The following articles below were written by Virgil Vadual. His website is www.planetpreterist.com He has done a wonderful job on these articles! He answers most of the questions that people have about full preterism. I agree with 90% of his articles. I'm going to put all his articles below because he allows his articles to be copied but not edited. The three things I don’t agree with are the following. First he believes Satan and his demons were destroyed in 70 A.D. I do not agree with this. In prayer I have been attacked by demons growling at me. I believe that when Jesus died on the cross and ended the law in 70 A.D and established the new covenant that Satan and his demons lost their power because at the name of Jesus those demons growling at me had to flee. Most full preterists believe Satan and his demons had to be destroyed because of chapter 20 of Revelation verses 2 & 10, but if you would like to know what I believe the scriptures about the dragon Satan and old serpent was referring to the Jewish people, because Jesus said that they were of their father the devil. The devil was a liar from the begining and so were they. In the old testament Lucifer was described as falling, but as a man who was dying. What it was actually talking about was a king who was possessed by Lucifer and God was getting ready to judge him. This is the same thing that happened during Jesus time. The Jews that did not accept him had Satan within them and they were going to be destroyed. I do not agree that Nero ceasar was the beast. I can see why he believes that. The beast of Revelation was the old covenant people who did not accept Jesus as their messiah. In the old testament the Gentiles were considered beasts. Once the Jewish people rejected Christ and God rejected them and wrote them a bill of divorcement. Now they were the beasts and the Gentiles and Jew who believed in christ and were saved were Gods new people. The Jews used the Romans to persecute the church. The only other thing I disagree with him on is that he believes the tribulation was 7 years long. He believes it was from 63 A.D until 70 A.D I believe that the first 3 ½ years of Jesus ministry was the beginning of Danial’s 70th week and that Jesus was cut off when he was crucified in the mist of that week. He then gave them 40 years one generation to repent and convert to Christianity and that 66 ½ A.D until 70 A.D was the last 3 ½ years of Danial's 70th week, so I believe the great Tribulation was only 3 ½ years long. There is no scripture for a 7 year tribulation.
By Virgil VadualUnderstanding preterism
Answer: Let us remind all of you that all or many of those who label themselves as "preterists" were at one time "futurists" in that they looked at the Second Coming of Jesus as a yet future event. Many likely asked the same question when they first heard of Preterism, but many were also open-minded in considering the Preterist eschatology on its own merits rather than according to preconceived notions. Many experienced a life-changing paradigm shift which caused a drastic change in the direction of their faith, their relationship with God, and the way they relate to other people, to the world around, and to the Scriptures. So if being at odds with the establishment and taking Scriptures at face-value makes us crazy, then please join us for an exciting journey that will leave you thirsty for more.
Answer: Preterism places the Biblical prophecies of intense evil and foreboding gloom in the first century, focusing on the events surrounding the forty-two-month long persecution of Christians by Nero, the forty-two-month long Jewish zealot war with Rome, and the destruction of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem in A.D. 70. The word "preterist" is based on the Latin "praeteritus," meaning "gone by" or "past." The Princeton University Wordnet dictionary defines a Preterist as:
Preterism is also often referred to as Covenant Eschatology or Fulfilled Prophecy.
Answer: Anything which can enhance and improve your relationship with God is important. Would you not like to know if your understanding of Scripture is off by even a small degree, and would you not agree that if the Kingdom of God is a present reality that is a rather important issue to be aware of? Eschatology affects virtually all aspects of Christianity; in fact almost every message preached by Jesus had an eschatological aspect to it: the message was often about critical issues like the coming Kingdom of God and the restoration of God's presence to people's lives.
Answer: Jesus (followed by all his disciples) was the one teaching a first-century Second Coming. The long answer is that Preterism has always been a minor voice throughout Church history. Church fathers like Eusebius of Caesarea, St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil the Great and many others were either Preterists or showed strong Preteristic tendencies. In the more recent history, James Stuart Russell (no relation to Jehovah's Witness founder Charles Taze Russell) was a great influence when he published the book The Parousia. Max King was another major influence in the development of Preterism with his books The Spirit of Prophecy and The Cross and the Parousia. Dr. R.C. Sproul, Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry and Gary DeMar, while not fully subscribing to Preterist eschatology also show strong Preteristic tendencies in their writings.
Answer: The word Parousia is a transliterated Greek word (pronounced par-oo-see'-ah) which literally means "presence." The King James Strong's dictionary defines it this way:
For example, a more accurate translation of Matthew 24:3 would be:
Because of early translations rendering parousia as the end of the world, it is not unreasonable to deduce that many believers have come to the wrong conclusion in expecting a physical and bodily return of Jesus rather than a return of his spiritual presence (parousia).
