A Synopsis of Full Eschatological Preterism

Tony Denton gave permission to use this post.  I though it would be good to share on this blog.

A SYNOPSIS OF FULL ESCHATOLOGICAL PRETERISM

(by T. Everett Denton, author of Hebrews: From Flawed to Flawless Fulfilled!)

 

1.  The term “eschatology” is derived from the Greek term “eschaton” which means “end, goal, consummation”; thus “eschatology” is the study of the subject of biblical end-times.

 

2.  The word “preterism” is derived from the Latin word “praeter” which simply means “past.” The word “preterism” was therefore coined as a theological term to denote past fulfillment of end-times prophecies; due to some calling themselves “preterists” who hold that some end-times prophecies have yet, even now, to be fulfilled, the adjective “full” became necessary before the noun “preterist” to distinguish a person as one who believes that every biblical prophecy was fulfilled around the destruction-of-Jerusalem events of AD 70 (cf. Luke 21:22).

 

3.  The preterist believes that the numerous clear and imminent time-related terms, phrases, and statements in the New Testament (e.g. soon, shortly, near, at hand, this generation, and before all of you are pass away, a very little while), the ones related to the coming of the Lord and the harvest (aka second) resurrection linked to that coming, are to determine the nature of those events; i.e., an individual’s view of the nature of those events is not to mitigate or modify the candid time-indicators. Therefore…

 

4.  Like the coming of the kingdom (Luke 17:20), the coming of the Lord and the resurrection were always meant to be metaphorical/invisible instead of terrestrial/physical in nature, the fulfillments of which were thus only perceived as having been fulfilled in the unseen realm when the earthly/natural promises related to the events of AD 70 in Judea came to pass, i.e. when the enemy (satan) of the Christ and man (sin-death) was put down once and for all.

 

5.  Full preterists hold that the millennium occurred during the generation (aka the 40 years, cf. Heb. 3:10 & 17) preceding AD 70, and it was during that generational reign of Christ when He, via the Spirit, worked to call out the remnant (Romans 11:5) to the wedding banquet which would be enjoyed following the 40-year purification of the new covenant bride and the “divorce” and death of the old covenant wife. Therefore…

 

6.  Full preterists believe that the old and new covenants were in force simultaneously during that last generation of national Israel: though like a buried seed that was dying in order to give new life, the old covenant remained in force for old Israel (Heb. 9:9-10), and, via the dying of that old body/seed (as well as the remnant leaving it for Christ, Rom. 7:4), the new covenant was emerging from the old covenant shell to full maturity of life (cf. preceding #3 & John 12:24) by the power of the Spirit of life, thereby becoming completely established as the lone covenant forever after the events of AD 70 (Heb. 10:9).

 

7.  Along with the fulfillment of all promises/prophecies came the finished product of true forgiveness/redemption/inheritance/restoration, etc. In His Olivet Discourse concerning Jerusalem’s demise in Luke 21, Jesus combined the fulfillment of all prophecy (v. 22) with the coming of the kingdom (vv. 31-32) and its inherent redemption (v. 28), a redemption that Paul rightly associated with the work of the Spirit (Eph. 1:13-14, cf. Eze. 37–39), which completed the work of gathering all in heaven and earth together in Christ (Eph. 1:10). Thus, in harmony with the prophecies of Daniel chapters 9 & 12, all things related to reconciliation and/or resurrection came to fruition nearly 2000 years ago when High Priest Jesus (as was typified in old covenant life) returned from out of the Most Holy Place “for” (Gk. “eis,” not “with,” but “to finish”) salvation (Heb. 9:28). So now and forever hereafter we abide in a restored, face-to-face relationship with our Creator, leaving our earthly remains forevermore behind at our physical demise.

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Posted by: Tony Denton <tedenton64@hotmail.com>

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The Great Flood

I have been giving some thought to various teachings I have heard regarding the flood of Noah’s day.  There are those that say it was a regional flood.  I have looked at all the evidence they give and then I look at what is recorded in the Bible.  I have a problem with that theory.

