Confronting a Sophisticated Religious Deception

Sixth Edition

Partial Preterism jpg

Aside From a Complete Suppression of First and Second Century Prophecies, Partial Preterism is the Biggest Stumblingblock to Modern Christians Establishing Realized Semitic Eschatology as the Norm in Ordinary Christian Churches Everywhere

Introductory Remarks

 

The New Testament, in the eyes of the world, is a book with outdated, false, and misleading ideas.  Its claims for Jesus seem to be exaggerated and fantastic and what he expected of his return seems, to many, to be a clear failure.  This perception of the failure of Jesus to fulfill apocalyptic promises he believed would come true in the lifetime of his contemporaries has been repeatedly validated as an obvious flaw to the truth-claims of Christianity in the smoke and mirrors claims of current events Bible prophecy experts of the past and of today.

In the face of fresh mistakes committed by doomsday millenarian cults, Dispensational Premillennialists, Full Preterism, in the past half-century, has quietly attempted to assert itself as a viable alternative.  But more recently, a newer and seemingly more measured interpretation of New Testament prophecies presents itself as "Orthodox" or "Partial Preterism."  It believes Jesus was right about his early Parousia, but insists that the final coming he foretold has yet to unfold (Revelation 20:7-15). 

Partial Preterism considers itself to be "true Preterism" against what they see as the extremist tendencies of Full Preterism, of which theorem argues for a total fulfillment of all Bible prophecy at, in and by A.D.70.  Partial Preterists reject those claims as exegetically, hermeneutically, and historically unsustainable.

But Partial Preterism, in its quest to allow for a future Second Coming, necessarily denies a closure that the New Testament suggests the earliest Christians believed was speedily coming up to their historical horizon.  Partial Preterism denies a closure the New Testament repeatedly promised the first Christians again and again (Revelation 22:6-7, 10, 12 and 20). 

Now, today (as then) people need closure, but Partial Preterist promise the Second Coming of Christ as a future possibility, but cannot show a non-Semitic context where this can actually happen.  If we believe what the Bible says about the nearness of the end and the Second Coming, we already have the closure we need, but if we deny it, suddenly we must invent the possibility (but not anything like the inspired certainty that it will happen anytime soon). 

But what is closure?  A Wiki entry has this to say:-

" . . . a need for closure is the motivation to find an answer to an ambiguous situation. This motivation is enhanced by the perceived benefits of obtaining closure, such as the increased ability to predict the world and a stronger basis for action. This motivation is also enhanced by the perceived costs of lacking closure, such as missing deadlines.[2] According to Kruglanski et al., need for closure exerts its effects via two general tendencies: the urgency tendency (the inclination to attain closure as quickly as possible) and the permanence tendency (the tendency to maintain it for as long as possible). Together, these tendencies may produce the inclinations to seize and then freeze on early judgmental cues, reducing the extent of information processing and hypothesis generation and introducing biases in thinking.

The level of the need for cognitive closure is a fairly stable individual characteristic. It can affect what information individuals seek out and how they process it. However, this need can be affected by situational factors like time constraints. For example, in the presence of a high need for closure (induced using time constraints), individuals are more likely to use simple cognitive structures to process information."1

The issue of past fulfillment versus a future promised to us by the Church (but not the New Testament) creates a faux pas and tensions and an ambiguity and it is not very easy to predict ones likely standing in a Christian world where the future Second Coming is not only the basis of belief but also test and criterion of fellowship.  Lacking closure, as the quote suggests, means that Partial Preterist beliefs fall short of what we need to be transparent to other Christians about what we believe about Jewish salvation history, the person and work of Jesus Christ, and the finality of the end of the world in light of themilieu of the Second Jewish Commonwealth.


This essay will strive to highlight how and why Partial Preterism is, in its own way a deception and also a handicap to the notions of definitive fulfillment of specific Bible prophecies.  We will endeavor to show how Partial Preterism travels along an unrecognizable historical continuum bypassing specific events in Biblical antiquity.   We also want to show how the Second Coming (in judgment or finally) is not amendable to denial by mitigating circumstances such as the awareness of Church Fathers, the authority of creeds, people's personal preferences, or the similarity or coincidence of certain world conditions in the here and now.

