Not That Raptureless Book Again Part Six

Kingdom Files

In the book Raptureless by Jonathan Welton and on the Raptureless website, John Chrysostom is touted as a Hero For An Optimistic Future. In fact, in chapter 3 of Raptureless, which is on The Great Tribulation, the author quotes John Chrysostom after making the following statement….

However, as I studied Matthew 24, I discovered that, throughout church history, most Christians believed that the whole chapter of Matthew 24 occurred at the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. In fact, many of the well-known Church leaders have taught this. Here are quotations from a few:”

First let me comment on what I just quoted. Partial quotes prove only that the one using the partial quote is manipulative. They prove nothing else.  A truer statement would be that throughout church history pretty much all Christians believed that Jesus’ words on the destruction of Jerusalem took place just as He prophesied AND one…

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Defending Dead Men Or Raptureless….Oops He Did It Again

Why does the author of Raptureless misrepresent the beliefs of others to validate his own ?
Why is it necessary to manipulate the writings of other men to seduce your readers to believe what you want them to believe ?

Well….if the philosophical filter presented in Raptureless and in preterism in general… were true….you wouldn’t need to. Period. End of story.

All of the men who are considered Heroes For An Optimistic Future commented on Matthew 24. They all wrote on what took place in 70AD. They all believed that our Lord prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. They all believed that it was one of the greatest signs to that generation and to future generations as to our Lord’s office of Prophet. But they were NOT preterists. They WERE NOT believers in an “optimistic future.” Though the Raptureless book and it’s author wants you to believe that they were.

Here are three more Heroes For An Optimistic Future and what they really believed.

Here is a quote from chapter 3 of Raptureless from John Calvin….

“Christ informs them, that before a single generation shall have been completed, they will learn by experience the truth of what he has said. For within fifty years the city was destroyed and the temple was razed, the whole country was reduced to a hideous desert. —John Calvin”

BUThere is what Calvin said concerning Nero as the antichrist etc….Remember – preterists need everything to be fulfilled in the events of 70AD etc for their philosophy of an Optimistic Future to hold water.

It was no better than an old wife’s fable that was contrived respecting Nero, that he was carried up from the world, destined to return again to harass the Church 5 by his tyranny; and yet the minds of the ancients were so bewitched, that they imagined that Nero would be Antichrist. 6 Paul, however, does not speak of one individual, but of a kingdom, that was to be taken possession of by Satan, that he might set up a seat of abomination in the midst of God’s temple–which we see accomplished in Popery.

Here is a quote from chapter 3 of Raptureless from John Wesley….

“This was most punctually fulfilled: for after the temple was burned, Titus the Roman general, ordered the very foundations of it to be dug up; after which the ground on which it stood was ploughed by Turnus Rufus…this generation of men living shall not pass till all these things be done—The expression implies that a great part of that generation would be passed away, but not the whole. Just so it was; for the city and temple were destroyed thirty-nine or forty years after.” —John Wesley

BUT here are some quotes from Wesley taken directly from his notes on Matthew 24….
Verse 2

[29] Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

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.
(In Wesley’s comments on 2 Thessalonians 2:3 he says
[3] Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
Unless the falling away — From the pure faith of the gospel, come first. This began even in the apostolic age. But the man of sin, the son of perdition – Eminently so called, is not come yet.)

[30] 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.

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

[32] Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

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.

Mark 13:24
[24] But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,

But in those days — Which immediately precede the end of the world: after that tribulation – Above described.

Here is a quote from chapter 3 of Raptureless from Charles Spurgeon….

“The destruction of Jerusalem was more terrible than anything that the world has ever witnessed, either before or since. Even Titus seemed to see in his cruel work the hand of an avenging God. Truly, the blood of the martyrs slain in Jerusalem was amply avenged when the whole city became a veritable Aceldama, or field of blood.” —Charles Spurgeon

BUT here are a few quotes from Charles Spurgeon. The first two are directly from his comments on Matthew 24.

