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(Copyright 2006 – This material was first put online under the title: 
Gospel Eschatology:  “A Better Resurrection”


·         “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.’” (Mt.24:24-28)

“And He said: “Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore do not go after them.”But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately.” (Lk.21:8-9)

“False Messiahs” – Jesus predicted that false messiahs would come in the generation of the first century disciples and they did:  Theudas (Acts 5:36; 13:6), Judas of Galilee (Acts 5:37), and Simon (Acts 8:9-11) to name a few. 

Russell captured the flow and context of this sign as addressed to the disciples and quotes Josephus to demonstrate how it was fulfilled: 

“The same is equally true with respect to the section now before us. The very first word is indicative of continuity—‘Then’ [tote] and every succeeding word is plainly addressed to the disciples themselves, for their personal warning and guidance. It is clear that our Lord gives them intimation of what would shortly come to pass, or at least what they might live to witness with their own eyes. It is a vivid representation of what actually occurred in the last days of the Jewish commonwealth. The unhappy Jews, and especially the people of Jerusalem, were buoyed up with false hopes by the specious impostors who infested the land and brought ruin upon their miserable dupes. Such was the infatuation produced by the boasting pretensions of these impostors, that, as we learn from Josephus, when the temple was actually in flames a vast multitude of the deluded people fell victims to their credulity. The Jewish historian states:


‘Of so great a multitude, not one escaped. Their destruction Was caused by a false prophet, who had on that day proclaimed to those remaining in the city, that “God commanded them to go up to the temple, there to receive the signs of their deliverance.” There were at this time many prophets suborned by the tyrants to delude the people, by bidding them wait for help from God, in order that there might be less desertion, and that those who were above fear and control might be encouraged by hope. Under calamities man readily yields to persuasion but when the deceiver pictures to him deliverance from pressing evils, then the sufferer is wholly influenced by hope. Thus it was that the impostors and pretended messengers of heaven at that time beguiled the wretched people.’ {1}


Our Lord forewarns His disciples that His coming to that judgment-scene would be conspicuous and sudden as the lightning-flash, which reveals itself and seems to be everywhere at the, same moment. ‘For,’ He adds, ‘wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together;’ that is, wherever the guilty and devoted children of Israel were found, there the destroying ministers of wrath, the Roman legions, —would overwhelm them.”


I believe Don Preston has done an excellent job addressing the (Lk.21:8) parallel passage in making the observation that the time statements (“near”) associated with the second coming must be taken literally, 

“This time line (of the signs), when related to the later epistles, after the fulfillment of the first (the sign of the Great Commission) of the two major signs given by Jesus, in which the inspired writers emphatically stated, “The end of all things has drawn near” (1Pet.4:7), proves that their time statements must be taken literally.  Jesus had told them they could tell when the end had not drawn near, and he had told them when they could tell it had drawn near, and when they saw the signs occurring they said “the end has drawn near!” 

Here is the power of Jesus’ warning in Luke 21:8.  Where ever you place his warning chronologically, all those before that time who proclaimed the nearness of the end are declared by Jesus himself to be false prophets.  Was Jesus speaking to the modern church when he said, “Do not be desceived, many will come saying, ‘The end has drawn near’”?  If he was, then all previous generations of believers who havedeclared so confidently that the end was near in their generation are judged as false teachers by Jesus.  Do you realize what this means?  It means that Jesus’ own apostles are false prophets because they said, unambigously, “in a very, very little while, (Greek, hosan, hosan micron), and he who is coming will come, and will not tarry” (Heb.10:37). 

Let me reiterate this, according to Luke 21:8 not generation was to declare the nearness of the end except the one that saw the signs.  All “prophecy experts” that declared, or declare, the nearness of the end before (or after!), it is actually near, were to be, or are to rejected.  If therefore, Luke 21:8 applies to the current generation, there is no escaping the fact that Jesus’ own apostles are adjudged as false prophets.  We either accept their declarations of the nearness of the end as the definitive, truthful, final word on the issue, o else call them liars. 

Thus, when the Biblical writers, writing in light of Jesus’ warnings, said that what he had foretold was fulfilled, and that the end had drawn near, we cannot stretch those statement two thousand years into the future.  We cannot ignore their statements of “at hand.”  All statements that the end was near, made before the inspired writers said it was near, were false.  All statements that the end is near, written or stated after the Biblical writers said it was near, are false statements.  The only preachers, prophets or teachers who were ever given insight into the time of Jesus’ return were Jesus’ first century inspired disciples, and they said that the end had drawn near 2000 years ago!  If their statements that the end was near were as wrong as those before them, then they too were false teachers.”[ii] 

I remember sitting under two of my former pastors one considered a “prophecy expert” on the “sings of the times” and the other an alleged “exegete” of Scripture – Pastors Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel and John MacArthur of Grace Community Church in S. CA.; and being constantly told that all of the signs in the OD had come to pass and were unfolding before our eyes in the Newspapers.  Based on current events allegedly fulfilling the signs in the OD Pastor’s Chuck Smith and John MacArthur could say that the end was really “near.”  I always found it odd that they would spiritualize the time statements to mean nothing based on their false interpretation of (2Pet.3:8) or that all the time statements in the NT of “at hand,” “soon,” “shortly,” “quickly,” etc. meant that Christ’s coming was “certain” to take place or that when Jesus decides to come (whenever that may be) that at that time it would happen or unfold “quickly.”  But then out the other side of their mouth whenever Chuck Smith used the phrase “Jesus is coming quickly” after a “prophecy update” lecture, he always used the phrase, and all of us understood the statement to mean, that Christ was coming in our lifetime based upon the rapid unfolding of the signs – in particular the “super sign” of what was happening in Israel since 1948 and this linked to “this generation” which was ours (1948 + 40 years = 1988 – 7 years pretrib rapture = 1981).  So what we have is the “prophecy experts” using imminent statements literally to their contemporary audiences to muster up attendance or book sales ect. but when their predictions never come to pass they fall back on false definitions of imminence and or begin stretching out a generation to mean 40, 50, 70, or 100 years as do the J.W.’s when their false predictions never come to pass.  Some such as Chuck Smith have adopted a “plan B” approach to “this generation” that we will address when we get to (Mt.24:34).    

John MacArthur “argues” Christ has always wanted every generation in the church throughout all ages to be on the “tiptoe of expectation” and since the NT writers believed that Jesus’ coming would occur “soon” and throughout church history many Christians believed the same, therefore this somehow proves(?) some kind of “imminent” coming in our day.  Of Romans chapter 13 MacArthur states, 

“Wake Up!  “Awake out of sleep,” he pleads (v.11), and he underscores both the urgency of this command and the imminency of Christ’s return with four phrases:  “now it is high time”; “our salvation is nearer” (v.11); “The night is far spent”; and “the day is at hand” (v.12).  Time is short; opportunity is fleeting.  The Lord is coming soon, and the event draws nearer every moment.  The time to obey is now.  The only time we can take for granted is now.  And since there is no guarantee of more time, it is unconscionable to defer our obedience.

