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How Preterism Changes our Mindset

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Ozarkpreterist, Jun 12, 2002.

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  1. BigEd

    BigEd an adopted child of God

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    OK, i have read some of the preterist posts and also check out some of the web sites you have posted..but i have a couple of questions..

    If all has been fulfilled:

    Why do we still have suffering in the world?

    The 20th century was the bloodiest, century in history,how is this possible, if we are living in post-millenial age?

    Re. 20:14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The
    lake of fire is the second death.
    So if the book of revelation has been fufilled how come their still is death in the world?

    these are question I have concerning the preterist viewpoint. I am a furturist, but i am not entirely satisfied with the furtist possition.
     
  2. parousia70

    parousia70 I'm livin' in yesterday's tomorrow Supporter

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    Great question Ed!

    Here's a quote from preteristcosmos.com I found that I believe does a great Job at answering it!:

    **********************************
    First, most Christians believe in eternal, or everlasting, punishment. Even if we propose that it is the Devil and "the beast and the false prophet" (Rev. 20:10) who are the only ones who suffer eternally, that would still add up to a cosmos wherein sin and suffering continue forever and ever. To have planet Earth free from sin and suffering while sin and suffering continue elsewhere for eternity (i.e., "the lake of fire") does not solve the philosophical problem of the existence of sin and suffering. Therefore the idea of a universe in which sin and suffering continue for eternity is not at all a uniquely preterist problem. Unless you are a Universalist or an annihilationist, it seems that your objection may have more to do with the locale of sin and suffering than with the mere existence of it.

    We must know that the existence of sin in the universe in no way implies the victory of sin. Nor does the continued existence of sin in the universe at all imply a "stalemate" between righteousness and sin. If it did, then we would be forced to say that God has as of yet won zero decisive victories over sin, since sin still exists. The idea that the mere existence of sin in the universe implies the non-victory of righteousness in the universe is an existential philosophy that devalues all that has thus far been wrought by the cross of Christ.

    It seems that some people will never be satisfied with anything less than a fleshly utopia that is characterized by absolute "behavioral errorlessness" throughout the entire universe (except for in hell). In contrast to this idea of how the universe should be, God says that He created "vessels of wrath fitted to destruction" in order "that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy."

    Sin exists, yet God is victorious over sin every day: "Every morning I will destroy all the wicked of the Land, so as to cut off from the city of the Lord all those who do iniquity" (Ps. 101:8).

    The world in which we live is not "the best of all possible worlds" for the wicked. But it is the best of all possible worlds, "to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose" (Rom. 8:28).


    *************************************

    Does that give you anything to chew on?
     
  3. parousia70

    parousia70 I'm livin' in yesterday's tomorrow Supporter

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    I'm impressed! :D

    Here's why I question the assumption that Adam would never have physically died had he not eaten from the tree of knowledge.

    1)Adam was a created being, and like all created beings, was subject to physical decay. Christ was the only human that was promised his flesh would not see decay.

    2)Even before the fall, It was "access' to the tree of life that would enable Adam to live forever, that is why God kicked him out, to deny him access. Eternal life was not something that was inherant in his being.

    3) The only tree that God forbade Adam from eating from was the tree of Knowledge. Every other tree in the garden, he was free to eat from....or not.

    Nowhere in scripture can we find support for the idea that Adam wasn't free to choose not to access the tree of life, before the fall. I believe Adam could have excercised his free will to abstain from the tree of life, and that choice would not have been "against God" for the Bible is clear that the only choice Adam could have made that was "against God" was the choice to eat of the tree of Knowledge.

    Christ did not come to restore that which was not lost in the fall. Physical death had no power to seperate Adam from God before the fall, but after the fall, physical death became a huge barrier, now that Christ has restored things to their condition before the fall, Physical death is once again merely Gods servant to bring us into a deeper level of Human existance, an existance that was intended from the foundation of the world.

    Peace,
    P70
     
  4. BigEd

    BigEd an adopted child of God

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    I don't know P70.
    That sounds closer to polictical spin, then a real answer.
     
  5. parousia70

    parousia70 I'm livin' in yesterday's tomorrow Supporter

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    Well Ed,
    Why don't you clarify your objection?

    Judging by your previous post, You seem object to the idea of Evil, sin and suffering lasting forever.

    Is is not true (as pointed out in my posted quote) that your objection has more to do with the "Location" of evil, sin and suffering, than with the everlasting existance of it?

    Or are you Universallist or annihilationist?
     
  6. BigEd

    BigEd an adopted child of God

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    You ask a valid question P70,
    but i feel it could be better discused in a new thread. so I am start a new thread (rather then sidetrack this any more) so we can continue this discussion.
     
