Olan Hicks -V- Don K. Preston Debate on the Coming of the Lord– Preston’s Third Affirmative

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Frankly, I was hoping for more of a debate, but, having discussed eschatology with Olan before, I feared it would be “more of the same.” I would present careful, textual, exegetical analysis; he would offer: “Preston is wrong, because my eyes are not seeing what my ears are hearing.” Unfortunately, my fears have come true.

Has Olan answered my arguments?
Olan signed rules promising to follow my affirmative material, without obfuscation or evasion. He likewise signed rules agreeing not to offer Red Herring arguments. He has undeniably violated the rules. (I will be glad to share the rules he signed with anyone interested). Seeking to justify his utter failure, Olan posted that all I do is, “throw out scripture after scripture and a thousand words of explanation” that does not allow for response. Why not, Olan? What prevents you dealing with my arguments? He said (in spite of the rules he signed), “What we have to do is simply point out that the passages offered do not say what is attributed to them and that the argument based on them does not prove their proposition.”

The question is, did Olan prove anything, anything whatsoever, about my affirmatives? The answer  is a resounding NO!

I presented careful, analytical exegesis of key OT prophecies. I produced from those texts explicit statements that they foretold:
The last days coming of the Lord.
The end of the millennium resurrection.
The destruction of Satan.
The vindication of the martyrs.
All of this is emphatically, specifically, and expressly tied to the judgment of Israel.

Did Olan go to a single one of the texts and show my analysis to be wrong? No.

Did Olan deny that the texts predicted the resurrection? No, he admitted it. He did say a word or two about Daniel 12, more on that below, but not the other texts.

Did Olan deny that the texts predicted the vindication of the martyrs? No, he admitted it.

Did Olan deny that these texts foretold judgment on Israel. No, he admitted it.

Olan simply claimed– without a syllable of proof– that the texts do not teach what I affirm. Olan, this is not debating. To simply claim– without a word of proof– that the texts do not support my paradigm is nothing but your personal pontifications, which mean nothing.

In spite his glaring failure to address my arguments, Olan falsely claims: “I’ve replied to each one of Don’s arguments and where a particular passage was said to support the argument I have shown that that passage does not say it.” Olan did no such thing!
Try to find his comments on Deuteronomy 32. Not there.
Where is his response to Isaiah 2-4?
What did he say about Isaiah 25-27? Not a syllable.
What did he give us on Isaiah 59? Not a key stroke.

It is patently disingenuous for Olan to say he responded to each of my arguments. He did no such thing.

Before continuing my affirmative material, let’s go over my first three points again and demonstrate how untenable Olan’s “arguments” are.

Point #1– Paul’s One Eschatological Hope
I presented explicit statements of scripture proving that Paul’s eschatology was from the OT, and was, “no other thing than that which was spoken by Moses and the prophets.” Olan says this is wrong, that Paul never said this. This is stunning.
Acts 24:14f- Paul said his resurrection doctrine was from “the law and the prophets.” It was not “new, gospel revelation” divorced from Israel and the OT. His resurrection doctrine was directly from “the law and the prophets.”
Acts 26:6-7 – Paul said he was on trial “for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers, unto which promise, our twelve tribes, instantly serving God night and day, hope to attain.” Paul said he was on trial for the hope of Israel, the OT promises made to the twelve tribes.” Olan rejects these explicit statements, claiming Paul was on trial for preaching the gospel.

For Paul, the preaching of the gospel was the proclamation of the fulfillment of God’s Old Covenant promises made to Israel (Acts 13:32f).

Acts 26:21; cf. 28:20 – Paul’s words are explicit; he preached nothing but what Moses and the prophets said would happen. Olan says no, that is wrong, Paul preached the gospel. Olan posits a contrast between God’s promises to Israel and the gospel, a contrast that contradicts Paul and all New Testament writers.
Romans 8:23-9:3 – Paul said the resurrection doctrine of the adoption, the redemption of the body, belonged to Israel after the flesh. Olan denies these explicit statements and says, No, the resurrection doctrine belongs to the church, divorced from Israel and the OT. Olan is wrong.

Incredibly, Olan claims that the resurrection was not the hope of Israel because of Israel’s “ignorance” of righteousness (Romans 10:1-4). This is unmitigated desperation. Paul did not say the resurrection was not the hope of Israel in Romans 10:1-4. He castigated Israel for her ignorance about her own scriptures! Olan is grasping at broken straws.

I noted that Paul’s resurrection doctrine was from Isaiah 25. Incredibly, Olan says, “Paul did not get his doctrine of the resurrection from Isaiah.” Ironically, Olan admits the OT did predict the resurrection, but, Paul supposedly did not get his doctrine from those OT prophecies! He notes that Paul got his gospel from Jesus.

