ABSRACT: The goal of this work is to refute the recent claims by David King by using a paper presented by Morrison Lee, The Necessary and Sufficient Causes of First Century Preterism, King’s goal was to demonstrate the logical fallacies created by what he deems as “Partial Preterists”, namely in the subject of Death and Hades. What King presents is claims but provides no concrete exegesis to support his “one eyed” claims. Lee seeks to prove necessary and sufficient causes for the fulfillment in that generation with the destruction of the Temple. King seeks to use Lee as proof for first century fulfillment and yet fails to provide exegetical evidence of proof for all things fulfilled, but merely claims of timing dictates the fulfillment of the Last Days.
If a person wishes to Refute “partial Preterism” or even “Futurists” Eschatology the foundation begins in having well defined terms. The Preterists defines the death of Adam as being “Spiritual Death”. The futurists hold to the claim of physical death. Sam Frost merely points out the logical inconsistency in Preterist theology considering this last enemy, if it is spiritual death.
Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. I Corinthians 15:24-26
The Preterist claims the reign of Christ ends when the last enemy, spiritual death, is destroyed. The first error made is that they can’t even correctly define what Spiritual death is. Properly defined, a person becomes dead to the life found in Christ, meaning the guilt of sin separates man from God in the sense man is living under the wrath of God for sin and is subject to the punishment for sin, the second death. In Christ the forgiveness of sin, restores relationship and brings life to the person who is now no longer under judgment.
So as King argues his position he thinks he establishes, “Chronological facts” let me demonstrate the logical fallacy created by Preterists.
IF the last enemy is Spiritual death, and this was abolished in A.D. 70, then everyone who died before was still Spiritually Dead, since it did not end for them until A.D. 70. We know this not to be true because Paul taught that anyone who was in Christ was a “New Creation”, they had passed from death to life. (Romans 6:4) Spiritual death was defeated at the cross but was not destroyed as people continue to be born and are spiritual dead. Hence the reason people still become “born again”.
IF the power of Spiritual Death was defeated over the believer then that was accomplished on the cross, not in A.D. 70 making spiritual death the first enemy to be defeated by Christ death and Resurrection. So in context the last enemy is physical death which God abolishes forever. It is destroyed and so ends, meaning after that point no one is being born or dying after a long life.
In the context of I Corinthians which declares Christ is the first to rise from physical death, and cannot die again; not spiritual death, since spiritual death is created by the guilt of sin, Christ being sinless was guiltless, even on the cross when he bore our sin, does not mean he became guilty for our sin. The language is all inclusive of physical death; who have fallen asleep, will not sleep, the dead will be raised imperishable, making physical death the last enemy to be destroyed, NOT rendered powerless, but done away with where death is no more, meaning after that point no one can die again, just as Christ was raised immortal and cannot die again. (Romans 6:9)
King next tries to tie in the second temple with the covenant of death. His claim is that, “the Covenant with all its concomitant properties of blessing and cursing were in the institution of the temple.’, he is trying to conflate the ending of death and Hell with the ending of the temple since the temple had a covenant with Death and Sheol. When the temple ended so did death and Sheol or Hades. King states,
The people of the Law and Covenant had made a COVENANT WITH DEATH and HADES. Evidence Is 28:14-18 JERUSALEM HAS MADE A COVENANT WITH DEATH AND HADES. – 18 “YOUR COVENANT WITH DEATH WILL BE CANCELLED.
His first error is ignoring the context, of who the covenant of death was made with, “you “scoffers, who rule this people in Jerusalem!” (verse 14) It was not JERUSALEM THAT HAD MADE THE COVENANT or the people. Nor is this the covenant of Abraham or includes the Law of Moses. If actual exegesis had been done the prophecy was pointing out the “Pharisees” with their traditions had excused their failures to keep the law by justification, which in a sense is like making a deal with Sheol, “we will claim we have not sinned” and therefore you cannot claim us. Their traditions had excused them from the idea they were guilty of breaking the law which would have condemn them to Sheol. When Christ came that “deal” ended because Christ pointed out and exposed their sin, by their rejection of him as the Messiah.
King essentially used the scriptures to try and prove his point, regardless of the context of the verse. By switching “the people” and “Jerusalem”, from “who rule this people” he demonstrated the complete lack of scriptural and Biblical integrity. He says he is concerned about “Biblical facts” yet in the same paper completely circumvents Biblical facts.
