NOTE: This reflects a futurist critique of Full Preterism. I have since adopted a version of preterism called "Pantelism", when I saw that along with "the end", came universal reconciliation, and a literal rapture maintained by one preterist, coupled with a sign of Christ in the clouds, suggested by Josephus, (which satisfied my demands for a more literal "sense" of certain prophecies) plus other explanations it offers; many things began fitting together.
Full preterism as discussed here insists the end came in AD70, yet the default condemnation that accompanied the Old Age, with the necessity of "duty faith" (one has to "believe" and then in practice prove it by living a certain way afterward, in order to have his sins covered) somehow continues. (So most people today are still on their way to Hell, though they assure us, in thousands of years, this will decrease, as the "Kingdom" spreads). With any promise of a future "end" removed (as some practically gloat), I still maintain this essentially eliminates any real "good news". If condemnation itself has been removed, then even with the ongoing suffering of this world, that does offer something that can truly be called "Good News" (The Gospel).


Preterism is the school of Biblical interpretation that says that all of the Prophecies, from the Old Testament prophets, to the book of Revelation, have been fulfilled. It is a very convincing system, emphasizing the immediate "audience relevance" of the message spoken or written to them, and thus aiming to avoid the often wild speculations of historicism (which stated the fulfillments were past to us, but still centuries in the future to the original readers), and especially futurism, which says that they are all still future; but "shortly", hopefully. Its strong points are what they call "clear time statements", or "definite time statements", such as "The Coming of the Lord Draweth Nigh", "The Time is at hand", "Things Which Must Shortly Come To Pass", "Yet a Little While", and especially "Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. (Matthew 16:27-28); and "this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place" (Matthew 24:34). Websites boldly claim "If Christ did not return in that generation, he is a lunatic or false", or something like that.
These have been hard to answer by the other schools of interpretation, (save the "idealists", who spiritualize it all away as the trials of the Christian life, anyway). Generally, they have tried to get around it by suggesting that those statements of immanence jump ahead to the future generation when it will actually occur. I noted that you could argue that the 40+ years they believe it was fulfilled in was not really "at hand". While some would live to that time, many would not. Time is relative, and the sense that is being given is that to any person alive at any time, it can come at any time. In fact, the term that many of the "at hand" and "draw near" come from is "eggizo" (1448) which means "approaches". This can mean "near" but not necessarily. Some are 1451 (eggus) which more literally translates "near in time", but this can be "lit. or fig." It, for instance, is "ready" in the Heb.8:13 passage they like to cite. For the sake of consistency, I'm not going to now suggest that "that too, then, is future" (though that was in my mind as a possibility, if you consider this present world of suffering as a holdover from "The age of the Law of sin and death"). Even "shortly” (en tachos) means "a brief space of time" or "haste", and even though we take this to mean "a brief space of time from when it was written", the implication may be more like whenever it does begin, it will be brief. If it is still future to us, it will come suddenly, and we must be ready. That is the point.
All of this could also be explained, especially by the historicists, as the events beginning to unfurl shortly in the apostolic age, but still taking centuries to play out. Still, I have to admit that these are still stretching it, at least for some of the time statements.

So the preterists really seemed to have an upper hand. I first came across the teaching on an internet bulletin board discussion. I was dumbfounded as to some of the ideas, such as the Second Coming occurring already, which would mean that the resurrection and Great White Throne judgements are past, and that we are actually in the "New Heavens and Earth" described in the two final chapters of the Bible. "How could we be, with all the suffering, sin and death that still occurs?" (This was actually compared to unbelievers asking how there could be a God with all the suffering sin and death!)
Basically, it all centered around the destruction of Jerusalem and the last Jewish Temple in 70AD. This was seen as the actual ending of the Old Covenant. This was "the promise" referred to all throughout the New Testamant. "how in the world was that their hope?" I wondered. I posed several questions, and from there, they laid their scheme of things out. Christ's "coming on the Clouds" was just a symbol of His judgment of Israel. However, it is taken as a real "presence", called "the Parousia". One of the leading sources on this view was the book of that title by James Stuart Russell from the 1800's. The Resurrection was taken to be "spiritual", meaning that when the Covenants actually changed, then "in the twinkling of an eye", the spirits of the dead arose from Sheol/Hades, and ascended to be with this "returning" Christ. Then, those who were alive also had a spiritual body within them come alive, and spiritually "joined" the others, in the Heavens, where they "reign with Christ". Since then, everyone who gets born again, experiences this spiritual resurrection. Then, their spiritual body "passes on" when this physical body still dies. Likewise, the lost who had died, were raised out of Hades and stood before the Great White Throne at that same time. They then were cast into Gehenna. Afterwards; everyone who dies without Christ, is "already judged" and simply goes straight to Gehenna without even actually standing before God. The judgment was past. Satan was also at that point judged and cast into Gehenna. So basically, the picture we get from secular portrayals of death, with a spirit rising from the body and going straight to Heaven if good, or Hell if bad (with Satan as the custodian) are true (save "good" is replaced with "redeemed by Christ"). Perhaps, it was this position, as taught in the Roman Catholic Church, (which has shaped much of people's definition of "Christianity"; and also in some Reformed Protestant churches) that led to those portrayals, in cartoons and other fictional stories. Preterists frequently accuse futurists of "going by tradition", but it's actually preterism that is the most "traditional" of eschatologies! But what about this Heaven, for the faithful? It becomes completely misty. There are practically no scriptures on future events left to describe it. A couple of passages on a "resurrection body" are applied to it, but these don't really describe much about the place itself. One preterist tells me "To me eternity is living on the spiritual side of the New Covenant, in a different realm, ruling and reigning with Christ forever. Scripture seems to indicate the world continues on and His Kingdom continues to increase. I doubt it can be described with our limited ability to understand. Actually I find no view that really describes what eternity is like". So now, we no longer have any prophetic events to look forward to (though one somewhere stated that God can always start a new prophetic plan). All we have to look forward to is dying and going to Heaven. In the meantime, our mission is just to continue to go forth into the earth and try to bring in as many others as we can.
The Millennium is not always clearly explained, but from what I have gathered, it is generally seen to have been the 40 year period between the Ascension of Christ and the Parousia. And what of John's writings, (including Revelation itself) which are dated in the AD 90's? These of course, have to be forced back to the 60's. I found this doubtful, as John was the bridge to the second century apostolic fathers such as Polycarp, his disciple, and Ignatius. Some try to claim that Barnabas and Clement were also before AD70, but this still leaves many others. (one takes Clement's quote of Mal.3:1 "The Lord shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Holy One, for whom ye look." as proving the Temple was still standing. But doesn't "His temple" in that case mean the spiritual temple for the Church, as the preterists would be the first to point out? To address that, there is also a claim that John may have lived well after writing Revelation. But there is a problem this raises for the preteristic theory I shall mention later).

While this is an impressive system, which seems to do better justice to certain scriptures than any other system, there are still some major problems with it. It considers itself "apostolic eschatology", since the apostles did seem to expect it in their own lifetimes. However, to us, "eschatology" would become a misnomer. It was eschatology (study of the last days) for them; but only history for us. And in trying to make the AD70 destruction of Jerusalem the defining event, it goes too far in spiritualizing many things. Besides those "clear time statements", there are also "clear action statements". Shall God really personally judge all, Jew and Gentile? Shall Christ really put down all human rule and rule Himself, with us ruling with Him? Shall He really "wipe away all tears" in the world? Or is all of this "symbolic" somehow? And also "clear scope statements" (who is affected by these actions, such as the judgment? Jerusalem only or the whole world? Unrepentant Jews only or even the Gentile powers that destroyed them and continue to sin against God themselves? The Old Covenant only, or the whole age of sin, death and decay?). Plus, "clear sense statements" (how these actions will be perceived; spiritually by believers only, or physically, by even those who have no spiritual discernment?).
The first, obviously, were all the descriptions of the New Heavens as a place of no suffering, everlasting peace and joy, where we can actually "See" God. The preterists takes this as spiritually the freedom from the condemnation of the Law. As one explained it

Revelation 20:4 does NOT say their will be no more "sin, evil, and death." It says "There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the older order of things has passed away". There is a big difference in this than from sin, evil, and death. For sin has only ended in that their is atonement now for it through Christ. The former has passed away, which was the "first heaven and the first earth". What was replacing them were the "new heaven and the new earth." Also referred to as "the Holy City, the new Jerusalem" which was called the "bride beautifully dressed for her husband" as well. And then it was called "dwelling of God". This was definitely symbolism of the new covenant church(Heb.12:22-24). What it was saying here by the former things passing away was that the churches persecutions that Paul and others described that they would to go through has ended, and the separation(death) through sin that had begun with the 'first Adam' had now come to an end, as a result of the atonement realized through Christ(Dan.9:24), the 'second Adam'. There was no more need to mourn or cry. Sin had now been paid for by the shed blood of Christ. He had risen from the dead and proceeded to present Himself before the Father in the Holy of Holies. This was in accordance typified by the Jewish priestly system. Once accepted by the Father He came back (like the priest returning from the Temple Holy of Holies) as He said He would (Jo.14:1f; Matt.10:23;16:28;24:30;26:64;Heb.10:37;Rev.1:7).
Then, terms as 'earth' and 'heavens' referred not to the physical 'terra firma', but rather was a prophetic symbol, used commonly throughout the Old Testament, of the government of Israel (which essentially came from God, in "heaven") and the land of Israel. "nations, kingdoms", "throughout the world" etc referred to the divisions of Rome, not the entire globe. "kings" referred to the governors of these divisions; such as Herod over Judea. All of these are what gave futurists the impression that The Olivet discourse and Revelation are describing global cataclysms that obviously have never happened. Upon researching their usage, I found that this was allowable! So in that sense, The Gospel was possibly "Preached to all nations" in their time. In one sense, it does free one from the unbelievable idea that the "heavens" shall actually "depart as a scroll". We have taken too many things literally without taking into account the symbolic meanings of them in prophecy.
. However, some things are still a stretch. For one, where does it say that "mourning" or "crying" was particularly in reference to the "separation from God" under the Law? Most people in the world do not even realize that they are so separated, or fiercely reject it. Most want to live their lives without God anyway, so who's crying? Mourning and crying is more associated with the suffering of the world and physical death, both of which still exist in this "New Heaven". So that seems like it is more universal, in both sense and scope.

Also, while the statements about Heaven and Earth being Jerusalem or the Mosaic system are true to certain extents, still, the passing of that old system was past already when the NT was written; it ended with Christ and His death and resurrection, and the tearing of the veil in the Temple. Not with the destruction of the Temple in 70AD. The Temple still existed until then, but it was no longer recognized by God as His legitimate institution. So it's physical destruction would not be seen as the "passing of the old". It had passed already. The dispensations changed in 33AD, not 70AD. I don't see the destruction of the Temple ever made "the sign". The closest you can come up with is "when you see the armies surrounding Jerusalem, your redemption draws near". Even this does not say anything about the destruction of the Temple being the great moment. That is one of those that can be explained as being possible for those back then, but in practice jumping ahead to the future. I just never hear, even from Church History, "the Kingdom officially began in AD70, and was marked by the destruction of the temple". No, Christians continued to wait for the literal return of Christ, preceded by a literal antichrist, Armageddon, etc. They did not see it in AD70, and I don't see teaching in the early church that said it was. Instead, we see the opposite. From "Clement of Rome lived through A. D. 70 and had no idea he was resurrected! He continued to look for a physical resurrection (Clement 50:3). Jude's (supposed) grandsons still sought a physical resurrection (cf. Eusebius, EH 3:24:4). Whoever these men were, they came right out of the first generation and in the land of Israel -- with absolutely no inkling of an A. D. 70 resurrection or a past second Advent. See also the Didache 10:5; 16:1ff (first century); Ignatius; Trallians 9:2; Smyrnaens 2:1; 6:1; Letter to Polycarp 3:2 (early second century); Polycarp 2:1; 6:2; 7:1. See also Papias, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr". Pseudo-Barnabas also recognized a future literal millennium. The "rapture" preterist article at (which argues for a physical rapture of true saints in AD70) also talks about the "deafening silence" of the post AD70 writers. This is dismissed, however, as "a reflection on our slowness in comprehending some of the more difficult teachings of the Apostles" (2 Pet.3), while "A momentous work of the modern Church in coming days will be its eschatological reformation, its submission to Apostolic/preterist eschatology" ( This site goes on to claim that "sub-apostolic teachers [like pseudo-Barnabas] then came up with the concept of the 'Parousia delay'", which gradually "dichotomized" the Second Coming of Christ and the fall of Jerusalem, after they saw that the return of Christ had not happened literally. Some, including this site, make the allowance that John may have lived well after writing Revelation, up to the time of Domitian (based on a statement of Irenaeus). If this were true, then we would expect that he who had received the vision, and would have recognized its fulfillment, would have been instructing and correcting those who were then teaching a parousia delay. But there is no evidence of this at all. The church continued to look for a visible Coming, and where they erred was, like the preterists today and the Jews before, in not recognizing a dual fulfillment. Even if you try to argue that all the Christians were in darkness about it all those centuries, how in the world could it be the kingdom then? How could Christians not even know Christ had come and they were in fact in the new Heaven?
It was a few centuries later, when persecution stopped, and the Church became accepted in the Empire and quickly received worldly power, that people began feeling "Wow! The Kingdom of God is here!" But this was only the beginning of the "Dark Ages". Then later, this preterist system was said to have been completely formulated by Jesuits, with the purpose of throwing off the suspicion of them being the Great Harlot, as Anabaptists and the new Reformers had been charging. (it was now said to be Jerusalem, seemingly further justifying anti-Semitism. The Jesuites are also said, ironically, to have formulated pure futurism for the same reason of throwing suspicion off Rome). You would wonder why the scriptures were even circulated and later canonized, if they were all fulfilled well before the end of the century. We believe Revelation is the final inspired book to this present age, because it's final fulfillment is yet future. Yet, if it was all fulfilled, yOu would think there would at least be an additional book covering the fulfillment and start of the actual kingdom. Perhaps Josephus, who chronicled the whole destruction in his "Antiquities of the Jews" would have been canonized as the final book of scripture; the account of the "finish" of "the mystery of God" (Rev. 10:7), with a commentary at the end of how the Kingdom had now begun.
All throughout the New Testament, redemption was said to be obtained by those then who believed in Christ. But this preterist system with its claim that they were still under the Old covenant, has to say they didn't really, but this was in fact what they were looking for. One person said to me "those living between 30-70AD. Were they completely redeemed? I would say no". My immediate question was what does this mean? Were they still lost and in their sins? What change took place in AD70? OK, the Temple was destroyed, ending that system for good (though I still say it was officially ended when the veil was torn), but as far as the Christians are concerned, what change took place, especially since this "change" would fulfill all the promises of resurrection; the dead in Christ shall rise first, receiving new bodies replacing these decaying ones, seeing God face to face (see also Rev.22:3), instead of in part, ruling with Christ, judging the angels, etc.? How were the parable of talents (where the people are given actual cities to rule over) fulfilled? I do not hear of anything particular happening in the Church in AD70; not even some great revival or missionary advance. Instead, things continued to get worse and worse, with more apostasy coming in. In a few centuries, we were in the depths of the "Dark Ages". Unless, of course, you hold the post-apostolic Church to have been perfect, being the actual Kingdom and all. So this is I guess how all the doctrinal and practice changes of the Roman Catholic church were justified, even though they weren't in the Bible. Those not-quite-yet-redeemed Christians from the apostolic age only had an incomplete revelation, but after AD70, then the "fullness of the Gospel" was proclaimed by the perfected saints. Whatever they said, God said. They were not fallible, sinful men, but glorified saints. The preterists I have seen, however, are not Catholics, and regard that institution as just as false as do many dispensationalists.
One could even wonder, when exactly was the actual "return" of Christ and resurrection/catching up of the saints? Christ's "coming on the clouds" was supposed to represent His riding in, in judgment of the OT system. Was this actual ("invisible") event marked by the beginning of the seige? But then how could the resurrection be then when the Temple; that symbol of death that was holding back their actual redemption and spiritual life was still standing? Was it when the last brick was thrown down? Or when the fires started? Or when the last one burned out? The war even continued after AD70! It seems there is no single definite event you could pin as "the Parousia"; (and thus, with it; the resurrection of the saints). This is another thing that shows that that occurrence was not meant to mark the "final end" of God's plan.

They then appeal to Hebrews 8:13; 9:8; 10:9, "He made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready (near) to disappear"; "The Holy Spirit by this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while the first tabernacle was yet standing"; "He takes away the first, that he may establish the second". From here, it was claimed (from a site which I have lost) that "The Covenant did not simply change from Old to New over the weekend".

The New Covenant was inaugurated at the time of Jesus' earthly ministry, but would not be fully effective until the consummation of the Old Covenant, namely, at the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem. Therefore, there was a transitional period during which both covenants coincided. During this time, Christians had a guarantee, a down payment, but would have to remain faithful and patient until all of the promises were delivered. If these points are true, then We would expect that the Christians of the time would have been eagerly awaiting the consummation of the Old Covenant and the fullness of the New Covenant. The promises and hopes that the apostles were encouraging the Christians with would have pertained to the arrival of the New Covenant.
If something is hoped for in the future, then it is not for the present. If it is for the present, then it is not hoped for in the future. However, if something has been promised for the future, and a down payment has been made for it, then it is true to say that it is here now, and yet to be hoped for. The down payment is an assurance, a guarantee, but the fulfillment is yet eagerly awaited. (2 Corinthians 5:5, Ephesians 1:13-14)

Co-existing covenants?

Paul compared the old and new covenants with Hagar and Sarah (Galatians 4:21-31). The children of the first covenant are represented by Ishmael, while the children of the new covenant are represented by Isaac, the first being in bondage and the second being free. For years, they existed in Abraham's household together, but "he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now." (v29)
Now read verse 30: "But what does the Scripture say? 'Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be an heir with the son of the free woman.'"
the two covenants were to exist together, in tension, until the first was cast out. What were the pre-AD70 Christians waiting for? For the children of the covenant under bondage to be cast out, so that they could become full heirs!

Citing Hebrews 10:19 and 23 - Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. ("What hope? Our drawing near to God - Hebrews 7:19 From Hebrews 3 and 4, this is the equivalent of entering God's rest"; and 1 Corinthians 3:16, it is claimed that the "new Temple" of Christians "was still in the process of being built", that this was also something they were looking forward to, and asks "are we still being built?"
If they were looking forward to something, waiting eagerly for it, then they did not yet possess it in its fullness. And yet, there was always a sense in which they already owned it. They had the down payment. It was not that the New Covenant had not yet begun: It had, but it was not in full effect, until the Old Covenant was utterly destroyed. They were free of it's burden of slavery, but until the first tabernacle was removed, the way into the Holy Place and complete access to God was not disclosed.
we have, as New Covenant holders, attained immortality at the point of our conversion. Although we today have immortality, this is something that is subsequent to the resurrection, and something the writers of the epistles were looking forward to.
Do we have salvation? Are we redeemed? Galatians 3:13 and Colossians 1:14 tell us plainly that Paul thought so.
Are we God's children now, in the full sense of being heirs with Christ? According to Paul, yes... and no. Galatians 4:4-6 - But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His son... (5) that we might receive the adoption as sons. (6) Because you are sons...
The Christians of the time were in a unique position: They were living not just between covenants, but in the end times of the Old Covenant which coincided with the beginning of the New.
The same is done with Philippians 3:8-14:
Do we now possess God's righteousness? Righteousness is perfect innocence before God. According to Romans 3:21-26, faith in Jesus Christ gives righteousness, 'for all who believe. If we belong to the new covenant, then we are judged righteous. Now look at Philippians 3:8-14. Paul is looking forward to gaining Christ, in order to receive His righteousness". Paul had not yet achieved righteousness, and yet righteousness was the gift "for all who believe". Christians now have the full righteousness of God. Paul in his day did not fully have it, but was hoping for it, striving for it. Romans 11:26-27 - .. and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, "The deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob (i.e. perfect His people)". "This is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins." (Is this covenant in place now, or in the future?) Galatians 5:5 - For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness. (Are we waiting for the hope of righteousness, or do we have it now? They were waiting for it.)"
Numerous other scriptures entered the discussion, showing past, present and future aspects of the "transformation" and hope: 2 Timothy 4:8, Titus 1:2, Romans 8:14-24, John 17:22, Romans 8:29, 2 Corinthians 5:17, 2 Corinthians 3:6-18 [Not: "are going to be transformed", but: "are being transformed"], Philippians 3:20-21, Ephesians 4:17-24, 2 Peter 1:4, 1 John 3:2, John 14:23, 1 Corinthians 6:19, Ephesians 2:19-22, Hebrews 3:6

Futurists and most others have understood the future aspect of these passages as referring to the future Resurrection, when we shall be fully perfected, while the past and present aspect referred to the "downpayment" we had already received through the Spirit. The preterists insist the perfection mentioned is "positional", and possessed by us now. There is another alternative to all of this; a dual fulfillment position with types and antitypes I shall discuss later. Suffice it now to say that both are true. There is agreement that there is a transition period, where they [we] have a downpayment on the promises. The preterist says it is AD30-70, only. But in AD 30 or 33, on the Cross, Christ had said "IT IS FINISHED!", meaning He had just done all He had to do to finish the plan of redemption. All that was left to do was to later reap the harvest of souls after a time of the redeemed, as the new "laborers in the vineyard" sowing more seeds. The Holy Spirit came right after Christ left (AD30~33), and there is no real difference between the following forty years, and the 1930+ years afterwards. We are still in the transition period those passages describe. That is basically what I have been arguing. Just as the preterist is suggesting; we in a sense "have" it, but then not completely. The thing that is lacking is the full "redemption" of our physical bodies from death to life. Our souls have that now, but not our bodies. And we are still plagued by sin, even though God does not count it against us. We are "positionally" perfect purely by imputation of Christ's righteousness; but not in actual practice. For if were were to be judged by practice, we would still fail. But God will not have us positionally perfect, but still actually sinning forever. We will be actually perfected some day. But now, we still do have something future to look to. That is the transition. In part, but one day, the whole. In no way is this life as it is the whole. We still see through a glass darkly. The preterist says that God's tabernacle is "with us now", and that we can actually "see His face"; "see Him as He is" now; and spiritually, this may be true, but then it would have been just as true any time after the coming of the Holy Spirit. Hebrews had already said "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (4:16). However, to this day, we still must believe by "faith" rather than some form of absolute sight (i.e. "see[ing] Him as He is"— one of the "clear sense statements"). Else, if the Holy Spirit sealed Christians for "a day of promise" (Eph.4:30) in only AD70, (i.e He came as the Comforter for us in the "transition period" between Christ's departure and return) then what does He do for us now? What keeps us in faith, while we cannot actually see? All of that was this current state Paul and the others referred to. Not some limbo state that changed after they wrote, but before now. As it is often said: "salvation" (redemption) is threefold: from the penalty of sin,(we have this now, thus it is past) the power of sin (we have this now, but still struggle, and carnal Christians do let themselves get pulled back under it, thus it can be seen as a present application), and the presence of sin. That last is what we do not have yet, and is what I believe all those references to future "salvation" are referring to. We will no longer be "positionally perfect", or righteous by imputation, but in reality.
Each stage of "redemption" corresponds to the significant work of the Godhead that brought it. The Christians in the New Testament were already saved from the penalty of sin. Christ's work on the Cross accomplished that. If not, then Christ's work on the cross was inefficient. We were saved from the power of sin by the coming of the Holy Spirit after Christ's death and resurrection. If not, then the work of the Holy Spirit is inefficient. The only theing left, is full perfection. This I believe is real perfection, in our risen state, not the "positional" perfection we have as we are imputed with righteousness that is not really ours while we still live in a fallen (sinful) state. This is what in the preterist view, we would attain only in death and the spirit floating off to Heaven. (I of course, believe the body is risen with it). Either way, why would this be left out of the promise? That would be the true goal of our existence, but in preterism, it is just as much a shadowy mystery as it was in the Old Testament! Preterists insist that the only important thing redemption was to accomplish was the resoration of the spiritual relationship with God, and "was never about getting man to a heavenly utopia in a state of bodily, or otherwise perfection. It was about humanity and God being face to face in relationship". But still, it is by faith (no absolute sense or certainty, even). That is not complete. Adam did not have to believe by faith, but could literally sense God's presence directly. They ask "are we still waiting for the New Covenant?" But just like their "transitional period", the New Covenant is now, but its ultimate fruition is in the New Heaven and New Earth with the resurrection of the saints to perfection, and God's literal rule over all the earth. The preterists criticize the idea of many Christians that there must be two types of Christ's glory, while the Bible only speaks of one; a hope for the early Christians, and yet reality for us today. There is only one "glory" of Christ, but we have it dimly now (since we are still imperfect), but in whole one day. Even the preterists still maintain an "eternal" existence after death, and would probably acknowledge that that is when we will be finally "saved" from the presence of sin, free from [physical] death and decay, literally "citizens" of Heaven, etc. So you would still have this last stage of redemption, in which would be a final completion. That whole problem is, that their view piles what we believe are all of the biblical teachings on this onto this life, and I do not even see where there is any scripture left from that view to even give us any such hope. Everything from the pearly gates to the streets of gold, and even the much portrayed harps we would play and the crowns refer to now! It makes it sound like this life is "IT".
In all of this emphasis on the changing of the covenants, one should also wonder what this would even mean to the Gentile converts, who were never under the Old Covenant to begin with! Under that paradigm, they were not even in the picture, except as total outsiders (unless one happened to join the nation). What "transition" did they really have, since they had nothing before?

The fact that Paul describes in Romans such things as "this body of death", and how he would do right, but sin works in him, etc. is perhaps the ultimate proof that that is the same age (of transition) we are in. For that is precisely our experience now! Yet, in the actual resurrection of the body, then we will be truly perfect. That is what I have always gotten from those scriptures, and it points to this age still being the transition. Christians were waiting for the redemption of the body, not the destruction of the OT Temple. (which had been destroyed before). Many preterists will from here try to point out that "body of death" refers to the Old Covenant. But this, as will be mentioned once again; is dual, and the spiritual death Jews had under the Law parallels the physical death all suffer in this life.
Another big proof of all of this is a verse one quoted: Hebrews 12:11 - "All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness". This was taken as contrasting the burden of the Old Covenant, with the New Covenant, in which righteousness been imputed to us.
Righteousness is both imputed, and actual, and while it is imputed to us by grace, at the same time, it is being actually developed in us through discipline. This still goes on today, and as I said, is apart of our experience. It was not just the Old Covenant. We are still disciplined (often through trials, etc), in order to bring righteousness. But none of us can say we have been perfected in it. Some preterists do insist that we ARE "perfect" now! But how can we say we're really perfect when God still needs to make us grow towards something?? Only "positionally", we can say we're perfect, but God doesn't train us for a positional status that He just gives by grace. No, He is training us for ACTUAL "righteousness", and we can attain more, but never be perfect in actuality. And the fact that we still all have to go through this discipline shows that we are in the same exact state as they, and are all waiting for the same thing. But one day, we will attain it ACTUALly, and this requires the actual resurrection of our bodies. Then, we will need no more training. The same thing with "patience" (James 1:2-4,5:7). If all of this refers to the first century only, and we have attained the "perfection" they were looking for, than much of the teaching of the epistles is not for us. As one person put it, it "reduces the Bible to a mere history book". The preterists insist it is still for us, and that we can "glean its principles"; but how? To apply these passages to us, you're taking them way out of their context. The suffering seen in the NT was all part of a larger context of history drawing to a grand climax. Those suffering saints would be a key part of it, and this was the motivation given them to continue on in their trials. But if this "history" was just some local event from that time period only; then it just seems to leave us without any significant direction. We just suffer to "grow" or whatever; but then, once again; to what end? According to this theory, we are no longer waiting for the same thing they were. We already have it. Yet many of us still suffer. If you apply the "principle" to us waiting for our "new existence" after death, then perhaps that is what they were really waiting for also; and maybe this "new existence" was a bodily resurrection. So removing the eschatological framework that Christians' trials (continuing into today) were tied to, removes the whole theme of hope the Gospel offers.
To further claim that the physical life is "good" as God created it; it is pointed out how physical pain is "good". "God has a higher, spiritual order, and the natural man does not comprehend this. We see pain as negative(through the eye of the flesh), yet that pain is what could very well be drawing us into a closer fellowship w/Christ, and also preserve our physical lives (as in touching a hot stove). Pain would then be a blessing!" one said. But pain signifies that something is wrong, not that it is right. It is only good in the context of protecting us from something that is bad. A hot stove will burn the flesh. Not having a closer fellowship with Christ is a problem that stems from our imperfect nature--like from being in a world where we are distracted by the physical things around us; and often ignore the spiritual. (Precisely proving that we are not yet in a perfect state!) Then, Paul's mention of a seed going into the ground and dying in 1 Cor. 15 is also referred to. But even though Paul used that as an analogy of "death"; in a sense of whether this proves that physical death was apart of God's original intention for creation; this is not really a "death", but rather a transformation; and this fits exactly with what we believe about the resurrection of the body, and is in fact, the strongest proof of it! The life in the seed does not extinguish the same way as if you uprooted the plant and burned it, made it your food; etc. And also, the same material is used in the new life. It's the same process as the human cells that join to form a new person. Nothing dies; only the material changes. (And once again; the ancients in the Bible thought of the male cell being the "seed"; when more technically, it is the female cell). A caterpillar becoming a larvae in a coccoon, and emerging as a butterfly; also nothing dies; but is changed, and using the same material.
So if all this "pain and death" is so good; then do you think it will be the same in this "heaven"? That God will still need to inflict us with emotional pain to "bring us closer to Him"? If not; then we both agree on a future of absolute perfection; but only differ as to its realm. Once again; it is only in the context of present "bad" (the Fall) that pain and death take on any "good" sense. In eternity; I would think it would no longer be like that. So rather than being "the requirements of the natural man" as charged; this seems rather to be what God has ultimately promised. While in this purely natural state; man cannot comprehend the higher spiritual order. But that does not mean that God intended it to always be like this. Else, once again; what is this Heaven? Preterists frequently refer to Rom.14:17 "the Kingdom of God is not [physical, earthly things]; but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost". But if God cares about these things; why wouldn't He care about physical wholeness and lack of pain? Once again; a dichotomy is created between "physical" and "spiritual" with only the spiritual important to God. Also, even our "peace, joy, contentment"; etc. that is supposed to define our Kingdom existence is not consistent. How many who believe this can honestly say they always manifest those traits; never get impatient, frustrated, depressed, angry and even bitter about things?
Once again, everything I read in those passages on trials, (in terms of the promises and forward hope compared with what we have now) I and many others will say is very much apart of our experience.

One thing you have to hand to this view: in the eternal security debate, it would reconcile all the scriptures about "falling away" and "perseverance to the end" that have seemed to conflict with salvation by faith alone. There would be no eternal security until full regeneration, which was yet future. So people reading the epistles were still in danger of falling away. But that is debatable, and is discussed on the Predestination page.

It is further claimed: "Although His coming was symbolic, it was also real. It was realized in Him being behind the Roman armies as He judged and punished those unbelieving and wicked Jews, as He had promised that He would. This was exactly how God had punished the Jews and other nations in the old covenant when He sent the Assyrians and Babylonians to destroy and judge them". Regarding "coming in the clouds"; we are pointed to "See, the Lord rides on a swift cloud"(Is.19:1). which was obviously symbolic, and not literal. If that was symbolic, then why not the New Testament's promise of the second coming of Christ?
Because of a couple of things. First, in Isaiah, we see God working through invisible, unexplained events, causing Egypt to turn against one another, and by this are they brought down. Then, later, they are turned over to "cruel lords" in v.6. Since it was God directly, and God was assumed by most to be "up in the sky", then He could be seen as having come (invisibly) "in the clouds" when this miraculous judgment suddenly fell on Egypt. In Matt. Christ specifically speaks of coming "with His saints and holy angels". Do you really believe that He would describe pagan Romans as His "saints" and "holy angels"? That is quite a stretch. Or did Christians accompany the Romans in the destruction of the Temple? that would be a bigger stretch, and the Romans persecuted the christians along with the Jews! Once again, certain details must be literal, or it wouldn't make sense. Once again, we have clear sense statements.

Other OT "coming in the clouds" imagery was Exodus 16:10 Exodus 19:9 Exodus 34:5 Leviticus 16:2 Numbers 11:25 in which Yahweh is said to have “come”; He “descended,” “came down,” and “appeared.” —language similar to that which Jesus used in reference to His own second coming.
But these are all literal. Moses relays what He saw. These are by no means spiritual metaphors of of an invisible "spiritual" coming. Else, why would people be afraid? How could they follow through the wilderness what could not really be seen?
This raises the question: was the “body” of Yahweh seen at these times or was it just that the cloud signified the presence of Yahweh? Were these manifestations of Yahweh “bodily and physical”? The answer is obvious (i.e. no, it was "Spiritual"). But this was not a "body" in any physical sense. It was the Logos, which was a visible manifestation (theophany) of God (but not Him in His natural form, of course, as "the Heavens cannot contain Him"). The burning bush was the same thing. Sometimes it was called a "man" or "angel". Still, something visible, which the preterist system is denying altogether.

