A CLOSER LOOK AT “PAST” – TRIB
Pastor K. Kirkland
[An article from the "View from the Lighthous" newsletter, July-Aug-Sept issue, 2001. A sequel to the article, “The Past-trib Blasphemy, ” We suggest reading the former article first. "Past-trib" is our term for the doctrine of Preterism - which teaches the great tribulation is in the "past," according to Preterists, it took place in the years leading up to the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. ]
Let’s start by saying no
serious student of history will deny that the 70 AD destruction of Jerusalem was
an important event. But, was it the all-inclusive theme of prophecy that the
past-tribs make out of it? Was it the all-inclusive subject of Jesus’ words in
Matt. 24? Was it the subject of 99% of the book of Revelation?
We say no! We believe the
events leading up to and including the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, like
much prophetic imagery in the Bible, were precursors of things to come. In other
words, the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, the capital of antichrist Judaism at that
time, and the events that led up to it, were small scale events to be repeated
on a much larger scale later. With world-wide implications for the REAL end of
Why should we think it so difficult for Jesus, God manifest in the flesh, in Matt. 24, to deal with things that applied to people of that time, but, yet, to those who live now – at the same time? It is a fact that the prophets often used lesser events to project greater fulfillment. The evidence is overwhelming that the scope of Matt. 24 and Revelation are far more than just a localized war at Jerusalem in AD 70 between the Jews and the Romans.
UNIVERSAL SCOPE OF THE END
By forcing all second coming texts into an AD 70 straitjacket, the past-tribs have conjured up a narrow theory in the extreme. Their straitjacket can’t hold Matt. 24:5-7 (false Christs, wars and rumors of wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes). Just in the last 50 years, for instance, over a thousand have claimed to be Christ, the 20th century has had the bloodiest wars of all time, 50 million died in WW2 alone, and, then, there’s the ever present threat of pestilence (biological warfare), and nuclear annihilation hanging over our heads. Famines? Taking only one example of recent times, in the wake of Communism 10 million starved to death. Need we mention the tremendous push for one world government? And the High tech ability to control everyone on the face of the earth (see Rev. 13: 16, 17)? Knowledge and travel has increased 100 fold in these last days, and since AD 70 (see Dan. 12:4).
Revelation expands on wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in great detail. It repeatedly uses universal terms such as “all kindreds, tongues, and nations.” The various plagues and judgments in the seals, trumpets, and vials are against the “EARTH.” Obviously, a wider meaning than localized destruction in the Jerusalem area in AD 70. The second coming of Jesus in Rev. 19 is to do battle at Armageddon with “the kings of the earth and of the WHOLE WORLD,” (Rev. 16:14), the “nations,” (Rev. 19:15).
Part of those who are drawn to the battle of Armageddon, Revelation chapter nine says, are a 200 million man army – the “kings of the East” from beyond the river Euphrates. There were no such “kings of the East” from beyond Euphrates with a 200 million man army, who fought against Jerusalem in 70 AD. These things illustrate the universal nature of the endtime battle of Armageddon.
Armageddon, according to the Past-tribs, is supposed to be the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70. The past-tribs say the beast was the Roman emperor Nero. But Nero committed suicide at least two years before Jerusalem was destroyed — Jerusalem was destroyed under the Roman emperor Vespasian, not Nero. Furthermore, neither Vespasian, nor his general, Titus, were killed at Jerusalem with their bodies “cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone” (Rev. 19:20). The beast and his armies are supposed to be Rome coming against Jerusalem in 70 AD, this can hardly be, Titus and the Roman armies were the victors in 70 AD! Revelation says “the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his armies” (Rev. 19:19), were the losers, not the victors.
