PRI Articles

101 Preterist Time-Indicators

Following this brief article are 101 biblical, preterist "time-indicators." (Hence the title.) There are many more than 101 to be found in Scripture, but these are probably the most blunt and obvious of them all. If we were to include every preterist time-indicator in Scripture, the number would possibly be in the hundreds. My purpose in displaying these passages (with some cross references) is to lay out in a concise, easy-to-read format the overwhelming testimony that our Lord actually fulfilled the Law and the Prophets, as He said He would. (Matt. 5:17) 
 Now it seems to me that there are only two ways to "get around" these 101 Scriptures and remain a Futurist. One of those ways is to dismiss the spirit of imminence that saturates the New Testament and to say that it only indicates things that are "soon in God's sight." 
 There are some major problems with that approach. If the imminence saturating the New Testament was only an "in-God's-sight" imminence, then why was the Old Testament not also saturated with an "in-God's-sight" imminence? Why did God not tell Adam and Eve, "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand?" Why did He not tell Abraham, "The Son of Man is about to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds?" Why did He not say to Malachi, "This generation will not pass away until all these things take place?" 
 Why is it that a Second Coming in the 21st century was "imminent" in the 1st century, but was not imminent before the 1st century? There is no substantive defense against this objection. The fact is that what God said was near to the Apostles, He said was not near to the earlier prophets. Perhaps the clearest illustration of this truth is found in a comparison of Dan. 8:26 and Rev. 22:10: 
 6th century BC: "Seal up the vision; for it shall be for many days." (Dan. 8:26) 
 1st century AD: "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near."  
 (Rev. 22:10) 
 What God said was far away in Daniel's time, He said was imminent in the Apostles' time. The implication is inescapable: The imminence in the New Testament was real. 
 Granted, it is not unreasonable to use an expression of imminence or brevity in reference to a relatively long period of time, (II Cor. 4:17) but it is biblically unreasonable to interpret every statement of eschatological imminence throughout the New Testament as meaning "2,000 years later." If we are going to claim scriptural support for such a hermeneutical approach, the only option is to make II Peter 3:8 ("With the Lord a day is like a thousand years") a "Code Key" that unlocks the "secret" meaning of the Spirit. But not only is that method Gnostic-like, it makes eschatology (and ultimately, soteriology) utterly impossible to understand correctly without the mystical elucidation of II Peter 3:8 (and Ps. 90:4). 
 The second technique that is employed to "get around" the New Testament declarations of imminence is to dichotomize the spirit of imminence (and therefore the unified eschatological theme of Scripture), and to say that some or most New Testament imminence Scriptures do indeed indicate nearness in time (such as in references to the Great Tribulation in A.D. 66-70 and to a "coming" in judgment in A.D. 70.) but that other imminence Scriptures are in reality not statements of imminence at all (In this approach, all references to the Second Coming, the Resurrection of the Dead and the "Final Judgment" are said to contain no indications of imminence whatsoever.). 
 The problem with this method is simply this: Denial. The Bible says it. They deny it. They have thereby been forced to construct a duplicitous, theological system of "Yes" and "No." They have created a kind of twilight land of both "shadow" and "substance" (the land of partial preterism and Historicism). They are rather like Saul of Tarsus, a man who sincerely and ignorantly "kicked against the goads" of the plain declarations of Scripture. 
 Many who have found themselves in this predicament recognize that they are in abject exegetical poverty, and so they end up appealing strictly and only to the authority of "the historic Church and her creeds." Not unrelated to this sad phenomenon is the defection of many protestants to the Eastern Orthodox Church. 
 Denial is a complicated and destructive thing indeed. Like deception, it becomes a tangled web. The incredible eschatological confusion that has plagued the Christian world since the days of the Reformation is a testimony to that fact. 
 But in contrast to the chaos of Futurism, the Scriptures (below) have a straightforward teaching, which is this: The fulfillment of all prophecy was "at hand," "near," "soon," "about to be," etc. when the New Testament was written, and it was all to be fulfilled by the time the Old Covenant vanished and its temple was destroyed (in A.D. 70). 
 The prophetic message is so simple, yet it is so profound. In a way, it is not surprising that we missed it for so long.  
 Now a final note. The Apostle Peter was referring to eschatology when he said the following:  
 "...in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction." (II Peter 3:16)  

 Be careful what you do with the truth. Being in possession of a true, biblical proposition is by no means an evidence of being wise, no matter how wonderful the proposition is. There is no denying that some Preterists are "untaught and unstable," and have used Preterism to "distort" the Scriptures (They are Universalists, Arians, Neo-Gnostics, etc.). They despise the collected teachings of the historic Church as being little more than the tricks of jugglers, and have blasphemed virtually every pillar of the Faith. They imagine themselves to be pioneers, but they are revilers in the tradition of II Peter and Jude. Do not follow them. Avoid them at all cost. Please see my  Q&A #33     email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." href="http://www.eschatology.org/mambots/editors/tinymce/This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." target="_blank">David A. Green 

 

http://www.preteristcosmos.com/ 

 

 

 

Read more: 101 Preterist Time-Indicators

Imminency shown by NT Writers

Read more: Imminency shown by NT Writers


Shop!
Contribute!
Books!

This Site