Part 1 of 5: Full Preterism – Shades of Covenant Eschatology? On Evil & Suffering: An Unbiased Approach

Posted By Thomas Perez. February 22, 2011 at 7:27pm. Copyright 2011.

Disclaimer: Do not judge methods of prophecy; if you do, consider the following verses:

JEREMIAH 31
14And satisfied the soul of the priests [with] fatness, And My people with My goodness are satisfied, An affirmation of Jehovah.
15Thus said Jehovah, A voice in Ramah is heard, wailing, weeping most bitter, Rachel is weeping for her sons, She hath refused to be comforted for her sons, because they are not.
16Thus said Jehovah: Withhold thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears, For there is a reward for thy work, An affirmation of Jehovah, And they have turned back from the land of the enemy.
17And there is hope for thy latter end, An affirmation of Jehovah, And the sons have turned back [to] their border.

Who would have believed that verse 15, among all the other verse’s was talking about Bethlehem and the slaughter of the innocents (Matt 2:16-21).

PSALMS 69
8A stranger I have been to my brother, And a foreigner to sons of my mother.
9For zeal for Thy house hath consumed me, And the reproaches of Thy reproacher’s Have fallen upon me.
10And I weep in the fasting of my soul, And it is for a reproach to me.

Who would have believed that vs. 9 indicated John 2:13-17

Or what about this verse?

ZECHARIAH 13
7Sword, awake against My shepherd, And against a hero – My fellow, An affirmation of Jehovah of Hosts. Smite the shepherd, and scattered is the flock, And I have put back My hand on the little ones.

Who would of believed that the verse were speaking of Jesus’ disciples? Mk 14:27,50, Matt 26:31.

ZECHARIAH 9
8And I have pitched for My house a camp, Because of the passer through, and of the returner, And pass not through against them again doth an exactor, For, now, I have seen with My eyes.
9Rejoice exceedingly, O daughter of Zion, Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem, Lo, thy King doth come to thee, Righteous – and saved is He, Afflicted – and riding on an ass, And on a colt – a son of she-asses.
10And I have cut off the chariot from Ephraim, And the horse from Jerusalem, Yea, cut off hath been the bow of battle, And he hath spoken peace to nations, And his rule [is] from sea unto sea, And from the river unto the ends of earth. 11Also thou – by the blood of thy covenant, I have sent thy prisoners out of the pit, There is no water in it.

Who would have believed that verse 9 was speaking about Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem as recorded in Matthew 21:2-5. Jesus’ triumphal entry was literal in every sense. Notice the next verse (10), we see a horse and the subsequent cutting off of the battle bow (for the weapon of Christ is the weapon of His sword which is the very Word of mouth) – Rev 19:11-16. We will also note in vs. 11, the plausible ultimate reconciliation of those (Jews) who rejected him. For they shall see Him whom they have pierced Rev 1:7.
I hope you see the point I’m trying to make. There are many more such prophecies that were fulfilled, yet if we first stand and glare at such prophecies, we will note the subtle approach in which God reveals His own eschatology. For I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I would of missed it if I was on the Sanhedrin and counsel! Or maybe not, if not; I assume that I would of received further revelation as seen fit by God to reveal onto a searching spirit. However, if I had lived outside the educational system of the Sanhedrin, I suppose I would have been eager to hear new words outside the corrupt system of a dead economic Babylon; who having the law – did not practice it’s underlying principles (Justice, mercy, good faith).

Therefore, who really knows where prophecy begins or ends?….We all (Futurists, Full Preterists, & Partial Preterists) might /will / or are / be surprised. With this said, let us take a look at some of the suppositions taken and believed upon by my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who are called Full Preterists.

Let me begin by citing that it is not the concept of Full Preterism that causes a red flag to stand out, it is its overall final outcome, as pertaining to the ages. Allow me to explain: Those who believe all prophecy has been fulfilled (including the resurrection) are called Preterists. Not all Preterists agree with each other, however.

There are Futurists, Full Preterists, and Partial Preterists.

The Futuist of which I will not engage in this study due to it’s mainstream popularity, believes that most Bible prophecies concerning the Antichrist, the tribulation, the resurrection, judgment, and the Millennium are still set in the future.

Two of the most dominant streams in the river of evangelical Futurist theology are Dispensationalism and Covenant (or Reformed) Theology. Dispensationalism was initially formulated in the late 1800s by Irish preacher John N. Darby, popularized by the Scofield Reference Bible and numerous Bible conferences, and is taught in most North American Bible colleges. The best-known Dispensational seminary is Dallas Theological Seminary in Texas. Well-known Dispensationalists include Charles Swindoll, Charles Ryrie, and Kay Arthur. Covenant theology has roots in the writing of Augustine and John Calvin, but was more clearly defined in the British Westminster Confession of Faith and leaders of the Dutch Reformation. It has recently been popularized in the Geneva Study Bible. Well known Reformed/Covenant leaders include R.C. Sproul and J.I. Packer. This system is taught at schools such as Reformed Theological Seminary and Westminster Theological Seminary.

There are various interpretations concerning Dispensationalism. For more on this, please see “Various Prophetic Charts.”

These two systems share many common, orthodox convictions about Biblical prophecy. Both systems believe in the literal, future return of Christ. They both affirm God’s future judgment of the righteous and the wicked. They both believe in the translation of the saints into glory, and in the resurrection of the just.

However, Covenant Theology differs greatly from Dispensationalism in certain key areas of prophetic theology. Two important differences are listed below:

(1) Most Reformed thinkers do not believe that the reference to a 1000-year reign of Christ should be taken as a future event (Rev. 20:1-5). They regard this section of Revelation as a symbolic “recapitulation” of Christian church history, with Satan spiritually “bound” through Christ’s resurrection, the resurrection of souls being a symbol of new birth, and so on (see Cox’ booklet Amillennialism Today, Presbyterian & Reformed Pub.; also L. Berkof’s standard Systematic Theology, A. Hoekema’s The Bible and the Future). Although this view is often called a-millennialism, this is not quite accurate. The prefix “a” means “no”. Covenant writers do believe in a Millennium; but they define it non-physically and non-futuristically. Most Covenant thinkers accept the general idea of a final period of extreme apostasy and divine wrath just prior to Christ’s return.

