We are examining the flawed hermeneutic of the futurist apologists. When debating with one another, they both utilize this flawed hermeneutic, and then condemn it, when it is used by their opponents! Inconsistent? To say the very least! See the previous articles in this series #1 – #2 – #3.
The Dominionists condemn the Dispensationalists for arguing that since the word “church” is missing in Revelation 4-22 that the subject is not there. The Dominionists, as we have shown, show the inconsistency of this argument, by noting that the word “antiChrist” is not there, and yet, the Dispensationalists insist that the doctrine of the antiChrist permeates the Apocalypse!
However, inconsistently, the Dominionists then turn around and argue that since different words are used in different texts, that different comings of the Lord must be in view!
In our third installment of this series we demonstrated the fatal nature of this hermeneutic by showing that if one adopted it, they would have to argue that Acts 1 is different from 1 Corinthians 15, which is different from Thessalonians, which must be different from 2 Peter, which must be different from Revelation 20!
Each of these respective texts use different words to speak of Christ’s coming. Some use parousia, some erchomai, some apocalupsis, some epiphany. Revelation 20 does not, in fact, even mention the coming of the Lord! It does not use the word “final!” And as we noted earlier, Thessalonians alone uses seven, count them, seven different words and terms to speak of the coming of Christ. So, if we adopt the Dominionist / futurist hermeneutic, we would be forced to conclude that Paul spoke of seven different comings of the Lord, at different times! To say the least, this is a ridiculous suggestion, but one that is logically demanded by the Dominionist / futurist hermeneutic.
See the problem? The hermeneutic is patently fatally flawed. But, this inconsistent use of the “silence” or “different words” hermeneutic is not the only inconsistency that abounds in the Dominionist and futurist world. There is another glaring, fatal inconsistency that few seem to have noticed, and for sure, the Dominionists are not about to eagerly admit to!
I want you to ask yourself this question: If the omission of given words (i.e. the silence of a text), or the use of different words demands that different topics, subjects, times, etc. are in view, then would not the presence of the identical words/ terms in respective passages not demand that those texts are speaking of the same subject, topic and time? In other words, if passage “A” uses the identical words, terms, motifs, etc.. as passage “B” would that not demand that both texts peak of the same event? Well, the Dominionists tell us this is true (without of course, recognizing or admitting the fatal nature of this admission)!
In his mostly excellent book, Last Days Madness (1994 version) applies different texts to different events. Also, and this is where the inconsistency comes in, he also applies texts to the same events, based on the use of similar words and terms!
Let me illustrate. Commenting on 1 Thessalonians 5:1f, DeMar says: “This day of the Lord is past.”
What is his logic for this argument? He says 2 Peter 3 uses the language that Paul does and Peter is speaking of AD 70 therefore, 1 Thessalonians 5 is AD 70, “since they both use the same metaphor” (p. 328). Incidentally, Joel McDurmon in his Jesus-V- Jerusalem book makes almost the identical argument. (P. 29).
Side bar here. DeMar applies 2 Thessalonians 1 to AD 70 (p. 345). He applies 2 Thessalonians 2 to AD 70 as well (325f). And now, watch this.
DeMar’s notes the direct parallels between the Olivet Discourse and 2 Thessalonians 2! (Madness, 1994, 325f). What is the basis for this identification? It is the use of “striking parallels” in the two passages. IN other words, the use of identical words, terms, motifs, and themes, etc.! Notice what DeMar says:
“There are striking parallels between the Olivet Discourse and 2 Thessalonians 2. The events described in Matthew 24 were fulfilled prior to Jerusalem’s destruction in AD 70. We should expect the same for 2 Thessalonians 2.”
DeMar then lists several of those parallels, including the use of the same words, the same themes, the same motifs.
2 Thessalonians 2:1 –> Matthew 24:31– this would be episunagogee.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 —> Matthew 24:27, 30; Mark 13:26-27; Luke 21:27– saying he is here or there.
2 Thessalonians 2:3 —> Matthew 24:12; Mark 13:5 – lawlessness
2 Thessalonians 2:4 —> Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14 – Abomination of Desolation
2 Thessalonians 2:5 —> Matthew 24:25 – “I told you before”
2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 —> Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22 – False Christs
2 Thessalonians 2:13 —> Mark 13:27; Luke 21:8 – The Elect
2 Thessalonians 2:15 —> Mark 13:23, 31.
After adducing these parallels, DeMar concludes: “When studied against the backdrop of Matthew 24, we conclude that that same time period is being discussed – a period of time leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70” (P. 325). (Madness, 1994, pp. 325-341f).
So, there you have it! Since Paul in Thessalonians uses so many parallels between his discussion of the Day of the Lord and the Olivet Discourse, and since the Olivet Discourse speaks of the events leading up to and consummating in the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, we are justified to apply 2 Thessalonians 2 (as well as chapter 1) to AD 70.
Well, hang onto your hat, because in our next installment, we will demonstrate how DeMar’s own hermeneutic– while sound– completely destroys his futurist eschatology, and that of his Dominionist compatriots such as Kenneth Gentry, Joel McDurmon, Keith Mathison, et. Al. You will see for yourself how the Dominionists have a fatally flawed hermeneutic. Stay tuned!