In 2007 I had a formal written debate with church of Christ minister, Terry Benton. The debate was originally posted on my sites, but due to server crash, it was lost. So, I am reposting the debate in its entirety, in installments.
Formal Written Debate – Don K. Preston -V- Terry Benton
Don K. Preston’s Final Affirmative
It is lamentable that Terry has to resort to comments like this: “If a man has to talk about “eschatology” and build his case on eschatology theory rather than offer simple scriptural evidence that pertains to the PROPOSITION, you had better approach with caution.”
The fact that Terry either does not see, or ignores the relationship between eschatology and the passing of the Law is fundamental to this debate. Terry’s ignorance of that connection lies at the root of his failure to see the relevance of some of my questions. However, Terry’s ignorance of the connection does not falsify my position!!
TERRY’S MISREPRESENTATION OF MILLENNIALISM AND PRESTON
Let me begin by stating that it is good to see that Terry has read some of my material on the New Covenant. However, several things are painfully clear from his writing, as he tries to find a contradiction between what I wrote contra dispensationalism, and my views stated in this debate. I am forced to believe one of two things:
1.) Terry DOES NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT DISPENSATIONALISTS ACTUALLY TEACH. Thus, he does not really understand the force and nature of my arguments, or,
2.) He DOES understand what the millennialists teach, and he does understand what I was truly teaching, but, has chosen to ignore that reality and proceed to distort the facts.
Let me explain what I mean, with this preliminary observation, which is fact, not brag. I know the dispensational doctrine inside and out. I have studied it extensively for the last 30+ years. So, when Terry tries to argue as he has, and makes mis-representative statements, I can, for anyone interested, document where he is either ignorant of millennialism, or distorting the millennial views, for the purpose of this debate. And MAKE NO MISTAKE, TERRY HAS DISTORTED THE MILLENNIAL VIEW in his (failed) attempt to pit Preston against Preston by using my writings against millennialism against me in this debate!
Let me make a few observations about the millennial view in demonstration of this.
1.) When the millennialists speak of the law of the millennium that they believe will demand animal sacrifices, the restoration of the Temple, etc., THEY EMPHATICALLY DO NOT BELIEVE THAT IT IS THE MOSAIC LAW RESTORED!! The topic of the current debate however, IS THE TORAH OF MOSES! Terry, did you know that? These are separate and distinct issues.
2.) The millennialists believe that the Mosaic Covenant has been completely fulfilled, in Christ, and will never be restored! So, all of Terry’s claims about the Law, and my comments about it in regard to the millennium are totally, 100% irrelevant to this debate. The millennial law and the Torah under discussion in this debate are totally different! Terry, did you know of this distinction?
3.) The millennialists believe that the law of the millennium is the promised New Covenant of Jeremiah 31. They do not believe that has been established yet, but, when it is in the millennium that it will demand animal sacrifices, Temple, priesthood, etc.. But, again, IT IS NOT THE TORAH discussed by Jesus in Matthew 5, and in this debate! Terry, did you know this?
4.) In the millennium, the New Covenant has no types or shadows to be fulfilled. Millennialists do not believe that the sacrifices, the priesthood, the Temple, or anything about that cultus is typological. All of this is in diametrical contrast to the Torah we are discussing, that was, in the first century, “shadowy” and typological!
5.) In the millennium, per the millennialists, the millennial New Covenant will be imposed on Jews, non-Jews, Christians and non-Christians. I think anyone can see that this has no bearing on this debate, where I have consistently– in contrast to Terry– argued that the Gentiles were never under the Torah, and the Jewish Christians died to the Law by entering Christ. Terry, did you know of this distinction?
6.) In the millennium, the New Covenant does not have to be completely fulfilled, in order to pass away, in contradistinction to the Torah, as set forth by Jesus in Matthew 5.
7.) In the millennium, no one can die to the New Covenant by entering the death of Christ. This is in contrast to the New Covenant teaching that I have set forth, regarding dying to Torah by entering Christ.
It should be apparent to anyone that the issues involved in the millennial debate are not the issues of this debate. That means that all of Terry’s claims that Preston has severe problems here are totally false.
Now, as stated, I can document all of this, extensively, from the millennial writings if anyone doubts anything I have said. The point is that Terry and I are debating the Mosaic Torah, and the millennialists–and thus my writings against them– HAVE NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO WITH THE MOSAIC TORAH! So, Terry spent three pages of rambling, self contradictory, obfuscatory typing attempting to pit Preston against Preston. He fails, miserably, however, BECAUSE THE TOPIC OF MILLENNIALISM AND THE TOPIC OF THIS DEBATE ARE TWO TOTALLY, UNRELATED ISSUES! Had Terry known the issues of millennialism a bit better, he could have avoided all that wasted keypad time, and the misrepresentation of the issues involved.
If Terry knew of the distinctions between the millennial view of the millennial law, and made his claims anyway, then he is guilty of purposely misrepresenting the millennial views, and my views as well.
If he did not know of the distinctions between the dispensational view of the millennial law, then that is simple ignorance of the matter at hand. We can only hope that his misguided arguments were based on the later.
Now, it will do no good for Terry to say that it does not matter whether the millennialists are talking about the Mosaic Torah or not. It does matter, FUNDAMENTALLY, because it is the Mosaic Torah that is the issue of this debate, and not the millennial New Covenant! All Terry has done is to set up a straw man, but, his efforts fail because of his misrepresentations of millennialism and of Preston!
DANIEL 12 AND TERRY’S ADMISSIONS
Frankly, I could hardly believe what Terry argued on Daniel 12! Daniel 12 foretold the time of the resurrection, “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall arise, some to everlasting life, some to everlasting shame.”
Terry tells us, <<A resurrection occurred at the destruction of Jerusalem. It is the kind of resurrection spoken of in Romans 11:15. It was a resurrection brought on by the interest and faith in God stimulated by the events they were experiencing, while that same event raised the hardness of hearts to a new level. The destruction of Jerusalem raised some from death to spiritual life, while that same event served to raise others to more hardness and greater condemnation. This is not speaking of the same kind of resurrection as is discussed in 1 Corinthians 15.” (End quote).
Of course, Terry says, repeatedly, that this resurrection is different than the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15, but, the reader will note that HE DID NOT GIVE ONE SINGLE VERSE TO SUPPORT THAT CLAIM.
Let’s take a closer look now at Daniel 12 and Terry’s claim that it is not the same as 1 Corinthians 15. By the way, I cannot fail to note that Terry said he was going to ignore all of my arguments that are irrelevant to the issue of the end of the Law. He spent considerable time trying to refute my argument on Daniel 12– even though Daniel 12 does not specifically mention the passing of the Law. Therefore, he must see after all, that the end of the age, the end of the covenant and the time of the resurrection are in fact interconnected topics! Yet, at the end of his negative, he said he did not have to get into an eschatological or end of the age discussion to discuss the passing of the Law! Hmm.
DANIEL 12 AND 1 CORINTHIANS 15– THE PARALLELS
Again, it is important to note that while Terry claims several times, that Daniel 12 and 1 Corinthians 15 speak of different resurrections he did not give any scriptural proof of that difference. So, let’s take a look at the direct parallels between the two prophecies.
