PRETERIST BIBLE COMMENTARY › Forums › Reply To: If the 1000 Year Reign is in the Past, is all hope lost?
November 26, 2014 at 4:54 am #5390
<![CDATA[The following was written was written by J. Thomas:
Hi Daniel, sorry for reading this only now, and looking back at my comments, I think I took too harsh of a tone with your article, and I do apologize for that. I finally have read your commentary on Revelation 20, and I’ll use this place to respond if that’s alright. Of course, like most material on your informative site, I find this line of thinking very interesting. But I think what you are often doing on this site is taking very interesting discoveries and pushing them beyond what the evidence warrants, and making connections where the line is actual tenuous at best. Revelation 20 is of course the key passage, in terms of distinguishing between orthodox (partial) preterism, and full preterism. This is an interesting view you hold, and one that I actually haven’t encountered before (the claim that the timeline of the bible ended at the crusades). I think though, upon further investigation, you’ll realize that this view cannot be proven conclusively, but that in fact it warrants serious doubt. It seems to all boil down to Gog and Magog, and I think you are making more of the meaning of this phrase than necessarily is warranted, and I think you’ll find that equating it with the Muslims of the crusades is very tenuous (although it could be considered a “type” I think, at best). In my archaeological study bible, in the notes it says: “Gog and Magog symbolize the nations of the world as they band together for a final assualt on God. The OT background is Ez 38-39. Revelation draws on the warning in Ez 39:6 that God will hurl fire on Magog, and especially on the threat of 38:22 that he will cast hailstones and burning sulfur on Gog’s army. Magog was a son of Japheth (Gen 10:2; 1Ch 1:5). Josephus applied this name to the Scythians, but there is no evidence to support this identification.” It makes sense to me that “Gog and Magog” would be a symbol of the nations of the pagan (known) world in general (including Muslim), especially in light of the phrase “four corners of the earth”, which is an idiom meant to imply “from everywhere”. Because in John’s day there was no understanding of the entire literal world, it makes sense to me that he was just simply trying to “get a birds eye view” as much as possible to signifiy a grand cataclysm coming in the future that would involve all the corrupt nations of the world coming together against “the camp of God’s people”. Now I suppose it is technically possible that this could refer to the Muslims and the crusades, but you would have to demonstrate that these muslims were coming from the “four corners of the earth”. But not only that… let’s say that (especially in light of recent events overseas with ISIS and the like), that we found ourselves in a situation where Muslim militants today were in a similar situation of the crusades, and what if indeed they occupied (eventually) the same area (Meschech and Tubal in Turkey)? And what if, like the US and Canada are doing now, planes were then dropping missile strikes on them in this particular place (if they had occupied it). Should I then presume that this section of Revelation is being fulfilled again (fire coming down from “heaven” and devouring them)? Or should I maybe consider that it is a dual fulfillment? Or…. should I just take this section as John trying to paint the broadest picture possible? I appreciate your identification of Gog and Magog with these cities in Turkey, and indeed the searches I have done seem to match that area as well. My only point would be this: Even if you can properly construe the events of the crusades to be the final fulfillment of this passage, you will end up in a hard position if we find ourselves repeating this same history (as indeed it seems that we are heading in that direction with current events…. ie: Muslims vs the west). And if we are repeating the same history, that would imply that we are still PRE-revelation 21. I am far more inclined to believe that what happened at the crusades could be a “type”, rather than the final fulfillment. Although it is very intriguing that the crusades happened 1,000 years after the fact, it is also the case that, throughout the Bible, “one thousand” almost always designates just “a lot”. http://www.biblemeanings.info/Words/Number/Thousand.htm If we are going to take much of the descriptors in Revelation metaphorically (as I think we rightly do), then we should also consider such a metaphorical understanding of the thousand years as well. And in regards to Revelation 21, it is true that there are many OT precursors that could designate a non-literal fulfillment (I also am not awaiting a new literal earth, but rather a “new order” for humans). But “the old order of things has passed away” has no OT precursor, and does indeed hint at a new order for the totality of humans. And not only that, but especially because in Revelation we are taken “back to Eden” in a sense, where we will then be able to participate in the “tree of life”. This definitely suggests a reversal of the fall of man itself, implying that the sin nature (that you discussed James talking about) is overcome and destroyed (no more sin impulse in the human body, as Paul succintly described of our human condition in Romans 7). Together, all these things seem to imply something much bigger than what we are living in now. Yes, it’s possible that I could say that the ultimate fulfillment of the reversal of the fall of man is in heaven… but I think if you say that, you are really missing the ultimate thrust of Revelation (and the goal of “Creation”). You said: ” The second resurrection mentioned in v. 13 seems to have transpired one thousand years later at around the time of the Crusades in fulfillment of v. 5: “The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.” And earlier you said: “Could these giant spirits seen over Vesuvius be Christ and his angels binding Satan in the Abyss as described in Revelation 20:1-3? Could the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius be the direct result of casting Satan into the subterranean lake of fire in the earth’s core?” This is all very interesting, but ultimately, only speculation. You have made a good case for something though… and that is that Revelation may indeed have “dual fulfillments” in it. But to go beyond this and claim that the 2nd Resurrection has happened is extremely presumptuous (and would then be contradicted if we find ourselves in a similar situation where such events are “happening again”). Thanks for your consideration! -Jonathan Thomas]]>