On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby Richard Beck » Sun Jun 22, 2014 12:00 pm

What follows is a post coming out on my blog this week. I post it here as it has to do with the doctrine of hell, but I'm also pondering how UR might be integrated with a preterist account.

///

When it comes to eschatology my faith tradition, the Churches of Christ, has leaned heavily toward preterism.

According to preterism almost all end-times prophecy in the bible is referring to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.

I say "almost all" end-times prophecy as there is some diversity among the various preterist positions. A lot of this diversity has to do with the relationship between the book of Revelation and Jesus's apocalyptic discourses in the gospels.

Just about everyone agrees that Jesus's apocalyptic discourses in the synoptic gospels--sometimes called the Olivet Discourse or the "Little Apocalypse"--are discussing the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. These discourses can be found in Mark 13, Matthew 24 and Luke 21.

In light of Jesus's prophecies in the synoptics, the question is how the vision of Babylon in the book of Revelation relates, if at all, to the destruction of Jerusalem. Most preterists want the book of Revelation to be discussing the fall of Jerusalem. But to pull that off you have to get the dating of Revelation prior to AD 70. Most scholars don't think that's possible, putting the writing of Revelation in the AD 90s. And if that's the case then the Babylon of Revelation can't be Jerusalem and is more likely a vision of Rome.

Another aspect of the book of Revelation is the vision of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21-22. Most Christians read that text as being about the future, about heaven and the Final Judgment.

All that to say, some preterists--in a view called partial preterism--believe just about every "end times" prophecy was fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 except for what is discussed in the book of Revelation, the fall of Rome and the Final Judgment. Thus according to this view, since the fall of Rome occurred in AD 476, the only "end times" event remaining is the Second Coming of Christ and the Final Judgment. Everything else in the bible, eschatologically speaking, has already happened. Only one event remains, the Second Coming. Which can happen at any moment and will happen "in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye" (1 Cor. 15.52). No rapture, tribulation, or thousand year reign. All that stuff has already occurred, fulfilled in the events surrounding either the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 or the fall or Rome. The only thing left in salvation history is the unpredictable "flash event" of the Second Coming.

That's partial preterism, and it represents what most people in the Churches of Christ have believed. But there is an even more extreme view called full preterism, a view that has rattled around within the Churches of Christ since the 1970s.

Full preterism contends that every "end times" prophecy was fulfilled in AD 70. And this includes the Second Coming and the Final Judgment. This view is sometimes also called "realized eschatology" as it contends that every aspect of biblical eschatology has already been fulfilled or "realized."

The key interpretive move to make this view work is to read every eschatological text in the bible (Revelation included) through Jesus's Olivet Discourse, which, again, most agree is focused on the events of AD 70.

For example, consider the "Second Coming." To start, note how the Olivet Discourse is kicked off by Jesus predicting the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple:

Matthew 24.1-2
Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”


So the event being prophesied about is AD 70, the destruction of the temple. And hearing this the disciples ask a question about the timing of Jesus's "second coming":

Matthew 24.3
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”


The association here is pretty clear. The destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 is described as the second "coming" of Jesus and as the "end of the age." That AD 70 is indeed being described as the "second coming" of Jesus is made more clear later in the discourse:

Matthew 24.30-31
“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other."


So in the Olivet Discourse the "Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with great power and great glory"--what many would describe as "the Second Coming"--is associated with the events of AD 70.

All that to say, according to a full preterist eschatology the Second Coming of Jesus has already happened. Just as Jesus prophesied that it would happen in AD 70.

(One might ask here about Revelation 21-22. A full preterist reading of Revelation 21-22 argues that the "New Jerusalem" coming to earth is not heaven but the church. The church--as the New Jerusalem and new temple on earth--replaces the former Jerusalem and temple destroyed in AD 70. So again, the New Jerusalem prophecies of Revelation 21-22 have already been fulfilled.)

Okay, so that's the Second Coming. What about Final Judgment?

Again, when we turn to the Olivet Discourse we find Jesus saying this:

Luke 21.20-22
“When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written."


Notice how the events of AD 70 are described as "the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written." Now if you read that phrase literally--"in fulfillment of all that has been written"--then every mention of hell, eternal judgment or "the lake of fire" in the bible is referring to AD 70.

Simply, when the bible speaks of hell it's talking about the destruction of Jerusalem.

In short, just like the Second Coming, Final Judgment also occurred in AD 70.

Now you might be asking, if the Second Coming and Final Judgment have already occurred what, according to full preterism, is going to happen to us when we die and what happens to the earth?

Well, answers vary. Regarding the fate of the earth a common answer is that the earth just goes on according to the physical laws governing it. Our biological fate on the planet is just that, our biological fate. No supernatural event in our future is going to disrupt those processes.

Incidentally, while preterism hasn't been theologically linked to creation care, I think there's something to explore here. That is, preterism is better than the notion that creation is going to be destroyed by God in a cataclysmic act of destruction. Creation might get destroyed, but according to preterism that would be our doing, not God's. The assumption here being that God's command to care for the earth, for as long as it lasts, remains very much in effect. And the longer we care for the earth the longer we might last upon it. According to preterism, it's all in our hands. It lasts as long as it lasts.

Turning to our fate after death.

Upon our death, according to most preterists, you simply go to heaven or hell. There is no "holding area" (e.g., Hades) where the dead must await a coming Judgment Day. Again, in Christ God's Judgment has already occurred. That is, in Christ the kingdom/church has been established upon the earth and your "eternal fate" at death is dependent upon your relation to that kingdom. Are you in or out? Heaven and hell, in this sense, is already a reality upon the earth. And the kingdom of heaven on earth marks the boundary.

Basically, according to full preterism, every significant event in relation to salvation history has already occurred. God's kingdom has been established upon earth and Christ has won the victory over sin and death. The biblical story of salvation history has reached The End.

There is nothing in human history, now or in the future, that we are "waiting on." All that is left is your decision in relation to the inauguration of the kingdom. Repent and believe the Good News, the Kingdom of God is in your midst.

So that's full preterism.

Let me move to conclude my making a scholarly observation and then get to the point of why I'm sharing of all this.

First, while you might find the preterist view weird, biblical scholars have long recognized that this view is grounded in the biblical witness. Most NT scholars would argue that the first century Christians really did think that the Second Coming of Jesus and the Final Judgment was going to happen in their lifetime. And the theological cataclysm of AD 70 seemed like a good fit for the timing of that event. For the earliest Christians, centered as they were in Jerusalem, the events of AD 70 did seem like "the end of the world" and "the end of the age."

And yet, in the wake of those events many Christians didn't see "the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory." So the parousia of Jesus was pushed into the future. Christian eschatology was created to explain the "delayed parousia" of Jesus who failed to materialize in the clouds, as he had predicted, in AD 70.

What this means is that in the pages of the NT we have a mixed and matched eschatology. On the one hand you have early texts that seem to expect the Second Coming of Jesus in the lifetimes of the first century Christians, perhaps in conjunction with the destruction of Jerusalem. On the other hand you have later texts, written after AD 70, that push the Second Coming into the future in response to the delayed parousia.

That's how you see the situation as a NT scholar. Which is to say, there are texts, like the Olivet Discourse, in the NT that really do point to the Second Coming and the Final Judgement as occurring in AD 70. So the preterists aren't totally crazy. The early Christians really believed that. What the preterists are doing is taking all the "delayed parousia" material from the later NT texts and forcing them to harmonize with the AD 70 expectation material.

That is to say, according to the preterist account, there was no mistake about the AD 70 parousia, Jesus really did come back in judgment at that time. The "Son of Man coming on the clouds" stuff was poetic imagery for events that really took place. In short, preterism is a way of harmonizing the mixed eschatological witness of the NT by reading everything through the earliest Christian expectations regarding the Second Coming of Jesus by claiming that those Christians were correct and that those expectations really were fulfilled.

Of course, such a harmonization creates its own suite of historical, textual and theological problems. But that can be discussed at another time.

I bring all this up for a different reason.

Specifically, as debates about hell continue to rage among Christians more and more I've seen people discuss how, when Jesus discusses Gehenna, hell and judgment, that Jesus is really discussing the destruction of Jerusalem.

And I think that's right. The Olivet Discourse makes that point clear.

But if that's so then the question becomes, if that's what Jesus meant what about the other NT writers?

We're back to the mixed and matched eschatological witness of the NT, those who expected final judgment in AD 70 and those who, in light of the delayed parousia, pushed "hell" into the future.

How, in our debates about hell, are we to deal with that disjoint? The disjoint between Jesus's this-worldly hell of AD 70 versus the other-worldly hell in the future?

Scholars, of course, know how to do deal with this disjoint. They just leave it as a disjoint and claim that the NT doesn't have a consistent or coherent eschatology. Eschatology was a "work in progress" as the coming of Jesus was indefinitely delayed.

But I can't see that view being something most Christians will be able stomach. Such a view is too disruptive of doctrines regarding biblical inspiration as it asks us to believe that some early biblical writers were "wrong" in expecting Jesus to come in their lifetime.

Thus, for most Christians the push will be toward harmonization, to get all the eschatological texts to "agree."

That may be a fool's errand, but that seems to be where most Christians are. Which brings me to my point.

If 1) we increasing start seeing Jesus's teachings regarding hell as being about the Destruction of Jerusalem (and I think a good case can be made for that), and 2) our view of Scripture pushes us to harmonize the eschatological texts of the New Testament, then I think 3) we start moving toward preterism.

That is, if Final Judgment occurred in AD 70, as Jesus predicted, then we also have to consider the Second Coming as having occurred at the same time. Both events are tied up together in the Olivet Discourse.

You can't point to AD 70 as your definition of hell without AD 70 also being your definition of the Second Coming.

And if that's the case, is preterism--this weird and fringe view espoused by nutty Christians--poised to become more prevalent in discussions about heaven, hell and Christian eschatology?
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby Melchizedek » Sun Jun 22, 2014 1:05 pm

Thanks for sharing this, Richard. My own view leans heavily toward preterism, and I have a lot of respect for both varieties of it. In fact, my understanding began to lean toward preterism a few years before I even became a universalist, and I think the two can go together nicely.
The issue of the dating of Revelation is an interesting thing; my current view on this is that it doesn't really matter if the actual dating turns out to be early or late. The dispute over early or late dating is in large part due to the underlying assumption that Revelation must be predicting future events, but I don't think we need to read it that way at all. The revelation is of Jesus Christ and his work in the world, in highly symbolic language, not necessarily a picture of (what was then) the future at all. It is the futurist bent to eschatology that, IMO, has produced some of the greatest errors in theological thinking.

All this is to say that I hope that preterism does factor more heavily in this discussion, because I think it deserves to. I think it has a lot to say about where we may have gone wrong down the garden path of futurism, particularly the dispensational variety.
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby Richard Beck » Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:17 pm

I'm just starting to investigate the links between UR and preterism. From what I understand, Hosea Ballou, who is sometimes called "the father of American Universalism," was a preterist. Ballou contended, from what I understand, that the wrath and judgment of God was fully and finally exhausted in the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. Thus, there is no more hell, as traditionally understood.
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby steve7150 » Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:29 pm

I find Preterism is hard to reconcile with everything. For example why would Revelation be completely about 70AD when it would be repeating an event clearly stated earlier in the gospels. Revelation would be anything except a revelation, more like a repetition. Plus why describe an event mystically and highly symbolically after it was clearly stated earlier? Why use the entire book of Revelation about one event, it seems like overkill.
To me the Historicist view makes more sense.
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby alecforbes » Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:53 pm

Wonderful post, Richard! :D

As a "MacDonald-ian", Girardian I'll give my thoughts for what they're worth.

Thus, for most Christians the push will be toward harmonization, to get all the eschatological texts to "agree."

