It’s time to “Double down” as the following response is based on a post from Jerry Bower’s Jr on his own FACEBOOK page; In the past few years we have many discussions where his carnal nature got the best of him but he is a reflection of Paul’s warning of those who have a form of Christianity but deny the power of it to actually transform a personals life to where R C Sproul talks of The Holiness of God, transforming us into His image and not one we create of ourselves. Jerry’s “teaching” is one of confusion and a reflection of what is going on in the body of Christ today, yet it can be said that Preterists who deny the future second coming, the Bodily resurrection of the saints, and His Bodily existence in heaven is outside of the Christian faith and is considered heresy. The Preterist movement seeks to redefine Orthodox Christianity based on the notion the church has been wrong for two thousand years and never “Realized” Christ returned in A.D. 70 and all prophecy was fulfilled. It should be noted that there is a growing number of true Christians have fallen into this error and some are slowly coming out with shell shock as any cult damages the faith the doctrinal errors can be rectified.
After the post these two comments were made by friends;
Excellent and concise teacher Jerry.! As usual, you have a way of keeping things simple, (and not getting side tracked on things that are either not as important, or that are not very clear). Your method is a rarity and should be emulated by many teachers of Fulfilled.
You are a very good teacher, wish I had your knowledge. (maybe someday I will)
His friends comments are simply a reflection of the current state of Christianity, in which people who deny the Historic Orthodox Christian faith simply have no discernment regarding the heretical teachings of preterism. They post inconsistent and incoherent answers and become “popular” due to their aggressive presence on FACEBOOK with out regard to the actual theological content. His post was in response to an argument with another futurists who presented the idea that when Jesus said in Luke 21:22 “.. all things written will be fulfilled”, does not include Revelation or any prophetic message found in the Epistles. Which is essentially true, but does the weight of the future prophecy contained in Revelation and the Epistles must also be fulfilled in that generation, as claimed by Preterists? The real argument is not that of what is included in fulfillment but the idea of what was fulfilled. Jesus never intended to imply that he came to fulfill every prophecy found in the Old Testament but of prophecy concerning himself as the Messiah. He came to fulfill all prophecy concerning the Messiah.
Very few Preterists as well as many futurists who simply have no solid foundation in theology, spew their teaching on FACEBOOK like vomit, having very little understanding of Exegesis let alone engage a passage of scripture on a deep level. It’s worse when a Preterists responds to an argument made by an uneducated futurist. It has gotten so bad that I have taken up the mantra,
“There are so many stupid things being said and I can’t answer every one of them.”
When I see people praising Jerry for being a “good teacher” I cringe, When, he himself admits he is uneducated, not a scholar, let alone a theologian, its hard not to respond yet wants to be recognized as a teacher by self publishing books and papers in which he thinks he is correcting unsound doctrine.
Since when is a “preterists” learning from each other since they are not inspired?” Preterists despise formal education, creeds, councils, and ECF altogether, who did the same exact thing Don Preston and Jerry are doing the exact same thing, just in a different format, FACEBOOK. Somehow sitting in a classroom with Jerry in a recognized seminary would be anathema yet reading a short post of his on line is acceptable teaching? I think this demonstrates the hypocrisy of many Preterists. Then to reject learning from Christians just simply because they existed and wrote two thousand years ago.
So now to address his response …. Quoting from his paper,
One argument against Fulfilled Eschatology, relies on a premise from a singular verse:
Luke 21:22 For these are the days of vengeance, that all things that are written will be fulfilled.”
This is not a single verse to start with as the phrase “all things written” is used primarily by Luke and the phrase is not found in any other gospel. Mathew uses a similar idea when he uses the phrase, “this was done in order to fulfill the words of the Prophet _______.” Mathew was seeking to demonstrate How Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecy concerning Jesus life and not every prophecy ever written. In fact, Luke states absolutely clearly in 24:44 ““These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Again, it was a fulfilling of everything written about him and not him fulfilling every prophecy in the Old Testament. Luke again records Paul and even repeated the same in Acts 13:29, “And when they had fulfilled all things written concerning him, they took him down from the cross and put him in a sepulcher …”
So the phrase is also limited to the context of what was being written about that is being fulfilled. The days of vengeance is prophesied in the Old Testament starting with Deuteronomy 28 all the way to the last chapter of Zechariah and concerning the destruction of Jerusalem. Vengeance is a repaying the evil done with Justice. So now Jerry states the issue,
So the argument is proposed as follows: As Revelation had not been written at the time Jesus spoke those “all things that are written” words, Revelation is immaterial to all the “all things that are written” words, that Jesus was speaking to at that time. –
Additionally, I add this; this reasoning would also negate everything beyond the 4 gospels (Not only Revelation), because none of them had been written, when Jesus spoke those “all things that are written” words.
