BOOKS: BIBLICAL STUDIES (1500BC-AD70) / EARLY CHRISTIAN PRETERISM (AD50-1000) / FREE ONLINE BOOKS (AD1000-2008)
AD70 Dispensationalism: According to
that view, AD70 was the end of 'this age' and the start of the 'age to come'.
Those who lived before AD70 could only 'see in part' and such, lacking
the resurrection and redemptive blessings which supposedly came only
Herod's Temple in Jerusalem
fell. Accordingly, AD70 was not only the end of Old
Testament Judaism, but it was also the end of the revelation of
Christianity as seen in the New Testament.
AD70 Dispensationalism: According to that view, AD70 was the end of 'this age' and the start of the 'age to come'. Those who lived before AD70 could only 'see in part' and such, lacking the resurrection and redemptive blessings which supposedly came only when Herod's Temple in Jerusalem fell. Accordingly, AD70 was not only the end of Old Testament Judaism, but it was also the end of the revelation of Christianity as seen in the New Testament.
material is being archived for balanced representation of all preterist views,
but is classified under the theological term hyper (as in beyond
the acceptable range of tolerable doctrines) at this website. The
classification of all full preterism as Hyper Preterism (HyP) is built
upon well over a decade of intense research at PreteristArchive.com, and
the convictions of
the website curator (a
former full preterist pastor). The HyP
theology of final resurrection and consummation in the fall of Jerusalem, with its dispensational line in AD70
(end of old age, start of new age), has never been known among authors
through nearly 20 centuries of Christianity leading up
to 1845, when the earliest known full preterist book was written.
Even though there may be many secondary points of agreement between
Historical/Modern Preterism and Hyper Preterism, their premises are undeniably and
THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED AS "HYPER PRETERIST"
"Full preterist" material is being archived for balanced representation of all preterist views, but is classified under the theological term hyper (as in beyond the acceptable range of tolerable doctrines) at this website. The classification of all full preterism as Hyper Preterism (HyP) is built upon well over a decade of intense research at PreteristArchive.com, and the convictions of the website curator (a former full preterist pastor). The HyP theology of final resurrection and consummation in the fall of Jerusalem, with its dispensational line in AD70 (end of old age, start of new age), has never been known among authors through nearly 20 centuries of Christianity leading up to 1845, when the earliest known full preterist book was written. Even though there may be many secondary points of agreement between Historical/Modern Preterism and Hyper Preterism, their premises are undeniably and fundamentally different.
WARNING: THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED AS "HYPER PRETERIST"
SOME DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINES OF SYSTEMATIZED HYPER PRETERISM
It is important to keep in mind that many ideas and doctrines full preterism appeals to - such as the complete end of the Old Covenant world in AD70 - are by no means distinctive to that view. Many non HyPs believe this as well, so one need not embrace the Hyper Preterist system in order to endorse this view. Following are exceptional doctrines which, so far as I've seen, are only taught by adherents of Hyper Preterism.:
DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINES TAUGHT BY STANDARD FULL PRETERISM
DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINES TAUGHT BY VARIOUS FORMS
As I see it, there are two classes of Biblical “types”. First are those that are defined in scripture for us. Jesus described Moses’ lifting up of the brass serpent in the wilderness as a type of His being lifted up on the cross. He also described Jonah’s 3 days and nights in the belly of a whale as a type of His being 3 days and nights in the belly (heart) of the earth, in a tomb. Paul describes Adam as a type of Christ, who is the “second Adam”.
The second class of types contains those, which are not defined in scripture, but are realized by the discernment of the reader. These we might call “uninspired” types – not that the original text delineating the type is uninspired, but rather that the interpretation of the type is uninspired, not being recorded in the scriptures for us. For example, I have yet to discover anywhere in the Bible that defines or describes the patriarch Joseph as a type of Christ, yet we would be hard-pressed to deny the fact. Consider the following:
Both were despised by their siblings.
Both came up alive from the earth, which was supposed to hold them in death (Joseph from the pit, Jesus from the tomb).
Both became servants in a foreign place.
Both paid the penalty for sins they did not commit.
Joseph was exalted to the right hand of Pharaoh, Jesus to the right hand of the Father.
During the famine, relief was found only by going to Joseph. Relief for the spiritual famine of our souls is found only by going to Christ.
In the ensuing pages we will explore how the first generation of national Israel (the Exodus era) is a type of the last generation of national Israel (the New Testament era). This type is established in scripture for us. The word “examples” in vv. 6 & 11 are from the Greek τυπος, (tupos), Strong’s number 5179. This same word is translated “type” in Romans 5:14, which states that Adam is “a type of Him (Christ) who was to come”. What is not established is how much detail to read into the type. While the foundation of the type is inspired, by no means am I claiming any inspiration, anointing or revelation for the details to be discussed.
The premise presented here is that not only is the first generation a picture-perfect type of the last generation, but that it only is so when considered from a Preterist viewpoint. While it is understood that doctrine is not established upon “uninspired” types or details, often these various types or details help elucidate a particular subject. They can bring out subtle nuances, sometimes expanding our perspective of a subject. Perhaps, on rare occasions, they may even tip the scale of indecision one way or another. I’ll let the reader be the judge.
Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture references are from the New King James Version Bible.
All These Things…
Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
1 Cor 10:11
This study is written with the assumption that the reader is familiar with the doctrine of Preterism, as it is not within the scope of this current project to define, nor defend it. Suffice it to say that when Preterists read the above passage, they take the phrase, “upon whom the ends of the ages have come”, at face value. The end of the age of Judaism, of the Law, had come upon those first century readers, culminating in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
The first question that jumps out at us, is what are “…all these things…?” We must look at the verse in its context:
Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play." Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”
1 Cor 10:1-12
All these things were the experiences of the early Israelites as they were delivered from the bondage of Egypt, and marched through the wilderness towards the Promised Land. The Apostle Paul is admonishing the first century Christians to learn from the mistakes of the Israelites, that they might not fall into similar circumstances. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall, he writes to them.
Up to this point we could consider Paul’s admonition one of general diligence to their Christian walk, indeed even one that speaks through the ages to us. Don’t fall into the same pitfalls, don’t trip on the same stumbling blocks as those who have walked this path before you – learn from their mistakes, he seems to be saying. We might compare this passage with similar admonitions of Paul:
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; Col 1:9-10
as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. 1 Thess 2:11-12
But why does Paul insert the phrase “upon whom the ends of the ages have come” into this passage? Is it merely an aside, or one of Paul’s many doctrinal embellishments for which his writings are known? Either is possible, and certainly do not detract from the significance of the passage.
