Preterist, Historical, and Futurist

-A. Ralph Johnson


The Book of Revelation has always sparked a sense of fantasy.  The lure of the mysterious is exhilarating.  Much time has been spent trying to decode its symbols.  Much confusion has been the norm.

      Revelation 1:3 pronounces a blessing on those who read, hear and obey it.  However, it is obvious that it was never intended to be understood by everyone.  In view of that, it is equally obvious that differences over which view is correct must not be made tests of acceptance between Christians.  The book is there for us to mine its benefits, not to lash each other over differences as to its mean­ing.  While we must be cautious, we do have the liberty to seek to understand and to urge others to consider what we discover.

The primary message is clear.  Christ will come again. He will triumph. He will reward his people for faithfulness to him.  He will punish Satan and those who follow him. There will be a new heaven and a new earth with no crying, pain or death.  If we are faithful unto death we will receive a crown of life. 


Revelation 22:17 

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And he that heareth, let him say, Come.  And he that is athirst, let him come: he that will, let him take the water of life freely.




There are many views of Revelation.  Endless numbers of books have been written from different perspectives.  We are going to consider three major views which themselves have many sub-categories.


Preterist –According to this view, most or all of Revelation was fulfilled in the first century of the church, primarily focused on events relating to the destruction of Jeru­salem. 


Futurist --Most of the fulfillment of the book is still future.  This is the popular view among the denominational world today.  It is super-literalistic and predominantly pre-millennial. Jesus will come and take away the righteous to his marriage.  During that period "the great tribulation" will take place with the Anti-Christ ruling on earth.  He will then return and bind Satan followed by setting up his kingdom and reigning in a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem for a thousand years.


Historicist  --The book is a panorama of the great events involving God's people spread throughout history, represented in symbols.  This view is mostly a-millennial or post-millennial but is also held by some historical pre-millennialists. 


The object of this presentation is to compare these three views and the scriptural basis for their claims.






Those contending for the early date generally place it before the 70 A.D. destruction of Jerusalem, in or following the reign of the emperor Nero who died in 68 A.D.

Clement, Bishop of Alexandria, Egypt, wrote that John went from the island of Patmos back to Ephesus “after the tyrant’s death.” [1] Clement does not name the “tyrant.”  Those who accept the early date believe he was Nero.  Because Clement’s description of the events of John’s ministry after leaving Patmos seem unlikely for a man who would then be over 90 years old, Preterists consider the late date unlikely. 

The time factor especially centers on a young man who John entrusts to a bishop’s care who afterwards renounced his faith and joined a band of outlaws.  After some time, John returned on business and sought out the man and brought him back to Christ. It is claimed that there would not have been time for all of this to take place if John wrote around 95 AD. 

A footnote in the Nicene & Ante-Nicene Fathers by the translator, Dr. Arthur McGiffert, suggests this may not be authentic.  Such stories commonly grow up around important people.  In any case, we do not know the strength of John at this time. 

Some outstanding commentators holding the early view: Robert Young, who wrote Young’s Concordance, Wescott and Hort, J.B.Lightfoot, Sir Isaac Newton and Moses Stuart. 




The majority of commentators favor the late date as written around 95 A.D..


IRENAEUS, Bishop of Lyons, France [120-202 A.D.], who was a disciple of Polycarp, a disciple of the Apostle John.


“We will not however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of Antichrist; for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him who beheld the apocalyptic vision.  For that was seen no very long time since, but almost in our day, toward the end of Domitian’s reign.”[2]


This is also recorded by Eusebius around 325 A.D., in his Church History, Book 3, Chap. 18, “The Apostle John and the Apocalypse.” [3]


EUSEBIUS [260-340 A.D.] : Book 3, Chapter 23


AT that time the apostle and evangelist John, the one whom Jesus loved, was still living in Asia, and governing the churches of that region, having returned after the death of Domitian from his exile on the island. And that he was still alive at that time may be established by the testimony of two witnesses. They should be trustworthy who have maintained the orthodoxy of the Church; and such indeed were Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria. The former in the second book of his work Against Heresies, writes as follows: “And all the elders that associated with John the disciple of the Lord in Asia bear witness that John delivered it to them. For he remained among them until the time of Trajan.” And in the third book of the same work he attests the same thing in the following words: “But the church in Ephesus also, which was founded by Paul, and where John remained until the time of Trajan, is a faithful witness of the apostolic tradition.” Clement likewise in his book entitled What Rich Man can be saved? indicates the time, and subjoins a narrative which is most attractive to those that enjoy hearing what is beautiful and profitable. Take and read the account which runs as follows: “Listen to a tale, which is not a mere tale, but a narrative concerning John the apostle, which has been handed down and treasured up in memory. For when, after the tyrant’s death, he returned from the isle of Patmos to Ephesus, he went away upon their invitation to the neighboring territories of the Gentiles, to appoint bishops in some places, in other places to set in order whole churches…”[4]


VICTORINUS, [300 A.D.] bishop of Petau, Commentary on Revelation chapter 17:10. “And there are seven kings: five have fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he is come, he will be for a short time.” The time must be understood in which the written Apocalypse was published, since then reigned Caesar Domitian; but before him had been Titus his brother, and Vespasian, Otho, Vitellius, and Galba. These are the five who have fallen. One remains, under whom the Apocalypse was written — Domitian, to wit. “The other has not yet come,” speaks of Nerva; “and when he is come, he will be for a short time,” for he did not complete the period of two years. [5]


JEROME, [400 A.D.]

John…saw in the island of Patmos, to which he had been banished by the Emperor Domitian as a martyr for the Lord, an Apocalypse containing the boundless mysteries of the future.[6]


Outstanding commentators holding the late view: Albert Barnes, W. Hendricksen.  and R. C. H. Lenski. 




Why are there so many views?  The reasons vary but much of it is due to the approaches taken.  Often the interpreter seeks to make it fit some pre-conceived concept or theological perspective.  For example, Preterists interpret the book as the early belief that Jesus would come in their generation.

Another popular method is to look for similarities and hastily conclude identity.  Accordingly, an “eagle” (Dan. 7:4; Rev. 12:14) may be viewed as the United States, a “lion” (Dan. 7:4; Rev. 13:2) as England, a “bear” (Dan. 7:5; Rev. 13:2) as Russia, and a “dragon” (Rev. 12:9; 20:2) as China.  To the superfi­cial reader, since in our day it is popular to use these symbols for those nations, this may sound satisfactory but it is totally mislead­ing.  Similarity is not necessarily identity.  The true meaning is not what we think is similar but what God indicates He intended.

Our approach here rests on an old principle for traveling in the wilderness.  Take careful stock of known points of reference and use them to keep our bearings while exploring the unknown.  Discover what God intended through what He has already revealed.  Watch carefully and listen cautiously to the clues God has provided and use those points of reference to keep from straying too far from the true meaning.

In opening the book of Revelation it would be best to first prayer­fully survey the book of Daniel, upon which much of the imagery is based, especially chapter 7 where some important things are revealed.  First, study for content before deciding on the mean­ing.  Things that have been interpreted either in these books or elsewhere in the Bible should be noted.

Study of the book of Revelation should begin by familiarizing one’s self with the book, noting the points that God reveals without fixing too quickly on any interpretation.  Following this, all of the views should be compared to see how they fit what the scriptures reveal.  Unfortunately, in the limited space here it is impossible to adequately lay such a foundation.  We can only present a general summary and focus on some outstanding points.  We ask that the reader consider what is here presented with fairness and caution.


I.                  A HISTORICIST VIEW 


A.  INTRODUCTION (Chapter 1)


Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show unto his servants,  (even) the things which must shortly come to pass: and he sent and signified (it) by his angel unto his servant John; 2 who bare witness of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, (even) of all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of the  prophecy, and  keep  the things  that are written therein: for the time is at hand.


Note: it was going to come to pass “shortly.”  It seems obvious that the statements in chapters 19-22 about the resurrection, judgment, and new heaven and earth, are still future.  Since some things clearly are not yet fulfilled, “Shortly” must be either that it would soon begin (Luke 21:28) to be fulfilled or, as God views time (Ps. 90:4; 2Pet. 3:8-9). 


Jesus is then identified as the source and John as the writer, fol­lowed by a symbolic vision of Jesus, (compare Dan. 10:4-8) concluding with the commis­sion of John.


1:19 Write therefore the things which you saw, and the things which are, and the things which shall come to pass hereafter.


Note these words carefully.  They indicate what John was to write--past, present, and future.




The things he had seen may refer to his experiences with Christ.  John wrote his  gospel of the life of Jesus and three smaller epistles.


1 John, Chapter 1

 1 That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we beheld, and our hands handled, concerning the Word of life  2 (and the life was manifested, and we have seen, and  bear  witness, and declare unto you the life, the eternal (life), which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us); 3  that which we have seen  and heard declare we unto you also,  that ye also may have fellowship with us:  yea,  and our fellowship is with the Father,  and with his Son Jesus Christ:  4  and these things we write, that our joy may be made full.


If these books were written before Revelation then “the things which you have seen” may refer to the vision of Jesus among the candlesticks (1:12).




Identity of the “Seven angels”?  “Angel” [Greek: angelos #32] means “messenger.” Some think that these are seven monarchical bishops presiding over these churches to whom John was to write. 

1.      This is highly speculative since they are not so identified.

2.      The word is used 76 times in the book of Revelation, in all other instances clearly refer to heavenly messengers (Rev 5:11; 8:2, 13 etc).  Out of 186 times the word is used in the New Testament, only six times is a human messenger identified (Mat 11:10; Mark 1:2; Luke 7:24, 27; 9:52; James 2:25.)

3.   Even if we assume these to be human messengers to the churches this would not prove they were monarchical bishops.  Churches in the New Testament were ruled by “elders,plural (Acts 14:23) or “bishops” (Ph’p 1:1), which are merely different descriptions of the same office (Titus 1:5, 7; 1Tim 3:1; Acts 20:17, 28). 

Messengers to the churches could have been those sent to carry the letters.




Chapters 2 and 3 cover the “things which are.”  These were actual churches in Asia in the time of John.  The content deals with existing situations.  People are named by name.  Local problems are identified.  All are told to listen and urged to be overcomers.  All except Smyrna and Philadelphia are warned to repent


Three things are said to all of the churches:


“I know thy works”  2:2, 9, 13, 19; 3:1, 8, 15

He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:5, 13, 22)

He that overcomes…” 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21.


1.      EphesusA loveless church. (2:1-7)

She was commended for having tried the false-apostles and hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans, but had left her “first love.” “Repent

2.      SmyrnaPoor, suffering church. (2:8-11)

Persecuted and poor but rich towards God. “Be faithful unto death

3.      PergamosA corrupt church. (2:12-17)

They had not denied the faith but they had some holding the teachings of Balaam and the Nicolaitans. “Repent

4.      Thyatira:  A church full of false teaching. (2:18-29)

Their works had been increased but they suffered “Jezebel” to teach.  Her followers must “repent.” Others are told to “Hold fast till I come

5.      SardisA dead church. (3:1-6)

No works perfected in spite of their good reputation.  But, some had not defiled their garments. “Be watchful” “Repent

6.      Philadelphia: (“Brotherly love”) A faithful church. (3:7-13)

They had a little power and did not deny his name. 

