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What is Proper Preterism?

Proper Preterism is Biblical Prophecy (by Steven Hawk & Paul Sauls)

  1. Proper Preterism is NOT Partial Preterism that requires some future second coming of Christ.
  2. Proper Preterism does NOT violate or distort ANY imminent time statements, but rather, puts them in their proper context. 
    EXAMPLE: Luk 21:22 ….properly, it is ONLY “all things written” pertaining to the “days of vengeance” that is right in the verse! 
    Further, the phrase “all things written” does not pertain to ANY of the NT writings and it would be anachronistic to include them in the context of this passage.  

We think the “days of vengeance” were LAST DAYS EVENTS that led up to and included the destruction of the Harlot, Jerusalem. Historically, the events prophetically described by Jesus as recorded in Luke 21:8-27 occurred in the years of ca. 36-70 AD. Jesus clearly instructed His listeners that “when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is NEAR!” [Near is not here!]

What is Proper Preterism?

Nature and Time of Parousia:

The Parousia most definitely occurred and was “visible” in the events of circa AD70. We side firmly with Douglas Wilkinson and Jerel Kratt (Perpetual Millennium Preterism)that emphasizes the subtle but very important nuances between “Erchomai” (arrival) and “Parousia” (ongoing presence after arrival). Thus, we hold that the Parousia indicates the beginning of the Millennium, the ongoing presence of Christ since accessing his throne of David, ruling and reigning with the Saints while subduing the nations of mankind from the heavenly realm. We firmly reject any eschatological view which posits the Millennium of Christ as terminating in AD70. Such views overtly violate Christ’s clear statements concerning when He would officially take seat with his Saints on the Throne of His Glory (Throne of David) in Matt 19:28, Matt 25:31, & Rev 3:21.      

Nature and Time of Resurrection:

We note that the majority of scripture seems to speak of “resurrection” in terms of a singular event in time coincident with the Parousia. However, we acknowledge that Revelation 20 posits TWO distinct resurrection events separated by the Millennial Reign of Christ with his saints.  In accordance with 1Pe 9 – 12, we feel John’s Revelation is authoritatively clarifying and interpretive of all prior prophecies regarding “THE resurrection.” The dual resurrection is one major area where we differ with Doug Wilkinson and Jerel Kratt who ask us to accept Rev 20:5a as an “illegitimate textual variant.”  We respectfully disagree with them on this point for two reasons.  1) We find the arguments for Rev 20:5a as a textual variant are less than convincing. In fact, we find evidence that the extant manuscripts actually support the inclusion of Rev 20:5a rather than exclusion. 2) Even if one were to eliminate Rev 20:5a from the texts, the very same information is given in Rev 20:6, where protos anastasis most certainly implies a secondary resurrection event. We therefore hold that the First Resurrection pertained to the faithful in Christ, both dead and alive, and took place circa AD70. The First Resurrection began the Millennial Reign of Christ with his Saints. Rev 20:4 proves it occurs AFTER the defeat of the beast power. Thus, we believe the Millennium is ongoing today as Christ continues to subdue the nations with a rod of iron and through his gospel. The second resurrection and judgment of “the rest of the dead”(GWTJ Rev 20:12) will occur at some point yet future to us after Satan is destroyed (Rev 20:10). Satan having currently renewed his deception to the nations during the “little while” as Rev 20:3, 7-8 anticipated. (for more on this see “Unique Characteristics of View” heading below)

While we believe Christ’s kingdom will never end, we do see an end to some Messianic duties once the nations are fully subdued. In our view, this would be the point at which Christ delivers the kingdom to the Father according to 1Co 15:23-28, having accomplished all work the Father gave him in the reconciliation of all things.      

 Nature and Time of the Gathering/Rapture:

We believe that the regathering of the twelve tribes of Israel was accomplished by AD70 and was completed by Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles with the “ethnos” being called to believe Christ’s gospel.  The term “ethnos” (Gentiles) simply means “the nations” which, contextually in the 1stcentury AD, meant anyone from ANY nation. This also included the Israelites (northern tribes) of the Assyrian exile from the 8thcentury bc, referred to as the House of Israel or Ephraim (as opposed to the House of Judah, still in the land in Christ’s day).Since her creation, Israel was always supposed to have been a nation according to FAITH rather than pure blood lines. Paul clarified that beyond any possible misunderstanding in his several epistles. We comprehend that the northern tribes were dispersed completely (Hos 1:9) and were inseparably SEWN AS SEED INTO the Gentile nations (Ezekiel 22:15 LXX “scatter”, Greek diaspiero“to sow seed”, Hos 8:8) by God’s own design (prior to the Babylonian captivity of the southern tribes) through the Assyrian process of relocation, forced intermarriage, and total cultural/religious assimilation into the diverse pagan cultures of the nations which they conquered. After several hundred years they lost all identification with the nation of Israel culturally, covenantally, socially, geographically, religiously, and genetically. Thus, Paul realized that it was only through calling the Gentiles corporately that he would ALSO accomplish the miraculous regathering of the 12 tribes in Christ by FAITH. Unlike the IO proponents, we do not believe Paul was mystically calling ONLY the so-called “lost northern tribes” since God’s reason for the divorce was to bring them back along with the other nations in righteousness through Messiah. In Paul’s day, there remained ONLY GENTILES and JEWS and a true Jew was a Christian (the believing remnant, Rev 2:29).

Rom 11 talks about both houses (1st branch broken off: Israel, aka gentiles, 2nd branch broken off: Judah aka Jews,… 
PLUS a NEW THIRD BRANCHother believers from the nations) of Israel in which the believing remnant from both also had to be gathered unto Messiah, the new green branch they ALL had to be grafted into (Isa 4:2, 11:1, 60:21; Jer 23:5, 33:15 et al) the true olive tree Jesus Christ.

The continuation of this 3rd Branch is why we read in Luke 21:24 (added emphasis):

And they (the Jews) shall be falling by the edge of the sword and shall be led into captivity into all nations (70AD and after). And Jerusalem shall be trodden by the nations (still is today), until the eras of the nations may be fulfilled.” (the nations hear the gospel) 

IO Preterists have tried to tell us Luke 21:24 is a parallel to Rom 11:25, but it is NOT, because Rom 11:25 is talking about Ephraim’s descendants or the northern tribes! Ephraim’s descendants were instrumental to possess and inherit the nations in God’s plan to bring in the nations. Nor is Luk 21:24 a reference to Rev 11:2 that only tells of the BEGINNING (not the end) of Judah’s dispersion.

Further, Paul was most certainly aware that the nations would also be granted access into the kingdom according to Isaiah 49:5-6. We believe the First Resurrection (Rev 20:4-5; 1Th 4:16) correspondsto the resurrection of the 1stcentury Saints, the Bride of Christ, the 144 thousand “virgins” from the 12 tribes (Rev 7, Rev 14:1-4).These were made up of both Jews and Gentiles (One New Man) reconciled in Christ according to FAITH. The first resurrection was largely an invisible event in heaven (i.e. souls Rev 20:4) tothe world coincident with AD70.

Nature and Time of the Millennium:

According to Christ’s own statements correlated with Revelation 20, the Millennium would begin when Christ would officially be seated “on the throne of His glory.” We are aware that nearly everyone in the Full Preterist camp holds that Christ was seated on the throne of David at his ascension to the Father. However, we believe a closer reading of scripture tells a significantly different story. First, Isaiah 9:7 tells us that Christ’s KINGdom would be ESTABLISHED with JUDGMENT, as did Christ in Mat 21:43, 23:38. That judgment did not come until AD70. Secondly, though Christ was most certainly seated at the right hand (throne) of the Father at his ascension, this was not the same as being seated on “the throne of HIS glory” (the throne of David). Jesus plainly informs his faithful that they would be seated WITH HIM…on HIS throne…at the very time HE is seated at the Parousia. We cite Mat 19:28, 25:31; 2Ti 2:12 and Rev 3:21 in support of our exegesis. 

Furthermore, Christ was told to WAIT UNTIL his enemies were made his footstool (put under his authority).(Psa 110:1) “But this man (Jesus), after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God; and from there He is waiting for His enemies to be made his footstool.” (Heb 10:12-13, emphasis added) As Hebrews was written ca. 64AD, several years after 1Corinthians was written. According to the author of Hebrews, Jesus was still sitting at the right hand of the Father in ca. 64AD, because He was still waiting for His enemies to be made His footstool. This “waiting” signifies that Christ was not yet acting officially in the role of KING, but as the PRINCE IN WAITING (Act 5:31, 3:15 also see Dan 9:25-26; 12:1) until he accessed the throne of David and became King (Rev 11:15) to sit in judgment in AD70. Until that time, his enemies, the rulers of 1st century OC Judah, were still in full authority while the physical Jerusalem temple yet remained standing. He could not be KING until they and the Levitical priesthood were removed (Heb 8:4, 9:8). The entire book of Hebrews (notably Heb 8:1, Heb 10:12-13) thoroughly informs us that Christ’s role was in the heavenlies from the time of his ascension to AD70 to perform high priestly duties, rather than act as King. Kingly duties would come at AD70 when he began judgment that was also from heaven (1Pe 1:4-5; Col 1:5; 2Tim 4:18 et al).

Is Salvation Ongoing Today?

Absolutely without question (Luk 21:24 et al). Salvation is man turning from a life of pursuing carnal minded wickedness to receive God’s provision (the atoning blood of Christ) for his “missing the mark.” It is the NC offer of the blessing of eternal life in the Kingdom / City after this physical life ends while also experiencing the amazing blessing of walking DAILY in (the spirit) fellowship with Christ by faith and having him dwell inside us spiritually in THIS life. This blessed fellowship is experienced both individually in private and corporately as believers gather together to worship our LORD.      



What Continues Today?

The Kingdom was established in the judgment of Israel in AD70 (Isa 9:7, 29:9; Rev 11:!5 and 20:4) and the destruction of the harlot, apostate Judah. The Kingdom has no end, no matter what events may transpire temporally. The Millennial Reign of Christ with his Saints in the heavenlies continues today until he abolishes all rule and all authority and power and delivers the kingdom to the Father that the Father becomes all in all. We think this is when all finally know the one true God. This process officially began at the overthrow of Jerusalem and the OC (Mat 21:43). The gospel continues to call all men to faith in Christ as he is still bringing the nations into subjection to his authority and rule.  

Unique Characteristics of View

Our exegesis and grammatical studies lead us to conclude that AD70 brought about the coincident “binding” of Satan in the Abyss to prevent FURTHER deceiving of the nations (Rev 20:3) and the judgment of the Harlot because SHE HAD ALREADY BEEN deceiving the nations all throughout the 40-year gospel period (Rev 18:23). Since that is the purpose of the binding, and the nations during the 40-year period between 30-70AD were still being deceived and people were still falling away from the faith as a result of that deception (1Ti 4:1) we must adamantly reject the FPist 40-year binding theory.

We reject the claim of being partial preterists because we consider that the writings of the NT apostles and prophets of Christ fall squarely OUTSIDE the purview of “all things that are written” which was only speaking to last days events (days of vengeance) that ended ca. 70AD. When Christ spoke those words in Luke 21:22, even HIS words had not yet been written, let alone the rest of the books of the NT. We believe that the majority of Revelation points to and enhances what the OT prophets wrote concerning the eschaton. However, we also perceive that Revelation contains NEW information that gives us a glimpse of things that would transpire AFTER the fall of Jerusalem and into the ongoing Millennial Reign of Christ and beyond (Rev 20-22). 

We marvel that everyone is so intent on describing and discussing the END of the OC but seem to give almost no thought to Christ’s glorious Millennial Reign of the NC in which all things are to bemade new! We strive to always be ready and willing to amend our position as new information and exegesis might prove us to be erroneous in some point. Therefore, we are not locked into any rigid 70AD hermeneutic (while still acknowledging its significance as the destruction of Jerusalem) and therefore yield at all times to the scriptures as we continue to learn and grow in the Lord.


The Jews as God’s Chosen & Special “Second Chance” as a Nation Debunked (an analysis of Romans 11 that is being consistently misused)

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A Sample taken from Book 1 of:

“The Christian MythBuster Series: The Last Days Edition

“and shall dash thee to the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave 

in thee one stone upon another; BECAUSE YOU KNEW NOT the time of thy visitation.”

(Jesus Christ to the Jews that rejected His coming Luk 19:43) 

“and it shall be, every soul that may not hear that 

prophet shall be utterly destroyed out of the people.” (Act 3:23)

Please read this vital information in its ENTIRETY! Contact us for the full version.

Acts 3:23-24 (above quote) does not put a 2,000 year rider on that promise. Next verse (24) even tells when it was for “of these days.” This Zionist deception is so broad it’s hard to put under one subtitle, but we’ve already clarified some misconceptions about “Counterfeit Zion”, “Forever as Temporary Shadows”, etc. and the words translated to imply the end of that world (heaven and earth etc.) or age as the YLT translates—that was “forever” for their world or age, but the promise was to the 12 tribes – the Jews (Judah) were only one tribe – the ten northern tribes were scattered abroad.