There has recently been a resurgence of post-millennialism in Reformed circles as well. This is the belief that all the glorious O.T. predictions of a Golden Age for Israel will be fulfilled through the Christian Church prior to Christ’s return. Post-millennialism is an essential element in the Christian Reconstruction/Theonomy movement. (Many Full Preterists hold this view)

Some Reformed believers hold to historic pre-millennialism (which could be described as non-dispensational Premillennialism). This could also be called Covenant Premillennialism, and appears to be a minority opinion in Reformed/Presbyterian circles. This viewpoint can be found in several of the professors at Biblical Seminary (Hatfield, PA).

(2) Reformed writers believe that the translation of the saints into glory, the resurrection of the just, (1 Thess. 4:13-18), the return of Christ (Rev. 19:11-16), and the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15) all happen at the same time. (sequentially) I.e., they disagree with the teaching that the Rapture of the Church happens prior to the final tribulation. Most would teach that the Rapture happens at the end of the great tribulation (post-tribulationalism). Christ’s return ushers in the final regeneration of the cosmos, with no intervening millennium.

There are some dire consequences for holding to a Covenant view of prophecy. Though I do not agree with all that is stated, yet by conscience; I’m bound to make such comments of warning…

First, a covenant-theology view of prophecy tends to lead the Church into militant attempts to reconstruct the secular order into a Christian state. The transferal of O.T. predictions of a Kingdom Age from future Israel to the present Church encourages those who hold this view to seek to bring about the Kingdom right now. After all, if the Kingdom is happening right now, in and through the Church despite the absence of the visible Christ, then the Church must be God’s agent for bringing in the Kingdom. This will be accomplished through a two-pronged action: evangelism on one hand, and political force on the other.

This is a fools goal. The New Testament speaks of a preserving and ameliorating effect which the Word of God should have upon the social order. The idea that the law of Moses can, will, or should become the rule of law prior to Christ’s return is Biblically unfounded. Totally depraved souls have no more ability to surrender to the Law culturally than they can do so soteriologically. Covenant theology’s understanding of prophecy invariably leads to the errors of Theonomy/Reconstructionism. It enmeshes the Church into power politics, and leads her to think that God has given her the power of the sword. This is an undesirable regression to “Christian” Europeanism.

Second, a covenant-theology view of prophecy encourages a superficial, double-standard hermeneutic. It is necessary to gloss over the details of prophetic texts in order to sustain Amillennialism. My own substantial exposure to Reformed literature over the years has given me the impression that Reformed writers (with notable exceptions) are strong on philosophy, creeds, and history, but very shallow on ordinary inductive exegesis. The very depths of exegetical oceans may be probed in a commentary on Romans, but prophetic passages such as the latter chapters in Isaiah are handled very lightly and superficially.

Doctrinal generalizations are spun out like web-strands from superficially examined texts. The rules and intensity of exegesis applied to II Corinthians are almost never applied to The Book of Zechariah. I say that the reason for this is that the standard rules for grammatical-historical exegesis, when applied to Old Testamental prophetic literature produces pre-millennialism. Since most Reformed writers have an a priori, creedal, and institutional commitment to Amillennialism, they will not exegetically “permit” a pre-millennial interpretive result to happen.

Third, a covenant-theology view of prophecy leads to an un-scriptural view of Satan’s current power. On one extreme we see the “power evangelist” literature, which is almost Zoroastrian in the formidable powers it attributes to the Devil. In the Reformed camp we see not a naturalistic world view (the silly, glib slander which the Vineyard and other Third Wavers use to characterize their critics), but a theological underestimation of Satan’s contemporary abilities. Covenant theology teaches that Satan is “bound” right now – this is their allegorical interpretation of Rev. 20:1-3. Imagine the implications which that assumption would have upon your views of sanctification. Christian counseling? Missions in pagan nations?

Full Preterists believe that all Bible prophecy is history; that most of it took place in 70 AD with the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. They suggest the Tribulation was the persecution of the saints and Nero was the antichrist. At the heart of the doctrine is that prophecy was declared and destined to be fulfilled within the generation of Messiah, Yeshua’s earthly ministry. All references in the Bible to the “last days” refer to the “last days” of Israel, which means that today Israel supposedly has no more relevance than the lost continent of Atlantis. The “New Jerusalem” is the Church now and forever, according to Preterists.

According to full preterism, AD70 was the end of the old age (‘this age’) and the start of the ‘age to come’. The world which followed AD70 was fundamentally changed, according to the power and glory of the coming of Christ at the fall of Jerusalem. Accordingly, AD70 was not only the end of Old Testament Judaism, but it was also the end of the revelation of Christianity as seen in the New Testament. Those who lived before AD70 could only ‘see in part’ and such, lacking the resurrection and redemptive blessings which supposedly came only when Herod’s Temple in Jerusalem fell. This is contrary to John’s recording of Jesus seeing that ‘all things had been fulfilled’ and “It is finished” at the cross (Jn 19) – not 40 years later.

Partial Preterists

Partial Preterist’s are divided into historicist’s and futurist’s. A Partial Preterist place’s the Second Coming or Parousia (A day of the Lord) at the destruction of the temple – this is seen metaphorically, while placing the last day (second physical literal return or The Day of the Lord) resurrection, and the judgment / harvest in the future. Partial Preterists are often accused of declaring 3 comings of Messiah (the 1st; during His earthly ministry, the 2nd; during His parousia, and the 3rd; at His literal second coming, set in the future). The division of this is as follows…The following is taken from PreteristArchive.com…

Historical Preterism (HP/Futurists)

A) Umbrella term covering all those who believe that only a slight amount of Bible prophecy was totally fulfilled in the early centuries of the Christian era. Determined by looking at where authors find a “transition” from the past to the future using the Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24/25 and the Apocalypse of John.

B) This class has roots dating back to the first century, such as in the writings of Barnabus and Clement, and finds greater development in the writings of Justin Martyr and Eusebius. The Catholic and Orthodox churches maintained HP through the Middle Ages. Today’s contemporary forms were largely developed in the writings of Calvin, Luther, Grotius and Lightfoot.

C) Teaches that some of the Bible’s eschatology was fulfilled by AD70, but that a large portion is yet to be fulfilled at the “last day.” Transitions in the Middle of Matthew 24, or in the Middle of the Apocalypse of John.

