A Voice in the
Wilderness

site navigation

free newsletter

January 10, 2006
October 17, 2006

Return to: 
Q/A's
Q/A Topics:
Preterist arguments

READER COMMENTS:
One of the things that always nagged at me, as for not understanding, when I first actually started reading the bible, was the sense of imminence. As I understand it, (and I am still a baby with regards to knowledge, I lag behind much more than I should at this point) Christ was crucified, came back in three days and stayed for 40, ascended, will come and take the believers (rapture), then will come back to reign on earth (when he comes as a lion). From what I understand/can tell we are between Christ's ascension and the rapture. I know that Christ has not reigned for 1000 years, along with quite a few other prophecies (some of which you mention under the preterism topic on the topic search).

VW ANSWER:
Exactly. Christ has not yet reigned for 1000 years. I've never gotten a straight answer from preterists about this. Not to mention, as you say, "quite a few other prophecies"....most noteworthy of which are the ones in Joel and Revelation dealing with earthquakes, and the killing off of most of earth's humanity...before Christ's 1000 year reign.

READER QUESTION:
However, I have stumbled upon some preterist arguments and they pointed out, among others, 2 Thes 1:4-10 and Mat 16:28 as proof that Christ said his return would be within this generation. These are verses that gave me pause when I first read them and made me think that I had missed something.

I still know that the other prophecies are not fulfilled, and that preterism doesn't quite fit, but how do I reconcile this to Jesus' statement? Is there some piece of the puzzle I have missed that would answer this?

VW ANSWER:
2Th1:4-10 does not give a timeframe. It speaks of retribution against those who persecute Believers. But puts it in the time-frame of "that day" (vs10) in the context of the occasion when "Jesus is revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels" (vs7) Does that not speak of yet -future- events, that which we understand from the rest of prophecy as being the time period following the rapture where the 70th week commences, and ends with the devastating judgements....whereupon satan is put into the pit, and Christ sets up His rule? Believers may not -see- 'now' that retribution, many thoughout history went to their graves without seeing Christ's justice upon them, as in some cases they died martyr deaths...but Christ -WILL- mete it out to them in due time. Many of them will also be made to "bow the knee" before the Believers they had persecuted. (Rev3:9) That passage does not support preterism.

Mt16:28 needs to be taken in context, remembering how the original Greek was not written with our present chapter/verse designations. So, the 'context'... if one reads vs 28; what is the very -next- verse? (17:1) What is that passage? The "transfiguration". And what do Peter, Jacob and John see? Jesus in all His Heavenly glory, chatting with Moses and Elijah. And I suspect that incident lends credence to something said in the upcoming March article about Heaven....that Heaven is right 'here'....only in a different 'dimension'.

The three saw Jesus, in His glory, talking with those who had gone on before, and then heard the Father's voice "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well please, Hear Him" (vs5) But this was going on -on- the 'mountain'. Heaven was right there, on that mountaintop. Isn't that what Jesus had said? They would see Jesus "in His kingdom"...and in those following verses, that's -exactly- what they saw. Jesus in Heaven. This, too, does not support 'preterism'. Yes?

READER FOLLOW-UP:
I went back and read the two verses, man, it is like I wasn't even reading it the first time. With 2Th1:6 says "6 since it is righteous judgment with God to repay with affliction those who trouble you" and then in "in that Day," I just assumed that it meant while they are still alive.

VW ANSWER:
Prior to Israel's kings, God warned Israel about "in that day" (when they would have kings) they will suffer the consequences of their lusts for a king. But then beginning with around Isaiah, there is a continual repetition of the phrase "in that day", speaking of this same thing. In the O.T., if you do a search with your software, you will also find "the day of Jehovah" ('day of the Lord', depending on what translation you are reading). In the N.T. it is "the day of...." Christ, judgment, wrath, our Lord Jesus Christ, Jesus, the Lord, God. And as I was just now doing a software search on this, to verify what I'm saying, I found it interesting how much the word "judgment" waaay far outnumbers all the rest combined. In the same way we have observed from time to time that Jesus spoke more of 'hell' than He did of 'Heaven'. The day of Jehovah, that day, the day of judgment. It is one of Scripture's primary messages, that -a- Day is coming when "God will judge the secrets of men" (Rom2:16) The "...resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust" (Ac24:15), the good to Life, the evil to judgment and everlasting abhorrence. (Dan12:2, Jn5:29) And "...each of us shall give account concerning himself to God." (Rom14:12)

READER COMMENTS:
I actually think I let the suggestion from the preterist argument I had read "lead me" in how I read it (that really doesn't sound like what I mean, but I can't quite come up with the exact way to say it). Not to put blame somewhere else, I should have been more cautious, but it goes to show the dangers of not being careful about what people say.