Not even the blank slate of a distant future is enough to deprive the New Testament promises of Christ of their immediacy, context, and fulfillment along a logical continuum ending with the disappearance of the Temple, the sacrifices, and Judæa itself for eighteen defining centuries.

A Questionable Continuum Surpasses

the Zenith of Bible Prophecy

An examination of Partial Preterism will reveal that it starts off with an unclear idea on the Bible prophecy calendar, the four kingdom continuum, and the implications thereof.  The calendar, the four kingdoms, and the implications can be directly confirmed and studied in three places: Daniel 2:1-34, Daniel 7:1-28, and the absolute course of Jewish history preserved for us in any and all standard historical works by recognized Rabbinic, Roman, and Christian authorities.2  By entertaining a four kingdom continuum well past the disappearance of the Jewish State in the second century of our Common Era, Partial Preterists are "effectively whistling past a graveyard" and are doing so in the following documentable ways:

Disregarding the Word of God, milestones and historical evidence of finality; continuously searching forward with an eye on the possibility of a future fulfillment when the Authority about the situation spoke precisely, concisely, and definitively and the evidence for his credibility is not dependent upon anything that could now happen in the future but what has already happened in the past.

Disregard of manifold distinctions that present a powerful argument for the intrinsic inspiration and veracity of the entire New Testament corpus means, for example, that the difference between the destruction of Jerusalem on the left and the obliteration of the Jewish State on the right can escape notice (as in tandem with Church tradition Partial Preterists are looking for a single event, but the Bible has the incident bifurcated), hence one major incident was in the seventh decade of the first century while the other was in the third decade of the second century.  But Partial Preterism waivers and equivocates on both (the second event much more than the first). 

In any case, it refuses to render the full weight of finality and consequential implications to be read into normative academic, theological, and pastoral implications in the everyday thinking of today's church.  This means that the subject stays out of the mainstream and can continue to be regarded as incidental and coincidental without necessarily speaking directly into a situation that Christians, for twenty-plus centuries, have struggled to explore, understand and explain.3 

The Coming of the Son of Man Versus

the Great White Throne Judgment

Alas! Partial Preterism also struggles between recognizing (or confusing) the coming of the Son of man in the Jews' First Great War against the Roman Empire on the left with an opposite occurrence of the Great White Throne Judgment slated for the entirety of humanity at the end of time and history, as we know it, on the right.  Now to be sure, this is not like the confusion and equivocation that attends the identification of Babylon and whether or not it was Jerusalem or Rome or both, but here the question that causes trepidation and dismay is whether or not the Great White Throne was ever historically fulfilled at all!  To say that it was struck at the very heart of Partial Preterism's identity and its self-determination not to find itself in the class of ideological theories it rejects and pejoratively calls "Hyper-Preterism".  Hyper-Preterism (A.K.A. Full Preterism) teaches that the Second Coming is the Great White Throne Judgment, of which the Partial Preterist completely disagrees (and some of the reasons, though not all, are grounded and justified).4

The Judæo-Idumean Fourth Kingdom

Versus a Roman Fourth Kingdom

Typically, Partial Preterists see in the fourth kingdom of Daniel 2 a Roman fourth kingdom.  Of course, this ubiquitous stance pervades all conventional forms of Bible prophecy wisdom, both in the churches and in synagogues.  It is so old and so well-established and so oft-repeated that it is, for all practical purposes "The" standard, if not de facto,  certainly by entitlement for the seeming unquestionable logic that "it could be nothing else."  The implications, therefore, for the study of Partial Preterist handicaps is that it is both natural and inevitable that the iron-clay/Stone concussion (Daniel 2:34) will be used as a [false]-framework with which to study, understand and implicate the Roman's empire into Bible prophecy, establishing in this very process deep and troubling incongruities and cognitive dissonance on a variety of levels throughout.   This is the true beginning of almost all distorted thought processes that are devoted to studies of this important and critical field of theology. 

