I am currently needing help in understanding more about Full Preterism and Israel Only doctrine. I do believe that they are false doctrines but I need more resources to strenghten my belief that they are indeed false teachings and to share it with others as well.
Can anyone advise for a good source for anything regarding how to disprove Full Preterism and Israel Only doctrines? Thank you in advance!
Hi, @Raphy1407. Here is some discussion involving this topic on Connect which might help you out:
@SeanO knows quite a bit about these different views on eschatological things. I’ve tagged him so that, if he has the time, he can perhaps help with this question :). In the meantime, I will be looking into it as well!
@Raphy1407 Great question Full preterism is the idea that all Biblical prophecy has been fulfilled, including the resurrection of the dead and the final judgment. This view is not very common these days and is not within orthodoxy because it denies the future return of Christ and bodily resurrection of the living and the dead. The “Israel Only” position, if I understand correctly, is used to justify full preterism by saying that the whole Bible was only intended for an Israelite audience and does not apply to us.
I really like what Doug shares in the following video—he is a partial preterist, which means he believes that many of the NT prophecies were fulfilled in 70 AD when Jerusalem was destroyed, but he also believes the second coming and resurrection of the dead / final judgment are yet to occur.
He has one very good line: preterism has a lot of explanatory power, but it is not a shiny hammer you can apply to everything. Some people see the power of preterism to explain passages about this generation and Jesus coming soon and then use their newfound preterism hammer on every passage even if that passage is not a nail.
Christ grant you wisdom
As a Jew I can tell you that my testimony is proof that preterism is absolutely false. Please see my testimony. God is ALIVE and thus He moves. While it’s lovely to study and know all the scriptures and doctrines, the most convincing thing is to be endued with His grace. He healed me while I was a dying atheist and thought Him fictional. That may not convince others but then I leave it to the Holy Spirit because it’s not about doctrine, it’s about a living, loving relationship with the one true living God, Yeshua. Great question!
Good question. I struggle with this too, I am a partial preterist myself. But I have heard some full preterist arguments that are convincing. And often find the biggest rejection against it isnt evidence or a good argument other than. This is outside of orthodox view. And early church fathers have always believed it to not be this way. Which is not a very convincing argument to me.
Can you share some of these specific arguments with us (in your own words if possible)?
Yeah for sure
Isaiah 27 speaks of leviathan, and when God would kill him, which would be when the altar was turned to chalk stone, Daniel 12 talks of the resurrection as taking place when the power of the holy people was shattered, which can also be found in
Isaiah 26(resurrection) in the same context as the killing of leviathan. In 1Thessalonians4:13-18 Paul talks of being caught up in the resurrection when Jesus returns, but if we continue into the following chapter(5), we find he continues on the topic referring to it as the day of the Lord, the very day of the Lord that the disciples have all been talking about in reference to the destruction of the temple, and he encourages his brethren to take heart because even though Jesus would come like a thief in the night, which is also a reference to Jesus words in Matthew 24, they don’t need to worry because they are of the day and would be ready for it, unlike the others around them. In 2 Timothy 4:1 it speaks of Jesus judging the living and dead(resurrection) which is tied to his appearing and his kingdom appearing. In acts 24:15 Paul is speaking about the resurrection and in the Greek the word Mello is used which means about to take place, read a youngs literal translation and he stays true to that. Most versions remove the word about, this is also the case with 2 Timothy 4:1, most translations seem to try and separate the events, but youngs ties them all together as a single event. There is more but I’ll leave it that for now.
@Alive_In_Christ Interesting points Below are some of my thoughts as I’ve sought to process these texts. I think the main thing that sticks out to me is that in the Jewish mind language about God’s judgment in a current generation often became intermingled with language of the final judgment. One became a foreshadowing or type of the other, so that trying to say that these passages only refer to either a present or a future judgment becomes a false dichotomy.
Also, since Jesus did not tell the disciples when He would return, we must assume they were in fact expecting Him to return soon. It would make sense given the cataclysmic events occurring around them and the great harvest God was producing through their lives. That would further lead them to merge the two ideas in their language—even to His prophets God has not always revealed the exact way He will fulfill things or His timing.
Revelation talks about the first resurrection, which implies that those who reign with Christ, who is now already enthroned, have experienced that first resurrection and await the second resurrection and final judgment.
