Responding to the Critics: A Response to Jason Bradfield on Luke 21:22 – #3
More Desperation from the Partial Preterist Camp
This is the third installment in response to Jason Bradfield, a caustic and acerbic “associate pastor” for a Presbyterian church. After posting another article on the authority of the creeds, responding to Bradfield’s claim that the Westminster Confession of Faith is authoritative, Mr. Bradfield told me on Facebook to cease and desist from tagging him. Little wonder! His ugly spirit and his utter failure and inability to answer Biblical arguments has been more than evident to observers.
Keep in mind that this series is in response to an article that Bradfield posted just recently claiming to be the answer to Luke 21:22. He admitted in that article that a “simple reading” of that passage would indicate that all prophecy was fulfilled in AD 70. He said:
“It is no secret that this is standard, hyperpreterist fare. So, the question posed to us “partial preterists” is a simple one: if Jerusalem was destroyed in ad70 and by that event, Jesus said that “all things that are written must be fulfilled”; how can we argue that there is prophecy left to be fulfilled post ad70?
Seems fairly plain, right? Well, not so fast.”
So, Bradfield admits that a simple reading of the text sounds simple and “fairly plain.” But, of course, he knows that to accept that meaning is to falsify the entirety of futurism, so, he casts around to find a way to deny that “fairly plain” reading. He then assures us that the “all things fulfilled” of Luke 21:22 refers only to the prophecies of the AD 70 fall of Jerusalem and “all” of the particulars surrounding and tied to that event. And that is fine with me!
In the first two installments,#1 #2 I have shared with the reader that the OT prophesied the AD 70 fall of Jerusalem, and attendant with that awful judgment, there are numerous eschatological ‘particulars” such as the resurrection, the Messianic Banquet, the establishment of the kingdom, the end of the age, the salvation of Israel, etc., etc.. When I have challenged Mr. Bradfield to answer these arguments, his response has been more name calling, more ungodly verbiage, and a total refusal to engage the issues. But, let’s face it: if one admits, as proper hermeneutic and exegesis demands, that the OT prophecies cited did predict that AD 70 judgment, then Mr. Bradfield’s eschatology is false. It cannot be salvaged. Thus, when he admits that “all”- and he did mean “all” prophecies of the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem were fulfilled then, he has surrendered his futurist eschatology.
Let me then continue to examine some more key OT prophecies of the AD 70 judgment of Jerusalem and the Temple. Just do not lose sight of the fact that Mr. Bradfield admits that all prophecies of trhe AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem were fulfilled in the first century. Thus, all of the particulars contained in the prophecies to be examined were also fulfilled.
Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Behold, My servants shall eat, But you shall be hungry; Behold, My servants shall drink, But you shall be thirsty; Behold, My servants shall rejoice, But you shall be ashamed; Behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart, But you shall cry for sorrow of heart, And wail for grief of spirit. You shall leave your name as a curse to My chosen; For the Lord God will slay you, And call His servants by another name; So that he who blesses himself in the earth Shall bless himself in the God of truth; And he who swears in the earth Shall swear by the God of truth; Because the former troubles are forgotten, And because they are hidden from My eyes. “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, And her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, And joy in My people; The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, Nor the voice of crying.
What do we find in this marvelous prophecy:
★ The sin and the judgment of Old Covenant Israel. Going back to v. 6f we find the prediction of Israel filling the measure of her sin bringing about her destruction.
★ The utter destruction of Old Covenant Israel– “ You shall leave your name as a curse to My chosen; For the Lord God will slay you, And call His servants by another name.”
★ The creation of a New People, with a New Name.
★ The New Creation of the New Heavens and Earth, the New Jerusalem.
So, here is an undeniable prophecy of the ultimate destruction of Old Covenant Israel– “the Lord God shall slay you.” And yet, rising from the ashes of that destruction – which assuredly involved the destruction of Jerusalem- comes the New Creation! (For brevity, we will not discuss Isaiah 66, which contains the identical motifs. E. G. We find the destruction of the city at the coming of the Lord in flaming fire, and the ensuing New Heavens and Earth).
