Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

Arguments to consider when studying Partial Preterism

The booklet promotes the theory that all (or most) of the events prophesied in the New Testament (including those in Revelation) were fulfilled in the past, specifically in 70 AD. The idea is that with the Roman siege of Jerusalem and destruction of the Temple, New Testament prophecies were fulfilled.

Additionally, since the booklet promotes the belief that New Testament prophecy has been fulfilled in the distant past, it rejects any Biblical basis for knowing when Jesus will come. It could be this year or it could be in 4000 years. Biblically speaking, we have no way to know.

This doctrine teaches that the great tribulation already happened in Jerusalem in the first century. It further states that Caesar Nero was the Antichrist, and Jesus Christ returned invisibly at the conclusion of the siege of Jerusalem in 66 - 70 AD. Be aware that this doctrine spiritualizes practically everything. In this way, the Antichrist is a Roman Caesar now long dead and buried. It promotes the belief that such events as the second coming as well as the resurrection of the dead and gathering together of the elect which accompany it have NOT yet occurred in history and places these things in the future.

The problem with this doctrine is this: By definition Partial Preterism (the doctrine of the booklet) denies the Full Preterist (all prophecy is already fulfilled) claim that the second coming also had to occur in that first generation. By placing the second coming in the future they accept that at least one of the events prophesied in the Olivet discourse did NOT occur by the time that first generation passed away. In doing so, they negate that the timeframe statements (such as the one found in Matthew 24:34) require the preceding, prophesied events to occur by 70 AD. By allowing one of those prophesied events to remain unbound by the 70 AD deadline, Partial Preterists actually allow all of the rest of the listed events to be delayed as well.

The fact is Partial Preterists deny the timeframe requirements and negate their own proof text. For this reason, Partial Preterism is a self-contradicting theory. It looks at timeframe references such as those found in the Olivet discourse and says, "Aha, these events must happen by 70 AD." Then it turns around and negates that very timeframe by placing one of those events (the second coming) in the future, thousands of years after the very deadline set by their own proof texts.

The only alternative is for Partial Preterists to hypothesize that there are two second comings (for a total of three comings.) The first second coming they place in 70 AD with the destruction of the Temple as a sign of Christ’s judgment. And the second second coming they place in the future when Christ will again return and gather the elect and resurrect the dead.

Preterists also hypothesize that all of the New Testament books were written prior to 70 AD, including the book of Revelation. This is essential to their theory because if prophetic texts such as Revelation or II Thessalonians 2 were written after 70 AD, then they could no longer assert that prophecies concerning such things as the antichrist and the mark of the beast took place by 70 AD.

But, if the entire New Testament including Revelation was written prior to 70 AD, then one wonders why Partial Preterists think there will be another second coming? Since according to their hypothesis, all of the prophecies in the New Testament concerning a second coming would have been written before the first second coming, what reason would they have for assuming that ALL these prophecies and commentaries weren’t fulfilled by that first second coming? Given their premise that all scripture was written before 70 AD, what would be their Biblical basis for assuming there is a second second coming?

None. The idea of two second comings is entirely ridiculous and superfluous. It is unbiblical and it is based on circular reasoning. Partial Preterists are simply trying to assume the existence of something their theory needs to survive. It is as if we assumed the existence of a thirty-two foot frog because otherwise our theory about the universe being ruled by a magic thirty-two foot frog would be obviously wrong. If there are no thirty-two foot frogs, our theory would fall apart. So we assume they MUST exist. The same is true for Partial Preterism and its theory of two second comings. The additional second coming is nothing more than a thirty-two foot frog.

The Preterist interpretation of these verses entirely depends upon the notion that these words apply MORE to that first generation than they do to us. For Preterists, the "you" in these passages is EXCLUSIVE to the immediate hearers only and DOES NOT equally apply to us. This is completely the opposite of what we assume when we read the Great Commission in Matthew 28 (“go ye”) and one wonders whether or not Preterists would apply their method of interpretation to that passage as well. It is also the opposite of what we do when we read most of the rest of scripture. Also if this theory is applied to Acts 2:38 the “every one of you” means only (as many contemporary churches also try to tell us) the people THEN present were to repent, be baptized in Jesus Name and receive the Holy Ghost, and therefore has nothing to do with PRESENT DAY salvation.

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