A brilliant defense against Steve Gregg’s Preterism from Dr. Norman L. Geisler.

Apparently Steve Gregg tried to come to the rescue of Partial Preterism after Dr. Norman Geisler reviewed “The Apocalypse Code” book written by Hank Hanegraaff that attacked premillennial theology and those who are looking for the soon return of Jesus in the Rapture.

I guess someone needed to come to the rescue and bail out Preterism after some of Hank Hanegraaff’s erroneous assumptions were pointed out by Dr. Geisler in his review and some of Hanegraff’s book could not even be fully accepted by preterists. This is the response by Dr. Geisler to Steve Gregg’s apparent defense of partial preterism.

In this article Dr. Geisler is brilliant and often demolishes the arguments of Steve Gregg’s Partial Preterism Theology, often with many of the inconsistent silly arguments of Gregg and other preterists.

What is quoted bellow are just a few of the many examples given in the full article. Also go to Dr. Norman Geisler website for other topics. Dr. Geisler is a one of the great minds of our time and I highly recommend that Christians consider his teachings.

A Response to Steve Gregg’s Defense of Hank Hanegraaff’s Partial Preterism

By Norman L. Geisler

My comments will be divided into two basic categories. First of all, several areas in which we are in agreement will be mentioned. Second, comments on numerous points of disagreement with his defense of partial preterism, a view he shares with Hank Hanegraaff, will be discussed.

Eleventh, it is amusing that Gregg uses a third century heretical teacher, Origen, as a basis for his amillennial view and dismisses earlier second century orthodox Fathers as a basis for futurism. Further, contrary to Gregg, Renald Showers (in Maranatha, Our Lord, Come!) has demonstrated that the very earliest Fathers believed in an imminent coming of Christ, not just the fourth century Ephraem. This is to say nothing of the inspired writings of the NT which proclaim Christ’s imminent return repeatedly (Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 1:7-8; 15:51-53; 16:22; Phil. 3:20-21; 4:5; Col. 3:4; 1 Thes. 1:10; 2:19; 4:13-18; 5:9, 23; 2 Thes. 2:1; 1 Tim. 6:14; 2 Tim. 4:1; Titus 2:13; Heb. 9:28; Jas. 5:7-9; 1 Pet. 1:7, 13; 1 Jn. 2:28-3:2; Jude 21; Rev. 2:25; 3:10; 22:7, 12, 20 ). Passages like “The Lord is at hand” (Phil. 4:5) and “the coming of the Lord is at hand” (Jas.5:8) can hardly mean anything other than imminent, unless one is a full preterist and denies a literal future Second Coming, claiming Christ returned in the first century. He summarily dismisses all this with a vague “for all anyone can say” and a guilt-by-association with the Word of Faith movement!

Twelfth, after rejecting the early Fathers who were opposed to preterism, Gregg inconsistently appeals to the early Fathers to justify his amillennial views. He speaks of the pretrib beliefs before Ephraem in the fourth century as unsupported by earlier Fathers. Yet, he criticizes futurist who use the early Fathers to support their view (see “Sixth” above).

Thirteenth, he rejects the dispensational belief in a literal restoration of Israel which is firmly based in the historical-grammatical interpretation of Scripture (see Geisler, ibid., chap. 15). Yet he claims to hold the historical-grammatical hermeneutic.

Eighteenth, Gregg dismisses a massive array of unconditional promises that are based on the historical-grammatical interpretation which says that there will be a literal restoration of ethnic Israel to their land (see our Systematic Theology, vol. 4, chaps.14-16). None of the passages he cites deny this future for Israel, and numerous passages he does not cite affirm that there will be one (Gen. 12-17; 2 Sam. 7; Psa. 89; Mt. 19:28; Acts 1:6-8; Acts 3:19; Rom. 11, and many more). So strongly are these texts in favor of a literal restoration of the land and throne promises to ethnic Israel that even some non-premills like Vern Poythress and Anthony Hoekema have been forced to acknowledge such a future for Israel. And not to see that Paul is speaking of ethnic Israel in Romans 9-11 (which he calls Israel “my kinsmen according to the flesh” (9:2) to whom God gave “the covenants” and “Promises” (9:4) is a bold act of exegetical blindness. And it is this same “Israel” in this same passage of which Paul says they will be “grafted into their own olive tree” (11:24) because “the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (11:29). Ironic as it may seem, a fundamental problem with reformed amillennialism is that it does not believe in unconditional election–at least not for Israel! As for the clear literal truth that Jesus will literally come again with his literal twelve disciples who sit on twelve literal thrones and reign over the literal “twelve tribes of Israel” (Mt. 19:28), the best Gregg can offer is “the suggestions” that “this is not the only way in which Matt. 19:28 can be interpreted.” Of course, it isn’t; there is the spiritualistic way Gregg interprets it as “a present reality.” But this is certainly not the result of the historical grammatical hermeneutic preterists profess to accept. Nor is his contention that Jesus “unambiguously” established His kingdom at His first coming, as any literal understanding of numerous passages reveals (see Matt. 19:28; Acts 1:6-8; 3:19-21; Rom. 11:11-36). For an example of straining out a hermeneutical gnat and swallowing a doctrinal camel, Gregg declares of Revelation 20 that “the passage says ‘a thousand years.’ It does not say, ‘a literal thousand years.’” The passage also says “the Devil” (v. 2) and not “a literal Devil,” but does this give us warrant for denying a literal Devil. It also speaks of “nations” (v. 3), martyrs (v. 4), “heaven” (v. 1), and even “Jesus” (v. 4). But surely all these are literal. Sure, there are figures of speech used in the text like “key” (v. 1), but the literal method of interpretation has always allowed for figures of speech about literal realities (see ibid., chap. 13). It simply insists that the figures of speech and symbols are about literal realities (cf. Rev. 1:20)

Nineteenth, when confronted with the obviously literal land promises to Abraham’s descendants (Gen. 13-15), Gregg replies, “I don’t find the word ‘literal’ in any of the passages cited.” Yet, he later says these literal promises were literally fulfilled in the days of Joshua–something that could not be true since they are repeated after Joshua’s time (Jer. 11:5; Amos 9:14-15; Acts 1:6-8; Acts 3:19-21; Rom. 11). As for insisting on the use of the word “literal” to determine whether a passage is literal, I would suggest that he look at the death and resurrection of Jesus passages again. The last time I looked the word “literal” was not in the resurrection accounts. Nor do I find it in Genesis 1-3. But there again, consistency of hermeneutic is not a primary characteristic of the preterist position. Further, it is far from “clear” that Heb. 4 or Gal. 4 teaches there is no ethnic fulfillment of the ethnic promises to Israel. On the contrary, it is a denial of both God’s unconditional grace and of the historical-grammatical interpretation of numerous passages already mentioned. Just because Abraham has a spiritual seed does not mean there are no promises for his ethnic offspring.

Twentieth, as to the promise that the land promises to Israel would be “forever,” Gregg says two things: 1) The Hebrew word for “forever” (olam) does not always mean eternal. While this is true, it is also true that it can. And when it does not, it certainly means a long period of time. But Israel has never occupied all the land designated in these promises for a long period of time. As all good interpreters know, the meaning of a word is discovered by its context. And the context of Psalm 89:37 declares that the Davidic covenant will be “established forever like the moon.” And the last time I looked the moon was still in the sky! 2) Greggs wrongly assumes God’s promises to Abraham and David were conditional, but they clearly were not. Abraham was not even conscious when God made a unilateral unconditional promise to him (in Gen. 15:12), and Psalm 89:31-36 declares that even “if they break my statutes,” God promised “Nevertheless My loving kindness I will not utterly take from him, nor allow My faithfulness to fail. My covenant I will not break, Nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips. Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David: His seed will endure forever, and his throne as the sun before me.” As Paul said of this same God, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself” (2 Tim. 2:13). God has not given them back the land yet, but will in the future when the remnant returns to Him (e.g., see Gen. 13:17 and Deut. 30:16-20).

In brief, Gregg’s attempt to rescue the partial preterist position he shares with Hank Hanegraaff is a failure. It rests upon a methodologically unorthodox way of interpreting Scripture. If this same method were used on the Gospel narratives of the resurrection of Christ, the preterist would also be theologically unorthodox. Thus, while partial preterism itself is not heretical, its hermeneutic is unorthodox, and if applied consistently, would lead to heresy, as indeed it does in full preterism.

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 Don Koenig is the founder of ThePropheticYears website. He has been publishing articles on the Internet on Bible prophecy, biblical discernment and Christian worldviews since 1999. You can find well over a thousand articles and thousands of comments written by Don from the homepage of this website.


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89 thoughts on “A brilliant defense against Steve Gregg’s Preterism from Dr. Norman L. Geisler.

  1. First, for those who do not know what hyperpreterism is let me summarize the 3 main positions held by hyperpreterists. (pret sounds like bet).

    3 MAIN BELIEFS OF HYPERPRETERISM

    1. Jesus came back once & for all in the year AD70
    2. The resurrection of the believers happened in the year AD70.
    3. The judgment of the wicked & righteous happened in the year AD70.

    These 3 points are driven by an over arching premise which is that Christian interpretation & indeed basic Christian understanding has been terribly in error for over 2000 years. Some hyperpreterists even claim there has been a 2000 year conspiracy to cover up the 3 beliefs above.

    Now, why is it called HYPER-preterism? The word “hyper” in the theological sense means to go beyond the original intent or scope — so HYPER-preterism is a belief that goes beyond an original version that was simply called preterism. Traditional/Historic preteristic beliefs do see some significance in the AD70 events (See Matthew 24:1-3, Mark 13:1-3, Luke 21:5-7,20) BUT classic preterism did NOT advocate the 3 beliefs mentioned above. Thus, hyperpreterism is considered HYPER just as much as HYPER-Calvinism goes beyond the original intent & scope of traditional/historic Calvinism.

    Hyperpreterism is also Heterodox…a heresy. It is NOT a heresy just because we don’t like it, nor is it a heresy because it is “new”, nor is it a heresy because the majority oppose it. Hyperpreterism is a heresy because it is unlike anything ever taught in the history of Christianity…from the very founding to now. Hyperpreterism is as much outside of historic Christianity as is Mormonism & JWs. Hyperpreterists often call their system: Full Preterism, Covenant Eschatology, Consistent Preterism, Fulfilled Eschatology, or a new name bandied about in attempt to make it sound more legitimate, Biblical Preterism.

    WHERE DID HYPERPRETERISM COME FROM?

    The present day versions of hyperpreterism all originated in the 1970s with a man named Max King. King was a “church of Christ” minister who wrote several hyperpreterist books in the 1970-1980s. Hyperpreterism before that was mainly manifested among Universalists (people who believed no one would ultimately be condemned — “everyone is saved”). Perhaps the most infamous group of pre-1970 hyperpreterists was a group in upstate New York in the late 1800s. This group was called the “Oneida Community” (search wikipedia.org). This group formed a commune & practiced their hyperpreterism to the extent of no longer having individual marriages but instead everyone having sexual relations with everyone else — they thought this would be a “logical” conclusion if the resurrection is already passed & people are no longer given in marriage. (Mt 22:30)

    Hyperpreterism died out & as I said was revived again in the 1970s. Hyperpreterism is experiencing a resurgence & is beginning to show itself among the churches. Hyperpreterists typically don’t (or can’t) maintain their own congregations so instead, “lone ranger” hyperpreterists either try to influence existing congregations or they drop out of attending church & instead try to influence Christians.

    Hyperpreterism is mainly an online phenomenon. Some of the hyperpreterists came through so-called “Reformed” teachers such as Gary DeMar who although he claims he is not a hyperpreterist himself, he refuses to call it a heresy & has spoken at hyperpreterist conferences & maintains a friendly presence on hyperpreterist websites.