Consider this:  the apostle Paul was stressing the urgency of this commandment in his day, 2,000 years ago.  He believed the coming of Christ was near and getting nearer by the moment.  How much more urgent are these things for our time?[iii] 

And elsewhere the “argument(?)” is,

“The Judge is still at the door.  The day is still at hand.  There are no other events that must occur on the prophetic calendar before Christ comes to meet us in the air.  He could come at any moment.”

“…the fact that 2,000 years have elapsed is utterly irrelevant to the doctrine of Christ’s imminent return.  Christ’s coming is still imminent.”[iv]

In chapter two of MacArthur’s book in which he attempts to refute partial and full preterists, he sites all of the NT time texts that taught that the first century church expected a “soon,” “near,” and “at hand” coming of Christ and makes the circular argument of saying – “see, if the NT writers taught and thought His return would be soon, then His return is still imminent for us.”  MacArthur is assuming what he needs to prove and does not prove his case on the meaning of Greek words and there most assuredly is no logic or reason behind his words.  MacArthur is making nonsensical such statements as “at hand” to simply mean “any time” or certain to happen.  And if “there are no other events that must occur (signs) on the prophetic calendar before Christ comes to meet us in the air” that proves “Christ’s coming is still imminent,” as it was in the first century, then what of the “super sign of Israel becoming a nation again in 1948” that we are always hearing Dispensationalists talk about?  They claim that it was prophetically necessary to occur before the rapture or second coming could occur.  According to Hal Lindsey and men like Chuck Smith, that “generation” (beginning in 1948) marked a genuine or literal imminence.  How in the world could the Apostle Paul’s statement of “at hand” mean the same thing as Lindsey’s or MacArthur’s when Israel hadn’t even been scattered by the Romans in A.D. 70 let alone “gathered” back in the land in 1948 to start Israel’s and thus our eschatological time clock up again?  Didn’t Jesus warn the disciples NOT to say the end was “near” when it wasn’t and thus teaching that “near” has some objective and comprehensible meaning to it?!? 

Preston addresses this faulty premise and contradictory approach when he sarcastically points out the irony of placing hope in a history of failed predictions throughout church history and equating those false hopes and predictions with those of inspired NT writers.  He states of men like MacArthur who feel:   

“…the modern church is justified in believing in the soon coming end because the apostles believed the end was near, and those who followed them believed the end was near.  In other words, believers today are to look back upon this history of failed predictions, and be confirmed in the faith that the end is coming, and soon!  However, Luke 21 refutes such an idea.

If the apostles’ declarations were no more true than those who pontificated before them, or no more true than Ephraem, than Luther, than william Miller, etc., then their inspiration means nothing at all.  According to Jeffry, MacArthur, et. Al, those before the apostles, and all prophecy pundits after the apostles stand together.  But, if they all stand together, then they all fall together, for the predictions of those before the apostles, the apostles, and all those after the apostles have failed, if taken to refer to a literal physical return of Christ!

We must ask, did the inspiration of the apostles not set their predictions apart from those before or after them?  Were the apostles not better qualified as discerners of the signs than those before, or after them?  If not, in what way did the apostles differ from those whom Jesus told them to avoid, those proclaiming the end was near? 

“…In other words, the church throughout countless generations is not to have the continual message that the end is near!  The only generation that was to proclaim the message of the soon coming end was to be the generation that would see the signs.  Believers were to reject any message of the imminent end that was not the inspired word of the apostles.  To suggest that God gave all of the NT statements that the end was near to create a sense of urgency, when in fact the end was not near, flies in the face of Luke 21:8.  Jesus clearly did not want believers to say the end was near until it was near.  This means that when He inspired them to say it was near, then, it was truly near.”[v]

One cannot maintain that the false prophets or those proclaiming that the end was “near” when it wasn’t, was an actual time statement of imminence and then claim that when the apostle Paul said the end was “near” that his statement could mean thousands and thousands of years.  In Jesus making a distinction between when the false teachers would say the end was “near” and Him teaching the disciples when to understand and teach the end would be “near,” He clearly is teaching that “near” is to be taken in it’s normal literal sense and not to be taken as some elastic vague meaningless statement which is supposed to generate faith and hope for the church

2) “Wars and Rumors of Wars”

“In AD 40 there was a disturbance at Mesopotamia which (Josephus says) caused the deaths of more than 50,000 people.  In AD 49, a tumult at Jerusalem at the time of the Passover resulted in 10,000 to 20,000 deaths.  At Caesarea, contentions between Jewish people and other inhabitants resulted in over 20,000 Jews being killed.  As Jews moved elsewhere, over 20,000 were destroyed by Syrians.  At Scythopolis, over 13,000 Jews were killed.  Thousands were killed in other places, and at Alexandria 50,000 were killed.  At Damascus, 10,000 were killed in an hour’s time.” (John L. Bray, Matthew 24 Fulfilled, p. 28) 

“The Annals of Tacitus, covering the period from AD 14 to the death of Nero in AD 68, describes the tumult of the period with phrases such as “disturbances in Germany”, “commotions in Africa”, commotions in Thrace”, “insurrections in Gaul”, “intrigues among the Parthians”, “the war in Britain”, and “the war in Armenia”.  Wars were fought from one end of the empire to the other. With this description we can see further fulfillment: “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” (Matthew 24:7)[vi]

When Jesus was referring to wars and rumors of wars, He was not referring to what is going on in modern day Russia, China, Israel, Iraq, United States, or Europe today.  To reach into Matthew 24 and back into the O.T. and twist these passages and prophecies by asserting that they are referring to these modern day countries and to us today is irresponsible exegesis to say the least. 

As we noted in sign #1 of the false messiahs and teachers that would come claiming that the end was near when in fact it was not, seems to have been fulfilled in some aspect within the church during Paul’s day when he was dealing with those who had taught that the day of the Lord and or the resurrection had already occurred.  It is only reasonable that if these false teachers (Judiazers most likely) were teaching that the day of the Lord had already come and that was premature, then before this they were teaching throughout the churches that his coming was “near” when it wasn’t.  This error has to do with two issues:  1) the Judiazers hopes that the law would continue within the NC age of Christ, and 2) a premature date setting on the grounds of the general signs of wars and rumor of wars that Jesus said would NOT be an immediate sign of the end.  As noted above, there were wars and blood shed in the AD 40’s in the temple area that was most likely construed as a judgment upon Jerusalem when in fact it was not what Jesus was describing to take place in A.D.70. 

Paul did not address the spiritual nature of fulfillment in the false teachers claiming that the Lord had already come and thus the resurrection as well, but rather appealed to certain signs having not taken place yet – such as the apostasy and the man of sin being revealed whom was alive in Paul’s day and not ours (2Thess.2).  These along with the more specific signs of the great commission and abomination that makes desolate where to mark the genuine nearness of His return.  

3) “Famines” Again, the Bible and history record famine and pestilences during “the last days” (AD 30 – AD 70) of the Apostolic generation (Acts 11:27-29).  In AD 40 and AD 60 there were pestilences in Babylon and Rome where Jews and gentiles suffered.

