Part E – Answers from the Quarterly Newsletters(1e) PRETERISM --- DON’T YOU BELIEVE IT !
(1e) PRETERISM --- DON’T YOU BELIEVE IT !
Preterism is the theory that all future prophecies were nullified by the "fulfillment" (their word) of Matthew 24:34 where Jesus says, "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." In other words, preterists try to tell us that 70 AD fulfilled everything. There is nothing left but? - they really don’t say. But if that is the case, how do they explain present day Israel back in the land being prepared for their Messiah.
They claim to be letter perfect in their interpretation of Matthew 23:34, and then proceed to expel or twist all the prophetic things that are still awaiting a future fulfillment. If all future events were fulfilled by Titus in 70 AD, then what do they do with the following scriptures? Did any of these things take place before, and up to, 70 AD? An ounce of common sense says, "No."
But if the Preterists’ premise is true, then what do they do with all of these things that have not happened yet?
Acts 1:11 - "...this same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." - (Bodily, head first, from the Mt. of Olives)
Romans 11:12 - "Now if the fall of them (Israel) be the riches of the world (our gospel of Grace), and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles (our age of Grace); how much more their fulness?" (Israel’s future blessing)
Romans 11:23 - "And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graft them in again."
Romans 11:24 - "...how much more shall these, which be the natural branches (Israel), be graffed into their own olive tree?"
Romans 11:25 - "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery (secret), lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part (for a while) is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles (the Body) be come in."
II Thess. 2:3,4 - "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day (the Day of the Lord - the Tribulation) shall not come, except there come a falling away (or a departure) first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God."(Compare this with Daniel 11)
II Thess. 2:8 - "And then shall that Wicked (the Anti-christ) be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming."
Jude verses 14 and 15a - "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all,...."
Now, here are more verses from the Old Testament - Keep asking - "Have/Did these things happen before 70 AD?"
Deut. 30:1,2a - "And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, wither the Lord thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey his voice...."
Ezek. 37:1-10, 12- (the vision of the dry bones) "Therefore prophesy and say unto them (the whole house of Israel), Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves (the Gentile nations), ...and bring you to the land of Israel."
Ezek. 37:21, 22, 23- "And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all: Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God."
Ezek. 47:9- "And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh."
Ezek. 47:10- "And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from En-gedi (now a resort on the West shores of the Dead Sea) even unto En-eglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea (Mediterranean), exceeding many."
Daniel 9:27- "And he (the Prince-the Anti-christ) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week (7 years): and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate." (the desolator, the Anti-christ)-(This is the verse Jesus referred to in Matthew 24:15)
Joel 3:2- "I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land."
Joel 3:15, 16- "The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel."
Amos 9:15- "And I will plant them (Israel) upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God."
Zech. 14:4a- "And his feet (the Lord’s-see verse 3) shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east...." (Compare that with previously quoted Acts 1:11 - He left head first - He returns feet first.)
Zech. 14:8- "And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half toward the hinder sea (Dead Sea): in summer and in winter shall it be." (Compare with previously quoted Ezek. 47:9 and 10.)
Zech. 14:9- "And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one."
These are just a few of the scriptures that refer to future events that could not have taken place before 70 AD.
So, what do Preterists do with all this? They simply throw them out or twist them so completely that they change their meaning. And what does Scripture say about people who twist Scripture?
II Peter 3:16- "As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction."
(2e) Why do you use the word Palestine, when it is not even in the Bible?
Answer -- It is in the Bible. Exodus 15:14, Isaiah 14:28 &31, and Joel 3:4. They all are in reference to the strip of land between the Eastern Mediterranean Sea coast and the Jordan Valley. In Antiquity, this was inhabited by the Philistines, from which Palestine is derived. I use the word sparingly, and only because it is the term quite readily understood by even the Biblically ignorant. But, I much prefer to use the term "Israel," especially since the Jews once again, according to prophecy (Deut. 30:1 & 2 and Ezekiel 37:12-14) have made it their Sovereign homeland.
