Preterism: Has Bible Prophecy Already Been Fulfilled?

Posted: October 22, 2012 in Apologetics, Preterism
  • By Charlie H. Campbell

    What is preterism?

    Preterism is the belief that the prophecies of Matthew 24 (spoken of by Jesus on the ) and the prophecies contained in the Book of Revelation were largely or completely fulfilled in the past, particularly in the events leading up to, and surrounding the destruction of  by the Romans in A.D. 70.

    For those of you that are new to Bible study, Matthew 24 and the Book of Revelation largely have to do with the tumultuous events leading up to Christ’s second coming.

    Those who adhere to preterism, refer to themselves as “preterists.”

    The word “preterism” is based on the Latin word preter, which means:

    “past”

    And that’s what preterists believe.

    Preterists believe that those things that you and I would consider future events on the prophetic calendar…

    –the Rapture

    –the Abomination of Desolation

    –the Tribulation

    …are all things of the past.

    Preterists believe that these things were fulfilled in the turmoil and political upheaval that ensued when  was sacked by  and most of its inhabitants were slaughtered in A.D. 70.

    –Preterists even believe that Jesus came back in A.D. 70!!

    (Some preterists say He came back spiritually and invisibly in an act of judgment against the Jews in , and some say physically.)

    We’ll talk more about that in a couple of minutes.

    The Growth of Preterism

    Preterism, as a way of viewing Bible prophecy, has been growing very quickly, and it only seems to be gaining momentum.

    Why is that?

    There has been a tremendous increase in persuasive books, pamphlets, tapes, and websites by preterists.

    A very influential Christian author and teacher by the name of R.C. Sproul adopted a preteristic view of the end times [eschatology] back in the 1990’s, and released a book, “The Last Days According to Jesus,” outlining Sproul’s preteristic views regarding Bible prophecy.

    Hank Hanegraaff, who is a big fan of R.C. Sproul, and the president of The Christian Research Institute [C.R.I.] has just released the first of a series of fictional books about the Book of Revelation.

    The first book in this series is called: The Last Disciple

    In this book, Hank officially announces that he too, the “Bible Answer Man,” has adopted this preteristic view.

    This book, “The Last Disciple” (and the others that will follow), tell the story of Christians living through the events spoken of in Matthew 24 and the Book of Revelation as though they already took place in the events leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

    Hank’s desire, with this book, is to change the way people view Bible prophecy.

    This is an excerpt from a letter Hank, sent out to supporters of the C.R.I. ministry, shortly before the release of his book.

    Hank said…

    “Indeed, this initial novel is intended to be the first “shot” in a debate that I believe will produce a paradigm shift — a change in the way many in the church look at the end times… Indeed, in The Last Disciple book (and series), you will understand what the Bible really teaches regarding the end times.”

    Q. Did you catch that?

    Hank is hoping that his book produces “a paradigm shift — a change in the way many in the church look at the end times.”

    Advertisements for the book on C.R.I.’s website have said…

    “What if the prophecies of Revelation have already been fulfilled?…Discover the “code” of Revelation and get a whole new understanding of this powerful book.”

    Here is a copy of a recent edition of the Christian Research Journal, a C.R.I. publication.

    On the back cover is an advertisement for his book. It says in big letters:

    “What if everything you’ve read about the Rapture is wrong?”

    According to preterists, everything you’ve learned or heard about the rapture is wrong.

    –According to preterists, there will be no rapture!

    –And there is no coming time of Tribulation, that unbelievers need fear

    –There is no coming Antichrist, or mark of the beast.

    None of that.

    These things, they say, are false teachings or have already taken place.

    So, as you can imagine, with the release of Hank’s book, Christians are going to be facing some challenging questions about preterism and the end times in the months ahead.

    There are two kinds of preterism that are popular today.

    1. Full preterism

    2. Partial preterism

    1. Full Preterism

    Adherents to full preterism believe that all Biblical prophecy has been fulfilled, including…

    –the Great Tribulation

    –the Second Coming of Jesus

    –the bodily resurrection of believers

    –and the Great White Throne Judgment.

    Some preterists are even so bold as to say that the rapture occurred in A.D. 66 [J. Stuart Russell] and that we are living in an inaugurated new heavens and the new earth (talked about in Revelation 21-22)

    Of course, they have to spiritualize away numerous verses to try and explain what John really meant when he said there would be no more death, or mourning, or crying, pain, etc. (in Revelation 21:4).

    So that is the view of full preterism.

    Hank Hanegraaff and R.C. Sproul believe that this radical form of preterism is heretical.

    2. Partial Preterism

    Adherents to partial preterism (such as Hank Hanegraaff and R.C. Sproul) believe that Matthew 24 and the Book of Revelation have only largely been fulfilled.

    Partial preterists (in contrast to full preterists) believe that Jesus only came back spiritually to judge Israel in A.D. 70, through the acts of the Roman army who destroyed the temple and killed a multitude of the Jews.

    Partial preterists believe there are some verses like Acts 1:9-11 that require Jesus to come back again in a physical and visible manner.

    (Other verses preterists believe point to a physical return would be:  1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 do speak of the future).

    What I’d like to do in our time together tonight is point out to you three passages that preterists point to that they believe support their view, after which I will make some comments.

    And then I will spend the rest of our time giving you reasons why the preterist view should be rejected.

    And I understand that many of you realize that the preterist position is not true, even now, and will be further convinced just a few minutes into our study. So it may sound redundant and even unnecessary that I go on with reason after reason why preterism should be rejected.

    But I plan on hitting this false teaching from many angles by unleashing an arsenal of truth on this topic.

    I do that for the sake of the preterist perhaps in our midst and for your sake. If a preterist brushes off or disagrees with one of my points, they will still have 8 or 9 others to consider.

    Matthew 24

    Turn with me to Matthew 24.

    The verse that we will be looking at is hands down the chief cornerstone, if you will, in the preterists’ defense of their view.

    Here in this chapter Jesus talks about the signs that will take place in the days leading up to His Second Coming in the clouds.

    He mentions, if you’ll notice…

    –in v. 15, the “Abomination of Desolation” [that time when the Antichrist will set himself up in the temple of God and declare himself to be God, 2 Thess. 2]

    –in v. 21, He mentions the time of the “great tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall.” NAS

    –in v. 29, He mentions the sun and moon being darkened

    –and then in v. 30, He mentions “the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky” NAS

    And then notice, v.34.

    This is the most popular proof text that preterists point to, there in v. 34, where Jesus says…

    Matthew 24:34

    34  “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.” NKJV

    “Ahh…you see,” the preterists says, “Jesus promised that ‘this generation’—the generation that was alive at His time would by no means pass away until all of these things (the Abomination of Desolation, the great tribulation, the coming of the Son of Man) will have taken place.”

    Preterists insist, because of this verse, and a couple of others [that we’ll look at] that all of the things spoken about in this chapter, as well as…

    –the Tribulation events (spoken of in the Book of Revelation)

    –and Jesus’ second coming (mentioned here in Matt. 24 and in Revelation 19)…

    …had to have occurred before the generation of the people living at the time Jesus spoke, died off.

    Why? Well because, “Notice,” they say v. 34, “Jesus said…

    Matthew 24:34

    34  “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.” NKJV

    Ahhhh…but what “generation” was Jesus talking about?