1.) Daniel 12 foretold the RESURRECTION. 1 Corinthians 15 foretold the RESURRECTION.
2.) Daniel 12 foretold the resurrection “out of the dust of the earth.” Larry believes that 1 Corinthians
15 predicts the resurrection “out of the dust of the earth.” Interestingly, Terry takes the language of Daniel metaphorically– and properly so– but insists that the language of 1 Corinthians 15 must be literal! He gives us no justification except to say “they are different.” Proof, Larry, PROOF, not assumptions and assertions!
3.) Daniel 12 foretold the resurrection to EVERLASTING LIFE. Corinthians foretold the resurrection to EVERLASTING LIFE.
4.) Daniel 12 foretold the resurrection at THE TIME OF THE END– Corinthians foretold the resurrection at the time of the end.
5.) Daniel 12 foretold the time when Daniel (and naturally, the prophets), would receive their reward (v. 9-13). The resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 is the time when Daniel (and naturally the prophets), would receive their reward (per Terry).
6.) The resurrection promise of Daniel 12 was a promise made to Old Covenant Israel. The promise of 1 Corinthians 15 was a promise made to Old Covenant Israel (Isaiah 25/ Hosea 13).
7.) The resurrection of Daniel would be at the end of God’s dealings with Old Covenant Israel– at the fulfillment of His promises to them. The resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 would be at the climax of God’s promises to Old Covenant Israel (i.e “the end,” when her promises would be fulfilled, and when “the Law that is the strength of sin” (the Torah– per Terry!) was removed. (v. 19f, 56f).
Here are seven direct and precise parallels. It is incumbent on Terry to prove that these are not truly parallels, but, simply similar language. He can’t do it. Instead, he will give us more of his, “they are not the same!” mantra without any contextual or exegetical justification.
I made the following arguments that still stand:
The resurrection of the dead would occur when the power of the holy people was completely shattered (Daniel 12:2-7).
The power of the holy people was the Torah, and God’s relationship with Old Covenant Israel.
Therefore, the resurrection of the dead would occur when the Torah and God’s relationship with Old Covenant Israel was destroyed.
The resurrection of the dead would occur when the Torah and God’s relationship with Old Covenant Israel was destroyed.
But, the Torah and God’s covenant relationship with Old Covenant Israel was destroyed in A.D. 70, in the destruction of Jerusalem (when Torah was completely fulfilled, Luke 21:22).
Therefore, the resurrection of the dead occurred when Old Covenant Israel was destroyed in A.D. 70.
What was Terry’s response? He said that the power of the holy people was not their covenant relationship with YHVH, but rather it was their “perception that they were still God’s people.” This is, frankly, another case of desperation gone rampant!
TERRY, WAS ISRAEL’S COVENANT RELATIONSHIP WITH YHVH EVER THE POWER OF THE HOLY PEOPLE? YES OR NO?
Note what Terry’s argument means:
The resurrection of Daniel 12 would be when the power of the holy people was completely shattered.
The power of the holy people was Israel’s misguided perception that they were still God’s holy people.
Therefore, the resurrection of Daniel 12 was when God completely shattered Israel’s misguided perception that they were still God’s covenant people!
Another way to put this is to see that Terry is actually arguing that Israel’s “power” was a bad attitude! Talk about an unfounded assumption!
This view violates the linguistics of the text. The Hebrew word that is used for power in the text never, so far as I have been able to determine, in hundreds of occurrences, ever a reference to a misguided belief or bad attitude!
Furthermore, DID GOD COMPLETELY DESTROY ISRAEL’S MISGUIDED PERCEPTION THAT THEY WERE STILL GOD’S HOLY PEOPLE, IN A.D. 70? Did He really, Terry? Doesn’t modern “Israel” still believe, and haven’t they since A.D. 70, CONTINUED TO BELIEVE THAT THEY REMAIN GOD’S HOLY PEOPLE? Terry wants us to believe that God COMPLETELY changed the attitude of Israel in A.D. 70.” Well, if he believes this, he hasn’t read the Rabbinic writings!
Whatever the power of the holy people was, it was “COMPLETELY SHATTERED” in A.D. 70–perception or no perception, by Terry’s own admission. Since Israel’s “bad attitude” was not completely shattered in A.D. 70, then Terry’s argument is false.
Daniel 12 is not predictive of God destroying bad attitudes. He was predicting the destruction of the power of the holy people. So, we ask again, wasn’t it the covenant relationship with YHVH that had, for 1500 years, been the power of Israel? Of course, the covenant was Israel’s power, and that means that the covenant relationship was to be completely shattered in A.D. 70, and my affirmative is confirmed and proven.
ANOTHER LOOK AT MATTHEW 5:17F–AND TERRY’S CHANGING VIEWS
Terry has tried, desperately, to alter Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:17f.
Jesus said not one jot or one tittle of the Law would pass until it was all fulfilled.
Terry says what this really means is that not one jot or tittle would pass from the Law until the 10 commandments were fulfilled, but, not commandments concerning the sacrifices, with the attendant typological application to Jesus, did not have to be fulfilled for the Law to pass.
Furthermore, he admits that some prophecies, the prophecies of Jesus’ passion, had to be fulfilled for the Law to pass.
SO, TERRY COMPLETELY ALTERS THE WORDS OF JESUS TO SAY “WHEN SOME OF THE LAW AND SOME OF THE PROPHETS ARE FULFILLED, THEN ALL OF THE LAW WILL PASS!
No matter how much Terry twists and turns, this is precisely what he is saying, and everyone who reads this debate can see for themselves that this is true.
Now, amazingly, Terry comes back, and makes a confused and confusing argument on Matthew 7:12. (By the way, Terry, your syllogisms on Matthew 5 and 7 are not validly formulated and are not precisely stated at all. Your first syllogism is vague, disjointed, and ad hominem. Your attempt at a “hypothetical syllogism” in #2 fails because you did not state the hypothetical case in your minor premise. If you are going to use the Modus Pollens argument form, you should use it correctly).
Terry’s argument however, is this, or SEEMS to be this:
The Law is fulfilled when someone or anyone, treats others as they would be treated (Terry).
Jesus treated others as he would be treated.
Therefore, the Law was fulfilled when Jesus treated others as he would be treated.
The problem for Terry is that this dramatically changes his original argument! He argued that Jesus had to keep ALL THE COMMANDMENTS for the Law to pass.
Well, how did the observance of the Sabbath relate to treating others as himself?
Terry, the Golden Rule of Matthew 7:12 relates to interpersonal relationships between humans. IT SAYS NOT ONE THING ABOUT MAN’S RELATIONSHIP TO GOD! Are you telling us that the Law would pass when Jesus treated other people like he would be treated, regardless of whether he kept the commandments to honor the Father?
Terry admitted that Jesus had to fulfill some of the prophecies, the prophecies of his passion, for the Law to pass. Those were prophecies, that had to be fulfilled, for the Law to pass! Now, however, Terry says that is not true after all. All Jesus had to do is to obey the Golden Rule!
Terry admitted that Jesus had to obey the commandments concerning the sacrifices, the sacrifices that foreshadowed his death, in order to fulfill the Law. Thus, Jesus had to fulfill the commands of sacrifice, for the Law to pass. But now, he changes and says that is not right, because he just had to keep the Golden Rule.