Also, with Mathew, I could just smack myself. The verse numbers did make my brain stop at the end of that passage and not continue on to get the full context.

VW ANSWER:
Don't feel 'alone' in this. This is also one reason I have disabled the 'paragraph' mark feature in my Online Bible software (it's easy to do, just delete/rename the "paragrap.map" file), and why the VW-edition does not have paragraph marks. Those standard ones come from the work of Matthew Henry, and I've often found they don't always line up with the true topical divisions. Another -man's- 'ideas' of what he thought it should be. Jesus spoke of every "jot and tittle" (Mt5:18) Paragraph marks add man's ideas to God's Word. Chapter and verse numbers I expect are a necessary evil to help us navigate. But this is also why I despise the so-called "study" Bibles, where some man has placed his own commentary interjected here and there, and why I also don't much care for those page 'summaries' that many Bibles put in the -header- area of each page. If such a header says, "David slings a stone at Goliath", that is relatively innocuous. But I've seen some where the compilers add their own doctrinal 'twist'; e.g. some passage talking about Israel's future restoration in the O.T. the compiler might put something about the "church" in the header area. Thus, the best is to find a Bible without any added stuff. But if one's edition has the stuff, to try to ignore it, and read -just- the 'text'.

No. Don't beat yourself up over this. I dare say that many do this, often relying on the notes of 'men' (interjected into the text) for their understanding. Kinda the old concept, "If it's in print, it must be true". -smile-

[Top]


Preterism: Kingdom already here? Whose name?

VW COMMENTS:
To those who believe in preterism...that there is "no millennium", because we are allegedly -already- IN the "kingdom" and you poo-poo any concepts of "dispensationalism"

Here are some Scriptures you may have missed...?

    2Ti 2:12 If we endure, we shall also REIGN WITH HIM. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.
    Re 20:6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no authority, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall REIGN WITH HIM a THOUSAND YEARS.
Let's see... "millennium" == "1000 years" Did you see "thousand years" in that Scripture? (And don't give that worn-out retort that Revelation isn't part of the Scriptures. You don't get to pick-n-choose what God -gave- us. Check out: Rev22:19)

You say all Scripture prophecy -has- been fulfilled?

When was Ac1:11 fulfilled? "this SAME Jesus...will so come IN LIKE MANNER as you have seen Him go into Heaven"

When did that happen?

    "And His feet shall stand in that day on the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall split in two, from the east even to the west, a very great valley. And half of the mountain shall move toward the north, and half of it toward the south" (Ze14:4)

    Tit 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

When did that happen?
    Isa 40:4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked places shall be made level, and the rough places a plain;
    Re 16:20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
When did that happen?
    Joel2:30 And I will show signs in the heavens and in the earth: blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of Jehovah.
    Isa 13:13 Thus I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall move out of its place, in the wrath of Jehovah of Hosts, and in the day of His fierce anger.
When did that happen?
    Re 9:18 By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed; by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths.
    Re 6:8 So I looked, and behold, a pale green horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed behind him. And authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.
When did that happen?
    Re 16:9 And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has authority over these plagues; and they did not repent to give Him glory.
When did that happen? (AlGore has no clue as to what's coming!)
    Isa 65:25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, says Jehovah.
When did that happen?
    Is9:6 For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Strong and Mighty God, The Eternal Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace upon the throne of David there will be no end; and upon His kingdom, to order it and to establish it with judgment and with justice from now on, even forever. The zeal of Jehovah of Hosts will accomplish this.
When did that happen?