He set them an open door. “Hold fast that no one takes your crown

7.      LaodiceaA lukewarm church (3:14-22)

They boasted of their riches and that they had need of nothing but they were lukewarm, wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked.  He was sick of them and ready to spew them out of his mouth. “Repent


In these seven churches, most futurists see seven periods of the church. However, nothing in the chapters indicates this. 

In reply to the difficulty that chapters two and three obviously contain things that existed at the time John wrote, it is claimed that this is an instance of “double fulfillment.”  While they must admit it speaks to existing churches, they contend that there is a secondary “hidden” message concerning seven church ages.

The first verse of chapter four indicates otherwise.  Rev 4:1 (cf. 1:19) clearly distinguished this as the future from “the things which are” about which John wrote in chapter 3.  The “things which must be hereafter” are not shown until after John ascends to heaven and the one worthy to open the books is determined. 






INTRODUCTION: Choosing the one who is worthy to open the future    


Revelation 4:1 After these things I saw, and behold, a door opened in heaven, and the first voice that I heard, (a voice) as of a trumpet speaking with me, one say­ing, Come up hither, and I will show thee the things which must come to pass hereafter.


Instead of recognizing God’s beginning point for revealing the fu­ture, many futurist commentators try to place us in “the Laodicean period of the church,” and make the words, “come up hither,” to be the rapture of the church.  Although not one word is said about it in the passage, they see the “Grand Fly-by” taking place at this point.  According to this view, Jesus catches up the faithful Christians to spend the next seven years in heaven at the marriage supper of the lamb, while those who have not been faithful learn to mend their ways by suffering through the "Great Tribulation."  It is a marvel that so many can see so much in so little.


The Greek in the two passages compared:

Rev. 1:19







things which


come to pass









Strongs #












Rev. 4:1







things which


come to pass









Strongs #







The Bible in Basic English translates Rev 4:1, “After these things I saw a door open in heaven, and the first voice came to my ears, like the sound of a horn, saying, Come up here, and I will make clear to you the things which are to come.”


Chapters 4 & 5.  Who shall open seals of the future?


Chapter 4 is a throne scene with four living creatures (4:6-9 cf. Ezek 1:4-11) and twenty-four elders worshipping God. 

Chapter 5 is a continuation of the events of chapter 4 and introduces a book sealed with seven seals.  The question is raised, “Who is worthy to open the book?” Only the Lamb of God is found worthy. It is obvious that the book is the future, which Jesus will open one sealed period at a time.


1.      FALL OF PAGAN ROME. (chapter 6-7)

(From the time of the revelation to John to Constantine—95 AD to 325 AD)


Chapter 6 speaks of four horses, souls under the altar and the fall of heavenly bodies. These fit the events within the Roman Empire from the time of John to Constantine. 


1st Seal, A white horse

1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. 2 And I saw, and behold, a white horse, and he that sat thereon had a bow; and there was given unto him a crown: and he came forth conquering, and to conquer.  (cf. Zec. 1:8; 6:3, 6)

A white horse suggests victory and triumph.  This was the way Roman victories were celebrated.  When John wrote, Rome was at its greatest expanse.  This triumphant period is appropriately symbolized by riding a white horse.

The rider carries a bow--the sign of Crete, the Emperor Nerva’s home country. (96-98 AD)


Gibbons the historian, in his great work, The Rise And Fall Of The Roman Empire, says of that time:  


“If a man were called to fix the period of the history of the world during which the condition of the human race was most happy and prosperous, he would, without hesitation, name that which elapsed from the death of Domitian [96 A.D.] to the accession of Commodus.”  (Vol. I, p. 47.)


Some have suggested that, because “The Word Of God” in chapter 19 rides a white horse, this also must be Jesus.  However, Jesus did not come immediately following the time of John, and other than both having a crown and riding a white horse, there are no similarities.  Every mention of a white horse is not necessarily speaking of Jesus.   The picture better fits the triumphant period of Rome followed by the progressive decline and fall of pagan rule down to the time of Constantine.


2nd Seal: A red horse

Rev. 6:3 And when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, Come.  4 And another horse came forth, a red horse: and to him that sat thereon it was given to take peace from the earth, and that they should slay one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. (cf. Zec 1:8; 6:2)


Beginning with Commodus (180 A.D.) was a period of terrible civil upheaval and bloodshed which continued for a hundred years, in which over thirty out of thirty-four emperors died violently.


3rd Seal: A black horse

Rev. 6:5 And when he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, Come.  And I saw, and behold, a black horse; and he that sat thereon had a balance in his hand.  6 And I heard as it were a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, A measure of wheat for a shilling, and three measures of barley for a shilling; and the oil and the wine hurt thou not. (cf. Zec 6:2, 6)


Caracalla (211-218) and Geta shared the throne after the death of their father, Septimus.  Caracalla treacherously murdered his brother in his mother's arms and then went mad.  He killed over 20,000 people who knew his brother or knew of what he had done.  He drained the national treasury with his outlandish living and then extended and doubled the taxes.  He brutally extracted assessments against the producers until the effect was to depress the output of grain, oil, and wine.  Prices soared and scarcity prevailed.


4th Seal: A pale horse

Rev 6:7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. 8 And I saw, and behold, a pale horse: and he that sat upon him, his name was Death; and Hades followed with him. And there was given unto them authority over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with famine, and with death, and by the wild beasts of the earth.


Decius (249-251). His second year was jolted by a disastrous plague which ravaged the world for almost twenty years.  Famine swept the empire and the barbarians on the borders pressed in from all sides.  There is even an account of the Christians being accused of responsibility for the great increase of attacks upon the population by animals.  Over 5,000 people a day were reputed to have died in the city of Rome for a while.  It is estimated that over one-fourth of the population of the empire was swept away in these years.


5th Seal: Souls under the altar

9 And when he opened the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of them that had been slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:  10 and they cried with a great voice, saying, How long, O Master, the holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?  11 And there was given them to each one a white robe; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little time, until their fellow-servants also and their brethren, who should be killed even as they were, should have fulfilled their course.


Diocletian (284-305 A.D.) radically changed the rule of the empire, dividing it between four rulers.  During his reign he launched the tenth and bitterest persecution against Christians.


6th Seal: Stars falling from heaven. 

Rev. 6:12 And I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the whole moon became as blood; 13 and the stars of the heaven fell unto the earth, as a fig tree casteth her unripe figs when she is shaken of a great wind. 14 And the heaven was removed as a scroll when it is rolled up; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.  15 And the kings of the earth, and the princes, and the chief captains, and the rich, and the strong, and every bondman and freeman, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 and they say to the mountains and to the rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17 for the great day of their wrath is come; and who is able to stand?


This appropriately figuratively pictures the collapse of pagan imperial domination (cf. Isa 13:10, 1, 19), accomplished through the victory of Constantine (312 AD).  The Pagans saw it as the end of the world.


Chapter 7INTERMEDIATE VISION Sealing the servants of God in the foreheads of His Servants.  (cf. Ezek. 9:4)

The four destroying winds are held back while two groups are sealed: 144,000 out of the twelve tribes of Israel, and an uncountable multitude out of all nations. This fits the period of expansion of Christianity following the victory of Constantine and the legalization of Christianity by The Edict of Milan, 313 AD.




7th Seal: SEVEN TRUMPETS Sounded by seven angels (8:1--11:18)


Chapter 8 opens the seventh seal, in which seven trumpets are blown. The first four trumpets announce the fall of the old Western Roman Empire.  These correspond to the four great invasions of Rome by the barbarians.


1st Trumpet:

The Visgoths (Western Goths) under Alaric sacked Rome by land from the north (408-410 AD).


2nd Trumpet:

The Vandals, led by Geneseric sacked Rome from across the Mediterra­nean Sea in North Africa, the area of Carthage (428-468 AD).


3rd Trumpet:

The Huns, led by Attila, “the scourge of God” crossed the Danube River and sacked Rome (433-453 AD).


4th Trumpet:

Odoacer, king of the Western Goths, conquered Rome in 476 AD and brought the 1200 year reign of the Western Roman Empire to an end. 


Rev. 8:13 An angel cries “Woe, Woe, Woe,” signifying the nature of the three trumpets yet to sound.  The Western Empire has fallen.  Attention turns to the East.  Indeed, the events that follow are terrible woes bringing the end to the mighty Roman Empire. 




Chapter 9


5th Trumpet: 1st "Woe"


A star falls from heaven opening the abyss from which a locust plague swarms across the Earth.  They sting like scorpions and torment men.  Nothing could much better describe the advent of Mohammed, around 622 AD and the Arabian Saracen hordes that within a hundred years swarmed over Arabia, Persia to India, and Asia, North Africa and Spain, darkening the ruling powers of the world.  They were only turned back in the west after crossing the Pyrenees Mountains into France, by the victory of Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours in 723 AD, and held from crossing the Hellespont into Greece by the Byzantine Emperors at Constantinople.






9:1. Star fallen to earth uses key to open bottomless pit.

Mohammad, of royal heritage, opens false prophecy upon the world

9:2.  Smoke from pit darkens sun and air

Muslim influence darkens the ruling powers over the world

9:3.  Locusts with power of Scorpions

Muslim Arabian hoards swarm over Asia, North Africa and Spain.

9:4.  Not hurt earth or green thing but only those who do not have the seal of God

Muslims were told not to harm the land or growing things.  Their main focus was against idolatry – image veneration

9:5, 10.  Torment them five months

Arab domination about 150 years

(5 x 30 = 150 days = 150 prophetic years)

9:6.  Men would seek death

Plunder, slavery, fear, suffering produced desperation of wishing for death

9:7.  Locusts like horses going to battle

Crowns of gold on heads

Faces like men

Arabs fought on horseback

They wore gold turbans

While they came like a plague of locusts, they were men

9:8.  Hair like women

Teeth like lions

Arab men wore their hair long

They were fierce like lions

9:9.  Breastplates of iron

Sound of many chariots

They wore chain armor in battle

They came in great numbers

9:11. Angel of the bottomless pit

They were being directed by the messenger of Satan


6th Trumpet: 2nd "Woe"


The second “woe,” appropriately pictures the Turks who descended through Persia from the steppes above the Caspian Sea, crossed the Euphrates, and overran all of Asia and North Africa.  Constantinople fell 1453 AD. They were the first to introduce the use of gunpowder (made with sulfur “brimstone”) into the West.  Firing as they charged on horseback was like fire coming out of the mouths of their horses. Their use of cannon against Constantinople, finally brought the Eastern Roman Empire down. 





9:14.  Angels loosed at the Euphrates

Turks invade Asia across the Euphrates


9:15.  Prepared for an hour, day, month and year.  (391 “days”)

About 391 years from time the Turkish power embarked on conquest (1053) to the fall of Constantinople and the Eastern Roman Empire in 1453


9:16.  Vast numbers of horsemen

The Arabians were well known for their powerful use of horsemanship in battle


9:17-18.  Horses with faces like lions breathing fire and brimstone

They were fierce fighters.  They introduced gunfire in their charges


9:19.  Tails of horses have power to hurt

Rank was shown in tails of horses?


