By Dr. Edward Hindson Assistant to the Chancellor – Liberty University May 2005 edition of the National Liberty Journal,
The Second Coming of Christ is one of the fundamental doctrines of Scripture. Jesus emphatically said, “I will come again” (John 14:3). The questions raised by believers over the centuries have always been “When?” and “How?” The answers to these questions divide Christians into various views of eschatology (“last things”). Some believe He will come before the Tribulation. Some believe He’ll return during it; and some after it. Some believe He will come at the end of the Church Age and some think He will come after the millennium.
One of the most bizarre interpretations of eschatology is the view that He has already come back! No, I’m not talking about the Jehovah’s Witnesses who think Jesus returned in 1914. I’m talking about a viewpoint called Preterism, which teaches that Jesus returned in AD 70 when the Roman army destroyed Jerusalem.
You may be thinking that no sensible person really believes that Jesus already came back. Well, it may surprise you to know that Preterism is experiencing a new wave of interest these days thanks to the encouragement of popular radio personalities like R.C. Sproul and Hank Hanegraaff. Sproul openly admits he is a “partial preterist” and Hanegraaff claims he is seriously considering it.
I have watched various eschatologies come and go over the past 40 years. Some last a few weeks (like “88 Reasons the Rapture will be in 1988”) and some a few years (like the fast-fading so-called “Pre Wrath view”). But none have had more insidious implications than Preterism – the idea that Jesus already came back and we missed it! In fact, the Bible warns us: “there shall come scoffers in the last days…saying, where is the promise of his coming” (II Peter 3:3-4).
What is Preterism?
The term preterist is Latin for “past.” Thus, preterists believe that Bible prophecy was fulfilled in the past. Therefore, they view the major prophetic passages of Scripture, such as the Olivet Discourse and the Book of Revelation, as already fulfilled. Preterism is the exact opposite of Futurism, which views these major biblical prophecies as being fulfilled in the future.
Extreme preterists, who prefer to call themselves “consistent preterists,” hold that all Bible prophecy was fulfilled in AD 70 with the destruction of Jerusalem. They view this event as the Second Coming of Christ and reject any belief in a future return of Christ. Thus, they deny a future bodily resurrection of believers and a literal return of Christ to earth. Extreme preterists believe we are already in the “New Heavens!” Their view is not only ludicrous, but it is also heretical and places them outside the parameters of biblical orthodoxy.
Moderate preterists, like R.C. Sproul, claim they still believe in a future Second Coming, but still insist on interpreting the Olivet Discourse and the Book of Revelation as basically already fulfilled in the past. As a result, they reject such basic concepts as: Rapture of the Church; Literal Seven Year Tribulation Period; Literal Antichrist; Conversion of Israel; Battle of Armageddon; 1000-year Millennium; Future Binding of Satan.
In contrast to the basic beliefs of premillennialism, moderate preterists believe that God is finished with biblical Israel. They see no prophetic future for national Israel. The fact that the State of Israel exists today is blamed on an “accident of history” perpetrated by “ignorant premillennialists” who supported the Balfour Declaration that eventually led to the formation of the modern state of Israel in 1948. While most preterists would insist they are not anti-Semitic, their theology certainly leans in that direction. One of the symbols of the current preterist movement is an artist’s rendering of the smoldering ashes of Jerusalem in AD 70, as though they are rejoicing in the destruction of the Holy City.
As a rule, moderate preterists tie their belief system to a postmillennial vision in which the church becomes the new “Israel” and must bring in the Kingdom on earth in order to prepare the world for the return of Christ. Most preterists believe the following:
1. Nero was the Antichrist. There will be no future individual Antichrist.
2. The Tribulation Period is already over. It occurred when the Roman army besieged Jerusalem in AD 66-70.
3. Christ “returned” in the clouds in AD 70 to witness the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman army.
4. God replaced Old Testament Israel with the Church. Therefore, all the biblical promises to Israel belong to the Church.
5. Armageddon already happened in AD 70. The fall of “Babylon” refers to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans.
6. Satan is already bound in the abyss and cannot hinder the spread of the Gospel. Revelation 20 has already been fulfilled.
7. We are already in the Millennium, but it is not literal. Some preterists equate the entire Church Age as the Millennium. The 1,000 years are not literal but figurative, even though they are mentioned six times in Revelation 19-20.
The basic assumptions of preterism rest on passages that refer to Christ coming “quickly” (Revelation 1:1), or “this generation will not pass” (Matthew 24:34). They insist these must be related to and limited to the first century. By contrast, premillennialists believe that Christ’s coming is imminent and; therefore, could occur at any moment. Darrell Bock of Dallas’ Theological Seminary counters the preterist view, observing: “What Jesus is saying is that the generation that sees the beginning of the end, also sees its end. When the signs come, they will proceed quickly; they will not drag on for many generations. It will happen within a generation.”
Preterists insist they are defending the Bible by making its prophecies fulfilled in the past. That way, they can’t be accused of making false assumptions about the future. In other words, their interpretive methodology might be called: “back up and punt!” By confining predictive prophecy to a past fulfillment they eliminate any real need for eschatology. However, their fallacious reasoning and flimsy logic leaves them supporting a series of ridiculous conclusions that fly in the face of the whole history of biblical interpretation.
For example, the idea that Satan is already “bound” is clearly contradicted by Peter’s statement: “the devil, as a roaring lion, wanders about seeking whom he may devour” (I Peter 5:8). The Apostle Paul refers to Satan as the “prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). One would have a difficult time convincing Peter and Paul that Satan was already bound by the power of the cross. If Satan is bound today, why are the nations still deceived?
If we are already in the Millennium, why is there still war in the world? When did the lion lay down with the lamb? And when did the nations beat their weapons into plowshares? If the 1,000 years are only symbolic, then is the reign of Christ only symbolic? If God broke His everlasting covenant with Israel, how do we know He will not break His covenant of everlasting life with us?
If God is finished with ethnic Israel, why did Paul ask: “Has God cast away his people?” And why did he respond so emphatically, “God forbid!” (Romans 11:1)? Why did Paul ask of Israel, “Have they stumbled that they should fall?” And why did he respond again: “God forbid!” (Romans 11:11)? Why did Paul state that “blindness in part has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles comes” (Romans 11:25)? Why did he believe, “all Israel shall be saved” (Romans 11:26) if God is already finished with Israel?
If the Church replaces Israel and becomes the Kingdom of God on earth, why did the disciples ask Jesus at the ascension: “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). That was the perfect opportunity for Jesus to tell the disciples that He was finished with Israel and that they were the new “Israel.” But He did not! He simply told them it was not for them to know that time which the Father has predetermined for Israel to have the kingdom (Acts 1:7).
Theologian Tom Ice writes: “Because of the current spread of preterism, pastors and teachers need to be prepared to defend orthodox eschatology from this attack.” Those who believe that Christ already came back in AD 70 can hardly obey our Lord’s command to “keep watching” until He comes (Matthew 24:42).
Preterism rests on a faulty hermeneutic and raises serious concerns for sincere students of Scripture. Consider the following; Preterism:
1. Destroys the Literal Meaning of the Bible. Once you start arguing that the language of prophecy cannot be taken literally, you are not that far removed from not taking the rest of the Bible literally either. Preterists are following the dangerous path of liberalism which began denying predictive prophecy and soon rejected the literal interpretation of creation, the flood, the virgin birth of Christ, His vicarious death and bodily resurrection.
2. Distorts the Promise of the Second Coming. Placing the return of Christ in the past robs the Church of a confident expectation about the future. We are left on earth trying to “make the best of it” without any real hope of divine intervention. It leaves the Church trying to “bring in the Kingdom” without the King.
3. Diminishes the Hope of the Believer. Preterism negates the biblical commands to “watch” and “be ready” for the coming of Christ. It limits those injunctions to the first century believers prior to AD 70. In fact, it limits every biblical command related to the return of Christ. The phrase “until He comes” would have to be limited to AD 70. How can we “build the church” (Matthew 16:18) or “occupy until he comes.” In fact, how do we celebrate the communion service to “show forth the Lord’s death until he comes” (I Corinthians 11:26)? Should we stop celebrating the Lord’s Supper because He already came in AD 70?
4. Deprives Israel of Her Future. Preterists insist that God is finished with Israel. Many of them teach that it is actually Jesus who breaks the covenant with Israel in Daniel 9:26-27. In essence, Preterism pits Jesus against Israel and therefore smacks of anti-Semitism. Preterists actually teach that the “Babylon” of Revelation 17-18 is Jerusalem! Therefore, the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70 represents Christ’s ultimate triumph over unbelief.
5. Denies the Power of Christ. While most preterists would insist they are defending the power of Christ, they are actually denying it. They are trying to “bring in the Kingdom” without the King. And might I add, they are fighting a losing battle! Christianity is under attack like never before. We are not winning the battle for world dominion and we never will. Yes, the church will continue to grow (Matthew 16:18), but so will the resistance of Satan (1 Timothy 4:1). God will continue to do marvelous things in this world. But the Church will never bring the Kingdom of Heaven to earth until the King of Heaven returns in person.
What do YOU think ?
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Date: 15 May 2006
Needs a little work, Dr.Hindson, unless you are preaching to your inner circle of A-men followers. If you move the circle out a little farther, You might gets questions that you don’t want to answer. And also, The Body of Christ is ‘The Way’, who at one time followed all of the Old Covenant system worship practices, until there was no Temple to worship at, except, within the Temple of Body of Christ under the New Covenant.It is you who preaches to see the Old Covenant Age return with blood sacrifices and the anulment of the final scrifice of Jesus Christ the Messiah. You should also, stop looking at and spouting the distortions of the ‘Theologian’, Thomas Ice and talk to and/or debate some real believers of Covenant Eschatoloy. And why ‘paint’ with such a wide brush (to cover your warped theology?)Hank Hanegraaff and R. C. Sproul into into the Full Preterist ‘camp’? Guilt by assosiaction or is it because they are writers of better coherant books concerning Scripture and Theology
Date: 16 May 2006
Mr Hindson has a confused understanding of full preterism. He should make a better study of it before he starts writing articles about it.
Date: 22 May 2006
If everything in scripture is to be taken literally, then why aren’t Christians following Mark 16:17-18?
Date: 07 Jun 2006
Where do i begin? This person teaches theology? Oh I forgot, the head of his department literally threw the Da Vinci Code book from a pulpit. I guess Liberty will start to burn books the next time a work of fiction becomes popular. Sir you need to start using the Audience relevance hermenutic. Who was the Lord addressing in Matthew 24? compare Luke 21 and Mark 13 with Matt 24 and you will understand that the Lord was speaking about Jerusalem in the 1st century. Please stop interpreting the book of Revelation apart from the OT. John used over 400 symbols or references of the OT to explain Revelation.(Ex. Rev 7: 1/Ezk 7:1-2). What are the Four Corners that John refers to? Jerusalem!
Date: 18 Jun 2006
I know that Ed Hinson is a pre-trib dispensationalist and therefore his biblical philosophy is flawed from beginning to end.