    HOW TO COMBAT HYPERPRETERISM

    Hyperpreterism by design is an arrogant & egotistical system — after all it claims 2000 years worth of Christian interpretation has been MAJORLY wrong, so trying to interact with a hyperpreterist one on one will be a frustrating & futlile endeavor. Hyperpreterism redefines theological terms & definitions so although a Christian may think they are having a fruitful, scriptural discussion with a hyperpreterist, you must recognize that hyperpreterism like Mormonism & JWs may use Christian sounding terms & even appeal to the Bible — but just like those other cults — hyperpreterism is anything but Christian.

    To combat hyperpreterism you MUST keep them on the main premise — that they are trying to tell you that God could not or would not maintain within His Church a basic & correct understanding of the endtimes. Don’t let hyperpreterists leave this premise no matter how much they claim to want to talk about “scripture” or have an “exegetical” conversation. Premises matter & the hyperpreterist premise is faulty to the core.

    HYPERPRETERIST TACTICS

    Hyperpreterists will try several tactics to break down the defenses (armor) of a Christian. A couple things they will do are:

    1. Claim they are only using “Sola Scriptura/Bible alone” methods
    2. Claim Hyperpreterism always existed in “seed” form.
    3. Claim there has never been a Church council on eschatology.
    4. Claim you are unloving or mean to not accept them.
    5. Attempt to get legitimate teachers/preachers to validate them.

    The first point is perhaps the one that hooked me on hyperpreterism for a time (yes I am a former hyperpreterist). Hyperpreterism often claims it is merely reading/interpreting the Bible as it is written. Hyperpreterists will also pit their interpretation against 2000 years of Christian interpretation by claiming they don’t follow the “Creeds” (this comes from its ‘church of Christ’ foundation). The word Creed, in Latin simply means “belief”. So, unless hyperpreterists are trying to claim they don’t believe anything, they too have a “creed” — its just that the hyperpreterist “creed” goes against everything that was ever considered Christian. Another tactic hyperpreterists try to employ under point #1 is to compare themselves with the Reformation & the Reformers like Martin Luther. The problem is, hyperpreterism would have been rejected by the Reformers as well. Hyperpreterists are more like the “radical reformation” (look up on wikipedia.org) which wanted to chuck everything & start over. The Reformers & especially Martin Luther, rejected the radicals as heretics.

    Lastly on this point, hyperpreterists will often try to claim that Luther was teaching something never before taught in the Church — this is categorically untrue. Luther was merely re-espousing long advocated beliefs that are found more than just in “seed” form both in the Bible & in historic Christian interpretation. (see Augustinianism for example).

    Point #2 in hyperpreterists tactics is one I’ve seen used by so-called “conservative hyperpreterists”. They want to pretend there are traces of hyperpreterism all throughout Christian history. What they do is find a quote by some theologian that sounds like preterism or hyperpreterism & then tell you it is a “seed” of their belief even if the overall premise & position of the theologian is clearly in opposition to hyperpreterism. The hyperpreterists attempt to find “seeds” of hyperpreterism under every little theological rock is merely wishful thinking. No serious theologian in history has ever advocated what hyperpreterists believe…now that in itself doesn’t make hyperpreterism wrong, but it does make their claim to find “seeds” a dishonesty.

    Point #3 is an oft repeated tactic of hyperpreterist followers who have picked up this line from hyperpreterist teachers — I say this because most hyperpreterist followers have scant knowledge of Christian history — to the point of you will often see them spelling Arminianism as Armenians .

    First, the use of this tactic seems to miss the point as to why councils were called. Church councils were not called to impose a new belief on the Church but rather councils were primarily called only when a new heresy rose up. So, the reason there has never been a need for a specific council addressing eschatology is because there has never been a heresy divergent enough from the traditional teaching on eschatology. The point is, even with variances among the existing eschatological models — ALL of the eschatological models AGREE on EXACTLY the 3 beliefs that hyperpreterism denies. This is significant.

    Point #4 is used when all else fails. Hyperpreterists will begin to claim anyone who opposes them must “hate” them & want them to “go to hell” — even if their opponents never use these words. Hyperpreterists will play the victim & persecuted in attempt to gain sympathy. Don’t buy it.

    Point #5 is used more by the hyperpreterist “leaders”. They will try to get well known, respected teachers/preachers to say hyperpreterism is not a heresy & then they will cite these people in their defense. I’ve seen hyperpreterists do with with people such as Gary DeMar & James Jordan. Hyperpreterists will also attempt to join legitimate groups such as ETS or a local seminary & use this as “proof” they are valid.

    CONCLUSION

    The conclusion is, hyperpreterism is just as NON-Christian as is Mormonism & JWs. We should treat hyperpreterism & hyperpreterists the same way we treat Mormonism & JWs. That doesn’t mean we have to “hate” them — as Christians really shouldn’t hate anyone — but we most certainly should not go around acting like hyperpreterists are Christian brothers & sisters. And we should be suspect of everything they “teach” as it is all tinged with their hyperpreterism (hyperpreterism ISN’T just about eschatology — it affects everything as all of our beliefs affect our other beliefs). Remember, Mormonism also claims to follow Jesus, even to the point of promoting itself as “Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints”. Don’t be fooled. Hyperpreterism is a heresy & anyone advocating it in principle or by name is a heretic. Pray for them to be released from this horrible error.

  2. Thanks for sharing that information. I doubt if many people know about hyperpreterism. I know most of this is news to me although I knew of the heresy of full preterism.

  3. Boy it sure would be nice to hear Geisler and Gregg debate the matter. If anyone knows how to get in touch with Geisler I’m sure Steve would be interested.

  4. Its not like they do not already know how to get in touch with each other but if you are serious Dr Geisler can be contacted at Veritas Evangelical Seminary.

  5. I am sure that nether of them look to pursue a debate but I know that Steve would if the opportunity were to arise. I’ll tell you what, if your up for contacting Dr Geisler I’ll line up Steve. He’s a deer friend and mentor.

  6. I am not about to make some presumption to tell either men what I think they should do. If Steve Gregg really wants to debate Dr. Norman Geisler he obviously already knows how to contact him. Or he can respond to what Dr. Geisler said in writing if he can find someone that will publish it. I do not know why you are putting words in the mouth of Steve Gregg as if he really wants to publicly debate Dr. Norman on the issues. If he really does the contact of Dr. Geisler should come from him.

    But being the cynic that I can be, I do not think that a debate is really why you are responding here anyway. This middle-man suggestion in nothing but a ruse. By suggesting a debate you are suggesting that Gregg is on the same level of scholarship and understanding as Dr. Geisler as if it they had equal weighted arguments. But I think Dr. Geisler already proved in this article that Gregg is not in the same league.

    But like I said, if Gregg really wants a debate with Dr. Geisler and Dr. Geisler sees some merit in using his valuable time to once again refute in public what Steve Gregg defends he really knows how to contact Dr. Geisler himself and any suggestion otherwise is simply absurd.

  7. Wow!! you sure seem to be wound up tight. You suggest my stating that it would be neet to hear them debate is simply a ruse? I was simply stating what I think would be nice to hear. That’s all. Nothing more. At any rate. God bless you and I wish you well.

  8. Actually John, you suggested they we try to set up the debate between Gregg and Dr. Geisler. First off, I do not even want such a debate because I think preterits have already had to much exposure on the Christian stage for what they contribute to Christianity. The only thing I think they have to offer anyone is aberrant theology, twisted history and confusion.

    A debate is also not our decision and is not our place to make, certainly not mine. If you want a debate and you are such great friends with Gregg put your own bug in his ear. It might not get anywhere with Gregg or be acceptable to Dr. Geisler but if you really want a debate you might make the effort.

    I also wish you well and God be with you. If I took your intentions wrong for your suggestion I apologize.

  9. I dont know why a debate is even necessary..if anyone who really wants to become informed seriously studies the issues, preterism falls flat. Why give such views more publicity? Your right though Dr Geisler would win that debate,it isnt even questionable. Steves well intentioned but greatly misinformed and he doesnt want to be confused with the facts.

  10. A couple of things. First, Steve is not a preterist. Secondly, he can be accused of many things but ‘misinformed’ is not one of them. His book ‘Revelation: four views’ establishes that clearly enough. He has the ability to debate and defend each one of the end time positions because he has held and use to teach those views for years. Finally, as I am sure you know, rarely do people “win” debates like this. At the end of the day each person walks away with the same view they held coming into it. I guess there’s one more thing. Steve Gregg does not want to be confused by the facts? James do you know Steve? That’a a real question not a sarcastic one. The reason I say that is because I’ve known him for years. I know that over the years he has been humble enough to change his views (views that he taught for years) in light of facts that were presented. Perhaps we could be more gracious to others.

  11. Dr. Geisler in his introduction says this about Steve Gregg, “his defense of partial preterism, a view he shares with Hank Hanegraaff”

    In another place in this article Dr. Geisler says, “Of course, there were many things on which Gregg agrees with Hank Hanegraaff in defense of their common view of partial preterism.”

    If he shares preterist views with Hank Hanegraaff either Geisler is wrong or Gregg is a partial preterist? It really makes little sense for someone who is not a preterist to defend the partial preterism of Hank Hanegraaff.

    Perhaps Gregg is still changing his views and thus wrote his defense of preterism that Geisler commented on?

  12. That is correct. He can correctly be called a “partial preterest” but not “preterest”. It’s kind of funny because he is in a middle ground where gets flack from many futurest and preterest. I know that there are preterets that would totally object to Steve being called a preterest. They would call him a “partial futurest” and mock him as such. At the same time, as you know, the futurest takes serious issue with his leaning in the preterest direction in certain areas. For what ever it’s worth my take is this. I hold certain views on the subject that are very clear but they do not define me. I think that it’s unfortunate when people hold there views on the subject so tightly that if someone disagrees with them they get offended. It is as if people are disagreeing with WHO THEY ARE and not WHAT THEY BELEIVE. I know great saints that hold other views then mine. I disagree with them but I know that there are reasons they believe what they do. I think that there is a lot to be said for civility. I know that it is VERY possible that I am wrong on many things. However, I know that I can’t go wrong if I labor to excell in love. I am not talking about a love that does not cherish the truth. I love truth and want to be as correct as I can be. Yet in that pursuit I want to be humble and loving to those coming to other conclusions.

  13. I think is was already defined that we were talking about partial preterism and I assume that Gregg’s partial preterism is what James was replying about. There are very few full preterists since it is heretical teaching.

    Of course one does not have to have all correct theology to be listed among the saints. But the truth is that it is the partial preterists that are the chief ones instigating discord with premillennial futurists.

    For example, Hank Hanegraaff and other partial preterist authors attack and name premillennial Bible prophecy scholars in their books. They often take cheap shots using recycled and much refuted lies about the origins of our theology and also lie about the damage that they say these doctrines have caused the Church. They base their own flimsy theology not on sound exegeses but on concepts the Bible refutes. Most historians refute their early dating claims of Revelation as well. Dr. Geisler aptly demonstrates some of this in this article.

  14. I am generally aware at how abrupt the preterests can be. Of course Hank, while being correct on many things (and wrong on others) sure is’nt known for being gracious toward people of other view points. I’m curious, these “cheap shots” about the origins of “our theology”; are you talking about historical premillennial or dispensational premillennial?

  15. The cheep shots I see are on dispensational premillennialism and Rapture theology and distorting the beliefs of dispensationalistis on eschatology as if we all thought alike. Also, many partial preterists would also deny there was any historical premillennialism before dispensationalism even though there is quite a bit of proof there was.

