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Preterism, Another Prophetic Deception
By Alan Yusko
To be honest I've never given preterism much thought. I've always felt it was a totally crazy position with very few followers. Therefore, as I rule, I have ignored this prophetic view. I've gotten the odd piece of email from a preterist but haven't given them much thought. After all there are people today who still believe the world is flat. They think all this stuff with Christopher Columbus etc is just a big deception and cover-up. To these people the world is flat and they will not be convinced otherwise. I think the preterist looks at prophecy much in the same way as the flat-earthers consider a round earth.
In this tract I'll cover some points of preterism and then list a few reasons why I reject this position. For most people, just reading what they believe will be enough to reject this position.
FOUNDATION OF PRETERISM
The foundation of preterism is their use of the allegorical method of Bible interpretation. This basically means that they will spiritualize any piece of Scripture that does not fit within their belief system of preterism. There are many ways to dismiss Scripture. You could take a pair of scissors and simply cut out the verses you don't like or that don't fit within your belief system. Or, you can use the allegorical method to interpret the Bible. Both methods essentially do the same thing. The end result is the Word of God is nullified as literal Scripture is spiritualized and then dismissed.
Now for a definition. What is preterism?
Preterism: An eschatological viewpoint that places many or all eschatological events in the past, especially during the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. (R.C. Sproul, The Last Days According to Jesus, p. 228)
The above quote pretty well sums up their beliefs. They consider that all prophecy was fulfilled at A.D. 70. This means there is no need to look for prophetic events to happen in the future. No point since they already happened in 70 A.D.. Jesus is not coming back in some future date. No, He returned in some kind of a spiritual way back in A.D. 70. Since then, we have been living in the garden of Eden here on earth. The preterist rejects the thought that prophetic events may yet be future. The preterest calls those who are looking for future prophetic events to occur a Futurist. To them that is a very negative label.. like a curse word. i.e. So you are a futurist eh....! ... you Futurist.. you!
So that is the foundation stone for preterism. What I've just written so far is enough for about 95 percent of the readers to already reject preterism. The simple fact is that A.D. 70 is NOT the fulfillment of prophecy. There are still many events (like the Second Coming of Christ) that have not happened yet!
Now lets look a bit closer at some of the specific beliefs of preterism:
Preterism defends the bodily resurrection of Jesus. However they teach the 'spiritual' resurrection of believers. They claim, preterism agrees with Paul, that "it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body" (I Cor. 15:44).
This means the preterist would agree that when Jesus was raised from the dead that it was a bodily resurrection. However, they differ in that when a Christian is raised from the dead. Instead of a body of flesh and bone like Jesus had, they believe the Christian will be given a nonphysical body. Well I hate to burst their bubble but a spiritual body in the resurrection will be composed of flesh and bone - just like the Lord Jesus' resurrection body.
First I want to say that as Jesus was raised from the dead... so will the Christian! We will be given a resurrection body and it will be just like the body Jesus had! See the following Scripture:
I John 3:2
One day we will be like Jesus. We will be given an eternal resurrection body just like Jesus has. Now what are the characteristics of a resurrection body. See below and it can be seen that a spiritual body is composed of flesh and bone:
For the preterist to argue that 'Yes, Jesus was raised in a body... ' and then to claim the Christian will not, cannot be justified. Jesus is the firstfruits of the resurrection. All God's people will have a resurrection body just like Jesus. It will be a spiritual body but it will be a body of flesh and bone, just like Jesus! To argue anything less is pure speculation.
FOLLOWERS OF THE HERETIC - ORIGEN
While surfing through a preterist web site, I saw positive references to the heretic by the name of Origen. This man wrote late in the 2nd century. He used the allegorical method of interpreting Scripture. Origen denied the Bible's historicity, eternal punishment, and salvation by grace. God, to Origen was abstract, inconceivable, and incomprehensible. Perhaps if Origen was saved then he may have understood a bit more about God and His nature. For more information on this false teacher see "Final Authority" by William P. Grady. Here is a question.. why then would the preterist's think so highly of such a false teacher such as Origen? Food for thought.
The preterist has adopted the allegorical method to interpret Scripture as did Origen. The end result of this method of Bible study causes literal pieces of Scripture to be treated as figurative and thus nullified. Quite simply if the Scripture does not fit into the preterist belief formula then it is considered a figurative or a spiritualized piece of Scripture. Therefore the Scripture does not really mean what it says! Instead it means something in a figurative manner. An example of this would be used by the preterist or the amillennialist where they spiritualize Revelation chapter 20. In this chapter the 1000 year kingdom is mentioned many times. As previously stated, the allegorical method actually nullifies the Word of God by denying this Scripture is literal. They teach Revelation 20 is only figurative and dismiss the chapter as irrelevant. They deny there will be any 1000 year kindom and dismiss Revelation 20 in the same breath. You see the 1000 year kingdom is not literal to the preterist (or the amillennialist). So by using the allegorical method the preterist have successfully dismissed Revelation chapter 20 which clearly teaches a literal 1000 year kingdom. They would have been just as effective if they took their scissors and physically cut out Revelation chapter 20.
