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What Difference Does It Make?

01 Nov
AD70

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Does it make any difference whether I am a dispensational premillennialist or an amillennialists or a postmillennialist or a full preterist? What difference does it make when Jesus comes, as long as he comes? When I was a premillennialist, I didn’t think it mattered at all. I knew what I believed, and, if you believed differently, that was okay with me—you were wrong, but I didn’t mind, because I didn’t think eschatology was that important. I don’t mean to imply it wasn’t a lot of fun to study about the end times. It was great fun, but I figured, if God didn’t think it was important enough to reveal the day and the hour, well, how important could it be what I believed, just as long as Jesus did come eventually?

At that time I wasn’t very informed about the other points of view, but I didn’t mind that either. I had a general knowledge of what all the titles meant, except for full preterism. That one was a mystery to me, but I wasn’t very curious about a belief that didn’t look forward to a future coming of Christ. I didn’t know that they believed Jesus came cir. 70 AD, but I’m not certain how much of a difference that would have made 15 to 20 years ago.

I guess, since I’ve come around to believing full preterism is the truth, I have come to believe that eschatology is really important. The reason is not simply that it is correct. Being correct has always been important to me, but the big reason eschatology has come to be so important is this: a big reason why Jews, Moslems and atheists reject the New Testament is that all the writers of the New Testament claimed that Jesus would return in their lifetimes. The Synoptic Gospels have Jesus saying all things would be fulfilled in that first century AD generation that rejected Jesus as Messiah. Therefore, these folks have a good argument against divine inspiration, if Jesus and those who wrote the New Testament were wrong. As little as a year ago I would have tried to argue for a future coming of the Lord, but I know that argument couldn’t have been very convincing to a knowledgeable Jew, Moslem or atheist.

Jesus once told his scoffers (Jews of the first century AD), “If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not” (John 10:37). In other words, Jesus challenged his scoffers and scoffers of all ages (Jews, Moslems, Atheists etc.), saying don’t believe what he says, unless he is able to perform what his Father gave him to do! That’s a powerful all-or-nothing challenge! Jesus simply laid it all on the line at that point. ‘If I can’t do what I say I’ll do, don’t believe me” (my paraphrase of Jesus at John 10:37. Would it be important, then, if Jesus promised to return to that generation of the folks living in the 1st century AD? I have to believe it makes a whole world of difference, given his statement in John 10:37. He told his disciples: “A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father” (John 16:16). In other words Jesus said in a little while he would go to be with the Father, but in a little while he would return. In his own words, if he didn’t return “in a little while” then don’t believe him (John 10:37; 16:16). Did Jesus do what he said he would do? My answer to that question really does determine my colors.

I have to say, that I understand the unbelief of the scoffers (Jews, Moslems and atheists) on this point, because I’ve lived to be 70 years of age and have never heard of even the possibility of Jesus’ Second Coming to be an accomplished event. I understand that the unbelief of Jews, Moslems and atheists is more complicated than whether or not Jesus returned cir. 70 AD, but I also understand it is a ‘big’ point with them. Therefore, as far as I am concerned, my eschatology is extremely important at this point in my life, and, if God grants me the privilege of speaking with anyone who scoffs at Jesus’ promise to return in the 1st century AD, or anyone who mocks the writers of the New Testament who foretold that he would, I’ll set them straight on that point. No one will be able to use ‘failure to perform’ as a legitimate argument against Christianity with me ever again.

 
14 Comments

Posted by on November 1, 2017 in Eschatology, Prophecy

 

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14 responses to “What Difference Does It Make?

  1. Gary

    March 22, 2018 at 15:14

    Hi Eddie, I really wan’t issuing a challenge, especially since it seems clear to me that you are already challenging yourself to an in-depth study of God’s word and are keeping an open mind about all angles. Perhaps I did want to test you a little bit to see how your response would be framed, but I was thinking that you’re already fairly committed to Full Preterism so I really see that you’re likely to play that out as far as it takes you. For myself, I’ve really been focused on better understanding the second coming of Christ, so that I can be as prepared as possible, as I was instructed to do, over and over again.

    I can thank the Preterist crowd for this idea that the 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel has already been fulfilled – by scripture – the first coming of our Lord, his death, and the tearing of the veil. This really does line up quite well with a literal 70 weeks of years, and has really opened my eyes. Because of this, I’m still trying to work through all the things that I need to adjust in my own attempts to understand a more complete picture of the end-times.