Terry then says in his ad hominem, disjointed syllogism: <<People could practice the Golden Rule and thus fulfill the Law and the Prophets long before the destruction of Jerusalem.>>
Well, Terry, if people could practice the Golden Rule, and thus, fulfill the Law long before the destruction of Jerusalem could people not practice the Golden Rule and thus fulfill the Law LONG BEFORE JESUS APPEARED ON THE SCENE?
Consider Elijah: He evidently did not die, did he? He was “taken,” but did not experience death, so far as we know. Does that not mean that he was “perfect,” and had fulfilled the Law? If not, why not? How could he escape death if he violated the Law? And, if he kept the Law, did the Law pass because Elijah kept it? After all, Terry is telling is that all that was necessary for the fulfilling of the Law is to obey the Golden Rule, and that could be done long before A.D. 70!
Your appeal to Matthew 7:12 as the fulfilling of the Law, as all that was necessary for the Law to pass, invalidates your earlier negatives, and further limits and defines Matthew 5 in a way that is totally foreign to the text!
The reader needs to take note of the severe vacillations in Terry’s argumentation.
My argument on Matthew 5 stands, unscathed by Terry’s illogical, vacillating, self-contradictory arguments.
MATTHEW 5, LUKE 21 AND DANIEL 9
Terry totally ignored my argument conflating Matthew 5, Luke 21 and Daniel 9. Let me repeat it here.
Terry admits that SOME PROPHECIES had to be fulfilled before the Law could pass.
(You just have to catch the power of that!!) But, Jesus did not say some, he said ALL!
Thus, Matthew 5 said that until all of the Law– that included the prophets as Terry has admitted– was fulfilled, NONE of the Law would pass.
But, all things written would be fulfilled at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 (Luke 21:22).
Therefore, the Law passed, and did not pass until, the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
LET ME REITERATE MY AFFIRMATIVE POINT ON DANIEL 9.
Jesus: Not one iota of Torah would pass until it was all fulfilled.
Part of what had to be fulfilled, per Terry, were SOME PROPHECIES, i.e. PART OF THE VISION AND PROPHECY.
But, Daniel 9 posited the fulfillment of all vision and prophecy at the end of the Seventy Weeks, at the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
Therefore, not one iota of Torah would pass until the fulfillment of the Seventy Weeks of Daniel 9, that terminated in the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
If any part of prophecy had to be fulfilled, in order for Torah to pass–as Terry affirms– then all prophecy had to be fulfilled for Torah to pass, and Daniel placed fulfillment of all vision and prophecy at A.D. 70.
Jesus said all things written–that would include vision and prophecy wouldn’t it?– would be fulfilled in the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 (Luke 21:22).
Therefore, not one iota of Torah would pass until it was all fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
THE STRENGTH OF SIN
In my last, I proved, in direct response to Terry’s questions, that the end of Torah, and the eschaton are inextricably related to each other. Terry himself admitted that the Law that is the strength of sin in 1 Corinthians 15, was the Torah. Well, let me make the argument again:
The resurrection would be when “the Law” that was/is “the strength of sin” was/is removed (1 Corinthians 15:55-56).
But, “the Law” that was the strength of sin was the Law of Moses (Terry).
Therefore, the resurrection would be when the Law of Moses was/is removed.
This argument proves certain things beyond doubt:
1.) That the passing of the Mosaic Law, and eschatology are synchronous and inseparably bound together.
2.) That obligation to the Torah– as the strength of sin– would remain until the removal of Torah.
3.) If therefore, the resurrection– eschatology– has not been fulfilled, then Torah remains as the strength of sin today, there is no forgiveness, there is no salvation.
Now, here is what Terry is asking us to believe. He wants us to believe that although the Torah was annulled at the Cross, IT REMAINS AS THE STRENGTH OF SIN TODAY. So, the Torah, that is the Mosaic Law–which included all of the bloody sacrifices– remains as the strength of sin today.
Terry has not explained how a law that has been nullified can have any “strength” any CONDEMNING POWER, at all! Terry, if a Christian today fails to obey the sacrificial commandments of the Torah, are they condemned? You say that the Torah remains as the strength of sin, but, then you argue that it was nullified at the Cross. That is a logical impossibility! This is like saying that the death penalty was on the books, was then abrogated, but, after the abrogation of that law, men are still put to death BASED ON THAT ABROGATED LAW!
Amazingly, Terry definitely believes that a law or covenant can be stricken off the books, but, that the blessings or cursings of that Covenant can be applied at any time afterward! I asked Terry, <<At what point of time, and in what event, were all of God’s covenant promises to Old Covenant Israel fulfilled, and His covenant relationship with them terminated?
He answered, <At the cross the covenant obligating MAN was ended, the curses would come whenever God determined, and some promises are not necessarily time or covenant tied. Binding obligations placed upon man do not place time-limits upon when God will carry out every promise.> (end quote). Frankly, there is so much wrong with that answer, we could spend weeks exposing it!
Notice again part of his statement: “the curses would come whenever God determined,” (end quote) THIS VIOLATES EVERY CONCEPT OF LAW KNOWN TO MAN, AND YOU WILL NOTE OF COURSE, THAT HE GAVE NOT ONE IOTA OF PROOF FOR THIS AMAZING CLAIM! What Terry is arguing is that even if a Covenant has been annulled, that provisions of that Covenant remain valid and applicable after the annulment! In other words, although, per Terry, the Old Law was abrogated at the Cross, that the provision of Covenant wrath for violating that Covenant, could be poured out on Israel 40 years after that Covenant was no longer valid!
I am calling on Terry to give us the following:
Some specific proof that any provision of a covenant remains valid and applicable after that covenant has been annulled.
Some specific example of the application (enforcement) of covenant provisions, after the annulment of the covenant containing those provisions.
TERRY, DO NOT FAIL TO RESPOND TO THIS: We need scriptural proof that any provision of a covenant, blessings or curse, can be applicable after the covenant has been annulled.
Let’s see now if Terry actually believes what he says: Here is Terry’s argument:
Any provision of a covenant can be applied at any time, even long after the covenant has been abrogated.
The Old Testament (covenant) promised covenant wrath on Israel for violating the covenant.
Therefore, God could bring covenant wrath on Israel on Israel at any time, even long after the covenant has been (was) abrogated.
Let’s just change that up a little, and see if Terry truly believes what he wrote.
Any provision of a covenant can be applied at any time, even long after the covenant has been abrogated.
The Old Testament (covenant) promised blessings on Israel–such as restoration to the Land, the Temple, Jerusalem, etc., for keeping the covenant.
Therefore, God could bring covenant blessings on Israel–such as restoration to the Land, the Temple, Jerusalem, etc., for keeping the covenant, at any time, even long after the covenant had been abrogated.
Terry, do you believe that God could today, apply the COVENANT BLESSINGS on Israel, such as the restoration to the land, the city, the Temple, etc., even though, according to you, the covenant was abrogated at the Cross?? DO NOT FAIL TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION!!
Will you tell us that covenant WRATH could be applied after the abrogation of the covenant, but that covenant BLESSINGS could not be applied? If not, why not?
