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The Weak Cross of Full Preterism

By Michael F. Blume
2005

The major differences between full preterism and every other belief system are not shown conclusively in scripture.  They have to be derived from associating scriptures that are not conclusively shown in scripture to be associated. 

Full preterism teaches that the resurrection of 1 Cor. 15 is not physical, but non-physical, due to an error they propose in assuming a resurrected "spiritual body" is not physical.  In reality, an immortal, physical body is "spiritual". Natural laws of science cannot explain how He had wounds that formerly killed Him when He walked out of the tomb and lived. He resurrected from the dead! How natural is that? It is "spiritual"!  It is not a matter of being non-physical when we read the term "spiritual". Spiritual things can be quite physical. Angels. Burning bushes that are not consumed. Miracles. It's a contrast from natural law, and is SPIRITUAL law. And that is the context of the concept of Natural vs. Spiritual in 1 Cor 15. So, in this context, it is not physical vs. non-physical but natural physical vs. spiritual physical. FP's made the mistake of thinking anything "spiritual" is "non-physical" and that is not the case at all. It's just something physical that is non-natural!

We are not reading a contrast in 1 Cor. 15 between the physical and the spiritual, which would imply the spiritual is non-physical. If it was physical vs. spiritual, then that would be a contrast of material used in the body -- physical matter vs. non-physical matter. But it is a contrast from natural to spiritual. And that means the bodies are physical in both cases. Natural physique and spiritual physique.

Men today are considered in the same book of 1 Cor in chapter 2 as being either "natural" or "spiritual" as well.

 

1Co 2:13-15  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  (14)  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  (15)  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
 


Is that speaking about compositional material? Of course not. It is speaking of natural inclination vs. spiritual inclination. It's speaking of motivation. Not composite material.

Jesus Christ's body was spiritual and not natural when it came out of the tomb. But it was still physical. A mortal body is natural. Nature produces mortal bodies.  Nature cannot produce an immortal body, though.  An immortal physical body is not natural, but spiritual. That is the proper contrast.

1 Cor. 15 said whatever body Jesus had when He came out of the tomb is the sort of body we will have in the resurrection. Redemption is a term applicable to various things.  We are presently redeemed from sin.  Paul said our bodies will be redeemed, and that is surely evident due to the struggle within our bodies with sin.  And since this struggle still continues, I take this as evidence our bodies are not yet redeemed.

You see, the leap towards having faith that the redemption of the body has already occurred is far greater than the step to realize that our bodies are our bodies.  In fact it's too great a leap, and becomes assumption.  The thoughts of what happened to Christ must be assumed, since scripture says nothing about it.  If our bodies have been redeemed, as full preterism states, then there are too many gaps in this thought that are never answered in scripture. 

For example, what happened to Jesus ' physical body after it ascended?  It must not exist any more, since full preterism proposes a spiritual body is not physical, and if Jesus' physical body still exists we see the entire concept broken.  His physical existence would demand a physical resurrection of our bodies.

Also, this requires 1 Cor 15 to be fulfilled already.  And that means Jesus Christ no longer rules on the throne.  This chapter states the Son of God rules until all enemies are beneath his feet.  If all enemies are now beneath His feet, then He is no longer ruling.

Also, satan must be going to exist forever on earth influencing men and women forever, since Rev 20 is fulfilled, and what is now the case for the devil will always be the case for the devil -- i.e. running throughout the world forever influencing men and women.  Full preterism sees no end to this influence from satan!

Not only that, but the scripture that teaches the meek shall inherit the earth will never be fulfilled, since there will be both sinners and saints forever on the earth.  Sinners will never be removed. 

Also, we are told God's will must be done in earth as it is in heaven.  There is no sin in heaven.  This cannot be fulfilled in earth if full preterism is correct.  Full preterism must conclude that sin will always exist. 

And this leads to another conclusion.  And this one scares me the most, and no full preterist whom I know has ever been able to respond to it yet.  Adam brought sin into the world.  And while Romans 5 states Christ's work of obedience done above and beyond the degree of influence that Adam's disobedience accomplished, full preterism makes this untrue.  Full Preterism must conclude the sin that Adam brought into the world is, at best, ONLY SUPPRESSED by Believers.

Sin is in our flesh.  Even after we are saved.  And that is why Paul said he kept his body "under", lest sin arise, as it did in his past according to Romans 7.  That is one reason why I claim our bodies are not redeemed yet.  Sin is in our flesh.  We struggle daily with it.  We can suppress it by walking after the Spirit, but that is the greatest victory we can have according to full preterism, until we die.  And saints will live and die forever according to full preterism, and yet they say death is already destroyed.

There is the church in heaven and the church in the earth.  We are all one body called the church.  But the saints in heaven are free of their sinful flesh.  The saints in earth are not.  And full preterism implies these two elements of the church will never converge and come together to one day no longer see this distinction.  Partial preterism, and every other prophetic belief, teaches one day this life in flesh that houses sin will cease.  Our actual bodies will change from physical mortal ones to physical immortal ones, like Christ's did in the tomb.  At that point, sin will no longer exist in our bodies.  The saints in heaven will also receive immortal bodies (2 Cor 5).  They will not be left as "naked" souls and spirits without bodies.  It is then that the church in heaven and the church in earth both experience the reception of an immortal, incorruptible body.  And satan will be put out of the way once and for all, and Adam's sin will not even exist any more... not in our flesh nor any sinners' flesh, because sinners will be removed once and for all and the saints shall truly inherit the earth.

Partial preterism says Adam's sin will be removed totally, and not merely suppressed forever, which agrees with Romans 5's assertion that Christ's work of obedience went above and beyond the influence of Adam's disobedience.

 

Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Matthew 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Psalm 37:28 For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.

Psalm 37:38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.

Proverbs 2:21-22 For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. (22) But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.
 



Truthfully, the cross accomplished the finished work. Time only stands between the cross and the bringing down of all enemies, with death as the last one to be brought down. Death has been dealt a fatal blow at the cross. It now staggers in the flesh of believers due to the cross in saints who know how to yield to the Spirit and not fulfill lusts of the flesh. But Christ sits and waits on His throne for all enemies to be put under His feet practically. Positionally this is already so. He is seated, and we are seated with Him, above all powers in this world and the world to come. But practically this will occur when enemies in this world are brought to nothing. Then He ceases to rule.

But His work on the cross dealt the blow already! Hebrews 9 and 10 contrasts ministers who stand forever doing a work that is never fulfilled. In contrast, Christ sits! The work is done. And since He sits expecting His enemies to be made His footstool, He knows the work on the cross dealt the blow that will see all enemies finally fall under His feet, practically. It's as though He dealt every enemy force a blow at the cross, and went to sit on His throne, and simply expect by waiting for that single Blow to bring them down. What a blow! 2000 years ago the cross dealt this fatal blow. And it still ripples through time, as Christ still knows it will eventually bring down every enemy! And it therefore affects every enemy to this day, and it took place 2000 years ago! AWESOME GOD!

Full preterism's blow from the cross is not at all fatal. Sin will forever exist. Satan will forever influence men and women in the earth. Adam's sin was introduced into the world and will never be removed. What a weak cross full preterism proposes!

 

Hebrews 10:11-13 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: (12) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; (13) From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.


 

Let's compare futurism with full preterism.

In regards to resurrection, Full preterism is far different than ANY view, let alone partial preterism. I think that makes full preterism unreasonable. The nature of the resurrection is such a major view in the scope of prophecy, and an important one in general thought of salvation, that FP has crossed the line. (No offense to full preterists). I would sooner be full futurist than full preterist so as not to abandon the plain reading of the physical resurrection. But it seems futurism and full preterism are simply extremes surrounding the reality.

Compare the two options of major errors in futurism and full preterism:

(1) No physical resurrection in 1 Cor 15 (full preterism)

(2) Overlooking the OT prophetic Language found in Matthew 24, so as to miss the AD70 tribulation and coming of Christ in destruction. (futurism)

Although I am convinced both are wrong, if I had a choice between the above two, I would far sooner choose #2 as my faith rather than #1. In other words, it is far more reasonable to stand by #2 than #1, since the physical resurrection is so obvious in 1 Cor 15. When one considers the difference between the two of totally confusing the meaning of resurrection in 1 Cor 15 with simply missing the timing of Matt 24, the timing issue is not so severe as the other. To reinterpret plain language in 1Cor 15 in order to make full preterism fit is beyond me. I honestly believe nobody would ever get the full preterist explanation of 1 Cor 15 upon reading it, without the compulsion to make an invisible resurrection occur in Matt 24. All full preterists, in my experience in talking to them, reinterpret the plain reading of 1 Cor 15 for the sole purpose of making it fit, since there cannot be a physical resurrection in our future if there was an invisible resurrection in AD70. "If the early saints did not get one in AD70, then how could we in our future?" they reason.

It's more understandable to miss the OT prophetic language in Matt 24 than it is to reinterpret the resurrection in 1 Cor 15. Missing Matt 24 is simply careless oversight of prophetic language, and a trend to simply keep in line with popular view and what was taught to us, since most of us were taught futurism as apostolics. (Not many change views on ANYTHING they first believed. The more open minded folks pray for correction if there need be any). But proposing no physical resurrection is more serious than that.

In summary, Full preterism's error is distortion of plain scripture.  Futurism's error is in careless oversight of prophetic language.

What do YOU think ?

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Date: 15 Jun 2013
Time: 19:24:18

Your Comments:

I am an orthodox preterist and have interacted with a few full-preterists in the past. While I agree with much of Blume says in this essay, I recall that the full-preterists that I have dialogued with hold a different view regarding the situation of Satan, than what Mr. Blume thinks they believe. It is because of Revelation 20:10 that the full-preterists that I know of, would claim that Satan was already cast into the lake of fire upon the conclusion of the downfall of Jerusalem (or at least around that time). So kudos on the argumentation, but I would recommend that Mr. Blume would make a couple adjustments in this article for the sake of accurately interacting with the full-preterist position.

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