    And, I can share the Preterist struggles in absorbing Matthew 24:32-24. I’m quite sure you’ve already researched all the possible explanations for this little puzzle, so I don’t need to repeat those here. But the main concept that I cannot accept is the idea that all of these end-time events have already happened in 70 AD. As tragic as this was, it simply does not line up with the litany of bible prophecy describing the end-times and the second coming of Jesus – an event in which everyone will participate.

    God bless you in your search for truth, but in this one area, I’m fairly confident you’re on the wrong track.
    -Gary

     
  2. Eddie

    March 22, 2018 at 09:23

    Greetings Gary and thank you for your comment. My previous reply to you was a very general statement that I would continue on my course in Preterism in order to discover its truth or its flaws (or both). Your most recent reply seems to indicate your desire to debate Preterism or at least challenge my intention to jump into that camp and experience it for myself. I don’t mind you doing this, I just didn’t want to appear that I wanted you to either do what I intend to do or to accept Preterism as the truth. You are welcome to believe as you choose and that without any challenge on my part. However, I do intend to reply to your comment as kindly as I possibly can for a person who is opposed to your point of view.

    Concerning Revelation 1:7, does this verse claim that **every** eye would see Jesus at his coming—every eye of every person who ever lived, from Adam to the coming of the Lord? The scriptures are a real marvel to me. No book ever written is quite like this book. It is written in so many contexts: law, history, poetry, biographical narrative, letters, prophecy and apocalyptic. It also uses so many different literary forms: prose, poetry, metaphor, simile, hyperbole, ellipsis, allegory, parable, and even myth, and so many other figures of speech that are simply too numerous to number here. The Bible, simply put, it one of a kind, and nothing comes close to it in the writings of men.

    So, “every eye” would see Jesus. Would this be anything like all Judea (every last man woman and child) going out to see John the Baptist to be baptized by him (Matthew 3:5)? Might there be a little hyperbole being used here to show how successful John’s ministry was? What about Revelation 1:7? Should this be literally true (in the most symbolic book of the Bible), or should we see it in the light of hyperbole in order to express the importance of the event. You know, like we might have told our parents about a party we wanted to go to, “But, Dad, **everyone** will be there!”

    What about the context of Revelation 1:7?

    “Behold, he is coming with clouds, and EVERY eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and ALL tribes of the earth will wail on account of him…”

    This is exactly how you quoted the verse. Jesus claimed that all the righteous blood ever shed from Able to that of Zacharias would be avenged upon that generation of Jews listening to Jesus (Matthew 23:35-36). Furthermore, he told the high priest and the rest of the Sanhedrin that he / they would see him sitting at the right hand of the Father, coming in the clouds to judge Jerusalem (Matthew 26:64). Do you see how this context changes and limits the meaning of Revelation 1:7? “Behold he is coming with clouds…” this is judgment (cf. Isaiah 19:1); the Egyptians saw judgment coming, but they didn’t actually see the Lord coming.

    “…and EVERY eye will see him, even those who pierced him…” the “EVERY eye” is defined here with “those who pierced him”, which is exactly what Jesus claimed would occur in Matthew 26:64. “…and ALL tribes of the earth will wail on account of him…” Yes, all the 12 tribes of the “earth”, i.e. the Jewish lands, will mourn due to their judgment – 2/3 of the people dead, the loss of their Temple and the destruction of their lands. They mourn because of Jesus’ judgment upon them.

    Matthew 24:27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

    All this scripture claims is that the coming of the Son of Man (i.e. his judgment) would be known worldwide. When Jerusalem fell the whole empire and beyond knew. And, anyone who heard the Gospel, but rejected it, would have remembered that this very thing was predicted by Jesus’ disciples.

    Matthew 24:30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, 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.

    Again, Jesus coming in the clouds is apocalyptic language for judgment (see Isaiah 19:1). Jesus predicted he would come in the glory of the Father and many folks listening to him would see that occur (Matthew 16:27-28). The **sign** that the Son of Man is in heaven is the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Judgment upon Jerusalem (Matthew 26:64) was Jesus’ vindication, showing he was not in the grave (as many Jews claimed – see Matthew 28:11-15) but in heaven.

