The word Preterism is actually from the Latin word meaning past. This word is actually from the Latin word meaning past. The idea, when applied to eschatology, is that all prophecy has been fulfilled in the past. Thus, in opposition to the other views of eschatology that place the Parousia, resurrection and judgment in the future, Full Preterism places it in the past, in the lifetime of Jesus’ first century generation as He had promised them (Matthew 16:27-28).
PRETERISM is the biblical viewpoint of fulfilled eschatology (last things). Consistent/Full Preterism is the teaching that Christ has fulfilled “all” prophecies (including the Great Tribulation, the Parousia/Coming of the Lord, the Resurrection, the Rapture, and the Great White Throne judgment) in the first century which were consummated and fulfilled by the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem (Luke 21:20-22). The ongoing relevance and practical application of all Scripture continues for the believer since that time, and that the primary function of the Church is to bring healing to all nations (spread the gospel which saves souls and adds to the Kingdom), continually bearing good fruit as Revelation 21-22 states.
Consistent/Full Preterism is about scriptural “context.” It determines the meaning of a scripture text by examining the context. This includes: Who is writing? When was it written? To whom is the text being written? What is the event being discussed? Where is this to occur? How is this to occur? Why is this to occur?
Generally these questions can be found in the text itself. Sometimes we need other scriptural texts to provide further insight. Scripture interpreting scripture is useful and necessary to understand the passage. When the context of the text is made clear, we can then try to understand the nature of the event.
Unfortunately, the church for 2000 years has misinterpreted the “nature” of Christ’s second coming (as well as the timing). This includes what “should” occur along with it. As a result, the scriptural context regarding His second coming “Parousia” has been completely misunderstood. The church has been traveling in a train heading “east” for 2000 years, when they should be heading “west”!
By incorrectly opining that certain things must occur along with Christ’s second coming, the church has looked for and focused on those speculative things and concluded that since they have not occurred “in the manner and/or local” they believe that they should, Christ has not returned yet. Some of these are:
(a) Sin must no longer exist; (b) Christians must all go to heaven at that time; (c) Physical Israel must be God’s chosen people again; (d) The physical heavens and physical earth must be completely destroyed by fire; (e) The church must be raptured to heaven all at once with no believers to appear on earth after that event; (f) Christ must judge each individual for their lifetime works, which cannot be done until there is no longer life here on earth.
There are several other preconceived perceptions (misinterpretations) that the church has had for 2000 years that unfortunately undermine the clear teaching of the Word of God regarding Christ’s second coming Parousia, which occurred in 66-AD 70. Even some, who believe in PRETERISM, commonly called: “Partial Preterists,” have been stumped by some of these things. They mistakenly put “nature” ahead of “timing.”
The bottom line is that in order to understand Christ’s second coming, we must first understand the biblical text. Only then, should we try to determine what the “nature” of His Parousia would have to include. Context not only matters, but it is essential to correctly understand any teaching of Scripture.
Individual Body View (IBV) Full/Consistent Preterism teaches that at the Parousia, on the night of Pentecost May 30 AD 66, the dead in Christ (a plural number of individual saints) were “raised immortal” out of Hades/Sheol in the unseen realm (1 Cor. 15:52; Rev 20:13-15) to receive their new immortal bodies that were reserved in heaven for them (1 Cor. 15:37-38; 2 Cor. 5:1). At that same moment, in the twinkling of an eye, the remaining living saints had their mortal bodies changed into individual immortal bodies (1 Cor. 15:51-52; 2 Cor. 5:2-4; Phil. 3:21), which put them into the unseen realm with the resurrected saints. Then both groups of saints were “caught up together” to meet Christ, and remain with Him forever afterwards in the unseen realm of heaven (1 Thess. 4:17; Matt. 24:31; John 14:3).
The key concept which differentiates the IBV from the Collective Body View (CBV) and all the other branches of Preterism, is how we explain the resurrection of the dead. Most Futurists claim that the eschatological resurrection is a raising of bodies out of the ground (BOG). But the CBV Preterists see it as a spiritual-only change of status for a collective body, from a state of alienation death to a state of fellowship life.
However, in contrast to both the Futurist BOG view and the CBV view, the IBV instead sees the eschatological resurrection as a raising of individual disembodied souls out of Hades (SOH) to put on their new individual immortal bodies and go to heaven. Notice the word “individual” here. That is what the “I” in IBV refers to: individual body view.
Thus, the eschatological resurrection was NOT merely a spiritual change of a collective body (CBV). Instead, individual souls were raised out of Hades to receive their new immortal individual bodies. And while the CBV cannot find anyone within historic Christianity who ever taught their view, the IBV concept of souls raised out of Hades (SOH) can be traced all the way back through the church to the apostles and Christ. The IBV resurrection view (SOH) is one of the traditional views of resurrection found within Historic Christianity. The only difference IBV has with the Futurist concept of SOH is the first century timing of the resurrection.
We Christians, in the earthly visible realm of the one eternal New Covenant Kingdom after AD 70 are all at different levels of maturity in the faith (The “one eternal Kingdom” consists of the earthly seen realm in the Church and the heavenly unseen spiritual realm). There will always be believers that are learning new things from the Word of God. PRETERISM or fulfilled prophecy is one of these new things.
None of us knows everything. All of us know some things. Let us love one-another in the body of Christ and encourage (not restrict) each other to study the bible and grow in Christ. Let us hang tight to apostle Peter’s last words in the Word of God:
“18but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.” (2 Pet.3:18).
Related full “Study Series” (available upon request if not hyperlinked):
[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 14 Lesson 2 Resurrection: 1 and 2 Cor. And Acts”]
[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 14 Lesson 3 Resurrection: 1 Thess. 4:13-17”]
[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 14 Lesson 4 Resurrection: Expectations/Experiences”]
[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 14 Lesson 5 Resurrection: 2 Thessalonians 1]
[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 14 Lesson 6 Resurrection: 2 Thessalonians 1…How is This Possible…Objections Answered”]
[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 14 Lesson 7 The Parousia Acts 1:9-11”]