Why Partial Preterism Leads to a Full Heresy

I think it is essential that the exegetical leaven of preterism is exposed. I think this brief article from my friend Samuel Whitefield. does a good job touching on some of the reasons why preterism fails. It also touches on why so many former partial preterists are slouching toward full (heretical) preterism in recent years.

17 Comments
  • Greg
    Posted at 14:33h, 15 November

    “A little leaven will leaven the whole lump.” One of the reasons the Church must go through what is coming is to purge her of these ridiculous doctrines that violate the Word of God. Even a child could know from reading the words of Jesus in Matthew 24 and 25 that they could only take place in the context of His Second Coming. The time will soon be at hand when nonsense such as Preterism will be exposed for what it is. We must lovingly correct and admonish all those who have been deceived by these errors so that they can survive the coming shaking without being offended. Great article.

  • Rich
    Posted at 18:11h, 15 November

    Jehovah’s Witnesses laying of Matt 24:34 on top of their 1914 formulation made for one of their on-going fiascos. They keep having to change their definition of generation!

  • David W. Lincoln
    Posted at 18:24h, 15 November

    Preterism is one way of looking at scripture, and when it is the only way, that is when the door is wide open for error to stride in.

  • Brian
    Posted at 23:54h, 16 November

    I believe the following (rather short) discussion thread on Matthew 24:34 at Tim Warner’s Answers in Revelation site utterly demolishes the Preterist contention. Note especially the comments from Tim and Ben as well:

    http://www.answersinrevelation.org/forum.html#/discussion/38/matthew-2434

  • Joel
    Posted at 22:14h, 17 November

    Yes, Ben and Tim stated it well. I sometimes use the phrase “those of a particular spirit” to describe what he is saying, but even more specifically, he was specifically referring to the Jews of that particular spirit. Like those who murdered the prophets before them, etc. The preterist hang their hat on this word and commit violence to hundreds of other passages to justify their misinterpretation of this one word.

  • David
    Posted at 19:26h, 18 November

    This subject is difficult because Luke’s account differs from Matthew and Mark’s account. Luke could be read as exclusively about the events of AD 70. Try it. Add to this the fact that most of what Jesus described in Matthew 24 and Mark as well as Luke did take place in AD 70 including the erection of a statute of Caligula in the Temple for worship.

    I personally believe that Jesus was preparing his disciples for some dreadful times in the first century of which Daniel prophecies also. But he may also have been preparing us for a second trauma to come at the end of the age also.

    But what would I know, I am not an expert like Joel, Samuel Clough or anyone else here.

  • Joel
    Posted at 19:29h, 18 November

    David,

    We’re all fools. That said, the sermon is clearly the same sermon. 70 AD was no doubt a shadow in many ways, but it is not the ultimate to come.

    Blessings

  • Joel
    Posted at 21:53h, 18 November

    Kurt,

    Dispensationalism by definition is Pre-trib. There isn’t such a thing as Dispensational Post-tribulationalism. Unless someone is confused, which of course there is plenty of. But if one is a Post-tribber, then they are by definition a Classic Premillennialist. This is to say that they hold more to the view of the early Church. One could also say that they are a “Progressive Dispensationalist” and be Post-trib as well. I understand your suggestion that if there is no literal future Abomination of Desolations and no future confirming of a covenant, that everyone would be deceived and in great risk. However, by definition, Post-tribbers or Pre-Wrathers are preparing their minds and hearts specifically to face the Antichrist and the Great Tribulation. So if it arrives tomorrow without the precise signs that they were expecting, it wouldn’t, or at least shouldn’t, matter. That said, Jesus was kind enough to tell us exactly what was coming. Yes, there were times that he spoke in parables and hid his true meaning from certain men. But for those of us who are truly his disciples, he did not speak in codes. If we simply take Jesus words to mean what they say and are not looking to allegorize his words or the words of Daniel, then it is clear that there will in fact be a confirmation of the covenant and an abomination of the Temple that will follow. If this doesn’t occur, I don’t think it would matter. Not only are there other major signs, such as Daniel 11, and the King of the North, Isaiah 19, the gathering of the Nations against Jerusalem etc., but regardless, I’m ready to suffer and die today or tomorrow or the next day. This is what it means to be a disciple. Amen?