    1Thessalonians 4:16 “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”

    First of all, we need to see the context of this scripture. The Thessalonians had written Paul, sorrowing over loved ones who had died before the coming of the Lord, and Paul was responding to that (cf. 1Thessalonians 4:13). At the very least, this puts the coming of the Lord in the first century AD. Both the Thessalonians and Paul expected Jesus to return in their generation. So, at the coming of the Lord the dead in Christ would rise first, and this resurrection in the context of 1Thessalonians 4 was to occur in the 1st century AD. No matter what else can be said of what Paul wrote, this is a fact that, in as much as I can tell, cannot be denied. The resurrection was to occur in the 1st century AD at the coming (parousia – G3952) of Christ (1Thessalonians 4:15). What is interesting about the parousia is that whenever a dignitary was to visit or come (parousia) a city, the city’s citizens watched for his coming (parousia), and when they saw him, they would all go out to meet (G529 – apantesis) him and escort him back to their city. In the context of 1Thessalonians 4:15-17 this shows the Lord’s coming (parousia) was to be with and remain with his people. In other words, the Tabernacle of God was with men (Revelation 21:3). We shall meet (G529) him in the air (aer – G109). Ephesians 2:2 implies that the air in this sense is the spiritual realm of evil, but at Christ’s return it becomes the heavenly realm of his saints. We are seated in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 2:6). The theme of 1Thessalonians 4 is the **near** coming (parousia) of Christ, whereby we who are alive meet him only to escort him to the earth in order that he remain with us (Revelation 21:3). This language has been abused by literalists with an agenda of a future coming of the Lord.

    And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:31)

    All this verse is saying is that the elect will be gathered together from every direction, and this is being done even today with the Gospel. In the context of the coming of the Lord, all the elect had to be sealed (with the Holy Spirit – viz. Revelation 7) before the coming of the Lord could occur. This was done through preaching the Gospel.

    In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:52)

    I’ve already demonstrated above that the resurrection would occur (according to Paul) in the first century AD. The word’s “we shall be changed” has to do with a covenantal change. Paul speaks of this at length in 2Corinthains 3 where he writes about Moses and the veiled glory of the Old Covenant and Christ who is not veiled, and we behold him and are changed from glory to glory. At the coming (parousia) of Christ, the Old Covenant was destroyed and the New Covenant was established. Paul lived under the Old Covenant (Hebrews 8:13) but worshiping Christ. The New Covenant wasn’t fully established until the coming of Christ in 70 AD. The fact that we live under the New Covenant is evidence that the Old has passed and Christ has returned.

    Revelation 19:11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.

    Revelation 19:15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.

    Are you saying by quoting these scriptures that Christ is NOT reigning now? Does Jesus have a literal sword coming out of his mouth? What are the implements of the spiritual warfare that Christ wages? You seem to be taking this scripture literally, and it comes from the most symbolic book of the Bible. According to Paul in 2Corinthians 12 John saw and wrote about things the human language has no words for, but you seem to know exactly what to look for by quoting these two verses. In any event Revelation 19 cannot be used to say Jesus did not return in 70 AD. There is nothing here that points to a future event.

    Lord bless you, Gary, as you study his word.

     
  3. Gary

    March 22, 2018 at 00:30

    I think that Preterism clearly crosses a line in the sand when attempting to document the second coming of Jesus Christ at the time of the destruction of the temple in 70 AD. The bible is so clear about Christ’s return being a worldwide phenomenon, something that everyone will see and hear:

    Revelation 1:7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and EVERY eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and ALL tribes of the earth will wail on account of him…

    Matthew 24:27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

    Matthew 24:30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, 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.

    We’re literally promised that we will not miss it, we will not mistake this for any false coming – for any past, present or future deceptions. And, not only will everyone see and hear His coming, they will be an integral part of what’s happening. For the saved, both alive and dead:

    1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

    Matthew 31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

    1 Corinthians 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

    And, then for everyone else, those that have not accepted Jesus as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, God’s own Son sacrificed for our salvation:

    Revelation 19:11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.

    Revelation 19:15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.

    And, this is really just a short list, it seems quite futile for Preterists to claim these events have already taken place, the whole concept is loaded with blatant contradictions. It should also be noted that the 70 weeks of Daniel 9 does NOT predict the second coming of Christ. So, while it seems like good debate to stretch Daniel 9 to include the destruction of the temple [ or at least to the predictions of Jesus about the temple ], and to use that to argue against the whole 70th week gap theory. However, it’s a very wide overstretch to try and include the return of our Lord into the same event.