Also cited are Psalm 18:912 He made darkness His hiding place, His canopy around Him, darkness of waters, and thick clouds of the skies. From the brightness before Him passed His thick clouds, Psalm 97:23 - Clouds and thick darkness surround Him; Psalm 104:3 - He makes the clouds His chariot; He walks upon the wings of the wind...
Isaiah 19:1 The oracle concerning Egypt. Behold, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud Joel 2:12 Zephaniah 1:1415 a day of clouds and thick darkness. Nahum 1:3 In whirlwind and storm is His way, and clouds are the dust beneath His feet.
These are figurative, but the presence of figurative examples do not negate the literal ones. The fact that there were literal ones proves that they can be literal again. The figurative ones are simply by extension of the literal ones, as I had earlier said regarding the Isaiah passage on Egypt. God is "up" in the clouds. He comes in clouds sometimes. So even when He works invisibly, it can be called "in the clouds". The contexts determine which. (In two of these, "clouds" have nothing to do with God's "presence", but rather using gloomy weather as a metaphor for a time of judgment).

Then, it is claimed "It was a spiritual happening. You won't read about it in history books. This is when the Thessalonians were "changed in the twinkling of an eye". This is when the tabernacle of God came to be with men. (Rev 21:3)" Even if you insist that it is perceived only "spiritually", remember, these prophecies were not just positive assurances to the faithful, but also negative warnings to unbelievers. A couple are aimed specifically at the the very people who rejected Jesus. Those unconverted, unspiritual people Jesus was speaking to did not "see" the saints in the New Jerusalem (Luke 13:28), neither would those who "pierced Him" see Him (Rev.1:7) then; not physically, nor even if this is "spiritual", such things are not discerned by the unconverted, natural man (but remain foolishness). (1 Cor. 2:14) In the second resurrection (White Throne judgment), it will be quite a different story, however. Perhaps then, they will even see Him in the clouds first.

Still, it was pointed out: "I imagine if we lived under the Old Covenant (instrument of death) it would have a life-changing effect on our lives to enter into the New Covenant". and "I wish you could ask the 1,000,000 to 2,000,000 Jews who were slaughtered and the hundreds of thousands who were sold as slaves if the outcome of Jesus' return in judgment upon them was not noticeable!" Still, for this to completely match the scope of judgment we see in the passage, every single unbelieving Jew would have had to have been killed, and the entire religion, thus wiped out. But we do not see this. They continued on, though greatly diminished. Christians, such as Justin even debated them about Christ’s reality. Another thing about this system of prophecy is that it renders all that is going on today in the world insignificant. One of the biggest proofs of the Bible has been the survival of Israel as a people, and the fact that there is constantly so much going on over there. If Israel had been totally wiped out as a people, then you would have a big argument, and I think that would have been necessary to come anywhere close to fufilling the pictures of "judgment" we see in the prophecies.
But the preterists must insist these Jews of today are not real, or are only "1/50th" as one suggested to me. While there was obviously some mixing, with them taking on the racial features of those people they were sold off in captivity to; there have always been some who remained in the Middle East. And let's not forget about the rest of the World beside the Jews. There is no evidence all the tribes of the Roman Empire mourned, or even all the tribes of Judea. They rejected Him, many perished, but most went on, and continued to build their rabbinic religion which wrote Him off as a false Messiah who died for his own sin. John 19:34 applies the promise of Zechariah to the very crucifixion itself. Well, they did look upon Him then, most did not mourn for Him or receive the Spirit, so what I think this shows is that all of that ultimately is fulfilled in parts, or plurally. Still, no such act of conversion and mourning for Him "as for a son" (not for their own pain) is seen in AD70. There were many Jews who believed, But not enough to fulfill these prophecies. Overall, the almost consensus of Israel toward Christ was that of rejection. The NT says this all over, and the theme is that God has turned to the Gentiles now. In the future, God shall restore Israel for the final fulfillment of these promises. This then gets into debates about whether John the Baptist fulfilled the role of Elijah.

In Mark 9, Christ says that Elijah did come in the person of John. Still, the passage mentions two comings. He has come, and yet still shall come. This speaks of duality. John started the work that the final Elijah shall finish. It was yet incomplete. In contrast to "turning the hearts to the Fathers", etc while some Israelites may have listened to John and believed in Christ, still, overall, the final analysis of the Jews' reception of both John and Christ, is one of rejection. Paul, in Romans and elsewhere, speaks of Israel being hardened, and in general, rejecting Christ. Paul pictures the final redemption of Israel as future, and no, there was no mass conversion of Jews in AD70 either. This in no way fulfills what was said about the final Elijah, but is practically the opposite. Face it, it was incomplete!
John is considered "Elijah", because he started the work prophesied, by heralding the first coming of the Messiah. Since, as all agree, there would be a second, final coming, then there would need to be a final Elijah as well. But there is no such Elijah leading up to AD70. Remember, the "coming of Elijah was to be "before the coming of the great and dreadful Day of the Lord" (Mal. 4:5). This is the second coming, not the first, but the first would have a typical foreshadowing of the second. So it is yet future. All the prophecies are clearly shown to be in pluralistic types with a final future fulfillment. Then it will be claimed that Luke 1:17 would be false. No more false than any other prophecy that was fulfilled in stages. Like the Messiah, who had to come to die first, before fulfilling anything else the Messiah was to do. So John started it (by paving the way for the first coming of the Messiah), and the last Elijah will finish it. The ideal was that Israel would accept both the new Elijah, and the Messiah, who would then in that one coming, bring on judgment against the world, and the Kingdom would be established under the Old Covenant. But Israel itself needed to be judged "first", and a new covenant established, so therefore the whole plan now called for Israel as a whole rejecting the message of John, as well as Christ. That is what we see in the rest of the NT. And no, the Church does not fulfill that for Israel. The Church may be, spiritually, "Israel", but this prophecy was aimed specifically at the physical nation, who had received the prophecy in the first place. So even if it was fulfilled in the church, then by that standard, Luke would be just as false. In both views, it is fulfilled in a different way than people expected. He did not complete what Luke said, unless you now switch to the "spiritual" definition of Israel. But if all of these prophecies concern physical Israel, as the preterist has been saying, then I don't see how one can just switch it when it is convenient like that.
What Jesus said was "HE HAS come, and he SHALL come".
In Mark 9, V.12 deals with "restoring all things". v.13 shows that he has come, but "they knew him not, but did unto him whatsoever they would", which means he did NOT (yet) "restore all things". The prophecies of Elijah did not say that He would be rejected by the people, but that He would bring them back to God. So this too was conditional. If they had accepted him, then he would have been the final Elijah heralding the judgment of God on the world. But it was Israel itself that rejected Him, so John simply became a type, and God's judgment then turned on Israel, which was then replaced by a spiritual type of the Kingdom. In the case of Elijah, as well as the Church; a type can be called what it typifies. However, God would later finish the rest of the promise with a new Elijah, and judgment on the whole world and a comlete Kingdom.
I am then asked "were does the Bible say the second Coming would be in stages? So you divide the Kingdom between physical and spiritual. When the Kingdom was at hand, Jesus only meant the spiritual side? Is there any OT references to the Kingdom coming in phases?"
It's just like the coming of the Messiah. People only understood the OT references singularly, but it was in phases. First as suffering savior (which they missed), then as reigning King. Likewise, the kingdom would have the same phases as its King! So this is just like asking "Where in the OT does it say there would be two comings of Christ?" You can get a hint of it if you know what to look for, but still, everyone at first understood one coming. I have even seen some preterists try to claim there was really only one Coming, that was done in phases, with the judgment of AD70 being the completion of it. That would get us around the enigma of this event in itself being a real "coming", but the scriptures clearly speak of a future "coming" as a separate event. The Bible speaks of types and antitypes, and in fact, that is the theme of the entire Gospel, so you can't now take this AD70 event and exclude that as the one final thing. The OT had physical types with the spiritual meanings behind them even then. The entire Law is an example. So the NT would be dual as well, with the immediate spiritual types being our down-payment to the ultimate realities in the resurrection.
It was claimed: "Ours is not in stages. When one is regenerated he is regenerated. You become alive, not partially alive". So ours [redemption] is not in stages, but theirs (between AD30 and 70) was? (i.e. Christ was already crucified, saying "It is finished!", but the Christians who the NT was written to wouldn't be completely redeemed until the destruction of the Temple; thus final redemption is still spoken of as future?) I do not see this in there. In the NT teaching, they also were "alive, not partially alive". Spiritual death was finally abolished, but the whole theme of the NT is that physical death, "the last enemy" was what still needed to be resolved. This is what was yet future, not the completion of their spiritual life.

It is further claimed that the reason that the first century transition was not instantaneous and was accomplished over a period of 40 years(a highly symbolic number to the Jews) was that, as in accordance with Jewish Law, the High Priest(in this case Jesus) had to appear before the Father in the Holy of Holies as an acceptable sacrifice, and then reappear from the Holy of Holies to show Himself as having been accepted and having atonement for their sins.
While 40 may be a significant number to Israel, for one thing, it is widely accepted that Christ died, rose again and ascended in AD33. That would be 37 years to AD70. So this theory would have to force the Crucifixion/Resurrection/Ascension to be definitely AD30, and while it possibly could have been, still, there is no real evidence for that. But we'll grant them the 40 years for the sake of the argument. Next, where does it say it would take 40 years for the Father to accept Christ's sacrifice? In John, we see He first appears to Mary Magdalene, and tells her not to touch Him, because He has not yet ascended to the Father. (20:17) He says "go to my brethren and say to them [that] I ascend to My Father...". In other words, while she was going to tell them, this is what He would be doing. That evening, He begins to appear to them. So He ascended to be accepted by the Father right away, and returned. It would not take 40 years. (8 days later, he has Thomas touch Him, showing that He had been accepted, at least by then). Continuing in Acts, we are told that after the Passion, he had been there for 40 days.(1:3) There's your significant number 40! Then, right before He ascends for good, they ask "Lord, will you at this time restore the Kingdom to Israel?"(v.6) They were still waiting for that physical kingdom they thought would begin with only one coming. The preterists slyly associate the futurist position with these Jews who looked for a physical Kingdom, when Christ was bringing a spiritual one "not of this world". But it is actually they who are more like the Jews in not recognizing the multiple stages of God's plan. Just like the Jews thought there would only be one physical coming, so do the preterists, and differ only in speaking of a spiritual second Coming and Kingdom after that. But Jesus does not tell them, "No, never! Israel is finished for good, and when Jerusalem is destroyed, that is it for them forever. The Church is the only 'Israel', now. I have restored the Kingdom to you!". If He had said then "The Kingdom comes without observation" or "the Kingdom is not of this world", then the preterists would have a point. What He tells them is "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father has put in His own power. But ye shall receive power after the Holy Spirit is come upon you; and ye will be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth". So He is acknowledging that the Kingdom would be restored to Israel (literally, since that is what they were asking about), but that the time is not their concern. This actually kind of hints at it being far off! To further try to prove a spiritual kingdom only, of course we get references to Jesus' earlier statements that the Kingdom came "without observation"; "It is within you", (Luke 17:20, 21)"it is not of this world" (John 18:36). Yes, that was the spiritual Kingdom. But Peter and the others asked about the physical kingdom of Israel, and Christ affirms that will be taken care of too, in the Father's timing. However, what Christ is telling them, is that the spiritual kingdom is their concern now. "The world will see me no more." (John 14-17) is also appealed to. And it hasn't, so far. I believe that was in the immediate context, of His current mission as the humble sin-bearer, that was being referred to. When Christ returns, it will be "apart from sin" (Heb. 9:28; i.e suffering and dying). It will be too late for the world then, so in that sense, after Christ rose, the world will "see him no more" in the dispensation of Grace. After He ascended, that would be the last the world would be able to "see and believe". After that, they would have to come in faith (i.e. believe and see -spiritually), or see Him in judgment.
Once again, a crucial flaw of preterism is that it makes all the everlasting judgment just the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70, but if that were true, then Jerusalem would be "trampled under foot by the gentiles" forever. But in Rev. we see that these "times of the Gentiles" do have an end.
Then, right after He is ascended, the angels tell them, "Ye men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into Heaven? This same Jesus, who is taken up from you into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into Heaven. They just saw Him literally ascend, so He must then literally descend. What the angels were telling them was not to stand there waiting for it. It would happen in its due time, and meanwhile, they had the work commanded them to carry out. One tries to claim Matt 26:64 teaches "Out of sight and in a cloud". Another says "Hidden from the eyes in a Cloud". So, this taking it as "OK, He is in the cloud now, they can't see Him, so 'unseen' is how He will return”. But he had to actually, physically rise through the air to reach the cloud, in "heaven" toward which they were staring. It was all literal. The focus is on the ascent, not the brief period of time He was "unseen" (He presumably was gone as soon as He went into the cloud; not that He existed that way for a time. Even if He did, then still, "cloud" would still be literal here, so why wouldn't it be literal in the places where it says He shall come in the clouds?
As for a claim that the 40 years was to give them time to go to the Jews first and then to the Gentiles to spread the gospel, and not finishing before He returned(Mat.10:23); All this could mean is that they would not complete the evangelism of the Jews. If you take the destruction and dispersion into account, then that would prevent them from having gone through all of the cities (—until the future fulfillment). But that doesn't mean that the destruction was the "coming" itself. That may sound like a stretch, but then let's look, finally, at another type of "coming" which is neglected in this theory.

Another important point is when the spiritual "presence" of God that was called "the promise of the Father” (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4) would begin. Jesus said He must ascend so that the Comforter would come unto them. And here was when He claimed that He would be "with" them, spiritually (John 14-17). But the Holy Spirit came into the Church shortly after, in the next chapter, on Pentecost, AD33, not AD70. In no way is that said to fulfill the second coming of Christ, though it is technically a "parousia". Nowhere is it said that this would still leave them incomplete, until some other spiritual parousia afterward. This theory has them having the Spirit, but them still being in some "limbo" with redemption not being complete for nearly 40 years, as we have seen above. It's as if the third member of the Godhead Himself is apparently not enough. The preterists point out the word "parousia" is not used for the Spirit. But He is the only vehicle through which Christ is said to be spiritually present. (Adding another, would in effect, constitute a fourth Person of the Godhead!) And Jesus said that the coming of the Spirit would be what would get them set for the spiritual "kingdom" of the church age. But none of this was said to fulfill the literal kingdom promised elsewhere.
Meanwhile, "parousia" is also used in 1 Cor. 16:17, 2 Cor. 7:7, 10:10, 13:1 and Phil. 1::26, 2:12 simply for an apostle's bodily presence, as well as the "coming" of the man of sin! No "spiritual" presence or coming there. While the word is used heavily for Christ in the epistles, in the Gospels, except for Matt. 24:3, 27 and 37,39, is a totally different word, "erchomai".
Now, does all of this make the true second coming at Pentecost? No. Christ is the Son, and the Comforter is the Spirit. Christ is present in the Spirit as He promised in John, but this is not a "return" of Christ in the sense promised later. Just a new manifestation of His presence. What preterism is teaching is basically another spiritual "manifestation" of Christ in addition to the Spirit, and it's this second manifestation that actually redeems/regenerates us, not the Spirit. But the Bible does not teach this. When it says "Christ" shall return, it means the same literal presence that was here in the NT. The Spirit is here now while Christ is away, as our "downpayment".

As for the New Testament period being "the last days". Yes; but still, what that meant was that this was the final dispensation. We get hung up on "days", but remember, God does not view time like we do. This is ironic, for preterists chide us for taking so many other things literally, but their whole system of eschatology hinges on taking this one term (and a few other "time statements") literally, and then forcing the rest of the prophecy into AD70.

To justify having this world go on forever and ever, with people suffering and dying, the preterists even claim that physical death was apart of God's original "good" creation, and that the only "sting of death" is spiritual. The assumption is "The death in the garden that day was spiritual, so physical is just assumed". Adam and Eve were not created to live physically forever!
Spiritual was the immediate meaning, but physical was apart of the "curse" that took effect later. It's this "curse" that will be removed in the new earth. If Adam (man) was only meant to live physically for a while, then that raises the question of what is after death? What scriptures teach about this, since all the ones we are familiar with are taken to describe spiritual life now?
Physical death is definitely a "curse". Who can deny it? Isn't the death of even a saved loved one still sorrowful, even though we muse on how they are now bouncing around heaven or whatever? One of the scriptures mentioned; "death, where is thy sting" (1 Cor. 15:55) is one that supports it. While these can convey both spiritual death as well as literal, I think it is a great assumption to suggest this refers to spiritual only. Look at the other things God said in Gen.3:14-19, that still continue today. "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in sorrow you shall bring forth children [birth pains]; and your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you [woman becomes "weaker vessel"]. And unto Adam he said, Because you have...eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it [this is the punishment for the sin that led to the Fall]: cursed is the ground for your sake; in sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to you; and you shall eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread..." [life becomes "hard"]. Particularly the last verse, where "dust you came from, and dust you shall return". There is your inclusion of physical death in the curse. Man used to live much longer, and then because of increasing sin, God shortened it. (6:3) And it continued to shorten. Physical death is from decay. Decay is not apart of God's creation of everything "very good". It is apart of the curse. (The fact that animals were originally all vegetarian (Gen. 1:30), but later began eating each other shows that changes occurred in creation resulting from the curse of the Fall). The preterist theory would assume that this world was created as just a temporary "vapor" or stepping stone to heaven —a waiting place for the "true" spirit existance. Only Adam fell, and then died spiritually as well, sending all of his descendants on the way to Hell instead. So God comes up with the whole scheme of the two Covenants, to redeem some back to the path to heaven. This world? We'll just leave it in its [original, good] state of physical death, with the added curse of spiritual death in order to have an infinite supply of both vessels of mercy and wrath [much of modern preterism is coming from a Reformed theology. Others, however, take a universalist position]. But we do not see any such scheme in the Gospel— that the earth was planned all along to have physical death, and that we were originally designed to die and go to heaven. The whole need to leave this life and go somewhere else sprang from the fallen and corrupt nature of this existence (see whole context of James 4:14), not it's original "good" creation. (Why wouldn't God just have created us as spirits in the spirit realm like the angels, then?). The entire distinction between "spiritual" and "physical" (and thus the need for gain of "spiritual life") in the first place clearly is apart of the "separation" that resulted from the Fall. Paul speaks of "mortality" in 1 Cor. 15 and 2 Cor. 5. In fact, the entire CONTEXT of the entire chapter of First Cor. 15 is physical death!. 1 Cor. 15 also mentions the grave; and in Rev. 20:13, 14, the grave is itself cast into the lake of fire; not just those spiritually dead! Spirits don't go to the grave. This is clearly speaking of physical death, which was the sign of spiritual death. God restored one at the Cross, and the other will be at the resurrection. So "death, where is thy sting" is talking about physical death being abolished, not just spiritual death. One preterist pointed me to Hosea 13:1, 14, where Ephraim is said to "die" because of its sin, and a promise is made to "ransom them from the power of the grave"; in an attempt to show that grave can represent spiritual death as well. But obviously, they did not become spiritually dead just by that sin. So yes, that is a "metaphorical" use of "grave", but it is not describing it as a real place that spirits go to.
Then there is the word "slept", which in this context means death. Yes, I know that can by extension mean spiritual death (blindness, etc) sometime, but Christ never "slept" in that fashion! Christ is placed in the order of the "making alive"; but He was never spiritually dead to begin with; only physically dead! So the resurrection that is promised to us there correlates with the only resurrection that Christ experienced: the bodily one! This is what sets that whole passage to be about physical death. Likewise, the unregenerate dead are never given spiritual life. Yet, they are resurrected; so "resurrection" cannot be a synonym for "spiritual life"!
Then, to be consistent with the idea that us "seeing God" is not literal, it is even questioned whether Adam actually "Saw God" physically, proving the only "separation" is spiritual. While no one had ever actually "seen" the the face of God; Adam, as well as everyone else back then, saw the Logos, which was the visible "presence" of God in the world. Of course, nobody saw God in His natural form. But we don't even see the logos anymore. Christ was the final appearance of the Logos on earth, but 1 John 32 says that for the first time we shall be able to "see Him as He is". This speaks of actually seeing Him, not just some spiritual life we have now. Notice, "NOW we are the sons of God" (rather than us us gaining this spiritual state decades later)"...and yet it does not appear what we shall be, but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is". This is speaking of the Father, not just the coming of the Son. While in our Christian life, we are in the process of being made like Him, none of us are there. That is why AD70 cannot be "it". Else, "what they should be" would not be so mysterious, to those who would continue to live, and not get that "spirit body" yet. And since the preterist does still insist on Heaven when you die, won't we "See Him" literally, then? So the argument is self-defeating.
Still, it is argued that both the world order changed (Old Covenant economy) and the curse (separation from God) ended. But separation from God has not ended. There are billions of lost today (still in this realm, not finally separated yet). Israel was to be God's Government, but the lesson He wrote through them was that they too were sinners, and man needed a whole new nature. So as another nation of sinners, yes, they did in that sense represent the "old order" of the world, and God ended that phase of His plan. But that is not the end of the plan altogether. God will one day end the entire system of human govt. and sin.

Once again, the Temple became illegitimate and the covenants officially changed when the veil was torn. But this position is making the physical destruction more significant than even the death and Resurrection! We do not see any such focus in the NT. We do not see any scriptures telling us that the destruction of the Temple is what we are waiting for. So how would they even know that this was "it"; the beginning of the new heaven and new earth? How would they sense this "resurrection"? In the twinkling of an eye, they were "changed" into what? In fact, a Christian who may have been off somewhere and not even heard of the destruction (at least for a while) wouldn't know that anything happened! Clearly, this is a retrospective interpretation force-fitted onto the prophecy. I was then asked "When one is regenerated, what do they feel? What did you feel when you were brought from death unto life? So you tell me how did they feel when the veil ripped, since you believe that is when the New Covenant began? How did they know that was 'it'"? But I only claim that was the official changing of the Covenants. I don't claim that was the coming of Christ, and all the other graphic events described in the prophecies. Neither was my own new birth those things. To them all of that was past, and I will admit, as I have read on a preterist sites that the destruction of the temple was the validation and vindication of the Christians, who hoped in the dark after seeing their Lord crucified, then heard the apostles' reports of Him rising and ascending, but still suffered persecution from both Jews and pagans for His name. Also, I can add that to the Jewish Christians, this was a bit more significant, as as long as the Temple was standing, they probably still felt unsure as to whether they were yet bound by the Law. The religious establishment and their own families certainly were harassing them over it. Thus it's destruction would confirm forever that that was not the case. But that is a far cry from "resurrection" and "changing" into a new form that they could not even understand yet.
"Twinking of the eye" also seems to be another clear sense statement. Of course, as preterists will point out; it conveys the quickness of the change. But why mention the eye? That seems to point to something visible that would be missed in the instant that it happens if someone were to blink their eye. Then, we have a definite order or the "raising" of the saints. First those who were dead rising out of their graves. Then those alive "caught up" to join them and the Lord. If this were all just a symbolic transfer of covenants and imparting of "spiritual life" to both souls that are really in another realm rather than the physical grave the body is in, as well as those alive; then why the order? Symbolic events would take place at a given time as the key happening that the symbols accompany comes to pass. If the Temple destruction marked these events; then all the spirits would be "raised" at the same time; because the destruction would be the physical mark of the event in time; so why would there need to be any such order for invisible spiritual events that are marked by the physical event? They are not even dependant on temporal sequences. But if the actual "raising" itself is a visible event in physical space and time, then it would make sense that one group could follow another.

In 2 Peter 3, the fiery end of the age is made the antitypical counterpart of Noah's flood, "whereby the world, which then was became overflowed with water and perished". Peter uses one to illustrate the reality of the other, and we see the same "world" is involved. Yes, the pictures of "the sun, moon not giving their light"; the stars "falling", and heaven "departing as a scroll" are symbolic, and can refer to the end of the Old Covenant. But now we have here more specific scope statements, and you can't simply take the "fire" Peter speaks of, and merge it with the "fire" that would destroy the Temple, and say that is it. Once again, this is all connected to a warning as to how we should live, in order not to "perish". To a person escaping (such as the Christians who followed Christ's instruction to flee to the mountains) the physical destruction, this would have no meaning. Preterists point to Genesis 8:21 to prove "God promised never to destroy the earth again". He promised never to destroy "every living thing" again, and there will be many saved from the end of the world. Remember, in the premillenial scheme, the saints are ruling with Him on earth by that time, and they are not destroyed.

Then you have "Abolished all rule and authority" speaks of universal conditions. (more definite scope statements). We still have wicked human rulers all over the earth, false leaders in churches and false religions, and it still appears that Satan and the other evil spirits are still ruling this world.

Yes, we have spiritually passed from death to life. The fact that Jesus speaks of that fact in a present sense shows that this idea of them not actually gaining spiritual life until AD70 is wrong. But then there is spiritual death, and physical death. Both were the result of sin. The latter is totally ignored in this system, but is what is being addressed along with the former in 1 Cor., which once again, mentions "the dead" (sleep, meaning physical death), being "raised". Once again, the spiritual "life" we have now, is but the "deposit" for the future physical immortality, and "incorruption".

The doctrine of judgment occurring in AD70 and therefore being past for us today is justified with “It is appointed unto man once to die and then the judgement.” But were people actually resurrected and sent to the lake of fire or heaven? What was resurrected (since according to this view, the physical body is never resurrected), and Why is moving from one spiritual realm (Hades/Sheol) to another (heaven or Gehenna) called a "resurrection" from the grave (where the physical body is? A little caution is in order; that there has been much speculation about realms of death, but much of it is drawn more from Dante or the books of Enoch than the Bible. You cannot support a doctrine on something like that. Generally, both mainstream dispensational futurists and preterists are in agreement on "immortal souls" that float to heaven or hell upon death. This is said to be the "real person". The futurists elieve that the body will be rejoined to the soul/spirit, to continue eternal existance in heaven or hell, which is rather redundant. Preterism has seemingly given a better justification to the immortal soul theory by saying that "resurrection" is spiritual and therefore the body need never be resurrected. (though this runs into a problem with what exactly "spiritual resurrection" for the lost is, as we shall see!) But if you really think about hades; what is the purpose of it? It is generally seen as the same sffering for the lost as Gehenna. For the "righteous dead", it is seen as basically the same as the eternal Heaven. Many will claim that the righteous dead were in Hades, until Christ took them out, either at His supposed descent into hell during His death, as futurists would maintain; or, of course, AD70 as maintained by the preterists. I don't know of any who bring themselves to claim the righteous suffered in this Hades. Still, it was supposedly dark and to some extent "miserable", though they generally were at "rest". There is not even complete consistency, as we see. All of this is based on Old Testament pictures of Sheol, which are taken as textbook descriptions of life after death. But death was not fully understood in the Old Testament. Part of the New Testament Good News was the revelation of a resurrection to life. Still, you wonder why God would stick the righteous in some limbo place of darkness. I guess He couldn't just bring their spirits to Heaven, because they weren't legally "redeemed", right? But then why a conscious existence in some void? What we rather see is that death affected man— spirit, soul and body, and this resurrection was the hope of man living again. But to the preterist; once again, where does the Bible expound upon eternity, since in this view, the pertinent scriptures on the New Heaven are about the Church age? The most clear reading of the scripture is a physical resurrection (just as Christ was physically resurrected) in the yet to us future, where the saints will join Christ in the Kingdom, and then later, the wicked are raised and judged to the lake of fire. In that, it is no less true that "it is appointed man once to die, then after this, the judgment".

Since I insisted that the physical resurrection is our final "perfection", one person asked "How will resurrecting 'this body of death' make us perfect? Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God". Preterists constantly throw this verse (1 Cor.15:50) out, as if it reads, basically, "tangible bodies shall not enter the Kingdom". But it won't be a "body of death" when it is resurrected! Pardon the sarcasm, but, duh! that's the whole point. Preterism has it thrown away for good, but God created man as a physical being (with a spirit), not a spirit being trapped in an evil body, with the hope being to be freed into the spirit realm when we die. God made all matter good (Gen.1). It was corrupted by the Fall, but as apart of renewing all things, it will be redeemed along with the soul. The contrast between "flesh and blood" in the old, and "spiritual" in the new means a glorification of the physical, not a total discarding of it in favor of some spirit only existence. As I point out in my treatment of God's triunity; God made man also a tri-une being (though in a different way than He is; of course). Body and spirit are in a sense, manifestations of our soul. They are your soul, or person in the sense of being different parts or aspects of it. When something troubles your soul, they trouble you; when your body is hurt, you are hurt; when God 'touches' or 'moves' your spirit, He does those things to you. This is why just taking spirits to Heaven, while the body rots in a grave (and descendants visit there and mourn over it) forever, seems so incomplete. A significant part of us is cast away forever. Another proof that God is not finished with our bodies is that it is well known ththat we only use about one fourth of our brains! What is (or was) the rest of that for; if it was meant to just sit there unused for a few decades, and then be dissolved away forever?
Preterists often speak as if "physical" necessarily means "the old man" or "corrupted like Adam"; or "just the same as we have now", and that "spiritual" means "invisible, intangible" ONLY (and thus, a "different body than the one in the grave"). They assume "physical" as we use it today, and "spiritual" are necessary opposites. "Physical" in the Greek means more along the lines of "natural", as it is translated in places Rom.1, James 1:23 and 2 Pet.2:12. The word used in 1 Cor.15 is "psuchikos" which carries the meaning of "sensual". In either case, yes, the body will be changed from this. That is not the argument, but preterists, as I have been saying, seem to think we believe the resurrected bodies will be EXACTLY like the ones we have now. That is not what we are arguing. "Tangible" is a better word. Thus the body can be "spiritual" meaning free of the moral and/or physical corruption we experience now. We will not be tempted to sin (lust, etc) in the new bodies, etc. Yet they can still be "tangible". Just look at Christ's resurrection body. (Thus, they can be invisible as well. I have said they will have the properties of both tangible and "spirit" existence. It is the preterists who are forced to say spirit only, because if this is the final kingdom, obviously, we don't see dead saints walking around!).
Various religions; whether Christian or otherwise, have historically made such a big deal about "physical" as opposed to "spiritual;"; but really; "physical matter" as well as the "fabric" of physical space-time is now believed to consist of vibrating loops of energy called "Strings" which lie in an non-physical, non-spatial/temporal realm. This would fit right into a biblical model of the cosmos; but we see that the difference between "physical" and nonphysical is not as great as it may seem. What makes things "Tangible" is the nuclear force fields holding atoms together; which not only holds our bodies together, but also prevents us from putting our hands through solid objects; and enables "feeling" them instead. Hence "tangible". But all of this is based on energy; which in its raw form; is not tangible. And given the fact that our resurrection bodies will have the ability to step outside the tangible realm; once again; the only real difference between the tangible resurrection bodies, and the "spirit only" existence of preterism is whether the matter that was our physical bodies continues to decay in graves, forever. The biblical picture of the resurrection; especially as it is patterned on Christ's own resurrection, which left an empty tomb; suggests strongly the former.
While "physical" and "spiritual" are basically opposites now; the whole premise is that in the eternal kingdom, the physical and spiritual will be reunited. They will no longer be separated. In preterism, we are just taken out of the universe forever, like it was some kind of mistake, or forever bad (hence the assumption that if the body is "spiritual" that will preclude it being "physical", and then once again, preterists chide futurists for these very mindets and then insist that physical death was not apart of the curse, but rather "good" as God created us).
The whole analogy of "the first Adam was physical, and the second Adam was spiritual, so we will only have spirit bodies" fails, because, once again, Jesus' glorified body was still "physical" (tangible), though it was "spiritual" (NOT a "spirit body"). So all that tells us is that Adam brought us this fallen physical existence (which proves that our decay and mortality is apart of the curse, and not the way God intended it from creation; therefore it will be repaired; not just chucked aside in favor of "spirit only" existence), and Jesus brings us glorified existence, which is called "spiritual", though it will still be tangible.
When Jesus and Paul speak of "flesh and blood", they mean our unredeemed, sinful nature, coupled with the assumption of Jews to be in the kingdom through their physical lineage. That is a spiritual metaphor. For one thing, note the preterists are jumping around in their definition of "the Kingdom" when they do this. They are in this case making it synonymous with "Heaven"—like the futurists! But then futurists are wrong to say it is future, right? The "spiritual" kingdom is NOW, isn't it? And "tangible bodies" are indeed in it! So that just does not prove that the resurrection is intangible "spirit" only. One took it to mean that the spiritual "kingdom" is now; but it just doesn't concern the body. "It's the heart that needed changing; not the body". Therefore; the transformation is of the heart; and the body is just fine as God created it with its physical decay and death. But still; Jesus' actual physical body was resurrected. The rejection of this, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses who say it was a spirit body, is rejected as heresy. That is one of the fundamentals of the faith! Christ was dead, and literally, physically rose again. Then as He rose, we are promised to rise again like Him. Preterism seems to be claiming that just being converted (or perhaps dying) is "resurrection" for us. But no such distinction is made that His is literal, and ours only "spiritual".
One person pointed to Rom 7:24ff "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" and claimed Paul could not be speaking of his literal body here, but rather the old covenant of death. Rom.7:25 also is dual: both a spiritual, covenantal aspect, along with physical, as we are tempted to sin through our "flesh" (physical senses), which is then connected to our old nature, which yields to physical senses rather than the Spirit. So in v. 18, he says "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) there is no good thing", and in v.25, "So then with the mind I myself serve the Law of God; but with the flesh the Law of sin". The fact that we today still have this struggle between our flesh and spirit is one of the biggest proofs that we are in the same "age" of "transition" as Paul in the pre-AD70 period, (New Covenant has begun, but we do not experience all of its effects yet) and that the resurrection has not occured yet.