Differs from Full Preterism in that…

A) It does not make the Parousia,- appearing, the General Judgment, nor the General Resurrection events solely of the past.

B) According to known literature, this class emerged during the Reformation or Counter Reformation and can be seen in a fully developed form at the beginning of the 17th century in the writings of the Jesuit Alcasar — although many believe that the “Preterist Assumption” seen throughout church history reveals the ancient and medieval equivalents of the Modern Preterist view. (systematized the most notably perhaps in 310 by Eusebius in “Theophany”). This classification includes many who were formerly classified as partial preterists (such as Gary DeMar and Dr. John Brown of Edinburgh) — as their views are a much more complete presentation of the prophetic fulfillment than those classified in Historical Preterism.

C) Teaches that the bulk of Bible eschatology has sole application to ancient Israel, but that some regards the “last day” – sometimes that “end” being personal, not historical, in nature. Transitions somewhere in Matthew 25, or near the end of the Apocalypse of John.

End of Citation.

Let us now consider some vital questions regarding this supposition. Since I lean, or to the very least, favor Full Preterism from the ontological point of view, (at least for the moment) I have selected questions that pertain to the consummation of all things, the end of sin, and everlasting righteousness. As such, these questions do not cover events leading up to 70 AD, such as; topics concerning the Antichrist, the tribulation, the two witnesses, etc, of which is believed by both parties (Full and Partial Preterists) to have all transpired already. But instead, I will cover only the questions that arise among believers concerning what happened during and after , beginning with the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

The questions will be grouped by topics. The questions that are asked are pretty basic and fundamental in nature. Each question is followed by a Full Preterist response. I will provide comparative answers to such, but only as a collected whole-meaning, I will group a plausible answer for each question asked but only once per topic. Therefore, we will have thus…The Questions from an outsider‘s perspective, The Full Preterist response, and Plausible Alternative answers by Myself.

Also it must be noted that while we indulge in such questions, let us not jump the gun; as to accuse the study of any preconceived theologies of thought. If you see something that causes a red flag, do not jump to conclusions concerning such. Believe me, all will be dealt with; and the greatest of all that will be dealt with is the date of the Revelation and Daniels prophecy of the Seventy Weeks – which will be conducted in another study series. upon this, all views; be it Futurism in general or Full Preterism, hang’s in the balance.

Let us now consider some of these questions…The following questions are taken from PreteristCosmos.com

Topic 1: Evil, Suffering, Death

A. Question: Is God not concerned with the evil in the world like famine, wars, disease, environmental damage, etc.? Preterism teaches that the Kingdom is already here in its fullness. So this is the fulfillment? Why would God create a world that will never be rid of sin and suffering? Optimists say that this is the best of all possible worlds. Some futurists say that this is the best way of becoming the best of all possible worlds – which I find tenable through the eyes of faith. What do preterists say about the world? Will injustice and suffering go on forever?

Preterist Answer: First, most Christians believe in eternal, or everlasting, punishment. Even if we propose that it is the Devil and “the beast and the false prophet” (Rev. 20:10) who are the only ones who suffer eternally, that would still add up to a cosmos wherein sin and suffering continue forever and ever. To have planet Earth free from sin and suffering while sin and suffering continue elsewhere for eternity (“the lake of fire”) does not solve the philosophical problem of the existence of sin and suffering. Therefore the idea of a universe in which sin and suffering continue for eternity is not at all a uniquely preterist problem. Unless you are a Universalist or an annihilationist, it seems that your objection may have more to do with the locale of sin and suffering than with the existence of sin and suffering.

It is true that preterists (or at least most preterists) see no prophecy in the Bible which says or implies that every individual on planet Earth will one day be absolutely and literally and in every sense free from all sin and suffering. In fact, preterists see verses that indirectly say that the existence of sin will continue “forever.” Here are some of those verses:

Ps. 110:4: “Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”

Since Christ is a Priest on behalf of sinners “forever,” we can infer that sinners will exist on earth “forever” to enjoy the ministry of forgiveness of sins in Christ.

Rev. 14:6: “…the Everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth…” (Rev. 14:6).

Since the Gospel, which is for sinners that dwell on the earth, is “everlasting,” we can infer that sinners will be born on earth everlastingly to enjoy the blessings of the Gospel.

In Rev. 22:2, on “the new earth,” we see “the Tree of life” that yields fruit every month, the “leaves” of which are “for the healing of the nations” (Rev. 22:2). This teaches us that in the new earth, “the nations” are in need of continual healing.

We must also infer from the above verses that the continued existence of sin in the “new earth” in no way implies the victory of sin. Nor does the continued existence of sin in the universe at all imply a “stalemate” between righteousness and sin. If it did, then we would be forced to say that God has as of yet won zero decisive victories over sin (except in Christ Himself), since sin still exists. The idea that the existence of sin in the universe implies the non-victory of righteousness in the universe is an existential philosophy that devalues all that has thus far been wrought by the death and resurrection of Christ.

It seems that many cannot be satisfied with anything less than a literal utopia that is characterized by absolute “behavioral errorlessness” throughout the entire universe (except for in the lake of fire). But does the existence of sin on Earth really imply an un-done-ness of God’s purposes? God says that He created “vessels of wrath fitted to destruction” in order “that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy.” Although sin exists, God is victorious over sin every day: “Every morning I will destroy all the wicked of the Land, so as to cut off from the city of the Lord all those who do iniquity” (Ps. 101:8).

God’s “created order” is certainly not “the best of all possible worlds” for the unbelieving (if we define “best” as what best contributes to their blessedness and success). But it is the best of all possible worlds, “to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

Now, to narrow in on our question, “What do Preterists say about the world?”

In view of the fact that God said His creation is “very good,” and remembering that God promised to never again curse the ground or destroy mankind as He promised after the Flood, we cannot possibly expect that God will bring a cataclysmic judgment to end the generations of mankind. It should further come as no surprise to find that the Scriptures tell us that the kingdom, and the generations of man, and the earth itself are all to continue “forever” (Ps. 104:5; 145:13; Eccl. 1:4; Dan. 4:3,34; 7:14,18,27; Lk. 1:33; Eph. 3:21).

