The Passing of the Law of Moses and Sam Frost’s Growing Desperation – #7
Does the Old Testament Predict the Destruction of Literal Heaven and Earth?
This is installment #7 in our series in response to Sam Frost’s claim that the Old Testament predicts the “end of time” and the destruction of the material heaven and earth. As noted in the last installment, Frost claims that Isaiah 65 is one of those OT prophecies of the end of the material creation. To say that this is a fatal and fallacious claim is an understatement! Be sure to read the previous article for some critical facts taken directly from the text of Isaiah 65, and how they utterly destroy Frost’s still evolving, still developing, but false theology.
A bit of important summary here.
1. Frost now denies – after teaching the truth for several years – that Biblical eschatology is related to the end of Old Covenant Israel’s covenant age. It is instead, focused on the fulfillment of God’s Edenic and Abrahamic eschatological promises. We will have more to say on the ONE HOPE, the one eschatological hope of scripture in another installment. Suffice it to say that Frost is guilty of an egregious error to divorce Biblical eschatology from the fulfillment of God’s Old Covenant promises made to Old Covenant Israel.
2. Frost now claims that when Jesus spoke of the passing away of “the law” in Matthew 5:17-18, that he was not focused on the removal of the Law as a binding covenant. Rather, in Frost’s new view, the “passing away” of the law speaks of the actual destruction of every written copy of the Old Law, every Bible that contains the Old Law, every parchment, and one can assume, every single scrap of paper, anywhere (perhaps even some still buried MSS buried in the land of Israel or who knows where?). For Frost, when Jesus said “do not think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets” that he was assuring those Jews that the law, on paper, on parchment, on ostraca, all forms, any form of the law that is written anywhere, will not cease to exist on that media, until the end of time.
I just have to say this at this juncture. Frost loves to tell us that we must pay attention to church history. That we are debtors to the creeds. He tells us, essentially, that there is no truth to be discovered today and that means that we cannot teach what is not found in church history and the creeds.
And yet, Frost’s view is not creedal or historical! Wonder why Frost did not cite anyone from church history. Wonder why he did not cite any of the creeds. Wonder why he did not cite any scholars? Frost’s explanation of Matthew 5 is truly unprecedented. It is brand new! It is not in any creed. I have personally never read any commentator, of any stripe, old or new, offer Mr. Frost’s explanation about the passing away of the law.
So, for someone that says preterism should be rejected because it is not found in church history, or in the creeds, or among the scholars, this truly is remarkable! And it is all the more remarkable to me since on one occasion he chided me because in his opinion I was offering an explanation of a text that in his opinion no scholar agreed with. After all, who is Preston to challenge the scholars? Yet, Mr. Frost is doing what he scoffed at me for! Ahh, consistency, thou art a jewel so rare!
3. Mr. Frost loves to say that “the law” and “the covenant” are two different things, (Violating Joshua 8) at least in many texts. The Mosaic Law was of course, God’s covenant with Israel. However, he claims that the Mosaic Covenant was not in the Garden (Interestingly, many rabbis claimed just the opposite, but, I will not discuss that here).
The point is that Frost believes that Christ fulfilled the Law of Moses, the Mosaic Covenant. By fulfilling the mandates of the Law of Moses, Christ removed any obligation to obey those cultic sacrifices, feast days and Sabbaths. (But remember that per Frost, although Christ “removed” any obligation to observe the feast days, the law did not pass away because, after all, we still have Bibles with the law written / typed in them!) I will have more to say on this in another installment, but, Frost cannot logically and Scripturally say that Jesus has fulfilled the Sabbath Day typology! To teach this is fatal to Frost’s view).
With his denial that the law is the covenant set forth, Frost then claims that the eschatology that is taught outside of the confines of the Mosaic Covenant (in his proposed theology) is the “real” eschatology. It is this “the law” that does not pass until the end of time and the passing of literal “heaven and earth.” That is when the Adamic and Abrahamic Covenants are fulfilled.
This means – make no mistake about it – that when Frost posits Isaiah 65-66 as the end of time, that he sees those chapters, not as the fulfillment of God’s Old Covenant promises made to Old Covenant Israel after the flesh, but, as the “ultimate fulfillment” of God’s eschatological promises. It is, in Frost’s eschatology, the fulfillment of Adamic and Abrahamic promises. This is more than strange since Isaiah was a “Jewish” prophet, writing to Israel, about her sin and about her future. Yet, per Frost, since Isaiah 65 is about the fulfillment of Abrahamic – Non- Israel – eschatology, we are wrong to believe that Isaiah was to Israel or about Israel. A strange doctrine indeed in light of both Jesus and Paul’s application of Isaiah to Israel of the first century!
With these things in mind, let’s get back to Isaiah 65, shall we?
Let me remind the reader of what Isaiah 65 predicted. These tenets must be addressed by Frost, but, I suspect they will be ignored.
☛ God said He would slay with the sword the people being addressed because they would fill the measure of their sin. The people to be slain for their sin was the people that was forgetting Zion, the holy Mount. Thus, this cannot be referring to pagans.