Is. 25:7, John 11:25 are taken to prove that it was only spiritual death Jesus did away with, and there is no such scripture that supports doing away with physical death.
But God created the world good, with neither physical nor spiritual death. Sin entered, and both types of death began. Under the Old Covenant; when people, including the righteous, died; it was very unclear what happened next. Now, with the Gospel, we are given assurance of eternity through faith. So "death" as a whole has lost its "sting". Spiritual death is abolished, and physical death leads to resurrection to glory. In the preterist system, we only have freedom from spiritual death, but then eternity is largely undefined. So we still live in a life of suffering, freed from the fear of divine judgment, granted; but we have no real promise of any benefit of this spiritual life, as all the scriptures on both the "judgment" we escape, as well as the "glory" that is promised, are taken and applied to this present world after the transition of AD70. Even as they have admitted, physical death ends up remaining just as mysterious and shadowy as it was in the OT! One person; who was insisting to me that we should focus on enjoying God's blessings now; rather than on Heaven; went as far as to say that whatever is beyond this life dims in comparison to what we have with the Savior now! What a total reversal of Romans 8:18! (which they believe is not speaking to us; of course). When someone dies, we have no idea of who or what they are. There seem to be no promises on this in scripture. Death, then does still have its "sting" (or at least part of it)--through the physical. That's why physical death must be included in the abolition of death. But the preterist finds no scriptures on it, because he interprets all of them as being spiritual ONLY. But both go together; else all promise of eternity vanishes as well.
The preterists insist all who have died are now free of physical death. They will never die again. "We have bodies awaiting us that will not decay". But where's the scripture teaching this? So we will have new bodies? So the resurrection is bodily, but it is a ghost form in another dimension? The person I debated with denied. But all of this is so vague. What is "never dying"? What is death, then? All of the scriptures speaking of judgment and eternal life or death are applied to AD70. I'm sure if someone wanted to, you could symbolize that as well. Like, you will be classified as "righteous" when you die. Sort of like all the OT people who hoped for their name to live on through their descendants. Perhaps some sort of Nirvana or something, where the meaning of "consciousness" is ambiguous. If one insists that "the kingdom comes without observation" meaning it is "spiritual", which is defined as "not perceived with the senses"; then what exactly is this new existence in Heaven? Is it something we will even "perceive" (see, hear, feel, touch, etc.) then? With all the platitudes that many clear sense statements are reduced to, this system seems to leave all of this open to such liberties. Perhaps purgatory is true too. This is how such doctrines were able to come into the Church.
Jesus' resurrection was of His physical body. And our resurrection would be like His, for He was the firstfruits/firstborn from the dead. What purpose did His physical body serve? Once again, I believe that is just the way God created us. Physical beings.
One asked "If our old dead body is resurrected, what is this new body in II Cor. 5 for?" The resurrected dead body IS the "new" body!!! —being "RAISED" after having been "sown" natural (death of the physical body). "SOWN in corruption and then RAISED in incorruption". Same body, being transformed. This is not a "spirit body" raised from out of the physical body, neither the "joining" of any spirit to a totally new, different body, as is also assumed, but rather the physical body being raised itself, and remember, this is patterned after Christ's resurrection! (1 Cor. 15, Rom.6:5) If His was bodily, so will ours be. If "resurrection" is spiritual only, then that would include Christ, and then, His "bodily resurrection" (one of the essentials of the faith) is denied! It is called a "spiritual body" (1 Cor.15:40,44), because it is now immortal and free of sin, but that is not the same as a "spirit body" as people (especially in non-Christian beliefs) commonly think of it. 2 Corinthians 5:1 speaks of "a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens", but this just means that its restored state is done by God, rather than naturally, and it will live in "heaven" (which includes the restored earth, and the body can live in both, like Christ's) for eternity. The bodies are not now literally stored in heaven. From this, I can understand Clement's fable of the Phoenix analogy, which when I first read, wondered what this had to do with resurrection. A phoenix dies, and a maggot feeds off of the corpse, and then grows into a new phoenix. Now I see the analogy, but it is wrong. (early fathers began using many allegories that did not always properly represent the truth). It is not something IN us that BECOMES a new body (totally distinct from the old one). The spirit within us is already made alive. It does not turn into a new body. The only "spiritual resurrection" Paul acknowledges is our new birth, after being "buried with Him" in baptism, and thus dead to sin. (Rom.6) But this was present reality (v.11, 13, and see v. 14 as not being "under the Law"). So the resurrection "in the likeness of His" (v.5) that was still future, was the physical one. All did not die like Him, but they were "baptized into His death" (v.3) In the meantime, we were to act out our state of being spiritually alive. The whole centerpiece of the first Christian witness was the empty tomb. The resurrection body may have been able to appear and disappear at will, and pass through the grave clothes, but still, it was the same body glorified; not a new "spirit" body that left the old one. Also, other people who had been resurrected (Lazarus), it was physical, bodily, though they had not been given immortality yet, and died again. The bodies of the saints who rose at the Crucifixion also came from their own tombs, and were visible, so these were changed bodies, rather then them becoming spirits. So if resurrection was spiritual, then Christ's old body would still be in the tomb to this day.
The ultimate proof that "resurrection to the next world" is not just a spiritual occurrence that Christians live now, is Christ's correction of the Sadducees: Matt.22:30 "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven". Well, this is just those who have already died, right? Of course, they're just spirits like angels now. Let's look at Luke's version, then: 20:34ff: "And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection". And note the details about this state they are in. Two key sense statements here the preterists have used to refer to all living saints at the time of AD70 and afterward: "cannot die anymore", and especially "that world" as opposed to "this world". But look what else is said about them: "they do not marry...but are like the angels of heaven". I'm sure there have been a few sects that have taken this as the true followers of Christ do not marry. Naturally, they have come and gone. But no preterist suggests that for Christians today. If you try to say this is only those that have already died, the Sadducees were asking a hypothetical question about someone who died. It had no time frame, and could have hypothetically been someone still alive then, and just a question about his future death. But if you claim He is only referring to the state of life after physical death, (which I see they generally seem to go with) then why doesn't He specify that, since Christians today equally share "that world", and were [spiritually] resurrected? Or if all of these things we associate with Heaven really apply to Christians now, then how could He say this here? Obviously, resurrection and the final manifestation of "that world" is something that can only be reached through either physical death or being alive and physically changed at the ordained time. But the preterists seem unsure whether "resurrection" for the Christian alive at AD70 and afterwards is upon conversion, or at death. So its definition can waver back and forth in cases like this. (Don't anyone dare try to say "this was about spiritual marriage of 'the Bride' to other religions" or whatever, as the question was about the physical, and that is what the answer addressed!)
Continuing with 1. Cor.; Paul further says that the hope is "not be UNclothed (disembodied), but to be FURTHER clothed, (restored body) so that mortality (death) may be swallowed up by life". (2Cor.5:4) (once again, note that it is mortality that is to be swallowed; physical death; not just spiritual!)
One person argued that God does not have to put back together all the atoms of decayed bodies; many of which (if vaporized, for instance) have become apart of other things; perhaps other people's bodies; and suggested that Paul's seed analogy shows this is a totally different body. But this is precisely one of the things that points to the new body coming from the material of the old. v.37, 38 "And that which you sow, you sow not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may of chance be wheat, or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as it has pleased him, and to every seed his own body". and the following discussion of the different "kinds" of "bodies" makes it sound like some whole new body. But this means you do not sow it in its glorified form (of course!), but rather "bare grain" (i.e. incomplete). But like the seed sprouts into a plant (same organism, though you can see it as "God giv[ing] it a [new] body"), so the body is transformed; once again, just like Jesus' was. The difference discussed here is "spiritual" versus natural; but the language he uses shows that the body is changed from one form to the other. V.36, and 42-44 clearly show that it is the same "it" that is "sown", that is "raised". The fact that they come from the graves, and do not simply "appear" by fiat in heaven where they were created totally anew, proves this. Then in v.51, he connects this to the "change" that should occur at the last trump. He does not say that that is only for those then living, and everyone after AD70 experiences this change when they die. OR, that this is just the birth of the "renewed" spirit within, and those after AD70 experience it when they are born again. No, their spirits were already made alive. The only way out of that for a preterist; though most don't accept it; is an actual AD70 rapture (discussed below). Still, those who teach this still believe that those after AD70 only experience this at death. But if it were true, then it too would be simply dual; as I have been saying; a special instance for that generation, but the final one is in our future. No scripture says that physical death IS the resurrection for anyone. The dead in Christ rise after having been asleep for some time, and only those alive go straight from this life to resurrection.
One person I debated with went further and insisted that 1 Cor.15 was describing a "covenental" resurrection. This would be the view mentioned before; that "body of death" is the Old Covenant; so therefore the "body of life" is the New Covenant. But the entire context of the passage is physical death. The people Paul is addressing start by asking "How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?" They are talking about physical death; not "covenants". If it was just a symbolic resurrection of a "covenant", why would that be so mysterious? No, clearly it was physical. We need to examine the entire context. Earlier, Paul mentiond Christ's resurrection. They, not believing, then ask this question. Then Paul goes on with his answer, leading up to v.43, which says "It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory". "dishonor" is the "comparitive indignity", (Strong #819) and note this goes along with "corruption" (Strong #5356 "decay" i.e. "ruin") in the verse. This is the state of decay (which preterists do not believe is a result of the Fall) that the body is buried in. You could also extend it to include the corruption from our fallen nature (e.g. how its urges often lead us to sin). In that light; it would be connected to the Old Covenant for Jews. This of course would be the more spiritual side of it. But both are true, and both are to be fixed by the resurrection. But the "covenantal" view takes this to refer ONLY to the Old Covenant. But God's Covenant was not sown in dishonor or corruption. A "fig." meaning of the Greek word conveying "moral decay" is pointed to, but only is mentioned as a note in the definition. The context determines that it is literal. Yes, Hebrews says that it was "decaying"; but then "decay" in that verse was 3822 "palaioo"-"worn out or declare obsolete"; not 5356 (atimia). The Old Covenant grew obsolete, but did not morally decay! The Law is "spiritual", and "holy, just and good". It is MAN that is "Carnal and sold under sin" (i.e. morally decaying) (Rom.7:12-14). Physical decay was apart of this curse (Gen.3:17-19), and thus would be restored as apart of the restoration, though in its own time. Of course, the change of covenants parallel all of this, but still, the discussion here is on the physical resurrection. You cannot change it just because you see the word "Spiritual". One may point to Heb 8:7-8 "For had if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place should be found for the second. Because finding fault with them, He says: 'Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah — NKJV'". But notice, "...finding fault with them"! Just as I said, it was MAN the moral blame lied with, not God's Law. God is speaking of the people as the "covenant", for they were who it concerned. (Just like we in the body today can say we are the New Covenant). The old covenant was deficient or "not faultless" in being that it only gave the Law, but did not address man's problem which made him unable to keep the Law. But clearly, the moral deficiency we were discussing (in conjunction originally with the "decay" of 1 Cor.15) lied with the people OF the Covenant, who could not keep the covenant; not the covenant itself. Once again, in Romans, Paul often makes it sound like the Law is bad, but then he clarifies that the Law is really just and good and holy, "...but I am carnal, sold under sin".
Furthermore; death in this passage could not be spiritual or covenantal, because look at how it is used: Paul speaks of people both yet alive (who may either die, or "remain" until the resurrection at christ's coming; as well as those who had died ("fallen asleep"). They were once alive!! But if death here was spiritual or covenantal; then as all were born in Adam and inherited "death" from him; nobody except Christ was "alive" at that time! All were under the Old Covenant, which was not yet "risen"! --and that, given the preterists' own claim that the covenants hadn't changed yet and the Christians were still waiting to gain "spiritual life"! And what would it mean for some of them to be spiritually "resurrected" if they were already "alive" as opposed to "spiritually" dead?

Yes, preterism may have its strong points, but believe me, it is no mere "tradition" (as they often claim) that drives our position. The weight of scripture is for a literal future resurrection to a future literal visible Kingdom. Otherwise, I see nothing on any "eternal body" except for the scriptures on resurrection, which they say happened in AD 70. Both Corinthian passages are apart of these, but I see they're taking them to mean some other sort of body. But to repeat, our resurrection is patterned after Christ's, which was a physical body; the same as He had here, only glorified. Points out (Phil 3:21 NIV) "who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body". The previous verse mentions "eagerly wait for the Savior". V.12-16 mention "pressing on to the goal for the prize", of the "upward call", of which we have not yet "attained", completely, but only to a "degree". This is precisely one of the passages that tie our whole Christian walk to the resurrection. But to say it is all past, then we cannot even get the Christian living parts out of it while throwing the future element away. It is all tied together. One person argued that "attain" in verse 12 (lambano) should be "obtain", as it means to take hold of, or 'obtain', rather than katantao, which means to arrive at, or reach. From this, it is concluded that the resurrection is something Paul wants to "reach or arrive at", while righteousness is something he wants to "lay hold of, or obtain". Since Verse 12 says that he has not already obtained it, therefore he must be referring to "His righteousness", then, which would make him perfect. "Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on...". But once again, there is positional perfection and righteousness, which is now, and there is actual perfection and righteousness, which will only be possible in the resurrection. It is pointed out, some manuscripts actually say, "Not that I have already obtained it, or have already been justified". This too would be allowable if you include justification as having a future sense, like perfection, righteousness and salvation, though that is a bit more of a stretch. The fact that Paul is looking in v.11 to reach or arrive at "the resurrection from the dead; this concept would make no sense unless one really insists he was still completely spiritually dead. And this he does not teach elsewhere, but rather we were spiritually alive, but still waiting for complete perfection.

It is amazing the lengths some will go to reinterpret scripture. A preterist site,, answering an non-preterist claims:

Actually, 1 Corinthians 15 is not written to counter the error of denying the resurrection of the physical body. This is the most egregious claim! Jackson knows that Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15 presented part of his argument through presenting a series of implications. That is, he took what the false teachers were saying and turned it on them by showing that if they were right, then other doctrines, that they did not believe, must also be true. What were some of those implications? Implication #1 — If the dead (dead ones, as Jackson admits) are not raised then Christ is not raised. Now those who were denying the "resurrection of the dead ones" did not deny the resurrection of Christ. Thus, they were not opposed to the idea of resurrection. Implication #2 — If the dead (dead ones) do not rise, those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are perished. The false teachers did not teach that Christians were denied resurrection life! Thus, they did not deny resurrection. They simply denied resurrection life to some class of "the dead ones." Who was that? It was that class of "dead ones" of which Christ by his resurrection was the first fruit. It was that class of people that had died before Christ died (1 Cor. 15:20)! Now if the false teachers did not deny the resurrection of Christ, and did not deny resurrection life to Christians, but Paul said that Christ was the first fruit of those who were being denied resurrection, who was it? It was the OT saints of Israel. Those in Corinth were denying the salvation of OT Israel (see Romans 11). Jackson is guilty of very serious error to claim that those in Corinth were denying resurrection as a fact. (#93)makes this same argument, with an additional focus on the fact that they asked "with which body shall they come", to try to prove they were not arguing about the "the reanimation of decomposed corpses" but that because they believed that the dead had no body with which they could be raised. Once again, since they "accepted" the resurrection of Christ and others who were risen (Lazarus, etc), that is not what their problem is. (i.e. this is an attempt to distinguish in their minds a newly dead body from one that had decayed to dust already). A deep engrainment of "futurism" is blamed for clouding this chapter, even among preterists!

Pretty nice trick. But the text does not say that they accepted the resurrection of Christ and Christians and denied only the resurrection of those before, or that they only doubted that people whose bodies completely decayed could be risen, so Paul shows them the resurrection is only spiritual. Look at v.12; "Now if Christ is preached that He rose from the dead, then how say among you, that there is NO resurrection of the dead?" "dead" is nekros, or corpse; not a soul or spirit as I believe is being suggested with this "dead ones" translation. So he is taking the fact that he is preaching Christ is risen, and saying that if they accept that, but do not believe that the dead rise (which would include Christ), then what they are coming to believe is a lie, and their faith is vain; and they needed to be reminded of their own fate if this was the case, as they themselves would "perish" too, as well as any Christians they knew who had died. In other words, they did not make the correlation that if Christ rose again, then the dead saints can as well, but if they can't, then neither could Christ have risen. The firstfruits are later mentioned simply as part of the order, and it includes both those who have fallen asleep in Christ with those before; the faithful before Christ always pictured as being saved by their faith looking forward to Christ. Nowhere is it suggested that there was any such distinction as to whom they denied resurrection. They really strain to read stuff like this into these passages. As for the insinuation that bodies are unresurrectable if too far decayed, let's not forget the dead saints who rose at the time of the crucifixion (which would be among those these people would have "accepted" according to this theory). It says their bodies (soma) rose, and as it doesn't specify how long these saints had been dead, many, if not possibly all of them had decayed. It is certainly possible for God to put the dust back together. If the resurrection was really spiritual, then how would Paul be able to argue that if one (Christ) is not risen, then nobody is? (And note, he does not here go into a discussion of how the faithful before Christ are saved, so they were not even the point). Obviously, it was resurrection that was universally being denied, and the resurrection of Christ (which was bodily) is directly tied to the resurrection of all else. Perhaps the problem was because they, like most, only believed in spirits leaving the body behind and going into another, unknown realm, where perhaps we might not even see them when we die. That is what most, Jew and gentile alike; believed, or at least theorized on, back then. The resurrection was a relatively new, totally radical revelation, and it took time to make people, steeped in centuries of speculation about Sheol/Hades, grasp it.

Many preterists will come up with various ways of trying to spiritualize the resurrection. Some will say it is only the "covenant" that is resurrected. This covenant they call "Christ's spiritual body". One points to Romans 6:4 and 8:10 "Was Paul speaking to corpses? He said they had 'died' just as Christ had died. How so? In the same way (as they had been likened into His death) they would likened into His resurrection" and compares it to Rom.8:23 and 1 Cor.12:13. But in Rom.6, the corresponding "life" they were risen to was our walk, that "We should not serve sin", and this was current; rather than them waiting until AD70 to get their spiritual life. Also, the closest thing to a corresponding spiritual aspect of "death" Christ suffered was taking sin upon Himself on the Cross. Remember, everything is dual; in parallel realities. So Christians would die to sin spiritually (in Christ), and be made alive (but at the Coming of the Holy Spirit), yet they too would still die physically. And once again, I believe this is remedied by what was modeled for us on Resurrection morning, not just by spirits floating away.
That is the only reason anything would be "already, but not yet" as preterists call it. They were yes, already in the spiritual body, but they were still in this fallen material state. Even outside of the OT Law, the rest of the world was still in a state of death, (their "old aeon") and failure to realize this is what I believe leads to the insinuation that Satan and spiritual death are only concerned with the Old Covenant system, and among a few preterists; that "satan" IS the OC system, and only the OT Israelites are destroyed, and no one else will go to any Lake of Fire. (Christ brought a "corporate redemption for humanity", since the OC was the passing of the law, which was the ministration of death).
Spiritual change is not like physical change; it needs no time to take effect. Adam died spiritually instantly; it was the physical that took time. There was no "he was already [spiritually] dead, but not yet". Likewise, spiritual life for Christians was finalized by the coming of the Holy Spirit to the Church on Pentecost. Whoever believed was spiritually risen, right away. It was growth, against the pull of the flesh that would take years, with full perfection always being future; at Christ's return, or their death and resurrection. Today, we still "put to death the deeds of the mortal body". The desires of the body still pull us to sin, and we still must resist. This proves we are still in the same state, spiritually. The Temple was still there, but that was symbolically invalidated or superseded at the tearing of the veil, at Christ's death. The temple institution and friends and relatives still following it would continue to harass Christians, and cast doubts on the validity of their faith. Some would even be persuaded to draw back into the old system. But regardless of what they did, before God, their system was over, and had no spiritual authority over the Christians. They were already "not under the Law". There would be no need to destroy the temple in order that they would now really be free or reborn. That did not consummate Christians' spiritual life, but only God's rejection of the unprofitable house itself. It did serve as the validation of the Christians' faith and spiritual life in Christ, but it changed nothing else with the Christians to say it consummated something with them. In that sense, it was a forerunner of the future return of Christ. Romans 7:4-6 "Therefore, my brothers, you also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you would be joined to another, to him who was raised from the dead, that we might bring forth fruit to God. For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were through the law, worked in our members to bring forth fruit to death. But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter." That "covenantal death"/spiritual "birth" already occurred! Matthew 5:18 Truly I say to you, Until the heaven and the earth pass away, in no way shall one jot or tittle pass away from the Law until all is fulfilled" is cited; but this means Not a jot or tittle of the Law would pass until "all" the Law was fulfilled by Christ's death (Col.2:16). There are two "untils" there, and that appeared to be two different conditions. In that case; "heaven and eath pass away" would mean as long as the literal heavens and earth stand; meaning "for all time". Within that, we have another condition. Until the Law be fulfilled (by Christ's death), not one jot nor tittle shall pass. They were already free from the demands of the Law after Christ's death (no longer offering sacrifices; etc.). So that shows that that must have changed at Christ's death; not AD70; else they would have still been bound to keep the whole law. Some people will site Paul having Timotheus to be circumcised and offer a sacrifice in Acts; but that is one instance; where Paul appeased the Temple institution for that person's sake. Nowhere else is any Christian instructed to continue with the Temple rituals; or that they were bound to the Sabbath; dietary laws, or anything else; unless they so chose. (They were told, instead, not to judge each other over these things).
Luke 21 also, for them meant that they would be "redeemed" from the physical harassment of the Temple institution (a physical tribulation!) It was not redemption from the penalty or power of sin. I have also seen a suggestion that there are 2 firstfruits. Pentacost, like the Day of Firstfruits 7 weeks earlier (after Passover) is also called feast of weeks, or firstfruits. The first one being of the barley harvest, the next one for the wheat harvest. It is then suggested that since it is two different types there, then this means that His resurrection is altogether a different type than ours. But that is an assumption. Though "wheat" is mentioned in 1 Cor.15, still you would have to show that spiritually, "barley=physical body" and "wheat=spirit only". Instead, "wheat or some other grain" is used generically to discuss what is sown, not different things reaped. Barley vs. wheat would represent the fact that Christ is different from us. After all, He was sinless and died for us, while we have his righteousness imputed to us. (It would originally stem from the time each grain sprouted in the year; not that the nature of the harvests were different).

Another way some preterists try to get around the resurrection is by saying that Christ IS "the first resurrection". This would be based on John 11:25, and from this, Christ as the "firstfruits" of the resurrection is taken, and from there, we are shown "the saints had co-resurrection and co-enthronement in the realized resurrection and enthronement of Jesus Christ" according to Rom 6:3-14, Eph. 1:20, 2:5-6, Col. 2:12, 3:1, 2 Tim. 2:11-12, Phil. 3:8-12. With all of this, Rev.20:4-6 is now read (as one put it to me) as "a narrative depiction of the saints' realization of the glorious promise Paul held out for them in his teachings--the saints are depicted as having attained the goal for which they all strove. As Paul taught, their resurrection and reign was 'in Christ,' and their sufferings and martyrdoms were honored by God with the reward of partaking in Christ's own resurrection, enthronement, and reign. (This would go along with the Full Preterist belief that the Millennial reign was the AD30-70 period). They realized the promise of Paul's teaching that the saints were truly to take part in the first resurrection, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Truly, on these the second death has no power (Rev 20:6)". Yes, He was the first resurrection, but He was also the firstFRUITS; meaning the first of the crop; the first one in a series of similar resurrections. This seems to be trying to make this mean "He is the only one resurrected in the first resurrection, and by being born again, we are spiritually 'joined' to that resurrection without ever being resurrected ourselves. Notice in the passage describing this "first resurrection" what he sees:
20:4, 5 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus ... and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
20:12-15 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in : and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Here, we see two definite groups of people who were dead and then came back to life. A "first" resurrection and a "second" resurrection. One leads to eternal reign with Christ, and the other, to a "second" death! One thing preterists have never answered is what is this second resurrection, then? If this first resurrection is only a symbol of "spiritual life"; then are the wicked dead given spiritual life at the judgment, then? What individual is the second resurrection, then, as Adam is the first death, and Christ is the first resurrection? Preterism obviously has not thought these methods of interpretation through. Once again, Christ was the firstfruits of the first resurrection, which does not give us the license to say that we share this "resurrection" only by some sort of spiritual imputation. We do partake of Christ's own resurrection in that way, but this does not negate our own literal part in this first resurrection, but is rather the downpayment of it! (2 Cor.1:22, 5:5, Eph.1:14. 2 Tim.1:14). This interpretation goes along with the usual preterist assumption that "resurrection" = "spiritual life". But the unregerate are clearly "raised" also, but that does not equal "spiritual life". They remain spiritually dead! Others will claim it is only the covenant that is buried old, and raised new. While this is an acceptible parallel, it also does not replace our literal resurrections in the Corinthian passages. For one thing, the people were asking Paul about bodily resurrection. Why would Paul answer with a covenantal resurrection? Or when does the subject change over, at least? In pages and pages of debate with preterists on the subject on several different boards, they could not scripturally show that 1 Cor.15 had some spiritual only meaning.

Further, for Jackson to lay the charge of Sadduceism on proponents of Covenant Eschatology is a gross misrepresentation. The Sadducees did not believe in life after death. They did not believe in the human spirit (Acts 23). I personally do not know of any preterists that espouse such views. I personally affirm that after physical death, man has a sentient existence in the presence of God. Perhaps Jackson can explain how that is Sadduceeism. Finally, what is "utterly incredible" is that Jackson willingly aligns himself with those who tried to kill Paul for his doctrine of resurrection. Jackson claims that the Pharisees and Paul both believed in the resurrection of the human body out of the ground. Well, if Paul and the Pharisees agreed on this doctrine, why did the Pharisees want to kill Paul for preaching the resurrection? The record of Paul's trial before the Sanhedrin is very revealing, and somewhat misleading if one does not follow up on that trial as Paul goes from there to be tried before Felix. While on trial before the Sanhedrin, Paul perceived the division between the Sadducees and Pharisees. He claimed belief in the resurrection, saying that he was on trial for his belief in the resurrection. As a result, the Pharisees wanted to release him, just to spite the Sadducees. Thus, ostensibly, Paul and the Pharisees believed the same thing! It looks at first blush like Jackson has a point. However, looks are often deceiving, as they say. Just seven few days later, Paul is now before Felix. But something has changed. Now, the Pharisees, who just a few days before said "We can find no fault with this man!" are now crying for his blood! Incidentally, we know that it was not the Sadducees that wanted him killed because Paul said his accusers also had the hope of the resurrection (Acts 24:15). Now if the Pharisees believed in the resurrection, and if Paul taught the same thing about the resurrection that the Pharisees believed, why were the Pharisees now wanting to kill him, especially after declaring him a fine fellow just a few days before? And isn't it strange, and sad indeed, that Jackson continues to align himself with the Pharisees, claiming that they and Paul taught the same thing? Paul and the Pharisees clearly did not teach the same thing about the resurrection, or the Pharisees would never have tried to kill him. Jackson affirms that the Pharisees taught the resurrection of the physical body, just like he does. He also claims that Paul taught the same thing. This is patently wrong! Just who is it that Jackson will continue to align himself with, Paul, or the Pharisees who wanted to kill Paul? I suggest that just as the Jews wanted a kingdom, but rejected Jesus when they discovered the kind of kingdom he was offering, likewise, the Pharisees, who desired the resurrection, and initially welcomed Paul, rejected him when they discovered the kind of resurrection he was preaching. Jackson's doctrine simply has no proper explanation for the trial of Paul.
This is an argument made up from total silence on the subject. The writer even acknowledges that as late as 24:15, Paul still says they share the same hope of the "resurrection" with him. Now, this is Paul speaking and saying the belief was shared; not the Pharisees assuming it was! So this distinction between "they believed it was physical, Paul believed it was spiritual only, and that's why they now wanted to kill him" is totally fabricated. A group of scribes in the Pharisees' party said they found no evil in him. It doesn't say that all of the Pharisees were for him. And the quote even acknowledges that this was done to spite the Sadducees. Then, 3 verses later (23:12) "certain of" the Jews banded together (doesn't say which sect, but this is evidence that it was both) to try to kill him. Then, when he is brought before Felix, he is accused of sedition. All along, it was "The Law" he was accused of going against, but the truth he preached concerning the Law is tied into the resurrection (which is a part of God's plan, just like the Law was), and while they both accepted the resurrection, what the Pharisees rejected was Christ, "the hope of Israel" (28:20), which Paul here tied with "the resurrection of the dead" (24:21). Also, they resisted salvation being opened to the Gentiles, and a charge of bringing Greeks into the Temple was the primary reason he was arrested in the first place (21:28). They would also be apart of "the resurrection of the Just", thus Paul claims he is being called in question over "the hope of the resurrection of the dead". (this hope included Gentiles who believed, and not just Jews, as they assumed). And after he yet again claimed to share belief in the resurrection before Felix; nobody interjected that no he didn't, really; especially given a premise of this being why they turned against him now. So there is no argument about "physical vs. spiritual" here. Yes, they did want a physical kingdom, when Christ's Kingdom at that stage was spiritual, leading them to reject both Christ and the Gospel. That doesn't mean that there would never be a visible kingdom (with a physical resurrection). They only wanted it immediately, and through their own concept of the Messiah's mission. So in that sense; you could say "they rejected Jesus and Paul when they discovered the type of Kingdom and resurrection they preached". The Kingdom and the resurrection leading to it was from faith in Jesus; not inheritance or works of the Law. Another nice try, though!
In an opposite approach; some try to say that yes Paul and the Jews did agree on the resurrection--that it was spiritual! They cite the spiritual application of Ezekiel 37, and claim the Jews understood it in its ("true") spiritual meaning. But if that was true, then why would they be expecting a physical kingdom?

All of this assumes that God had never promised a physical kingdom; and that all along, it was a spiritual only kingdom He was planning. But the fact that He raised the nation of Israel shows that He was starting a physical kingdom. But it was conditional. They were to keep His covenant, and then He would rule through them. That was where the problem arose. Throughout all of OT history, God was teaching us a lesson about man and his fallen nature. Just as God showed that destroying all of civilzation and starting over through one family wouldn't solve the problem; likewise, raising a physical kingdom people entered through birth also wouldn't. Something was missing. None of these plans reversed the effects of the Fall. The debate here is ultimately what God's method of fixing the problem ultimately is: either regenerating physical man, and then bringing them into a literal Kingdom; or simply taking each individual out of the physical realm at death, and only bringing their spirits into Heaven; with the "spiritual kingdom" in the ongoing physical realm only serving the function of bringing more people into the kingdom. Ironic, as the preterists frequently criticize futurism for a negative view of the physical world, with our only hope to be raptured out of it, yet it seems their view is the same on the individual level, with the only difference being that there is no future rapture or resurrection; only death, and that we're to take pleasure in the time we do spend on earth (despite any pain, trouble, etc), because this is now the everlasting kingdom. (Still, the only hope to be free of the pain, sin, not fully experincing God's presence etc. is to escape through death). Yes, Israel wanted the Messiah to set up a physical kingdom, with them as the rulers, but the problem was [not whether it was tangible or not, but rather] that they were not fit to live or reign in that kingdom [whatever form it took] as they were. They too had sin in their lives, and were unjust rulers (e.g. the woman taken in adultery—where was the man, according to the Law, and were they themselves and/or their friends the other party. The maimed not to be healed on the sabbath, etc.). Any kingdom they ruled would ultimately be no better; no more just than the ruthless Gentile kingdoms they were subjected to and loathed so much. As Christ said; "And if all of you have not been faithful in that which is another man's [the positions of power they had under the Romans], who shall give you that which is your own? [position of rule in God's Kingdom](Luke 16:12). The only difference between them and the rest of the world would be the proclamation of the Law, but they obviously were not keeping it in the way God had demanded. They had gotten hung up in the "letter", which "blinded" them (2 Cor. 3:13-16) not only to the spiritual reality of their sin, but also the actual Messiah God did send.
So the issue between the Jews and Jesus and Paul was not the metaphysical nature of the kingdom; whether tangible versus intangible only; but rather the spiritual nature of carnal or unregenerate (tangible only, without the addition of spiritual life) rule, versus regenerate. The preterist criticism of the futurist hope as being the same as the Jews' hope unwittingly creates a dichotomy between physical only and spiritual only, as if both could not exist at the same time. But then they do claim that the joint state of physical with spiritual life imbued is now. We only say it is now in part, but one day in whole. So their criticism of futurism on that point (as we shall see again later) is unfounded.

