Wednesday, 30 November 2016

The Inner Witness of the Spirit

One of the main ways God leads His children, is through the inner witness of the Spirit.
In our spirit. Not by our mind, primarily; and certainly not through our emotions, but in our spirit - because that's where the Holy Spirit dwells - in our spirit.
It's when we know that we know - in our spirit.
By the inner witness we know that we are the children of God.
By the inner witness God might also choose to let us perceive things which we couldn't otherwise know through our natural minds. Like Paul perceiving that a certain journey would be perilous.
It didn't necessarily mean that God spoke to Paul by an inner voice or by an authoritative voice - that's another level, and God does sometimes speak to us through a still, small voice or a more authoritative-sounding voice of the Spirit - but on this occasion it says simply that Paul 'perceived'. God simply bore witness by His Spirit, then Paul's spirit picked it up.
A perception. A sense. A knowing. In his spirit.
God can guide us through the inner witness too - through how He makes us feel in our spirit.
A red light; or a green light.
A sense of dread; or a comfortable, velvety-like feeling.
Like a bird fluttering around unable to find a perch to land on; or a knowing that you know.
Like stepping on wet tiles with your socks on, or like just feeling right.
A hesitancy, irrespective of what we know or think in our minds, and irrespective of what we feel emotionally or what we might want; or a feeling, a perception, a knowing - a witness - in our spirit, to go.
Unable to find a sense of peace; or as someone said, it's like her spirit is doing cart-wheels, she feels so assured!
That can be God saying no; or yes.
Most of the troubles I've experienced in my Christian life, I think in hindsight could have been avoided had I recognised and heeded the inner witness of the Spirit. Only a very small portion of my sufferings as a Christian so far have been unavoidable persecution.
Whenever I've been guided by the inner witness, and acted on it, trusted in the Lord, and leaned not on my own understanding, but stepped out in faith, I came home rejoicing before the Lord like the joy in harvest!
We can aim to become more conscious of how the Spirit is making us feel in our spirit, than we are conscious of what we know intellectually, and what we feel emotionally, and what we might want.
We can train our spirit to be more perceptive to the Spirit, through exercising our spirit - by meditating on the Word; by walking in love; by speaking in tongues, which is praying with our spirit; and by having more and more experiences of obedience.
We are learning to be led by the Spirit through our spirit!

God will never lead us contrary to His written Word.

Other ways the Spirit leads us, besides the inner witness of the Spirit, include:

The Bible

The still, small voice of the Holy Spirit

A more authoritative-sounding voice of the Spirit

The gifts of the Spirit, such as: the word of wisdom; the word of knowledge; the discerning of spirits; the gift of prophecy; tongues and the interpretation of tongues


Others in the Body of Christ


Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs











Timing of the Resurrection

JOB 14:12
12 So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.

Not that Job's statement is necessarily meant to be taken literally, perhaps - coming from the poetic book that it does. Nevertheless it might be something to keep in mind, when considering whether any of the dead can rise a thousand or more years before the new heavens and earth or not. 

Qualifications for an Elder, Bisop, Presbyter, and Maybe Pastor

Combining and comparing I Timothy 3 - and Titus 1...

Blameless - Blameless, as the steward of God

The husband of one wife - The husband of one wife

One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) - Having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly

Vigilant -

Sober - Sober

Of good behaviour -

- Not self-willed

- Just

- Holy

- Temperate

Given to hospitality - A lover of hospitality

Apt to teach - Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers

Not given to wine - Not given to wine

No striker - No striker

Not greedy of filthy lucre - Not given to filthy lucre

But patient -

Not a brawler -

- Not soon angry

Not covetous -

Not a novice -

Of good report of them which are without -

- A lover of good men

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Serve Your Generation by the Will of God

Someone spent all his life thinking about whether or not believers will go through a 'Great Tribulation' - teaching about it, arguing for it. But it turned out to be irrelevant to him - because he died. 

