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What is Preterism?
Bible Prophecy? Or History Past?

By Jack Kinsella
February 28,2002

Invariably, his critics cite his position on Dominion Theology and what is often called the “Kingdom Now” view of theology in his book “Road To Holocaust”.

In “Road To Holocaust” (Bantam Books, July 1989), Hal argues that the bedrock theology of both these movements could ‘lead Christians – and Israel – to disaster,’ says its subtitle.

Briefly speaking, Dominion theology is derived from Genesis 1:26 in which God gives man dominion over all the earth. They argue that this verse commands Christians to bring all societies under the rule of the Word of God. Until this has been accomplished Jesus will not return.

The “Kingdom Now” teaching espouses a merging of Church and State, into a theocracy in which the Church controls the government. Iran is an example of an Islamic theocracy.

Both views dismiss Bible prophecy as allegory or fulfilled history. They believe that the covenant between God and Israel was abrogated and its provisions were transferred to the Church. They view the Book of the Revelation as either allegorical, or referring to the destruction of the Temple in AD 70.

This is known as the ‘preterist’ view. In a nutshell, to the preterist, Biblical end-time events are referring to the end of the Old Covenant, not the end of the Church Age.

Following this line of reasoning, those who believe in a literal fulfillment of Bible prophecy, including the conclusion of the Church Age, the Rapture, Tribulation and 2nd Coming of Christ following the final battle of Armageddon, are futurists.

In “Road to Holocaust”, Hal shows how Dominion and Kingdom Now Theology are new manifestation of an old error in the Church that was responsible for centuries of anti-Semitism.

Preterists have a particular hatred for futurists. Here is a typical example, emailed to Hal and forwarded to me.

“Maybe you should learn to read the Bible CORRECTLY. Read Luke 19:27. (“But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.”) This is Jesus’ assessment of the Jews. (Jer 19 shows , even real Judites, they are a broken bottle, not fixable). Israeli's are Edomites/Khazars with no Jacob blood in them. Then read God's assessment of Arabs (Ishmaelites) Gen. 16:12 my version describes him as a "wild ass." True. The land does not belong to either of them. But you futurists don't know the difference.”

How could anyone know the difference, given how difficult the preterist view is to follow when explaining Bible prophecy as fulfilled history. Here are some examples of preterist views regarding ‘end-time’ prophecy.

1. The Great Tribulation "took place in the Fall of Israel. It will not be repeated and thus is not a future event."

2. The Great Apostasy "happened in the first century. We therefore have no Biblical warrant to expect increasing apostasy as history progresses; instead, we should expect the increasing Christianization of the world."

3. The Last Days "is a Biblical expression for the period between Christ's Advent and the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70: the "last days" of Israel."

4. The Antichrist "is a term used by John to describe the widespread apostasy of the Christian Church prior to the Fall of Jerusalem. In general, any apostate teacher or system can be called 'antichrist'; but the word does not refer to some 'future Fuhrer.'" (The term, Future Fuhrer') was the term Hal used in the section on antichrist in the Late Great Planet Earth

5. The Rapture is "the 'catching up' of the living saints 'to meet the Lord in the air.' The Bible does not teach any separation between the Second Coming and the Rapture; they are simply different aspects of the Last Day."

6. The Second Coming "coinciding with the Rapture and the Resurrection, will take place at the end of the Millennium, when history is sealed at the Judgment."

7. The Beast "of Revelation was a symbol of both Nero in particular and the Roman Empire in general."

8. The False Prophet "of Revelation was none other than the leadership of apostate Israel, who rejected Christ and worshiped the Beast."

9. The Great Harlot of Revelation was "Jerusalem which had always been . . . falling into apostasy and persecuting the prophets . . . which had ceased to be the City of God."

10. The Millennium "is the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, which He established at His First Advent. . . . the period between the First and Second Advents of Christ; the Millennium is going on now, with Christians reigning as kings on earth." "Other postmillennialists interpret the millennium as a future stage of history. Though the kingdom is already inaugurated, there will someday be a greater outpouring of the Spirit than the church has yet experienced."

11. The First Resurrection of Revelation 20:5 is a "Spiritual resurrection: our justification and regeneration in Christ."

12. The Thousand Years of Revelation 20:2-7 is a "large, rounded-off number. . . . the number ten contains the idea of a fullness of quantity; in other words, it stands for manyness. A thousand multiplies and intensifies this (10 X 10 X 10), in order to express great vastness. . . . represent a vast, undefined period of time . . . It may require a million years."

13. The New Creation "has already begun: The Bible describes our salvation in Christ, both now and in eternity, as 'a new heaven and a new earth.'"