Whether or not “forever” is literally infinite aeons or indefinite aeons with a theoretical end, it is still as far into the future as the Bible goes. The Bible says nothing of a termination to the forever-ness of Christ’s kingdom on Earth. We can biblically say nothing about a “post-Christian age,” because there is no such thing.

Some will say that if this is the case, if history is to continue indefinitely with the existence of sin and with no “Second Coming” to bring it to a termination, then that must mean that mankind is stuck in a “status quo” a cycle of endless, “go-no-where” history. But to see that history cannot be so characterized in the preterist view, we need only consider the conquering nature of Christ’s kingdom.

The Bible describes the Kingdom of Christ on earth as a kingdom that will increase until it covers “the whole earth” “as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:9; Dan 2:35; cf. Matt. 13:33). According to the Scriptures, it will increase on earth until all of God’s enemies are “under His feet” (I Cor. 15:25). The Scriptures further say that the Kingdom will bring blessing to “all the families of the earth” (Gen. 12:3; Ps. 22:7); to “all the nations” (Matt. 28:19; Ps. 72:17; Ps. 86:9); to “all men” (Isa. 66:23), even to “the very ends of the earth” (Ps. Ps. 2:8; 22:27; 72:8; Isa. 11:9; Zech. 9:10; Acts 1:8; 13:47).

Though (full) preterists see the above “dominion verses” as being fulfilled in 70 (and so interpret the verses synecdochically and hyperbolically), preterists necessarily infer from those passages what is the divine character/nature of the Church. The above descriptions demonstrates the Church’s first-century victory in the world in which it also invariable demonstrates the Church’s progressive dominion throughout history. The Church did not stop being the Church after it was established in 70. Rather, it was born conquering, it was established conquering and it forever conquers to the glory of Christ! As the Scriptures teach:

“May his name endure forever; May his name increase as long as the sun shines.” (Ps. 72:17).

“There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore.” (Isa. 9:7).

Yet futurists ask incredulously, “Toward what is history progressing if sin continues to exist and history is not going to end?”

The goal is none other than that the elect of every generation hear the gospel and that all who trust in the sin-atoning blood of Christ attain unto that for which mankind was created: To love God with all his heart, soul and mind, and his neighbor as himself (Matt. 22:37-39; Mk. 12:30-31; Lk. 10:27-28). We must not think that the continued existence of sin on earth invalidates the possibility or the perfection of the realization of that goal.

Preterists do not know future events, but they are fully confident in the fact that whatever the conquering Savior pleases to do, He does, on earth as in heaven (Ps. 135:6). And when they consider the divine eternality of the Church on earth and her progressive divine dominion, we know that her future, and hence the future of humanity, will be filled to overflowing with innumerable blessings which are even now utterly impossible for us to grasp. What wonders will God work in and through His more-than-conquering Church after 10,000 years, or after 1,000,000 years of victory? Only God can know (Eccl. 3:11).

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, unto him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Eph. 3:20-21).

B. Question: Doesn’t the existence of sin and of God’s enemies on Earth show that we are in a worse state today than before the Fall?

Preterist Answer: Before “the Fall,” there was the Enemy, and people who did not have eternal life, and who were vulnerable to Death under a covenant of works.

Now because of the Cross and the Parousia of Christ, the Accuser is dead. We have been redeemed and forgiven, and have unbreakable fellowship with God. We are invulnerable to Death. (Rev. 2:11) Unlike Adam and Eve in the Garden, we have been “blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). Our “state” is far better than was the state of man before the Fall.

The existence of God’s enemies outside of the Church in Rev. 22:15 does not make the perfection of Rev. 21-22 “a worse state” than that which existed in Gen. 1-2. Even the “dogs” are put on Earth according to God’s purpose, (I Peter 2:8) for His glory, and for the eternal good of His Church:

“The Lord has made everything for its own purpose, even the wicked for the day of evil.” (Prov. 16:4)

“What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so in order that He might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.” (Rom. 9:22-24)

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)

C. Question: In Revelation it says that, “God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes.” How is this fulfilled?

Preterist Answer: “They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; neither shall the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne shall be their Shepherd, and shall guide them to springs of the water of life; and God shall wipe every tear from their eyes.” (Rev. 7:16-17)

“And God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no longer; nor mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things passed away.” (Rev. 21:4)”And there shall no longer be any curse.” (Rev. 22:3) Before the Advent of the Savior, God’s servants were under the curse of the Law. (I Cor. 15:56; Gal. 3:13) Though God had blessed them in many ways, they were ultimately alienated from Him, and cried out to Him with tears as they wandered through a sun-scorched “wilderness” of sin and condemnation:

“Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry. Do not be silent at my tears. For I am a stranger with You, a sojourner like all my fathers.” (Ps. 39:12)

The Savior wiped away the tears of His saints when He forever wiped away their sin and condemnation and saved them from Death. (Acts 3:19; Col. 2:14; Heb. 2:15; 5:7) In His Presence, His children no longer mourn for their perpetual sin and condemnation before Him. No longer do they hunger and thirst for want of Christ’s Righteousness. (Matt. 5:6; Jn. 6:35) No longer do they wander in the desert wilderness, longing to enter into His Rest. (Heb. 4; 11:13-16)

No longer do they suffer the pain (sting) of Death. (Acts 2:24; I Cor. 15:55-56; Heb. 2:15)
In the new heavens and earth, the Lamb is our Shepherd, so that there is no more outcry for salvation from sin and Death. For He leads us to the springs of living water (Jn. 4:10; 7:38) under the shade of the Tree of Life. In Him, there is “no longer any curse”:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ.” (Eph. 1:3)

D. Question: God tells us in Isa. 65:20 that there will come a time when there will be no more infant deaths, a time when a hundred years old will be considered young. Obviously, Isaiah was talking about a time in our future (the Millennium) when people will have longer life spans than we have now. As a preterist, how do you get around the plain and obvious teaching of Isa. 65:20?

Preterist Answer:”There shall no longer be thence an infant of days, nor an old man who has not filled his days: for the child will die a hundred years old; but the sinner being a hundred years old will be accursed.” (Isa. 65:20) If we interpret this verse as a promise of biological longevity, we are faced with a contradiction:

1. “There shall no longer be…an old man who has not filled his days.”
2. “The child will die a hundred years old.”

If a hundred years old will be the age of a child, and if there will be children who will die at that age, then those children will not grow old and fill their days. Yet Isaiah says that everyone will grow old and fill their days. These two promises cannot both be literally true.

