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Is Revelation 1:7 About the Return of Christ?

Premillennialists understand Revelation 1:7 as revealing the return of Jesus Christ: “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. …” However, preterists believe that this was fulfilled in A.D. 70, when the Romans destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem. They believe that the words “and every eye shall see him” simply indicates perception—a perception of Christ’s coming in judgment on Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Is this a legitimate understanding of the text?

I don’t have any doubt that Revelation 1:7 is about a future, literal coming of Jesus Christ. Preterists will go to great lengths to minimize this scripture and others like it.

Now it’s true that the word “see” can sometimes indicate mere perception, and not a physical seeing, as when Jesus told Nicodemus, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). However, Revelation 1:7 says “and every eye shall see him.” This is a physical seeing with the organ of sight, the eye.

What about the phrase “all kindreds of the earth shall wail.” Preterists claim that the word “kindreds” simply means “the tribes of Israel in A.D. 70.”

That’s another example of how preterists try to minimize Scripture. In Revelation 7:9 the word “kindreds” has a universal application: “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds.” The contrast with the 144,000 Jews in the previous verses clearly demonstrates that the word “kindreds” cannot be limited to “the tribes of Israel in A.D. 70.”

How about the word “earth” in “all kindreds of the earth.” Does that refer only to Israel?

It certainly doesn’t, though preterists claim that the word simply means “land,” that is “the land of Israel.” In Matthew 5:18 Jesus said, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law.” The word clearly means “the planet earth.” Moreover, in Revelation 21:1 we read: “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth.”

The contrast of “heaven” and “earth” clearly means the planet earth. Preterism is becoming very popular. However, what is popular is not necessarily true, or good, or pleasing to the Lord. This is a sign of the times; it’s part of the universal apostasy that is infiltrating the church. We desperately need to hear about the Lord’s coming, yet preterism is aiding and abetting the enemy by saying that Jesus has already come. Now that’s serious!

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