The premise of this study, however, is that the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to include that phrase because there is much more to be discovered here. The proposal, to be developed, is this – Paul was writing to a final generation of his age, one that had just been delivered from the bondage of sin (permanently, not temporarily with animal sacrifices) by the death and resurrection of Christ, one that was going through a time of testing and was standing poised to be raptured into heaven, the true Promised Land. To admonish and encourage them to “take heed lest they fall” he uses the example of a previous generation that had also just been delivered from bondage (Egypt), went through testings in the wilderness, and was standing poised to enter the Promised Land. Just as Moses (a type of Christ) presented to Israel the promised land and they refused to enter, so Christ (the prophet to come like unto Moses) presented to Israel their Messiah, but they refused to enter “through veil of His flesh” into the true Holy of Holies, the spiritual promised land. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. Judgment was passed on Moses’ generation, and approximately 40 years after refusing to enter the Promised Land they were dead, and their offspring entered in. Judgment was passed on Christ’s generation, and approximately 40 years after refusing their Messiah they were dead, and their offspring (the Christian church) were raptured into the true Promised Land.
Granted, at face value the passage before us is already a serious admonition towards a diligent Christian walk. One I believe that can be applied to our own walks today. However, in light of the above proposal, can you envision how much more weight the passage carries? Paul is not just saying walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, he is saying the end is come upon us, don’t stumble now, don’t be like those who failed to enter in. Compare this to how the author of Hebrew admonishes his readers by the same example:
Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:
"Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness, Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, And saw My works forty years. Therefore I was angry with that generation, And said, 'They always go astray in their heart, And they have not known My ways.' So I swore in My wrath, 'They shall not enter My rest.'"
Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said:
"Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion."
For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Heb 3:7-19
This passage is even more pertinent, in that it is written to the Hebrews, i.e., Jewish believers. Here the author is telling them to exhort one another, so that they do not depart from God. He’s saying “our forefathers made a similar journey, and failed to enter in to their rest. Don’t you do the same”. That generation learned that “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31). The author is telling them to not be among the portion of this generation destined to learn the same lesson.
Some might point out that there is no “end of the age” time stamp here as in the 1 Corinthians passage. All we have to do is go forward seven chapters:
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. Heb 10:24-25
What day did they see approaching? The day of the rapture, of “crossing over the Jordan into the Promised Land”.
Let’s dig deeper, and see what we can discover.
The Big Picture
It has long been recognized that the journey of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage to arrival in the Promised Land is an overview, a synopsis of the believers’ spiritual journey. The Egyptian bondage represents the bondage to sin prior to salvation. The Israelites were technically freed when Pharaoh, who owned them, and his army, drowned in the Red Sea. This is a picture of the believer’s salvation. The Israelites going down into the sea, and then coming back up out of the sea can also be a picture of baptism, which so often accompanies a new believer’s confession of faith. The journey through the wilderness represents the bulk of the believer’s spiritual life, filled with the blessings and provisions of God, with times of testing, with new revelation of whom He is and how He wants to interact with us. The Promised Land represents heaven, and the Jordan River, which must be crossed, represents death. Remember the old spiritual “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”? There’s a line that says, “I looked over Jordan, and what did I see, coming for to carry me home? A band of angels, coming after me, coming for to carry me home.” It’s written from the point of view of someone at the end of this life’s journey, seeing the angels of God coming to carry them home to heaven.
When we think of this overview of the believer’s spiritual journey, we tend to think of Christian, Gentile believers. I believe the overview can fit all believers in all ages, in a general sense. However, I believe the specific type, or foreshadow, applies to the Jewish nation. Consider the following:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. Rom 1:16
But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who "will render to each one according to his deeds": eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness -- indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Rom 2:5-11
But He answered and said, "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Matt 15:24
These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: "Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Matt 10:5-6
You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, 'And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.' To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities." Acts 3:25-26
On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul. Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, "It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. Acts 13:44-46
Although salvation is available to both Jew and Gentile, it was offered first to the Jews. Though there were Jewish converts, when it came to Christ being their promised Messiah, as a nation the Jews cried out “crucify Him!”
Though there were two spies, Joshua and Caleb, who believed that God would deliver the Promised Land to them, as a nation the Israelites cried out “would that we had died in Egypt!”
Do you see why I feel that the specific typology belongs to the Jewish nation? Not only are the events parallel, they seem more like mirror images, one a reflection of the other. Let’s look at some details.
As in the example above, both Moses and Joshua are also seen as types of Christ. While Moses personifies the “Savior” aspect of Christ, delivering from bondage, Joshua personifies the “conquering warrior” aspect of Christ, vanquishing his enemies and bringing his people into their final destination. Moses brought out, Joshua led in. May I suggest to you that Moses is a type of Christ in His first coming, while Joshua is a type of Christ in His Second Coming? I invite you, as did the four living creatures in the Revelation, to “Come, and see”.
Moses himself alluded to the typology between Christ and himself when he stated, "The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren.” (Deut 18:15) Christ alluded to the typology between them when He said, “as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up”. Let’s examine the similarities.
First, the very name of Moses is wrapped up in the concept of drawing out, of deliverance:
And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. So she called his name Moses, saying, "Because I drew him out of the water." Ex 2:10
Adam Clarke's Commentary says the following:
maashah (OT:4871) signifies "to draw out," and Mosheh (OT:4872) is the person drawn out.
The word maashah (OT:4871), is used two other times in the Old Testament:
He sent from above, He took me,
He drew me out of many waters. 2 Sam 22:17
He delivered me from my strong enemy,
From those who hated me,
For they were too strong for me. Ps 18:17
I find it fascinating that the very name of Moses foretold his ministry, his purpose in life. The same is true of the “Prophet like” him, whom God raised up centuries later.
And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins." Matt 1:21
Again we turn to Adam Clarke's Commentary:
Jesus, the same as Joshua, Yªhowshuwa` (OT:3091), from yaasha` (OT:3467), he saved, delivered, put in a state of safety.
Already we see a connection to Joshua, which we will get to. Notice here, however, that the name Jesus means he saved, delivered. Just as with Moses, the very name of Jesus foretold his ministry, his purpose in life. But there’s much more than just what’s in a name. However, let me state that the purpose of this section is not an in-depth study of Moses as a type of Christ, for that would be a separate study in itself. Rather, the intent here is to demonstrate that the typology of Moses centers on Christ’s ministry in His first coming. Even in this effort, because of space, we cannot examine every detail.
