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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Preston has had numerous formal debates on eschatology.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 
Stay tuned!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

law of moses

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Up Coming Formal Debates

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Calling of the Gentiles- God’s Eternal Plan! Guest Article by Terry Cropper- Installment #1

The Calling of the Gentiles

Terry Cropper is an excellent Bible students and I have shared some of his articles here before. Just recently, he wrote an article that relates to the calling of the Gentiles. I felt that it was important to share that with my visitors. This is the first in a two part series. Enjoy!

An interesting fact that many Christians are not aware of is Gentile were always welcome and assimilated by faith into the Israel of God during the Old Covenant. The calling of the Gentiles was always God’s plan!

Jesus is the “true Israel” of God. (Matthew 2:13-15)

Throughout the Bible shows that God’s sovereign grace has always been extended to Gentiles from the very beginning to also be a part of His Israel. This means that people from all ethnic nationalities were always welcome to be a part of God’s spiritual Israel. Our objective in this article is to show God always had a remnant of believers who wanted to fellowship with Him and be a part of His Israel.

Not every person who left Egypt was an Israelite. Among the foreigners living in Israel were those who had accompanied them on their flight from Egypt. Exodus 12:38 A mixed multitude went up with them also, and flocks and herds—a great deal of livestock. Exodus tells us a “mixed multitude of people went up with” the children of Israel.

These people had a desire to worship God and marched out of Egypt under the leadership of Moses. For how long? Their presence during the quail incident, indicates that these people were still with the Israelites at least one year after the first Passover. That means that the mixed multitude was present at Mount Sinai, some fifty days after the Red Sea crossing. This means they were present at the giving of the Law!

People from other nationalities who had a sincere desire to become a part of God’s covenant people God’s Israel were welcome and assimilated (absorbed equals) into “Israel,” through faith and obedience to the conditions of the covenant. In other words through God grace the back door was always open. Those who hold the literal approach to scripture and believe the promises of God only apply to the biological fleshly seed of Abraham will never tell you foreigners were welcome and assimilated (absorbed equals) into “Israel,” through faith,

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” (Exodus 12:48-49) Other verses are (Numbers 9:14; Isaiah 56:4a, 6-7) Israel as a people were neither better nor worse than other people. This is why the Mosaic law contains detailed teaching concerning aliens and strangers. This teaching continually remind the Israelites of how they should behave towards aliens living among them. The prophets also speak of the time as coming when the strangers shall share in all the privileges of Israel (Ezekiel 47:22 ; Isaiah 2:2 ; 11:10 ; 56:3-6 ; Micah 4:1).

The law of Moses made specific regulations regarding the admission into the Jewish church of such as were not born Israelites ( Exodus 20:10 ; 23:12 ; Exodus 12:19 Exodus 12:48 ; Deuteronomy 5:14 ; Deuteronomy 16:11 Deuteronomy 16:14 , etc.). The Kenites, the Gibeonites, the Cherethites, and the Pelethites were thus admitted to the privileges of Israelites.

So under the Old Covenant system there were people from other nationalities who had a desire to serve God by faith. They were assimilated and absorbed as equals into Israel as long as they had faith and were obedient to the covenant. These aliens were called proselytes. The Greek term προσήλυτος (proselytos), as used in the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) for “stranger”, i.e. a “newcomer to Israel”; a “sojourner in the land”, and in the Greek New Testament for a first century convert to Judaism, generally from Ancient Greek.

The book of Joshua introduces us to one of the most amazing and thought provoking women of the Old Testament. Rahab, the prostitute earned unique praise for her faith, and a place in the lineage of Christ. God blessed this women by putting her in the lineage of Christ.

Certainly this one women demonstrates faith in God as a gentiles during the Old Covenant. Matthew’s Gospel included 4 such women. He lists Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba. Of these four, only Bathsheba was Jewish. Neither of the other three women was a biological descendant of Abraham, but the three were allowed to become biological ancestors of the Lord Jesus.

God’s true “Israel” has (always) been a spiritual entity, comprised of His covenant people, regardless of nationality or time in history. Foreigners were well integrated into the religious life of Israel, able to participate in all the major festivals. Even at the consecration of the great temple in Jerusalem, the foreigner was not forgotten. Solomon prayed that the temple would serve to make God known well outside national boundaries (2 Chronicles 6:23-33). Faithful to this global vision, all the great prophets of Israel speak of the day when people will come from the ends of the earth to worship the God of the universe (Isaiah 56:6-7).

