Why I Needed to Repent:
A Letter to a Friend… Among Friends
By Nathan DuBois
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
“I get it now!” But do I really? There seems to be more to this than anyone is understanding. To think that the controversy started with a repentance. It was only until what was considered an o-ffense, that this became a serious vs. a sincere discussion. I thought I got it, and then here I am again writing this.
The view of looking for the internal, personal, and spiritual meaning made perfect sense. It MAKES perfect sense. There is no harm brought in the view that still acknowledges the importance of the physical signs, but still advocates that they were only temporal revelations of an eternal truth. No harm, no foul. But I didn’t see it. I didn’t see the need to repent. It was just a matter of growing up. Does that require “repentance” from full preterism?
When that statement is uttered, it can be entirely personal. It does not mean that we ALL need to repent from it, just because one person saw that need for himself. However, it appears the problem is that if full preterism is a system requiring “turning” away from, then isn’t it worth turning from for all people?
Yes and no! Do we have any problem telling Arminians that we left there view (ie. turned away from/repented of) and embraced reformed theology? Does this mean they should all repent? Let your own heart judge. Should they be offended that we tell them we are no longer arminian? The responses of some recently should judge themselves.
Here is why a deeply personal, self-appointed statement of repentance was also a call from God for me to do so as well.
Full Preterism Is Today’s Thomas
John 20:26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
All full preterists seem to embrace that if the AD 70 Parousia is not true, then Christ was not the Messiah. This is a view I held. C.S. Lewis and his comments required an answer. And full preterism has it. However, that makes us Thomas! We put the hand in the side, and we believed. The reason futurist arminians are still saved, is because they do not see anything but Christ crucified, and their need to repent, and they believe. They do not see the completed work of Christ, yet they believe it. God Bless Them.
Being Thomas has it’s benefits and it’s disadvantages. We should be broken because our disbelief is even a possibility! Yes, without AD 70 we would not believe Christ or the God of Abraham. But in the brokenness received at sight, we can have a knowledge beyond faith. We can SEE the Parousia and praise God and thank him more than anyone who is waiting. Thomas became an apostle, he was still blessed! After he saw he was guided by the Spirit to the upper room, where the Spirit of truth guided him. AFTER he “saw.”
I still see the emphasis that God’s truth does not require, nor favor, the sight. It favors the faith beyond it.
What We See Can Mislead
Matthew 23:1 Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples: 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees are seated in the chair of Moses. 3 Therefore do and observe whatever they tell you. But don’t do what they do, because they don’t do what they say. 4 They tie up heavy loads that are hard to carry and put them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves aren’t willing to lift a finger to move them. 5 They do everything to be observed by others: They enlarge their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. 6 They love the place of honor at banquets, the front seats in the synagogues, 7 greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called ‘ Rabbi’ by people.
The priesthood saw the law. It was what they observed and taught. They loved it, paraded it, prized it. Yet Christ saw their shortfall. They could not see beyond the law. They were rebuked for it. Christ’s first teaching that we have is His revelation of the heart of God concerning the law. Though the priest could see the law, they could not glimpse the heart of God.
Matt 5:17 “Don’t assume that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For I assure you: Until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or one stroke of a letter will pass from the law until all things are accomplished. 19 Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches people to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever practices and teaches these commandments will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
What was posted concerning Matthew 23 is why they needed to exceed the Pharisees righteousness. They did not see the heart and intent of the law. They loved their position, they loved the glory of the physical things and fleshly power they wielded, but they did not love God or the heart of God.
This is why Christ emphasized…
Matt 5:21 “You have heard that it was said to our ancestors, You shall not murder , and whoever murders will be subject to judgment. 22 But I tell you…
Matt 5:27 “You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. 28 But I tell you…
Matt 5:33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to our ancestors, You must not break your oath, but you must keep your oaths to the Lord. 34 But I tell you…
They “saw” Christ, but they did not see Christ!
John 5:37 The Father who sent Me has Himself testified about Me. You have not heard His voice at any time, and you haven’t seen His form. 38 You don’t have His word living in you, because you don’t believe the One He sent.
John 6:35 “I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again. 36 But as I told you, you’ve seen Me, and yet you do not believe.
Why I Repented
So what am I trying to say? What is the point of this letter? Am I saying full preterists are the Pharisees of today?
But I am saying I AM ONE!
