Don Preston Responds To Kenneth Gentry and Joel McDurmon on Their Lack of Logic in Luke 21:22

Joel McDurmon on Luke 21:22
Don K. Preston D. Div. www.eschatology.org
In the McDurmon -V- Preston debate, July 19-21, 2012, Joel McDurmon clearly anticipated that I would appeal to Luke 21:22 where Jesus, describing the impending destruction of Jerusalem, said “These be the days of vengeance, in which all things that are written must be fulfilled.”
McDurmon, it seems, thought he would “cut me off at the pass” by thinking that this would be a foundational argument for me. So, he thought he would derail my argument by addressing it before I did. (While I clearly do think that Luke 21:22 is incredibly powerful, I did not appeal to it during the debate, and had no plans to do so).
Joel made the following argument: If Preston argues that all things were to be fulfilled in AD 70, then the virgin birth, the establishing of the church, etc. all happened then, and that is patently false. Those things were all fulfilled long before AD 70.
So, Joel posited an “everything is fulfilled at one time, and none before that time” hermeneutic of prophetic fulfillment.
I must confess that I am always somewhat taken back by such an illogical argument. The argument is argument is not new. I have heard it before, and it is specious to say the least.
This argument reveals one of several possibilities:
A.) Pure desperation on the part of McDurmon,
B.) An attempt at obfuscation of the real issues at stake,
C.) A total misunderstanding of the true preterist position.
D.) Undeniably, a misunderstanding of what Jesus said.
Note: Kenneth Gentry recently wrote an article in which he clearly thought he had made a major blow against the true preterist theology. I wrote a response to Gentry and that can be found here.
Let me say this: Joel is a good man, and a good student of scripture and logic. I do not believe for a moment that he would actually, on calm reflection, espouse this concept of “everything is fulfilled at one time, and none before that time.” (Of course, I could  not believe that Gentry would write what he did on Luke 21 either)!
Since I did not have time to deal with Joel’s “argument.” during the debate let me offer some thoughts on it here.
Jesus was not saying that all prophecies would be fulfilled at the moment of– and none any time prior to- AD 70. I have never read, or heard, of a single preterist ever making that argument.
What Jesus was saying is that the process of fulfillment of the last days events would be finalized and perfected in AD 70. In my view, that process began with the birth of Jesus and continued through the appearance of John the Baptizer, (the law and the prophets were until John…) until the consummation “when all things that are written must be fulfilled.”
There was an appointed time (Greek kairos, appointed time) for the fulfillment of the eschatological scheme, and that was “the stewardship of the fullness of time” (Ephesians 1:9-10). Paul was emphatic that the “fullness of time” was the last days of the Old Covenant Age of Israel (Galatians 4:4).
I took note of Ephesians 1:9-10 and Galatians 4 several times in the debate, as well as Acts 3:23f where Peter affirmed that all of the OT prophets who spoke of the “restoration of all things” “spoke of these days” – i.e. Peter’s first century days. McDurmon never said a word in response to these arguments. (To be fair, perhaps it was an issue of short time. That is always a huge problem for each man in a formal debate)!
As Hendrickson succinctly notes, “As Jesus was speaking, (In Matthew 5:17-18, DKP) some parts of the Old Testament had already been fulfilled, for example, the incarnation. Other parts were being fulfilled. Still others were to be fulfilled soon, that is, the crucifixion and the resurrection; or were to be fulfilled later, in the ascension, at and after Pentecost, and finally at Christ’s return in glory” (William Hendrickson, New International Commentary, Matthew, (Grand Rapids, Baker, 2002)291).
Of course, Hendrickson clearly overlooks the power of Luke 21:22 refusing to connect Jesus’ prediction of his coming (Luke 21:25f) with the end of the Old Covenant age. But the point he is making that there was a process of fulfillment that began with the incarnation and that would be perfected, culminated, at the end is spot on.
The bottom line is that in truth, McDurmon realizes that the process of fulfillment began before AD 70. Furthermore, he believes, we assume, that “all things that are written must be fulfilled” even in his paradigm, at the end of the millennium resurrection. With that in mind, consider this.
The end of the millennium resurrection is when “all things that are written must be fulfilled” – McDurmon.
But, if all things that are written must be fulfilled all at one time, at the end of the millennium resurrection, then the virgin birth and Jesus’ incarnation, his passion and resurrection do not take place until the end of the millennium resurrection!
Now, McDurmon would patently and correctly reject this “logic” and argument as specious and false to the core. He would argue that there was a process of fulfillment consummating in the end of the millennium resurrection.
So, McDurmon realizes that there is (was) a process of fulfillment, consummating and climaxing in the resurrection. It was, therefore, undeniably specious for him to argue that if “all things written must be fulfilled” applied to AD 70, that this demanded the virgin birth was fulfilled then.
Do you catch the power of Joel’s illogical argument? His “all at one time, and none before” argument destroys his own theology!
If his argument applied to AD 70 then it undeniably applies to his futuristic end of the millennium resurrection. But, if his “logic” is true, and all things are fulfilled at the same time, and none before that time– then Jesus has not even been born, he never lived on earth in fulfillment of the OT prophecies. He never experienced the Cross and was not raised from the dead, in fulfillment of OT prophecy. The church was never established in fulfillment of OT prophecy. Etc, etc, etc., etc.!
You  see, Joel’s “all fulfilled at the same time and none before that time” hermeneutic logically denies the entire story of fulfillment recorded in the NT. Since nothing can be fulfilled until the consummation, and the consummation is somewhere, perhaps countless years in the future, then not one prophecy has been fulfilled yet!
Just as Gentry had clearly not thought through the implications of his article attacking the true preterist view, it should be more than obvious that Joel had not given a lot of careful, analytical thought to his “argument” on Luke 21:22.