We will continue with Terry’s excellent article on the calling of the Gentiles in the next installment. Stay tuned!

 

Blood Atonement and the Last Days – #5- Final Installment

Blood Atonement and the Last Days – #5– Final Installment

Be sure to read the previous installments:  #1   #2   #3   #4

Look now at how Revelation incorporates the key Old Testament prophecies of the Last Days and Blood Atonement that we’ve examined.

Deuteronomy 32:32, says that in Israel’s last days, she would become the vine of Sodom. In describing the city that killed the two witnesses, i.e., the prophets of God, she is spiritually called Sodom.

Likewise, at her destruction and demise, in Revelation 19, the paean of victory is sung and that victory is what? It is a direct echo of Deuteronomy 32: 43 that said He will avenge the blood of his saints. But in Revelation 19:2 we find, He has avenged the blood of his saints. Here is the Law of Blood Atonement fulfilled, as it was poured out on the city that had slain the prophets, Jesus and his apostles and prophets. They were unrepentant and hostile. There was no city of refuge for them.

Isaiah 2-4 predicted the last days vindication of the martyrs at the coming of the Lord. Yet, men would flee to the hills. Well, Revelation 6:12f, as we have seen, is a direct citation of Isaiah 2:19.

Isaiah 27 foretold the destruction of Leviathan at the time of the vindication of the martyrs. In Revelation 20:8f, we find the destruction of Satan at the end of the millennium.

Isaiah 59, the salvation of the remnant. Revelation 7 and 14, the salvation of the 144,000, the righteous remnant.

Daniel chapter 12 foretold the resurrection and the rewarding of the prophets. Revelation 11:15f, has the time of the dead that they should be judged, and the time to reward the prophets – once again a direct echo of Daniel 12. When would it be? At the fall of that city where the Lord was slain.

This raises another hermeneutical question. Each of these Old Testament prophecies posited martyr vindication – The doctrine of Blood Atonement – in Israel’s last days, at the end of the millennium and the destruction of Satan at the judgment of Old Covenant Israel. Revelation incorporates these Old Testament prophecies of the vindication of martyrs to promise imminent vindication at the judgment of Babylon. Revelation likewise incorporates Jesus’ promise of imminent vindication of the martyrs, the Old Testament prophets and Jesus’ apostles and prophets.

Remember Blaising’s quote that Revelation 20 is about the fulfillment of Jesus’ promises. If Revelation 20, the end of the millennium judgment, is about the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise of the vindication of the martyrs, then the end-of-the-millennium resurrection had to be in Jesus’ generation. All of these things would come upon this generation. Once again, Jesus undeniably posited vindication of the martyrs, all the blood shed on the earth, all the way back to creation, in AD70.

So a great hermeneutical question is raised: What is the justification for rejecting the Old Testament prophecies, Jesus’ emphatic promise, and Paul’s perfectly corresponding theology, and applying Revelation to a different persecuting power, a different set of martyrs, a different judgment, at the end of a different age, in fulfillment of a different set of promises, i.e., promises made to the church divorced from Israel? I suggest that there is no justification.

So I would ask you, and I would encourage you, yes, I would challenge you, to listen very carefully today. Listen very carefully to how the speakers who will follow — you know, well, I’ve got a target on my chest; I know I’m the first speaker, so here it is, you know, take a shot. But, listen very carefully to how the speakers deal with the undeniable fact that the consummative, not typological, but the consummative avenging of the martyrs is inextricably tied to Israel and her blood guilt in her last days, not the church divorced from Israel. Lamentably, far too few commentators honor this reality.

The Thessalonian Christians who were being persecuted by the Jews at that time would be given a relief “when the Lord Jesus is revealed,” and how they incorporate that with Jesus’ promise of vindication in that generation, thus delimiting the end of the millennium to that time.

I suggest that any interpretation of Revelation 20 that excludes Old Covenant Israel, her covenant promises and her blood guilt, thus her judgment, at the end of her covenant age, and ignores Jesus’ and Paul’s emphatic teaching on martyr vindication is prima facie false.

