My Response to Sam Frost’s Analysis of our Debate- #2
Frost’s Point #2
Here is Sam Frost’s Second of Four Points in his analysis of our recent (May, 2020 formal radio debate. You can read my response to his first point here.
Frost– //Now, part of my strategy, which came off exactly the way I was hoping for, was to note that the end of the 1000 Years of Revelation 20 is interpreted by Mr. Preston as having ended in 70 AD. That means, the Devil has been thrown into the Lake of Fire. Don, who used to believe that this was the Devil, has now changed his mind (which took me by surprise). The Devil and his Angels thrown into the Lake of Fire in 70 AD were “apostate Jews”. Catch the power of that! You can hear it yourself. I quickly responded to 20.2 where the Devil is clearly defined. The same Devil in 20.10 that Don called, “the old covenant Jews.” Amazing. Where is the “principle of parsimony” now?//
Sam Frost – as is increasingly common these days – misrepresents me, just as his minions do.
Frost says that Preston once believed that the Devil was a spirit being but now has changed his mind (which took Frost by surprise). This alone is stunning since Frost has flip-flopped and changed his views more times than one can count, but he is “surprised” when someone else (supposedly) changes their position! More than a little inconsistency to be sure.
Frost asked me during the debate that if Satan was destroyed in AD 70 then how do we have evil today. I answered in the following manner:
Satan means adversary in both Hebrew and Greek. It can refer to anyone or anything that is the adversary of God. It does not always or of necessity mean a spirit being. Frost actually knows this, as any student of Scripture knows, or should know.
With that definition, Satan could be defined as a spirit being, or, any person or entity that stood against God.
As an example of the latter, I noted that Jesus called Peter “Satan”– “Get thee behind me Satan!” I asked Sam if Jesus was calling Peter the actual spirit being known as Satan, but Sam totally ignored the question and simply reposed his question to me.
I then noted that in the book of Revelation, Satan was the Adversary of God. But, that in the context of the book, “The Adversary” of God was “Babylon” the persecutor of God’s people, and that was Old Covenant Israel.
I then observed that when we realize that “Satan” can be (was) any entity that stood as the enemy of God, that if and when THAT enemy was destroyed, as in Revelation 20, Satan (Israel) was destroyed, there could still be sin and evil (As Revelation 21 depicts). The “Satan” under consideration was destroyed, but that did not mean that sin was destroyed. Frost ignored these points to simply scoff and ask whether Old Covenant Israel was in the Garden of Eden! (Which of course, I did not suggest or even hint at or imply). Frost was simply trying to deflect attention away from the fact that his fundamental premise had been destroyed and he had no answer.
Frost says: //I quickly responded to 20.2 where the Devil is clearly defined. The same Devil in 20.10 that Don called, “the old covenant Jews.” //
My Response: Well, what does Revelation 20:2, 10 say about the Devil? Read it yourself: “He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.” And in verse 10 the Satan– the Great Persecutor – was cast into the fire (which, by the way, matches 2 Thessalonians 1!)
Just exactly how does this address my argument? It doesn’t! It deflects attention away from it! But, ask yourself this question – which I did not have time to develop in the debate:
In Revelation, Satan is the great persecutor of the saints and the prophets, and the slayer of Jesus, and the killer of his apostles and prophets. So, exactly who was that?
Did a literal spirit being kill the OT prophets? Read Matthew 23:29f; Luke 11:29f; Luke 13:28f for the answer.
Did a literal spirit being known as the Devil / Satan personally kill Jesus? Read Revelation 11 for the answer. It was “the great city,” “where the Lord was crucified.”
Did a literal spirit being known as Satan kill the apostles and prophets of Jesus? Read Revelation 16:6-16; Revelation 17-18 for the answer– It was Babylon.
Very clearly and undeniably, a literal spirit being did not do any of this. Who does the Bible identify as that great persecuting power? Who does Revelation identify as Satan, the persecuting enemy / adversary of God? The answer is very simple– it was none other than Old Covenant Israel. It is, in fact, impossible to find a Biblical text that lays the guilt for committing these bloody crimes against God’s people at the feet of anyone other than Old Covenant Israel.
Thus, as I pointed out in the debate, Revelation 2 and 12 speaks of the “Synagogue of Satan,”- those who say they are Jews but are not, for they are liars” that was persecuting the churches. Who was that? Then, in chapter 12 we find that same scenario depicted, as “Satan” pursues the Seed of the Woman. But then, in Revelation 20, that great persecutor Satan is destroyed! If, throughout the Apocalypse, the persecutor of the saints is identified as Old Covenant Israel, then when we come to Revelation, what is the justification for saying that Satan, the great persecutor, is NOT Old Covenant Israel.
I also pointed out that no matter our identification of Satan, Paul was emphatic: “And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly” (Romans 16:20). Frost’s only response to this was to literally scoff at this emphatic time statement about the imminent destruction of Satan. All he could say was “See, I told you that Preston relies on time statements” – as if that is some kind of heinous, improper hermeneutical approach. I noted that it is truly sad when someone that claims to honor the Biblical text can only scoff at any appeal to what the Bible says about when things were to be fulfilled. But this is precisely what Frost did and does.
And of course, Mr. Frost did not touch these facts. But, he nonetheless says that his strategy came off exactly how he had hoped. Well, was his strategy to misrepresent me? He did that for sure! Was his strategy to ignore the Biblical data about the identity of the Great Persecuting Adversary (Satan) of God in Revelation? He did that perfectly! Was his strategy to ignore my responses except to ridicule them? Mission accomplished! Did Frost have a strategy of presenting any solid exegetical arguments? Evidently not, because he did not offer even one. Was his strategy to deflect, dodge and deny my arguments, with nothing but ridicule and by just ignoring them? Strategy fulfilled. Was his strategy to make one ad hominem argument after another, having nothing to do with the Biblical text? He fulfilled that strategy completely.
Interestingly, I have had numerous individuals contact me privately about the debate. To a person they have noted how Frost did not offer a single attempt to exegete even one text- not one. And he ignored my in-depth analysis of several texts. His key, foundational argument – his mantra – was, “If Preston is right, the church has been wrong for 2000 years!” Or, “Everyone knows what death, graves, resurrection means! Preston redefines everything!” But of course, these ad hominem arguments prove absolutely nothing, except to show that Frost did not and cannot sustain his new – and often idiosyncratic views– with scripture.
Don’t forget, in an upcoming article I will share with you a list of the many arguments that I made that Frost totally ignored, or simply ridiculed. I will finish my review of his four point analysis first, however. Stay tuned!