Don K. Preston V- Jonathan Campanik- Debate on the Millennium
Don K. Preston’s Third Negative
(ALL CAPS FOR EMPHASIS ONLY)
Desperate men make desperate arguments, and that is perfectly illustrated by Jonathan Campanik’s “response” to my second negative.
The irony- and desperation- of Jonathan’s view is no where better illustrated than in the smoke-screen claim that I ignored his arguments. Now, either Jonathan does not understand the proper use of logic, or, as I suspect, he is desperately trying to get the reader to overlook the force of my arguments by claiming that I ignored what he had to say.
My operative principle– which is prima facie true, is two-fold:
1. If I prove – as I have already – that the end of the Millennium events of Revelation 20-22 were fulfilled in AD 70, I have falsified Jonathan’s eschatology, no matter what kind of claims he might make. Period, “Check mate.”
2. If I can prove – and I will herein – that the constituent elements of the Millennium, as described in Revelation 20, were present prior to AD 70, then Jonathan’s claim that the Millennium did not begin until AD 70 is falsified. Again, this is irrefutably true.
These two things, either singly or in combination, are all that I have to prove. Jonathan canfalsely claim I am ignoring his arguments all he wants. The truth of the matter is that, just like in a jig saw puzzle, what you do is to establish the border, and you know without doubt, that all the pieces of that puzzle have to fit within that framework. 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 framework is therefore the consummation of Israel’s covenant with YHVH– when all of Torah would stand fulfilled.
The Restoration of All Things
Jonathan equates the Christian age with the Millennium that began in AD 70.
Jonathan also says the Millennial Christian age is the time of restoration of all things: “During the Millennium, Satan is incognito. He has disappeared from the scene altogether for the “times of restoration” (Acts 3:21) and “times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24)–i.e., for the entirety of the Church age during the Millennium.”
Jonathan simply cannot keep from impaling himself on his own arguments. Jonathan, are you affirming that the Christian age did not begin until AD 70? Yes or No? Do not fail to answer this.
But, the problem gets worse for Jonathan.
The Millennium (the Christian age) is the time of the restoration of all things that did not begin until AD 70. So, per Jonathan, the time of restoration of all things did not begin until AD 70. But of course, this flatly denies the words of Jesus.
Elijah the prophet was to come: “before the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord” and his mission was to “restore all things”– so said Jesus himself in Matthew 17:10f. (By the way, the word for restore that Jesus used in reference to John is a verbal form of the word restoration in Acts 3. They are not different words for different restorations, at different times!) See my extensive study of this in my book Like Father Like Son, On Clouds of Glory.
Jesus was emphatic “Elijah has already come!” (Matthew 17:12), and the disciples knew he was speaking of John the Baptizer!
So, John was Elijah and Elijah was to initiate the restoration of all things prior to the Day of the Lord.
John appeared before AD 70.
The time of the restoration of all things is the Millennium.
Therefore, the Millennium began before AD 70 with the work of John.
Elijah was to come before the Great Day of the Lord and restore all things- (Malachi 4:5-6/ Jesus).
John was Elijah to “restore all things”– Jesus.
The restoration of all things would be consummated at the coming of the Lord (Acts 3:21f; Jonathan agrees).
But, John, as Elijah, said the Day of the Lord was near: The Wrath was “about to come”; the axe was already at the root”; the “winnowing fork is already in his hand” (Matthew 3:7-12).
Therefore, the Great Day of the Lord, to consummate the restoration of all things was near in the first century– i.e. the end of the Millennium was near in the first century– prior to AD 70.
And that brings us to my argument on Matthew 5:17-18, an argument Jonathan simply scoffed at, but offered no substantive response.
Here again are the words of Jesus: Matthew 5:17-18: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”
Jesus said not one iota of the Old Law would or could pass until it was ALL fulfilled. Jonathan has part of that Covenant passing in AD 70, but, lots and lots of “jots and tittles” of the Old Covenant still unfulfilled, and not to be fulfilled until the end of time.