14. Israel In contrast to the eventual faithfulness and empowerment by the Holy Spirit of the Church, "ethnic Israel was excommunicated for its apostasy and will never again be God's Kingdom." Thus, "the Bible does not tell of any future plan for Israel as a special nation." The Church is now that new nation (Matt. 21:43) which is why Christ destroyed the Jewish state. "In destroying Israel, Christ transferred the blessings of the kingdom from Israel to a new people, the church."

15. The New Jerusalem "the City of God, is the Church, now and forever."

16. The Final Apostasy refers to Satan's last gasp in history (Rev. 20:7-10). "The Dragon will be released for a short time, to deceive the nations in his last-ditch attempt to overthrow the Kingdom." This will be "in the far future, at the close of the Messianic age," shortly before the Second Coming.

17. Armageddon "was for John a symbol of defeat and desolation, a 'Waterloo' signifying the defeat of those who set themselves against God, who obey false prophets instead of the true." "There never was or will be a literal 'Battle of Armageddon,' for there is no such place."
[source - “Has Bible Prophecy Already Been Fulfilled?” by Thomas Ice]

I get a lot of email from people asking me to explain preterism and asking me if it could be true. I also get hammered with emails telling me I am leading people to hell for teaching a pre-tribulation Rapture.

I can think of at least six Biblical reasons why Bible prophecy should not be viewed allegorically or as having its fulfillment in the historical record.

First, Bible prophecy has always been fulfilled literally, not allegorically. It was a literal Jesus born to a literal virgin in the literal town of Bethlehem who literally paid for the sins of humanity with literal Blood – exactly as prophesied. Preterists accept fulfilled prophecy as prophetic but unfulfilled prophecy as allegory.

Second, every major section of prophecy foretells in detail the same events. The prophecies of the Old Testament, those of Jesus and the prophecies of the Apostles describe the same events – global tribulation, a global government headed by a wicked ruler, the 2nd Advent of Christ, the judgment of the rebels, the Millennium Kingdom and the earthly Reign of Christ.

Third, Jesus said these events are yet future. He pinpointed the time to just before His physical return. He told His disciples that when these things begin to come to pass, they were to look up, and lift up their heads, for their redemption would be drawing near. [Luke 21:28]

Fourth, the ancient prophecies for the last days are beginning to be fulfilled in this generation. The machinery for a global government, global religion and global economy are in place or under construction. Earthquakes, famines, wars and pestilences are increasing in both scope and intensity. What the Bible said would take place in the last days is taking place before our eyes. This is a strong argument in favor of the futurist perspective.

Fifth, Israel exists as a nation, as foretold by Bible prophecy for the last days. In AD 70 when Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed, there had not existed any place on earth called Israel for 700 years. Israel would not exist again for another two millennia. Today, a Jewish state, known as Israel, populated by Jews claiming direct descendance from Abraham through Isaac, exists on the earth. That state was reborn ‘at once’, as Isaiah promised, [Isaiah 66:8] bringing with it the ancient customs, dietary laws, cultural traditions, even reviving their ancient language of Hebrew, a language considered ‘dead’ before Latin was developed. “For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.” [Zephaniah 3:9]

Sixth, a literal interpretation of prophecy is a practical necessity. Interpreting it as allegory destroys the absolute sense of the Word of God. If prophecy doesn’t mean what it says, then it is up to the fertile mind of the interpreter to determine exactly what it does mean. Instead of the ‘more sure word of prophecy’ described by the Apostle Peter [2 Peter 1:19] we have an unsure interpretation that varies wildly from one interpreter to the next. Scripture says ‘every word of God is sure’ – God doesn’t need to hedge His bets by blurring His predictions into vague generalities. That’s what Miss Cleo does.

There is another reason why Bible prophecy is not allegorical history, but definite future prophecy. Bible prophecy is the Signature of God, the Seal of Authenticity on His Word.

God says, “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.” [Isaiah 46:9-11]

Preterists hate the idea of a pre-Tribulation Rapture. First, in their view, it can’t happen. If the Tribulation took place in AD 70, then the Rapture either already happened, or it is a fairy tale. They prefer the ‘fairy tale’ label, calling the Rapture the “Great Escape Plot”.

The preterist view that God abandoned His covenant with Abraham and passed its provisions along to the Church makes God a liar.

Of Israel, God promises, “Thus saith the LORD; If my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth; Then will I cast away the seed of Jacob and David my servant.” [Jeremiah 31:35-36]

Did you get that? When God forgets the laws governing night and day, then He says He will ‘cast away the seed of Jacob’ and not before. Did the sun rise this morning? Then how can the Covenant with Israel be broken?

