When Did The Millennium Begin? Don K. Preston’s Fourth negative
This is, unless my schedule changes, my next to last installment. Normal debate protocol suggests that Jonathan’s next affirmative will be his last, and my negative following that will be the last in the exchange. (I did not sign on for an “endless” debate. Since Jonathan led, that suggests that my last negative be the last installment). It remains to be seen if Jonathan will honor the normal protocol. Time permitting, and if Jonathan refuses to follow normal protocol, I may briefly address a given point or two.
Jonathan has totally surrendered this debate. Remember, Jonathan claims that the resurrection of Revelation 20 is the same kind of resurrection– the raising and restoration of decomposed human corpses at the end of time. And, he told us that the resurrection of the just (and only the just) was in AD 70!
I challenged him to show us the universal physical resurrection of the righteous that took place in AD 70! Where were the empty grave yards in AD 70? Jonathan’s response? Not a syllable!
He then assures us that the resurrection at the end of the Millennium is exclusively the resurrection (of human corpses) of the wicked.
Do you catch the power of what Jonathan has claimed! The resurrection– the physical resurrection per Jonathan– of the righteous was in AD 70. But, neither Jonathan or anyone else reading this debate was raised from biological death in AD 70. Furthermore, the righteous have no part in the resurrection at the end of the Millennium, per Jonathan. Logically then, NONE OF THE RIGHTEOUS THAT HAVE LIVED SINCE AD 70 WILL BE RAISED FROM THE DEAD! There is no resurrection to eternal life– in Jonathan’s paradigm– for any of the “righteous” since AD 70! (His appeal to Revelation 14:13 is self defeating. It demands that he be able to show us the current, on-going physical resurrection of the just!)
Since Jonathan affirms that the resurrection is the raising of decomposed corpses in AD 70, and that patently, irrefutably did not happen, his resurrection doctrine is falsified.
So, Jonathan, until you can document that the resurrection of decomposed human corpses occurred in AD 70, you have surrendered your eschatology.
Jonathan makes a great show of being “orthodox.” Ironically, Jonathan has condemned preterists in other chains for not being able to produce preterist testimony from the early church. Well, keep watching to see if he produces so much as a key stroke to support his claim of the universal physical resurrection of the just in AD 70! I have challenged him repeatedly to document, from”orthodoxy,” where they in any way agree with him on this. He has not and will not, because he cannot– and he knows it! Period. Debate over.
Remember my two-fold operative principle– which is prima facie true:
1. I have proven that the EoM events of Revelation 20-22 were fulfilled in AD 70. This falsifies Jonathan’s eschatology, no matter what kind of claims he might make.
2. I have proven that the constituent elements of the Millennium, as described in Revelation 20, were present prior to AD 70. Thus, Jonathan’s view of the Millennium is falsified.
Jonathan has not denied the validity of the first two principles. Not a word. It is incumbent on him, therefore, to prove that my arguments in regard to these two principles are false. And he has failed totally to negate my arguments. Instead, he has ignored them!
3. I have also demonstrated that all Biblical eschatology is about the fulfillment of God’s OT promises made to Israel.
The framework of all Biblical eschatology is the fulfillment of God’s Old Covenant promises made to Old Covenant Israel, as promised in Moses, the law and the prophets. The Adamic promise and the Abrahamic promises were incorporated into Israel’s covenant (Galatians 3:15-19) and became the “one hope” (See Hebrews 11). The framework is therefore the consummation of Israel’s covenant with YHVH– when all of Torah would stand fulfilled.
I proved my point with following:
Romans 11:25-27 (Per Jonathan) is the end of the Millennium salvation of Israel (I agree).
The EoM salvation of Israel in Romans 11:25-27 would be in fulfillment of God’s covenant with Israel: “This is my covenant with them, when I take away their sin.”
Jonathan’s response? Silence. So, in a text that is foundational to his eschatology, it definitively repudiates his paradigm. And he offered not a single key stroke of response. That is because he can’t.
Speaking of Romans 11, and the taking away of Israel’s sin. I argued that Daniel 9 delimits the taking away of Israel’s sin to the seventy weeks. Jonathan says the seventy weeks ended in AD 70. Thus, the taking away of Israel’s sin– the EoM salvation of Israel in Romans 11:25f– was in AD 70.
Jonathan knows this argument is fatal to his view. He knows that if Daniel and Romans speak of the same time and event, that this one argument is total falsification of his eschatology. I challenged Jonathan to demonstrate, exegetically, that Daniel and Romans 11 speak of two different taking away of Israel’s sin. So, what does he do? Well, first of all, he totally misrepresents what I believe and then offers a diversionary (Straw Man) argument that has no bearing on my argument whatsoever!
Jonathan claims: “Preston also wants to argue Luke 21:24b is Paul’s “fullness of the Gentiles” in Rom.11:25.” Jonathan, THAT IS TOTALLY FALSE! I have never said such a thing! (Interestingly, however, this is precisely what Jonathan then affirms)! I said that the “times of the Gentiles” is the “time, times and half a time” of Revelation 11. The correspondence is perfect, in spite of your convoluted argument. And you have not proven otherwise. (I recommend that everyone read Mike Sullivan’s excellent treatise on the relationship between Luke 21:24 and Revelation 11).
