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Second Appearing

The Last days begin with a time of Judgment against the ungodly of this world. In the upheaval, satan inspires and creates a system /kingdom in mockery of God. This satanic kingdom produces tribulation/persecution against the church for three and a half years, ending with the return of Christ. Christ return is a visible glorious display of Gods power as he returns as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. When he comes several things happen. The Beast and his Kingdom come against Jesus and Jerusalem with an army.  When he comes, it is with the saints who are then bodily raised, a resurrection of the dead. Those Christians who are alive, are changed to be like the Resurrected saints, who are immortal and imperishable. They become His army who defeats the beast and his kingdom army. The beast and the false prophet which deceived the whole world, are both cast ALIVE into the lake of fire.

Millennial Kingdom

The Millennial reign begins with satan being locked up in a prison, the language demands he loses his freedom like being put in jail.
Christ then rules from Jerusalem with his resurrected saints in  their vindication, since they were killed for their faith, they get to live again and rule with him.
In this kingdom, which is not the removal of the curse of Adam, the survivors of these wars and times continue to live, die, and give birth. At the end of this perfect time period, satan is released and goes out and deceives these nations again, and raises another army against Christ.
Fire falls from heaven and in and instant this earth is consumed by fire. All that man has done on earth is burnt up.

Judgment / New Heaven and Earth

In a moment, every person who has ever lived will stand before God. In this resurrection of the unjust, they to are bodily raised. The righteous will be welcomed in and rewarded according to their deeds and faithfulness. The wicked will give an account for their failure and so be condemned to eternity separated from God.
During this time of Judgment, God makes new this Earth, it does not mean he destroys it and starts over, but our God is a God of redemption, he restores.  His people then descend from heaven to this New Earth and all the old things have passed away. All things are new. We live face to face with God in the fellowship he purposed from the beginning.

For us eternity begins and it has not even entered the imagination of what God has in store for us.

What is Eschatology?

Eschatology IS a study from the Bible of everything that God talks about concerning the last days or last things. They concern the events that are to transpire at the end of time as we understand it.

In the beginning God created man for fellowship, not as robots or as angels, but people who choose to love and know him. People are given a free will are not given a choice. God is love and love is not forced upon a person. God can not make us love him or reject him. Love being the supreme ethic, demands that people are free to choose to love or not. Because of man's free will the choice exists to do what is right or what is wrong. Angels rebelled and found no redemption, the punishment was immediate expulsion from heaven and there is no way for them to find their way back to God. God made man differently, knowing that he will rebel, he made a way for us to be forgiven and restored and not lost forever upon death. Eschatology is the prophetic decree of God's promises to show us what will come to those who he loves and that he rewards those who are obedient to him. Eschatology is the promise of how we will receive all of what God has said he will do for us who believe.

Preterism: In the Past

The initial ideas of Preterism (not full preterism) was developed in the beliefs that some prophecies were past or in the past, having their spiritual completion and now historical facts, mainly concerning the Olivet discourse. Those who accepted the concept were known to be Spanish Jesuit Luis De Alcazar (1554–1613) who wrote a commentary titledVestigio Arcani Sensus in Apocaplysis Investigation of the Hidden Sense of the Apocalypseand was published a year after his death, is the first known study for the formation of a spiritual interpretation that demonstrated many of the prophecies of the New Testament, particularly Revelation, was fulfilled in the spiritual sense. In this work dedicated to the Catholic Church, he made a new attempt to interpret the Apocalypse by this Preterist scheme of exposition, that is, by the thesis that the prophecies were fulfilled in the past using the means of the Analogy of scriptures as a foundation for interpretation to counter the claims of those who were teaching the Roman Catholic Church was the Beast system in Revelation with the Pope being the anti-Christ in some future time scenario.
In our day, Full Preterism is the belief that all prophecies of the Old Testament and of the new, including the book of Revelation were completely fulfilled in A.D. 70. The historical position of the church is still a future coming which is the source of the continuing heated debate. Dennis Swanson documents the brief history and source of the recent preterist doctrine relates the primary resources comes from J. S. Russell, and his book Parousia, written about 1870. Russell rejected the idea offulfillment and still looked forward to the final judgment and the new heavens and earth. Swanson noted about Full Preterism,

This novel position initially began to form within some Church of Christ assemblies in Ohio through the ministries of "C. D. Beagle and his son-in-law, Max King."

