BLOG

The Passing of the Law of Moses – A Response to Sam Frost – #6– Isaiah 65

This book is an indepth discussion of the passing of the law of Moses
For definitive proof that the passing of the Law of Moses was not at the Cross, be sure to read this book!

The Passing of the Law of Moses – A Response to Sam Frost – #6– Isaiah 65

Before proceeding with my examination of Isaiah 65, let me address just a thing or two from Frost’s attempt to answer my arguments on Isaiah 24.

Frost claims that I did not mention Isaiah 24:13; “ Preston leaves out 24.13.” Well, Frost is either having difficulty with reading comprehension, he simply overlooked what I said, or he is purposely misrepresenting my article.

Here is what I said:
“This is confirmed in verses 10-13 where we find that the judgment would be focused on “the city” in the midst of “the land” and against “the people.” (So, Mr. Frost simply did not tell the truth when he claimed that I conveniently omitted any reference to Isaiah 24:13. It is right there in my article). (My emphasis). Why did Frost claim that I left out Isaiah 24:13, when I explicitly mentioned it?

I then added:
“The city of confusion is broken down; Every house is shut up, so that none may go in. There is a cry for wine in the streets, All joy is darkened, The mirth of the land is gone. In the city desolation is left, And the gate is stricken with destruction. When it shall be thus in the midst of the land among the people, It shall be like the shaking of an olive tree, Like the gleaning of grapes when the vintage is done.” In Isaiah 29 this “city of confusion” is identified as Ariel, i.e. Jerusalem! (Did Frost address this? Not a keystroke).

Ask yourself the question: In a Hebraic book, addressed to Israel, and in which the terminology of “the city,” “the land, and “the people” is used, if there is not a really strong set of contextual pointers otherwise, who would the readers think that the Lord was talking about? (Did Frost mention this? No).

For Israel, there was but one “the land.” They were “the people.” And, “the city” was none other than Jerusalem.” (Frost’s response? Silence).

Now, if you want to talk about evasiveness, all you have to do is read Frost’s “response” to this. What is interesting is that Frost renders the Hebrew eretz as earth, and not “land” in order to make his point. He is insisting that Isaiah is talking about planet earth, and not about the land of Israel, “the people” and “the city” that was in the midst of “the land.” This is more than revealing for it shows that Frost is willing to ignore the fact that this word is, in the huge majority of cases, used to speak of the land of Israel. It is seldom used to speak of the planet. (And yes, I could quote the scholars on this, but, I am trying to keep this short).

Whereas Mr. Frost was simply not telling the truth to say that I ignored verse 13, he undeniably did ignore these comments. Not a word, not a syllable, not a key stroke. This is disingenuous.

Mr. Frost makes a huge deal out of the city being in the midst of the earth and the nations round about. Well, Isaiah is directly parallel in thought to Ezekiel 5:5-9 (although Ezekiel was later than Isaiah):

“Thus says the Lord God: ‘This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the midst of the nations and the countries all around her. She has rebelled against My judgments by doing wickedness more than the nations, and against My statutes more than the countries that are all around her; for they have refused My judgments, and they have not walked in My statutes.’ Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Because you have multiplied disobedience more than the nations that are all around you, have not walked in My statutes nor kept My judgments, nor even done according to the judgments of the nations that are all around you’— therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Indeed I, even I, am against you and will execute judgments in your midst in the sight of the nations.”

We have here perfect correspondence. Whereas Isaiah is against Israel (as well as “the city), and Ezekiel was against Judah, the correspondence is perfect. It is all about “Israel’s” violation of the Law. Oh, did everyone notice that Frost ignored the correlation between Isaiah 24:5 and Hosea 6:7– that establishes that it was Israel’s violation of the Law of Moses that was under consideration? Frost did not touch a keyboard key in response.

And speaking of ignoring my arguments, Mr. Frost likewise ignored my exegetical development of Psalms 102, and the undeniable fact that the destruction of “heaven and earth” would be when the Lord created a new people. While Frost once again falsely claims that I ignored his response, the fact is that he has yet to type a word in response. The question is, what people is destroyed at the literal passing of heaven and earth proposed by Mr. Frost, and what is the new people that is created– all in fulfillment of God’s Old Covenant promises made to Old Covenant Israel? He has not breathed on this- and most probably won’t.

For brevity, I will only address one other “point” if one can actually call it that, made by Mr. Frost. He sarcastically alluded to my discussion of “the everlasting covenant” claiming of course, that if Isaiah 24 is about the Mosaic Covenant, and that covenant came to an end, that it was not very everlasting. Once again, Frost is revealing his willingness to ignore linguistic facts.

Frost well knows that the Hebrew word “olam” that is translated as “everlasting,” “forever,” etc., is very, very often used of things that were not “endless” in the Western way of thinking of “everlasting.” See my book, Israel 1948: Countdown to No Where, for a very good study of this word.

Israel 1948 Countdown to No Where

 

The Levitical priesthood was eternal. The sacrifices were forever. The Sabbath itself was everlasting. Now, does Frost believe that those tenets remain valid? Not for one moment. So, he knows that “everlasting” can and did in Hebrew, mean until such time as appointed by God. Thus, God could – and did – call the Mosaic Covenant the “everlasting covenant” even though it was destined to end. It is truly sad to see Frost try to pull this sleight of hand with the Hebrew. He knows full well that this is a specious argument.

BTW, I will address in another post what Frost clearly considers his key point, the distinction between the Law of Moses, i.e. “The covenant”, and the rest of the Tanakh. Frost seems to think that his dichotomization between the Mosaic Covenant and “the law” is fatal to my view. In fact, his argument is nothing but a straw man, designed to cloud the issue, but it has not merit, no power in this discussion.

Now to continue our exegesis of Isaiah 65 since Frost claims that it is predictive of the “end of time.” Be sure to read my first installment in this examination. But, let me refresh your memory about what I noted.

1. Isaiah predicted Israel’s rebellion and the calling of the Gentiles (v. 1-3). Paul emphatically applied that to his day and to his ministry. This means, unless Frost now accepts the Dispensational Gap Doctrine, that Isaiah 65 must be placed within that temporal framework. After all, in Isaiah, it is the rebellion of Israel that leads directly to the New Creation, as we will see momentarily. This is a huge issue for Frost.

2. Isaiah spoke of the time when Israel would fill the measure of her sin (v. 7), and God would act in judgment. I noted that Jesus emphatically posited that for his generation (Matthew 23:29f). Once again, we have Isaiah 65 being applied to the first century, and to Israel.

3. We noted that Isaiah foretold the salvation of the remnant (v. 8f) and that Paul stated emphatically that the work of the salvation of the remnant was taking place in his day and even in his ministry. He also said that the consummation of that work would not be a long drawn out process, but, that the Lord would complete it shortly.

So, we have a three-fold application of Isaiah 65 by Jesus and Paul to the first century generation and the events taking place then. But there is more, so let’s continue.

4. Isaiah 65:13 – The Lord said that as a result of Israel’s rebellion:

“Therefore I will number you for the sword, And you shall all bow down to the slaughter; Because, when I called, you did not answer; When I spoke, you did not hear, But did evil before My eyes, And chose that in which I do not delight.”
(Remember that Paul applied this to the Jews of his day in Romans 10:21).

As a direct result of Israel’s refusal to hear the Lord’s call – and remember how Jesus and Paul applied that discussion to their day YHVH said He would slay them with the sword! He would destroy them (except the remnant of v. 8). This raises an important issue, one that Frost knows is destructive to his view. He tries his best to play the “shell game” and pass it off, but, it will not go away. It is fatal to his still developing eschatology.