Let’s first look at Genesis and the creation.In Genesis 1: 6 and following,  God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse;  and it was so.  God called the expanse heaven.

When I picture this in my mind, I see the earth surrounded by clouds.  That would be the waters above.  The waters below would be the earth surface covered with water.

Genesis 1:9 and following, shows God gathering the waters into one place that he called seas. He then brought forth dry land which he called earth.  He then called forth vegetation.

Starting in Genesis 1:14, God created the sun, moon and stars.

I said all of that to help visualize what the earth looked like in those ancient days.  Scientists say at one time all the land masses on earth formed one huge continent.  When one looks at all the continents it is easy to see how they might have all fitted together in one mass at one time.

Now I want to digress here and say that I don’t know how long God took to create the universe.  I know Genesis says after each step of the creation, “there was evening and morning, one day.”  With God, a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day.” 2Peter 3:8.  Those six days may well have been a period of time, not a 24 hour day.  Although God had created light and dark, he had not created the sun , moon and stars which He said would be for signs and for season and for days and years.  I am not suggesting He could not have done all that in a 24 hour period, but I am suggesting He could have chosen to do it over a period of time.  To me, it appears He did it over a period of time, based on the order of the creation.  Mankind was the final creation.  When we trace back the Biblical genealogy of mankind, it comes to about 6000 years.  The earth could be a lot older since mankind was created last.

Now, back to where I was.  The Bible says the Lord had not sent rain upon the earth and a mist would rise up from the ground to water the earth.  The earth would have been like a terrarium.  (I used to have one.  It was a big glass bowl.  There was a layer of soil with plants and a clear cover on top.  The moisture from the soil and plants would rise to the cover and drip down.  I never had to water it.)  I am guessing the mist would be like dew.

So now we have that expanse of water in the sky, just sitting there. It would have protected the earth and its inhabitants from the bad sun rays. It would have made the temperature be fairly uniform around the earth because the heat from the sun would be contained below the clouds.  It would have been a tropical environment.  That is the way I see it.

Time passes.  God saw that every intent of the thoughts of man’s heart was only evil continually.  He was sorry He made them.  But Noah found favor with God.

God told Noah “The end of all flesh has come before me.”  “I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish.”  “But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark-you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female.”

Now, reason with me here.  If it was a local flood, why the ark?  Why not say, “Noah, I am going to flood this area to get rid of the wickedness.  I want you to go away from here to where I will show you.”  Why bring all those animals aboard the ark?  Surely there were animals of the same species in other areas of the earth.  It would appear that God directed the animals to go to Noah to get on the ark.  Why not just send them to the area that would not be flooded?  It would require some high mountains to contain a flood of the magnitude described, but the Bible says the flood covered the mountains.  So what contained the water in that specific area?

Then it rained.  All those clouds in the expanse dropped their water.  It took forty days and forty nights for the clouds to empty all their water.  On top of that, the fountains of the great deep burst open and poured water on the land.  It would not take that much water to flood a local region.  We see local regions flooded today with just a few days of rain.  Look what happened with Katrina.  I can’t imagine that much rain for that long.  This was happening across all the inhabited land.  I don’t know why it is hard to accept that God would be able to cover the entire earth in water.  It had been covered with water prior to God commanding the dry land to appear.

I am not at all sure there were mountains then as there are today.  I would imagine the weight of the water would have pushed mountains up as the water drained to the lower elevations, creating our deep oceans of today.  I can imagine cataclysmic changes in the earth’s surface.

Noah was in the ark for a year.  When the land was dry, God told Noah to leave the ark.  God promised to never again destroy every living thing as He had done and never again would he send a flood to destroy the earth.  This was the covenant he made with all living creatures.  He placed his signature in the sky in the form of a rainbow, to remind Him of that promise.  The implication here is that there had never been a rainbow before.

This was a new world.  Genesis 9:19 says from Noah and his three sons, the whole earth was populated.  That doesn’t sound like a local flood to me.