  16. Well it would sure seem bold and uninformed for someone to deny that there is historical proof of historical premill. On the matter of comments about dispensational premill those sure are hard to dismiss. In fact I would say this; the ‘newness’ of dispensational premill can be established as easily as the historicity of historical premill can be establised. I hope that makes sense. I don’t thing that there are many serious theologians these days that give much thought to dispensationalism. It is a theolology who’s time is run it’s course and is, and will continue to fade away.

  17. Rodgers said, “I don’t thing that there are many serious theologians these days that give much thought to dispensationalism. It is a theolology who’s time is run it’s course and is, and will continue to fade away.”

    Sounds like wishful thinking on your part because as end time events unfold Dispensational Theology will be the theology that is held by almost all of those who know we are in the last days and are watching and waiting for the Lord’s return.

    The age of a theology does not make it right or wrong, all truth is measured by what the Bible says. Knowledge of what the Bible teaches can be lost when few have the scriptures or few read them. It can also be progressive. The reading of the Bible brought the reformation. When the Bible got into the hands of the common people Dispensational Theology made common sense because this theology gave answers about Bible passages that Covenant Theology never could. Answers like how fulfillment of Bible prophecy could be literal on earth as the common reading of the prophetic scriptures require. Meanwhile even today Covenant Theology still has to allegorize a sixth of the Bible to the spiritual according to each individual denomination’s theology.

    Of course with the new crop of theologians coming out of the post-modern brain washing cemeteries these days and few people reading the Bible anymore there is no question that the latest crop is emerging back to the errors of covenant theology and outright heresy and apostasy. Nobody wants to teach or believe in the literal coming of Christ any time soon preceded by the removal of the faithful Church and worldwide judgments because it does not fit their worldview and comfort zone. Few want to believe in a kingdom millennial dispensation because they think man can make the world a paradise right now through our own good efforts. The Bible does not teach that and they will soon find out the folly of that idea.

    In any case, starting a debate about Dispensational versus Covenant Theology would be getting off topic here and it will not be posted..

  18. Put simply, to my mind there are only three VIABLE options to debate. Historical Premil. Amill. and Postmis. There really are’nt any serious schollars that give ear to any other.

  19. What you think scholars debate in your mind makes no difference to me. Your view that serious scholars give no ear to Dispensational Theology is simply not believable. Try going to a Christian book story some day. Half of the books that sell, other than Bibles, are written by scholars that also believe in Dispensationism.

    You admit that many attack Dispensational Theology and then you say there is no debate. They would not waste their time attacking Dispensational Theology if there was no one to debate.

    John that is also the end of this rabbit trail because you have contributed nothing today but trying to confuse the issues. It started with James reply because he did not use the word “partial preterist” instead of “preterist”. So you make a comment to him implying that Gregg is not a preterist. So I take you at your word and waste my time to check it out and find out that Gregg is indeed a preterist. A partial preterist is still a preterist. Then you go on and on about your ridiculous other unfounded notions about Dispensational Theology that just continue to waste my time.

  20. Don I agree ,as the Bibles predictions to continue to come true,the eyes of the unbelieving world
    are beginning to see just how accurate it is. If you got to Steve Greggs website and click on forums you can go to a site run by some of his friends from up north in Oregon,he is affiliated with them and posts there a lot .He used to have a school up there now hes back in Santa Cruz.

    http://www.theos.org/forum

  21. Steve Gregg is a preterist and yes preterists love to argue. They cannot use sound biblical doctrine or historical truth so they just spout their own myopic positions and knock everyone else in the area of eschatology.

  22. Steve Gregg is a preterist,of that I am convinced. He sees nothing unusual about Israel becoming a Nation
    after all this time…which when you think about it on face value is absurd. Israel becoming a Nation is
    fulfillment of Biblical prophecy and to not see that to me really makes me wonder if any of
    his theology is correct.Its sad really…and debating it or trying to get him to see it is pointless.Only the
    Holy Spirit can reveal it to him cause he disregards the Word he calimns to love so much when it comes to such
    things….its sad really.

  23. Chris I went there and read a little of Steves arguments…its just plain whacky…I dont even know
    where to start with such nonsense. But it is proof Steve never went to Bible college.
    Being self taught can be a good thing if the Holy Spirit is leading you into the truth
    otherwise you end up with preterism.

  24. I read some of what Steve Gregg said on that link as well. It is pretty boring stuff and it is more a argument about what Steve Gregg really believes then it is a defense of the points against preterism that Norman Geslier wrote about. Half of what I read was talking about the definition of “literal” as if anyone gives a hoot. You either take the passages in the Bible in the context the author meant them to be taken or you are in error. Preterism clearly spiritualizes many Old Testament scriptures without any indication from the author that what they said is anything but a literal future fulfillment on earth. They rationalize doing this by interpreting the Old Testament through a faulty interpretation of the New Testament.

    What is really strange is why someone who claims he does not believe a lot of what Hank Hanagraaff said in his book would butt in and write a major article defending preterism for Hank. I just think that Gregg is on a warpath against dispensationalism because he thinks that he has now become self enlightened. You have to be very myopic to be a preterist to start with, since the weight of evidence is against that theology. I guess since they have such flimsily supported theories they feel they have to go out of their way to attack dispensational beliefs because dispensational it is a threat to their very weak theological and historical arguments.

    Also, the comments on that link are all comments of preterists so it really is just a cheering gallery for Steve Gregg.

  25. Wow. He would be the first Christian I have ever seen that thinks Israel becoming a nation is not significant. Gotta wonder if someone is truly saved with that P.O.V.

  26. I think that the reason that some take the time to refute dispensationalism is because so many (not all)
    dispensationalists teach things that are so clearly offensive. For example, the idea of the sacrificial system being
    reinstated. I know that not all are guilty of teaching such a things but it does call for attention.

  27. “Gotta wonder if someone is truly saved with that P.O.V.”????? Please tell me your not serious. There are people that I passionatly disagree with concerning end times but I would never think to question their salvation. What in the world does the status of Isreal have to do with the salvation of ones soul?

  28. Offensive to who?? Those who do not understand the Bible so they are offended by what it says? The Bible clearly says there will be a sacrificial system in the millennium, just read Ezekiel chapters 40 through 48. If people cannot handle what God said will take place in the Kingdom dispensation it is their own ignorance problem. The only question should be why there will be a sacrificial system in the millennium, not if there will be one? The blood of animals never did and never will take away sin so there is another purpose for the sacrifices. It really is up to the student to find out why there our still sacrifices in the millennial Kingdom not to deny or allegorize what cannot be allegorized.

    The real problem with those who are against dispensational teaching is the teachings do not fit their replacement theology where all is now about the Church. God’s revealed plan was never about the grafted in spiritual Gentile Church (Gentile means “not Jewish” and since the Church is born of the Spirit it is by very definition Gentile). God’s revealed word through His prophets was always about His covenants with Israel. The New Testament is God’s directions to the grafted in spiritual bride of the Jewish King in order to prepare her for her Jewish husband and King. Israel is blinded to these things until the fullness of the Gentiles comes in (all called to be in the spiritual body of Christ that will make up the bride).

    People in the Church can be myopic and see the little picture about the grafted in wild branches or they can open their eyes and see that the big picture is about the whole commonwealth of Israel and not just themselves who are really just the grafted in branches on God’s Olive tree.

  29. I really think Steve knows the truth but for some reason he cant accept it.
    Its something other than his contention that the Bible teaches his views.Its
    deeper than that. His views are border line anti Semitic in a way,that somehow
    Gods just done with Israel. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact Jeremiah said it best.


    32 It will not be like the covenant
    I made with their forefathers
    when I took them by the hand
    to lead them out of Egypt,
    because they broke my covenant,
    though I was a husband to [d] them, [e] ”
    declares the LORD.

    33 “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
    after that time,” declares the LORD.
    “I will put my law in their minds
    and write it on their hearts.
    I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.

    34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor,
    or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’
    because they will all know me,
    from the least of them to the greatest,”
    declares the LORD.
    “For I will forgive their wickedness
    and will remember their sins no more.”

    35 This is what the LORD says,
    he who appoints the sun
    to shine by day,
    who decrees the moon and stars
    to shine by night,
    who stirs up the sea
    so that its waves roar—
    the LORD Almighty is his name:

    36 “Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,”
    declares the LORD,
    “will the descendants of Israel ever cease
    to be a nation before me.”

    37 This is what the LORD says:
    “Only if the heavens above can be measured
    and the foundations of the earth below be searched out
    will I reject all the descendants of Israel
    because of all they have done,”
    declares the LORD.

  30. Actually preterists are antisemitic even if they like to deny it. God clearly says He has a special plan for the physical descendants of Jacob and they say that God broke His covenant with the nation of Israel because of their sins. If God changes his unbreakable covenants based on Israel’s sins what comfort does that give to the continually sinning Church grafted into the commonwealth of Israel that God will keep His covenant to save them? God does not change, and He does not lie!

  31. Don I don’t usually say this kind of thing but people like you just frustrate me. l’m sure that we will come to agree and and enjoy rich fellowship in heaven but here on earth your not too bright. In fact your comments reveal that you are entirely ignorant of what what why people believe what they do. If you new what you were talking about you would not be so dogmatic. In fact it is clear that having a reasonable conversation with you is not possible so I guess this is the end of our conversation. I can’t decide what is more offensive, the idea that God would set up another sacraficial system as the dispensationlaists say or the idea that all of the prophacies in the Bible are fullfilled as the preterests say. Both of you are just way off.

  32. For the record and for all who care to know, God has indeed been nothing but faithful to Israel. The word makes it clear that “not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.” Joshua 21:45. Many poeple fail to take into consideration that part of God’s promise to Israel was that he would spew them out of the land if they walked in the ways that the inhabitants of the land did Deut. 28. 15 ff. This is not antisemitic it is Bible. Was Paul antisemetic when he said that wrath had come upon them to the uttermost? Thess. 2:16?

  33. You know John I will let this one pass but normally what you said would get you banned from this Blog. I assure you such personal attacks will get you banned in the future.

    God promised that he would spew Israel out of the land if they did not keep the covenant but He also in many places said that He would one day bring the house of Israel back to the Land and restore them in the Land. The New Covenant promise was actually given to the house of Jacob and Judah without preconditions and you are antisemitic if you say else wise.

    Jer 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

    If you do not think God will not have a sacrificial system in the millennium tell us how you explain Ezekiel chapters 40 through 48 instead of slinging mud? The chapters are clearly talking about the millennial temple and describe sacrifices in it. Maybe you make it allegorical but doing so would make the whole eight chapters nothing but non-sense. By the way, the sacrificial system in Ezekiel is not exactly the same as the system before Christ so don’t now tell me that these chapters are about the past. Neither were the temple dimensions given in those chapters or the land promises in those chapters ever fulfilled in the past.

    I do not know why you would be offended by what God said through Ezekiel? Just because a sacrificial system in the restored Kingdom does not fit your present belief system does not mean what God said will not play out. What did you think Jesus was going to do if the Jews had accepted Him? He would have been their high priest. He must still be their high priest when they do accept Him. Israel still has a role on this earth that has not yet been fulfilled and Jesus plays His part as the Messiah of Israel ruling and reigning with a rod of iron from the millennial temple until all enemies of God are defeated. That means Israel will obey the law because the law will be written in their hearts during the seventh millennium.

    Nobody is saying that Jesus did not pay the price for sin. Instead of being offended why don’t you seek out the explanation for the sacrificial system in the millennium? Plenty of people have given explanations and the answer is really only a Google search away.

