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!

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!”

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!

The Loss of Identity: Who Is Israel? #1

The Loss of Identity: Who Is Israel?

Needless to say, the identity of Israel in the modern evangelical world is a subject of endless discussion. The Zionist / Dispensationalists tell us that there is really no debate, the nation calling itself Israel, in the land of Palestine, is in fact the covenant people of God. Not only that, they must, absolutely must, be supported by America, or we as a nation risk incurring God’s wrath as John Hagee and other noted (infamously false teachers) remind us constantly.

The truth is that it is a very legitimate study to ask the question, is the nation of Israel as it exists today actually descended from Abraham, by blood, and, should America and the rest of the world support her right to the land called “Israel” regardless of anything.

Now, let me say this: everyone has a “right” to live somewhere, regardless of their national identity. It is simply wrong to say that a person, because of their ostensible lineage, has no right to live anywhere– or to even live!

With that said, however, to acknowledge that everyone has a right to live somewhere is not the same as saying that a given people are God’s covenant people and that a given piece of real estate is their’s by divine right! Those are separate issues.

The issue of whether the people called “Israel” today is genuinely racially related to Abraham is one that is hotly debated. This continues to be debated based on DNA studies, a field far beyond my expertise, and totally unrelated to what I want to share here. While I am unqualified to address the issue of DNA, it should be noted that several studies have concluded that modern “Israel” is not, in fact, descended from the physical lineage of Abraham. Those studies, needless to say, have come under severe attack by the “pro-Israel” camp, that claims that the counter studies are “anti-semitic” and even promote Nazism!

In spite of that controversy, which, needless to say, is sometimes extremely emotionally based, I think it is more than worthwhile to take note of what anthropologists and even what the “Jews” of the day say about the issue. I will give here only a few citations, because this information is not the point of this discussion. Nonetheless, I think it important to offer just a small sampling of evidence for the reader to consider.

The Encyclopedia Americana, (1986, vol. 16, p. 71), under the heading: “Racial and Ethnic Considerations” says this:
“Some theorists have considered the Jews a distinct race, although this has no factual basis. In every country in which the Jews lived for a considerable time, their physical traits came to approximate those of the indigenous people. Hence the Jews belong to several distinct racial types, ranging, for example, from fair to dark. Among the reasons for this phenomenon are voluntary or involuntary miscegenation and the conversion of Gentiles to Judaism”

Collier’s Encyclopedia (1977, vol. 13, p. 573), offers this:
“A common error and persistent modern myth is the designation of the Jews as a ‘race! This is scientifically fallacious, from the standpoint of both physical and historical tradition. Investigations by anthropologists have shown that Jews are by no means uniform in physical character and that they nearly always reflect the physical and mental characteristics of the people among whom they five”

Today, being a Jew simply means that one is of the Judaistic religion or a convert to it, or else in a “brotherhood” of those who are. Therefore, being a Jew has nothing to do with race. We are familiar with a number of notable figures, such as Sammy Davis, Jr., Elizabeth Taylor, and Tom Arnold, in fact, who became Jews by conversion to the religion of Judaism. In fact, one is defined a Jew by legal dispensation or coercion, with race playing no part at all.”

The Encyclopedia Brittanica, (1973, vol. 12, page 1054):
‘The Jews As A Race: The findings of physical anthropology show that, contrary to the popularview, there is no Jewish race. Anthropornetric measurements of Jewish groups in many parts ofthe world indicate that they differ greatly from one another with respect to all the importantphysical characteristics.”

Finally, from a host of other sources that could be cited, we offer this from the Jewish Encyclopedia, which, I think it is safe to say, is not anti-semitic, nor in favor of “Nazism”:

Encyclopedia Judaica Jerusalem (1971, vol. 3, p. 50; 1986):
“It is a common assumption, and one that sometimes seems ineradicable even in the face ofevidence to the contrary, that the Jews of today constitute a race, a homogeneous entity easilyrecognizable. From the preceding discussion of the origin and early history of the Jews, it shouldbe clear that in the course of their formation as a people and a nation they had already assimilated a variety of racial strains from people moving into the general area they occupied. This had taken place by interbreeding and then by conversion to Judaism of a considerable number of communities.
. . .
“Thus, the diversity of the racial and genetic attributes of various Jewish colonies of today renders any unified racial classification of them a contradiction in terms. Despite this, many people readily accept the notion that they are a distinct race. This is probably reinforced by the fact that some Jews are recognizably different in appearance from the surrounding population. That many cannot be easily identified is overlooked and the stereotype for some is extended to all – a not uncommon phenomenon”