His point 2 of “judging Hades at the destruction of the temple” is such a conflated mess of intertwining scriptures in the most illogical way, it would take pages and pages to unwind and demonstrate the inconsistency. So I will offer a harmonious summation from a futurist perspective while destroying the Preterist claims.
In Revelation 20 Death and Hades is thrown into the Lake of fire and so ceases to exist. Physical death, and the abode of the dead where “dead”- unjust – people are waiting for judgment is no longer realities since no one at this point in time is being born and living life on earth since the earth and sky have fled from his presence, so that there is no one else left to die, so death ends. Hades being the place where dead people go to await judgment, with the Judgment now present the abode of the dead is no longer needed.
In this judgment every person who has ever lived period. Stands before the Lord, “the first shall be last and the last shall be first.”, the Book of life, having a last page indicates there is a last person name written in it and no names can be added to the book, there is a finite number of men being born and dying. Some preterist try to circumvent this my stating the only names included are those up to AD 70, which will then negate the idea that only the people whose names written down in the book of life enter in. It changes scriptures to say, whoever God wants to let in can come in, you no longer need your name written in the Lambs book of life to enter heaven.”
The Preterist tries to tie this in with the destruction of the temple since all prophecy is fulfilled, yet the invented realty is simple to refute through exegesis.
Paul taught that “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,” (Hebrews 9:27) Revelation demonstrated all people having died are facing judgment after they have died. The language of Revelation 20, “And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. …. and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done.” All implies judgment is always after a person has lived their life, hence Hades and the grave (resurrection of the unjust) give up their dead, for judgment.
In no fair court is any person sent to Lake of Fire without giving an account first of their life. Every person, who has ever lived, must stand before the judgment seat. 2 Corinthians 5:10
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
This all is inclusive of every person who has ever lived since every one who has their name written in the book must stand before him. The believer after A.D. 70 must have his name written in the book in order to go into the New Jerusalem. The books list the deeds of the righteous and unrighteous. Each person must give an account before God for his actions.
To claim this judgment happened in A.D. 70 for people who live after the destruction, is to claim all people “gave an account of their deeds” long before they ever lived. The Preterist claim that this Great White Throne Judgment is passed is a lie as proven from scriptures and logic, as presented above. This is the same reasons Russell rejected the fulfillment of the Great White Throne judgment in his book, “The Parousia”. Since this judgment has not taken place it did not end in A.D. 70 or was it tied to the Temple in Jerusalem. We could add theological how all men, includes non-Jews prior to A.D 33 and after A.D. 70, are also included in the final judgment as they are outside of the Covenant yet are judged for the sins in the same way Sodom and Gomorrah are.
Quoting Newton, Lee states,
The design in God in giving prophecy of the Old Testament was not to gratify mans curiosity by enabling men to foreknow things, but after that they were fulfilled they might be interpreted by the events, and his own providence, not the interpreters, he then manifested to the world. For the events of the many things predicted many ages before will then be a convincing argument that the world is governed by Providence.
I’m am sure my Preterists friends cannot even fathom why this statement is so anti-preterist, let me explain. Every Preterist I know reject the testimony of the Early Church Fathers, yet will quote Josephus or Tacitus, but will reject every statement made by faithful Christian men. These Christian men affirm that the Temple and Jerusalem were destroyed according to the prophecies of Jesus found in the Olivet, yet everyone to the last man affirmed a future second coming of Christ. The preterist wants us to believe they were too “apostate” to know he came, men like Clement, Barnabas, and even John himself, who said “we shall see him”, but were wise enough to know Jesus prophecy was fulfilled.
So in the reality there is no historical evidence that the second coming took place in A.D. 70, there is no historical evidence of a Resurrection of the dead, or was any person changed to immortal and imperishable according to I Corinthians 15, that any person can look back to in history and say, “see, that was fulfilled”, because there is no testimony to its fulfilment by even Josephus or Tacitus. Every claim by preterists is a “spiritual fulfillment” where no evidence is ever presented as proof for fulfillment. So to claim, “after that they were fulfilled they (scriptures) might be interpreted by the events is a lie, since to the preterist it all happened in the invisible realm which leaves no physical or forensic evidence to examine.
Because of prophecy to flee Jerusalem, every Christian escaped.
To be forewarned is to be armed, waiting, and prepared.
Stephen Whitsett M.Div.