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PRETERISM

 

and the

 

Old Testament

 

Russell Earl Kelly, PHD

February 29, 2011

 

Introduction

Section 1: Kingdom in Genesis

Section 2: Kingdom in Second Samuel

Section 3: Kingdom in Amos

Section 4: Kingdom in Isaiah

Section 5: Kingdom in Micah

Section 6: Kingdom in Jeremiah

Section 7: Kingdom in Ezekial

Section 8: Kingdom in Daniel

Sectopm 9: Kingdom in Zechariah

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Since all preterists refuse to accedpt the validity of uncondiional Old Testament prophecy, its entire system of interpretation is unsound even before one looks at the New Covenant texts.

 

The following is a demonstration from all Old Testament prophetic sources that many of God’s promises to national Israel were clearly unconditional. This “800 pound gorilla” simply cannot be ignored. It is simply too big and covers too much of God’s inspired Word to sweep under the carpet of preterism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SECTION 1: KINGDOM IN GENESIS

 

GENESIS: ABRAHAM:

 

Gen 12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

Gen 12:2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

Gen 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Gen 12:4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him …

 

Abraham was God’s chosen elect predestined man to begin a special nation. While still an uncircumcised Gentile, God entered into a covenant agreement with Abram in Genesis 12:1-4. The only condition was “Get thee out …  unto a land that I will shew thee” (12:1). In Genesis 12:4 Abram met that single condition – “So Abram departed.” From that point forward the covenant was unconditional. Abram could not break or annul it. God must fulfill His (now) unconditional covenant promises found in Genesis 12:2-3.

 

Gen 13:15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. (see 13:14-17)

 

In chapter 13, while attaching no conditions whatsoever, God added to the covenant promises that “all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.” This is an extremely important part of God’s Word which is entirely ignored by Preterists and many others.

 

Gen 15:18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: (see 15 all)

 

In chapter 15 God repeated His unconditional promise to give the land to Abram’s seed. And the covenant was again clearly unconditional because only God walked among the cut covenant while Abram slept. The unconditional aspect is the meaning of the ritual.

 

 

Section 2: Kingdom in 2 Samuel

 

2 SAMUEL 7:13 DAVID:

 

2 Sam 7:10 Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime,

2 Sam 7:11 And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house.

2 Sam 7:12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.

2 Sam 7:13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.

2 Sam 7:14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:

2 Sam 7:15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.

2 Sam 7:16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.

 

God promised David unconditionally that his seed would rule over national Israel for ever (7:16). This was much more than a spiritual kingdom; it was a literal kingdom with a literal house and a literal king (7:10, 11, 12, 13, 16). This was not a ruling kingdom-house in heaven. And it was unconditional to David’s seed. While disobedience might stall it, disobedience could not annul it (7:14-15).

 

Section 3: Kingdom in Amos

 

Amos 9:8 Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the LORD.

Amos 9:9 For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.

Amos 9:10 All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us.

Amos 9:11 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:

Amos 9:12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.

Amos 9:13 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.

Amos 9:14 And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.

Amos 9:15 And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.

 

1.              After receiving all the curses for disobedience (5:2, 18; 8:2), God still promised that He would not “utterly destroy” Israel (9:8-10).

2.              The “tabernacle of David” will be restored unconditionally because God will never utterly destroy it (9:11).

3.              The whole nation will be destroyed (9:14).

4.              God will plant Israel in its land never to be pulled out again (9:15).

 

 

Section 4: Kingdom in Isaiah

 

Isa 2:2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.

Isa 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

 

Isa 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

 

Isa 11:6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

 

1.             All Israel would be cursed (34:9-10; 40:2; 50:1).

2.             The curses would be reversed (38:7; 54:7-10; 60:15; 61:4; 62:4).

3.             All Israel would be forever restored in their land (41:17; 44:21; 49:14-15; 51:2-3; 54:3).

4.             God must act this way because His integrity is at stake (Isa 48:9, 11).

5.             As the Servant-Substitute for the nation, Jesus further sealed God’s promises to the nation (49:3-10; Heb 10:7-9).

6.             A literal physical Messianic Kingdom on earth was promised to all Israel (1:26; 2:2-3; 11:4, 6; 24:23; 25:8; 26:19; 52:1; 56:6-8; 60-66 all).

 

Isaiah prophesied that God would re-gather all Israel a second time (the first from Egypt). This did not occur in 538 BC since it only involved southern Judah. (see 11:11, 12, 13, 16).

 

 

Section 5: Kingdom in Micah

 

4:1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.

 

4:7 And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever.

 

Mic 5:3 Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.

KJV

 

7:18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.

 

Mic 7:20 Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.

 

1.             God would punish Israel for its sins (5:3).

2.             He will also permanently restore it as His chosen nation (4:1-8).

3.             God will not remain angry with His heritage Israel forever (7:18-19).

4.             This is the fulfillment of God’s promises to Abraham and Jacob (7:20).

 

 

Section 6: Kingdom in Jeremiah

 

Jer 31:28 And it shall come to pass, that like as I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the LORD.

Jer 31:29 In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge.

Jer 31:30 But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.

Jer 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: [Heb 8:8]

Jer 31:32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: [Heb 8:9]

Jer 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. [Heb 8:10]

Jer 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. [Heb 8:11]

Jer 31:35 Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name:

Jer 31:36 If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.

Jer 31:37 Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.

Jer 31:38 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the city shall be built to the LORD from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner.

Jer 31:39 And the measuring line shall yet go forth over against it upon the hill Gareb, and shall compass about to Goath.

Jer 31:40 And the whole valley of the dead bodies, and of the ashes, and all the fields unto the brook of Kidron, unto the corner of the horse gate toward the east, shall be holy unto the LORD; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more for ever.

 

1      The curses of the Old Covenant fall upon national Israel. “Desolate” and “desolation” occur 43 times. “Curse” and “cursed” occur 17 times.

 

2.     Jeremiah alternates the curses and blessings. The curse of “divorce” in 3:8 is reversed by the blessing of “marriage” in 3:12, 14. Curses are found in 4:27a; 7:29; 12:7; 23:30-40; 30:12-15;

Blessings are found in 4:27b; 24:6; 30:1-11, 16-24; 30 and 33 all.

 

3.     Jeremiah almost always included northern Israel in the restoration and this did not occur in 538 BC (2:4; 3:18; 23:6, 8 and all of chapters 30 and 31.

 

4.     God must fulfill His unconditional promises to national Israel because His integrity and the Abrahamic covenant are at stake (14:7, 21; 23:5; 24:7).

 

5.     The future literal Messianic kingdom rule on earth is prominent in all of chapters 30 and 31.

 

6.     The most important verses are 31:31-40 compared to Hebrews 8:7-13).

a) After punishing Israel, God intends to rebuild and replant it (31:28).

b) The future Israel will not be punished for the sins of their fathers (31:29-30).

c) The New Covenant will primarily be to the literal “house of Israel” and to the literal “house of Judah” (31:31; Heb 8:8).

d) The New Covenant is not the same as the Old Covenant (31:32; Heb 8:9).

e) The New Covenant is the will of God being written in the hearts of all believers (31:33; Heb 8:10).

f) The New Covenant will not require teaching from Levites, priests and prophets (31:34; Heb 8:11).

g) God’s New Covenant with the whole house of Israel is as sure as is the existences of the sun, moon and stars (31:35).

h) The nation of Israel and its land are prominent parts of the New Covenant (31:36).

i) It is impossible for God to permanently cast off national Israel for its sins (31:37). (10) An expanded holy restored Jerusalem will even include areas which are now defiled (31:38-40).

 

 

Section 7: Kingdom in Ezekiel

 

Ezek 36:22 … I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.

 

Ezek 37:26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.

 

Ezek 36:28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people and I will be your God.

 

Ezek 37:25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.

 

Ezek 39:29 Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.

