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 ?

 

 

 

 

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 ?

 

Harold Eberle and Jonathan Welton or Pride and Poor Martin Luther…Two Book Reviews

Father-Son Theology review (from amazon.com)

If you have been waiting for a systematic theology tome (maybe tomb), which is based upon open theism, preterism, theistic evolution and humanism then this is for you. If you want to learn that people aren’t that bad and we may have come from apes then here is your foundational manual. The author tries so hard to prove how outside of the box his magnum opus is, that he forgets to actually focus on the Scriptures themselves. I wanted to return the book out of anger but am now using it to teach others what to avoid. One endorser of the book compared the author to Martin Luther and John Calvin. Parts of the charismatic church (and I am a charismatic) are in deep trouble. This is not a systematic theology. It’s a guidebook for false teachers. Endorsers of this book and those who further it’s influence are worshipping the mind of man over the revelation of God. Here is a quote from page 17, so you understand where the author is coming from.


“Instead of identifying my use of the Bible with either inerrancy or infallibility, I will use terminology that has recently become popular among Bible teachers who hold to the validity of Scriptures. I take the Bible seriously.”      

Beware.

Raptureless review (from amazon.com)

Here is a quote from the book Raptureless……

“The destruction of Jerusalem, the Temple, and the priesthood is a major part of understanding the gospel of Jesus Christ. To not understand the significance of the AD 70 destruction is to miss a major component of the redemption story. The destruction of Jerusalem is akin to the virgin birth, the cross, and the resurrection. I know that is a huge statement, but I believe it is absolutely true. Even though many Christians have not been taught about this event, it is still an essential component.”

Another statement that shows the root (pride) of the book is when the author compares Darby and Dispensationialism to Mary Baker Eddy and Christian Science, Joseph Smith and Mormonism, Charles Taze Russell and Jehovah Witnesses, and Swedenborg and Unitarianism. Very, very, sad.

The events of 70AD were an amazing fulfillment of a prophecy of our Lord. Amazingly accurate. It had nothing to do with the New Covenant or the Gospel. To say that it did borders on heresy. Just like Nebuchadnezzar destroying Solomon’s Temple in 586 BC during the time of bondage, Rome destroyed the Temple. God has always dealt with Israel based upon their connection to His centralized presence (whether it’s a tent of meeting or a temple). There was no need for a Temple anymore (yay) and His spirit had been poured out on all flesh. So what had happened before (at the hands of Babylon) happened again at the hands of Rome. That’s it. What does that have to do with the Gospel ? Nothing. My salvation is complete in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Period. If the Temple in Jerusalem STILL existed and sacrifices were STILL being offered, my salvation would STILL be complete. If anyone hints of adding anything to the Gospel (even if they do it ignorantly) it borders on heresy. Herod’s Temple did not contain the Ark of the Covenant, the Urim and Thummim, the holy fire, or the holy oil. Judgment fell on the Temple during the Babylonian captivity. The Matthew 24 prophecy about the destruction of the temple was an amazing  sign to Israel at that time, and proof of our Lord’s Office for future believers.

If you noticed, the common complaint against the book seems to be connected to the authors pride. If you go to his website, you will see that he refers to himself as an “iconoclast” and states that his teachings are as important to the modern Church as Martin Luthers were to the Church of the 16th Century.

One tool that preterists use is what I call “forcing the half truth”. When someone has the office of a teacher, claims to be a prophet, or writes a book and they are Christian – I don’t want them to “force the half truth”. It is lying. It is deceptive. This book is full of such lies and deceptions. Some people do it by ignorance. Some do it on purpose to sell books or found a ministry. Let me give you a few examples having to do with the book Raptureless.

The events of 70 AD are historical fact. The fulfillment of our Lords words are historically verified. Just because someone (whether a historian or preacher) states that Christ’s prophecy was fulfilled does not mean that they are a preterist. They may still believe in a millennial reign on earth of our Lord, or a coming Antichrist, or an apostasy. What Mr. Welton does is quote partially to prove his “optimistic or victorious” view.


Eusebius was a historian. Quoting him on the fulfillment of the Lord’s prophecy proves nothing.
Josephus was a historian. Quoting him on the fulfillment of the Lord’s prophecy proves nothing.


John Chrysostom. He quotes him about the fulfillment of our Lord’s prophecy but he’s not a preterist. Here is a quote from him which shows he didn’t share the “optimistic or victorious” viewpoint. He believed in an apostasy and an antichrist etc.., This is from his commentary on 2 Thessalonians.

Ver. 3, 4. “Let no man beguile you in any wise: for it will not be, except the falling away come first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, he that opposes and exalts himself against all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he sits in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God.”

Here he discourses concerning the Antichrist, and reveals great mysteries. 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. From Matthew 24:24 And he calls him “the man of sin.” For he shall do numberless mischiefs, and shall cause others to do them. But he calls him “the son of perdition,” because he is also to be destroyed. 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 exalts himself against all that is called God or is worshipped.” For he will not introduce idolatry, but will be a kind of opponent to God; 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.