    Let me add to this a bit. The issue is not if the seven year period is indispensable, etc. I’m not one to ask, as I am not the guardian of any view. I’m certainly not the Pope of the Islamic Antichrist Theory. If you hold to this, then thats your view. And I don’t fault you for it. Your view in itself is not my concern. My concern is the logical conclusion of the hermeneutic that has arrived at this view, and where it ends if it is consistently carried through to its logical conclusion.

    Bless you

  • Brian Peterson
    Posted at 23:27h, 18 November

    Joel,

    Regarding whether Mark 13, Matthew 24, and Luke 21 are the same sermon, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what Tim Warner wrote here:

    http://pfrs.org/preterism/pret02.html

    Thanks.

  • Brian Peterson
    Posted at 23:47h, 18 November

    Just a note on the article I just linked to from Tim. I’m pretty sure Tim would no longer maintain some of the concluding remarks contained therein, yet his analysis of the Great Temple Discourse & Olivet Discourse is what’s relevant to this discussion.

  • Joel
    Posted at 02:18h, 19 November

    Kurt,

    Again, Neither Irenaeus or Hippolytus were Dispensationalists, yet they saw the full 70th week as related to the last days before Jesus returns. So the idea of the 70th week as future is unrelated to Dispensationalism.

    Kurt: I thought Dispensationalism had to do with the “missing week” that God needed to continue His “dealings” with the Jews

    Yes. But what needs to be understood is that a foundational tenant of Dispensationalism is the harsh distinction between Israel and the Church. (They do not hold to the Olive Branch paradigm that Mitchell described, and which I also hold to). Dispensationalism holds that God only deals with one people at a time. And thus they needed to create a mechanism that would result in a period of time where God could finish his work with the Jews, wherein the Church would no longer be here.

    So the doctrine of necessity for Dispensationalism to work is the removal of the Church from the earth ala the Pre-Trib rapture. But again, the issue of the week is one that was arrived at exclusively of this Dispensationalist distinctive. It is simply the natural reading of the text, assuming one is reading it is its natural context, taking into consideration the three other times in Daniel where the Abomination of Desolations is mentioned, all three directly resulting in the ceasing of offerings.

    Make sense? Blessings

  • Joel
    Posted at 02:20h, 19 November

    Hi Brian,

    There are a hundred different opinions on this issue, but I hold to the view that Luke 21 is the same sermon as Matthew 24 and Mark 13. While I suppose one could read vv. 12-19 as pertaining to the days of the apostles, I am firm that verse 20 is primarily eschatological pertaining to the future. The being led captive among the nations is such a common eschatological motif that I think it is a mistake to see this portion as primarily historical. Consider the following comparisons:

    They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. (Luke 21:24)

    For behold, in those days and at that time, when I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem… (Joel 3:1)

    For the LORD their God will intervene for them, and return their captives.– Zephaniah 2:3-5

    As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit. (Zechariah 9:9-11)

    Now I will bring back the captives of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name (Ezekiel 39:25)

    “The LORD looked down from his sanctuary on high, from heaven he viewed the earth, to hear the groans of the prisoners and release those condemned to death.” (Psalm 102:19-20)

    The Jews were taken captive in 70 AD, but they did not remain as captive as a people down through history. They remained many in exile, but not as slaves or captives. Yet this is the context of the last years of the Great Trib. They will actually be held in prison camps and as slaves etc., until Jesus returns to deliver them, and thus the times of the Gentiles will be fulfilled.

    So I would disagree slightly with Tim on this segment if he sees it primarily as historical. I would allow for it to have a partial historical fulfillment, but I think its ultimate meaning is eschatological. But obviously, the difference isn’t really a big issue, as the results of one view versus the other doesn’t have any significant ramifications that I can see.