I was so caught up in the system of things that I could SEE that I was missing, and causing others to miss, the things that can only be seen by the heart. I saw the purpose and will of God in AD 70, the “new” (though very old) law of God being advented, but I missed the heart behind it. I have been guilty of Phariseeism.
Matt 23:13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You lock up the kingdom of heaven from people. For you don’t go in, and you don’t allow those entering to go in.
There are people out there who long to see. I have been asked and have not answered. I tried to show them a road of the flesh. Answers like “we don’t sin anymore, because if we are in the new covenant, we are perfected because the temple in Jerusalem fell when Christ said it would.” However the believer knows he is forgiven, and yet knows he is far from perfect. What kind of answer is that? That I tell a person that they are “resurrected and therefore do not struggle against the flesh,” or against “Satan.” How delusional have I been when they look at me and all along know they battle the flesh!!?!!
I was seeing with the mind and with the sight of men, not the sight of God. I praise God for the eternal truths now being taught to me. I will not bind myself to what can be seen by my intellect. I pray that God correct me in every avenue I approach, that I might see with the Spirit. For it is the Spirit which is the point.
1 Corinthians 2:10 Now God has revealed them to us by the Spirit, for the Spirit searches everything, even the deep things of God.
1Corinthians 2:13 We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people.
2Corinthians 3:6 He has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit produces life.
Ephesians 1:17 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His vast strength. 20 He demonstrated this power in the Messiah by raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavens — 21 far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And He put everything under His feet and appointed Him as head over everything for the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of the One who fills all things in every way.
The Spirit is life, the Spirit is truth. When AD 70 occurred, it revealed this to the world. Some already had a removed veil even before the physical one was removed. I saw the significance, yet I missed the “fulfillment.” I taught a sight of men in a system of the temporal, and ignored the sight of the spirit in the revelation of the eternal. Yes, I needed to repent. Let each man judge for himself in his own heart whether he should also. For it is God who brings judgment on the heart, not me.
So Thank You…Friend!
…for going out on the limb and sharing your heart. If the kingdom dwells in the heart and is revealed through men, then you were used. So thank you for the fellowship and help. As I have said, if we stopped learning how boring would life be.
Date: 01 Dec 2006
No one said he was ignoring the temple judgment. But to say that the fulfillment of the scripture was not the sign or events within “that generation” you damage the meaning of words. You make the bible say whatever you want. Luke 21:20 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. 21Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. 22For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. 32″I tell you the truth, this generation[b] will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Generation does not mean race or stock. Why don’t you “repent” of that. It’s great to use made up stories and analogies to teach a lesson. But when you start to make these made up analogies the fulfillment of prophesy that is hoakie.
Date: 01 Dec 2006
Who said anything about race? And who is denying that the signs of which the Word wrote and spoke were entirely fulfilled in that generation?
Date: 01 Dec 2006
TD the founder of your view (which somehow escapes the modern label on this “unbiased website”) has claimed that generation means race or stock. No Nate, this does not make full preterists Thomas. I have not “seen” Jesus the same way Thomas “saw” Jesus. I have not stuck my hand in his side. As an Arminian I had not “seen” – but believed = not Thomas. As a Reformed Full Preterist I have not “seen” – but believed = not Thomas. Your problem is your mystification of the word “seen” in the case of Thomas. Once again, you and TD have decided that you may make words mean whatever you would like. If you can make the scripture in Thomas mean whatever you want (not physically see) then what did it mean when the scripture says “every eye shall see him”. There are 2 types of “seeing” going on here Nate. You can’t just make it mean what you want. Jesus in Thomas’ case meant physically (touch etc). No Full Preterist has physically seen (touched) him. Maybe you and TD need to “repent” of making words mean whatever you want them to mean!
Date: 01 Dec 2006
Thanks for the post, but it is not accurate. I have not suggested that generation means “race” — rather, that it should be understood as well in terms of its #1 definition according to Strong’s, which is birth, nativity, fathered, etc… ideas of generation and regeneration… not simply the sixth offering in Strong’s, which is simply “the whole multitude of men living at the same time.”
Also, the word Eido “to perceive” is used in John 20:29 for “they”, which is distinguished from Horao “to see” which is used for Thomas.
