Posted By Thomas Perez. February 22, 2011 at 7:38pm. Copyright 2011.
Continued From Part 2 – A
I recently saw a blog containing some citations from our Ante-Nicene Fathers indicating their alleged belief in Full Preterism. However, upon an unbiased full examination into their writings from various books, essays, articles, and other resources at my disposal; thus far this is far from the truth. I am not here to discourage anybody, but to simply say “Please don’t assume so much as to a particular paragraph as cited by such post Apostolic Church fathers”. For when such assumption is made, then cometh strange doctrines carried upon by every wind that bloweth .
I also find it rather odd that many within the camps of Full Preterism find it quite amusing when they cite only one or two paragraphs from early church fathers as a rebuttal against those who are sincere enough to read all of the treaties, works, and apologies by such notable adherents such as: Clement of Alexandria, Clement of Rome, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, etc. These notable one’s, according to what I have read and have concluded within the whole of their works; seem to indicate a form of Preterism, but upon further review of their works, I maintain that they were Partial Preterists, or as many would call it today Historical Preterists…For they all concluded that many eschatological events were of a future time frame or age.
Let us take a small look at their writings:
JUSTIN MARTYR – AD 110-165: WELL AFTER 70 AD
FROM JUSTIN MARTYRS’ FIRST APOLOGY
Chapter XVIII.-Proof of Demons – aka – spirits, Immortality and the Resurrection.
For reflect upon the end of each of the preceding kings, how they died the death common to all, which, if it issued in insensibility, would be a godsend to all the wicked. But since sensation remains to all who have ever lived, and eternal punishment is laid up (i.e., for the wicked), see that ye neglect not to be convinced, and to hold as your belief, that these things are true. For let even necromancy, and the divinations you practice by immaculate children and the evoking of departed human souls, and those who are called among the magi, Dream-senders and Assistant-spirits (Familiars and all that is done by those who are skilled in such matters-let these persuade you that even after death souls are in a state of sensation; and those who are seized and cast about by the spirits of the dead, whom all call demoniacs’ or madmen; and what you repute as oracles, both of Amphilochus, Dodana, Pytho, and as many other such as exist; and the opinions of your authors, Empedocles and Pythagoras, Plato and Socrates, and the pit of Homer and the descent of Ulysses to inspect these things, and all that has been uttered of a like kind. Such favor as you grant to these, grant also to us, who not less but more firmly than they believe in God; since we expect to receive again our own bodies, though they be dead and cast into the earth, for we maintain that with God nothing is impossible.
Chapter XIX.-The Resurrection Possible.
This citation speaks of a future resurrection.
And to any thoughtful person would anything appear more incredible, than, if we were not in the body, and some one were to say that it was possible that from a small drop of human seed bones and sinews and flesh be formed into a shape such as we see? For let this now be said hypothetically: if you yourselves were not such as you now are, and born of such parents [and causes], and one were to show you human seed and a picture of a man, and were to say with confidence that from such a substance such a being could be
produced, would you believe before you saw the actual production? No one will dare to deny [that such a statement would surpass belief]. In the same way, then, you are now incredulous because you have never seen a dead man rise again. But as at first you would not have believed it possible that such persons could be produced from the small drop, and yet now you see them thus produced, so also judge ye that it is not impossible that the bodies of men, after they have been dissolved, and like seeds resolved into earth, should in God’s appointed time rise again and put on incorruption. For what power worthy of God those imagine who say, that each thing returns to that from which it was produced, and that beyond this not even God Himself can do anything, we are unable to conceive; but this we see clearly, that they would not have believed it possible that they could have become such and produced from such materials, as they now see both themselves and the whole world to be. And that it is better to believe even what is impossible to our own nature and to men, than to be unbelieving like the rest of the world, we have learned; for we know that our Master Jesus Christ said, that “what is impossible with men is possible with God, and, “Fear not them that kill you, and after that can do no more; but fear Him who after death is able to cast both soul and body into hell. And hell is a place where those are to be punished who have lived wickedly, and who do not believe that those things which God has taught us by Christ will come to pass.