KENNETH GENTRY’S LATEST DESPERATION

Don K. Preston

President: Preterist Research Institute

© 2009

All Rights Reserved

Permission to post on other Web Sites is granted as long as it is posted in its entirety, without modification, alteration or editing. Notification of publication is requested.

I have written numerous articles interacting with Kenneth Gentry, one of the most outspoken critics of Covenant Eschatology today. He is also one of the most ardent advocates of postmillennialism. In my upcoming work on 1 Thessalonians 4:13f entitled We Shall Meet Him In the Air, The Wedding of the King of Kings, I do an in-depth analysis of Gentry’s hermeneutic. It appears to me personally that as time goes on, Gentry becomes more illogical and desperate in his attempts to respond to Covenant Eschatology. His argument addressed in this article is a prime example of that.

Dr. Gentry takes every opportunity to condemn preterists, but he refuses to actually engage in honorable discussions with preterists. Dr. Gentry has been challenged many times by numerous people, including myself, to meet me in formal public debate. It seems Dr. Gentry is always “too busy.” Anyone wishing to forward this article, with my invitation to formal debate, to Gentry, is more than welcome to do so. I have little hope that he will respond. Every time I have personally emailed him, even though he has opened the posts, he has not even given me the courtesy of a response. We can only hope that this will change.

A brother Ray West, forwarded to me, (6-9-09), a post by Gentry in which he once again takes a shot at preterists. The comments are from his own blog and review of his revised book He Shall Have Dominion. His book is advertised at (https://www.kennethgentry.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=432). I am informed that at this time (6-10-09), there is a problem with the Cart on his site however, so one would need to check with Dr. Gentry before purchasing through the website. Additional note: Gentry’s book can be purchased from Amazon to avoid the web problems.

Dr. Gentry clearly thinks that he has found a fatal flaw in the preterist argument on Luke 21:22. Here is Mr. Gentry’s argument as I received it:

Begin quote:

In its context Luke 21:22
<http://net.bible.org/verse.php?book=luk&chapter=21&verse=22> reads as follows: “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is at hand. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are in the midst of the city depart, and let not those who are in the country enter the city; because these are days of vengeance, in order that all things which are written may be fulfilled” (Lk 21:20 <–22″http://net.bible.org/verse.php?book=luk&chapter=21&verse=20>–22).

Inarguably, (sic) the context here is focusing on AD 70, as even dispensationalists agree.

The hyper-preterists naively assume that Jesus is speaking globally of absolutely all prophecies when he declares that “all things which are written” will be fulfilled in AD 70. They hold, therefore, that no prophecy remains, which means that prophecies regarding the resurrection of all men, the second coming, and more came to pass in AD 70. They base their argument on deficient hermeneutics. Note just one deadly observation against their approach: The grammar of the passage limits the declaration. Jesus speaks of “all things which are written” by employing a perfect passive participle: /gegrammena /(“having been written”). This refers to prophecies already written — when he speaks in AD 30. Yet we know that more prophecies arise later in the New Testament revelation.

Once again we see a limitation on Jesus’ statement. Furthermore, technically it does not even refer to any prophecy which Christ speaks. For these are not prophecies that have already been written. That being the case, the final resurrection (for instance) is outside of this declaration (Jn 5:28-29) http://net.bible.org/verse.php?book=joh&chapter=5&verse=28>–29).

Thus, Jesus is referring to all things written in the Old Testament. At this stage of redemptive history those are the only prophecies that had already been written. (end quote, DKP)

Quite frankly, I could hardly believe what I was reading from the pen of the erudite Dr. Gentry! He has engaged in numerous debates, and surely knows that one must be careful in making polemic arguments. The absolute desperation, the total failure of logic on the part of Dr. Gentry is glaring and egregious.

Let me summarize Dr. Gentry’s argument for ease of understanding.

Major Premise: When Jesus said (Luke 21:22), that “all things written must be fulfilled,” he referred only to those prophecies (and all of those prophecies), that had been written prior to his statement in A.D. 30.

Minor Premise: All New Testament prophecies of the resurrection (e.g. John 5:28f, 1 Corinthians 15, 1 Thessalonians, etc.), were written after A.D. 30.

Conclusion: Therefore, all New Testament prophecies of the resurrection were not part of the “all things that are written” that were to be fulfilled in the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

Here is what Dr. Gentry concludes: “Thus, Jesus is referring to all things written in the Old Testament. At this stage of redemptive history those are the only prophecies that had already been written.”

Gentry’s “logic,” if such it can be called, fails on a number of points. However, I am going to keep this article to the barest minimum.

I will only make two points in response to Dr. Gentry’s amazing argument.

Argument #1– The New Testament prophecies of the resurrection are simply the reiteration of the Old Testament prophecies (things already written in A.D. 30).

Proof of this argument: I need only refer to the words of Paul. The apostle affirmed in the most unambiguous manner that his doctrine of the resurrection was nothing but that found in the Old Testament, i.e. in that which had already been written!

Acts 24:14-15: “But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets. I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.”

Paul said his doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, for which he was on trial, was found in Moses and the Law and the prophets. That certainly qualifies as that which was written before A.D. 30.

Acts 26:21-23– “Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.”

Paul said he preached nothing, nothing but the hope of Israel found in Moses and the prophets. Do you catch the power of that?

Paul taught of the resurrection of the dead.

But, Paul did not preach anything but the hope of Israel found in Moses and the prophets.