Welton says John Wesley believed in the “optimistic or victorious” eschatology. Wesley, in his notes on Matthew 24, speaks of the amazing fulfillment of our Lord’s words. Then he tells of what is still future. Wesley was not a preterist. Here is what he said about Matthew 24:29-

“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.”

Charles Spurgeon ? Again not a preterist.  Here is what he actually thought concerning preterism in a book review of one of the important preterist works. Capitalization is mine.

“The second coming of Christ according to this volume had its fulfilment in the destruction of Jerusalem and the establishment of the gospel dispensation. That the parables and predictions of our Lord had a more direct and exclusive reference to that period than is generally supposed, we readily admit; but we were NOT PREPARED for the assignment of all references to a second coming in the New Testament, and even in the Apocalypse itself, to SO EARLY a fulfilment. All that could be said has been said in support of this theory, and much more than ought to have been said. In this the REASONING FAILS. In order to concentrate the whole prophecies of the Book of Revelation upon the period of the destruction of Jerusalem it was needful to assume this book to have been written prior to that event, although the earliest ecclesiastical historians agree that John was banished to the isle of Patmos, where the book was written, by Domitian, who reigned after Titus, by whom Jerusalem was destroyed. Apart from this consideration, the compression of all the Apocalyptic visions and prophecies into so narrow a space REQUIRES more INGENUITY and STRENGTH than that of MEN and ANGELS COMBINED. Too much stress is laid upon such phrases as ‘The time is at hand,’ ‘Behold I come quickly,’ whereas many prophecies of Scripture are delivered as present or past, as ‘unto us a child IS born,’ &c., and ‘Surely he HATH borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.’ Amidst the many comings of Christ spoken of in the New Testament that which is spoken of as a second, must, we think, be personal, and thus similar to the first; and such too must be the meaning of ‘his appearing.’ Though the author’s theory is carried too far, it has so much of truth in it, and throws so much new light upon obscure portions of the Scriptures, and is accompanied with so much critical research and close reasoning, that it can be injurious to none and may be profitable to all.”

Half truths pushed as truth. I will stop because it gets embarrassing.

In the book, Mr. Welton states that the “optimistic or victorious” viewpoint has been the view of the Church since it’s beginning. He says that the belief in an antichrist, an apostasy, and the 1,000 year earthly reign of Christ are modern inventions. I challenge you and anyone else to see if that is true.
Check out—–
Justin Martyr’s Dialogue with Trypho
Polycarp on the antichrist
Didache 16
Epistle of Barnabas 4:1-5
The Ascension of Isaiah
Iranaeus of Lyons
Cyprian
Valentinus
Nepos
Papias
Methodius
Hyppolytus
Lactantius and on and on.

None of them believed in an “optimistic or victorious” viewpoint. They all believed that the events of 70 AD happened. Some of them lived at that time. But they also all believed in a coming antichrist or an end times apostasy or the earthly 1,000 year reign of Christ.

The “optimistic or victorious” eschatological viewpoint sounds great. In fact it sounds so great that it couldn’t be wrong. Plus, Christian teachers or writers should be trusted right ? Many don’t investigate.

90% of people who defend books like Raptureless are just parroting.

All victory and optimism is found in the Cross. That’s what we glory in !!

Not That Raptureless Book Again Part Six

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 day the rest of Matthew 24 would happen.  Now back to John Chrysostom. Here is the quote from the Raptureless book.

“You will preach everywhere …. Then he added, “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and the end will come.” The sign of this final end time will be the downfall of Jerusalem. —John Chrysostom”’

Now….if we are to believe the author of Raptureless, this proves that John Chrysostom was saying that Matthew 24 was fulfilled in 70AD and that nothing in that chapter would take place in the future.   The fact is that John Chrysostom did believe that Jesus’ prophecy on the destruction of the Temple was amazingly fulfilled.  But he also had much more to say if you just keep reading.  Here is a portion of what he says…..

“But mark how here He says nothing of war (for He is interpreting the doctrine concerning His advent), but of them that attempt to deceive. For some in the days of the apostles deceived the multitude, for they shall come, says He, and shall deceive many; Matthew 24:11 and others shall do so before His second coming, who shall also be more grievous than the former. For they shall show, He says, signs and wonders, so as to deceive if possible the very elect: Matthew 24:24 here He is speaking of Antichrist, and indicates that some also shall minister to him. Of him Paul too speaks on this wise. Having called him man of sin, and son of perdition, He added, Whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders; and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10

There is more on his comments on Matthew 24 that shows his belief in a future Antichrist and a time of great distress but this is enough. And… no… I am not giving a partial quote to manipulate you. I just believe that sometimes enough is enough. John Chrysostom actually connects Matthew 24 (after explaining how Jesus’ prophecy on the destruction of the Temple was fulfilled) with the time right before the Second Coming, AND includes the Antichrist, AND connects it to the writings of Paul ! A quick side note….remember to the preterist there is no Antichrist because it’s the spirit of Gnosticism. Well….one of the Heroes For An Optimistic Future disagrees.

