50 Failed Predictions? – #1


Here’s the first of my replies to Brian’s contentions. I’ve put a 50 Failed Predictions? link under featured articles so all posts in this series are easy to find.


1. The bodies and souls of the wicked were not thrown into Gehenna (Matt. 10: 28).

Gehenna was the Valley of Hinnom. It was the site of the child sacrifices before the exile. The Lord atoned for this shedding of innocent blood to false gods by filling it with the bodies of the idolaters—a mass grave. Then the Land was ceremonially clean. Fittingly, Ge-Hinnom was the site of Jeremiah’s terrifying threats in Jeremiah 18, which Paul draws upon in Romans 9:21.

Jesus’ context in Matthew 10 is the witness of the apostles. They too would be slaughtered—more innocent blood to appease the synagogue of Satan that Herodian worship would become. Because the Herods “revived” the slaughters of Tophet (begun with the slaughter of the innocent infant boys), Jesus would revive the Valley of Hinnom and fill it with corpses under Rome as He did under Nebuchadnezzar.

The point of His comment is that the apostles would be resurrected—the first resurrection. They would ascend robed in fire and smoke as the first goat of atonement. But the rest of the dead would not be revived until the second resurrection. Like Judas before them, Judah would be sent by Christ from the supper of the Lamb.

Just as Judas the man pictured the fate of Judah the nation, Herod was “eaten with worms” on his throne as a human Gehenna.

See also Children of Tophet,  The Altar of the Abyss – 4, The Rest of the Dead.


2. The beast wasn’t taken alive at the destruction of Jerusalem (Rev. 19: 20). According to Prets, he committed suicide in A.D. 68.

This is a fantastic observation. It highlights where many preterists go wrong in identification of the man of sin, the Land Beast. The man of sin is a blemished “Adam”, one who stands before God as a mediator without an acceptable shedding of blood. Instead of a “Land-Man”, Herod’s Jew-Gentile hybrid kingdom was a “Land-Beast.” Nero’s Rome was the Sea Beast, empowered by Satan to slay the saints after Jewish persectution and false doctrine failed to halt the progress of the Jew-Gentile church.

The Bible begins with Adam, Eve and the serpent as “heads” of the Creation in the Garden Tabernacle. It ends with the fullgrown “bodies” of these three–a false prophet, a harlot and  beast in Herod’s completed but corrupt Temple. The structure of Revelation 19, like all of Revelation, follows the Bible matrix pattern. The lake of fire appears where the Laver should be. The true sons of God stand on the crystal sea, purified by the Laver. For the false sons, the “holy water” is like acid.

See also The Man of Sin, That Which is Perfect, The Second Death.


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10 Responses to “50 Failed Predictions? – #1”

  • Caleb Land Says:

    As someone new to partial-preterism I’m really looking forward to seeing you answer the 50 failed predictions. Thanks for the work.

  • Brian Simmons Says:

    Hi Mike,

    Wow, I didn’t think you were going to start this series so soon. However, I’ll look forward to reading your answers.

    Just a few preliminary remarks to kick this thing off. You stated that Gehennna is the valley of Hinnom. This is correct, but you overlook the fact that Christ used it to set forth a literal hell into which resurrected bodies will be cast when He returns.

    Please read Mark 9: 48. Christ is referring to the prophecy of Isaiah 66: 23-24, where it says that from one new moon to another, all flesh shall worship before Him, and shall go forth to LOOK UPON the carcases of transgressors. The preceding context fixes this at the Day of the Lord, when the Lord comes to plead with all flesh (see Is. 66: 15-16). The passage contains language similar to that in Revelation 19. The heathen armies are gatherered together, and punished at the Lord’s second coming, immediately before He sets up the kingdom (cf. Isaiah 24: 23-24). All the fowls are filled with the flesh of the heathen armies (Ezek. 39: 17-21). Then from one new moon to another, the wicked will burn, and all who go to the feast of tabernacles (per Zech. 14: 16) will see their corpses. You seem to be denying the doctrine of a literal hell in which resurrected bodies will be consigned. IMO this is very dangerous false doctrine.

    As for Herod being a “human Gehenna,” I think you are reading more into the Scriptures than is actually there. However, even so, you must concede that the worms by which Herod was eaten were LITERAL worms, and not figurative worms! So you have not dealt with my first point of contention. In what manner were Matthew 10: 28 and Isaiah 66: 23-24 fulfilled in A.D. 70????

    Secondly, you state that Nero’s Rome was the sea beast. And yet you missed my point completely. The sea beast is given power for 3 1/2 years exactly (Rev. 13: 5). These are the last 3 1/2 years of the age. Compare with Daniel 7: 25. The beast is destroyed at Christ’s second advent (Rev. 19: 20), which you say happened in A.D. 70. So according to your view the beast had to be in operation from A.D. 67-70. But Nero committed suicide in A.D. 68… and Rome was NOT destroyed or put down in A.D. 70. So again, in what manner was the beast cast alive into the lake of fire at the destruction of Jerusalem???

    Thirdly, you implied that the apostles were all resurrected in A.D. 70. Does this mean that John was translated without seeing death?? Read 1 Cor. 15: 51-52. John was one of the twelve apostles! Church history puts it beyond question that he died a natural death in the first years of the second century. So why wasn’t John resurrected and/or raptured along with the rest of the apostles??????

    I heartily look forward to your reply!

    Peace & Health,


  • Mike Bull Says:

    Hi Brian
    Good points.

    Regarding Isaiah, although the prophets do prefigure the (first century) coming of the Messianic age, their prophecies relate to the death and resurrection of “Davidic” Israel. Their language constantly draws on previous history, such as the defeat of Amalek.
    See How to Read the Prophets:

    Their prophecies, like Revelation, and like those of Christ, are written in the “Tabernacle” language. The structure has the throne of God on the Edenic mountain, the Adamic mediators in the Temple-Garden halfway down, springs under the Garden flowing into rivers for the nations, and the wild “Gentile” sea. False worship takes place at the bottom of the mountain, the Altar in the Abyss, or Gehenna. These prophecies all take place within this cosmic-Temple “stage” set up in Genesis.
    See Jesus in the Theatre of God:

    The subject of the first cycle in Isaiah 66 is the hyprocritical worship of the Temple. So those bodies in Gehenna were the bodies of the idolaters. Jeremiah 8 pictures their bones scattered (rather than ‘gathered’) under the stars they worshipped. The language is often figurative because these prophecies follow the structures of worship services, as does Revelation.
    See Bad Tabernacle in Isaiah 66:
    The second cycle concerns the Restoration era, particularly the book of Esther.

    I don’t deny a literal hell. The historical Gehenna, at the base of the mountain of God, is its type, just as the historical Zion was only a type of the true mountain of God, and the Tabernacle and Temple only types of the heavenly court. The literal Gehenna had literal fire and literal worms.

    Nero was not the beast. The Jewish king/kingdom was the Land-beast, with its harlot and false prophet. The Roman government became the Sea beast. Rome itself was a body for Satan, beginning with Nero but ending with Titus. Satan used it to destroy the saints, but God used it to destroy the harlot. After AD70, this “ministry” of Rome was no more. There is more to this, related to the four Gentile kingdoms in Daniel being “guardians” for the people of God (as Rome is in Acts). In AD70, the final guardian was removed from its post because the complete “body” was now in heaven. See Jordan on this. I have some articles around here as well.

    After AD70, there were still Romans and there were still Jews. But not with any “official” capacity in the kingdom of God. The Jew/Gentile distinction, and the oikoumene “Tabernacle” set up in Daniel, were no more. As mentioned in the post, the lake of fire is a Laver-of-wrath that purifies false worship. It was Herodian worship that led to the Roman “cherub” becoming a persecuting force. These texts must be viewed within this context. Just as Satan temporarily took the body of a serpent in the Garden, he took a body in Rome.
    See Totus Diabolus.

    I do believe John was translated when the other apostles and OT saints were resurrected. It is implied in a number of places. And there is a lot in church history that is questionable. Irenaeus gets a lot of facts wrong.

    Unfortunately this approach means taking driveby shots at things. I wrote Totus Christus to give people the whole picture as it is gradually constructed, beginning in Genesis. By the time the book gets to the Revelation, we have seen it all before and it makes perfect sense.