I made the point that Psalms 102 is a promise made to and about Old Covenant Israel after the flesh, as God’s Covenant people. I made the same point on Isaiah 24. The identical point is simply undeniable, as we are about to see. Yet, Frost says that I have not proven my case. Mind you, he has not offered a single word of actual textual and exegetical proof that Psalms and Isaiah 24 are not promises made to Old Covenant Israel. Just more bold assertions that prove nothing. I urge the reader to go back and actually notice the exegetical arguments that I offered and compare and contrast them with Frost’s mere denials and assertions.

But, what about Isaiah 65? Is it a promise made to Old Covenant Israel after the flesh, related to the passing of the Law of Moses, or does it relate to the end of time, as Frost now claims? Consider the following:

A. If Isaiah 65 is about the end of time, Frost must identify the people that will be guilty of spurning God’s call. He must prove that this people is the people that Isaiah had in mind, and it is not Israel of Paul’s day, as the apostle claimed in his application of Isaiah.

B. If Isaiah 65 is about the end of time, Frost must identify the people that will be guilty of filling the measure of their sin. Will that be the church? Just who is it that will fill the measure of their sin? Frost must tell us why it is not Israel of Jesus’ day, the Israel that Jesus emphatically identified as the people that was about to fill the measure of their sin.

C. If Isaiah 65 is about the end of time, Frost must identify the people that will be destroyed, (Just as in Psalms 102 and Isaiah 24!!) when “the Lord God will slay you”? I venture to say that Frost will conveniently overlook this crux interpretum of the text and claim that I have not come close to proving my point. We shall see what we shall see.

D. Isaiah 65:13f – When the Lord destroyed the disobedient Jews who rejected His call, He would create a new people with a new name. (This is directly parallel to Psalms 102). This new people with the new name would enjoy the Messianic Banquet (which is nothing less than the promise of the resurrection of Isaiah 25:6-8– the time of Israel’s salvation!).

Once again, Frost must answer some questions:

☛ If Isaiah is about a yet future “end of time” who are the people of God that will be slain by the sword as a result of filling the measure of their sin?

☛ Who is the new people that will be created?

☛ What is the new name that will be given?

In other words, if Isaiah 65 is not an Old Covenant promise, made to Old Covenant Israel after the flesh, and if it is not about the end of her covenant existence, Frost needs to step up and show us – exegetically – who YHVH was describing in the text.

He must explain why both Jesus and Paul applied Isaiah 65 to Israel of their day.

He must show us – to reiterate – who the people are that will fill the measure of their sin, be destroyed, and a new people with a new name is then given.

If Frost follows his normal pattern, he will ignore these substantive issues and then simply assert, once again, that he has proven preterism wrong and that his “arguments” have not been answered.

In closing this installment, let me just say here that Frost’s objection about “the law” versus the “covenant” and his claim that the Mosaic Covenant has been fulfilled / removed, but that “the law” the wider Old Testament, remains in place is totally false. Frost’s confusion about the passing of the Law of Moses is incredible. And Isaiah 65 will falsify Frost’s dichotomization of the eschatological narrative. So stay tuned!

Hester-Preston Debate

 

Details

The Eastern Meadows congregation invites you to a debate between our very own David W. Hester (Faulkner University) and Don K. Preston of Ardmore, OK concerning the A.D. 70 doctrine. This event will be held June 15th and 16th at The Eastern Meadows church of Christ located at 8464 Vaughn Rd. Montgomery, AL 36117.
Below is the proposition for night one (June 15th):

Resolved: The Bible teaches that the Second (final) coming of Christ and the attendant resurrection of the just and the unjust, is yet future, and will occur at the end of time.

Affirm: David W. Hester
Deny: Don K. Preston

The Passing of The Law of Moses – Response to Sam Frost – #5- A Look at Isaiah 65

the passing of the law of moses
The Passing of the Law of Moses – and the Passing of Heaven and Earth!

The Passing of the Law of Moses and Sam Frost’s Growing Desperation – #5
Does the Old Testament Predict the Destruction of Literal Heaven and Earth?
Isaiah 65

This is our fifth installment in response to Sam Frost who recently wrote an article on Matthew 5:17-18. In that article he claimed, with no attempt to prove his claim, that the Old Testament predicts the end of time and planet earth. Be sure to read the previous articles:  #1   #2   #3   #4

This raises an interesting question: Does Frost now believe in the literal passing of material “heaven and earth” i.e. their disappearance? In his Why I Left Full Preterism (p. 47) he speaks of a recreated, restored earth! So, does the heaven and earth literally “pass away” cease to exist, or is it restored? Frost once again contradicts himself.

Here is Frost’s conundrum. In his comments on Isaiah 65, he claims that it predicts “a new heavens and earth.” However, he appeals to Psalms 102 – and Matthew 5:17-18 – as proof that the heaven and earth will pass away. Keep in mind that Frost says of the law, in Matthew 5:17-18, that it will not pass away – cease to exist on paper- until it is all fulfilled. But, that same language is applied to heaven and earth: “heaven and earth shall not pass.” So, if the law will cease to exist -even in books, when it is finally fulfilled, then that same definition must apply to the heaven and earth. Yet, Frost affirms a new heavens and earth! Disappear does not mean new! It means, well, disappear! More could, and will, be said on this, but this is more than sufficient to show that Frost has not done a lot of critical thinking on his claims. But, now to Isaiah 65

Frost claims that Isaiah 65 predicts the end of time: “Isaiah 65 envisions a new heavens and earth, too. In it, fantastical, poetic hyperbole is used to denote that it is quite a different scene than what is “normally” seen and experienced.”

Notice once again Frost’s literalistic hermeneutic at work. But of course, he cannot in any sense be consistent in that hermeneutic, for it would then destroy his entire argument.

For brevity, I will offer bullet points from Isaiah 65, and keep my comments as succinct as possible.

1. Isaiah 65:1-3 – YHVH laments Israel’s recalcitrance and rebellion, and responds by saying that He would call another people to Him, a people that had not known Him
Application: In Romans 10:20 Paul cites directly from Isaiah 65:1-3, to speak of Israel’s rejection of the Gospel in his day, and to speak of his Gentile mission. Thus, no matter what else we might think, Paul, by inspiration, posits the fulfillment of Isaiah 65 in his generation!

So, unless Frost wants to adopt the Dispensational Gap Doctrine, and claim that Isaiah 65:1-3 was fulfilled in the first century, but that we are still waiting on the new creation– which has now been 2000 years from Paul’s application of Isaiah to his day, then this one point is fatal to Frost.

2. Verse 7 – Israel’s rebellion– again, remember that Paul applied this to his generation – God said that Israel would fill the measure of her sin, and He would respond to that sin: “Your sin and the sin of your fathers will I measure into your bosom.” As H. C. Leupold, notes, “This verse proves that there is such a thing as ‘mass guilt,’ where the sins of generation after generation are not completely broken with and the amount grows higher and higher. Ultimately, or time and again, it then happens that God visits the sins of the fathers upon the children.”

Of course, the important thing to note, is that in Matthew 23:29ff, Jesus emphatically said that Judah of his day would fill up the measure of their father’s guilt and judgment would fall on them in that generation.

3. Verse 8 – YHVH promises that in spite of the coming holocaust, He will spare a remnant. Once again, the inspired apostle comments on this motif in Romans and other passages. The doctrine and theme of the salvation of the remnant is eschatological to the core.

In Romans 9 the apostle unequivocally says that the remnant was being saved in his day, and even in his ministry. Thus, just like Isaiah 65:1-3 and Paul’s application to his generation, he applies the doctrine of the salvation of the remnant to his day, to his ministry and to his generation.

Not only did Paul apply prophecies of the last days salvation of the remnant to his day, he also said that the consummation of that salvation would not be a long drawn out process. Look at a bit of Paul’s discussion of the salvation of the remnant:

“And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ There they shall be called sons of the living God.” 27 Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, The remnant will be saved. For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, Because the Lord will make a short work upon the earth.” And as Isaiah said before: Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, We would have become like Sodom, And we would have been made like Gomorrah.”

