I have some major concerns with both full Preterism (all events from Revelation 4 - 22 have been fulfilled) and inconsistent/partial Preterism (most events up to Revelation 20 have been fulfilled).

I believe people should be careful to not easily abandon a future interpretation and rush into a past fulfillment. Here are my concerns with Preterism:

 

  1. Preterism takes global events and twists them to fit into localised events. The book of Revelation from chapter four onwards describes events on a global and supernatural magnitude that this world has never seen before. Preterism, which claims that all or most of the events of Revelation four onwards were fulfilled in 70 AD at the destruction of Jerusalem in my view is not plausible since it has to limit these global events to a single location in Israel and reduce their magnitude in order to relate them to lesser events. Yes the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD did happen and there are many similarities that can be drawn between this time and the events of the book of Revelation. However when you read the actual details of the events of Revelation you clearly see that they undeniably affect the whole planet on a global and catastrophic scale and in no convincing way can be reduced to fit the events in Jerusalem around 70 AD. When you listen to or read preterism it sounds compelling because key details are left out and the similarities are emphasised. However when you read all the details the picture becomes undeniable that Revelation speaks about a time in the future at the final closing of the age that has yet to happen where God pours out judgement upon the beast, the followers of the beast and upon the world system of the beast.

 

  1. Preterism gets rid of all future judgment. At the Cross Christ got rid of all judgement and wrath for those who are justified by faith in Christ. Those who fail to receive Christ are still under the wrath and judgment of God according to many New Testament scriptures and will ultimately be held to account on Judgment Day. There are however people who wrongly believe that all mankind has been freed from the wrath of God because of the Cross, not just those in Christ. Because of this false unbiblical belief they simply cannot have a future where God judges and pours out wrath on people and will embrace any interpretation that suggests there is no future judgement. One will leap at anything that supports “no more wrath” and in fact has to embrace it if their foundational belief is that God cannot pour out wrath on anyone since He poured it all out on Christ. However they still have one huge problem and that is explaining how God poured out wrath on Israel in 70 AD - 40 years after the Cross (since they view the destruction of the temple and killing of 1.1 million Jews is the fulfilment of the seal, trumpet and bowl judgements of God.)

 

  1. Preterism extends the Old Covenant period beyond the Cross in order to support the claim that Jesus judged Jerusalem and the Jews. Preterism has no choice but to say that Christ judged and destroyed Jerusalem and killed 1.1 million Jews at the hands of the Romans. It claims all the descriptions of judgement in the book of Revelation are fulfilled in this. This just does not sit comfortably with me nor square with Scripture. I believe that since the Cross God is extending His grace and patience toward all mankind where He is allowing people time to repent and turn to Jesus as His Gospel goes out. His patience will ultimately come to an end in the Day of Judgement where His justice and judgement will finally come.This being the short period at the closing of the age just before Christ returns as the book of Revelation reveals. In this period Christ is rightly bringing judgement to the beast, the antichrist systems of the world and to the ungodly who reject Christ and persecute Christians as well as to satan. From the Cross until that final Day begins God is extending grace and patience to mankind. He is not pouring out judgement on this planet but patience and grace. If preterism holds that God won’t judge any of mankind in the future since he judged Christ then how does it explain God judging Israel after the Cross? Preterism conveniently holds the view that the Old Covenant only came to a final end at the destruction of the Temple in AD 70, and that this somehow justifies God being able to judge Israel since they were still under the Old Covenant. How can anyone who honours the Bible say that the Old Covenant only ended in 70 AD and not when Christ said, “It is finished” on the Cross? As Christ uttered those words the curtain in the temple split from top to bottom. This is when God left the temple. This is when the temple sacrificial system officially came to an end in God’s eyes since Christ the once for all sacrifice had just been offered. Those sacrifices were not diminishing in the eyes of God up until AD 70. They instantly and completely ceased at the Cross and that’s when the Old Covenant ended. It did not linger for another 40 years to conveniently give preterism the right for God to judge and slaughter Israel. Preterism that tries to remove future judgment after the Cross fails to adequately explain God’s severe judgments upon Israel 40 years after the Cross (if in fact He did do that as they suppose - which He didn’t! Christ did not return in 70 AD nor did He judge and kill 1.1 million Jews).