Thursday, 24 November 2016

On the Millennium

Sometimes a broad idea sounds good, until you start thinking about the details - then it mightn't look so good!

Like, in the 1990s there was a lot of emphasis in the media about Australia becoming a Republic; and some media were claiming that national polls indicated a majority of the public favoured the idea. Such reports could have been agenda-driven though.

Nevertheless, when Prime Minister John Howard was re-elected, he addressed the furore cleverly. The public were invited to elect people to attend a Constitutional Convention in the capital, Canberra; and some attendees were also appointed not elected.

At the convention delegates didn't merely discuss the broader question, "Do you want to become a Republic or not" - they were made to debate and vote on the details, such as:

Do you want to remove the monarchy from every role in the government and law of Australia;

Which model of republic would you want to put before the people of Australia for a vote;

How would you want the President to be elected - directly, or through the Parliament by a special majority or by appointment by a special council following Prime Ministerial nomination; etc.

All of a sudden, the idea of becoming a Republic looked more complex than people thought! Nevertheless amid much disagreement, and with some abstaining, the Convention voted-in a model. The winning model was then put to the public in a Referendum - and Australia voted No (despite the claims that polls had indicated majority support for becoming a Republic). Then the furore was put to rest.

So a broader concept can sound good - but it's the details that make or break the idea.

Similarly, it's not that I outright reject the idea of a future Millennium after Christ's Second Coming - it's just that when it comes to considering the details, I'm yet to hear a model of that which makes sense!

Theological sense. Especially as it affects soteriology. And hermeneutics.

If the details of a certain model of the Millennium conflict with other truths in the Bible, then maybe it's okay to rethink the model itself?

One Thing

It's hard to succeed at something if it's only optional to you. And also if it's merely something of an ambition. It's gotta be your life.

Like success in business. It requires a lot of work. Many successful businessmen came close to bankruptcy numerous times on the way. And they get sued. Or sometimes come under government scrutiny. Some have even been imprisoned, just for not knowing some details of the law. It's hard to endure that if business is just a hobby.

Like the Pilgrims settling America. The perils on the sea. The winter when they arrived. Wild animals. No existing township in which to find solace. They didn't do it for a hobby - or even out of grandiose ambition: they did it because they felt they had no choice. They were bound mainly by conscience, but also due to threat of persecution, or wanting to escape worldliness. It was a matter of life and conscience.

Be a person of one thing. Where everything else in your life finds its place in terms of that one thing. Let your treasure be Jesus, in heaven. 

Transcendency in Old Testament Prophecy

There was a transcendent nature about some of the prophecies in the Old Testament.

Jesus, referring to events current to his own time, sometimes said the current event was the fulfilment of certain Old Testament prophecies.

Peter said it was revealed to the prophets that they weren't speaking about their own time, but ours.

Jesus said many prophets and righteous men longed to see and hear the things which we now see and understand through the Gospel, but didn't see them. Because the mystery was kept hidden, until it was revealed through the Gospel.

So it would have been impossible to ascertain - to deduce logically and grammatically - from the prophecies themselves - at the time when they were spoken - whether certain details in the prophecies referred to their time or ours or to a still-future time. Otherwise the prophets could have deduced all that - but instead it needed to be 'revealed' to them that certain things didn't refer to their time but to ours.

Not even the disciples understood that Messiah had to die and rise again, despite being with Him some three-and-a-half years - until after His resurrection, when He opened their eyes and expounded the Scriptures to them.

So it's hardly possible to draw conclusions about still-future things, based on Old Testament prophecies, unless the Apostles already explained the said-Scripture for us.

Unfolding current events won't be good interpreters of Old Testament prophecy. Only the Lord's and the Apostles' words and writings (in the Gospels, Acts and Epistles) are authoritative interpreters of the Old Testament prophecy.

Therefore we shouldn't seek to apply Old Testament prophecy beyond what they explained.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Hal Oxley 100th Birthday

Happy 100th birthday, Pastor Hal Oxley!
When Pastor Oxley was young he played hockey, and rugby - first grade, I think - and distance running, surf-lifesaving, and rode horses.
He graduated from the Royal Military College at Duntroon.
He served as an Aide to the Governor General.
In WWII he was an infantry officer, in the Desert Campaigns of Africa and in Greece and Syria I think, and spent 6 months with the 'rats of Tobruk'.
He also became the Planning Co-ordinator in the Battle Headquaters of General Blamey, Australia’s Commander-in-Chief.
When the Japanese entered the War, he co-ordinated the Australian Operational plans, as Battle staff with General Douglas MacArthur, American South-West Pacific Headquarters.
I remember with vivid detail a story which showed his unflinching character in making decisions of consequence in the War.
Someone wrote that he was Australia's youngest person with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel during the Second World War.
He had a bit of hearing difficulty all his life I think, from an explosion in the War.
After the War he volunteered as Deputy Director of Military Intelligence at Army Headquarters.
He was decorated with an OBE and more.
After retiring from the military, he became the Director of a public company, with several industrial manufacturing plants.
I remember him saying he was concerned about the spread of Communism, after the War. And that led to him getting saved, in his late 30s.
A year or two after getting saved he pioneered one of Australia's earliest and largest charismatic churches, when he was about 40.
He saw some 23 outreach churches planted.
He started a Bible College, trained hundreds of pastors and sent out missionaries to several countries including China, England, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Nagaland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Switzerland and USA.
He had a deliverance ministry.
He founded a denomination with several thousand members.
And started a school in Melbourne, now with over 1000 students and over 100 staff, I think. The school even has its own sports stadium, which attracts thousands from the community.
He retired from pastoring in his late 60s I think, but continued itinerant preaching, and speaking in conferences.
He is the author of the book "Functional Leadership".
One person told me that when Pastor Oxley stayed in their house while on itinerant ministry, Pastor Oxley asked them what time was breakfast. Next morning Pastor Oxley's door opened and he came out from his bedroom at precisely the time they said, dressed and ready for the day.
When he was a guest speaker at our church's crusade in Gatton Qld (a crusade which resulted in the founding of Christian Life Centre, Gatton), some of my friends and I felt amused at the rather educated way in which he pronounced 'Holy Spirit'.
One of my friends, sitting in front of me, I could see his shoulders bobbing up and down as he tried desperately to keep from laughing out loud.
Pastor Oxley said from the pulpit, "It's not funny - it's quite serious really."
And then we also saw humour in the way he pronounced 'serious really'.
So grateful for each time I heard Pastor Oxley minister in our church, when I was still a young person.
He was nominated for the Australian Senior Citizen Award, and received a Certificate for Outstanding Service to the Australian community.
On Sunday morning his church received a visit from a Federal Member of Parliament, bringing congratulations from Her Majesty the Queen, the Governor General, the Prime Minister and other Federal and State Members of Parliament.
Pastor Oxley still speaks sometimes - and today (Tuesday 22 November 2016) he turns 100!
A great man of God, and a great Australian!

Friday, 11 November 2016


Pasin bilong daun.
Humility is freedom.
Daun pasin i no kalabus i mi.
Yupela yet i no ken bekim rong ol i mekim long yupela.
Na man i laik i stap namba wan, em i mas i stap wokman bilong yupela.
Daun im yu yet em yu kamap free - kamap strong man o meri.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Protests by the Left

Very often you will see more public protests when a conservative party wins the government, than when a Leftist party is in government.

That doesn't necessarily mean the conservative party has divided the nation - it's just that the Right and the Left handle grievances differently.

The Right handles grievances quietly, respectfully, appropriately, comparatively speaking. So while the Left was in power, the nation might already have been divided - it's just that if you expected the Right to show their grievances the same way the Left very often do, you wouldn't know it!

The Left expresses their grievances violently, more often - without respect to person and property.

Just look at the types of people who are protesting! And the way they protest.

That tells you something both about the Left and also about the Right. 

