Vote For Jesus

What does it mean to repent? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

In Matthew, shortly after the baptism, Jesus is going around the area of Israel telling people everywhere to repent. After all, the Kingdom of God is at hand as is said in Mark. So what is Jesus telling the people to do with this?

Often, we think it means that Jesus is telling people to turn from their sins and accept Him as their Lord and savior. In an individualistic culture, that makes sense. He means something else though. What is He asking for is loyalty. He is the Messiah of Israel and is asking people to show that they are loyal to Him.

The message of the Kingdom of God includes the forgiveness of sins, but it is not limited to that. The message is about God in Christ and not about us. The emphasis on the Kingdom is not what God does for us, but rather it is what we do for God.

When we repent, we are really saying that we are in the wrong and Jesus is in the right and we are going to be loyal to Jesus. We realize that as Paul says, we are not our own but we are bought with a price. We belong to God in Jesus.

The closest parallel I can make is to a political campaign. Jesus is in essence going around asking people to choose Him as the Messiah of Israel. Of course, Jesus knows that this will not happen ultimately, but He still makes the offer.

Repentance is then realizing that God is proclaiming Himself king through Jesus and that we are to submit to Him. This entails forgiveness for we have to admit that we are in the wrong and God is in the right and come and side with Him. God will then pronounce us to be in the right. If God is our king through Jesus then, then we are to remain loyal to Him.

This is certainly eschatological. After all, the pronouncement of God’s king has ramifications for today. One of the main points of Preterism is that we are not waiting for Jesus to be the king. Jesus is already the king. We do evangelism to spread the message of king Jesus.

When you see a call to repent in the Bible, it is much more than just you. It is about the message that Jesus is King and we are to live in submission to Him. His kingship is not waiting for 2,000 or so years though. He is king right now. We are to submit to Him right now.

In other words….

Repent.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

The Coming Kingdom

What does the Kingdom of God refer to? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

One of the big debates in eschatology really centers around the Kingdom of God. This is something that I disagree with the way I see futurism and dispensationalism presented. The question is what does it mean for the Kingdom of God to come and then when does it begin.

I plan to look at various passages about the Kingdom of God, but mainly I want to talk about what it means. Even secular scholars today now agree that one of the main messages of Jesus was the Kingdom of God. One of the great gifts N.T. Wright has done for the church is to open our eyes to what this means.

When Jesus shows up in the Gospels even at an early point, aside from John which hardly mentions this, He is talking about the Kingdom of God. This would be significant because though Israel had returned to the land, the land wasn’t their home again entirely. After all, the Romans were ruling over the land. Israel was supposed to be sovereign over the land.

A number of figures rose up wanting to end Roman rule and claiming to be the Messiah. These figures were often going to bring an end to Roman rule. As you should know, none of them did. Jesus shows up and He claims the Kingdom of God, but He has something different in mind than booting out the Romans.

Jesus is saying that God is going to be king again. The true monarchy that God intended through David is going to be restored. David had been one king in history who had fulfilled three roles of prophet, priest, and king. His son, the Messiah, would fulfill those roles.

The true enemy though was not the Romans. It was sin. God was through Jesus proclaiming that His rule would begin and it wouldn’t be limited to just a piece of land in the Middle East. God was going to rule the whole world.

This then gets to a debate about when the kingdom of God began. For a Preterist like myself, when Jesus says “soon”, He means it. God is going to being His rule. He is going to defeat the devil. He is going to conquer. He will reclaim the world for Himself.

Thus, the question then is when did Jesus become king or when is He going to be king? For someone in my position, the answer is Jesus is king right now. Now I know some of you could be saying “Well if Jesus is king right now, then why is there still evil in the world?” That was answered in part in our look at Psalm 110:1 and we will see more of this in the Gospels. Jesus is reigning now and His enemies are being made a footstool for His feet. We are His ambassadors going around announcing the news that Jesus Christ is king of this Earth.