 

1.               Like Jeremiah and Amos, Ezekiel is speaking to the whole house of Israel which did not return in 538 BC (2:3; 3:1; 4:3-6; 9:9; 37:16; 39:25).

2.               Israel was punished for its sins and its land is desolate (5:14; 6:14; 9:9; 15:8).

3.               After the whole remnant returns the kingdom age would begin in the land of Israel (6:8-9; 11:17).

4.               Restoration will be in the context of the New Covenant (11:19; 16:60, 62, 63; 20:37; 36: 26-27; 37:26; 39:29).

5.               God must fulfill His literal promises to literal Israel because His integrity, His name, is at stake (19:44; 20:10, 14, 22, 44; 36:21-23, 32).

6.               The literal land of Israel is prominent in the unconditional promises (19:38, 40, 42; 36 all; 37 all; 38 all; 39 all). 

 

 

Section 8: Kingdom in Daniel

 

Daniel is both history and prophecy. All of its prophecies end with God’s exaltation of His chosen nation of Israel.

 

Daniel 2:

 

Dan 2:35 …the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

 

Dan 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

 

The church is not seen in Daniel. The literal four kingdoms which have ruled over Israel will be replaced with God’s literal Messianic kingdom on earth. It is wrong to interpret the stone as the Church because Roman power was not in the weaker stage of the iron and clay; it was still increasing in AD 30 and peaked over 150 years later.

 

Daniel 7:

 

Dan 7:18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.

 

This repeats much of Daniel 2 and adds details. It is still a discussion of nations which rule over Israel (7:17). The saints are God’s children in Israel and not the Church (7:21, 25).

 

The purpose of the judgment scene in 7:10, 11 is to condemn, remove and punish the persecuting power of the little horn which has been persecuting Israel (not the church) (7:25).

 

7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

 

The “Son of man” (Jesus Christ) comes in clouds to the Ancient of Days (the Father) (7:13) and receives “dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed (7:14).” Since the Hebrew saints will possess the same kingdom (the whole earth) previously possessed by its enemies (7:22, 23), it cannot be a reference to a spiritual kingdom of the Church.

 

This will be a literal kingdom on earth beginning with the millennium of Revelation 20. Daniel is not describing heaven.

 

Daniel 8

 

Again national Israel and its enemies is the focus. The highlight of chapter 8 is yet another desolation of the Temple by a Greek “little horn” in 8:9-14, 21-26. This was not good news as Daniel was presently concerned about the current status of the desolated Temple from 586 B. C. Most modern theologians interpret the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14 as a reference to Antiochus IV Epiphanes of Syria between 168 B. C. and 165 B. C. Since Jesus referred to this in Matthew 24:15, many see yet another desolation of the Temple in A. D. 70. And, depending on how one interprets Revelation 11:1-2, many see yet another application in the future.

 

Chapter 9

 

Daniel 9:3-23 is an extremely important prayer and passage relating to the eventual status of both the Temple and the status of Israel in the land. 

 

From 9:4 to 9:14 Daniel confesses the sins of the nation of Israel. He admits in his prayer that (1) God’s punishment of Israel and destruction of the Temple in 586 B. C. was evidence that He had enforced the curses of the covenant (9:4). (2) “We” of Israel (i.e. Daniel’s generation) have sinned and not obeyed the prophets (9:5-10). (3) Israel and the Temple were suffering the curse of the law and God was keeping His part of the oath of the law (9:11, 12). (3) Israel had made no effort to be faithful to God (9:13, 14).

 

From 9:15 to 9:23 Daniel presents reasons for God to restore Israel. (1) He reminds God that He had gained fame among the heathen when he delivered Israel from Egypt (9:15). (2) Israel’s punishment had brought “reproach” upon God’s name (9:16). (3) God should “shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake” –in order to restore His own name and reputation (9:17). (4) God should restore the sanctuary because He is merciful whether the people of Israel are righteous or not (9:18). (5) A second time Daniel asks God to hear, forgive and hearken “for thine own sake” because Jerusalem and its people showcase who He is (9:19).

 

Daniel was so “greatly beloved” by God that He had dispatched the angel Gabriel to answer his prayer as soon as he began (9:20-23).

 

Daniel’s request was “Because of who You are, for Your own name’s sake, reputation and integrity -- restore (shine upon) Your sanctuary and Your city which are now desolated (in 586 B. C.) (9:15-19).”

 

God would not disappoint Daniel. His sanctuary and Jerusalem would never be for ever rejected because of His name’s sake.

 

Dan 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

 

The answer to Daniel’s request concerned the ultimate and final restoration of God’s sanctuary and Jerusalem at the end of a the 70th week of a prophetic period of 70 weeks of 490 years.

 

Dan 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate [desolator; him: RSV, NAS, NIV].

 

There would be a final desolation of the sanctuary followed by the end of the desolating power itself/himself (which did not happen in AD70).

 

Those who teach that the 70-week prophecy actually ended God’s dealing with Israel as His chosen nation ignore (1) the restoration emphasis of Daniel 9:24, (2) the final word of 9:27 which says that the final desolation will be poured out upon the desolator, the one who makes desolate, (3) what all the other prophets say about Israel’s future and (4) the blessings of 12:

 

Daniel 10

 

Again, the Church is not seen in Daniel. In 10:14 the angel tells Daniel “what shall befall thy people (Israel) in the latter days.“

 

Daniel 11

 

Daniel 11:1-35 relate to the battles between Greek-ruled Syria and Greek-ruled Egypt between 311 and 146 B. C.

 

Daniel 11:36-45 relate to the last day antichrist of whom Antiochus is a type per Matthew 24:15.

 

Daniel 11:36 compares to the little horn of chapter 7 and the “prince that shall come” in 9:26b-27 – “he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.” The end of this person’s “prospering” will be the “anointing of the Most Holy” of 9:24 when God restores Israel and the sanctuary on earth.

 

Daniel 11:37 is comparable to 2 Thessalonians 2 and Revelation 13. Verses 40-43 is a new revelation that this future desolator will defeat both the king of the south and the king of the north. Verses 44-45 compare to 9:27 and Revelation 16:13-16. After this power decides to occupy God’s sanctuary, “the glorious holy mountain,” he shall be defeated (v45). This is not a description of the events of A. D. 70.

 

Chapter 12

 

Daniel 12:1a: Michael stands up for His nation Israel (the children of thy people) after the future desolator destroys the future Temple (9:27). The last half of the 70th week of Daniel is the “time of trouble” which correspond to Revelation’s 1260 days, 42 months and 3 times.

 

Daniel 12:1b-3: “And at that time thy people [Israel] shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book” is not a reference to the Church. It is in the context of God’s deliverance of national Israel (thy people). This is God’s answer to Daniel’s prayers! It will occur in Revelation 19 at the end of the “time of trouble” with the deliverance of Israel on earth.

 

Dan 12:7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

 

Daniel 12:7: God will “be finished” “scattering” “the power of the holy people” when the “times, time and half a time” have been “accomplished.” Restoration will follow. It is wrong to teach that 12:7 ends God’s dealings with Israel and ignore the statement in 12:1b “And at that time thy people shall be delivered.”

 

Daniel 12:11 is a review of the events of 9:26b-27, 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12 and Revelation 13 in the typical setting of Daniel 8:10-14. The daily sacrifice will be removed 30 days prior to the desecration of the altar.

 

Between 45-75 days after the rescue of Israel (at the end of the 3 times, 42 months, 1260 days) by the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Rev 19), God will begin setting up his Millennial Kingdom on Earth with Israel at the seat of his rule. Those who live to witness this event will be blessed. Daniel’s prayers for Israel will all be answered for good to Israel.

