PP1: Brief Explanation of Partial Preterism


I have decided to post my recent term paper here on this blog. The title of this paper is “A Partial-Preterist Perspective on the Destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.” It was submitted to Northwestern College in Saint Paul, Minnesota as part of my course requirements, and is 48 pages in length. Due to its size, I plan to post it one segment at a time. For any readers who are not part of our Minneapolis-based Bible Study group here, in June 2009 we began to study the book of Revelation. As we study Revelation we are also comparing the popular Futurist viewpoint with the less popular, but more historic Partial-Preterist viewpoint. This paper will serve to foster further discussion and study.

Here’s a very brief note on my personal journey as it regards eschatology. I was taught the Pre-Tribulation Rapture view growing up, and believed it and passed it on. However, a few years ago I became convinced that this view is not correct or Biblical. At that time I instead embraced the Post-Tribulation Rapture view, based in part on the language used in Matthew 24:29-31 and II Thessalonians 2:3-4. However, during the last six months or so I’ve studied this subject more deeply than ever before, and have now embraced the Partial-Preterist view (As will be seen, I no longer view Matthew 24 or II Thessalonians 2 the way I did as a Post-Tribulationist). I’m certainly not infallible, so anything I post here should be seen for what it is, the writings of a fellow human who is continuing to learn and submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. As you read this, please do follow the example of the Bereans who searched the Scriptures to make sure that what they were hearing was the truth (Acts 17:10-11). Responsible comments and critiques will be welcome, and I expect to learn from and be challenged by them.

As a practical note, the title of each segment belonging to this term paper will begin with “PP” and the appropriate number (e.g. this first one begins with “PP1”, the next segment will be headed by “PP2,” etc). It’s recommended that these segments be read in order. This first segment contains the paper’s Title Page, Outline, Introduction, and a brief introduction to Partial-Preterism. The outline will indicate the type of content that is to follow in future posts. All of the posts can also be found here:

https://kloposmasm.wordpress.com/a-partial-preterist-perspective-on-the-destruction-of-jerusalem-in-70-ad/

Adam Maarschalk

[DISCLAIMER (Early 2011): Since 2009, when I wrote this paper, I have progressed in my understanding of eschatology. I’m now closer to full preterism than I was at that time, so please take what I said about the differences between partial-preterism and full preterism with a grain of salt. Thank you.]

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A Partial-Preterist Perspective of the Destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 AD

By Adam Maarschalk

Mentor: Mike Rusten

Course: Global Studies

Northwestern College

July 10, 2009

(Second Edition: August 5, 2009)

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OUTLINE

A. Introduction
B. Partial-Preterism Explained
C. The Book of Revelation: Early or Late Authorship?

I. External Evidence for an Early Date
II. Internal Evidence for an Early Date
D. Daniel’s 70-Week Prophecy

E. Jerusalem’s Destruction Foretold in the Olivet Discourse

I. Did Jesus Come in 70 AD?
II. Signs of the Close of the Age
III. The Abomination of Desolation
IV. No Greater Tribulation Before or Since
F. The Man of Lawlessness (II Thessalonians 2)

G. The Historical Events Leading Up to 70 AD

H. The Spiritual Significance of 70 AD
I. References

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A. INTRODUCTION

Search the average church website in America for teaching articles related to 70 AD, and no results are likely to turn up. A search for articles related to a future temple, though, one which is allegedly to be rebuilt in modern Jerusalem, is more likely to produce results. Taking the internet out of the equation, Church history reveals that this would not have been the case prior to the 1830s. This was the pivotal decade when John Nelson Darby laid the framework for dispensationalism, that system of belief which not only divides history into successive ages but holds to a sharp distinction between Israel and the Church. Dispensationalism was further popularized when the Scofield Reference Bible was published in 1909. As prophecy students were baited with the prospects of a future “third temple,” the story behind the previous one was pushed out of view, perhaps intentionally.

If it weren’t for the censorship of the history of Jerusalem’s destruction in 70 AD, the faith of many Christian believers in America today could be enriched by the knowledge of those events and their significance. The events leading up to and surrounding this event are full of rich implications, especially as they involve the disbanding of the Old Covenant and related practices, beliefs, superstitions, and man-made traditions. A case can be made that the period of time between Christ’s resurrection and the destruction of the temple in 70 AD was a period of transition, and that this event brought about a culmination of the Old Covenant dissolving in favor of the New Covenant. Hebrews 8:13 seems to indicate this when it uses the present perfect tense to say, “In speaking of a new covenant, He makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.”

What happened in 70 AD is not pleasant to consider, as will be seen, but it was accomplished through God’s very hand of judgment. It was not simply a satanic plot to exterminate the Jews, as is often taught by dispensationalists. These events were of such importance that Luke was moved to say, “These are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written” (Luke 21:22). After 70 AD it was abundantly clear that a life immersed in Jesus was the true way of life, not Old Covenant Judaism. The events of that year were an outstanding fulfillment of many prophecies given by the prophets, apostles, and by Jesus Himself, and it’s a curious reality that this is not more often pointed out in Christian teaching today.

B. Partial-Preterism Explained

Admittedly, the events which took place around 70 AD hold more importance among Preterists than they do for Dispensationalists. This is because Preterism views this point in history as marking the fulfillment of a great deal of Biblical prophecy, while Dispensationalism holds that most Biblical prophecy remains yet to be fulfilled, including Daniel’s 70th Week, a 7-year tribulation period, and the salvation of national Israel. There are fundamental differences of opinion, then, in these two systems of thought regarding large portions of Biblical text. In this work, Partial-Preterism, rather than Hyper-Preterism, will be advocated and it will be through this lens that the events of 70 AD will be viewed. According to Wikipedia (2009),

Partial preterism is a form of Christian eschatology that places the events of most of the Book of Revelation as occurring during the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD…yet still affirms an orthodox future bodily return of Christ to earth at an unknown day and hour. Partial preterism sees Matthew 24, Matthew 25:31-46[1], the Book of Daniel and most of the Book of Revelation (besides its last 2 or 3 chapters) as speaking about events no later than the first century AD, and about a coming of Christ in judgement, not the (second, final and bodily) coming of Christ and Last judgement.

Most Partial Preterists also believe the term Last Days refers not to the last days of planet Earth or the last days of humankind, but rather to the last days of the Mosaic Covenant which God had exclusively with national Israel… As God came in judgment upon various nations in the Old Testament, Christ also came in judgment against those in Israel who rejected him. The “last days,” however, are to be distinguished from the “last day,” which is considered still future and entails the Second Coming of Jesus, the Resurrection of the righteous and unrighteous dead physically from the grave in like-manner to Jesus’ physical resurrection, the Final Judgment, and the creation of a literal (rather than covenantal) New Heavens and a New Earth…. Thus partial preterists are in agreement and conformity with the historic ecumenical creeds of the Church and articulate the doctrine of the resurrection held by the early Church Fathers… Because of the widespread acceptance of Dispensational Futurism amongst American evangelicals, Partial Preterism is often considered unorthodox by many… Partial Preterism is distinct from Full Preterism, which holds that ‘all’ biblical prophecy was fulfilled in the past.

Todd Dennis, founder of the comprehensive and highly resourceful Preterist Archive (www.preteristarchive.com), himself a Partial-Preterist, defines Preterism this way: “Preterism places the prophecies of intense evil and foreboding gloom in the first century, focusing on the events surrounding the forty-two-month long Neronic persecution, the forty-two-month long Jewish war with Rome, and the destruction of the temple. The word ‘preterist’ is based on the Latin ‘praeteritus,’ meaning ‘gone by’ or ‘past’” (Todd Dennis [25], 2009).

