Dear Joel Sexton

You haven’t lost a friend here because the pendulum for some swings back and forth and the truth will prevail.  In the end you’ll end up on the right side.
My goal here is not to “put you down” but you admitted your just a layman. A pretty good one who has demonstrated some skill in Exegesis, but the weakness is in the applying the systematics to your learning.  Let me use an analogy to help you understand what I am saying.

If I tell you I have a half a glass of water then hand it to you, what you see is a Half a glass of water. BUT then Sam or I tell you the glass is half empty, the argument pursues why its half full and not half empty, but in reality, it is half empty as well as half full. – this is an argument for perception. How you perceive what you see is sometimes determined by the presupposition.

Your problem, issue, deficiency, is in your perception, you have to use what you have learned so far to understand. If everything you have learned runs through that perception of PP or FP, then it becomes colored by that perception. Yes, preterist use the same argument against futurists, I know, but here is the difference.

It’s about the level of understanding, comprehension, theological background of study, the whole scope of scholarship good and bad that stands behind futurism. Scriptures have been studied for 2000 years by men such as Augustine, Owen, and many many others.  Preterism has nothing but King and Preston both men who have no recognizable graduate education. Writing twelve books about a heresy does not qualify one for a doctorate degree.

Which brings me to the first point. The three doctrines at stake is the Bodily nature of Christ in heaven which speaks to “who Christ is; a Christology” we change who Christ is in our understanding, separate from the word of God we create a “false Jesus”. Any sound exegesis of Col 2:9 will tell you it’s not talking about the “bodily” form of the church. Nor in Phil 3:21 can his glorious body be “the church”. Because Christ exist in bodily form he cannot “die again”, (Rom 6:9). When he appears a second time, and Jesus himself descends from heaven, with his saints, he comes in bodily form to rule over the nations as the son of David, in the city he loves. This is the second doctrine at stake, the Bodily visible return of Christ.

 

The third doctrine is the Bodily resurrection of the saints; it starts with the idea of, “for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice29and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment. – The resurrection of the unjust cannot be a “spiritual resurrection” that leads to the new birth, as the unjust are not “born again” but have died in their sins and so experience a resurrection. This is the Resurrection of the Unjust in Revelation 20.  5The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended… and this was to face Judgment. (not national judgment)

“the rest of the dead” who rise in this “final Judgment”, as you said in your paper,

We should note at this point Paul is once again speaking of the final day of judgment, as in 2:1-16 and 8:1. As he looks ahead to the future moment, he puts his confidence in the past event of justification and hence the present standing of God’s people that results from it, knowing that God “those that God justified, God also glorified” The logic of justification comes full circle”

The Greek word for charge “egkale” {to bring a charge) is a legal technical term for bringing a charge against someone in the court of law (BAGD, 215). Used here in the future tense it points to the final judgment.

In this final judgment of the “rest of the dead” is when, “The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment and condemn it,”… The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it.”

IF this is the final GWT judge then there is no judgment to follow so who participates in this judgment? All of the unrighteous, not some. If Hades is the realm of the UNJUST, and then in Revelation 20:  13And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. – this dictate two truths.

Romans 14:10 … Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. … 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for … For we must all stand before Christ to be judged.

Hades must empty so that all men MUST stand and give an account. It’s the preterist lie that states men were judged WITHOUT HAVING THEIR DAY IN COURT, this takes away the doctrine of Justification, as you noted. We all must be justified in the judgment and this happens in the GWT when the books are opened, and men are judged by their works and then give an account for their sin.

IF this is the FINAL judgment then there can be no men to come along after and be judged. If men come after then they too must stand before him, then that would make the GWT NOT the final judgment. Hence why preterist lie and say all men are judged in “absentia”  – in their absence yet Paul clearly states all men must stand before the judgment seat to give an account.

It was Augustine who wrote, “For our Lord has been upon the earth, and at present He is in heaven, and [hereafter] He shall be in His brightness as the Judge of the quick (just) and the dead (unjust). For He shall yet come, even so as He has ascended, according to the authority which is contained in the Acts of the Apostles. It is in accordance with this temporal dispensation, therefore, that He speaks in the Apocalypse, where it is written in this wise: These things says He, who is, and who was, and who is to come.”  “of the faith and the Creed” 8:15

If the unjust are resurrected then this is a bodily resurrection, “to face judgment for deeds done while in the body”.