Also, I have not founded any view. These topics have been discussed for a long time on many boards, most notably planet preterist years ago: When Our House is Torn Down:
“Some Preterists, dare I say hyper-Preterists, so over-emphasize the historical completion of eschatological events that they fail to acknowledge individual and recapitulatory eschatology (a concept that I will explain herein). These Preterists deny Idealism and, with it, the power of Preterism. What these Preterists say, in effect, is that on every possible level, sin, death and the law are done away. What I hope to show plainly is that the same concepts that applied in the dissolution of the law apply uniquely toward individuals today. “
Also, John Noe seems to have embraced his own similar hybrid:
“John Noé’s first presentation titled “Why Study Eschatology” was an interesting subject. John gave us several reasons, but his main point was that we should study eschatology because our position will change. John informed us of his shift in viewpoint from a full preterist view to what he termed “preterist plus” or “preterist idealism”. Kevin Cox
Also, Tim Martin seems to have embraced his own hybrid:
“People have presented idealism as one of three options in viewing the book of Revelation (the other two are futurism and preterism, each of which have their own subcategories). What I am coming to believe is that idealism and preterism are not necessarily opposed to one another. In other words you can hold to both at the same time. I would go even further. With preterism in view, idealism is enhanced since the actual historical context and events illuminate the pattern of God’s actions and covenant relationship with man. ” Here ; note Davo saying “Yes Tim I couldn’t agree more”)
C. Marvin Pate, a progressive dispensationalist, seems to have embrace a hybrid combining preterism, idealism, and futurism when dealing with the Apocalypse. (A Progressive Dispensational View of Revelation,” in Four Views on the Book of Revelation (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998, 145-46.)
Steve Gregg, partial pret author of Revelation: Four Views says “the most common tendency is to mix the spiritual approach with the preterist and then either call their view preterism, leave their view unlabeled, or give it an original name.”
Ken Gentry wrote “Rushdoony was an idealist. Of course, idealism can operate at the same time as preterism, if handled properly. After all, we believe that the historical statements of Scripture also establish paradigms for God’s acts among men. “
Another Reformed guy, webmaster of “The Reformed Oasis” claims this view, and suggests that Augustine is the first Idealist, and he is certainly is a preterist. There are the Quakers, who mixed preterism and idealism in the 17th Century.
Obviously, the appeal is extremely wide, and the tendency to mix preterism and idealism stretches way back. So, perhaps you are just uninformed, or not wanting to see how profound is the convergence here — finding agreement in Christ, recognizing the spiritual as the substance. I’m truly sorry that your full preterist sensibilities feel wounded, but there is a great deal of profitable, charitable discussion going on among Bereans who have not planted a flag they cannot pluck up.
Charitable, positive discussion on these ideas are also going on at New Jerusalem Community. Charitable, positive discussion on these ideas are also going on at Bible Typology Study. Charitable, positive discussion on these ideas are also going on at OnlyTheWordofGod. And charitable, positive discussion is going on at www.Paltalk.com
It would be great if you would participate in the study.
p.s. Clearly, the website has an green light policy for any writings which display a hybrid of preterism and idealism, and various new archives are been built at this time. Please send submissions to todd @ preteristarchive.com
Date: 01 Dec 2006
Todd say what you will, but is calling us all “doubting Thomas” really any better? But there is no way you are being unbiased about it, right? Todd you have been doing everything you can to put up people who have left the full pret view. Funny, still none have come to the conclusion you have. Where is the link to the Partials who became full? How come there is not one of those? If you are in the “modern” category somewhere, then maybe you should call it “Modern” Pret Idealism. After all it IS the most “modern” view of them all. You willing to put it to the test with Don Preston? Lemme know, I will arrange it. What was it you said about him again, (smile) something about blowing his view out of the water or something of that nature. I don’t want to drag you guys down like a “doubting Thomas”. Maybe you should start your own study? All two of you can’t be wrong. You act like you are not putting us down, just because you don’t say it to our face.
No you just post it on your site with no discussion. We are all doubters now because you say so. All 2 of you. Or better yet, maybe you should show up and tell us about how Christians are still in transition, and tongues have not ceased, and Pastors and Prophets are still valid. Can you admit the error of connecting full prets with “doubting Thomas” and the word “see” or is that too hard to admit for you? Or maybe this is another one of your spiritual fulfillments?
