This is an overview of Eschatology, a summary, from a different Orthodox Preterist viewpoint. It is being called "Orthodox" because of the recognition of a future resurrection. It is called "different" because the viewpoint hasn't been seen elsewhere.
The general observation on Eschatology would be that the Old Testament and Jesus emphasized the events happening in one generation. The emphasis came because the first century would be such a difficult time for believers to survive, even with the preparation and foreknowledge given to believers.
Only scattered clues or passages actually show the remaining future features. For example, the resurrection and the eternal life were not mentioned explicitly in the Old Testament, yet Jesus showed how resurrection was inherent in the context.
And the resurrection to life was made available only to those of the promise. Man has always sought eternal existence yet God only gives eternal life to believers. The idea here is that eternal existence is a hope that had existed from the earliest of times and was assumed as a future to believers without having to be stated as a future benefit. (Well, only the resurrection portion would be future. It seems that believers now are always awake in Christ and always enjoying a resurrected life John 11)
Rev 20:2 shows an equivalence of terms: dragon,serpent,devil and Satan.
Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years
Jesus' walk on Earth till AD30
1. Gospel of kingdom --
a)this was to announce the kingdom before which people must repentance. It looks to a point in their lifetimes
b)Everyone knew it should be fulfilled in that time
c)The kingdom would be a deliverance from the Roman rule, and rule of that ilk. Dan 2,7 Luke 1:71
d)To announce the kingdom that would come in their generation LUke 21:30-32
2. Prepare the apostles as witnesses of Christ Jesus' life and resurrection and that this would be the foundation of the Ecclesia
3. That Christ Jesus, being God, yet experiencing the temptations to man, would become the High Priest forevermore.
4. That Christ Jesus would become the Passover Lamb that God would passover them in wrath
5. That Christ Jesus would become the sacrifice for the sins of man and the world.
6. The focus of Jesus' time was the fulfillment of the promise to Israel (Rom 9-11) in light of the judgment coming on Jerusalem and Judea. This also was in accord with the prophecy of the coming of the kingdom in Dan 2 and 7. The prophecies had to emphasize this because these were grave times. The future beyond this received very little attention.
7. The pre-effects or precursors of the kingdom were being manifest:
Matt 11:12 -- many other people were trying to force the kingdom to form in the fashion of their imaginations
Luke 17:20-21 -- Jesus was likely speaking in a prophetic voice while at the same time not divulging any spiritual truths, since the audience here were Pharisees, not believers. But the thing to note is that the king, King Jesus, was among them while telling them this. [The Greek though speaks of Jesus words more precisely as "being within" and not "being among" -- So Jesus exagerated, in the sense of judgmental words to the Pharisees, rather than speaking of some unexplained literal sense of how a kingdom could be within a Pharisee]
Yet the kingdom was still future. See Luke 21:30-32 and Acts 1:
8. This was the beginning of the face off of the Seed of woman, being Jesus, and the seed of the serpent, being the antagonistic Jews, shown in Joh 8:44. So the prophecy of Gen 3:15 was beginning to be fulfilled.
The Pharisees, acting upon the influence of the serpent, participated in crucifying Jesus. But since Christ would be raised from the dead, this was only a bruising of the foot, a temporary irritant in battle.
9. prince of the power of the air --Eph 2:2 -- the prince seemed to promote a general disobedience, but may not have been working directly upon each man. This was a general mood that was stirred up. The "now worketh" in KJV suggests that this prince was temporarily leading men in disobedience.
10. The temptation of Jesus, Luke 4, was an attempt of the devil to thwart the coming of the kingdom that would take political power from the devil and put the power into the king of kings.
11. Luke 10:18, Satan falling like lightning, was spoken as a prophet seeing the future event happening as if it were in the present moment.
--The good seed
12. Matt 13 speaks of the good seed planted by the Son of Man. The other seed was planted by the devil. So, Jesus finished seeding essentially at the time of His death. The harvest was of this specific crop, not of seed planted after the first century. [The exact end of this seeding may extend past the time of Christ's death, but this is just to offer a little flexibility. Though no one may need the flexibility here.]
Death on Cross and Resurrection
1. Christ Jesus died to save the world. John 3:16-17 [This is one of two primary "salvations" described]
2. Christ Jesus became the redeemer for the sins of those who are being saved. Eph 1:7
3. The Ecclesia had not started yet.
4. The rulers acted against their own futures by participating (through the Roman rulers) in the crucifixion of Jesus. 1 Cor 2:7-8 The effect of this seems to be delayed and 1Cor2:7-8 doesn't require the effect be felt immediately by the rulers. So the effect is likely deferred until the start of the kingdom of God in AD70.
