What is Preterism and why it matters right now Part II
Updated: Oct 23, 2022
Part 1 ended like this:
"Preterism, the belief that Daniel’s 70 weeks are contiguous, is an error. There IS a gap, and God never lies! But it presents an even greater, unseen threat in this hour . . it will be . . a cliffhanger! SEE YOU IN PART 2!"
WHAT IS PRETERISM AND WHY IT MATTERS RIGHT NOW . . PART II
“waiting for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,” (Titus 2:13 LSV)
In an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press", (see it here: https://youtu.be/bDk8w-LNxHk ) Doug Wilson, pastor of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho begins with this sentence: "I believe that what's happening in Moscow is a microcosm of what's happening all across the country."
Of course NBC's intention was to frame an argument that Christian Nationalism is a clear and present danger to the United States. Never mind wide-open borders, inflating the dollar into worthlessness, the unfettered burning and pillaging of cities and men wanting to use the women's bathroom, the thing to be feared is the growing reactionary movement of sane citizens pushing for law and order and the continuation of Constitutional America. Doug Wilson is a gifted and godly wordsmith, author and speaker, Christian apologist and faculty member at New Saint Andrews College. He also maintains the online site "Blog and Mablog" where he discusses various current issues from a Christian perspective.
It is no accident that he was asked to appear on Meet the Press as the representative of the growing pushback against the last 3 years. The measured and articulate case he makes for a return to saner times will be seen as proof that the Left needs to marshal its troops against the intolerance of religion. Doug knows this of course, but what can one do in an age where asking men to use the men's bathroom is intolerant? Why did NBC choose Doug Wilson?
Doug Wilson is a Preterist, one who holds that the prophecies in the Bible concerning the end times have already been fulfilled. While Bible-readers may be thinking "really?", trust me, there are a LOT of Preterists out there, and their ranks are growing larger every day.
THE RAMIFICATIONS OF PRETERISM
Hopefully you've read part 1 of this piece. If not, you can see it here: https://www.virtualsteve.net/post/what-is-preterism-and-why-it-matters-right-now
At the end of part one I said that I would explain why Preterism is a great present threat. Let me begin by explaining what they believe. Preterists don't want to be seen as Bible-deniers, hence, they have had to "spiritualize" vast swaths of prophecy, old and new-testament in order to legitimize their view. Part 1 goes into some detail on this matter, but here is a pithy summary:
1. Full Preterism teaches that we are NOW in the Millennium, that Jesus is now here, taking dominion over the earth through his followers.
These ideas are so wrong that is difficult to know where to begin! It all comes down to a misunderstanding of Matthew chapter 24, and of what ocurred in 70 A.D. at the destruction of Jerusalem. At Jesus' second coming "every eye shall see him" (Revelation 1:7). It is a physical coming where the entire world sees His return in "great power and glory" (Matthew 24:30) and where He gathers those, dead and alive, who have trusted Him "from the four winds" to himself (vs. 31). This resurrection of the dead and instantaneous translation of living believers has been the "blessed hope" of Christians for 2000 years, the "redemption of our body" (Romans 8:28). How do you spiritualize this?? Was not Christ risen from the dead literally and physically?? Are not we to have bodies "like unto His glorious body" (Philippians 3:21)?? And finally, did this happen in 70 A.D.?? But once one begins "spiritualizing" words to justify a wrong preconception where can one stop? A mere glance at Luke's version of the Olivet discourse in Luke 21 shows that the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. ends in a Jewish dispersion into all the world known as the "times of the gentiles" (Luke 21:24) which only ended 75 years ago in 1948! At Jesus' ascension from the Mount of Olives recorded in Acts chapter 1, the speechless disciples are told by angels that "this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven" (vs. 11), that is, physically and literally. There are hundreds of scriptures that confirm Christ's return as literal and physical. Were I quote them all here, you would lose interest. Preterists are wrong on this.
