Why Is Preterism Important?: Berean Bible Church

Why Is Preterism Important?

Robert Cruickshank, Jr.

Delivered 07/31/22

How many of you have shared Preterism with your friends or family members and they ask questions like: "Why is this important?" "Why do I need to know this?" "How does this apply to my life?" Oftentimes, they will even add: "Well, if this is true, what are we supposed to be doing now?""Why are we here?" They ask these questions as if there's no point for our existence other than sitting around waiting for Jesus to return. As if our only clear goal in life is to get "raptured" out of here.

As to the first two questions, I'd say it's "important," and we "need to know this" because the subject of eschatology occupies more space in the New Testament than any other. "Eschatology" literally means "the study of last things." It's the branch of theology that is concerned with "end times" or "apocalyptic stuff," so to speak. While most believers may not be familiar with the technical term itself, everyone has an "eschatology," whether they realize it or not. All of those believers who are waiting for "the rapture" and who are caught up in the hype of thinking that we are in "the last days" definitely have an "eschatology."

According to R.C. Sproul, two-thirds of the New Testament is either directly or indirectly eschatological.According to James Montgomery Boice: "In the New Testament one verse in twenty-five deals with the Lord's return. It is mentioned 318 times in the 260 chapters of the New Testament" (The Epistles of John, p. 96).Ray Steadman says the Second Coming is "the most frequently mentioned truth in all of the New Testament." And Wayne Jackson says it's "referenced eight times more often than the Lord's initial coming" (Facts About the Second Coming of Christ: Christian Courier).

Amazingly, one famous scholar has said the study of eschatology is "a waste of time." If this is true, then two-thirds of the New Testament is "a waste of time" and we should just skip over the 318 times that the subject is mentioned. The real problem for these folks is that within those 318 times that eschatology is the topic, there are 101 time indicators that tell us that the day was at hand, the time was near, and the events were to happen shortly before that generation passed away, etc. (101 Preterist Time-Indicators – Pursuing Truth (adammaarschalk.com)

I've also heard it said that we should "major on the majors, and minor on the minors." The fact is that the Lord's Return is THE major theme in the New Testament, and a major part of that major theme is the fact that it would happen before the first-century generation passed away. To ask, "Why is this important?" or "Why do I need to know this?" is to ask why the New Testament is important and why you need to know it. The short answer is this: because it's God' Word.

Having said that, it "applies to our life" in that we all are called to defend His Word. Peter says

But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15 NASB

Peter isn't writing to an elite group of scholars or theologians here. If you back up to the previous verses (1 Peter 3:1-8), you find that Peter is addressing husbands and wives and giving instructions on normal, everyday living and relationships. In other words, he's writing to everyday believers, just like us. The word for "defense" here is ἀπολογία (apologia). It's where we get our word "apologetics" from. What this means, then, is that we are all called to engage in apologetics. We are all supposed to be "always ready" to make a defense of the hope that is within us.

With this in mind, there is nowhere that the New Testament is more greatly attacked than in the area of eschatology. For example, according to James Tabor, a Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte:

"…Messianic apocalyptic eschatology…has a 100% failure rate." The Failed Apocalypse of the New Testament – TaborBlog (jamestabor.com) "The prophecies of Jesus and his followers all came to nothing" James Tabor's failed apocalypse of the New Testament argument | P.OST (postost.net). Elsewhere, he says: "John the Baptist, Jesus, James, Peter, and Paul all lived and violently died with the imminent hope of cosmic reversal on their lips, but what they most expected to happen never came about…. So what are we to make of this disappointment and failure? …. With Schweitzer I see Jesus as a full and willing participant and key agent in these failed apocalyptic hopes and dreams." JN815 SHB Fall 2004 Pages (jamestabor.com).

What's really ironic about this is that it was precisely the prophecies of Jesus and His followers that used to be used as an apologetic to defend Christianity rather than a vulnerable point to attack it!  In 1805 (25 years before John Nelson Darby introduced the world to Dispensationalism), George Peter Holford wrote the book, The Destruction of Jerusalem: An Absolute and Irresistible Proof of the Divine Origin of Christianity. In Gary DeMar's write up for the book, he says:

You wouldn't know it by perusing the shelves of today's Christian bookstores, but there is a vast body of scholarly and evangelical literature[1] that shows that most of the New Testament's prophetic passages were fulfilled in events leading up to and including the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. A splendid example is Holford's The Destruction of Jerusalem first published in 1805. Prior to the rise of dispensationalism, the Olivet prophecy (Matt. 24; Mark. 13; Luke 21) was used by Christian apologists as positive proof that the Word of God was true. Today, that same prophecy is used by critics as a weapon against the veracity of the Bible.[2]