SECOND COMING OF JESUS
The preterist believes that Jesus' second coming occurred in 70A.D. It was not a literal physical coming but rather some kind of a 'spiritual' return. Here is some of their reasons why:
To believe that Jesus has already returned requires a great deal of usage with the allegorical method of Bible study. You see there is all kinds of spiritualization required in order to claim Jesus actually returned to earth in A.D. 70.
Lets look at a few Scriptures:
Below we have a description of when the Lord Jesus returned to Heaven:
Notice verse 11 where it says He shall come back in 'like manner' as he went up to heaven. This means as Jesus went to heaven bodily and visibly, one day when He returns, it will also be bodily and physically.
Here is another verse that supports when Jesus returns, it will be very visible. (of course we are not talking about the rapture.. but rather the revelation or second coming of Jesus at the climax of the battle of Armageddon)
Notice above. Everyone will see Jesus return. It will not be some kind of 'spiritual' or 'hidden' thing that only the preterist can discern. Rather when Jesus returns everyone will clearly see Him! As a result the people of earth (who reject God) will mourn. Obviously this didn't happen in 70 A.D.! Next we look at something else that will happen when Jesus returns:
II Th 1:7-10
When Jesus returns it will not be a happy day for the unsaved. They will perish for all eternity. This has not yet happened!
Finally lets look at a description of the Lord Jesus returning to earth.
Again when the Lord Jesus returns it will be a very visible event. The bottom line is this: The physical and visible return of Jesus certainly did not happen in 70A.D. as the deception of preterism claims!
THE BOOK OF REVELATION (Written 30+ years AFTER 70 A.D.)
The book of Revelation was written by John late in the first century. Why did he write the following?
Why would John write about things which must shortly come to pass if they already happened in A.D. 70? It really doesn't make any sense for John, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to write in such a way. If Jesus had already returned and set up His kingdom and the earth was now a spiritual Eden, why did John write such things? It sounds to me like John was a futurist! I'll say it again (bad word for the preterist).. John was a FUTURIST, FUTURIST, FUTURIST! The events he was to write about were still in the future! They were not in the past occurring in A.D. 70, but were yet to happen!
SEVENTY WEEK PROPHECY FROM DANIEL
Above is the 70 weeks of years prophecy for the nation of Israel. After 69 weeks Messiah is cut off. This happened when Jesus died for the sins of the world. The first 69 weeks were very literal weeks of years which lasted 483 years. The final 7 years still has to be fulfilled for the nation of Israel. During this time the antichrist will rise to power as mentioned in verse 27. Now here are some points I want to make. The preterist will claim that the 70th week has already happened. This is a lie. Just look at verse 24 and see what will happen at the end of the 70 weeks of years:
Sorry Mr Preterist. The above has not yet happened! We still await the return of Jesus who will return in a physical manner (not a spiritual one). Jesus will reign on earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
PARADISE IS NOW ON EARTH
Preterists teach that paradise has been restored NOW in Christ. We are now living in the eternal Garden of Eden and we are able to directly communicate to God the Father. Remember the kingdom is a 'spiritual' one!...they say! Here is a thought: Can't the Kingdom be both a spiritual one and a literal one?
Well, what else can I say: WE ARE NOT LIVING IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN! We are living in a Christ rejecting, sin filled planet called earth. God is saving souls and soon Jesus will return to setup His 1000 year LITERAL kingdom. To me the claim that we are now living in Eden is just foolish. But to the preterist, given to the allegorical method of Bible perversion, anything is possible.
SPIRITUAL KINGDOM OF GOD
Preterism believes the physical kingdom of Israel was simply a 'schoolmaster' to teach spiritual truths regarding Jesus and His spiritual kingdom. They are not looking for a literal Kingdom but rather a spiritual one.
I want to show you the verses in Revelation chapter 20. These verses do not mean what they say to the preterist (or amillennialist). Instead they are simply dismissed as 'figurative'. This will give you an example of how those who spiritualize Scripture actually deny Scripture. As you read the below verses, take note every time reference is made to the 1000 year kingdom. I count the term 'thousand years' occurring 6 times. That is pretty clear now isn't it.
The bottom line is this: Everyone who uses the allegorical method to pervert Scripture, has a price to pay. That price is a loss of doctrine as anything can be proved if some Scriptures are accepted and others are dismissed as being figurative. The proper way to read and understand the Bible is to use the 'literal' method of interpretation. What does this mean? Well it is very simple. All Scripture is to be taken literally unless direct figurativeness is implied. The preterist does not do this. He takes all Scripture as being figurative if it disagrees with his false theory of preterism. You will see the preterist say that the book of Revelation is figurative, and then out of the other side of his mouth quote a verse from Revelation if it fits into the the false teaching of preterism. However Revelation Chapter 20 totally disproves preterism so they will NEVER accept the fact that the 1000 year kingdom is a literal one.
Lets look a bit deeper at literal vs figurative Scripture: Here is an example of some literal Scripture:.. notice the literal 1000 year time period:
Now here is some example of figurative Scripture: Notice the 'feathers'. Of course God does not have feathers...it is figurative.
It is not a hard concept to grasp! However the preterist will make literal Scripture figurative if it does not agree with preterism. That is deception and dishonest!
WORD REDEFINITION: AN EXERCISE IN SCRIPTURE TWISTING AND PERVERSION
How does the preterist or amillennialist twist, pervert and spiritualize the precious Word of God to come up with such a warped doctrine? They do it by the process of word redefinition and then using that redefined word elsewhere in Scripture where it suits their false doctrine.
A classic example of word redefinition can be found in the book of Revelation. The Bible clearly teaches that once the Lord Jesus returns the devil will be bound for 1000 years. When I say 1000 I mean 999 + 1 = 1000. During this time period (1000 years) God's Kingdom will be on the earth. It will be a literal 1000 year kingdom. Revelation chapter 20 is very clear on this fact.
Have a look at the following:
It is very clear from the above Scriptures that we are talking about a thousand year period. Does a thousand years mean 999 + 1 to the preterist/amillennialist? Unfortunately not. The preterist/amillennialist has twisted Scriptures to redefine the meaning of thousand. It does not mean 999 + 1 = 1000, instead it means something else. They have devised a twisted 'spiritual' meaning for the literal thousand (999 + 1) time period. That time period is also known as the Millennium when the Lord Jesus will reign on earth. These people deny that the 1000 year Kingdom of God will exist on earth. They are able to do so by word redefinition and spiritualizing literal verses.
What does the preterist/amillennialist say concerning the 1000 years found in the book of Revelation chapter 20.
They believe it is symbolic and is not a literal time period. They use the verse in Psalms that states "The cattle on a thousand hills are mine". By using that verse they state that 'thousand' does not mean 1000 (999 + 1) but rather it means something else. They take the word 'thousand' to mean eternal or including all, instead of 1000 years.
Pretty crazy isn't it! I look at the above and just shake my head. The preterist/amillennialist is stating that because the verse in Psalms uses 'cattle on a thousand hills', the word 'thousand' may be redefined to mean something else. Because of this verse they redefine the use of one thousand (999 + 1) to mean something other than what it really means. I would agree that the above verse is indication ALL hills, but I get that from the CONTEXT in how it is used. However I would never be so crazy to take that verse and apply it to the book of Revelation which clearly uses thousand to mean 999 + 1. But that is what the preterist/amillennialist does! Lets look closely because this demonstrates the concept of word redefinition that is used by the preterist/amillennialist. This is also spiritual deception!
Lets look closer at the verse in Psalms:
This one verse is used in word redefinition. Yes I would agree that due to the context of the verse that the term 'a thousand hills' would mean all hills. However does it make sense to take the word 'thousand' and take that same meaning and use it in other places where the word 'thousand' occurs. No that would be quite foolish. However anything is possible with the allegorical method of Bible perversion. This is what word redefinition is. Take a word, redefine it, and use it elsewhere. The redefinition is not used everywhere the word 'thousand' occurs, but just where it is needed to 'prove' the preterist/amillennialist's warped doctrine. What we have here is Scripture twisting and outright deception.
I mentioned this to a friend and he indicated that another problem the preterist/amillennialist has ignored. It is that the above verse in Psalms was written in Hebrew and the one in Revelation was written in Greek. I guess their word redefinition crosses language barriers.
Keep the word redefinition in mind and read the verses from the book of Revelation Chapter 20. Just use your common sense and see if the redefined word fits in. Should the word 'thousand' mean eternal/includes all, or should the word 'thousand' be used as it is intended..... (999 + 1) or 1000! Myself, the only logical conclusion is the word 'thousand' means what it says... one thousand!
Now is the preterist/amillennialist consistent with their word redefinition of the word 'thousand'? Well the answer is NO. You see they only redefine the word where it suits their purposes. Revelation chapter 20 totally disproves their heresy so it must be dismissed, ignored, or thrown out. However there are other Scriptures that have been left alone because they do not interfere with the preterist teachings.
Here is a question: Why do preterist/amillennialists only redefine the word 'thousand' in the book of Revelation? Why not do it in other places in the Bible? They could at least be consistent and redefine the word 'thousand' in every occurrence in Scripture? Well the reason is Revelation chapter 20 does not fit into their belief system of preterism. In fact it refutes it completely. Therefore the whole chapter must be spiritualized and treated as figurative. At that point it may be ignored and dismissed. Again I say, this is deception and it is evil.
Lets look at another Scripture that uses the word 'THOUSAND' and see if the word redefinition works here.
Should the meaning of 'thousand' be redefined in the above verse? Would it make sense to say that 1000 pieces of silver were NOT given but rather ALL silver.... The 'silver on a thousand hills' ... if you get my drift! Why doesn't the preterist/amillennialist be consistent and use his redefined word everywhere the word 'thousand' occurs in the Bible. They don't because they only need to use word redefinition is where the Scriptures contradict their pet false doctrine.
Here is another verse that uses the word 'thousand'.
Should the redefined meaning for the word 'thousand' be used here also. Would it make sense if we interpreted the above verse to mean 'all men' or the 'men on a thousand hills'? It wouldn't make sense to me. I think three thousand means three thousand! It also makes perfect sense that Revelation chapter 20 is referring to a literal 1000 year period and not some 'spiritual symbolic' thing like the preterist/amillennialist would have you to believe.
I have a saying that I made up about people who twist Scripture and turn literal things in Scriptures into spiritual things: 'They spiritualize the literal which makes them oblivious to the obvious!' What a evil, spiritually dangerous thing to do!
I hope my examples show that the concept of word redefinition is quit deceptive and dangerous. The word 'thousand' cannot be redefined in Revelation chapter 20 to mean something other than 999 + 1 or ONE THOUSAND! However against all reason the preterist/amillennialist has done such a thing. Please re-read the above if you don't understand the concept of word redefinition and do not let yourself be caught in such a demonic trap.
I leave you with this final thought. Stay away from the allegorical method of Bible perversion. It really has not done the preterist or the amillennialist any good. They have been so busy spiritualizing and making literal Scripture, figurative, that they have totally confused their teaching. An entire set of incorrect prophetic doctrines have been based on allegorical confusion.
Preterism is nothing more than satanic deception, Scripture twisting, and wrongly dividing God's prophetic Word. These people will quote and misquote Scripture as good as any Jehovah Witness to teach about their error. Be warned and remove your self from such deception.
What do YOU think ?
IF WHAT YOU SAY IS TRUE. WHERE ARE THE SAINTS WHO HAVE GONE TO SLEEP. WHAT ABOUT THE SAINTS THAT WALKED AROUND WITH JESUS. ARE THEY NOT THE DEAD WHO RISE IN CHRIST FIRST. IS'NT THE SECOND COMEING THE COMEING OF THE HOLY SPRIT'THE HELPER JESUS SAID WOULD COME. IF JESUS DID NOT LEAV HE WOLD NOT COME.IS THE SPIRIT OF GOD NOT JESUS. IS THE TRINITY NOT THE SAME. IS TO KNOW JESUS NOT TO KNOW THE FATHER.
999+1=1,000 This equation seems on the surface to be correct to the mind that is too lazy to search out the meaning and relies on the erroneous teachings of mentors with a wellfare mentality. How convenient it is to rely on someone else's predisposition. Peter clearly states in 2 Pete 3:8 when he quotes the psalmist Ps 90:4 what a 1,000 years. The term is an allegory used by the ancient writers, but those with a wellfare mentality will never see the truth in these hidden meanings. I don't expect a rebuttal, but if I do receive one I'll be more than raptured to refute any and all dogma held by the wishfull thinkers. My replies will not be on a personal unless you desire it (Prov 6:17a). We all walk around in our imaginations seeking to fulfill our desires. email@example.com
This is a strange argument to be making. Preterism clearly has little support from a biblical or traditional sources. However, to say that Origen the greatest of the early church Fathers, is a heretic and a supporter of any kind of preterist interpretation is simple insanity. The Catholic Church, which condemned him in the 6th century under the orders of a Byzantine Emperor, has recently been challanged, and over turned. This part was particularly offensive to me, and anyone who has any understanding of Origen's teachings. To call him a heretic (even the Roman Catholic Church never went that far!) is both an embarassment to the author of this work, and a divisive stance in the unified body of Christ. Not only that, it's an insult to a great Saint, and a fine thinker. 'Nuff said.
When Christ rose from the dead He had a Glorified Body. A body that could move through doors and walls, a body that would allow Thomas to put his fingers and hands into his wounds. But a body that ate and drank. So what is this Glorified Body we will only know once we recieve it. In Revelation John is told to go and measure the Temple,if the Temple had aready been distroyed this statment has no meaning. I believe that there is truth is all methods of interpertation, Preterest, Historicist, Idealist and Futurest
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