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Transitioning a Church From Futurism To Preterism

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By EWMI - Posted on 13 February 2006

by Albert Persohn
When I became a Preterist I was faced with an
uncommon challenge. I was the pastor of a
futurist Charismatic church. A funny moment,
which I now see as a watershed, occurred in
2002. At the time we used an overhead
projector to display our songs. I was
concerned about some of the futurist songs we
were singing. So I told my wife that I wanted
to change some of the words. We occasionally
sang a song that begins with the words: “I
lift my hands to the Coming King”.When I became a Preterist I was faced with an
uncommon challenge. I was the pastor of a
futurist Charismatic church. A funny moment,
which I now see as a watershed, occurred in
2002. At the time we used an overhead
projector to display our songs. I was
concerned about some of the futurist songs we
were singing. So I told my wife that I wanted
to change some of the words. We occasionally
sang a song that begins with the words: “I
lift my hands to the Coming King”.I said to Annette that I want to keep the song but change the first line to: “I lift my hands to the Reining King”. That seemed simple enough to me. Annette would reprint the overhead with the changed words and that would be it.

Not So!

What was meant to be a subtle change turned into a revealing embarrassment. Not having an opportunity to print the words on a fresh overhead, the lovely Annette chose instead to use the overhead pen and strike out the word “coming” and replace it with “reining”. The change I requested was evident to all. (Not only that, I was “out of the closet”!) My attempt at subtle transition was railroaded. Those in the church who were already Preterists chuckled and those who were concerned about my shift probably choked.

Do We Share A Common Dilemma?

Has anyone else faced this dilemma? Some good change management skills may come in handy here. If I stood up and said: “The second coming occurred in AD70”, I would face a walk out. If I left the ministry and walked away from the pulpit nothing would be accomplished. If I did not say anything and suffered in silence I would be a hypocrite.

So What To Do?

Stay and bring change, first to our church, then to as many who want to hear it. Here are the steps for what they are worth:

Find and influence the legitimizers,

Teach eschatology review seminars on occasional Saturdays

Maintain the thrust of caring for people

Know your stuff and prepare to answer questions

Work hard to embrace rather than reject the good sensibilities of people

Get to new people quickly

Learn the art of diplomacy

Preach Christ and Him Crucified as often as possible

What Kind Of Questions Do Charismatics Ask?

q) How can the big name preachers all be wrong about this?

a) The answer that works best: All through recorded history God has never brought change from the top. It is always from the grass roots. That has not changed. Martin Luther and the reformers join Moses, the Prophets, Jesus and the Apostles in demonstrating that change or reformation comes from below. A new reformation is under way today.

q) Paul says that the Gifts of the Spirit were until the coming of the Lord. Do you still speak in tongues?

a) I speak in tongues every day. I believe manifestations like those mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12-14 are still with us. I do not believe they are gifts anymore. They belong to all who wish to walk in them. In the first century they had an eschatological component, which is gone. (nb. That is my position as of Feb 2006. I am still on a journey here.)

q) Are you trying to tell me that you know more than Billy Graham, Benny Hinn etc.
Comments: Now be really really careful with this. I mean it! From the list above, “Embrace rather than offend the good sensibilities of people”. Swallow some pride and keep a friend!

a) These well-known people are really not strong in the area of eschatology; they usually rehash the popular stuff just like I did for years. I am sure if they did their homework they would stop preaching the Rapture themselves.

q) Do you still believe in healing?

a) Of course. Are you a child of God? Did Jesus die for you? What father do you know that takes pleasure in the sickness of his children?
Comment: We have always prayed for the sick and regularly see the kind of healings that are hard to attribute to doctors, medicine or natural phenomenon. If fact I think we have seen more dramatic healings in the last few years than before. (Am I absolutely right on this? Remember, it’s a journey!)

q) Things are definitely changing in the world. Things are getting worse and worse. Isn’t that proof that prophecy is being fulfilled?

a) The events we are seeing in the world today are not a sign of the end of the world but rather a sign of the end of the dominance of Western Civilization. Civilizations have come and gone for thousands of years. Ours is nearing its end, but the world will go on.

There are many other types of questions, I am attempting to stress the need for a soft diplomatic answer.

Welcome to Theology Zoo, Please Don’t Feed The Partial Preterists

There is a certain elitism among so called Full Preterists towards Partial Preterists. This is non productive. Let’s face it, most Full or Consistent Preterists were, at one time, Partial Preterists. Even hard core Ultra-Dispensationalists have some elements of Preterism in their understanding. We have heard them teach that the promised “your house shall leave you desolate” and others were fulfilled in AD70.

Why is this critical?

It has proven to be effective to move as many people as possible in a congregation to a Partial Preterist position first. I am not implying or suggesting any deception at all. Build on the perception they have of what is already fulfilled. Establish them there. Reinforce in their minds the statements of Jesus that they know to be fulfilled. Then teach from there.

Corporate Inertia and the Attractiveness of Preterism

Preterism is so beautiful and pristine that the enquiring Godly heart cannot resist it. The dreary convoluted dishonesty of Dispensationalism is easily outshined by the exquisite Biblical unity only revealed in Preterism. Remember this when transitioning a church or a group of futurists. Be excited about your topic but remember the challenge it was to you. Once the congregation begins to move toward “Eschatological Review” maintain the momentum. Don’t push it faster than it wants to go and don’t let it die!

Will They Leave The Church? Will I lose Friends?

This was my greatest fear. I would be faced with a walkout and that would be it. Thankfully I am in full secular employment and would not suffer financially if this was to happen, but that is not the issue. What happened in our situation? In the first five years, apart from those who moved to another city, no one left. In fact the opposite seems to have happened. At first various fellow Charismatic ministers kept me at arms length. Not a single one of my Anglican, Uniting (Methodist), Baptist or Catholic minister friends put distance between them and us, just the Charismatics. In 2001 one Pastor friend of mine said “Al, if there is no rapture in five years I will listen to you” I plan to remind him of our conversation. It is curious to note that several of them have reformed relationships with us in the last year. They too are sensing the need for “Eschatological Reform”.

Success Story?

Our church was privileged to run “Eschaton 2004” with Don Preston. Our people picked up most of the tab and are looking forward to “Eschaton 2006” this October. Today I can stand up and say from the pulpit, that “I believe that all prophecy has been fulfilled” with no fear or trepidation. I can preach a message like: “Are we in the Last Days?” and be received with joy.

