Preterism and Matthew 23:39

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by thomas15, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. thomas15

    thomas15
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    True confession, I'm not professionally trained in theology, I'm just an interested laymen. I say this as an appology ahead of time if my comments are a little rough around the edges.

    In Matthew ch 23, Jesus pronounces judgement (8 woes) on Jerusalem (that is the Jewish leaders) due to their unbelief in the Savior Jesus. Concluding his sermon, in Matthew 23 vs 37, Jesus specifically mentions Jerusalem and his love and heart felt desires for them. In vs. 38 he states that their house is being left you (them) desolate. and finally vs. 39 reads: "For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, 'BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!'"

    A good question to ask preterists, who believe that Jesus returned in AD 70 when the Romans sacked the city is this: If Jesus returned in AD 70 and Jesus said beforehand that his return would take place when (or in concert with) Jerusalem accepting him as Lord and Savior (vs. 39 above), why then has Jerusalem been basically overrun with non-Christians and non-Jews since AD70? If Jerusalem is Babylon which has fallen (judged, according to preterists views) and yet the Lord is now ruling his kingdom from that city which he will do after he returns, why are even the Holy sites under Islamic control? Why is it not logical to conclude from Mat 23:39 that since Jesus returned in the first century that Jerusalem must have welcomed him, but for all their trouble they were judged anyway with no apparent later relief by God?

    Could it not be argued that in vs 38, the curse of Jerusalem actually began at the time Christ preached the sermon: "Behold, your house is being left to you desolate". If the judgement began 40 years later (AD70), then would it make better sense for Jesus to say your house will (at a later time of my coming) be left to you desolate? What exactly did the second coming accomplish if for all practical purposes no one for about 1800 years knew that the event had already taken place?

    According to those who believe covenant theology, a group that would include preterists, we are living in a time of the millennial reign of Christ, and in one way or another and in varing degrees the Church replaces Israel as the God's people, the church receiving the blessings of God while the Jews receive the curses. If AD 70 marked the return if Jesus in which he would have been welcomed by the city (vs 39) why then does the almost 2000 year curse continue? If not then for all of the Jews, then should not at least Jerusalem be exempt from this extended time of judgement?
     
  2. Grasshopper

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  3. Iconoclast

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    Hello Thomas,

    you asked this;
    Thomas Jesus rules now from the heavenly Jerusalem.

    He rules in the midst of His enemies;
     
  4. thomas15

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    So in other words Iconoclast, Jesus was just kidding or possibly using a special code language when he told the Jews that he would not appear in Jerusalem until they shouted "blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" And of course according to the preterist account of things, the Savior's second coming was invisable, in apparent contradiction of Acts 1:11, so tell me why does the Bible give inaccurate details of the second coming?

    How many times does a student of the Bible have to read Matt 23:39 to come to the understanding that Jesus is not going to appear to Jerusalem no matter what the the people who live in the city say or do? Why do you think Jesus changed his mind about the condition he placed on Jerusalem so that instead of his appearence coming at a time when the people of the city finally shout "blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" to instead make the apparently new condition that his appearence would be invisable and spiritual and that practlically no one would see it or notice it?

    Why do you suppose that it is fair game for preterists who insist that those Bible students who teach a pre-mil, pre-trib rapture of the church that can happen at any time without any warning (the secret rapture) are wrong while at the same time they (the preterist) teach Jesus returned in AD 70 and no one for approx 1800 years knew anything about it?
     
  5. JesusFan

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    But not direct sense as he will..
    Right now he is allowing people to 'do their own thing" Satan is still in charge of World system, but at His return all will be made new again, paradise restored back...
     
  6. JesusFan

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    Amazing that Gosd literally to the deal fulfilled all prophecies at first coming, but chose to not do so at the second?

    I really must pick up the book that teaches me how to read Isreal and decise which time means Isreal and which time Church, and the book that explains to us how Paul "mistaked' thinking second coming would usher in new condition/resurrection etc!
     
