Sunday, April 6, 2014

Refuting Full Preterism Part I

Hyper (Full) Preterism
The Unorthodox View of Eschatology Part I

This article (a three part series) will cover the view of the full preterist and how they are incorrect in their view. Many times there is a discombobulating view between Orthodox (Partial) Preterism and Hyper (Full) Preterism. Partial Preterism is fully Orthodox in its view and the Partial Preterist will not go against any of the creeds—however, the Full Preterist does not care about Orthodox views, or any other view of any Christian for the past two millennia, but their own views of eschatology. Remember the Full Preterist view was not founded until the late 1800’s.
This article is very detailed, and will not be set in a straw man fallacy type of argument. We will cover the view against HP and how they answer to the Orthodox believers. Our goal is to show the HP the error of their doctrine in an irenic fashion. This series comes from the Hyper Preterist tape series from Dan Trotter. There are a multitude of Preterist website's but it’s very difficult to distinguish the views apart from Partial and Full Preterism. With that premise out of the way let’s get to the meat and potatoes the article.
Let’s start with a verse to those that have shipwrecked their faith:
1Ti 1:19 To do this you must hold firmly to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck in regard to the faith.
The Hyper Preterist (HP) deny four cardinal doctrines of Christianity
1.The Physical resurrection of the body
2.They deny the redemption of history in the physical world from evil
3.They deny the physical and visible return of Jesus at the end of time—history
4.They deny a judgment day at the end of the world—history

The HP make a fatal mistake when they say all eschatological events took place in 70AD, however if Jesus returned, and the resurrection of the believers, and judgment day all occurred in 70AD they would no happen again. Therefore the world will continue sinful and evil and unredeemed according to the HP view.
The HP also holds what we call a quasi-Gnostic view; they believe the body will rot in the grave. Are we to believe that Christians for the past 2 millennia have been somehow wrong? They also believe gnosis has been undiscovered by Christians until late last century. The HP are also quasi-Manichean in their views of the eternal world of sin and quasi-liberal in the fact they also believe the world goes on until it is wiped out. They also agree with the liberals that Satan is not active today and the miraculous is not active today in the church. This destroys the Christian faith see 1 Tim 1:19 (above).
The HP has set a high burden of proof for themselves—all Parousia, all coming and resurrection events took place in 70AD. All we need to do is show just one eschatological Parousia event did not occur in 70AD and their whole doctrine comes falling down to the ground. Here is a quote from a HP Walt Hubbard: 

It is evident that most within early Christianity missed the significance the events in 70AD and the question is why? The early Church was so intimately involved with the events they could not see the big picture…what if it can be shown that the early church failed to comprehend the correct time and nature of fulfillment of Biblical eschatology. It seems so obvious the vast majority of Christians overlooked the fulfillment of eschatology in 70AD.”  
First of all Hubbard admits hardly anyone understood hp in the early church. We challenge Walt Hubbard to name even one who understood HP doctrines in the early church… It was unheard of—nobody believed it. Secondly, the reason post 70AD early Christians are confused on eschatology is because they are so far separated in time from the events. There are two types of eschatology events that happened in 70AD and the type that happened at the end of the world. In fact 70AD is a long way away from the year 2005 and the end of the world could be any time in the near future. 

Hubbard asks us to believe the Christians that lived in 70AD somehow failed to see what was going on and so did the early church fathers who were right on the heels of what happened in 70AD. Are we to believe they simply did not see it either? This is quite preposterous… what happens to the efficacy of the teachings of the Apostles if they can’t even teach their own Christians? Are we to believe they did not know what was going on if a rapture or resurrection was taking place in 70AD? The resurrection in John Chapter 5 and 6 if it happened in 70AD The Christians did not know what was going on? I don’t think so Tim.
Here is another quote from a Full Preterist (HP) Walt Hubbard: 
“If the early Church had a perfect understanding of it why haven’t more Christians throughout the ages taken Kenneth Gentry’s positions regarding the book of Revelation”?  
With that, we reply there are many people that have taken Gentry’s interpretation toward Revelation in his Partial Preterist view. The fact is many have taken the AMillennial and partial fulfillment views throughout the centuries.