Because of Pharaoh’s fear of the Israelites growing in number and threatening his kingdom, he decreed that all newborn male Israelite babies were to be killed. Moses was born during the time of this decree. He escaped death by being placed in a reed basket by his mother, and put afloat on the Nile River. There Pharaoh’s daughter found him, and adopted him. In short, Moses escaped death by going to Egypt. Likewise, Herod feared that the prophesied Messiah would incite the Israelites to rise up against his kingdom. He also issued a decree that male Israelite babies be killed. Jesus came in His first coming during this decree. How did He escape? Joseph and Mary fled to Egypt with Him.
On the night of the Israelites’ deliverance from Egypt, Moses instituted the Passover. This is probably the most poignant of the types of Christ associated with Moses. Here we see a lamb, brought into the home to live with the family prior to the appointed time of sacrifice. During this time it is examined, to determine that it is without blemish, and therefore a suitable sacrifice. Once killed, its blood was collected in a bowl, and with a hyssop branch applied to the family’s doorway in three places – the top, and both sides. No doubt, as the hyssop branch, dripping with blood, moved from the bowl to the top, and to each side of the doorway, some blood fell on the ground at the base of the doorway. When the Lord passed through the land to kill the firstborn, those homes that had the blood on their doorways would be “passed over”.
John the Baptist testifies to the connection of the Passover lamb and Christ.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29
Christ dwelt among the people, and was examined by the religious leaders, but they could not catch Him in anything. Even Pilate said, “I find no fault in Him”. He was a suitable sacrifice. In His crucifixion we see the blood on His head from the crown of thorns, and on each hand and on His feet from the nails, the same positions as the doorways in Goshen. With His blood applied to the “doorways of our hearts”, our sins are removed and spiritual death must pass over us. There is so much more to say, but we must move on.
Though Moses and the Israelites had left Egypt, they weren’t really free until they came up out of the Red Sea. Though Christ’s death provided deliverance from sin, it didn’t become effective until His resurrection. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 1 Cor 15:17 Interestingly enough, Christ rose from the tomb on the same day of the Jewish calendar that Moses and the Israelites came up out of the Red Sea!
For the sake of expediency, the following types are given in a more or less outline form, without much introduction or commentary:
Moses cast a tree into the bitter waters, and they became sweet. Jesus became cursed of God because He was hanged on a tree (Dt. 21:22-23; Gal. 3:13). The cross of Christ, cast into the bitter waters of our lives, changes them into the sweetness of salvation.
During Moses’ administration, the Israelites received manna from heaven. Christ was the true manna from heaven.
When the Israelites cried out for water, Moses struck the rock and water poured out. Christ, the Rock of our salvation, was struck for us. He provides the living water.
When Joshua (there he is again) led the Israelites into battle against Amalek, they only prevailed while Moses had his hands stretched out. When his hands grew heavy, Aaron and Hur stood on either side of him and held his hands out for him. We can only prevail against the battle of sin in our lives through the outstretched hands of the crucified Christ. In fact, it is our very sin, depicted by a thief on either side of Christ, that caused His hands to be outstretched.
Through Moses God instituted the covenant of the Law. Through Christ God instituted the new covenant. (Matt. 26:28, Heb. 9:15)
Moses was the mediator of the Old Covenant (Ex. 20:19). Christ is the Mediator of the New Covenant (1Tim. 2:5).
Through Moses God instituted the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20). Through Christ God instituted a new commandment. (John 13:34)
Through Moses God instituted the priesthood (Ex. 28-29). Christ is our High Priest. (Heb. 4:14)
Time does not permit us to look into the myriad of types of Christ in the tabernacle, its services, the various sacrifices, etc. Hopefully what has been presented here is adequate to demonstrate that as a type of Christ, Moses was specifically a type of Christ’s first coming, having its apex in His death and resurrection.
Moses was not allowed to lead the Israelites into Canaan because he disobeyed the Lord. At the end of his life, God told him to ascend the mountain so that he could look over the Jordan River and see the Promised Land, and then he died there and was “gathered to his people”. Here we see a picture of the ascension of Christ into heaven, at the close of His ministry during His first coming. As a side note, 33 days passed from the death of Moses until the Israelites entered Canaan. Christ was 33 years old when He died.
Moses was the greatest leader in the history of the Jews; therefore we shouldn’t expect the life of Joshua to be as rich in typology as that of Moses’. But we aren’t left empty-handed.
As with Moses, we begin with the name. It has already been noted that Jesus is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew Joshua. Thus Jesus and Joshua shared a name. Let’s look once more at Adam Clarke's Commentary:
Jesus, the same as Joshua, Yªhowshuwa` (OT:3091), from yaasha` (OT:3467), he saved, delivered, put in a state of safety.
Just as Moses saved, delivered, and put the Israelites into a state of safety from their life of bondage, so Joshua would save, deliver, and put the Israelites into a state of safety from their enemies.
Although more closely intertwined in the character of Joshua, there is a two-fold aspect to the Second Coming of Christ, which I believe Joshua typifies. These two facets are 1) the leading of the people into the Promised Land; and 2) the vanquishing of his enemies.
1. Leading the People In
As the miracle of the parting of the Red Sea equates with the miracle new-birth, so the miracle of crossing the Jordan at flood stage equates with the miracle of the translation of the saints. In each case a physical miracle typifies a spiritual miracle. A change in physical state (one side of the water to the other) of the body typifies a change in the spiritual state of the body.
Both Canaan and Heaven are “Promised Lands”:
Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God." Gen 17:8
I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites. Ex 3:8
In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:2-3
Both Canaan and Heaven are places of bounty:
Then they came to the Valley of Eshcol, and there cut down a branch with one cluster of grapes; they carried it between two of them on a pole. They also brought some of the pomegranates and figs…Then they told him, and said: "We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit”. Num 13:23, 27
And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Rev 22:1-2
The bulk of Hebrews 3 & 4 speak to the parallels of the Israelites entering Canaan, and Christians entering their “final rest”, or heaven. We have already quoted from chap. 3. Consider this portion of chap. 4:
Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest… Heb 4:1-3a
Both generations had the gospel, a “good news”, preached to them. The Israelites had the promise of entering Canaan, but it didn’t profit them because they didn’t mix it with faith. Likewise the gospel of Christ must be mixed with faith to profit an individual.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Heb 11:6
Although we could go on, I believe that enough has been presented to establish the entering of Canaan as a type of entering heaven. To my knowledge there are only three ways for true believers to enter heaven – translation, as with Enoch and Elijah; death; or being among those raptured away at Christ’s Second Coming. While translation is very rare, it is appointed for men to die once (Heb. 9:27). Once again, while the analogy of “crossing over Jordan” can apply to all three modes in a general sense, I believe that the N.T. writers were applying it specifically to the generation that would be raptured. This was the generation “upon whom the end of the ages had come” and who could “see the Day approaching”. They were admonished by the specific example of the Israelites failing to enter Canaan, to prevent them from doing the same.
