Full Preterism vs. Idealism
Part 2: Full Preterism’s Achilles Heel
By Nathan DuBois, Nate 4 One Nation
Full Preterism vs. Idealism – Part One : Introduction | Part Two – Full Preterism’s Achilles Heel | Part Three – Full Preterism’s “New” Gospel | Full Preterism vs. Idealism: Part Four : Full Preterism’s Single Dimension Focus
My Thoughts and Understanding of Preterist Idealism | God, The Judge of the Heart | Why I Needed to Repent: A Letter to a Friend… Among Friends | The Nature of the Christ: The Dilema of Chronology | Scripture Interprets Scripture: Part One – The Covenants, The Jerusalems, The Flesh and The Spirit | Response to “Expectations Demand a Rapture” | Nate4OneNation
Full Preterism – The view that all Bible prophecy was fulfilled by the year 70
Consistent Cessationism – Determining what things (such as speaking in tongues) ceased in AD70
Idealism (Pret) – The view that the substance of prophetic fulfillment is found “in Christ” not “in history”
Reformed Soteriology – Doctrines of salvation commonly called “Calvinism” (TULIP)
Universalism (Pret) – Because the devil, death, sin and law were destroyed in AD70, there is no more separation between any person and God. Faith has been turned to sight.
Original Location: Full Preterism vs. Idealism, Part II
I had spent all my time in Full Preterism, when defending against Universalism, using the Romans 1-5 passages which declare that it is only “those that are his at His coming” or those “in Christ” who are declared to be saved. I still believe this is absolutely true. Reformed Preterists all agree there is an element of the “all” that refers only to the elect. “All in Christ” or “all His children” is the proper context of the Romans passages. What has not been answered, and cannot be answered with satisfaction is the element of the lake of fire, leading us to the first inconsistency of Full Preterism.
1. If the same punishment is declared for (2) agencies in scripture, then the SAME RESULT must ensue for both agencies.
For these issues I will go right to the source and use some quotes with links for those who have argued the positions being addressed.
Rev 20:10 The Devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. 11 Then I saw a great white throne and One seated on it. Earth and heaven fled from His presence, and no place was found for them. 12 I also saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged according to their works by what was written in the books. 13 Then the sea gave up its dead, and Death and Hades gave up their dead; all were judged according to their works. 14 Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And anyone not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
The Reformed Full Preterist view declares the Devil was a literal angel who was the accuser of the elect and he is now in the lake of fire. Being in the lake of fire, as far as the devil is concerned, means to the FP that he is no longer able to tempt, accuse, perform. He is every bit as irrelevant to us today and unable to affect situations today as the souls of “anyone not found written in the book of life.” This would be consistent, and they declare it. Hades also meets the same fate and they are every bit as consistent with Hades, a place they consider a literal spiritual holding for the saints prior to AD 70 which, because thrown into the lake of fire, is no longer used or relevant.
Where the consistency goes right out the window is where death is addressed. For the Devil, Beast, False Prophet, Hades, and more importantly to the non-Universalist FP, the souls of the saved, they are all in eternal torment unable to reach out from beyond the grave to affect mankind today. Evil is explained by the wickedness in mankind.
The laws of logic get tossed right out the window when death, who “were thrown into the lake of fire” is still able to continue to this day, defeated only “in Christ.” The FP applies an application of the lake of fire where it DEFEATS death for the saved, but does not DESTROY death or its power ultimately for anyone else. All humankind are affected by death, which suffered the same penalty as the souls, Hades, the Devil, etc, yet its power and its reach is unaffected like the others.
I repeat: The SAME RESULT must ensue for all agencies receiving the same punishment!
Here is an exerpt from Sam Frost concerning death.