Chapter XLII.-Prophecy Using the Past Tense.
But when the Spirit of prophecy speaks of things that are about to come to pass as if they had already taken place,-as may be observed even in the passages already cited by me,-that this circumstance may afford no excuse to readers [for misinterpreting them], we will make even this also quite plain. The things which He absolutely knows will take place, He predicts as if already they had taken place. And that the utterances must be thus received, you will perceive, if you give your attention to them. The words cited above, David uttered 1500(87) years before Christ became a man and was crucified; and no one of those who lived before Him, nor yet of His contemporaries, afforded joy to the Gentiles by being crucified. But our Jesus Christ, being crucified and dead, rose again, and having ascended to heaven, reigned; and by those things which were published in His name among all nations by the apostles, there is joy afforded to those who expect the immortality promised by Him.
TERTULLIAN – AD 145-220 WELL AFTER AD70
TERTULLIANS ON THE FLESH OF CHRIST
Chapter X.-Another Class of Heretics Refuted. They Alleged that Christ’s Flesh Was of a Finer Texture, Animalist, Composed of Soul.
I now turn to another class, who are equally wise in their own conceit. They affirm that the flesh of Christ is composed of soul,(142) that His soul became flesh, so that His flesh is soul; and as His flesh is of soul, so is His soul of flesh. But here, again, I must have some reasons. If, in order to save the soul, Christ took a soul within Himself, because it could not be saved except by Him having, it within Himself, I see no reason why, in clothing Himself with flesh, He should have made that flesh one of soul,(143) as if He could not have saved the soul in any other way than by making flesh of it. For while He saves our souls, which are not only not of flesh,(144) but are even distinct from flesh, how much more able was He to secure salvation to that soul which He took Himself, when it was also not of flesh? Again, since they assume it as a main tenet,(145) that Christ came forth not to deliver the flesh, but only our soul, how absurd it is, in the first place, that, meaning to save only the soul, He yet made it into just that sort of bodily substance which He had no intention of saving! And, secondly, if He had undertaken deliver our souls by means of that which He carried, He ought, in that soul which He carried to have carried our soul, one (that is) of the same condition as ours; and whatever is the condition of our soul in its secret nature, it is certainly not one of flesh. However, it was not our soul which He saved, if His own was of flesh; for ours is not of flesh. Now, if He did not save our soul on the ground, that it was a soul of flesh which He saved, He is nothing to us, because He has not saved our soul. Nor indeed did it need salvation, for it was not our soul really, since it was, on the supposition,(146) a soul of flesh. But yet it is evident that it has been saved. Of flesh, therefore, it was not composed, and it was ours; for it was our soul that was saved, since that was in peril of damnation. We therefore now conclude that as in Christ the soul was not of flesh, so neither could His flesh have possibly been composed of soul.
TERTULLIANS ON THE RESURRECTION OF THE FLESH.
Chapter XVII.-The Flesh Will Be Associated with the Soul in Enduring the Penal Sentences of the Final Judgment.