A Distinction Between the Concussion by the Stone on the Left

and the Removal of Chaff by a Mighty Wind on the Right

Here the previous discussion has plenty to supply: The identity of the iron/clay feet polity suddenly becomes even more important when we ask ourselves: What kingdom was hit by a Stone and did this already happen or will it happen in a future deprived of any kingdom that existed an ample number of years in Bible antiquity?  This is but the first of revealing questions and the next one is this: If the Stone has already hit (A) has the wind blown away (B)?  In Full Preterism A and B are one and the same thing (and happened at one and the same time), but in Partial Preterism [it may be] that A is conceded to be the A.D.66-70 Jewish-war-with-Romans event, but we are still left with the question of what does the wind's removal of the chaff on the summer threshingfloor represent?  Is it the removal of the Roman Empire? 

If it is, then necessity demands that we understand the chaff on the summer threshingfloor to be a metaphor of Roman condemnation by God in a judgment event in the past.  However, calling (or insinuating) the Romans to be the chaff is itself a thing that goes directly against the historical facts of a Judæo-Idumean Fourth Kingdom and also the words of John the Baptist.5  

" . . . when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?  8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:  9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.  10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:  12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire" (Matthew 3:7-12 KJV ).

In the New Testament, the chaff is associated with the unrepentant children of Abraham, and its rejection by Christ is associated by John with burning by fire.  Paralleling the words of John, Jesus gave a parable about a vineyard where the motif was more in line with what the Stone would do to the builders (thus insinuating the very fate of Daniel's fourth principality):-

33 Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:  34 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.

35 And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.  36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.  37 But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.  38 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.

39 And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.

40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?

41 They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.  42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.  44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.  45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.  46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.

In both situations we notice that the common denominator is Pharisees, Sadducees (in Matthew chapter 3) and chief priests and Pharisees (in Matthew chapter 21)—Judæan officials, at any rate.  They are the seed of Abraham and proudly claim him as their father; they are behooved to bring forth good fruit under the threat of being cut at the roots and being burnt as chaff in the fire. 

In the Parable of the Vineyard these officials are, likewise, accused of killing God's servants and being destroyed by the Lord of the vineyard.  Note that the kingdom of God is taken from them and given to another nation!  Not only that but also Jesus forefends that on whom the stone falls, the same shall be ground to powder (here he, again, alludes to Daniel 2:34, effectively). 

But none of these observations point to the Romans; nothing points to their capital and none of these sayings is applicable to their empire, but and only to Judæa, which, between the lines, Jesus' suggests had the kingdom of God at the time he spoke.  So this can only mean that the Romans in no way, shape, or form were in possession of the fourth kingdom of Bible prophecy (for it is a truism that something can only be taken away from those who have it: Jesus clearly said the Jews had the kingdom of God). 

From this information we can conclude with the following observations:

A Roman fourth kingdom, as it once stood (and stands no more), is wholly imaginary and entirely theoretical construction.  As a past reality (we can say for sure) it never had the occasion of being an actual entity imbued with any predictive significance at its beginning (on 2 September 31 B.C.) at its midpoint (A.D.711) or at its end (on 29 May 1453). 

Now, historically there were ten imperial Roman persecutions; these stretched, on again and off again, from Nero, through Diocletian and, finally, Julian the Apostate, but they compete with only two6 instances in the last book of the Bible and, indeed, this is where avowed Partial Partial Preterists get into deep water and serious trouble wherever the Bible is clear: 

First-century Jerusalem is destroyed and Christ, at last, marries the Church (Revelation 19:1-4). 

Christ appears out of heaven and drives his mortal foes to the brink of existence and this, eerily, matches the tragic downfall of 960 Zealots at Masada (Revelation 19:5-21 cf. Wars 7.8.5:311-6:336). 