So I believe the promises were both spiritual and physical. For that is what we are made up of. Preterism has Him redeeming the spiritual, and throwing the physical away (redeeming only people's souls, taking us out of this universe forever, and leaving the universe to run down in its state of decay forever). This in a way seems to parallel a bad teaching that shares with my belief the name "dualism": the Gnostic idea that matter is evil, and only spirit good, and therefore it's only spirit that God cares about. But that is totally contrary to the Gospel. I know they don't say this, but that does seem to be the end result of the teaching. God explains a lot of spiritual things, sometimes with some physical metaphors, but still, in the overall context, people get the meaning. Here, you have many physical details that are being claimed to be all spiritual, and in the meantime, the real physical things these pictures represent are totally glossed over. (i.e. eternal "new heavens and earth" is spiritual only, so no teaching remains on eternity, and it is assumed this old earth will go on in decay forever while saints just float up to the nondescript "eternity").
He countered "Your view has basically nothing changed. The New Covenant is no different than what the OT saints lived under. I do not believe there is much in scripture that tells us about our life in eternity". As far as this physical earth is concerned, no, nothing has changed. That is easily observable. What has changed is God's revelation of the Gospel to man, and His pouring out of His spirit, rather than working with Israel through the Law, which only condemned, but did not save. That is the big difference. Then, in eternity, God shall renew the physical world, eliminating all pain, suffering, and death. But it's in the preterist view where nothing has changed from the temporal world to the "eternal" world promised us in the Bible. We just gain more assurance that we are "redeemed", but to what? Pain and physical death continue; only when the body dies do they float up to some unrevealed eternity in 'spirit' existence.

I also argued that if all is past, then the Bible is hardly relevant for us at all. The claim was "It was not written to all. It was written to a certain people at a certain time. Romans was written to mostly Jews living in Rome, not to us in the 21st century. We can use what was written and apply it to our lives, but the first application is to the original recipient. The Bible was written FOR us but not TO us. The Bible was not written to us, but it applies to us and is for our understanding. It basically breaks down to one of two categories:
1) Some things applied only to them
2) Some things apply to them and us
Yet they were the original audience; we are beneficiaries."
But in this view, it is not even really FOR us either, as all of the promises have been fulfilled. So we can apply how it tells believers to live, and hope for an undefined "eternity", which I still do not see any room left for in this interpretation, but otherwise, much of it can be is just old history. I was asked if I thought that way about the Old Testament, but even the OT has plenty prophecies that we believe are still future.
The Bible was written for all, and when taken in context, any reader can understand whether something is symbolic or literal. The only person who could read "and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and, and there shall be no more death; neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away" and say this is just the destruction of the Temple, and yes, death, sorrow and pain do actually continue (and in fact, would get worse), but it doesn't matter to the Christians now; is someone who approaches it with a preconception of preterism. The first century readers would see a lot of this as fulfillment, but they certainly wouldn't see the post AD70 world as the real Kingdom, and would realize that there is a future antitype. Once again, church fathers in the 2nd Century still looked for a future Kingdom.

Then, the language of Is. 13 was pointed to in comparison with Matt 24. "1st century Jews would understand, 21st century Americans might not". Granted, that passage uses a lot of the language we see in later prophecy, and yes, I can admit that they can be symbolic of temporal total destruction. But this is talking about judgment of a single pagan nation, and it tells us so. The later prophecies typically describe the destruction of Jerusalem, but when taken in context with everything else, including resurrections, final judgment, and other clear language, they must point to a real, antitypical fulfillment of God's promise to end all sin and suffering, and completely restore what was originally lost.
On one hand, there is an emphasis on "what the 1st century Jews would understand", but on the other hand, we see that that was precisely part of the problem in their rejection of Christ. They understood one coming, in which He would immediately take over the world. But what they didn't realize, was that Christ had to first come and die to pay for the sins of man, and then rise again and go back to the Father. When He didn't take over, then they became disillusioned, and became frightful that all of his talk of being the true King and taking over would only get them in trouble with the Romans if He weren't actually going to do something; and His divine claims (which they thought blasphemous) would bring a divine curse on them on top of it. So then, all they did was find fault with him and reject him. Meanwhile, believers would have a "deposit" on the promise, with the Spirit in our hearts, and the invisible typical "Kingdom" of believers, (as they are under the King). This would not be the final "Kingdom", because it only comprised of believers (relatively few in number compared to the whole world), rather than the whole earth. This came "without observation", but the time would come when God would finally make good on His promise to take over and judge the whole earth. (And following a similar statement in Luke 17, we see another paralleling of this with the Noah story, also worldwide. This is what forces "earth" or "world" to be literal, even though it was sometimes used figuratively). So it is obvious that they didn't understand the prophecies. Likewise, those who did accept Him, might apply everything to their own lifetime. It could have been, but from the details of the prophecies, there would still have to be a greater fulfillment.

Another passage that comes up in the debate is Jeremiah 33:16 - "In those days Judah shall be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell in safety; and this is the name by which she shall be called: the Lord is our righteousness". But Jerusalem (neither literal or spiritual) does not dwell in safety. (Many of us here do, but we are not the only Christians). And it would be quite a stretch to say that our salvation is "dwelling safely". Or even that the institution of the Church is protected from being destroyed. These prophecies are speaking in earthly terms, and to translate them all into salvation in this life, (not even eternity yet) is stretching them a bit too far. One says it means it will not be overthrown. That still sounds like a stretch to me. Groups of individual people dwell in safety, not the group as an entity in itself.
Paul says in II Thes. 1:6 He would give them rest over their persecutors at His coming. I was asked "Did He fail to do so?" Well, did they get rest then? They continued to suffer persecution after this "coming" spoken of by preterism. If you try to make this spiritual, first, the fact that it specifies "persecutors" means it is more than just spiritual; the spiritual "rest" would help us with all our trials, not just persecution. Second, Jesus said in the Gospels that they would have this spiritual rest if they come after Him. That was right away, (and available to the rest of the Church when the Spirit was poured out AD33), not AD70.

In expressing my system, of dual fulfillments, I was told I seemed to have the spiritual types first then the physical realities. (e.g. the spiritual kingdom, and then the physical). Yet "Nevertheless that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual." Paul tells us in 1 Cor.15:46. But what is ignored is that the spiritual includes the restoration of the physical, though in stages. We start out with the corrupt physical. Then, the invisible spiritual plus the corrupt physical, as our "downpayment" for the ultimate; the spiritual plus a restoration of the physical. That's what we believe with Israel (first the nation, now the church; then a restoration of a visible kingdom); the first Adam was physical, the second Adam was spiritual in a mortal body, we are mortals in His spiritual body; and in resurrection, we will be spiritual in a glorified body. Some will point identify Christ's physical resurrection with the "what's natural is first, not what is spiritual" principle; but then this would assume the His resurrection was a type of ours; or of a supposed "covenental" [only] resurrection, as some will argue the passage is describing. But Christ was the firstfruits, (Gk. "beginning"; Heb. first of the crop) of our resurrection, not a type. So this present age is still a stage, where we still feel the effects of sin and the Fall. So this can not be "it". Once again, even if you point to spirits floating off to Heaven, that would still be a final fulfillment of God's plan of salvation beyond this present life. Our real difference is that the preterist believes it will be a spirit world; I believe it will be a world of physically resurrected people. The final antitypical fulfillments are greater than the types; spiritual or physical. That's why they're literal, and foreshadowed by those symbolic OT statements. In preterism, God punished a bunch of Jews, yet millions more continued in unbelief. What did that really accomplish? God says He is going to put away sin for good, not just patch up a few things, just to have it continue, while this world of sin goes on forever.

While I have to acknowledge that earth can mean "land"; one possible danger I am seeing here is it seems that ANY mention of "the earth" can be taken then as meaning only a region. I know preterists won't see it this way, but one can take all of this and honestly conclude that perhaps Yahweh Elohim is just a tribal deity of Israel and perhaps the surrounding nations. It seems that the only "earth" He is associated with is that immediate area, the only people He is concerned with was those people in that place at that time. (and with "Heaven" simply meaning a local government, such as Israel, then even "God created the Heavens and the earth" could be local!) The preterist says that all others will be judged; we are to bring the Gospel to them, etc., but from what I have been seeing, if almost all of the Gospel is only about those people in those places at that time, then it really is irrelevant to everyone else, and that to say that now it extends to all else, with spreading the Gospel and individual judgment after death being for all in the globe, is speculatory and not really supported.
A person said "The fact that Christianity spread to me, proves the context as global". This still assumes, without any biblical proof that because it spread to us, then it is for all. But the whole problem is, I believe this position calls into question what exactly "salvation" is to begin with. It seems that in this method, all the scriptures we take to mean partaking in the resurrection of the just, and escaping Hell, you take to mean escaping the physical judgment of Jerusalem in AD70, and becoming apart of this new "kingdom" on earth. Therefore, "salvation" in that case would only have meaning for those living in the area at the time. Really, "damnation" as well; as Gehenna was a fiery garbage dump outside of Jerusalem, that like in the preterist interpretation of Armageddon (the mount of Megiddo) simply could be another symbol of the AD70 destruction. To us now, (and the rest of the world) it is all a done deal. God has no real plan for the world today; all that's left for us is to die, and then float off to some new kind of existence, which is barely revealed in scripture (after many otherwise pertinent passages are applied to AD70). "I believe in reading the OT that is a true conclusion. Where do you read of the Ming Dynasty or the tribes of Australia or the American Indians in the OT? You only read of those nations who were involved with Israel. In the NT there are many uses of the "earth" where the context is more global, such as taking the gospel to the ends of the earth. As I stated, this seems to be the case in the Old Covenant, but the New Covenant expands from physical Israel to the spiritual Israel who come from every nation under the sun".
But then how do you really know that it now expands to "every nation under the sun"? In other places, even "to the ends of the earth" you have said means the ends of the Roman Empire. It seems to be an assumption that "it was only about Israel before Christ; only for the general area between His death and AD70, and now it is for the whole globe", but someone with some new doctrine that it is still only for that one place and time could say extend it and say the same things to you. I'm not trying to argue that "world"/"earth" can never mean the area or a particular people, but just showing that if it means the whole globe now, then many earlier uses ultimately mean that as well, if not at least in an antitypical sense. continuing its rebuttal states:

Jackson likes to make the point that the judgment of A.D. 70 was a localized judgment that would hardly have been of any interest or significance to those outside Judea. He likes to ask, "Were the people in South America judged in A.D. 70? By the way, what would the destruction of Jerusalem have meant to those people who were living in Athens, Greece? Paul says, 'Gentlemen, you had better repent.' Why? 'Because Jerusalem, hundreds of miles away is going to be destroyed in A.D. 70' They likely would have said, 'So what! What does that have to do with us?" The folly of Jackson's logic should be apparent. Let's just change one or two words in his argument that he considers so devastating: "Are the people in South America judged by the death of Jew in A.D. 33? By the way, what would the death of a Jew in Jerusalem have meant to those people who were living in Athens, Greece? Paul says, 'Gentlemen, you had better repent.' Why? 'Because this Jew was crucified in Jerusalem.' They likely would have said, 'So what! What does that have to do with us?" Jackson's argument is that unless something was universally apparent then it had no universal significance and meaning. This is pure foolishness. Further, this argument overlooks the fact that Jesus himself said that the judgment of A.D. 70 was a universal event. Read Luke 21:25f: "And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth (Greek ge) distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, (Greek, oikoumene, DKP) for the powers of heaven will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.
So now he takes Christ's word at it that it is universal. After arguing that no, these events are only local. Well, what impact does the death of a Jew in AD33 exactly have on South America and the rest of the world? Salvation would eventually be brought to them when the Church spread out and reached them. Otherwise, it would have no impact on them. Nobody ever said Christ's death was for the local people only, though you would think so with everything else in the Bible (including judgment, mention of "the whole world", etc.) being made local. But when scriptures on judgment, distress of nations, etc. are taken and applied to Israel only, then yes, what does that have to do with the rest of the globe? Christ brings salvation to the globe. Does the destruction of the temple bring judgment to the globe? Are they suggesting that men around the globe would have escaped Gehenna if it were not for AD70? (If so, wasn't "Hades" supposed to be just as bad for them anyway?) Once again, this position puts so-called "definite time statements" over definite scope statements, and now this writer is trying to reextend the scope even though he has already dismissed it.
One respose is "the physical judgement was local, the spiritual judgement was universal. Just as Christ crucifixion was local His atonement was universal". But what "spiritual judgment"? The Bible speaks of judgment, this position takes it as referring to AD70, but then when asked what about the rest of humanity, then you come up with this "spiritual judgment”? But where is that if everything is talking about AD70? Where does it say that everyone is judged by an invisible "parousia" marked and defined only by the destruction of the Temple in AD70? Actually, everyone is judged from their sin, since the Fall of Adam. (Else, once again, what would have been the fate of all wicked?) All sinners were already "judged" (John 3:18). It is the actual individual "judgment" of each person that is described in Rev.20, and this has not happened yet, as everyone has not lived and died yet. The destruction of the Temple was the temporal judgment of the Old Covenant system and the nation that held to it, and while it may prefigure the general judgment of the wicked (as a type, once again), you can't merge the two judgments into one. There is no scripture to support that (without reading it into verses), and it is only good to plug up one of the many holes left by the pure preterist position. While one "judgment" was immediate, and prefigured the second, it was that second we are still waiting for. Else, this "judgment" of all means nothing.

With all this talk of "types", it was stated "I agree the Old Testament is full of types and shadows of future realities, however when the Messiah shows up on the scene the types of the OT become realities, not more types. As much as I was hoping to end up at the partial-pret position, I could not for this very reason. They like you have many, if not all OT prophecies pointing to future types not future realities. When Daniel predicts the Kingdom will come during the Roman Empire, you and Partial Preterists have that fulfilled in a type, not a reality. So your position ends up being the Prophets didn't foretell of the ultimate fulfillments just the types, and from the types we see the ultimate reality".
This is their standard criticism against both dualism and partial preterism. We are even accused of creating a "third coming"! The partial preterist position is like theirs in making AD70 the "Parousia" and change of covenants. But they claim that it was only the Millennium that had begun, not the eternal Kingdom. They refer to "1000 years" as being an "indefinite large number", citing God's claim to own "the cattle on a thousand hills" (ps.50:10). Recall that the Full preterists either gloss over the Millennium, or claim it was the 40 year period leading up to AD70. (they claim "1000" means "all" or "completeness of the plan". A few do take it literally; but then go as far as to claim that this period began with David; which was about 1000 years before Christ!) But then that is actually another big hole in the theory, as the reign of saints with Christ was supposed to begin at the Parousia, and that was supposed to be future to the NT, in AD70, not before. (Yet they can only accuse the partial view of the "inconsistency" of having most of Revelation fulfilled in AD70, and then "jumping ahead" in the final three chapters). This view still says Satan, while not yet in Gehenna, is in the "abyss". Yet, in the future, he will be released "yet a little season", and then followed by the final battle of Gog and Magog and the judgment and resurrection of the wicked. So partial preterism is a much more feasible option, except for the idea that Satan is, at least for the time, in the state of inactivity or restraint symbolized as "the abyss".
As for both of our positions having types followed by more types: Why not? Christ was the antitypical Passover lamb. But the Passover ritual itself had as its prototype the actual passing over of the Israelites by the angel of death in Egypt. David was a type of Christ. But Christ did not take the throne and rule in His first coming (This was why the Jews were so disillusioned with Him in the first place). But the first coming (in which He did set up the spiritual kingdom of the Church) was but a type of the Second Coming. So we see here that one type did lead to another type, with a yet additional antitype. We would not say there were three thrones, but only one. And still, wouldn't you say that this "kingdom" life in the Church is a type or shadow of whatever God has in store in Heaven? Aren't all of those heavenly pictures at the end of Revelation, Isaiah, and elsewhere, that you say are symbolic of the [present] Church age, ultimately shadows of heavenly realities? Us "Dwelling in God's presence", "seeing Him", etc. spiritually now foreshadow being in His actual presence and literally seeing Him through these new spirit "bodies" we are supposed to get? We are told no more pain, no more tears. Preterists say that is just freedom from the bondage of the Old Covenant. But still, doesn't this foreshadow heaven? Why else would such heavenly symbolism be used? If not, then it seems God was pulling our legs, and who knows what is after we die? It could be more pain and misery. But if these "blessings" in this "kingdom" foreshadow heavenly existence, then it is all dual fulfillment! That's all we are saying, except once again, in the preterist system, it is dying and going to the spirit world where we will see the ultimate reality, and in mine, it is the future second coming of Christ and resurrection.
One person asked me "Should we be expecting another virgin birth? another crucifixion? Where does "double fulfillment" start and stop? How does the Christian discern which prophesies have dual fulfillment, or triple fulfillment? Or what's to stop even more than that?? Was the cross merely a "shadow" of some future greater sacrifice for sin?" But obviously; something that is completely fulfilled does not need any "greater" fulfillment. Christ's work was said to be complete, and when He returns, it will be "without sin unto salvation". It is statements like that clearly tell us the next time is the final fulfillment.
We see several other multiple fulfillments all throughout the scripture. Not only the throne of David, but even Babylon. In Isaiah 47, Israel is called the "virgin daughter of Babylon", and then told to reveal her true identity as a harlot. In the New Testament, the Church takes Israel's place as the bride. In 2 Cor.11:2, Paul tells the Church "I am jealous over you...that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ". Here we see that there is a danger that the church could lose its purity and become a harlot. This supports the idea that a branch of it would become a new "Babylon". So what we see is that it starts with a literal prototype, a spiritual antitype, and then a greater antitype (which sometimes is literal again). So in addition to David, the spiritual throne of Christ, and a future literal throne of Christ established on earth; we had the literal physical Kingdom of Israel, the spiritual kingdom of the Church, and a future literal tangible kingdom of the saints. Then there was ancient Babylon, the spiritual Babylon of Israel, and then the future spiritual Babylon of the Church (which may include some sort of literal city-state like ancient Babylon). Nimrod, Antiochus Epiphanes, Nero, and the future Antichrist. The Flood, the destruction of the Temple in AD70, and the future destruction of all world kingdoms.

Still, they insist all of this negates the original promises of and the "audience relevance", and makes the time statements irrelevant and meaningless to the very people they were written and spoken to. For instance; in the original "Day of vengenace"; "All" would not be "fulfilled" (Lk.21:22) But a "day of vengeance" for the rest of the sinning world in the future takes nothing away from a "day of vengeance" for Israel in AD70. if it was dual, then the aspect of it that was for the original audience was still relevant for them, and nothing afterwards takes away from that. With the time statements, it still was "shortly", "near", "quickly" and "this generation" for their aspect of the fulfillment. People dismiss the idea so much, they don't even grasp its difference from pure futurism, but use the same arguments against it.
It is also insisted that 1 Cor.10:11 and Heb.9:26 say that the end of the age had arrived in the first century, and thus referred to the end of the Old Covenant, and if that time was not the actual "end of the age", then we are still in "the age of death". Yes, it was the end of the age of death for those who were being saved, and the Old Covenant particularly for Jews being saved. But those who are not saved are not in the Kingdom; after all "the kingdom is not of this world"; and "flesh and blood [spiritually; not physical flesh] shall not enter" it. So the unsaved world is still in the age of death. And the godless are still dominant in the earth, rather than the Kingdom having filled the earth. So the old age is still "ending", because not all have come into the Kingdom yet!

"meet him in the air" is another clear sense statement. But then it is pointed out that "air" in the Greek is from aemi (to breathe unconsciously, i.e. respire by analogy, to blow) This is supposed to mean Him meeting us in our immediate area (breathe or respire) not in the atmoshpere. "This is where God tabernacles with man. We are spiritually in His realm". But when you take that together with Christ descending with a trump (i.e. "coming in the clouds"), then both point to a literal meaning. The first by itself could possibly be symbolic, but not likely in the contexts we see it used in the NT. The latter could possibly fit the interpretation given, but once again, not likely. It is not used in that context. But both together definitely picture a literal sequence.
Ch.21 is the actual marriage of Christ and the Church. 2 Cor.11:2 Paul tells us that we are betrothed to Christ, and that we should be presented to Him as a chaste virgin. Of course, the preterist believes the marriage was AD70, but as it is still possible for the Church (individual people or groups within) to lose its purity, we are still in the betrothed state, or the "intermediate" state you associate with the AD33-70 period only. Of course, when pointed out to the fact that large segments of the Church throughout the Christian era had become corrupted, the preterists I debated with rely on an argument that the true bride is only the invisible body of true believers. It was pointed out "When you changed Covenants you also changed Israel. The Israel of the New Covenant are those in Christ, we are the children of Abraham". This would further support a future antitype. I can see where Israel would be called Babylon, while the Church would be the virtuous woman; "the New Jerusalem". But out of this new Jerusalem sprung an institution, that would throughout the ages, lead much of the church in following right behind the old Jerusalem in harlotry, spiritual and political. So it is now in the same role that physical Jerusalem was in during the NT times. Remember, this is typology we are dealing with. Thus, the common dispensational and SDA interpretation of the harlot. I know preterism says that the true Kingdom will never apostatize, and these were not true Christians, but still, since the visible church did represent the Kingdom, and we cannot directly see who is truly saved and not, the apostasy of the visible Church could be prophetically seen as an antitypical Babylon, leading up to a final repeat of the destruction of Israel. Only since now, this is a perversion of the spiritual kingdom, rather than the earthly kingdom of Israel; this truly would be the final cycle in prophetic history! Believers can make mistakes, and wind up getting mixed up in or even starting/leading false things (one reason the Church age cannot be the final kingdom. Much of the corruptions of the developing post-apostolic Church were from sincere teachers bringing in philosophy and mystical interpretations of many truths). After all, the Rev. passage on Babylon tells "My people" to "come out of her".
Rev. 18:24 "in her was found the blood of prophets..." is brought up, but there were prophets mentioned in the NT. Then there's the arguments about whether this office/gift ceased with the introduction of the written NT. But still, it did continue into the NT. Then, the fact that it is called a "city", with major commerce is mentioned. Well many of us have traditionally believed the primary institution will be the RCC, and the Vatican is a city! Also, just as preterism holds the true Church to be symbolically a city, then so can the false church be so portrayed. It is not only a city, but also a state, and probably does carry on some commerce, or at least will, when the end-time events start unfurling, and more people are drawn to foxhole type "religion". (And as I point out in Revelation, it is not to single out the Roman Catholics; Protestants and others will be mixed up in it as well).
Then the very fact that even the Old Jerusalem is trying to rebuild what God had so taken care to destroy! So the prophetic clock was reset, and we await a future final fulfillment.

Some other good verses on "City" and "the Kingdom":
Heb. 11:10 Abraham "waited for the city" 13 He and the others "all died in faith, not receiving the promises, but having seen them afar off" 16 "God...has prepared a city for them"
. Once again, you can say they are in heaven now, but then that would prove that "the city" (New Jerusalem) is dual; both the Church, while in the body, and Heaven when we die. But then the whole point of this passage in Hebrews is faith. The OT saints had it, and the NT saints were to follow their example. "the city" was what their faith looked forward to. But once again, don't we today still look ahead in faith like they? This shows their experience was the same as theirs, and we are still in the same age. Often in Christian teaching, the comparison is made with the Christian life to the Israelites; from Egypt (bondage to sin/the world), through the wilderness (a time of testing), and then to the promised land. The preterists would of course apply "the wilderness" to the "end of the age" before the destruction of Jerusalem, and the "freedom from the Law" afterward as "the promised land". In one sense it is, but then still, once again, this world today certainly is still a "wilderness". (Unless, of course, physical matters and circumstances are completely unimportant to God).

Then, there are even scriptures taken to indicate the "physical earth" never ends! Ecc 1:4 "One generation goeth, and another generation cometh; but the earth abideth for ever". This doesn't preclude the restoration of the earth later. Sin won't go on forever.

Psalms 78:69 (NKJV) And He built His sanctuary like the heights, Like the earth which He has established forever.

Ps.104:5 "Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever".

Psalms 119:90 (NKJV) Your faithfulness endures to all generations; You established the earth, and it abides.

Ps. 148:1 "Praise ye Jehovah. Praise ye Jehovah from the heavens: Praise him in the heights.
2 Praise ye him, all his angels: Praise ye him, all his host.
3 Praise ye him, sun and moon: Praise him, all ye stars of light.
4 Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, And ye waters that are above the heavens.
5 Let them praise the name of Jehovah; For he commanded, and they were created.
6 He hath also established them for ever and ever: He hath made a decree which shall not pass away".

Isaiah 9:7 "Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end , upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of Jehovah of hosts will perform this".

But before those "forevers", the world will at some point be restored. Else, the world will go on like this either until someone rises and destroys it (very likely, given technology) or the sun expands into a red giant in 5 billion years. Either way, it is in a state of decay and cannot last forever in this state. Unless science is completely wrong, and there is no real decay. But we can see stars and galaxies in cycles of life and decay, as well as matter itself. The basic elements of matter may not be "destroyed", but it is the objects-- rocks, planets, etc. made from it that constantly break down and reform. Or, you can have God continually patching it up. He can smite all who would destroy the earth, and deflect any meteors or other objects heading our way, and somehow replenish the sun and the atoms the earth is made of. But if He does all of that, then He for all purposes is creating a new Heavens and Earth!
"Generations" in passages like Ps. 145:13 means "revolutions of time", or basically "ages"; not that there would be people being born and dying forever. "Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom" here, and in Dan.4:3, 7:14ff and elsewhere in no way implies that it is this old earth. These are the primary scriptures we use for Heaven and the restored earth.
And why is "earth" now taken to mean the entire globe; when in the rest of prophetic language; it is taken to be symbolic of the "land" if Israel only?

Eph 3:21 "unto him be the glory in the church by Christ Jesus unto all generations for ever and ever" or "world without end". That does not say the Church (as a body of believers in a fallen world) shall exist "forever". It says, literally, "generations of all ages". That's the Church for all generations, not necessarily all eternity. And it is the "to Him ["God" or the Father, in the preceding verse] be glory" that is forever, in the Church [now], and by Christ Jesus. Another thing to keep in mind is the conditional nature of statements like "forever" and especially "forever in their generations". We see plenty of this in the Law saying that various old covenant practices would be established forever. Lawkeeping groups use these to condemn orthodox Christianity over sabbaths and other laws. But we know these were fulfilled by Christ, and do not carry on literally. From here, some will claim "then we are still under the Law, because Christ said not one jot nor tittle will pass until all be fulfilled", which is taken to be AD70. But obviously, after Christ's death, the apostles were not teaching anyone in the Church to keep the Law anymore, so that "fulfillment" was His death, by which the Law was "nailed to the Cross".
Preterists like to criticize our hermeneutics, but when you take a verse like that, you have to make sure the words are really saying what you think they are.
It is also claimed that Jesus Matt.24:21 implied that there would be OTHER tribulations after the end-time, 70 A.D. tribulation: ", nor ever shall be". "No perfect world after Jesus returned!" But that is not what that says, and here they clearly read something into the text from thin air. If the world did end then, then "not ever shall be" would still be true. It does not say "there will still be tribulations, but they won't be this bad". Instead, we see tribulations that are worse that have ocurred, and this is another clear scope indicator that points to the future.

Then, I have heard "My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one"(John 17:15). This is supposed to disprove the doctrine of the rapture. But us not being taken out of the world is for now; the time being. The rapture is for when God finally judges the world. There are different timings of it, and my view has it later than the popular view, where we are taken before anything bad happens. Still, in this present age, we are in the world, not taken out of it. When this world is judged, God will take us out of it, because it will be over. Preterists don't believe that. They believe this world of sin will go on forever, and the only way out of it is death into an unrevealed eternity. But then that actually contradicts much of their claims about dispensationalism. claims "Many churches/religions have taught an ‘escapist’ doctrine, whereby God’s people have been led to believe that we will one day be evacuated from all that is unpleasant and ungodly. This is not the doctrine of Scripture. The escapist mentality often leads to disappointment in God for ‘leaving us here’ through all the ups and downs of mankind’s governments, economies, societies, etc. Our pain and suffering in the world becomes a matter of endurance, rather than identification with Christ in His suffering, an exercise in crucifixion of the flesh, as taught in the Word of God" [then continues with the John verse and Psalms 105:8-10]. But this "crucifixion of the flesh" is not to go on forever, just as Christ does not hang on the Cross (suffer) forever. Crucifixion leads to a goal; the promise of peace and end of suffering, among other things. That is our hope; not an eternity of crucifixion. (Taking that statement to its logical conclusion would call into question whether Heaven will be free of pain and suffering as well!) A common statement says "the Cross before the Crown". The whole promise of the Kingdom was "If we suffer [with Him], we shall also reign with Him" (2 Tim.2:12). Paul spoke that in his own present, so how can one claim that in that future promise, you would still suffer, and "reign with Him" would be symbolized away? Do you see what a letdown that is? There is a contrast between the suffering of the Christian life and the future Glory; between the cross and the crown. Yet now we're being told that for all purposes, the [ongoing] suffering is the [present] glory! So while they mention the promise of Heaven when pressed, their arguments against futurist hope unwittingly denies it.
All of this parallels the biblical feasts of the OT; starting with the passover and the wave sheaf offering (day of firstfruits). In the traditional view of the resurrection; christ was crucified on Friday; the 6th day of the week, rested in the tomb on the 7th day, and then rose on the first day of the following week; which was the antitypical day of firstfruits and then was like the "eighth day"; and recognized as such by early fathers such as [pseudo]Barnabas. One interpretation is that it is now the sabbath (7th day), or "we live out our days on Easter Saturday" as writer Philip Yancey puts it in hiw writings on pain and dissappointment. This leads to the saying "Sunday's on the way". Take Carman's song of that title (nicely redone by Take 6 years ago). "On Friday night, they crucified; the Lord at Calvary. But don't fret 'cause He said 'in 3 days; I'll rise again'; so can you see; If problems seem to bury you 6 feet deep; and make it hard for you to pray; it may seem like that Friday night; but Sunday's on it's way..." "Sunday", of course, is when Christ returns and resurrects the righteous dead, and all our problems and pains are over. In Barnabas' view; The sabbath was the future Millennium of "rest" for us; and the eighth day was the New Heavens and New Earth. Full preterists; of course, must insist that we are in the eighth day now; and partial preterists would say this is the millennial sabbath. In one sense, you could definitely say that this world today is like the Sabbath; where God is "resting"; though most wouldn't put it like this. But to preterists of any stripe; you cannot say this song is totally inapplicable to today (as their theory would suggest); because of the fact that we are still physical creatures; who must believe by faith (without even any absolute certainty!) and we do not like physical pain, and have to struggle through it, and await it's end through entering the next life. Then, you have the wellknown passage of Romans 8:18-25 "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waits for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who has subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to know, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man sees, why does he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it". This of course is used by futurists to refer to the state of this present age and universe--of decay, and its leading to a new age. Preterists take it, like the other passages as the "decay" of the Old Covenant, in lieu of the new. Typcially; it is; but still; this current state of suffering, death, war, unrest, and all other problems in life can surely be seen as the "birth pains" of a new existence! So it really seems that the Millennium is the sabbath of rest; and the New Heavens and New Earth is the 8th day. We are still at the end of "creation week" now. So once again; preterists criticize futurists for wanting relief from suffering instead of seeing it as identifying with the Cross; but if it is still Cross time; that makes it Friday; not Sunday! So then once again; in this view, whatever "fulfillment" (advancement into "Sunday") occurred in AD70 would be typical; dealing only with the spiritual issue of redemption from the OC Law.

In II Thess. 2:1-4 preterists take the readers' fear that they had missed His coming proves they understood His "parousia" in "a different way than us today, and that Paul taught them differently than we believe". No, not what Paul taught them, but yes, they did apparently ponder something more like the preterist view, and Paul corrects them by showing what must happen first. Even the AD64-70 events that we have mentioned do not seem to completely fulfill this, such as the lawless one. (Does not completely match Nero or any other emperor, and certainly not any Jewish leader). Also, even with the false messiahs and prophets in Acts and those who followed them, still, this did not equal a "falling away" in the Church to the extent Paul is suggesting. It is claimed that the man of lawlessness was already at work, putting him in the 1st century context. There are some who believe it to be one of the leaders of the Zealots. But that's the mystery of iniquity that was already at work; not the man of iniquity at that point. And I don't think such a key figure would remain so uncertain as to his identity in later history. You'd be better off saying it was one of the emperors. (Other preterists say this too was Nero)

The fact that Revelation speaks of "dogs" and suffering "outside" the City, and invited people to "come" is taken as proof that the eternal Kingdom and the world of the lost exist side by side. But they're in the Lake of Fire, which symbolically is said to be "outside". This is "eternal death", so yes, there is suffering and a type of death —spiritual; in eternity. Just not in the presence of God and the redeemed (i.e. "outside"). I believe it is another dimensional realm altogether, but of course, the Bible does not go into all of that. In preterism, the city is the church, yet we do see those types of sinners "inside". Yet, they're not "really", spiritually "inside", right? To me, this conveys more of a real meaning. What good is it to warn that sinners will be outside if they can physically be inside, and not even be aware that spiritually they are outside? "The Spirit and the Bride say 'Come'" is an invitation to the reader now, not then after it is all done, as it is suggested. Preterists assume that that call to "come" was aimed at the people in the storyline; rather than the READERS throughout all time (before Christ returns and it is all finished). Notice, the storyline has ended way before that. It basically ends at v.5. Then, we have John's account of his interaction with the angel. (V.11 would refer back to the storyline; because it would make no sense for them to be telling people to stay unholy! (Preterists claim this only is used to illustrate how short the time was; but thst still does not make sense. If it was so "at hand"; then people should all the more hurry and become righteous! But even if that were true; it would further prove my point that the storyline has ended before this!). So next follows some messages from Jesus, and some warnings, and another promise to come quickly. All of this is directed to the one reading it; for it would make no sense to warn the ones afterwards, already in the Kingdom about having their name removed from the book of life or the plagues WRITTEN IN THE BOOK added to them!