So, once again, we find some incredible “particulars” inextricably linked with the destruction of Jerusalem. Is there any doubt that Isaiah 65 applied to AD 70? This is established by the following:
Israel / Judah was not utterly destroyed either by the Assyrians or by the Babylonian invasion. Jerusalem and the temple was surely destroyed by the Babylonians but, the rest of the narrative in Isaiah 65 precludes the ultimate application to that event.
God did not create a New People after the Babylonian destruction.
God did not give a New Name to a New People after BC 586. (And, we might add, that other parallel prophecies offer that the New Covenant would be confirmed and fully established with the passing of the Old Covenant Creation).
God did not bring “everlasting life” to Jerusalem after the destruction of the sixth century BC. The depiction of the long life is a hyperbolic and figurative expression of eternal life in the kingdom.
Isaiah 65: 19 says that in the destruction of Jerusalem that is in view, “the former things shall not be remembered.” This highly significant language means, in short, that the former creation of the Old Jerusalem would no longer have a covenant relationship with the Lord.
For God to “remember” someone, either positively or negatively, meant that He brought the covenant terms to memory and applied either blessings or cursings in conformity with the covenant provisions. So, God would destroy the Old Creation of Old Jerusalem, and that Old Creation would no longer be “remembered.” The covenant provisions would no longer be valid because the New Covenant would then be in force! The reality is that God’s covenant with Judah remained valid in and until the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70! Thus, the destruction of Jerusalem foretold in Isaiah 65.17 spoke of a time when, after the application of the covenant judgment sanctions, that covenant would then no longer be “remembered.” It would be the end of Israel’s covenant relationship with YHVH. That was in AD 70. This is Daniel 12:7. See my comments below on this.
As Isaiah predicted (65:6f), Israel filled her sin in the time of Jesus (Matthew 23:29-34). And, she was utterly destroyed at that time. Likewise, a New Creation of the body of Christ arose at that time, with a New Name and a New Covenant.
So, if, as Bradfield concedes, all the prophetic particulars surrounding the fall of Jerusalem were fulfilled in AD 70, this logically demands that the New Heavens and Earth, with the New Jerusalem, became a reality in AD 70! Needless to say, this is fatal to Bradfield and his mentor Sam Frost.
At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever. “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” Then I, Daniel, looked; and there stood two others, one on this riverbank and the other on that riverbank. And one said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?” Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.
What did Daniel predict?
✪ The Great Tribulation (v. 1).
✪ The Resurrection (v. 2).
✪ The righteous shining in the kingdom (v. 3)
✪ The time of the end (v. 3-4).
Now, to those who honor scripture, Jesus’ application of Daniel in Matthew 24 is the final word. He emphatically applied Daniel’s prophecy of the Great Tribulation to the events leading up to the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70 (Matthew 24:15f). It is an incredible tragedy to witness the utter desperation of men like Sam Frost, who once taught the truth of Covenant Eschatology only to abandon it, literally butcher Daniel’s prophecy.
Frost now claims that the Great Tribulation occurred at the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. However, verse 2 is actually a prediction of the resurrection of biological bodies coming out of the literal dirt, at some imaginary “end of time.” And thus, as I have noted many times, Frost has become the epitome of a Dispensational Gap Advocate! He inserts, so far, a gap of 2500+ years into the period at the end of Daniel 12:1!! When challenged on this, he has simply claimed that verse 2 does not say when the resurrection would be! This in spite of the fact that he once realized and wrote that the grammatical structure of the text does demand that verse 2 is tied directly to verse 1. I must confess that such illogical and desperate “arguments” makes our job of Responding to the Critics incredibly easy!
