A New Eschatological Term
Partial Preterism - Faith Based Premillennialism
In my early Christian years, I held the belief that the second coming of Christ was close to coming to fruition and that all people would be judged at that time. I soon found that the scriptures told a different story.
For those who are unaware of the different eschatological viewpoints concerning end time events held in the different Christian churches, I have listed the most common ones here:
• Preterism: Upholds the belief that the prophecies concerning end time events have already occurred in the past. This view denotes a 1st-century fulfillment of these events. They believe that many prophetic events have been fulfilled symbolically. Thus taking a symbolic interpretation of the end time prophecies found in the book of Revelation.
• Partial Preterism: Is the belief that most prophecies of Revelation were fulfilled in the 1st century. Sometimes applying an allegorical interpretation of end time prophecies.
• Full Preterism: Maintains that all prophecies of Revelation have been fulfilled in the 1st century, including the second coming and the last judgment, with many full preterists already applying an "Eternal State" to this present time.
• Futurism: Upholds the belief that many prophecies will be fulfilled in the future, and in some cases might have an imminent fulfillment concerning the literal text. They believe in real physical events; Biblical literalism is emphasized.
• Historicism: Interprets many of the Revelation prophecies as currently being fulfilled during the span of Christian History. Text is sometimes taken as symbolic of real events, rather than being literally true.
• Idealism: Present continual fulfillment of symbolical or literary text; spiritual events; Allegorical interpretation is emphasized.
Eschatological Viewpoint Subgroups
A subgroup can be added onto each one of the beliefs noted above, to denote where they stand when it comes to the interpretation of Revelation chapter 20, the millennium. The millennium prophesy foretells of the time period when Satan is bound and thrown into a bottomless pit for 1000 years, then released. The current viewpoints held by different Christian denominations concerning this prophesy are listed here below:
• Premillennialism: The belief that Christ's Second coming occurs before a literal one thousand year period, known by some as a thousand-year sabbath, and is preceded by a gradual deterioration of human society and behavior, and the expansion of evil through an endtime government or kingdom. This school of thought can be divided into three main interpretations: Dispensational, Mid-tribulation/Prewrath and Historic Premillennialism or Post-Tribulation viewpoint.
• Dispensational Premillennialism: The rapture of the church occurs before a time of great tribulation. Christ returns
for his saints to meet them in the air before the trouble begins. Then the rise of the Antichrist to world-rule will occur before the final return of Christ to the Mount of Olives and Armageddon, resulting in a millennial reign of Messiah, centered in a restored Jerusalem.
• Prewrath/Mid-tribulation View: This view holds that the rapture occurs halfway through the time of great tribulation, but before God's wrath is poured out upon the nations.
• Historic Premillennialism or Post-Tribulation View: The rapture of the church (the body of true believers) happens after a period of great tribulation, with the church being caught up to meet Christ in the air and will accompany him to earth to share in his (literal or figurative) thousand year rule.
• Postmillennialism: Christ's Second coming is seen as occurring after the one-thousand years, which many in this school of thought believe is ushered in by the church. This view is also divided into two sub-schools of interpretation:
• Revivalist Postmillennialism: the millennium represents an unknown period of time marked by a gradual Christian revival, followed by widespread successful evangelism. After these efforts is the return of Christ foreseen.
• Reconstructionist Postmillennialism: the Church increases its influence through successful evangelism and expansion, finally establishing a theocratic kingdom of 1,000 years duration (literal or figurative) followed by the return of Christ.
• Amillennialism: Non-literal "thousand years" or long age between Christ's first and second comings; the millennial reign of Christ as pictured in the book of Revelation is viewed now as Christ reigning at the right hand of the Father. It can be hard to draw a fine line between Amillenialism and Revivalist Postmillenialism. Amillenialism tends to believe society will, through growing rebellion, continue to deteriorate, while Postmillenialism believes the Church will influence the world producing greater righteousness.
A New Eschatological Viewpoint
I spent a lot of time trying to figure out which set of eschatological viewpoints would best describe the view I now hold and that I presented in my case study: A Case For Christ’s Second Coming. There are some valid bible based points in many of the views listed above, but still some of them seem to falter at some point or another when held up to the scriptures.
So after adding on some additional words, I finally decided that Partial Preterism – Faith Based PreMillennialism would describe my viewpoint sufficiently.
This viewpoint may be new in terms of its label, but it is the same position that Jesus and the apostles upheld many generations ago according to the scriptures. And the beauty of this rekindled view is that no fancy theology lessons are required in order to understand it. All you need is your bible and your faith in the word of God.
