A Preterist Commentary on Revelation 20: Summary and Highlights
In this Preterist commentary on Revelation 20, compelling historical evidence is presented showing that the thousand year reign was literally one thousand years long and the Gog mentioned in this chapter is the literal, historical Gog of Turkey mentioned in Biblical history. The Millennium is NOT an end time prophecy! (See A Rebuttal of the Forty-Year Millennium.) The Millennium began in A.D. 70 and is thus the first thousand years of the Messianic kingdom which is the New Covenant, the Age to Come and the New Jerusalem of Revelation 21 and 22. During the thousand years after the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, Palestine—and especially Jerusalem–grew to become almost exclusively Christian. Biblical Gog is in Turkey. Interestingly, in A.D. 1071—ONE THOUSAND YEARS AFTER THE FALL OF JERUSALEM IN A.D. 70–the Turks (LITERAL GOG) conquered Palestine and incited the Crusades. Furthermore, in literal fulfillment of Revelation 20:9 eyewitnesses to the First Crusade recorded Christians launching firebrands into Muslim-occupied Jerusalem literally fulfilling the fire from heaven mentioned in Revelation 20:9. During this same war, the Muslim Turks surrounded Crusader-occupied Antioch. And amidst this siege an eye-witness said that fire from heaven fell upon the camp of the Seljuk Turks besieging the city: “There appeared a fire in the sky, coming from the west, and it approached and fell upon the Turkish army, to the great astonishment of our men [the Crusaders inside Antioch] and of the Turks also. In the morning the Turks, who were all scared by the fire, took flight in panic.”1 Here we see how Gog and Magog “marched across the breath of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them.” (Revelation 20:9)
The following may seem unbelievable. However, most information is taken from unbiased historical records and all information is easily verifiable. Sources listed at the end.
The Battle of Gog and Magog
Revelation 20 Preterist Commentary Intro: During the Thousand Years between the Jewish War and the Crusades, Israel became predominately Christian.
In Deuteronomy 28, God threatened His people with a multitude of curses if they failed to follow His law. Every single curse listed in Deuteronomy 28 happened throughout the course of the Jewish War.2 Deuteronomy 28:63 promised that the Jewish people would be removed from Israel. The same message is implied in the parable of the vinedressers (Mark 12). In this parable there is vineyard representing Jerusalem and the son of the vineyard’s owner is Jesus who is killed outside of the vineyard (Mark 12:8). Mark 12:9 then goes on to say that God, the owner of the vineyard, would kill the tenants, the adulterous Jews living in Jerusalem, and give the vineyard, Jerusalem, to others: “What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” The others who are given the vineyard, Jerusalem, in Mark 12:9 obviously represent Christians. This symbolic prediction did, in fact, occur literally and historically in post-war Jerusalem.
Interestingly, in the 1000 years after the Jewish War there was a dramatic shift in demographics in Judea. Once populated almost exclusively by ethnic Jews, Judea was 95% Christian by A.D. 614.3 This was, in a large part, because of the expulsion of many Jews after the Jewish War and the second Jewish revolt, the Bar Kokhba Rebellion. After the second Jewish revolt in order to eliminate the possibility of future insurrections, Hadrian ordered the exile of the remaining Jews in Judea. After this war, few Jewish settlements remained with the exception of three areas in the Jordan valley.4 Jerusalem was then renamed Aelia Capitoline and racial Jews were not permitted to approach the city upon threat of execution—just as implied in Mark 12:9.5 At the end of the fourth century with Jews still only allowed in the city one day a year, Jerusalem became an exclusively Christian city, the only one in the country—as predicted in Mark 12:9 when the vineyard representing Jerusalem was given to others representing Christians.6
Revelation 20 Preterist Commentary Intro: During the Thousand Years between the Jewish War and the Crusades, Israel Enjoyed Unprecedented Peace.
During the thousand years between the Jewish War and the Crusades, Judea enjoyed relative peace. This peace; only briefly interrupted by the Bar Kokhba Rebellion, the Sassanid invasion, the Fatimid assault (A.D. 970-1030) and occasional bouts of Roman persecution which continued until A.D. 313 when Emperor Constantine granted religious liberty.7 Then in A.D. 614, the Persians attacked Jerusalem. After a twenty day siege, the city fell and thousands of Christians were killed. Political control of the city was then turned over to the Jewish people before Christians finally reestablished control three years later. In A.D. 638, Moslems negotiated the peaceful surrender of the city; and for the next three hundred years, Christianity flourished unmolested under Moslem rule.8
Revelation 20 Preterist Commentary Intro: In A.D. 1071, One Thousand Years After the Jewish War, the Seljuk Turks took control of Judea, Molested Christian Pilgrims and Incited the Crusades.
Then in A.D. 1071,9 one thousand years after the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, Satan was released from the Abyss, and the Seljuk Turks took control of Judea making travel dangerous for Christian pilgrims. This angered Europeans and in 1096, Europe declared war on Jerusalem and thus began the Crusades—the Battle of Gog and Magog.
Revelation 20 Preterist Commentary Intro: Why the Battle of Gog and Magog had to begin in A.D. 1096.
Why was the Battle of Gog and Magog in A.D. 1096? In my commentary on Revelation 13 I explain that the beast was cast into the Abyss at the death of Nero as Nero was the last of the Caesar Dynasty. The beast then resurrects from the dead or rises out of the Abyss at the start of the Flavian Dynasty in A.D. 69/70. This idea implies that the beast is Rome under its two dynasties: the Caesar and Flavian family dynasties. If the beast is Rome under the Caesar and Flavian Dynasties as the preponderance of evidence suggests, then this sheds some interesting light on why the Battle of Gog and Magog began in A.D. 1096. The Flavian Dynasty ended in A.D. 96 at the death of Domitian. This means that the beast was not finally cast into the Abyss as predicted in Rev 19:20 and Dan 7:11 until A.D. 96. Since the reign of the saints begins at the destruction of the beast (Dan 7:26-27), this means that the millennium could not truly begin until A.D. 96. This fact is powerful confirmation of the idea that the beast is Rome under its two first century dynasties as well as the fact that the first crusade is the Battle of Gog and Magog as these two events are EXCTLY one thousand years apart! (See Does Luke 21:22 Prove that All End Time Prophecies were Fulfilled in A.D. 70? and Why All Prophecy Need Not be Fulfilled by A.D. 70 as Long as it All Wraps-Up Within the First-Century.)
