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What is the Preterist view of the end times?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by TaliOrlando, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. TaliOrlando

    TaliOrlando New Member

    Jun 23, 2006
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    What is the Preterist view of the end times? I have never heard of this before but on the BB board I heard it mentioned and decided to post this to get your thoughts on Preterism ?

    Question: "What is the Preterist view of the end times?"

    The preterist view regards Revelation as a symbolic picture of early church conflicts which have already been fulfilled. This view denies the future predictive quality of most of the book of Revelation. In varying degrees, this view combines the allegorical and symbolic interpretation with the concept that Revelation does not deal with specific future events. The preterist movement essentially teaches that all the end-times prophecies of the New Testament were fulfilled in A.D. 70 when the Romans attacked and destroyed Jerusalem and Israel.

    While the letters to the churches in chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation were written to real churches in the first century, and they have practical applications for churches today, chapters 6-22 are written about events that are yet future. There is no reason to interpret unfulfilled prophecy allegorically. Previously fulfilled prophecies were fulfilled literally. For example, all of the Old Testament verses predicting the first coming of Christ were fulfilled literally in Jesus. Christ came at the time that He was predicted to come (Daniel 9:25-26). Christ was born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14). Christ suffered and died for our sins (Isaiah 53:5-9). These are but a few examples of the hundreds of Old Testament prophecies the Lord gave to the prophets that are recorded in Scripture and that were literally fulfilled. It simply does not make sense to try to allegorize unfulfilled prophecy or to understand unfulfilled prophecy in any other way than by a normal reading.

    When you read Revelation chapters 6-18, you read of the most terrible time there will ever be on earth—the time when the beast (Antichrist) will rule for seven years (the Great Tribulation), and when the false prophet promotes the beast for the whole world to worship as god. Then in chapter 19, everything comes to a climax with the literal return of Christ. Christ defeats the beast and false prophet at the battle of Armageddon and then casts them into the lake of fire. In chapter 20, Christ has Satan bound in the abyss and then sets up His earthly kingdom for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:3). At the end of the 1,000 years, Satan is let loose and causes a brief rebellion, but then Christ quickly puts down the rebellion and casts Satan into the lake of fire (vv. 7-10). Then is the final judgment, the resurrection and judgment of all unbelievers. Chapters 21 and 22 describe the eternal state, with all believers enjoying the presence of and fellowship with the Lord for all eternity.

    Preterism is entirely inconsistent in its interpretation of the book of Revelation. According to the preterist view of the end times, chapters 6-18 of Revelation are symbolic and allegorical, not describing literal events. However, chapter 19, according to preterism, is to be understood literally. Jesus Christ will literally and physically return. Then, chapter 20 is again interpreted allegorically by preterists. Then, chapters 21-22 are understood at least partially literally, that there will truly be a new heaven and new earth. No one denies that Revelation contains amazing and sometimes confusing visions. No one denies that Revelation describes some things figuratively. However, to arbitrarily deny the literal nature of select portions of Revelation results in having no basis to interpret any of Revelation literally. If the seals, trumpets, bowls, witnesses, 144,000, beast, false prophet, Millennial Kingdom, etc., are allegorical or symbolic, on what basis do we claim that the second coming of Christ and the new earth are literal? That is the failure of preterism—it leaves the interpretation of Revelation to the opinions of the interpreter. Instead, we are to read it, believe it, and obey it—literally and exactly.
  2. FriendofSpurgeon

    FriendofSpurgeon Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Feb 24, 2003
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    Preterist View

    This is some information on the Preterist View -- neither pro or con.

    Preterism holds to a position of a past-fulfillment of the End Times prophecies in varying degrees as opposed to future fulfillment.

    Preterism places the prophecies of intense evil and foreboding gloom in the first century, not the 21st century future, focusing on the events surrounding the 42 month long Neronic persecution, the 42 month long Jewish war with Rome, and the destruction of the temple. This view depends critically on an early authorship of Revelation, since any later date makes the "prophecy" post-date the events being prophesied.