“Every uneducated person who agrees with our opinion will be apt to suppose that the flesh will have to be present at the final judgment even on this account, because otherwise the soul would be incapable of suffering pain or pleasure, as being incorporeal; for this is the common opinion. We on our part, however, do here maintain, and in a special treatise on the subject prove, that the soul is corporeal, possessing a peculiar kind of solidity in its nature, such as enables it both to perceive and suffer. That souls are even now susceptible of torment and of blessing in Hades, though they are disembodied, and notwithstanding their banishment from the flesh, is proved by the case of Lazarus. I have no doubt given to my opponent room to say: Since, then, the soul has a bodily substance of its own, it will be sufficiently endowed with the faculty of suffering and sense, so as not to require the presence of the flesh. No, no, (is my reply): it will still need the flesh; not as being unable to feel anything without the help of the flesh, but because it is necessary that it should possess such a faculty along with the flesh. For in as far as it has a sufficiency of its own for action, in so far has it likewise a capacity for suffering. But the truth is, in respect of action, it labors under some amount of incapacity; for in its own nature it has simply the ability to think, to will, to desire, to dispose: for fully, carrying out the purpose, it looks for the assistance of the flesh. In like manner, it also requires the conjunction of the flesh to endure suffering, in order that by its aid it may be as fully able to suffer, as without its assistance it was not fully able to act. In respect, indeed, of those sins, such as concupiscence, and thought, and wish, which it has a competency of its own to commit, it at once(97) pays the penalty of them. Now, no doubt, if these were alone sufficient to constitute absolute desert without requiring the addition of acts, the soul would suffice in itself to encounter the full responsibility of the judgment, being to be judged for those things in the doing of which it alone had possessed a sufficiency. Since, however, acts too are indissolubly attached to deserts; since also acts are minister ally effected by the flesh, it is no longer enough that the soul apart from the flesh be requited with pleasure or pain for what are actually works of the flesh, although it has a body (of its own), although it has members (of its own), which in like manner are insufficient for its full perception, just as they are also for its perfect action. Therefore as it has acted in each several instance, so proportion ably does it suffer in Hades, being the first to taste of judgment as it was the first to induce to the commission of sin; but still it is waiting for the flesh in order that it may through the flesh also compensate for its deeds, inasmuch as it laid upon the flesh the execution of its own thoughts. This, in short, will be the process of that judgment which is postponed to the last great day, in order that by the exhibition of the flesh the entire course of the divine vengeance may be accomplished. Besides, (it is obvious to remark) there would be no delaying to the end of that doom which souls are already tasting in Hades, if it was destined for souls alone.
Chapter L.-In What Sense Flesh and Blood are Excluded from the Kingdom of God.
Putting aside, however, all interpretations of this sort, which criminate the works of the flesh and blood, it may be permitted me to claim for the resurrection these very substances, understood in none other than their natural sense. For it is not the resurrection that is directly denied to flesh and blood, but the kingdom of God, which is incidental to(368) the resurrection (for there is a resurrection of judgment(369) also); and there is even a confirmation of the general resurrection of the flesh, whenever a special one is excepted. Now, when it is clearly stated what the condition is to which the resurrection does not lead, it is understood what that is to which it does lead; and, therefore, whilst it is in consideration of men’s merits that a difference is made in their resurrection by their conduct in the flesh, and not by the substance thereof, it is evident even from this, that flesh and blood are excluded from the kingdom of God in respect of their sin, not of their substance; and although in respect of their natural condition(370) they will rise again for the judgment, because they rise not for the kingdom. Again, I will say, “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; “(371) and justly (does the apostle declare this of them, considered) alone and in themselves, in order to show that the Spirit is still needed (to qualify them) for the kingdom.(372) For it is “the Spirit that quickeneth” us for the kingdom of God; “the flesh profiteth nothing.”(373) There is, however, something else which can be profitable thereunto, that is, the Spirit; and through the Spirit, the works also of the Spirit. Flesh and blood, therefore, must in every case rise again, equally, in their proper quality. But they to whom it is granted to enter the kingdom of God, will have to put on the power of an incorruptible and immortal life; for without this, or before they are able to obtain it, they cannot enter into the kingdom of God. With good reason, then, flesh and blood, as we have already said, by themselves fail to obtain the kingdom of God. But inasmuch as “this corruptible (that is, the flesh) must put on incorruption, and this mortal (that is, the blood) must put on immortality,”(374) by the change which is to follow the resurrection, it will, for the best of reasons, happen that flesh and blood, after that change and investiture,(375) will become able to inherit the kingdom of God-but not without the resurrection. Some will have it, that by the phrase “flesh and blood,” because of its rite of circumcision, Judaism is meant, which is itself too alienated from the kingdom of God, as being accounted “the old or former conversation,” and as being designated by this title in another passage of the apostle also, who, “when it pleased God to reveal to him His Son, to preach Him amongst the heathen, immediately conferred not with flesh and blood,” as he writes to the Galatians,(376) (meaning by the phrase) the circumcision, that is to say, Judaism.