The Hermeneutical Methodology of the Hyper Preterist (Full)  
1.They flirt with gross heresy and leverage orthodox beliefs to leverage their heterodox beliefs. They believe in the virgin birth and the fleshly resurrection of Jesus to lure you to sleep and yet they deny the fleshly resurrection of you the believer.

2.They complain the orthodox Christians are making too much of mere matters of timing. It’s not a matter of timing when they deny the 4 cardinal doctrines of orthodoxy. Note when you change the timing of the resurrection by logical implication, you are also have implied the nature of the resurrection.

3.They claim the resurrection of the body and final judgment is not in the scriptures, so therefore they do not have to believe in them. This is a cheap debater’s trick—the words trinity, and monotheism, is not in the Bible—should we deny them also?

4.They state they are a consistent Preterist meaning they find a word that means one thing in one context and they say it means the same thing in all other contexts when it comes to Parousia.

5.The Exegetical Preterist (distinguished from the HP) is one that looks at all the exegetical context of every word (eschatological) and decides if it means 70AD or the end of the world. In some cases it might mean something else (i.e., Pentecost—transfiguration).

They use legitimate interpretation of the Olivet Discourse in Revelation to satisfy the Partial Preterist, they want it to make good sense everywhere else, however it doesn’t make sense in 1 Corinthians 15 (the resurrection is connected with the Parousia) 1 Thes 4 (resurrection with Parousia at the same time) and Acts 1:11 Jesus’ coming is just like he left (physical). They use their strong points in the Olivet Discourse (OD) and Revelation as a lever to gain credibility to their view points.
The Creeds—they say are of lesser authority than scripture, therefore we shouldn’t care if they go against the creeds. They also state the creeds are wrong and are of lesser authority (this is a half-truth, a false implication). The creeds have shown us what 2 millennia of Christians have believed. The HP books have lesser authority than scripture too but does that mean they are of no value to the HP? The HP does not add to the creeds they contradict the creeds. They suggest that no creed have ever attacked HP, and we reply that no creed has ever attacked the view that the scriptures are full of errors either.  
Four reasons why the Creeds never dealt with HP  
1.Its unorthodoxy was already implied that been pronounced on. (assuming HP existed before the late 1800’s)

2.HP is obviously wrong and the church saw no reason to refute it

3.The orthodox doctrines the HP hold were so universally confessed they saw no reasons to make other pronouncements on them

4.HP did not exist at the time

Are the HP Hymenaens?
1Tim 1:19 To do this you must hold firmly to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck in regard to the faith. 
1Tim 1:20 Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme. 
2Ti 2:16 But avoid profane chatter, because those occupied with it will stray further and further into ungodliness, 
2Ti 2:17 and their message will spread its infection like gangrene. Hymenaeus and Philetus are in this group.
2Ti 2:18 They have strayed from the truth by saying that the resurrection has already occurred, and they are undermining some people's faith.
The HP say Hymenaeus was speaking before 70AD so they cannot be associated with him. They state Paul was arguing about the timing of the resurrection. They make a mistake when they state Paul also believed in a spiritual resurrection and we will prove these points within this article. The HP will state the lack of rebuke from Paul about a spiritual resurrection (an argument from silence on their part). It is true Paul did not say Hymenaeus you are wrong in thinking it was a spiritual resurrection, but Paul did by implication.
Paul knew the bodies were in the grave, and if the resurrections already occurred then Paul knew it was a spiritual resurrection Hymenaeus was trying to imply. We regress that Paul knew that if there was no future physical resurrection it would upset the faith of others. Why was Paul so upset with Hymenaeus? The HP say it was about the timing and not the nature of the resurrection.

The Two Arguments against the HP view of the nature and not the timing
1.The timing of Hymenaeus can only be off at the most 40 years. He stated the resurrection has already occurred which makes the earliest it could have occurred right after Jesus’ resurrection. However, Paul knows the resurrection is connected with the Parousia (1 Cor 15:22-23).
1Cor 15:22 For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
1Cor 15:23 But each in his own order: Christ, the firstfruits; then when Christ comes, those who belong to him.
1Thes 4:15 For we tell you this by the word of the Lord,19 that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not go ahead of those who have fallen asleep.
1Thes 4:16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel,20 and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
The maximum difference between Paul and Hymenaeus is 40 years assuming Paul agrees with a spiritual resurrection and Paul is going to call Hymenaeus a blasphemer and cosign him to Satan for this issue of timing (merely 40 years)?

2. If Hymenaeus had said that the resurrection and its associated Parousia and judgment day all occurred in 70AD, all that Paul would have to do is tell Hymenaeus to go to Jerusalem and show him the temple is still standing (remember Jesus stated that not one stone will be left on top another of the temple) then Paul would have proven his point that the coming of Christ or the resurrection has not yet occurred since the temple which was associated to be destroyed was still standing. This would have been refuted rather easily by Paul if it was a matter of timing. Paul was complaining about the nature of the resurrection.
Alternate explanation of what Hymenaeus believed; he was referring to the resurrection of the many of the bodies of the saints in Matt 27:52-53 (Partial resurrection) no more universal resurrection at a later time. Either way Paul still was arguing over the nature of the resurrection (Physical vs. Spiritual).
How do we deal with the Neo-Hymenaens (HP) three options  
1.Agree to disagree (not viable)

2.Openly confront and try to change their views (wearing them twice)

3.Have no contact with them

Dealing with false doctrines
2Ti 2:24 And the Lord's servant must not strive, but be gentle towards all, apt to teach, forbearing (Hymenaeus and Philetus)
Tit 1:10 For there are many unruly men, vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision,
Tit 1:11 whose mouths must be stopped; men who overthrow whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.
Tit 1:12 One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, idle gluttons.
Tit 3:10 A factious man after a first and second admonition refuse;
Tit 3:11 knowing that such a one is perverted, and sinneth, being self-condemned.

Five other doctrines that the HP oppose  
1.The Great Commission
2.Charismatic Gifts
4.Lord’s Supper

The Great Commission (Matt 28)—is exactly parallel to the Olivet Discourse (OD)—Matt 24:3 Great Commission vs. 19-20 they are linguistic parallels. The problem with the HP view is that we will not have to go out and spread the gospel (note small beginnings)—the parable of the mustard seed and the Levin.
To quote Daniel E. Harden (a HP):
“The Great Commission was a special time of inspired Apostolic activity that will never be repeated”  
In other words the Great Commission was only addressed to the Apostles not to the Church at large.
Charismatic Gifts —Daniel Harden states: “The Hyper-Preterist can consistently affirm in 70AD cessation based upon these three texts”  
   Acts 2:17 And it shall be in the last days, saith God, I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all flesh: And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams.

Does it state that these gifts stop? Not necessarily so this is a weak verse to prove cessation.
   1Cor 1:5 that in everything ye were enriched in him, in all utterance and all knowledge; 6 even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you 7 so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ; 8 who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye be unreproveable in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Does this verse imply that we are no longer enriched? We again disagree…
   1Cor 13:8 Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall be done away; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall be done away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; 10 but when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away.