 

If God had intended for Israel to be completely destroyed as His chosen nation, then the answer to Daniel’s prayer of 9:15-19 is:

 

“No. I, God, will make My Holy Name and reputation a mockery and a byword among the other nations because I decided not to keep my unconditional promises made to Abraham, all the Patriarchs, Moses, David and all the prophets. All their unconditional prophecies of a final complete restoration of Israel were false and I did not inspire them to write. They should not be in the canon of the inspired Hebrew Bible. Israel will never be a nation before me again.”

 

I think not.

 

Section 9: Kingdom in Zechariah

 

Zechariah was addressed to the returned remnant. Like Daniel, Zechariah asked God when restoration would occur (1:12). God’s answer would include much more suffering before a final complete restoration.

 

Although Zerubbabel personally led thousands of Jews back to Judah, a future complete restoration was promised by God (8:7-8).

 

9:10 [Messiah’s kingdom reign] And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from river even to the ends of the earth.

 

Zechariah 9:10 is the Messianic reign on earth. Israel’s future king would end wars and his dominion rule would be worldwide – “even to the ends of the earth” (9:10). This is unconditional prophecy. Since it has not yet been fulfilled, its fulfillment must be in the future on literal earth and not in heaven.

 

ZECHARIAH’S SEQUENCE OF EVENTS

 

1. Messiah shall come as a king riding a lowly ass (Zech 9:9). This is Christ’s first coming.

 

2. God cannot forget that He has redeemed both houses of Israel once-for-all time from Egypt (Zech 10:6-8).

 

3. Both houses of the scattered remnant will return to Israel (Zech 10:9-10).

 

4. After the remnant returns, another final invasion and siege will occur (Zech 12:2).

 

5. All people on earth will gather against Jerusalem (Zech 12:3; 14:2).

 

6. The countryside is attacked. Two-thirds of the inhabitants of the land will be cut off (Zech 13:8).

 

7. A third of the inhabitants of the countryside will be refined and serve the LORD (Zech 13:9).

 

8. The city of Jerusalem is attacked. Half of the people are captured (Zech 14:2).

 

9. God intervenes and splits the Mount of Olives with a valley running from east to west (Zech 14:3-4).

 

14:4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

 

10. Many inhabitants of Jerusalem flee through the great valley towards the east (Zech 14:5a).

 

11. YAHWEH appears with all his saints (Zech 14:5b).

 

12. God destroys the invading army of all nations (Zech 12:4-9). The enemies of Jerusalem will die from plague and fighting each other (Zech 14:12-13). The surviving inhabitants of Judah will join the fight in Jerusalem (Zech 14:14-15; 13:9).

 

13. God will remove the iniquity of Israel in one day (Zech 3:8-10).

 

14. God will pour out upon the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem grace (Zech 12:10a).

 

15. The house of David and inhabitants of Jerusalem will accept their Messiah and mourn because they had previously rejected Him (Zech 12:10b-14).

 

16. God will provide a fountain for the house of David and inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and righteousness (Zech 13:1). Living waters will flow out of Jerusalem to the west (Mediterranean Sea) and to the east (former Dead Sea) (Zech 14:8).

 

17. Jerusalem will once again be God’s chosen city (Zech 2:11).

 

18. The conversion of the Gentiles is seen (Zech 2:12).

 

19. Messiah will end all wars during the Kingdom Reign (Zech 9:19).

 

20. YAHWEH will be king over all the earth (Zech 14:9).

 

14:9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.

 

21. The land of Israel will become an uplifted plateau (Zech 14:10).

 

22. Jerusalem will be safely inhabited (Zech 14:11).

 

23. The remnant of Gentiles will come to Jerusalem yearly at the Feast of Tabernacle to celebrate redemption with them (Zech 14:16).

 

14:16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.

 

24. Gentiles who do not come yearly to rejoice with Israel will experience drought (Zech 14:17-19).

 

14:17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.

 

14:18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.

 

14:19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.

 

25. During the Millennial Kingdom Reign of Messiah on earth, God’s holiness will be supreme (14:20-21).

 

14:20 In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD's house shall be like the bowl's before the altar.

 

14:21 Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts

 

……………………

Section 1: Defining Preterism

 

PRETERISM is an interpretation of Christian eschatology which holds that most or all of the biblical prophecies concerning the End Times refer to events which have already happened in the first century after Christ's birth. The system also claims that Ancient Israel finds its continuation or fulfillment in the Christian church at the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. (wikipedia)

 

PARTIAL PRETERISM holds that prophecies such as the destruction of Jerusalem, the Antichrist, the Great Tribulation, and the advent of the Day of the Lord as a "judgment-coming" of Christ were fulfilled in A.D. 70 when the Roman general (and future Emperor) Titus sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the Jewish Temple, putting a permanent stop to the daily animal sacrifices. It identifies "Babylon the Great" (Revelation 17-18) with the ancient pagan City of Rome, or even the city of Jerusalem. Some adherents of Partial Preterism see the Emperor Diocletian as the fulfillment of the "little horn" prophecy of Daniel 7. But this is a minority view. The great majority of Partial Preterists believe that Jerusalem was a "great harlot" destroyed by God in A.D. 70.

 

Most Partial Preterists also believe that the term Last Days refers not to the last days of planet Earth, or the last days of humankind, but rather to the last days of the Mosaic Covenant, which God held exclusively with the nation of Israel (including biblical proselytes) until the year A.D. 70.

 

The "Last Days", however, are to be distinguished from the "Last Day", which is considered to still be in the future and entailing the last coming of Jesus, the Resurrection of the righteous and unrighteous dead physically from the grave in like manner to Jesus' physical resurrection, the Final Judgment, and the creation of a literal, non-covenantal New Heaven and New Earth free from the curse of sin and death which was occasioned by the fall of Adam and Eve.

 

Partial preterists hold that the New Testament predicts and depicts many "comings" of Christ. They contend that the phrase Second Coming means the second of a like kind in a series, for the Scriptures record other "comings" of God even before Jesus' judgment in A.D. 70.

 

This would eliminate the A.D. 70 event as the "second" of any series, let alone the second of a series in which the earthly, physical ministry of Christ is the first. Partial Preterists believe that the new creation comes in redemptive progression as Christ reigns from His heavenly throne, subjugating His enemies, and will eventually culminate in the destruction of the "last enemy", i.e., physical death (1 Cor 15:20-24). In the Partial Preterist paradigm, since enemies of Christ still exist, the resurrection event cannot have already occurred. Nearly all Partial Preterists hold to amillennialism or postmillennialism. (Wikipedia)

 

FULL PRETERISM (HYPERPRETERISM) differs from Partial Preterism in that Full Preterists believe that all eschatology or "end times" events were fulfilled with the destruction of Jerusalem, including the resurrection of the dead and Jesus' Second Coming or Parousia. Full Preterism is also known by several other names: Preterism (because the term itself means "past"), Consistent Preterism, True Preterism, Hyper-Preterism (a pejorative term used by opponents of Preterists), and Pantelism. (The term "Pantelism" comes from two Greek roots: παν (pan), "everything", and τελ- (tel-), referring to completion—another attempted pejorative label that never caught on).

 

Full Preterism holds that Jesus' Second Coming is to be viewed not as a future bodily return, but rather a "return" in glory manifested by the physical destruction of Jerusalem and her Temple in A.D. 70 by foreign armies in a manner similar to various Old Testament descriptions of God coming to destroy other nations in righteous judgment.

 

Full Preterism also holds that the Resurrection of the Dead did not entail the raising of the physical body, but rather the resurrection of the soul from the "place of the dead", known as Sheol (Hebrew) or Hades (Greek) and that both the living and the dead were raised, changed, caught away and glorified together into one/corporate matured New Covenant Body of Christ. Some versions of Full Preterism teach that the righteous dead obtained an individual spiritual and substantial body for use in the heavenly realm, and the unrighteous dead were cast into the Lake of Fire. Some Full Preterists believe that this judgment is ongoing and that it takes effect upon the death of each individual (Heb. 9:27).