Answer: There are several passages in the New Testament in which Jesus clearly deals with the timing of his return:
Jesus was evidently teaching his disciples that the Second Coming was to take place "soon" within the lifetimes of disciples, before some would die, and before his contemporary generation would pass away. Many theologians are puzzled by these statements and are at a loss as to why Jesus "failed" to keep his promise. Could the inspired, inerrant Son of God have failed in any of his prophecies?
Answer: There are many statements which place the Second Coming of Jesus in a first-century context and tie it to the destruction of the Jewish temple in A.D. 70. Here are a few:
Time references in the book of Revelation -
There are other New Testament indications of a first-century return of Jesus:
Answer: Most Christians, generally speaking, profess the inerrancy of the Bible and the deity of Jesus. If certain passages of the Bible are wrong, or if Jesus was wrong in teaching a first-century Second Coming, the entire Christian faith would be undermined by erroneous claims, erroneous Scriptures and ultimately an erroneous God.
Answer: The apparent failure of these prophesies to come true has led to skepticism about the reliability of the Bible and the deity of Christ. Preterism solves this problem by maintaining that these prophecies did, in fact, have a first century fulfillment. If Preterist eschatology is true, then Christians can offer a much more positive perspective to the world, rather than a fatalistic end of the world where our actions make no difference. If we are confident as Christians that we can positively influence the world around us, we can perhaps motivate believers to actively be involved in helping the poor, caring for the environment, actively participate in politics and preserving the world for all future generations. Preterism offers hope and maintains the integrity of the Scripture and of the entire Christian faith while it defends it against other religions and Christian cults that place the Second Coming of Jesus after A.D. 70.
Answer: It is true that in Matthew 24:14 Jesus specifically tied his return with the preaching of the Gospel to the whole world. There are several passages which confirm that this did in fact take place in the first century. Acts 24:5, Rom. 1:8 and Col. 1:6, 23:
Answer: (by Don Preston) Consider first of all the issue of what scripture calls this age, and the age to come. This is vitally important. Most futurists, assume that when scripture speaks of "this age" it means the current Christian age, that will end with the arrival of "the age to come." this is a fundamental error.
In Luke 20, Jesus discussed the resurrection and the age to come.
Note that Jesus is confronted with the Sadducee's hypothetical argument against the resurrection. They discuss the practice of the Levirate marriage. Jesus, in response, says, "The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage, nor can they die...and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection."
Please take note: Jesus said "the sons of this age marry." Jesus was referring directly to the issue of the Levirate marriage! He was not referring to the universal human experience!! It is wrong to argue "ad hominem" that "Preston is married, therefore the resurrection has not occurred," for this argument totally ignores the fact that the marriage issue at stake was the Levirate marriage law!
In what age was Jesus living, in which the Levirate marriage was the law? Clearly, it was the age of the law that was delivered to Israel at Sinai. It was the Mosaic Age!
( Deuteronomy 25)
Allow me to make three important points:
There can be no doubt as to the essential truth of these statements. And, consider that the New Testament constantly refers to the end of the Mosaic Age, but affirms repeatedly that the age of Jesus and his New Covenant is without end! (Luke 1:32-35 / Matthew 24:35 / Ephesians 3:20-21). Ask yourself therefore, if the church age has no end, how can anyone teach the end of the current Christian age?
Now to more specifically address Jesus' teaching in Luke 20.
In the age to come: 1.) They neither marry nor are given in marriage How was Jesus' this age sustained? By marrying. Jesus said in the age to come that would not be the case.
Paul said that in Christ, the age that would follow the Mosaic Age, "there is neither male or female!" (Galatians 3:28)! If, in Christ, there is neither male or female, how can there be marrying and giving in marriage? Further, Jesus said in the age to come, the Levirate marriage would not be the order of the day. Is Levirate marriage practiced under the New Covenant age of Jesus? If not, then the age to come has arrived.
2.) In the age to come they cannot die. Death was the order of the Mosaic Age. Romans 7:7f / 2 Corinthians 3:6f, (Galatians 3:20-21). In contrast, Jesus' New Covenant gives eternal life. John 8:51-Romans 6:23 / Romans 8:1-3 — free from the law of sin and death!
3.) They are Sons of God, being sons of the resurrection! Under the mosaic age — sons of god produced by giving in marrying. Born, then taught! Under the New Covenant, children are produced by faith: "you are all the children of god by faith, for as many of you as were baptized into Christ, have put on Christ." Taught, then born (Hebrews 8:6f). In Romans 6:4f, Paul speaks of death, burial and resurrection with Christ in baptism, the resurrection by faith, that produces sons of god, and life from the dead (Colossians 2:11-13).
Thus, every constituent element that Jesus said would characterize the "age to come" is found in Christ's new covenant world. And, it goes without saying that the New Covenant world followed the Mosaic world in which Jesus was living.
