I read a (thankfully short) blog post yesterday called….”I Am Not Looking Forward To The Kingdom Of God.” by Dr. Jonathan Welton. It is a fine example of the spirit behind the preterist mindset and philosophy. Preterism and its bedfellows (Seven Mountain Mandate/Dominion Theology/NAR/Post-Millennialism/Kingdom Now) are fueled by a spirit that diminishes the Word of God and uses the tactics of the spirit of the world to entice. I have documented multiple times, Dr. Welton’s distortion of the historical record. (see Raptureless Again ?, Not That Raptureless Book Again, Defending Dead Men Or Raptureless…..Oops He Did It Again, etc…, on this page). Let’s look at what the Dr. has distorted now…..
“The Old Testament very clearly prophesied of the arrival of the Kingdom of God in the First Century. In Daniel 2 we find that Nebuchadnezzar had a dream of a statue. It represented the four kingdoms of: Babylon, Medeo-Persia, Greece , and The Roman Empire. At the base of the statue there were ten toes made of Iron and Clay. History records that these four kingdoms came just as the dream predicted.
After the Roman Empire was set up, it was later divided by Augustus into ten provinces (the ten toes) during his rule (27BC – 14AD). It is into these ten toes that Nebuchadnezzar’s dream predicted a rock would crash and grow into a Kingdom that fills the whole world. Jesus is that Rock and He came in a manger in 3BC (during the Ten Toes Time Period) and crashed into the Roman Kingdom’s toes..” (Jonathan Welton, I Am Not Looking Forward To The Kingdom Of God).” Words in bold…done by me.
Ok. Got that ?
Read any history book that covers world history and you will read about: Babylon, Medeo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Their rise and fall. How they succeeded each other in power and influence. Historical fact. Verifiable and obvious…just as God intended.
Now….find one history book that talks about Caesar Augustus’ dividing of the Roman Empire into ten kingdoms. And if you do (which you won’t) is this division into ten kingdoms as obvious and verifiable as the history of Babylon, Medeo-Persia, Greece, and Rome ? Is it a part of the historical record understood and easily established as fact ? Everything else in the prophecy is……the ten toes (if it has actually happened) should be also. Right ?
Oh…wait a minute. Dr. Welton has found a reference to the ten toes. It appears that he has been questioned about this by others. I assume many times,because in another post he states…
“I am regularly asked to show documentation from a credible source regarding my statement that the Roman Empire was divided into ten provinces in the first century as a fulfillment of the toes of Daniel’s statue in Daniel 2.
Here is a link to the free ebook of the 1882 book, The Early Days of Christianty Vol. 2, by the most esteemed F. W. Farrar. Page 283 indicates the ten provinces for those that are interested.”
(side note….I like how he changes the ten toes (kingdoms) into “provinces”. Self serving? Manipulative maybe ? Anyone who actually studies Daniel, and is not trying to push a narrative or their filter, understands that these ten toes of Daniel 2 are connected to the ten kings of Daniel 7. These ten toes are ten kingdoms ruled by ten kings….not provinces. It is sad that a teacher can so belittle the Word of God and specifically the highly important book of Daniel. )
Now concerning F.W. Farrar and the “proof” Dr. Welton points to….
F. W. Farrar was a preterist. (it’s always convenient to find an obscure reference to something you are pushing from a fellow supporter…past or present) He was a friend of Charles Darwin and actually spoke at Darwin’s funeral. Here is a bit of what he said about Darwin and his theories.
“This man, on whom for years bigotry and ignorance poured out their scorn, has been called a materialist. I do not see in all his writings one trace of materialism. I read in every line the healthy, noble, well-balanced wonder of a spirit profoundly reverent, kindled into deepest admiration for the works of God. … Calm in the consciousness of integrity; happy in sweetness of home life; profoundly modest; utterly unselfish; exquisitely genial; manifesting, as his friend has said of him, ‘an intense and passionate honesty, by which all his thoughts and actions were irradiated as by a central fire’—Charles Darwin will take his place, side by side, with [John] Ray and Linnaeus; with Newton and Pascal; with [John] Herschel and [Michael] Faraday—among those who have not only served humanity by their genius, but have also brightened its ideal by holy lives.”