So as we look at eschatology, expect a lot of verses to look at the Kingdom of God. There’s more in there than you likely realized.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

A Brief Look At Psalm110:1

What does this verse have to do with eschatology? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Before going further in the Gospels looking at eschatology and verses relating to the topic, it’s important to consider a passage that shows up repeatedly in the New Testament, at least seven times quoted and several allusions. That is Psalm 110:1 and it could be the most important verse to understanding eschatology.

“The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”

In this verse, David speaks about the coming Messiah and the Messiah is, as Jesus pointed out, David’s son and yet also His Lord. This verse also introduces a possibility of a multiplicity in the Godhead with two beings addressed as Lord. It doesn’t necessitate that, but it works just fine with it.

This verse is about the kingship of the Messiah. In this passage, when the Messiah begins His rule, He will sit at the right hand of God. While He is sitting, God will be in the process of making His enemies a footstool for His feet.

Note this about the passage. While the reign of Messiah is going on, Messiah will still have enemies that are active. This can be problematic for a position that says that Jesus cannot be king right now because of all the evil that is in the world.

However, from an orthodox Preterist perspective, this is entirely possible. Jesus can be reigning and evil can still be roaming about. Jesus is going to reign in the midst of His enemies.

As the passage goes on, we find that this king is also a priest and one in the order of Melchizedek. What’s interesting about this is that there is one book that presents all of this and that is Hebrews. In Hebrews, Jesus is king at the start because at the start of the book, Jesus sits down at the right hand of God. Later in the book, Jesus is said to be a priest in the order of Melchizedek, which is interesting since there is nothing supposedly about priests coming from the tribe of Judah.

Jesus is then our priest and king right now. What that means is that if Jesus is our priest who provides atonement for us right now, then He is our king right now. If He is our king right now, then He is providing atonement for us right now. Both of them have to be here. If we want to say we are forgiven but there is no kingship, then we have to say that Jesus is not really king right now and if He is not, then how can it be He has sat down at the right hand as Hebrews say, but yet is not king and is still somehow priest? It doesn’t fit.

As an orthodox Preterist then, I do see Jesus as king and priest right now and He is reigning. God the Father is bringing all the enemies of Jesus under His feet and this is what we see going on. The Kingdom of God is spreading rapidly more and more with Christianity reaching more people all around the globe.

This will be important as when we look in the Gospels, we will find numerous references to the kingship of Jesus Christ. Even secular scholars agree today that Jesus taught the Kingdom of God. We will see what is so important about this and if Jesus truly is king right now or not. Psalm 110:1 is central to this and if your eschatology doesn’t have a place for this verse, you need to change your eschatology.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Is Matthew 16:27-28 about the Transfiguration?

Is this passage about the Transfiguration? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Often times, critics will bring up this passage to dismiss the Bible. See here? Jesus was wrong about the time of His own return! What passage is it? Let’s take a look. It’s Matthew 16:27-28.

For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.

“Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

There are parallels in Luke 9:26-27

“Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

“Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.” “

and Mark 8:38

“If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

Let’s start with something. Nowhere does this mention a return. It talks about a coming, but it says nothing about a return. This is being read into the text. A skeptic would need to show that the idea of the return of Jesus is identical to the coming of Jesus.

On the other hand, a lot of Christians think that this is about the Transfiguration. It’s not necessarily a horrible inference. After all, in each case, the Transfiguration takes place right after Jesus says this. However, the words in Matthew and Luke do indicate a prediction that if referring to the Transfiguration is not impressive.

As I write this, our world is in quarantine. Imagine if I went to a grocery store and got on an intercom system and said “Attention shoppers! I predict some of you will be alive eight days from now!” First, I would probably be escorted out of the store, but second, even with a virus being spread, it would not be a shock to most people that they would be alive about eight days from then.

What is going on with the Transfiguration I think is instead a hint at what is coming. Jesus made a glorious statement about Himself and who He is. The disciples are getting a foretaste of the Kingdom. Keep in mind also Jesus said some and while technically, three is some, talking to a crowd and saying some will see X and three see X is not that impressive.