These things ought to convince anybody that wars, especially Armageddon, that Jesus predicted in Matt. 24:7 are of a larger scale than the localized war in AD 70. But what about the “earthquakes” in Matt. 24:7? The Past-tribs tell us the day of the Lord took place at Jerusalem in AD 70. Here are descriptions of the earthquake taking place on that day: “And, lo, there was a great earthquake… EVERY mountain and island were moved out of their places,” Rev. 6:12,14. “And there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were on the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell…And EVERY island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent,” Rev. 16:18-21. What earthquake split Jerusalem into three parts in AD 70? Accompanied by hailstones weighing nearly 100 pounds (the weight of a talent) squashing the heads of both Jews and Romans? We doubt even the Roman army helmets would have helped! The language here obviously is intended for us to understand an earthquake of world-wide magnitude (every mountain and island). No such things as these happened at Jerusalem in AD 70!
In the same vein, we would expect the famines and pestilences in Matt. 24:7 to be of a large scale also. They are, see Rev. 6:5-8, 9:5,6 and 16:2,10,11. No such pestilences as described in these verses happened prior to AD 70. Even as we speak (twin towers, 9-11) there exists very real threats here in America of biological warfare terrorism using anthrax and other horrific pestilences such as smallpox. Very real up to date examples of the universal scope of the end!
Jesus said of the day of the Lord, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken,” Matt. 24:29. Concerning what effect these things will have upon the inhabitants of the earth Luke 21:26 says, “Men’s heart’s failing them for fear, and for looking after the things coming upon the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.”
Revelation describes in graphic terms the same fear upon the inhabitants of the earth that Luke 21:26 describes, “And, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” Rev. 6:12-17.
We have already commented on the great earthquake, no such thing happened in AD 70. Neither did these tremendous cosmic calamities! They comprise the same event, the day of the Lord. People were not running in fear to the rocks and mountains, and having heart attacks because of seeing these things in AD 70 (Luke 21:26). But, yet, the Past-tribs are going to tell us with a straight face that all THIS happened in AD 70! The great earthquake did not – neither the cosmic calamities in conjunction with it.
So how do the Past-tribs get around all this?
Or, presume to get around all this? No problem, they say it is figurative -
along with the second coming, the first resurrection, the millennial, and the
entire book of Revelation. They insist that these celestial events did not occur
actually in AD 70, but are metaphors, poetic language. Larry Smith, a ringleader of the past-tribbers, even makes the great
trumpet that gathers the elect in matt. 24:31 to be figurative, claiming it is
the preaching of the word.
Consider the great detail given in
prophetic scripture, Rev. 8:7-12, 16:8,9, for instance, which describes, in
detail, cosmic calamities in the heavens and their effect upon the inhabitants
of the earth. Is all that “poetic language?” They have got their hands full
straining to make every detail in prophetic scripture figurative.
Past-tribs apply Matt. 24:37-39, the great flood in Noah’s day, and Luke 17:29, the incineration of Sodom and Gomorrah by fire and brimstone from heaven, to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. As we have noted, they claim figurative cosmic calamities for AD 70. But if you equate the great flood and the Sodom and Gomorrah holocaust, which were actual events, to the AD 70 cosmic calamities, why wouldn’t the AD 70 cosmic calamities also be actual events? Truth is, when the real cosmic calamities get here they will be as real as the great flood and the Sodom and Gomorrah holocaust were!
THE COMING OF THE LORD
The coming of the Lord is the great central event of the day of the Lord. The past-tribs apply it to AD 70 also. They claim the coming of the Lord in Matt. 24, in Revelation, and the coming of the Lord references scattered throughout the epistles were fulfilled in AD 70. They refer to it as a “cloud coming,” a coming in judgment. Scripture on the coming of the Lord is treated as poetic language, Jesus did not physically appear, he came invisibly in the great siege of Jerusalem in AD 70. His coming, and all things associated with it, the seals, trumpets, vials, Armageddon, the great earthquake, and cosmic calamities in the sun, moon, and stars, are treated as metaphor. In other words, they spiritualize the coming of the Lord. And they muster a vast amount of scripture to supposedly prove it. One of which is Mark 14:62, Caiaphas, the high priest, seeing Jesus coming in the clouds of heaven in 70 AD, we'll deal with this later.
second coming is indeed a “cloud” coming. The first mention of it is in
Daniel Chapter 7 where the Ancient of days comes with the clouds of heaven at
Armageddon, when “the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to
the burning flame” (v. 11). Compare this with Armageddon in Rev. 19:20
when the beast is “cast alive into a lake of fire burning with
brimstone.” Please refer to
the section titled “The Universal Scope of the End,” as to how this could
not be referring to AD 70.