    Blessings

  • David
    Posted at 21:31h, 19 November

    Joel,

    Just reading your last post here, I would read all of those verses which describe God returning the Jewish “captives” as spiritual, in that they are captives to sin, sickness, death etc. In other words the same freedom that you and I came into when we became set free in Christ.

    But the Luke verse about “prisoners” is clearly literal, rather than spiritual.

    I think it becomes difficult to know how to interpret verses, and when they would be fulfilled specifically sometimes. Am I completely wrong here?

    Thanks

  • Joel
    Posted at 22:00h, 19 November

    David,

    There is nothing within the context to indicate that these many passages should be read allegorically. Beyond this, there are simply far too many other very similar passages that verify this future reality. Just one example for instance; the following passage describing the Millennial Kingdom has people from various nations actually bringing the sons and daughters that were former captives to Israel, along with other gifts in repentance:

    “Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the hip. Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come. Herds of camels will cover your land, young camels of Midian and Ephah. And all from Sheba will come, bearing gold and incense and proclaiming the praise of the LORD. All Kedar’s flocks will be gathered to you, the rams of Nebaioth will serve you; they will be accepted as offerings on my altar, and I will adorn my glorious temple. “Who are these that fly along like clouds, like doves to their nests? Surely the islands look to me; in the lead are the ships of Tarshish,fn bringing your children from afar, with their silver and gold, to the honor of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor. “Foreigners will rebuild your walls, and their kings will serve you. Though in anger I struck you, in favor I will show you compassion. Isaiah 65:2-10

  • Clark Gear
    Posted at 14:50h, 26 November

    Joel,
    I was once praying about this issue of the abomination of desolation and believe I received this from The Lord. This was without research but the scripture was given to me, it is, Jeremiah 3:16-18 It shall be in those days when you are multiplied and increased in the land,” declares the Lord, “they will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the Lord.’ And it will not come to mind, nor will they remember it, nor will they miss it, nor will it be made again. At that time they will call Jerusalem ‘The Throne of the Lord,’ and all the nations will be gathered to it, to Jerusalem, for the name of the Lord; nor will they walk anymore after the stubbornness of their evil heart. In those days the house of Judah will walk with the house of Israel, and they will come together from the land of the north to the land that I gave your fathers as an inheritance.
    Here I believe is something yet to be fulfilled, yet no temple is described, Paul says what don’t you know that you are the temple of God? So therefore can’t it be reasoned that the King of the North standing in Jerusalem declaring Himself God in a body ( temple) could satisfy this abomination?
    We later see in the latter portions of Ezekiel the Messiah building the temple not the false Messiah, is this with literal stones or the stones Paul speaks of, Ephesians 2:19-22 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
    I also hold to the view that Messiah YESHUA was cut off after the 69th week, so if you are after something you are in the next week (70) in the midst. Daniel 12, Rev, all point to 42 months, 1260 days 3.5 years.
    Most Christians are waiting for this rebuilt temple and this peace treaty, I am not. I believe that there are many anti Christ’s and probably one chief among them already here
    Shalom Shalom

  • Hamilton Rowan
    Posted at 12:51h, 22 April

    Joel, greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! Joel, there is a new web site I just ran across – rather than try to describe it I’m copying it to this site -here’s the link:http://revelationrevolution.org/?gclid=CKWekP-hoswCFRNZhgodSDwDkA – Basically the site claims Roman and Jewish soldiers during the Jewish War with Rome saw angel armies in the sky, saw people rising in the air, heard trumpets, and basically claim the High Priest saw Jesus on the clouds in the air. The site obviously is Full Preterist. I am troubled that the Last Day has to be verified by pagan soldiers, the Church apparently missed the entire event, and now we live in a fallen world forever. No end to physical death? Why am I married? Why am I celebrating the Lord’s Supper? If Nero was the Beast how was he overcome by God? He committed suicide! So did Hitler and a host of other tyrants. I’m curious on your opinion even though I enjoy your articles, letters, and historical analysis!
    Blessings –

  • Hamilton Rowan
    Posted at 17:28h, 22 April

    Never mind that site, Joel – I think it went defunct years ago. The guy sounds delusional…sorry Hamilton

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