My final argument, therefore, has proven two things. It has proven that what the Bible calls "this age" was not the Christian age, but was in fact, the Mosaic Age, the age of the Law given to Israel at Sinai. This means, unequivocally, that the age to come, the age of the resurrection, is the Christian Age.
Second, since the resurrection was to occur at the end of Jesus' this age," and his "this age" was the Mosaic Age, then since that age came to an end at the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, this means that the resurrection occurred with the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
Answer: (by Don Preston) I believe that this common argument misunderstands the nature of the Supper and the meaning of "until" in Corinthians.
First, the word "until" does frequently mean something like "up to the point of," and indicates a terminus or change. However, it frequently does not always mean this. Paul said "death reigned from Adam until Moses" (Romans 5:14). Surely it is acknowledged that the introduction of the Mosaic Law did not end or defeat death! Similarly, Paul told Timothy, "until I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, and to doctrine" (1 Timothy 4:14). I know of no one that would argue that Timothy was to stop reading the Scriptures when Paul arrived! There are many examples of this usage of the word "until."
Second, it needs to be understood that whatever else Paul was saying in Corinthians, he was definitely saying that the Lord was coming in the lifetime of the Corinthians. He was writing to living breathing humans when he said, "You do shew forth the Lord's death, until he come." Thus, the Lord was coming in the lifetime of the Corinthians. Take the time to note the personal pronouns in Corinthians, and it will become abundantly clear that Paul was addressing the Corinthians particularly.
Third, the Supper was established to be a memorial. This is critical. It was to be a memorial of the New Covenant (Matthew 26:26f). It was to be a memorial of deliverance from the bondage of sin and death. It was to be a memorial of the unity of the faith. Now, the New Covenant was not completed until the Coming of the Lord. How could the Supper be a memorial of the New Covenant until the New Covenant became a perfected reality? And, more specifically, why would the Supper cease to function at the very moment that it became what it was supposed to be, a memorial? The Supper could only become a true memorial when that which it was to memorialize became a reality, and this was at the parousia.
Fourth, Jesus, in discussing his participation in the Supper, said "I will henceforth not take of this...until I take it new with you in my Father's kingdom...until it is fulfilled in the kingdom." (Luke 22). Those who contend that the Supper was to terminate at the parousia seldom pay any attention to the fact that Jesus emphatically said that he would take the Supper when the kingdom came (this was to be in A.D. 70, Luke 21:28-32). In other words, there are two "untils" used in relationship to the Supper. Corinthians does not specifically address whether or not the Supper was to be continued after the parousia. It discusses one aspect of the Supper, the proclamation of the death of Jesus. However, in Luke, the topic is the continuance/participation of the Supper, and Jesus specifically says that it would be at the coming of the kingdom when he would then participate in the Supper! The Supper was not to terminate at the parousia therefore, it was to be perfected at the parousia and become the memorial of the finished work of Jesus Christ.
We have a series of audio tapes on the meaning and continuance of the Supper available for those interested. The set of tapes can be ordered from: Ardmore Church of Christ, 2712 Mt. Washington Rd., Ardmore, Ok. 73401. Cost is $24.95 postpaid for the entire series.
Answer: It appears from the scriptures that the chief concern of Jesus was to bring about the Kingdom of God. The two major issues with the Kingdom are of timing and nature, allowing Preterism to offer solid answers to those seeking questions about the Kingdom:
It is therefore unreasonable for Christians to expect the Kingdom of God to be anything other than a spiritual reality. The purpose of Jesus was to bring good news to the poor, freedom to prisoners, and comfort to those who mourn (see Isaiah 61). Jesus did not come to institute an earthly kingdom in which He would rule in a theocratic-style dictatorship; rather he came to free us from our presuppositions, from sin and its guilt, and bring healing to our hearts. Yes, the Kingdom of God did come in the first century and it is a present reality.
Answer: In order to understand the things of the end (eschatology) we must often understand the beginning. Traditionally, the Church has been teaching that Adam and Eve were physically immortal. This seems to be an assumption that has no Biblical validation. In Genesis 2:17 we read that God instructed man to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, with the consequence being "for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die." We know that according to the Biblical account, Adam and Even did not die in the day they ate from the tree; in fact they both lived much longer after the incident. It seems to be reasonable to suggest therefore that the death experienced by Adam and Eve was not a death of their physical bodied, rather a spiritual death which came as a result of their separation from God, which did take place "in that day" when God removed them from his presence and from the garden of Eden.