A Great Disturbance

Obi-Wan: “I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror” There is a rising disturbance in Charismatic circles. Cowardly leaders who won’t allow their eschatology to be debated are beginning to feel the pressure. It is coming from the grass roots. I am amazed regularly at the numbers of people who are aware of the failure of Dispensationalism. Recently I heard Charismatic preacher Joe Van Koevering say that prophecy conferences are becoming a thing of the past. He spoke only a half truth. This change has come because educated leaders everywhere are refusing to swim in the toxic swill of hard core religious futurism. Five years ago we thought that the demise of Dispensationalism would occur by the middle of the current century. It seems that we were too pessimistic. It will slip away as an historical anomaly within twenty years. As the Holy Spirit continues producing an Eschatological Awakening the Preterist movement will be blessed with tens of thousands of Charismatics.

An Extreme Completely Unique Cultural Super-Shift

The doctrine of ongoing fulfilling prophecy is very thoroughly pounded into Evangelicals and Charismatics. It is hard for them to move from it. Consistent Preterism on the other hand is unique. No other religious position held by Jews, Muslims or Christians comes close. Every other paradigm including those of eastern religions has some element of Religious Futurism in it. Only Full Preterism does not. Only we can say that all prophetic doors opened in Bible times were locked in Bible times. The beauty of this is indescribable. When properly communicated, it is irresistible to even the most extreme futurist.

paul's picture

Thank you, Pastor, for your kindness, honesty, and determination to "stay the course" with your brothers and sisters, instead of finding a different business!

I am an elder in a church denomination that differs in several ways from the convictions that I hold to, especially 1st Century completion of all of the Olivet Discourse and of all of the Book of the Revelation.

These are wonderful believers who confess our Lord Jesus and desire to faithfully follow Him.

davo's picture

G'day Al, what a great article :)

Albert Persohn: q) Paul says that the Gifts of the Spirit were until the coming of the Lord. Do you still speak in tongues?
a) I speak in tongues every day. I believe manifestations like those mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12-14 are still with us. I do not believe they are gifts anymore. They belong to all who wish to walk in them. In the first century they had an eschatological component, which is gone. (nb. That is my position as of Feb 2006. I am still on a journey here.)

This is the conviction I have likewise come to. We can argue for cessation as in "do this till I come", OR we can see according to fulfilment a change in emphasis. "Tongues" were not simply limited to their "sign to Israel" aspect – they were also for the edifying of believers. As a sign there came fullness in the Parousia [that which is perfect], as a sustenance there is fullness in the believer. The presence of God simply maintains that which He has brought to fullness.

Albert Persohn: It has proven to be effective to move as many people as possible in a congregation to a Partial Preterist position first. I am not implying or suggesting any deception at all. Build on the perception they have of what is already fulfilled. Establish them there. Reinforce in their minds the statements of Jesus that they know to be fulfilled. Then teach from there.

Yes Al, I believe the principle that works well is: look at what you DO have, NOT at what you don't have.

davo

Ed's picture

Kyle made a point about Tongues above, and I think he has a good point. Problem is, most charismatics (I sort of number myself in with that crowd) see tongues as kind of the "biggie size" of spiritual gifts, whereas Paul's letters seem to indicate otherwise - at least IMO.

The problem I have with cessationism is that assumes too much. I wrote an article a long time ago about the Tabernacle of David. The ToD was likened to the Interim Church, existing at the same time as the Tabernacle of Moses at Shiloh (or as it was later called Gibeon, meaning the High Place). Once Solomon finished building the Temple (cf. Jesus building of his temple, the church), the holy things were brought from the ToM, and the ToD and worship was transferred into the Temple. What happened next is significant.

The Temple was filled with a cloud, the Shekinah glory of God. It was so powerful that it caused Solomon and the priests to fall on their faces. POWER.

I share that to say that, although the spirit of God worked in the first century in powerful ways, my view of the allegory/type/shadow was that the MORE POWER was coming at the Parousia. The problem we have in recognizing that MORE POWER is that we want to define it in "charismatic" terms.

I don't mean to be too forward here, but post-parousia, it's all about grace and love, peace and joy, goodness and kindness, patience and gentleness, righteousness and self-control. These are MORE POWER things. They destroy strongholds. They set people free.

How do these things manifest today? Healings, prophecies, discernment, mercy, faith, etc., etc. Sure, tongues seems to have had a first century only significance, but the rest of the gifts may or may not manifest themselves today - IN MORE POWERFUL WAYS THEN WE CAN IMAGINE.

Al, keep praying for the sick. Keep opening God's word and speaking the truth in love. Keep reaching out to the poor and disenfranchised. This is real "charismatic" (i.e., grace-filled) power. Be charismatic, in the real sense of the word. Far too many of us look only at tongues and use it as a pride thing. REAL POWER is about serving others in ways unimaginable to those of us of finite minds. Only the Infinite Mind can show us how best to minister, how best to pray, how best to love.

This is, of course, all just my opinion.

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Ed's picture

Alex and Al, and to anyone else interested,

You may access my article @ http://infinite-grace.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=8&mode=...

I would point out that nowhere in my article do I tackle the cessationist issue, instead emphasizing the Shekinah as "the clouds" that Paul said the saints would be taken up to meet the Lord in. However, my point of the above comment was that after writing the article and looking at the "charismatic" issue in light of my findings on the ToD and the subsequent Temple of Solomon, I felt that the imagery necessitates a more charismatic view of the post-Parousia age in which we live.

Also, this article was written some time ago, and does not reflect my more infinite views of God's grace. However, I do not believe that anything I said in the article contradicts what I believe today (although there are detractors of my view that would claim otherwise, not based on facts, but on inuendo).

Hope you enjoy reading it. I think that the ToD is an important overlooked link in the preteristic chain.

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

mazuur's picture

My question is how does one "increase" raising the dead (physically), which is what was taking place in the 1st century with the Apostles exercising the gifts they had then? It seems to me that the increase can only be in a spiritual sense. In fact, that is the New Covenant. A new heaven and earth, relationship restored with God, the ruling of Christ, the priesthood, everything about the New Covenant seems to be in a spiritual sense. Thus, is seems to me the increase you are talking about/ looking for would be spiritual, which is the New Covenant.

Looking for physical "increases" is the very thing futurist look for, which is why they have missed the point concerning eschatology and especially Christ's return. Once again, those gifts were no longer required because the perfect had come.

Rich

-Rich

NB9M's picture

Rich:

I think you hit at the "nub" of the issue. Most preterists tend to "spritualize" Israel itself, for instance. This gives a toehold to the dispensationalists, who can quickly use our own exegesis against us.

