Preterists misinterpret the teaching of Jesus in his Olivet Discourse. They insist that this prophecy was fulfilled in the first century. They delight in comparing their interpretations against those of futurists. Here the claims of preterists are compared with the teachings of Jesus.
The wise men of ancient Babylon made very accurate observations of the positions of the sun and the moon over several centuries. Their observations revealed that the motions of the sun and moon relative to the earth followed a cycle of 19 years.
It is likely that this would have been known to Daniel, as according to Daniel 2:48, king Nebuchadnezzar made Daniel “chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.”
The Mountains of Prophecy
Clarence Larkin (1850-1924) published a series of charts on prophecy that promoted the premillennial view of Scripture, and dispensationalism. In his chart, “The Mountain Peaks of Prophecy,” a larger-than-life, bearded figure stands on a plain at the left, looking towards the right. The scene is a timeline, which represents the progress of time. The bearded person clearly sees the birth of Jesus, Calvary, the descent of the holy Spirit at Pentecost, which are represented by symbols upon the top of a mountain ridge representing the coming of Christ in the first century. Behind the first range of mountains is a valley that is hidden from the view of the bearded prophet. In the middle of the valley, called the Valley of the Church, there is a church building, that is obviously meant to represent the Christian church. A note states that the prophets did not see this. Beyond the Valley of the Church, there is another range of mountains, representing events at the end of the age, and the return of Christ. Antichrist stands near the summit. Beyond him, over the mount of Olives, is an image of the sun, and farther beyond it another valley, called the Millennial Valley. A circle floating above the valley contains the kingdom of God, which is visible to the prophet. At the far right, suspended in the air, are the New Jerusalem and the new earth.
In Revelation 12, John describes the woman (who represents the saints) fleeing to the wilderness twice, first in verse 6, and again in verse 14. In both verses, she has a place prepared for her by God. In both verses, she is nourished. In the woman’s first flight to the wilderness, she stays in the wilderness for 1,260 days, corresponding to the time of the ministry of the two witnesses in the previous chapter. Elsewhere these time periods of Revelation are shown to be symbolic. For example, see the post Does John interpret Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy?
In Bible prophecy, Jerusalem and its surroundings are prominent subjects. Several prophecies speak of dramatic changes in the land at Jerusalem, including vertical and lateral displacements.
When the disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith, he told them that if they had faith as a grain of mustard seed, they could say to a sycamine tree, that was nearby, “Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea,” and it would obey them. Then he explained that a servant who does merely what is required is unprofitable.
Jesus referred to the heavenly Jerusalem, when he said to his disciples, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” [Matthew 5:14] The earthly Jerusalem is not a light to the world, but the gospel is a light. Jesus called Jerusalem “the city of the great King.” [Matthew 5:35] These statements apply to the heavenly city, where Jesus is the king. Isaiah said: