The Objection Stated: “Preterists teach that Matthew 24 and the book of Revelation are all fulfilled. The destruction of Jerusalem was “the Great Tribulation” along with the persecution of believers.“
The Response: This is exactly right and that is why the Apostle John Himself OPENS The Book of Revelation by telling his fellow “persecuted“ disciples that HE TOO was suffering WITH THEM in “THE TRIBULATION” that was actually occurringAT THAT TIME. This tribulation is the WHO, WHAT, WHY, WHEN and HOW of the Book of Revelation… (For more on the Great Tribulation, the Abomination of Desolation, etc., be sure to read Don K. Preston’s book, Blast From the Past, The Truth About Armageddon.
Revelation 1:9 – “I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in ‘THE TRIBULATION’ and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.”
This is WHY John could also say that the time approaching “the end” HAD GOTTEN ‘SHORTER‘ IN HIS OWN LIFETIME…
1 John 2:18 – “Children, it is (currently) THE LAST HOUR; and just as you heard that Antichrist will be coming, even NOW (in the first century) many Antichrists have already appeared; from this we KNOW (are certain) that it is (definitive) THE LAST HOUR.”
It had moved from the LAST “DAYS” to the LAST “HOUR” IN THE FIRST CENTURY! The time was getting shorter – not longer. This just dovetails perfectly with EVERYTHING ELSE concerning the END TIMES in the whole of the NT. It was a HEBREW (not a global) ESCHATOLOGY (i.e. the Last Days of the Old covenant System – Jer 31:31ff)
In Mt 24:33 Jesus told His first century disciples that when “THEY SAW“ all these things – that THEY were to be certain the Jesus Himself (the Judge over Israel) was “standing right at the door“ (i.e. about to step into the courtroom and judge His people…
Mt 25:31-46 – “When you see all these things, recognize that He is near, RIGHT AT THE DOOR.”
Are Preterists actually teaching that this judgment happened already??Let’s allow James to answer that – James – writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit – wrote this (some 25 years after Jesus spoke those words) to the first century Christians…
James 5:8-9 – “You too (those to whom he was writing – not you and me) be patient (they were undergoing tribulation); strengthen your hearts, BECAUSE THE COMING OF THE LORD IS NEAR. 9 So, do not complain against one another, so that you yourselves may not be JUDGED; Look! THE JUDGE IS (now) STANDING AT THE DOOR.”
James says that what Jesus said to look out for – was now just around the corner – this jives perfectly with John saying it had moved from the last DAY to the last HOUR – time was getting shorter for THEM.
Also – what sense did it make for James to tell those first century Jewish Christians to BE PATIENT and STRENGTHEN THEIR HEARTS BECAUSE THE LORD IS NEAR – if in fact – He was NOT NEAR? Was James – writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit – in error?
Of course not. It all makes perfect sense when viewed in its natural context – the approaching first century DESTRUCTION of apostate Judaism – which was in fact annihilated and had NEVER RETURNED.
These things only become complicated when we rip them from their original context and seek to cram them into the modern era. This is precisely WHY Jesus NEVER COMES BACK TO US.
You must decide what you will do with these passages. (More to come!)
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