The point of these pre-Dispensational writers was that Jesus predicted the destruction of Jerusalem and the events leading up to it with such incredible accuracy that it is absolute proof of His divinity. And this is exactly what it was meant to be. In the Olivet Discourse, Our Lord says:

But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken, and then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and all of the tribes of the land will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heaven to another [Matt. 24:29-31 NASB]

As David Chilton says:

It is not the sign which is in heaven, but the Son of Manwho is in heaven. The point is simply that this great judgment upon Israel, the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, will be the sign that Jesus Christ is enthroned in heaven at the Father's right hand, ruling over the nations and bringing vengeance upon His enemies.The divinely ordained cataclysm of A.D. 70 revealed that Christ had taken the Kingdom from Israel and given it to the Church; the desolation of the old Temple was the final sign that God had deserted it and was now dwelling in a new Temple, the Church" [Paradise Restored, p. 100].

This is exactly what Holford and those other pre-Dispensational writers were saying. And it is the view that Chilton "restored" when he wrote Paradise Restored. The fact that the temple came down within a generation of Yeshua's prediction was "the sign" that He was exactly who He said He was. He is the enthroned One, over all the earth, ruling from heaven (Rev. 1:5).

Now, all of this isn't to say that there weren't visible signs in Heaven, for there most certainly were. He also said that they would "see[3] the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory," and they did. History records it for us. Here is how Josephus reported it:

Not many days after that feast, on the twenty-first day of the month Artemisius, a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared… related by those that saw it… for, before sunsetting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities [Josephus, Wars 6.296-299 (6.5.3)].

Now, those who are already familiar with this quote know that this happened in April of AD 66, rather than in AD 70. So, this can't be the Parousia, it is sometimes argued. To say this, however, is to misunderstand the meaning of the word. We tend to look at the coming of Christ as a one-and-done, instantaneous event that is over in a split second.

As Daniel Morais reminds us, however:

…the Bible often uses the word "parousia" when mentioning the "second coming"…a Greek word meaning "presence" or "coming." This is a word used to denote the arrival of a conquering general, emperor or high-ranking official into a city for an extended stay oftentimes for several months or years before then returning to the capital city, the seat of his throne. The word connotes a coming and an extended presence or stay often followed by a subsequent departure. When people think of the "second coming" or parousia, they often picture a one-time, brief appearance of Christ on the clouds. However, this term generally connotes a coming and an extended stay or presence as is implied by the way "Parousia" is used in Philippians 2:12.[4]

That passage reads:

"So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Phil. 2:12).

We can safely assume that Paul's "Parousia" or visitation to Philippi lasted more than one second. And this just shows how important it is to understand the usage of the words, terms, and phrases that are used in the Bible in the context of its own time. The Bible wasn't written in a vacuum; it's a product of its own time. Just like when we speak and communicate today, the biblical writers are using the common vocabulary of their day. And the timing of Josephus' account perfectly fits that common vocabulary when it comes to the word "Parousia." It was a "visitation." In fact, Jesus even calls it the time of the city's "visitation" in Luke 19:44 (cf. vs. 41).

With this in mind, then, notice the reference to "the clouds" in this passage. Yeshua told the Sanhedrin that they would see Him "coming with the clouds of heaven" (Mk. 14:52). In Acts 1, He is taken to Heaven in "a cloud" (Acts 1:9), and the disciples are told that He would "come in the same way" they "watched Him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11). He did. As Gary DeMar says: "The passage says that Jesus will 'come in just the same way as' He was seen going into heaven. He went up in a cloud and He would return on a cloud. Jesus did this in His judgment coming against Jerusalem before that generation passed away (Matt. 24:1–34)."[5]

Josephus also speaks of others who were seen in the skies over Jerusalem. There were troops of soldiers, in armed battle array, and chariots in the sky. This comports with Jude when he cites 1 Enoch and says: "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousand of His holy ones, to execute judgment on all" (Jude 14-15). Yossippon, who was a much read and highly respected historical source by the Jews of the Middle Ages, chronicled the history of the Jews from Adam to the time of Titus (Josippon - Wikipedia). In recounting the events of Jerusalem's destruction, he writes:

Now it happened after, that there was seen from above over the Holy of Holies for the whole night the outline of a man's face the like of whose beauty had never been seen in all the land, and his appearance was quite awesome. Moreover, in those days were seen chariots of fire and horsemen, a great force flying across the sky near to the ground coming against Jerusalem and all the land of Judah, all of them horses of fire and riders of fire. [Sepher Yosippon: A Mediaeval History of Ancient Israel. Translated by Steven B. Bowman; Chap. 87 "Burning of the Temple"].

