Exposing the Error of Preterism

 First of all, I want to give credit and thanks to Donald E. Green for his A Critique of Preterism.  I also give thanks to David Larson for his book, Jews Gentiles and the Church.  They were a great help to me in writing this post.

 

WHAT IS PRETERISM?

 Preterist, from the Latin preteristus, means “gone by.”  Preterism, therefore, is a belief that certain things recorded in the Bible that would normally seem to be futuristic have already occurred.  And just as with any religion, preterism has its extremes.  A full preterist for example sees all New Testament eschatology as already happened—including the return of Christ, the resurrection and the final judgment.  Those however who are more moderate believe only that the rapture and the tribulation period are past (which still seems quite extreme to me).  They say that it took place in A. D. 70 with the destruction of Jerusalem.

 

THE HISTORY OF PRETERISM

 According to Donald Green, preterism began with Eusebius (A.D. 263-339), and, according to my understanding, it penetrated much of Christianity—exactly how much, I don’t know.  In my reading of Greens critique, I was surprised to see great men such as John Calvin, John Lightfoot, Matthew Henry, Adam Clark, and Albert Barns all having preterist leanings (according to what modern preterits’ say).  However, we can’t be sure to what extent they believed in it.  In these modern times the names that stand out as preterist, according to Green, are R.C. Sproul, Kenneth Gentry and Gary DeMar.  And I would also add Hank Hanegraaff.  None of these are extreme preterist, yet they do believe that the rapture and the 7 year tribulation referred to in Matthew 24 and Revelation are history. 

In contrast to these men, a few of the great futurists of our day I would say are John Halvarood, Dwight Pentecost, Hall Lindsay, and Tim Lahaye.  These all believe (as I do) that the rapture of the church followed by the 7 year tribulation and the 1000 year reign of Christ are ahead of us.

 

THE BASIC BELIEFS OF THE MODERATE PRETERIST

Preterits’ believe that Matthew 24 (and much of Biblical prophecy) has already past, that it happened in A.D. 70.  Their key verse to explain their belief is Matthew 24:34, where Jesus says, “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place” (NKJV).  According to R.C. Sproul, Gary DeMar and Kenneth Gentry, “this generation” in that verse was in Jesus’ lifetime.  So they say that since Jesus was speaking around A.D. 30, and since a Biblical generation is about 40 years in length, the fulfillment must have occurred before A.D. 70.

R.C. Sproul is quite adamant about this interpretation and says that it is “so plain.”  Gary DeMar agrees and has said that “an honest assessment of scripture can lead to no other conclusion.”  Gentry, in his writings, has 7 points to support this view.

But a normal rendering of “this generation,” according to the context of this passage, could not have been in their lifetime (around A.D. 70), because the description of all the catastrophic and apocalyptic events do not support it. 

But that doesn’t seem to stop them from what they believe.  The way they justify it is this way:  they let their preterist understanding of “this generation” determine how to interpret all of Matthew 24.  They say, since “this generation” is back in that time period (A.D. 70), all the verses that seem futuristic are really not.  They would say it is figurative or poetic language.

For example, Gentry has said that the apocalyptic and seemingly futuristic language in the text is a way of expressing national calamity.  He said that Jesus is not literally speaking of an upheaval of the heavens; he is using poetic language to speak of Jerusalem’s coming destruction in A.D. 70. 

Their explanation of Matthew 24:30, “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (NKJV), is this: that Jerusalem’s destruction is the sign that Jesus is in heaven and rules over all; hence that Jesus’ rejection by the Jews was finally vindicated. 

Preterists get support for their interpretation of Matthew 24 through their understanding of what they say the theme of Matthew is: a judgment on the Jews.  Hence they will point out how Jewish leaders are constantly rebuked by Jesus for their lack of faith and for their hypocrisy, and in contrast how the faith of gentiles was exalted (Matthew 3:29; 11:16-24; 15:8).

Yes, this is somewhat true of the book of Matthew, nevertheless, they can’t use this for a justification of how they interpret Matthew 24, nor can we conclude that God has pronounced a final judgment on the Jew.  For soon all Israel will be saved (Romans 11:26), and in the final days they will be the rulers of the earth under Jesus’ reign.  The books of prophecy, esp. Isaiah, confirm it.