9:20-21.  Idolaters, murders, sorceries, fornication, thefts not repented of.

Terrible conditions of the world and the church in this period.




Chapter 10. 

An angel produces a little book that was sweet to eat but made John’s stomach bitter.  This fits the spread of the word of God, resulting in the bitter conflict of the Reformation. (cf. Ezek 3:1-3)

Gutenberg’s invention of the movable type press and printing of the Bible was a key factor in the Reformation.  Luther began the Reformation in 1517 with his 95 Theses.  The result was a bitter struggle over the teachings of the Bible.


Chapter 11

Measuring the temple

This fits the Reformation in which the church was being measured by God’s word.


The Holy City (the Church) is trod down 42 months (1,260 prophetic years). 


Two witnesseswho are able to prophesy and bring fire down from heaven, prophesy for “1260 days” in sackcloth.  (cf. Zec. 4:3, 11-14. The “two olive trees” supplied oil to the lamps which provide light from God)

This may represent the Old and New Testa­ments, which reveal prophecies against nations and were greatly suppressed by the Holy Roman Emperors and the Papacy.  The “beast” that kills them (Rev. 11:7) is identified in Rev. 17:11 as being an 8th form of the Roman Empire to come after the time of John.  Rev. 17:18 identifies the harlot/woman (that sits on seven mountains/hills) as “that great city that reigns over the kings of the earth” –Rome. 

The “42 months” (Rev 11:2) and the “1,260 days” (Rev. 11:3) refer to the same period of time (cf. also Rev. 12:6, 14; 13:5; Dan. 7:25; 12:7)—prophetic years (cf. Ezek. 4:5-6; Dan. 9:24-27).  This period may be from about the time of the  Eastern Emperor, Anastasius I, who around 507 gave Clovis, King of the Franks, titular position of Roman Counsel,[7] confirmed again by Emperor Justinian in 536, thus laying the foundation for the rise of the French and Holy Roman Empire.  This was formally established when the Pope crowned Charlemagne "Emperor of the West" on Christmas Day, 800.  It ended around 1804 with the abdication of Francis II of Austria.  The rise of the Papacy's political power began around 533 with Emperor Justinian declaring him "Lord of the Church."


The great city” (Rev. 11:8) is difficult.  “Where our Lord was crucified” seems to suggest Jerusalem but the time-frame and circumstances do not fit.  Most historicist commentators suggest it is metaphorical for Rome, also called “Babylon” (Rev. 17:18).  Hebrews 6:6 suggests a metaphorical condition of “crucifying the Son of God afresh” that could fit (cf, Tit. 1:16).  Barnes Notes on Revelation gives a well-reasoned discussion of the subject.  


The beast...shall kill them.” This event falls at the end of the 1260 prophetic years of Rome treading down the church after the events beginning the Reformation.  Barnes suggests a period just prior to Luther’s proclamation in which the Lateran Council of 1513—May 16, 1517 declared all opposition to the Papacy as dead.

Others have suggested the events of the French Revolution when the Scriptures were attacked by atheist forces that came to power and declared the only god was reason.  God preserved them and after three and a half days (prophetic years) they were elevated and the God of the Bible was again recognized.  During this period of rejecting the existence of God, conditions became so bad that Voltaire wrote, “If there were no God, it would be well to invent one.” 


7th Trumpet: 3rd "Woe"


Rev. 11:16-18 brings us to the judgment.  This is suggested in 10:7 which says that when the seventh angel sounds, then is finished the mystery of God.




At this point the book format changes to describe the struggle between Christ (pictured as the Lamb of God), and his enemies.  Satan is pictured as a ten-horned dragon, with his two confederates, the ten-horned beast and the two-horned beast (“false-prophet” –Rev 16:13; 19:20; 20:10).


                        1.   IDENTIFYING THE ENEMIES (chapters 12 & 13)




Revelation 12:3   3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.


There is a great struggle between Christ and Satan.  Satan is pictured as a ten-horned dragon who is cast down to earth. Based on the interpretation given in chapter 17 we may conclude that the "Dragon" with 7 heads and 10 horns represents Satan working through pagan Rome.

The “woman” that brings forth a “man-child” may represent the church (cf. Eph. 5:25-33) exalting Christ.  Paganism tries to prevent this and the church is carried away and protected in the "wilderness" for 1,260 “days,” (representing years, as in Daniel 7:25 and 9:24-26; Ezek. 4:4-6) during the Holy Roman Empire.   A "war in heaven" pictures the struggle for power between Paganism and Christianity.  At the time of Constantine, Paganism lost and Christ was exalted. The devil sends a flood of false-teaching to destroy the church but it is "swallowed up" by the earth and the true church is protected in remote areas of the Empire.  The devil continues to attack Christians that remain in the empire.

Others would view the "woman" as Old Testament Israel and the “man-child” as Jesus.  Christ is exalted to his throne and Israel is protected in remote areas of the empire.  Problems with this are: 1. Israel, both as a nation, and as a people had already been destroyed in 70 AD before John wrote (cf. Rom 11:17-21).  2. Neither a literal nor a prophetic interpretation of the 1,260 “days” suggests anything meaningful relative to Israel.  3. Jesus was not caught up to heaven at his birth.

A third view is that the “woman” is Mary, and the “man-child” is Jesus.  Problems with this are that such a literalistic interpretation does not fit what took place.  Jesus was not caught up to heaven at his birth and Mary was not taken away into a wilderness for 1,260 days.


Chapter 13



13:1-10.  A “beast ” with seven heads and ten horns comes out of the sea.  This is a composite of those four “beasts" (kingdoms--empires) identified in Daniel, chapter seven. 


Revelation 13:

Daniel 7

1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea,

2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.

 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.


7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it;


having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

 and it had ten horns.


20 And of the ten horns that were in his head,

2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard.

6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.


 and his feet were as the feet of a bear,

5 And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.


 and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it.


5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies

20 …even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.


; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

25…and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.


6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.


25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws:

7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;



At this point, it is important to compare the ten-horned “beast” with the interpretation in chapter 17. 


The explanation given to John was that the harlot “woman,” drunken with the blood of the saints, was “that great city” renowned as the city that sits upon seven hills and “reigns over the kings of the earth.”  Clearly, this is speaking of Rome. 

The “beast" that was yet to come appears to be the revived Western Roman Empire, known as the “Holy Roman Empire.”

The Western Roman Empire fell to the Barbarians in 476 AD.  Clovis, King of the Franks, converted to Catholicism.  After the Battle of Vouillė in 507 Clovis was given titular position of Roman Counsel by the Eastern Roman Emperor, Anastasius I.[8]  Twenty-five years after his death [511 AD] this was confirmed between his sons and the Emperor, Justinian [536 AD].  Thus began the revival of the Roman Empire, which had been “wounded to death and was healed.” (13:3)


Another suggestion for this period is from when the decree of the Eastern Roman Emperor, Phocas, in AD 606 to AD 1866.  This was during the reign of  King Victor Emanuel II of Italy who, with troops under the command of Garibaldi, took away the Pope's kingdom (1871).




Since there was no real authority by the Eastern Emperor over the West, the Papacy played off the Barbarians against each other.  Clovis, king of the Franks, accepted Christianity and the Pope supported him and later leaders, ultimately being granted land lands to form a temporal kingdom. 

On Christmas day, 800 AD, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne “Emperor of the Romans.”  Later, under Otto The Great, this became known as the “Holy Roman Empire,” which continued until the time of Napoleon, around 1800 AD. 

Thus, we have the Holy Roman Empire and the Papacy working together as represented in the Beast and the False-prophet (Rev 16:13; 19:20; 20:10).


Rev. 13:11-18 pictures a beast with two horns like a lamb that speaks like a dragon which comes out of the earth.  In Rev. 19:20 he is called the “false prophet that did signs in the sight of the beast” (cf. 13:13-14) and gives its power to the first beast.  This appears to be the same as the “little horn” of Daniel 7, and the “man of sin” of 2Thes. 2.  This fits Roman Papal imperialism.  


The Papacy represents itself as being Christ’s "Vice-Regent," sitting on his throne, speaking as the voice of God.  He professes to represent the “Lamb of God” (John 1:29).  “Horns” represent powers. The Papacy claimed power over both church and State.  The image of the “beast,” fits the Catholic Church, created by the Papacy in the political and religious image of the Roman Empire, which it caused the world to follow.


The “mark of the beast is the number of a man’s name (Rev. 13:18).  In Greek, the letters of the alphabet were also used for numbers.  The name that best fits the number, “666” is Lateinos, the reputed founder of the Latin kingdom.


Irenaeus [A,D. 120-202], says:

Then also Lateinos (LATEINOS) has the number six hundred and sixty-six; and it is a very probable [solution], this being the name of the last kingdom [of the four seen by Daniel]. For the Latins are they who at present bear rule

--Irenaeus, Book 5, Chapter 30, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1, p.559


 Hippolytus (200 AD). "The wound of the first beast was healed and he (the second beast) was to make the image speak, that is to say to become powerful; and it is manifest to all, that those who at present still hold power are Latins. If then we take the name as the name of a single man it becomes Latinus. Wherefore we ought neither to give it out as if this were certainly his name, nor again ignore the fact that he may not be otherwise designated."   --Hippolytus, Extant Works, Part 2, Treatise on Christ and Antichrist, Paragraph 50, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 5, p. 215.


The Papacy brought the revival of Rome and fashioned the Catholic Church in Rome's image.  The Government is similarly constructed. It claimed the same universal power.  It introduced similar veneration of images.  It has established holidays on the same occasions. 


Lateinos (Greek form of Latinos), was the father of the Latin People and, in Greek, the letters (used as numbers) add up to 666.

"Right hand" = primary obedience. 

"Forehead" =  submission of the mind.


Count the number of the name






















Other names have been claimed to fit the number. However they fall short in many respects.  Nero has been cited but in order to make it fit it must be in the Hebrew and his title added. 

The name in the Pope’s Crown, VICARIUS FELII DEI, has been cited but it is a title representing Christ, as “Vice-regent of the Son of God,” not the name of a man, and it is in Latin, not Greek, in which Revelation is written.  It is also strained with extra letters and the "U" is uncertain.









































Chapters 14 through 19 deal with the fall of “Babylon,” which is identified as the City of Rome and the powers it extended over the world.  “Babylon” is appropriate as a code word for Rome.  It pictures the pagan superstition it fostered and the bondage of God’s people represented in the Old Testament in Daniel and Ezekiel.




Chapter 14.  Reaping Angels


14:1-5. In contrast to those having the mark of the beast, here we see the 144,000 (cf. Chapter 7) having the name of Christ and His father written on their foreheads singing before the throne. (cf. Ezek 9:4)


14:6-7. First angel announces the eternal good tidings to all the earth.  This is the spread of the Gospel message perhaps in the Reformation.