It is interesting that during the thousand years in which Satan was bound, and the saints reigned with Christ, nowhere does it say that Christians would enjoy one thousand years of uninterrupted peace. Isaiah predicts:
I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones. All your sons will be taught by the Lord, and great will be your children’s peace. In righteousness you will be established: Tyranny will be far from you; and you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you. If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing; whoever attacks you will surrender to you (Isaiah 54:12-15).
The important thing to note from the above quotation is that although God’s people were promised peace, this did not mean that it would never be attacked: “If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing; whoever attacks you will surrender to you (Isaiah 54:15).” Thus although Christians may have reigned gloriously in Judea throughout much of the thousand years between the Jewish War and the Crusades, this did not mean that they would never experience war or face occasional hardship.
In support of this idea it appears that almost all of the seemingly utopic predictions of glory, long-life, peace and prosperity for those in Judaea found in Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah and the minor prophets were fulfilled in return of the Jews from exile in Babylon in the fifth century B.C. to about the third century B.C. During this period, the Jews devoted themselves to the Law and the worship of the Lord more than previous generations and consequently lived in peace and enjoyed good fortune and prosperity (4 Macc 3:20, Letter of Aristeus 5).10 Similar devotion to God, peace and prosperity was also lived out and enjoyed by Christians living in Jerusalem and Palestine during the thousand-year reign.
1And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. 2He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. 3He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.11
A Realized Eschatological View and Commentary of Revelation 20:2-3: The Binding of Satan does not mean that there will be a literal Heaven on Earth. Satan was bound several Times in Jewish History according to the Book of Jubilees.
The fact that Satan is bound does not necessarily mean that there will be a literal heaven on earth. A similar binding of Satan is found in the Book of Jubilees. In Jubilees 48:15, Satan was bound in order to allow the Jews to escape their Egyptian pursuers. This book also lists several other points in Jewish history when Satan was bound; and as a result, the people enjoyed prosperity and peace (Jubilees 23:25-30; 40:9; 46:2).
A Preterist Interpretation and Commentary of Revelation 20:2-3: The Fact that Satan is Bound also does not mean that there will no longer be any Sin. According to James 1:14, “Each One is Tempted when, by His Own Evil Desire, He is Dragged away and Enticed.”
When Satan reigned, God’s plan of redemption was impeded. With the devil imprisoned, men now enjoy greater fellowship with God. But the binding of Satan does not mean that the world would then be free of sin. James 1:14 says, “[E]ach one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.” According to this verse, it is humanity’s own evil desires, not necessarily Satan, that cause people to sin. As an interesting side note, some people who have survived clinical death testify that living virtuously in the heaven is much easier when the cravings of the flesh have been removed.
4I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshipped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5(The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6Blessed and holy are those who have a part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.
Covenant Eschatology and Revelation 20:4-6 Commentary: The Thousand Year Reign of Christ over Heaven and Earth was Not an End Time Event. Instead, the Thousand Year Reign was the First Thousand Years of the New Covenant.
In v. 4, John introduces the Thousand-Year Reign. If the Thousand-Year Reign is a literal thousand-year interval, as I believe it is, then it cannot be an end time prophecy since the events prophesied to occur at the end of the age were all expected to occur within the lifetime of Jesus’ contemporaries (Matthew 3:12; 10:23; 16:27-28; 23:36-37; 24:34; Mark 8:38-9:1; Revelation 22:7). Thus the Thousand-Year Reign is not an end time prophecy, rather it is the first thousand years of the New Covenant, the new age predicted by Christ throughout his ministry.
The fact that the Thousand Year Reign is the first thousand years of the new covenant is implied by the fact that that the saints were to reign with Christ at this time according to v. 4. This reign of the saints could only occur after the casting of Satan out of heaven as indicated in Revelation 12:7-11.12
After the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70, it was impossible to follow the Law of Moses. Thus this event marked the end of the Old Covenant Age and the beginning of the New Covenant Age which is identified as the kingdom of God in the Gospels and the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21 and 22. The fact that the Thousand-Year Reign might have begun in A.D. 70 is also supported by the fact that the Seljuk Turks conquered the Holy Land and began to molest Christian pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem in A.D. 1071—one thousand years after the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70!
Further evidence that the thousand year reign in the New Jerusalem is a literal thousand year period is suggested by the fact that the Temple system in Old Covenant Jerusalem lasted almost exactly 1000 years. Solomon’s temple was built sometime between 970 and 931 B.C. and the last Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70. This means that the Temple or Temple system in Jerusalem lasted almost exactly 1000 years. In the New Covenant the Christian Church is said to be the new Temple of God (1 Cor 3:16). If the physical Temple and the Temple system existed in Jerusalem for a literal thousand years, would it not stand to reason that the new spiritual Temple of God would also exist in Jerusalem for a similar thousand year period? And that is exactly what happened! Recall as stated above, Jerusalem grew to become almost exclusively Christian (the new Temple of God) during the thousand years between the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70 and the conquest of Israel by the Seljuk Turks in A.D. 1071.
In vs. 4-6, John describes the resurrection of the Body of Christ. During the resurrection, the dead are given new spiritual bodies as stated in 1 Corinthians 15:35-54. Many of these spiritual bodies take up residence in another dimension—heaven. And it is here in heaven that the saints reign with Christ (Matthew 19:28; John 18:36; 1 Corinthians 6:2-3; Ephesians 1:20; 2:6; 2 Timothy 4:18; Revelation 3:21). The fact that the saints reign while in heaven is implied in Daniel 4:26: “The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules [emphasis mine].” When the saints entered heaven at the resurrection, they, of course, could then be said to reign with Christ in fulfillment of v. 4 because “heaven rules.” The Thousand-Year Reign, however, is not just in heaven. During this time, Christ’s authority and the dominion of His people in heaven extends to the earth as well. See How the Resurrection Bodies of the Saints Perfectly Mirror Jesus’ Resurrection Body after His Ascension Into Heaven Fulfilling Philippians 3:20-21 and ALL Other Bible Verses on the Resurrection!!! and Jeremiah 33:20-21 explains why Christ Rules From a Heavenly, Not Earthly, Throne.
Realized Eschatology and Revelation 20:4-6 Commentary: Christianity became the Dominant Religion in Rome and the Former Territory of Israel during the Thousand Years after the Jewish War.
