Preterist Introduction

Introduction to Covenant Eschatology

The truth about End Times Bible Prophecy or Eschatology, as it is called, can at first glance be “unsettling” to some Christians. Just as going from a flat world to a spherical world did turn many people’s concept of the world upside down, hearing the truth about Bible Prophecy may be equally unsettling at first.

When everyone thought that the world was flat it was no easy matter convincing people otherwise. Even when the evidence started pouring in many held back from accepting this "unsettling" concept that the earth was spherical. People reasoned that if the world were round those on the bottom of the sphere would simply fall off. Going from the concept of a flat world to a round world was a lot to ask from people. It appears to be our human nature to "settle into" a belief system and then feel very comfortable in it.

We may “settle into” what is the most popular or recognized so called “truth”. It may be what we are most exposed to or may be what everyone believes and so this might give us the impression of credibility. But when we went from the concept that the Earth was the center of the universe to accepting the Sun to be center we found this very unsettling. When we went from the Sun being the center of the universe to it being one of billions of stars in the Milky Way we found this just as unsettling. When we went from the Milky Way being the universe to it being one of billions of other Galaxies we found this very unsettling. As our universe got bigger we were getting smaller. Rather humbling don’t you think?

You might ask, “How does this relate to End Times Bible prophecy?” Well the truth about End Times Bible Prophecy or Eschatology, as it is called, can at first glance be “unsettling” to some Christians. Just as going from a flat world to a spherical world did turn many people’s concept of the world upside down, hearing the truth about Bible Prophecy may be equally unsettling at first.

“But why is it such a shocker?” you might be wondering. Well here is what we feel to be two predominate reasons for this:

  • What many of us have been taught in Christian circles is a kind of “escapism”. We are really caught up in the now very popular rapture (pun intended). Christ is supposed to take us out of this world and give us our “utopia”. Anything other than this may appear unsettling at first.
  • Most of us have been taught that the “end” in the Bible is the “end” of our world as we know it. To learn that this “end” spoken of in the Bible has nothing to do at all with the “end” of our present day material world is a “turn your world upside down” shocker for sure.

    But is there an upside to all of this?

    When we began to relate to a world that was spherical instead of flat, new possibilities opened up to us, and our horizons were quickly changed. The FEAR of falling off the “END OF THE WORLD” was replaced with new possibilities, and new hopes. Hope and possibilities replaced “FEAR”. The “unsettling” feeling that was first experienced was replaced with brand new horizons.

    When we began to relate to the universe as vast as it really is we were humbled time and time again. The statement that the “heavens declare the glory of God” had a brand new meaning! Once again new possibilities were opened up. Our imagination brought us to contemplate our venture beyond this earth and we have even put people on the moon. Our thinking has changed as it has expanded. The truth may seem unsettling at first but it is better to know and understand it, for truth is better than ignorance and misunderstanding.

    Many who have come to the truth of what the “end of the world” really means in Biblical prophecy have said that new horizons have now been opened up for them. There is now a new joyful walk with the Lord and a spring in their step. They see a new world through the eyes of faith. Hope has been restored.

    Now there are a lot of “experts” in the field of Bible prophecy. There are a lot of books in the local Christian bookstore on the subject of end times Bible prophecy. Why then should you or anyone else consider a view of end times that is substantially different from the norm? Well to begin with there are some glaring inconsistencies between the popular views of end times and some very clear statements by Jesus and the New Testament writers. These glaring “inconsistencies” have been for the most part simply shoved aside. But how could “experts” in Bible prophecy do such a thing? Well the predominant reason for this is simply that the alternative seemed itself inconceivable to them. It is very easy to shove aside glaring inconsistencies when the alternative itself appears to be impossible.

    An interesting question then is, “Is the “impossible” truly impossible or is the real problem with our way of looking at the whole subject?” Something like having a round world where people on the bottom of it don’t fall off.

    Here are some of the questions and points that this introduction will cover:

  • Could our assumption of what the term “end” means, be completely off base? Is it possible that this term refers to a “covenant” end and not an end of the material universe?
  • The ancient Hebrews are well known for using very colorful, metaphoric language. Does our interpretation of metaphoric or apocalyptic language come into play? For example:

    Isaiah 51:16

    “And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say to Zion, Thou art my people.”

    This is a “covenant” creation spoken of in metaphoric language. Israel was not used to create the material universe but is involved in the creation of a “covenant”.

    When Jesus and Peter employ the same type of speech in referring to the passing away of the heavens and earth are they speaking of material creation or of the old Covenant?

  • Are some points misunderstood because they were supposed to be taken spiritually?
  • Are we ignoring the evidence of first century history?

    We often here it said from Christians that we are now in the “last days”. But the New Testament writers said that they were already in the last days (Acts 2:14-17, Heb. 1:2, 1 Pet. 1:20 ETC.). Why then do we say things like this and what other first century history, ether Biblical or secular are we ignoring?

  • Where did we get the term “2nd coming” of Christ? Have you ever seen that term used in the New Testament?

    The study of “end times” is also known as “Eschatology”. This understanding of eschatology that is being presented here is often referred as “Preterism” or “Full Preterism”. There are some other terms used for this as well like “realized eschatology” or “covenant eschatology”. Spend a little time with us if you would and get a closer look into this understanding of “end times”.

    The Preterist view is beginning to grow very rapidly now. Many who hold to this view believe that it will one day be the predominant “end time” view of eschatology. We believe this because we have examined the facts and found the evidence overwhelmingly one sided in favor of the Preterist understanding. May God bless us in the study of His word.

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