Chapter LII.-From St. Paul’s Analogy of the Seed We Learn that the Body Which Died Will Rise Again, Garnished with the Appliances of Eternal Life.
Let us now see in what body he asserts that the dead will come. And with a felicitous sally he proceeds at once to illustrate the point, as if an objector had plied him with some such question. “Thou fool,” says he, “that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die.”(391) From this example of the seed it is then evident that no other flesh is quickened than that which shall have undergone death, and therefore all the rest of the question will become clear enough. For nothing which is incompatible with the idea suggested by the example can possibly be understood; nor from the clause which follows, “That which thou sowest, thou sowest not the body which shall be,”(392) are you permitted to suppose that in the resurrection a different body is to arise from that which is sown in death. Otherwise you have run away from the example. For if wheat be sown and dissolved in the ground, barley does not spring up. Still it is not(393) the very same grain in kind; nor is its nature the same, or its quality and form. Then whence comes it, if it is not the very same? For even the decay is a proof of the thing itself, since it is the decay of the actual grain. Well, but does not the apostle himself suggest in what sense it is that “the body which shall be” is not the body which is sown, even when he says, “But bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain; but God giveth it a body as it pleases Him? “(394) Gives it of course to the grain which he says is sown bare. No doubt, you say. Then the grain is safe enough, to which God has to assign a body. But how safe, if it is nowhere in existence, if it does not rise again if it rises not again its actual self? If it rises not again, it is not safe; and if it is not even safe, it cannot receive a body from God. But there is every possible proof that it is safe. For what purpose, therefore, will God give it “a body, as it pleases Him,” even when it already has its own “bare” body, unless it be that in its resurrection it may be no longer bare? That therefore will be additional matter which is placed over the bare body; nor is that at all destroyed on which the superimposed matter is put,-nay, it is increased. That, however, is safe which receives augmentation. The truth is, it is sown the barest grain, without a husk to cover it, without a spike even in germ, without the protection of a bearded top, without the glory of a stalk. It rises, however, out of the furrow enriched with a copious crop, built up in a compact fabric, constructed in a beautiful order, fortified by cultivation, and clothed around on every side. These are the circumstances which make it another body from God, to which it is changed not by abolition, but by amplification. And to every seed God has assigned its own body(395) -not, indeed, its own in the sense of its primitive body-in order that what it acquires from God extrinsically may also at last be accounted its own. Cleave firmly then to the example, and keep it well in view, as a mirror of what happens to the flesh: believe that the very same flesh which was once sown in death will bear fruit in resurrection-life-the same in essence, only more full and perfect; not another, although reappearing in another form. For it shall receive in itself the grace and ornament which God shall please to spread over it, according to its merits. Unquestionably it is in this sense that he says, “All flesh is not the same flesh; “(396) meaning not to deny a community of substance, but a parity of prerogative,-reducing the body to a difference of honor, not of nature. With this view he adds, in a figurative sense, certain examples of animals and heavenly bodies: “There is one flesh of man” (that is, servants of God, but really human), “another flesh of beasts” (that is, the heathen, of whom the prophet actually says, “Man is like the senseless cattle”(397) ), “another flesh of birds” (that is, the martyrs which essay to mount up to heaven), “another of fishes” (that is, those whom the water of baptism has submerged).(398) In like manner does he take examples from the heavenly bodies: “There is one glory of the sun” (that is, of Christ), “and another glory of the moon” (that is, of the Church), “and another glory of the stars” (in other words, of the seed of Abraham). “For one star differeth from another star in glory: so there are bodies terrestrial as well as celestial” (Jews, that is, as well as Christians).(399) Now, if this language is not to be construed figuratively, it was absurd enough for him to make a contrast between the flesh of mules and kites, as well as the heavenly bodies and human bodies; for they admit of no comparison as to their condition, nor in respect of their attainment of a resurrection. Then at last, having conclusively shown by his examples that the difference was one of glory, not of substance, he adds: “So also is the resurrection of the dead.”(400) How so? In no other way than as differing in glory only. For again, predicating the resurrection of the same substance and returning once more to (his comparison of) the grain, he says: “It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.”(401) Now, certainly nothing else is raised than that which is sown; and nothing else is sown than that which decays in the ground; and it is nothing else than the flesh which is decayed in the ground. For this was the substance which God’s decree demolished, “Earth thou art, and to earth shalt thou return; “(402) because it was taken out of the earth. And it was from this circumstance that the apostle borrowed his phrase of the flesh being “sown,” since it returns to the ground, and the ground is the grand depository for seeds which are meant to be deposited in it, and again sought out of it. And therefore he confirms the passage afresh, by putting on it the impress (of his own inspired authority), saying, “For so it is written; “(403) that you may not suppose that the “being sown” means anything else than “thou shalt return to the ground, out of which thou was taken; “nor that the phrase “for so it is written” refers to any other thing that the flesh.
