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Preterism and Bible Prophesy

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by parousia70, Apr 23, 2002.

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  1. parousia70

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

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    Hello,

    I am starting this thread to provide a place where Christians who hold to the Preterist view of Bible prophesy can fellowship with oneanother, and provide sober reason for our faith to anyone who wishes to call us to account.

    For those of you who do not know what the preterist view is, here is an outline of what we believe:

    "Preterist" means past in fulfillment. Preterists believe that Bible eschatology (the doctorine of the "Last Things") has already been fulfilled in Christ and the on-going expansion of His Kingdom.

    The "Preterist" interpretation of Bible prophecy has been mentioned several times in publications such as Christianity Today, Christian News, Great Christian Books catalog, World Magazine, and several others. Scores of preterist books, tracts, video and audio tapes have been produced and many more are on the way. It is beginning to capture significant public attention, and is "spreading like wildfire" at the grass roots level. It is compatible with the essential beliefs of all Christians, and is already represented in nearly all Protestant denominations as well as the Roman Church.

    When will Christ return? This question is relevant, and can be answered by scripture. Jesus seems to have answered it very clearly in these passages (Matt. 10:23; Matt. 16:27,28; Matt. 24:34). Ever wonder why the First Century Christians expected Jesus to come in their lifetime, and where they got this expectation from? Take a look at the extreme sense of imminency in these passages: James 5:8,9; 1 Pet. 4:7; Matt. 10:23; Matt. 16:27,28; Matt. 24:34. These verses have always troubled Bible students, and have been used by liberal theologians to attack the inspiration of Scripture. They reason that these passages were not fulfilled when they were supposed to be (the first century generation), so Jesus and the NT writers failed in their predictions and were therefore not inspired. But these verses point to Christ's coming in some sense in connection with the Fall of Jerusalem at 70 AD. So, Jesus' predictions were fulfilled. He did not fail, nor do we need to engage in theological gymnastics to try to explain-away the seeming delay or postponement of His return. It happened right on schedule. Many knew the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD was important in God's scheme of redemption, but never understood its full significance. It has to do with the consummation of the plan of redemption. The final events of the redemptive drama came to pass in the first century within the apostles' generation (before A.D. 70). Christ's kingdom is here now. Paradise has been restored in Christ. We live in the Garden of Eden now (if we are in Christ), just as sure as we can know we have "eternal life." These are present and abiding benefits, not pie-in-the-sky bye-and-bye. Christ has conquered all His enemies and has given us the Kingdom.

    This view offers a much more positive and realistic worldview. It is conservative, consistent, optimistic, responsible and accountable. And it robs us of no motivation for either living the Christian life, or evangelizing the world. In fact, it's the only view which gives us a consistent reason for being constructively involved in making the world a better place for the long-term, unlike the short-term escapist and withdrawal mindset of most futurists.

    Bible prophecy absolutely makes sense when approached from this past-fulfillment (preterist) perspective! It has an optimistic worldview that gets involved, makes a positive difference, and lights a candle, rather than cursing the darkness, longing for a rapture-escape, or retreating from society. It doesn't engage in wild-eyed speculation like futurist views. It's just simple, straight-forward Bible interpretation.

    Some of the great theologians and scholars of the last 300 years have suggested the preterist view for consideration, but traditional Christianity was too caught up with the idea that the Pope was the Antichrist or some other such Futurist notion. But that has changed. We are not as gullible now as they were when William Miller, Darby, C. T. Russell, Rutherford, Scofield, Walvoord, and Hal Lindsey came along. A constant barrage of false predictions has made us more wary.

    Most Christian theologians in Europe a century ago took a somewhat preterist approach, and none of them considered it unorthodox. One of the leading proponents of the preterist view a century ago was James Stuart Russell (not to be confused with the Jehovah's Witness founder with the same last name, Charles Taze Russell - there is no relation). J. S. Russell (1816-1895) published a book in 1878 entitled, The Parousia. Click link for online version!

    Many who never knew anyone else took the preterist view have independently discovered it in the Scriptures, and are finding Biblical prophecy bursting with meaning now. If you haven't taken a look at it, it is time you did!

    I look forward to a rich and rewarding exchange with all who choose to discuss this fascinating topic!

    YBIC,
    P70
     
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  2. Hoonbaba

    Hoonbaba Catholic Preterist

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  3. parousia70

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

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    Thanks Hoon, Great link!
    That should be a real eye opener!
     