“Clouds” is a key word proving that there is ONE second coming of Jesus Christ. When you string together these passages: Dan. 7, Luke 21:27, Mark 14:62 (the verse Past-tribs claim as “proof”), Acts 1:9-11, 1 Thess. 4:16, Rev. 1:7, and Rev. 14:14-16, the connecting thoughts of coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory (or, as Jesus told Caiaphas, “at the right hand of power”), judgment, harvest, and rapture come together in one great event, and in a post-trib setting, at the close of the church age. One of the passages in the string, Acts 1:9-11, proves conclusively that his coming in the clouds IS NOT FIGURATIVE, in this passage, “this same Jesus, which is taken from you into heaven, SHALL SO COME IN LIKE MANNER AS YOU HAVE SEEN HIM GO INTO HEAVEN.” He left physically from the mount of Olives when “a cloud received him out of their sight,” he will return in the clouds physically to the mount of Olives from whence he left. Zech. 14:4 says “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east.”
Now, the past-trib “proof” (Mark 14:62) for a figurative second coming of Jesus Christ in the clouds in Caiaphas’ lifetime is impossible. Acts 1:9-11 precludes any possibility of it being a metaphor. Jesus did NOT come physically to the Mount of Olives in AD 70. These “cloud coming” verses, Dan. 7, Luke 21:27, Mark 14:62, Acts 1:9-11, 1 Thess. 4:16, Rev. 1:7, and Rev. 14:14-16 all speak with one voice about one coming at the end of the church age – and the Past-trib “proof” text, Mark 14:62, is right in the middle of the string.
The past-tribs cite Rev. 1:1 “things which must shortly come to pass,” and 22:20 “Surely I come quickly,” as evidence for a 70 AD second coming. But, when we look at passages like Matt. 25:14, 19 “For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called unto his servants…After A LONG TIME the Lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them,” and the Matt.13 parable of the wheat and tares (a long time is implied between planting and harvest), it is obvious what is “shortly and “quickly” to the Lord is not what the past-tribs think it is.
70, THE EPISTLES, AND THE RAPTURE
In Larry Smith’s
literature he says not only Matt. 24, but the epistles also, point to the fall
of Jerusalem in AD 70. He interprets such texts as James 5:7-9, the coming of
the Lord, the judge standing “before the door,” as the overthrow of
Jerusalem in AD 70. He also cites various passages from 1 and 2 Thess. as
fulfilled in AD 70.
The epistles point to AD 70 as the second
coming they claim, but, yet, Smith’s “partial” preterism says a rapture
yet awaits us (at the end of the millennial - which he says we are in now). Where are they going to find
scripture for this other rapture? They already claim Thessalonians and
Corinthians for their AD 70 second coming, what is left for them to get this
alleged rapture at the end of the millennial from? There is nothing in Rev. 20
at the end of the millennial that says anything about a coming of the Lord or
rapture. And they can’t claim such texts as the rapture passage, 1 Thess.
4:15,16, and the last trump passage, 1 Cor. 15:50 – 52, as applying to a
rapture and a last trump at the end of the millennial – while at the same time
claiming Thessalonians and Corinthians for AD 70 fulfillment. Paul made no such
differentiation between a “cloud coming” (AD 70) and a “rapture” (at the
end of the millennial)! The “rapture” and the “cloud coming” were one
event: “the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then, we which are alive and
remain shall be caught up together in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the
air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord,” 1 Thess. 4:16, 17.