Christianity grew to become the dominant religion of Rome. Not only did Christian emperors succeed their pagan predecessors, Christian kings also ruled Judea, a country that during the thousand years between the Jewish War and the Crusades grew to become almost exclusively Christian. This domination of the former Roman Empire including Judea as well by Christian people is the dominion promised the saints as predicted in vs. like Revelation 5:10: “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” This trend of Christian domination of the bulk of the former Roman Empire continues today. It should be noted that although Muslim kings ruled Palestine beginning in the seventh century A.D., these kings profited greatly from Christian pilgrims visiting the Holy Land and as a result peaceably encouraged Palestine to remain Christian. Thus, in spite of Muslim rule towards the end of the thousand year reign, Christian demographic domination of Palestine lasted exactly one thousand years until the start of the Crusades. At this time, Muslims became hostile toward Christians and Muslim settlers gradually replaced the Christian inhabitants of the Holy Land.
Literal Millennial-Reign Preterism and Revelation 20: Why the Fact that Palestine was Conquered by Muslim Kings in A.D. 637 is Not Evidence Against this View.
The fact that Jerusalem and Palestine were ruled by Muslim emperors beginning in the seventh century A.D. is not evidence against this view. Remember that throughout much of Old Testament history, Israel was also ruled by foreign emperors. Israel sinned when she asked for an earthly king (1 Sam 12:19). This is because Israel’s true king was never Saul, David or Nebuchadnezzar, Israel’s true king was always God (Is 44:6).
The same was true during the millennium. At the beginning of the millennium Palestine was ruled by pagan Roman Emperors, a fact that did not change until the conversion of Constantine in A.D. 312. Then in A.D. 637 the Islamic caliphate seized control of Jerusalem. But like Old Covenant Israel, New Covenant Israel’s true king is Jesus (Mt 21:5). This is because the Christian saints are themselves a kingdom, the kingdom of God. And the Kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom (Lk 17:20-21) with a spiritual king, Jesus (Mt 21:5). Throughout this thousand-years interval this spiritual kingdom of Christian saints demographically dominated Jerusalem and the rest of Palestine just as did Old Covenant, ethnic Jews prior to A.D. 70 regardless of whoever their earthly king was.
The parenthetical statement at the beginning of v. 5, “(The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended),” is not found in the earliest manuscript of Revelation 20:5. It is also omitted in roughly half of the manuscripts dating from the fourth to the thirteenth century (ℵ 2030 2053 2062 MajK syrp) (see The Reference to a Second Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead in V. 5 is Not Found in the Earliest Manuscripts (ℵ 2030 2053 2062 MajK syrp) and What if Revelation 20:5a was, in fact, in the Original Manuscript?).
Whether or not the parenthetical statement mentioned above was present in the original manuscript cannot be confidently affirmed or denied. However, with this statement removed, the idea of a first and second resurrection in the first century seems to make sense of all the seemingly contradictory verses related to the resurrection throughout the New Testament. For example, there appears to have been a resurrection of the twenty-four elders and the martyrs prior to the general resurrection.
Since both the righteous and wicked were raised together at the Great White Throne of Judgment (Matthew 25:31-46, Revelation 20:11-15), this implies that not all the saints were raised at the first resurrection. What evidence do we have to support a resurrection of the twenty-four elders and martyrs prior to the general resurrection? There is a surprising amount of Biblical evidence to support the idea of a resurrection to heaven of elders and martyrs prior to the general resurrection. In Revelation 20:4 we see “thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge.” Those given authority to judge appear to be those given authority to judge beside God at the general resurrection. And those given authority to judge presumably at the Great White Throne of Judgment appear to be, at least in part, the twenty-four elders who are seated on twenty-four thrones surrounding the throne of God (Revelation 4:2-4). The fact that these twenty-four elders are given authority to judge at the general resurrection is implied in Revelation 11:16-18:
And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying: “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. 18 The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small—and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”
Notice in the above vs. the twenty-four elders are “seated on their thrones before God.” These appear to be the same thrones set in place for “those given authority to judge” (Rev 20:4) at the first resurrection in Revelation 20:4-5. Also notice that these elders are already seated on these thrones prior to the general resurrection and destruction of Jerusalem since while seated on these thrones the elders say, “The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small—and for destroying those who destroy the earth (Revelation 11:18).” [Emphasis mine.]
We can also clearly see that the twenty-four elders were already present in heaven long before the general resurrection as they are seated before the throne of God at the time in which the Lamb opens the seven seals which set in motion the plagues of Revelation (Revelation 4:4; 5:5-8). How could these elders be seated before God in heaven if the resurrection to heaven had not yet occurred until the fall of Jerusalem? Clearly there must have been a literal resurrection prior to the general resurrection to explain this fact since the twenty-four elders are people, not heavenly angels.
Revelation 21:12-14 hints at the fact that the twenty-four elders are the twelve tribal patriarchs and the twelve disciples since the twelve gates of the New Jerusalem are named after each of the twelve tribal patriarchs and the twelve foundations of the New Jerusalem are named after the twelve disciples. In Matthew 19:28 Jesus promises that the twelve disciples will judge Israel presumably at the general resurrection: “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Here we see not only a likely reference to twelve of the twenty-four thrones mentioned in Revelation 4:2-4, 11:16-18 and 20:4-5, we also see that the disciples were to judge Israel seemingly at the time of the general resurrection. Furthermore, according to Church tradition all of the disciples except Judas and John were martyred. The fact that the twelve disciples were to judge Israel (Matthew 19:28) and nearly all twelve disciples were martyred makes sense of why it is the martyrs specifically who are named at the first resurrection according to Revelation 20:4-5.13
The twenty-four disciples and patriarchs were not the only ones implied to aid in the judgment at the general resurrection, other Christian worthies were also seemingly granted this right in Revelation 3:21. 1 Corinthians 6:2-3 also implies that at least some larger subset of the saints will also judge the earth at the general resurrection: “Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels?” This larger subset appears to be the martyrs as it is the martyrs who “came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” In v. 5 we see that this event is the first resurrection. From the context it seems that it is the Christian martyrs who are seated on the “thrones” of v. 4 since the martyrs are said to “reign” “with Christ a thousand years” later in the same verse. Thus it appears that these thrones are put in place for the Christian martyrs to reign together with the twenty-four elders. These “thrones” are also seemingly put in place so that those seated on them (i.e. the twenty-four elders and martyrs) are given “authority to judge” (v. 4).
