Preterist Questions

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Crusader, Oct 21, 2005.

  1. Crusader

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    I am studying the preterist approach to prophecy. I have some questions for which I would like answers from preterists (full and partial).

    Q: What is your view on Daniel's interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the "great image" (Daniel 2).

    Most futurist views I have read explain it like this:

    gold head - Nebuchadnezzar (Babylon)
    silver torso - Medo-Persia
    brass thighs - Greece
    iron legs - Roman Empire
    iron & clay feet - ??? (ruler to come)

    The stone "cut without hands" that became a mountain and filled the earth represents Christ's return which destroys the final kingdom.

    But in a preterist view wouldn't the feet have to represent the Roman Empire? How does preterism view this?

    If there are non-preterists that have something to add, I would welcome them, as well.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Tim

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    Crusader,

    I'm a partial-pret. who came from futurist roots--so I think I understand both sides. (It also tends to make me unpopular with futurists)

    I believe a common weakness of futurist views is their willingness to insert gigantic time gaps into passages that show no clear indication of such a gap. It springs from approaching the scripture with a presupposition, instead of allowing the text to stand on its own.

    Without such a futurist presupposition, Daniel's prophecy of Nebuchadnezzar's dream indicates a continuity from one kingdom to the next, from Babylon, to Medo-Persia, to Greece, to Rome (iron & iron mixed with clay).

    Historically, during Rome's rule, the kingdom of God arose (as Jesus repeatedly preached in the NT) and has spread over the whole earth, engulfing all other kingdoms through the influence of the gospel. Not thus saying that all are saved, but that there is no nation untouched by the gospel. Ultimately all will be fully "put under His feet" at His return.

    I realize that futurists see in Daniel's prophecy the return of another "Roman Empire" to be able to fit their timetable. But I do not believe that naturally springs from the text. No other scriptures point to such a phenomenon, nor (despite what some prophecy-teachers tell you) is there any evidence that the European Union will in any substantial way resemble the Roman Empire.

    Now let me duck while the futurists' tomatoes fly,

    Tim
     
  3. Crusader

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    Thanks, Tim. I hope your reply won't be too costly. ;) I'm not looking to ridicule anyone for their beliefs...merely to get an accurate understanding of what the preterist view believes.

    I have studied lots of information, viewed sites, etc. of preterists, but I'm left with a lot of questions. I won't fill this post with them all at once, but here are a few.

    From the partial preterist stance:</font>
    • What are your views regarding the period of time known as the Millennial Kingdom?</font>
    • Do you consider the state of the world to be improving, worsening, or neither?</font>
    • Will Christ's return herald the end of the world? If so, what is God's purpose in doing so?</font>
    • What is your take on Isaiah 11? The child shall play on the asp's hole, and put his hand in the adder's den (paraphrased).</font>
    Many times throughout the Bible we are encouraged to diligently seek God's righteousness, kingdom, and truth, and He will give it to us. That is all I'm trying to accomplish here.
     
  4. Joseph_Botwinick

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    As you study the Preterist View, I would recommend the following book to you for review which could answer many of your questions for you written from a neutral POV:

    Revelation Four Views: A Parallel Commentary by Steven Gregg

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  5. Crusader

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    I am already aware of that book. Perhaps I will read it, perhaps not. It will depend on the results from my preliminary investigation into the preterist view.

    Every major preterist site I've gone to suggests that you read these four books and then these other books.

    I'd rather not read an entire library just to get the basics of yet another eschatalogical interpretation. I have other studies I'm involved with right now.

    If you believe your view is right, you should be willing to share it. That's what this board is about. If you're not willing to share your views and merely tell people to read books then why are you here?
     
  6. Tim

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    Crusader,

    I believe that what is commonly called the "millenium" is actually the "church age". The term "1000 years" used in Rev. 20 simply refers to a long period of time (just as "1000" does in other scriptures, i.e. Ps. 50:4, Ps:84:10, Ps.90:4, Isa. 60:22, 1 Cor. 4:15, 2 Pet. 3:8, just to name a few).

