Jonathan Welton and Preterism… Making the Bible Great Again ?

The  following is from Understanding The Whole Bible by Dr. Jonathan Welton (from pages 431-434)

What do you think ?

What spirit is behind this ?

Is he truly making the Bible great again ?

 

“Heaven certainly exists as the abode of God and believers after death (and after the future final return of Christ). Yet this passage does not describe only something in eternity but something we can experience right now. It is the “age to come” the Jews believed would replace the present evil age. Following are nine evidences that Revelation 21-22 is not a description of heaven but a description of the new covenant world:

  1. The water of life (see Rev. 22:1). This represents God’s offer of salvation.  Jesus spoke about it in John 4 with the woman at the well.  He also spoke about it at the feast in John 7.  We are invited to come to Him and drink.
  2. The twelve foundations with the apostles’ name written on them (see Rev. 21:14).  Paul also wrote of the Church being built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets in Ephesians 2:20.  That is not just for the future but for the present.
  3. The heavenly Jerusalem as a cube (see Rev. 21:16).  The city is described as a cube, with each side measuring 1,200 stadia, which in modern terms is approximately 1,400 miles.  If we were to measure from Rome to Jerusalem from the East to the West and from the northern edge to the southern edge of the Roman Empire of that day, it would add up to 1,400 miles by 1,400 miles, with the Isle of Patmos exactly at the center of that measurement. 99 So the world of the new covenant at the time was 1,400 miles by 1,400 (or 1,200 stadia), with John on the isle right in the center of the whole thing.  Is also stretches out toward heaven, which makes it a cube.
  4. The absence of the temple in the New Jerusalem (see Rev. 21:22). The temple does not exist in the New Jerusalem because the work of the cross has removed the need for the previous temple.   We are now temples, according to First Corinthians 3 and 6.
  5. The nations will walk by its light (see Rev. 21:24). This suggests that nations still exist as separate national entities, which leads us to conclude that this is a present condition, not the eternal, heavenly condition.  Jesus also referred to the Church as “the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14).
  6. The gates never close (see Rev. 21:25).  This illustrates the present ongoing work of evangelism.
  7. The unclean practice abomination and lying (see Rev. 21:27). Here again we see evidence of pre-final judgment setting.  Heaven will not include people of this sort.
  8. The tree of life has leaves for the leading of the nations (see Rev. 22:1-2).  This statement indicates the nations have not yet been healed.
  9. Sorcerers, immoral people, murderers, idolaters, and those who love and practice lying are outside the gates (see Rev. 22:15).  These people are right outside the open gates and may come in at any time.  This shows our present reality, not life after the final judgement.  Following the final judgement, these people will be sent to the lake of fire.  But that is not the picture we see here.  Instead, right outside our open gates live all kinds of scoundrels, and the doors remain open so they can come in at any time.

What we see described in Revelation 21-22 is the new covenant world, with the New Jerusalem, the Bride of Christ, the new heaven, and the new earth, and the new temple.  All of these describe the new covenant world we live in right now.

The fact that Revelation describes events that happened in the past does not make it less relevant for us. After all, the other historical stories of the Bible-such as Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection- still have relevance for us these many years later. The Bible is full of relevant information for us, even if most of it is not in our future. The relevance does not change just because Jesus’ prophecies have already been fulfilled. The opposite is true. We get to live in the wonderful result of those fulfilled prophecies-the new covenant world with an open door to salvation that all may enter.”

Partial Preterism Virus (Raptureless Again)

“So many have held up persecution as a saintly quality in the Christian’s life, but let’s think about it in light of the growth of the Kingdom of God. If our prayers are effective and if Jesus is answering them, then this world will become “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10), which would certainly include a lack of persecution. We can pretty safely assume no Christians are being persecuted in Heaven.  Logically, if the Lord’s Prayer is being progressively answered, the outcome should be that earth becomes more and more like Heaven.  Thus, the more the Kingdom expands on this earth and the saints mature into their calling as ambassadors of that Kingdom, the less persecution Christians should face. “

From Raptureless Third Edition (pp 181-182) by Dr. Jonathan Welton

I had written pages about the pride that exudes from this paragraph….and about the connection between the “heaven to earth” message and partial preterism (and for that matter NAR/Kingdom Now/Dominionism) but something came across my desk that I wish to share instead….

“This week, Hungary, which has during the past year come under pressure for its handling of Europe’s mass migration crisis, has become the first government to open an office specifically to address the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and Europe.