    A. Some have suggested that perhaps Jesus was not talking about the generation alive in His day, but about the Jewish race.

    But if you plug that interpretation into the text and reread the verse, it’s easy to see that this can’t be what Jesus meant.

    Let’s try plugging the words “Jewish people” into v. 34 where Jesus says “this generation.”

    Look there at v. 34…

    Matthew 24:34

    34  “Assuredly, I say to you, [the Jewish people] will by no means pass away till all these things take place.” NKJV

    Q. Could that have been what Jesus was saying?

    No.

    Jesus couldn’t have been saying that the Jewish people will by no means pass away until His second coming.

    The Jewish people are not going to pass away after Christ’s second coming.

    After His coming they will be present on the earth to go on to enjoy the unconditional promises that God made them in the Old Testament during Christ’s 1,000 year reign on the earth.

    It is during the Millennial reign of Christ that Jesus’ original disciples are going to rule over the 12 tribes of .

    Matthew 19:28

    28  So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, [this is an earthly scene according to Matthew 25:31 that happens after He returns to the earth] you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of [WHO?] Israel.” NKJV

    The nation of Israel will not pass away, even after Christ’s second coming.

    Q. So then, who was Jesus talking about when He said…

    Matthew 24:34

    34  “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.” NKJV

    Jesus was looking into the future and talking about the generation of people who will be alive during the events that He just described: During the time of Tribulation unlike the world has ever seen, i.e. the Tribulation generation.

    There is good support contextually for this interpretation, and that is why numerous commentators including John Walvoord and John MacArthur adhere to this view as well.

    Notice the verse immediately preceding this one, v. 33.

    Jesus said…

    Matthew 24:33-34

    33 “even so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I say to you, this generation [What generation? the generation who in v.33, sees all those things.] will not pass away until all these things take place.”

    What things?

    Things like…

    –The Abomination of Desolation (v.15)

    –The time of great tribulation (v. 21)

    –The sun and moon being darkened (v. 29)

    That generation (the Tribulation generation) will not pass away without also seeing the coming of the Son of Man come to the earth (mentioned in v. 30).

    Those “things” will indicate that Jesus is near, even “right at the door” just as a budding fig tree [v.32] indicates that summer, the harvest time, is near.

    These verses will be a great encouragement to the Jewish people and others who come to faith in Christ during the Tribulation.

    It will be an encouragement to them to know that these things in the great time of tribulation are not going to go on forever.

    There is going to be an end. Jesus is going to come back, and look…

    Matthew 24:31

    31  “And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” NKJV

    We know that the “generation” Jesus was talking about in v. 34 could NOT have been the generation alive at the time He was speaking because that generation never saw “all” those things that would immediately precede His second coming.

    More could be said about this, but for time’s sake, let’s move on.

    Matthew 10

    Secondly, let’s turn to Matthew, chapter 10:23 a second proof text for the preterist position.

    Jesus said to his disciples…

    Matthew 10:23

    23 When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.” NKJV

    “Ahhh, you see” the preterist says, “Jesus was saying that He would come again before His disciples would finish evangelizing the cities of Israel.”

    Is that what Jesus said there?

    No.

    He said (look at it again)…

    Matthew 10:23b

    “…you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”

    And that is exactly what happened, the disciples never did complete their preaching ministry in .

    Why?

    Because , to a large degree, would not receive their message.

    Jesus, even alludes to that (this unreceptivity) in the first part of the verse, Notice again there, v. 23…

    Matthew 10:23

    “When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. [That was going to be the response. Then Jesus says…] For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of  before the Son of Man comes.” NKJV

    Persecution and a prevailing Jewish unreceptivity to the Gospel prevented the disciples from going through all the cities of Israel!

    And so what did the disciples do?

    Acts 13:46, 18:6 (and other verses in the New Testament) tell us that they turned to the Gentiles.

    And thus Jesus’ prophecy was fulfilled. He said…

    Matthew 10:23

    “…you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.” NKJV

    Even R.C. Sproul, a preterist, who believes that Jesus came back in A.D. 70 in the judgment of Israel, says in The New Geneva Study Bible [of which he is the General Editor] that this passage (Matthew 10:23) refers to, a future second coming of Christ to judge the earth.

    The Book of Revelation

    Thirdly, preterists point to several verses in the Book of Revelation that they say support their view.

    Some of the verses they point to are…

    Revelation 1:1

    “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants — things which must shortly shortly (táchos) take place.”

    Revelation 2:16

    “…I am coming to you quickly (Gk. tachús).” –JESUS

    Revelation 11:14

    “The third woe is coming quickly (tachús).”

    Revelation 22:12

    “Behold, I am coming quickly (tachús).” –JESUS

    And preterists say, “See! Jesus said, ‘I am coming to you quickly.’ The events spoken about here in the Book of Revelation had to have been fulfilled quickly, within a generation of Christ’s death.”

    Was Jesus saying that He would come back quickly, as in soon after John heard Him say these words?

    No.

    The Greek word translated “shortly,” or “quickly,” here in these passages in the Book of Revelation is the Greek word “tachús.”

    This word does not refer to a soon event but a swift event.

    The Arndt and Gingrich Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament

    (p. 814) says this word means:

    “quick, swift,” or “speedy.”

    Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (p. 616) agrees, saying that the word tachu means:

    “quickly, speedily.”

    Vine’s Expository Dictionary of the New Testament Words (p. 913) also agrees saying that it means:

    “swift, quick…quickly.”

    John is not describing when the events will occur, but rather, he is describing the manner in which they will take place when they occur.

    He was saying that when these events took place, they would unfold suddenly, quickly, with great swiftness, even coming upon the world unexpectedly (like a thief in the night) [1 Thessalonians 5:2].

    Now, not only do these favorite verses of preterists (Matthew 24:34, Matthew 10:23, etc.) fail to support the preterist’s position, there are a multitude of other reasons why the preteristic view should be rejected.

    Some reasons why preterism should be rejected

    The first reason to reject the preterist interpretation is this…

    1.     None of the church fathers mentioned Christ’s second coming as having already occurred.

    When we speak of church fathers we are talking about the leaders in the first three centuries of the church following the original disciples.

    There is zero indication, from known writings of the Church Fathers, that anyone understood the New Testament prophecies from a preterist perspective.

    There are no early church writings that teach that Jesus returned in the first century.

    None!

    If we, as God’s people, are supposed to understand the prophecies of the New Testament according to the preteristic view, you would think that the Holy Spirit would have left at least one written record of this.

    The idea that Jesus came back in A.D. 70 was a foreign idea during the first five centuries of the church and then only mentioned sporadically after that until about 400 years ago.

    It wasn’t until the early 17th century—when preterist thinking was applied by the Jesuit Catholic scholar named Alcazar to the book of Revelation—that it was given very serious consideration.

    So this is reason number one to reject preterism:  None of the church fathers mentioned Christ’s second coming as having already occurred.

    The second reason to reject the preterist interpretation is this…

    2.     The Christians alive during A.D. 70, as well as the church fathers, believed the Second Coming was a future event.

    Not only did the early church not refer to the second coming as a past event, but over and over they referred to it as a future event.

    The oldest extra-Biblical Christian document known to exist is a document called:

    The Didache (pronounced DID-ah-kay).

