I can’t tell if partial preterism – the victorious or optimistic view of the end times- is the starting point of false teaching, the magnet which draws false teachers, or a little bit of both. I am finding eye-opening things concerning the sources and methods of its teachers.
Harold Eberle teaches that God is not omnipotent, omniscient, or omnipresent. He only takes the Bible “seriously”. He is not a “strict” creationist and examines theistic evolution in his NAR systematic theology. Also, man is not that bad and man is not separated from God due to Adam’s fall.
Jonathan Welton teaches that Jesus did not die in our place as a substitute, He did not pay the penalty for our sin, and did not receive the wrath of God. He believes in “created divinity”.
Both Eberle and Welton lie and distort the historical record throughout their books.
And now we come to the third host of the partial preterism virus…Martin Trench.
Read the following. Add it to what we know about Harold Eberle’s and Jonathan Welton’s teachings and let me know what you come up with. Feel free to contact me if you need more information on these books or authors.
Here are a few examples of what Martin Trench Teaches. Mr. Trench is the co-author of Victorious Eschatology A Partial Preterist View. Harold Eberle is the other co-author. I don’t know what to say other than…stop listening to these guys. Period.
“In Revelation, as well as the constellations previously mentioned, we see this picture of the “heavenly Jerusalem” and it has “twelve gates” (the twelve gates or houses of the zodiac) and each gate is a pearl (symbolizing the moon, who passes through each gate), there is a river of life (Aquarius), and there are twelve foundation stones – the same twelve stones that were in the High Priests breastplate – the 12 birth stones of the zodiac, and they are listed in reverse order from the usual order – that’s because they are symbolizing the Ages, which happen in reverse order to the monthly/annual order of the zodiac (that’s why its called the “PREcession of the Equinoxes and not the PROcession, because the zodiac go in a cycle one way each year, with each constellation providing one month, but they go through the Ages of the Great Year in exactly the opposite order) – that’s why we know for sure it is speaking of the Ages.
“Genesis speaks of Joseph having a dream of a ladder to heaven in which “the angels were ascending and descending”. To the ancients, each of the stars were represented by an angel (or vice versa). In one if CS Lewis’s Narnia books, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Eustice meets an angelic-like being who is a “star”; “In our world,” says Eustace, “a star is a huge ball of flaming gas.” Even in your world, my son,’ (says the Star), that is not what a star is, but only what it is made of.” – that is an idea from the ancient world. Stars are personified. The angels ascending and descending symbolize (at least in part) the constellations of the Ages ascending and descending. That sheds a bit more light on what Jesus meant when he said “you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man” (John 1:51) meaning – “it is with me – in my ministry, life, death, and resurrection – that one Age will descend, and a new Age will ascend – this is the cusp of the Ages, and a new Age is being born”.
Allegories are shown, like Jonah being swallowed by a “great fish” (Pisces) and kept in its belly for three days and nights, before being spat onto the land to bring God’s message to the people of Nineveh (non-Israelites) who then repent and receive his message – this is a foretaste of the Piscean Age, which was birthed in the death and resurrection of Jesus: “No sign will be given to this generation, except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights”, (Matthew 12:40), and which leads to God’s word being preached to all nations, (not just Israel) who will gladly accept the message. (Notice that it is the “sign” of Jonah – the story contains a “sign” a “symbol” an “allegory” in picture form).”
“Another allegory is seen in Jesus telling his disciples to “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters”. (Luke 22:10). It was very unusual to see a man carrying a bucket of water – it was a chore or job that was normally, in that culture, given to women and children. All through the Bible we see stories of women going to a well to fetch water. But they would see a man carrying water (symbolizing Aquarius) and they were to “follow him” and he would take them to a “house” and when they went, they entered an “upper room” where “everything will be prepared”. This allegorically and symbolically speaks of Jesus sending us into the Aquarian Age to be taken to a higher place to enjoy God’s feast which is prepared.”
The last 2,000+ years have been the New Covenant Age, or Age of Pisces. To be honest, the term “New Covenant Age” is the wrong way to put it – because although the Old Covenant came to an end in 70AD, the New Covenant continues on forever, even though this Age will come to an end. The New Covenant lasts forever because it is mediated by Jesus, who lives forever (Hebrews 7:25). But certainly, the current Age, (the Age of Pisces) does come to an end, and the New Covenant continues on in expanded growth into the next Age, because the New Covenant ushered in the “Kingdom of God” or “the reign of God’ or, as one translation puts it, “God’s New World and New Way of Living” (Good as New Translation).
God is progressively creating this new world and new way of living, and he is doing it through people. As people change, as people embrace God’s new world and new way of living, and come into greater and greater harmony with how things are truly supposed to be, so they become a positive influence upon their world, and like a small piece of yeast put into some dough, it gradually spreads with a life of its own and “leavens the whole batch” (Luke 13:21) or like a tiny seed planted in the ground, it gradually grows and becomes a fruitful tree and provides shelter for others, (Matthew 13:31-33). Just as the Universe continues to expand at the speed on light, so God’s kingdom continues to expand as his light shines forth more and more in and through the lives, beliefs, behavior, and influence of more and more people. We are collaborators in creation.
Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end
So, the term “New Covenant Age” is a misnomer, but the Age of Pisces will end, the Age which began with, and will culminate in – a miraculous catch of “fish”. We are living in a time when the Age of Pisces is descending and the Age of Aquarius is dawning. I have already pointed out (here) that Ages overlap for quite some period of time and it is difficult to put an exact time on when one Age has started and when the previous Age has finally, fully passed away, but by circa 2150AD, the Age of Pisces will have fully passed away and the Age of Aquarius will be the only ruling Age – however, Pisces is already “descending” and Aquarius is already “ascending” – changes are underway. So what does this next Age look like? As God’s kingdom continues to advance, and as more and more people are influenced by God’s new world which is emerging in our midst and his new way of living revealed in and through Jesus, what does it blossom into? There is much talk about the coming Aquarian Age both inside the Christian church, and outside of it in alternative spiritualities, in other religions, even in the secular world – everyone has their own take on what the coming Age looks like, and to be honest, some of those ideas have very little to do with Jesus, the scriptures, or the true nature of God. Some ideas are positively occult and superstitious – I’m not talking about those kind of ideas. I don’t see the coming Age as one where the streets will be full of occult bookshops and crystal ball gazers, all claiming to be part of the Aquarian Age.
I see the coming Age as one where all superstition, (including religious traditions which make the true message that Jesus brought of no effect – Mark 7:13) is laid aside and where people start to let God’s new way of living truly work in their lives – transforming, growing spiritually, becoming the people they were created to be – fully alive, fully loving, fully ‘human’, fully living out their true nature as image bearers of God, living by the meaning and spirit of the message of Jesus, and in so doing, changing the way they relate to the world around them so that this “new way of living” truly promotes the emergence of a “new world”. Imagine a world where it is common place, almost normal and taken for granted for people to have faith in an unconditionally loving, omnipresent Papa God, follow the teachings of Jesus regarding loving God and loving others, grow healthily in every way – physically, mentally, and spiritually, discover their gifts, talents and abilities and earn their living and live their life doing the things which make them come alive, where violence is seen as a primitive horror from the past, where all culture and styles of life are valued, (not a one-size-fits-all culture), and where God is honored, Jesus is followed, and people are loved and blessed in multiple ways, where businesses and politics and economics are run honestly and ethically, where ecology is valued, where the Sermon on the Mount is lived out. None of this is done by force, or by law, or certainly not by violence and war – its not one religion or one culture forcing itself on others and seeking to stamp all others out; rather, it is one presence (God) gradually changing lives and working in and through ALL cultures and people. However, I do also admit quite freely that God is the God of all creation. That he is at work in all the world, speaking to people from all backgrounds, beliefs, cultures and understandings and pushing all things towards a desired goal. There are many people and groups outside of the Christian church who do have some very accurate insights into the changing seasons and the coming Aquarian Age, and providing we stay grounded in a proper interpretive framework, we can and should listen to what people are “seeing” and use those insights as bridges to teach or introduce a deeper, more fuller, more Christ-centered understanding of these things. It seems to me that many Biblical prophecies point to what the condition of the world be be (still within time and space, not in some ‘eternal state’) as the kingdom of God continues to advance and expand – it indicates a time of universal fullness of the Spirit, peace, health, longevity, harmony and happiness:”
If our eyes were opened, to quote Elizabeth Barrat Browing – “Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes – The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries” – we would see that “ever bush is ablaze ” – Moses eyes were opened. He saw the blazing glory of that other world shining and burning in a non destructive way through the bush. But one day it will be as if heaven and earth merge into one – the whole universe suddenly evolves into an upgrade, as it is visible, tangibly, eternally infused with the life-force of God’s very self – the whole of creation is divinized, it becomes timeless, no longer subject to decay, because that is only a phenomena of time. And what about us? We have had this wonderful “Age-enduring life” in our “spiritual bodies” expressing our individual separateness still, to a certain extent. But now, we all become fully divinized as well. I don’t image that we will “lose ourselves” in God, but I think we will be fully God-realized, for want of a better term. I suppose there is a better term in theology, it called Theosis – the experience of being divinized by being so full in union with God, that the two are one – not just it principle, but in experience. That is when “the end shall come”.
Remember “the beginning, God”? Well, that was the start of time and the Ages. Now we are at “the end” and what will happen is that “God shall be All in All”. I just think that is absolutely mind boggling and fantastic. It’s like the ultimate happy ending. All is well that “ends” well – and all shall be well, because it will end well. Everything and everyone in all of creation will be alive and fully animated with the very presence of an unconditionally loving, joyfully peaceful, blissful Father God. For “then comes the End, when God shall be All, and in All”.
And so, in the Bible we see a plan – that All things originate in the One Eternal Original Source – God himself. And All things shall return to that Source, when God shall be All in All. And in between “Eternity Past” and “Eternity to Come” we see the creation of mater & time (and the Ages), God gradually and progressive working out his “Plan of the Ages”, God’s ever-advancing Kingdom growing and spreading until it culminates in the return of Jesus and the final judgment (final, because there is no more judgment, thereafter), or for those of us who die before that “End”, we immediately face out final judgment (Hebrews 9:27) bringing “Age-enduring life or Age-enduring punishment”, however that final “End” ushers in the Conclusion of the Ages, when time is no more, when the “eternal now” infuses and is experienced by all creation, and “then God shall be All in All”.”