Will you say, “No, covenant blessings cannot be applied, because the covenant is no longer in force”? Okay, how is covenant WRATH applicable, but covenant blessings aren’t?
Here is an affirmative argument, based on the truth concerning the applicability of covenant provisions, and using Terry’s own admissions:
The fall of Jerusalem was the application of the provisions of the Mosaic Covenant– the provision of Wrath due to violation of the Covenant (Terry Benton, and more importantly, Deuteronomy 28:49f– the Law of Blessings and Cursings).
But, the application of the provisions of the Mosaic Covenant would only be valid as long as (while) the Mosaic Covenant was still in effect (binding).
Therefore, the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, being an application of the provisions of the Mosaic Covenant, demonstrates (proves), that the Mosaic Covenant was still in effect (binding) in A. D. 70.
The only way for Terry to negate this argument is to prove beyond doubt that the provisions of a covenant are indeed applicable after that covenant has been abrogated, and he simply cannot do that.
Let me make another affirmative argument, in regard to this issue:
ROMANS 11 AND GOD’S COVENANT WITH ISRAEL
In Romans 11:25-27, Paul anticipated the salvation of “all Israel.” (It cannot be the church, because whoever the Israel is that Paul is discussing, she was the enemy of the Gospel when Paul wrote, v. 28f!).
That salvation would be in fulfillment of God’s covenant promises “for THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, when I take away their sin” (Romans 11:26-27).
That salvation would come at the parousia, as promised in Isaiah 27 and 59.
So, Isaiah 27 and 59 were Old Covenant promises made to Israel, to bring salvation at the parousia.
THIS PROVES, IRREFUTABLY, THAT THE OLD COVENANT WAS STILL IN EFFECT, BECAUSE GOD, THROUGH PAUL WAS REAFFIRMING HIS OLD COVENANT PROMISES TO ISRAEL!
Now, the coming of the Lord here cannot be Christ’s first coming, for it would be the coming of the Lord, foretold by Isaiah 27 and 59.
The coming of the Lord foretold in Isaiah 27 and 59 would be the coming of the Lord in judgment of Israel, when He would turn the altars into chalk stone (Isaiah 27:9f), and when He would judge Israel for shedding innocent blood (Isaiah 59:3, 6-7). Patently, Jesus did not do that at his first coming, but, he did in the judgment of Jerusalem for shedding innocent blood, in that generation (Matthew 23:29f).
SO, HERE IS MY ARGUMENT:
Christ would come in the judgment and salvation of Israel in A.D. 70 (Isaiah 27, 59, Mat. 23).
That coming of Christ in the judgment and salvation of Israel would be in fulfillment of YHVH’s covenant promises to Israel (Romans 11:26-27).
Therefore, God’s covenant with Israel, both blessings and cursings, would remain valid until it was fulfilled when Christ came in judgment and salvation of Israel in A.D. 70.
We will eagerly await Terry’s (scriptural) explanation of how a covenant can be annulled, no longer valid, and yet, the provisions of that annulled covenant could (can!) still be applied!
Terry says that the passing of the Torah and the resurrection are not synchronous events. He did not offer one scintilla of evidence for this claim, he just asserted it. Not good enough, and, worse, it violates the text of 1 Corinthians.
Let’s see: the Torah is– STILL IS per Terry– the strength of sin, and sin is the sting of death. One day, per Terry, physical bodies will come flying out of the ground. Terry, will the Torah, at that point, no longer be the strength of sin, and will sin no longer, at that point, be the sting of death? Yes or No? If the Torah, at that point, is no longer the strength of sin, doesn’t that make the passing of Torah and resurrection synchronous?
MY BERLIN WALL ILLUSTRATION
Terry gives a trifling and illogical response to my Escape From Berlin illustration. My point was and is this: just like those in East Berlin could, and often did, escape from the Law of Berlin, those in the first century who accepted Christ, and entered his death, died to the Law. That is precisely and undeniably what Paul affirmed in Romans 6-7. And Terry cannot deny this.
I proved that during the first century transitional period, individuals were dying to the Law by entering Christ, but, that the Torah itself was in the process of passing away (2 Corinthians 3:10f)– an argument that Terry totally ignored). Further, while they escaped from the power of the Law through Christ, the Law itself remained valid until it was all fulfilled, as Jesus’ own words in Matthew 5 prove beyond doubt.
I made the following argument on Galatians 4:22f:
The bondwoman represented the Torah –God’s Covenant with Israel. This text proves several things:
a.) Israel had not yet been cast out, contra Terry’s claim, because, ISRAEL WOULD BE CAST OUT FOR PERSECUTING THE SEED OF PROMISE. Terry has Israel cast out before she ever persecuted the seed of promise!
b.) The covenant had not yet been cast out–passed away.
Terry appealed to Romans, which certainly does mention the casting out of Israel–but, it also teaches that God was not yet through with Israel! There was an already-but-not-yet reality at work.
Paul makes the undeniable claim that the bondwoman and her son– the Old Covenant and Old Covenant Seed, was to be cast out, FOR PERSECUTING THE SEED OF PROMISE! That is simply undeniable! And, what is also undeniable is that THE OLD SEED DID NOT PERSECUTE THE SEED OF PROMISE BEFORE THE CROSS OR PENTECOST! So:
The Old Covenant (and the Old Covenant Seed) would be cast out for persecuting the New Covenant children of promise.
But, the Old Covenant Seed did not persecute the New Covenant Seed prior to the Cross or Pentecost.
Therefore, the Old Covenant and the Old Covenant Seed, were not cast out at the Cross or Pentecost.
Terry says that Preston “had to appeal to the present tense verb of Colossians 2″ to uphold my theory. WELL, I PLEAD GUILTY OF HONORING THE TEXT! Unfortunately, Terry cannot honor the text with his view, so, he ridicules me for staying with the text–and common sense!
Furthermore, it is here that we find more of Terry’s vacillation and self-contradiction.
Terry tells us, “I argued that the law could be abolished without “passing” and be “changed” without passing.” (End quote). He even said ,“We are not arguing about whether the Law ever ‘passed away’ at all.” (End quote). Now, folks, if ever there was double talk, here it is!
How can something be abolished, and yet not pass? How can something be changed, i.e no longer valid, obligatory, and yet, not pass?
In Matthew 5:17, Jesus said “Do not think that I am come to destroy (katalusai) the Law or prophets…not one jot or one tittle shall pass (parelthe) until all is fulfilled.” Now, clearly, PASSING and being DESTROYED are being used synonymously by our Lord. So, you cannot have the law passing without being destroyed, and you cannot have it destroyed without passing. Terry’s attempt at a dichotomy between the ideas is just so much vain sophistry that violates the text.
Note also that Terry keeps telling us that Colossians says that the Law passed–but of course it didn’t really “pass” after all! However, I have shown repeatedly that the Greek of the text, according to many Greek scholars, (e.g New International Greek Text Commentary for one), does not say or mean that it was the Law that was nailed to the Cross, BUT THE OBLIGATION TO KEEP THE LAW, FOR THOSE IN CHRIST. This the point I have made repeatedly. Terry blindly ignores it, and keeps repeating his traditional view that is not grounded in the text, and complains that I honor the actual text!