4) “Earthquakes” Acts records for us an earthquake occurring in the Apostolic generation (Acts 16:26).  “… just previous to 70 AD there were earthquakes in Crete, Smyrna, Miletus, Chios, Samos, Laodicea, Hierapolis, Colosse, Campania, Rome, and Judea.” (DeMar, Gary, ibid p. 64)

5) “Tribulation”, “Prisons”, “Beat you”, “kill you”, “Brought Before Kings and Rulers For My Name’s Sake” Please read Acts 4:3,17; Acts 5:40; Acts 7:54-60; Acts 8:1; Acts 9:1; Acts 12:1-3; Acts 14:19 to see the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy in Luke 21:12.   In fulfillment of our Lord’s words, Paul and Silas were beaten (Acts 26:23) and Paul was brought before rulers and kings – Gallio, (Acts 28:12), Felix (Acts 24), Festus and Agrippa (Acts 25).   Peter and Paul were put to death in the persecution of Nero.

6) “Love of Many Will Grow Cold” “Betray and Hate One Another” Please read 2 Tim. 1:15; 2 Tim. 4:10, 16.  “False Prophets” Please read Acts 13:6-8; 2 Cor. 11:13; 2 Tim. 2:16-18; 1 Jn. 4:1.  As evidence that it was “the last hour” in John’s day, he writes, “They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, in order that it might be shown that they all are not of us.” (1Jn. 2:18-19)


7) “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Mt.24:14).  I hear someone say, “well now you’re really in trouble. You can’t prove that the gospel was preached in “all the world” and to “all nations” during the Apostolic generation prior to AD 70!”

Please allow Scripture to determine this:


“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world (Greek oikumene) for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:14)

“But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed:

‘Their sound has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world (Greek oikumene)” (Romans 10:18)

“And the gospel must first be published among all nations (Greek ethnos)”

(Mark 13:10)

“…My gospel… has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations (Greek ethnos)…” (Romans 16:25-26)

“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world(Greek kosmos) and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15)

“…of the gospel, which has come to you, as it has also in all the world(Greek kosmos), as is bringing forth fruit…,” (Colossians 1:5-6).

And he said unto them ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (Greek kitisis) ” (Mark 16:15)

“…from the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature (Greek kitisis) under heaven, of which I, Paul became a minister” (Colossians 1:23)

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth (Greek ge)” (Acts 1:8).

“But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed:

‘Their sound has gone out to all the earth (Greek ge), and their words to the ends of the world” (Romans 10:18)

I would agree with my friend Don Preston when he writes,

“Every word used by the Spirit to describe the scope of the Great Commission is also used by the Spirit to describe the fulfillment of Jesus’ mandate!  Yet, some still maintain the Great Commission of Matthew 24:14 has never been fulfilled!  Is it not presumptuous to say a prophecy has not been fulfilled even though every term, every word employed in the command and prediction of that event is used by the inspired writers to say the prediction has been fulfilled?  To maintain therefore that the Great Commission has never been fulfilled one must deny the emphatic statements of scripture.  He must insist that the “world” in Matthew meant something for our modern world, but that the word “world” in Romas, Colossians, etc. meant something totally different!”[vii]

To further illustrate what “world” and “every nation” in the above texts are referring to, let’s cite some other related texts.  Paul said to the Romans that “your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.” (Romans 1:8)  Had the faith of the Roman church made its way to the Indians in modern day America?  What “world” was taxed in Luke 2:1, “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world (Greek “oikumene”) should be taxed”?  Were ancient lands known today as such as Russia, China, and Mexico taxed at this time?  No, it was referring to the Roman known world or Roman empire.  What “every nation under heaven” is being discussed in Acts 2:5, “And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven”?  Were there Jews from Australia and Mexico who journeyed to Jerusalem from “every nation under heaven”?  This is the same “world” and “every nation” that Jesus and Paul were referring to in Matt. 24:14, Cols. 1:5-6 and Roms. 16:25-26 as the fulfillment of our Lord’s prophecy.  This world had been preached to and they heard the gospel before Christ came in AD 70 to bring an end to the Old Covenant age/kingdom.  To merely assume Jesus meant the entire globe had to be preached to before His second coming would occur, is to take the passage out of its context. We must allow Scripture to interpret Scripture using solid hermeneutical principals and not attempt to “exegete” God’s holy Word based on traditional assumptions and erroneous presuppositions.

To merely assume Jesus meant the entire globe (as Thomas Ice does below) had to be preached to before His second coming would occur is to take the passage out of its context. We must allow Scripture to interpret Scripture using solid hermeneutical principals and not attempt to “exegete” God’s holy Word based on traditional assumptions and 20th century linguistic presuppositions.

A lot of premillennialist see the connection between the great commission as a sign of the world mission marking the near return of Christ to end the Christian age (Mt.24:14, Mt. 28:18-20). However, they do not hold to a biblical definition of “world” in Mt. 24:14 nor recognize that the “age” involved is the OC age and not the Christian age so therefore they cannot see it’s NT fulfillment prior to A.D. 70 (see chart above).  The amillennial or postmillennial partial preterist position is forced to invent two great commissions because in essence they have invented two second comings – “a coming” of Christ in A.D. 70 in the fall of Jerusalem (Mt.24:14, 27, 30-31/34) and another great commission and second coming after A.D. 70 to end another “age” – the Christian age (Mt.28:18-20, Mt. 24:36ff.) that is allegedly not imminent and is not preceded by signs.

Some dispensationalists seem divided over whether the GC is a sign of the end marking the “near” return of Christ.  Thomas Ice and other dispensationalists claim that (Cols. 1:5-6, 23) is not a fulfillment of (Mt. 24:14) marking a near return of Christ, but that this text and others like it only describe that the gospel has been introduced into all the world. 

“DeMar (a postmillennial partial preterist) uses Colossians 1:6,23 to teach that the New Testament itself supports a first-century fulfillment of Matthew 24:14.  “Paul, without inching and need of further explanation,” claims DeMar, “declares that the gospel had been preached in his day to ‘every creature under heaven’ (Col.1:23).  This is probably hyperbole, but it certainly fulfills what Jesus said would happen within a generation.”  But is that really what Jesus was saying?” “…Paul is saying that the gospel has come, or been introduced to the Colossian believers, just as it has come, or been introduced, in all the world.  So this is not a statement about whether the gospel has been preached to a certain area per se; rather it is a statement about the arrival of the gospel as a global message.” (Ice, Controversy, p.174).

