You are hereBrief Summary of Accomplished Salvation

Brief Summary of Accomplished Salvation

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By John - Posted on 28 April 2004

Since this introduction is intended to be brief, let me come out and clearly state: it is my firm conviction that the events that were yet future when the New Testament was written – Coming of Christ, Resurrection, Judgment, and Kingdom (2 Tim 4:1) were all fulfilled at the time of the full end of the Old Covenant system in 66-70 AD (Luke 21:22). This view has been called Full Preterism or Transmillennialism™. I like to refer to it as believing in fulfilled Scripture or Accomplished Salvation, but as most people tend to label things, there you have the previous. If I were to be labeled, I’d prefer the Accomplished Salvation view. The Transmillennial View™ and the Full Preterist view are basically the same theologically, but the Transmillennial View™ attempts to answer the question, “What now after all has been fulfilled?” while the Full Preterist view tends to deal with showing that all Scripture has been fulfilled. My understanding does not “fit” into either view exactly but I want to attempt to answer the “What now?” questions more than just show that all Scripture has been fulfilled.
The sticking point to those who view the four events or three events (some view the Kingdom as present today but the other three events as yet future) as yet future today is that they could not have happened in the past because at the Coming of Christ, the physical universe will be destroyed or recreated. Clearly that has not happened yet. In the event that the reader wants a concise summary, let me briefly attempt to explain the when and how all Scripture have been fulfilled and its significance for today.

When Occurred
Jesus said that He was going away and that He would come back. This coming back is generally referred to as the Second Coming of Christ although that phrase is not found anywhere in Scripture. So the question here is, does Scripture tell us when Jesus was coming back? Yes, but not the exact “day and hour.” Christ said His Coming was going to be in His generation and would occur before some of those alive during His personal ministry had physically died. He said that it would be concurrent at the full end of the old covenant world and the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. There are numerous verses that speak to this. Matthew 16:27-28, Matthew 24:34, Luke 21:32, and Mark 13:30 are a few. Jesus’ Coming was and did occur at the full end of Old Covenant Israel (Daniel 12:7 and Luke 21:22). Scripture equates all the four events: Coming, Judgment, Resurrection, and Kingdom as occurring at the same time (2 Tim 4:1). The NT only mentions one Coming of Christ as yet future when it was written.

How
The Coming
Jesus’ Coming was multifaceted in its meaning. It was a coming in judgment and wrath and for reward and victory. He was Coming in judgment to Old Covenant Israel for rejecting Him as Christ (Matthew 24; Luke 17, 21; Mark 13; Revelation). Christ Coming in judgment against OC Israel was just the same as He had done throughout the Old Testament, by using both angels and a physical human army (Isaiah 37:36). God again employed both angels and a human army during the Jewish war with Rome in the first century. God used the Roman army to judge Old Covenant Israel. Also Jews were persecuted and killed all throughout the Roman Empire, not just in Palestine.

Now the Bible says Jesus was to come with angels (Matthew 24:31) so where were the angels? Angels were not always visible in the physical realm. They were only physically visible when God wanted them to be and to whom He wished to reveal them.

Was Jesus physically visible or seen during this coming and judgment upon Old Covenant Israel? Yes and no. He was visible in the coming on clouds just as God did in Old Testament time. Josephus records that there were indeed physically visible spiritual world happenings during the Jewish war. So, in that manner, Christ was physically visible through the angelic host. He was not visible in the physical realm in His human form in the physical clouds.

So what am I saying here? (1) Jesus was “visible” through the instrument of the Roman army just as God was “visible” when He used armies to destroy a nation in the Old Testament. (2) Jesus was “visible” when there were glimpses of the spiritual realm shown in the physical realm just as there were glimpses shown as recorded in the Old Testament.

The Rapture and Resurrection
As I stated earlier, the “caught up” or rapture and the Resurrection of the Dead were concurrent events at the time of the Coming of Christ. 1 Thessalonians 4-5 and 1 Corinthians 15 tell us that the physically alive saints were to meet Christ at the same time in the clouds in the air along with the resurrection of physically dead saints. How did this happen?

