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Preterism's "Proof Text" Analyzed
By Steve Wohlberg
"Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled."
This verse is Preterism's "proof text" for their theory that Jesus Christ actually came (His Second Coming) in 70 AD when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans. According to Preterists, because Matthew 24 refers to both the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD and the Second Coming, ALL of this must have happened at the same time because Jesus literally said, "This generation (meaning the people who lived in the first century) shall not pass, till ALL these things be fulfilled."
Preterists use Matthew 24:34 as Exhibit A that the Second Coming occurred in 70 AD.
But does it really say this? Let's take a closer look.
Preterists contend that "all these things" include the Second Coming and that all must have occurred "before that generation" passed away, that is, in 70 AD.
But this is not EXACTLY what Jesus Christ said. He said that before that generation passed, "all these things" (referring to the destruction of the temple in 70 AD) must occur. We have clearly shown that "all these things" DO NOT INCLUDE THE SECOND COMING.
Thus when Preterists argue that "all these things" INCLUDE the Second Coming and must have occurred in 70 AD, they are not sticking closely enough to the actual words of Jesus Christ.
The truth is, "all these things" (relating to the destruction of the temple) did occur in 70 AD before that generation passed, just like Jesus Christ said.
In the same way, what Jesus Christ said about His Second Coming will also be literally fulfilled. Jesus Himself will "appear" "in the clouds" "with power and great glory" and "all the tribes of the earth" (not just in Jerusalem) will "see" His return. There will be a "great sound of a trumpet" as Jesus descends with billions of shiny "angels" to gather His elect from all over the world. Matthew 24:30,31.
Preterists say we should take verses 33 and 34 literally. I agree. Literally, "all these things" PRECEDE the Second Coming. In the same way, we should also take verses 30 and 31 literally. Jesus Christ said He would come on the clouds, with power and glory, for the whole world to see, accompanied by billions of shiny angels, to gather His elect from all over the globe.
We should take verses 30 and 31 literally by believing in a real, visible, future, all-glorious Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
That's what Jesus Christ literally taught in Matthew 24:30,31.
What do YOU think ?
Humm? Proof text? Is there such a thing as one, singular "proof Text?" Are we to over look the part that says - "Even at the door?" Obviously there is a difference, but is one not the sign of the other? Were some specific rebellious people and their system destroyed, in order to protect another specific people, and in the process prove that a new covenant had been established and a King had been crowned? Then - How about the untold numbers of angels who are still gathering his people even today? Some theologions get so confused when faced with the facts. I am not a theologion, but I too have been confused. This is why I now confess that I can see Christ and His kingdom in the now. Luke 18:31 Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. Where are all of those who died in Christ? Still in the grave? We say they have went to be with the Lord, but have they? Luke 18:31 Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.(KJV) Acts 26:23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles. (KJV) Christ was the first, but we are still waiting for our loved ones to be resurrected, and we are still looking for Him even though His return was at the door 2000 year ago? We can be so into denigrating our Lord and yet not even see it. Vern
Nothing is said about a "second coming." The "coming" of Matt. 24:30 is a coming up to the Ancient of days, a verse Jesus quotes from Dan. 7:14. This is one of the "all these things" of Matt. 24:33. "All these things" is pretty clear. There is nothing in the passage that separates 24:30 from the rest of the events preceding 24:34. Gary DeMar
One common error is to take phrases of common wordings throughout the Bible and made them to be the same, lifting them way out of their context. In this case here, it is "[all] these things".
Let step back from Matt 24 and look at Matt 23. You would notice that there are many "woe unto you" curses onto the scribes and Pharisees. And these accumulated in Jesus saying: Mat 23:36 - Verily I say unto you, ALL THESE THINGS shall come upon this generation. The "all these things" is thus referring to those woes that were to come onto that generation (in the first century).
Next, in the first few verses of Matt 24, the disciples "came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not ALL THESE THINGS? Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down." Here, the "all these things" is thus referring to the temple's buildings and structures
Then, it is followed by the 3-part question of the disciples in which Jesus answered with a series of signs and events, cumulating in Mat 24:34 - Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till ALL THESE THINGS be fulfilled. The "all these things" here thus including all things from Matt 24 verse 5 through verse 31, from false Christs to the gathering of the Elects (i.e. the 2nd Coming)
Again, note the sequence: Matt 24 verse 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. … (verse 34) This generation shall not pass, till ALL these things be fulfilled.
Wohlberg says, "In the same way, what Jesus Christ said about His Second Coming will also be literally fulfilled. Jesus Himself will "appear" "in the clouds" "with power and great glory" and "all the tribes of the earth" (not just in Jerusalem) will "see" His return. There will be a "great sound of a trumpet" as Jesus descends with billions of shiny "angels" to gather His elect from all over the world. Matthew 24:30,31. However, In Acts we are told that his witnessing disciples "YOU" will see Him return in "LIKE MANNER" as He went. Did Jesus ascend with Trumpets and billions of shiny "angels"? (I thought He would return with ten thousand saints?) So much for exactly LITERAL interpretation.
Date: 08 Mar 2006
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