In the Jewish mind, history was divided into ages (not unlike Middle Earth ). In a sense, when the Old Covenant ended, it was the end of an age—a massive event in the Jewish mind. Naturally, some of the disciples may have assumed that the end of that age would immediately usher in the New Heavens and New Earth. They may not have envisioned the age of the global Church—so their language may seem to mix together the final judgment / restoration of all things and the end of the age of the Old Covenant.
If we use the OT as our guide, eschatological language often has both a literal referent — such as God judging Israel through Babylon—and a future referent—God judging the living and dead at the end of all things. Similarly, the New Testament authors, who were Jewish, likely spoke of both 70 AD and the future judgment in a bit of a mixed way that makes it heard to figure out exactly where one ends and the other began.
Day of the Lord
In Revelation, Jesus warns the Church in Sardis that if they do not repent “I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you”. I Thessalonians 5:2 says that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night, reflecting Jesus’ own teaching in the Gospels. 2 Peter 3:10 says that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief and that the heavens themselves will be dissolved on that day. And in Revelation 16:5 Jesus warns that He is coming like a thief, so they should remain clothed to be prepared for His coming.
What makes it so difficult to understand the timing of this coming is that Jesus will come like ‘thief’ more than once. His ‘coming like a thief’ to the Church in Sardis is different than His coming like a ‘thief’ on the Day of the Lord coming against Jerusalem.
Compounding that difficulty, the ‘Day of the Lord’ is also a concept used to describe many different events throughout history. The phrase “the day of the Lord” is used nineteen times in the Old Testament (Isaiah 2:12; 13:6, 9; Ezekiel 13:5, 30:3; Joel 1:15, 2:1,11,31; 3:14; Amos 5:18,20; Obadiah 15; Zephaniah 1:7,14; Zechariah 14:1; Malachi. 4:5) and five times in the New Testament (Acts 2:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:2; 2 Peter 3:10). It is also alluded to in other passages (Revelation 6:17; 16:14). Some of these Old Testament passages point to events that have already occurred (Isaiah 13:6-22; Ezekiel 30:2-19; Joel 1:15, 3:14; Amos 5:18-20; Zephaniah 1:14-18), while others refers to divine judgments that will take place at the end of the age (Joel 2:30-32; Zechariah 14:1; Malachi 4:1, 5).
When Jerusalem was destroyed in AD 70, that was the ‘end of the age’ for the Jewish people, but the Bible describes many ages. So it is possible that some of the references in the New Testament to Jesus coming as a thief, like Peter’s, refer to a future ‘Day of the Lord’ for all humanity rather than to the specific judgment on Jerusalem.
Physical Return of Christ
If so many of these passages refer to destruction of Israel, is there still to be another ‘coming of Christ’ at the end of all things (as opposed to the end of the Jewish age)? I believe the answer is yes. I am not certain exactly what form this will take or what events will accompany it, but I believe this universe will be dissolved and judged in total at some point in the future.
In Acts 1:11 an angel tells the disciples that Jesus will return ‘the same way you saw Him go to heaven’ and 2 Peter 3 describes what appears to be the dissolution of the universe (commentators do debate this point) in association with Christ coming. Matthew 25, the judgment of the sheep and the goats, also appears to be a description of the final judgment scene of the latter part of Revelation 20. I Corinthians 15 clearly points to a bodily resurrection and Romans 8 points out that Jesus was the ‘first fruits’ of the resurrection – we too shall be resurrected like Him.
One possible solution is that many of these passages, like OT passages about Christ, have a double reference. They both point to AD 70 and the destruction of Jerusalem and to a final, ultimate judgment of the world and dissolution of the cosmos. The passages in the OT prophets and in Revelation that point to a day with no more death, pain or tears, while the context may be the Church of Christ or the new covenant, clearly point to a greater ultimate fulfillment.
Awesome. Lots to consider. Thanks!
@Alive_In_Christ Indeedy I spent a lot of time in my younger days trying to nail my eschatology down and started to come to the conclusion that even the disciples did not have theirs nailed down. The conversation between Jesus and the disciples at the beginning of Acts really drives this home for me. Even right before Jesus’ ascension, the disciples were still trying to work out their eschatology, but Jesus instead turned their eyes back towards His Kingdom mission for the world. That was very instructive for me.
Acts 1:6-8 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”