You are hereAdvanced Eschatology (Part 1)

Advanced Eschatology (Part 1)

  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/vaduva/planetpreterist.com/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/vaduva/planetpreterist.com/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 745.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/vaduva/planetpreterist.com/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/vaduva/planetpreterist.com/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/vaduva/planetpreterist.com/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 149.

By Virgil - Posted on 17 July 2008

Advanced Eschatology (Part 1)
“The harvest is the end of the age.” (Matt. 13: 39)

*************

This is the first in a series of articles dealing with Biblical eschatology. They are labeled ‘advanced,’ for it is my intention to pierce through and beyond the blundering limitations imposed by Full Preterism– that imperfect understanding of Scripture which masquerades as ‘exalted’ knowledge. Thus anything that soars above it must really be “advanced.” I will try to be as brief and to-the-point as possible. I’ve found it always takes longer to prove something that is false. Therefore, if I can keep these articles from becoming prolix, I’ll have done well. Big pat on the back for me!There is much talk nowadays concerning the “end of the age.” In His analogy of the wheat and the tares, Christ says “The harvest is the end of the age.” Of what age is he speaking? The Full Preterists will say that it is the Mosaic age, which ended in A.D. 70. Therefore, they conclude that the devil was cast into the lake of fire at the destruction of Jerusalem. Let us see if this is actually correct.

Does Christ give us any indication in His parabolic discourse of what “age” He is talking about? In Matt. 13, the word “aion” is used twice. The example Full Preterists use to bolster their theory is Matt. 13: 39: “The harvest is the end of the age.” Yet they are forcing a false context on Christ’s words. For Christ is not at all talking about the Mosaic age. He is speaking of the Adamic age. The indicator is the other example of the word “aion” which occurs in Matt. 13: 22: “He also that received seed among thorns, is he that heareth the word; and the care of this age, and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.” Note that the translators have correctly rendered “age” as “world.” For that is exactly what Christ meant.

If Christ were referring to the Mosaic age, wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume that the “cares of this age” ended in A.D. 70? But the varying effect of the Gospel on the hearts of men is the same now as it was prior to A.D. 70. Is the Word of God still received among thorns? Absolutely! Therefore, it is impossible that “this age” ended in A.D. 70. Christ is not speaking of the Mosaic age, but the Adamic age. Now, another part of the parable says: “When anyone heareth the word of the kingdom and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the wayside” (Matt. 13: 19). If the Word is still received among thorns, then it must be still received by the wayside. And so the manner of its “catching away” must be the same. Is the devil really in the lake of fire???

The devil functioned prior to the Mosaic age. Thus his supposed destruction in A.D. 70 has no theological significance. It is clearly out of context. Those who claim that death and hell were cast into the lake of fire in A.D. 70 are still trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. The events of A.D. 70 were strictly Mosaic in nature. Realities such as death, sin, hell, and devil are not in any way confined to the Mosaic age or the Jewish temple. They belong to the Adamic age. Sin entered the world through Adam, bringing death upon all men (Romans 5: 12). This sin came about through the temptation of the devil. Death reigned from Adam to Moses (Romans 5: 14). Thus, the realities of sin and salvation by Jesus Christ were not in the least affected by the dissolution of the Mosaic economy. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is exactly the same now as it was then.

Let me give you another example of our Lord’s use of the word “aion.” He says: “For the children of this age are in their generation wiser than the children of light” (Luke 16: 8). Now, if we make this refer strictly to the Mosaic age, what sense can we make out of Christ’s teachings? The context shows that He is speaking of the worldly-wise ones, who deal cleverly according to the flesh, as opposed to those who deal in honesty and truth. Is it safe to say that the “children of this age” are no longer present among us? Of course not. And yet such is the logical conclusion of claiming that “this age” ended in A.D. 70.

Yet another example of our Lord’s use of “aion” occurs in Luke 20: 34: “The children of this age marry and are given in marriage. But they which shall be accounted to obtain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage.” Unless we choose to distort the very meaning of language, we’ll easily perceive that Christ is not referring to the Mosaic age at all. He is referring to the Adamic age. The institution of marriage began in the Garden of Eden. Thus the translators rendered “age” as “world”– for marriage is applicable to “this world” alone, and not the “world to come,” or resurrection of the dead. This ought to be clear to everyone.

There are several other examples in Scripture in which the word “aion” is clearly intended to mean “world,” or ‘Adamic age.’ Here are just a few:

(Romans 12: 2) “And be not conformed to this age: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”

(Romans 16: 25) “According to the revelation of the mystery, which hath been kept secret since the age began.”

