the End of the World near?Are we living in the
Last Days?Is Christ’s return at hand?For 150 years here in
America we have
constantly been told we were living on the threshold of the end of
the world and Christ’s return.Prediction after
prediction failed to materialize, and false hope after false hope
has been foisted upon the Christian community.
Some Christians were defrauded of their possessions, and were so
disillusioned they left the faith or committed suicide.End time speculation in
Korea got so far out of
control that some Christian women had abortions.
The secular media (who are always looking for an excuse) are further
discrediting Christianity because of it.
Something is terribly wrong with traditional view of Bible Prophecy.We need to re-examine the whole issue of Last Things.
Bible prophecy can be understood, but
Futurist views have fallen far short:their
extreme physical/literalizing approach, their seeming inability to
distinguish between figurative and literal language, and their
failure to properly take into account the
historical-grammatical-cultural context of the prophecies
(specifically what they meant to their original audience).Even the most difficult prophetic passage comes alive when
approached properly.It is time to look at some
alternatives, and the Preterist view is a great place to
What is the Preterist view, you say?“Preterist” means past in fulfillment, and “Futurist” means
future in fulfillment.Preterist
basically means the opposite of Futurist.Futurists believe most end-time prophecies (especially the
major ones) are yet to be fulfilled.Preterists
believe that all of Bible Prophecy has been fulfilled in Christ and
the on-going expansion of His Church.Most
Futurists do not really believe Christ has been successful yet in
fully establishing His kingdom.
The “Preterist” interpretation of Bible
prophecy is compatible with the essential beliefs of all Christians,
and is already represented in nearly all denominations.It has been mentioned several times in publications such as
Christianity Today, Christian News, World Magazine, and
others.There are Radio and TV programs around
the country teaching from the preterist perspective, and several
monthly and quarterly, publications.Scores of
preterist books, tracts, video and audio tapes have been produced
and many more are in the works.Authors of
preterist books have been interviewed dozens of time on Radio Talk
Shows.It is capturing significant public
attention, and is “spreading like wildfire” on the Internet and at
the grass roots level, especially among Reformed folks.
Ever wonder why the First Century
Christians expected Jesus to come in their lifetime, and where they
got this expectation from?When did Christ and
the apostles say He would return?Take a look at
the extreme sense of imminency in these passages (note boldfaced
whenever they persecute you in this city, flee to the next; for
truly I say to you you shall not finish going
through the cities of
until the Son of Man comes.
the Son of Man is about to come in the glory of
His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man
according to his deeds.Truly I say to you
there are some of those standing here who shall
not taste death until they see the Son of Man
coming in His kingdom.”
Matt. 24:34“Truly I say to you, this generation will
not pass away until all these things take place.
James 5:8You too
be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the
Lord is at hand.
4:7The End of all things is at
hand; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit
for the purpose of prayer.
1:1- 3The Revelation of Jesus Christ,
which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the
things which must shortly take place; and He sent and
communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, who bore
witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ,
even to all that he saw.Blessed is he who
reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the
things which are written in it; for the time is near.
22:6-7And he said to me, “These words are
faithful and true”; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the
prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the
things which must shortly take place.
behold, I am coming
quickly.Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this
Rev. 22:10And he said to me,“Do not seal up the
words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near.
“Behold, I am coming quickly,
and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what
he has done.
22:20He who testifies to these thing
I am coming quickly.”Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
Did Jesus keep His promise to come in
that generation?Were the apostles correct in
saying that Christ would return soon in their lifetime?These verses have always troubled Bible students, and are
used by liberal theologians to attack the inspiration of Scripturer.They say these passages were not fulfilled when they were
supposed to be (the first century generation), so Jesus and the NT
writers failed in their predictions and are therefore not inspired.These verses point to Christ’s coming in connection with the
Fall of Jerusalem, the destruction of the
Temple, and the end of the Jewish
sacrifices in AD 70.Those final events of the
redemptive drama came to pass in the first century just as he said,
so there is no need to try to explain-away the seeming
non-fulfillment.Christ has conquered all His
enemies and has given us the Kingdom.We have
“eternal life” now in Christ.We no longer have
to fear waiting in Hades for a long time until the resurrection and
judgment.In Christ we have passed out of
judgment into the life of the eternal kingdom.
