Reformed pastor and author of several books on economics, eschatology and Christian Worldview from Placerville, California. He contributed three books on eschatology: Paradise Restored (1985), Days of Vengeance (1987), and The Great Tribulation (1987).
|The Days of Vengeance: An Exposition of the Book of Revelation
(1987 – PDF)
- Foreign: Dias de Retribucion (1987) Una Exposición del Libro de Apocalipsis (Traducción de Román Quirós M.)
- Foreign: La Gran Tribulacion (1987) Traducción de Román Quirós M.
- Foreign: El Paraiso de Restaurado (1985) Traducción de Román Quirós M.
Ecclesiastical Megalomania “After this speech, David Chilton subsequently suffered a heart attack from which he initially recovered and eventually died. One wonders if the terror and desperation he felt in the Tyler Church contributed to his health problems. After his heart attack, Chilton and his lecture were viciously attacked by Gary North, the chief financier of the Tyler Church, both publicly and privately. This editor was threatened in writing with “destruction” by North for publicizing Chilton’s speech. Several former members of the Tyler Church contacted the editor after we published this Review, saying that Chilton had not told the half of it. They were still frightened of the leaders of the Tyler Church years after they had left.”
“When I received word of David Chilton’s sudden home-going, my first thought was of profound sadness and loss. I thought of his wonderful family and how all the rest of us will miss his innate optimism, unflagging encouragement, and great foresight. I thought of all the books that might have been but now will never be. But after reviewing the rich legacy he has left us, my heart has been lifted. I have finally begun to comprehend great solace in knowing that “he being dead yet speaketh.”
” I assume you know about what happened to me a little over 3 years ago: I had a massive heart attack, went into a coma, was diagnosed as “brain-dead,” and even when I woke up I’d forgotten everyone and everything, and was blind too! Since then, by God’s grace, I’m off all medications but aspirin, got an A for the course in Logic at the local college last year, am back to writing and speaking (but *not* pastoring), and I jog ten miles a day! Shucks, I think if I’d been living like this all my life, it never would’a happened anyway! ” (Email Exchanges with David Chilton)
(On the Significance of A.D.70)
“Scripture connects as one theological Event – the Advent – Christ’s birth, life, resurrection, ascension, the outpouring of His Spirit upon the Church in A.D. 30, and the outpouring of His wrath upon Israel in the Holocaust of A.D. 66-70.” (David Chilton, The Days of Vengeance, p. 285)
“…the Bible speaks of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Church and the destruction of Israel as being the same event, for they were intimately connected theologically. The prophet Joel foretold both the Day of Pentecost and the destruction of Jerusalem in one breath.” (David Chilton, The Great Tribulation, p. 21)
The Olivet Discourse is not about the Second Coming of Christ. It is a prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.” (quoted by Ice)
(On The Olivet Discourse)
“The Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21).. is a prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70” (Paradise Restored, p. 224)
(On Matthew 24:13)
“We must remember that “the end” in this passage is not the end of the world, but rather the end of the age, the end of the Temple, the sacrificial system, the covenant nation of Israel, and the last remnants of the pre-Christian era.” (Days of Vengeance, p. 89)
(On Matthew 24:34 and the “Generation Means Race” Theory)
“Some have sought to get around the force of this text by saying that the word generation here really means race, and that Jesus was simply saying that the Jewish race would not die out until all these things took place. Is that true? I challenge you: Get out your concordance and look up every New Testament occurrence of the word generation (in Greek, genea) and see if it ever means ‘race’ in any other context. Here are all the references for the Gospels: Matthew 1:17; 11:16; 12:39, 41, 42, 45; 16:4; 17:17; 23:36; 24:34; Mark 8:12, 38; 9:19; 13:30; Luke 1:48, 50; 7:31; 9:41; 11:29, 30, 31, 32, 50, 51; 18:8; 17:25; 21:32. Not one of these references is speaking of the entire Jewish race over thousands of years; all use the word in its normal sense of the sum total of those living at the same time. It always refers to contemporaries. (In fact, those who say it means “race” tend to acknowledge this fact, but explain that the word suddenly changes its meaning when Jesus uses it in Matthew 24! We can smile at such a transparent error, but we should also remember that this is very serious. We are dealing with the Word of the living God.).” (The Great Tribulation, p. 3)
(On the Dating of Revelation)
“John emphasizes his anticipation of the soon occurrences of his prophecy by strategic placement of these time references. He places his boldest time statements in both the introduction and conclusion to Revelation. It is remarkable that so many recent commentators have missed it literally coming and going! The statement of expectancy is found three times in the first chapter – twice in the first three verses: Revelation 1:1,3,19. The same idea is found four times in his concluding remarks: Revelation 22:6,7,12,20. It is as if John carefully bracketed the entire work to avoid any confusion.” (The Beast of Revelation; Tyler, TX; ICE, 1982; p. 21-22).
“Think of it: If these words in these verses do not indicate that John expected the events to occur soon, what words could John have used to express such? How could he have said it more plainly?” (The Beast of Revelation; Tyler, TX; ICE, 1982; p. 24).
(On The Subject Matter of Revelation)
“(The Book of Revelation) is about the destruction of Israel and Christ’s victory over His enemies in the establishment of the New Covenant Temple. In fact, as we shall see, the word coming as used in the Book of Revelation never refers to the Second Coming. Revelation prophesies the judgment of God on apostate Israel; and while it does briefly point to events beyond its immediate concerns, that is done merely as a “wrap-up,” to show that the ungodly will never prevail against Christ’s Kingdom. But the main focus of Revelation is upon events which were soon to take place.” (Days of Vengeance, p. 43)
(On Rev 6:15-17) “This passage is not speaking of the End of the World, but the End of Israel in A.D.70.” (p. 148).