2. Because this is true, Israel is prophetically and geopolitically irrelevant.
This part is obvious isn't it? If Jesus has already returned in secret (sheesh!), we now have our supernatural, glorified bodies, which must be secret as well! All of the promises to the prophets and patriarchs, for the fulfillment of which Jesus bled and died, are moot, are cancelled and/or fulfilled in the Church of today. This is HERESY. Scripture is replete with references to New Testament gentiles now being "fellowcitizens with the saints (Israelite), apostles (Israelite), and prophets (Israelite), Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone" (Ephesians 2:20), that the Old Testament lovers of God should "not be made perfect without us" (Hebrews 11:40). In Christ the "middle wall of partition" (Ephesians 2:14) is broken down between Jewish and Gentile believers, who are now "no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints and of the household of God" (vs. 19). I can hardly believe that, as bible readers we have to have this discussion!
The Apostle Paul makes it plain in Romans 11 that the blindness to the Gospel that has characterized the Jews for the last 2000 years is temporary, that through Jewish unbelief and the offering up of God's "lamb which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29) brought salvation to the Gentiles, to "provoke the Jews to jealousy" (Romans 11:11, Deuteronomy 32:21), and that this blindness will soon be removed.
O the wisdom of God! Who else but the sons of Levi, of the tribes of Israel, the chosen people of God could have legally offered up God's perfect passover lamb? The corrosive unbelief of the Jews has kept them distinct and unassimilated for 2000 years, that they might return to the land and the promises of their fathers! Could gentiles have founded the nation of Israel? Christians are too busy thinking about going up to a land "beyond the sky", some unearthly realm which I've never been able to understand. Aren't believers going to "reign on the earth" (Revelation 5:10) ?? Aren't we praying for God's will to be done "on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10)?? The Kingdom of God, where the Son of David rules over the nations from Israel, the concrete realization of all that the Prophets have spoken is coming to earth! We shall be joined to our Jewish brothers on the "mountains of Israel" (Ezekiel 34:13, 24, John 10:16) . . literally. This is not less than you imagined, but infinitely more! Hallelujah to God! Unbelieving Jews may hate Jesus, but at least they know that the kingdom of God requires a King, a land and worshippers of that King, and the subservience of the entire globe. What do you think Psalms 2 is about? It's about time that Christians figure it out, don't you think? Satan would love to drive a wedge between Christians and Jews, but sorry, that ship has already sailed! Preterists are wrong on this.
3. Because we are in the 1000-year reign of Christ, things should be getting better and better as Christians push back the forces of sin and evil. Indeed, it is OUR DUTY to do so.
For some reason that I am not able to determine, Preterism is often, but not exclusively found in Reformed circles. I cannot find it in Luther, whose primary focus was Soteriology, the mechanism of Salvation. Historically he is given the lion's share of credit for the Protestant maxim, "salvation by faith through grace". He did, as did many others in his time, view the Papacy as "antichrist", and the advancement of the Turks to the gates of Vienna in 1529 as the machinations of Daniel's "little horn". John Calvin, much like Luther, really didn't address eschatology, the study of last things. Preterism first appeared in a commentary on Revelation by the Spanish Jesuit Luis Alcazar (1554-1613), who interpreted symbols in Revelation as the victory of the Roman Catholic Church over paganism and the Jewish people, whose divine rejection he believed was finalized in A.D. 70. It's hard not to see that the Papacy had skin in the game, as this view proved that they were the final inheritors of the Kingdom of God, but to be fair, Protestants as well drank from this heady well of error. Other Jesuits disagreed, but nevertheless the teaching began to percolate throughout Protestantism as well. A brief synopsis can be found here: https://israelmyglory.org/article/the-rise-of-preterism/
This is where things go really bad. It logically follows, is Christ has already come and is already reigning on the earth thru the Church, that we are to subdue, engage and conquer evil and sin wherever it can be found. It is no longer that "evil men shall wax worse and worse" (2 Timothy 3:13) or that Antichrist shall come and there shall be a time of great tribulation, so great that it should not be equalled, "nor ever will again" (Matthew 24:21). The world shall not see the "sign of the Son of man in heaven", nor will "all of the tribes of earth mourn" as they see "the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" (Matthew 24:30), for this has already taken place! Didn't you see it??
