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House Divided Chapter Four Partial Preterist Keith A. Mathison Vs. Full Preterist Michael J. Sullivan Part 4 All Things Fulfilled Luke 21:22

House Divided Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist Response to

When Shall These Things Be?

Chapter Four

The Eschatological Madness of Mathison or How Can These Things Be?

Part 4 – All Things Fulfilled Luke 21:20-22

 Michael J. Sullivan

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articles or reviews.


All Things Written


In Luke 18:31, Jesus says that when He and His disciples go up to Jerusalem

(in about AD 30), “all things that are written by the prophets concerning

the Son of Man will be accomplished.” Mathison argues that since

the Second Coming did not occur at that time, it follows that when Jesus

says in Luke 21:22 that “all things written” will be fulfilled when Jerusalem

is destroyed in AD 70, He is referring only to prophetic predictions

that concerned the destruction of Jerusalem and not to all eschatological

prophecy in general (172).




Of course no one disagrees with Mathison’s observation that the context

of Luke 18:31 limits Jesus’ phrase of “all things” to prophetic material

pertaining to His passion.  But Mathison assumes what he needs to prove

when he assumes that the context of Christ’s coming in Matthew 24 is only

dealing with the fall of Jerusalem, and not His actual Second Coming

connected to all eschatological prophecy in general.  Later we will see

that Mathison is not in line with the creeds or the historic church when it

comes to what the Olivet Discourse actually covers. 


Gentry says that when Christ referred to the fulfillment of “all things

written” in Luke 21:22, He was referring to Old Testament prophecies

only, and that Christ therefore did not include the resurrection of all

men and the Second Coming in the term “all things written.”[1]  But Gentry

fails to understand that the resurrection of the dead was predicted in

the Old Testament. The Apostle Paul, who taught the resurrection of the

dead, taught “nothing but what the Prophets and Moses said was going

to take place” (Acts 26:21–23). Paul stated specifically that the Old Testament

predicted the resurrection of the dead (Acts 24:14–15; cf. Dan. 12:2-3; Isa.

25:8; Hosea 13:14). Therefore even if “all things written” in Luke 21:22

refers only to Old Testament prophecies, as Gentry says, it still includes

the resurrection of the dead, and therefore literally “all things written.”


In the book of Revelation, it is said from beginning to the end (Rev.

1:1; 22:6–7, 10–12, 20) that the prophecies of the book would be fulfilled

shortly.” Those soon-to-be-fulfilled prophecies included the Second

Coming, the resurrection of the living and the dead, the last judgment,

and the new heavens and the new earth—in other words, literally

all things written.”


Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:11, tells his first-century audience, “Now all these

things happened to them as examples [types], and they were written for our

admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” Jesus’ and Paul’s audience

understood the phrase “this age” to be a reference to the old covenant

age, and the “age to come” as a reference to the Messianic or new covenant

age. They also understood that under the umbrella of the old covenant “age”

(singular) there were various “ages” (plural), or covenants. The covenant that

God made with David is an example of this. Thus when the old covenant age

was consummated, it was then that all of Israel’s “ages,” as contained in “the

Law and the Prophets” (“all things written”), were consummated.


The fulfillment that has been wrought in Christ is no piecemeal fulfillment

that has remained a “yes and no” fulfillment/non-fulfillment for

2,000 years, as futurists such as Mathison imagine. The Law of Moses

does not remain “imposed” as it did between the Cross and the Parousia

(Heb. 9:10, NASB). Rather, Christ returned and the old covenant

vanished in His Presence forty years after His Cross (Heb. 8:13). If He

did not return, and if the dead were not raised in Him, then the old covenant

never vanished, and we are still in our sins. This is the inevitable

implication of denying that literally “all things written” are fulfilled in

Christ today.


