When Shall These Things Be?
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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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.” 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
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
1. Tribulation and Abomination that
(Dan. 12:1, 12)
1. Tribulation and Abomination that
(Matt. 24:15, 21; Lk. 21:20-23)
2. Judgment and Deliverance
2. Judgment and Deliverance
(Lk. 21:18-22, 28; Matt. 24:13)
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]
(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. 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.”
“Revelation takes up where Daniel leaves off, and deals mostly with the Apostolic Age and the death and resurrection of the Church.”
“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.
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
“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.”
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. 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):
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).
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.
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).
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…” 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
1 Corinthians 15
1. Resurrection unto “eternal life”
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
3. When victory over “the [Mosaic
OC] law” comes (v. 56)
 Dominion, 542.
 Keith A. Mathison, WSTTB 160–161; From Age to Age: The Unfolding of
Eschatology (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2009), 281.
 James B. Jordan, THE HANDWRITING ON THE WALL A Commentary on the Book of Daniel, (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision, 2007), 620.
 Ibid., 621
 Ibid., 628
 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.
 Ibid., 235 n. 70, 243.
 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.”
 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.
 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.
 30 G.K. Beale, A NEW TESTAMENT BIBLICAL THEOLOGY THE UNFOLDING
OF THE OLD TESTAMENT IN THE NEW (Grand Rapids, MI:
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
 Kenneth L. Gentry, THE GREATNESS OF THE GREAT COMMISSION
(Tyler TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1990), 142.