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  • Author: Foy E. Wallace, Jr.
  • e-Sword Version: 9.x - 10.x
  • Tab Name: Foy Wallace Revelation

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Download Foy E. Wallace Commentary on Revelation 1.0

* * * * - 13 Votes
Eschatalogy (Endtimes) Church of Christ Church History Expository Topics NT History Context Revelation Preterism

Author:
Foy E. Wallace, Jr.

e-Sword Version:
9.x - 10.x

Tab Name:
Foy Wallace Revelation

Forget what you've been taught about Revelation being about some far-off future series of events (at least from John's point of view). Look at the book of Revelation for what it says it is: a record of things which (in the first century, mind you) Jesus said were "at hand" and "shortly come to pass." Compare what Jesus said would happen to Jerusalem, and why it would happen to them (Matthew 23:34-39) with what happened to "Babylon the Great" and why it happened to that city (Revelation 18:20-19:2).

Foy E. Wallace's commentary will challenge everything you think you know about the book of Revelation. And in the midst of it, you may actually discover that it makes a lot more sense than what you have always heard. And to top it all off, the commentary is biblical and easy to understand.

Do not read this book unless you are an honest person who will honestly look at the evidence.  Below is a section of the forward, as well as a sample of the commentary.  Many of you will disagree with him, but you will have to ask yourself if you disagree based upon what the text actually says, or based on what you've always been taught.


From the Forward:

There have been many other books on Revelation, authored by estimable and reputable writers, within and without our own brotherhood, assigning the events of the apocalypse to the successive centuries and to the end of the world; and there have been a few authors who have placed the contents of Revelation in the Neroan or Domitian period, but who invariably deviated from the premises in the exegesis of some of its passage in order to bring some of its events into the distant future. In these deviations and departures they slipped into conflicting and contradictory interpretations. The author of the present volume believes that once the chronology of the book of Revelation has been established as belonging to the period of persecution, beginning with Nero Caesar, the harmony of its contents requires all parts and events of the apocalypse to be explained accordingly, and not to be mixed with later history; and he has consistently pursued that premise throughout this work.

From the notes on chapter 20:

In a conversation with any group of denominational preachers one will invariably be heard to say that the Bible plainly says that we shall reign with Christ on earth a thousand years. When the asserter is asked for the passage that so plainly says it, he will just as invariably and confidently refer his listeners to Rev_20:1-15, verse 4. It is in order, in time and in place now to dissect this misunderstood and misapplied passage of scripture.

This is the way its reads: And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

The passage is almost universally believed to actually say that we shall reign with Christ on earth a thousand years. The text says, they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. The pronoun we is a personal pronoun of first person, but they is a personal pronoun of the third person; the verbs lived and reigned are verbs of past tense; but shall live and reign are verbs of future tense. No man can claim the right to change the sentence of this text from the third personal pronoun they to the first personal pronoun we, nor to change the verbs lived and reigned of the past tense to shall live and reign of future tense. That is too much change for any man to make who has an ounce of respect for the word of God.

John said, “they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” The passage says nothing about “the thousand years reign of Christ.” There is a great difference in the two expressions. Rev_20:1-15 says, “they lived and reigned with Christ.” They who? Lived--lived where? Reigned --how, with whom and where? “Lived and reigned”--with whom, in what place? It is not the reign of Christ, but the reign of souls “with Christ,” that is mentioned in Rev_20:1-15. There is a vast difference between living and reigning “with Christ” and a millennial reign “of Christ.”

So let us be true to the facts in the case. It does not mention the reign of Christ, but the reign of souls “with” him. They not only “reigned” with him, they “lived” with him. They “lived and reigned” with Christ a thousand years. The two verbs “lived” and “reigned” are both limited by the thousand years. If the expression denotes time, then when the reign is over, and they ceased to reign; the living would be over and they would cease to live.

Rev_20:1-15 : l-6 does not mention the second coming of Christ. That is not the subject of it. It does not mention a bodily resurrection, and that is not the subject of it. It does not mention a reign on the earth, nor does it mention the “reign of Christ”--and neither is the subject. Is it not possible for souls to live and reign “with Christ” without Christ being on earth? Furthermore, it does not mention the throne of David or any other throne on earth. And it does not mention either Jerusalem or Palestine, nor does it mention Christ on earth.

Jesus said that Jerusalem is not the place where men should worship (Joh_4:21), but they want to put it there. He said that his kingdom is not of the world (Joh_18:36), but they want to put it here, and make it of the world. Can millennialists consistently say that though it mentions none of these things, it teaches all of them? It is altogether possible and consistent for all the things mentioned to exist without being on the earth.