The view has spread beyond the Church of Christ denomination through several writers and speakers, notably Edward E. Stevens, John Noè, and Randall E. Otto. For a while, the HP novelty seemed to be simply an internecine debate within the larger Preterist sphere, so much so that outside those circles very few were aware of the issue.The main sphere of debate remains in the internet and you tube videos that propagate the view. There is no credited university or college that promotes the view or conservative institution that endorses the view. Among some Liberal schools, degrees are given to Preterists ideas based on their spiritual nature such as John’s Noe’s doctoral thesis that the Bible never speaks of a second coming. primary teacher that has picked up the mantle of Max King, is namely Don Preston. While Ed Stevens remains involved the two have parted company in their separate yet distinctive teachings that have fragmented the Preterist world.

Browne makes the accusation against the Preterist based in I Timothy 2: 16-18

But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some.

Browne and Swanson both argue that the crime of these two is arguing for a “spiritual resurrection” since they could clearly see the bodies still in their graves. The Preterist argument is basically then that the error was one of timing since they believe Paul teaches a “spiritual body” resurrection that does not require a body to come out of the grave, which means they believe Paul never taught a bodily resurrection of the saints at the second coming. According to Preterist doctrine the body had nothing to do with the evidence of or for the resurrection. This presupposes their assumption is correct.

Partial preterism is the belief that some prophecies were fulfilled, yet many are left to be fulfilled such as the second coming and judgment. They contend for the early date of Revelation writing to satisfy the belief that both texts contain the same prophetic content as C. Marvin Pate argues the Olivet is the basis for Revelation 6. They see the event of A.D. 70 in Revelation.

Hyper-Preterism, a third category, adapts a total spiritual interpretation of scriptures and sees no literal fulfillment of any events but all spiritual fulfillment. J.L Vaughn and Timothy Martin, the authors of Covenant Creation are leading proponents. In their view Genesis is not about the creation of the world but believes Moses uses imagery of creation to describe the first covenant with man. In his assertion, Adam was not the first man created and death existed in the garden. Among Preterists there are very few scholars that holdto this position, mostly they have abandoned their formal theological education in favor of the preterists paradigm. They tend to reject formal education and seek to find their own interpretation which has created a multitude of views. “Israel Only” is accepted by very few, yet growing as it teaches that the New Covenant ended in AD 70 and it was all about the remnant of Israel only. No one can be saved after that date and everything Paul discusses is about and for Israel only, and Gentiles are the lost ten tribes of the diaspora. This is only found on the Internet as no book is written on the subject but slowly being accepted. Many have fallen into universalism, anhilationism, and soul sleep. Their claim is to have no creed yet, this becomes their creed. In their rejection of Orthodoxy, they deny three fundamental principles of beliefs that make Christianity what it is; bodily resurrection, Christ existing in bodily form, and the visible bodily return of Christ. These beliefs place Preterism squarely outside of Orthodox teaching into the realm of heretical teachings and the cults.

Many current Preterists claim that their eyes were opened when they read scriptures and came across time statements, such as “This Generation”, or passages that use the Greek word “Mello” to indicate what is “about to” happen “quickly”. For example, Revelation 1:19,

“the things which are aboutto take place”

Language:, or is at hand, which to them implies immediacy. The prophecies must begin in that generation and right away or Christ is a liar when he said, “This Generation” or “I am coming quickly”. Because it is commonly believed the Olivet contains a promise of a second coming as expressed by many authors; futurists and preterists alike, and Revelation also speaks of the Second Coming, therefore Revelation must be written before AD 70 and be also a more detail account of the Olivet discourse. Many preterists go so far as to say that the book of Revelation is John’s Olivet discourse.

