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David S. Clark -The Message From Patmos: A Postmillennial Commentary on the Book of Revelation (1921) "This early twentieth-century Postmillennial commentary on the Book of Revelation, written by the father of theologian Gordon Clark, offers an easy-to-read alternative to the popular Pre-millennial/Dispensational views of the best-selling Scofield Reference Bible and a multitude of other dissertations on end-time prophecy that litter the shelves of Christian bookstores. "
Reconsidering the Scriptures
A Biblical Study Designed for Full-Preterists
By Steve Lehrer
Teacher and Biblical Counselor for In-Depth Studies | Editor of the Journal of New Covenant Theology
A short readable study I designed for Full Preterists - It is meant to aid the Full Preterist in critical thinking about some of the key passages and to lead him away from that doctrinal point of view.
2 Peter 3:1-14
This passage concerns the “coming” of Christ. The coming of Christ in judgment is being compared to God’s coming in judgment in the days of Noah. Full-preterism (FP) presupposes that the judgment of Christ spoken of in this passage occurred in 70 A.D. Therefore, typically FPs take the judgment language concerning the flood literally and the judgment language concerning fire figuratively. Therefore FPs must come up with a consist and well-reasoned interpretation of this passage that explains why one can interpret one part of the passage literally and one part figuratively.
1Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles. 3First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." 5But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. 8But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. 11Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. 14So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.
· The same or similar words in close context to one another often have the same or similar meaning. In fact, they always do, unless there is some contextual reason to take the meaning another direction. Consider this as you answer the questions below.
· In verse 5 are the words “water” and “earth” meant to be taken figuratively or literally?
· In verse 6 are the words “destroyed” and “world” meant to be taken figuratively or literally?
· In verse 7 is the word “earth” meant to be taken figuratively or literally?
· In verse 10 are the words “fire” “destroyed” and “earth” meant to be taken figuratively or literally?
· In verse 13 is the word “earth” meant to be taken figuratively or literally?
· If you are giving different answers to these questions, what within the context of this passage or book allows you to do so?
· If the FP interpretation of this passage is correct and the change from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant is in view, once that change has occurred does this exhortation to live holy and godly lives (v.11) still apply to us today after 70 A.D. and if so, on what biblical basis?
Concerning Romans 8:9-11
In this passage Paul is contrasting believers with unbelievers. The key point of contrast is the work of the Holy Spirit that causes the believer to live for Christ rather than follow his sinful desires. In these verses Paul speaks makes a comparison between the raising of Christ from the dead and the Spirit giving “life to your (believers’) mortal bodies.” The problem this passage poses for FPs is that Paul seems to be revealing a promise that believers will be physically resurrected, just as Christ was physically resurrected.
9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
· What does it mean in verse 11 for Christ to be raised from the dead (Is it a reference to physical/bodily resurrection)?
· What does it mean for us to be “given life to (our) mortal bodies”?
· This giving of life is yet future (notice the verb “will”) while the presence of the Spirit of God is in spoken of in the present tense. It would seem that this giving of life to the mortal body cannot refer simply to spiritual life. Is there any relationship between Christ being raised from the dead (11a) and the giving of life to mortal bodies (11b)?
· How are they similar and how are they different?
· How did you arrive at your conclusions?
Concerning Romans 8:18-25
FP teaches that we are now in the new heavens and the new earth. We are now in what Scripture calls “the age to come.” In this passage Paul gives hope to Christians who were experiencing trials that they have glory that will be revealed in them in the future at some point. That revelation of glory includes a liberation of creation from decay and the adoption as sons and redemption of the bodies of believers. This is something Paul was looking forward to experiencing and exhorting believers to do the same. FPs must wrestle with what exactly Paul was hoping for if it wasn’t a physical resurrection.
18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
· Has the creation been liberated from the bondage to decay and the frustration it was subjected to in Genesis 3 at the fall?
· In Romans 8:15 and Ephesians 1:5 the idea of believers being adopted as sons seems to be something given at conversion. Yet in Romans 8:23 it seems to be a future blessing Paul was hoping in. How do you explain this?
· What exactly was Paul hoping for and waiting for—what is the redemption of the body/ the adoption as a son (v. 23) that Paul and the rest of the Christians did not have at the time of the writing of the book of Romans?
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Paul has just finished rebuking the Corinthians for their self-centered practice of the Lord’s Supper and in these verses he recounts the Lord’s words concerning what the supper is to be about. The FP must grapple with his practice of the Lord’s supper in the light of verse 26 and the reference to the “coming” of the Lord.
23For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." 25In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me." 26For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
· In verse 26 Paul writes that we are to practice the Lord’s supper “until he comes.”
· When will or did the “coming” that is referred to in this verse take place?
· What are the implications of this statement for your practice of this ordinance if the “coming” spoken about here happened in 70 A.D.?
Since the day of the Lord or the coming of Christ is uniquely understood in FP to refer primarily and finally to 70 A.D., Paul’s prayer for the church at Philippi poses potential problems for that theological viewpoint.
3I thank my God every time I remember you. 4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 7It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God's grace with me. 8God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ--to the glory and praise of God.
· When is or was the day of Christ Jesus that Paul refers to in verses 6 and 10?
· What will happen or happened on that day?
· If the day was in the past, has God “completed the good work” he began in you?
· What is the “good work” that Paul is referring to?
· Why does Paul pray for the believers be pure and blameless only until the “day of Christ”?
· 1 Timothy 6:14-15 says something very similar but rather than “day of Christ”, Paul writes “until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Is Paul’s exhortation in 1 Timothy referring to the same day as the “day of Christ” and did Christ “appear” in 70 A.D.?
FP denies that Scripture teaches that there will be a general physical/bodily resurrection in the future. In light of this, Paul’s hope of attaining a “resurrection” in Philippians 3:10-11 should be challenging for FPs to interpret in a consistent and coherent fashion.
10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
· What exactly is Paul hoping to attain (examine the meaning of “resurrection” and “dead” in this context) and when does/will he attain it?
One of the biggest differences between FPs and non-FPs is our understanding about what Scripture teaches regarding the “body” and the change that is said to take place at some point in the future. FP does not believe that Scripture teaches that there will be physical change in the bodies of believers. Non-FPs believe that Scripture teaches that both Christ experienced a physical/bodily transformation and that all believers will also experience such a physical bodily change at the time of his, yet future, coming. This passage that speaks of “bodily” change seems to be at odds with FP and therefore is a challenging passage for adherents of that theological point of view to interpret.
20But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
· What exactly does Paul mean when he says Christ “will transform our lowly bodies”? How will our “lowly bodies” be like “Christ’s glorious body”?
· When did/will this happen?
· Is your body already like “Christ’s glorious body” in a way that Paul’s body and the bodies of those he was writing to were not?
This text is a crux interpretum for FP. I believe this is the clearest text that speaks about the manner of a “coming” of Christ. If the expected 2nd coming of Christ is being spoken about here, the text seems to imply that the physical body of Christ will be seen descending in the same visible manner that the disciples had just seen him ascend.
9After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 10They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11"Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."
· Is this text referring to the “coming of Christ” at 70 A.D.?
· If so, how did He come back “in the same way you have seen him go into heaven”?
· If not, what “coming” is this text referring to? Consider 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and 17 (where the Lord Jesus himself is said to descend from Heaven) in your answer.
Many FPs understand the resurrection of the dead to refer to spiritual resurrection or God giving spiritual life to his people. Yet in the FP timeline this giving of life did not really happen until 70 A.D. This passage certainly talks about spiritual death and life. It even uses resurrection language in verse 6 (“raised us up”). But it seems as if Paul writes about this spiritual resurrection as already having happened to those who believe (prior to 70 A.D.).
1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
· Is this text referring to spiritual resurrection that was occurring before 70 A.D.?
· How is this possible, and how does that impact your understanding of Philippians 3:10-11, 20-21?
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43, 47-50
FP teaches that the revelation of God’s judgment that occurred in 70 A.D. was “the end of the age” and since then we have been in what Scripture calls “the age to come.” The problem is that this passage seems to teach that the end of the age coincides with world judgment at which time all unbelievers will be swept off into hell and the world will only be populated by those who truly love God. This interpretation is clearly at odds with FP and therefore it would seem that FPs must find another convincing way to interpret this text.
24Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.
25But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.
26When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
36Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field."