If Jesus is ruling on the "throne of David" in peace, -where- is He? Right now the unbeliever Olmert is ruling in Israel and his predecessor is still in a coma for disobedience. Right now the temple mount is inhabited by idolatry to the moon god, and anything representing the Almighty is not allowed.

Furthermore, of that day Scripture says that the nations will be streaming to Jerusalem for Messiah to "teach us His ways" (Is2:3, Mic4:2) But instead of learning of Jehovah, the nations are presently proclaiming, "Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more. For they have consulted together with one heart; they covenant an alliance against You:" (Ps83:4-5)

    Isa 2:4 And He shall judge among the nations and shall rebuke many people. And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, nor shall they learn war anymore.
When did that happen?

Right now the world is embroiled in war, and preparations for it. NKorea, China, Iran, Iraq, Georgia, Israel, Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt (is also getting into nukes...they -say- for 'energy' needs...but so is Iran. But the US is helping Egypt with theirs, but not Iran..? Egypt is no friendlier to Israel than Iran is!) And while claiming to be Israel's friend, the US is arming Fatah, Israel's enemy. All we see right now is "swords and spears"!

It is -NOT- Christ's 'peaceable kingdom' at present.

And there's more that could be quoted. But these should be enough to make this point. Giving any more won't soften hard hearts.

Is there any understanding?


In conjunction with militantly promoting these false doctrines, some complain that my name isn't splattered all over the place (like most others do, often for personal recognition and fame), as they taunt that I pretend to be proclaiming God's Word, when it doesn't agree with their own "twistings" of Scripture (2Pet3:16)...but that these mailings and website writings are of my own imaginations, thus (they say) I should attach my name and claim "proper credit" for them (my alleged 'false' teachings), since they are allegedly (according to them) not God's Word.

No! The messenger does not usually get his name plastered all over the place. Indeed, Gabriel identified himself when Zacharias did not initially accept/believe the message, and made him mute until John was born. (Lk1:19) But I am no angel! Gabriel's mission was special. He had come directly from beside God's throne with the message of the one who would "prepare" the way before His Son, Jesus Christ. I would not knowingly bow to any angel, as John did. But neither am I 'anybody'. I am still flesh and blood, in this body of corruption. It is not proper for my name to be attached to proclamations of God's message. Peter, Paul and Judas attached their names to their epistles. But John the beloved did not; he was proclaiming "that which was from the beginning...the Word of Life" (1Jn1:1) So, who am I to presume to do so?

However! Neither am I going to cave under pressure, roll over, play dead and deny my Lord, by agreeing with the detractors, as though what is proclaimed here was not God's Word... it is.

The -other- John, when asked, would not cave in to demands as to his identity, but said he was "...the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight" (Jn1:23) "He must increase, but I must decrease..." (Jn3:30)

    "...their sound has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world"

    "...How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him bringing good tidings"

Voices, sounds and feet do not have names.

If -you- deny God's Word now, you (you know who you are) -will- stand before Him in that day to give answer for yourself. I could really care less what you think of PB; I will "give account" concerning myself before the Lord; Jesus Christ is the one to whom I must answer, He is the one who called me (Ezk2:3-8); I am "dust" (Ps103:14) just like you are; and He knows my name, which is written in His Book, and that is sufficient. Is yours? "Even so, Amen!" (Rev1:7)

Perhaps I sometimes use too many 'personal' examples and accounts of what's being taught? Well, Paul did so, too. Ezekiel was commissioned to act out in front of the people to illustrate (object lesson) the prophecies he was proclaiming. He was a -man-, illustrating God's message. And it seems to help some people understand things better; and I'm not too proud, but what I can drag the occasional skeleton out of the closet to illustrate how God works in a life that was messed up; I'm not some perfect thing here, sitting on a high horse.

But don't you be worrying about me, as to whether everybody knows my name, or not... This is not "Cheers"! (for you non-Americans, a TV sitcom that used to run years ago set around a bar in Boston; the theme music "where everybody knows your name") Don't -you- be balking against GOD'S WORD. You -will- give account concerning -yourself- before the Lord, for what -you- did with -His- Word. (Pr30:6, Rev22:18-19) It is -your- eternal soul in the balances.

Yes, yes, I know, I know... such "hate" and sarcasm...! Well, I suppose...hate for anything that twists the Scriptures.