    I will even help you out.

    http://www.raptureready.com/featured/ice/LiteralSacrificesInTheMillennium.html

  34. Fair enough. I was too harsh. I reacted rather then responded and I apologize. I reacted to what I find to be some mud slinging of your own in charging people with title of antisemite (even though I am not a preterest). and the Frank’s most ungenerous questioning of ones salvation for not having a certain end times belief (which should not have effected my response to you. Having said that I will return later to answer your question when I have some more time.

  35. I did not use the word antisemitic to suggest that preterists hate or want to persecute Jews. I am suggesting that by denying what God promised to Israel they have a form of discrimination against Israel which is one of the definitions of the word. We see that in the political stances that most preterists and Replacement Theology believers take against Zionism today.

  36. The error many Evangelicals make is their belief that anyone who is not a dispensationalist must be a supersessionist who thoroughly hates the Jews and is against the existence of the modern state of Israel by definition. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is true, however, that superssessionism, which is incompatible with classic dispensationalism, is often used to justify an unsound hatred of the Jews. However, as a supporter of Israel’s right to exist, I must say that the way in which some of their opponents worship the modern-day State of Israel and hardly reach the Jews or Muslims with the Gospel as a result, is also unsound.

  37. That may true with some Evangelicals but most of the amillennial Covenant Theology denominations and the postmodern’s are siding with the Palestinians against Israel. As as you well know the Palestinian people are supporting terrorism against Israel and they will not accept Israel’s right to exist even within the land boundaries given to them by the United Nations. Christians should not be siding with this greater evil instigated by islamofascists and those who have a far left humanistic appeasement toward these terrorists worldview. I agree that some Evangelicals have mistaken the people in Israel with people who are living in the will of God. Clearly the Bible teaches great future tribulation for those living in Israel before any spiritual restoration. However, according to Bible prophecy there will be even greater tribulation for the Gentile nations who come against Israel living in the land in the last days. That could not happen before 1948. So we have arrived.

  38. It seems to me that a lot of this confusion came about because people get Gods plan for the Church and
    Gods plan for Israel confused.They are two completely different things on a different program.
    Israel disappeared around A.D. 135 and then reappeared in 1948 but the Church has never replaced Israel.
    The promises to Israel are still true and God is no man that He should lie. Here are just a few differences
    between the Church and Israel I found on http://www.ironhillbaptist.org/bibi/id23.html

    “1. Israel is a literal nation (Gen 12:2). The Church is spiritual (Gen 12:3).

    2. Israel has physical boundaries (Gen 13:5). The Church is universal (Mt 28:19).

    3. Israel has political leaders. The Church has Jesus Christ as its head (Eph 5:23).

    4. Israel has both spiritual and secular laws governing it. The Church only has spiritual laws governing it (Rom 8:1-2).

    5. Israel is never defined as a “mystery” it is a peculiar God-raised nation. The Church is a “mystery” unknown and unseen in the Old Testament (Rom 11:25; 16:25; Eph 1:9; 3:3 etc).

    6. Israel is not called the “body of Christ”; it is a nation of both believers and unbelievers. The Church is called a “living body” (a living organism) and consists of only believers in Christ (1 Cor 12:27).

    7. Israel had a Temple but it was not called the “Temple of God.” The Church consisted of many believers who are all “temples” in which God dwells (1 Cor 3:17; 6:19).

    8. Israel did not have a permanent indwelling Holy Spirit; the Spirit would come and go (1 Sam 16:23). The Church has a permanent indwelling Holy Spirit.

    9. Israel was subjugated to approach a hierarchy of priests in order to be reconciled into fellowship with God. The Church has every believer a priest (1 Pet 2:9).

    10. Israel was given scores of unconditional promises as a nation. The unconditional promises given to Israel cannot be transferred to the Church. The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable (Rom 11:29).

    11. Israel was promised a blessed Messianic kingdom on earth (2 Sam 7:13). The church was promised a home in heaven (Jn 14:1-4).

    12. Israel will not receive its final blessings until much prophecy has been fulfilled (Mt 24; Rev 19). The Church has always believed that Jesus could return at any moment in history and that no intervening prophecy must be fulfilled before he returns for the Church (1 Thes 4:13-17; 1 Cor 15:51-55; Rev 4-5).

    13. New Testament writers distinguish between those inside national Israel who are spiritual and those who are only Israelites by physical birth. They are called the “Israel of God” (Gal 6:16). The Church is never called “Israel” or “spiritual Israel.”

    Maranatha

  39. James, that is a nice piece of classic dispensationalism which you are entitled to, but, with all due respect, I think that you sound confused yourself. Here’s why: covenant theology does not have to equal to supersessionism and amillenialism (or antisemtism, by extension), and to claim otherwise is just nonsense or intellectual dishonesty. I’m not saying this to suggest you must agree with convenant theology, I am only trying to point out that people from all sides throw mud at each other and talk like they don’t know what they’re talking about themselves. I’m not an amillenialist, I’m actually a premillenialist despite not being a dispensationalist. I disagree with the way some demonize dispensationalists but then again, I also disagree with people who call amilleniallists “apostates”, for instance.

    I don’t think the Church has or had to “replace” Israel at all because I see it as a continuation of Israel in a certain sense. I also do not see God cutting off all of Israel so He still has a future with the offspring of His chosen people but these apply to the elect from among the Israelites who become Christians. Being a descendant of Isaac does not guarantee anything and you will not benefit from it as long as you keep rejecting the Messiah of Israel who is none other than Jesus. To suggest that the Jews and Gentiles are entirely separate peoples whom God deals with differently is incorrect. If you want to be consistent on your view, then strictly speaking there cannot be any Jewish converts to Christianity in the current “church dispensation”, and the Jews may be able to reach salvation without accepting Jesus. The latter view is heretical in my view, but I know that might not be what you believe.

    Israelites are the firstborn of God, giving them a special status, but they still need Christ for salvation. Jews who reject Christ are really just blasphemers who are not true Israel and need to hear the Gospel rather than a lecture about our support for a Jewish homeland (which I do not object to at all, for the record). If the establishment of modern-day Israel were a fulfillment of Israel’s national restoration, then why is perhaps not even one mere percentage of the Jewish Israelis Christian/Messianic? Modern-day Israel does not have a biblical right to do whatever it pleases with the land or to claim that Jerusalem is theirs.

    God gave Israel in the power of invaders and enemies when it had forsaken God’s commandments. If Israel today does not repent and refuses to accept her Messiah then it is bound to go down that road again. The only reason why it might not happen is that God may use modern Israel to raise His elect from among them to bring Israel to true national restoration – which can only be brought about by a spiritual and inner change at heart of all Israelites.

  40. There are quite a few holes in your argument but I do not really think I want to get into them all. What James was showing in the list he quoted was the differences between the grafted in Gentile Church and true Israel. The Church is spiritual it not true Israel and cannot fulfill the promises to true Israel.
    Rather than me creating the wheel again here I think this article by Jack Kelly will explain much.

    http://gracethrufaith.com/ikvot-hamashiach/the-great-pause/

  41. One of my very favorite passages regarding Israel is in Jeremiah 33. After reading it remember
    the moon and the sun are still in the sky even as you read this.Was God confused? No of course not!
    Its so very plain.

    31The time is coming,” declares the LORD,
    “when I will make a new covenant
    with the house of Israel
    and with the house of Judah.

    32 It will not be like the covenant
    I made with their forefathers
    when I took them by the hand
    to lead them out of Egypt,
    because they broke my covenant,
    though I was a husband to [d] them, [e] ”
    declares the LORD.

    33 “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
    after that time,” declares the LORD.
    “I will put my law in their minds
    and write it on their hearts.
    I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.

    34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor,
    or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’
    because they will all know me,
    from the least of them to the greatest,”
    declares the LORD.
    “For I will forgive their wickedness
    and will remember their sins no more.”

    35 This is what the LORD says,
    he who appoints the sun
    to shine by day,
    who decrees the moon and stars
    to shine by night,
    who stirs up the sea
    so that its waves roar—
    the LORD Almighty is his name:

    36 “Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,”
    declares the LORD,
    “will the descendants of Israel ever cease
    to be a nation before me.”

  42. Are you wondering why I quoted the same verse twice…I was so overwhelmed in its clarity I just had too! Especially the mmon and sun still being above us.

  43. I always try to interpret the OT in light of the NT, not the other way around. You use this passage to say that God has a different plan for Israel. I disagree. Not all that are of Israel are true Israel as God’s Apostle to the Gentiles said himself. The passage in Acts which the article Don linked to cites, actually shows how Jesus corrected the Apostles who thought that He would be restoring Israel, i.e. an earthly kingdom for the Israelites alone. Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world and He told His apostles to make disciples among the Jews as well as among all the nations. The Gentiles share the blessings given to Israel because they are grafted on the tree and they are heirs of the covenant God made with Abraham, when God promised that his children would be as many as the stars. I believe this refers not only to the Jews but also to the Gentiles because there really are not that many Jews, much less Jews who are actually saved at all.

    I believe God has one chosen people which consists of all those who God has elected to salvation. They are those who confess that Jesus is the Messiah and the Son of God, though I agree that “physical” Israel will be the most eminent among them when it is restored. Israel’s true restoration *as a nation*, however, cannot be fulfilled until all of them are saved and have reconciled with God by accepting the Messiah when He brings His heavenly Kingdom to earth. To my mind it is obvious that their national restoration can then only be in the Millennium. However, until that time, there are still Jews who come to faith thanks to God’s love and mercifulness, so not all of the Jews are blinded, and these believers are obviously God’s chosen people and they belong to the Church. So no, I don’t see such a thing as a Great Pause since many of the earliest converts and all of the Apostles were Jews or Israelites themselves.

    In the scriptures of the Hebrew prophets, I see God saying that He would be a God to Israel again AFTER Israel repents and has cast down the graven images of its pagan idols. As long as they did not, He was not a God unto them, save for His elect who would re-establish worship in the land of Israel. Although I am willing to believe that God allowed the modern state of Israel to be established (and again, I do support its existence), the land as well as Jersulem are God’s, and not the Israelis but He does with it and its inhabitants as He pleases.

    Enough said on the subject. I doubt we’ll convince each other but at least we acknowledge Jesus’ coming before the Millennium. I have only written this in the hope that you might see that to be non-dispensationalist does not automatically mean that you are antisemitic or a superssessionist. I am neither an antisemite or a superssessionist. My best regards to both, and God bless.

  44. I think what you said does require some further elaboration on this issue.

    I think you interpret the Bible with the Bible wherever you find the answers. But, it is true that you need the light of the New Testament to properly interpret some things in the Old.

    (My kingdom is not of this world)? Actually a better translation might say that Jesus said His Kingdom is not of this “world system”. kosmos = world-system. That would be the world system under the present administration of Satan. Clearly the Bible talks about a earthly kingdom where Jesus rules on earth. You even admit to that.

    You are correct that all identified with Abraham (people of true faith in the only true God) are children of God but that might not mean everything that you suggest. God has a plan for earthly Israel under the rule of the Messiah. The Spiritual body of Christ is not Israel and cannot fulfill earthy scriptures about Israel. You cannot have a marriage in Heaven to the King before the return of Christ and then claim that everyone born after the marriage is also part of the Bride or Body of Christ (Eph 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
    32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
    ).

    God has a natural people called true Israel and He has a spiritual body of those that have already attained to the first resurrection spiritually speaking through betrothal to the resurrected King. It is true that all of God’s people will become immortal one day but certainly not before the thousand year reign.

