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The Church Against the Rapture: Article by Jack Kelly

Preterists, meaning past, believe the Kingdom of God is already in manifestation and that future prophecies in Matthew 24, Luke 21, Daniel, Revelation and other prophetic scripture have been fulfilled. The resurrection of Christ was the point of transition between the old (temple worship and law) and the church age which of course was a complete new manifestation of the kingdom of God. Since the religion of Judaism rejected Christ as messiah they were judged and the prophecies of Jerusalem's demise culminated with destruction of the actual temple in 70 a.d.
If the kingdom has come, as the Preterists believe, God's rule and justice must work out through the institutions of this world. The task of the church is to exercise dominion in all arenas, natural, economic, political and social. The church has authority to disassemble Satan's status and activities in the current age and will eventually deliver peace and justice to the world through Christian rule.

Regarding the Preterist Doctrine

I encourage anyone who is interested in examining preterism (or another prophetic view) do their own online research for either video presentation on You tube or finding text documentation supporting preterism from particular ministry publications. As a Berean, prayerfully examine the scriptures for yourself. One can not make a quick determination of any doctrine without thorough study of the Word. Do not simply follow what I or anyone may preach or teach. I will add below scriptural considerations that support the future of prophetic fulfillment that is dispensational and premillenial. Dispensation addresses the reality that the church will conclude at some future time and the God will deal with world, once again, through its dealing with Israel. After the final judgment sin and Satan's rule will be finished and a Kingdom will begin with a physical literal reign of a Messianic future kingdom.

For the majority of fundamentalist Christians, the second coming and the end-time scenario is imminent or future. The question of past or future fulfillment will frame how one will read the book of Revelation. Is it a prophetic book that fortells the future or a metaphoric or symbolic allegory? If we examine the question of any future literal reign of Christ upon the earth preterists have determined that the kingdom is presently in place and expressed through the church . The Messianic kingdom is addressed by most Old Testament prophets. It was the hope and expectation of the Jews in Jesus' time and was the understanding of Jesus' own disciples. The commonly held fundamentalist view holds that the kingdom age will follow a time of judgment (tribulation) world-wide. This tribulation period will culminate with Christ himself returning in power and great glory to vanquish the unbelieving and rebellious dwelling on the earth.

In general preterists are a-milleniallist meaning that they don't look for a future thousand years of messianic rule. Replacement theology an important tenet of preterism is that the "Christian church" has replaced natural Israel. Thus, any prophetic promises made to Israel in the Old Testament or New Testament now apply to the church. There are many Bible scholars who hold to the preterist view. One has only to do a search on youtube to hear those who passionately support preterism. Those who promote the preterist doctrine are undoubtedly students of the Word as they will cite copious scripture to defend their point of view. There is no doubt that these men who have invested countless hours in study to obtain their understandings .

Judgment and Tribulation after Christ's Death

Events following the death of Messiah Jesus was most certainly a time of massive tribulation and judgment upon the Jews who rejected the messiah. In a.d. 70 the temple was destroyed and the Jews massacred and scattered but these facts alone are not sufficient to support the greater questions surrounding many other particular prophecies which could not have been fulfilled then or in the centuries that followed until now.

In short, I find this doctrine and application to scripture hard to support. I believe they miss what I see as the clearest spiritual message dealing with this entity called "The Kingdom of God" on earth. Here is where one might ask some serious questions. Where is the evidence that God's kingdom is growing and establishing righteousness, morality and peace world-wide? Yes, we see goodness and righteousness in individuals who stand out as being light in a dark world; or being in the world but not of the world. As for the whole earth being filled with the glory of God as the waters cover the sea, we are very far from that. I will address this and other matters in summary later.