Notable proponents of Partial-Preterism include John Wesley, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, R. C. Sproul, David Chilton, Kenneth Gentry, Gary DeMar, and Hank Hanegraaff. In his book, The Last Days According to Jesus, R.C. Sproul (1998) clarifies that the Partial-Preterist position does not teach that the Second Coming took place in 70 AD, only that certain Biblical texts which are assumed by some to refer to the Second Coming in fact refer instead to a different type of coming. He says, “While partial preterists acknowledge that in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D.70 there was a parousia, or coming of Christ, they maintain that it was not the parousia” (page 158). Sproul outlines the differences between the two comings in this way:

A.D. 70 STILL FUTURE
A coming (parousia) of Christ The Coming (parousia) of Christ
A day of the Lord The Day of the Lord
A judgment The (final) Judgment
The end of the Jewish Age The end of history
The Resurrection of the dead
The Rapture of the living

[NOTE (added on March 14, 2010): Some partial-preterists do apparently see the Second Coming as a past event. One of these is Duncan McKenzie, who says,

Like full preterists, I see AD 70 as the time of the Second Coming, resurrection and judgment (with the resurrection and judgment having an ongoing fulfillment since that time).  Like partial preterists I see certain prophetic events that still await fulfillment (e.g., the destruction of Satan at the end of the millennium described in Revelation 20:7-10).  While my position is much closer to full preterism, I strongly disagree with its premise that all biblical prophecy was fulfilled by AD 70. Our approach is most similar to that of nineteenth-century theologian James Stuart Russell.  Like full preterists, Russell saw AD 70 as the time of the Second Coming; unlike full preterists, Russell saw the Second Coming as the beginning of the millennium, not its end.]

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), in his work titled “Miscellany #1199, directly tied Christ’s predictions of His coming as recorded in the gospels to the events of 66-70 AD:

Tis evident that when Christ speaks of his coming; his being revealed; his coming in his Kingdom; or his Kingdom’s coming; He has respect to his appearing in those great works of his Power Justice and Grace, which should be in the Destruction of Jerusalem and other extraordinary Providences which should attend it [So in Luke 17:20 – 18:8].

As this idea of Christ’s coming in 70 AD is likely revolutionary for anyone immersed in Dispensationalist thought, it will be given more attention in the section where Christ’s words in the Olivet Discourse are examined. Jonathan Edwards, though, in his work titled “History of Redemption,” called this event the “final end to the Old Testament world,” and added that “the dissolution of the Jewish state was often spoken of in the Old Testament as the end of the world.” According to Edwards, this was an “instance of removing those things which [were] ready to vanish away, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain,” a reference to Hebrews 8:13 and 12:27-28.

Edwards’ position was that the Old Covenant was rendered obsolete because of Christ’s work on the cross, yet it was still “becoming” obsolete at the time Hebrews was written because the worship life that centered on Jerusalem and the temple was still alive (though meaningless) as long as the temple stood (Dennis Todd, 2009 [1]). These things did vanish away in 70 AD, and it became abundantly clear to anyone with eyes to see that all types and shadows had been replaced by the reality, Christ Himself. Judaism has never been the same since that time. With this interpretation John Piper (1996), the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, agrees. He states that it “is almost impossible to exaggerate the importance of what happened in A.D. 70 in Jerusalem. It was an event that, for Jews and Christians, was critical in defining their faith for the next 2000 years.”

It was noted that Hyper-Preterism, also known as Full-Preterism, goes far beyond Partial-Preterism in the significance it ascribes to 70 AD. The following, according to Todd Dennis (2009 [1]), are some of the tenets of Hyper-Preterism: [A] All Bible prophecy was fulfilled by 70 AD. [B] The atonement was incomplete at the cross, but was completed in 70 AD. [C] “The Consummation of the Ages” came in 70 AD. [D] “The Millennium” is in the past, having occurred from 30 AD to 70 AD. [E] The Christian Age began in 70 AD, and this present earth will never end. [F] “The Day of the Lord” was Israel’s destruction ending in 70 AD. [G] The “Second Coming” of Jesus Christ took place around 70 AD. [H] The Great Judgment took place in 70 AD, and there will be no future Judgment. [I] The Law, death, sin, the Devil, Hades, etc. were utterly defeated in 70 AD. [J] “The Resurrection” of the Dead and Living is past, having taken place in 70 AD (Dennis Todd, 2009 [2]). These tenets should not be seen as forming the basis for what is to follow.


[1] The inclusion of Matthew 25:31-46 here, implying a past fulfillment of this text, is debatable. An interesting article relating this judgment event as already fulfilled, but from a Full Preterist viewpoint, can be seen here: http://web.archive.org/web/20051218184900/www.preterism.us/judgement.htm

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50 thoughts on “PP1: Brief Explanation of Partial Preterism

    • Hi Pastor Alan,

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your kind words. I took a quick look at a couple of your sites, and it looks like you have some excellent resources on hand. Please feel free to offer further feedback if you’re able to take the time to read through other posts on this site. God bless you.

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  1. In this post, I named a few proponents of partial-preterism. The Preterist Archive has a much more extensive listing, and I would like to include that here (Source: http://www.preteristarchive.com/StudyArchive/e/eschatology.html):

    HISTORICAL PRETERISM
    (Minor Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 or Revelation in Past)

    Joseph Addison
    Oswald T. Allis
    Thomas Aquinas
    Karl Auberlen
    Augustine
    Albert Barnes
    Karl Barth
    G.K. Beale
    Beasley-Murray
    John Bengel
    Wilhelm Bousset
    John A. Broadus
    David Brown
    “Haddington Brown”
    F.F. Bruce
    Augustin Calmut
    John Calvin
    B.H. Carroll
    Johannes Cocceius
    Vern Crisler
    Thomas Dekker
    Wilhelm De Wette
    Philip Doddridge
    Isaak Dorner
    Dutch Annotators
    Alfred Edersheim
    Jonathan Edwards
    E.B. Elliott
    Heinrich Ewald
    Patrick Fairbairn
    Js. Farquharson
    A.R. Fausset
    Robert Fleming
    Hermann Gebhardt
    Geneva Bible
    Charles Homer Giblin
    John Gill
    William Gilpin
    W.B. Godbey
    Ezra Gould
    Steve Gregg
    Hank Hanegraaff
    Hengstenberg
    Matthew Henry
    G.A. Henty
    George Holford
    Johann von Hug
    William Hurte
    J, F, and Brown
    B.W. Johnson
    John Jortin
    Benjamin Keach
    K.F. Keil
    Henry Kett
    Richard Knatchbull
    Johann Lange
    Cornelius Lapide
    Nathaniel Lardner
    Jean Le Clerc
    Peter Leithart
    Jack P. Lewis
    Abiel Livermore
    John Locke
    Martin Luther
    James MacDonald
    James MacKnight
    Dave MacPherson
    Keith Mathison
    Philip Mauro
    Thomas Manton
    Heinrich Meyer
    J.D. Michaelis
    Johann Neander
    Sir Isaac Newton
    Thomas Newton
    Stafford North
    Dr. John Owen
    Blaise Pascal
    William W. Patton
    Arthur Pink
    Thomas Pyle
    Maurus Rabanus
    St. Remigius
    Anne Rice
    Kim Riddlebarger
    J.C. Robertson
    Edward Robinson
    Andrew Sandlin
    Johann Schabalie
    Philip Schaff
    Thomas Scott
    C.J. Seraiah
    Daniel Smith
    Dr. John Smith
    C.H. Spurgeon
    Rudolph E. Stier
    A.H. Strong
    St. Symeon
    Theophylact
    Friedrich Tholuck
    George Townsend
    James Ussher
    Wm. Warburton
    Benjamin Warfield
    Noah Webster
    John Wesley
    B.F. Westcott
    William Whiston
    Herman Witsius
    N.T. Wright
    John Wycliffe
    Richard Wynne
    C.F.J. Zullig

    MODERN PRETERISTS
    (Major Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 or Revelation in Past)

    Firmin Abauzit
    Jay Adams
    Luis Alcazar
    Greg Bahnsen
    Beausobre, L’Enfant
    Jacques Bousset
    David Brewster
    Dr. John Brown
    Thomas Brown
    Newcombe Cappe
    David Chilton
    Adam Clarke
    Henry Cowles
    Ephraim Currier
    R.W. Dale
    Gary DeMar
    P.S. Desprez
    Johann Eichhorn
    F.W. Farrar
    Kenneth Gentry
    Hugo Grotius
    Francis X. Gumerlock
    Henry Hammond
    Hampden-Cook
    Friedrich Hartwig
    Adolph Hausrath
    J.G. Herder
    Timothy Kenrick
    J. Marcellus Kik
    Samuel Lee
    Peter Leithart
    John Lightfoot
    F.D. Maurice
    Marion Morris
    Ovid Need, Jr
    Wm. Newcombe
    N.A. Nisbett
    Gary North
    Randall Otto
    Zachary Pearce
    Beilby Porteus
    Ernst Renan
    Fr. Spadafora
    R.C. Sproul
    Moses Stuart
    Milton S. Terry
    C. Vanderwaal
    Foy Wallace
    Israel P. Warren
    Chas Wellbeloved
    J.J. Wetstein
    Richard Weymouth
    Daniel Whitby
    George Wilkins

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  2. Thank you so much for posting all this. I am looking forward to reading everything over the next few weeks.