And quoting James R. Gray, Ice writes,

“Paul’s claim is to the universal appeal and scope of the gospel.  That it is bearing fruit in the world—not that the gospel has been preached in all the world…Paul is talking about the sphere of preaching, not that every creature was preached unto.” (Ice Controversy,  p.175)

Open your Bible and read the passage again in light of the statement above.  In (Cols 1:5-6, 23) Paul says just the opposite of what Ice and Gray are claiming.  It doesn’t take a logic course to figure out that there could be no “fruit in all the world” unless the gospel had been preached IN ALL THE WORLD FIRST, IN ORDER TO BRING FORTH THE FRUIT THERE!  And no, Paul did say that every creature was preached to – “…that has been (past tense) proclaimed (past tense) to every creature under heaven…”


The (Mt. 24:14, 34 & Mt. 28:18-20) Connection


However, the only time Ice ever makes any kind of real argument against the partial preterist view is when he uses ours (the Biblical Preterist View).  Therefore we would agree with Ice when he makes the connection of Mt. 24:14 with that of Mt. 28:10-20 and would see a lack of reasoning and charge of a arbitrary hermeneutic from Gary DeMar:


“If DeMar’s view of Matthew 24:14 is true, then one could legitimately assign a similar first-century fulfillment to the phrase “all the nations” in Matthew 28:19.  If DeMar’s logic is followed, it would have required the total fulfillment of the Great Commission by A.D. 70.  Why?  Our Lord says in the Great Commission that He will be with us “always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).  This is very similar to the phrase “end of the age” in Matthew 24:3.  DeMar teaches that the end of the age occurred in A.D. 70,(79) and since he applies almost all other uses of the phrase to the first century, then why not apply it to Matthew 28:20?  In fact, fellow preterist Don Preston has written a whole book using just such preterist logic, saying that the Great Commission was in fact fulfilled by A.D. 70.(80)  Apparently DeMar does not like the implications of his preterist position when it is consistently applied to the whole New Testament.” (Ice, Controversy, p.176).”


Gary DeMar in defending his exegesis of Mt. 24:14 as fulfilled in A.D. 70 cites other places in the NT where the Greek word “oikoumene” or world is used.  One such place

Gary goes to is Rev. 12 which corresponds to our argument that Rev. 6, 12, 20 are parallel scenes of one judgment.  So we take up Gary’s comments at this point : 

Satan is said to be one “who deceives the whole world” (12:9). Once again, Revelation describes those things which must “shortly take place” (1:1) “for the time is near” (1:3). The world (oikoumene) that is being deceived is the one to which the seven churches are written (2–3). Certainly the devil deceives more than this area, but the point of Revelation is to describe what’s about to happen to within a shortened time frame.

We know from history that Jerusalem was surrounded and destroyed by the heathen armies of Rome in A.D. 70, therefore, the use of oikoumene is appropriate in this context. The world of Old Covenant Judaism was about to come to an end when John wrote. Philip Carrington’s comments on Revelation 16:14 are helpful in this regard:

The name Armageddon is significant because it is at Megiddo that the Jewish King Josiah was defeated and killed by an Egyptian army under the Pharaoh; and Titus had just returned from Egypt. Armageddon means Mountain of Megiddo; but Megiddo is a valley. It is the Mountain of Sion which has become Mountain of Megiddo or Mountain of defeat. The name, anyhow, shows that the field of battle is in Palestine. . . .21

The way oikoumene is used in Revelation goes with the larger debate over the dating of the book. Based on the time texts (1:1, 3; 22:10), the local geography of the seven churches (2–3), and the fact that the temple is still standing (11:1–2) when John wrote, demonstrates that only the oikoumene is in view.” (Gary DeMar, The Gospel Preached to All the World, Part 3 of 4 Oikoumene as “Inhabited World”)

And again,

“With Jerusalem no longer the redemptive focus, the gospel is to go worldwide: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Prior to the destruction of Jerusalem the gospel was to go into the “inhabited world” of the first century as a “witness to all the nations” (Matt. 24:14). Later in the Olivet Discourse, Jesus describes a more universal spreading of the gospel “from one end of the sky to the other” (24:31). Prior to Jesus’ ascension, Jesus tells His disciples to “make disciples of all the nations” (28:19). Notice that there is no time reference as there is in Matthew 24:14 (“this generation”).

But there is another interpretive possibility. Like Revelation 12 which seems to look back to earlier New Testament history, John may be doing the same thing in Revelation 12:6. Arthur M. Ogden suggests:

The Lamb is standing on MountSion with the 144,000 ready for the beginning of the New Testament order. John watches as an angel flies through the midst of heaven with the everlasting gospel to preach to all nations. The scene is Pentecost, 30 A.D. (cf. Heb. 12:22–24). This is when the gospel began to be preached under the authority of the great commission (cf. Matt. 28:18–20; Mr. 16:15–16; Lk. 24:46–49) and the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8, 2:1–4, 33; 1 Pet. 1:12). From here the gospel was preached to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people (cf. Matt. 24:14; Mk. 13:10; Rom. 1:16; 10:18; Col. 1:23).15

While we can’t be definite, Acts 2:5 may be the key to understanding the significance of Revelation 14:6 since there were “Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men, from every nation under heaven.” They heard the gospel “in his own language” (Acts 2:6). Within a period of forty years, the gospel had made its way beyond the borders of Israel to every place a caravan or ship could take a person.” (DeMar, ibid. part 4 of 4).

Of course Gary’s “other interpretive possibility” is the correct one.  Gary correctly points out that Satan deceiving the “whole world” (oikoumene) in (Rev. 12:9) is an A.D. 70 fulfillment.  According to Gary oikoumene in the NT is clearly speaking of the known world at that time (the Roman world) or the Jewish Old Covenant world in Revelation because the time references define it.  I couldn’t agree more, but how in the world is it that Satan deceiving the “whole world” is not synonymous with Satan deceiving the “nations” in (Rev. 20)?  If oikoumene is defined by the time restrictions in the book of Revelation and tied to the time statements in (Mt.24:14/34) “this generation”, then why isn’t the same applied to “all nations” or “nations” in (Mt.24:14/34 & Rev. 20:3)?!?   According to Gary’s own argumentation and system of “Scripture interprets Scripture” he is incorrect and that there is a time reference to (Mt. 28:19) if we truly allow Scripture to interpret itself.  Don Preston has correctly noted,

“Where is the evidence for delineating between Matthew 24:14 and 28:19?  The same word for nations is used by Jesus in Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:18.  In Matthew 24 he predicted what would be done; in Matthew 28 he commanded it to be done.  In Romans 16:25-26 Paul, using the same words, said it had been done!  There are not two different Commissions of two gospels, or two different Commissions of the one gospel!

Are we to believe that Jesus had the end of two different ages in mind?  Were there to be two different gospels preached into all the world for a sign of the impending end of two ages?  Or was there to be one gospel and two ends of two ages?  Was the end of one age the end of a Covenant Age but the end of the other to be the end of material creation?  No, there was one gospel, one Mission, one end of the age.  And that gospel was preached into all the world in the first century. 

What more emphatic proof is needed to accept the fact that Jesus’ mandate of world evangelism was fulfilled?  As Kik succinctly comments ‘Those who would deny this must quarrel with the statements of Scriptures.  All nations of the world heard the Gospel proclaimed before the year 70 AD.”[viii]

Gary claims that the “gathering the elect from one end of heaven to the other” in Mt. 24:31 is speaking of a post A.D. 70 “more universal” great commission and parallels it with Mt.28:19 where Gary feels he is on safe ground because there is no time statement in Mt. 28:18-20.  However, because Gary is mistaken on Mt. 24:31 as understanding this as a post A.D. 70 preaching or “gathering” commission instead of allowing the “parousia,”  “gathering” and “catching away” in the Thessalonian epistles 1Thess. 4 to define Mt. 24:31 he errors in his interpretation of Mt.24:31.  The “gathering” of Mt. 24:31 is consumative end result and fulfillment of the work done through the preaching of the great commission in Mt.24:14 which Gary claims was fulfilled by A.D. 70 and therefore falls under the umbrella of “this generation”!  Let’s not make any mistake about it partial preterists such as Gary DeMar, Kenneth Gentry, R.C. Sproul, and the like invent out of thin air two great commissions to bring and “end” to two eschatological ages – one in A.D.70 and another at the end of time or the end of the Christian age.  Jesus in interpreting Daniel in (Dan.9 & 12:1-7) knew of only one “end” of the age and not two separated by thousands of years!  Jesus unlike the partial preterists NEVER taught two great commissions to bring about two eschatological ages!      