(1 Cor. 1: 20) “Where is the disputer of this age? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?“ [Note that ‘age’ and ‘world’ are used interchangeably].

(1 Cor. 2: 6-7) “Yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the princes of this age that come to nought. Howbeit we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden mystery which God ordained before the age unto our glory.”

(1 Cor. 3: 18-19) “If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this age, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” [Once again, note that ‘age’ and ‘world’ are used interchangeably!].

(Galatians 1: 4) “That gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of God and our Father.”

(1 Tim. 6: 17) “Charge them that are rich in this age, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches.“

(2 Tim. 1: 9) “Not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus, before the age began.”

It is fairly obvious– or should be– that the term “aion” often embraces the whole world system. The world is the field in which the Gospel is sown (Matt. 13: 38). To make “this age” refer to the Mosaic economy alone, is to rob Christ’s teachings of their relevance. Full Preterists need to understand the massive reductio ad absurdum in which their system really results. Certainly Christ says “The harvest is the end of the age,” but the context shows that He is speaking of the Adamic age. The Mosaic age must embrace those things that are applicable to it alone– such as the natural temple, the Mosaic ordinances, etc. All these things were dissolved in A.D. 70. But death, sin, the law, hell and the devil had their origin outside of the Mosaic economy. They belong to the Adamic economy. If these things functioned prior to the institutions of Moses, then their supposed destruction in A.D. 70 has no relevance.

I’ve called this a study in “advanced eschatology.” But really, these truths are not in any way abstruse or recondite. They are easy to comprehend, provided you have the proper state of heart to receive them. That state of heart involves dealing fairly with all the evidence, keeping words inside their proper context, and the willingness to amend one’s theories in light of reason and common sense. Of course full Preterists must realize that by pressing their doctrines they throw the church into an utter confusion regarding the tenets of Christian faith. I’ve already demonstrated this in previous articles. Now is a great time for us to identify our errors, embrace the truth, and move to a higher comprehension of the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Brian Simmons
Read article in context here.

judge's picture

Hi Brian :-) You wrote: "The Full Preterists will say that it is the Mosaic age"

Full preterists might or might not say this. The only thing full preterism says is that all "end times stuff" is over with.
After that preterists can (and do) argue amongst themselves or with others about the details.

judge's picture

Hi again, Just to make myself clear, I am full preterist and I dont think Jesus was talking about the Mosaic age.
Let's face it, full preterists come out, at times, with just as much nonsense as any other sect within the christian religion.

JL's picture

Brian,

Glad to have you aboard Brian. Tim Martin and I wrote a book demonstrating that the Adamic Age ended in AD 70.

JL Vaughn
Coauthor Beyond Creation Science

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

judge's picture

Interesting JL, ;-)
Dos the book look at all, at how near eastern mythology impacts the language of genesis (and the rest of the OT), and in turn the book of Revelation at all?
I'm kind of interested in this whole angle if it does or if you know of anything else that might.

All the best.

JL's picture

Judge,

Nothing on the first part. I believe I can demonstrate that Genesis 1 is older than ANE mythology and temple dedications and that the impact went the other direction.

As for impact of Genesis on Revelation, we have quite a bit.

Blessings.

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

Ransom's picture

Good questions! I talk about it a little bit here on these blog posts:

http://undeception.com/index.php/category/ane/

;)

A couple of those posts interact a bit with JL and Tim's book.

judge's picture

Thanks I couldn't open the link. But via google found this site http://undeception.wordpress.com/ however couldn't find the post if it is ion fact on that old site.

Ransom's picture

Try my link again. The one you googled is quite out-of-date.

judge's picture

Ok..I got in by putting a www at the front of the url. Dont know why but it then worked. Looks like some interesting stuff in what is a pretty large and complicated topic at times.

Anyway I am sure I will get a lot from going over the stuff there,,,thanks

davecollins's picture

Brian, Thanks for an interesting article. Your points regarding the "natural" mans difficulty in receiving God's Truth are very evident,even in this age.
I believe you would find a better track to run on if you would think " covenantally" and spiritual vs. natural. The realities of the New Covenant super cedes and grants victory, over the difficulties of sin and death, in the spiritual realm which is God's kingdom. The new covenant was firmly established at the parousia of the King in A.D. 70. The timing of the promises reveal the nature of the kingdom.
BTW, the church was in "utter confusion" before I discovered preterism..have you ever sat through a "traditional" Bible study on Revelation?
Obviously, the visible church has many thoughts and practices which do not line up with God's plan in purchasing and calling out the body of Christ. I would recommend Viola and Barna's book; Pagan Christianity? for samples of confusion, if you really want to know the truth about these things.

judge's picture

Hi again Brian, you wrote..."If Christ were referring to the Mosaic age, wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume that the “cares of this age” ended in A.D. 70? But the varying effect of the Gospel on the hearts of men is the same now as it was prior to A.D. 70. Is the Word of God still received among thorns? Absolutely! Therefore, it is impossible that “this age” ended in A.D. 70."