    Being raised in a more moderate “Exclusive” Plymouth Brethren I was force-fed that “Darby recovered the truths of the Church” – including pre-trib rapture. For the past few years, I started to realize the difficulties in this position, particularly, why would John write Revelation to people 2000 years later which goes against “soon to take place”.

    I am wavering between a-mil and post-mil (partial preterist) and am trying to study each, but they have a lot of overlap in some areas. I hope your term paper will solidify some things. I also particularly enjoyed “Before Jerusalem Fell” by Dr. Gentry – very solid evidence indeed.

    Finally, it may be of note, as I have found in my readings, that not all Plymouth Brethren swallowed Darby’s scheme, and many opposed it. It would be interesting to note that some of Darby’s contemporaries had issues with his Eschatology such as B.W. Newton, S.P. Tregelles, and the beloved George Mueller (I wonder if they were preterists and would then be included in your list). I did hear that Darby, before his change of mind, was post mil. It’s good to see you included F.F. Bruce, but he was a post-Darby P.B.

    Again, thank you for posting your paper and I look forward to reading it.

    In Christ Alone

    Steve

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    • Steve, you’re very welcome, and thanks for your thoughtful feedback as well. I appreciated hearing part of your story regarding how you’ve come away from Dispensationalism.

      Thanks also for sharing about Darby’s contemporaries who took issue with his eschatology at the time. Of the names you mentioned, I’m only familiar with George Mueller and F.F. Bruce (and Gentry, of course). There are a lot of names in my list (found in the comment prior to yours) that I’m also not familiar with; others I am (I sourced that list from the Preterist Archive website, as noted).

      Personally, I now lean toward the a-mil position. You’re correct about the overlap between this position and post-mil, though differences certainly exist. My Bible study group just studied Revelation 20 last Wednesday, and we chose to conduct the study in a different manner than usual: three of us presented a concise study of Rev. 20 from each of the three main viewpoints. Lord willing, we’ll be posting those studies in the near future, along with additional information on doctrines of the millennium.

      Do feel free to post other thoughts, comments, and questions as you read through my paper. I pray that it will be a blessing to you in any way that the Lord intends.

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  3. I do not know what to think of this. I have just recently learned of preterism. It is quite confusing but I would like to know what this means for our future, if all or most prophesies are already fulfilled? Does this earth coninue, what about evil and sin? I thought God was going to take away sin once and for all, that is not the case in the world today.

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    • Hi Cassandra,

      Thanks for your comments and questions, and please accept my apology for replying so late. Others who might see this are also welcome to add their thoughts.

      I know that the idea that all prophecy has been fulfilled belongs to the camp known as Full Preterism. Partial-preterists vary on what they see or do not see as yet awaiting future fulfillment. For example, some see a division in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24-25, in particular) between what is past and future, while others believe the entire discourse refers to past events. There is also no universal agreement among partial-preterists as to how much of the book of Revelation remains to be fulfilled. I personally see Revelation 20:7-10 as yet future, a time of intense worldwide persecution before God intervenes.

      Full-preterists, if I’m not mistaken, believe that the world will continue forever. This belief does not belong to the partial-preterist camp.

      As far as evil and sin, I’m not sure why you seem to be baffled that it still exists at this time, provided that preterism is true. Perhaps you can elaborate on your thoughts regarding this subject. Premillennialists teach that sin and rebellion will continue to exist in a future Millennium (1000-year reign of Christ here on earth), which is to follow the Second Coming. Amillennialists and Post-millennialists would view the fullness of the Kingdom of God as being a present reality, but existing alongside of sin (with Postmillennialism more or less teaching that sin will be gradually minimized as the Kingdom of God takes over).

      Sin has indeed been taken away for those who are in Christ. Righteousness is imputed to our account if we are in Christ (e.g. II Corinthians 5:21). This is not true, however, for those who remain outside of Christ. The curse brought about by sin still remains in this world, but this will one day no longer be the case.

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      • Steve,

        Thank you for your reply (on November 9th) to my question regarding which passages you believe speak of a future, corporate resurrection. I haven’t had a chance to read your book yet, but when I do I’m certainly interested in seeing how you distinguish between the 70 AD passages and future Second Coming passages. It’ll also be good to see your fuller treatment of the doctrine of the resurrection and the nature of our resurrection bodies.

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    • Cassandra, preterism can be confusing, because different people refer to different things when they speak of “preterism.” There are several different types of preterism, and they teach very, very different things.

      One small but vocal group are the hyperpreterists, sometimes referred to as full preterists. They are the ones who teach ALL prophecies have already been fulfilled, thus denying a future judgment and physical resurrection. This is flat out heresy.

      The Apostle Paul says that all Christians are to be united upon the one hope (Eph. 4:1-4). The one hope that all Christians share is the future resurrection of our physical bodies (Acts 24:15, 26:7-8), which is something the hyperpreterists deny. The Apostle Paul dealt with those who falsely taught the resurrection was past in the strictest manner (1 Tim. 1:18-20 & 2 Tim. 2:16-19).

      Distinct from the heretical hyperpreterists, most preterists believe the Second Coming, the final judgment, and the resurrection of our bodies is still future. While Christ has already saved the Christian from his sins, sin is not completely done away with. We still sin (1 John 1:8-10).

      The Apostle Paul teaches that it is at the resurrection of our bodies that Christ makes an end of sin, when He not only raises our bodies, but He gives our bodies a new nature. A nature that is no longer prone towards carrying out the desires of the flesh, but “prone” towards carrying out the desires of the Holy Spirit (Romans 7-8, 1 Cor. 15).

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      • Steve,

        Thanks for adding your thoughts in response to Cassandra’s question. Regarding the continued existence of sin, I’m glad you added the qualification that even though we have been counted as righteous because of Christ, each one of us still commits sin.

        Concerning the resurrection, I’m aware that some (maybe all?) full preterists believe that a general resurrection took place in 70 AD for all Old Testament saints as well as those who had died in Christ up until that point. Then from that point on, all who die in Christ experience their resurrection (and the redemption of their bodies) upon death (I know of one partial-preterist who also believes this). They would contend that Paul dealt strictly with those in his day (prior to 70 AD) who taught that this general resurrection was past, but that anyone who taught a past resurrection after 70 AD would not fall under the same condemnation. It is correct, though, that most partial-preterists believe in a future general (corporate) resurrection.

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      • Hyperpreterists typically claim they do believe in the resurrection, just that they have a difference of opinion concerning the nature of that resurrection.

        But if the Apostle Paul taught that there would be a physical resurrection when the world as we know it comes to an end, then the hyperpreterists DO deny the Biblical doctrine of the resurrection. If that resurrection has not yet occurred (and it hasn’t), then by proclaiming it is already past, they are teaching the same thing that Paul so strongly condemned.