I trust that the reader is familiar enough with Second Coming/Rapture passages to know that that is the time when Christ comes for His church, and takes them to the place He has prepared. Thus, as Joshua led Israel into Canaan, so Christ led His church into heaven.
2. Enemies Vanquished
As we mentioned earlier, the Second Coming of Christ was two-fold. Not only did He rapture His church, He also vanquished His enemies. We see the same in Joshua, who not only led Israel into Canaan, but also led them in battle to vanquish their enemies before them.
Throughout scripture, Christ is portrayed by two diametrically opposed animals – the lion and the lamb. In His first coming He came as the Lamb of God. Remember John the Baptists’ quote? "Behold! The Lamb of God”. In Christ’s Second Coming He came as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, to pounce upon and vanquish His enemies. True to form, the characters of Moses and Joshua correspond with this. It is written that “Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.” (Num. 12:3) Moses had the character of a lamb.
Joshua, on the other hand, was a warrior, a commander in battle. Joshua had the character of a lion. If you recall from an earlier passage, the Israelites went to battle against Amalek. Although Moses was still their leader, he was up on the hilltop interceding. Joshua was commanding the battle. Then of course, there’s the famous battle of Jericho, and the subsequent battles of Canaan.
God even revealed Himself differently to Moses than Joshua. To Moses He revealed Himself as “the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”, and the “I AM that I AM”. To Joshua He revealed Himself as “Commander of the army of the LORD”
We have seen the type, let’s look at the anti-type:
…since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed. 2 Thess 1:6-10
We see again the term “that Day”, synonymous with “the Day” of Hebrews. And what happens when He comes in that Day? Two things – He will give rest to those who are troubled, and He will take vengeance on those who do not know God. The rapture of the saints and the vanquishing of His enemies. Two events, one Day. Two aspects of the Second Coming, one Second Coming.
Let’s look again at the passage from Hebrews, in a fuller context:
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Heb 10:24-27
Why were the Hebrews exhorted to encourage one another? So that they might enter God’s rest. If they didn’t enter His rest, what was the alternative? Fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Once again, two events, one Day.
Just a couple more verses pertaining to Christ as a warrior at His Second-Coming:
Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh. Rev 19:15, 21
Do you see the two-fold aspect of Christ’s Second Coming? Many try to separate the events of the rapture and those of the judgment. This way they can say that Christ came “in judgment” in 70 A.D. (after all, something happened then), and He will yet come again for His church. I believe that the above passages, as well as many similar ones, teach otherwise. Granted, though there is one “Day”, it is not a 24-hour day. The Second Coming involved a process. The rapture happened “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye”, but the judgment was a process, lasting approximately 3 ½ years, as described in Revelation. Similarly, the crossing of the Jordan was a relatively brief event, but vanquishing the enemies took many years. I believe that the hypothesis before us confirms this as well, in that one person carries out both events, simultaneously. Joshua’s leading the Israelites into Canaan, and vanquishing their enemies go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other. While the events of the first and second comings are obviously separate, and typified by different people (Moses and Joshua), the two facets of the Second Coming are not separated, neither in type, nor anti-type.
Let’s summarize this section. Moses personifies Christ in His first coming. In him we see the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. We see the deliverance from the bondage of sin through the death and resurrection of Christ. Joshua personifies the Second Coming of Christ. In him we see the Lion of the tribe of Judah, leading His people into the Promised Land, and vanquishing their enemies. Two facets of one Second Coming, occurring in the same time period.
In my estimation, this is the most compelling portion, from a Preterist perspective. After spending about 2 years in the desert, receiving the Law and establishing the Tabernacle and its Priesthood, the Israelites were poised to enter Canaan. As we have read above, they did not mix the promise with faith, but shrunk back in fear. God became angry with that generation (those 20 years old and older), and made Israel wander in the desert another 38 years, until that generation had all died. Consider this commentary from the book of Hebrews:
For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Heb 3:16-19
Not to belabor the point, but is there any question as to whom God was angry with, and who died in the wilderness? The same generation to which God said “I’m angry with you” is the one that perished in the wilderness. Hold that thought and read on:
But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here. Matt 12:39-42
Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. Matt 23:36
Therefore the wisdom of God also said, 'I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute,' that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation. Luke 11:49-51
But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. Luke 17:25
Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. Luke 21:32
Forgive me if I got carried away with references, but there is a reason. This is a main point for Futurist eschatology. We need to make several points here. First, if you look up these passages in your Bible, all the words will be red. Every one of these is Christ speaking. Second, the same Greek word is used for generation in all of the passages. Third, this word is used 43 times in the NT, and is never translated “race”. In the KJV it is twice translated “time” or “times”, and twice “ages”. In the NKJV, three of those instances were changed to “generation” or “generations”. The standout is Eph. 3:5. Here it is in context:
For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles -- if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: Eph 3:1-5 Emphasis added
You tell me, which word could replace ages and not change the meaning of the passage – races, or generations?
How can we read the passages above, and think that they refer to any generation other than the one to which Christ was speaking? What generation saw Christ being three days and three nights in the heart of the earth? By what generation was Christ rejected, and caused to suffer many things? The generation to which He was speaking? Absolutely! How then can the other passages not also be referring to that same generation? How can we say that judgment is not decreed upon the generation that Christ was speaking to?
“Oh, but it was decreed”, some will say, “it is reserved for the last days, when all will be judged. It doesn’t say that those people will ‘rise up in judgment’ in that generation, but that ‘in the judgment they will rise up’, and then condemn it.”
Or, some may say that that generation was judged in 70 A.D. But that was just the judgment of that generation, not the final judgment at the Second Coming. There is still the Great Tribulation and the Great White Throne judgment yet to occur.
What, then, do we do with Luke 21:32 (cp. Mt. 23:36), which states Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place? What are “all things”? The Great Tribulation. What does ‘assuredly’ mean? What does it mean when Jesus Himself says “assuredly”? How could it be any more emphatic? Earlier in that same passage, Jesus said, “For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. Luke 21:22 Emphasis added.
Is it just coincidence, or irony, that 40 years after the Jews rejected their Messiah, 1.1 million of Christ’s generation died during the siege of Jerusalem, and of the temple, not one stone was left upon another?
Is it just coincidence that the NT authors saw the approaching Day, and admonished the church with the example of a previous generation that had missed their “day”? Their judgment was not held for some future date. As we are graphically told, “their corpses fell in the wilderness”.
Notice what kind of generation Christ said sought for a sign. An “adulterous” generation. The theme of Israel as an adulterous nation is woven throughout scripture. Why this term? Because Israel had been “betrothed” to God at Mt. Sinai. Therefore, their unbelief, and worship of foreign gods was viewed as adultery, or fornication in His sight. We will develop this theme further under the heading “The Plagues”.
This adulterous generation of Christ’s day is depicted as the great harlot of Revelation. Their most egregious act of harlotry had been the rejection of the one to whom they had been betrothed, their Messiah. As in the parable of the Wedding Supper, they refused to attend, and so others were invited. Why is Israel’s unbelief, and wandering after other gods couched in terms of moral infidelity? Because there is only one scriptural allowance for divorce – adultery. At Mt. Sinai Israel was betrothed to God – in 70 AD the divorce became final!
One final item. When God told the Israelites that they would not enter Canaan, but would die in the wilderness, they suddenly had a change of heart. They decided to enter in after all. However, God said it was too late. As in the days of Noah, when the door to the Ark was shut, the invitation was closed. Nevertheless, they tried to go to battle against the inhabitants of Canaan, and were soundly defeated.
Similarly, Christ’s generation missed their invitation as well:
Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, "If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation." Luke 19:41-44
To summarize – the first generation of the nation of Israel stood at the threshold of entering the Promised Land, but due to unbelief, failed to do so. Judgment was pronounced upon that generation, and that generation perished. The judgment was completed within 40 years of being decreed, the span of one generation. Hinging upon their judgment was the entering of Canaan by their children. There was no long time span between the judgment of the rebellious generation, and entrance into the Promised Land by those who had not shown unbelief.
The last generation of the nation of Israel stood at the threshold of entering the promised land, via a new covenant mediated by their Messiah, but due to unbelief, failed to do so. Judgment was pronounced upon that generation, and that generation perished. The judgment was completed within 40 years of being decreed, the span of one generation. Hinging upon their judgment was the entering of Heaven by the Church. There was no long time span between the judgment of the rebellious generation, and entrance into the Promised Land by those who believed in the Messiah.
The children of the rebellious generation represent the New Testament church. These children, the next generation, did enter the Promised Land. The church was God’s next chosen generation, and they also entered the Promised Land – heaven.
Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you this word of this salvation has been sent…
And we declare to you glad tidings – that promise which was made to the fathers. God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. Acts 13:26, 32 Emphasis added
The promise originally made to the Jews (the fathers) was rejected by them. That promise, the glad tidings, was now being offered to the Church (those who fear God), the children of the fathers.
Then He began to tell the people this parable: “A certain man planted a vineyard, leased it to vinedressers, and went onto a far country for a long time. Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that they give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the vinedressers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent another servant; and they beat him also, treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. And again he sent a third; and they wounded him also and cast him out.
Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. Probably they will respect him when they see him.’ But when the vinedressers saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.’ So they cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those vinedressers and give the vineyard to others.”
And when they heard it they said, “Certainly not!”
Then He looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written:
The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone?
Whoever falls on that stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”
And the chief priests and the scribes that very hour sought to lay hands on Him, but they feared the people – for they knew He had spoken this parable against them. Luke 20:9-19
They knew that this parable was spoken against them, yet they would soon reject the chief cornerstone and kill the beloved son. The vineyard would be taken from them and given to others – the Christians. They would not enter in, but the “next generation” would. The first century church was that next generation:
Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,
“Behold, I lay in Zion
A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”
Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,
The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone,
A stone of stumbling
And a rock of offense.”
They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people… who were once not a people but are now the people of God… 1 Peter 2:4-9a, 10a Emphasis added
The first century Christians were given the vineyard. They accepted what the Jews had rejected. They were now His own special people, replacing the Jews who had been a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth Deut 7:6. They entered the Promised Land that had been offered to a previous “chosen people”, just as in the days of Moses.
But your little ones, whom you said would be victims, I will bring in, and they shall know the land which you have despised. Nu. 14:31
Where did the offspring of the rebellious generation go while God judged that generation? Into the wilderness, until the time came for them to enter the Promised Land. Where did the Christians flee to when Jerusalem was surrounded by armies in God’s judgment? Into the wilderness!
The Two and One-half Tribes
The tribes of Rueben and Gad and one-half of the tribe of Manasseh decided to settle east of the Jordan River. They did not receive any allotment in the land of Canaan. They are a picture of those who have an outward appearance of Christianity, but are not truly born-again. They don’t enter in. Although by outward appearance they seemed as much a part of Israel as the other tribes, when the time of entering Canaan came, their true nature was revealed – their hearts were not set on the Promised Land. Likewise at the rapture those who had an outward appearance of Christianity, but were not truly born-again would be revealed. Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. Not everyone who has the outward appearance of Christianity will enter the Kingdom:
Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?” And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” Matt. 7:21-23
For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed. Rom. 9:6b-8
Only when we stand on the other side of the Jordan will we know the true conditions of the hearts of those around us. We will know by whom is standing with us, and who didn’t cross over.
Joshua and Caleb
Just as we will never know what the conquest of Canaan would have been like if Israel had marched in the first time, so we will never know how events would have unfolded if Israel, as a nation, had received their Messiah. These national rejections resulted in national judgments in both cases. However, even in judgment, God shows mercy. In both instances, those individuals who did believe in God’s promise were not judged with their respective generations.
Joshua and Caleb were the only two individuals from their rebellious generation that entered Canaan. They had believed that God was going to deliver the land into their hands, and were willing to enter. Therefore, God did allow them to enter, although they had to wait until His judgment was carried out on the rest of their generation.
In the same manner, though the Jews as a nation rejected Christ as Messiah, many Jews did receive Him, and were counted among the believers. These Jews did not enter heaven at the moment of their belief, but had to wait until Christ came in judgment on their generation, at which time He also raptured the church.
Plagues seem to be God’s judgment of choice in matters of infidelity, whether physical or spiritual. When Abram passed Sarai off as his sister, God sent a plague on Pharaoh’s house when he attempted to add her to his harem. (Gen. 12:17)
Consider the judgment upon an unfaithful wife, according to the Law:
When he has made her drink the water, then it shall be, if she has defiled herself and behaved unfaithfully toward her husband, that the water that brings a curse will enter her and become bitter, and her belly will swell, her thigh will rot, and the woman will become a curse among her people. Num. 5:27
Is that not a plague on an individual extent?
At Mount Sinai Israel was betrothed to God.
Go and cry in the hearing of Jerusalem, saying, “Thus says the LORD:
‘I remember you,
The kindness of your youth,
The love of your betrothal,
When you went after Me in the wilderness,
In a land not sown.’”