Jonathan seeks desperately to escape the force of the correlation between Daniel 9 and Romans 11 by claiming: “The only possible way to relate Rom. 11:25-27 to Dan. 9:24 is to argue that the fullness of the salvation of the Gentiles came in by AD 70.” Actually, Jonathan, the fulness of the Gentiles did occur by AD 70. Of course, that fulness is not what you define it as, but that is not the point. Before proving that, let me make the following point:
First, the correlation between Daniel and Romans is through the promise of THE TAKING AWAY OF THEIR SIN. That is Paul’s focus, and Daniel’s. Daniel 9 is the taking away of Israel’s sin at the time of her salvation. Romans 11 is the taking away of Israel’s sin at the time of her salvation. JONATHAN, SHOW US THE DIFFERENCE! You won’t, because you can’t.
THE FULNESS OF THE GENTILES
I can only offer a few thoughts here, but see my book “Who Is This Babylon” for an extensive discussion. I can only give some bullet points here.
The fulness of the Gentiles is not a numeric fulness. The word “fulness” is from pleroma, and is used 17 times in the NT. It NEVER refers to a numeric fulness! It is a “fulness” of standing, or, fulness of quality. For instance, we have the “fulness of time” concept– which means it was “just the right time” (Romans 5:6f; Galatians 4:4; cf. Colossians 1:9; 2:9). Now, in fairness, pleroma, when used in a numeric context, MIGHT refer to numeric fulness, but, it is not used that way in the NT, and, Romans 11 is not dealing with numbers, but “standing” before God.
In Romans 11:12 Paul uses pleroma to speak of the fulness of Israel coming as a result of the salvation of the Gentiles. This is not numeric, but A FULNESS OF BLESSING! You have to read into pleroma the idea of number. The idea is not inherent in– nor suggested by- the word.
What was the “fulness of the Gentiles?” It was the realization of the full equality of Jew and Gentile, in one body. It was the mystery of God, accomplished through the Gospel.
The mystery (cf. Romans 11:25) was Jew and Gentile equality in one body in Christ (Ephesians 3:3-10).
Now, catch this: Paul said it was his personal, distinctive responsibility to “complete the word of God, the mystery… (Colossians 1:26-27). The Greek of the text, where Paul said he was given that responsibility, is in the emphatic mode. This means Paul said he was chosen especially and distinctively to bring the mystery to its completion! In Romans 15:16f, he said that he was serving as a priest to offer the Gentiles as a sacrificial body to Christ. This means that the bringing in of the fulness of the Gentiles belonged to Paul’s personal ministry– and to the first century!
The argument therefore is this:
The salvation of Israel would come “when the fulness of the Gentiles is come in” (Romans 11:25f).
The fulness of the Gentiles was the full equality (pleroma) of the Gentiles, with Israel, in the one body of Christ.
The realization of the full equality of the Gentiles with Israel, in the one body of Christ was the personal, distinctive responsibility of Paul in his first century ministry.
Therefore, the salvation of Israel is confined to the time of Paul in his first century ministry.
Now, this agrees perfectly with our exegesis of three of the prophecies cited in Romans 11:25f:
Isaiah 27 – Israel would be saved at the coming of the Lord, in vindication of the martyrs, when Satan would be slain. This would be the time of the destruction of the city and the temple, when the Lord would have no mercy on the people He created. I have appealed to this repeatedly, and all Jonathan has done is to completely reject the emphatic wording of the text. He said to slay was to bind! Otherwise, Jonathan totally ignored the emphatic words of the text.
A quick digression here. Jonathan, in his desperation, argued : “John does not use the words “crush” or “slay” (from Isaiah 27 / Romans 16:20, DKP). So to assume that Paul and Isaiah are employing terminology that belongs to Satan’s ultimate punishment is the height of presumption.”
Really, Jonathan, do you not remember what you have said? In your third “affirmative” you wrote: “The “crushing” of Satan which would occur”shortly” (Rom. 16:20), and the “destruction” of the “fleeing dragon serpent” in Isaiah 27:1 are not references to Satan’s final annihilation–rather it is a reference to his “binding” in the”abyss” (Rev. 20:1-3).”
On the one hand, you said Revelation 20:1-3 = Isaiah 27 or Romans 16 (even though Revelation does not use the specific words of Isaiah or Romans). But now you tell us that because Revelation 12 and 20:1-3 does not use the specific words used in Isaiah and Romans that Isaiah and Romans do refer speak of the same thing as Revelation 20:1-3 after all! This is a blatant self-contradiction.
Isaiah 27 speaks of the slaying of the Devil, not the binding! It thus REFERS TO REVELATION 20:10F– THE FINAL DESTRUCTION OF SATAN. Isaiah 27 undeniably posits that destruction of Satan at the time of the coming of the Lord in vindication of the martyrs, when YHVH would no longer have mercy on Old Covenant Israel, and destroy the City and the Temple. Thus, the EoM destruction of Satan was to be in AD 70.
