Short Shot: Some Fatal Admissions
As human beings we often are blind to our own blindness. We try hard to be honest and objective, to deal with life in an honorable way. Challenges often come along that strike at the very core and foundation of our belief system, however. Unfortunately, we sometimes do not think carefully, analytically and critically about our response to those challenges.
This is what has been happening in response to Covenant Eschatology. Full preterism, the view that all end time prophecy was fulfilled in AD 70, is a full frontal assault on the history of the church, on the creeds and tradition. Advocates and defenders of the historical, creedal and traditional views are often caught flat footed and totally unprepared to answer the extremely powerful evidence of the preterist argumentation.
One bit of evidence presented by advocates of Covenant Eschatology is based on Luke 21:22 where Jesus, speaking of the coming destruction of Jerusalem, said:
“These be the days of vengeance in which all things written must be fulfilled.”
To say the least, this text, on any kind of initial reading, seems to present the idea that in the events of the Jewish War, all prophecy would be fulfilled. And, again, to make a huge understatement, this idea presents a daunting challenge to the defenders of “orthodoxy.” If all Bible prophecy of the end times was fulfilled in AD 70, then all three futurist views of the end- with all of their nuances- are false. Period, end of story!
Needless to say, the preterist appeal to Luke 21:22 has been met with great criticism, ridicule and condemnation. Any number of objections have been lodged against the idea that Jesus was affirming that in AD 70, all end time prophecy would be fulfilled:
1. We are told that this is patently false since time marches on. No one saw Jesus coming back on the clouds. The earth and the cosmos continue to exist. This is a presuppositonal argument that assumes that Christ’s coming is tied to some imaginary “end of time.” See my book, The Elements Shall Melt With Fervent Heat, for a refutation of that idea.
2. We are told that all Jesus had in mind was that all things written concerning the fall of Jerusalem would be fulfilled, not prophecies of the “end of time.” Now, in a qualified sense, I agree with the basic argument. The problem for the futurists is that they fail to understand that Biblically, every eschatological tenet, the coming of the Lord, the Judgment, the resurrection, the kingdom, the New Creation, are all linked, directly, to the judgment of Jerusalem and the temple! In an upcoming book, I document this thoroughly. There can literally be no doubt that this is true! I will not expand on this here, as I want to focus on some fatal admissions that have been given as a answer to the preterist claims. That brings us to #3.
3. It is argued that when Jesus said “all things written” would be fulfilled in the events of AD 70, he was saying that “all things written” referred to all Old Testament prophecy. Thus, in the events of AD 70, all OT prophecy would be fulfilled. This is (at least was, the argument of Kenneth Gentry, and others. I suspect, although I have no proof, that Gentry may well have now changed his argument after I responded to him in a series of four articles responding to Kenneth Gentry). Yet another critic has written that all prophecies of the fall of Jerusalem and all “particulars” surrounding that event, were fulfilled in AD 70. (I document all of this in my upcoming book on Luke 21:22, so be watching for it).
Just recently, on YouTube, a constant critic of my videos, attempting to avoid the problem of Luke 21:22, claimed (admitted) that what Jesus had in mind was “all OT prophecy.” When I first confronted him with the implications of his admission, he literally disappeared from my Youtube discussion until just a few days ago (I am writing this on 3-4-2023). When he reappeared, I reminded him of his earlier admission he said that he does indeed believe that Jesus was saying that “all OT prophecy” would be fulfilled in and by AD 70.
I will not go back over all of the material in the articles I have written in response to Gentry and others. This is simply a “Short Shot” examination of this fatal admission that several detractors have made.
In simple form, here is my response to the argument as an illustration of how it is a fatal admission:
All Old Testament prophecy was fulfilled in AD 70 – so say the Objectors.
But the Old Testament prophesied of the Second Coming, The Judgment, the Kingdom, the Resurrection and the New Creation (Isaiah 65-66 as just a couple of quick references).
Therefore, the prophecies of the Second Coming, The Judgment, the Kingdom, the Resurrection and the New Creation were all fulfilled in AD 70.
Do you see what I mean when I say that Objectors commonly do not give critical and analytical thought to their objections and arguments? You simply cannot, logically or Biblically, argue (admit) that all Old Covenant prophecies were fulfilled in AD 70, without thereby admitting that the full preterist view is correct, valid and true!
This argument is particularly devastating to the Amillennialist and Postmillennialist paradigms. It has to be remembered that in both of these views, the Old Covenant was terminated at the cross, and God was through with Old Covenant Israel at the cross.
Caveat: In the Postmillennial view, it is commonly affirmed that God was through with Israel and the OT at the cross, but they then turn around and claim that in fulfillment of OT prophecy, “all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26-27, which is based on Isaiah 27 & 59). So, on the one hand, it is affirmed that God was through with Israel, but on the other hand, we are still waiting on the OT prophecies of Israel’s salvation to be fulfilled.
In similar fashion, Amillennialists tell us that God was through with Israel and the Old Law at the cross, but we are still looking for the coming of the Lord, the judgment, the New Creation, the resurrection, etc. which were all prophesied in the OT, and which were “the hope of Israel.”
It should also be noted that Dispensationalists also claim that the Law of Moses was fulfilled and passed away at the cross, but that we are still waiting for the fulfillment of the Law of Moses, i.e. the final fulfillment of the last of Israel’s feast days, the restoration of Israel (Deut. 30), etc.
Thus, all three futurist paradigms tell us on the one hand that the Law of Moses has passed, but on the other hand, they tell us it has not been fulfilled.
But if Luke 21:22 teaches us – as it does – that “all things written” in the Tanakh were truly fulfilled in AD 70, it is patently undeniable that all three futurist eschatologies are falsified.
Edit: It has now been offered as an argument to escape the power of Luke 21:22 that what Jesus meant by “all things written” was that only all things written in the OT specifically about the AD 70 judgment of Jerusalem were to be fulfilled.
In reality, I have no problem with this argument! This may surprise the reader but here are the facts, that I document heavily in my upcoming book: Every eschatological tenet, i.e. the coming of the Lord, the end of the age, the judgment, the resurrection, the New Creation, the kingdom, etc. is directly related to, and tied to, the prophecies of the AD 70 judgment of Jerusalem and the temple! This is stunningly important, yet either ignored or unknown in the literature.
I suspect that in the very near future, we will encounter another, altered and modified version of the arguments noted here, that will seek to avoid the fatal admission of saying that all Old Testament prophecy was fulfilled in AD 70. I will keep you posted when some “argumentum ad desperatum” is offered up. And I can almost assure you that it will be an argument from desperation, not an argument based on careful exegetical examination of the Biblical texts.