    Preterism also answers the question regarding the Mark of the Beast, as noted in Revelation 13:18. The Hebrews had no numerals, so they used letters to signify numbers, just as the Romans did. Neron Caesar (the Greek rendering, documented by archaeological finds), when transliterated into Hebrew (NRWN QSR) had a number of 666.

    Preterism focuses on the many time references listed in the New Testament, as listed below. All of these point to Jesus' return and judgement in the very near future.

    From Jesus:
    1. Matt. 10:23 - "Truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes."
    2. Matt. 16:28 - "Truly I say to you, there are some who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom."
    3. Matt. 24:34 - "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place." (Jesus’ use of "this generation" throughout the gospels always refers to his contemporaries: 26:36; 11:16; 12:39, 41, 42 and 45; Luke 11:50-51; 17:25; Mk 8:38)
    4. Matt. 26:64 - "You [the high priest] will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven."

    From the Book of Revelation:
    a. 1:1 - "...things which must shortly take place"
    b. 2:16 - "Repent, or else I will come to you quickly"
    c. 3:11 - "Behold, I come quickly!"
    d. 22:6 - "...things which must shortly take place."
    e. 22:7 - "Behold, I am coming quickly!"
    f. 22:12 - "Behold, I am coming quickly."
    g. 22:20 - "Surely I am coming quickly."

    a. 1:3 - "The time is near."
    b. 22:10 - "The time is at hand."

    a. 1:19 - "Write ... the things that are about to take place."
    b. 3:10 - "... the hour of trial ... is about to come upon the whole world."

    Within Preterism, there are two major schools of thought:

    1. Partial Preterism -- also called Orthodox Preterism to designate its conformity to the historic creeds of the Christian Church. This is the older of the two views and holds that prophecies such as the destruction of Jerusalem, the Antichrist, the Great Tribulation, and the advent of the Day of the Lord as a "judgment-coming" of Christ were fulfilled in AD 70 when the Roman general (and future Emperor) Titus sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple, putting a permanent stop to the daily animal sacrifices.

    Most Partial Preterists also believe the term Last Days refers not to the last days of planet Earth, but rather to the last days of the Mosaic covenant which God had exclusively with national Israel until the year AD 70. As God came in judgment upon various nations in the Old Testament, Christ also came in judgment against those in Israel who rejected him.

    The "last days," however, are distinguished from the "last day," which is considered still future and entails the Second Coming of Jesus, the Resurrection of the righteous and unrighteous dead physically from the grave in like-manner to Jesus' physical resurrection, the Final Judgment, and the creation of a literal (rather than covenantal) New Heavens and a New Earth free from the curse of sin and death which was brought about by the fall of Adam and Eve.

    2. Full Preterism claims that all biblical prophecy was fulfilled in the first century AD with the destruction of Jerusalem, including the resurrection of the dead and Jesus' Second Coming. Full Preterism holds that Jesus' Second Coming is to be viewed not as a future-to-us bodily return, but rather a "return" manifested by the physical destruction of Jerusalem and her Temple in AD 70 by foreign armies in a manner similar to various Old Testament descriptions of God coming to destroy other nations in righteous judgment.

    Full Preterism also holds that the Resurrection of the dead did not entail the raising of the physical body, but rather the resurrection of the soul from the "place of the dead," known as Sheol (Hebrew) or Hades (Greek). As such, the righteous dead obtained a spiritual and substantial body for use in the heavenly realm, and the unrighteous dead were cast into the Lake of Fire. Some Full Preterists believe this judgment is ongoing and takes effect upon the death of each individual (Hebrew 9:27). The New Heavens and the New Earth are also equated with the fulfillment of the Law in AD 70 and are to be viewed in the same manner by which a Christian is considered a "new creation" upon his or her conversion.
  3. billwald

    billwald New Member

    Jun 28, 2000
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    Since you asked, We have have been in the end times for at least two thousand years. The bible only teaches about two ages: this evil age and the age to come.
  4. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards <img src=/Ed.gif>

    Aug 20, 2002
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    Amen, Brother Billwald -- Preach it! :thumbs:

    Actually it is more complex than that (but I'll agree with you if you change 'only' to 'usually').

