Preterism, dispensationalism, and the mount of Olives
The covenant that Christ confirms with his church includes the fulfillment of all the prophecies about the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ. One of these prophecies, in Zechariah 14, says that he will stand upon the mount of Olives, and that the saints will flee to a valley that forms when the mount of Olives splits, and half of the mountain goes north, and half of it goes towards the south.
And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.
Jesus already stood upon the mount of Olives during his ministry, and often taught his disciples there, so that part of the prophecy was fulfilled. Then the mount of Olives is cleaved in the midst, forming a valley to which the saints will flee.
How is that possible? How can Christians who live in remote parts of the earth flee to a valley in Palestine, that does not even exist?
Has the mount of Olives been cleaved in the midst? How can there be a valley in it?
In scripture the promises and covenants of God are represented by mountains. Jacob said, when he blessed Joseph, “The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills.” [Genesis 49:26] The mountains are durable, and the blessings and promises given to Jacob were, like the mountains, durable and eternal, and spiritual in nature, hence they are associated with mountains.
The mount of Olives represents the everlasting covenant that Christ confirms with his church during the present age, as foretold in the prophecy of Daniel 9:27, “And he shall confirm the covenant for one week.”
The mount of Olives represents the everlasting covenant, which is cleaved in the midst, in the sense that many preachers deny that it applies to Christians today.
Dispensationalists misrepresent the covenant referred to in Daniel 9:27, saying it is a seven-year covenant that an individual Antichrist character will make with ethnic Jews, during a future seven-year tribulation. Their theory displaces the mount of Olives to the south.
On the other hand, preterists say the covenant was fulfilled already, and that it is limited to seven literal years in the first century. Their theory displaces the mount of Olives towards the north.
The consequence of these flawed interpretations is that the everlasting covenant is “cleaved,” as if the mount of Olives was cleaved in the midst, and the two halves were displaced to the north and to the south, forming a valley between.
In a literal sense, a tectonic event that would split the mount of Olives, and displace the two sections in opposite directions in the manner that Zechariah described seems most unlikely. The fault systems in the area preclude the formation of an east-west valley by tectonic means. The major fault lines run north-south, being controlled by the Dead Sea Transform fault system.
Nothing is impossible for God, of course, but the meaning of Zechariah’s prophecy is spiritual. A literal view of the prophecy makes no sense; why would survivors of a major earthquake flee towards the epicenter, which would likely be subject to aftershocks? What would they flee from? And why flee after the event? What use is an earthquake prediction, that says to flee after it occurs?
Zechariah’s prophecy exposes those who claim that a literal tectonic event in which the mountain is literally split and displaced to the north and to the south is required to fulfill the prophecy as foolish.
Why would people need a great valley to form in the mount of Olives, in order to get to the other side? The mountain is not very high, and it is fairly easy to walk across in its present state. Christ did so many times with his disciples. The mountain is no obstacle at all for pedestrians.
The cleaving of the mount of Olives, symbolic of the flawed interpretations of preterism and dispensationalism, has already occurred. Some have already abandoned dispensationalism, and some have already abandoned preterism. The prophecy of Zechariah is a guide, which indicates which way to go, so those escaping from delusions will not leap from one false interpretation to another one that is equally false, as has happened to some.
The way to go is represented by the figurative valley, between the two flawed views of the holy covenant. That is, to embrace the holy covenant that Christ promised he will confirm. One of the promises Jesus made is that the Spirit will guide the saints into all truth. [John 16:13] The covenant includes the New Covenant that he has confirmed with his own blood.
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
- The 70th week and the mount of Olives (creationconcept.wordpress.com)
- The covenant confirmed in the 70th week (creationconcept.wordpress.com)
- What covenant is meant in Daniel 9:27? (creationconcept.wordpress.com)
- Overview of the mountains of prophecy (creationconcept.wordpress.com)
- Dispensationalism and the one week covenant (creationconcept.wordpress.com)
- The one week covenant (creationconcept.wordpress.com)
- Daniel’s 70 weeks and the church’s covenant (creationconcept.wordpress.com)
- Jesus confirms the covenant (creationconcept.wordpress.com)