That may be a fool's errand, but that seems to be where most Christians are. Which brings me to my point.

If 1) we increasing start seeing Jesus's teachings regarding hell as being about the Destruction of Jerusalem (and I think a good case can be made for that), and 2) our view of Scripture pushes us to harmonize the eschatological texts of the New Testament, then I think 3) we start moving toward preterism.

That is, if Final Judgment occurred in AD 70, as Jesus predicted, then we also have to consider the Second Coming as having occurred at the same time. Both events are tied up together in the Olivet Discourse.
I think this is largely how I would view it, though as a "Gospelcentric" (just made that up! :lol: ) Christian, I don't feel as great a need to "harmonize" all of scripture with the character of Jesus we see in the Gospels---in fact I don't have to harmonize, say, even all of Matthew parable endings with the character of Jesus I see. Revelation is such a strange, difficult and interesting book that it's hard to know what to make of it. :? I think, given it's symbolic and obscure nature, you could legitimately "harmonize" it with just about anything. That being said, if harmonizing Revelation with the Olivet Discourse leads Christians to a universalist (and hopefully non-violent) view of God, then I'm all for it!

Of course, the question is, "what does the Final Judgement mean?"

Steve
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby Sobornost » Sun Jun 22, 2014 4:19 pm

Hi Richard - and how does't thee neighbour?

As someone who I think at least is accommodating to the older tradition of Universalism to which I belong and stresses that God is not actively violent but brings judgment by uncovering human wrath though love and Truth and handing us over to our own wrath in order to save us from it...


Can this fit Preterism?

Does Preterism preclude other crises of judgement and perhaps a final one

DO you think Paul in first Thessalonians is predicting the judgment on Jerusalem? And is Pauls' growing universalism in anyway connected with this event being past?

Would you place The Apocalypse of John in the context of the Jewish Roman wars (as I know Margaret Barker does for example)

In Christ our Hen

Dick

Looking forward to hearing back from you :)

P.S Tonight Steve (alecforbes) and I have been discussing the older view of wrath in universalism here -

viewtopic.php?f=25&t=5675
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby Melchizedek » Sun Jun 22, 2014 4:23 pm

steve7150 wrote:I find Preterism is hard to reconcile with everything. For example why would Revelation be completely about 70AD when it would be repeating an event clearly stated earlier in the gospels. Revelation would be anything except a revelation, more like a repetition. Plus why describe an event mystically and highly symbolically after it was clearly stated earlier? Why use the entire book of Revelation about one event, it seems like overkill.
To me the Historicist view makes more sense.


Well, we have to remember that Revelation is a specific vision of Jesus Christ (irrespective of temporality), and what his work, death and resurrection meant for everyone from then on. I don't necessarily think it was all about one event per se, although it certainly included a hefty dose of that. How difficult Revelation is to reconcile has a good deal to do with how we view Revelation, and (as Steve pointed out) whether we even care about harmonization. Of course, this is more in keeping with the idealist view, which I think also has some merit.

Revelation is a notoriously difficult book, which is probably a lot of why there have been so many wildly different interpretations of it over the years, and why some traditions still reject it entirely!
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby Bob Wilson » Sun Jun 22, 2014 5:50 pm

Bradley Jerzak in Her Gates Will Never be Shut; Hope, Hell, and the new Jerusalem supports Dr. Beck's interpretation of AD 70 for Jesus' references to Gehenna (as capsulated in my paper, What Did Jesus Mean by 'Hell'?: viewtopic.php?f=58&t=1269 (though he's open to Revelation's final chapters having a still future fulfillment). I also find N.T. Wright's treatment of Jesus' apocalyptic discourses in the Gospels supports taking them as a reference to his 'coming' in AD 70 (functioning as a prophetic validation that Jesus is to be seen as in Daniel 7 taken up to God's throne in the clouds where he exercises the authority that this judgment vindicates him as having) . Yet in tension, Wright seems to find the Acts account of Jesus promising that they would see him come on the clouds in the same way they saw him ascend, as understood as a more literal and thus yet future return of Jesus in a more complete fulfillment of the O.T. promises.
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby Melchizedek » Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:07 pm

Bob Wilson wrote: Yet in tension, Wright seems to find the Acts account of Jesus promising that they would see him come on the clouds in the same way they saw him ascend, as understood as a more literal and thus yet future return of Jesus in a more complete fulfillment of the O.T. promises.


This last bit from Wright I find odd, unless this was fulfilled in their lifetimes; which it seems to me could only be considered to have happened if it occurred in a much less literal way than has been traditionally thought of.
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby Bob Wilson » Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:00 pm

Melchizedek wrote:
Bob Wilson wrote: Yet in tension, Wright seems to find the Acts account of Jesus promising that they would see him come on the clouds in the same way they saw him ascend, as understood as a more literal and thus yet future return of Jesus in a more complete fulfillment of the O.T. promises.


This last bit from Wright I find odd, unless this was fulfilled in their lifetimes; which it seems to me could only be considered to have happened if it occurred in a much less literal way than has been traditionally thought of.


Mel, can you amplify on why you think Acts must be referring to an event in their lifetime?

What's odd for me here is that Wright implies the early church (as in Acts) understood Jesus' 'coming' on the clouds completely differently than Jesus' consistent notion in his Gospel references to such a 'coming.' It makes me wonder if he really thinks the Acts account of the ascension actually happened. For I glean that the reason he bifurcates these references is that he genuinely thinks the discourses recorded in the Gospels fits with the Jesus of history having no concept of a "second coming," but a 'parousia' refers to his vindication in Jerusalem's destruction described in non-literal apocalyptic language. Yet perhaps he doesn't want to depart too far from his evangelical audience and deny that there still is some kind of future event that corresponds to our notion of a second coming. He somewhere writes, that despite Easter, the promises of a new earth, etc were still so short of realization, that disciples assumed there most be further fulfilling events, and they couldn't imagine these happening without Jesus being present in the midst of that (hence some kind of 'coming'). Plus, I think he sees indications of some less distinct hope like this in the epistles, as well as thinking Jesus' words in Acts 1 (unlike the Gospel references) are most naturally read as sounding like some kind of literally visible return, just as his departure is portrayed as an actual sight of him beheld with their physical eyes. In any event, he is implying Jesus knew no second coming, but the apostles later understood that there would be one described in terms awfully similar to Jesus' words that he thinks intended no such vision. What do you make of this?
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby steve7150 » Mon Jun 23, 2014 4:35 am

as well as thinking Jesus' words in Acts 1 (unlike the Gospel references) are most naturally read as sounding like some kind of literally visible return, just as his departure is portrayed as an actual sight of him beheld with their physical eyes. In any event, he is implying Jesus knew no second coming, but the apostles later understood that there would be one described in terms awfully similar to Jesus' words that he thinks intended no such vision. What do you make of this?

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I think Jesus use of gehenna and/or "coming in the clouds" in the gospels could have referred to 70AD Jerusalem destruction because these are OT expressions used to mean destruction and judgment. However in Acts 1 it sounds like Jesus will return in like manner to his ascension is referring to a physical second coming.
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby Richard Beck » Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:47 am

Sobornost wrote:As someone who I think at least is accommodating to the older tradition of Universalism to which I belong and stresses that God is not actively violent but brings judgment by uncovering human wrath though love and Truth and handing us over to our own wrath in order to save us from it...

Can this fit Preterism?

Does Preterism preclude other crises of judgement and perhaps a final one

DO you think Paul in first Thessalonians is predicting the judgment on Jerusalem? And is Pauls' growing universalism in anyway connected with this event being past?

Would you place The Apocalypse of John in the context of the Jewish Roman wars (as I know Margaret Barker does for example)


I've been aware of partial preterism for some time as, like I said, it's the default view in my faith tradition. And like I described in the post, partial preterism does put the Second Coming and Final Judgement in the future. Based largely on texts like 1 Thess. and Revelation.

Regarding full preterism--what is called the "AD 70 doctrine" in my tradition--I'm less familiar with and only have just begun to think about. So I don't have any answers about how every NT text can get shoehorned into the events of AD 70. My post is simply raising the issue that if people, in the debates about hell, point to AD 70 as the reference for what Jesus meant by Gehenna then what about the "second coming" aspects of that same text? I don't have an answer to that question, just floating it for conversation.

All that said, my interests are in thinking through what a "progressive preterism" might look like, a wedding of progressive ideas (like God's non-violence) and a preterist eschatology.

For example, regarding God's non-violence, I have a post scheduled to come out a few months from now. In that post I dwell on this text in Luke that sets up the Olivet Discourse about the Destruction of Jerusalem:

Luke 19.41-44
And when Jesus drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”


Basically, and this is a point that N.T. Wright makes, Jesus saw Israel on a violent collision course with Rome. One that would end very, very badly. As Jesus says, Jerusalem had failed to learn "the things that make for peace." And because Jerusalem had failed to respond to Jesus's kingdom proclamation, failed to learn the things that make for peace, Jerusalem had set herself on a path of destruction.

Importantly for your questions about a non-violent God, we can keep with a preterist reading here--that all the talk in the bible about hell is about AD 70--and we can use a text like Luke 19.41-44 to show how this is a violence that Jerusalem brought upon herself by responding violently to Rome. That is, the cycles of violence just keep repeating, world-historically.

Jesus's Kingdom proclamation, by contrast, speaks to "the things that make for peace" in this world.

All that to say, there seem to be ways to have a preterist reading of "hell" (AD 70 events that keep repeating in history, violence begetting violence) that keeps to a vision of a non-violent God.

These are the connections that I'm interested in exploring.
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby Sobornost » Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:33 am

Good on you Richard - and pleased to meet you old chap :)

May the seed Christ reign (in love over disorderly spirits)


Dick :D
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby redhotmagma » Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:03 am

In 2 Cor 3:17 it says the Lord (Jesus) is the Spirit.

The spirit descended on the disciples on Pentecost. This was a second coming IMO.

The one who was and is and is to come.

Was: symbolized in the Passover festival

Is: symbolized in the Pentecost festival (for now we know in part)

Is to come: symbolized in the Tabernacles festival (but then we will be fully known)

When it says he will return the same way they saw him ascend, is it possible that the "same way" is referring to his ascending into the clouds. Here the clouds being symbolic of our heaven.

We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, and the waterless clouds from Jude are 2 examples where clouds=people.

So when it says he will return in the same way you saw him go, it may be referring to his ascending in us, which is the feast of Tabernacles. This would be the unveiling of Christ in you, and the two becoming one flesh. Previously the typified by "and the word became flesh and tabernacled among us". We automatically assume that he will come down out of heaven but it says he will return the same way you saw him go… Ascending.

Just my 2 cents.
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby Melchizedek » Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:50 pm

Bob Wilson wrote:
Melchizedek wrote:
Bob Wilson wrote: Yet in tension, Wright seems to find the Acts account of Jesus promising that they would see him come on the clouds in the same way they saw him ascend, as understood as a more literal and thus yet future return of Jesus in a more complete fulfillment of the O.T. promises.


This last bit from Wright I find odd, unless this was fulfilled in their lifetimes; which it seems to me could only be considered to have happened if it occurred in a much less literal way than has been traditionally thought of.


Mel, can you amplify on why you think Acts must be referring to an event in their lifetime?