I was accused of simply throwing up "dual fulfillment" just to get around difficulties in futurism. But I believe the promises of a real resurrection and perfect Kingdom are for me, so it can't have happened already. But when shown scriptures that contradict a purely spiritual application which stretches much of the meaning of concepts and contexts then out comes more "spiritual meaning", which makes even less sense.
It is asked "what else is literal?" followed by examples of things that would be absurd if literal. So much literal language is used, so one can give you back the same questions. What else was only figurative? Maybe all of that stuff about salvation in Christ. Maybe it is just some universal "spirit of love", like the world insists now. Maybe both Heaven and Hell are here on earth, and it's only some sort of Nirvana or karma when you die? (As I said, this is surely left unrevealed in preterist theory, and basically open to any speculation). If our resurrection was only "spiritual", maybe Christ's was also, like the JW's claim. And even some preterist sites I have seen, for all purposes deny even this. Preterists like to quote Prov. 13:12 "Hope deferred makes the heart sick: but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life". In their view too, for these people who were led to believe and hope for something that they were to never see must have been crushing to their spirit. You will still suffer and be killed and die, you will still be surrounded by the abominable, wicked, etc. so all of that stuff about streets of Gold, and eternal peace and no sorrow, etc. just means that you are "redeemed" because the last vestige of the Old Covenant has been removed. Who knows what is after this? Yes, hope deferred, indeed!

This system actually bears a lot in common with both the pre-trib rapture (which they criticize), which says basically the same thing regarding a "secret" (invisible) "coming" of Christ preceding the actual visible second coming (but at least you have the actual disappearance of the saints in that theory); as well as both the SDA and JW treatment of 1844 and 1914, respectively. Both started out as dates when people thought Christ was coming back. When they passed, then in order to save the significance of the date, they had to claim this "return" was spiritual, and Christ only did something in the Heavenly Temple. (Still, at least they do have a visible return yet future). All of what preterism describes is but a type of the future appearance of Christ.

Preterism takes one concept; "at hand", and then building this doctrine of a completely spiritual coming, and bending everything else to fit, leaving an uncertain, undiscussed eternity, a coming of the Holy Spirit that accomplished practically nothing —the Church was still lost, and they needed another divine presence for Jesus to actually be with them; and a world where death and suffering continues forever; apparently apart of God's original creation all along anyway. So many questions unanswered, and loose ends left open. You can't take one polarity (at hand) and then ignore/reinterpret the other (change of world order, complete end of curse). They must both be true, and the more unclear or variable is interpreted in light of the more clear. In something like this, you have to weigh which statements are more clear and thus more literal. Not take a literal interpretation of one thing, spiritualizing everything else, and then forcing it all into one event that did not really fulfill all that was to be fulfilled. The proof of this is all of the things left open by this theory. The Hebrew word translated "at hand" is even different from the Greek, which allows for a figurative meaning.

It is pointed out that in the Old Testament Daniel is told to seal His book for it is for many days in the future (8:26). Yet the exact opposite is said to John concerning Revelation (22:10).
Once again, all that means is that it was ready to occur with John. In the OT, Messiah still had to come the first time and die and rise again. By John's time, all of that had occurred already, so nothing else prophetic or apart of the plan had to happen before the final events began unfurling. Also, Daniel is told that "when he shall scatter the power of the holy people, all these things (including the resurrection) shall be finished. (12:7) Other versions read "completely shattered". Of course, it is claimed "There is no other event in history that qualifies as the destruction of the power of the holy people as does the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. The power was their Temple". I know certain "power" was lost by the Pharisees, lawyers, priests and he rest then. But were these still the holy people by then? I thought they were Babylon, the hartlot. Or, perhaps this has something to do with the future of Church history. Where does this even say the power was the temple? Once again, the Jews were not completely shattered. The Jews continued to live on, and even though preterists doubt that any Jews today are genuine, they still are here, and are setting up for the final fulfillment of prophecy.


Following, I continue where I left off in the Revelation page (picking up with ch.19) with the preterist interpretation.

19:13-15 Holding suggests this is "a new 'war'", which is the Church carrying forth "the Word of God". I really don't see how He is really "smiting the nations and ruling them with a rod of iron", even spiritually; unless they see the past 2000 years as gradually leading up to a future universal spread of the Gospel. But even that doesn't seem guaranteed, but is pure speculation.
18-21. In these verses, as in Daniel 7:9-12, 2 thess.2:8 and others; it is clear that it is not only Israel that is judged, but all of the Gentile armies as well. The plagues were said to "complete" the wrath of God. Hasn't much gone on in the entire world after AD70 that is meriting of God's wrath? The fifth plague was specifically aimed at the beast kingdom, not Israel. One fact that is still not explained is how "the beast and his armies" are seen as fighting against Christ, now and not just Jerusalem. (The Roman armiies are actually seen as "god's army" in the war against Jerusalem, by most preterists! How can they be both God's armies and Satan'sarmies (given that the Beast gets his power from Satan) at the same time?!) Perhaps it was the ongoing persecution of Christians by some of the emperors afterward? But was this really some sort of standoff between them and God, as the war of Jerusalem was? Rome did lose thousands of soldiers in the war, who could be the "flesh of kings, captains", etc. referenced. But as we know, after the destruction of Jerusalem, the Roman Empire went on, for almost exactly four more centuries, with persecuting of Christians continuing most of the time, until the previous century, when one emperor favored the Church. Even then, it lived on in the Holy Roman Empire, and the modern Western nations "of the world" that developed from it. This is what makes pure preterism so hard to believe, and why everyone reads these visions as future. But the preterist interpreters basically take the violent deaths of individual leaders after their roles in the war as fulfilling this. In other words, Nero and others may have been killed by other men or themselves, but in the spiritual world, it was really Christ or the angels who smote them; appealing to the death of Herod in Acts 12:23. (the historical account by Josephus reports that he saw a sort of omen, and then developed a severe pain in his belly that in five days caused him to wear out and die). In this vein, Russel goes on to suggest that perhaps this may even be an unseen spiritual "conquest", like the marriage that it follows. This is all a very sloppy manner of fulfillment, to me, and I think it strongly favors dual fulfillment. Others point out that Rome and the other kingdoms "lost their former glories". The prophecies described clear direct events; that not only would individual leaders perish at Christ's coming, and individual kingdoms and their kingdoms fall, but all heathen rule would altogether be abolished forever. Once again, definite action, scope and sense statements. The entire set of beasts or Nebuchadnezzar's image which are kingdoms and their individual rulers together. The first 3 beasts would still exist, but lose their dominion, while the fourth would be burned—Dan.7:12, 26. This shows that it is kingdoms being referred to, as the individual leaders of the four kingdoms did not live at the same time; only the kingdoms of the first three remained in some form at the time of the fourth; and the first three would continue to exist for a time, but be subdued; while Rome would be completely destroyed. So we cannot take the "loss of former glory" for Rome to fulfill "destruction", when the others have lost their former glory as well, but were not described as being completely destroyed. The Beast continues on, but in the state of inactivity called "the bottomless pit"(Rev.11:7, 9:2) The death of any person can be speculated as being by God or an angel. But these are very specific, dramatic instances being described. As it is, people like Nero actually died before AD70, but then there is this play on the meaning of "by" the Lord's coming meaning "before", or something like that.
So while pure futurism and historicism may have their holes, pure preterism (including partial-preterism) have theirs, and it is only in past-future duality that all of this can be brought together.

ch 20
Here is where the partial preterists and full preterists part. The partial prets claim it is "an indefinite period" beginning AD70; drawing comparison to Ps. 50:10 "The cattle on the 1000 hills belongs to God". In this they admit the resurrection and final judgment are still future. Full preterists, chiding the partial preterists for "believing all was fulfilled in AD70 except chapters 20 and 21" have to force both the millennium and final judgment to end at AD70. Some just gloss over it, and say the whole period is completely figurative (not just the number). Others try to start it at AD30, but then that has the millennium beginning way before, and ending AT the Parousia! Both agree that Satan is put away now; either temporarily (partial position) or that he is permanently in the lake of fire now (full position). Many of us cannot see how anyone can think such a thing, with all the evil and deception in the world. But they focus on all the possession that was recorded then, which ceased afterward. Russel writes "Now there seems no reason to doubt that before and during our Saviour’s incarnation there was an energy and activity of moral evil existing in the earth far exceeding anything that is now known among men". "In addition to this, the remarkable prevalence of the mysterious phenomenon of demoniacal possession in the time of Christ is a decisive proof of the presence and activity of a malefic spiritual influence, in a form and degree which to us is unknown, and to many even incredible". Of course, Russel was writing 100 years ago. He is basically partial pret. and would probably say Satan is being released now, as many post-millenialists would say. People who look at all the outward righteousness of the "Christendom paradigm" of pre-1960's America and pre-rationalism Europe may actually believe that Satan was somehow subdued back then. But even then such people seem totally unaware of what was actually going on throughout Christian history. He, like any others praises the church age, for effecting "what Rome was in the days of Nero, and what Jerusalem was in the closing period of the Jewish commonwealth"; "what Greece was, and what Rome was, in respect of their national religion, in the apostolic age; the authority, antiquity, and popularity of their gods, and the way in which their worship had entwined itself around every act of public and private life" had "withered away" so as to have wholly "disappeared from the face of the earth", and this remarkable change was "entirely due to the influence of Christianity". He quotes a writer named Schlegel; ‘the decisive crisis between ancient and modern times; ‘and that the introduction of Christianity ‘has changed and regenerated not only government and science, but the whole system of human life.’ and adds "There was an hour when the tide of human wickedness began to turn: it was at the very period when that tide was in flood; ever since that time it has been ebbing". But where as was stated before, the Church followed right behind Jerusalem in becoming corrupt and even pagan, and with less excuse. While Christianity conquered paganism, paganism infiltrated Christianity, and basically redistributed the same level of heathen superstition to the world, only wrapped in Biblical vestment. If the old Jerusalem was so offensive to God, just think how much worse He would view the corruption of what was supposed to be that Spiritual Kingdom He had so promised. Then, there is also the unevangelized world, as well, which continues in its old religions.

Then, there is the claim that Satan has lost all authority. This is supposed to be in the spiritual realm, where Satan loses his authority over the earth in a spiritual sense. But perhaps it should be in a "legal" sense? But even then, both legally and spiritually, Satan rules/owns many, if not most people and human systems. Christ has gained the legal right to take it back, but has not done so yet, because it is at the Father's command. Unless you believe the world is the eternal lake of fire, with the Church as "the City" in the midst of it. (and there are at least some who affirm this!) After all, the full preterist says according to chapter 20, Satan is now in the Lake of Fire forever, as well as all the wicked being judged in AD70. But only in a very loose spiritual sense. One day, it will be made real. (though the city won't literally be surrounded by the lake of fire). The idea that Satan has been put away may be the biggest hole in the theory. That means there is no spiritual warfare; all the teaching we have had on it is misguided. We wrestle not against "wicked spirits in high places" (Eph.6:12), but I guess only against their lasting "influence" in the "flesh and blood": the people of the world, as per the interpretation of ch19, above. Meanwhile, all the negative thoughts and temptations we fight against; where do they come from? A lasting "influence"? One cites James 1:13ff and says that it is just "our own lusts". But who provokes us to lust? Who puts lustful thoughts in our heads? Is this all just from ourselves? Once again, this has us wrestling against "flesh and blood" and not anything spiritual! Remarkable, from the very system of eschatology that emphasizs "the spiritual" over the physical!
And what about many heinous acts in the world that seem to go against even "human nature"? Like the witch doctors in southern Africa who tell the tribesmen that if they rape newborn girls they will be cured of AIDS? Here we have people who even purport to be contacting the spirit world; but this is all from within themselves? There are some who even go as far as to deny the existence of Satan. They say Satan was the Old Covenant system as "the adversary" of the Gospel, and accuser of its subjects (The "Satan" who appeard before God over Job and tempted Jesus were probably "high priests") and "demons" were just "idols" personified by the idol worshippers as "gods", and that "evil spirits" were the negative characteristics in a person (including even physical affirmities) left in a person after "God removes His Spirit from them"; and this even extends to animals such as the swine Jesus "cast demons" into! While many of this can fit taken by itself; still; it turns much of the Bible into a giant riddle. (or all apocalyptic symbolism). The original "serpent" that tempted Adam must be some "cunning" (from the same root as "nakedness") within the man. But then, since man fell with Adam, and this "serpent" approached him before he fell (naturally; because this is what made him fall to begin with!); then where did this "sin" come from? Did God create them sinful already? And if so, what is the "Fall" really? It seems they were already fallen, then! Rev. 12; in mentioning "the old Serpent", seems to be harking back to Genesis, showing that this is one common being who worked through the idol worship of the pagans as well as the OC system of the Israelites. That would harmonize and explain the significance of all of the definitions of "Satan" being "adversary of God and His people", and the OC system; and "demons" being idols (including what else; but serpents!) An evil being and his hosts were behind it all. One benefit of this interpretation is that it removes one conflict the church has had with the modern skeptical world. Where many, looking back to the Bible, have supposed that all mental problems are demonic possession; some going beyond that and saying all physical infirmity is spiritual, like we see when Jesus attributed it to demons, and today the world has diagnosed these things purely physiologically and/or psychologically. If this were true, then we can say that yes, there was demonic activity back then, but not today, so both explanations of these illnesses were true in their own times. In fact, such a method of interpretation can be used to explain away all supernaturalism (including the resurrection of long decayed bodies). It all ceased when "what was perfect" came (1 Cor.13:8-10), as people often cite. But then it is highly debatable whether there is no possession; at least today, though skeptics might not believe it. There are many people that spiritually perceptive Christians identify as appearing demon possessed. Sometimes you can see it right in the eyes. So this would not help the full preterist who says that Satan has been put away for good. Unless you conclude it is all their imagination, like the skeptics do. There may be many abuses of the concepts of spiritual warfare and claims of exorcism and "binding" demons in many charismatic churches and some cults, but this does not mean all spiritual warfare is phony.
But Satan is not only behind "possession", but also the father of lies, and lies increased more than ever after AD70, when even the Church now fell headlong into darkness, and the entire civilization entered the Dark Ages; a label that is not even applied to those earlier ages of paganism and Israel under the Law! (To our shame, Matt.6:23!) The passage says he shall "deceive the nations no more", not possess people no more! And some seem to speak as if Satan was concerned with the lies of the Jews [the blindness under the Old Covenant] only. But "gentiles devils and not to God" (1 Cor.10:20); "Whoever sins [i.e and remains not covered by the Blood of Christ] is of the Devil" (1 John 3:8-10). Not to forget that Satan was the one who tempted man in the Garden, long before there was an Israel. Once again, all of the sin and paganism that originally sprang forth was from His deception, and it all still continues on to this day.
Significantly enough, preterist theory was first formulated by the missionaries of the corrupt institution, to justify its claims of being the Kingdom (and I'm sure some used ch.19 to justify their wars against "the godless" including those who were truly the faithful!), and rebuff the growing charges of those it persecuted that it was in fact, the "Babylon" of prophecy. Of course, there was later the Reformation and later revivals which restored some of the balance, but there is still no denying what came before. The preterists will say that out of all of that, only the "true Christians" were the "New Jerusalem", but they were so few in number at times, it is baffling how anyone could propose that that was the "kingdom" spoken so loftily of in so many scriptural prophecies, which was supposed to "fill" the earth. The spiritual life we have may fulfill this to some extent, but there must be more to it than this.
So perhaps in some sense you can say that "a powerful check was about to be given to the influence of Satan over the minds of men"; "a marked and decisive check was given to the power of Satan", but that's a check; not [yet] total abolition, as is actually being suggested! Else, if people are still bound in darkness, then where does this lingering darkness come from? You can say our sin nature, but then even that is tied to Satan. People who are not in Christ, and still in their sins are said to be under Satan. Does it then really matter whether they are literally "possessed" of him, or only "deceived"? Preterists insist that this is just a remaining "influence" of Satan, sort of like Hitler is dead, but there are still those influenced by him. But what we see is more than an "influence" of Satan. Hitler's influence has largely been driven underground. It does not carry the outward force it did when "the Fuhrer" was still alive. But the lies and wickedness of Satan are by no means underground. The futuristic literal portrayal of the Millennium, where we see real peace and justice under Christ, is where there are still sinful people, (ruled with "a rod of iron") but Satan is gone. (until he is loosed and then deceives these people). Certainly not now. Also in this chapter, we see the resurrection and judgment. Full preterists are forced to make the resurrection "spiritual", even though Christ's resurrection is bodily (one I debated with even seemed to call that into question when I showed him).
One important point to remember, is what is often mentioned in spiritual warfare teaching: it is in Satan's interest to have people not believe in him. That way, he can all the more do his work undetected, and have people caught off guard. They think they're only dealing with human nature! So if he is really in Hell now, and yet people believe he is not; and continue to "fight" him, then what does that profit him? Who is the father of this "lie", then? However, if he is still out and active in the world, then it is obvious whose profit it would be in trying to tell us he is not! Also, the idea that Satan is gone for good now if taken consistently, would lead to universal salvation. There are preterists who have even gone this far, calling their doctrine "Covenantal Grace". (see below) Christ has redeemed all of man, even those who don't believe in him. We preach Christ, not to warn them to not go to Hell, but because without Christ, they suffer "negative consequences" for their sins in this life. (the "Lake of Fire" was only the destruction of the Old Covenant system, and this can be traced to OT imagery just like the other prophecies!--after all, Gehenna was a dump outside of Jerusalem, as universalists will remind us!) If there is no more Satan, then who are those who reject Christ under? Christ? Christ said everyone is under a master. There is no neutral ground.

We can begin to see here, where this theory blends well with much of the sentiments of pop Culture (—e.g. "the kingdom is only in your heart"; "Christ is just the love in all our hearts"; "the Bible is just allegory" etc) and the new-agers, too. One person I debated with even kept appealing to how ridiculous futurism with its unfulfilled time statements is to the atheists, who "have a field day with it"; as if we are to shape our understanding of scripture based on that. What do they want more than an allegorical reading of the Bible that conforms completely to their scientifical and social theories. So Christ is never coming back to do away with all the evil in the world for good; Christ "reigns" only as a spiritual platitude in man's heart. The next step: we're all "good"; and your path to Him/It is Christianity; mine is something else. We can create Heaven on earth through our utopian visions (either left wing or right wing). Likewise, the Creation, flood, parting of the Red Sea, the giving of the Ten Commandments and all other "appearances" of God; and all of the miracles of Christ (including the Resurrection), and salvation and damnation were "spiritual allegories" too. Therefore; I do not need to be a Christian.

While these descriptions most likely are symbolic, still, they can only be fulfilled in the Church in a typical sense.
While yes, the New Heavens and Earth can mean the end of the Old Covenant, but then "no more sea" would mean no more "ungodly masses of people in the world outside" (which "sea" and "waters represented in prophecy), so that right there should show that this current age is not the final fulfillment of this vision, where we are still surrounded by the raging sea. No, they may not be "in the city", but then, this verse doesn't say there is no sea in the city; only "no more sea". Of course, there is "no more death" if you limit this to spiritual death and the threat of the second death, but with "wipe away all tears"; "neither crying, sorrow...[neither] any more pain" it is quite a stretch to say this is present reality; even spiritually. Romans 8:18 says "The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with glory that shall be revealed in us". Preterists say this "glory" refers to the unseen spiritual "change" at the parousia. But this verse associates "sufferings" with "this present time" and contrasts it with the "glory" associated with the return of Christ. As suffering continued past AD70, they were still in "this present time". 2 Cor.11:2ff still applies to us. We are betrothed to Christ and must stay pure from "another Jesus". This is a far cry from the state described in this chapter, so the actual marriage of the Bride is yet future. Also, while v.11-14 and 22-23 can be understood as spiritually referring to the Church today, I wonder how v.16-21 apply. And how do "the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it" and "they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it" (v.24b, 26)? Some have an answer to this, we shall explore below, but will it really fulfill it?
I can see where several verses of ch.22 can be symbolic of salvation in the Church today, but even with our eternal life, v.3 "no more curse" is still a bit of a stretch. We may be freed from spiritual death (which they see as the only "curse"), but we do still feel the effects of sin, and the pain of decay leading to the first death. Then, verse 5, "and they shall reign for ever and ever". This doesn't tell us that we shall reign here on earth (as 5:10 tells us), and then die and then go to reign in heaven. Either you have to admit that this isn't the final stage, as heaven is where we reign (but this is once again totally unexplained), or admit that this is referring to a physical resurrection to a restored earth.
Then, verse 12, "My reward is with me, to give every man according to his works". Is this just the destruction of the Temple for "unbelievers", and the vindication of their faith to the believers; or spiritual resurrection for the believers and heaven or hell for believers and unbelievers respectively, when they die after that point? Or is it yet future to those alive when He visibly returns, and the dead physically rise again? All the evidence points to the latter.



(#13) First, most Christians believe in eternal, or everlasting, punishment. Even if we propose that it is the Devil and "the beast and the false prophet" (Rev. 20:10) who are the only ones who suffer eternally, that would still add up to a cosmos wherein sin and suffering continue forever and ever. To have planet Earth free from sin and suffering while sin and suffering continue elsewhere for eternity (i.e., "the lake of fire") does not solve the philosophical problem of the existence of sin and suffering. Therefore the idea of a universe in which sin and suffering continue for eternity is not at all a uniquely preterist problem. Unless you are a Universalist or an annihilationist, it seems that your objection may have more to do with the locale of sin and suffering than with the mere existence of it.

Still, these are people who have lived and made their final decision and died. Not the same as all the children tortured in various places, as an example, and other people suffering for things that weren't their fault. Hell is a facet of eternal justice. The current earth is a place of injustice (so the issue is not just "sin and suffering" for eternity, but justice. So there is no comparison.

Ps. 110:4: "Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek."
Since Christ is a Priest on behalf of sinners "forever," we may infer that sinners will exist on earth "forever" to enjoy the ministry of forgiveness of sins in Christ.

Once again, there is the conditional nature of "forever" discussed above. The Mosaic system was to abide "forever" as well. Also, in the context of this passage, He is our High Priest, and was "consecrated" forever, and only needed to offer up His one sacrifice for all times, unlike the OT priests who had to make daily sacrifices. He would not cease being our High Priest after we "leave these bodies and go to Heaven" in the preterist scenario, would He? No, our being there with Him forever will be the result of His priesthood for us, so "Priest" is basically a title He keeps forever.

Rev. 14:6: "...the Everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth..." (Rev. 14:6). Since the Gospel, which is for sinners that dwell on the earth, is "everlasting," this implies that sinners will be born on earth everlastingly to enjoy the blessings of the Gospel.

The Good news itself (the eternal Kingdom including the abolition of death) is everlasting; not the need to preach it to a lost world!

In Rev. 22:2, on "the new earth," we see the "Tree of life" that yields fruit every month, the "leaves" of which are "for the healing of the nations" (Rev. 22:2). This teaches us that in the new earth, "the nations" are in need of continual healing.

That is a metaphor for the perpetual "health" that will be universal in the final kingdom. While the preterist interpretations of these are hypothetically possible, the clearest meaning of these is a perfect kingdom on earth, not an imperfect earth, where so many remain unhealed as we see today, going on forever. Worthy of note is that in Rev.2:7 the Tree of Life is in the "paradise of God". While the preterists say that 22:2 is now, they do not say this is paradise. (Though I have debated at least one that says it is!)

It seems that some people will never be satisfied with anything less than a fleshly utopia that is characterized by absolute "behavioral errorlessness" throughout the entire universe (except for in hell). In contrast to this idea of how the universe should be, God says that He created "vessels of wrath fitted to destruction" in order "that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy."

So the fallen universe continues forever to create more people to both unconditionally save and damn. This sheds light on why this teaching seems to flourish in the Reformed movement. Sin goes on forever, so God can all the more save only some from it. (cf; See Rom.11:32) As he elsewhere says: (#53) "Reformed believers are used to being God's 'spoilers', so to speak. Neither Calvinism nor preterism make popular, mainstream Christians in general 'feel good'. Calvinism robs us of our 'free will', and its doctrine of 'limited atonement' makes God unjust and cruel (in the eyes of many Christians). Similarly, preterism robs us of our Rapture out of this world, and it robs us of our biological resurrection-bodies on an absolutely perfect planet Earth. Reformed believers are accustomed to believing what many other Christians deem to be 'unbelievable'. This makes the 'horse pill' of preterism easier for Reformed believers to swallow, than for many other Christians". This is basically the common fallacy that because a teaching is a "horse-pill" ("hard"), that right there proves it is true. This is often the ultimate argument used for Calvinism (see Predestination.html) But there seems to be a tremendous source of pride in coming and busting people's bubbles like that, and showing how strong we are that God has opened us up to swallowing such hard pills while everyone else is "offended", and thus follows their "flesh". This is not what God calls people to do. What they are trying to take away from everyone, in both cases, is the hope the Gospel offers us. More than once here, we see the hope for a perfect physical, tangible existence being mocked; but this kingdom people look for, though physical, isn't "fleshy" in the negative sense of the word being insinuated. It is spiritual in that it is both ruled by God, AND all who live in it are "changed" from their old nature. Thus it is "not of this world", and "flesh [sinful nature] and blood [those counting on physical lineage]" shall not inherit it. That's the difference from the physical kingdom the Jews wanted (which they continually try to liken to the one futurists expect); and it's the preterist theory that in a way is closer to this "fleshy kingdom" with it's idea that the fleshy Church of today is "it"; that the true, final kingdom is composed of less than perfect, incomplete creatures. (The Jews cared nothing about "perfection"; they wanted to rule as they were, and only presumed they were perfect (sinless), even though they were far from it! In their hope, this old age and cosmos would continue on, but they would be the kings of it "over there" in Jerusalem. That is what is wrong, but it is not the same as the Kingdom futurists look for, where all is changed, the spiritual comes down to redeem the physical). All of this shows lack of a basic understanding of the nature and purpose of the resurrection. Isn't God's standard perfection? Does He tolerate sin forever? Isn't perfection what He promises? Isn't "behavioral errorlessness" what they believe we will have in Heaven? To turn around one of Green's earlier statements; 'their only objection has more to do with the locale of sinless perfection and behavioral errorlessness than with the mere existence of it'. (Or will there be sin there too? Or is physical only evil anyway, and only spirit good? It seems like physical existance is so unredeemable in this view that not even Christ ruling over it can make it spiritual; so physical creation must be abandoned in favor of a purely spiritual realm; and thus the gnostics were right after all). Then how can you ridicule people's hope like that? They speak of "positionally perfect", but where do you draw the line when professing Christians do fall into sin? By their 'faith'? But the passage describes those outside the city by the sins they commit, it doesn't say that they simply had not received a "position" of "perfection" through forgiveness in Christ for them. Perhaps it should have said "outside are unbelievers who live still in their sins". Clearly, it is those who have died in their sins and been resurrected and judged, who are "outside".
"Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven" is to be our prayer. But once again, Heaven is barely mentioned in the scriptures in their system, and that is precisely what makes it such a "bitter pill" in the first place. Rather then being "hard to believe"; this theory's replacement of supernatural redemption in the physical realm with invisible "spirit" happenings is actually easier to believe in an age where supernaturalism is denied, as I mentioned before (after all, you can't "prove or disprove it"; so who can argue against it?) It actually goes along nicely with rationalism, and jibes with the faltering faith of even many Christians who tire of both waiting for Christ to return, and all the false alarms that date-setters and others have given in the meantime.
Reformed theology has been a source of a lot of confusion and division in the church in the last few centuries. In both of these issues (preterism and Calvinism), there are glaring inconsistencies and often bending of scripture, such as Romans 9. Here we have the typical Calvinist misuse of their favorite proof-text. But as preterists, these writers should be the first to teach that this "wrath" and "mercy" refer to the judgment of Israel in AD70, in contrast to the salvation and protection of the Church! Many who were in the "Vessels of wrath" camp became apart of the "vessels of mercy".(Ephesians 2:3) Amazing that things a clear reading of the Bible would take as eternal are applied to AD70, while the "judgment" that actually does apply to AD70 is applied to eternity!

For the Church did not stop being the Church after it was established in 70. Rather, it was born conquering, it was established conquering and it forever conquers to the glory of Christ!

It wasn't established or "born" in AD70, but rather during Christ's ministry, and spiritually, on the Day of Pentecost, AD30 0r 33. (He even admits this in question 69) It was just validated and vindicated in AD70. It didn't start being the Church then!

According to the Scriptures, it will increase on earth until all of God's enemies are "under His feet" (I Cor. 15:25).

The last enemy is death! Either that was accomplished in AD70, and the verse is behind us, or the full conquest of death is yet future! It doesn't specify "spiritual rather than physical" death.

The goal is none other than that every man of every nation, through the power of the Gospel, attain unto that for which mankind was created: To love God with all his heart, soul and mind, and his neighbor as himself (Matt. 22:37-39; Mk. 12:30-31; Lk. 10:27-28). We must not think that the continued existence of sin on earth invalidates the possibility or the perfection of the realization of that goal.

And how will this [note, every man!] happen, as long as sin exists in the world? Here too, the Calvinist should know better than anyone else! It was theology like this, from the pelagian Roman Catholic Church, that led to all the humanism today (man can eventually bring in the Kingdom of God on earth), yet the Calvinists like to blame Arminianism for that! (And wasn't it suggested above that the goal was that every man was not to attain that, because some have to be "vessels of wrath"?). The preterists appeal to the power of the Holy Spirit; but man (in the Church), even with the power of the Holy Spirit has still not been able to do it for almost 2000 years. That's because the power of the Holy Spirit is to regenerate US, and enable us to live for Christ; not physically take over the world. If you say it will eventually happen in the future; then apparently, God would at that time be doing something (in fulfillment of the old prophecies) He has not been doing for 2000 years, and thus you still have a future completion of fulfillment!

Preterists do not know future events, but we are fully confident in the fact that whatever the conquering Savior pleases to do, He does, on earth as in heaven (Ps. 135:6). And when we consider the divine eternality of the Church on earth and her progressive divine dominion, we know that her future, and hence the future of humanity, will be filled to overflowing with innumerable blessings which are even now utterly impossible for us to grasp. For what wonders will God work in and through His more-than-conquering Church after 10,000 years of ecclesiastical progress, or after 1,000,000 years of victory? (also #20: "We know that because of the worldview of the Gospel (Christianity), modern science came into being and there have since been incredible advancements in communication, medicine, agriculture, etc., etc. These are tangible blessings that have come about because Christ changed His people's hearts and minds. Such physical benefits of the Kingdom will literally fill the heavens as the aeons continue").

This completely forgets about the Dark Ages, when "the Church" at large was full of darkness, and only small insignificant groups carried the torch of the faith. It ignores that the West was driven by a neurotic desire to control nature (to be as God, and like Babel), So there may have been alot of good that came out of this, it is mixed with human sinfulness, and the West and its Church have often tried to take too much credit for all the good in the world while ignoring the evil. (like look how science largely rejects God now). So yes, "the gates of Hell did not prevail", and God is ultimately in control of everything, but if He allowed that then, then how can we assume that eventually, there will may be some golden age where the Church gives the world these "blessings" that seem to be described in the same fashion as what's in store in Heaven? It is only with a preconception of preterism. It looks like it's getting worse right now, with increasing watering down of the faith, compromise and ecumenicism on one hand, and then increasing schism and reactive legalism in opposition, on the other hand. This seems to fit perfectly with dual fulfillment of a new Babylon or antitypical "Jerusalem" becoming a harlot to be judged by the return of Christ, along with all the other "last days" scriptures.
And "on earth as in Heaven" suggests that eventually, God will fully redeem the earth and make it like it is in Heaven!