Spritualizing everything - rather than looking from a heaven/earth, physical/non-physical parallel-thread perspective can not only result in "cessationalism" but antinomialism. We've come as far as we can without abandoning still more treasured doctrines within our faith - preferring to draw a line in the sand.

What caused me to go past that boundary was the question: "to whom was the promise of the New Covenant given?" That forced me to honestly re-evaluate many, many things I've held to in my 35 years of being a Christian.

For His Kingdom,
-Brad

\

Ed's picture

Rich,
Did you read my original post? I thought I said just what you said. If I didn't make myself clear, I apologize. I'll try to do better.

However, if your comments are to convince me that God no longers answers prayer, performs miracles, etc., then you will fail. The increase that occurred was that the Kingdom now covers all humanity. It is no longer just about the covenant with Israel. The increase of his gov't and peace shall have no end. That is an increase. Part of his gov't and peace is love, which includes healing, wisdom, faith, discernment, revelation (or else how did any of us figure out preterism?).

I agree with you that that increase is the New Covenant, but I will not truncate that new covenant for the sake of cessationism.

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

mazuur's picture

Ed,

yes I read it, but perhaps my mind started drifting while my eyes still cycled through the words. I tend to do that a lot. Sorry.

Concerning your last post. My comments were not meant to convince you of anything. I was merely pointing out my questions. I think we both agree about God answering Prayer, the Kingdom covering all humanity, the increase in love, peace, wisdom, faith, and discernment. I do not agree with you concerning healing, miracles, or revelation though.

Concerning healing and miracles I can't see how anyone could possibly argue they have "increased". How can you increase raising people from physical death? What is greater than that? In fact, when it comes to healing in general, one doesn't see any of the kind of healing that was performed during the 1st century, let alone raising people from the dead. Maybe you need to re-read through the Gospels and look at the kind of sicknesses that Jesus and the Apostles healed people of back then such as people born blind, people born with sicknesses that crippled them. People with advanced stages of leprosy instantly healed.

Concerning performing miracles, what miracles have happen that would be an "increase" from the things that were taking place in NT times? Heck, give me an example of a miracle that even equaled something from NT times.

Concerning Revelation, what new revelation has God provided? Coming to an understanding of preterism isn't revelation. Revelation is revealing something new. I don’t believe God has given new revelation outside of the scriptures. Preterism has been there since the 1st century in the scriptures. Our discerning of it is "new", but I already agreed discernment has increased.

"but I will not truncate that new covenant for the sake of cessationism."

That is an invalid statement. To agree with cessationism is not to deny or truncate the new covenant. I understand that the miraculous gifts of the 1st century are no longer extant today, yet understand the new heaven and earth are here. I have understanding how all pre-new-covenant physical things like the temple, the priesthood, the tabernacle, the sabbath, and the list goes on and on, were types pointing to spiritual realities in the new covenant. Is it possible the gifts of the 1st century were types pointing to spiritual realities to be ushered in through the new covenant?

I think you are making the same mistake futurist make concerning the resurrection of Jesus. They insist that since Jesus' resurrection was physical, so our resurrection has to be physical. Maybe the point of Jesus' resurrection was to point to a spiritual reality, to point to a greater truth that is to be seen in an applied meaning. For example, in Matthew 9:2-6 we find this record.

" Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” 3 At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!” 4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. . . .” Then he said to the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.”"

Now what was the point of Jesus healing that guy? Was it to show that he came to heal everybody or that he even had the power to heal? No, clearly the outward, physical manifestation was a sign to show that Jesus had the power to forgive sins. I ask again, could the gifts of the first century have an applied meaning to something spiritual in the new covenant?

I'm sorry if my post offended you. In the future I'll make sure not to post anything critical again.

God bless,
Rich

-Rich

Ed's picture

Rich,
Thanks for the clarification. I can see exactly where you are coming from, and to a point, I agree. However, there are some pretty major miracles that go on over in the third world that we are largely ignorant of here in Neverland. I did see a fellow healed once of a major heart problem (he had 5 heart attacks prior to the healing, told by the doctor not to exert himself, was healed, and built a church building with only my help).

My only concern with the cessationist view is that it tends to minimize what God CAN do. But that's another story.

I am sorry if I came on strong towards you, I have the tendency to do that at times. Please forgive me, and don't ever stop being critical...that's what calls us to higher level of thinking.

blessings to you brother Rich, and perhaps we'll get to continue this conversation at another time. Peace,

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

EWMI's picture

I am thinking along similar lines to you about increase Ed. Where can I read your TOD article?

al

Flakinde's picture

Ed, you say,

"How do these things manifest today? Healings, prophecies, discernment, mercy, faith, etc., etc. Sure, tongues seems to have had a first century only significance, but the rest of the gifts may or may not manifest themselves today - IN MORE POWERFUL WAYS THEN WE CAN IMAGINE."

I think this is exactly Paul's point with the passage with which Cessationists usually make their case:

1Co 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
1Co 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
1Co 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
1Co 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

If you look at verse 12, Paul is not saying that God is going to dry out everything. He is saying there will be an increase, from going to looking in a mirror, to seeing face to face. That is not a "cut-dry cessation", it is an evolution, a power-up.

I have to say, your point on the Tabernacles is very interesting. I'll have to look into it more.

Peace,

A. Rodríguez

Randude's picture

Great article Al! I so wish you could be at Truthvoice this year! Every think of coming to the US around June? We would love to see you!

Virgil's picture

It would be nice to be able to afford his airfare from Australia....and a case of vegemite on top too...hehe

EWMI's picture

How about 2007?