5. (Jesus entered a place He called Paradise. Luke 23:43)
6. kingdom had not started yet. Ps 2 didn't seem to become active until Acts 4:24-27
7. The devil may have been judged through the death and resurrection of Jesus in accord with John 12:31. Yet the broader image is that the "casting out" was more of the whole process form AD30 to AD70
Three salvations,plus more:
1. salvation of the world Joh 3:16-17 -- a physical protection to the existence of the earth
2. salvation from sin, unto eternal life -- a spiritual change to believers unto eternal life
3. saved from Romans -- a political change being made to save the world from the Roman Empire and the like.
4. saved from wrath -- this basically was to the believers of the first century
Those who were saved unto eternal life were those who were saved from the wrath to come (Matt 3:7)
5. saved from the tribulation and destruction, this is the redemption of Luke 21:28. This basically is the same as being saved from the "wrath to come"
1. Start of the Ecclesia
2. Start of the last days countdown till judgment and the kingdom came. The last days events were the signs of the coming judgment.
3. Kingdom was not yet coming. The Book of Acts shows people still preaching the kingdom. (The kingdom and gospel of the kingdom was primarily of Jewish interest in the first century.)
Time of repentance from AD30 to AD70
1. The Jews would persecute the believers to fulfill their iniquity Matt 23. They had former sins that could have received judgments, yet they were judged essentially on how they treated Jesus and the believers.
2. Though the elect Jews would receive the message and "understand" the times Rom 9-11 ( Dan 12 says "they that be wise") would be saved and would inherit the kingdom at the end of the generation.
3. The nations (of the Roman Empire, essentially) would be preached the message. The nations would be in the same turmoil as Judea. Though only Judea and especially Jerusalem would encounter the tribulation of being surrounded and starved in such a horrible manner. So this message of the Gospel had to be preached to the nations( with a shift from the people of the nations to the rulers) so that the rulers would have a chance to properly treat or otherwise mistreat believers before the time of judgment.
4. The man of intrigue, Dan 8, probably was Nero. And his name, using Greek or Hebrew letters, was 666 or 616, respectively [cause it seems there was the Hebrew version of Revelation or at least of the name --the 616 number has been seen in some parchments??]. This was the lawless one of 2Thes 2:3-6. Maybe it is Revelation that shows this man empowered by the beast and doing miracles?
5. This was an unusual dynamic period for the world, for theological issues and for politics. Such upsets could be expected when God is working a change in the earth. The doctrines of death and resurrection have special dynamics. Also the issue of existence of Hades or Sheol have likely transitions at this time too.
6. Gen 3:15
a) the bruising of the foot probably refers to cross or to the little effect of the Jewish leaders to stifle the power of the death and resurrection of Christ
b) the brusing of the head of the serpent deals with the leadership that the devil had in influencing the world. The leadership would be removed or hindered since this was a bruising rather than a crushing.
Basically it seems that the AD30 to AD70 period was just a time of development toward the bruising of the head of the serpent.
Judgment of AD70
1. Was a judgment against Jerusalem and Judea for not recognizing the Messiah, and for killing the prophets (the believers of AD30 to AD70)
2. Was a judgment against nations for maltreatment of believers (Matt 25:31-46). Ps 2:2 speaks of the kings of the earth setting themselves against God's annointed.
3. The devil was now bound Rev 20:2 with John 12:31. This was the bruising of the serpent's head of Gen 3:15. In the usage here, Jesus would have been speaking of the beginning of the era which would end with the devil being bound.
4. This was the beginning of the demise of the Roman Empire in accord with Dan 2 --the kingdom of God would emerge out of the time of these rulers.
5. The Jews asked that the blood guilt of Jesus be upon them and their children. This expectedly would have a fulfillment on them and their children, since the words are recorded in the gospels.
6. John preached a baptism of repentence to occur before the kingdom came. So John placed the time limit of repentance as being the kingdom of God.
7. This moment is "the Son of Man coming on the clouds" in judgment
8. This was the moment the serpent was bound. This is likely the moment of the bruising of the head of the serpent of Gen 3:15.
