Posts Tagged ‘full preterism’

As one who is barely holding on to the label of “Partial Preterism” for various reasons that I gave in a few recent posts on Facebook and in a podcast that I did where I interviewed Dr. Sam Frost who is a worldwide known former Full/Hyper Preterist, I have noticed over the last few years an over realized or an over emphasis on the prophetic role of ethnic Israel in the Preterist camp in general. Both full and many Partial Preterists make this same emphasis and it is due to their wooden or hyper literal interpretation of many if not most passages that deal with the promises made to Israel. Sound familiar? Well it should since that is precisely what Dispensationalists do and in my humble opinion this is a foundational error.

Dispensationalism has most if not all these prophecies in the future and Full Preterists have all these prophecies in the past at 70AD along with many Partials who have most in the past at 70 AD and who are holding on to very few passages left to maintain a future coming of Christ and our physical resurrection. In order to maintain these views Dispensationalists are hyper literal in their hermeneutics while Full Preterists are hyper spiritual in their hermeneutics (think Gnosticism) but with a hyper literal emphasis of these prophecies being fulfilled in ethnic Israel just like the Dispensationalists. Yes it is very weird.

Now of course I am fully aware that not all Partial Preterists fall into this category and make this error like Dr. Kenneth Gentry who is in my opinion the best on this topic and one of the best reformed theologians out there. Dr. Gentry for example does not see the end of the age in Matt. 24 as the end of the old covenant age or the “last days” as the last days of the old covenant or Jewish age.

I think we have adopted these popular phrases like “Jewish age” and “OC age” that were made popular by some Partial Preterists who eventually went Full Preterist and then we ran with it and allowed them to define the terms and control the narrative. We refer to 70AD as only to the end of the Jewish/OC age or to only “those last days” and while we affirm an already not yet distinction to eschatology in general we tend to ignore this distinction in Matthew 24 and by “we” I mean the reformed theological community.

The vital importance of the Already/Not Yet distinction in eschatology cannot be overlooked and or ignored. To either not take this distinction seriously or reject it all together is what brings not only eschatological problems but more importantly theological problems. Both dispensationalism and full/hyper preterism are a result of rejecting this clear biblical distinction and as I said above rejecting this vital distinction leads to both extremes where either you have all prophecies in the past or all prophecies in the future. As I have said before and will say it again in my opinion full preterism is just dispensationalism in the past.

As Dr. Sam Frost and I discussed in our video discussion once you claim that Matthew 24 is referring only to the “Jewish” or “Mosaic” or “old covenant” age then yes it’s a very slippery slope into FP. Interestingly Dr. Frost has called this view hyper partial preterism which I can agree with because it makes sense. This overemphasis on ethnic Israel based on a wooden literal hermeneutic can indeed logically lead to FP.

It makes sense to me now why Dr. R.C Sproul called his and Gentry’s view “limited partial preterism”. This view sees Matthew 24 as referring to the end of the present evil age or temporal history while correcting the disciples question in the Olivet Discourse.

I believe it has to be both and not either or since it was erroneously mixed and conflated within the question of the disciples. The end of the OC or Jewish age for them meant the coming of the age to come and the end of the present age or the end of the world and this is because the Jews affirmed only two ages the present age and the age to come so it is no wonder why they confused the end of the age with the end of the world as they know it. So while “ion” is used it also means cosmos for them. This argument that it can’t be the end of the world because “ion” is used instead of “cosmos” is weak and makes the same mistake the disciples made but in reverse.

Another false presupposition that many but not all Preterists make and impose into the time texts is that the new covenant and Christ Kingdom came in 70AD when actually Jesus inaugurated the NC at the last supper. The kingdom was already present during his ministry with his resurrection and ascension being the confirmation of his power and rule along with the justification that he is who he claimed to be the incarnate Son of God.

The end of the OC and the announcement and application of the NC actually began with Jesus earthly ministry which was made clear at the Lords supper with the disciples which was then solidified or verified by Jesus death and resurrection and to which the 70AD event was just the beginning of Christ’s Kingly vengeful judgement and ruling with the rod of iron.

The main focus was the exaltation of Christ in his coming to his throne to rule and put all his enemies under his feet and conquering the world through the gospel to then physically raise up the dead at the end at that last day and judge the rest of the world like he did at the judgement of apostate Israel in 70AD.

Unbelieving Israel’s destruction along with the Temple was the judgmental seal of Christ’s vengeful and Kingly wrath and the beginning of his conquest but this conquest has a consummation. That “last day” where Christ consummates all things to himself is the main emphasis. 70AD was a major event in the history of the Church but it was a means to an end and the judgement on 70AD was a sample of the last judgement. Those last days are still these last days until “that day’ comes.

Following this first part of this series of articles I will present the biblical evidence in parts 2 and 3 for:

  1. That Christ coming in clouds is not a reference to 70 AD but to his ascension.
  2. That the “Last Days” is not a reference to the so called old covenant age but rather to the entire Messianic ministry of Christ until “the last day” with an emphasis to my Postmillennial brothers and sisters.