    It’s also clear to me that AD 70 does not really mesh with the events described in Revelation even in the sense of the documented accounts of the warfare. In Revelations, looking at either the battle of Armageddon or the battle of Gog/Magog [ and I’m really not sure if these may actually be two descriptions of the same battle – the millennium debate still has me really puzzled ], we can see that God defends those in Jerusalem by killing those that have surrounded them. According to all accounts, this is NOT what happened in AD 70, the Romans killed more than a million Jews, and then went on about their business.

    Jesus did NOT return to settle up all accounts in 70 AD, but He is going to do that in the Great Day of The Lord. For some it will be the blessed hope, for others not so blessed, but I believe the bible says clearly that no one is going to miss out on the action…

     
  4. Eddie

    March 21, 2018 at 19:21

    Greetings Gary, and thank you for your comment. I like a little stretch every now and then and experience the way other folks look at the scriptures. We differ, of course, on John 10:35. For me, it is a matter of faith (my faith I speaking of here) to simply trust God to reveal his word to me, and guard me from getting too far into error, when he knows my heart is to love the truth.

    I had my faith overcome years ago by a cultist. I used to be Roman Catholic, as a young man. I wanted to know the Bible with a fierce desire. I didn’t want anyone or anything to stand in the way of that effort. Of course, I really didn’t know what I was doing or even asking, but God permitted me (led seems too strong a word) to get involved with a cult that lived in the Old Testament. It took six years to figure out the big mistake I made, but on the plus side, I really knew my way around the Bible.

    The point is, I’m no longer afraid of being wrong. I hate being wrong, but I’m not afraid to be wrong. In other words I’d rather be wrong and find that out, than do nothing and be unsure. I saw that the Lord will save me out of error, if my heart toward him is right. I hate being on the outside. I’m more comfortable jumping in, even if I am over my head. I trust God will see to it that I come to no harm (spiritually). There may be a price to pay physically, but I’m willing to fork that over for the understanding that “I know that I know” a thing. In this case it is Preterism. As long as no one is able to point out specifically where it is in error, I’m in for the long haul. If later I’m proved wrong, well, I will be able to say: “I know that I know” it is wrong, and these are the reasons.

    I’ve used John 10:35 to correct myself, so it isn’t like I’m trying to twist it into acknowledging Preterism. I trust John 10:35, so if I find Preterism doesn’t measure up, then I’ll chuck the whole thing. But, my way of doing that is jumping right in and not looking back. I’ve already proved to myself that futurism has a bad record at being right, and a lot of people have been hurt (economically destroyed), because they trusted some of these men were sent by God to preach what they said was true. I don’t see Preterism paved with that kind of pain and loss. Maybe I’ll find out differently in a few years, but until then, I’m in, looking for the Lord to guide the way.

    Lord bless you, Gary.

     
  5. Gary

    March 21, 2018 at 17:03

    Eddie, all of the bible believing positions rest heavily on John 10:35 – they all churn around their favorite references attempting to discount those of the other camps. And as long as they do this with charity and grace, I have no problem with it. Searching scripture with honesty and an open heart to what the Holy Spirit is trying to say is exactly what the bible teaches.

    The problems starts when folks get so locked into a particular position that they lose focus on the totality of God’s word, falling into the trap of leading with a premise and then twisting everything to fit that one belief. The rapture camp is a perfect example of this, where every verse they analyze must be hammered into a proof of the rapture event, they are so over committed to a single theory that it clouds their judgment in all other areas.

    However, in my humble opinion, the Preterists are just as guilty, hanging an entire philosophy on the idea that the second coming would occur “in a little while”, that this is what the Apostles believed. The main problem being that they never defined what “a little while” meant to them – they never committed the sin of predicting a specific date, as so many have.

    In fact, in 2 Peter 3, we have a specific confession by Paul, that while he still trusts that Jesus will return, in full glory, as predicted, but that “in a little while” could as easily mean thousands of years as a few days. And John 21:22-23, also corrects those attempting to interpret the timeline, basically restating that Jesus will return when the Father tells him to and no one will know that time.

    In my thinking, God will never let a prediction be correct, so whenever you hear of someone setting a date, you can almost rest assured that it will not happen then – I’ve never bought into any of these guys that “have it all figured out”. And, by claiming that the second coming of our Lord, and all the promises that go along with it, has already happened in 70AD, Preterism generates way more contradictions then they resolve, same as Futurism, Dispensationalism, Rapturism, and all the rest of the Isms.