  

WHY PRETERISM IS FALSE

 History proves it.  If we look at some of the early church records, they will indicate that the people at that time (A.D. 100-200) understood Jesus’ words in Matthew 24 in a futuristic sense—that is, in their future.  The Didache, written about A.D. 100-150, speaks of Matthew 24 as futuristic.  If they thought that Matthew 24 was describing the fall of Jerusalem, we can certainly surmise that they would have known it and mentioned it, since it happened only a few decades earlier.  The writings of Justin Martyn (A.D. 140-150) and of Josephus also described Matthew 24 as in their future and leave no mention of A.D. 70 as being part of that Matthew 24 prophecy.        

Bad hermeneutics.  Preterists err when they allow Matthew 24:34 (“this generation shall not pass away”) to dominate their interpretation of the other verses in Matthew 24.  The context must always weigh heavily on the interpretation of all the verses within that context.  Their idea of making passages that are clearly futuristic and apocalyptic into figurative and poetic language is very bad hermeneutics.  There is no reason for it except to satisfy their own interpretation of Matthew 24:34.

Bad theology.  A preterist believes wrongly that most of prophecy is past, and therefore that both the rapture and the tribulation is behind us.  To explain their beliefs they also err in seeing most of prophecy as poetic and figurative.  The result of there hermeneutical and theological errors are quite devastating:

 1.  Since they don’t believe in an imminent rapture and that the tribulation is also past, that means that they probably believe that we live now in the millennium and that Christ’s reign is not literal.  I’m not sure where this leaves them, but I don’t see that they would have much hope for the future, since things aren’t going so well on earth now.

2.  Since they wrongly believe that God is finished with the Jews and has permanently replaced them with the church, I think this belief may badly influence their regard for the Jew. 

3.  Since they see most prophecy as poetic and figurative, this leaves them in a quandary as how to understand any prophecy passage.  Hence, you will find that most people who sit under preterist leaders will skip over most prophetic passages, thinking that it is too deep to ever be able to understand.  This is sad because some of the most encouraging passages for us are in those prophetic scriptures and they give us hope for the future.

  

WORDS OF CORRECTION

According to Bernard Ramm, an expert in Bible interpretation, we cannot abandon the literal meaning whenever we deal with prophecy.  We should allow each verse equal weight.  Each verse is inspired and speaks on its own.

Also, God is not finished with Israel.  For the time being Israel (the natural branch) has been cut off and the gentile church (the wild olive branch) has been grafted in (Rom. 11:17).  The church now shares the blessings promised through Abraham.  But many Jews (those who believe) will be grafted in again (Rom. 11:23).  Israel as a nation will be saved and will rule the earth in the final days (in the Millennium).  Yes, now is the time of the gentiles.  But soon, when Jesus comes to reign, the time of the gentiles will be over and God will turn to Israel (Rom. 11:25). 

In the Millennium both Israel and the church will have a part.  The church, consisting of both Jews and gentiles, will have heavenly bodies and will reign with Christ in the heavens and over the earth.  Israel, consisting of all those Jews who were saved in the tribulation, will reign on earth.  They will have improved bodies (that will live for hundreds of years) but not heavenly—like those of the church.  Hence, Israel and the church will be two distinct people groups and will be exalted for a literal 1000 years in God’s kingdom.

 

This is how I see it.  Agree or disagree?

 

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About Stephen Nielsen

I'm an author, a self publisher, and a painting contractor. I live in beautiful Minnesota, USA . Welcome to my blog site.
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27 Responses to Exposing the Error of Preterism

  1. David says:

    Hello Mr Neilson,
    There are numerous things I would like to respond to in the post, but I will start with one. You said:

    “But a normal rendering of “this generation,” according to the context of this passage, could not have been in their lifetime (around A.D. 70), because the description of all the catastrophic and apocalyptic events do not support it. ”

    There are two problems with this statement. The word used here (genea) is occurs 43 times in the NT. Excluding the supposed difference in Matthew, every other time it is used to refer to people of the generation living at that time. Aside from your statement that events do not support the usage, there is no evidence at all to support the idea that Jesus was referring to anyone or anything other than the people living at that time.

    Related to the above, the events of the time do indeed support reading the verse as referring to the generation living at that time. David Chilton and others have pointed out many passages from the writings of Josephus that clearly describe events that match the account in Matthew in amazing detail and accuracy.
    Please considering looking into these proofs with an open mind. Having been taught the post-trib view, I was extremely skeptical of the preterist position, but after 3 years of study I am persuaded it is both true and consistent in its translation of pertinent Scriptures. I look forward to dialog with you.

