Don K. Preston’s First Negative– Hicks V- Preston Written Debate on the Coming of the Lord
Olan says I am frustrated. Somewhat true. I am frustrated because Olan refuses to deal with the overt statements of scripture. He falsely represents what he said. He makes blatantly false claims about what texts say or don’t say. He refuses, in spite of the rules he signed, to answer my questions or my arguments. So, yes, I am frustrated. I had hoped that Olan would actually engage in a debate, instead of simply pontificating.
Some housekeeping before I address Olan’s affirmative arguments:
Reader, did you catch what Olan did? He espoused premillennialism! I argued: “The texts I examined speak of the last days Day of the Lord, and the avenging of the blood of the martyrs when Satan would be destroyed, at the end of the millennium!”
What did Olan say? In a stunning rejection of the amillennial paradigm, Olan says: “IN REVELATION 20, JESUS DOES NOT COME AT THE END OF THE THOUSAND YEARS. HE IS THERE WHEN IT BEGINS.” Unbelievable!
Reader, Olan believes that the Christian age is the millennium– RIGHT, OLAN? DO NOT FAIL TO ANSWER!
But now, OLAN SAYS CHRIST DOES NOT COME AT THE END OF THE MILLENNIUM! He is already there! So, that demands that Christ came sometime in the past to establish the millennium! Look at the dilemma Olan has created.
Christ does not come at the end of the thousand years– Olan Hicks.
But, the judgment and the resurrection occur at the end of the thousand years– Revelation 20.
Therefore, Christ does not come at the time of the judgment and the resurrection!
Yet, what does Olan say in his first affirmative? Here it is: “The resurrection and judgment will occur at the time of His second coming.”
So, Olan believes that the resurrection and the judgment at the end of the thousand years is future-Revelation 20.
But, he says Christ does not come at the end of the thousand years!
This means that Revelation 20 cannot be the Second Coming!
But then, he affirms: “The resurrection and judgment will occur at the time of His second coming.”
OLAN, HOW CAN CHRIST COME AT THE RESURRECTION AND JUDGMENT– OF REVELATION 20– AND YET, NOT COME AT THE END OF THE THOUSAND YEARS. COME ON NOW, PLEASE ANSWER!
This is a fatal, embarrassing, and inescapable self contradiction.
In my last affirmative, I asked Olan seven questions and challenged him: “Do Not Fail To Answer!” Let me remind you of those questions:
1.) How many comings of the Lord, at the end of the millennium resurrection and destruction of Satan, when the martyrs would be avenged, are there in scripture? Olan’s answer? Christ does not come at the end of the millennium resurrection!
2.) What coming of the Lord, for the salvation of Israel, was Paul anticipating in Romans 11:25-27– in fulfillment of Isaiah 27 / 59? Olan’s response?
He says that “Israel” in Romans 11:25-27 is not OT Israel, but the church. Wrong. The “Israel” Paul is discussing is the Israel that was in rebellion when he wrote. However, he anticipated the salvation of the rest of the remnant, at the parousia– in fulfillment of Isaiah 27 / 59.
I have proven beyond any doubt that Isaiah 27 / 59 predicted the salvation of Israel (the remnant) at the coming of the Lord in judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood. I likewise proved– irrefutably– that Israel’s salvation is tied inextricably to the end of the millennium resurrection of Isaiah 25:8 / 26:19. Olan ignored these facts.
3.) “Tell us what other people had, or will, dwell in the presence of God, but, will be cast out of His presence for persecuting the True Seed– and specifically the Thessalonians?
Olan claimed that he had said that the Jews were one of several groups to be cast out of the presence of the Lord. No, he said no such thing. I challenged him to show where he had even intimated such a thing. Olan’s response? Abject silence.
4.) Specifically identify the city “where the Lord was slain” in Revelation 11:8. Not a key stroke.
5.) “How could anyone, convince anyone, that the parousia and the resurrection, as you define them, was already past?” Olan’s response? He just pontificated that Christ has not come! That does not answer the question!