    It is a simple distillation of Bible doctrine from the early church.

    Most scholars believe it was written near the close of the first century, most likely around A.D. 80.

    It was used and cited by many of the church fathers, as well as by the historian Eusebius (Church History ), so it’s early existence is well documented.

    The full text of The Didache was rediscovered in  in 1873.

    The interesting thing that this document proves [see 16:3-8] is that those who actually lived through the events of A.D. 70 regarded Matthew 24:29-31—and the entire Olivet Discourse—as yet to be fulfilled prophecy [See p. 123-24 in John MacArthur’s book: The Second Coming]

    This early church document mentions…

    –the antichrist

    –the great tribulation

    –and the second coming of Christ as events that were yet to come.

    The Didache is a good piece of evidence from the very believers who lived through the events surrounding A.D. 70, that the preterist view is incorrect.

    Early church leaders, who stated in their writings, post A.D. 70, that they were looking forward to Christ’s Second Coming include…

    -Papias

    -Clement of

    -Ignatius

    -Polycarp

    -Justin Martyr

    Q. Who would know better as to whether Jesus came back in A.D. 70…

    –modern day preterists

    –or those who were alive in A.D. 70, and the years immediately following?

    I’ll trust those that were alive at the time.

    That is reason number two the preterist view should be rejected:

    2. The Christians alive during A.D. 70, as well as the Church Fathers, believed the Second Coming was a future event.

    The third reason to reject preterism is this…

    3.     The Book of Revelation was not even written until approximately A.D. 95.

    Preterists believe that the Book of Revelation was a prophecy written by the apostle John as a description of the things that would shortly come upon  and the Jewish people as their city would be destroyed by the Romans.

    There is compelling evidence however, in the writings of the church fathers, that the Book of Revelation was written by the apostle John, approximately 25 years after the events surrounding the destruction of  in A.D. 70.

    A. Irenaeus

    Irenaeus was the bishop in the city of  in modern day  and lived from A.D. 120 – 202. He was a disciple of Polycarp [the bishop of ], who was a disciple of the apostle John. His credibility as a witness is considered to be outstanding.

    In Irenaeus’ work entitled, “Against Heresies” chapter 13:18, Irenaeus tells us when John had his apocalyptic vision.

    He says:

    “We will not, however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of Antichrist; [that’s interesting, even Irenaeus believed that the Antichrist had not been revealed long after the destruction of !] for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him [i.e. John] who beheld the apocalyptic vision. For that [speaking of John’s vision] was seen not very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian’s reign.”

    Irenaeus says John had his vision of the apocalypse “towards the end of Domitian’s reign.”

    Who was Domitian?

    Domitian was a Roman Emperor in the first century, whose reign did not even begin until A.D. 81!!

    His reign ended with his assassination on .

    Irenaeus places the date of the authorship of Book of Revelation long after the events of A.D. 70 and the destruction of .

    Probably around A.D. 95.

    B. Clement of

    Clement of , who lived from about A.D. 150 to 215 also testifies to a late date for the writing of the book of Revelation, when he mentions that John was exiled to the isle of  until, QUOTE:

    “after the death of the tyrant,” another reference to Domitian.

    C. Tertullian

    Tertullian, who lived from about A.D. 160 – 220, also placed John’s exile under Domitian.

    D. Victorinus

    Victorinus, the bishop of Pettau, who suffered martyrdom around A.D. 304, in his commentary on the Book of Revelation states that John had his vision of the apocalypse under the reign of Domitian.

    E. Eusebius

    Eusebius, known as “the father of church history” due to his classic work Ecclesiastical History, lived from A.D. 260 – 340.

    Several times in his writings he also dates the Book of Revelation to

    the reign of Domitian.

    One of the reasons why his witness is especially weighty is because he had a wealth of early Christian literature at his disposal.

    F. Jerome

    Jerome, the one who translated the Scriptures into Latin, a work we known as the Vulgate, lived from 340 to 419.

    He states clearly in two places, that John was banished under Domitian, and that that is when he wrote the Apocalypse.

    These statements from some of the greatest, most reliable names in church history, build a strong and compelling case that the Book of Revelation was written many years after A.D. 70, and the events surrounding the destruction of .

    I believe this evidence alone sends the whole preterist theory up in smoke.

    But there are other evidences, besides the writings of these men, that the Book of Revelation was completed late in the first century.

    For instance…

    1.

    appears as a prosperous city in Revelation 3:17.

    That’s interesting, because  was destroyed by an earthquake around A.D. 61, during Nero’s reign.

    How could  have recovered so quickly as to become prosperous by the time John wrote the Book of Revelation if indeed he did write the book in the early A.D. 60’s as Preterists claim?

    2. Polycarp’s To the Philippians

    Another evidence that the Book of Revelation was written after the destruction of  is something that Polycarp said.

    Polycarp was a disciple of the apostle John, and the bishop of the church in . He served the Lord for eighty-six years, before he was martyred for his faith about A.D. 155.

    In his letter called To the Philippians (paragraph 11:3) he reveals that his church, the church in  was not even in existence in the days of the apostle Paul, leading up to the destruction of . [It is interesting that Symrna is never mentioned in the Book of Acts, or in any other New Testament epistle.]

    That’s interesting, because the church at  was around at the time John wrote the Book of Revelation. It is one of the seven churches mentioned in Revelation  (and again in 2:8).

    3. The Condition of the Church

    Another evidence for a late date for the completion of the Book of Revelation is the condition of the churches at the time John wrote.

    –The church at  had lost its first love (Rev. 2:4).

    –And others like  (Rev. 3:14f) had fallen from the Faith.

    These are better explained by a late date than an early one.

    If the Book of Revelation was written anytime after A.D. 70, then it could not have been a prophecy about the destruction of  as preterists claim.

    A fourth blow to the preterist position is…

    4.     The Roman emperor Nero could not possibly have been the Antichrist as preterists suggest.

    Because Preterists believe that the Book of Revelation is a prophetic account about things that have already been fulfilled, they search high and low through historical records of the first century [primarily Josephus’ writings] in an attempt to find historical details that could possibly be the fulfillment of the prophecies contained in the Book of Revelation.

    One of their widely held beliefs is that the Antichrist, also referred to as “the beast” in the Book of Revelation, was actually the Roman Emperor Nero.

    Could this be?

    Could those passages about the Antichrist, the beast, the lawless one (2 Thess. 2:9) be a reference, not to a coming world ruler, but a reference to the Roman Emperor Nero?

    Not at all.

    Why do we know that?

    Well, look with me at 2 Thessalonians 2:8.

    2 Thessalonians 2:8

    “And then the lawless one [that is one of the titles given to the Antichrist] will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.” NKJV

    Q. How does the Bible say this lawless one, the Antichrist, will be brought to an end?

    A. By Christ.

    Q. When will that happen? Notice the verse again.

    2 Thessalonians 2:8

    “And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.” NKJV

    The Bible teaches that this lawless one, the Antichrist, will be brought to an end by the Lord Himself at Christ’s “coming.”

    Well, this verse poses some serious problems for preterists.

    How so?