The fact that a subset of saints was raised prior to the general resurrection in A.D. 70 makes sense of all the implicit references to resurrection or resurrection-like events prior to A.D. 70. Matthew 27:52-53 is a prime example: “The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.” The fact that there was a “first resurrection” prior to the general resurrection also makes sense of the fact that Ephesians 2:6 mentions a resurrection to heaven of at least some of the saints prior to the general resurrection: “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus[.]” Similarly, if there was not a resurrection of some of the righteous before the general resurrection, how is it that Paul knew “a man in Christ” who was “caught up to the third heaven” prior to the general resurrection (2 Corinthians 12:2)? John 5:24-26 may also hint at a first resurrection: “[A] time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.”14
The fact that there was a first resurrection of Christian martyrs and elders prior to the general resurrection also makes sense of Revelation 17:14: “They [the beast and the ten horns] will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.” Revelation 17:14 is a reiteration of Revelation 19:11-19 where “the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army (Revelation 19:19).” In Revelation 19:11-19 Jesus comes on the clouds with the army mentioned in Revelation 17:14 who are constituted at least in part with “his called, chosen and faithful followers” (Revelation 17:14). The fact that there are saints present with Jesus during His Parousia in Revelation 19:11-19 is implied by the fact that Jesus’ army is dressed in “fine linen” (Revelation 19:14) which “stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people” (Revelation 19:8). In Revelation 17:14 and 19:8-19 we see that when Jesus comes on the clouds in judgment, He does so, at least in part, in the presence of the saints. The fact that Jesus came on the clouds with an army of saints at the Parousia seems to imply the existence of a resurrection prior to the general resurrection. This earlier resurrection of the martyrs also sheds light on Cassius Dio’s and Suetonius’ combined description of what appears to be phantoms rising out of the earth at the sound of a trumpet in A.D. 66, shortly after Jesus appears to have been seen in the clouds over Israel with an army behind him (see Jesus, the Son of Man, was seen in the Clouds).15
7When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. 9They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them.
Preterism, A Revelation 20:7-9 Commentary: The Wars after Satan’s Release . . .
One thousand years after the initial appearance of Christ during the parousia in A.D. 66 and the subsequent defeat of the devil at the end of the Jewish War, described in Revelation 19:11-20:3, Satan was once again set loose.16 Immediately after his release between 1063 and 1099, Jerusalem, the city God loves, was involved in five wars,17 the last being the First Crusade—the Battle of Gog and Magog.18
Preterism Explained, A Revelation 20:7-9 Commentary: Gog and Magog are in Turkey. The Seljuk Turks, Gog, Seized Control of the former Territory of Israel in A.D. 1071 causing the First Crusade. Crusaders Launched Firebrands into Muslim-Occupied Jerusalem. This “Fire from Heaven” Resulted in the Conquest of Jerusalem by the Crusaders.
In Ezekiel 38:2, Gog is identified as the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, two cities in Turkey. After converting to Islam, the Seljuk Turks conquered Turkey (including Magog, Meshech and Tubal) and took control of Jerusalem in A.D. 1071. Their hostility to Christian pilgrims ignited a tidal wave in Europe causing the First Crusade in A.D. 1096. Immediately before this battle, the Christian population was expelled from Jerusalem by their Muslim conquerors.19 With the city now left virtually devoid of Christians, the crusaders arrived at Jerusalem and launched flaming arrows and other firebrands into the city. This “fire from heaven” is reminiscent of the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah and the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.20 Concerning the firebrands launched into the city of Jerusalem by the crusaders, Raymond d’ Aguiliers writes:
But when the machines were drawn near to the walls [of Jerusalem], they hurled not only stones and arrows, but also burning wood and straw. The wood was dipped in pitch, wax, and sulfur; then straw and tow were fastened on by an iron band, and, when lighted, these firebrands were shot from the machines. [They were] all bound together by an iron band, I say, so that wherever they fell, the whole mass held together and continued to burn. Such missiles, burning as they shot upward, could not be resisted by swords or high walls; it was not even possible for the defenders to find safety down behind the walls.21
In addition, archers fired flaming arrows into the city. Raymond d’ Aguiliers also writes, “This shower of fire drove the defenders from the walls.”22 Eventually the crusaders entered the city and the Muslims and Jews therein were massacred. The city was left virtually empty of people.23 Some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem were even killed by being cast into fire24 mirroring the punishment of Satan in the next verse. (For more details concerning the literal fulfillment of the Battle of Gog and Magog during the crusades see Ezekiel 38: A Preterist Commentary and Ezekiel 39: A Preterist Commentary.)
Revelation 20:9 Preterist Commentary: During the First Crusade, Seljuk Turks (Gog and Magog) “Surrounded” Christian-Occupied Antioch and “Fire” was LITERALLY said to come “down from Heaven and Devour” the Turks in Explicit Fulfillment of Revelation 20:9.
In Revelation 20:9 Gog and Magog are said to “surround the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them.” What is the city God loves in v. 9? If it is Jerusalem then we have discussed the fulfillment of this v. above during the first crusade. However, this could be any city since it is never explicitly identified (Jonah 4:11). Interestingly, v. 9 appears to have been fulfilled shockingly literally in the siege of Antioch (A.D. 1098) just prior to the Crusader’s siege of Muslim-occupied Jerusalem. Not long after the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, Antioch grew to become a chief center of early Christianity. After the Crusaders successfully seized this former bastion of Christianity, the Seljuk Turks (Gog and Magog) surrounded the city now occupied by the Crusaders and laid siege to it. Amidst the Turkish siege of Christian-occupied Antioch, Raymond of Aguilers says that fire came down from heaven upon the camp of the Seljuk Turks: “There appeared a fire in the sky, coming from the west, and it approached and fell upon the Turkish army, to the great astonishment of our men [the Crusaders] and of the Turks also. In the morning the Turks, who were all scared by the fire, took flight in panic.”25 Here we see how Gog and Magog “marched across the breath of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them.”26(Revelation 20:9.)
10And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
The Millennium is one of the most confusing aspects of eschatology. There are many different views concerning the millennium and each one of them up to this point is known to have demonstratable, fatal flaws. Much of this confusion and many of these problems may have never occurred if Revelation 21 began five verses earlier in Revelation 20:11.