God made some new changes in this new world.  Before the flood, the only food allowed was plant based.  They were vegetarians.  They lived many centuries.  In this new world, their life span would be 120 years.  They were now allowed to eat animal flesh.  Since this was their first rainbow, it may have been that before the flood, they never saw the sun as we do today.  Apparently, before the flood animals did not fear humans.  Now, God put the fear of humans in animals.  It was a whole new world!

From the day Noah and his family left the ark, each generation thereafter had shorter life spans.  When we get to Abraham’s generation, they were down to the 120 years.  When we get to David’s time, most lived to be around 70 years.  That is about what it is today.

If it was a regional flood as some say, how do we account for the Biblical statements that it was the whole earth, that all living creatures perished, and the mountain tops were covered.  It doesn’t make sense that God would even commission the ark for a regional flood.  All He had to do was send them to a safe location.  Also, were all the wicked people only in that region?  God said all men were wicked except Noah.  Did people only live in that one region of the earth? Man kind had been in existence for over ,1000 years and had been producing offspring, lots of offspring.  Surely they had spread out across the earth.  There would be too many to live in just one area.

In conclusion, with the evidence of the scriptures, I cannot accept any interpretation of the flood account except one of a world wide flood.  Any other interpretation brings the inspired Word into question.

 

 

 

 

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Quotes From the Past

Submitted here for your enjoyment are some wonderful quotes from one of
the church fathers –Athanasius.  Athanasius lived from 296-373 A.D.

As you will see, the ancient saint couldn’t have sounded more like one of
us preterist believers in these quotes if he had tried with all of his
might!

Enjoy. . . .

—————————-

“On the Incarnation of the Word”

“For now that He has come to our realm, and taken up His abode
among His peers, henceforth the whole conspiracy of the enemy
against mankind is checked, and the corruption of death which
before was prevailing against them is done away.  For the race of
men had gone to ruin, had not the Lord and Savior of all, the Son
of God, come among us to meet the end of death [or to put an end
to death].” (9.4)

“Perhaps with regard to the other [prophecies] they may be able to
find excuses and to put off what is written to a future time.  But
what can they say to this, or can they face it at all?  Where not
only is the Christ referred to, but He that is to be anointed is
declared to be not man simply, but Holy of holies; and Jerusalem
is to stand till his coming, and thenceforth, prophet and vision
cease in Israel.” (39.3)

So the Jews are trifling, and the time in question, which they
refer to the future, is actually come.  For when did prophet and
vision cease from Israel, save when Christ came, the Holy of
holies?  For it is a sign, and an important proof, of the coming
of the Word of God, that Jerusalem no longer stands, nor is any
prophet raised up nor vision revealed to them, – and that very
naturally. (40.1)

For where He that was signified was come, what need was there any
longer of any to signify him?  When the Truth was there, what need
any more of the shadow?  For this was the reason of their
prophesying at all, – namely, till the true Righteousness should
come, even He that was to ransom the sins of all.  And this was why
Jerusalem stood till then – namely, that there they might be
exercised in the types as a preparation for the Reality. (40.2)

So when the Holy of holies was come, naturally vision and prophecy
were sealed and the kingdom of Jerusalem ceased.  For kings were
to be anointed among them only until the Holy of holies should
have been anointed; and Jacob prophesies that the kingdom of the
Jews should be [continued] established until Him, as follows: – “The
ruler shall not fail from Judah, nor the prince from his loins, until
that which is laid up for him shall come; and He is the
expectation of the nations.” (40.3)

Whence the Saviour also himself cried aloud and said: “The law and
the prophets prophesied until John.”  If then there is now among
the Jews king or prophet or vision, they do well to deny that
Christ has come.  But if there is neither king nor vision, but
from that time forth all prophecy is sealed and the city and
temple taken, why are they so irreligious and so perverse as to
see what has happened, and yet to deny Christ, who has brought it
all to pass?  Or why, when they see even heathens deserting their
idols, and placing their hope, through Christ, on the God of
Israel, do they deny Christ, who was born of the root of Jesse
after the flesh and henceforth is King?  For if the nations were
worshipping some other God, and not confessing the God of
Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and Moses, then, once more, they
would be doing well in alleging that God had not come. (40.4)