Jonathan has overtly rejected the framework for the end of the Millennium destruction – not the binding– of Satan as established by Isaiah. I have challenged him repeatedly to deal with this. All he has given is a denial of the explicit words of Isaiah. Now, he offers an “answer” that directly contradicts his earlier argument.
Isaiah 59 – Just like Isaiah 27 this prophecy foretold the salvation of Israel – in fulfillment of God’s covenant with Israel– at the coming of the Lord in judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood. Jonathan did not hit one key in response to this!
Daniel 9 – Once again, the correlation between Daniel 9 and Romans 11 is perfect and undeniable. All Jonathan can do is deny the direct thematic connections and create a straw man to attack. But, it does no good.
So, all three of these prophecies lying behind Romans 11 undeniably posit the salvation of Israel in the first century judgment of Israel, in fulfillment of God’s covenant with her, when she would be judged for shedding innocent blood. And of course, Jesus posited that at the AD 70 destruction of the City and Temple.
Paul’s discussion of the fulness of the Gentiles agrees perfectly with these facts. The bringing in of the fulness of the Gentiles belonged to Paul’s personal ministry, not to the end of the Christian age. And Paul clearly said that his mission of preaching to “all the Gentiles” was completed when he stood before the emperor in Rome (2 Timothy 4:17)!
No matter what Jonathan wants to argue, the salvation of “all Israel” in Romans 11 would be in fulfillment of Isaiah 27 / 59 / Daniel 9. As we have proven beyond any doubt, these texts foretold that salvation at the time of the judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood, which Jesus posited as AD 70. Thus:
The salvation of “all Israel” would be in fulfillment of Isaiah 27 / 59 / Daniel 9.
But, Isaiah 27/ 59 / Daniel 9 foretold the salvation of “all Israel” at the time of Israel’s judgment for shedding innocent blood.
Israel was judged for shedding innocent blood in AD 70 (Jesus- Matthew 23).
Therefore, the salvation of “all Israel” (no matter your definition of “all Israel”) took place in AD 70.
Jonathan makes an incredibly desperate claim in regard to the remnant, re: Ezekiel 39 and Luke 21:24. He says Ezekiel 29:23 does not refer back to the Babylonian captivity- referring instead to Rome– because Ezekiel speaks of Israel “among the nations.” Jonathan claims, “Babylon was a single empire, city, and nation, not a host of “nations.” This is simply awful, false and unhistorical. Jonathan, where did you get this? Did you just make this up? Can you give so much as a key stroke of historical or scholarly proof for this? Your remnant theology hinges on this??
Finally, Jonathan claims (with no proof) that Revelation 7 /14 and the referent to the 144,000 out of the twelve tribes of Israel has nothing to do with the remnant of Israel. It refers to the church! Folks, did you know that the church has twelve tribes? What “tribe” re the Baptists, the Methodists, etc.? Jonathan, what tribe are you from? Isaachar, Zebulon, Dan perhaps? When Paul said he was part of the REMNANT, he said he was of Benjamin, just like Benjamin is one of the tribes in Revelation. This is just more of Jonathan’s desperation.
THE MOST HOLY PLACE
As usual, Jonathan raises an issue that is fatal to his view. He claims that the saints– living or dead– did not enter the Most Holy Place, in AD 70. In fact, he says the issue of entering the Most Holy is, “another huge strike against full preterism.” He could not be more wrong!
Here is what Jonathan wrote: “The evidence does not support that all the righteous would be raised into the tabernacle and throne area of heaven. Only the martyrs are deemed worthy of such an honor. The rest, while also escaping Hades, go to live in the “lowest heaven” (Paradise, Third Heaven). There is a real partaking in Paradise of the tree of life (through which also the martyrs pass before entering the highest heaven), proving that the fullness of the universal resurrection (Dan. 12:2, John 5:28-29, Acts 24:15), while activated in AD 70 when the “last enemy” (death) was utterly despoiled of its power for Christians (I Cor. 15:26), will find its total dissolution only in the eradication of biological death at the end of time, when the Parousia is unveiled to the whole inhabited world (Rev. 20:11).”
Let me make some quick bullet points before offering a more in-depth look at the Most Holy Place (MHP).
1. The Bible no where says only the martyrs could enter the MHP. Jonathan inserts (eisegesis!) this; neither the word “only” or the concept is in the text. The fact that the martyrs are mentioned as a focal point of the discussion does not suggest or demand such an idea.
2. Jonathan says the righteous (non-martyrs) do not enter the MHP, but they nonetheless partake of the Tree of Life! This is just unbelievable! Where is the Tree of Life as depicted in Revelation 21-22? In the new creation, AFTER THE MILLENNIUM! Jonathan, tell us how the just who died since AD 70– and thus, cannot not receive RESURRECTION TO ETERNAL LIFE – are allowed to partake of the “TREE OF LIFE”! The Tree of Life is in the “Postmillennial” Most Holy Place!
3. Jonathan admits that the Tree of Life (Revelation 21) describes life, “according to the earthly (millennial / postmillennial) aspect of the New Heaven of Revelation 21.” THIS IS STUNNING! It negates any concept of an “end of time.”