Paul here cites Hosea and Isaiah as predictive of the salvation of the remnant, and notice that in verse 28 he cites God’s promise that the work of bringing that salvation to its glorious climax would not be prolonged. It would be “short.”

Two words in the text indicate that the then ongoing work of saving the remnant was to be completely soon. Paul says “his work he is concluding” or “completing” from suntelon. Then, he says that the work would be “short” (suntemnon). Both of these words are in the present active participle, indicating that the Lord was already bringing that work to its consummation. Frost, of course, wants us to ignore that emphatic time statements. After all, he is on record as saying that he no longer cares about time statements. They mean nothing to him.

The point is that we have Paul repeatedly drawing from Isaiah and specifically applying it to his day. The question them becomes, what is Frost’s hermeneutic for divorcing the prophecy of the new creation from that time context? All he has offered us so far is his decree that Isaiah is predictive of the passing literal creation and the creation of a new heaven and earth. But, his claims are not supported by exegesis.

4. Verses -9-13 – In these verses the prophet set forth the depth of Israel’s rebellion, “you are those who forsake the Lord and forget this Holy Mountain.”

God’s response would be awful; it would be catastrophic (v. 13-15:

“Therefore I will number you for the sword, And you shall all bow down to the slaughter; Because, when I called, you did not answer; When I spoke, you did not hear, But did evil before My eyes, And chose that in which I do not delight.” … But you shall cry for sorrow of heart, And wail for grief of spirit. You shall leave your name as a curse to My chosen; For the Lord God will slay you.”

We have here a critical issue. I have noted that the promise of the new creation, including that in Psalms 102, was an Old Covenant promise, made to Old Covenant Israel after the flesh. Frost denied this, claiming that the Psalm was based on Abrahamic and Davidic covenant promises, and not Mosaic promises. This is the same dichotomized argument that Joel McDurmon tried – and failed – to make in our formal debate. This horrid doctrine is a denial of Paul’s emphatic affirmation that there was but one hope (Ephesians 4:4f) and that one hope was found in Moses, the Law and the prophets. He preached NOTHING, but what Moses and the prophets of Israel said! Paul did not have, Peter did not have, John, James, or Luke– none of the Biblical writers – had an eschatological hope divorced from the hope of Israel found in Moses, the law and the prophets. Frost is rejecting the Biblical fact that the hope of Adam, became the hope of Abraham, which became the hope of David, which became “the hope of Israel.” It was ONE HOPE– not an Abrahamic Hope distinct from the Davidic Hope, different from the Hope of Israel. This is critical and undeniable, yet Frost is denying this irrefutable truth in his desperation to refute Covenant Eschatology.

Get a copy of my debate with Joel McDurmon to see how the dichotomization of the eschatological narrative fails. That book is available from this website, Amazon and even Kindle.

Will Frost’s claim that the ultimate eschatological hope is Abrahamic and not tied to Israel after the flesh hold water in Isaiah 65? Not for a nano second! And I will demonstrate that beyond any doubt in our next installment. I will also show that Isaiah 65 is about the passing of the law of Moses. As I proceed to dismantle Frost’s literally unbelievable claims about the passing of heaven and earth. Make no mistake, Isaiah 65 is an utter, total refutation of Frost’s newly crafted theology. In the meantime, get a copy of my book, The Elements Shall Melt With Fervent Heat” the first full preterist commentary on 2 Peter 3. It deals a devastating blow to the futurist application of 2 Peter 3– and Isaiah. Stay tuned!

The passing of "heaven and earth" was at the end of the Law of Moses!
This book proves that the Bible does not predict the passing of literal heaven and earth

The Passing of the Law of Moses – Sam Frost’s Growing Desperation – #4

passing of the law of moses- Don K. Preston's book is a powerful discussion!
The Passing of the Law of Moses is revealed as the time of the passing of Israel’s “heaven and earth.”

The Passing of the Law of Moses – Sam Frost’s Growing Desperation #4

What About Isaiah 24-25?

In his most recent attempt to negate the truth of Covenant Eschatology, Sam Frost wrote an article on Matthew 5:17-18, seeking to mitigate the force of the text. Frost argued that Jesus did in fact say that until every jot and every tittle of the Old Covenant is fulfilled, it will not pass away. He said that every jot and every tittle will be fulfilled at the passing of the literal, material heaven and earth. Thus, the Old Covenant will not pass away– and we will share Frost’s idiosyncratic view on what not “passing away” means in a later article– the Old Law will remain. He claimed, without so much as offering a syllable of proof, that the Old Testament predicts the passing of material creation. Since this is clearly a foundational element of Frost’s claim, I am examining the key OT prophecies of the passing of “heaven and earth” to show that they simply do not support Frost’s claims.

In our previous article we examined Psalms 102, which in my personal experience is the text most often appealed to by futurists for proof of a yet future end of time OT prediction. The reason it is the most often cited OT prophecy for the passing of heaven and earth is because it is quoted in Hebrews 1:10. But, as that article shows, Psalms says not one word about the passing of the literal creation!
The fact is that there are no OT prophecies that can be construed as predictive of the passing of heaven and earth, without completely ignoring or distorting the context of those prophecies. The next prophecy for us to examine is proof of that.

Isaiah 24:3-5; 19-21:

“The land shall be entirely emptied and utterly plundered, For the Lord has spoken this word. The earth mourns and fades away, The world languishes and fades away; The haughty people of the earth languish. The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants,… “The earth is violently broken, The earth is split open, The earth is shaken exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, And shall totter like a hut; Its transgression shall be heavy upon it, And it will fall, and not rise again.”

The language is graphic and powerful! Surely it is talking about the end of time, right? No, not at all. For brevity, I will make just a few bullet points.

1. This judgment / destruction would come because Israel “violated the everlasting covenant.” The parallel to this text, Hosea 6:7f
“But like Adam they transgressed the covenant; There they dealt treacherously with Me. Gilead is a city of evildoers And defiled with blood. As bands of robbers lie in wait for a man, So the company of priests murder on the way to Shechem; Surely they commit lewdness. I have seen a horrible thing in the house of Israel: There is the harlotry of Ephraim; Israel is defiled.” (Some translations render “Adam” as “man” but, I suggest that “Adam” is more appropriate).

The point here is that the everlasting covenant is the Law of Moses, and the judgment that was coming on “the earth” in utter destruction was the covenantal judgment from YHVH for Israel’s sin. 2. This is confirmed in verses 10-13 where we find that the judgment would be focused on “the city” in the midst of “the land” and against “the people.”

“The city of confusion is broken down; Every house is shut up, so that none may go in. There is a cry for wine in the streets, All joy is darkened, The mirth of the land is gone. In the city desolation is left, And the gate is stricken with destruction. When it shall be thus in the midst of the land among the people, It shall be like the shaking of an olive tree, Like the gleaning of grapes when the vintage is done.” In Isaiah 29 this “city of confusion” is identified as Ariel, i.e. Jerusalem!

Ask yourself the question: In a Hebraic book, addressed to Israel, and in which the terminology of “the city,” “the land, and “the people” is used, if there is not a really strong set of contextual pointers otherwise, who would the readers think that the Lord was talking about?

For Israel, there was but one “the land.” They were “the people.” And, “the city” was none other than Jerusalem.

3. This assessment is confirmed in Isaiah 25:1-3, where the prophet continues his discussion of the announced judgment. In these verses, there can be no doubt that the context of the judgment on “heaven and earth” is the judgment on Jerusalem and the Temple.

“O Lord, You are my God. I will exalt You, I will praise Your name, For You have done wonderful things; Your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. For You have made a city a ruin, A fortified city a ruin, A palace of foreigners to be a city no more; It will never be rebuilt.”