        The hyperpreterists are like Mormons. Both claim to just be another variant of Christianity, when in fact, they are actually something very different. The Mormon claims to believe Jesus is the Son of God, but when they refer to Jesus as the Son of God, they mean something entirely different than what Christianity has always meant by that phrase. The same is true for the hyperpreterist and the resurrection.

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      • Hi Steve,

        I’m not arguing the point (after all, I’m not a full preterist), but for the sake of education would you be able to list the passages where the apostle Paul teaches that “there would be a physical resurrection when the world as we know it ends”? I know you already mentioned a couple of passages from Acts and I & II Timothy which briefly touch on the doctrine of the resurrection, but I’m just wondering which passages (written by Paul) you believe tie in a corporate, physical resurrection with the end of the world. Thanks.

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      • A physical resurrection of the dead would obviously mark a shift in “the world as we know it.” If some or all are made physically immortal, obviously there are going to be some dramatic changes. So any passage that teaches a physical resurrection marks the end of things as we know it. For the record, I believe everyone who has ever lived will be raised/transformed never to physically die again. The saved will be taken up into Heaven, and the lost will be cast into Hell.

        I distinguish throughout my book on Revelation between the 70AD passages and the Second Coming passages. I also include an appendix dedicated to the resurrection, particularly the nature of our resurrection bodies. So for a fuller treatment, people can look there.

        Briefly, I believe Romans 7 & 8 deal with the resurrection, especially Romans 8:9-11. This passage alone demolishes the “spirit only resurrection.” Paul says the Christians reading his letter had already received spiritual life. What kind of life does the Holy Spirit give? Everlasting life. So the life that is yet to be received cannot be “spirit life.” In fact, Paul explicitly says that, just as they have already received [everlasting] spirit life, they WILL receive [everlasting] life in their mortal bodies, too, just like Jesus did. Compare this to Romans 6:8-10 which indicates Jesus was physically raised never to physically die again, which is the kind of life our mortal bodies will receive.

        There is also 1 Corinthians 15, especially verses 23-28 and 50-58. I’ve really tried to understand 1 Corinthians 15 from a hyperpreterist’s perspective, and I just can’t see it. Philippians 3:20-21 is also another passage that is hard to square with a non-physical resurrection. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 speaks of the resurrection of the righteous, and how they will be taken up from this world, which ties in with John 14:1-3. As I explain in detail in my appendix on hyperpreterism, I believe Paul transitions to speaking about 70AD in the opening verses of 1 Thessalonians 5, before looking ahead once again to the final judgment in 5:10.

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  4. I am trying to find out the difference between Adam Minneapolis and Adam Maarschalk. I am a partial-preterist/historicist and would like to use some quotes from the comments on the Revelation commentary on the website https://kloposmasm.wordpress.com/2009/09/04/revelation-chapter-6-part-1/

    However, I am not sure who wrote the commentary. It is somewhat confusing, as both names are assigned to it. Who would I credit for any quotes from this commentary?

    Waiting for your reply. Thank you.

    Dr. Chuck Burks
    pastor

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  5. Hi Dr. Burks,

    Thanks for stopping by and for your desire to quote from the study on Revelation 6. I apologize for the confusion. My real name is Adam Maarschalk. Prior to setting up this blog, I was using the name “Adam Minneapolis” when commenting on other blogs. I did that to distinguish myself from another Adam who would comment at a certain blog I like to frequent. I chose “Minneapolis” to indicate my location. Perhaps I should switch to just using my full name.

    If you’re planning to do a write-up online regarding Revelation 6, I’d love to take a look at it when you’ve finished.

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  6. Hello, Adam.

    I hope you are still responding to this blog. I found this site through a discussion you were having on Christian Post. I have heard of the preterist view, but I’ve never fully considered it. I’m still exploring your views on Revelation, but I have a couple of quick questions.

    You say: [DISCLAIMER (Early 2011): Since 2009, when I wrote this paper, I have progressed in my understanding of eschatology. I’m now closer to full preterism than I was at that time, so please take what I said about the differences between partial-preterism and full preterism with a grain of salt. Thank you.]

    Would you describe what in you views has changed over the past couple of years?

    I also grew up in a pre-trib rapture church. I currently lean towards post-trib rapture, but I would hardly pound the pulpit over the issue. Out of curiosity, since your view states that many of the OT and Revelation prophecies were fulfilled in 70 ad, do you see in significance to the reestablishment of Israel?

    Lastly, even if the prophecies in Revelation were fulfilled in 70 ad, do you think it is possible that served only as a shadow of a future and bigger fulfillment. Could Revelation be like Isaiah 7:14, which prophesied that a young woman/virgin would give birth to a child as a sign. Because of the ambiguity of the term it allowed for it to be fulfilled in Isaiah’s time (Isa 8:3) and then with the birth of Jesus.

    Thanks for your time.

    John

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    • I received your email to Adam and thought I would reply, as your questions were valid and interesting. I am just finishing a manuscript commentary on eschatology and expecially Revelation. I am partial-preterist-historicist. I do believe that most of Matthew 24 was speaking of 70 AD and I believe Revelation was written prior to that date. However, I believe the majority of Revelation was for the Church of the ages and is filled with “parallel prophecies” or “already/not yet” prophecies, as you described in your question. I have a doctorate in theology, and it is evident throughout Scripture of the parallel or “already/not yet” factors of prophecies. The preterists make good arguements, but leave more questions unanswered. They do not deal with certain verses and skip over them. It is had to find a verse by verse commentary on Revelation from the preterists. But my commentary runs a parallel look at the preterist’s position along side my own findings that are accepted by many historicists, idealists, and amillenialists. I do that, because if the preterists are correct, it is evident to me that history repeats itself, and there is an “already/not yet” or antityp to these Revelation prophecies. Yes, the first three chapters of Revelation were directed to real churches prior to the 70 AD event, but contained theological and prophetical factors for the Church Age and especially the Dark Ages.

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    • John, thanks for stopping by and for your questions. In the last couple of years, I’ve come to believe that Jesus came back as He promised before His own generation passed away (Matthew 24:34, Mark 13:30, Luke 21:32), and while some of His disciples and the first century crowds were still alive (Matthew 16:27-28, Mark 8:34-9:1). I no longer believe, as I did two years ago (at least by implication), that Scripture teaches He is to come a third time in a different way in our future.

      I’ve also come to believe that a corporate resurrection took place in or around 70 AD for all of the saints who had died up until that point, both OT saints and those who had died in Christ since He ascended. From that point onward, I believe that those who die in Christ immediately experience resurrection and the redemption of their bodies on an individual basis. Without going into too much detail here, I would point to these two references (in their contexts) as being among those which present this scenario:

      [1] “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:1-2).

      [2] Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.” (Revelation 14:13).

      No, I don’t see any Biblical or prophetic significance in the fact that a nation exists today in the Middle East bearing the name Israel. I believe that Biblical Israel’s last days were in the 1st century, and that Jesus accurately predicted the events of 67-70 AD as “the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written” (Luke 21:22), events which He said must all take place within His own generation.

      Thanks for your question about Revelation, and the possibility of a future, dual fulfillment. No, I don’t see that as a possibility. The main reason for this is that Jesus, in His own words, told the first century church that the things He spoke of were near and at hand, and to happen quickly/shortly, etc. I don’t see where He indicated in any way that they might happen again at a time that would be far off. Furthermore, the judgments were to come upon Israel for their apostasy and martyrdom of Jesus, the prophets, apostles, and saints. This judgment was only called for once, and for one particular generation, echoing what Jesus had said numerous times during His earthly ministry. I also see indications in the book of Revelation that a transition of the ages was taking place, an end to the Old Covenant age allowing the New Covenant (present) age to stand alone. An example of this would be the allusions to the phenomena that occurred when Moses delivered the Law to the Israelites on Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:16) in Revelation 4:5, 8:5, 11:19, and 16:18. This transition only needed to happen once.

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  7. Thanks Dr. Burks and Adam for your responses. I grew up in a dispensationalist church that really focused on end time teaching. Since then I have gone to seminary and have put in a lot of time studying the NT, but I have consciously avoided Revelation and other prophetic material because my home church really burnt me out on it.