Their state may be compared to that of one out of his right mind,
who sees the earth illumined by the sun, but denies the sun that
illumines it.  For what more is there for him whom they expect to
do, when he is come?  To call the heathen?  But they are called
already.  To make prophecy, and king, and vision to cease?  This
too has already come to pass.  To expose the godlessness of
idolatry? It is already exposed and condemned.  Or to destroy
death?  He is already destroyed. (40.6)

What then has not come to pass, that the Christ must do?  What is
left unfulfilled, that the Jews should now disbelieve with
impunity?  For if, I say, – which is just what we actually see, –
there is no longer king nor prophet nor Jerusalem nor sacrifice
nor vision among them, but even the whole earth is filled with the
knowledge of God, and gentiles, leaving their godlessness, are now
taking refuge in the God of Abraham, through the Word, even our
Lord Jesus Christ, then it must be plain, even to those who are
exceedingly obstinate, that the Christ is come, and that He has
illumined absolutely all with his light, and given them the true
and divine teaching concerning his Father. (40.7)

“The Festal Letters”

“Now, however, that the devil, that tyrant against the whole world, IS
SLAIN, we do not approach a temporal feast, my beloved, BUT AN ETERNAL
AND HEAVENLY.  Not in shadows do we shew it forth, but we come to it in
truth.  For [the Jews] being filled with the flesh of a dumb lamb,
accomplished the feast, and having anointed their door-posts with the
blood, implored aid against the destroyer.  But now we, eating of the
Word of the father, and having the lintels of our hearts sealed with the
blood of the New Testament, acknowledge the grace given us from the
Saviour, who said, ‘Behold, I have given unto you to tread upon serpents
and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy.’  FOR NO MORE DOES
DEATH REIGN; but instead of death henceforth is life, since our Lord
said, ‘I am the life’; so that everything is filled with joy and
gladness; as it is written, “The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice.”
…And God is no longer known only in Judea, but in all the earth, ‘their
voice hath gone forth, and THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIM HATH FILLED ALL THE
EARTH.’  …In accordance with the injunction of the Apostles, LET US GO
BEYOND THE TYPES, AND SING THE NEW SONG OF PRAISE.  …For no longer were these things to be done which belonged to Jerusalem which is beneath;
neither there alone was the feast to be celebrated, but wherever God
willed it to be.  …When the things pertaining to that time were
fulfilled, and THOSE WHICH BELONGED TO SHADOWS HAD PASSED AWAY, and the preaching of the Gospel was about to extend everywhere; when indeed the
disciples were spreading the feast in all places, they asked the Saviour,
‘Where wilt Thou that we shall make ready?’  The Saviour also, since He
was changing the typical for the spiritual, promised them that they
should no longer eat the flesh of a lamb, but His own, saying, ‘Take, eat
and drink; this is My body, and My blood.’  When we are thus nourished by
these things, we also, my beloved, shall truly keep the feast of the
Passover.” (Letter IV. No. 3,4)

“For He raised up the falling, healed the sick,satisfied those who were
hungry, and filled the poor, and, what is more wonderful, RAISED US ALL
FROM THE DEAD; having ABOLISHED DEATH, He has brought us from affliction
and sighing to the restored gladness of this feast, a joy which reacheth
even to heaven. …How must all its hosts joy and exult, as they … look
on sinners while they repent … and finally on the enemy who lies
weakened, lifeless, bound hand and foot, so that WE MAY MOCK AT HIM;
‘WHERE IS THY VICTORY, O DEATH? where is thy sting, O Grave?’