This in itself is important for several reasons:
Answer: There is no indication that they did not eat from it. God specifically told man:
The only tree from which they were prohibited from eating was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Answer: Often Christians speculate that when Jesus returns in the future, he will "restore" a state of perfection in which the world was prior to the fall: no pain, no work, a life of bliss and happiness. The problem is that this speculation is based on a mere assumption that such was life in the garden of Eden prior to the fall. There are several points that contradict this assumption:
Answer: This is a deeper theological problem that goes beyond Preterism itself. There seems to be no Biblical evidence to indicate that Adam's sin is being passed on to children through all generation by birth. Several arguments to ponder:
We can then deduce that the Second Coming of Christ is not an event that was to resolve the problem of physical death, and cause the bodies of believers to come out of the graves; rather the Second Coming was an event which brought man into a deeper relationship with God, into God's presence, which ultimately brings life not to the body, but to the soul.
Answer: Not at all. Just as the Bible does, Preterism reinforces the Resurrection of the dead, however the argument raised by Preterism is ultimately over the nature of the Resurrection. Preterism does teach the Resurrection of the dead, however it does not subscribe to a physical resurrection of bodies. This would imply that the utmost problem faced by humanity is one of physical nature when in fact sin was the most important problem humanity had faced, problem solved through the sacrifice of Christ and the destruction of the Jewish Temple in A.D. 70.
Answer: Preterism answers this question in a comprehensive manner, attempting to deal with the root problem affecting mankind, i.e. "spiritual death." The problem introduced by Adam and Eve's fall was a problem of "death" in that God specifically told them that they would die in the day they would eat from the tree. We know from the Biblical narrative that Adam and Even did not die in the day in which they ate from the tree, therefore we can conclude that the death they experienced was the separation from God, which they did experience in the day they ate from the tree. That separation is the death spoken of throughout the Bible in the context of salvation and deliverance from sin. Sin causes separation between man and God, and Christ restores us back into God's presence.
In the context of the Resurrection, this is the death which Christ dealt with at his Second Coming; that is how in Matthew 8:22 Jesus says "let the dead bury their own dead," referring to those physically alive being spiritually dead and unable to have true life apart from Christ.
This idea of a spiritual "coming to life" is further reinforced by Christ in John 5:24 where, while speaking to physically alive people Jesus says "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life." This is the essence of Resurrection spoken of in the Scriptures.
Answer: In Jewish theology, the concept of Sheol (the place of the dead; also called Hades in Greek), was proeminently used by both Jesus and the apostles to teach believers about Resurrection and Judgment. Because many people have passed away before Christ died on the cross to redeem their sins, it was seemingly not possible for those who died prior to the first century to be judged or rewarded accordingly. It appears therefore that instead they went to a "waiting place" called Hades or Sheol, awaiting the Judgment of God. In A.D. 70 those from Hades were "resurrected" and brought before the throne of God for judgment according to their deeds.
Answer: Not at all. In fact, the word "rapture" does not appear anywhere in the Scripture, nor does the Scripture teach the removal of believers before the return of Christ. The only Bible passage advocating something close to the idea of a "rapture" is 1 Thessalonians 4:17:
The context of this passage is key to understanding it properly. Here Paul is teaching the Thessalonians regarding believers who have already died, and the order of the Resurrection. It appears that some of the Thessalonians were concerned and worried that those who were physically alive would get to experience the return of Christ before those who were already dead (see verse 15). However Paul is trying to calm their fears and puts forth the order of the events which they (the first century believers) would experience:
Paul is doing nothing more here than teaching the order of the Resurrection and how events would transpire when Christ would return. All believers (those physically alive, and those physically dead) would together be caught up into Christ's presence and be brought to life through the restoration of God's presence to their lives.
Furthermore, there are clear time statements which place this passage in a first-century context. 1 Thessalonians 4:15 clearly teaches that Paul was expecting the return of Christ to take place within his lifetime or within the lifetime of his audience. The same goes for 1 Thessalonians 4:17 where Paul writes "we who are alive and remain," referring to first century believers, not Christians living in the 21st century.
The conclude, the issuse of the Rapture while not complex, can be confusing and difficult to deal with for several reasons:
The "rapture" should therefore be equated with the "resurrection" of believers which come into the presence (parousia) of Christ, bringing life, justice and deliverance to all.
Answer: The truth is that the Bible does not speak of something called "The End of the World or Time." The distinction is in the interpretation of passages in which "the time of the End" is discussed. While seemingly minor, the difference is crucial in that Biblical passages discussing the "time of the End" are not describing events which will take place in the future, rather events related to the time of the "end of the Jewish nation" and the "end of the Mosaic covenant." This "time of the end" according to Preterist eschatology was around A.D. 70 when the Jewish Temple was destroyed by the Roman armies and Jerusalem was burned to the ground.
Answer: Yes, that seems to be the case. The book of Revelation seems to be clearly describing in the last few chapters a planet, nations, kings and kingdoms, and many other features that indicate a continual existence of mankind and of planet Earth. Therefore what makes the Heavens and Earth "new" is not an act of God physically re-creating them, but a renewing and reconcilliation of all things in Christ, through his sacrifice, resurrection and return in A.D. 70. The very presence of Christ (his parousia) is what gives the Heavens and Earth a renewed character.