I think you can see that the vindication of the martyrs – and the application of the Law of Blood Atonement – is inextricably tied to the end of the millennium and to Israel, not the end of the church age.

Once again, Jesus emphatically posited vindication of all the martyrs, all the way back to creation, not just a small, isolated group, but all the martyrs all the way back to creation for his generation at the judgment of Jerusalem in AD70.

This agrees perfectly with all of the Old Testament prophecies, with what we have seen in Thessalonians and in Revelation. This definitively establishes my view. Does it raise all sorts of other questions? Indeed! But, all of the evidence points to the fact that the end-of-the-millennium resurrection was, “when the power of the holy people was completely shattered.” And no other time, and no other event better matches the Biblical datum than the end of the Old Covenant age of Israel that arrived with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70.

Look now at how Revelation incorporates the key Old Testament prophecies that we’ve examined.

Deuteronomy 32:32, says that in Israel’s last days, she would become the vine of Sodom. In describing the city that killed the two witnesses, i.e., the prophets of God, she is spiritually called Sodom.

Likewise, at her destruction and demise, in Revelation 19, the paean of victory is sung and that victory is what? It is a direct echo of Deuteronomy 32: 43 that said He will avenge the blood of his saints. But in Revelation 19:2 we find, He has avenged the blood of his saints. Here is the Law of Blood Atonement fulfilled, as it was poured out on the city that had slain the prophets, Jesus and his apostles and prophets. They were unrepentant and hostile. There was no city of refuge for them.

Isaiah 2-4 predicted the last days vindication of the martyrs at the coming of the Lord. Yet, men would flee to the hills. Well, Revelation 6:12f, as we have seen, is a direct citation of Isaiah 2:19.

Isaiah 27 foretold the destruction of Leviathan at the time of the vindication of the martyrs. In Revelation 20:8f, we find the destruction of Satan at the end of the millennium.

Isaiah 59, the salvation of the remnant. Revelation 7 and 14, the salvation of the 144,000, the righteous remnant.

Daniel chapter 12 foretold the resurrection and the rewarding of the prophets. Revelation 11:15f, has the time of the dead that they should be judged, and the time to reward the prophets – once again a direct echo of Daniel 12. When would it be? At the fall of that city where the Lord was slain.

This raises another hermeneutical question. Each of these Old Testament prophecies posited martyr vindication in Israel’s last days, at the end of the millennium and the destruction of Satan at the judgment of Old Covenant Israel. Revelation incorporates these Old Testament prophecies of the vindication of martyrs to promise imminent vindication at the judgment of Babylon. Revelation likewise incorporates Jesus’ promise of imminent vindication of the martyrs, the Old Testament prophets and Jesus’ apostles and prophets.

Remember Blaising’s quote that Revelation 20 is about the fulfillment of Jesus’ promises. If Revelation 20, the end of the millennium judgment, is about the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise of the vindication of the martyrs, then the end-of-the-millennium resurrection had to be in Jesus’ generation. All of these things would come upon this generation. Once again, Jesus undeniably posited vindication of the martyrs, all the blood shed on the earth, all the way back to creation, in AD70.

So a great hermeneutical question is raised: What is the justification for rejecting the Old Testament prophecies, Jesus’ emphatic promise, and Paul’s perfectly corresponding theology, and applying Revelation to a different persecuting power, a different set of martyrs, a different judgment, at the end of a different age, in fulfillment of a different set of promises, i.e., promises made to the church divorced from Israel? I suggest that there is no justification.

So I would ask you, and I would encourage you, yes, I would challenge you, to listen very carefully today. Listen very carefully to how the speakers who will follow — you know, well, I’ve got a target on my chest; I know I’m the first speaker, so here it is, you know, take a shot. But, listen very carefully to how the speakers deal with the undeniable fact that the consummative, not typological, but the consummative avenging of the martyrs is inextricably tied to Israel and her blood guilt in her last days, not the church divorced from Israel. Lamentably, far too few commentators honor this reality.

The Thessalonian Christians who were being persecuted by the Jews at that time would be given a relief “when the Lord Jesus is revealed,” and how they incorporate that with Jesus’ promise of vindication in that generation, thus delimiting the end of the millennium to that time.

I suggest that any interpretation of Revelation 20 that excludes Old Covenant Israel, her covenant promises and her blood guilt, thus her judgment, at the end of her covenant age, and ignores Jesus’ and Paul’s emphatic teaching on martyr vindication is prima facie false.