The Rapture and the Resurrection occurred in the unseen spiritual realm, not the physical realm. The saints met Christ in the air – which is the unseen spiritual realm or dimension that at times God allowed those in the physical realm to see. Recall that Satan was the prince of the air – the unseen spiritual realm intersecting with the physical realm or Earth. The dead – physically dead in Hades or Paradise were resurrected out of that waiting place first to meet Christ. Immediately following, those physically alive NT saints, were translated, just as Enoch and Elijah were to the spiritual realm to meet both the resurrected dead and Christ and angels. Then they proceeded to Heaven itself to receive all the promises and blessing that they were expecting and spoken of in the NT.

Was this observed in the physical realm? This was not seen in the physical realm. There was no resurrection of physically dead bodies to meet a biological Christ in the physical realm clouds. Those physically alive believers were translated “in the twinkling of an eye” or instantaneously to the spiritual realm. What happened to their physical bodies? I would say either they disappeared or appeared as physically dead, the inner spirit or soul left the physical body. Why then was this phenomenon, people disappearing, not reported? First there was not that many Christians left after the tribulation period. Also, one needs to look at this from a first century time frame. Christians at that time were mainly the poor and slaves. The general population wouldn’t have really missed them. In addition there were no police to investigate such a lowly person’s disappearance. Also, there was war going on with people dying all over and being taken into captivity.

The Judgment
This is the white throne judgment (Rev 20). The resurrection happened in the unseen spiritual realm. The judgment happened in the unseen spiritual world and thus was not visible to those in the physical realm. Hades was cast into the Lake of Fire. Satan and his angels were cast into the Lake of Fire. Those in judgment were sent to Hell. Those found written in the Book of Life went to Heaven. The Bible says these events were to happen concurrent with the Coming of Christ.

The Kingdom
The Kingdom was taken away from old covenant physical Israel and given to new covenant spiritual Israel. The transformation was completed. This was accomplished at the Coming of Christ (Matthew 16:27-28).

What Means Since
So what’s the big deal? So what if Christ did return in the first century? What difference does it make in my life?

The main difference in believing that Christ kept His Word and did return exactly as He said He did is that all from Adam on now have salvation. If Christ has not returned, then all people are still dead in their sins and are separated from God. There is no entry into Heaven if Christ has not returned. Thus the difference is having salvation/redemption now or its still a promise in the future. Now, when the believer physically dies, they do not have to go to a waiting place. They receive all the blessings at physical death when they enter into Heaven and the full face-to-face presence of God.

A second difference it makes is that confidence in the Bible is put into its proper place. One can be assured and their faith increased that God did what He said He would do when He said He would. The timing of the four events is clear within the New Testament. If Jesus and the apostles were wrong or mistaken about the time of fulfillment, how could we trust them about anything else? The nature of the events, how they occurred, is what is the source of much confusion.

Third, since the restoration of all things in the first century, a new world or new heavens and land were created. A world was created that determines humanity’s stance before God, either alive in Christ or dead in one’s sins. This is a world without end (Eph 3:21). Now that the kingdom has fully come, there is to be no end to the increase in it (Daniel 7:14; Luke 1:33). Thus God doesn’t say anything about destroying this physical creation, the universe. If there is to be no end to the increase in His kingdom, then this physical universe must continue forever (Genesis 8:21-22). New people have to be created and born and then choose to become children of God in order for the kingdom to continue to increase. The world has become a better place since Christ came and the Word has gone out. Yes, there is and will always be evil in the world since humans were created with free will choice. Look at world history; the world is a better place to live for many more people than it was in the first century. Not only is the kingdom to have no end to its increase but peace is also to spread (Isaiah 9:7). Has this not happened since the first century?

A change in worldview would be in order. It’s a sad commentary on modern Christianity when many Christians have a negative, pessimistic, destructive, “get me out of here” worldview. Why do anything in this physical realm if it is to all be burned up? Star Trek’s vision and other humanistic visions for the future are positive for humanity instead of most modern Christendom. An accomplished salvation Christian worldview is extremely positive and joyful. Teaching the world accomplished salvation in Jesus Christ could and would change the world we all live in and make it a better place.