Chapter LVII.-Our Bodies, However Mutilated Before or After Death, Shall Recover Their Perfect Integrity in the Resurrection. Illustration of the Enfranchised Slave.
We now come to the most usual cavil of unbelief. If, they say, it be actually the selfsame substance which is recalled to life with all its form, and lineaments, and quality, then why not with all its other characteristics? Then the blind, and the lame, and the palsied, and whoever else may have passed away with any conspicuous mark, will return again with the same. What now is the fact, although you in the greatness of your conceit(437) thus disdain to accept from God so vast a grace? Does it not happen that, when you now admit the salvation of only the soul, you ascribe it to men at the cost of half their nature? What is the good of believing in the resurrection, unless your faith embraces the whole of it? If the flesh is to be repaired after its dissolution, much more will it be restored after some violent injury. Greater cases prescribe rules for lesser ones. Is not the amputation or the crushing of a limb the death of that limb? Now, if the death of the whole person is rescinded by its resurrection, what must we say of the death of a part of him? If we are changed for glory, how much more for integrity!(438) Any loss sustained by our bodies is an accident to them, but their entirety is their natural property. In this condition we are born. Even if we become injured in the womb, this is loss suffered by what is already a human being. Natural condition”(439) is prior to injury. As life is bestowed by God, so is it restored by Him. As we are when we receive it, so are we when we recover it. To nature, not to injury, are we restored; to our state by birth, not to our condition by accident, do we rise again. If God raises not men entire, He raises not the dead. For what dead man is entire, although he dies entire? Who is without hurt, that is without life? What body is uninjured, when it is dead, when it is cold, when it is ghastly, when it is stiff, when it is a corpse? When is a man more infirm, than when he is entirely infirm? When more palsied, than when quite motionless? Thus, for a dead man to be raised again, amounts to nothing short of his being restored to his entire condition,-lest he, forsooth, be still dead in that part in which he has not risen again. God is quite able to re-make what He once made. This power and this unstinted grace of His He has already sufficiently guaranteed in Christ; and has displayed Himself to us (in Him) not only as the restorer of the flesh, but as the repairer of its breaches. And so the apostle says: “The dead shall be raised incorruptible” (or unimpaired).(440) But how so, unless they become entire, who have wasted away either in the loss of their health, or in the long decrepitude of the grave? For when he propounds the two clauses, that “this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality, “(441) he does not repeat the same statement, but sets forth a distinction. For, by assigning immortality to the repeating of death, and incorruption to the repairing of the wasted body, he has fitted one to the raising and the other to the retrieval of the body. I suppose, moreover, that he promises to the Thessalonians the integrity of the whole substance of man.(442) So that for the great future there need be no fear of blemished or defective bodies. Integrity, whether the result of preservation or restoration, will be able to lose nothing more, after the time that it has given back to it whatever it had lost. Now, when you contend that the flesh will still have to undergo the same sufferings, if the same flesh be said to have to rise again, you rashly set up nature against her Lord, and impiously contrast her law against His
grace; as if it were not permitted the Lord God both to change nature, and to preserve her, without subjection to a law. How is it, then, that we read, “With men these things are impossible, but with God all things are possible; “(443) and again, “God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise? “(444) Let me ask you, if you were to manumit your slave (seeing that the same flesh and soul will remain to him, which once were exposed to the whip, and the fetter, and the stripes), will it therefore be fit for him to undergo the same old sufferings? I know not. He is instead thereof honored with the grace of the white robe, and the favor of the gold ring, and the name and tribe as well as table of his patron. Give, then, the same prerogative to God, by virtue of such a change, of reforming our condition, not our nature, by taking away from it all sufferings, and surrounding it with safeguards of protection. Thus our flesh shall remain even after the resurrection-so far indeed susceptible of suffering, as it is the flesh, and the same flesh too; but at the same time impassible, inasmuch as it has been liberated by the Lord for the very end and purpose of being no longer capable of enduring suffering.
