Proper Preterism is Biblical Prophecy (by Steven Hawk & Paul Sauls)
- Proper Preterism is NOT Partial Preterism that requires some future second coming of Christ.
- Proper Preterism does NOT violate or distort ANY imminent time statements, but rather, puts them in their proper context.
EXAMPLE: Luk 21:22 ….properly, it is ONLY “all things written” pertaining to the “days of vengeance” that is right in the verse!
Further, the phrase “all things written” does not pertain to ANY of the NT writings and it would be anachronistic to include them in the context of this passage.
We think the “days of vengeance” were LAST DAYS EVENTS that led up to and included the destruction of the Harlot, Jerusalem. Historically, the events prophetically described by Jesus as recorded in Luke 21:8-27 occurred in the years of ca. 36-70 AD. Jesus clearly instructed His listeners that “when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is NEAR!” [Near is not here!]
What is Proper Preterism?
Nature and Time of Parousia:
The Parousia most definitely occurred and was “visible” in the events of circa AD70. We side firmly with Douglas Wilkinson and Jerel Kratt (Perpetual Millennium Preterism)that emphasizes the subtle but very important nuances between “Erchomai” (arrival) and “Parousia” (ongoing presence after arrival). Thus, we hold that the Parousia indicates the beginning of the Millennium, the ongoing presence of Christ since accessing his throne of David, ruling and reigning with the Saints while subduing the nations of mankind from the heavenly realm. We firmly reject any eschatological view which posits the Millennium of Christ as terminating in AD70. Such views overtly violate Christ’s clear statements concerning when He would officially take seat with his Saints on the Throne of His Glory (Throne of David) in Matt 19:28, Matt 25:31, & Rev 3:21.
Nature and Time of Resurrection:
We note that the majority of scripture seems to speak of “resurrection” in terms of a singular event in time coincident with the Parousia. However, we acknowledge that Revelation 20 posits TWO distinct resurrection events separated by the Millennial Reign of Christ with his saints. In accordance with 1Pe 9 – 12, we feel John’s Revelation is authoritatively clarifying and interpretive of all prior prophecies regarding “THE resurrection.” The dual resurrection is one major area where we differ with Doug Wilkinson and Jerel Kratt who ask us to accept Rev 20:5a as an “illegitimate textual variant.” We respectfully disagree with them on this point for two reasons. 1) We find the arguments for Rev 20:5a as a textual variant are less than convincing. In fact, we find evidence that the extant manuscripts actually support the inclusion of Rev 20:5a rather than exclusion. 2) Even if one were to eliminate Rev 20:5a from the texts, the very same information is given in Rev 20:6, where protos anastasis most certainly implies a secondary resurrection event. We therefore hold that the First Resurrection pertained to the faithful in Christ, both dead and alive, and took place circa AD70. The First Resurrection began the Millennial Reign of Christ with his Saints. Rev 20:4 proves it occurs AFTER the defeat of the beast power. Thus, we believe the Millennium is ongoing today as Christ continues to subdue the nations with a rod of iron and through his gospel. The second resurrection and judgment of “the rest of the dead”(GWTJ Rev 20:12) will occur at some point yet future to us after Satan is destroyed (Rev 20:10). Satan having currently renewed his deception to the nations during the “little while” as Rev 20:3, 7-8 anticipated. (for more on this see “Unique Characteristics of View” heading below)
While we believe Christ’s kingdom will never end, we do see an end to some Messianic duties once the nations are fully subdued. In our view, this would be the point at which Christ delivers the kingdom to the Father according to 1Co 15:23-28, having accomplished all work the Father gave him in the reconciliation of all things.