Let us then sing unto the Lord A SONG OF VICTORY.  The Lord gives to them
at the right hand, saying, ‘Come, ye blessed, INHERIT THE KINGDOM
prepared for you.’  …Wherefore let us not celebrate the feast after an
earthly manner, but as KEEPING THE FESTIVAL IN HEAVEN WITH THE ANGELS.”
(Letter VI. No.9-12)

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Citizenship in the Kingdom

In John 3:5, Jesus told Nicodemus that “unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

What exactly did Jesus mean by that?  First lets do a bit of word study.  In Greek there is a word baptizo which means immerse.  Baptizo has been transliterated into English as baptize.  The original meaning of baptizo has been adulterated by various religious groups to mean a ritual that allows the recipient into that religious body.  So Jesus told the apostles in Matt. 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of the nations, immersing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit…”  The immersion in water was the water Jesus was referring to in John 3:5.

In Acts 2 the Apostle Peter preached the first gospel (good news) sermon.  The good news was that Jesus had died and He had been raised from the dead. He was now the propitiation for sin.  There is salvation in no one else.  The listeners were pricked in their heart and asked Peter what they should do.  In verse 38 Peter answers, “Repent, and each of you be immersed in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”

Paul says in Romans 6:3,4 ..”all of us who have been immersed into Christ Jesus have been immersed into His death.  Therefore we have been buried with Him through immersion into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”

Again in Col.2:12,13 Paul says, “having been buried with Him in immersion, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.  When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions.”

And so we see that the immersion in water for the forgiveness of sins is symbolically a burial of the dead. “The soul who sins will die.” Ezek. 18:4.  The sinful person is spiritually dead.  At the time of immersion, the Holy Spirit reguvenates the spirit, making it alive in Christ.  That person then enters into the kingdom. Acts 2:41.

This is the water and the Spirit that Jesus spoke of.

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The Rapture

Some Christians are waiting for Jesus to return and take them to be with Him and judge the world.  We have already talked about the judgement.  It was the judgement of the Jews who lived in rebellion to God and rejected their Messiah.  So when is the rapture?

In case you don’t know what the rapture is, let me explain.  I kept hearing that word when I was a  young Christian.  When I read my Bible, that word was no where to be found.  In time, I came to understand “the rapture” was referring to Jesus second coming when faithful Christians would be resurrected and meet Him in the air.

What does the Bible say about Jesus’ return.  I won’t list all the scriptures, but enough to get my point across.  A good source for more information on this is Ed Stevens’ book, “Expectations Demand a First Century Rapture.”

Matt. 24:30-31 The sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky…..His angels will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

Matt. 24:34 This generation will not pass away until all these things take place.

1 Thess. 4:15-17 …we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.  For the Lord will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God and the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

Remember, Paul was writing to the Thessalonians, not to us.  He was saying some of them might still be alive, himself included.

2 Thess. 2:1 …with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together with Him.

Again, Paul was including himself as possibly being part of the gathering upon the return of Jesus.

1Cor. 15:51-53 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the  dead in will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.

Need I say again, Paul was writing to the Corinthians, not to us.  He was including himself as possibly still being alive.

Now if you were living in the first century and read those words in a letter from the Apostle Paul, would you expect those words to apply to your time?  Jesus did not mislead those early Christians and neither did the apostles.  He knew the time frame He would be returning in.  It would be that generation.  Only the Father knew the day and the hour, but Jesus knew the time frame.

From the 2nd century on, people have read those words and applied it to the generation they were living in.  I just had a gentleman who has been a preacher tell me that those prophesies applied the generation that is living today. Is that reasonable? Don’t forget the apostles were men inspired by the Holy Spirit.  They would not be making mistakes. They would be saying and writing what the Holy Spirit told them.

So why is this not documented historically?  There are no writings that refer to the rapture.  Why is that?

According to Luke 21:28, Jesus said, “But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”  In the previous versus of chapter 21, Jesus told them what to look for…Jerusalem would be surrounded by armies (Romans), there would be distress on the land and wrath to Jews. Jesus was coming at the judgement of the Jews, when Jerusalem fell.

