Preterists claim John Wesley as one of their own. Really ?
Here are some excerpts from Wesley’s notes on Matthew 24 with some points on his belief in who the antichrist is.
Speaking of the pope, he said
“He is in an emphatical sense, the Man of Sin, as he increases all manner of sin above measure. And he is, too, properly styled the Son of Perdition, as he has caused the death of numberless multitudes, both of his opposers and followers…He it is…that exalteth himself above all that is called God, or what is worshipped…claiming the highest power, and highest honour…claiming the prerogatives which belong to God alone.
Wesley talked of the destruction of the temple as a great fulfillment of our Lords prophecy but believed Matthew 24 and parallel passages intermingled the end days with what happened in 70 ad … Notes are from his thoughts on Matt 24.
” Then shall be great tribulation — Have not many things spoken in the chapter, as well as in Mark 13:14 etc., Luke 21:21 etc. a farther and much more extensive meaning than has been yet fulfilled?
For as the lightning goeth forth — For the next coming of Christ will he as quick as lightning; so that there will not be time for any such previous warning Immediately after the tribulation of those days — Here our Lord begins to speak of his last coming. But he speaks not so much in the language of man as of God, with whom a thousand years are as one day, one moment. Many of the primitive Christians not observing this, thought he would come immediately, in the common sense of the word: a mistake which St. Paul labours to remove, in his Second Epistle to the Thessalonians.
Then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven — It seems a little before he himself descends. The sun, moon, and stars being extinguished, (probably not those of our system only,) the sign of the Son of man (perhaps the cross) will appear in the glory of the Lord.
Learn a parable — Our Lord having spoke of the signs preceding the two grand events, concerning which the apostles had inquired, begins here to speak of the time of them. And to the question proposed, Matthew 24:3, concerning the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, he answers Matthew 24:34. Concerning the time of the end of the world, he answers Matthew 24:36. Mark 13:28; Luke 21:29.
Ok. How about John Chrysostom ? The preterists claim him for his optimistic and victorious views also. Well…..
” But who is he? Is it then Satan? By no means; but some man, that admits his fully working in him. For he is a man. “And exalteth himself against all that is called God or is worshiped.” For he will not introduce idolatry, but will be a kind of opponent to God (άντίθεоς); he will abolish all the gods, and will order men to worship him instead of God, and he will be seated in the temple of God, not that in Jerusalem only, but also in every Church. “Setting himself forth,” he says; he does not say, saying it, but endeavoring to show it. For he will perform great works, and will show wonderful signs.
What is “the falling away?” He calls him Apostasy, as being about to destroy many, and make them fall away. So that if it were possible, He says, the very Elect should be offended. (Мф.24:24). Saint Chrysostom NPNF1-13. Homily III. 2 Thessalonians i. 9, 10
So indeed he also says here. “Only there is one that restraineth (ò κατέχων) now, until he be taken out of the way,” that is, when the Roman empire is taken out of the way, then he shall come. And naturally. For as long as the fear of this empire lasts, no one will willingly exalt himself, but when that is dissolved, he will attack the anarchy, and endeavor to seize upon the government both of man and of God. For as the kingdoms before this were destroyed, for example, that of the Medes by the Babylonians, that of the Babylonians by the Persians, that of the Persians by the Macedonians, that of the Macedonians by the Romans: so will this also be by the Antichrist, and he by Christ, and it will no longer withhold. And these things Daniel delivered to us with great clearness.”
Neither of these guys seem too “optimistic” or “victorious” in their views or eschatolgy. What’s going on here?
Well…..if a famous theologian or preacher or leader from the past states any form of belief that the events of 70 AD were fulfilled …just like Jesus said…the preterists (who are so desperate) label that person a proponent of their views or beliefs. To do this, they ignore the fact that these same leaders believed that Matthew 24 speaks of the events of 70 AD AND the last days. Both. I think they know this but they don’t admit it. Or they leave out the parts that go against their optimisic or victorious viewpoints on purpose. I think most of the authors who push preterism are intelligent guys. They have degrees. They pastor churches. So why would they do this ? They are either ignorant or liars.
Investigate their claims. I have.