Notice back in chapter 24:19-20 that “the earth” would fall and not rise again. Now, in these verses, the city and the temple are doomed to destruction and “will never be rebuilt.” I suggest that this is not to be taken in a woodenly literal manner, as Frost tends toward these days. Rather, it is speaking of the permanent removal of “the land,” the people,” “the city” as a covenant entity! It is talking about the permanent, final dissolution of Israel’s distinctive, covenantal existence. She would fall and never rise again as a covenant people as she existed for 1500 years! (This is confirmed in Isaiah 65 which we will examine in this series).

So, what we find in Isaiah 24-25– and there is sooo much more that could be observed in this great text, but this will suffice– is that it simply cannot refer to an “end of time” scenario. It predicted covenantal judgment on Israel, her land, the city, the temple and the people, for violating the Law of Moses. That raises a critical question for which I have never received an answer.

If one takes Isaiah 24-25 as a prediction of the destruction of literal creation then it raises the question: Does your view of the destruction of the literal creation include in it, as the reason for the destruction of the heaven and the earth, Israel’s violation of the Law of Moses?

The text of Isaiah 24 is emphatic: the destruction of creation being foretold would be as a direct result of Israel’s violation of the Law of Moses. So, if one wants to argue that Isaiah 24 does predict the end of time and earth, that of necessity means- contextually– that earth will one day be destroyed as a result of Israel’s violation of the Law of Moses! To say this is problematic is a huge understatement!

I am unaware of any commentator, of any eschatological paradigm, that says literal heaven and earth will perish as a result of Israel’s violation of the Law! Not one! Not in the entire history of commentary! To say the least, therefore, if you take the view that Isaiah 24 is predictive of the future destruction of the earth– and thus, the passing of the Law of Moses– you have a severe problem.

The problem can be magnified and exposed like this: Virtually futurists claim that the Law of Moses has been done away. Frost’s friends in the Dominionist movement, Gary DeMar, Kenneth Gentry, Joel McDurmon, etc., all believe that the Law of Moses “passed away” in the first century, i.e. even in AD 70! I can’t help but wonder if these men are now embarrassed by Frost’s completely novel definition of what Jesus meant when he talked about the passing away of the Law.

Mind you, Frost now claims to believe that much of the Law of Moses is no longer binding, having been replaced, but, that the Law of Moses still “remains.” What does he mean by replaced but remains? He means that since the Law of Moses is still in books, in Bibles, literally on paper, that this is what Jesus meant by not passing away until the proposed end of time.

In a blog post of 5-16-17, Frost said his proof that the Law of Moses has not passed away is because “it is right there in your Bible!” So, Frost claims that in Matthew 5:17-18 the Jews and Jesus were not at all concerned with the abiding authority of the Law of Moses, as mandates to be obeyed and fulfilled. All they were concerned about was that books with the Law of Moses printed in them will not be destroyed until the end of time! More on this later.

But, back to Isaiah 24. What we have is this:

1. Isaiah 24 predicted the destruction of creation, as a direct result of Israel’s violation of the Law of Moses. There is no futurist paradigm that posits this scenario! This fact falsifies Mr. Frost’s new doctrine.

2. If one takes this language literally, then of necessity, since heaven and earth is destroyed as a direct consequence of Israel’s violation of the Law, this means that the Law must remain valid, as God’s law for Israel until that proposed end of time. Clearly, Mr. Frost cannot adopt this fact, for once again, if the Law remains valid until the “end of time” then this is “covenant eschatology” and he rejects this.

3. Point # 2 is, to say the least, not only not Biblical, it is simply not historical, not creedal, not traditional. It is unknown. Thus, Frost cannot appeal to Isaiah 24 as a proof text for his claim that the Tanakh predicts the end of literal heaven and earth. Isaiah 24 predicted the passing of creation at the time of the Messianic Banquet / Resurrection, and posits it at the time of the judgment of Old Covenant Israel / Jerusalem.

By the way, in a “response” to my earlier article refuting the idea that Psalms 102 predicts the “end of time” Mr. Frost claimed that I never proved that Psalms is about God’s Old Covenant promises made to Old Covenant Israel. This is just stunningly bad.

I challenge the reader to read that article again. Note how I shared with the reader, the text of the chapter that proves it is about the time of the redemption of Zion, the time of the salvation of Israel, the time of the creation of a new people! Did Frost respond to any of these textual facts? Not so much as a keystroke! Instead, he fabricated the claim that I had not proven that Psalms is about Israel and her promises, and that the Psalms would be at the day of her salvation.

Now, I want the reader to catch the power of Frost’s denial that Psalms is an Old Covenant promise, made to Old Covenant Israel after the flesh. This surely one of the greatest examples of what I call “argumentum ad desperatum” (This a Latin expression that I invented, meaning argument from desperation)! The claim that Psalms 102 was not written to Israel, about her salvation, is surely one of the most revealing bits of Frost’s desperation that one can imagine.

Instead of offering a single syllable of exegetical work, Frost makes his false claims, and insists– again, without a key stroke of proof- that Psalms does predict the end of material creation.

Frost’s “response” is just another example of his increasing tendency and willingness to fabricate his theology “on the fly” and a lamentable willingness to make blatantly false claims, all the while claiming to have countered the truth of Covenant Eschatology. Not only that, his increasing reliance on a woodenly literalistic hermeneutic is leading him straight down the path of Premillennialism. He has no logical way out of that if he continues. Let me illustrate.

He claims that Psalms 102 predicts the end of literal heaven and earth. Psalms posits that at the coming of the Lord in glory. Frost takes these as literal, physical events. But, watch this:

1. Frost has written that the OT language of the Day of the Lord, the language of the dissolution of creation, is (quoting from my books) “metaphoric language to describe Jehovah’s powerful intervention into history.” And he says “I wholeheartedly agree.” (Why I Left Full Preterism, p. 30). So there you have it: Frost agrees that in the OT the language of the passing of creation is not literal, not predictive of an end of time. But, what does he do now, in Psalms 102? He says that the language that he “wholeheartedly agrees” is used metaphorically, must now be taken literally. And what proof did he offer us in his article? Not a syllable, just his claim that it is so. Hardly convincing.

2. Now, if we are to take the language of the passing of “heaven and earth” literally, why do we not take the language of the “redemption of Zion” i.e. Old Covenant Israel, just as literally? Frost never tells us, not so much as a word of exegetical proof.

3. And, did Frost type one syllable about the indisputable fact that the passing of the heaven and earth in Psalms is tied directly to the creation of a new people? He did not grace us with one word of response. Revealing. Reader, if Psalms 102 is about a future, end of time event, then at that time YHVH will create a brand new people– thus demanding the destruction of the “old people.” The church is the people of God, so, in Frost’s newly created paradigm, if he takes Psalms 102 literally, that means that one day, God will destroy the church and create a new people! To say this is a horrid, un-Biblical doctrine is an understatement of epic proportions.

4. Did Frost say a single word about the relationship between Psalms 102, the coming of the Lord in Glory, and Matthew 24:30f? In that text Jesus posited his coming in Glory– which incidentally would be for the salvation of Israel, the redemption of Zion– for his generation (v. 34). What was Frost’s response? It was the sound of silence.

This is more than sufficient to refute Frost’s disingenuous claims about Psalms 102.

In summation: Nothing about Isaiah 24 supports Mr. Frost’s claims. And we have more proof of that, so stay tuned!

Formal Debate- On YouTube and FaceBook! Link for watching!

Don't miss this formal debate!!
Tune in this evening, May 10, 2017, for a formal YouTube Debate on the Salvation of Israel– Romans 11:25-27!

Formal Debate on YouTube / FaceBook!
Pickett -V Preston Exchange on the Salvation of Israel– Romans 11:25-27

The video of the entire formal YouTube debate held May 10, 2017,  between Dr. Himie Pickett, Progressive Dispensationlist, and Dr. Don K. Preston (true preterist).

Dr. Pickett presented himself as one of the leading authorities on Progressive Dispensationalism. He has openly stated that Dr. Preston has never debated anyone like him before. Just recently on FaceBook, he claimed that this debate will be “the death of preterism.”