  7. Ozarkpreterist

    Ozarkpreterist New Member

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    When the book of Revelation was written (That is if you accept the pre-AD 70 date.), the church was in the midst of horrendous persecution. They had to contend with Jewish zealots, Caesar worship, and paganism. An unbelieving outsider might look at the tiny sect of Christianity and say that it did not have long to last. They were much more the underdog than we are today.

    Yet, you read the new testament and there is surprisingly little complaint about how big the darkness was. Books on how bad things are out there are best sellers today. Sermons about what Satan is supposedly doing and about how terrible our times are abound. Yet, in the day of the early church we hear the bold statement:

    John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Revelation 1:4 through Revelation 1:6 (NKJV)

    The cry that Jesus is Lord over all the nations of the earth came from their hearts. Moreover, they did not look at themselves as underdogs but as priests and kings. And their boast proved to be true. Rome fell, paganism just ain't what it used to be, and we all know the fate of those Jews that opposed Christ.

    However, this message that Jesus is Lord over all the nations of the earth has become somewhat muted in the modern pulpit. We present Jesus as Savior, and we do it fairly well. We see Him as a loving Savior who accepts us as we are. And this is good. The unconditional love of the cross is greater than we can fathom. However, Jesus is also the Lord over all the nations of the earth, and He rules them with a rod of iron. Opposing Him is a fearful thing.

    Moreover, we are very good at presenting ourselves as priests—those who commune with God and intercede. We share in the Lord's priestly ministry. However, we are also to be a reflection of the fact that He is King.

    All this to ask a question. Has postponement eschatology stolen the boast that Jesus is Lord over all the nations of the earth from our heart? Has the idea that the kingdom is for a future dispensation stolen the fact that we are kings from us? What damage has the "why polish the brass on a sinking ship" mentality done to the church? Has it replaced the boast that Jesus is Lord with a boast in how big the darkness is and how bad things are getting? If it has, I want it back!

    Secondly, what does it mean to be a king unto our God? I do not think it means that we can have whatever we want. Nor do I think that it means that others must become our servants.

    I do believe it means that we are to be reflections of the fact that Jesus is in charge and is preeminent in all things. (Colossians 1:15-19). As I John 4:17 says, "...as He is so also are we in this world." He is not just a priest but the King. There is no greater authority on the earth than the church which shares in His authority.

    I do believe that we are to be the instruments by which the heavenly reality of the kingdom of God becomes earthly experience. For it is our faith that overcomes the world (I john 5:4). Another way of looking at this might be to say our faith proves the fact that He has overcome all things. I would deeply appreciate any comments on this matter. Thanks

    Ozark
     
  8. jenlu

    jenlu Member

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    Parousia...

    I've asked this in another thread I beleive...Let me start of by asking...do you believe anything in the Bible tells of how the future will be for this world...not like fortelling times and events, but maybe the general trend...I believe it may...what do you think...I believe the Bible describes a world in the flesh under the blessings of God(through submission of that flesh to God) because of the ushering in of the new covenant with Jesus Christ as the High Priest...Right now, I know those type of blessings can and will happen individually and possibly churchwide...but I'm talking worldwide...Now as it looks now, it doesn't seem possible, but I believe it to be, because I believe that is what the Bible teaches...do you believe I am thinking straightly or thinking passages that have to do with spiritual leaning(psalms:cant remember which yet(gone blank), but living to age 100 as a youngin: you know) and giving them physical meaning?...thanks...
     
  9. davo

    davo Member

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    So true Ozark. It reminds me of the "O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you..." and, "Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all" -seems like escapist theology hamstrings spiritual growth -why return to "weak and beggarly elements"? :scratch:

    davo
     
  10. parousia70

    parousia70 I'm livin' in yesterday's tomorrow Supporter

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    Jenlu,

    I always fall back on Isaiah 9:7
    "Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this."

    Like you, even in the midst of the world around me today, I believe the government of Jesus Christ is destined to increase forever. when lamenting on how bad you believe the world is getting, think about what it must have been like in the dark ages...think about what it was like to be a peasant in the middle ages..think about what it must have been like to have lived during the plague...and even recently, think about what it was like to be a Jew in Germany in WW2, or think about what is was like ot have polio before Jonas Salk came along....

    We can go on and on about how much better the earth is today, thanks to the ever spreading of Christianity. why, there is zero persecution of Christianity in the western hemisphere today, China and Islam are next, nations rise and fall, and because we are stuck in the middle of our own range of perception, we can easily get caught up (no pun intended) in thinking ours is the worst ever, but a quick survey of the History of Humanity, dispels that notion. The Church remains, ever triumphant, ups and downs to be sure, for in this world we have tribulation, but nothing can stop the Church from her destiny, to subdue the earth.

    Futurism is in direct conflict with Isaiah 9:7, saying that there is a terminus to the increase of Jesus' government. That there is coming a point in history that the doors will be shut on salvation, that Christ's Kingdom in the "end" will contain only a finite number of the "saved", never again to "increase".

