Full Preterism vs.
Full Preterism's Single
By Nathan DuBois,
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"
Full Preterism - The view that all Bible prophecy was fulfilled
by the year 70
Consistent Cessationism - Determining what things (such as
speaking in tongues) ceased in AD70
Idealism (Pret) -
The view that the substance of prophetic fulfillment is found "in
Christ" not "in history"
Reformed Soteriology - Doctrines of salvation commonly called
(Pret) - Because the devil, death, sin and law were destroyed in
AD70, there is no more separation between any person and God.
Faith has been turned to sight.
Full Preterism vs. Idealism, Part III
The focus on strict time line theology has led many to
miss important personal elements of the walk with Christ. Constantly
bringing the kingdom into the realm of time, by establishing it's
beginning in time, while explaining it's location as being one in time,
has left out what the kingdom really is.
In Full Preterism you have study after study about how
the kingdom "came down" and whether or not the kingdom is "inside you" or
"among you." The constant temporal focus of the kingdom has kept Full
Preterism in the blind to both the individual and eternal dimensions of the
kingdom. Over and over again there is a debate on when the kingdom arrived
temporal and where the kingdom is temporal.
In a study by a Partial Preterist we can see what he considers the three
important questions when discussing the kingdom:
"The problem comes when so many modern Christians are confused as to the
nature and timing of the Kingdom. How are we to seek what we don't
understand? When is this Kingdom!? Where is this Kingdom!? What is the
Kingdom!?...Ever since that time, Jesus has been reigning over his
Kingdom. First Corinthians 15:25 states, "For He must reign till He has put
all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death."
Jesus, our victorious King, is in the process of conquering his enemies on
the earth..."To better understand this interesting passage we must realize
that the events in the book of Revelation were to happen in the first
century...we again we see that the Kingdom of Christ began in the first
century, is a present reality, and will consummate in the future. Let us be
encouraged that our Lord is on the throne and that he is putting all of his
enemies under his feet!"
This is a good charge by a Partial Preterist and a good example of how Full
Preterism must leave consistency or give in to another form of theology. If
death is destroyed then Christ must have handed the kingdom over to His
Father and He is also subjected to Him. If the kingdom is a "when" and a
"where," and death is defeated, then the kingdom is handed over and He is no
longer in charge! The Full Preterist could go the Partial Preterist route
and declare that the kingdom is to be consummated at some end of time, or
it could go the Universalist route and declare that the kingdom is
completely consummated and the Father is in charge because there is nothing
for the Son to do, or it could go the Idealist route, and see the kingdom
for what it is -- an everlasting throne and habitation in the eternal realm.
Isaiah 9:7 The dominion will be vast, and its prosperity will never end. He
will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish and
sustain it with justice and righteousness from now on
and forever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish this.
There is never a time when the kingdom ends. He is always reigning over it
from the right hand of the throne. Yet there is clearly a time when He hands
it over to the Father. So which is it? Or is it
both? Did Christ just have a 40 year reign from AD 30-70 or does He reign
forever? Looking at a beginning and a handing over in a strict chronological
view cannot consistently answer this question! Having a single dimension
focus completely reduces the kingdom to something it is not. No matter how
the Full Preterists declare it is a spiritual kingdom, Full Preterism puts
temporal characteristics on it's nature.
This is noticeable in many FP writings on
kingdom verses, such as "World without end" -- which is absolutely not
talking about natural, chronological history, despite FP usage of this verse
as a proof text that the world will exist forever.
The funny thing about the quotes above is though he
declares he will discuss the "nature" of the kingdom, he never really does.
He only goes into discussing it's length, which is still distorted by his
timing. The reason to me is plain. Partial Preterism is time driven, as
Full Preterism is time driven, and neither one is able to correctly address
the beginning (none), end (none), and true nature (spiritual and individual)
of the kingdom. This is not only a sign of the incorrectness of the focus
of both systems, but also of the ultimate bankruptcy of the theologies
built upon that incorrect focus.
Looking at the kingdom with a microscope will either
force the Full Preterist into seeing the eternal and individual dimensions
of the kingdom, or their systematic approach will distort it and keep them
blind and putting it into a box (wet, soggy, and torn apart after the flood
Christ had more in mind when He made this famous and theologically abused
Luke 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of
God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not
with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for,
behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
According to the historical focus of Full Preterism, the rules of logic
supposedly dictate that the kingdom has a discernable beginning point.
This is assumed because no matter how much Christ said about it, they do
not understand what the kingdom is! If we look at the descriptions Christ
put on it, and the actions that make someone a part of it, we see that it
Being a part of the kingdom had everything to do with the
manifestation of the new heart by those who believed. Those who had faith
(within) would act rightly (without). Those poor in spirit internally
would be meek, give the shirt off their back as well as their coat, take
the low seat in the house, carry their brothers burdens, and have ears to
hear -- all evidences of a softened heart to the gospel.
Those who lacked faith would contrarily manifest the fruits of the flesh.
We know Christians by their love, so beware of those who claim the name of
Christ yet manifest the opposite.
Long before "the kingdom came in AD 70" (which assumption I dispute),
there were men who were every bit as much citizens and participants within
it because of their faith. Many of the most recognizable names
of such people were recorded in Hebrews. Abraham, Moses, and David were all
"sons of the kingdom" long before it ever came to be manifested in the
historical realm. Now I know the arguments that say that these fathers of
faith were hanging out in a very heaven like spiritual realm called Hades
until the earthly time line of AD 70 was concluded (a spiritual realm that
is supposedly in the lake of fire suffering eternal torment, for that is
what the lake of fire is), however this is also due to the incorrect view
of taking God's eternal timelessness and making His realities subject to our
Here is another example of this mistaken presumptive
approach from Michael Bennett.
"Under a New Covenant where Christ said "in order for there to be a change
in Priesthood there must be a change of the law". Then the "new
commandments" which really "are not new" are "new" none the less."
This is how it is explained -- by not explaining it. It is new
because he said FP based logic dictates it, even though it is old and
eternal and the original. So what makes it new? It cannot be answered
properly within the FP framework, because the proper answer obliterates
the time line anchor of the entire theology. The biblical answer is "it
is not new!"
Full Preterists, in order to maintain the integrity of
their hermeneutic, choose to take the timeline-based answer (it is new)
over the non timeline-based answer with which they also agree (it is not
new). However, it is a plain contradiction to have something
new that is eternal. It is claimed that it was eternal
BEGINNING AT A CERTAIN POINT IN HISTORY, assuming that the rules of time and
space on earth are precisely what governs the eternal realm as well.. as
though God uses the 12 month based calendar. Though "logic" may
dictate this, considering references such as '12 manner of fruit in their
seasons' in Revelation, it is much better to reckon this type of
communication as being a timeless God in a timeless realm utilizing what man
knows (time and space) to get his point across. This
principle is the foundation of a proper approach to prophecy, yet which
ultimate meaning is completely lost with Full Preterism, as it takes the
communication method as being the entirety of the message!
Instead, it is a much more faithful reading of scripture -- and one which
provides great internal blessing for God's people -- to recognize that the
kingdom is eternal; however, with the removal of the temporalizing
veil, it is seen for the first time for what it truly is. It is new to
those who are seeing it, as it is newly revealed. It is new in the same
way my old car can be "new" to someone who just purchased it. Salvation is
"eternal" but it is "new" to the person who just received it.
Here are just a few of a multitude of verses
the hidden/revealed dynamic of the kingdom:
Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that
shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father,
Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things
from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they
should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart,
and be converted, and I should heal them.
1 Cor. 2:7,10 But we speak the
wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom,
which God ordained before the world unto our glory: But as it is written, Eye hath not seen,
nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the
things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
But God hath revealed them unto us by his
Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep
things of God.
But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the
same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament;
which vail is done away in Christ.
2 Cor 4:4
In whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them
which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of
Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
2 Cor 4:18
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the
things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are
temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto
the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as
it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the
Eph 3:9-10 And to make all men see
what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the
world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
To the intent that now,
unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places, might
be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God
Col 1:26 Even the mystery which
hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest
to his saints:
which is being "revealed" ; "manifested"
The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are
cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the
poor have the gospel preached to them.
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon
Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but
my Father which is in heaven.
Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all
ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not
worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in
Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall
declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire
shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as
it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the
When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also
appear with him in glory.
2 Tim 1:9
hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not
according to our works, but according to his own purpose and
grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world
began, But is now made
manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who
hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to
light through the gospel:
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto
them that look for him shall he appear the second time without
sin unto salvation.
Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation
ready to be revealed in the last time.
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's
sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be
glad also with exceeding joy.
The kingdom was being revealed in its fullness by the eternal One from
the very beginning. The failure to see the things on earth as a revelation
of the eternal, instead making them into that which creates the
spiritual, is the single biggest difference between the Full Preterist and
the Idealist positions. Nothing done on earth started or stopped the
things that are eternal
(Law of Christ, Kingdom of God, the Word, Sabbath, etc). When Christ
referred to the kingdom as something coming, when He gave the AD 70 parables
to the disciples and multitudes, it was not to tell them that something NEW
was being instituted, but to reveal to them the way it was always supposed
to be, and the way it always is for those who "seek ye first the kingdom of
God," just as Abel or Abraham did. They followed the law of Christ and
were "sons of the kingdom" long before AD 70.
What Full Preterists have forgotten or simply not grasped -- and this is
what helped me in my change -- is that AD 70 was a revelation of
who Christ and the "sons of God" were.
When I presented that point of view in defiance of a
literal rapture, but from a Full Preterist
perspective, all my Full preterist friends were right on board.
However, when I was hit over the head by the Spirit with the revelation that
" it was ALL about revealing Himself and who we are in
Him," and was about nothing else, then I was chastised for abandoning the
time line theology.
Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not
worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. 19 For
the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God's sons to be revealed.
All of the warnings to live right, maintain unity, etc. were given to that
typological generation because they were about to be vindicated for
the whole world to see. They would be revealed as the true sons of God. This
is what the transition period and the war between the Jews and the Christian
was all about. It is why it was a war where "vengeance is Mine," where
of our warfare are not carnal." The vindication was a revelation.
All of it was a revelation of the eternal. They were not entering something
new, they were being confirmed that they were a part of it already, and
that they had been on the right side all along. Abraham never received
this type of confirmation until his death, that is why it is said that he
never entered the rest they did. However, once they had received that
confirmation, then it as assured that Abraham had as well.
There is no question that many Full Preterists would agree wholeheartedly
with much of this material, yet while still holding out hope to maintain their
fundamentally chronological approach. However, by considering the
eternal aspects simply the "applications" of the natural fulfillments, they
miss out on how the very same eternal work is alive today, and operating in
their lives, whether they recognize it or not. When the eternal
starts to be applied and realized as eternal, and not as beginning in or
being caused by AD 70, the attitude changes... as does the personal
profitability of the study for our walk with Christ, and our victory in the
midst of the perverse generation alive today.
One of the biggest attitude changers for me -- and what was one of the
easiest reasons to grasp the fundamentally different approach with Idealism
-- was the fact that realizing that the law of Christ and the kingdom are
eternal in nature, yet are revealed in the process of time. This recognition
allowed me to stop wasting time looking at what "time" it arrived
and what ceased thereafter, instead freeing me to look at what the heck it
actually is, and what it means for me today.
Recognizing this intensely personal work of the Spirit is something very
lacking in Full Preterist circles, and is actually mocked by many as
being wimpy or subjective or "seeker sensitive." Other times, when Preterists start evolving into a deeper and more
profound relationship with eternal things, they are called "Postmodern,"
"a cult," and (insert the name of your theological enemy here).
The Idealist standpoint chooses to look at the WHAT and not so much as the
WHEN. It looks at the actual message meant to be conveyed by the
chosen method, and not just at the method
itself. Unfortunately, when in Full Preterist circles, the focus on the
"when" completely distorts the "what" -- and declares that the "what" is not
even for today, as it was fulfilled and terminated thousands of years ago!
This series of explanatory essays will be concluded
with a summation, which will begin to "answer back" at the specific
questions and responses from the first 4 parts. I will be TAD for 3 weeks so the summary will come
in about 4 weeks. After that, I will add appendices to address
whatever original questions arise.
Here is a
link to a study on the eternal aspect of the covenant.
What do YOU think ?
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Comment Box Disabled For Security
- Date: 02 Jun 2007
After reading this section, I think I may see where you are coming
from more clearly. I can't say that I disagree with any points that
you have come to from your perspective. In many cases I already
believe much of what you say. I may be more of an idealist than I
thought without even realizing it. One of the points that really
stuck out is when you brought out the fact that the New Covenant is
only "new" to us because of it being revealed for the first time in
the 1st Century. How can I disagree with that? I can't. I think that
is something we all need to take a moment and consider.
One thing I can say is that your article definitely provokes me to
reconsider and test many of the things I believe.
Good work, Nate.
Date: 04 Jun 2007
Cute concept Nate - but it does not match up with ALL of the
70 weeks of Daniel was fulfilled...
A) In eternity only?
B) Never fulfilled?
C) ad 30 - 70 sometime?
It says nothing about revealing what "already" happened.
24 "Seventy 'sevens' are decreed for your people and your holy city
to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for
wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision
and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.
Date: 04 Jun 2007
ad30-70 sometime? not very precise for such a clear
timeline. 40 year leeway in a 490 year prophecy... thats an 8%
Don Preston on the 70 Weeks :
"Every mathematical calculation that I have ever seen
cannot arrive at the A.D. 70 destruction of Jerusalem.
The destruction is, in my estimation, undeniably confined within
the parameters of the 70 weeks ("seventy weeks are determined
for you people and for your city."). I just don't see a
way to say that the fate of the people and the city lie outside
the divinely mandated period.. Now, while I am like you, and do
not like, and reject, the idea of "gaps" what I see here is not
a gap in the dispensational sense of things.."
what calculation do you use?
Date: 10 Jun 2007
The most important error in all of "idealism" is the failure to
attribute a gammatico-historical interpretation to the bible.
Idealism allows an infinite number of conclusions to the bible,
since it ignores the contextual application of the new covenant to
those who were under the old. On what possible basis could anyone
say that the new covenant was made with the pagan nations of the
world? Better review the understanding of what "gentile" means and
who the bible's message was written to.
Date: 01 Jul 2007
I'm beginning to understand more and more of what you're explaining.
It is comforting for me in many ways. The one thing I don't
understand is about the resurrection in relation to this idealist
approach. While AD 70 and all other temporal events happened in time
to reveal the eternal realities, where are the temporal revelations
of the resurrection? Where can we see any of the resurrection
promises given by Paul having taken place in time in order to reveal
the eternal realities, as we can look back at AD 70 and other events
to see what those things revealed?