Actually, to call the Arabs now living in Israel "Palestinians" is a misnomer. Palestine, or Israel as we now know it, was the homeland of the Jewish people from Joshua, about 1400 BC, until, by God's Sovereign design, they were expelled and scattered into every nation on earth by the Roman destruction of the temple and Jerusalem in 70 AD From that time until the early 1900's it was primarily a wasteland under the occupying boots of several different empires. Little by little, Jews started settling the land by way of Kibbutzes.
After World War II, they escaped Europe and their numbers grew until the War of Independence. They were declared a Sovereign State. But, by a United Nations supervised cease-fire, the borders were established that left the Arabs in what we have come to know as the West Bank. I do not like to call present day Israel the Promised Land, because the Promised Land goes all the way out to the Euphrates River and back to the River of Egypt in the West. The Jews have never occupied much of that except a small area east of Galilee during Solomon's reign.
But, when Christ returns and sets up His Kingdom, ruling from Jerusalem, Israel will finally enjoy all the real estate promised to Abraham in Gen. 15:18. And, it will not be desert. It will be as the Garden of Eden was. Isaiah 51:3 - "For our Lord shall comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places; He will make her wilderness like Eden and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of melody.
(3e) Question about Tithing and keeping Saturday Sabbath
We continue to get questions concerning tithing and keeping Saturday Sabbath. It must be the end time deception that we are warned to avoid. When I show clearly from the letters of Paul that we are not under the law but under Grace, I get a response like, "But the Saturday Sabbath goes back to Genesis 2 when God rested."
Abraham gave titles of all in Genesis 14. He began circumcision in Genesis 17. Now, all three of these were incorporated into the Mosaic Law. Consequently, all 3 were set aside when God opened the windows of Grace and set us free from the Law. So, the early church moved the day of rest and worship to the resurrection day. Not the day of the Sun as some foolish arguments try to put it.
When the Church, which is His Body, is complete, God takes it out of the way by calling it up to meet Him in the air, and with the advent of the 7-year Tribulation the law will once again be in effect. Matthew 24:14, Revelation 12:17. Compare Romans 6:14b.
SABBATH: Romans 14:5 - One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. I Corinthians 16:1 & 2 - Now concerning the collection for the Saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. Colossians 2:16 - Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an Holy day, or of the New moon or of the Sabbath days. Acts 20:7 - And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow, and continued his speech until midnight.
TITHING: II Corinthians 8:12 - For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. II Corinthians 9:7 - Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
Paul never uses the words Sabbath (except in Colossians 2:16, above) or Tithe in any of his Epistles.
(4e) Malachi 1:2 says, "Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated." Was God being unfair?
Answer: First, the term 'hate' in Scripture is a comparative term. In other words, God's love for Jacob was so much greater that comparatively speaking, He hated Esau. Why did God have such a low esteem for Esau? Because, Esau was destitute of Faith. He had none! Hebrews 11:6, without faith it is impossible to please Him. Esau showed his total lack of faith when he gladly exchanged His Birthright, which was Spiritual, for a bowl of bean soup. He showed it again, when he married Canaanite wives and still again when he went and married a daughter of Ishmael. Everything in Esau's life showed a complete absence of faith. Nothing God said counted in Esau's thinking.
(5e) What does I Timothy 4:10 mean? "For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach because we trust in the living God who is the Savior of all men, specially of those who believe."
ANSWER: This goes back to what we have said on the program over and over. When Christ finished the work of the Cross, God forgave all men all their sin. It is a done deal. He also reconciled every one to Himself. But, each individual has to appropriate that forgiveness and place of reconciliation by faith. The moment we believe it, God says you are forgiven. That is Grace!
(6e) Genesis 49:10, we read, "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet until Shiloh come," Who is Shiloh?
ANSWER: Shiloh is another Old Testament term or title of Christ. In accordance with all other Scripture, the Nation of Israel will not disappear until Christ returns to the Mount of Olives. Zechariah 14:4, and His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives which is before Jerusalem on the east. Compare with Acts 1:11 - "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into Heaven.