    In the preterist doctorine, in contrast, there is no "use by" or "expiration" date to the Gospel, for it is everlasting.

    Even in the New heavens and earth, the "final prophesied state" we see those inside the city calling out to those outside who thirst, to "come, drink freely of the water of Life" "the Gates of the city remain open forever to accept the wealth that the nations and kingdoms forever bring into her.

    You may ask: "Toward what is history progressing if sin continues to exist and history is not going to end?"

    The goal is none other than that every man of every nation, through the power of the Gospel, attain unto that for which mankind was created: To love God with all his heart, soul and mind, and his neighbor as himself (Matt. 22:37-39; Mk. 12:30-31; Lk. 10:27-28). We must not think that the continued existence of sin on earth invalidates the possibility or the perfection of the realization of that goal.

    Preterists do not know future events, but we are fully confident in the fact that whatever the conquering Savior pleases to do, He does, on earth as in heaven (Ps. 135:6). And when we consider the divine eternality of the Church on earth and her progressive divine dominion, we know that her future, and hence the future of humanity, will be filled to overflowing with innumerable blessings which are even now utterly impossible for us to grasp. For what wonders will God work in and through His more-than-conquering Church after 10,000 years of ecclesiastical progress, or after 1,000,000 years of victory? Only God can know (Eccl. 3:11). What we do know is that in Christ Jesus our Creator and our Redeemer, the future of mankind on earth under His dominion will surely be "exceeding abundantly" and incomprehensibly wonderful....

    "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, unto him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen" (Eph. 3:20-21).

    P70
     
  11. jenlu

    jenlu Member

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    Thanks Parousia,

    I have long since determined(through proper perspective as you have stated) that Jesus' kingdom is growing, even through what seems to be trials and tribulations of our day...One could even make the argument that during the toughest of times(Looks like the end to futurists) there is the biggest growth of the kingdom...My friends always condemn me for this thought and my usual response is "It started with One"...

    I must say...you've(through scrutiny of scripture as well) have almost convinced me...my biggest problem is overcoming previously held paradigm's...my thoughts were always that the world will fully and completely become part of the kingdom through the ever growing proccess...then there would be an end...but I guess it isn't ever growing if there's an end...makes sense...

    Really appreciate the insight...
     
  12. Caedmon

    Caedmon kawaii Supporter

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    I'm not understanding this. How can preterism say that the Earth will never end? At some point in the future, the star that we call the Sun will run out of hydrogen to burn and start to die; it will begin to lose it's gravitational integrity, expand into a red giant, and engulf the orbits of the planets in our solar system. Eventually, our Earth will be burnt into a vapor, becoming a tiny cloud of insignificant space dust.
     
  13. Didaskomenos

    Didaskomenos Voiced Bilabial Spirant

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    I've wondered that, too. My guess is, preterists believe in miracles. :)
     
  14. Hi humblejoe :wave:

    Sadly many Bible students are unfamiliar with the apocalyptic, and figurative language of the Bible. So many people like to say "The Bible says what it means and means what it says". They seem to be saying there is no such thing as figurative or spiritual language. This is sad because a LOT of the Bible is symbolic language

    If the writers of the Old Testament used such highly symbolic language to picture the actions of God, is it not likely that the writers of the New Testament, and Jesus in particular, would not use the same kind of imagery to describe events of historic proportions? Why should Jesus not have used the same Jewish symbolical language from the Old Testament to describe event at the destruction of Jerusalem, etc.?

    The problem is people today are not used to dealing with such symbolical language like the sun being darkened and the stars falling, etc. without thinking literally. To the Jew this was not new language. When the rulers of the nation which God destroyed passed away it was said that the sun was darkened and the stars fell from the sky's, etc.

    To help you understand how the Jews communicated in terms of symbolical language last first study (Genesis 37:9). This is the way language is used in the Old Testament. It was adopted for like use in the New Testament.
    This kind of language in relation to Israel began in the Bible in (Genesis 37:9). When Joseph told his brothers his dream He said, "Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me."

    His father understood the meaning of that dream and asked. "What is the dream that thou haste dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? (vs.10). To what was Joseph relating his dream - to the sun and the moon and the stars? No to his father and mother and brethren.

    In studying apocalyptic language of the New Testament, most preterist have learned you most go back into the Old Testament-the sourse for much of the minology used in the New Testament. Joseph in a dream saw "the sun ad the moon and the eleven stars" abeying him (Genesis 37:9), and there we see the same kind of typology used, as we know this referred to the brothers of Joseph finally having to yield to Joseph when he became a rular in Egypt.. The heavenly elements represent people in OLD Testament labguage.

    In order to understand the Bible (we must read the Bible in this Jewish mindset). Take, for example, the case of the prophesied fall of Babylon to the (Medes in 539BC)., and how God used this celestial and universal language to describe the judgment that would come upon her: "Bohold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. "For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And i will punish the world for their evil (Isaiah 13:9-11).