Therefore, the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead was found in Moses and the prophets.

 Romans 8:23– 9:1-4– “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body… For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: 4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises.”

The adoption, according to Paul, was the resurrection.

But, the promise of the adoption was given to, and belonged to, Israel after the flesh.

This means that the adoption, the promise of the resurrection, was from the Old Testament prophecies.

1 Corinthians 15:54-55– “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”

Paul cites Isaiah 25:8 and Hosea 13:14 as the source of his resurrection doctrine in Corinthians.

Paul said that the resurrection would be when Isaiah 25 and Hosea 13:14 would be fulfilled.

Thus, the resurrection hope and doctrine of 1 Corinthians 15 was found in, and based on the Old Testament prophecies made to Israel.

From these texts, it is undeniable that the resurrection hope expressed by the New Testament writers was nothing other than a reiteration of what had already been written long ago in the Old Testament scriptures! This is fatal to Gentry’s argument and theology.

You simply cannot say that the New Testament prophecies of the resurrection are not grounded in and based on the Old Covenant prophecies. This is to deny Paul who said he preached nothing but the hope of Israel found in Moses and the prophets. 1 Corinthians 15 is not different from Isaiah 25 or Hosea 13:14, for Paul says that when the resurrection occurred, it would be the fulfillment of those prophecies. To say that 1 Corinthians 15 is the explication of those prophecies is not the same as saying that they are different from those prophecies.

You cannot say that all Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled at the A.D. 70 parousia of Christ, therefore, without affirming the fulfillment of all New Testament eschatology. There is no “new” eschatology in the New Testament. All New Testament eschatology is the anticipation of the imminent fulfillment of Old Testament promises. Period. This totally falsifies Gentry’s specious argument.

What is astounding to consider in light of Gentry’s argument above is that Gentry believes that the Old Testament did indeed predict the resurrection of the dead at the end of the Christian age! In his book, The Greatness of the Great Commission, (Tyler, Tx., Institute for Christian Economics, 1993)142, Gentry cites Daniel 12:2 as predictive of the resurrection “at the end of history.”

So, consider what this does for Dr. Gentry:

All Old Testament prophecy would be fulfilled by the time of, and in the events of the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. (Kenneth Gentry)

But, the Old Testament predicted the general resurrection of the dead (Daniel 12:2, Kenneth Gentry)

Therefore, the general resurrection of the dead occurred in the events of the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

We have established point #1 beyond any possibility of refutation. This point alone totally destroys Gentry’s attempt at refuting Covenant Eschatology.

Argument #2– For argument sake therefore, I will most gladly accept Dr. Gentry’s own summary statement: “Thus, Jesus is referring to all things written in the Old Testament. At this stage of redemptive history those are the only prophecies that had already been written.” (My emphasis, DKP)

Consider then the following argument:

All things written in the Old Testament, i.e. all Old Testament prophecy, was fulfilled by the time of, and in the events of, the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. (Kenneth Gentry).

But, the Old Testament prophesied of the resurrection of the dead (Acts 24:14f; 26:6f; 26:21f, Romans 8:23-9:1-4, 1 Corinthians 15:55-56).

Therefore, the prophecies of the resurrection of the dead were fulfilled by the time of, and in the events of, the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

This argument is prima facie true.

It is incontrovertibly true that the Old Testament foretold the resurrection of the dead. Kenneth Gentry agrees.

It is irrefutably true that all New Testament prophecies of the resurrection are drawn from and the reiteration of the Old Testament prophecies.

It is undeniable that Jesus said that all things written would be fulfilled by the time of, and in the events of the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

Kenneth Gentry is correct in affirming that all Old Testament prophecies would be fulfilled at / in A.D. 70. And this proves, beyond refutation, that the resurrection of the dead came at the dissolution of the Old Covenant age of Israel in A.D. 70.

Incidentally, it would do no good for Mr. Gentry, or anyone else, to amend his statement and argue that all that Jesus really meant was that all Old Covenant prophecies concerning the fall of Jerusalem were to be fulfilled in A.D. 70. (You will note that Gentry made no attempt to limit the scope of the Old Covenant prophecies to be fulfilled in A.D. 70. He said emphatically, “Jesus is referring to all things written in the Old Testament“).

The indisputable fact is that in the Old Testament the resurrection of the dead is repeatedly posited at the destruction of Old Covenant Israel. Note a couple of examples.
Isaiah 25:1-8– “O LORD, You are my God. I will exalt You, I will praise Your name, For You have done wonderful things; Your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. 2 For You have made a city a ruin, A fortified city a ruin, A palace of foreigners to be a city no more; It will never be rebuilt. 3 Therefore the strong people will glorify You; The city of the terrible nations will fear You. 4 For You have been a strength to the poor, A strength to the needy in his distress, A refuge from the storm, A shade from the heat; For the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. 5 You will reduce the noise of aliens, As heat in a dry place; As heat in the shadow of a cloud, The song of the terrible ones will be diminished. 6 And in this mountain The LORD of hosts will make for all people A feast of choice pieces, A feast of wines on the lees, Of fat things full of marrow, Of well–refined wines on the lees. 7 And He will destroy on this mountain The surface of the covering cast over all people, And the veil that is spread over all nations. 8 He will swallow up death forever, And the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces; The rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; For the LORD has spoken.”
Note that in the day that YHVH would destroy death, it would also be when He made the city a desolation, and turned the temple over to foreigners! The city under consideration is the “city of confusion” in chapter 24:10f, Ariel, i.e. Jerusalem. So, Isaiah emphatically posits the resurrection at the time of Jerusalem’s demise.
In chapter 26:19-21, the Lord predicted the resurrection at the time when YHVH would come out of heaven and avenge the blood of the martyrs. Of course, Jesus was emphatically clear that all of the righteous blood of all the saints shed on the earth would be avenged in the judgment of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 (Matthew 23:34f).
In Isaiah 27:1f, we find the destruction of Leviathan, the enemy of God, defeated in the day that the Lord would come, the Day of 26:19f, i.e. the day of the resurrection. And, this Day of the Lord would also be when the people that YHVH had created would no longer receive mercy, and He would turn the altar to chalkstones (Isaiah 27:9f). Thus, again, the resurrection is clearly placed in the context of the judgment of Jerusalem and Israel.