We are hosting Eschaton 2006 this year and are throwing our resources at it. I will talk to the finance manager/boss/business administrator/Associate Pastor/Mother of My Children./Love of My Life and see what she says for next year :)

Virgil's picture

Sounds like a deal Al! Your associate pastor is a woman? Man you are turning into a liberal! :)

EWMI's picture

Funny story that. Annette really runs the church. She does the music the money the rostering and if I am working funerals and visitation. We really don't have a title for her. But one day a visiting American preacher called her "Sister Pastor". It kind of stuck even though she hates it!

dkpret's picture

I have to make a comment. One of the huge attractions and beauties of Covenant Eschatology is that it is breaking down barriers. A little over a year ago, Al called me and asked if I would be willing to go to Australia and conduct a seminar there. Now, I have always wanted to go to Australia, but, there was an issue: Al is Charismatic and I am cessationist! End of story, right? No! I asked Al if they wanted to or would restrict me in what I would/could say in my lessons and in the Q and A sessions, and Al's immediate response was, "Absolutely not! We want you to say what you believe and give your Biblical reasons for it. We want truth, and are willing to listen." My immediate response was, "Where is my plane ticket??"
What an unusual situation, that was, I must tell you, a fantastic experience for my wife and me. A non-charismatic preacher in a charismatic church, unfettered! I can't say enough about how my wife and I just fell in love with Al, Annette and the group there! And, the plans are made for us to return in 2006.
Such openness, such desire for the truth, such love is one of the things that needs to be nurtured everywhere. We need not be afraid of listening to what people have to say, no matter our persuasion, charismatic or non-charismatic, Calvinist or Armenian, etc.. If our goal and heart's desire is truth, we follow, regardless!
So, as I read Al's post, my heart was warmed. I know of his struggles, and have shared them in my own experience and fellowship. But, his post was a reminder of what we are calling others to experience. The joy, the fear, the adventure, the journey!
Thanks, Al, Jan and I are so very much looking forward to being with you again in October!
For His Truth and In His Grace,
Don K. Preston

EWMI's picture

Thanks for your kind words Don!

Well, there were a few flutters when you came, but both you and Jan demonstrated not only knowledge of your topic but the hearts of established pastors. While I am sharing from a Charismatic prospective, it is not only us who will adopt Covenant Eschatology. Catholic and Orthodox beleivers will bring further challenges. I am looking foreward to having well educated Aramaic speaking Chaldeans etc.

PS, we still have some restaurants to try out!

We can't wait for October!

Everlasting's picture

Hi Al,

So, Don Preston is coming again to Australia?
I am amazed.

I could not attend last year. And am not sure about this year.

But I'd so appreciate knowing exactly when and where the conference will be held.

Thanks!
Julienne Chambers.

EWMI's picture

Hi Julienne,

Goto www.wordofvictory.com for details

hope to see you!

NB9M's picture

What a great article! Honest, factual, and informative. Your love of Truth shows, and you're bearing the signs of a committed leader amidst doctrinal squalor.

I believe that the beginning of wisdom is when we admit we know little. We should be diligently seeking Grace and Knowledge, and studying to show ourselves approved. Outwardly, that should be manifested as change. Folks seeing change in their leaders squirm - but, that should't be so!

\

Duck's picture

Al,

Nice to hear a success story. I was a part of a church for 10 years that prided itself on being Berean. During that time I gradually introduced preterism to the group, although not nearly as wisely as Al. Some embraced it while others became increasingly hostile. Sadly, our progress ended when my co-elder, who had a growing ministry to protect, saw preterism as a threat to his ministry and sought to stop it's spread at all cost. Sadly, the church that once boasted of being Berean refused to study the topic and opted for creedal Christianity instead. Long story short he split the church and drove away the preterits.

I appreciate your balance between love for the truth and love for the brethren. May the Lord bless your group as you seek Him and his will.

David
Atlanta

Virgil's picture

Good stuff Al! "Influencing the legitimizers" was a great line, and I am with you.

In some way I have always been baffled by "charismatic Preterism" so I don't get the connection at all, but that doesn't mean that I can't rejoice when it comes down to hearing your good news. Preterism seems to be growing in charismatic circles...i've met many people at conferences and whatnot with charismatic backgrounds, so there is a huge interest there for some reason.

Keep up the good work!!

Islamaphobe's picture

I found this article to be very interesting and informative Al. I enjoy reading about how others came to the preterist understanding of Scripture. I may differ from you on one point, however. You write: "Only Full Preterism . . . can say that all prophetic doors opened in Bible times were locked in Bible times." I hope you do not intend to indicate with that statement that all biblical prophecy was fulfilled by the first century. To me the essence of full preterism is that the Parousia occurred in AD 70, but that does not mean to me that all prophecy has been fulfilled. I am persuaded that the prophecies of Daniel 2 and 7 point to the full establishment of Christ's domain on earth and that humankind is still evolving in that direction. As far as I am concerned, the rock of Daniel 2:35 has not yet become the mountain that fills the entire earth. I shall be writing an article about this in the near future.

I note, however, that "were locked" does not necessarily quite mean "were fulfilled."

John S. Evans

EWMI's picture

You are right John. I mean to say that I think prophecy is still being fulfilled in the sense that the when one comes to Christ we are seeing the growth of the Kingdom. What I do not believe is that there are any prophecies that have yet to have a start to their fulfillment.

I think .....

rfwitt's picture

I believe we are seeing the fullfillment of Christ words and the spread of Gods Kingdom.
(See Jesus' parables on the Kingdom of God - mustard seed and leaven in particular) also note from Isaiah:

ISA 2:1 This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:

ISA 2:2 In the last days

the mountain of the LORD's temple will be established
as chief among the mountains;
it will be raised above the hills,
and all nations will stream to it.

ISA 2:3 Many peoples will come and say,

"Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the house of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
so that we may walk in his paths."
The law will go out from Zion,
the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

ISA 2:4 He will judge between the nations
and will settle disputes for many peoples.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
nor will they train for war anymore.

ISA 2:5 Come, O house of Jacob,
let us walk in the light of the LORD.

EWMI's picture

I agree, I think that is what John was getting at.

leo724's picture

John,

I look forward to your article, but while I'm waiting maybe you could give me just a taste. At this time, I feel like Daniel has been fulfilled and that "Christ's domain on earth" has been fully established. It's just that it's a spiritual domain and not all are able to see it.

Colossians 2:13-15

When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.

What am I missing?

Thanks,

Bill

Islamaphobe's picture

First, see the comment to Al's article posted by rfwitt regarding the application of Isaiah 2 to the future ("spears into pruning hooks") and the parable of the mustard seed.

The imagery of Daniel 2 involving the destruction of the great statue when it is struck on its feet and destroyed by a rock that has not been cut out by human hands naturally lends itself to the notion that the demolition of the statue and its growth into a mountain is a sudden process. The more I have studied and pondered the Book of Daniel, the more I have tended to conclude that the process of destruction of the statue--and the accompanying process of the rock growing into a great mountain that covers the earth--is to be better understood as a gradual one. I do, however, take the rock's hitting the statue to point to AD 70.