Guess what ? I could write the same type of article on John Wesley, Charles Spurgeon, Thomas Newton and……enough is enough.  The danger with this type of book or even the type of writer or teacher that propagates this line of teaching is that they are teaching a philosophy NOT an eschatology. They throw in buzzwords like “optimistic” and “victorious” and make their hearers feel faithless or religious if they don’t agree or have questions concerning certain claims.  Their followers parrot what they are taught ( or tell you to read Raptureless) without checking the facts (biblical or historical) because of how the “philosophy” makes them feel.

Let me ask you a question….

If you can’t trust a teacher or writer on such an easily verified claim or quote as this (and many more)….

then how can you trust them on the shaping of your eschatological beliefs or Biblical view ?

Optimistic Eschatoloy….Fantasy or Reality ?

1.  If the Book of Revelation was written after 70AD, then Optimistic Eschatology loses its foundation. History points to a 90AD to 95AD authorship. The majority of scholars agree. If your whole house loses its foundation based upon the dating of one book, then maybe you have built upon a faulty foundation ?

2.The optimistic eschatologist “leads” you to believe that the Greek word “ge” is only used to refer to a local inhabited civilization or to the land of a particular nation. They need this definition to be accepted so they can “prove” that the Book of Revelation and 2 Peter 3:10 refer to Jerusalem and Israel in 70AD.

Here are two of at least 150 clear examples that “ge” refers to much more than a local civilization.

1 Corinthians 10:26 “ For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.”

Hebrews 1:10  “ Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:”

The Greek word “ge” can refer to a specific location.  For example

Matthew 2:21  “And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.”

But do you see the difference ? The context determines how to determine what “ge” is referring to. In the Matthew passage they are leaving Egypt and entering the land of Israel.  “Ge” is obviously referring to one local inhabited civilization to another.

Now look at 2 Peter 3.  The whole chapter speaks of creation and the judgment of the flood.  Neither of those were local events.  Only someone practicing eisegesis could come to the conclusion that Peter was writing about 70AD.  Eisegesis  is the transferring of one’s own opinion, bias, or filter upon a passage of Scripture.  It is actually a form of control and manipulation. Apply the same principle to the usage of the Greek word “ge” to the Book of Revelation and you will understand that it is written for the whole church, throughout the whole earth, for all of our days, until the consummation of all things.

3.  Optimistic eshcatologists need you to believe that Nero was the antichrist so that the events of the Book of Revelaton fit into their 70AD timeline.  Nero died on June the 9th in 68AD.  Vespasian was the actually Emperor who lived during the events of 70AD.   His son Titus oversaw the sacking and destroying of Jerusalem.  So why do they claim Nero was the Antichrist ? Because they need him to be.  Optomistic eschatologists  use a form of historical eisegesis to get this one to work.  They force their filter upon history combined with bits of the Bible.  Some in the early church expected Nero to come back from the dead and reign as the antichrist.  Nero was a shadow of the antichrist.  Just like Antiochus Epiphanes was.  Or Hitler.  He was definitely evil but did not come near to fulfilling anything expected of the antichrist.

4.  Mathew 24:34 “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”  Optimistic eschatologists need a generation to be 40 years so that this verse and all of the Olivet discourse and the Book of Revelation applies to the people living in the days preceding 70AD. A generation is never defined as 40 years.  It could be 70 or 38.  Or 116 or 52.  The point is that deciding a generation is 40 years is another form of eisegesis. Forcing your filter, view or bias on a passage.  Did the generation that was alive in 70 AD experience Mattew 24:30,31 ?

“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.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.”

If they did then there is no return of the Lord for this generation or even the next.  The Second Coming already took place.

5.  Optimistic eschatologists distort the historical record.  The belief in the antichrist (future and personal) was in the early church.  There is no reference to 70AD in any way other than as a fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy. There is no “chatter” among the church fathers of all the amazing things that happened and were fulfilled by the destruction of Jerusalem.  Chiliasm (the belief in a future 1,000 year reign of the returned Lord upon the actual earth) was the predominant view.  The Roman Catholic Church began killing chiliasts systematically in later years. The Roman Church needed to eradicate those who believed in the return and rule of Christ, because it conflicted with its elevation of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church to a place of dominion over the earth.

The oldest known complete commentary that we have from the early church is Hippolytus’ Commentary on the Book of Daniel (210 A.D.) In that commentary, the future reign of Christ on earth is discussed.  Hippolytus also wrote of a future desolation by a coming antichrist and compared it to the desecration committed by Anitochus Epiphanes. He also referred to “the final week of the world”.

Tertullian (160AD to 220) even commented on the two witnesses in Revelation 11 and said,

“Enoch was translated and so was Elijah. They did not experience death because it was postponed.  They have been reserved for the suffering of death, so that by their blood they may extinguish the Antichrist.