9. This would also seem to be the fulfillment of the fall of the devil from the sky like lightning. John 12:31
10. The powers of the heavens would be shaken( Luke 21:26 and Matt 24:29). This would not be God being shaken. It would be others with power, most likely political power. (There would be a connection between the words "power" and "dominion" as seen between Dan 7:14 with Matt 24:30.)
Gathering of the Elect
1. "Gathering" was defined in Matt 23 basically as a protection of God's people. So Matt 24:31 "gathering of the elect" refers to a protection of God, not to a physical gathering.
2. The gathering of the elect connects with the "redemption" of Luke 21:28. This implies the removal of that which is harmful.
3. So the redemption or gathering was the protection of believers through the persecution and tribulation. Some actually "slept" and were protected till the redemption; others were alive and survived through that era. All these were the people who "saw the kingdom" or "entered the kingdom" in AD70.
4. This gathering also relates to the parable of the wheat and tares(Matt 13:24-30) and the parable of the dragnet(Matt 13:47-50 ). In both parables the bad was taken out of the way while the good was collected and left there. The dragnet parable adds to the wheat and tares by inclusion of "all sorts of fishes" which is indicating people from all nations in that region, the region probably being essentially the Roman Empire.
Kingdom coming of AD70
1. The kingdom came
2. Redemption came to those living and believing up to AD70. The redemption of Luke 21:28 consisted of the removal of the Jewish antagonists and the Temple system. (Redemption means the removal from you of the thing causing harm to you.)
See Luke 21:28
3. The temple was destroyed for as an act of redemption and for a sign of the start of the kingdom of God over the nations.
4. The dead in Christ were raised from the dead. Those alive at that time were "changed" 1Cor 15:50:52. This was the time of the first resurrection of Rev 20:4-5
5. The first resurrection (and those changed in 1Cor15:50) occurred at this point. This was the resurrection of Dan 12:3
6. This point in time also marked the beginning of the 1000s years reign of Christ Jesus and the resurrected saints. Note that those who were "changed" probably also took on the rulership.
7. The kingdom was restored to the remnant of Israel in fulfillment of prophecy and expectation. See Act 1:6 and Rom 9-11, especially Rom 11:5 which shows that the remnant existed in that day. So after the first century, this remnant would have disappeared. Fulfillment of such prophecy had to occur by AD70 to occur at all.
1. The old physical Jerusalem was destroyed
2. The Ecclesia became the New Jerusalem and henceforth would be the fulfillment of prophecy as to the glory of Jerusalem.
3. The Ecclesia became the "place" where nations would come to learn about God.
4. The Ecclesia didn't replace Israel but did become the new Jerusalem. So, "Israel" refers to those of promise within the old covenant and the promises to Israel were fulfilled completely, as required. But "Jerusalem" refers to the gathering of God's people, and this gathering was only believers after AD70.
5. The term "New Jerusalem" encompasses all Christians after AD33 but only the believers from before AD70 formed those kings and priests of the millennial reign.
6. By way of argument, it wouldn't make sense to suggest that Jerusalem could stop existing at any point in time.
1. The kingdom of God had to form out of the midst of the Roman Empire.
2. Christ Jesus was the stone cut without hands that struck the statute of which the Roman Empire was the feet. So the statute was struck in the first century.
3. There was no problem with the Roman Empire lasting 100s of years longer. Her demise was established in the first century.
4. There's no problem if people even say people have assumed rulership as being ruler of the Roman Empire after the demise of the Empire since this would only be figurative. The Empire days ended when the armies were dissolved.
Time of Deception
This time indicates when the whole world would be deceived possibly with respect to politics and religion and maybe sciences. At the center of this deception is an attempt to destroy the Christians. The Gog and Magog names may just be used for associations with Old Testament events or groups. Note that these armies formed but are not identified as having any actual battles.
Note that the "whole world" may reasonably apply to what today would be thought of as all the continents and islands of the world whereas other prophecies referred to "the whole world" or "the face of the land" as applying to a limited region such as merely being the Roman Empire. The basis for the greater reach of this phrase would be on the concept that national borders were essentially removed with the completion of the promise to Israel.
End of Millennial Era
1. Christians are protected w/o a battle having occurred. Rev 20:9
2. Devil is cast into eternal lake of fire. Rev 20:10
So this millennial period is a parenthetical episode described in Revelation. Therefore, the time sequence of Rev 20 can be future though the general context of Revelation is for an immediate event.
It seems that Rev 20:5 to 10 are the parenthetical verses, but this thought isn't definite. Maybe the subsequent judgments also are parenthetical.
