Gary talks about his experience with a seminary class and discussing various views on biblical prophetic interpretation.

All Christians believe in fulfilled prophecy. This makes them preterists to some degree. A preterist interpretation of prophecy puts its fulfillment in the past. What separated unbelieving Jews from believing Jews in the first century was the issue of fulfilled prophecy. Was Jesus the fulfillment of the Hebrew Scriptures that predicted a coming redeemer? Jews who rejected Jesus as the promised Messiah believed He was not the fulfillment of these many prophecies. To them, Jesus was an imposter. He was the son of a carpenter (Matt. 13:53–58). Jews who still believe in the authority of the Hebrew Scriptures are looking forward to their version of the First Coming of the Messiah.

Floyd Hamilton has calculated that there are more than 330 distinct predictions that Jesus fulfilled.[1] Christians believe these prophecies have been fulfilled. Their fulfillment is in our past, thus, making us preterists.

“[T]he term preterism … derives from the Latin presupposition preter (‘past’) and the verb ire (‘to go’), thus referring to what which has gone past and belongs to history.”[2] In Latin, the perfect tense commonly functions as the preterite tense and refers to an action completed in the past. The Greek equivalent would be the aorist tense.

John was told, “write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which are about to happen after these things [μέλλει γενέσθαι μετὰ ταῦτα]” (Rev. 1:19; 4:1). Some things were happening as Revelation was revealed to John (the things which are), and some things were about to happen. A preterist would connect what John had seen, the “things which are,” with the things that were “about to happen” after these things with no postponement or gap in time.

Since John is told that the events revealed to him were to take place “soon” (1:1) “for the time is near” (1:3), Revelation is about events that were to happen soon for those living in John’s day, in particular, in events leading up to and including the end of the Old Covenant represented outwardly by the temple and Israel’s capital city, Jerusalem. The Old Covenant had been replaced with a better covenant in the person and work of Jesus Christ who embodies all that the Old Covenant could only represent in temporal (stones) and fallen elements (human priests). Jesus is the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29), the temple built without hands (John 2:13–22; see Mark 14:58; 15:29; Acts 6:14),[3] the fulfillment of the Davidic kingship (Acts 2:22-36), and “a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man” (Heb. 8:1–2). The Old Covenant was planned obsolescence. The unbelieving Jews turned the temple into an idol like the brass serpent in the wilderness (Num. 21:4–9; John 3:14–16; 2 Kings 18:4).

Last Days Madness

Last Days Madness

In this authoritative book, Gary DeMar clears the haze of ‘end-times’ fever, shedding light on the most difficult and studied prophetic passages in the Bible, including Daniel 7:13-14; 9:24-27; Matt. 16:27-28; 24-25; Thess. 2; 2 Peter 3:3-13, and clearly explaining a host of other controversial topics.

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What’s the difference between eschatology and Bible prophecy? Does it make a difference what view you take in relation to future things? Gary talks about his experience sitting down with a seminary class and discussing various views on biblical prophetic interpretation.

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[1] Floyd E. Hamilton, The Basis of Christian Faith: A Modern Defense of the Christian Religion, rev. ed. (New York: Harper & Row, 1964), 160.