Like Josephus, Yossippon mentions the chariots and horsemen in the sky, but notice the additional detail. They are chariots of fire, horses of fire and riders of fire. Remember, Paul told the Thessalonians that Yeshua would be "revealed from heaven, with His mighty angels, in flaming fire" (2 Thess. 1:7).

And the reference to "the outline of a man's face" in the night sky," which was both "beautiful" and "awesome," is chilling when you consider it in light of Revelation 6:16:

Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?" [Rev. 6:15-16 ESV].

As Phil Kayser writes:

So this non-Christian Jew is describing this appearance of a theophany in the shape of a man of stupendous size in the sky, and having a beauty that was awe-inspiring…. This unbelieving Jew would have no reason to make this kind of stuff up – especially since it could be used by Christians to prove the truth of Christ's spiritual coming to judge Israel. I think it is an incredibly strong testimony coming from a Jewish historian. BB Research | Cosmic Disturbances (kaysercommentary.com)

So you can see that God, in His divine providence, has equipped us with all the evidence we need to defend His Word and aptly demonstrate that Our Lord came just as He said He would—in that generation.

Critics, quite frankly, don't know how to react to hard evidence like this. For example, John J. Collins, retired professor of the Hebrew Bible at the University of Chicago, who has written numerous scholarly works on a wide range of biblical topics,  believes (like Professor James Tabor, whom I quoted earlier)  that "Jesus and Paul's apocalyptic expectations failed" Jesus & Paul's Apocalyptic Expectations Failed | John J. Collins PhD - YouTube

When confronted with the text in Josephus, Collins says "Josephus obviously didn't think this was Jesus coming in the clouds." Yes, that's just the point, Dr. Collins. Josephus had no reason to lie, make it up or embellish the truth.

And, as Daniel Morais points out:

"…if Jesus had been identified at the head of this army it could be considered strong evidence that the account of the army in the clouds as a whole is a spurious Christian interpolation intended for apologetic purposes. Since as non-Christians unfamiliar with the details of Christian eschatology, Tacitus and Josephus would never be expected to make such an identification."[6]

Morais makes an excellent point here because this is exactly what Critics do with the famous statement where Josephus supposedly recognizes Jesus as the Messiah.[7] They say: "Well, obviously that line was inserted by a later Christian trying to make it look like Josephus accepted Jesus as the Christ," and they're probably correct. But that's just the point. With statements about the armies in the sky, there is no tampering with the document here. And the absence of a positive identification, on the part of Josephus, is actually strong evidence for authenticity rather than the other way around.

The bottom line? This isn't a Christian trying to prove that Yeshua's prophecies came true. This is an unbiased source validating and substantiating that, contrary to Collins, Tabor, and a host of other "biblical scholars," Jesus and Paul's "apocalyptic expectations" did NOT "fail." Quite the opposite. They were fulfilled to the letter, thus proving that Jesus Christ is exactly who He said He was. These were "the signs" showing that the Son of Man is the enthroned One ruling from heaven. Every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess, that He is Lord. And this includes "biblical scholars" who think He's nothing more than a failed and false prophet.

So, why is Preterism important, and how does it apply to our lives? It's important because of the amount of space eschatology occupies in the New Testament. It applies to our lives because each and every one of us is called to defend the faith, and Preterism is the absolute best way to do this, as per the instructions of our Lord Himself. Again, Yeshua said that the destruction of Jerusalem was to be the "sign" that He is the enthroned One in heaven. The word used for "sign" carries the idea of "a proof," a piece of "evidence" or a "convincing token" (σημεῖον [semeion] 'sign,' LSJ Dictionary).