This is the argument presented by a futurist and we do not know if this is a correct representation or a direct quote since we have to rely on Jerry’s statements since we do not have the source listed for us. so in refutation he states,
A primary theme throughout scripture; and in Eschatology studies, is the vindication of the martyrs……………………so it’s no surprise that this is also a recurring theme throughout Revelation.
So his refutation basically states that since Jerusalem was destroyed in vindication of the prophets as stated in Mathew 23:34-36 and Revelation talks about vindication of the Martyrs therefore its still has the same prophetic meaning.
Here is where we note exegesis is not done to prove the tie between the two is not the same. Since both are talking about “martyrs” which is dead wrong.
“the blood of the martyrs of Jesus” found in Revelation is the idea that a martyr is one who dies for their faith, in what they believe. The Old Testament Prophets were not killed for their faith in Jesus or God by ungodly people but were killed because of their words condemned that generation of “Israelites’ by their own people. The English word “martyr” actually only appears once in the New Testament (KJV). (Rev 17:6) The actually Greek word used in the verse is “martus” which means “witness”. Saints are killed for witness to Jesus and what they believed in the New Testament even unto this day as Christians are still being Martyred, (but somehow, they don’t get vindication because that was all past). The word is used 35 times in different forms and is most commonly translated “witness”. The Greek word is used in Mathew 18:16 … that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses … we cannot substitute “witnesses” for Martyrs for obvious reasons, were not asking for dead people who died for their faith to be witnesses in a court of law.
The point being made of course is people are being killed between the two vindication. Yes this is the common reference point but it is why they are being killed that differentiates the two and the timing. So in Mathew 23:35, people who are being killed and whose vindication is being met in the destruction of Jerusalem since there are no martyrs for Jesus in the gospels. (not until Acts – Stephen), is the prophets. Mathew 23 is clear this is the vindication he is talking about. They prophecied the destruction of Jerusalem therefore the destruction was their vindication of what they said, came true.
“so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.”
The vindication is of these prophets who were killed under the Old Covenant, not the new.
Does this vindication include the New Testament saints as Mathew 23:34 seems to indicate, “Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town,” It does seem to reference New testament saints? Yet in verse 35 is specific who it is for which does not include them, 34 is simply a statement of continuation of the same for the saints, so the difference?
The New Testament vindication of the saints is different from the prophets of the Old, in that the New Testaments saints is found in the “Resurrection of the Dead” when those who were killed are raised and return with him as his army in the second coming. Their vindication is not found in the temples destruction of which no Gentile in Asia would have any concern or remorse for. The second coming is the vindication of the Martyrs, from Stephen to this present day. The vindication of the prophets is the destruction of the temple in which they prophesied against Israel and the temple. Jerry denies this future Vindication as all preterists do, because he lumps in the second coming as also happening in that generation, while the futurists places it still in the future. The basis all comes back to one point, always, the Second Appearing of Christ.
So again until a Preterist can actually prove from a historical narrative Jesus returned in A.D. 70 and prove the testimony of the “witnesses” are wrong who declared his second appearing was still future, having lived through A.D. 70 like John and Barnabas, any claim of fulfillment is still unproven and unsubstantiated. Nor have those claims by the ECF ever been refuted or proven inaccurate as many witnesses are stacked against an A.D 70 fulfillment while not one shred of evidence or testimony exist that any one claimed Christ returned in A.D. 70.
Because he has not appeared in A.D 70 Revelation is still future. The Olivet was fulfilled in A.D. 70 with one stone not left upon another. The Olivet never promises a second appearing but of Judgment to come.Two different events.
Stephen Whitsett M.Div.
PS Jerry felt that I infringed on his copyright because I did not quote the whole thing, use his last name in the original post that was added here yet cited his post as the source, and because I did not mention the work was “copyrighted”. then post state laws of copyright infrigement that does not specify such things must be done. Then from the same site, I explain what is “fair use”. but he doesn’t understand it.