Date: 17 Sep 2006
I find yuour interpretation interesting and helpful.
I believe that each generation lives in its own end times all the time. Who knows when his or her end will be? Each genertion experiences wars, famines, earth quakes, false prophets, persecutions. AD 70 did not equal the Holocaust, or the plagues of the Middle Ages or the ones in the 1918’s, or the 10 million killed during World War II. There have been worse times since AD 70, believe me! It was the end of the age for the Jewish nation, but it was not the end of the age for all ages. That is still to come. And it will likely come when rouge nations like N Korea, Iran, and others, will start throwing their weapons of mass destruction around. Then you will see the War of Armegeddon. It is still to come. We can see it developing vefore our very eyes. Let’s also remember that Christ has come and is alreadh with us. If we sepnd as much time seeking His presence now as we do projecting it sometime in the future, we would be along msuch further in bring about the kingdom of God on earth.
Date: 09 Oct 2006
Matthew 24:15-16 – Therefore when you see the “abomination of desolation” spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place, Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Mark 13:14 – So when you see the “abomination of desolation”, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, then letthose who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Luke 21:20-21 – But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its “desolation” is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains…..
All of these accounts were written to describe the destruction of Jerusalem. Matthew 24 “abomination of desolation is taken as the antiChrist. Luke 21 states that the abomination of desolation or “desolation” in his account says ARMIES! The Roman army surrounded Jerusalem in her LAST DAYS” As you read through the New Testament, you start hearing new phrases to tell the people in that time, that “the time was at hand” or “the time is near”! If you want to take things literal. Ask yourself, what does these phrases mean. 1000 years later or very soon. A.D 70 the destruction of Jerusalem. If it was meant later, “the time is near” or “the time is at hand” would not refer to 1,930 years later. That is not “near” or “at hand”. LITERALLY Speaking!
Date: 31 Oct 2006
While I don’t believe in the Preterist point of view, I commend you for allowing both sides to be heard on your website. Needless to say there are few that would do that. Thank you…..
Date: 15 Jan 2007
You should take a look at the historical view of Matthew 24,and ask yourself two questions. Was Christ exaggerating when he often said “this generation”? And did those exact events happen a few decades latter with Titus’ destruction of Jerusalem? I say yes, absolutely!
Date: 27 Feb 2007
“Destroys the Literal Meaning of the Bible. ”
While I am currently subscribe to Dr. Hindson’s view I have to say it has always bothered me how we take the plain reading of Jesus’ teaching during the Olivet Discourse and transform it to a future generation thousands of years later when that doesn’t seem to be what the text plainly says. I am currently struggling with this.
Date: 18 Oct 2007
THE NEW LAST DAYS SCOFFERS WRITTEN BY ED HINDSON IS A MASTERPIECE.OF COURSE NARROW MINDED CRITICS ARE GOING TO ATTACK HIM DUE TO A MYRIAD OF REASONS.MAINLY IT IS BIBLE IGNORANCE AND JEALOUSY.I ALSO SUPPORT ED’S MINISTRY/
Date: 13 May 2008
I hate to put it this way, but this man just isn’t too bright!
And why is it that Futurists always demand that Preterists prove they’re right, by first assuming the Futurist position that everything has to happen THE WAY the Futurists claim?! “You say you’re right, Mr Preterist! But in order to prove that you are right, you must first assume that my position is right and prove me wrong from that position!” Huh?!? Duh!!!
Now as to his claim of a “literal view”, does he also believe that Jesus is going to ride down from Heaven with a sword sticking out of His mouth?! No, of course he doesn’t! But he will demand that we believe that it’s a literal horse in the same passage, thereby contradicting himself!
And as for his claim that Preterists are the scoffers that Peter spoke of, how is it that Futurists are so foolish, that they think that no one scoffed until today?! After all, noting scoffers of Christ as a sign of the last days is ridiculous, unless it’s just starting to happen! Otherwise, all days are the last days! It was only in the 1st century, that it could have been the first time that scoffers of Christ appeared! Fact!
And the truth is, that Peter was RESPONDING to a church writing to him and telling him that people were scoffing! And he wrote back to them and told them that in the LAST DAYS, scoffers would be on the scene. This tells us plainly, that he was telling them that THEY were in the last days, since he was responding to their claim that scoffers HAD COME, saying “Where is He?!” and wanting to know why Jesus hadn’t returned yet.
Now they key here is to ask why they would be scoffing? Simple! They knew what Jesus said! “This generation shall not pass…”. And how did they know? The church there was evangelizing and told them that! They were taught this, as were the other churches. And to say they were all wrong, is to say that both Jesus and the Apostles were wrong and that we today know better than they did and that is simple vanity and arrogance!
And no, Jesus did not say that He had no idea when it would happen. He said specifically that no one knew the exact day, nor the hour within that day. Futurists change those words into, “I have no idea when and it could be thousands of years!”. And if that church weren’t taught by Peter that Jesus would come in that same generation, then why would they have written to him about it? They would have just told the scoffers, “Hey, who said He’s supposed to be back any time soon?!”. But instead, they wrote to Peter, because they didn’t know how to answer and they were having a concern. So Peter wrote back to them, assuring them that these scoffers were actually proof that Jesus was going to return soon, since they were a sure sign that they were in the last days! Jesus said… “THIS GENERATION”!
And Futurists need to stop reading the Bible as if the clock started ticking the day they happened to open one for the first time! And they need to stop reading the word “now” and thinking, “Oh, that means right now!”. No! It means when the writer wrote it! They wouldn’t treat any other text that way and yet they claim to be honest and to believe the Bible? That is of course, until the Bible happens to interfere with their doctrine. Then they’ll tell us how the Apostles were wrong about the when and yet hypocritically say that the Bible is inerrant.