Now what if Preterism is right? Then Jesus is talking about 70 AD and indeed, some people there likely did live to see 70 AD. This gives the prediction some weight and some credence to be taken more seriously. It’s easy to predict some people will see a major event in eight days. It’s another to say it will happen within a generation.

I plan to cover other such references in the Gospels before moving on to the epistles, but this is another one that seen through a Preterist lens just makes more sense.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Be Watching

Should a Preterist be watching for the coming of the Master? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

So as we read through Matthew 24, we saw in much of the discourse, I think it has already happened. Around verse 35, a shift takes place, but am I being consistent? I mean, do I think there is something to look forward to, a coming of some sorts? Yes. Even in this part, we have a warning.

42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

For this, I do believe it refers to the physical return of Christ. It is consistent for me to look out the window in front of my computer here and ponder, “What if it was today?” In some cases, it could be more consistent for me to do that than a dispensationalist.

In that paradigm, there always seem to be signs about what is happening next. Maybe you need a red heifer for example, to which some people are actively trying to breed one because the Almighty obviously needs help with this one. Maybe you need a temple to be built. Maybe you need something going on with the nation of Israel.

For me as a Preterist, I have just one requirement. The Gospel needs to be being spread throughout the Earth. We need to be doing evangelism. There is a verse in 2 Peter 3 where it says that in doing this, we may speed His coming. I find that an amazing idea. You can do something to have it be that Christ will return sooner?

So we should be watching? Yes. Naturally, this doesn’t mean you don’t do anything else at all. The servant is to be watchful for his master returning to the house, but he’d better still keep taking care of the house! It won’t be fitting for him to be up on the roof (Which in those days was more acceptable) looking out and making the servants do everything else while he just watches for the master.

As a Preterist then, I indeed hope the Lord returns soon and I believe in watching. These are warnings still worth heeding today. Perhaps we would all do better if we lived with the future in mind some.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

What Orthodox Preterism Means.

What does it mean to be an Orthodox Preterist? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Over the weekend, I had a friend call me about speaking at a conference and said, “You’re a Full Preterist. Right?” I immediately insisted that under no circumstances was that not my position. Absolutely not. Then I was asked if I was a Partial Preterist. I replied that no, I am an Orthodox Preterist. What does that mean? It means I believe Jesus will bodily return someday and there will be a bodily resurrection of the righteous and the wicked.

I was told that this is often talked about in literature as if it is Partial Preterism. I recognize that and I know many scholars even use the term, but I fully insist that it not be used. Words have a meaning and when it comes to eschatology, my wording and meaning is precise.

I consider what is known as Full Preterism to be a heresy. After all, we are to be raised as Jesus was raised and if we are just raised spiritually, then Jesus was raised spiritually. The common reply to this is that Jesus is the exception, but this is a cop-out. To say that Jesus will return in the future has always been a part of historical Christianity.

I prefer to give the title of Neohymenaeanism to the movement known as Full Preterism based on the heretic mentioned in 2 Timothy. Why would I not accept the term of Full Preterism then? Because if I think Full Preterism is a heresy, and I do, then if I am just a Partial Preterist, then does that mean that I am a partial heretic?

After all, would you want to be a Partial Arian? Would you want to be a Partial Modalist? Would you want to be a Partial Adoptionist? Of course not. Why would anyone accept a viewpoint that makes theirs a partial heresy?

I realize my friends who are dispensationalists disagree with me. That is fine. I would hope that they would realize that everything I believe about eschatology, while they might think it wrong, it does not deny any orthodox tenets of Christianity. I still hold to the physical and bodily return of Jesus in the future and that there will be a resurrection of the righteous and the wicked. In the same way, I disagree with them thoroughly, but I am very hesitant to call any position a heresy. That really has to be earned. Believing in the future return of Jesus and the bodily resurrection doesn’t make me a futurist in any way. It’s just a sign that I’m a Christian.