  7. thomas15

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    thinking and reflecting on the responses so far...

    Iconoclast, I know that this may come as a real surprise to you but I have > 1 copy of the Holy Bible in my posession. I asked a few questions and you cut and pasted verses without any kind of exegesis. I would like to know if this is how you answer the questions your friends, neighbors and co-workers ask you? Do you just recite verses without any kind of context or background in normal practice?

    Grasshopper, In my personal library I have numerous works from theologians representing various theological camps. What do you think I'm going to learn that is new to me from some web site link? Do you think it is effective in making your case to post links to your favorite internet web site instead of answering a few simple questions? Do you get your answers to your theological questions from the internet?
     
  8. Martin Marprelate

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    As one who believes in Covenant Theology but is not a preterist, may I suggest that the idea that the Church 'replaces' Israel is a little misleading. The bible teaches that believing Jew and believing Gentile are now one. Have a look at John 10:16, and then at Eph 2:11-22 especially vs 14-16.

    What is sometimes disparagingly called 'Replacement Theology' is, in reality 'Inclusion Theology.' If unbelieving Jews come to trust in Christ, they will be brought into this new body (Rom 11:23) which is the true Israel (Phil 3:3; Rom 2:28-9).

    What the Jews need is just the same as what the Arabs, Hindus and Chinese need- :jesus:

    Steve
     
  9. JesusFan

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    Agree with your points, just saying that God also has further dealings in mind in the Future, Church is heavenly jerusalem, while Isreal restored /alive again at Second Coming is earthly jerusalem..
     
  10. Iconoclast

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    Thomas,
    Yes I do Thomas. I offered you some very good verses trying to indicate where you might begin to see an answer to your questions.
    i was obviously focusing on Jerusalem [the old holy city] and then The New Jerusalem [the new holy city].

    Jesus coming in judgement in 70ad.....was not THE SECOND COMING....which is yet future...actually it will be on the last day. in 70 ad it was a coming in judgement,which he spoke of.
    Do a study of coming in the clouds in the ot. It speaks of Gods judgement coming...it is a figure of speech.

    You live in America...in the keystone state..you should own a bible.What would surprise me is if you would pray for understanding, open your bible, and read deut.28-33....and then compare mt20...through to mt 25...
    in deut 32....the word vengeance appears often. God had promised in Deut, that covenant breakers would be cursed ,rejected and destroyed...

    Mt 20-25 lays out the end of the ot Israel...see mt 21:43...
    mt 24 lays out the destruction of the temple....Jesus warned them..there are some standing here who shall not taste death,until they see these things,
    this generation,
    OLD ISRAEL is rejected, except for a remnant.
    Jesus is the New Israel...and us in Him....
    our citizenship is in heaven phil3:20...the King rules now in the kingdom[the church is like the portal,with Jesus as the Door]

    Individual believers are translated into the kingdom ,by new birth,then built up a spiritual household[local assemblies] Jerusalem above is our home,

    No re-read the cut and paste verses and see if it makes more sense.
    Where in PA, are you. Would be willing to meet for a cup of coffee and study a bit. I speak much faster than I type. Almost got to meet Willis this last week or so, but our work schedules did not match up.
     
  11. thomas15

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    I live in Carbon County and work in the Lehigh Valley.

    I think you misunderstand me, I have more than 100 Bibles in my collection. It is true that I don't know nothin about the Word of God but I believe that St. John means in Rev.9:18 that a third of mankind would be killed by this one judgement alone, so I don't know how a preterist, who thinks this is past history explains that with a stright face.

    In order for me to read what you have cut and pasted, I would have to figure out the chapters they come from, read everything around it for context, this is not a big deal as these are well known verses but for what ultimate purpose? You haven't answered the bulk of my comments and none of your answers actually make sense from a Biblical perspective. In other words, you are discussing theology and I'm discussing the Bible.
     