I think you can see that the vindication of the martyrs – and the application of the Law of Blood Atonement – is inextricably tied to the end of the millennium and to Israel, not the end of the church age.

Once again, Jesus emphatically posited vindication of all the martyrs, all the way back to creation, not just a small, isolated group, but all the martyrs all the way back to creation for his generation at the judgment of Jerusalem in AD70.

This agrees perfectly with all of the Old Testament prophecies, with what we have seen in Thessalonians and in Revelation. This definitively establishes my view. Does it raise all sorts of other questions? Indeed! But, all of the evidence points to the fact that the end-of-the-millennium resurrection was, “when the power of the holy people was completely shattered.” And no other time, and no other event better matches the Biblical datum than the end of the Old Covenant age of Israel that arrived with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70.

Be sure to get a copy of Sam Dawson’s excellent book, Revelation Revealed, for an in-depth study of the doctrine of Blood Atonement.

 

Blood Atonement and the Last Days – #3

Blood Atonement and the Last Days – #3

Be sure to go back and read the first two installments in this series of articles on Blood Atonement. Number 1 hereNumber 2 Here.

The third text I want to look at is Isaiah, chapters 24-27, known as the Little Apocalypse. Beginning with verse 7 in chapter 25, the Lord said, “He will destroy on this mountain” – that’s Zion. I would like to have a lot to say about that, but I can’t – “the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all of the faces…and it will be said in that day, behold this is our God; we have waited for Him; He will save us…. We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.” This is very clearly the end-of-the-millennium resurrection. It’s the very verse that Paul quotes in 1 Corinthians 15:55 when he said “this mortal has put on immortality… the corruptible has put on incorruption, then shall be brought to pass the saying, death is swallowed up in victory.” That’s Isaiah. Therefore, Isaiah is the end-of-the-millennium resurrection.

This is patently the salvation hope of Israel. But let’s look a little closer at the Little Apocalypse, let’s move into chapter 26. Now by the way, most of these men agree that the Little Apocalypse is speaking of the eschatological consummation, not a typological consummation. Isaiah predicted the end-of-the-millennium resurrection (Isaiah 25:8). Likewise chapter 26:19f, the earth shall give up its dead. But notice, it would be in the day in which the Lord shall descend out of the heavens and tread on the tops of the mountains (26:20).

But notice this. It is also the time of the vindication of the martyrs – the earth shall disclose its blood. Meredith Kline wrote a great article demonstrating this not too long ago. (Meredith G. Kline, “Death, Leviathan and Martyrs: Isaiah 24:1-27:1″ A Tribute to Gleason Archer, ed. by Walter C. Kaiser Jr. And Ronald Youngblood, Chicago; Moody Press, 1986), 229-249). But notice this. “In that day”; in what day? The day of the vindication of the martyrs, the day of the coming of the Lord, the day of the end-of-the-millennium resurrection. In that day, Leviathan shall be destroyed (27:1).

Note that in 27:10-11, it is at the time of the salvation of Israel which Isaiah 25:8-9 told us the resurrection is the salvation of Israel. Significantly, it is likewise, the time of the destruction of Old Covenant Israel, because in that day would be the time when He turns the stones of the altar into chalk stone, He destroys the fortified city, and, “the one who made them will no longer have mercy on them.” And why? Well, it tells us. Because, “this is a people of no understanding,” a direct citation or allusion to Deuteronomy 32:28. Deuteronomy 32:28 that said in Israel’s last days, here is what will happen: They will become like Sodom; I will destroy them. So, in Isaiah 24-27, we have Israel’s last days, the vindication of the martyrs at the destruction of Old Covenant Israel.

Passage number 4 – Isaiah 59. As universally acknowledged, Isaiah 27 and Isaiah 59 serve as Paul’s source for his prediction of the salvation hope of Israel in Romans 11:25-27. Just like Deuteronomy 32, just like Isaiah 2-4, just like Isaiah 26-27, Isaiah 59 predicted the vindication of the martyrs at the Day of the Lord and also at the judgment of Old Covenant Israel. Isaiah 59 breaks itself down easily into three headings:

Number one – Accusation – four times in verses 3-7 God accuses Israel of shedding innocent blood, of being quick to violence, and that leads to point #2.