Dr. Preston has had numerous formal debates on eschatology.

The topic of this formal debate of 90 minutes, livestream YouTube debate, centered on the “salvation of Israel” as promised in Romans 11:25-27.

Dr. Pickett affirmed that national, ethnic Israel will be converted at the Second Coming of Christ out of heaven, at the very height of the Great Tribulation period, some seven years after the Rapture has removed the church from the earth.

Dr. Preston will affirmed that the salvation of “all Israel” as promised in Romans 11 was fulfilled no later than the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70.

You may watch the debate in its entirety on YouTube,  It will also be archived on www.fulfilledradio.com.

Be sure to watch this formal debate on an important topic!

The Passing of the Law of Moses and Sam Frost – #3- The Passing of Heaven and Earth

The Passing of The Law of Moses and Sam Frost’s Growing Desperation – #3
What About Those OT Prophecies of the Passing of “Heaven And Earth”?

Is the Bible about the passing of literal heaven and earth?
Does the Bible link the passing of the Law of Moses with the passing of literal heaven and earth?

As noted in our second installment responding to Sam Frost’s article on Matthew 5:17-18 is that among Frost’s many claims,he says that the Old Law foretold the passing of material creation, the literal heaven and earth. Let me remind the reader that I observed that he did not give one single text from the Tanakh to prove that assertion.

So, Frost says that the Law could not pass away until heaven and earth passes. He says that it would pass when it was all fulfilled– including the prophecies of the passing of heaven and earth. Yet, he did not offer a key stroke of proof for his claim that the Old Testament predicted the end of the space / time continuum. This is telling.

In numerous formal debates, I have challenged my opponents to provide at least three OT prophecies of the yet future Old Covenant prophecies of the “end of time” or the passing of material heaven and earth. The utter desperation of my opponents has been incredible! One debate opponent, Bill Lockwood, refused to even try to give and OT prophecy of the passing of heaven and earth. I pressed and pressed him until finally, in written response, he said “Enoch!” Hmmm, I did not realize that Enoch was an OT prophecy!

Side bar: One reason this issue is so important is because Peter says in 2 Peter 3:1-2 that his discussion of the Day of the Lord is simply a reiteration of what Jesus, the other apostles and the prophets who had spoken before, had to say about the Day. In his discussion of the Day of the Lord, he cites Isaiah 65-66. He also echoes other OT prophecies of the Day, including Daniel 9 and Malachi 4 among those that can be listed. My point is that if the OT prophecies that Peter cites do not predict the end of time, or the destruction of literal heaven and earth, then one cannot make 2 Peter 3 a prediction of the end of time!

Anyway, from time to time, futurists do offer a few OT prophecies of the passing of heaven and earth to maintain their view. Space considerations prevent an extensive examination of those texts, but, I will list four of the texts that have been offered– which is pretty much the sum total of those offered.

Let’s look now at the key OT prophecies that futurists claim predict the end of the physical cosmos.

Psalms 102:25-28:
“Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure; Yes, they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will change them, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will have no end.”

This passage is quoted in Hebrews 1:10 and we are assured by futurists that it must refer to the end of time. But, it is pretty clear that those who appeal to Psalms to establish the idea of a future cosmic cataclysm have not really read that chapter. They are proof texting. Let me make a few observations.

1. In verses 15-16, the Psalmist posits the fulfillment of his prophecy at the time of the redemption of Zion and the Day of the Lord:

“So the nations shall fear the name of the Lord, And all the kings of the earth Your glory. For the Lord shall build up Zion; He shall appear in His glory. He shall regard the prayer of the destitute, And shall not despise their prayer.”

This motif of the redemption of Zion is picked up in Hebrews 12:18f where the apostle says that Zion, is “heavenly” and it is “the church of the living God.” He also affirms that the coming Day of the Lord (for the redemption of Zion as foretold in Psalms) would be “in a very, very little while” and “will not delay” (10:37). Hebrews 12, picking up on chapter 1 and the prediction of the passing of heaven and earth, explains that it was the passing of the Old Covenant Zion- the Old Covenant creation, so that the everlasting kingdom would remain (v. 23-28).

2. This time of the redemption of Zion – the time of the passing of “heaven and earth”– is when God would create a New People!: (v. 18f-22):
“This will be written for the generation to come, That a people yet to be created may praise the Lord.
For He looked down from the height of His sanctuary; From heaven the Lord viewed the earth, To hear the groaning of the prisoner, To release those appointed to death, To declare the name of the Lord in Zion, And His praise in Jerusalem, When the peoples are gathered together, And the kingdoms, to serve the Lord.”

Now, unless futurists want to say that at the so-called “end of time” God will create another New People– necessitating the removal / negation / destruction of the body of Christ – then Psalms cannot be applied to any so-called end of time. The problem is that the only people to perish at the Day of the Lord, so that the Lord could create a New People, was Old Covenant Israel!

There is much, more that could be noted from Psalms 102, but this is more than sufficient to show that the Psalm is not concerned about the end of time. It is about the salvation of Israel at the Day of the Lord. That would be a glorious day, but also a horrific day. The bottom line is that it has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with the end of material creation.

3. Let me emphasize a critical point here: The promise of Psalms 102 is an Old Covenant promise made to Old Covenant Israel after the flesh. This logically means that it had to be fulfilled while Old Covenant Israel after the flesh existed (or exists) as God’s covenant people– while those covenant promises were still in effect.

It is axiomatic and undeniable that if a Law or covenant has been abrogated / annulled/ abolished, that none of its promises or penalties are valid and applicable. A dead law, a dead covenant, is, after all D-E-A-D. So, here is what that means.

The coming of the Lord of Psalms 102 is the coming of the Lord for the redemption of Zion, the salvation of Israel.

Paul said the coming of the Lord for the redemption / salvation of Israel would be in fulfillment of His Covenant with her (Romans 11:25-27)– “this is my covenant with her, when I take away her sin” (Romans 11:27).

Thus, God’s covenant with Israel would remain in effect until the coming of the Lord for the salvation of Israel.

This means that if Psalms 102 is not fulfilled, that Israel– Israel after the flesh– remains as God’s covenant people.

It is significant that in a FaceBook exchange with Frost, I asked him if Israel after the flesh was still God’s Covenant people. Frost’s vacillation and self-contradictory answers were astounding! He actually said that since God is the God of the living and not the dead, that this somehow proves that Israel after the flesh still exists!

The final point we will make from Psalms 102 is that David said the time of the passing of the heaven and earth would be at the Day of the Lord, when He would appear in Glory.

4. He shall appear in Glory– v. 15-16:
“So the nations shall fear the name of the Lord, And all the kings of the earth Your glory. For the Lord shall build up Zion; He shall appear in His glory.”

So, ask yourself, do we have any passages that speak of the coming of the Lord in glory? We have an abundance of them, actually:

“For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. 28 “Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” (Matthew 16:27-28). The coming of the Lord “in the glory of the Father” the time of salvation, would be in the lifetime of Jesus’ audience.

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” (Matthew 24:30-31).

And when would this be? Jesus stated emphatically that it would be in his generation (v. 34). I can only observe ever so quickly that in verse 31, Jesus cites Isaiah 27:13, a resurrection prophecy which is about the time of Israel’s salvation (Isaiah 27:10f). So, like Psalms, Matthew 24 is about the time of Israel’s salvation, when the Lord would come in glory, and it would unequivocally be in Jesus’ generation! (Incidentally, but significantly, both Isaiah 27 and Matthew 24:29f posit that salvation of Israel / Zion at the time of the judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood. Salvation and judgment were synchronous events).

Well, I have gone on longer than I intended to, but I hope that this (still brief) excursus on Psalms 102 demonstrates that it has nothing to do with the end of time. The reason I have spent this much time on this particular passage because in my formal debates, it is the passage most often appealed to.

