Hick’s -V- Preston Debate
Preston’s Final Negative
I appreciate the opportunity to engage in this debate, although I wish Olan would have actually engaged in debate, rather than merely “preaching.”
Olan says I engaged in personal attacks. No, I simply pointed out that Olan made some blatantly false claims about what he had said. Now, it IS embarrassing to be exposed this way, but, it was necessary to manifest Olan’s desperation.
A dispensationalist I debated used Olan’s approach. He simply read the OT description of the kingdom– “They shall turn their swords into plowshares…” He declared, “That is what I believe! Just look around! That has not happened!” There was no exegesis.
Olan does the identical thing. And stunningly, Olan said, the Lord does not come at the end of the thousand years– which is Dispensationalism.
I asked: HOW CAN CHRIST COME AT THE RESURRECTION AND JUDGMENT OF REVELATION 20– AND YET, NOT COME AT THE END OF THE THOUSAND YEARS? No answer.
PAUL AND ISRAEL
Paul emphatically declared that his eschatology was from “the law and the prophets” (Acts 24:14f). Olan denies this.
Paul said he was on trial for the hope of Israel. Olan denied Paul’s words, saying he was on trial for the gospel. Olan creates a false dichotomy between the gospel and the fulfillment of Israel’s promises (Acts 13:32ff).
Paul said he preached NOTHING but what Moses and the prophets said would come (Acts 26:21).
Paul said the prophets and Moses, foretold the resurrection. Unbelievably, Olan denied that the resurrection predicted in 1 Corinthians 15 would fulfill Isaiah and Hosea! This is embarrassingly bad.
Olan’s denial that Paul’s eschatology was the expectation of the imminent fulfillment of God’s OT promises, made to Israel “after the flesh,” reveals how bankrupt his eschatology truly is.
I demonstrated the correlations between Daniel 12 and other texts.
Daniel foretold the resurrection to eternal life– 1 Corinthians 15 foretold the resurrection to eternal life.
Daniel foretold the resurrection at the time of the end– 1 Corinthians foretold resurrection at the time of the end.
Daniel foretold the resurrection when the power of the holy people (Israel’s covenant relationship with God) would be terminated. 1 Corinthians 15 foretold the resurrection when “the law that is the strength of sin”would be overcome.
The only law that was the strength of sin was Torah. Paul’s use of the term “the law” demands this definition.
These correlations are perfect. They destroy Olan’s eschatology, so, naturally, he ignored them.
Daniel 12 foretold the resurrection when the prophets would be rewarded, when the power of the holy people would be shattered.
Revelation 11 speaks of the resurrection and rewarding of the prophets AND THE DEAD at the judgment of the city where the Lord was slain (v. 18).
It is also at the judgment of the city “where the Lord was slain” (v. 8), the city spiritually called “Sodom.” Olan twisted, turned and desperately refused to specifically identify this city, but, indicated it actually was JERUSALEM.
If the city “where the Lord was slain” was Jerusalem (which is undeniable) this definitively proves that the resurrection, the judgment and rewarding of the dead, was at the destruction of Jerusalem, when the power of the holy people was destroyed, fulfilling Daniel 12.
Scripture could not be clearer; but, Olan rejects these express statements.
Jesus said, explicitly, that “until heaven and earth (ouranos / ge) passes away,” not one iota of the Law of Moses would pass. The passing of “heaven and earth” and the passing of the law are inextricably tied together by Jesus.
Jesus also explicitly said, “not one jot or one tittle shall pass from the law until it is all fulfilled.” Olan denies that every jot and tittle of the law had to be fulfilled for it to pass.
Olan says the Law passed at the cross, but the promises of the end in the law– a lot of jots and tittles– are unfulfilled. This means that SOME of the law passed, but SOME remains binding. This denies Jesus’ explicit words.
Note the contrast: Jesus explicitly said heaven and earth would not pass until all the law was fulfilled, and that none would pass until it was all fulfilled.
Olan says some passed, but some remains valid and heaven and earth have not passed.
The contrast between Jesus and Olan could not be more dramatic. Olan is wrong.