  4. TScott

    TScott Curmudgeon

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    Hi Perousia70,

    I found your post very interesting. I have never actually heard the reference to Preterism but I have always thought that the prophesy of Jesus' return was that he would return in the 1st c. I have always thought that an imminent return does a lot in explaining Paul's behavior and I also believe that much of the symbolism found in Revelation can also back up your preteristic idea.

    If one reads the 17th ch. of Revelation, that this is the precursor to the Apocalyptic event, then it starts becoming quite clear that this apocalypse will indeed take place with the fall of Jerusalem.

    In the 17th chapter we find the Whore of Babylon who is seen with the scarlet beast. Across her forehead is written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. She is also said to be drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. To me it becomes obvious that the Whore of Babylon is the city of Jerusalem. The beast she is on has seven heads, and And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. These portray with the seven Roman emperors that will have fallen before the destruction of Jerusalem.

    It would appear that most, possibly all, of the prophesies in Revelation were fulfilled when the city of Jerusalem were destroyed.
     
  5. NumberOneSon

    NumberOneSon The poster formerly known as Acts6:5

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    Great insights, TScott!

    Indeed, the "whore","Babylon", and "Sodom and Egypt" were all names given to Apostate Jerusalem, the city "where also our Lord was crucified(Rev. 11:8)". I know of no other place where our Lord died on a cross except Jerusalem.

    In Christ,

    Acts6:5
     
  6. parousia70

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

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    Tscott, It would appear that you fall into the category above, having never heard of preterism, while drawing the same conclusions as preterists.

    Your post was excellent, displaying how beautifully simple preterism is and how easily it erases the plethera of contradictions, stretching and twisting needed to support a 'future to us' 2nd coming.

    Your comments bring to light one of the many very serious problems with futurist theology.

    "And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the Great City which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified" (Rev. 11:8).

    This verse designates Jerusalem as "Sodom and Egypt" because it was in Jerusalem that the Lord Jesus was crucified. If we are to say this verse refers to a time in our future and is not yet fulfilled, then we must also say that Jerusalem remains the spiritual "Sodom and Egypt" to this very day because of its Messianic blood-guilt, and that it must remain so indicted until the Judgment of Rev. 11:13-19 is fulfilled sometime in our future. This conclusion is inescapable if the passage has yet to be fulfilled.

    And if Rev. 11:13-19 is yet unfulfilled, this logically implies that Paul's indictment against Jews must remain intact to this very day, specifically, that "the Jews [who "killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets"] ...are ...hostile to all men. ...They always fill up the measure of their sins" (I Thess. 2:14-16).

    In the consistent futurist doctrine, all people who call themselves Jews today are left wide open to being automatically viewed with special suspicion by Christians. Futurism logically produces a very dangerous ambiguity and ambivalence toward modern-day "Jews" in that, on the one hand, they are in some sense "God's chosen people," and on the other hand they must remain a blood-guilty race of enemies who are opposed to all men, and whose Metropolis is "Egypt" and "Sodom" until Revelation 11 is fulfilled.

    In the preterist doctrine, in contrast, Jerusalem was "given to the nations" by God in the late 60's, A.D., and the Great City was then tread under foot for 42 months (Rev. 11:2). During that Great Tribulation which culminated in the destruction of the City and the Sanctuary in A. D. 70, the wrath of God against the Jews had come to the utmost (I Thess. 2:16; Heb. 10:26-31) and the Jews had paid the price for their Messianic blood-guilt to the last cent (Lk. 12:54-59). When the fleshly covenant-nation was disinherited as God's covenant people in 70, God's wrath against her was finished. After that day, the Jews became --covenantally speaking-- simply one of the many ethnic classes in the family of man (Eph. 3:15). And there is not one class (or "race") of man today that is in any sense accepted or rejected by God because of DNA, but all are freely accepted in Christ.

    How many lives would have been saved if this preterist view of Israel in Bible prophecy had been taught instead of consistent futurism?

    Probably millions.
     
  7. Hoonbaba

    Hoonbaba Catholic Preterist

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    Hi TScott =)

    May God continually bless your studies!! I think you'll enjoy preterist teachings, though I don't know if you'll fully agree with it. Anyway, check out this link:

    http://www.liberty.edu/courses/theo250/preterism.html

    It may help you understand more on preterism =)

    God bless!

    -Jason
     
  8. parousia70

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

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    Thanks for posting that link Hoon, I had forgotton about it. It is a great overview of preterist teachings.

    Whooda thunk that Jerry Fallwells University taught a course on the Biblical merrits of Preterism?!

