Stephen Whitsett BA
Giving an orthodox apologetic answer for Preterism / Dispensationalism
#4. Revelation 22.20 "“Surely I am coming soon.” To them
it demands he had to come with in their Generation and not some two thousand years later.
When we deal with the expectations of John we can also include every disciple. It would seem silly that Jesus would have spoken of His return and yet for any disciple not to believe he was coming back within their lifetime or not would be a unreasonable expectation. Yet none of the original disciples saw 70 AD except for John. So to audience relevance it would be reasonable that language used by the disciples would render that feeling or belief of the “hope”.
“A cursory reading of the passages before us unavoidably leads even the casual reader to conclude that John expected the fulfillment of the prophecies within a very short period of time following his writing”.
The passage before us is Revelation 1.1,
“The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. …..and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.
In the original Greek, “what things must take place in quickness”
The Greek word “tachy ” implies two things, the events or the thing that must take place will happen in a short amount of time (for the elects sake) and secondly they will happen at their appointed time, they will not be delayed or something will slow down the timeline from the events happening when they are suppose to. From the cursory reading in English we do get the impression the things must take place quickly, but as we understand Revelation being written after 70 AD we see no other fulfillment in History. So we question how can it happen quickly after John saw the vision? It when we look at the Greek we see the idea of the author, John is missed in the English translation. There is no changing of the order of the words from their original placement in the Greek text, “what things must take place in quickness” In quickness is a prepositional phrase that describes how the verb is to happen, “take place” those things, will happen quickly, the events themselves, the verse mentions no time frame, as “following after” meaning John see’s the vision and then it is to happen right away.
In fact Mathew 24 dispels the notion of “Quickness”, “if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed”, the following two parables also relate an extended time between. Between what is the question, is it between when John saw the vision or after the destruction of Jerusalem to when Christ returns? In context it is referring to a time frame from after the destruction to His return being a
significant amount of time to where the “servants” do not believe he is returning. Peter refers to this as when “there will be scoffers in the last days saying where…” (2 Peter 3.3Open in Logos Bible Software (if available))
Now how do we answer, Revelation 22:7, 12,20
“And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.”
“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. ”
“He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus”.
Can we say the same thing that He comes with “quickness” adverb
tachu takh-oo': shortly, i.e. without delay, soon, or (by surprise) suddenly, or (by implication, of ease) readily -- lightly, quickly….”My coming will not be delayed” or “My coming is without delay” why is this important? I think again we are dealing with the idea that some people will believe His coming will “come” late or by the separation of time people will believe He is coming late. With Jesus repeating this phrase three times in Revelation 22 He is emphasizing His coming will be at the right time. Just as it has been emphasized “no man knows the day or the hour”.
Again by picking a definition or interpretation that is not consistent with scripture BUT consistent with
Preterist theology, they still do not prove an early date. “Soon” does not mean 70 AD specifically
AKA Full Preterism #5. Mathew 16.28 "Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” The "coming of the son of man" is about the second coming, therefore he had to come in their lifetime.
The Tittle or name Christ gave himself was "son of man" and is understood by all from Daniel it meant a "god" like person, as "son of man" was seen walking in the fiery furnace and it was the "son of man" who was presented before the "ancient of days" in Daniel 7.
A Kingdom then is an "authority" one walks in. Christ told them the kingdom had come among them when he was casting out demons from people. He had the authority over the spiritual and physical realms that came from His father. The "coming of the Kingdom" came with Christ when he began His ministry. Not 40 some years later. There is also another sense that Christ came in humbleness to the father and after the His death and resurrection God highly exalted Him and Christ began to rule over the whole kingdom when he ascended back into his fathers presence and took His seat at the right hand.
"some will not taste death" gives us a time statement that we can understand. It clearly points to the idea some of the disciples would be dead and some would see "son of man coming in his kingdom" When we look at history we see that in 70 AD many of the disciples were all ready "asleep" while John, seems to be the only remaining disciple still alive, which does not qualify for some, unless we broaden the term to mean not just the specific twelve but also any disciple as "some standing here" was possibly not just the twelve. If we have to say then it happened before the majority of the twelve had died it would place "his coming" between 33 AD and before 70 AD.
27For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. 28Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
The "coming IN His kingdom" in this sense is his ascending to his father forty days after His resurrection. This is not a return, or the coming of Judgment on 70 AD but Christ "coming into his place to rule" as history and scriptures bear out they experienced no return as written in scriptures and many were killed by 66AD. Of the disciples only John was left which does not qualify as "some". The only coming then is the coming into His fathers kingdom to rule as "paraphrased from Daniel 7.13-14, "coming into His fathers presence" to rule. Because he ascended and rules as the "son of man" then judgment comes from His throne. So one day He will return in Judgment to repay each person for what they had done. Judgment will also come in the form of what happened in 70 AD to Jerusalem.
Simplistically speaking Because Christ ascended the throne as Judge, he would one day return as judge, and there would be some who saw him ascend to His throne, but it does
not say some would see him descend to come in the judgment of 70 AD.
Daniel specifies this is Christ coming into the fathers throne room, into HIS presence which begs the question, "where was he at that he "comes' into the fathers presence?
13“I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. 14And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.
When does this "ascending" happen?
9“As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow,
and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire. 10A stream of fire issued
and came out from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him;
the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened.
For the Great White Throne judgment!! (Rev 20)
The passage then from Mathew 26 comes into full understanding
63But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.”
When Christ told them they would see him again, coming on clouds, is when they will stand before him and be judged by HIM!! And they knew what he was speaking of when he called himself the "son of Man" in their understanding the son of Man WAS "GOD' WHO JUDGED.
This could also rightly mean they would witness the coming of Judgment from him upon them in the destruction of 70 AD as the temple was destroyed around them.
Every PRETERIST ASSOCIATE THIS PASSAGE WITH 70 AD AS THEY CLAIM THIS IS WHEN HE CAME, AS IF IT IS PROOF OF "THIS GENERTION" but the passage is not about his second coming at all, its about his ascension into heaven and judgment that comes from Him. NOT his personal coming.
His physical second coming is not about judgment on Jerusalem and the nation of Israel but judgment against the nations who come against his beloved city