I recently read ‘Give Me This Mountain’ written by Tim King. Not only do I hope to develop more resources, interviews, and discussion regarding the details shared in the book, especially as they pertain to the advancement of the Preterist Movement, on the Preterist Power Hour, but herein I share notes I took as I read, as well as thoughts and resource to accompany things that were detailed.
When outlining the history and advancement of Preterism, especially in our current generation, it would be remiss to leave out Max King. Give Me This Mountain tells the biographical details of Max King and his “unwavering convictions” regarding the truth of the Scriptures and the movement that followed.
Speaking of Max King and the fact that he grew up on a farm and his having “a strong sense of nature are God’s gift to humanity”, “It never resonated with him to hear the local preacher speak of the day when God would destroy it all by fire at the supposed ‘end of time’. It seemed liked a tragic waste”.
“With an unwavering conviction that Scripture was the Word of God, Max began to ask questions that no one else was interested in asking. What is this story about? To whom was it written? What was it’s relationship to Israel and what was her role in the salvation of humanity? Why would God pronounce His creation “very good” only to destroy it because of humanity’s sin? Why did Jesus make such magnificent promises of what would occur in the lifetime of some of those standing in His audience if they would be delayed millennia? What was going on? What could we possibly be missing?”
“…Max became determined to understand the Book of Revelation as thoroughly as possible”.
- “The more he studied, the more convinced he became that John’s Revelation was indeed fulfilled”.
- “The view began to crystalize in his understanding as he studied Matthew’s Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24) in light of Daniel and the Book of Revelation”.
Asking the questions in bold above and seeking to understand the whole counsel of God through the Biblical narrative is what we refer to ‘A Thinking Faith” at The Blue Point Bible Church. Take notice of the things that led Max to consider the truth of preterism – an appreciation for God’s creation, the Biblical narrative, and the syllogistic beauty of Bible prophecy, along with audience relevancy and time statements, as found in and through the book of Daniel, Matthew 24, and the book of Revelation.
1971 – The Spirit of Prophecy (1st book)
Parkman Rd. Church of Christ, Warren, Ohio
Elders: Harold Sapp, Edgar Dunlap, Cephas Foweler
“It would have been easier to replace their minister instead of challenging their orthodoxy, but they were bent on knowing and putting forth a better understanding of God’s Word”.
“Little did it matter that folks didn’t know the issues, the Scriptures, or really even what we were saying. All that mattered was that we were coloring outside the lines and that is not high on the tolerated behaviours within the corridors of Christendom”…”…there are good folks lout there who are willing to listen, weight the evidence, and decide that some things are just not worth dividing over, even if they disagree”…”Here we were, men who have given our lives to the study off Scripture and many of them were hiding behind uninspired creeds of men”. (Recommended read: Sam Frost’s book, Misplaced Hope)
I have not have the chance to read through The Spirit of Prophecy which is something I will read and review sometime soon. I wanted to mark out the names of men who demonstrated integrity in their approach to study of the Scriptures. God willing, some of them can be contacted and communicated with for further edification and encouragement. One major thing being noted is the similarities between the argumentation, or lack their of, that they received in regards to Preterism and what many of us here down to the common day (and of course I appreciate the notice of those in the mix who are willing to learn and discern these things). This seemingly intentional ignorance and hiding has been occurring for 30 years, whewwww….almost a Biblical generation (which is an edifying study that revealed it to be 40 years). Matter of fact, here is a link that brings you through that short study, http://christeternalchristianchurch.com/learning-activity-83-bible-passages-to-challenge-your-eschatology/learninglist/learning-activity-34a/
1973 – Max King vs. Gus Nichols
“If Max had any shortcomings in the debate, it was his naïveté that debating the issues was something Gus Nichols was prepared to do”.
“I abhor debates. I have yet to see one that I thought beneficial. Certainly neither participant leaves having been won over by the other.”
I can totally understand Tim’s frustration expressed herein. I have participated in quite a few public debates, and following most of those debates (sometimes within hours), I had the same thoughts – how naïveté I am and how arrogant some can be (which debate seems to magnify). I believe that so much has been laid down regarding the truth of Preterism in the host of debates that have been done (simply go to YouTube and search Preterism vs. Futurism debates) – which necessitates constant return to and examination of such debates. Our future debates, if and when had, should build upon truths already expressed and agreed upon.
Back in 2015, I participated in a public discourse with a local pastor about 5 segments of Biblical understanding – Genesis creation, The Law of Moses, The Prophets, The Messiah, and Eschatology. I felt it was a beneficial discussion rather than debate. You can watch that on YouTube at the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDRZ5LeoUHw&t=2s
1975 – Max King vs. Jim McGuiggan (written debate)
“Having witnessed both type of debates, I prefer the written to the verbal because it seems to allow for the best thoughts on the subject to be arranged and put forth”.
