POSITIONS IN THIS ARTICLE:
only about rites of OC Israel (STO)
For Paul, the
destruction of the world always meant the passing of the Old Covenant
The passing of
the "old world" and the coming of the "new world" was
only in AD70 (OLD)
"Day of the
Lord" only AD70 (DOL)
Atonement Incomplete until
completed in AD70 (ATO)
SOME DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINES OF SYSTEMATIZED
It is important to keep in mind that many ideas and doctrines
full preterism appeals to - such as the complete end of the Old
Covenant world in AD70 - are by no means distinctive to that view.
Many non HyPs believe this as well, so one need not embrace the Hyper
Preterist system in order to endorse this view. Following
are exceptional doctrines which, so far as I've seen, are only taught by
adherents of Hyper Preterism.:
DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINES TAUGHT BY STANDARD
All Bible Prophecy was Fulfilled By AD70
Atonement Incomplete at Cross ;
Complete at AD70
The Supernatural Power of Evil
Ended in AD70
The Spirit of Antichrist was
Destroyed in AD70
"The Consummation of the Ages"
Came in AD70
"The Millennium" is in the Past, From
AD30 to AD70
Nothing to be Resurrected From
in Post AD70 World ; Hades Destroyed
The Christian Age Began in AD70
; Earth Will Never End
"The Day of the Lord" was Israel's
Destruction ending in AD70
The "Second Coming" of Jesus
Christ Took Place in AD70-ish
The Great Judgment took place
in AD70 ; No Future Judgment
The Law, Death, Sin, Devil,
Hades, etc. Utterly Defeated in AD70
of the Dead and Living is Past, Having Taken
Place in AD70
The Context of the Entire Bible
is Pre-AD70 ; Not Written To Post AD70 World
DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINES TAUGHT BY VARIOUS FORMS
Baptism was for Pre-AD70 Era (Cessationism)
The Lord's Prayer was for Pre-AD70
The Lord's Supper was for Pre-AD70
The Holy Spirit's Paraclete Work
Ceased in AD70 (Cessationism)
The Consummation in AD70 Caused
Church Offices to Cease (Cessationism)
The Resurrection in AD70 Changed
the "Constitutional Principle" of Marriage (Noyesism)
Israel and Humanity Delivered into
Ultimate Liberty in AD70 (TransmillennialismTM)
The Judgment in AD70 Reconciled All
of Mankind to God ; All Saved (Preterist Universalism)
Adam's Sin No Longer Imputed in
Post AD70 World ; No Need to be Born Again (Preterist Universalism)
When Jesus Delivered the Kingdom to
the Father in AD70, He Ceased Being The Intermediary (Pantelism/Comprehensive
The Book of Genesis is an
Apocalypse; is About Creation of First Covenant Man, not First Historical
Man (Covenantal Preterism)
The Passing of the
2 Peter 3:10
Don K. Preston
"The word translated as world is
from cosmos. It is unfortunate that when this word is used in scripture most
people think it has to speak of the physical universe. "
One of the key arguments offered
against Covenant Eschatology is Peter's statement in 2 Peter 3 that, "the
elements will melt with fervent heat." We are told that the elements are the
fundamental elements of material creation. Is this the only interpretation
of this verse? Were there other "elements" of another "heaven and earth"
that were predicted to pass in Peter's near future?
Much could be said about this subject. For instance, it is certainly
relevant to show from Josephus that the Jews referred to the Temple at
Jerusalem as "heaven and earth." [a] However, I will reserve this
study for another time.
This study will examine Peter's declaration that Paul also wrote about the
passing away of the elements of heaven and earth (2 Peter 3:15-16).
My argument is simple: Paul wrote the same thing about the passing of the
"elements" of the world as did Peter (2 Peter 3:15-16). But
discussing the passing of the "elements" of the world, wrote exclusively of
the passing away of the "elements" of Old Covenant Israel.
Therefore, Peter, in 2 Peter 3, wrote of the passing of the "elements" of
Old Covenant Israel.
Paul and the Elements
Paul certainly did write about the passing of the "elements" (stoichea) of
the world. But he never used the word to refer to physical creation.
Galatians is concerned with the superiority of the world of Christ over the
Mosaic World. Addressing his Jewish Christian audience Paul reminds them of
their condition under the Law, "Even so we,
when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world"
(Galatians 4:3). It is important to note that Paul speaks here of the
elements of the world. The word translated as world is from cosmos. It is
unfortunate that when this word is used in scripture most people think it
has to speak of the physical universe. It is clear however, from this text
and all others where Paul speaks of the elements of the cosmos, that this is
not what the apostle had in mind.