    It is a "kingdom" in that Christ now sits at the right hand of God ruling His people, as well as ruling this world in the midst of His enemies (Ps.2, Ps.110, Eph. 1:20, Heb. 1:3,13, 8:1, 10:12, 12:2, 1 Pet. 3:22).

    Whether I perceive the world at any particular time in history to be improving, worsening, or neither is not that relevant to my eschatological view. However, without a doubt the world IS DOUBTLESS in a much better state since Christ's sacrifice, resurrection and ascension to God's right hand, than it was before Christ came. The world was is darkness, now the light of the gospel has spread throughout the world to millions.

    I realize that many futurists quote 2 Tim 3:13 to prove that the world is getting "worse and worse", but in context that statement is directed as a warning to Timothy regarding false teachers he would have to beware of.

    The only indication I can see of particularly bad conditions before the end of time is derived from Rev. 20:3, that Satan must be "loosed a little season" at the end of the 1000 years (i.e. church age) to "deceive the nations".

    I believe Christ's return will herald the end of time/beginning of eternity with the associated judgment of all men at once as John 5:28,29 states ("the hour is coming"). I do not believe Christ will destroy the earth, but rather it will be renewed (Rom.8:22,23, 2 Pet. 3:13).

    I believe Isaiah 11 is a difficult passage, that may refer to one of two things. One possibility is the eternal state of the renewed earth, including all creatures without the curse, which we as believers will enjoy. Another possibility is that it is a figurative look at the peace believers who were once enemies can have united in Christ (not a popular view with futurists). Regardless, ther is no indication in the text that Isaiah 11 is referring to a limited 1000 year period of time yet to come.


    In Christ,

    Tim
     
  7. Grasshopper

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    Dan 2 speaks of the same kingdoms of Daniel 7.


    Dan 7:3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.
    Dan 7:4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it.
    Dan 7:5 And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.
    Dan 7:6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.
    Dan 7:7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

    Here is what John Gill says of the four beasts.

    Dan 7:3 - And four great beasts came up from the sea,... . Which are afterwards interpreted of four kings or kingdoms, Dan_7:17, which rose up in the world, not at once, but successively, and out of the sea or world, through the commotions and agitations of it; and these are the four monarchies, Babylonian, Persian, Grecian, and Roman; compared to "beasts", because of the rapine and violence, cruelty, oppression, and tyranny, by which they were obtained, set up, supported, and maintained; and to "great ones", being not like single separate kingdoms, as the kingdom of Israel, and the like, but consisting of many kingdoms and nations, and so like beasts of an enormous size:

    So where is the “revived Roman Empire” futurist say exist in Daniel 2? In fact where is there found in Daniel 2 any kingdom other than the Babylonian, Persian, Grecian,and Roman?

    Dan 2:38 And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold. Dan 2:39 And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
    Dan 2:40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.

    I count 4, not 5.

    Daniel tells us God will set up His Kingdom in the days of the Roman Empire(fourth beast)

    Dan 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom , which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

    Right on time, during the Roman Empire, Jesus comes to establish the Kingdom:

    Mar 1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,

    Mar 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled , and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

    What “time is fulfilled” that John was referring to?

    By the way, does scripture tell us the Kingdom was conditional on Jewish acceptance?

    Futurist believe in a physical Kingdom therefore have to interpret Daniel and other scripture with that false pre-supposition. But scripture says otherwise.

    Luk 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
    Luk 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

    Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

    Rom 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

    Daniel tells us when the Kingdom would come, Jesus and the NT writers tell us the nature of the Kingdom.

    The writer of Hebrews says they were receiving the Kingdom then:

    Heb 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

    It seems Daniel 2 is fulfilled in Jesus and His Kingdom:

    Dan 2:45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.

    Mat 21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
    Mat 21:43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
    Mat 21:44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder .


    Hope this helps. I think you will find this view worth further study. Preterism isn't going away so you might as well familiarize yourself with it.
     
  8. Crusader

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    Thank you all for your comments.

    I have done further investigation through discussion with other preterists, reviewed both pro and con commentaries on the web, reviewed Scripture, etc. and decided to make a full in-depth study on this topic.

    At this point I would not call myself a converted preterist as such, but I am open to reviewing the preterist interpretive approach in greater depth. Albeit, if the sun, moon, and stars go dark before I'm through with my study...well, you get the point. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    A study like this can take quite a long time, but I am willing to see it through and will let everyone know of my conversion, should it happen.

    ____________________

    If I may make one criticism, however, about how preterists seem to be presenting their views...

    There are two kinds of people who ask questions: those who want to know the answers and those who don't. One should respond correctly to both.

    When DEFENDING one's position, it is understandable to be a bit brash, but when confronted with someone who is actually interested in learning it is enough to simply state your position and not have a virtual debate against someone else' views who isn't present.

    I am (or maybe was) a futurist, and many of the posts and sites I've read where preterists were recounting what futurists believed were wrong...at least in reference to what I believed. It gave the impression, they were trying to carry a fight to someone rather than instruct them.

    I understand preterists can come under heavy fire sometimes which can cause a person to get a bit defensive, but not everyone is "out to get you". I have a sincere desire to know the truth and will study diligently to find it.

    ____________________

    I thank you who have posted here above and everyone on this board who has shared their insight with me.

    God bless you (preterist and futurist alike).
     
  9. Grasshopper

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    Good luck with your study. May I recommend the book "Last Days Madness" by Gary DeMar. It is a great place to start.
     
  10. JackRUS

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    Tim wrote:

    Then you make this incredible observation:

    But doesn't Rev. 20:1-10 say that Satan is bound from deceiving the nations during this millennium, as you described it, church age? If that is so then Peter would be wrong in 1 Pet. 5:8

    And then so is Luke in Acts 5:3 & 26:18, and Paul in 1 Cor. 1:5; 7:5; 2 Cor. 2:11; 12:7; 1 Thes. 2:18 and several other places in Scripture right up to where John has Satan's seat (of power) in Rev. 2:13,.

    But of course we all know that they were not wrong since all of the NT writers said that Satan was still in power to deceive in the world during the early church age just as he is now. It's the preterist view that is wrong.

    And there's nothing difficult about the interpretation of Isa. 11 if you look at it at face value. In other words, literally. You know, the way that preterists chide futurists for not doing sometimes.

    Keep looking up!

    And BTW, the church age has been going on now for over 1900 years. Not 1,000 years.

    http://www.balaams-ass.com/journal/prophecy/noe.htm

    So then Crusade, I would recommend that you are not one of those preterists that Peter warned about in 2 Pet. 3:3.

    [ October 24, 2005, 06:21 PM: Message edited by: JackRUS ]
     
  11. Tim

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    The nations were deceived wholly and completely before the gospel came. No one but a smattering of individuals knew the true God outside of the tiny nation of Israel, and very few of even them were followers of Jehovah.

    Now there are Christians all over the world--millions of us. I did not say that Satan has no power in this present age, but that he is bound from deceiving the nations as he did before.
     
  12. Tim

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    Crusader,

    Thanks for the honest questions--it's a refreshing change of pace.

    And regarding the defensive posture that preterists (of all stripes) sometimes have--I agree, it is unfortunate. But unless you have been in the position where your beliefs are regularly maligned, ridiculed, and treated with condecension by pompous opponents who are largely ignorant of your views (see above), it's hard to appreciate how easy it is to slip into a defensive posture automatically.

    My approach is to rarely talk about the issue, but you asked politely. Thanks.
     
  13. JackRUS

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    Tim.
    It is quite easy for futurists to be "ignorant" of preterist's views when they make up their theology on the fly like your above argument concerning the binding of Satan in Rev. 20.

    A casual reading of Rev. 20:1-3 reveals this about Satan's ability to deceive during his future sojourn in the bottomless pit:

    And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
    And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
    And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the
    thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

    That's deceive the nations 'NO MORE', not 'a little less than before' as you suppose.