(7e) In the light of Isaiah 65:17, do you think we will know each other in Heaven?
ANSWER: I would say yes based on II Samuel 12:23, where King David is mourning over the dead child born of his adultery with Bathsheba. He finally consoled himself with, "But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." Also, on the mount of transfiguration, Matthew 17:1-4, Peter, James and John immediately recognized Moses and Elijah.
(8e) Then what about loved ones who are not there?
ANSWER: I am sure our memories of them will be erased. It will be as if we never knew them. Otherwise, Heaven would be a place of intense sorrow. And it will not be.
(9e) For whom was Matthew 24 written?
ANSWER: Matthew 24 was spoken by the Lord Himself to the 12 as representatives of Israel. Consequently, Matthew 24 is all tribulation. Now that the Jews are back in the land, we can see everything being prepared for the final seven years of Daniel's prophecy -Daniel 9:27.
(10e) Why did Mary Magdalene not recognize Jesus in John 19?
ANSWER: Consider, first, the physical suffering and abuse at the hands of the Romans. He was scourged, his beard torn from His face, the crown of thorns forced upon His Head, plus other acts of violence against Him. But, most of all, because on Him were laid the total sins of the human race from Adam until the end of time.
This is beyond our understanding. For all these reasons, Isaiah 52 prophesied that His visage or appearance was more marred than anyone had ever been. That was the last mental picture of Jesus that Mary had. Also, she, nor any of the other followers of Jesus, including the 12, had any idea that He would be raised from the dead. Luke 18:31 & 32, John 19:9.
No wonder Mary, on first impression, did not think of seeing Jesus in a glorious, resurrected body with only the nail prints and the spear wound as evidence of His suffering. She recognized Him primarily by His voice.
(11e) Then, why did He refuse her touching or embracing Him ?
ANSWER: Back in Genesis 14, we were first introduced to Melchizedek, the priest of the Most High God, a term of deity not restricted to Israel. Hebrews 7, then, throws more light on Melchizedek and that Christ is the fulfillment of that Priesthood.
The first step of preparing the High Priest after Aaron's priesthood was wash, wash in water. The typology of that was fulfilled at Christ's baptism. Then, in the purity of His resurrected Body, He was now ready to present His blood in the Holy of Holies in Heaven, according to Hebrews 9: 11 & 12. He then returned and presented Himself to the 11 and invited them to see and feel the nail print proofs of His death, burial and resurrection.
That, then, is the Glorious Body after which we will be fashioned in eternity. Philippians 3:21.
(12e) I have heard you speak of the 7 "I AM's" in the Old Testament and the 7 in John's Gospel. What are they?
Answer: Old Testament:
1, Genesis 22:13 & 14 Jehovah Jireh I AM your Provider.
2. Exodus 15:26 Jehovah Rapha I AM your Healing.
3. Exodus 17:8 15 Jehovah Nissi I AM your Banner.
4. Judges 6:24 Jehovah Shalom I AM your Peace.
5. Psalms 23:1 Jehovah Ra-ah I AM your Shepherd.
6. Jeremiah 23:6 Jehovah Tsidkenu I AM your Righteousness.
7. Ezekiel 48:35 Jehovah Shammah I AM Present (with you).
New Testament: Before John 8:48-58 - Before Abraham was I AM
1. John 6:48 I AM the Bread of Life.
2. John 8:12 I AM the Light of the World.
3. John 9:5 I AM the Light of the World.
4. John10:11 I AM the Good Shepherd.
5. John 11:25 I AM the Resurrection and the Life.
6. John 14:6 I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life.
7. John 15:5 I AM the Vine.
8th - New Beginning Revelation 22:16 I AM the Bright and Morning Star.
When does the morning star appear? At the end of night and the beginning of a new day!
(13e) Are we a covenant people?