    Although not all natural Jews are blinded the nation is clearly blinded and when the Bible talks about Israel it is talking about the Nation as a whole not each individual Jew. God does not discriminate. Everyone can become part of the Body of Christ called the Church if they fulfill the requirements for being born from above. That requirement is the belief in God’s righteousness to save which is also the meaning of the name Jesus and what Jesus fulfilled for believers.

    In my writings I also made the argument that those in true Israel are in the Body of Christ that is where I disagree with most dispensationalists but that does not mean that there was not a pause for God’s earthly purpose of natural Israel while God poured out His grace on anyone in the world who will believe. We have to see the difference between the spiritual calling and God’s reason for choosing Israel as a natural Holy Nation as a nation of light to the world. This will be accomplished in the millennium. All the other six thousand years is leading to the great things that God will accomplish through Israel and His King in the last thousand years. I think more people will live on earth and more will be saved in that thousand years then ever lived on earth in all of its previous history. I can easily see the world eventually supporting 100 billion people under the conditions in the millennial reign. I say all that to say this. God has a mission for natural Israel on earth. It has not been fulfilled and it will not be fulfilled until they accept their King. God has a purpose for the Body of Christ we will rule and reign with Christ and direct spiritual forces to accomplish God’s purpose on earth during that reign and to forever dwell with Him in the Holy City.

  45. Thank you for the long reply yet In Romans 11 Paul addresses the whole issue and its hinges upon the times of the Gentiles being fulfilled. Do you know what that is ? Its when the last Gentile believes and then God Raptures the Church. Through the 7 year tribulation God wont be dealing with the Church…He will be dealing with an unbelieving world and Israel. I
    especially like verses 33-36 where Paul expounds on the wisdom of God and how God He needs know counselor.
    Truly the Greeks seek for wisdom…..the Jews for a sign….but to us who believe the cross and its message
    is the power of unto us who believe.

    25I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
    “The deliverer will come from Zion;
    he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.
    27And this is[f] my covenant with them
    when I take away their sins.”[g]
    28As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, 29for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. 30Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, 31so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now[h] receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. 32For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.

    Doxology

    33Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and[i] knowledge of God!
    How unsearchable his judgments,
    and his paths beyond tracing out!
    34″Who has known the mind of the Lord?
    Or who has been his counselor?”[j]
    35″Who has ever given to God,
    that God should repay him?”[k]
    36For from him and through him and to him are all things.
    To him be the glory forever! Amen.”

    After the Church has been raptured ( an imminent event by the way) God will remove the blinders off of Israel
    and many will come to believe in the Messiah who died on a cross and rose form the dead.

    “8For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written:
    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
    the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”[c]

    In my understanding preterists think somehow God is through with Israel. I think it is anti Semitic or anti Jewish if
    you will and rather bold I might add to tell God when He can be finished with His people( which we know isnt valid).
    Paul knew it and addressed the issue head on. Israel becoming a Nation and being back in the land God promised them is a direct fulfillment of Prophecy and focuses the whole worlds attention back onto the plan of God.

    ” 20Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. ”

    But with all that said we need to be about the Fathers business because in the twinkeling of an eye all
    born again believers are going to be taken away in the Rapture.One will be taken and another left.

    Even so
    Come Lord Jesus

  46. Well, Don, if only what you say were what I hear most dispensationalist saying, I would not have as much reason to object. I acknowledge an era of earthly reign of Christ on earth after He returns and ressurects the Saints, but I see the national restoration of Israel as being possible only after the tribulation when Jesus manifests Himself and establishes His direct rule over them in the Millennium; then they will reprent and be saved as a nation, and this national restoration in the Millenium will allow for the salvation of many Gentiles who will then share in the blessings and promises made to the believing Israelites. Where I disagree with dispensationalists is their claim that May 1948 is the fulfillment of God’s promise to restore Israel, giving them the right to inherit the land stretching from the Nile to the Euphrates. From my point of view the existence of modern Israel is more likely to be a development to allow for that ultimate spiritual salvation and national restoration of Israel when they will truly be His people in both a physical and spiritual way.

    I see in the Church a certain continuation of Israel as we are elected as were the Israelites of old, rather than a replacement, which cuts off all hope to salvation for the Jews and would not allow for their restoration as God’s people. So it should be clear I’m not arguing in favor of replacement. I agree that Israel is used in various ways in the Bible but I do believe that the Gentiles share in the promises made to Israel also “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:29) So the Jews [Israel] are [is] obviously a people and a nation like all others but I do not see why they would have to be separate from the Body of believers for that reason since both Gentiles and Jewish believers are God’s people. If China became entirely Christian then it would not cease to be a nation, but it would also be part of the Body of believers, so why cannot the same apply to believing Israel as the firstborn of God whom He made His covenant with, without them being a fully distinct people of God that is separate from the Church, as dispensationalists teach – but rather the most eminent as the people of the covenant?

    I think the root of the disagreement here perhaps isn’t as much about the role of Israel but about the idea of a pre-tribulational rapture. Only if that (a pretrib rapture) is actually true at all it would make sense to say that the (exclusively gentile, or both gentile & Jewish [?]) Church is to be removed and God proceeds His work with the Israelites and the Millennium becomes a largely Jewish affair.

    With all due respect but dispensationalism keeps evolving and changing, and there are so many different views I keep coming across which all claim to be dispensationalist, to the point where it’s getting ridiculous and I have to ask myself what’s the point in arguing. James says things that are more reminiscent of classic dispensationalism, then I see the website you linked to claim that the Mosaic dispensation needs to be completed after the Church is taken away, and you saying Israel and the Church are not entirely distinct, etc. I don’t see people clearly being bound by dispensations in themselves, but by the law of faith under the covenant of grace, which will continue into the Millenium even if it means that God deals somewhat differently with man in certain aspects as Jesus will then be ruling personally on earth. But this does not abrogate the covenant that man obtains salvation through God’s grace – nor was this the case in the Mosaic dispensation. To me, Jeremiah 33 means that Israel will be renewed through Christ and receive His Spirit in the way you and I have been saved, but not by another covenant. I see the Millennium as the incarnation of God’s Kingdom rather than a different dispensation altogether.

    I won’t get into speculations about what exactly the Millennium will mean to the planet because honestly such details do not interest or bother me since it’s not in the Bible and therefore makes no difference to the Gospel and to eternal salvation.

    Having said that, I’m not going to keep arguing here because the original topic was preterism and I did not intend to attack dispensationalism here but to refute some of the claims that were made regarding those who are not dispensationalist. The real issue in this topic is futurism and premillenialism versus preterism. God bless.

  47. ThePaleRider,

    I agree with much of what you say about the Church but I do not where you get some of your ideas about what dispensationals believe?

    I think you misunderstand dispensationalism. Dispensational Theology is just another way of looking at what God said other than then through the amillennial allegorical supersession method that prevailed in the Church since before Augustine. Dispensationalists say prophetic scriptures will be fulfilled in a very literal sense rather than through the theology were God is now done with the Nation of Israel so all these passages about Israel are now fulfilled in the Church.

    The dispensationalists I have read do not believe that 1948 is the fulfillment of the promise to restore Israel. Some might say it is the start of the process to eventually do that but that is exactly what you also implied. Dispensational Theology was around long before 1948. What most dispensationists really say is that God will start dealing with Israel again after the rapture of the Church. They say after the fullness of the Gentiles comes in God will complete the last seven years that is yet to be fulfilled with Israel before Israel’s restoration. That is why they talk about a great pause. They believe God has not yet completed his 490 years with Israel mention in Daniel. They believe Jesus was cut off in the 483rd year and that there are still seven years left to be fulfilled which they call the tribulation. They say most of Revelation describes the major events in these last seven years. Of course preterists believe the 490 weeks were already fulfilled.

    I hope no dispensationalist is saying that Israel will receive salvation in a different way then us? I do not see dispensational people teaching that unless they believe in the duel covenant heresy. The New Covenant was a promise to Israel and Judah. We received it before natural Israel because when we believed we became part of the spiritual body of their King while the Nation of Israel as a whole still remains in unbelief. However, Israel as a nation was blinded as we were blinded before God poured out His Spirit and opened our eyes. God is consistent and just. Israel will soon be given amazing grace just like us and the Gentiles that rejected him will then be totally blinded by the Antichrist. When Israel acknowledges their offense and accepts their Messiah the New Covenant will be given to the whole house of Israel. There will be no exceptions because the evil people in Israel in the days of the returning of the Lord would have already been killed in the time of refining in the time of Jacob’s trouble.

    Early dispensationalism took certain thinking too far and made divisions that probably do not exist. Progressive dispensationalists try to bridge the gap but often the bridge collapses because it has no real biblical foundation. I call myself a modified dispensationalist and I see now that John MacAuthur claims pretty much the same handle. Where we really different with original classical dispensationalism is that we do not see the Church starting at Pentecost. As I said before elsewhere, I think pentecost was the start of the New Covenant where God poured out His Spirit on all who will hear and believe. It was not the start of the Church which as you correctly say is equated with the children of Abraham the people of faith at least until the marriage to the King. That includes the faithful of Israel. Otherwise you put most of the great men of faith of the Old Testament on a lower level in heaven then the grafted in Gentiles branches. There is only one Olive tree and only one Commonwealth of Israel but in that tree there are natural branches and there are branches like us that really have no business being there apart from God’s amazing grace.

    There of course is much difference in thinking between teachers of Dispensational Theology but that is true of any major theology.

  48. Imagine what effect millions of people disappearing in a millisecond will do to the world? Chaos….Who will merge
    onto the scene to bring peace once the Church is gone???? I think I know! In the Old Testament when a bridegroom
    was coming for his bride she was always supposed to be ready for he could appear at any time. How much more should we be ready and looking up. Throughout the New Testament we are admonished to be ready and to be looking for the appearing of our great God and Savior the Lord Jesus Christ.Its interesting to talk about theology…but we must always remember to be about the Fathers business. I enjoy reading both your ideas but in the final analysis no one seems to really convince the other. I do take an interest though in preterism because I feel its whacky…and needs to be strongly denounced a false doctrine,period.On this Im emphatic…its dangerous and its a dangerous way to view Israel,who are still the apple of Gods eye.