“Return, O backsliding children,” says the LORD; “for I am married to you…” Jer. 3:14
So Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD and all the judgments. And all the people answered with one voice and said, "All the words which the LORD has said we will do."
Yet even as Moses was up on the mount getting the final “marriage papers”, the people began their harlotries, by making a golden calf and worshipping it. God, who is a jealous God, sent a plague among them:
So the LORD plagued the people because of what they did with the calf which Aaron made. Ex 32:35
When the Israelites did not trust God to bring them into the Promised Land, God viewed that as an act of infidelity, and killed the ten disbelieving spies with a plague:
And your sons shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years, and bear the brunt of your infidelity, until your carcasses are consumed in the wilderness…Now the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned and made all the congregation complain against him by bringing a bad report of the land, those very men who brought the evil report about the land, died by the plague before the LORD. Num. 14:33, 36-38
Israel also played the harlot with Baal of Peor, and was judged with a plague:
They joined themselves also to Baal of Peor,
And ate sacrifices made to the dead.
Thus they provoked Him to anger with their deeds,
And the plague broke out among them. Ps 106:28-29
As God was establishing the Israelites as a nation, He warned that if they turned from Him, they would suffer His wrath, which included plagues:
“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves; I have broken the bands of your yoke and made you walk upright.
But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments, and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant, I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. I will set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you.
And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. I will break the pride of your power; I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze. And your strength shall be spent in vain; for your land shall not yield its produce, nor shall the trees of the land yield their fruit.
Then, if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to obey Me, I will bring on you seven times more plagues, according to your sins.” Lev. 26:13-21
"But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:
The LORD will make the plague cling to you until He has consumed you from the land which you are going to possess.” Deut. 28:15, 22
"If you do not carefully observe all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, THE LORD YOUR GOD, then the LORD will bring upon you and your descendants extraordinary plagues -- great and prolonged plagues -- and serious and prolonged sicknesses. Moreover He will bring back on you all the diseases of Egypt, of which you were afraid, and they shall cling to you. Also every sickness and every plague, which is not written in this Book of the Law, will the LORD bring upon you until you are destroyed. Deut 28:58-61
Undoubtedly, all nations (and individuals) deserve God’s wrath and judgment. But from whom do we expect more loyalty, a spouse, or other relatives and acquaintances? Wouldn’t we also expect God to expect more loyalty from Israel, than from other nations? After all, He chose them, not any other nation:
For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. Deut 7:6
Israel was a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. God had warned them of the penalty of turning from Him. In light of these facts, doesn’t it make sense that the plagues of Revelation are God delivering on His promise to Israel, and not the whole world? Was the whole world betrothed to God? No - therefore it was impossible for the world to be unfaithful to Him in the sense that Israel was. Did Jesus say to the world, “you have missed the day of your visitation”? Again, no. While the gospel is available to all the nations, only Israel was a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. Therefore, only Israel was warned against, and received the plagues that are a result of spiritual infidelity. Not just run-of-the-mill plagues were they warned against, but seven times more plagues, extraordinary plagues -- great and prolonged plagues, and every plague, which is not written in this Book of the Law, will the LORD bring upon you until you are destroyed. Does this not sound like the intensity of the plagues in Revelation? Is it coincidence that Leviticus speaks of seven times more plagues, and in the Revelation there is an angel with the seven last plagues? Can the great harlot of Revelation be any other than the final generation of Israel, who was so taken by her other “lovers” that she didn’t even recognize the one to whom she was betrothed?
After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury."
And I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, 'I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.' Therefore her plagues will come in one day -- death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her.
"Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!" Rev 18:1-8, 20
Christ warned the disciples,
"But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. Luke 21:20-23
Doesn’t that sound like "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues? The Christians did come out of her when they saw the Roman armies surrounding Jerusalem. They fled into the wilderness. Then came the days of vengeance, and all things which are written were fulfilled, in 70 AD.
So once again we see type and anti-type in the first and last generations of national Israel. The first generation saw the plagues sent upon Egypt because Pharaoh would not let God’s people (His bride-to-be) go to Him. God is a jealous God. The last generation saw the plagues sent upon their own selves because they had rejected the Bridegroom. God is a jealous God.
Pre- and Post-National Jews
Israel became a nation once again in 1948. This is one of the cornerstones of Futurist eschatology. Futurists believe that now that Israel once again exists as a nation, the prophetic time clock, which was paused during their non-existence, has once again restarted. The judgments and the Second-Coming discussed above can now take place. Everything that happened in 70 AD was just a partial judgment, or perhaps a type of the final judgment, but it wasn’t the real deal.
However, just because Israel is recognized by the world as a nation, does that mean that God also recognizes them as such? Not necessarily. In fact, I believe that scripturally God is prohibited from recognizing them ever again! We have already seen that Israel was symbolically married to God (Jer. 2:2, 3:14). We know that they were judged as a harlot, that they didn’t attend the great wedding supper (Matt. 22:1-13). As in the parable, armies were sent out against the Jews, the murderers were destroyed, and their city was burned. While the term “divorce” is not used concerning the final generation of Israel, it is implied by the fact that God the Son is presented with a bride (the Church) in Revelation. How can God be free to marry another, if He is still married to Israel? As previously stated, God had scriptural grounds to divorce Israel:
“And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” Matt. 19:9
Israel had been playing the harlot for centuries. Rejecting her Messiah, the Bridegroom, was the last straw. The vineyard was taken from her and given to another. Never do we see the vineyard returning to the original vine-dressers. Who is the new bride?
For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 2 Cor. 11:2b
It is the church! Earlier I stated that God is prohibited from recognizing Israel ever again, i.e., as His special, chosen people. Why do I believe this? Because of the following:
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God… Heb. 4:14
Jesus is our High Priest. As such, He can only marry a certain type of bride:
He who is the high priest among his brethren…shall take a wife in her virginity. A widow or a divorced woman or a defiled woman or a harlot – these he shall not marry; but he shall take a virgin of his own people as wife. Lev. 10, 13-14
Israel certainly does not meet the qualifications. However, according to Paul in 2 Cor. 11:2, the church does. Lest we think that Israel could ever be “reconciled” as a nation to God:
When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, when she has departed from his house, and goes and becomes another mans’ wife, if the latter husband detests her and writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her as his wife, then her former husband who divorced her must not take her back to be his wife after she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the Lord…Deut. 24:1-4
Based upon scripture, God cannot ever take the nation of Israel back to Himself as a special people. Furthermore, the church is betrothed to God forever:
And it shall be, in that day,
Says the LORD,
That you will call Me “My Husband”
I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me
IN righteousness and justice,
In lovingkindness and mercy;
I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness,
And you shall know the LORD
Then I will say to those who were not My people,
“You are My people!”