If the past-trib’s claims were true we would have scripture for their additional rapture at the end of the millennial somewhere in the epistles. Surely, since the epistles are written to the church, God would have seen to it that we have it explained to us about such a coming and rapture. Here’s the dilemma Smith and the past-tribs are facing, in putting all eggs in one AD 70 basket they have no scripture left for a future rapture.
Ladies and gentlemen, let us state an
important key loud and clear by which one can readily identify all false
prophetic doctrines - there is ONLY
ONE SECOND COMING OF JESUS CHRIST! There is no secret (pretrib), or figurative
(past-trib) coming, Jesus will not return without everyone on earth knowing it!
“Behold he cometh with clouds; and EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM,” Rev. 1:7. The
past-tribs make the same basic error the dispensationalists make. The dispys
have two comings, one before the tribulation, one after it; the past-tribs have
two comings, one in AD 70, one at the end of the millennial. Post-trib
Premillennial eschatology is the one coming doctrine, it stands
absolutely unique in this regard. Same as the Oneness godhead belief stands
unique against all pluralist godhead theories in this world.
Olivet discourse is Jesus answering the disciple’s two part question in Matt.
part 1, “these things,” meant the destruction of the temple when there would
not be left “one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down,” Matt.
24:1,2. Past-tribs assume that this was totally fulfilled in AD 70. Truth is,
several thousand of those stones WERE NOT THROWN DOWN IN AD 70. The Romans built
dirt ramparts along the walls in order to bring their battering rams closer to
the walls. Thus, covering up some of the lower courses. Excavations have now
exposed these stones. The stones are crying out. They speak a message of
yet-unfulfilled judgment. The overthrow of Jerusalem in AD 70 was addressed in
the Olivet discourse, however, it was a partial fulfillment, it did not,
we repeat, it did not exhaust the Olivet discourse prophecy.
past-trib theory does not fit the facts. Fact is, the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD
did not extinguish the antichrist. Neither did the deaths of the alleged Roman
“beast,” Nero, nor thousands of antichristian Jews killed in the siege of
Jerusalem, put an end to antichrist. Rather, the spirit of antichrist has grown
by leaps and bounds during the last 2000 years until it now fills the whole
Jesus “thoroughly purge his floor,” Matt. 3:12, in AD 70? No. When the REAL
coming of the Lord gets here, “it shall leave them neither root nor branch,”
Mal. 4:1. Judaism, far from having it’s antichrist fervor stamped out, has
produced several since AD 70 whom they claimed were the Messiah (Bar Kochba,
Sabbatai Zevi, Schneerson). This is the real spirit of antichrist, an impostor
Messiah. Did the Jews believe that Nero, or Vespasian, or any Roman, was their
Messiah? No. They are still looking for him, having rejected and killed the real
one, Jesus. When the real antichrist gets here he will be the one whom the Jews
will believe is their messiah. The Talmud and Kabbalah, the very epitome of
antichrist blasphemy, are helping to prepare the way.
fits the 70 AD scheme to say that Jewish antichristian persecution would end at
the overthrow of Jerusalem. Did it? Justin Martyr, 100-165 AD, in his
“Dialogue with the Jew Trypho,” said Jews were spreading lies that
Christians were atheists, cannibals, and practiced incest. Jews persecuted
especially Christians (Apostolics) during the antichrist Bar Kochba’s reign of
terror, 130 AD, Jews instigated the martyrdom of Polycarp, Apostolic pastor of
Smyrna, in the second century. By the third century Tertullian stated the
general consensus when he said, “The synagogue of the Jews was the source of
all persecution.” Past-tribs are misleading people
teaching that Nero, or Vespasian, were the antichrist, that Jewish anti-christianism was terminated, that the devil is sealed in the bottomless pit,
in short, that Jesus put an end to all his enemies in AD 70. We still face the
devil, and the antichrist.
two of the two part question does not fit the facts either.
"Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord.
Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath
long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain," James
5:7 The latter rains came to ripen the grain for harvest. We know when the early
rains came (first century Pentecost), we also know when the latter rains came.
We have experienced the latter rain outpouring of the Holy Ghost ourselves! And
that’s a fact. So we know the FACTS do not fit a doctrine of latter rain
fulfillment before the alleged coming of the Lord in AD 70. The latter day
outpouring of the Holy Ghost positively refutes the doctrine that the coming of
the Lord and the end of the age were in AD 70.
latter rains were essential in order for the grain to survive the heat stress
from the blistering hot weather at the very end of the growing season in Israel.
After which followed the harvest. And when is the harvest? At the end of the
age! "...The harvest is the end of this world
(age); and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are
gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world
[age]. The Son of Man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of
his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast
them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. THEN
shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father."
Verses 39-43. So the order is:
rains (first century AD)
latter rains (which we have experienced)
the grain (the great tribulation)
harvest (the rapture, and the end of the age)
millennium (when the resurrected shine forth as the sun).
angels did not cast “them which do iniquity” in the kingdom (the church)
into a furnace of fire in AD 70. The harvest (resurrection/rapture) did not happen in AD 70.
Jesus did not come in AD 70. The end of the age was not AD 70. And nobody shined
“forth as the sun” (resurrection/millennium) in AD 70.
GOSPEL AND THE END OF THE AGE
this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto
all nations; and then shall the end come,”
of the consequences of making AD 70 the “end,” is that, according to this
verse, the gospel witness to “all the world” ends with it. How do the past-tribbers
get around this? Larry Smith says that it (and other scripture such as Col.
1:23) refers to the gospel reaching all the known world by AD 70. But, we,
having experienced the restoration of the true gospel ourselves, after over a
thousand years of Catholic subversion, know this does not fit the facts. Areas
of the world, unknown in Paul’s day, are receiving Apostolic truth, the
natives of Alaska, for instance, are only just now hearing the true gospel for
the first time. Apostolics know past-trib theory does not fit the facts. When a theory clashes with the gospel, the gospel is
preeminent, the theory is obviously wrong.
them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with
you always, even unto the end of the world (age),”
Did the great commission extending to the end of the age end in 70 AD? Remember, the past-tribs interpret the end of the age, even in this verse, as 70 AD. Is the promise that Jesus would be “with you,” as this verse states, only to AD 70? Would to God the past-tribs would ponder this verse. We believe this verse by itself defeats the Preterist spin on the gospel and the end of the age.
CHANGE IN COVENANTS
past-tribs say the change from Old to New Covenant took place in 70 AD. Some
questions need to be asked:
gospel the Apostles preached before 70 AD different from the one after it, which
they term the New Covenant?
salvation still by the law until the change in covenants in AD 70? In other
words, was the transition from law to grace in AD 70?
change of kingdoms (Mark 9:1) take place in AD 70?
give an emphatic NO to all of it. Jesus confirmed the New Covenant in his blood
at the Passover with his disciples when he said: “For this is my blood of the
new testament (the Greek word means covenant), which is shed for many for the
remission of sins,” Matt. 26:28. Thus, the change in covenants occurred at
Calvary, not in 70 AD. The New Covenant was confirmed at Calvary, Pentecost, and
in the gospel preached by the Apostles.
Jesus cried on the cross “It is finished,” and the veil in the temple was
split from top to bottom, salvation by law was permanently ENDED – not 40
years later as the Preterists claim.
Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand
here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God
come with power,” Mark 9:1, that power assuredly came at Pentecost (Acts 1:8,
Rom. 14:17), not 40 years later.
past-tribs say the book of Hebrews was written before 70 AD, Smith cites from
certain passages saying they were to be fulfilled at the destruction of
Jerusalem. However, Hebrews is full of passages that say the change of covenants
was ALREADY IN EFFECT, enacted by blood, water, and Spirit. See Heb. 8:8-13,
9:11-22, 10:4-20, 29 (note, in 10:29, “the blood of the covenant, wherewith he
was sanctified,” is present tense), and 12:24. The New Covenant of blood,
water, and Spirit was confirmed and preached 40 years before AD 70.
transition from law to grace did not happen, as Smith claims, in AD 70. It is
folly to imagine that a mere war against the Jews was God’s means for rooting out
rebellion. True, God did judge them in AD 70, but it was a partial judgment, and
it did not deal with the root of their rebellion and unbelief, that is what the
gospel is for, it is “the axe that is laid unto the ROOT of the trees,’”
(Matt. 3:10). The gospel deals with the root of it all, the human heart.
MORE PROBLEMS WITH HYMAENENISM (we dealt with Hymaenenism in our former article, The Past-trib Blasphemy)
problems the “Hymaenenists” have are almost too numerous to name, but we
will attempt a list. By “Hymaenenism” we mean the twin doctrines of
Preterism and Amillennialism, or the doctrine of Hymenaeus, 2 Tim. 2:16-18. A blasphemy which
places the first resurrection (Rev. 20:4-6) in the past (2 Tim. 2:16-18). By
placing the first resurrection in the past, the coming of the Lord, and all
things associated with it, are also placed in the past, since the first
resurrection and the coming of the Lord are the same event. By no means is this
a complete list:
Did a great number of all kindreds, and people, and tongues, which no man could number, come out of the tribulation (Rev. 7:9-17) that preceded the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70? No.
If this is the millennial with the devil
incarcerated in the pit, why is he called the god of this age (2 Cor. 4:4,
Luke 4:5, 6)? Was he stopped
from deceiving all nations in AD 70 (Rev. 20:2, 3, 7, 8)? No.
nail the past-tribs attempt to hang so much on is this verse: “Verily I say
unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”
Matt. 24:34. Which they claim is the 40 year time period between 30 AD and 70
AD. According to them, Jesus promised to return within their lifetime, or
inconsistency is incredible. They spiritualize the coming of the Lord and the
cosmic calamities part of Matt. 24 to the max, but then they completely reverse
themselves on “this generation” in Matt. 24:34 - making it literal to the
simple answer to the preterist “proof text,” 24:34, is to remember that the
whole of Matt. 24 is in answer to the two part question of 24:3. Thus, Matt. 24
and it’s parallel passages in Mark and Luke are two fold having a
“near-far” fulfillment. The difference in the parallels is Luke’s focus is
more on the “near” fulfillment, while the focus in Matthew and Mark is more
the “far” fulfillment.
good example showing the last days focus in Matthew is 24:22, "except those days
should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved." At no time in AD 70
was all "flesh," or even all Jewish flesh, at risk of extinction. In
70 AD, Jewish “flesh” in Babylon, in Alexandria, Egypt, and in many other
areas of the world outside of Jerusalem was not at risk of extermination. This
verse goes on to tell us that "for the elect’s sake (which in the NT
always refers to the Church) those days shall be shortened." Certainly, the
Church was in no danger of extinction at that time. Thus, the days Jesus said
would be shortened could not have been the siege of Jerusalem in AD 70. Thus,
Jesus’ focus was on the end of this age in Matthew. Thus, “this
generation” in verse 34 can hardly have ONLY a 70 AD interpretation as
same “near-far” explanation applies also to other so called preterist proof
texts, such as Mark 14:62. Caiaphas was but a type of the antichrist high priest
of the final generation, the endtime “Caiaphas” that will see the coming of
Jesus in power and great glory. He is thrown into the lake of fire at THAT
coming, Rev. 19:20. It is this writers opinion that Caiaphas represented the
“near,” while the second beast of Rev. 13, the religious, not the political
“beast,” is the “far.”
