Wednesday, July 6, 2011
What is Preterism?
So I figured since I’m a relatively unknown person online and I have been writing some controversial stuff. I figured I would start putting out there some of my positions on certain things that may come up from time to time in the comments.
The first one I’ll “hit up” is Preterism.
Now, there doesn’t seem to be a consensus among self-proclaimed preterists as to solid across the board hermeneutic with regard to Preterism. I can point you to all kinds of sources that talk about Preterism in this form or that form. But I would hate for you to come back and say to me…”Chad, Don Preston (or whomever) says *this* or *that*. Do you believe that? I can’t speak for other preterists. They can speak for themselves. Especially Don Preston. He speaks quite well for himself. There are other big names that are attached to Preterism as well. You may have heard of Max King et. al.
I assure you, that in no way, will one ever be able to point at any ONE leader (aside from Christ and the Apostles) and say, “Everything that guy/gal says is what I believe.” I guarantee that not one person who visits my blog would ever say/admit/reveal that there is ONE person (besides Christ) that ANYTIME “so-and-so” preaches, teaches or writes anything, that, that is what they believe wholeheartedly.
Case in point. Are you a Premillinialist? Do you believe EVERYTHING Jack Van Impe teaches? Are you a Postmillinialist? Do you believe EVERYTHING Charles Hodge or Greg L. Bahnsen taught? Are you an Amillinialist? Do you believe EVERYTHING R.C. Sproul teaches?
Preterism should never be accused of not being legit in that it has no uniformity among believers/”subscribers”. Just look at this site The Last Days: Four Views. You can see that Millinialism is just as disjointed as many claim Preterism is.
So, now that we have that out of the way. The real question should be…What is it that I (Chad Kennow) believe about Jesus’ return after His ascension into Heaven.
Let’s talk about what we know. I’ll separate into sections.
What did Christ say?
”Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.’”
Millennialists like to speak of a physical kingdom where Christ would rule physically. In accordance with this verse, if they are correct, then they are calling Jesus a liar.
”‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’“Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’’'”
Jesus stated that the punishment for the wickedness of all mankind from Cain until the death of Zechariah would be visited on the generation of Jews alive in THAT generation. If it were to occur at ANY other time, including today, or some future date from today, (as millennialists would have us believe) then Jesus was a liar and cannot be trusted or be deemed a prophet of God.
”Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.’”
Millenialists ignore this verse. In my opinion this verse CANNOT hold true with a futurist viewpoint unless someone were to reveal themselves AND PROVE that they are 1,980 (give or take a decade) years old and heard Jesus LITERALLY speak these words in Aramaic. Three gospel accounts reference this statement of Jesus. If He did not return in THAT Generation, then He is a liar.
”And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
Then he commissioned it.
”Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.”
”And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”
Millinialists typically claim that this has not yet been accomplished. They claim that it is near to completion though. However, if this be true, then the apostle Paul is a liar.
”Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith— to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.”
”And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.”
I for one do not believe Jesus and the Apostles were liars. One can bring up a plethora of other verses talking about the annihilation of the physical earth and universe but if these cannot be reconciled then it is all MOOT!
Since I do not believe that Jesus and Apostles are/were liars, I must accept that this Return happened when the Gospels claim it was to happen. You can see an ongoing theme throughout the New Testament epistles that the first century Christians were expecting Christ’s return in their lifetime. John’s Revelation uses a TON of language that refers to this being fulfilled SOON, IN HIS LIFETIME. Which reminds me…
”Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.” This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”
Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?” Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?”
Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.”
Then this saying went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?’”
What is odd is that there are some that would willingly believe that John the Apostle is still among us…alive…TODAY. Just so that they can fit it into their weak futurist doctrine. The gullibility of people never ceases to amaze me. I can see why the Lord would state, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6a
If so. Why aren’t people aware of His coming?
I’m not sure why people haven’t taken the time to put the pieces together. There are many accounts of Jesus return in extra-biblical sources. Josephus is one I am familiar with. He was a Jewish General who was tasked with keeping a record of the events of the Jewish people during the siege on Jerusalem. I can recommend many great sources of material on the subject, but you should definitely do the research yourself. Lest anyone say that I am their sole source of information. :)
Here are some links to help you get started:
Here are some books to add to your reading list:
Avenging of the Apostles and Prophets By: Arthur Ogden
Josephus Wars of the Jews Book 6 Chapter 5 Section 3 How’s this for fanfare? Get it on Amazon.com
There are many other books and resources you’ll find on your journey and discovery of the complete fulfillment of Christ’s prophecies. Feel free to share your finds. Thanks for reading. I will add more as my own journey progresses.