This apparent contradiction can only be resolved when we interpret Isa. 65:20 in its context, which is a prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem (in A.D. 70), and the coming of the New Jerusalem (the Church in the New Covenant world) and her spiritual children (believers). In light of this context, we should expect to see Isaiah speaking of eternal, spiritual life, and not of biological longevity. Here is a summary interpretation of Isaiah chapter 65. Verse 1a: The coming in of the gentiles through the Gospel. (This verse is quoted in Rom. 10:20, and establishes the first-century context of Isaiah 65.) Verses 1b-5: God’s indictment of Gospel-resisting Israel. The sins of their fathers to be repaid into their bosoms. (This was fulfilled in Christ’s generation, at the destruction of Jerusalem / “Babylon,” according to Matt. 23:35; Rev. 18:24) Verses 6-7: God’s promise of vengeance against His rebellious nation. (This was fulfilled in the Great Tribulation that was consummated in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, according to Lk. 21:22ff) Verse 8-16a: Four contrasts between the chosen remnant and God’s enemies:

Thus the Remnant

1. Inherit the Promise (Heb. 12:22; Rev. 21:7-10)
2. Eat and drink (Matt. 5:6; Lk. 6:21; Jn. 4:13-15; Rev. 7:16-17)
3. Rejoicing (Lk. 6:21,13,23)
4. Called by God’s name (Acts 15:14; II Thess. 1:12; I Peter 4:14; Rev. 2:17; 3:12; 14:1; 22:4)

While the Enemies

1. Slaughtered with the sword (Lk. 21:24)
2. Hunger and thirst (Lk. 6:25; Jn. 6:35)
3. Shame, mourning, broken heart (Lk. 6:25; Rev. 3:18; 16:15)
4. Name left for a curse. (Mal. 4:16; Gal. 3:10; Rev. 14:11; 19:3)

Verses 16a-19: God’s promise to abolish the former things, i.e., the terrible curses that came upon His nation because of their perpetual sin under the old covenant (See the four points under “ENEMIES” above.), and to create a New Covenant world (a New Heavens and a New Earth; a New Jerusalem where there would no longer be any mourning for the nation because of God’s curse upon it).

Verse 20: In the New Covenant world, the sons of the New Jerusalem never die, neither as a result of a weak birth (I Peter 1:23) nor as a result of old age. They all have life, and have it abundantly. (Jn. 10:10) Even if they die at the age of one hundred, they are but youths (Ps. 103:5; II Cor. 4:16; Eph. 4:23; Col. 3:10), and they live on. (Jn. 11:25) But those outside the City, even if they live to be a hundred years old, are accursed. (Compare Rev. 21:6-8.)

Verse 21-23: Under the old covenant, God sent foreign nations to conquer and destroy His sinful nation, so that the works of His people were done in vain. In the New Covenant world, His people will never be cursed by Him, or conquered or destroyed by another nation. They will never be plundered of the fruits of their labors (Rev. 14:13). They are established as a tree. (Ps. 1:3; 52:8-9) Throughout every generation, they outlive their works. (In other words, believers have eternal life.)

Verses 24-25: God brought all of this into being by His election of grace. Through the Gospel, He made peace where there was enmity, having brought His enemies into His fold. (Rom. 5:21; Col. 1:21) He made an end to war in His Kingdom, having replaced the warring hearts of His enemies with hearts of gentleness and servant hood. And those who resisted His Kingdom to the end, He put to shame through the sin-forgiving grace and world-conquering power of His Gospel. (Micah 7:15-18; I Cor. 1:27; Titus 2:8; I Peter 3:16; I Jn. 2:28; 5:4; Rev. 3:18; 16:15)

The next verses of Isaiah, to the end of the book, continue the themes of the creation of the Church and the destruction of the city and sanctuary in A.D. 70. Isa. 65:20 does not speak of an alleged “millennial longevity.” That doctrine is not only foreign to the surrounding context, but it is also foreign to any other text in the whole of Scripture.

Isa. 65:20 foreshadows the Gospel: All who are in Christ have incorruptible life. Even if we die physically at the ripe old age of a hundred, we are yet young. But the one who rejects the work of the Savior (Isa. 53:5,8,10) cannot escape the curse of death, even if he should live to be a hundred years old.

E. Question: Why is death considered to be an enemy and how can it be destroyed, if it is the only gate of blessedness? (1 Cor. 15:26)

Preterist Answer: Physical death is, as you said, a “gate of blessedness” for those who are in Christ. (Rev. 14:13) But it was not always such a “gate” for God’s children. Before Christ came, physical death was a gate to Hades. (Matt. 16:18)

Hades was a mysterious place (or state) that the saints dreaded. (Heb. 2:15) They feared the other side of this life because they were still dead in their sins, under the power of the devil. (Heb. 2:14) Death in sin (spiritual death) made physical death a thing of futility / vanity for the saints of old. Because their sins were not yet done away in Christ, physical death for them was a cutting off from the covenant- and worship-community, and a loss of all the works they had done.Thus the ultimate Enemy of the people before the Advent of Christ was the Death of Adam, which was alienation from God through sin. (Gen. 2:17)

In the redeemed Kingdom today, there is “no more Death.” (Rev. 21:4) It was utterly destroyed, along with the Devil, through the Atonement (the Cross and the Parousia) of Christ.

Though believers continue to die physically, they never die in sin; (Jn. 11:26) they never become separated from the City of God; and they never lose the fruit of their labors, because there is now no condemnation for us who are in Christ. And so, because of the destruction of the Adamic Death, physical death itself is now become a “gate to blessedness” (i.e., a “gate” to eternal rewards for our works in Christ).

Because of the age-changing work of the Life-Giving Spirit (in A.D. 30-70), all of the saints in Heaven and on Earth (from Adam to the present day) are resurrected and alive in the Kingdom of God. We are no longer alienated, but we are one in Him, “Who died for us, that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him.” (I Thess. 5:10; cf. Eph. 1:10)

“Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your victory? O Hades, where is your sting?” (I Cor. 15:54,55)

F. Question: The prophets predicted peace in the Kingdom after the coming of the Messiah. If the Messiah has come, and if the Church is the Kingdom, then why has the Church been fragmented and divided for centuries? Fragmentation and division is not “peace.” Something is very wrong here, wouldn’t you say?