    But, my interest is growing again, and I am intrigued by the partial preterist idea. I am just starting to research the topic so please forgive me for my elementary questions.

    @ Dr. Burks. I also pick up on the idea of history repeating itself. Just look at the book of Judges. It’s point is to emphasize the repetitive nature of creation/sin/exile/repentance/re-creation. The reason we see so many similarities is because we are dealing with the same sinful human race, the same demonic forces, and the same God. We shouldn’t be surprised that we see echoes in history. So, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Rome serves as a type of the man-made power that will resist Jesus and His people before the final judgment.

    @ Adam. You say, “I believe that those who die in Christ immediately experience resurrection and the redemption of their bodies on an individual basis.”

    What do you mean by “redemption of their bodies?”

    You say, “I don’t see where He indicated in any way that they might happen again at a time that would be far off”

    Couldn’t the Jewish scholars before Jesus have said the same thing about Isaiah’s prophecy concerning the young girl that would be with child? There was no explicit indication there either of a future fulfillment?

    But, if all that you say is correct, and all of Revelation has been fulfilled (including Rev 20-22?) then what is next? If God has done everything He promised He would, then what are we waiting for? What are we supposed to be doing in this life? Basically, my question is: is this it?

    If you have already answered these questions elsewhere, feel free to just post the link. Thanks for your time.

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    • Not only does history repeat itself, but prophecies and biblical promises often have a “already/not yet” or “mirrored” affect to them. We also refer to them as “types and shadows” or “antitypes.” For instance, John and Jesus preached the Kingdom of God is at hand. Certainly, when the Holy Spirit was given to the Church and people were batpized with the Spirit, they realized the Kingdom of God. Furthermore, the New Testament teaches that we are in, or part of, the Kingdom of God now. But we will not realize the Kingdom of God in its fulness (or our salvation in its fulness) until we reach heaven. There are several experiences and promises that were prophesied that we now have received, but not yet in its fulness. The same has happened where Old Testament promises were fulfilled (to an extent) in the Old Testament days, and then repeated in at grater measure in the New Testament (or 1st century) and then it will be again repeated in its fulness in the hereafter.

      I am a partial preterist, only in that I understand most of Matthew 24 as a warning to the disciples of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in AD 70. But a short part of that chapter (possibly around verse 35) does speak of the end time of the world, which many preterists agree with. I also believe Revelation was written pre-AD 70 and that the first three chapters do deal with 1st century times, but I believe the remainder of the Revelation is speaking of the Church Age up to and just over into eternity. It certainly speaks of the celebration in heaven and the silence that takes place while God releases His wrath upon all evil and the entire universe left behind. At that time, He annhialates what exists today and prepares a new heaven and earth to replace Paradise (today). He also throws hell and all its occupants into the lake of fire. The new heaven and earth will be very much like the Garden of Eden and the first man’s capabilities in that garden, as God had created him (them). But only in perfections. God called His creation “good,” and not perfect. In the final time, it will be perfect.

      In my manuscript on eschatology and a verse by verse commentary on Revelation, I also introduce the possibility in many of the remaining chapters (after chapter 3) that the preterists’ beliefs may be true, in that the prophecies did unfold upon Jerusalem, the old system, and the Jews “who pierced Him.” I have no problem looking at Revelation as a prophecy fulfilled in AD 60-70, as long as there is to be a dual factor from the prophecy—in that it will be fulfilled in the end time in its fulness. As Judea and the old system was judged and destroyed, so shall this earth, the solar system, every demon from hell, and all evil left behind after the Church is raptured from the earth, will be destroyed for a final time. From that time evil will no longer exist.

      I would reply to your comments to Adam about experiencing a resurrection bodily, but I did not read or study his comments. Therefore, Im not sure just what he was talking about.

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      • Thank you, Dr. Burks. What you just said is basically my belief as I go into this new area of research. I would make a couple of minor tweaks.

        I tend to stay away from the word “annihilate.” I think what will happen to the heavens and earth will be like what will happen to our bodies, as demonstrated by the resurrection of Jesus. Between the body in the tomb and the risen body there was continuity and discontinuity. The risen body still bore the marks of the old body, but it could apparently walk through doors too. I wouldn’t say that Jesus’ “earthly” body was completely annihilated and He was given a brand new one. I would use the words of Paul and simply say it was changed (1 Cor 15:51). Rom 8:18ff says creation is awaiting liberation, not expecting to be annihilated to make room for a brand new creation. But, I do need to do more research in this area as well.

        Also, you said, “But we will not realize the Kingdom of God in its fulness (or our salvation in its fulness) until we reach heaven.” I think we will not see the fullness until heaven comes to earth (Rev 21:2). I think of heaven, the place believers go when they die, as more of a waiting place until God establishes His kingdom on the physical, yet transformed earth.

        But, we may be saying the same thing in different words. Thanks for your comment.

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      • John, I apprecate your response. It does sound like we are close to being on the same page here. However, I do have to stick to my use of the word “annihilate.” As far as AD 70 goes, Josephus and other historians likened the once standing city to empty fields that had been plowed. In addition, 2 Peter 3:10-11 makes it clear that all the elements will be burned up (that may apply to AD 70 too, but it also, in my opinion, applies to the final day of this earth and solar system).

        Furthermore, I have just completed a study by a Christian astronomist and scientist that had laid out proof that our solar system was created to fail. This means eventually our universe will fail and most likely explode. Of course, he leans towards a “big bang” theory that includes the creator. He also matches it with the Genesis account of creation. But that is another subject for another time.

        The thousands and thousands of Christians who were burned to death and have no physical body is also another thing to consider. That does not prevent God from giving them a new glorified body when the time comes. (I do not believe in soul sleeping). Yes the fact that the Bible speaks of a “New heaven and earth” can be applied either way—that is to my point or the point you are making. But if I apply 2 Peter and some other prophetic verses to it, it sounds to me like this earth, the substance therein, and the planets around us will be “annihilated.” In this new earth and heaven, we will not need a physical moon or sun, as Christ will be the Light and so on. But I also believe, there will be a beautiful resemblance of the geographic landscapes that were found in the original garden of Eden. Regardless, either way, we will be eternally happy and satisfied, without want.

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      • Thank you, again, for your time.

        @ Dr. Burks: I am actually starting a study on 2 Peter (that is part of the reason I’ve become interested in Revelation again). Perhaps I will have more to say on the subject in the coming months.

        @ Adam. You say, ““I believe that those who die in Christ immediately experience resurrection and the redemption of their bodies on an individual basis. I’m referring to the transformation of our lowly/earthly bodies into glorious/eternal bodies once we pass from this life to the eternal state.”

        I’m not sure how you mean our “earthly bodies” transform into “eternal bodies” immediately, when dead earthly bodies are still clearly in the ground. It seems to me if you hold to an immediate bodily resurrection, you would have to use the word “replace.” If so, why was Jesus’ resurrection different than what we expect, since the Bible claims that the tomb was empty? Or, do you interpret the resurrection of Jesus differently?
        Also, I finished reading a couple of books by NT Wright. He claims that whenever Jews used the word “resurrection” they always, without exception, referred to the raising of our present, physical bodies on this present, physical earth when the Lord comes. He says, if they wanted to refer to some other kind of spiritual resurrection in a spiritual realm, they had other ways of expressing this. I haven’t researched this claim, but do you have any evidence that resurrection would mean anything other than physical resurrection on this earth?

        Thanks for your help,

        John

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    • John, regarding the redemption of our bodies, I’m referring to the transformation of our lowly/earthly bodies into glorious/eternal bodies once we pass from this life to the eternal state. Whether “transformation” is the right word to use, or whether “replacement” might be a better word, is something I’d like to better nail down in my head as I study this subject further.