And just to make sure there is no misunderstanding, He says it again. “If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.”

There are those who argue it wasn’t God Who broke the covenant, but rather it was Israel when the Jews rejected their Messiah. Therefore, God is off the hook. Except God added another condition upon Himself. “Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.” [Jeremiah 31:37] Again, this is a variation on the same theme – God will never break His covenant. And notice, He added the phrase “for all they have done.”

The nation of Israel will exist – must exist, according to Bible prophecy to move forward. The preterist ends Israel’s story in AD 70 – Bible prophecy says Israel must be reborn ‘all at once’ in the last days. And it was. Not as Judah. Not as Zion. But as ‘Israel’. The name God said would be assigned to the Holy Land in the last days.

When asked, “What will be the sign of Thy coming and of the end of the world?,” Jesus answered with the warning, “many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.”

Peter wrote, “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” [2Peter 3:3-4]

What do YOU think ?

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22 Apr 2001


Do any of these people really know what Preterism actually is??  Do they care at all?

23 Apr 2002


Yes, these people are perfectly aware of the Preterist position. And do they care? All that these freaks care about is the furthering of their own viewpoints. Here's my thought on the topic straight from Noah Webster's pen... Main Entry: pro·pa·gan·da Pronunciation: "prä-p&-'gan-d&, "prO- Function: noun Etymology: New Latin, from Congregatio de propaganda fide Congregation for propagating the faith, organization established by Pope Gregory XV died 1623 Date: 1718 1 capitalized : a congregation of the Roman curia having jurisdiction over missionary territories and related institutions 2 : the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person 3 : ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause; also : a public action having such an effect - pro·pa·gan·dist /-dist/ noun or adjective - pro·pa·gan·dis·tic /-"gan-'dis-tik/ adjective - pro·pa·gan·dis·ti·cal·ly /-ti-k(&-)lE/ adverb

23 Apr 2002


He says that bible prophecy has always been fulfilled literally. Does he mean that the sun, moon and stars were darkened, and heaven and earth were literally shaken out of their place in 640 Bc when the Lord judged Babylon (Is.13)? How about Isaiah 34. When the Lord came against Edom and all nations the mountains melted with blood, hosts of heaven were dissolved, the heavens were burned. This all happened when Babynonians destroyed Edom! There are many other fulfilled prophecies in the Old Testament that declare these same things. Tell us now, do you believe they were literally fulfilled?-Tracy

23 Apr 2002


Coming is a day when man will not be allowed his own ideas from his own mind. Instead he will have to actyually come to God alone and discover what has been there all along. I'm not saying these preterists are not Christians... they are simply misled. Unfortunate! Where's the discernment? But Satan laughs once again..... for now.

25 Apr 2002
Remote User:


How exactly are preterists misled? This is really my biggest problem with the critics. They continue to make assertations without any Biblical validation. For example, Mr. Kinsella writes, "First, Bible prophecy has always been fulfilled literally, not allegorically." Since when? Did the sun literally go dark when Babylon fell (cf. Isaiah 13:10)? Let's allow the Biblical context to define the fulfillment. <p>Mr. Kinsella writes further, "'What will be the sign of Thy coming and of the end of the world?,' Jesus answered with the warning, 'many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.'" I assume that Kinsella believes this to be in our future, referring, I assume, to preterists as these false prophets. But he completely ignores that Jesus defines the context by claiming all those things would happen in that generation (cf. Matt 24:34). Obviously, Kinsella doesn't like the Biblical context, so he has redefined the context based on his own definition of "end of the world" means.

28 Apr 2002
Remote User:


Note the horrifying use of "hate" in his broadbrushed manner (i.e., "Preterists have a particular hatred for futurists"). This is absurd. How many logical errors in one sentence! This is part and parcel of "Christian" behavior involving eschatology. When Hal's buddy Chuck Missler writes, "Amillenialism leads to antisemitism," it is just the same attack directed against a different perceived-enemy. Heck, with all the tons of nasty things I've heard pretrib teachers (Hilton Sutton, for example) say against posttrib believers (still futurist, mind you), and all the equally nasty things posttribs say against pretribs, and all the other arrogant "God-defending" attacks the historicists make against the preterism, etc., etc., ad nauseum, I would be led to wonder if any of these self-exalting-opinion-sharers would even get past Christ's "They'll know you by how you love one another" entrance exam. I've been pretrib, and post trib, and preterist, and have looked into amill and postmill, and all I can contribute is that "let each one be convinced in his own mind." Eschatological correctness is not a requirement for salvation, therefore it should not determine the relationships between Christ's followers who are confused on the secondary issue of eschatology (gasp, how dare I!) in varying degrees. Whatever.