“In Greek, it is “the Death” and “the second one, the Death”. The First Death came through Adam and is equal to “the condemnation” (Rom 5). So, why would we not think that since the Tree of Life is now manifest in God’s People, that the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil ceased? Man has two trees to eat from. Following the pattern, the eternal reality of creation is seen also in the Age to Come new heavens and new earth. You have two Trees. Dismiss the Tree of Life (fail to submit to the King of all the Earth and who is King over all the kingdoms of the world), and is there not to be any condemnation? The new covenant is not a condemnation-less covenant! No universalist can get around the FACT of The Second One, The Death.” Dennis says this is “redefinition”. In what way he never explains. He just makes the charge and moves on, parading the universalists as the most consistent FP system!…If the death is still around, then so is your condemnation. With the destruction of the Death, the condemnation in Adam was effectively removed. Dennis asks how can this be for the believer, but not for the wicked. This is answered by replacing the First Death with a new heavens and new earth Death, the Second one. Had this not been revealed to us, and had this verdict of God’s court been uttered, then universalism can make a case. As such, it cannot. The Second Death prevents universalism from being true. It is like God saying, “the Gospel is going to the world, to being healing to nations and reveal my son, Jesus. But, not every one is going to see my glory. Some will refuse it, and for them, I have decreed a Second Death for those who reject the New Tree of Life.” Pretty simple to me…”
This answer is by no means satisfactory for one reason, which Sam Frost himself brings to light. “The First Death came through Adam and is equal to “the condemnation” (Rom 5)…If the death is still around, then so is your condemnation. With the destruction of the Death, the condemnation in Adam was effectively removed.” No matter how much explaining away he does about the second death, he gave his own arguments right back to the Universalist. He declares that the first death is the death that brought condemnation under Adam. The Reformed Preterist believes that the sin and condemnation under Adam continue for those who are not saved, and explain the evil that is still in the world, even with an irrelevant suffering Devil who is in the lake!
The “condemnation” from Adam MUST continue for men to be considered guilty today! It was condemnation under the first Adam that condemned men, brought the law, made the need for a redeemer in the first place! To remove this condemnation from the world, as they do the devil and the souls of the dead in the lake of fire, they must declare that men are no longer condemned! Instead, Sam entirely eliminates the sin brought by Adam (leading to the “first death”), and creates a new sin leading to condemnation of the “second death” for those not in Christ. In other words, the problem brought into the world through Adam was NOT conquered by Christ, the wheel was simply reinvented. Not only is Romans 1-5 the undeniable proof that only those “in Christ” are saved, but it is also the biggest part of scripture used to show WHY we need a savior!!! Because under Adam all men are condemned!
Full Preterism has taken a new twist, the entire book to the Romans has become irrelevant in Sam’s new law and new death scenario. I will deal with the idea of a “new law” or a “new death” later. The idea that the spiritual came after the natural occurrence is backward but I cannot address that here in this step. Even though both “new” things go against the fabric of Reformed thinking. But the point over all is even if a “new death’ or “new law” were NOT created, we have different results from the same judgment.
The issue here is the consistency in the approach. The devil is gone and inactive, irrelevant and being tormented, and so is death. The same punishment for both MUST produce the same results. Do I really need to do a study on Romans to show that the death from Adam is still going on today? Do I need to state anymore that the only way for Full Preterism to answer the devil and death problem is to invent a “new law” that humans break after AD 70, and a “new death” to explain the lake of fire that Universalists get wrong? Reformed Full Preterism must either depart from the Reformed grounding, lead to a Universalist approach, or lead to an Idealist approach.
So what is the Idealist approach that makes the view of this different? Idealism sees the lake of fire as the hyperbole to show the utter defeat of the devil, the grave, the false prophet, the beast, and the souls of those not found in the book., as being defeated only IN CHRIST. The events of AD 70 are the same as those of 4000 B.C. When Abraham was called from Ur, when the Israelites were lead from Egypt, when the Christians fled to Pella, when we die to the “old man” and enter into Christ. The prophecies of Revelation 20 are hyperbole to tell this story.
The devil is not dead or gone, he is utterly defeated by Christ, and those “in Christ” share this victory over him. He is in the “lake of fire” (under His feet!) Death is not gone and reinvented as the “lake of fire.” Death is utterly defeated by Christ, and those “in Christ” share the victory over it, and never die. Those outside of Christ still die. They suffer that utter defeat of a rebellious heart against God, eternally.
Idealism sees that the stories of the Exodus and AD 70 are pointing to a higher spiritual truth. The truth that Christ came to REVEAL in His time on earth.
“John 14:6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Where Full Preterism fails this truth is to put it in time. Christ is eternal, he did not become the way, the truth or the life because of any act performed in finite time. He is eternal. He was such when he declared He was. We was such from the beginning. The events that occurred become the fulfillment of something that was always true “in Christ.” In doing so, and making the eternal a matter of time, they run into the forced and unavoidable inconsistencies as shown above.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word; and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created. 4 In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.
5 That light SHINES in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it.
What do YOU think ?