Historical documents state that the faithful Christians fled Jerusalem and the surrounding area and went to an area called Perea.  Only faithful Christians saw the return of Jesus.  There was a war going on.  Anyone still alive that joined Jesus would not have been missed by unbelievers.  It would have been assumed they were killed.  Remember, Christians were being persecuted by both the Jews and the Romans. When Jesus returned, all those who were saved, left with Him.  No one was left to document it.

The destruction of the temple brought an end to God’s covenant with the Jews.  Jesus had established His kingdom.  It was a spiritual kingdom that would never end.  We who serve Jesus are a part of the kingdom.

 

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After Death

Luke 16:19-31 tells Jesus’ parable of the rich man and Lazarus.  Remember, this story was for the benefit of the Jews of that time.  The rich man had all the goods things of life that wealth can provide.  He was also without compassion.  Lazarus was poor, hungry and ill, yet the rich man ignored him.  When Lazarus died, he went to Abraham’s bosom.  That would be paradise.  When the rich man died, he went to hell.  Although this parable is not about the afterlife, it gives a view into what happened to souls in the afterlife at that time.  In Luke 23:42,43 Jesus told the thief on the cross that he would be with Jesus in paradise that day.  Hades was a place where souls went in the afterlife, some to punishment and some to peace.  It was a holding place until the judgement.

We are taught by mainline Christianity today that when the judgement takes place,  all evil would be destroyed.  Revelation 20:11-15 tells about that judgement.  Verse 14 says death and Hades was thrown into the lake of fire.  Anyone whose name was not written into the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.  All evil people would be gone.

BUT, Revelation 21 tells of the new heaven and new earth and also the new Jerusalem coming down from heaven.  Depending on what particular religious group you belong to, you will either believe it will be a new creation of heaven and earth or it will be a spiritual heaven and earth.  The Jews of that day believed their religion (The Mosaic Law) was their heaven and earth.  Using that concept, the new heaven and earth would be a new religion or new order.  That would be how the Jews of that day would have understood it to mean. Jerusalem was where the temple was located, the center of the Jewish culture.  It was to be destroyed and replaced by a new Jerusalem that was from heaven, part of the new order.  The new Jerusalem corresponds to the church, the bride of Christ, where righteousness dwells. The gates of the city will never be closed and nothing unclean will be allowed in.  Revelation 22:15 states outside the gates would be immoral persons, murderers, etc.

I don’t know how many times I read that before it hit me.  Judgement had just taken place, all the evil people were gone. So where did these evil people outside the city come from? As I now understand that the judgement was for the Jews and the new heaven and earth was a new order for man’s relation to God and the new Jerusalem was the church, then of course, there would be evil people outside the church.  Death and Hades was destroyed.  Those who were in the church would no longer go there.  They were already in the spiritual kingdom of God.  When a Christian sheds his/her physical body, a spiritual body is given immediately and he/she will be with God.  There is no waiting.

 

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Time Line for Jesus Return

We learned from the Old Testament that God told Daniel that the Messiah would appear during the Roman rule, approximately 500 years after Daniel lived.  It was important that the Jews knew when to expect Him.  He also foretold things that would happen in  Jesus life so He could be identified when He came.  Unfortunately, the Jewish leaders refused to acknowledge Him and many who practice the current form of Judaism today are still looking for the Messiah to come.

Christianity is suffering from the same malady.  Christians accept that Jesus came in the first century but has not returned as He promised.  Christians have the wrong concept of what Jesus’ return would be like.  Like the Jewish leaders of old, Christian leaders have mislead their followers.

One of the reasons for the confusion is Christians today see the scriptures as speaking to 20th century people.  They are not.  The writings and the letters were for those living in that generation.  That is the Who.  The reason was to let those early Christians know that even though they were going through such horrendous persecution, if they held to their faith there was a great reward awaiting for them. That is the Why and What. Lets look at what Jesus said about his return.

Most of the scriptures that I am quoting come form Matthew, but they are repeated in Mark and Luke.

Matt. 3:2 The kingdom of heaven was at hand, meaning it was time for it to be established.

Matt. 3:7, 10, 12 God was ready to uproot that generation..i.e. those that were His contemporaries.