The ensuing period of violence, stretching out over seven decades similarly holds fealty to the very issues the New Testament advocates from the very beginning: It was a reckoning that would see the fall and rising again of many in Israel, as foretold by Simeon when Christ was but a forty day-old baby in swaddling clothes (Luke 2:34).

This is a far, far cry from Partial Preterism, which walks past battalions of angelic soldiers fighting in the Judæan skies, the Abomination of Desolation, the flight of the Jerusalem Church to Pella, the forty-two month-long sacrilegious Jewish civil war, Destruction of the Second Temple, the Fall of Jerusalem, the Masada mass suicides, the Diaspora commotions, Judæa Capta, the Kitos Wars, the Bar Kokhba international insurrection, the plowing of the city and an eighteen centuries long indelible period at the end of Jewish State history—notable, dangerous and finalizing events like a man whistling past a graveyard!  

Partial Preterism and Plausible Deniability

After walking past an event with purported mass casualties spiking at over four billion people, Partial Preterism cannot even pretend that the gradual decline and eventual conquest of the tiny Roman capital of Constantinople was anything near the Second Coming, the marriage of Christ, the coming of the kingdom of God or end of the world; yet Partial Preterists insist that they will still stalwartly and sanguinely look on to the future for their final Second Coming. 

In retrospect, then, Partial Preterism can plausibly deny that anything in the vicinity of the generation of Jesus' contemporaries had anything to do with the original intent of the New Testament prophecies. 

They can also aver that any Christian living during the last days of the Second Temple era or in the explosive aftermath saw anything of prophetic significance or finality in the vast and frightfully daring armies of Gog and Magog.  These troops were able to beat the Romans down, but they, amazingly, disappeared like an unwanted specter or nightmarish dream in the middle of a surreal night!

By the time a student of the Scriptures had reached the final chapters of the Book of Revelation, a number of things should have become clearer and clearer along the way. 

Only by a misunderstanding or skipping steps along the way can Revelation be approached with no clue as to who the protagonists are and the circumstances of their disappointments.  But when Partial Preterists describe what they believe the Book of Revelation is talking about, there is glaring evidence of a break in the continuity of thought established by the New Testament writers beginning with Matthew and ending with the small epistle of Jude.

Now, if people insist that the Partial Preterist position is somehow viable and Scriptural and to proclaim it, near and far, as a "better" alternative to Full Preterism, it is surely a false alternative and the damage of Partial Preterism is clear: the Door is open to endless prophetic scenarios and numerous conflicting possibilities; the gates are also open to question Jesus' authority, not to mention the rationale of his teaching on the events, fate, anomalies, and edicts of God for and to those who lived in "this generation." 

We Can Stand Back and Watch Partial

Preterism's Plausible Deniability Unravel

To more fully understand the hidden dangers of Partial Preterism we need only take what we know for facts about the Semitic fourth kingdom, (1 Maccabees 13:25-41 cf. Matthew 21:43) and what our Lord clearly said about his Second Coming during his ministry (e.g., Matthew 10:23), what he said in his Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24:29-34) and what he asserted at his trial before the Sanhedrin and Caiaphas (Matthew 26:62-65) and consider how Partial Preterist officials and enthusiasts treat and speak about Christians who accept what Jesus said unashamedly, faithfully and without staggering in unbelief.  Using the grid below, are they going to attribute the origin of these specific beliefs to God or to Satan? 

If they attribute it to Satan or even to "damnable error" they are clearly in denial and self-deluded for, any unbiased assessment of the New Testament would gladly admit that Jesus and all the earliest believers were steeped in the belief that they lived in the very end of days (Hebrews 10:37; James 5:1-9; 1 Peter 4:7 and 1 John 2:18; Revelation 2:24-25). 

In number 2 on the grid, how are Partial Preterists going to construe the meaning of the prophecies and how will they distort or obscure the interpretations in order to proffer a futuristic leeway that dilutes the purpose and intent of impending events in the precarious circumstances of the time? 