So when you ask me my position, I am an Orthodox Preterist. I am not a partial heretic. I could be wrong on my Preterism, which I highly highly doubt, but I do not hold to any heretical belief with it.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Olivet Discourse Matthew 24:36

Should you make a prediction? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I have a contention that the Olivet Discourse has switched from a this to a that. I think it’s likely Jesus is talking about a return someday. At this verse, verse 36, I want mainly to put a call out to those who disagree with me. Let’s look at the verse.

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”

A lot of you will remain futurists and/or dispensationalists. That’s fine. I can’t convince everyone and there are good Christians on all sides. However, I beg you that if you want to remain in that camp, please do not be one of the people that either sets up a prediction on when Jesus is going to come or supports those who do. The moment you hear someone tell you when Jesus will return, disavow them immediately.

We have too many people that are waking up everyday and trying to interpret the Bible with the help of a newspaper. Please don’t do this. Every time someone has made a prediction so far, it has been wrong and it has just given more fodder to skeptics of Christianity. Jesus said no one would know and that should rule out any attempt to guess.

I have seen some people say “Well, we can’t know the day, but maybe we can know the year.” This is just being ridiculous frankly. The main thing Jesus tells us throughout this is to be prepared. Time spent trying to guess the date could better be spent in preparation.

It’s also pretty arrogant of you to think that everyone else in history who has done this has got it wrong, but you are the one who will get it right. Please do not try. If anything, I think many dispensationalists should be concerned about how past events were read as modern fulfillment only to be shown to be false later on. How many people have said XYZ was the antichrist only to have that person die?

And yes, this includes national figures. Personally, until we get some sort of public apology from John Hagee on his idea of the four blood moons, then we should not listen to him whatsoever. (Actually, that would be good practice in general) It would be interesting to take note in a Christian bookstore of all the books on prophecy and see how many of them are irrelevant just ten years later.

So yeah, no one knows. Please don’t even try. Be a dispensationalist or a futurist if you wish, but please do not go this route.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Olivet Discourse Matthew 24:35

How sure are the words of Jesus? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Jesus here has a contrast. He is clear that this generation will not pass away, but He says Heaven and Earth will pass. He also says that His words will not pass away. While that could be a pointer to an inerrancy of His words, which I would accept even though this is not necessarily I think the best text for it, it’s more the idea of the certainty of the judgment. Of course, it would be. In Matthew 23 he had just lambasted the Pharisees and shared the certainty of judgment to them.

Some could think that this verse could indicate the destruction of Earth. I do not think that anymore than God needs to destroy the Heaven that He dwells in, as if it’s somehow impure. The same would refer to the sky. If anything, I think this would indicate more of a purification. The way the universe is today will pass away. God has always been about redeeming the Earth just as He has been about redeeming the human body, hence the incarnation.

At this point also, I think there is a decided shift in the discourse. Jesus is now wrapping up talking about an event that is coming on the first-century audience. Now, He will shift towards later judgment. At the same time, it is a present judgment. These are immediate calls to repentance for the people, which would also make sense since he has told the people now that judgment is coming on them soon, or at least His disciples who will bring this message to the people.

This also should be our message when it comes to judgment. Repentance. We need to be teaching that constantly. Is it foolish to say something like Covid-19 is a direct judgment of God? I think so. Does it mean we shouldn’t tell people to repent? Absolutely not. If anything, disasters should always show us the things that we take for granted.

Jesus’s audience was indeed living on borrowed time. Who else is? You and I are. None of us is guaranteed another day, let alone another minute. That generation did not pass away before the judgment came, but we know some passed away before that judgment and faced their own personal judgment then. The same could happen to you and I. Odds are you won’t die of Corona. Seriously. You likely won’t, all things being equal. Still, you could die in a car accident today. Anytime you hear a story on the radio of someone dying in a car accident, unless it was a suicide attempt, most of them had no plans to die that day and yet it happened.

As we go forward, we will see warnings of judgment and how we could be judged at any time. Be watchful. You don’t know when your time is.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Moving Into Part 2 of the Olivet Discourse.