    A. This was not how Nero died.

    For those of you who may be familiar with first century history, you know that Nero committed suicide at the age of 31, by cutting his own throat. [Source: “he drove a dagger into his throat” –Suetonius (c.69 – c.140) The Lives of the Twelve Caesars]

    Far from being consumed by the breath of Christ at his coming, Nero actually took his own life.

    That’s not all…

    B. Nero committed suicide two years before preterists say that Christ came back.

    Preterists (including partial preterists) believe that Jesus’ prophesy about coming back in Matthew 24, was fulfilled spiritually in A.D. 70.

    But Nero committed suicide in June of A.D. 68, two years before A.D. 70!

    Nero’s suicide, two years before A.D. 70, falls far short of being a fulfillment of what 2 Thessalonians 2:8 says will happen to the Antichrist.

    There are some other insurmountable problems that exist when it comes to the preteristic teaching that Nero was the Antichrist.

    C. Daniel 9:27 says that the prince who is to come, an Old Testament reference to the coming world leader, would make a seven year covenant relating to Israel. Nero never made any such covenant.

    D. 2 Thessalonians 2:4 says that this coming world leader will take “his seat in the , displaying himself as being God.” That never happened. Nero never stepped foot in the temple in .

    2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

    3  “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day [speaking of the Great Tribulation, the second half of the Tribulation period] will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” NKJV

    E. In fact, Nero never stepped foot in .

    F. Revelation 13:16-17 says that under the Antichrist’s coming government, there will be given to the people of the world a mark on their hand or forehead that will permit them to buy and sell. Nothing of the sort ever occurred under Nero, nor ever has to this date.

    These facts relating to Nero are just another blow to the preterist view of the end times.

    None of these things ever happened.

    A fifth blow to the preterist position is…

    5.     There is no evidence that the great judgments of Revelation ever occurred.

    The Book of Revelation tells us that in the coming time of Tribulation, when God’s wrath is going to be poured out upon a Christ rejecting world, the earth will experience three waves of judgment, with each wave containing seven judgments each:

    The Book of Revelation tells us of…

    –7 seal judgments

    –7 trumpet judgments

    –7 bowl judgments

    …judgments that will devastate the earth.

    It will be a time of, as Jesus said,…

    Matthew 24:21

    “a great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.”

    These judgments, talked about in the Book of Revelation, describe…

    A. The turning of a 1/3 of the sea into blood (Rev. 8:8)

    B. The death of a third of all sea life dying (Rev. 8:9)

    C. A third of the world’s ships being destroyed. (Rev. 8:9)

    Look at Revelation 8:8-9…

    Revelation 8:8-9

    8  Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. 9 And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. NKJV

    Q. When did that ever happen in the events surrounding the destruction of ?

    A. Nothing like that has ever happened in the history of the world.

    The Book of Revelation also prophesied of…

    D. The most devastating earthquake that has ever taken place.

    Revelation 16:18-19

    “…there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. 19 Now the great city [a reference to , see Rev. 11:8] was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell.” NKJV

    Q. When was there ever in the first century an earthquake that not only split Jerusalem into three parts but caused “the cities of the nations” [plural, not just Jerusalem] to fall?

    A. Well of course that never happened.

    That earthquake is still to come.

    The Book of Revelation also prophesied of…

    E. An event that will wipe out 25 percent of the earth’s population.

    Revelation 6:8

    “And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.” NKJV

    Q. When did that happen?

    John, seeing into the future also prophesied of…

    F. Three plagues that will wipe out one third of the remaining population.

    Revelation 9:18

    “By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed.” NKJV

    Q. Was a third of mankind killed by three plagues in the first century?

    A. No.

    The Book of Revelation also prophesies…

    G. Two witnesses

    Revelation 11:5-6

    “two witnesses…[who] will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth” [in , who will be able to destroy their enemies with fire (Rev. 11:5) and who will be able] “to smite the earth with every plague, as often as they desire.”(11:6)

    John goes on to say that these two witnesses will be killed, only to be resurrected and carried up to heaven in the sight of their enemies (in Rev. 11:12).

    There is no record that anything of the sort happened in the first century.

    Q. Where is there mention of any of these things being literally fulfilled in the annals of history, secular or Christian?

    There isn’t.

    It is only by departing from the normal, literal, historical, grammatical method of interpretation, and allegorizing, that preterists can seek to say that some events in  around A.D. 70 fulfilled some of these prophesies.

    None of things mentioned in the Book of Revelation, chapters 6-22 have happened.

    When they do, they are going to be fulfilled literally, just like God’s past judgments were fulfilled in:

    –The destruction of  and

    –The Days of Pharaoh before the Exodus

    –And the whole earth at the time of the flood spoken of in Genesis 7

    [See chapter 5 in The End Times Controversy, Tim LaHaye and Thomas Ice (general editors) where pastor and teacher John MacArthur deals with this topic in an in-depth manner.]

    Lastly, let’s turn to the Book of Zechariah, chapters 12.

    Zechariah prophesied, or foretold many of the events that will lead up to the Messiah’s coming in glory which he talks about in Zechariah chapter 14.

    This book proves to be very problematic for the preterist position.

    Chapter 12 here tells us that immediately before the Messiah’s coming in glory to the  in glory (14:4), that “all the nations of the world” will be gathered against .

    Let’s read chapter 12:3…

    Zechariah 12:3 God is speaking…

    3  “And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.” NKJV

    Zechariah 14:2 says the same thing…

    2 “For I will gather all the nations to battle against ;” NKJV

    Why is what Zechariah says here problematic for the preterist view?

    In A.D. 70, right before preterists say Jesus came back, it was only the Romans who came against .

    ADD: Charlie, what other nations existed at the time of A.D. 70, if any?

    But God says here in Zechariah that in the time immediately preceding Christ’s coming in glory that…

    Zechariah 14:2

    2 “…I will gather all the nations to battle against ;” NKJV

    This gathering of “all the nations of the earth” (Zech. 12:3) against  has never occurred.

    It will happen during the coming Tribulation period, at what is commonly referred to as the Battle of Armageddon [a battle that will begin in Megiddo as a gathering place and ultimately end up in Jerusalem] spoken of in Rev. 16:14, 16,  when…

    Revelation 16:14, 16

    14 “…[The] spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty…And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.” NKJV

    So a sixth problem for the preterist is that…

    6.     The Bible says the battle that immediately precedes Christ’s second coming will involve a gathering of “all the nations” (Zechariah 12:3, 14:2) and “the kings of the earth” (Revelation ) and this never happened in the first century.

    Next, notice…

    Zechariah 12:8

    8  In that day [speaking of the time that this gathering against Israel will take place] the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the LORD before them. NKJV

    The Bible prophesies here that in that invasion against “the inhabitants of ” that God is going to QUOTE: “defend the inhabitants of .” (Zech. 12:8)

    Q. What happened in A.D. 70, when the Romans invaded ?

    Josephus, that 1st century Roman historian, wrote an account of the event.

    He tells us that the Romans put to death a million Jews and led 100,000 into captivity.

    Well, that is hardly a description of God defending the inhabitants of , as Zechariah prophesies will happen.

    The deliverance that Zechariah prophesied is still yet to occur and will occur right before the Messiah comes (14:4).

    So this is a seventh problem for the preterist.

    7.     In the battle that takes place immediately before Jesus comes in glory, God is going to “defend the inhabitants of ” (Zechariah 12:8). That did not happen in A.D. 70.