If we spread out the narrative of the Book of Revelation, from beginning to end, there can be no doubt as to its meaning, direction, and conclusion:

In chapters 1 and 2 and 3 seven contemporary churches in Asia Minor are warned of the impending Second Coming (1:1, 3 and 7; 2:24-27; 3:10-11). 

In chapters 4 and 5, a multitudinous heavenly assembly convenes to laud God the Father and our Lord Jesus for the sacrifice of himself and to prepare for the commencement of Acts of God against the guilty kingdom (4:8-11 and 5:1-14).

In chapters 6 through 8:1 the seven Seal judgments are unleashed by Jesus (among them the sixth seal which inexorably lassos the events to the lifetime of the people of the first century -  Revelation 6:12-17 cf. Luke 23:27-31).

In chapter 7:1-8 a holy remnant from the House of Judah and the House of Israel are sealed.7  This action harks back to a time when God sealed his people before a destroying angel was allowed to come into the Holy Land to execute those who had disobeyed the Law of Moses (Ezekiel 9:4-6). 

Now, it makes no good timing or good ethnic sense for God to do such a thing twenty-five years after the crisis of the Destruction of Jerusalem.

We also know, from James 1:1, that twelve tribes of Israelite Christians existed in the early 60s of the first century and, moreover, the very act of marking these Israelite Christians speaks volumes about imminent appalling mass casualties (none of which happened at any time or anywhere in the A.D.90s).

Neither Domitian, Nerva, or Trajan made any military incursions into the Holy Land to such an extent that it would warrant protecting 144,000 innocent people from dire consequences that would affect everyone else.

In chapter 8 anomalous disasters involving the sun and fire and astral forces of nature are turned against the land, including the eruption of bitter waters indicating the verdict and penalty of adultery.

In chapter 9 grotesque beings from the nether world are summoned. They are ruled by the angel of the bottomless pit, Abbadon; torment the people for five months with a scorpion-like sting.  Furthermore, a two hundred million man demon army, issuing an obnoxious and deadly mixture of fire, smoke, and brimstone, is unleashed from under the Euphrates River (9:14ff).  Interestingly, Christ's decision to inflict the people with these terrors was not out of a desire for sadistic pleasure, but his fatherly, but stern desire to drive the willful evil inhabitants toward repentance; a repentance which was not forthcoming (9:20-21).

In chapter 10:1ff John is given a glimpse of the sound of Seven Thunders, however, these are sealed and deferred to a future occasion, unlike the Seals, Trumpets, and Bowls (10:4), instead of being the third series of judgments, they are set apart to be the fourth and last in order to finalize the existence of the doomed state.

For chapter 11 click this link to examine a basic interpretation of its position in the middle of Revelation and the details, crimes, and inferences which fasten the chapter to the year A.D.66.

Comments on Revelation chapters 12 and 13 can be accessed here.  For material on the judgment of Babylon (which begins in earnest in Revelation 14, reference our essay on Babylon the Great City here and examine internal evidence on the date of the writing of the Book of Revelation here.

Comments on Revelation chapter 19 on the defeat of the Zealots and the Sicarii can be found here and here.

Comments on Revelation chapter 20 can be found here and here.  Comments on the significance of Revelation chapters 21 and 22 can be found here.  The various essays presented on this site took research and effort to uncover and, unlike Partial Preterism, neither men's persons or the Church itself is the criterion for the truth of any matter and, because of the controversial and extraordinary nature of our claims, we encourage Christians everywhere to be critical about perfunctory8 beliefs that may easily be taken for granted, but, upon serious reflection, may not line up with the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Next, in number 3 we could question the morality and righteousness of the sleight of hand that takes New Testament disciplinary texts and uses them as ammunition and weapons against our agreement and full acceptance of New Testament eschatology at face value within the framework of the aging Second Jewish Commonwealth.  There is no warrant to interpret these issues against the backdrop of a generalized mundane historical world, nor can Partial Preterists demonstrate that the New Testament concerns itself with an undifferentiated context or stretch of time leading to the end of time itself.  Therefore, bully pulpit and the hammer and gavel of texts like Romans 16:17-18 and Titus 3:10-11 are smokescreens and a masquerade to conceal and protect Partial Preterist beliefs which, in effect, say nothing at all and want to remain ill-defined or undefined (for reasons known only to themselves and to God). 

