MAKING BIBLICAL AND SCHOLARLY CLARIFICATIONS FOR GARY DEMAR AND THOMAS ICE ON THE IMPLICATIONS OF A PRE-AD 70 DATE FOR THE BOOK OF REVELATION
By: Michael J. Sullivan
Gary DeMar has begun a series of articles on his American Vision web site seeking to “Clarify” some “scholarly” issues for Dispensationalist Thomas Ice. As usual DeMar is not satisfied with Ice’s answers to his questions and we need the readers to know we aren’t very impressed with how long Mr. DeMar takes to answer ours (20 years on Dan. 12:2-3, 13/Matt. 13:39-43, 49) and point out that he has yet to address many, many, many more. This brief artilce addresses the implications of taking a pre-AD 70 date for the book of Revelation which DeMar wants to “clarify” for Mr. Ice.
1) THE TIME TEXTS:
One of DeMar and Gentry’s argument for a pre-AD 70 date and fulfillment for the book of Revelation is the imminence throughout the book which they readily apply to Rev. 1-19, 21-22. DeMar and Gentry’s problem is that they arbitrarily isolate the end of the millennium (1,000 years of Revelation 20) as NOT being “shortly” fulfilled or ended by AD 70. They also isolate Rev. 20:5-13 from a “shortly” time frame of fulfillment. It is not just Full Preterists that have a problem with this 90% fulfillment approach:
“But 1:3 and 22:10 are like bookends enclosing the whole prophecy of Revelation. The fulfillment of everything, not just a part, is near.”
This brings us to our next point…
2) REVELATION 20:1-13:
Of course I believe it was more than hasty for Gary DeMar/American Vision to associate itself with Mr. Sam Frost (for many reasons not just doctrinal), but since Frost continues to believe the thousand years millennium in Revelation 20 was a transition period between the OC and NC age roughly between AD 30 – AD 70 this is but another example of what Frost himself has called “Inconsistent Orthodoxy.” But after all, if other PP can steal and surrender FP exegesis (and approaches) of key passages to FP and stay “orthodox” and get paid “very well” (as McDurmon has) why can’t he? So what is Frost’s hermeneutical approach to determine this? He (like I have) correctly uses reformed Amillennial authors (in this case William Hendriksen, More than Conquerors) which point out this portion of Revelation 20 has been recapitulated earlier in Rev. 1-19 (which PP take as fulfilled in AD 70). In other words Frost can come up with an unorthodox/orthodox (?) view of the millennium using the organic development of the classic Amillennial view and PP views but we can’t?!? I have been using this same approach to interpret the entire book of Revelation (and NT eschatology in general) for many years and it is more than inconsistent for Frost (and now by extension American Vision) to not use this approach in interpreting Rev. 20:10-13. Especially in light of DeMar’s concession that scholarship teaches us that…
3) REVELATION 1-22 IS JOHN’S VERSION OF MATTHEW 24-25:
Again DeMar is on record as agreeing with “scholarship” (something he and Ice want to discuss in their articles) which states John’s version of the Olivet discourse (ie. Matt. 24-25) is found in the book of Revelation. Let’s continue with the implications of Frost’s hermeneutic in Revelation 20 and what DeMar says of Matt. 24-25 and the book of Revelation. Let’s also approach the passage from a creedal or classic Amillennial view and the “Inconsistent Orthodox” PP view:
a. Matt. 25:46 = Rev. 20:10 – FINAL defeat of Satan – in AD 70 (cf. Rom. 16:20/Gen. 3:15).
b. Matt. 24:29, 35 = Rev. 20:11/16:20 – The ONE de-creation of the OC heavens and earth in AD 70.
c. Matt. 25:31-46 = Rev. 20:12-13; 22:6-7, 10-12, 20/11:15-18 – The ONE end of the age judgment of the dead attended with the ONE imminent Second Coming in AD 70.
4) DANIEL 12 / REVELATION & “INCONSISTENT ORTHODOXY”:
G.K. Beale proposes,
“Daniel may be more determinative on the overall theology and structure of the Apocalypse than any other traditional or OT source.”
This of course creates more than a problem since DeMar and AV has conceded that the judgment and resurrection of Daniel 12 was fulfilled at the end of the OC age in AD 70 – Matt. 13:39-43, 49 – per Joel McDurmon. McDurmon’s Father-in-law Mr. Gary North finds Joel’s FP interpretation of the wheat and tares as having broken, “…with the historic faith of the church.” Mr. North has DeMar broken with the historic faith of the church in his interpretation of Matt. 25:31-46?!? Or what about your dancing bear/damaged goods delivered at your AV doorstep Sam (I need “validation”) Frost’s view that the 1,000 years millennium in Revelation 20 was fulfilled by AD 70? Has it too “broken with the historic faith of the church”?!? How many passages will your Partial Preterist writers surrender to us?!? Do I or another person need to pay you “very well” to address these issues?
The historical facts of the matter are that the reformed creeds (including the WCF) states that Luke 21:27/Matt. 24-25 and the book of Revelation depicts the actual Second Coming of Christ (which DeMar/AV and men like Keith Mathison have denied). We couldn’t agree more with the creeds on this point and with PP that these events were fulfilled in AD 70! American Vision is out of touch with reformed orthodox eschatology and in its attempts to stay consistent with the imminent time texts and the analogy of Scripture — it continues to surrender MAJOR eschatological passages to Full Preterism over the years (Dan. 12:1-3, 13/Matt. 13:39-43, 49/Matt. 25:31-46/Rev. 20 – the millennium) and NOW Joel McDurmon says – John 5:28-29 and 1 Cor. 15 “could be applied/fulfilled by AD 70” etc…. This continues to lead their readers into Full Preterism – as it did for me and many, many, many others and many, many, many, more in the years to come.
 Gary DeMar, Dating the Book of Revelation: Clarifying Tommy Ice’s Clarifications: http://americanvision.org/6181/dating-the-book-of-revelation-clarifying-tommy-ices-clarifications/#.UBjNQaOJr3A
 Vern S. Poythress, THE RETURNING KING A GUIDE TO THE BOOK OF REVELATION, (Phillipsburg, New Jersey: P & R Publishing Company, 2000, p. 34.
 Sam Frost, Essay on the Millennium of Revelation 20: http://treeoflifeministries.info/index.php?view=article&catid=36%3Amore-preterist-eschatology-articles-&id=174%3Asam-frost&option=com_content&Itemid=75
 G.K. Beale, “The Influence of Daniel upon the Structure and Theology of John’s Apocalypse,” JETS 27 (1984): 413.