  2. David says:

    Sorry about the typos, I am usually pretty careful about that. *embarrassed look, eyes downcast*

  3. Stephen says:

    Thanks for your comment. It is clear to me from the context that the things spoken of in verses 27-31 have not happened yet. They will happen just before Jesus’ return. “This generation” refers to the generation that will witness these catasrophic things. “This generation cannot refer to the past beacuse those things discribed have not happened yet.

    There is plenty of evidence that Jesus was speaking of future thing. Most of that entire chapter is speaking of future thing (our future)–things just before His coming (verse 27).

  4. David says:

    Thanks for your reply, but with respect you did not address my points.
    As I said in my first comment, there is no justification in the text or context to use “generation” as you are suggesting in should be used, unless one simply assumes the events are in our future.
    Josephus (in his work, “Wars of the Jews” if memory serves) describes the events Jesus predicted. Since the entire futurist view of “end times” depends on the events in Matthew 24 being in our future, it is critical to be sure they have not already occurred. Please investigate “Wars” and you will find clear evidence that the Tribulation happened in 70AD.
    Just to clarify, I am speaking of partial preterism, not the heresy of full preterism.

    • Stephen says:

      I will look into it when I have time. By the way, I am quite intrested in studying in more detail the history of the Jews during the intertestimental period. I have a few pages worth but not much. i think Josephus will be a good source. Stephen

  5. Jake says:

    (Here’s something seen on the web. Interesting read.)

    70 AD Futurism !

    Preterists claim that the “Antichrist” and the “great tribulation” were fulfilled during the 70 AD period.
    If so, why do we find that the arrival of the Antichrist was still expected by writers who lived during and after 70 AD?
    Polycarp (70-167) wrote that “He comes as the Judge of the living and the dead.”
    Justin Martyr (100-168) said that “[Antichrist] shall venture to do unlawful deeds on the earth against us the Christians….”
    Irenaeus (140-202) wrote that the ten kings (Rev. 17)”shall give their kingdom to the beast, and put the church to flight.”
    It’s not true that Francisco Ribera (1537-1591) “revived” futurism because it was never lost during the Middle Ages or prior to that period of time.
    Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) stated: “There remains only one thing – that the demon of noonday [Antichrist] should appear.”
    Roger Bacon (1214-1274) spoke of “future perils [for the Church] in the times of Antichrist….”
    John Wycliffe (1320-1384) referred to “the hour of temptation, which is coming upon all the world, Rev. iii.”
    Martin Luther (1483-1546): “[The book of Revelation] is intended as a revelation of things that are to happen in the future….”
    (Google or Yahoo “Famous Rapture Watchers” to see quotes from many Christian leaders throughout the Church Age which prove that they expected a future Antichrist and a future great tribulation.)
    Preterists use Matt. 24:34 (“This generation will not pass….”) to try to prove a 70 AD fulfillment of “Antichrist.” Since many of them see “these” (Matt. 25:46) fulfilled in the future in Rev. 20, why can’t they apply futurism as easily to Matt. 24:34? After all, the word “this” is the singular form of “these”!
    Church history is fascinating, right?

    • David says:

      Hi Jake,
      I can’t address all these points because I haven’t studied them, but here are a few comments.
      You state that some early writers expected the arrival of “the” Antichrist.
      1. Many of these guys made enormous mistakes, so for them to err on this is not surprising. That doesn’t mean they are wrong, nor am I trying to diss or discredit them, just that it would not be out of the ordinary.
      2. They were not Jews and could easily have misunderstood the implications Jews would have understood immediately.
      3. As with anyone or anything, if you start with an incorrect premise you will necessarily come to the wrong conclusion, and misinterpret a huge number of Scriptures.
      4. As to Polycarp, your quote is a reference to Christ. I am guessing that was a mistake.
      5. Irenaeous said Jesus lived to age 50.
      6. As to Luther, he is quite correct and Preterists agree that Revelation is to reveal, not conceal, and that it was about the future. The issue is that it was in John’s future, not ours.
      7. As to Mt 24, Preterists correctly see a transition of subject between vs 1-35, and vs 36 through chapter25 (remember chapter and verse were added later). In the former, Jesus speaks about what was coming, and in the latter He speaks about how the Kingdom of God will play out. As such, we see that the earlier verses were in Jesus’ near future, and the later verses are about far future. We see our view and interpretation as being dictated by the context and word usage in the passages, and believe (as everyone does about their interpretation) that our view is true to the Scriptures and not imposed on them by a preconceived notion. That’s why we “can’t” apply the Futurist view to passages before Mt. 24:36.

