By Donald Hochner
This is the first of five articles examining the Greek words as used in the Bible. I want to share with you why the full Preterist position is consistent with the Scripture, especially these passages that speak of things about to come. We are going to look into the lexicons with the Greek word "mello" (with its root words) which means "to be about to be, to be the point of doing" (Analytical Greek Lexicon, p. 262; Arndt, p. 500; Thayer, p. 396). I think this word "mello" is one of the most neglected English translations (NASB, KJV, NIV, etc.) of the eschatological passages in the NT. I was shocked to find out about this. The English translators may be guilty of removing or distorting God's Holy Word (Deut. 4:2). I believe it is because of the futurists' views that have affected or influenced translations of the Bible. This is pure eisegesis.
I am going to show you some eschatological passages. I am using NASB and you will see "[about]" which is in Greek text. I would recommend you to check some books in Greek and English with the interlinear translation, "The New Englishman's Concordance and Lexicon" and "Young's Literal Translation of the Holy Bible." These books may be very helpful for you. You will see why.
1. Matt. 3:7 & Luke 3:7 - "But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath [about] to come?" In this context, John the Baptist was preaching to the Jewish people. He warned the Jewish religious leaders about God's wrath to come shortly and it happened in 66-70 AD (3 1/2 years). The Old Covenant temple and the city of Jerusalem were destroyed by the Roman armies. Many Jewish people had been completely scattered or killed and all these things were fulfilled in 70 AD. See Daniel 12:7-13 and Luke 21:5-36.
2. Matt. 12:32 - "And whoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this (Old Covenant) age, or in the (New Covenant) age [about] to come." Why did Jesus say it shall not be forgiven, either in this age OR the age about to come? He is speaking of sins committed in the time before the destruction of the Jewish temple before 70 AD ("this age") and afterward ("the age to come"). We will study the Greek word "age" which is "aion" in Part Five.
3. Matt. 16:27, 28 - "For the Son of Man is [about] to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and WILL THEN RECOMPENSE EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS. Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom." These passages are the most clear and straightforward from the mouth of Jesus Christ, otherwise He is a false prophet. This is why I believe Jesus returned in the glory of His Father with the angels to take the Kingdom away from God's enemies and give it back to His Father who now is all in all.
4. Matt. 24:6 - "And you will [about to] be hearing of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end." Jesus was speaking to His disciples in their GENERATION (Matt. 24:34).
5. Luke 21:36 - "But keep on alert at all times, praying in order that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man." In this verse the NASB translators did not delete the Greek word "mello." Notice the word "you" several times in this chapter where Jesus was speaking to His disciples, not to us or future third parties.
6. Acts 17:31 - "Because He has fixed a day in which He [is about to] judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof all men by raising Him from the dead." Paul made it very clear that God was ABOUT to judge the world in his generation. This is a strong case for the Preterist view of Scripture.
7. Acts 24:14, 15 - "But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law, and that is written in the Prophets; having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall [about to be] a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked." Again, Paul made it very clear. He was expecting everything that written to be fulfilled very soon in his lifetime including the resurrection. Throughout the NT, we have seen the proclamation of the fulfillment of Israel's promises for the gospel going "to the Jews first, then the Greek"; the on-going Post-Pentecost transition from the Old Covenant to the New which is a pervasive and emphatic testimony for first century imminence of the time of the end.
8. Acts 24:25 - "And as he was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment [about] to come, Felix became frightened and said, "Go away for the present, and when I find time, I will summon you." Notice Felix became frightened.
9. Acts 26:22, 23 - "And so, having obtained help from God, I stand to this day testifying both to small and great, stating nothing but what the Prophets and Moses said was going [about] to take place; that Christ was to suffer, and that by reason of His resurrection from the dead He should be the first to proclaim light both to Jewish people and to the Gentiles." Notice Paul said the writings of the Prophets and Moses were about to be fulfilled.
10. Rom. 8:18 - "For I consider that sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is [about] to be revealed to us." Read the whole context in Rom. 8:18-25.
11. Rom. 8:38, 39 - "For I am convinced that neither death, not life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things [about] to come, nor powers, nor height, not depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Notice things present (Mosaic Age) and things about to come (Messianic Age) are associated with death, life, angels, etc. which shall not able to separate us from the love of God.
12. 1 Cor. 3:21-23 - "So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things [about] to come; all things belong to you, and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God." This is the same thing as in Rom. 8:38.
13. Eph 1:21 - "Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named not only this age, but also in the one [about] to come." It is very important to understand the meaning of "this age" (Old Covenant) and "the age about to come" (New Covenant) because it is the Jewish interpretation of eschatology. You will see this in my article in Part Five.
14. Col. 2:16, 17 - "Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day, things which are a mere shadow of what is [about] to come; but the substance belongs to Christ." These passages are the most important to understand the Old Covenant (Jewish festivals, ceremonial, promises, etc.) which was about to completed in Christ. Some futurists believe all these things were completed at the cross but it was not at the time of Paul's writing. So, obviously we don't practice these things for today because they were done away in 70 AD.