Answer: Yes, in fact two of the most important and well-known Study Bibles take a Preterist approach to the Scriptures. The Geneva Bible, which was a Protestant translation of the Bible was notoriously Preteristic in its approach to prophetic passages. The Orthodox Study Bible published by Nelson Publishing in the United States also places many of the prophecies of Matthew 24 in the first century, specifically A.D. 70.
Answer: (by Don Preston) If we understand the "heaven and earth" as literal, physical heaven and earth then this means the Old Law is still in effect. Simply put the argument would go like this: If heaven and earth had to pass before the Old Law could pass; and if heaven and earth refers to literal, physical heaven and earth, then, since literal, physical heaven and earth still exist, (have not passed), it must be true that the Old Law has not passed. On the other hand, if we understand the "heaven and earth" as figurative language referring not to physical creation, but to something else, it is possible that this "heaven and earth" could pass away, allowing for the passing of the Law. Let us explore the definition of the heaven and earth momentarily.
The prophet Isaiah predicted the passing of heaven and earth in chapter 24. He said the earth would be utterly broken down, clean dissolved, and completely removed, vs. 19. Now this sounds like the destruction of material creation but closer examination reveals it to be speaking of the destruction of Israel's Covenant World under the imagery of "heaven and earth". Note verse 5 gives the reason for the destruction — "they have broken the everlasting covenant". What covenant was that? It was the Mosaic Covenant. God was going to destroy "heaven and earth" because Israel had broken her covenant with Jehovah. Are we to believe that one day the universe will be destroyed because Israel broke her covenant?
Another example of "heaven and earth" being referent to the Covenant World of Israel and not literal creation is Isaiah 51:16.
What is the point? Notice that God is speaking to Israel. He says he gave them his law, the Mosaic Covenant, the same law Jesus is speaking about in Matthew 5:17-18, to establish heaven and lay the foundation of the earth! Clearly Jehovah is not saying he gave the Mosaic Covenant to Israel to create literal heaven and earth! Material creation existed long before Israel was ever given the Mosaic Covenant.
The meaning of the verse is that Jehovah gave his covenant with Israel to create their world — a covenant world with Jehovah.
God created Israel's "heaven and earth" by giving them his Covenant. Now if he destroyed that Old Covenant heaven and earth and gave a New Covenant, would he not thereby be creating a new heavens and new earth? This is precisely the thought in the New Covenant scriptures.
Old Israel's covenant was about to pass away, II Corinthians 3:10ff; Hebrews 8:13; 12:25ff. The New Covenant of Christ was being given, Ephesians 3:3ff; Hebrews 2:1ff. Since the giving of Covenant created "heaven and earth" the New Heaven and Earth of Christ would not be completed until the New Covenant was completely revealed. It therefore follows that if the New Heavens and Earth of Christ has not arrived then Christ's New Covenant has not yet been fully revealed. If Christ's New Covenant has been fully revealed then the new heavens and new earth have fully come. Consider this carefully in light of II Peter 3 and Revelation 21-22, passages written as the process of revealing the New Covenant was yet incomplete.
In Isaiah 51:5-6 God predicted the "heaven and earth" would vanish. This is the same "heaven and earth" he had established at Sinai. This is not a prediction of the passing of literal heaven and earth--it is a prediction of the passing of the Old World of Israel so that the New Covenant World of Messiah would be established. We believe this heaven and earth that Isaiah said would perish is the same heaven and earth Jesus said must pass before the Old Law would pass.
Answer (by Samuel Frost): The question appears to assume that “satan and the demons” are the cause or explanation of “all the evil in the world.” The scriptural evidence, however, leads me to believe in a different conclusion.
1). God created evil. Isaiah 45:7; Lamentations 3.38, etc. The clearest picture in Scripture of this fact is that God made the tree of the knowledge of good and evil before the failure of Adam and Eve. Therefore, evil was before God created man. Evil was known by the mind of God in its entirety from eternity.
2). “God is righteous in all of his dealings” (Dan 4:35) and therefore can do no wrong. Even though he causes evil events, that is, events that we report as evil, and events that men bring about on other men (and we hold those men accountable for their evil actions), God Himself is not an agent, is not accountable to no man, and cannot be charged with committing evil. His motivations for bringing about evil actions of men is qualitatively different and righteous, whereas evil men fail to have these motivations. They are accountable. God is accountable to no man.
3). Genesis 6:5 tells us that man’s mind is “on evil all the time.” The distinction between these men and Noah is that “Noah found grace” (Genesis 6.8). This grace enabled Noah to obey God. Jer. Concurs: “the heart of man is evil, who can know it?” Man is born with the knowledge of good and evil, and the Second Coming of Christ did not alter this fact in the slightest. In order for man to be transformed into the image of Christ, he must also have eternal life. Having the knowledge of good and evil in our minds is the agency for evil to be.