      Yes, Isaiah’s reference to a young girl giving birth to a child named Immanuel is often tied to the virgin birth of Christ, Is this a dual fulfillment, or simply typology, and what is the distinction between the two? These questions remain in my mind as well, though I’m leaning toward viewing it as typology. By the way, since there has been some discussion above concerning the possibility of a dual fulfillment of (at least parts of) Matthew 24, I’d like to recommend this article which I believe does a pretty good job of showing why this is not possible:

      http://www.preterism.info/articles/matt24-double.htm

      You asked what is next, what are we waiting for, and what should we be doing in this life, if all of Revelation has been fulfilled. Those are great questions, and I know that whatever I answer here will only be a beginning. In short, though, I’m coming to see more and more that fulfilled eschatology is a hopeful eschatology, as opposed to the doomsday feel that permeates much of the eschatology that is popular today. The kingdom of God is fully established in the midst of God’s people, so let’s live out that reality (that’s one thing you could say I’m waiting for). Let’s also, to a greater degree, walk in the realities of the New Covenant. The fact that I believe in the past fulfillment of certain events which many believe have not yet happened doesn’t mean that I (and others of the same persuasion) don’t see plenty of ongoing implications flowing out of those truths. I believe that the church is called to do great things in the earth, and that in many cases there is much in the way of unrealized potential here.

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  8. God’s Word is exceptional and a very mysterious piece of literature. It is also the very written wlll of God to humankind. I would not ever want to tie the hands of God by saying something is not possible in the way God has stated His will for humankind. As we look back in history, we definately see from the first man and woman in the garden to the restoration of a new heaven and earth for the saints of God, an “already/not yet” or mirrored affects of prophecies. Throughout biblical theology, this is evident. It is so evident, it is amazing and very interesting to critical thinkers. Typologies are also used.

    I believe AD 70 played a major role in history and prophecies. Matthew 24 is definantley Jesus’ prophetic warning to His disciples about the judgment to come upon the Jews that rejected Him and the destruction of their old system and precious temple. I also see how the first 3 chapters and possibly some of the other chapters play a role in a pre-AD 70 environment. Yes, I believe Revelation was written prior to that time. If this makes me a partial-preterist, so be it. But I cannot, in any way, accept a full-preterist position, or what some call “hyper-preterists.”

    Having said that, I see enough importance and some good strong arguments by the preterists (right or wrong) that must be considered when studying Revelation. My commentary runs a dual study side by side. Although I don’t spend as much time on the pre-AD 70 preterist’s view, I do acknowledge where they stand on the verses. In my own commentary, much of it takes in consideration that the preterist view is valid, only with a final reflection of the prophecy to come in the end of time. I certainly do not ignore their view, neither do I discount it. But I do believe strongly in the end of this world and rapturing of the Church (I do not believe in the typical “rapture” doctrine). I also believe that the Church Age does reflect certain conditions as described in Revelation (I am not a dispensationalist and totally reject Schofield’s interpretation). I find myself opposed, as do many of the preterists, by the average Christian who believes in the usual and traditional forms of eschatology. But I also find myself at odds with the hyper-preterists, as I am a traditionalist, in that I believe in the end of this world and the Church living in a new heaven and earth, with all evil found in the lake of fire.

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    • (Sorry, I accidentally posted this response further up on the thread and don’t know how to delete. I’m posting it again to make it easier to find.)

      Thank you, again, for your time.

      @ Dr. Burks: I am actually starting a study on 2 Peter (that is part of the reason I’ve become interested in Revelation again). Perhaps I will have more to say on the subject in the coming months.

      @ Adam. You say, ““I believe that those who die in Christ immediately experience resurrection and the redemption of their bodies on an individual basis. I’m referring to the transformation of our lowly/earthly bodies into glorious/eternal bodies once we pass from this life to the eternal state.”

      I’m not sure how you mean our “earthly bodies” transform into “eternal bodies” immediately, when dead earthly bodies are still clearly in the ground. It seems to me if you hold to an immediate bodily resurrection, you would have to use the word “replace.” If so, why was Jesus’ resurrection different than what we expect, since the Bible claims that the tomb was empty? Or, do you interpret the resurrection of Jesus differently?
      Also, I finished reading a couple of books by NT Wright. He claims that whenever Jews used the word “resurrection” they always, without exception, referred to the raising of our present, physical bodies on this present, physical earth when the Lord comes. He says, if they wanted to refer to some other kind of spiritual resurrection in a spiritual realm, they had other ways of expressing this. I haven’t researched this claim, but do you have any evidence that resurrection would mean anything other than physical resurrection on this earth?

      Thanks for your help,

      John

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      • Hello Adam,

        I was thinking about your question of whether Isa 7:14 is a dual fulfillment prophecy or typology: “Yes, Isaiah’s reference to a young girl giving birth to a child named Immanuel is often tied to the virgin birth of Christ, Is this a dual fulfillment, or simply typology, and what is the distinction between the two? These questions remain in my mind as well, though I’m leaning toward viewing it as typology.”

        I’m not sure what criteria goes into making this distinction, but I was wondering about the wording of Mt 1:22. It says that the virgin birth took place in order to “fulfill” the words of the prophet.

        Would the word “fulfill” be used if this was simply a typology? I’ve heard people say that King David was a type of Messiah. I think a person would say that Jesus fulfilled Gen 49:10 and 2 Sam 7, but would he or she say that Jesus fulfilled David?

        I know Isa 7:14 does not have a huge bearing on the discussion, but I was just curious, and I’m not sure in which case the word “fulfilled” is more appropriate.

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      • Hi John,

        Before I get to your newer questions later on in this thread, I was skimming over the earlier comments because I knew that there was something I had neglected to respond to (perhaps more than one thing). Here it is. Yes, you are very correct. I must use the word “replace” (and not “transform”) to speak of what happens to our physical bodies when our time is up on this earth. Our present bodies are not reconstituted at that time, I would say, but rather we are housed with eternal, spiritual bodies, the exact nature of which I am unsure. It’s still a subject I wish to do an in-depth topical study on at some point.

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    • Hello Adam,

      I read the link you posted about Mt 24, and I read some of the other articles on that site. I don’t know much about Mt 24 and will need to study it more in depth. I certainly see that there is some merit to the preterist view, but I’ll admit that I am wary of some of the full-preterist implications. For instance, that site had an article claiming that the destruction of the temple brought an end to the great commission. Therefore, there is no explicit command for us in the 21st century to spread the Gospel.

      Also, I wonder how well the preterist view holds up for African people who are facing genocide. How could a full-preterist person go to them and say, “don’t worry, the kingdom of God is here in its fullness. Death and sin have been defeated. God has wiped away your tears and there is no longer any pain or suffering.”

      I just don’t know how well the full-preterist view would hold up to the test of fire (1 Cor 3:10-15). And, I don’t think this test is just for the future. The quality of a doctrine is tested now by how well its adherents can weather the storms of life (1 Pet 1:6-9; 4:17). For instance, how well will a believer in the prosperity Gospel fare when he/she loses a job, health, or a loved one? How well will the full-preterist hold up to real life?

      But, that is my initial gut reaction.

      One question: 2 Peter 3 talks about the day of the Lord and how the earth and heavens will be consumed with fire. Do you believe this is also referring to 70 a.d.?

      If so, why is this relevant to 2 Peter’s original readers? (I believe this was written by Peter to the churches of Asia Minor mentioned in 1 Pet 1:1 [c.f. 2 Pet 3:1]. It seems likely that the majority were Gentiles.) In Asia Minor there are some teaching that there is no judgment so we do not need to be concerned with holiness. Why would Peter write to Gentiles in Asia minor warning them of judgment and the need of holiness if he were just referring to what was going to happen to the Jerusalem temple in a few years?
      Also, why would their holiness having anything to do with them eagerly awaiting the day of the Lord (3:12). Why would they eagerly be awaiting the destruction of the temple?

      It just seems to me that according to full-preterist view that the day of the Lord was for only the Jews and wouldn’t have much relevance to the Gentile world. It seems on the surface that Peter must mean something bigger in 2 Pet 3 than just the destruction of the temple.