It is interesting to see why people believe differently than what you do.

However, I believe that much confusion arises because people do not pay careful attention to the text. Most try to force the Olivet discourse in Mat 24 to be the same as the discourse given by Jesus in Luke 21. If you pay careful attention to the text you will notice in Mat 24:8 that after the beginning of sorrows occur, "then they shall deliver you up to be persecuted..." and then Jesus goes on to share things that will happen at the time of the end, not what was going to happen in 70 AD.

However in Luke 21, Jesus lists the same signs as in Mat 24, but in verse 12 He says "but before all these things" instead of "then" that He used in Mat 24. Jesus then goes on to tell us what would happen before the signs at the end to the apostles in the book of Acts and the destruction of Jerusalem that was to occur in 70 AD, and how the Jews would be led away captive into all nations until the times of gentiles were fulfilled.

The text itself is clear. The discourse in Luke 21 was given during the day. Mat 24 was a private briefing with the apostles at night. Trying to make the discourse in Luke 21 and and Mat 24 is the cause of much confusion in my opinion.

Read Zechariah 14 carefully and see the detailed descriptions of what is going to happen on earth when the Messiah returns. Read what is going to happen "on earth" in Revelation 20 when Satan is released. There are numerous OT passages that describe events that will happen "on earth" during the millenium. These events are going to be fulfilled just as literally as the prophecies in the OT concerning the first coming.

Most of the prophecies in Revelation were not new to that book. They were revealed in the OT. Revelation just puts what has been previously revealed in order for us and gives us some more details.

These are just some thoughts that come to mind when I read the description of this file above.

If you pay careful attention to the text you will notice in Mat 24:8 that after the beginning of sorrows occur, "then they shall deliver you up to be persecuted..." and then Jesus goes on to share things that will happen at the time of the end, not what was going to happen in 70 AD.


With all due respect, Matthew records Jesus as saying that all these things which he had just discussed would happen before "this generation" passed (Matthew 24:34). That means he was either (1) speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem or (2) there are some 2,000-year-old people walking around.

If Jesus was discussing the end of time previous to verse 34, then what good would it do for the righteous people to run for the mountains? If it was the end of time, there's nowhere to run, because the world would end. If it was the premillenialist idea of a rapture event, what good would it do for them to run to the mountains, since supposedly they'd just be raptured up?

Luke 21 and Matthew 24 don't have to be discussing the identical sermon, but do you not think it very likely that Jesus repeated some of his messages over his 3+ years of preaching? Is it not possible that since he went to Olivet immediately after his speech in Luke 21 that his disciples came to him privately on Mt. Olvet and asked for more specifics (which would match up with the timeline in Matthew)? After all, in Luke's account, it never says that Jesus was speaking this to his apostles. it says "some said..." to him, but never says who the "some" are.

The point of the section quoted in the description was that nowhere does Revelation 20 say where Jesus would be reigning, or how long he would be reigning. It says THEY would reign WITH him for a thousand years. If I said a man lived with his wife for 50 years, does that tell you how long she lived? Does it tell you where they lived?

The fact is, Revelation says nothing about a thousand-year reign of Christ on earth from Jerusalem. Add in the fact that twice at the beginning and twice at the end of the book, John tells the readers (in the first century) that the things contained in this prophecy were about to happen and it becomes clearer. Either (1) they actually took place when John said they would (shortly, at hand), or (2) John was lying/mistaken.

I would be interested in what you think about the commentary based upon the text itself.
This commentary is preterist, and not futurist, as it views the Book of Revelation.

Preterism sees the events of Revelation as fulfilled in the first couple centuries of the NT church. The futurist sees the prophecies in the Book of Revelation as still future.

Wallace is basically Amillennial in his non-dispensational approach to the Book of Revelation; whereas most modern day futurists are dispensationalists of one stripe or another.

There are other commentaries available at Biblesupport.com that are futurist and dispensational in their view of The Book of Revelation. I highly recommend Tony Garland's excellent "Testimony of Jesus Christ;" J. Hampton Keathley III's excellent "Studies In Revelation"; Harry Ironside's "Revelation;" Floyd Hitchcock's "Lectures on the Revelation;" and William Newell's "Revelation Verse by Verse."

If you can stand buying a real world book, John Walvoord's "Revelation" is an essential. I highly recommend it.