  49. Quite and interesting conversation. This post is to address the question as to what I find so offensive with the idea of restoring a sacrificial system. Don asked what I find so objectionable about taking a literal interpretation of Ez, 40-48. The following is a brief treatment of that passage. There are 5 ways that people have viewed the passage and most can easily be dismissed unless someone has an a priori theological construct that the passage needs to fit into.
    1. The passage is describing the temple in the past.
    2. It is a description of a “spiritual temple”.
    3. It describes the temple that was built after the captivity.
    I trust that I don’t need to take the time to debunk these options as I am sure we would agree that these are not satisfying
    options.
    4. It is describing a literal temple that is to be built in the a millennium. There are a number of things in the passage that rule this
    out as a viable option.
    a. In 44:22 it speaks of marriage and who the priests may marry. In Lk. 20:34-35 Jesus clearly states that in the resurrection
    there will be no marrying or giving in marriage.
    b. 44:9 says forbids those who are uncircumcised from entering the temple. The consistent teaching of the N.T. states that
    circumcision avails nothing Gal. 5:6, 6:15 Romans 2:26 ff. Those who would support future fulfillment of this passage
    would have us going backwards with circumcision which goes directly against the teaching of the N.T.
    c. The passage regularly speaks of the activity of the Levitical priests. The levitical priesthood was an inferior priesthood of
    which there is no longer a need. We have Jesus as our high priest. He is our high priest not according to the levitical order
    which never did (nor will it in the future) offer perfection (Heb. 7:11) , but by the order of Melchezidek Heb. 7. Once again,
    this would be a huge step back and not only that but rather offensive. Jesus is our high priest. What need have we for
    another priesthood, one that was always less.
    d. The passage regularly speaks of a sacrificial system and it is clear that they are for sin. The idea of God honoring future
    sacrifices is foreign to the N.T. God never did delight, nor did He desire sacrifice and offerings Heb. 10:5. They were
    always a shadow looking forward to Jesus and His sacrafice Heb. 9: 26 makes it clear that “He has appeared to put away
    sin by the sacrifice of Himself” and Heb. 10:10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus
    Christ ONCE FOR ALL. As Jesus said, “it is finished”. What place could future sacrifices possibly serve? Some would say
    it is for the ceremonial cleansing of the priest. Not the case. It makes it clear in Ez. that they are for sin. Some say that in the
    same way that the sacrifices looked forward to Christ that the future ones would serve as a memorial looking back. Not so.
    Once again the purpose of the sacrifices in the Ez. passage are clearly stated to be for sin. Besides we already have a
    memorial in communion. There are many that feel so strongly about this they will address this as “blasphemy” or “heresy”. I
    am slow to use such terms especially with such peripheral issues like eschatology but there are a couple of things that I
    believe warrant the label. Preterists teach that the ALL Bible prophecy has been fulfilled even the resurrection of the dead.
    In light of 2 Tim. 2 16 ff. heresy is the only term I can think of. Similarly the teaching of any kind of future sacrificial system.
    While I would never question the salvation of people that teach it I can’t think of anything to call it other than heresy. The sad
    thing is that people feel that they MUST believe it in order to hold to a literal interpretation of the passage when it is not
    needed. That brings me to the 5th. option.
    5. The passage is indeed speaking of a literal temple to be built IF Israel would repent and turn to God. Ez. 43:10 Son of man,
    describe the temple to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and let them measure the pattern. 11.
    AND IF THEY ARE ASHAMED OF ALL THAT THEY HAVE DONE, make known to them the design of the temple and its
    arrangement….. v.11….and preform them. This was to be preformed IF they were to be repentant. It is clear that only a small
    percentage came back from captivity because some were fine with where they were. Nehemiah, and Ezra rebuked the
    people for things they still needed to repent of. In short; had Israel submitted to the will of God then God would have built a
    grand temple and put…

  50. Hmm, sorry about that messy format. I tried to do some formating that did not come through. One final point. I realize that the 5th option may not be acceptable to some which is fine. When I am aware of multiple views I always like to see them as pales of water. If I were to shoot as many wholes in them as possible which pale (view) will hold the most water in the end? While the 5th. view is not perfect and may have a whole or two it clearly holds more water to my mind.

  51. Don, I actually know these things about dispensationalism. Perhaps I come across as not understanding dispensationalism because I disagree with it while still supporting premillennialism? There are certainly a number of things where I agree with you but that is mostly because we share our strong belief in a premillennial return of Christ and you are a progressive/modified dispensationalist. Almost every single dispensationalist I have come across myself teaches that the modern state of Israel is biblical fulfillment, that Israel therefore has a right to the land promised to them, and that Christians must unconditionally support her and some go as far as saying that only heretics and apostates hold differing views. Modified dispensationalist teaching still says that God has two distinct redemptive plans which are for the Church and for ‘natural’ Israel. I do not agree with that. However, from what I’ve written earlier, why is it so difficult to see that you can not be a dispensationalist and still believe in a restoration of Israel? I simply take Revelation and many other passages in the NT at face value and try to read the Bible in a natural way, which means I take it literally but do also look at the context, so I don’t always disagree with a spiritualized meaning of what some others might think of as being literal. Personally I don’t see two redemptive plans but I definitely do see God having a future for believing Israel as a covenant people and as a nation – I just don’t interpret these matters the way a dispensationalist would, that’s all. Many of the early Church Fathers did believe in Jesus’ second coming before a Millenium and after the tribulation, but very few, if any, employed a strictly dispensationalist interpretation. Regardless of any disagreements, my intention was not to bash dispensationalists and that is why I won’t keep repeating myself here because that would not get us anywhere. I don’t see you as my enemy, I simply disagree on some issues. I recognize that there are many godly people on almost all sides of the eschatological debate, and I used to have quite strong dispensationalist (probably closest to the classic one) in the past myself.

    Perhaps this might be useful: http://www.reformedreader.org/mchart.htm

    God bless.

  52. I agree that 1 through 5 are all ridiculous explanations. You suggest that God spends 8 chapters telling Ezekiel about a millennial Temple and land promises to Israel that He knows will not take place?? God knew that Israel would not repent before He give Ezekiel the prophecy. All item five really shows is how far some people will go to try to explain away what God said. Besides, the link I gave to Thomas Ice’s article explains the millennial sacrificial system is also found in a couple of other prophetic books.

    All of your reasons why item 4 is not true are false assumptions. Obviously you did not read the explanation of Thomas Ice that I put in my comment or your would never have brought sub paragraph b. through d. up. In short these things take place because in the millennium God will be in the temple and the natural people serving Him with sin in their lives will have to be clean. Also, your sub paragraph “a.” shows a basic misunderstanding of all millennial prophetic scriptures. Obviously people will marry in the millennium or they would not be having children and they clearly are. The first resurrection is from corruptible flesh to incorruptible it is not talking about natural beings in the millennium.

    In all your explanations you take passages about what applies to the blood paid for spotless spiritual Bride of Christ and then apply them to a natural millennial nation on earth. The problem with your view is that you try to view everything through the eyes of the spiritual Church instead of taking what God said at face value and admitting that most future prophetic events in the Bible are not about the spiritual Church. They are about the nation of Israel and those who come against Israel.

  53. We do think Israel being back in the land is the start of a prophetic fulfillment for the end times. For you cannot have a fulfillment of future prophetic passages without Israel being back in their land. But, we are not saying that Israel today is any fulfillment of its spiritual restoration. As I said before, most dispensational teachers do not think God deals with Israel again for the final seven years until after the fullness of the Gentiles comes in. Most claim that when the fullness is in the Rapture will occur. It is true that there are those who think we are going to receive a curse if we are not supporting a greater Israel today. I teach against that and that is why I brought this Issue up just a few posts ago.

    http://www.thepropheticyears.com/wordpress/telling-the-truth-to-israel-in-these-last-days.html

    I have some problems with Reformed Theology and five point Calvinism but this is not the place to get into that.

  54. Actually I did read the article and I found it entirely unconvincing and it didn’t, nor do others trying to say the same thing, make any sense at all. I am clearly misunderstanding something. Is the millennium in your understanding after the resurrection? Why would we need the levitical priesthood again? Why will their need to be circumcision? Will Jesus sacrifice not be enough for the “natural millennial nation” on earth”?
    You say that option 5 just shows how far people go to try to explain away the passage. Why in the world would I want to “explain away” the passage? I am not trying to explain away. I am trying to understand it and it seems to be the best way to do so at face value. Come to think of it, I don’t think that gave any reason why it is wrong view other than asking “You suggest that God spends 8 chapters telling Ezekiel about a millennial Temple and land promises to Israel that He knows will not take place??” The answer is yes. There are plenty of times that God actually tells Israel what He “would have done” had Israel been willing. So on what basis (from the passage) would you dismiss view 5?

  55. There is no such example in scripture where God gives such prophetic detail and then says I would have done it if you obeyed me but since you did not everyone should now disregard all my inspired word to Ezekiel. That simply is nonsense. If God said that Israel would get a blessing or a curse based on some condition He also clearly spelled out the conditions within the passages. There are no such conditions in Ezekiel chapter 40 through 48 and no reason to take it anything but future and literal. By the way, these chapters follow the Gog war of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 and at the end of chapter 39 Israel is restored. Or did God also change His mind about that? Frankly, suggesting that Ezekiel chapter 40 through 48 will not be fulfilled is grasping at straws to try to justify bazaar theology. It simply is not an honest way to deal with God word.

    I do not know why you want to explain away the passage but you tried to. I figured you just copied it from someone who came up with these feeble arguments to try to explain away what cannot be explained away to justify their preterism.

    The levitical priesthood serves the Lord in the Temple they are not the high priest and I already told you why they have to be clean and so did Dr. Ice. God’s Holy presence will be in the Temple on Earth in the millennium and people set apart to serve Him will serve Him according to the way God said they will serve a Holy God.

    There will be circumcision because that is part of the Abrahamic Covenant to the physical descendants. What you continually fail to understand is these people are not the spiritual Church. At this point the Church is married to the King and ruling and reigning with Christ. These natural people are the natural descendants of Israel that survived the tribulation and who are having descendants of their own. In the millennium God says in Ezekiel 44:9 that neither the uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary. So we see here that God is quite aware that the physical act of circumcision represents a circumcised heart. In the millennium those who enter the sanctuary must obey both the outward and the inward. God requires obedience just like He tells the Church to be baptized? Does baptism save anyone. No. And neither does circumcision, both are outward acts representing what takes place in the heart of a person. Natural Israel has its own ordinances to observe as does the spiritual Church. By the way, when God said in Ezekiel 44:9 that “the uncircumcised in heart, nor the uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary”. Was that also done away with because of Israel’s disobedience with the rest of Ezekiel chapter 40 – 48 as you suggest? Or do you get to pick and choose which passages no longer apply in Ezekiel 40 – 48? I hope you see how loony this gets.

    Of course Jesus sacrifice is sufficient for salvation in the millennial reign who would say otherwise? There is only one way to be saved. Why do Kings and world leaders have honor guards who always perform a ritual when the leader appears in public? Does the King of Kings not qualify for His own honor guard and can He not have the rules that He Himself set up? Ceremonial temple rules for cleansing will be in place as long as sinful men administer to a Holy God in His Temple. People in the millennium do sin you know.

    Like I said before much of the Church looks at things as if everything in the Bible is about the Church. No, everything is really about how God chooses to interact with man on earth. The Church is part of the picture but the big picture is much larger than just the Church.

    I think we have said enough about this. I am seeing the same questions being repeated and this is wasting the little time I have. Unless you can come up with some new credible reasons why Ezekiel chapters 40 through 48 are not going to be fulfilled as stated in the Bible upon a literal earth. I am not going to post it.

    To answer your other question the First resurrection is a multi phased event. First Christ Jesus the firstfruits afterward those who belong to Christ at His coming (1 Cor 15:23). Do not confuse the resurrection of the Church with the millennium on earth where natural people will dwell. Those who never died before the marriage took place in Heaven will not be resurrected to be part of the Spiritual body of Christ.

  56. Your right. Enough has been said on this. I trust that anyone coming across this blog will see for themselves which view holds the most water. By the way, no it was not copied, I wrote it myself. You say that I have bazaar theology? LOL have you taken a look at your projection table for the second coming of Jesus lately? I’m reminded of a friend of mine who really is a fragrant saint and a man of great faith. For years he has had “prophecy updates” gatherings where he would talk Bible prophecy. He had a teaching that he recorded, “96 reasons why the Lord MIGHT return in 96” being careful not to say anything dogmatically. The thing is that once it turned to 97 that recording could have been renamed, “96 examples of bad bible interpretation”. I asked him around 94 or 95, “hypothetically speaking, what year would we have to make it to for it to be posable for you to be wrong?” His answer, “I am sure it will not happen but if we make it to 2006, and again I’m sure we won’t, then I might be wrong on these things”. I love the time table you have. I’ve already sent it to friends. I’m going to keep that handy. Great stuff.

  57. If you really understood what I said in the timetable you would see that it has quite a time range. I also fully explain why I made the table in the article. Mainly it is so people would quite wasting their own time trying to figure out some specific date and just be aware that the time is getting short but probably not as short as some of the latest 2012 – 2019 date setters are now suggesting.