There are many more such citations that I will post soon.
And there you have it, as quoted by the Post Apostolic Fathers….I also must point out that not every citation was quoted, due to the fact many such quotes solidify the futurist position, at least in reference to only certain major events that seem to indicate stages that are yet to take place (i.e. The Resurrection, Judgment, and the literal Second Coming of Christ Jesus). Therefore, to quote everything at this moment would be unnecessary – many quotes are mixed in references to such stages. Therefore, you may find myself quoting the same chapters from an Apostolic Father; but yet while doing so, I will quote the additional paragraphs not cited here. Moreover, further additional chapters and citations from the Post Apostolic Fathers will be quoted in the latter parts of this study.
NOTE: In reference to questions ‘D’, ‘G’ ‘H’ & ‘J’, They will be answered as follows; because I feel that they must be addressed.
In reference to question ‘D’…I quote a prior study…
54. If endless punishment be the “wages of sin,” could the sinner ever receive payment in full? (Rom 6:23).
There is no “if,” it is fact that the wages of sin is death. There are no if’s and’s or but’s about it. It is promised in God’s word. The sinner must receive this free gift before he is judged, because it is appointed unto man to only die once, then face judgment. One judgment.
No such thing as eternal punishment is “promised in God’s Word.” Romans 6:23 simply says “death”. Originally, in Genesis, God simply said “you shall surely die.” In all the Old Testament no such thing as eternal torment is even hinted at. Men simply died, were “gathered to their fathers,” i.e. all the dead went to sheol (grave), where they were unconscious awaiting resurrection. Both “eternal punishment” and “eternal life” were first inaugurated by the preaching of Christ, in His announcement of the nearness of the Kingdom of God. The word “eternal” is the Greek adjective aionios, and means eonian (i.e., of or pertaining to an age – from the noun aion, age or eon). It had reference to the coming Kingdom of God. It has nothing to do with “eternity.” “Eonian (Eternal) life” would grant entrance into the impending Kingdom, and was only granted to those who were faithful and obedient until the Kingdom’s coming; “Eonian (Eternal) death” would exclude a person from entrance into the impending Kingdom, and was inflicted on those who were unfaithful or disobedient.
55. As man is a finite being, can he commit an infinite sin?
Yes. Man is committing infinite sin because man cannot by himself make a satisfactory atonement for his sin. Because man is sinning against an infinite God and God give’s mankind two choices: to repent and accept the only free gift of salvation or to accept the wages of sin which is death. This is not a trick question.
Man is finite, mortal. He is not immortal. Christ only has immortality (1 Tim 6:16). There is absolutely no verse in Scripture which confirms what they teach. The satisfactory atonement (expiation, propitiation) has been made on behalf of all the sins of all mankind (1 John 2:2). All sins have been paid for. Jesus paid it all! God gives no man the choice of whether to be saved or not. He saves those He chooses now. The rest He saves in His due time. they, make salvation conditional. But, if it is conditional, it is of works. If it is of works, then it’s something you can boast about, it’s something you can delight in for having made the right choice. This scenario makes man’s choice determinative in salvation, that is, each man’s free choice is the cause of his own salvation; this also makes man’s choice determinative in damnation, that is, each man’s free choice is the cause of his own damnation. Thus, by sparing God from the responsibility for sending people to hell, this freewill theology has also spared God from being their Saviour. Men are saved by their own choice of God. Thus this teaching has brought them under the anathema of Galatians 1:8-9.