I know this is unbelievable, but growing numbers of people are embracing the belief that Jesus is not coming back literally. It has been championed by people such as Gary North, Hank Hanegraaff, David Chilton, Max R. King and R.J. Rushdoony. Call it "Dominionism", "Reconstructionism", "Christian Nationalism" the "7 Mountain Mandate", the "New World Order" or the "Great Reset", or to reference the unbelieving Jews, "Isaiah 60 without Jesus", there is no Kingdom of God without the King present, and there is no biblical mandate to "build" it in the King's absence, but rather a warning of terrible persecution coming to those who believe Jesus is returning literally.
WHERE ARE WE NOW??
With the election of Donald Trump in 2016, a majority of Americans tried to do an end run around not only Globalism, but both the Republican and Democrat parties. Tired of government policies that eroded economic or Constitutional Freedoms, and that never changed under the "uni-party" of congressional and senatorial leaders, a total outsider was elected, or at least that was the intent. Was he really an outsider? We may never know. But the choice in 2016 was between Hillary Clinton, who was seen fawning over the Globalists at the Council on Foreign Relations and promising to be their lackey, and the outsider businessman, Trump. Because Christians (and others) know that "Globalism" means in the end "Antichrist", they had no alternative than to vote for Trump. Can we vote for the Antichrist? Of course not!
When he came to power he seemed to be keeping his campaign promises of making "America Great Again". Whether at Davos, Switzerland telling the Globalists to their shocked faces that we weren't buying their "global warming" narrative, or summarily building a wall at America's southern border while being vilified by both Republicans and Democrats he continued on. His short 4-year tenure was peppered with lawsuits, impeachments, investigations, accusations and whatever BOTH sides of the two-party system could throw at him. He was emulated in foreign countries in their own national fights for freedom, the hero of those who hated Socialism.
It is now 2022 and the midterms are looming. What is going to happen? After 3 years of terror in America, the burning of cities, the disempowering of police, the unparalleled embracing of perversion, unveiled manipulation of the masses by our Media, systemic corruption of government organs, inflationary monetary policies that have eviscerated our life savings and the value of the dollar . . what is next?? And don't forget that this Hegelian swing to the Left is global. All of the West is facing this existential crisis of faith. Numerically, in terms of percentages, no one embraces the Left, though you wouldn't know this by watching the corporate news. . .
And now there are hints of Trump coming back, of the Savior returning. Two days ago my Facebook propaganda feed was filled with "safe prophets" prophesying an imminent return of the King! The Lord had told them that there was a "reversal" coming, but only after mostly secondary sources and/or Fox News stories hinted that things were going bad for Biden's FBI and DOJ. Have you seen the size of Trump's rallies? And the whole free world is rooting for him, for as it goes with America (and the dollar), so goes the world. Feel the tension?
What if we're being played? What if we're watching the greatest feint in human history? We are being threatened by the monster of global Leftism, Communism, perversion, poverty and starvation - you name it, whatever is bad, it's coming. And the media wants to make sure we all feel it.
But what if it's a ruse? What if the purpose of all this B-movie overacting is to make Western Civilization run to the OPPOSITE side of civilization's sinking ship, to seek a savior?? After all, antichrist comes from the Right . . not the Left.
He is only a tyrant to those who long for Jesus' appearing. The world worships him and exults, "who is able to make war with him?" (Revelation 13:4). Is the Great Reset coming from the Right? And what priest of what religion shall greet us there?
We know one thing. Jesus hasn't returned, and antichrist must come first. The Dominionists and Reconstructionists say we must fix the world. Rome agrees. The U.N. agrees. Lance Wallnau says we have a "7 Mountain Mandate" to take over America for Christ, like his Charismatic clones in the New Apostolic Reformation. The safe internet prophets are saying there's going to be a "reversal", and the Preterists are sighing and shaking their heads because they've been saying it all along. Isn't this good news? Who would not gladly buy in to this salvation?? But this is the KINGDOM OF ANTICHRIST, that many "Christian" leaders are lauding and asking us to participate in!
But I say there is no escape. The Day of the Lord is coming, when the "elements shall melt with fervent heat" (2 Peter 3:10) at the appearing of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. We are in God's movie, and there is no escape. This movie is not about America, believe it or not. There is something coming infinitely greater than America and the World. It's about God and a Word forever settled in the heavens. It's about a King, and a kingdom and its subjects. It's about a land called Beulah . . and I'm longing for you . .