“Between 1975 – 1987 Max read every American, German, English, and Dutch scholar he could get his hands on…He was stunned at how many writers were content to say that Jesus or Paul were wrong. He labored with an unwavering conviction that this simply could not be the case”
”In the 18th century a man named Hermann Samuel Reimarus would forever change the way the world looked at Jesus…Jesus was a failed revolutionary (the likes of Albert Sweitzer – a failed prophet).”
I surely agree with Tim about the value of written debates. I participated in a written debate regarding the erroneous view of Israel-Only a few years ago and found that to be edifying. You review that debate at the following link, https://powerofpreterism.wordpress.com/2018/03/29/israel-only-debate-is-it-scripturally-defendable/
The burden of the Full Preterist is to defend the faith in regards to Jesus Christ and the Apostles meaning what they said to whom they said it to. Going the route of saying that Christ was a failed revolutionary, or worst yet, a failed prophet, seems blasphemous. Matter of fact, it was Bertrand Russell, who included in his lecture, Why I am Not A Christian, that Jesus’ failed prophesies was one of his reasons for maintaining atheism. Russel goes on to say, “For one thing, He certainly thought that His second coming would occur in clouds of glory before the death of all the people who were living at that time. There are a great many texts that prove that.”. All of that said, I applaud Max King and the fulfilled Bible prophecy students that notice these texts and seek to be honest with them.
1987 – The Cross & The Parousia (2nd Book)
“At this point it was evident that people were either predisposed to understanding these issues or they weren’t. And if they weren’t, it didn’t matter what form of writing was placed in front of them – they weren’t going to deal with it”.
Understanding syllogisms and correlating texts is vital to putting together the Biblical narrative, especially as it pertains to Bible prophecy. Max King’s book, The Cross and the Parousia demonstrates the richness of what occurred from the cross to Christ’s coming (I.e., parousia). Sadly, Tim’s quote rings true to any Preterist who has labored to share these truths with those who do not have eyes to see and ears to hear. We must recognize the Spiritual component to this (1 Cor. 2:14).
1989 – 1st Annual Covenant Eschatology Seminar
Speakers: Terry Hall, Jack Scott, William Bell, Don Preston, Doug and Max King, and others within the COC
“Fulfilled Eschatology was (and is) for many just something to cram into an existing denominational belief system, and that causes them to be even more of a belligerent theological bully…A different and more open approach needed to be taken”…”If there is a shadow side to the fulfilled prophecy movement it is the combative spirit that continues to exist in some circles even now”.
Talk about a throwback. The variety of conferences we now have in the ‘Preterist Movement’ is so encouraging. I can only imagine how encouraging that very first conference was (I also look to contact many of the names mentioned not only at the 1st conference, but all throughout Tim’s book, so that we can continue to see the root, fruit, and progress of Preterism. And sadly, yes, the issue of denominationalism continues, even within the ‘Preterist Movement’ and the ‘combative spirit’ (which I usually refer to as the ‘wounded animal syndrome’). Strides continue to be taken to foster Preterist thought into all denominations (and God willing, break down some of the divides in our understandings ).
1989 – Living Presence Journal (Preterist Magazine)
Now we have Fulfilled! Magazine
I sought to find a remnant of the Living Presence Journal on the internet to no avail. However, we now have FULFILLED! Magazine as an in-print, quarterly Preterist magazine. You can find more information and review past copies at the following link, https://www.fulfilledcg.com/Magazine/fulfilled-magazine.htm
- “Once we see the when of the resurrection, we can talk about the what and how until the day we die”.
- “One of the greatest challenges to getting the resurrection frames correctly is the area of semantics. People are hyper-sensitive to Gnostic ideas that assert Jesus was never raised in a physical, flesh-and-blood body, which, we all agree, He was”.
- “The whole implication of fulfilled redemption is to grasp how God has reversed in Christ what had been severed in Adam”
After teaching, preaching, and publicly defending the fulfilled understanding of the resurrection, I must say it all seems like intentional ignorance on the Futurist’s part. When looking at Daniel chapter 12 specifically, and others texts that put the ‘resurrection of the dead’ at the coming of the Lord, and then being honest with the time-statements, it becomes impossible to ignore that the current day understanding of the ‘resurrection of the dead’ that is spouted by many preachers is simply not what the Scriptures have to teach. I offer the following blog that I did as a short explanation and a host of resources in understanding the corporate-body resurrection that was to occur at the coming of the Lord in AD 70, https://powerofpreterism.wordpress.com/2017/05/03/an-introduction-to-and-praise-of-the-corporate-body-view-cbv/
Also, here is a ‘Notebook Review’ I did regarding my personal studies and notes on the resurrection of the dead, https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2017/05/27/notebook-review-resurrection-of-the-dead/
1998 – 9th Annual Covenant Eschatology Seminar
Theme: “A Reason To Praise: Capturing the Essence of Our Salvation”
Jay Gary – united regarding a message that makes a difference
“It made a difference that there were people starving and that the religious world needed to be renewed and refocused if coordinated efforts were going to be made in working together. It made a difference if most of Christianity looked for an escape through the return of Christ and were forfeiting their voice in making this world better”.