The HP refers to the perfect (in 1 Cor 13:10) being the New Covenant (age) and the partial being the Old Covenant (age). We suggest the perfect refers to the coming of Christ in his fullness (kingdom)in verses 1Cor 15… miracles, signs of wonders, continue to exist and the HP merely sticks their head in the sand and ignores them. This leaves even more baggage for the HP to defend.
Demonology— The HP say the Devil was thrown into the lake of fire in 70AD (Rev 20:10) and they also state that all the evil today comes from sin derived from humans operating with no influence from the Devil. To quote Daniel Harden (a HP):
“Yes the effect of human sin is sufficient to account for all of the horrible expressions of wickedness that we see in our world today. We find little excuse to blame Satan for the evil about us. Christ has tied up the strong one and plundered his house”  
This would mean that despite the five trillion testimonies to the fact that exorcisms have gone on is bogus. I have seen them and performed them personally (see my testimony page) and the devil worshippers are false (Satanic rituals) they ask us to put our heads in the sand and pretend they do not exist. This is absurd; In Rev 23 the Devil was bound to deceive the nations no more. The Devil still causes wars, behind the occult, levitating, etc. The HP are quasi-liberal in their view on demonology, and the supernatural.
The Lord’s Supper —A quote from David Green (another HP):
“The observance of the supper now is not a solemn remembrance of him in anxious longing for his return but a victory celebration with him at his table in his kingdom” (1 Cor 11:26)
1Co 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink the cup, ye proclaim the Lord's death till he come.
In the above verse what does the word “comes” mean? Do the HP no longer observe communion, since they believe Jesus has already come?
Mat 26:29 But I say unto you, I shall not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.
Also note in Matt 26:29 Jesus states “I drink”… if the Fathers kingdom is the New Covenant as the HP state, when is it when Jesus sits down with us and drinks at the Agape Love Feast? Anyone?
Luk 22:16 for I say unto you, I shall not eat it, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.
Note again the word “I eat”… has anyone ever seen Jesus eating at any present Agape Love Feast? We do no think so either!
The Millennium —Are we to believe this took place somewhere between AD 30-70? This would be a little short for a millennium. Typical eschatological symbolic is 10X10X10=1000 (millennium). The number 10 cubed (3 rd power) is a multitude, a myriad of years.

Four Historical Orthodox Doctrines the HP deny  
1.The resurrection of the body (ours)

2.The redemption of the world from the bondage to decay

3.The physical and visible return of Jesus to the earth

4.Judgment Day

The resurrection of the body —In Hebrews 6:1 (note this is foundational according to Paul) Heb 6:1 Wherefore leaving the doctrine of the first principles of Christ, let us press on unto perfection; not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God.  
The HP believes in 3 views on this doctrine:
Max King’s view —“The collective body of the church is raised out of the OT Jewish system” The corporate body—church is raised out of the Jewish system according to King.
The Problem with Max King’s view is that he completely ignores the continuity between Christ’s resurrection body and ours. Jesus’ body was not metaphorically raised out of the old covenant; he was physically raised from the grave. In 1 Cor 15 Paul is obviously talking about individual bodies being resurrected (1 cor 15:19 is not a corporate body)…
1Co 15:29 Else what shall they do that are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them?
1Co 15:35 But some one will say, How are the dead raised? and with what manner of body do they come?
James Stewart Russell and Milton S. Terry’s views —“You have to look at the people dead in 70AD, prior to 70AD, then you have to look at people who were living when 70AD occurred and after 70AD (living at that time). For the people dead in 70AD there was a resurrection of the unseen realm…”
This view has three parts:
   What happened was there were saints disembodied in their immediate state were standing outside the precincts of the heavenly holy temple and after Jerusalem was destroyed, the inner temple was opened up and the saints managed to be let in and they were given some sort of a spiritual body and the is happened outside of our site.
   The people alive in 70AD—there consists a rapture which consists of a change into a new resurrection body. (Are we to believe this was unnoticed in 70AD; undiscovered by history even though this rapture too the living saints to heaven?)
   The saints born after 70AD—when we get born again (according to this view) we get a new resurrection body also. (The problem of course is this was unnoticed by people around them). The HP state it’s not clearly seen by the living because of the distraction of this earthly existence. This supports their view of the invisible resurrection body and the physical body rots in the grave.
Daniel Harden’s view —“What happens is that when a believer is converted; once you die you get a new spiritual body in heaven and the physical body rots in the grave”.
Summarizing the three views of King, Terry, Russell, and Harden  
To summarize the three views of HP on how they get their resurrected spiritual body in 70AD. If they were not living at 70AD they get their spiritual body when they are converted, or you get your spiritual body after you die and go to heaven. The HP believes the body will rot in the grave, and the body will never be resurrected. The orthodox creeds state a physical resurrection at the end of time—no creed has ever supported the HP resurrection (spiritual view).
A question for the HP:
If the resurrection that supposedly occurred in 70AD is so clear, or at conversion, or at death… how did the early church universally get off into the air so quickly? That would really say a great deal about the teachings of the Apostles (effectiveness).

