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Matthew 16:27-28 - Don Preston Review #1

27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. 28 Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.  -  Matthew 16:27-28

Note: Don Preston is a full preterist and therefore his teaching cannot receive full or blind acceptance. His many videos on YouTube are worthy of listening and interacting with in a timeline manner.

@0:33-0:40: Mr. Preston gives a brief quote from C.S. Lewis that is an accurate representation. Here is the quote in a much larger context from the essay entitled "The World's Last Night",

As an argument against the reality of the Second Coming this seems to me to beg the question at issue. When we propose to ignore in a great man's teaching those doctrines which it has in common with the thought of his age, we seem to be assuming that the thought of his age was erroneous. When we select for serious consideration those doctrines which "transcend" the thought of his own age and are "for all time/' we are assuming that the thought of our age is correct: for of course by thoughts which transcend the great man's age we really mean thoughts that agree with ours... 

No one would reject Christ's apocalyptic on the ground that apocalyptic was common In first century Palestine unless he had already decided that the thought o first-century Palestine was in that respect mistaken. But to have so decided is surely to have begged the question; for the question is whether the expectation of a catastrophic and Divinely ordered end of the present universe is true or false... 

If we have an open mind on that point, the whole problem is altered. If such an end is really going to occur, and if (as is the case) the Jews had been trained by their religion to expect it, then it is very natural that they should produce apocalyptic literature. On that view, our Lord's production of something like the other apocalyptic documents would not necessarily result from his supposed bondage to the errors of his period, but would be the Divine exploitation of a sound element in contemporary Judaism: nay, the time and place in which it pleased him to be incarnate would, presumably, have been chosen because, there and then, that element existed, and had, by his eternal providence, been developed for that very purpose... 

But there is worse to come. "Say what you like," we shall be told, "the apocalyptic beliefs of the first Christians have been proved to be false. It is clear from the New Testament that they all expected the Second Coming in their own lifetime. And, worse still, they had a reason, and one which you will find very embarrassing. Their Master had told them so. He shared, and indeed created, their delusion. He said in so many words, 'this generation shall not pass till all these things be done/ And he was wrong. He clearly knew no more about the end of the world than anyone else." It is certainly the most embarrassing verse in the Bible.

@5:50: Mr Preston begins to link Christ's predication to fulfillment of OT prophecy by turning to Paul,

For I tell you that Christ <sup class="crossreference" style="background-color: white; font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(K)">became a servant to the circumcised to show God's truthfulness, in order <sup class="crossreference" style="background-color: white; font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(L)">to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs (Romans 15:8)

I don't have any problem with Mr Preston linking to these things. I believe that a stricter understanding of how the Old Testament was fulfilled in Christ is incredibly crucial. Seeing Christ as the faithful Israel is a big theological step that many young Christians are not taught to make. Instead in the evangelical community they are taught to look for a future restoration of Israel neglecting that the church is the new Israel because it is united to the "faithful Israel" that is Christ.

@6:38: Mr Preston says that all NT predictions are fulfillment of OT prophecy and that no new eschatological prophecies were given. This can quickly become (and truly is) the full preterist view which denies the future bodily resurrection of the believer and second advent of Christ. It is this very view that is deemed heretical.

@7:37: Mr Preston links Christ's speech of that with the prophecy of Isaiah,

Behold, the Lord God comes with might and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. (Isaiah 40:10)

I am not sure that I personally would link these two passages together. Although the proximity to John's fulfillment of Isaiah 40:3-5 is interesting it doesn't seem to me that it must be fulfillment of prophecy when it could simply be a continuation of the theme of prophecy. I expect Mr Preston would link also think that Paul is describing this event,

But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed. He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality. (Romans 2:5-11)

But again, I'm not sure Mr Preston isn't simply bringing together prophecy with the same theme but not the same event in mind.

@8:12: Mr Preston now takes us to another passage in Isaiah,

Behold, the Lord has proclaimed to the end of the earth: Say to the daughter of Zion, â€śBehold, your salvation comes; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him." (Isaiah 62:11)

The two passages in Isaiah are very similar and may very well refer to the same event. But the potential for disconnect with Christ persist. I will grant some wiggle room for the time being since it seems that Mr Preston's next videos in the series are on the passages of Isaiah. I'm looking forward to the development of thought on Jesus returning to marry His bride. This is something I cannot disagree with and in fact agree should be stressed more. But I do not see how Jesus fulfilled this in destruction of Jerusalem without a significant vindication, purification and glorification of the church that Paul promises,

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:25-27) 

In conclusion, "Preston's Ponderings" should provide an interesting canvas to prove the validity of preterism while delineating the unorthodox full preterism of Mr Preston.

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