Monday, 7 November 2016

Physical Not Ethereal

In explaining the existence of the Church, and the inclusion of Gentiles in it, the Apostles didn't take a completely a-historical approach to Old Testament prophecies about Israel.
They didn't simply re-interpret the geographical, geopolitical and ethnic identities and details in Prophecy.
Rather, they were eye-witnesses that there had come the fulfilment of God's promises - in Israel and for Israel, in living history - and that formed the very basis for their assertion about the Church.
If the Church didn't begin on the ground in Israel first, then the Church had no legitimacy, no foundation in Scripture, promise, prophecy or history.
In arguing for the legitimacy of the Church, the Apostles didn't merely alter the identity of Israel in Prophecy into something ethereal, spiritual.
When Bible-Prophecy said 'Israel', it meant Israel - because when Bible Prophecy meant Gentiles, it said 'Gentiles'.
And it was with precise regard to the identities in Prophecy that the Apostles proved the Scriptural basis for the Church.
Using Old Testament Scripture and its literal distinction between Jew and Gentile, they argued that the Kingdom-scheme - the Gospel - had to be 'first' to the Jews - literally in the land of Israel - and then after that to the Gentiles. That was the historical order in which the Church had to be birthed.
If there wasn't first an ekklesia (called-out ones, assembly, church) of ethnic Jews who were also Jews inwardly, spiritually - true Jews - believing Jews - then there could have been nothing valid, original, Scriptural, historical or legitimate for Gentiles to become grafted in to.
Not only did the Apostles witness that there had come the fulfilment of Israel's promises in Israel - they also proved Scripturally that only a remnant of Jews would believe and experience it - then they also proved that Gentiles would believe and come to enjoy precisely the same relationship to God.
The Prophets had foreseen that precise scenario, outcome, and order - not only spiritually, but also ethnically, geographically, and historically. The Law also predicted and foreshadowed that outcome, through that literal order.
Our Christian faith is based on the inter-relationship between Scripture and history - not merely on an ethereal, spiritual interpretation of Bible Prophecy.
Certainly, once Gentiles became grafted in, we became heirs of the same promises, of the same salvation, of the same promised-Kingdom - in one new man, the Church, which is His body.
And certainly God's intention all along was that we all - Jews and Gentiles, without distinction, and without the works of the Law - should become eternally linked to the true heavenly city, Mt Sion, the New Jerusalem, the Church of the firstborn.
But the basis for all that is something far more than a merely a-historical, ethereal spiritualisation and alteration of the identities and details of Old Testament prophecies.
Neither did the Apostles see a complete postponement of Israel's promises to the future.
Rather it came about through the precise fulfilment of every detail in Bible Prophecy - with accurate regard to identities, ethnicities, locations, times and order.
It's now historical fact!
Jesus is both Lord and Christ.
The Church was, and therefore it still is, the plan of God.
The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is God's foreseen, His best final and only plan - for Jews, Israel, Gentiles, and everyone.
We are justified freely by His grace through faith in Jesus Christ - without the deeds of the Law.
The Gospel is the good news that God's Kingdom-scheme has now been inaugurated - vouchsafing our place in His Kingdom when it comes in consummation and ultimacy at Christ's still-future Second Coming.


Dispensationalism is ahistorical.

In failing to perceive that there's already been the fulfilment of Israel's promises, Dispensationalism removes the historical basis for the Gospel, for our Christian faith, for our salvation.

Until the Fulness of the Gentiles Be Come In

"...blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in".

I don't think Paul said "until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in" in order to divide history up into two different dispensations.

I don't think it was to state that we are now in a period of history when God has postponed until the future His best efforts to get Israel saved and is instead focusing on getting Gentiles saved.

I think Paul mentioned "until the fulness of the Gentiles [specifically] be come in" in order to summarise the argument he'd just presented in answer to a conceited misconception about what the inclusion of the Gentiles meant for Israel.

It didn't mean God had withdrawn any of His efforts to see Jews saved! To the contrary, God was even then using Gentiles in an attempt to provoke more Jews to faith.