Is Full Preterism an enemy?

While many Eschatologies are acceptable which means they don't lead to a major problem, Full Preterism is. It is the one view that redefines words in the Bible, changes the meanings, and estructures almost every other Theology of the Bible. When a teaching denies the physical bodily resurrection of the saints, its wrong. When it teaches that Christ did not come bodily or physically from heaven and appear at his second coming, its wrong.

“Christians now realize that both comings of Jesus Christ took place in the same generation. They can see this truth in the Scriptures. The modern preterist movement is of God. Not since the days of Martin Luther have we seen such a turning back of spiritual darkness. It is a time of awakening… Preterism has an enormous job in pushing back the darkness of entrenched futurism; it’s an uphill struggle, but it will succeed because it is of God… We’re dealing with two types of people when we consider the adherents to these diabolical doctrines: 1. Real Christians who are babes, immature, or generally not Christ-centered in their understanding of the Bible. 2. Wolves (unconverted religionists) in sheep’s clothing who desire to eat up the true sheep and scatter the rest of the flock. (Acts 20:29-30)”. Ed Stevens Preterist.org

Ed Stevens makes three claims about any one who disagress with full Preterism.

Ed makes the first claim that any Futurist who teaches the doctrine of a future second coming is called false for teaching a "diabolical doctrine". Yet this is the very position of the church has held for 2000 years and we all have been deceived and wrong? Every Christian from Barnabas to Luther, to Calvin were all deceived? This is a tell tale sign of a "cult" such as Mormonism where Joseph Smith was told by the angel Maroni that the church has been all wrong for years. Barnabas who wrote his letter soon after AD 70 and lived through the events of AD 70, never declared it was the second coming but instead declared he was still to come. The Apostle John himself never declared he came in AD 70, yet had many years and opportunities to declare Christ returned. We have not one ECF who ever declared he came in AD 70.

Ed makes the claim that any Christian who teaches a future return of Christ, (which includes the Pope himself) are babes, immature, or generally not Christ-centered in their understanding of the Bible

OR we are all wolves in sheep's clothing seeking to fleece the flock for our own personal gain.

In the absence of any historical proof, testimony, or eyewitness accounts Full Preterism claims are rejected and labeled as heretical.

Is Christianity Under Assault?

The number one assault on Orthodox Christianity today is the reemergence of the Hymenaeus and Philetus heresy in saying the resurrection is past and so by default so is the second coming, fulfilled in AD 70. This view is known as Full, Realized, or Hyper Eschatology. In this view it denies the Incarnation of Christ, the visible return of Christ still future, and the bodily resurrection of the saints, and yet still wants to be labeled as Christian and is spreading from within the Church of Christ. With the emphasis of Eschatology among the Christian populace there is a second storm that brews against the ever-popular Dispensational system in the civilized academic world. The weakness of the system has resulted in what many are calling a progressive- Dispensationalist view that rejects a two-part coming of Christ. Many accept the minor premises but reject the idea that Christ raptures the church at the beginning of the tribulation period and his second coming happens at the end of the tribulation period as the main point of contention. Knowing that there are many books on eschatology written by such men as Don Preston, Charles Meeks, Ed Stevens, David Chilton, J.S. Russel, Kenneth Gentry, Gary DeMar, Joel McDurmon, Mark Hitchcock, Thomas Ice, George Eldon Ladd, Norman Geisler, R. C. Sproul, and others, some refuting, some endorsing full/partial/hyper/proper Preterism, Realized Eschatology, Dispensationalism, and even “orthodox” Preterism, why do we need one more on a post-trib, premillennialism?  My first goal is to provide a strong case for the historic pre-mill view and then offer up a major apologetic to the full preterist heresy in a direct contrast to both paradigms. I will support this work by giving a foundation of Orthodox Theology that stands in direct contradiction to Full Preterist teachings. Let it also be known there is no Systematic Theology for Full Preterism. It simply does not exist and there is a solid reason for its absence.

