RESPONDING TO THE CRITICS: SAM FROST: UP SIDE DOWN- #4
THESE THINGS MUST SHORTLY COME TO PASS
Everything above lays great stress and importance on accepting the incredible imminence found in the book of Revelation. Of course, you need to understand that Frost overtly dismisses any idea of objective imminence in the Bible in regard to eschatology. He literally scoffs at anyone that would dare to appeal to the time texts and is on record as saying that he just does not care what the Bible says about the time of fulfillment. He knows that if he grants, for even one moment, in even one text, the objective imminence of the Lord’s coming in judgment, the kingdom, the resurrection, that his futurist views go up in smoke.
The greatest Greek scholars in the world reject Frost’s attempt to mitigate the time element of imminence in scripture. Even Frost’s “supporters” know that linguistically it is untenable to turn the time words of imminence in Revelation into statements of mere “certainty,” or “rapidity,” or “spatial nearness.”
Kenneth Gentry for instance, says this of Revelation 21: “It seems clear from the time statements in Revelation following the New Jerusalem imagery that this must come to pass not long after John wrote (Revelation 22:6, 7, 10)” (He Shall Have Dominion, Draper, VA., Apologetics Group, 2009), 147, n. 44).
Gentry also comments on the language of Revelation:
“Another detriment to the strained interpretations listed above is that John was writing to historical churches existing in his own day (Rev. 1:4). He and they are presently suffering “tribulation” (Rev. 1:9a). John’s message (ultimately from Christ 1:1) calls upon each to give careful, spiritual attention to his words (2:7 etc). John is deeply concerned with the expectant cry of the martyrs and the divine promise of their soon vindication (6:10; cp. 5:3-5). He (John, DKP) would be cruelly mocking their circumstances (while committing a ‘verbal scam’ according to Mounce) were he telling them that when help comes it will come with swiftness–even though it may not come until two or three thousand years later.” (Gentry, The Beast of Revelation, (Powder Springs, GA, American Vision, 2002)27).
Gentry’s comments directly refute Frost’s claims that, “Behold, I come quickly” refers to “swiftness– even though it may not come for two or three thousand years.” Gentry calls that interpretation (which is Frost’s claim) “a verbal scam.” I could not agree more!
Commenting on Revelation 3:10f, Gary DeMar says:
“Revelation 3:10 says ‘Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.’ This passage was written nearly two thousand years ago. The ‘hour of testing’ was ‘about to come upon the whole earth [Greek, oikoumene: the inhabited earth]. This means not long after the time it was spoken. That hour of testing was the conflagration leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, the tribulation period from which Christians were warned to ‘flee,’ which they did” (Matthew 24:16)” (Gary DeMar, Last Days Madness, Powder Springs, GA., American Vision, 1994), p, 229, n. 18).
Likewise, Joel McDurmon, former president of American Vision, said this in his helpful book, Jesus V Jerusalem– “God’s answer to the prayer of the martyrs (Luke 18) would be, “the great judgment He had just described in Luke 17:26-37; see also Revelation 11:18)” (Joel McDurmon, Jesus V Jerusalem, Powder Springs, GA.; American Vision, 2011), 114). The judgment that he refers to is the judgment of Israel / Jerusalem in AD 70.
It is clear that Frost is at direct odds against those who support him in his efforts against the truth of Covenant Eschatology. They know what the Greek actually says, and they honor it; Frost rejects it.
To suggest that there is no language of objective imminence in Revelation is literally incredible. Yet that is precisely what Frost claims.
Nonetheless, notice just some of the many references to the imminence of fulfillment.
1.) Revelation 1:1—“things which must shortly take place.”
2.) 1:3 – “the time is at hand.”
3.) 2:5 – “I come quickly.”
4.) 2:16 – “I will come quickly.”
5.) 3:11– “Behold, I come quickly.”
6.) 10:6 – “No more delay.”
7.) 11:14 – “Third woe comes quickly.”
8.) 12:12 – “Knows he has a short time.”
9.) 14:7 – “The hour of His judgment is come.”
