Preterist Or Futurist?

Q. Recently I’ve heard of books by a well known author who says the Bible makes no distinction between Israel and the Church, so when Revelation talks of Israel it really means the Church. Also, he holds that Revelation was written before 70

A. The author you refer to subscribes to a preterist interpretation of prophecy. In other words he believes all prophecy was fulfilled in the past as opposed to a futurist who believes it will be fulfilled in the future. There’s no way to reconcile the preterist view with a literal interpretation of Scripture. Almost everything has to be allegorized or re-interpreted. Literal understandings of Daniel’s 70th Week, the Abomination of Desolation, the Great Tribulation, and the Millennium simply don’t fit into the Preterist view.

Most scholars believe the Revelation was written about 95 AD. But for the preterist view to work, they have to date the book earlier, around 55-60 AD. The opinion that Israel and the Church are the same is a false teaching called replacement theology. In the Bible Israel and the Church have different origins, different relationships with God, and different destinies. As examples, God told Israel He would return to Earth to live with them (Ezekiel 43:7). But He told the Church we will live in the New Jerusalem which isn’t even on Earth. And in Romans Paul told the Church that Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of Gentiles has come in, and after that happens Israel will be saved (Romans 11:25). Acts 15:13-18 agrees. That means after the rapture God will focus once again on Israel.

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