No. Ephesians 2:12 is very plain. Our Gentile forefathers were strangers from the covenants of Promise, without hope and without God in this world. But, the flip-side, now in Christ Jesus we are made nigh, not by covenants, but by the Blood of Christ. By the finished work of the Cross, we are now in a greater relationship than even the covenants, we are joint-heirs with Christ, Romans 8:1417. The covenants were directed only to the nation of Israel. In order for the covenants to be fulfilled, Christ had to accomplish the atonement, His sacrifice of Himself. But, by His Grace that was extended beyond the covenants, and opened the windows of heaven's salvation to the whole race; beyond Human comprehension; the unsearchable riches. No wonder it can only be appropriated by Faith.
(14e) Will the Body of Christ will go into or even through the tribulation ?
In Matthew 24:3, the disciples asked about signs of the end. Jesus' direct answer in verse four was, let no man deceive you. Or, in other words, one of the signs is deception or confusion. Now, Matthew 24 is totally tribulation ground, but the world has to be prepared for even that. So, even though we are not seeing the super-natural events of the tribulation which are truly prophesied (i.e. the 2 witnesses of Revelation 11), common sense tells us the world cannot be made ready for the appearance of the Anti-christ and the False Prophet over night. So, we are naturally witnessing all the preparations. I have often likened it to getting the stage ready before the curtain goes up. Therefore, when Jesus warned of deceivers, it follows that we can see that happen before the tribulation begins.
One of the many deceptions cascading on the Christian community like an avalanche, is the claim that the Body of Christ will go into or even through the tribulation.
The one cord that binds all these deceivers together is the rejection of Paul's Apostleship. For Paul alone reveals the Doctrines, Practices and the end of the Body on earth. For example, Paul alone reveals a salvation based on faith and faith alone in the finished work of the Cross. How Christ died for the sins of the whole world. How that His shed Blood and our faith in it brings justification. How the Power of His resurrection is imparted to us when we believe. Paul alone gives instruction for the Communion service, Paul alone gives instructions concerning Deacons (no one else uses the term) and alone gave instructions for the local church. So, also, Paul alone teaches us the end of the Body of Christ on earth. Consequently, Paul alone gives us the Scriptures concerning what many now ridicule - the rapture or the catching up of the Church which is His Body. The language of I Corinthians 15:51-54, I Thessalonians 4:13-18, II Thessalonians 2:1-3 can not be found anywhere else in our Bible.
Every book that listeners send me advocating a later out-calling mixes these verses with all other verses that apply only to the Second Coming when Christ will stand on the Mount of Olives. If you mix Paul's doctrine concerning the rapture of the Church with the Second Coming, then you can mix law and Grace. And, when you mix law and Grace, Satan smiles and God is grieved.
In II Timothy, Paul paints a vivid picture of America today. But, in Titus 2:13, he gives us the Blessed Hope of the believer - the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. I have to believe we are getting close. I trust none of you will be "left behind."
(15e) Why didn't Jesus write any of the books of the Bible ?
II Timothy 3:16 - All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable.... Hebrews 12:2 - Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. II Peter 1:21 - For the prophecy (the Word) came not in old time by will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved (inspired) by the Holy Spirit.
In actuality, then, Christ wrote, through human instruments, the whole Bible from cover to cover. Our Lord is the visible manifestation of the invisible God (Godhead) - Colossians 1:15. So, He personifies all three Persons. When Acts 16 says the Lord opened Lydia's heart, we know it was actually by the Holy Spirit. When Peter is told in Matthew 16, flesh and blood had not revealed it, but your Father in heaven, it too was by the Holy Spirit. To understand the workings of the Trinity is beyond human understanding, so we take it by Faith. Slowly digest Isaiah 9:6 - For unto us (Israel) a child is born, unto us a son is given and the government shall be upon his shoulder (King of Kings) and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Remember whom it is talking about in the first part of the verse - the Son.
(16e) If all are called and few are chosen, and none can come unless called - why are we to testify and witness?