    Kind regards,

  • Brian Simmons Says:

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the response. However, you have not dealt with any of the Scriptures I gave you. Isaiah 66 is eschatological in nature, and involves the “new heavens and earth.” See also Isaiah 66: 7-8, which contains a reference to Israel’s time of travail (a technical expresion always used in the O.T. to denote the Great Tribulation). Isaiah 66: 23-24 clearly states that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, they shall go forth and look upon the carcases. Christ quoted this prophecy in Mark 9 — which all Christians understand as a literal punishment of the wicked. If Christ returned in A.D. 70, then the wicked are in Gehenna now — both body and soul. See Daniel 12: 2. For obvious reasons, I hold these texts to be yet future. I believe that when Christ returns, the Millennial worshipers will literally see the carcases of the wicked, just like the inspired text says.

    Then you claim that the Roman government became the sea beast, and that its “ministry” ended in A.D. 70. But you have not shown me HOW the beast was cast alive into the lake of fire in A.D. 70. You are playing fast and loose with language. According to you, the false prophet was physically and nationally punished in A.D. 70. But Rome was not punished in any real sense, only her “protection” of God’s people ended?? Both the beast and false prophet are TAKEN ALIVE and cast into the lake of fire at Christ’s return. Their punishment is exactly the same.

    Then you say that John was raptured in A.D. 70. My dear sir, you and James Jordan have created an entirely new kind of Christianity. All church history bears witness to the fact that John lived to a ripe old age. Frankly, I cannot discount the testimony of someone like Irenaeus who was a successor of those who knew John the Apostle himself! In claiming that the entire early church was wrong on the subject of the resurrection, you have conceded the victory to Hyper-Preterists. Game over.

    This will be my last comment on your blog, since I don’t want to appear to be bickering with you at your own site. I’ll be posting my responses at Hyper-Preterist Times from now on. Looking forward to the rest of the series.


  • Mike Bull Says:


    From memory, Irenaeus also said Jesus lived into his forties.

    Gehenna is the Valley of Hinnom. What do you think Jesus’ audience would have understood by it? The context is a fresh destruction of Jerusalem for breaking the Covenant. I guess the bodies around Jerusalem were plenty visible.

    The context of Daniel 12 is a new heavenly government, new “stars”, new children of Abraham.

    You want a literal animal thrown into the lake of fire. Where is your literal animal rising up out of the sea? As mentioned, the “landscape” is the Temple architecture. All the prophets use it.

    I don’t think Jordan believes in a physical resurrection in AD70, though he does see the OC saints entering into the heavenly country.

    Your responses are not bickering at all! You make great points, but I believe the problems are due to our modern failure to understand the “stage” within which these events are spoken as liturgy before they are played out in history.

    I have not conceded the victory to hyperpreterists at all. I take the imminent texts as imminent. But we are given two resurrections, and their failure to deal with this is similar to the partials’ failure to deal with the imminence of the first resurrection.

  • Mike Bull Says:

    Also, on Isaiah’s and Peter’s use of the phrase “a new heaven and new land”, see:

  • Drew Says:

    I don’t really understand why you would want to assume that John didn’t die. I’ve never even heard the idea before that the apostles alread physically resurrected; it sounds a little outlandish. The First Resurrection could easily just be talking about conversion. And I also just don’t see what the point would be in an early physical resurrection because believers could certainly experience heaven even without a resurrected body. John and Paul both experienced heaven before even dying. The idea therefore seems both outlandish and unnecessary.

  • Mike Bull Says:


    I do understand that. However, what we are faced with is trying to dampen or qualify the urgent tone of the entire apostolic ministry and its promise of resurrection. The hypers are right to criticise us for this.

    Given the Garden, Land, World pattern, which runs irrefutably throughout the Old Testament into the New, we are then left with a physical resurrection in the Garden and World but not the Land.

    These two factors combined are two witnesses. To deny a first century flesh and blood resurrection (especially for the OT saints) breaks a pattern that underlies all of Scripture and is founded in the very Trinity itself.

    Resurrection is linked with vengeance. Jesus is the Redeemer/Avenger. When the blood of Abel was finally avenged, Abel was redeemed.

  • Drew Says:

    Then who got to participate in the first Resurrection? Just the apostles? All really righteous Christians? If the former, then that would seem kinda unfair. If the latter, then it would seem like God was shooting his own church in the foot by rapturing away all the positive influences.

  • Mike Bull Says:


    That is a good question.

    It’s about developing maturity and wisdom through trial. He gives us the Word (as He did with Adam), leaves us alone to figure out the implications, then returns to assess our work.

    Why else would God encourage theological debate, writing the Bible the way He has so we have to wrestle with it? Chewing meat makes strong gums. No debate means atrophied limbs.


    Some links: