Responding to the Critics: A Final Response to William Vincent’s Boast that He Refute Preterism
The Resurrection – Psalms 110 -and the Great Day of God’s Wrath
The reader needs to be reminded, again, that William Vincent posted his article in June of 2018 and boasted that no preterist had responded, ostensibly proving that his article was effective in falsifying Covenant Eschatology. Well, I posted my first response in June and to this date, Mr. Vincent has not posted a word of response. Revealing to say the least.
Mr. Vincent believes that the Millennium began in AD 70. He claims that is the time of Christ entering into his reign at the right hand and that he must remain there until the Great White Throne Judgment at the end of the current Christian age – at the end of the Millennium. So, with that in mind, what this final article in our Responding to the Critics series response to Mr. Vincent will do is to demonstrate further that the end of the Millennium occurred in the first century. We will do that by an examination of the motif of the Great Day of the Lord’s Wrath as it is presented in the book of Revelation.
This motif permeates the Revelation, from front to back, as the following list of texts from that book illustrates:
Revelation 6:16- 17:
John says that at the Day of God’s Wrath, the wicked would run to the hills, “And said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”
“The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth.”
“Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”
Take note that this is the only occurrence of “Wrath” in Revelation that is not a direct reference to the Great Day of God’s Wrath. Of course, what should not be missed is that Satan would only have a short time to persecute the saints until the Lord’s Wrath on him as the persecutor would be poured out, and that would be at the end of the Millennium. Thus, there is no “disconnect” between the subject matter.
Revelation 14:8, 10, 19
“And another angel followed, saying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”…
v. 10 – he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
V. 19 – So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.”
Revelation 15:1, 7
“Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete.
V. 7 – Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever.”
Revelation 16:1, 19
Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth.”
V. 19 – Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath.
For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.”
“Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.”
What is very clear in an examination of these texts is that there is but one Great Day of the Lord’s Wrath that is depicted.
It is the Great Day of the Lord’s Wrath in vindication of the martyrs:
Chapter 6 vindication of the martyrs.
Chapter 11 vindication of the martyrs.
Chapter 14 is the judgment of Babylon, the great Harlot persecutor.
Chapter 16 vindication of the martyrs.
Chapter 20 vindication of the martyrs at the destruction of Satan the Great Persecutor at the end of the Millennium. This is one harmonious narrative. It is not many different Days of Wrath.
It is the Great Day of the Lord’s Wrath against the persecuting City – Babylon. This is explicit in the Apocalypse.
It is the Great Day of the Lord’s Wrath that takes place at the Great Judgment and the resurrection (Revelation 11 & 20). Unless Vincent can divorce the theme of the vindication of the saints, the prophets and Jesus from Jesus’ paradigmatic teaching in Matthew 23 (not to mention Matthew 21, 22, Luke 18, etc., then it is prima facie true that since the final vindication of the martyrs in Revelation takes place at the resurrection. This means that Psalms 110 was fulfilled at the time of the judgment of Jerusalem, the great persecutor of the prophets, of Jesus, and of Jesus’ apostles and prophets.
I will not discuss it here, but, this Great Day of the Lord’s Wrath would be the outpouring of Covenantal Wrath on Babylon (16:19) as indicated by the fact that she was to be “remembered” by God. This word “remembered” carries with it tremendous covenantal connotations. See my book, Who Is This Babylon? for a full demonstration of this important fact. That means that when Babylon was “remembered” it necessitates that Babylon was under Covenant with the Lord, but as a result of her sin, God was imposing the sanctions and punishments of that Covenant on her. This virtually demands that Babylon was Jerusalem. It was not Rome. Not the Catholic Church. Not New York City. Not Mecca in Saudia Arabia. See my book, Who Is This Babylon? for a full demonstration of this important fact.
This covenantal relationship between YHVH and Babylon is confirmed by the fact that Babylon is called the Harlot City. It is incredibly important to be aware of the covenantal connections of the word Harlot.
In modern thought, a harlot is simply an immoral woman who sells her sexual favors for money. While that use of the word was not unknown in the ancient world, it is important to note that this is NOT the way that the Bible normally uses that word harlot. Let me give here an extended citation from Sebastian Smolarz on the meaning and significance of the use of “harlot” in Revelation:
“Scholars opting for the late day have not found enough historical evidence for a persecution of Christians by Domitian. Consequently, some of them have abandoned the persecution theory and turned to other arguments to accommodate the late dating.”
“It is often overlooked that the statement in 18:20 concerning Babylon would better suit Jerusalem, in line with Christian witnesses concerning the place of prophetic martyrdom (e.g. Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:33-34; cf. 11:49-51). If John is allowed to be a Christian prophet, somebody who drew from Jesus’ tradition, this is demonstrated to be a plausible claim…. These considerations seem to imply that scholars have tended to assume much in their claims concerning ‘Babylon.’ … “There is, at least, a possibility that if John had OT prophetic development in mind, for a city to be called a ‘harlot’ would require her to have had an earlier covenant relationship with God. This would surely not be the case with Rome, but it certainly was the case with Jerusalem. In the OT, only two other cities are ever referred to as ‘harlot’; Tyre (Isaiah 23:15-17) and Nineveh (Nahum 3:4), and that most likely in the context of their previous covenant relationship with Yahweh.” (P. 238).
“Of the 91 metaphorical applications of this word (for harlot, dkp) or its derivatives, 43 are to be found in Ezekiel (38 of these in Ezekiel 16 and 23 alone). …One can see from these numbers alone, that the prostitute metaphor was adopted and elaborated mainly by the prophets, starting with Hosea’s preaching in the Northern Kingdom of Israel (786 BC-746 BC). A century and a half later, it was taken up by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 3-4) in his prophecies against Jerusalem (around 609-587 BC), but it found its most intensive application in the preaching of his contemporary Ezekiel (around 597-587 BC). Ezekiel’s use of the metaphor (Ezekiel 16; 23) partly reflects Jeremiah’s use and shows familiarity with his text, but greatly elaborates and intensifies its imagery to warn of the impending destruction of Jerusalem.
Most significantly of all is the fact that in the OT, almost all of the occurrences of the prostitution metaphor (86/ 91) apply to the people of the Covenant (Israel, Judah or Jerusalem). Once (1/91) it applies to the original ‘inhabitants of the land’ (Exodus 34:15) and in the remaining few occurrences (4 /91) it is used of Nineveh (Nahum 3:4. 4.4) and Tyre (Isaiah 23:17).
The metaphor of prostitution therefore, appears to have a particular significance for the people of God, for reasons that are well known; The Covenant between God and the people of Israel was conceived metaphorically as a marriage, so the idolatrous worship of other gods represented infidelity to that marriage and was therefore described in terms of sexual misconduct.” (EOQ). (Sebastian R Smolarz, (Covenant and the Metaphor of Divine Marriage in Biblical Thought) (Eugene, Ore.; Wipf and Stock,2011), 235).
Here is what all of this means:
The Great Day of the Lord’s Wrath, was to occur at the end of the Millennium.
That Great Day of Wrath was the judgment of the Great Harlot, Babylon the Great.
The Great Harlot, Babylon, was none other than Old Covenant Jerusalem. Beyond question.
Therefore, the end of the Millennium is past!
That means that William Vincent’s single article that he boasted had defeated preterism holds no water. It is wrong. It ignores all of the evidence we have adduced in this series.
Unless Vincent can demonstrate that there are two or more Great Days of the Lord’s Wrath in Revelation, wildly different from one another in time and nature, and unless he can produce the proof that the end of the Millennium judgment of the Great Persecutor– Babylon – is not tied to the end of the Millennium (which of course he cannot do) then since the great persecutor in Revelation was none other than Old Covenant Jerusalem / Babylon, then the AD 70 judgment of the Great Harlot was the end of the Millennium.
There is a great deal more that could be said in response to William Vincent’s article. However, what we have presented is more than sufficient to not only powerfully refute his article, but, to establish the full preterist paradigm as true.
Keep in mind that when a preterist did not respond to him within a time frame that he felt was appropriate, he boasted that he had defeated preterism. It has not been over three months since he made that boast and since I posted my initial response, to the present day. And we still have not been graced with a single response to anything I have said. Now, perhaps, just perhaps, he has something for us, but, each and every time that I have posted inquiring about a response, I have been met with total silence, or, and exhortation to “patience.” I suppose we will see if any kind of response is forthcoming. Stay tuned! In the meantime, this series on Responding to the Critics stands unanswered.