You just have to catch this! Revelation 21-22 indubitably describes the PostMillennial New Creation blessings! Jonathan has affirmed this! Yet, he now rips it out of that setting, and says it applies to the present participation in the Eucharist! (More church tradition here!) Jonathan takes “Post-millennial” blessings and applies them to now, all the while claiming that the end of the Millennium world– to which those blessings belong– has not come! Another glaring self-contradiction.
Jonathan appeals to Revelation 2:7: “To him who overcomes I will give to eat of the tree of life.” Jonathan then boldly proclaims that this is the promise of something fuller…in the afterlife.” But, Jonathan, where does it say the partaking promised in Revelation 2:7 is something greater (different) from that found in Revelation 21? Where does it say they would have to die to partake?
4. Jonathan claims: “the fullness of the universal resurrection (Dan. 12:2, John 5:28-29, Acts 24:15), while activated in AD 70 when the “last enemy” (death) was utterly despoiled of its power for Christians (I Cor. 15:26), will find its total dissolution only in the eradication of biological death at the end of time.” (I have to point out-again– how “unorthodox” Jonathan is in affirming the AD 70 fulfillment of 1 Corinthians 15).
Jonathan once again perverts the words of scripture. He denied that “slay” (Isaiah 27:1) means to slay (a rejection of the lexical definition of the word). He denied that “crush” (Romans 16:20) means to crush. He said (on Deuteronomy 30) “the law of Moses” is simply a “spiritual principle.” Now, he says that when Paul says “the last enemy to be destroyed” that did not mean destroy– it meant despoiled! Such bold willingness to totally redefine (to overtly reject) the words of scripture is disturbing. This powerfully manifests his desperation– and the falseness of his theology.
Jonathan inserts (eisegesis) the words “biological death” into the discussion of the resurrection. But folks, remember, he affirmed that the resurrection of the just– which per his paradigm MUST REFER TO THE PHYSICAL RESURRECTION– occurred in AD 70! Jonathan, provide the proof for this! The fact that the universal physical resurrection of the just did not occur in AD 70 is prima facie falsification of Jonathan’s eschatology– and he knows it. Jonathan, unless you can point us to the world wide resurrection of decomposed human corpses of the righteous– in AD 70, your eschatology is wrong!
Okay, let’s talk about the MHP– a discussion that it totally fatal to Jonathan’s eschatology.
Read Hebrews 9:6-10: (I am giving the full text so that you will catch the full power of the argument).
“Now when these things have been so prepared, the priests are continually entering the outer tabernacle performing the divine worship, but into the second, only the high priest enters once a year, not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit is signifying this, that the way into the holy place has not yet been disclosed while the outer tabernacle is still standing, which is a symbol for the present time. Accordingly both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience, since they relate only to food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until a time of reformation.”
You just must catch the power of this! AS LONG AS TORAH STOOD VALID, THERE COULD BE NO ENTRANCE INTO THE MHP! There is no justification for saying that some can or have entered, but that others cannot enter. If Torah has been removed as Jonathan claims, THE MHP IS OPEN TO ALL! But, if the faithful (not just martyrs) cannot now enter the MHP, THEN TORAH REMAINS VALID. This is inescapable and irrefutable.
Torah– when Hebrews was written– was still a type and shadow of better things to come. This agrees perfectly with our argument that the New Moons, Feast Days and Sabbaths of the Law of Moses foreshadowed final salvation– entrance into the MHP! All Jonathan has done is say “I don’t accept that!” Jonathan, your denial is not proof. Worse, it is a denial of Hebrews 9.
Hebrews 9 unequivocally posits entrance into the MHP in fulfillment of the cultic system of the Law of Moses, God’s Old Covenant promises made to Israel. This is a total repudiation of Jonathan’s claim that the final salvation is unrelated to the fulfillment of the Law of Moses. That cultus foreshadowed the final salvation and would remain valid until entrance into the MHP was opened at the parousia. The PURPOSE of the parousia was to open the way into the MPH by removing Torah– the barrier to entrance! And Hebrews 10:37 says that was coming “in a very, very little while.” Jonathan says the parousia was in AD 70, yet, we are still waiting to enter the MHP! This denies Hebrews 9. There is more that confirms this.
In Revelation 11:19 and 15:8 John saw the Temple opened, and he saw the Ark of the Covenant- he saw into the MHP! However, in chapter 15 no man– “NO MAN” – could enter the MHP until the seven bowls of wrath were fulfilled.” So, here is what we have.
The seven bowls contained the wrath of God (Revelation 15:1).
Entrance into the MHP would not be possible until the seven bowls were poured out, completing the wrath of God (Revelation 15:9).
The seventh bowl would be poured out– fulfilling the wrath of God– in the judgment of Babylon (Revelation 16:17-21).
Babylon was Old Covenant Jerusalem– Jonathan, as I understand it, agrees.
Therefore, the wrath of God was fulfilled, and man could enter the MHP at the time of the AD 70 judgment of Jerusalem. Folks, this single “frame work” argument is devastating to Jonathan’s view.
The MHP and the New Creation are equal to one another. Jonathan posits entrance into the MHP after the Millennium, and he posits the New Creation after the Millennium.
Man could enter the MHP at the time of the judgment of Babylon / Jerusalem.