We also learned that new covenant Israel was a continuation with those that are in Christ (not a replacement because genetic Israelites were and are included if they are in Christ). Jesus predicted (God pronouncing judgment on Judah in the first century the Abyss [Jerusalem]; see the Abyss) her house would be desolate. In other words, no more House of Judah (Jewish nation) to have special status with Yahweh God (Deut 4:26-32;30:1 The mystery of the gospel was that the physical house would be dissolved and only a spiritual house that would begin with the 1st century remnant that had been left and those hearing the gospel – ergo: Eph 2:20). Jesus did NOT say, if you repent your House may or may not be desolate or someday be restored. God would not remarry a harlot (Jer 3:8  And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.)

You need to notice a few things: God split the tribes (northern Israel and Southern Judah), He divorced Israel, but stayed married to Judah even though we just read she was a harlot too, because Jesus would come through that lineage. 

Also, we are NOT saying “individual Jews” are condemned and cannot repent! Repent as in change their minds about scripture.

But, Christ was and is the last chance who came in the last days of which we are no longer in (Mat 21:37;41; Luke 21:22 with Isaiah 61:1-2; Heb 1:2; 1Peter 4:7 et al). It is important you look up those “last days” scriptures because the church has missed  AND DENIED some crucial FULFILLMENT that is also a huge part of this enigma. The NT is talking about the “LAST DAYS OF THE MOSAIC MARRIAGE COVENANT AGE!” You failed to ask: The Last Days of what? This does not mean everything is fulfilled, but we should not deny what has been and MOST churches are! The rapture of Christ’s Presence in you is what you should want. Christ is Present Here and Now. His sheep hear His voice and follow Him. Those who say He’s coming some day, deny His Presence and call Him a liar.  His second coming he alluded to many times occurred. If you can’t see Him (not visual, but perception),  you are likely not one of His sheep.  “Yet a little while, and the world sees Me no more; but ye see Me: because I live, ye live also. At that day ye know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” IV gospel 14:19-20 He came, Came & destroyed the Sodom-Babylon of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. as He said He would.

Rev 18:23-24  and the light of a lamp shall shine no more at all in thee (no more in Judah, the old Jerusalem); and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the princes of the earth; for with thy sorcery were all the nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all that have been slain upon the earth. (Jesus said this was the apostate Jews of Jerusalem Mat 23:34,37; Luk 11:49 et al)

Christ’s judgment, IN THE FIRST CENTURY LAST DAYS, was declared upon “the House of Judah (the Jewish kingdom, city and nation)” to be desolate. Please let that sink in, overlooking this is one of the greatest, if not thē greatest deception in Christianity today and a huge part of the deception is Christians mistaking the Jews for Israel, remember we talked about when God made the split and we know why. The next verse of that passage Christians use to say the Jews will accept Him at His second coming (…seeing Him whom they have pierced Rev1:7 cp. Zech 12:2,9-11) but His second coming in judgment was to destroy their House (vindication on the House of Judah) as He just foretold in the prior verse, not to give them a future sign or come for a special trip for them sometime in the future.

The House of Judah (not individuals [though individuals can be of this GROUP] who call themselves Jews that we hope and pray accept Christ as their Savior – as we hope for all other peoples) is the “dry tree” Jesus foretold of. They are the GROUP called Judah today. This is much further elaborated on in Book 2 of the series (available now) entitled “The Master of Deception” (see last page of index of this book – and a picture of the cover – for details on how you can get the book).


In Romans 11:26 we read about “All Israel being saved.” Many people like to point to this passage and proclaim on behalf of all the Jews in the world today and say; “See, this proves that God will save everyone who is of Jewish descent or nationality”. I have an issue with this because that is not what it says, and I hope you will join me in looking at this critically because other passages and interpretations do not support that idea. What we are saying is that the following passage in Romans has been fulfilled and is not a future prophecy – there was a type and anti-type similarity (among other reasons) of “the Gentiles coming in”: The type was fulfilled, the anti-type of Gentiles still coming into the church is not yet fulfilled. (contact us for more on this)

Rom 11:25-28 For I would not, brethren, have you ignorant of this mystery, lest ye be wise in your own conceits, that a hardening in part hath befallen Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in; 26and so all Israel shall be saved: even as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer; He shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 27And this is my covenant unto them, When I shall take away their sins. 28As touching the gospel, they are enemies for your sake: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sake.

In this verse the major difference with other translations is in the very first phrase; “And in this way…” Other translations say “And so all Israel will be saved…”.

The Olive Tree Mystery of Romans 11 Revealed – that you no longer be deceived:

Just as we learned in Part I of the book about the fourth gospel 3:16 – the Greek text is very clear. The word translated “So” [Greek outo] literally means, “In this way” or “In this manner.” So Paul is not using the word “so,” but is elaborating on the manner in which “All” Israel shall be saved. He is not saying that every genetic Israelite will be saved.

The key is in Rom 9:30-31 and Rom 11:26. Paul knows that “the nationals that are following after righteousness” and have attained unto righteousness (v.30) include descendants of Israel, divorced and scattered among the nations from the 8th century BC.  They are the ones that must fulfill the prophecy of the “melo ha goyim” (fulness of nations) of Gen 48:19 and by their salvation “all Israel shall be saved.”  The salvation of “all Israel” is accomplished by the salvation of the fulness of the nations, not by a future awakening of Apostate Judah as a nation because this was a first century event. The nations are still hearing the gospel though as Luk 21:24 states.

The term “Israel” in Rom 9:31 is not a reference to first century Jews, it is rather a reference to the ancient nation of Israel (the northern tribes) before the divorce. The term “Israel” is not applied to Jews “as a people and nation” in the NT (even though they as individuals sometimes are referred to as teachers of Israel). The term “Israel” in 11:26 ultimately is a reference to a resurrected Israel. For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith (Romans 4:13). For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Therefore, the Holy Spirit states that all peoples (including individual Jews – Not the Nation of Apostate Judah being converted as a GROUP, as commonly taught), in all times, who possess faith in Jesus Christ for the salvation of their souls constitute the one and ONLY (no separate people groups of God) “Israel of God”:

Gal 6:15-16  For neither is circumcision anything [not necessary], nor uncircumcision, but [all peoples, including individual Jews must become] a new creature [creation]. 16And as many as shall walk by this [NEW COVENANT] rule, peace be upon them, and mercy, and upon the [TRUE AND ONLY] ISRAEL OF GOD. [EMPHASIS ADDED]

Peter elaborates and confirms that salvation is now open to ALL who fear God and is no longer a monopoly reserved (as they taught) to one nation or people. Peter is affirming through the gospel going out to the whole world what was said to Abraham that he would be a blessing to ALL the families of the world (see Gen 17ff). The point is that we were told in Jer 31 in the new covenant God would bless the Houses of Israel and Judah in the manner we are seeing today since the first century; and He did that in a very unique way – by divorcing and scattering Israel into the Gentile nations then calling them back in belief and righteousness. In the scripture you will not find a single verse of scripture that teaches that God had a plan to change this all inclusive plan and revert to an exclusive salvation where only one nation would be eligible. So God is NOT going to again deal with people based on race, ethnicity, nationality, or genealogical descent.


Since we have already explained Romans 11:26 “blindness in part has come to Israel…”, by demonstrating the end of the exile through Christ and the restoration of the kingdom (in a heavenly sphere, but also somewhat earthly for us mortals who are in a type of prenatal stage) to the Israel of God (Gal 6:16; Eph 2:12), we do not have to expound on this verse. However, we continue to debunk the idea of dispensationalism, because it is a subtle, ominous sin, working against God.

To be scripturally correct, NC Israel is a spiritual seed/genealogy aka those who “walk after the spirit” of Christ—it is NOT a physical genealogy. This “all Israel will be saved” also applies to those who have been resurrected as well as those who are still alive in the flesh but “walk after the spirit”…. THUS:

Gal 5:16 “in him is no sin” as long as we walk after the spirit not after the flesh…. ergo:

2Pet 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens (where the resurrected saints are now) and a new earth, (people still living, who walk after the spirit of Christ) wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Gal 3:2 This only I desire to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by works of Law or by hearing of faith? Gal 3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. Gal 3:29 And if ye are Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, heirs according to promise.

The above 3 verses (even v.7 alone) destroy the dispensational understanding of prophecy – that God has two people groups (the Jews and the church) and that the church is some parenthesis afterthought at best. Look at v.7 above, those that are the sons of Abraham’s seed (not plural ‘seeds’ Gal 3:16) are not of a genetic lineage, but are the spiritual descendants that are in Christ PERIOD, to get the promises (v.29).

The Galatians had foisted upon them this Jew-centric deceptive (Gal 3:1f) interpretation. They did not understand the mystery of the gospel, and thought physical Israel (whom they falsely call the Jews) had a permanent place and priority in the plan of God. This same deception, of a counterfeit Zion, is being taught in many of the churches in America and Christianity today. It is sometimes referred to as “dispensationalism (futurism that denies fulfillment)” and is closely linked to Zionistic Judaism. Paul adamantly refutes this in Galatians 1:8f, et al in no uncertain terms as a false gospel.

The things we have learned here does not sound like a simple blindness, or hardening of the Jews as the Zionist falsely attribute that verse that was to the NORTHERN TRIBES. It sounds more like God fed those who were opposing Him strong delusion that they’d believe the lie they wanted to believe, then He destroyed them out of the land, and they became a “dry tree.” Luk 23:31 For if they do these things in the green tree, what shall be done in the dry? This, He spoke of their treatment (ruthlessness) toward Him because of their rebellion toward God. Here, in a sense, He was foretelling the heinous acts they would do as a restored people (nation TODAY) thereafter, because (even though they were a circle of bad guys) they were still a green tree when they possessed the kingdom (Mat 8:12, 21:43). 

So, the next time someone tries to tell you that God is telling us He was using the Jews to save the other nations in these verses:

Rom 11:1a  “I say then, Did God cast off his people? God forbid….” Rom 11:11  I say then, Did they stumble that they might fall? God forbid: but by their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, to provoke them to jealousy. Rom 11:12  Now if their fall is the riches of the world, and their loss the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? Rom 11:25  For I would not, brethren, have you ignorant of this mystery, lest ye be wise in your own conceits, that a hardening in part hath befallen Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in; Rom 11:26  and so all Israel shall be saved: even as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer; He shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

You now can openly correct them in front of others and say Paul was celebrating God’s method in this following verse by Him divorcing (in the 8th century BC) Israel (the northern tribes, NOT the Jews whom He stayed married to in the first century), but the northern tribes whom He would use to bring in the fulness of the Gentiles (nations)!:

Rom 11:33  O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past tracing out!

(available in 3 formats)

A Critique of Don Preston’s (Full Preterist) Thousand Years

The Timing of the Millennium and Millennial Martyrs

By Lloyd Dale February 2015

For years I have been studying Preston’s writings on the subject of the Millennium which he erroneous believes to be the forty year period from the resurrection of Jesus Christ up to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. Although Preston regularly asserts his forty year view, as far as I can tell, he has not presented a cogent explanation of why and how he initially arrived at that view.

This article is being written to interact with Don Preston’s erroneous 40 year Millennium view in general and more specifically with his article entitled “The Millennial Martyrs” in his Objection Overruled! Column in the winter, 2014 Vol. 9, issue 4, of “Fulfilled! Magazine.” The title of this article is very misleading as the Scriptures do not give us any examples of anyone being martyred in the millennium. This concept of persons being martyred in the Millennium appears only in the erroneous paradigm of the “forty year Millennialists” who claim that the Millennium occurred during the forty years from ca. 30 – 70 AD. While Preston accuses Jordan of holding to an erroneous “foundational presupposition,” Jordan was/is certainly correct to assert that the “Millennium began in AD 70.” Contrary to Preston’s assertion, that his article “falsifies the idea that the Millennium began in AD70” – it did nothing of the kind.

Preston is very fond of laying out what he thinks to be the “flawed presuppositions underlying” the works of others, such as James B. Jordan, whom he debated in 2004. In this article, we will identify the “flawed presuppositions underlying” Preston’s erroneous forty year millennial view.

Because of the aforementioned article, I think that I have now found the initial “flawed presupposition underlying” his basis for his erroneous forty year Millennial position. In the article referenced above Preston wrote, “Amillennialists and postmillennialists generally say the Millennium began in the ministry of Jesus…” As a COC Amillennialist, Don entered preterism with the erroneous


“presupposition” that the Millennium began “in the ministry of Jesus” and ostensibly he simply never ‘looked back and/ or questioned’ that presupposition. Thus, based on that erroneous presupposition, he erroneously assumed that everything that happened during the time period of ca. 30-70 AD were events that were to take place during the Millennium and based all of his arguments on that “underlying flawed presupposition.”

While it may be true (or not true), that Jordan’s position was that “Revelation 20 is exclusively about the vindication of the martyrs persecuted by the Beast, i.e. Nero…” that is most certainly not our position. In this, we agree with Preston that, “all of the blood, of all of the righteous, all the way back to Creation, would be vindicated in the AD 70 judgment of Jerusalem. So, AD 70 was the vindication of all the martyrs from Abel onward, no just from Nero onward!”

We also assert that “the full measure of the martyrs had been reached at the initiation of the Millennium by resurrection of the martyred of the ages in AD 70.

On page 12 (first page of Preston’s article) at the bottom of this page Preston writes, “…the fact that the martyrs were enthroned to rule – and to wait—for a thousand years belies that…” Preston continues, “What were they waiting for during the Millennium? They were waiting for the measure of the martyrs to be filled up.”

