Apostolic Council on Eschatology, NAR Preterism, and Another Gospel

A day after C. Peter Wagner died, I noticed a Facebook post by Jim Wies.  Here is what it said…

“At the apostolic summit tonight, the spirit of prophecy filled the place in a profound way, and the Lord declared that on this day when Dr. C. Peter Wagner passed on to his reward, God has raised up a theologian to carry on the legacy of shaping the theological perspective of what Dr. Wagner declared to be the New Apostolic Reformation. So then leadership blessed Jonathan Welton and prayed for a new mantle.”

And then there was a picture of Jonathan Welton surrounded by others, being prayed for.

Read my blog to find information on Welton and his teachings…but first let me give you a quote from Jonathan Welton’s FB page from yesterday,

“You are an ambassador and citizen of heaven. You have the fullness of the Godhead in you. You are not to live merely as a human. Yet we must not forget that we live in an active warzone with a rebellious defeated enemy that won’t quit fighting.”

Combine that with what I wrote about last week (here is the quote from his book Understanding the Whole Bible) and what do you get ??

“Clement of Alexandria, one of the early Church fathers, described the atonement this way: “The Logos of God had become man so that you might learn from a man how a man may become God.” Similarly, the third century theologian, Origen, wrote, “From Christ began the union of the Divine with the human nature in order that the human, by communion with the Divine, might rise and also become Divine.” Athanasius, a significant father within the Eastern Orthodox Church, had a grasp of the incarnation and an understanding of God apart from the Platonism that muddled Augustine’s thinking. About the incarnation, he wrote, “The Word was made man so that we might be made God.”

Quotes like these can sound scary to a lot of people. It sounds too much, perhaps, like claiming to be God. However, our participation in the divine nature is really important to our identity as the Bride of Christ, because Christ needs to marry an equal. This, of course, does not mean we become God. The Trinity, the Godhead, is uncreated divinity, self-existing, eternal, always omnipresent and omnipotent. The Godhead is unique and will never be replicated. However, as the Bride of Christ, we become “created divinity”. God incarnated to help humans become incarnate…”

I don’t have much to say about Jonathan Welton anymore.  He says enough on his own.

There are other members of this Apostolic Council on Eschatology that is propelling Jonathan Welton into the position of theologian for the NAR.

Martin Trench is on the council. (please see my post Victorious Eschatology An Example of Roots or Results) New Age guru and professional in building mega-churches.

Joe Mcintyre is on the council.  Here is part of a Facebook post he put up today…

“There is no gospel of salvation. Salvation is just one aspect of the Kingdom. Father is not trying to get us to heaven, He is determined to bring heaven to earth.

God has demonstrated His power in raising Jesus from the dead and enthroning Him with all authority in heaven and on EARTH!

The gospel of the kingdom is not about getting to heaven. It’s about demonstrating the goodness of God to the inhabitants of this earth and inviting them to accept our King.”

Matthew Hester is on the council.  Check out his Dominion Mandate/Manifesto on his DominionChurch.net site…Here is a small quote on his beliefs…

“The word “eklessia” means “those who are called out to rule!” This describes who we are. Theologians differ over how much of the planet will be totally subdued before the Lord comes back. That should not be our concern. Our concern should be that we are headed in that direction, flowing in our dominion assignment, knowing that He is coming back to a battle-tested, obedient Bride (Rev 19:6-7). When He comes we will become immortal and remain on the earth to rule and reign with Him. Until then, we have work to do. Psa 110:1 and Acts 3:21 tells us that we are to subdue the enemies of Christ and present them at His feet to be His footstool!

Our Dominion Assignment addresses 3 major areas of human life:

  1. We are to bring the Gospel to fallen individuals
  2. We are to bring redemption to fallen institutions (family, church, economic order, civil government)
  3.  We are to bring rebellious spirits under  Christ’s authority. This will happen city by city and nation by nation.

J.D. King is on the council.  Here is an excerpt from his October 18th blog.

“If men are by essence evil, then Jesus who was without sin was not really a man. The Bible declares,“it was necessary for Jesus to be made in every respect like us” (Hebrews 2:17). Some overleverage the Lord’s virgin birth to solve this conundrum. Their argument is that since Jesus’ humanity only stems from Mary, He avoided the imputation of sin – because it is supposedly passed through the earthly father. I certainly adhere to the truth of the virgin birth, but I think that it’s sometimes twisted to make Jesus into a different sort of man. It’s difficult to argue that Jesus genuinely represents humanity if He wasn’t truly like us in every way.

