An Eschatology of Gospel Victory
These articles were written for U-Turn Magazine, edited by CRE pastor, Rev. Garry Vanderveen
Below are the following:
The Postmillennial View (Gregg Strawbridge)
The (Historic) Premillennial View (Todd Mangum)
The Amillennial View (Cornelius Venema)
Responses to the Amill/Premill views (Gregg Strawbridge)
An Eschatology of Gospel Victory: Biblical Postmillennialism
Rev. Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D.
All Saints Church, Lancaster, PA
Biblical postmillennialism is not liberalism, social-gospelism, universalism, perfectionism, or nationalism. Rather, it is the Biblical conviction that (1) chronologically, Christ’s return follows His kingdom rule. Hence, His return is “post” (after) His “millennial” reign. (2) The nature of Christ’s (millennial reign) kingdom is a world transformation by means of the gospel and the effects of the gospel which reverberate to all aspects of life. We are to pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” The Westminster Larger Catechism 191 defines:
In the second petition (which is, Thy kingdom come), acknowledging ourselves and all mankind to be by nature under the dominion of sin and Satan, we pray, that the kingdom of sin and Satan may be destroyed, the gospel propagated throughout the world, the Jews called, the fulness of the Gentiles brought in; the church furnished with all gospel-officers and ordinances, purged from corruption, countenanced and maintained by the civil magistrate: that the ordinances of Christ may be purely dispensed, and made effectual to the converting of those that are yet in their sins, and the confirming, comforting, and building up of those that are already converted: that Christ would rule in our hearts here, and hasten the time of his second coming, and our reigning with him for ever: and that he would be pleased so to exercise the kingdom of his power in all the world, as may best conduce to these ends.
Postmillennialists believe that by the victorious redemption of King Jesus, this prayer will be answered and the kingdom shall grow to fill all the world (Dan. 2:35, Mk. 4:32). Like most postmillennialists today, I believe the time-frame of this kingdom reign is between the Ascension and the consummation when Christ returns to judge the living and dead.
The two critical points to demonstrate, then, are: (1) The chronology that the reign of Christ is prior to the coming of Christ (over against premillennialism) and (2) that the kingdom is world transforming and not limited to an unobservable spiritual realm (over against amillennialism). One passage addresses both of these matters clearly, 1 Corinthians 15:22-26:
For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. [For a more detailed exegetical study of this see my, An Exegetical Defense of Postmillennialism]
Here we have the chronological sequence of the reign of Christ in relation to His coming. The "end" is "when" "He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father," and at the time “after He has abolished all rule and all authority and power” (15:24). Paul teaches that the kingdom is consummated at the “end/His coming.” This is not when the kingdom begins (contra premillennialism). Further (contra amillennialism), His victory does not happen all at once. His abolition of rule, authority, and power (of His enemies) has taken place prior to the end (see BAGD on the subj. aorist construction with the hotan clause of v. 24, the correct trans. is “after He has abolished all rule. . .”).
From this text, postmillennialism (His coming after His reign) is compelling for at least three reasons. (a) The last enemy (death) is overcome at the Resurrection (at His coming). So, His reign is prior to the Resurrection of believers at the end. (b) Paul expresses this reign (v. 25) in a paraphrase of Psalm 110:1: “Sit at my right hand [reign] until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” The Bible is clear that this reign began when Jesus ascended to the right hand of Father (Acts 2:33, 34, 5:31). (c) Though Christ is ruling in the “midst of His enemies now” (Ps. 110:2), His reign, according to Paul, will overcome all of His enemies. Thus the kingdom will be demonstrably victorious.
This passage fully confirms the time-frame of His reign and the victorious character of the kingdom. Just as death will be vanquished (1 Cor. 15:54), so shall all His enemies perish (Gen. 3:15, Jdg 5:31). Emphatically and repeatedly we are taught that Christ is currently at the right hand of God the Father (Mk. 16:19, Rom. 8:34, Eph. 1:20, Col. 3:1, Heb. 1:3, 13, 1 Pet. 3:22). Thus, the ascended Christ is on a throne (Acts 2:30), reigning over His kingdom (Col 1:13), having dominion (1 Tim. 6:16, 1 Pet. 4:11, 5:11, Rev. 1:6), and even ruling “the kings of the earth” (Rev. 1:5).
