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Church-State Relations and the Book of Revelation
An Introduction to The Parousia: A Careful Look at the New Testament Doctrine of the Lord's Second Coming
by James Stuart Russell (1878) // Written by
Todd Dennis, Curator
 



 

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 1-1000

070: Clement: First Epistle of Clement

075: Baruch: Apocalypse Of Baruch

075: Barnabus: Epistle of Barnabus

090: Esdras 2 / 4 Ezra

100: Odes of Solomon

150: Justin: Dialogue with Trypho

150: Melito: Homily of the Pascha

175: Irenaeus: Against Heresies

175: Clement of Alexandria: Stromata

198: Tertullian: Answer to the Jews

230: Origen: The Principles | Commentary on Matthew | Commentary on John | Against Celsus

248: Cyprian: Against the Jews

260: Victorinus: Commentary on the Apocalypse "Alcasar, a Spanish Jesuit, taking a hint from Victorinus, seems to have been the first (AD 1614) to have suggested that the Apocalyptic prophecies did not extend further than to the overthrow of Paganism by Constantine."

310: Peter of Alexandria

310: Eusebius: Divine Manifestation of our Lord

312: Eusebius: Proof of the Gospel

319: Athanasius: On the Incarnation

320: Eusebius: History of the Martyrs

325: Eusebius: Ecclesiastical History

345: Aphrahat: Demonstrations

367: Athanasius: The Festal Letters

370: Hegesippus: The Ruin of Jerusalem

386: Chrysostom: Matthew and Mark

387: Chrysostom: Against the Jews

408: Jerome: Commentary on Daniel

417: Augustine: On Pelagius

426: Augustine: The City of God

428: Augustine: Harmony

420: Cassian: Conferences

600: Veronica Legend

800: Aquinas: Eternity of the World

 


1000-2006

FUTURIST
HISTORICAL
MODERN

1265: Aquinas: Catena Aurea

1543: Luther: On the Jews

1555: Calvin: Harmony on Evangelists

1556: Jewel: Scripture

1586: Douay-Rheims Bible

1598: Jerusalem's Misery ; The dolefull destruction of faire Ierusalem by Tytus, the Sonne of Vaspasian

1603: Nero : A New Tragedy

1613: Carey: The Fair Queen of Jewry

1614: Alcasar: Vestigatio arcani sensus in Apocalypsi

1654: Ussher: The Annals of the World

1658: Lightfoot: Commentary from Hebraica

1677: Crowne - The Destruction of Jerusalem

1764: Lardner: Fulfilment of our Saviour's Predictions

1776: Edwards: History of Redemption

1785: Churton: Prophecies Respecting the Destruction of Jerusalem

1801: Porteus: Our Lord's Prophecies

1802: Nisbett: The Coming of the Messiah

1805: Jortin: Remarks on Ecclesiastical History

1810: Clarke: Commentary On the Whole Bible

1816: Wilkins: Destruction of Jerusalem Related to Prophecies

1824: Galt: The Bachelor's Wife

1840: Smith: The Destruction of Jerusalem

1841: Currier: The Second Coming of Christ

1842: Bastow : A (Preterist) Bible Dictionary

1842: Stuart: Interpretation of Prophecy

1843: Lee: Dissertations on Eusebius

1845: Stuart: Commentary on Apocalypse

1849: Lee: Inquiry into Prophecy

1851: Lee: Visions of Daniel and St. John

1853: Newcombe: Observations on our Lord's Conduct as Divine Instructor

1854: Chamberlain: Restoration of Israel

1854: Fairbairn: The Typology of Scripture

1859: "Lee of Boston": Eschatology

1861: Maurice: Lectures on the Apocalypse

1863: Thomas Lewin : The Siege of Jerusalem

1865: Desprez: Daniel (Renounced Full Preterism)

1870: Fall of Jerusalem and the Roman Conquest

1871: Dale: Jewish Temple and Christian Church (PDF)

1879: Warren: The Parousia

1882: Farrar: The Early Days of Christianity

1883: Milton S. Terry: Biblical Hermeneutics

1888: Henty: For The Temple

1891: Farrar: Scenes in the days of Nero

1896: Lee : A Scholar of a Past Generation

1902: Church: Story of the Last Days of Jerusalem

1917: Morris: Christ's Second Coming Fulfilled

1985: Lee: Jerusalem; Rome; Revelation (PDF)