(side note….this is an amazing example of overlooking the leaven of false teaching or the hideous belief systems of a fallen world in the name of love. Farrar was so enamored with Darwin and Huxley and his own intellectualism that he couldn’t see the power of humanism or the root of On The Origin Of Species. Maybe an angel of light influence here?)
On page 283 of Farrar’s book, Farrar is actually writing on the visions of the Book of Revelation specifically chapters 12 and 13. He isn’t speaking about Daniel 2. In fact, Daniel 2 is never mentioned. Here is the quote Dr. Welton is referring to….
“This wild beast of Heathen Power has ten horns, which represent the ten main provinces of Imperial Rome.”
There is a footnote at this point which says the following…
“Ten horns, as in Dan. vii 24. There they are the Diadochi; here the provinces of Italy, Achaia, Asia, Syria, Egypt, Africa, Spain, Gaul, Britain, Germany. (Renan L’Antichrist, P. 13)
In other words, Farrar was just quoting Renan. Who was Renan ?
Ernest Renan was an intellectual who wrote an influential biography on the life of Jesus. Renan believed that Jesus was just a man but he was unique because (over time) he was purged of his Jewishness and became Aryan. He denied the validity of Jesus’ miracles and despised Judaism and the Jewish people. In the book L’Antichrist, Renan questions whether the Apostle John even wrote the Book of Revelation. Here is a quote from page 180 that shows his antagonistic view of the Bible and the inspiration of its writers and prophets.
“one of the characteristic features of apocalypses is that the writer at times exploits, for the benefit of his alleged prophetic powers, some recent piece of news which he believes known to himself alone. Thus the writer who composed the Book of Daniel appears to have had wind of the death of Anticochus. In the same manner our seer seems to possess special information on the political situation of his age.”
Ernest Renan did not believe in the inspiration of the Bible. He believed the Book of Daniel and The Book of Revelation were actually just political and religious tracts. To him, Daniel was not the author and did not experience the dreams and visions contained in it. He believed the book was written closer to the 3rd century BC. He accuses Daniel (and the Apostle John) of manipulating their writings according to what they knew and expected to happen.
I read through Renan’s work and could not find the specific quote that Farrar used for his proof. It wasn’t on page 13. In fact, I don’t believe Renan ever mentioned Daniel 2. Towards the end of the book he comments extensively on the Book of Revelation and names 10 provinces of the Roman Empire but never connected to Daniel 2.
I could go on about Renan’s wacky views and general disdain for the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, in all of His forms, but I won’t.
My point ?
Preterism is a philosophy. It is a combination of pride (intellectualism) and the spirit of the world (Anti-Semitism, lying and manipulation). Just look at two of its main proponents…..Mr. Farrar and Mr. Renan. All Farrar did and Renan did and Welton has done is proclaim something to be so because they need it to be so!! Those ten toes have to be in the time of Jesus so lets say they are. (Historical eisegesis lol) Sad. So sad.
It doesn’t matter how nice someone is; or how many orphanages they run; or how hard they try to legitimize their ministry; or how meek they appear. Manipulation is manipulation. False teaching is false teaching. It is wrong and has to be addressed. It is leading to something. It truly has a powerful spirit behind it. The same spirit that blinded F. W. Farrar and Ernest Renan is alive and well today. It desires to diminish the Word of God ; eradicate judgment; help man ascend; embrace lies in the name of love and honor.
Preterism and new “theologies” like Father-Son Theology by Harold Eberle (mentor of Dr. Welton,) are products of intellectualism (pride) and the spirit of the world. Maybe Dr. Welton is today’s Farrar and Mr. Eberle is our Renan ?