6.) When did the Lord come in judgment of Israel– punishing them with the edge of the sword–for violation of Exodus 22:21-23, Leviticus 19-20 and Deuteronomy 27:19– as foretold in Malachi 3:1-5, 16f; 4:5-6– after John’s ministry, but before the cross? Ignored.
7.) Please identify the Day of the Lord foretold in Zechariah 14:1-8. He had two chances to answer: his final negative, or his first affirmative. His response? Not a keystroke. Olan, please, answer this question!
OLAN- ISAIAH AND THE DAY OF THE LORD
I appealed to Isaiah 2-4 / 24-27 / 59 / Daniel 12 as proof that the end of the millennium resurrection at the Day of the Lord is inextricably tied to the time of the judgment of Israel for the vindication of the martyrs.
Olan’s response: “I went into the Old Testament and read again all those passages he cited, Isaiah chapters 2-4, chapter 24, chapter 27-29, chapter 59, Daniel 12, Deut. 27:18 etc. What they all contain, in substance, is the prophet saying to Israel, “God’s gonna git you fer that!” But our disagreement is not about that. Our disagreement is about whether that occasion of God’s vengeance on Israel was the occasion of the second and final coming of Christ, along with the resurrection and the judgment etc.” He continued: “Don says that Isaiah 2-4 and 25-27 posited the avenging in the last days Day of the Lord. As I said, I read those chapters. There is nothing in them at all about the Day of the Lord.” (My emphasis).
Really, Olan?!? Olan’s audacity and desperation is stunning. Note the following:
Olan admits that the texts speak of judgment on Israel for shedding innocent blood. Well, notice what the texts also say, that Olan denies.
They predicted the Last days (Isaiah 2:2f).
Directly contradicting Olan, they predicted the Day of the Lord (Isaiah 2:19-21; 4:1).
Isaiah 26:20 predicted the coming of the Lord. But, Olan is so desperate to avoid the power of my arguments that he is willing to deny these undeniable statements.
Isaiah 59:16f predicted the coming of the Lord.
Not only do the texts falsify Olan’s desperate claims and specifically mention the coming of the Lord, but, as I have noted repeatedly, Isaiah 25-27 emphatically posited that Day of the Lord at the time of the resurrection– when Israel would be judged for her blood guilt.
I made an in-depth argument showing the perfect correspondence between Isaiah 26 and Daniel 12. Of course, Olan simply ignored the argument.
MATTHEW 5 AND HEAVEN AND EARTH– PSALMS 102
Olan seeks to avoid the power of Matthew 5:17-18 but simply impales himself. He says: “Don reissues his lame argument about Matthew 5:17, that none of the “Torah” can pass away until everything it speaks of has occurred. If that is so then it is still in effect because it speaks of the ending of the heavens and the earth.”
Olan, it is Jesus- not Preston– that said “until heaven and earth passes, not one jot or tittle shall pass from the law, until it is all fulfilled.” Those are not my “lame” words.
Olan offers us Psalms 102 as proof of the passing of literal heaven and earth, evidently ignorant of the fact that Psalms predicted the creation of a New People at the passing of the “heaven and earth.” So, the question is, What people will be destroyed, and what new people will be created, at the destruction of physical heaven and earth, Olan?
If “heaven and earth” has not passed then all of the Law of Moses remains binding, just as Jesus said. Not so much as one iota has passed away. The entire law of Moses, New Moons, Feast Days and Sabbaths, with all of the sacrifices, remains valid.
OF THAT DAY AND HOUR
I noted that Jesus predicted his coming for the first century (Matthew 24:34), and that his statement “but of that day and hour” simply stated that the precise time was unknown. They could know the generation, but not the exact time within that generation. Olan called this “nonsense,” and that: “The expression “day or hour” is simply the way the people of that time spoke of “the time.”
Olan exhibits a lamentable ignorance of first century Jewish cultural terminology. That expression did not mean they did not know the time, generically speaking. In fact, that terminology is taken directly from the Jewish feast day observations.