Unlike Dispensationalist Thomas Ice, John MacArthur in a strange way does see the GC marking an imminent return of Christ that isn’t really imminent.  In attempts to refute  postmillennial partial preterism and of my view of (full or exegetical preterism), he contradicts dispensationalist Thomas Ice and states, 

“It has often been objected by postmillennialists that in view of our Lord’s declaration, “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matt. 24:14), it was impossible for the apostles to be expecting Christ to return in their own lifetime.  But this objection is disposed of by several passages recorded in the New Testament itself.  In Acts 19:10 we read, And this continued by the space of two years, so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.”  And again, in Colossians 1:5-6 we are told, “for the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, wherefor ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; which is come unto you, as it is in all the world,” and in verse 23 of the same chapter, “be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.”  From these passages then it is abundantly clear that no such formidable hindrance as imagined by postimillennialists interposed between the apostles and the hope of the imminent return of the Redeemer.  Scripture thus affords positive evidences that the Gospel had been so widely diffused by the apostles themselves that nothing further necessarily and inevitably intervened between them and the realization of their hope. 

Having thus, we trust, satisfactorily disposed of the most plausable and forcible objection which can be brought against the premillennial and imminent return of our Lord…”[ix]

This is actually a bit humorous I think.  It is usually the postmillennial partial preterist  who is going  to (Cols. 1:5-6, 23) to prove that “a” coming of Christ was genuinely imminent in A.D.70 because the gospel had been preached throughout the Roman “world.”  Or the full preterist going to (Cols.1:5-6, 23) to substantiate that this fulfillment marked the genuine nearness of the one and second coming to end the OC age.  But here we have MacArthur trying to use one of our texts to prove to postmillennialists that the GC was in deed a sign of the parousia and that was in some way fulfilled in the first century to “prove” an “imminence” that really isn’t imminent (in MacArthur’s confused theology anyway)!  Let’s point out where we agree and disagree with MacArthur and say R.C. Sproul, Gary DeMar, or Kenneth Gentry on the GC:

1)     John MacArthur (premillennialist) – Yes, you are correct in noting that the second coming in the OD is preceded by signs one of which is the Great Commission.  Yes, you are correct that there is only one GC and that Christ comes at the end of that “eschatological age.”   However, you are in error in INVENTING a view of imminence that in reality is not imminent and has no Scriptural foundation! 

2)     Kenneth Gentry, R.C. Sproul, & Gary DeMar  (partial preterist postmillennialists) – Yes, you are correct in that Cols. 1:5-6, 23 speaks of the same “world” and “every creature” Jesus claimed needed to be preached to before He returned.  You are correct in some of your writings to equate the “end of the age” as the end of the OC age that happened at the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.  You are also correct in noting that the fulfillment of the GC in Mt. 24:14 in the NT marks the genuine imminence found in the NT concerning the return of the Son of Man on the clouds in judgment upon Jerusalem in A.D. 70.  You however are wrong in inventing two comings of Christ in the OD (primarily Gentry and Sproul).  You are also incorrect in claiming that there would be no signs to happen before the second coming – one of which is the GC. 

3)     Author:  Mike Sullivan (Biblical Preterist View) – After sifting through the error of the two views above and when we take truth from both sides we get the Biblical Preterist Position:  1)  There is only one second coming in the OD.  2)  It was preceded by some general covenantal signs (Deut.28 – 30) that didn’t mark the nearness of His return while some other specific ones such as the GC did mark the near end.  3)  The Bible only teaches one GC in relation to the one “end of the age” and that was the OC age that was destroyed with it’s temple in A.D. 70.  4)  The sign of the GC being fulfilled in the N.T. marked the genuine imminence of the writers and their hopes were realized when they experienced relief and Christ was glorified in them.                

The Great Commission Is Easily Seen As Fulfilled When We Understanding What “End of the Age” Would See It’s Fulfillment:


Matthew 13


Matthew 24

end of the age, vs. 39

[suntelias ton aionion]

end of the age, vs. 39

[suntelias ton aionion]

Preaching of the gospel into all the world before the end

Preaching of the gospel into all the world before the end

The coming of the Son of Man, vs. 39-41

The coming of the Son of Man, vs. 29-31

The sending of the angels to gather, vs. 41

The sending of the angels to gather, vs. 31

The time for separation

The time for separation

Harvest is at the end of “this age” vs.40

This generation shall not pass till all be fulfilled, vs.34

(Chart taken from:  Preston, Don, Into All The World Then Comes The End, p.33, 1996)

We are also told by most partial preterists that the “age” and the gospel commission in (Mt.13 & Mt. 28:18-20) is allegedly a different “end of the age” and gospel commission found in (Mt. 24:14).  The (Mt. 24:14) text is fulfilled in AD 70 and yet apparently there is another gospel going forth in all the world before another “end of the age,” at a different coming of the Son of Man, with another group of angels involved in, with two separations taking place.  And yet Jesus quotes Dan. 12 in Matt. 13:39-43 in reference to the “end of the age” and the resurrection.  In Dan. 12 the tribulation, resurrection, and time of the end would be “when the power of the holy people were completely shattered” (vs. 7).  The destruction of Jerusalem and her temple was the end of the old covenant age.  Jesus refers to Dan. 12 several times in Matt. 24 & Lk. 21 and unquestionably states that Daniel’s prophecy would be fulfilled in the generation of the disciples.  The partial “preterist” amillennialist and postmillennialist dig their own grave by acknowledging that Matt. 24:1-34 was fulfilled in AD 70 because their exegesis can’t stand up with other parallels to Matt. 24 in the Gospels and the rest of the NT and crumbles when viewed under Daniel’s prophecy. 

Having already established that the “end of the age” in the NT is referring to the OC age and not the NC or Church age, we can now better understand how the the great commission was fulfilled in (Mt 24, Mt. 13, and Mt. 28:18-20). 

We shall now briefly note that the commission as laid forth in the millennium is the same as in (Mt.24 & 28).  In commenting on the millennium found in Rev. 20 and the great commission in general (Mt. 28:18-20) Kennth Gentry states,

“Fifth, postmillennialism confidently anticipates a time in earth history (continuous with the present) in which the very gospel already operative in the world will have won the victory throughout the earth in fulfillment of the Great Commission.”[x]


“The role of Revelation 20 in the debate, which is absolutely essential to premillennialism, is surprising for at least two major reasons.  First the only place in all of Scripture that associates “one thousand years” with the reign of Christ is in the first six verses of this one chapter!  Against such a complaint, premillennialist Ladd comments:  “the fact that the New Testament in only oneplace teaches an interim kingdom, between this age and the Age to Come is no reason for rejecting it.” Yet the postmillennial complaint is well-justified.  If a literal earthly millennium is so prominent in Scripture and such an important era in redemptive history (as premillennialists and dispensationalists argue), then why should we not expect that a reference to the thousand years should appear in more than one passage? (Gentry, Dominion, p.333-334, Bold emphasis MJS) 

Gentry is correct in the quotes above in associating the great commission with the millennium and because the term 1,000 years is not to be taken literally, there is definitely more passages in the N.T. that describe the millennium which Ladd correctly sees as a reign of Christ from “this age to the Age to Come.”  