To many today who get their prophecy notes from CNN, this is unbelievable. How could Jesus currently subdue His enemies? They expect a perfectionistic kingdom, rather than a redemptive one. Yet His rule requires the death of a glory-stealing Herod (with worms, no less, Acts 12:23), or vengeance on a Lamb-less Temple (Mk. 13:2), or the desolation of a Christ-rejecting Jerusalem (Mt. 23:38). The blessedness of His reign, however, is that He also conquers His enemies with the gospel of grace. He calls a Christless Pharisee like Saul to be the Christ-filled Paul, the very apostle to the Gentiles he once despised. He causes us who were once hostile in nature toward God to “volunteer freely in the day of [His] power” (Ps. 110:3, Mt. 28:19-20). Jesus is Lord and so “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Is. 11:9). Thus, we expect the general and universal advancement of the kingdom by means of the gospel with a final consummation of this victory at His coming when even death will be utterly and completely abolished. Maranatha!
What you believe matters. Holding to Biblical postmillennialism has radical implications urging a long-term, multi-generational view of obedience to all of Scripture. Contrary to the Rapture fever infecting our land with an epidemic of defeatist escapism, we are to take dominion (Gen. 1:28) and thus glorify God in every area of life, as well as make the nations His disciples (Mt. 28:19-20). We pray and work (ora et labora) with the confidence that all His enemies shall be subdued. Let us sing in the very words of Scripture — “The kingdom of this world, has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ and He shall reign forever.”
Historic Premillennialism by R. Todd Mangum, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Theology Biblical Theological Seminary
200 N. Main Street Hatfield, PA 19440
Three lines of biblical evidence seem to suggest that, when Jesus returns, He is coming to set up an earthly kingdom that is greater and more wondrous in kind than our present existence, but not as great and wondrous as the final, eternal state. That is, when Christ comes back, He will set up with His faithful ones a "reign of a thousand years" that will restore the earth to a paradise-like state, but not the full paradise of the eternal state. This observation forms the basis of the "premillennial view" of eschatology (meaning Jesus comes "before the millennium" to set up "His millennial reign"). A premillennialist eschatology is one that the early church fathers seem also to have affirmed - hence, the label "historic premillennialism."
In terms of biblical evidence, first, several prophecies use graphic language to describe a time of supernaturally inaugurated peace, prosperity and calm, but with aging and death nevertheless still in existence. In other words, the Bible presents the future eradication of sin and death as coming in two stages: a silver "millennial" stage, followed by the final judgments and the eternal state - a premillennial return, followed by the millennial reign, then the eternal state (see 1 Cor. 15:23-24).
Twice in the book of Isaiah, conditions on earth are described as a time when "the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little boy will lead them. Also the cow and the bear will graze; their young will lie down together; and the lion will eat straw like the ox. And the nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child will put his hand on the snake's den. They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea" (Isa. 11:6-9; cf. Isa. 65:25). Notice the description of incredible peacefulness, even in the animal kingdom - the curse has been suppressed, at least. But notice also that babies apparently are still being born, nursing, and being weaned; is that possible in the eternal state? Isa. 65:20 adds that, during this period, "the youth will die at the age of one hundred and the one who does not reach the age of one hundred shall be thought accursed." Death, apparently, has less of a sting than it has now, but it's still around. Again, it does not sound like the eternal state, but it's certainly a state of existence far better than what we know now.
These descriptions do not lend themselves well to a merely figurative, hyperbolic or typological sort of interpretation, either. Rather, they seem like vivid details selected and presented as poignant excerpts of what will be characteristic of this future era. The overall picture portrayed is one in which paradise on earth has precipitously advanced, but traces of the curse can still be detected.