Psalms 102 is about the eschatological salvation of Israel at the Day of the Lord, the destruction of the Old Covenant people, and the creation of the New Covenant people. We will establish that even further as we proceed. In the meantime, be sure to get a copy of my book, The Elements Shall Melt With Fervent Heat. In that book, I have even more in-depth analysis of Psalms and other OT prophecies that futurists often claim refers to a yet future passing of the physical cosmos.

Peter's passing of "heaven and earth" is not the passing of material creation!
2 Peter 3 has nothing to do with the end of time!

 
Stay tuned!

The Passing of the Law of Moses and the Increasing Desperation of Sam Frost – #2

The Passing of The Law of Moses and Sam Frost’s Growing Desperation – #2
As noted in our first installment, Sam Frost, former preterist, has offered his latest attempt to justify his departure from the truth of Covenant Eschatology. He gives us a labored “explanation” of Matthew 5:17-18 attempting to show that Jesus’ words there do not necessitate the fulfillment of the law of Moses– every jot and every tittle of it– before it could vanish away. This in spite of the fact that Jesus’ words are very clear: Not one jot or one tittle shall pass from the law (which Frost agrees is a comprehensive term for the entirety of what we call the Old Testament) until it is all fulfilled.”

Among Frost’s many claims, he notes that the law cannot pass until it is all fulfilled, and among some of the jots and tittles of the law are predictions of the passing of “heaven and earth.” Thus, Frost concludes, until the material universe passes away, not one jot or one tittle of the Law will pass away.

Let’s be clear: Jesus did say “until heaven and earth passes, not one jot or one tittle shall pass from the law.” So that is beyond dispute. The question before us, however, is, did Jesus mean that the law of Moses (Torah) will not pass away until the physical heaven and earth are destroyed? Second, where in the Tanakh do we find a prediction, or predictions, of the passing of the physical heaven and earth, per Frost’s claim?

I should observe that while Frost assures us that the OT predicts the end of the material heaven and earth, he did not give us any documentation. He offered not a verse to support that claim. He simply claimed: “We can also infer that the disappearance of the heavens and the earth is included in what the strokes of the pen of the Law and the Prophets say. That is, the Law and the Prophets contain within them the fact that the heavens and earth will disappear.” (P. 3 of 13).

Don’t you think it would be somewhat important to prove this foundational part of his argument? It is insufficient to simply claim something to be true, especially something that is critical to your argument. I took note in the first installment that Frost made the claim that material heaven and earth is what Jesus had in mind in Matthew 5, yet, once again, he offered no proof for his claims. His presumptive approach is, to say the least, disturbing and revealing.

But, once again, the question is, Does the Tanakh, what we call the Old Testament contain prophecies of the passing of the material creation, as Frost claims. I deny that it does. Let’s approach this in two ways:

1. The Old Covenant affirms the eternality of the material creation, and,

2. The Old Covenant predictions of the passing of “heaven and earth” are in fact predictions of the passing of the Old Covenant world of Israel– not predictions of the dissolution of material creation. Let’s look at the first point.

When YHVH had brought the flood, afterward, He declared:

“And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma. Then the Lord said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done. “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:21-22).

Assuming– as Frost certainly affirms– that the Flood was universal, what do we find here? We find the Lord promising that He would never again destroy every living creature as He had done.

Now the normal argument is that what He meant by, “As I have done” is that He would never again destroy the world by a flood, but, that He will destroy it by fire – as 2 Peter is taken to mean. Thus, God was not concerned with Mercy, or even Magnitude, but just with a different Method of destruction! (Evidently, in that way of thinking, a Flood is messier than Fire!). I will not take the time to discuss it here, but suffice it to say that God promised in Isaiah to destroy “heaven and earth” with a Flood! He even used the language of Genesis to describe it! Perhaps this will pique the reader’s curiosity. I discuss all of this in my book The Elements Shall Melt With Fervent Heat.

S, if we consider that YHVH was making this promise based on Mercy, not Method or Magnitude, then we have here a promise that He would never again bring a world wide judgment on the earth.

By the way, as to the question of Magnitude. The traditional view of the passing of heaven and earth– the view now of Frost – the supposed end of time, catastrophic conflagration would be (will be) absolutely incredibly greater than the Flood! After all, the heavens– the planets, the sun, the moon and the stars- were not destroyed in the Flood. Thus, God could not be saying, “I will not bring another cataclysmic judgment as great, as “universal” as the Flood, because in the traditional paradigm, that is precisely what He promised to do! In that supposed future judgment, God will destroy every living creature– which He did not do in the Flood. He will destroy the entire cosmos– which He did not do in the Flood!

Thus, God’s promise: “I will never again destroy every living creature as I have done” cannot be a promise that He would never again bring a judgment of the same magnitude, because, to reiterate, in the tradition view of the coming Day of the Lord, YHVH will bring about a judgment that is exponentially greater than the Flood! But that would create a contradiction in the Lord’s promise!

Psalms 148:1-6 offers insight into the promise of Genesis 8:
“Praise the Lord from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights! Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts! Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars of light! Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, And you waters above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the Lord, For He commanded and they were created. He also established them forever and ever; He made a decree which shall not pass away.”

This great Psalm, which was the inspiration for one of the great church hymns, reflected on both the creation of the world, as well as the Flood. It speaks of How God established the “the heavens of the heavens and the waters above the heavens” and He “established them forever and ever.” This compounded declaration “forever and ever” often communicates the idea of eternality. It certainly speaks of the steadfastness, the abiding nature, of the creation in the Hebraic mind.

Psalms 89:34-37 likewise expresses the Hebraic view of the material creation, of the cosmos, and compares the throne of Messiah with the endurance of the cosmos:

“My covenant I will not break, Nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips. Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David: His seed shall endure forever, And his throne as the sun before Me; It shall be established forever like the moon, Even like the faithful witness in the sky.”

So, reign of Messiah on the throne of David and the sun, the moon and the stars are equal in their endurance! When we realize that Messiah’s rule and reign on that throne is “without end” (Isaiah 9:6-9; Luke 1:32-33) this is powerful refutation of the idea that the sun, the moon and the stars of heaven will one day be burned up, at the so-called end of time.

There are other Old Testament discussions of the enduring nature of the material creation. See the first installment where we cite Ecclesiastes 1:4 for instance. But, this is sufficient and powerful refutation of Frost’s claim that the Old Testament predicted the passing of material creation.

It will naturally be rejoined that there are OT prophecies of the passing of “heaven and earth.” And of course, that is true. However, are those prophecies contradictions of the passages we have cited, or, is there something else about those predictions that must be examined? Is it possible that, in spite of Frost’s claim that it is “pernicious” to think so, those predictions of the passing of heaven and earth do in fact speak of the passing of Israel’s covenantal world? Do they perhaps speak of the passing of the Law of Moses, Israel’s covenantal heaven and earth? We will examine some of the OT prophecies of the passing of heaven and earth in our next installment, so stay tuned. In the meantime, get a copy of my book, The Elements Shall Melt With Fervent Heat. You will be amazed at the wealth of evidence that I adduce to prove that the Bible did not predict the passing of the physical heaven and earth.

The Passing of the Law of Moses Was the Passing of Heaven and Earth
This book proves that Peter did not predict the “end of time!”

The Passing of the Law of Moses and Sam Frost’s Increasing Desperation #1

law of moses

The Passing of The Law of Moses and Sam Frost’s Growing Desperation

Was it Mark Twain that said, “It is amazing what a man will believe when he won’t believe the Bible” or something to that effect? Well, we can amend that statement to something like, It is amazing what a man will say when he has abandoned the truth!” That later statement fits Mr. Sam Frost to the “T.”