But, man could enter the New Creation -where “the tabernacle of God is with man” AT THE END OF THE MILLENNIUM (REVELATION 20-21).
THEREFORE, THE END OF THE MILLENNIUM WAS AT THE COMPLETION OF THE WRATH OF GOD IN THE JUDGMENT OF BABYLON.
Jonathan, you really need to address this.
THE RECEIVING OF THE KINGDOM– DANIEL 7, REVELATION 20
Jonathan’s view of Daniel 7 and Revelation 20 is false, because it is based, not on text, but on presupposition. He assumes that when the martyrs are enthroned to reign with Christ in Revelation 20 that the kingdom did not exist prior to that. This is false.
I listed the constituent elements of the Millennial reign, and proved that the saints possessed them prior to AD 70, as they waited for the consummation. What was Jonathan’s response? He admitted this, but then tried to negate it, by claiming that Revelation 20 is about the saints in the heavenly realm while the things I listed belonged to the saints on earth. Jonathan, what difference does that make? For your objection to have any substance, you have to prove that Scripture posits a substantive dichotomy between, for instance, the priesthood of the “heavenly” saints, and that of the “earthly.” You assume a difference, but you do not prove it. Therefore, your argument is null and void.
There is “One Family” in heaven and earth (Ephesians 3:14). It is specious to say the heavenly rule, reign and priesthood are different. Remember my argument from Ephesians 1:10 (and Jonathan said the argument was true, but then turned around and denied it after all!).
Paul said it was God’s eternal purpose to re-unite heaven and earth, in one body in Christ, in the “fulness of time.” The fulness of time was the last days of Old Covenant Israel– Jonathan agreed: “Absolutely! I agree,” he said. But then he claimed that it was not done in the fulness of time after all. It will not be done until the completion of the “restoration of all things.” No, this draws a false distinction between the fulness of time, the time of the reconciliation of heaven and earth, and the restoration of all things. Jonathan, if heaven and earth were to be reconciled / restored in the last days of the Old Covenant, then what is left to be reconciled / restored? Heaven and earth is a comprehensive concept! Heaven and earth were divided due to Adam’s sin. Thus, the reconciliation of heaven and earth, is the time of the crushing of the head of Satan (Genesis 3:15) but, Ephesians 1 confines that restoration to the last days of Israel.
If this is not true, you must explain, exegetically, the difference between the restoration of heaven and earth, and the restoration of all things. If you can’t – and you can’t– your view is false.
Jonathan draws a false contrast between the “past tense” of the arrival of the “fulness of time” and the “future tense” of the restoration of all things. This is truly bad “logic” and totally presuppositional.
Jonathan says: “Gal. 4:4 speaks in the past tense (“When the fullness of the time had come…”). The fullness of the time was inaugurated with the birth of Christ. Acts 3:21, on the other hand, states that the heavens must received Christ “…until the times of restoration of all things” (future tense), “…so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (vs. 20).”
Jonathan could not answer my arguments on the Baptizer initiating the restoration of all things– in spite of Jesus’ direct, emphatic declaration. John initiated that restoration (past tense!), and he did so in the last days of Israel. It is irrefutably true then that the restoration of all things cannot be divorced from the “fulness of time.” It means that the reunification of heaven and earth is the same thing as the restoration of all things, and Jonathan is wrong.
John initiated that work, and Jesus continued it through the Cross / resurrection. If the Cross / resurrection was not part of, and continuation of the restoration of all things, and the restoration did not begin until AD 70, does this not suggest that the Cross / resurrection was not necessary for the restoration? This is un-Biblical. The Cross / resurrection is a foundational element of the restoration! Thus, the restoration of all things would be perfected – not initiated at the parousia– in AD 70.
Furthermore, Acts 3:19f, in conjunction with Hebrews 9:6-10 absolutely posits the consummation of the restoration of all things– at the parousia– at the climax of the “fulness of time” the end of the Old Covenant.
THE RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS / THE TIME OF REFORMATION
Peter says the parousia could not occur until the OT prophecies of that restoration, including “Moses,…and all those who have spoken, from Samuel forward” had been fulfilled. Peter is emphatic about the divine necessity for the yet future to him, fulfillment of God’s Old Covenant promises to Israel.
Peter thus refutes Jonathan who has vainly sought to ignore the inseparable link between Israel and eschatology, Torah and the Telos. In Matthew 5:17-18, Jesus stated, “not one jot nor one tittle shall pass from the Law until it is all fulfilled.” Jonathan claims that eschatology – the restoration of all things – is not related to the fulfillment of Torah and God’s covenant with Israel. Acts 3 definitively refutes that.
Notice Jonathan claims: “Preston falsely states regarding this text: “The restoration of all things would be consummated at the coming of the Lord (Acts 3:21f; Jonathan agrees).” Oh, do I now? What I have argued all along is that the times of restoration were ushered in by AD 70, not that they were finished then. If the times of restoration were completed by AD 70, they would have been inaugurated before AD 70. But Preston himself disagrees.”
NO, Jonathan, I DO NOT DISAGREE WITH THE IDEA THAT THE RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS WAS INITIATED BEFORE AD 70. THAT IS MY VERY POINT, as I argued on John the Baptizer! Why are you twisting that? Jesus said prophecy foretold the coming of Elijah to “restore all things.” Jesus said John was Elijah. Thus, the restoration began before AD 70!