“What if? What if the Church were to experience Biblical renewal in our generation in reference to the end time as Jesus saw it? What if the Church would begin to invite society to recovery humanity’s hope?”
“Through the 90’s, we had witnessed what happened within the world of Preterism with all of it’s labels: Full, Partial, Hyper, IBD, and on and on”…”I suppose the final straw for me was when the president of the International Preterist Association took the view that the 1st century church was literally raptured off the face of the earth – and that this supplied the answer to the oft-asked question as to why the teaching of Fulfilled Eschology went undiscovered for so long”.
“…After Paul’s martyrdom and post-consummation of the Kingdom in AD 70…the rapid Hellenization of the church. By being overhwelmed with Greek influence, it is not difficult to see how easily they lost sight of the faith of Paul regarding the New Covenant perspective of the salvation that was of “All Israel’s” at AD 70. Just as Israel needed to enter into her “spiritual things”, so too, the Gentiles were made partakers of Israel’s “spiritual things”. Each group blundered in sponsoring various movements seeking to castigate the other from the favor of God”.
One of the most heard (and most responded to) questions we hear regarding Preterism is, “What now?”. They have been talks, conferences, and roundtables to the overflow in this regard. As the theme of the 9th Annual Covenant Eschatology Seminar pointed out – when we capture the essence of our salvation, we have a mighty reason to praise. Each year at The Blue Point Bible Church we have had conferences (we are aiming to do our 7th annual conference this coming October 2021, wherein we focus on exactly that – living our lives in light of the fulfilled hope.
I also share Tim’s frustration regarding the many labels in Preterism, especially the division between the corporate-body view (CBV) and the rapture-driven IBD view (Immortal Body at Death). I actually had a public discourse with Ed Stevens, the president of the International Preterist Association a fews years ago regarding these differences. You can review that discussion on YouTube at the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7zaUtNfLC0&t=1281s
Discussion does continue regarding how, why, and where the truth of fulfilment was lost in early generations of the Christian church. An outstanding read in that regard is Kurt Simmon’s, The Road Back to Preterism, which you can purchase, or read online at the following link, http://www.preteristcentral.com/The%20Road%20Back%20to%20Preterism.html
January 2000 – New theme for Presence Ministries: “Recovering Humanity’s Hope”
“…the key to the 21st century would be to recover the full redemptive vision that undergirded the 1st century church”.
“…to come up with a word, a label that would help identify this study of Fulfilled Eschatology”….””Trans” for “Millennialism”. It was less a matter of a reformation (or a restoration of what was) than it was a call for transformation into what we could become – a realisation of our great potential in God”….”Transmillennialism is a necessary and valuable upgrade to Preterism”.
I have come to understand the term ‘transmillenialism’ to be highlight that the work of Christ in the 1st century generation was transitional. As I mentioned above, a Biblical generation is 40 years. The use of 1,000 in Biblical prophecy highlights completion. So we might say , what was accomplished in the 40 years from the cross to the coming of Christ was transitioning the Christian Church into completeness (or consumption/ salvation as other texts express).
I have continued to mark out the variety of names and ministries mentioned, so that as I also mentioned above, we might continue to mine the treasures of the roots, fruits, and progress of Preterism (and I believe it is high time to double back and ask some of these individuals to weigh in on the progress the ‘Preterist Movement’ has seen in the last 21 years.
“Men who could have pulled back for the sake of reputation, but who decided to continue to walk with us in integrity”
Holy Ground Ministries, Quest (publication)
Joanne Gerety, south NJ
Dr. Jim Hodges, Christ For The Nations
“One thing stood out to both of us: if Revelation 21-22 were indeed a living reality, if the new heavens and new earth were here, then believers no longer would be living in a world where God was at war. Rather than “spiritual warfare”…be guided by a ”spiritual procession” mentality”.
Naim Ateek, Sabeel Theological Seminary
World Future Society
Eric Value (traveled from Caribbean to attend seminars)
Dr. Brenda Brasher, The Center For Millennial Studies
Dr. Harvey Cox
Robert Costa, Australia
It would seem that the turn of the millennium, the year 2000, was a frustrating but inspiring time to being involved with fulfilled Bible prophecy. Tim goes on to mention, “It is alarming how many ‘Preterist’ individuals or ministries exist who take their own form of scapegoating, demonizing or conspiracy theories and weave them together with the Biblical story as if God is calling the world into a similar mindset that got Jerusalem destroyed in the first place”. I couldn’t agree more. I also appreciated the following insights on necessary progress the ‘Preterist Movement’ must see, “If it took 2000 years to begin to grasp the significance of the events of the 1st century, why would we think that as we explore this change, we would reach absolute understanding in only a few decades?”