Now, in our opinion, this is where Preston completely ‘jumped the track’ and headed down the wrong road. It appears to us that Preston’s claim that the martyrs were “to wait — for a thousand years… ” is a complete fabrication on his part. Were does the text in question, Revelation 20:4, state, or for that matter even imply, that they were “to wait” for anything – let alone a thousand years?

Let’s examine that text very carefully:

“Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their


foreheads or their hands. They came to life again and began the reign with Christ for a thousand years.” (Re 20:4)

Now let me ask the reader, do you see the word “wait” anywhere in that text? Of course not, because it simply is not in that text. Second question, do you see anything in that text that even implies a “wait”? Of course you do not because there is simply nothing in that text that implies a “wait”—to say nothing of waiting for a thousand years. Where does Preston get the entirely erroneous notion that anyone in this verse is “waiting – for a thousand years”? Nothing in the text makes such a statement, nor even implies such an idea.

In this text, John simply describes what and who he saw. The text simply states that John “saw thrones” and he “saw those that were seated on the thrones,” then John adds the information that the ones who were seated on those thrones which he saw were “those to whom the authority to judge was committed.”

At this point, Preston and everyone else who studies this verse should have stopped and asked a question: “Who are the ones to whom Jesus gave the promise that they would “sit on thrones and judge…?” Try as I might, I have found no place in Preston’s writings where he has even asked this question, let alone actually answered this question. So, let’s answer this question for him.

To find the actual Biblical answer to this question, let us turn to Matthew 19:28:

“And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you which have followed me

(“in my earthly ministry”), when the regeneration occurs and the Son of

man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye (the twelve disciples) also shall

sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Mt 19:28, emphasis added, see also Luke 22:29-30, Matthew 25:31, and Revelation 3:21)

It should now be obvious and clear to everyone reading this article that John’s statement about “the thrones and those sitting on those thrones” is a ‘rifle shot’ straight back to the promise he heard Jesus make John and to His other disciples on that fateful day there in Judaea. It should also be apparent to all who read this article that NO ONE; not Jesus, not the twelve disciples to whom He made that great promise, not those who had been killed “for the witness of Jesus”, not those “which had not worshipped the beast… NO ONE was waiting; for they all, every


last one of them, “…came to life (i.e. were regenerated in the “first” resurrection) and began the reign with Christ…” Contrary to Preston’s erroneous position, “judging” and living is not “waiting” it is actively functioning in His heavenly kingdom (2Tim 4:18)!

It gets even worse, because Preston continues, “…they were awaiting the Resurrection and the New Creation. This is critical.” Don is certainly right about something here, “it is critical!” In spite of the fact that Revelation 20:4 specifically states that “those sitting on the thrones,” those who had been killed “for the witness of Jesus,” those “which had not worshipped the beast” “came to life and began the reign with Christ.” Stated in plain English so that NO ONE should be able to miss it – Revelation 20:4, especially when compared with Matthew 19:28, 25:31; Luke 22:29-30; 1Corinthians 15:23c; and Revelation 3:21; specifically states that all of the individuals involved in this verse were regenerated to new life in the Resurrection in the Parousia of Jesus Christ. In that verse it is plainly stated that all of those people had just been regenerated to new life in the Resurrection and that they all, each and every one of them, were at that very moment in the New Creation, in His heavenly kingdom – Paradise — living “with Christ”!!!!!

In the light of that very clear and salient fact, how can Preston claim that “they were waiting for the Resurrection and the New Creation”??

As we shall see, Preston makes that claim based upon some flawed interpretive irregularities.” Preston continues, “Notice now the relationship between Revelation 6:9-11 and Revelation 20 (Although Preston does not identify the specific verse in Rev 20 which is his reference, that verse is 4.):”

“Revelation 6:9-11 – Past martyrdom, (royal) robes given, indicating an initial vindication, a “short) time of waiting (the Millennium) for the filling up of the measure of the martyrs, the promise of full vindication at the Great Day of the Lord”

“Revelation 20 – Past Martyrdom, the seating on the thrones, indicating at least initial vindication, a time of waiting (the Millennium) for the filling up of the measure of martyrs, the promise of full vindication at the Great Day of the Lord, the resurrection and the New Creation.(My emphasis)


Now reader, please go back and re-read the above very carefully and you should see how Preston attempts “exegetical slight of hand” in an attempt to establish his erroneous position of a forty year Millennium. Notice how Don inserted the “(Millennium)” in Revelation 6:9-11, when in fact, there is nothing about the Millennium in that passage and it is clearly not intended in that passage. The “short time” that the martyrs were instructed to wait had nothing what-so-ever to do with the Millennium, i.e. the thousands years of Revelation 20:4-7. To actually demonstrate that fact, let us take a good look at Revelation 6:9-11:

“When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the land?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.” (Re 6:9- 11, emphasis mine)

Reader, where does Preston find anything about “the Millennium” in the verses shown above? It simply is not there except in his erroneous paradigm. Also where does Preston find anything about “initial vindication” in these verses? The entire tenor of these verses is that these martyrs have not yet been vindicated and they are crying out “how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the land!” The simple fact is that there is no evidence “indicating at least initial vindication.”

It is true that these verses do indicate “a time of waiting for the filling up of the measure of martyrs” for it was said unto them “rest a little longer until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.” It should also be noted that there is no stated “promise of full vindication at the Great Day of the Lord” in these verses; however, it is implied in the statement “rest a little longer.” Finally, these verses in Revelation 6:9-11 simply do not mention “the resurrection,” and “the New Creation”.


Every alert and astute student of the Bible should recognize that this statement in Rev. 6:9-11 is a clear and certain refrain from a passage in Genesis:

“Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” And the LORD said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.” (Ge 4:9-11 ESV)

It should be noted here that the “ground” of Genesis 4:10-11 is the “altar” of Revelation 6:9 and the “cry of the blood” is the same, i.e. a cry for vengeance to avenge the blood of the slain martyrs. This clear relationship between Revelation 6:9-11 and Genesis 4:9-11is a clear indicator for the perceptive reader that the words of Jesus, “so that upon you (the apostate Jews of first century) may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.” (Mt 23:35, emphasis added) are being acknowledged as being fulfilled within these verses in Rev. 6:9-11. Thus, we see that the martyrs “under the altar” as including every martyr from Abel forward until ca. 64 AD, the beginning of the Neronian persecution. Those that are to be martyred later during the Neronian persecution are described here “the number of their fellow servants and their brothers… who were to be killed as they themselves had been” killed.

Now let’s take another look at Revelation 6:11:

Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.” (Re 6:9-11 ESV, emphasis added)

Obviously, the words “rest a little longer” in verse 11 above had nothing what-so- ever to do with the Millennium of Revelation 20:4-7. Those under the altar were dead. They “had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne” to Jesus during their life time. Thus, these martyrs must include everyone from Abel forward and specifically included those that had been slain by Jews


(such as Saul) during the years of the Jewish persecutions of the early Christians, ca. 30-64 AD.

These martyrs were told to “to rest (“sleep” i.e. remain dead, see John 11:11-13) a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been” killed. This resting in sleep is the only case of ‘waiting’ in these sections of Scripture. But it is not the “waiting” that Preston incorrectly sets forth.

These martyrs described in Rev 6:9-11 are seen again in Rev 20:4 were they are included with others “who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God” who by that time had been killed because they “had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands.” Thus, the number “to be killed” was now “complete” as explained in 6:9-11.

In his zeal to promote and establish his erroneous forty year millennium error, Preston has failed to do proper exegesis of Revelation 6:9-11 and Revelation 20:4. Because of this error in exegesis, Preston erroneously conflates 6:9-11 and 20:4 into one package instead of seeing them as sequential events, where 20:4 provides us with the “completion” of the promise given to the martyrs in 6:9-11. When the full number of martyrs had been completed; vengeance was taken, their blood was avenged “on those who dwell on the land” and the Resurrection of 20:4d occurred. The full measure of suffering had been fulfilled and the blood of the martyrs was vindicated by the destruction of those who dwell on the land and the dead belonging to Christ were regenerated and resurrected out of the dead as is stated in Rev 20:4d (see also 1Cor 15:23c and 1Thess 4:13-17).

Now let us take a specific look at Revelation 20:4:

“Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and who had


not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life again and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” (Re 20:4 ESV)

Looking again at Preston’s analysis of this verse:

“Revelation 20 – Past Martyrdom, the seating on the thrones, indicating at least initial vindication, a time of waiting (the Millennium) for the filling up of the measure of martyrs, the promise of full vindication at the Great Day of the Lord, the resurrection and the New Creation.(My emphasis)

Why does Preston see “Past Martyrdom, the seating on the thrones,” as “indicating at least initial vindication?” If there had been any “vindication,” it would have been fully accomplished. There is nothing stated in this verse about any “vindication,” past, present or future.

Where does Preston see anything about “waiting” in this verse?” Simply put, there is not the slightest suggestion of “a time of waiting” in this verse.

Preston continues his erroneous ways as he writes:

“…if Revelation 20:1-4 describes the AD 70 judgment, it demands that the full measure of martyrs had been reached in those verses. But, that would mean that the millennial time of waiting had nothing to do with Revelation 6:9-11 and the filling up of the measure of suffering and martyrdom.”(Emphasis added)

Again, I ask the reader – were does the Bible teach a “millennial time of waiting” as stated by Preston here? The simple answer is – it does not teach such a notion, nor does it even imply that the Millennium is a “time of waiting.” Because of his zeal for an erroneous forty year millennium, he has confused the time “…to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete…” of Revelation 6:9-11 with the “thousands years” (millennium) of Revelation 20:4-7 where no such confusion is permitted by the text.

The fact is that the “time of waiting” of Revelation 6: 9-11describes the early martyrs from Abel through the early martyrs of the first century and Revelation


20:4, describes the later martyrs of the first century. Revelation 6:9-11 is the beginning stages of the filling up of the measure of the martyrs and Rev 20:4 describes the “completion” of the fullness of the suffering of the martyrs and their regeneration in the resurrection. According to Revelation 20:4d the “thousands years” does not occur until after Resurrection of 20:4d; therefore it most certainly is not in view in Revelation 6:9-11. The time of ‘resting in sleep’ provided in Revelation 6:9-11 has nothing to do with the thousands years of Rev 20 as that ‘resting in sleep’ which Preston refers to as a “time of waiting” is ended by the acknowledgement of the completion of the suffering of the martyrs and their resurrection of Revelation 20:4d!

Thus, in response to Don Preston, we have demonstrated that Preston’s “millennial period” was not a time parallel “to the waiting time” of Revelation 6:9-11. Rather, Preston’s “waiting time” of Revelation 6:9-11 was a time completely finished by the resurrection of Revelation 20:4d

We have also demonstrated that the resurrection of Revelation 20:4d was sequential to Preston’s “the waiting time” of Revelation 6:9-11 not parallel to it as Preston erroneously asserts.

And we have also demonstrated that Preston’s “millennial period” was not a ‘forty year period between ca. 30 – 70AD but that it would be a much longer period which actually began with the resurrection of the martyrs of the ages including the first century saints and their entrance into His heavenly kingdom (paradise) in AD 70.

Of the results of that resurrection into His heavenly kingdom Jesus stated: (Emphasis mine)

“And I say unto you, many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 8:11)

So Jesus said to them, “Certainly I say to you that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have


followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Matthew 19:28)

“But I say unto you, from this day forward until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine,.” (Mt 26:29)

Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God. (Mr 14:25)

28 Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations 29 and I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; 30 that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Luke 22:28-30)

“To the overcoming one, I will be granting sitting with Me on My throne, as I also overcoming and sitting down with My Father on His throne.” (Re 3:21)



Stand with Israel? Who is the biblical Israel?

Standing With Israel: how bad theology duped us into supporting terrorism and oppression

August 16, 2013 by Benjamin L. Corey 114 Comments

Stand w Israel

Not many days go by without seeing some sort of “Stand with Israel” image pop up into my Facebook news feed. And, each time it does, my heart grieves over the fact that so many of my fellow Christians have been taken in by this new and dangerous theology, and in so duped into supporting terrorism and oppression… all in the name of God.

I grew up believing that Israel was God’s favorite country (also commonly expressed as “the Jews are God’s chosen people”), and the center of all God’s activity in humanity. Not only were they considered God’s “chosen” people, but we were taught that failing to support the nation of Israel would result in being cursed by God, whether you were an individual or an entire nation. This has caused much of American Evangelicalism to develop a blind love affair with the modern nation of Israel, who they see as the center of God’s past and future activity in the world.

I believe that this theology of the “Church and Israel Distinction” is actually one of the most dangerous and destructive theologies in the world today. It is unlike many of the other “secondary” theologies that are privately held beliefs which do not impact others one way or another. Conversely, this theology is causing a great many Evangelical Christians to embrace violence, condone oppression, support torture, and is actually creating terrorism. Ironically, this theology leads one to support not Godly behavior, but instead embrace behavior that is anything but Jesus-like.

The purpose of this post is to explain why this “pro-Israel” theology is ridiculously unbiblical, and how “standing with Israel” ironically causes one to stand opposed to God. I will give a brief overview of the basic tenants of this theology, the history of how it became popular within American Evangelicalism, why this theology is blatantly opposed to scripture, and why it is a major cause of terrorism in the world today.

