Scoffers

   
There is only one verse in the Bible that carries the word "scoffers"
and it is found in II Peter 3:3. This is an interesting section
of Scripture that provides the remnant believer with some crucial
information concerning how to combat the false doctrines that are
`flooding the temple' even as I write these words. This often cited
passage refers to people living in the last days that will scoff
at the expectation of an impending return of Jesus
Christ:


"....there
shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own
lusts, and saying, where is the promise of his coming? for since the
fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the
beginning of the creation. But the day of the Lord will come as a
thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a
great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth
also and the works therein shall be burned up."  (II Peter
3:3, 4, 10)

   
These extraordinary verses wreak havoc on two of the primary false
doctrines that are presently leavening the church in these
perilous times. Indeed, this chapter from the famous fisherman
contradicts the two-sided coin of false prophetic expectation that is
found in preterism and it's theological cousin the pre-tribulation
rapture doctrine.

   
Although preterists (those that teach the tribulation
happened in 70 AD) chafe at the idea of any relationship between their
doctrine and the rapturists (and vice versa), the two
doctrines are actually closely related. They both agree that the
church misses the tribulation, they both characterize the final empire
as the Roman (the original and the so-called "revived" Roman
empire respectively) and they are both inextricably committed to a
union with the state through licensing and a politically expedient
symbiotic relationship with the beast government.

   
The truth is, the "gospel" that is found in these two fraternal
twins is thoroughly false

- and Peter destroys them both in
this single chapter. Both systems inexorably lead to the Antichrist
order, and both are the epitome of the dialectically inspired system
of managed spiritual opposition. In the end, they will meet in the
middle and embrace the Beast of Babylon.

   
While the preterists love to quote verses that seem to
show the New Testament writers taught that they were in the last days at
that time,
they almost universally avoid verse 3 of chapter 3 in
II Peter. The reason is obvious, for the tense "there shall
come" plainly demonstrates that Peter projects this `scoffing'
to occur in the future

- at a time he bluntly states will be "the
last days."

   
This point cannot be understated. While it is readily apparent that
scoffers have existed since the time of Noah, the specific taunt that
is provided here is unique to preterism. Peter tells us
they will say "where is the promise of his coming? for since the
fathers fell asleep all things continue as they were from the
beginning of the creation." (II Peter 3:4) The fact that the
scoffers refer to "the fathers" is indicative of their awareness
of the patriarchs

- Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

   
While it may be argued that Peter actually foresaw the
Christian era church "fathers" in his prophetic utterance, the
point is academic for it is clear the scoffers are religious.
Atheists don't speak about the patriarchs of the 12 tribes of
Israel

- so-called "believers" do.
Furthermore, the verse then states these scoffers will assert that
things have never changed since the time of "the creation." Again,
Darwinists never refer to the creation

- religious people do. When the
verse says "all things continue," we recognize the core of amillennialism
and other forms of non-literal exegesis of prophecy. The
fascinating thing is how poignantly Peter provides us
with the antidote for the poison of preterism. In response to the
concept that all the known prophecy concerning universal devastation
in the last days must somehow be a just a way of expressing an inner
reality, he immediately globalizes the issue and equates it with a
Biblical catastrophism that is described in the most physical
terminology possible.

   
Peter succinctly refers to Noah and reminds his reader how "the
world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished."
( II Peter 3:6) Thus, if we believe the Genesis account, "...all
flesh died that moved upon the earth...all in whose nostrils
was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died."
(Genesis 7:21, 22) Although many try to turn numerous passages of this
nature into a local event, these verses are coherent and compelling:
the flood killed the whole world.

   
Peter then goes on to warn that the entire world is scheduled to be
destroyed again "by the same word" (II Peter 3:7) that brought
about the previous devastation. With this pointed statement, the
Apostle is categorically predicting that since the Lord destroyed
the entire world previously, it is not inconsistent to believe
that he will keep his word and do it again

- but this time it will be brought about by
"fire" that God has "reserved" for the day of judgment. In
fact, the entire point of the statement is that "in the last
days" wicked religionists will scoff at the idea of tribulational
events that are destined to culminate in a final global reckoning of
"fire...in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise,
and the elements shall melt with fervent heat...." (II Peter 3:7,
10)

   
The incredible thing here is that the Holy Spirit, through the Apostle
Peter,
is telling the remnant that the primary defense against the
preterist apostasy is in recognizing the truth of Biblical catastrophism.
In my previous work on the subject, I noted how preterists commonly
conceal the fact that they must treat even Old Testament accounts of cataclysms
in a symbolic fashion. Indeed, because Jesus compared
the events of His second advent to the global flood of Noah as well as
what appears to be the hemispheric devastation associated with the
incineration of the cities of the plains (most notably Sodom and
Gommorah), preterists are usually forced to relegate
Noah's flood to a mere local event.