    The Lord indeed works in mysterious ways. :clap:
     
  9. Hoonbaba

    Hoonbaba Catholic Preterist

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    Amen!! =) Actually, I don't think it's a class ON preterism, it's a class on eschatology which includes various eschatological positions including preterism.

    But it's still funny how thye include preterism in that class =)

    -Jason
     
  10. Craigybabe

    Craigybabe Junior vice trainee secretary

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    Hi P70!

    Please take the time to read this.

    Matthew 24 vs 32-36 ('The Message' translation)

    Take a lesson from the fig tree. From the moment you notice its buds form, the merest hint of green, you know summer's just around the corner. So it is with you: When you see all these things, you'll knpw he's at the door. Don't take this lightly. I'm not just saying this for some future generation, but for all of you. This age continues until all these things take place. Sky and earth will wear out;my words won't wear out. But the exact day and hour?" No one knows that, not even heaven's angels, NOT EVEN THE SON. Only the Father knows

    I'm kinda baffled because Jesus is apparently predicting his arrival in Matt 10:23 etc like you say,but in the verses above he says that not even he knows when he will be returning. Only the Father knows.

    I'm confused!

    Can you share any light on this?

    God Bless

    Craig
     
  11. davo

    davo Member

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    G'day P70 :wave: and thanks for starting this section up over here -this should keep the board chiefs "others" happy -in the words of Hot Chocolate "everyone's a winner baby..."

    davo
     
  12. davo

    davo Member

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    G'day Craig :wave:

    There could be two things to look at here. 1) Jesus speaks this out of his humanity (limited to that which "my Father has revealed to me" or, 2) "Majority" text does not actually contain the words "nor the son" -being an addition to some Greek texts.

    However, I did think this rendering from your quote quite interesting:

    "I'm not just saying this for some future generation, but for all of you."

    davo
     
  13. GW

    GW Veteran

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    Only the day and the hour were left unrevealed (perhaps as much as a season).

    Jesus says:

    "pray that your flight (out of the city of Jerusalem) be not in the winter (the season) nor on the sabbath (a day of the week)."
     
  14. Psalm6

    Psalm6 New Member

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    I just have one question for the preterists, how do you deal with the prophecy about satan being bound a thousand years?
     
  15. Hi Craig if I may clear this up. Yes it is true that Jesus said no man know the day or hour only the Father. However there is a big deference in knowing the "day and hour" of his return then knowing the "time frame" of his retuen. A time frame is a statement that promises certain events will take place within a stated time limit. (Matthew 10:23)

    For example: If I tell a friend I'm coming over his house this weekend. That's a time statement. However my friend has no idea the "day and hour" I will arrive. He just know I will arrive over the weekend.

    You are expecting company. Your guests are scheduled to arrive at noon for lunch. Time statements, previously made, govern your behavior. At noon the phone rings, and you learn your guests are lost. You give new directions and tell them they will be at your house in a half-hour (if they don't foul up again). You make plans to keep the food fresh and ready based on the new time statement.

    God uses time statement too. He created time so, He above all knows how important time statements are to our lives and our understanding of events. The Bible is full of time statements. And do this knowing the time that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer then when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand (Romans 13:11) This is one of God's time statements.

    Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. (1 Corinthians 10:11) According to Paul these thing happened to them their fathers and were written for their admonition upon whom the ends of the ages have come. What end of the ages? The ages of Judaism. This two was a time statement from God.

    "For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry (Hebrews 10:37) This too is a time statement from God. You also be patient. Establish your hearts for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door! (James 5:8-9) This too is a time statement from God.

    Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep these things which are written in it for the time is near (Revelation 1:3) This too is a time statement from God. "Behold, I am coming quickly! 22:7. "Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand vs 10. "And behold, I am coming quickly vs 12 "Surely I am coming quickly vs 20. All these are time statement from God. They may not have known the "day of hour" but they did know the "time frame of His return (Matthew 23:34-36;24:34).
     
  16. BigEd

    BigEd an adopted child of God

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    I have a question for any preterist . jerusalem was sacked in 70 ad.
    the book of revelation has been dated around 90 ad. so is the book of revelation still unfufilled?

    If Christ did retuen in 70ad, does that mean we are in the millelium?

    The world we are living in dosen't seem much like the millenium described in revelation.

    I ask these questions as a means to understand your position better.
    I am futurist, but I have not really heard a whole lot about pretism.
     