This commentary is preterist, and not futurist, as it views the Book of Revelation.Preterism sees the events of Revelation as fulfilled in the first couple centuries of the NT church. The futurist sees the prophecies in the Book of Revelation as still future.


The preterist believes that the words of John in Revelation 1:1, 3; and 22:6, 10 means just what they say: "the time is at hand," "must shortly come to pass," "things which must shortly be done," and "the time is at hand" when John wrote it. The futurist (I assume) believes that these bookend time statements have no real meaning, at least not the meaning that every original recipient of the letter would have understood it to have.

With all due respect, Matthew records Jesus as saying that all these things which he had just discussed would happen before "this generation" passed (Matthew 24:34). That means he was either (1) speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem or (2) there are some 2,000-year-old people walking around.If Jesus was discussing the end of time previous to verse 34, then what good would it do for the righteous people to run for the mountains? If it was the end of time, there's nowhere to run, because the world would end. If it was the premillenialist idea of a rapture event, what good would it do for them to run to the mountains, since supposedly they'd just be raptured up?Luke 21 and Matthew 24 don't have to be discussing the identical sermon, but do you not think it very likely that Jesus repeated some of his messages over his 3+ years of preaching? Is it not possible that since he went to Olivet immediately after his speech in Luke 21 that his disciples came to him privately on Mt. Olvet and asked for more specifics (which would match up with the timeline in Matthew)? After all, in Luke's account, it never says that Jesus was speaking this to his apostles. it says "some said..." to him, but never says who the "some" are.The point of the section quoted in the description was that nowhere does Revelation 20 say where Jesus would be reigning, or how long he would be reigning. It says THEY would reign WITH him for a thousand years. If I said a man lived with his wife for 50 years, does that tell you how long she lived? Does it tell you where they lived? The fact is, Revelation says nothing about a thousand-year reign of Christ on earth from Jerusalem. Add in the fact that twice at the beginning and twice at the end of the book, John tells the readers (in the first century) that the things contained in this prophecy were about to happen and it becomes clearer. Either (1) they actually took place when John said they would (shortly, at hand), or (2) John was lying/mistaken.I would be interested in what you think about the commentary based upon the text itself.


Cobb78,

In Zechariah chapter 14, it clearly describes the LORD coming back and setting his foot on the mount of Olives (14:4) and then coming with all his saints (14:5), the LORD will be king over all the earth (14:9), Jerusalem will be safely inhabited (14:11), every year they have to come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, to keep the feast of tabernacles (14:16) or they will get no rain (14:17). I believe all these events will be fulfilled literally. I could go on and on with OT scriptures predicting what will occur during the millenium, but it is probably not profitable. It is clear in Rev 20 that saints are dwelling in the beloved city because Satan is going to lead one final rebellion after the 1000 years is up. This time period in Rev 20 is describing the same thing that has been predicted all throughout the OT. Jesus is going to sit on the throne of David.

In fact, Zechariah chapters 6-14 are essential reading to get more insight on what is going to occur during this period. I am a futurist and I believe these things will be fulfilled just as literally as the prophecies concerning the first coming.

See also Isa 2:1-4. The prophecies are everywhere in the OT.

With the Lord a day is like a thousand years. The LORD intended for us to live with an expectation that the LORD could return at any time. These things were written this way for a reason. Jesus did indeed intend for them to be looking for His return. Paul spoke of "eagerly awaiting the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ". I am convinced that the LORD desired every generation to have this expectation. He warned in many places that we should watch and be ready.

Many believe the "this generation" prophecy is either the budding of the "fig tree" which concerns the establishment of the modern state of Israel... or it could be the generations that sees the beginning of sorrow signs that were mentioned earlier in the chapter. The generation Jesus was referring only had to do with them if they began to see the signs that he was referring to.

I certainly could be wrong about these things, but I see no reason not to expect these things to be literally fulfilled. There is much symbolism in the book of Revelation, but much of it is illuminated for us elsewhere in scripture. The book of Revelation takes us on a journey throughout the whole Bible. It is one of the reasons why it is such a blessing to study. You cannot study the book of Revelation in isolation. You must compare scripture with scripture.

I will read the commentary when I get some time. I am working on a teaching on the book of Revelation :) at the moment so I am short on time.

You really have to stretch the prophecies in Revelation to say they have all been fulfilled. I believe when the events happen, they will be fulfilled very literally and unmistakably. I cannot approach the prophetic scriptures in any other way.