Preterist Answer: “Something is very wrong here” if the prophecies of the Kingdom are interpreted using a wooden or nationalistic literalism, and if we thus expect to see “world peace,” or perfect ecclesiastical harmony after the Parousia.

The fragmented and divided Church (i.e., the “visible Church,” which includes false believers) is not the Kingdom that God purged in A.D. 70. (Matt. 13:41; Rev. 21:27) His Kingdom is “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 14:17) It is the fellowship of true believers who love one another in Christ. (Heb. 8:11; I Jn. 4:12) It is “Christ in you.” (Lk. 17:21; Col. 1:27)

The “peace” of His Kingdom is primarily the peace we have “with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” (Rom. 5:1) and the absence of the “wall of partition” that divided the elect before the Advent of the Son. (Eph. 2:14) The Kingdom is not a wooden or nationalistic fulfillment of the prophets. It is the great Mystery that the prophets described, as it were, from behind a veil.

This is not to say that God cares only about the Kingdom (or the “invisible Church”) and has no concern about the peace of the “visible Church.” Though the “visible Church” and the Kingdom are distinct, they are not separate. As the Kingdom increases and does its healing work, the “visible Church” reforms and more faithfully reflects the Kingdom, to the glory of God.

If we are troubled by a perceived lack of progress in the historic, “visible Church,” we should remember that in the preterist worldview we are still in the early days “of the increase of His Government.” (Isa. 9:7) We are still in the early stages of “the healing of the nations.” (Rev. 22:2) In a very real sense, the New Covenant Church has only just begun. Therefore, to be skeptical of the Presence of Christ now because of the Church’s sins is not only short-sighted, but it is an unrighteous judgment by appearance. (Jn. 7:24)

Though the “visible Church” has been fragmented for centuries, there are better days and better millennia ahead, as God illumines the hearts of His saints in every generation, (Eph. 1:18) and as the Church continually reforms in doctrine and in practice, and as the Kingdom continually spreads and transforms mankind throughout history. What was true of the Kingdom in the 1st century is equally true today:

“…God…always leads us in triumph in Christ… The weapons of our warfare are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” (II Cor. 2:14; 10:4-5). Not even the “visible church,” with its multitude of sins, and its multitude of conflicting doctrines and traditions, can withstand the onslaught of God’s ever-increasing Kingdom. In time, by the grace and power of God, the historic Church, united in truth, will follow the example of the saints of that eschatological generation, and will obey the divine exhortation:

“that you all agree, and there be no divisions among you, but you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.” (I Cor. 1:10)

G. Question: If Jesus has already returned then why is it that it seems as though the world is going in the direction of a one world government?

Preterist Answer: Let’s say that in the year 2012 the world becomes “One Government,” and let’s say that this “One Government” cruelly persecutes Christians.

Would these events indicate that preterism is false? No. Why not? Because in the preterist view of Scripture and history, every Christ-hating empire is destined to fall in the course of history. It is either destroyed or it gradually disintegrates. Evil empires, no matter how powerful they become, are little more than a pack of mad dogs outside the eternal City of the great King. (Ps. 48:2-8; Rev. 22:15)

Zech. 14:16-18 refers directly to every person and nation that refuses to worship Christ in the years following the Parousia in 70AD:

“Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, there will be no rain on them. And if the family of Egypt does not go up or enter, then no rain will fall on them; it will be the plague with which the Lord smites the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths.” (Zech. 14:16-18)

After the Coming of the Messiah (Zech. 14:5) and the eternal establishment of the New Jerusalem, (Zech. 14:11) there have been “families of the earth” that do not worship the King, the Lord of hosts. What happens to these “Egyptians” today, among whom God does not dwell? According to the Scriptures, they have “no rain.”

They need to hear and obey Hosea 10:12:

“Sow with a view to righteousness. Reap in accordance with kindness. Break up your fallow ground. For it is time to seek the Lord Until He comes to rain righteousness on you.” (Hosea 10:12; cf. 6:3)

Today, in the Messianic (Christian) Age, God’s enemies –individuals and states– have “no rain.” They “lick the dust.” (Ps. 72:9) They are on the “outside.” They rise for a season, but they soon vanish like a vapor. Their goals are sheer futility. (Eccl. 1:2)

Where is the Assyrian Empire today? The Babylonian Empire? The Egyptian Empire? The Grecian Empire? The Ottoman Empire? The Persian Empire? The Roman Empire? The Nazi Empire? The Soviet Empire?

They are all licking the dust. They had no rain and they perished, because they were not founded on the imperishable Word of Christ. And it will be the same for any other empire in our future that rises up against Jesus, the King of kings.

In contrast to those empires, where is the Church?

She is ever-increasing, (Ps. 72:17; 115:14; Isa. 9:7; Jn. 3:30) and has been perpetually worshiping the Father and the Lamb for almost 2,000 years now. We will continue to serve God, and to have peace and fellowship with Him without interruption, “to all generations forever and ever” (Eph. 3:21) – no matter what cruelties an evil empire or religious institution might inflict upon us for a moment in history. (II Cor. 4:17)

“Let them fear You while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations. May He come down like rain upon the mown grass, like showers that water the Earth. In His days may the righteous flourish, and abundance of peace till the moon is no more. May He also rule from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. Let the nomads of the desert bow before Him; And His enemies lick the dust.” (Ps. 72:5-9)

Alternative Answer

To answer the given response’s from the preterist, one must understand the doctrine or principle of evil or the study of such, as taken from various ideologies and religious concepts. When this is done, one can under stand the nature and course of evil, suffering, pain, wars, famine, disease, and death. This understanding will help answer all the questions as posed in ‘questions A – G.

According to question ‘A’, the Preterists see verses that indirectly say that the existence of sin will continue “forever.” With this taken into consideration, does the idea of the eternality of sin/evil lead to Dualism and “Manicheanism”….Not quite….According to the teaching, a dualist teaches that good and evil are co-eternal (i.e., from eternity past), and are therefore co-equal. In dualism, good and evil are “equal and opposite forces.”