The different forms of Preterism are slowly growing among certain members of semi-quasi churches and constantly butting heads with orthodox Christianity. Full Preterism poses the greatest danger to the church and needs to be confronted. Why? Because of the aggressive nature of its adherents that demand they set the Orthodox church free from its false doctrine of futurism. Full Preterism appeals to the disgruntled church that is already defiant of the institution of church and grows among those who are hungry for truth but reject traditional avenues of learning. It must be admitted that sound doctrine is absent in many pulpits.At the heart of Full Preterism doctrine, it denies the orthodox position of the incarnation, the bodily return of Christ and the bodily resurrection of the dead as an outflow of the claims of fulfillment. People are falling for these myths and doctrines of demons in much the same way Eve fell for the lie of the serpent. It is half lies wrapped in truth. Our problem is that in most traditional denominations and churches Preterism is soundly rejected but we find strongholds scattered among many different denominations where an adequate apologetic is missing. Most people/pastors are not able to refute the arguments or offer a consistent, logical, or coherent apologetic. This web cite is a tool to use against Full Preterism.One of the main issues is that popular Christian radio personalities and teachers are gaining voice and convincing the “babes in Christ” of a form of partial Preterism that feeds the appetite of those who are looking for what is wrong. This leads to opening the door to full preterism as Full Preterist feed off the Partial Preterists teachings from Gentry, De Mar, North, and others who hold that position.

Full Preterism

Is divided into two basic classes; the literalist who believe all events happened literally yet reject any type of Christian testimony saying it did not. Which essentially means there are no witnesses to these events taking place. 

The "spiritualist" claim all events happened in the Spiritual realm but also reject early scholarship that rejects that paradigm.

-The millennial reign of Christ occurred from 33AD to 70AD.

- The Old Covenant Law of Mosses ended in AD 70.

- The Old Heavens and Earth passed away and we are living under the New heavens and Earth as described in Revelation 22.

- Every person born after AD 70 has already been judged.

- The Bible tells nothing of events after AD 70.

Partial Preterism

Claims Revelation was written before 70 which means the Olivet and Revelation were partially fulfilled in AD 70 but yet the second coming is future.

This system creates a host of arbitrary assertions as to what is fulfilled and what is not, meaning not many can agree on what happened in the past and what is to actually happen in our future.

For many the Olivet is all fulfilled with the destruction of Jerusalem, which they believe is the Harlot of Revelation.  It assumes that the Olivet speaks of a second coming but cannot explain why the second coming did not happen in "that Generation"

For some the second coming occurred and we are now in the Millennium reign of Christ, with satan bound. (Revelation 20) For them what follows is the release of satan and the final apostasy.

Deeper into Error

In any system based on error, because of its foundation being off it continues to produce more errors as people are unable to accurately divide the word of God.

Error always leads to more error because the person is unable to recognize where their beliefs create inconsistency. In many cases they will argue against a futurist by citing verses they think contradict another verse.

The Hermeneutics of Preterism changes the meaning of words to fit their paradigm. They redefine "audience relevance" to suggest we are reading someone else's mail and it does not pertain to us.
It demands illogically that "Timing dictates the nature", meaning since time statements demands a first century coming and Paul teaches a physical appearing, therefor they have to change Paul's teaching to mean an invisible appearing despite the fact Paul used the very technical Greek word "Epiphaneia" which means "to be made visible".