In Revelation 20 Satan is bound so that he can no longer deceive the nations (Rev.20:2-3).    Satan is to be seen bound in the personal ministry of Jesus and then definitely bound at the cross.  In the past God had used Satan to deceive Israel and the nations.  Israel thought that the way God would bring her salvation was through another nationalistic restoration and the defeating of their Gentile captors – the Romans.  However, after the cross and in the book of Acts, Jesus through the out pouring of His Spirit began the restoration and salvation of Israel through unveiling the mystery of God by gathering Jew and Gentile alike into the kingdom.  God would use the Gentiles to bring about the resurrection and salvation of Israel through the great commission (Acts 1:8/Rms.10:18-21, Mk.13:10/Rms. 16:25-26, Mt. 24:14, 30-31/Rms.11:15, 25-27).  Therefore, to further prove that John is standing at the near end of the millennium and that the millennium closes with the “at hand” return of Christ in the A.D. 70 time frame, all one has to do is show that the great commission was fulfilled prior to A.D. 70 which I believe I have.  But to further prove this let us now turn to some other great commission texts and see how they were a fulfillment of “the law of Moses, the prophets, and the Psalms.”  

The (Lk. 24:45-47, Mt. 5:17-19) Connection

1)     “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.  Then opened he their inderstanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:  And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Lk. 24:44-47)


2)  “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.  Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt. 5:17-19)


We generally have understood the words of Jesus in (Lk.24:45-47) as only dealing with His death and resurrection as fulfilling the law.  However, the text speaks of the Great Commission as well as something associated with fulfilling the “law of Moses and the prophets.”  The GC and the “last days” generation that would see it’s fulfillment was foretold in the law (Deut.32:20-21/Rms.10:19 & chpt. 11).  The prophets also spoke of the GC (Isa. 11:9, Isa. 49:6, Isa. 60:1-5; Hab.2:14; Zec.14:9) as did the Psalms (Ps.22:27-31, Ps.98:2-3).  The GC had to be accomplished before the second coming, kingdom, redemption, salvation, resurrection, and forgiveness of sins as found in the NT or NC could be received (Mt.24:14, 34/Lk.21:28-33; Mk.13:10/Rms.16:25-26/Rms.11:15,25-27). Paul in (Rms.16:25-26) understanding that the sign of the GC had been accomplished in His ministry, was accurately claiming that Jesus would come out of

Zion to bring salvation and judge Satan shortly:


“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” (Rms.13:11)


“And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.” (Rms. 16:20)


For partial preterists such as Gary DeMar, Kenneth Gentry, and R.C. Srpoul to claim that the imminent time texts in Scripture point to “a” parousia/coming of Christ in A.D.70 and that Satan was crushed at that time but it’s not the same judgment of Satan as pictured in (Rev.20) isn’t a theologically, hermeneutically, or logically, sound argument.  The “at hand” coming of Christ to end the millennium in A.D. 70 brought about the new heavens and new earth (which they claimed took place in A.D.70)!  Not only is Gary DeMar’s hermeneutic Creedally and traditionally arbitrary, but it isn’t even logical or reasonable!  Paul understood:  1)  that the GC being fulfilled within his personal ministry as the Apostle to the Gentiles was revealing the “mystery of God” in “all the world” and 2)  for him and the early church “filling up what was lacking in the sufferings of Christ” through his martyrdom would 3)  bring about the second coming and kingdom within the hearts of the first century church in their generation (Cols.1:5-6, 23/Mt.24:14; Cols.1:23-24/Mt.23:30-36; Cols.1:27/Lk.17:20-21/Lk.21:31-32). 


The Apostle Paul once again fulfilling the words of Jesus in (Lk.24:44-47) stated very clearly that he taught no other things except that which were taught in the law and the prophets: 


“Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:  That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles” (Acts 26:22-23).


If the GC has not been fulfilled which was inseparably tied to the OC law, and “heaven and earth” passing, then the believer today is under the “jots and tittles” of the law (Mt.5:17-19)!  However, it is the conviction of this Christian that the Bible clearly states that the GC was fulfilled prior to A.D.70 and that the “heavens and earth” of the OC law passed away and the NC heavens and earth took it’s place.  We shall cover the meaning of “heavens and earth” later on.     

9) “And when YOU SHALL SEE JERUSALEM SURROUNDED WITH ARMIES, THEN KNOW THAT THE DESOLATION THEREOF IS NEAR.” And, “Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains…” “For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled” (Luke 21:20-22).

According to the parallel account in Luke, the pagan armies surrounding Jerusalem were “the abomination of desolation.”  The “you” of “when you shall see…” is contextually referring to the disciples who asked the question, “Tell us, when will these things be?  And what shall be the sign of thy coming…?” 

History tells us that just prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, the Romans surrounded Jerusalem and then retreated.  This was God’s providence and signal for the Christians to flee to the mountains as Christ had told them to do and that’s what they did. John Gill correctly pointed out, “It is remarked by several interpreters, and which Josephus takes notice of with surprise, that Cestius Gallus having advanced with his army to Jerusalem, and besieged it, on a sudden without any cause, raised the siege, and withdrew his army, when the city might have been easily taken; by which means a signal was made, and an opportunity given to the Christians, to make their escape: which they accordingly did, and went over to Jordan, as Eusebius says, to a place called Pella; so that when Titus came a few months after, there was not a Christian in the city…” (John Gill, On Matthew 24:16).  If you would like the historical documentation of the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy here, John Bray recommends reading: The Works of Flavius Josephus by Flavius Josephus, Volume 1 Baker Book House, Grand RapidsMichigan. 7th printing October 1980 p. 206, see also footnote on p. 204, Eusebius, The History of the Church, p.111, and perhaps the best historical account and commentary on this flight of the Christians along with a brief commentary on its related text, Revelation 12:15-17, can be found in Renan’s Antichrist by Joseph Ernest Renan, Walter Scott, Ltd, Paternoster Square, London 1899, pp. 150-152.

Thomas Ice in seeking to refute partial and Biblical Preterism claims that the flight from Judea and desolation in Luke’s account is a 2,000 + year different flight and deals with a different desolation than that of Matthew and Mark’s accounts is one of the most  deplorable attempts at exegesis I have ever seen!  It is amazing that he finds publishers that are willing to print his none-sense.  Various descriptions of the same event may vary due to audience relevance.  Also, his and other futurist claims that Matthew’s use of “and the end of the age” interjects a new subject and or prophetic event is likewise unwarranted.  Kenneth Gentry corrects Thomas Ice on the differences found in Matthew and Luke on the abomination of desolation by appealing to audience relevancy but doesn’t do so in regard to “and the end of the age?”