    This applied to Babylon, as mentioned in verse 1 This language is symboical and represented in celestial language somthing that would take place upon a people. Again, note the prophecy of Ezekiel against Egypt: "And when I shall put thee out, I will cover the heave, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the su with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light. "All the bright lights of heaven will make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, saith the Lord GOD" (Ezekiel 32:7-8) This applied to egypt, as mentioned in vss. 2, 12-16.

    Most preterist have learned that in understanding many expressions in the New Testament eschatology, it is asolutely necessary to go back to the Old Testament and see how the same expressions were used there. In that way, one lets the Bible interpret itself. This same language was used in response to Israel, judgment of God (Matthew 24:29) This applied to Israel as mentioned in verse 34,35, 36, of Matthew 23.

    The "heaven and earth" are simply the Jewish religious/political authorities and the land of Palestine and the people who lived there. They were the 'ungodly men' because they jejected and killed the Christ. And thus is was that heaven and earth that would removed forever.

    The "Heavens and the Earth" Represent Israel.
    In Isaiah 51:15-16 God said: "But I am the LORD thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The LORD of host is his name. "And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered there in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and ay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people."

    God is not talking here about something that happened at creation's date 3,000 years before! He is talking about His people Israel. The heavens and the earth" represent Israel in this language. Some of us may have to go-over our thinging to uderstand the meaning of these passages. The Hebrew people understood this kind of language. It was their style. We need to see things in context, and the context of the Jewish writters.

    In Haggai 2:6-7 (a Messianic prophecy) it said, "Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land: And I will shake all nations........This passage applies to the change of things which were brought about by the passing away of the old and the introduction of the new. The coming of Christ made possible this great change.

    The change would involve the passing away of the old Juaistic system with all its ceremonies, rites, rituals, sacrifices, etc. As the writer of Hebrew said, as he "borrowed" words from Haggai 2:6: "The destruction of Jersualem is very frequently expressed in Scripture as if it were the destruction of the whole world.

    God did destroy nations, but never again the whole world. And we preterist do not know of any prediction anywhere in the Bible that says He will destroy this entire universe. One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; but the earth abideth for ever Ess. 1:4,

    unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Aman Eph. 3:21.
     
  15. How can Preterist say the the Earth will never end? Because the Bible says that it will never end.

    Psalms 78:69 And he built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the (earth which he has established for ever).

    Psalms 96:10 Say among the heathen that the Lord reigns (the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved).

    Psalms 119:89-90 For ever O Lord thy word is settled in heaven, Thy faithulness is unto all generations thou has established the (earth and it abideth).

    Ecclesiastes 1:4 One generation passeth away, and another generation come but (the earth abideth for ever).

    Isaiah 45:17 But Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation you shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.

    Now the New Testament Ephesians 3:21 unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus (throughout all ages, world without end Amen). JKV

    These Scriptures tell us, the world will always go on. As you see, there is a dilemma with the futurist view.
     
  16. You hit the nail right dead on the head. We believe in the miracles that can happen when one believes God's holy worlds. Try it out it works. ;)
     
  17. Caedmon

    Caedmon kawaii Supporter

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    Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns; indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity." - Psalms 96:10, NASB (emphasis mine)

    This SAME Scripture was ALSO used to support the claim that the the Sun orbitted the Earth. Space science disproved that interpretation of Scripture, and elementary stellar studies can tell you that one day the Earth will be destroyed. But even if the Earth survives the red giant expansion(nearly impossible and astronomically ludicrous), it WILL lose the potential to support life(by losing it's heat source) when the Sun begins to experience heat death, shrinking into a white dwarf, then black dwarf.

    If you would like an elementary explanation, this is a relatively good site for beginners: Sun Death

    I'm starting a new thread on this specific topic. :)
     
  18. davo

    davo Member

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    Ok joe, you can explain away that scripture using someone elses faulty interpretation of that scripture -do you likewise explain away the rest?

    As good and as important as science is, it [science] isn't the final arbitrator on truth -at least for "believers" -well, this one anyway. 100 years ago science held "100 laws of scientific fact" -they are all now debunked -why, because science has gained a better understanding of God's good creation. Science changes [it has to] -truth doesn't.

    Christ upholds "all things" [the physical world included] by the word of His power, and "in Him all things hold together." [if you believe it -I do :) ]

    davo
     
  19. Didaskomenos

    Didaskomenos Voiced Bilabial Spirant

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    I'm bringing this over from humblejoe's astronomy thread to get your take on it.

    Is this in the preterist view yet to come? The eventual culmination of the Kingdom of God brought about by God through the Church?
     
  20. Didaskomenos

    Didaskomenos Voiced Bilabial Spirant

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    Anybody?
     
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