  6. Stephen says:

    Thanks Jake for adding this information.

  7. Eliza says:

    The preterist doctrine has its origins in covenant theology which replaces the nation of Israel with the church and so then interprets Scripture about Israel in a figurative sense rather than literally. Preterists have to consistently reject the true sense of the passage for a figurative one that supports their false doctrine. This contradicts hermeneutics, which is the normal literal understanding of the text. I appreciate your stand for the truth.
    One other thing that preterists and their sympathizers do is to cast dispersion upon the Scriptures and say that we cannot know for sure what the Bible teaches. This completely contradicts the Bible and then makes it impossible for us to know any doctrine. Given the huge number of verses regarding the end times, Christ’s return, and the millennial kingdom, to sweep that all away with anti-biblical interpretation is to make uncertain the voluminous references to any number of doctrines within the Bible. I met a student who graduated from Master’s Seminary with a degree in Bible who believed that we can’t know for sure what the Bible has to say about the end times. Fuzzy thinking about prophecy ultimately leads to fuzzy thinking about any and all doctrine. Lastly, false teaching about the end times is condemned in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2. Now brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 God bless you:)
    http://holdingforthhisword.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/defending-the-gospel/

  8. Eliza says:

    I just had to add another comment after reading blogs about the damage done by Doug Phillips and his false teaching in the lives of those who followed him. He taught Patriarchy and Dominionism, and I believe that both of these errors have their origins in Preterism and Replacement theology which both come from Covenant theology. Since Christ has supposedly already returned and is ruling and reigning now we need to help Him by working to set His kingdom up here on this earth. Since the church replaces Israel then the Old Testament can be applied to the church in an unbiblical manner. These false views relegate Christ to a secondary place rather than exalting Him to His rightful place and engendering within our hearts and our lives the blessed hope of His return. The damage that was done to those who held/hold to these errors is truly sobering and underscores our need to rightly divide the Word of truth by diligent study and reliance upon the Holy Spirit so that we won’t be brought into captivity by any. Thank you again for warning others about the false teaching. It is so very necessary! God bless you:)

    • Anonymous says:

      In response to Eliza:
      For preterists, it is not true that we “interprets Scripture about Israel in a figurative sense” generally speaking. Rather, we see that in the OT, when God speaks about the time of Messiah we also apply the book of Galatians where He says that the Israel of God is, and always has been, those who truly followed Him. It never was the nation or ethnicity. By contrast, as Paul wrote, the nation had huge blessings and advantages, yet they still rejected the Messiah. Abraham was reckoned righteous because of his faith, not because he was THE Jew.
      Nor do we cast ASPERSIONS on the Scripture, indeed the Preterist generally says that the Scriptures can be understood far more than Futurists since the Futurist by definition cannot know with precision what how a prophesy will play out. By contrast the Preterist can know what the prophesies of the end time mean since they already happened and we have records of the fulfillment in historical documents.
      A number of statements here cast aspersions on the truth of Preterism because of the excesses and heresies of a few. This is both wrong and unfair. I doubt that every Futurist is embraced by every other Futurist. Have you forgotten Harold Camping to quickly?
      As to your condemnation based on 2 Thess, if you look at the history you will see that the rebellion did occur and the man of sin (lawlessness) was revealed. Your condemnation is based on a Futurist view, and looking through that lens which is colored by assumptions not based on sound exegesis or hermeneutics.

  9. David says:

    I posted anomyously above, that was just a mistake.
    The idea that God needs us, or anyone, or anything, is both false and not held by Preterists. He began, is establishing, and will continue to establish His kingdom as He saw, sees, and will see fit. He is utterly sovereign and not dependent on anyone or anything. Just as Israel was given the land, and then conquered it by God’s power and in His time, so His word will conquer the world in His way and time. The difference is that He draws people to Himself and changes their hearts and is unconcerned with land, whether someone deems it holy or not.
    As above, the Church is the Israel of God in this Messianic age since “Israel” has always been those who worshiped Him in spirit and truth, and it has (and never did) have anything to do with ethnicity.
    Preterists do not confuse the OT nation of Israel with the Church in this ongoing Millenium. We correctly see that the OT was the shadow of things to come, and that its primary purpose is to point to, foretell, and identify the coming Messiah.