47"Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
· Who are symbolized by the wheat?
· Who are symbolized by the weeds?
· What exactly happens at the “harvest”?
· What does it mean for the weeds to be pulled up and burned by fire?
· It says that the harvest and the burning of the weeds happen at the end of the age. Are there “weeds” in the world today that have not yet been “pulled up” and “burned”?
· Has “everything that causes sin and all who do evil” been “weeded out” yet?
· Have the angels come and separated the wicked from the righteous yet (v. 49)?
· If there still are “weeds” or wicked people in the world today, how could the end of the age have occurred at 70 A.D.?
2 Timothy 2:16-18
The charge of “heresy” or even “damnable heresy” is often leveled at FPs. This is not a charge that should ever be leveled at someone lightly. In the light of this passage, FP at least have the appearance of being an heretical system of doctrine and therefore FPs have certainly have some explaining to do. In this passage Paul speaks of two men who believed that the resurrection was a past event as heretics and dangerous. Many FPs teach that the resurrection already took place.
16Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.
· Does full preterism believe that the resurrection has already taken place?
· If so, how does full preterism differ from the teaching of Hymenaeus and Philetus?
On the face of it, in this text the Lord seems to be speaking of a physical/bodily rising for judgment of every single believer and unbeliever that is physically in the grave. If the surface reading is correct, then this event clearly could not have happened in 70 A.D. nor would it be referring to a spiritual resurrection. Therefore, FP has yet another set of challenges to overcome in this passage.
· What do the words “graves” “come out” “rise” and “live” mean here?
· Who does the group “all who are in their graves” consist of (Is it every dead person in the world or is it a reference to a limited group)?
· When will or did this happen?
Resurrection language and reference to a “last day” are important issues in our discussion with FP. Non-FPs see this passage as a reference to the physical appearance of the Lord that will occur in the future and the physical resurrection of believers. A FP who encounters this passage needs to define these terms without being at odds with this same language in passages like John 5:28-30 and without cutting the legs out from under his own FP theological viewpoint.
41At this the Jews began to grumble about him because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven." 42They said, "Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, 'I came down from heaven'?" 43"Stop grumbling among yourselves," Jesus answered. 44"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.
· What does it mean to “come” to Christ and is that event chronologically separate from being “raised up at the last day”?
· What does “raise him up” mean in verse 44? Consider John 5:28 and the use of the term “rise” in your answer.
· When was or will be the last day? Consider Philippians 1:3-9 in your answer.
1 Corinthians 15
This final text is perhaps the most difficult for FP to interpret in a manner that does not do harm to the Scriptures. On the face of it, this chapter of 1 Corinthians argues for continuity between the physical resurrection of Christ and the physical resurrection of believers. In fact, Paul has traditionally been understood to be arguing that if you deny the general physical resurrection of believers you are denying the physical resurrection of Christ and thereby denying the faith! So FPs must do some hard work at interpreting this text in a responsible manner that will vindicate their system of theology from the charge of denying the faith altogether.
1Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.
2By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
5and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.
7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
9For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
11Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.
· In verse 4 when it says Christ was raised, was he raised physically?
· When people saw him did they see his resurrected physical body?
· Is there a difference between the meaning of “raised from the dead” in 12a and “resurrection of the dead in 12b?
13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either.
· Paul seems to be tying a denial of the resurrection of the dead in general to a necessary denial of the resurrection of Christ. How do you explain this?
· In verse 16 Paul seems to be equating the raising of the dead in general with the raising of Christ first spoken of in verse 4. Is Paul teaching God “raises” “the dead” in the same way Christ was “raised”?
· If not, how are they different and where in the text do you see this difference spoken about?
17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. 20But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.
· Does raised from the dead in verse 4 have the same meaning as resurrection of the dead in verse 21?
· If they are different, in what way are they different and what is your basis for making a distinction?
· Does “dead” in verse 20 refer to physical death?
· Do “death” and “dead” in verse 21 refer to physical death?
· If you find a different meaning in the use of the term “dead” or “death” in these two verses, how do you arrive at this different meaning given the close context of the same term?
22For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.
· Verse 23 says that each (will be made alive) in his own turn. Christ is made alive first. In what sense was Christ made alive? Consider verses 3-11 in your answer.
· In what sense are those made alive who “belong to him”?
· It would seem that whatever Christ had a “turn” at, so will (or did) all those who belong to him. It would also seem as if there are only two resurrection or “made alive” days—Christ’s resurrection and then “when he comes” the group of those who belong to him.
· Can this be referring to individual spiritual resurrection whenever conversion happens?
· If so, how can this be supported in the text?
24Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
· Has the kingdom been handed over?
· Have all of Christ’s enemies been placed under his feet? Consider Hebrews 10:13 in your answer.
· Has death been destroyed?
· What is meant by “death” in verse 25? Consider your answer in the light of previous uses of the term in this chapter (v. 3, 12-17, 20, 21).
· Is the “then” in verse 24 temporally related to the “when he comes” and the “raising” of “those who belong to him” in verse 23?
· How do you harmonize verse 26 as well as verse 54 with 2 Timothy 1:10, which speaks of death being destroyed and life and immortality being brought through the Gospel even before 70 A.D.?
27For he "has put everything under his feet."
Now when it says that "everything" has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ.
28When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.
29Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them?
30And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? 31I die every day--I mean that, brothers--just as surely as I glory over you in Christ Jesus our Lord.
32If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised,
33Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."
34Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God--I say this to your shame.
· When Paul says “If the dead are not raised” in verse 32, is he speaking of physical resurrection?
· Is he thinking of all of the dead around the world?
· When does he think this will happen? Consider verses 22 and 23 in your answer.
· What does the question in verse 35 mean?
· When it asks about the manner of the dead being raised and the kind of body they will have, is the focus on the physical raising and the physical body? Again, consider the previous uses of the dead being “raised” as in verse 4 in your answer.
· What does “resurrection of the dead” mean in verse 42? Does “sown” in verse 42-44 refer to physical death or spiritual death? Consider the meaning of buried and dead throughout this passage in your answer.
· Notice the “it” repeated throughout verses 42-44. Is the same “body” (the “it”) changed from perishable to imperishable?
· Is this a physical change?
· Did Christ go through this change?
· Is Christ’s resurrected body this same imperishable/glorious/spiritual kind of body? Consider Luke 24:38-39 and Philippians 3:20-21 in your answer.
· What do the terms “natural” and “spiritual” mean in this context? Consider 1 Corinthians 2:12-14, 10:3-4, James 3:15, 17, Jude 19 in your answer.
· Is verse 50 saying that corporeal/physical beings cannot be in the presence of God? These seem to be the synonyms in the text:
Flesh and blood = perishable = dishonorable = weak = natural body
Not flesh and blood = imperishable = glorious = powerful = spiritual body
· Did Christ inherit the kingdom of heaven in a physical body? Consider Hebrews 1:2-3, Luke 24:38-39, and Acts 1:9-11 in your answer.
· Was Christ’s body transformed at the resurrection into an imperishable glorious powerful spiritual body that was not flesh and blood but was physical/material? Consider Philippians 3:20-21 and Luke 24:38-39 in your answer.
51Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed-- 52in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
· What does “dead will be raised” mean in verse 52? Is your answer consistent with the rest of the uses of “dead raised” in this passage (v. 4, 12-17, 20, 22, 32)?
· This change seems to be a single event—when did/will it happen and what did/will happen to those individuals who were/will be changed?
53For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."
55"Where, O death, is your victory?
· What is the meaning of death in verses 54, 55, and 56? Consider the meaning of death in verses 3, 12-17, 20, 21 in your answer.
· What does it mean to have the mortal “clothed with immortality”?
· When this happens (or happened) one can say that Death has been swallowed up in victory. Has the “then” of verse 54 already occurred?
· If so, what specifically is the victory that had not yet occurred at the writing of this letter to the Corinthians?
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What do YOU think ?
Acts 1:11 is important to preterists. The angel told those standing there that they would likewise behold Jesus returning!
