Why Preterism is not accurate interpretation of Last day events. Or a denial of Bible Prophecy
Preterists insist on an early date for the book of Revelation to tie it into the 70 AD destruction of Jerusalem. History and historians tells us Revelation was written late in the first cent. John was exiled on the Isle of Patmos during the reign of Domitian. In Irenaeus’ work, “Against Heresies” chapter 13:18, Irenaeus tells us when John had his apocalyptic vision and wrote the book. For that [referring to John’s vision] was seen not very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian's reign.”
Irenaeus (120-202 A.D) says John's apocalyptic vision was “towards the end of Domitian’s reign.” Domitian was a Roman Emperor his reign began in 81 AD ended in 96 AD. “We will not, however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of Antichrist; for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him [i.e. John] who beheld the apocalyptic vision. For that [speaking of John’s vision] was seen not very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian's reign.”
This is why most contend that the book was penned 90-95 AD.
Polycarp was a disciple of the apostle John, and the bishop of the church of Smyrna in Asia. According to Polycarp the Book of Revelation was written after the destruction of Jerusalem. In his letter called To the Philippians he writes that his church, did not exist in the days of the apostle Paul before the destruction of Jerusalem. Symrna is not mentioned in the Book of Acts, nor in any other New Testament epistle; it was a late planted church.
But we do not need early church writers history to prove to us what did or did not happen, it should not be based on what they say.
Where did preterism begin? The view that 70 AD was the fulfillment was further developed in the 16th century. This theory many point to as the invention of a Jesuit named Alcasar to counter the Reformers' claim that the Roman Catholic Church was the “great whore... mystery Babylon” sitting on the beast in Revelation 17. He promoted that conditions will gradually improve over time, evolving into a world that has become “Christianized”, and ready for the second coming of Christ. All of the prophecies in Revelation (except for Rev 20:4-22:21) were fulfilled at 70 AD and that Christ returned in the person of the Roman armies to destroy Jerusalem and dispersed Israel.
Whether he is the originator or not does not matter. The held position is that Jesus came back to judge Israel. This means it was an invisible second coming without a resurrection or rapture of the saints (though some preterists believe that too occurred).
We need to break this up into pieces to understand why this is not what the Bible says would happen.
Luke 21:27-28 "Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. "Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near."
Their redemption draws near, but in 70 AD their were destroyed ands scattered
Rev 1:7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
Are we to believe that they saw him coming as the angels said He would in Acts 1:11. And how was this a redemption for them (a rescue) if Israel was being punished and scattered?
As all nations coming against Israel in the valley of Meggido. Zechariah speaks of the Lord's protection as "the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem . . . in that day that I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem." (Zech. 12:8-9; 14:3. ) This never happened, Rome was not destroyed., instead Israel was taken captive- not rescued.
first- we see all nations not just Rome coming on Jerusalem. Second- the Lord defends them. but according to Preterism he instead does what the roman armies do. This then cannot be the fulfillment of the prophecy.
What did NOT happen in 70 ad proves that preterism is false
Matt 24:1-2 When Jesus went out and departed from the temple, His disciples admired the building of the temple. And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” This took place 40 years later. It was according to the covenant made with Moses. If you are unfaithful, and do not obey they will be scattered among the nations.
In v.3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” Jesus does not tell them you will see this, he begins by warning of deception and lists the numerous things to take place before He comes, and what it will be like when He comes back.
Matt. 24:34 “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled” . Great discussion has been centered on what is a generation. What is the length of a generation 40, 80 100 years, some measure a generation from 1948. But this is not the meaning in this text. it has nothing to do with a length of time.
The preterist claims that Christ was referring to those living at that time when he said “this generation.” This is their main argument for a 70 AD fulfillment. All the events which were described in the earlier verses of Matthew 24 occurred and concluded at the destruction of Jerusalem. But Jesus is not saying this to HIS generation but to the generation that sees all the signs taking place simultaneously.
One has to willfully blind themselves into denial to come to conclusion that the Old Testament prophecies are fulfilled and the Lord has no more use for nation and people of Israel We are watching the birth of global government, a global religion and a global economy. It is a fact Earthquakes, famines, wars and pestilences are increasing in both scope and intensity up to and including our day. But they all have to take place in the same time period, numerous world wars and internal conflicts, a rise of diseases, famines, increasing earthquakes, floods, great distress, false prophets and false christs. One is hard pressed to prove this is a first century fulfillment, it goes against all logic, history and Bible interpretation.
What the Bible said would take place in the last days is taking place before our eyes certainly affirming a futurist not a historical perspective of prophecy. Jesus is addressing the generation that sees all these things take place, they are the ones that will see the Lord physically come back. why? Because he specifically mentions an event that will only occur in the middle of this tribulation period. from that time they can count 3 and half years to the coming of the Lord. The abomination of desolation is the sign- and for this to happen it needs a temple in Jerusalem to be rebuilt.