We have to judge this Preterist view in light of current realities. How can we believers, who remain in our natural, fallen state; whose hearts are governed by self-centered lusts be capable of bringing this to pass? The preterist's presumption is that a glorious and wisely governed 'Ekklesia' will transform the nations in righteousness. Actually, this is not a scriptural viewpoint. If we read the epistles we find sufficient proof that the power of Satan is still in unbridled operation. Paul in 1Tim.4 and in 2nd Timothy 3 tells us the in the end times evil will increase and perilous times will dominate the world scene. The apostolic message has been that the human race in the latter days will be lured away following deceiving, seductive spirits and twisted religious doctrine. The current age grows in darkness and ungodliness and the church apparently has little impact on the world. Despite spirited preaching and teaching about the church arising in power wide rebellion and apostasy that is on the increase.

I stand with the prevailing conservative view that the future millenial kingdom yet awaits when the rule of righteousness will govern the nations with its divine King, Yeshua, King of the Jews and Messiah, literally ruling upon the throne in Jerusalem. Remember that Jesus at his earthly trial before Pilate, stated clearly that - - "NOW my kingdom is NOT OF THIS WORLD." Preterists would argue the contrary.

The Preterists hold that after 70 A.D.the Kingdom of God was established in this world and has been in force thereafter. Bible teachers like Hank Hannegraf support "preterist" teachings that argue the Kingdom age began about 70 A.D. It was at this time that Rome under Titus Vespacian, destroyed Jerusalem and the temple ending temple sacrifices. Thus, any scripture such as Matthew 24 that speaks of the temple, abomination, or fleeing to refuge had to have the second temple of Herod in mind. For the preterist, It was at that time that God's judgment was meted upon an unrighteous and apostate Jewish priesthood thus wresting traditional religious practice and their Kingdom inheritance from Israel and the Jews. The preterist view is is the non dispensational interpretation. A dispensational view is that the church age has an appointed conclusion and after this God will once again deal with saving Israel. Among the principle tenets of Preterism is that there is no promised future coming of the Lord nor any validity to teaching a rapture (removal) of the body of Christ called the church ekklessia.

Preterists Denounce a Rapture Doctrine


Preterists condemn as false teachers the likes of Tim LaHae, Hal Lindsay, John Hagee, or Jack Van Impe who are said to misread and misunderstand the prophetic Scriptures, the Gospels and Epistles. So, if you are among those who look for the 'blessed hope' in the imminent appearing of Christ to be called up to be with him, we must set this teaching aside;
If you are among those who say that God's time for the Jews has not been abandoned, we must set this belief aside. If we believe in the future appearing visibly and gloriously to cleave the Mt. of Olives, we must set this teaching aside.

Preterists and Revelation

The strength and foundation of Preterist eschatology (meaning study of future things) requires the early dating of the writing of the Book of Revelation. Preterists hold the view of Revelation being written near 60 a.d. This dating allows that any mention of "tribulation" or anti Christ can be attributed to the current rule of the Caesars, especially Nero. Most of the content of Revelation is allotted to events and places existing at that time. The evil times, e.g. Paul's letter to Timothy, it was evil in the days of Nero but I grant you that it can grow far worse than that. Daniel's ninth chapter addressing the prophecy of the 70th week seems to be incompatible with any preterist teachings but they do manage to fit the 70th week into the 70 a.d. date as well as the 70th week prophecy.

Dispensational View: The Jews will have a future opportunity to receive the true Messiah Yeshua

According to the dispensational reading of the Bible, the church age is a parenthetical time period in which the 70th week has been interrupted from its fulfillment until the end of the church age, an unspecified duration of time. The time of the Gentiles will have been concluded and the 70th week of Daniel (Daniel chap.9) then resumes after the signing of the peace treaty of the antichrist world ruler with Israel. The Biblical time line reverts back to the nation of Israel and the future restoration and redemption of the Jewish nation. Preterists contend that any "gap" in the prophetic timeline is inconsistent with working of prophecy in the past and thus is unacceptable view.

Summary: What do Preterists Believe?

