that time texts are FP best arguments. And I’ve put some tremendous effort not to yield and construe them as referring to a near judgement (not spatially). So I would really appreciate if you could point me some authors who approach the subject in a non-FP way.
Thanks for taking your time to share your insights over prophecy and replying our comments!
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I tried to find my post and correct any mispellings, but I couldn’t! Guess you need to moderate it first, right? I’m sorry though! English is not my mother language. Regards!
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I will get back to you shortly. Thank you for writing, though. Be in touch with a response. I am currently looking in the massive amount of material on 2 Th 2 with the myriad of interpretations involved.