What purpose is there in Christianity today? While salvation has been accomplished, each individual still has to hear and accept the gift of God through Christ Jesus in order to be children or partakers in eternal life and the heavenly realm. Preaching the Word is necessary now and forever. There is power in preaching accomplished salvation in Christ. Maintaining one’s faith in God and helping and loving fellow believers remain necessary. Christianity today can be about the wholeness of individuals with eternal life in God and for the healing of the nations of the Earth. There remains the assurance of eternal wrath and Hell for unbelievers. Morals and right and wrong (i.e., do not murder, do not steal, homosexuality a sin, etc.) remain. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His nature with love and grace and justice and wrath remain.

The Bible is the story of redemption from a world of sin and death to a world of life and grace. Christ paid the price and freed us from sin at the Cross. As an example, Old Covenant Israel was freed at the Red Sea from Egyptian bondage. But it was not for another forty years, a generation, that they entered the promise land. So too God allowed one generation’s time to go by until Christ returned to gather together both those who had physically died and the awaiting first century saints to enter Heaven. Salvation has been accomplished. Therefore, we who follow, choose to accept the gift of God, and be His children are fellow partakers of the blessings and promises in this life and in the next.

leslie's picture

In your section on "The Rapture and Resurrection", why use the word Rapture? I believe that it should be "caught up"? Which does not mean to heaven, but to the presence of God spiritually. You stated that those that are physically alive were translated, just as Enoch and Elijah were to the spiritual realm. Why does any physically alive person have to physically have to die at this time. (around Sept.8,70 A.D.) Adam did not die (spiritual) until he ate of the fruit, he was spirital alive until that time. We now that are saved spiritually and are still physically alive unless we fall away before physical death. It brings up many questions of what would really happen to the WORD if :BANG: all of the "real" Christians are gone. All types of cultish gruops would arise in the name of this JESUS? And I do think that there were all types of classes of people that were Christians at that time, not just the poor and slaves. Just a few thoughts Leslie

Brother Les

valensname's picture

Leslie,

Thank you for your comments. I wrote this summary to give to my pre- and a- mil friends and tried to make it as short as possible (better chance they would make it through all of it). So naturally it doesn't get into too much detail. Its my understanding that the Greek word for "caught up" is basically the same as the Latin word that rapture comes from. The use of the word "Rapture" communicates more clearly to non-preterists than caught up.

I, for over ten years, have held to an accomplished salvation view. During much of that time I held to a Remained on Earth view for the physically alive saints at the parousia. Within the past year I have shifted to the Taken to Heaven view. I encourage you to read Ed Steven's book Expectations Demand a Rapture and review the comments on the articles on this website (search AD 70 Rapture) for more detailed look at the belief in the Taken to Heaven view.

I still have unanswered questions regarding that group at the time of the parousia and am continuing my study.

I believe God preserves the Word even if there were no "true Christians" around. There were all kinds of splinter groups both before the Parousia (Revelation, Jude) and shortly after.

I didn't mean to imply that during the later first century that Christians were made up of only the poor and slaves. My intent was to get the reader to not look at missing people from a 21st century perspective.

Again thanks for your comments.

Glenn

Virgil's picture

Glenn,
Maybe you would be interested in this.
http://www.nate4onenation.com/Rapture.htm

valensname's picture

Thanks Nate, I'll give it a read. As I said in a previous post, I am continuing my studies but currently hold to a non remained on Earth view for those physically alive saints at the time of the Parousia.

Glenn

valensname's picture

Nate,

Thank you for your link. I have read you’re “The Rapture Defined” and would like to make a few comments. First let me say, I have held to a fulfilled accomplished salvation view for over ten years. When I heard again (had read Russell and remembered he mentioned it but I didn’t agree at that time) about the teaching of a literal rapture at the Parousia, I did what I first did when presented with Covenant Eschatology, I laughed. It was not till a year later that I had begun studying the possibility of a literal rapture. I now hold that view, but am continuing my study in this area.

Here are a few comments on your article:

John 17:15 – the world (kosmos) is the Jewish world, not the planet Earth. Christ prayed that they not be taken out of that world. Yes, He didn’t because they had a job to do first. Later that world was destroyed and the “Evil one” was gone as well at the end of the age. So since that world ended there could have been a rapture for those faithful saints who were still physically alive at the Parousia. That world was gone. No world for them to remain in.

About being “one”
Christ said they be one, no us 2000 years later. Max King has written on this oneness. I believe the oneness is not for Christian unity but for Jew & Gentile oneness. They were separate under the old covenant. They became one under the new and it was consummated at the end of the age.