We believe it is, ultimately, immoral to pretend to not know where these ideas came from, all the while (at least in some cases) admitting privately, but dissimulating publicly what can clearly be seen in Sacred Writ.  It is not up to us as individuals to decide what we prefer to happen and that right does not even belong to the Church herself.  Nowhere in the New Testament are the churches given permission or the option to "opt out" of Jesus' commitment to return to deal with the things that would abort the developments that his ministry, sacrifice, and victory set in motion.

 A Blessed Destiny or a Condemned One?

Militant Partial Preterists have been known to insinuate a destiny of eternal damnation upon those who do not acquiesce to their demands to recant and fall back on the historic Christian creeds. Now these creeds which (by the way, are not entirely wrong) blindly and endlessly insist that Jesus "shall come again to judge the quick and the dead."  But the creeds have no context for this, really (and the Old and New Testaments absolutely do).  And so we read this as their saying to us,

"If you read the Second Coming and its surrounding Semitic context without the blessings of the Church or understand John's Apocalypse without the approval of its doctors, you're lost, no matter if, technically and historically, you're completely on point." 

On the four points, Partial Preterism completely fails and, in light of its shortcomings and its hidden handicaps we must continue to remember that our Lord swore what would pass away (namely the heaven and the earth) and what would remain, (namely his Words), but if, as Partial Preterism seems to suggest, what would pass away is "undeterminable", "foggy" and "unclear" and "not necessarily in that generation" (just when the Book of Revelation gets into the thick of things and is reaching its apex) we have no real recourse to know for sure or to say with any certainty what we should expect, but must, in the final analysis, defer to the ill-conceived and detail-lacking creeds of the historic Church and wait, years, decades and centuries without end, for what, on the very face of it, should already be fulfilled and completed before the entire generation of Jesus' day passed into eternity.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we want to review what we have seen and make recommendations for Christians.  We want to encourage believers to move from the comfort zone of a questionable continuum to one that is defensible and from one that may or may not end in the lifetime of the first Christians to one that definitely does.  The idea here is to move from the position of doubtfulness to a degree of certainty and from non-commitment to commitment.

The same thing holds true for a definition of the fourth kingdom of Bible prophecy.  Entertain all ideas, but narrow your options down by reviewing what each option means and eliminating the choices that do not pan out.  For example, if one maintains that the Romans possessed the fourth kingdom, exactly where in the New Testament are they told they will lose it?  Where in the Gospels does Jesus tell the Romans the kingdom of God will be taken away from them?  Do we find that anywhere? 

Furthermore, when we study Daniel chapter 2, what do we understand and how do we interpret the Stone breaking the feet of iron and clay, and how does that parallel or relate to the wind blowing away the particles of the image?  Do we believe both actions are the same thing or do we believe they are parallel (but not the same) events?  We have to think things through!

Now, on the question of plausible deniability, Christians need to be clear about what part of Jesus' own words about his return did he expect to happen in the lifetime of his contemporaries (e.g., Matthew 12:43-45 or Matthew 24:34) and are we really willing to courageously stand by him on what he said (in contradistinction with someone else' understanding put on a piece of paper)?

In the final analysis, the differences between Christians may be due, not to a desire to be different (for the sake of it) but to try to define things by personal observation and consideration of the issues, while others may be quite content to depend on the research of others and assume, with confidence, that the collective wisdom must certainly be right.  But enough mistakes have been made in the past—the expectation of the Second Coming at the time of the fall of the Roman Empire, the belief that Jesus would raise the dead and end the world at midnight of the year one thousand, the desperate hope that the Lord would return and save Constantinople on that sad night of May 29th, 1453—and, more recently, the belief that the reappearance of the Jewish State had something to do with Jesus coming back in the 80s, 90s or year 2000—tells us that the creeds offer a leeway that nothing said by Jesus or his Apostles would dare allow. 