Nature and Time of the Gathering/Rapture:
We believe that the regathering of the twelve tribes of Israel was accomplished by AD70 and was completed by Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles with the “ethnos” being called to believe Christ’s gospel. The term “ethnos” (Gentiles) simply means “the nations” which, contextually in the 1stcentury AD, meant anyone from ANY nation. This also included the Israelites (northern tribes) of the Assyrian exile from the 8thcentury bc, referred to as the House of Israel or Ephraim (as opposed to the House of Judah, still in the land in Christ’s day).Since her creation, Israel was always supposed to have been a nation according to FAITH rather than pure blood lines. Paul clarified that beyond any possible misunderstanding in his several epistles. We comprehend that the northern tribes were dispersed completely (Hos 1:9) and were inseparably SEWN AS SEED INTO the Gentile nations (Ezekiel 22:15 LXX “scatter”, Greek diaspiero“to sow seed”, Hos 8:8) by God’s own design (prior to the Babylonian captivity of the southern tribes) through the Assyrian process of relocation, forced intermarriage, and total cultural/religious assimilation into the diverse pagan cultures of the nations which they conquered. After several hundred years they lost all identification with the nation of Israel culturally, covenantally, socially, geographically, religiously, and genetically. Thus, Paul realized that it was only through calling the Gentiles corporately that he would ALSO accomplish the miraculous regathering of the 12 tribes in Christ by FAITH. Unlike the IO proponents, we do not believe Paul was mystically calling ONLY the so-called “lost northern tribes” since God’s reason for the divorce was to bring them back along with the other nations in righteousness through Messiah. In Paul’s day, there remained ONLY GENTILES and JEWS and a true Jew was a Christian (the believing remnant, Rev 2:29).
Rom 11 talks about both houses (1st branch broken off: Israel, aka gentiles, 2nd branch broken off: Judah aka Jews,…
PLUS a NEW THIRD BRANCH: other believers from the nations) of Israel in which the believing remnant from both also had to be gathered unto Messiah, the new green branch they ALL had to be grafted into (Isa 4:2, 11:1, 60:21; Jer 23:5, 33:15 et al) the true olive tree Jesus Christ.
The continuation of this 3rd Branch is why we read in Luke 21:24 (added emphasis):
And they (the Jews) shall be falling by the edge of the sword and shall be led into captivity into all nations (70AD and after). And Jerusalem shall be trodden by the nations (still is today), until the eras of the nations may be fulfilled.” (the nations hear the gospel)
IO Preterists have tried to tell us Luke 21:24 is a parallel to Rom 11:25, but it is NOT, because Rom 11:25 is talking about Ephraim’s descendants or the northern tribes! Ephraim’s descendants were instrumental to possess and inherit the nations in God’s plan to bring in the nations. Nor is Luk 21:24 a reference to Rev 11:2 that only tells of the BEGINNING (not the end) of Judah’s dispersion.
Further, Paul was most certainly aware that the nations would also be granted access into the kingdom according to Isaiah 49:5-6. We believe the First Resurrection (Rev 20:4-5; 1Th 4:16) correspondsto the resurrection of the 1stcentury Saints, the Bride of Christ, the 144 thousand “virgins” from the 12 tribes (Rev 7, Rev 14:1-4).These were made up of both Jews and Gentiles (One New Man) reconciled in Christ according to FAITH. The first resurrection was largely an invisible event in heaven (i.e. souls Rev 20:4) tothe world coincident with AD70.
Nature and Time of the Millennium:
According to Christ’s own statements correlated with Revelation 20, the Millennium would begin when Christ would officially be seated “on the throne of His glory.” We are aware that nearly everyone in the Full Preterist camp holds that Christ was seated on the throne of David at his ascension to the Father. However, we believe a closer reading of scripture tells a significantly different story. First, Isaiah 9:7 tells us that Christ’s KINGdom would be ESTABLISHED with JUDGMENT, as did Christ in Mat 21:43, 23:38. That judgment did not come until AD70. Secondly, though Christ was most certainly seated at the right hand (throne) of the Father at his ascension, this was not the same as being seated on “the throne of HIS glory” (the throne of David). Jesus plainly informs his faithful that they would be seated WITH HIM…on HIS throne…at the very time HE is seated at the Parousia. We cite Mat 19:28, 25:31; 2Ti 2:12 and Rev 3:21 in support of our exegesis.
