Zechariah 13-14 and 1 Peter
Dispensationsalists are fond of saying that preterists cannot explain Zechariah 14 within the preterist (fulfilled) paradigm. In our series of articles we have shown that this is a fallacious claim and that in fact, Zechariah 14 fully supports the idea that it was fulfilled in the Lord’s coming in AD 70.
In a recent YouTube video, I presented a case for fulfillment of Zechariah by demonstrating that 1 Peter is a direct commentary on Zechariah, and in particular, chapters 13-14. I want to share with you some of those parallels, in a series of short articles. The parallels are beautiful and undeniable.
Some Preliminary Issues
Before I begin the series, I want to interject a thought here. Some former preterists are now claiming that preterists have a misguided view of how the New Testament writers utilized the OT hope of Israel. They are claiming that preterists have a wooden, literalistic view of how the NT writers interpreted the OT prophecies, demanding a “one to one” fulfillment. They claim that advocates of Covenant Eschatology deny that the NT writers often “re-defined” the hope of Israel.
Let me say that this charge is false, and that those who make that charge know that the charge is false. This is a serious issue. I do not know of any preterist who denies that Christ and the NT apostles did in fact “re-define” Israel, and her entire cultus. In fact, I don’t believe anyone more powerfully espouses this view, than do the preterists!
Let me illustrate.
Zechariah 14 and How Preterists Accept the NT “Re-Definition of Israel’s Promises
The real question to be asked here is, Exactly how did the NT writers re-define Israel and her promises– including the promises of Zechariah 14? To show the gross mis-representation being made by these former preterists, take note of how preterists insist that the NT writers re-defined Israel.
Israel was an ethnic Seed. How do preterists believe that NT redefines the true seed of Israel? Christ is the true seed, and “only those who are of faith are the children of Abraham” (Galatians 3:6f). Preterists believe that the followers of Christ– regardless of ethnicity– are the true seed!
Israel possessed a literal land. How do preterists “re-define” that? By insisting that Christ is our dwelling place! Be sure to get a copy of my DVD series: Israel and the Land Promise: Fulfilled or Future? for a discussion of this.
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Israel’s capital was Jerusalem, a literal city. Preterists strongly affirm that the real, true hope of Abraham was not “dirt” or a literal, physical city, but, the, “Jerusalem that is above” (Galatians 4; the “heavenly city” whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11). To suggest that preterists anticipate– or believe that a literal city came– is ludicrous and false. (Interestingly, of course, Dominionists, at least some of them, openly have a hope of a future, literal, physical city! So, who has a woodenly literal interpretation of the OT prophecies, and who is failing to allow the NT writers to redefine Israel and her hope?) See my formal debate with Joel McDurmon (July 2012), in which he stated his belief in a future literal, physical kingdom on earth.
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Israel had a literal Temple, a physical edifice. How do preterists believe the NT interprets the OT promises of the Messianic Temple? We believe that the NT writers said that the Old Covenant temple was typological of something better, and that they taught that the church is the fulfillment of those OT prophecies of the Messianic Temple. In other words, preterists believe that the NT writers re-defined the OT hope of the Messianic Temple by showing that the original promise, from the very beginning, was a promise of the spiritual temple.
Israel had a priesthood that was ethnically limited to the Levitical tribe. Anyone that knows anything about the preterist camp, and is willing to be honest about what we believe, knows full well that no preterist believes that the Levitical priesthood is still in effect, (or ever will be again!) but rather, that Christ has re-defined the priesthood around himself– the High Priest after the order of Melchisedec, and that all believers are priests in the Kingdom. To suggest that preterists do not honor this redefinition is almost slanderous.
Israel’s entire cultic world was focused on animal sacrifices that, we are told, were shadows of better things to come. Do preterists– as being accused– believe that animal sacrifices are the “one to one” fulfillment of Israel’s last days hope? The accusers know better than this! Preterists do not, in any way, fail to honor the NT “re-definition” of the sacrifices! See my series of articles on Hebrews 13:15 for a powerful discussion of this very issue.
The same is true of Israel’s mandated literal, physical circumcision. Do preterists teach– in any way- that physical circumcision has not been ‘re-defined”? Clearly not. So, once again, the ridiculous nature of the claim against preterists is exposed.
So, just from the above list, it is more than obvious that the charges against preterists are false to the core. And I say again that those making the charge know full well that the charge is false. They know full well that preterists teach that the NT writers re-defined Israel’s physical realities as the spiritual realities in Christ!
But, there is something very strange here….and we will pick that up in our next installment, and then, we will proceed with our examination of the comparisons between Zechariah and 1 Peter. It was necessary however, to respond to the false claims being made– claims that are patently false.
Stay tuned for more on this, and for our study of Zechariah 14 and 1 Peter.