Preston-Simmons Written Debate: Simmons 3rd Negative

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Don K. Preston


Preston-Simmons Debate


A Vindication of Christ’s Cross Against the

Errors of Covenant Eschatology


Simmons’ Third Negative


Be not carried about with diverse and strange doctrines.” Heb. 13:9


Truth of Preterism, Falsity of Covenant Eschatology


In opening my third negative, let me state that, despite my disagreement with Don about “Covenant Eschatology,” I remain fully convinced of the truth of Preterism. Preterism can be demonstrated by an abundance of proofs from both the scriptures and early church fathers. Origen (AD 185–254), the most learned and illustrious of the early fathers said:


We do not deny, then, that the purificatory fire and the destruction of the world took place in order that evil might be swept away, and all things be renewed; for we assert that we have learned these things from the sacred books of the prophets…And anyone who likes may convict this statement of falsehood, if it be not the case that the whole Jewish nation was overthrown within one single generation after Jesus had undergone these sufferings at their hands.  For forty and two years, I think after the date of the crucifixion of Jesus, did the destruction of Jerusalem take place.” Origen, Contra Celsum, IV, xxi-xxii; Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. IV, p. 505, 506.


Origen was almost certainly a Preterist; he could not make this statement otherwise. Another early Christian writer who was a Preterist is Eusebius of Caesarea (AD 263–339), whose works are widely known and cited both in and out of Preterist circles. The Preterism of these and other early Christian writers establish Preterism as an interpretative method entitled to its place among respected scholarship. However, Covenant Eschatology is another thing entirely. Preterism traces its roots to the earliest history of the church and has been present in every age since, but Covenant Eschatology is new, whipped up by the imagination of Max King less than 40 years ago. The Mormons started in the 1830’s. The Seventh Day Adventists date from about 1840’s. The Jehovah’s Witnesses date from about 1887-1912. Covenant Eschatology dates from the 1970’s. The very newness of the doctrine is its own repudiation. Can Covenant Eschatology truly claim a rightful place in the “faith once delivered to the saints” when it is so totally new and unprecedented in its basic doctrines? Where was it ever heard in all of Christendom and its 2,000 years that the saints were under the law until AD 70? Where was it ever heard or taught that justification from sin was postponed until the asserted removal of the law AD 70? We find Preterism present from the very start, but Covenant Eschatology? Never! This should raise for us a warning flag, for what is new in things Christian is invariably false.


It is a general rule that the one thing that makes any particular sect unique in Christendom is often the one thing that is wrong. Seventh Day Adventists claim E.G. White was a latter day prophet and that Sabbath and dietary restrictions of the law are still binding. These are what make Adventists unique within Christendom, and it is these very things that are patently false. Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the divinity of Christ, claim it is unlawful to receive blood transfusions, to celebrate birthdays or to vote. These things make them unique, and each of these is manifestly false. Covenant Eschatology claims the law was still valid after the cross, that the saints continued under bondage to sin, and were not justified until the law was allegedly removed until AD 70. These are the things that make Covenant Eschatology unique and these are the very things that make it false.


As proof of the very real danger the error of Covenant Eschatology presents, we need only look to its author, Max King. It is no secret or coincidence that King is now the teacher of a false gospel; King’s “Presence Ministries” preaches Universalism by which all men are allegedly saved without faith, without repentance, without confession, without baptism, and without the cross. The seeds of King’s error appeared early on. Jim McGuiggan commented upon King’s tendency to Universalism in their debate in the early 1970’s (p. 111). Consider this comment from King’s debate with McGuiggan (emphasis in original):


“The sting of death was SIN. But WHAT was the STRENGTH of sin? Paul said “the Law.” The victory is obtained through God’s making…a new creation… where sin has strength no longer. Hence, the sting of death is removed forever.” McGuiggan/King Debate, p. 98.


The remainder of this presentation, and the entirety of the debate, is now available in book form from Don K. Preston. Price of the book is $19.95 + $4.50 postage.

You can ordering a copy of the book by sending the funds to Don K. Preston, via PayPal. Be sure to include a note that you are ordering the Preston – Simmons Debate.

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1 However innocent his mistake, the fact remains I never “claimed Rom.11:26f predicts the salvation of individual Jews throughout the entirety of the endless Christian age.” The text predicts nothing about ethnic Jews after AD 70, and I certainly never suggested it did. Given the nation was destroyed in AD 70 and God now sees all men alike without regard to ethnicity, it is not the sort of thing I would be apt to say.