Blessings,
Peter
Considering that Paul said that Christians had already been translated into the kingdom (past tense - see Col 1:13) and John said that he was presently in the kingdom along with the Christians he was writing to (Rev 1:9), I can make a good case for inspired writers saying the kingdom was in existence starting in the first century. Peter was given the keys to the kingdom, but if the kingdom hasn't yet come, he never had an opportunity to use those keys and Jesus gave them to him for nothing.

Isaiah 2 prophesied that the kingdom would be established and would go forth from Jerusalem. Lo and behold, the kingdom (to which Peter granted people access by preaching the gospel--the "keys of the kingdom") was established in Jerusalem on Pentecost, AD 30 (or so). Joel speaks of the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem, but then says (according to the LXX and Peter's quotation) "in the last days" God would pour out His spirit upon all flesh... In the last days of what? Given the context, it is the last days of the Jewish theocracy, the Jewish commonwealth. The same thing occurs in Micah 3, speaking of the destruction of Judah/Jerusalem, and then says, "but in the last days..." the kingdom would be established. The last days of what? In context, it is the last days of Jerusalem.

Zechariah 12 describes the death of Christ, Zech 13 describes the same time period (both contain prophesies that are specifically said to be fulfilled during Christ's passion week). Zech 13 also describes the end of prophecy and evil spirits in this context. Then in Zech 14, Jerusalem is attacked and destroyed.

Of course, lots of people argue against a spiritual application to any OT prophecies about Israel, even though the inspired apostle Paul said that true Israel was the spiritual Israel.

It best fits the evidence (and this conversation has gone well off the topic of the commentary) that the prophesied kingdom (which the perfect Son of God said was "at hand"--that means very near) is the church. It was established in Jerusalem (just like prophecy states), it was established during the days of the Roman kings (see Daniel 2), it was established by God (see Acts 2).

I still wonder why it is that when Jesus said, "this generation shall not pass until all these things" occur if he didn't mean that all the things he just got done describing wouldn't happen during that generation. Jerusalem was destroyed during that generation. But if we go with the futurist interpretation, then Jesus meant that "your great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandchildren's generation shall not pass until all these things" occur. 2000 years divided by 40 years (average length of biblical generations) makes for 50 generations. That, my friend, is REALLY stretching the words of Christ.

Finally, Peter, you may have a typo in your post. You said "I see no reason not to expect these things to be literally fulfilled" and then finished by saying "I do not believe when the events happen, they will be fulfilled very literally and unmistakably." Unless I'm reading your thoughtful comment wrong, you either added a "not" or left out a "not" in one of those sentences.

Thanks for your comment.

Brad
This a FEATURED(?!) e-Sword download? Maybe I'm in the wrong place, using the wrong software for my Bible studies.
Cobb78,
Thanks for the chat yesterday. We will continue this interesting discussion in chat again soon.
Blessings,
Peter

This a FEATURED(?!) e-Sword download? Maybe I'm in the wrong place, using the wrong software for my Bible studies.


NormJ,

This site does not endorse any particular views on end times eschatology. I am a futurist and I think that the creator of this site is too. However, this site allows for people to post modules of differing perspectives. There are many great Christian brothers and sisters in Christ that do not interpret Bible prophecy the same way I do. In fact, Christian commentators for much of church history have not had a clear view of these things. Also, having your views challenged can help you in your study by enabling you to be better able to defend your views.

Blessings,
Peter
I don't believe that an error in this area is critical to your salvation and it does not challenge the deity of Christ, so I have no problem featuring it. It's helpful to be well versed in opposing theologies in all areas, but a lot of Christians are secretly afraid they can't defend their theology (and that's because they're not familiar with opposing theologies).

I largely endorse the futurist view of Revelation, but it has some holes in it that I can't easily explain. I'm nearly positive that Revelation is much more than a Preterist view but that things aren't going to happen like the Futurist folks think either. I'm certainly open to some portions of Revelation having already been fulfilled, certainly portions of Matthew. It's a supernatural riddle and just because there's an answer that seems right and seemingly fits, does not mean its the "best" answer to the riddle. If it were all crystal clear, then what's going to happen couldn't happen because everyone (humans and the spiritual world as well) would know it's going to happen, which would bar the deception that I believe is coming. That's a whole another story. It's not just some humans who think they have this figured out. The fallen angels and Satan think they have it figured out too. I think how it all ends will be something of a surprise to many...

I personally believe it's important to be familiar with all theories about Eschatalogy since what's coming may be a combination or variation of any number of theories. And it might be important for you to recognize the events when they are happening in real-time.

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