Overview & History of Pro-Israel Theology (the Church and Israel distinction)

This theology is premised upon the promise God made to Abraham in Genesis 12, when God said “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

israel apple of gods eye

From this verse, and other passages from the OT, this theology states that there are two covenants in the world today, one with the ethnic descendants of Abraham and one with everyone else. Essentially, it claims that God has two plans, one for Jews and one for Gentiles. As a result, this theology necessitates that all of the promises God made to Israel in the OT must only be fulfilled via the ethnic descendents of Abraham. This theology, at the core, differentiates God’s plan for humanity based upon race.

Beholders to this theology see the modern political state of Israel as the recipient of the promise God made to Abraham, and as a result, believe that we must unwaveringly support them lest we experience the wrath of God. Such attitudes have become deeply ingrained into Evangelical culture; I recall recently reading a Facebook post of a minister who said he was going to vote for the candidate that was the most “pro-Israel”, and “Stand with Israel” type rallies are quite common in Evangelical churches. Oftentimes in such culture, your level of support for Israel can be used as a litmus test as to how “Christian” you are.


For those who grow up in churches that preach the Church and Israel distinction, this theology seems as if it is a normal part of orthodox Christianity, and never gets questioned. However, the truth is that this theology is a new theology and is not part of orthodox Christianity.

This theology was popularized by denounced heretic John Nelson Darby in the 1800′s. Darby is considered the father of dispensationalism, which is a dwindling subset of American Fundamentalism. Dispensationalism is a collection of extra-biblical beliefs (such as the “rapture”) which is typically known by a preoccupation on the end of the world, and a pessimistic worldview. Among Darby’s heresies included this new idea that God had two, simultaneous covenants, one for Jews and one for Gentiles. Sadly, much of Darby’s teachings caught hold in the UK and eventually America, and turned much of American Evangelicalism from an optimistic, social justice focused movement into a pessimistic, end-times movement.

However, Darby’s theology on Israel didn’t really take radical root in American culture until after the political state of Israel was born in 1948. Even then, the theology wasn’t all that popular until end-times writers created an entire new genre of literature in the 60′s and beyond, such as Hal Lindsay and Tim Lahaye. Once their books became popular, this new theology spread with such fervor that many now simply assume it has always been a central part of orthodox Christianity.

But, it hasn’t.

It’s a new theology, and besides being an extremely racist theology, it is a very dangerous and destructive theology as well.

Why It’s Biblically and Theologically Flawed

Yes, it is true that in the Old Testament, Israel was the group of people God set apart and through whom he fulfilled his promise to bless the world. However:

  1. The “seed of Abraham” or the descendants of Abraham, have always included those outside ethnic Jews (i.e., converted Gentiles)

The pro-Israel theology is based upon the premise that the group referred to as “Israel” or the “seed of Abraham” was a racially pure group, but this was never true. Beholders of this theology read the OT through an extremely racist lens, even if they are unable to realize such a lens exists. Just a few examples of how Israel was a racially diverse group:

Ex. 12:38 says it included a “mixed multitude” and that Israel included those who were not ethnically of Abraham but who had converted.

The faithful spies in Numbers 32. Only two were faithful, and Caleb was an Edomite.

Othniel, the first judge, was not an ethnic Jew.

Moses was in an interracial marriage with a Cushite.

Rahab was a Canaanite

Ruth was a Moabite

Esther 8:17 describes the inclusion of many other nationalities

Zechariah chapter 2 prophesies that Israel will include even more nationalities in the future.

Simply put, the Old Testament never makes “Israel” an issue of race, as most Evangelicals do, but instead describes a group of people who have decided to follow God. Any person, of any race who decided to follow God, was included in Israel. It was never a race, but a religious community.

  1. The New Testament affirms and teaches that the people of Israel are not those Jewish by blood but those who have decided to follow Jesus.

Romans 9:6 “For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel… In other words, it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.”

Romans 2:29 tells us that the true Israelis are not so ethnically, but spiritually:  “A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code.”

However, the “stand with Israel” movement rejects what is plain in scripture, instead insisting that God has a very specific, chosen race of people for which he has a special plan. Instead of the God who is not a “respecter of persons”, this theology creates a god who is severely racist- receiving people not on the basis of their hearts, but on the genetic origins of their DNA.

  1. The New Testament teaches us that Jesus created a new humanity.

As Paul says in Gal 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

This passage is perhaps as clear as it gets, that there is no longer a distinction or separation between Jews and Gentiles; the previous barrier has been removed.

Furthermore, Paul ever so clearly states in Ephesians:

“Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men)— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.” (emphasis mine)

In this we see, that it was God’s intention to completely remove any separation which once existed between the categories of “Jew” and “Gentile” and that as far as God is concerned, there is a new humanity where all are included together.

However, the Stand with Israel movement rejects these passages, instead insisting that a barrier still exists, where God has one distinct plan for ethnic Jews and a separate plan (covenant) for Gentiles. I can think of no other more racist position that stands opposed to the truth of scripture.

  1. Jesus was the fulfillment of the Old Testament, including God’s promise to Abraham.

In fact, even Abraham himself knew this– in John, Jesus tells the religious leaders that Abraham “rejoiced to see my day”. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus was a blessing to the world more than any other event in all of human history– and this was the fulfillment of God’s promise to bless the whole world through Abraham.

However, this theology argues that the promises to Abraham have not been fulfilled, and that they will only be fulfilled in the future, via his own bloodline. Such a position completely reduces the purpose and work of Christ, as if it wasn’t enough to fulfill the promises made to Abraham.

While there are many additional theological arguments against this position, it is important to understand that:

(a) This is a very new theology, and is not part of historic, orthodox Christianity.

(b) This is a theology based upon race, even though Israel in the OT was not a pure race.

(c) This is a theology which in many respects, argues that there are two paths to God- one path for the Jews, another for Gentiles.

(d) This is a theology which requires one to completely dismiss countless New Testament teachings which, very clearly state, there is no longer a separation between Jews and Gentiles.

lion of judahIf this were all there was to it, you wouldn’t hear a complaint from me because it would be a relatively harmless theology. However, this is actually a damaging theology that is making the world more dangerous, violent, and oppressive.

Why “Stand with Israel” theology is literally destructive

1.By saying that you “Stand with Israel” you are, by definition, saying that you “stand against” the Palestinian people. Jesus calls us to love our neighbors, not to stand against them.

  1. By supporting Israel as she has continually taken land away from the Palestinian people, we have contributed to a massive crisis of refugees without a home. This has led us to stand with the oppressor, not the oppressed, as scripture commands us.
  2. By supporting settlement expansions in Israel, we are supporting the Israelis breaking the law. We cannot say that undocumented immigrants in our country need to “respect the law” while supporting Israel’s daily refusal to obey international laws. That is ridiculously hypocritical.
  3. This theology requires you to reject the role of “peacemaker” as Christ commanded. Almost every time the US has attempted to broker a peace deal in the middle east, I’ve seen the pro-Israel folks take to the internet to condemn western leaders for making any compromises or dividing any land. I’ve heard preachers say that to obey the Bible (citing Joel) means that we are forbidden from sharing the land with outsiders. In fact, many churches in America actually donate money to help fund these illegal and oppressive settlements. These attitudes do not reflect the love of Jesus, the role of peacemaker, and are not “Christian” attitudes.
  4. This theology requires us to oppress other Christians. There are more Christians living in Palestine than in Israel, and when we support violence and oppression against the Palestinians, we are supporting the oppression of our own brothers and sisters.
  5. This theology is making the job of missionaries throughout the middle east and Muslim world, more difficult. Because Christians consistently and blindly support Israel, regardless of how oppressive they are towards the Muslim community, we have damaged our witness within the Muslim community. As if missions to Muslims were not difficult enough already, our support of their oppression only adds to the level of mistrust and resentment– making the job of our missionary brothers and sisters all the more difficult.
  6. By supporting Israel, we are supporting a nation that is consistently guilty of torturing children and other human rights abuses. According to a recentUN report, over a period of 10 years, thousands of Palestinian children have been kidnapped, tortured, used as human shields, and killed by the Israelis.  In addition, they have also been found to have forcibly sterilized Ethiopian immigrants which has reduced the Ethiopian community in Israel. If these sorts of human rights abuses were happening in any other country, the United States would be pursuing sanctions, or war. However, the fact that this theology has been forced into national discourse as a litmus test for many politicians, we continue to support this abusive nation.
  7. This theology is one of the root causes of the world’s terrorism problem. Why do “terrorists” hate us? Well, it’s not because of “freedom” as many politicians will tell you– it’s actually because of the US foreign policy towards Israel. Israel has become a bully in the middle east, killing and oppressing Muslims without even a hint of accountability from the west. The Muslim world has watched us support a bully, all in the name of our “God”, and it has grown to hate us as a result. This theology is actually creating and fueling terrorism- the same terrorism that caused 911. It has played such a significant role, that I hold preachers likeJohn Hagee as responsible for terrorism as the terrorist themselves.

Really, you ask? Yes. The very powerful evangelical voter block, which largely has been infiltrated by this bad theology, insists that the candidates they support be unwavering supporters of Israel. As a result, US foreign policy towards Israel has been built on bad theology instead of sound reasoning.

Want to curb terrorism? We have to stop blindly supporting Israel and start caring about the rest of the middle east. We have to get people like John Hagee off the air before he incites World War III over bad theology, and little more.

  1. Stand with Israel theology is causing church’s in America to funnel money to illegal terrorist activities (expanding Israeli settlements) instead of using that money to help the poor and oppressed. We have been duped into sinning by misusing our money and neglecting the needy among us. In the year 2010 alone, American Christians gave over $100 Million to charities in Israel- funding terrorism and oppression instead of tending to the poor and needy in our own communities.


In summary, maybe you or someone you know is caught up into this “pro-Israel” theology. If that’s the case, I would challenge you to consider that such a position is incredibly racist, and if true, makes God a racist too.

You must be willing to consider, that simply because you have been taught this theology your whole life, does not make it true.

God does not have two-plans, one for a specific race of people, and one for everyone else. He has one plan, and his name is Jesus.

While some “secondary” theologies are harmless, this one is not. This theology is a new, and dangerous theology which has created, and is directly responsible for, a great deal of terrorism in our world today.

Embracing this theology, means that one must embrace things that are not of God- violence, oppression, theft, torture…

and we must reject those things.

We must reject this theology.

Should we “stand with Israel”?


But ONLY if that also means we stand with Palestinians, Iraqis, Syrians, and everyone else in the world.



What Was the Sin of Sodom and Gomorrah?

brimstone sulfur ball

Why did God destroy Sodom and Gomorrah? Was the most extensive judgment found anywhere in the Bible outside of the book of Revelation actually for the sin of inhospitality, not homosexuality?

People find what they want in the Bible. If one looks hard enough, he can find “biblical” support for reincarnation, Eastern religions, Jesus as a guru, divorce for any reason, and flying saucers. Every cult of Christianity uses the Bible to validate its claims and so does some of the occult.

It’s not surprising, then, that a recent trend in biblical scholarship holds that a careful reading of Genesis in its historical context offers no solid basis to conclude that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah had anything to do with homosexuality.

This view may seem far-fetched to biblical conservatives, but it is taken very seriously in academic circles. It represents a significant challenge to the rank-and-file Christian who finds in the Genesis account a straight-forward condemnation of homosexual behavior.

My goal is to answer that challenge. I have no interest to malign, name-call, offend, attack, bash, belittle, or in any way demean a group of people. I want to determine one thing only: Why did God destroy these two cities? Did it have anything to do with homosexuality itself? In short, what was the sin—or sins—of Sodom and Gomorrah?

Genesis 18:16-19:29

Though the context of the account in question begins in Genesis 18:16 during God’s conversation with Abraham by the Oaks of Mamre, the details of the encounter at Sodom itself are found in Genesis 19:4-13:

Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; and they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.” But Lot went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him, and said, “Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly. Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof.” But they said, “Stand aside.” Furthermore, they said, “This one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them.” So they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door. But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves trying to find the doorway. Then the men said to Lot, “Whom else have you here? A son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whomever you have in the city, bring them out of the place; for we are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before the Lord that the Lord has sent us to destroy it.”

What was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah? Why did God destroy the two cities? The traditional view is that homosexuality was the principle offense (“Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly”).

Yale historian John Boswell offers four possible reasons for the destruction of Sodom:

(1) The Sodomites were destroyed for the general wickedness which had prompted the Lord to send angels to the city to investigate in the first place; (2) the city was destroyed because the people of Sodom had tried to rape the angels; (3) the city was destroyed because the men of Sodom had tried to engage in homosexual intercourse with the angels…; (4) the city was destroyed for inhospitable treatment of visitors sent from the Lord.[1]

John Boswell thinks that explanation (2) “is the most obvious of the four,” though it’s been “largely ignored by biblical scholars.”[2] Boswell expands on explanation (4), the one he seems to favor as most consistent with “modern scholarship” since 1955:

Lot was violating the custom of Sodom…by entertaining unknown guests within the city walls at night without obtaining the permission of the elders of the city. When the men of Sodom gathered around to demand that the strangers be brought out to them, “that they might know them,” they meant no more than to “know” who they were, and the city was consequently destroyed not for sexual immorality, but for the sin of inhospitality to strangers.[3]

Englishman D. Sherwin Bailey also argues this way in Homosexuality and the Western Christian Tradition (1955). The men of Sodom wanted to interrogate Lot’s guests to see if they were spies. The sin of gang rape was also in view, not homosexuality. In a broader sense, the men of Sodom were inhospitable to Lot’s guests.