Likewise, the very passage that Gentry appeals to for the resurrection at the end of the age, Daniel 12:2, says that the resurrection would be, “when the power of the holy people is completely shattered” (Daniel 12:2-7). See my book, Seventy Weeks Are Determined…For the Resurrection, for a full discussion of this fact.

So, Gentry boasts that the “hyper-preterists” make a “naive” claim about Luke 21:22. He says we are guilty of “deficient hermeneutics.” He claims to have made a “deadly observation” against the preterist argument. In fact, Gentry has exposed his own desperation and his own naive and deficient hermeneutic. We have made what is in fact “a deadly observation” in response to Gentry’s specious argument.

Kenneth Gentry has, through his own argument, destroyed his postmillennial, futurist eschatology. He has actually confirmed the truthfulness of “hyper-preterism!” Perhaps there is no need for Mr. Gentry to publically debate Covenant Eschatology after all (although my invitation remains valid), for the more he writes, the more he confirms that Christ’s “Second Coming” and the prophecies of the resurrection were fulfilled in A.D. 70. (I suspect that in a fourth revision of Dr. Gentry’s book, he will modify or delete his comments on Luke 21:22. It will be interesting to see, will it not?)
 

The ABC’s of Matthew 24-25=1 Thessalonians 4-5=1 Corinthians 15 Embracing the Organic Development of Full Preterist Synthesis Or the Myth of Orthodox “Unity” on the “Essentials” – You Decide

The ABC’s of Matthew 24-25=1 Thessalonians 4-5=1 Corinthians 15

 Embracing the Organic Development of Full Preterist Synthesis

Or the Myth of Orthodox “Unity” on the “Essentials” You Decide

By Michael J. Sullivan
Copyright 2009 – revised and expanded 2013

Since this article is by far one of my most popular ones and has helped so many people come out of their journey from reformed Amillennialism and Partial Preterism into Full Preterism, I decided to add a section at the end which further demonstrates how Full Preterism synthesizes and is the organic development of the two reformed competing views on many eschatological subjects and key texts — all the while exposing the myth that these two views can somehow be “united” in the alleged future “essentials” of eschatology.  For footnotes of what I say about each view – one should get a copy of our book, House Divided Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist Response to When Shall These Things Be?.
Hermeneutics is defined as “the study or science of interpreting the Scriptures.” The Westminster Confession of Faith correctly states that, “The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture, is the Scripture itself; and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.”[1] J.I. Packer understands this to mean “that we must give ourselves in Bible study to following out the unities, cross-references and topical links which Scripture provides.”[2]
In mathematics and logic: If A bears some relation to B and B bears the same relation to C, then A bears it to C. Or the property of equality is transitive – for if A = B and B = C, then A = C.  Therefore, things which are equal to the same thing are also equal to one another. If equals be added to equals, the wholes are equal.
A = (Matt. 24:27-31, 34)
B = (1 Thess. 4:15-17)
C = (1 Cor. 15)

THE CURRENT CONTRADICTION & DIVIDED HOUSE OF FUTURISM WITHOUT FULL PRETERISM:

Orthodox Reformed Partial Preterism (ex. R.C. Sproul, Kenneth Gentry, Gary DeMar, Keith Mathison, etc…) Teaches the Church That:
A (Matt. 24:27-31) was fulfilled when Christ returned in AD 70 in Jesus’ “this generation” (Matt. 24:34). For the Partial Preterist Jesus’ statement of “this generation” (AD 30-70) connected with the NT’s imminent time texts “at hand,” “shortly,” “soon,” “quickly,” “in a very little while,” “about to,” also refer to an AD 70 fulfillment (cf. Romans 13:11-12; 1 Peter 4:5-7; James 5:7-9; Hebrews 8:13–10:37; Revelation 1:1, 3:11, 10:6-7, 22:6-7, 10-12, 20) and are the “speak more clearly” texts.  We agree with them on this point.  While ignoring the “clear” proposition of Biblical Preterism and traditional Amillennialism that A (Matt. 24:27-31) is equal to B (1 Thess. 4:15-17), they do affirm that both B (1 Thess. 4:15-17) and C (1 Cor. 15) are equal to each other and are the Second Coming and resurrection events.
Orthodox Reformed Classic & Creedal Amillennialism Teaches the Church That:
A (Matt. 24:27-31) = B (1 Thess. 4:15-17) and that both A (Matt. 24:27-31) and B (1 Thess. 4:15-17) = C (1 Cor. 15).  For example the very Reformed Study Bible in which Partial Preterists R.C. Sproul and Keith Mathison are editors we learn this from an Amillennialist contributor concerning Matt. 24:29-31:
“But the language of Matt. 24:31 is parallel to passages like 13:41; 16:27; and 25:31 [passages Partial Preterists say were fulfilled in AD 70], as well as to passages such as 1 Cor. 15:52 and 1 Thess. 4:14-17.  The passage most naturally refers to the Second Coming.”[3]
Luther, Calvin and even the WCF itself affirms that Matt. 24:30-31/Luke 21:27-28 is the Second Coming event.  While ignoring the “clear” proposition of Biblical and Partial Preterism on Jesus’ use of “this generation” and the imminent time texts, the traditional Amilennialist sees that the analogy of Scripture and the fact that the NT only teaches ONE second coming (not a third) is the hermeneutical “speak more clearly” teaching of Scripture.  We agree with them on this proposition as well.