1987: Chilton: The Days of Vengeance

2001: Fowler: Jesus - The Better Everything

2006: M. Gwyn Morgan - AD69 - The Year of Four Emperors

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The End Times Controvery
The Second Coming Under Attack

By Tim LaHaye and Tommy Ice
 

AVAILABLE FOR BROWSING AT GOOGLE


Tim LaHaye

Many Bible-believing Christians find it astounding that anyone would teach that our Lord Jesus Christ has already returned to this earth and that we are now living in the kingdom age predicted throughout the Bible. Yet that is what preterists believe and teach. And surprisingly, their numbers are growing—not because their arguments for what they are trying to believe are so convincing, but because many of their new followers have only heard one side of the argument. That is why we at the Pre-Trib Research Center are writing this book and seeking to expose some of the errors of this theory. Our purpose is to show that preterism is unscriptural and inconsistent, and to prove that the return of our Lord to this earth is yet future. What's more, the preterist notion that Christ returned spiritually in a.d. 70 would have come as a surprise to the early church fathers of the first three centuries, for they never mentioned that Christ's second coming was past. They invariably referred to it as a future event.

At the onset I would like to point out that most preterists are Bible-believing Christians who love the Lord and are striving to serve Him. Unfortunately, when it comes to the prophetic passages of Scripture, they do not interpret them literally, as they do those passages pertaining to the gospel and our Lord's deity. This is the cause of our difference. And in fairness to reformed theologians such as R. C. Sproul and Ken Gentry, who both assert they are preterists, we must point out that there are several degrees of preterism. In his book The Last Days According to Jesus, Dr. Sproul narrows down preterists to two main divisions: "Full Preterism and Partial Preterism."'Reduced to the most significant distinction between them, a full preterist is one who believes all prophecy was fulfilled at the destruction of Jerusalem in a.d. 70, including the second coming of Jesus. Partial preterists such as Sproul and Gentry believe that even though Matthew 24 and the book of Revelation have largely been fulfilled, they still understand some Bible passages to teach a future second coming (Act 1:9-11; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). They see the second coming of Jesus, the resurrection of the dead, the Judgment Seat of Christ, and heaven as yet future. Even Gentry points out that all the church creeds of history mention a future coming of Jesus Christ in power and glory,: clear evidence that the preterist view is of recent vintage.  It is safe to say and easy to defend that the vast majority of the church has not identified the second coming of Jesus with the a.d. 70 destruction of Jerusalem. Instead, Christians have believed His coming will be physical and is still future!

We are justified in questioning the academic objectivity of some preterists when approaching this subject. One reason is that Revelation chapter 20 uses the phrase "a thousand years" six different times in reference to the kingdom age. These, of course, are not the only biblical references to the coming kingdom of the Messiah. The Hebrew prophets referred to His kingdom many times. Revelation is the only book that mentions the length of that period as "a thousand years." That the Holy Spirit repeated this phrase six times presents a strong case for accepting it as a literal 1,000 years. Preterists, like the reformed theologians from whence they come, try to allegorize prophecy and refuse to face the Bible s teaching of a millennial kingdom on earth when Christ shall reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. In so doing they rob the church of the "blessed hope" (Titus 2:13) we have in the rapture of the church before the Tribulation period and followed immediately by Christ's glorious return. And because some of them are amillennialists (believing there is no specific time when Christ will reign on the earth, as is described in the Bible), they find it convenient to instead promote the notion that Christ came spiritually in a.d. 70 and that we have been living in the kingdom of Christ for these many years.

If such a notion makes you feel cheated because no one is hammering "their swords into plowshares" (Micah 4:3), the curse has not yet been lifted, and we are not living in a world of peace (as the Bible promises for the millennium), do not be surprised. I am confident that if the prophets and apostles were still alive today, they would find such a notion equally confusing.