    Another problem surfaces for the preterist in v. 9…

    Zechariah 12:9 says…

    “And it will come about in that day that I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against .”

    Not only is God going to defend (v.8) the inhabitants of , He is going to what?

    Notice the verse again. God is going to…

    “…destroy all the nations that come against .” (Zech. 12:9)

    Skip down to chapter 14.

    Still speaking of the same time period (right before the Messiah comes in glory) we read in v. 3…

    Zechariah 14:3 says…

    “Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle.”

    This is another insurmountable problem for those holding to the preterist position.

    Q. When did the Lord ever, in the first century, gather together all the nations against  to battle, and then destroy them?

    A. He didn’t.

    There is nothing in the history of the ’s that would qualify as a fulfillment of what Zechariah foretold there.

    So, problem number eight…

    8.     God said He would “destroy all the nations” that would “come against ,” and that never happened (Zechariah 12:9, 14:3).

    Let’s just look at one more problem for the preterist.

    It surfaces in v. 9…

    Zechariah 14:4 says…

    “And in that day His feet [the LORD’s (v.3)] will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.”

    When the Lord comes back, and “every eye” sees Him, like Revelation 1:7 says, He is going to come back to the Mount of Olives (the very place of His ascension-Acts 1:12) and it is literally going to split in two.

    Well, it barely needs to be said, but that never happened in A.D. 70, and if preterists say that it did, when did it get moved back to the way it is today?

    It’s much easier to see Zechariah 14:4 as something that will be fulfilled in the future.

    So, for you note takers, no. 9…

    9.     The Bible says that when the LORD comes back, the Mount of Olives is going to be split in two, and that never happened in A.D. 70, the year preterists say Jesus came back (Zechariah 14:4).

    So, we have seen that there are some very good reasons why preterism should be rejected.

    First we noted that their own proof texts fail to support their case.

    Then we went on to see that…

    1. None of the church fathers mentioned Christ’s second coming as having already occurred.

    2. The Christians alive during A.D. 70, as well as the Church Fathers, believed the Second Coming was a future event.

    3. The Book of Revelation was not even written until approximately A.D. 95, long after the events of surrounding A.D. 70.

    4. The Roman Emperor Nero could not possibly have been the Antichrist as preterists suggest.

    5. There is no evidence that the great judgments of Revelation were ever literally fulfilled.

    6. The Bible says the battle that immediately precedes Christ’s second coming will involve a gathering of “all the nations” and “the kings of the earth” and this never happened in the first century.

    7. In the battle that takes place immediately before Jesus comes in glory, God is going to “defend the inhabitants of ” (Zechariah 12:8), something that did not happen in A.D. 70.

    8. God said He would destroy the nations that would “come against ,” and that never happened (Zechariah 12:9, 14:3).

    9. The Bible says that when the LORD comes back, the Mount of Olives is going to be split in two, and that never happened in A.D. 70, the year preterists say Jesus came back (Zechariah 14:4).

    For these reasons it is clear to see that preterism is an incorrect view of the end times.

    May I encourage you to examine the Scriptures daily!

    We must hold up everything that men like Hank Hanegraaff (and others who we have greatly respected) to the Word of God (Isaiah , 1 Thessalonians , Acts ).

    Recommendations for further Study:

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Comments
  1. Judith (Paradis) Hayes says:

    If you are explaining all of this with the intent of discouraging those who may be about to adopt this “preternism”. I commend you. Few people have understanding of the scriptures concerning the end time prophecies. There is so much that will happen once these prophesies are fulfilled. Those events have not, as yet, occured, hence “preternism” is balderdash. Get a Messianic Jew who is learned in the Hebrew scriptures as well as the swamp of Greek texts to have the ability to let the sun shine in on the truth.

    • drjamesa says:

      Yes that is my intent because it’s gaining popularity. When RC Sproul adopted it in the early 90s, I never paid it much attention until Hank Hanegraaff wrote his Apocolypse Code and since his show ‘Bible Answer Man’ has a lot of followers (quite a bit more than Sproul) it started taking its toll on Bible Believers. It is really nothing but re-hashed Augustinian doctrine but Hank put a dangerous spin on it that elevates Biblical interpretation to new levels of heresy.
      No I have not seen the Daniel Project yet, I’ll check it out.

  2. drjamesa says:

    MY response to a point made in a forum:
    [quote name=’Covenanter’ timestamp=’1351527594′ post=’311432′]
    [/quote]
    Jesus indicated that the prophecy was for the immediate future, & of direct significance for his first readers. John wrote as a commanion in tribulation. The futurist teaching that the prophecy is for a yet future dispensation – a dispensation from which Christians have been “raptured” completely removes the urgency of the book.

    The text does not say ‘immediate’ and there is no greek qualifier to support that. Furthermore, the big problem with that logic is that preterists do not use it consistently. Preterists believe that all prophecy from Revelation 1-19 was fulfilled and that Revelation 20-22 are still future. However, Revelation 22:16 says “And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.This is the exact same language used by preterists to prove that the statements in Revelation ch 1 were to be “immediately” fulfilled. Since it is obvious that the events even by preterists own beliefs have not come to pass, then Rev 22:6 throws a monkey wrench into their interpretation.
    Furthermore, if that isn’t enough, if “shortly” always meant “immediate future”, then when did Satan get put under our feet? “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly” Romans 16:20. When “shortly” is used to communicate from man to man (like Paul telling Timothy he would see him shortly) is can be immediate future, but when used from God’s perspective to man, “one day with the Lord is as a thousand years” and both Revelation 22:6 and Romans 16:20 prove that the preterist definition of ‘shortly’ is erroneous.

    The fact that the temple & Jerusalem are still standing in Rev. 11 indicates a date before the ad 70 destruction.
    If Revelation 11:2 were an indication that this was the temple destroyed in AD 70, then where were the 2 witnesses that preached for1260 days? Plus, this says that the temple will be trodden by the Gentiles for 42 months. Neither Nero nor Titus trod Jerusalem for 42 months. This is clearly a future temple (of which plans have been underway since the early 80s to rebuild it).

    The existence & deliverance of 144,000 from the tribes of Israel before the release of the destructive winds again suggests a date before the destruction. Also Jesus warned the women of Jerusalem that they should weep for themselves & their children.
    You rely heavily on Josephus and neither Josephus, nor any historian for that matter mention any 144,000 of the 12 tribes of Israel being sealed by the angels according to Rev 7:3-4. And again, the time after Christ, Paul refused to go to the Gentiles and later, so did Peter, the church was made up of Gentiles and Jews (Gal 3:28). So at what time between Christ ascension, and the destruction of Jerusalem, did God once again single out Jews over Gentiles? In fact, all of the prophecies in 1 Thess 4:13-17, I Corinthians 15:51-58 were WRITTEN TO GENTILES. So these verses were fulfilled by the destruction of Jerusalem, WHEN DID THE GENTILES GET RAPTURED?? Rev 7:5-8 makes it perfectly clear that the 144,000 were of the TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL, not a Gentile in sight, so since 1 Thess and Corinthians, Titus 2:13, Romans 5:9, were all written to Gentiles, WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM!
    This is a major oversight by preterists and there is no possible way to reconcile with your interpretation of these events and as such proves all of these prophecies are future.