    Ps 119:104 Through Your Precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.
Oh...! and by the way... Does not preterism teach that all prophecy was fulfilled by 70AD? Think of the passages listed above, each followed by the question "when did that happen?" ... Most every one of them is re-iterated in some fashion, in the 'future' tense, in the book of Revelation, which John didn't write until around the 90s AD. That's 20 years -after- their alleged 'fulfillment'?? (fingers to the head) Hmmm!

Amen!

[Top]


Hebrew Roots Denies Rapture

INTRODUCTION:
The following is a forward from a Hebrew roots person to one of VW's subscribers, to which they wanted a reaction/response from me:

    HEBREW ROOTS:
    I have done much study over the past several months and the Lord has been pealing the scriptures back like a scroll. I have found that there is little basis for most of the dispensational doctrines that have been taught and really no basis for the rapture doctrine. I know this probably shocks you that I would say that and I’m sure you probably think that I’m off my rocker but the great ‘falling away’ after the ‘birthpangs’ of Matt. 24 I believe, will be by a great multitude of those who are totally off-guard when they see or experience things they were told they would never have to. I know this is a message that is and will not be well received but I would rather have the people I love resent or reject me now than accuse me later of not warning them. There is much that we can prepare for. But for those who walk according to Gods ways, the ancient pathways (Jer. 6:16) they will be like a ‘warrior’s sword’ and the Lord of hosts will defend them (Zec9:13-14).
VW ANSWER:
He finds no basis for the Rapture? What does he think 1Th4:16-17 is about? Or Jn11:26, or 1Co15:51-52? Or what about 700 years prior to Noah's flood (7 periods/generations Gen15:13,16 of time) Enoch was raptured. (Gen5:24,Heb11:5) Elijah was taken up in a whirlwind (2Ki2:11)

Enoch was an example "like the days of Noah" (Mt24:37); and Enoch was raptured because he was a man of "faith". Is not Enoch an "ancient" enough "pathway"? But as for his quoting Zechariah....Israel, which today is yet in unbelief, -will- go through the 70th week. Israel is part of what the 70th week is all about. The prophecy is about... "Seventy weeks are decreed regarding your people, and regarding your holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make atonement for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Holy of Holies." (Dan9:24)

Who are Daniel's people? Israel. What is the holy city? Jerusalem.

Do you remember the "Covenants & Dispensations" series, which we re-ran some months ago last year?

In that he talks about the great "falling away" and many experiencing things they weren't expecting to....he is quite correct. Most of the [c]hurch today is not -Christ's- [C]hurch. Yes, many of them proclaim the rapture...but not being in the Faith, they will not be experiencing that which they have been proclaiming. They are those Jesus speaks of "Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many works of power in Your name?" (Mt7:22) and His response: "And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who work out lawlessness!" (vs23)

That's the whole thing we proclaim here regularly, reminding people that it is only a "few" who are making it...who TRULY -KNOW- the Lord. (Mt7:13-14) I expect your brother is reacting to all those "many" who are on the "broad way" to destruction. They, indeed, will miss out. And rather than it being like that movie "Left Behind" suggests, it is not going to be "whole communities" being raptured....but it is going to be lone individuals here and there. Like we've said before, for most churches, if the rapture happens at service time when they are meeting in their mega-complexes, for the most part in most of them, nobody will notice that anything happened, because they are 'all' unbelievers...from the janitors and espresso vendors, up to the platform and the worship leaders and pastors. They are not Christ's sheep, do not know His voice, and thus will not be responding when He calls at the rapture. (Jn10:3,27)

On the other hand....if your brother is truly a Believer, he will be surprised when he is raptured, when he wasn't expecting it. But, I find it hard to believe that a person, who claims to be having Scripture "pealed back", to be coming to the conclusions he is. There is only one Holy Spirit, and there is only one truth and one faith. (Eph4:4-6) He is doing as many do: confusing what is written to/about Israel, and applying it to the Church.

And this is what Paul says, "For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, that you not be wise within yourselves, that hardness (blindness kjv) in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles comes in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;" (Rom11:25-26)

Perhaps that is why he is blind to the truth? Stay tuned for more on this topic in the February article.

[Top]


Return to: Q/A's