(On Revelation 11:15)
“At this point in history God’s plan is made apparent: He has placed Jews and Gentiles on equal footing in the Covenant. The destruction of apostate Israel and the Temple revealed that God had created a new nation, a new Temple, as Jesus prophesied to the Jewish leaders: ‘Therefore I say to you, the Kingdom of God will be taken from you, and be given to a nation producing the fruit of it’ (Matt.21:43). Thus the Kingdom of God, the ‘Fifth Kingdom’ prophesied in Daniel 2, becomes universalized, as the heavenly choir sings: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.’”(Days of Vengeance: p.287-288)
(On the Rise of Christianity)
“Examples could be multiplied, in every field. The whole rise of Western Civilization—science and technology, medicine, the arts, constitutionalism, the jury system, free enterprise, literacy, increasing productivity, a rising standard of living, the high status of women—is attributable to one major fact: the West has been transformed by Christianity. True, the transformation is not yet complete. There are many battles ahead. But the point is that, even in what is still largely an early Christian civilization, God has showered us with blessings.” (Paradise Restored)
(On the Number of the Beast)
The unexpected element in the computation was that it had to be worked out in Hebrew, a language that at least some members of the churches would know. His readers would have guessed by now that he was speaking of Nero, and those who understood Hebrew probably grasped it instantly. The numerical values of the Hebrew letters in Neron Kesar (Nero Caesar) are:
As I mentioned earlier, the point is not that Nero’s name is the primary identification of 666. The point is, instead, what the number meant to the churches. St. John’s Biblically informed readers will have already recognized many clear indications of the Beast’s identity as Rome (indeed, they already knew this from reading the Book of Daniel). Now Nero has arrived on the scene as the first great persecutor of the Church, the embodi-ment of the “666-ness” of the Empire, and – Lo and behold! – his very name spells out 666. It is significant that “all the earliest Christian writers on the Apocalypse, from Irenaeus down to Victorious of Pettau and Commodian in the fourth, and Andreas in the fifth, and St. Beatus in the eighth century, connect Nero, or some Roman em-peror, with the Apocalyptic Beast .” There should be no reasonable doubt about this identification. St. John was writing to first-century Christians, warning them of things that were “shortly” to take place. They were engaged in the most crucial battle of history, against the Dragon and the evil Empire which he possessed. The purpose of the Revelation was to comfort the Church with the assurance that God was in control, so that even the awesome might of the Dragon and the Beast would not stand before the armies of Jesus Christ. Christ was wounded in His heel on Friday, the sixth day, the Day of the Beast – yet that is the day He crushed the Dragon’s head. At his most powerful, St. John says, the Beast is just a six, or a series of sixes; never a seven. His plans of world dominion will never be fulfilled, and the Church will overcome through her Lord Jesus, the 888, who conquered on the Eighth Day.”.
It is charged by some that Neron Kesar is merely a convenient “misspelling” of Nero’s name in Hebrew. This objection overlooks the fact that before the modern introduction of dictionaries the world was simply not as concerned as we are about uniformity in the spelling of names. Alternate spellings were common (e.g. “Joram” and “Jehoram” in the Old Testament), especially in the transliteration of words into a foreign tongue. But the allegation of misspelling is wholly wrong anyway. The form Neron Kesar (1) is the linguistically “correct” Hebrew form, (2) is the form found in the Talmud and other rabbinical writings, and (3) was used by Hebrews in the first century, as archaeological evidence has shown. As F. W. Farrar observed, “the Jewish Christian would have tried the name as he thought of the name-that is in Hebrew letters. And the moment he did this the secret stood revealed. No Jew ever thought of Nero except as ‘Neron Kesar,’ and this gives at once . . . 666″ (The Early Days of Christianity, Chicago and New York: Belford, Clarke& Co., 1882, p. 540). Of some related interest is the fact that if Nero’s name is written without the final n (i.e., the way it would occur to a Gentile to spell it in Hebrew), it yields the number 616 — which is exactly the variant reading in a few New Testament manuscripts. The most reasonable explanation for this variant is that it arose from the confusion over the final n.”
(On the “Last Days”)
“The period spoken of in the Bible as ‘the last days’ (or ‘last times’ or ‘last hour’) is the period between Christ’s birth and the destruction of Jerusalem.” (Paradise Restored, TX: Dominion Press, 1985, p. 115)
“The fact is that every time Scripture uses the term “last days” (and similar expressions) it means, not the end of the physical universe, but the period from AD 30 to AD 70 – the period during which the Apostles were preaching and writing, the “last days” of Old Covenant Israel before it was forever destroyed in the destruction of the Temple (and consequently the annihilation of the Old Covenant sacrificial system). (American Vision’s Biblical Worldview Magazine, Sept. 1996)
(Comparison of the Trumpet Judgments of Revelation and Exodus)
“The Seventh Trumpet was the sign that “there shall be no more delay” (cf. 10:6-7). Time has run out; wrath to the utmost has now come upon Israel. From this point on, St. John abandons the language and imagery of warning, concentrating wholly on the message of Jerusalem’s impending destruction. As he describes the City’s doom, he extends and intensifies the Exodus imagery that has already been so pervasive throughout the prophecy. Again he mentions “the Great City” (16:19), reminding his readers of a previous reference: “the Great City, which Spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified” (11 :8). Jerusalem is called Sodom because of its sensual, luxurious apostasy (cf. Ezek. 16:49-50), and because it is devoted to total destruction as a whole burnt sacrifice (Gen. 19:24-28; Deut. 13:12-18). But St. John’s more usual metaphors for the Great City are taken from the Exodus pattern: Jerusalem is not only Egypt, but also the other enemies of Israel. He has shown us the Egyptian Dragon chasing the Woman into the wilderness (Chapter 12); a revived Balak and Balaam seeking to destroy God’s people by war and by seduction to idolatry (chapter 13); the sealed armies of the New Israel gathered on Mount Zion to celebrate the feasts (Chapter 14); and the saints standing in triumph at the “Red Sea,” singing the Song of Moses (chapter 15). Now, in Chapter 16, seven judgments corresponding to the ten Egyptian Plagues are to be poured out on the Great City. There is also a marked correspondence between these Chalice-judgments and the Trumpet-judgments of Chapters 8-11. Because the Trumpets were essentially warnings, they took only a third of the Land; with the Chalices, the destruction is total.