Terry appeals to v. 16, “let no man judge you…” and claims, “if there were still obligation they should have been judged regarding these things.”
I am sorry, but it certainly appears that Terry is purposely distorting what I have said, or is purposely ignoring it!
Terry agrees that the Gentiles were not under Torah, right, Terry?
The issue in Colossae was the Judaizers who were attempting to judge the Gentile Christians according to Torah! Right, Terry?
Paul is both using the Jewish concept (those who died, died to Torah, cf. v. 11-13), as well as the Gentile standing, to reinforce his teaching. They had entered the power of Christ’s death (buried with Christ in baptism, v. 12), they were Gentiles also. Therefore, by entering the power of Christ’s death, they could and were supposed to resist those who would judge them according to Torah.
Terry totally ignores the context and my arguments, to simply repeat his tradition views that are totally out of step with what the text says.
He does the same with Peter, by the way. He claims that God was telling Peter to sin– if Preston’s views concerning Torah were correct– in Acts 10. Terry, why don’t you stop misrepresenting what I have actually said?
Had Peter entered the power of Christ’s death? Yes or No? Had he died to the Law by doing so? Yes or No? Now, if you say, No, you deny Romans 7:4. If you say Yes, then you have destroyed your own argument about Peter! So, which is it?
HEBREWS 8:13: READY TO VANISH AWAY
The writer of Hebrews says that the Old Covenant itself, THE COVENANT, was, when he wrote, ready to vanish away (Hebrews 8:13).
Incredibly, in response to this, Terry argues that from the moment Jeremiah gave the promise of the New Covenant, that the Old Covenant was “ready to vanish.” This is rather amazing, for it means that before the entirety of the Old Testament was even revealed, it was ready to vanish away! Let me make a couple of points on Hebrews 8 and Terry’s argument.
First, There were several books of the OT. written, revealed, after Jeremiah wrote. Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, etc.. Yet, according to Terry, before those books were ever revealed, they were “obsolete and ready to vanish away!”
Second, Terry’s operative principle on Hebrews 8 is that the moment the promise of something new was given, then the first became obsolete and ready to pass. Well, according to Terry, in the New Testament, almost immediately after the establishment of the church as the New Creation, the apostles began to promise the New Creation (Acts 3). So, based on Terry’s logic (?), this means that immediately after the establishment of the church, the church age became obsolete and “nigh unto passing,” because the apostles were now promising a New Creation! Terry is that what you believe? Did the church, that will never pass away, that has no end, (Isaiah 6:9f; Daniel 2; 7; 12; Ephesians 3:20-21), become obsolete, and ready to vanish, within just a few DAYS of Pentecost?
Third, Terry what does “nigh” mean? Is the end of the church age near? When John and Jesus said “the kingdom of heaven is at hand” they used the same word “engus” (in the perfect tense). Terry, could “at hand” in Matthew 3:2 and Mark 1:15 entail a period of time as long as the time from Jeremiah to Hebrews? You say that the “at hand” of Hebrews 8:13 spanned from Jeremiah to Hebrews, so, again, could “at hand” in Matthew 3:2 and Mark 1:15 entail a period of time as long as the time from Jeremiah to Hebrews? Are you telling us that “nigh unto passing” can be extrapolated into hundreds, perhaps thousands of years? If “at hand” in regard to the establishment of the kingdom cannot extend for hundreds of years from Matthew/Mark, then the passing of the Law being “nigh” in Hebrews, cannot extend from Jeremiah to Hebrews!
Fourth, Terry argues that in fact, all that was nigh unto passing in Hebrews was the VISIBLE EXTERNAL TEMPLE AND CULTUS that the Jews were continuing to observe, although it was already passe. It would be nice if Terry would have given us some contextual, exegetical proof of this, but he did not do that. The problem for his view is that the writer of Hebrews is discussing the promise of the COVENANT, the covenant as the grounds of relationship between YHVH and Israel.
Did Jeremiah promise a New Covenant, and the passing of the Old Covenant, or was he promising only THE PASSING OF THE VISIBLE ASPECTS OF THE OLD COVENANT? That is what Terry has to be arguing! The writer of Hebrews is basing his theology, of what was passing and what was being established on what Jeremiah predicted. According to Terry, what the Hebrew writer–and thus Jeremiah– was saying was that only the visible remnants of the cultus was to pass! But, Jeremiah foretold THE NEW COVENANT. The Hebrew writer, citing Jeremiah, said the Old Covenant was, when HE wrote, not when Jeremiah wrote, “ready to vanish away.”
Fifth, the Old Covenant is never called the Old Covenant until the New was being revealed! 2 Corinthians 3 is the very first text to call the Torah the “Old Covenant.” Don’t you think that if the Old Testament prophets understood that the Torah was “nigh unto passing” from the very day that Jeremiah uttered his prediction of the New Covenant, that they would have, at least once, referred to the Torah as “old and nigh unto passing”? They didn’t do this however, because they did not share Terry’s illogical view of Jeremiah’s promise, or of the meaning of “nigh.”
HEBREWS 9: THE PRESENT TENSES, AND THE TIME OF THE REFORMATION
Terry’s desperation, and ignorance of prophecy, comes shining through when he approaches Hebrews 9. Three words exemplify his response to this text, obfuscation, evasion, and self-contradiction.
I want everyone to note how desperately Terry tries to avoid the present tense verbs of the text. He complains that Preston keeps appealing to the actual inspired text! GUILTY AS CHARGED!
Take note however, that Terry VERY SUBTLY TURNS THE PRESENT TENSES INTO PAST TENSES AS HE DESCRIBES THE TEXT! Did you notice that? He does the same with Hebrews 7:12, insisting that the present tense there is a past tense! He ignores, totally, the argument that I made:
1.) The Greek is present tense showing that a change of the Law was in process, just as 2 Corinthians 3, and the present tenses there, and in Hebrews 9 and 10 prove. But, Terry cannot honor the Greek text in all of these passages, so he ridicules me for doing so! That is not argumentation.
2.) He ignored the fact that the Hebrew writer says Christ could not be a priest on earth, because there are priests who minister according to the Law. So, the Levitical priesthood requirements of the Law would prevent Christ from serving as priest if he were on earth. That demands that the Levitical priesthood requirements of the Law were valid!
3.) Christ had died to the Law, and entered the MHP where Torah was not imposed, and where he could, and does serve in the Melchisedec priesthood.
Terry says we should be wary of anyone that resorts to eschatology to avoid the topic of the Law (as we have noted, a manifestation of his own failure to understand the relationship between the issues). Well, eschatology and Covenant are related, and Terry’s denials mean nothing. What we should in fact be wary of is any doctrine that has to CONSISTENTLY DENY THE FORCE OF THE GREEK TEXT TO MAINTAIN ITSELF!
Terry tries to deflect the power of the present tenses by claiming that what was at stake was simply that, “those things were still in play by disobedient unbelievers, not because they were doing the will of God and fulfilling ‘obligations’ that God still place upon them.” (End quote)
This denies the text:
The text says those things were imposed. WHO IMPOSED THOSE THINGS, UNTIL THE TIME OF REFORMATION?