THE BETTER HERMENEUITCS, LOGIC & SYNTHESIS OF BIBLICAL OR FULL PRETERISM 

Orthodox (“straight”) Biblical Preterism Objects To The Combined Contradictory Statements In That If…
A (Matt. 24:27-31) was fulfilled in AD 70, and if A (Matt. 24:27-31) is equal to both B (1 Thess. 4:15-17) and C (1 Cor. 15), then both B (1 Thess. 4:15-17) and C (1 Cor. 15) were fulfilled at Christ’s parousia in AD 70. In other words, “Things which are equal to the same thing are also equal to one another. If equals be added to equals, the wholes are equal.”   
“If A (Matt. 24:27-43) bears some relation to B (1 Thess. 4:15 – 1 Thess. 5)” or “A=B”:
If A (Matt. 24) is = to B (1 Thess. 4-5) and B (1 Thess. 4) is = to C (1 Cor. 15) Then A (Matt. 24) is = to C (1 Cor. 15)

Since A (Mat. 24) = B (1 Thess. 4)
Christ Returns from Heaven 24:30 4:16
With Voice of Arch Angel 24:31 4:16
With Trumpet of God 24:31 4:16
Caught/Gathered Together with/to Christ 24:31 4:17
“Meet” the Lord in the Clouds 24:30 & 25:6 4:17
Exact Time Unknown 24:36 5:1-2
Christ Comes as a Thief 24:43 5:2
Unbelievers Caught Off Guard 24:37-39 5:3
Time of Birth Pangs 24:8 5:3
Believers Not Deceived 24:43 5:4-5
Believers to Be Watchful 24:42 5:6
Exhorted to Sobriety 24:49 5:7
Son/Sunlight Shinning From E. to W. / Sons of the Day 24:27, 36, & 38 5:4-8
And B (1 Thess. 4) =  C (1 Cor. 15)
The Sleeping to Be Raised 4:13-14 15:12-18
The Living to Be aught/Changed 4:15-17 15:51-52
Christ’s Coming (Greek: Parousia) 4:15 15:23
At the Sound of the Trumpet 4:16 15:52
Encouraged to Stand Firm 4:18 15:58
Same Contemporary “We” 4:15-17 15:51-52
Then A (Matt. 24)  =  C (1 Cor. 15)
Christ to Come (Greek: Parousia) 24:27 15:23
His People to Be Gathered/Changed 24:31 15:52
To Come with the Sound of a Trumpet 24:31 15:52
To Be “The End” (Greek telos, the goal) 24:3, 14 15:24
Kingdom Consummation (goal reached) Luke 21:30-32 15:24
All Prophecy Fulfilled at This Point Luke 21:22 15:54-55
Victory over the Law/Temple Mat. 24:1 15:55-56
Same Contemporary “We” Mat. 24:2ff 15:51-52

Two or More Things that Are Equal to Another Thing Are Also Equal to Each Other.

Matthew 24                     1 Thessalonians 4          1 Corinthians 15 

At His Coming (24:27-31) = At His Coming (4:16) = At His Coming (15:23)
At the Trumpet (24:31) = At the Trumpet (4:16) = At the Trumpet (15:52)
Dead Raised, All Gathered (24:31) = Dead Raised (4:16) = Dead Raised (15:35-44)
All Living Gathered
(24:31)
= Living Caught Together to Him (4:17) = Status of Living Changed (15:51)

PREMISE #1:  The parousia/coming of Christ in Matthew 24 took place in AD 70 (according to partial preterists and Biblical preterists)
PREMISE #2:  The parousia/coming of Christ in Matthew 24 is the same coming of Christ in 1 Thessalonians 4-5 and 1 Corinthians 15 (according to traditional amillennialists and Biblical preterists)
CONCLUSION:  The parousia/coming of Christ in 1 Thessalonians 4-5 and 1 Corinthians 15 took place in AD 70.
Preterists unite these two clear premises from both groups:
1. Partial Preterism – The imminent time texts concerning the parousia of Christ, judgment/resurrection of the dead = AD 70 and…
2. Classical Amillennialism – The analogy of Scripture supports only one NT “hope” of a Second Coming/judgment/resurrection of the living and dead.
Therefore, we “…speak more clearly” and consistently in our debate with futurists.  The divided corporate Reformed “House” contains the two premises (which we assume are true) and we are simply uniting the two valid premises into one new House.  We’re validating the Reformed and Sovereign Grace House by accepting both of it’s competing premises, and then uniting them, further honoring the Reformed and Sovereign Grace House.  This has and will continue to appeal to Reformed and Sovereign Grace believers as Biblical preterism spreads throughout their churches.   We are making a motion to revise the creeds to make them more “orthodox” (straight) with the “more clear” teaching of Scripture–“Sola Scriptura” and “Semper Reformanda”–selah.
If A = B and B = C, then A = C. Things which are equal to the same thing are equal to each other.
A (Matt. 24:27-31, 34 fulfilled in AD 70) = B (1 Thess. 4:15-17 fulfilled in AD 70)  = C (1 Cor. 15 fulfilled in AD 70).
Again, I couldn’t agree more with the editors and authors of THE REFORMATION STUDY BIBLE:
1)  (Matthew 24:27-31, 34) is descriptive of Christ’s invisible parousia taking place in Jesus’ “this [AD 30 – AD 70] generation” and…
2) Matthew 24:27-31 “Most naturally refers to the Second Coming” and is “parallel” to or the same event as developed by the Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 and 1 Corinthians 15:52.
Synthesis or “Reformed and always reforming”:  Thus the inevitable conclusion is that the Full Preterist view is both “Orthodox” and “Reformed” – Selah.  It is exciting to see (through emails and phone calls) that students of Reformed eschatology are properly learning their ABC’s of Biblical prophecy through Full Preterism and how our view is “Bridging the Gap” between the two futurist contradictory and competing views of Partial Preterism and classic Amillennialism.
Article Expansion
Although originally this article focused on how only the Full Preterism can harmonize what reformed eschatology has taught and is teaching on Matthew 24/1 Thessalonians 4-5/1 Corinthians 15, I would like to expand this now to other eschatological subjects and key texts.  I also want to turn my attention on exposing the “reformed” myth that reformed eschatology can be united on the future (to us) “essentials of eschatology.”
The Last Days