|Chalices||Trumpets||Plagues on Egypt|
|1. On the LAND, becoming sores (16:2)||1. On the LAND; 1/3 earth, trees, grass burned (8:7)||1. Boils (6th Plague: Ex. 9:8-12)|
|2. On the sea, becoming blood (16:3)||2. On the sea; 1/3 sea becomes blood, 1/3 sea creatures die, 1/3 ships destroyed (8:8-9)||2. Waters become blood (1st Plague: Ex. 7:17-21)|
|3. On rivers and springs, becoming blood (16:4-7)||3. On the rivers and springs; 1/3 waters become wormwood (8:10-11)||3. Waters become blood (1st Plague: Ex. 7:17-21)|
|4. On the sun, causing it to scorch (16:8-9)||4. 1/4 of sun, moon, and stars darkened (8:12)||4. Darkness (9th Plague: Ex. 10:21-23)|
|5. On the throne of the Beast, causing darkness (16:10-11)||5. Demonic locusts tormenting men (9:1-12)||5. Locusts (8th Plague: Ex. 10:4-20)|
|6. On Euphrates, drying it up to make way for kings of the East; invasion of frog-demons; Armageddon (16:12-16)||6. Army from Euphrates kills 1/3 mankind (9:13-21)||6. Invasion of frogs from river (2nd Plague: Ex. 8:2-4)|
|7. On the air, causing storm, earthquake, and hail (16:17-21)||7. Voices, storm, earthquake, hail (11:15-19)||7. Hail (7th Plague: Ex. 9:18-26)|
(On Revelation 17:10)
“..they are seven kings; five have fallen: The first five Caesars were Julius, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, and Claudius. This has been called into question by some, since, in a technical sense, the Empire began with Augustus, not Julius (cf. Tacitus, The Annals, i.1). Yet that was a technicality which, as far as the normal conversation and writing of the first century were concerned, was irrelevant. For all practical purposes, Julius Caesar was Emperor: He claimed the title imperator, and most early Roman, Christian, and Jewish writers count him as the first Emperor. Suetonius begins his Lives of the Twelve Caesars with Julius as the first Emperor, as does Dio Cassius in his Roman History. Book 5 of the Sibylline Oracles calls Julius “the first king: and 4 Ezra 12:15 speaks of Augustus as “the second” of the emperors. For our purposes, Josephus seems to provide the most convincing testimony, since he wrote for both a Roman and a Jewish audience, in the common parlance of the day. In his Antiquities of the Jews he clearly speaks of Augustus and Tiberius as the second and third emperors (xviii. ii.2), of Caligula as the fourth (xviii.vi.10), and of Julius as the first (xix. i.11). The most extensive discussion of all the evidence is in Moses Stuart, Commentary on the Apocalypse, two VOIS. (Andover: Allen, Merrill, and Wardwell, 1845), Vol. 2, pp. 445-52; cf. Isbon T. Beckwith, The Apocalypse of John: Studies in Introduction with an Exegetical and Critical Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House,  1979), pp. 701f. (p. 436)
(On Revelation 17:17)
“The war between Christ and the Beast, culminating in the desolation of the Harlot, took place in the fulfillment of God’s announcements through His prophets. The curses of the Covenant (Deut. 28) were executed on Israel through the Beast and the ten horns. They were the instruments of God’s wrath, as Christ foretold in His discourse on the Mount of Olives. During these horrifying ‘days of vengeance,’ He said, all things that were written would be fulfilled (Luke 21:22). Vision and prophecy would be sealed and completed in the destruction of the old world order (Dan. 9:24).” p.442
(On The Millennial Reign of Christ)
“One of the antichrists who afflicted the early church was Cerinthus, the leader of a first-century Judaistic cult. Regarded by the Church Fathers as “the Arch-heretic,” and identified as one of the “false apostles” who opposed Paul, Cerinthus was a Jew who joined the Church and began drawing Christians away from the orthodox faith. He taught that a lesser deity, and not the true God, had created the world (holding, with the Gnostics, that God was much too “spiritual” to be concerned with material reality). Logically, this meant also a denial of the Incarnation, since God would not take to Himself a physical body and truly human personality. And Cerinthus was consistent: he declared that Jesus had merely been an ordinary man, not born of a virgin; that “the Christ” (a heavenly spirit) had descended upon the man Jesus at His baptism (enabling Him to perform miracles), but then left Him again at the crucifixion. Cerinthus also advocated a doctrine of justification by works — in particular, the absolute necessity of observing the ceremonial ordinances of the Old Covenant in order to be saved.
Furthermore, Cerinthus was apparently the first to teach that the Second Coming would usher in a literal reign of Christ in Jerusalem for a thousand years. Although this was contrary to the apostolic teaching of the Kingdom, Cerinthus claimed that an angel had revealed this doctrine to him.” (Chapter 12,Paradise Restored)
“It is perhaps this verse, more than any other, which has confused expositors into supposing, against all other evidence, that the Harlot is Rome. If the City is Jerusalem, how can she be said to wield this kind of worldwide political power? The answer is that Revelation is not a book about politics; it is a book about the Covenant. Jerusalem did reign over the nation.” (Days of Vengeance, p. 442)
LATER WORK WHEN CHILTON CALLED HIMSELF A FULL PRETERIST
(even though he still expected prophecy to be fulfilled in the future)
(On the Gathering of the Elect) “Finally, the result of Jerusalem’s destruction will be Christ’s sending forth of his “angels” to gather the elect. Isn’t this the Rapture? No. The word angels simply means messengers (cf. James 2:25), regardless of whether their origin is heavenly or earthly; it is the context which determines whether these are heavenly creatures being spoken of. The word often means preachers of the gospel (see Matt. 11:10; Luke 7:24; 9:52; Rev. 1-3). In context, there is every reason to assume that Jesus is speaking of the worldwide evangelism and conversion of the nations which will follow upon the destruction of Israel. Christ’s use of the word gather is significant in this regard. The word, literally, is a verb meaning to synagogue; the meaning is that with the destruction of the Temple and of the Old Covenant system, the Lord sends out His messengers to gather His elect people into His New Synagogue. Jesus is actually quoting from Moses, who had promised: “If your outcasts are at the ends of heaven, from there the LORD your God will synagogue you, and from there he will take you” (Deut. 30:4, Septuagint).
Neither text has anything to do with the Rapture; both are concerned with the restoration and establishment of God’s House, the organized congregation of His covenant people. This becomes even more pointed when we remember what Jesus had said just before this discourse:
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to synagogue your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your House is being left to you desolate! (Matt. 23:37-38).
Because Jerusalem apostatized and refused to be synagogued under Christ, her Temple would be destroyed, and a New Synagogue and Temple would be formed: the Church. The New Temple was created, of course, on the Day of Pentecost, when the Spirit came to indwell the Church. But the fact of the new Temple’s existence would only be made obvious when the scaffolding of the Old Temple and the Old Covenant system was taken away.
The Christian congregations immediately began calling themselves “synagogues” (that is the word used in James2:2), while calling the Jewish gatherings “synagogues of Satan” (Rev. 2:9; 3:9). Yet they lived in anticipation of the Day of Judgment upon Jerusalem and the Old Temple, when the Church would be revealed as the true Temple and Synagogue of God.
Because the Old Covenant system was “obsolete” and “ready to disappear” (Heb. 8:13), the writer to the Hebrews urged them to have hope, “not forsaking the synagoguing of ourselves together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the Day approaching” (Heb. 10:25; cf. 2 Thess. 2:1-2). The Old Testament promise that God would “synagogue” His people undergoes one major change in the New Testament.
Instead of the simple form of the word, the term used by Jesus has the Greek prepositione p i prefixed to it. This is a favorite New Covenant expression, which intensifies the original word.
What Jesus is saying, therefore, is that the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70 will reveal Himself as having come with clouds to receive His Kingdom; and it will display His Church before the world as the full, the true, the super-Synagogue .
(On New Heavens and Earth)
“…as the old heaven and earth collapsed, the church was receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken. Was receiving. ‘We are receiving! Not that someday we’re going to receive, but we are receiving.’ But, they hadn’t quite received it yet… It was a process.” (David Chilton, Conference on Bible Prophecy, Oklahoma City,1997
“The Time Factor In fact, St. Peter was quite specific about the fact that he was not referring to an event thousands of years in their future, but to something that was already taking place: But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements (stoicheia) will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things are being dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements (stoicheia) are being melted with fervent heat? (2 Pet. 3:10-12)
Contrary to the misleading renderings of translators blinded by their presuppositions, St. Peter insists that the dissolution of “the present heaven and earth” – the Old Covenant system with its obligatory rituals and bloody sacrifices – was already beginning to occur: the “universe” of the Old Covenant was coming apart, never to be revived: When did prophet and vision cease from Israel? Was it not when Christ came, the Holy one of holies? It is, in fact, a sign and notable proof of the coming of the Word that Jerusalem no longer stands, neither is prophet raised up, nor vision revealed among them. And it is natural that it should be so, for when He that was signified had come, what need was there any longer of any to signify Him? And when the Truth had come, what further need was there of the shadow?…And the kingdom of Jerusalem ceased at the same time, kings were to be anointed among them only until the Holy of holies had been anointed. St. Peter’s message, John Owen argues, is that:…the heavens and earth that God himself planted – the sun, moon, and stars of the judaical polity and church – the whole old world of worship and worshippers, that stand out in their obstinancy against the Lord Christ – shall be sensibly dissolved and destroyed. (Looking for New Heavens and a New Earth)
“The more I pondered the awesome implications of Jesus’ words, the more I realized their truly revolutionary significance for eschatology. Without exception, every event foretold by the Biblical prophets was fulfilled within that generation, as Jesus said.” “Scripture foretells a Second Coming – not a third!” (David Chilton, Foreword to What Happened in AD 70? By Ed Stevens, 1997)
(On The Nature of Christ’s Return)
“…our Lord Jesus Christ predicted His Return within the lifetime of His first-century hearers. That fact presents Christians with a dilemma: If Jesus was wrong in His prediction (as theological liberals have been saying for many years), we have a much bigger problem than an academic theological issue regarding the doctrine of Eschatology – it means we can’t rely on Jesus for salvation, either! If we can’t trust Jesus in Matthew 24, we certainly can’t trust Him in John 3:16! As a well-known theologian recently said, “If Jesus is a false prophet, my faith is in vain.”