Secondly, Christ's return is described as a cataclysmic event inaugurating a period in which He "rules with a rod of iron" (Rev. 19:15; Rev. 12:5; Rev. 2:26-27). Why would such a "rod of iron" be necessary in the eternal state, when all the enemies of God are disposed of in the Lake of Fire? Rather, as premillennialists have traditionally suggested, the Bible's description of Christ's post-second coming reign seems to be of a time when Christ is firmly in control, but He also still has enemies that He must persistently and vigilantly suppress in the exercise of His righteous authority. I.e., the biblical picture of the future is one in which a "silver age" of Christ's millennial reign precedes the "golden age" of the eternal state.
Finally, Rev. 20 explicitly reveals that Christ's second coming unfolds in two stages: in stage one, He and His saints reign over the nations "for a thousand years." This "millennium" is a time when Satan is bound and the enemies of Christ are defeated and suppressed . . . but it is not yet the final stage. At the end of stage one, Satan is released and, for a brief time, the nations are once again deceived and rise up in one last rebellion against Christ and His saints. They are defeated, of course, but the fact that such a rebellion is even possible suggests that Christ's second coming does not immediately usher in the eternal state in which sin, rebellion and death are completely eradicated. Rather, the second coming ushers in an intermediary "silver age," with the final "golden age" being established only after a final, consummative battle. Only then, in Rev. 20:14 - after the battles described in Rev. 20:7-10 (cf. Ezek. 38-39) have run their final course - are "the devil, death and Hades" themselves "thrown into the lake of fire."
Premillennialists have differed among themselves as to what other details will be fulfilled during this millennial state. Will God restore the nation of Israel to prominence, complete with a revived temple and "throne of David" from which Christ will rule? Or, are the thousand years merely the amount of time needed for the judgments of all humanity to be accomplished? Some premillennialists may even have been guilty of inappropriate dogmatism about details they have sometimes included in their apocalyptic speculations and eschatological charts.
But none of this should detract from the strong biblical evidence that underpins some basic premillennialist suppositions: (1) that Christ's bodily return is a cataclysmic interruption (rather than a progressive, gradual sort of development); and (2) that the eternal state is preceded by an intermediate, transitional stage. These observations of biblical teaching form the heart of the premillennialist position. That biblical interpreters before Augustine were largely agreed on these points adds credibility to this interpretive approach and eschatology.
"Amillennialism" Cornelis P. Venema,
Mid-America Reformed Seminary
Among the four primary views of the millennium, "amillennialism" labors under the burden of being misnamed. Though the term suggests that this view denies a distinct millennial period in the history of redemption, amillennialism emphasizes rather the present reality of the millennium. For this reason, what is known as "amillennialism" might be termed "now-millennialism."
Amillennialism regards the entire period of history between Christ's first and second coming as the period of the millennial reign of Christ. Unlike both premillennialism and postmillennialism, amillennialism does not look for a golden-age millennium either after the return of Christ or immediately before it. Since the fourth and fifth centuries of the Christian era, this view has been the predominant view within the Christian church. Among the distinctive features of amillennialism, four are of special importance.
First, amillennialism understands the millennial period of Revelation 20 (see below) to be a representation of the present reign of Christ with his saints. During the period of time between the first and second advent of Christ, Satan has been bound in such a way as no longer to be able to deceive the nations. The millennium, therefore, is not a literal period of exactly one thousand years duration, but a symbolic portrait of the present progress of the gospel and the discipling of the nations. The period of one thousand years (ten time ten times ten) represents the complete and full period within God's sovereign disposition of history during which he has granted to Christ the authority to receive the nations as his inheritance (see Ps. 2; Matt. 28:16-20).