Here is mine…
3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Date: 01 Dec 2006
Indeed, I am now building an archive of testimonies from former full prets — and there are a lot of former full prets. (testimonies of former futurists is in the critical archive) You may not realize how many, not being touched deeply enough by full preterism, and yet not finding a viable alternative within the context of fulfilled eschatology, have despaired and left the faith altogether. It is my hope that the Idealist hybrid will show all those who left full preterism not that they were wrong to do so, but that there is a biblical direction that is consistent and which is able to address the spiritual hunger within which full preterism cannot satisfy.. one that sees Christ speaking beyond the first century with His Word to reach deep within our hearts to minister spiritual truths through the fulfillment of eschatology in Him, not history (2 Cor 5:17 paraphrased, If any be in Christ, they are a new creation, old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new – new heavens and earth language in its substance prior to ad70. cf. Rev. 21:3-4)
The fact that people can still grow and change as they mature, even if it is not within our preferred doctrinal system, is a blessing — and does not necessarily mean that they assume that everyone else must share their conclusions… I don’t think that… and it is certainly not a case of me secretly relishing spite within my heart against another with whom I don’t happen to agree. However, I do feel liberty to share my heart with others, and will continue to do so, regardless of the whether the reaction is one of joy or anger. If any share my convictions — and from above and below it looks like there might be plenty — that is a blessing… just as when anyone finds another with whom they can share their heart without fear of personal attack and reprisal.
Don and I will be sharing a platform in March, and I am very much looking forward to it. More than just having a chance to share and compare our doctrines publicly, I have always enjoyed Don’s friendship, and look forward to having the chance to share our hearts privately. I don’t know about “blowing his view out of the water,” but that is the Spirit’s call anyway — and if the Spirit of Everlasting Truth testifies through those at the conference, then I’m sure both of our views will be shown to be inferior. “Winning” or proving another person wrong is not my goal at all. I am sure Don and I both just want Truth to prevail, without anger, malice, or any other uncharitable fruit of the flesh being manifested.
Also, I am indeed currently categorizing Preterist-Idealism under the classification of “Modern Preterism,” but am distinguishing it from “Full Preterism,” each view within which only represents one segment of the Modern Preterist views being investigated. In the coming months, all of these various full pret hybrids, including “Reformed,” “Apostolic,” or the “Universalist Full Preterism” which is so widely represented today, will be categorized separately underneath the “Modern Preterism” classification.
love you bro, feel free to give me a call if you have anything else you’d like to say to me, I think you have my number. your friend in Christ, todd
Date: 02 Dec 2006
TD writes: “Obviously, the appeal is extremely wide, and the tendency to mix preterism and idealism stretches way back. So, perhaps you are just uninformed, or not wanting to see how profound is the convergence here” TD there is a big difference between those that take that view. and yours. You still put the resurrection of the dead (Rev 20) in the past (the 2nd coming) in some respect. You know as well as I do that that is why the “modern” label is put on full prets by yourself. So my question is, have any of these men done that? For instance your Augustine reference. If not, your view belongs in the “modern” section. “Modern Pret Idealism” but it gets worse. You have hi-jacked the terms Idealist and Preterist. By definition they can not co-exist like that. That would be a contradiction in terms.
Date: 02 Dec 2006
you are not alone
Date: 02 Dec 2006
According to Webster’s Unabridged Universal Dictionary, a Preterist is “a theologian who believes that the prophecies of the Apocalypse have already been fulfilled” According to Wikipedea, Idealism in Christian eschatology is an interpretation of the Book of Revelation that sees all of the imagery of the book as non-literal symbols which are perpetually and cyclically fulfilled in a spiritual sense during the conflict between the Kingdom of God and the forces of Satan throughout the time from the first advent to the Second Coming of Christ. These two views are in total contradiction. Which apparently the “pret-idealist” doesn’t mind, since he allows his view to contradict scripture time after time.
Date: 02 Dec 2006
According to the concept being suggested — of which the term “pret idealism” just provides a handy label — all prophecy regarding natural Israel (“Preterist Israel”) has been completed in history; and also that everything regarding the Israel of God (“Idealist Israel”) was in its complete fullness even before the kosmos was created.. so absolutely still within the framework of Webster’s definition.
Anyway, the definition does not make specific reference to “AD70” as full preterists do. In fact, I’d bet that the origin of that definition contemplates the 19th century form of preterism which saw the conversion of Rome as the latter “bookend” to the fulfillment of the prophecies. After all, Farrar, who is cited as the source for that definition, considered himself a preterist, yet was no full Preterist. gbu, todd
Date: 02 Dec 2006
I am a Preterist in the strictest sense of the word. The apocalyptic occurrences that were signified in AD 70 are applicable “from the foundation of the world.” The truths behind these events cannot be dated, because they were already in existence “in Christ.”