Signs of completion approaching
1. Peace abounds and has reached the ends of the earth. Isa 9:6-7, Luke 2:14
2. Normal age expectancy exceeds 100 years. Isa 65:20
3. People all over have come to the knowledge of God (as the waters cover the sea), i.e 100%
The Last Day
1. Daniel gets his lot. Dan 12:13. This is the "end of days"
2. "In the last day" John 11:24
3. The "last day" seems to be the day of resurrection
4. The "last day" also is distinct from "the last days" of Joel 2
1. All things brought in subjection under the feet of Jesus
2. Christ Jesus submits the kingdom to God
3. The believers from 70AD till this time are resurrected.
4. This is the time of the redemption of the purchased posession (Eph 4:17)
a) Matt 13:45-46 pearl parable represents Christ's death to purchase the kingdom in completion (the millennial era done)
b) Matt 13:44 hidden treasure shows Christ purchasing the field or earth through His death on the cross.
[The field or earth includes all continents and lands since the new covenant removed national distinctions.]
5. Abraham would be heir of the world. Rom 4:13
6. Daniel gets his lot. Dan 12:13. This is the "end of days"
7. Believers inherit the earth. Matt 5:5
8. There may not be mention of Jesus arriving, but His actions will be known.
9. This isn't the end of the kingdom. Only the 1000s year era comes to an end, the beginning phase.
10. When all powers have been subjugated, then the "world is saved" John 3:16-17
Saving the world
1. John 3:17 shows that God was saving the world. This would be akin to the saving of the world in Noah's Ark. But now the whole world would be good. (God created such and such and it was good.)
2. Jesus is the savior of all men, especially of the household of faith
1Ti 4:10 we trust in the living God who is the Savior of all men, especially of those that believe.
3. 1Tim 4:10 first should be observed to show that a distinction occurs between the salvation of believers and the salvation of "all men." The benefit to believers then remains a distinct benefit.
4. 1Tim 4:10 shows there is a salvation to all men. But this verse can be understood to mean that the eventual scope will be all of those who are alive at a certain point in the future. Or the verse can indicate a different type of salvation. The question to ask on "salvation" is "what are you saved from?" So on one hand there is being saved from guilt for sin and on the other is that one can be saved from death or destruction.
5. It seems that the world was saved from destruction, just as it was saved from destruction at the time of Noah.
6. Note: the saving of the world may have been more in connection with AD70 rather than a future time. It seems that AD70 was the time that Peter mentions a burning of the elements. 2 Pet 3:7,12
1. The resurrection is mentioned as coming at the end of the 1000s years period (maybe shown in Rev 20:13) or at a later time. Note that it gets a little uncertain about where the parenthetical discussion of the thousands years period ends.
2. The general resurrection would be indicated by Martha's discussion in John 11:24. Then in vs 25 Jesus adds additional information about believers being alive in Christ always. Jesus probably wasn't correcting Martha but was adding additional words of encouragement.
3. Paul seems to speak of the distinction between the first resurrection in AD70 in 1 Cor 15:23 for those who are believers at the Parousia or "coming" then is mentioned the general resurrection in 1 Cor 15:24 saying "then comes the end when He shall have delivered up the kingdom." So verse 24 is being interpreted to mean that the readers associated the delivery of the kingdom as being the last day, the day of resurrection.
4. This resurrection then seems to be physical since, for example, Abraham would be heir of the world. (Rom 4:13)
Judgment at this time?
1. Uncertain if any verses show a judgment here
2. Maybe Rev 20 discusses a time after the 1000s years (I say 1000s and not 1000 cause I have heard that this a plural word. see Rev 20:3).
3. Does anything describe what happens to non-believers in the Last Day? Or do all people become believers who are still alive?
Matt 24 Meanings
The phrases in Matt 24:27-30 seem to have had specific meaning to the original listeners (well at least after having the Holy Spirit with the Day of Pentecost). The verses get merged together in the minds of the present listener because the phrases are each so difficult to identify specific meanings. The problem of identifying meaning then is compounded by the “wrong” interpretations given to Eschatology in general today.
The following is an effort to connect phrases in Matt 24:27-30 to specific actions or events around AD70. This is not an argument for applying the verses to AD70 but rather is provided in light of such perspective.