Frost once taught the truth of Covenant Eschatology, but abandoned it, claiming that he had discovered major logical and scriptural flaws in the system. In reality, the problem was that Frost could not bring himself to jettison church history and the creeds. He chose the works of men over the Word of God. Frost has produced several articles and videos seeking to justify his return to futurism and his rejection of true preterism. But, few rival his latest production entitled “Another Full Preterist Fallacy Faulted” in regard to their utter illogic and specious nature. It really is a stunning example of desperation.

The article is Frost’s attempt to explain– explain away- Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:17-18:
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”

Frost well knows that it is impossible to refute Covenant Eschatology without negating the force of Jesus’ emphatic words. Simply stated:

Not one jot or one tittle of the Law of Moses could pass until it was all fulfilled, brought to pass, fully accomplished.

The Law of Moses contained prophecies of the resurrection, the judgment, the end of the age and the coming of Christ.

Therefore, until the resurrection, the judgment, the end of the age and the coming of Christ took place, not one jot or one tittle of the Law of Moses could pass.

Since Frost believes that the Law of Moses (at the very least, the ceremonial, sacrificial mandates) has passed as a binding covenant, and since he believes that the resurrection, the judgment, the end of the age and the coming of Christ have not yet taken place, he absolutely must find a solution to this conundrum. You cannot have the passing of the law of Moses without the fulfillment of the resurrection, the judgment, the end of the age and the coming of Christ. If the resurrection, the judgment, the end of the age and the coming of Christ have not taken place, every jot and every tittle of the Law of Moses remains valid and binding. See my book Torah To Telos: The End of the Law of Moses, for an extended discussion of when the Law of Moses did indeed pass away.

Mr. Frost has invented a novel, new, unprecedented explanation of Matthew 5. More on that in upcoming installments. But, let me proceed to an examination of Mr. Frost’s attempt to explain away Matthew 5:17-18. I will offer some of the salient points that he makes and then examine his conclusions and claims as we proceed.

I agree with Frost when he says that Jesus was saying that every jot and every tittle of the Law of Moses had to be fulfilled for any part of the Law to pass away. He said, “The least stroke of the pen of the Law and Prophets remains until all things concerning them are ‘accomplished.’” (p. 2 of 13). In other words, every single stroke of the pen of the Law and the prophets would remain valid until every thing in the Law and the prophets would be accomplished.

I agree with Frost when he observes that Jesus’ words, of necessity, mean that what had to be fulfilled, in the future from when Jesus spoke, were the prophecies and elements of the Law that had not yet been fulfilled when he spoke. After all, when Jesus spoke these words, some prophecies of the Law had already been fulfilled, i.e. his Virgin birth among others.

I agree with Frost that Jesus was clear that “heaven and earth” and the passing of the Law of Moses would be synchronous and related events. But, I offer this major caveat: Frost claims that “heaven and earth” refers to material, physical universe! I absolutely reject that claim. It is my view that the “heaven and earth” in Matthew 5 is referent to Israel’s covenantal heaven and earth, not the material creation. Frost calls my view “pernicious.”

Frost now takes the position that “The Law and the Prophets contain within them the fact that the heavens and earth will disappear” (3 of 13). So, when we combine that concept with his view that Torah will not pass until it is all fulfilled, this logically means that not one jot or one tittle would / will pass from Torah until heaven and earth passes away. And what Mr. Frost means by “heaven and earth” as just noted, is that it is material creation. It is the literal, physical earth and the heavenly bodies that must perish for Torah to pass. So, the Law of Moses and the prophetic corpus will stand valid until the dissolution of material heaven and earth, per Mr. Frost’s article. The word “valid” is a sticking point. Frost would reject the idea that the entirety of Torah would remain valid, binding, until the end of time / space. By “remaining” he means that the Law of Moses will continue — on paper – until the end of time. But, as we shall see, this is untenable and un-Biblical.

Notice that Jesus said, “until heaven and earth passes away, not one jot or one tittle shall pass from the law, until it is all fulfilled.” Frost says that, “when the Law and the Prophets are fulfilled, then the heavens and earth will disappear.” So, to reiterated, the passing of the Law and Prophets and the passing of heaven and earth are synchronous events.

Now, those familiar with Covenant Eschatology might read these claims by Frost and think that he has returned to the truth. After all, he is affirming quite clearly that not one jot or one tittle of the Law of Moses (hereafter, Torah) would pass until it was all totally fulfilled. Every promise fulfilled, every prophecy fulfilled. Thus, if every jot and every tittle has not been fully accomplished, completely fulfilled, then every jot and every tittle remains valid. But, although his words logically lead to that conclusion, that is not what Mr. Frost is now teaching.

Frost well realizes that if he follows the logic of his own words, and the words of the text of Matthew 5, that Torah remains valid today– every single jot and tittle. So, Mr. Frost gets “creative” in his desperation.

First of all, as noted, Mr. Frost defines the heaven and earth as material creation. He rejects as “pernicious” the idea that the term could have had a well established vernacular, metaphoric meaning that heaven and earth referred to Israel covenant world. He simply claims that anyone hearing Jesus would have known immediately that he had material creation in mind. That claim is incredibly presumptive and without merit. As I show in my book, The Elements Shall Melt With Fervent Heat, there was a well established, well accepted use of the term to refer to Israel, to her Temple, to her covenantal world. I document this from scripture, from history and from scholarship.

The passing of the Law of Moses is the passing of heaven and earth!
This book gives a wealth of documentation that Peter’s prediction of the passing of “heaven and earth” had nothing to do with the end of time or the material creation!

 

Notice what noted scholar Crispin H. T. Fletcher-Lewis says in regard to Matthew 5:17-18 and Matthew 24:35: “Within the broader sweep of the temple reference throughout this eschatological chapter and the specific time reference in the preceding verse (Mark 13:30; Matthew 24:34), Jesus’ promise that ‘heaven and earth’ will pass away makes the best sense, not as a collapse of the space-time universe, as has been so often understood, but as a collapse of a mythical space-time universe embodied in the Jerusalem temple.” (Eschatology in Bible and Theology, (Downer’s Grove; InterVarsity, 1997), 162).

Thus, contra Frost’s simplistic and naive claim that no one hearing Jesus would have thought that he had anything but the material creation in mind, scholarship understands that the Hebraic mind of the day would well have not even thought of Frost’s view of the end of material creation! Frost is guilty of imposing a Grecian and modern cosmology onto ancient Hebraic texts. This is poor hermeneutic to say the least. In fact, as Ecclesiastes 1:4 says, and the Jews believed: “Generations come and generations go, but the earth abides forever.”

Although there is some debate, there is widespread belief in scholarship today that the Jews never contemplated the end of time or the end of the material universe! For instance, N. T. Wright notes:  “The close of the age for which they (the disciples in Matthew 24:3, DKP) longed was not the end of the space order, but the end of the present evil age” (N. T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God, (Minneapolis, Fortress, 1996), 361-362). See also his extensive comments on this very issue in his 2013, Paul and the Faithfulness of God, Vol. I, (Minneapolis, Fortress, 2013), 163f).

Likewise, R. T. France observes, “OT eschatology is not concerned with the end of the world. but with the decisive action of God that will end the existing order of things and inaugurate a new era of blessing”  (R. T. France, Jesus and the Old Testament, (Regent College Publishing, 1971), 84).

Frost knows this – or should – if he is the scholar that he claims to be. Yet, in his article he never mentions what the Hebrews of the day actually thought. I document this in my Elements book). He makes no mention of rabbinic thought. He ignores what Josephus had to say about the Temple as “heaven and earth.” (More on this later). He makes no mention of the OT predictions of the passing of “heaven and earth” none of which predicted the passing of material creation!! He makes no mention of modern scholarship.  We will explore some of this in upcoming installments of our review and refutation of Frost’s article.

In the meantime, I should observe that Frost’s every increasing literalizing of scripture may well lead him into the Dispensational camp. His stunning woodenly literalistic interpretations all but demand this.