Where do we go from here? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Verse 34 wraps up the first part of the Olivet Discourse. From there on, the terminology shifts. We go from “this generation” to “that day.” There is debate among Preterists even about whether this is still first-century or if it refers to later events. Thus, for this brief interlude, I want to speak more about other matters.

I really want to finish other statements in the Gospels. For instance, there is the saying that some here will not taste death until they see the Kingdom of God coming in power. This is often taken by skeptics of the New Testament as a failed prophecy of the return of Christ, which is odd since it nowhere says anything about a return, and it is taken by most Christians to refer to the transfiguration, which is not much of a prophecy because saying some people hearing Jesus would still be alive a week later isn’t too awe-inspiring. There are also passages such as not finishing going through all of Israel until the Son of Man comes or Jesus’s words before Caiaphas and others. I really want to finish as much of the Gospels as I can before moving elsewhere.

There are also a few places in Acts to cover. I am thinking of the disciples’ asking if Jesus was going to restore the kingdom to Israel. Not only that, believe it or not, there is some important eschatology to cover in Stephen’s stoning.

Some Old Testament verses will have to be covered. The most important one is Psalm 110:1. If you do not understand this verse, you will not understand eschatology. If you think this verse is not important to the New Testament, then you will have a major problem because this is the most quoted Old Testament verse in the New Testament.

A good friend of Deeper Waters has asked about Paul and James, naturally. After all, Paul pretty much had his PhD in the Old Testament so how did he supposedly miss what Jesus was saying? This is important to consider so we will look at passages about the resurrection to say what is being talked about and when and where Paul got His information from.

Finally, we will do some looking at Revelation, though to be extensive with that one would be difficult. We will discuss some matters such as the antichrist (Who is never specifically mentioned in the book. Consider that.) and the Beast and 666. We will also discuss how apocalyptic works should be read.

I hope this will be further informative for me as well. There are many secondary areas of Christianity I don’t care to discuss, but for some reason, I thoroughly enjoy eschatology and orthodox Preterism. I hope even if you disagree with my view, you have come to see how it is that someone can hold to it.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

The Deeper Waters Apologetics YouTube Channel

What is our new resource? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Since we’re all under quarantine and I finally figured out again how to use my webcam, I decided to do something I’ve wanted to do for awhile and had spent some time talking to David Wood about, and that’s making a new YouTube channel. I have one just for fun videos I make and I have one for the podcast, but now I have one for short apologetics videos.

So what kinds of things do I plan to put up there?

Naturally, I started with a video about affirming the virgin birth, which I do affirm, and last night I did a video book review. I could make some short vids responding to current events in the world of apologetics. However, I do have a few ideas in mind for projects.

Tonight, for example, I plan to start a series for Autism Awareness Month, which is this month, on life on the spectrum. I will be tying this in to Christian apologetics and my personal recommendations on reaching people on the spectrum. I hope a video series like this will be more personal than written works on the topic. I plan on working to see how to incorporate images and other such things into my videos instead of just watching me talking.

I also plan on doing series on video games and apologetics. What theological themes can I find in games? I’m not saying no one else is doing this, but I really have not found it being done. I have been told to put up videos of my own gameplay so I do plan on doing that.

I also plan on doing a series on orthodox preterism. In addition, I want to deal with some of what I call the rapture brigade. These are people that make videos on YouTube about all the signs that the rapture is about to take place. They are always proven wrong, but they never seem to learn and keep making predictions.

Ultimately, I expect a lot of trial and error at the start, but I do hope that this will become something more mainstream in my own work. Social media is being more and more the place to go to make statements and with cable TV about to fade out of existence, people will be watching YouTube more for their information. Sadly also, many people don’t read books so I hope that this will fill in the gap.

As of this posting, there are just two videos up, but we have to start somewhere. Why not go and subscribe and share? With quarantine going on, I definitely plan on doing more of this.

In Christ,
Nick Peters