The ancient Manicheans resolved the dualistic conflict by having good and evil eternally separated at a futuristic “eschaton.” Many Fundamentalist’s see the same basic futurology as the Manicheans did. For most futurists, whether Manichean dualists, Premillennialists, Postmillennialists, the story is the same: A radical discontinuity brought about by a universal conflagration, followed by absolute errorlessness in every sense of the word.

As we know, preterists do not believe in the “past eternality of evil” (dualism), neither the does the Fundamentalist. Yet they both believe in the “future eternality of evil”. The Fundamentalist views the future eternality of evil somewhere in the cosmos, while Full Preterists believe it to be a condition on Earth. Preterism could be considered “dualism” in an operational sense if preterism also maintained that sin is equal (“parallel”) to righteousness, and that sin and righteousness are in a cosmic “stalemate.”

However, that is simply not the preterist view of sin, or of history. Nor can it be. For Scripture explicitly teaches the indication of moral ethic’s:

There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore…(Isa. 9:7) Isaiah taught the eternally increasing victory of the Kingdom in history. This is sheer preterism. The Scriptural teaching of the never-ending increase of Christ’s government on Earth in history is not “dualism.”

You will also note the word justice is found in the text – why is this so? Justice indicates the existence of good and evil. The definition of justice according to Webster’s New Riverside Dictionary means – Moral rightness, equity, fairness, the administration and procedure of law, and lastly a Judge. Therefore, something must still exist to substantiate the simile of the line as in Plato’s metaphysical scheme. Therefore upon this, I do agree with the Preterists in maintaining that evil may exist in the millennium age (whether it be a literal 1000 years or ages upon ages), the reality and healing of the nations will exist. But to what extent does it continue?

Furthermore, the notion that “preterism = dualism and thus = Manichaeism,” can not be the case. If this be so – it is traditional Christianity that may be at fault here. Since the problem of evil rest not upon the eternality of polar opposites, as seen by the Manicheans, for that will entail something that existed out side the omnipotence of God, the problem rests rather in the foreknowledge of the Divine Will.

Allow me to explain: According to Christian Fundamentalists, the origin of evil is to be found in the world of angels. God created them in time immemorial, as personal and immaterial beings endowed with freewill. They were created ex nihilo, the same way as the material universe, and thus have a nature different from God’s. These beings have minds (Acts 12:7-10, 1 Pet 1:12), feelings (Lk 15:10), and wills (Jude 6) and are not limited by a physical body. Their number was very large and there was a hierarchy among them (Heb 12:22). Evil appeared in the world of angels when Lucifer, one of God’s cherubs, rebelled against this order. In the book of the prophet Ezekiel we can read the following metaphorical description of this incident: “You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings” (Ezek 28:15-17). This angel, who became Satan (“adversary”) out of Lucifer (“angel of light”), was expelled from heaven together with all the others who joined him in his act of rebellion. The cause of his fall was pride, the desire to be independent from God, to refuse submission and inferiority to God. Lucifer wanted to be by himself more than his created status could permit him.

Satan’s fall couldn’t have occurred without a real freedom of choice. He had the ability to choose either to obey God and recognize Him as the ground of his being, or to follow a selfish way and seek auto-determination. His choice for the second alternative constitutes the origin of evil in the universe. Therefore, evil is not created by God, but is a perversion of his creation, a result of using freewill against the very purpose it was created for, against free – willed obedience to God in a communion relation based on love. In order to have this kind of perfect communion with the creator, a personal being needs the possibility to choose it freely. This is why God allows starvation, disease, murder, war, and all other evils in our world to exist. Although such facts constitute reasons for atheism, they represent the cost of preserving our (misused) freewill. However, evil was not intended by God and is not linked to the essence of God and creation. The destiny of Satan and demons is that of spiritual death, of irrevocable separation from the Source in which they should have found their fulfillment. This is hell, the realm where they are granted the liberty to eternally renew their wish to exist “by themselves.” The doctrine of hell, as horrifying as it looks to be, points to the fact that evil has an end, that it has limited temporal power and influence in God’s creation.

A few comments on the alleged illusory status of evil must be added here. To what extent can evil be termed as illusory? Is it in terms of absolute existence? – Terms that characterize only God’s being? I say nay. We know that evil, cannot exist by itself. This is what the Church Fathers meant by the fact that evil is without substance, reality, being or existence. For instance, in his writing ‘On the Incarnation of the Word’, Ch. 1, Athanasius says that “God alone exists, evil is non-being”. This is not an affirmation of the illusory status of evil, but an ontological perspective on the fallen state of God’s creatures that lost communion with God. The context of his words is as follows: “For the transgression of the commandment was making them turn back again according to their nature; and as they had at the beginning come into being out of non-existence, so were they now on the way to returning, through corruption, to non-existence again. The presence and love of the Word had called them into being; inevitably, therefore when they lost the knowledge of God, they lost existence with it; for it is God alone Who exists, evil is non-being, the negation and antithesis of good”.

This particular view point negates the glory of the Gospel and rob’s Christ of His accomplished mission. And it is found wanting. It begs to ask the question ‘How’. How did the Devil rebel, if all things were created good? For it is written “He came to destroy the works of the Devil”. If this thesis is correct, then Christ did not destroy the works of the Devil, since it is stated that he was destroyed already.

The majority of believers who see two separate forces at work—are all dualistic in nature (Zoroastrianism, Marcionism, Gnosticism, Manicheism, Bogomilism, Catharism, Judaism, and Christianity). Yes, I include Christianity due to its mainstream traditional view that “Something” existed outside of God Himself, namely “rebellion”, as found in the story of the fallen angel. If this viewpoint of traditional Christianity is not considered dualism, then I don’t know what is!

Notice carefully what Isaiah says, or rather, what God Himself says through Isaiah. “I form the light and create darkness.” God did not necessarily create light, because light was always in being, since God Himself is light (1 Jn 1:5). The light in reference to Genesis is the light of the universe, of which God created from Himself. Thus, creating the darkness (space) from the light, as we see it today (Gen 1:3-4). He had to create darkness because darkness was something that was not originally in being, but had to be brought into being so that the light could be appreciated. If we never experienced the darkness we would never know the light, we would take it for granted like the air we breathe. It is only when the air becomes foul that we really appreciate what fresh air is. Similarly, God says, “I make peace and create evil,” Peace did not need to be created since it was always there where God was. But, evil had to be created in order that good could be understood.