  12. thomas15

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    Steve, I tried to word my comments about replacement____ in such a way, with enough room for wiggle so as to not offend those that are easy to offend. I guess I wasn't sucessful, so please accept my apology. Whatevere you want to call it, if Israel was ever in past history God's people and another distinct group now holds that position, I personally cannot think of a better term than replacement to describe the situation. But you call it what ever you like.

    Steve, have you ever noticed from your study of the Bible that Covenant theologies covenants of works, grace and redemption are not really spelled out but that the Dispensations spoken of by the dispies show an ever so slight resemblance to the actual covenants (ex. Abrahamic, Moses, Davidic and New) that Jehovah God actually made with the two parties clearly defined and the terms clearly communicated? Think about it, if the dipsies were as thin skinned as many Covenant believers are with words to describe what they believe, the dipsies would be shouting that they are really the Covenant theologians and the strange thing is, they would be right.
     
  13. Grasshopper

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  14. Grasshopper

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    Perhaps the preterist understands these judgments to be speaking of the Jews and not the entire world. Perhaps it is one third of the Jews who were killed as Josephus records:

    Josephus reckon the number of captive taken during the war at 97,000 and the number of those who perished during the siege at 1,100.000. The number who perished in the whole war are reckoned at the total of 1,337,490 and the number of prisoners at 101,700; but even these estimates do not include all the items of many skirmishes and battles, nor do they take into account the multitudes who, throughout the whole country, perished of misery, famine and disease. In may well be said that the nation seemed to have given itself ‘a rendezvous of exterminations.’ Two thousand putrefying bodies were found even in the subterranean vaults of the city, (F.W. Farrar. pp 487-489).

    Secondly for someone who insists on literalism it is strange you ignore the bookend time constraints found in this book:

    Rev 1:1
    The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John,*

    Rev. 1:3
    Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.

    Rev. 22:7
    "And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book."

    Rev.22:10
    *And he said to me, "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near.

    So it is the preterists who wonder how you can pretend these verses dont exist and do so with a straight face.
     
  15. Iconoclast

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    Thomas you sound like a young man,and am glad you have an interest is spiritual things. you say this;
     
  16. Martin Marprelate

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    Thomas, you did not offend me in the slightest. I make it a point never to take offense at anything siad on a discussion forum, but there was nothing in your post to find objectionable. I was trying to show that there is only one people of God, not two; that believing Jew and believing Gentile are one, and I believe that the verses I quoted show that.
    No, I can't say that I've ever noticed that. The fact is that I very rarely argue over end-time stuff. There are Dispensational folk in my church and we get along just fine. It is only the Hyper-preterist stuff that I am eager to refute as I believe that any teaching that denies the future physical return of our Lord is outside of Christian orthodoxy.

    If you are interested to learn more of covenant theology, you might like to browse the 'covenants' section of my blog. http://marprelate.wordpress.com/category/covenants/

    Steve
     
  17. thomas15

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    There is no reason, from the Bible to think that John is talking about 1st century Jew's. The Bible says that for example in Rev 16:1 ...the whole earth.

    What you are basically saying is that Jehovah God is either unable or unwilling to communicate to man accurate information. I think differently.
     
  18. thomas15

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    If it is that easy, why can't you answer a simple question with a simple answer?
     
  19. thomas15

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    I appreciate the offer. I have more than a few books by covenant writers, systematic theologies, commentaries and so forth. I really have enough information at my disposal to do more than just a summery research on just about any aspect of theology within mainstream thought.

    My main issue with covenant theology is that I can't seem to find the actual covenants (works, grace, redemption) spelled out in the Bible. I see a covenant as an agreement with two parties involved. My main objection to covenant A-mil is that I have difficulties seeing the kingdom as described in the Bible being lived out by any church in my local area. I have been in a lot of churches but never one that I would consider to be on a par with the kingdom of Christ as spelled out in the Bible. If you know of such a church, please let me know so that I can join it.
     
  20. Grasshopper

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    #20 Grasshopper, May 1, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2011

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