14:8.  Second angel announces the fall of Babylon—the coming end of Rome’s domination of the nations.


14:9-12.  Third angel warns of consequences of worshipping the beast and his image—warning to those who further the objectives of Romanism.


14:13.  Blessing pronounced on those who die in the Lord henceforth.


14:14-16. Forth Angel calls for one like the son of man to reap the earth--great numbers accept Christ.


14:17. Fifth Angel comes out of the temple with a sharp sickle.


14:18-20. Sixth Angel calls for the Fifth angel to reap.  It reaps and the grapes are cast into the winepress of the wrath of God--perhaps the terrible pain and suffering that followed the Reformation.


Chapters 15-16. Seven angels with seven last plagues


These appear to cover the historic struggle bringing about the end of power of the Holy Roman Empire through the Reformation.  “Seven” suggests its complete destruction and the areas cited indicate that.


15:2-4. Those who are victorious over the beast and his image sing the song of Moses, and the song of the Lamb.


15:5-8. Preparation of the temple for pouring out of the wrath of God.  Smoke fills the temple, not allowing anyone to enter to offer a peace offering until the wrath of God is poured out by the angels.


16:2. First bowl poured into the earth on those who have the mark of the beast.

There were great struggles across Europe.


16:3. Second bowl poured out into the sea and it became blood.

There were great struggles on the sea between England, France and Spain.


16:4-7. Third bowl poured into the rivers and fountains of waters and it became blood.

There were great struggles on and across the rivers of Europe.


16:8-9.  Forth bowl poured out on the sun and it scorched men.

The “sun” may refer to the scorching power of dictatorial governments on Rome. 


16:10-11. Fifth bowl poured out on the throne of the beast.

This suggests a direct attack upon the powers in Rome--perhaps, the forces in Italy under King Victor Immanuel who took away the Pope’s temporal rule over the Papal States in Italy in the mid-eighteen hundreds. 


16:12-16. Sixth bowl poured out on the River Euphrates and it is dried up for the kings to come from the sunrising.  Unclean spirits come out of the dragon, beast and false prophet to gather them together unto the war of Armageddon. 


The Euphrates was the ancient border between the East and the West (cf. Rev. 9:14).  This may be the present developing world struggle between Islam and Christianity.  Islamic countries are the last bastion against the spread of the word of God and today we are in an increasingly great struggle between these two civilizations.


16:17-21. Seventh bowl, poured out on the air -- Lightnings, voices, thunders, earthquake.  “It is done.”  The great city is divided into three parts.  A great hail.

      This seems to bring us to the complete overthrow of the powers of Rome.




Chapter 17 provides some vital clues to the symbolical nature of the book and its historical application.  At this point there is a pause to explain some of the symbols.


A “woman is seen riding the ten-horned beast.  In both Old and New Testa­ments God’s people are pictured as a woman or a city.  When faithful they are pictured as pure and good (Eph. 5:22-33).  When evil they are pictured as immoral (Ezek. 16).  This woman is immoral and drunken with the blood of the saints.  This suggests her unfaithfulness to God and her persecution of Christians.


Revelation 17:1-5  And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come here; I will show unto you the judgment of the great harlot that sits upon many waters:  2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. 

3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.  4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:  5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

      6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I wondered with a great wonder. 7 And the angel said unto me, Why did you wonder?  I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.  8 The beast that you saw was, and is not; and is about to come up out of the abyss, and to go into destruction.  9 Here is the mind that has wisdom.  The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits: 10 and they are seven kings; the five are fallen, the one is, the other is not yet come; and when he comes, he must continue a little while.  11 And the beast that was, and is not,  is himself  also an eighth, and is  of  the seven; and he goes into destruction.  12 And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings, who have received no kingdom as yet; but they receive authority as kings, with the beast, for one hour.


18 And the woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.


Reference to the woman as that great city (17:18) that sits on seven mountains (17:9) (Greek #3735 “oros” or hills cf. Mat 5:14) and reigns over the kings of the earth (17:18), is so clear that even Roman Catholic scholars identify Rome as “Babylon.”   There can be no reasonable doubt about the meaning.

Of course, it speaks of more than just a place.  It includes those powers that ruled from Rome, first the Emperors and then the Papacy, responsible for killing the saints.

Notice that John speaks in the present tense.  He calls it “Babylon” and says it “reigns [17:18] over the kings of the earth.”  When John wrote, Rome reigned over the kings of the earth.  “Babylon was a code word used to avoid direct confrontation with the government.  The name is appropriate because Babylon held God’s people in captivity, and because it was spiritually corrupt and filled with superstition, much like in the time of Daniel.  For centuries Christians were in a type of spirit­ual captivity. (cf. Dan. 7:21)

Furthermore, it specified that the ten-horned “beast” that treads down the saints was future from the time of John (Rev. 17:10-11).  Besides representing hills, the “heads” also represented “seven kings.”  Five had fallen.  One was in power at the time of John.  Another would come after John’s time.  The ten-horned beast who “was and is not and shall come” was an eighth and would go into destruction. 


These “heads” seem to best fit the various forms of the Roman Empire.

(1) Kings

(2) Consuls

(3) Dictators

(4) Decemvirs

(5) Military tribunes

(6) Emperors

(7) The seventh is variously identified by Historicist commentators:

(a) Change in government form by Diocletion.

(b) Exarchate of Ravenma –territory given to the Pope? (566-568 A.D.)

(c) Christianized imperial government from Constantine to Augustulus, perhaps the most likely.


Others see the first five “heads” as Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, Persia and Greece, with Rome as the one then in power.  This seems unlikely since Assyria, and Egypt never really took empire status over the Biblical world, as did the others.  Also, these are heads of the “beast,” which clearly is the Roman Empire, ruled over by the city of Rome.

The revived Holy Roman Empire fits as the "8th."  Albert Barnes, Commentary on Revelation 13, provides an excellent discussion of these possibilities.  

The seven headed “beast” fits Roman imperialism revived in the Holy Roman Empire under Papal authority during the middle ages, at least to the Reformation, and likely to the time of Napoleon, around 1800 A.D..  It ended with the abdication of Francis II, August 6, 1806 after his defeat by Napoleon in 1804. In 1804 Napoleon crowned himself as "Emperor of the French" but this claim ended when he was defeated at Waterloo, June 18, 1815.     

Philip Schaff, in his “History of the Christian Church,” wrote: “The last of the emperors, Francis II., in August 6th, 1806, abdicated the elective crown of  Germany and substituted for it the hereditary crown of Austria as Francis I. (A.D. 1835).[9]


      The "ten horns" are explained as ten kings who, at the time of John, had received no kingdom as yet but would receive power with the beastone hour.” This is the one place where historicists and futurists come close to finding common ground.  It seems likely that this refers to the nations that made up the Holy Roman Empire—a revival of the Roman Empire.  These are variously defined, depending on the nations during any one period and locations in view. Possible examples of areas covered might be England, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Austria, Belgum, Switzerland, and the Netherlands? God doesn't specify what ten nations He had in mind but it appears to be a political entity of the Roman empire that suppresses God's people.  The Holy Roman Empire fits.

Futurists see the rise of the “Beast” as yet to come and are presently looking to the European Commonwealth of Nations as a “United States of Europe” filling the role.  However, there are now many more than ten of these states.

Historicists commonly look to the European nations that existed prior to the end of the Holy Roman Empire—c. 1800 or earlier.  Rev. 17:16-17 speaks of the ten horns hating the harlot and making her desolate and burning her with fire.  Historicists see this fulfilled in the struggles of those nations against Rome and the destruction of her power.


4.   CONCLUSION OF THE STRUGGLE (chapters 18--22)


CHAPTER 18.  "Babylon is fallen!"  The fall of powers of city of Rome proclaimed.


CHAPTER 19.  Defeat of the "Beast" (Holy Roman Empire) and the "False Prophet" (Papal power).


Rev. 19:1-5.  Exultation at the fall of Babylon (city of Rome)


Rev. 19:6-10.  Exultation that God reigns and that the marriage supper of the Lamb has come. 

--Exultation concerning Christ’s union with his church (cf. Matt. 22:2-14; 25:1-13; Rev 21:9-10; 22:17; Eph. 5:23-32).


Rev. 19:11-21. Victory of “THE WORD OF GOD” over the Beast and False Prophet.


The symbolism here may be of spiritual warfare rather than physical (2Cor 10:3-5).  It pictures the triumph of Christ through his word (Matt 24:14; Isa 11:9; Heb 4:12; Eph 6:17). 

The Word of God is pictured as making war with the beast and with the false prophet that did “signs in the sight of the beast” (19:20).  This is obviously the same as the two-horned beast (13:11-18) with horns like a lamb that spoke as a dragon and did signs in the sight of the beast (13:12, 14).  This fits the Papacy, which claimed authority over both church and state, and gave power to the Holy Roman Empire.  With its demise, the Papacy lost control even over its own temporal dominion in Italy, taken away in 1870 by King Victor Emmanuel and his general, Garibaldi. 


The Beast and False prophet are thrown into the lake of fire.  (19:20)


An interesting question is raised here.  Is this battle the same as in 20:8? Some of the features found in Ezekiel 38 and 39 concerning "Gog" and "Magog" seem to be the same.  (Compare Rev. 19:18 with Ezek. 39:4.)




The old serpent, who is the devil and Satan, was bound. “that he might not deceive the nations until the thousand years are finished.” It says nothing about a thousand years of sinless Edenic perfection.

This is obviously symbolic. Chapter 12 speaks of the dragon as having seven heads and ten horns.  Chapter 17 explained that these represented kings and nations.  Being “bound” indicates Satan was no longer free to “deceive the nations” --to overcome and suppress the saints, which he did during the 1,260 “days” (Rev 12:1-6, 13-14; 13:5-7; 11:2, 3; Dan 7:21, 25; 12:7).  This pictures a time when the nations are no longer deceived into suppressing God’s word.

This would appear to fit the breakup of the Papal and imperial power of the Holy Roman Empire.  Perhaps the collapse of nations hostile to the Gospel even includes atheistic Communism or the outcome of the present great struggle with Islam as may be inferred by the statement that the Euphrates (the historic dividing line between East and West) was to be “dried up” to make way for the kings coming from the sun rising resulting in the “war of the great day of God” (Rev. 16:12-16). 

It is obvious the features of the passage are symbolic.  What kind of literal “chain” could be used to bind the devil, who is a spirit? 

The “thousand years” could indicate a long period when the Gospel is open to freely spread throughout the earth.  According to this view, the “dragon” represented in pagan Rome’s power of “seven heads and ten horns,” may have become “bound” by God through events following the end of the Holy Roman Empire.  It may be in the process of being bound as the national powers (such as Russia, China and the Muslim nations) are forced to open up to the spread of the Gospel.  Thus, we may already have entered the thousand-year “millennium,” or may be just entering it.  