Second, amillennialism interprets the "signs of the times" (for example, tribulation, apostasy, the spirit of Antichrist) to be characteristic marks of the present period of redemptive history (see, for example, Matt. 24:4-14; 2 Tim. 3:12; James 1:2-4; Heb. 12:6; 2 Thess. 2:3; 2 Pet. 1:10; 1 Jn. 2:18,22). Since the coming of Christ in the "fullness of time" (Gal. 4:4), the Old Testament promises regarding Christ's kingdom and the gathering of the nations under his lordship are being fulfilled. However, during this time "between the times" of Christ's first and second coming, there is a kind of tension between "inaugurated" and "future" (consummated) eschatology. As the kingdom of God advances and the nations are discipled, a characteristic opposition and intensification of resistance to Christ's lordship will continue unabated until Christ returns. The balance of New Testament teaching respecting the signs of the times and the character of this present age prior to Christ's return, suggests that there will be no "golden age" of unprecedented gospel victory prior to the return of Christ. The biblical distinction between "this age" and "the age to come" does not leave room for a third, interim millennial period (Luke 18:29-30; 20:34-35; Matt. 12:32; compare John 6:40; 11:24; 12:48). Amillennialism, therefore, regards the exaggerated expectation of postmillennialism to be a form of "over-realized" eschatology, which is incompatible with the New Testament's "two-age" construction of redemptive history since the coming of Christ.
Third, amillennialism teaches that the circumstance of believers during the present age is one of conformity to the pattern of Christ's life, death, and resurrection: only through tribulation and suffering do believers enter the kingdom and anticipate the fullness of their glorification in union with Christ. The basic pattern of the church's life in this present age is one of victory in the midst of suffering and participation in the afflictions of Christ (see, for example, Luke 9:23-24; Matt. 16:24; Mark 8:34; 10:39; Phil. 3:10; Col. 1:24). Though believers are "already" victors in Christ, their present circumstance is aptly described as one of participation in the groaning of the whole of creation in anticipation of the revelation of the sons of God (Romans 8:18-22).
And fourth, amillennialism maintains that the constant and lively expectation of believers in this age is for the return of Christ in glory. Rather than anticipating a golden age of unprecedented properity, peace and blessing before Christ returns, amillennialism insists that the promised "rest" that awaits the people of God will only come with Christ's return to judge the living and the dead (2 Thess. 1:6-10; Tit. 2:13; Heb. 9:28; 2 Pet. 3:11-13). Unlike premillennial and postmillennial views that insert a future age between the present and the final state, amillennialism looks only for one great consummating event in the future, the second advent of Christ.
The Millennium of Revelation 20
Any view of the millennium has to reckon with Revelation 20:1-10. This passage contains the only explicit reference to and description of the millennium in the Bible.
The amillennial interpretation of this passage begins by noting that it contains a new vision sequence within the structure of the book of Revelation. Like previous vision sequences, the vision of the millennium in Revelation 20 offers a comprehensive picture of the entire period of redemptive history between the time of Christ's first coming and his second coming for judgment at the end of the age. The millennium of Revelation 20 spans, accordingly, the interadvental period of the history of redemption.
The vision of the millennium in Revelation 20 is divided into two sections. The first, in verses 1-3, describes the binding of Satan for a period of one thousand years. The second, in verses 4-6, describes the reign of the saints with Christ during the millennial period and includes a reference to the saints who participate in the "first resurrection" and are not liable therefore to the "second death."
According to the amillennial view, the symbolism of the binding of Satan refers to that critical point in redemptive history when Christ came preaching the gospel of the kingdom. With the coming of Christ, a new day has dawned in the history of redemption. The nations are no longer under the deceptive sway of Satan, the archenemy of God and his people (see Matt. 12:28-9; Luke 10:9; John 12:31-32). The principal characteristic of the millennial age is that Satan is bound "so that he might not deceive the nations any longer" (v. 3).
One of the most controversial features of the vision of Revelation 20 is the meaning of the language of the "first resurrection." Amillennialism understands this language and the phrase, "they came to life," to refer to the spiritual life and reign of deceased (especially martyred) saints during the millennial age. The "first" resurrection liberates its beneficiaries from the power of the "second" death, which is a spiritual separation from God in hell. Consistent with the blessings all believers enjoy in fellowship with Christ, the reign of the saints is a picture of the victory of believers, even in the face of death, during the present period of redemptive history (compare Rom. 6:3-4; Col. 3:1-3; John 11:25-26).