Paul was explaining a present-scheme, not forecasting a future change of scheme.

"...and so all Israel shall be saved".

Not, and 'then' all Israel shall be saved, but "and so" - after this manner, according to this scheme.

"According as it is written..."

Then he quoted two verses of Old Testament Prophecy which, if they had not already been fulfilled, no-one has ever yet been saved!

Elsewhere Jesus said, "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come".

Not, and then God's attention will turn to the Jews - but, and then cometh the end.

The Gospel was and still is the only, the final and the most effective plan God has to bring men to salvation - no matter who they are.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Israel in Covenant Theology

Here is the question which stumps strict adherents to Covenant Theology:

"What verse of Old Testament Prophecy is the best verse you know which meant Messiah would minister in the land of ethnic Israel?"

They can't answer it, because as soon as they do, they would have committed that dreaded action of assigning a physical, natural, ethnic or geographical meaning to Israel rather than a strictly spiritual (or 'covenantal') meaning.

Ask the same question of Dispensationalists, and you could immediately be deluged with any number of Old Testament references. Not that Dispensationalism is correct.

That Messiah would be born in and minister in Israel, is one of the most obvious facts of Scripture and history. It's essential to the claim that the historical Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled Bible-Prophecy and is therefore both Lord and Messiah.

If someone's theological system blinds him to one of the most obvious facts written all over Scripture, then his system has put some serious blinkers (blinders) on him!

And therefore any other theological systems he builds on that system, also become suspect. Utopian Post-Millennialism could be one such structure.

Israel in prophecy meant Israel in fulfilment - because Gentiles in fulfilment had said Gentiles in Prophecy.

That doesn't imply Dispensationalism though. Gentiles indeed came to partake of the same spiritual blessings - but only after Jews in Israel had first. Then together they formed one new body, the Church.

The Church doesn't experience Israel's spiritual blessings instead of Israel ever experiencing it in any way - rather, Gentiles came to experience it after Jews who believed experience it first.

Ethnic Jews. On the ground. In Israel. They experienced it first, fulfilling Prophecies about Israel; then afterwards Gentiles experienced the same blessings, fulfilling Prophecies mentioning Gentiles - and together they formed the Church - the very scenario foreseen by the Prophets, the Apostles claimed. 

Saturday, 5 November 2016

The Significance and Non-Significance of AD70

Is it possible to read too much significance into AD70?

Certainly the events of AD70 fulfilled certain predictions of the Lord, and of Daniel and other Bible-Prophets. But was AD70 really the be-all and end-all of everything that the Bible means by the following themes, as some AD70-Preterists assert that it was:

the end of the world...

the coming wrath...

the day of the Lord...

the day of judgment...

the day of salvation...

the Second Coming...

the marriage supper of the Lamb...

the coming Kingdom...

our redemption...

the resurrection of the dead...

the arrival of the New Jerusalem...

and new heavens and a new earth.

Some say all of that is now squarely in the past.

Certainly the events of AD70 let believers know that the culmination of all the above themes was now nearer than when they first believed - but AD70 itself probably wasn't the ultimate culmination of all that the Bible has in mind by those themes, was it?

Some even go so far as to say the Church ceased in AD70...

that we should now be beyond preaching the Gospel...

that signs and wonders ceased...

that the only condemnable sin now is unbelief...

some even say the whole universe is already saved...

and say that the New Testament, including the Epistles, requires a distinction to be made between which parts still apply to us this side of AD70, and which parts no longer do - to a greater extent than non AD70-Preterists do.

Nothing really changed spiritually, in AD70, as far as I know. It wasn't a spiritually-redemptive event, encompassing all that the Bible means by redemption - which in the Bible includes the redemption of the body.

It didn't even make any political difference - to believers living outside of geographical areas where Jews lived and had synagogues.

It certainly wasn't the end of all persecution for believers. So it could hardly be thought of as having been "the blessed hope".

The spiritually significant redemptive event was the physical presence of Messiah the King, the Son of God, in the earth - His virgin birth - His ministry - and especially His cross and resurrection - and His ascension into glory.

It was the cross that marked the end of the Old Covenant and the beginning of the New Testament spiritually, not AD70.

AD70 didn't affect anything spiritually, redemptively and new-covenantally that wasn't already enacted spiritually by the cross and resurrection of Jesus.

It was with regard to the cross, not as a prediction of AD70, that Jesus said, "It is finished" and "This is the New Testament in my blood".

Post-Pentecost, the Apostles looked back to that great event; and it seems to me that what they looked forward to - the culminating event which the Apostles still looked forward to - included themes which go beyond what happened in AD70.

There was no explicit revoking of God's goodwill towards the nation of Israel, through the Gospel. So the loss of life and nationhood in AD70 was a tragedy, it was avoidable - and Jesus wept over the thought of it.

Of course it's also possible not to read enough significance into AD70. Some futurists don't see the events of AD70 as prophetically-significant at all, and still expect the fulfilment in future of Jesus' predictions regarding the Temple and Israel.

But that degree of Dispensationalism causes theological problems - because it implies God is interested in Israel returning to Judaism in future. That conflicts with the Apostles' New Covenant doctrine. It's not how they interpreted and applied Old Testament Prophecy at all.

AD70 had significance in that it did fulfil certain specific Bible-Prophecies relevant to the Temple and Jerusalem and the Jews - and it let believers know that their ultimate redemption was now nearer than when they first believed.

It brought a physical and obvious end to any possibility of continuing to carry-out the Old Covenant system - even though spiritually the New Covenant was already fully-functional and there was already no need for believers to become observant of the ancient Jews' Law-system.

All of those occurrences indeed fulfilled certain details in Prophecy - and we shouldn't want to overlook the significance it did have.

But it seems a bit too much of a stretch to claim AD70 was the sum total of everything that the Bible means by themes like Second Coming of the Lord and the redemption of our body and related.

There's been the inauguration of the Messianic Kingdom of God, certainly - and of all that the Kingdom of God entails. But the Apostles still looked forward to the coming consummation of the Kingdom and of all its component blessings.


Kingdom Now/Not Yet.

First coming/second coming - that was the Apostles' revelation - their take on Old Testament Prophecy, and how they applied it.

AD70 confirmed that the central spiritual points of the Apostles' Gospel message was true:

Jesus Christ and Him crucified, risen and coming again.

And that's still our message today. 

God of Justice and Mercy

'Forgiveness of sins' and 'mercy' are legal terms. To forgive and show mercy are a judgmental act. It's judgment, in our favour - but still a judgment. God's offer of mercy, was first of all a justiciable action. It isn't something that God offers independently of His own jurisprudence. That's why John wrote, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful 'and just' to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Not just 'faithful' - but 'faithful and just' - to forgive us. It's an action of God's justice. If God ceased to be Judge, then mercy has no basis.

Friday, 4 November 2016


God rested on the seventh day - not every seventh day!

He rested permanently - He didn't start working again on the first day of the following week. The work of creation was finished!

God's rest is permanent, not once a week.

There is no record in Scripture that godly men observed a weekly sabbath, prior to the giving of the Law by Moses.

The weekly sabbath was given to Israel, as a weekly reminder that they needed God to be their sanctifier and to make them holy. Just like God gave them seasonal feasts with annual sacrifices, as annual reminders of divine principles.

Even after they entered the promised land of rest, it was still said that "a rest remains for the people of God". Joshua didn't give them the true rest.

But Jesus brought it. We who have entered into God's rest, cease from our own works, as God also ceased (permanently) from His.

Gone are the weekly, seasonal and annual reminders. Jesus is the real thing!

"Who of God is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption."

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Mercy and Judgment

God's mercy and forgiveness are not offered despite God's character as Judge, but in full view of God's character as Judge.

God's mercy is supported by His righteous judgment.

His mercy is linked to God's justice.