“Ice and Bock’s fourth distinction between Matthew’s (alleged) future-oriented and Luke’s past-oriented A.D. 70 accounts is:  Luke “does not discuss the ‘abomination of desolation.’”  But as I note above, Luke appears to be simply rephrasing the Old Testament language for his Gentile audience.”[xi]


And again on the differences concerning “tribulation” and “distress,”


“Ice makes much of the different terms Matthew and Luke employ regarding their respective catastrophes:  Matthew speaks of “tribulation” (Gk., thlipsis); Luke of “distress” (Gk., ananke).  Ice observes:  “Interestingly the destruction of

Jerusalem by the Romans is not called ‘tribulation’ but rather ‘distress’ in Luke.  On the other hand, those passages in Matthew and Mark which futurists argue refer to the future tribulation are characterized as ‘tribulation’”[xii]


“This may be “interesting,” but it is neither significant to the debate nor helpful to Ice’s case.  As I note in the present chapter, Luke’s term for “distress” (anake) appears in the Septuagint translation of Zephaniah 1:15.  According to Ice’s chart, this is a “tribulation” passage (p.82).  And why?  The Abbott-Smith lexicon lists the terms ananke and thlipsis as synonyms.  


What is more, both “great distress” (Luke 21:23) and “great tribulation” (Matt. 24:21) appear in contexts dealing with the dismantling of the first century temple (Matt. 24:1-2; Luke 21:5-6) and confined to “this generation” (Matt. 24:34; Luke 21:32).  In addition, Luke nowhere refers to the (alleged) future time as a “tribulation,” even though Ice says most of his material speaks of the future “tribulation.”  Obviously, Luke can relate the concept of tribulation without the term thlipsis.  In fact, nowhere in Luke’s gospel does he even use the word thlipsis, “tribulation.”  Remarkably, the phrase thlipsis megale (“great distress”) appears in Acts 7:11 where it refers to the famine in

Egypt:  “Now a famine came over all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction with it; and our fathers could find no food.”  Even the phrase “great tribulation” can refer to something other than the eschatological “Great Tribulation.”xiii]


What Did Jesus Mean By “All things” written would Be Fulfilled? 

“For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:20-22)

Thus we are told that up to this point all of the signs or “birth pains” leading up to the tribulation and thus encompassing the abomination and desolation of Jerusalem and her temple were foretold by the prophets, “that all things which are written may be fulfilled.”  But how are we to understand “all things” here?  Are they just prophecies limited to Jerusalem’s destruction in A.D. 70 while the discourse goes on to speak of alleged future “these things” for our day?  Is Luke’s “all things” encompassing all of Bible prophecy?  As I have noted before there is no evidence within the text that suggests that the disciples were confused in associating the temples destruction with the end of their OC age.  They no doubt were familiar with Daniel’s prophecy (Mt.24:15) of the abominations and desolation of the temple and how at THAT TIME AND EVENT would all of the 70 weeks prophetic events be fulfilled.  According to chapters 9 and 12 of Daniel, which were prophetic events concerning Daniel’s “your people” (the Jews) and their “holy city” and had nothing to do with the destruction of the planet; but rather these prophecies surrounding the city of Jerusalem and the temples abominations and desolation would be when all of the redemptive aspects of prophecy would be fulfilled – including the great judgment and resurrection.  According to (Dan.9 and 12) the time of the abomination and desolation of the temple or “when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered,” is when:  1) transgressions would be finished, 2)  there would be an end to sins, 3)  reconciliation for iniquity would be accomplished, 4)  everlasting righteousness would come, 5)  vision and prophecy would be sealed, 6)  the great judgment of those written in the book would take place, and thus 7)  the resurrection to everlasting life or everlasting contempt would occur. 

“Vision and prophecy” would be “sealed up” (“fulfilled”) at the “time of the end” or when the abominations and desolation of the temple and city had been poured out.  So Jesus’ statement, “For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled” is most assuredly a statement about the fall of Jerusalem in A.D.70; but all of the prophets just like Daniel associated the “last days” of Israel’s OC age and the destruction of her temple to be the time when final salvation and redemption would occur

(1Peter 1:4-13; 4:5, 7, 17)

To further support my claim here, we should note that not only was Peter not confused as to Daniel’s prophecy of the destruction of the temple being the time of all redemptive events being accomplished, but Jesus spent 40 days after His resurrection explaining these things to him and the others (Lk.24).  Not only that, Peter was given the Holy Spirit to instruct the Church in regard to “things to come” (Jn.14, and 16).  Under inspiration, Peter clearly understood and taught that “the end of all things is at hand” (1Pet.4:7).  Clearly whatever Jesus meant by “all things” in (Lk.21:22) is what Daniel in (Dan.12) meant.  Peter, correctly understanding Daniel and Jesus, taught that “THE judgment” and resurrection associated with the temple and Jerusalem’s desolation in A.D. 70 was “at hand” (1Pet.4:5, 7, 17).  The immediate context defines what Peter means by “all things” and includes the judgment and thus resurrection of the living and the dead.  If this is not enough evidence, it becomes clearer what Peter means by “all things” when we look at his opening chapter.  When it comes to the second coming, Peter defines not only Jesus’ statement of “all things which are written may be fulfilled” but also his “all things is at hand” as referring to every OT prophet predicting Messiah’s salvation to occur in HIS day: 

“who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your soulsOf this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.  To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.  Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (1Pet.1:5-13). 

How can Peter be any clearer?  The “glory” and “salvation” associated not with just the first coming of Christ but in this context the second coming of Christ was said to be foretold by all of the prophets to be prophesying of Peter’s day and time and no other!  Paul likewise taught that the goal of all previous OT ages had come upon them (1Cor.10:11).  Once again not only does futurism fall flat on it’s face when confronted with Scripture, but partial preterism is proven to be the man fearing compromising position at this point as well.  It simply cannot be argued from the statements of Daniel, Jesus, and Peter that only “a” coming of Christ, “a” judgment, associated with the tribulation and abomination of desolation was predicted to be “at hand” in A.D.70.  These prophets are united with the rest of Scripture that all the salvation promises of the prophets were “at hand” and inseparably linked with the tribulation and abomination of desolation that brought about their flight from Judea. 

Jesus’ statement as further clarified by Peter’s (1Pet.1:5-13; 4:5, 7, 17) – that all of the OT prophets foretold of Peter’s day and contemporary “perverse and crooked generation” (Acts 2 – 4) rules out seeing God’s judgment upon A.D. 70 as a “type” or “picture” of an imagined more universal coming of Christ someday to end the planet.  Those who propagate these vain and empty notions fancy themselves as “expositors” but in reality they “go beyond what is written”!  I don’t have a problem if Jesus (who is God) says the abomination of desolation that Daniel predicted was something that really was to be fulfilled in His generation and did not reach it’s full fulfillment during the time of the Maccabeans.  Nor do I have a problem if Peter under inspiration wants to tell his audience and us by way of extension, that all of the OT prophets foretold a fulfillment that was to occur in his day and not theirs.  Jesus and Peter are obviously telling us that all that the OT prophets foretold directly or indirectly by way of types and shadows would all come to pass at Christ’s parousia in their contemorary generation.  According to Jesus and Peter and the rest of the NT authors, the fulfillment’s of types, shadows, and pictures all stop in the fulfillment of Christ’s return in A.D.70.  If any “prophecy expert” or alleged “exegete” tells the church today otherwise, he is building upon sand and has no authority to make such claims.  Only Christ and His inspired writers of the NT could make such claims and they most definitely NEVER saw Christ’s “at hand” return in the fall of Jerusalem as “a” coming or “type” of something greater to come!  