Apparently, it did not occur to Boswell that possibilities (2) and (4) seem to be at odds. If “to know” the angels means merely to interrogate them, then there is no attempted rape, only an attempted interrogation. If, on the other hand, the men meant to have sexual relations with the visitors (the traditional view) and are guilty of attempted rape, then the interrogation explanation must be abandoned (rendering Boswell’s above summary of the views of modern scholarship somewhat incoherent).

Some of these explanations, however, are not mutually exclusive and may have been factors in their own way. For example, the general wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah (1) could have included rape (2) and/or inhospitality (4).

My principle concern here is to determine if the biblical record indicates that (4) homosexuality factored in at all.

Clues from the Text

Why did God destroy Sodom and Gomorrah? We can find clues not just from the Genesis account, but also from the Prophets and the New Testament books 2 Peter and Jude. These give a sense of how ancient Jewish thinkers steeped in Jewish culture understood these texts.

First, Sodom and Gomorrah were judged because of grave sin. Genesis 18:20 says, “And the Lord said, ‘The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave.'” Indeed, not even ten righteous people could be found in the city.

Second, it seems the judgment of these cities was to serve as a lesson to Abraham and to others that wickedness would be punished. In 2 Peter 2:6 we learn that God condemned and destroyed the cities as “an example to those who would live ungodly thereafter.”

Third, peculiar qualities of the sin are described by Jude and Peter. Jude 7 depicts the activity as “gross immorality” and going after “strange flesh.”[4] Peter wrote that Lot was “oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men,” and “by what he saw and heard…felt his righteous soul tormented day after day with their lawless deeds.” These people were “those who indulged the flesh in its corrupt desires and despised authority” (2 Peter 2:7-10).

Fourth, there are 27 references outside of Genesis where Sodom is mentioned. It is emblematic of gross immorality, deepest depravity, and ultimate judgment.

Piecing together the biblical evidence gives us a picture of Sodom’s offense. The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was some kind of activity—a grave, ongoing, lawless, sensuous activity—that Lot saw and heard and that tormented him as he witnessed it day after day. It was an activity in which the inhabitants indulged the flesh in corrupt desires by going after strange flesh, ultimately bringing upon them the most extensive judgment anywhere in the Bible outside of the book of Revelation.

What do we know about the conduct of the men of Sodom and Gomorrah that fits this description?

Just a Couple of Questions

Was the city destroyed because the men of Sodom tried to rape the angels (option (2) above)? The answer is obviously no. God’s judgment could not have been for the rapacious attempt itself because His decision to destroy the cities was made days before the encounter (see Genesis 18:20). Further, Peter makes it clear that the wicked activity was ongoing (“day after day”), not a one-time incident. The outcry had already been going up to God for some time.[5]

Was this a mere interrogation? Though the Hebrew word yada (“to know”)[6] has a variety of nuances, it is properly translated in the NASB as “have [sexual] relations with.”[7] Though the word does not always have sexual connotations, it frequently does, and this translation is most consistent with the context of Genesis 9:5. There is no evidence that what the townsmen had in mind was a harmless interview. Lot’s response—“Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly”—makes it clear they had other intentions.

In addition, the same verb is used in the immediate context to describe the daughters who had not “known” a man and who were offered to the mob instead. Are we to understand Lot to be saying, “Please don’t question my guests. Here, talk to my daughters, instead. They’ve never been interviewed”?

Did God judge Sodom and Gomorrah for inhospitality? Is it true that God’s judgment was not for homosexuality per se, but because the people of the town were discourteous to the visitors, violating sacred sanctuary customs by attempting to rape them? A couple of observations raise serious doubt.

First, the suggestion itself is an odd one. To say that the men of Sodom were inhospitable because of the attempted rape is much like saying a husband who’s just beaten his wife is an insensitive spouse. It may be true, but it’s hardly a meaningful observation given the greater crime.

Second—and more to the textual evidence—it doesn’t fit the collective biblical description of the conduct that earned God’s wrath: a corrupt, lawless, sensuous activity that Lot saw and heard day after day, in which the men went after strange flesh.

Third, are we to believe that God annihilated two whole cities because they had bad manners, even granting that such manners were much more important then than now? There’s no textual evidence that inhospitality was a capital crime. However, homosexuality was punishable by death in Israel (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13). Does God ignore the capital crime, yet level two entire cities for a wrong that is not listed anywhere as a serious offense?

The Only One That Fits

The prevailing modern view of the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah is that the attempted rape of Lot’s visitors violated the Mid-East’s high code of hospitality (19:9). This inhospitality, however, is an inference, not a specific point made in the text itself.

Further, the inhospitality charge is dependent upon—and eclipsed by—the greater crime of rape, yet neither could be the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah because God planned to judge the cities long before either had been committed. What possibility is left? Only one.

We know the men of Sodom and Gomorrah were homosexual, “both young and old, all the people from every quarter” (19:4), to the point of disregarding available women (19:5-8). After they were struck sightless they still persisted (19:11). These men were totally given over to an overwhelming passion that did not abate even when they were supernaturally blinded by angels.

Homosexuality fits the biblical details. It was the sin that epitomized the gross wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah—the “grave,” “ungodly,” “lawless,” “sensual conduct of unprincipled men” that tormented Lot as he “saw and heard” it “day after day,” the “corrupt desire” of those that went after “strange flesh.”

In their defense, some will cite Ezekiel 16:49-50: “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food, and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me.[8] Therefore I removed them when I saw it.” No mention of homosexuality here.

Clearly, the general wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah was great. That’s not in question. Our concern here is whether homosexuality was part of that wickedness. Our analysis of Genesis shows that homosexuality was the principle behavior at issue in that passage. Ezekiel simply enumerates additional sins. The prophet doesn’t contradict Moses, but rather gives more detail.

Stinginess and arrogance alone did not draw God’s wrath. Ezekiel anchored the list of crimes with the word “abominations.” This word takes us right back to homosexuality. The conduct Moses refers to in Genesis 18 he later describes in Leviticus as an “abomination” in God’s eyes.


The Mosaic Law has two explicit citations on homosexuality. Leviticus 18:22 says, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female.[9] It is an abomination [toebah][10] .” Leviticus 20:13 says, “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act [toebah]. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood guiltiness is upon them.”

John Boswell offers the standard rebuttal to what appears to be an obvious biblical prohibition of homosexuality:

The Hebrew word “toebah,” here translated “abomination,” does not usually signify something intrinsically evil, like rape or theft…, but something which is ritually unclean for Jews, like eating pork or engaging in intercourse during menstruation, both of which are prohibited in these same chapters.[11]

Leviticus, the suggestion goes, is not where we generally go for moral instruction. The sections quoted deal with the cult of worship: sacrifice, priesthood, ritual bathing, etc. These directives have to do with ritual purity, not moral purity. An observant Jew could not worship after ritual contamination until he had been ritually cleansed.

Others have added that many details of the Mosaic Law are archaic. Who concerns themselves with mixing wool and linen together (Deuteronomy 22:11)? The death penalty itself doesn’t mark homosexuality as particularly heinous. Disobedience to parents was also a capital crime, as was picking up sticks on the Sabbath, yet no one suggests these should be punishable offenses today.[12]

This rejoinder is filled with inconsistencies. First, even if this prohibition was restricted only to ritual purity and the cult of worship, then minimally it applies to Jewish clerics. Yet many who use this approach see no problem with homosexual rabbis and instead champion such “diversity” as a religious virtue. On the other hand, if the Torah’s proscriptions no longer apply at all, then any distinction between the cultic and moral aspects of the Mosaic Law is moot; none of it pertains anyway.

Second, it’s a serious error in thinking to conclude that if some of the Torah no longer applies, then none of it applies. Jewish thinker Dennis Prager observed, “It is one thing not to put a Torah punishment into practice and quite another to declare that a Torah sin is no longer a sin.”[13] [emphasis in the original]

Third, it’s true that much of the Law seems to deal with religious activity rather than universal morality. That observation in itself, however, is not enough to summarily dismiss the Torah as a source of binding moral instruction. Ritual purity and moral purity are not always distinct.

Context is king here. Note the positioning of the verses. The toebahof homosexuality is sandwiched between adultery (18:20), child sacrifice (18:21) and bestiality (18:23). Was Moses saying merely that if a priest committed adultery, had sex with an animal, or burned his child on Molech’s altar he should be sure to wash up before he came to temple?

More to the point, these sections were not addressed to the priests, but to all the “sons of Israel” (18:2, 20:2). In addition to the prohibitions on adultery, child sacrifice, and bestiality just mentioned, Moses also prohibits spiritism (20:6) and incest (20:12).

The conclusion of Leviticus 18 contains these words:

But as for you [the “sons of Israel” (v. 2)], you are to keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not do any of these abominations, neither the native, nor the alien who sojourns among you for the men of the land who have been before you have done all these abominations, and the land has become defiled. (18:26-27)

Moses spoke as clearly here as he did in Genesis. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were guilty of many things, but foremost among them was the sin of homosexuality. In this section of Leviticus, God gives directives not just for ritual purity, but commands to be observed by every Jew, and even by every visitor.

Homosexuality was wrong for the Jews. It was wrong for gentiles who visited the Jews (“aliens”). It was even an abomination that defiled the land when practiced by pagans who inhabited Canaan long before the Jews came.

Homosexuality is a defiling sin, regardless who practices it. It has no place before God among any people, in any age, then or now.

[1] John Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980), p. 93.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Some have suggested the sin was seeking sexual union with angels (“strange flesh”). Though this is a possible interpretation, there’s no indication the men knew Lot’s visitors were angels. Jude’s point is that the Sodomites, like the angels, “did not keep to their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode” (v. 6). “Strange flesh”—the improper domain—wasn’t angelic flesh, but homosexual flesh.

[5] The rejoinder that homosexual rape could still qualify as the ongoing activity fails to convince. Who would be the ongoing victims? Not the townspeople. Because of their sexual proclivity they would not likely resist homosexual advances. Visitors would have to be the target. But if newcomers were molested “day after day,” I’m sure this would put a crimp in the tourist trade. The steady supply of sexual candidates would dwindle rapidly once word got around, with most making a wide berth around the area.

[6] Strong’s #3045.

[7] “Know a person carnally, of sexual intercourse…man subj. and obj. (of sodomy) Gn 19:5).” Brown, Driver and Briggs, The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody ME: 1996), 394. See also Judges 19:22 ff.

[8] Curiously, this last sentence was overlooked in Boswell’s citation of the text.

[9] “Lie” is the Hebrew word shakab meaning “lie down” (Strong’s #7901). In this case, it refers to having sexual relations as in Genesis 19:32: “Come, let us make our father drink wine, and let us lie with him, that we may preserve our family through our father” (Brown, Driver, and Briggs, 1012).

[10] Strong’s #8441.

[11] Boswell, 100.

[12] It’s curious that some choose to conclude homosexuality was a minor crime because it was no more offensive to God than picking up sticks on the Sabbath. Both were capital offenses. If you want to know how God really felt, look at the punishment He requires.

[13] Dennis Prager, “Homosexuality, Judaism and Gay Rabbis,” The Prager Perspective, 3/1/97.

The Abyss (the real 1948 in prophecy)


T H E  A B Y S S


By Lloyd Dale


Thousands, perhaps even millions, of Bible students have read and pondered over the
ominous words “THE  BOTTOMLESS PIT” in the several passages shown below:
(emphasis and comments added by author)

And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given  the key of the BOTTOMLESS PIT. 2  And he opened the BOTTOMLESS PIT; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.   9:11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the BOTTOMLESS
PIT, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his
name Apollyon.
(Revelation 9:1)


And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the BOTTOMLESS PIT shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. (Revelation 11:7)


The beast that you saw was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the BOTTOMLESS PIT, and go into perdition:and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. (Revelation 17:8)


And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the BOTTOMLESS PIT and a great chain in his hand. (Revelation 20:1)  And cast him into the BOTTOMLESS PIT, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. (Revelation 20:3)


What is this BOTTOMLESS PIT (abyss or abussos in Greek.)?  Where is it located?
Does it have another, possibly more common, name?  If so what is that name?

Perhaps many different ideas have been offered to explain this term.  We think that there is only one Biblical definition of  “the BOTTOMLESS PIT“, and that the Bible itself must supply us with that definition and Yahweh’s Holy Spirit enables us to understand what the apostle John was writing about in Revelation 9, 11, 17 & 20.