These are present and abiding benefits, not pie-in-the-sky
bye-and-bye.The book of Revelation has been
fulfilled and relates to the kingdom that we are now a part of.
It’s just simple, straight-forward
Bible interpretation.Prophecy finally makes
sense when approached from this perspective!It
offers a much more positive and realistic worldview.It is conservative, consistent, optimistic, responsible and
accountable.And it robs us of no motivation for
either living the Christian life, or evangelizing the world. It puts
emphasis on the spiritual nature of God’s Kingdom,not on the physical, materialistic, sensual, and sensational.
It teaches a realized spiritual salvation in Christ and the Church
now, instead of a frustrated hope for a postponed
sensually-gratifying paradise way off in the future.It doesn’t engage in wild-eyed speculation about the future,
but documents the fulfillment from the pages of first century
history.The world will be here for a long time
(if not forever), so we need to make it a better place for our
children and grandchildren instead of retreating from involvement in
society and longing for escape.
Some of the great theologians and
scholars of the last 300 years took this view, but most of
Christianity was too caught up with the idea that the Pope was the
Antichrist or some other such Futurist notion.
That has changed.We are not as gullible now as
they were when William Miller, Darby, Russell, Rutherford, Scofield,
Walvoord, and Hal Lindsey came along.A constant
barrage of false predictions has made us more wary.
Over a hundred years ago, Dr. James
Stuart Russell (1816-1895), pastor of a Congregational Church in
a book entitled, The Parousia – A Critical Inquiry Into The NT
Doctrine Of Our Lord’s Second Coming.It is now back in print and selling well in Christian
America and elsewhere.This is a classic defense of the Preterist view.Most Christian theologians in
Europe a century ago took a similar approach,
so it is not surprising to hear Russell’s contemporaries say nice
things about his book…
… Russell’s book has certainly been a
very helpful resource for understanding Bible prophecy, but many
have discovered the preterist view through their own independent
study of scripture.Biblical prophecy is
bursting with meaning for them now.If you
haven’t taken a look at the past fulfillment approach to Biblical
prophecy, it is time you did.Ed Stevens has
written a brief introduction to the Preterist view entitled,
What Happened In AD 70?There is a
Foreword by David Chilton who took a fully consistent Preterist view
within the last year before his death.Here is
what he said about Stevens’ Book:
“In this slim volume, Edward E. Stevens
clearly and convincingly demonstrates that our Lord Jesus Christ
predicted His Return within the lifetime of His first-century
hearers.That fact presents Christians with a
dilemma:“If Jesus was wrong in His prediction…
it means we can’t rely on Jesus for salvation either! …As a
well-known theologian recently said, “If Jesus is a false prophet,
my faith is in vain.”…Stevens shows that Jesus
fulfilled His promise, explicitly and to the letter, in the “great
tribulation” of AD 70, in which God unleashed His covenant wrath
Israel, which had been
threatened for centuries throughout the Old Testament Law and
provides a chart
showing the harmony of Christ’s two separate discourses
recorded in Matthew 24 and Luke 17 – demonstrating that any proposed
division of Matthew 24 into two different “coming” is illegitimate,
nugatory, and gossamer.Scripture foretells a
Second Coming (Heb.
) – not a third!…Stevens presses Christ’s declaration in Luke 21:22 to its
limit:‘Jesus said that all Old Testament
prophecy would be fulfilled by the time
Jerusalem was destroyed.’…Stevens presents a powerful case that the Second Coming of
Jesus Christ occurred in AD70.”-[David Chilton
– Author of Paradise Restored and The Days Of
These and other fine books dealing with
the preterist view are available from the IPA.
Contact us, so you can finally make sense out of Bible Prophecy
without being taken for a ride by the date-setters.We will send a free packet of information about our books,
tapes, tracts, and videos.Visit our web site to
read the great articles posted there, plus read about and order any
of our resources.
Write, Call, Email or Web Site:
International Preterist Association (IPA) - 122
Seaward Avenue - Bradford PA. 16701-1515 USA