The Bible describes the Kingdom of Christ on earth as a kingdom that will increase until it covers "the whole earth" "as the waters cover the sea" (Isa. 11:9; Dan 2:35; cf. Matt. 13:33). The Scriptures further say that the Kingdom will bring blessing to "all the families of the earth" (Gen. 12:3; Ps. 22:7); to "all the nations" (Matt. 28:19; Ps. 72:17; Ps. 86:9); to "all men" (Isa. 66:23), even to "the very ends of the earth" (Ps. Ps. 2:8; 22:27; 72:8; Isa. 11:9; Zech. 9:10; Acts 1:8; 13:47).

This means that the Kingdom started with the Church, which carried forth the Gospel to the World, as we wait for Christ to return. The Church by itself will not conquer the world, but when Christ does return, then this kingdom they represented and preached will then fill the world. (Note how once again, scope statements such as "the whole earth", "all nations", etc. which were localized in other prophecies are suddenly globalized now!). It's true that the Kingdom would expand until it fills the earth. In fact, over and over, we see it described as starting out small and then growing. (add to those Dan. 2 v.34, and Matt.13 v.31, &32). Yet we see it has not done this. For centuries, you had large Church institutions that conquered vast areas of the earth, but these institutions were themselves corrupt, as even this batch of preterists (coming from a Reformed mindset), would attest. So the true Kingdom of true believers remained very small throughout most of the centuries, and continued to be persecuted by the big and powerful, which now included so-called "churches". If it had quickly expanded and actually filled the whole world, and established kingdoms where there was at least basic decency, justice, and sin was kept in check, then you would have an argument that this was the final Kingdom, or at least the Millennium, as the partial preterists would claim. (Still, there must be a time of perfect righteousness ahead of this; in heaven at least, if nowhere else). But this prophecy of the kingdom expansion was obviously never fulfilled. You can argue that in the future it may finally fill the world (as this writer seems to do below). But then you again unwittingly admit that there is a future fulfillment!

(#24)Futurists today who say, "The Resurrection did not take place in A. D. 70," are unwittingly (and in many cases knowingly) implying that the old covenant has not eternally vanished, and that its fleshly kingdom has not been eternally destroyed, and that God's chosen ones have not yet taken eternal possession of the Kingdom.
This thinking has naturally led consistent futurists to believe that ethnic Jews will take possession of the Kingdom when the Church is dispossessed by the Judgment of God in our future.
Consistent, thoroughgoing futurism therefore strives for the reconstruction of the old-covenant worship-system, since that system has supposedly not been eternally done away by the Judgment of God, and since the promises to Israel's fathers (which included the hope of the Resurrection) have supposedly not yet been fulfilled.
Consistent futurism (hyper-dispensationalism), with its dislocated Resurrection as its root error, is very similar to the faith-overthrowing blasphemy of Hymenaeus. One might even call it Neo-Hymaneanism.

We see here another attempt to throw a charge naturally made against their theory back onto futurism (as with Sadduceeism). While some dispensationalists have obsessed a bit too much on the reconstruction of the temple (even making Jews fear that we welcome the "new holocaust" that would follow); still most are not saying that the Old covenant would legitimately be restored then. They would try to restore it, and then would suffer all over again for it. At that time, many would come to Christ. Only under Christ would they "take possession of the Kingdom", so that would still be the New Covenant, not a return to the old, which looked forward to the Messiah.
Now, ideas of the OT worship being reinstituted during the Millennium are based on passages like Isaiah 65, 66 and Zech. 14, where we see pictures of the future kingdom including sabbaths associated with the Old Covenant. In addition to dispensationalists who say they will be reinstituted; sabbathkeepers today try to argue that this means they were always in effect. Preterists, on the other hand, point to the fact that it is called "the New Heavens and New Earth",and thus point out that in both the Millennium and New Heavens, there will still be sin and judgment. I believe these were a conditional picture of the Kingdom under the Old Covenant if Israel had not broken it, and Christ had come and was accepted by them, and thus both Israel and the Old Covenant were the vehicle He ruled through. The state of the world in this picture remains largely unchanged; only is ruled over by God and his [physical] nation. But as we know, Israel failed, and the lesson was that natural man only sins (and eventually dies anyway) and is thus not fit for the Kingdom. So God further revealed that our natures needed to be changed, and regeneration and later resurrection was necessary. This changes some of those descriptions from the OT. We do not see any of that in Rev. 21-22 however! So the basic promise is the same; but it is certain details that have changed. The promise was offered to physical Israel. But as they broke the covenant, and God turned to the spiritual kingdom, a lot of those images of a physical kingdom in an UNCHANGED world ruled by UNCHANGED man (spiritual {sin} and physical {mortal}) would also be changed; just as preterism affirms; only I don't go as far as throwing out the physical (as unecessary and unredeemable) in favor of spirit only existance. So those chapters in Isaiah would now more fit our view of the Millennium. God increases the Kingdom in stages. First spiritual kingdom only (now); then visible rule in old earth (Millennium), then entirely new earth (eternity).
However, this writer applies the prophecy of Zech. 14:16-19 as somehow referring to such men as the later Bar Cocheba and other rebels who tried to restore the old Temple being foiled [?] (Also, in that Q/A (#22), I notice Rev.3:17 is applied to these leaders, long after AD70!) Also, another futuristic interpretation that should not be ignored takes "temple" at its spiritual meaning as the Church! It speaks of a time when the corruption of the visible institution reaches a level that would amount to an "abomination of desolation". A restored literal temple would not even be necessary to fulfill the prophecies in this theory.

(#31)After the events of A.D. 68-70, both the pagan Roman Empire and Judaism continued to exist. Both entities continue even to this day, in one form or another. Yet those things were forever stripped of their former glories.
The Roman Empire had been founded under the "Julian Dynasty." That dynasty came to a disgraceful termination with Nero in A.D. 68. The decline of the Empire continued when from the 90's onward it was ruled by foreigners. Christianity weakened the unity of the Empire and gradually transformed it from a militaristic state to a state in religious turmoil. By 395, the ancient pagan religions of the world became culturally irrelevant and the Empire was divided in two (East and West). A few years later, looting Barbarians began to overrun the Empire, until Rome fell in 455.
The Jews had "the greater sin" (Jn. 19:11) in that they knowingly delivered their King to Rome to be put to death (Matt. 21:38). The Jews received "the greater condemnation." (Matt. 23:14) The Jews were sent to the "tormenters," (Matt. 18:34) until they were consumed with fire in A.D. 70 (Rev. 17:16). The Roman Empire on the other hand, having a "lesser sin" and a "lesser condemnation," died a more gradual and less hideous death.

All the passages on the destruction of the Beast describe a quick and hideous death, not a simple diminuation of "former glory". Or, before AD70, did they live forever and their kingdoms last forever, and only now after AD70 they die and their kingdoms fall (centuries later)? No, the fall of the Julian dynasty he cites was even before AD70! If Christ's destroying the gentile armies and putting down all human rule and Himself "reigning" is "from Heaven", and not to be visibly on earth; then before AD70, did godless rulers reign in heaven or something?* This is why you can't spiritualize everything but so far. You obliterate clear sense and scope statements into total meaninglessness. The greater condemnation would be for individuals at the judgment. *(Even if you argue that these were the spiritual rulers behind the godless kingdoms, these were already said to be defeated in Col.2:15 and elsewhere. Both views will acknowledge a "transition period" where we still "wrestle" with them, but all the observational evidence shows this still continues and its end is not connected to the AD70 judgment of the Old Covenant system, as if that were the ONLY dominion of Satan and his demons).

(#35) The Roman Empire's reign over God's kingdom (beginning in c. 63 B.C.) was broken to pieces in the years A.D. 30 to 70, by the power of Jesus Christ. In 70, when the saints finally received the Kingdom, (Dan. 7:18,22,27; Matt. 21:43) Rome's dominion over God's people was forever taken away. (Dan. 7:26) No longer could Rome regulate Israel's worship or destroy her peace. Israel now reigned over the Earth as God's kingdom of priests (Heb. 8:10; Rev. 5:10), and Rome was hopelessly lost without her. Thus the Roman Empire went from being the Iron Ruler of heaven and earth, to being a needy subject of the King of Kings in the New Heavens and Earth. The increase of Christ's established Government in history (Isa. 9:7; Acts 9:31) necessarily means the decline, and eventual fall, of every human empire. The Roman Empire was one of the first to go.

So sinful kingdoms go on forever, only each individual one eventually falls (Others still go on, however), and this fulfills the scriptures we see on nations being put down by Christ. Amazing, but as it is said, a person can get the Bible to teach anything they want. Nations rose and fell before AD70, and scripture said back then that God appoints the nations. The site even later admits (#49) "Today, in the Messianic (Christian) Age, God's enemies --individuals and states-- have "no rain." They "lick the dust." (Ps. 72:9) They are on the "outside." They rise for a season, but they soon vanish like a vapor. Their goals are sheer futility. (Eccl. 1:2ff) Where is the Assyrian Empire today? The Babylonian Empire? The Egyptian Empire? The Grecian Empire? The Ottoman Empire? The Persian Empire? ...They are all licking the dust. They had no rain and they perished, because they were not founded on the imperishable Word of Christ. And it will be the same for any other empire in our future that rises up against Jesus, the King of kings". All of those nations in that quote perished before this "kingdom" was started in AD70. So nothing changed at all. Still, this is a very loose application of the clear action and sense statements. All men were always lost without the Hope of Israel, (God and His Messiah) both old and New. Christ had said back then that "salvation was of the Jews". But that was no "reign" of the "saints" with Christ, any more than it was a "reign" of the OT saints with Moses or David. It is Christ as the only Door that makes people lost and "needy" without Him, and the focus is on Him, not us (the Church). We ourselves do not cause nations to fall. Once again, no different from any other time. Us as "priests" are to show them the way to Christ. But this is still not yet "reigning". We become "priests" in that sense now in the Church age (1 Pet.2:5, 9). In the Millennium is when we are both "priests and kings" (Rev. 20:4, 6, 1:6. 5:10). But in eternity, it will be kings ("reigning") only. (22:5)
And once again, while the Church conquered Rome, Rome fell while united to the Church, and then was reborn under Church control. But this was far from "The increase of Christ's established Government". If you admit that because only true Christians are the New Jerusalem, then remember, the only true Christians were reduced down to small persecuted groups with almost no influence at all.

(#44) In Heaven we will be spirits. (Heb. 12:23) Not naked, disembodied phantoms hovering about... [What really is the difference; given the common assumption of this "spirit" rising out of our old body and floating off?] ...but spirits in the way that God Himself is a Spirit (Jn. 4:24), and that the angels are spirits (Heb. 1:7;)

God always was a spirit, and angels were created as spirits. We were created with tangible bodies. On one hand, Preterists like this insist that Adam was created "very good", in his physical body (assuming that it would still decay and die apart from sin; showing this world of decay is the way God wanted it and thus will exist forever). Yet, apparently, this is not what God ultimately wanted at all; as for each person, the physical is permanently thrown away at death, and the true spirit existence begins. So all the old perceptions of Christianity are true. This world is just a training ground for who gets into heaven or hell, (and in the case of the Reformed, it is a staging area to preordain people to heaven and hell).
Hebrews 12:23 does not even say that those "just men made perfect" are necessarily dead. The living still have or are "spirits", and even though we may be physically separated from them, we are with them "in spirit" (Col.2:5). So if the preterist was consistent, this "perfection" (completeness) would also refer to the Parousia, which they were "coming unto" (i.e. proserchomai "drawing near" to).

After we die, we enjoy every blessing that futurists on Earth today think we will not obtain until an allegedly future Parousia at an alleged end of the New Covenant Age.

For those who die before the return of Christ, there is really no difference either way. In the traditional view of people going to "heaven" first; that would be identical to the preterist view; except that later they get their physical body back. The way both states of existence are described, the blessings are pretty much the same anyway. If the soul sleeps (in which case the resurrection is truly the only hope), then in the next second of their consciousness, they are raised (Dan.12:2), so actually, to the person dying, it is pretty much identical even moreso, to the preterist view. So the preterist's frequent citing of "hope deferred makes the heart sick" has no bearing on futuristic eschatology.

When I think about what it will be like when we die, I think of Moses and Elijah on the "Mount of Transfiguration." Those two men lived in glorious splendor and talked with Jesus, (Lk. 9:31) Who Himself was as radiant as the sun and as a flash of lightning before them. (Matt. 17:2; Lk. 9:29) Moses and Elijah were so glorious in their "afterlife state" that one of the Lord's apostles wanted to build tabernacles for them. (Matt. 17:4)

But this was pre-resurrection, both for Christ, and for the saints. So we cannot draw too much from this. It was a special manifestation that may be what we will be like, but still, these were bodies; not invisible spirits. Based on the post-resurrection appearances of Christ, and our being like angels (Matt. 22:30; Mk. 12:25; Lk. 20:36—but not the same as or identical to them) futurists do believe the glorified bodies will have all or most of the supernatural properties of spirit beings. If you say that the "spirit body" will have the natural properties of the tangible appearances of "spirit" beings, then basically, there is little difference in the views; except for whether this is just a brand new body created by fiat, or the old one risen and glorified; and the timing of our receiving of it. All the scriptures on resurrection support the glorification of the old ones at a specific time.

One of the three things that forever "remains" throughout the Christian Age is "Hope" (I Cor. 13:13). As individual believers today, our living Expectation (I Peter 1:3-4) is to be forever with the Lord and His holy ones in the unimaginable joys of Heaven. "Comfort one another with these words." (I Thess. 4:18)

In the Corinthians passage, the inheritance is what is "reserved in Heaven", not our bodies or our existence. Notice the mention of "incorruptible and undefiled", in contrast to this current existence. Actually, you would think this would be applied to the Parousia in AD70, as most other such promises are. How do they know which to apply to AD70, and which are afterlife? It shows that the afterlife is left completely unmentioned in this theory, so then one has to go back and reserve some of the promise passages for Heaven, when a consistent application of them would also be for the AD70 Parousia. Paul's discussions of the resurrection to the Corinthians is a perfect illustration. The first part and very end of chapter 15 is applied to not only the resurrection of dead saints but also the spiritual "changing" of those alive at the same time in AD70, (which elsewhere, he applies to them becoming the new temple when the old one was destroyed, and thus "revealed as the sons of God"-- see application of these passages in #66 and #67, below, and 1 Jn. 3:1-5,16, 2 Cor. 3:18, Zech. 12:8 and Rom.8:19 in ans. #26), but v.35-49 right in the middle of all this, and the discussion in the second epistle are applied to our "new body in heaven". If the above interpretation of the "change" is true, then even "at home in the body and absent from the Lord" could be applied to their pre-Parousia state, before this "change", in which "our earthly house; this tabernacle [is dissolved]", and they get their "building of God, made not with hands, eternal in the heavens". This statement is elsewhere applied to the physical temple being replaced by the spiritual temple of the Church, only. How can you now say it is about our bodies? These passages also could not be discussing physical death if the only "mortality" ever "swallowed up" is spiritual death, as preterists have maintained! If you connect 2—5:10 to Heb.9:27, then yes, it would prove this is the afterlife; but it also proves physical death is what is swallowed up as well as spiritual. Else, you have to admit that "clothed with our house which is from Heaven" and "absent from the body and present with the Lord" would refer to the changed state, which "as the "New Jerusalem" does "come down" from Heaven! (Rev.21:2) After all, it is "by faith, not by sight" (v.7), and "without observation"(Luke 17:20), and "walk not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit" (Rom.8:4). So even "done in the body" could be understood symbolically in that light, and the "judgment" thus applied to AD70. When you start wild allegorization, it can always be taken beyond where you think it should go, and how really do you know where to stop, if one is consistent? The Thess. passage above quoted also refers to what "they alive" [in that generation] would experience at the Coming, and is thus one of the key "time statements" used to apply it to that time! Yet now, it is somehow extended to us who supposedly hold what they were hoping for, and our physical deaths long after the Parousia. By what authority are some of these passages applied to Heaven? It seems to either be an overlooked holdover from those dreaded futurist "traditions", or come from a realization that without these passages, there is virtually no teaching on Heaven at all! The only sure references to it left are those solidly mentioning death or paradise:
(Heb. 9:27—judgment;
Phil. 1:21-23— "gain"/"with Christ";
Rev. 14:13—"rest"/"works follow with" us;
Matt. 22:30/Mk. 12:25/Lk. 20:36—"like angels"
2 Cor.12:4 "unspeakable words" in "the third heaven/paradise").
All but the last two of those five descriptions are things that can be, and in fact have been, said to apply to life in this age. (The judgment of all was in AD70, so everyone now without Christ is already judged; We are "with Christ" now, and just our spiritual life is "gain"; we have "rest" in Jesus, and those who did good works back then were given "rule over the nations" as part of the Church. But even in the last, the possible "out of body" experience, keep in mind, was a spiritual vision; not death!) How do we even know that there will be "unimaginable joys" in Heaven? If all of those other promises are applied to this age in which we still do suffer and grow old and die, then how do we even know it will not be the same after we die; only we still hold the same "spiritual blessings" perceived by faith and not sight (i.e. "without observation") that we hold today?

(#46)Preterism is condemned by many futurists today as a damnable heresy. Yet there is little debate on the following point: The first century, apostolic Church expected the Parousia to take place within the lifetime of the Apostles.
It necessarily follows from that admission that every doctrine today that teaches that the Parousia of Christ did not take place within the lifetime of the Apostles is a flat denial of the original eschatology of the Church.
Since preterism (the doctrine that the Parousia was to take place within the lifetime of the Apostles) was the original eschatology of the Apostolic Church, we can rest assured that it is infinitely more trustworthy and authoritative than all of the "eschatologies," so called, that were "developed" subsequently.
The original and infallible eschatology that God revealed to the Apostolic Church, and which was believed and taught by the Church from A.D. 30-70, should be believed by us with all of our hearts and minds, that is, if we truly believe that the Apostles and prophets are the foundation of the eternal City of God. (Eph. 2:20; Rev. 21:14)

It may have been "original" in the sense that that is what they expected; but through time, God showed that it would be in stages. So God gave them a typical fulfillment in the destruction of the temple, which validated their new faith, in which they were spiritually in Christ's presence in His kingdom. (But once again, they already had this. It was simply validated then). But the rest of the heavenly promises would be future; either when they died, or for those who were alive when He did finally return visibly.

(#57)When we interpret Matt. 27:52-53, we should keep in mind that it is a "stand alone" passage, with no parallel or explanatory reference, and that it contains very few details. These facts should cause us to be very careful when we draw our conclusions. We should also be careful not to attach too much eschatological significance to this lone passage.

This comes after several lines of "possible" interpretation, that are not really sure. Here, a clear sense statement can be dismissed because it "stands alone" (This is also done with a literal reading of Zechariah 14:4-5 in #80). While that particular event may not be mentioned elsewhere; it still gives us a clear description of what a bodily resurrection is like, and this does have parallel references elsewhere, and not only is supported by those references, but also in fact even disproves the spiritualization of those other passages. So the verse must be eliminated as much as possible to protect the interpretation of the other passages.

(#60)All preterists reject [Job in Job 19:26 expecting to die from his afflictions, and to be delivered and vindicated in a "resurrection of the flesh" at the Last Day]... This option is also quickly eliminated when we see that Job explicitly denies a resurrection of the flesh in Job 14:7-12.

This is a passage in which Job utters frustration at the seeming futility of life (much like Ecclesiastes). 2 verses later, he asks "if a man die, shall he live again?" In the Old Testament, life after death was not fully known, and there were differing "possibilities" expressed in passages like this as to what would happen: total non-existence, misery in Sheol, rest in Sheol, and physical resurrection to judgment. The New Testament reveals that the last option is the truth. Even in chapter 19, some others argue that it should read "Then without my flesh shall I see God", as the ASV and others render it; instead of "in my flesh", as the KJV renders it. In the KJV "out of the flesh" is listed in the margin, as an alternative reading. But in the Hebrew, I do not see anything that supports that. What it looks like some translators are doing is reading "after my skin this is destroyed...", and figuring "well, if his skin is destroyed; then it must be 'out of the body' that he sees". But not if the whole point here is that though his flesh is destroyed; yet it shall be restored. After all, in the next verse, he continues "Whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold...". (this basically parallels "in my flesh I shall see God". Sorry, but no "spirit resurrection" being taught

(#66)The suffering and dying believers of the Last Days, such as those at Thessalonica, were soldiers of God's heavenly armies, (I Cor. 14:21-22; Rev. 19:14) and judges in His heavenly court. (Dan. 7:22-27; I Cor. 6:2-3; Rev. 18:20; 20:4) Through their enduring faith and prayers, (Rev. 8:3-5) the “destroying mountain” of persecuting Israel was cast into the sea. (Jer. 51:25; Matt. 21:21; Mk. 11:23; Rev. 8:8) The cursed “fig tree” was cast into the flames, (Matt. 21:19; Mk. 11:14; Rev. 14:19) and the world of the evil one was conquered. (I Jn. 5:4,19) These things happened when God poured out His vengeance upon Israel for all the blood of His holy ones. (Matt. 23:35; Lk. 18:8; 21:22; Heb. 10:26-31; Rev. 6:9-11; 19:2)

The universal Church was “gathered” (Matt. 3:12; 24:31; 13:30; Mk. 13:27; Lk. 3:17; II Thess. 2:1) in that it became the eternal “Tabernacle of God.” (Rev. 21:3; II Cor. 5:8; Eph. 2:21-22) In this sense, God “changed” the Church (I Cor. 15:52) so that she became “like Him,” (I Jn. 3:2) and attained "to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." (Eph. 4:13; cf. I Cor. 15:49)
Believers were revealed with the Lord in spiritual, heavenly glory ("air" / clouds") when God's wrath against Israel made it manifest that Jesus' disciples are the true sons of God. (Rom. 8:17,19; Col. 3:4; II Thess. 1:6-10)

God "snatched" (raptured), or rescued, His believers from His wrath (I Thess. 1:10) and from the persecutions of the evil one. (I Thess. 3:5; II Thess. 1:7; 3:3) He "plucked" them out of the then-present "evil age." (Gal. 1:4) This happened when the fury of the Roman Empire came against the Jews, and when the Jews were consumed by civil war. These catastrophies befell the sons of the old covenant with increasing intensity from A.D. 66-70. It was in those years that the Church on Earth found "relief" (II Thess. 1:7) and was protected from her afflictions, as her persecutors (the Jews) were "shattered." (Dan. 12:1-7)

These are very loose applications of clear sense statements. Only in a very foretypical sense could these things apply. Believers were already "delivered" when Paul spoke that, so this is what is "positional"; rather than it being an actual description of them physically fleeing the destruction of a city and temple. Meanwhile, the Jews were not their only persecutors, but also the Romans, who would continue to be for centuries to come. While you can say this only referred to that particular persecution, still, while that may have been the pressing issue of the day, still it would not seem completely true to promise "relief" from "affliction", just for that, when it was not the only affliction. Why can't these be taken to mean the end of all affliction? Preterists believe that only occurs at death, (and apply some of the passages to it, as we see above), so to be consistent; why not all, with a typical fulfillment in the AD70 validation of the first century church?

(#67)"....In My Father's house are many dwellings; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, you may be also." (Jn. 14:2-3)

Jesus was not going to take the Church "out of the world" into Heaven. (Jn. 17:15) He and the Father were going to descend "out of Heaven" and make Their Dwelling in the Church:

"Jesus answered and said to him, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our Dwelling with him." (Jn. 14:23) The "Place" that Jesus was going to "prepare" for His disciples was the New Jerusalem:

"But as it is, they desire a better Country, that is a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a City for them." (Heb. 11:16)

The heavenly "Tabernacle" / "Dwelling" / "Place" / "Country" / "City" / "House" of God descended "from out of Heaven" to be "among men." (II Cor. 5:2; I Thess. 4:16; Rev. 3:12; 21:2-3,10) The Church was "clothed" with that Dwelling (I Cor. 15:52-54; II Cor. 5:2-4) --which is Christ Himself, (Rom. 13:14; Gal. 3:27; 4:19; Eph. 3:14-16; 4:13; II Peter 1:19) the incorruptible "New Man." (Eph. 4:20-24; Col. 3:1)

If all of these, which are commonly held to be descriptions of heaven (whether the restored earth, or the spiritual realm and resurrection bodies), are completely fulfilled in the present Church age, then once again, what do we know about "heaven"? If you say "both", then you should confess dual fulfillment.

(#16)"Christ in you" in Col. 1:27 is not what gives us hope of one day realizing the Biblical Hope. "Christ in you" is itself the Biblical Hope. When Jesus spoke of His Second Coming to His apostles, He described it as the time when He and the Father would come and make their Abode within the Church (Jn. 14:18-20;23). "Christ in you" is necessarily that Hope Fulfilled. The last-days Church was actually awaiting the fulfillment of that "blessed hope" ("Christ in you") which we enjoy today, as is indicated in the future dimension of the following verses:

Eph. 2:21,22: "In Whom all the building [the Church] fitted together increases to a holy temple in the Lord; in Whom you also are being built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit."

I Peter 2:5: "...yourselves also, as living stones, are being built up, a spiritual house...."

Gal. 4:19: "My children, for whom I again travail until Christ should be formed in you…."

II Peter 1:19: "…until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts."

"Christ in you" is what the apostolic Church anticipated. Christ in the heart is "the Tabernacle of God among men" (Rev. 21:3). This glorious blessing from Above was realized with finality when the hand-made tabernacle of God was thrown down in 70 (Matt. 24:2; II Cor. 5:1).

Christ was already within (among) them through the Spirit (Rom.8:9,10, Matt. 18:20). That was "the mystery which has been hid from ages and from generations, but NOW is made manifest to his saints" (previous verse). But we are still imperfect, and God is still working on us, so that is what those other scriptures are referring to. The final perfection or completion is the future resurrection, which we are being prepared for. Even still, he acknowledges in #44 a greater sense of being "with Christ": "Preterists believe that when we die, we not only go immediately to be 'with Christ,' (Phil. 1:23) but we stay with Him forever. 'So shall we ever be with the Lord.' (I Thess. 4:17)"

(#17)According to the book of Hebrews, Christ cannot appear a third time. As Heb. 9:27 argues, as men die only once and are then judged only once, so Christ died for sins only once and was then to appear for salvation only once. A "third coming" is not a biblical option.

Once again, This is the standard answer to partial preterism, and really their only answer to dualism. But a future antitype is not a "third coming". It is the true Second Coming with the judgment of AD70 as a type. That is not a separate coming, any more than an AD70 parousia being a third coming after the Spirit, or the Heaven we enter after death (according to preterists) being another "kingdom" than the Church!

(#34)The Glory-Cloud of Yahweh God. The same Glory-Cloud that overshadowed Peter, James and John on the "Mount of Transfiguration." (Matt. 17:5; Mk. 9:7; Lk. 9:34-35) The same Glory-Cloud in which Jesus went into heaven in Acts 1:9-11. There is no historical or exegetical reason to doubt that Jesus returned in the Divine Glory-Cloud when the Temple fell in A.D. 70. It would not have been the only such sign that appeared in heaven in those days:
c. April/May A.D. 66: "...before sunset, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities." (Josephus, Wars, VI, V, 3) "...and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven." (Lk. 21:11).

Amazing; a suggestion that this "coming in the clouds" might have actually been visible after all! Still, for something like this to escape mention in history; especially Church history; or at least Josephus, who chronicled these other claims; is startling. That is just speculation. Remember, this "coming" was not just for believers, but for unbelievers as well.

(#77)The fragmented and divided Church [i.e., the "visible Church," which includes false believers] is not the Kingdom that God purged in A.D. 70. (Matt. 13:41; Rev. 21:27) His Kingdom is "righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." (Rom. 14:17) It is the fellowship of true believers who love one another in Christ. (Heb. 8:11; I Jn. 4:12) It is "Christ in you." (Lk. 17:21; Col. 1:27) This is not to say that God cares only about the Kingdom (or the "invisible Church") and has no concern about the peace of the "visible Church." Though the "visible Church" and the Kingdom are distinct, they are not separate. As the Kingdom increases and does its healing work, the "visible Church" reforms and more faithfully reflects the Kingdom, to the glory of God.
If we are troubled by a perceived lack of progress in the historic, "visible Church," we should remember that in the preterist worldview we are still in the early days "of the increase of His Government." (Isa. 9:7) We are still in the early stages of "the healing of the nations." (Rev. 22:2) In a very real sense, the New Covenant Church has only just begun. Therefore, to be skeptical of the Presence of Christ now because of the Church's sins is not only short-sighted, but it is an unrighteous judgment by appearance. (Jn. 7:24)
Though the "visible Church" has been fragmented for centuries, there are better days and better millennia ahead, as God illumines the hearts of His saints in every generation, (Eph. 1:18) and as the Church continually reforms in doctrine and in practice, and as the Kingdom continually spreads and transforms mankind throughout history. What was true of the Kingdom in the 1st century is equally true today: "...God ...always leads us in triumph in Christ... The weapons of our warfare are ...divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ." (II Cor. 2:14; 10:4-5)
Not even the "visible church," with its multitude of sins, and its multitude of conflicting doctrines and traditions, can withstand the onslaught of God's ever-increasing Kingdom. In time, by the grace and power of God, the historic Church, united in truth, will follow the example of the saints of that eschatological generation, and will obey the divine exhortation: "...that you all agree, and there be no divisions among you, but you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment." (I Cor. 1:10)

Now this is interesting. We finally see the actual historic Church addressed. Still, we have this theory that the Church will gradually conquer the world. So as I have said before, there is some future fulfillment. And notice now, how 2000 years winds up being compressed into being considered a short period of time!

Picking up on this concept, others have stated "Perhaps the church should grow the Kingdom instead of waiting for the rapture to rescue them from this world. Perhaps we should make this world a better place instead of taking the position of J Vernon Magee, 'why polish the brass on a sinking ship'." But all dispensationalists do not take that approach. Most are actively spreading the Gospel, and we make our surroundings better by being examples of Christ to the world; but realize that it is Christ who is the only one who can make the world a better place and establish and grow the kingdom. The Church's primary mission is to get people READY for eternity; not to themselves establish a "visible" earthly Kingdom (while you deny Christ would ever establish one). Man has tried for thousands of years, and even the Church has tried and claimed to do this for almost 2000 years, but never has been able to accomplish it. So you end up basically doing exactly what you chide us for doing: throwing the ultimate fulfillment off into the future. In fact; one throws it even FURTHER into the future than us: with the speculation on life after "10,000" or "1,000,000 years of victory" (NOW what about all those time statements that were to happen "in their generation"?) The difference is, we believe it will be done supernaturally by Christ. Preterism echoes the secular view that man can do it (albeit with God's help) if given enough time. But if man has not been able to do it all of this time; (and God has not led this finishing of "already completely fulfilled" prophecies all of this time); then what makes you think that somewhere in more thousands and billions of years he will finally accomplish it? (and before destroying himself first!). Or that God will empower man to "finishing" it when it is already supposed to be finished?