The English words “BOTTOMLESS PIT
are the KJV translations of the Greek words:


{ab’-us-sos} Strong’s #12 from 1 (as a
negative particle) and a variation of 1037;

TDNT – 1:9,2;

– bottomless pit (5)

                 – deep (2)

                 – bottomless (2) [9]

                 1) the abyss, bottomless pit

                 2) bottomless, unfathomed: boundless, enormous

                 3) The rabbinic translation of the Hebrew word t@howm (teh-home’) in the Septuagint.


phrear {freh’-ar} Strong’s
5421 of uncertain  derivation;  n

– pit (5)

 – well (2) [7]

                 1) a well, the pit or shaft of the abyss


The Hebrew word which is translated abyss, great deep (bottomless) is:

  t@howm {teh-home’} or t@hom {teh-home’}
Strong’s 8415 (usually feminine) from  1949; TWOT – 2495a;           n

             1) deep, depths, deep places, abyss, the deep, sea

             1a) deep (of subterranean waters)

             1b) deep, sea, abysses (of sea)

             1c) primeval ocean, deep

             1d) deep, depth (of river)

             2) When the rabbis translated the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek (the Septuagint) they translated the Hebrew word t@howm (teh-home)

                into the Greek word abussos.

And a Hebrew word translated pit is:

{pakh’-ath}  Strong’s # 06354 probably from an unused root apparently    meaning to dig; TWOT  1761a; n m

AV – pit 8, hole 1, snare 1; 10

             1) pit, hole


The words and definitions provided above demonstrate that the Hebrew word t@howm is the equivalent of the Greek word variously translated as bottomless or abyss in English.  We believe that the word abyss is essentially the English equivalent of the Hebrew t@howm and the Greek abussos.


The Hebrew word t@howm is used many times in the Old Testament.
The most pertinent for our purpose of understanding John’s use of its
Greek equivalent in Revelation is Psalm 36:6:

     O Yahweh…thy judgments are an abyss
<08415>: O  Yahweh,…

The psalmist, prophet, king David here instructs us that Yahweh’s judgment (justice) is an
abyss.  From this we see that the Hebrew prophets used the word t@howm to indicate a place where Yahweh’s judgment (justice) was being applied.

The above words and definitions also establish that the Greek word phrear {freh’-ar} is an equivalent to the Hebrew word pachath {pakh’-ath}.  The Hebrew prophets use this word to define the place that Yahweh’s judgment (justice) is being applied. Examples of this can be found in Isaiah 24:17-18; Jeremiah 48:28, & 43-44; and Lamentations 3:47.

Fear, and the pit <06354>, and the snare, are upon
thee (Tyre), O inhabitant of the earth. And it shall come to pass, that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit
and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit
shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the
foundations of the earth do shake.
Isaiah 24:17-18 


Fear, and the pit <06354>, and the snare, shall be
upon thee, O inhabitant of Moab, saith the LORD.   He that fleeth from the
fear shall fall into the pit
<06354>; and he that getteth up out of the pit <06354> shall be taken in the snare: for I will bring upon it, even upon Moab, the year of their visitation, saith the LORD. Jeremiah 48:43-44


Fear and a snare <06354> is come upon us,
desolation and destruction.
Lamentations 3:47


 John, the Revelator, was also a Hebrew prophet as was Jesus Christ who gave John the Revelation, from this we should understand that John’s use of the words abyss (Gk. abussos) and pit (Gk. phrear {freh’-ar}) would be in the same tradition as other Hebrew prophets.


The Abyss Defined:

By its usage in the New Testament and selected
passages from the Old Testament.


First of all, technically speaking, “abussos, abyssos, abyss” is not an OT term, however, the concept (bottomless) of the Greek word “abussos” exists in the Hebrew word “tehome or tehom.” 


The English word abyss is a transliteration of the Greek word “abussos or abyssos” which literally means “without bottom” hence the KJV translation “bottomless” in certain parts of Revelation.  In the Greek documents which we call the New Testament, the Greek word or lexeme “abussos” is only used 9 times – 7 times in Revelation and once each in Luke and Romans.  To make it easy for everyone, literal translations of these verses are transcribed below: 

Luke 8:31 and he (devil) was calling on him (Jesus), that he (Jesus) may not command them to go away to the abyss,

Romans 10:7 or, ‘Who shall go down to the abyss[1]
[of the earth]
?’ (that is, to bring Christ out of the dead to bring up
[from the grave].

Revelation 9:1 and the fifth messenger did sound, and I saw a star out of the heaven having fallen o the earth, and there was given to it the key of the pit of the abyss,

Revelation 9:2 and he did open the pit of the abyss, and there came up a smoke out of the pit as smoke of a great furnace, and darkened was the sun and the air, from the smoke of the pit.

Revelation 9:11 and they have over them a king—the messenger of the abyss—a name to him in Hebrew, Abaddon, and in the Greek he has a name, Apollyon.

Revelation 11:7
‘And when they may finish their testimony, the beast that is coming (ascending) up out of the abyss shall make war with them, and overcome them, and kill them,

Revelation 17:8
‘The beast that thou didst see: it was, and it is not; and it is about to come
up out of the abyss, and to go away to destruction, and wonder shall
those dwelling upon the earth, whose names have not been written upon the
scroll of the life from the foundation of the world, beholding the beast that
was, and is not, although it is present.

Revelation 20:1 And I saw a messenger coming down out of the heaven, having the key of the abyss, and a great chain over his hand,

Revelation 20:3 and he cast him to the abyss, and did shut him up, and put a seal upon him, that he may not lead astray the nations any more, till the thousand years may be finished; and after these it behooves him to be loosed a little time.

 Now let’s take at each of these.
In context Luke 8, records a conversation that Jesus had with a “devil.”  According to verse 29 Jesus commanded the devil to come out a man of Gadarene, then according to verse 28 the devil, apparently speaking through the man, asked of Jesus, “what have I to do with you, torment me not.

Why would the devil think that Jesus might torment him?  Could it possibly be that this devil understood that torment was a product or result of the judgment of God?  In this context it is clear that the devil is talking about living torment.

Verse 31 records that the devils requested that Jesus “not command them to
go out into the “abyss.”  Now in the full context of this passage the “abyss” equates to the torment of judgment (v28); it is used here as a metaphor for judgment and punishment/torment.

In Romans 10:7, Paul uses the word “abyss” as a metaphor for the grave.  Paul got this metaphor from Psalm 71:20:

O God, who is like unto thee – who has shown me great and sore troubles – [who] shall quicken me again, and shall bring me up again from the abyss (tehome, S’s #08415 depths) of the earth. (Psalms 71:20)


Thus, Paul used “abyss” as “a metaphor for the grave.”  We know this for certain because Paul knew, as we should know, that the body of Jesus was not to see decay (corruption, Psa.16:10 cf. Acts 2:22-32).  Death and the grave are the products of God’s judgment upon man as a result of Adam’s sin in the garden.

Before we proceed to examine the 7 places in Revelation where “abyss” is used let us take a look at the Old Testament. In the Hebrew Old Testament, the Hebrew word “tehome” is the equivalent of the Greek word “abussos.”  We know this, in part, because the Hebrew rabbis usually translated the Hebrew “tehome” into the Greek “abussos” when they translated the Hebrew Scriptures into the Greek text (Septuagint, LXX.).

This Hebrew word “tehome” is used 36 times in the OT.  In the vast majority (33) of those “tehome” is translated “great deep, depths etc. and these are in reference to deep water (oceans, seas, rivers, wells, etc.) as in the following examples:

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep <tehome, 08415>.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:2) 
In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep <tehome, 08415> broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. (Genesis 7:11)

Psalms 104:6 [Yahweh] covered [the foundations of the earth] with the abyss (great deep) <tehome, 08415> as with clothing…

Of these 36 occurrences of tehome (abyss) none of these are a “metaphor for
decay and death.”

The two notable exceptions to this are Psalm 71:20, which is quoted and
applied above, and Psalm 36:6:

Thy (Yahweh’s) righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are an abyss (great deep, tehome <08415>): O LORD, you preserve man and beast. (Psalms 36:6) In this Psalm of David to the chief musician, David sets forth the vices of the wicked and extols the virtues of Yahweh.  In verse 6 David compares the righteousness and judgments of Yahweh using two metaphors:

Yahweh’s righteousness is like the great mountains (i.e. expansive and
wondrous) and His judgments are like an abyss (i.e. deep, bottomless, powerful,

As Paul went to the Psalms for his metaphor for the grave in Romans 10:7; John, in a similar manner, went to the Psalms for his metaphor for the judgment of God in Revelation 9, 11, 17, and 20.

Now let’s consider those passages.  In Revelation 9 John used the lexeme “abussos” 3 times, once each in verses 1, 2 and 11.  Chapter 9 is a rendition of the “trumpet”
judgments on the land of Judaea, homeland of the Jews (Judahites).  In verse 7 John
wrote, “The first angel sounded [the first trumpet], and there followed hail
and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the land [of Judaea]: and the third part of trees was burned up, and all green grass was burned up.”  Then in
verse 13 John wrote, “And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst
of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhibitors of the
land [of Judaea] by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three
angels, which are yet to sound!

Continuing with these trumpet judgments upon the land of Judaea, John wrote, “And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the land [of Judaea]:
and to him was given the key of the shaft (pit) of the abyss.”(Rev.9:1)  This “star falling from heaven to the land” of Judaea and the presentation of “the key” to this “star” are of very special importance for the people of the land as well as for John’s primary audience of
readers in the seven churches of Asia.

 John marks this special occasion by switching his terminology from “land” to “abyss” right in the middle of this verse. However, John not only changes his language, he adds a very important new element, “the shaft (pit) of the.”  It should be apparent to most readers that the lexeme “land” in verse 1a parallels the term “abyss” in 1b, but what is this “shaft (pit) of the abyss?”

In verse 2 John tells his intended readers that the “star;” identified as “him,” in 1b, used the key and “opened the shaft (pit) of the abyss.” Did you notice that, “the star” opened the shaft (pit) to the abyss; he did not open the abyss.  What is this shaft to the abyss?

 Moving on to 1:11, John wrote, “And they (the “locusts” of verse 3ff) have a commander (king) over them, the messenger of the abyss, whose name is Abaddon (Hebrew) -Apollyon (Greek) – Destroyer (English).  In this verse, as in other apocalyptic Scriptures (cf. Joel 2:25) the “locusts” are the soldiers of invading armies and their commander is the messenger of destruction (judgment) to the abyss (land of Judaea, v1).  Therefore, John is using “abyss” as a “metaphor for the land of Judaea in chapter 9.

The next reference to “abyss” by John is in Revelation 11:7: “the beast that comes (ascends) out of the abyss.”  Who is this beast that is going to come (ascend) out of the abyss?  The answer, of course, is found in Revelation 17:8, which is the next reference to
the “abyss,” where John explicitly states that the, “beast is about to come
(ascend) out of the abyss” and finish the work of destruction that is his destiny.  Without going into detail here, this is a living, breathing beast doing the work of destruction.  In verse 11 of this same chapter (17) John tells us exactly who this beast is; he is “an eighth king” of the Roman Empire.  Thus John uses the lexeme “abyss” as a symbol of the land of Judaea here as well.  It is the apocalyptic symbol for the judgment and destruction of Judaea by the armies of the beast and the ten kings
(17:12-18:24; and 19:15-21).

I have shown you the true meaning of the lexeme abyss in the New Testament and I can only pray and hope that you have “ears to listen” (Deut.29:4; Matt.11:15; Mark 4:9; Luke
8:8; et al.) and a “mind which has wisdom” (Rev.17:9).

If our reasoning is correct thus far (it is), we now need to look into the New Testament to find out were Yahweh’s (Yahshua’s) justice was to be carried out in the first century and we have the identity (name and location) of John’s abyss.

Our authority for the identity (name and location) of John’s abyss is none other than Jesus Christ:


And when He was come near, he beheld the city (Jerusalem in the land of Judaea),
and wept over it,  42   Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things [which belong] unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.  43  For the days (of  justice) shall come upon thee, that thine enemies (the Roman soldiers) shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, 44  And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation (the day of wrath).
(Luke  19:41, comments and emphasis added)


That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel  unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. 36  Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. 37  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! 38  Behold, your house (of Judah) is left unto you desolate. Matthew  23:35


In the passages quoted above and many others Jesus clearly stated that the just
wrath of Yahweh
(Yahshua, Jn.5:22,27,; 8:16 et al.)would be poured out upon the apostate house of Judah in that first century generation.  And surely it was, when the
Roman army “stoned” and “burned” the land of Judaea and its capital city Jerusalem in the 3 1/2 year period between 66 and 70 AD.

The apostle Paul concurs with this understanding for he wrote to the first century


19  Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves (upon the synagogue of satan, Rev.2:9; 3:9), but [rather] give place unto (Yahshua’s, Jn.5:22, 27 et al.) wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.  13:3  For (Roman) rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil (crucifixion of Christ, rejection of His message and persecution of His followers)…:  4  For he (the Roman king, general) is the
minister of God… But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth
not the sword (of wrath) in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to
execute (Yahshua’s) wrath upon him that doeth evil.  5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 
(Rom. 11:19, & 13:3-5,
comments and emphasis added)


As did the apostle Peter:

1…there shall be false teachers among you, who secretly shall bring in damnable
heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.  2  And many shall follow their pernicious ways;…3…whose judgment, which has been slumbering for a long time lingers no more and their damnation sleeps no more.  9 The Lord knows how…to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: 10. But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government.Presumptuous [are they], selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. 11  Whereas messengers, which
are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. 12  But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;  13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, [as] they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots [they are] and blemishes, sporting
themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; 14  Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: 15 which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam [the son] of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16  But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb
ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet. 17  These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. 18  For when they speak great swelling [words] of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, [through much] wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. 19  While they promise them  liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. 20  For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21  For it had been better for them not to have known the way of  righteousness, than, after they have known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.  22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog [is] turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. (
2Peter 2:1-3, & 9-22, emphasis added)



War in the Abyss


Therefore, we now understand that John’s abyss of the first century was the land
of Judaea!  Now read the following Scripture with the word Judaea inserted in place of John’s cryptic abussos, and we will learn much more about the book of Revelation.