Well, just as Jesus did on the road to Emmaeus, when he opened the eyes of the disciples to the true meaning of scripture, he did for Paul. Thus, Paul could rightly say he got his gospel from Jesus. Yet  it was equally true that his gospel was “nothing but the hope of Israel” found in the law and prophets. Olan’s “argument” fails.

Olan appealed to 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, where Paul said that he had delivered the gospel to the Corinthians. Olan claims that Paul’s gospel message was not from the OT!

Paul said, “I delivered first of all that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures” (v. 3). Well, Isaiah 53 predicted that Christ would die for the sins of the people So, Paul’s gospel was the good news of the fulfillment of God’s OT promises to Israel.

Paul also said that he delivered to them…”that he rose again from the dead according to the scriptures” (v. 4). Hosea 6 foretold the raising on the third day.

Paul also said, “when the mortal shall put on immorality… then shall be brought to pass the saying, death is swallowed up in victory, O death where is your sting…” Paul was quoting directly from Isaiah 25 and Hosea 13. He expressly said the resurrection would fulfill Isaiah 25 and Hosea 13. Paul’s resurrection doctrine is undeniably from the OT.

My Point #2 – Matthew 5:17-18
Over eight times Olan claimed that his eschatology is based on nothing but the “explicit statements of scripture” while claiming that my position is based on implication. This is false.

In fact, Olan turns Jesus’ explicit words in Matthew 5:17-18 upside down.

Jesus said, explicitly, that “until heaven and earth (ouranos / ge) passes away,” not one iota of the Law of Moses would pass. The passing of “heaven and earth” and the passing of the law are inextricably tied together by Jesus’ express statements.  Olan tells us that the words ouranos (heaven) and ge (earth) must mean literal creation. Now, my Adventist friends insist that the language is clear, explicit and undeniable. Heaven and earth have not passed, therefore, Torah (and Sabbath)  remains valid. Does Olan honor Jesus’ words? Not even close.

By Olan’s hermeneutic: “If my eyes don’t see it, it isn’t true” not one jot or one tittle of the Law of Moses has passed, because literal heaven and earth clearly have not passed. Olan rejects these unambiguous words.

Jesus also explicitly said, “not one jot or one tittle shall pass from the law until it is all fulfilled.” Olan denies that every jot and tittle of the law had to be fulfilled for it to pass.

Olan says the Law passed at the cross, but the promises of the end in the law– a lot of jots and tittles– are unfulfilled. This means that SOME of the law passed away, but SOME remains binding. This denies Jesus’ explicit words.

Note the contrast: Jesus explicitly said heaven and earth would not pass until all the law was fulfilled, and that none would pass until it was all fulfilled. Olan says some passed, but some remains valid and heaven and earth have not passed. The contrast between Jesus and Olan could not be more dramatic, emphatic or clear. Olan is wrong.

While we are on the explicit words of scripture, look again at my argument on 2 Thessalonians 1.

Paul was writing to the first century church at Thessalonica.

Paul explicitly says they were being persecuted.

Paul explicitly promised that church relief from that persecution “when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven.” It would  be impossible for Jesus to give the Thessalonians relief from their persecution at his parousia, if the Thessalonians are not still alive, being persecuted, at the time of the coming!

Paul explicitly said “those who are troubling you” (which could not be the Romans, the Roman Catholic Church, etc.) would be cast out of the presence of the Lord for persecuting the Thessalonians. I asked Olan what people dwelt in the presence of the Lord, but, who would be cast out of the Presence for persecuting the True Seed. Olan said that was the Jews.

Now, entrapped by the explicit statements of Thessalonians and historical realities, Olan changes his story. He says: “I did not agree that the Jews were the only people who would be cast out of the presence of God. I agreed that they were one group of which many would be cast out.”

Reader, go back and read his answer. He made no such comment as he now claims! He never even implied such an answer. His answer is correct, but it  entrapped him, so, he is now changing horses in midstream. It will not work. The only people who ever dwelt in the presence of God, but, who were to be cast out for persecuting the True Seed was Old Covenant Israel (see Galatians 4:22f).

To suggest that there are “many” different groups who dwelt in the Presence of God, but who would be cast out for persecuting the Thessalonian church, distorts and denies the explicit words of Thessalonians.

Olan, 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? Do not fail to answer this question.

It does not matter if Olan attempts to say the Roman Catholic church, or whoever.  He is wrong. Paul was not talking about some future persecution, by some unknown persecutor, in some distant generation. He was speaking to and about the persecution taking place against the Thessalonians– 2000 years ago– and promised that “those who are troubling you” (the Jews and no one else) would be cast out of the presence of God for that persecution. These are the express words of scripture that Olan flatly rejects.