The Feast of Trumpets (Rosh HaShanah, typifying the Day of Judgment), had to be observed at the beginning of the New Moon. Due to inclimate weather, fog, cloud cover, etc., the New Moon was not always easily seen. Consequently, the Feast of Trumpets was referred to as the feast concerning which, “No man knows the day or the hour.” They positively knew the general time, but not the day or the hour.
So, Jesus was speaking of the coming judgment, and utilized the vernacular of the Feast of Trumpets that typified the Judgment. Just as they knew the general time, but not the day or the hour of the Feast, they could know the generation, but not the day or hour of the Judgment. This is the cultural language Jesus used.
I wrote an article documenting this. See my website. Olan is misrepresenting how the Jews used the term “no man knows the day or the hour.”
JOHN THE BAPTIZER AS ELIJAH
Please go back and read my argument on Malachi, Elijah and the Day of the Lord. Remember, Olan says the Day of the Lord was Jesus’ Incarnation. Wrong.
The term Great And Terrible Day of the Lord is invariably used of a time of judgment. Olan ignored this.
Both Joel 2 and Malachi foretold the Great Day. Joel said the Spirit would be poured out “Before” not after, the Day of the Lord.
Peter on Pentecost said the outpouring of the Spirit on Pentecost was the fulfillment of Joel- thus, of Malachi.
Olan’s response? He says he will just go with Peter’s declaration, “this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel.” Well, all that does is destroy his doctrine!
The outpouring of the Spirit on Pentecost was the fulfillment of Joel.
But, the outpouring of the Spirit was “before the Day of the Lord” not AFTER – which is demanded by Olan’s claim that the Day was Jesus’ Incarnation.
Peter’s “this is that” totally falsifies Olan, yet, he blithely claims that he accepts it. Nonsense.
DANIEL AND JOHN
I noted that Daniel was given the vision of the resurrection and he was told to seal the vision because fulfillment was far off.
John foresaw the resurrection– reiterating Daniel’s vision. In stark contrast to Daniel, John was told “do not seal the vision for the time is at hand.”
This is an inescapable temporal contrast. Olan’s response? Read: “Don argues that Daniel was told to seal up the vision because the time was far off and John was told not to seal his vision because the time was close at hand. How does he know that was the reason? The text doesn’t say it.”
Really, Olan?!? Olan claims to accept the express words of scripture. Yet Daniel was told to seal his vision because fulfillment was not near. In stark contrast, John repeated Daniel’s prophecy, but was told not to seal it because “the time (literally, the appointed time) is at hand.” Yet, Olan says the text does not say the very words that are right there on the page! They are explicit, clear-cut, and undeniable.
Note: The judgment of Revelation was so near that Jesus said, “let the wicked remain wicked” (22:11). Olan says that judgment has not come, but, does Olan proclaim what Jesus said: “let the wicked remain wicked”? Olan simply ignores these words.
OLAN’S FOUR POINTS
Olan offers us four affirmative points. I will examine each of them and the verses he offers as proof.
(1) Christ will return in person.
John 14:1-6– Jesus said he went away to prepare a place and return “so that where I am, you may be also.” Olan assumes that this means Jesus would return to remove the saints. Not so. Notice v. 19-23. “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me.. … Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” (My emphasis).
Jesus was bringing the “prepared place” back with him to dwell with man!
So, v. 1-6 is the coming of the Lord to dwell with man. Verses 19f is the coming of the Lord to dwell with man. It is not the removal of man from the earth. It is Christ bringing the perfected Messianic Temple to man, restoring the fellowship between heaven and earth. Let me illustrate.
The coming of Christ in John 14:1-6 is the coming of the Lord in Revelation 21:1f– His coming to dwell with man.
The coming of the Lord in Revelation 21:1-3 is the coming of the Temple of God out of heaven, and “the tabernacle of God is with man.” It is not the removal of man from the earth, as Olan falsely assumes. It is God coming to dwell with man.
Jesus’ post resurrection, pre-ascension body was his mortal, unchanged, Incarnation body.