So, from the outset, Frost’s presuppositional approach is highly questionable and subject to challenge – and rejection. In our upcoming installments, I will show that Frost’s claims that the OT predicted the passing of material creation are false, and, I will show that his claims about the Law of Moses remaining until the dissolution of the kosmos are specious in the extreme. Stay tuned!

Up Coming Formal Debates

I want to remind our visitors of two important up coming formal debates.

May 10– I will be debating Dr. Himie Pickett, a Progressive Dispensationalist. Dr. Pickett is a member of the Pre-Tribulation group founded by Tim LaHaye and Thomas Ice, but, rejects the standard Dispensational Premillennial view. That means that he ostensibly rejects the idea that Jesus came to establish the kingdom, but due to Jewish unbelief, the kingdom offer was postponed, and the church, which had never been predicted, was established.

Dr. Pickett nonetheless holds to the idea that at the future Second Coming of Christ, that will occur after the Rapture supposedly removes the church from the earth, that God will save Israel at the worst moment of the Great Tribulation. The Millennial kingdom, wherein ethnic Israel is restored, will then follow.

Romans 11:25-27 and Paul’s famous prediction that “all Israel shall be saved” will be the focus of this formal debate that will be carried live on YouTube, on May 10, 2017.

Contra Dr. Pickett, I will be affirming that Romans 11:25-27 was fulfilled in AD 70 in Christ’s coming in judgment of the Old Covenant world of Israel, sweeping away that Old Covenant creation, and saving the righteous remnant.

I will post the details and the link as soon as possible. In addition to being live streamed on YouTube, this formal debate will be carried on FaceBook, and, will also be archived on www.fulfilledradio.com. Be sure to tune into this formal Internet debate!

 

The Second Formal Debate we want to remind you about is my second formal public debate with Dr. David Hester, professor at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama. This debate will be held at Dr. Hester’s home church, the Eastern Meadows church of Christ, 8464 Vaughn Road, Montgomery, AL 36117;    Phone:(334) 273-0001.  Dr. Hester and I had our first formal debate at the 2016 Preterist Pilgrim Weekend, July of 2016. DVDs and Mp3s of that first debate are now available from me.

As in the first debate, Dr. Hester will affirm that the resurrection of the just and the unjust is yet future and will occur at the end of time. I will affirm that the resurrection of the just and the unjust occured at the time of the fall of Jerusalem- the end of the Old Covenant Age of Israel – in AD 70.

This follow up debate promises to be lively and contain a wealth of information for research and study. You don’t want to miss it, so make your plans to be with us!

The Calling of the Gentiles – God’s Eternal Plan- Guest Article by Terry Cropper #2

calling of the gentiles
It was always God’s plan to call the nations other than Israel into His blessings!

The Calling of the Gentiles – God’s Eternal Plan – by Terry Cropper

Be sure to read the first installment of this fine article by Terry Cropper.

God always had a desire to save the “gentiles nations.” Isaiah 49:6 (NKJV) “Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles.

Once we understand that Jesus is the Servant spoken of in Isaiah 49; we understand that Jesus’ ministry brings deliverance to the gentile nations. Now, my reading of the text, in Isaiah 49:6 certainly seems to indicate that in addition to the restoration of Israel, that God would then extend salvation to the nations. However, there are some who claim that this is false, and in fact, the text only predicted the salvation of the all twelve tribes, i.e. restored Israel.

Notice that the claim violates what the text specifically says. God said it would not be enough to restore Israel, the tribes of Jacob. With that in mind then, notice that God said. ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the nations of Gentiles.

Here is a statement to make a bigger point. God’s servant is certainly able to do far greater things than to save only one small nation. God’s servant would be the light to the Gentiles as well. God said that was not enough for the Messiah to save Israel / the tribes of Jacob! In addition to restoring Israel which would be too small a work for him, he would also offer life to the Gentiles!

“It would have been insufficient for the `God’s Servant’ to have received only the conversion of Jews as a result of his labors; therefore, God gave him the gathering in of the Gentles also, and made him the means of salvation even to the uttermost parts of the earth.” It is undeniable that God here predicts the calling of the Gentiles.

During the New Testament times the Apostle Paul alludes to this basic fundamental principles in Ephesians 2:11-13 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

In this passage the apostle is dealing with the difference between the Jews and the Gentiles. He identifies the Gentiles for us. He says they are the ones who are called “uncircumcised” by those who are circumcised, i.e., by Jewish people. He indicates the distinguishing mark of the Jews, and he has a good reason for doing so. He says, “You Gentiles are uncircumcised. The Jews are the circumcised people.” In being circumcised they were recognizing the fact that they were a people, belonging to God in a unique sense. The mark of circumcision was what indicated this distinction. So when Paul said the Jews were circumcised, he was symbolizing by that fact the advantages the Jew had over the Gentile. But he was also highlighting the fact that the Gentiles, the pagans, did not have these advantages.

Circumcision is made a great deal of in the Scriptures. It is referred to all through the Old Testament and the New. It began, you remember, with Abraham, who circumcised his son Isaac at the request of God. And it always indicated that here was a people who had a special access to God, a special relationship to him. This circumcision also applied to the proselytes converts living among Israel.

Exodus 12:48-49 An alien living among you who wants to celebrate the Lord’s Passover must have all the (mails in his household circumcised); them he may take part, like one born in the land… The same law applies to the native-born And to the alien living among you.” (Emphasis mine) The Gentiles/proselytes that were living among the Israelites had to undergo circumcision as well. The pagan Gentile world was without this. This is why the Gentile, pagan world was called “uncircumcised”

Then Paul states the one thing which can be said of all the uncircumcised, no matter what their background one great fact remains: you are separated from Christ. Paul goes on to describe: “alienated from the commonwealth of Israel.” Paul use of “alienated from here in the Greek is ἀπηλλοτριωμένοι meaning an alien alienated living outside the covenant relationship with God.

These gentiles that Paul is addressing in Ephesians 2:11-13 were not proselytes converts from early times. (Isaiah 56:3 ; Nehemiah 10:28; Esther 8:17 ). The name “proselyte” occurs in the New Testament only in Matthew 23:15 ; Acts 13:43 Acts 6:5 Acts 2:10. The name by which they are commonly designated is that of “devout men,” or men “fearing God” or “worshipping God.”

Paul goes on, and says the final condition of the “uncircumcised” gentiles was: “having no hope, and without God in the world.” Paul goes on now to show what has happened, Verse 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Paul goes on to develop some more fantastic truth, the blood of Christ brought them near. Paul asserts that Christ “has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us, referring to Gentiles and Jews who are believers in Christ.

The interesting fact that many Christians are unaware of, is that there was a physical barrier (a middle wall) that separated gentiles and Jews in the days of Paul, at the Temple in Jerusalem. Known as the “soreg”, this partition prohibited gentiles from entering into the temple courts. The soreg was a low wall surrounding the Temple in Jerusalem, which served as a boundary/partition wall. Beyond this point, entry was permitted only to Jews who were not impure through exposure to death.

The soreg featured signs, in a number of languages that warned these unauthorized people against entering the area of the Holy Temple. Some of the signs which were placed on the “soreg” have been discovered. The inscription says “No outsider shall enter the protective enclosure around the sanctuary. And whoever is caught will only have himself to blame for the ensuing death.”

Considering all of the above facts, it is safe to say, that Paul was referring to this “partitioning wall” in his letter to the Ephesians, as it was a prominent feature of the Jerusalem Temple at that time, which restrained gentiles non proselytes from entering in. It is also important to note that this wall was not part of the design God had given, but was a later addition made by the Jews in authority, to keep gentiles from entering the temple precinct. However, nowhere in the Old Testament would you be able to find such a structure that separates the proselytes from the native-born Jews. Gentile proselyte who had a desire to worship God were always welcome and assimilated by faith into the Israel of God. The calling of the Gentiles was always God’s plan!