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Notes on Daniel: Definition of "Preterist"

By Jay Rogers
Published July 16, 2019

Here is the dictionary definition of preterist.

PRETERIST: 1. One whose chief interest is in the past; one who regards the past with most pleasure or favor. 2. (Theology) One who believes the prophecies of the Apocalypse to have been already fulfilled. Farrar (Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, 1913).

Preterism means a belief in past fulfillment. Historicism means a belief in ongoing historical fulfillment. Futurism means a belief in a future fulfillment.


In the Days of These Kings (Book)

Perfect-bound Paperback — 740 pages

The Book of Daniel in Preterist Perspective

“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Daniel 2:44).

The overarching message of Daniel is that Jesus the Messiah is even now ruling over the nations. He is the King of kings. Daniel tells us that Messiah’s kingdom will advance in the whole world from “generation to generation” (Daniel 4:4,34). Christ’s dominion is “given to the people of the saints of the most High” (Daniel 7:22). Our purpose then is to see “all people, nations, and languages … serve and obey him” (Daniel 7:14,27).

This comprehensive work offers a fascinating look at the book of Daniel in preterist perspective. Great attention is paid to the writings of ancient and modern historians and scholars to connect the dots and demonstrate the continuity of Daniel’s prophecy with all of Scripture.

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The terms futurist, preterist and historicist deal with how much prophecy has been fulfilled at our point in time. According to the definition above, these terms describe the approach of the interpreter, not the viewpoint of the biblical prophet.

If that were the case, however, all prophets would be futurists until they lived to see their prophecies fulfilled. Then they would become historicists. A year later, they would become preterists. Of course, such a way of understanding the terms is ridiculously unwieldy.

A partial preterist is one who believes that the prophecies of Daniel, Matthew 24 and Revelation are mostly fulfilled. The difference between a partial preterist and a historicist is that the historicist thinks that these prophecies are being fulfilled in a progressive ongoing manner in history. The partial preterist sees much past fulfillment. Those parts that are unfulfilled deal with eschatological events at the end of history, the Second Coming, the General Resurrection and the Final Judgment.

Of course, Daniel’s prophecy deals with events in history that came to pass during his own day and after he lived. It is not the prophet Daniel who is preterist, but the interpreter who believes that Daniel’s prophecies were completely fulfilled prior to the completion of the New Testament canon – around AD 70.

It is problematic to call the Reformers (and those who believed Pope Leo and Islam were foretold in Revelation) “historicists,” since they believed that prophecy was being fulfilled in their own day. Their view was similar to today’s futurists who place the fulfillment of nearly every biblical prophecy in the not too distant future. However, from our perspective, the view of the Reformers was historicist.

To avoid confusion, we might attach dates to the following definitions.

AD 70Preterist — One who believes that most of the so-called “apocalyptic” prophecies of Daniel, Ezekiel, Zechariah, Matthew 24 and Revelation were fulfilled by AD 70.

AD 1500Historicist — One who believes that most of the apocalyptic prophecies have an ongoing fulfillment throughout history – a view similar to many of the Reformers of the 1500s.

AD 2000Futurist — One who believes that most of the apocalyptic prophecies are yet to be fulfilled – a view held by many evangelical Christians in the 21st century.

According to many preterists, a few of these apocalyptic prophecies of the Bible are ongoing in history, especially Revelation 20 (the “thousand years”) and Matthew 24:36-25:46 (the last part of the Mount Olivet Discourse). Some fulfilled prophecies might have a general application beyond the specific kings, kingdoms and events mentioned in the text. But the specific prophetic symbolism could not have been directly fulfilled by historical figures after the time of the Apostles.


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Abortion Clinic 911 Calls (DVD)

Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!

These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.

Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.

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Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.

The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

Welcome to the Second American Revolution!

This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.

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Massacre of Innocence (DVD)

Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion

This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.

Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.

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— Congressman Robert K. Dornan

Running time: 85 minutes

Packaged in a double DVD case with the updated The Abortion Matrix DVD.

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The Silent Scream (DVD) Eight Languages

“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981

Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.

The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.

“… a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine

Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese

Running Time: 28 minutes

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A Revival Account: Asbury 1970 (DVD)

What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?

Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.

Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!

“This simple video does a wonderful job of conveying something of God’s heart and power, Everyone we have ever shown this to has received an immediate impartation of faith for revival and the power of prayer.”
— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l

Running Time: 40 minutes

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