Olan offered Psalms 102 as proof of the passing of literal heaven and earth, seemingly ignorant of the fact that Psalms predicted the creation of a New People at the passing of the “heaven and earth.”
I asked: What people will be destroyed, and what new people will be created, at the destruction of physical creation? Olan dropped Psalms 102 like a hot potato.
1 THESSALONIANS 4
Olan says 1 Thessalonians 4 predicts the removal of the church from the earth.
I proved that linguistically, Olan totally misses the point of “we shall meet him.” In my book We Shall Meet Him In The Air, I show from Scripture, history, Josephus, and the Lexicons that when used with parousia, as in 1 Thessalonians 4, the word translated as “meet” (apantesis) is a technical term. It refers to a dignitary traveling to a city. The citizens go out to meet him, AND ESCORT HIM BACK TO THEIR CITY– HIS DESTINATION!
The visitor does not take the citizens away with him. He goes with them to their city. This agrees perfectly with John 14 / Revelation 21, of the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven, FOR GOD TO DWELL WITH MAN. It is not a removal of man from the earth.
This is the restoration of the fellowship lost in Adam– fellowship between heaven and earth.
Olan totally ignored the perfect correspondence between Matthew 24:29-34– which he applies to AD 70– and Thessalonians. Total silence.
Olan claimed that the use of ophetai in Revelation 1:7 demands a bodily coming of Christ, seen by every human. I noted that Matthew 24:30- Olan applies this to AD 70- uses opthantai.
I could hardly believe my eyes! Olan said, “You don’t have to know Greek to know these are different words.” This is incredibly embarrassing.
ANYONE EVEN REMOTELY FAMILIAR WITH THE GREEK knows that these are just DIFFERENT CONJUGATIONS OF THE SAME WORD! These are not “different words” except in conjugation. NOT IN DEFINITION!
Olan is either ignorant of the Greek, or arrogantly trying to “run a bluff” on the unsuspecting. Either way, his claim is not only false, but, irresponsible, and exposes his desperation.
2 THESSALONIANS 1
2 Thessalonians 1 irrefutably falsifies Olan’s eschatology. His wild claims are embarrassing, revealing a disdain for proper hermeneutics.
Paul was writing to a specific people, experiencing real persecution, at the hands of the Jews. Paul promised those first century Christians relief from that persecution, “when the Lord is revealed from heaven.”
It would be impossible for Jesus to give the Thessalonians relief from that then on-going persecution if the Thessalonians are not alive, being persecuted, at the time of the coming. This is indisputably true, and Olan knows it.
I asked Olan, what was there in Pau’s words that would have told the Thessalonians that Paul was not talking to THEM, about THEIR THEN PRESENT PERSECUTION at the hands of the JEWS, and that he was not promising THEM relief from that then ongoing persecution at the coming of Christ.
In a rejection of every known rule of hermeneutic, Olan said I was “foolish” to think that Paul promised the Thessalonians anything. In truth, Paul was not even addressing “the church of the Thessalonians.” He said nothing about their contemporary situation. He was addressing the final, end time church.
This is like saying that a woman is foolish to think that a letter written to her by her boyfriend, is not truly to her, but to some other woman who will be alive in 2000 years!
I asked Olan, who was, when Paul wrote, persecuting the Thessalonians? It was the Jews, AND NO ON ELSE. Olan was silent.
Olan initially admitted that the only people to ever dwell in the presence of the Lord, but, who would be cast out of that Presence for persecuting the saints, was in fact the Jews.
Then, entrapped, HE CHANGED HIS STORY, and made the BLATANTLY FALSE CLAIM that he said that the Jews were one of many people that had persecuted the church, the Romans included..
I challenged Olan– several times– to prove where he had said this initially. He did not try, because YES, HE KNOWS THAT HE SAID NO SUCH THING.
I asked: Olan, did Christ come, and give the Thessalonians relief from that then on-going persecution, and cast their persecutors– the Jews– out of His presence? Yes or No?