What's odd for me here is that Wright implies the early church (as in Acts) understood Jesus' 'coming' on the clouds completely differently than Jesus' consistent notion in his Gospel references to such a 'coming.' It makes me wonder if he really thinks the Acts account of the ascension actually happened. For I glean that the reason he bifurcates these references is that he genuinely thinks the discourses recorded in the Gospels fits with the Jesus of history having no concept of a "second coming," but a 'parousia' refers to his vindication in Jerusalem's destruction described in non-literal apocalyptic language. Yet perhaps he doesn't want to depart too far from his evangelical audience and deny that there still is some kind of future event that corresponds to our notion of a second coming. He somewhere writes, that despite Easter, the promises of a new earth, etc were still so short of realization, that disciples assumed there most be further fulfilling events, and they couldn't imagine these happening without Jesus being present in the midst of that (hence some kind of 'coming'). Plus, I think he sees indications of some less distinct hope like this in the epistles, as well as thinking Jesus' words in Acts 1 (unlike the Gospel references) are most naturally read as sounding like some kind of literally visible return, just as his departure is portrayed as an actual sight of him beheld with their physical eyes. In any event, he is implying Jesus knew no second coming, but the apostles later understood that there would be one described in terms awfully similar to Jesus' words that he thinks intended no such vision. What do you make of this?


Yeah; I think that if I remember right, it's the way that it is stated; that it is they who will see the second coming in like manner to the ascension. And then there are the other statements by Jesus on other eschatological events also which more clearly refer to things happening before that generation passed away. As for the rest, I'm not sure what I make of it, really. Perhaps I'd better go back and read that section of scripture again.

Well, and then there are redhot's points, too; which might have been more what I was thinking about.
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby davo » Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:50 am

G’day Richard,

I am a prêterist of the FULL persuasion, I don’t have all the answers but I do have a few. Just some brief personal history… I was raised an A-millennialist, which in the Baptist circles my dad ministered in was a rarity given they were predominately dispensational futurists. I knew why I wasn’t a dispensationalist but one day it occurred to me I didn’t know why I wasn’t a post-millennialist. In 1986 I picked up a post-mill book by J. Marcellus Kik “An Eschatology of Victory”. As I was reading I found myself pretty much in agreement with what I was reading; I found myself double checking to see it was a “post-mill” book, lol. :o

Long story short… after many years an a-millist I ran with post-millennialism – I found it extremely similar to the a-mill view as I knew it, except it was incredibly optimistic and the historicity started to gel for me. In 1990 I happened across David Chilton’s “Days of Vengeance” – at last I thought I had found the holy grail of eschatology.

It was from Chilton’s partial prêterist volume that I followed through on an innocuous little footnote about a full prêterist by name of Max King, a Church of Christ minister who had written a near 800 page tome “The Cross and the Parousia of Christ”, a heavy but brilliant read. So after about 10 years of being a partial prêterist I took the most logical and consistent step into full prêterism. Almost from the start I could see elements of inclusion inherent within the position but I wasn’t having any part of “universalism” as I understood it. Within 2 years I was raising hell on most of the then full prêt forums and being castigated for my universalism… quite a number of full prêterists are Calvinists.

So… I have come to my inclusive soteriological position via a fulfilled eschatology and NOT the more typical “how could a good and loving God do thus-and-so…” philosophical approach of universalism.

Richard Beck wrote:Simply, when the bible speaks of hell it's talking about the destruction of Jerusalem. … Upon our death, according to most preterists, you simply go to heaven or hell.

Yes… and it is at this very point that the bulk of full prêterists jettison their consistency for sake of positional orthodoxy and exchange Hell MKI (rightly understanding Jesus’ “Gehenna” to be the conflagrations of AD70) for Hell MKII i.e., the ‘lake of fire’. As I understand it the lake of fire WAS the destruction of Jerusalem and NOT some post mortem event. Typically universalists’ just like exclusionists’ accept and believe in the post mortem lake of fire of Christendom… this pantelist does not.

Richard Beck wrote:And yet, in the wake of those events many Christians didn't see "the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory." So the parousia of Jesus was pushed into the future. Christian eschatology was created to explain the "delayed parousia" of Jesus who failed to materialize in the clouds, as he had predicted, in AD 70.

Unfortunately “many Christians didn't see” and still don’t see because they are looking with wrong eyes. Jesus’ “cloud-coming” language came straight out of their own Scriptures. When Yahweh came in judgement He is described and depicted in the poetic licence of “cosmic events”… Isa 19:1; 13:9-10; 24:21-23; Ez 32:7; Joel 2:28-32. These all tie in with Jesus’ warnings in the gospel’s mini apocalypses. So important was this transitional age from old to new covenants that John the apostle foregoes the “mini” approach with his gospel choosing instead to dedicate an entire book to it.

Richard Beck wrote:What this means is that in the pages of the NT we have a mixed and matched eschatology. On the one hand you have early texts that seem to expect the Second Coming of Jesus in the lifetimes of the first century Christians, perhaps in conjunction with the destruction of Jerusalem. On the other hand you have later texts, written after AD 70, that push the Second Coming into the future in response to the delayed parousia.

I’m not sure which texts you have in mind apparently pushing out the parousia beyond Jesus’ “this generation” but for mine there is no mix n’ match to biblical eschatology but rather the “already not yet” of that transitional age AD30-70 (a 40yr biblical generation) where “that which was growing old was ready to pass away” as per Heb 8:13. This was running concurrent with the burgeoning new and better covenant age as per 2Cor 3:11; 1Jn 2:8.

Richard Beck wrote:The "Son of Man coming on the clouds" stuff was poetic imagery for events that really took place.

Yes indeed. It is also to be noted that Jesus’ cloud coming of Acts 1:9-11 was in fulfillment of Dan 7:3-14 where the “coming” was to and not from the Ancient of Days, to receive a kingdom. The “in like manner” then equates to the “judgement” clouds associated with the parousia as per Mt 24:30; 26:64.

Again this is keeping in line with OT symbolic language such as “For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near; It will be a day of clouds, the time of the Gentiles. Ez 30:3

Richard Beck wrote:You can't point to AD 70 as your definition of hell without AD 70 also being your definition of the Second Coming.

That really is it in a nutshell and something I am resolved is the case.

Richard, I have shared more thoughts from my perspective that might answer some of your questions in other posts on the EU forum and for brevity’s sake I’ll list some of the threads HERE and HERE and HERE… just scroll along for Alf’s head.
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby Richard Beck » Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:19 am

davo wrote:Typically universalists’ just like exclusionists’ accept and believe in the post mortem lake of fire of Christendom… this pantelist does not.

Hi Davo,
I've just stumbled upon the pantelist view in the last few days, so I'm catching up. I think I have most of it clear except the issue of post-mortem existence.

What's the pantelism stance on life after death? Is pantalism agnostic about that? Or does pantelism contend that there is no life after death? Or do some believe that there is life after death? And if there is life after death what's that look like (e.g., if hell was exhausted in AD 70 is everyone "going to heaven")? I expect that pantelists might have different opinions about all this.
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby davo » Tue Jun 24, 2014 5:55 am

Richard Beck wrote:What's the pantelism stance on life after death?

Pantelism does indeed fully accept life after death for all; hence the charge of universalism by ECT/annihilationist prêterists. What and how that life will look like is unknowable this side of the grave except to acknowledge that God’s grace in the here and now has it all covered in the there and then for each of as we step through death’s doorway.
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby steve7150 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:39 pm

Full Preterism may seem to fit well with Christian Universalism but i don't think that should have much weight when evaluating it. As full Preterists claim the relevant audience probably did think Jesus was returning soon. But the expressions Jesus sometimes used like "coming in the clouds" was used twice in the OT to mean the destruction of a kingdom and probably referred to the destruction of Jerusalem. This was indeed the end of an age, the end of the Jewish age.
Whatever date you give Revelation it was written after the gospels and it claims to be a "revelation" or an unveiling of things not previously known, not a summary or review of things clearly stated earlier like the destruction of Jerusalem. It says Jesus is returning to judge the world and the dead will be raised and judged and those whose names are not in the book of life will go into the lake of fire. Now i believe judgment is a positive thing and not something to be afraid of , but part of a rehabilitation process.
In Full Preterism this process is gone. Plus my understanding of scripture is that evil will be defeated but not so in Preterism, it just goes on and on.
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby Melchizedek » Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:53 pm

Thanks for all that Davo; helpful stuff.
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby DaveB » Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:07 pm

Davo - it was reading Kik's book myself, a number of years ago, that got me thinking along these lines. I've not studied the 'full' preterist position but would like to.
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby sturmy » Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:12 am

Hi Richard et al,
This is an interesting subject and I have been looking through and trying to find old notes from a couple of years ago when I was researching the possible dating of Revelation and the subject of Preterism. This was in response to an invitation that I'd received on a study of Revelation from a group who take the Historicist approach. As I'd come to believe differently (I grew up with the historicist approach) but was still rather sketchy on things I had done some study in order to posit a different perspective. I had some interaction with the authors of the series that was revealing but these notes I can only find in part, but if I find anything more that I think might be interesting I'll put it up later.
To summarise I felt the dating of the book of Revelation was a weak link in the historicist argument and even though general opinion amongst many seems to favour a late date authorship I think this was more a default position accepted because it fits conveniently with those that take a historicist or futurist view rather than from a scholarly approach.
My enquiries certainly didn't prove an early date, of course, but certainly give at least considerable credence to the very real possibility, and therefore a Preterist interpretation of Rev must enter the debate.
Below is a summary I came across, in my notes, of some of the arguments. I don't know where this summary came from so can't give credit to authorship, other than to say it wasn't me. I hope it's not too long for a general read.

---------------------------------------------

"...First a backdrop: What is often forgotten or ignored is the fact that the Book of Revelation has more references from the Old Testament than any other book in the Bible! A magnitude of them deals with prophecies about the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. and God's judgment of Jerusalem, as well as the Jewish headship and the disobedience of apostate Israel. Thus, most postmodern Christians will not understand Revelation because they do not know the Old Testament, its rich symbolism, its culture, or the historical conditions of that time.
The date is significant, because if Revelation was "just" written about far-away future events, then this letter to people in dire stress was mostly meaningless. How could they listen to the words of the prophecies and obey something that was not relevant to them?
This would have been a belated word of comfort or a cruel joke, like a relief agency sending a Christmas card to a persecuted Christian in Sudan and saying we are praying for you, but do not worry we will help your great grand kids. (I need to note that I was a diehard late-date person, but now I lean toward an early date personally. So, pardon any bias of language).