And they shall say, “You are my God!” Hosea 2:16, 19-20, 23
At first this passage appears to be speaking of physical, national Israel. However, Peter applies this to the church, in the passage where he establishes the church as Israel’s replacement as God’s chosen people:
Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,
The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone,
A stone of stumbling
And a rock of offense.”
They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people… who were once not a people but are now the people of God… 1 Peter 2:4-9a, 10a Emphasis added
I believe that these verses teach that God cannot restore the nation of Israel to “chosen people” status again. Does this mean that Jews are prohibited from entering the Kingdom? Absolutely not! Jews can enter on an individual basis, just not on a national basis. This was discussed under the heading “Joshua and Caleb”. The church is made up of all peoples, and is spiritual Israel, the spiritual seed of Abraham:
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Gal. 3:28-29
Although the nation of Israel was destroyed in 70 AD, individual Jews did survive the war. They survive even to this day, though, as one could imagine, the bloodline must be extremely diluted. Similarly, there were individual Jews before Israel became a nation. Abram, and thus his offspring, was called a “Hebrew” (Gen. 14:13; Ex. 2:11). Israelites were called Hebrews until the term was replaced by the term “Jews” in the postexilic period. Israel did not become a nation until God delivered unto them the Law, which told them how to be a nation.
Now the LORD had said to Abram…I will make you a great nation.” Gen. 12:1,2
Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. Ex. 19:5-6
So once again we see the first and last generations of national Israel mirroring each other, in that there are individual Jews (Hebrews) on both sides of them – Pre-national Hebrews (Abraham to Moses) and Post-national Jews (70 AD to the present).
So what about all the hoopla of the restored nation of Israel, and the plans to rebuild the temple? Like the rebellious generation in Moses’ day, they are trying to force their way in after the window of opportunity has passed. Others received what was originally offered to them. The kingdom was taken from Saul and given to David. It was never returned to Saul. The vineyard was taken from the original vine-dressers and given to others. It was never returned. The wedding banquet invitation was extended to others. It was never re-offered to those who initially refused it.
Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
1 Cor 10:11
Who’s admonition were these things written for? Paul’s generation! This is not to say that other generations cannot profit from the example as well. But is it going too far to suggest that Paul is actually saying that Exodus and Numbers were written for his generation? Just as John wrote to his readers "but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name" (John 20:31 NASB), so Paul is saying “these things were written…” to admonish his generation. Why? Because the end of the ages had come upon them. What did that mean to them? According to Hebrews, they were about to enter their rest. They could see the Day approaching. How many of these things served as examples? ALL! It appears that all these things happened by divine appointment to provide an example to the final generation. Even though there were many lessons to be learned from the Israelites 2-year journey towards Canaan, I believe that the emphasis here is on the fact that they did not enter, and the accompanying details. Paul’s generation was on the brink of the spiritual anti-type (fulfillment) of the natural type. Again, from Hebrews:
And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us. Heb. 11:39-40
Who are “all these”? The heroes of the faith described in chapter 11. What promise did they not receive? The final rest the author has been speaking of. Who is the “us” in this passage? Not you and I! It’s the generation that the epistle of Hebrews was written to.
There are other wicked generations in scripture that could have been used to warn against rejecting God – e.g., Noah’s generation, Sodom and Gomorrah, etc. Why not use these examples? After all, Christ did! Could it be because although they were wicked, they were not adulterous? Could it be because those other generations lacked the detail, and would only apply in general sense, whereas ALL these things happened to the first generation as examples? The first and last generations fit each other detail for detail, reflections of each other. Together they form a pair, like a pair of matched bookends. Look at one and you can see the image of the other. To put a twist on a familiar passage, “the first shall be last, and the last shall be first”.
But the details only mirror each other from the perspective of Preterist Eschatology, especially in their timing. To apply it to a Futurist perspective, one would have to distort the reflection, as in a carnival mirror. As we stated at the outset, typology does not establish doctrine. Can it tip the scale of indecision? Only you can decide that. It is most certainly interesting, and hopefully food for thought.
Under the section entitled “The Timing”, I stated that I felt it was “the most compelling portion, from a Preterist perspective”. Subsequent to completing the final draft however, I read a passage that, in my opinion, causes the timing issue to pale in comparison, when one is looking for support for the Preterist viewpoint. Because of time constraints, rather than revise the whole article to work this passage into the themes presented, I have opted to present it in this Post-Script.
The underlying theme of this article is that the typology of the first generation of national Israel perfectly fits the last generation of national Israel if one is willing to accept the Preterist viewpoint (that Christ did come in 70 AD., although not in the physical sense as is usually taught). This non-physical coming of the Lord is supported throughout scripture. Preterists believe that scripture maintains that non-physical is the rule concerning the Lord coming in judgment, whereas a physical coming would be the exception. As stated at the outset, the whole premise is tentative because we are dealing with types, not face value facts. Consider, however, the tremendous support for Preterism that would be imparted by a passage that stated that “God came down” to deliver the Israelites, or judge Pharaoh, etc. Imagine my surprise (shock?) when I read the following:
So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptian, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey... Ex. 3:8
This is God speaking to Moses at the burning bush. He is going to deliver the Israelites out of Egypt, and bring them into Canaan. More importantly, here we have presented in face value scripture that the Lord came down. It wasn’t physical, although much happened in the physical realm as evidence of His coming down. This is exactly what Preterists believe happened in 70 AD. Christ returned, delivered His saints, and judged His enemies. How can we believe the scriptures when they tell us that the Lord came down in deliverance/judgment in the first generation, and yet not believe them when they tell us that He would do the very same to the last (His) generation – especially when we see virtually identical events taking place?
Some may argue that God only came down to the burning bush, which was a physical apparition, and from there He worked through Moses (and Joshua) to accomplish the rest. Keep arguing, because you are on your way to becoming a Preterist! This is precisely what happened in 70 AD. There were physical apparitions in the sky (chariots of fire, bright lights in the middle of the night, according to Josephus) and God worked through the Romans to accomplish the rest.
The underlying theme of this article has changed. It is no longer that the typology between the two generations supports Preterism. The typology is now secondary to the fact that God, according to scripture, did come down in the first generation, and promised to do the same in the last generation. Scripture records for us God delivering His people and judging His enemies through a non-physical coming in Exodus. There’s no denying it. Why should we expect any different type of coming to accomplish the same things in the last generation?