- “Rather than codification, exploration was (and is) needed”.
- “A new language could and should be developed that could effectively communicate our experience of God’s presence”.
- “Those who do have a vision for the Kingdom of God need to sit down at the table where tomorrow’s society’s are being framed”.
- “…interact with the secular mind and try to find ways to reach a more integrative approach to the Gospel and cultures…problem solving of some of the thornier issues in our world, not the least of which is the troubled Middle East…”
- “What should an agenda for this decade look like? What should be on the top of our list in terms of Biblical renewal, based on fulfilled prophecy?
– Books, Conferences, curriculum. Communications/programs, instutute, area teams, council, associates, think tank, chairs
2002 – Annual Conference
- Comprehensive Grace (Tim King)
- Creative Eschatology (Kevin Beck)
- Pattern of Biblical Transformation (Jay Gary)
“Archonology (beginning, the study of) is the study of 1st things in light of the New Jerusalem (Eph. 3:21). The use of the word ‘archon’ or ‘origin’ is best found in Revelation 22:13…cf. 2 Corinthians 5:17; Revelation 3:14; and Colossians 1:16-17)”….”Eschatology deals with the end of Israel’s story; archonology deals with the beginning of the human story as redeemed in Christ”.
“Since 1998, Max has been working on a massive treatment from the Book of Romans, focusing on chapters 9-11.”…”After ‘living’ with the Apostle for years, Max’s conviction was that Paul, witting the Book of Romans circa 63 AD, was expecting that All Israel would be saved, and that this would be broader than some might be comfortable with believing, given their traditional roots. Following God’s judgement in AD 70, Paul felt that Good would unilaterally extend his mercy to Israel (and the nations), much the same way Paul experienced it on the Damascus Road”.
For years since I embraced Full Preterism (back in 2010) I have heard that it could potentially lead you to embrace Universalism. It had been said again and again, but never confirmed, that Max King, after all his study, had become a universalist. A visit to Presence.tv does demonstrate a different direction of learning, much more a highlighting of contemporary thought and philosophy than focus on Bible prophecy. Also, the book mentioned above was finally published a few years ago. I have not yet read ‘Irrevocable: Paul’s Radical Vision in Romans 9-11, And Why Christianity Cannot Handle It’, however you can purchase your copy at the following link, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZH43CCH/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1
Well, the book, Give Me This Mountain, sure covered a lot. However, as I hope this blog demonstrates, that and this is just the beginning. I loved Tim’s response to the oft-asked question regarding Preterism, “Why hasn’t Christianity embraced it?” Tim response, “What is keeping you from embracing all that God has for you?”…”You and I are not responsible for what the Church doesn’t do with what it doesn’t know. We are, however, responsible for what we have seen with our own eyes, from the pages of Scripture. Each servant must give an account to his master”.
As was noted in the preface about Max King, “another mountain man who was not content to live on the plains, but was compelled to take the high ground.” I hope this has stirred you to do the same. Tim mentions the following 4 principles to ‘mountain-dwellers’:
- Develop a heart of worship (John 4:23; Heb. 12:22; Eph 5:19; Psalm 100)
- Cultivate the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:12, 15-16; 1 Cor 1:22; Hebrews 5:13)
- Sharpen your life purpose (Acts 13:26; 2 Samuel 7:13)
- Build a team that lasts
I must conclude this study and review by marking out how encouraged and blessed I am by the unwavering conviction of Max King and men/women who have blazed the trails of advancing Covenant Eschatology before me. Truly standing on the shoulders of giants. Reading through, Give Me This Mountain’, continued my passion for learning about and advancing the roots, fruits, and progress of Preterism (something that will continue to be done on our Thursday night program – Preterist Power Hour). Also, it brings value to the history of our movement and our efforts when we continually review past efforts, teachings, debates, etc…so may we see that all the more. Lastly, I totally appreciate the desire to be more inclusive of the Body of Christ than many denominations allow, however being that I am not a Universalist, but rather believe that Bible prophecy was fulfilled to further demonstrate the who and the what of God’s elect, therefore I urge us toward a Biblical exclusive, inclusivity (i.e., the Church).
This review was written by Michael Miano
Get your copy of Give Me This Mountain at, https://www.amazon.com/Give-Me-This-Mountain-Ministries/dp/0964138883/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8
Also, to learn more about the current day activities of Presence Ministries, visit www.presence.tv