An early date prior to 70 A.D.?
First are the arguments previously given. The main arguments to setting a date proposed in the last post is predicated on the fact that John makes no mention of the destruction of Jerusalem or the Temple in 70 A.D. and thus the book must have been written prior to these events. However, the retort to that is that this is an “argument from silence” which does not persuade when there is ample evidence that John wrote Revelation around 95 A.D. Also, when the “Olivet Discourse” (Matthew 24) is compared to Revelation, a proof is formed that is hard to rebuff. In addition, Jesus' own words are seen in Matthew 24:1-3: "I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; everyone will be thrown down ....This generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened." In less than forty years later, this prophecy was fulfilled. This statement is climatic and earth shattering to a Jew and for setting up a new covenant, a Kingdom of God age. The “early date” people use this as their main argument. But, is there more evidence?
Word usage and "internal evidence:"
Let's begin with what the word Apocalypse means. The accepted and understood meaning is that it deals with the end times, with what is going to happen at the end of the world. Also, the popular thinking is that this is about what is ominous, anarchical, and disastrous. However, the word, Apocalypse, has the same meaning as the word Revelation, which comes from the Greek word, apokalypsis, meaning the “discourser of events,” as opposed to undisclosed or mysterious. Thus, even though Revelation has a lot of figurative phrases, it is not necessarily concealed when we take an honest look and compare it to other passages in the O.T. rather than pursuing trends or “newspaper eschatology.” Thus, Apocalypse means something is being revealed as an “uncovering,” an “unveiling,” or, as we have it in the English, a “Revelation.” Revelation is a book of disclosure and hope through John's seven visions and God's exhortations (Judges 6:11-23; Dan. 7:16; 10:5-21).
We then see this further as Revelation opens with an elaborate greeting so we can more firmly connect our relationship with the authority that is Christ and we can receive His hope and encouragement. Thus, the title of this Book means the "revelation of and about Jesus Christ” that the original hearers could now know.
Revelation 1:1 states, “what must soon take place.” The word “soon” (swift/shortly—Greek “Tachos”) means quickness and speed, indicating that these events will happen “suddenly” and “unexpectedly” (Matt 24:32; 2 Pet. 3:8-18).
The late date, so people point out, also refers to God's divine providence and the final phase. The time of waiting is over; Christ is here. The time is near for God who lives outside of space and time, but not necessarily near for us. This is similar to the last days, referring in context to the sudden nature of the Christian era, not necessarily a time reference (2 Pet. 3:3). Many Christians took this to mean that it would happen soon. We need to understand God's perspective, not our desires. This word is critical to which approach and view of Revelation one takes. If we take this word as it is in English and do not pay attention to the Greek or the context, we will jump to the conclusion of immediate fulfillment (Acts 2:16-17; 1 John 2:18; Rev. 22:6-12, 20).
Thus, if it is a prophecy of things that were to happen "shortly", then these or most of these prophecies were fulfilled with the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D.!
More Word usage and "internal evidence for an early date:"
The eight kings mentioned in Revelation 17:9-14, may present a date of early 70 A.D. just before the destruction of the Temple which happened in the fall season. The argument goes that if the kings were the Roman emperors, and if it started with the first, 1. Augustus, with the next seven being 2. Tiberius, 3. Caligula, 4. Claudius, and 5. Nero (who died June 9, 68 A.D. and may be the "deadly wound" in Rev. 13:3-14), then after Nero's murder which left the Roman Empire in chaos, there were three very short lived “pocket emperors” 6. Galba, 7. Otho, and 8. Vitellius, who sought to take advantage of the situation and consolidate power, but each was quickly assassinated. Then, after the eighth one came Vespasian, who restored order in 70 A.D. but also did not live long (Job security was not good then). The date can be predicated because the “deadly wound" was healed by Vespasian (Rev. 17:10). If you did not count the pocket emperors, Vespasian would be sixth and Titus the seventh and Domitian the eighth. So an argument can be made using this system for both date theories. Even though the length of a Roman Emperor's reign might be short, he was still the king.
Another wording of note is how the tense of word and context of “beast” is used. In Revelation 17:8-11, it says, the beast, which you saw, once was, now is not. If the “beast" represents the Roman Empire and its megalomaniac emperors like Nero and Domitian, then Revelation could not have been written during the reigns of either Nero or Domitian; rather, just before either one! Now this just confounds things a bit more.
Another “internal evidence” is how John addressed his personal situation. John was still to experience a lot of life after this writing, not that he was ready to die of old age. In Rev. 10:11, John is told that he "must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings." If John received this message around 96 A.D., how could he be able to walk and travel? Of course, an assist from God would be an answer too. If he was told this in 65-70 A.D., then he had lots of time and the enablement to do it.
An O.T. word example in Daniel 9 is the term “the abomination of desolation." This is an image of extreme evils, oppression, sexual exploitations, and the seductions of the world, referring to the evils of paganism and immorality and rationalizing it as OK (Lev 18:23; Jer. 3:3; Ezek-. 27; Hos. 2:2; Rev. 2:23; 7:3; 13:6). Antiochus IV Epiphanes destroyed the Temple in 167 B.C., at which time he also desecrated an idol of Zeus resembling himself. But wait; there is more! Herod rebuilt it, and it was just being finished at the time of Christ (Daniel 8:12, Daniel 9:24-27, Daniel 11:31, 12:11, Matthew 24:15, Revelation 11). This also refers to Matthew 24, and the most despicable apostasy and sacrilege that a Jewish person could conceive of that caused the desolation of the most holy place of the Temple. Daniel predicted this would happen after the death/rejection of the Messiah, which was also fulfilled at the crucifixion and the Temple's destruction in 70 A.D. (Dan. 9:25-27; 11:31).
We will also see that Matthew 24 addresses the same issues as Revelation and the same period of time as Daniel 9. In Matthew 24, Jesus is not talking about the end of the future world, but the destruction of the Jewish temple, marking the end of the Jewish system or "age". He is not teaching about "The Last Day" (of history), but the last days of the Jewish economy, the false religious system of the Jews, and the beginning of the New Covenant era. This is what John's readers and hearers were going through.
Textual redaction considerations:
• The “Syriac version” of the New Testament, which dates back to the second century A.D., states that Revelation was written during the reign of Nero making a date of 64-68 A.D.
• The “Muratorian Fragment,” dating back to 170-190 A.D., states that this work of John was written during the reign of Nero.
• The “Aramaic Peshitta” version has a remark that places its date prior to 70 A.D. The title page of Revelation states this work of John was written right after the reign of Nero.
• The “Monarchian Prologues,” that dates back to 250-350 A.D., claims that Paul also wrote to these seven churches (possibly Romans which was a “circular letter,” it went out to many addressees) following John's Book, thus, placing the book even before some of the other Pauline epistles.
•A quote, arguably attributed to Papius (130 AD), states that John the Apostle was martyred before the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
Roman law of exile:
Nero Caesar exiled John on the island of Patmos. Nero died in 68 AD, and according to Roman law, those banned by a prior Caesar would be released by the succeeding Caesar. Thus, John would have been released from Patmos around 68 AD. (John himself mentions he was at Patmos when he received the Revelation).

The condition of the Church in Asia Minor:
John is clearly writing to the seven churches and consequently to people being persecuted by Rome. Rome was a bloodthirsty, pagan empire that oppressed its people, especially Christians, who were considered criminals and slaves and used for sadistic entertainment.
Peter also wrote to the Christians in Asia Minor around the same time for an early date or a few years before John (1Pet. 1:1-6; 4:12; 5:9). He notes that they were in extreme persecution, suffering, and in dire anguish. This is similar to John's language and situation (Rev 2:9; 3:9) and similar situations recorded by Paul in Acts 13:50; 14:5,19; 17:5-8,13; 18:12. Thus, the severity of the persecution is consistent with an early date.
Keep in mind that a Preterist view would require that the date for Revelation be prior to 70 A.D.
A late date after 70 A.D.?
Most modern, historical, and biblical scholars tend to state that Revelation was written between 95 and 96 A.D. with the major exceptions of McGuiggan, Jay Adams, Philip Schaff, and some others who contended for an early date of 70 A.D., specifically in the spring, during Vespasian's reign, thus making an argument for an early date steps one out of the herd into the presumption of pride or a theological agenda; of course, the majority can be wrong too. If the later date is true, then the Preterist position cannot stand up well—if at all. The majority of the prophecies were fulfilled (except Christ second coming). Keep in mind that the key to this position is Jesus' own words in Matthew 24.
Most scholars contend that the date of Revelation was around 95-96 A.D. near the end of the Domitian's evil reign. How, and why?
Iraneaus is the main spokesmen to this date. He lived in the second century A.D., a principal “Early Church Father” who made a statement in 185 A.D. that the apostle John "saw the revelation...at the close of Domitian's reign(A.D. 81-96). (Ref: Contra Haereses 5.30.3; ANF, 1:559-60 also called in the fifth book of his work “Against Heresies”.) The argument against this is that in context, his statement is not clear, rather ambiguous, but can be implicit in various ways.
Here it is: We will not, however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of Antichrist; for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him who beheld the apocalyptic vision. For that was seen not very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian's reign.
There are at least four main problems with this statement. 1. It is actually a "second hand" account, which he quotes from Polycarp. Thus, it is not a direct quote from Irenaeus. 2. In context, this quote referred to Polycarp's remembrance (also referred to by Eusebius) "that" sometime toward the end of Domitian's reign there will be an antichrist (which simply means anyone who opposes Christ; here in a grand scale). 3. It is not clear from this statement to what Polycarp was referring or what he meant by "that was seen." It could have been referring to Revelation or to a coming antichrist that was also implied by John. 4. Irenaeus suffers from credibility issues and/or textual and scribal errors. He also wrote when he was very old and/or made major mistakes. For example, in the same work as the aforementioned quote, he states that Jesus was crucified when he was fifty years old. Thus, the principle source for the late dating of the Book of Revelation has some significant holes.

Did the Early Church Fathers give credence?
Some of the other Early Church Fathers give credence to a late date. Jerome, Sulpicius Severus, and Hippolytus all thought that John was exiled to Patmos under Domitian, where he saw the visions and wrote the Apocalypse. Another was Clement of Alexandria, who was an “Ante Nicene Father.” In his work, “Who is the rich man that shall be saved? XLII,” he gives credence to a late date too. So say many Futurist scholars. But, when the text is examined,
“the Apostle John. For when, on the tyrant's death, he returned to Ephesus from the isle of Patmos, he went away, being invited, to the contiguous territories of the nations, here to appoint bishops, there to set in order whole Churches, there to ordain such as were marked out by the Spirit...”
The key is how you translate the phrase the tyrant's death, because it could be Domitian as this theory argues, but it could be someone else like Nero. Jerome also stated in his Book of Illustrious Men that during the final reign of Domitian, he instigated the biggest persecution of all, even greater than Nero's. Therefore, this sets up the situation for Revelation. However, these statements can easily be cross-examined and refuted because of contextual issues similar to the Irenaeus refute. Thus, these late date theories may come out of interpretative errors by their scholars, from reading into a theory and grasping for any evidence, or that the historians just could not recognize how Christ's statements applied to the audience as he said they did.
The other main theory for a late date is when the events recorded in the book of Revelation take place in Domitian's reign (81- 96 AD), the contention is that it is in the future after the date of around 82 to 96 A.D. This is backed up by the early church historian, Eusebius (A.D. 300-340), who actually did not state the date but just gave a general connection between John and Domitian, which could just mean John was still alive in Domitian's reign."
--------------------------------------------
I have read other similar references but cannot say I have cross checked anything so those with greater knowledge of some of these church father's may have some worthwhile opinion on the validity of the thoughts here.
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t
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby davo » Wed Jun 25, 2014 4:38 am

Hi Sturmy, the above can be found HERE.

Thanks Melchi and Dave.
Last edited by davo on Wed Jun 25, 2014 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby davo » Wed Jun 25, 2014 4:38 am

Hi Steve…

steve7150 wrote:Full Preterism may seem to fit well with Christian Universalism but i don't think that should have much weight when evaluating it.

This is absolutely correct.

steve7150 wrote:As full Preterists claim the relevant audience probably did think Jesus was returning soon. But the expressions Jesus sometimes used like "coming in the clouds" was used twice in the OT to mean the destruction of a kingdom and probably referred to the destruction of Jerusalem. This was indeed the end of an age, the end of the Jewish age.

Again yes… biblical “eschatology” was all about the end of the world, that is or should I say was the end of the Mosaic world i.e., the Old Covenant “age”. As I understand it there is NO eschatology relevant to the New Covenant age, that is… the new covenant age has no end. This world will always populate the next ad infinitum.

steve7150 wrote:Whatever date you give Revelation it was written after the gospels and it claims to be a "revelation" or an unveiling of things not previously known, not a summary or review of things clearly stated earlier like the destruction of Jerusalem.

Well actually, the “revelation” was of “Jesus Christ” and of things “soon” to occur… Jesus had previously prophesied such days and now here is John a good while later commissioned to give relevant details etc.

As to an early dating of Revelation – Kenneth Gentry’s BOOK or PDFstates the case well, IMO. I might add by the way that Gentry is a PARTIAL prêterist.

steve7150 wrote:It says Jesus is returning to judge the world and the dead will be raised and judged and those whose names are not in the book of life will go into the lake of fire.

