Hey there David,
Originally Posted by David M
Yes, we digressed quite a bit from the original topic of this thread. But that's OK - we learned a lot about each other's positions on many things.
I agree that the Bible is rather like a jigsaw puzzle and that the "more pieces that are placed correctly, the easier it becomes to fit the remaining pieces that we have struggled to find a place for." Indeed, it is the Futurist rejection of the main and plain parts that fit together with strong mutual confirmation to form a coherent "Big Picture" that creates most of the confusion about the Bible. I've laid out the elements of the Big Picture many times on this forum, but Futurists always reject what the Bible plainly states. I think it would be very interesting if you wanted to pursue this topic. Here is my overview from this thread. You can follow it up there if you are so inclined. It begins with the main and plain things that all Christians agree upon. It proves that Preterism is Biblical and Futurism is not.
1) Jesus Christ is the Messiah prophesied in the OT
2) John the Baptist was the forerunner of Christ prophesied in Malachi 3 & 4. He fulfilled the prophecies of the "Elijah" who was to come as a forerunner of Christ and herald of the great and terrible Day of the Lord. The first century immanence of the great Day of the Lord is confirmed by Peter in Acts 2.
3) John the Baptist warned the apostates of Israel of the wrath to come upon them. He called them a "generation of vipers." He emphasized that the wrath would happen very soon, saying the "axe is laid to the root."
4) Christ also called them a "generation of vipers" when he warned them that they would be accountable for all the blood shed upon the earth/land. He said the judgment would happen in "this generation" meaning the generation alive at the time he spoke. History confirms his prophecies, which also are tied in with Daniel's prophecies that spoke of both the coming of Christ and the destruction of the Temple in the same context.
5) Paul confirmed that the "wrath to come" was upon the Jews of the first century and spoke of them killing the prophets and "filling up" their sins just as Christ had spoken in Matt 23.
6) The plain and literal meaning of all the time texts fit perfectly with all the mutually confirming verses above. Furthermore, there are many different kinds of times texts, and they all agree with this interpretation. I'm talking about "events which must shortly come to pass" and "for the time is at hand" and "this generation will not pass till all is fulfilled" and "I am coming quickly" and "The judge is at the door" and "it is the last hour" and so on and so forth. This means that merely explaining away each individual time text (as if they were independent of each other) by suggesting "possible alternatives" is insufficient. You need to show that there is a massive complex of mutually confirming verses that support your alternate (non-literal) interpretation of the time texts and that also form a Big Picture of equal or greater clarity than the "Big Picture" we see in the Preterist interpretation.
7) The elements of Revelation naturally cohere with everything stated above. The time texts fit perfectly - they are confirmed by all the other time texts of the NT and so are extremely compelling. The sequence of the Seals follows and confirms the sequence of events in the Olivet Discourse. The prophecy against Jerusalem in Matt 23 (blood of the prophets) is perfectly fulfilled in the prophecy against Mystery Babylon in Rev 18:24.
And on it goes. This is the "Big Picture" formed by many mutually confirming verses.
If you want to pursue the Big Picture of what the Bible REALLY teaches, you could respond to the post I just quoted or we could start a new thread.
All the best,