Furthermore, Christ was told to WAIT UNTIL his enemies were made his footstool (put under his authority).(Psa 110:1) “But this man (Jesus), after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God; and from there He is waiting for His enemies to be made his footstool.” (Heb 10:12-13, emphasis added) As Hebrews was written ca. 64AD, several years after 1Corinthians was written. According to the author of Hebrews, Jesus was still sitting at the right hand of the Father in ca. 64AD, because He was still waiting for His enemies to be made His footstool. This “waiting” signifies that Christ was not yet acting officially in the role of KING, but as the PRINCE IN WAITING (Act 5:31, 3:15 also see Dan 9:25-26; 12:1) until he accessed the throne of David and became King (Rev 11:15) to sit in judgment in AD70. Until that time, his enemies, the rulers of 1st century OC Judah, were still in full authority while the physical Jerusalem temple yet remained standing. He could not be KING until they and the Levitical priesthood were removed (Heb 8:4, 9:8). The entire book of Hebrews (notably Heb 8:1, Heb 10:12-13) thoroughly informs us that Christ’s role was in the heavenlies from the time of his ascension to AD70 to perform high priestly duties, rather than act as King. Kingly duties would come at AD70 when he began judgment that was also from heaven (1Pe 1:4-5; Col 1:5; 2Tim 4:18 et al).
Is Salvation Ongoing Today?
Absolutely without question (Luk 21:24 et al). Salvation is man turning from a life of pursuing carnal minded wickedness to receive God’s provision (the atoning blood of Christ) for his “missing the mark.” It is the NC offer of the blessing of eternal life in the Kingdom / City after this physical life ends while also experiencing the amazing blessing of walking DAILY in (the spirit) fellowship with Christ by faith and having him dwell inside us spiritually in THIS life. This blessed fellowship is experienced both individually in private and corporately as believers gather together to worship our LORD.
What Continues Today?
The Kingdom was established in the judgment of Israel in AD70 (Isa 9:7, 29:9; Rev 11:!5 and 20:4) and the destruction of the harlot, apostate Judah. The Kingdom has no end, no matter what events may transpire temporally. The Millennial Reign of Christ with his Saints in the heavenlies continues today until he abolishes all rule and all authority and power and delivers the kingdom to the Father that the Father becomes all in all. We think this is when all finally know the one true God. This process officially began at the overthrow of Jerusalem and the OC (Mat 21:43). The gospel continues to call all men to faith in Christ as he is still bringing the nations into subjection to his authority and rule.
Unique Characteristics of View
Our exegesis and grammatical studies lead us to conclude that AD70 brought about the coincident “binding” of Satan in the Abyss to prevent FURTHER deceiving of the nations (Rev 20:3) and the judgment of the Harlot because SHE HAD ALREADY BEEN deceiving the nations all throughout the 40-year gospel period (Rev 18:23). Since that is the purpose of the binding, and the nations during the 40-year period between 30-70AD were still being deceived and people were still falling away from the faith as a result of that deception (1Ti 4:1) we must adamantly reject the FPist 40-year binding theory.
We reject the claim of being partial preterists because we consider that the writings of the NT apostles and prophets of Christ fall squarely OUTSIDE the purview of “all things that are written” which was only speaking to last days events (days of vengeance) that ended ca. 70AD. When Christ spoke those words in Luke 21:22, even HIS words had not yet been written, let alone the rest of the books of the NT. We believe that the majority of Revelation points to and enhances what the OT prophets wrote concerning the eschaton. However, we also perceive that Revelation contains NEW information that gives us a glimpse of things that would transpire AFTER the fall of Jerusalem and into the ongoing Millennial Reign of Christ and beyond (Rev 20-22).
We marvel that everyone is so intent on describing and discussing the END of the OC but seem to give almost no thought to Christ’s glorious Millennial Reign of the NC in which all things are to bemade new! We strive to always be ready and willing to amend our position as new information and exegesis might prove us to be erroneous in some point. Therefore, we are not locked into any rigid 70AD hermeneutic (while still acknowledging its significance as the destruction of Jerusalem) and therefore yield at all times to the scriptures as we continue to learn and grow in the Lord.