☛ YHVH said that when He killed the one people, He would create a New People. Who is the New People that will be created? Since Frost believes- ostensibly – that Old Covenant Israel ceased to exist as God’s covenant people in the first century, then this passage cannot be speaking of the destruction of Old Covenant Israel in Frost’s paradigm. So, again, what people- what covenant people- is slain at the end of time, and who are the New People that is created?
☛ When the Lord would slay the sinful people of Isaiah 65, He would not only create a New People, but, that Old People would “leave your name for a curse to my chosen.” Then, He would call His people by a New Name. Since the church is now the people of God, bearing the marvelous name of the beloved Son of God, i.e. Christian, Frost must believe – and prove – that at the proposed “end of time” God will destroy the church. The church’s name – the name of the Son of God – will become a curse! The Lord will create that New People and give them a New Name.
But, this is not all in Isaiah 65.
The Old Creation No Longer “Remembered”
Note that in Isaiah 65:17 the Lord says “for” – “behold, I create a new heavens and a new earth.” That word “for” must be honored. The force of that “for” is that the discussion of the destruction of the Old People and the creation of the New is inseparably tied to the New Heavens and Earth. The New People would dwell in the New Heavens and Earth.
In verse 17, the Lord said the Old Creation – including the Old People – would not be “remembered.” The word translated as remembered (and its different forms) is Zakar and appears 233 times in the Tanakh. Zakar is translated as “remembered” some 37 times. Only six times does it not carry with it the idea of remembering in the light of a covenant relationship! In other words, when YHVH “remembered” someone, He did so within the framework, within the context of His covenant with those people. That could be in either a positive or a negative “remembering.”
When the Lord remembered His covenant with Israel. Here are just a few examples from Psalms that demonstrates this reality:
Ps 98:3 He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
Ps 105:42 For He remembered His holy promise, And Abraham His servant.
Ps 106:45 And for their sake He remembered His covenant, And relented according to the multitude of His mercies.
Ps 109:14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the LORD, And let not the sin of his mother be blotted out. Here is an example of “remembering” that carried a negative tone.
Ps 111:4 He has made His wonderful works to be remembered; The LORD is gracious and full of compassion.
Ps 119:52 I remembered Your judgments of old, O LORD, And have comforted myself.
Ps 136:23 Who remembered us in our lowly state, For His mercy endures forever. The Psalmist praised the Lord for remembering His covenant promises with Israel, and blessing them in accordance with that covenant.
From this small sampling, it is clear that when Isaiah said that when YHVH destroyed Old Covenant Israel, and created the New People, the New Heavens, that the former Heavens and Earth – and thus the Old People – would “no longer be remembered.” This means that YHVH was saying that the time was coming when His covenant with that disobedient, rebellious people would, just like their heaven and earth, no longer be “remembered” – That covenant would pass away! This is patently about the passing of the Law of Moses!
This means that the people and the creation of Isaiah 65 is a covenant people. It is a covenant “heaven and earth.” And, since the Lord’s diatribe in Isaiah 65 is against the people that “forsake the Lord, and forget this holy mountain” it can be no other people than Old Covenant Israel – Israel after the flesh. When we honor Jesus’ application of Isaiah to Israel of his day, and when we honor Paul’s application of Isaiah 65 to Israel of his day, this identification is established beyond dispute. Isaiah 65 is about the end, the destruction of Old Covenant Israel and her covenant with YHVH, so that the Lord would create a New People, with a New Name – a New Creation!
All of this raises a fatal issue for Frost. Remember (pun intended) that Frost says that “the law” will not cease to exist on paper until the end of time. But, Isaiah 65 is about the end of the Old Covenant relationship between YHVH and Israel. But, if Frost denies this (as he does) and posits Isaiah 65 at the end of time, then since he believes that God’s covenant with Israel ended long ago (removed at the Cross, he tells us) this means that at the end of time, the New Covenant comes to an end! It means that God’s covenant relationship with the church, the New Covenant body of Christ, will “no longer be remembered.” But of course, this cannot be, since Jesus said “my word shall never pass away” (Matthew 24:35). Thus, once again, Frost’s application of Isaiah 65 to some proposed “end of time” comes back to falsify his claims. Very clearly, Isaiah 65 is about the passing of the Law of Moses.
Now, 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 must demonstrate – exegetically – who YHVH was describing in the text. In order to prove his point, he must explain why Jesus and Paul applied Isaiah 65 to Old Covenant Israel of their generation. He must show us what other covenant people will be created, given a New Name, in that proposed New Creation.
We will have more on Isaiah 65 in our next installment. As the reader can see, Isaiah 65 totally refutes Frost’s claim that it is about an “end of time” of the end of the Christian age.
For more on Isaiah 65-66 see my book The Elements Shall Melt With Fervent Heat. You will be amazed at how much powerful evidence there is that Isaiah is about the passing of the Old Law, the termination of God’s covenant with Old Covenant Israel, and the full bloom of the New Covenant Creation of Christ.