The “first resurrection” may indicate people being “raised with Christ” in baptism (Rom. 6:3-5; Col. 2:12-13).  An interesting historical note by Victorinus, [300 AD] bishop of Petau, in his commentary on Revelation, (20:4-5) gave a similar explanation:


There are two resurrections.  But the first resurrection is now of the souls that are by the faith, which does not pass over to the second death.  Of this resurrection the apostle says: “If ye have risen with Christ, seek those things which are above.”[10]


Nothing is said in Revelation 20 about Jesus sitting upon a literal throne on earth.  In fact, it says nothing about the souls that reigned with Christ, sitting on earthly thrones.  Even if they were on earth, it does not require literal thrones nor that Christ be on earth for them to reign with him.

It is at this point that Historicists separate into Post-millennial and A-millennial views. 

Post-millennialists see the Millennium as a period following the defeat of the “beast” and “false prophet,” after which Christ comes, the dead are raised and the final judgment takes place.  

A-millennial means, “no Millennium” and in their view the “millennium” (thousand years) represents the time from when Christ "binds" the devil, the "strong man" (Mat. 12:29) in the lives of Christians, beginning on Pentecost, A.D. 30 (Acts 2) to the return of Christ and the final judgment.




20:7-10. Final triumph.


Dragon is loosed for a little period and the nations are again deceived into compassing the camp of the saints about.  Fire comes down from heaven and devours them.  Satan is cast into the lake of fire where the beast and the false prophet already are.


Revelation 20:8  8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.


This raises the question of the identity of "Gog and Magog" here with the same characters in Ezekiel (38:2, 3 etc) and fire from heaven sited in Ezekiel (38:22; 39:6).  Since these are described as coming from the "north" (Ezek. 38:15; 39:2) a number of commentators suggest this is Russia.  This seems to be the same war cited in Rev. 19:18-20 and 16:13-14.


20:11-15. The Great Judgment  

The great white throne (cf. Mat. 25:31-46)

Heaven and earth flee away

The dead are raised

People are judged

The wicked are cast into the lake of fire


21:  New heaven and earth without crying or pain in which dwells righteousness.

The New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven as a bride adorned for her husband (cf. Heb 12:22).  This appears to represent God’s people. 

The church is pictured as a bride. 2Cor 11:2; John 3:29; Rom 7:4; Eph 5:22-33; Mat 22:2-13; 25:1-13.


2Cor 11:2. For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.


John 3:29He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.


Rom 7: 4. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.


Eph 5:22. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.  23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.  24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.  25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;  26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,  27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.  28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.  29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:  30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.  31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.  32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.  33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband


22:  Conclusion of all things and final invitation.



representing the






Daniel: Little Horn on

ten-horned Beast

(Dan. 7:3, 7, 8, 11, 17-25)


Made war with saints (7:21)

and overcame them (7:21)

Devour the whole earth (7:23)

Wear out the saints. (7:25)

Think to change times (7:25)

and the law. (7:25)

Given into his hand (7:25)

 (Dan. 7:21, 23, 25)


Time, times and a half time

 1 yr. + 2 yrs. + ½ yr. X 360=1,260

(Dan. 7:25)

(3 ½ years)

Daniel: Holy people

How long to the

end of these wonders?

(Dan. 12:6-9)




(Dan. 12:7)


Time, times and a half time

 1 yr. + 2 yrs. + ½ yr. x 360=1,260


(Dan. 12:7)

(3 ½ years)

Revelation: Red Dragon

7 heads and

10 horns and 7 crowns

(Rev. 12:1-6)


Woman fled into wilderness



Rev 12:6

"One thousand, two hundred and three-score days"

1,200 + 3-Score days. = 1,260 days

(Rev. 12:6)

Revelation: Red Dragon cast down to earth

(Rev. 12:13-14)


Woman persecuted,

flew into wilderness


"Time, times and a half time"

 1 yr. + 2 yrs. + ½ yr.  X 360=1,260

 (Rev. 12:14)

(3 ½ years)

Revelation: Scarlet Beast,

 7 heads and

 10 horns and 10 crowns


(Rev. 13:1)


Authority to continue

Blasphemies (13:5)

Make war with saints (13:7)

Overcome them (13:7)

Authority over nations. (13:7)


"Forty and two months"

42 X 30 days = 1,260 days



(Rev. 13:5)

Revelation: Holy City

(Rev. 11:2)



Trod under foot by Gentiles

(Rev. 11:2)

"Forty and two months"

42 X 30 days = 1,260 days

(Rev. 11:2)

Revelation: Two Witnesses

(Rev. 11:3)

Prophecy in sackcloth

Beast makes war and kills them

(Rev. 11:3, 7)

"One thousand, two hundred and three-score days"

1,200 + 3-Score days = 1,260 days

(Rev. 11:3)





1.      Numbers 14:33-34.  The Children of Israel were in the wilderness, a year for each day spying out the land.

2.      Leviticus 25:8   8 And thou shalt number seven sabbaths [weeks] of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths [weeks] of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years

3.      Ezek. 4:5-6. Each day Ezekiel lay on his side signified one year.  Note: Ezekiel himself spoke of Daniel (Ezek 14:14, 20; 28:3).  Both prophesied in Babylon during the same period and Revelation draws heavily on the symbolism of both.

4.      Dan. 9:24-27. The “70 weeks,” (actually, “70 sevens”) (490 “days” = 490 years) until the anointed (“Messiah” or “Christ”). Seven weeks (49 prophetic “days” = 49 years) from command to restore Jerusalem until completion of the moat, plus 62 weeks (62 x 7 = 434 years) to the beginning of the ministry of Christ.  Total years: 62+434=483.  He would be cut off in the middle of the 70th week (7 years). This brings us to the time of his crucifixion.

5.      Gen. 29:27-28 Rachael’s “week” was seven years.

6.      Rev 2:10 John seems to use “days” in a symbolic sense. “Ye shall have tribulation ten days.”


This period of 1260 prophetic “days” (years) may find its source with the revival of the Western Roman imperial power under Clovis, King of the Franks. After the battle of Vouillė in 507 the Eastern Emperor, Anastasius I, gave Clovis titular position of Roman Counse.[11] Twenty-five years after his death in 511 this was confirmed between his sons and the Emperor, Justinian in 536 AD. 

On Christmas Day, 800 AD the pope crowned Charlemagne "Emperor of the Romans."

The Holy Roman Empire ended with the abdication of Francis II, August 6, 1806 after his defeat by Napoleon at Austerlitz in 1804. On December 2, 1804 Napoleon crowned himself, "Emperor of the French." All such imperial pretensions effectively ended with his defeat at Waterloo, June 18, 1815.


A second suggested beginning date is 533 when the Eastern Emperor, Justinian, declared the Pope "Lord of the Church."  

A third suggestion for this time period is from 606 when the Eastern Roman Emperor, Phocus, declared the Pope "Supreme head of the Church" to AD 1866 when King Victor Emanuel of Italy took away the Pope's kingdom (completed in 1871).



Commentaries holding the historicist view: Barnes Notes; The Triumph of Faith (W. W. Speck); The Wonder Book Of the Bible (L. G. Tomlinson); John T. Hinds Commentary; Opening the Book Of The Seven Thunders (Martin); The Seer, Savior and the Saved (Strauss).


II.               PRETERIST VIEW


A.     Basic arguments for the Preterist View 


1.      The Preterist view has the fall of Jerusalem as the primary or total focus of Revelation. 


The main argument for a date before the destruction of Jerusalem is that Jesus used terms representing his coming as “soon.” (Rev. 22:7, 12, 20).  Those who hold this maintain that over 2,000 years in the future cannot be “soon.”  The following scriptures are pressed as indicating an early fulfillment.


Rev. 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show unto his servants, even the things which must shortly come to pass: and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John;

Rev. 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things that are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Rev. 22:6 And he said unto me, These words are faithful and true: and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angels to show unto his servants the things which must shortly come to pass.

Rev. 22:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not up the words of the prophecy of this book; for the time is at hand.



a.       The historicist response is that these things were soon to begin to be fulfilled in John’s time, not that they would immediately be completed.


Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.


b.      With God, “soon,” is not necessarily as short a time as in men’s terms.


2Peter 3:8. But forget not this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.


Ps. 90:4. For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.


The book much better fits as a sweeping overview of the great events of the future relating to the church, from around 95 A.D. down to the end of the earth and the rewards of the final judgment.  It does not seem likely that God would have written the book of Revelation just about the destruction of Jerusalem and ignored the vast and great events of history to the end of time.


A second argument for an early date is that it says nothing of the destruction of Jerusalem.  However, this depends on the need for the writer to refer to the event.  He is writing to churches in Asia, not Palestine, about world events of the future, not a history of what took place in Palestine in the past.  An “argument from silence” is weak, at best.


c.       Some scriptures indicate that the return of Jesus was notat hand.”


2Thessalonians 2:1-9  Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.  5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?  6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.  7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now restrains will restrain, until he be taken out of the way.  8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,


Luke 19:11-27.  The parable of the Pounds indicates that those who thought the kingdom was to immediately appear were mistaken (verse 11).  The king (Jesus) was to go away and return.  When he did he would call for accounting and his enemies would be destroyed (Rev 21:11-15). 


  1. Problems with Preterism.


1.      The date of the Book of Revelation stands against the preterist view.  


A few later writers (6th century and later) suggested that John was in Patmos during the reign of Nero.  However, the overwhelming mass of scholarship, both ancient and modern, dates the book of Revelation around 95 A.D..[12]

As we have seen in our discussion of the date at the beginning, four very early authorities indicated that John wrote in the reign of Domitian.


Irenaeus, disciple of Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna and a disciple of the apostle John,[13] said:

“For if it were necessary that his name should be declared clearly at the present time, it would have been announced by him who saw the revelation.  For it was seen, not long ago, but almost in our generation, toward the end of the reign of Domitian.’ He states these things concerning the Apocalypse in the work referred to.”[14]


The objection that after 96 AD John would not have had enough time, or would have been too old to have done the things attributed to him by Clement of Alexandria[15] after leaving Patmos, is highly speculative.  We don’t know how old or how vigorous John was, or whether the account is correct.


Jerome says John was the “youngest of the Apostles” [16]

We may be sure that John was then a boy because ecclesiastical history most clearly proves that he lived to the reign of Trajan, that is, he fell asleep in the sixty-eighth year after our Lord’s passion, as I have briefly noted in my treatise on Illustrious Men. … for he saw in the island of Patmos, to which he had been banished by the Emperor Domitian as a martyr for the Lord, an Apocalypse containing the boundless mysteries of the future[17]


Clement speaks of John as an “old man” when, after Patmos, he went to Ephesus a second  time. [18]  However, some people are very active even at a hundred years old.  During the reign of Nero he would have been no more than 65, and perhaps as young as 50.  This casts some doubt that his age would have been so described at the early date.


Albert Barnes sums it up thus:

Those things seem to me to make it proper to acquiesce in the general opinion so long entertained in regard to the date of the Apocalypse, for there is, per­haps, no book of the New Testament whose date is better determined on historical grounds than this.” --Introduction, p. xlix


2.      The symbols in the opening of the seals in chapter 6 of Revelation best fit the events in the Roman world from around 95 AD.

It was at this time that Rome was at its greatest point of power, with the subsequent bloodshed and decline that followed to the time of Constantine. (See historicist view in Rev. 6 above)


3.      The claim that Jerusalem is “Babylon the mother of harlots” (Rev. 12:2) makes no sense.

Since Rome did not fall for hundreds of years after the time of John, and even after that again rose to power, the fall of “Babylon” will not fit into the preterist model following the time of Nero. 

Babylon” is clearly speaking of Rome.  It is identified as sitting on “seven mountains” (17:9) and when John wrote he said it “reigns over the kings of the earth” (7:18).  Jerusalem was not reputed to sit on seven mountains and never reigned over the kings of the earth.  Rome was renowned for both. 

The picture is also that this city was over seven kings.  Five had fallen, one is, and the other is yet to come and after him is the beast which is an eighthIf the “Beast” represented Nero, it makes no sense that Jerusalem would be pictured as sitting upon Nero.

Jerusalem was pictured as a harlot (Isa. 1:21) but so were other cities (Isa. 23:16-17).  Unfaithfulness with idols was pictured as harlotry.  Rome was the very heart of paganism.

Rome is called “Babylon” because of the many similarities between it and Babylon.  Babylon had held God’s people in captivity during the time of Daniel from whom many of the Symbols in Revelation, (chapters 12, 13 & 17) were taken (see Daniel 7). Daniel’s 4thbeast” was clearly speaking of Rome.  Likewise, Rome held God’s people in captivity.  The parallels are unmistakable. Even Roman Catholic scholars cite this as referring to Rome.

Preterists try to identify “Babylon” with Revelation 11:8, The great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. However, it is not so identified by John.  The two are clearly distinct.

Preterists struggle mightily to get around this.  They say that if the “beast” is Rome then the “harlot” cannot be Rome.  In this, they confuse the fact that both the city and the Empire are called “Rome.” The city of Rome reigned over the Roman Empire.

On the other hand, from the histori­cist perspective there is a clear distinction.  Many recognize the “beast” to be the revived Roman Empire.  The Pope crowned Charlemagne “Emperor of the Romans” on Christmas day, 800 A.D..


4.      Attempts to make the “coming of the son of man” to be his coming to destroy Jerusalem are contradicted by the order of events in the Gospels.


Matt. 24:29; Mark 13:24 place his coming “after the tribulation of those days.“ He could not be coming to do what had already been done.


Luke 21:20-28 likewise places Christ’s coming after the destruction of Jerusalem and beyond fulfillment of the period of its being “trodden down of the Gentiles” (21:24).  Since Jerusalem was trodden down by the Gentiles from the time of its destruction in 70 AD until the 1967 “Six Day War,” that indicates his “coming” was future beyond Jerusalem’s return to Jewish control.


5.      The claim that the “man of sin” (2Thes. 2:1-13) was the Emperor, Nero, does not fit.


a.       The “falling away” and rise of the “man of sin” (2Thes. 2:3) in the temple of God fails to fit Nero.  Nero never sat in power in the temple at Jerusalem, or in the spiritual temple, the church (Eph 2:21).  It is doubtful that any pagan temple at Rome would be called by Paul, "the temple of God.

b.      Nero was never noted for claims to have done miracles (2Thes. 2:9).

c.       Nero was not destroyed by the brightness of the coming of Christ in the destruction of Jerusalem.  He was killed years earlier.  As we have shown above, the “coming” of Jesus is clearly placed AFTER the tribulation of the destruction of Jerusalem (Matt 24:29-30), not before.

d.      The “man of sin” much better fits the Bishop of Rome who sits in the temple of God, claiming to be the “Most Holy Father,” and “Vicar of Christ” as head of the church on earth, professing to speak with the infallible voice of God.  He did not assume that role until centuries after the destruction of Jerusalem.


6.      The claim that the “beast” that followed the seventh head (17:10-11) was either Nero or Titus does not fit. 


The “beast” cannot be Nero because Nero was the fifth emperor from Augustus Caesar. John says that the one then in power was the sixth, and after him would come a seventh.  The “beast” was the eighth (Rev 17:11).

Chapter 17 says that after the 6thhead” there would be a 7th, for a short time, followed by the “beast” which is the “eighth”.  If Nero was the 6th when John wrote, then Titus could not be the 8th because there were four emperors between Nero and Titus (Galba, Otho, Vitellius and Vespasian). 

The words of Rev. 17, (“five are fallen and one is...”) cannot place John in the reign of Nero because Nero was the fifth emperor, not the sixth.  However, some maintain that it is counting from Julius Caesar (#1) followed by Augustus, (#2), then Tiberius, (#3), Caius (Caligula) (#4), Claudius, (#5) and Nero, (#6), but that still does not make Nero the “beast”—the “eighth.”

No matter how the count is made the list of emperors must be arbitrarily shuffled to get their conclusion.


7.      Some view Revelation 17:8, 11 as speaking of Nero as the one who “was” and “is not” (was  dead at the time John wrote), and “shall come” in persecution of Christians by future emperors, such as Diocletion.


There was an ancient superstition that Nero would come back from the dead again.  Some suppose that the idea might have been based on that.  However, Nero did not come back.  The idea that he came back symbolically in the persecution roles of later emperors is highly speculative with no scriptural basis.


8.      The claim that the name of Nero is the “mark of the beast” does not fit the facts.


In ancient times letters of the alphabet were also used as numbers.  To make the name of Nero add up to 666 one must add his title (Caesar) to his name, and calculate the spelling in Hebrew letters (“NERON CEASAR”). 

This is extremely forced.  In a letter written in Greek to the Greek-speaking churches in Asia, it would be meaningless to expect it to be calculated in Hebrew.  It makes much more sense that the true name and number would be calculated in a man’s name in Greek, the language of the New Testament.

Early Bible writers such as Irenaeus[19] (120-202 A.D.), who was a disciple of Polycarp, who knew John, and his disciple, Hippolytus[20] (170-236 A.D.), considered the name “LATEINOS,” reputed founder of the Roman Empire, as the most likely explanation. The use and prominence of his name for the “Latin nation,” the “Latin church,” and the “Latin language” through the ages, makes the meaning readily available to all, especially to readers of the Greek Bible.

Furthermore, if Titus were the “beast,” how could the name of Nero be the mark of the beast?  In the time of Titus Nero was dead and people were not required to think and obey his commands.  He had committed suicide and his name was totally discredited.

(For further discussion see Barnes Notes on Revelation p. xlvi.)


9.      The disproportionate focus on such a short period as the destruction of Jerusalem seems highly unlikely as fulfilling the Book of Revelation.


Like the futurists, the Preterists have the problem of the events all crammed into a period of about seven years while ignoring or disregarding the momentous events of thousands of years.


10.  Viewing the Book of Revelation as limited to the destruction of Jerusalem leaves the Bible incomplete with no map of events between 70 A.D. and the end of the world.


It does not seem reasonable that God would stop the clock with the destruction of Jerusalem and omit all of the great events that relate to the church for thousands of years following—even the momentous event of the revival of the Jewish nation and re-taking of the city of Jerusalem!  Is it not much more reasonable that it presents the future of the church to the end of time? Does not the end of Revelation suggest that? Genesis covered history from the beginning.  Revelation is a panorama of events to the end.

One of the great encouragements of our faith is how God, in His divine wisdom, surveyed the events of time from beginning to end.  As prophecies are fulfilled one after another we are encouraged by the milestones of historical verification of the scriptures pointing to the coming and triumph of our Lord.


11.  Luke 21:24 specifies things that extended far beyond the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.


Luke 21:24  24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.


When Jerusalem fell the Jews were scattered into all nations.  The times of the Gentiles treading down Jerusalem continued until at least 1967 when Israel again gained control in the amazing battle of the “Six Day War.” 


12.  The claim that the second coming of Christ, the resurrection and the judgment are past, face great problems. 


Moderate preterists divide prophecies concerning the coming of Christ into two events.  One is his coming to destroy Jerusalem.  The other is his second coming in the future.  This poses some serious consistency problems. 

The first is that this makes two returns of Jesus rather than one.  The Bible does not speak of two returns. 

A second problem is that it passes over the thousands of years of the church in silence.  It makes no sense to write a history of the future of the church and leave out thousands of years.

A third problem is that it simply nullifies the scriptural evidence of the Second Coming.  If the passages about his coming in Matthew 24 and chapter one of Revelation, can be made to be the destruction of Jerusalem then so can the others.  Arbitrarily placing them into two events in the face of the difficulties involved wracks havoc on any sound basis for interpretation. 

Consider the following passages.  Which ones are speaking of coming upon Jerusalem in 70 A.D.? Which are of the Second Coming, still future?  What distinguish­es them?


Matt. Chap 16 ----

27  For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then shall he render unto every man according to his deeds.


Matt. Chap 24 ----

3  And as he sat on the mount of Olives,  the disciples came unto  him  privately,  saying, Tell  us,   when  shall  these things be? and what (shall be) the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world (or age)?


Matt.  Chap 24 -----

27 For as the lightning cometh forth from the east, and is seen even unto the west; so shall be the coming of the Son of man.  28 Wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.  29 But immediately after the tribula­tion of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  31 And he shall send forth his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.


Matt. Chap 25 ----

31 But when the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory: 32 and before him shall be gathered all the nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats; 33 and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.   34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry, and ye gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; 36 naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me.  37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, and fed thee? or athirst, and gave thee drink? 38 And when saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 And when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren, (even) these least, ye did it unto me.   41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into the eternal fire (Mk. 9:43-49; Rev. 14:10, 11; 20:10-15) which is pre­pared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry, and ye did not give me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.  44 Then shall they also answer, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not unto one of these least, ye did it not unto me.  46 And these shall go away into eternal punishment: but the righteous into eternal life.


Matt. Chap 26 ----

64 Jesus said unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Henceforth ye shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.


Acts  Chapter 1 ---

9 And as they were looking, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.  10 And while they were looking steadfastly into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 who also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye looking into heaven? this Jesus, who was received up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye beheld him going into heaven.


1Thes.  Chap 4 ----

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we that are alive, that are left unto the coming of the Lord, shall in no wise precede them that are fallen asleep.  16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first; 17 then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.


Rev.   Chap 1 -----

7 Behold, he cometh with the clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they that pierced him; and all the tribes of the earth shall mourn over him.  Even so, Amen.   8 I am the Alpha and the Omega, saith the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.


In this, Full Preterists are more consistent.  They simply make them all refer to the destruction of Jerusalem and try to explain away the consequential difficulties.


An even greater problem for the theory is the conflicts raised concerning the purpose of his coming.  Preterists commonly claim the coming mentioned was to destroy the city.  However, the key passages they base their claim on place the coming AFTER the destruction of the city.  If his coming was after the destruction, then it is clear that his coming was not to accomplish the de­struction. 


Consider the following comparison between Matt. 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21.