A comparison of Daniel 12:1–2 with the Olivet Discourse proves

that literally every eschatological prophecy in the Scriptures would be

fulfilled in AD 70:

aniel 12:1-12 Olivet Discourse

Daniel 12:1-2

Olivet Discourse

1. Tribulation and Abomination that

causes Desolation

(Dan. 12:1, 12)


1. Tribulation and Abomination that

causes desolation

(Matt. 24:15, 21; Lk. 21:20-23)


2. Judgment and Deliverance

(Dan. 12:1)


2. Judgment and Deliverance

(Lk. 21:18-22, 28; Matt. 24:13)


3. Resurrection

(Dan. 12:2-3)


3. Resurrection (Matt. 13:40-43;

24:30-31; Lk. 21:27-28)


4. The End (Dan. 12:4, 6, 8-9, 13)


4. The End (Matt. 24:13-14)


5. When would all this take place?

“. . .when the power [The Law] of

the holy people [Israel] has been

completely shattered [the destruction

of the city and the sanctuary

in AD 70], all these things

[including the judgment and

resurrection] shall be finished.”

“But you, go your way till the end;

for you shall rest, and will arise

to your inheritance at the end of

the days.” (Dan. 12:7, 13)



5. When would all this take place?

“There shall not be left here one

stone upon another, that shall not

be thrown down” [the destruction

of the city and the sanctuary in AD

70].” “Verily I say unto you, This

generation shall not pass, till all

these things [judgment & resurrection]

be fulfilled.”

(Matt. 24:1, 34)



Mathison believes that the majority of scholars “rightly understand”

the resurrection of Daniel 12:2-3 as being a future biological

resurrection of all believers.[2] But he has not explained how that resurrection

can be separated from the first-century great tribulation,

abomination of desolation, and destruction of Jerusalem in Daniel

12:1, 7, 11. Daniel 12:7 says that when the power of the holy people

would be completely shattered (in AD 70), then “all these things would

be finished” –not “some” of them.


Partial Preterist James Jordan now understands the resurrection

of Daniel 12:2-3 (and Daniel’s personal resurrection in verse 13) as be-

ing a spiritual and corporate resurrection that took place from Jesus’

earthly ministry to AD 70. Jordan actually sees this past resurrection

as being the resurrection of Revelation 20:

“The death of the Church in the Great Tribulation, and her resurrection after that event, were the great proof that Jesus had accomplished the work He came to do. The fact that the Church exists today, nearly 2000 years after her death in the Great Tribulation, is the ongoing vindication of Jesus work.”[3]

“Revelation takes up where Daniel leaves off, and deals mostly with the Apostolic Age and the death and resurrection of the Church.”[4]

“What Daniel is promised is that after his rest in Abraham’s bosom, he will stand up with all God’s saints and join Michael on a throne in heaven, as described in Revelation 20, an event that came after the Great Tribulation and in the year AD 70.[5]

Mathison’s co-author Gentry has also finally come to the conclusion

that the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 was fulfilled in AD 70:


“In Daniel 12:1-2 we find a passage that clearly speaks of the

great tribulation in AD 70.”


“…But it also seems to speak of the resurrection occurring at

that time…”


“Daniel appears to be presenting Israel as a grave site under

God’s curse: Israel as a corporate body is in the “dust” (Da 12:2;

cp. Ge 3:14, 19). In this he follows Ezekiel’s pattern in his vision

of the dry bones, which represent Israel’s “death” in the

Babylonian dispersion (Eze 37). In Daniel’s prophecy many will

awaken, as it were, during the great tribulation to suffer the full

fury of the divine wrath, while others will enjoy God’s grace in

receiving everlasting life.”[6]


We commend Gentry for his recently developed full preterist exegesis

of Daniel 12:1-3. However, it presents a problem for him. Gentry

stated, in the same book, that the resurrection in the parable of

the wheat and tares is not yet fulfilled.[7] Yet Jesus taught that Daniel

12:2-3 would be fulfilled at the same time as that parable.