  3. drjamesa says:

    [quote name=’Covenanter’ timestamp=’1351684137′ post=’311619′]
    [/quote]
    While the closing chapters of Rev. are concerned with the NH&NE that verse confirms the opening verses. There is a blessing for John’s readers who keep[eth] the sayings of the prophecy of this book. The commands, the obedience, the blessings are for the readers – John first readers & todays readers. God is working to a glorious plan.
    For someone that doesn’t believe in dispensationalism, preterists find a way to make one fit when it’s needed to clear up a contradiction in their interpretation. By claiming that Rev 22:6 only applies to that chapter and events that follow, you have just created a separate dispensation within the book of Revelation. However, 22:6 is a reference to the entire book of Revelation, confirmed in 22:7 by Jesus repeating what was said in Rev 1:3. He said blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of THIS BOOK, not THIS CHAPTER, which is even further clarified in 22:16 and again in 22:18-19. There is a blessing for John’s readers who keep[eth] the sayings of the prophecy of this book. The commands, the obedience, the blessings are for the readers – John first readers & todays readers. God is working to a glorious plan. That is a clear example of dispensational interpretation by separating the readers of John from the readers of today, but it is an example of a wrong dispensation of such a division that is nowhere found in Revelation nor taught by John or Jesus.

    Preterism teaches the imminent return of Christ – without non-Biblical teachings like the “rapture;
    That is a complete contradiction in terms. Immanency means Christ could return for His church at any moment which is what the rapture is. Outside of the verses that you say were fulfilled at AD 70, there are no other verses that state Christs return would be immanent. If all of the verses that detail Him immanent return in Thessalonians, Corinthians, Jude, Romans, Timothy were fulfilled, the events that follow can be calculated and calculation defies immanency.

    Preterism teaches the glorious hope of the resurrection & NH&NE So which come first, the resurrection or the NH&NE? (for those reading this that may not know what his initials mean, its “New Heaven and New Earth”). The verses quoted by preterists that they claim are future are in the same context as the scriptures they say were fulfilled in AD 70, and the only other resurrection after that is to the Great White Throne judgment at the END of the millenium, and just when exactly did the 1000 reign on earth by Christ and His saints begin considering it’s been 2000 years since Revelation was written. If Revelation 1-19 was fulfilled, then we should be reigning as kings and priests on the earth Rev 1:6, Rev 2:25-28 (key word there being REIGNING so as to not confuse it with the royal priesthood of I Peter 2), ruling the nations with a rod of iron. Rev 2:27. During the 1000 years which was supposed to start according to preterists in AD 70 after a tribulation that never happened, Satan is bound for that 1000 years. He doesn’t look bound to me, and since Jerusalem is still under occupation by Rome and “Palestinians” how is Christ reigning on a throne from a city that is not yet under the exclusive control of Israel?

    You mean Preterism doesn’t accept dispensationalist teaching Point proven above that preterist use a dispensational method to separate the end of Revelation from the first 21 chapters.

    None of the “fatal flaws” are Biblical – the “fatal flaws” rely on the writings of people who lived long after the events prophesied.You say they are not Biblical, yet when cornered about the writings of Tertullian, Iraneus, Domitian, Polycarp, you argue (as does Invictus) that there is Biblical evidence to support that early dating of Revelation, and then when it is proven that an early date is impossible you go back to the writings of Josephus. That is the circular reasoning that Dave W was talking about. There is no Biblical evidence that gives Revelation an earlier date and the fact that some of the churches (like Smyrna) were not even in existence prior to AD 70 gives Biblical evidence of a later date, and the writings of the early “fathers” all point to John as being on Patmos in AD 95-96. So neither the Bible nor the “people who live long after the events prophesied” support an early date of Revelation or 1,2, 3 John. The first reference by an secular writer even hinting to an early date doesn’t surface until 500 years later.

    rather than a dubious millennium populated by sinners eager to follow Satan in a rebellion against the people of God.
    “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” Rev 20:6 And where do things priests come from? Rev 1:6 and 2:26-27, 3:21, written prior to the time you say they were fulfilled.

    1And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3And 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. Rev 20:1-3

    Moreover, you say that there will be no “dubious millenium populated by sinners eager to follow Satan in a rebellion against the people of God”. Well then who is Jesus warring with when He returns in Revelation 19:11?

    You may not like what it says because it doesn’t fit preterist doctrine, but there it is in black and white.

    It also places the prophecy as relevant to Bible readers – to whom it was written, rather than some future dispensation where Christians are given a “grandstand view.”
    It also places the prophecy as relevant to Bible readers – to whom it was written, rather than some future dispensation where Christians are given a “grandstand view. So which is it? Was Revelation written for “relevant Bible readers” or was it fulfilled before or at AD 70? You can’t have it both ways, and you’re going to have to impose a dispensational form of interpretation, which you say you oppose, to make that fit.
    Furthermore, the Bible makes it clear that when Jesus returns, He returns WITH His saints Rev 19:14, and it is to rule with a rod of iron as stated in Rev 2:26-27.

    And considering that all of the seals are opened from heaven beginning at Revelation 5, with the Lamb being surrounded-IN HEAVEN-by a people of many nations, kindreds, people and tongues, Rev 5:9, I’d say that’s a pretty grandstand view.

    Now at the end of your missive, you quote Revelation from chapters 2-3 “he that hath an ear”, yet you claim these have been fulfilled so those verses can’t be speaking to us because they were in reference to hearing what the Spirit said about upcoming events. And I do agree that THE antichrist (and don’t forget about the beast and the false prophet) will work through Rome as it is now working on reviving itself to establish a one world order. Satan always tries to mimic the things of God and just as he knows Christ will have a kingdom in which He reigns supreme, Satan’s goal is to attempt to produce the same and as such, since this is what the Jews are still expecting having rejected their Messiah the first time, is what makes the devils lies so believable because he will claim to be god, with lying signs and wonders and with a government that attempts to resemble the one Christ will create during the millennium.

  4. drjamesa says:

    [quote name=’Covenanter’ timestamp=’1351701551′ post=’311649′]
    You haven’t begun to understand what I am teaching – read what I write, rather than getting your [mis]understaning of Preterism from it’s opponents.

    Jesus’ Olivet prophecy, dealing with the ad 70 destruction of the temple & Jerusalem in Mat. Mark & Luke, ends with the statement Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. That prophecy does not preclude his return for general resurrection & judgment at the end of time. He is dealing with the generation of Jews that rejected him.Peter, at Pentecost, repeats that warning. with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
    See also Acts 3, & Paul’s warning to Jews in his Acts sermons.

    Throughout 1 Thes. & in 2 Thes. 1, Paul teaches Jesus return for resurrection & judgment. He goes into great detail in 1 Cor. 15. That is quite separate from his “coming” to judge the wicked generation in ad 70. Coming?
    Mal. 4 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
    And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

    Mat. 21 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?
    They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out [his] vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.
    ….
    Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
    ….
    And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.

    Luke 20 So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed [him]. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them?
    He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard [it], they said, God forbid.
    ….
    And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them.

    Jesus gave clear warning signs for the Jerusalem Christians to flee the city. He also said that wars, famines, etc, were not signs of the end.