From my perspective “the world” being judged was the old covenant world that was found wanting [Heb 8:7-8]. You have to remember that in spite of previous devastation and deportation [722BC and 587BC] Israelites and in particular their culture survived. Their world was not limited to Palestine, in fact it was for this very reason along with the common Grecian world (trade) language and the Roman roads that traversed the kingdom carrying the gospel message that the early church was predominately viewed as “a Jewish sect”. Hence Paul’s affirmation… “For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.Acts 15:21 cf Jn 7:35; Acts 2:5, 26:7; Jas 1:1; 1Pet 1:1

John’s ‘Revelation’ speaks of those who “…shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire…”. The ‘lake of fire/second death’ was much more than a picture of ‘physical death’ – DEATH like in Israel’s former captivity actually meant EXILE. Yes many literally died, but in covenantal terms “death is exile”. Comprehending this helps us to see Paul’s words to the Thessalonians with more clarity, appreciating the historical context as opposed to applying something more ethereal…

2Thess 1:9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power…

As I understand it “eternal destruction” speaks not of longevity but of TOTALITY – it is qualitative NOT quantitative. History bears witness to the fact that in the aftermath of the Ad70 Judgment a good portion of the Jews were taken captive as slaves back to Rome and paraded by the conquering Titus as part of the spoils of the Roman-Jewish Wars. These captives were all very much alive, yet having had “their part” in the “lake of fire” (Israel's/Jerusalem's AD66-70 conflagration) were now banished forever… permanently exiled [DEATH] away fromthe presence of the Lord” in Jerusalem – their world had come crashing down and they were as dead-men-walking… judged and found wanting.
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby sturmy » Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:48 pm

Thanks davo that's helpful.
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby TotalVictory » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:26 am

Hi Richard:

Out on vacation last week; just noticed this. I suppose first of all I’m intrigued by the breadth of your personal musings about life and theology!
I mean, why this, why now…

Within my denomination of upbringing (and where I currently reside; very Historicist! eg see sturmy’s notes…) there is this inside joke among the more bold... We Adventists (ie the SDA) have no need for hell; (we - though not me! - are annihilationists as you may recall…) we do however have a perfect substitute: the fear engendered by our own particular eschatology -- which renders our Second Coming scenarios (and up-leading events) just as fearsome as any hell!

I’ve no fondness for the subject myself. It’s been nothing but a source of fear and trembling and uncertainty. So my bias is inherent and frightfully strong. I’ve found discussions of eschatology mostly as negative; ie quite counter to any notion of gospel (GOOD news folks!!) one might have.

In my experience then, Eschatology serves merely to select and empower a certain enlightened few with, you know, the “special knowledge” that can make one feel so smug and certain and (let’s just admit it) self-righteous… Because, you know, we “know” (wink wink! ;-) what those other less insightful bible readers don’t “know”. It was, in short, a mechanism of exclusion, and control (he with the secret knowledge rules!) and (in retrospect) frightfully manipulative… Little wonder then that for me, my dawning realization of the true God (for me, in ’94…) involved a heavy dose of reworking of my understandings of …. Eschatology.

But to cut through a whole lot of anguish and questions and thought, my response to this question of your’s Richard is, (apologies for sounding crude or irreverent…) so what? All biblical eschatology culminates/is realized in 70 A.D. So what? Jesus came again… Final Judgement… Hell… All over and behind us… So what?? Or, with a nod to my Historicist upbringing (yes, the very one which left me in a tetanic fear…) Most, or maybe NONE of it was fulfilled --- it’s ALL going to happen sometime… out there… in the future… gotta “be ready” … Again I’d ask; so what?

For, it seems too obvious to even need to mention, and just think of all to whom this has applied over the ages since the Cross, here we are. Still. Looking, waiting, suffering, yearning, and asking - over and over again until we faint of exhaustion - Why? Oh God? and… How Long Oh God?? The majesty & victory of the Cross simply fades away into the very thing faith always was… waiting out the storm, catching fleeting glimpses and glimmers of the (all too often far off) Kingdom, and then, we die… Die just like those other hero’s of faith. (Heb 11) Die in hope -- not having received the promise… still waiting for that heavenly country...

Eschatology fulfilled? So what… Life goes on. And we find ourselves asking the same questions, facing the same dilemmas also faced and asked by vast throngs who’ve trod the way before us.
And no, we’re not leaving Him; we affirm, as did Peter so long ago, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal Life… we know You are the Holy One of God…

Of what use, then, is eschatology? What happened, and when? … what will happen, and when? So what? Why do we need to know with such specificity??

I’ve known many who hold that eschatology exists so that, when it happens (is fulfilled) we can all say “see! - God really does know the future!” which I suppose is to generate confidence in God. Except, as you’ve noted, we can’t even agree that “it” has even happened! To see eschatology as indication of God’s complete foreknowledge, or as refutation of open theism, misses the point -- or so it seems to me…

The only way I can even begin to make a coherent place for eschatology is to find a place for it within the overarching narrative of God. God -- origin of everything, thus a personal being, the Creator ‘invested’ in His creation. But something’s amiss; call it the ‘fall’, or call it the painful journey towards freedom and right doing from our initial condition of ambiguity, self-centeredness, delusion. Thus, the central actions of God involve redemption. Of not just us, but of the entire creation.

Whether the process of redemption, or “re-creation”, is itself part of, or necessary to the overarching goals of God’s creation I cannot say for sure. (ie following Talbott’s suggestion that we are born into ambiguity, ignorance, and prone to delusion…)

Necessary to this process -- and surely we should be able to all agree that it’s mostly a process, not just an instantaneous churning out of perfected beings -- is time. Things just need to work out, evolve; cause and effect becoming ever clearer even as the revelation of God’s way’s & means become clearer. (ie without the dark glass; knowing even as we are known etc) This lack of complete clarity however, even as we learn and grow and move, can be extremely anxiety producing as we are tempted to despair, lose hope; our faith shudders.

Into this setting then, this narrative, eschatology begins to make perfect sense when seen as an indispensable part of God’s redemption. It is a framework of history, part and parcel of our narrative, which serves to remind us, over and over as necessary, of the truths on which our hope rests. God is there; God is cause; God is personal; God is involved; we are not alone; God is compassionate; God is redeeming; and most of all, God is victorious. Any eschatology that doesn’t end with a completely victorious God is no eschatology at all.

The point of an eschatology then is not to raise our predictive IQ so we can just plug correct events in with correct dates. Rather, it is to encourage the despairing, rekindle their hope, rebuild courage and strengthen faith. The point is, God stands astride all of history... As we all should be painfully aware, there are those who follow Christ today whose loyalties are costing them their lives. We argue finer points of theology; they’re getting killed. I should think that an eschatology that speaks to God’s current intimate involvement in our Redemptive drama would be rather more pertinent, and powerful, than one which only affected “them” way back “then”. If belief in complete fulfillment “way back then” fosters confidence today (and why wouldn’t it?) then that is fine too of course and that eschatology will also have served its useful purpose.

Or something like that…

Thanks for the thoughts Richard!

Bobx3
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby steve7150 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:57 am

steve7150 wrote:It says Jesus is returning to judge the world and the dead will be raised and judged and those whose names are not in the book of life will go into the lake of fire.


From my perspective “the world” being judged was the old covenant world that was found wanting [Heb 8:7-8]. You have to remember that in spite of previous devastation and deportation [722BC and 587BC] Israelites and in particular their culture survived. Their world was not limite






Sorry i have not had much free time, hopefully after July 4th i'll have more. I read individuals being raised from the dead in Rev 20 and individually being judged and any individual not found in the book of life being put in the lake of fire.
This is nowhere to found in Full Preterism. Also i read in scripture an end to evil at some point also not found in FP. The dating of Revelation is not an issue as for the Historicist and Idealist view it can be written at either date. The things happening soon could have begun in 70AD and simply continued through the church age. However sometimes God described things in the present tense that happened hundreds of years later like Isaiah 53 or Genesis 3.15. Paul said God speaks of things that are not as though they are (Rom 4) therefore the word "soon" may or not mean it the way we normally would take it.
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby davo » Sat Jul 05, 2014 9:18 pm

steve7150 wrote:It says Jesus is returning to judge the world and the dead will be raised and judged and those whose names are not in the book of life will go into the lake of fire.

Again… from my perspective the “world” being judged was the “old covenant” world that had failed miserably [Heb 8:7-8] and was “about to” [μέλλω] “pass away”, as per the likes of Heb 8:13; 2Cor 3:11; 1Jn 2:8.

steve7150 wrote:I read individuals being raised from the dead in Rev 20 and individually being judged and any individual not found in the book of life being put in the lake of fire.
This is nowhere to found in Full Preterism.

Although my view of pantelism is in the fully prêteristic camp I certainly do not speak for all full prêterists, far from it, however… as I understand it, this is not some cosmic endless post mortem scene, but rather refers to the Mosaic world’s “end time”, i.e., ‘the lake of fire’ is a metonymic euphemism used to express the conflagrations that were to befall Palestine in AD66-70, culminating in the destruction of Jerusalem in particular the Temple, the paragon of LIFE in the old covenant “world”. Those who remained faithful to Israel’s covenant renewal as founded in Christ “enduring to the end” were delivered, that is, “saved” out of harm’s way, as per Mt 24:13; Lk 21:21.

Those who “had their partin the lake of fire [Rev 21:8] suffered tremendous loss in the Roman-Jewish wars of the period, and particularly so with Jerusalem’s destructive inferno of AD70… some to the point of DEATH, for others deprivation and DEPORTATION to Rome.

Again, history bears witness to the fact that in the aftermath of this AD70 “Judgment” a good portion of Jewish captives were taken back to Rome and paraded as slaves before the conquering Titus as part of the spoils of war. These captives were all still very much alive, yet having had “their part” in the “lake which burns with fire” were now banished “forever”… permanently EXILED, i.e., covenant DEATH aka “the Second Death” away from the presence of the Lord in Jerusalem – their world had come crashing down; they had been judged and found wanting.

These were the ones banished from ever again being found in “the Presence of the Lord” (at the Temple) as per Paul’s words to the Thessalonians… These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power… 2Thess 1:9

And so it was in contradistinction… they had “no place” or “part” in the Book of Life' – a euphemism with undertones in part saying no place found for them in the land of the living as per the likes of Ex 32:32; Isa 4:3; Psa 69:28; Rom 9:3.

steve7150 wrote:Also i read in scripture an end to evil at some point also not found in FP.