  10. Eliza says:

    I am so sorry for you that you live in a dream world, a false reality and it all has to do with you wresting the true meaning away from the Scriptures. Be warned that those who twist the Scriptures are condemned. I am a serious student of the Bible, I have read it numerous times, and I see many promises to the nation of Israel that God has promised to literally fulfill which all have to do with future events. You also have the problem of Romans chapters 9 & 11, probably verses that you don’t like to be reminded of and count on people being ignorant of them so that you can continue to promote your heresy.

    I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blesses God. Amen. Romans 9:1-5

    For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.” Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. For God has committed them all to disobedient, that He might have mercy on all. Romans 11:25-32

    In the first verses is the list of all that belongs to Israel because of their special relationship to God which He initiated, notice they still have the promises. In the second group of verses, their disobedience will be removed by the return of the Messiah. This talking about the same group, the nation of Israel. That hasn’t happened yet. It is a future event.

    In Galatians 6:14-16 this is what Paul wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit: But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails anything, but a new creation. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.

    The conjunction and joins two groups. All have always and ever been saved by faith in Jesus Christ whether Jew or Gentile. In the book of Galatians, Paul has been fighting the heresy of works righteousness which he has made evident was one of the many downfalls of the Israelites in Romans 10. Paul is making the point, after refuting the legalists, that Gentile and Jew alike are saved by faith in Jesus Christ. Using the verse out of context as a pretext for your false teaching is twisting Scripture. When we study God’s Word we must look at the verses in the context of surrounding verses and then consider them in the light of all of Scripture and be led by the Holy Spirit, which is the most important aspect of all. Too many people are not careful to do that, are led by the flesh, and so many heresies are born. Which leads to Harold Camping, he horribly twisted Scripture by spiritualizing the text. He had been doing that for years before he came up with his date setting. So he was guilty of the very thing that you are doing. Thank you for that apt example of one who was not true to the Scripture nor relying upon the Holy Spirit, but used his own corrupted reasoning.

    You should repent of your error and arrogance and ask the Lord to teach you His truth from His Word by His Holy Spirit.

    • David says:

      Wow, “dream world”, “a false reality” “wresting the true meaning away from the Scriptures”.
      Do you really think these comments are helpful, or even warranted? Did you not read the exalted place the Scriptures have in my mind?
      You “see many promises to the nation of Israel that God has promised to literally fulfill which all have to do with future events.” This is, again, a Futurist view with all its presuppositions. I respectfully maintain that view is incorrect; however, I do not accuse you of delusions, false realities, or dreaming. I just, studiously, think you are mistaken.
      You also falsely claim that “[I] don’t like to be reminded of” certain verses, and “count on people being ignorant of them so that you can continue to promote your heresy.” Why do you find it necessary to make these accusations and accuse me of heresy?
      The first verse you quoted does not prove your point, it only shows Paul’s love for his people and acknowledges their PHYSICAL place in the lineage of Christ.
      The second says that, in PAUL’S future, “all Israel” would be saved. I maintain they were, in the sense that all Israel heard and people of all tribes were saved. Certainly not all Jews have been saved, even in your view, so this understanding accounts for all Israel at least as much as yours.
      You claim “their disobedience will be removed by the return of the Messiah.” The verses neither say this, nor even imply it. That view is based on assumptions, not exegesis.
      Your reference to Galatians is excellent, but it proves the point that ethnicity is of no value. Are you suggesting that the “Israel of God” is only ethnic Jews? That contradicts the whole message of Galations.
      You said, “When we study God’s Word we must look at the verses in the context of surrounding verses and then consider them in the light of all of Scripture and be led by the Holy Spirit, which is the most important aspect of all.” I could not possibly agree more.
      The point about Camping was that disparaging all Preterists because of a few is unfair, just as it would be wrong to disparage all Futurists because of Camping.
      I repent of all error and arrogance when I find it in myself. I don’t believe I am in error on the points you raised, as I showed above. As to arrogance, I definitely have not displayed any here. I have respectfully stated my positions confidently, just as you did, and not attacked anyone, accused them of anything (except being mistaken), least of all heresy.
      Stephen, I appeal to you to objectively look at these posts.