When Revelation 20's vision of the millennium is read in the light of the teaching of the whole Word of God, it confirms the amillennial view of the present period of redemptive history. Since Christ's coming in the fullness of time, the nations are being discipled and brought to Christ. This does not mean, however, that the present age will not continue to be marked by resistance to the gospel or participation in the afflictions of Christ until he comes again.
A Postmillennial Response to Premillennialism
Dr. Mangum provided a nice summary of the salient features for the premillennial view. I am thankful to have the opportunity to challenge his presentation in three main points.
1) Finding Waldo. Dr. Mangum’s first “evidence” to prove the sequence of a “premillennial return, followed by the millennial reign, then the eternal state” is 1 Cor. 15:23-24. I ask the reader to “find Waldo” here, or in this case, find premillennialism in these verses: “But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God . . .” Waldo is not here. The reign begins with Christ’s ascension (see Paul’s Psalm 110:1 allusion in v. 25) and ends with the last enemy vanquished at the Resurrection (v. 26, 51-56). There is no room for another 1000 years of enemies in a mongrel millennial kingdom after the last enemy has been overcome at the Resurrection.
2) Far as the Curse. Perhaps Dr. Mangum’s central line of argument is the prophetic pictures of Isaiah 11 and 65. He believes these will not admit to a “figurative, hyperbolic or typological sort of interpretation.” This is a better challenge for a pessimistic amillennialist. While I do not embrace a literalistic interpretation or see any need to remove typological aspects to this — it is not difficult for a postmillennialist to see how the covenantal blessings of Christ’s reign can extend “far as the curse is found” (Isaac Watts). Would any Biblical expositor deny that the available, promised blessings to Israel in the antecedent age extended to health, birthrate, domesticated animals, sickness, etc. (e.g., Ex. 23)? “Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground . . .” (Dt. 28:4). How much more, then, under Christ’s exalted reign? (2Cor. 1:20). We see these as realizable in a covenantally-corporate manner — not individually by a Simon-says, “name it and claim it.” Nor are they unattainable except in some extra dimension of supra-history. The premillennial read on these is incoherent. What is the point of blessings to a “thousand generations” which are fulfilled in a literal 1000 years? Influenced by the gospel in the West, we have already seen great advances (wrought with inconsistencies from disobedience). Since the wicked generation before the flood lived for hundreds of years, why is Isaiah 65:20 so difficult to imagine when the gospel is more fully extended? Of course, if the “gospel” is basically a message to “stick your head in a hole and piously wait for the Rapture” — then I too join pessi-millennialists.
3) Rod of Iron. Dr. Mangum argues that only the premillennial conception of the millennial reign satisfies the image of Christ ruling with a rod of iron [Ps. 2:9] (He cites Rev. 19:15; Rev. 12:5; Rev. 2:26-27). On the contrary, according to the NT, Christ is ruling with a “rod of iron” now since Psalm 2 is interpreted as a present reality by the apostles (Acts 4:25-26, 13:33, Heb. 5:5). He now reigns from Zion’s holy hill (v. 1-6; 1 Pet. 3:22), inheriting the nations (v. 8, Mt. 28:19-20), “breaking” all those who do not bow the knee. This is the image of “rod of iron” (v. 9). Kings who do not to “kiss the Son” are crushed to pieces (witness Herod, Acts 12:23). The “rod of iron” imagery from Psalm 2:9 is no different than Psalm 110:1-2: “Sit at My right hand. . . The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies!” Surely there is no millennial gap between Psalm 110:1 and Psalm 110:2. Jesus Himself, uses the parallel image of Psalm 2:9, “breaking to pieces,” in reference to the kingdom being taken from the Jews (Mt. 21:43-44). Fall on Jesus and be broken or He will crush you.
In summary, premillennialism is exegetically erroneous on 1 Cor. 15. Covenantally, premillennialism cannot make sense of blessings in history either prior to Christ or after the Ascension. And hermeneutically, premillennialism is inconsistent with the way the New Testament uses the Old Testament (e.g., Psalm 2).