So, rather than conceding ground to the critics, and agreeing with them that these things weren't fulfilled, as the Dispensationalists and other Futurists do, we maintain that they were fulfilled. And we use the evidence that the Lord, in His providence, has left us in the annuls of history to show how they were fulfilled. We need to return to the approach of George Peter Holford before Dispensationalism paralyzed the Church. Charles Spurgeon was alive when Dispensationalism first came on the scene and its doctrinal distinctives began to unfold one by one. In classic Spurgeon-style, his reaction was priceless:

We never know what we shall hear next, and perhaps it is a mercy that these absurdities are revealed at one time, in order that we may be able to endure their stupidity without dying of amazement The Berean's Desk: The Stupidity of Dispensationalism (bereansdesk.blogspot.com)

These "absurdities," as Spurgeon has called them, have affected not only our apologetic efforts, but they've hindered and hampered our role as God's image-bearers in this world. And Spurgeon saw the train coming. In his sermon called, "On the Increase of His Government," Spurgeon said:

It would be easy to show that at our present rate of progress the kingdoms of this world never could become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ. Indeed, many in the Church are giving up the idea of it except on the occasion of the advent of Christ, which, as it chimes in with our own idleness, is likely to be a popular doctrine. I myself believe that King Jesus will reign, and the idols be utterly abolished…. The Holy Ghost would never suffer the imputation to rest upon His holy name that He was not able to convert the world. Spurgeon on the Coming of the Son of Man (pulpitandpen.org)

Now, I'm a Preterist, and I believe prophecy ceased in AD 70, so I'm using this term loosely here, but these words were "prophetic," so to speak. This has become a "popular doctrine" that "chimes with our own idleness." When he said this, Spurgeon was looking ahead, as the shadows were just beginning to be cast at the dawn of Dispensationalism. Over a hundred years later, David Chilton was looking back at the shadows that had been cast for decades, once the Dispensational stranglehold had completely gripped the Church.

He writes:

For too long, Christians have been characterized by despair, defeat, and retreat. For too long, Christians have heeded the false doctrine which teaches that we are doomed to failure, that Christians cannot win – the notion that, until Jesus returns, Christians will steadily lose ground to the enemy. The future of the Church, we were told, is to be a steady slide into apostasy. Some of our leaders sadly informed us that we are living in a "Laodicean age" of the Church (a reference to the "lukewarm" church of Laodicea, spoken of in Rev. 3:14-22). Any new outbreak of war, any rise in crime statistics, any new evidence of the breakdown of the family, was often oddly viewed as progress, a step forward toward the expected goal of the total collapse of civilization, a sign that Jesus might come to rescue us at any moment. Social action projects were looked on with skepticism: it was often assumed that anyone who actually tried to improve the world must not really believe the Bible, because the Bible taught that such efforts were bound to be futile; as one famous preacher put it, "You don't polish brass on a sinking ship." That slogan was based on two assumptions: first, that the world is nothing more than a "sinking ship"; second, that any organized program of Christian reconstruction would be nothing more than "polishing brass." Evangelism was an invitation to join the losing side [Paradise Restored, p. 3].

Chilton was so on target here. There's a new virus, and, "Praise God, this is a sign of the end!" Russia invades Ukraine, and, "Hallelujah, we have wars and rumors of wars!" Throw in a few earthquakes in diverse places and, all the ingredients are there for Armageddon! This has been, and sadly continues to be, the dominant eschatology of the Church.

And what has been the result? Christians used to build hospitals and universities. We used to lead the way in science, education, and the arts. And, there are many good books documenting all of this. These include: The Book that Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization, by Vishal Mangalwadi. Under the Influence: How Christianity Transformed Western Civilization, by Alvin J. Schmidt. A face-paced, easy read would be What If Jesus Had Never Been Born, by D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcomb. And Gary DeMar gives many examples in his three-volume God and Government series.

All of these books show what Christians used to do before Dispensationalism took our eyes off the world around us and on nothing but the sky about us – as we wait for "the rapture." I don't know if you've noticed or not, but God's people aren't doing these sorts of things anymore. Why? Because ideas have consequences, and we are living with the consequences of a really bad idea called Premillennial Dispensationalism.

These books talk about a time when God's People had a vision of the future based on the idea that we are His image bearers and, as such, we should be leading the nations to the healing leaves of the Tree of Life (Rev. 22:2). It was a vision of the nations walking by the light of the glory of God, and the kings of the earth bringing the glory and honor of the nations into the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:24-26). In short, it was a vision of victory.

As the late Dr. Gary North said: "Christians haven't taken seriously this vision of victory since the 1870's…For over a century, this vision faded in the hearts and minds of regenerate people. A vision of defeat, in time and one earth, replaced the older vision of victory. The churches went into hiding, culturally speaking. They left the battlefield, and the humanists won by default" (Backward, Christian Soldiers?, pp. ix-xi.).