      • I do objectively read these comments. I understand where you are coming from, but unfortunately, I think your views are from a wrong interpretation of a few key verses. I do not doubt your sincerity, but I disagree with your views. I think it is best for me to just read scripture for what it says and to stay away from theology, I mean from theology that seems to take us away from a literal meaning of scripture. It’s always best to try to figure out what scripture actually says, not what we think it should say according to our logic or according to our feelings about our situation. Because sometimes what God says in scripture does not fit with our logic or our plans. Anyway, I pray that God would show us the truth–me and you. He alone can change a heart. I can’t convince anyone of anything.

      • David says:

        Apologies Stephen, I didn’t mean “decide what’s right”, I meant to ask you to look at the posts and decide whether it is helpful to call me names, accuse me of deliberately twisting the Scriptures, living in a dream world or false reality, arrogance, etc.
        I will respond to Eliza’s latest diatribe and false accusations, hopefully later today.

      • Eliza says:

        If you read Zechariah you will see that the national salvation of Israel is a future event, Zechariah 12-14. Could it be that preterists do not believe in the supernatural? Could it be that preterists don’t expect to see Christ Jesus face to face? If Christ is now in Jerusalem reigning, then why hasn’t Psalm 2 been fulfilled? Why hasn’t Isaiah 11 and 60 been fulfilled? Why isn’t there a temple in Jerusalem with a river flowing out of it where the Prince will reign as described in Ezekiel 40-48? Why hasn’t Ezekiel 39:21-19 been fulfilled? There are too many problems with preterism for it to be true. The Scriptures have to be misapplied and twisted to support that kind of reasoning. I used the disparaging term of being in a dream world because the cataclysmic events described by Jesus Christ in the gospels will up end the natural order of our earth and be universally seen by all, that hasn’t occurred yet. I’m sorry that such sharp judgment of this heresy upsets you, but God’s Word is clear that those who twist the Scriptures do so to their own destruction and that as His beloved children we are not to be led away by the error of the wicked. Those verses actually come after Peter has warned that there would be those who would scoff at and misrepresent Christ’s second coming. 2 Peter 3

  11. Thank you all for your comments. I remain convinced that God is not done with Israel yet. I believe the Israel of God Paul referred to in Galatians is the Christian Jew–not the Church. I look forward to seeing how things will transpire in the coming millennial Kingdom–when God will finally fulfill His covenants with Israel, when they will be the head and not the tail. It will be grand.

  12. Once again I thank you for your comments, however I am a little concerned. Please try to be respectful and understanding and I will do the same.

  13. David says:

    I have read Zechariah, and of course it was future to him, but it already happened and is therefore not still future
    No, it is absolutely false to say that “preterists do not believe in the supernatural”. A cursory reading of anything they have ever written would make that immediately clear.
    No, it is absolutely false to say “preterists don’t expect to see Christ Jesus face to face”.
    Psalm 2 has been fulfilled. The nations are coming to Him in His kingdom, since He is reigning of His kingdom that is not of this world.
    Of course Isaiah 11 has been fulfilled! It speaks of the coming of Messiah to Israel in the first century.
    Of course Isaiah 60 has been fulfilled. People all over the world have believed and worship Him. There is not temple in Jerusalem because we worship in spirit and truth, not in buildings.
    Ezekiel was speaking in prophesy and used symbolism, as it is used throughout prophetic literature. You must consider the context, genre, and audience, otherwise you will make grave errors in understanding.
    Of course Ezekiel 39:21-19 has been fulfilled. They saw His judgement on Israel when Jerusalem and the temple (i.e. the Mosaic system) was destroyed in AD70.
    Preterism solved problems based on a correct reading of the Scriptures, which is base on sound hermeneutics.
    There is no cause to use disparaging terms, especially since I am merely making the case for Preterism. It is both counterproductive and insulting.
    Your judgment is incorrect, and Preterism is not heresy. In fact it is far more consistent and true to the Scriptures than any other view. I have no fear of destruction since I am neither twisting nor misapplying the Scriptures.
    Also, I am neither scoffing nor misrepresenting Christ’s coming. Again, please read my previous post and you will see the supreme place the Scriptures have in my mind.
    Stephen, you said you were concerned. The implication seemed to be that I am not being respectful and/or understanding. Please tell me where I have been so and I will correct.

  14. Daniel says:

    There are a few things missing from the comments above. Preterists say that the 70th week of Daniel happened in the past when Rome destroyed Jerusalem and the temple. However, the events of the 70th week are not what happened during the Jewish wars with Rome (66-70 AD).