As lightning so shall coming of Son of Man Matt 24:27
1. Speaks to the idea that this is a noticeable event more than a visible one.
2. It doesn't speak of Jesus being physical. Cause lightning isn't touchable
3. Parousia is akin to the idea of "nearness"
4. Verse 28 shows that this coming occurs after Jerusalem is a carcass, or is destroyed
5. And Jerusalem was destroyed in AD70
6. Luke 17:37 puts vs 28 in light of great death and doom over the people (The context of Matt 24:27 shows this as Jerusalem)
Sun darkened, stars fall Matt 24:29
1. Some indications of signs in the sun in accord with Luke 21:25
2. Also used as a phrase to express judgment. Joel 2:31
3. Joel 2:32 speaks of the remnant. This connects with Rom 11:5 speaking that the remnant existed at the writing of Romans. So Paul attests that his moment was the moment of Joel 2:32. (I.e. When Paul mentions 'remnant' in Rom 11:5 as being a contemporary situation, he is saying this is the remnant of Joel 2:32. Then today , it can't be expect that such remnant still exists today, but rather the historicity of the verse indicates that the remnant is past tense too.)
Powers of heavens shaken Matt 24:29 and Luke 21:26
1. This would be the bruising of the head of the serpent seen in Gen 3:15
2. And would be the binding of the devil in Rev 20:1-4
3. And would be the casting down of the devil in John 12:31 "prince of the world be cast out"
4. similar wording apparently of the devil is in Eph 2:2 "prince of power of the air"
Appear sign of Son of Man in the sky/heaven Matt 24:30
1. The "sign" doesn't occur until after the destruction of Matt 24:28
2. This is the seeing of a sign and not an actual appearance of Jesus
3. The "Son of Man in the heavens" may describe where the Son of Man exists rather than where the sign would exist or be found.
4. "heaven" or "sky" would seem to refer to heavens as the realm of Jesus rather than the physical sky
Tribes shall mourn and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of the heavens
1. Note that the "tribes" shall see the Son of Man coming; it isn't the disciples that see this.
2. Why do they mourn? It would be cause they are protected from judgment.
3. The tribes are the "tribes of the land" or "tribes of the world." This may include all people in the Roman Empire who did not heed the gospel of salvation.
4. Luke 21:27 "they" shall see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. So again the word "they" is used instead of "you disciples" Next in Luke 21:28 Jesus redirects His words to direct the disciples and explain their situation under this event. The disciples didn't go anywhere. They just were to take comfort (i.e lift up your heads -- be encouraged).
5. The "clouds of heaven" seem to focus the definition of sky/heaven to mean the visible sky with clouds.
6. The visibility of this "coming" or "nearness" then coincides with the "sign" just mentioned.
7. The verse says "Son of Man coming in the clouds" is distinctly "coming in" and not "coming from." The cultural view is that Jesus would come from the clouds to the earth.
8. The verse doesn't say Jesus was going to the disciples nor going to the earth nor going to the tribes.
9. Dan 7:13 is the basis for speaking of the coming in the cloud. The event here seems to speak of Jesus being brought before God, the Ancient of Days so that Jesus would be given the kingdom.
10. then the "power and glory" of Matt 24:30 matches with the "dominion and glory" of Dan 7:14
11. Essentially Matt 24:30 speaks of the coronation of Jesus into His kingdom.
Send forth angels Matt 24:31
1. This is for protection of the believers.
2. Luke 21:28 describes this as being the redemption of the disciples. And Jesus seemed to speak to those who were His direct audience, the living disciples of AD30. Maybe by extension all believers up to AD70 were included.
3. Note: Why would Jesus send His angels if Jesus were coming to earth? Wouldn't believers best stay where Jesus is?
4. Jesus would have brought His angels to earth if Jesus was coming to earth. So the angels were sent to earth since Christ wasn't going to the earth at that time.
The great sound of a trumpet Matt 24:31
1. This must coincide with the Year of Jubilee or some other Jewish cultural or scriptural concept.
They shall gather the elect from the four winds Matt 24:31
1. The gathering has to do with protection rather than having a focus on going to a physical location.
2. see Matt 23:37. The hen gathers her chicks under her wings
3. Again this goes with the idea of redemption in Luke 21:28. Redemption indicates the removal of something harmful rather than being plucked from the midst of a harmful situation.
4. This gathering matches with the harvest of Matt 13:24-30,37-43 and the dragnet of Matt 13:47-50. These parables show that the bad fish were removed.
Revision 1.0 --2007 06 10 Original version.
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