Today, Christianity has become the most persecuted religion, where out of five people killed [for] religious reasons, four of them are Christians,” Catholic News Agency (CNA) quoted Hungary’s Minister for Human Capacities, Zoltan Balog, as saying. “In 81 countries around the world, Christians are persecuted, and 200 million Christians live in areas where they are discriminated against. Millions of Christian lives are threatened by followers of radical religious ideologies.” (http://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/hungary-opens-first-ever-office-to-tackle-christian-persecution.html)

This virus of pride, delusion, and philosophy is spreading.

Do you see what it leads to?

Do you see what it denies?

Partial Preterism is a Virus; The Raptureless Strain

Here is an example of partial preterist teaching.  This virus is running rampant in many popular churches.  The following is  from the book Raptureless by Jonathan Welton. Words in bold are Dr. Welton’s. ”

 

“Many Bible verses speak of the early Church’s experience of persecution, but we must be careful to read these verses in their historical context.  We must not apply the historical reality that they faced to all generations, for all time.  Following are some passages that speak of persecution:

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matt 5:10-12)

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matt 5:43)

And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do (Luke 12:4)

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’[b] If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.” (John 15:18-25)

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

“And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.”(Acts 5:40-41)

We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22)

“But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2  Timothy 3:10-13)

This passage could easily be misinterpreted as applying to all Christians for all time.  However, the context is clearly the last days of Jerusalem (AD30-70), as Second Timothy 3:1, nine verses earlier, makes obvious.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” (James 1:2)

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” (1 Peter 1:6)

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12)

When considered in their historical context and with the understanding that most of the “endtimes” events prophesied in the Bible happened in AD 70, we can see that these verses were written regarding only the earliest period of Church history (AD 30-70)….

The New Testament was written regarding first-century realities.  It does not teach an expectation that all Christians are to suffer persecution for all time.  Even Jesus wasn’t persecuted as much as some with the persecution mindset say Christians should be…

Jesus was beloved of sinners, and even the government leaders found no fault in Him (see Matt. 27:23-24)…..”

Chapter Points

The New Testament verses about persecution applied to specific people and circumstances historically, and they are not to be read as statements that apply to all people for all time.

In their historical context, these verses tell us about the intense persecution Christians faced leading up to the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem.

Though persecution has always existed, we should not expect it, call it evidence of the radical Christian life, or believe it is the “seed bed” of Christianity.

Much of the persecution that Jesus and the early Church experience happened at the hands of the religious leaders.

When Jesus said to deny yourself, He was talking to potential converts (not believers), telling them about the cost of being His followers and the scorn it would bring upon them in that day.

Taken from pages 177-182 Raptureless Third Edition by Jonathan Welton

Do you see it ?

Does this bother anyone else ?

The more I investigate preterism….the more I see how destructive it is to the very foundations of the faith.  It is a virus that eats away at the Word of God and the Voice of the Holy Spirit.  It minimizes the nature of the Word and exalts the mind of man. We need to start holding these teachers and supporters of preterism accountable for their man-centered philosophies and intellectual exercises. Do you agree ?

 

A Description of the Last Days Church

In the 1870’s, George N.H. Peters made a list describing the church of the last days: the preminence of human reasoning and philosophy over the authority of Scripture, a bloodless gospel,grand plans of reform, erasure of judgment etc.., It is amazing how much insight men, who give themselves over to the Living Word and the authority of Scripture, can gain.

Here is the list.  Words in bold are my doing.

 

  1. A large class of Christians will then exist in self-righteousness and self-sufficiency, and with a large and commanding influence.
  2. A condition repulsive to the Lord Jesus; human reason will be exalted, reform takes the place of repentance, morality supersedes piety, sin is covered over, benevolence displaces the wrath of God, and the sacrifice of Jesus is explained awayA bloodless gospel will be preached varnished over with humanitarianism to make it popular.
  3. A church boastful of, reliant upon, it’s great wealth and ability to honor and magnify itself in the eyes of the world.
  4. Material prosperity, worldly policy, large endowments, dreams of extended progress, lead to pride and self-confidence.
  5. A willful ignorance, and ignoring of heart-felt obedience, a lack of spiritual worship, a dependence upon ritualistic observances, a non-reliance upon the atonement of Christ, a dependence for safety and divine favor alone on the Fatherhood of God
  6. It is a body thoroughly permeated and controlled by humanitarian ideas, plans and reforms, while the distinctive doctrines of justifying faith in Christ, of an appropriation of his righteousness, of self-denial and holiness, are practically ignored, set aside, as unsuitable to its advanced enlightenment.