Olan seems to believe that Jesus, as a 5′ 5″ Jewish man, will one day descend in that same body.
Olan, does Jesus still have that physical, mortal body? Is that the kind of body we get at the resurrection?
A.) The purpose of Jesus’ parousia was not to reveal Jesus as a man, but, as the King of kings and Lord of lords, the One True God (1 Timothy 6:15; Titus 2:14f). The Transfiguration proves this.
B.) The Greek term “in like manner” (hon tropon) is used of a metaphorical likeness, not a precise likeness, in virtually all of its occurrences (cf, Matthew 23:37– “as a mother hen gathers her chicks).
C.) Jesus said his coming would be “in the glory of the Father” meaning as the Father had come (Matthew 16:27-28) and he said it would be in his generation (v. 28). He also said that in the judgment, he would act in the same way (hetoimos– John 5:19f) that he had seen the Father judge before. Jesus had never seen the Father come, literally, physically, in a fleshly body.
Let me frame my argument that will encompass Acts 1 / 1 Thessalonians 4 and virtually all of the verses Olan offered.
The coming of the Lord of Acts 1:9f is the parousia at the resurrection / Judgment when Satan would be destroyed (Revelation 20)- at the end of the millennium.
The time of the resurrection when Satan would be destroyed is the resurrection of Isaiah 25:8 / 26:19-27:1f.
But, the resurrection, when Satan would be destroyed, in Isaiah 25-27 would be when the Lord came in vindication of the martyrs, when Jerusalem was destroyed, the Temple destroyed, and YHVH would no longer have mercy on the people He had created (27:10-12).
Therefore, the coming of the Lord of Acts 1:9f, the parousia at the resurrection, when Satan would be destroyed, would be when the Lord came in vindication of the martyrs, when Jerusalem was destroyed, the Temple destroyed, and YHVH would no longer have mercy on the people He had created.
Olan has not touched Isaiah 25-27 top, side, or bottom. And he can’t because it definitively destroys his eschatology.
In regard to the destruction of Satan, at the end of the millennium, Paul said “The God of peace shall crush Satan under your feet shortly” (Romans 16:20). Olan denies those explicit words, making “shortly” mean 2000 years and counting! Nonsense.
1 THESSALONIANS. 4:13F– THE LORD HIMSELF
Paul said that his eschatology of 1 Thessalonians 4 was but a reminder of what the Lord had said (V. 15). In Matthew 24:29-34 we have every element found in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
This is critical: Olan admits that Matthew 24:29-34 refers to Jesus’ AD 70 parousia! With that in mind, note the following:
Matthew 24:30– They shall see (opthanomai) the Son of Man coming. Olan claims, in regard to Hebrews 9:28, that this word demands “being visible.” Well then, per his own “argument” “Christ himself” was visible at his AD 70 parousia! Olan has entrapped himself, again.
In Matthew 24 Christ comes on the clouds– in Thessalonians he comes on the clouds.
In Matthew he comes with the angels– in Thessalonians he comes with the angels.
In Matthew he comes with the sound of the Trumpet– in Thessalonians he comes with the Trumpet.
In Matthew he comes to gather the saints- In Thessalonians he gathers the saints. (Note: Matthew 24:31 is a direct referent to Isaiah 27:13 the gathering of the “dead” at the sound of the Trump– when Jerusalem and the Temple would be destroyed! Thus, Jesus emphatically posited the resurrection of Isaiah 25-27 for his generation.)
In Matthew they would see (opthanomai) the Son of Man– In Thessalonians Christ himself would be revealed from heaven. Olan says Thessalonians is when Jesus would be seen (opthanomai).
In Matthew 24 Jesus would come in the first century generation– In Thessalonians, Paul said, “we who are alive (not “those who will be alive”) and remain until the coming (parousia) of the Lord.” Olan denies Paul was speaking of his generation– those who were alive when he wrote.