Steve, which text/s of “scripture” do you actually have in mind that mention “an end to evil”?
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby Nick Baker » Fri Jul 11, 2014 3:16 pm

Hey everyone,
Has anybody considered that while all the stuff to Jerusalem did happen, that it is also a type/shadow of the future, meaning the same bad stuff will happen again and that Jesus really will come back in the clouds to save us all from killing each other.
Also, when the Bible says that Jerusalem will not be built again, I think it meant it literally in the sense of a nuclear war. :shock:
The preterist view (without any future event) seems to miss out on that fact that global events have gotten progressively worse over time. There is more bloodshed, war, immorality, hypocrisy in the churches, broken families, disasters, famines, monetary debt, and general evil in the last couple of centuries (read: World War I, II, Holocaust, etc.) than ever. The biggest evidence comes from the fact that secularization corrodes Christian values in America and Europe to the point that Christians are unsure of whether God cares. That's what I call mass manipulation by 'humanist' leaders who supposedly represent the ignorant people. Eventually, the leaders will be exposed for their lies and people will cry out for Jesus to save them and bring back order. Jesus gonna boss, man. 8-)
BTW, I come from an Adventist background but now I'm an Universalist who believes that Jesus will come back and sort this whole mess out soon. I don't mean to be negative, just keeping it real.
Sincerely (yes, I mean everything I said),
Nick :)



P.S. Jesus loves you. You'll be fine if you put your trust in Him. ;)
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'and I will let you find me,' says Jesus. ‘Then I will reverse your exile. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have driven you,’ says Jesus, ‘and bring you back to the place from which I exiled you.’ AMEN!
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby alecforbes » Fri Jul 11, 2014 4:24 pm

Hi Nick, :D

Nick Baker said: Hey everyone,
Has anybody considered that while all the stuff to Jerusalem did happen, that it is also a type/shadow of the future, meaning the same bad stuff will happen again and that Jesus really will come back in the clouds to save us all from killing each other.
Also, when the Bible says that Jerusalem will not be built again, I think it meant it literally in the sense of a nuclear war. :shock:
The preterist view (without any future event) seems to miss out on that fact that global events have gotten progressively worse over time. There is more bloodshed, war, immorality, hypocrisy in the churches, broken families, disasters, famines, monetary debt, and general evil in the last couple of centuries (read: World War I, II, Holocaust, etc.) than ever. The biggest evidence comes from the fact that secularization corrodes Christian values in America and Europe to the point that Christians are unsure of whether God cares. That's what I call mass manipulation by 'humanist' leaders who supposedly represent the ignorant people. Eventually, the leaders will be exposed for their lies and people will cry out for Jesus to save them and bring back order. Jesus gonna boss, man. 8-)
BTW, I come from an Adventist background but now I'm an Universalist who believes that Jesus will come back and sort this whole mess out soon. I don't mean to be negative, just keeping it real.
Sincerely (yes, I mean everything I said),
Nick :)



P.S. Jesus loves you. You'll be fine if you put your trust in Him. ;)
I love your post despite disagreeing with almost everything in it! ;) I thought quite similarly in the past but now I'm older …and well, just OLDER! I may be wiser but that's more debatable… Anyway, there is a lot that could be discussed here as you've laid out some things here that are very provocative regarding things getting worse in the last few centuries and the corrosion of "Christian values." I sense a new thread arising from this and wonder if you'd be game to pursue this? If so, I'll start a new one using this post as an intro and off we go! :D
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby Nick Baker » Fri Jul 11, 2014 4:53 pm

Hey Alec,
post a link, please.
thank you,
Nick
Jeremiah 29:14
'and I will let you find me,' says Jesus. ‘Then I will reverse your exile. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have driven you,’ says Jesus, ‘and bring you back to the place from which I exiled you.’ AMEN!
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby alecforbes » Fri Jul 11, 2014 4:57 pm

Will do! ;)
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby qaz » Thu Nov 26, 2015 9:44 pm

Great thread. As someone who leans towards full preterism and wishes universalism was true, this is the kind of discussion I've been craving to find.

If full preterism is true, then universalism would seem to have a problem. 1 Corinthians 15 is one of the most commonly cited texts for universalism. But it seems pretty clear to me that God has not been all in all since AD 70. If we accept the belief that everything has been subjected to God since AD 70, we must also accept the belief that being subjected to God doesn't mean being in good standing with God; there have been sinners since AD 70. And so 1 Cor 15 offers no proof for universalism.

Philippians 2:9-11 is another common universalist proof text. But if every knee bowed and every tongue confessed in AD 70, then we must interpret the "every" as not being literal and the bowing/confessing too as non-literal (and thus offering no proof for universalism). Was every Native American, Englishman, Japanese confessing Jesus as Lord in AD 70? I think not.
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby jeff@dgjc.org » Fri Nov 27, 2015 3:46 am

Preterism is really a neat concept that too many Bible readers have not considered. The idea that I am reading something prophesied in the future that is actually in the past from my time-frame is often over-looked. The average evangelical theologian is often scared by the term preterism, but I think with thoughtful discussion we could get every Christian to agree that the Bible has spoken of at least some events using the future tense that are already in the past. Any such statement is a preteristic statement. In fact most Christians hold to some form of this.

The question then is where to draw the line. How do we understand the multitude of statements that Jesus and his Word makes about the future? What has already happened and what remains in the future for mankind?

One thing predicted in the future is the glorification of the God's people, the complete removal of sin and the perfection of our minds, bodies, and souls. In fact this future event is SO certain that Romans 8:30 even speaks of it in the past tense. Yet I think each of us could consider our aches, pains, and struggles with sin and realize that we are not yet glorified. Of course one might try to follow Mary Baker Eddy into Christian Science and the denial of pain. One could also argue that this temporal life is simply an endless incubator bringing new people into this broken world in order to find Jesus and that glorification happens for all upon death. However, this simple model misses the Biblical teaching about the rapture and resurrection as well as other things.

One question I am researching along these lines is whether the White horse in Revelation 6 is the same event as the White horse in Revelation 19. One could try to understand Revelation as a prophesy of events and judgments, concerning Jerusalem or otherwise, beginning with the White horse in Revelation 6. John then returns to the same white horse in Revelation 19 to communicate that these events he just described in the body of the book are now beginning. This literary device would be called a framing-effect. I've tried to understand it that way, but after some effort it seems too cumbersome.

Presently I've simply settled to a partial-preterist stand while trying to build a consistent understanding of where to draw the lines in what is past and what is still future. The challenge is having a thorough enough understanding of history past while wading through the highly symbolic language of apocalyptic literature.

I have proposed a chart of redemptive history on this page. I'd love to have your feedback there. http://www.dgjc.org/optimism/hope-in-jesus
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby maintenanceman » Fri Nov 27, 2015 7:54 am

jeff@dgjc.org wrote:?

One thing predicted in the future is the glorification of the God's people, the complete removal of sin and the perfection of our minds, bodies, and souls. In fact this future event is SO certain that Romans 8:30 even speaks of it in the past tense. Yet I think each of us could consider our aches, pains, and struggles with sin and realize that we are not yet glorified. Of course one might try to follow Mary Baker Eddy into Christian Science and the denial of pain. One could also argue that this temporal life is simply an endless incubator bringing new people into this broken world in order to find Jesus and that glorification happens for all upon death. However, this simple model misses the Biblical teaching about the rapture and resurrection as well as other things.

http://www.dgjc.org/optimism/hope-in-jesus


Hi Jeff,

I guess that as a full preterist and a universalist, I have found that to come to these conclusions I have had to unlearn many assumptions I have had over the years.

I am not sure why most all Christians believe that Christ came to earth, born of a virgin, did many miracles, taught of many incredible truths, was put to death, died, was buried, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven... We believe all these things (and I may add none of us has seen with our own eyes) and yet many will not believe that he came for all, to reconcile humanity to the Father, that he bore the sin of all the world, that he came to completely fulfil the covenantal requirements to the house of Israel, that through a partial hardening of heart, ALL have been Included... in short, Christ has done everything he said he would do.

As to sins, pains, sufferings, glorification etc... I will quote George McDonald:

God does not, by the instant gift of his Spirit, make us always feel right, desire good, love purity, aspire after him and his will. Therefore either he will not, or he cannot. If he will not, it must be because it would not be well to do so. If he cannot, then he would not if he could; else a better condition than God’s is conceivable to the mind of God-a condition in which he could save the creatures whom he has made, better than he can save them. The truth is this: He wants to make us in his own image, choosing the good, refusing the evil. How should he effect this if he were always moving us from within, as he does at divine intervals, towards the beauty of holiness? God gives us room to be; does not oppress us with his will; “stands away from us,” that we may act from ourselves, that we may exercise the pure will for good. Do not, therefore, imagine me to mean that we can do anything of ourselves without God. If we choose the right at last, it is all God’s doing, and only the more his that it is ours, only in a far more marvellous way his than if he had kept us filled with all holy impulses precluding the need of choice. For up to this very point, for this very point, he has been educating us, leading us, pushing us, driving us, enticing us, that we may choose him and his will, and so be tenfold more his children, of his own best making, in the freedom of the will found our own first in its loving sacrifice to him, for which in his grand fatherhood he has been thus working from the foundations of the earth, than we could be in the most ecstatic worship flowing from the divinest impulse, without this willing sacrifice. For God made our individuality as well as, and a greater marvel than, our dependence; made our apartness from himself, that freedom should bind us divinely dearer to himself, with a new and inscrutable marvel of love; for the Godhead is still at the root, is the making root of our individuality, and the freer the man, the stronger the bond that binds him to him who made his freedom. He made our wills, and is striving to make them free; for only in the perfection of our individuality and the freedom of our wills call we be altogether his children. This is full of mystery, but can we not see enough in it to make us very glad and very peaceful?

Macdonald, George . Unspoken Sermons Series I, II, and III (p. 75).

I kind of like how he puts this. Having pasted the above, ;) I have no problem with the notion that Christ did all he said he would do. And we are exactly where the Father wants us.

qaz

1Co 15:19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.
1Co 15:20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.
1Co 15:21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead.
1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
1Co 15:23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming,
1Co 15:24 then comes the end,

(if we consider the end, what is talked about here, is the ending of the age Christ spoke of=70AD destruction of the Temple)

1Co 15:24 (continued) when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.
1Co 15:25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.
1Co 15:26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death.
1Co 15:27 For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, "All things are put in subjection," it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him.
1Co 15:28 When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.

Once again, I have no problem with believing Paul saying that Christ is doing (has done in our time) everything he said he would do. The above has everything to do with God's covenant with Israel. We keep trying to make it into a personal evangelical revelation.

Wright puts it like this:

Paul’s understanding of God’s accomplishment in the Messiah is that this single purpose, this plan-through-Israel-for-the-world, this reason-God-called-Abraham (you can see why I prefer the shorthand “covenant”; this is going to be a very long book if I have to use multihyphenated phrases all the time), finally came to fruition with Jesus Christ. Here is the point which has so puzzled John Piper that he thinks a “covenantal” reading would be a belittling of Paul’s meaning. The single-plan-through-Israel-for-the-world was called into being by God as the means of addressing and solving the plight of the whole world. The “covenant,” in my shorthand, is not something other than God’s determination to deal with evil once and for all and so put the whole creation (and humankind with it) right at last. When will it become clear to the geocentrists? Dealing with sin, saving humans from it, giving them grace, forgiveness, justification, glorification—all this was the purpose of the single covenant from the beginning, now fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

Wright, N. T. (2009-09-25). Justification: God's Plan & Paul's Vision (pp. 94-95). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.



Just my opinion.

Thanks :D

Chad
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby qaz » Fri Nov 27, 2015 8:56 am

maintenanceman wrote:Once again, I have no problem with believing Paul saying that Christ is doing (has done in our time) everything he said he would do. The above has everything to do with God's covenant with Israel. We keep trying to make it into a personal evangelical revelation.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you are agreeing with me, that if full preterism is true, 1 Cor 15 offers no proof for universalism.
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby maintenanceman » Fri Nov 27, 2015 10:08 am

Hi qaz

I guess I see all as all inclusive. Seems clear to me. :D
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby qaz » Fri Nov 27, 2015 1:06 pm

maintenanceman wrote:Hi qaz

I guess I see all as all inclusive. Seems clear to me. :D


Do you think God has been all in all since AD 70?
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby davo » Sat Nov 28, 2015 5:15 pm

qaz wrote:If full preterism is true, then universalism would seem to have a problem. 1 Corinthians 15 is one of the most commonly cited texts for universalism. But it seems pretty clear to me that God has not been all in all since AD 70.

As I understand it from an “inclusive prêterist” perspective, aka pantelism… I would say the exact opposite to be true. In fact it was 1Cor 15 that that led me as a full prêterist to see the all-inclusive nature of God’s grace – TO ALL. I’m not making a case for “universalism” per se but rather “inclusion” – similar but with significant differences that foster different conclusions and assumptions that to my mind negate and quash a lot of unnecessary and manufactured doctrinal contradictions.