    I think the Preterist view of Daniel 9 and it’s relation to the destruction of the Temple is a real contribution to understanding. Just by having this as a possible reality puts a real damper on those interpretations that rest completely on the idea that 70th week MUST be a future event. But, when the view is extended to include all other end time prophecy, they fall into the same trap of twisting all scripture to fit their own scheme and declaring that theirs is the only way to rightly divide scripture – just another way of saying I’m right and everyone else is wrong.

    I guess my new way of looking at is that everyone is wrong, except God. Of course, the Holy Spirit, and history, will eventually spell it all out, but I have yet to hear any of these schemes explain things in a way that makes total sense. So, still looking forward to our Blessed Hope, but still very confused about many scriptures – maybe not such a bad place to be. My strategy is to avoid locking into a false doctrine, this must be more important even than figuring it all out…

    God Bless,
    -Gary

     
  6. Eddie

    March 21, 2018 at 06:03

    Greetings Gary, one of the scriptures that keeps me digging for truth is: Deuteronomy 29:29 “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” In other words, if it’s in the Bible, I should be able to figure it out with the help of the Lord, and he has promised to help me understand. I swore off the Apocalypse for about 25 to 30 years, because I simply couldn’t figure things out, and I grew tired of all the different ways to understand it, but nothing proved true when it came to understanding when the Lord would return. There have been literally hundreds of predictions of his return since the first century AD and all of them wrong. The futurists view of the Bible is wrong in as much as I am able to tell. Anyone saying otherwise needs to prove his case, because there have been too many falsehoods told that hurt a lot of people.

    Another scripture that I like when it comes to studying the word of God is Proverbs 25:2 “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.” The Lord doesn’t brag about the many things he has done for us, and that glorifies him, but the opposite is true for us. It is to our glory to uncover it all and see him as he is, inasmuch as that is possible.

    Concerning 2Peter 3 and the “new heavens and the new earth” I have an 18 study series on that, if you haven’t found it already. It’s 2Peter 3, The End of the World? – and I also inserted a video link showing where I derived my studies. Dr. William Bell is a Preterist and I found his series on 2Peter 3 fascinating. So, I took each one with my Bible in hand and made a study series of my own on Peter’s argument. The problem is the futurists have controlled our vocabulary when it comes to reading scripture, especially when defining eschatology. Therein lay a great deal of our problems with prophecy. Because of what I have come to understand since last summer, I have involved myself in a verse-by-verse study of Revelation, and I am thrilled with how it is going. Nevertheless, I become almost depressed as I begin a new chapter, because I’m afraid I won’t be able to understand it, or that it will contradict what I think I’ve discovered in the chapter I’m finishing up. So far, it’s been a thrilling event, despite my feelings of depression from time to time. I’m currently in the tenth chapter, but the studies won’t appear in my blog until near the end of this year.

    Concerning Preterism and Peter’s scoffers, the problem with lumping them together is that Peter and the other New Testament writers all expected and wrote of the near coming of the Lord. I am not willing to believe the Apostles were wrong. Many scholars today try to tells us they were wrong, and all of them are futurists. Jesus warned us about clinging to the traditions of men. When we believe men over the word of God, men have power over us, and the word of God loses its power in our lives. My “GOTO” scripture in controversy is John 10:35. Scripture cannot be broken—it cannot be made to contradict itself. How is it possible for the Apostles to be wrong about the near coming of Jesus and this scripture to be valid? If John 10:35 is correct, the futurists argument that the Apostles were wrong is illogical, pure and simple. I may not understand in the way I would like, but one thing is certain: the Apostles were correct.

    Concerning all those denominations, I prefer to understand them as ‘tribes’ in the sense of the 12 tribes of Israel. As long as we’re willing to die for the same things, the other things we see differently don’t matter much as far as our unity is concerned. Our differences may matter enough to makes me part of a different tribe than you or someone else, but if we don’t cut off fellowship with one another, we can learn from one another in ways we couldn’t if we all agreed on everything. The differences keep us honest in our truth, because brethren debating with brethren will sharpen one another’s reality like iron sharpens iron. Anyway, that’s how I see it, Gary.

    Lord bless you in all that you do for him.

    Eddie.

