The Nature of
Christ: The Dilemma of Chronology
By Nathan DuBois
Messiah from the foundation, He did not become the Messiah only after He
did the work. He did the work to reveal Himself as Messiah..
Are we really putting the "Type" as being the purpose and fulfillment over
the "anti-type" to which they pointed?
Preterism vs. Idealism - Part One : Introduction
Part Two - Full Preterism's Achilles Heel
Part Three - Full Preterism's "New" Gospel
Full Preterism vs. Idealism: Part Four : Full
Preterism's Single Dimension Focus
My Thoughts and
Understanding of Preterist Idealism
God, The Judge of the Heart
Why I Needed to Repent: A Letter to a
Friend... Among Friends |
The Nature of the Christ: The Dilema of Chronology |
Scripture Interprets Scripture: Part One - The Covenants, The Jerusalems,
The Flesh and The Spirit |
Response to "Expectations Demand a Rapture"
We are creatures of time and space. The hardest part of trying
to understand an infinite God is breaking away from the realm of what
we know. The reason the letter was death, and the temple system a millstone,
is because it trapped human beings into a system of the flesh. This system
of the flesh was there for God's purposes, but the people who were in it,
and in charge of it, got caught up in it's physical nature.
The temple was the temple, so how could Christ declare that He was
the temple? Clearly a dilemma that the Jews did not understand. Do we?
And in declaring He was the temple, was He the temple before or after He
tore it down and resurrected it in 3 days?
The law was the law, so how could Christ declare that by following the
letter of the law, they were imprisoning men and keeping mankind away
from the kingdom? What right did Christ have for adding to the law? "But
I tell you..." Can we say He was really adding to God's law?
In looking at things through physical occurrences and timelines, we tend to
stress the importance of those timelines in place of the truth that was
being revealed in them. Christ was the temple of Revelation 21. Was He
the temple of Revelation 21 before or after His death, resurrection,
and coming in glory? Depending on the stress and importance put on the
timelines of the events we will see different answers.
The reason I think this discussion is important is because it goes to the
heart of Christ's true nature vs. our nature. His image vs. our
image. Did He become a man in the image and likeness of sinful flesh, or did
He BECOME sinful flesh. The answer to this question is critical. If He
became sinful flesh, then was He ever qualified to bring life to ours? How
can a spotted lamb suffice as the sacrifice? Secondly, did He BECOME the
light of the world because of His accomplishments, or did He reveal
His light to mankind THROUGH His accomplishments?
These are important questions and go back to my
or the Egg" discussion.
John stresses the importance of understanding that Christ was from the
beginning. He was the Word from before the foundation, He WAS the
John 1:1 In the beginning was
the Word (Christ); and the Word(Christ) was with God, and the Word (Christ)
was God. 2 He (Christ) was with God in the beginning. 3 All
things were created through Him (Christ), and apart from Him (Christ) not
one thing was created that has been created. 4 In Him (Christ) was
life, and that life was the light of men.
Here we see that Christ was the light of men. John appears to show that He
was such from the beginning, however a chronological view will only
attribute that truth to after the AD 70 revealing. Some even might do it at
the cross, but either way, neither timeline is "the beginning."
Revelation 21:22 I did not see a sanctuary in
it, because the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its sanctuary. 23
The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because God's
glory illuminates it, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 The nations will
walk in its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into
The only chronological aspect to this truth is the idea that all the nations
will bring their glory into it. Christ did not become the light
because He accomplished His work. By His nature and through His will He
always WAS the light, but now that light is being revealed to men. John
the Baptist seems to preach this way also.
John 1:5 That light shines in the darkness, yet
the darkness did not overcome it. 6 There was a man named John who was sent
from God. 7 He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that all
might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but he came to testify
about the light. 9 The true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming
into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was created through
Him, yet the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own
people did not receive Him. 12 But to all who did receive Him, He
gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in His name,
13 who were born, not of blood, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will
of man, but of God. 14 The Word became flesh and took up residence
among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the only Son from the Father,
full of grace and truth. 15 (John testified concerning Him and exclaimed,
"This was the One of whom I said, 'The One coming after me has
surpassed me, because He existed before me.' ") 16 For we have all
received grace after grace from His fullness. 17 For the law was given
through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever
seen God. The only Son-- the One who is at the Father's side-- He
has revealed Him.
John the Baptist understood that he was the messenger of the One who
always existed. John the Baptist was there to point to the One, and
reveal to His contemporaries that the One had come.
John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming
toward him and said, "Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the
world! 30 This is the One I told you about: 'After me comes a man
who has surpassed me, because He existed before me.' 31 I didn't
know Him, but I came baptizing with water so He might be revealed to
Again, John declares that Christ was before Him, eternal. That his purpose
for baptizing the Messiah was for revelation. We can see Christ put it His
Matthew 3:14 But John tried to stop Him,
saying, "I need to be baptized by You, and yet You come to me?" 15 Jesus
answered him, "Allow it for now, because this is the way for us to
fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed Him to be baptized.
Someone looking at chronology only would understand that Christ was
baptized, because if He had not done so, then He would not have met the
letter of righteousness. This is a passage they might get that from.
But if that is the case, then Christ is also saying that water baptism is
the way to fulfill all righteousness...which is NOT what He is saying.
Christ was not "fulfilling something, He was following those traditions
because He was to be revealed as the fullness of those traditions. He did
not BECOME the fullness because He did them, that is backwards! Because it
was to reveal Him who is from the beginning, that those traditions existed
in the first place!
Are we really putting the "Type" as being the purpose and
fulfillment over the "anti-type" to which they pointed?
Which is first, the will or the work?
Which is the point, the work completed or that will that
brought that work into existence in the first place?
Let me give one example from Paul. When discussing the righteousness of
Abraham, he draws the line between the work (performing righteousness) vs.
the will (being made righteous by the declaration of God) .
Romans 3:10 How then was it
credited--while he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while he
was circumcised, but uncircumcised. 11 And he received the sign of
circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith
while still uncircumcised. This was to make him the father of all
who believe but are not circumcised, so that righteousness may be credited
to them also. 12 And he became the father of the circumcised, not only to
those who are circumcised, but also to those who follow in the footsteps of
the faith our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised. 13 For
the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would inherit the world
was not through the law, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.
And likewise, Christ did not BECOME righteousness because He DID the things
of the law, but rather He did the things of the law to show that only IN
CHRIST does righteousness dwell. All that He did was only to reveal the
truth of Himself. He was from the beginning. Jesus was Messiah from the
foundation, He did not become the Messiah only after He did the work. He
did the work to reveal Himself as Messiah.
This is the same rule that applies to AD 70. Christ was not the light of the
world BECAUSE He returned and revealed Himself in glory, He revealed Himself
in glory because He was the light of the world.
I understand the difficulty in breaking the paradigm of thought we have
carried in our systems. This may rub some theologians the wrong way, and to
you I apologize. But I can no longer say those things like "thank God for
the cross, because if it wasn't for the cross, I would not have salvation."
Rather, thank God for His mercies. Because He willed Himself to be merciful
to me, He wrote my name in the book and I was saved. I was declared saved
the moment He willed it. It was settled before the world was made.
Praise God for His eternal goodness.
He did not have to prove Himself in History, he chose
to do what He did ONLY for the purpose of revelation to me! He
chose to require blood for redemption, NOT BECAUSE HE DID NOT HAVE THE POWER
TO REDEEM ME OTHERWISE, but to show me the depth of transgression that I had
What a humbling way to view it. Yes, He did die for me, not because He had
to, but because he wanted to reveal Himself to me, Nathan, a pitiful little
What do YOU think ?
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Date: 05 Dec 2006
You write that salvation (along with all other fulfillments in Christ)
*always WAS*. I cannot see my way to remove salvation from history, as you
have done. I am listening to you guys, but you have a long way to go to
convince me that there is any Scriptural basis for ignoring redemptive
history, which in my opinion is **the** story the Bible tells us, from
Genesis to Revelation.
I am *so* onboard with your criticisms of how the preterist view has focused
on external shows as if they were the substance, and ignored the spiritual
realities: the real substance, and "the true." I am *so* tracking with you
guys on that! And I do understand the disallusionment that a shallow,
fleshly view of fulfilled eschatology can create. I myself would never have
stayed engaged with a study which didn't move beyond a historical argument
(so what?) to pierce my heart with greater truths.
But it was the cross which *performed* the mercy promised to the fathers.
The cross was not just an outward manifestation of something that had
already happened, or had always been. Christ stepped out of eternity, and
*into* our time....into human history...TO SAVE US. He came to save us. We
weren't saved...until He saved us! (Quiet obviously, I do *not* subscribe to
the "reformed" view of regeneration. ;))
What has washed away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Luke 1:68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and
redeemed his people, 69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in
the house of his servant David; 70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy
prophets, which have been since the world began: 71 That we should be saved
from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 72 To perform the
mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 73 The
oath which he sware to our father Abraham.
I continue to follow this discussion with great interest, and I haven't, as
has been suggested that some preterists have done, planted a flag which
can't be uprooted...I'll never stop learning and growing. And I want to
always submit to the authority of His Word. It is in that spirit which I
share my thoughts with you here.
Date: 05 Dec 2006
God bless. And I appreciate the spirit in which you have always discussed
things with me or others.
I have submitted to Todd another writing addressing this exact issue. I hope
it helps explain my focus. I do not beg you to agree, just to see the
thought behind the direction I have been taken.
I have it on my blog, but would rather not post the link becuase either on
this site or others that might post it, gives it the best chance to be
Date: 05 Dec 2006
Nate - I don't understand how you see this as only Pret-Idealist.
In other words. No one I know ever thought that this stuff had not been
declared from the foundation of the world (this is a very calvinistic
Nevertheless they still had to occur in time.
Also, if the revealing occurred. Which we agree that it did. But wasn't his
wrath also revealed.
18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness
and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness,5But
because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up
wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous
judgment will be revealed.
In other words Christ reveals judgment too, to those not "in him". So to try
to hold that people oustide of Christ still in the Mosaic in some respect
would be to deny that "revealing" to them as well.
Which is why I still hold that there can be unbelievers in the "age to come"
Anyway, just some thoughts. Still working on some of this and not shooting
down everything you say. But I think it is a stretch to have the Mosaic
Covenant still in existence in any way, on men. I also object to the idea of
making prohecies mean whatever you want them too (Example: The Gal 4 text =
hearts). But no one is rejecting your thoughts completely. MB
Date: 05 Dec 2006
Thanks for writing. I lost my original response to you, and the latter half
of this second attempt is an edited copy of part of a response elsewhere,
but since it specifically addresses your question, please accept this to you
I believe that the judgment needed to occur as a part of the revelation,
also. My only hangup is that we separate the covenants of Adam and Moses. I
do not believe the Mosaic law was anything but an "in part" representative
of the fullness of God's law, which is ongoing. I have heard you refer to it
as "Christ's Law." I believe the Mosaic covenant had the same law, but only
revealed in part.
So my issue is that removing what was "in part" to reveal the fullness did
not put under or do away with the law. It was a copy, and only in part, of
the full law. It's removal in time was for the purposes of revealing the
fullness of Gods law to mankind.
So the way I try to explain it is, since those things were never the full
and true law in and of themselves, having them pass away is not the same as
saying that the "law" passed away. For that law existed from the beginning
Also, I too agree that God did things in time, for us. I think that was the
point of the end of my post. But I have a problem saying that He did them in
time to make them "true." He created us in time, chose to reveal Himself and
His truth in time, and therefore doing the things He did was His method for
But again, it was only revelation. The revelation of those things are not
what made them true.
Also I responded to your Jerusalem and Galatians 4 remark, but that is found
Scripture Interprets Scripture
Date: 05 Dec 2006
I want to echo Tami's comments above. I am very open to the directions you
and Todd have presented. But, like Tami,I have some difficulty following the
reasoning in this post.
I sense that pret-idealism will always be a kind of spectrum, and I want to
avoid an action-reaction dynamic because ditches on the left or right are
not where I want to spend my time.
Here is my question in regard to your post. How can you reconcile your above
points with Paul in Romans 13:11-14?
I can see very clearly that passage has a universal application. There is
nothing special about the moral directives Paul gives, because, from the
earliest times of redemptive history Israel understood her calling to "be
holy" as God is holy.
The difficulty I have is that Paul does very clearly seem to place his and
their salvation in chronological time. As a preterist, the implication is
hard to escape, especially when I consider that all the rest of the New
Testament believers seem to be waiting very explicitly for something to come
to pass. How does this jive with your above post?
The Eastern Orthodox universalize this chronological setting and apply it to
our experience. To them, the "end" of the age is a type of the end of each
of our lives. So it remains true that we only enter the kingdom through
suffering and persecution. This approach, though leaves the salvation of the
believer incomplete until the point of death - which seems to stand against
what we already understand about the present emphasis of preterism.
In other words, I'm having difficulty getting to where you are in light of
the many texts Romans 13:11-14 represents.
Could you help me on this?
Date: 06 Dec 2006
I would actually say that those things that Paul admonished them to do, are
Romans 13:8 Do not owe anyone anything, except to love one another, for the
one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments: You shall
not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall
not covet, and if there is any other commandment--all are summed up by this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 10 Love does no wrong to a
neighbor. Love, therefore, is the fulfillment of the law.
11 Besides this, knowing the time, it is already the hour for you to wake up
from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12
The night is nearly over, and the daylight is near, so let us discard the
deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk with
decency, as in the daylight: not in carousing and drunkenness; not in sexual
impurity and promiscuity; not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the
Lord Jesus Christ, and make no plans to satisfy the fleshly desires.
These things Paul asked them to do were not BECAUSE the end was near so NOW
they had to do them. Those were things they should always be doing. I think
the only way in which they applied to the chronologial events that were to
come was the idea of glorification.
"1 Peter 1:4-9 and into an inheritance that is imperishable, uncorrupted,
and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who are being protected by God's
power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last
time. 6 You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to be
distressed by various trials 7 so that the genuineness of your faith-more
valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire-may result in
praise, glory and honor at the revelation of Christ. 8 You love Him, though
you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and
rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 because you are receiving the
goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls."
"1 Peter 2:12 Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that in
case where they speak against you as those who do evil, they may, by
observing your good works, glorify God in a day of visitation."
Verse 12 says it exactly. The glorification of Christ, by His saints, is due
to their vindication. Evil was done to them all around the empire, most
notably by or because of the Jewish persecution. With the destruction of
Jerusalem in AD 70, which 2 Thess 1:9 references, the victims of persecution
would be vindicated, their testimony proven true, and Christ glorified as
the true Messiah.
"1 Peter 4:13 Instead, as you share in the sufferings of the Messiah
rejoice, so that you may also rejoice with great joy at the revelation of
Peter encourages those being persecuted to rejoice. He says they would
rejoice with "great joy at the revelation of His glory." The revelation of
the glory of Christ would produce "great joy." How could it not produce joy
when those who were being persecuted had been relieved from that persecution
through the judgment and affliction on those who had "afflicted" them (2
Even today, as the revelation of Christ is brought to knew members of the
kingdom, those Christians they witnessed throughout their lives, on their
journey to sonship, stand out. You can look back and thank, hold in high
esteem, lift up, those who may have impacted your journey. We, as
Christians, share Christ's glorification when we do honorably in the midst
of those who persecute us, and then witness the vindication of our Lord in
our lives even today.
So from my standpoint, which is the fullness or fulfillment? That at AD 70
they were to shed the deeds of darkness because the temple was about to
fall? Or that we are to shed the deeds of darkness because as the old man
crumbles, we are the glory and revelation of Christ. We are His body?