Jonathan directly contradicts our Lord by claiming: “He (Preston) thinks there is nothing that is part of the O.T. that can legitimately be carried over into the New Covenant This is totally alien to Paul’s thinking on the Jews.”
So, here you have it. Per Jonathan, both Torah and Gospel remain valid today! (More accurately, he puts old wine into new wineskins, BRINGING TORAH INTO THE NEW COVENANT!) This in spite of the fact that Hebrews 8:13 said that the Old Covenant– not just some of it– was “nigh unto passing” 2000 years ago! (Note: when the Judaizers tried to impose Torah on Christians, Paul said if you apply some of it, you must take all of it (Galatians 5:1-5). Paul would have none of Jonathan’s “carrying over” of Torah into the New Covenant)!
I asked Jonathan: Is the seventh day Sabbath, as prescribed in Torah, binding today? Yes or No? If your answer is No, please tell us why? Jonathan’s answer? Total silence! Little wonder why.
The Sabbath foreshadowed the final rest, the resurrection, New Creation depicted in Revelation 21-22. It foreshadowed the realization of “the restoration of all things.” It foreshadowed Israel’s salvation as promised in Romans 11.
The New Moons, Feast Days and Sabbaths were still, when Paul wrote, “shadows of good things about to come” (Colossians 2:14-16). Hebrews 9:6-10 says those Old Covenant praxis (i.e. the New Moons, Feast Days and Sabbaths) were “imposed until the time of reformation,” when man could enter the MHP. The time of reformation is, therefore, the realization of all that Torah anticipated– the resurrection and New Creation– the restoration of all things! That is when every jot and every tittle of Torah would be fulfilled and when Torah would pass.
So, if the restoration of all things, the New Creation has not been fulfilled (realized) then Torah, including the Sabbaths, New Moons and Feast Days, remain valid! So, once again, Jonathan, IS THE SEVENTH DAY SABBATH, THE NEW MOONS AND FEAST DAYS, AS PRESCRIBED IN TORAH BINDING TODAY? Yes or No? Will you please not ignore this again, and answer.
I made the following argument since Jonathan says Deuteronomy 30 foretold the end of the Millennium restoration of Israel in Romans 11. Jonathan falsely claimed that 90% of my response was built on this. No matter however, even if the argument constituted but 1% of my response it is still fatal to his view, and the desperation of his “response” proves that.
The restoration of Israel foretold in Deuteronomy 30 is the end of the Millennium restoration / salvation of Israel– Jonathan.
But, the restoration of Israel foretold in Deuteronomy 30 would only take place when Israel returned to obedience of the Law of Moses. That requirement is explicitly stated three times in the text!
Therefore, either the Law of Moses is not dead (as claimed by Jonathan), or, the Law of Moses will be restored in the future, which he denies. Which is it, Jonathan?
I challenged Jonathan: “Prove how Deuteronomy 30 could still be valid while the Law of Moses has been annulled.” What was Jonathan’s response?
Jonathan denies the specific words of Deuteronomy, claiming without a key stroke of proof that Deuteronomy simply gives “the spiritual principle that the Jews must have a change of heart as a precondition for being readmitted to the land of their fathers.”
So, while the text of Deuteronomy 30 specifically demanded– THREE TIMES – Israel’s obedience to the Law of Moses, in order to be restored, Jonathan says those words are nothing but a “spiritual principle” that mean nothing more than: “the Jews must have a change of heart” to be restored. Jonathan, that is verbiage, not exegesis. Please give us proof.
Jonathan, there is nothing generic about the precondition for the restoration promised in Deuteronomy 30. That precondition was that ISRAEL HAD TO OBEY THE LAW OF MOSES, THE WORDS THAT MOSES SPOKE THAT DAY. Your disturbing willingness to simply wave the hand at that thrice repeated specific condition is a denial of the text. My argument stands until and unless you can deal with it exegetically, not presumptively. That brings us to another disturbing willingness on Jonathan’s part.