In the original Summary, the reader is asked to consider how all these things fit well with Preterism. Now the reader is asked, “How can you consider that all these things fit with anything other than Preterism?”
What do YOU think ?
Thanks, Brian. Fantastic article! It seems that the only key to a proper hermeneutic is the discovery of the spiritual typology of Bible -- and not just the "safer" temporally-focused typology. Without AD70, the temporal types won't match; and without adding the dimension of the unseen spiritual things, AD70 won't match (as hermeneutically uninformed Anti-Preterists claim). Why aren't the more responsible Christians (Futurist or Preterist) digging into the fertile soil of spiritual typology? I think Fear. MANY Christians (Preterists included) are unsure of the soundness of the limb out on which they must walk to receive this fruit. "The great men" fear the lack of a responsible method in spiritual typology, in part dreading another "type zealot" like Origen coming along, and in part because one cannot control what they cannot put in some sort of a box. Futurists have no chance accomplishing the goal of establishing the fundamental spiritual method; Therefore, it seems that this new horizon is waiting to be discovered only by the parousia-aware Christian. So sail out into these waters, trusting the same Beacon of those fearless Biblical explorers of times past. Happy sailing -- and fear not, if you are standing upon the Rock! - Todd Dennis
The author says that in their day Enoch and Elijah entered into heaven. But Christ said that up until his day, "NO MAN hath ascended up to heaven" (Jn. 3:13). Heaven was barred to mankind because of Satan's triumph in the garden. If Enoch and Elijah had been able to go to heaven, the cross would not have been necessary.
Errant typology. The first 40 years of OT, natural Israel did not typify the last 40 years of OT, natural Israel. They typified the first 40 years of NT, spiritual Israel (Christ and the church). First the natural things of the OT, then the spiritual things of the NT (1 Cor. 15:46). The natural bondage inflicted by Pharaoh and his natural taskmasters in NATURAL Egypt typified the spiritual bondage inflicted by Satan and his spiritual taskmasters (Jn. 8:44) in SPIRITUAL Egypt, which was first-century Jerusalem (Rev. 11:8).
It's both. It would be just as errant to say that the typology is irrelevant for natural Israel.
The typifying natural power of Pharaoh, a type of Satan, over God's typifying natural people was destroyed when natural Israel emerged safely from the Red Sea, and from then on natural Egypt had no further role to play in the typifying natural redemption of natural Israel. Therefore, the spiritual power of Satan over God's NT spiritual people (the church) was destroyed when Christ, the true Israel, emerged safely from the tomb, and from then on spiritual Egypt (natural Jerusalem, Rev. 11:8) had no further role to play in the spiritual redemption of the church. After the gift of the law, natural Israel was with Moses, a type of Christ, in the wilderness for 40 years, and therefore after the gift of the Holy Spirit, the church was with Christ in heaven during the 40 years AD 30-70 (Eph. 2:5,6) -- heaven being, of course, a spiritual rather than a natural place.
In response to the comment “If Enoch and Elijah had been able to go to heaven, the cross would not have been necessary”, I totally agree. They could not have experienced redemption prior to the cross. I’ll admit that I have used the term “heaven” somewhat ambiguously for the spiritual (non-physical) realm. The proper term for where Elijah and Enoch went (Abraham’s bosom, Paradise?) I’m not sure. Being fairly new to Preterism, I’m still trying to "rightly divide the Word of Truth" on the subject of heaven. Thanks for the comment. God Bless. Brian Martin
A wise and gracious concession. The experiences of Enoch and Elijah, like everything else in the OT, were TYPES. The critically important spiritual fact that the church has always failed to grasp is Paul's statement (2 Cor. 4:18) that ALL natural things (the OT types) were merely temporary, and only spiritual things (the NT fulfillments) are eternal. Those natural things were the old natural WORLD and the old natural ISRAEL, both of which "passed away" in the sight of God in the first century when they were born again (spiritually regenerated) as the new, spiritual and eternal Israel (Christ and the church) and the new, spiritual and eternal world of Rev. 21,22 (the eternal dwelling place of Christ and the church on the earth -- the world in which ONLY righteousness dwells). The spiritual re-birth of Israel occurred in the moment of Christ's resurrection in the spring of AD 30 and the spiritual re-birth of the world occurred in the moment of the resurrection of the dead in Christ at his parousia on the last day of the true first century (in autumn of AD 96).
BTW, the prophecies of peace cited on the main Preterist Archive page (Isa. 9:7 and Isa. 2:4, Mic. 4:3) refer only to the spiritual and eternal world of Rev. 21,22 in which born-aain believers dwell with God and the Lamb -- the kingdom of God that came on earth as in heaven (Mt. 6:10) 1,906 years ago. There will never be peace in the hopelessly fallen, and temporary, natural world, whose god is Satan.
[BTW, the prophecies of peace cited on the main Preterist Archive page (Isa. 9:7 and Isa. 2:4, Mic. 4:3) refer only to the spiritual and eternal world]
I used to think so, as well. Notice that I wrote "some Preterists believe.." These passages do refer to the unseen kingdom, but the spiritual influence thereof accomplishes blessings in the temporal realm, as well, in my opinion. Daniel 2:44 is an example of this principle. The spiritual leaves being used for the temporal healing of the nations is another example of the peace of the kingdom translating to the temporal realm. There will be peace on earth, the zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish it. Isaiah 9:7 shows that one of the fruits of the increase of Christ's kingdom is peace. The Lord is a warrior, and He is fighting war against His enemies. The borders of peace are extended on earth with each victory over spiritual strongholds.
Jer 33:9 Then this city will bring me joy, glory, and honor before all the nations of the earth! The people of the world will see the good I do for my people and will tremble with awe!
Consider it an aftershock of the AD70 event if you prefer. Thanks for your comment!
your servant, Todd Dennis
The temporary natural Israel was merely a type of the eternal spiritual Israel (the church) and the temporary natural world was merely a type of the eternal spiritual world of Rev. 21,22. Christ-rejecting natural Israel was destroyed and the same fate awaits the Christ-rejecting world (not the planet). Both natural Israel and the natural world "passed away" in the sight of their Creator in the first century, a spiritual fact that the American Atheists obviously can't recognize.
The amazing thing is, that it had occurred to me just a couple of hours ago, that the Israelites looked at Moses and basically said, "Who made you our ruler and judge?" As we know, Moses went away for 40 years and then returned to be their "ruler and judge". Interesting, considering the Jews also told Jesus the same thing. It's also interesting that the time between 30 and 70 A.D. is 40 years. The Lord showed me that (no lie) 2 hours ago when I was talking with a friend. And here we are, I just happen across this. Good Job! IN CHRIST, Bill Sturm
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