12 Reasons Preterism is False Teaching

Untitledby PJ Hanley

Preterism is the view that all of the prophecies concerning the end of the age occurred in 70AD and there is no End-Time events on the horizon. Everything in the world is getting better until it is all Christianized. This view of Scripture was compiled by a Jesuit Priest (Jesuit Luis de Alcazar 1614) during the Counter Reformation,  to combat the claims of the Protestants who believed the Pope was the Antichrist. It is being made popular today, particularly in the Revival Movement, by people like Jonathon Welton and many others. However, it’s a very bizarre twisting of Scripture, that undermines the authority of the Bible, and sets believers up for serious deception. Yet, one does not have to be a scholar to see how foolish it is. In this article I have listed 12 reasons it cannot be true. I could have listed hundreds, but there is no need. Just one of these points shows that it is seriously flawed.

  1. Preterism is built on Replacement Theology.[1] If Replacement Theology is false, so is Preterism. There are so many promises given to Israel, that have not been yet fulfilled or rescinded, and cannot be applied to the church. The following are just a few:

“Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for light by day, and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; the LORD of hosts is His name: ‘If this fixed order departs from before Me,’ declares the LORD. ‘Then the offspring of Israel also will cease from being a nation before Me forever.’” Jer 31:35-36

“‘Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah. It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it. In that day,’ declares the LORD, ‘I will strike every horse with bewilderment and his rider with madness. But I will watch over the house of Judah, while I strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts,’ “A strong support for us are the inhabitants of Jerusalem through the LORD of hosts, their God.”” Zech 12:2-5 

“And I will set My glory among the nations; and all the nations will see My judgment which I have executed and My hand which I have laid on them. And the house of Israel will know that I am the LORD their God from that day onward. The nations will know that the house of Israel went into exile for their iniquity because they acted treacherously against Me, and I hid My face from them; so I gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and all of them fell by the sword. According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I dealt with them, and I hid My face from them.’” Ezek 39:21-24

“For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there on behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; and they have divided up My land.” Joel 3:1-2

  1. In response to the question as to what was the sign of the “end of the age,” Jesus said it was the Abomination of Desolation mentioned in Daniel. This was confirmed by Paul, as the occasion when the Antichrist literally sits in the Holy Place in Jerusalem, and proclaims himself God.[2] This sign is preceded, according to Jesus, by the preaching of the gospel to the whole world. How did this happen prior to 70AD, and when did the Antichrist take his seat in Jerusalem? Preterists say that Nero was the Antichrist. However, Nero never stood on the Temple Mount and declared himself God. He was a nutty despot, who burned Rome and used the occasion to enlarge his palace.
  1. The Tribulation is described by Jesus as a time of such distress, that there was never anything like it before, nor will there be again. He said that if it had not been cut short, no life would have been saved. The tribulation that Israel endured in 70AD, though it was horrendous for them, cannot be construed as a global event? Furthermore, if that was it, then there would not have been any event occurring afterwards, that could compare or cause more suffering. However, in the 20th Century alone, there were two world wars, where the toll of death and destruction was much greater. Fifty million died in World War II, not to mention the horrendous barbarism of the holocaust, and the Nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Honestly, such a claim is insulting.
  1. Jesus said that there would be great signs at the end of the age, such as; the sun becoming dark and the moon red blood (not an eclipse), stars falling from the sky, the powers of the heavens shaken, and men fainting from fear because of the roaring of the sea and the waves (great tsunamis). Luke 21:25-26, Mt 24:29-30 If the end of the age took place in 70AD, then all these things should have taken place then.
  1. According to Partial Preterists, Jesus came in the clouds in 70AD, pouring out wrath upon the Jews. If that were true, it would fulfill the following passages.

“And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY 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 sky to the other.” Mt 24:30-31

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.’” Rev 19:11-16

“BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.” Rev 1:7

If these verses were fulfilled in 70AD, or anytime close to that, then we must ask the following:

  • When did all the tribes of the earth mourn for Jesus?
  • When did the Jewish nation mourn over Jesus whom they had pierced?
  • When did every eye see Him coming through the clouds?
  • When did He gather the Jews from the four corners of the earth, or even Christians for that matter?
  • In 70AD Jerusalem was destroyed, and the Jews scattered. This was indeed, an outpouring of wrath as Jesus and the prophets predicted.[3] However, when it says that Jesus will come through the clouds with power and great glory, it says he will strike down the nations and fulfill the “great supper of God” prophecy of Ezekiel 39:17-20. When did this take place? Also, we are told that the Antichrist and the kings of the earth will make war against Jesus. When did this happen?
  1. Jesus said that the end of the age would be like the days of Noah. The implication is clear, that people would be evil, and clueless of the judgment that was coming. Then suddenly it came upon them, and they perished, but a remnant was delivered.

“For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.” Mt 24:38-41

How can 70AD be compared to such a time for the nations, when they were, in fact, reveling in their victory over Zion? When did the destruction come upon them? Who were the ones rescued and snatched away from destruction? Furthermore, how can that time be considered more a fulfillment of the days of Noah, than today? There is more evil on the earth today, like that of Noah’s time, and Sodom and Gomorrah. Have the days of Noah come again, during the Millennium?

  1. The Bible promises a bodily resurrection at the end of the age.

“But as for you, go your way to the end; then you will enter into rest and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age.” Dan 12:13 Emphasis Mine

“And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection.” Rev 20:4-5 Emphasis Mine

Preterists say that the first resurrection has already taken place, since they claim that the end of the age was 70AD. Thus, they deny the bodily resurrection promised at the end of this age, or say that it has already come and was not literal, but spiritual. How then can they escape the claim that their teaching is heretical?[4]

  1. The Hebrew believers were told that Jesus would come again for them without reference to sin.[5] They were also told that they could see the day approaching.[6] Since Preterists say Jesus came in 70AD in judgment, and not without reference to sin, when were these verses fulfilled? And how could they be fulfilled in the future since there is no Day of the Lord approaching, and no signs.
  2. Preterism depends on an early date for the Book of Revelation, yet, the testimony we have, says it was written in 95AD, during the time of Domitian.[7] Also, if it were not after the destruction of Jerusalem, how do we account for the time of worldwide persecution which sent John to exile on Patmos?

10. Preterists use Mt 24:34 as a proof text to say that all the prophecies would be fulfilled in the 1st Century. But they take the verse out of context, and ignore what they can’t explain. Here is the verse in context:

“Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.” Mt 24:32-35

First of all, Jesus did not say that specific generation would see it all, but the one than began to see the prophecies fulfilled. This is even clearer in Luke 21, where Jesus says, “when these things begin to take place.”

“But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Luke 21:28

Jesus clearly stated, that all that the prophets had spoken would come to pass in the specific generation mentioned. If that was 70AD, then why did so many of the prophets words not take place then? Examples are:

“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Hab 2:14

“And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little boy will lead them. Also the cow and the bear will graze; their young will lie down together; and the lion will eat straw like the ox. And the nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den. They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” Is 11:6-9

“And many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways, and that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And He will judge between the nations, and will render decisions for many peoples; and they will hammer their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war. Come, house of Jacob, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.” Is 2:3-5

Also, what redemption came for all believers in 70AD?

11. The events described by Paul, and referred to as the Day of the Lord, included the coming of Jesus for the church in the rapture, as well as the Abomination of Desolation. [8] Therefore, why did the rapture of believers not occur in 70AD?

12. Peter, speaking of the Day of the Lord, said the following:

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.” 2Pet 3:10

Did the elements melt with intense heat, like that of a nuclear blast, in 70AD? I don’t think so. Furthermore, how could the cataclysmic events spoken of in Revelation have occurred in 70AD?

“And I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. And the sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come; and who is able to stand?” Rev 6:12-17

[1] Replacement Theology is the view that Israel was rejected by God and all of her prophecies given to her replacement, the church.

[2] 2 Thess 2:3-4

[3] Luke 21:22-24

[4] 2 Tim 2:18

[5] Heb 9:28

[6] Heb 10:25

[7] “We will not, however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of Antichrist; for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him who beheld the apocalyptic vision. For it was seen not very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian’s reign.” Iraneus, Against Heresies, 30

Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 155-215) says that John returned from the isle of Patmos “after the tyrant was dead” (Who Is the Rich Man? 42), and Eusebius, known as the “Father of Church History,” identifies the “tyrant” as Domitian (Ecclesiastical History III.23).

[8] 1 Thess 4:13 – 5:11, 2 Thess 2:1-12

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