So, here was Paul, writing about the Jews who were persecuting the True Seed at Thessalonica (and other areas of course), and he explicitly said they would be cast out of the presence of the Lord for that persecution. Olan rejects these clear cut words, and says Paul was not talking about the Thessalonians, or even about “those who are troubling you”, but rather those who “do not obey the gospel,” at some unknown time, so far 2000 years removed from the Thessalonians. This is an artificial and false distinction,

The Bible actually accused the Jews of not knowing God (due to their sinful actions) and, the Jews are explicitly said not to have obeyed the gospel (Romans10:16; 11:30). Clearly, “those who are troubling you” can refer to the Jews as those who had not obeyed the gospel, So, once again, Olan’s failure to accept the express statements of scripture– and his desperate attempt to create a false division in the text– is revealed.

Paul, explicitly promised the Thessalonians church relief from the persecution they were enduring at that time, at the parousia, and expressly said that their persecutors would be cast out of the presence of the Lord at that time. Words could not be clearer.

Note again that in 2 Thessalonians 1 when Paul said the persecutors of the Thessalonians would be cast out of the presence of the Lord, he quotes directly from Isaiah 2:19 (LXX)! Let me repeat my argument that Olan ignored.

Isaiah 2-4 foretold the last days Day of the Lord (2:19f) when the Lord would come in vengeance on Jerusalem for her blood guilt, and, Israel would be cast out of the presence of the Lord for her blood guilt “by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of fire” (4:4).

In Thessalonians, Paul, who preached nothing but the hope of Israel found in the prophets, promised the church at Thessalonica, that Isaiah 2-4 (also Isaiah 66, perhaps more on that later) was about to be fulfilled at Christ’s coming against their Jewish persecutors, who would be cast out of the presence of the Lord.

This agrees perfectly with what Jesus said in Matthew 23, that all of the blood of all the martyrs- all the way back to creation- would be vindicated and judged in his generation, in the judgment of Jerusalem.

Matthew 23 was being fulfilled in the church at Thessalonica, Corinth, Ephesus, et. al. The measure of sin / suffering was being filled up, and judgment was near. Olan divorces these texts from Jesus’ words but gives us no contextual, exegetical support for his rejection of Jesus’ explicit teaching.

It would be impossible for Christ to give the Thessalonians relief from persecution at his parousia, unless they were alive, under persecution at that time. So, I asked Olan if this means that the Thessalonians will be resurrected in the future, and be under persecution at the parousia, when Christ will give them the promised relief. Olan says that is a “ridiculous question.”

No, it is not. It is Olan’s “answer” that is ridiculous- but it entraps him! He simply offered:  “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering into His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.” (Heb. 4:1).

You really must catch the power of this!
1.) Olan equates the “rest” of Thessalonians with “rest” Hebrews 4 and he posits fulfillment in our future.
Paul promised the Thessalonians relief from persecution, “when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven.” So, by positing fulfillment of Thessalonians in our future, Olan demands the very thing that he called “ridiculous!”

2.) Like Thessalonians, Hebrews was written to Christians under persecution (10:32f).

3.)  Like Thessalonians, Paul promised the Hebrews imminent vindication and relief at the parousia that was coming “in a very, very little while” (v. 37).
Olan says time statements are relative and mean nothing. Olan, does that mean “repent for the kingdom of heaven has drawn near” (Matthew 3:2) is a relative, subjective term, that perhaps has not yet been fulfilled as the dispensationalists argue?

God can tell time. When God communicated imminence to man, and like Olan, men said time is relative, God condemned man for relativizing those words into meaninglessness (Ezekiel 7-12).

4.) Paul promised relief and vindication for that first century suffering by twice quoting directly from Deuteronomy 32– the Song of Moses. The Song foretold Israel’s last days, when Israel would be judged for shedding innocent blood. Hebrews was anticipating the very, very soon coming of Christ in fulfillment of the Song. Olan ignored my arguments on the Song, and rejects Paul’s explicit application to his generation because of his preconceived ideas.

Olan queries: “Why did the destruction not happen at Thessalonica?”
The Jewish War was “world-wide” (Luke 21:25-26). Furthermore, by destroying the source of the Jewish persecution, i.e. Jerusalem, God dealt effectively with the situation in Thessalonians. When you cut off the head of a snake, you destroy the snake. Remember, Saul had “letters of authority” from the Jerusalem Sanhedrin, to persecute Christians in Damascus.

Olan is patently panicked about Daniel 12.