57. If one sin be infinite, can a million be any more?
No. It only took one sin for Adam and Eve to receive death and to lose their immortal bodies. They were also banished from the Garden of Eden. The ground was cursed as well. One sin was all it took.
See my answer #62 below. In addition, they are simply wrong, not knowing the Scriptures. The Bible nowhere says that Adam and Eve were ever immortal. Let us remember that they had to eat from the tree of life to maintain their immortality as a thing to be grasped. But when they sinned, an angel was sent to guard and block any access to the tree of life, thus insuring the judgment of God upon Adam and all men. Humanity is not immortal (meaning his body). Humanity is mortal. Immortality comes at the time of the resurrection, not before (1 Cor 15:23). At the present time Christ alone has immortality (1 Tim 6:16). As for the rest of us, at death, the body returns to the ground from which it came (Gen 3:19); the soul returns to the unseen (sheol / Hades = grave) from which it came, that is, oblivion / non-existence in the since of the grave (Psa 9:17, 49:15, Acts 2:27,31), Yet, the scriptures reveal an abode of departed spirits Luke 16:19-31. While we who are in Christ will never die – John 11:25, those that die without Christ are cast into sheol / Hades = grave, as death and sheol / Hades, is thus cast into the lake of fire – Rev 20:14. This was the fate and punitive punishment of the rich man (the soul that sins shall die). All such parables often spoke of the impending blessings to come and the wrath of God that is also to come. The abode of the departed spirits in Christ is also evidenced in the written testimony of Luke concerning the thief crucified next to our Saviour Luke 23:43, and that of Paul referring to the term “absent” meaning a different entity from the body as recorded in 2 Cor 5:6-9. The spirit returns to God Who gave it (Eccl 12:7, Luke 23:43 for temporary discourse and housing – the spirit that animates each individual person is a discrete entity, or separate conscious person, yet it is also sometimes used inter changeable with the word; soul). Thus, the spirit, soul, and body await judgment and ultimate final reconciliation. For further study on the spirit, soul, and body, please visit my post entitled “Spirit, Soul, and Body”. Also, visit my studies on Hell.
In reference to question H concerning Job:
They (Full Preterists) fail to quote the entire passage in its proper context….The Preterists claim that the passage of Scripture spoken in Job 14:7-12 indicates Job’s denial of a bodily resurrection – therefore, they claim that the other ever popular verse as cited by Job in chapter 19:25-26 is a proclamation of Job seeing God outside his flesh. If this be so, then why did the Patriarch claim a bodily resurrection in 14:14? For Job it was merely a question of faith and time before God will have a desire to the work of His Hands – the work of His hand is that of man, whom He created out of clay. Moreover, Job declared that the rest or sleep of man was but for a time as indicated by the word ‘UNTIL’. Job never declared that his body will never rise, he simply indicated that man is mortal and thus suffers decay. But as noted, Job truly believed in a future change of the flesh. This faith is also cited by the Apostle Paul in I Cor 15:51 who declared that we too shall be changed!
In reference to question J:
The Full Preterist would have you believe that the deniers of the resurrection in I Cor 15:1-19 is historic – meaning that their error was due to their mistaken view on the resurrection as only being effective to the church, excluding the Pre-Christian world; (they would have to believe such, to uphold their AD70 views that all prophecy was fulfilled that year). But upon this declaration, let us examine their view. In short, the Full Preterist believes that I Cor 15:1-19 is as quoted….
Paul said that some at the church in Corinth were saying, “There is no resurrection of the dead.” Were those resurrection deniers saying that it was unbelievable that decomposed, dead bodies could be raised back to life? Were they annihilationists? Or did they believe in “bodiless soul-immortality?”
In summery, the Full Preterist believes that….
1.The root error of the resurrection-of-the-dead deniers was that Christ had not died for the pre-Christian world.
