Don K. Preston
Church of Christ
“Every mathematical calculation that I have ever seen cannot arrive at the A.D. 70 destruction of Jerusalem.”
(Q&A on the Daniel 9 Prophecy)
Ethics and Eschatology, Ethics and Universalism “the moral mandates–based on the righteousness of God Himself– dictated by Paul were given to pre-parousia saints in light of the impending end of the age. That holiness is a permanent part of the very warp and woof of the New Creation. “
(Significance of AD70)
“We find untenable the contention that the fall of Jerusalem was a localized judgment. It was in fact the universal judgment of the living and the dead!” (A Local Judgment?)
“Peter foresaw the coming dissolution of another society, the Jewish world. This is exactly what happened in a.d. 70 in the conflagration of the capital, heart, and soul of the Theocracy of Israel.” (The World That Perished)
“A key point of controversy is the contention that the church/kingdom was not fully established on Pentecost but was in a state of incompletion until the Old World was taken out of the way in AD 70. Every anti-Preterist which this writer has read or heard has made a major issue over this point.” (A Full-Grown Baby?)
“It is demonstrated from Scripture that the fall of Jerusalem was indeed the antitype of the Flood.” (Typology and Covenant Eschatology)
“Since Christ’s coming in 70 was the coming for redemption, and since he was to return only once for salvation per Hebrews 9:28, then Christ’s return in 70 was the final coming of Christ.” (Hebrews 9:28 – The Second Coming)
“Context and consistency demands the identical subject matter of the Olivet Discourse and II Thessalonians 2–the end of the Old World of Judaism at the coming of Jesus Christ in 70 AD.” (Thessalonians & The Olivet Discourse)
(On Matthew 24:36)
“We believe we have shown that in Matthew 24:36, when Jesus said “But of that day and hour knoweth no man,” that his reference was to “that day” that would climax “those days” leading up to the final dissolution of the Old Heaven and Earth of Israel at the return of Messiah in 70 AD.” (Those Days – vs – That Day)
(On Jerusalem / Babylon)
“Commentators seek to change, “where the Lord was slain,” to, “by whom” the Lord was crucified. Yet, the Bible settles even the “by whom” question, and it is not Rome.
The Bible identifies both by whom and where the Lord was crucified. The Jews were the ones guilty of crucifying the Lord. It is hardly justifiable, therefore, to make the phrase, “where the Lord was crucified,” apply to Rome!
Unless one can prove indisputably that “the great city” of Revelation 11 is different than chapters 16-18, Babylon was Jerusalem. Unless one can prove two different cities, other than historical Sodom, are “spiritually called Sodom,” Babylon was Jerusalem. Unless one can show that Jesus was slain in two different cities, Babylon was Jerusalem. Unless one is willing to ignore or deny the united testimony of the Lord, and the apostle Paul, as to the identity of the slayer of Jesus, Babylon was Jerusalem.” (Who is this Babylon?; Ardmore, OK: By the Author; p. 33)
“Many passages in the New Testament speak of the “heavens and earth” with no reference to the physical heaven and earth” (More On Heaven And Earth)
(On Hemeneutics/Methods of Interpretation)
“When we mistakenly believe the Bible is concerned about the “end of time” instead of the “time of the end” we cannot allow Jesus’ words in Luke 21:22 to speak for themselves.” (When All Things Written…)
“The Bible does not speak of the end of time, but of the time of the end.” (World Without End)
“If it can be shown that the traditional concepts of the ambiguity and relativity of prophetic time statements are incorrect, then the preterist construction of prophecy will have been vindicated.” (Is Prophetic Time Elastic?)
“It is strange indeed that such a literalistic interpretation has been imposed on Revelation 1:7 when this violates the inspired interpretation (Matthew 24:30-34) of the source of the verse (Zechariah 12:10.)” (Every Eye Shall See Him)
(On Death of Death)
“If Christ has not completely fulfilled the prophetic aspect of the red heifer sacrifice the old law is still in effect. If he has fulfilled the prophetic element of that offering the old law has passed—and death has been abolished.” (The Ashes of the Red Heifer)
“The trumpet was to be blown for the gathering of God’s elect from the “death” of separation from God’s presence and fellowship.” (With The Sound of the Trumpet)
“Since the disciples did not lack understanding as has been generally assumed, it is easy to correlate the parallel passages of Mark 13 and Luke 21 with Matthew 24.” (Misconceptions About Misconceptions)
“Since the Thessalonican concept of the day of the Lord was the Old Covenant concept, and their concept was CORRECT then it follows that the day of the Lord for which they were looking was not the end of time but was instead a time when God would judge his people.” (How Is This Possible?)
“To literalize means that the Old Covenant prophecies have not yet been fulfilled and Jesus taught that all prophecy had to be fulfilled before the Old Covenant could pass.” (More On No Death, No Sorrow, No Pain)
“If “at hand” time statements mean nothing at all, then God cannot tell time.” (Can God Tell Time?)
“In Revelation the coming of Christ, the New Creation, judgment and resurrection are associated with the fall of Babylon. To mistakenly identify Babylon is to incorrectly interpret these issues.” (Babylon The Great of Revelation)
“In his discussion of the transition from the “outer man” to the inner, from the temporal to the eternal, Paul says “we do not look on the things that are seen, but on the things that are unseen” (2 Corinthians 4:16f). He patently cannot be saying that the resurrection change would be unperceived! It would be seen (perceptual) but unseen (not optical!).” (Nature of the Parousia)
THE NEW PROPHETS OF REVELATION
The May 24, 2004 issue of Newsweek featured stories, again, about the continuing Left Behind phenomenon. The book series has sold over 62 million copies, and spawned movies, and even comic books. Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins are looked upon as the leading experts on Biblical last things by literally millions of people. This is extremely sad!
LaHaye says one thing I do agree with: “The worst thing a person can do against God is to deceive people about the Bible.” But, is LaHaye himself deceiving people about the Bible? That is a serious question, and a charge not to be made lightly. However, the undeniable truth is that LaHaye is misleading the public about what the Bible really says.
First, LaHaye insists that the book of Revelation is being fulfilled, or is about to be fulfilled in our day. This is a blatant contradiction to what the book says. Read Revelation 1:1-3. John says twice that the events being foretold were “at hand,” and “must shortly come to pass.” There is no way to make the passing of 2000 years a statement of “at hand” and “must shortly come to pass.”
Of course it will be responded that God does not see time as man does, but this is hardly true. God created time. God can tell time better than you and I can! The question is, if “at hand” did not mean near when John wrote Revelation, why does it mean near now? If God wanted to tell John that the fulfillment was at hand, back then, how else could He have said, Athese things must shortly come to pass,” and really meant that it was near?
Second, LaHaye tells is that the Man of Sin is still future. Yet, Paul said the Man of Sin was alive in the first century and being restrained by the Restrainer then (2 Thessalonians 2). Now unless Paul was wrong, if the Man of Sin is “alive somewhere in Europe today” as LaHaye and others have stated, then he must be one old guy, because Paul said he was alive in his day!! So, if Paul was right, LaHaye is wrong.
Third, LaHaye says, depending on which of his books you read, that Babylon of Revelation is either a restored literal city in Iraq, or, the apostate Christian church in the end times. The trouble is that Revelation teaches that Babylon was Old Covenant Jerusalem. Babylon was the city where the Lord was slain (Revelation 11:8). That cannot be apostate Christianity, and it cannot be either ancient or restored literal Babylon. Revelation is about the judgment of the city that had killed the prophets, and Jesus said it was Old Covenant Jerusalem that had killed all the prophets: “It is not possible for a prophets to perish outside of Jerusalem” (Luke 13:31-33). LaHaye is guilty of misguiding people about the Bible in respect to this very significant and important issue.
The additional problem with the Left Behind theology is that it is costing the lives of America=s young people in Iraq! The Dispensational community carries a lot of weight in our White House. Media sources around the world are beginning to realize that the invasion of Iraq was driven by theology, not the presence of weapons of mass destruction! The American Religious Right, driven by LaHaye and other so-called prophecy experts, are leading America down the path to Armageddon, not because that is what the Bible predicts, but because of their misguided view of what the Bible says. This is serious stuff indeed, and as LaHaye says: “The worst thing a person can do against God is to deceive people about the Bible.” In my view, Mr. LaHaye, thou art the man!
What do YOU think ?
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- 01 Sep 2004
Very strange comment by Preston in the paragraph beginning “Third” in his article entitled “The New Prophets of Revelation,” namely, that “Babylon was the city where the Lord was slain” (Rev. 11:8). That verse, in fact, identifies first-century Jerusalem not as Babylon but as the city “which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt.” (Babylon in Revelation refers to first-century Rome.) Preterists don’t understand what really happened in the (whole) first century because they don’t grasp the significance of the fact that the natural world and natural Israel were separate creations that had separate first-century judgments. It apparently has never dawned on them that Christ’s 3 1/2-year mission was to Israel and the young church’s post-spring AD 30 mission was to the world — and that, therefore, the Mt. 5:18 reference to the passing away of heaven and earth (a spiritual rather than a natural event) applied to first-century Israel and the Mt. 24:35 and Rev. 21:1 references to the passing away of heaven and earth (likewise a spiritual rather than a natural event) applied to the first-century world. 2 Cor. 5:17 should have tipped off preterists to the spiritual nature of those two passings away long ago. Probably never will, however.
- 10 Sep 2004
Don, it’s always great to read/hear your viewpoints on prophecy! This article is no exception. Excellent point about Paul writing about the man of sin as though he was alive then. We read passages like that over so many times, through the lense of the futurist teaching we grew up with, and miss the fact that the way the apostles worded many things in their epistles, they believed all the “last days” prophecies were either being fulfilled or soon to be fulfilled in their day. Excellent point about the identity of Babylon. Dispensationalism needs a revived Roman Empire, and rebuilt Babylon and a rebuilt temple, all because the prophecies of the end of the age and the coming of God’s kingdom did not come to pass according to their interpretation. Though the dispen-sensationalist school of thought behind the “Left Behind” books is misinforming many people, thankfully I see more and more people opening up their minds and hearts to the possibility that God has fulfilled His plan of salvation in the establishment of the new covanent and that in encouraging. Rob W in WI
Date: 01 Mar 2006
In response to the comment about Jerasalem’s identity, it actually is identified as Babylon. I had a similar problem for a long time with what Don was saying, because it made sense, but didn’t fit what I was reading. That is, until I came across a little phrase buried within the verses identifying Jeraselam and Babylon. In Rev 11:8 and in Rev 17:18, there is the phrase “the great city” (that is how it is translated in a vast majority of English versions). Now, I can’t read Greek, but I’m willing to bet that when they put “the” in front of something they were refering to a specific thing. Even if “the” isn’t in the actual Greek text, the words for “great city” are the exact same, which positively identifys Jerusalem as Babylon. As if that wasn’t enough, Babylon is said to be “drunk with the blood of the saints” (Rev 17:6); look at what Jesus says in Luke 13:33-34. Only Jerusalem could be “drunk with the blood of the saints” because it was the one aggressively pushing for persec