 

  1. Preterism places God’s judgments upon His people Israel rather than on the beast, his followers and his ungodly world system of religion, politics and economics. Preterism claims that Christ returned to judge His people Israel and slaughter 1.1 million Jews and used the Romans to accomplish this. Many preterists claim Emperor Nero was the beast/antichrist and Rome was the Babylonian world system. This view is backwards as it has God using the beast and Babylon to judge and kill His own people when in actual fact Revelation reveals God protecting and sealing His own people while pouring out wrath upon the beast, his followers and his Babylonian world system. Futurism rightly places God’s judgements on the beast not on His people Israel or believers. The Great Tribulation involves two things. Firstly it’s where the beast is persecuting and murdering believers and secondly it’s where God responds by pouring out wrath upon the beast, his followers and his world system while protecting His people. Preterism strangely has God pouring out His wrath on His own people by using the beast and Babylon to do this. If you study Revelation properly you’ll see it doesn’t reveal God using the beast and Babylon to do this it reveals God judging the beast and Babylon.

 

  1. Preterism is portrayed as the only option for a victorious and optimistic eschatology. Somehow futuristism is viewed as a pessimistic fear-based interpretation because it shows times getting very dark and then God judging mankind. I believe though that the futuristic view is the only victorious eschatology. The futuristic view is very much similar to when Israel was liberated from satanic Egyptian bondage by the power and judgements of God in the time of Moses. God judged the wicked leader, his wicked system and the wicked people of that nation while protecting Israel and finally leading them out in victory and prosperity. Thank God that there is a future judgment where He will judge the beast, the wicked babylonian system of man that seeks to replace Christ in religion, economics and politics and will also judge all the wicked who reject the truth to embrace deception and an antichrist/babylonian system. God will protect his people while bringing judgment upon these ungodly systems and people who persecute believers. There will be an ultimate triumphant victory at the final climactic closing of the ages that sees the beast, the Babylonian world system, satan and all the wicked judged with wrath but the saints of God gathered to Christ to rule with him forever. That is very victorious! Preterism fails to show this decisive victory. It has the Temple and Jerusalem being destroyed, Jews being killed and Rome as triumphant. Revelation and many other Scriptures however has the beast, Babylon, the ungodly and Satan all being judged and destroyed, not being triumphant! Preterism is not triumphant eschatology as it removes God’s judgments and leaves believers to just endure. Preterism hides its head in the sand and pretends everything is going to be positive in the name of wanting to be optimistic. Futurism is the ultimate triumphant eschatology as it shows that no matter how dark the times get, God is with His people and He will judge and bring down all the ungodly antichrist systems of this world that persecute His people and defy and resist Him. He will bring everything to a final conclusion and under His rule when He returns for His Church and to judge the nations and usher in His eternal Kingdom. 2 Thessalonians 2, Revelation 13 and Revelation 19 all show that it is only upon Christ’s return that the beast is ultimately conquered and cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the same beast involved in all the events of the book of Revelation. If this beast is only destroyed upon Christ’s return then it proves beyond a doubt that we have yet to see this beast immerge. This could not have been fulfilled in 70 AD since Christ did not return and the beast nor Babylon were destroyed.

 

 

I believe a lot of people are buying into Preterism because they are listening to preterists rather than studying the Word of God for themselves. When you listen to preterists they sound very convincing because they seem to relate all the events of Matthew 24, Luke 21, Daniel, Joel, Ezekiel and Revelation to the events surrounding Jerusalem in 70 AD. However when you read the details properly and study the Word for yourself thoroughly you’ll see that the preteristic numbers do not add up. My views on Revelation don’t come from studying futurists or preterists they come from study the Bible for myself. In fact there are a number of things that futurists say and tones they use that I don’t agree with like for example the need for a rebuilt 3rd temple or a pre-tribulation rapture or fear mongering over the beast and his world system.


The reason however for me writing this article is because I have some major concerns with Preterism and I’m hoping that people will rethink why they are buying into it. I hope to challenge your preteristic interpretation of Revelation and persuade you back to a futuristic interpretation. I want you to ask yourself if you honestly feel comfortable to change and reduce global events down to local events; to remove future judgment; to extend the Old Covenant period for an extra 37 years; to say that it was Jesus who slaughtered 1.1 million Jews 37 years after the Cross and to have an eschatology that doesn’t have God dealing a final and consummate victory over the forces of evil?

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