When Revelation was originally written there were no chapter breaks. Chapters were added many years later by Christian editors. There was also no division in paragraphs, no punctuation, there weren’t even spaces between words. Revelation was literally a string of uninterrupted letters with no separation between words, sentences or paragraphs throughout the entire document! All of these divisions had to be added by subsequent translators. In light of this fact it is not surprising that chapter breaks often may not have fully followed John’s original intention. However, in order to avoid a multitude of contradictions, a chapter break to start a new vision should probably be placed after Revelation 20:10 to more clearly demarcate the start of a new vision thereby implying the fact that Revelation 20:11-15 immediately precedes Revelation 21. By placing a chapter break after Rev 20:10 would make it more obvious to the reader that John is beginning a new vision where John back tracks to discuss the Millennium in greater detail which was only briefly mentioned earlier.
The fact that John would discuss events at the end of the millennium and then turn the clock back 1000 years to discuss the beginning of the millennium between Revelation 20:10 and 11 should not be surprising. As shown throughout this commentary there are many times in which John predicts events and then back tracks to mention the very same events again while adding additional details to expound on these events with each retelling. In fact, a similar backtrack from the end to the start of the millennium previously occurs in Revelation 20 itself. In Revelation 20:3 Satan is said to be cast into the bottomless pit before he was to be released after 1000 years. Then in the following verse, John clearly backtracks 1000 years to mention the fact that the saints were to reign with Christ throughout this whole thousand-year period prior to Satan’s release. The same backtrack from the end of the millennium to its beginning seems to occur again a few verses later in Revelation 20:11. In Revelation 20:7-10 the release of Satan at the end of the millennium is discussed before the Great White Throne of Judgement is mentioned at the start of the millennium in Revelation 20:11-15. It is not surprising that John might backtrack to the beginning of the millennium when discussing the Great White Throne of Judgment between Revelation 20:10 and 20:11 when John clearly does the exact same thing between Revelation 20:3 and 20:4.
But doesn’t the fact that v. 11 begins with “then” imply that v. 11 occurs after v. 10? Yes, but only in the order in which John saw his vision, not necessarily in the order in which the events occurred. For example, Revelation 7:1 reads, “After [Meta] this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree.” The fulfillment of Revelation 7:1 could not follow that of Revelation 6 since Revelation 6 predicts the destruction of heaven and earth and Revelation 7 discusses the fact that the earth should not be harmed until the 144,000 are sealed. Here we see John backtracks between Revelation 6 and 7 and the “after” which begins Revelation 7:1 simply denotes the order in which John saw these distinct visions, not the order in which they transpired. The same is true between Revelation 20:10 and 11. This idea is made even more likely by the fact that Revelation 20:11 does not begin with “then” or “after,” rather Revelation 20:11 begins with kai which means “and.”
11Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Revelation 20:11 A Literal Millennial Reign Preterist Commentary: The Destruction of Heaven and Earth . . .
Verse 11 says that the “[e]arth and sky fled from his [God’s] presence, and there was no place for them.” This verse depicts the destruction of heaven and earth. This incidence of the destruction of heaven and earth in v. 11 appears to be the same one mentioned in Revelation 6:12-14 during the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.27
Literal Millenial Reign Preterism and the Great White Throne of Judgment: The Great White Throne of Judgment (GWTJ) Precedes the New Jerusalem Which IS the Millennial Reign. This idea Implies that the GWTJ was in A.D. 70, an Interpretation Confirmed by Mt 25:31-46.
Verses 11-15 describe the Great White Throne of Judgment. Here God sits on His throne and judges the righteous and casts the wicked into the lake of fire (v. 15). This judgment scene is also predicted in Matthew 25. In Matthew 25 Jesus comes in His glory with His mighty angels at the Parousia and sits on His throne (Mt 25:31). Jesus then separates the righteous (sheep) from the wicked (goats) while sentencing the wicked “to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (Mt 25:46) An identical judgment scene is depicted in Revelation 20:11-15 where the wicked are also judged by God and “thrown into the lake of fire.” (Rev 20:15) These two judgment scenes took place in A.D. 70 at the climax of the Parousia.28
In my commentary on Revelation 21 and 22 I present evidence that the New Jerusalem IS the Millennium. Also in “A Rebuttal of the Forty-Year Millennium,” I present overwhelming Scriptural evidence that the millennium could not have begun prior to A.D. 70. If the Millennium could not have begun before A.D. 70, and the New Jerusalem is the Millennium this implies that the Great White Throne of Judgment (Rev 20:11-15) probably took place in or around A.D. 70. The fact that the Great White Throne of Judgment can be shown to have occurred in A.D. 70 is consistent with the literal millennial reign view presented above as it immediately precedes a series of detailed predictions concerning the Millennium, the New Jerusalem of Revelation 21 and 22.
Answering Objections: How could the Millennium be the 1000 Year Reign of Christianity in Jerusalem if the Muslims ultimately won the Crusades?
How could the 1000-Year Reign be the thousand year interval in which Jerusalem and Palestine grew to become almost exclusively Christian between the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 to the first Crusade? Didn’t the Muslims ultimately win back Jerusalem by the thirteenth century? Remember that the Crusaders won the first Crusade, the battle of Gog and Magog. The fact that Christians won this Crusade but that Muslims ultimately took back Jerusalem and Palestine in the end explains why the Millennium is called the Thousand Year Reign and not the 1500 Year Reign, 2000 Year Reign or Eternal Reign.
In Revelation 21, John reveals the fate of the righteous. Here he sees the New Jerusalem. Could such a city exist right now? In the next chapter, John’s vision of the New Jerusalem will be compared with several commonly reported near death experiences.
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Interested in THE PRETERIST VIEW OF ESCHATOLOGY, or are you a PRETERIST struggling with a prophecy or verse? It DID happen just like the Bible says! If you liked this essay, see PRETERIST BIBLE COMMENTARY for a detailed explanation of the FULFILLMENT OF ALL MAJOR END TIME PROPHECIES IN THE BIBLE. The more unbelievable the prophecy, the more amazing and miraculous the fulfillment! Also see Historical Evidence that Jesus was LITERALLY SEEN in the Clouds in the First Century.