Evil is a necessity in God’s purpose for good to be appreciated. Moreover, that is why God created evil. But not only do we learn from the Scriptures that God created evil, but we also learn that sometimes He does evil. Now this may startle some until the facts are fully considered. We are so accustomed to the idea that God always does good (much like the atheist above). The Bible insists that God always does right; He cannot sin, He cannot commit iniquity. Abraham, you remember, put the question, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen 18:25). But, it is sometimes right to do evil that good may follow. When a parent punishes a child, for instance, he does evil to that child in order that the good may ensue and the child may be blessed. This is often so with God. He cannot sin, He cannot commit iniquity, (because He chooses not to), but He can do evil. God is not limited, such is the omnipotence of God. In the book of Jeremiah alone, there are more than thirty references to God either doing evil or repenting from evil which He had purposed doing, and there are similar passages in other books. For example, in (Jere 11:10), we read of Israel and Judah having broken the covenant which God had made with their fathers, and then comes this passage, “Thus saith the Lord, Behold I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape.” Notice that God does not say, “I will allow evil to come upon them,” but “I will bring evil upon them.”

The general pattern in Eastern religions is to consider evil as the effect of spiritual ignorance. The first noble truth proclaimed by the Buddha states that the only reality of human existence is the all-pervading reality of suffering. This perspective is valid for most of the Eastern religious thinkers that followed the period of the Upanishads. The only possibility of escaping suffering is to know (gnosis) the true nature of things and so to escape from the dominion of ignorance, karma and reincarnation. In the dualistic religions, evil is co-eternal with good. Matter and embodied existence are evil, and our ignorance keeps us from attaining perfection as angelic beings.

According to mainstream Christianity, evil is neither created, nor a natural, or necessary element. It is a parasite state that perpetuates itself by misusing God’s good resources and by following a wrong direction. It is the illness of beings that are no longer in communion with God. Therefore, world religions harmonize with each other in explaining the meaning of evil by the means of dualism. In the modern world of thought; via critics of religion, evil is an illusion similar to Freud’s, ‘The Ego’. However, this conclusion does not guarantee an answer to the word, ‘why’. For example, why do we base our lives and governments on a presumed injunction of what is good or evil, right or wrong, if such percepts did not emanate from some place else, or better yet, someone else? Therefore, evil being a concept created by God as the prerequisite of choosing between the knowledge of good and evil once had its purpose in the garden; Man failed. Those that know Christ do the will of the Father, for we no longer need the knowledge of good and evil, for we shall be as He is. This is further illustrated in the fact that only the tree of life is declared in Revelation, not the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, it is no where to be found in the scheme of things.

Moreover, darkness was a necessary element to comprehend the light of the universe as indicated above when stated that “God did not necessarily create light, because light was always in being, since God Himself is light (1 Jn 1:5). The light in reference to Genesis is the light of the universe, of which God created from Himself. Thus, creating the darkness (space) from the light, as we see it today (Gen 1:3-4). Therefore upon this, I do agree with the Preterists in maintaining that evil may exist in the millennium age (whether it be a literal 1000 years or ages upon ages), and also believe that the reality and healing of the nations will exist. But to what extent does it continue?

In sum, Preterists do not deny that preterism is a serious or major departure from the creeds. Yet most, not all Preterists still consider themselves to be members of the historic, Creedial Church. Why? Because Preterists deem creedial futurism to be a nonfatal historic error. Therefore, preterists do not call for creedial abandonment, but only creedial revision (of eschatological statements). Therefore, with this, I would ask you, “which is the better world”? A future world/cosmos fixed in which the concept of evil and its torments existing for all eternity, whether that eternity is achieved in this life or in the future judgment is of little concern – since the same result follows. And a cross that only served to save some, as seen by mainstream Christianity – unchanging, unredeemable, and unsalvageable? Or a present earthly world with no ending, (as seen by FP) filled with the concept of sin, or Plato’s simile, yet to be revealed; as Paul’s dark mirror demonstrates – but yet at the same time defeated by the cross and thus establishing eternal life or futility; which is ultimately achieved by death, when this mortal puts on immortality. I don’t know about you, but I would chose the latter. For it brings ultimate victory to Christ and the work of His cross! But the latter in which I have chosen to prefer incurs a paradox…the paradox of; “death and resurrection”. and the paradox of the role of Melchizedek.

In reference to death, it is written that “there shall be no death” However, according to Full Preterists, death is implied. For they must believe this, since their logic insists on a resurrection that has already past – via 70 AD. and in many cases stated as a material means of assessing and obtaining that eternal life. Some may argue this point by claiming that the Preterist believes death becomes a necessary means of salvation, NOT the particular death of Christ, therefore if this be the case, Christ died in vain. Moreover, the material (body) has become the way to this eternal life and NOT Christ or His glorified body, since Full Preterists believe that Christ no longer exists in the fleshly body in which they claimed was raised physically but was altered to a higher spiritual plateau at the ascension. This is the crust of the problem concerning Full Preterism. Some maintain that if these things are true, the grand doctrine of the Word or Logos is totally destroyed, while the title “The Son of Humanity” becomes meaningless. This is a valid argument per se. I have not met one Preterist that would even hint at such an supposition. In fact the opposite is true. They believe that Christ rose physically from the dead. They also believe they are ETERNAL NOW. This concept of eternal life is no different than the doctrine of positional sanctification as thought by mainstream Fundamentalism. For they teach that we have (present tense) ETERNAL LIFE. While the Calvinist teaches ‘Perseverance of the Saints’. Is this not the same thing? Yes it is. So therefore, why the sounding alarm of doubt and division concerning the Preterist on this position?

Yet upon further questioning; when asked what they believed concerning the status pertaining to what the Body of Christ is now, they would cite that it is Spirit. They would have to say this, since they believe that the resurrection took place in 70 AD. Therefore, we should have no false hope in a future bodily resurrection. But if this is the case, this destroys the very deity of Christ Jesus – which Paul claims dwells in bodily form – Col 2:9. The Greek word for bodily in this instance is ‘somatikos’ – which means corporeally or physically, moreover it used in the action sense – meaning an on going reality/function. Furthermore it is cited in Hebrews 13:8 that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, Thus is the immutability of God who is the Christ, in bodily form, the eternal Emmanuel (Matt 1:23).

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