15. 2 Tim. 4:1 - "I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is [about] to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom." This verse would close the case against the Futurist's views. At Christ's return the wicked were judged and cast into eternal torment, the same place where all other wicked go at death. The righteous inherited resurrection life back in the presence of God for the first time since Adam, the representative of the human race, lost it in the Garden. Resurrection life is Paradise restored (Rev. 2:7). Jesus (the tree of life) gave us the eternal life.
16. Heb. 1:13, 14 - "But to which of the angels has He ever said, "Sit at My right hand, until I make thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet?" Are they not all ministering spirits, send out to render service for the sake of those who will [about to] inherit salvation?" The enemies of Christ were the Jewish people (Luke 19:27, Rom. 11:28, Phil 3:2, 18, 19). Christ crushed the head of all enemies even Death, and sat down at the right hand of His Father to reign eternally, whose kingdom shall have no end. Notice all the saints since the Fall are ABOUT to inherit salvation (redemption) in heaven.
17. Heb. 2:5 - "For He did not subject to angels the world [about] to come, concerning which we are speaking." The Hebrew writer was discussing the Mosaic age that was "put into effect through angels" (Acts 7:53). The new covenant world would be in subjection to Jesus, not angels. Note that the writer wrote to the first century audience "concerning which we are speaking." They did not see everything subject in Jesus because the 70 AD judgment had not yet occurred.
18. Heb. 9:11 - "But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things [about] to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation." Read in Heb. 8:6-13, 9:8-12, 15. At the time of writing, the earthly temple was still there and Christ the High Priest had not yet been disclosed from the holy place in heaven. In the OT, the high priest sacrificed the animal and then brought the blood into the holy of holies on the Day of Atonement. When the high priest came out of the holy of holies, the actual atonement had been made (Leviticus 16:16-18). But the blood of bulls and goats did not take away sins (Heb. 10:4). Jesus already came out of the holy place and brought all of His elect into the glory of God in heaven. That is why all the elect, physical, Israel were saved by the time the Parousia took place at the destruction of the Temple as it is written in Rom. 11:5, 25-29 (c.f. Heb. 9:15, 28). Since then, all of God's elect are no longer subject to Death (condemnation) and Hades (separation from God's presence). I believe at death the elect shed their physical bodies, and continue living in their spiritual immortal bodies with God in heaven forever.
19. Heb. 10:1 - "For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things [about] to come and not the very form of things, can never by the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect those who draw near." The writer of Hebrews tried to remind the Jewish people about the promises of God which were about to be fulfilled in Christ.
20. Heb 10:27 - "But a certain terrifying exception of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will [about to] consume the adversaries." Again, the writer warned the Jewish people of their time to turn to Jesus Christ, otherwise they would face the wrath of God. Read Heb. 10:25-39. These verses are vivid.
21. Heb. 13:14 - "For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is [about] to come." Clearly, this verse is speaking of the New Jerusalem after the Old Jerusalem would be destroyed and rendered obsolete. Read Heb. 11:16, Rev. 21:1-7, 9-10.
22. 1 Peter 5:1 - "Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and partaker also of the glory that is [about] to be revealed." Peter understood and he was expecting the glory that was about to revealed. Remember, he was inspired by God. Read carefully in 1 Peter 1:4-13, 20; 2:6-8; 4:7.
23. Rev. 1:19 - "Write therefore the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall [about to] take place after these things." In Rev. 1:9-20, these passages are "The things which you have seen." In Rev. 2:1-3:22 are "The things which are," and then in Rev. 4:1-22:5 are "the things which are ABOUT to take place after these things." There are only three sections and notice the last section was about to take place in John's generation. Read Rev. 1:1, 3; 22:6, 7, 10, 12, 20. We must NOT attempt to explain away the statements of imminence. That is the rule of the interpretation. Some try to use 2 Peter 3:8 to interpret the overwhelming abundance of the statements of imminence. However, their hermeneutic is unacceptable.
24. Rev 12:5 - "And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is [about] to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and His throne." It is clearly about Jesus who was caught up to God and His throne in heaven, not on the earth. In John's vision, Jesus was about to rule with a rod of iron.
Here is a quote from Eusebius, the Christian historian in the late third century. This is what he wrote about James, the brother of the Lord, when James was in trial with the Jewish leaders, "And he (James) answered with a loud voice, 'Why do ye ask me respecting Jesus the Son of Man? He is now sitting in the heavens, on the right hand of great Power, and is about to come on the clouds of heavens.' in Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, p. 77 (emphasis mine).
So, the Preterist view is consistent with the Scriptures. Let the Scriptures interpret the Scriptures. Check the Greek words and some historians, and you will find the preterist view has the strongest case against any other eschatological views. I don't know how the Futurists would defend themselves with these passages which I have shown. We ought to "be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15).
The Reformed Futurists (Amillennialism, Postmillennialism or Historic Premillennialism) cannot defend their eschatological views with dispensationalism, Charismatic and Pentecostal churches, Arminianism, Judaism, Liberal Theologians and the cults because they have some holes. Once the Reformed churches come into the full Preterist view, they will be able to defend the truth against the members of these false religions, and they will be able expose them with their errors. Reformed Preterists can make a big difference, no matter what others will think.
What do you think all of this so far, especially after examining the Greek word "mello"? Hopefully this will help a lot and cause you to rethink the reasons for your eschatological view.
Soli Deo Gloria!
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