10.) 22:6 – “Must shortly come to pass.”
11.) 22:7 – “I come quickly.”
12.) 22:10 – “Time is at hand.”
13.) 22:12 – I am coming quickly.”
14.) 22:20 – “Surely I come quickly.”
Consider Revelation 1:1-3 a bit more closely, in light of Mark 13:32f. In Mark, Jesus said “no man knows the day or the hour, no not the angels, but my Father only.”
But, notice what Revelation 1:1-3 says:
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.
So, in the Olivet Discourse Jesus said that the Father alone knew the day and the hour of Jesus’ coming. Well, now, in Revelation 1 what do we find? We have the Father, who knew the Day and the Hour of Christ’s coming, sending the message to the churches – through Jesus! – that, ” these things must shortly come to pass”; “the time (the appointed time, the day and hour appointed by the Father, Acts 17) was now “at hand!
It needs to be pointed out as we continue Responding to the Critics, that Frost tries to make “shortly” and “quickly” to mean rapidly, with speed, and not imminently. In other words, Frost claims that what Jesus meant when he said he was coming quickly was that his coming might not be for a million years. However, when he finally gets around to coming, he will take the fastest cloud out of heaven! This makes a mockery of the language of Revelation, especially in light of the fact that the promise of his soon coming was to give comfort to the saints being persecuted for their faith, that the time of their vindication and relief was coming soon, quickly and shortly.
Did the Father alone know that Christ would come “rapidly” on a fast cloud, but not soon? Why would that need to be hidden from him and the saints? The fact is that the statement, “no man knows the day or the hour” has absolutely nothing to do with the rapidity of that Day. It is the time of its occurrence. Are we to believe that it took a special revelation from the Father to let Jesus know that when the time of his coming actually arrives (who knows when?) that it would occur rapidly and with speed?
Notice what Greg Beale, a highly respected Greek scholar, has to say about the message of the judgment of Babylon foretold in Revelation 14, where it is said:
“Babylon is Fallen…The hour of her judgment has come.” The Angel tells Christ to thrust in the sickle for the time has come. Beale says; “Christ must be informed by God about the time for the judgment to begin, since, ‘of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Greg Beale, New International Greek Commentary, Revelation, (Carlisle, PA; Paternoster, 1999), 772).
So, in Revelation, we have the Father, who knew the Day and the Hour of Christ’s coming, the judgment and the resurrection, revealing to the Son, who in turn revealed it to the churches, that “these things must shortly come to pass… the time is at hand.” There is simply no way to escape, to avoid, to mitigate or nullify this language. All one can do to escape it is to pervert it- which is precisely what Frost does. He turns the text upside down.
Kurt Aland (1915-1994) a Greek scholar of international repute offered this on Revelation 22:12:
In the original text, the Greek word used is TACHU, and this does not mean “soon,” in the sense of ‘sometime,’ but rather ‘now,” immediately.’ Therefore, we must understand Revelation 22:12 in this way: ‘I am coming now, bringing my recompense.’ The concluding word of Revelation 22:20 is: ‘He who testifies to these things says, ‘surely I am coming soon.'” Here we again find the word, TACHU, so this means: ‘I am coming quickly, immediately.’ This is followed by the prayer: ‘Amen, Come, Lord Jesus!’ . . . The Apocalypse expresses the fervent waiting for the end within the circles in which the writer lived – not an expectation that will happen at some unknown point X in time (just to repeat this), but one in the immediate present. (Kurt Aland, A History of Christianity: From the Beginnings to the Threshold of the Reformation, trans. James L Schaaf, (Philadelphia, PA; Fortress, 1985), 1:88).
Make no mistake, Aland was a far better Greek scholar than Mr. Frost. His academic and linguistic accomplishments are truly impressive. His comments effectively falsify Frost’s desperate attempts to escape the imminence of Christ’s coming, the judgment and resurrection in Revelation. Bible students should bow to these forceful time statements. Yet, Frost denies that even one of these statements indicate the objective imminence of Christ’s coming, the hour of judgment.