1)      Classic Amillennialism – The NT’s use of the “latter or last days” refers to the time of Christ’s first coming and extends to His one eschatological end time event of “the parousia” / Second Coming.
2)      Partial Preterism – The NT’s use of the “latter or last days” was a period roughly from AD 30 – AD 70 which closed the Old Covenant age (Gary DeMar & Joel McDurmon).
3)      Full Preterism (Synthesis / “Reformed and always reforming”) – The NT’s use of the “latter or last days” refers to the time of Christ’s first coming and extends to His one eschatological end time event of “the parousia” / Second Coming which was a period roughly from AD 30 – AD 70 which closed the Old Covenant age.
 “This age” and “the age to come”
 1)      Classic Amillennialism – The NT’s use of “this age” is the New Covenant Christian age and the “age to come” is when the one consummative end time event of “the parousia” / Second Coming, resurrection and judgment of the living and dead and arrival of the new creation takes place.
2)      Partial Preterism – The NT’s use of “this age” was the then current Old Covenant age and the use of “the age to come” was the imminent arrival of the New Covenant or Christian age in AD 70 (Gary DeMar & Joel McDurmon).
3)      Full Preterism (Synthesis / “Reformed and always reforming”) – The NT’s use of “this age” is the Old Covenant age and the “age to come” is the New Covenant age at which time the one imminent consummative end time event of “the parousia” / Second Coming, resurrection and judgment of the living and dead and arrival of the new creation took place in AD 70.
 The Resurrection and Judgment of the living and dead
1)      Classic Amillennialism – There is only one end time consummative eschatological resurrection and judgment of the living dead event which takes place at the one “the parousia” at the “end of the age.”
2)      Partial Preterism – There was a judgment and resurrection of the living and dead at “the parousia” in AD 70 at “the end of the [Old Covenant] age” in AD 70.  This resurrection of the dead was:

  1. Spiritual and unseen.
  2. Corporate and covenantal.
  3. Of souls taken out of Abraham’s Bosom/Hades to receive eternal life in God’s presence (James Jordan).

3)      Full Preterism (Synthesis / “Reformed and always reforming”) – There is only one end time consummative eschatological resurrection and judgment of the living dead event which takes place at the one “the parousia” at the “end of the [Old Covenant] age” in AD 70.  This resurrection of the dead was:

  1. Spiritual and unseen.
  2. Corporate and covenantal.
  3. Of souls taken out of Abraham’s Bosom/Hades to receive eternal life in God’s presence.