“…any proposed division of Matthew 24 into two different “comings” is illegitimate, nugatory, and gossamer. Scripture foretells a Second Coming (Heb.9:28) – not a third!
“…Stevens presses Christ’s declaration in Luke 21:22 to its limit: “Jesus said that all Old Testament prophecy would be fulfilled by the time Jerusalem was destroyed.” The more I pondered the awesome implications of Jesus’ words, the more I realized their truly revolutionary significance for eschatology. Without exception, every event foretold by the Biblical prophets was fulfilled within that generation, as Jesus had said (Matt. 16:27-28; 24:34). (Foreword to What Happened in AD70?)
(On II Peter 3:7-13)
“What Peter is saying is that, once the Old era is gone, the New Covenant will be established. An era in which righteousness dwells. The New World Order of the Lord Jesus Christ has arrived. And according to God’s promise, the saving knowledge of Him will fill the earth as the waters cover the sea …there are scripture passages that indicate that the world isn’t going to end in a fiery holocaust, it’s going to continue on forever. Scripture references for those: Psalm 78:69; 104:5; 119:90; Ecclesiastes 1:4 and Ephesians 3:21.” (David Chilton, Conference on Bible Prophecy, Oklahoma City, 1997)
“Some of you know my sort of gradual movement into full preterist position….I recently ran across a passage in Paradise Restored, that now I look at and think – That should have pushed me over the cliff twelve years ago into full preterism! I don’t know why it didn’t! I don’t know what I would have done if somebody had come to me and said, “David Chilton, look at what you said!” What I’m getting at is – here I am as a full preterist. (Conference on Bible Prophecy, Oklahoma City, 1997)
ON THE FUTURE CONVERSION OF THE WORLD
Chilton in 1997: “the world will be converted”
IN PARADISE RESTORED (1985)
“This cannot be speaking of heaven, or of a time after the end of the world; for in this “new heaven and earth” there is still death (at a very advanced age – “the lifetime of a tree”), people are building, planting, working, and having children. We could spend the rest of this chapter examining the implications of this passage in Isaiah, but the only point I will make here is that it is clearly a statement about this age, before the end of the world, and shows what future generations can expect as the gospel permeates the world, restores the earth to Paradise, and brings to fruition the goals of the Kingdom.” (Paradise Restored, p. 204)
IN DAYS OF VENGEANCE (1987)
“God is the great Warrior-King: He defeats His enemies, and uses the spoils of victory to build His Temple (pp. 535-36). The Dominion Mandate will be fulfilled, and earth will be completely “heavenized” (pp. 537-38). Salvation abolishes the Curse (pp.569-70), and promises not only that Paradise will be restored, but that it will be utterly consummated (pp. 354-55): Our gain in Christ is much more than what we lost in Adam (p. 567). Christians will reign with Christ, not just for a “millenium,” but forever (p. 573).” (p. 590)
“St. John uses it here in order to underscore the picture of cosmic resurrection and regeneration: He sees a new heaven and new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, having fled from the face of the Judge (20:11). The old world is completely replaced by the new; the word used is not neos (chronological newness) but kainos (newness in kind, of superior quality). Adam’s task of heavenizing the earth has been completed, established on an entirely new basis in the work of Christ. Earth’s original uninhabitable condition of deep-and-darkness has been utterly done away with: …” (p. 537)
“Yet this vision of the new heaven and earth is not to be interpreted as wholly future. As we shall see repeatedly throughout our study of this chapter, that which is to be absolutely and completely true in eternity is definitively and progressively true now. Our enjoyment of our eternal inheritance will be a continuation and perfection of what is true of the Church in this life. We are not simply to look forward to the blessings of Revelation 21 in an eternity to come, but to enjoy them and rejoice in them and extend them here and now.”
IN FINAL WRITINGS
“The truth is that the Bible tells us very little about heaven; just enough, in fact, to let us know we’re going there. But the primary concern of Scripture is the present life. Of course, the blessings of the final chapters of Revelation do refer to heaven. It is not really an “either/or” kind of an issue. But what is important is that these things are true now. Heaven is a continuation and perfection of what is true of the Church in this life.”
“We could spend the rest of this chapter examining the implications of this passage in Isaiah, but the only point I will make here is that it is clearly a statement about this age, BEFORE THE END OF THE WORLD, and shows what future generations can expect as the gospel permeates the world, restores the earth to Paradise, and brings to fruition the goals of the Kingdom.”
““Ultimately, this will be fulfilled in heaven to the utmost extent. But we must recognize that it is true already. God has wiped away our tears.”
RUSSELL’S “EVENTUAL GOSPEL UNIVERSALISM” :
WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID
“And as I showed in my recent article, Chilton did not “drop” all the aspects of the “Paradise Mandate” and “consummation” when he became a FP. This prompted Todd Dennis to ask whether he really was a “full” preterist in the sense that every single prophecy was fulfilled BY AD 70. Clearly, as his own words prove, he carried on the “Age to come” message in the same manner. I had the opportunity to speak with Chilton a few times, and read his book since 1987, when I first got it. I know his views inside and out. It’s what I cut my teeth on in Bible College. His lectures on “new heaven and new earth” were written AFTER he became a FP. that’s what makes them significant as my article points out. He firmly believed, as do all postmillennialists, in a renewed and transformed CREATION that will eventually manifest itself on earth as it is in heaven. Where earth and heaven are one and the same.” (DiD, 1/5/11)
Kenneth L. Gentry
“I am not the only one promoting Revelation studies from a non-dispensational, pro-preterist perspective. David Chilton’s Days of Vengeance (despite some flights of fancy, use of astrology, and high liturgy) is an extremely insightful commentary. Baker Book House republished The Message from Patmos (1921, 1989), written by Gordon Clark’s father, David Clark.” (Revelation: Four Views Reviewed)
“I would suggest that we not encourage (David Chilton’s) heresy by interacting with him on this matter on this or any other forum. It is now a matter of Church discipline, assuming that he is under any.” (North on Chilton)
“We can and should pray for the restoration of his mind, but to debate with him publicly will almost certainly drive him deeper into this heresy. He will feel compelled to defend himself in public. Let him go in peace. It is not our God-given task to confront him at this point. That is for his local church to do.” (North on Chilton)
“Of course it appears Chilton would disagree with Todd Dennis about putting off Universalism to the future because Chilton states that there is never going to be a complete conversion of all people to Christianity.”
- Chilton: “the world will be converted”
“Re: Chilton’s “outburst.” On the old Reconstructionist
List he said he wouldn’t participate on it if I was on the list. He later emailed an apology to the list, then what he thought was a private one to me (explaining in it his changed views on eschatology) — but he mistakenly sent that email to the whole list, revealing his HP views earlier than he had wanted to, I guess. It was then that Sandlin began questioning him, and Chilton started defending his HP views on the list. North then stomped on him. I had been recommending patience, due to Chilton’s medical condition, but unfortunately, Chilton stopped talking to us after the North email, and a couple weeks later, Chilton passed away.
Dr. Gary North
“His [David Chilton’s] heart attack disrupted his ability to think clearly. It distorted his judgment. From his public outburst against Vern Crisler — for which he later repented, admitting that he cannot think straight these days — until this self-burial of his pre-1994 writings, David Chilton has gone off the deep end. He has now become self-damaged goods delivered on the doorstep of Max King.” (Eulogy)
Edward Stevens (1997)
“Within a few months after David Chilton wrote this Foreword, he had a second heart attack and passed on to the heavenly realm. He was a very dear friend, and a real inspiration to a lot of us. After his first heart attack he did not retreat. He still read and analyzed large volumes of material quickly. I could not send him books fast enough. He plunged back into the deep end of theological study (eschatology). He quizzed me relentlessly on the finer points of the Preterist view. I learned much from him in the process. He approached every issue in a presuppositional apologetic way. And he was always concerned about applying new truths in practical and relevant ways to recontstruct our culture upon Biblical standards. In the six months before his death, he became convinced of the full preterist view. He was just beginning to write and speak about it when God took him Home. His contribution to the development of preterist eschatology was considerable and outstanding. His books, Paradise Restored, Days of Vengeance and The Great Tribulation will be most useful for students of Biblical eschatology for many centuries to come. He wrote numerous articles, essays and books on many other Biblical, philosophical, political, moral, ethical, social and economic issues. A few months before he passed on, he asked me to help him produce a Preterist Study Bible. We were just in the planning stages of that when he passed on. God willing, I hope to see that project become reality, and dedicate it to him. Dave was a man after God’s own heart.” (Foreword)
Dennis M. Swanson
“David Chilton, “converted” to the HP position shortly before his death. However, Vern Crisler (error, it was Gary North), his publisher and long time associate, noted that before this conversion he had suffered his first heart attack and his friends noted that, “the resulting neurological trauma probably affected his judgment more than he realized.” Crisler also predicted the “spin” of the IPA as he stated, ‘Chilton’s last minute conversion to heresy will be exploited by the remaining full-preterists, but they will only be exploiting a debilitated man’s eccentricities, not his healthy and mature judgments.’ (An Examination of the International Preterist Association’s Claims and Methodology)
Chilton left a rich legacy
Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators, by David Chilton (ICE, ISBN 0-930464-04-4)
Paradise Restored, by David Chilton (Dominion Press, ISBN 0-930462-04-1)
The Days of Vengeance, by David Chilton (Dominion Press, ISBN 0-930462-02-2)
The Great Tribulation, by David Chilton, by David Chilton (Dominion Press, ISBN 0-930462-55-6)
Power in the Blood, by David Chilton (Wolgemuth & Hyatt, ISBN 0-943497-05-1)
David Chilton was the most naturally gifted writer I have ever met. He could diffuse fierce controversies with his ready wit and uncommon grace. He could untangle the knotted logic of even the most obscure argument with stunning alacrity and crystalline clarity.
His first book, Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators, is a biblical response to the “Christian Socialism” of Ron Sider and his “Evangelical Left” kin–men like Tony Campolo, Tom Sine, and Jim Wallis. Besides being a pointed critique, it is an introduction to economics, an invigorating survey of Western politics, and a lively lesson in biblical theology.
Paradise Restored is an eschatological primer, dealing with all the controversies and questions of biblical prophecy, but it also delves into the broader issues of biblical interpretation and application. Besides introducing us to a rare sort of “optimillenialism,” it reaffirms the incalculable riches of the Word of God.