Olan argues on Daniel 12: “There were many occasions when people were resurrected from the dead, not just one.” He thus attempts to divorce Daniel 12 from the end of the age resurrection. But, look closer.

Daniel 12 foretold the resurrection to eternal life. So, if Daniel 12 predicted the multiple physical resurrections in Jesus ministry, then of necessity, they were raised to eternal life, before the end of the age, before Christ’s parousia– and before the power of the holy people was shattered.

This raises a critical issue. If those instances are the fulfillment of Daniel, then, like Daniel said, they were raised to everlasting life. But Olan says we do not truly have eternal life, even today. What we have is the promise of eternal life.

According to Hebrews 11:39-40, the OT saints and the New would receive resurrection life at the same time. Olan has a handful of biologically dead being raised– to eternal life, per Daniel– but, nobody else gets eternal life until the end of time.

Further, if they were raised to eternal life in their immortal bodies, where are they? They should be still alive, right? After all, they supposedly got eternal life. So, where are they?

If Daniel 12 speaks of what Olan claims, then Daniel and the prophets were raised and rewarded (v. 13). Olan, show us where Daniel and the prophets were resurrected and rewarded in Jesus’ ministry! This is what Daniel clearly said would happen at the resurrection at the end, so, show us that fulfillment!

Daniel 12 foretold the resurrection, of the just and unjust, at the end of the age when the righteous would shine “like the brightness of the firmament” (v. 3).

In Matthew 13, Jesus foretold the harvest, of the just and unjust, at the end of the age (NOT the end of the world) when the righteous would shine like the sun (v. 43) a direct citation of Daniel 12:3!

So, Jesus posited the resurrection of Daniel at his coming, at the end of the age, (not the raising of a few people in Jesus’ ministry) and said that is when Daniel 12:3 would be fulfilled.

Daniel was told that the resurrection at the end of the age when the righteous would shine in the kingdom would be when the power of the holy people was shattered. Thus, Jesus’ coming, at the end of the age, when the righteous would shine in the kingdom, would be when the power of the holy people was shattered– AD 70.

Olan rejects Jesus’ application of Daniel 12.


Revelation 11:15f spoke of the resurrection at the seventh trump- the last trump of 1 Corinthians 15:50-51. This would be in fulfillment of the OT prophets (10:7f).

This is the time of the judgment of the dead. Remember my argument on 1 Peter 4. Olan said not one word about the anaphoric article which demands that Peter was affirming that the time had come for the judgment of the living and the dead. Olan’s “answer” is specious. He ignored the linguistic facts and express statements of the text.

Revelation 11 is the time of the rewarding of the prophets (v. 18).

It is also at the time of the judgment of the city “where the Lord was slain” (v. 8), the city spiritually called “Sodom.” We proved earlier from Deuteronomy 32 that in Israel’s last days, she would become like Sodom (32:32). Of course, Olan ignored this.

So, Daniel 12 foretold the end of the age resurrection when the prophets would be rewarded, when the power of the holy people would be shattered.
Revelation 11 speaks of the resurrection and rewarding of the prophets at the judgment of the city where the Lord was slain.
Scripture could not be clearer; but, Olan rejects these express statements.

Let me reiterate some of my points and add more material.

Daniel foretold the resurrection– 1 Corinthians 15 foretold the resurrection.

Daniel foretold resurrection to eternal life– 1 Corinthians 15 foretold resurrection to eternal life.

Daniel foretold the resurrection at the time of the end– 1 Corinthians foretold resurrection at the time of the end.

Daniel foretold the resurrection when the power of the holy people (Israel’s covenant relationship with God) would be terminated. 1 Corinthians 15 foretold the resurrection when “the law that is the strength of sin”would be overcome. We proved that the only law that was the strength of sin was Torah, and that Paul’s use of the term “the law” demands this definition.

So, if Daniel is not 1 Corinthians 15, Olan must demonstrate, exegetically, the differences between Daniel and 1 Corinthians 15. He did not even try. He ignored every one of these important comparisons.

Olan’s desperation is manifest. I challenged him to address my syllogistic arguments. He claimed that I did not truly offer “formal syllogisms,” because a formal syllogism has a major and a minor premise, with conclusion. Amazingly, he admits that I set forth premises and had a conclusion, but says I did not offer syllogisms. If I offered premises and a conclusion, I offered syllogisms.

Any first year logic student would scoff at Olan’s claim. The only reason he ignored my arguments is because he can’t negate them.