So, this is the point to which Dispensationalism has brought us. The humanists, as North calls them, have "won by default." God's people have failed in their task of being salt and light in the world. The world is supposed to "see our good works," and respond by "glorifying" our "Father who is in Heaven." In other words, we are supposed to be doing something. We are supposed to be engaged in activities that leave an impact on people and, as result, those same people come to the Lord. This was Old Testament Israel's mission as well, and now it is ours.

Deuteronomy 4:5-7 says:

"See, I have taught you statutes and judgments just as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should do thus in the land where you are entering to possess it. 6 "So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.' 7 "For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is the LORD our God whenever we call on Him? 8 "Or what great nation is there that has statutes and judgments as righteous as this whole law which I am setting before you today?"

According to 1 Peter 2:9, we are now that holy nation (Jews and Gentiles alike). And, the land we inherit isn't just the land of Canaan anymore. Holy ground isn't restricted to the land of Israel. God has dissolved those boundaries, reclaimed the disinherited nations, and defeated their gods. That's part of what's "new" about the "New Heavens and New Earth."

The Golden City of Revelation 21, the New Jerusalem, is 1500 miles wide by 1500 miles long.[8] In other words, 1500 square miles. It's "the same number of square miles as the Roman empire,"[9] or the known world at the time.[10]

And as much as Dispensationalists would want us to believe that the New Jerusalem is the biblical equivalent of a Borg Cube hovering over the earth, that's not what the cubical imagery is about. The significance of "the cubical shape of the city" is that it "matches the shape of the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle and temple (1 Kgs 6:20)."[11] The Holy of Holies was where the manifest presence of Yahweh resided, and it was overlaid with pure gold (1 Kings 16:20). "As golden cubes," writes Desmond Alexander, "the Holy of Holies and New Jerusalem are clearly connected."[12]

G.K. Beale captures the significance of the imagery: "…God's tabernacling presence, formerly limited to the holy of holies, was to be extended throughout the whole earth." [13] Or, as Ken Gentry puts it: "The new Jerusalem is a symbol of the redeemed people of God," the people "in whom God dwells (Rev 21:3)."[14] In other words, sacred space is no longer limited to the Holy of Holies, in the temple, in earthly Jerusalem. The shape and size of the city are meant to telegraph the idea that sacred space is anywhere, on the face of the planet, that a true believer is.

Compare this with how it was in the Old Testament, in the Old Heavens and Earth. We don't need to look any further than the story of Naaman in 2 Kings 5. Elisha heals Naaman of his leprosy, and Naaman says:

Please let a load of dirt, on a pair of mules be given to your servant, for your servant will never again bring a burnt offering and sacrifice to other gods, but only to Yahweh (2 Kings 5:17).

He wants as much dirt (from the land of Israel) as his mules can carry to take back home with him to Syria. Why? It makes no sense. Dirt is the most abundant on earth. They didn't have dirt in Syria? Why would he ask for dirt?  Because of his vow to sacrifice only to Yahweh alone and to no other gods (2 Kg. 5:17). That dirt from Israel was holy ground, it was Yahweh's turf. He needed dirt from the land of Israel to connect with the God of Israel.

Guess what? We don't need to haul dirt from Israel anymore in order to come to Him. It's all Yahweh's territory now, and anyone can be a part of His family right here and right now. Regardless of the color of our skin or where we live on this planet, we all belong to one of the nations that He has reclaimed, through His Son, Jesus Christ. And He did it all between His first and Second Coming in the first century.

And now that Golden City of Revelation 21 is supposed to expand and fill the whole earth. And the kings of the earth should be bringing the glory and honor of the nations into that Golden City (Rev. 21:24-25), into the City of the Great King—the King who, through His death, burial and resurrection became the Ruler of the Kings of the Earth (Rev. 1:5).

But if this is true, if Preterism is true, that means we have work to do. And people don't want to do that. For example: John MacArthur writes:

"Reclaiming the culture is a pointless, futile exercise. I am convinced we are living in a post-Christian society—a civilization that exists under God's judgment. As we will note in an early chapter of this book, abundant evidence suggests that God has abandoned this culture to its own depravity. Certainly, He is not interested in superficial moral reform for an unregenerate society. God's purpose in this world—and the church's only legitimate commission— is the proclamation of the message of sin and salvation to individuals, whom God sovereignly redeems and calls outof the world."

So, how do we respond to this "post-Christian society" caused by this Dispensational Eschatology? Their answer is to just continue down the same path that got us here in the first place.