Anything to make their doctrine right in their minds!
It is just as the writer of Hebrews said: Hebrews 1:1-21) God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2) has IN THESE LAST DAYS spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds. No Futurists, that does not mean in your time today! The writer wrote that in the 1st century, not the 21st!
No go ahead and tell yourself how “the last days started then, but they are still going on now”, making the term “last days” meaningless, since if all the days are the last days, then there are no last days! But hey, whatever you need to tell yourself to make it all about you, right?
More than one Futurist has said the following to me and I think it sums up the Futurist view nicely!:
“If the Bible’s not all about us today, then what good is it?”
Thanks and please post this! I know it’s a bit harsh, but so was he in his writing and so is the Bible sometimes and we both know they need to hear it! 🙂
Date: 18 Feb 2009
DR. Hindson asks, “When did the Lion lay down with the lamb?” Isaiah. 11 says that the “lion will lay down with the lamb” but Is 35 speaking of the same subject as Isaiah 11 i.e. the kingdom of God, says There will be no lion there! Thus Hindson’s literal method leads to a contradicton in God’s word.
Date: 15 May 2009
I will address this one answer, at a time; seeing that so many people especially “Premil”s try to say what we mean, when we say specific things, concerning doctrinal issues here stated by Dispies, which only have less than two centuries of proof of their Doctrine and should in like wise realize that if they truly believe that they are in the last days, that they too should be on their awares, because of this, that in the last days they will not endure sound doctrine. Which here only would give any one armor to state that PreMils should be aware of them selves, for their Doctrine has but only been taught in their Last days as when most Pseudo Christian cults were started in the 1800s their Doctrinal Master John Nelson Darby took upon Himself what most Baptists now believe, was the long lost key to eschatology, and yet only fails in comparison to our Doctrine, that has been taught by most since the church was rebuilt in 30 AD.
It should also be noted here: That the Premils and Dispies sometimes both in one house( but so very few) only have bruised Christianity with their false prophesy’s and can be the only sec and or Doctrine in which is Guilty of putting Christianity on the bookshelf of our stores in the fiction isle; which could be considered Christian, along with the other cults as formerly mentioned. On the other hand A Preterist Teaching can be found on the lips of our Savior; if by nobody else, which is a fallacy to say it wasn’t taught by most, as well as the Fathers including Justin Martyr whom they champion as being in their school.
As concerning Nero being Anti Christ.
1. Nero was the Antichrist. There will be no future individual Antichrist.
No Preterist that I know of would fall for the ditch that one individual is named at anytime in Eschatology as being the one and only Anti Christ at anytime . As John Stated, anyone who says that Christ has not been raised from the Dead is anti Christ. There is not one scriptural passage that states that there will be a one and only Anti Christ in the past or future.
2. Not only will there never be an individual Anti Christ but there never has been. Nero = The First Type of Anti Christ, and no, there will be nobody except maybe someone who would declare themselves that they are Anti Christ . The Bible doses not refer any one specific to this title. Recommendation study typologies
3. The Tribulation Period is already over. It occurred when the Roman army besieged Jerusalem in AD 66-70.
4. There will be tribulation in this world the bible exclaims, But we have Christ. The tribulation and the Great Tribulation talked about in Matt 24 is over, It all started in 63 AD and ended in 70 AD.
The great Tribulation and or Abomination of desolation took place in winter of 67 AD on a Sabbath in the winter, just as matt 24 and Christ claims. After a 7 year peace treaty with Rome and Nero being the cosigner, Nero Turned on Israel half way through, just as the Bible states that She Jerusalem will make a covenant with Hell,( Isaiah28:15) and in the middle of it, when they shall say peace peace, Nero and Rome turned on Israel which is known as Jacobs trouble. And yes ten Kingdoms under roman rule sided with Rome. (Ten Toes on statue). Another point here is that if this is a futuristic Judgement on the whole world while everyone else perishes, why is it Christ says that those who are in Judea should flee to the mountains. How can you escape Judgment on the world by God by just go to Pella as Josephus states that about one third of Israel Did. Matt 24 Rev 12 Also taks about Fleeing into the mountains where they would be fed by GOD for 3 ½ years.
We have never stated that Christ Returned,.
3. Christ “returned” in the clouds in AD 70 to witness the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman army. No preterist would exclaim the impossible, and no one ever said Christ returned in 70 AD. For at His Return the whole Cosmos will end. Please do not add words into our Doctrinal Mouths. Christ’s Return will be at the End of time. His Parousia is a different case however, Remember we should put the emphasis on “Sign” not on His coming. In Matt it states LORD When will the Sign of your coming be, and the end of the age. (in Greek). Not the end of the world as so statedin the King James. How could one escape Judgment by GOD, by fleeing to the mountains. Matt 24 is about what would be the SIGN of His presence, the ending sign is the destruction (judgment on Israel) of the Temple. Note: there are no scriptural References to rebuild the Temple a third time in the Holy Scriptures. There as justifiably certain , that there are no scriptures of Israel Being restored either, unless misinterpreted analogies are twisted. And might? I add that I mean physically or Nationalistically.
4.God replaced Old Testament Israel with the Church. Therefore, all the biblical promises to Israel belong to the Church.