This is precise parallelism, with the same temporal delimitations. Thessalonians is but a reminder of what Jesus had already taught. Olan admits that Matthew 24 refers to Christ’s AD 70 parousia. Yet, Olan makes Thessalonians refer to a radically different kind of parousia, at the end of a different age. This is a hermeneutical disaster, and Olan has given no evidence for his claims.
(2) His return will be visible to all.
A.) Acts 1- Answered above.
B.) Revelation 1:7–
This parousia is patently against those who had pierced him- the Jews– who would look upon him and mourn. This is 2 Thessalonians 1 reiterated!
This is a quote of Zechariah 12:10. Note, this same verse is cited in Matthew 24:30 to speak of what Olan admits refers to Jesus’ AD 70 coming!
Matthew 24:30 is ophontai; Revelation 1:7 is the same word.
Note Matthew 26:64 where Jesus told the Sanhedrin: “You will see (opthanomai) the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Jesus told those living humans they would see him coming on the clouds– precisely what Matthew 24 promised. This is Revelation 1:7 in anticipation.
Note: Matthew 24:30– “all the tribes of the earth shall mourn”– AD 70 per Olan–> Revelation 1:7– “all the tribes of the earth shall mourn”! Identical language-and time!
This is Jesus’ coming in vindication of his martyrdom. Jesus said that would be at the fall of Jerusalem in his generation– Matthew 23.
C.) Hebrews 9:28
Christ was coming to consummate the Atonement typology of Torah. He had appeared to offer himself. He entered the MHP (9:24-26). He would appear again for salvation.
Back to Matthew 5:17-18– Jesus’ atonement praxis were the fulfillment of the typological actions of the OT high priest (Hebrews 10:1-2).
His death and entrance into the MHP fulfilled that aspect of the Day of Atonement typology. But, Olan posits the completion of Jesus’ High Priestly actions in fulfillment of the Law of Moses into our future, divorced from the fulfillment of Israel’s sacrificial cultus!
Olan says a law would only last until it had accomplished its purpose. Okay, the purpose of the Law was to endure until what it foreshadowed was realized. Those good things that were still, when Hebrews was written, “about to come” at Jesus’ Second Coming (9:28-10:1). So, the purpose of the Law had not yet been fulfilled, thus, the Law could not have already passed.
According to Jesus’ explicit words, until every jot & tittle of the Law was fully accomplished, none of it would pass. Jesus had not yet fulfilled the Cultic typology of the Day of Atonement. He would fully accomplish that at his parousia. Now watch…
In Hebrews 10:35-39 the writer, anticipating that coming for salvation, said “in a very, very little while, the one who is coming will come and will not delay.” The language is explicit and undeniable, but, Olan says Christ has delayed his coming for 2000 years!
(3) The resurrection and judgment will occur at the time of His second coming.
John 5:28-29– We have already demonstrated the correlation between John and Daniel 12. Without doubt they predicted the same event, which was to be fulfilled, “when the power of the holy people is completely shattered” (Daniel 12:7).
The resurrection of John 5:28-29 is likewise the resurrection of Isaiah 25-27, which was to be when the Lord came in vindication of the martyrs, when Jerusalem was destroyed, the Temple destroyed, and YHVH would no longer have mercy on the people He had created.
Olan points out that the resurrection would be at the last hour. Okay, note what John said: “Little children, it is the last hour! As you have heard that anti-Christ should come, even now there are many anti-Christs, thereby you know that it is the last hour” (1 John 2:18).
Paul said the anti-Christ would come before the parousia (2 Thessalonians 2). John said the anti-Christs were present and it was “the last hour.” The time for the resurrection at the “last hour” had undeniably come (cf. 1 Peter 4:5, 17). But of course, Olan rejects John’s inspired statement.
Olan likes to talk about God appointing the Day. I agree! And I have proven beyond dispute that the appointed time for the judgment– the “judgment of the living and the dead” had arrived when Peter wrote. Olan has not touched my argument on the anaphoric article top, side or bottom.
Note also that Jesus told John concerning the fulfillment of Revelation– i.e. the resurrection– “the time (kairos, divinely appointed time) is at hand” (1:3). He said, “these things must (Greek dei– of divine necessity) shortly come to pass.”