    1. When Vespasian, and his son Titus, destroyed Jerusalem and the temple, they didn’t first make a covenant or treaty with Judea and others lasting seven years.
    2. No one place an image of abomination of abomination in the temple midway through the week.
    3. The persecution of Christians under Nero was limited to the vicinity of Rome and not Judea. It wasn’t until the rule of Domitian (81-96 AD)that the second persecution started and it was Domitian who banished John to Patmos.
    4. Scriptures (Dan 9 and Rev 13) do not say the temple gets destroyed but rather that the beast (Rev 13) and/or man of Dan 9 simply occupied the temple and made himself out to be God.
    5. Joseph Caiaphas, was high priest when Jesus was crucified and he held that position from 18 to 37 A.D. Preterists say there is no gap between the 69th week and the 70th week of Daniel 9. If that is so, and each week equals 7 years, then instead of 70 AD being the date of destruction of the temple (because preterists say the temple was destroyed in the 70th week), that would put the destruction at the very latest in 44 AD, which is refuted by all historians of the past and present.

    Consequently the early dating of the Apocalypse is not only refuted by early Christian writers (including the didache) but also by historic facts.

  15. Dave says:

    Here is what I wrote in my Amazon review of Paul Ellis’ latest book, AD70 and the End of the World:

    “Throughout AD70 Mr. Ellis literally hand-waves away all of Revelation, pays scant recognition to Daniel, and acts as if the book of Matthew ends with chapter 24. Any objections raised by Mr. Futurist citing accurate biblical interpretations from these Scriptures are rebutted by Mr. Ellis with his allegorical misinterpretations. A favorite Bible commentator likes to say that if you torture Scripture long enough you can make it confess to anything. In the case of Ellis’ book Scripture is surely screaming for mercy.”

    There are so many ways to refute the AD70 doctrine, and so much need to do so, but one that I wish to emphasize now is preterists’ claim that Revelation was written by John prior to the destruction of the temple in AD70, and that his prophecy applied only to that event.

    What many fail to recognize is that Revelation was not an “inspired” writing per se, or an “as told to” so to speak, as other of the books of the Bible are. It is an eyewitness account recorded by John who had a ring-side seat in heaven to the unfolding of the future of the earth.

    In the beginning of Chapter 4 a door opens in heaven and a voice tells John, “Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” From that moment through the end of the book John was an outside-of-time witness to everything that will — absolutely will! — take place in earth’s future.

    This is an important point. John wasn’t just told to sit down for a briefing about the future. HE WAS WATCHING IT HAPPEN … AS IT IS HAPPENING!

    To outright dismiss and relegate to fables important Revelation events such as the woes that affect the whole earth, the two-thirds of all humanity succumbing to the woes, cataclysmic events, the anti-christ along with the beast and the false prophet, the two witnesses preaching, being killed and resurrecting, the coming of the Lord in power, the thousand-year-reign of the Lord on the Throne of David while Satan is bound for a thousand years, the judgments, the marriage supper, and finally the new heaven and new earth seems to indicate nothing more than a spiritual blindness.

    How can anyone honestly say that all that has taken place already as of AD70? I mean, really?

    Revelation is the only book that promises a special blessing on those who ” … readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” -Rev 1:3

    But on the other hand, for those who hand-wave away all of Revelation God also warns, “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” -Rev 22:19

    Fair warning!

  16. Don Gorman says:

    I think that Dispensational Eschatology has so littered the landscape with outlandish interpretations and false applications that more and more they hopefully will see a total decline in the near future. Date setting is common going back to WW2 where books identified the Axis powers into convoluted ideas of Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito. I read these books myself back in the 60’s and 70’s as somehow people still held on to them. There is lots of readers of the eschatological scene and Chhristian books are on the scene. Hal Lindsay has certainly made a bundle of money with his newspaper to Bible comparisons. Sadly, at one time, I was into it but thankfully now I see the 2nd Coming as a surety and could happen today. I see 5 or 6 Second Comings in the Book of Revelation, starting with Revelation 4 and on you go.
    If Israel were to dissolve tomorrow were to dissolve tomorrow, I speak of the nation, but following that it would totally kill the prophecy business in Christian circles. We do know He is coming and no secret rapture to look for. How could you consistently read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18? Read that a shout of the Lord, the voice of the Archangel and the trump of God? How could one not hear all that and say it is a secret. That sounds like the return of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, coming to the earth and bringing His bride with Him. End of the game, my sisters and brothers.

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