    Other reasons why I wrote it is because many ask me about the date of the Lord return or suggest a date. Now I just refer them to my table. My table is also key worded and found in search engine indexes such as Google and this attracts many date seekers to my website where they can get better educated on the second coming and other theology. It actually does bring thousands of new visitors each month. I admit that the table is sort of a gimmick for that purpose much like the “RaptureReady time clock” is. I certainly do not suggest my timetable is theology. Anyone who wants to view what I wrote can judge for themselves.

    http://www.thepropheticyears.com/comments/countdown_to_second_coming.htm

    I guess when it comes down to it your real defense of doing away with eight chapters of Ezekiel is taking a pot shot at those of us who see that the return of the Lord is very near and believe that end time events will take place in the lives of most who are living today. You really should have expected me talking about the soon return of Jesus on my website since the the name of this website is “ThePropheticYears”

    But rather than anyone relying on my table to tell people why the prophetic end times is likely in this generation. I hope readers will really read my 25 articles about world trends and Bible prophecy that actually correlate to indicate that the stage for end time prophetic events will be fully set in place within one to three decades. That is as close to date setting as I get. If you cannot see that the world cannot survive much beyond that time frame the way mankind is now heading, it is probably because you do not have a biblical worldview.

    http://www.thepropheticyears.com/reasons/reason%20why%20we%20are%20in%20the%20last%20days.htm

    If anyone should be so inclined, we certainly will not be discussing the 25 articles I wrote in the comment section of this Blog.

  58. Its very easy to defend a theology like preterism when you have that Mr Wizard time machine,this already happened…this is future and if some fact gets in the way it isnt literal its
    figurative . I mean its a brilliant scheme in a way but fortunately we have educated Christians to offer a defense against such nonsense.

  59. James what in the world are you talking about? Had you took the time to actually read anything that I have written you would see that 1. I said that in light 1 Tim. 2:16 ff. that I could think of no other word then heresy to use concerning preterism. 2. There isn’t one thing in the recent conversation that I have assigned to not being literal. As to your last caustic remark I could answer, “fortunately we have educated Christians that can read and avoid such silly mistakes”.

  60. John,

    I do not think James was talking to you. It seemed to me that he was making a statement about preterists in general.

  61. Yes Don…I was just making a blanket statement of preterists in general. It amazes me how they pick and choose whats literal and whats not. Thinking most of Revelation has already happened…its hilarious. I think its more than just a different eschatology…I would go as far as to say its almost a heretical. Jesus already returned??? Its wild.

  62. I love this word….” Rapture”….Are you living as if the Lord could return at any moment? Are you ready? Well we should be. Jesus hasnt returned as preterists claim…but He is coming.


    The mysterious event known as the Rapture is most clearly presented in Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, in which he encourages the grieving Christians that, at the “great snatch,” they will be reunited with those who have died in Christ before them.

    But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not precede them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. -1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

    In verse 17, the English phrase “caught up” translates the Greek word harpázô, which means “to seize upon with force” or “to snatch up.”

    There are those who claim that the word “rapture” isn’t in their Bible. That’s because they aren’t using the Latin translation:

    …deinde nos qui vivimus qui relinquimur simul rapiemur cum illis in nubibus obviam Domino in aera et sic semper cum Domino erimus.. -1 Thessalonians 4:17 (Latin Vulgate) 1

    The Latin equivalent of the Greek harpázô is the Latin verb rapio, “to take away by force.” In the Latin Vulgate, one of the oldest Bibles in existence, the appropriate tense of rapio appears in verse 17. (Raptus is the past participle of rapio, and our English words “rapt” and “rapture” stem from this past participle.)

    At the Rapture, living believers will be “caught up” in the air, translated into the clouds, in a moment in time, to join the Lord in the air.”

    http://www.khouse.org/articles/2002/444/

  63. To: John…you wrote (Preterists teach that the ALL Bible prophecy has been fulfilled even the resurrection of the dead.)
    This is not true.
    Christ will return in flaming fire and resurrect both believers and non believers for judgment.
    I would also like to state that Geislers’ rebuttal is a flimsy work of opinion with no real arguments or proof of his arguments included. i am wondering who came up with the misleading title to this post?
    Israel has no future land promises and it is a waste of christian dollars and time meant for the gospel proclamation to support such nonsense.

  64. I would like to state that those who criticize Dr. Norman Geisler without comprehending the points that he made might think the title is misleading but others who read it with any biblical understanding know the title is quite appropriate. Anyone with common sense would also know that I came up with the title but nobody ever accuses preterists of having common sense or they would not be preterists.

    If Israel has no future land promises you are into heretical replacement theology and you are also calling God a liar. I still have not heard one preterist give a reasonable explanation of all the physical promises given in great detail to a literal Israel on earth if all those passages are not to a literal Israel on earth. That is the real non-sense from someone like you who might claim the Bible is God’s word. Do you people even read and believe the Old Testament at all? Sometimes I think preterists believe in two different Gods, a old one and a new one, and that is why they criticized premillennial futurists for believing that God will do what He said in the Old Testament.

    Are you telling us that you use all of your money to support the gospel so that you can now criticize how other Christians spend their own money? Is there a difference between Christian dollars and American dollars and are Christians not allowed to use their American dollars as they see fit?

  65. Mike you might want to take a look at some basic preterist websites because what I said is indeed the case. Don I would encourage you to rethink some of what you wrote. As you know I think think that preterism is heresy due to their view on the resurection already taking place. However there are many people that are not preterist that think there is no future promises concerning land to Israel to be fulfilled (like all the reformers). It seems a bit much to charge these people with heresy wouldn’t you agree?

  66. Thanks for the polite ad hominem attack Don, you are a real gentleman. I do comprehend his points when he actually makes one. I know the arguments on both sides and like I stated before his work is flimsy, I expected much more depth from a president of a seminary. I figured you were the one who came up with the title but did not want to just assume it. It is not a brilliant defense of anything. I am not heretical and I do not need nor care for your approval. I would warn you to watch your tongue as you will be judged for every careless word especially against another of the LORD’s image bearers. I am not really against pre-mil or the futurist approach just the dispensational futurist approach. Although I would disagree about several important (not crucial points) with all of them. Such as the timing of the return, what the rapture looks like and how many resurrections there are. But this should be know to both sides of the debate.

    As for the land promises 2 Cor 1:20 For ALL the promises of God find their Yes in him.

    DEUT 30:16-17 “BUT IF your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them,
    “I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall NOT LIVE LONG in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess.
    The promises were conditional to Israel.
    Another point would be that the vast majority of the first Jewish believers in Jesus Christ were the true remnant and they formed the church of which we are a continuation of. ( what is heretical about that)
    If those are not satisfactory for you please show me why and some passages that come to your mind that lead you to believe there are future land promises in the end times as I would love to see your point of view.
    In Christ mike

  67. Mike, heresy really means “opinions or doctrines at variance with the official or orthodox position”
    So I guess since this error that God is done with the natural descendants of Israel has become within the orthodox position of much of today’s institutional Christianity I should not call them heretics under today’s orthodoxy but I also am quite sure that the founders of the true Church would call what they are saying heresy.

  68. Mike, If you are going to attack the content of the article I posted use real counter arguments. To just say that Dr. Geisler’s work is flimsy is nothing but a cheap shot. It might be flimsy to someone who rejects his dispensational futurist views but it is not flimsy to those who agree with them.

    Seems to me that you disagree with many about many things but that in itself does not make your theology acceptable to anyone else.

    I think your position is heretical and like I told Mike I think the early church would believe that as well so I am in good company. I think you are heretical if you twist the words of the prophets to mean something they did not say and deny that God talked about a physical restoration of Israel.

    The fact that the early Church was Jewish does not mean there is no future promise to natural Israel, on the contrary, it shows that all of the promises are to true Israel. Even the grafting in of the Gentiles into the commonwealth of Israel. The grafted in branches do not replace God’s purpose for the tree.

    You say you want scriptures on future land promises?
    From my article on ammillenial theology is in error.

    Issiah 35:1-2 Zech 14:4 14:8-11 have never taken place. Unless God is to go back on His word, or unless He reinterprets the meaning of this (which amounts to the same thing) in the New Testament, this must be fulfilled.

    Non-dispensationalists cannot adequately explain the temple in Ezekiel 40:1-46:24. The temple description is like none in the past due to its great size, and spiritualizing the passage does not explain the reasons for the great detail. The Temple is obviously built on earth in a future period of time on earth.

    Some amillennial theology says all this is not to be taken as literal. The claim is that because of Israel’s hardness of heart, the Church has replaced Israel, and the land promised by the Abrahamic Covenant is a reference to heaven. They support this by referring to Heb. 11:16 where it is said that Abraham looked for a heavenly city. However, this heavenly city cannot be equated with the land promise for that would mean that heaven had been occupied at one time by those pagan tribes, which is absurd. Also, the specific boundary descriptions imply an earthly real estate. This means that since this promise has not been fulfilled, its fulfillment is yet future, and a return of national, ethnic, regenerated Israel, to the land, must be anticipated.”

    No one denies that there were conditions put on Israel. That is why they have been out of the land a couple of times but that does not nullify all the passages that says that God will bring them back and the passages that talk about a restoration on earth.

  69. I would like to start out my reply to Don with some ground rules if I may. My heart going forward with this discussion is that we learn each others positions, see our own weaknesses, and display for others the love of Christ. I believe by doing so all will know we are His disciples and non-believers who happen across this will not see two more brothers bashing each other by name calling and mud flinging. I would like to mostly stick to scripture itself as it is the final authority and see that the less we refer to our opinions and church fathers the better off we both are. I am not sure how possible that is as this will be the first time I have done this. I will put quotes from you in red for clarity.

    The opening statement you have made to help describe the A-mil position does not fit my position so I will do my best to make it known how I understand the passages we will be discussing. You stated that A-mills teach all unfulfilled prophecy must be spiritualized or allegorized to pertain to the church. I would say that most of the prophecies have been fulfilled, if I see it this way after seeing the meaning spiritually that is fine as long as I have good reason to do so, one such reason would be if the NT interprets it this way. As far as allegorization goes I do not think I use it often in my hermeneutics though Paul uses it and so there is nothing wrong with it in and of itself only if it is used to explain away passages or fit into some system would I see a problem with it. For example your interpretation of the feasts is allegorical and I think it is an interesting idea for sure but doubt you can use scripture to prove it.
    I will not make any rebuttal about the early church fathers as they are not the final word and they do not seem capable of settling disputes. For example all of the fathers believed in free-will but I have yet to meet a Calvinists who changed their position based on that information.

    The claim that Amillennialism teaches that most things should be allegorized is misleading and not true. Amillennialists would just try to understand each passage in the way the writer intended and look to scripture to interpret it. For example most of the book of Revelation is a rehashing of OT symbols; A-mills would look back to those symbols to try to find the true meaning rather than newspapers and current events.

    “This view teaches that after Jesus’ second coming He will literally rule on the earth for a thousand-years”
    If you are going to take thousand literally then to keep the same hermeneutic you would need to take the chain, the dragon, the bottomless pit on earth, and the key all literally as well. Rev 20 makes no statement about the land of Israel, Jerusalem or the throne of David, which your camp seems to insert into the chapter.