The interpretation of this passage that I hold is the reformed Presbyterian view. I am fully aware of the Reformed Baptist understanding of this passage but obviously I find their interpretation to be over spiritualized and out of context but this isn’t the topic of this article. I am of the opinion that the Presbyterian exegesis does the most justice of the text and the most powerful against the heresy of Full or Hyper Preterism as we will see.

Jeremiah 31:31-34

The New Covenant
31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

In the consummation of the new covenant there will be true knowledge and there would be no need to teach. There is an already but not yet aspect to this prophecy as most prophecies do. The NC is already a reality for us as the knowledge of God continues to go forth in the world through the preaching of the gospel and discipleship but it is in the consummation of the NC where it can be said that “they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest”. The “all” is the total number of God’s elect and the “all” will know the Lord perfectly.

Now the view of the Full Preterist is that this passage is already and totally fulfilled since for them the end and the consummation was the destruction of Jerusalem which was the end of the old Jewish age or the old covenant age. If that is the case then the Hyper Preterist refutes itself. How? Allow me to explain.

The fact that the Hyper Preterists are still trying to teach us their view of the gospel or their so called consistent or full preterism is self defeating. The mere fact that we are here discussing anything about knowing the Lord and His truths destroy their view of the new covenant. The prophet Jeremiah tells us that in this new heavens and new earth we will have full knowledge of God.

Compare with their exegesis of a parallel passage 1 Corinthians 13:12 which reads:

12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

I don’t fully know much less fully know God and neither do any of you. Now granted this is their interpretation not mine but if they are consistent they must stop teaching and assume we know all things concerning the Lord.

You see brothers and sisters, it is only in the final consummation of the new covenant, the new heavens and the new earth, the return of Christ that the “all” shall know the Lord because the only ones who will be there are His people, the Church. According to the hyprets we should “all” know the Lord in the now. So why don’t we? Why the need to keep teaching and preaching the gospel and doctrines about God? Now of course they will try but they can’t ever answer this in their paradigm. Knowing God fully is still in the future or else we have a clear contradiction on their part. We, the Church, will know God because the “all” or the total number of the elect will be gathered to Him in the consummation of history and the fulfillment of the new covenant. Hyper Preterists wants to have all prophecy in the past and do not take into account the already/not yet tension of eschatology.

Hyper Preterism refutes and defeats itself and slaps it’s own face.

Hyper-Preterist beginning premise starts at the garden where they claim that man was originally created mortal as was all living creation or creatures and therefore would have eventually died whether or not man had fallen into sin hence physical death had no consequence to Adams transgression. They falsely claim that physical death was just a mere natural consequence of being human made from dust. And, listen very carefully now, the ultimate resurrection was to bring back or reverse whatever “death” God cursed on mankind fall into sin. IF THAT ORIGINAL CURSE OF DEATH WAS ONLY A SPIRITUAL THEN THE TRUE RESURRECTION WHICH WOULD REVERSE IT MUST ALSO BE SPIRITUAL. Did you get that guys? This is the hinge that holds Hyper-preterism together take out the hinge and the fake kingdom collapses. 

Edward E. Stevens a well known proponent of HP states……

“We believe spiritual death ( the real curse) can be reversed without all the physical consequences being eliminated…..Physical death seems to be a planned, “natural” consequence of being human and living on earth” Stevens Response to Gentry, pg 56-58

John Noe agrees ( HP) …”Physical death of the old physical body remains the natural consequence of being created human . This was true for Adam and Eve. Its been true ever since. Even in Christ , we don’t regain or reverse that which was NEVER(emphasis mine) lost. Hence, the elimination of physical death was never the focus of Jesus’ redemptive work” ( Noe your resurrection body and life 71-72

Folks this is the starting point for their exegetical support (and you must catch this). These writers appeal to the fact that Adam and Eve did not die biologically “in the day that’ they sinned , therefore proving that biological death was not intended or included in their curse or punishment Genesis 2:17 which reads…..

17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.

One of the greatest theologians and exegetes of our time Geerhardus Vos made a very important and relevant point that I think puts this HP interpretation to rest, he makes a compelling suggestion that the phrase ” in the day that you eat of it” is simply a Hebrew idiom meaning ” as surely as you eat of it”. Vos compells us to compare 1 Kings 2:37 where King Solomon says to Shimei, ” The day you leave and cross the Kidron Valley , you can be sure you will die” but it was not until Shemei had gone across the Kidron and then returned to Jerusalem and the report had reached the king that Shimei was executed vs 38-46. Surely we can say that at the very moment of man’s sin, the seeds of psycho-physical death were planted and sown in his body and began to go to work.

I strongly concur with Vos that this is a more suitable exegesis of this passage..

Hyper preterism doesnt even get past the correct understanding of the fall of man much less deal with the rest of its erroneous conclusions which flow from here….and yes I will also deal with the whole tree of life issue as well…suffice for now my fellow brothas to ponder on these things.

Grace and peace