 

Other Full Preterists believe that because the Book of Revelation was signified (or "symbolized", according to its first verse, Revelation 1:1), the Lake of Fire was only A.D. 70's Gehenna (Jerusalem’s garbage dump, not Hell) as it burned. Moreover, this burning was just aionios (pertaining to an age), not eternal. The hermeneutic of audience relevance confines this judgment and punishment to the 1st century AD.

 

The New Heaven and the New Earth are also equated with the New Covenant and the Fulfillment of the Law in A.D. 70 and are to be viewed in the same manner by which a Christian is considered a "new creation" upon his or her conversion.

 

Full Preterists typically reject the authority of the Creeds to condemn their view, stating that the Creeds were written by uninspired and fallible men, and that appeals should be made instead to the Scriptures themselves (sola scriptura).

 

 

 

Section 2: Comparing Hyper-Preterism to Futurism

 

Futurists believe that Preterists, in departing from a "grammatical, contextual, historical" method of interpretation, have erred greatly in matters of doctrine. One of the foundational assertions of Preterists is that the first century Church believed a major eschatological event would take place in their lifetime. 2-Thessalonians 2:1-4 The Thessalonians were being reassured that they hadn't missed the coming of "the day of the Lord". They weren't corrected regarding their anticipation of Christ's coming. Many "time texts" in the New Testament are used to support this claim, e.g., Matthew 10:23, Matthew 16:27-28, Matthew 24:34, Matthew 26:64, and Rev. 1:1-3. However, Futurists point out that a careful analysis of some of the expressions employed (e.g., "near," "soon," and "at hand"), based on a study of Old Testament usage, gives no indication that imminency requires immediacy. See Deuteronomy 32:35, Isaiah 13:6, Jeremiah 51:33, Joel 2:1, Zephaniah 1:14.

 

It is also contested whether the term "generation" (a translation of the Greek genea) means "race" or "nation," as the context of many verses would imply. Even if the term were used to denote Christ's contemporaries, the grammatical structure of verses such as Matthew 16:28 and Matthew 24:34 does not necessitate a first-century fulfillment.[41] Futurists claim, moreover, that the uniform belief of the early church regarding the futuricity of Christ's second coming militates against the Preterist view.

 

Preterists maintain that Futurists misunderstand the various metaphors, idioms and prophetic language that the New Testament employs. Preterists claim that many of these are proven to be idiom and metaphors by their use in the Old Testament, and are not meant to be taken literally, e.g., being seen "coming in clouds," 2 Samuel 22:11-12, and the reference to a "thousand" years in Rev. 20:2, (Psalm 50:10, Psalm 90:4, Deuteronomy 7:9).

 

1.

P: All of Matthew 24 was fulfilled in AD70.

D: Most of Matthew 24 is still future.

 

2.

P: Old Testament prophecies about national Israel were all conditional and ended in AD70.

D: Hundreds of Old Testament prophecies about national Israel were un-conditional and must be literally fulfilled in the future.

 

3.

P: The Church is spiritual Israel and replaced national Israel.

D: The church is the mysterious body of Christ and it does not replace literal promises made to Israel. God promised a literal Messianic Kingdom rule on earth to literal Israel. God cannot lie.

 

4.

P: The “generation” of Matthew 24 can only be the generation between AD30 and AD70.

D. The “generation” of Matthew 24 refers to the generation which will literally experience its fulfillment in the future.

 

5.

P: Much of Matthew 24 must be interpreted spiritually in order to fit the events of AD70.

D: All of Matthew 24 should be interpreted literally. Jesus was not speaking apocalyptically. Most of Matthew 24 did not literally occur in AD70.

 

6.

P: The sign to leave Jerusalem in AD70 was the appearance of the Roman eagle standard inside the Temple (24:15).

D: The sign to leave Jerusalem in AD70 was its being surrounded by armies (Lk 21:20-22). Matthew 24 and Mark 13 focus on the last days; Luke 21 includes AD 70 events.

 

7.

P: Daniel 9:27 ends with the destruction of the Temple and the end of God’s view of national Israel as His special people.

D: Daniel 9:27 with the attacking armies of antichrist being destroyed and this did not happen in AD70. Daniel 9:24 extends beyond 9:27 and ends with the Temple being anointed.

 

8.

P: The time/timing texts (at hand, quickly) must be interpreted as an AD70 fulfillment.

D: These texts focus on “how” and not “when.”  When God acts in the last days, He will act quickly.

 

9.

P: The “clouds”, “lightning” and “trumpet” of Matthew 24 were fulfilled spiritually. The “angels gather” refers to the gospel going out after AD70. The “greatest tribulation” of human history occurred in AD70.

D: The second coming of Christ in glory in the future will literally involve the angels gathering the elect from all the earth. Christ’s coming in glory will be literal and the event will involve all nations.

 

10.  

P: Preterism is a very minority movement within the a-millennial Reformed and Calvinistic tradition. It does not reflect most of that theology.

D: The futurist viewpoint of dispensationalism allows one to interpret the scores of OT prophecies literally and maintains the integrity of God’s Word.

 

11.  

P: Preterists prefer to severely disregard the unconditional literal nature of Old Testament prophecy regarding national Israel.

D: Futurists argue that the unconditional nature of Old Testament prophecy is their strongest argument for continuity and cannot honest be cast off. For example:

 

PRETERISM

 

and the

 

NEW TESTAMENT

 

Russell Earl Kelly, PHD

March 2, 2011

 

 

 

Section 1: Defining Preterism

Section 2: Messianic Kingdom Texts and References to Israel in the New Testament

Section 3: Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21: Comparing Hyper-Preterism to Futurism

Section 4: Key Differences between Preterism and Futurism

Section 5:  Preteism and the Kingdom

 

 

Section 1: Defining Preterism

 

PRETERISM is an interpretation of Christian eschatology which holds that most or all of the biblical prophecies concerning the End Times refer to events which have already happened in the first century after Christ's birth. The system also claims that Ancient Israel finds its continuation or fulfillment in the Christian church at the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. (wikipedia)

 

PARTIAL PRETERISM holds that prophecies such as the destruction of Jerusalem, the Antichrist, the Great Tribulation, and the advent of the Day of the Lord as a "judgment-coming" of Christ were fulfilled in A.D. 70 when the Roman general (and future Emperor) Titus sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the Jewish Temple, putting a permanent stop to the daily animal sacrifices. It identifies "Babylon the Great" (Revelation 17-18) with the ancient pagan City of Rome, or even the city of Jerusalem. Some adherents of Partial Preterism see the Emperor Diocletian as the fulfillment of the "little horn" prophecy of Daniel 7. But this is a minority view. The great majority of Partial Preterists believe that Jerusalem was a "great harlot" destroyed by God in A.D. 70.

 

Most Partial Preterists also believe that the term Last Days refers not to the last days of planet Earth, or the last days of humankind, but rather to the last days of the Mosaic Covenant, which God held exclusively with the nation of Israel (including biblical proselytes) until the year A.D. 70.

 

The "Last Days", however, are to be distinguished from the "Last Day", which is considered to still be in the future and entailing the last coming of Jesus, the Resurrection of the righteous and unrighteous dead physically from the grave in like manner to Jesus' physical resurrection, the Final Judgment, and the creation of a literal, non-covenantal New Heaven and New Earth free from the curse of sin and death which was occasioned by the fall of Adam and Eve.

 

Partial preterists hold that the New Testament predicts and depicts many "comings" of Christ. They contend that the phrase Second Coming means the second of a like kind in a series, for the Scriptures record other "comings" of God even before Jesus' judgment in A.D. 70.

