PRETERIST BIBLE COMMENTARY › Forums › Forum › Are the gates open (Rev 21:24-27) or the doors shut (Mt 25:1-13) after A.D. 70?
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January 23, 2019 at 4:20 am #11891adminKeymaster
In the New Jerusalem the gates are said to always remain open so as to allow the kings of the earth to bring their glory into the city (Rev 21:24-27). Then in Parable of the Ten Virgins the doors are said to be shut during the wedding banquet barring the five foolish virgins from entering the kingdom of God (Mt 25:1-13). Is this a contradiction? Are people barred from entering the New Jerusalem (i.e. the kingdom of God) after A.D. 70?
The notion of continued salvation after A.D. 70 appears to be suggested in Rev 21:24-27 in which the gates of the New Jerusalem remain forever open so as to presumably allow the continuous influx of the “kings of the earth.” But if that is true, what about the fact that the doors were shut on the five virgins during the wedding banquet (Mt 25:1-13)?
Those who cite Matthew 25:1-13 as evidence against the continued entry of the saints after A.D. 70 appear to misunderstand the symbolism in Matthew 25:1-13. In the Parable of the Ten Virgins we see that all the virgins “became drowsy and fell asleep” before the arrival of the Messiah. To sleep or be asleep is a common Biblical symbol denoting physical death (Job 14:12; Mt 9:24; Jn 11:11-12). We also see this clearly stated in 1Th. 4:15:
For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are ALIVE and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen ASLEEP. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the DEAD [i.e. asleep] in Christ will rise first. Then we who are ALIVE and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
When the virgins are said to have fallen asleep before the coming of the Messiah this means that they had died prior to the Parousia. When they “awake” at the arrival of the bridegroom this signifies the resurrection of these virgins at the resurrection of the dead corresponding with the coming of the Messiah at the Parousia. In this parable we see that these foolish virgins died before they had gotten any oil for their lamps (Mt 25:3). This oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit. The fact that these virgins died without oil means they died before receiving the Holy Spirit. In this parable we see that the shutting of the doors at the wedding banquet was intended to bar the entry of those who died without receiving the Holy Spirit prior to the general resurrection. This parable does not say or imply anything about the continued entry of saints post A.D. 70. We see a similar message conveyed in Luke 13:23-28:
Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’ “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out.
Were all people after A.D. 70 “evildoers”? And are these people all to weep and gnash their teeth because they happened to exist after A.D. 70? In Luke 13:23-28 we see that the barring of people outside the kingdom of God/New Jerusalem is meant to prevent entry of the wicked, not prevent entry of people after A.D. 70. The barring of the wicked outside is also stated in Rev 22:14-15: “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.” This notion of a barring and thus separation of the wicked from the righteous is found in several places in the Bible (Mt 25:32, Lk 16:26-27).
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