Allow me to explain why I have chosen this particular set of eschatological terms to describe my “new” eschatological view. The terms Partial Preterism were chosen due to the fact that this viewpoint adheres to the belief that only some of the prophecies concerning end time events have already come to pass, not all of them. In my case study, it is established through scripture that the second coming of Christ was set to take place in the 1st Century around the time of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. When testifying of His second coming to His disciples, Jesus said…
Matthew 24:34 (KJV) Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
To back up Jesus' words, the apostles went on and preached the same message throughout their ministry…
1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
The book of Revelation backs up what Jesus and the apostles taught concerning end times. In a vision, during the 1st Century, the Apostle John is told by Jesus and an angel of the Lord the following...
Revelation 22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
Revelation 22:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
Like I mentioned earlier, for the majority of my Christian life I held a different view. I was told that the second coming of Christ was going to happen soon and that the end of the world would probably occur in my present generation. I now believe that only part of that to be true. I can find nowhere in the bible were it says that the end of literal world would happen at the same time as Christ's second coming. Instead I found that there is a span of 1000 years and a “season” between the two events (Revelation chapter 20). Through the scriptures, it is quite evident to me that we are now living in the span of time described as “the season”. The bible does not tell us how long this season will last, but after the season is complete, Judgment Day (the Final Judgement) and the end of the world as we know it will be upon us.
I have found that when you look at the end time prophecies in the book of Revelation, there are two events that bring about an end to a particular way of life. One event being is the second coming of Christ, which brings an end to the first covenant made between God that the Jewish people. The other is the final judgment that brings about an end to sin and all evil, in other words; the world that we live in. The apostle preached to the people of their generation that the old covenant was about to come to an end in their own generation…
Hebrews 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
When Jesus testified to John in the vision of Revelation that His second coming was near and about to happen quickly, the old covenant was about to be taken away at that very time. There was no longer a need for this old covenant as it was set in place for the people of Israel, to refine them, making them ready for the Everlasting Kingdom. Those who were found worthy entered into that Kingdom at the time of the Second Coming. The nation of Israel was not subjected to great chastening by God for nothing. They were destined to be great in the Everlasting Kingdom (Is 61:6) (Rev 20:6) and they were to be the first ones to enter into it. Only those who were able to abide by the first convenient made between God and Israel were numbered as one of the 144 Thousand. The bible tells us that the 144 thousand saints derived from the tribes of Israel were redeemed from the earth at the second coming of Christ (Rev 14:3-4), and they were His “firstfruits”…
Revelation 14:4 … These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
The second sets of terms that I have chosen to describe my stance on the millennial prophesy found in Revelation chapter 20 is Faith Based PreMillennialism. I’m using the words “faith based” because it takes pure faith to believe in something presented in the word of God without having earthly evidence of its occurrence. It is evident to me that Jesus and the apostles spoke openly of which generation would witness the second coming. And when you combine their testimonies with the prophesies found in the book of Revelation, they all line up. However, it should be of no surprise to anyone that this world offers no tangible evidence of its occurrence. Hasn’t this “world” swallowed up (or covered up) evidence of other grand biblical events? All I can say is... don’t underestimate the enemy.
My viewpoint is PreMillennial in nature because I believe that the scriptures have established that Satan was to be bound then thrown into a pit after the second coming of Christ and then released to deceive the nations thereafter.
Revelation 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
Again, in the following texts you can see that the first resurrection (of the 144 000 saints) takes place first, then Satan is bound for 1000 years…
Revelation 20:6-7 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison…
Although I have chosen the PreMillennial viewpoint, I cannot break it down in terms of when the "secret rapture" took place. This is due to the fact that I do not believe that there was or ever will be any sort of “secret rapture” as many premillennialist today believe. The notion of a “secret rapture” taking place has been pulled from Matthew 24:40-41 and has been taken out of context by many people. If you apply the text to the generation that it was intended for, you would soon realize that this “rapture” was referring to the redeeming and taking away of the 144 000 individuals described in Revelation chapter 7 and 14. I believe this took place when Jesus said it would in the 1st century, during the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD (at His second coming). It is also quite clear in the scriptures that that process was not going to happen in secret, but everyone that was alive at the time, would see it. Including those who pierced Jesus on the cross…
Revelation 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
I believe that Satan is the possessor of great power on this earth and he has the power to distort and conceal the truth about past biblical events here on this earth. My purpose in writing The Case For Christ’s Second Coming is to lift up the Word of God and to share what the scriptures say concerning end time events. I’m not saying that my viewpoint is supreme, but let the scriptures be the judge of all things true and false.
Eschatology Definition Source: Wikipedia.com