NOTE [ From Heart to Heart ]: I feel impressed to share this newsletter -- for your consideration. This newsletter presents a "full preterist view." I presently, do not see "eye to eye" with preterists views...there remains some difficulties that I have not been able to "work-out." I am "open" to gaining a more accurate understanding of the truth. My burden encourage ALL, who have 'other views' likewise remain "open" to a more accurate understanding. My 'spirit' becomes 'troubled' when I sense those with diverse views...seemingly "closed" in their understanding.(?) ~ Warmest regards to all, Jerry.

February, year 2001, newsletter

Are dates important? Try forgetting Valentine's Day or your anniversary and see what happens. You will not likely forget them next year. See, dates are often a key element in our lives. They can denote a beginning or an end. Dates can also affect other events in our lives. So it was with John's writing of the book of Revelation. When did he pen his writing? What was occurring at that time? The "when" of the writing has a great effect on our correct understanding of what John was describing.

There are two dates that are generally considered, A.D. 96 and A.D. 66 - 68. Currently, the A.D. 96 date is far more popular. However, many who hold this date admit that although they believe this date is probable, it is not definite. The main basis for their conclusion of the late date is generally given as being supported by a statement reported by Eusebius in about A.D. 325. Eusebius said that Irenaeus said when he was young that he spoke with Polycarp who said when he was young he saw John and that he/it was seen during the reign of Dometiou. This is a lot of hearsay. From the original Greek, it is impossible to determine if he meant that John was seen or that the Revelation was seen. The pronoun he, she, or it all use the same verb ending. This vague statement is what so many base their understanding of the Revelation upon. This foundation is built on sand. If the book was written in A.D. 96, then it doesn't fit anything of that time or any time since, so people are still searching for anything that could possibly fulfill it.

However, if we consider the internal evidence of what John wrote, we will see that it strongly supports the earlier date of A.D. 66 - 68. If it was written at this earlier date, then it is very obvious what events John was describing. He was describing Christ's coming in judgment in the destruction of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple. These covenant changing events were then indeed the fulfillment of John's Revelation. Let us consider some of the internal evidence.

1. John was told to go measure the temple. The angel said, "Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there" (Rev. 11:1) NASV. He was not told to remember how big the temple used to be. The temple is spoken of as existing at the time of the Revelation. But, we know that it was destroyed in A.D. 70. Then, the obvious conclusion is that John was writing before the A.D. 70 destruction of the temple.

2. In Rev. 11:8, the great city is spoken of "where also our Lord was crucified." This can be none other than Jerusalem and John refers to her as the great city. She obviously had not been destroyed at the time of John's writing. Jerusalem was never spoken of in the New Testament as having been destroyed. Matter of fact, there no mention in any book of the New Testament that either the temple or the city of Jerusalem had been destroyed. This is strong evidence to indicate that all books of the New Testament were written before the A.D. 70 destruction.

3. John addressed his letter to the seven churches of Asia (Rev. 1:11). This was all the churches that there were in Asia minor when John wrote his letter. This demands the early dating in that there were many more churches than seven by the late date of A.D. 96. This is only the first 3 of about 23 internal indicators that demonstrate that the book was written at the earlier date before the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in A.D. 70. But, why is this so important?

John said he was writing about events that were about to happen as he was writing. This leaves no room for thousands of years. The events were "at hand" (Rev. 1:1) and "must shortly take place" (Rev. 1:3). The first century readers could have understood it in no other way except that it would occur during the lifetime of many who were alive at that time.

There are many modern writers quoting other people but few, if any, are giving any substantial evidence of a late date of writing. On the other hand, the internal evidence strongly favors the earlier A.D. 68 date. We know, for example, that the temple and the city of Jerusalem were destroyed in A.D. 70. Yet, when they are spoken of in the book of Revelation, they are spoken of as existing. They had not yet been destroyed when John wrote his letter.

If the earlier date is correct, then few will deny that it was fulfilled promptly as John had predicted. It then finds its completion in the fulfillment of the Mosaic Law, the destruction of Israel, Jerusalem, and the temple while culminating in the victory of spiritual Israel with Christ as its spiritual Prophet, Priest, and King.

John's wrote his letter before the destruction of A.D. 70. This is a date to remember. Since these terrible, tragic events occurred then and are not in our future, we can shed the popular doom and gloom attitude that is so prevalent among the Christians of our time. We can then expect that the best is yet to come. God has blessed us in so many ways. Let us lay aside the "why polish brass on a sinking ship" attitude and take the good news of the gospel to a world that is hungry for something better. Christ is the answer.

Yours in Christ,
Gene Fadeley