The Daniel 12:1 deliverance
I believe this more has to do with deliverance from sin, now possessing eternal life (not defining it here) than escaping the Roman army.

The days of Noah in Matthew 24
I don’t see this as a case for the faithful remaining on the Earth. It was the suddenness that overcame the unfaithful Jews. They thought they were safe, God’s people, but became trapped in their own city.

You appear to be saying the 1 Thessalonians 5 warnings to watch apply to fleeing in Mat 24 but this letter was written to the Thessalonians, those not living in Jerusalem. The Thessalonians didn’t need to flee the city. I see it more paralleling the parable of the foolish and wise virgins.

How does God dwell with man as He did in Eden? Do we walk with Him as Adam and Eve did in the Garden? If the rapture is only “God coming to dwell with man.” How is that now different than before the Parousia, especially for those first century saints?

Regarding 1 Thes 4:17.
You didn’t mention the “together” part of that verse. I’ve look up the “with them” phrase. It seems it can be translated either as him or them. The word together in the context I think gives greater weight to them. Either way I believe the verse indicates that both the physically dead and alive would be with the Lord in the same way. Does this just indicate a stance change? Both now possess eternal life – alive to God. But is that all that was to occur?

What was different for the physically alive saints after the Parousia if the remained on planet Earth? Yes they now possessed eternal life as now the physically dead believers did but wasn’t it to be more? The physically dead saints went to Heaven, but the physically alive had to wait till physical death?

What Has Changed My View
I forgot how much those first century end of all things saints had to go through. They went through much. They also had the miraculous indwelling of the Holy Spirit as an earnest of eternal life and I believe the assurance of dwelling in Heaven. For them to have gone through all they did to help bring about salvation for all humanity in the past and for all time in the future and then to be stripped of the earnest of the Spirit after the Parousia and remain on Earth to await physical death to Heaven along with the physically dead saints, just doesn’t make sense.

I believe they (dead in Hades and the physically alive) were together (at the same time) to meet the Lord in the air (spiritual realm – Satan prince of the air) and then be together (both dead and alive) in Heaven.

I am continuing to study. I’m going through the Bible and seeking to understand what the verses that speak post-parousia apply to us today.

Glenn

leslie's picture

Hello Glenn
I have read, than a lot of Jewish Christians fled to Pella and were there at the time of "The Judgement and The Resurrection." Every person in Pella I would think were not Christians and if all at once (poof) hundreds?? of people were gone... I would think that this event would documented in some way? Just a thought. Leslie

Brother Les

PreteristArchive's picture

Great article! The flight of the Christians to Pella IS the "poof," in my opinion. From the perspective of the anti-christians in Jerusalem, the church's wholesale removal would have been quite noticable. In fact, there was likely great rejoicing and celebration at having finally "beaten" the Christians out of the city. However, it is my understanding of the events of that day that only three days after the Christians fled the city it was surrounded again by Rome. So the redemption and rapture-removal of the Christians would have come true very literally in their safe removal from the scene of the desolation. That being revealed in the natural realm helps point to the spiritual significance of the event (cf. Passover). Thanks! Todd

your servant,

Todd Dennis - Curator, The Preterist Archive
http://www.preteristarchive.com

valensname's picture

Leslie,

The history of the flight to Pella is of course extra-biblical and the recording of it centuries removed from when it supposedly happened. Remember there is no documentation or much silence about the post-parousia time frame (70 to 100's AD) of Christian activities. Why were they not rejoicing and writing about the Parousia having already happened? Where is the documentation?

In the book, The Christ Has Come, Cook suggests that the Christians did not disappear but their spirit/soul left and their physical bodies stayed behind. Which is one explanation. These people just appeared dead.

Documentation is not a good argument either way. Where is all the documentation (extra-biblical) for all the miracles Jesus and the apostles did? We do believe they happened though. You would think raising someone from physical death would warrant something somewhere being written down non-biblically? There maybe some, but none that I've been aware of.

So from the documentation stand point or something involving the unseen spiritual world (supernatural or magical if you will) having happened and there is no record of it, I don't see it as an argument against the translation of physically alive saints and their children to Heaven at the Parousia.

Thanks for the comments Leslie.
Glenn

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