With this scientific evidence to consider, what I want to is to examine what identified a Jew / Israelite, in the ancient world. In light of the above, let it be noted that for my purposes, I am not denying the existence of a group of people that had – in the first century – some connection, some racial, blood line connection to Abraham. There were genealogies in the Temple that established that, and that is how the identity of Jesus as Messiah could be fully established beyond disputation. However, with the catastrophic destruction of the Temple in AD 70, those genealogical tablets– the only way of proving a physical connection to Abraham – were destroyed! The significance of this can hardly be over-emphasized, and yet, many people today simply ignore it.
With these preliminaries before us. We will begin our investigation. In the meantime, be sure to get a copy of my book, Israel 1948: Countdown to No Where. It may well open your eyes! It has literally changed the lives of countless Bible students!

This book is a stunning refutation of modern Zionism and Dispensationalism! Powerful!

Time of the End, or the End of Time? #5

The Time of the End, or The End of Time?

Be sure to read the previous installment in this series in order to properly appreciate this last installment.

Did the disciples not understand what Jesus said in Matthew 16:27-28? (See our article where I discuss this). Was the disciples’ understanding of Jesus’ teaching worse than that of the Pharisees in Matthew 21, so much so that although the Pharisees understood that Jesus was speaking of their impending judgment at the coming of the Lord, the disciples just did not get it? Did the disciples not comprehend Jesus’ emphatic declaration of the coming judgment of the city that had killed the prophets? Just how dense were Jesus’ disciples, if the modern day assumptions are correct?

Make no mistake. The disciples were often confused about Jesus’ teachings. That is not the issue. The telling fact however, is that in virtually every instance in which the disciples did not understand what Jesus said, the gospel writers plainly tell us that they did not understand! The question is therefore, where in the Olivet Discourse do we find anything resembling such a statement in Matthew 24?

In several instances in the Gospels we are told “they had not understood” (Mark 6:52).

In Matthew 15:17 Jesus asked his disciples if they now understood about what actually defiles a person.

In Matthew 16 and parallels, Jesus scolded the disciples for their failure to understand his comments about the “leaven of the Pharisees.” But, in that very text, in which the disciples did not initially understand what was said, after Jesus’ instruction, the Gospel writer tells us, “Then the disciples understood” (Matthew 16:6-12).

In Mark 4, after telling the parable of the soils and the disciples ask for the interpretation, Jesus said “If you do not understand this parable, how then will you understand all the parables?”

We have Jesus overtly chiding his disciples for not understanding what he said in regard to his impending death (Mark 9:32; Luke 24:25f; John 14). In fact, it was discussions of Jesus’ coming passion and resurrection that elicited more comments about their misunderstanding than any other occasion.

The point is that when the disciples did not understand something the Lord said the Gospel writers, looking back at those instances, tell us of their confusion or ignorance. They even tell us how later actions shed light on their understanding (John 12:16).

In stark contrast with these emphatic statements concerning the disciples’ confusion or lack of comprehension, there is nothing in Matthew 24 that even closely resembles, even slightly suggests in any way whatsoever that the disciples did not understand the nature of their own questions.

There is no, “They did not understand” declaration.

There is no, “After his glorification, then they came to know.”

There is no, “After he was risen, then the disciples remembered…” (Cf. John 2:19-22).

There is not a word from Jesus’ chiding them for mistakenly linking the coming destruction of the city and temple with his coming and the end of the age.

In every case that we know the disciples were confused, the way- the only way – that we know of their confusion is because the text explicitly speaks of it. So, we ask again, where in the Olivet Discourse do we find any idea, any hint, any suggestion, any statement, that the disciples were in error? It is simply not there. It has to be read into the text. Thus, when it is claimed, as some do, that since the disciples were confused about Jesus’ teaching, on other subjects and in other contexts, this demands that they were confused in regard to their questions in Matthew 24, this is an example of bad logic. It is a non-sequitur in the truest sense. This is like saying since a person is confused on the subject of math, that this means that they must be confused when history is being discussed.