  17. Hi Psalm6:wave:

    The binding of Satan was the preaching of the kingdom of God. When the Lord sent seventy disciples out on a "missionary tour" he empowered them to cast out demons, heal the sick, and raise the dead (Luke 10). Their message was "The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you" (v. 9). When they returned they were ecstatic: "Lord even the devils are subject unto us through thy name." He responded "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven." Satan was bound and suffering defeat.

    The term a thousand years is not to be taken literaly. The reason why Satan was bound durning the time of the changing of the covenants was so the gosple could be preach without any interference of satanic forces.

    It should be noted during the ministry of the disciples and the preaching of the gospel the powers of darkness and satanic forces were specifically against the come of the kingdom. In the interim between the resurrection and the judgment Satan is depicted as very actively engaged in attempting to destroy God's people. Peter depicts Satan
    as a "roaring lion" seeking whom he may destroy (I Peter 5:8). If it had not been for the binding of Satan durning the preaching of the gospel many would not have been saved.

    However because Satan was bound and could not stop the preaching of the gospel that does not mean that the saints were not killed for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God.

    The binding of Satan really started with Jesus. Matthew 12:22-30, Jesus cast a demon out of a man. The Pharisees insisted it was by the power of the Devil. Jesus logically demonstrated the fallacy of Satan casting out Satan. He then challenged them "how can one enter into a strong man's house and spoil his goods except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house." Jesus' power to cast out demons demonstrated two facts: the imminence of the kingdom (v. 28); and the binding of Satan (v. 29). Satan was being bound by Jesus!
     
  18. parousia70

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

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    Hi Big Ed,
    Great Questions, all of which can be more than satifactorily answered from the preterist position.

    Yours are the same questions I asked (among many more) when I was first exploring preterism. I was a staunch futurist for 18 years, and it took me about 2.5 years to finally feel comfortable enough to accept the truth of past fulfillment. Take your time!

    As for the dating of Revelation, to save space here, I'll direct you to a couple links that give supporting arguments
    for the early date (66-68AD) which I adhere to.

    Basically the only evidence anyone has for the late date (95AD) is from one obscure statement made by Irenaeus that John's vision was seen near the end of Dominitions reign. All other sources rely on His statement alone. But it can also be interprated that Irenaeus said "John" himself was seen, not his vision. At any rate, Irenaeus also said Christ lived to be 50 among many other unorthodox views!

    Click HERE or HERE for those commentaries.

    As to your question about the 1000 years, no we are not currently in that time. We are beyond it.
    :clap:

    Preterists are, for the most part, post millennial, believing that 70AD was the end of the millennium.
    Click HERE for a list of reasons why preterists are confident the 1000 years lie behind us.

    God Hunting, and keep asking those questions!! Test this view against the scriptures!!! Don't take anyones word for it but the Apostles!

    YBIC,
    P70
     
  19. NumberOneSon

    NumberOneSon The poster formerly known as Acts6:5

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    Hey all!

    To all of my Christian brothers and sisters who hold the futurist view, and who have asked questions about preterism, I just want to thank you for your politeness and honest inquiries. I also want to thank you for treating us preterists with respect so far (sometimes we don't get much of it).

    Whether you agree with us or not - thanks! We are still one Body.

    In Christ,

    Acts6:5
     
  20. parousia70

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

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    Hya Craig, thanks for making the jump over here!

    A few things come to mind when I look at this passage.

    1)Jesus is speaking to the Apostles, showing THEM how to know when it is near. Was He misleading them into believing He would return to them?

    2)Even if Jesus dd not know the day or hour, He clearly could have known the "generation" decade, or year.. A Pregnant woman does not know the day or hour she will give birth but she knows that about 9 months after conception, she's having a baby! (as a side note, nowhere in scripture do we find the day or hour of Jerusalems 70AD destruction prophesied. No one knew the day or hour of that event.)

    3) Jesus, still speaking to the apostles says:
    When you (the apostles) see all these things, you'll (the apostles) know he's at the door.

    Jesus is telling the apostles point blank that He would not be near until certain signs were seen by them (the apostles). Not before the signs were seen, but only WHEN or AFTER they were seen, would they be able to proclaim and believe that Jesus was Near and at the door.

    James, teaching some 30 odd years later, claims that at the time he was writing, that Jesus was in fact "near and at the door". (James 5:8-9) James knew full well that Jesus could only be near and at the door after the signs of Matt 24 had been seen, because Jesus told him so.

    This leaves only 2 options that I can see:

    1)James saw the signs of Matt 24 that Jesus told him he would see.

    2) James thought he saw the signs but was wrong.

    If there is a third, I'd like to hear it! but for now, I've got to go with #1

    YBIC,
    P70
     
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