Because God in His Wisdom has seen fit to communicate to the human race by empowering believers with the Holy Spirit to proclaim God's Word to our fellow humans. For example, the Lord opened Lydia's heart in Acts 16:14 , but Paul spoke the words she needed to hear. Isaiah 6 is another good example. The Lord said "whom shall I send, who will go (to the nation of Israel) for us?" Isaiah answered "send me." Romans 10: 14,15 & 17 - How shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And, how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? How shall they hear without a proclaimer? How shall they proclaim except they be sent? (Remember Isaiah?) So then, Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. The call to salvation is extended to everyone. But, salvation comes only to those who are willing to believe.
(17e) Did Jesus go down to Hell the three days and three nights He was in the tomb?
No and Yes. He did not go into Hell as we usually define the word. Hell, Hades or Sheol all mean the same thing. The place of the dead during the first 4,000 years of human history.
Animals blood could not take away or atone for sin, so, even believers such as Abel, David, Isaiah and all, except Enoch and Elijah (remember, God is Sovereign and He can make exceptions) went down into Sheol.
But, Sheol was divided by a great gulf fixed (Luke 16:26) into torments and Paradise. That Jesus did not go into torments is attested to by the remark to the thief on the Cross, "Today thou shalt be with me in Paradise, not torments.
That He went down is obvious from His own words in Matthew 12:40 and Paul's in Ephesians 4:8-10. Peter also refers to His going down to the Paradise side of Hell or Hades and proclaimed to those Old Testament Saints that now the atoning Blood has been shed; now, they are ready for entrance into God's Heaven. And so, at His resurrection, Paradise was removed from the Center of the Earth up to Heaven. Now, Paul teaches that believers go immediately, at death, in soul and spirit up to Paradise (or the Lord's presence), II Corinthians 5:8; waiting for the Great Resurrection Day, I Thessalonians 4.
For your own personal study, refer to these Scriptures, Matthew 12:38-40, Luke 16:19-26, Ephesians 4:8-10, I Peter 3:18 & 19, I Thessalonians 4:13-18, and I Corinthians 15:51-52. As for the unbelievers, they continue to go down to torments waiting for their resurrection to the Great White Throne Judgement. Since Paradise was removed, it has all now become Hell as we use the term (Isaiah 5:14).
(18e) "Is the Day of the Lord and the Day of God in II Peter 3:10-15 the same?"
"Yes. The Day of the Lord or the Day of God begins with the opening of the final seven years of tribulation and, though interrupted by the 1,000 year reign, it continues in the destruction of the Kingdom inhabitants who follow Satan in rebellion against Christ the King. It then goes on to the destruction of the present heavens and earth according to the above Scripture and continues on to the Great White Throne judgment of Revelation 20. Then, with that finished, we, according to Revelation 21:1, will go to Eternity. A new heaven and a new earth.
The Day of Christ on the other hand is what the Body of Christ is anticipating - the Rapture and meeting our Lord in the air.
(19e) "Does the believer have two natures?"
"Yes. Everyone born into the human race has the nature or personality they inherited from Adam.
"It is a nature that is in total rebellion to the things of God. Romans 8 calls it an enemy of God. It is subject to the ruler of this world, Satan (II Corinthians 4:4).
"Even though many good people have refined this old sin nature and kept it under control, it is still the personality that Paul describes in Romans 1 and Ephesians 2. But, that personality has to die the death of crucifixion (Galatians 2:20 and Romans 6).
Though God reckons it as dead, in our experience, he, the old Adam, is still alive and operates opposite the New Divine nature of Person, which God created in us the moment we believe the Gospel. Hence, the Christian is in a constant battle. The old nature leading us into rebellion and the new nature leading us into obedience to Christ.
The old nature can do nothing good, and the new nature cannot sin. So, which one has the upper hand in our daily life? The one we feed the best. Feed the old Adam and you will be a defeated, miserable Christian. Feed the new, or Spiritual, and you will be victorious and joyful.
Copyright ã 2002 Les Feldick Ministries. All rights reserved.