Let me get down to my underlying point. We live in a desperately fallen world where there is a vicious propensity toward sin. With the single exception of Jesus, everyone ultimately becomes the embodiment of this corruption. However, that is not because of biology or ancestry. It is because of our own deplorable choices.

Nevertheless, sin isn’t our essence. It is a tragic degradation of God’s design! It is the failure to live up to who we were made to be. Through our own foolish acts of defiance, we have fallen short of the glory (Romans 3:23).

Keep in mind that the problem is not with Adam. It’s with you.”

There are other members. You can check it out here. http://www.endtimecouncil.com/

I am worried about where this is going.  It is not good. Sound the alarm.  There is a connection between preterism/partial, and its teachers, and  the “heaven to earth” message and the NAR.

The sad part is how many people just accept stuff.  Don’t say a word. Never protest or check.

Are we asleep ?  or do we just not care anymore ?

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

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 ?

 

Preterism and Reality

J. N. D. Kelly, who was Principal of St. Edmund Hall at Oxford and was an authority on the theology and thoughts of the Church fathers, wrote the following.

“Four chief moments dominate the eschatological expectation of early Christian theology – the return of Christ, known as the Parousia, the resurrection, the judgment, and the catastrophic ending of the present world-order.”

Here they are again…..

1.The return of Christ, known as the Parousia

2. The resurrection

3. The judgment

4. The catastrophic ending of the present world-order

If the destruction of the temple in 70AD was so important (Jonathan Welton teaches that it is equivalent to the virgin birth, the cross, and the resurrection) then why was it not a part of the eschatological expectation/fulfillment of the Church fathers? Why didn’t they write about it or explain its significance?

This great major event (again up there with the cross, the virgin birth and the resurrection) is never explained or talked about in New Testament letters or by Polycarp, or Iranaeus, or Justin Martyr or Cyprian or Hyppolytus or Barnabus or Clement or Ignatius or Papias or Tertullian and on and on.

(phew thank you Lord that they remembered to write about redemption, the cross, the antichrist and the 1,000 year reign, upon the earth, of Jesus Christ)

You want to know about redemption? Read just about any letter or gospel in the New Testament or Iranaeus or Polycarp or Tertullian or….

You want to understand the cross? Read just about any letter or gospel in the New Testament or Clement or Justin Martyr or….

The resurrection? You get the point.

You want to read or study about the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD and how essential it is to the Christian faith or even eschatology?

Oh…..well you can follow modern day teachers who take obscure passages, then allegorize where they need to, and then add man-centered philosophy; or you can join their Supernatural Online Bible Schools…But don’t bother going to the Word of God because you won’t find what you are looking for. Don’t investigate the early church either because they never mentioned it.

In fact….there is no celebration of 70AD and the erasure of the Old Covenant (finally) by anyone in the early church.  Not one leader of the early church told us how happy they were to be free from the Old Covenant temple leaders and system.  No one expressed their gratitude to Jesus Christ that the priests and the people that remained in Jerusalem were slaughtered and finally removed. No Church father mentioned Jesus Christ returning in the clouds (in judgment) over Jerusalem.  Silence…..

Why ?

Because they were busy writing and teaching about the cross…redemption…judgment…resurrection..the antichrist….the 1,000 year reign of Jesus Christ…the dark days that would come at the final end of the age….!

The Apostle John, who lived for 30 years after the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, never wrote about its importance or earth shattering relevance. He never spoke of the Old Covenant and the New Covenant co-existing for 40 years.  He never cried out in joy over the death and destruction that took place as though it was some amazing, wonderful, event that Christians had been waiting for.

Did we need to wait 1900 years…

to finally have teachers smart enough to take obscure passages

and mix in a bunch of allegory

and philosophical fluff to see the light?

Come on.

Preterism is a philosophy.

A worldview that removes judgment and tells the church that the world is getting better all the time.

Hip Hip Hooray !

Listening to a teacher of preterism is like going to a football game

and only watching the cheerleaders

and then claiming that it was the greatest game you have ever seen

but you don’t know what the final score was or who won.

OH WAIT.

Sorry.

The Apostle John does have something to say about preterism.

“Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.”

1 John 5:21

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.