OK, I'll take an easy one: In the section on Phil.1:3-6, the author of the article apparently misunderstands that the "work" to which Paul refers in verse 6 is God's work within/among the collective Philippian congregation, primarily with respect to their "partnership" (verse 5). The word "you" is plural in Greek, and the word translated here as "in" is often more correctly translated "among" when used with plural nouns/pronouns. In any case, when the author asks the question "If the day was in the past, has God 'completed the good work' he began in you?", he betrays a radical misunderstanding of this passage, most likely because of a refusal to recognize the audience/context of the verse. The "good work" Paul mentions has nothing to do with us, but only with the Philippian church -- Paul was looking for a near term "completion" of the work that had already begun, certainly by the "day of Christ" in A.D. 70. Therefore a correct understanding of this verse in context actually makes it a strong proof-text for the Full Preterist view!
If the author's understanding of 2 Peter 3 is that the world will be burned up by fire, how does he reconcile this interpretation with Jesus' own interpretation of the parable of the wheat/tares: Matt.13:38 "The field is the world...." Here is a question for the author: What did Jesus say would be burned by fire at the "end of the age"? Is the field/world(Gr. kosmos) still around at the end of the parable? How can we best explain the apparent "disconnect" between certain interpretations of 2 Pet. 3 and Jesus' own interpretation of His own parable?
One needs to look at the whole picture. There are scripture that Jesus and the disciples say one thing and in another text they say something totally different. Steve, you are not consisant with scripture. You are building you whole case on one scripture and looking at all of them as a whole.
The context of 2 Peter 3;1-14 is going to depend upon our definition of certain words not necessarily upon whether the verses are to be taken literally or figuratively. For the sake of argument I will stay with your assumption that this passage is talking about the flood at the time of Noah. In 2 Peter 3:1-14 you ask if the words “water” and “earth” are to be taken literally or figuratively. I ask you, is the word “heavens” in verses 5 and 7 to be taken literally or figuratively? Contextually I believe that the word “world” in verse 6 is referring to both the heavens and the earth in verse 5. Assuming that this is true then it was both the heavens and the earth that was destroyed by water. To further prove this point we only need to look at verse 7 which reads “the present heavens and earth”. The word “present” in this verse is separating the former heavens and earth which was destroyed by water, with the heavens and earth at the time of Paul. If this is true then it follows that this passage cannot be speaking of the literal physical heavens and physical earth when verse 6 says that the “world of that time” was destroyed. The Greek word for “world” is kosmos which is defined as order or system. Verse 6 is saying that the world order or system of that time was destroyed not the physical heaven and earth. If we take your premise that “The same or similar words in close context to one another often have the same or similar meaning” then verse 7 which reads “by the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire” then it is apparent that this verse could easily be referring to the heavens and earth which was destroyed in 70 A.D. We need to understand the figurative language of words like water, fire, earth and heaven in order to interpret this passage correctly. There is much more that could be said about this passage, but I believe that I have said enough to present a palatable argument.
I would like to comment on Romans 8:9, 10: The context of this passage begins way back in Romans 5 (at least) where Paul speaks of Christ as restoring what was lost in Adam (v. 12-21). In chapter 6 Paul speaks of how the saints at Rome had died to sin and been made alive in Christ (v. 1-13). The context of these words is, of course, the spiritual condition. Note, however, Paul's words in v. 5: "For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we SHALL also be in the likeness of His resurrection" (NASB, bold added). If the likeness of Christ's death in this passage is our spiritual death to sin, then the (future) reference to resurrection in this passage should also be understood as being spiritual in nature. Thus, the context of Romans 8:9, 10, like Romans 6, is the spiritual condition. Kenneth Perkins
Everyone needs to read Russell's "The Parousia" and Terry's "Biblical Hermeneutics" several times to discover how abysmally ignorant they are of much of the true meaning of scripture. As it is, it is impossible to discuss these issues intelligently considering how theological (read denominational) presuppositions bind our carnal minds. It may come as a surprise to most of us that 2,000 years ago there lived a people on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean with a culture, lifestyle and language so alien to our own that we cannot begin to understand them without a lot of scholarly assistance. Sure you can translate their Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek into English but that still will not tell you what they meant when speaking and writing to each other. Thus the great increase in cults, heresies and what have you in the modern age.
Hi! My name is Steve Lehrer and I wrote this small study that you all are commenting on. I have noticed that in none of the comments has anyone tried to walk through an entire set of questions on any particular passage that I have prepared. You certainly don't have to...but since in the comments I am being called ignorant, unwilling or unable to handle Scripture in context, among other things, perhaps on the 2 Peter 3 passage someone could simply answer my questions from a full preterist point of view. I am willing to do it from my own point of view and argue for the consistency of my hermeneutic both from within the passage itself, from within the book, and then from within the canon. This is not a challenge really. I simply want this article to help me to make progress myself in knowing Scripture and knowing God better. I also want it to serve that purpose for you. Right now it seems to simply be creating a sore spot for you or it is giving you an opportunity for mocking me. So I would just plead with you to try to actually answer the questions as you go through the passages in the study. At the very least, you should be strengthened in your own point of view and grow to love God better in the process. Please consider this.
Mr. Lehrer, perhaps some of us are getting mixed signals by your statements regarding this article. In your most recent comment, you state: <p>"I simply want this article to help me to make progress myself in knowing Scripture and knowing God better." <p>But you state, in the introduction to your article, that it is meant to "aid the Full Preterist in critical thinking about some of the key passages and <b>to lead him away from that doctrinal point of view</b>."<p>You state in your comment: "This is not a challenge really."<p> Yet you state in your intro to the article: "I have developed this short study for FPs to <b>challenge them</b> to ask the tough questions and to reconsider the Scriptures."<p><p>You have clearly already come to conclusions on the passages in question -- now you want to take the poor Full Preterists (who in your view apparently don't use critical thinking, and don't ask the right questions of the text) by the hand and lead them, by structuring your questions a particular way, into <b>your</b> view of the text.<p>However, as I stated in my post (11 Apr 2004 02:07:24) some of your questions are structured based on your own radical misunderstanding of the context/audience of the text. For example, in your question "If the day was in the past, has God 'completed the good work' he began in you?", you have inappropriately applied the verse to the modern day reader. <b>This is simply bad exegesis.</b> If you start by asking the wrong questions, you will certainly come to the wrong answer. Now you want Full Preterists to ask many of these same "wrong/loaded questions" that you have asked, answered, and made up your mind on. Surely you can understand if we choose to respond to your points in our own way? Perhaps you will listen if the Full Preterists identify a flaw in your exegesis and suggest a more appropriate question to ask the text?
Allow me to state my initial reaction to the article. First of all, the author's argument omits many passages which he must, by his own approach, submit to exegesis. Where are the passages of imminence regarding the resurrection (e.g., IITimothy 4:1, Acts 24:15)? What does this mean, "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." Do we continue to be under law? Jesus said, "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven." Flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven, but do we suppose that angels are flesh and blood? Hymenaeus and Philetus had actually convinced people the resurrection had occurred. Makes anyone with common deduction wonder how they could have possibly convinced people of a past resurrection if people expected a physical occurrence (e.g., where's Abraham, Joseph, Jcob, Moses Elijah, etc.) We don't even need to spend time discussing the notion of "Death" had many meanings. Being "dead" in transgressions certainly did not mean physical death. In Hebrews we read that Jesus came to destroy him who had power over death, but we continue to physically die, so I guess Jesus has not done this? But he who had power over death was the Satan. Didn't Paul say that Satan would shortly be crushed under their feet? Daniel said the resurrection and tribulation would be ended when the power of the Holy People was shattered (or scattered). Wasn't this AD 70 (context, context, context)? Weren't the "Holy People" God's people of Israel? We haven't even mentioned Matthew 24 and "This Generation". So let me mention one more thing regarding Acts 1:11. It says that He will come in like manner as they saw Him go. Did Christ leave with 10,000 of His saints? Did He leave with the sound of the trumpet? Isn't that how Paul says He will return? All is not as it seems. Bottom line is, like the futurists< which the author apparently is, the hat is hung on very FEW selected scriptural passages to PROVE the one hundred passages of imminence are not really imminent at all. I would welcome someone who could convincingly dispel preterism. I would LOVE to believe that OUR generation is "This Generation" and all of my dead relatives in Christ would come forth and I would never need to physically die. But that doesn't appear to be what the scriptures really say. I think God will ALWAYS require faith to please Him, and if Jesus sat in a physical Temple in Jerusalem to rule with a tod of iron, what faith would it take?