The reality is that if entrance into the MHP, discussed in our previous article, would occur at the end of Torah, then Frost is forced to the position that the language of imminence is in fact objective. Consider the following.
Frost argues that the Law of Moses passed at the cross. But if that is true, then it destroys Frost’s contention that billions of saints entered heaven before the end of the Law. As demonstrated, per Hebrews 9 there could not be entrance into the MHP as long as Torah remained “standing” i.e. having validity and as long as it was “imposed” (from ἐπικείμενα epikeimena, Strongs #1945).
Notice Frost’s dilemma and violation of scripture. Remember that he says man could and did enter the MHP long before Christ came and long before the end of the Law of Moses; even long before the Law of Moses was ever given.
No man could enter the MHP – heaven – until the end of the Law of Moses– Hebrews 9:6-10.
The Law of Moses ended at the Cross– Sam Frost.
Therefore, from the cross onward, (and not before) man could enter the MHP.
This patently contradicts Frost’s claim that the faithful entered heaven long before the Cross, long before Christ came, long before Torah was even given!!
But, there is more.
No man could enter the MHP – heaven – until the wrath of God was finished in the judgment of Babylon – Revelation 15.
But, Babylon was Old Covenant Jerusalem.
Therefore, no man could enter the MHP until the judgment of Old Covenant Jerusalem.
This falsifies Frost’s claim that the saints entered the MHP before the end of Torah and before AD 70. Furthermore, if Frost were to claim (he doesn’t) that it was from the Cross onward man could enter the MHP, that flies in the face of Revelation- not to mention his own claims. As we have seen from Revelation 11 & 15, no man – NO MAN – could enter the MHP until the judgment of Babylon. There is no escaping that language. It is undeniable.
And look closer.
If it is true that no man could enter the MHP -heaven – until the judgment of Babylon,
If it is true that the judgment of Babylon is still future (Is this what Frost now believes? He refuses to identify Babylon in his current view),
It must be true that no man can enter the MHP – heaven – until the yet future judgment of Babylon.
Based on this, we offer this:
It is true that no man could enter the MHP until the judgment of Babylon,
It is true that the judgment of Babylon is still future (Frost is free to correct this, but, I anticipate total silence. If he wishes to correct this, I will gladly take note of it).
Therefore, it must be true that no man can enter the MHP until the yet future judgment of Babylon.
So, if Frost identifies Babylon as some present or future city, then since no man can enter the MHP, the presence of God, until the judgment of Babylon, this turns Frost’s contention that billions of saints went to heaven prior to Christ, prior to the giving of Torah, and certainly prior to that yet future judgment of any proposed future Babylon, upside down.
We have shown that Frost’s latest attempt to refute Covenant Eschatology is just another in a long line of failed commentary and unsupported claims. His “Up or Down” article is a confused and confusing, self-contradictory piece that ignores the actual context of the passages that he alludes to, and imposes on them ideas that violate that context.
I have shown that the “be faithful until death” cannot be divorced from the “hold fast until I come” texts. The “until death” is in the context of martyrdom, and “until I come” is Christ’s coming in vindication and relief from that martyrdom– all within the context of imminence.
I have shown that Frost’s position on the entrance into the MHP – heaven – is completely untenable and un-Biblical. His refusal to clearly identify and define the MHP is more than revealing of the fact that he knows this issue is an explosive land mine for him.
Likewise, Frost’s refusal to offer an identity of Babylon of Revelation shows that he knows that this issue is also fatal for his futurism. His apparent current rejection of the firmly established identity of Babylon as Old Covenant Jerusalem exposes his desperation. He must, absolutely must, offer an identity of Babylon that agrees with the data in Revelation, but there is no futurist view that properly deals with that evidence.
We have effectively proven that the language of Revelation cannot be “elasticized” ignored or denied without doing violence to the language and message of Revelation. Frost’s attempts to mitigate that language literally turns the language upside down.
We have effectively proven that Mr. Frost’s article, and his eschatology, is upside down.