BREAKING NEWS! New studies of Revelation 20 prove there is no pre-tribulation rapture and preterism simply cannot be true!
Jokes aside, this is why I personally cannot believe in a pre-trib rapture or a preteristic view of Revelation. 

 

Revelation 20

Verse 1-3 “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. 2 And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3 and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer,”

 

It is important to see the timeline here. This event happens after the Second Coming and the destruction of the beast of Revelation 13. This 1000 years cannot be spiritualised to mean a time during 70 AD or to have started at the Cross since this event clearly only takes place after the Cross and after 70 AD.

 

Verse 4-6 “Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.”

 

This verse reveals an important timeline sequence: First the Great Tribulation, then the first resurrection, then the 1000 years. It has the first resurrection happening after the Great Tribulation. If a pre-trib rapture is true then the first resurrection needs to happen before the Tribulation.

 

This first resurrection includes all the righteous throughout time, even though the verse mainly emphasizes the martyrs and believers of the Great Tribulation.

 

Christ has just return to earth to destroy the beast and his kingdom (Revelation 19:11-21) and he brought his saints with him. 1 Corinthians 15:50-53 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 shows this first resurrection happening just as Christ is returning. These martyrs coming to life is at the time of this first resurrection. (There are only two resurrections described in Scripture. The first is for believers and the second is for unbelievers who come back to life to face judgment in Revelation 20:11-15. The only timeline plausible for these saints to come back to life is in the first resurrection just as Christ is returning.)

 

It’s important to see the timeline here. First there is the Great Tribulation, then the first resurrection, then the Second Coming of Christ, then the 1000 year reign of Christ with his people. Some people try to spiritualize the 1000 year reign as taking place starting from the Cross. This cannot be since the Great Tribulation has to happen first.

 

Some people try to spiritualize the resurrection saying this is the new creation experience for every believer since the Cross. This cannot be since the Great Tribulation has to happen first and only then the first resurrection, return and 1000 year reign. Spiritualizing the millennium to mean the new creation experience for every believer is unfaithful to the timeline given.

 

This resurrection is a literal and physical resurrection of all the righteous dead who will rise up into glorification and immortality to reign with Christ. This is something that has yet to happen and therefore shows that a futuristic view of Revelation is the most accurate and only way to interpret the book.

 

Verse 7-10 “And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth,Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. 9 And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, 10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

 

This 1000 year reign may be figurative but it certainly seems more literal. It sounds like it happens just the way Scripture is describing it. It doesn’t fit into our general understanding of how most people think the end is going to happen, yet it is us who are supposed to fit in with Scripture not the other way round.

 

What is important to see is again the timeline. This ending of the 1000 years and satan’s time coming to an end and being cast into the lake of fire happens only at the end of the 1000 year reign. This millennium happens after the Return of Christ, which happens after the Great Tribulation. Revelation very clearly gives us a timeline so if we are going to spiritualise the millennium we still need to do it within the correct timeline.

 

You cannot say that this is referring to satan being defeated and thrown into the lake of fire at the Cross. That simply doesn’t fit since the Great Tribulation, the first resurrection and the Second Coming of Christ have to all happen first and in sequence with the timeline given.

 

This ultimate destruction of satan is yet to happen. So to say that this has happened already in the past at the Cross or in 70AD simply does not fit the timeline even if we were spiritualizing everything.

 

Again this all shows that a future interpretation of Revelation is the only one that fits the timeline given.

 

Verse 11 - 15 “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. 13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

 

Directly after satan being destroyed we see the second resurrection taking place. This is an event that affects all unrighteous mankind from the start of time. This has yet to happen in the future.

 

On a side note, this verse is evidence of a number of things that many today try to get rid of. It shows that universalism is unbiblical. It shows that hell is real, and that hell is eternal, and that real people are going to go there. This is the same lake of fire where the beast, false prophet and satan are sent to. These cannot be spiritualized. They are all literal and this will physically happen to all the unrighteous in the future at the final Great White Throne judgment of Christ.

 

If you are faithful to the timeline given in Revelation you will see that all of these things cannot be spiritualized to have taken place at the Cross or around 70 AD. All these events are connected to each other and are in sequence. This Great White Throne judgement happens only after the second resurrection, which happens only after the final destruction of satan, which happens only after the millennium, which happens only after the return of Christ and the destruction of the beast and false prophet, which happens only after the first resurrection, which happens only after the Great Tribulation, which happens only after the emergence of the beast and false prophet which is all yet to happen.

 

These things could not have happened at the Cross or in 70 AD nor when a believer gets born again. You would have to deliberately ignore the timeline and all the details in order to convince someone it has all spiritually taken place.

 

You cannot have the beast emerging in 70 AD but then only being destroyed thousands of years later when Christ returns since this beast is a person and cannot live for 2000 years. Since Christ only destroys him upon his return it proves we have yet to see this beast emerge and have yet to see the Great Tribulation take place. (Revelation 13 uses the words "him", "he" and “his" to describe this beast clearly showing its a real person and not a system or belief.)

 

You cannot have Christ returning in 70 AD to reign for a figurative millennium but at the same time not have the first resurrection of all the righteous saints take place. This first resurrection, which the Bible clearly describes as a literal event, is the cut off point for people to be saved. After this resurrection there is no longer any opportunity for people to be saved. The next and final resurrection is the second resurrection in which the unrighteous are raised to face judgement. There has still been lots of opportunity for people to get saved since 70 AD and we have yet to see the first resurrection taking place. Therefore it is impossible for the millennium to have begun at the Cross or around 70 AD.

 

Partial preterism separates all the events preceding the return of Christ (chapters 4-19) with the actual return of Christ and that which follows (chapters 20-22) by placing thousands of years in between.

 

Full preterism also separates chapters 4-19 from 20-22 by claiming all the events of chapters 20-22 spiritually happened either at the Cross or after the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem in 70 AD.

 

In both cases the timeline of Revelation 20-22 shows that neither is plausible. For instance the beast and his activities that take place in Revelation 13 during the Great Tribulation is the same beast that is destroyed upon Christ’s return in Revelation 19. The saints who rise in the first resurrection in Revelation 20 are the martyrs who were killed during the Great Tribulation and did not take the mark of the beast of Revelation 13. These saints come alive for the millennial reign of Christ. And only at the end of this millennium is satan destroyed, not at the Cross or AD 70.

 

In conclusion if you study the timeline of Revelation 20 you will see that a pre-tribulation rapture and a preteristic view simply do not fit.

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