God didn’t Replace Israel He changed Her , He took His 1/3 of refined through fire, His people of Jewish Israelite Christians and made Her His people, the Bride of the Groom the Fathers Son. The Church of Christ a Holy Nation and Priesthood, His Holy People and Yes all the Promises were fulfilled to Israel, and extended to His Sons Kingship, the Church in which He Jesus is our Temple. And now they are His New covenant people of promise, by those who except Christ as Messiah or and Savior. The Church includes Israel as in there are no more Jews or Gentiles, Gods word says. Israel is the Israel of GOD, Gal 6:16/ Ehp 2 :12 till the end. Here is a study that shows all the covenant shifted to the Church all the Promises are also applied in GODS word A contrast study of Israel and the Church
Note: Israel is the kingdom of God (Exodus 19:61; Chronicles 17:14; 1 Chronicles 28:5). Disobedient Israel is not the kingdom of God (Matthew 8:11; 12; 21:43). Christians are the kingdom of God (Romans 14:17; 1 Corinthians 4:20; Colossians 1:13; 4:11; Revelation 1:6).
14 And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.
15 Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all good things are come upon you, which the LORD your God promised you; so shall the LORD bring upon you all evil things, until he have destroyed you from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.
Jerusalem is Babylon just study Great City throughout your Bible.
5. Armageddon already happened in AD 70. The fall of “Babylon” refers to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans.
A study on that Great City Mystery Babylon. By Ray Carsjens RC Scrolls@aol.com
Is Babylon, in Johns Revelation, the Old Babylon rebuilt? 1). a new Babylon, somewhere else arising in the future? 2). or is it used as a figure of speech? 3). to give us information about what John really means. And if it is used as a figure of speech, who is it talking about?
We must remember that John has to get these letters to the seven Churches without anyone else knowing what He is writing or talking about, just like when Jesus use to Teach in parables, so no one else would know about the interpretation of the book. Remember we are going to see what Gods word says, not you, or me, but His word. Revelation has 404 verses, 287 are found in the Older Testament and are used Symbolically, showing Fulfilled events that already Happened, but they are used Symbolically in Revelation to give us a reference to what or who or where, John is talking about, as the Disciples and Apostles were so familiar with their Old Testament, that when John showed them something symbolically, it gave them enough information, to know exactly what and or who, He was talking about. That leaves only 117 which are actively still future or still yet to be fulfilled – the ones that are literal, as the Churches, regardless to anyone’s view are amongst those 117 which also are fulfilled, since they no longer exist completely. If there’s any indication about it being a double prophesy then we need to understand “what” a double prophesy is and isn’t. First a double Prophesy is like an unrolled scroll, it happens over a period of time, it doesn’t mean that the scripture is going to happen again or twice, but it does mean like Tyre, that it will have fulfillment in different stages of time, perhaps one part has past, but the other part is still yet future. It can never mean that it is going to happen twice, exactly the same. This is an understanding that all Theologians of all views have. Just like a scroll has seals and as you unroll it, exposes more of the revelation, slowly if you will, being fulfilled not at once but as time go’s on, like in Revelation more of the same prophesy, is exposed during time itself, as each of the seals, bowels are opened. The original Babylon was the beginner and supporter of tyranny and idolatry…this is as well known by most.
The first mention of Babylon in Revelation is in Chap 11, So first we will look at what Gods word says in many of its passages before this instance. In the Older Testament of Gods voice it says that Babylon will never come back, because it was left desolate by God Himself. The outright total destruction of Her, Babylon is Prophesied and recorded in Isaiah 13:1-22, 14:4-22, 21:1-10, 47:1-15. Jer, 25:12, 50:1-51:64.
That theses predictions will come to pass is recorded in Jer 51:8, the lord says that they will have a severe Judgment. In Jer 51:25-26, God says He’s against Babylon and will make Her a burnt Mountain, and for how long? (Forever she will be desolate). God also says that she Babylon will be a (Perpetual desolation forever). Isaiah 13:19-22, Isaiah 14:22-23, Jer 50:13, Jer 50:39, Jer 51:37. Remember that our Lord God says forever. Regardless to what anyone else says, God says forever.
We either Believe Gods word or we don’t. To believe in anyone else’s words, are Blasphemous and Idolatry. Well these scriptures show in Fact that regardless to what people say God says Babylon will not come back again. That these scriptures are fulfilled and that Babylon was destroyed by the Medes are found in Daniel, Dan 5:30-31. In Dan 5:26, God has numbered the Kingdom and finished it. So we can see that God says, (Babylon), will “never” be rebuilt again, not there, or anywhere else in the future for that matter, which is implied by a (perpetual desolation). Not even Suddam Hussein’s Rebuilding of the original Babylon 50 miles south from Bagdad would qualify, because of what Gods word say’s. So we have answered both parts of our first question. Literally (Babylon), can’t be, and won’t come back, or be rebuilt, in the future, or at anytime according to the scriptures and what Gods word says. So does this imply that another place couldn’t be named Babylon, no it doesn’t because we do have a Babylon in Johns Revelation, although we give credence to the fact that it must be the original but not with its glory and greatness it once had, it only leaves one other possibility. That the Babylon mentioned in Revelation must be, and is figurative, not literal, and if it is indeed a figure of speech, as all commentary’s and Theologians would agree with, we should have plenty of scripture verifying this term as Figurative.
Babylon was known by many names, as a great Eagle, a head of Gold, and a lion with Eagles wings. She is called the Lady of Kingdoms in Isa 47:5, but never is she called that Great City in scripture, only Jerusalem receives that Title and Heading in John’s time and Day, especially in the time of the first century. Other cities have been called that (Great City) in times past like a few cities in between Nineveh and Calah were called a Great City, Gen 10:12, and then Gibeon took over the name, Great City, Joshua 10:2, until Nineveh inherited it Jonah 1:2, 3:2, 3:3, 4:11. Each city was greater then the one before, and were considered the Metropolis of there time, and no two Great cities could or have existed at one time. However Babylon as previously shown was and has never been called that (Great City) anywhere in scripture until we find it being used in Johns Revelation.