In #68, he addresses a "hyper-preterist" teaching that the rapture of the true saints occurred in AD70, leaving the false ones behind. This article; "Silence Demands a Rapture", by Ed Stevens, at and Green rejects this of course, because "the kingdom would never end" on earth. He even makes a response on the Preterist Archive page "The problem with the idea of the *entire* Church being removed from the planet in A.D. 66 is that it means the Temple that Christ built on Earth through the Holy Spirit was completely taken away, and was replaced with *something else.* It means that what Christ died to establish on Earth was disestablished, and was replaced with *something else.* The removal of the *entire* Church from the planet in A.D. 66 creates a radical discontinuity that necessarily implies the end of the Christian (New Covenant) Age in A.D. 66." But this assumes, based on the commonly cited proof texts (Psalms 78:69, Ps.104:5, Psalms 119:90, Ps. 148:1-6, Isaiah 9:7, Dan.7:27, etc. discussed above) that this old earth would continue on forever, and therefore, this must be where Christ "reigns" forever. But remember, there is supposed to be a "NEW" earth. If you take the new earth to be a different place where they were raptured to, that would explain why it was removed from our world. "The earth" (old and new) is spiritualized as "Israel", but there is nothing to preclude that Christ would continue His reign on a new earth beyond this old one. If Israel/the temple is changed from a physical one to a spiritual one; why would the same old earth fulfill the "new earth"? After all, the one issue we cannot escape, is that when people die, they continue their "Kingdom existence" in another realm. The other objection is that "Christ says 'My prayer is not that you TAKE THEM OUT OF THE WORLD but that you protect them from the evil one'". But first of all, this was written before AD70, and refers to the time of trials before His return. It must, because for one thing, the "evil one" is gone after that according to the preterists! Once again, how can we apply every other promise to AD70, and leave this one for us now? Plus, we all must leave the world anyway. If a physical rapture (either in AD70 or in the yet future) negates this, then so does a spiritual "rapture" or "resurrection" to Heaven at death!
So this theory would explain the whole post-AD70 history of the world and church down to the present, much better. All true supernatural occurences ceased in AD70, as God removed His kingdom (dealings with people) from the world. Thus; supernatural events are only things claimed by ancient scripture; and cannot be seen today (thus making those scriptures seem like ancient myth). The true Church was taken, and those left behind were so embarrassed at being shown to be false that they either hid this truth, as some claim, or perhaps as they were dispersed in hiding, they weren't even aware of the rapture, but probably assumed all the missing saints perished in the destruction, as Stevens theorizes. This left a body of mostly false believers (except for any who may have repented afterward), who would then, without the guidance of the Spirit, begin to formulate their own interpretation of Christianity, which as historians have noted, within a century, drastically differed from that of the apostles. (see Jesse Lyman Hurlbut The Story of the Christian Church, p.41; William J. McGothlin, The Course Of Christian History; Samuel G. Green, A Handbook of Christian History; William Fitzgerald, Lectures on Ecclesiastical History; Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, quoted later). Thus, Biblical ordinances such as Baptism and Communion would take on mystical meanings; church leaders would begin to be exalted beyond the Scriptural bounds; Mary would start to be exalted as Queen, and all of the other pagan infiltration, by which the simple Gospel teaching of salvation by faith would be distorted into a radically different ritualism of works. AD70 would have been the beginning of this "lost century", as it has been called! And of course, we look in vain for the return of Christ. No matter what we see happening in the world, and how long we wait, it will never signify the beginning of any end. It just won't ever happen! Every possibility will turn out to be a false alarm. Christ is visibly gone for good. This would for all purposes, be a spiritual Gehenna (this would at least explain why Satan is still here!) though, I imagine, as per Rev.22:17, the rule that if one believes in Christ, he will go to Heaven at death; still carries over to us. Stevens otherwise seems to agree with the rest of full preterism. If dualism or at least partial preterism isn't true, this would be the only other possible alternative. To combine this with partial preterism, would be even better, though it would still leave us with the assumption that Satan was once subdued, even though he may be being "released" now. However, all of these theories still share in common the leaving of saints after AD70 with only a spiritual "resurrection" at death, though, though Christ and the others' were physical. (though in the partial position the possibility of a future physical resurrection for us is left open)

Also worthy of note: in Question 71, Haggai 2:6's "clear time statement" of "in a little while" over 500 years before AD70, is explained away as referring to Darius overturning Israel's enemies, being "typological" and "foreshadowed the fulfillment of the better promise (Heb. 8:6) that was fulfilled in Christ's generation". If that was true, then no matter what, it is still an extension of a clear time statement. If you can do that there, then we see that there are dual fulfillments. So then perhaps that in Christ's generation was typological too. Once again, isn't the Church as the spiritual "temple" ultimately a shadow of Heaven?


To the Jews, time was divided into two great periods, the Mosaic Age and the Messianic Age. The Messiah was viewed as one who would bring in a new world. The period of the Messiah was, therefore, correctly characterized by the Synagogue as "the world to come." All through the New Testament we see two ages in contrast: "This age" and the "age to come."

Once again, the Jews understood only one coming of the Messiah. In the New Testament, it was made clear that there were really two, so the second coming would be the beginning of the "new age". There is no dispute on that fact; only on what the true fulfillment of this "coming" would be. "Age" can have different degrees. So yes, Christ came at "the end of" "The Jewish Age", and not the end of "the world" as he argues from Hebrews 9:26 and 1 Peter 1:20. But that doesn't mean "Age" did not have other senses which point to a yet future "new age". In one sense, the NT writers were already in a new age, as Christ's death is what abolished the old. But it was still a world of sin and death, and thus really still the "old age". God had just added a new remedy for it, and this is the "downpayment" (shadow or type) for that true new age that the preterists claim only lasted until AD70.

Matthew 12:32 (NKJV) "Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come. The word "come" at the end of the verse is the Greek word mello, which means: "about to be". We could translate this, the "age about to come" (in the first century). Many think that the age to come will be a sinless age; not according to this verse. Sin against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven in that age, referring to the age of the New Covenant, our present age. We see here that both of these ages have sin in them.

That doesn't say the sin will be occurring in the "age to come"; only that it wouldn’t be forgiven then. In other words, if you commit this "unpardonable sin" now, you will be hardened unto reprobation, and you won't get another chance to repent of it in the resurrection "in the age to come". Let's not read anything else into this.

Paul says here that the "present age" which is "this age," the one that was about to pass away, is an "evil" age. Christ came to deliver them from the "present age" because it was evil. Could "evil age" be referring to Christianity? Could the Christian age be called an "evil age" that we need to be delivered from? No! Christ came to bring us out of the evil age and place us into His kingdom.

Outside in the world, it is still an evil age, and it even encroaches upon the Church. The Christian age was then, even if the Temple was still there, so was it evil then?

Christ came to deliver them from the "power of darkness." This is a reference to the Old Covenant or "this age."

Jesus was speaking to the Jews, He was calling them to leave the darkness of the Old Covenant and follow Him.

The "present age" was one of darkness.

The power of darkness is connected with all sin, not just the Old Covenant. Certainly, the world is still in darkness, right?

Satan is called the god of "this age."

Satan ruled in the Old Covenant world of Judaism but his reign was shortly (in the first century) to come to an end.

I don't care what any preterist says; Satan is still active, and it is not just some distant residue "influence". Remember, he is the father of "lies", not just "possession" (and it is not even certain that that isn't still going on) or any other evil they attempt to tie in with that era.

Satan would be crushed when the "present age" of darkness came to an end. When John wrote his first epistle he said that the darkness was passing.
1 John 2:8 (NKJV) Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. The "darkness" is speaking of the Old Covenant age, and the "true light" is speaking of the New Covenant age.

This is to those who have turned to Christ (who claim to "know Him"). It does not say anywhere here that it is universal in an "age".

Paul spoke to the Galatians about these two covenants and said that the Old Covenant was at that time in effect. (Galatians 4:21-26 NKJV) Hagar, represented both the Old Covenant and the Jerusalem that "now is" (the Old was still present at that time), and Sarah represented both the New Covenant and the New Jerusalem that was "above" (it was still to come).

It doesn't say that both covenants were still [legally, legitimately] in effect. Jerusalem hadn't been destroyed yet, so as a symbol of the Old Covenant, still observed by unconverted Jews; it "now is"; but it was already superseded, and simply awaiting its own final judgement. We must not read too much into statements like this. But this is how many such doctrines end up "proven".

Their salvation was drawing near, and the night was just about over. Is the Christian age day or night? It is day! The night of Old Covenant Judaism was just about to end, the day of the New Covenant, the Christian age, was just about to dawn.

Paul told the Thessalonian Christians that they were not in darkness, they were sons of light and sons of the day that was about to dawn.

Once again, salvation is threefold. It is still "night" in the world, and it is for this very reason we are called to be "lights" in it!

So, "this age" of the Bible is the age of the Old Covenant that was about to pass away in the first century. It was characterized as evil, darkness, Satan's rule, condemnation, death, and night. It should be clear to you that "this age" is not the Christian age in which we live. In the first century the age of the Old Covenant was fading away and would end completely when the temple was destroyed in AD 70.

No, it is the entire world, outside of the true invisible Church, and it is passing away, beginning with Old Covenant Judaism, but eventually ending with the whole world (Romans 2:9)

Isaiah predicted the establishment of Christ's rule on the throne of David that would have no end. Christ's reign is endless. Daniel says that Christ's kingdom will never be destroyed.

Daniel 2:44 (NKJV) "And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever". In the days of the Roman empire, God set up his kingdom and it stands forever.

but it didn't "break up in pieces and consume" all those kingdoms. And remember, in the prophecies of the "beasts", the final heads and horns, from Daniel's day on, are still considered "those kings". Now, once the kingdoms are consumed, then the Kingdom will continue to stand "forever".

Paul says that it is the mission of the church to give glory to God forever and ever. The Christian not temporary. The age we live in will never end, it is an everlasting age.

That's not what Luke 1:32-33 and Ephesians 3:21 are teaching. This is discussed above.

Hebrews 13:20 (NKJV) Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, The Bible doesn't teach about an age future to us. The age in which we live is the everlasting age of the New Covenant. It has no last days, no end, and nothing left to be fulfilled.

The covenent is about salvation, and salvation will be forever; all purchased by the blood. None of these types of verses are suggesting an eternal earth in which people are born in sin and need to be saved. The one thing that does remain, once again, is for this kingdom to actually "fill the earth". Unless one tries to say that it already does (because it is simply being spread now, though the majority of the world is still not saved, and thus not "in the Kingdom"), there must be something left for all that scope to be fulfilled. But the preterist spiritualizes the clear action, scope and sense statements to try to conform to the time statements, instead of just admitting that there is something yet future.

This age will never end, but some day we will all drop this mortal body and receive our spiritual body which we will dwell in in heaven throughout eternity. 2 Corinthians 5:1 (NKJV) For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

So there is something left to be "fulfilled" after all! There is an "end" of the age for us, in a sense. You'd be better off admitting that that "heaven" is the final Kingdom, and the Church is just a shadow of it, like dispensationalism teaches. Only thing, we do not just "drop" a body and get something else; but rather it is transformed, just like Christ's was.


Yes, "clear time statements" are the strong point of preterism. But that's its only strong point, and it seems to make void many other scriptures, and leave us with no teaching at all on eternity—what God ultimately has for all who love Him. It ignores the reality of life in this world and overspiritualizes everything into this actually being heaven. They say that God speaks to us in physical terms, but to portray this life the way all the passages on the New Heaven and Earth does is to go way over any clear presentation to us. So the warning still remains of those "Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some (2 Tim.2:18)
The dualist/pluralist position, while I admit may seem to stretch some of those passages a bit, still seems more realistic in saying that whatever imminent fulfillments there may have been, they could have been nothing more than types of the greater fulfillment in the next world. Even then, some of them can be explained as jumping ahead to whichever "generation" happens to be living at that time. (they would still be the same "us" [i.e. Christians] as the people Jesus spoke to and Paul wrote to). It could happen any time, from right then, to our time. So it had to be preached as imminent. To all of Christians of any age, "be ready" was the point. So here, we can take all of the time statements as being having a fulfillment "shortly" in that generation; and Daniel's 70th week did start and finish right after the 69th week. So it is not an unexplained gap in the prophetic clock, but simply a foretype for that generation then living, with a temporal manifestation of the Kingdom, as the Church. But as God was not ready to bring about the final end then, He provided those types, and will being about the final end in the future.
Let's take a look at the two strongest time statements in this light. Matthew 16:28 "Verily, I say unto you, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom", and 24:34 "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled". Now, in both cases, previous verses said "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works"; and "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory". "And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other". This in a typical sense would be the judgment of Jerusalem, in which those who followed Christ's instruction to flee would be spared, and those who rejected Him in the Jerusalem religious establishment would be physically punished for their rejection of Christ. This was a special typical fulfillment for the generation who did the actual crucifying, and the faithful who witnessed it and were persecuted by those responsible; so that Christ would be vindicated at as the fledgling Church age went on. But none of us today, or for the last 19 centuries have been in the position of the first century saints; of coming out of the Old Covenant of death, and experiencing spiritual life (and assurance of salvation) for the first time. So while all of that was significant for them, we are far removed from it. So God has a future promise for us. Plus, the final judgment and especially reward has not occurred yet. And while this could be typically portrayed as "the sign of the Son of man in Heaven", neither did it then fulfill the mourning of all tribes (not even in just the Roman Empire back then), nor the gathering of the elect by the angels described further in Revelation 14. The Church was the type of these real events. Yet it all remained to be yet completely fulfilled, and even in a context of preterism, heaven would be the final fulfillment of the gathering of the elect to the kingdom.

One promise that is completely overlooked in all this is The meek shall inherit the earth (Matt.5:5/Psalms 37:11) This is connected with the promise to us to rule with Christ (and the apostles sit on thrones judging the tribes of Israel, etc). It is quite a stretch to say that the former is now reality in any real sense. The way we see people describe the church's "conquering", as above, it seems to mean simply challenging, and rescuing some people (a relative few, in fact) out of the kingdom of darkness, even though that kingdom of darkness continues on in our presence in the world forever. As the stratonet./~dagreen site says (answer #27):

God has given the Church the Divine "power/authority" to break the nations with "the Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17). The Church "reigns" over the earth in that she perpetually and eternally brings the honor and the glory of the nations unto God and the Lamb (Rev. 21:24-26). Without God's Tabernacle (the Church) among men (Rev. 21:2-3), there would be only alienation, condemnation and death. Without the Body of Christ, there is absolutely zero hope for the nations of the earth. Thus, the Church's great "authority/power" over the world is wielded primarily in evangelism and teaching. [then goes on to claim the cities mentioned we are promised are only a symbolic parallel to the amount of fruits the servants bring forth]
But you can only spiritualize these things but so far. How is this really ruling or breaking the nations? It is being a light, just as those before AD70 were taught to be. The promise made to the people Christ was actually speaking to— the apostles, the seven churches of Revelation, etc.; most of whom didn't live to AD70; is generally assumed to be after they had died, and then "rose" in AD70. But that's Heaven, not earth. Rather than "inheriting" the earth, we are just taken out of it forever. And it can't apply to any so-called "reign" of ours today on earth (if these passages are not speaking to us as preterists maintain) either, because Rev. 2:26 says "And he that overcomes, and keeps my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations. And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers; even as I received of my Father". This is speaking to individuals. So it can't be something that only later generations of Christians on earth would experience (after all the "overcoming" has been done already; by others). So to have any real meaning to Christians then or now, this must speak of a future event. And meanwhile, notice that "clear time statement" in the previous verse of the Psalm! "Yet a little while and the wicked shall not be!" This shows that the time statements can be figurative as well!
I find a bit to be concerned about with the idea that "outside are the 'dogs'" applies to unbelievers today. Though the modern preterists don't seem to be suggesting looking down on the unchurched as "dogs" or trying to "trample" them, one can now begin to see how perhaps this might have been influential in how the Church (including various Reformed type groups) got into these attitudes in the past. But this passage is talking about those who have been judged and will remain in their sin forever. Clearly, all of this is future. Also, Rev.21:24&6 do not say that the Church "brings the honor and the glory of the nations unto God and the Lamb", but rather it's the kings of the earth who bring their honor and glory to the city. These descriptions of the city are taken from Isaiah ch.60, which has a typical fulfillment in the first coming of Christ and the Church, and antitypical fulfillments that are yet future. Here we see this bringing of the wealth of the nations to the new Jerusalem in more detail. This we do not see today, as most are at best nominally Christian, and at worst, anti-God. Unless you consider the Church's past reign over the nations of the West, where kings did actually bring their gold and other valuables (often robbed from conquered lands) to it; and the present nominal respect it still gets today, as fulfillment of this. But once again, that was more like the new Babylon than the new Jerusalem, and the preterists do not accept the visible, nominal institutions as the city. Also, as pluralism gains universal acceptance, the Church gets even less respect today, unless it makes clear its agreement with pluralism, in which the fundamentals of the faith are completely watered down. Still, both sides would agree that this is not the kingdom.
Verse 12 says "for the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted". This period is a time what the nations of the world are generally following Christ; and those who don't, and are punished distinctly stand out. They are the exceptions. In this present age, when have whole nations ever served God? The danger, once again, is in viewing the nominal profession of Western nations to Christianity and concluding they were truly following God. Or, we bring God's standard down and have Him grading on a curve. OK, these nations aren't perfect, but they have good laws and maintain civility. It's only nations who cross a certain line who are punished; you know, like those nasty Communists, and the uncivilized barbarian. So I imagine that is why Communism, for instance, fell, and the [nominally] Christian capitalistic nations won the Cold War? Of course, the slavery of those heathen Africans and American Indians and the reaping of their lands and its wealth can be justified as well; and this helped the "spread of the Kingdom" to them, to boot! (But then, of course, as these Western nations themselves "turn their back on God" with immorality; by copying socialistic principles, throwing God out of the public sector, etc. then they are losing the blessings and heading to their fall, too, right?) It's funny, because the Reformed are usually the rightful critics of this misguided, self-glorifying patriotism, while the dispensationalists have been its biggest champions! But these nations, once again, were always only nominally Christian, at best (with true Christians a minority of the population); so "capitalism", "free market democracy", or whatever other system, did not earn their longevity by "serving" the Kingdom; but are simply more human governments, like Rome, that have often used the Church for its own ends, (precisely making it a harlot!) rather than truly serving it. The Church must not look at the peace, tolerance, prosperity, or even authority it has had in these societies as true "Service" to the kingdom; for then she is being just as "fleshy" as anyone else who idolizes material wealth instead of spiritual things. You could say those godless systems were smitten by Christ, but that has nothing to do with us smiting them with Him. Christians in America have taken on too much credit in their or their leaders' bringing the Soviet Union down (through all of their rhetoric). Nations go on for a long time persecuting Christians, and God in His time brings them down, and sometimes it goes on for centuries.
So this also leads to a possible fallacy of the present world actually being quite "fair"! If God is actively "smiting" all wrongdoers, and "His Kingdom" is actively ruling, and all the wealth of the nations being brought to it; then one could justly conclude that all we see suffering today, are being punished ("given no rain") for wrong, and all who ever prosper must have done right (at least for a time, even though we may see evil growing in them now, and we speculate that they must eventually fall). Job's friends and the Pharisees then become right. (Noteworthy is that Reconstructionist David Chilton, who argued in his rebuttal to Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger"; entitled Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators that the poor nations are being kept down by God because they are Godless and would not rule with godliness; had become a preterist, though leader Gary North rejected him after that. Still, preterism would fit nicely with reconstructionism. Notice the presumption of the fairness of this system in the assumption that all who are rich are "productive", and all who are poor are being punished for sin!). Today, rather than all evildoers "receiving no rain"; we continue to watch as the wicked still often prosper just as much in the time the Psalms or the New Testament were written; and we are still comforted by the same promise they were given: that they will fade and the righteous presume, and the promise would be fulfilled in a future existence after both wicked and righteous have died; just as it is for us. All of this shouts that nothing has changed from then; except a Way now being provided for salvation.
Also, in conjunction with "the conquering kingdom"; many preterists insist on the "abundant life here and now" promised by Jesus; and criticize expecting this in Heaven only, and the way many religious people mave made this world "unimportant". But if the physical world is not important enough to God to fix it (as He will in the futurist beliefs) and we still have to wait to die and go to Heaven to experience perfection; then why is it important to have this "abundant life" here? It's still just as much as a "waiting place" as it is in futurism; and even moreso; because it is never fixed and individuals who die never return.
When we spread the Gospel, and more people get saved, it may have an impact in a nation, but not necessarily, and it is not subduing the nation. Salvation is individual now, not national. Even if Christians do happen to take over a nation, it can go corrupt, as it has in the past under Church rule. The Church, (using a sort of preterist theology) tried in the past, and it just led to the abandonment of Christianity in much of Western culture. Any way you try to look at it, there is something beyond this, some greater fulfillment of the promises. Whatever you may think AD70 was, it was but a shadow of what we will have when Christ really subdues the nations.

The Millennium is believed to be the time when Christ rules over this old earth. It will finally be run the way it should have. Unconverted people (descendants of the perhaps few who survive the Second Coming) will still have their old natures, but with Satan in the abyss, and Christ ruling with a rod of iron, they will comply, and the world will be filled with peace and justice. At the end of this period, Satan will be loosed for a while, and then we will see once again the difference between Christ's rule, and man's rebellion under Satan's rule. I believe the purpose of this is to testify once and for all against the sin and injustice in the world. People say they want peace, love, etc.; but "the way of peace they have not known" (Is.59:8, Rom.3:17). Christ will show them, ending once and for all any idea that God's way is not the right way. Then those people alive will make their final decision, and then the rest of the dead will be risen and judged, and sin and Satan will be put away forever. Then, God restores the entire universe to a state where death and decay are no more. (I believe somewhere in there, we may also expand out into the rest of the universe; virtually impossible now given our sin (such as wasting much technology on war or materialism; and the physical and psychological impacts of any long-term travel even when those other issues are overcome), as well as the light barrier; all of which limits our ability to progress beyond a certain point). The old "heaven and earth" that Jerusalem was represented the world of decay, just as Paul says it represents Hagar. The New Heaven and earth that the Church was is a shadow of the Kingdom God has in store for us. Even most preterists must confess there is a heaven, so no matter which position you take, there IS something after this! We do still see in a glass darkly, but one day will be changed. There is no escaping it. Only difference is that our bodies will be glorified like Jesus'; rather then being replaced by something else.

Preterism has been good in giving me the typical fulfillments, of the prophecies, and thus even helps in understanding how the antitypical fulfillments may come to pass.
So we can acknowledge that AD70 WAS a type of "Coming" of Jesus in judgment of Israel. But not the visible coming to abolish all sinful human rule that is promised so emphatically. That is obviously yet future. It validated the Christians, and proved to them once and for all that their redemption was sure, and they were forever free of the old dispensation. But it did not provide the redemption itself. That occurred back in AD 30 or 33. (Also worthy of note; Luke 21:28 "when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws nigh"; "redemption" means "deliverance", and does not specify salvation from sin. The same Greek word is used elsewhere in temporal sense. The deliverance refers to, once again, the validation that they were freed from the old system of the Law, and their persecution by its advocates)
So the destruction of the Temple age was but the forerunner of the end of the "age" of sin and falleness in the world. Remember, the entire world was in sin and need of judgment, not just the Jews. It's just that the Jews' judgment would come first in the destruction of their system.
The readers may have been thinking about the end of the Jewish age, but the whole point of the Gospel is it is not just the Jewish age that needed to end, but also the age of sin and the Fall. In all of those NT scriptures such as Rom.12:2 speaking of "the world" in a negative light, they were not referring to the Jewish age, but rather the age of sin in general, and it is still the same for us today. So there would be a type of fulfillment for everyone; them then, and all afterward: Jesus tells them when the age would end, and typically it would refer to the Jewish age, but in the long run, that would be a shadow of the final end of the age.

We are still in a world of sin and death. We are told that if we only have hope in THIS WORLD, we are pitiable. (1 Cor. 15:19) How can anyone possibly think that THIS is complete? "Eat, drink, be merry, for tomorrow, we die"? practically becomes true. This is not the faith once delivered to the saints as its advocates claim, as early on, people believed in a literal second coming, and making AD70 "it" must have been a retrospective interpretation. It was force-fit, by taking only the typical fulfillments, and making them all there is. The people back then may have expected it to be, but then this world continuing as it has, has shown that this was still a type of a greater fulfillment of all things. They only saw in part. One day, it shall be revealed in full.


Comprehensive Grace

After continuing to do much thinking about preterism, and the meaning of scriptures on the coming of the kingdom and its relation to us, and studying further the form of preterism called "pantelism", or Comprehensive Grace mentioned in the last point above, I thought this would be a good place to share a bunch of thoughts I have had on this doctrine as it relates to the Gospel and the ever scandalous doctrine of "hell". Basically, to expand upon the points I have just made, and focus also on the doctrine's good points. At first, upon looking up a definition of "pantelism", it looks to be synonymous with full preterism. It means "ALL fulfilled". But in actuality, this is different from full preterism, because pantelism says that salvation is completely fulfilled, meaning everyone is now saved, while full preterism still maintains that people are still getting saved now. Once again, the position is articulated at"

I can start with my own testimony. After being taught the basics about Jesus, God, Satan, Heaven and Hell by mostly elders of my grandparents' generation as a child; as I grew up; my agnostic parents reacted to this, and then began teaching me basically, secular humanistic agnosticism; primarily through the nature shows on PBS, which my father was heavily into. Then, All that "religion" I learned from those older folk (not the most intelligent or objective people in the world), seemed just as mythical as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy; who shared the platitudes of "Seeing without believing", and who would reward you for good and pass you over for bad.
Still, whenever I heard Christian leaders such as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Swaggart and others come with their moralistic message, infused with hellfire, and often wedded to questionable political views; something still bugged me about all that silly sounding Christ stuff that I had outgrown. I was growing up, and looking forward to an adolescence of chasing girls, and here were these people still saying that was wrong, and "sin". Plus, they costantly attacked evolution in favor of the literal reading of Genesis. Basically, picture white human hands patting together this 'first man' literally, and we must believe this or we're going to Hell. (Even those who never heard, are "guilty", as all are; for "offending" God; even though nobody chose to be born like this). From this came the politics. There was a great conspiracy of these "anti-God-humanists" to destroy our great Christian civilization with their lies about evolution, and they were in league with the Communists, who were those great enemies of truth, justice and freedom ("THe American Way"), we were still battling for world dominance. Darwin, Marx and Freud were portrayed as this great trio of evil responsible for all the moral decay of the society from the 60's to the then current 80's. This of course ignored the evils of slavery and ongoing racism, and even programs to help reverse these problems were lumped in with the anti-God conspiracy; though usualy indirectly, through code language (all our hard-earned tax dollars are being wasted on lazy immoral people; etc).

All of this confirmed to us that Christianity was just some white man's neurotic enslavement tool; that itself was the one causing all problems. They wanted us to believe the Bible, which was "obviously" some old man-made book written by ancient men who knew nothing of modern science.

I continued to struggle with this resentment to Christianity; until age 20, when I came across my grandmother's Plain Truth and Good News magazines from the Worldwide Church of God; still under Herbert Armstrong, in what would turn out to be his last year of life. The magazines were excerpting both his new Mystery of the Ages book; plus the booklets on the Beast and the rest of Revelation and prophecy in general. I was so fascinated by the prophecies of Revelation. How things that would take shape in the future were predicted, in symbolic form in Revelation(as well as Daniel). It explained the corrupt religion calling itself "Christianity"; showing from the Bible where the apostles and Revelation would prophesy that people would distort the truth and change the church into a "great harlot" of Babylon; a perfect description of the leading Church with all its wealth and pomp and corrupt history. (Which actually is what drove the world into the very God-rejecting direction that people complain about). The thing that really won me over was his doctrine that there was no hell, and that everyone who died without Christ would be given their first true chance to believe and be saved in the second resurrection (which was for "judgement", but not necessarily sentencing to the lake of fire). They had put a whole new spin on Calvinism's "Total Depravity" and "Unconditional election", using all the same scriptures, but teaching that those not "called" now would be called after death in the resurrection. The only ones to go to the Lake of fire would be those who still did not believe after that; or those specially "called" now who refused. And they would be annihilated; not suffer eternal conscious torment.

So, for the first time, I saw REASON for belief in the Bible, rather than seemingly just because some preacher says so, with no proof, but only the fear of [a supposedly false] Hell! It finally started to sound like "Good News"! I was also impressed by some other doctrines I saw, but then there were others which troubled me, such as their belief that the Anglo-Israelite were the chosen "Israel" of prophecy (thus seeming to justify racism), and the overbearing control of the group (a classic "cult"); so I kept at arms length from them. I eventually met a street evangelist, who used to preach in Times Square during lunch, and over time, he showed me the errors of this group from the Bible, and I began moving towards orthodox evangelicalism. By mid-1988, I had pretty much accepted most mainstream Christian beliefs, and the "new birth".(Armstrong's entire organization later followed, a few years after he died!).

Still, I held onto Armstrong's dual reading of prophecy. The destruction of Jerusalem was but the foretype of a future tribulation and Armageddon where Christ finally abolishes all ungodly rule, and resurrected saints live for 1000 years on a restored earth, followed by a total reordering of the physical universe. This was another thing that had attracted me to this school of interpretation. The classic portrayal from traditional Christianity was that this world was evil, and man's only purpose for existence is to accept Christ and live a good life, and then our spirits or souls leave the world and float to Heaven, described as some ethereal place of floating around playing harps. We had to give up this world of fleshy pleasures for that one. (is it any wonder many choose this world instead). But if we don't then we go to Hell, described in lurid detail. (Is it any wonder that many who do choose that world do so out of fear, but are still miserable?)
Futurism or dualism taught that this world and universe with all its beauties and wonders would instead be reclaimed for God and the righteous, instead of abandoned for some misty "Heaven". Perhaps we would finally get to explore and conquer this vast universe (or perhaps meet other civilizations that God has been working with out there. Seemingly impossible for our space programs now given our limitations in space travel, and dealing with the problems we face here on earth). Also, the notion of resurrection and return of Christ; though believed by most other Christians, (but basically buried beneath hellfire preaching and rendered redundant by their retention of the immortal soul theory where souls still float to heaven or hell at death, but simply get their body added back to them at some definite point in the future); when understood as the hope of life after death (1 Cor.15:51) was a more exciting view. It paints a picture of a grand finale to this current state of the world; with all saints; both dead and rising up from the grave, and alive and "Caught up" would enter the Kingdom together in a grand ceremony, which might be in our lifetimes; soon; rather than everyone just floating up individually when they die; just "getting there whenever we get there". Events in the world even seemed to confirm this and be confirmed by it. Why so much strife over the physical land of Israel with everyone against the Israelites if they are no longer significant; and it is only "spiritual" Israel that means anything to God? Why the uniting of the countries that stemmed from the old Roman Empire; if this is not the rise of the final "beast" power? And what of the corrupt and powerful Churches; with one and its "infallible" leader involved in most world events.

I had to bite the bullet and accept the scandalous doctrine of Hell for all who die without personally accepting Christ; as the evangelist showed me that Armstrong had absolutely no proof for his "salvation at the Great White throne" doctrine. He used Isaiah 65:20 "There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that has not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed", to refer to some probation period when "the books [Gk. biblos, "Bibles"] were opened" and people given a chance to believe. But I had to admit to myself that this says nothing of the sort. The benefit of Hell would be payback for all those who did wrong (to me or otherwise) such as all the ruthless, powerful people, who died in their sins.

Still, the doctrine of Hell was troubling. I supposedly was no longer threatened by it, but still there was this whole world that was still going there, that we had the enourmous task of spreading the Gospel to so they could believe and be saved. We were gaining some ground, slowly, but still, there were so many more people living and dying without Christ. Even in our own society, there are many fiercely against Christ, as well as those who are liberal or nominal; "believing" in Him, but not committed to Him, and not even believing they have to be born again. Even as the Gospel spread around the world, our own society and othert historically "Christian" cultures seemed to be turning away from God!
So we have all of this work cut out for us, and we are motivated to use our talents and abilities, and most importantly, MONEY to help spread the Gospel. However; I came to notice, that this is supposed to be so crucial, yet we will think nothing of giving more of that money to local "pastors" than to missionaries; the ones who carry forth the gospel, and therfore should "live of" the Gospel. These pastors, and other ministry leaders would then be paid professionals like the CEO's of profit corporations, and spend a lot of time and money flying around to plush conferences and retreats to discuss business, that are far removed from the actual mission field. Many would live richly themselves. Then, many churches spend alot of money on building (and maintaining) bigger and bigger churches with fancy props, more paid professionals and often entertainment. (the original churches were basically what we today call home fellowship. This has gained some popularity in recent years, but still only within the context of the organized church with its ever so central "Sunday service"). Yet, we were pressed into "giving to the work of God" for all of those unevangelized people in the world! So it looked more and more depressing.
Recently; I have gotten into debates with Calvinists; and though I feel I have refuted many of their points; especially Romans 9 which they use to teach that God chooses some for Heaven and leaves the rest headed to Hell; still they had a point that there are many who regardless of election vs. free will; seemingly have no chance to be saved. This was just so depressing, and it had been bothering me.

Enter preterism. I stumble across this a few years ago on the Baptistboard, where some of its advocates were starting discussions on it. It, as advocate Dave Green boasts, "robs us of our Rapture out of this world, and it robs us of our biological resurrection-bodies on an absolutely perfect planet Earth". (He links this with the other "Reformed horse pill" of Calvinism, with its interpretation of Rom.9, which he ironically still adheres to also!). Preterism (also ironically) chides the futurists for their "escapist mentality" in believing in a rapture out of this world, rather than this being the Kingdom. However; it is their view that has us "escaping” this world forever when we die, rather than God reclaiming it for us, as Christ says in Matt.5:5. So now, we have an even less clear picture of eternity than what the old view left us with. Even the preterists admit to not having a clue as to what Heaven is like. There are others who go as far as claiming this current life IS "paradise" or "heaven"! From this, some, claim there is nothing after this life at all! It seemed that that Good news was fading away. God would never really return to and restore this world, but our only hope is to grow old and die, and then, who knows what? Meanwhile, sin suffering and death continue on this planet forever; though most preterists speculate on the gradual conquering of the world by the Kingdom, which will lessen evil.