 

This would eliminate the A.D. 70 event as the "second" of any series, let alone the second of a series in which the earthly, physical ministry of Christ is the first. Partial Preterists believe that the new creation comes in redemptive progression as Christ reigns from His heavenly throne, subjugating His enemies, and will eventually culminate in the destruction of the "last enemy", i.e., physical death (1 Cor 15:20-24). In the Partial Preterist paradigm, since enemies of Christ still exist, the resurrection event cannot have already occurred. Nearly all Partial Preterists hold to amillennialism or postmillennialism. (Wikipedia)

 

FULL PRETERISM (HYPERPRETERISM) differs from Partial Preterism in that Full Preterists believe that all eschatology or "end times" events were fulfilled with the destruction of Jerusalem, including the resurrection of the dead and Jesus' Second Coming or Parousia. Full Preterism is also known by several other names: Preterism (because the term itself means "past"), Consistent Preterism, True Preterism, Hyper-Preterism (a pejorative term used by opponents of Preterists), and Pantelism. (The term "Pantelism" comes from two Greek roots: παν (pan), "everything", and τελ- (tel-), referring to completion—another attempted pejorative label that never caught on).

 

Full Preterism holds that Jesus' Second Coming is to be viewed not as a future bodily return, but rather a "return" in glory manifested by the physical destruction of Jerusalem and her Temple in A.D. 70 by foreign armies in a manner similar to various Old Testament descriptions of God coming to destroy other nations in righteous judgment.

 

Full Preterism also holds that the Resurrection of the Dead did not entail the raising of the physical body, but rather the resurrection of the soul from the "place of the dead", known as Sheol (Hebrew) or Hades (Greek) and that both the living and the dead were raised, changed, caught away and glorified together into one/corporate matured New Covenant Body of Christ. Some versions of Full Preterism teach that the righteous dead obtained an individual spiritual and substantial body for use in the heavenly realm, and the unrighteous dead were cast into the Lake of Fire. Some Full Preterists believe that this judgment is ongoing and that it takes effect upon the death of each individual (Heb. 9:27).

 

Other Full Preterists believe that because the Book of Revelation was signified (or "symbolized", according to its first verse, Revelation 1:1), the Lake of Fire was only A.D. 70's Gehenna (Jerusalem’s garbage dump, not Hell) as it burned. Moreover, this burning was just aionios (pertaining to an age), not eternal. The hermeneutic of audience relevance confines this judgment and punishment to the 1st century AD.

 

The New Heaven and the New Earth are also equated with the New Covenant and the Fulfillment of the Law in A.D. 70 and are to be viewed in the same manner by which a Christian is considered a "new creation" upon his or her conversion.

 

Full Preterists typically reject the authority of the Creeds to condemn their view, stating that the Creeds were written by uninspired and fallible men, and that appeals should be made instead to the Scriptures themselves (sola scriptura).

 

………………………………………………………………….

 

Section 2

 

 MESSIANIC “KINGDOM TEXTS” AND REFERENCES TO ISRAEL IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

 

When Preterists and others teach that the kingdom of God only refers to the spiritual kingdom of the Church, they completely ignore the scores of unconditional Old Testament prophecies AND the New Testament references to Israel in the following texts.

 

Matt 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones , judging the twelve tribes of Israel.(Also Luke 22:30)

 

This is probably the strongest text against the Preterist teaching that there will be no literal messianic reign of Christ on earth. It is also compelling evidence against the idea that the church is Israel and national Israel is no longer of God’s future plans.

 

Matt 23:38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

Matt 23:39 “For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”

 

Preterists quote Matthew 23:38 to prove that God had forever rejected Israel as His chosen nation. The context of verse 39 indicates otherwise. While all of the prophets pronounced desolation on Israel and Judea, they also all followed the curse with God’s unconditional promises to restore both.

 

Luke 1:54 He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;

Luke 1:55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

 

Mary saw God’s actions concerning John and Jesus as God helping the nation Israel by keeping His promises made to Abraham and to his seed for ever (Lk 1:54-55).

 

Luke 1:68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel ; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,

Luke 1:69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;

Luke 1:70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:

Luke 1:71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;

Luke 1:72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;

Luke 1:73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,

Luke 1:74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,

Luke 1:75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.

 

While filled with the Holy Spirit, Zacharias, father of John the Baptist, declared that God had sent Jesus to redeem Israel (1:68) and that Jesus was the fulfillment of God’s promises made to David (1:69). The Messiah would be used by God to save Israel from its enemies (1:70, 71, 74, 75). Such was God’s method of keeping his unconditional promises made to Abraham and repeated by the prophets (7:72, 73).

 

Luke 2:34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel ; and for a sign which shall be spoken against.

 

Simeon interpreted the Christ event as a fulfillment of God’s unconditional promises to national Israel. It would fall and rise again.

 

Luke 22:29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;

Luke 22:30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel .

 

This is not a description of heaven. It is a description of the literal Messianic kingdom reign on earth.

 

Luke 24:21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel : and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.

 

The two disciples on the Emmaus road interpreted the Christ events as hopeful fulfillments of God’s literal kingdom promises to national Israel.

 

John 1:49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.

 

Nathaniel was blessed by God to know that Jesus was to be the King of Israel. This can only be correctly understood in terms of a literal Messianic kingdom on earth.

 

John 12:13 [Much people] Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.

 

The crowds were interpreting Jesus’ first coming as if it were His second coming to literally rule Israel on earth.

 

Acts 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

Acts 1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

 

The disciples had one final question to ask Jesus before He ascended into heaven and it concerned God’s unconditional promises to literal national Israel. Notice that Jesus did not correct them and He did not say that Israel was no longer part of God’s plan. He merely reminded them that the Father knew the answer to their question.

 

Acts 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

 

Contrary to the Preterist teachings, Jesus will return both literally and visibly accompanied by both clouds and angels.

 

Acts 2:30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne.

 

Peter understood the prophets to teach that Messiah would reign in the “flesh.” That mean on earth and not in heaven.

 

Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

 

There is no indication that Peter thought God had rejected all the house of Israel.

 

Rom 9:8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

 

Both groups are literal Hebrews. Only true believers within literal Israel are considered to be the children of the promise.

 

Rom 11:1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

 

The direct question is: “Has God cast away His people (Israel)?” And the direct answer is “No. God forbid.” Yet most of the Christian world today says “Yes, and He has replaced it with the Church, which is spiritual Israel.”

 

Rom 11:2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. …

 

It is very strange that Calvinists, Reformed and Presbyterians who interpret God’s foreknowledge to that saints cannot fall from grace do not apply the same logic to God’s foreknowledge of Israel. (See 11:29.)

 

Rom 11:4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.

Rom 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

 

God reminded Elijah that there will always be a remnant of believing Hebrews who are the true Israel of God.

 

Rom 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

 

God’s foreknowledge of Israel as His chosen nation was never determined by any good works they may have performed. The argument is: “Since good works did not make Israel God’s elect, then failure to do good works cannot cause them to cease being God’s chosen nation.” It is the argument used for eternal security.

 

Rom 11:7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded

 

Like Isaac being chosen over Ishmael and Jacob over Esau, the children of the promise constitute true Israel. Most literal fleshly Israelites do not qualify as true Israel (11:8-10).

 

Rom 11:11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

 

The direct question is: “Have they stumbled that they should fall?” Most of the Christian world answers “Yes, and they have been replaced by spiritual Israel, the Church. Yet God’s answer is “No. God forbid.” Paul does not say that Israel’s “fall” was “permanent.” Rather, he said that it was “to provoke them to jealousy” – that they might be restored!

 

Rom 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel , until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

 

If, as most teach, Israel had permanently fallen as a nation before God, there would be no “mystery.” The “mystery” is that Israel was only “blinded” (not permanently fallen).

 

Rom 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

 

All true Israel will be saved. Many will be saved by becoming Christians and partaking of the “fullness of the Gentiles.” Others will be saved during the Great Tribulation as in Revelation 7 and 14.

 

Rom 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

 

God foreknew true believers within national Israel to be saved and constitute true Israel. He cannot and will not go against His eternal decree to establish Israel before Him forever.