IF as Pantelism contends – in the AD70 Parousia of Christ the LAST enemy to be destroyed was “the death” (1Cor 15:26); and IF along with “the death” its paralysing venom of “the sin” duly empowered by the “the lawall suffered demise (1Cor 15:56); and further… IF God having reconciled all things in heaven and on earth to Himself through the blood of Christ’s cross (Col 1:20); THEN regardless of what you or I or anybody else thinks or reasons – God has no more enemies.

Now even if in the ignorance or arrogance of some men’s feeble minds they consider themselves enemies of God, from HIS perspective they are not (Col 1:21), period. The logic is clear-cut – IF from the pantelist perspective “the last enemy” to be destroyed was “the death” aka *spiritual separation* (that which the first Adam wrought was that which the last Adam rectified), then a consistent prêterism must dictate that there can be NO MORE ENEMIES thereafter; therefore God has no more enemies, period! And thus… IF God has made peace, and the Scriptures testify He has, THEN who are we to question His gracious will?

Needless to say I became the bane of existence in prêt circles being duly labelled “a dirty universalist!!” – lol.

qaz wrote:Do you think God has been all in all since AD 70?

If all is fulfilled then an unequivocal YES!

Some remain unconvinced but I suspect this is due to looking at life from our fleshly perspective; always a deficiency. Consider the logic… IF “Christ in you” can be relegated to the scrap heap based purely on the human observation of judging a person’s life i.e., their works, THEN no Christian can or could claim that reality that Paul claims to be true.

Just because a lot of humanity does not live as though God were present within does not mean He is not. Again simplifying it… just because a lot of believers do not live as though Christ were truly present within does not mean He is not.
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby qaz » Sun Nov 29, 2015 9:06 am

davo wrote:As I understand it from an “inclusive prêterist” perspective, aka pantelism… I would say the exact opposite to be true. In fact it was 1Cor 15 that that led me as a full prêterist to see the all-inclusive nature of God’s grace – TO ALL. I’m not making a case for “universalism” per se but rather “inclusion” – similar but with significant differences that foster different conclusions and assumptions that to my mind negate and quash a lot of unnecessary and manufactured doctrinal contradictions.

IF as Pantelism contends – in the AD70 Parousia of Christ the LAST enemy to be destroyed was “the death” (1Cor 15:26); and IF along with “the death” its paralysing venom of “the sin” duly empowered by the “the lawall suffered demise (1Cor 15:56); and further… IF God having reconciled all things in heaven and on earth to Himself through the blood of Christ’s cross (Col 1:20); THEN regardless of what you or I or anybody else thinks or reasons – God has no more enemies.

Now even if in the ignorance or arrogance of some men’s feeble minds they consider themselves enemies of God, from HIS perspective they are not (Col 1:21), period. The logic is clear-cut – IF from the pantelist perspective “the last enemy” to be destroyed was “the death” aka *spiritual separation* (that which the first Adam wrought was that which the last Adam rectified), then a consistent prêterism must dictate that there can be NO MORE ENEMIES thereafter; therefore God has no more enemies, period! And thus… IF God has made peace, and the Scriptures testify He has, THEN who are we to question His gracious will?

Needless to say I became the bane of existence in prêt circles being duly labelled “a dirty universalist!!” – lol.


If all is fulfilled then an unequivocal YES!

Some remain unconvinced but I suspect this is due to looking at life from our fleshly perspective; always a deficiency. Consider the logic… IF “Christ in you” can be relegated to the scrap heap based purely on the human observation of judging a person’s life i.e., their works, THEN no Christian can or could claim that reality that Paul claims to be true.

Just because a lot of humanity does not live as though God were present within does not mean He is not. Again simplifying it… just because a lot of believers do not live as though Christ were truly present within does not mean He is not.


How do you reconcile your belief that God has been all in all since 70 AD with 1 John 2?

1 John 2
4Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
9Whoever says he is in the light, yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness. 10Whoever loves his brother remains in the light, and there is nothing in him to cause a fall.
15Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

The fact that there have been people since AD 70 who have not kept God's commandments, who have hated their brothers, and who have loved the world would seem to completely refute the idea that God as been all in all since AD 70.

Do you believe in post-mortem punishment?
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby davo » Sun Nov 29, 2015 9:10 pm

qaz wrote:How do you reconcile your belief that God has been all in all since 70 AD with 1 John 2?

I read the text with the prêteristic hermeneutic of “audience relevance” in mind, meaning… BEFORE I read “myself” back into the text I ask, HOW did this (the text) have meaning for those to whom it was specifically written, i.e., what did the original audience understand these words to mean? NOT what do these words mean to me? That is secondary and should be governed by that which is primary.

Which “world” were they not to love? …the one the majority of early converts came from, i.e., Judaism – the OC “world”. THAT world (the one Jesus came to redeem) was under “condemnation” and those who clung to it would duly go down with it, as per Jn 3:16-18, 36.

Again it was “the world” of the old covenant that was coming to naught, or as the immediate writer states “is passing away” i.e., in the process thereof of demise…

1Jn 2:8, 17 Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. … And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

The brother who remained in the practice of Pharisaic judgmentalism, i.e., “darkness” was hindering the “true light from shining”. The likes of Diotrephes (3Jn 1:9) was such a one and was in danger of the very likes of the Pharisaic Lawyers, as per Lk 11:52 cf. Acts 15:10; Rom 1:18. This then is the likes of the behaviour 1Jn 2:9 refers to… NOT living out the fullness of NC grace.

Again this ‘passing world’ is in line with the writer to the Hebrews…

Heb 8:13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Note the then present diminishing nature of the OC world, said to be in the process of… “becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” There is likewise Paul’s words…

1Cor 7:29-31 But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none, those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess, and those who use this world as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away.

2Cor 3:11 For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.

Again the OC world was “passing away” and “what remains is much more glorious” i.e., the NC world. Jesus’ disciples asked…

Mt 24:3Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age (world)?

As can be seen there IS historical context determining HOW the relevant audiences understood their world and what was coming upon it, and in particular the words spoken in relation to it.

But to reiterate, and this does need taking note of…

Consider the logic… IF “Christ in you” can be relegated to the scrap heap based purely on the human observation of judging a person’s life i.e., their works, THEN no Christian can or could claim that reality that Paul claims to be true.

Just because a lot of humanity does not live as though God were present within does not mean He is not. Again simplifying it… just because a lot of believers do not live as though Christ were truly present within does not mean He is not.


qaz wrote:Do you believe in post-mortem punishment?

In terms of ECT or some misapplying of the LOF, no! I’m somewhat agnostic on what I would see as ‘justice postmortem’ only because I don’t see it dealt with that clearly in scripture. Now someone might appeal to the likes of…

Rev 14:10b-11a He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night,…

Again understanding “audience relevance” and “apocalyptic genre” this torturous torment lasting “forever and ever” speaks to the TOTALITY, completeness or fullness of judgment, NOT its length. Not only that… the context itself shows the timeframe of Jerusalem’s ‘last days’ (AD70) where the great Harlot Babylon, i.e., JERUSALEM is *fallen*.

But even if one wants, for example, to ignore the historic parlance and still claim the likes of postmortem ECT for this passage above then they can be greatly comforted knowing that even as they are likewise “in the presence of the Lamb” they too will be able to speak, as per Lk 16:26, with their lost loved ones as they writhe in flames; though there be a “great gulf fixed” between them at least they will be close enough to communicate… Jesus thought of everything, oh joy!! :twisted:
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby qaz » Mon Nov 30, 2015 4:36 pm

davo wrote:I read the text with the prêteristic hermeneutic of “audience relevance” in mind, meaning… BEFORE I read “myself” back into the text I ask, HOW did this (the text) have meaning for those to whom it was specifically written, i.e., what did the original audience understand these words to mean? NOT what do these words mean to me? That is secondary and should be governed by that which is primary.

Which “world” were they not to love? …the one the majority of early converts came from, i.e., Judaism – the OC “world”. THAT world (the one Jesus came to redeem) was under “condemnation” and those who clung to it would duly go down with it, as per Jn 3:16-18, 36.

Again it was “the world” of the old covenant that was coming to naught, or as the immediate writer states “is passing away” i.e., in the process thereof of demise…

1Jn 2:8, 17 Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. … And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

The brother who remained in the practice of Pharisaic judgmentalism, i.e., “darkness” was hindering the “true light from shining”. The likes of Diotrephes (3Jn 1:9) was such a one and was in danger of the very likes of the Pharisaic Lawyers, as per Lk 11:52 cf. Acts 15:10; Rom 1:18. This then is the likes of the behaviour 1Jn 2:9 refers to… NOT living out the fullness of NC grace.

Again this ‘passing world’ is in line with the writer to the Hebrews…

Heb 8:13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Note the then present diminishing nature of the OC world, said to be in the process of… “becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” There is likewise Paul’s words…

1Cor 7:29-31 But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none, those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess, and those who use this world as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away.

2Cor 3:11 For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.

Again the OC world was “passing away” and “what remains is much more glorious” i.e., the NC world. Jesus’ disciples asked…

Mt 24:3Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age (world)?

As can be seen there IS historical context determining HOW the relevant audiences understood their world and what was coming upon it, and in particular the words spoken in relation to it.


So your belief is that "the world" is an idiom for the Old Covenant religious system. I tend to agree, but that doesn't mean "the world" only refers to the Old Covenant religious system. You still have to explain how the verses I cited are not true for people post-AD 70. How did the destruction of the Temple change things so that the truth is now in someone who says he knows God but does not keep God's commandments? How did the destruction of the Temple change things so that now someone who hates his brother is not in darkness?

But to reiterate, and this does need taking note of…

Consider the logic… IF “Christ in you” can be relegated to the scrap heap based purely on the human observation of judging a person’s life i.e., their works, THEN no Christian can or could claim that reality that Paul claims to be true.

Just because a lot of humanity does not live as though God were present within does not mean He is not. Again simplifying it… just because a lot of believers do not live as though Christ were truly present within does not mean He is not.


See Romans 8. This is related to 1 John 2.

Romans 8
7For the concern of the flesh is hostility toward God; it does not submit to the law of God, nor can it; 8and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9But you are not in the flesh; on the contrary, you are in the spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

You think the destruction of the Temple changed things in such a way that now, a person who does not submit to the law of God pleases God? How do you explain such a radical change in how God relates to people who rebel against Him?

In terms of ECT or some misapplying of the LOF, no! I’m somewhat agnostic on what I would see as ‘justice postmortem’ only because I don’t see it dealt with that clearly in scripture. Now someone might appeal to the likes of…

Rev 14:10b-11a He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night,…

Again understanding “audience relevance” and “apocalyptic genre” this torturous torment lasting “forever and ever” speaks to the TOTALITY, completeness or fullness of judgment, NOT its length. Not only that… the context itself shows the timeframe of Jerusalem’s ‘last days’ (AD70) where the great Harlot Babylon, i.e., JERUSALEM is *fallen*.

But even if one wants, for example, to ignore the historic parlance and still claim the likes of postmortem ECT for this passage above then they can be greatly comforted knowing that even as they are likewise “in the presence of the Lamb” they too will be able to speak, as per Lk 16:26, with their lost loved ones as they writhe in flames; though there be a “great gulf fixed” between them at least they will be close enough to communicate… Jesus though of everything, oh joy!! :twisted:


Hebrews 10:31 says it's a scary thing to fall into the hands of the living God. In John 8:24 Jesus warns of the danger of dying in one's sins. These seem to be clear references to post-portem punishment.

But even if the Bible didn't deal clearly with the issue, we could conclude based on logic that if Christianity is true, there will be post-portem punishment. (Whether or not it's unending is a whole other issue).
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby steve7150 » Mon Nov 30, 2015 5:16 pm

Hebrews 10:31 says it's a scary thing to fall into the hands of the living God. In John 8:24 Jesus warns of the danger of dying in one's sins. These seem to be clear references to post-portem punishment.