Terry claims that the time of reformation had already come. Well, again, this denies the present tense verbs. WORSE, IT DENIES THE PROPHETIC BACKGROUND OF THE “REFORMATION!”
In Hebrews 9 the time of reformation is the time of the fulfillment of Israel’s promises, contained in the types and shadows of the sacrificial cultus.
In prophecy, the time of the reformation, (the diorthosis), was the time when the promises of Israel’s salvation would be realized.
Jerusalem would be established, (diorthosis), at the coming of the Lord in judgment and salvation (Isaiah 62:7-11). The LXX uses diorthosis in verse 7 to speak of the restoration of Jerusalem/Israel when YHVH would be married to His people, and given them then New Name, the Gentiles would be called, and the parousia would occur.
Thus, the diorthosis would occur at the parousia in fulfillment of God’s Old Covenant promises to Israel. And, in Hebrews 9, the diorthosis would occur when the promises contained in the sacrifices, feast days and commandments made to Israel were fulfilled!
The time of the reformation (diorthosis) would be the time when Israel’s promises of salvation were fulfilled at the coming of the Lord (Isaiah 62:7-12).
The time of the diorthosis would be when the prophetic elements contained in the Temple cultus were fulfilled, and man could enter the presence of God, i.e, the time of salvation (Hebrews 9:6-10).
Therefore, the time of the diorthosis, the time when man could enter the presence of God, would be when Israel’s promises of salvation were fulfilled at the coming of the Lord.
(Of course, this agrees perfectly with Hebrews 9:28 that the time of Christ’s coming would be the time of salvation, i.e. the time when man could enter the presence of God, the diorthosis!!)
Let me expand on this, by reiterating my argument from the previous affirmative:
The time of the reformation (diorthosis, Hebrews 9:10), is the same as the time of the restoration of all things (apokatastasis, Acts 3:19-24).
The time of the apokatastasis is the time of the parousia of Christ (Acts 3:23-24).
Therefore, since the time of the reformation and the time of the restoration are synchronous, then the time of the reformation is the time of the parousia of Christ.
The time of the reformation is the time of Christ’s parousia, (being the time of the restoration).
The time of the reformation is the time of the end of the Mosaic Law (Hebrews 9:6-10).
Therefore, the time of the end of the Mosaic Law is the time of Christ’s parousia.
If therefore, Christ has not come, the time of the restoration has not come.
If the time of the reformation has not come, the Mosaic Law is still imposed.
Now, Terry simply denied the argument, with no scripture, no real argument, no exegesis. His rebuttal consists in, “Christ removed the Law at the Cross, the reformation took place then, and Christ has not come.” I think that anyone can see through this specious attempt at refutation. This is not proof!
THE FACTS ABOUT APOKATASTASIS AND DIORTHOSIS:
1.) The words apokatastasis and diorthosis are virtual synonyms. Both are used in extra-Biblical texts to refer to putting things back into the proper condition. Both are used interchangeably. The lexical evidence on this is clear and undeniable.
2.) The prophets use diorthosis to speak of the time of Israel’s salvation (Isaiah 62), and they use apokatastasis to speak of the time of Israel’s salvation (Malachi 5:5-6), and both use the word in the context of the coming of the Lord! The disciples used a form of apokatastasis in Acts 1 when they asked about the restoration of Israel.
3.) The Greek commentators (cf. Ellingworth on Hebrews 9, in the New International Greek Text Commentary) say that the two words are synonymous.
So, Terry is at odds with the lexicons, the use of diorthosis in the prophets, and the Greek commentators, as well as the NT use of the words. My argument therefore, connecting Acts 3 and Hebrews 9 stands solid, and shows that the Old Law would remain until the parousia, the diorthosis / apokatastasis.
Lamentably, Terry reveals his ignorance of the text and of the relationship between Covenant and eschatology, by denying that the fulfillment of Hebrews 9–the time of reformation– has anything to do with the parousia. All of the above falsifies his view, but, let’s look closer.
The writer of Hebrews sets forth the typological praxis of the High Priest on the Day of Atonement, and shows that Christ’s High Priestly function was the anti-typological fulfillment.
Just as the High Priest offered the sacrifice, “Now once, at the end of the ages, Christ has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” (9:26)
Just like the High Priest entered the Most Holy Place, to appear in the Presence of God on the behalf of the people, “Christ has entered, once, into the Holy place, to prepare a place.” (9:24)
Now, at this juncture, we need to ask: TERRY, WERE THESE ACTIONS BY JESUS THE ANTI-TYPOLOGICAL FULFILLMENT OF THE ACTIONS OF THE OLD COVENANT HIGH PRIEST ON THE DAY OF ATONEMENT, YES OR NO? (Now, I have never, ever, known of a c of C preacher to deny that they were, so, it will be interesting to see what Terry has to say!)
To continue, just as the High Priest came out of the MHP to declare and manifest the completion of the Atonement process, the writer says, “to those who eagerly await him, he shall appear the second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” Terry, is this the parousia of Christ? Is it the “Second Coming?”
Now watch, Christ would appear the second time, for salvation, “FOR the Law, being a shadow of good things about to come, can never by those sacrifices that they offer year by year continually make the comer thereto perfect.” (that is the sacrifices of the High Priest on the Day of Atonement that is the focus of his comparison).
I ask that the readers note the force of that “for” of chapter 10:1. It connects Christ’s second coming to the present tense verbs of the Law, and the necessity for Christ to fulfill those types that were still, at the time of Hebrews, still “symbolic of the present time.”
Here is the argument:
The Old Law, with its sacrifices and feast days, would be obligatory until the time of the reformation.
The time of the reformation would be the time when what those things foreshadowed (prophesied) was fulfilled.
As long as those things stood valid, there was no access into the Most Holy Place, the presence of God.
The actions of the High Priest on the Day of Atonement, his offering of the sacrifice, the entrance into the MHP, and his coming out of the MHP, were part of the typological (prophetic) aspects of the Old Law that were imposed until the time of reformation, the time when what those things foreshadowed was fulfilled.
Therefore, the Old Law would remain imposed until Christ fulfilled the Day of Atonement actions of the High Priest, his offering of the sacrifice, the entrance into the MHP, and his coming out of the MHP.
The Old Law would remain imposed (obligatory) until Christ fulfilled the actions of the High Priest on the Day of Atonement, his offering of the sacrifice, the entrance into the MHP, and his coming out of the MHP.
CHRIST HAS NOT YET COME OUT OF THE MHP IN FULFILLMENT OF THE TYPOLOGICAL (PROPHETIC) ACTIONS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT HIGH PRIEST ON THE DAY OF ATONEMENT. (TERRY BENTON).
Therefore, the Old Law remains imposed (obligatory) until Christ returns out of the MHP to fulfill the typological elements of the Old Law and the actions of the High Priest on the day of Atonement.
Thus, Terry’s view of eschatology negates his view of the Law, but, his view of the Law contradicts his view of eschatology! And yet, he tells us that the two issues are unrelated to each other!
TAKE NOTE OF THE FOLLOWING:
Terry has told us that some prophecies of the Old Testament could remain unfulfilled even today, even though, he says, the Law was removed at the Cross.
Well, Hebrews 9 says that the prophetic elements of the Temple cultus–including the Day of Atonement praxis– were imposed until the time of the reformation.