4). “satan” was temporary. One would need powerful gifts of the Spirit to discern his activities in the world today. One would have to know if a sickness was from “demonic possession” or just a sickness. Only by the spiritual giftings enabled directly by the Spirit could one know this. If there are those that claim that spititual giftings today have ceased, then how can one tell that the devil or demons are committing each specific act?
5). “satan’s” role was to accuse according to the transgression of the law given to Adam and increased in the giving of the law to Israel. Now that the law has been fulfilled for those in Christ Jesus, mankind can now receive reconciliation with God through Christ. Those who have not received such reconciliation are still dead in their sins and their hearts still born with the “knowledge of the law” (good and evil). Before, eternal life could not be given, but now In Christ it can. The effects and residue of the reign of the Death, the Sin and the Law by the justly appointed angel called “satan” are still very much with us today, though decreasing as the gospel spreads over time, but “satan” himself, and the rule of the death and the sin and the law are no longer powers or principalities that rule in the heavenlies. They have all been vanquished. God justly rules over all things, being all in all, having filled all things, having destroyed all of his enemies. This fact, however, does not alter the fact that, in spite of the destruction of these powers, that man is born with a heart of only the knowledge of good and evil. It is through Christ, having faith in Christ, which is a gift of God, that he can come and eat of the Tree of Life in the restored Kingdom. Up until this time, he, like Adam, only has a knowledge of good and evil, and though he perform the good occassionally, “even the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel” (Prov. 12:10) since it is not linked to faith and worship in Christ.
Conclusion, satan was appointed by God to carry out the judicial sentence against all men, including the righteous. All who were truly “of Israel” by faith in God were equally condemned “in Adam” and under the curse of “the Death and the Sin.” Because of the reconciling work of the Incarnate One, these, along with “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord” were and are given acces eternally to the Tree of Life, which Adam and all men were originally cut off from. In order to be given access, “the death, satan, the sin and the law” had to be vanquished. Their time was served, and their defeat was sure. “satan” is no longer necessary in the affiars of God, and thus his appointment was ended with the parousia, the consummation of all things in the generation His Son descended upon.
Answer: If we are to demand consistency, and if we maintain that in A.D. 70 Satan and other demons (evil spirits) were thrown into the Lake of Fire as a final solution and end of their existence, then it would be reasonable to suggest that Satan is no longer around, while some of his negative influence on the world still seems to persist.
Answer: The idea that the Second Coming of Christ would bring about an end to sin does not appear to be supported by Scripture. In Romans 6 Paul is teaching us that "he who has died is freed from sin" therefore while sin still exists, the power of sin, Death, has been finally and permanently dealt with in A.D. 70 through the destruction of the Jewish Temple.
Answer: In the New Testament we are told that the Law and the Jewish system of animal sacrifices was enslaving humanity to sin:
Therefore the Jewish Temple had in fact become an obstacle between humanity and God, enslaving both Jews and Gentiles to sin and to a system of sacrifices that could never deliver us from our sins:
It is for this very reason that in Hebrews 9 we are being told in a quite straightforward way that there is no way to God's presence as long as the Jewish Temple is still standing:
It is for this very reason that Jesus actively prophesied the destruction of the Jewish Temple (Matthew 24, Luke 21) with Stephen and Paul following in his footsteps. The destruction of the Temple was a necessary step in destroying the Law which enslaved humanity to sin and clearing the path for God's Presence to be restored to a humanity desperately in need of God. Animal sacrifices have forever been stopped and the blood of Christ, rather than the blood of bulls and goats is cleansing us from all our sins.
Answer: It is unlikely God will allow another Temple to be rebuilt in Jerusalem, mostly because a restoration of animal sacrifices would contradict the sacrifice of Christ and would reinstate the Jewish Law which was fulfilled in the first century. St. Chrysostom rightly observed that the destruction of the Jewish Temple should not be ascribed to the Romans, but to divine providence:
Interestingly, as a historical footnote, it appears that God will not allow the Jewish Temple to be rebuilt again. In year 363, emperor Julian decided to subsidize the reconstruction of the Temple using Roman funds; at once he commanded the Jews to start working on the building project, at which Jews from across Jerusalem came together and scorned Christians in anticipation of the restoration of animal sacrifices. St. Cyril of Jerusalem however look at these preparations without any concern pointing to the Scriptures and saying that "the desolation of the Jewish temple should last till the end, and and that one stone should not be left on another."
When work commenced on the foundation of the temple, Ammiannus Marcellinus, an eye witness to these events, recorded that
St. Gregory Nazianzen also recorded that the fire was followed by wind, lightning and an earthquake, with others recording miraculous events taking place, such as a bright cross appearing in the skies, and with all these events repeating as the workers tried to approach the work site and continue working.