It did not mean a time element as in the length of a generation. The emphasis is on the signs this generation sees, it is not the generation Jesus was among.
Now what we need to ask is- Did they see these signs in 70 ad as the preterists claim? absolutely not! Mt.24-goes on to Mt 25 where there is a literal separating in judgment as Jesus is physically present on earth. in other words, he begins his rule and the first thing he does is remove those things that are evil and offend.
The apostasy from the faith
For all this to happen The Great Apostasy would have had to have happened in the first century while the apostles were still alive building the church and ended in 70 AD. while John continued to live. Then there is no increasing apostasy as history progresses; instead, a Christianization of the world. the problem is that the church stayed underground for nearly 2 more centuries before the Christian religion was made legal in Rome.
The rapture and resurrection
these are both the same event for the living and the dead
If the resurrection happened, where those who died that were raised? Should they not be with us today?
1 Corinthians 15 teaches a future, bodily resurrection from the dead along with the transformation of those still living found in1 Thess.4:16. If the Tribulation took place in AD 70, then the resurrection is past already. Where are the apostles or any ancient person raised up from the dead? The proof is on the men claiming this. The apostle Paul warned Timothy about a few who were claiming that '...The resurrection is past already' and how these people were '...Overthrow(ing) the faith of some' (See 2 Timothy 2:18).The fact that even in the first centuries after 70 ad no one believed that Christ came back.
The book of Revelation and its prophecies
The mark of the Beast
Revelation 13 tells us the mark is the name of the beast, the number of his name and the number of a man, which equals six hundred and sixty six. It is the Hebrew language has always had a numerical system assigned to the 22 letters in its Alphabet. Nero’s number does not add up to 666, nor did he give everyone this number or his name to buy or sell.
Revelation 16:18-19 “…there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. Now the great city [a reference to Jerusalem, see Rev. 11:8] was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell.”
The most devastating earthquake the world has ever experienced is still in our future.
Daniel 9:27 says that the prince who is to come, the coming world leader, would sign a peace treaty with the nation Israel. There was no covenantal agreement signed that began The Great Tribulation 70 ad, no judgments that affected the whole world as the Bible describes in the Book of Revelation.
2 Thessalonians 2:4 says that this coming world leader will take “his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.” That never happened. Nero never stepped foot in the temple in Jerusalem. People did not flee Jerusalem because of him going into the temple- he did not walk into the temple after 3 ½ years of the covenant was signed by him and declare himself to be God or have everyone worship his image or make it speak.
For one to claim Nero was the man of sin they must also concede the restraint was taken away and lawlessness abounded like Paul describes in 2 Tim. 3:1, the Bible says the lawless one, the Antichrist is ruling and is brought to an end By Christ’s coming. 2 Thess 2:8 the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.” v. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders.” What supernatural signs did Nero or Titus do to convince people to follow them. Were they destroyed by the coming of the Lord? Not really if the Lord used their armies to destroy Jerusalem and scatter Israel.There was no Armageddon, at least not the way the Bible describes it. The battle that takes place when Jesus comes in glory, God is going to “defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem” (Zechariah 12:8). God said He would “destroy all the nations” that would “come against Jerusalem,” and that never happened (Zechariah 12:9, 14:3). Not even
How did Nero die? Nero took his own life by committing suicide, June A.D. 68 two years before A.D. 70. again none of this fits with history
Where the Jews gathered or scattered? Were the sheep and the goats separated? None of these occurred.
If the tribulation is past and we are in the millennium why is Satan not bound but is still going about as a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour. Amillennialists say that Satan is already bound. If this were so then he would have no power to blind the eyes of those who do not believe in the gospel – there would be less deception if not none since his representatives could not appear as ministers of light. He could not deceive believers. We would not have to resist him.
If Satan is NOT bound, Amillennialism Preterism is false.
Revelation 11:9-12: “And
they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead
bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be
put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them
, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because
these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after
three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they
stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they
heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended
up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
The Book of Revelation gives us detail on the
SECOND HALF of the tribulation (Daniel's 70th "week").
Jesus told us to pray “thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven” If the kingdom has already come on earth we do not need to pray this prayer any longer.
Full Preterists continue to partake of the Lord’s Supper however Paul said that we eat and drink “proclaim the Lord's death UNTIL HE COMES” (1 Corinthians 11:26). If he came why continue this?
You do not pick and paste portions to make something out of nothing. Bible prophecy is literal, specific not vague.
The Bible says “...no prophecy is of private interpretation”. 2 Peter 1:20.
Even when symbolism is used in Bible prophecy it is always fulfilled literally, not allegorically. A literal Jesus was born to a literal virgin in the actual town of Bethlehem. He literally died and paid for the sins of humanity with literal Blood – exactly as prophesied. If not, then nothing means what it says in the Scripture.