The resurrection in Daniel 12 is “out of the dust.” Isaiah 26:19 likewise foretold the resurrection “out of the dust.” We proved irrefutably– and Olan has not breathed on this–  that the resurrection of Isaiah 25-27 (the source of Paul’s resurrection doctrine in 1 Corinthians 15):
1.) Would be at the Lord’s coming.
2.) It would be at the destruction of Satan.
3.) It would be at the salvation of Israel.
4.) It would be when the Lord destroyed the fortified city, the altar of the temple, and would no longer have mercy on the people He created.
5.) It would be at the vindication of the martyrs– which in the clearest of language Jesus posited at the judgment of Old Covenant Jerusalem in AD 70.
Isaiah 26-27 is explicit and irrefutable- but, naturally, Olan ignored all of these express statements.

I made an extensive argument on 1 Peter 4:5-17. Olan claims that 1 Peter 4:7-17 refers to a local judgment, claiming simply, “this passage does not refer to an appointed day of judgment upon the world.” This denies Peter’s emphatic statements. It is pontification without proof.
It is the judgment of the living and the dead (v. 5). That is the “final resurrection”, is it not? How local was that?
It is “the appointed time,” for “the judgment” as I proved linguistically.
It was “the end of all things.” How local is the “end of all things”, Olan?
That end had drawn nigh (v. 7) and the time had come (v. 17).

So, once again, Olan denies the emphatic words of the text, because his preconceived ideas of the end don’t match what Peter wrote through inspiration.

Olan totally ignored my material on Daniel 12 and 1 Peter, so please, go back and read that again. But, for now, look at Peter and Revelation.

1 Peter and Revelation were written to the same churches (1 Peter 1:1 / Rev. 2-3).

Both books were written in the midst of persecution (1 Peter 1:4f/ Rev. 1:9).

Revelation predicted the imminent coming of a fiery trial of worsening persecution (3:9f). Peter speaks of the fiery trial “that is among you” (1 Peter 4:12– the Greek is in the present, not future tense). What John predicted to come soon, was now present in 1 Peter.

Both books speak of the persecution only lasting a short time (1 Peter 1:5f / 6:9-11).

Both books speaking of filling the measure of suffering (1 Peter 1:4f; 5:9-Greek text / Rev. 6:9-11) which agrees perfectly with Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 23, and Paul in Thessalonians, that Israel would fill the measure of her sin in the first century generation.

In both books, judgment on the persecutors and vindication of suffering was near: “the end of all things has drawn near”; “Behold, I come quickly”; “the time is at hand” “these things must shortly come to pass” (Revelation 22:6, 12, etc.).

To return for a moment to Daniel 12 and Revelation.

Daniel foretold the resurrection at the end of the age.
Daniel was told to seal his vision, because fulfillment  was a long time away, for long after his death, at the end of the age (v. 4, 9-13).

It was (to round the numbers off) 500 years from Daniel to John.

John reiterates the prophecies of Daniel (Revelation 11; 20:10f).
In stark contrast to Daniel, John was told not to seal his book, because the time for fulfillment was near. Simple logic demands that fulfillment was to be less than 500 years. After all, it has now been four times longer from John to the present than it was from Daniel to John.
But, Olan, because of his preconceived ideas, ignores this temporal contrast, and says “do not seal, the time is at hand” means nothing!
Well, a long time, demanding the sealing of his vision, meant something objective to Daniel. Thus, “the time is at hand, do not seal the book” must likewise be taken objectively. The time for fulfillment truly was near.

Notice now the perfect correlation between Jesus, Paul and Revelation.

Jesus in Matthew 21-23 – Jerusalem had killed the OT prophets. They would kill him. They would kill his apostles and prophets, filling the measure of their sin. Judgment– and vindication for the martyrs– would fall on them in that generation.

Paul – 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16– Jerusalem had killed the OT prophets– and Jesus. They were killing Jesus’ apostles and prophets, filling the measure of their sin. Judgment- and vindication for the martyrs– was near (2 Thessalonians 1:4f).

Revelation – “Babylon” had killed the OT prophets (16:6f) and Jesus (It is “where the Lord was slain”, 11:8). She had killed Jesus’ apostles and prophets (18:20-24; Directly echoing Matthew 23.  In Babylon was found “all the blood shed on the earth”). Her cup of sin was full (17:6). Judgment was near- “these things must shortly come to pass.” See my Who Is This Babylon? for a fuller discussion of these issues.

The correspondence is perfect, explicit and undeniable. This is not simply “similarity of language.” Olan rejects these undeniable statements. He is patently wrong.

I have given careful analysis, explicit words of the inspired text, that posit the end of the age resurrection at the first century judgment of Old Covenant Jerusalem. Olan has made false claims, given no exegesis, and offered pre-suppositional pontifications. He has given us nothing.