And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the land: and to him was given the key of the Judean pit.  2  And he opened the Judean pit; and there arose a smoke  (product of Rome’s war with the Jews) out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace (the war with the Jews); and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.  3  And there came out of the smoke locusts (men of the war) upon the land: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions (Jewish Zealots) of  the land have power.  4  And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the land, neither any green thing, neither any tree [Ez.17:22-24] (Christians); but only those men (apostate Jews) which have not the seal of God in their foreheads (if they had the seal they would have been Christians). 5  And to them (locusts) it was given that they should not kill them (the Jews), but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment [was] as the torment of a scorpion (i.e. by the zealots), when he striketh a man. 6  And in those days shall menseek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. (read Josephus, The Wars Of The Jews)  7  And
the  shapes of the locusts [were] like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads [were] as it were crowns like gold, and their faces [were] as the faces of men (hyperbolic description of the participants in the war).  8  And they had hair as the hair of women (wigs, see Josephus, WOTJ, book IV, ch.IX, Sec.10) and their teeth (swords) were as the teeth of lions.  9  And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.  10   And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power [was] to hurt men five months.  11  And they had a king over them, [which is] the [angel] messenger of the Judean pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue [is] Abaddon (destroyer), but in the Greek tongue hath [his] name Apollyon (destroyer, otherwise known as Vespasian-Titus, king (Caesar) of Rome).
(Revelation 9:1-11, comments and emphasis added)


In the above passage of Revelation (9:1-11), The “star (that fell) from heaven”
was Vespasian the Roman general that was dispatched from Rome
(“heaven”) by the ruler of Rome, Nero.  “The key,” of course was the
authorization to make war against the Jews in Judaea (the “bottomless pit”).  When Vespasian “opened” the war against the Jews, the destruction and burning of the cities of Judaea caused a great “smoke out of the pit” or smoke rising up above the land of Judaea. The “locusts (that come) out of the smoke” are the participants of the
war – the soldiers of the Roman army, and the Jewish soldiers;  while the “scorpions of the land” are the Jewish Zealots, particularly the tyrant, John Levi of Gischala, and his Zealot army.  These latter individuals fought against the Roman army and against their own people, the Jews!

The locusts were commanded by Yahweh to “not hurt the grass of the land, neither
any green thing, neither any tree.”  In other words, Yahweh prohibited the Roman Army from hurting any Christians in the land.  However, they were permitted
to harm “those men… which (did) not have the seal of Yahweh in their foreheads, but not kill them for five months. The Christians had the seal of God in their forehead, and thus were protected.


While the Romans were not prosecuting the war (five months), the Zealots were
wreaking havoc within the land of Judaea, and the city of Jerusalem.
This was the sting of the “scorpion of the land.”


There is one last item that we would like to mention before moving on to the next
“bottomless pit” passage.  Please note that in revelation 9:11 the
king over the soldiers is identified “as the messenger of the bottomless pit.”


Thus, with this new knowledge Revelation 17:3-11 would read as follows:    


So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman
(Jerusalem, the harlot Jer.3:8 et al.) sit upon a scarlet coloured beast (the
Roman empire), full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads (the seven
Caesars) and ten horns (Roman provinces). 17:7  And the angel said unto me,
Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman (Jerusalem, the harlot Ez.23:11 et al.), and of the beast (Roman empire) that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads (seven Caesars) and ten horns (Roman provinces).  8   the beast (Vespasian) that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the Judaean pit, and go unto (the) destruction (of the Harlot, Judaea, Jerusalem, and the temple): and they (the apostate Jews) that   dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation (beginning) of the world (Mosaic marriage covenant, Ex.17), when they behold the beast (Vespasian) that was (in Judaea), and is not (in Judaea but in Rome to be made emperor), and yet is (emperor, with his army in Judaea). 9  And here [is] the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains (kingdoms,  of the seven kings {Caesars}), on which the woman sitteth.  10  And there are seven kings (the seven
Caesars): five are fallen, and one is (Nero, the 6th Caesar), the other (Galba,
the seventh) is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short
space (7 months).  11  And the beast (Vespasian) that was, and is not, even he is an eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth unto destruction (sends his son Titus back to Judaea to complete the destruction of Jerusalem).
(Revelation  17:3-11, comments and emphasis added)


The last passage in Revelation about the “bottomless pit is Revelation 20:1-10


And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the Judean pit and a
great chain (the war power) in his hand.2  And he laid hold on the  dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
3  And cast him into the Judean pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.  20:7  And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8  And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog (paganism, secular humanism), to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.  9  And they (the adversary’s army) went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved  City (Christianity): and fire came down from God out of heaven (the next great event), and devoured them.  10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
(Revelation 20:1-3, 7-10, comments and emphasis added)


“The angel that comes down from heaven, having the key of the Bottomless pit” is
Caesar Titus (the title by which Josephus identified the Roman general Titus).  In chapter 9 we saw that Vespasian was given the key to the bottomless pit by Yahweh through Nero.  Also in Revelation 9:11 Vespasian is identified as “the messenger of
the bottomless pit.”  Thus this key was simply transferred to Titus when the new Caesar, Vespasian established Titus as the general or the Roman legions in Judaea,
and ordered his son Titus to prosecute the war with the Jews to the bitter end.


If we are right so far, the “dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and
Satan” which is “bound…a thousand years,” by the angel (messenger of war) of
the bottomless pit (Judaea) is the totally delusional, apostate Zionist Judaism
which is bound (killed, captured and scattered) as the end product of the
war.  There in Judaea, this bitter adversary (satan) was “shut up and sealed so that he (satan-the adversary) would “deceive (as national Judaism) the nations no more, until the thousand years are fulfilled:”


The “thousand years” is a symbolic identification for an indefinite period of time (we
think that this is the same period of time which Paul referred to as the time
of “the fulness of the Gentiles, Romans 11:25) that would eventually
be “fulfilled” in the future (from 70 AD). Sometime “after that, he (the adversary [satan]) must be loosed a little season (short time [Gk. chronos], as compared to the indefinite time span of a “thousand years”), and when the thousand years (long time as compared to the “short time”) are expired, satan shall be loosed (released) out of his prison,
and shall go out to deceive the nations…” again. 


All the above is verified by the fact that in Revelation 18:23 the Harlot, Jerusalem, is identified as the one that “by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.”  In Revelation 12:10c, “the accuser (national Judaism, in the NT Jews are identified as accusers more than 30 times) of our brothers (Christians) is cast down…”
Note that in 20:3 satan (the adversary of Christianity, “synagogue of
satan” Rev.2:9, 3:9) is bound specifically that “he  should deceive the nations no more.”  And then in verse 8 he ( the Zionist Jew, the great harlot, the deceiver of the nations) is released to “go out and deceive the nations” again!


As the binding aspect of the above did not take place until 70 AD it is totally
impossible that the “thousand years” could be referring to the 40 year period
which began in c. 30 AD and ended in 70 AD, as some insist.  The above correlates very well with Romans 16:20 were Paul writes to the Christians at Rome that “Yahweh of peace shall bruise Satan under (their) feet shortly.”  What other adversary (satan)
was “bruised” and “bound” shortly after Paul wrote those  words?


Ostensibly the “thousand years” ended in 1948 or soon after, when Zionistic Judaism was again established (released) in the land of Judaea.  Current world events certainly confirm that the nations are being deceived by something; as it certainly appears that they are being “gather(ed)…together for battle against Christianity (the beloved
city) in general, and the Christian west (the camp of the saints) in
particular. It is extremely interesting that the scenario which John describes
in Revelation 20:7-9a appears to be taking place in the very “world” in which
we are currently living, and Jerusalem, for whatever reason, is right in the
middle.  It appears that we may be in for some very “interesting” times as these events continue to play out.  It is certainly true that Zionistic Judaism
and Dispensational eschatology have worked “hand in glove” to deceive the
nations during the past 100 years with their false claims that are amazingly
similar given the ostensible diversity of their origins and identities.


In Revelation 20:8-10, John describes a great Gog and Magog army “as numerous as
the sand of the sea” gathered together for war against the “camp of the saints
and the beloved city.”  The “beloved city” is an obvious reference to the “new Jerusalem” of Revelation 3:12 & 21-22:5.  All understanding Christian Bible students
know that the new Jerusalem is worldwide Christianity.  It is our considered opinion that “the camp of the saints” is the Christian west or the United
States of America as between the years of 1620 and 1900
most Christians from the British isles, Europe, and around the world came to
“camp” and establish new homes in American, the “new” land of Christian


The “Gog and Magog” army ostensibly could be a reference to all the Islamic nations
and their allies that seem to be gathering for their great “Jihad” (holy war)
against Christians.  The Zionist Jews in Palestine and Zionists
Christians (oxymoron) are certainly vigorously stirring this pot.


Although the authors of  “the Berean Call” would
vigorously reject the conclusions of this writer as presented herein, they have
unwittingly given complete endorsement to our understanding of these things. In
response to a question from a reader, the February 2002 “Berean Call” gave the
following information:


    A reformation of Islam to bring it back to the uncompromising teachings of the Qur’an and to follow faithfully the example of Muhammad…intensifies the oppression that Islam has always exerted over non-Muslims through forced conversions and over Muslims through threat of death for converting to another faith.    In fact, an Islamic “reformation” has been in

process for many years.  It grew out of the defeat of the Arab
armies that attacked Israel when it declared
its independence in
1948, and accelerated with the humiliating defeats of 1967 and 1973. 
It was decided that Allah had not blessed the Muslim armies as he had at the beginning of Islam because Muslims had strayed so far from orthodox Islam.
Defeat would turn to victory if the Muslim world would return to the
teaching of the Qur’an and of Muhammad in the hadith and…spread Islam through conquest by the sword…

    The Islamic “reformation…” (produces) an
Islam that is stronger and absolutely uncompromising.  It involves a revived commitment to the teaching that Muslims must conquer the world and impose their religion and way of life upon all mankind to the glory of Allah…A return to true Islam as taught in the Qur’an demands perpetual jihad with the sword… 
(emphasis added)

Another futurist, Zola Levitt; who would also vigorously reject the positions stated
herein nevertheless recognized the international importance of Islamic
terrorism as follows:


The cataclysmic increase in (Islamic) terrorist acts last year
(2001) was a turning point in history one that will… eventually (affect) the
entire world
(Zola Levitt letter February, 2002, emphasis added)


When the time for these events reach their fullness, John writes that, “fire came
down from heaven and devoured them (the Gog and Magog army).  And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone…”
In other words this devil, Zionism, is caught right in the middle of
this “holy war” and is destroyed along with all the other enemies of Christianity.





We think that the information provided above gives us a very realistic look at
some highly symbolic passages of Scripture. It establishes that the “BOTTOMLESS PIT” was the land of Judaea, which included Galilee, Jerusalem,
the apostate Jews and the temple. Yahweh-Yahshua’s judgment-justice or vengeance is being poured out within and upon this abyss by the Roman Army.
This is confirmed by the description of this war written by John in


11  And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goes unto [the] destruction (of Jerusalem).   12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.   13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.   14 ¶ These, with the Lamb shall make war(against the whore), and the Lamb shall overcome her (the whore, vs.3-6, 16 & 18): for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
15  And he saith unto me, The waters which you saw, where the whore sit, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.   16  And the ten horns which you saw upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire (for the Lamb).   17  For God has put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of Yahweh shall be fulfilled
(i.e. until the whore [Jerusalem] is destroyed).   18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city (Jerusalem), which reigns over the kings of the earth. (Revelation 17:11-17, Emphasis and comments added)


Because of the faulty KJV (and most others) translation of this verse shown below, Christians have generally misunderstood and misapplied this verse:


14 ¶ These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. (Revelation 17:14 KJV)


Compare the KJV translation with the translation given above.  There is a vast difference.  Based upon the KJV translation, Christians have believed that “the Lamb” made war (as in the NASV) against (with, KJV) the beast’s army and
defeated them (the beast and his army). 


However, study the context.  The context is clearly about the war that is to be waged against the whore to destroy her (vs.3-6, 16-18), not about a war against the beast and his army!  That verse as translated by the KJV and most others is completely out of character and context.


As shown above, in context, the verse
is properly translated:


These, with the Lamb shall make war, and the Lamb shall overcome her (the whore, vs.3-6, 16 & 18): for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.


According to the full context of these things; the Lamb uses the Roman army to bring His
avenging judgment
(Rom.12:19 & 13:1-4, et al.) upon the whorish city of Jerusalem,
the apostate Jews and the temple that they abominated.


