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Preterism Refutation (Part 2) - Partial Preterism



I. Where does the Bible teach that all prophecy was fulfilled by 70AD?
1. Luk 21:22 says that "these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled."
A. Does "all things which are written" mean every prophecy in the Bible?
i. If so, then does that mean that all of the prophecies of the first coming of Christ were fulfilled in 70AD (Isa 7:14; Isa 9:6; Isa 53; etc.)?
ii. Obviously not. Therefore "all things which are written" is a qualified "all things."
iii. The context of Luk 21:22 makes it obvious that the "all things which are written" are all of the prophecies of the judgment of God upon the nation of Israel (Luk 21:20-24).
a. This includes the prophecies of Moses (Deu 28:15-68 - esp vv. 49-50, 64-66).
b. This includes some of the prophecies of Daniel (Dan 9:27; Dan 12:7-13).
c. This also includes some of the prophecies of Jesus Christ (Mat 21:43-44; Mat 22:7; Mat 23:37-38).

2. Luk 21:32 says that "This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled."
A. Does "all be fulfilled" mean every prophecy in the Bible?
B. Text out of context is pretext.
C. Luk 21:32 is a parallel text with Mat 24:34 which says "This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled."
i. "These things" refer specifically to the destruction of the temple (Mat 24:1-2), of which the disciples asked "when shall these things be?" (Mat 24:3).
ii. Therefore, Jesus was teaching that the generation living at the time He was speaking would not pass away before the temple was destroyed.
iii. Jesus' prophecy concerning the destruction of Jerusalem had a time limit associated with it (before that generation passed away), and the timing of it could be known by signs (Mat 24:32-33).
D. The disciples also asked another question at the same time: "what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (Mat 24:3).
i. Jesus' coming and the end of the world are not included in the "these things" that would be fulfilled before the passing away of that generation.
ii. Whereas the destruction of the temple would be preceded by signs whereby the disciples could know that it was imminent, the timing of the second coming cannot be known (Mat 24:36-39) and there will be no sign except for the sign of Jesus Christ Himself coming in the clouds of heaven which will be seen by everyone on earth (Mat 24:30).
iii. Therefore, Luk 21:32 is not referring to prophecy of the second coming of Christ and of the end of the world being fulfilled by 70AD.
iv. More on this in the Olivet Discourse section.

3. In Luk 24:44, Jesus said "These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me."
A. "All things" that were fulfilled were all things concerning Christ's death (Joh 19:28; Act 3:18; Act 13:29).
B. Jesus identified the "all things" written about Him that were fulfilled as being all things concerning His sufferings, death, and resurrection (Luk 24:45-46).
4. There is no place in the scriptures which says that all prophecy would be fulfilled by 70AD.

II. Much of the teaching of what has been called "Partial Preterism" is true.
1. Much of the Olivet Discourse (Mat 24) was fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in 66-70AD.
A. Two false interpretations of the Olivet Discourse
i. Because of the prevalence of dispensationalism many Christians today interpret Jesus' Olivet Discourse prophecy as applying to a future period of tribulation in Israel just prior to the coming of Christ.
ii. Full Preterism interprets the entire Olivet Discourse as being fulfilled by 70AD.
iii. Both of these systems of interpretation are false.
iv. The truth is that Jesus was prophesying of two different events when He answered the disciples' questions of when would the temple be destroyed and what would be the sign of His second coming and the end of the world (Mat 24:3).
B. The Olivet Discourse will be covered later in this outline.

2. Jesus did return in judgment when He as God destroyed Jerusalem at the hands of the Roman army.
A. This is what Jesus spoke of in Mat 10:23.
i. By process of elimination, it must be concluded that Jesus was speaking of His coming in judgment on the nation of Israel in 70AD when He said that the apostles would not have gone over the cities of Israel until the Son of man be come.
a. These words were spoken to His apostles (Mat 10:5).
b. Jesus could not have been referring to His second coming because He did not come physically, bodily, and visibly in 70AD like He will at the second coming (see Section III).

c. Jesus could not have been referring to Pentecost as some commentators suggest.
(i) Pentecost happened about 50 days after the crucifixion of Christ.
1. Pentecost - 1. A name of Hellenistic origin for the Jewish harvest festival (called in the Old Testament the Feast of Weeks) observed on the fiftieth day of the omer (q.v.), i.e. at the conclusion of seven weeks from the offering of the wave-sheaf, on the second day of the Passover.
2. Pentecost was 50 days after the Passover.
3. Christ was crucified at the time of the Passover (Luk 22:13-15).
4. Christ was buried in the grave for three days (1Co 15:4).
5. After that He appeared to His disciples for 40 days before ascending to heaven (Act 1:3).
6. This means that it was about seven days from the ascension of Christ until Pentecost (50-40-3=7).
(ii) Their is no record in the gospels of the events of Mat 10:17-22 happening to the apostles between the time of Jesus' earthly ministry and Pentecost.

d. Jesus taught by way of parables that God would come (Mat 21:40) through Christ and miserably destroy the wicked Jews and burn up their city who slew His Son (Mat 21:33-44) and rejected Him (Mat 22:1-7).
(i) The Bible elsewhere refers to God's judgment of a nation as Him coming into it.
(ii) The Lord threatened to "come" and consume Israel when they wandered in the wilderness (Exo 33:5).
(iii) The Lord came into Egypt and destroyed it (Isa 19:1-4).
(iv) The Lord sent Nebuchadnezzar into Egypt to destroy it (Jer 43:10-11).
e. Therefore, it's reasonable to conclude that Mat 10:23 is referring to Christ coming to judge the nation of Israel in 70AD.

B. There are several events in the Bible that are referred to as comings of Christ.
i. The beginning of Jesus' public ministry (Act 13:24 c/w Joh 1:27-30 c/w 1Jo 5:6).
ii. The giving of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost (Joh 14:16-18).

iii. The judgment of His churches.
a. Jesus said that He would come in judgment on His churches if they didn't repent (Rev 2:5; Rev 2:16; Rev 3:3).
b. This was not referring to 70AD because, 1) it was conditional, 2) it would happen at an unknown time (Rev 3:3), and 3) it would happen at different times to different churches based on their repentance or lack thereof.

iv. The judgment of the nation of Israel in 70AD (Mat 10:23).

v. The second coming at the end of time (1Th 4:16-17 c/w Joh 6:39).
a. The "second coming" is entirely distinct from the other "comings" of Christ.
b. The first coming of Christ was very different from any previous coming of God in judgment.
c. At the first coming of Christ, God was manifested in human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ (Joh 1:1, 14; 1Ti 3:16).
d. God "appeared" physically in the flesh in Jesus Christ to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself (Heb 9:26).
e. Jesus Christ will "appear THE SECOND TIME" in the same way that He appeared the first time He came to this earth (Heb 9:28 c/w Act 1:11).

vi. These comings of Christ all happened (or will happen) at different times and in different ways.
vii. Things that are different are not the same.
viii. Just because Mat 10:23 refers to Jesus coming to judge the nation of Israel in 70AD doesn't mean that every place in the Bible that refers to Jesus' return is referring to 70AD.
ix. "But all of these comings, whether visible or invisible, providential or miraculous, are in a sense only preliminary to and preparatory for that great final and climactic coming which will be followed by the judgment of all mankind." (Oswald T. Allis, Prophecy and the Church, p. 180)
3. Just because parts of Partial Preterism are true doesn't mean that Full Preterism is true.