For an explanation of how the end of the age and its fulfillment during the Jewish War mirror Genesis 1-3; how the Bible teaches that the resurrection of the dead is a resurrection of heavenly bodies to heaven, not a resurrection of perfected earthly bodies; and how the resurrection is a mirror opposite of the fall see How the Jewish War and Resurrection to Heaven Mirror Genesis and the Fall; and How Preterism fixes the Age of the Earth Problem and unravels the Mysteries in Genesis. Previous Next
Preterist Commentary on Revelation 20: Conclusion
Revelation 20 is a stumbling block for many Preterists. Preterist attempts to understand this chapter often result in questionable exegesis. Partial Preterists will often assert that the thousand year reign is two thousand years and counting while Full Preterists often claim that this thousand year period is not literal and may only be a couple years long. History confirms a more literal reading of these prophecies. As emphasized in this Preterist commentary on Revelation 20, there literally was a thousand year reign of Christianity in Jerusalem before Islam became the dominant religion in the region. Previous Next
A Literal Millennial Reign Preterist Commentary on Revelation 20
- Raymond of Aguilers, pp. 72-5; Gesta Francorum, pp. 57-8, 62; Fulcher of Chartes, pp. 242-6, cited in Thomas Asbridge, The First Crusade A New History: The Roots of Conflict Between Christianity and Islam (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), 218-219.
- See Deuteronomy 28:15-68: A Preterist Commentary.
- Thomas A. Idinopulas, Jerusalem Blessed, Jerusalem Cursed: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the Holy City from David’s Time to Our Own (Chicago: Ivan R. Deer, 1991), 102.
- M. Avi-Yonah, The Jews of Palestine: A Political History from the Bar Kokhba War to the Arab Conquest (New York: Schocken Books, 1976), 16.
- Teddy Kollek and Moshe Pearlman, Jerusalem: A History of Forty Centuries (New York: Random House, 1968), 140.
- Ibid., 149.
- Ibid., 201.
- Ibid., 152.
- Dan Bahat and Shalom Sabar, Jerusalem, Stone and Spirit: Three Thousand Years of History and Art (New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 1998), 108.
- Lynn Louise Schuldt, Prophecy Paradox: The Care for a First Century End Time, 2nd ed., revised (Concord, CA: Son Mountain Press, 2002), 227, 305-306.
- “There is a tradition in the house of Elias, that the righteous, whom the holy blessed God shall raise from the dead, shall not return again to the dust, but for the space of a thousand years, in which the holy blessed God shall renew the world, they shall have wings like the wings of eagles, and shall fly above the waters.” (Sanhedrin, fol. 92.) A similar belief is recorded by Plato and Virgil. The Greeks and Romans believed the departed who went to Hades were confined there for a thousand years after having paid ten times over for every sin they ever committed before they were finally absolved and released. (Republic of Plato, Book X) What is Hades? Hades is a Greek word for the underworld or afterlife. The authors of the New Testament, of course, also often called the realm of the departed Hades (Matthew 11:23; 16:18; Luke 10:15; 16:23; Acts 2:27, 31; Revelation 1:18; 6:8; 20:13, 14). The ancient Greeks understood Hades to be partitioned into three parts one of which is called Tartarus. Tartarus is said to be a deep abyss that is used as a dungeon of torment similar to the abyss mentioned in v. 3. Interestingly, Satan also appears to be confined to the Hadean abyss of Tartarus for a thousand years before he is released according to Revelation 20:1-3. See Is the Casting of Satan into Hell a Mirror Opposite of Christ’s Ascension into Heaven?.
- I believe that Satan was cast from heaven to earth in A.D. 66 and was imprisoned in the Abyss in A.D. 79. However, I believe that the Thousand-Year Reign probably began in A.D. 70.
- What about John? According to church tradition John did not die until the end of the first century and thus could not be present in heaven with the rest of the 23 elders. But is this true? I believe it is true that John did not die until after A.D. 70. But this idea does not seem to refute the notion that the twenty-four elders are comprised at least in part by the twelve disciples? Remember the first resurrection was stated to be a resurrection of the martyrs. John does not say the first resurrection is a resurrection of the elders. This language appears to be intentional as the Apostle John was the only disciple who was not martyred according to Church tradition and thus at least one of the twenty-four elders was not a part of the first resurrection. Yet in spite of the fact that John did not die prior to A.D. 70, this did not seem to preclude John from seeming to have taken his seat among the twenty-four elders in Revelation.
Revelation 4:1-2 shows John taken up to heaven and being placed in front of the throne of God where the twenty-four elders are also said to be: “After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” 2 At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.” Then when John sees that no one was worthy to open the scroll he is told by an elder not to worry that the Lamb is worthy to open the scroll:
5 Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” 3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” 6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders.
Notice that an elder speaks to John in v. 5. This elder is presumably one of the twenty-four elders as no other elder is mentioned in this setting. If an elder speaks to John in this setting this seems to imply that John is present near this elder at this time. But the elders still appear to be seated on their thrones around God at this time. This implies to me that John, though still alive, is present in heaven seated on his throne as one of the twenty-four elders at the time these events unfolded in spite of the fact that John had not yet died and been raised.
It is also interesting that after the fall of Jerusalem the twenty-four elders fall down to worship God again (Revelation 19:4). Of course, because this is a vision of the future, John could not be presently seated at that time with the elders since this event was to take place in the future. But because it was a future event, it could have taken place after John’s death and resurrection. And thus John could have seen himself seated on one of those thrones at that time. But what is interesting about this event is that Revelation 19:9 then depicts John also falling down to worship at the feet of the angel at the same time as he sees the elders fall down and worship. It is curious that John just so happens to fall down and worship at the very same time as the twenty-four elders. I think the fact that John mimics the actions of the twenty-four elders at the time in which they fall down in worship may be a subtle hint to the reader that John was himself one of these twenty-four elders.
- The idea that there was a resurrection of worthies prior to the general resurrection also makes sense of the fact that throughout Revelation there appears to be resurrections before and after the plagues of Revelation.
Revelation 12:7-11 may also imply the existence of a resurrection prior to the general resurrection as well as offering a possible explanation as to why this first resurrection might have taken place. In Revelation 12:7 there is a war in heaven and Michael and his army cast Satan out of heaven. Revelation 12:11 then seems to imply that the saints were present in Michael’s army since the saints are said to triumph over Satan and not “shrink from death” as if the saints’ victory over Satan was won by a life-and-death battle in heaven: “They [the saints] triumphed over him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” Did the first resurrection populate the army Michael led to defeat Satan in heaven? Remember the army Jesus led on the clouds of heaven was also populated, at least in part, by the saints.