      Thanks for your time,

      John

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      • John, your comments and questions to Adam are valid and exactly what has kept me from stepping into the hyper (full) prederist world too. I have read the various books and comments by the hyper preterists and even some strong or extreme partial prederists, and they can’t seem to answer your questions satisfactorily, if at all. It would change the entire Christian theological landscape and water down too many Christian issues and even discount the entire need for Christ.

        But even some of these strong partial prederists, at least, admit that there is an end to the world and new heaven and earth for God’s Church. I think they just have a tendency to try to tie in too many things to the 1st century or AD 70. But at least they are willing to admit there is an end to this world and all of the evil in it, which the full prederists do not.

        I applaud you for your response and valid questions to the full prederists and I stand with you on it, even though I am considered to be a partial prederist because I do believe that some prophecies of Scripture (most of Matt. 24 included) do speak about the 1st century and AD 70. Unfortunately, many evangelicals don’t even believe that. Im also out of step with many of them because I do believe that Revelation was written pre-AD 70.

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      • John, in answer to your questions about II Peter 3, I do believe that Peter’s words were fulfilled in the first century, and that they continue to be fulfilled in the sense that we presently abide in the new heavens and earth (the New Covenant age and the fullness of God’s kingdom). In my post on Matthew 24:35, I discuss my views on II Peter 3:

        http://kloposmasm.com/2012/02/13/matthew-2435-51-part-1-of-2/

        In no way do I believe that the call to holiness ended in 70 AD. Jesus was vindicated, and further confirmed that He was/is exalted in His ascension power at the right hand of the Father, when the judgment that He promised would come upon the temple and apostate Israel took place as He said it would.

        I would say that the Day of the Lord did have more relevance for the Jewish world, simply because it had been prophesied so extensively in the Hebrew Scriptures, but there was/is significance as well for the Gentile world because it was made manifestly clear that the gospel is for all nations without regard to ethnicity.

        As a believer in fulfilled eschatology, I don’t believe at all that there is no longer any suffering, or that Jesus ever said that suffering would continue for only one more generation beyond the time of His ascension. We do, however, have the same circumstance-transcending joy that believers also had who lived between 30-70 AD.

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    • Dear Adam,

      Sorry to bombard you with questions. I’m just curious as to how full preterism works out.

      After thinking about my 2 Peter question I realized the exact question applies to Revelation. The letter is written to churches in Asia Minor who are suffering persecution (under Nero, correct?). So, Revelation would be saying, “dear churches in Asia who are being persecuted by Romans. Don’t worry, the Romans are about to destroy the temple in Jerusalem.”

      I’m just unclear as to how the prophecy of the temple destruction would really be relevant to the suffering church in Asia.

      @ Dr. Burks,

      Thank you for your comments. Concerning “annihilation,” are you saying there is zero continuity between the old earth and the new earth, that is, the first is completely destroyed and a brand new one is created? If so, why was Jesus’ original body not in the tomb?

      I’m still thinking through 2 Peter and was just clarifying your position in my mind.

      Thanks,

      John

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      • John,
        Your question for me is not an easy one and sure doesn’t have a clear biblical answer. I have researched this myself for over 40 years with frustration. But with all the studying on this matter, I am convinced that the present earth and the present physical body will be completely destroyed and made null and void. The Bible does tell us it will return to dust (dirt, soil). Bodies in the graves, while preserved better than ever with our embalming techniques, rot quickly. Furthermore, I continue to bring this question up… What about Christians who were burned to death at the stake, or in accidents. I know of Christians who burned to death in their cars and their homes. I also know of Christians were were cremated. To think that we need a physical body in order for God to produce a new glorified body for us, is a mistake that has not taken all things into consideration.

        Furthermore, 2 Peter 3:10 uses the phrase and words, “because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat.” Notice the words, “dissolved,” and “elements will melt.” In parallel prohecy, this would also be why it was important for God to come and judge “the Jews who pierced Him,” and destroy and judge Jerusalem and the Temple (the old system, the Old Covenant). It was to be replaced with the New. Since then, there has never been a temple such as the one that was the center of the Old Covenant. Even the traditional Jews today, no longer sacrifice animals in a temple. In fact, they have progressed in their religion and no longer demand burnt sacrifices. It was judged, and found wanting. It came up short and it was destroyed and replace.

        Having said all that, thank the Lord we don’t need to understand all the details or science of how our bodies can be destroyed and replaced, or how our bodies can be changed into a new one. It doesn’t matter to our salvation. We can rest assured that no matter what happens to our body on this earth, no matter what kind of death we die, the Lord has prepared us with a new glorified body when the time comes.

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  9. Dear Dr. Burks,

    I wholeheartedly agree with your last paragraph.The transformed or replaced debate is more just fine tuning. I know our Lord will save us, and I look forward to dwelling with Him in my glorified body. I feel pondering these issues is my way of meditating on the Word and a means of understanding God and His promises better.

    I’ll have to think more about these issues. Thanks.

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  10. Dear Dr. Burks,

    I am still working through the issue of annihilation in 2 Pet and Rev. This crossed my mind and was wondering what you thought:

    You said, “But if I apply 2 Peter and some other prophetic verses to it, it sounds to me like this earth, the substance therein, and the planets around us will be ‘annihilated.’ In this new earth and heaven, we will not need a physical moon or sun, as Christ will be the Light and so on.”

    I assume you are referring to Rev 21:23; 22:4. You quoted this verse correctly: we will not “need” the Sun. That does not necessarily mean there will not be a sun, it will just be outshone by God, just as during the day the stars are outshone by the sun.

    But, more to the point, are these verses giving a literal description of the physical universe? My question is based on 2 Pet 1:19. It says that prophecy/Scripture is a light to get us through the darkness until the day dawns and the morning star rises in our hearts.

    What I’m thinking is that there is no need for the sun b/c God is the light is referring more to revelation than to the physical universe.

    The Revelation verses seem to at least allude to Isa 60 which says the nations are in darkness but the light of the Lord rises so that they come to the light (cf Rev 21:24). The Isaiah passage does not mean the nations are literally in darkness; it is referring to their ignorance of God.

    Again, Isa 6:5 says, let us walk in the light of Lord. This verse is couched between God revealing Himself to the nations and the Jews converting to the ignorance of the nations.

    There are tons of verses about Scripture and God being the light. My point is that I don’t think Revelation saying there will be no need for the sun has any bearing on the issue of annihilation, for I don’t think (at least for now) that it is referring to the literal sun, but the removal of partial revelation and the fullness of revelation (as opposed to the dark glass we have now, 1 Cor 13:8-13) existing in the New Jerusalem.

    What are your thoughts?

    John

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    • John, the old Scriptures are filled with types and shadows and dual or mirrored prophetic factors. This is the way of Christian theology (already/now/not yet). I agree with you that many of the verses you refer to are symbolic, especially when it comes to the use of its terms as “darkness,” “sun,” etc. However, that does not take away an “not yet” factor that we may see in a literal sense later in history. Or, we may see it in a real sense in the hereafter.
      As far as the sun in heaven goes… there is no argument that Jesus will provide the Light for us and there will be no need of the sun. I certainly would not argue with you that there may be a literal sun present as well. But all I can go on is that the Lamb is the Light. The Scripture went out of its way to make that clear, but it did not see a need to explain any need for a literal sun.
      Will there be a perfect model of the present universe? I don’t know, as the Scripture does not see a need to explain to us in such detail.
      All we can stand on, is what the Scripture tells us. I suppose the questions we have beyond that will have to wait. That doesn’t mean we can’t wonder, or collect evidence based upon implicit verses of text. Yes, there are a lot of areas where the Scripture appears to imply certain factors. I study those areas and usually come up with my conclusions, based upon explicit and implicit clues. But I certainly will not argue the implicit, although I do enjoy brotherly discussions as we are having. I suppose in this case, you will have to come to your conclusions after considering the implicit. But be careful! We can only stand firm on the explicit. Study carefully, but don’t get lost in the non-essentials. I will continue to help where I can.