His mercy comes from His judgment.

It only comes from an act of His judgement.

It's offered not independently of God's judgment, but with direct reference to His act of righteous judgment on the cross.

He hath made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ.

By Him we have now received the atonement.

So mercy is offered on a just basis.

Therefore if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

As thoroughly as sin was judged by Jesus' death for us on the cross, and as certainly as God raised Him from the dead, so thoroughly complete are we in Him - we have been made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. 

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Inaugurated Eschatology

Futurism applies all of the New Testament's statements about the second coming and surrounding events, to the future.

Preterism applies all of Jesus' statements about the second coming and surrounding events, to AD70.

Part-preterists apply many of Jesus' statements about the second coming and surrounding events to AD70, but still apply some other statements in the New Testament in connection with the second coming, to the future.

Part-preterism is problematic, I think - because distinguishing between already-past and still-future events seems unnatural, considering the Bible speaks of all of it in connection with the same event, the second coming.

Full-preterism of course is problematic - because it stands or falls on taking 'audience relevance' more strictly and narrowly and literally than the Bible itself intends. It insists on it, ignoring the obvious. Both the obvious in history, and in logic, and in the rest of the New Testament, I think.

Full-Futurism with regard to everything Jesus discussed, obviously is impossible - because it ignores history, and implies Dispensationalism which conflicts with New Testament theology.

There might also be some elements of truth in each view, even if there is also error, and even if the term they use to describe those truths is somewhat inadequate or misleading.

A term I prefer is "Inaugurated Eschatology". Inaugurated eschatology explains that what the Old Testament described about the day of the Lord, the coming of the Messiah, and His Kingdom and salvation, has been inaugurated but not yet consummated.

It explains that all of that has come to pass - in two phases. The first coming of the Lord, and the second coming of the Lord.

Already/Not Yet.

The proof for this view is that the Apostles quoted Old Testament Scriptures about Messianic Kingdom themes, which in Jewish thinking belonged to the coming, eternal Kingdom-age - and applied it to the present. And yet, they still taught a future coming of the Lord.

So there is Inauguration/Consummation.

Some Old Testament prophecies hint at a distinction between Messiah's first and second comings - but it wasn't possible to be clear about this until Jesus rose from the dead, and the Apostles explained it.

Other Old Testament prophecies spoke of all future things almost as a unit, like a single event - if that was all that was necessary to their specific purpose at the time. Some of the dreams of Gentile kings, as recorded in the Book of Daniel, might be in this category. They saw symbols of the coming Kingdom of heaven - it wasn't important for the king to know at the time all the intricacies of how that wouldn't come to pass without a first and second coming of the King. But other Scriptures do prove it.

Summarising then: 
  • it's true the Kingdom has already come - it's also true the Kingdom is yet to come;
  • 'audience relevance' is a valid hermeneutic - it's also true that taking it strictly literally wasn't always intended, even though grammatically it could be taken that way.
  • it's valid to look at what is obvious, and compare Scripture with Scripture, as well as grammar, in determining the intended subject or timeframe for end-time predictions in the New Testament

  • the second, ultimate coming of Jesus, the resurrection, eternal judgment, salvation, vindication, and kingdom and new heaven and earth are still future
  • Jesus has already come the first time, judgment has already passed in a sense, He rose from the dead, we've been raised with Him and seated with Him in heaven spiritually in a sense, we've already been saved and vindicated, and all things have already been made new, in a sense
  • there has already been the fulfilment of many of the events surrounding the above themes which Jesus and the Old Testament predicted
  • there's a sense in which it was all inaugurated and understood through the birth, death, resurrection, ascension, and seating of Christ in heaven and its aftermath or ramifications both spiritually and historically
  • even though it is still to be culminated literally and visibly, when He comes the second time without sin unto salvation.