     
  7. Gary

    March 21, 2018 at 00:18

    Eddie, it’s interesting that it took me so long to stumble on the Preterist views on Danial 9, the idea that the whole gap theory is likely false. When looking at the Futurist arguments against Preterism, these seemed to work so quickly that I clearly dismissed the whole concept without even looking into the details. It took me quite a long time before I started searching around for “Daniel 70th week gap theory false”, which is what got me onto my current track – and, your site was one of the ones that I found.

    So, while I am having a lot of fun as well, trying to piece together the whole puzzle, I am still stuck with a real problem with Full Preterism. While I can agree that there is no “end of time”, the bible clearly teaches that there is a very real end to the first heavens and the first earth. And while 2 Peter 3:5-7 does state that the same waters destroyed the earth in the time of Noah, it does not appear to be equating this with the new heavens and new earth that will be created by the same “Word” from Genesis – AFTER the current heavens and earth are totally destroyed by fire.

    A little later, in 2 Peter 11-13, he more fully describes these events that have not yet occurred, even if we can agree that the destruction of the temple in 70 AD truly did satisfy much prophecy. And the bible is covered with many vivid descriptions of The Day of Our Lord, that cannot be considered fulfilled by history as we know it – even allowing that some folks reported a vision of the heavens opening up at the time of the Roman invasion.

    I do fear that Preterism may be jumping into the exact camp that Peter cautions us here to avoid, saying “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” I’ll have to stay in the camp(s) that await the second coming of our Lord, with the resurrection of the saints, along with those of us still alive, changing us into our newly perfected bodies. One big glorious event, truly the blessed hope to end all hopes, even if it’s all accompanied by a lot of fire and brimstone and, ultimately, the complete destruction of heaven and earth.

    But, it’s really quite difficult for me to nail down much else. For all I know, the Day of the Lord may actually last for a 1000 years, since a day for our Lord is like a 1000 years and 1000 years are like a day. Honestly, Paul inserts that little fact right after explaining why He’s taking so long to come, and right before describing his coming. It sure looks like a hint to me, but can I really build up a whole theory around the idea? Not really, there’s just way too many variables for my little brain to solve. Like I said, the more I study, the more I believe that only God can really understand the whole picture, and even though we have the Holy Spirit to help figure it all out, I haven’t heard anyone with a full description that doesn’t lead to many contradictions…

    I am left to wonder how it’s possible for the same Spirit to lead us into so many divergent directions – I’ve listened to so many teachers, much more inspired than myself, insist on ideas that I consider flatly false. We’re all witnessing a complete fragmentation of the church, broken up into countless denominations, using many deep divisions of God’s word to attack one another, even to the level of heresy. We can only conclude that this must be part of God’s plan, perhaps to maintain the mystery of it all.

    Nonetheless, it is quite frustrating that the same Holy Words, backed up with the same Holy Spirit, is having such a difficult time generating a unified message within The Church, the very body of Christ. And, eschatology is just one of many areas of sharp disagreement. I guess we can only keep searching for better answers and/or waiting for further revelations…

    Have fun,
    -Gary

     
  8. Eddie

    March 20, 2018 at 19:45

    Greetings Gary, and thanks for your kind words and for reading my studies and for the honesty that comes through in your comment. Lord bless you.

    I have been involved in Preterism since the summer of 2017, but haven’t really jumped in all the way until about September. I simply am tired of all the predictions that have failed and proved the futurists wrong. Does Preterism have all the answers, well, I don’t know yet, but I plan to discover the answer by committing myself to the idea — all in until I’m proved wrong.

    “However, I really cannot join in with this whole concept either since clearly there are so many things that have not yet happened. I’m pretty sure the world has not ended yet, there is no new heavens, new earth, or a new Jerusalem. And, if the resurrection has already happened it would be news to everyone. And, of course, I still have this tired old body – just like the rest of us…”

    There is no “end of time” with Preterism. This is based upon the idea that the Kingdom that destroys all other kingdoms will never end (Daniel 2:44). Nowhere does scripture speak of the “end of time” — it just isn’t there. It’s a false doctrine in as much as I can tell. If there were “new heavens and a new earth” after the Genesis Flood (2Peter 3:5-7), I believe “new heavens and a new earth” came out of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Old Covenant Temple in 70 AD. It is just not how the futurists predicted it would be. It is simply a new modus-operandi. As for the resurrection, I can see how that occurred, and when we die, we join the faithful. It is simply something that never ends. I am able to read the scriptures and see these things. If I’ve stumbled and have been deluded, I believe the Lord will bring me around either through my studies or through someone challenging me. I hate to be wrong, so I consider just about everything in an effort to keep proving my stronghold in Christ or let it be chipped away by the real truth.