The rock destroys the earthly kingdoms of man and brings in a kingdom of heaven that is never to be destroyed. Because the earthly kingdoms were political in nature, it is natural, I believe, to assume that the eternal kingdom also has a political aspect, though it is clearly fundamentally spiritual. I do not buy the contention that Christ's domain on earth was fully established in the first century. No, I believe that it is still in the process of establishing itself. I also believe that we are about to witness a great acceleration of the establishment process. I hope that does not get me labeled a futurist because I totally reject dispensationalism and all "isms" that would apply any part of the NT to the future except in a sense that envisions the gradual establishment of Christ's spiritual kingdom on earth to the point where it determines the character of those political kingdoms that remain.

John S. Evans

psychohmike's picture

Talk about possible epiphony...As I was reading this something came to me. Don't know if it is from some teaching somewhere in the past of something fresh. Anyhow...Is it possible the the passage speaking of spears to pruning hooks is referring the method of kingdom growth.

The old covenant kingdom growth was with conquering by the sword. The book of Joshua.

In the new covenant Jesus said “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”

And then there is Jesus' response to Peter in the garden when he picked up a sword. I would almost bet that that Malchus dude was a believer after that. Can't wait to stop by his mansion when I get to Heaven.

Anyhow it seams to me that the sword and the pruning hook passage is speaking about the nature of the dichotomy and nature of the covenants/kingdoms.

I think I will expand on this later in my blog or something.

Any thoughts ? ? ? 8) Mike

Islamaphobe's picture

While liberal scholars see in Isaiah 2 a prophecy about the ultimate spiritual triumph of the Israel (house of Jacob)of the Old Covenant, it does seem to me that Isaiah 2 and Daniel 2 nicely complement each other and that both are consistent with the ultimate spiritual rule over the entire earth of the "house of Jacob" in the New Covenant sense. In my judgment, it is difficult to avoid seeing that the "mountain of the Lord's temple" of Isaiah 2 is the great mountain of Daniel 2:35. Separate political "kingdoms" may remain, I shall argue in a forthcoming article, but there will be no more warfare between them.

As an afterthought, it seems to me that 2 Peter 3 can be applied to support Daniel 2 in the sense that what may appear to be the sudden destruction of the four kingdoms symbolized by the great statue may be equivalent to the thousand years of 2 Peter 3. That reminds me: I need to buy Don Preston's book on 2 Peter 3.

MiddleKnowledge's picture

John,

Did you get my message?

Buy Preston's book today. It is really an awesome piece of work!

Tim Martin

Islamaphobe's picture

Tim,

Check your message box.

Flakinde's picture

Albert, that was excellent, and I can relate so much to what you express. I too come from a Charismatic background (though I don't consider myself to be a full-fledged Charismatic, I too am on a journey), and I too acknowledge there has been a shift in how God deals with men in the New Jerusalem, but I honestly can't see Cessationism as a logical and explicitly Biblical option. I would be very, very appreciative if you ever decide to write a piece on the state of your "journey" as a Charismatic Preterist.

Blessed in His rest,

A. Rodriguez

EWMI's picture

There are some thoughts in the pipeline on Charismatic Full Preterism. At the moment all I say is that the Preterist community is very welcoming of people who are on the road to discovery. We hope it does not change!

mazuur's picture

Albert,

Excellent article! I get a sense of your honesty throughout which is very much appreciated.

Concerning this statement made by you,
"q) Paul says that the Gifts of the Spirit were until the coming of the Lord. Do you still speak in tongues?
a) I speak in tongues every day. I believe manifestations like those mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12-14 are still with us. I do not believe they are gifts anymore. They belong to all who wish to walk in them. In the first century they had an eschatological component, which is gone. (nb. That is my position as of Feb 2006. I am still on a journey here.)"

Don't know if you have ever read Max King's book "The Cross and the Parousia of Christ" or not, but I would recommend it to you. I would especially point you to pages 397-408.

Later you stated,
"q) Do you still believe in healing?
a) Of course. Are you a child of God? Did Jesus die for you? What father do you know that takes pleasure in the sickness of his children? Comment: We have always prayed for the sick and regularly see the kind of healings that are hard to attribute to doctors, medicine or natural phenomenon. If fact I think we have seen more dramatic healings in the last few years than before. (Am I absolutely right on this? Remember, it’s a journey!)"

Your question "Am I absolutely right on this?" speaks to me that you are fishing for us here to comment on this subject. So, here is my input.

While, God does indeed heal *at His discretion* (as an answer to prayer, not working through any man's hands), healing is not guaranteed (we are talking physical healing, not spiritual) to anyone. There is also a *big* difference between the *gift of healing* the Apostles possessed (and those to whom they passed on the gift to, which ended there), and God healing as an answer to prayer. The gift of healing (as well as the other miraculous gifts, which speaks to the other question I address above) the Apostles possessed did in fact cease with the coming of that which is "perfect" (1 Cor. 13:8-13), which was the new heaven and earth, in AD 70.

Rich

-Rich

Kyle Peterson's picture

I always thought the gift of tongues in the New Testament was a tool of the Holy Spirit to help the Apostles spread the good news of the new covenant of Christ.

Having accomplished this mission within the realm of the first century - along with the perfection of Christ overriding the partial power of the Holy Spirit in 70AD - causes me to believe that the first century spiritual gift of tongues has now ceased.

Flakinde's picture

Kyle,

How do you see your understanding of "tongues" (exclusively "a tool of the Holy Spirit to help the Apostles spread the good news of the new covenant of Christ") applied to the following passage?

1Co 14:1 Pursue love, and seek eagerly the spiritual things, but rather that you may prophesy.
1Co 14:2 For the one speaking in a tongue does not speak to men, but to God, for no one hears, but in spirit he speaks mysteries.
1Co 14:3 But the one prophesying to men speaks for building up, and encouragement, and comfort.
1Co 14:4 The one speaking in a tongue builds himself up, but he prophesying builds up an assembly.
1Co 14:5 And I wish all of you to speak in languages, but rather that you may prophesy. For the one prophesying is greater than the one speaking in tongues, unless he interpret, that the assembly may receive building up.

Verse 2 says that whoever speaks in tongues does not speak to men. Also verse 5 implies that in order for tongues to communicate to men, there needs to be an interpretation.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Be blessed,

A. Rodríguez

Flakinde's picture

Rich, you say:
"While, God does indeed heal *at His discretion* (as an answer to prayer, not working through any man's hands), healing is not guaranteed (we are talking physical healing, not spiritual) to anyone."

My response:
I agree with everything you say this far.