The Return of Christ

One of the most questionable teachings of preterists is their assertion that Jesus has already come. Admittedly, some have not accepted full-blown preterism yet and suggest instead that Christ came back spiritually in a.d. 70 when the temple and city of Jerusalem were destroyed. Both views fly in the face of the angels' promise in Acts 1:11: "This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven" (kjv). It cannot be contested that the disciples and other believers who witnessed the ascension saw Jesus taken up into heaven in His resurrected physical body, which could eat, be touched, and talk, and in short was a "flesh and bone body," as He Himself described. The angels' promise in Acts 1:11, then, must refer to a physical, literal return of the Savior to this earth.

When Jesus described His second coming, which was to be "immediately after the Tribulation of those days," He said it would be accompanied by "the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory (Matthew 24:27-30 kjv, emphasis added). That this could refer to anything other than a physical, visible return of Christ to this earth seems irrefutable, especially in light of Acts 1:11.

In a similar vein, John the Revelator in Revelation 1:7 says, "Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen." Note again the reference John cited from Jesus' words: "every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him" (emphasis added). All men will see the Lord Jesus Christ at His coming—those in heaven, those on earth, and evidently, even those under the earth "who pierced Him." Again, this cannot refer to anything short of a physical, literal second coming."

For preterists now to claim that Jesus has already come is incredible. It was a foreign idea during the first five centuries a.d. and then only possibly mentioned sporadically after that until about 400 years ago. That would require that the apostles, early church fathers, and most theologians until the seventeenth century were wrong! Not until the early seventeenth century—when preterist thinking was applied by the Jesuit Catholic scholar Alcazar to the book of Revelation—was it given much real consideration. LeRoy E. Froom,  a painstakingly accurate historian, indicated that Alcazar put forth this theory as a means of counteracting the identification of the pope as the Antichrist.  This assumption about the pope was becoming popular as the Bible spread throughout Europe and the common people could read the book of Revelation for themselves.

Dr. R. C. Sproul, for whom I have great respect as a writer and thinker, though we disagree on the literal interpretation of prophecy and whether Christ will return before the millennial kingdom, has not endorsed full preterism. In fact, he cites favorably his friend Ken Gentry as one who believes that "full preterism.. .falls outside the scope of orthodox Christianity."* That is a polite way of saying that those who teach Christ came physically in a.d. 70 are borderline heretics. Where I differ is that I would suggest that those who believe Christ came spiritually and somehow is in control of this messed-up world are also very close to that line, for Scripture teaches the contrary. Christ's second coming is yet future, as taught in Matthew 24:29-31 and Revelation 19:11-21. He will indeed rule this world as "King of kings and Lord of lords" (Revelation 19:16) in a kingdom in which He will enforce a cultural standard of righteousness. No kingdom of righteousness will permit crime, pornography in print or on the Internet, teach godless socialism in our public schools, or denigrate God the Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, or the Holy Spirit.  You can be sure of this: Jesus Christ will come to this earth in power and great glory to set up His kingdom as the Bible predicts, and His coming will be personal and physical!

 

Thomas Ice

"Chrysostom (a.d. 347-407) is one example of someone who held to a mixed approach to interpreting Bible prophecy. In his commentary on Matthew 24:21, he said: "Seest thou that His discourse is addressed to the Jews, and that He is speaking of the ills that should overtake them?...And let not any man suppose this to have been spoken hyperbolically; but let him study the writings of Josephus, and learn the truth of the sayings.""

Clearly Chrysostom applies Matthew 24:21 to a.d. 70. However, he applies verses 27-31 to a future second coming, which means that he cannot be classified as a preterist:

Because no small turmoil is then to prevail over the world. But how doth He come? The very creation being then transfigured, for "the sun shall be darkened," not destroyed, but overcome by the light of His presence; and the stars shall fall, for what shall be the need of them thenceforth, there being no night?...much more seeing all things in course of change, and their fellow servants giving account, and the whole world standing by that awful judgment-seat, and those who have lived from Adam unto His coming, having an account demanded of them of all that they did, how shall they but tremble, and be shaken?' 

There are others in our own day who take a similar mixed approach to interpreting Matthew 24."

"German Preterism - Firmin Abauzit (1679-1767) of Geneva, who was a friend of Rousseau and Voltaire, published a commentary on Revelation in 1730 titled Historic Discourse on the Apocalypse, in which he advocated a more complete preterist view than his predecessors. Abauzit's work also broke new ground in that it was the first "in this period to attack the canonical authority of the Apocalypse"

Preterist Moses Stuart says of Abauzit that his "book is generally regarded as marking the commencement of a new period in the criticism of the Apocalypse." Stuart describes Abauzit's views as follows: "His starting point was, that the book itself declares that all which it predicts would take place speedily. Hence Rome, in chap, xiii-xix. points figuratively to Jerusalem. Chap. xxi. xxii. relate to the extension of the church, after the destruction of the Jews."

Johann Gottfried Herder (1744-1803) is credited with adopting Abauzit's understanding of the Apocalypse and also saw it as "emphasizing) the Jewish catastrophe." Herder expressed his views in his book entitled Maranatha, which was published in 1779 "Stuart said this about Herder's form of preterism: "Although he seems to move in a narrow circle, as to the meaning of the book; limiting it so generally to the Jews, yet he makes God's dealings with them, and with his church at that period, symbolical of the circumstances of the church in every age."

In 1791, Johann Gottfried Eichhorn (1752-1827) produced a commentary on Revelation that was exalted, emulated, and admired in critical German circles for many years.137 While Eichhorn did not see all of the Apocalypse being fulfilled in the first century, as did Abauzit and Herder, he did see a number of Jewish fulfillments in the second half of Revelation. Eichhorn was a typical German preterist—he did not believe the Bible was inspired by God, nor did it contain predictive prophecy. Stuart says, "I do not and cannot regard Eichhorn as a believer in Christianity, in the sense in which those are who admit the inspired authority of the Scripture."

European preterism of the post-Reformation period, especially the German variety, was attractive to those of the liberal persuasion. Froom observes: "Preterist principles have been adopted and adapted by those of rationalistic mind as the easiest way to compass the problem of prophecy, throwing it into the past, where it does not affect life today. It has had a sizable following among rationalists, of which Modernism is the modern counterpart." Preterists in our own day may be pleased about the historical evidence for the spread of preterism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in Europe. However, they cannot be happy that the foundational support for this growth of preterism was based upon German rationalism and unbelief." (The End Times Controversy, pp. 55-56)


 

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 Date: 31 May 2013
Time: 17:32:53

Your Comments:

I believe that the second coming was and is and is to come. I believe that it is spiritual and began in 70 AD at Penticost and is still happening today. When each man receives the holy ghost evidenced by speaking in tongues this is "Thy kingdom come thy will be done." I believe we press toward the mark of the high calling in Christ as sons of God just like our Brouther Jesus who was the first born of many brothers. At the last trump (message) we will be seen as he that cometh in the name of the Lord (the word or holy ghost or spirit of God)
 


Date: 19 Aug 2013
Time: 08:55:53

Your Comments:

December 13, 2012 8:08 pm by Ken Palmer Hey Tom,Thanks for your reply, however, all of the smetetants I have made are true based on my experience. Since you haven't addressed my concerns, then you are not grouped in with those full preterist that have shied away in silence, and those that have (which are none) addressed them, yet. Many full preterists, are not all, which would include you, as not part of the many, but the other percentage that would make up "all" a word which I did not use. Partial Preterism was annexed by full preterists to differentiate their preterism from historic preterism, which was defined in the 12th century as to pertaining "most" of Revelation being fulfilled. We can exchange sources here, but I am sure you are familiar with the sequence of events the Pope took with two of his scholars in the clergy to investigate the claims that were being made during the 14th century by the Reformation. Preterism is also seen as far back as the 3rd century with Eusebius, but we must also take his theology into account in that he also agrees with the basic fundamentals as Luis de Alcazar hundreds of years later when the first exposition of preterism hit the press. In reality, full preterism is not preterism. Full preterism describes that it has gone fully past the original intent and definition of preterism as it is historically exposited, understood and labeled. As far as my last smetetants and your rebuttal to them, we can discuss the historically inept part, but based on this last "interwebsite" interaction I have had with Mr. Bell, of course I "opinionatingly" generalized, and his ability to read a simple spreadsheet, is nonetheless administratively inefficient.I hope that has cleared things up a bit! I am looking forward to you addressing the matter of 1 Thess 4:16-17 and 1 Cor 15:37-38 and their theo-historic interpretation that was un!
animously accepted by the early church.Ken

 

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