As long as those elements stood unfulfilled there was (is!) no access to the MHP.
THAT BRINGS US BACK TO CONSIDER THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TORAH AND ENTRANCE INTO THE MOST HOLY PLACE
I asked Terry some questions about what happens to the faithful child of God today, when they die physically, do they go to Hades and Abraham’s bosom, or directly to heaven? Terry said it is a little of both! I responded that all c of C preachers would find his answers confused and confusing, and from the response I have gotten, my prediction was spot on!
I made the following argument:
As long as the Mosaic System was imposed, there was no access to the Most Holy Place, the presence of God (Hebrews 9:6-10).
But, there is no access to the Most Holy Place, today, even for the faithful child of God that dies physically. (Terry Benton). (That access will not become open until the end, not of the Mosaic Covenant Age as Hebrews suggests, but, at the end of the New Covenant Age, per Terry!!)
Therefore, the Mosaic System remains imposed today.
Consider this then:
The prophetic elements of the Temple cultus– including the Day of the Atonement praxis– were imposed until the time of the reformation.
Included in the Day of Atonement praxis was the return of the High Priest out of the Most Holy Place, to consummate the Atonement.
Therefore, the prophetic elements of the Temple cultus– including the Day of Atonement praxis of the High Priest coming out of the Most Holy Place to consummate the Atonement– would remain valid until Christ fulfilled that element of the Temple cultus.
Building on that, please note:
The prophetic elements of the Temple cultus– including the Day of Atonement praxis of the High Priest coming out of the Most Holy Place to consummate the Atonement– would remain valid until Christ fulfilled that element of the Temple cultus.
Christ would fulfill the Day of Atonement praxis of the High Priest coming out of the Most Holy Place to consummate the Atonement at his “Second Coming” (Hebrews 9:28).
Christ has not yet come to consummate the Atonement at his “Second Coming” (Terry Benton).
Therefore, the prophetic elements of the Temple cultus–including the Day of Atonement praxis of the High Priest– remain valid today, and will remain valid until Christ’s “Second Coming” to consummate the Atonement.
This proves that Terry’s claim that some prophecies could remain unfulfilled, while the Torah was removed, is falsified. The commands of the Temple cultus, the Feast Days, the carnal ordinances, etc would remain valid until what they foreshadowed–including Christ’s “Second Coming”– fulfilled those types and shadows! Terry must deal with this issue of the fulfillment of ALL of the types, shadows, Feast Days, and carnal ordinances, which would find their fulfillment at the coming of the High Priest (Jesus!) out of the Most Holy Place!! All he has done is to claim that Christ fulfilled them at the Cross! No, he didn’t, for TERRY HIMSELF BELIEVES THAT CHRIST HAS NOT YET FULFILLED THE TYPOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF THE DAY OF ATONEMENT!
In response to my arguments about entering the MHP, Terry says I am confused. He says <<“Christ is our forerunner, and that means that one day we will get to enter the Most Holy Place.” (End quote)
You will seldom find anything more evasive, desperate or obfuscatory than this!
It is not a question of whether Christ is our forerunner. It is not a question of whether he has shown us the way.
The question is, and Terry knows this, WHEN DOES THE FAITHFUL CHILD OF GOD GET TO ENTER THE MOST HOLY PLACE?
Hebrews 9 says the way into the Most Holy would remain closed, as long as the Torah remained imposed.
TERRY SAYS THAT THE WAY INTO THE MOST HOLY PLACE REMAINS CLOSED AS LONG AS THE CHRISTIAN AGE ENDURES!
And, we are still waiting for an answer to the question: What is there about the gospel of Christ that prevents us from entering the MHP? I know what it was about the Torah, it could not forgive! So, if today, man still cannot enter the MHP, that must mean that the gospel does not, after all, give us what the Torah could not! Just exactly what is the good news about that??
According to Hebrews, and the rest of the Bible, however, it was not the removal of the Gospel that would allow man to enter the MHP, IT WAS THE REMOVAL OF THE OLD LAW!
CATCH THE POWER OF THIS!
If the MHP remains closed, inaccessible to the faithful child of God today, then the Torah remains binding, today, and there is no escape from this conclusion no matter how desperately Terry tries to avoid the force of this.
Terry refuses to tell us when the faithful child of God is allowed to enter the MHP! It is just “one of these days.” But, the readers of this debate can be assured of this, he does not believe that the faithful child of God enters heaven when they die! They get to go “someday,” and that someday for Terry is at the end of the Christian age, not at the end of the Torah, as Hebrews 9 posits it! That is what you believe, isn’t it Terry?
TERRY, TELL US PLAINLY, DOES THE FAITHFUL CHILD OF GOD ENTER DIRECTLY INTO HEAVEN AND THE PRESENCE OF GOD WHEN THEY DIE, YES OR NO?
If he answers Yes, he admits that the parousia has come, for no one could enter heaven until Jesus completed his Atonement praxis by coming out of the MHP!
If he answers No, this means, undeniably, that the Old Law remains as the barrier preventing man from entering the MHP today.
Which will it be, Terry, Yes, or No? DO NOT FAIL TO ANSWER THE QUESTION!
Here is the difference between the two disputants in this debate:
I stand with the author of Hebrews who said that entrance into the MHP would come at the termination of the Old Covenant.
Terry stands in direct opposition to this, insisting that entrance into the MHP will only come at the termination of the New Covenant.
A FINAL AFFIRMATIVE ON ENTERING THE MOST HOLY PLACE
I hope you will bear with me as I offer one more affirmative argument on entering the MHP.
Hebrews 9– Entrance into the MHP would occur at the time of the reformation, at the end of the Mosaic Covenant.
Revelation 11:19–>15:8– No man could enter the MHP until the wrath of God– in the seventh bowl– was completed.
Revelation 16:17f– The seventh bowl was poured out on the city of Babylon, that great city “where our Lord was slain” (Revelation 11:8), the city guilty of shedding the blood of the prophets (Revelation 16:6– cf. Luke 13:31f), the city guilty of killing the apostles and prophets of Jesus (Revelation 18:20, 24–cf. Luke 11:49f)–which is none other than OLD COVENANT JERUSALEM.
So, the argument is this:
Entrance into the MHP would be when the Mosaic Law came to an end (Hebrews 9).
Entrance into the MHP would be when God’s vengeance was completed, in the judgment of Babylon of Revelation (Revelation 16-18).
Babylon of Revelation was Old Covenant Jerusalem (Where our Lord was slain).
Therefore, entrance into the MHP–and thus, THE END OF THE MOSAIC LAW– was when God’s vengeance was completed in the judgment of Old Covenant Jerusalem.
I know God’s vengeance was completed in A.D. 70 because this is what Jesus said: “These be the days of vengeance, when all things that are written must be fulfilled.”
I know that all things were fulfilled, as Jesus said in Matthew 5:17f, because this is what Jesus said in Luke 21.
So, the conflation of Luke 21—>Hebrews 9:6-10—> Revelation proves, indisputably, that the Mosaic Law was removed at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
SOME CONCLUDING MATTERS
for brevity, I will confine myself to a few closing observations.