Revelation 20– Go back and read Olan’s embarrassing self contradiction on Revelation 20.
Look again at my argument on Revelation 20 and Malachi 3:16f: (Ignored by Olan).
“Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, And the Lord listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the Lord And who meditate on His name. They shall be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts, “On the day that I make them My jewels.”
This is the coming of the Lord in application of the Mosaic Covenant Wrath (Malachi 3:1-6) when the Book of Remembrance would be opened, and the Lord would take those who loved Him to be His jewels.
Revelation 20 speaks of the judgment and the salvation of those written in the Book of Life– at the end of the millennium.
Revelation 20 is clearly the Day of the Lord foretold by Malachi.
But wait, that Day foretold by Malachi was to be in application of Mosaic Covenant Wrath in fulfillment of Exodus and Deuteronomy as we proved beyond disputation– and Olan ignored.
This Day, when the books were to be opened, was foretold by John as Elijah, and was near when John prophesied: “who has warned you of the wrath about to come?”; “The kingdom has drawn near”; “the axe is already at the root”; “the winnowing fork (a judgment symbol) is in his hand.”
Thus, the judgment of Revelation 20- the Second Coming and resurrection– was near.
Olan has not breathed on this argument, and it is 100% fatal to his eschatology.
#4. His second coming will occur at the end of the world, the passing of the heavens and earth
2 Peter 3– Olan uncritically and falsely assumes that the heaven and earth of 2 Peter 3 is literal creation.
Peter said his prediction was the reiteration of the OT prophecies of the Day of the Lord and the New Creation (2 Peter 3:1-2; 13).
Isaiah 65-66 specifically foretold that New Creation. This brings us back to Matthew 5:17-18– until the Law had served its purpose to deliver them to the New Creation, it could not pass away!
Notice Isaiah 65:
The New Creation of 2 Peter 3 is the anticipation of the fulfillment of the OT prophecies of the Day of the Lord and the New Creation (2 Peter 3:1-2; 13).
Isaiah 65-66 foretold the Day of the Lord and the New Creation.
The New Creation predicted in Isaiah would come when, “the Lord God shall slay you, and call His people by a new name” (Isaiah 65:13f). So, just like Isaiah 24-28 predicted the resurrection when Jerusalem, the Temple and Israel would be destroyed, Isaiah 65– and thus, 2 Peter 3, foretold the New Creation when Old Covenant Israel would be destroyed.
Olan’s abject failure and refusal to realize (and honor the fact) that NT eschatology is simply the reiteration of the OT hope of Israel has led him to create an eschatology unknown to Scriptures.
2 Thessalonians 1-
Olan has not answered my arguments on Thessalonians- not even close!
Paul was undeniably writing to the first century church at Thessalonica.
Paul explicitly says they were being persecuted.
Paul expressly promised the Thessalonians relief from that persecution “when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven.”
It would be impossible for Jesus to give the Thessalonians relief from that then on-going persecution if the Thessalonians are not still alive, being persecuted, at the time of the coming!
Paul expressly said that at his coming against “those who are troubling you” (the Jews) Christ would cast those persecutors out of his presence.
OLAN, DID CHRIST COME, AND GIVE THE THESSALONIANS RELIEF FROM THAT THEN ON-GOING PERSECUTION, AND CAST THEIR PERSECUTORS– THE JEWS– OUT OF HIS PRESENCE? YES OR NO?
In stark contrast with how Olan “answered” my affirmatives– by ignoring, or avoiding them– I have addressed every argument and every text he offered, without evasion or obfuscation.
Olan’s arguments are presuppositional, not exegetical.
He ignores the context and the inter-textual connections that fully establish the time for fulfillment.
He ignores the OT prophetic background.
He denies the inseparable connection between Biblical eschatology and the fulfillment of God’s OT promises made to Israel after the flesh.
He ignores the explicit time statements, positing the resurrection and Second Coming for the first century.
Olan’s affirmative has no merit.