By denying that the restoration of all things is consummated at the parousia, you are denying that there is a coming of the Lord in the future! Yet, you have the resurrection and the Great Assize of Revelation 20 in the future! So, Jonathan divorces the parousia from the resurrection and the judgment, but that dichotomy is no where to be found in Scripture. In fact, in Matthew 25:31f (which is Revelation 20:10f– also, 2 Timothy 4:1; Revelation 11:15f, etc.) the coming of the Lord, the judgment and the resurrection are tied together synchronously. Jonathan’s “gap theory” notwithstanding.
He wrote this: “John the Baptist died during the ministry of Christ. But according to Preston’s view, not all things were restored until AD 70. Did John the Baptist restore all things or not?”
Folks, do you see what he has done? He has implied that John failed in his mission! Furthermore, he distorts what I have said, and makes me to say the restoration was not until AD 70, when I have consistently said it began with John, continued via the Cross / resurrection and completed in AD 70.
Unable to answer my Biblical arguments, he points us to Eastern Orthodox “tradition.” Disturbingly, he says: “If Preston were familiar with Holy Tradition (not all things therein appear in the Scriptural writings themselves).” Here is the crux of the matter. Jonathan is concerned with tradition that goes beyond scripture. Sorry, I am not impressed. How about SCRIPTURE, Jonathan? The EOT (Eastern Orthodox Tradition) is flat wrong in claiming that John was to prepare for Christ’s personal ministry as the focal point.
As Elijah, John was to prepare for the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord (Malachi 4:5-6). As the Voice in the Wilderness, he was to prepare for the day of Judgment coming of the Lord (Isaiah 40:1-10). The entire focus of John’s message, (Matthew 3), was on the eschatological mission of Jesus– not his personal ministry. So, John was Elijah to restore all things. The harvest, judgment and parousia– the climax of the eschatological narrative, not the initiation, were the focus. He said the judgment was imminent. Thus, the climax of the restoration of all things, that John initiated, was imminent in the first century. This is confirmed in Acts 1.
In Acts 1:6f, the disciples asked Jesus. “Will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” This was after 40 days of the Lord opening their eyes to the truth of what scripture said about him and the kingdom (1:4). Significantly, the word “restore” is a verbal form of the word restoration in Acts 3.
So, John was to “restore all things” – in fulfillment of OT promises to Israel – and the distinctive Greek word (apokatastasis) is used.
Then, the disciples ask about the restoration of the kingdom – which was promised in God’s Covenant promises to Israel – and they use that same word.
Then, Peter, in Acts 3 says the restoration of all things – in fulfillment of God’s Old Covenant promises to Israel – would be consummated at the parousia. But, let’s look closer.
When the disciples asked their question, Jesus did not, as many commentators claim, reject their question, or say they were confused. He said it was not for them to know the times and the seasons, but– catch this– they were to go into Jerusalem and wait for the reception of the Holy Spirit– the promise that John, as Elijah had made! The significance of Jesus’ promise of the Spirit cannot be over-emphasized.
The Holy Spirit was to be poured out in Israel’s last days before the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord (the day of Malachi 4:5-6) which ties the work of John as Elijah and the promise of Jesus in Acts 1 together inseparably. In scripture, the outpouring of the Spirit and the establishment of the kingdom at the Great Day of the Lord are inseparably linked.
Jesus told the disciples they would receive the Spirit– the Spirit that was to carry on the work of restoration!! – “not many days hence.” So, the Spirit was for the restoration of the kingdom, and the disciple were to receive the Spirit in just a few days. Therefore, the restoration work of the Spirit– continuing the work of John – was given in just a few days – well before AD 70!
Jonathan has to completely divorce the restoration work of John from Acts 3 to maintain his theory. He has to divorce the Cross / Resurrection from the restoration. He has to divorce the restoration work of the Spirit from Acts 3. If all of these things are related to Acts 3, Jonathan’s theory is dead. And he knows it. Of course, he will tell us I am confusing the work of John and the work of the Spirit as they related to Israel, but that the eschatological consummation is distinct from those things. Well, is the eschatological restoration totally distinct from the Cross, Jonathan?
Jonathan, this is fundamentally critical for you. Prove for the readers that the eschatological consummation is not tied up with the fulfillment of God’s Old Covenant promises made to Israel. If you can’t – and you can’t – then your entire house falls.
Notice how the points above agree perfectly with Ephesians 1:10. The fulness of time- which Jonathan has agreed was the last days of Old Covenant Israel – were the days when heaven and earth would be restored. So, we have the last days of Israel as the time for the restoration of heaven and earth. John as Elijah initiated the work of restoration. The out pouring of the Spirit is tied to the restoration, and the Cross is the foundation for the restoration– and all of this was before AD 70!
I have an extended linguistic study of what follows in my Like Father Like Son, On Clouds of Glory, book.
A COMPARISON BETWEEN ACTS 3:19F AND HEBREWS 9:6-10.