Point #2 – Israel Acknowledges her guilt. Notice what she says, “our transgressions are multiplied before you.” This is Deuteronomy 31:29: You will fill up the measure of your sin. So Israel even admits her transgression, “our transgressions are multiplied before you.”

And so, Point #3 – Yahweh decides to take Action in verses 16f: “He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, he was clad with zeal as a cloak, according to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompense to his enemies…so shall they fear the name of the Lord…the redeemer will come to Zion and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob, says the Lord. As for me, says the Lord, this is my covenant with them.”

Now, Romans 11:25-27 anticipated the parousia for the salvation of Israel in fulfillment of Isaiah 27 and Isaiah 59; that is more abundantly clear.

However, Isaiah 27 and Isaiah 59 foretold the coming of the Lord, and to be sure, for the salvation of Israel, i.e., the salvation of the remnant. And, that would be at the end-of-the-millennium resurrection (Isaiah 25-26).

Remember it would be at the destruction of Leviathan, Satan. When does the destruction of Leviathan take place? All you have to do is read Revelation 20:10-12 – at the end of the millennium. When would that be, however? According to Isaiah 26:21 and Isaiah 59:16, it would be at the coming of the Lord for the vindication of the martyrs. But that is not all. It would be when the fortified city would be destroyed, the altar crushed and the people whom Yahweh had created would be forsaken. That is not the church.

Thus, Romans 11, being the anticipation of the fulfillment of Isaiah 27 and 59 would be fulfilled at the end of the millennium, at the avenging of the blood of the martyrs, at the time of the destruction of Old Covenant Israel. But, we want to look a little closer.

I suggest that there is no futurist eschatology that properly honors what Isaiah 27 and Isaiah 59 actually says.

Amillennialists redefine Israel in Romans 11, as somehow the church, or they posit the salvation of ethnic Jews throughout the entire span of the Christian age. Greg Beale does this. (Greg Beale, A New Testament Biblical Theology, (Grand Rapids; Baker, 2011), 706+). But these positions ignore the vindication of the martyr motif and the judgment of Israel motif explicitly found in Isaiah 27 and 59.

Post-millennialists likewise ignore the judgment of Israel and the martyr vindication (The law of Blood Atonement) specifically and explicitly found in Isaiah 27 and Isaiah 59, as does Kenneth Gentry. While Gentry spends time discussing Romans 11 in his massive He Shall Have Dominion, (Draper, VA, Apologetics Group, 2009)254) he ignores the prophetic background and does not so much as mention the themes found in Isaiah 27 / 59. He posits the traditional Postmillennial view that Romans 11:25f speaks of a yet future “massive, world-wide conversion.”

Pre-millennialists posit unbelieving Israel as the victim of a foreign persecuting power, not the persecutor as Isaiah clearly says. I would suggest, therefore, that none of these truly honors what Isaiah says. I have not found a single Dispensational author who honors the prophetic source of Romans 11:25f and the proper identification of Israel as the persecutor. Invariably, Premillennialists posit Romans 11 as predictive of a future time when Israel, being persecuted by the anti-christ, cries out to the Lord and is saved at the parousia.

This raises a very serious hermeneutical question. Isaiah 26 and 27 predicted the end-of-the-millennium resurrection, the Day of the Lord, the destruction of Satan, the vindication of the martyrs at the time of the salvation of the righteous remnant, as well as the judgment on Old Covenant Israel, not the church.

Isaiah 59 likewise foretold the Day of Lord, the vindication of martyrs, the salvation of the remnant, the judgment on Old Covenant Israel as the persecuting power. Now Romans 11 anticipated the fulfillment of Isaiah 27 and Isaiah 59. What then, is the hermeneutical principle for saying Romans 11 anticipates a future salvation of the church or deliverance of Israel from a foreign persecuting power divorced from the context of judgment on Old Covenant Israel for her blood guilt for shedding innocent blood? More on Blood Atonement and the Last Days in our next installment.

For an extensive discussion of the doctrine of Blood Atonement and its relationship to eschatology, see my book The Resurrection of Daniel 12:2: Future or Fulfilled?

Blood Atonement and the Resurrection are inter-related subjects!
For a rich, persuasive look at the relationship between eschatology and Blood Atonement, get a copy of this major work.