You then say:
"There is also a *big* difference between the *gift of healing* the Apostles possessed (and those to whom they passed on the gift to, which ended there), and God healing as an answer to prayer. The gift of healing (as well as the other miraculous gifts, which speaks to the other question I address above) the Apostles possessed did in fact cease with the coming of that which is "perfect" (1 Cor. 13:8-13), which was the new heaven and earth, in AD 70."

My response:
The word for "gifts" in regards to healing in 1 Corinthians 12:9 is charismata, which is a plural noun. I tend to understand this not as "the gift of being a healer", but rather "the gifts of people being healed". In other words, I understand the recipient of the gift to be the person being healed.

In a sense, I can agree that the signification of God producing healing through certain people was to confirm the fulfillment of the prophecy and to indicate the last days, but this has no bearing on how God grants the grace of being healed directly to his children (giving gifts of being healed), as I believe Albert has implied.

Aside from this, I do not think that 1 Cor 13:8-13 speaks anything about healing. I think it clearly says that what was in part, that is knowledge, prophecy and tongues, would be done away, not as a cessation, but rather as a fulfillment of that which was in part.

1 Cor 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Note that Paul's logical progression goes like:

NOW
through a glass darkly = knowledge in part, prophecy in part and tongues in part

THEN (when the perfect comes)
face to face = fulfilled knowledge, fulfilled prophecy, and fulfilled tongues

Again, notice that the focus of the "ceasing" is on these three: partial knowledge, prophecy and tounges, all media of communication from God.

I honestly do not see in this passage any bearing on how God acts on the individual believer, but I will certainly appreciate any further input.

Peace,

A. Rodríguez

mazuur's picture

A. Rodriguez

Excellent points, however I think you have over looked the context, and Paul’s train of thought started back in chapter 12 verse 1.

Chapter 12, which is where Paul starts his entire thought process concerning gifts, starts off as follows, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant”.

Here Paul starts his thoughts concerning “spiritual gifts”. His mind set is not on any specific gift, but on all gifts. He is addressing the existence of “gifts” in general.

Paul then points out that there are many different gifts is verse 4, “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.” His point here is that although there are different gifts, they all come from the same source.

Paul then in verse eight states, “8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”

One of the things we can see from these passages is, if we take out the gift of healing, we see that all the gifts listed are stated in such a way that implies a person possesses something, such as the ability to work miracles. So, it seems logical that the gift of healing is being presented in the same manner. This presentation is also presented again down in verse 27-30, “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?”

One of Paul’s points in chapter 12 concerns the unity and diversity of the one body. His point in verse 27-30 is God has *appointed* certain gifts and/or offices to certain people, and it shouldn’t cause division for we all have our part to play in building up the body of Christ. Why would people be divisive with another just because somebody might have been healed? It seems more logical they would be jealous about not receiving a “gift”, such as healing, like somebody else had received. We also have the witness of the Apostles in the rest of Scripture. We can see throughout that they in fact did have some ability (gift) to heal by touch or command, just as Jesus did. We clearly see this as a *gift* that they possessed. Nobody today can touch or command people to be healed in the manner they did in the NT, which also included healing to the point of raising the dead. Also, notice Paul ask the rhetorical question, “Do all have gifts of healings?”. Obviously the answer is no. So, either it is a gift that not all posses, or Paul is stating that God is not going to heal all people. If it is the later, then that speaks to Albert’s statement, “All I can say for now is that it is not profitable to discount God's love not only for our souls but our bodies as well. If smoking and drug taking defiles the temple what of sickness?”. Does God have to heal everyone to show his love to them, and if he doesn’t then he doesn’t love them?

It is also interesting how in verse 11 Paul states, “distributing to each one individually as He wills.” Charismatics seems to always over look this statement. One of the points Paul is making is that not everyone gets these gifts. Another point is that those who do get different gifts. Paul even ask another rhetorical question,” Do all speak with tongues?” Obviously again, the answer is no. So, not everyone gets the gift of tongues just as not everyone gets the gift of the working of miracles. And it’s the Spirit of God that decides who gets what. Every Charismatic Church that I have come across (can’t speak to all) uses tongues as a sign that proves one has been saved. That idea does not fit well with verse 11, not to mention the rest of Chapters 12-15.

Then we come to chapter 13. Here Paul continues his dealing with *all gifts* as a group. Remember that is his mind set. He is not trying to address any certain gift over another. He is merely speaking about gifts in general. When he states, “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing”, he is not trying to state that it’s only these gifts that profit nothing without love. These were merely the ones he pulled off the top of his head to contrast with love to make his point as he reflects back on all the gifts he listed in chapter 12. Of course we understand he means none of the gifts, as in all gifts, profit nothing without love. When we come to verse 8 he is doing the same thing. He is not trying to state that only the gifts of tongues, prophecy, and knowledge were going to vanish away when that which is perfect comes. His point throughout is dealing with all the gifts. He is merely reflecting back to some of the gifts he started his argument with in verses 2 and 3.

You stated, “In a sense, I can agree that the signification of God producing healing through certain people was to confirm the fulfillment of the prophecy and to indicate the last days

You are correct, but not just in a sense. You are 100% correct. So were tongues. That is why Paul stated in 1 Cor 14:21-22,

“In the law it is written:
“With men of other tongues and other lips
I will speak to this people;
And yet, for all that, they will not hear Me,”
says the Lord

Therefore tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers”. ( see also Acts 2:16-18).

The gifts were a sign to unbelieving Israel that Messiah had come and the end of the age was upon them. And of course God in his wisdom made the signs miraculous, giving Israel confidence it was in fact from God and they could believe them.

To sum it up I would say this. The entire context and mind set of Paul is on gifts in general, all of them. His prevailing point throughout chapters 12 and 13 is they are all going to vanish when perfection comes. He is merely addressing other issues concerning gifts along the way. His singling out some here and some there is him merely pulling some out to use to make his point.

The strange thing for me concerning tongues is this. Tongues is one of the things we can be *sure* (as it is in the list in verse 8) that is going to be gone when that which is perfect comes. So, it seems one doesn’t have a leg to stand on when trying to claim that gift today. I could present a much stronger argument for still having the gift to work miracles, as it’s not in the list of verse 8 that Paul said would vanish (even though the context speaks to all gifts). We also haven’t even addressed the issue of what “tongues” consist of. Are they a known language or an unknown language? That is for another day.

Rich

-Rich

Flakinde's picture

Hello, Rich. Thanks for taking the time to interact with my comments. I agree with many of your points, so I will only respond to those with which I disagree.

