50 Failed Predictions? – #3


6. Jesus Christ was not judge of the quick and the dead, because (according to preterists) He only judged the dead.

Jesus judged between the living and the dead in AD70. The true bride and the false bride were bodies of living people. Of course, part of the true bride was the Old Covenant saints (those “under the Altar”) who were dead.

The context of Acts 10:42 is Christ’s resurrection and ascension. Jesus, as judge, opened the New Covenant scroll (Rev. 4-5). The gospel “horsemen” brought both the taste of life and the taste of death to those living. It began the New Covenant in earnest (Pentecost) and also began the end of the Old.

It was the same with David and Saul. The anointing of David meant the end of Saul—eventually. The ascension of Christ meant the end of the Herods. Metaphorically, they were dead already.

And of course, contrary to hyperpreterists, Christ WILL judge the dead—and Satan, on the last day. Like Cain, they have been put on hold. They’ll keep.

7. The “mortal bodies” of the saints were not quickened by the Holy Spirit in A.D. 70. Romans 8: 11.

The context of Romans 8 is the first resurrection. See Peter Leithart here.

8. The saints were not delivered from “this body of death” (Romans 7: 24).

Paul’s context is Spirit-filled living, I believe. Although this leads into Romans 8. For Paul, Spirit-filled living and resurrection were connected. Christ would be vindicated not only in those who fulfilled the Law, but also in AD70 against those who abused the Law for their own ends.

9. The 12 apostles didn’t see Jesus return in A.D. 70 (Acts 1: 8-11). (Most of them were dead by that time).

They were resurrected, so they saw Him. See In The Air. On the “Tabernacle” cloud in Acts 1 and in AD68-70, see Not Just Any Old Cloud. Christ went to prepare a place for the martyred firstfruits church. At His ascension, He became the Most Holy in heaven. At their ascension, they replaced the angels in the Holy Place. Everything in the Tabernacle had always symbolised people. Now it was fulfilled. In AD70 it became a permanent Temple, firmly established on the mountain of God and no longer “flying around” as a tent. See Landing Gear.

Of course, the final, general resurrection, will fulfill the “courts of the Gentiles.” The entire world will then be a house for God.

10. The Sanhedrin didn’t see Jesus at the right hand of God (compare Matthew 26:64 with Acts 7:55-57).

This one’s a hum dinger. It will, I hope, make those who don’t read James Jordan realise not only what they are missing, but how much we are liable to misinterpret the words of Christ and His apostles because of our ignorance of the Torah.

Literary structure is everything when it comes to interpreting visions. Jesus is referring to Daniel 7, which follows the ritual of the Day of Atonement.

The “son of man” here is not only Christ, but also the firstfruits church as body. Daniel 7 follows the Day of Atonement, where the High Priest made two approaches to the Most Holy: one for the priesthood (bull’s blood) and one for Israel. The one “sitting” is the ascended Christ, who took His seat as Covenant Head. The one “coming” is the body, completing the totus Christus.

“…hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Daniel 7 follows this structure. In between these two “approaches”, the beast makes war with the saints. The second half of the chapter, the interpretation of the vision, follows the same pattern. Here, the second approach (one like a son of man) is very clearly the saints receiving the kingdom. From James Jordan’s The Handwriting on the Wall, pp. 338-339.

“The ritual is delineated in Leviticus 16. We read in verses 12–14 that the High Priest was to take coals from the fire of the Bronze Altar in the Courtyard. Then he was to fill the hollow of both his hands with incense, place it upon the coals, and carry this incense into the Holy of Holies directly before the Ark-Throne of Yahweh. This incense was most holy, or “holy of holy” (Exodus 30:34–38). Its ingredients were prescribed by God and it was used only in the Tabernacle/ Temple, which was a symbolic model of God’s heavens. The cloud of incense, thus, was a symbolic cloud of the heavens. Being “most holy” this incense could travel into the Most Holy room.