The Roman king (Caesar) that is described so cryptically as the one who “was
(with Nero), and is not (on the throne); and shall ascend (to the throne of Rome) out of the BOTTOMLESS PIT (Judaea), and go (continue?) unto (the) destruction (of Jerusalem)
is Vespasian, with his son Titus, who had been dispatched by Nero to Judaea with the Roman army to squelch the Jewish revolt.  They had captured many of the
cities of the land and were about to lay siege to Jerusalem when word reached them that Nero had died by the sword.  They immediately put the war into abeyance until a new Caesar had been established.  After much discussion and persuasion, the army
eventually anointed Vespasian king (Caesar) of Rome, He acquired the support of
Alexander of Egypt and others then he went to Rome to be officially crowned
king (the eighth Caesar of Rev.17:11). Thus John describes him as “an eighth, and is of the seven” because he was not of the family bloodline of the Roman Julius Caesar but he
would be the eighth Caesar and thus “of the seven” (because of his
service with Nero) as the eighth Caesar of the Roman Empire.


There is a very interesting comment in Josephus about an “sacred oracle” that
ostensibly applies to this Revelation passage.
Josephus states:


But now, what did most elevate them in undertaking this war was an ambiguous oracle (Rev.17:10-11) that was also found in their
sacred writings, how, “about that time, one from their own country (this shows that the Jews understood John’s bottomless pit to be “their own land”) should become governor (Caesar) of the habitable earth (Roman empire).”   The (apostate) Jews took this prediction to belong to themselves in particular; and many wise men were thereby deceived in
their determination.  Now this oracle certainly denoted the government of
Vespasian, who was appointed emperor in Judea. 
(WOTJ Book VI,
ch.V, Sec.4, emphasis and comment added)


According to Josephus, The Roman army wanted Vespasian to become emperor because of his age, excellent character, experience and military record.  They also considered Vespasian and his son Titus as the “dynamic duo” that would be able to salvage the Roman Empire with Vespasian as king and his son Titus leading the army.  When Vespasian went to Rome to officially begin his reign, Titus returned to Judaea to continue the prosecution of the war against the Jews and was “sent (by Vespasian) to destroy Jerusalem”  which he eventually did. In his writings, Josephus often refers to Titus as “Caesar” even while Vespasian was the ruling monarch. (Wars Of The Jews, Book III, ch. 1, sec.3 p.502 – ch. 10, P.546)


Once we understand the proper relationship between Nero, the sixth king and
Vespasian “an eighth”, we are in a position to see more clearly the meaning of
certain parts of Revelation 13:


And I saw one of his headsas it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the land wondered after the beast…and they worshipped the beast, saying who is able to make war with him?  …he that
kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. (Rev.13:3, 4b, & 10b, emphasis added)

In Revelation 13, John vividly describes an incredible “beast” which is the Roman Empire.
However he also states that the “beast” has seven heads.  These seven heads are “house of Caesar”
(Julius, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, and Galba).  At
the time that the Revelation was first put into circulation five of those
“heads” had died and the sixth one
(Nero) was currently reigning.  John tells his first century readers that the sixth “head” would die by the sword [vs.10b] and that at his death by the “deadly wound” [vs.3] the “beast” (Roman Empire) would be thrown into a great turmoil.  During this turmoil the “seventh head” (Galba) would come to power, but he
would only last a “short time
” (7 months & 7 days, Rev.12:10).  Also, out of the turmoil stemming from Nero’s corrupt and violent reign, and his unexpected death by the sword (Rev.13:10) and the ensuing fight for the control of the Roman Empire (the beast), it would appear that the “beast” (Roman empire) itself was about to self destruct (Rev.13:3).  However,
during this great period of turmoil “an eighth” head would come forth
out of ,” Rev.17:8) from the abyss (Judaea) and restore the fortunes and power of the Roman Empire (“beast”).  “An eighth, and is of the
seven” because while the sixth head
(Nero) reigned, the one who would be “an eighth”  was Nero’s top general carrying out his assignment to squelch the rebellion in Judaea, however, he was not of the “house of Julius Caesar” so he “was  of
the seven” but not from the same family line, therefore, he was an eighth king
(Caesar) of the Roman empire but he was also the first of a new line of Caesars
(Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian) who would reign for the rest of the first century
and beyond.  Therefore, Vespasian “was”
(in Judaea as a representative of the sixth head), and “is not” (Caesar while the Empire was in turmoil after Nero’s death),
but would “ascend out of the abyss”
(go out of Judaea) to become the “head/king”
(Caesar) during the “destruction”
[Rev.17:8] of Jerusalem, the temple, and the apostate house of Judah in 70 AD.

For Additional information on Bible history and prophecy contact:

Lloyd Dale, Founder and CEO
Olive Tree Ministries
19463 US Hwy 12
Lemmon, SD 57638
Phone: 1-605-374-3291

(available in 3 formats)

[1] (translated “deep” in KJV and others)

Sitting In the Throne Of His Glory

By Lloyd Dale

Recently I came across a statement in an article which I was reading that really got my attention. The author of the article wrote:

“When Christ ascended to the right hand of the Father, he finally received the Kingdom promised to him (Heb. 1). Ever since that time, Jesus has been reigning over his Kingdom. First Corinthians 15:25 states, “For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.” Jesus, our victorious King, is in the process of conquering his enemies on the earth.”

As we can see the author used “Heb 1” as the bases for his conclusion.  Does Hebrews 1 really demonstrate that Jesus Christ received the promised Kingdom at the time He ascended to the right hand of the Father?  This student of Scripture does not think so.
Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that Hebrews does
not teach that Jesus received the promised Kingdom at the time of His ascension
and to demonstrate when Jesus actually did receive the promised Kingdom.

While we may not have the exact date, it appears that Jesus ascended to the Father in ca. 33 AD.  A careful reading of Luke 21:28-32, which most certainly speaks about the events
leading up and about the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, will shed a great deal of light on the timing of Jesus Christ’s reception of the promised Kingdom:

“”Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”  Then He spoke to them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. “When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves
that summer is now near.  “So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.  “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. (Luke 21:28-32 NKJV)”

Historically, the events prophetically described by Jesus as recorded in Luke 21:8-27 occurred in the years of ca. 36-70 AD.  Jesus clearly instructed His listeners that
“when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near!

“Near” does not mean “here”.

In the above passage, Jesus clearly instructs His listeners that the promised Kingdom had not yet arrived, but that it was very “near.”  Once again, “near” does not mean “here”! If the kingdom had not arrived yet then Jesus most certainly was not ruling.  If he was, He was ruling a non existent kingdom.  How can a non existent kingdom be “ruled”?

Commentator Scott McKnight writes, “I cannot think the, expression “kingdom of God” can ever mean anything other than a set of conditions in which God’s rule (or the rule of God’s Son) is carried out among his people. Kings need people ([to make up] kingdom) and that involves a society where God (or God’s Son) is king and God’s people are God’s (or God’s Son’s) subjects.[1]

However, when we turn to Hebrews chapter one, we will find no mention that Jesus “finally received the Kingdom promised to Him.”  What we do find is a discussion about Jesus in which the author states that Jesus “purges our sins and sits down at the right hand in the Majesty in highplaces”[2] in accordance with His instructions from God the Father in Psalms 110:1:

“…sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your

At this point we should note that the phrase “your footstool” is an idiom that should be understood to mean – “place under your authority.”  In other words, in this passage, repeated in Hebrews 1:13, God the Father instructs His Messiah/Christ to come and sit down at my right hand until God places all of Christ’s enemies under His authority, i.e. until God gives Jesus the throne of David – “the throne of His glory” – which occurred in 70 AD.

A careful examination of this passage – compared with the quote above – will demonstrate that the author of the above quoted statement overlooked a very important word in God’s instruction to His Messiah.  This word “until” is often overlooked by Bible students who read this passage and conclude, as the writer above did, that Jesus received His promised kingdom when He ascended to the “right hand of the Father.”  Simply put, that is not
what the Bible teaches.

This confusion about this passage is removed by an additional comment on this subject by the author of the letter to the Hebrews:

“But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting until His enemies are made His footstool. (Hebrews 10:12-13)”

Here the author of Hebrews clearly instructs us that Jesus did not receive His kingdom when he sat down at the right hand of the father, rather He sat down to wait a specific period of time, then the Father would place all of His enemies under His authority and give Him the kingdom.  We now know that the specific time of the “wait” was ca. 37 years as the Bible does teach that God gave Jesus “the throne of His glory” in ca. 70AD.  This is the
one and only “Parousia” of Jesus Christ and it has nothing to do with a “return
to earth” then or in the future.

The passages from Hebrews referenced above are the NT commentary on Psalm 110, especially verses 1-2:

“<<A Psalm of David.>> YHVH said to my (David’s) Lord (the resurrected Christ), “Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool.”  The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies!  Your people shall be volunteers in the day of Your power; In the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning, You have the dew of Your youth. (Psalms 110:1-3 NKJV)”

As pointed out in Hebrews10:13, a key word in this passage is “until.”  Keeping this word in mind while we re-read this passage we learn that the passage demonstrates a progression.  1)  At His resurrection the anointed Prince is invited to ascend to heaven and be seated on the right hand of the Father.  In Jesus’ own commentary on this verse, He
states, I sat “down with my Father in His throne.”[3]   2) Jesus is to remain seated with his Father, until His Father gives Him the kingdom by placing all of His enemies under His authority.  This event is the Parousia referenced repeatedly in the NT.  In the Parousia,
Jesus leaves His father’s throne and ascends to the throne of His glory, i.e. the promised and long awaited throne of His father David.  Commenting on this passage, Jesus states that He invites His faithful “overcomers” to ascend to heaven (by resurrection) and
“sit with Me in My throne even as I also overcame and sat with My Father in His throne.”[4]  3) Once He is sitting on the throne of His glory God “sends the rod of (Jesus’) strength out or Zion” and so Jesus reigns “in the midst of His enemies.  Paul, commenting on this passage, states that, “He must reign until…He has put down all rule and all authority and power…when all things shall be subdued unto Him…”[5]

From the above, we learn that the “Parousia” of Jesus Christ has nothing what-so-ever to do with Jesus returning to earth.  His “Parousia” is His enthronement on the throne of David in fulfillment of the prophecies as summed up in Luke 1:32-33.

According to Matt 19:28, 25:31, Rev 3:21 and literally dozens of other passages in the Bible — the “Parousia” of Jesus Christ, i.e., His being seated “in the throne of His Glory” occurred in ca. 70 AD.

There are some who teach that the destruction of Jerusalem was the Parousia of Jesus Christ.  This notion is pure fabrication and is no where taught in the Bible.  A passage, speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem, in Matthew 24:30 provides clear evidence that the destruction of Jerusalem is not the Parousia; but is, in fact, the sign that the Parousia is a reality:

“‘”And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven…, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (Matthew 24:30 NKJV)”

Of this passage, James Jordan writes, “…the Greek is quite clear, what will appear will be a sign that shows that the Son of Man is in heaven” [6] ascending to the throne of David.
Jordan continues,“…the destruction of Jerusalem (was) a dramatic and visible manifestation (“sign”) of the heavenly rule (in the Parousia) of the Son of Man.”  Thus
we should now understand that the destruction of Jerusalem was in fact the proof that He (Jesus) had indeed ascended to heaven and “in His Parousia”[7]  had become the King of
kings and Lord of Lord” upon the throne of His glory, i.e. the throne of His father David.  Jordan continues, “As the passage reads, (the) son of man is already in heaven”[8] thus, the “sign” pertains to His accession to the throne of His glory, i.e. His enthronement in the ca. AD 70 Parousia.

Thus, we see that according to the Bible, Jesus was enthroned in His Parousia ca. AD 70 – not at His ascension in ca AD 30 as so many erroneously claim and vigorously assert.

(available in 3 formats)


[1] McKnight, Scot in “Keys of the Kingdom in Mark 9:47”,
Planet Preterist, January 15, 2008.

[2] Hebrews 1:3c, See Rev 3:21 for the meaning of “sit in the right hand.”  There it is explained as Jesus sitting down in the throne of His Father (God) with His Father.  Jesus is not ruling here.  He is sitting with the ruler waiting the time
when the Father will give Him His throne of Glory (Matt 19:28, 25:31, Rev 3:21)
which occurred in ca. 70 AD.

[3] Revelation 3:21b

[4] Revelation 3:21

[5] 1Cor 15:25, 24, 28; collated

[6] James B. Jordan, The Handwriting on the Wall: a
commentary on the book of Daniel, p 340-342

[7] Here note again the question which the disciples put to
Jesus, “Tell us…what will be the sign of your Parousia?” (Matthew 24:3, cf.
1Cor 15:23c & 25a in which Paul declares that Jesus begins to reign “in His
Parousia” and continues to “reign” in His Parousia, i.e. His accession to the
throne of  His glory – the throne of
David, Luke 1:32-33)

[8] While the quotes from Jordan’s book are direct quotes, the position I am presenting here is not the same as the position which Jordan is presenting.  Because Jordan holds
the same misguided opinion as the author of the quote on page 1, “When Christ
ascended to the right hand of the Father, he finally received the Kingdom
promised to him. Ever since that time, Jesus has been reigning over His
Kingdom.”  Because this erroneous notion blocks his view Jordan has not yet come to the accurate understanding of the view presented in this paper, instead he improvises a rather fanciful, complex; but, nevertheless, erroneous interpretation.