Revelation 20: the complete fulfillment of the Old Covenant?

Posted: 28th October 2007 by ElShaddai Edwards in Uncategorized

If you missed the link in the comments on “Sheol and the Resurrection of the Dead“, be sure to check out Steve’s new article at Undeception about “The Millennium and the Resurrection of the Dead“. It’s a well-stated argument for the full preterist position that the events described in Revelation 20 are the fulfillment of the Old Covenant and the Law. Steve’s conclusion is worth quoting, but be sure to read the entire article – it is challenging, but full of fruit!

[…] regardless of one’s view on the nature of the Resurrection, the timing is crystal clear: the fulfillment of God’s promises to Old Covenant Israel were to be completed at the same time the New Covenant was established. The final Resurrection is everywhere presented as the completion of a covenant, and the Christian age established at AD 70 has no end. Now, I could cite several irrefutable attestations of the eternality of the New Covenant in both the Old and the New Testament, and one would be hard-pressed to come up with Scriptures that say otherwise. None of Jesus’ parables that speak of the Kingdom of God make a distinction between a Kingdom coming in forty years and another coming in 2,000 or more years. Yet this is exactly what is mandated when you postulate a still futurized eschatological judgment event!

Summary

  • The Resurrection at the end of the age belongs to Old Covenant Israel and belongs to her last days.
  • Israel’s promises had to be fulfilled before the Law could pass (“not one jot or tittle”).
  • The time of the harvest (Matt 13) was fulfilled at AD 70.
  • The Resurrection in 1 Cor 15 correlates with the end of the Law, and thus pertained to the fulfillment of Old Covenant Israel’s promises.
  • The final Resurrection of the living and the dead cannot pertain to the end of the Christian age because the Christian age has no end.
  • There is no Scripture that supports a yet future event in which the Son of Man comes, resurrects the dead, and pronounces judgment.
  • The final Resurrection of the living and the dead cannot pertain to the end of the Christian age because the Christian age has no end.

Overall, it’s a powerful argument and one that I could have a lot of sympathy for… I will look forward to digging into the numerous texts that Steve cites to follow it in greater detail.

  1. James Pate says:

    Something just doesn’t set right with me. The resurrection occurred in the first century? I read the link. He interprets the resurrection as the first century saints going to heaven, right? As in their souls going to heaven? Or maybe their bodies changed into an invisible spiritual form and went to heaven.

  2. Steve says:

    Did you see the related post called simply “The Resurrection of the Dead”? There I explain:

    “The Resurrection of the Dead was the spirit’s quickening and subsequent transformation to immortality (or ‘incorruptibility’, see 1 Cor 15:53,54).”

    All who had died before were brought to life and judged and the living were changed. Here’s 1 Cor 15:51-53:

    Listen, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep [notice Paul’s expectation that it would happen within his lifetime], but we shall all be changed — in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.

  3. James Pate says:

    But was the Spirit ever perishable? Paul talks in I Corinthians 15 about a bodily resurrection–our perishable bodies are changed into immortal spiritual bodies.

  4. Steve says:

    Paul said that the “perishable” (mortal man) would be clothed with imperishable (a quickened, immortal spirit). When Paul said in Romans 8:8, “those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Does this mean that those who have physical bodies cannot please God? No – the Hebrew mind thought, as Greek scholar A.T. Robinson put it, that “Man does not have a body, he is a body.” Christians don’t have to shuffle off this mortal coil in order to please God – our spirits only have to be made alive. Jesus put it this way:

    “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death unto life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will he His voice and come forth — those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” (John 5:24-29)

    I am proud to admit that I stole most of this from this webpage (ed. Steve, I edited the link so that it works and removed your follow up comment with the URL). Let me know what you think of it.

    Thanks for the interaction!

  5. Steve says:

    I appreciate it, ElShaddai.