23 May 2003


Friends Im a soldier (U.S.) whos in Kuwait/Iraq, and need your Prayers!!!!!!!!!(Reconciliation of my family and marriage Mike & Julie) Brothers & Sisters, Im a soldier in Kuwait/Iraq and need your Prayers. I just got back from a couple days in Ir%Q! Truly an eye opening experience, Once you cross into that Country, Its as if you've entered, the time of the Bible, and you feel out of place with all these Modern military vehicles coming through, With vehicles racing through with TV written on the side, It was in this small town that I caught eyes with a peasant woman of about 25, and I felt I was looking into the eyes of Jesus I smiled she Smiled back, and the moment Froze in time, I then turned and looked at a little Girl about 8, She smiled and I saw the Uncertainty, Mixed with expectation in Hers, we moved on down the road past blown up trucks tanks cars, Mig 21 still on the ground since 91, to a more modern Iraq! I then realized that the country has one foot, still In the days of Abraham, and the other in the 21st century, One part showing the greediness of man, man that's turned his back on God, and another side looking to the past ripe for evangelization, scanning the horizon for some Savior to come along. I saw allot of things that I'm not at liberty to discuss, but the greatest thing I felt and what I cant seem to shake, was the feeling that Jesus was saying I'm hear and I love these people, for tread Lightly this is Holy ground, Your mission is just but be Just in your mission. I felt a great need for prayer for the people of Iraq! Like a evil spiritual force was ruling over that area, so the next wave, had to be Prayer covering, that the battle has now accelerated into the Heavenly, that's my Interpretation of the trip, I cannot get those (Loving, Happy Confident) eyes out of my mind. God bless, Mike//////////////////////////// Brothers and sisters, > I have a favor to ask? Please pray for the reconciliation of my > Marriage,(Mike and Julie) > and the return to wholeness of my family, we have three young > children > Jacob > age 8, Olivia age 4 and Robyn age 3, > I am a Reserve Army soldier and I'm presently serving in Kuwait, I > had to leave my home Job and Family, as well as the fellowship of > Christians,so I'm asking if you would please take this request seriously and > pray/fast for us. > > > >> God Bless You and your Family, > > > >> CPT Mike Zanetti > > > >> cflcc c4 trans(Bldg 5) > > > >> (Arifjan) JMC > > > >> APO AE 09366 > > > >> > > > >> PS< I am asking you to please say a prayer for our reconciliation on > >May 03,-May 16,03 > > > >> Ill be fasting all day for the reconciliation, of my marriagr/ and > > > >marriages > in general, on that day, please take a moment to pray June 3,03,June 16,03 > > > >> God Bless you and thanx. > > > >> 2 Chronicles 20 > > > >> Hosea 2-6 6-1 > > > >> Amos 2-6 > > > >> Psalm 3 > Please emphasise the prayer for family reconciliation,as the most > important!! > Thank you and God bless you. > Mike > My wife met somebody else (Cliff) please pray Hosea 2:6 over her, thank you..... Truly a great Day for Christians! the day our King overcame the world, death, hell and the grave. Here's a little story from down town Kuwait City, that I heard in Protestant (contemporary) church tonight, the Chaplains were giving a ride to an Army Catholic priest, Who was dropping off some needed items to the local priest for Easter service! It seems there is a small catholic church in the Heart of the city the only Religious organization that's not Muslim, normally on any given Sunday there's 10 people who show up! However all the Chaplains (of many denominations who were escorting the Priest) were ecstatic when they saw when they arrived and saw a line that went from the front door down the street around the corner and down that street, do to the rapid success of the military there seems to be much greater acceptance among the common man, who wanted to hear more about this Jesus that the Military was claiming was its God. Well that's the latest from Kuwait. God bless you. Mike

Date: 27 May 2007
Time: 16:23:26


Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:5-12, that the children of Israel who wandered in the wilderness for 40 years were "examples." If they were examples for Paul and the first century church, then we must read the NT the same way. It was written FOR us, but not TO us. The entire New Testament was written to certain churches (Corinth, Ephesus) and to certain people (the 12 tribes, Timothy)living then. The NT, still along with the OT, are our examples of what to do or not to do. The Bible as a whole should be read to KNOW the attributes of God (Love, Wrath, Just, etc). John 17:3, "And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." In understanding that the NT (or should I say letters at that time because the Bible was not all put together) was written to and addressed to the first century church, things pertaining to their lives. Is Jesus a liar by saying that "Behold, I come quickly," or "the time is at hand?"


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