Allow me to state my initial reaction to the article. First of all, the author's argument omits many passages which he must, by his own approach, submit to exegesis. Where are the passages of imminence regarding the resurrection (e.g., IITimothy 4:1, Acts 24:15)? What does this mean, "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." Do we continue to be under law? Jesus said, "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven." Flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven, but do we suppose that angels are flesh and blood? Hymenaeus and Philetus had actually convinced people the resurrection had occurred. Makes anyone with common deduction wonder how they could have possibly convinced people of a past resurrection if people expected a physical occurrence (e.g., where's Abraham, Joseph, Jacob, Moses Elijah, etc.) We don't even need to spend time discussing the notion of "Death" had many meanings. Being "dead" in transgressions certainly did not mean physical death. In Hebrews we read that Jesus came to destroy him who had power over death, but we continue to physically die, so I guess Jesus has not done this? But he who had power over death was the Satan. Didn't Paul say that Satan would shortly be crushed under their feet? Daniel said the resurrection and tribulation would be ended when the power of the Holy People was shattered (or scattered). Wasn't this AD 70 (context, context, context)? Weren't the "Holy People" God's people of Israel? We haven't even mentioned Matthew 24 and "This Generation". So let me mention one more thing regarding Acts 1:11. It says that He will come in like manner as they saw Him go. Did Christ leave with 10,000 of His saints? Did He leave with the sound of the trumpet? Isn't that how Paul says He will return? All is not as it seems. Bottom line is, like the futurists< which the author apparently is, the hat is hung on very FEW selected scriptural passages to PROVE the one hundred passages of imminence are not really imminent at all. I would welcome someone who could convincingly dispel preterism. I would LOVE to believe that OUR generation is "This Generation" and all of my dead relatives in Christ would come forth and I would never need to physically die. But that doesn't appear to be what the scriptures really say. I think God will ALWAYS require faith to please Him, and if Jesus sat in a physical Temple in Jerusalem to rule with a tod of iron, what faith would it take?
I have noticed that many object that I chose just the 15 or so passages to place before you for your consideration and I didn't choose passages like Matthew 24 or Daniel 9. But in my understanding of hermeneutics you should be able to interpret the passages in my short study on their own first. You should first be able to handle the immediate context of the passage and deal responsibly with the argument of the text and the meanings of words. First the near context is consulted, then the context of the book, only later the whole NT and then the whole OT. It seems many of you are turning this process on its head. I have seen this problem in other works written by Full Preterists. Again, try taking just the first Peter 3 section, or just the 1 Corinthians 15 section and answering the questions. I honestly believe that your doctrinal presupposition will allow you to deal responsibly with these texts on their own terms. Now, your presuppositions might be right and Scripture could contradict itself (though, I don't think so). On the other hand, your presuppositions could be wrong. And finally, my questions could be poorly thought through and I might not be handling the text correctly. But give it a try...Try to interpret these passages first on their own terms. Don't bring in Matthew 24 or the other favorite texts for Full Preterists until after you have dealt with the near context. It is legitimate, after dealing with the near context, to consider what all of Scripture has to say. But it is not legitimate before you do this in my humble opinion.
In that last comment I meant to write "I honestly DONT believe that your doctrinal presupposition will allow you to deal responsibly with these texts on their own terms." I had left out the word "don't"
Mr Lehrer, you write: "Now, your presuppositions might be right and Scripture could contradict itself (though, I don't think so). On the other hand, your presuppositions could be wrong." This is a perfect example of a logical fallacy known as a "faulty dilemma." You fail to understand that the Full Preterist stands firmly on the presupposition that Scripture cannot contradict itself. That is why we must address _all_ of Scripture before coming to conclusions. You, however, have shown that even in your questions about your selected passages, you do not even correctly understand the _local_ context of the passage (I gave the example of Phil.1:3-6 above, and I notice that you have failed to provide any sort of a defence, when I stated that even your questions showed that you fundamentally misunderstood it.) Mr. Lehrer, here is what I see from how you have presented yourself: 1. An apparent view that Full Preterists do not use "critical thinking," and do not ask the right questions of the text. 2. A desire that Full Preterists change their hermeneutic so that they are not interpreting everything in view of God's _whole_ word on the matter. 3. The use (perhaps unintentional) of logical fallacies, such as "faulty dilemmas", in an effort to get Preterists to answer your loaded questions. 4. Failures on your part to get even the _local_ context correct, leading to the fact that you ask wrong questions of the text. 5. Failures on your part to even properly reconcile your small selection of passages so that they are consistent among themselves (e.g. Matt.13:38-43 [kosmos _not_ burned by fire, according to Jesus] vs. 2 Pet.3). Mr. Lehrer, can you show that these points are wrong? ---------------------------- Message to everyone else: As I stated earlier, if you ask the wrong questions, you can't help but get the wrong answer. Mr. Lehrer wants you to think that his questions are simply those that any "objective" inquirer into the Scripture would ask. However, many of these questions are demonstrably faulty/loaded. Mr. Lehrer wants you to answer all of his questions, without bringing in any other scriptures to help you answer the questions. Why is Mr. Lehrer crafting his argument in this way? As he said, he wants "to lead [the Full Preterist] away from that doctrinal point of view." I don't mind being led, but it seems to me that Mr. Lehrer has shown himself to be a leader with the eyesight of a Pharisee. I personally will continue to use the light of ALL of Scripture to light my way.
This is Steve Lehrer again. I will address this generally to all who read this simply because names have not been given in this discussion. Perhaps my questions are faulty. I ask you to point out the faulty ones as you deal with passages and questions I gave you. Perhaps you all disagree with the basic hermeneutical premise that you establish the meaning of a text FIRST within its own context. I am all for interpreting a Scripture in the light of ALL of the Scriptures. But first, it seems to me, you must let the passage speak in its own context with some interpretive limits. 2 Peter 3 is a great example. There may be many other texts that talk about God's judgment and they should inform us eventually. But first within the narrow context we must have sound basis for our understanding of the passage and therefore the words within the passage. If water means H20 and earth means the inhabited world/ the physical creation in the first verses of the text (Genesis 6 leads us in that direction) it seems like a logical question why fire and earth used a few verses later speaking of a later event of the same sort wouldn't refer to literal fire (the hot stuff) and earth wouldn't refer to "the inhabited world or physical creation". If earth only referred to Jerusalem in the earlier verses then I could understand how in the later verses it could have that limited meaning. If water was used metaphorically in the earlier verses, then fire would probably be some OT literary device from the prophets for generic judgement. But that doesn't seem to be the case. I could be wrong. But if I am then please give me a better verse by verse consistent interpretation-- first narrow context and then let other texts inform the discussion. I think this is the achilles heel of Full-preterism and so yes I do want to lead you away from that system. It is not because I think I am smarter, or I want to show you up. I do this because I care-- about you and about God being honored and finally about all that read the articles on this site.
Mr. Lehrer, your "basic hermeneutical premise" is "that you establish the meaning of a text FIRST within its own context." You say, "you must let the passage speak in its own context with some interpretive limits." I am interested in what limits you think I should put on myself in coming to conclusions about how the passage speaks in its "own context." Since the meaning of basic words and phrases is in question, I want to know the following: 1. Am I able to look in other parts of Scripture (e.g. Matt.5:18, Matt.24:35) to see how words like "heaven and earth" are used, or should I ignore all those previous references? 2. Am I able to look in other parts of Scripture (John 3:16-17, 2 Cor.5:19, Matt.13:38) to see how the word "world" (Gr. kosmos) is used, or should I ignore all those previous references? 3. Am I able to look in other parts of Scripture to see how the word "elements" (Gr. stoicheia) is used, or should I just ignore all those previous references? 4. If you allow me, in questions 1-3 above, to look up other references to significant terms, can I also look at the context of these verses? Or should I just read them out of context? 5. Am I able to look up direct quotes from the Old Testament, such as the one in 2 Pet.3:8? 6. Am I able to look up allusions to the Old and New Testament, such as the ones in 2 Pet.3:5,6,9 and 10? Can I look at the context of the passages alluded to? 7. Will you allow me to look up other passages in which the same Old Testament texts, such as the one concerning Noah, are used in a context of judgment, such as Matt.24:37-41? Will you allow me to examine the context of those passages? 8. Am I allowed to make any interpretive connections between 2 Pet.3 and any of the "external passages" mentioned, or is that "out of bounds" under your hermeneutical method? -------------------------------------- Please provide justification for any "No" answers to my questions.
Hi...I am sorry, I don't know your name, Let me answer your questions: You asked: 1. Am I able to look in other parts of Scripture (e.g. Matt.5:18, Matt.24:35) to see how words like "heaven and earth" are used, or should I ignore all those previous references? My answer: Good question. The danger is letting your interpretation of those texts "drive" your understanding of 2 Peter 3. We could turn your question on its head and ask whether we should first go to 2 Peter 3 to find out the use of the words heaven and earth in Matt. 24 or Matt 5. Instead, confine yourself just to the passage, then the book, then simply Peter's writing. That way you are less likely to have a "one text driven system". You asked: 2. Am I able to look in other parts of Scripture (John 3:16-17, 2 Cor.5:19, Matt.13:38) to see how the word "world" (Gr. kosmos) is used, or should I ignore all those previous references? Me: Well, since the word kosmos/world is used in so many different ways- do a quick study of this word in the Gospel of John and you will find this out very quickly- again immediate context is the ruling factor for meaning. Don't ignore previous references, but consider secondary. They are, of course, more important when in the same book of the bible...but even then, context can tip the scales. You asked: 3. Am I able to look in other parts of Scripture to see how the word "elements" (Gr. stoicheia) is used, or should I just ignore all those previous references? Me: Once again, Galatians 4 should factor in. But it should be secondary to the context. Paul and Peter could use the same word--Paul could load it with theological meaning and Peter could use it in its most simple sense. The same words being used in different ways by different authors is rather common in Scripture. Being careful to read immediate context and giving that first priority is the first step to finding out how the word is used. You asked: 4. If you allow me, in questions 1-3 above, to look up other references to significant terms, can I also look at the context of these verses? Or should I just read them out of context? Me: I think we covered this. Only, never read verses out of context. Always read verses in the light of the immediate argument the author is making and then read them in the light of the whole book and so on. You asked: 5. Am I able to look up direct quotes from the Old Testament, such as the one in 2 Pet.3:8? Yes, but again the OT context won't have priority in meaning. Consider Gal. 3:16 which quotes from Genesis 15. The word seed is used as a collective singular in Genesis 15 and means "many seeds" but Paul grabs the word from Genesis 15 and does some divinely inspired theological "tweeking" and gives it a singular meaning in the light of Jesus Christ. So, the context of a New Testament author's immediate argument has priority in giving meaning even to Old Testament quotations. You asked: 6. Am I able to look up allusions to the Old and New Testament, such as the ones in 2 Pet.3:5,6,9 and 10? Can I look at the context of the passages alluded to? Me: Allusions are tricky. One man's allusion is another man's leap. Therefore, consider allusions to be lower hermeneutical priority since much of the time they are not definite but they are only echoes and we are rarely sure of the author's intent with them. Once again, immediate context and the author's immediate argument is much more solid ground upon which to base an interpretation. You asked: 7. Will you allow me to look up other passages in which the same Old Testament texts, such as the one concerning Noah, are used in a context of judgment, such as Matt.24:37-41? Will you allow me to examine the context of those passages? Me: I think we answered this above. You are asking the same question which at its core is what is the hermeneutical priority of other passages as they bear on one's exegesis of one particular passage. I have clearly addressed this above. You asked: 8. Am I allowed to make any interpretive connections between 2 Pet.3 and any of the "external passages" mentioned, or is that "out of bounds" under your hermeneutical method? Me: No, the connections are not out of bounds. But you must not let your "best guess" connections drive your interpretation of the passage that you are trying to interpret. The concept is what I believe to be common sense hermeneutics or hermeneutics 101 in which you allow the author to make his argument and speak for himself without other passages defining his terms, for his terms might be different. The other passages do have a place...but that place is in the back seat. I hope these answers help. Steve
Mr. Lehrer, my name is John. Thank you for your answers. You write: "Well, since the word kosmos/world is used in so many different ways- do a quick study of this word in the Gospel of John and you will find this out very quickly- again immediate context is the ruling factor for meaning. Don't ignore previous references, but consider secondary. They are, of course, more important when in the same book of the bible...but even then, context can tip the scales." OK. I'll descibe my reasoning here, and you tell me where I go wrong. I know, as you say, that the word 'kosmos' has many meanings. But I want to determine how Peter is using the word in 2 Pet. 3:6. The next closest use by Peter is 2 Pet. 2:20 :"having escaped the pollutions/defilements of the world (kosmos) by a recognition of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" which sounds similar to how Jesus uses it in John 15:19-25, when He says "I chose you out of the world (kosmos)--because of this the world (kosmos) hates you." Jesus seems to be using kosmos in the sense of a collective of persons capable of the emotion hate. In the next verse, Jesus tells about how "they" will persecute the disciples, just as "they" persecuted Jesus. In the next verse Jesus tells us that "they" (the ones doing the persecuting) "have not known the One having sent Me." In the next three verses, Jesus says that He had spoken to "them", performed miraculous works among "them", but despite this, "they" still "hate" both Him and the Father. Then in verse 25, Jesus says that "they" have a "law", and quotes from Ps.35:19. So it appears that Jesus is using the word 'kosmos' to refer specifically to the wicked 1st century Jews who persecuted Him and the disciples. Now since Peter was a disciple, it wouldn't be surprising if we find a meaning for kosmos that matches Jesus usage -- but lets look a little further. The next nearest reference for 'kosmos' is 2 Pet.2:5, where Peter uses the word twice. He says that God "did not spare the old world(kosmos), but did keep the eighth person, Noah, a herald of righteousness, having brought a flood on the world(kosmos) of the impious, and did condemn the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah with an overthrow, having turned them to ashes -- having set an example for the ones being about to live impiously." This is usage is instructive, because it is used in the very same context (judgment/Noah) as the usage in 2 Pet. 3:6. Again, the usage of kosmos appears to be referring to a collective group of people ("the impious/ungodly"), and this is confirmed when we examine the immediate context (2 Pet.3:6) and find that the kosmos was "destroyed." We know that the planet was not destroyed, so it couldn't mean the planet. The ungodly ones were destroyed, so that confirms the meaning that we have been seeing up to now. We also learn something from Peter's description of the deluge in Noah's time: in 2 Pet.2:6, he says that it is an "example" for the ones who would act in an "ungodly/impious" manner after that. This is interesting because Peter seems to be reiterating this point in 2 Pet. 3:5-12, even to the point of exhorting his readers to live with "holy and pious conduct"(2 Pet.3:11) in contradistinction to the impious/ungodly referred to earlier. So if the incidents of God's judgment in the past that Peter uses (Noah's flood, Sodom and Gomorrah) are "examples" of what has happened in the past, and Peter is referring to the "present heavens and earth" (2 Peter.3:7) then I am not _logically_ constrained by 2 Pet.3:5-6 to look for a meaning of "heavens and earth" that is either literal "sky and ground" or symbolically "the temple/Old Covenant system". At this point, it still could be either one. I will need to see how the words "heavens and earth" are used elsewhere....[and so it goes -- you can probably fill in the rest] ------------------------------------- anyway, in my search for the meaning of the word 'kosmos', have I done justice to Peter's usage? What flaws do you see in my hermeneutical approach?
Hi John! Thanks for interacting. I think this is really productive now. You obviously have a good head on your shoulders. But you asked "what flaws do you see in my hermeneutical approach" and I think that although much of your work was well conceived and downright smart, you went off the rails rather early. Rather than looking in the narrow context of the passage in question, you immediately started outside that passage to understand what the passage meant. You wrote: "But I want to determine how Peter is using the word in 2 Pet. 3:6. The next closest use by Peter is 2 Pet. 2:20" By starting outside the passage you don't allow Peter's argument and intended meaning within the passage to rule. Even if you came up with the right answer (which I don't think you did and I'll get to that), your method would have been flawed. Remember the order. The narrow context of the passage first and only after that the surrounding context. Then the book. Then in this case 2 Peter (Peter's works). Then we fan out to the rest of the NT. Now let's consider the argument and the verses in the narrow context firs. Look at verses 4 and 5 "They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation."5But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water." **Notice that the formation of the heavens and the earth are referenced. This is a reference to physical creation. This sets the scene. Now check out verse 6 "By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed." Now you wrote about this verse the following: "This is usage is instructive, because it is used in the very same context (judgment/Noah) as the usage in 2 Pet. 3:6. Again, the usage of kosmos appears to be referring to a collective group of people ("the impious/ungodly"), and this is confirmed when we examine the immediate context (2 Pet.3:6) and find that the kosmos was "destroyed." We know that the planet was not destroyed, so it couldn't mean the planet." **Notice, you didn't grapple with the issue raised in the context about creation and the destruction by actual water-- Everyone knows the Noah story. The account tells us that water killed of everything except those who were on the boat. This included animals. The account is very "creation oriented." There is lots of talk of geography (see Gen. 8:9 and 9:2). In Genesis 9 God makes a covenant with all life on the earth and in Genesis 9:11 he makes this surprising statement: "Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth" All life was destroyed in the flood. It was like starting over. The water-- the literal tool of judgment wiped out creation-- life on earth. The text demands a far wider meaning than destruction of impious people. **But let's press on in the narrow text we are trying to interpret. Verse 7 reads: "7By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men." **What is the "word" spoken of here? It is a reference back to verse God's "word" in verse 5 by which the physical earth was formed and sustained. Now the same "word" sustains the present creation. Just as decreation happened way back when with H20 as the tool. God will again wipe the slate clean (decreate) but this time with fire. ***OK. So far I haven't really gotten my nose out of 2 Peter 3 except to check out what was clearly being referenced-- the flood. Even then we went right back into 2 Peter 3. Now, we aren't done with our exegesis by a long shot. There still might be reasons to change our interpretation. But these are the first steps of the process. So, once again, you made a great effort in the work you did, but you went off the rails early because you didn't follow that fundamental first step of keeping your nose in your immediate passage first. Only after you have mined it for context argument and meaning should you go out with your interpretive questions. I hope this proves helpful. My time is limited so I would like to continue only if you find this helpful. Again, I appreciate the productive turn this discussion has taken. Steve
Steve, thank you for your response and your critique of my exegesis. I am still puzzled by your approach. You are asserting that I am jumping out of context when I simply go to Peter's first mention of Noah and the kosmos in 2 Pet.2:5 -- this is only 23 verses before the passage that you wanted to jump into. Allow me to assert that your hermeneutical approach is the _real_ jump out of context. No one reads the letter of 2 Peter by starting with chapter 3 then going to chapter 2 or 1. Will you allow me to assert that the way that Peter meant his letter to be read was _in order_, from 1:1 to 3:18? The way you are approaching it is as if you have pulled a few pieces out of Peter's completed "puzzle" and then isolated them off to the side. Then you are looking at them and saying "that looks like creation language from the Genesis story, so this piece next to it _must_ be the physical world." Your "puzzle piece" approach might be appropriate if we didn't have the verses of the letter in proper order, but fortunately we are able to see Peter's "big picture." If we are doing our hermeneutics properly, we have already read 2 Peter 2:5 _before_ we proceed another 23 verses and get to 3:6. Therefore we already understand that when Peter talks about the "ancient kosmos" and Noah and the flood in 2 Peter 2:5, and Sodom and Gomorrah in 2:6-7, he is making a point about the certainty of God's judgment of the ungodly/impious (Gr. asebon), the "example" that God set for the "ungodly" of the future, and also how God rescues the godly from trials. We also know that these were very important points to Peter's readers, because we have already read the letter of 1 Peter, and we know that they were going through (1 Pet.1:6, 1 Pet.4:12) some very "fiery ordeals" at the hands of the ungodly in the 1st century. Peter was writing both to warn them against "falling away" into the ranks of the ungodly (2 Pet.3:17), and also reassuring them that the judgment would come upon the ones that were persecuting them. Incidentally, Paul makes nearly the exact same point to his Thessalonian readers in 2 Thess.1:4-10 (which you may want to avoid reading, because it is a great Full Preterist proof text!). Peter and his readers were not looking for some pie-in-the-sky judgment day, 2000 years in the future after they had died and been resurrected. They were looking for God's judgment on the ungodly ones in their own time (as was Paul:2 Thess.1:4-10, as was James: James 5:7-11), _and_ they were looking for their own _rescue_ from the trials caused by the ungodly ones, just as Noah and his family, and Lot and his family were rescued (2 Pet.2:5-9). That is why Peter brings up the "rescue of the godly." Then in verses 10-22, he goes into an extended description of the ungodly/impious ones, the ones who are marked out for destruction. So when we enter chapter 3, we already know what Peter is talking about when he uses the word 'kosmos', because we have read it in the exact same context (Noah, and the flood that God used to destroy the impious ones) only 23 verses earlier. 'kosmos' in both 2 Peter 2:5 and 2 Peter 3:6 means the "world of the ungodly" -- the evil men and the 'nephesh' animals that the ungodly corrupted by their wickedness. kosmos cannot, in Peter's usage, mean planet or even creation in general, because Peter asserts that the kosmos "was destroyed." "Heaven" and "earth" (the words from 2 Peter.3:5 that you assert establish the "creation" context for verse 6) were _not_ destroyed by the flood. Even setting aside everything on the ark, not all the animals were destroyed: The fish in the sea were not destroyed. The trees and plants were not destroyed. Most of God's creation stayed alive through the flood. Only the ungodly men and the land animals that they corrupted were destroyed. This was a _very_ targeted judgment by God. If God had actually _literally_ "decreated" in the way that you assert, then we must not be seeing the same sun, moon, or stars that are described in Genesis 1:14-18. Is this what you believe? Or are you asserting a "non-literal" decreation? In 2 Peter 3:7, Peter continues the point that he began back in chapter 2, saying that the "present heavens and earth" have been "stored up for fire" (and the temple _was_ burned up by fire, taking with it the elements[Gr.stoicheia] of the Old Covenant system) "in a day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men" using the _same_ Greek word for ungodly/impious (asebon) that he used back in 2 Peter 2:5. Steve, I've already seen the whole "puzzle," with all the pieces put together. Why should I yank out a few pieces and pretend that I haven't seen the context of those pieces? Why should I or anyone else jump into Chapter 3 and pretend that Peter is not trying to present his message as a coherent whole? The same could be said for any other portion of Scripture. Steve, even if you follow your method (yanking out 15 passages from their place in the puzzle) -- once you have come to conclusions on those passages, you are going to find that those conclusions are simply _falsified_ by other parts of scripture. Steve, you say that you care about Full Preterists, and I believe that you do. So I am going to help you understand the "worldview" of one Full Preterist, so that you can begin to understand what drives us to come to this view. I am a very conservative, Bible-believing Christian (Protestant). The Bible is my "authority for all of life" (as the Reconstructionists would say). If God's word is not true, then I have nowhere to go. If the Bible is in error, then it is not God's word, and in the Full-Preterist worldview (at least mine) this is simply not an option (ie. we generally presuppose non-contradiction and inerrency). I first heard of Full Preterists in a bad light: I had been studying Partial preterism (of the Jay Adams variety) and I called Timeless Texts to order some books and was telling the guy about discovering the (Partial) Preterist view. He said, "You're not one of those hyper-preterists are you?" I said, "I don't even know what that is." He explained it a bit, and asserted that it was a heresy and totally ridiculous, and I agreed with him. Jesus came already? Ridiculous! I wasn't even interested in pursuing the matter. I put it out of my mind for months, until I hit a discussion (in the context of a book on Theonomy) of Matt.5:17-20. I saw the words "heaven and earth pass away" and after realizing the implications in context, I knew that I had _better_ understand eschatology before I pretend that I am applying the Bible to my whole life. I started reading articles (on this website, incidentally) and I discovered the Greek word 'mellei' (about) in Matt.16:27: "The Son of Man is _about_ to come in the glory of His Father with his angels..." Whoah! Here was a Greek word that was left _untranslated_ in the KJV and all of the modern translations (such that you have to go back to Young's Literal, or Darby's or a Greek interlinear in order to see it). Let me assure you that this was something that _shocked_ me to the core of my being. THIS was the turning point for me. Here was a book in which I trust as my authority, and the translators (because of their presuppositions of course) left out some _very_ critical information. They didn't leave it in, allowing me to come to my own conclusions about the meaning. They didn't even footnote the fact that they had left out this word. I didn't even know to look, until the Full Preterists told me to look in an interlinear. I will _never_ trust another English translation. I take my interlinear(Marshall's) with me to church, and I have used it so much it is literally falling apart! The "rest of the story" is simply study of the scriptures, and finding "new light" thrown upon hundreds of verses as a result of a true understanding of eschatology. Anyway, forgive me for talking about myself so much, I don't usually. As a Full Preterist, when I look at the words "heavens and earth" I can draw a direct interpretive line from Matt.5:18 to Luke 21:32-33(Matt.24:34-35) to 2 Peter 3 to Rev.21. I am completely comfortable with the implications of that direct line. I wonder how comfortable you are with the many verses that you didn't mention in your article, all the verses that are only(in my view) consistently explained by the Full Preterist viewpoint. Are you asserting that you have a consistent explanation for the _hundreds_ of verses that prove Full preterism? Because if you do, I am sure that there are many Full Preterists that would _love_ to read your treatment of eschatology. Frankly, I am sure that there are _thousands_ of Futurists that would love to read your treatment, mainly because the brightest minds in Futurism currently have to resort to the "authority" of the creeds, and placing creedal limits on exegesis in order to counter the Full Preterist's reliance on the authority and consistency of Scripture :-). Either that, or they resort to total non-answers, like Dispensationalism.
Steve, I was looking back at my previous response and I noticed that I wrote "Most of God's creation stayed alive through the flood." Rather than use the words "stayed alive," I should have written "Most of God's creation was preserved through the flood." (ie. the earth, the sun, moon, stars, the plants, and the fish). You are wanting to show a parallel between the heavens, earth, and elements burning up and the flood of Noah's time, and I am showing that there is no such parallel.
Also, Steve, I recognize that you are concerned about how to interpret the "creation" language of verse 5. You want me to, in your words, "grapple with the issue raised in the context about creation and the destruction by actual water." Here is the best way to understand verse 5, in context: Peter quotes the "mockers" in v.4 as saying that "all things remain in this manner from the beginning of creation." Peter then responds to them very directly, at the heart of their argument, by stating that the "heavens were of old and the earth was formed(or held together) by(or out of) water and through water -- through which things the kosmos at that time was destroyed." Looking back at the Genesis flood, we find that the water came from ... where? The "torrents of the heavens" _and_ the "springs of the abyss" of the _earth_ (cf. Gen.7:11 Greek 'phgh' in the Septuagint, cross reference 'phgh' in Gen.2:6 (Septuagint)). What Peter is saying is, paraphased, "The mockers think everything remains the same from the time of creation. But the word of God created the heavens, and formed the earth by water." In verse 6 Peter says "through which things" -- the Greek word for "which" is plural, referring back to the heaven and earth and the water which came from them. "through which things, the kosmos, being flooded, was destroyed." Peter introduced the heaven and earth because the mockers brought up "creation", then Peter masterfully brought the readers back to the very example that he introduced in 2 Peter 2:5, showing that the same "heaven" and "earth" that the mockers think "remains the same" became instruments of God's judgment on the "world of the impious/ungodly." The "heaven and earth" which may look quite benign to the mockers, became the _sources_ of water to destroy the kosmos. Again, literal heaven and earth were not destroyed, only the kosmos of the ungodly.
Hi John! I don't want to just bug out without a saying anything. I will give you the final word. I have too many responsibilities at home to keep up with this right now (a 2 year old and a brand new baby). Thanks for the discussion. I am sure all who read it will find it insightful.
Hi Steve. I just took a brief look at your article, and so far it seems rather sound. As I have come to understand preterism more and more, the one thing that because apparent to me is that they must distort the Bible to make it fit a certain belief about the meaning of Matt. 24:34, and to so-called "timing" texts. Yet we see that the timing text in Isaiah 13:6, where we have the words "...for the day of the LORD is at hand," did not find fulfilment until hundreds of years later. Yet when the same kind of language is used in the New Testament, all of a sudden "quickly" and "soon" or "near" MUST mean very soon in the most literal sense. I find that rather fascinating and even convenient. So far, all I see is distortion left and right, and since I've been studying Scripture for over 18 years now, and I know New Testament Greek and have studied some Hebrew as well, I think I have some basic grap of the Bible. I think preterism fools those who, for the most part, do not have a sound, biblical base and do not have a good grasp of basic hermeneutical principles. My hope and prayer is that the Spirit will help them to "see the light" and correctly interpret the word of truth. Here is a good website: http://www.angelfire.com/nt/theology/preterist.html AD
The last comment states that Isaiah 13:6 "near" is not fulfilled until, in the words of the commentator "hundreds of years later." Hmmm. My study Bible dates Isaiah after 700 B.C. The Bible Background Commentary on the Old Testament (Intervarsity Press) states that this prophecy (Isaiah 13) was fulfilled when the Medes and Persians overran the city in 539 B.C. That means (700 - 539) 161 years. There seems to be some misunderstanding on the part of the commentator.
Hi Steve, I'm working through your questions. Here's my progress: http://members.aol.com/vftprayer/heaven/lehrer.htm
Just a little comment on a critique of what I said earlier. The point I made about Isaiah 13:6 was that the language "at hand" or "near" is used, yet the fulfillment took place a long way off. I might have been off by saying "hundreds of years," but that is far afield of the point. But just to provide some context to this, I have information in my Bible (The Open Bible, New King James Version, p. 675, Nelson Publ., 1983) which says: "Isaiah's long ministry ranged from about 740 to 680 BC..." From this we can deduce that it is at least possible for there to be a "hundreds of years" span from the prophecy to the fulfillment in 539. But again, that is irrelevant to my point. The terms "near" and "at hand" do not always mean a very short span of time, as many preterists seem to be under the illusion of thinking. It is simply not a biblical way to look at such language. AD
AD, since you want to continue harping on Isaiah 13:6, even after having been shown to be wrong, we will continue. You write: "The terms 'near' and 'at hand' do not always mean a very short span of time, as many preterists seem to be under the illusion of thinking." Isaiah 13:6 predicts "destruction" from the day of the Lord. But these "oracles" of the prophets do not always refer to one-time events -- they can refer to multiple destructive events that occur over a span of time culminating in prophetic fulfillment. Even though the entire oracle, including the involvement of the Medes, was not fulfilled until 539 B.C., Babylon was sacked in 689 B.C. by Sennacherib (Bible Background Commentary, p.601). That is (700 B.C.- 689 B.C.) 11 years. Is sacking of the city enough to qualify as "destruction" (Is.13:6) for you? Is _11 years_ near enough to qualify as "at hand" by your definition?
Steve, It appears that by the tone of your article you do not even subscribe to a partial preterist position. If you really would like answers to all of your questions, you should just spend a few hours or days studying some of the excellent resources on this website (preteristarchive.com). You will find that all of your questions will be answered and others will not have to spend their time answering your questions and objections. Go ahead and dig in! Scott, Missoula, MT
Hi Scott. I am a partial preterist. I have studied some things on the site and read some full preterist and partial preterist works. My questions are simply designed to encourage grappling with Scripture. Everyone should, me included. Steve
LOL...So now, even after being given documentation on the prophetic time of Isaiah, all of a sudden I'm still "wrong." lol. I don't think so. Your preterist glasses are showing. The fact remains, whether we are talking 1l years, or 201, the prophecy with the words "at hand" did not take place in a very quick manner. NO amount of Scriptural distortion or dancing can avoid that fact. AD.
LOL...So now, even after being given documentation on the prophetic time of Isaiah, all of a sudden I'm still "wrong." lol. I don't think so. Your preterist glasses are showing. The fact remains, whether we are talking 1l years, or 201, the prophecy with the words "at hand" did not take place in a very quick manner. NO amount of Scriptural distortion or dancing can avoid that fact. AD.
LOL...So now, even after being given documentation on the prophetic time of Isaiah, all of a sudden I'm still "wrong." lol. I don't think so. Your preterist glasses are showing. The fact remains, whether we are talking 1l years, or 201, the prophecy with the words "at hand" did not take place in a very quick manner. NO amount of Scriptural distortion or dancing can avoid that fact. AD.
So now we know that in the opinion of AD, the word "near" in Isaiah 13:6, because it refers to an event that is _so_ far off -- 11 years (the sacking of Babylon in 689 B.C.) -- can mean any period of time up to or even beyond 2000 years. AD is telling you that you can now safely disregard any imminency of time statements in the Old and New Testaments. Of course, the story from AD would be the same, even if we could show by historical evidence that the "delay" before the beginning of the destruction were only _11 days_. AD has shown that he can just back up the writing of the book to 740 B.C. (adding 40 years to the "delay") and claim victory, because 40 years is not "near." For my part, I will continue to trust God's word, even if it causes me to regard many men as liars. There is certainly scriptural distortion going on, but it's not the Full Preterists that are responsible.
The rhetoric is really unkind here. I said it in the beginning that there was mocking and arrogance constantly being paraded in the discussion. Cut it out. A God honoring approach is to assume the best motives (even when suspicious of the worst). Don't assume that the person is trying to "dance" around the truth. Remeber, even if you are theologically correct but you are not evidencing true love, then not only will your argument probably not be heard but it is sinful and might be evidence of a heart that does not even know the Lord...Even though all your theological ducks are in a row. ***The Full Preterist has always taken the "at hand" and "soon" statements to refer generally to a number of years-- perhaps a generation, perhaps a bit more. And the FP argument is that they lose meaning when these time indicators are stretched to mean thousands of years. I think this is a powerful argument and often in Scripture these time statements do refer to shorter periods of time. Sometimes they refer to events that have more than one fulfillment or a graduated fulfillment and the first or beginning of it is within one generation or approximately that. But an open question is since there is a precedent that many statements about immenence are fulfilled in that short period of time, must all be similarly fulfilled? This would take looking at specific passages and considering them one by one. But the disciples of Christ are known by their love for one another even in the midst of disagreement - John 13:33-34. No critique of a system is more devastating than its devotees are without love for others. Steve
I am not an FP, but I wish to comment. The premise is made early on that the same or similar words in close context to one another often have the same or similar meaning. In fact they always do unless..... Consider your Romans 8:9-10 section early on in the discussion. Look at the word 'dead'. Christ was raised from the dead in a literal physical sense. The scripture goes on to say,"But if Christ is in you, your body is dead....." Surely you will agree that Paul is not telling the believers in Rome that they are literally and physically dead. This time the word is used figuaratively, or symbolically. So the same word is used in the same passage of scripture two different ways ie. literally and figuratively. So, when you pose the question at the end, "What does it mean to be 'given life to our mortal bodies'?" And "how is it similar and how different from Christs' resurrection?", it seems vastly different. Christs death was literal. His resurrection was literal. However, when Paul writes "But if Christ is in you, your body is dead...." he's not telling me that am physically dead. So if my mortal body is only figuratively dead, (I hope), it seems that the life that is given to my mortal body is also symbolic or spiritual. After all, I was buried with Him in baptism and have been raised with Him haven't I? Peace with you, Barry
Hello Barry, You stated almost the exact same point that I was trying to make. Often the physical experience through which Christ went is paralleled in scripture with a spiritual experience for believers. In Romans 5-8 this is explicit; as pointed out, people who turn to Christ "die" and are "crucified" with Him in baptism with respect to their spiritual condition, not their physical reality. Thus, to reject the full preterist understanding of some passages as "spiritualiztion" on this basis is not necessarily valid. Kenneth Perkins
Hi everyone! Thought that I would just make a quick point. Most preterists become frustrated with arguments like Steve's. Although Steve is very loving and his attitude is certainly Christlike, he has not done enough "due diligence" to warrent responding to full-preterism or begining to teach others against it. Let me give one example to make my point (and by the way I am not a full-Preterist)-Steve makes arguments against Full-Preterists based on passages like 2Peter. Many more sound arguments have been made against Steve's arguments on 2Peter, and those arguments were not done by Preterists. They were done by men, whom I'm sure Steve has a tremendous amount of respect for, Here is an example...(Dr. John Owen on the New Heavens and Earth) 'It is evident, then, that in the prophetical idiom and manner of speech, by heavens and earth, the civil and religious state and combination of men in the world, and the men of them, were often understood. So were the heavens and earth that world which then was destroyed by the flood. ' 4. On this foundation I affirm that the heavens and earth here intended in this prophecy of Peter, the coming of the Lord, the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men, mentioned in the destruction of that heaven and earth, do all of them relate, not to the last and final judgment of the world, but to that utter desolation and destruction that was to be made of the Judaical church and state 'First, There is the foundation of the apostle's inference and exhortation, seeing that all these things, however precious they seem, or what value soever any put upon them, shall be dissolved, that is, destroyed; and that in that dreadful and fearful manner before mentioned, in a day of judgment, wrath, and vengeance, by fire and sword; let others mock at the threats of Christ's coming: He will come- He will not tarry; and then the heavens and earth that God Himself planted, -the sun, moon, and stars of the Judaical polity and church, -the whole old world of worship and worshippers, that stand out in their obstinancy against the Lord Christ, shall be sensibly dissolved and destroyed: this we know shall be the end of these things, and that shortly." (Sermon on 2 Peter iii. 11, Works, folio, 1721.,). Full Preterists are not the only believers that believe that we are under the New Heavens and New Earth! Look at this from Spurgeon..."Did you ever regret the absence of the burnt-offering, or the red heifer, of any one of the sacrifices and rites of the Jews? Did you ever pine for the feast of tabernacle, or the dedication? No, because, though these were like the old heavens and earth to the Jewish believers, they have passed away, and we now live under the new heavens and a new earth, so far as the dispensation of divine teaching is concerned. The substance is come, and the shadow has gone: and we do not remember it." (Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, vol. xxxvii, p. 354). The reason that most of the full-preterists are not taking your arguments with the upmost seriousness, is that, many of your arguments are against "very orthodox" partial-preterists. My point is that you should do more study on these issues before you speak publically on them. Lest, when the bullets begin to fly, you find yourself defending positions that are indefensable.
Steve ,you should apologize for throwing stones at preterism and then backing down... It is all the hallmark of a theological coward... call me offensive all you want... tell me i am not being loving... but, when you insult other brothers with the condemnation of heresy, and then fail to "fight the good fight" and back up such a claim, you make yourself look like a bafoon to those who are more critical and know better... May God forgive you for your hypocrisy... Do you just want to be famous?
Steve, why dont you request that Todd take you article off of his site... as long as you are not willing to "raise a hand" and defend it... you are a disgrace to the call... maybe i am being forward but you pretend to care about truth and then make excuses as to why you will not defend what you believe is true... you are a shame....
Steve, It appears that you have done your homework and more besides. Thanks for your labors. A few years ago, while researching some ancient manuscripts and texts, I found some very interesting material pertaining to the questions raised in your blog. I will pass on the web address where I posted this material. http://theseventhtrumpet.org/iwords.php Hope this will be of interest to you. Again, thanks for your labors. Jeff B.
Restoration Isaiah 65:17 “Look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth—so wonderful that no one will even think about the old ones anymore. 18 Be glad; rejoice forever in my creation! And look! I will create Jerusalem as a place of happiness. Her people will be a source of joy. 19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem and delight in my people. And the sound of weeping and crying will be heard no more. 20 “No longer will babies die when only a few days old. No longer will adults die before they have lived a full life. No longer will people be considered old at one hundred! Only sinners will die that young! 21 In those days, people will live in the houses they build and eat the fruit of their own vineyards. 22 It will not be like the past, when invaders took the houses and confiscated the vineyards. For my people will live as long as trees and will have time to enjoy their hard-won gains. 23 They will not work in vain, and their children will not be doomed to misfortune. For they are people blessed by the LORD, and their children, too, will be blessed. 24 I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking to me about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers! Genesis 1:30 And I have given all the grasses and other green plants to the animals and birds for their food.” And so it was. Genesis 3:21 And the LORD God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife. Isaiah 65:25 The wolf and lamb will feed together. The lion will eat straw like the ox. Poisonous snakes will strike no more. In those days, no one will be hurt or destroyed on my holy mountain. I, the LORD, have spoken!” This prophecy is not about Christ. Christ came to fulfill the prophecy about the Messiah. The RESTORATION of God’s Holy Mountain is in progress. For certain it is as Christianity continues to dominate the world. Deuteronomy 7:9 Understand, therefore, that the LORD your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and constantly loves those who love him and obey his commands. Currently, we are only about three thousand four hundred years in to covenants God keeps for forty thousand years. How do we not have a restoration that is obviously in progress? And shall continue until, The lion will eat straw like the ox. Isaiah 65:25b? Only because the restoration is in progress that the prophecy cannot be ignored. George W. Sloan Wed 9-15-04
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