Chapter 12, which is where Paul starts his entire thought process concerning gifts, starts off as follows, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant”.

Here Paul starts his thoughts concerning “spiritual gifts”. His mind set is not on any specific gift, but on all gifts. He is addressing the existence of “gifts” in general.

You give much weight to Paul's introduction where he supposedly makes clear he begins speaking about gifts, but the word "gifts" (Gr. charismata) is not in 1 Cor 12:1. It is pneumatikon, better translated as "spiritual things". This doesn't necessarily negate your point, as "spiritual gifts" might be one of the elements under the category "spiritual things", but unfortunately your point cannot be drawn by the explicit textual statement. Aside from this, I would suggest he is referring to what he's been addressing toward the end of chapter 11, which I do not have time to get into at this moment.

Futhermore, please pay attention to verses 4-6: "And there are differences of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are differences of ministries, yet the same Lord. And there are differences of workings, but the same God is working all things in all."

If "gifts", "ministries", and "workings" all refer to the same thing ("spiritual gifts"), why does Paul mention them this way? I think it is evident that these three are different. I would suggest that the "gifts", "ministries" and "workings" are three different things under the one category of "spiritual things". If this is so (as it appears to be), then it cannot be true that everything mentioned in this chapter refer to "spiritual gifts".

One of the things we can see from these passages is, if we take out the gift of healing, we see that all the gifts listed are stated in such a way that implies a person possesses something, such as the ability to work miracles. So, it seems logical that the gift of healing is being presented in the same manner.

Your point does not necessarily follow. It would not be inconsistent to refer to "the gift of being healed" among other things being received, as "the gift of being healed" could also be thought of as something "received", especially in light of my point based on verses 4-6.

I also disagree with the idea that the focus is on who "possesses" what. Rather, I would suggest the one and only focus being upon the Spirit who imparts all these (1 Cor 12:11). I think that whether the person "possessed" a special ability or not is arguable, but in the end seems irrelevant to Paul's major point.

This presentation is also presented again down in verse 27-30, “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?”

One of Paul’s points in chapter 12 concerns the unity and diversity of the one body. His point in verse 27-30 is God has *appointed* certain gifts and/or offices to certain people, and it shouldn’t cause division for we all have our part to play in building up the body of Christ. Why would people be divisive with another just because somebody might have been healed?

I think the answer to your question can be found in verse 24b: "But God tempered the body together, giving more abundant honor to the member having need". A sick person is basically in need. God gives the person in need the honor (the gift, as I understand it) of being healed. Seen this way, I can see perfectly how this would be an excuse to cause division, as others might have been jealous of an honor that a healed person received.

It seems more logical they would be jealous about not receiving a “gift”, such as healing, like somebody else had received.

As you can see, this sentence makes total sense from my viewpoint.

We also have the witness of the Apostles in the rest of Scripture. We can see throughout that they in fact did have some ability (gift) to heal by touch or command, just as Jesus did. We clearly see this as a *gift* that they possessed.

Only if you a priori consider the gift to belong to the "healer".

Also, notice Paul ask the rhetorical question, “Do all have gifts of healings?”. Obviously the answer is no. So, either it is a gift that not all posses, or Paul is stating that God is not going to heal all people.

Yes, in fact, I do understand the latter, meaning that even during that period, not all were healed. If you need Biblical examples, I can provide them.

Then we come to chapter 13. Here Paul continues his dealing with *all gifts* as a group. Remember that is his mind set. He is not trying to address any certain gift over another. He is merely speaking about gifts in general.
[...]
Of course we understand he means none of the gifts, as in all gifts, profit nothing without love. When we come to verse 8 he is doing the same thing. He is not trying to state that only the gifts of tongues, prophecy, and knowledge were going to vanish away when that which is perfect comes. His point throughout is dealing with all the gifts. He is merely reflecting back to some of the gifts he started his argument with in verses 2 and 3.
[...]
The entire context and mind set of Paul is on gifts in general, all of them. His prevailing point throughout chapters 12 and 13 is they are all going to vanish when perfection comes. He is merely addressing other issues concerning gifts along the way. His singling out some here and some there is him merely pulling some out to use to make his point.

I think I have demostrated above that the assertion that Paul is focused throughout on "all spiritual gifts" does not have a solid foundation.

Again, you can assume that I agree with everything you said that I didn't respond to . . . and I apologize for making this so long.

Blessed, your brother,

A. Rodríguez

mazuur's picture

A. Rodríguez,

Hey those are some excellent points. Some I had never seen or considered.

To keep from another long post I am only to touch on a couple of thoughts that popped into my mind.

Thanks to your exegesis, I agree with you concerning verse 1 of chapter 12. It would be better translated "spiritual things". Verses 2 and 3 confirm this as Paul is talking about the gentiles and the kind of things that "spiritual matters" had lead them into. Those two verses wouldn't make sense if verse one was translated as "spiritual gifts".

But then here comes the problem. I never notice this until you forced me to really take a look at verses 4-11, especially verse 4-7.

Here they are: "4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons."

After really looking at these passages I suddenly saw something I had never seen before. Notice Paul basically presents to us the Trinity. Verse 4 is the spirit. Verse 5 the Lord, and verse 6, God (the Father?). He is basically laying out their different roles.

Notice also starting in verse 7 he states, "7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good."

Notice how Paul starting in verse 7 focus' in on the Spirit and the things of the Spirit which he continue throughout verse 8-11 as his list the Spirits gifts.

Here are verse 8-11: "8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills."

Notice these are all things of the *Spirit*, which is what Paul is talking about and addressing for the remainder of the next three chapters. His focus is on Spiritual *gifts*. So, I again think it is clear that Paul is dealing with "all spiritual gifts" throughout the text, and at 2:8-13.

Again, Paul's whole point is that when the Church was a child, it needed these gifts to help it grow to maturity. Once it is make perfect (mature), the gifts were no longer required. And thus they all vanished away.

I would like to address more, but time is lacking as Virgil has me slaving away on video projects. Just kidding Virgil. heh heh heh

Anyway, just a thought I had and thought I would share it.

Hey are you going to TruthVoice this year? Looking forward to meeting many of your guys. Hope you can make it.

God bless,
Rich

-Rich

Flakinde's picture

Rich, I hadn't realized I've been talking to "Rich, the video guy" !!!! Cool!!

Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend Truthvoice this year. :( Maybe next? Who knows . . .