Seeing Christ coming on the clouds at His Second Appearing (Acts 1:9-11; Matthew 24:30; Revelation 1:7 and Hebrews 9:26-28)
1)      Classic Amillennialism – The one and final visible bodily Second Appearing/Coming of Christ is described for us again in (Acts 1:11; Matthew 24:30;Revelation 1:7 and Hebrews 9:26-28).  He returns literally on the clouds at the end of the age(s) and we will see Him with our literal eyes.  Hebrews 9:26-28 is describing Christ’s appearing as our High Priest to finish and complete salvation for the Church.
2)      Partial Preterism – The “seeing” of Christ in the Greek of (Matthew 24:30 and Revelation 1:7) means to “understand” or “perceive.”  Through the events of AD 66 – AD 70 when Christ came in power through the Zealot and Roman armies they “saw” “perceived” or “understood” that He had “already” come (Mark 8:38-9:1).  It is not hermeneutically valid to separate the coming of Christ in Acts 1:11 from His coming in Matthew 24:30 and Revelation 1:7.  They are the same coming and took place in AD 70.  It is also true that hermeneutically / exegetically / logically that Christ’s appearing / coming a “second time” in Hebrews 9:26-28 is Him appearing at the end of the Old Covenant age(s) in AD 70 (Milton Terry).  Hebrews 9:26-28 is describing Christ’s appearing as our High Priest to finish and complete salvation for the Church.
3)      Full Preterism (Synthesis / “Reformed and always reforming”) – The “seeing” of Christ in the Greek of (Matthew 24:30 and Revelation 1:7) means to “understand” or “perceive.”  Through the events of AD 66 – AD 70 when Christ came in power through the Zealot and Roman armies they “saw” “perceived” or “understood” that He had “already” come (Mark 8:38-9:1).  It is not hermeneutically valid to separate the coming of Christ in Acts 1:11 from His coming in Matthew 24:30 and Revelation 1:7.  They are one and the same coming of Christ and took place in AD 70.  It is also true that hermeneutically / exegetically / logically that Christ’s appearing / coming a “second time” in Hebrews 9:26-28 is describing Him appearing at the end of the Old Covenant age(s) in AD 70 and corresponds to the same coming described in the next chapter that would be “in a very little while” and would “not be delayed” (Heb. 10:37).  Hebrews 9:26-28 is also describing Christ’s appearing as our High Priest to finish and complete salvation for the Church.
The Millennium
1)      Classic Amillennialism – The thousand years of Revelation 20 is a symbolic period of time which does not have to be a very long time.  It is a period extending from Christ’s first coming to His one eschatological end time “the parousia” / Second Coming to close “this age” and judge and raise the rest of the dead.  The WCF confirms that the coming of Christ throughout the book of Revelation is indeed His Second Coming.  Revelation 20 recapitulates or is parallel to the same judgment scene depicted in Revelation 1-19 and 21-22.
2)      Partial Preterism –  The thousand years of Revelation 20 is a symbolic period of time ending with the Second Coming of Christ and was or very possibly was from AD 30 – AD 70 (Sam Frost).  Revelation 20 does in fact “pick up where Daniel leaves off” in Daniel 12:1-7, 13 with Daniel himself being raised out of Abraham’s Bosom/Hades inheriting eternal life and enjoying God’s presence (James Jordan).  The book of Revelation is John’s version of the Matthew 24-25 which cannot be divided and refers to Christ’s coming in AD 70 (Gary DeMar).  The only coming of Christ mentioned in the book of Revelation is imminent and therefore refers to His coming invisibly in AD 70 to judge Old Covenant Jerusalem/Babylon/The Great City.  Revelation is written in a recapitulation or parallel structure, with chapters 1-19 (and some of 20) and 21-22 being fulfilled in AD 70.
3)      Full Preterism (Synthesis / “Reformed and always reforming”) – The thousand years of Revelation 20 is a symbolic period of time which does not have to be a very long time and is therefore from AD 30 – AD 70 extending from Christ’s first coming to His one eschatological end time “the parousia” / Second Coming to close “this age” and judge  of   one eschatological end time Second Coming to close “this age” and judge and raise the rest of the dead.  The coming of Christ throughout the book of Revelation is imminent and is His actual Second Coming.  Revelation 20 does in fact “pick up where Daniel leaves off” in Daniel 12:1-7, 13 with Daniel himself being raised out of Abraham’s Bosom/Hades inheriting eternal life and enjoying God’s presence.  The book of Revelation is John’s version of the Matthew 24-25 which cannot be divided and refers to Christ’s coming in AD 70.  Revelation 20 recapitulates or is parallel to the same judgment scene depicted in Revelation 1-19 and 21-22.
The “groaning of creation” and the passing/fleeing of the old heavens and earth and the arrival of the new heavens and new earth (Isaiah 65-66; 2 Peter 3 & Revelation 21-22)
1)      Classic Amillennialism – There is one consummative eschatological end time passing and fleeing of the “elements” of the first heavens and earth and arrival of the new heavens and new earth and it arrives at the one “Day of the Lord” “the parousia” or Second Coming of Christ in the NT to close the end of the age.  There is no exegetical evidence to support two passings of the heavens and earth and arrival of a new heavens and a new earth in 2 Peter 3 or in Revelation 21-22.  These passages are clearly describing the fulfillment and restoration of Genesis 1-3.  Romans 8:18-23 is one unit and is also describing the fulfillment and restoration of Genesis 1-3 and the resurrection of the dead.  And “salvation” in (Romans 13:11-12) is the “redemption” of (Romans 8:23) and the same final “redemption” described by Jesus in (Luke 21:27-28).
2)      Partial Preterism – There was a covenantal passing of the “elements” of the “first” heavens and earth and a spiritual and unseen arrival of the new heavens and new earth at Christ’s “the parousia” to close “the end of the [Old Covenant] age” in AD 70.  The Day of Lord or “the parousia” caused the passing of the Old Covenant “elements” in (2 Peter 3) and this coming and de-creation “only” refers to AD 70.  Romans 8:18 is describing the glory that was “about to be” (cf. Young’s Literal Translation) revealed “in” the first century believers in AD 70 (Gary DeMar).  The “creation” (Gk. kitisis) here is not referring to planet earth but to the creation of people as in (Mark 16:15/Colossians 1:23) (John Lightfoot).  The “bondage,” “futility” and “decay” here is not discussing the second law of thermodynamics of the planet, but rather man groaning under sin in the heart and mind (John Lightfoot).
3)      Full Preterism (Synthesis / “Reformed and always reforming”) –  There is one consummative eschatological end time passing and fleeing of the “elements” of the “first” heavens and earth and arrival of the new heavens and a new earth and it arrives at the one “Day of the Lord” “the parousia” or Second Coming of Christ in the NT to close the end of the [Old Covenant] age in AD 70.  There is no exegetical evidence to support two passing(s) or two fleeing(s) of the heavens and earth and arrival of a new heavens and a new earth in 2 Peter 3 or in Revelation 21-22.  These passages are clearly describing the fulfillment and restoration of Genesis 1-3 and were fulfilled by AD 70.  Romans 8:18-23 is one unit and is also describing the fulfillment and restoration of Genesis 1-3 and the resurrection of the dead.  Romans 8:18-23 is describing the glory that was “about to be” (cf. Young’s Literal Translation) revealed “in” the first century believers and the Church by AD 70.  The “creation” (Gk. kitisis) here is not referring to planet earth but the creation of people as in (Mark 16:15/Colossians 1:23).  The “bondage,” “futility” and “decay” here is not discussing the second law of thermodynamics, but rather man groaning under sin in the heart and mind. The “salvation” in (Romans 13:11-12) is the “redemption of the body”(Romans 8:23) and the same final “redemption” described by Jesus at His Second Coming in (Luke 21:27-28) and were all eschatological events that were “near,” “at hand” and “about to be” fulfilled in Jesus’ contemporary “this generation.”
The Olivet discourse Matthew 24-25; Luke 21 Mark 13 
1)      Classic Amillennialism – Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24-25 helps us understand all of the key eschatological themes (Second Coming/judgment and resurrection/passing of creation) developed in the rest of the NT (ex. 1-2 Thessalonians; 1 Corinthians 15; 2 Peter 3; Romans 8:18-23, 13:11-12, 16:20 and the Book of Revelation).
2)      Partial Preterism – Matthew 24-25 cannot be divided and the disciples question regarding the Temple’s destruction, His coming and the end of the age is referring to Christ’s invisible coming to close the Old Covenant age and “nothing else.”  One cannot “double fulfill” it’s content (Gary DeMar).
3)      Full Preterism (Synthesis / “Reformed and always reforming”) –  Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24-25 helps us understand all of the key eschatological events (Second Coming/judgment and resurrection/de-creation and passing of creation) developed in the rest of the NT (ex. 1-2 Thessalonians; 1 Corinthians 15; 2 Peter 3 and the Book of Revelation).  Matthew 24-25 cannot be divided and is referring to Christ’s invisible coming to close the Old Covenant age and “nothing else.”  One cannot “double fulfill” it’s content.
Indeed I could produce ABC charts here (as I have elsewhere on my sites) of the Olivet discourse with all of the main eschatological texts in the NT – 2 Peter 3, Revelation 20, etc…, just as I have with 1 Thessalonians 4-5 and 1 Corinthians 15.