1. Peter anticipated the restoration of all things at the parousia. Hebrews posited the coming of eternal salvation at the “time of reformation,” to arrive at the parousia when man could finally enter the MHP (9:10-28).
2. In Acts 3, the word translated “restoration” is “apokatastasis.” The word used for “reformation” is “diorthosis.” THESE ARE SYNONYMS, in both Biblical and non-Biblical literature, meaning to put back into the proper condition. Now, unless Jonathan can falsify this, it stands. And I can assure you, he cannot negate this connection.
Peter was anticipating the fulfillment– at the parousia– of God’s Old Covenant promises found in Torah. In Hebrews 9, the writer was anticipating the fulfillment of the Old Covenant typological feast days, Sabbaths and sacrifices. Follow me:
The time of restoration of all things (the time of the parousia) is the same as the time of reformation (Restoration and reformation being synonyms).
But, the time of reformation was at the end of Torah (Hebrews 9:6-10).
Therefore, the time of the restoration of all things (the time of the parousia) was at the end of Torah.
Follow that with this:
The time of the restoration of all things (the time of the parousia) was at the end of Torah, the time of reformation.
But, at the time of reformation- the end of Torah– man could enter the MHP!
Therefore, the time of the restoration of all things (the time of the parousia) at the end of Torah, was when man could enter the MHP. Needless to say, this falsifies Jonathan’s eschatology, since he denies that man can now enter the MHP, even though Torah has ended, and Christ came!
There could be no entrance into the MHP as long as Torah remained valid, inclusive of the cultic observances– Hebrews 9:6-10. (Jonathan says we still cannot enter, thus, these are still binding!)
At the time of reformation (being the same as the restoration) at the end of Torah – man could enter the MHP!
Therefore, man could enter the MHP at the restoration of all things– at the AD 70 parousia!
Since the restoration and the reformation are synonyms, and since the reformation is when man could enter the MHP, Jonathan’s claims that man still cannot enter the MHP are falsified- or else, Torah remains valid!
Ask yourself: If it was Torah that prevented entrance into the MHP– that is undeniable– and if Torah has been removed– as Jonathan claims– what keeps man out of the MHP? Is it the gospel? Is it sin? (Really?) The reason Torah prevented entrance was because Torah could not provide forgiveness (Hebrews 9:8f). So, if Torah has been removed, and if the gospel gives forgiveness, then man can enter the MHP– especially since God judged that Old Covenant system and removed it in AD 70! If not, why not?
Jonathan, you need to deal with this. This is fatal to your view of the Millennium, the Tree of Life, the reception of the kingdom, the MHP, Hades and the resurrection.
Speaking of the Tree of Life. Jonathan claims– without offering any proof whatsoever – that the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden was to sustain physical life. Well, what kind of life does the Tree sustain in the New Creation? This cannot be settled by appeals to Macarios – who, by the way flatly contradicts Jonathan! Macarios said man before the fall was immortal. Jonathan -supposedly orthodox! – says man was neither mortal or immortal! See what appealing to “orthodoxy” gets you?
THE ELEMENTS OF THE MILLENNIUM– AGAIN
We have shown – irrefutably – that the constituent elements of the Millennium were present prior to AD 70, that the Millennium began before AD 70. Jonathan tried desperately to escape the force of this by claiming: But, let’s look now at the kingdom and the time of its “reception.”
Based on his mistaken view of the kingdom and imposing it on Daniel 7, Jonathan claims that Daniel 7:18-25 is directly equivalent to Revelation 20, proving that the Millennium began in AD 70. This is wrong, and denies what Daniel says.
1. Messiah would rule and reign in the kingdom bestowed in Daniel 7 – FOREVER AND FOREVER– not for a 1000 years!
This brings us to a critical point. Jonathan’s eschatology demands the end of the Christian age, the end of time, which he affirms repeatedly. But, scripture shows the reign of Christ has no end!
A. Isaiah 9:6f– Of the increase of his government and of peace, there shall be NO END!
B. Daniel 2:44; 7:13-14; 7:18-25– His kingdom, his rule has no end!
C. Matthew 24:35 – Jesus affirmed that his New Covenant world “will never pass away.”
D. Luke 1:32-33 – “Of his kingdom, there shall be no end.”
E. Ephesians 3:20-21 – Unto him be glory in the church, by Jesus Christ, … age without end!”
F. Revelation 11:17f – The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of God and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and forever.”
Folks, “no end” does not mean it would end in 1000 years– or even after a really long time! No end means, well, NO END! If the Christian age has “no end” Jonathan’s eschatology is false. And as you can see, the Bible is very clear that Christ’s reign, his kingdom, his covenant– has no end. The only age that was to end was the Old Covenant age (Matthew 24:2-3). But, let’s look closer at the kingdom / reign of Christ, to see if it existed prior to AD 70– keeping in mind that there was a time of waiting for the manifestation of the full victory of his reign (Colossians 3:1-3).
CHRIST (And thus, his saints also) AND THE KINGDOM
Jesus triumphed over his enemies through the Cross (Colossians 2:15f).
Jesus said: “All authority has been given to me, in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18).