I say..Why on earth is it reasonable to assume the cares of this age ended in 70 AD?

There is just no reason to assume that mortal men, born as tiny babies, growing up needy and dependent,by necessity, wont be prone to the same cares that have presented themselves to mankind since Adam was a boy.

Kent's picture

I guess, we now have another name to add to a long list of Full Preterism names or doctrine.

Richard

Richard K. McPherson

mazuur's picture

The answer is it is both.

Eph 3:5
"which in other ages (plural) was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets"

Col 1:26
"the mystery which has been hidden from ages (plural) and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints"

Heb 9:26
"He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages (plural), He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself."

There were other past ages, but they had already pasted. The age to which Paul was living in was the (Mosaic age) and it was coming to an end. This is the age addressed throughout the NT as ending, which did finally come to a close in AD70.

So, while God surely finished His plan of redemption which started in Genesis, the final age that ended when he completed this plan was the OC age. That is why it is presented as ending.

Conclusion: the age referred to in the NT is the Mosaic age. But God was bring to conclusion His plan of redemption which started in Genesis. The reason you try to push the "age" that Paul addressed to some "Adamic age" prior to Israel is because you fall to see the connection between Israel and the ending of her age and God's completing of His plan of redemption.

The prefect example, the death that God was dealing with was the death brought into the world by Adam correct.

Yet Paul connects the passing away of this death with the passing of the Law (Israel's Law, the Mosaic Law).

1 Cor 15:56
"The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law."

-Rich

-Rich

davo's picture

Exactly right Rich… it is not an either/or scenario, but "both" - the death reigned from Adam to Moses [thus they are linked]; Jesus, coming as the last Adam rectified what the first Adam had ruined, thus bringing restoration, that is, Israel's redemption wrought humanity's reconciliation. Again, the article bounces off a wrong premise as it was never an either/or situation, but both.

davo

mazuur's picture

Davo,

Yeah, there are so many things wrong with that article it is hard to find a place to start.

The funny thing is every passage he listed, which he tried to say was not in reference to the Mosaic age, were in fact references to the Mosaic age.

While I can't deal with all of them I will deal with the marriage passage as that is one that so many people completely misunderstand.

He stated, "Yet another example of our Lord’s use of “aion” occurs in Luke 20: 34: “The children of this age marry and are given in marriage. But they which shall be accounted to obtain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage.” Unless we choose to distort the very meaning of language, we’ll easily perceive that Christ is not referring to the Mosaic age at all. He is referring to the Adamic age. The institution of marriage began in the Garden of Eden. Thus the translators rendered “age” as “world”– for marriage is applicable to “this world” alone, and not the “world to come,” or resurrection of the dead. This ought to be clear to everyone."

Here is the whole passage

Lk 20:27-38
27 Then some of the Sadducees, who deny that there is a resurrection, came to Him and asked Him, 28 saying: “Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man’s brother dies, having a wife, and he dies without children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers. And the first took a wife, and died without children. 30 And the second took her as wife, and he died childless. 31 Then the third took her, and in like manner the seven also; and they left no children, and died. 32 Last of all the woman died also. 33 Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife does she become? For all seven had her as wife.”

34  Jesus answered and said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; 36 nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. 37 But even Moses showed in the burning bush passage that the dead are raised, when he called the Lord “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ 38 For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.”

The first thing that has to be understood is the context of the passage. It is in the context of Israel's. The Sadducees ask a question concerning what Moses instructed Israel.

It was Israel's practice for the brother to marry the wife of his brother if his brother died. Why is this? Israel was in covenant relationship with God. Thus, they were not to intermarry with Gentiles. This is how the nation of Israel (thus the Kingdom of God in the eyes of the Jews) was maintained and extended. Israel was maintained through the physically lineage of its offspring.

Jesus then comes and corrects their understanding of two things. The nature of the resurrection, and the nature of the Kingdom of God.

No longer is the Kingdom extended through natural descendants (physical offspring). In the resurrection, members of the Kingdom are not created by people being given in marriage and then producing offspring! That was the old order; Israel "according to the flesh". Jesus is dealing with Israel "according to the Spirit"; Israel post resurrection (post AD 70).