There are here two distinct questions, perhaps three. The disciples enquired first about the time of the destruction of the temple, and then about the sign of Christ’s coming, and of “the consummation of the age”, as it is in the margin of the Revised Version. The answers of Jesus contained much that was mysterious, and that could only be fully understood as that which he foretold actually occurred. He told his disciples some things which related to the siege of Jerusalem, some which concerned his Second Advent, and some which would immediately precede “the end of the world.” When we have clearer light, we may possibly perceive that all our Saviour’s predictions on this memorable occasion had some connection with all three of these great events.

The destruction of Jerusalem was the beginning of the end, the great type and anticipation of all that will take place when Christ shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. It was an end; but not the end: “the end is not yet.”

“Paul does not paint the future with rose-colour: he is no smooth-tongued prophet of a golden age, into which this dull earth may be imagined to be glowing. There are sanguine brethren who are looking forward to everything growing better and better and better, until, at the last this present age ripens into a millennium. They will not be able to sustain their hopes, for Scripture give them no solid basis to rest upon. We who believe that there will be no millennial reign without the King, and who expect no rule of righteousness except from the appearing of the righteous Lord, are nearer the mark. Apart from the second Advent of our Lord, the world is more likely to sink into pandemonium than to rise into a millennium. A divine interposition seems to me the hope set before us in Scripture, and, indeed, to be the only hope adequate to the situation. We look to the darkening down of things; the state of mankind, however improved politically, may yet grow worse and worse spiritually.

There are some men who have not seen Elias yet; they do not understand the prophecies. They think they perceive in the future a great progress of civilization, and they expect to see the spread of the gospel; they expect to hear of great agencies employed, of multitudes of ministers going forth to preach the Word, and a gradual conversion of the world to the religion of Christ; but he who understands the prophets, and has seen Elias, believes not in the immediate conversion of the world, nor in universal peace; he believes in “Jesus Only;” he expects that Jesus will first come; and, to him, the great hope of the future is the coming of the Son of man

Raptureless Again ?

In the book Raptureless by Jonathan Welton and on the Raptureless website, Bishop Thomas Newton (1704 – 1782) is touted as a Hero For An Optimistic Future.  In chapter 3 of Raptureless, the author has the following quote…

“It is to me a wonder how any man can refer part of the foregoing discourse [Matt. 24] to the destruction of Jerusalem, and part to the end of the world, or any other distant event, when it is said so positively here in the conclusion, All these things shall be fulfilled in this generation.” Thomas Newton (1755)

Remember, preterists believe that Matthew 24 and all but two chapters (maybe) of the Book of Revelation were completed and fulfilled in 70AD when Rome destroyed Jerusalem.  They say that there is no future antichrist (that was Nero). They teach that there is no tribulation and even that the Lord is done with the Jewish people.

And again….partial quotes prove only that the one using the partial quote is manipulative…at the very least.  So here we go…….

A few pages after his comments on Matthew 24 ( that are quoted in Raptureless) Bishop Thomas Newton said this….

“Hitherto we have explained this 24th chapter of St. Matthew, as relating to the destruction of Jerusalem, and without doubt as relating to the destruction of Jerusalem it is primarily to be understood.  But though it is to be understood of this primarily, yet it is not to be understood of this only; for there is no question that our Saviour had a further view and meaning in it.  It is usual with the prophets to frame and express their prophecies so as that they shall comprehend more than one event, and have their several periods of completion  This every one must have observed, who hath been ever so little conversant in the writings of the ancient prophets; and this I conceive to be the case here, and the destruction of Jerusalem to be typical of the end of the world.  The destruction of a great city is a lively type and image of the end of the world; and we may observe, that our Saviour no sooner begins to speak of the destruction of Jerusalem, than his figures are raised, his language is swelled, and he expresseth himself in such terms, as in a lower sense indeed are applicable to the destruction of Jerusalem, but describe something higher in their proper and genuine signification. The sun shall be darkened, the moon shall not give her light, the stars shall fall from heaven, the powers of the heavens shall be shaken, the Son of man shall come 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. These passages, in a figurative sense, as we have seen, may be understood of  the destruction of Jerusalem, but in their literal sense can be meant only of the end of the world.  In like manner that text, Of that day and season knoweth no man, no not the angels of heaven but my Father only ; the consistence and connexion of the discourse oblige us to understand it as spoken of the time of the destruction of Jerusalem; but in a higher sense it may be true also of the time of the end of the world and the general judgment.  All the subsequent discourse too, we may observe doth not relate so properly to the destruction of Jerusalem, as to the end of the world and the general judgment.  Our Saviour loseth sight, as it were, of his former subject and adapts his discourse more to the latter. And the end of the Jewish state was in a manner the end of the world to many of the Jews.  The remaining part of the chapter is so clear and easy as to need no comment or explanation.”