But even if the Bible didn't deal clearly with the issue, we could conclude based on logic that if Christianity is true, there will be post-portem punishment. (Whether or not it's unending is a whole other issue).
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby davo » Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:41 pm

qaz wrote:…but that doesn't mean "the world" only refers to the Old Covenant religious system.

Which is why I haven’t made that carte blanch claim.

qaz wrote:You still have to explain how the verses I cited are not true for people post-AD 70.

It’s not that they can’t be true post parousia, BUT that those verses’ primary and more immediate focus and applicability was to the THEN suffering church as per ‘the tribulation’ and their need for unity of “love” in the face of division… as per the likes of 1Jn 2:19; Acts 15:1, 5, 24

qaz wrote:How did the destruction of the Temple change things so that the truth is now in someone who says he knows God but does not keep God's commandments?

AD70 was the end game with regards to Israel’s redemption. Any “believer” prior or since who claims to love God and yet hates his brother can be challenged to their apparent hypocrisy… I’m NOT arguing against that point.

qaz wrote:You think the destruction of the Temple changed things in such a way that now, a person who does not submit to the law of God pleases God? How do you explain such a radical change in how God relates to people who rebel against Him?

Well no, I don’t. You’re saying I’m saying things that I’ve NOT actually said, i.e., you’re making false assumptions. What I’ve said is… by virtue of the parousia (AD70) God has no more enemies, period. AD70 hasn’t stopped anyone from coming to errant conclusions about God and so having ‘attitude’ against God… but that doesn’t faze God NOR change the reality of His grace covers all, dare I say is “all in all” – some people in this life “get it” and are blessed accordingly – the rest will (on the whole) be pleasantly surprised when they step through death’s doorway.

qaz wrote:Hebrews 10:31 says it's a scary thing to fall into the hands of the living God. In John 8:24 Jesus warns of the danger of dying in one's sins. These seem to be clear references to post-portem punishment.

Your word “seem” is a massive qualifier! There is nothing in Heb 10:31 that requires such dire straits as referencing a post-mortem calamity; Israel’s history was replete with examples of what it meant “to fall into the hands of the living GodIN THIS LIFE!

Again in Jn 8:24… nothing apart from of doom IN THIS LIFE not knowing the forgiveness that was theirs, i.e., consequentially dying in their sins. WHERE are you getting “post-mortem” from in this text?

qaz wrote:But even if the Bible didn't deal clearly with the issue, we could conclude based on logic that if Christianity is true, there will be post-portem punishment.

All well and good, so ok, logically state your case accordingly… :geek:
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby jeff@dgjc.org » Tue Dec 01, 2015 4:39 am

Here is some of my logic.

1. The wicked dead are punished in a place called Hades. The man died and was buried. Luke 16:19-31
2. The righteous dead are raised to life to reign with Christ. Revelation 20:1-6
3. The wicked dead are extracted from Hades after the Millennial time period. Hades is not empty, but will be emptied. Revelation 20:11-15
4. Fallen angels are likewise being held for future judgment. 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 6

Thus

1. There is temporary postmortem punishment for unbelievers
2. There is differential blessed postmortem treatment for believers
3. There are redemptive events still in the future
4. There is reason to fear the Lord's wrath for he still punishes the disobedient
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby steve7150 » Tue Dec 01, 2015 5:40 am

1. The wicked dead are punished in a place called Hades. The man died and was buried. Luke 16:19-31
2. The righteous dead are raised to life to reign with Christ. Revelation 20:1-6
3. The wicked dead are extracted from Hades after the Millennial time period. Hades is not empty, but will be emptied. Revelation 20:11-15
4. Fallen angels are likewise being held for future judgment. 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 6






There will be a lot of varying opinions here. For example I'm undecided on a millennial period after Christ returns or does he simply return on the last day. Also I think the unrighteous dead are simply dead until judgment day. In Luke 16, I think is a parable about Israel losing it's favor as I think the rich man is Israel and Lazarus represents gentiles. Hades simply means grave as it is the greek word for the Hebrew word "shoel."
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby qaz » Tue Dec 01, 2015 5:33 pm

davo wrote:Which is why I haven’t made that carte blanch claim.


It’s not that they can’t be true post parousia, BUT that those verses’ primary and more immediate focus and applicability was to the THEN suffering church as per ‘the tribulation’ and their need for unity of “love” in the face of division… as per the likes of 1Jn 2:19; Acts 15:1, 5, 24


AD70 was the end game with regards to Israel’s redemption. Any “believer” prior or since who claims to love God and yet hates his brother can be challenged to their apparent hypocrisy… I’m NOT arguing against that point.


Well no, I don’t. You’re saying I’m saying things that I’ve NOT actually said, i.e., you’re making false assumptions. What I’ve said is… by virtue of the parousia (AD70) God has no more enemies, period. AD70 hasn’t stopped anyone from coming to errant conclusions about God and so having ‘attitude’ against God… but that doesn’t faze God NOR change the reality of His grace covers all, dare I say is “all in all” – some people in this life “get it” and are blessed accordingly – the rest will (on the whole) be pleasantly surprised when they step through death’s doorway.


If you don't believe that post-AD70 a person who does not submit to the law of God pleases God, then how can you believe that post-AD70 God is in everyone, when pleasing God is a condition for God dwelling in a person per Romans 8?

qaz wrote:Your word “seem” is a massive qualifier! There is nothing in Heb 10:31 that requires such dire straits as referencing a post-mortem calamity; Israel’s history was replete with examples of what it meant “to fall into the hands of the living GodIN THIS LIFE!

Again in Jn 8:24… nothing apart from of doom IN THIS LIFE not knowing the forgiveness that was theirs, i.e., consequentially dying in their sins. WHERE are you getting “post-mortem” from in this text?


All well and good, so ok, logically state your case accordingly… :geek:


For God not to punish unrepentant sinners would mean God doesn't care about sin any more. The idea that God could no longer care about sin is absurd. "For I, the Lord, do not change" (Malachi 3:6) The New Testament (as well as the Old) makes it 100% clear that God does not like sin. Yet now for some reason He is going to just allow unrepentant sinners into heaven?!

1 Corinthians 6
9 Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor sodomites 10nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11That is what some of you used to be; but now you have had yourselves washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

Further, Jesus warned people about going to Gehenna. By the time of Jesus' ministry, Gehenna was understood to be a place of post-mortem punishment, not the literal valley south of Jerusalem.


BTW, any books or websites you can recommend? Reading Don K Preston really solidified my preterism. How did you come to full preterism and universalism?
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby maintenanceman » Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:10 pm

qaz wrote:For God not to punish unrepentant sinners would mean God doesn't care about sin any more. The idea that God could no longer care about sin is absurd. "For I, the Lord, do not change" (Malachi 3:6) The New Testament (as well as the Old) makes it 100% clear that God does not like sin. Yet now for some reason He is going to just allow unrepentant sinners into heaven?!


BTW, any books or websites you can recommend? Reading Don K Preston really solidified my preterism. How did you come to full preterism and universalism?


Qaz,

Joh 8:3 The scribes and the Pharisees *brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court,
Joh 8:4 they *said to Him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act.
Joh 8:5 "Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?"
Joh 8:6 They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground.
Joh 8:7 But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."
Joh 8:8 Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.
Joh 8:9 When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court.
Joh 8:10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, "Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?"
Joh 8:11 She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more."]

You say for God not to punish unrepentant sinners would mean that God does not care about sin any more. Is that how YOU take the above account of the woman caught in adultery?
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby davo » Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:58 pm

qaz wrote:If you don't believe that post-AD70 a person who does not submit to the law of God pleases God, then how can you believe that post-AD70 God is in everyone, when pleasing God is a condition for God dwelling in a person per Romans 8?

You’re not taking into account context… “pleasing God” was relative to their service as faithful believing servants; something fleshly Israel failed to do.

qaz wrote:The idea that God could no longer care about sin is absurd. "For I, the Lord, do not change" (Malachi 3:6)

Duly noted, and I’ll raise you one… Isa 43:19Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it?” God did a new thing in Christ… He abolished “the sin” that separated Him from his creation. All religianity seeks to do is rebuild that which is destroyed… and to no good end!

qaz wrote:The New Testament (as well as the Old) makes it 100% clear that God does not like sin.

WELL YES exactly… and again He did something about it! You see, this is the schizophrenia of evangelicalism… it says it believes one thing and then practices the exact opposite.

Spiritual maturity into the grace of God is not marked by who you exclude, or the groups you exclude, or the life styles you exclude. The mark of spiritual maturity into the grace of God is marked by the circle that gets wider and wider, embracing more and more in understanding, that in no matter what a man does he cannot escape the incredible mercy of God.

It is little wonder that folk grow up struggling with any inner faith when we in our religiosity have learnt go around saying things like: “God loves you!” – to which a respondent might ask… “How much does he love me?” – “Unconditionally!” we will say… “He has grace for your life!” “What kind of grace?” they will query – “Undeserved and unmerited favour, it's all yours!” “Well I'm not so sure I can believe all this” is their response – and what is our religious rejoinder… “then you'll burn in Hell forever!” Talk about a toxic and schizophrenic message. The power and mercy of God's grace is NOT limited to man's ability to comprehend it, or the lack thereof!

qaz wrote:Yet now for some reason He is going to just allow unrepentant sinners into heaven?!

I have a sneaking suspicion there hasn’t been a person born who has then come to stand in His Presence that hasn’t then duly “repented”.

qaz wrote:BTW, any books or websites you can recommend? Reading Don K Preston really solidified my preterism.

There is of course my website… pantelism.com ;) and of course on prêterism DKP is always a good read. But for the pièce de résistance on ‘covenant eschatology’ (aka prêterism) go to Max King’s opus magnum… ‘The Cross and the Parousia of Christ’ –– it is wordy and a hard slog but more than worth it.

qaz wrote:How did you come to full preterism and universalism?

I’m an ‘inclusionist’ as opposed to a ‘universalist’ as in I reject the typical universalist rationales around “hell” and “the lake of fire” which for the most part are no different in essence than that held by infernalists; the only real difference between the two is the amount of torturous time said to be spent therein. I also don’t buy into the philosophical type arguments lots of universalists’ often favour… I find them weak and unconvincing. IOW, I came to inclusion via biblical eschatology NOT philosophy.

Becoming an inclusive prêterist (a pantelist) was as natural as moving from partial to full prêterism, that is, it was IMO the most natural and logical progression to take when taking prêterism to it most obvious logical conclusion, that is, I found prêterism to be inherently inclusive and as such the pantelism extrapolated to be more exegetically and “prêteristically consistent”.

Example… prêterism maintains that “the last enemy to be destroyed is death” – I agree! (BTW… this “death” was the death of Adam i.e., relational [spiritual] separation from God; that which Jesus rectified). LOGIC however dictates that IF this is so then by obvious extension GOD HAS NO MORE ENEMIES because there can be nothing more AFTER “the last” has been dealt with – that’s pretty simple AND pretty INCLUSIVE. There are of course other texts that feed into this pantelistic rationale.

I encountered a lot of heat and opposition from both Arminian (DKP) and Calvinist (Frost) prêterists… but the best they could do at the time (early to mid-2000s) was rail against my conclusions with pejorative name-slinging like “universalist!” But apart from disagree they couldn’t (can’t) refute said conclusions.
“...the power and mercy of God’s grace is NOT limited to man’s ability to comprehend it...”
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Re: On Preterism, the Second Coming and Hell

Postby DaveB » Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:14 pm

That $28 price tag on King's book has discouraged me, but I'd like to read (study) it so will look around for a used copy.
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.
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