The Days of Vengeance is Mr. Chilton’s magnum opus. It is a monumental verse-by-verse and word-for-word commentary of Revelation. It deals with the entire prophetic repertoire of the church through the ages.
The Great Tribulation is a brief paperback treatment of one of the most troubling aspects of “End Times” teaching. Rarely does it ever resort to polemics. Instead, it presses forward its encouraging message with a refreshing scriptural verve and doctrinal fidelity. The first three pages alone are a model of gracious Reformed apologetics at its finest.
Mr. Chilton also wrote the best book ever written on the cultural crisis wrought by AIDS. Power in the Blood is the wisest, most compassionate, and most scriptural treatment of this difficult subject I have ever come across. Instead of merely dealing with the dire problems that have caused AIDS and the dire problems that AIDS has caused, the book portrays real-life solutions to those problems. It affirms the essence of the Gospel hope. It brings light and life to even the most dark and deadly of dilemmas. In some ways it is a perfect summation of Mr. Chilton’s prevailing message: We can take heart because God is sovereign.
When I received word of David Chilton’s sudden homegoing, my first thought was of profound sadness and loss. I thought of his wonderful family and how all the rest of us will miss his innate optimism, unflagging encouragement, and great foresight. I thought of all the books that might have been but now will never be. But after reviewing the rich legacy he has left us, my heart has been lifted. I have finally begun to comprehend great solace in knowing that “he being dead yet speaketh.”
THE ESCHATOLOGY OF DOMINION: A SUMMARY
For those who like their eschatology wrapped up in a neat package, I have listed 45 of the major arguments of this book, in the general order in which they were presented (chapter numbers are in parentheses). The reader should consider each one in the light of the Biblical arguments in the text of the book. Following these “Theses on Hope” is a brief section answering some of the common misunderstandings of the eschatology of dominion.
Theses on Hope
- The Bible teaches us to have hope, not despair; to expect victory and dominion for the gospel, not flight and defeat. (1)
- Biblical prophecy is written in both literal and symbolic language. The choice is not between “liberalism” and “symbolism,” but between aBiblicaland a speculative method of interpreting
the Bible. (2)
- Salvation isre-creation.In redemption, Jesus Christ restores man to the image of God. (3)
- Salvation and its blessings are presented in the Bible asdefinitive, progressive,and final.
- We are not saved out of our environment; rather, salvation works to restore the earth as a whole. God’s Holy Mountain (the Garden) will grow until it fills the entire world.(3-7) emphasis mine
- God blesses obedience and curses disobedience; this pattern will become dominant as history progresses. (3-7)
- Through generations of obedience, the godly will increasingly become competent and powerful, while the ungodly will grow weak and impotent. (3-7)
- The wicked are “raptured” first (i.e., driven out of the earth and disinherited),as the righteous increasingly come into possession of all things.(6)
- Jesus Christ came as the Son of Man (the Second Adam), to setup God’s Kingdom on the earth. (8)
- The Biblical prophecies that Christ would reign as King were fulfilled in Christ’s enthronement at His Ascension. (8)
- Daniel’s prophecy of the Son of Man “coming in the clouds” was fulfilled in the Ascension of Christ. (8)
- Jesus Christ definitively defeated and bound Satan and the demons in His Atonement, Resurrection, and Ascension. (8)
- The Kingdom was established during the First Advent of Christ (including the Judgment of A.D. 70); it is now in progress andwill increase until the end of the world. (8-16)
- Ethnic Israel was excommunicated for its apostasy and will never again be God’s Kingdom.
- The Kingdom is now made up of all those (Jew and Gentile) who have been redeemed by Jesus Christ. (9)
- The Church is now the Temple of God, having been indwelt by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and fully established at the destruction of the old Temple in A.D. 70. (10-13)
- The Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24,Mark 13, and Luke 21) is not about the Second Coming of Christ. It is a prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. (10-11)
- The Great Tribulation took place in the Fall of Israel. It will not be repeated and thus is not a future event (although Christians in every age have had to endure suffering for the
- The Bible does not prophesy any future literal Temple or sacrificial system to be set up in Jerusalem. The Biblical prophecies of the Temple refer to Christ and His Church, definitively,
progressively, and finally. (10-13)
- Although Israel will someday be restored to the true faith, the Bible does not tell of any future plan for Israel as aspecialnation. (14)
- The Biblical language of de-creation (the “collapsing universe”) is symbolic of God’s judgment, especially reminiscent of the Flood and the plagues on Egypt at the Exodus. (15)
- Antichristis a term used by John to describe the widespread apostasy of the Christian Church prior to the Fall of Jerusalem. In general, any apostate teacher or system can be called “antichrist”; but the word does not refer to some “future The Eschatology of Dominion: A Summary 225 Fuhrer.” (12-13)
- The “Great Apostasy” happened in the first century. We therefore have no Biblical warrant to expect increasing apostasy as history progresses; instead,we should expect the increasing Christianization of the world.(12-13)
- The Last Days isa Biblical expression for the period between Christ’s Advent and the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70: the “last days” of Israel. (13)
- Before the Second Coming of Christ, the vast majority of Jews and Gentiles will be converted to the Christian faith. (14)
- All of Christ’s enemies are gradually being subdued under His reign from heaven. He will remain in heaven until all enemies have been defeated.The last enemy, Death, will be destroyed when He returns. (16)
- Jesus Christwill return on the Last Day, when the Resurrection and the Last Judgment will take place. (16)
- The Rapture and the Second Coming will occur together. (16)
- There will be one Resurrection of all men; the righteous will be raised to everlasting life, and the wicked will be raised to damnation. (16)
- The primary concern of prophecy isethical conduct:obedience to God’s commands. (17)
- The Canon of Scripture was closed in A.D. 70, when the Old Covenant passed away. (18)
- The Book of Revelation is not to be interpreted “futuristically”; for its first-century readers, its message wascontemporary,and the time of its fulfillment was “at hand.” (18)
- The “Beast” of Revelation was a symbol of both Nero in particular and the Roman Empire in general. (20)
- The “False Prophet” symbolized the Jewish religious leadership. (20)
- The “Harlot” symbolized apostate Jerusalem, which had ceased to be the City of God. (21)
- The “Millennium” is the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, which He established at His First Advent.