    Anyway that’s my story, Gary. I don’t have everything fitting neatly in order, but I’m having a lot of fun trying to do that. Lord bless you in your studies. Feel free to comment on anything I’ve written.

    Eddie

     
  9. Gary

    March 20, 2018 at 17:50

    Eddie, thanks for all the work you’ve put into this website. I’ve had a similar experience attempting to wade through all the defined systems that each claim to fully understand the end times as discovered by “properly dividing the word”. I’ve mainly focused on the whole rapture thing which I’ve never been able to believe, simply because it really isn’t in the bible. I’ve mostly sided with the post-tribulation camp, but only because they’re the ones closest to my long standing belief that there will be a “second” coming, at which time the dead will be resurrected and, with those remaining, will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air where we will be with him forever – in our brand new spiritual bodies – it’s all one event.

    In searching around for a better interpretation of scripture I, just recently, stumbled on the idea that the seven year tribulation is also not in the bible. The whole pre, mid, post, pre-wrath, etc., forms of the rapture debates have annoyed me to no end, since they all spin off the seven year tribulation period as gospel and try to fit somewhere into that scheme. Of course, once the prevailing interpretation of Daniel 9 is rejected, all of the rapture theories evaporate.

    So, now I still have Preterism, Historicism, Futurism positions to sort through, along with the whole Amillennial, Premillennial, and Postmillennial debates and, of course, all flavored with a bit of Dispensationalism with it’s attempts to separate the history of Israel from that of “the Church”. The main problem is that all of these views, as played out to a complete picture, end up with biblical contradictions, which the opposing camps are all quite willing to point call out.

    My current position is that they’re all wrong and no one can really have a complete picture of God’s plan, except for God himself – that is before it all happens. While I can fully agree with points from each camp, all of these views end up at the same place, with contradictions that fuel endless debate. For instance, I can readily agree that Paul revealed a true mystery, that we would not all die. You certainly cannot deduce that from the old testament, or even from the gospels. But, there’s no way that Paul taught a different gospel, for the church than Matthew was teaching to Israel – the final conclusion of the Dispensationalists is clearly false.

    And, it’s also a mistake to extrapolate Paul’s mystery into a brand new theology. It’s always been clear to me that in 1 Thessalonians 4 and 5 [ chapter breaks are not part of the bible ], Paul describes the second coming of the Messiah. He also adds detail to the resurrection by explaining what happens to those still alive, but he never intended for this be about a new event – it takes so much twisting and cheating to create the rapture concept, I’ve always considered it false teaching – even though I attend a church that teaches the rapture.

    I really can thank the Preterist crowd for reminding us all that the interpretation of Danial 9 really has been twisted to make it align with other theories [ this has been my most recent epiphany ], and understanding this does help to invalidate all the rapture ideas. However, I really cannot join in with this whole concept either since clearly there are so many things that have not yet happened. I’m pretty sure the world has not ended yet, there is no new heavens, new earth, or a new Jerusalem. And, if the resurrection has already happened it would be news to everyone. And, of course, I still have this tired old body – just like the rest of us…

    Some might try to say that I’ve fallen into the Partial-Preterist crowd, but I’ll also have to reject that label since I have no idea exactly where that leads me. My thinking has been changed with respect to Daniel 9, I no longer believe that an argument can be made for the gap between week 69 and 70 – that this MUST exist to explain the prophecy. It appears to me now that a valid argument can be made that this prophecy has been fulfilled. However, it still looks like the abomination of desolation part may also be repeated in a future event, but without any particular timing being mandated.

    And, while I’ve leaned towards a pre-millennial position, I’ve always struggled with the whole Gog/Magog war at the end of it all. It just doesn’t seem plausible that after a 1000 years of Christ’s rule, there could exist an army too large to count, that would still be willing to revolt. Even with Satan’s influence this is just too difficult to comprehend. But to translate this confusion into a belief that Christ has already returned and that we’re currently living in the millennium also doesn’t add up. I have considered that the battle of Gog/Magog and that of Armageddon may be two descriptions of the same event, but that also doesn’t align with the rest of scripture.