Finally, on the flipside of this doctrine is something I had also noticed would be consistent with it; though it is not held by all. If all of the Bible's prophecy was about Israel only, then so is all of its pronouncements of judgment; including for unbelief! This would possibly free the rest of the world to be the recepient of God's grace to all, even if they don’t ever profess faith in Him; though it could also leave open the possibility (if consistent) that God was just a tribal deity only concerned with that region and its people, and not God of the whole universe, as I had been pointing out to one of the pantelists. (i.e. if all the symbols of prophecy regarding "the earth" refer only to that region, and "Heaven" refer to the government of Israel, then "God of the Earth", or "God created the Heavens and the Earth" can justifiably be taken to mean God is only creator and lord of that area!) But let's give the benefit of the doubt; that God is the one Creator of the universe.
Recall, the thing that opened my heart up to the Bible in the first place was an idea that all were not automatically "lost" to the fate of an ever burning Hell. Now, I'm seeing the same promise again, from another system of eschatology, but this time with seemingly more biblical support; though there are still many aspects of preterism that I have not been convinced of after much debate; like the resurrection in 1 Cor.15, the destruction of gentile kingdoms at Armageddon, and any solid refutation of a future dual fulfillment. (Generally rejected as creating a "third coming", or whatever; but I do not see it as necessarily so). Pantelists go even further than preterists on the resurrection, saying 1Cor. is speaking of what they call a "covenant body". Neither a physical or spiritual "body" of an individual person, it is the entire "covenant" (old or new) itself! However; I have come to see the significance of the covenantal change as it relates to salvation, as I elaborate further shortly. They also tend to hold Israel, rather than Rome as being "the Beast". I find this pretty far fetched, though it would make some sense, and explain how "the Beast" (antichrist) and his "kingdom" was "destroyed" by Christ (which preterists cannot satisfactorily answer. To the pantelist, this would be one of the wicked rulers of the Jewish uprisings). Still, the doctrine's focus on "audience relevance" does seem to answer many "hard scriptures" that were admittedly never completely understood, or are just endlessly debated on and reinterpreted by different theologies. Particularly those involving warnings of judgment to Israel.

So this raises so many questions.
One thing I have noticed in "born again" Christianity is the persistence of an element of fear. CG is so hard to believe because we are so used to reading all of those scriptures on "persevering", "making your election sure", "examining yourself to see if you are in the faith", and not "drawing back unto perdition", as we see all over the New testament. We are warned of "trampling underfoot the blood of the Son of God", and "For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries”. From all of this, battles rage on among the different groups over "eternal security" versus "losing salvation". Even five point Calvinism, (whose fifth point (accepted by many Arminians even!) defines this "perseverance", since it was God who saved us and not our decision anyway); I find has loopholes that allow for falling away. After all, they have to explain those scriptures mentioning that. Calvin taught that God gives some "reprobates" (who are "vessels of wrath") a false faith and then takes it away from them, so they can "fall away" and die in unbelief. So the Calvinists I debated with on Baptistboard even admitted that their "faith" could be "false", and they "believing in vain". Many Calvinist Churches are therefore just as legalistic as the most Pelagian holiness churches who believe you can lose your salvation over and over again. So all across the board there is this element of fear of Hell that remains. After all, nobody alive has lived their whole life and "persevered till the end". So nobody can even say with absolute certainty that they will die in faith, or even that they really have a true faith to begin with. We all struggle with doubt and unbelief, and ultimately, who can know where you draw the line in not being "saved by faith"?
This all came to light a few years ago, when my wife and I were going through some really hard times, and were inbetween churches. We go to the local up-and-coming Independant Assemblies of God "tabernacle" to speak to a pastor there. He 'probes' into our "relationship with God". We had not been "systematically setting time" aside to pray to God and read the Bible every day. This was "the whole relationship", and without it, there was "no relationship". He warned about being "lukewarm" and having Christ "spit us out of his mouth". A friend at the time, who would criticize himself for slacking off in his "time with God" for 2 weeks or whatever, was also saying "people don't have a relationship with God, and they think they're going to Heaven?" Our whole walk with God was compared to such physical acts as eating "food", and spending time with our spouse, ("which must be done every day to keep it alive, just like you go to work every day"); turning a spiritual relationship into a mechanical routine. I was depressed, and given my schedule and concentration/attention problems, plus just wondering what to pray about; what to read in the Bible just to log in "time with Him"; I just felt this was a great burden, and it made me all the more depressed.
In fact, we can see from all of this, that it can be argued that much of Christianity has been but a "redoing of the Old Covenant" as one person on a board which advocates CG and pantelism said. Just look at how for centuries the church has thundered at individuals in their own midst, as well as the world, for their "sins". We still pronounce "curses" on the whole nation for "turning her back on God", with tragic events as the punishment, just like in the Old Testament. Akin to this is the popular "God sending hardships to test us" teaching, which has all but killed off compassion in Christian counseling. Some go as far as positing "generational curses", and and the like. Much of this influences the Abundant Life Gospel I address. People were judged by the Church for their acts of sin, even moreso than for not believeing in Christ. Of course, what they were trying to emphasize was that people were condemned because of the sins they were committing, and needed to hear this in order to see their need for Christ. But it did not come across this way. So basically, the church in effect lifted the entire Law from the Old Testament (and how many of those old fiery sermons were based on the Old Testament?) and moved it over to the New, only replacing the 7th day Sabbath with Sunday, the Jewish holy days with gentile holidays with Christian meanings pasted over them, and the animal sacrifices with a sinner's prayer, or liturgy, or whatever. But otherwise, it was basically the same system, with all the condemnation and judgment still there. (circumcision and the kosher laws were about the only ones which were replaced with their true spiritual meanings). Spat out of Christ's mouth because you didn't pray or read the Bible enough! And we condemn sabbathkeepers, Jehovah's Witnesses and other groups who openly preach "works" as rejecting Christ's work! Is it any wonder nobody saw the Gospel as "good news"? The person on the board also pointed out "Hell fills pews, whether the leader believes that he is saving souls or filling his wallet". So it is hard to be objective either way. There is too much at stake.

Then, of course, people struggling with sin are warned about "sowing to the flesh". Some hurl this at people who are not even committing sins, such as those listening to music with a rhythm that is pleasing and moves one to dancing (which they think are sins in themselves). Some would point to ALL anger, or other such emotions. But I have come to learn that "flesh" as it is used in the New Testament, actually deals more with the physical inheritance the Jews trusted in, as opposed to "the spirit" though which we were saved by Christ. This you can see in observing the true meaning of Romans 9. In that passage, as well as the preceding chapter, we see that Israel was trusting in their physical heritage for justification before God. But man's problem was that he was fallen, and this fallenness is the only thing that carried through physcal lineage! So because the Israelites were not keeping their end of the covenant (full obedience to the Law), they were actually still in their sins, condemned. Trusting in the Law, one does not have the power of the Spirit, and this comes out through "the works of the flesh", (Gal.5:19) which are the common physical and spiritual sins, that still manage to come out in those trusting in works. (But notice the context of "the Law" in the preceding verses!) "Physical Israel" as an entity, was actually the "vessels of wrath" discussed in Rom.9. "Spiritual Israel" were the "vessels of mercy". So once again, Christians in the New Testament were often susceptible to "drawing back" to the Law (as we see in places like Galatians), and thus warned about "the flesh". So it is highly ironic that the legalist trusting in his keeping of the Law and pointing out others' "sins of the flesh" is actually the one "living in the flesh" moreso than the person he sees committing sins. Remember the Pharisee and the Publican; the one justified was the one who was accused of sin and said "Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner", not the one who prided himself in all his works. The former was in "the spirit", the latter in "the flesh". Further proof of this is to take the popular scripture Romans 8:1 "There is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit". "walk after the flesh" has almost universally been interpreted as basically indulging in sins ("as a lifestyle") without repenting. This is based of course on comparing it with Gal.5:19-21. "Walk after the Spirit", then means to put the sins out of your life, and bear the fruits mentioned in Gal.5:23,23. But if the difference between flesh and spirit is the work of putting sin out of your life, then lets translate the verse with this interpretion: "There is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who do not indulge in sins, but rather put them out of their lives and bear the fruits of the Spirit". Now when we read it this way, it becomes clear that the central tenet of evangelical orthodoxy, "salvation by faith" is flatly contradicted! The "no condemnation" is conditional on keeping sin out of our lives! But then that's what the people in the Old testament under the Law were taught, and the entire New Testament shows that that noone could be saved that way. What is the blood of Christ for, then? Of course, everyone still sins. So where do we draw the line? It basically comes down to a person "trying harder" as opposed to someone just "indulging". This is the same basic answer you get from those who boldly reject "salvation by faith", such as orthodox Jews/Noahites, Muslims, Campbellites (Church of Christ), Catholic/Orthodox, Jehovah's Witnesses, and various radical sects and cults. But no scripture ever tells us "just try harder". These gropus will cite passages where God commands us to do good, and then praises various saints for "faithfulness",but this was not because they "tried harder" than others, but we are plainly told that they were ultimately justified by faith. OF course, legalists will not confess to any contradiction in scripture, so they respond by basically redefining "faith" in terms of "works". "Faith is not mere mental assent" we are told. "It is a trust; a 'clinging to'". That is true, but then this "trust" and "clinging to" are interpreted as works. This is illustrated in the "backronym" given for faith: "Forsaking All, I Trust Him". The "Forsaking" part is where the "works" of keeping sin out of your life come in. This then gets into what I criticize in the Abundant Life Gospel, where we are accused of sinning if we do not respond to problems with a good attitide. After all, God sends these things to us "for our good", so "trusting Him" then means avoiding emotions such as anger and fear.
Many will turn to James 2:19ff "You believe in one God, you do well. The devils believe and tremble But will you know O vain man that faith without works is dead. Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he had offered Isaac his only son upon the altar...". But then if you take this verse this way, it looks like he is not only contradicting, but also directly answering/opposing Paul in Romans 4 and Galatians 3! As always, such "contradictions" are swept under the rug by redefining "faith" (since it is here said to be "dead without works"), or just telling us to "just accept the paradox by faith" by some. But the contexts are completely different! The word "justification", just as we use it today, does not refer exclusively to salvation! Any act we do we can be "justified" in or not justified, and it has nothing to do with our standing before God. Paul is the one dealing with salvation. James is not talking about salvation, for Abraham and Rahab were not saved because of their acts! Their acts "justified" them in that they are now looked upon as faithful saints, depsite their sins. "justification" unto salvation could ONLY have been through Christ; not their works in addition to Christ. James is writing to Jewish Christians, who generally still had problems trusting in the letter of the Law, yet are lacking in certain works, which they probably thought uneccesary; not realizing that "having respect of persons" due to class (the sole context of the chapter) is just as much sin, that violates the spirit of the Law. Notice, that he speaks of "keeping the whole Law and offending in one point" (v.10,11). These are people trusting in "the works of the Law", but thinking "faith" alone excuses them from areas in which they fail. That actually becomes close to the error of legalists today who use the verses to teach that we are saved by "trying harder", and that "faith" simply fills in for us when we fail. But what James is really, ultimately saying here is what Paul told the Galatians: "For as many as are under the works of the Law are under a curse: for it is written 'Cursed is every one that continueth not in all the things which are written in the book of the Law'"(3:10)"...a debtor to do the whole Law! Christ is of no effect unto you whoseover are justified by the Law, for you are fallen from grace!"(5:3,4). This is what I call "the Great Irony": the legalists end up as the lawless!
This is not to say then that those living in sin are not sowing to the flesh if they simply trust in Christ. You can say that our sin nature is apart of our old life apart from Christ (Jew or gentile), and thus "the flesh". Still, many have misunderstood what the "flesh versus spirit" truly is, and are actually the ones sowing to the flesh by focusing on Law as if that was what Christ was all about.

So through all of this, I tried to tell myself that I am saved by faith regardless of myself. Still, there is this ongoing element of fear. And Hell continues to be depressing. While there are a lot of people who I would like to see judged; still, as the person on the CG forum noted: While it is very hard to imagine the people that have done bad actions here, in heaven, would anyone say that it is more Godly to hope for their demise as opposed to their eventual repentance?. That is what I realize I really want for people who have sinned against me (and supposedly "gotten away with it"), or done things heinous in general. Often, when I would complain about some mistreatment, or unfairness in general, the only consolation I would get from Christians would be the scriptures on the judgment of unrepentant sinners. It was like I was supposed to get some kind of joy at the idea of people's torment in Hell; but I knew this was opposite the attitude of forgiveness that we are supposed to have. I would rather see those people perhaps be made to feel the way I (or their other victims did) for a while; followed by repentance and reconciliation. But not to watch roasting them in eternal fire. What good would that really do for me? (Some Calvinists even think that is the purpose for Hell and reprobation: for us to watch and then glorify God that we were spared from it!)
It seemed Hell was a bit to rash for a finite lifetime of sins. Though this page (The Morality of Everlasting Punishment By Mark Talbot, Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals) offers a good explanation; elaborating on how justice is making the people feel the offense they inflicted. Still Hell does not seem as good as reconciliation. There are many beautiful people; talented people, etc. I see in the world; who I must believe are going to this Hell, just because for whatever reason, they 1) were not convinced or persuaded of Christ, and 2) did not accept Him upon whatever "witness" I or some other Christian gave. (And with many, because they never even heard in the first place). Even someone like Stevie Wonder, who always talked about God, and was obviously gifted by Him in his music, and in recent years has seemed to mention Christ more; can be questioned; because he may still believe in that universal eclectic religion that Hollywood pitches, and not truly understand the exclusivity of Christ and the need for new birth. They would never want to "offend" anyone by saying "only one religion is true". Earth, Wind & Fire also supposedly became Christian when they came back together in the ‘80 (with co-lead singer Philip Bailey even producing Gospel albums), but has gone straight back to the pagan imagery and themes on their albums. Such we believe are still "lost". Almost everyone I knew from growing up, and almost my entire family will be lost, if the traditional view is true. Just a handful of Christians from my youth, and friends from my adulthod are all I will know initially in Heaven.

This is even touched upon in some of the debates I have had, mainly on Baptistboard, with both Calvinists and Primitive Baptists. The Calvinists, of course, consider the act of receiving Christ a "work", proving it must be unconditionally granted by God in order to avoid having man "doing something" (a "work") to save himself. I argued on my Predestination page that while it may technically be a work, still according to the Bible's own classification, such "faith" is clearly contrasted with "works" which generally mean physical acts (penance, deeds of the Law, etc). Still their arguments about receiving Christ being a "work" stick. When we evangelize, all the focus is on getting the person to do this one thing: "receive Christ", usually evidenced by some definite "sinner's prayer" or confession. It's this one act that determines salvation, and without it, there is no salvation, even if they were sincerely unconvinced, or even if is because they have never heard of Christ. Calvinism simply said "well, God just doesn't will many people to be in Heaven anyway, so all those people were just 'passed over' to suffer the Hell they 'freely chose' anyway". On the other hand, many, who could not swallow either position, have compromised a bit, at least for those who have not heard. So people such as Billy Graham and several other well known "evangelical" leaders are being frequently criticized by both Calvinists and Arminian revivalistic fundamentslists alike for "no longer saying Christ is necessary for salvation", and while this could be a bit exaggerated, apparently, they have made some sort of allowance for those who have never heard to end up in Heaven.
Now, enter the Primitive Baptists. They basically are on the side of the Calvinists in the debate, but still, in the one-upmanship fashion common in Christian debates, they criticize Calvinism, even disclaiming the label for themselves often; saying that even Calvinism "still maintains that 1% man's work" in salvation. In other words, even if God grants man the ability to receive Christ, placing salvation on that act of man is still having man doing a "work"! In order for God to truly be "monergistic" (i.e doing ALL the "work"), salvation must be granted to men regardless of their choosing Christ. A person believing in Christ may be an evidence of salvation, but not necessarily. The Primitive Baptists on the board would frequently be warning people who argue with them that "their stubbornness" may be a sign they were not really saved. The regular Calvinists would not be that harsh, but this would in fact be consistent with Calvin's doctrine that God gives some people a false faith, which he then takes away, causing them not to "persevere", which results in acceptance of Christ basically not really being a sign of salvation at all. On the other hand, according to the Primitives, God is free to save those who have not heard without their having to have heard, been convinced, and "accepted" Christ. The Primitives (and the Pantelists as well) insist that the "faith" that saves in Ephesians 2:8 and elsewhere, is what they call "the faith OF Christ", rather than man's faith 'in' Him. (this would be consistent with the idea expressed by both Calvinists and Primitives that 'faith' itself is the "gift" mentioned in that passage). Even though I argued against all of this on the Predestination page, this did seem to make a lot of sense in a way. For one thing, as Calvinists even acknowledge, our "faith" is often imperfect and weak, So you could wonder how our salvation could be placed on that. But in the world of mainstream Christianity, from dark ages Catholicism, to Calvinism especially, to fundamentalism, with the whole plethora of "scandalous doctrines", "makes sense" is often like a dirty word. The Calvinists would then even begin accusing the Primitives of "using logic and not scripture" just like they frequently leveled at the free-will advocates. Of course, the "scriptures" are those like Acts 16:31 "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved", and 4:12 "Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved", and then of course, the ever familar John 3:16ff. The Primitives as far as I have seen would never really answer this. Yet, they maintain the traditional doctrine of Hell, as well as Calvinistic unconditional election and reprobation, so it ends up that people basically, are randomly assigned to Heaven and Hell despite their profession or lack thereof, of Christ. "Just according to His good mercy", which is the same thing Cavinists constantly reply when asked what makes God choose some and pass by others.
But one thing I notice, is that Acts 4:12, which is the clearest expression of the exclusivity of Christ, does not say anything about man having to "believe" to receive the benefits of salvation; only that salvation is because of Christ. The other passages do say one must "believe" of course, but they don't exactly say "this applies to every single person from now to eternity". The pantelists could argue that these were written before the destruction of the Temple, which removed the curse of the Law, which is what caused the condemnation in the first place. (For Gentiles sinning without Law, and Jews still sinning even with the Law). Recall, that in all forms of preterism, the "new Covenant" was actually a "transition period" between the Old covenant of the Law, and the full fruition of the New Covenant of Grace. While Christ's death and resurrection opened up salvation to all, it would not be until that last vestige of the Law was removed —the Temple, that salvation would be finally secured. This would explain all those scriptures saying that salvation could be lost; that one could "draw back unto perdition" (which in that case would refer to a Jew or Gentile proselyte renouncing Christ and going back under the Law to appease the Temple system which was persecuting them, which would be a great affront to Christ, hence "trampling on the Blood" in Heb.10:29. Hence the need to "persevere until the end" —the end of the covenent, to be saved!) This seems the only way to harmonize this apparently conflicting "eternal security" debate. Eternal security purely by grace and nothing we did is what Christ ultimately promised, but those in the "transition period" (especially those to whom "much was given" in that they saw Christ and His works, and His works continued by the apostles) had to persevere in good works to be saved. (This also would help bring light to "Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (John 20:29)) Afterwards, all of that would be settled for good. Then, when you factor in a proposed "AD70 physical rapture", and then add to it another suggestion of an actual visible appearance of Christ at the time, I would be closer to accepting this as a more reasonable harmonization of the "clear sense statements" and (granting the symbolic local interpretations of terms like "earth", "all the nations", etc.) even the scope statements; with the "clear time statements", speaking of the imminency to "that generation" still alive. All of this would also explain why there are seemingly no longer any miracles. Those too were only until the "perfection" (complete removal of the OC) was finished. And the great dispute between the more conservative Christians, and the more liberal or contemporary and the secularists, as to the cause of mental and even some physical problems: demonic influence like in the New Testament (including "mute, deaf and dumb spirits", etc), or physical and behavioral problems, as science seems to show today. People on one side assume that if that was the cause then, then it was always the cause, down to the present. The other side then concludes that "spirits" were just ancient, uninformed people's misunderstanding of physical realities, thus questioning the Bible's truth. But this could be explained in that the destruction of the curse of the Law also ended demonic power, which had increased because of the significant period they were in. (The Pantelists I spoke with actually believe that "Satan" is but a symbol of the Temple system, and individually, as in the temptation of Christ, and even Job, it's priests. This is going way too far for me, though there is a point that Satan is called "the accuser", and what did the religous leaders carrying the Law do, but accuse Christians!) So then in the case of mental illness and infirmities, both are true, in their own times. Spirits caused these things in Christ's time, while we were under the curse of the Law, but after the destruction of the curse, these things were removed, and the only cause of these problems left was purely physical. (though I have argued elsewhere that some people do seem to be definitely influenced by evil spirits).

All of this seems to explain so much, as we see so many things fitting together under this theory. It provides a [biblical] "covenental framework" for a universal or near universal salvation (or any salvation outside a personal belief in Christ); where other attempts, such as Unitarian-Universalism, Armstrongism, and the compromise of some new-evangelicals do not. The big difference from those views is that this view would still maintain that Christ alone saves: "no other name under heaven". Unlike those views, man is not saved by his good works, or other gods, leaders, religions, or even by "sincerity" and helplessness (i.e. couldn't help being born a sinner, so he is not at fault; didn't hear about Christ, so God cannot judge, etc), or sentiments about God, such as "a loving God would not damn any of His children to Hell", "that would not be fair", etc. Salvation would still be purely because of Christ, whether the person knows it or not, and in spite of themselves. "God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their tresspasses unto them, and has committed unto us the word of reconciliation". If "no more curse" refers simply to salvation, and not to physical perfection, then at least there should be no more people going to Hell, unlike in plain full preterism.
So CG does remove the fear. And another great support is the scriptures which say "there is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18). But there are so many other scriptures which speak of "fear of God", or even "saving them with fear". Of course, most of these are interpreted as referring to the first century only, when the world of Israel stood under the judgment of AD70. In fact, "salvation" seems to refer to the destruction of AD70 more than any judgment in the afterlife! Still, as far as this departs from "traditional orthodoxy", I of course remain reluctant to embrace it. There are still several unresolved questions that need to be addressed before accepting something as radical as this.

Like if "salvation" was from the destruction of Jerusalem, then why are gentiles included in this promise of "salvation" when they would not be the object of that destruction? Something was said to the effect that "salvation" then refers to the freeing from the death in Adam through the Law. But then how do we know which "salvations"s refer to spiritual life, and which refer to the physical destruction of Jerusalem? It seems that in the Bible, we have one salvation, and that is from eternal wrath and separation from God.

Then, it needs to be explained more, what all of those references to eternal "Hell Fire" "where their worm dieth not" were, and "darkness forever" reserved for false certain preachers. What is the "shame and everlasting contempt" of Daniel 12:2? I know Gehenna was a dump outside of Jerusalem that was used to symbolize judgment; but still, what does it mean to be eternally in this condition, or "outside the city forever" if no one goes to Hell, as commonly understood? They all presumably enter when they die and see the truth for themselves. I have still never heard anyone explain the "second resurrection" to the "second death". How is this not Hell?
Is it that Hell was only for people back then? This would be understandable, from the principle of "to whom much is given, much is expected". I could see where God would hold those, Jew and Gentile, who saw Christ in person, witnessed all the miralces He did, (Matt. 13:21-24) and then rejected him more responsible than some tribesman in the bush 2000 years later (or any other time), or even many who have heard of Christ, but are not convinced that He is real (especially after 2000 years of the corruption of and abuses by the Church). Where the pantelists I spoke to were truly universalist; I would say that if CG was true, then at least those back then before the destruction were under the condemnation of some sort of Hell after death. Still; I think there needs to be more scriptural proof that all are excused from Hell now.

If this is the truth, then why has it been buried all these centuries, and only now rediscovered by relative few people? This is the same with preterism in general. This is supposed to be the new Heaven and Earth, but the church ever since AD70 had not recognized this, or the "presence" of the "returned" Christ, but from AD70 on, continued to wait for Him to return. Only a relatively small movement says otherwise (just like every other doctrine sects and cults try to impose on everyone). How is this different from every other "ism" today? I can understand that Christ would have a "small flock" of true believers, while the majority follow the "broad path" to error; but why would God allow His very Gospel to be all but stamped out for centuries?

I am also curious as to knowing more about AD70 and afterward. Believing that the New Testament church was sabbatarian and antitrinitarian and other peculiar WCG doctrines (which it obviously wasn't in the 2nd century and later), Armstrong focused alot on a great change in the Church in what was called "the lost century" between the death of the apostles, and the earliest fathers about a century later. There is almost no record of that period in Church writing. Here are the historians he cited:

Jesse Lyman Hurlbut The Story of the Christian Church p.41

We would like to read of the later work of such helpers of St. Paul as Timothy, Apollos, and Titus., but all these...drop out of record at his death. For 50 years after St. Paul's life a curtain hangs over the church through which we strive vainly to look; and when at last it arises, about AD 120, with the writings of the earliest church fathers [Justin], we find a church in many aspects different from that in the days of Peter and Paul

William J. McGothlin The Course Of Christian History

But Christianity itself had been in [the] process of transformation as it progressed and at the close of the period was in many respects quite different from the apostolic Christianity

Samuel G. Green A Handbook of Christian History:

The 30 years which followed the close of the New Testament Canon and the destruction of Jerusalem are in truth, the most obscure in the history of the Church. When we emerge in the second century, we are, to a great extent, in a changed world

William Fitzgerald Lectures on Ecclesiastical History:

Over this period of transition, which immediately succeeds upon the era properly called apostolic, great obscurity hangs...

Philip Schaff History of the Christian Church

The remaining 30 years of the first century are involved in mysterious darkness, illuminated only by the writings of John. [assuming John wrote in the 90's, which is also denied by preterists to fit in with their AD70 theory] This is a period of church history about which we know least and would like to know most.

While Armstrong may have been wrong on those doctrines; everyone but the Catholics were agreed that there were changes in that century. You could see the doctrines characterizing the later corrupt church, such as mystical concepts of Mary, baptism and communion, plus the elevation of bishops developing right in the "apostolic fathers". They all did, however, agree on looking forward to a future return of Christ. None recognized any true "kingdom" or return of Christ. That only came about when the church was completely corrupt and had to justify its existence. They taught what was called "parousia delay". How could this be? At least one advocate of preterism, Ed Stevens, on the Preterist Archive, suggests an actual physical rapture in AD70. This seemed interesting, as it would maintain the most clear (literal) reading of 1 Cor.15, and all the other resurrection passages, (Along with a visible appearance of Christ, as mentioned by Dave Green, with some possible evidence from Josephus). AND this would also explain why the drastic change in the Church. . The true saints were raptured; and only false ones left behind. These false saints would be so embarrassed from being left behind, or just assume the others were killed. So they remained in hiding. This would be why there was little writing then. This left a body of mostly false believers (except for any who may have repented afterward), who would then, without the guidance of the Spirit, begin to formulate their own interpretation of Christianity, which drastically differed from that of the apostles. Yet mainline preterists deny this, because as one said; "Rapture is False teaching", and preterists insist "the Kingdom will reign on earth forever".
So I'm just wondering how this change could be explained. Many in the world have speculated on some documents "locked up in the catacombs by the Vatican” that would unravel Christianity as we know it once and for all. If all of the Churches have been wrong on Hell and the future all these centuries, then how has this come to be? Perhaps the missing records have a clue. I wonder if such exist and will ever be revealed.

And I too wonder what will happen to the likes of Hitler and Osama. I do like the answer from the CG board I think that he will experience truth in it's purest form, in his/her face, and I don't think that it will be painless for any of us. Christ's covering is that we are given forgiveness for being knuckleheads, even if it is as extreme as Hitler has done. His truth will hurt him more. I think that "absorption" (for lack of a better word), is like a spiritual "refining fire". It purifies.. I guess if we assumed that only people like that would go to Hell, then that is getting into salvation by works; (e.g. "never doing anything that bad") just like the world thinks.

One must realize how significant all of this is; and the "bind" of sorts this creates for us. If this is true; then Christianity has done the world an enormous amount of disservice by thriving off of fear of Hell all these centuries; (bigger than the disservice they have done manipulating it for fear and abusing, even if it were true!) and not telling everyone the "real" Gospel that Christ HAS in fact "redeemed the entire world". (When listening to Christmas songs in recent years; they do seem to have more meaning if everyone is redeemed. In the traditional view, most are still left without this hope). Just look at all the strife with the world the Church has been in for preaching this scandalous doctrine that only they are "saved" and everyone else is going to Hell for not believing like they (i.e. "judging"); all under the premise of "the offense of the Gospel". And as it gained wealth and power over the people it scared into its fold. (This would all the more confirm to me that it is an antitypical "Babylon" that "glamorized itself and lived luxurioiusly"!) The church would owe the world a tremendous apology for being such a scourge and stumblingblock. Imagine how much peace/agreement with the world; AND acceptance of its message there would have been if the church had just preached comprehensive grace (with everyone going to Heaven) and self improvement or self-realization as the main goal for living all along!
If this is true, it should be shouted from the mountaintops, and the traditionalists made an open spectacle of by being shown how they have grossly misused scripture, and cannot defend their position from it when it is properly understood. But while preterism seems to be gaining some ground; it is still a form that accepts Hell for unbelievers; now only adding that people being born and dying and going to Hell continues forever.

But on the other hand, if this is wrong; then one must realize that it is nothing less than a soul-damning lie straight from the mouth of Satan (whose presence and power is conveniently denied; which would be further to his advantage in deceiving people!)

So I ask again; There is a sense of urgency in the Bible's call to preach the Gospel to the world.
How much true meaning would this have if the only thing people needed to be "saved" from was the destruction of a temple in AD70 and/or just a state of spiritual "death" that is temporary and has no eternal consequence anyway? If people are simply "still dead in Adam"; so what? It seems preaching the Gospel is reduced to what I have been saying here all along: just an invitation to a pragmatic self-improvement/self-realization program. And the ironic thing about it; is that one of the very things the people in the world say in response to Christian preaching, is that religion is only about "self-improvement/realization", and that other religions and philosophies do the job just fine or even better than Christianity! What else can we say to them? Might as well say "well, go on about your way, and I'll go my way". There doesn't even seem to be any reason to spread the Gospel. Thus it does seem the the God of the Bible was at best a tribal deity after all. While preterists insist that we can "glean" from the Bible its "principles"; it seems that this reduces the Bible to just another self-help manual. The Bible's whole message is wrapped up in salvation from wrath. If that was all past, then it has no real meaning to us anymore. Couldn't you see where this would be seen as having all the marks of a satanic attack on the Bible, straight from the pit of Hell?
So I am torn as to whether the element of fear proves that the traditional view is a false manipulative tactic, or that it is true and necessary to produce repentance. Once again, it seems that there was an urgent call to get people saved from more than just some "state" that they would would die out of. Or even a physical destruction that could possibly be escaped anyway. It seems no one will be motivated to live for God if we tell them that they will still make it to Heaven anyway. To adopt On the other hand; does God even want such "service" motivated by fear? Is that even genuine? If not, then what is even meant by "Our God is a consuming fire"? It makes Him seem like some sort of giant pussycat.

It does sound nice, but the evangelicals, (and especially the Calvinists) do have a big point in saying that we don't believe things just because it sounds nice to our sentiments, or seems reasonable. The bad side of it is that it seems to confirm what many who have lost faith have concluded: that God has just left this world to run down forever. Our only hope for escaping evil and suffering is dying, but then after that, who knows what? So there really is no "hope" (expectation). But then, none of this would even preclude dual fulfillment; in which case God is not finished with the world, and will step in yet again in the future. But then that probably still means judgment for all who do not accept Christ now.

Today, many evangelicals, believing that they have to get people saved from an eternity in Hell, spend a lot of time, energy and effort to carry forth the Gospel, hopefully to save as many as possible from that. Hell, is what motivates a sense of urgency, and missionaries, and the ministers they raise in those lands, following the lead of the original apostles, and "faith hall of fame" of Heb.11:35-38 are willing to go through all sorts of persecution from the tribes or governments in the lands; diseases; famines, pestilence; homesickness and the rest of the discomforts of those lands. All of this to get people saved from Hell.
But if there is no hell, then IS IT WORTH ALL OF THIS? Is it worth all of the money and effort of those in churches here who support all of this? There are testimonies of people who have gone through horrible things here on earth, and then somehow, someone gets saved because of it, and then the person testifies "well, that was hard; but He used it to win this person". They believe they have a great crown in Heaven for rescuing someone from a fate worse than whtever they went through, and that is supposed to be what made it worthwhile. Sometimes, it's just the testimony of overcoming those things itself that wins people. My wife is all the time speaking of such testimonies; including the one from the pastor and his wife (which they have made into a DVD) and is often shown at evangelistic events. Once again, it's the urgency of rescuing someone from an eternity of Hell that motivates all of this.
But if the purpose of spreading the Gospel now is just to let people know "they are loved by God", but otherwise, they would have made it to eternal life anyway at death, then it doesn't seem urgent enough for people to be going through all of that stuff, or God putting people through it just to build a testimony. If we just went around the world telling people God loves them, and not trying to make them "convert" from their religion to "Christianity"; then we would spare a lot of conflict with those cultures. Just think of the Islamic world, for one!
All we are left with is a New Testament where they were urgently trying to rescue people from a horrible fate. The Church continued to follow this pattern, to the present, but now, we're bing told all of that was for the past only. The whole Church would have to rethink its entire mission and purpose and strategy, and it doesn't look like all of this work would be as urgently necessary, if this were true. Another thing I forgot to add in the initial posts, is that you would think that new scriptures would have been added after AD70 recounting the fulfillment of God's plan, AND outlining the new agenda and mission of the Kingdom. Actually, if full preterism and pantelism are true, then the 27 books following Malachi are actually apart of the Old Testament! Where's the true "New Testament" books, then? I guess Josephus' account of the war could be the historical narrative. Then we should have new epistles.
That is where the catacombs and missing writings of the lost century comes in. (Still, I would think God would still preserve His Word, like He did with the rest of the scripture).
These are the things that make preterism and Comprehensive Grace so hard to believe. I would really like for there to be such hope of salvation for all, even those not convince, as well as those who have never heard.

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