It is also possible that the martyrs and twenty-four elders were raised prior to the general resurrection so that they could judge the dead with God at the general resurrection? It would seem that those given authority to judge at the general resurrection would have to be raised sometime prior to the resurrection of wicked at the general resurrection in order to be able to do this. How could the saints judge at the general resurrection if they are raised at the exact same time as those they were given authority to judge? As plausible as this explanation may seem, Matthew 12:41-42 greatly undermines this idea. In Matthew 12:41-42 the Queen of the South and the men of Nineveh are said to “rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it.” Here we see what seems like the righteous condemning or judging the wicked even though they seem to be raised at the same time or very close to the same time as these evil doers.
It is also possible that the saints judge the dead by God answering their prayers for vengeance in Revelation 6:10. Revelation 20:4 reads, “I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge.” Most of the martyrs are implied to be standing before the throne of God, not seated on thrones, according to Revelation 7:9, 14. However, the fact that these martyrs are standing before the throne does not preclude them from sitting on thrones to judge the dead. Revelation 3:21 reads, “To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.”
- The notion of a mass resurrection appears to be a consequence of the forgiveness of the sins of the Law (Hebrews 9:15). If this idea is true it would be odd for another resurrection to exist after A.D. 70.
- As stated in the body of the text, the possible binding of Satan in Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79 is recorded in Cassius Dio Roman History 66.22. Approximately 1000 years after this binding, Mt. Vesuvius erupted again in A.D. 1073. Could this be a sign of the release of Satan?
- Nick Ford, Jerusalem Under Muslim Rule in the Eleventh Century: Christian Pilgrims Under Islamic Government, first ed. (New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc., 2004), 11.
- Nikolas Jaspert, The Crusades, trans. Phyllis G. Jestice (New York: Routledge, 2006), 45. The symbolism of the earth representing Israel and the sea, the foreign nations is also found in Revelation 20:8. The former kingdom of Israel was roughly rectangular; thus the four corners of the earth may represent the foreign nations beginning at Israel’s four corners. These foreign/Gentile nations representing the Muslim Seljuk Turkish Empire were deceived by Satan in v. 8 to conquer Israel and prevent Christian pilgrimages. This act incited the Crusades.
- Bahat and Shalom Sabar, Jerusalem, Stone and Spirit: Three Thousand Years of History and Art (New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 1998), 115.
- Jerusalem is called Sodom in this verse because she is also destroyed by fire from heaven as is implied in Revelation 8:7, 9:18, 11:5, 11:8 and 13:13.
- August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants (Princeton: 1921), cited in “ 5. Version of Raymond d’ Aguiliers” in http://www.ordotempli.org/seige_of_jerusalem.htm (12/27/2006).
- Bahat and Shalom Sabar, Jerusalem, Stone and Spirit: Three Thousand Years of History and Art (New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 1998), 115.
- August. C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants (Princeton: 1921), cited in “ 5. Version of Raymond d’ Aguiliers” in http://www.ordotempli.org/seige_of_jerusalem.htm (12/27/2006).
- Raymond of Aguilers, pp. 72-5; Gesta Francorum, pp. 57-8, 62; Fulcher of Chartes, pp. 242-6, cited in Thomas Asbridge, The First Crusade A New History: The Roots of Conflict Between Christianity and Islam (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), 218-219.
Just as an angelic army was seen in AD. 66 at the start of Israel’s Revolt with Rome, a similar specter or vision was seen by the Crusaders during the siege of Antioch. An eyewitness to this siege wrote the following:
[T]here came out of the mountains, also, countless armies with white horses, whose standards were all white. And so, when our leaders saw this army, they were greatly ignorant as to what it was, and who they were, until they recognized the aid of Christ, whose leaders were St George, Mercurius and Demetrius. This is to be believed, for many of our men saw it. (Raymond of Aguilers, p. 82; Gesta Francorum, p. 69, cited in Thomas Asbridge, The First Crusade A New History: The Roots of Conflict Between Christianity and Islam (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), 239.)
I believe in both cases Christ was at the head of these armies just as was believed by the Crusaders who saw the army in white (see Jesus, the Son of Man, was LITERALLY Seen in the Clouds in A.D. 66).
- Many preterists believe that the destruction of heaven and earth mentioned in vs. 11-14 is the same destruction of heaven and earth that had occurred during the Jewish War. Many of these preterists therefore believe that the 1000 year period mentioned in Revelation 20 is not literal. They often cite other examples in the Bible in which the number one thousand is not used literally in order to bolster this idea. The problem with this exegesis is that if the 1000 year interval in Revelation 20 is not literal, the chapter seems unintelligible.
- The first resurrection mentioned in Rev 20:4 cannot be limited to just Christian martyrs as Daniel is said to be raised at the end of the age in Daniel 12. Furthermore, the rest of the dead mentioned in Rev 20:5 assuming this sentence was present in the original manuscript cannot just be the wicked as the same judgment scene presented in Rev 20 is also predicted in Matthew 25:31-46. And in Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus judges both the righteous and wicked at His Parousia just as is said to occur in Rev 20:11-15. If the first resurrection is not limited to Christian martyrs and the wicked are also judged at that time, who are the rest of the dead in Revelation 20:5? The Bible is silent on this question. However, at the first resurrection the saints are raised to life for a thousand years and the wicked are sent back to the Abyss/lake of fire for what seems to be this same thousand years. At the end of this thousand year period, Satan is released. Do the rest of the dead who are raised at the end of the millennium consist in part of these wicked people who were cast into the Abyss one thousand years earlier? Interestingly, the Greeks understood that the wicked were sent to Tartarus for a thousand years. Tartarus is the Abyss/lake of fire (Peter 2:4).
you might want to note that the Ark of the Covenant was in Jerusalem for 1000 years before Christ was born. Also the Temple itself had existed in some form for a 1000 years when the Romans burned it down. On 18 October 1009, Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah actually damaged the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem in violation of a treaty which eventually set off the crusades. so your 1000 years is a bit short, esp. since the church is only from the fourth century. You may want to reconsider your 1000 years.