Conclusion

As one can plainly see the assertion that reformed orthodox eschatology is and can be united concerning the following:

  • The seeing of Christ on the clouds (the Second Coming) at the end of the last days or end of the age(s)…
  •  The judgment and resurrection of the dead at the end of the last days and end of the age(s)…
  • The liberation of creation and arrival of the New at the end of the last days or end of the age(s)…

…is nothing but a pure myth as long as the classic Amillennial position holds to the NT’s “one hope” “the [one] parousia” of Christ is future and the Partial Preterist view says it happened in AD 70.  As long as AD 70 is the “X factor” in all of these crucial eschatolocial passages and and it continues to be “orthodox” and the creedal Amillennial view affirms they are one and the same “end of the age” event, the ONLY way to harmonize the two is with the Full Preterist view.  This is how I came to the Full Preterist view – by comparing Scripture with Scripture (Matt. 24-25=1Thess. 4-5) and realizing the classic Amillennial view and Partial Preterist views were teaching (no matter if they realized it or not) that Christ’s ONE Second Coming happened in the First Century ie. AD 70.
Both the Amillennialist and the Postmillennial Partial Preterist claim that if Full Preterism is true then the Holy Spirit failed in guiding the Church in truth.  And yet if this is the case, this begs the question as to which “truth” did the Holy Spirit guide the Church in Amillennialism or Partial Preterism?  Does the Holy Spirit contradict Himself?  The truth of course is that this is not an either or choice between the two competing views since as I have demonstrated they are both right and yet at the same time both wrong.  The Holy Spirit is guiding the Church through Full Preterism as it unites the two views.  The truth has always been with us, it just hasn’t been put together correctly because of all of the in-fighting between the two and their upholding the reformed creeds as if they have the same authority as the Bible (tradition over Scripture).  And answering a foolish argument according to its folly – are they willing to say that the Holy Spirit failed to lead the Church on the issue of forensic justification for 1500 years prior to Luther?  Do they forget that the Roman Catholic Church and John Eck pointed out that Luther had to be wrong because he was teaching something totally new that had not been taught by the Church Fathers prior to him?!?
When will the Partial Preterist and the classic Amillennialist stop shooting at each other and writing the IVP 3-4 view type books (without Full Preterism being allowed to present the truth)?  The Partial Preterist view fires away at the Amillennial and Premillennial Dispensational views by arguing that they come dangerously close to denying the inspiration and infallibility of the Bible in their handling of the imminent time texts or their approaches to them are more akin to liberal treatments (DeMar & Sproul).  The Amillennialist fires back that the Partial Preterist is denying the reformed creeds (and shouldn’t be considered “reformed”) ripping asunder texts which are united through the analogy of Scripture principle of interpretation.  Wouldn’t it be more constructive for these two groups to humbly sit down at the table with Full Preterists to discuss the creedal position that the creeds are not infallible (as were the previous creeds they radically reformed) and thus really are subject to Scripture and change on eschatology — and that if both the classical Amillennialial and Partial Preterist views are true, then Full Preterism is true!  The day will come and it is inevitable – it is just a matter of when.

 


[1] Westminster Confession of Faith, I. ix.
[2] J.I. Packer, The Interpretation of Scripture, from ‘Fundamentalism’ and the Word of God (Inter-Varsity Press, 1958), pp. 101-114. http://www.bible-researcher.com/packer1.html
[3]   THE REFORMATION STUDY BIBLE, R.C. Sproul General Editor, (Orlando: FL, Ligonier Ministries) 1401.
[4] If we translate astrape in Matthew 24:27 as a “bright light” from the sun (instead of lightning) coming from the east and shining to the west, then this parallel that I have seen is also possible.