As the High Priest walked from the Altar on the earth upwards (symbolically) through the heavens and into the highest heavens, he did so accompanied by this heavenly cloud. Inside the Holy of Holies, the High Priest held the incense pan in one hand, and a bowl of blood in his other hand, from which he flicked with his finger blood toward the Ark-Throne. This blood was to cover his sins and those of the other priests (Leviticus 16:11)

After this, as a second ritual, the High Priest did the same thing with a goat slain for the sins of the people, taking incense into the Holy of Holies and sprinkling the blood of the goat before the Ark-Throne (Leviticus 16:15). After all the rituals were completed, the High Priest took off the garments he had been wearing, and put back on his garments of glory and beauty (Leviticus 16:23–24). These garments included the twelve tribes engraven on his shoulder stones and also on his twelve-stoned breastplate. In other words, the High Priest was given the kingdom on the Day of Coverings — he put the kingdom back on himself.

Now if we look back at Daniel 7:13–14, we see the same sequence. We see someone like Ezekiel, who was a kind of High Priest for the exilic community. This High Priest approaches Yahweh with the clouds of heaven. Then he is given a kingdom that will never pass away.

We must remember that the High Priest represented the people. The High Priest is the son of man, and the people are those who are like this son of man. In Leviticus 16, the High Priest comes with heavenly incense clouds first for himself, and then he comes a second time for the people.

Thus, there are two cloudy ascensions in Leviticus 16, the first of the son of man, and the second of those who are like the son of man.

In Daniel 7:13, the one like a son of man does not come riding upon heavenly clouds. He is not a cloud-rider. He is not a “divine figure”. No, he comes with heavenly clouds, and can be recognised as the High Priest, or rather, as those who are like the High Priest. In Daniel 7, the Ancient of Days, the Cloud-Rider, has already arrived. We are not surprised, then, to read that the one like a son of man is identified not with any particular person, such as the coming Messiah, but with the saints (Daniel 7:18, 22, 25)…

The Ancient of Days is Yahweh, and taking his seat must be the ascension of Jesus and the opening of the books seen in Revelation 4–7. The one like a son of man, like Jesus, is the saints, who ascend to receive the kingdom in AD70.”

So what the rejected priesthood saw was the saints receiving the kingdom, approaching the throne boldly, under Christ’s blood but also presenting their own to “fill up” his sufferings as a witness—the second approach.[1] They saw Jews suddenly unable to cast out demons any longer. They saw Christian Jews and Christian Gentiles speaking in tongues and even eating together. They saw amazing miracles performed. They heard the apostolic witness. They would have been aware of the final pages of the Scriptures being written. They saw all of this but they hardened their hearts. According to Josephus they also saw armies in the clouds and other heavenly signs.

The Herodian worshippers actually massacred Christians, pictured in the structure of Revelation as the first goat. What this did was remove the last believers from Sodom, allowing Christ, through Titus, to expel Judah as the second goat. The Covenant curses were spoken by Christ—and the apostles—over the old worship and the old Temple carried the sins into the wilderness, into outer darkness—outside the true camp. That is what is going on in the Revelation. It is a horrific irony.

[1] We see the same pattern in Esther: the fragrant “myrtle” boldly approaching the right hand of the power. The author even replicates the Atonement structure not only in that passage but also in the entire book! (See Totus Christus.) 


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4 Responses to “50 Failed Predictions? – #3”

  • Joe Says:

    #6 – Just to clarify, you take 1 Pet 4:5 to mean “judge between the spiritually alive and the spiritually dead” as opposed to “judge all men, those alive at Christ’s coming and those who have physically died”? And when the creeds use this language, they are affirming something true from the wrong text?

    #7 – Leithart’s arguments about Romans 8:18ff are certainly novel, but I didn’t seem him mention Rom 8:11. Are you saying that “quicken mortal bodies” is not a reference to bodily, physical resurrection, but to spiritual resurrection (in a governmental sense, or something like that)?

    What’s more, Leithart’s argument about the singular of “body” in Rom 8:23 doesn’t take into account the fact that both Greek and English have a distributive singular in which a plural pronoun is used with a singular noun in a distributive sense (i.e. “our body” = “our bodies”). Rom 8:16 has an example where “our spirit” has a plural pronoun and a singular noun but doesn’t refer to some corporate spirit we have. The Spirit testifies to each of our individual spirits that we are children of God. See also 1 Cor 6 where the same construction (plural pronoun, singular noun) is used to refer to the uniting of individual bodies with prostitutes.

