DISTANT EVENTS IN REVELATION?

DistantPMT 2015-037 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I often receive e-mail questions from readers. Here is a good question from Micah Thompson:

Question

“I have appreciated your teachings regarding Revelation. Through personal study, I came to believe that each book of the Bible was written to benefit those of its day and to which it was written, otherwise it really didn’t make much sense excluding, of course, the redemptive weave throughout the OT. So when I was given your presentation I felt it was confirmed even more.

The question I did have is in regard to Revelation. Since John did say “shortly” in the beginning and ending as you mentioned: Is there anything in between those chapters that we could speculate could still happen or is yet to happen other than the return of Christ?

Do you feel all the apocalyptic language stuff has ALREADY happened since it does fall between the beginning and ending chapters?

Answer

This is an important question, both for understanding Revelation and explaining its preterist orientation. How are we to understand these declarations? And do they prohibit any and all reference to the distant future?

As a matter of fact, I do see some historical events in Rev that stretch beyond its near-term time frames. By the very nature of the case, these are rare, since John brackets both ends of his prophetic work with near-term indicators. But these do exist.


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Provide deep insights into both dispensationalism’s errors, as well biblical eschatology itself.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


I believe that Rev 20 is the one place where the reader is taken into the distant future from John’s day. In fact, I believe we are taken through history to the very end. Let me explain.

In Rev 20 we read six times of a thousand-year period of time. This clearly points beyond the near term and projects out into the distant future. Whatever John means by his reference to the “thousand years,” he surely cannot mean a short period of time. In Scripture a thousand years is deemed a long time. And the number “one thousand” pictures an enormous number, even where it is not understood literally.

For instance, when the Psalmist has God state that “the cattle on a thousands” are Mine (Psa 50:10), he is most definitely not having the Lord state: “I own a few cattle here and there.” And when he declares for himself and his own comfort that “a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside” (Psa 84:10), he surely is not stating that “a day in Your courts is better than five or six days outside.” Obviously, when a thousand of something is mentioned, it indicates a very large number.

In Psa 90:4 we read: “For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it passes by, Or as a watch in the night.” So that which is an enormously long period for us on earth, is but a flash for the eternal God. But he would not say: “For three and one-half years in your sight is like yesterday.”That would not be impressive.

This is true of the one thousand year period in Rev 20. The thousand year reign of Christ must indicate an enormously long reign. And indeed, most non-dispensationalist or non-premillennialist scholars hold that the this period represents Christian history from the first century to the last, whenever that may be.

Consequently, we must understand John to be making a rare breech of his time-constraints. And this is for the purpose of looking at the long-term consequences of the near-term events. Since he is writing to a martyr church, he is basically encouraging them: Your persecutors will have their day, and it will all be over. But you will be taken up into heaven where you will exercise Christ’s authority through to the end of history. Therefore, hang in there!


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A biblical and historical argument for Nero being the beast of Revelation.
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We must recognize, however, that the thousand years of Rev 20 actually begin in the first century. In fact, I believe they begin in the context of AD 70. Upon the judgment of the beast (Nero’s death) in AD 68) and the collapse of the temple and th false prophet (the high-priesthood) in AD 70, the martyred Christians will be exercising rule in heaven with Christ.

When you compare Rev 6:9 with Rev 20:4 you will note the strong parallels of words and sentiment. In Rev 6:11 the martyrs are told they must wait only “a little while longer,” i.e., until the conclusion of the judgment of Israel. In another study Iwill show how Rev 20:4 is the fulfillment of the prayer in Rev 6:10: “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood”?

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3 thoughts on “DISTANT EVENTS IN REVELATION?

  1. Ed Sumner March 25, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    Chilioi is a very important word. If John had meant exactly 1000 years, he would have used chilios. The 1000 years can also be contrasted with the ‘mikros chronos’ given to Satan at the end of the 1000 years.

    Most post-mils forget that the 1000 years has an ending, however. It is NOT the Kingdom of God; the Kingdom of God is in men’s hearts, It is PUT THERE by the Holy Spirit as they are given the Gospel during the 1000 years.The 1000 years is the fulfillment of Isaiah 2; it is the time when the Great Commission is fulfilled by the Church militant, whilst Christ and the Neronian martyrs rule from the New Jerusalem (Heb 12). How do I know that only the Neronian martyrs are meant in Rev 20? because the Neronian martyrs were the only martyrs capable of taking the Mark of the Beast.

    I personally believe that the 1000 years is up. This is why we are seeing the things we’re seeing going on the world. God’s church (Israel) has become a land of unwalled villages, letting in everything in the name of “love”, while the godless attack the Scripture, God, Christ and his Faithful People (the camp of the saints) in the Earth.

  2. Richard Stals March 31, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Hi Ed – I sincerely hope you’re wrong, otherwise the Millenial Kingdom pretty muck sucked, and failed to meet many of the promises I read about in the scriptures.

  3. Ed Sumner March 31, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    Well RIchard, if you mean that it failed to meet YOUR EXPECTATIONS of the Millennium, you’re right. If you mean the Bible’s EXPECTATIONS, it fulfilled every one of them. The nations came to the Lord. Disciples were made of all nations. Many nations became Christian. The elect were gathered from the four corners of the earth. The Gospel went all over the world and covered the earth as the waters covered the sea. While not everyone was saved, those whom God chose WERE, which is just what Jesus said in Mt 24. After the tribulation of those days (70 AD) his messengers (Gr: angelos, which may be used of either men OR supernatural beings) went everywhere and the Glory of Nations (the Elect) came in.

    Christ and the martyrs rule from the heavenly Jerusalem, not the earthly one.

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