What they really want is for someone to agree with them in order to justify their complacency. The truth is that believers today don't want to do anything about the state of our culture and the condition of the world. They want to think that things are supposed to be this way, because these are the "end times," and they have no other goal in life other than to wait for Jesus to come and rescue them out of the world.

In the meantime, Jesus is waiting for His people to wake up and start changing the world. He'll do it through us, but He's not going to do it for us. Revelation 1:5 says "Jesus Christ" is, right here and right now, "the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth." As David Chilton said: "As the Firstborn, Christ possesses the crown rights of all creation: 'Allauthority in heaven and earth has been given to Me," He claimed (Matt. 28:18). All nations have been granted to Him as His inheritance, and the kings of earth are under court order to submit to Him (Ps. 2:8-12)" [Days of Vengeance, p. 63]. And we are His representatives who are supposed to be issuing this "court order" to the world! We are His image bearers.

That's why it always amazes me when people ask: "Well, if Preterism is true, what are we supposed to be doing now?" Preterism is the only thing that gives us something to do now! It, and it alone, is the true "eschatology of victory." Under every other eschatology, God's people ultimately fail in the end, and their only hope is for Jesus to come and bail them out. It is only under the Preterist approach that every prophesied obstacle is removed. And the only thing that stands in the way is we ourselves and our failure to be the salt and light in the world that He has called us to be.

And once God's people begin to realize this, and we begin to see that all the doomsday prophecies are behind us, we can begin to turn the tide. And once God's people realize that the Bible accurately predicted those doomsday prophecies, and they've been fulfilled just as Scripture said, we can begin to successfully defend His Word—as we're all called to do.

So, when people ask: "Why is this important?" And, "How does this apply to my life?" we have the answers. It's important because, if Preterism isn't true, the Bible is nothing more than a book of failed and false prophecies, as men like Tabor and Collins contend, and there's no reason to apply it to our lives. What's the point? We might as well eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die.

On the other hand, if Preterism is true, then we have every reason to apply God's Word to our lives. The destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 confirms its authenticity and it's the standard by which we are called to live and in which we will be judged. And by applying it to our "lives," we impact every area of life. We are to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, not just some of them. There is no reason to do this if He is a failed and false prophet, but we have every reason to do it if He was exactly who He said He was. So, why is Preterism important? Because, in a very real way, everything we're all about, and who we are, depends on it.

[1] The Gary DeMar Podcast: You're in Good Company (libsyn.com) In this episode, DeMar mentions numerous other older works that take a Preterist approach to the Olivet Discourse.

[2] Reproduced in personal email: Gary DeMar to Robert Cruickshank (May 4, 2022).

[3] The used  here for "see" is ὀπτάνομαι (optanomai). The Lexicons are unanimous that it has only one meaning: "to be seen, to appear," "to be visible."  For example:  Liddell-Scott-Jones, A Greek-English Lexicon (Oxford, NY: Oxford University Press 1843 [1996], p. 1242);  BDAG (Chicago and London: They University of Chicago Press, 2021, p. 637; Thayer's Greek: 3700. ὀπτάνομαι, (optanomai) -- to appear (biblehub.com);

[4] Historical Evidence that Jesus was LITERALLY SEEN in the Clouds in the First Century | Revelation Revolution

[5] "His Feet Will Stand on the Mount of Olives": A Commentary - The American Vision

[6] Jesus, the Son of Man, was LITERALLY Seen in the Clouds in A.D. 66 | Revelation Revolution

[7] Josephus' Account of Jesus: The Testimonium Flavianum

[8] "These dimensions, if taken literally, would mean that the base of the city would be about fifteen hundred miles

square—an urban center that would cover most of the western half of the United States—and that it would stretch fifteen hundred miles into space" (Craig R. Koester, Revelation and the End of All Things [Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2018], ePub, p. 217).

[9] N.T. Wright, Revelation for Everyone (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011) p. 194.


[11] Robert H. Gundry, "The New Jerusalem: People as Place, Not Place for People" (Novum Testamentum, Vol. 29, Fasc. 3 [Jul., 1987]), p. 261. See also: Wright, Revelation, p. 194.

[12] T. Desmond Alexander, From Eden to New Jerusalem: An Introduction to Biblical Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2008), ePub p. 17).

[13] G.K. Beale, The Temple and the Church's Mission: A Biblical Theology of the Dwelling Place of God (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2004), ePub p. 35.



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