Matt. 24:15-28



Holy place      


Matt. 24:29-30

After the tribulation”

Sign of the son of man

sun darkened

moon not give light

stars fall

powers of heavens shaken


Matt. 24:31

Tribes of earth mourn

see son of man

coming on clouds

angels gather elect.

Mark 13 14-23




after that tribulation,

 the sun shall be darkened,

moon shall not give her light

stars falling from heaven

powers in the heavens shaken.



then shall they

see the son of man

coming in clouds

with great power

and glory

Luke 21:20-24





fall by sword

led captive

trodden down


and there shall be signs

in sun, moon and stars

upon earth distress of nations

men fainting for fear

powers of heavens shaken


then shall they see

son of man coming

in a cloud

with power

and great glory


Preterists draw a parallel between Matt. 24 and Revelation 1 and then insist that all the prophecies must have been fulfilled within that generation.  Matthew 24:34 says, “This generation shall not pass away before all these things are fulfilled.”  Revelations 1:1 says those things were to come to pass “shortly.”

However, upon close examination the contention that everything must be accomplished in that generation (Mt. 24:34), does not hold up.  It conflicts with both the context and other scriptures.

Matthew 24:34This generation shall not pass away, till all these things be accomplished.”  This does not require every prophecy in the Bible to be completed by the time of the destruction of Jerusalem. Only what Jesus intended to include, is included.  

Furthermore, it does not mean that it would all be completed in that generation.  It meant that the things would begin to be fulfilled.  Luke 21:28 says “when you see these things begin to come to pass...”

Obviously, everything in Matthew 24 is not included in “These things.”  Luke 21:24, which is also a part of what Jesus said, says that Jerusalem would be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.  The “times of the Gentiles” and the treading down of Jerusalem was not completed in their generation.  Jerusalem has been trodden down for over 1900 years.   Matt. 25:31-36, which is a part of the same discourse, speaks of Jesus coming to sit on the throne of his glory and gather the nations before him and send some to eternal life and others to eternal punishment.  Did that take place at the destruction of Jerusalem?


Confusion between the things that would come to pass and the coming of Jesus (Matthew 24:32) is resolved by a careful reading of the text.  It says that when they saw the fig tree putting forth leaves they would know that summer is near.”  What is “near” is distinguished from what is here.  The events that happened to the Jews were the means of knowing his coming was “near.”   

The immediate “things” to be accomplished, were the vengeance upon Jerusalem (23:32-39) and destruction of the temple (24:2).  The Second Coming of Christ (24:29-31) is not included.  That was placed as “after the tribulation of those days” – in the future.  


Preterists contend that the passage teaches that in 70 A.D. Christ was coming to take vengeance upon Jerusalem.  However, the terminology used is the same as found elsewhere when speaking of Christ’s coming, as may be seen in the above scriptures. 

The passage places the coming AFTER the destruction (Matt. 24:21), not to bring it about.  Matthew 24:29 says, “after the tribulation of those days” (24:29).  This is especially appropriate if the “great tribulation” has reference to the whole period of 1900 years in which the Jews have been destroyed and driven from place to place. 

Comparing the accounts clearly shows the de­struction of Jerusalem was to be before the signs of his coming (Lk. 21:19-24).  “These things” could not include things that are spoken of as being “nigh, even at the doors.”   The two questions he was answering were, “When shall these things be?” and “What shall be the sign of thy coming and the end of the world? (or, age)” (24:3)  “These things,” the destruction of the temple (24:2) and vengeance on the people (Matt.. 23:35-39; Luke 21:22-25), were not the same as the sign of his coming.  When “These Things” were here his coming was “near.” 

Shortly come to pass” (Rev. 1:1; 22:6) does not require that every­thing in the book be accomplished in one generation.  It cannot be both ways.  Either the statement requires the whole book to be fulfilled at that time or it must mean that it would soon begin to come to pass.




“Total Preterists” face even greater problems.  They must somehow explain the resurrection of the dead (Rev. 20:12-15) and a new heaven and earth with no death or pain (Rev. 21:1-4) as taking place in the destruction of Jerusalem.  We might also suggest that since the Lord’s supper is to be kept “till I come” (1Cor 11:26) they should no longer be observing it.


“Complete” or “full” Preterists maintain that all of the New Testament prophecies were intended for fulfillment in that generation.


A.  It is an incredibly speculative leap from having “these things” include prophecies in the first part of Matthew 24 completed in “this generation,” to having it include all prophecies of the future in the New Testament


B.  If all of the prophecies were fulfilled in that generation then we have no future hope. 


Jesus is not coming again (John 14:3; 1Thes 4:14-17; Acts 1:9-11; Rev 1:7).  Note: some argue that the Bible never says, “return” or “come again” etc.  However, Luke 19:12, Jesus pictures his own return in the parable of the nobleman.  John 14:3, 28 He says he will “come again.”  Heb. 9:28 says he will come a second time


The dead will not be raised (Acts 23:6; 24:15-16; 1Cor 15:12-19; 1Thes 4:14-17; Rev 20:12-13). 


There will be no judgment before the throne of Christ (Mat 25:31-32; Rev. 20:11-12; 2Cor 5:10; Rom 14:10).


There will be no heavenly reward for the righteous (1Pet 1:4; Heb 10:34; Col. 1:5). 


There will be no punishment in hell for the wicked (Mat 25:41, 46; Rev 14:10-11; 20:15; Luke 12:5; Mark 9:45-47). 


Everything just continues on forever as it was from the beginning (2Pet. 3:4)


However, The Scriptures teach that the earth on which we reside will pass away


Luke 21:33-35

33 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.  34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.  35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.


Here, Jesus indicated the “earth” which passes away is where men dwell. 


Heb. 1:10-12 The earth and heavens created by God will perish. 

10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:  11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;  12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.


This indicates it speaks of the earth and heavens that God created in the beginning (Genesis 1:1; 2:1, 4)


Hebrews 12:25-27 The earth, where man dwells will be removed.  This is speaking of “Sinai” (12-18-19).  It refers to Hag 2:6-7 which includes shaking the “sea” and “dry land.” The physical land was shaken. (Ex. 19:18; Ps. 68:7, 8) 


Rev 20:11—21:1 says the earth and heaven passes away and is replaced by a new heaven, earth and sea.


Second Peter 3

3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,  4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.  5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:  6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:  7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.  8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.  11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,  12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?  13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness


Jesus is coming to raise the dead


Acts 1:10-11   10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;  11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.


1Cor 15: 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.  24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.  25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.  26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.  27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.  28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. 


      Here Jesus reigns until death is destroyed.  This is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy cited several times in the New Testament.


1Cor 15: 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,  52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 


1 Thessalonians 4:13-17   13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not precede them which are asleep.  16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.


      If they had been “caught up to be with the Lord “ in 70 AD then why did Christians remain alive upon the earth, having fled to Pella, east of the Jordan? When speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem Jesus told them to “flee.”


III.           THE FUTURIST VIEW (see Premillenial chart)


The futurist view interprets most prophecy in a highly speculative and super literalistic manner.  It maintains that the seven churches (Rev. chapters 2 and 3) are ages and we are in the last period, that of the Laodicean Church.  Thus two thousand years are covered in three chapters with the rest of the book still to be fulfilled, pushing everything after that into the future.  Even more strangely, the next 16 chapters take only 7 literal years!!! 

According to this view:

Chapter 5. Jesus comes in a sort of grand fly-by and the faithful of all ages are raised from the dead and, along with the faithful living, are caught up to heaven in the “rapture” to be with Christ at the marriage supper of the lamb.

Chapters 6-18.  The “Great Tribulation” takes place – seven years of terrible suffering on the earth worse than anything that has ever happened while the faithful are in heaven at the marriage supper of the lamb.  The Anti-Christ defiles the rebuilt temple.

Chapter 19. At the end of the seven years, Jesus returns, defeats his enemies, especially the Anti-Christ who has established a one-world government, and casts him and his followers into the lake of fire.

In chapter 20 Jesus binds the devil and casts him into a pit for a thousand years.  The “first resurrection” of those who have been martyred takes place and they sit on thrones to reign with Christ.  Jesus sets up his kingdom on earth, reigning on his throne in the rebuilt temple at Jerusalem ruling with a rod of iron for a thousand years.  

After that the devil is released he again deceives the nations into seeking to destroy God’s people.  Fire falls from heaven and destroys them and the devil is cast into the lake of fire.  The heavens and earth pass away and the second resurrection takes place.  The dead are judged and the wicked are cast into the lake of fire. 


This view often takes the form of “Dispensationalism.” It commonly distinguishes a "Church Age," beginning from the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) to the "Millennium" (Rev. 20) from a "thousand years" Kingdom of Israel with Jesus ruling over the earth.  The Dispensational view holds that when Jesus died the clock was stopped and will be re-started with the rapture to complete the last "week" (7 years) of Daniel 9.   


The momentous events of history over the last 1900 years, such as the fall of the Roman Empire, the rise of Mohammedanism, the fall of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the rise and fall of the Papal temporal dominion and Holy Roman Empire, are passed over in total silence. 

They speak of those chapters in Revelation as being “The Great Tribulation.”  Might it not be that the great events of the Dark Ages and suppression of true Christianity were themselves "Great Tribulation"? 


A.     The futurist “Big Bang” system of interpretation fails to be justified by a natural unfolding of the context of Revelation. 


The futurist explanation is purely speculative, arbitrarily contrived, super-literalistic, and rests upon an inadequate scriptural evidential base.  When laid beside the events of history, the Book of Revelation fits so well that the historicist view cannot be reasonably disregarded.  It makes no sense to ignore the obvious in favor of a highly speculative and unfounded explanation yet to take place in the future. 


It makes no sense that God would have totally ignored the momentous events of two thousand years of history and focus on just seven short years sometime in the future.  It flies in the face of reason that it takes two thousand years to fulfill chapters 2 & 3, and only seven years for the next 16 chapters of Revelation.

Where is the fall of the Roman Empire as predicted by Daniel?  Where are the terrible events and de­structive plagues that brought on the centuries of dark ages tribu­lation?  Why would God have ignored the hordes of Islam that swept across the face of the earth, first under the Arabians and later under the Turks, that threatened to wipe out Christianity, and today controls the minds of one-fifth of the population of the world?  Where is the rise and fall of the papacy and the Holy Roman Empire?  Where is the great Reformation, if the book is not viewed historically?


B.     The futurist system conflicts with several important points within the book of Revelation.


One of the most glaring conflicts is trying to make the “first resurrection” take place in chapter 4 when God plainly placed it in chapter 20.  How can there be a resurrection before the “first”? (20:4)  Chapter 4 say nothing about Christ coming and rapturing away the saints to a marriage supper.

It also conflicts with several time-points in the book which will not permit these events to be relegated to the future.  As noted above, not until 4:1 do the things of the “hereafter” begin.  In fact, chapters 4 and 5 are preparatory to opening the seals of the future in chapter 6.  Therefore, the opening of the future could not have begun in chapter 2. 