William Booth quote

The Other Two

HISTORICSIM - is the belief that that the events of Revelation having been playing out in history since the book was written. Some hold to the early date and so make the events A.D. 70 as part of the fulfillment of the book. The difficulty in such a position is there is no chronology to its fulfillment and so adherent look for events in history and then go to the book and say, "this was fulfilled in such and such event", which becomes very arbitrary. The most difficult part to uphold is noting these events happen "quickly". Meaning in Revelation 1:1 John says he was "shown things that were to take place in quickness", meaning not close in time but, the events themselves were to happen in a very quick time. For example the "Beast" once he comes to rule, his Kingdom only last for 42 months, or three and a half years. It ends with the return of Christ. It is also hard to argue the Judgments found in the book are spread out over thousands of years.

IDEALISM is the belief that the events written about in Revelation are not all to happen literally but take place over time and spiritually. The exception is the Second Coming and the Great White throne Judgment. Idealism comes out in Preterist views from people like John Noe, in his book he claims there is no second coming but Jesus has been here and never left spiritually so there is no need for him to return a second time. As I said before the Preterist view leads to more error. Noe also argues against the existence of Hell.

Error #1 "Son of Man Coming on Clouds."

In Revelation 1:7 one phrase is used that is found in Mathew 24:30, “coming on clouds”. The literal understanding of coming on clouds is found in Acts 1 where Jesus ascended and was taken up into the clouds and the angel promised the Lord would return in like manner, coming in clouds, therefore coming in clouds is the literal approach to accept what is the coming of the son of man. Based on these association it is commonly held then that the Mathew passage is also about the second coming since it is talking about his coming on clouds. If we examine the Mathew 24:30 passage from where Jesus is now also quoting from Daniel 7:13-14 (not from Acts 1) something different appears. “Son of man, coming on clouds” comes from Daniel 7:13

I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him.

This coming is a coming to the father in heaven and not a coming down. Cashmere adheres to the same opinion and expresses it’s a universal idea among scholars. He stated,

There is almost universal agreement that the term comes from Daniel 7:13-14. The Aramaic “like a human being” became in the LXX “son of man”. Jesus used this term as a label describing his own work, incorporating the content of Daniel 7:13-14 by association.

Kazen added to the discussion,

That while the Son of Man is an apocalyptic concept, it was not initially understood in the same ‘eschatological’ sense as in subsequent Christian interpretation of Pauline and post-Pauline ideas of a ‘return’ or ‘second coming’ of Christ. This means that the coming Son of Man for Jesus and his immediate followers had more to do with practice or kingdom ethics than with some end-of the- world sort of millennialism, and that we can expect a shift in emphasis, from ethics to eschatology as traditionally understood, as Jesus came to be identified as the Son of Man in the sense of an individual redeemer figure.

Clouds of heaven is a phrase and term of Judgment. Isaiah19:1 states, “A prophecy against Egypt: See, the LORD rides on a swift cloud and is coming to Egypt.” From this imagery, the Preterist accepts the phrase means judgment is coming and we also know when Christ appears the second time it will be to execute judgment. (Against the beast, not Jerusalem Rev 19) In the Daniel 7:13 passage the son of man is not coming down to execute judgment but is ascending to the father and being presented before Him, where He is given authority and dominion and from Him judgment now comes. The context of Daniel 7 is of judgment for the Ancient of Days demonstrated in verse 9-10.

“As I looked, Thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and came out from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened."

The Judgment described here is of the same wording as Revelation 20 in the Great White Throne when all people stand before him to give an account of things they had done, (not will do ). The coming judgment was executed in A.D. 70 by the Roman army of Titus. In the context of Mathew 24 the son of man is the messiah who they rejected and so in vindication,Judgment comes from Him, Christ the exalted Lord who now sits on a throne and executes his own judgment. (John 5:27, And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man). The phrase “son of man coming on clouds” is never a reference in the gospels to his second coming but of the events of his ascension and exaltation in which he sends judgment. N T Wright echoes this same charge.

"When Jesus speaks of “the son of man coming on the clouds,” he is talking not about the second coming but, in line with the Daniel 7 text he is quoting, about his vindication after suffering. The “coming” is an upward, not a downward, movement. In context, the key texts mean that though Jesus is going to his death, he will be vindicated by events that will take place afterward."

