Friday, February 26, 2010

Why Preterism is Dangerous

After reading an article, "Why Dispensationalist want to wipe out the Jews"  on the American Vision web site, I had to chuckle.  When I responded to the post on Facebook, things got belligerent.  The idea is that since we in the premil camp see most of revelation and much of the minor prophets as future events, then we are working to make it happen.  That couldn't be farther from the truth.

As premillenialist, we believe that that there will be a tribulation in the future.  Of course the preterist see the tribulation as happening between AD 66 and AD 73 during the times of the Roman Jewish Wars.  This was a turbulent time, but this was not the great tribulation.  The great tribulation is followed by the literal return to Earth of Jesus.  Of course this is where Post Mill or A mill comes in.  The Kingdom was set up in heaven.

With a futurist perspective on the scripture we look at passages such as Zechariah 13:8 is still a future event.  This passage indicates that two thirds of the people will die in the great tribulation.  13:9 indicated that the third that remain will be tried in fire and purified.   What the preterist have accused us of is wanting to see this happen to the Jews by trying to get them to Jerusalem.  This couldn't be farther from the truth.  The truth is we want them in Jerusualm and we want to see them turn to God without this happening.

The problem is that only a third will turn to God before the "Great tribulation", second half of the final 7 years begins.   Jeremiah 30:7 calls it a time of Jacobs trouble.  It is a period not unlike a woman bearing children.  Micah chapter 7 is almost an Allegory of these times.  Where there is no one that is righteous left on the earth.  When the true Christians are raptured, there will be no one left to defend Israel.  They won't have a friend.  This will open up the country for an attack.

If you have read "The Islamic Antichrist", by Joel Richardson, you will know that the Mahdi will come into the land and set himself up as God.  At that time he will break his covenent with Israel, and will start killing Jews.  At this time Jesus said flee to the mountains.  Daniel says that the land of Edom, Ammon and Moab will escape control of the prince.  This of course is Jordon.  These two passages have left most scholars to believe that the only place of refuge for the Jew will be at Petra.  Futurist have been stockpiling Petra for just such a day.  Isaiah says that the messiah will come from Edom with blood stained robes.

This is a horrific time.  What gets me is, where does prophesying an event meant wishing it to happen?  Why do the preterist want to vilify us for even suggesting it is still future?  If anything, I see the preterist as being anti Semitic because they won't warn the Jew of this event. 

Of course we both agree on the solution,  even though both sides won't admit they agree.  The solution is to see the Jew come to accept Jesus as the Messiah.  The preterist wants them saved because he thinks that the promises to Israel are now for the church, therefore he must be saved in order to claim the inheritance.  The futurist wants him saved so he will miss this time of tribulation.

The futurist will point out that there will be a large turning to Jesus after the rapture.  Revelation 7 talks about 144 thousand Jews being sealed of God.  12 thousand from each of the twelve tribes.  This I know has been a debate that has spilled over into the cults.  Who is this 144 thousand?  Since there is a list of the twelve tribes that follow the description, the list must be literal Israelis who know what tribe they belong to.  The end of the chapter talks about the large number of converts that die.]

Daniel 12:1 says that Michael will stand up in that day and fight.  The ones that survive will be the ones written in the Book.  The assumption is written in the book of Life.  The problem I have with the preterist is how much do you trust God?  They have all these nice little things that they feel like they have to do to save society.  Do you trust God?  Do you trust his word?  Do you think that anything that is happening is catching God by surprise?

Matthew 24:24 says that there is coming a delusion that is so strong if it could, it would deceive the very elect.   I don't think there was a deception that strong in AD 70.  This has to be future.  According the "The Islamic Antichrist", there is a man coming named Isa.  He will call himself Jesus.  He will have great power and will perform many signs and wonders.  Many will turn from other faiths and become Muslim because of him.  If this is really what happens then I can see many a Preterist turning to Islam because their messiah came to set up his kingdom. 

First let me say, Trust Jesus.  Get a personal relationship with him and get to know him.  Second, study the scriptures.  All of them not just the ones that fit your doctrine.  Find out what he says and come to your own conclusions. Then love your brother.  Just because he has a different conclusion then you do don't pigeon hole him into a corner where you want to accuse him of something he is not. Love all people.  Whether Jew or Muslim,  Buddhist or Hindu,  all need Jesus.  Finally Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  Until the prince of peace comes, there will be no peace.


  1. Tim,

    I am a preterist (not hyperpreterist)and former premillenialist who would not suggest that premillenialists want a large segment of the Jewish population wiped out so that prophecy is fulfilled. Also, nor do I believe that I am anti-semitic due to some "failure" to warn the nation of Israel. There is no longer the need for a "nation" of Israel. We as the Church are now grafted in with God's covenant people from the Old Covenant to now be "Israel".

    My main thought in commenting on your thoughts, however, is to encourage you to have a debate with either Joel McDurmon or Gary DeMar of American Vision. If your view is biblically sound, you have nothing to lose and have the opportunity to edify the eschatological view with those who share that position, and maybe even win others to a premillenial view. I think that a respectful, loving debate between these two opposing worldviews would actually be helpful to us all, regardless of premill or preterist views.

    Troy Munn
    Gainesville, FL

  2. Since he has challenged me I am tempted to come on his show. The thing is he already has a challenge for a debate on this subject. The destiny of Israel in God's future. If I go on his show it will be over Ezekiel 38 which I think I have better legs, but I need to study his view a bit closer first.

    It is two very opposing views. The Preterist say that God is done with Israel. The Futurist say God is not through with Israel. It is all on how you interpret Romans 9-11. The idea of grafting into the promises of Israel doesn't mean he is throwing out the Old vines. They are just set aside while he builds the church. With the Rapture of the church, then God turns his focus back on Israel. The reason for the Great tribulation is to try Israel with fire and to Judge the world.

    The major covenants, The Abrahamic(Gen 12), The Land(Gen 15), Davidic(2 Sam 7) are all to Israel. Not Spiritual Israel but Israel. Romans 11 says that God has not thrown out the Natural Branches because if they were taken out they can be brought right back in. An indication that in AD 70 they lost the promises, but in AD 1948 they gained it back.

    My paraphrase on Romans 11 is that God has given you a chance for salvation because he has hardened the heart of Israel, now when you have had your chance, he will then bring back Israel into the olive tree. He cannot take back the promises already made to his chosen people.

    My pastor was in Egypt in the 70's. He asked the Egyptians how they felt about fighting with Israel. They said they didn't appreciate fighting with an opponent who every time in the last 3000 years they fought, won with a miracle.


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