Notice also that in Matthew 13:43 Jesus applied Daniel 12:3 to the coming “end of the age” (using the identical distinctive Greek term for “the end of the age” that the disciples understood to be tied to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, in Matthew 24:3). So, Daniel foretold the end of the age when the righteous would shine in the kingdom. Jesus anticipated that very “end of the age”, citing Daniel, and in Matthew 24:3, the disciples understood that the end of the age was directly linked with the coming destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple.
In Daniel 12:6-7, one angel asks another when the previous things would be fulfilled. Heaven’s answer was this: “when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.”
Heaven did not say “some of these things will be fulfilled.” Remember that Frost has the Tribulation fulfilled in the time of Antiochus. Then he has the resurrection at the end of time. Then, he has the Abomination and the “time of the end” in the time of Antiochus as well. So, Frost turns the text upside down. He has the angel saying that SOME of the things foretold would be fulfilled in the time of Antiochus, but, SOME, would not be fulfilled at that time. Amazing. Let me make a couple of quick observations here:
The events of Antiochus were, no doubt, horrific. But, they did not hold a candle to the events of the Jewish War of 66-70! The city and the temple were desecrated and defiled, but, neither the city or the temple were completely destroyed as in AD 70. That is an undeniable fact of history. No amount of denial can change this. To reiterate: the awful events of the days of Antiochus do not compare to the Jewish War in any way! What Daniel 12 foretold was the ultimate Tribulation, the true end of the age (which did not come under Antiochus), the kingdom did not come at that time.
There is a final thought here- although many others could be given – and that is that the “power of the holy people”, i.e. her covenant relationship with YHVH, was not shattered in the days of Antiochus. In fact, due to the zeal of the Maccabeans, Torah observance experienced a resurgence! This is critical. Israel’s covenant relationship with YHVH was her only power! It was not her military might. It was not her numbers. It was one thing: the fact that the Lord had chosen her and given her His covenant! But, just like Zechariah 11 shows, the time was coming– which is what Daniel 12:7 foretold – when God would break the covenant with both houses of Israel. That would be in the day when they would eat the flesh of their own children (Zechariah 11:9f) – which was fulfilled in AD 70!
And so, one more time, we have several of the major “particulars” surrounding and inseparably tied to the destruction of Jerusalem:
The Great Tribulation – Now, the last time I looked, Bradfield acknowledged that this was fulfilled in the Jewish War, but, since his mentor Sam Frost now longer seems to agree with this, he may now not hold to this. It matters not, however, since it is the Truth.
The Time of the End, the End of the age.
The righteous shining in the kingdom.
The Abomination of Desolation – which of course, would lead to the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:15-21).
The “shattering of the power of the holy people”– the end of God’s Covenant relationship with Old Covenant Israel. This is, of course, precisely what Isaiah 65-66 foretold as well, and posited at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem.
So, when it is admitted by Bradfield, and Frost, or anyone else, that “all things written” in Luke 21:22 refers to all of the particulars of the destruction of Jerusalem and were in fact fulfilled in AD 70, then they have admitted – whether they want to admit it or not – that “all of these things” (again, not some, not even most, but ALL THESE THINGS” were fulfilled, “when the power of the holy people” was shattered in AD 70.
There are other OT prophecies of the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem and the end of God’s covenant relationship with Israel, but, these that we have given are more than sufficient to establish that Mr. Bradfield’s admission is indeed a fatal admission. To say that all of the prophecies of the AD 70 judgment of Israel and the destruction of the city and temple were fulfilled in AD 70 is to totally surrender any futurist eschatology. In our next installment, we will begin looking at the NT prophecies of the AD 70 judgment and all of the “particulars” surrounding that age ending event. Stay tuned as we continue Responding to the Critics!
Be sure to get a copy of my book, Seal Up Vision and Prophecy, for a powerful demonstration that Daniel 9:24f predicted that all prophecy would be fulfilled in the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem.