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| | |-+  some problems with the Preterist theory
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Author Topic: some problems with the Preterist theory  (Read 1445 times)
live_for_missiah
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« on: October 18, 2004, 08:14:48 PM »

The preterist theory is one that holds the second coming of Messiah has already occured, and that it happened in 70 AD. They believe that the destruction of the Temple WAS Messiah's return.

The Preterist's main contention is that when the New Testament says the Day of Christ is "at hand" (Rev. 1:3) or "near" (James 5:8 ), and that Jesus is coming "quickly" (Rev. 22:10) in "a little while" (Heb. 10:37) - these words must have meant exactly that to their original readers. In other words, "near," "at hand," "quickly," and "a little while," must mean a short time after they were written.

There are problems with this train of thought.

These terms that are used as arguements do not match up to G-d's view of time.

2Pe 3:8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

So, do we dare to view the Scripture with man's finite understanding of time, or do we view the Scripture in the timeframe that the Author, the Holy Spirit, uses. As we will see, "this one fact" seems to escape and is a key to the failure of perterist theory.

If we continue this passage in 2 Peter, we will see exactly what Peter is talking about when he told us not to let this fact escape our notice.

2Pe 3:7 But the present heavens and Earth by His Word are being stored up for fire, kept for the day of judgment and ruin of impious men.
2Pe 3:8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not willing for anyone to perish, but that all should reach repentance.
2Pe 3:10 But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a rushing sound and the elements will be dissolved with intense heat, and the Earth and the works in it shall be burned up.
2Pe 3:11 Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what kind of people is it necessary for you to be in holy behavior and piety?
2Pe 3:12 You will be expecting and hastening the coming of the Day of God, by which the heavens will be dissolved by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat.
2Pe 3:13 But according to His promise we are waiting for a renewed heavens and a renewed Earth, in which righteousness dwells.

If we are to believe the preterist theory, then this current earth is a renewed earth and righteousness dwells. A quick glance at the news will tell you otherwise. And where is the documented evidence of the "rushing sound and the elements will be dissolved with intense heat"? There is no documented evidence of this, or even anything close to this, ever occuring in the global scale the Peter is refering to here. And it is in context of the end times that Peter reminds us that the L-rd uses a timeframe that is very different than ours.

If the preterist's argue for a literal interpratation of the Scripture, then where is the proof of this passage occuring?

Also on this train of thought, as I have already noted, is the whole Matthew 24 arguement. If Matthew 24 has past us, then where is the documented evidence of those events occuring?

Mat 24:29 "But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL FROM THE SKY, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken,
Mat 24:30 "and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the heavens, and then all the tribes of the Earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.
Mat 24:31 "And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one extreme of the heavens to the other extreme.

If the preterist's are to take the Scripture as a literial timeframe, then these events should have happened. What do we see about these events? No dark sun, no fallen stars, no mourning tribes, no great trumpet, no angels, and no Son of Man decending on the clouds. There is no historical reference to ANY of these type events occuring near or around 70 AD, or since for that matter. If there is no reference to it, then obviously, it hasn't happened because if these events had happened then it would have been recorded somewhere, and it is recorded nowhere.

Besides, we still have stars and the sun still shines. So the physical evidence argues against the preterist theory.

The preterist's have taken the coming of the Son of Man and made it a local event, versus a global event. How have they done this? They project that the destruction of the Temple was the second coming. That was a local event in history, not a global event that would have affected the whole world.

Yet, going back to Matthew 24, Messiah paralleled His return to the great flood of Noah's day. That flood was a global event, not a local event. If the preterist's use their literial view of the Scripture, then Messiah's second coming would need to be a global event.

Mat 24:37 But as the days of Noah, so also will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Mat 24:38 For as they were in the days before the flood: eating, and drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah went into the ark.
Mat 24:39 And they did not know until the flood came and took all away. So also will be the coming of the Son of Man.

Also, again in Mathew 24:

Mat 24:30 "and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the heavens, and then all the tribes of the Earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.

Notice here, the signs of the Son of Man will be visible by all the tribes of the earth, not just the nation of Israel, or the city of Jerusalem. Obviously, then the events of Matthew 24 did not occur on a global perspective. If it would have, it would have been recorded in other documents around the earth. None have surfaced as of yet.

Perterist's view that this belief was very widely held in the fist church era. Not so, according to Dr Ronald Cooke in the Bulletin of Biblical Christianity. "Those who lived near the date of the book of Revelation itself had no idea that its groups of imagery were intended merely to describe things then passing, and to be in a few years completed. This view is said to have been first promulgated in anything like completeness by the Jesuit Alcasar, in his 'Vestigatio Arcani Sensus in Apocalypsi' (1604)"

So this is a comparatively recent view of the end times and second coming. It is a mere 500 years old versus 2000 years old. But let us take the next step and look at other verses that describe the end times.

The book of Hebrews quotes:
Heb 12:26 whose voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, "Yet once" "I will shake not only the earth, but also the heavens." Hag. 2:6

This is being quoted as a future event. Well it is pulled from Haggai 2:6. Let us look at this verse.

Hag 2:6 For so says Jehovah of Hosts: Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land.
Hag 2:7 And I will shake all the nations; and the desire of all nations shall come. And I will fill this house with glory, says Jehovah of Hosts.

When we read this, we can see that it is a prophecy about the coming of Messiah. The problem here is that Haggai wrote that the coming of the Messiah was in "a little while." Sounds just like the terms of shortness that the Preterist theory relies on heavily. So what was the span of "a little while"? Haggai was written about 500 years before the Messiah came. So, it becomes increasingly evident that we are not to look at Scripture with man's limit mindset of time when looking at prophecy, but at G-d's timeframe.

Also, to concluded that piece of Scripture, Hebrews is quoting the second half of this scripture as still future tense. So the timeframe of "a little while" gets stretched out even further.

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