(1Corinthians 10:11)

        “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”


A couple of things need to be pointed out on this passage as it relates to Jesus’s statement of “all things which are written may be fulfilled” (Lk.21:22).  The first is the Greek word for “examples” tupov tupos too’-pos which Strong’s gives as a possible meaning and translation – “of a type i.e. a person or thing prefiguring a future (Messianic) person or thing.”  I believe Richard Hays is correct on the translation here in (1Cor.10:11) of tupos and also in (1Cor.10:6) when he writes,


“The phrase does not mean – despite many translations – “warnings for us.”  It means types of us,” prefigurations of the ekklesia.  For Paul Scripture, rightly read, prefigures the formation of the eschatological community of the Church.”



 All of the OT served as “types” of Jesus’ and Paul’s generation – for it was that generation that would witness the second coming and “restoration of all things” (Acts 3:19-26).  The book of Hebrews discusses this same wilderness wanderings generation as a “type” that would experience “another day” of “rest” (Heb.3-4).  This anti-type of the “another day” wilderness wandering generation is climaxed with the “Day” of the Lord’s second appearing (Heb.9:26-28 – 10:37).  It may be objected that (1Cor.10:11) is only a type of the wilderness wandering generation and not a type of all OT prophecy – which leads us to our second point.  Please note the plural “ends of the ages” in the text.  As I stated earlier in our discussion of the “end of the age” – the Jewish and Biblical usage of “this age” and the “age about to come,” was that there were basically two ages discussed – the OC age and the NC age that Messiah usher in.  However, within and under the umbrella of the OC Mosaic age – “this age,” there were other “ages” identified such as the “age” of Abraham or the “age” of David etc.  So Paul is widening his imagery here of not just seeing the wilderness wandering generation being a type of his generation, but is communicating that all the previous OC “ages” were likewise types and would find their fulfillments within his generation as well.  This of course is consistent with Jesus’ statement and Peter’s – that the second coming was to occur in their generation and would be the fulfillment of All that the OT prophets predicted of Christ’s salvation.  So the NT authors and their imminent hope clearly define for us that Jesus was teaching that  all the promises of the OT would find their fulfillment at His return in the fall of Jerusalem (Lk.21:22)!


10) “Sun Be Darkened”, “Moon Shall Not Give Her Light”, “The Stars Shall Fall From Heaven and The Powers From Heaven Shall Be Shaken”, But one will say, “yeah, how did all of this happen in the Apostolic generation prior to A.D.70?!”  Once again, please allow the Scripture to interpret itself. God’s coming on the clouds and stars falling from heaven, as used elsewhere in the Bible, are metaphors referring to the judgment of nations, not the destruction of the physical planet.  This can be seen in such O.T. passages referring to the fall of Babylon, Egypt, Edom, and Israel (Isa. 13:9-10, Ezk. 32:7-8, Isa. 34:4-5, Amos 5:21-22).  In Matthew 24, the context is the fall of Jerusalem.  The sun, moon, and stars represented the universe of Israel. 

“Jewish writers understood the light to mean the law; the moon, the Sanhedrin; and the stars, the Rabbis.” (Bray, ibid. p.125)

Reformed and Puritan theologian John Owen had this to say of this text, “And hence it is, that when mention is made of the destruction of a state and government, it is in that language that seems to set forth the end of the world.  So Isa. 34:4; which is yet but the destruction of the state of Edom.  And our Saviour Christ’s prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem, Matthew 24, he sets it out by expressions of the same importance.  It is evident then, that, in the prophetical idiom and manner of speech, by ‘heavens’ and ‘earth’, the civil and religious state and combination of men in the world, and the men of them, are often understood” [emphasis MJS] (ibid. John Owen, works p. 134).

11)  Mt 24:21 “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the
beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.”


BibleCollege or seminary class on hermeneutics would tell us that we need to follow a grammatical historical hermeneutic.  One of the steps involved in interpreting how language and terms are used is to honor the way language is used during the time it was  written in.  Josephus who was a close contemporary of Jesus’ time describes the destruction of Jerusalem in practically the identical language:


“Now this vast multitude is indeed collected out of remote places, but the entire nation was now shut up by fate as in prison, and the Roman army encompassed the city when it was crowded with inhabitants. Accordingly, the multitude of those that therein perished exceeded all the destructions that either men or God ever brought upon the world;”


The words “For then shall be great tribulation…” are words linking the tribulation period with the preceding fleeing of the disciples from Jerusalem in the previous context (vs.17-20, cf. also Lk.21:20-23).  The great “wrath” and “distress” upon “this people” in the “land” in (Lk.21:23) is parallel to Matthew’s tribulation period in (Mt.24).   


Those claiming that A.D. 70 couldn’t have fulfilled what Jesus states here because after all look at what Hitler did to the Jews cite Jesus saying, “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.”  This statement assumes what it needs to prove.  In other words it assumes that after A.D.70 God still has covenant dealings with what is today called modern Israel.  It usually comes with the assumption that what happened in 1948 with Israel was a fulfillment of Bible prophecy and has started the prophecy time clock up again.  We will address this more under false interpretations of “this generation.”  Jesus taught that in A.D.70 the kingdom would be taken from Israel and given to a nation bearing the fruits thereof – the church.  Israel’s law or torah had not been completely fulfilled by the cross but was in the process of “growing old” and “ready to vanish” by  A.D.70 when Christ would complete Israel’s salvation promises in a “very little while” at His return (Heb.8:13 cf. Rms.11:26-27).    

[i] Russell, ibid. pp.75-76

[ii] Preston, ibid, pp.76-77, 2004, parenthesis MJS.


[iii] MacArthur, ibid, p. 60,


[iv] MacArthur, ibid. pp.57-58


[v] Preston, ibid. p.80-81. 


[vi] DeMar, Gary, Last Days Madness Obsession of the ModernDayChurch, pp. 62-63, American Vision pub. 1994, emphasis MJS


[vii] Don K. Preston, Into All The World Then Comes The End, p. 4-5, 1996

[viii] Don Preston, ibid p.p.7-8


[ix] MacArthur, John, The Second Coming Signs of Christ’s Return and the End of the Age, pp. 201-202, Crossway Books pub. 1999


[x] Kenneth, Gentry, He Shall Have Dominion, ICE pub. 1992, p. 71, emphasis MJS 


[xi] Ice & Gentry, ibid. p.192, emphasis MJS


[xii] Ice & Gentry, ibid., p.99


[xiii] Ice & Gentry, ibid., p. 192-


[xiv] Hays, Richard, The Conversion of the Imagination Paul as Interpreter of Israel’s Scripture, p.11, Eerdmans pub. 2005 bold and underline emphasis MJS  


[xv] Ibid. Josephus Works of Josephus, War of the Jews, 6-9-4).