We begin presenting here a series of short articles by my friend Frank Speer in response to some of the most common objections lodged against Covenant Eschatology. While I do not personally agree with every argument brother Speer presents, his overall presentation in these responses is very good and we appreciated his thoughts and his dedication in defending the truth of Covenant Eschatology.
Don K. Preston
A Response to Some Arguments Made Against Preterism
By Frank Speer
** These are THE SHORT ANSWERS to the arguments proffered against Preterism – the intention here is only to allow the reader to recognize that Preterism does in fact offer a SOUND and REASONABLE interpretation of the Bible. All of the answers given here are aptly supported by Scripture itself.
Preterism is utterly dependent upon the Holy Scriptures – especially the O.T. Prophets. ***Please closely examine ALL Scripture references given as this is THE KEY to rightly understanding the Preterist perspective.
There are many excellent resources available for those who wish to investigate further – some of which I list at the end of this series.
The Article (My Responses are in Blue)
“Full Preterists insist that “Jesus” returned “in spirit” in 70 AD and nothing is future. “We’re in “the New Heavens and New Earth” right now and Satan is bound!”
Jesus’ “return” (Parousia) was a visitation of divine judgement upon first century apostate Israel. He resurrected and raptured His saints (an invisible event) just as He promised He would. Just because WE did not witness these events does not mean they did not occur. If Jesus has NOT yet returned to gather His saints – where then have those first century saints BEEN for the last 2,000 years? (John 14:1-4)
The term “Heavens and Earth” (H&E) is a Hebraism (a poetic metaphor) describing the covenant relationship between God (“Heavens”) and His covenant people, Israel (“Earth”/Promised-Land). The Jewish Historian Josephus tells us this in his first century writings – as well as the Bible itself – (Isa 1:1; 51:16-17; Jer 4:23ff; Matthew 5:17-18; 24:35; 2 Pet 3; Rev 20:11). See Don K. Preston’s Like Father Like Son, On Clouds of Glory, for an extensive discussion of the nature of Christ’s parousia.
When the NT speaks of the H&E “passing away” it is speaking of the Old Covenant System, the Mosaic economy coming to an end – the “END OF THE AGE” (Mt 24:3 – that is the only “END” the N.T. is concerned with (1 Cor 7:31; 10:11; Heb 9:26 etc).
The word “Satan” in the Bible simply refers to any human “ADVERSARY” of God – (an opposser). It is VERY difficult for many Christians to get away from the “invisible demon king of the netherworld” view of Satan/the Devil – but a deep examination of Scripture will show that no such creature is ever being spoken of – although a cursory reading and understanding of the Bible makes it SEEM that way.
Although it may seem bizarre and even heretical at first – after MUCH study – it is my contention that “Satan” and “The Devil” in the N.T. is Hebrew “code language” for the apostate Jewish Hierarchy (High Priest, Sanhedrin, Priesthood etc) which had basically become a PAGAN entity that plagued the ministry of Jesus and His apostles. That is why “Satan was defeated” (Mt 3:7; 12:34; 2 Cor 12:7; Eph 6:12 etc) The entire book of Revelation is about the defeat of this apostate enemy.
Before dismissing this as INSANITY – PLEASE read my articles below…