 

Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

 

This text does not teach that all Roman slaves were freed or that all free-men become slaves when they are saved. Neither does it teach that believers lose their sexual orientation when they are saved. Yet many quote it to argue that Jews and Gentiles lose their national identify when they are saved.

 

Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

 

As part of the Body of Christ, we are all equal before God.

 

Gal 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

 

Since God’s unconditional covenant promises were made to Abram before he was circumcised, the status of Israel is not changed by this text.

 

Gal 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

 

There were two groups within the church of Galatia and most other churches. The final close is addressed first to everybody and secondly to Hebrew Christians who were especially affected by his letter.

 

Eph 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

 

Before Calvary, Israel was God’s only chosen people and Gentiles were excluded.

 

Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

 

Near to Christ; not near to the commonwealth of Israel.

 

Eph 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

Eph 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

Eph 2:16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

 

This was written before Israel’s destruction in AD 70. God joined believing Hebrews and Gentiles into the one body of Christ. Paul was not prophesying the end of Israel in AD 70. Rather he was bringing true Israelites beyond the law to the Abrahamic covenant.

 

Eph 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

Eph 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

Eph 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

Eph 2:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

 

Both Hebrews and Gentiles have been brought into the Body of Christ. The nation Israel still existed when this was written. The letter of Hebrews was written to believing Jews inside Israel.

 

Heb 8:8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: [Mt 10:6; 15:24]

…..

Heb 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

 

The New Covenant was directed first to the “house of Israel” and the “house of Judah.” These were the literal ruling houses of a literal nation. Jesus commanded His disciples to go first to the cities of Israel. After His resurrection Jesus commanded that the gospel should be brought first to Jerusalem (Acts 1:8). And Paul wrote that the gospel must first go to Israel (Rom 1:16). These texts clearly demonstrate that God still gave priority to Israel and Jerusalem even after Calvary.

 

Rev 7:4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel .

Rev 7:5 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.

Rev 7:6 Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthali were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand.

Rev 7:7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand.

Rev 7:8 Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.

Rev 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.

 

Most scholars believe that Revelation was written near AD 100. Preterists argue for a date just prior to AD 70. If, as some contend, Israel ceased to be God’s chosen nation when Jesus died, God would not have included Israel in the descriptions of Revelation.

 

Rev 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

Rev 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

 

Although the term “thousand years” appears 6 times in Revelation 20, Preterists and many more interpret it figuratively. Their hermeneutic seems to be “if it does not fit your theory, interpret it figuratively.” The a-millennial (no millennium) problem created by their hermeneutic is explaining why sin is so rampant while Satan is bound.

 

Rev 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

 

While futurists interpret this as the unconditional Messianic kingdom promised by all the prophets, Preterists and many others say it is meaningless. One wonders why it is in the Bible.

 

Rev 21:12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.

 

……………………………………………………

 

Section 3: MATTHEW 24, MARK 13 and LUKE 21: Comparing Hyper-Preterism to Futurism

 

HERMENEUTICS

 

Futurists believe that Preterists, in departing from a "grammatical, contextual, historical" method of interpretation, have erred greatly in matters of doctrine.

 

One of the foundational assertions of Preterists is that the first century Church believed a major eschatological event would take place in their lifetime (2 Thes 2:1-4).  The Thessalonians were being reassured that they had not missed the coming of "the day of the Lord". They weren't corrected regarding their anticipation of Christ's coming.

 

TIME TEXTS:

 

Peterists quote many alleged "time texts" in the New Testament to support this claim, e.g., Matthew 10:23, Matthew 16:27-28, Matthew 24:34, Matthew 26:64, and Rev. 1:1-3. However, Futurists point out that a careful analysis of some of the expressions employed (e.g., "near," "soon," and "at hand"), based on a study of Old Testament usage, gives no indication that imminency requires immediacy. See Deuteronomy 32:35, Isaiah 13:6, Jeremiah 51:33, Joel 2:1, Zephaniah 1:14.

 

“THIS GENERATION”

 

It is also contested whether the term "generation" (a translation of the Greek genea) means "race" or "nation," as the context of many verses would imply. Even if the term were used to denote Christ's contemporaries, the grammatical structure of verses such as Matthew 16:28 and Matthew 24:34 does not necessitate a first-century fulfillment.[41] Futurists claim, moreover, that the uniform belief of the early church regarding the futuricity of Christ's second coming militates against the Preterist view.

 

Preterists maintain that Futurists misunderstand the various metaphors, idioms and prophetic language that the New Testament employs. Preterists claim that many of these are proven to be idiom and metaphors by their use in the Old Testament, and are not meant to be taken literally, e.g., being seen "coming in clouds," 2 Samuel 22:11-12, and the reference to a "thousand" years in Rev. 20:2, (Psalm 50:10, Psalm 90:4, Deuteronomy 7:9).

 

……………………………………………………………

 

COMPARING MATTHEW 24 AND MARK 13 WITH LUKE 21

 

References are to End Times Fiction, Gary DeMar, 2001 (ETF)

 

While Preterists and many others teach that Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 always descrdibe the same everts, futurists (dispensationalists) do not. Futurists point out the very significant differences. While Luke 21:20-24 focus on AD 70, Matthew 24 and Mark 13 focus on the future Antichrist. Signs and sequences will repeat themselves as hisotry almost repeats itself.

 

Matthew 23:13-36

 

Matt 23:35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth …

Matt 23:36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

 

From 23:13-36 “you” refers to the scribes and Pharisees in the multitude of 23:1. Jesus called them a ‘generation of vipers’ in 23:33. All the woes of Matthew 23 will come upon the current generation of scribes and Pharisees.

 

Matthew 23:37-39

 

Matt 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

Matt 23:38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

Matt 23:39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

 

From 23:37-39 “you” refers to Jerusalem personified –both its leaders and people. A very major point of difference between Preterists and Futurists is here.

 

Preterists and many others teach that after Calvary God permanently rejected Israel as His chosen nation and replaced it with the Church which is the new “spiritual Israel.”

 

Futurists point out that, while every Old Testament prophet declared desolation upon Israel, they also all prophesied that God could not and would not forsake Israel because of His scores of unconditional promises.  The “desolation” of Matthew 23:38 is followed by the “until” of Matthew 23:39.There will come a time in the future in which Israel once again shouts “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” This is validated by every prophet who wrote on the subject.

 

Matthew 24:1-3; These Things, Sign, End

 

Matt 24:1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.

Matt 24:2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

Matt 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

…..

Matt 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

 

Preterists insist that “you” in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 always only refers to the private group of disciples from 24:3. Therefore the events cannot extend beyond another 40-year generation and must end in AD 70. Consequently they then interpret many of the events very figuratively and not literally. (ETF73-75)

 

Futurists teach that a closer look compels the reader to conclude that Jesus is referring to the generation of those who literally see and experience the events. We know that James, Peter and Paul died before seeing the events of AD 70. Compare Mark 13:3. And tradition tells us that all of the disciples except John died as martyrs –many before AD70. Futurists interpret the “you” as the generation which literally sees the events of take place.

 

Matthew 24:1-3 parallels Mark 13:1-5 and Luke 21:5-7. Since history often repeats itself in greater prophetic fulfillments, all of Matthew and Mark probably have a secondary fulfillment during the Great Tribulation.

 

In Matthew 24:3, Mark 13:4-5 and Luke 21:7 disciples asked Jesus one question in three parts. While they probably thought that all three events would occur at the same time, such is not the case. They asked (1) When shall these things be? – the destruction of the Temple. (2) and what shall be the sign of thy coming? and (3) and of the end of the world? While only Luke records Jesus’ answer to the first part, only Matthew and Mark record the answer to the second and third parts. Perhaps Matthew and Mark wanted to spare their readers of a Gentile-controlled Jerusalem and perhaps Luke the Gentile wanted to focus on that part.