John 1: In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, the Word was God, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” The importance of putting Christ’s nature and existence into “the beginning” was not just to show us that Christ is God, because he is also the “Word” and “bread of life.” He did not BECOME these things in AD 30, He always WAS these things.
That same mindset is true of the…
All things exist in Christ. Christ is the fullness of the kingdom, the law and prophets. So unless someone here can show me a valid “beginning” to Christ other than how John explained it, then He, and His fullness (or fulfillments) always WAS.
So we are preterists, Mike, in the “fullest” sense of the word.
By your definition of the word, a preterist is not limited to an AD 70 past, but to the past in general. And if you are uncomfortable with me being a preterist, then that is fine. Call me an “eternalist.”
God Bless Nate
Date: 05 Dec 2006
You write that salvation (along with all other fulfillments in Christ) *always WAS*. I cannot see my way to remove salvation from history, as you have done. I am listening to you guys, but you have a long way to go to convince me that there is any Scriptural basis for ignoring redemptive history, which in my opinion is **the** story the Bible tells us, from Genesis to Revelation.
I am *so* onboard with your criticisms of how the preterist view has focused on external shows as if they were the substance, and ignored the spiritual realities: the real substance, and “the true.” I am *so* tracking with you guys on that! And I do understand the disallusionment that a shallow, fleshly view of fulfilled eschatology can create. I myself would never have stayed engaged with a study which didn’t move beyond a historical argument (so what?) to pierce my heart with greater truths.
But it was the cross which *performed* the mercy promised to the fathers. The cross was not just an outward manifestation of something that had already happened, or had always been. Christ stepped out of eternity, and *into* our time….into human history…TO SAVE US. He came to save us. We weren’t saved…until He saved us! (Quiet obviously, I do *not* subscribe to the “reformed” view of regeneration. ;))
What has washed away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Luke 1:68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, 69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; 70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham.
I continue to follow this discussion with great interest, and I haven’t, as has been suggested that some preterists have done, planted a flag which can’t be uprooted…I’ll never stop learning and growing. And I want to always submit to the authority of His Word. It is in that spirit which I share my thoughts with you here.
Date: 05 Dec 2006
God bless. And I appreciate the spirit in which you have always discussed things with me or others.
I have submitted to Todd another writing addressing this exact issue (The Nature of the Christ: The Dilemma of Chronology). I hope it helps explain my focus. I do not beg you to agree, just to see the thought behind the direction I have been taken.
I have it on my blog, but would rather not post the link because either on this site or others that might post it, gives it the best chance to be discussed.
[The last two comments have been reposted at The Nature of the Christ for further discussion. TD]
Date: 18 May 2007
I agree with Nate! Full Preterism is certainly a hoax and a sham. Since everything ‘historical’ was already IN CHRIST from eternity, then historical fulfillment must be only an external manifestation of the truth IN CHRIST.
Why is this so hard for us to believe? I feel we have the exact same salvation that has already existed. And F.P.’s need to realize that they’ve been deluded by Satan.
Friends, it is time to throw away these broken cisterns and get back to the Living Waters that shall refresh our souls.
I am at this time forced to combat what I feel to be a manifestation of Satanic energy. F.P.’s is a fleshly system that itches the ears of those without any hankering for Christ’s rule and reign.
Peace and Health,
Date: 18 May 2007
“According to Webster’s Unabridged Universal Dictionary, a Preterist is “a theologian who believes that the prophecies of the Apocalypse have already been fulfilled” According to Wikipedea, Idealism in Christian eschatology is an interpretation of the Book of Revelation that sees all of the imagery of the book as non-literal symbols which are perpetually and cyclically fulfilled in a spiritual sense during the conflict between the Kingdom of God and the forces of Satan throughout the time from the first advent to the Second Coming of Christ. These two views are in total contradiction. Which apparently the “pret-idealist” doesn’t mind, since he allows his view to contradict scripture time after time.”
The Truth is IN CHRIST. He is the only key that will unlock the Scriptures. As we are of His body, we have fellowship in the spiritual truth of The Word, which others cannot perceive. The anointing is from above, friends.
It is easy enough to prove that Satan could never have been destroyed in the middle of the world’s history. For in that case, salvation would have ended in the middle of the world’s history.
Peace and Health,