    Someday the descendants of Israel will acknowledge their offense and receive their King and the new covenant promises. At that time all scripture promised to the natural descendants of Israel will be literally fulfilled.
    This is not taught in Romans 9-11. It says nothing about natural Israel being dealt with later. You miss the whole point of his argument mainly that Gods promises had not failed because not all are Israel who are called Israel. Paul is clearly teaching that true Israel is the remnant plus the gentiles. Amillinalist do not teach a “replacement theology” but as Paul is teaching here the church/body is a fulfillment and continuation of Israel, we being grafted in to the one olive tree are now children of the promise. Rom 11:26 states And so all Israel will be saved. Meaning and so or in this way. What way? The way he just described in the last 3 chapters by the remnant being joined with the gentiles. This is and always has been Gods plan.

  70. Mike,
    I really set the ground rules on my blog. The commenting policy on this blog is found from a link near the top of my sidebar.

    There is not going to be a long discussion on my article that was written against Amillennial Theology. This Blog topic is about Dr. Norman Geisler response to Preterism. This is not a debate forum, it is a topical blog on world and church trends and Bible prophecy where people can make on topic comments to what I post.

    I was doubting that I should even post such an off topic post as yours but since your prior comments led to my article on Amillennial Theology I allowed it. I will make only some brief comments on what you just said.

    Perterists would say that most of the prophecy were fulfilled by 70 AD but my article against amillennial theology is talking about Amillennial Theology not Preterist Theology.

    Amillennial’s do look to the scriptures for some symbolic or allegorical or spiritual interpretation as you said, but that is because their “God is done with physical Israel theology” does not allow them to take the words of the prophets literally. However, the detail of the events given by the prophets alone should make anyone understand that most of what the prophets said can only make sense if it is taken as literal future events on the earth. When the Bible uses figurative speech one should assume that this will be made clear to the reader just like when people use figurative speech today. Otherwise the author would never get the true meaning of his message across to the reader.

    To say premillennial futurists get their interpretation of Revelation from newspapers and current events is just plain absurd.

    We know that a thousand years is a thousand years because God says it five times in just one chapter. Why would God say a thousand years five times if he meant some undisclosed period of time? God does not have a communication problem but some have a understanding problem. Also, God tells us who the Dragon is in the very same passage of Revelation and also elsewhere in the Bible but nowhere in the Bible does God describe a thousand years as an undisclosed period of time.

    You say Revelation chapter twenty says nothing about the land of Israel but why should it? Revelation twenty does not talk about a whole lot of things. It does say that people will rule and reign with Christ for a thousand years and from other passages in the Bible we find out where Jesus will be ruling from, so just put two and two together. Just read Ezekiel chapters 40 through 48 and explain to yourself how this prophecy could have happened in the past or could be talking about the Holy City in heaven. It cannot. So obviously from this passage and many others like it, we know that their is a literal kingdom reign on earth from Israel and Jerusalem.

    Actually, it is you that miss the whole point in Romans chapter 9 through 11. Paul was not saying that true Israel is the remnant plus the Gentiles like you said. When Paul said that not all Israel are of Israel he was talking about his own people that were descended from Jacob. Not all Israel ever believed God and were saved just like not all that identify with the Church today believe God and will be saved. There were tares among the wheat in Israel as there is in the Church today. This one statement make it all quite clear.

    Ro 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
    26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
    27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
    28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.
    29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

    An argument can be made that Israel and the Church are of Abraham and therefore have the same eternal heavenly promises and eternal destiny but you have to rip out the literal reading of almost twenty percent of the Bible to make the Church a continuation of Israel and a fulfillment of the earthly promises to the nation of Israel the descendants of Jacob. Gentiles can be grafted into the commonwealth of Israel by marriage to the King but a commonwealth just means that we will have the same King not that we have become Israel or the continuation of Israel.

    Since this whole thing is really off topic for this post. I really doubt if anything further will be posted here on amillennial versus premillennial theology.

  71. Sorry to be “off topic”, I only was replying to your post with a link to the Amil paper you wrote in order to defend you futurist theology and in it you yourself do not seem to be able to distinguish from a preterist understanding and the A-mil system .. I have nothing to say about the Geisler post that would make any difference to you as Steve’s rebuttal http://www.wvss.com/forumc/viewtopic.php?t=1468&highlight=hank&sid=14fb158a956260a8cf7a8d59134c8b1c and the book Hank wrote were more than sufficient. I can tell by your thinking and your attitude that you have no interest in anyone’s thoughts that disagree with your own and this is sad to me. No need to post this comment as it is for you Don.

  72. I did not try to distinguish the differences from a preterist understanding and amillennial understanding when I wrote that article because as the article is titled, it is about why Amillennial Theology is in error, not why Preterist Theology is in error. Mike, I only quoted that article of mine on this thread because you said you wanted scripture references that gave land promises that were never fulfilled and that article I wrote gives some.

    People can decide for themselves if Steve and Hank satisfactory rebutted Dr. Geisler’s arguments against Preterism. I for one think the arguments of Preterist Theology are built on faulty premises and I know most Christians agree with me. I have also argued against this theology long enough to know that you are not going to bring up new arguments that I have not already heard. I also know that you are not going to convince me to believe in this fringe heretical theology.

    It is not that I don’t have interest in anyone Else’s thoughts. I have to limit the thoughts that people want to post on my blog or they just keep bringing up the same tired theological arguments over and over again. I cannot allow all the Theological arguments on every theological subject on all the topics that I post on, to be posted in the comments section of this Blog. I do not have the time, staff, or resources to make this blog a debate forum on every theology that people want to bring up. Now, if you or your friends want to give me a million dollars or so to support the costs of a theology debate forum I might consider starting such a forum where people can endlessly regurgitate theological arguments. Until then I suggest that you do it.

  73. Don, You have spent a lot of time studying these matters and it seems to me that you are pretty comfortable discussing them. Would you be open to debating Steve Gregg? I can arrange it.

  74. No, I am not going to debate Steve Gregg and I also have been asked if I can arange a debate with Dr Geisler to debate Steve Gregg from someone who claimed to be a friend of Steve Gregg. Who am I to contact or even suggest to the distinguished brilliant Dr. Geisler what he might do?

    This is not a debate forum on theology and I am not an expert on theology. Dr Geisler is known as a expert on theology and that is why his defense against preterism is quoted here. Besides, Steve Gregg is a professional debater. I am not. What I do is maintain a Bible Prophecy website that contains a blog on world trends and Bible prophecy. This defense by Dr. Norman was brought up because preterism is a growing argument in the Church due to book’s like Hank’s and others.

  75. this is all very interesting, i will study all this end times stuff for my own, but for now i just want to comment about something else.
    i listen a lot to steve greggs radio, and i learned one thing and thats being teachable.
    don’t think you know it all, because then you might miss the truth when it hits you in the face.

    i say this because from both sides, people act like farizees, defending what they think is right, while there a lot of thinking people who believe the opposite.

    keep in mind that the people you are disagreeing with are also looking for the truth, and if they are wrong, there not wrong on purpose.

    show some love

  76. Well the truth is not Preterism and love is not agreeing with those that give out false doctrine. You need to understand that on some issues the Bible leaves no doubt. For example, the cults might sincerely think they can find a different way of salvation in the Bible than “Grace through faith” but they are sincerely wrong. It is the same with the teaching of Preterists.

    The amount of thinking people is not the major factor in gaining biblical understanding. If the majority of thinkers where right we would all be Roman Catholics. However, rightly discerning the Word of God comes through knowing the Word and obtaining God given wisdom and understanding. Seek teachers given those gifts rather than teachers who can give intellectual theological conjectures.

  77. i think your right about “love is not agreeing with those that give out false doctrine.”

    but its allways dangerous to not agree, without looking at the evidence for both sides.
    cause you might be wrong.
    and there is nothing to worry about when looking at the evidence, cause if youre looking for truth, you allways find it.
    but if you are seeking to proove your own point, at all cost, its allways dangerous when people have different viewpoints.

  78. True, but the accounting on both sides has been known by me and others like Dr Geisler for quite some time and Preterism is Bankrupt.

    I also disagree that you always find truth if you just look for it. Christians do not even always find truth on many issues as Gregg displays.

  79. i quess your right about that, cause many christians have different theology.
    why do you think that is, if we all have one master, and one king, the same one,
    you would think that we all came up with the same idea.

    and a different question, do you consider preterism as christians?

  80. I will answer your second question first. I certainly think Preterists can be true Christians. One does not have to have non essential doctrines correct to be a Christian. I think the Christian Creeds pretty well sum up the essentials of the faith.

    Why are there different views? Mainly become some do not take scripture literally enough and some just read their own ideas into scripture. They interpret the Bible through their own preconceived theology.

    For example, Preterists generally think the Church is Israel or has become Israel. However, any plain reading of the Bible makes it clear that Israel is a physical people with physical land promises that will have a physical restoration after God deals with Israel’s physical enemies. God keeps his covenants He does not lie or change His mind. There were covenants made to Israel that cannot be changed. In Fact the New Covenant was made to the physical nation of Israel without any preconditions. Just because we come into the New Covenant first because of their unbelief and God’s grace toward us does not nullify the unconditional promise that was make to the nation of Israel in Jer 31:31.

    Often people spiritualize or allegorize scripture when the author suggests no reason for them to do so. Then they write conjecture books and others also using allegory write their own conjecture books on the same passages and they conflict with each other because spiritualized conjecture is subjective. A key to understanding scripture is that when the common sense makes perfect sense seek no other sense.

    Another reason is that we now see darkly, we do not have perfect understanding. That is why it is important for teachers to pray for the gift of wisdom and understanding. Not all should be teachers.

    Also, scriptures implies that there will be factions and disputes among us because that is the way the Church learns to seek out the truth of the matter. Iron sharpens Iron.

  81. thank you for your answer, i have been a “christian” for about 10 years, but i really started reading the bible for a year now, and it sometimes makes me a bit afraid to hear al kinds of different “truths”.
    and everyone can sound confinsing, i just hope i walk in truth and keep walking in the truth.
    and there is so much to read and learn, i’m 24 now, i wish i started reading the bible 10 years ago

    anyway, i have been listening to steve gregg’s radio station, and a lot of his tapes, though i might not agree with him on all, he made me think about stuff.
    also what i really like about him, is that he lets you know what he thinks is true, but also tells you what others think is true.
    a bit like his book revalation four views.

  82. The best way to learn the truth is by reading God’s Word for yourself. If you have read the Bible through even once you are ahead of the vast majority of those who say they are in Christianity. One reason even true Christians are led astray by aberrant teachers is that they do not know the scriptures. (Mt 22:29)

    I do not know how people who have never read the Bible can discern who is teaching the truth? The people that many Christians follow tells me they can’t.

  83. Hello ashes, may God bless you on your christian journey. If I may be so bold here as to interject myself into your conversation with Don.

    You said, “…it sometimes makes me a bit afraid to hear all kinds of different “truths” and everyone can sound confusing, I just hope I walk in truth and keep walking in the truth.” You may be relatively new to scripture but you said a mouthful there. If you believe, as I have come to, that, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” 1Cor 2:12, and that we have then the mind of Christ (V.16). Then when you hear the truth you’ll know it and you’ll be fine.

    A word of caution though. An open mind is a fine thing to possess, sometimes however, when your mind is open, your brains fall out. All I’m saying is when something doesn’t just quite sound right, follow your instincts and check it out for yourself. And take Don’s advice and search the scriptures.

  84. I am not sure re the Reformed Church’s accountability policy. Harold Camping was disfellowshipped for his heresy. I know Camping was an extreme case.Why are Preterist gurus.Gentry,DeMar etc allowed to continue undisciplined? DeMar’s usual response is “O yeah invite me to your University for a debate!”
    SURE GIVE THE BIC TO THE PYRO……
    In the book of Titus we are told ” Reject a factious man after a first and second warning.” 3:10 NASB
    full or partial or somewhere in-between continuing to dignify this movement is a sin in itself.

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