Stephen Whitsett BA
Giving an orthodox apologetic answer for Preterism / Dispensationalism
5 Principles #3
AKA Full Preterism #3. Mathew 5.18 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." ...they believe then all prophecy of the Old Testament must be fulfilled.
The focus on this verse is not the fulfilling of prophecy as many
Preterist read “prophets” and see prophecy as being fulfilled in that somehow by 70AD the “the law” passes away and all prophecy as spoken by the prophets are fulfilled. What should be properly understood is that Jesus did not come to abolish the Law as given by the prophets or affirmed by the prophets but to “keep” the law in its entirety, to fulfill the contract given to them by God. The terms were that if Israel remained faithful and obedient this would happen, if not this is what happens. In the broadest sense all men failed in keeping the whole law so all men remained guilty under the penalty issued by the law, Death. So Christ in being the “perfect lamb of God”, the only man to keep the entire law perfectly was justified righteous before the law and so thus completed the terms of the law when no one else could. Hence he died in place of all men thus fulfilling the requirement all men must die for their sin. Christ became the propitiation, the substitute for us.
So the logical breakdown of preterism is to assume when “fulfill – prophets” is in the same sentence they assume it includes all prophecy as Don Preston argues extensively.
Two scriptures point to Christ fulfilling all things intended by his life; “it is finished” means he completed all that he had been sent to do by the father. “The New Covenant was written in His blood” and so ended the old and the new began, as Mathew to Paul were now all saved by the blood of Christ and not the blood of bulls in a temple that was destroyed in 70 AD. The Old was no longer in effect after the cross for salvation or could offer any further atonement for sin, the price had been paid in full and no other price could be paid or needed to be paid. So all of the law was completed and terms for failure meted out, and Christ fulfilled all messianic prophecies concerning his life. His work was finished. The fulfilling then of future prophecy as in the destruction of the temple was yet to be fulfilled.
The mistake of Don Preston and others is to claim "prophets" means their prophecy, as it separates law from prophecy not understand the law came to us and for us through "Prophets". Because the law must be fulfilled they believe so also the prophecy must be fulfilled. The context determines this;
"17“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. "
The "Law" becomes abbreviation for the Old Covenant, the term is inclusive of all that is contained in the first five books of Mosses. "The law and prophets" also becomes a euphemism for the "Law" of Mosses in the Old Covenant. Also it is true the "prophets" upheld the law and the Old Covenant in their prophecies as judgment comes because of a failure to uphold the "Law". How we get all prophecy must be fulfilled is the stretch of the imagination based on eisegesis.
"All attempts to atomistically define “the law” as the moral code of Torah, exclusive of the Psalms and the
prophets, is false. In Jewish vernacular and in scripture, “the law” referred to the entire Old Testament.
And this undeniable fact destroys all futurist eschatology" Don Preston
The first five books of the Bible are called the "Pentateuch" meaning the five books of the "law" which is inclusive of the whole process for the entire development of the Old Covenant. The "Pentateuch" was written by a "prophet, Mosses. Every Jewish person understand the Old Testament is broken down in to four parts, the torah, (law - Pentateuch) the writing, history, and the Prophets (major and minor).
Don states, "Our point is that one cannot delineate between the Law and the Prophets for the Law itself was prophetic! Jesus had to fulfill all the prophetic scriptures whether couched in types, symbols, visions, or oracles."
yet go back just a little,
"In that text Jesus said "all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses, and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning me". Reader, you cannot delineate between "the law" and the "prophets" in Matthew 5 and then appeal to Luke 24 to prove Jesus fulfilled just "the law" in his passion! Luke 24 speaks about the law, the prophets, and the Psalms and Jesus said all things had to be fulfilled!
Let me point out to little words Don ignores and passes over with such "blindness" even my dog read it and understood it, "CONCERNING ME"... Concerning me had everything to do with his life on earth, as Mathew constantly stated, "Jesus did this in order to fulfill what was written by the prophet" Meaning Christ came to fulfill al of what was written about him NOT THE FULLING OF EVERY PROPHECY.. as it becomes a mute argument that Christ did not fulfill Old Testament prophecy concerning John the Baptist, or prophecies concerning national Israel, or even about his second coming as he had not even finished his first coming.
Again his foundation for tying it all together
"In Mathew chapter 24:29-34 it speaks of him coming in power, with angels and great glory to gather the saints. In verse 34 he said "Verily I say to you, this generation will not pass, until all these things be fulfilled"
Therefore in his mind this generation has to be the final generation that fulfills all things. Yet we know from history all
prophecy was not fulfilled, so the fore his interpretation has to be wrong.
Don ignores the historical record as being "uninspired and flawed, yet accept Josephus account of 70 AD as being the "proof" all things were fulfilled.
We can claim "God said something" and believe all we want He said it, but if we misunderstand what he says it will lead to error.
For example are we to baptize people in the name of Jesus only as Acts says, or do we do what Christ said and baptize people in the name of the father, son, and the holy spirit?
Meaning error begets error.
Don tries to prove Jesus came in 70 AD merely on the ground "he said he would" we question based on the evidence of History that demonstrates he did not return in the first century, therefore "this generation" is not the first generation.
What we claim is scriptures seem to speak and say he was to come in the first century but he did not, then we must examine each passage fully to understand two things, Yes they expected him to return in their lifetime and even spoke with that expectation, but expectation is not evidence he would, it's evidence for the hope of the heart. Secondly when we do examine each "time" text we see they were some fulfilled in ways different from what Preterist claim as these pages explain.
For example 'when the son of man comes in clouds" is often concluded to
be about the second coming, but when we examine the Old Testament verse
from which this comes, Daniel 7.13-14 we see the son of man is coming in clouds into his fathers presence in heaven for the judgment day when the books are opened, it has nothing to do with his coming to earth, or the second coming.