    And even if Leithart is right, Rom 8:11 refers to mortal bodies, with “bodies” being plural in Greek. So whatever Rom 8:11 means, it happens to our individual mortal bodies. What exactly do you think this quickening was and, if it happened in AD70, did it happen to all Christians (or only the apostles and martyrs)?

    #9 – Orthodox eschatology has traditionally consisted of at least 4 beliefs: 1) future, bodily resurrection of all men, 2) judgment of all men, 3) transformation of physical cosmos, and 4) personal, physical, visible return of Jesus to earth. I can see how you maintain 1 and 2 from Rev 20 and the three resurrections (Jesus, firstfruits, everyone). And I can see how you could get 3 from Rev 21-22 and in the final climax of Rom 8 (even if you hold that the progressive transformation “began” in AD70). But if you see Acts 1:8-11 as AD70 (as well as all of the “every eye shall see him” texts), then what texts support your confession of personal, visible bodily return? The creed says “He will come to judge the living and the dead.” Can you affirm this, and if so, on the basis of which texts?

    Thanks Mike

  • Mike Bull Says:


    #6 I think the verse Brian referred to was Acts 10:42, but the phrase occurs 3 or 4 times. 2 Timothy 4:1 sounds particularly imminent:

    “I charge [you] therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom”

    In 1 Peter 4:5, the they who would be judged were still living.

    The Jewish war was a judgment upon the Old Creation, centred in the Temple worship. But the events leading up to it were also judgments. Basically I think Brian’s contention was nitpicking. Did Jesus judge the dead in AD70? I believe he did. He judged–assessed–between who would be resurrected and who wouldn’t, and the believing Gentiles including the Queen of the South and the men of Nineveh helped him do it. (Luke 11:31-32).

    #7 We need to put ourselves in Paul’s shoes. The Jews disputed who were the true sons of God (the mediatorial “body”). It was those who walked in the Spirit, evidenced by their lives, and that same Spirit would resurrect them. No, I think this quickening is resurrection but for Paul these things were linked and it was a pressing issue!

    I don’t see how the hypers can say this “resurrection” happened to those still alive and they stayed around. The Tabernacle structure, and Revelation, imply it was governmental. The names of the tribes and the apostles are on the New Jerusalem. It is one big Laver made to stand up as walls like the Jordan. The crystal sea is now SQUARE. And the laver always refers to resurrection in the OT literary structures. You can see this in Totus Christus. Even David’s washing after mourning his dead son is put at this point.

    I take your point on “bodies.” I am all for consistency, and the unity with prostitutes is a good point typologically.

    #9 The Tabernacle “levels” are Word, Sacrament and Government. What happened in the Garden was measured out in the Land. And what happened in the Land is being measured out in the World.

    But this trinitarian structure also qualifies each judgment.
    The Father judged in the Garden and raised the Son.
    The Son judged in the Land and raised the church.
    The Spirit —incarnate in the church— will judge the world.

    Revelation 1:7 refers to the first century. All the tribes of the Land, not earth.

    The final (“second” resurrection) and judgment are in Revelation 20. All those “put on hold” at the Land judgment (the rest of the dead, Satan) will be despatched. When released, Satan will again take a human “body” and attack the saints, and again there will be a resurrection. But Christ said the terrors of the Jewish War were the worst the church would suffer. They firstfruits were the foundation.

    “uttermost parts of the Land” At this point it was the Gentile oikoumene. God scattered the Jews, but resurrected them as priests in a bigger Tabernacle – described in Daniel 2. This is also the definition of Ezekiel’s Temple. Like the New Jerusalem it was a building made out of people, and in the Gospels, and especially in Acts, they start coming out of the woodwork – Gentile believers. This was harvest time. The fields were white because of the synagogues throughout the empire, despite the Jewish leaders.

    I’ve probably missed stuff, so let me know if I haven’t covered everything.

    Thanks, Joe.

  • Drew Says:

    Many of these objections seem incredibly weak.

  • Mike Bull Says:

    Not sure which objections you mean – Brian’s, mine or Joe’s! But isn’t the discussion fun? If we are gentlemen about it, God is glorified. It develops wisdom and character. Nothing wrong with a bit of chivalrous swordplay.

    Brian has refused to engage in any further debate, which is disappointing. Come back and fight, Brian! It’s only a flesh wound!