Partial Preterists have their work cut out for them and they, like everyone else, have a responsibility to study and show themselves approved unto God.  But it is not their business to condemn anyone who believes the Lord, for we are not servants of the Church, but servants of Jesus (Romans 14:4 cf. James 4:11-12).  Nor does God require any Christian to be 100% percent correct to the nth degree about any and everything when it is perfectly clear from the Scriptures that he is looking at the thoughts and intentions of our hearts (Hebrews 4:12).  We do not know all the facts (Isaiah 65:17), but we do know what Jesus promised to do (Matthew 10:23 cf. Revelation 22:20).   And so, whether or not those Second Coming and apocalyptic promises are open-ended or closed, we each must decide what the available evidence supports and with integrity stand by that after all is said and done.

 

Endnotes

1 Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closure_(psychology)

2 In the Danielic prophecies of chapters 2 and 7 of his book it is clear that Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece represent the first three of the four kingdoms, however, the identity of the fourth is deliberately kept secret.  Nevertheless, an examination of the events emerging out of the struggles foretold in Daniel 8 and 11 and 1 Maccabees 13:25-41 show, beyond all contradiction, that a irredentist Hasmonean kingdom ballooned out of the violence and secured itself as a fourth principality exactly when the Romans were too far away and the Greeks were too weak to stop what was happening.  Moreover, the transmogrification of the Hasmonean dynasty to Antipater and Herod I can be seen as the degradation of Hasmonean power by the mitigating forces introduced into the Holy Land by the direct involvement and instigation of the co-religionist Idumean political might in late Second Temple Judaism.  Documentation for this can be found in the minutest detail in Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews 12.5.1:237 to 17.8.1:188-192.

3 Partial Preterism is as likely to concede that Babylon the Great was first-century Jerusalem as it is to repudiate that and regard Rome as Babylon the Great, all on obscurantist grounds that do not give context and broad circumstantial clarity the time of day.

4 Partial Preterists see the Full Preterist insistence that the Final Judgment happened in A.D.70 as an unhappy and foolish exaggeration that has no rational basis either in Scriptural, creedal or empirical facts.  This is both a good thing and a bad thing, however, for the precise reason that time statements surround and besiege the subject which Partial Preterists feel torn because of the false alternatives offered in Full Preterism and a seeming betrayal of the subject that a staunch denial of a complete realization of Bible eschatology entails.

The insistent time statements and their attendant audience relevance counterparts seem to demand more than Partial Preterism is ready or willing to give.  The sensitivity evoked by this high-wire act can almost be felt as some, not wanting to go too far, feel, at the very same time, that they have not gone far enough.

The Partial Preterist paradigm in no way advocates that anything like a mighty wind visited the Roman Empire and removed it in classical antiquity.  So this is a question unanswered; this is a door left wide open and this is an issue unresolved that is very likely seen as far ahead of all of us, residing (of necessity) in an unknown but defined future "final Second Coming" that the historic creeds of the Christian church envision to be the end of time, as we know it.  But this violates the finite timeline the Biblical calendar puts on the fulfillment of all Bible prophecies in the late Second Jewish Commonwealth (Luke 21:22).

6 Jewish persecution against Jewish Christians for their refusal to submit to national military conscription on behalf of Israel and against the Romans happened on two notable occasions: During the First Great War and in the second year of the Bar Kokhba Revolt (or A.D.133, according to the Church historians Justin Martyr and Eusebius).

7 “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.” As I listened, he said to the others, “Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity or compassion. Slaughter old men, young men, and maidens, women and children, but do not touch anyone who has the mark. Begin at my sanctuary” (Ezekiel 9:4-6).

8 /pərˈfəNG(k)t(ə)rē/ adjective 1. (of an action or gesture) carried out with a minimum of effort or reflection.  Source: Oxford Dictionaries.   

 The Early Second Coming of Christ in the New Testament Leader's Guide