Recently the 15th Annual Preterist Pilgrim Weekend occurred in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Dr. Don K. Preston of Preterist Research Institute (www.eschatology.org) was the host and the theme was ‘How We Know We are Not in the Last Days’. At the beginning of the conference Dr. Preston mentioned our goal being to gain a better understanding of “God’s heart, God’s mind, and God’s will”, and that seemed to be expressed well all throughout the conference.
What I will do below is list the various speakers and summarize some notes I had taken during the conference. Also, I will include links for the messages presented by each speaker.
Kyle Elliot – preached two messages entitled “A Priest Forever”, wherein he sought to demonstrate how Psalm 110 is used in the argument of the book of Hebrews. Kyle stated this is a text that demonstrates God establishing the throne of His Kingship. In highlighting the “last days framework” and correlation to Psalm 110, Kyle mentioned quite a few texts and the necessity of understanding literary structures in the text (mentioning chiasm’s and forward symmetry as being seen in Psalm 110). So many good details were mentioned that I made a notation to ask Kyle for his PowerPoints.
In talk through Psalm 110, Kyle mentioned that in verse 1, “Victory frames the entire Psalm”. In talking through verse 6, and the “judgement language” used, Kyle mentioned the “gospel of destruction) (of which Dr. Preston has been doing a video series on YouTube about). We see in Psalm 2:4-9, that “The Father issues judgement, the Son exacts judgement”. “The day” of Ps. 110:3-5 correlates to Revelation 6:12-14. Also, cross-reference Psalm 110:4 with Hebrews 7:1-3 to better see how “Psalm 110 is the salvation story in epitome”.
“From every ‘angle’, Ps. 110 is Messianic and emphasizes the victory of the priest-king over His enemies at the Day of His power and the confirmation of His reign and priesthood. The Day of power and wrath secures His reign and priesthood, it does not end it”.
Dr. Don K. Preston preached two messages properly “Identifying the Last Days”. He talked a bit about the phrase “Christian age” and charged that when rightly understanding the “last days” as the end of the Old Covenant, we can realize that the “Christian age” (what would be Scripturally identified as the “Age to Come”) has no end. He further highlighted, “If we are not in the last days, there is no future last day”. He also further stated, “Christ’s New Covenant will never go out of business”. Citing 2 Peter 3 and Deuteronomy 32, Dr. Preston challenged us to search those texts and discern two questions, 1 – Where is the promise of His coming? 2 – What were the last days?
Don went on exegete Deuteronomy 31-32 (and highlight how it correlates to 2 Peter 3) making the following notations:
Deut. 30:29; 32:20, 28 – last days
Deut. 32:21-22 – fire, destruction of the earth
Deut. 32:34 – 35 – judgement of the ungodly
Deut. 32:43 – vindication of the martyrs
“you shall remind them of this song” cf. Deut. 31:19; Psalm 102:18
Rod MacArthur preached two messages with the following titles, “Joel’s Last Days Didn’t Last Past Peter” (highlighting fulfilled prophecy in the book of Joel) and “Daniel’s ‘Last Days’ Came to an End Long Ago” (highlighting fulfilled prophecy in the book of Daniel). Starting at the first mention of “last days” in Genesis 49:1, Rod took us through a few other texts as well – Numbers 24:14-19; Deuteronomy 32:20, 29, 35-36, 43, and Joel 3:12-13. He highlighted the goal of the covenant is to enable the people of God to “walk with Him” as they did in Eden (cf. Leviticus 26:12-13; Genesis 3:8).
Rod went on to detail that the “day of the locusts” mentioned in Joel 2:1-2 is the “Day of Yahweh”, and we must understand the “this is that” of Acts 2:16 and how it cites Joel 2:28-32 as the current reality in that day. In that generation we saw the 2nd Exodus take place with wonders and blood. The two responses that came from all of this were 1 – what does this mean? 2 – these men are just drunk. Those who properly discerned the event asked, “What shall we do?” and they repented, committed to Jesus and were saved from that corrupt generation.
- The last days pertained to Israel’s history
- The curses pointed to a terminal generation
- Joel commented on the current curse in his day and prophesied the day was coming.
- Peter said “This is it”.
Daniel Rogers preached two messages detailed “The Sermon on the Mount and the Last Days”. In highlighting the nature of the Kingdom, Daniel took us to Isaiah chapter 2 and Daniel chapter 2. He then set up the stage for us to understand the 1st century scene and what it would have been like being a Jew waiting for deliverance from Roman oppression. Questions that would have been on the mind would be, “When will the Lord deliver us from Rome?”, “Did God forget His promise to David?”, “What about the promises to Abraham?”, and “Where is God?”.
Daniel went on the demonstrate how the Gospel According to Matthew is responding to those questions. Matthew 1:1 cites Jesus as the “son of David, Son of Abraham”, Matthew 1:23 refers to Jesus Christ as “Immanuel”, which means “God with us”. In Matthew chapter 2 we see that Jesus is the prophesied “prophet like Moses” who would appear to bring the people through the greater exodus. In Matthew chapter 3 we read about John the Baptist telling that generation of Jews to come to repentance. In Matthew chapter 5 , we read the Beatitudes of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom, however it is important to know that Rome would have had their own version, almost the opposite to everything Jesus Christ said. Daniel went on the lament the “empire version of Christianity” that has dominated in our current day. “Christianity is not about saying, it is about doing”.
After highlighting the nature of God’s Kingdom, how things were fulfilled, Daniel went on to detail ways we can live in fulfillment. He made the following points regarding the peace of God versus the peace of the world;
Peace of God surpasses understand (Phil. 4:7); peace of the world is conventional
Peace of God makes us fools to the world (1 Cor. 1:18); peace of the world makes one “wise” to the world
Peace of God comes through knowledge of God (John 17:3); peace of world comes through bombs and military victory,
In his second message, Daniel made note of 4 levels of interpreting the Bible – literal, deeper, comprehensive, and mystery. He noted in understanding the Biblical narrative that, “Israel was not chosen to the exclusion of the world but to the entire world’s inclusion (cf. Genesis 12)”. He further noted that only through Jesus Christ can one see the true intention of the Law (cf. 2 Corinthians 3).
You can view both of Daniel’s lectures at the following links,
Obviously I didn’t take any notes on the two messages I (Michael Miano) delivered. I preached a message from Matthew 5:17-18 titled, “Old Covenant Details and the Last Days”, as well as a message on Hebrews 9:28 – “Salvation Now, Last Days Past”. Here are the links for those messages;
Dr. William Bell presented a two part message with the title “The Hour of Glory”. He said, “The hour of glory connects the New Testament inseparably and incontrovertibly to the book of Daniel”. Daniel is the only Old Testament book that uses the phrase “eternal life”. William went on to demonstrate the correlations between John chapter 5 and chapter 12. (I have included a picture of his chart in the pictures below). William also demonstrated the correlations in Daniel to the intertestamental books.
Garrett Cradduck’s memorized recitation of the book of Hebrews was beautiful. I appreciated that he started it out with a challenge for the each of us, as he said, “The Lord has blessed us with time and tools that no one had before”. Go ahead and give your full attention to his deliverance of the Book of Hebrews at the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EweO4Q3LJ3A