So another of the Heroes For An Optimistic Faith believed that Matthew 24 was an amazing fulfillment of our Lord’s prophecy of the destruction of the Temple, AND was a picture of what would happen at the end of the age.

I want to give you a few more quotes from Bishop Thomas Newton which are directly related to preterism.

Professor Westein, a comtemporary of Bishop Newton, wrote an article concerning the role of Nero and Titus as fulfilling the prophecies of “the man of sin and the wicked one.” In response to the article Bishop Newton wrote numerous questions for Professor Westein and then wrote …

One is really ashamed and grieved to see a scholar and critic fall into such absurdities……..It surpasses all comprehension, how this learned professor could think of such an application, without asking himself such questions; or how he could ask himself any such questions, without clearly perceiving the impossibility of answering them.”

I think you can “sense” in this quote that this Hero For An Optimistic Faith was not seduced by the fantasy that Nero or Titus or Vespasian was the antichrist.  The antichrist was still future.

A few pages after his comments on Matthew 24, and while still addressing the Flavian dynasty as antichrist/man of sin/the wicked one,  Bishop Newton wrote…..

“If this prophecy was fulfilled, as these critics conceive, before the destruction of Jerusalem, it is surprising that none of the fathers should agree with any of them in the same application, and that the discovery should first be made sixteen or seventeen hundred years after the completion. The fathers might differ and be mistaken in the circumstnaces of a prophecy which was yet to be fulfilled; but that a prophecy should be remarkedly accomplished before their time, and they be totally ignorant of it, and speak of the accomplishment as still future, is not very credible, and will always be a strong presumptive argument against any such interpretation.  The foundation of all the mistakes of these learned men is their interpreting the coming of Christ, of the destruction of Jerusalem; whereas the context, as it has been shown, plainly envinces, and they themselves, at other times acknowledge, that it is to be understood of his coming to judge the world.  They, therefore, bid fairer for the true interpretation, who apply this prophecy to events after the destruction of Jerusalem.”

There was a book published in 1829.  The book contained the views of the participants of the Albury Park Prophetic Conference.  These learned men gathered over the years to talk and study and publish their results.  The writings of Bishop Thomas Newton were studied and were greatly influential in their conclusions.  Here are five of the six points that they were unanimous on.

  1. The present Christian dispensation is not to pass insensibly into the millennial state by a gradual increase of the preaching of the gospel; but that it is to be terminated by judgments, ending in the destruction of this visible church and polity.
  2. That during the time these judgments are faling upon Christendom the Jews will be restored to their own land
  3. The judgments will fall principally upon Christendom
  4. The termination of these judgments will be succeeded by the millennium.
  5. The second coming precedes or takes place at the commencement of the millennium

Two more quotes from Bishop Newton concerning the Jewish people.  Remember….preterists believe that the Jewish people have no future.  70 AD took care of that.

“‘You see the Jews ‘led away captive into all nations, and Jerusalem trodden down of the Gentiles’ and likely to continue so ‘until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled’, as the Jews are by a constant miracle preserved a distinct people for the completion of the other prophecies relating to them.’
‘The preservation of the Jews is really one of the most signal and illustrious acts of divine Providence.’

All of this from a “Hero For An Optimistic Future”.

If their own heroes deny their “Optimistic Future” then  what historical support do they actually have ?

Preterism is false.  It’s not an eschatology.  It’s a philosophy.  It’s man made.

It’s too bad we live in a day and age where buzzwords and philosophies carry more weight than the Word and history.