1.) Terry misrepresented what I said, claiming, <I said Don’s claim that “the Law’ is always comprehensive is proven invalid if there are exceptions. Don now concedes that and that he was wrong.” (End quote)
1.) Terry, why did you misrepresent what I said? I said no such thing, and you know it!
I said that the term “the Law” when used WITHOUT A CONTEXTUAL QUALIFIER, invariably referred to the Torah. I said that the normal usage of the term “the Law” was comprehensive.
2.) An exceptional definition of a word or term in one text does not destroy or change the definition of that word or term in all contexts, and you cannot impose that exceptional definition on any other context. Yet, this is precisely what Terry is doing! He finds where “the Law” is used, WITH CONTEXTUAL QUALIFIERS, in another text, and demands that the limited definition be imposed on Matthew 5 where there are no contextual qualifiers. This is a horrid hermeneutic.
4.) Since the normal use of the term is comprehensive, it is your obligation to show that, since there is no contextual qualifier in Matthew 5:17f that it is not being used in its normal comprehensive manner. You are simply distorting what I said, because you cannot answer it with scripture.
5.) I DID NOT SAY that if you could find an exception to the normal use of the term that it would invalidate my position. I said that there are texts where contextual qualifiers define the term in a non-comprehensive manner. This does not negate the normal comprehensive definition! Please do not distort what I said.
6.) The reader will note that Terry used the term “Don admits,” “Don is now forced to admit” etc., several times, to give the impression that I have surrendered my point. The trouble is that TERRY IS FORCED TO DISTORT AND MANIPULATE WHAT I SAID in order to get any “admissions” out of me! That is hardly an honorable way to engage in controversy.
TERRY’S THREE QUESTIONS AND MY RESPONSES
Terry asked three good questions, and I spent considerable space giving solid Biblical answers to them. Now, he insists that I did not actually answer the questions. Well, my responses destroyed his paradigm, he didn’t like it, so he says I didn’t really answer them. Let’s take a very quick look.
1.) <<Question: How long is man obligated to keep ALL the Law including its types and shadows.
Summary of Don’s answer: Till every promise was fulfilled in A.D. 70.>>
Terry’s response: <<Then Peter was still under the food laws in Acts 10.>>
RESPONSE: I addressed this above, but, again, this ignores what scripture says about dying to the Law by entering the death of Christ. Terry, had Peter died to the law by entering Christ, Yes Or No? Your response is irrelevant and misrepresentative.
2.) Question: What kind of promises can God make, and do they all have to be fulfilled within the same time-frame as man’s obligation to the Law of Moses?
Terry says I did not answer the question about what kind of promise God can make, but that I “herded” all of the promises into a stall called ‘all eschatological promises of the end of the age.’”
RESPONSE: Well, it is true that I did not spend a lot of time specifically using the term, “Kind of Promises.” However, what I did show, and what Terry ignored, was that all eschatological promises are in fact related to the end of the Old Covenant age, not the end of the New Covenant age.
Lamentably, Terry says, “I do not need to get into an eschatological and end of the age discussion.” TERRY, YOU COULD NOT BE MORE WRONG! Is entrance into the MHP an eschatological, and end of the age discussion? Yes or No?
Is resurrection an eschatological and end of the age discussion? Is the New Creation an eschatological topic? (You will note that Terry totally ignored my arguments on the relevance of these topics, simply brushing them aside.)
Of course these things are eschatological! And, these would occur when “the law” that was the strength of sin was removed, when Old Covenant Israel was destroyed, when the Torah was taken away. So, whether you make the “law” the Torah as the strength of sin, as you have already done, or make it the gospel, which is an abominable concept, then you cannot discuss eschatology without discussing the passing of covenant! Your failure or refusal to recognize the connection is truly lamentable, and your misrepresentation of what I have said about these things is equally wrong.
3.) Terry’s third question was: <<Are all of God’s promises and predictions, though recorded in the Old Testament records, automatically tied to the Law of Moses so that God could not release man from his obligations before God has fulfilled every promise and prediction on every subject?>>
RESPONSE: Terry insists that I did not really answer this, but of course, I did. I showed that in fact, all eschatological promises given in the O. T. are related to the end of the Mosaic Age. All that Terry can do in response is try to create enough smoke so that the readers do not realize that he has not dealt with my affirmatives. Instead, acting as if he is in the affirmative, he says that I must follow him! Sorry, I will not leave my affirmatives to follow every trifling issue, every “what if” question that can be raised, nor is it my obligation to do so. I have answered the relevant questions, because they are truly related to the issue, and have used the questions as the ground for positive affirmatives that Terry has not touched, top, side, or bottom!
In my final affirmative, I have reiterated and strengthened my original arguments.
I have shown that Terry is either ignorant of the millennial Law doctrine, or purposely misrepresented their view, in order to make his case.
I have shown where Daniel 12 predicted the resurrection at the end of the Old Covenant Age of Israel in A.D. 70, and shown the total illogical and self-contradictory nature of Terry’s response to Daniel 12.
I have shown repeatedly, that Matthew 5:17-18 demands that all of the O.T. not just some commands, and not just some prophecies, but all of it, just as Jesus said, had to be fulfilled for the Law to pass. I have shown that Terry’s position is that only SOME of the commands and only SOME of the prophecies– by his own admission!– had to be fulfilled. Terry admitted that some prophecy had to be fulfilled for the Law to pass! REMEMBER THIS, FOR IT IS FATAL TO HIS POSITION! If any prophecy had to be fulfilled, then prophecy is included in Jesus’ words in Matthew 5;17f, and that means that, after all, all prophecy had to be fulfilled.
I proved from Romans 11 that God’s covenant with Israel remained valid, and would remain valid until the parousia, an argument totally ignored by Terry.
I proved that the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 would be when the Law that was the strength of sin was removed. Terry admitted that the Law that was the strength of sin was the Mosaic Torah. This admission proves the validity of my proposition, and proves that all eschatology is covenantal. I offered an affirmative on 2 Corinthians 3– Terry ignored it.
I proved from Galatians 4 that the Old Covenant and people would be finally cast out for persecuting the church. This proves my affirmative.
I proved from Colossians 2:16 that it was not the Law that was nailed to the Cross, but obligation to keep the Law for those entering the death of Christ. This totally destroys Terry’s paradigm, and yet, he has not offered one scintilla of exegetical refutation. Instead, as I have noted the many present tense verbs used to describe the then on-going passing of the Law, all he could do was ridicule me for honoring the Biblical text!
I have focused on the entrance into the MHP, and shown, irrefutably, that the way into the presence of God is related to the end of the Mosaic Law, at the parousia of Christ, to fulfill the typological actions of the High Priest on the Day of Atonement. I have proven beyond any possibility of refutation that if man cannot enter the MHP today, then the Mosaic law remains valid, and that, in fact, Terry does not believe that man today is able to enter the MHP until the end of the Christian age!
I have, finally, shown that entrance into the MHP would not only come at the end of the Mosaic Law, but that Revelation undeniably posits entrance into the MHP at the time of the judgment of the city “where our Lord was slain.” That can be no other city than Jerusalem, and my affirmative is firmly established.
I have therefore, in every way, rebutted all of Terry’s attempts to negate my affirmatives, and I have proven my proposition.