All these men were eye witnesses to these events or knew people who experienced the events firsthand, together with others like St. Ambrose, Rufinus, Theodoret, Philostorgius the Arian and others. Because of these miraculous events, the work on rebuilding the Temple was stopped and the project was abandoned permanently. That is why today there is no Temple standing in Jerusalem.
Answer: Critics of Preterism often point out that the Book of Revelation was written in 95-96 A.D. and therefore it could not have prophesied events taking place in 63-70 A.D. The truth is that there is no evidence to suggest that the Book of Revelation was written that late in the first century. There are two sources used to place an early date on the Book of Revelation:
Other external evidence can also be used to show an early date for the Book of Revelation. For an in-depth look at these sources, we highly recommend the book Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation written by Kenneth L. Gentry.
Answer: The "mother of all prostitutes" - "Babylon the great" is none other than Jerusalem in particular or Israel in general. There are several reasons for this conclusion:
The clothing of Babylon is especially important in trying to identify her:
Answer: Generally speaking, the Beast appearing in Revelation is Rome, the Roman empire or the Roman emperor. There are several reasons for understanding the Beast generally as Rome:
The Beast could also be specifically understood as Nero for several important reasons:
Nero's character is also very much similar to that of a Beast:
The number of the beast was also 666 according to Revelation 13:18, therefore as Hebrew had no numerals and used letters to signify numbers, the name Neron Caesar when transliterated into Hebrew (NRWN QSR) had a number of 666.
A well-documented textual variant has 616. A mere copyist's error? Bruce Metzger speculates: "Perhaps the change was intentional, seeing that the Greek form Neron Caesar written in Hebrew characters (nrwn qsr) is equivalent to 666, whereas the Latin form Nero Caesar (nrw qsr) is equivalent to 616."
For an in-depth look at the Beast, we highly recommend the book Beast of Revelation written by Kenneth L. Gentry.
Answer: The Antichrist as defined by the Scriptures is someone who opposes Christ and the Kingdom. Unlike end-times fictional writers are claiming, the Antichrist will not be a super-human-like person which will take over the world. Rather reading from Scriptures, in 1 John 2 we read:
John was writing this letter in the early 60s, pointing out that many antichrists were already there, and that they were living in the last hour at that time. Later on he goes on to specifically define the word "antichrist" in theological terms:
It is evident that John had a rather broad idea of who was the antichrist, i.e. anyone denying the existence of Christ and his coming in the flesh.
Answer: The Lake of Fire, also called Gehenna (The Valley of Hinnom) was literally a large valley outside the city of Jerusalem serving as the city's garbage dump. In this pit fires were burning continually in order to destroy refuse, dead animals, and even the bodies of the homeless; the ever-rising smoke from this valley was legendary in the first century. In Revelation, John makes an appropriate illustration to this being the place where non-believers and Christ-rejecting folks would die; appropriately, Josephus recorded that hundreds of thousands of Jewish bodies were literally burned by the invading Roman armies in Gehenna in A.D. 70.
Answer: While the word millennium does not appear in the Scripture, the Book of Revelation does speak of a period of time of one thousand years during which Satan would be bound. Preterism sees this period of time as being symbolic, and not a literal thousand years. This period of time rather is in fact equivalent with a fourty year period of time and transition found between A.D 30 (the beginning of Christ's ministry) and A.D. 70 (the fall of the Jewish Temple). This transition period is also viewed as a transition from the Old Covenant (The Law) to the New Covenant (Christ), bringing about a New Jerusalem with the destruction of the old one. During this time, Satan was bound and his power greatly diminished; the Church grew and the Gospel was preached to all the corners of the world. Per Revelation 20, shortly before A.D. 70, Satan was released and caused great havock across the world and specifically across Israel, leading Israel to lose all sense and eventually causing their very own destruction.