This is indeed, very relevant to our study on who is Babylon in Johns Revelation, or better yet, who is the great City. Remember its going to be used as a figure of speech. Because if it was, a new Babylon built by someone else, somewhere else, God wouldn’t recognize it, because He said its desolate forever.
This is a point needed for our study in Revelation for it was a known trend of the day, that the Great City in Revelation is in fact Jerusalem, not Rome, because Peter wrote about Babylon in His Day which declares it as a city of a Church of Christ, not a great metropolitan city. 1 Peter 5:13. Her Judgment accountability and destruction was complete, and was desolated back in Daniels Day, as Gods word had predicted it.
That this (Great City) and its association with Babylon and Israel or better put Jerusalem as symbolic literature, is one of the keys to understanding Johns Revelation as pertinent to our full comprehension of it. If we can identify this Great City we will have a lot of new understanding of the events, tribulation and great Tribulation of their time, or a time in the future as some would say. As we will see this (Great City) is in fact Jerusalem according to Gods word.
The First time the reference to that Great City is used is in our Newer Testament is in Rev 11:8. Although the last thing we want to do with Revelation is to make it chronologically in order, we will take the scriptures as in order of chapter and verse numerically, not meaning that it should all be taken as in correct chronological order.
Please don’t dismiss “this”, at least until we have read all of the passages, that identify and tell us who it is. We don’t want to allow what we may have learned previously obstruct us in this, after all, if we trust the word of God, at least we should allow Gods word to interpret itself. Scripture is its own best interpreter, so let’s let it do its job.
Revelation Chap 11:1-2, Starts out identifying the city of having 1.) a temple and calls it the 2.) Holy City, and that the Lords two witnesses will die in the street of this 3.) (Great City).
This is Jerusalem that’s being described, for Biblically there is only one Temple as well as what’s being described as the Holy City, as it gives us reference too, and it’s also our first scripture that Identifies by a figure of speech (That Great City) in this reference, as Jerusalem, which is imperative to Johns Revelation. After all if we know who the Great city is, we will have an insight to who and where the Books revelation is talking about. We have infallible and emphatic evidence and proof, that this is indeed Jerusalem, at least at this stage and reference. To deny this implied indication would be an abuse and a horrible use of scripture, and in any general literary writing and reading as well. We have to read scripture for all its worth, and the indications here clearly point to the fact that Jerusalem is being depicted here, and only Jerusalem.
Also in Revelation 11:3 we once again still have justification for calling it Jerusalem, for the Lord Himself Identifies that 4.) HIS witnesses will prophesy in 5.) sackcloth. Only the repentant Jews would clothe themselves with Sackcloth, which identifies them as repentant Jews.
Johns Revelation once again gives us another hint and reference to this place, and once again Moses and Elijah are identified with Israel which emphatically would include The promised land which is the Holy City Jerusalem.
John is told in Verse 11:8, as well that this City is also called 6.) (Sodom and Egypt), which is a figure of speech to identify them as a Spiritual Sinful idolatress nation. We know its not Sodom and Egypt yet we do see, it’s just a figure of speech. And it is Jerusalem, because that’s where our Lord and savior was 7.) (crucified) as it states in REV 11:7. So as Sodom and Egypt are figures of speech for Jerusalem so shall we see the term Great City used for Jerusalem if we haven’t seen this already. Rev 11:8, And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the (great city), which spiritually is called (Sodom and Egypt), where also our Lord was (crucified).
So we can’t argue with scripture, Gods word say’s that Jerusalem is this (Great City). Seven Times we have Identifiers of Gods word in the Greek as well, which say its Jerusalem not America, not another Babylon or any other city in the future for this matter, it can only be Jerusalem. Remember that this is clear and concise as it gets, not confusing or hard to understand as described in other points of view. This is literal interpretation but we don’t want to take the figures of speech literal, because then we would be reading something that could not be understood. Johns Revelation is very precise as to whom the scripture is talking about. Well we have already tied Jerusalem to the Great City now all we have to do is see it being used over and ever again, and then transcend into Babylon, which we will see the Lord Himself carries it over and compounds the term Babylon with Great City and Jerusalem. Just as we have seen Sodom and Egypt as descriptive as Jerusalem we will see also Jerusalems tie to Babylon.
And lets not forget its not our teaching but Gods word that teaches us this emphatic truth.
Just like the twelve stars Sun and Moon are scriptural metaphors analogies or allegories for Israel in Rev chap 12 Taken From back in Israel’s beginning when Jacob had His dream in Genesis, so are these metaphors for Israel at the beginning of our study in Rev Chp 11 and onward. So as we can see these references and figures of speech are very easily interpreted correctly.
If we do not agree with this first reference evidence and emphatic conclusion, we might as well stop any study, for we have allowed our intellect to be twisted out of all comprehension and found ourselves lacking with our intellect on the floor. Scripture itself is its own best Teacher. Not only does Scripture give us our beginning, but it also gives us the end, if it didn’t we would then be reading literature that would be subjective, and if its one thing the Bible isn’t its subjective. It as a matter of fact gives us the questions and the answers if we are willing to take the time, and have the patience not to accept anything until we have all the facts.