Nevertheless, some of Gentry’s partial preterist colleagues have

come to the conclusion that the parable of the wheat and tares was also

fulfilled in AD 70. For example, Joel McDurmon (Gary North’s sonin-

law, and Director of Research for Gary DeMar’s American Vision)[8]:


It is clear that Jesus did not have in mind the end of the world,

nor did He mean the final judgment. Rather, Matthew 13:24-

30, 36-43 describe the judgment that would come upon unbelieving

Jerusalem. During this time, the angels would “gather

out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do

iniquity” (13:41) and these would be judged with fire. Many of

them literally were burned in fire during the destruction of Jerusalem.

During this same time, however, the elect of Christ—

“the children of the kingdom” (v. 38)—will be harvested. While

the explanation of the parable does not tell us their final end,

the parable itself has the householder instructing the harvesters

to “gather the wheat into my barn.” In other words, they are

protected and saved by God.


This, of course, is exactly what happened to the Christians. Not

only were they saved in soul, but they mostly fled Jerusalem

before the Roman siege. This was consequent to Jesus’ advice

to flee and not look back once the signs arose (Matt. 24:16-22);

indeed this would correspond with the angels’ work of harvesting

the elect (24:30).[9]


Curiously, McDurmon does not mention that the resurrection of

Daniel 12:2-3 is quoted by Jesus in Matthew 13:39-43. Partial preterists

such as McDurmon also ignore the fact that Paul, in agreement

with Daniel and Jesus, also taught that the resurrection of Daniel 12:2-

3 was imminent in the first century:


having hope toward God, which they themselves also wait for,

that there is about to be a rising again of the dead, both of

righteous and unrighteous (Acts 24:15, YLT & WEY; cf. Matt.



There is only one passage found in “the law and prophets” that

explicitly speaks of a resurrection of believers and unbelievers, and

that is Daniel 12:2-3. This is Paul’s source in Acts 24:15, as virtually

any commentary or scholarly work agrees. As G. K. Beale and D. A.

Carson wrote on Acts 24:15:


The resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous is based

on the prophecy of the end in Dan. 12:2-3, which indicates two

groups of people, some being raised to eternal life and others to

eternal reproach and shame, and then refers to the “righteous”

(Θ) or to “righteousness” (MT). Clearly this passage lies behind

Paul’s statement, although the wording is different.[10]


Partial Preterists such as Gentry who admit the resurrection of Daniel

12:2 was fulfilled in AD 70 need to not only address the issue of this being

Paul’s source for his resurrection doctrine in Acts 24:15, but other

places in the NT. Again Beale points out in one of his most recent works,

that Jesus is following the (OG) LXX of Daniel 12:1-2, 4 as His source for

His teaching on “eternal life” and the coming resurrection “hour” (or “the

hour of the end”) of both believers and unbelievers in (John 5:28-29).[11]

And clearly the books being opened in judgment and the resurrection of

all in Daniel 12:1-2 is the judgment and resurrection of Revelation 20:5-

15. Gentry at one point seeking to refute the Premillennial Dispensa-

tional theory of two resurrections cited Daniel 12:2/John 5:28-29/John

6:39-40/Acts 24:15 as evidence of “one resurrection and one judgment,

which occur simultaneously at the end…”[12] We couldn’t agree more with

Gentry #1 – that these texts are descriptive of “one” and the same resurrection

and judgment which take place at the same time in history. And

yet we also agree with Gentry #2 – Daniel 12:2 was fulfilled in AD 70.

Another question or challenge for partial preterists who see the resurrection

of Daniel 12:2-3 as being fulfilled in AD 70 is this:

How many times must Daniel be raised unto, and receive, “eternal life?”iel 12 1 Corinthians 15


Daniel 12

1 Corinthians 15

1. Resurrection unto “eternal life”

(v. 2)


1. Resurrection unto incorruptibility

or immortality (vss. 52–53)


2. Time of the end (v. 4)


2. Then cometh the end (v. 24)


3. When the power of the holy people [Mosaic OC law] is completely shattered

(v. 7)

3. When victory over “the [Mosaic

OC] law” comes (v. 56)



[1] Dominion, 542. 