Augustine in the same works stated, “Yet it will take place in the appropriate season, at the last trump, when the dead shall rise uncorrupted, and we shall be changed. And accordingly we believe also in The Resurrection of the Flesh, to wit, not merely that that soul, which at present by reason of carnal affections is called the flesh, is restored; but that it shall be so likewise with this visible flesh, which is the flesh according to nature, the name of which has been received by the soul, not in virtue of nature, but in reference to carnal affections: this visible flesh, then, I say, which is the flesh properly so called, must without doubt be believed to be destined to rise again.”

NT Wright, “Some of the early church fathers enthusiastically follow John at this point, emphasizing that resurrection is necessary for the wicked as well so that they may be judged in the body. To this we shall return.” (I have the book on PDF if you want to read it.

These three things are the very essentials of the Christina faith. It is the preterist who comes along and rewrites ALL Christology, soteriology, pneumatology, and eschatology to cast it into their “image” – Perception. Which means to them Augustine, Owen, Luther, Calvin were all wrong. Such great minds and great men were all wrong to hold onto the creed, these essentials.  So they reject the ECF, then produce videos to “teach” truth in their image.

The final judgment then and the doctrine of Justification find their fulfillment in a future time frame hence why even Russel was a partial Preterists because he could not place this judgment in the past.

The judgment of A.D.  70 , was a judgment of a Nation. Israel for her apostasy. In Revelation it is the Kingdom of the beast who is judged. The wrath is poured out on “it”. I just spent 6 months in study on the Olivet, Revelation, Zechariah 12, 14 and produced a 90 page thesis paper exegetical proving and systematically exploring why the context of the Olivet cannot be mixed with the context of Revelation based on OT prophecy.
In fact Thessalonians IS not based on the Olivet. excerpt from my paper….

Cashmore also argues that there are no ties of the Olivet to the second coming as understood in I Thessalonians 4 or any other teaching of Paul.

In the case of the Olivet discourse we have traditionally placed pegs in the ground at Revelation 1:7 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17. We have then dragged the Olivet “Son of man” into line with these pegs. However, as discussed above, while there may be a slender thread, there is certainly no rope connecting Olivet with 1 Thessalonians that will bear that much exegetical weight.[1]

It needs to be made clear the I Thessalonian 4 passage along with I Corinthians 15 have no basis in the Olivet. Cashmere goes on to say,

Why did he do this? It was because he was establishing a new people of God around himself. The reverse exodus spoken of by the prophets (e.g. see Isaiah 40ff) would finally occur. It would not just consist of Jews but of elect from every nation. “…The remnant of Israel will recover their lost unity through Jesus, the triumphant Son of Man.”.  Jesus understood his role in Old Testament terms, quoting, alluding, and acting out the Old Testament as he sought to explain his mission to his followers. This is the Jesus of the Gospels and the context of the Olivet discourse.

But Jesus will lead his new people in a reverse exodus that will dwarf the scale and significance of the first, a reverse exodus predicted in the Old Testament that would bring the consolation of Israel (Lk 2:25). But he will not only lead this exodus, he will be the new Passover Lamb himself, creating a new people purchased by his blood in a new covenant that supersedes the old, a new covenant foretold by this final prophet’s forerunners (Jer 31:31ff.).The new people will not be centered around the Jewish state and cult. That has come under judgement, a judgement declared, and soon to be executed by the Son of man himself. The new people will be centered on the Son of man, finally reaching completion when “…the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them.” (Rev 21:3).

 

The end goal is for God to once again dwell among men in his kingdom on earth. N T Wright says the same in “Surprised by Hope”. In this book he argues again for the resurrection of the Body… for the purpose of life after death, in his “new” Creation.

What I am merely trying to point out is that your making a judgment with just a part of the whole information.

The goal is to center on these three doctrines, as they are the precursor to judgment(s). In any event there must be a who, what, where when, why, and how, The second coming, the changing of those who are alive, the resurrection of the dead, the great white throne judgment, and the new heaven and earth all must be first understood in the context of the “w’s”. Once these question are answered it all falls into place and “preterism” is exposed for what it is.

I’m just trying to get you to see the other “perspective” in line with the 5%  – the 5% is what will change your perception of the other 95%

 

Sincerely
Stephen Whitsett M.Div.

 

[1] Cashmore, David. “‘In this generation’: the comings and goings of the Son of Man.” Stimulus 12, no. 4 (November 2004): 18