Preterist interpretation of “this generation” is wrong. Every line of the
book of Revelation contradicts it. We have proved spiritualizing the coming of
the Lord won’t work. Looking at all that has transpired since AD 70, and the
condition of our world today, it does not fit the facts. The larger, universal
scope of the true end of the age contradicts it. Furthermore, the testimony from
church history refutes it.
earliest scholars and writers of church history were well acquainted with the
Greek language and its various shades of meaning, they lived within a hundred
years or so of the Greek language spoken in Bible days, They knew more about it
than our Preterist scholars, some 1900 years removed. The early writers lived
not long after 70 AD. The fall of Jerusalem was in their recent memory. Yet, not
a one of them interpreted “this generation” as the Preterists do. Not a one
of them interpreted the book of Revelation, and the whole of prophecy fulfilled
at the fall of Jerusalem.
Why didn’t they? It hadn’t been invented yet. Preterism originated in the 17th century when Luis De Alcazar, a Jesuit friar, claimed the book of Revelation only related to the events of the day in which it was written. He said there was nothing in Revelation about the future.
conclusion after examining the Preterist/Amillennial doctrine. It is Hymaenenist
blasphemy. It, most definitely, is NOT Apostolic doctrine. Both scripture and
history refute it. It is a man-made invention. Larry Smith and the past-tribs
concur with the Jesuits, the Roman Catholic Church, and the (so called) Church
of Christ - all of which are Amillennialists, with some of them also Preterist. A much wiser choice is the oldest prophetic doctrine of church
history, a belief that predates Preterism by some 1600 years, a belief held
unanimous by those who lived in post-Apostolic times, a belief passed down to
them from the original Apostolic church, which was the belief in the future
post-tribulational coming of the Lord, a one-coming event at the very end
of the church age, taking place before the millennial.
our blessed hope (Titus 2:13)! By applying Second Coming texts to AD 70 It casts
it’s adherents adrift without an anchor. According to Hebrews six, the “hope
to the end” of verse 11, is the hope that anchors us (v. 19) until the
blessed hope gets here.
prophecies of the First Coming of Jesus Christ are not mere “poetic
language,” but had actual and real fulfillment; likewise, the prophecies of
His Second Coming are not mere “poetic language” (as the Preterists have
it), either, but will be fulfilled in like manner.
two articles first came out in the 2001 April-July issues of “The View from
the Lighthouse” newsletter. I have made a few changes in this last article.
Admittedly, to call Preterism blasphemy is a very serious charge. But we stand
by it. It is this writer’s opinion that Preterism is one of the most serious
heresies to ever enter the Oneness ranks. The ones responsible deserve every bit
of retaliation they have surely brought upon themselves.
have been claims that these two articles have sorely misrepresented the Partial
Preterist view. We are told it is only the Full Preterists that believe the
rapture and the bodily resurrection took place at the “cloud coming” in AD
are aware that Larry Smith says there will be rapture at the end of the
millennial reign of Rev. 20 – which he says we are in now. We are also aware
of his misapplication of the first resurrection. We believe it occurs after the
tribulation at the second coming, at the beginning of the millennial, as seen in
Rev. 20. We are aware of how he has spiritualized the true bodily resurrection,
the first resurrection of Rev. 20:5, the resurrection the church awaits. This is
the future bodily resurrection in all of Paul’s writings. Thus, it is this
resurrection, not the one at the end of the millennial, Paul spoke of in 2 Tim.
2:16-18, the one that Hymeneaus, John Bray, and Larry Smith say is in the past.
Which Paul said was blasphemy.
would hope our readers are able to see the obvious inconsistency of the
so-called “partial” Preterist view. The partial view is clearly seen to be but a
contrivance by claiming the entirety of Matt. 24 for past fulfillment --
including the second coming and last trumpet of 24:30, 31 – while holding out
the rapture for the future. Scripture simply does not allow such inconsistency.
Full Preterism is, of course, very false, but at least it is consistent! Which is
more than we can say for the “partial” view. Their contrivance of holding
out the rapture, only, out of their “past” scenario is not fooling
everybody. Some of us can see through it. Such contrivance places them between
the devil and the deep blue sea.
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