Preterist theologians often compare this first century fourty-year transition with Israel's transition from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land. There are many similarities between the book of Deuteronomy and the book of Revelation which we can use to illustrate why the "thousand years" spoken of in Revelation is not literal, and is in fact equivalent with the A.D. 30 - A.D. 70 interval:
|Israel warned that something important is about to happen (in that generation, 5:3)||The Church warned that something important is about to happen (in that generation, 1:1)|
|Israel urged to obey God’s Law (4)||The churches urged to obey God (1-3)|
|Obedience of God brings life and prosperity (6)||Obedience brings life and protection (7:3)|
|Moses calls on two witnesses (4:25; 30:19)||Two witnesses called upon (11)|
|Plagues, famine, sickness (28:59)||Great plagues, pestilence, famine and mourning (18:8)|
|Israel will be a harlot (31:16)||Israel is a harlot (19:2)|
|A glimpse of the type of Promised Land (34)||A glimpse of the REAL Promised Land (21:1,2)|
|Do not add to this book (4:2)||Do not add to this book (22:18)|
|Old Covenant||New Covenant|
|Moses comes from the water to deliver Israel from bondage in Egypt||Jesus baptized in water starts ministry to deliver mankind from bondage of sin (A.D. 30)|
|Moses leads Israel to promised land, but unbelieving generation rejects the land||Jesus leads Israel to salvation, but unbelieving generation rejects him|
|Evil generation has to die after 40 years of re-generation||Evil generation has to die while the Church is created for 40 years|
|After 40 years, Israel enters promised land, obstacle Jericho has to be destroyed under the leadership of Joshua||After 40 years, the Church enters promised land, obstacle Jerusalem (Jewish Temple) destroyed under the leadership of Jeshua (Jesus) A.D. 70|
|The promised land offers Israel protection and life||The parousia (Greek: presence of Christ) offers the church protection and life|
Answer: Many of the miracles and predictions made in Matthew 24 and Revelation have been recorded by Josephus in his account War of the Jews. Below are just a few examples:
Tacitus, one of the most important historians of Roman Antiquity, also recorded some strange events in his book Historiae, Book Five:
Answer: The seven-year period of tribulation spoken of in the Book of Daniel can be traced accurately and exactly to be the seven years beginning in A.D. 63 and ending in A.D. 70. Historical records tell us that in year 63 A.D. the Jewish people revolted against Rome, which gave way to a hellish seven year period in which millions of Jewish people died, and ended with the destruction of the Temple and the city of Jerusalem. Josephus, in his volume Wars of the Jews documents in detail this terrible period of time and points out numerous instances of prophetic fulfillment. In addition, the seventy weeks of Daniel are not a future event, rather it is presented as a judgment on Israel:
The Great Tribulation is not a future period of time; it was a period of time ending in A.D. 70 with the destructio of the Temple, and can be documented well with historical documents.
Answer: The general understanding of most Preterists is that the "ten horns" or "ten kings" are the ten Roman emperors in the following order with the years of their reign:
As it is evident from history, the three kings which were "uprooted" (reigned for very short periods of time) were Galba, Otho and Vitellius before the "little horn" with the remaining seven kings being the seven kings of Revelation 17.
Answer: There are several opinions among Preterist scholars regarding the Seventy Weeks mentioned in the book of Daniel. What all agree on is that those "weeks" are in fact weeks of years and would add up to roughly 490 literal years. The disagreements are however caused by two important points:
It seems that regardless of which decree is being used, the prophecy of the seventy weeks points to a period of time during which several important things will happen:
Because of these specifics, it seems without a doubt that the seventy weeks of Daniel were wrapped up sometime in the first century, likely at the fall of the Jewish Temple in A.D. 70 when sacrifices and offerings were permanently stopped.
Answer: Development of theology is always a struggle between tradition and progress, and Preterist eschatology is another example of this struggle. While the Church at large did apparently miss the significance of the events that transpired in A.D. 70, Preterism has always had a minor voice throughout history, with Church fathers like Eusebius of Caesarea, St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil the Great and many others were either Preterists or showed strong Preteristic tendencies.
Answer: The point of Preterism is not to point out the wrongs of others and elevate theology above all other things; while some advocate division and separation over matters of eschatology, we encourage conversation and discourse in order to open new possibilities to all believers. We are simply providing possibilities and take no pride or claims in being correct over other Christians. All we are asking is to consider our position in light of the Scripture.
Answer: The general position of Preterism regarding creeds is that creeds are not inspired and inerrant statements, nor are they "Scripture." Whenever one appeals to creeds in order to sustain a theological position that is unsustainable otherwise, the problem is deeper than creeds and Preterism, and becomes an issue of Scripture vs. creed. Therefore Preterism, while it sees historical and cultural value in the various creeds, sees little theological substance in them, especially when they appear to contradict Scripture.
Answer: Josephus and several other historians did in fact notice and record that what transpired in A.D. 70 was something ordaine and likely divine. Just as the Jewish people expected Jesus to come and institute a physical Kingdom and dethrone Rome, Christians today expect the same thing. Perhaps the nature of the Second Coming was much more spiritual and deeper than the eye could see, such as God (a spiritual being) and his presence being restored to Earth.
Answer: Some critics have accused Preterism of taking away the hope of the believers for a future Second Coming of Christ. This accusation is as much groundless as it is built on a logical fallacy. If the Second Coming would take place today, would those same critics claim that it also robs believers of their "blessed hope?" The reality of God's presence is not something that takes away hope; it rather gives us the hope and confidence we often lack. Christians should confidently proclaim the living presence of God and of the Kingdom. They are not future realities, but they are present and they are here