    Two questions –
    is “earth” always the planet, or is it sometimes the land (eretz) of Israel?
    And what is “the end” the end of? The planet or the temple or the OT “dispensation”?
    We need to understand by context.
    [/quote]
    I’ll once again, ignore the fact that you skipped (again) all the arguments I made in my previous post, and they weren’t based wholly on other preterists, they were based on YOUR OWN STATEMENTS.

    Now on to Luke 21 and ‘THIS generation”: and I’ll post the context to show that Jesus was not talking about those alive at that time but that “THIS” generation was a reference to those in the future that would see these events. THIS generation was an antecedent of EVENTS not PEOPLE:

    And one more thing to note is that those in Jerusalem were told to flee when they saw these SIGNS, not when Titus sieged Jerusalem, by then it was too late for any of them to flee because Titus purposely allowed Jews to enter the city for the Passoever and then never let them leave. None of the signs mentioned in Mark 13, Matthew 24 or Luke 21 were given as a precursor to the attack by Titus. The only mention that Christ gave that refers to Titus was that the temple would not have any unturned stones, the rest of the prophecy was in response to future events as I will show below.

    12But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake. 13And it shall turn to you for a testimony.14Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: 15For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. 16And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. 17And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. 18But there shall not an hair of your head perish. 19In your patience possess ye your souls.
    20And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. 21Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. 22For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. 24And 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.
    25And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 26Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. 27And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
    29And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; 30When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. 31So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. 32Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. 33Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
    34And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. 35For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

    Now lets list the things that DID NOT HAPPEN in AD 70

    *v 12, nobody was brought before any various kings, and they were not brought before any synagogues. Being brought before the synagogues implies that the Jews take part in this persecution (i.e. the followers of the antichrist during the tribulation of which Christ mentions in Revelation 2:2, 2:9 and 3:7). When Jerusalem was destroyed in AD 70, Titus did not enlist any Jewish armies nor were synagogues used for any hearings. These events, as described also in Revelation 2:10 are FUTURE.

    *v13. When did this event in AD 70 ever turn to the Jews for a testimony? The only ones who had a testimony were those killed during the tribulation (Rev 6:9) and they were killed BECAUSE OF THEIR TESTIMONY. Titus destroyed Jerusalem for political expediency because of Jewish revolt against the Ceasar. In Revelation the saints are killed for not worshiping the antichrist and receiving his mark. When did Titus ever implement the mark of the beast in Revelation 13 and kill people for not bowing to him as God? In fact, Titus refused to accept a wreath of victory and declared that he was the mere INSTRUMENT OF GOD, and that is distinctly different from the antichrist who declares himself that he IS GOD in Thessalonians 2.

    *v 14-17 The saints were not to settle in their hearts what to answer. When did Titus give the Jews a trial?? answer: NEVER

    *v 18 18But there shall not an hair of your head perish. 19In your patience possess ye your souls. Titus killed everyone, but yet this verse speaks of not a hair of their heads perishing and the only one that fits that description is the church of Philadelphia followed by the sealing of 144,000 Jewish witnesses (Rev 3:10, Rev 7:4-8). Nobody received any seal from God in their foreheads PRIOR to Titus sacking Jerusalem. Both the church of Philadelphia and the 144,000 are sealed and kept from the wrath of God PRIOR to the tribulation, not DURING it as would suggest when you quote the Jews that “fleed from Jerusalem”
    Furthermore, the heathen Jews are made to bow to down to the church of Philadelphia (Rev 3:9), if Rev ch 3 has been fulfilled, when did this even occur? Kind of hard to bow down to a scattered people.
    *v20. There was only ONE army, not ‘armies’ plural, and that was the army of Rome. The reason armies is plural here is because there will be multiple armies attacking Israel according to Ezekial 38-29, Jeremiah 51 and Zechariah 12-14
    *25 signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And what were those signs? It is given in Revelation 8:12 “And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars” and then in Rev 6:12-17. And in Revelation 6:15-17, you have the nations running from God which would INCLUDE TITUS (and ALL of the chief captains, mighty men, rulers). These are the events that follow the signs of the sun, moon, and stars NONE of which occured in AD 70. There may have been occasional earthquakes here and there, but these verses are an all inclusive event that occur at once which never happened in AD 70
    *v35 States that this event (what events? Those described in Luke 21) will occur upon the WHOLE EARTH “For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.” not just Jerusalem, again showing that this is NOT a reference to Titus.

    I’ll answer the bottom 2 questions later because they are not germane to this part of the topic. I want to see if you can answer these facts without changing the subject or avoiding the issues.

  5. drjamesa says:

    [quote name=’DaveW’ timestamp=’1351859052′ post=’311777′]
    I am having trouble following your explanation as against what the Bible actually says.
    It says quite clearly one fourth of the earth killed by this one event involving the different aspects mentioned. Your explanation appears to be ignoring the fulfilment of this, and yet saying that it happened.
    I would think that this event would have been recorded by many writers of the time, and yet it is unheard of in any historical record.

    Likewise you are ignoring what the Bible actually says about the mountains and island being moved – again I would think that this event would be noted by many writers of the time, and yet there is no record of it at all.
    Also it states that the stars fall to the earth like figs fallen from shaken branches.
    To the earth and in great numbers.
    This also is an event that would have been recorded in many writings of many people and yet there is no record of an event on this scale.

    The sun black could I suppose be any eclipse, and I have seen the moon glowing red due to smoke from bushfire.

    But these other events – I struggle to accept your explaining away these events as relatively minor.

    I read what the Bible says in Revelations and I am afraid I don’t see these being fulfilled yet.

    And while I don’t seek to prove the Bible from history, in any event these things happened after John finished writing – we should see evidence of these events in history if they have already happened.
    They are big, and would not have been missed in the records of the day.

    But thank you for your reply.
    [/quote]

    A major key to Revelation being future is in chapter 10:7:

    But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
    This shows that not only are the events in Revelation pertaining to what is revealed to John at the time, but that they are also tied to OT prophets which means that not all of the OT prophecies have been fulfilled, and that leaves the question: which ones?That verse alone shoots down the entire basis of preterism.

    Now regarding Covanenter who can’t answer questions directly about prophecies that have not been fulfilled:

    The question is, “When is “hereafter?” Is it the events about to happen – depending on when Rev. was written, ad 70 or ad 100? Or end times -even AFTER Jesus returns for resurrection & judgement
    Hereafter is after the things that John just saw and heard in chatpers 1-3. The things which he saw in chapter 2-3 was Christ praises and rebukes of what occurs with Jewish churches during the tribulation (and churches like the church of Smyrna were not in existence when Titus attacked Jerusalem which is just one Biblical evidence for the late date of Revelation). To say that it could be possibly interpreted as “AFTER Jesus returns for resurrection and judgment” is absurd because everything from Revelation ch’s 4-18 precedes Christ coming back in Rev 19. And, since the evidence shows that Revelation was written no earlier than AD 95, it is obviously about events that occur after AD 95.