As stated already we all would agree that Rev 12 is indeed Israel at its inception as described in Genesis, which all theologians and scholars would agree, but this isn’t what our study is about- its about the term Great City. So we go on to our next Scripture, it is in Revelation Chap 14:1, First of all we see in verse 1 that the “Lamb” Christ Jesus is standing on (Mount Sion, which is Jerusalem), In verse 6 the everlasting Gospel is brought, as in past tense since to us as we have being doing this for two thousand years, the Kingdom of God is preached and it started in Jerusalem.
As John is looking He sees into heaven and hears voices singing and harpers playing a new song which is the song of Moses Ex 15:1-21, as Revelation Chap 14:3 states.
There’s not a theologian around or a deep Bible study that would say other wise about chap 14, it’s definitely Jerusalem. And yet it also states for the first time that (Babylon), has fallen, in verse 8.
Is this an association between Babylon and Jerusalem from God, it must be, because God has already Judged Babylon about 650 years before John writes Revelation, and God Himself tells us that Babylon is desolate forever and ever and it will never be rebuilt to what it was again, as we will give scripture for later.
Many could say much about this, that it may be talking about the original Babylon, so we won’t expect you to believe this as of yet. All though we have already given proof of it being Jerusalem, that no one can deny in our proper exegesis of scripture in the beginning of chapter 14.
Just ask your self a question why would an angel fly through a city that’s been destroyed centuries ago to and nowhere near Johns people. The angel is flying through Jerusalem as stated in Gods word, from Mount Sion and the original Babylon doesn’t exist anymore. Jesus staes in Matt that the Kingdom of God will be Preached, and this is the precise time at which it was fulfilled. In verse 14:7, it declares that the Lords (hour of Judgment), wrath has come. That it’s talking about Jerusalem being judged and then also metaphorically named (Babylon) is obvious to us in Rev 14:8, because now (Babylon) is called that (Great City), just as Jerusalem is, Ironically in the whole of Scripture the original Babylon never was called the Great city.
Do you see the transition here, that God is doing, by moving the great city to being Jerusalem in Chap 11 and now declares that Babylon now is also included here as well being the great city also.
We have given enough evidence but we won’t expect you to believe this either, until like we said, look at all the other evidences in Rev. The name (Babylon) has now become synonymous, with People of Great Sin; just as in the case with Sodom and Egypt did, in the beginning of chap 11:8. So it became a figure of speech to notify others that they were sinners and unfaithful to God Himself. As we now identified Babylon as being that (Great City), as well as Jerusalem as the (Great City), and we know that the original Babylon was never called that Great City, we should see the parallel and collaboration between the two witnesses of scripture; this is sound theological Systematic Exegesis and Falls within all historical rules of literary comprehension. Also in Revelation 14:8, we see that she is judged because she made the nations (drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication). Keeping this in mind, In Johns Revelation Chap 16, we see once again, Gods wrath being poured out and the exact same language was used in Rev 14:8. Rev 16:19, And the (great city) was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great (Babylon) came in remembrance before God, to give unto (her cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath). The remembrance of Babylon is of her sinfulness that God remembers. The cup here is symbolic of the Cup in the Tabernacle or Temple for the offering. Stunning as this may seem it’s true. There is only one city defined throughout scripture prophesies as being the city that is divided into three parts, any reader of the bible would tell you its Jerusalem alone that is divided. In Ezekiel 5:4 it’s all the house of Israel in this prophetic picture.
It’s identified as (Babylon) here in Rev 16:19 that (Great City) as Jerusalem, is also that (Great City), yet its perfectly clear its actually Jerusalem as in a parallel passage and prophesy of this is found in Eze 5:5, she is identified as Jerusalem. That (Great City) She is surrounded by the nations as in Luke 21, and if we say we know scripture then we have to admittedly say that Matt 24 is this fulfillment as well, for both Matt and Luke are talking about the same instance, it is used once again here in Rev 16:19 depicting not only Babylon as a figure of speech, but Jerusalem as Her real name. Only Jerusalem is divided into third parts as in Eze 5:12. God would see Babylon if it was there! not Jerusalem, but Babylon comes into memory, because its been made desolate. Its not here physically on the scene but in a spiritual Judgment it is here and its Jerusalem.
Notice that now Great city and Babylon are conjoined as a reference, to whom God will pour His wrath on in Rev 16:19. As Rev 16:6 depicts this city as the one who shed the blood of the saints and the Prophets, and it’s this city which gets to drink the cup of the blood of the wine and wrath of God. This Judgment is between God and Israel. Israel or better put Jerusalem is this city Babylon Egypt Sodom as a way to codify a sinful idolatress people and nation and depicted so obviously in scripture, emphatically here, because only one city and or people are guilty of shedding the blood of the Saints and the Prophets’. Don’t take our word for it, let’s just read Gods word.
Jesus tells us, only Israel is guilty of this killing of the saints and Prophets. Matt 23:29-31, Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because (ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous), wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. If this doesn’t identify Israel and Jerusalem enough for you, then let’s see another witness.
This is so devastating and heart felt, to listen to the words of our Lord in Matt 23:37-38, O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you (desolate). She was indeed left Desolate Spiritually in Christs life as the parable of the fig tree depicts, but she even becomes physically desolated in 70 AD.
In Ezek 5:2, Thou shalt burn with fire a third part in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled: and thou shalt take a third part, and smite about it with a knife: and a third part thou shalt scatter in the wind; and I will draw out a sword after them. Who is this passage of scripture talking about in Ezek 5:5? Jerusalem, yet Johns Revelation declares its Babylon. This is proof positive that Johns Book of Revelation Rev 16:19
is talking about Babylon as indeed meaning Jerusalem as a figure of speech. Ezek 5:12
A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee: and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them.
Look at this prophesy in Zech 13:8-9 And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.