1. End times prophecy has already been fulfilled
2. Jesus' return has already happened (spiritually) to set up his kingdom
3. There is no literal resurrection of the dead
4. We are no longer looking forward to a future end-time scenario
5. The perilous times and great tribulation occurred during the Roman empire
6. The book of Revelation was written early, around 61 a.d.
7. The anti-christ of Revelation was Nero or subsequent emperor
8. The temple destruction terminated Judaism and sealed judgment on the Jews
9. The church "ekklessia" is now the Israel of God (Replacement Theology)
10. The Daniel (ch9) prophesies have been concluded without any gap in the 70 weeks
11. The Book of Revelation should be read as insight on a metaphorical level
12. Epistles need to be interpreted as a message given to that/those specific recipient,s
13. There is to be no future kingdom as we are already in the kingdom age
14. The "millennial reign" of Christ has occurred already (Amillennial interpretation)
15. Satan has been dethroned as Jesus declared, "All authority... is given to me."

Themes Inconsistent With the A.D. 70 Dating of Revelation

  1. "Behold He comes in the clouds and every eye shall behold him" This speaks to the physical and glorious return of Messiah.
    This has never happened.
  2. "A seven year peace covenant confirmed" He confirms a covenant with many.(Dan 9:27)
    This has never happened.
  3. The destruction of the city of Babylon; (Rev. 18:21)
    This has never happened.
  4. The Euphrates River drying up to allow the Kings of the East to pass over; (Rev.16:12)
    This has never happened.
    The two witnesses who testify and are killed, resurrected.
    The whole world being able to see their bodies; (Rev.11)
    This has never happened.
  5. A mark that was required for buying or selling; (Rev. 13:16)
    This has never happened.
  6. Destruction by great seventy pound hailstones (Rev. 16:21)
    This has never happened.
  7. Rescue of Israel at the battle of Armeggedon (Rev. 19:17)
    This has never happened.
  8. Death of 1/4 all of the world's population, earth's vegetation, life in the seas, etc.
    This has never happened.
  9. A mark that is given all to buy and sell.
    This has never happened.
  10. The regathering of Israel into her own land
    This has never happened.
  11. The "False Prophets" supernatural signs and wonders.
    This has never happened.
  12. The Euphrates river dries up.
    This has never happened.
  13. A new temple (third) in Jerusalem with daily sacrifices.
    This has not yet happened.
  14. The salvation of 144000 Jewish witnesses who evangelize the world.
    This has never happened.
  15. The "man of sin" sitting in the temple in Jerusalem.
    This has never happened.
  16. Great hailstones weighing 200 lbs fall and a earth changing earthquake in Jerusalem.
    This has never happened.
  17. Jesus return will destroy all the works of the devil and purge the earth of sin (Dan.9:24)
    This has never happened.
  18. The earth will be renewed after being nearly destroyed totally.
    This has never happened.
  19. The literal return to the Mt. of Olives to be seen by human eyes.
    This has never happened.
  20. Peace will ensue, no more wars!
    This has never happened.


Dating the Book of Revelation as 90 to 95 a.d.

The majority opinion by conservative Bible scholars is that Revelation was written by John at the end of the reign of Emperor Domitian whose reign ended in 96 a.d. It was under Domitian that Christians were sought out for persecution throughout the farther reaches of the Roman empire. A number of early church writers including Iranaeas mention this detail, connecting John's writing to the reign of Domitian. He was sentanced by Domitian to Patmos. Therefore, any association with the last trumpet mentioned in the Book of Revelation that ties it to Paul's referance to the trumpet would then be incorrect since Revelation had not been written when Paul addressed the issue of the resurrection and the trumpet of God (1Thess.4:16 and 1Cor.15:52)

Final Thoughts about the Preterist View of Eschatology

I believe that scripture teaches that the present Church age (dispensation) we are living in as I write this is still the "age of Grace." The age of Judgment is an entirely different time and can not coinside with grace. We are not to engage our detractors, nor take up arms against those who speak evil of us. "As he is so are we in this world." We are told to love our enemies even those who spitefully abuse us. In Isaiah 61 the verses read by Jesus apply to the church age. He ended the reading in the middle of the text, omitting the discussion of vengeance and wrath. Judgment is deferred but it has not been deleted from the Word of God. The time of wrath must be separated from the age of grace. Preterism seems to blend these together. Jesus said, "Now my kingdom is not of this world. If it were my people would fight.!" The king is coming and it is he who shall tread down his enemies. It is he who will be proclaimed 'King of Kings and Lord of lords,' It is He who will tread down the winepress of iniquity and destroy all that is evil with the brightness of his coming.!! Amen

How Will the Millenium Look Compared to Today's World?

I am compelled to ask the question, how should this Millennial Kingdom look? It will bear no resemblance to present society! In the promised kingdom to come, and we continue to pray for it, God's divine peace and justice will be in evidence throughout the world! Today, does nature itself reflect Edenic serenity? Or are we still ravaged by disease, evil men and nature? A view that the argument that this present church age has entered into any kind of enlightened, overcoming influence on Planet Earth is all but impossible to believe!

Yes, we believers in this church age are indeed promised a token, a downpayment, of kingdom authority and status as adopted sons of the Most High. Christians know that through we bear witness to the "Kingdom of Heaven" within us, with righteousness, peace, joy in the Holy Spirit. But can we say that the perfect has come? It is impossible to deny that the expression of evil has grown worse and worse in the world. If we are objective we can see the institutional church remains mostly adrift in darkness. Institutional churches strain to exercise there own authority and status quo.

I can only conclude that preterists are stretching Bible interpretation more for the sake of intellectual argument than in measuring the evidence of the world we are facing at the start of the 21st Century. The Apostle Paul has noted that the natural man, through natural (soulish) wisdom and scholarship can not know God. Preterists, belligerently, uphold a theology of; no Israel, no rapture, and evidently, no future physical second coming and rule of Jesus the Messiah upon the throne of David.

I remain convinced of the soon-return for the bride as taught in the allegory of the Jewish Bride by Zola Levitt and other spirit-filled believers;
By the typology of Noah and Lot;
By the great distress and deception currently manifested through all the earth;
By the manifestation of Israel as a nation fulfilling numerous prophetic scripture'
By the dream of Nebuchadnezzar;
By the proper reading of the Olivet discourse of Jesus;
By the typology of the 6 days and the Sabbath rest;
By the two witnesses seen dead and by the whole world followed by their resurrection and ascension;
By the parenthetical prophecy of Isaiah 61, quoted by Jesus in Luke 4;
By the growing evil and darkness in this present age; (1Timothy 4 and 2Timothy 3:1-3)
By the separation of the sheep and goats in Math. 25 with the subsequent Kingdom of God commencing at that time;
By the present Kingdom of God (Kingdom of the heavens) being invisible as Jesus told Pilate;
By the physical coming of the Lord in power and great glory with thousands and ten thousands to exact judgment on the whole world.


I am further pursuaded by revelations and first hand accounts of numerous, contemporary saints who "died," and miraculously returned from heaven to testify that Jesus personal admonition-- 'My coming again is at hand; I am coming soon; Tell my people I am coming again very soon'; There are many with such testimonies by those that I know personally, Paul Crisan, Roxanne Brandt, and other persons I know who died and returned from heaven with messages that Jesus gave to them regarding things shortly to come;
I also do not discount end time warning dreams and visions given to me and to others.
These I believe are god authored visions and messages warning of coming judgment.

Here are some other particular points to challenge the preterist view of Scripture:
The re-gathering of Israel as a mile marker in prophetic fulfillment
The perfect has not come, prophecies have not ceased, etc. (1Cor.13) we still see darkly and not face to face
We are not yet in Christ's (Messiah's) resurrection likeness
The sheep and goat judgment of the nations and handing over the Kingdom (Matt 25.)
The battles spoken of in Ezekiel 38 & 39 The 2nd bodily return of Christ (to return spiritually equates to Jehovah witness doctrine)
Zechariah's prophecy (Ch.14) of the returning Messiah, being recognized and accepted when they look upon him whom they had pierced, see his wounded hands, etc.
The Messiah Jesus stated they (The Jews) "-would not receive me but another you will receive- -" This referring to 'the antichrist deceiver.
In the millenium the lion will lie down with the lamb.
These are some of the end time prophecies of Israel remaining to be fulfilled.