2.The resurrection-of-the-dead deniers did not deny the resurrection of Christians, living or dead. They denied only that the dead would have any part with the soon-to-be-resurrected Church. They believed that all the pre-Cross generations had fallen asleep without hope of receiving forgiveness of sins in Christ, and that those dead ones would therefore not inherit the Kingdom of God with the Body of Christ.
3.The error at Corinth was not a belief in the impossibility of physical resurrections. For the resurrection deniers believed in the resurrection of Christ and in other resurrections.
4.The error at Corinth was not a belief in annihilation. For the resurrection-of-the-dead deniers believed that dead Christians had not perished and were waiting in “hope” along with the living.
5.Nor was the error a belief in soul-immortality. For the resurrection-of-the-dead deniers believed that dead believers were, with the living, hoping in Christ, looking forward to the consummated spiritual Body, the Body that would come in the Resurrection of life.
6.The error at Corinth was that the pre-Christian world (the dead, i.e., Adam, Abel, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, Malachi, etc.).
I’m sorry but I don’t see the connection. I don’t see where the Corinthian people was doubting certain aspects of the resurrection. Nor do I see them denying that Christ died for the Pre – Christian world. Instead we have Paul defending the doctrine of the bodily resurrection against those who crept into the church at Corinth, declaring a denial. No where does the text indicate that the Corinthian people were speaking in terms of time – as in the Pre- Christian world. To further illustrate my point, let us read the context of the matter at hand fully.
Taken from Young’s Literal Translation:
I Cor 15:1-19
1And I make known to you, brethren, the good news that I proclaimed to you, which also ye did receive, in which also ye have stood,
2through which also ye are being saved, in what words I proclaimed good news to you, if ye hold fast, except ye did believe in vain,
3for I delivered to you first, what also I did receive, that Christ died for our sins, according to the Writings,
4and that he was buried, and that he hath risen on the third day, according to the Writings,
5and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve,
6afterwards he appeared to above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain till now, and certain also did fall asleep;
7afterwards he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.
8And last of all — as to the untimely birth — he appeared also to me,
9for I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I did persecute the assembly of God,
10and by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace that [is] towards me came not in vain, but more abundantly than they all did I labor, yet not I, but the grace of God that [is] with me;
11whether, then, I or they, so we preach, and so ye did believe.
12And if Christ is preached, that out of the dead he hath risen, how say certain among you, that there is no rising again of dead persons?
13and if there be no rising again of dead persons, neither hath Christ risen;
14and if Christ hath not risen, then void [is] our preaching, and void also your faith,
15and we also are found false witnesses of God, because we did testify of God that He raised up the Christ, whom He did not raise if then dead persons do not rise;
16for if dead persons do not rise, neither hath Christ risen,
17and if Christ hath not risen, vain is your faith, ye are yet in your sins;
18then, also, those having fallen asleep in Christ did perish;
19if in this life we have hope in Christ only, of all men we are most to be pitied.
Again, where is the assumption that the Corinthians denied certain aspects of the resurrection? This is a futile attempt by Full Preterists to justify their belief, whether intentionally or not, it is done on a preconceived ideology. It may also be an attempt to separate themselves from early Church resurrection deniers. Instead I see the rhetoric of the Post Apostolic Fathers citing Paul in defense of a fleshly/bodily resurrection post AD70. For this is the hope that Adam, Abel, Job, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, Malachi, The Apostles, The Post Apostolic Fathers & the Saints throughout history to the present foresaw, witnessed, and believed. And this belief is based on the resurrected physical fleshly body of Christ; dwelling in Heaven. Not separated from His Body, for that would entail a separation of the Logos from the Man who is the Christ, namely Jesus of Nazareth. For in Him (Jesus) dwells the fullness of the Godhead BODILY (Col 2:9). Note: the verse say dwells not dwelled.
We will do good to remember the words of the Apostle Paul, who declared “For we shall see Him as He is” and He is in full Bodily fullness, to be revealed under Heaven upon Earth. Which brings me to my next topic…
To Be Continued In Part 4