So, let me reiterate: There is not a word from Jesus’ (or from the writers of the Gospels who record the disciples’ questions) chiding them for mistakenly linking the coming destruction of the city and temple with his coming and the end of the age. Since the text never says or indicates that they were wrong, misguided or confused, it is the modern student that is wrong to say that those disciples were wrong.

So, what does this mean?

1.) It means that we have emphatic OT prophecies of the end of the age and coming of the Lord that posit fulfillment at the time of the destruction of the Old Covenant world. The disciples, of course, were intimately familiar with these prophecies.

2.) We have Jesus citing one of the central OT prophecies of the end of the age resurrection which unambiguously places the consummation at the time of Israel’s destruction.

3.) Not only does Jesus cite that OT prophecy, but in three pericopes prior to Matthew 24 Jesus predicted the impending destruction of Jerusalem at the coming of the Lord.

4.) When Jesus told the parable of the end of the age, and cited Daniel 12, he then asked his disciples if they understood what he had taught them, and they affirmed that they did understand.

5.) We have the undeniable fact that in on all other occasions when the disciples did not understand what Jesus said, the Gospel writer records their misunderstanding. In fact, the only way that we know the disciples were ever confused is because the Biblical text unabashedly tells us! There is not a syllable about such confusion in Matthew 24.

6.) We have the disciples (Matthew 24:3) using the distinctive Greek term for the end of the age that Jesus had used when citing Daniel 12, which, again, the disciples claimed they understood. What right does any modern commentator have to deny their claim?

Thus, when Jesus predicted the impending destruction of the ultimate symbol of that Old Covenant world, the disciples were not only not confused, they were thinking with logical acuity informed by their knowledge of the Old Testament prophets! The end of the age and the coming of the Lord are in fact inextricably linked with the destruction of the Old Covenant Temple. The implications of this are profound, needless to say.

Since the disciples were not confused or in error to connect the end of the age with the fall of Jerusalem and the Temple, it is patently clear that it is the modern day disciples who are confused in their approach to Matthew 24. It is the modern day eschatological paradigms that are in confusion. Does it not border on theological arrogance to claim that the disciples were so horribly confused when in fact they affirmed their understanding?

I think that Wright expressed it well: “Matthew 24:3, therefore, is most naturally read, in its first century Jewish context, not as a question about (what scholars have come to call, in technical language) the ‘parousia’, but as a question about Jesus’ ‘coming’ or ‘arriving’ in the sense of is actual enthronement as king, consequent upon the dethronement of the present powers that were occupying the holy city.” (Jesus and the Victory of God, (Minneapolis; Fortress, 1996), 346).

Wright is mostly correct, but, it is patently obvious that the disciples were in fact asking about Christ’s parousia, and Jesus’ response emphatically answers their well informed questions: the parousia of Christ was to be in the first century in the judgment of Old Covenant Jerusalem. Jesus was not talking about “the end of time.” He was talking about the time of the end, the end of the Old Covenant age of Israel, that came to its cataclysmic end in AD 70.

The End of the Age or The End of Time? A Look at Matthew 24:3

the end of the age
Did Jesus predict the end of the age – or the end of time? Were his disciples confused about this?

The End of the Age or The End of Time? A Look At Matthew 24:3

Which Disciples Were (Or Are!) Confused?
It is undeniable that the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24-25) is the key to understanding Jesus’ eschatology. It is certainly his longest discussion of the end of the age and his coming. To say the least, the Discourse is the source of a great deal of perplexity expositors. For the dispensationalist, Jesus’ discussion continues to provide fodder for their repeatedly failed prognostications that we are in the terminal generation.

This discussion of the Olivet Discourse will not deal with the verses 4f. We are concerned here about Jesus’ prediction of the destruction of the temple and the questions that Jesus’ prediction elicited from the disciples. It is not too much to say that if one has a mistaken understanding of verses 2-3 that their entire perspective of the Discourse is thereby skewed. The proper understanding of the disciples’ questions is critical to understanding Jesus’ response. Here is why.

One of the most fundamental beliefs concerning the Discourse is that, yes, Jesus did predict the destruction of the temple. This of course is undeniable. The disciples however, upon hearing of that awful prediction, mistakenly associated that coming event with the end of the age and Christ’s coming. It is not too much to say that the idea that the disciples were confused, or simply mistaken, is one of the most fundamental beliefs about the Discourse. Calvin stated that the disciples: “did not suppose that while the building of this world stood, the temple could fall to ruins.” (John Calvin, Calvin’s Commentaries, (Grand Rapids; AP and A, vol. 7), 462).

It seems not to have dawned on Calvin and those like him that the disciples were acutely aware that the temple had been razed in BC 586, and yet time marched on, the space time continuum did not come to an end! Being well aware of that destruction, why then would the disciples have been compelled to think of the end of time in response to Jesus’ prediction?

Just a few citations from modern representatives of the various futurist eschatologies will suffice to demonstrate how ingrained the idea is that the disciples were confused about the end of the age.

1.) Dispensationalist Thomas Ice says: “The disciples apparently thought that all three items, destruction of the Temple, the sign of Christ’ s coming, and the end of the age would occur at the same time. Yet this is not the cas.”(www.raptureready.com/featured/ice/AnInterpretationofMatthew24_25_2.html). Ice cites other Dispensationalists that likewise affirm that the disciples were mistaken or confused.

2.) Amillennialist Kim Riddlebarger, says, “It would be quite natural for the disciples to wrongly assume that the end of the age and the destruction of Jerusalem would be the same event. But this assumption may not be correct, for the destruction of temple, cataclysmic as it would be, was not the end of the age, nor did the Lord return in AD 70.” (Kim Riddlebarger, A Case for Amillennialism, (Grand Rapids; Baker, 2003), 161).

3.) Postmillennialist Keith Mathison says:“The disciples’ question indicates that in their mind the destruction of temple and the close of the redemptive history are closely related in time. They do not conceive of any significant temporal delay between the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of redemptive history. Jesus’ response to their question, however, indicates that their understanding is in need of some correction.” (Keith Mathison, From Age To Age, The Unfolding of Biblical Eschatology, (Philippsburg, NJ; P and R Publishing, 2009), 372).

All futurist eschatologies are to a great degree reliant on the concept that the disciples were mistaken. Both the Amillennial and Postmillennial paradigms believe that the Discourse is divided into two topics. It is held that in Matthew 24:4-35 Jesus discussed the destruction of the temple. However, we are told that in v. 36 he switched topics and began to discuss his coming at the end of the current Christian age. The dispensationalists on the other hand, claim that the only verses in the entirety of the Discourse that discuss the destruction of Jerusalem are found in Luke 21:20-24.

But, what if the disciples were not wrong to link the fall of Jerusalem with the end of the age and Christ’s coming? What if they were not as eschatologically challenged as modern commentators claim? If the disciples were right to link the fall of Jerusalem to the end of the age, then patently Israel stands at ground zero in God’s eschatological schema. And not only is Israel established as the key to end times understanding, but, eschatological fulfillment is positively confined to the first century. The implications for all of the futurist eschatologies, if the disciples were not as confused as is commonly assumed, are astounding.

The pressing question therefore is, were the disciples wrong to connect the fall of Jerusalem with the end of the age and the Day of the Lord? The unequivocal answer is that they were not mistaken. They knew what “the end of the age” meant.

Be sure to get a copy of my book, The Last Days Identified, for a demonstration that “the end of the age” is referent, not to the end of the Christian age, or time, but, to the end of the Old Covenant age of Israel.

The Last Days Identified And Explained
This book proves beyond any doubt that the end of the age – at the end of the last days – occurred in AD 70.

The Great Apostasy #6- Answering Objections

the great apostasy
The epistles of the New Testament prove conclusively that the great apostasy was in the first century, just as Jesus predicted!

The Great Apostasy – #6 -Answering Some Objections

Yes, but... In previous installments, we have demonstrated that Jesus predicted the Great Apostasy, and that the NT epistles document the fulfillment of his prophecy.

It is common to hear some one say that yes, an apostasy did come in the first century, and it is even true Jesus came in the destruction of Jerusalem; but those fulfillments were only a shadow or type of the yet future apostasy or final coming of Jesus. We would ask, for the scriptural authority for this?

Are we today living in the age of type and antitype or the age of the reality? Scripture patently says it was the Old Covenant world that was the world of shadows versus reality, Colossians 2:16-17. The Old Law was a shadow of good things to come, not the New, Hebrews 10:1-4. Christ and his kingdom is the substance not the shadow.

Those who suggest the Great Apostasy and destruction of Jerusalem were but types or shadows of yet future events must ask the question, what else is a type or shadow? Is the church but a type of something yet future or is it the fulfillment of the OT shadow?

The table of shewbread in the Temple was a type of the Lord’s Supper. So, is the Communion now the type or shadow of what? The Passover Lamb was a type of Christ’s sacrifice — of what is Christ’s death a shadow; will there be another sacrifice?

Some concur that there was an Abomination of Desolation in the fall of Jerusalem, but it was only a type of the “real one” in our future. And if the Abomination of Desolation was typological why not the Great Tribulation surrounding the fall of Jerusalem? Perhaps there is to be another Tribulation after all. (I should note that many leading Amillennialists and Postmillennialists absolutely reject the idea that there will be another Great Tribulation. See my book mentioned below for documentation). Upon what basis can that be denied if one takes the fall of Jerusalem as a type of a future coming and judgment? Once a person suggests we are still living in the age of shadow and type where does it stop?

It might be rejoined that Christ’s sacrifice was not a shadow of something else yet future because Scripture says he died once for all (Romans 6::9). He appeared once in the end of the ages to put away sin (Hebrews 9:26). The word rendered “once” (Greek-hapax) signifies “once for all time”. Therefore it might be argued that Christ’s sacrifice cannot serve as a type. But consider this.

Scripture speaks of Christ returning “a second time”, (Hebrews 9:28) and that coming was to be “in a very little while (Heb 10:37). The Bible knows nothing of two “parousias.” Christ was to appear a second time apart from sin for salvation. Christ came in judgment for redemption in the fall of Jerusalem (Luke 21:25-32). Therefore, Christ’s final coming, the “real coming” as opposed to a “shadow or typological coming” was in his coming in judgment for redemption in the fall of Jerusalem. As surely as the death of Christ could not be a shadow of a yet future sacrifice because it was the once for all time death, even so the judgment coming of Christ in the end of the Old Covenant Age in 70 AD could not be simply a type of a yet future coming because it was the second coming “apart from sin for salvation.”

To argue that the fall of Jerusalem is but a type of the “final judgment” is to deny Jesus’ emphatic statement about the significance of Jerusalem’s fall. See my book: AD 70: A Shadow of the “Real” End? This book is a definitive, total refutation of the claim that AD 70 was a type of another coming of the Lord, at the “real” end of the age.

AD70 A Shadow of the Real End
This book is a powerful, irrefutable refutation of the idea that AD 70 was a type of the coming “end of time.”

Wayne Jackson, out-spoken critic of Covenant Eschatology, has argued that Realized Eschatology violates a fundamental rule of typology. He correctly observes that types were always inferior to the antitype; there is a progression from lesser to greater. Jackson then argues that since the flood was greater in scale than Jerusalem’s fall the latter event could not be the antitype of the former.

Jackson’s emphasis on the physical proportions of the flood as opposed to the physical proportions of Jerusalem’s fall widely misses the mark. The “greater” aspect of the type-antitype comparison is not the physical; it is the covenantal significance, the meaning of the events.

In Matthew 24:21 Jesus said there would be tribulation “such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Significantly, Jackson applies that verse to the events leading up to and consummating in AD 70!

If there is a future “end of the world”, would that not be greater, in both physical and spiritual proportions than the destruction of Jerusalem? Indeed! In that sense it would fit the type-antitype comparison. But it would also be a direct contradiction to Jesus’ words. He said the fall of Jerusalem would be the greatest that ever would be — past or future. There cannot be, therefore, a future greater Tribulation, or Jesus will be found a liar!  After all, would not the “end of time”, and the end of the Gospel be far greater than the end of the Old Covenant age?

The argument that the fall of Jerusalem was but a type or shadow of the final coming is therefore found to be in direct contradiction to Jesus’ words in Matthew 24. And this brings Jesus’ prediction of the Great Apostasy into sharp focus, for that Great Apostasy is inextricably tied to the end of the age.