James, I am not sure how the existence of the Temple or the Ark for a 1000 yrs has anything to do with Revelation 20–esp since after the destruction of the first temple by the Babylonians there existed a substantial amount of time in which there was no Temple. The Crusades were ultimately set off by the molestation of Christian pilgrims by the Seljuk Turks what happened before this (1009 A.D.) though perhaps contributing to European anger could not be the sole trigger that set off the Crusades. I do not know what you mean by the Church being “only from the 4th century.” The Christian church dates back to Christ. After the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70 the Mosaic Law ended and the New Covenant was firmly set in place. From this point on marks the start of the millennial kingdom. The millennial kingdom is the thousand year period in which Jerusalem grew to become a nearly exclusively Christian city. This Christianized Jerusalem is the earthly referent or refection of the New Jerusalem of Rev 21 and 22.
There is a problem with your theory 70 AD – 1070 AD millennial kingdom. See Rev 20 mentioned about thrones (many throne) in heaven i will assumed that 24 elders (Rev 4:4) so if 12 of them represents 12 tribes of Israel and other 12 represents 12 apostle of Christ then your theory will be in problem because the last apostle didn’t die until very end of 1st century.
I propose new theory that 1000 years kingdom started after the beast (allah 666) appear then tribulation started at 7th century. Millennial kingdom started in heaven when soul resurrect (Rev 20) and the earthly symbol is when Christian conquer Jerusalem at 1099 AD. We add that with 1000 years we got 2099 as due date. Christian start the earthly kingdom (symbol) and end when Israel control Jerusalem which both people are holy people of book Revelation.
Donal I do not see this as a problem for my view. Recall that John sees a vision of heaven in Rev 4-5 in which he sees Jesus, teh slain lamb, open the sealed scrolls. This was an event that occurred just after Jesus’ ascension into heaven in Acts 1. Or in the very least sometime prior to A.D. 70 since the opening of teh seven seals all culminated in the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Thus it does not appear that the twenty four elders are the disciples since they are enthroned in A.D. 33. Even if teh twenty four elders are in part the 12 disciples this is still not a problem because the thrones mentioned in Revelation 20 need not refer to the 24 elders since Paul says that the saints as a whole will be enthroned to judge at the heavenly judgment. I cor 6:3 reads,
These thrones seem to simply refer to the first century saints as a whole. There is no reason to assume that this is just the 24 elders.
It must be remembered that all prophets were fulfilled before AD 70. The 1000 yr reign cannot occur past AD 70. Thus the placing of the 1000 yr reign beyond AD 70 is excluded. The Old Covenant did not extend past AD 70.
Alonzo, the thousand year reign is not the Old Covenant. This ended in A.D. 70, it is the first thousand years of the Messianic kingdom, the New Jerusalem. Here is a rhetorical question: Was the kingdom of God fulfilled by A.D. 70? Or did it not truly take hold after the destruction of the Temple?
I recently came across your site Adam. Some interesting reading.
I don’t think that the 1000 year reign is literal – the 144k were drawn from the 12 tribes in the 1st century – John calls them firstfruits unto the lamb
(Rev 14:4 KJV) These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
(James 1:18 KJV) Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
James is addressing as “firstfruits” the believers among the 12 tribes:
(James 1:1 KJV) James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
(Rev 20:4 KJV) …. and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
The 144k ” lived and reigned with Christ a thousand year” – so how could the 144k live for a literal 1000 years?
(Rev 7:14 KJV) And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
I’ve been “Full Preterist” for around 2 years after battling with Don Preston’s book “Who is this Babylon” for a year and eventually losing to the guy 🙂
Hi Mac, I believe the saints live and reign with Christ on earth and in heaven after the resurrection. It is in heaven that I believe they can be said to live as long as this thousand year interval: “I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They[a] had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.” Here one can see that this 1000 year reign is marked by the resurrection (to heaven). Regards!
Yes Mac. I’ve read Don Preston’s book too …”who is this babylon’….excellent read. I’ve been a ‘full preterist for around 6 years. Preston really opened this up to me and others also but he seems well researched…THis site is interesting but I think Preston can dispell the literal thousand year reign. I know it does seem that daniel here on his site has researched also but i agree with you on this. and I would just encourage daniel to read some of prestons stuff. It would be great if all of us preterists can agree on this and finally destroy the crazy futurist stuff thats been going around scaring people for many years now
Hi Mike, I have read many of Don Preston’s books and cite several of them throughout these commentaries. I have also read “Who is this Babylon” as well. Did you read my critique of the portion of this book that deals with the 40-year Millenium view? I critique his “most compelling” arguments in this page. Regards!
I am a bit confused with this article. Are you saying that the start of the crusades is what Rev 20:7-10 is referring? If so, are you not putting the Crusaders in the place of Gog and Magog? If I am reading it wrong, please correct me. Thanks.
Hi Joshua, So the Seljuk Turks conquered Israel then as the Crusaders were closing in on Jerusalem, the Fatimids from Egypt took control of the city and sought terms for peace. This was rejected by the Crusaders and they besieged and took Jerusalem. I believe Gog is teh Muslim armies during the first crusade beginning initially with the Seljuks, not the crusaders who came later.
Ah, ok. Thanks for the explanation.
THE INFERIOR TIME
The English word usually translated “little” from the Greek in Revelation 20 vs. 3 has no definite article in front of it. It can equally be translated “inferior,” which put a whole new connotation on Satan’s release. Thus nothing is said of its duration. We have no indication of the time-duration after the Gog-Magog gathering with the Spirit coming down and consuming (Rev. 20:9b) the gathered nations, and the time when Satan being thrown down in the lake of fire. From post 1071 AD history, this time has been inferior to the previous mentioned 1000 years where Satan was bound; and the specified risen Saints reign with Christ; and as pointed out Jerusalem was primarily occupied by Christians, and not so occupied since.
The time when Satan is thrown into the lake of fire, mankind is clueless. Nothing is said or prophesied of that event timing or events preceding it. Only the Father knows when the old earth is destroyed.
However, the post-Nicaea Catholic Church when Emperor Constantine was shoring up the christian dialog to conform with a perceived righteous empire, verses after Revelation 20:9 but before Rev. 20:10 may have been eliminated. Or concealed in the bowels of the Vatican. An anathema if true.
From the crusades to the current Islamic terror, the time has indeed been inferior.