Daniel Zacharias in his paper Old Greek staed,

Daniel 7:13-14 and Matthew's Son of Man presents the case that the Old Greek completely supports the idea and from the first century church they understood this connection. The evangelist has the Son of Man coming on (not with) the clouds, puts the angels in his charge, and places him on the glorious throne where he judges the nations. All of this coheres with Dan 7 as represented by the Old Greek.

N. T. Wright then adds,

The first thing to get clear is that, despite widespread opinion to the contrary, during his earthly ministry Jesus said nothing about his return. I have argued this position at length and in detail in my various books about Jesus."

The disciples barely understood his first message and purpose of his coming, that is to die, in which even Jesus spoke cryptically about it in ways they did not fully understand. A concept of a second coming would have been lost in their current understanding. They expected Christ to establish the throne of his father David in Israel, to rise, and overthrow the Roman empire as in days of old. It was the reason Judas sought to force Jesus hand, he thought he could force the circumstances where Jesus would have to raise up his followers to fight against the Roman armies, he believed the people would join in the rebellion as they all sided with their king just days before in his triumphant entry into Jerusalem .
In Acts 1:6 the disciples asked the question, “…they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” Jesus never refuted that position yet confirmed their idea, “He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.” Which is the blatant agreement with what they understood, Jesus simply stated ‘it’s not for you to know when.” Which is not a denial of their thinking. Every Jew believed in the promise that a descendant of David would one day sit on the throne of His father in an everlasting kingdom (Luke 1:33; Isa 9:7). The Preterist insists this is just spiritually but the scholar recognizes this is in the spiritual kingdom in heaven and then on earth, as it is in heaven. Again, N T Wright explores the position thoroughly in his book “Surprised by Hope”.
Keeping to the context of Mathew 23:34-36 these events he is describing is all about the judgment that would be on that generation. With this judgment in the mind of Mathew, he begins with the Olivet in chapter 24, speaking of the same judgment as he uses the same phrasing, “Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” This judgment then had to have taken place in that generation. When we examine history, we know Jerusalem was fully destroyed and the people scattered in A.D. 70. Mathew 24 was completely fulfilled in A.D. 70. Yet the ongoing ramifications of his death and resurrection and the theme of judgment still have a further completion that is tied to his Messianic role. -Excerpt from my Thesis Paper

Error #2 ?

"I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years... This is the first resurrection." Rev 20:4,5

Logic: The First Resurrection of the Dead happens at his coming, it is the Just who are raised. This first Resurrection includes those who were "beheaded for not taking the mark of the beast" - Therefore there can be no prior Resurrection of the dead happening seven years before or we would call that Resurrection "THE FIRST". The Rapture of the Saints, and of the Dead in Christ who are raised, BOTH groups meet Him in the air, at His coming, is the FIRST, not second. By placing a Resurrection at the beginning of the Tribulation, forces there to be "3" Resurrections of the dead, but the Bible speaks of only two; of the just and unjust.

Error #3

The Olivet, not having a promise of a Second Coming,(error 1)  then forces the context to remain fulfilled in A.D. 70 as the Early Church Father all believed the Olivet was fulfilled in A.D. 70, and the second coming still future. The whole context is based on the idea Jesus saying, "Not one stone will be left upon another - all of the blood spilt of Abel to Zechariah, will be required of this Generation". The Great Tribulation being spoken about is that of Jerusalem ONLY!! The context of Revelation is of Judgment upon the whole world and in no place is Jerusalem judged and destroyed for any sin, since her judgment came upon her in A.D. 70. Preterism forces A.D. 70 to be the fulfillment of both the Olivet and Revelation. Dispensationalism forces the Olivet and Revelation all in the future. The Early Church Fathers all put the Olivet passed, and all of Revelation future.