    Who is the white horseman? Christ or antichrist?
    And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
    We need to remember the way Jesus was introduced:
    And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
    Jesus is the victorious one, & he is seen as the victorious one in Rev. 19.
    And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him [was] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
    I submit that the immediate “hereafter” is Jesus “coming” according to his husbandmen parable to come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others.
    The white horse of Rev 6:2 is not the same white horse of Revelation 19. For one, the weapon Christ uses is the Word of His mouth, he doesn’t use a bow. Satan is described as using arrows in Eph 6:16 “that ye may quench all the fiery darts of the devil” although in this passage he doesn’t have any arrows. It shows the authority that the antichrist is given at the beginning of the tribulation.
    Jesus prevailed to open the book by becoming a conqueror at the cross (Rev 3:21). Rev 6:2 has nothing to do with Christ qualifications as stated in Rev 5:5. Christ doesn’t make war until AFTER all these events have concluded.
    And this verse in Rev 4:1 does not contain the “techi” (shortly) of Rev 1:1 and Rev 22:6 (which again, Rev 22:6 proves that shortly does not mean immediate) so there is no room to imply that the hereafter is a reference to an immediate fulfillment, it says “hereafter” referring to what John heard and saw in chapters 1-3, not “shortly come to pass” as you added.

    That is a challenge to date it as ad 70! Let’s try!
    First, Jesus warned the women of Jerusalem that their children would “begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.” Which is a further warning about the destruction. We should therefore seek to relate the other prophesied events of the 6th seal in terms of prophecy, rather than simply put it into “end times.
    This verse in Luke 23 is not talking to the women. It separates what He says to the women from the “THEY” shall say, the “women” are not the “they” that request the mountains to fall on them. When he says “weep for your children” He is saying that in the future (“for the days are coming”) that their posterity are going to be involved in great tribulation (as in usage of Matthew 27 “let his blood be on us and our children”)
    And if you are going to try to make Revelation 6:15 fit prior to AD 70, then again, you have to explain the rest of the verses that didn’t occur. Revelation 6:15 states that the KINGS OF THE EARTH..not only would that have included Titus, but that includes all of the kings of other nations. When in AD 70 did the “kings of the earth” hide themselves in the dens and rocks of the mountains?

    I see no problem with the sun turning black – it did during the crucifixion. Regarding the mountains moving, Jesus encourage prayer to that effect – with a probable fulfilment indicated by John 4 – worship on the temple mount being replaced by spiritual worship wherever the Lord’s people gather. In the ad 70 context, temple worship ended utterly
    The difference in the sun turning dark at the crucifixion and the darkening of the sun in Revelation is that at the crucifixion, it was not followed by the stars falling to the earth, or the heavens departing as a scroll, and it was not for a third part of the day as described in Rev 8:13. Furthermore, the moon and stars are also smitten so it wasn’t just the sun.
    And you are allegorizing the text regarding the moving of mountains. If you really believe that’s what that means, then I would love to see you post a video in here of you moving a mountain. This was a literal moving of mountains AND ISLANDS out of the way so that there was no place to hide. The fact that they had to ask for cover means that they were not covered which is because the mountains had been physically moved and as Dave pointed out, that never happened in AD 70, and hasn’t happened at any time in history since then, which means it is still future.

    Shooting stars & comets could be believable heavenly signs. Joseph saw his brothers as stars, & with the destruction, Israel as an entity of God’s people fell. Heaven, the dwellingplace of God, hitherto centred on the tabernacle & the temple, was removed from being typically centred on Jerusalem & is a spiritual entity. (Gal. 4
    This is not a progressive prophecy. “Shooting stars & comets” that have occurred sporadically through out history implies progressive applicaiton, the events in Rev 6:13 are instant. And “could be” doesn’t help your case in proving that it was fulfilled in AD 70 or since then. Joseph saw his brothers as stars in a vision but they didn’t fall out of the sky. And the rest of that sentence is gibberish having nothing to do with the prophecy of Revelation 6:13.

    The events of ch 7 – the suspension of judgment while God’s servants – the believing tribes are sealed – again can readily be related to the Jerusalem Christians being protected & delivered from Jerusalem before the destruction – exactly as Jesus had advised.
    And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.
    For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilledf
    No this can not be related to Jerusalem Christians being protected and delivered. First of all, there is no mention anywhere in history of such an event occuring like this. If you are going to try and prove that all these prophecies including those of Matt 24, Luke 21 were fulfilled, you have to do alot better than “could have” and “can readily be”.
    Secondly, text is perfectly clear from ch 7 vs 5-8 that they are 12 literal tribes of Israel with Hebrew names. And the contradiction in your logic here is that you claim the Christians of Jerusalem fled after Titus attacked. Why would they need to flee if they were supernaturally protected?? Furthermore, what they are protected from is found in Rev 9:4 “And it was commanded them [them being the locusts of verse 3]that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree, but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads”. The 144,000 therefore are protected from the remaining trumpet and bowl judgments, and these judgments do not imply Titus because in verse 5, these locusts tortured men for five months and in verse 6, those men sought death and could not find it, whereas Titus killed virtually everyone. This verse shows that those who were tortured did not die.

    And as I said in a previous post that you said I “added”, it is when ALL NATIONS attack Jerusalem, not one army, but armies plural “Behold I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though ALL THE PEOPLE OF THE EARTH be gathered together against it Zech 12:2-3 “For I will gather ALL NATIONS against Jerusalem to battle..” Zech 14:2. And the other nations that participate in this are labeled in Ezekial ch’s 38-39. This is part of the prophecy that Christ is quoting from in Matthew 24, Luke 21 and Mark 13 and the “this generation” Christ speaks of us the generation that sees these signs begin to occur. That is the entire point of giving the signs so that they know what to look for.

    And regarding Acts being the fulfillment of Titus attacks, Luke makes it clear the timeframe of which he is writing in hindsite in verses 1 and 2 of Acts. The persecutions of the apostles began almost immediately following the preaching from the church. The first notorious marty, Stephen was killed in AD 35, @30 years before Titus began his campaign toward Jerusalem. Pauls missionary journeys began around AD 45 and he was persecuted everywhere he went long before Titus showed up. In fact torture, killing and imprisonment of Christians occurred for 1500 years under Rome long after Titus attacked Jerusalem, so the description of those Christ said would be martyred and imprisoned have to be understood by the rest of the text surrounding his statement and as described above from Zechariah, as well as the description of the same events in Revelation 2:10 written AFTER Titus attacked Jerusalem, what Jesus said was meant future and the events in Acts are merely a fulfillment of the general statement Jesus made in John that they will be persecuted because they follow Him (John 15:18-19) And Paul said “they that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). So then the statement that Christ makes “ye shall be hated of all nations for my names sake” from Matt 24, Luke 21 and Mark 13 must be understood not only in their context, but also the ALL NATIONS that hate them. The gospel had not spread that far yet, there was no reason yet for all nations to hate them. The attack by Titus was not a result of ALL NATIONS hating Christians, it was a result of Titus squashing a revolt by Jews which included even NON CHRISTIAN JEWS. They were not persecuted for their belief in Christ as they are during the future tribulation (Rev 2:13, 3:8, 6:9, and ch 13), they were persecuted for rebelling AS A NATION not AS A CHRISTIAN against Rome. Therefore Acts has nothing to do with proving that Titus fulfilled what Christ said about persecution.

    And you’ll notice that several churches mentioned in Rev ch 2-3

    • drjamesa says:

      Thanks. Some of the arguments contained in that are some of the ones we are addressing in our upcoming series on preterism after we finish the one on Calvinism

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