Chapter 17 indicates the seven heads represent 7 kings.  When John wrote, five had fallen, “one is” and another was to follow afterwards for a short time.  After that would come the “beast” which was the “eighth”.  If, when John wrote, “one is” then it is clear that they were not in the “Church Age” of chapters 2 & 3 with the period of  “The Great Tribulation” 2000 years in the future.  Any system that shoves these off to the end of the world is in conflict with the context. 


C.     Other difficulties introduced by the futurist system.


1.      It confuses the symbols of Revelations with the interpretation


It disregards the fact that the book is mostly written in figurative language. Super-literalism obscures the greater value of the spiritual.  For example, which was greater, the earthly or heavenly tabernacle? (Heb 8:5) --Mount Zion in Jerusalem, or mount Zion in heaven? (Gal 4:25-26; Heb 12:19)  Which was more important, physical or spiritual circumcision (Col 2:11; Rom 2:28-29)? 

The “mark of the beast” is made to be literally writing the number 666 on the forehead and hand rather than thinking and obeying the authority of Rome, as would be properly conveyed by the name, “LATEINOS,” the reputed founder of the Latin Empire. 


      Irenaeus (120-202 A.D.) wrote,

“It seems to me very probable; for this is a name of the last of Daniel’s four kingdoms; they being Latins that now reign.” -see Barnes Notes on Revelation 13:18. 

--Irenaeus, “Against Heresies” Chap. 30:3 (Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1, p.559).


2.      It offers a materialistic hope of the kingdom. 

Jesus offered a spiritual kingdom.  They claim Jesus is coming to establish an earthly throne and preside over a visible earthly kingdom. However, Jesus said: “My kingdom is not of this world “ (John 18:36).


Luke 17:20 The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.


Some object that Jesus could not have said of the Pharisees “the kingdom of God is within you” so it should be translated, “the kingdom of God is AMONG you” – speaking of himself.  However, the Greek word, “entos” is used elsewhere only in Mat. 23:26 where it speaks of cleansing within the cup.  Jesus was observable and his coming will be seen by “every eye.” (Rev 1:7)  The passage is not saying the kingdom is in the Pharisees but explaining why the kingdom of God does not come with observation.

When Jesus would not set up an earth­ly kingdom (John 6:15) the Jews turned against him.  Instead of recognizing that Christ rules in our hearts, many have fallen into the same error of expecting an earthly kingdom rather than a spiritual one.

Daniel said the kingdom was to begin like a little stone that would strike the image (Rome) on the feet, crush it, and then fill the whole earth (Dan. 2:44-45).  Jesus was to receive the kingdom upon his ascen­sion (Dan. 7:13-14).  When Jesus came the kingdom was “at hand” (Matt.. 3:2).  Peter was given the keys to the kingdom (Matt. 16:19).   The parables about the kingdom in Matthew 13 indicate its existence before Christ returns, rather than after.  These things show that the kingdom was established when its laws began to be propagated on Pentecost from Jerusalem (Luke 24:47; Ac. 1:4; Isa. 2:3) around A.D. 30. 

During the time of the apostles they had already been “translated into the kingdom of the son of his love (Col. 1:13). At the time John wrote God had already “made us to be a kingdom” (Rev. 1:6).  They were “fellow citizens” in the kingdom (Eph. 1:19). They were “ambassadors” of the kingdom which already existed (2Cor. 5:20).

Still future, is the “eternal” or “heavenly” state to which we will be translated at the return of our Lord, but he is already “King of Kings” (1Tim. 6:15).  He is a priest upon his throne (Zech. 6:13; Heb. 6:20--7:2).  He will remain upon that throne until the last enemy, death, is destroyed (Luke 22:69; Acts 2:33-36; Heb. 10:12, 13; 1Cor. 15:23-26).

When Jesus came the first time, the Jews missed it in seeking an earthly kingdom.  Futurists have embraced the same error.

The future inheritance of the kingdom is in heaven, not on earth. "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God" (1Cor. 15:50)


3.      The New Testament teaching that the “last days” began in the first century with John the Baptist is disregarded. (Dan. 2:28; Heb. 1:2; Ac. 2:16, 17; 1Pe. 1:19, 20; Isa. 2:2, 3 with Luke 24:47; 1John 2:18).  Instead, it is pushed far off thousands of years into the future.

A typical example is placing the “antichrist” off into the future.  John defines the “antichrist” as a “spirit” (1Jn. 4:3) and says that we know it is the last hour because many antichrists have arisen (1Jn. 2:18; 4:3).  He plainly says, “This is the antichrist” (1Jn. 2:22; 4:3; 2Jn. 7).  John is speaking of the Gnostic heresy that tried to infilter the church in his own time.     

The same is done with things Jesus said in Matthew 24.  Instead of hearing Christ’s words that we are not to be anxious about “wars and rumors of wars” for “the end is NOT yet” (24:6) they insist on pushing these off to the end of the world and using them as signs that Jesus is ready to come.  They disregard the plain statement of Jesus that, “in an hour that you think not the son of man comes” (Matt. 24:36-44) and seek signs to indicate when he is coming.

Likewise, they deny the obvious, that the “great tribulation” of Matthew 24 began with the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 (Matt. 23:32-36; 24:2, 15-22; Luke 21:20-24) or claim that in the future there will be a “secondary fulfillment.”  They claim that the destruction of Jerusalem and the subsequent sorrows of the Jews could not have been the greatest tribulation that ever has been in spite of the fact that it extended many centuries of them being driven from place to place (read Deut 28) and enduring the German Holocaust of the World War II.  The treading down of Jerusalem by Gentiles was finally brought to an end in 1967 when Israel won the Six Day War.


4.      It does not recognize Jesus’ kingdom was already present when Paul wrote during the first century.


Colossians 1:13   13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:


5.      It does not recognize that Christ will remain at the right hand of God until his enemies are made the footstool of his feet.  This will not be until death is destroyed after the thousand years is past, which rules out a thousand years sitting on an earthly throne.


Acts 2:30-35   30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;  31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.  32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.  33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.  34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,  35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.


1 Corinthians 15:23-26   23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.  24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.  26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.


Revelation 20:11-14  11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.


Revelation 21:1-5   And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.  4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.  5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.




1.      It makes the word of God ineffective in accomplishing its objective of triumphing over evil (Eph. 6:17 with 2Cor. 10:4 & Rev. 19:13).


2.      It makes the first coming of Jesus a failure in its purpose. 

Jesus set up His kingdom on Pentecost which was to grow to fill the whole earth. (Mk. 9:1; Lk. 24:47, 49; Ac. 1:3-8; 2:1-4; Mk. 1:15; Mt. 12:28; Lk. 11:20; 17:20, 21; Mk. 4:30, 31; Mt. 13:33; Col. 1:13-19; Eph. 2:19; 1Pe. 2:9, 10; Rev. 1:6, 9; Dan. 2:34, 38-44, 45; Dan. 7)


3.      It nullifies the Lordship of Christ as king received when he ascended.

 (Dan. 7; 9:24-27; Isa. 9:6, 7; Ac. 2:30, 33-36; Eph. 1:20-22; 1Cor. 15:26; Heb. 2:8, 9; Rom. 10:10; Heb. 1:5-9; Zech. 6:12, 13; Psa. 110:1-4; Heb. 5:6, 10; 6:20; 7:1-3, 11-28; 8:1-13)


4.   Like the Jews who rejected him, it clings to the materialistic concept that his kingdom must be of this world, whereas Jesus said it was not of this world and would not come with observation (Jn. 6:15; 18:36; Dan. 7: Lk. 17:20, 21)


5.   It conflicts with the scriptures that teach that the enemies of Christ will be raised and see him when he comes. (Rev. 1:7; Matt. 26:64; Jn. 5:28, 29; Matt. 12:41, 42; 1Jn. 2:28; Matt. 25:1-12)  Rev. 20:5 indicates they are raised after the 1,000 years.


6.   It conflicts with scriptures that indicate the earth will pass away at his coming.  (Rev. 20:13; 2Pe. 3:3-13; Matt. 24:35-44; Lk. 17:23-37; Job 14:12)


7.      It conflicts with scriptures that indicate the judgment takes place at his coming.  (Rev. 20:12-15; 2Thes. 1:6-10; Matt. 16:27; 25:31-46; Rom. 2:5-9.





All three views have difficulties.  When trying to decipher symbols, uncertainties are inevitable.  However, after careful consideration, the historicist view seems to fit the best.

In any case, whether or not we can decode everything, the most important thing that all can understand is that God is in control.  Jesus is coming again. He will triumph in the end.


Rev 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely… 20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.


[1] Eusebius, Church History, Book III, Chap. 23 “Narrative Concerning John the Apostle, 6, --Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 1, p.150

Also, Clemens Alexandrinus, “Who Is The Rich Man” #42 – Ante Nicene Fathers, Vol. 2.

[2] --Irenaeus, “Against Heresies,” Book 5, Chap. 30, 3, in his discussion of the number and name of the Antichrist.  Anti-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1, p.559-560. (Ages Digital Library, p.1122)

[3] Nicene & Post-Nicene Fathers, Series 2, (Ages Digital Library 233).

[4] Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 2, p. 603, “Salvation of the Rich Man,”  #42  (also Ages Digital Library, p.1221)

[5] Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 7, p.341

[6] Jerome, “Treatises”, “Against Jovinianus” Book 1, #26 (Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, 2nd Series, Vol. 6)

[7] Gibbons, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, chap. 38, “The Reign of Clovis” part 2, paragraph 7

[8] Gibbons, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 3, chap. 38, “The Reign of Clovis” part 2, paragraph 7

[9] History of the Christian Church, by Philip Schaff, Vol. 4, Chap. 4, Section 58, “Survey of the History of the Roman Empire,” under  “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”

[10] Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 7, p.359

[11] Gibbons, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Book 3, Chap. 38, “The Reign of Clovis” part 2, paragraph 7

[12] Conceded by Arthur M. Ogden

 The Avenging Of The Apostles And Prophets, p.9 (Bottom)

[13] Nicene & Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol.1, p.239 (Eusebius Church History,

Book V, Chap. XX, 6.)


[14] Nicene & Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1, p.222 (Ages Digital Library, Vol. 1, p.306)

   (Eusebius Church History, book 5, chap. 8, 6.)   

[15] Clemens of Alexandria “Who is the Rich Man” #42 (Anti Niceene Fathers, Vol 2.)

[16] Jerome, Principle Works, Treatises, Against Jovinianus, Book 1, #26 (Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, 2nd Series, Vol. 8)

[17] Ibid

[18] Eusebius, Church History, Book III, Chap. 23 “Narrative Concerning John the Apostle, 6, --Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 1, p.150

Also, Clemens Alexandrinus, “Who Is The Rich Man” #42 – Ante Nicene Fathers, Vol. 2

[19] Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol.1, p.559 (Ages Digital Library, Vol. 1,: p.1121-1122)

   (Irenaeus Against Heresies, book 5., chap. 30:3.)

[20]  Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol.5, p.215 (Ages Digital Library, Vol 5, p.445)

    (Hippolytus, disciple of Irenaeus, A.D. 170-236, Part 2, Treatise on Christ and Antichrist, par. 50.)