A Postmillennial Response to Amillennialism
Dr. Venema has provided a helpful and succinct descriptive explanation of amillennialism. I am grateful for the opportunity to respond. I accept Dr. Venema’s view of “the present reality of the millennium,” though some postmillennialists tend to see the “millennium” proper as a future golden age of fuller gospel blessings. My question for amillennialism is whether Christ accomplishes discipling the nations. What does Christ’s “millennial” reign effect? Does He extend His reign by subduing His enemies? Are covenantal blessings for the people of God possible in history? Amillennial pessimism here is not “already/not yet,” but an “already/never” dialectic.
There is an incoherence in amillennialism as presented. How can it be that (1) “the nations are being discipled and brought to Christ” and (2) that “tribulation, apostasy, the spirit of Antichrist” are “characteristic marks of the present period of redemptive history”? These descriptions have a level of incoherence, if not contradiction. On the (1) reign of Christ, the description sounds postmillennial, but on (2) the “marks of the present period,” it sounds pessi-millennialist. Why not just say, “Christ’s reign is present, but it will fail.” We could help rename it, “flunk-a-millennialism.”
Since we have formal agreement on the presence of the millennium and goal of discipling the nations, let me address the pessimistic aspect. Dr. Venema writes that “amillennialism interprets the ‘signs of the times’ (for example, tribulation, apostasy, the spirit of Antichrist) to be characteristic marks of the present period of redemptive history (see, for example, Matt. 24:4-14; 2 Tim. 3:12; James 1:2-4; Heb. 12:6; 2 Thess. 2:3; 2 Pet. 1:10; 1 Jn. 2:18,22).” If we consider carefully these texts, we will find that none describe marks of the entire period. On James 1:2-4 (various trials with joy), Heb. 12:6 (chastening sons), 2 Pet. 1:10 (make your calling sure), these manifestly do not give “marks”of the whole period. Of course tribulation is real in the gospel age, but to deny kingdom increase and advance from these texts is “a-exegesis.”
Matthew 24 and 1 John 2:18-22 do not describe the entire millennium. Jesus identifies the time-frame as “this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place” (v. 34). John’s time reference is that “this is the last hour.” (Most postmillennials today hold to a “partial preterist” view of the Olivet Discourse which takes seriously the time-texts, like “this generation” references.) Whatever time is in view in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, this sequence of events cannot be extended over a 2000 year period (or more). The text states that “the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed.” Whatever the “falling away” was, it had not yet happened as Paul was writing. Since it was something that could be recognizable to his audience, it could hardly be extended as a “characteristic mark” of the entire millennium. (Again, I take a preterist view here and believe this is set in the first century destruction of Jerusalem.)
In the context of 2 Tim. 3:12, we read of “the last days” (v. 1). Paul explains that there are “distressing seasons” (kairos, “fixed periods,” v.1). The progress of evil described is the personal degeneration of individuals (3:13) and in this case they will progress “no further” (3:9). Verse 12 is an almost proverbial comment to Timothy about persecution and godly living. As such, persecution of the godly varies from “season” to “season” and from place to place. One would expect less persecution in a nation of disciples than say, a missionary surrounded by starving cannibals.
Amillennialism, in avoiding the optimistic implications of Christ’s rule, requires “a-chronology” with texts like Matthew 24, 2 Timothy 3, and 1 John 2. Dr. Venema describes the “millennium” as “the complete and full period within God's sovereign disposition of history” between the advents of Christ. But these texts show “signs of the times,” that is, some specific “season.” Whatever their characteristic marks indicate, they are temporally limited. Or else, we must believe that the entire millennium is the “last days.” Or that a “complete and full period” is the “last hour.” Or that “this generation” is extended for two millennia.
Should we not look to texts that address the reign of Christ to understand the characteristics of Christ’s reign? In these texts we see a note of triumph and growth (Is. 9:7, Dan. 2:35, 7:13-14, Rev. 11:15, 1 Cor. 15:25, Matt. 13:32-33). If we take seriously the time-texts in the “signs of the times” passages we find that they are directly applicable to the first century, especially the events surrounding the destruction of the temple (70 A.D.). They are not to be “a-stretched” for the whole of Christ’s reign. Rather, looking at passages on the reign of Christ we find: “To Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed” (Dan. 7:14).