[2] Keith A. Mathison, WSTTB 160–161; From Age to Age: The Unfolding of

Eschatology (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2009), 281.

[3] James B. Jordan, THE HANDWRITING ON THE WALL A Commentary on the Book of Daniel, (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision, 2007), 620.

[4] Ibid., 621

[5] Ibid., 628

[6] Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. He Shall Have Dominion (Draper, VA: Apologetics

Group Media, 2009 Third Edition), 538.  On Gentry’s Facebook page he answered my question on this text by writing, “Dan 12 is not dealing with bodily resurrection but national resurrection (as does Eze 37). Dan 12 sees the “resurrection” of Israel in the birth of the Christian Church, which is the New Israel.”  But when I challenged Gentry on how the NT develops the resurrection of Daniel 12:2-3/Matt. 13:43/John 5:28-29/Acts 24:15/Rev. 20:5-15 at his Criswell lecture on the millennium, he changed his tune and is now claiming that the resurrection text of Dan. 12:2 has an AD 70 “type” fulfillment and an end of the history “bodily resurrection” fulfillment as well.  I told him that if he can do this with the resurrection of Dan. 12:2, then dispensationalists can double fulfill or have multiple types and anti-types fulfillments of prophetic material that Gentry says was only fulfilled in AD 70 – tribulation, abomination of desolation of a temple in Jerusalem, apostasy, etc…  Again partial preterists like Gentry and Mathison are arbitrary and inconsistent when they want something only fulfilled in AD 70 when debating futurists, but then want something fulfilled in the future when debating full preterists.  

[7] Ibid., 235 n. 70, 243.

[8] Gary North, perhaps not knowing his own son-in-law’s position at the time, wrote in 2001: “Anyone who equates the fulfillment of [the parable of the wheat and tares] with A.D. 70 has broken with the historic faith of the church.”

[9] Joel McDurmon, Jesus v. Jerusalem: A Commentary on Luke 9:51 –

20:26, Jesus’ Lawsuit Against Israel (Powder Springs, GA: The American Vision,

Inc., 2011), 48-49; see entire section 43-51. One of DeMar’s co-authors

Peter Leithart, has also conceded that the parable of the wheat and tares was

fulfilled in the first century: “Jesus has now come with His winnowing fork,

and before the end of the age, the wheat and tares will be separated. The end

of the age thus refers not to the final judgment but to the close of “this generation.”

Peter J. Leithart, The Promise of His Appearing: An Exposition of Second

Peter (Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2004), 95. 

[10] Beale, G. K., & Carson, D. A., Commentary on the New Testament use

of the Old Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI; Nottingham, UK: Baker Academic;

Apollos, 2007), 598.



Baker Academic, 2011), 131-132. This creates a huge problem for Partial Preterists

such as Gentry who not only take the resurrection of Dan. 12:2 as fulfilled

in AD 70, but also takes the eschatological “not yet” “hour” of (John 4:21-

24) as fulfilled in AD 70 (as Full Preterists do). Why? Because according to

Mathison (WSTTB, 172-174) Jesus is using the same eschatological “already”

and “not yet” pattern of this coming “hour” in both John 4:21-24 – 5:25-29 and

thus are referring to the same period of time. Once again when we combine

what Beale, Gentry, and Mathison are saying here on these texts, they form

the Full Preterist view in that the “not yet” resurrection “hour” of Dan. 12:1-2/

John 5:28-29 was fulfilled in AD 70. For more on why John 5:28-29 is not a

description of a fleshly end of time resurrection see David Green’s response to

Dr. Strimple.


(Tyler TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1990), 142.







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Mike Sullivan