   
As a case in point, a prominent preterist named John L Bray
refers to the Sodom and Gommorah passage where the Lord Himself
says "I will go down now, and see whether they have dome altogether
according to the cry of it." (Genesis 18:21. The reader will
remember this is the famous passage where Abraham sees "three
men" that are apparently a manifestation of "the angel of the Lord"
on their way to Sodom to destroy the place.

   
Yet Bray (and other preterists) goes on to say that this action where
the Lord says He will be directly involved in such things is not to be
taken literally

- as he assumes this to be "highly
symbolic language." (Matthew 24 fulfilled, J L Bray, page 176)
Continuing this line of reasoning, Bray goes on to say that when the
prophet Micah refers to the Lord saying "...the mountains
shall be molten under him, and the valleys shall be cleft, as
wax before the fire..." that such Old Testament scripture must be
just a figure of speech.

Yet
I am aware of a mountain in the Middle East called Jabal Al-Laws
that archaeologists say is the mountain where Moses received
the Ten Commandments, and that mountain is completely (and
inexplicably) burned

- just as the text says it was. I am also
aware of a massive geological formation known as "the great rift"

- an enormous intercontinental
rupture in the ground evidencing an ancient devastation of
incomprehensible power that runs right through the place where Sodom
and Gommorah once practiced their insidious iniquity.

Bray
and the apostates called preterists can't seem to
muster enough faith to believe that God actually does what he says.
Like all the others caught in the same web of intellectual deceit, John
L Bray
continually seeks to allegorize Old Testament accounts
of the Lord's direct intervention as a way to show why they believe
that Jesus does the same thing whenever He predicts spectacular events

- catastrophic future events such as the
time when "the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give
her light." (Matthew 24:29)

   
A good example of this attempted scriptural distortion is found in a
preterist book called Matthew 24 Fulfilled. In this
undiscerning work, Baptist pastor Bray coolly informs us that when God
promises to Moses concerning the Israelites "I am come
down to deliver them" (Exodus 3:8), He doesn't mean that He will literally
be present. Yet my Bible has convinced me that God said "I
will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the
firstborn...." (Exodus 12:11) The whole episode is in the first
person, for to Israel, God says that "...when I see the
blood, I will pass over you." (Exodus 12:13)

   
Is not this pattern of questioning the Lord's clear and concise
statements very reminiscent of the tactic of the serpent in the garden
when he asked the unsuspecting Eve "yea, hath God said
ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" (Genesis 3:1)

   
Just like his spiritual father with the age old questioning of the
veracity of the word of God, preterist Bray also asks
"Why should Jesus not have used symbolical language like this
from the Old Testament to describe events at the destruction of
Jerusalem, etc?" (Matt 24 Fulfilled, page 176)

   
And virtually all of the preterists commit the same offense. To put
this issue into proper focus, let me re-iterate. Because the
preterists do not believe in the literal catastrophic
intervention of the Lord in the Old Testament accounts, they seek to
use that assumption as a precedent for allegorizing similar
prophecies in the New Testament. Once again, to put this into the
framework of the statements in II Peter, a paraphrased
preterist may be heard to say `if God didn't literally (and
personally) drown the whole earth in the time of Noah, why should we
believe he will literally burn up the whole earth in the modern era?'

   
This is precisely what Peter is addressing when
he says "in the last days scoffers" will seek to deny the truth of
God's intervention in the affairs of men

- instead seeking to claim that the
accounts recorded for us speak of some inner truth that cannot be
taken as evidence that the end of the world will ever arrive.

   
The truth is, Peter prophesied that God will indeed intervene,
and thus condemn those that wrest the scriptures "unto their own
destruction." (II Peter 3:16. He concludes his defense of the
inevitability of these prophesied things when he cautions the remnant
believers that "seeing ye know these things before,
[again showing the futuricity of the last days and the arrival
of the scoffers] beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of
the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness." (II Peter 3:17)

September 2, 2002 - James Lloyd

Copyright © 2002 Christian Media Network

See Also

Days Of Future Past

Patch The Preterist Pirate

Article Source: 
CMC
Article Number: 
38