Of course Max King presents a very detailed analysis of this passage in his book "The Cross and the Parousia of Christ". If only all would read it.

This article states, "To make “this age” refer to the Mosaic economy alone, is to rob Christ’s teachings of their relevance. Full Preterists need to understand the massive reductio ad absurdum in which their system really results."

No, to put "this age" outside the Mosaic economy robs Christ (who is ISRAEL'S Messiah) of his entire contextual relevance. There is a reason why Jesus was "born of a women, born under the Law (Gal 4:4)"!

We Gentiles share in ISRAEL'S spiritual things.
Romans 15:27 "It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things...".

John 4:22 "salvation is of the Jews"! Preterism still needs to grasp the role of Israel, and God's plan of redemption.

I am amazing how "Preterist", who supposedly have come to understand the cultural and historical contexts of the Scriptures never interpret the Scriptures in their cultural and historical contexts.

-Rich

-Rich

davo's picture

mazuur: Preterism still needs to grasp the role of Israel, and God's plan of redemption.

You are dead right Rich… IMO dispensationalism in one important respect is spot-on with regards to giving attention to Israel's specialness in God's restorative purposes – unfortunately however, dispensationalism has misunderstood and thus misapplied the "nature" and "timing" of Israel's fullness i.e., her redemption; the very catalyst [at least as Pantelism views it] for the reconciliation of the world wherein Israel had been called to be God's light – that which was ultimately fulfilled through Christ [true Israel Isa 5:7; Jn 15:1] and the "this generation" first-fruit saints, the Israel of God – Christ's "Body".

As for the "marriage-resurrection" passage, I think a bit of a synthesis between both Max King and Tom Wright's positions on this works for me:

Lk 20:27-36 Then some of the Sadducees, who deny that there is a resurrection, came to Him and asked Him, saying: “Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man’s brother dies, having a wife, and he dies without children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. And the first took a wife, and died without children. And the second took her as wife, and he died childless. Then the third took her, and in like manner the seven also; and they left no children, and died. Last of all the woman died also. Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife does she become? For all seven had her as wife.” Jesus answered and said to them, “The sons of this age [Mosaic old covenant age] marry and are given in marriage. But those who are counted worthy to attain that age [of new covenant righteousness], and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.

The understanding of this passage becomes much clearer when viewed in its larger context: the soon coming new covenant age would not be like the old covenant nationalistic age where ethnic purity through the birth-marriage-birth cycle was the badge of covenant membership. Unlike the passing old order the coming new covenant age would no longer be established according to nationalistic identity, as per Israel only, but was to be truly inter-national through Gentile inclusion, and so no longer limited to or determined by natural or national progeny. Thus "neither marry nor are given in marriage" ceases to be an issue; but where all who were called "are equal to the angels and are sons of God" – showing that what was considered as the natural birth rite was no longer the qualifier for being the people of God.

davo

mazuur's picture

Davo,

Concerning the marriage passage, I think we both just stated the same thing. You just stated it a little bit better.

Anyway, I agree with your assessment concerning Dispensationalism. It wasn't that they were completely wrong, they just had a problem with time. Hence, the title King puts on the section dealing with Dispensationalism in his book.

-Rich

-Rich

Hawk's picture

Rich (Mazuur) is correct in that there were other ages which are now past (see the scriptures cited in his post). The "end of the age" is not the Mosaic age nor the Adamic age, but it refers to the end of the Old Covenant system (Hebrews 8:13).

In regards to "the harvest is the end of the age"...

Jesus points out in John 4:35 "Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest."

The field was ready for harvesting THEN. Only it needed more laborers for the gathering.

Matthew 9:37-38 "Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest."

This occurred in 70 AD with the end of the Old Covenant system.

- Hawk, a potential full preterist

davecollins's picture

Would that make you a predator preterist? Welcome to the flock, potentially....It is a tremendous blessing to recognize the validity of Christ's presence and promises on a daily basis.We are no longer watching and waiting,but basking and rejoicing.
Christ in you, the hope of glory.Dave

mazuur's picture

Hawk,

Another good point. Thanks for sharing.

I am a little confused though. You stated:

"The "end of the age" is not the Mosaic age nor the Adamic age, but it refers to the end of the Old Covenant system (Hebrews 8:13)."

Are not my references to the "Mosaic age" and your reference to the "Old Covenant system" one and the same thing?

-Rich

-Rich

Recent comments

Poll

Should we allow Anonymous users to comment on Planet Preterist articles?
Yes absolutely
23%
No only registered users should comment
77%
What are you talking about?
0%
Total votes: 43