Preterism is the last of the faulty Rapture doctrines we’ll examine, as we’ve pretty much gotten all of them.
There’s a few more eschatological positions we’ll examine, but this is the last of the “timing” rapture stances.
Preterism comes in all kinds of blends, but we’ll look at two of them – the 70 AD Preterist and the Historicist. Today I’m going to deal with the Preterist position, as surprisingly, it’s growing in popularity.
Preterism comes from one of the words for “before”, preter. The position of all forms of Preterism is that everything in Revelation was already accomplished. Marc Monte dealt with this in one of his sermons, and in a record 60 seconds. His only comment was to explain preterism, and then added, “If this is the Millennium… I am woefully disappointed.”
I am dumbfounded as to the appeal of Preterism, and why it is growing in all forms in popularity. Again, I lay claim to ONE SIMPLE fact – You all are not reading your Bible. You may be opening it, your eyes may be moving on that page, but you’re not reading it.
I’m going to prove that in just a couple of questions. Ready?
- how long does the Millennium last?
- Does it happen before or after the Tribulation?
- Does Jesus Christ return before or after the millennium?
- how many people die in the Seven Seals?
- Name one church in Revelation that is not condemned.
- what colors does the harlot of Babylon wear?
- Can a Christian take the mark of the beast?
- Is anything living in the seas by the time of Christ’s return?
These are easy questions if you’ve read Revelation. If, on the other hand, you just reluctantly did your “seven pages of devotion reading a day” and never really read your Bible, you’re not going to have a clue.
If you don’t know, the odds are good you may be ripe for being seduced by modern Bible teachers into Preterism.
R. C. Sproul is one of the most well known Preterists today. He’s not a historicist, but rather a 70 AD preterist. The same techniques are used to answer them.
Question one for a Preterist: Do you believe the Bible literally?
Question Two for a Preterist: If yes, how can you possibly think everything in Revelation was literally fulfilled by AD 70?
Question Three for a preterist: If no, how can you prove you’re saved? What other parts of the bible don’t you believe???
These questions have profound influence, as being a Preterist is in that “you’re really starting to scare me about your salvation” category.
Follow my logic. I know with my brain, to me, logic runs like this: 1+1=2 therefore the speed of light is 186,500 miles per second. And so I write some articles that really are over people’s heads sometimes. I want to make sure EVERYONE can follow my logic on this one.
- People who are not saved cannot understand the Bible except for passages that would lead you to salvation.
- It is evident when these people begin to speak that they are incapable of understanding the Bible
- That becomes a warning sign that they are not saved, when they obviously have NO CLUE.
- There are millions of Christians who read the book of Revelation and immediately catch on to the three part structure that part of it is what was, part of it is what is, and the vast majority of it (Chapters 4-22) “What must be hereafter”.
- There are events in Revelation that cannot be reconciled with history.
- There are events in Revelation that are overwhelmingly supernatural, and nothing even remotely like it has happened in history.
- How can you place any doctrine of man so highly up that it can become a barrier between the Bible and you?
- If you do not believe these events are to be taken literally, then what other parts of the Bible do you allegorize?
- Is “Ye must be born again” another one of those areas you allegorize? Or do you take that literally?
- How can you look at one passage in Scripture that the Bible does not say is a vision or a parable and say, “I don’t believe that literally” and then look at another passage in Scripture and DO believe that literally?
- How can you possibly be sealed with the seal of redemption – the holy Spirit – and look at Revelation and think, “Why, that part must be Rome under Nero!!!” and not have the Holy Spirit in you telling you, “No, you’re wrong – read it again.”
- If you can look at Revelation and feel absolutely no leading from the Holy Spirit that your man-made interpretation is completely way off base… what difference is there between you and the unsaved person who cannot understand the Bible? Answer: none. So… are you saved???
I was dumbfounded how furious a preterist got when I questioned his salvation. If you question my salvation, I’m going to get worried, and spend time in prayer – not lash out. If I question your salvation and have valid reasons why, and you erupt in rage… bingo.
First question for a historicist preterist – Why does the interpretation of historic preterists of what passage equals what century never completely agree? If this teaching is the leading of the holy spirit, shouldn’t it agree among all of you?
12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. 14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. Revelation 6:12-14 (KJV)
When in history did this happen? It literally calls for islands and mountains to be moved out of their places. This passage has been scoffed at by unbelievers for centuries until the Christmas Tsunami. Geologists report that some islands literally moved slightly out of their position when this happened. If that’s the event you’re discussing, wouldn’t we be in the Seventh seal right now??? Or perhaps the first trumpet. Yet you’re saying all of this was done in times past, and we’re now in the millennium!
8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. Revelation 6:8 (KJV)
when in history did 25% of mankind die? To my knowledge, even the Spanish influenza of World War I did not kill 25% of mankind. The black plague in Europe did not kill 25% of all mankind, as it was confined to Europe.
4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. 5 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. Revelation 7:4-5 (KJV)
find me 12,000 Jews of the tribe of Reuben. After the destruction of Jerusalem, most Jews were taken into slavery, possessions lost. Very few Jews were able to retain their Sefer Toldot, their genealogy lists. Today, there is even less of those. There’s a myth that no Jew today can prove their tribal inheritance – but I know one from Brooklyn that his family still has one. It’s rare, but they do exist. There was a rock star back in the 90’s who even put together a band named after his tribal inheritance – Tribe of Judah.
7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. Revelation 8:7 (KJV)
When in history did this happen, that one third of all trees on earth caught fire? and all grasses? to my knowledge, there has never been worldwide wildfires.
8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; Revelation 8:8 (KJV)
When in history did this happen? To my knowledge, one third of the oceans have never completely turned to blood.
1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. 2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. 3 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. 5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. 6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. 7 And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. 8 And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. 9 And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. 10 And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. 11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon. Revelation 9:1-11 (KJV)
When in history did demonic locusts ever attack every unbeliever on earth?
17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. 18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. Revelation 9:17-18 (KJV)
When in history did 200 million demonic horsemen ever kill 33% of mankind? I’ve read a lot of history, and find it fascinating. To kill one third of mankind, it would have had to happen in China, Russia and India, and not just Europe. I’ve read the histories of all three of those countries, and can’t seem to find any record of that happening.
Genghis Khan and his armies rode on horseback, but there was never 200 million of them – nor did their horses breathe fire. And nobody in history ever died from being bitten by a horse tail.
Let’s see – a lot of preterists try to say this is fulfilled by an Arab chieftain who conducted open warfare to force people to convert to his new religion. I read a lot of stories about them, and you’d think that if his horses breathed fire, and bit with their tails, someone would have written that down.
16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. Revelation 13:16-18 (KJV)
When in history did any world leader cause everyone to be tattooed on their right hand or forehead? it never happened. Did Caesar Nero ever do this? No.
So it’s not Nero.
3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. 4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? Revelation 13:3-4 (KJV)
What world leader was ever killed by a wound to their head, and then rose from the dead? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
3 And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea. Revelation 16:3 (KJV)
I had fish the other night for dinner… I can pretty much guarantee that all the living things in the oceans are still alive. So this hasn’t happened yet.
Things are even worse for the standard Preterist, as they insist all this must be fulfilled before AD 70. Um, I’ve read a lot of history. If I can’t find any of this happening between AD 30 and today, I certainly am not going to find it in the much narrower space of time between AD 30 and AD 70!
The Bible says all this must happen in a specific number of days that amounts to seven years…. how do you guys answer that?
There is NO WAY you can believe the Bible, and be a preterist.