Olan refused to answer because he knows that Paul did in fact promise the Thessalonians relief at the parousia, and if Christ did not come and give that promised relief, TO THE THESSALONIANS, that Paul was a false prophet.
MALACHI AND THE MILLENNIUM
I repeatedly asked: When did the Lord come in judgment of Israel– punishing them with the edge of the sword–for violation of Exodus 22:21-23, Leviticus 19-20 and Deuteronomy 27:19– as foretold in Malachi 3:1-5, 16f; 4:5-6– after John’s ministry, but before the cross?
Olan finally admitted this was in AD 70. This answer destroys his theology, so, he refused to say another word about his fatal admission.
Let me present, in succinct form, what I have said on this:
Malachi 3:16 predicted the end of the millennium judgment, at the opening of the books.
The judgment at the opening of the books is the resurrection and judgment of Revelation 20- at the end of the millennium.
The Day of the Lord foretold in Malachi 3:16 would be in application of the Mosaic Covenant Wrath, and occurred in AD 70– (Hicks).
Therefore, the resurrection and judgment of Revelation 20, at the end of the millennium, was in AD 70.
Olan’s admissions on Malachi demands that the END OF THE MILLENNIUM RESURRECTION AND JUDGMENT WAS IN AD 70!
This alone is the total falsification of Olan’s eschatology. He did not touch this argument.
Matthew 24-25– OLAN’S FALSE CONTRASTS– SIGNS OF AD 70– NO SIGNS OF THE SECOND COMING
I refuted each of Olan’s supposed contrasts, HE IGNORED MY RESPONSES!
Olan ASSUMES-offering no proof–that the disciples asked about the end of the literal world. He insists that because there are three questions in Matthew 24:3 that this demands different subjects. Embarrassingly illogical.
He assumes that “the end of the age” must refer to the end of time. He offered no proof for this false assumption.
He assumes that the question about Christ’s parousia demands a literal coming. He offered no proof. Just his pontification. That is not proof.
I asked, WHAT AGE DID THAT TEMPLE REPRESENT, that caused the disciples to link that destruction with the end of the age? Did the temple represent the Christian age? Naturally, Olan refused to answer.
The disciples asked about ONE COMING- not two. Olan assumes- with no proof– that Jesus spoke of two.
The disciples asked about signs of the end of the age. Jesus gave those signs (v. 14f). If Jesus gave all the signs that he intended to give, he did not have to repeat those signs, or give more signs, in vs. 36f!
After giving the signs, in v. 43f, Jesus said, “Watch!” Well, what were they to watch for, IF THERE WAS NOTHING TO WATCH FOR– i.e. the signs he had given?
Olan says there are no signs of the end. However, he appealed to 2 Thessalonians 2 for a future coming. But, 2 Thessalonians 2 gives TWO MAJOR SIGNS– the apostasy and the Man of Sin! Ignored, naturally.
AS A THIEF
I proved that the Lord’s coming (Revelation 3:1-3) would be as a thief, and the Sardisians would know the generation (their’s), but not the hour.
I challenged Olan to tell us: If the Sardisians could know Christ was coming as a thief on those who refused to watch, in their generation-but not know the hour– then why could that not be true of Matthew 24? Once again, silence. Olan knows that this falsifies his “thief” argument.
I proved from 1 Thessalonians 5 that Christ’s thief coming would be on unbelievers– not on believers who would be watching. Note Paul’s contrast between “them” or “they” and his “you.” The Lord’s coming as a thief would be on the unbelievers– not on the believer. Paul says “you know the times and the seasons.” Olan ignored these unambiguous statements, because they destroy his argument.
That Day would be as a woman in travail. Olan, does a pregnant woman know the generation of delivery– but not the day or hour? Olan refused to answer this.
Note Romans 13: “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand.“
Paul said “knowing the time!” They knew what time it was in regard to the Day! Paul said “the Day is at hand”– literally “has drawn near.” Of course, Olan rejects Paul, and denies that they knew anything.
Clearly, the parousia would not be as a thief on believers, but unbelievers who – just as in 2 Peter 3– rejected the nearness and reality of the parousia. They refused to see the signs – just as in the days of Noah (Matthew 24:37f– There were clearly signs of the end in Noah’s day!)