He could not be speaking of material creation because he was saying they had
become free from the elements of the world. If the "elements" refers to the
material world Paul was saying the Galatian brethren had become free from
the physical world.
In verse 9 he continues: "But now, after you
have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to
the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?"
The "elements" were the Old Covenant mandates concerning feast days (4:10).
Compare Paul's statement about freedom and the exhortation not to be
enslaved again with Galatians 5:1-3. The thought is identical; freedom was
from the Old Covenant not the material creation.
The Galatian brethren had become free from those elements by coming into
Christ and becoming the spiritual seed of Abraham (Galatians 3:26-29;
5:1-4). The system itself, however, that world (kosmos) with its elements
(4:3), was to be cast out for persecuting the spiritual seed of Abraham
(Galatians 4:22-32). Thus, in Galatians we find the exact elements — no pun
intended — as in 2 Peter 3. We find Paul speaking of the elements of the
world passing away. Yet his focus is on the passing of the Old Covenant
World of Israel. [b]
Just as in Galatians, Paul
addresses the Old Covenant System as the "world" and the doctrines of that
system as the "elements" of the world. He urges his readers: "Beware
lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the
tradition of men, according to the basic principles (stoichea)
of the world (cosmos) and not according to
Was Paul saying that man should not be deceived by earth, wind, fire, or
water? Clearly, he was urging his audience not to be deceived by the
doctrines of man.
These traditions of men — and what traditions of men receive more attention
in scripture than the traditions of Old Covenant Israel (Matthew 15)? — were
the doctrines concerning "meats, drinks, new moons, and Sabbaths"
Thus, the elements of the world were the Old Covenant commandments. The world (cosmos) was the Old Covenant World.
In chapter 2:20 the apostle reminds them "if you died with Christ
from the basic principles (stoichea) of the world (kosmos),
why as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations
— do not touch, do not taste, do not handle." There
could not be a clearer definition of "the elements of the world." They were
the Old Covenant laws concerning foods and clean and unclean things.
Notice the direct correlation between Galatians 4:10 and Colossians 2:14-16.
In Galatians the apostle says the brethren were becoming entangled again in
the "elements of the world" and the specific example was their observance of
"days, months, seasons, and years" (v. 10). In Colossians he warns his
Gentile audience not to be judged in respect to "festival, new moon or
sabbaths." Bruce has effectively shown that both references can refer to
nothing but the Old Covenant laws. There can be little doubt that the
"elements of the world" in these texts were the elements of the Old Covenant
world of Israel.
That "world" still existed because those feast days and observances were
still "a shadow of things that are about to (mellonton) come" (Colossians
2:17). But Paul then says the Old Covenant mandates — the elements — "all
concern things which are to perish with the using" (Colossians 2:22). Here
is an emphatic statement concerning the passing of the "elements" and thus
the "world" — of the Old Covenant.
Just as in Galatians — and 2 Peter 3 — we find the discussion of the
elements, the world, and the passing of the world. Yet it is abundantly
clear that for Paul, the passing of the elements, and thus the destruction
of the world, meant the passing of the Old Covenant World. And remember,
Peter said that his discussion of the passing of the elements is the same
thing as what Paul said.
Assuming the Pauline authorship of
Hebrews, this text agrees perfectly with the idea that the elements of the
passing world were the doctrines of the Old Covenant.
The word of the beginning belonged to the world that the Christians needed
to leave behind (Hebrews 6:1), and go on to the perfection of "the world to
come" (Hebrews 6:5). [d] We thus have the passing of one world and the
anticipation of another. The Old World is the Old Covenant World of Israel
that anticipated and predicted the coming of the Messiah — these predictions
were part of the elements, the first principles of Christ. The New World,
the World to come, was initiated by the passion of Jesus and his work of
atonement. The perfection of that atoning work would be his parousia
The first principles (elements) of Christ could not make one perfect
(Hebrews 6:1). But it was the Old Covenant that could not make one perfect
(Hebrews 7:11; 9:12-15; 10:1-4). Therefore the first principles of Christ —
the elements — referred to the Old Covenant.
In Hebrews the Old Covenant "elements" were even then "ready to vanish away"
(Hebrews 8:13). Christ came at "the end of age" (Hebrews 9:26). He came to
do away with the first principles (elements) of that Old World and bring
perfection, the New World. The Old "heaven and earth" was being shaken so
that the unshakable kingdom might remain (Hebrews 12:25-28).
Hebrews then, agrees with Galatians and Colossians in its usage of the word
elements. It referred to the basic doctrines of Old Covenant Israel. In
Galatians, Colossians and Hebrews the elements of that Old World (kosmos)
were in the process of, and were ready to vanish away.
Having observed all occurrences of the word "stoichea" (elements), outside 2
Peter 3 we have seen that these references have nothing to do with physical
creation. They refer exclusively to the basic doctrines and commands of the
Old Covenant World of Israel. In each of the texts above the inspired
writers predicted the passing of that Old World.
Let me restate my argument: Paul
wrote the same thing about the passing of the "elements" of the world as did
Peter (2 Peter 3:15-16). But Paul, in discussing the passing of the
"elements" of the world, wrote exclusively of the passing of the "elements"
of Old Covenant Israel. Therefore, Peter, in 2 Peter 3, wrote of the passing
of the "elements" of Old Covenant Israel.
To negate the power of this argument one must prove that Paul discussed the
passing of two different kinds of "elements" and "worlds." Yet Paul, as
shown above, when discussing the passing of the elements of the world speaks
exclusively of the passing of the Old Covenant world.
The evidence presented in this brief article shows that the focus of Peter's
— and thus the Bible's — is Covenantal and not Historical. Peter wrote just
a few short years prior to the fall of Jerusalem, the center of the Old
Covenant World. He and his readers were "looking for and hastening the
coming of the Day of the Lord" (2 Peter 3:12). The Day was at hand!
Peter's Day of the Lord, with the destruction of the elements, came. As a
result, believers in God today should not fear the future. We should live
lives of confidence and righteousness as we dwell in the New Heavens and
Earth of our Savior.
a) Josephus, Antiquities (William
Whiston trans., Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1987) BK. 3, chap. 6:4-7; chapt.
7:7, pp 86+
b) Paul's statement that the bondwoman and her son, representative of the
Old Covenant, was yet to be cast out — for persecuting Christians — is prima
fascia proof that the Old Testament did not pass at the cross as is
traditionally maintained by many. Paul emphatically says the Old Covenant
people would be cast out for persecuting Christians, the children of promise
(Galatians 4:28-30). This persecution patently did not occur prior to
the cross. Thus, Israel could not have been cut off at the cross.
c) F. F. Bruce, New International Greek Testament Commentary, Galatians,
(Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1982) 206+.
d) For an excellent study showing that the first principles of Hebrews 5:12;
6:1f were the Old Covenant elements see Max King's series of articles in the
Living Presence, beginning Vol. 6, No. 1, August, 1995. Many other scholars,
not advocates of Covenant Eschatology, agree with this view. See, for
instance, F. F. Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews (Grand Rapids, Eerdmans,
1964) 112+ says the impression we get is that existing Jewish beliefs and
practices were used as a foundation on which to build Christian truth.
What do YOU think ?
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Date: 24 Apr 2007
Paul said the order of events in God's revelation to man was first the
typifying natural things of the OT, then the fulfillment spritualk things of
the NT. As each of God's OT types was spiritually fulfilled, the fulfillmetn
was everything to God and the type was nothing -- in God's sight the
typifying natural thing passed away forever in the moment of its
fulfillment, even if that natural thing was not immediately destroyed. Thus,
the imperfect, old, natural nation of Israel was judged (Jn. 12:31) and
passed away forever in God's sight in the moment of the resurrection of
Christ, God's long-awaited perfect, new, spiritual Israel, in AD 30 -- even
though the destruction of the fulfilled type was graciously postponed for 40
years after the date of its judgment. In the same manner, the imperfect,
old, natural world was judged and passed away forever in the sight of God
(Rev. 21:1) in the moment of the resurrection of the dead human beings in
Date: 14 May 2007
In verse 9 he continues: "But now, after you have known God, or rather are
known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly
elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?" The "elements" were
the Old Covenant mandates concerning feast days (4:10). Compare Paul's
statement about freedom and the exhortation not to be enslaved again with
Galatians 5:1-3. The thought is identical; freedom was from the Old Covenant
not the material creation.
This also covers xmas, easter and all other "holy" days