Sounds like Jewish Christians to Me. If you read Acts you will realize that the pestilence and famine are all starting to happen, remember the Prophesy about a great Dearth in the land. It all was starting in the 50s A.D.
If we still can’t understand or Believe who the great City is, then this will give us all we need. In Rev 17:4-6, we are told she is arrayed in Purple and scarlet, which are the original colors which came from Babylonian sales, but not the colors of Babylon, for Babylon’s colors were Blue and white. These colors are in fact the colors of the (Tabernacle of Israel). In Ex 25:1-9, God gives Moses orders to make Him a sanctuary like the Tabernacle of all these colors purple and scarlet and decked with gold and precious stones, and even the ephod shall be made with Precious stones and the Breast plates with 12 Precious stones, for the twelve tribes.
Search in your Bible and you will find anytime it uses the term Precious stones, or those specific colors, its always talking about Israel. Irrefutable evidence, that this too, is Israel who is guilty of the blood of the prophets and saints of God.
As already stated the cup in her hand comes from the Tabernacle of Gods House in the Older Testament. No one has ever held the cup but Gods people; just as in the New Testament we have our communion cup as in the last supper. Rev 17:4-6
And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: 5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. Only one City in all of scripture is guilty of this offence towards God.
The Mystery of this Babylon the Great is that it is in fact Jerusalem identified by Jesus Himself, which was drunken with the blood of the Saints and Martyrs, no one else qualifies, She killed them and Jesus says that Jerusalem is guilty of this in Matt23:30-31, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Remember to tell you a Mystery in Greek means to allow you to see the Mystery, this does infact show us who Babylon was.
As she has the blood of the martyrs and prophets on Her hands as Prophesied in Isaiah 51:17-19, Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the LORD the cup of his fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out. 18 There is none to guide her among all the sons whom she hath brought forth; neither is there any that taketh her by the hand of all the sons that she hath brought up. 19 These two things are come unto thee; who shall be sorry for thee? desolation, and destruction, and the famine, and the sword: by whom shall I comfort thee?
Its Jerusalem that drinks this cup of Fury in Isaiah 51, Remember God says so not you or me, and it’s the same cup found in Rev 17 that John expounds to us about, as Isaiah Did.
We just verified that She Jerusalem is the one who made the earth Drunk with the wine of Her fornication. Rev 17:18 And the woman which thou sawest is that (great city), which reigneth over the kings of the earth. At the time of this Prophesy its interesting to note that Israel was being taken care of by Rome the Beast of Johns Revelation in which Rome had power over 10 Kingdoms.
It is “now” no doubt who this (great city) is unless you deny Gods own word. Has Jerusalem reigned over all the Kings of the earth? Her last lover who she was in bed with is Rome who she is a partaker of, and who she rides (the scarlet colored Beast), and it is Rome who Governed 10 Kingdoms, and ultimately She gets surrounded by all Her ex lovers through out all time including Rome. While she is riding the beast she is kept by Rome and indeed is reigning over all the Kings of the Earth. Her peace treaty with Rome for 7 years keeps her saying peace peace, Just as God said, then sudden destruction came upon Her in the middle of Her treaty with Hell. For a list of all of Jerusalem’s Ex Fornicators, the Kings and princes and People who have partaken of the wine of the wrath of God through Israel look in Jer 25:15-29
For thus saith the LORD God of Israel unto me; Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it. 16 And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them. 17 Then took I the cup at the LORD’S hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the LORD had sent me: 18 To wit, Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, and the kings thereof, and the princes thereof, to make them a desolation, an astonishment, an hissing, and a curse; as it is this day; 19 Pharaoh king of Egypt, and his servants, and his princes, and all his people; 20 And all the mingled people, and all the kings of the land of Uz, and all the kings of the land of the Philistines, and Ashkelon, and Azzah, and Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod, 21 Edom, and Moab, and the children of Ammon, 22 And all the kings of Tyrus, and all the kings of Zidon, and the kings of the isles which are beyond the sea, 23 Dedan, and Tema, and Buz, and all that are in the utmost corners, 24 And all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the mingled people that dwell in the desert, 25 And all the kings of Zimri, and all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of the Medes, 26 And all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another, and all the kingdoms of the world, which are upon the face of the earth: and the king of Sheshach shall drink after them. 27 Therefore thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Drink ye, and be drunken, and spue, and fall, and rise no more, because of the sword which I will send among you. 28 And it shall be, if they refuse to take the cup at thine hand to drink, then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Ye shall certainly drink. 29 For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the LORD of hosts.
There is only one city that is called by the Lords name Jerusalem.
RC Scrolls Ray Carsjens firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: 30 May 2010
I am a believer in our Lord Jesus Christ and i know He will guide His Own into all Truth(His Truth)but i am honest when i say i really do not know totally that we will be caught away from the Tribulation period.Why should we as a pampered Nation escape when His own Disciples had terrible times,were martyrs,etc;?I am not being critical,just deeply concerned.I like to hear you Dr. Hinson,you are certainly gifted in scripture.
Perhaps you could explain to me what 2nd Thessalonians 2nd Chpt.means if we are raptured before the Anti-Christ appears?This has troubled me.
Thank you and Lord Bless!
Norma Jewel Clark
Date: 10 Oct 2010
What about the mark of the beast? Revelation says “They could not buy sell or trade without it”. It was to be on their forehead or right hand. Sounds like the chip soon to be introduced in the USA in 2012 but sadly not mentioned along with many other omissions in above rant. And while we are on it If the body of Christ has to go through the tribulation then what was the point of Christs sacrifice for our sins? Wasn’t it good enough? Beware of kingdom builders who promote themselves and not the Body.