    Of course I should point out that preterists have just as many if not more varying views than do futurists, so that it's easy to be ignorant of an individuals views on the subject.

    But the error of Preterism is clearly evident in Scripture, and also is clearly warned about by Peter in 2 Pet. 3:3-4. Which was written in about 61-65AD and is sadly coming to fruition today, and therefore was not a 5-9 years warning as would be required for preterists. Clearly any look at verses 3:10-13 should wake up any Christian from the error of Preterism. Especially verse 13 concerning righteousness in the world the last 1900+ years.

    1 John 2:15
     
  14. JackRUS

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    Crusade.
    You can find many teachings on the statue of Daniel 2 on the internet if you just use google.
     
  15. Grasshopper

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    Or you can look in other parts of Daniel and other scriptures.
     
  16. Tim

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    JR,

    Do you think preterists deny that God will judge the world? It is the unsuspecting unbeliever that Peter is referring to in his epistle, not non-dispensationalists.
     
  17. Me4Him

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    [​IMG]

    Scripture has a "DUAL APPLICATION",

    one "SPIRITUAL" to cover Jesus's "FIRST COMING",

    And one "LITERAL" to cover his "SECOND COMING".

    The promise to "send Elijah" was fulfilled in "John the Bapt", however the "literal Elijah" will appear in the trib as one of the "two witnesses".

    Jesus's first coming the "SPIRITUAL KINGDOM" (Church) was established,

    Jesus's second coming the "LITERAL KINGDOM" (Mill reign) will be established.

    Preterist see only the "first coming", and believe it's finished.

    Most of the church sees only the "Second coming", and very little of the "first".

    The "SEVEN DAYS" are each a 1000 years long, and documented by scripture chronology/events from Adam until the present.
     
  18. Ed Edwards

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    Crusader: //When DEFENDING one's position, it is understandable to be a bit brash
    but when confronted with someone who is actually interested
    in learning it is enough to simply state your position and
    not have a virtual debate against someone else' views who isn't present.//

    I for one despise the preterist heresy and post against it
    continually. But i figured this topic was a chance for the preterists
    to present their arguments. Strangely they want to
    "have a virtual debate against someone else' views who isn't present".

    Here is such an argument:

    Grasshopper: //By the way, does scripture tell us the Kingdom was
    conditional on Jewish acceptance?

    //Futurist believe in a physical Kingdom therefore have to interpret
    Daniel and other scripture with that false pre-supposition.
    But scripture says otherwise.//

    There are other topics nearby where you can slay your Futurist windmills.

    Please don't bust up another decent topic.

    BTW, I don't know how long i can hold back the hounds.
    But i'll try for awile. Recall that my non-defense against
    preterism is due to a reluctance not to offend a letigimate seeker
    of information. In no case am i afraid of preterists nor lack
    material against their dreaded heresy. I've been fighting the
    preterist heresy 21 years on electronic bulletin boards alone.

    JackRUS: we have active pro-futurists topics where we are discussing
    various and sundy rapture scenarios. Please join us and leave
    the preterists along. Let the preterests wallow in thier own doubts.
    We don't have to defend the TRUTH, it does well on its own. Thank you.
     
  19. JackRUS

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  20. Phillip

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    I am certainly not defending preterism, but I think there is some confusion and I would like to see some preterists post and clear it up.

    Many futurists use the argument that Jesus will return to shoot down the preterist viewpoint. From what I have been reading, the typical preterist believes that the tribulation occurred when Jerusalem was destroyed, but they still look forward to Jesus returning---is this right or wrong? If this is right, then there would be no rapture and Mathew 24 would (at least partially) refer to the destruction of approx. 1/2 of the Jews, which is historically correct.

    Now, again, I am NOT of the opinion that preterism is accurate, but I would like to hear some preterists clarify this one specific area. Even Steve Gregg seems to miss this "modified" or "partial" preterism viewpoint. It seems that it might be a little less heretical to a futurist if the preterist still believed Jesus was returning to take His own. What say you?
     

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