I'll now comment on some of your points:

Notice how Paul starting in verse 7 focus' in on the Spirit and the things of the Spirit which he continue throughout verse 8-11 as his list the Spirits gifts.
[...]
Notice these are all things of the *Spirit*, which is what Paul is talking about and addressing for the remainder of the next three chapters. His focus is on Spiritual *gifts*. So, I again think it is clear that Paul is dealing with "all spiritual gifts" throughout the text, and at 2:8-13.

Again, I think you are assuming that Paul's "list" is all referring to "spiritual gifts", while I think he makes it clear in verses 4-6 that he is speaking about three things, "gifts", "ministries" and "workings", all together as "things of the Spirit". That these all are "of the Spirit" has no disagreement on my part.

Again, Paul's whole point is that when the Church was a child, it needed these gifts to help it grow to maturity. Once it is make perfect (mature), the gifts were no longer required. And thus they all vanished away.

Your symbolic model seems to be a bit off . . . while it is true that "childish things" were to be put away, Paul makes it clear that those "childish things" were "prophecy in part", "knowledge in part", and "tongues in part", all three relating to information from God towards men. In other words, what would "vanish" wouldn't be those things in themselves, but rather those things in their partial form.

Doesn't a child in 2nd grade study Matematics "in part", in order to then have access to more fuller expressions (like calculus, algebra, etc.)? Doesn't a piano student study first "in part" (one hand at a time, basic one-note melody lines, etc.), to then "put these things away" to make way for fuller expressions of the same thing (etudes, complex two-handed chord structures, etc.)?

This is exactly what I understand from Paul progression from "seeing through a glass darkly" to "seeing face to face". He is not going from "seeing through a glass darkly" to "not seeing anything at all"! He is taking us through a lesser grade of expression toward an evolution, a higher grade of expression. (I use the word "expression" intently, as, once again, "prophecy", "knowledge" and "tongues" are ways in which God communicates to men.)

Be blessed, brother,

A. Rodríguez

mazuur's picture

A. Rodríguez

Yeah, that’s me. Wish you could make it this year. I’m so excited about going, I am trying to figure out a way to go twice.

Anyway, back to the “serious” stuff. Heh heh heh

“Again, I think you are assuming that Paul's "list" is all referring to "spiritual gifts", while I think he makes it clear in verses 4-6 that he is speaking about three things, "gifts", "ministries" and "workings", all together as "things of the Spirit"

I am not assuming anything; Paul is stating that very thing. You missed the point I was trying get across. Don’t worry I doubt it was your fault. I am not very articulate. So, I will try again.

Paul starts out in verse one talking about spiritual things I agree, as that fits with verses 2 and 3.

Paul then states, “4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:”

OK, now look closely at what Paul states. He does indeed address three things: “gifts”, “ministries”, and “workings”, as you stated, but notice he attributes each of the three things mentioned to a specific member of the God-head.

“gifts” are attributed to the Spirit.
“ministries” are attributed to the Lord (Jesus)
“workings” are attributed to God (the Father).
(the Trinity)

He is not grouping the three items together and attributing them all to the Spirit. There are three separate items yes, but each is being attributed to a different person in the God-head.

Then, starting in verse 7 notice Paul singles out and focuses in on only the Spirit, and from there on Paul deals exclusively with Him and His gifts, which he then provides us a list. Paul is not addressing the other two: “ministries” and “workings”. This is clear because if you pay attention to verses 7-11, after each gift he attributes it to the Spirit, not to the Lord or God, as they were related to the other two categories (ministries and workings), which he is not dealing with.

This is also clear again in verse 11 were Paul states, “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”

Notice Paul states it’s the Spirit who works all these things. What are all these things? The gifts he just listed. He is not talking about “ministries” or “workings”, as they were assigned to the Lord and to God. He is only talking about the Spirit.

Paul then continues on throughout the next three chapters focused in on only the “Spirit”, and His gifts.

So, when we come down to 1 Cor 13:8-11, Paul’s context is concerning all of the Spirits gifts, not the Lord “ministries” or God’s “workings”. Those were left out as he singled out and focused in entirely on the “Spirit” and his gifts back in 1 Cor. 12:7.

Rich

-Rich

EWMI's picture

Thanks for your kind comments. Well, Max's Book is sitting there calling my name!

About healing, I have started and stopped about three times the writing of an article on healing and Preterism. All I can say for now is that it is not profitable to discount God's love not only for our souls but our bodies as well. If smoking and drug taking defiles the temple what of sickness?

(Desperately seeking answers!)

Ed's picture

Let me add, that is not to say that drunkenness, gluttony, and drug abuse are pleasing to God. My point was that the specific "defil(ing) the Temple" stuff was internal, not external. Drunkenness, gluttony, and substance abuse are sins in their own right.

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Ed's picture

Al,
I disagree with your statement that smoking and drug taking "defile the temple." The reason is that Jesus clearly said that nothing that enters a man can defile the man. NOTHING. It is what comes out of a man's heart that defiles the temple. There are many Christians who abstain from cigarettes, alcohol, etc. because they think that to do these would "defile" their body, but their life is filled with anger, hate, self-righteousness, etc. It is sadly, a biblical fact that it is that person filled with these defilements that are not pleasing to God.

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

cinper's picture

Great article. Thank you.

I am a mere Children's Church teacher at my church. The Pastor's sermons are regularly peppered with Last Days talk, which is not unusual since it is an Assemblies of God church.

One of the Assoc. Pastors (who recently left), stated a few months ago before beginning his message that "You don't hear good Rapture messages any more." I wanted to stand and shout "Amen! For good reason!" I held my tongue.

I am waiting for that Sunday School lesson to come that deals with the Rapture or Jesus' Second Coming. I want to send those kids home with something to think about, maybe even stir the pot a bit with their parents.

Perry

leslie's picture

Perry, all of the New Testament is flooded with Covenant Eschology language. teach the children from a 'different view point'. Help them visualize that 'they' are first century Jews sitting at Jesus' feet. Hearing Him teaching to 'them' and not 'us' in 2006. Be a 'Hebrew Roman Christian', in Roman. Learning that the "Law" is (was) fading away and now 'we will (did), cling to faith and Grace. Have fun, while you 'teach' the children from a new angle.
The church that I go to 'knows' that I am a full Preterist and I have asked several times to teach when we need new teachers and have always been told --thanks-- but no thanks.
What are 'they' afraid of? Reformation maybe?

Les

Brother Les

JL's picture

Very nice piece... I really appreciated it. It is great to hear more about how preterism affects charismatic thinking. Thanks!

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

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