Verses that cause problems for the HP  
Job 19:26 And after my skin, even this body, is destroyed, Then without my flesh shall I see God
Mat 12:41 The men of Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, a greater than Jonah is here.
Note the word stand up=resurrection in Matt 12:41. Why do the Ninevehites need to stand up in 70AD to be resurrected? The Ninevehites were not in Jerusalem in 70AD.
Mat 12:42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
The Queen of the south was not in Jerusalem in 70AD
Luk 20:34 And Jesus said unto them, The sons of this world marry, and are given in marriage (read surrounding verses)
If the HP interpret this age as the old covenant age prior to 70AD and that age being the New Covenant then the Christian of today do not marry (Max King’s view).
Luk 20:35 but they that are accounted worthy to attain to that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage
Luk 20:36 for neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.  
The problem with the HP view that we get a new resurrection body at conversion… we don’t die anymore? (Are we Immortal... not the nature of the body physical versus spiritual?) Are we like Angels in heave with no physical body?
Joh 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour cometh, in which all that are in the tombs shall hear his voice,
Joh 5:29 and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment .

John 5:28-9 causes three big problems for the HP
   The word “hour” does not mean serial resurrections over time
   The word “tomb” all in the tombs will come forth [ mnemeion—Strong’s 3419 ]
The word tomb always means a physical grave in all 38 times in the NT.
   The one’s that committed evil deeds will come out of the tomb for resurrection of judgment. If Hade’s has already been thrown into the lake of fire (according to the HP in 70AD) do these folks get a spiritual resurrection body before they are thrown into the lake of fire? [Rev 20] Do they go straight to lake of fire when they die? When do they get resurrected, on judgment day?
Here is a possible dodge the HP may take on that verse. It might be argued that the resurrection being talked about here is a spiritual resurrection. In verse 25 versus verse 28 says that an hour is coming which all in the tombs will hear his voice (spiritual resurrection) but, who is raised in verses 25 and 28?
Joh 5:25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live.
Joh 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour cometh, in which all that are in the tombs shall hear his voice, 
The dead will hear and all in the tombs will hear his voice. In verse 28 “all” is distinct from the dead in verse 25 it is referring to spiritually dead people (born again)? In verse 28 the word “all” refers to both spiritually dead (believers) and the non-believers—both will need to be resurrected (all). Remember all in the tombs will hear his voice! Spiritually dead people do not live in tombs, they live in houses.
Joh 6:54 He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
On the last day (not plural or serial) not 70AD [John 6:54]
Luk 20:34 And Jesus said unto them, The sons of this world marry, and are given in marriage  
Should no Christians be married after 70AD?
Joh 11:24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. [the last day being 70AD?]
Joh 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth on me, though he die, yet shall he live;
Joh 11:26 and whosoever liveth and believeth on me shall never die. Believest thou this?  
Jesus picked a heck of a way to correct Martha’s alleged erroneous view—Jesus physically resurrected Lazarus!
Act 17:32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked; but others said, We will hear thee concerning this yet again.  
The Greeks did not believe in a resurrection period. The HP will say the Athenians were sneering at the need for a resurrection. They believed the soul was already immortal—therefore they were sneering at that concept of an immortal soul, not the concept of a physical resurrection of the body. We will let the reader decide which view is correct (using common sense).
End of Part 1