 

Concerning Matthew 24:37, Preterists interpret these events as local and not worldwide. In reality Jesus describes them in the same scope as Noah’s flood.

 

Matthew 24:4-13, Mark 13:6-13 and Luke 21:6-13

 

Preterists: Everything in these three chapters occurred in AD 70. (ETF76-81)

 

Futurists say that Preterists are wrong. They describe universal signs which are present in all ages and also are all present in our own time: false messiahs, wars, natural disasters, plagues, betrayal and persecution of believers. However, history records that the worst persecutions of Jews were after AD 70 (v9). While the intensity of Rome’s persecutions increased from AD 100 to AD 250 to AD 300, Hitler killed over 13 million Jews in World War Two. The peak of persecution will occur in the future during the Great Tribulation as seen in Revelation 13.

 

Matthew 24:14

 

Matt 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

 

Preterists teach that Matthew 24:14 was completed before AD 70. (ETF82-83)

 

Futurists argue that a literal interpretation of Matthew 24:14 makes no sense in the context of AD 70 because the greatest evangelism of the world and even the Roman Empire was after AD 70.

 

Preterists interpret “then shall the end come” as the end of God’s relationship with national Israel and the end of the Old Covenant.

 

Futurists maintain that God has only temporarily set aside Israel and must restore it in keeping with His unconditional promises made to all the prophets. Moreover, the Old Covenant ended, not in AD 70, but at Calvary.

 

Luke 21:20-24

 

Perhaps the greatest point of disagreement between Preterists and Futurists concerns Luke 21:20-24 compared with Matthew 24:15-28.

 

Preterists teach that all of Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 describe the same events which were fulfilled in AD 70. (ETF86-91)

 

Futurists only accept AD 70 for Luke 21:8-24 and interpret Matthew 24:14 onward as future. Preterists can only interpret all the events of Matthew 24 in the context of AD 70 by severely changing the clear literal meanign of Christ’s words into highly figurative language.

 

Luke 21:20 contrasted with Matthew 24:15

 

Luke 21:20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.

 

contrast with

 

Matt 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand.

 

In AD 70 the literal sign of the Temple destruction and to leave Jerusalem was when the city was surrounded by armies. This literally happened and is well-documented. Christians escaped; unbelieving Jews were punished; and the Roman armies were victorious.

 

In the futurre the lliteral sign of the coming of the Son of man and to leave Jerusalem will be when the Most Holy Place of the Temple is defiled by pagans. This follows the same sequence of Antiochus Epiphanes in 168 BC when he already controlled the city and did not need o surround it for a seige. Preterists teach that these are the same events of AD 70.

 

Luke 21:21 and Matthew 24:16-20

 

History will repeat itself. First those in Judea will flee to the mountains. Second, flight will be from the roof-tops because there wil be no time to gather anything. Third, those in the countryside will not enter Jerusalem. The Sabbath was kept in AD 70 and will be kept again during the 70th week of Daniel in the future because the unbelieving Jews will enforce the Sabbath in Jerusalem.

 

Luke 21:22-24 contrasted with Matthew 24:21-22

 

Luke 21:22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

Luke 21:23 … in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.

Luke 21:24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

 

        Contrast with

 

Mt 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Mt 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.

 

1. In AD 70 God’s “wrath” punished the wicked Jewish people with “great distress.” These are called the “days of vengeance.” Those Jews who survived the great slaughter were sold as slaves throughout the Roman Empire. Non Jews would control Jerusalem until the last days.

 

The contrast is that Luke describes the events of AD 70 as “great distress” while Matthew descries the future events as the “greatest tribulation” of all history.

 

2. In AD 70 God’s wrath fell on the wicked Jews and not the invading army. However in the future the opposite is true: God’s wrth will fal lon the invading army of Antichrist and rescue Jewish Christians. This is a significant obvious great difference. Compare Daniel 9:27 and Revelation 11:1-2.

 

3. Matthew and Mark are silent about Jews being scattered as slaves because the events of the Great Tribulation do not allow time for this.

 

Again, Preterists interpret these as the same events of AD 70 and disown any possible application to the future. (ETF85-88)

 

Luke 21:23 and Matthew 24:19

 

Pregnant women will be disadvantaged. This is always true everywhere.

 

Luke 24b and Matthew 24:15-28

 

Luke 21:24b … and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

 

compare with

 

Matt 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

 

Luke 24b includes the remainder of Matthew 24. While Jerusalem had been literally “trodeen” down by Gentiles after 586 BC, it has been especially trodden down by Gentiles since AD 70. This “under foot” description will reach until the second coming of Christ in glory at the end of Revelation 19. Even now half of the city is in Muslim hands.

 

The events of Matthew and Mark are included in the second half of Luke 21:24. While only Luke gives the answer to the first question asked Jesus “When shall these things be?” only Matthew and Mark include the details of the abomination of desolation which is the sign of Jesus’ second coming in glory. It appears that Luke the Gentile omitted the reference to Daniel while Matthew and Mark omitted the part about Gentile domination of Jerusalem.

 

The second half of verse 24 will reach to the second coming as the events of Matthew 24:29-36, Mark 13:24-32 and Luke 21:25-33 again merge with the signs of the sun, moon and starrs and Christ’s second coming in glory.

 

Matthew 24:21; Great Tribulation

 

Matt 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

 

Matthew 24:21 simply did not occur literally in AD 70 and Jesus’ disciples did not witness the slaughter of 13 million Jews by Nazi Germany in World War Two. Try as they may, Preterists simply cannot explain this in terms of AD 70 and ignore the long history of Jewish persecution since then and the future persecution under Antichrist. Te future Great Tribulation will be even worse.

 

Matthew 24:22; No Flesh Saved

 

Matt 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.

 

The only way that Preterists can force this into their explanation of AD 70 is to claim that “no flesh” only refers to unbelieving Jews inside Jerusalem and Judea. Yet the “elect,” the Christians, had already escaped when the Romans temporarily lifted their siege. And the Roman army was not in danger of being annihilated as part of the “no flesh.” God’s Word must be extremely twisted to reach the Preterist interpretation.

 

On the other hand, except for God’s hand delivering believers in Revelation 19, “no flesh” will be saved. Unlike the Roman armies which were untouched, the armies of Anti-christ will be annihilated in the future.

 

Matthew 24:27; As the Lightning

 

Matt 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

 

Acts 1:11 “Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”

 

Preterists use very inconsistent principles of interpretation to make God’s Word agree with their own viewpoints. They will insist upon interpreting some texts literally such as “this generation” and many others figuratively such as “lightning,” “coming” and “glory.”

 

For Preterists Matthew 24 describes Jesus’ coming in glory in AD 70 as God’s quick lightning-like wrath to punish wicked Israel. (ETF94-97)

 

Futurists rreply that, since Jesus did not return in AD 70, Luke is silent about the lightning. No Church Father or other Chrisian writer records scuh an event in AD 70.

 

Futurists insist on interpreting God’s Word in its obvious literal sense unless context compels non-literal interpretation. There is no reason interpret the context of Matthew 24 as anything other than literal. Jesus’ coming will be as visible and as far reaching as lightning but will, as always, center around the events in Jerusalem. In the context of Revelation 19 and 20, Christ’s return in glory if followed by the establishment of the Messianic kingdom on earth for 1000 years.

 

Matthew 24:28 Eagles

 

Matt 24:28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

 

Preterists interpret this as a reference to the eagles on the Roman flags. IETF97-98) Futurists point to the vultures and flesh-eating birds present throughout the Bible and especially Revelation 19. This is the expected result from the “carcasses.”

 

Matthew 24:29 Sun, Moon and Stars

 

Matt 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.

