A cure for preterism

August 15, 2011

The chart below combines the four periods of seven times in Leviticus 26, the 70 weeks of Daniel 9, the 2,300 days, and several other time periods mentioned in prophecy.

Chart of the 70 weeks

The 2,300 days of Daniel 8:14 extend from the date the prophecy was given, as no other start date is mentioned. They extend for 23 centuries, ending with the scientific revolution in the mid eighteenth century, when a great change in man’s view of the nature of the heavens occurred. The old view of a rigid firmament revolving around the earth was abandoned and the diurnal rotation was assigned to the earth.

The graphic also shows the extent of Jesus’ generation. Since Jesus rose from the grave, his generation spans the whole time since he was born, and even extends beyond the scope of the 70 weeks. Understanding this is potentially a cure for preterism, which says the prophecies of Jesus all ended in the first century, ignoring the fact that Jesus remains alive.

The correspondence between the three sections of the 70 weeks and the last three of four periods of seven times in Leviticus 26 precludes any gaps in the 70 weeks. The first of the four periods of seven times corresponds to the exile in Babylon. No gap is shown between the exile and the beginning of the 70 weeks. Any gap would imply a lapse in the curse and a restoration of blessings to Israel, but of course that has not happened.

In the last half of the 70th week, several events are included and marked in the chart. The destruction of Jerusalem, when the sacrifices and oblations ceased, was followed by the beginning of the 1,290 days, which corresponds to the abomination of desolation. Since Jerusalem and the temple were already destroyed, that must refer to a desolation of the spiritual temple, the church. The antichrist spirit was established early in the church’s history, after most of the apostles had died. It is revealed in John’s epistles.

The 1,260 days corresponds to the duration of the ministry of the two witnesses, and the period when the church is nourished in the wilderness. [Revelation 12:6] In Revelation 11, John depicts the church as a temple, and its court is given to the Gentiles. Then he says the holy city is trampled by them for 42 months. The church was dominated by the little horn, with eyes like the eyes of a man, representing a human point of view as opposed to a divine one. This was to continue to the end of the age.

The last three days and a half, which is the time when the two witnesses lie as corpses in the street, characterizes the end of the age. Eventually, they revive, which is followed by the seventh trumpet, and the resurrection, when the mystery of God is finished, and the time of judgment.

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  1. Randy Cope
    October 24, 2011 at 12:16 am

    Preterism only makes sense if one follows it from premise to conclusion.

    First, the end of the age in Mt 24:3 was the Old Covenant age. Preterists teach that it came to an end at the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70. When Jesus told the disciples that ‘this generation will not pass away’ until they witnessed all that He described in the Olivet Discourse, that’s what He meant.

    Second, the time frame of His return would be before all the disciples died (Mt 16:28). Though the day and hour were not known at the time of the Discourse (Mt 24:36), Jesus taught them the signs that would signal His return. Notice that James, an inspired Apostle, wrote about twenty years later: You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door. (James 5:8, 9 NASB)

    Third, the use of apocalyptic, metaphoric language must be understood as figurative, not literal.

    Compare Is. 13:10-17 & Mt 24:29-31. Isaiah used figurative language to describe the destruction of Babylon by the Medes. Jesus did the same to describe the destruction of Jreusalem by the Romans.

    Pursue truth even though it doesn’t follow tradition.

    Randy

  2. October 24, 2011 at 7:12 am

    Randy Cope :

    Preterism only makes sense if one follows it from premise to conclusion.

    First, the end of the age in Mt 24:3 was the Old Covenant age. Preterists teach that it came to an end at the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70. When Jesus told the disciples that ‘this generation will not pass away’ until they witnessed all that He described in the Olivet Discourse, that’s what He meant.

    Was it? Jesus said, in Matt. 24:4, “Take heed that no man deceive you.”

    Notice what Jesus said in Matthew 24:34-35, “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”

    Jesus included himself in “this generation.” It was a unique generation, because Jesus was raised up from the grave, and remains alive to this day.

    That is what preterists fail to comprehend, insisting that his generation passed away in the first century. But that isn’t the case; Jesus remains alive. His generation exists until all things are fulfilled; it is a unique generation.

    Second, the time frame of His return would be before all the disciples died (Mt 16:28). Though the day and hour were not known at the time of the Discourse (Mt 24:36), Jesus taught them the signs that would signal His return. Notice that James, an inspired Apostle, wrote about twenty years later: You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door. (James 5:8, 9 NASB)

    James exhorted his readers to be patient, “unto the coming of the Lord,” in the previous verse. “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.” [James 5:7]

    Events of 70 AD were hardly the “precious fruit of the earth” that God is looking for. That is yet to come, at the resurrection.

    Third, the use of apocalyptic, metaphoric language must be understood as figurative, not literal.

    Compare Is. 13:10-17 & Mt 24:29-31. Isaiah used figurative language to describe the destruction of Babylon by the Medes. Jesus did the same to describe the destruction of Jreusalem by the Romans.

    Pursue truth even though it doesn’t follow tradition.

    Randy

    How could Matthew 24:30 apply to the events of 70 AD? It is about repentance, and people finding salvation, not their destruction.

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