It was not because there were no signs, but because they did not believe the signs.
DAY AND HOUR
In some ways, this is Olan’s key argument, but, I totally nullified it, so, he refused to say even one word about my rebuttal.
I showed that the Feast of Trumpets– typifying the Judgment– was referred to as the feast concerning which, “No man knows the day or the hour.” They positively knew the general time, but not the day or the hour.
Jesus spoke of the coming judgment, using the vernacular of the Feast of Trumpets. Just as they knew the general time, but not the day or the hour of the Feast, they could know the generation, but not the day or hour of the Judgment. This is the cultural language Jesus used. Olan is either willingly or naively ignorant of this cultural language and context, but it has a direct bearing on our understanding of Jesus’ words. But in Olan’s “hermeneutic, you can ignore context, and make Biblical statements mean anything.
Olan’s response? Not a word!. He just repeated his mantra: “Don puts forth the old argument typical of date setters, that we can know the time in the sense of the generation, without knowing the day or the hour. That is a pitiful attempt to skirt the truth.”
Olan’s claim is embarrassingly disingenuous. He refuses to see the difference between predicting a future event, and RECOGNIZING PAST FULFILLMENT. THIS is what is pitiful- and clearly shows that it is Olan who is skirting the truth.
YOU MUST CATCH THIS: Olan (fatally) admitted that Zechariah 14 applied to Jesus’ AD 70 parousia.
Zechariah said that Day, the Lord’s AD 70 coming against Jerusalem (v. 1-5) was to be a Day “known to the Lord” (v. 7)! In other words, IT WAS THE DAY KNOWN ONLY TO THE LORD!
So, Zechariah, predicting the AD 70 parousia– Hicks agreeing– said that Day was known only to the Lord! Now, if Zechariah could say the Lord’s coming in AD 70 was a Day known only to the Lord, then surely, Jesus, who clearly draws from Zechariah in Matthew 24, could likewise refer to his coming in AD 70 as the day and hour known only to the Lord. If not, why not?
Olan’s admission that Zechariah 14 predicted the Lord’s coming in AD 70 is 100% fatal to his “no man knows the day or the hour” argument.
AND YES, HE KNOWS IT. This is why he said not one word about it.
ACTS 1 AND THE TRANSFIGURATION
To refute the scoffers who were denying the parousia, Peter appealed to the Transfiguration as a vison of Christ’s Second Coming (2 Peter 1:16f). So follow me:
The Transfiguration was a vision of the Second Coming– 2 Peter 1:16f.
As a vision of the parousia, what was seen at the Transfiguration?
What was seen WAS THE END OF THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS.
So, the Transfiguration was a vision of the Second Coming. But, the Transfiguration was a vision of the end of the Law and the Prophets. Peter– in 2 Peter 3– was still looking for the parousia which was envisioned on the Mount. Therefore, clearly, the Law and the Prophets had not yet passed when Peter wrote.
There is no “in like manner” comparison between the Transfiguration and Olan’s proposed “in like manner” argument. And, no matter what he might say about the “in like manner,” the Transfiguration, as a vision of the parousia, posits that AT THE END OF THE LAW OF MOSES.
Olan did not touch this, and yes, he knows it.
1 PETER 4:5-17
Although I made the argument repeatedly, Olan said not one word about the anaphoric article which demands that Peter was affirming that the (appointed) time had come for the judgment of the living and the dead. Olan totally ignored it.
OLAN AND TIME
Paul promised the Hebrews imminent vindication and relief at the parousia that was coming “in a very, very little while” (v. 37). This was the coming for salvation of Hebrews 9:28. Olan ignored this.
Revelation 22:10– Revelation reiterates Daniel’s prophecies of the end. Daniel was told to seal his vision because fulfillment was not near. John on the other hand, was told not to seal his vision because the time of fulfillment was near.
This is an inescapable temporal contrast. Olan’s response? “Don argues that Daniel was told to seal up the vision because the time was far off and John was told not to seal his vision because the time was close at hand. How does he know that was the reason? The text doesn’t say it.”
Daniel was told to SEAL HIS VISION BECAUSE FULFILLMENT WAS NOT NEAR.
John repeated Daniel’s prophecy, but was told NOT TO SEAL it because “the time (literally, the appointed time) is at hand.”
The temporal contrast is undeniable. The words are explicit. Yet, Hicks, who claims to accept the clear statements of scripture, has the temerity to deny the contrast! How much clearer would “seal” versus “do not seal”, and “not near” versus “at hand” have to be, for Olan to accept heaven’s words?
I twice noted Revelation 22:11- The judgment of Revelation was so near that Jesus said, “let the wicked remain wicked” (22:11). Olan says that judgment has not come– 2000 years later!! So, if that judgment has not come, Olan should proclaim: “let the wicked remain wicked”! Right? But does he? No, Olan ignores Jesus’ words and my argument.
I asked some important questions.
How many comings of the Lord, at the resurrection and destruction of Satan, when the martyrs would be avenged, are there in scripture? Olan’s answer? Christ does not come at the end of the millennium resurrection!
I proved that Isaiah 27 / 59 predicted the salvation of Israel (the remnant) at the coming of the Lord in judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood. I likewise proved– irrefutably– that Israel’s salvation is tied inextricably to the resurrection of Isaiah 25:8 / 26:19.
In another stunning, embarrassing denial, Olan claimed that Isaiah 2-4 and 25-27 did not predict the Day of the Lord.
Isaiah 24-27 undeniably predicted the resurrection, at the Day of the Lord- at the time of Jerusalem’s destruction. Olan’s denial exposes his desperation. To admit to the explicit words of the text is to admit defeat, so, he denies them.
I repeatedly asked Olan to specifically identify the city “where the Lord was slain” in Revelation 11:8. He claims he answered, but he knows he did not.
VENGEANCE VERSUS REWARD
Olan was caught “red handed” making another false argument. He claimed that AD 70 was the time of vengeance, but Christ’s coming is a time of reward. Yet, 2 Thessalonians 1 specifically posits VENGEANCE at the parousia– falsifying Olan’s desperate claim.
The “gathering of the elect” of Matthew 24:31– AD 70 per Olan– is patently the time of rewarding.
I proved that Matthew 24:31 is a citation of Isaiah 27:13- the “in that day” sounding of the Great Trumpet AT THE RESURRECTION– when the Lord would destroy Satan and avenge the blood of the saints– when Jerusalem would be destroyed. Totally ignored, naturally.
I gave several texts that irrefutably connect the time of the rewarding to the first century. Olan ignored them.
I offered Matthew 16:27-28 – Jesus undeniably posited the time of his coming in reward and judgment for his generation.
Also, Matthew 16:27 is a citation of Isaiah 62:10-12, the prediction of the coming of the Lord with his reward– at the time of the Wedding (Isaiah 62:3f), fulfilling God’s Old Covenant promise to Israel.
This falsifies Olan’s claim that the NT is not about the fulfillment of God’s OT promises to Israel.
The Lord’s Wedding was to be at the destruction of Jerusalem– Matthew 22:1-10.
Therefore, the time of the REWARDING, at the parousia and Wedding– was in AD 70.
This proves the unity of the Olivet Discourse, since the Wedding is in chapter 25- and proves that the coming of Matthew 25 was in AD 70.
I challenged Ola n to identify Babylon of Revelation, because whoever Babylon was or is, Christ’s marriage occurs at her destruction (her divorce and death for infidelity). Naturally, Olan ignored this.
2 Peter 3
The New Creation of 2 Peter 3 is the anticipation of the fulfillment of the OT prophecies of the Day of the Lord and the New Creation (2 Peter 3:1-2; 13).
Isaiah 65-66 foretold the Day of the Lord and the New Creation.
The New Creation predicted in Isaiah would come when, “the Lord God shall slay you, and call His people by a new name” (Isaiah 65:13f).
So, just like Isaiah 24-28 predicted the resurrection when Jerusalem and the Temple would be destroyed, Isaiah 65– and thus, 2 Peter 3, foretold the New Creation when Old Covenant Israel would be destroyed.
Olan’s abject refusal to honor the fact that NT eschatology is simply the reiteration of the OT hope of Israel has led him to create an eschatology unknown to Scriptures.
Naturally, he ignored this material.
I asked, based on Revelation 21-22:
Olan, how could evil still exist, and men enter the city– after the destruction of Satan as you perceive it– for healing? This is the depiction of sin, salvation and evangelism– after the destruction of Satan!
Of course, Olan offered not one word of explanation. He couldn’t, because the explicit words of the text refute his theology.
I shared the universally acknowledged rules of hermeneutic, and asked why Olan ignores and perverts them? He offered not a word.
He just asks: What would those people have thought when they were told, Christ is coming back, on the clouds, etc.?
Answer: What did they think when Jesus told them they would seem him coming on the clouds, with power and great glory– in Matthew 24:29f? Olan has already told us that was in AD 70!
Olan ignores the scriptural and cultural context of Jesus’ prediction and imposes his modern concepts on the language.
What would they have thought when Jesus said his coming was to be in his generation?
What would they have thought when they read “to you who are being troubled, relief, when the Lord comes”?
What would they have thought when they read that Christ was coming in a “very, very little while,” without delay”?
What would they have thought when they read that his coming was so near that the Lord himself said “let the wicked remain wicked!”
Olan claims that my hermeneutic is that the OT over rides the NT interpretation. Nonsense. My position is that the NT writers revealed the true meaning of the Old.
Here is Olan’s problem.
First, the NT writers ALMOST ALWAYS interpret the OT prophecies spiritually, not physically, like Olan does.
Second, the OT emphatically posits the resurrection at the time of the judgment of Old Covenant Israel, as I have proven definitively (Isaiah 25-27 / Daniel 12, etc). Since the OT set the time and framework for the fulfillment of those eschatological events, then clearly, THE NT WRITERS COULD NOT CHANGE THE TIME OF FULFILLMENT SET BY YHVH HIMSELF IN THE OT!
Or, does Olan, like the Dispensationalists, believe the appointed time was postponed, perhaps?
I had feared that Olan would not substantively discuss the issues, and I was right. All he did was say, “I accept the statement of scripture” when in fact, be flagrantly rejects the emphatic words of inspiration.
I honor the NT statements that all Biblical eschatology was the anticipation of the fulfillment of God’s OT promises made to OT Israel. Olan flatly rejects these undeniable statements.
I offered text after text that specifically foretold the end of the millennium resurrection. In an incredible display of arrogance, Olan claimed that those texts do no even mention the end time events.
I offered solid exegesis based on what the texts say about the nature and the time for the fulfillment of the Second Coming. Olan eschewed exegesis in favor of pontifications.
I honored proper hermeneutic, calling on Olan to give us his authority for ripping the promises made to specific people, 2000 years ago, promising them relief from their then on-going persecution and applying them instead to our future.
I demonstrated that in the passages that Olan offered, he either ignores or perverts what they actually say, inserting his presuppositions into the texts without any evidential authority.
I proved beyond any reasonable doubt that Olan’s key arguments on a supposed distinction between “comings” in Matthew 24 are fabricated, false contrasts. Olan offered not one word of rebuttal or response.
I responded to and refuted every major point that Olan offered. He consistently ignored my arguments, refused to answer my questions, even openly stating his refusal to follow me.
Olan says preterism is dangerous.
Well, Paul said his resurrection, gospel doctrine was nothing but what Moses, the law and the prophets, said.
Paul said to preach any other gospel than that which he preached was to be anathema (Galatians 1).
Olan, openly states that he does not preach the fulfillment of God’s OT promises to Israel. OLAN’S MESSAGE IS THEREFORE ADMITTEDLY DIFFERENT FROM PAUL’S!
What is more dangerous, folks?
In every way possible, I have established my affirmative and falsified Olan Hicks’ eschatology.