 

Preterists interpret this as common signs of God’s judgment throughout the Bible. (ETF98-99) However, while that is true, it still must be interpreted in its immediate context. While there are no signs warning of the impending coming of Christ for His church, these are signs warning of the immediate coming of Christ to destroy Antichrist and deliver the tribulation saints in the last days.

 

Matthew 24:30 Sign, Second Coming, Clouds

 

Matt 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

 

Preterists literally interpret the pronoun “you” in Matthew 24 as a reference to the disciples even though many of them died before AD 70. Next they interpret the lightning, clouds and “seeing” as a figurative coming of Christ in AD 70. (ETF102-107)

 

Futurists interpret the lightning, clouds and coming of Christ in glory literally in the future.

 

Matthew 24:31; Angels Gather the Elect

 

Matt 24:31 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.

…..

Mt 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Mt 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,

Mt 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Mt 24:40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

Mt 24:41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

Mt 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

 

Preterists interpret the angels as Christians who went forth as soul winners to evangelize the Roman Empire after AD 70. (ETF108).

 

Futurists interpret this verse as a literal description of the second coming of Christ in glory in the future. First, since it is clear that “angels in heaven” in verse 36 does not refer to men, this should also apply to “angels” in verse 31. Second, in the flood story those who were not rescued were all killed. The Preterist interpretation does not consider Jesus’ reason for discussing Noah.

 

Matthew 24:32-34; This Generation

 

Matt 24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

Mt 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

Mt 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

Mt 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

 

Preterists interpret “this generation” as the generation living when He spoke the words to His disciples in AD 30. They then add 40 years as a typical generation and teach that everything mentioned in Matthew 24 must occur by AD 70 when the Temple was destroyed. Whatever cannot be explained literally is then explained very figuratively. (ETF111-114)

 

        INCONSISTENT INTERPRETATION:

 

        Jerusalem is left desolate (23:38): literal

        “Until” (23:39): ignored

Surrounding of armies: literal

Destruction of Jerusalem: literal

Abomination of desolation: literal

Lightning: figurative

Sign of sun, moon and stars: figurative

Coming of Christ in clouds: figurative

Unconditional promises to Israel: ignored

 

Futurists interpret “this generation” in view of verse 33 as the generation which literally sees all the events in Matthew occur literally. It is difficult to understand the impact of Jesus’ strong words in verse 35 if He did not want to be understood literally.

 

Matthew 24:36

 

Mt 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

 

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Section 4

 

 

KEY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PRETERISM AND FUTURISM (DISPENSATIONALISM).

 

1.

P: All of Matthew 24 was fulfilled in AD70.

D: Most of Matthew 24 is still future.

 

2.

P: Old Testament prophecies about national Israel were all conditional and ended in AD70.

D: Hundreds of Old Testament prophecies about national Israel were un-conditional and must be literally fulfilled in the future.

 

3.

P: The Church is spiritual Israel and replaced national Israel.

D: The church is the mysterious body of Christ and it does not replace literal promises made to Israel. Although it has some of the wording given to Old Covenant Israel in a spiritual context, it is not called spiritual Israel. God promised a literal Messianic Kingdom rule on earth to literal Israel. God cannot lie.

 

4.

P: The “generation” of Matthew 24 can only be the generation between AD30 and AD70.

D. The “generation” of Matthew 24 refers to the generation which will literally experience its fulfillment in the future.

 

5.

P: Much of Matthew 24 must be interpreted spiritually in order to fit the events of AD70.

D: All of Matthew 24 should be interpreted literally. Jesus was not speaking apocalyptically. Most of Matthew 24 did not literally occur in AD70.

 

6.

P: The sign to leave Jerusalem in AD70 was the appearance of the Roman eagle standard inside the Temple (24:15).

D: The sign to leave Jerusalem in AD70 was its being surrounded by armies (Lk 21:20-22). Matthew 24 and Mark 13 focus on the last days; Luke 21 includes AD 70 events.

 

7.

P: Daniel 9:27 ends with the destruction of the Temple and the end of God’s view of national Israel as His special people.

D: Daniel 9:27 ends with the attacking armies of antichrist being destroyed and this did not happen in AD70. Daniel 9:24 extends beyond 9:27 and ends with the Temple being anointed.

 

8.

P: The time/timing texts (at hand, quickly) must be interpreted as an AD70 fulfillment.

D: When God acts in the last days, He will act quickly. When the signs are seen, the time is near for that generation.

 

9.

P: The “clouds”, “lightning” and “trumpet” of Matthew 24 were fulfilled figuratively. The “angels gather” refers to the gospel going out after AD70. The “greatest tribulation” of human history occurred in AD70.

D: The second coming of Christ in glory in the future will literally involve the angels gathering the elect from all the earth. Christ’s coming in glory will be literal and the event, like Noah’s flood, will involve all nations.

 

10.  

P: Preterism is a very minority movement within the a-millennial Reformed and Calvinistic tradition. It does not reflect most of that theology.

D: The futurist viewpoint of dispensationalism allows one to interpret the scores of OT prophecies literally and maintains the integrity of God’s Word.

 

11.  

P: Preterists prefer to severely disregard the unconditional literal nature of Old Testament prophecy regarding national Israel.

D: Futurists argue that the unconditional nature of Old Testament prophecy is their strongest argument for continuity and cannot  be ignored.

 

 

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Section 5

 

PRETERISM AND THE KINGDOM (NT)

 

KINGDOM OF GOD,

KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.

 

From Systematic Theology, Lewis Sperry Chafer.

 

The "kingdom of God" is evidently a more comprehensive term than the "kingdom of heaven" and embraces all created intelligences, both in heaven and on earth, who are willingly subject to God and thus in fellowship with Him.

 

The "kingdom of heaven"-more precisely the "kingdom of the heavens"-is a term descriptive of any type of rulership God may assert on the earth at a given period.

 

As a predicted kingdom it has reference to the establishment of the kingdom of Israel on the earth (Acts 1:6) and is the subject of extended glowing prophecies in the OT (cf. Ps 2:6; 72:1; Isa 11:1; 32:1; 65:17; Jer 33:15; Dan 7:13-14; Mic 4:1; Zech 9:10; 12:1; 14:9).

 

As a covenanted kingdom the kingdom of heaven becomes the national hope of Israel (2 Sam 7:4-17). John the Baptist, Christ, and the apostles announced that the kingdom of national Israel was "at hand." That offer was rejected. As a result the "kingdom of heaven" in its earthly manifested form was postponed until Christ's second advent.

 

Widespread attempts to "bring in the kingdom" on the basis of Christ's first advent are misplaced. According to the clear teaching of the Bible it will be realized only in connection with the second advent. The testimony of Scripture agrees completely with this fact.

 

According to Matt 13 the present gospel age represents the mystery form of the kingdom. "Since the kingdom of heaven is no other than the rule of God on the earth, He must now be ruling to the extent of full realization of those things which are termed 'the mysteries' in the NT and which really constitute the new message of the NT" (Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, 7:224).

……………………………………..

From The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary:

 

The "kingdom of the heavens," that is, the manifested rule of God on the earth in the mediatory Davidic kingdom, will not be realized until the future millennial period. The kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven, as Chafer points out, are not identical despite the fact that "Matthew employs the terminology of the kingdom of heaven" and Mark and Luke, when presenting practically the same teaching, employ the phrase "kingdom of God."

 

According to Scripture the "sons of the kingdom shall be cast out" (Matt 8:12; 24:50-51; 25:28-30). This fate cannot be applied to the kingdom of God and its members (John 3:18). The parable of the wheat and the tares (Matt 13:24-30,36-43) and the parable of the good and bad fish (13:47-50) are only spoken of in connection with the kingdom of heaven. The parable of the leaven, however (13:33; 13:20-21), is applied to both kingdoms. "Leaven represents evil doctrine rather than evil persons, and evil doctrine may and does corrupt both kingdoms" (op. cit., pp. 224-25).

The New Unger's Bible Dictionary

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