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  11. Thanks for your response and concern. I’m certainly not getting hung up on non-essentials. 2 Peter says growing spiritually so that we do not fall and not gain entrance to the kingdom is essential (2 Pet 1:1-11). This is where I want to devote my life. But, just in an effort to better understand the Word and God’s promises I think about these other things.
    I’m not discounting the annihilation view. I’m just suggesting that maybe the Revelation passages about not needing a sun do not add to the discussion, since in may not be referring to a literal sun, just as I don’t believe the Lamb will literally be a lamp (nor do I think Jesus is literally a Lamb). When I get to 2 Pet 3 maybe annihilation of the cosmos will prove to be the best option.

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    • Hey John,
      I did not mean to imply that you were getting hung up on the non-essentials. I know that it is easy to do for all of us that get involved in eschetological studies. I have been guilty of it. I think my concern was a mild warning that we all be careful not to get lost in them. Your concerns and interests in these verses and on this topic is valid, as I have also concidered them.
      I just am not sure about the light and sun issue. I do believe, however, that it is possible–far beyond our comprehension–that Jesus Himself and His presence can provide literal light for a world without a specific sun in the sky. It is somewhat like indirect light in a room. All things are possible beyond the comprehension of our finite minds.
      The more I look at 2 Peter 3, I am convinced (but not to be adamant) that the Lord will provide a entire new heaven and earth, after annihilating the existing cosmos. But, then again, I may be wrong. Keep me posted as you come across new clues. Im always open minded if I have missed something.

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  12. Dear Adam,

    Do you have any preterist material on 2 Peter? I read Peter Leithart’s take on it, but honestly I didn’t find it very compelling. He argues that the false teachers in 2 Peter were Jews/Judaizers. He had to do several back flips to make his case, and, in the end, wasn’t convincing. That leaves me with my original question, if these are Gentile Christian apostates in Asia Minor, why would they be affected by Peter’s warning that the temple in Jerusalem was going to be destroyed? (Leithart says a couple of times, despite the amount of pages he takes to make his argument, that his interpretation does not rest on the identity of the false teachers. But, I’m not sure how he can make that statement.)

    Also, in my personal study of 2 Peter I noticed that Peter changes one of the 3 OT destruction stories from Jude (assuming Jude was written first). Jude talks about the Exodus generation falling in the wilderness, but Peter changes it to focus on the flood. If Peter was focused solely on the destruction of the Jewish temple, why not leave the example of Jews being punished. It seems by changing it to the flood story, Peter is possibly widening the scope of judgment to all of the world instead of just one one people.

    I am still interested in the preterist view, but I’m not sure how full-preterism accounts for 2 Peter.

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  13. This is an unanswerable question, but one that has been rolling around in my mind. If 70 a.d. was as important as preterist say it is, why didn’t God inspire someone to write one more book of the Bible to give it some closure? The way the Bible is now, it is left open-ended. We have to read in that 70 a.d. fulfilled all the prophecies. It would have been nice to have an epilogue, sort of like Lamentations to Jeremiah, explaining the temple is gone, the new heaven and earth is here, the resurrection happened (if full preterism is correct), the Great Commission was fulfilled, etc. Then, maybe it could give a hint of what we are supposed to do for the next 2000 plus years.

    But, the way the Bible has been left begs for every generation of readers to look forward to an even bigger act of God than a symbolic destruction of the heavens and earth through the temple.

    Just a thought.

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    • Hi again, John.

      You may have noticed that just a little bit ago I replied to an earlier question in this thread where you asked about my stance on II Peter 3. I posted a link to a study I made on that passage (along with Matthew 24:35) almost a month ago. Here’s that link again, though:

      http://kloposmasm.com/2012/02/13/matthew-2435-51-part-1-of-2/

      You’ve posed an interesting question about why there doesn’t seem to be “an epilogue” to the Bible, explaining that the temple is gone, the new heavens and earth have been established, etc. As you may know, it’s the absence in the New Testament of any statements that the temple had been destroyed that led John A. T. Robinson to conclude that all books of the NT had been written before 70 AD. We do, of course, have plenty of historical writings outside of the Bible to confirm that event. Otherwise, it’s a question of whether or not we will believe the time statements (e.g. at hand, at the door, this generation, soon, quickly, etc.) made by Jesus and the apostles concerning major eschatological events, and whether or not we will believe Jesus that His kingdom was not to be of this world or established by observation (Luke 17).

      You said that the Bible is left open-ended. Isn’t that a beautiful thing? I believe we have far more than a hint of what we (the Church) are supposed to be doing, through the power of God. I’ll copy and paste part of a response I gave Dr. Burks just a little bit ago under a different post:

      We live in God’s kingdom, which is everlasting and ever-expanding. We have the same call today as God’s people did in 30-70 AD to walk in obedience to the teachings of Christ, to bear one another’s burdens, to love/prefer/bless one another, to proclaim the good news of the gospel to the lost around us, etc. We have access to the tree of life, with its leaves being for the healing of the nations. (Contrast that with John Hagee’s warmongering, for example.) All who are in Christ, but haven’t yet experienced physical death, still have the hope of receiving our spiritual bodies at the time of our personal resurrection on the other side of the grave. I have hope that the gospel will be more deeply impacting Asia, Africa, South America, North America, and the rest of the world by the time I leave this earth than is now the case here in early 2012.

      Mike Blume is a partial-preterist, but I really value an article that he wrote titled, “If Most of the Book of Revelation Is Fulfilled…What’s the Point of It Today?” Here’s the link to his article:

      http://mikeblume.com/imply.htm

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  14. Thank you, Adam, for the link about 2 Peter. “Elements” can mean fundamentals of a thought system, but it is also widely attested to mean hosts of the heavens (stars, planets, etc) or the basic foundations for material existence (earth, wind, fire, water). Without reading in Paul’s thought from Galatians or Colossians, in which the context explicitly identifies his use of “elements” as a school of thought, is there any grounds in 2 Peter for reading “elements” this way? Where in 2 Peter itself do you find contextual support for reading “elements” as the Old Covenant?

    Thanks,
    John

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  15. Also, Gal 4:9 describes Paul’s readers as “turning again” to the “elements.” Turning again? These are ex-pagan idolaters, but they are turning to the Law, not back to idols. Does this imply that both the Law and idolatry are categorized under “elements”? That is, are they replacing one elemental philosophy for another? If so, and if we read Paul’s meaning into 2 Peter (which I’m not convinced that we can) wouldn’t the destruction of the “elements” be bigger than the Old Covenant since “elements” also refers to paganism?

    Thanks,

    John

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  16. Hi John,
    I know you wrote your comments to Adam, but I just wanted to commend you for your good questions posed back to him. They are valid and I’m sure Adam will have a good strong answer, that we will have to debate or consider. But right now, I agree with you that “elements” as used in 2 Peter is referring to the hosts of heaven and the “basic foundation of material existence.”

    You also make a very good observation with your question to Adam on Gal. 4:9. I guess we will just have to wait for Adam to weigh in on this (I appreciate the remarks Adam provides and the debates between us all).

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  17. Preterism takes every scrap of Bible prophecy and puts it in 70AD, no matter the gymnastics required. Do you mean we already had the resurrection, judgment and new heavens? Jesus already came for his saints and redeemed our bodies from the grave? This is as good as it gets? We suffer and die in spite of glorification and a new earth? Preterism is the profane, vain babbling, and cancerous doctrine of Hymenaeus and Philetus, whom Paul condemned for ungodliness, leaving the truth, wrongly dividing the word of truth, and overthrowing the faith of some (1 Timothy 2:14-18). How? They said resurrection was past!

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  18. Greetings,
    Am doing a reply to Lamb & Lion ministries. I am held up on the comments of James MacKnight. I cannot locate his exact words on the rapture subject. It is important to have the exact context of what he said.
    Can you help me? Maybe stir me in the right direction?
    Thankyou

    Like

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