    I honestly believe that none of these camps have it ALL figured out. That in the end, as more and more history unfolds, with all loyal Christians standing watch, with bits and pieces starting to come together, that God will unfold things in a way that fully satisfies every bible verse, but in a way that no one will accurately guess until it’s over. Thereby fulfilling one of the most common bible prophecies, that the day of our Lord will come like a thief in the night and that no one can know the day or the hour. We are going to see it coming, but will still be surprised when it hits. This is my final conclusion.

    Best Regards,
    Gary

     
  10. Eddie

    November 4, 2017 at 06:20

    As little as a year ago, I still held the belief that Jesus would return in the future. I also believed he would reign on the earth in Jerusalem, and that this would be a physical reign, i.e. he would have a visible, physical body. I also believe he would recreate the earth and possibly the heavens. I no longer hold to these doctrines. They are held by partial preterists of the camp of the postmillennialists. I wasn’t putting a lot of twos and twos together, but about three months ago things began to become clearer to me. Lord bless you, Shari.

     
  11. librarygeek

    November 4, 2017 at 01:38

    Funny, I remember 2 years ago when I studying Revelation and trying to figure out the different eschatologies, I read about the preterists and figured that’s what you believed, even then. You have always maintained the Oliver Prophecy was about 70AD and the destruction of Jerusalem, and that numerous things in Revelation were either fulfilled with Christ’s first coming or in 70AD.

    Is it just that you have found a more accurate name for your beliefs, or have you changed your mind about something about Christ’s return? I remember you saying something like Jesus being in the act of returning since His coming in 70 AD and is still returning to this day. (You phrased it better. ) But that is essentially how Jesus kept his promise that these things would happen in the lifetime of those who heard him, and yet today we don’t see the things described in Rev. Ch. 20-21 fulfilled yet. Is that essentially what the full preterists believe, or have you modified your beliefs?

     
  12. Dave White

    November 2, 2017 at 07:55

    Thanks for taking the time to explain. I will follow up with the videos you suggested.

     
  13. Eddie

    November 1, 2017 at 14:58

    Hi Dave, and thanks for reading.

    Concerning 1Thessalonians 4, I assume you mean verses 13-18. My understanding is as follows.

    1Thessalonians 4:13-18

    verse-13 — the brethren were upset because a number of loved ones had passed on, but the Lord hadn’t come yet. They had a false notion of their loved ones that had passed on wouldn’t have a share in the blessings of the Second Coming, so Paul wrote that they wouldn’t sorrow as though there were no hope.

    verse-14 — believers in the resurrection of Jesus would come with him when he returned, so if they died in faith they would live in faith

    verse-15 — Many tell us that when Paul says he is speaking the “word of the Lord” he is recalling the Olivet Discourse. So we have many similarities in Matthew 24 that Paul uses here (trumpet, angels, clouds, dead rising etc.), and Paul tells the Thessalonians that what happens to them will by no means take presidence over or precede what occurs to their loved ones.

    verse-16 — the Lord descends and the resurrection takes place, and as I just said things occur as in Matthew 24 (trumpet, angels, clouds, dead rising etc.),

    verse-17 — We who are alive and remain are caught (up) to meet the Lord in the air.

    This is the famous **rapture** verse, but it fails. When the ‘parousia’ of a dignitary took place in the 1st century AD the towns people watched for him and when they saw him they ran out to meet him and escort him back to their town. What this verse is saying is we (first century believers) welcome Jesus (cf. Revelation 21:1-3).

    None of this is visible, by the way, as even the dispensationalists admit for their doctrine. They say people will be “caught up” to meet the Lord, and cars, airplanse, and what have you, will crash, because the drivers have been taken away — and no one saw it.

    Basically, that’s how I understand this. You can find more on preterism, if you would want to watch some you tube videos by Don Preston. Type his name in and you’ll be able to get to his channel.

     
  14. Dave White

    November 1, 2017 at 08:29

    Eddie, thank you for laying this out. As I mentioned before, I am reading Gary Demar’s Wars and Rumors of Wars. It is a treatise on preterism and His coming in the first century. I am coming around to this way of thinking as well. Other points of view seem to rely on our poor understanding of history! …mine included! The premillennialist relies on previous interpretations of scripture by other premillennialists, it seems to me.

    Further, what a shame that evangelicals spend so much time focused upon the second coming when more important matters are in front of us.

    Having said that, can you provide some insight into the famously used versus in ! Thes 4 that relate to the dead rising first, etc. I have always heard it preached at funerals! I appreciate it.
    Best
    Dave in the desert!

     
 
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