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Date: 08 Jun 2007
Personally, I don’t see the issue. Death and Hades are thrown into the lake of fire. So what’s the problem? I think you are putting a very narrow interpretation on the word “death”. But shouldn’t it be taken in its context of “Hades”? I mean after all, even before “death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire”, people were still alive after death, in Hades. That’s who Christ went and preached to. That this waiting had been abolished. Death is in that fashion, in this context of this passage. In fact, if we look back to Rev 21:1-4, we see that it says that there “is no more death”, for those in Christ. In the verses surrounding what you are quoting, in the KJV, it says that “death and Hell gave up the dead that were in them”, but that is a translation error. It actually says “death and Hades” and Hades is merely “the state or place of the dead”, which speaks of physical death and so, the second death that you mentioned, is a separate issue which speaks of the lake of f
Maybe I am missing something in what you’re saying. If so, please explain it here further, if you’re willing. But I do not see this as an “Achilles Heel for Full Preterism” and no offense intended, but if this is what you’re hanging your hat on, I see your hat sliding off of the rack. 🙂
As for when everything was fulfilled, I see 70AD as the return of Christ, as I believe He said (same generation), but I also see the fulfillment taking time for some issues. For example, Zech 14:1-2 tells us that Jerusalem would be desolated, but v3 tells us that Christ would “turn and fight”. This would be against the Roman Empire that He used to attack Jerusalem and Judea. Now every scholar of the Roman Empire knows that it was in 70 AD that the decline of the Roman Empire began, but it took centuries for it to finally fall completely. But then again, Zech 14:3 doesn’t say He would utterly destroy them, but I believe that was the plan and so, while I believe that Christ returned in 70 AD and that the resurrection happened, etc., I do not believe that everything was finished happening. But that does not mean that I believe that Christ has yet to return again. Christ spoke of one return, not multiple returns. And I’m sorry, but I don’t see that you’re accurately representing F
The reality is, that the way that you reckon Satan’s judgment (being defeated in Christ), that already occurred when Christ rose from the dead!
In other words, since Satan had no power over those in Christ even before this “lake of fire”, then what was the point in “throwing him in the lake of fire”, which you equate to him being defeated in Christ, just so he could continue on doing what he always did?
He was defeated in Christ before the lake if fire and so, being defeated in Christ being the lake of fire, cannot be what it means, IMO!
Furthermore, there is no doubt that the people mentioned there, are destroyed. It is the second death. So how is it that they, not being human beings (bodies) anymore, are judged and thrown into the lake of fire and die there (see Mat 10:28) and yet, satan being thrown into it just means, “being defeated in Christ”? You spoke of FP being inconsistent. I don’t see much consistency in your view in this regard, sir. I honestly don’t.
Furthermore, it says that it is “the second death” that has no power over those in Christ. So “no more death” equates to those in Christ and once again, when we go back to Rev 21:1-4, we see that it says that there is “no more death”. Now since it says that “God will wipe away the tears from their eyes”, we know that this is talking about the saved; those in Christ. So we must put all of this together and when we do, even though you argue saying that it “must apply to all”, the reality is, that Scripture in my view, specifically shows that it doesn’t. you are trying to combine the wheat and the tares, IMO.
Thanks for your comments.
Date: 19 Aug 2007
Death is not relevant and is not used, like you say, except for the one place where it now resides, in the Lake of Fire. This, of course, is where those who are not in Christ are cast, where death is very relevant for them.
Date: 30 Mar 2010
2 Timothy 1:10
“but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, WHO HAS DESTROYED DEATH and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
Death reigned during the Old Age from Adam to Christ. After Jesus rose, he canceled the written code of condemnation. Therefore, to disobey Jesus after he did this is to then be handed back over to death… a second death.
2 Corinthians 5:14
“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore ALL DIED.”
Those baptized into Jesus were baptized into his death. In doing so, they died. They died to the law, to sin and to death. Their bodies considered dead and their spirits alive. So it is apparent that they came to life at this time, and NO death had a hold on them.
Jesus is constantly saying that the people would be judged by their works, as do the apostles. This is because what you DO makes you alive in Christ or dead. The wheat are alive, the chaff is burned – a separation is made. Yes, the fire had to to with the fires of Jerusalem during the war, but even more it had to do with Jesus’ followers – the meek – inheriting the earth. If you didn’t inherit the earth (as God’s kingdom) then you were coming to nothing and cut down out of God’s spiritual lineage/genealogy.
Cain was Adam’s son just like Seth was, but Cain was cut off from Adam’s line and Seth gave way to the generation of his son, Enosh, at which time they “began to call upon the name of the Lord.” Cain was cut off and burned away from God’s inheritance like chaff. In the same way, the physical Jews were cut off and burned away like chaff, but the spiritual Jews endured forever in God’s kingdom as the church. The same pattern even applies with Esau/Jacob, Ishmael/Isaac. Esau and Ishmael were cut off and burned away like chaff from God’s favor, genealogy and blessing; Isaac and Jacob were the ones still connected to the promised inheritance to Abraham and his children.
Death, Hades, Rome, Jerusalem… these things were all burned away from God’s people and their inheritance. And they are not the genealogy of God’s loved ones.