He went into a far country to receive the kingdom (Luke 19:11f). His ascension to the Father was to receive the kingdom. When he ascended, “He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” in fulfillment of Psalms 110. And per Acts 2 and 13, Jesus had received “the sure mercies of David.” But, those prophecies were about receiving the kingdom and reigning in the kingdom! Significantly, as already noted, the pre-AD 70 saints had been “translated out of darkness into the kingdom of God’s dear son” (Colossians 1:13).
Jesus was enthroned, “in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under his feet…” (Ephesians 1:20f). It is to be noted of course. that the saints were raised to sit with him, in the heavenlies (Ephesians 2:1-6). Note that Paul was writing to people on earth, but, he said THEY WERE ENTHRONED IN THE HEAVENS! This falsifies Jonathan’s desperate attempt to distinguish between the earthly rule / priesthood and the heavenly. That is a false distinction.
While seated at the right hand, “he must reign until all enemies have been put under his feet.” The Greek of the text is in the present infinitive, which means that he was reigning when Paul wrote, and would continue to reign until his enemies were put down.
In that “interim” reign, the time of the “consolidation” of his rule, he would: “Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.” Here is the pre-AD 70 reign of Christ, on the throne, with the saints!
He would reign until the enemies were put under him (Psalms 110) – “the last enemy to be destroyed is death.” According to Psalms 110, THE PUTTING DOWN OF THE ENEMIES IS THE AD 70 JUDGMENT, when he filled the valley’s with the bodies of the kings, in the “day of his wrath.” But, the day of the wrath of God is the judgment of Babylon– as seen above– AD 70. See also Revelation 6:12f– “the Great Day of His wrath”; See Revelation 16:14f- “the Great Day of the Lord” all of which are tied to the time of the vindication of the martyrs – in AD 70.
At his parousia, the time of “the end” “God will be all in all.” This would be the manifestation of Christ’s glorious kingdom. The end is not the end of his reign, but the end of his enemies, the Old Covenant age of sin and death!
After the last enemy is put down, Christ and the Father rule forever and ever– Rev. 11:17f–> 22:3.
Take particular note that in Revelation 11, the time when this occurs was at the judgment of the city, “Where the Lord was slain” (11:8). This is clearly, in the context, the time of the putting down of his enemies– i.e. the end of the Millennium. This is, as seen above, the completion of the wrath of God, bringing with it access to the MHP and the New Creation– at the end of the Millennium.
This gives us a time-line of Christ, his kingdom and the rule of the saints with him. And it totally falsifies Jonathan’s claims about the kingdom not existing until the beginning of the Millennium in AD 70.
In the NT, the “end” was never far off; “the end of all things has drawn near” (1 Peter 4:7). Jonathan denies this, and puts the end of all things in the far distant future. He is, therefore, wrong.
JONATHAN AND RECAPITULATION
Jonathan has labored in vain to establish a straw man theory of recapitulation. However, we both agree that Revelation 21-22 is descriptive of the “postmillennial” world. Thus, all I have to do is demonstrate– as I have repeatedly, that the elements of Revelation 21-22 were fulfilled circa AD 70, and Jonathan’s claims go down. With that in mind, let me offer again an argument I presented, that Jonathan naturally ignored, totally. Not so much as a key stroke.
The “PostMillennial” New Creation of Revelation 21f– would be in fulfillment of the Old Covenant promises made to Old Covenant Israel– Isaiah 65-66.
But, the EoM New Creation of Isaiah 65 (v. 17f) would come at the destruction of Old Covenant Israel, “the Lord God shall slay you, and call His people by a New Name” (v. 13), when the righteous remnant would be saved (v. 8). Hey, Jonathan, what did God mean when He said he would SLAY Israel?
Therefore, the EoM New Creation of Revelation 21-22 would come at the time of the destruction of the Old Covenant nation, when the righteous remnant would be saved (v. 8). This was, without doubt, in AD 70, thus proving that the EoM arrived circa AD 70, and Jonathan is wrong.
This argument effectively falsifies the entirety of Jonathan’s eschatology. This argument is based, not on presupposition, and not based on specious church history– as your’s are– but on the emphatic words of the text.
Once again, I have addressed Jonathan’s major arguments, directly or indirectly, and totally refuted them. I have exposed the direct, glaring self-contradictions in his arguments.
In contrast, Jonathan continues to totally ignore my major negative responses. He totally ignores the questions I have posed. I have offered logical syllogism after syllogism, based on the direct, emphatic, unambiguous statements of scripture. Jonathan has not addressed a single one of those arguments, any of which falsify his claims.
He has falsely ascribed positions to me that I have never held.
He appeals to tradition as authoritative all the while admitting that tradition makes claims that are not found in scripture. And he cited one writer who actually contradicted the position that he was trying to establish! He has made astoundingly bad, and false, historical claims.
He has made bold claims all the while never engaging in textual exegesis, and when called on to offer exegesis, he has ignored those calls.
I have re-stated my “frame-work” arguments and further demonstrated their validity, and thus, I have falsified Jonathan’s eschatology.
All this reveals that Jonathan can not only not refute my position, it reveals his desperation. If he could refute the arguments, he would address them. His silence is a thunderous testimony to the vanity of his eschatology. The millennium did not begin in AD 70.