Matt. 16:27-28 There would be some that Jesus was speaking to that would not die until they see the Son of God coming in His kingdom.

Matt. 24:34 After telling them of the tribulation they were to expect, He said, “This generation will not pass away until all these things take place.”

Matthew 24 is predicting the persecution of Christians and the destruction of Jerusalem that was to take place during the lifetime of some of those he was speaking to.  Jerusalem was destroyed in AD 70, just 40 years after Jesus death.  Forty years is considered a generation by the Jews. That is the When.

Luke 21:20 When they saw Jerusalem surrounded by armies, they were to look up for their salvation would be near.

Luke 21:22 Those were the days of vengeance so that all things that were written would be fulfilled.

John 16:16 Jesus said He would be gone for a little while and then He would come back.

1 Cor.1:7-8 Paul told the Corinthians ( not us)they were to wait for the end and Christ’s return.

Heb. 1:2 Paul spoke of “these last days.”  That would be the last days of the Mosaic age.

Heb.9:26,28 Paul said then was the consummation of the ages.

1 Pet. 4:7 Peter said the end was at hand.

1 John 2:18 John said they were in the  last hour.

Rev. 1:1,3 Jesus instructed John to tell His bond-servants (Christians) things which must soon take place,  for the time was near.

Rev. 1:7 When He returned, every eye would see Him, including those who pierced Him.

Rev. 22:20 “I am coming quickly.

God told Daniel to seal up his prophesy because it was for a long time in the future.  Jesus told John to not seal up the prophesy of the book of Revelations because the time was near.

I could never understand Revelations for so many years.  Like I had been taught, I tried to relate it to current event. Revelations is not about some future event in our lives.  It is about the destruction of Jerusalem.  Once I realized that, the book became easy to understand.  Look in the Old Testament when God foretold the first destruction of Jerusalem.  See the prophetic hyperbole in use.  Read the books of prophesy in the Old Testament.  Do you see similar language that Jesus used and what is used in Revelations?

God can tell time, after all He created it.  When something is in the distant future, He says so.  When it is near He says that too. He knows what a generation is.  He knows what near means. He knows what quickly means. He knows what soon means.  He taught His disciples what signs to look for so they would know when to expect Him.  The Christians who lived in the first century were expecting Jesus to return during their generation because He told them so.

Deut. 18:21-22 The test of a prophet.  If a prophet prophesies and it does not come to pass, he did not speak for God.  If it comes to pass, then you know God sent him.

If Jesus did not return at the destruction of Jerusalem as He said He would, then He failed the test of a prophet and He was not sent from God.

You were expecting bells and whistles, a BIG event?  It was a big event.  Read what Josephus had to say about the destruction of Jerusalem.  In case you don’t know who he was, Josephus was a Jewish priest who was born around the time of Jesus crucifixion.  He was a historian.  He recorded the destruction of Jerusalem.  He believed the destruction of the city was a judgement against the Jews by God because that was such a corrupt generation.  He recorded there were signs in the sky and other unusual events.  It is quite a horror story.  Once Jerusalem fell, the temple (the most important element of the Jewish religion) was burned.  The gold that covered the walls melted and ran down among the stones.  The Roman soldiers tore the temple apart in order to retrieve the gold.  What few Jews that remained alive were sold as slaves. Josephus said Jerusalem fell to the Romans on the same month and same day of the month that the city fell to Babylon 600 years before.

What are the conclusions to be drawn? The judgement Jesus spoke of was not a judgment of the general population.  It was the judgement of the Jewish nation because they had ceased to follow Him, their religion was hypocrisy and they failed to acknowledge their Messiah.  They were evil and corrupt.

I have not recorded all the scriptures that cover this topic.  There is a book titled Christianity’s Great Dilemma by Glenn L. Hill which covers this in detail.  It can be purchased at Amazon. com.  Two other authors that cover this subject is Don Preston at http://www.eschatology.org, and Ed Stevens at http://www.preterist.org.

Next time I will discuss how this all effects Christians today.

 

 

 

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