Preterism and Audience-Relevance

Full-preterism seems to rely on always taking audience-relevance literally.
But in the Olivet discourse, Jesus was addressing only three of His disciples privately, not the entire AD70 generation directly...
He addressed these three disciples in the first person plural: "when ye see all these things come to pass"...
And yet He was speaking of things which neither of them lived to see, as far as we know.
(James was martyred early; according to tradition, Peter was martyred before AD70; and John, I don't know about for sure.)
So we seem to have a precedent here of Jesus addressing a specific audience and yet having a different, broader, future group of people in mind instead, or as well.

So as much as 'audience relevance' can be a valid hermeneutic, it's also a valid hermeneutic to concede that a statement's grammar alone isn't the only determiner of whether audience relevance was intended to be taken strictly literally or otherwise. There are other determiners.

Another determiner besides grammar could be 'the obvious'. For example, when Jesus said "when ye see", the meaning could be limited literally to His immediate audience, grammatically - but the obvious is that James was martyred soon afterwards and didn't live to see it. That's obvious! So the obvious helps qualify the intended meaning of the grammar. And visa versa.

I'm just saying full-preterism can be more narrow in its literalism than was intended. 

Forgiveness of Sins in the New Covenant

God's actions in forgiving sins is not all in the past.

Being forgiven of our sins past, present and future wasn't entirely a done-deal on the cross. All future sins are not already-forgiven automatically, irrespective.

God still actively forgives today, in the present; and God also refrains from forgiving today - yes, even in the New Covenant, despite what He already accomplished for our potential benefit in Christ on the cross. 

God will forgive us today, if...

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness", wrote the Apostle John. 

So God forgives today. He also cleanses today. Forgiving and cleansing are present actions of God - not only past actions. 

Notice it doesn't say if we sin we should simply remind ourselves that we were already forgiven long ago. No, it says God is faithful and just to forgive us - that's an action-word, in the present. Forgiveness and cleansing is something God is willing to do for us, in the present. Actively. Personally. This side of the cross. In the New Covenant. 

But there's a condition - "...if we confess our sins..." God is willing to faithfully and justly forgive and cleanse us, in response to our confession of our sins.

"...faithful and just to forgive us..." That means when God actively and personally forgives us (in response to our confession, in the present), He does so on a faithful and just basis. It's not that God goes soft on sin, or that He scandalously overlooks our sin. Rather, it means His forgiveness will be given to us on a judicial basis - on the basis that He already accomplished the right to forgive us in response to our confession, on the cross.

In the past, on the cross, through Christ, God judiciously made forgiveness of sins ethically possible. Now He is willing to faithfully and dependably carry-out the rest of the transaction, by personally forgiving and cleansing us individually - if we confess our sins.  

Another condition is that we forgive others, Jesus said:

"...if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses".

Jesus told a parable of a wicked servant who was originally forgiven a great debt, but was later arrested and thrown in jail; he was tormented and languished away in his cell, because of his debt, despite the fact he'd earlier been forgiven of the same debt - all because he did not forgive someone indebted to him.

"So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses".

So not only is forgiveness dependant upon confession, and upon forgiving others - but forgiveness could even be withdrawn, if a person didn't forgive others. 

Therefore even if someone was already standing at the altar ready to offer, Jesus said: "Go and be reconciled to your brother". A sacrifice on the altar didn't automatically mean forgiveness.

God exalted Jesus with His right hand "to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins". The purpose of the cross and resurrection in the first place, was so that forgiveness of sins can now be given - in the present, personally.

But not just to give 'forgiveness of sins', but first to give 'repentance'. So repenting first is part of receiving forgiveness. 

Through the risen-Jesus "is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins" - but it's only "all that believe" who are "justified from all things" "by him" - by Jesus. So believing is a condition of forgiveness. Believing is personal. And it's present. It depends on hearing the good news.

The exalted Jesus Christ appeared to Saul (Paul) to make him a "minister and a witness" to all people, "to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me". Forgiveness is receivable. In order to receive, a person had to be turned, and his eyes opened. Which is why someone needed to preach to them. 

"In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace". We have forgiveness, in Him. In Jesus. Abide in Christ!