    "AGE" in the New King James Version (nKJV).

    The KJVs tends to confuse the Greek "aeon" /age/ and
    Greek "cosmos" /world/ and calles them both "world".
    So i'll use the nKJV for my word study on "age".
    References to how old someone is (AKA: "age") have been eliminated.

    Mt 12:32 (nKJV):
    Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man,
    it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit,
    it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

    Mt 13:39 (nKJV):
    The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest
    is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels.

    *souls shall be harvested at the end of this age

    Mt 13:40 (nKJV):
    Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire,
    so it will be at the end of this age.

    Mt 13:49 (nKJV):
    So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come
    forth, separate the wicked from among the just,

    Mt 24:3 (nKJV):
    Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came
    to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be?
    And what will be the sign of Your coming,
    and of the end of the age?"

    Mt 28:20 (nKJV):
    teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;
    and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

    *Jesus is with us completely to the end of the age.
    *the age has an end

    Mr 10:30 (nKJV):
    who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time--houses
    and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands,
    with persecutions--and in the age to come, eternal life.

    *people will have eternal life, in the age to come

    Lu 18:30 (nKJV):
    who shall not receive many times more in this present time,
    and in the age to come eternal life."

    Lu 20:34-35 (nKJV):
    34. And Jesus answered and said to them, "The sons of this age marry
    and are given in marriage.
    35. But those who are counted worthy to attain that age,
    and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage;

    *there is a future age when marriage is NOT, after resurrection from the dead

    1Co 1:20 (nKJV):
    Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer
    of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

    *this age has a disputer

    1Co 2:6 (nKJV):
    However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature,
    yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age,
    who are coming to nothing.

    *the wisdom of this age will come to nothing
    *the rules of this age will come to nothing

    1Co 2:8 (nKJV):
    which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known,
    they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

    1Co 3:18 (nKJV):
    Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems
    to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.

    2Co 4:4 (nKJV):
    whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe,
    lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ,
    who is the image of God, should shine on them.

    *the god of this age is NOT Jesus, the Christ

    Ga 1:4 (nKJV):
    who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver
    us from this present evil age, according to the will
    of our God and Father,

    *this age is evil

    Eph 1:21 (nKJV):
    far above all principality and power and might and dominion,
    and every name that is named, not only in this age
    but also in that which is to come.

    *there is an age to follow this age

    Eph 6:12 (nKJV):
    For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities,
    against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,
    against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

    * this age is dark

    1Ti 6:17 (nKJV):
    Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty,
    nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives
    us richly all things to enjoy.

    * this age has rich people in it

    Tit 2:12 (nKJV):
    teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts,
    we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,

    Heb 6:5 (nKJV):
    and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,

    This great section on the Security of the Believer
    speaks of an "age to come".
    * there will be "good ... powers" in the age to come.

    AGES in the KJV1769:

    Eph 2:7 (KJV1769):
    That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches
    of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

    **There will be ages after this age.

    Eph 3:5 (KJV1769):
    Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men,
    as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

    Eph 3:21 (KJV1769):
    Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages,
    world without end. Amen.

    Col 1:26 (KJV1769):
    Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages
    and from generations
    , but now is made manifest to his saints:

    *There were ages before this age.
    *ages are similiar to generations


    This tells me that if preterism was true, we would be living in a different age than the one we about which the writers of the New Testament (NT) were disucssing. But we seem to be living in the same evil age as they.
  5. Ivon Denosovich

    Ivon Denosovich New Member

    Sep 6, 2007
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    This is an excellent book comparing the four major views on Revelation.