- The “First Resurrection” is a Spiritual resurrection: our justification and regeneration in Christ. (22)
- The “thousand years” of Revelation 20is symbolic for a vast number of years – most likely many thousands. (22, 24)
- All Christians are priests in this age; all Christians are now seated in the heavenly places in Christ. (22)
- The New Creation has already begun: The Bible describes our salvation in Christ, both now and in eternity, as “a new heaven and a new earth.” (23)
- The “New Jerusalem,” the City of God, is the Church, now and forever. (23)
- The center of the Christian reconstruction of the world is the Church. The essence of Biblical religion, and the source of Christian culture, is the worship of God. (24)
- The Church’s worship and government are officially recognized in the heavenly Court. When the Church pronounces lawful judgments, they are executed on earth, in history, through God’s providential administration of the world. (24)
- The Christian goal for the world is the universal development of Biblical theocratic republics, in which every area of life is redeemed and placed under the lordship of Jesus Christ and the rule of God’s law. (24)
- The Christian standard for ethics in every area – for individuals, families, businesses, and governments – is Biblical law. The Christian cannot be satisfied with “pluralism,” for his calling is to work for the dominion of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom throughout the world. Prosperity for the world will come from Jesus Christ, and from Jesus Christ alone.
What do YOU think ?
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Date:24 Mar 2004Time:02:50:21
My comments are anecdotal. I can say enough of how much Chilton’s works in the 1980’s helped me through the maze of my transition out of premil into seeing the past as past. Now, I fully embrace all of the implications associated with what occurred in 70 A.D, whatever it costs. So many fellow saints today have been drained of any impetus to be bold in reading the Bible. May the Lord change that toward greater displays of His kingdom. Paul Richard Strange Sr 119 Marvin Gardens Waxahachie Texas 75165 972-937-7129 firstname.lastname@example.org
Date:07 Jun 2004Time:21:55:07
Re: Chilton’s quoting John Owen on II Peter 3. Why is it that verse 6 is never mentioned? The world that then existed was destroyed by water (Noah’s time). I assume you take this literally. Then why in the world (no pun intended) would you assume the following verses relating to the world then mentioned and the destruction of it by fire is now supposedly spiritualized to mean the Old Covenant? While it is certainly true that the events in 70 AD definitely indicate the end of the Old Covenant and its ordinances, it does not follow that the world = the Old Covenant. John Owen was a great man of God and certainly much more intelligent than I but I think he is wrong on this point and so was David Chilton by ignoring the context or am I missing something…???
Date:03 Sep 2004Time:13:08:32
Re comment made on 7 June 2004…Gen 9:15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. I am sure Noah sighed relief at this promise. Can you imagine his reaction if God said I will use fire the next time instead! Just a thought…Alexonsunday@aol.com
Date: 28 Oct 2005
A friend of mine wrote a book on the parallels of Exodus and Revelation. Would you like to see a copy?
Date: 28 Feb 2006
I am born again by the blood of Jesus my Lord! I am HAPPY to beheaded for my God and King. I dont support pretribulation or mid tribulation. I believe David Chilton’s – postmillennialism…….why do christians fear “how they will die?”
Date: 06 May 2006
The idea that the last days ‘ended’ with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD is the most unfractuous distortion of scripture I have ever heard.
When has ‘peace and righteousness covered the earth as the waters cover the sea’?
When ‘have the nations beat their swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks and taught was NO MORE’?
When has God gathered his ‘people from the north, south, east and west and planted them in the land He gave their forefathers NEVER to be removed again’?
When have the feet of Jesus stood upon the Mt of Olives and the ‘Mt has split from east to the west’?
When have the moon and sun stopped shining and the tides ebbing and flowing – Jer 31 – so that Israel would not be a nation before God?
I could go on but the agony here is too much to endure.
Date: 30 Mar 2007
throw the book of revelations out of the bible because it doesn’t matter… we are all in our last days anyway because when you die, that will be your last day!
Date: 30 Jul 2007
Christians suffer both individually and personally like no other time in western history, yet the learned debate the use of lithargy!! “Know all, do nothing” seems to be the subtle mantra. Christians are loosing their children/wives, inheritence and in short the Imago Deo. Still, we don’t dare polish the brass on this ‘sinking ship.’ The key is this lunacy about not comming off the ‘roof top’ to go into the house…etc. God has given us His Kingdom, yet we want to hide on the snow covered slopes of Mt. Ararat to indulge ourselves with proof. What a worthless prison does pre-mil offer to the saints. At least the Roman Christians had each other in the time of distress. We make corporations to cling like the harlot to the state. Any problems with this state are suspect. You are the ones who are suspect, is the Lords view-and mine.