I argued from the emphatic language of Isaiah 27 and Romans 16:20 that the FINAL DESTRUCTION, THE SLAYING, THE CRUSHING, (NOT THE BINDING!) of Satan was posited at the time of the vindication of the martyrs in AD 70 (Isaiah 26-27 / Matthew 23) and was imminent in Romans 16:20. The language in these texts is undeniable. But, what does Jonathan do? He alters and distorts the language to conform to his preconceived theology. Here is what he claimed: “Preston also employs Isaiah 27:1/Rom. 16:20 against me in order to try to establish the idea the Millennium ended when a”remnant” of Jews would be saved (27:13). …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).”
So, there you have it! To SLAY Satan did not really mean to SLAY him; it meant to BIND him! To CRUSH him did not mean to CRUSH him; it meant to make him incognito! With a wave of the hand, Jonathan denies Isaiah, refutes Paul, and asserts his own “authority.” To say this is disturbing is an understatement.
I made three extensive arguments from Isaiah 27 / Isaiah 59 / Daniel 9. I produced direct, specific, contextual proof of the following:
1. These prophecies undeniably serve as the source of Paul’s expectation of the salvation of Israel.
2. Each of these texts specifically posit that salvation at the time of the destruction of Israel, when she would be judged for shedding innocent blood. This is irrefutable.
I demonstrated from the emphatic words of Jesus that all the blood of all the righteous would be vindicated in his generation in the judgment of Jerusalem. That means that Romans 11:25f would be fulfilled at that time. With these irrefutable facts before us, I asked Jonathan: “Does your end of the Millennium eschatology, based on Romans 11:25f posit the yet future destruction of the nation of Israel for shedding innocent blood– when the remnant would be saved? Yes or No? Please answer this candidly, without evasion. As usual, he gave us not a syllable.
I also argued that while those passages promised the salvation of Israel to be sure, it was the remnant that would constitute Israel. Since the OT prophecies that serve as the source for Paul’s doctrine of the salvation of Israel ARE ABOUT THE SALVATION OF THE REMNANT, this means that Romans 11:25f is about the consummation of the process of the salvation of the remnant. Jonathan simply ignores what Isaiah and Daniel had to say, and imposes his preconceived ideas onto Romans 11.
But, let’s look even closer at Romans 11.
Romans 11:25-27 is the end of the Millennium salvation of Israel- agrees Jonathan.
The salvation of Israel promised in Romans 11:25-27 would be in fulfillment of God’s Old Covenant promises made to Israel– (Isaiah 27 / 59 / Ezekiel 37-39 / Daniel 9, Daniel 12, etc.).
Jesus said not one jot or one tittle of the Old Law would pass until it was all fulfilled.
Therefore, not one jot or one tittle of the Law of Moses would pass until the end of the Millennium salvation of Israel promised in Romans 11:25f.
Jonathan tells us on one hand that Torah is dead, (AD 70!). Then, however, he appeals to Romans 11 for the future! He has Torah dead, but still unfulfilled– alive! Jonathan is in direct violation of Jesus. Jonathan, TELL US HOW TORAH CAN BE BOTH DEAD AND VALID AT THE SAME TIME?
If Romans is not fulfilled, then Torah, every jot and every tittle, including the New Moons, Feast Days and Sabbaths, with all the attendant sacrifices, remains binding. Those cultic praxis foreshadowed the promised salvation.
The Remnant Issue
Jonathan realizes that if the salvation of “all Israel” in Romans 11 is the consummation of the salvation of the remnant, a process already begun in the first century, his eschatology is lost. So, he offers two arguments that he thinks are devastating to my position. Unfortunately for him, both arguments are specious.
1.) He argues that the transition from the present tense references to the salvation of the remnant to the future tense salvation of Israel in Romans 11:25f refutes the idea that Paul is talking about the consummation of the process of saving the remnant. “I cannot emphasize enough how significant the tense change in Romans 11 is, and how utterly devastating this is for Mr. Preston. The “remnant” were being saved when St. Paul wrote… The rest of Romans 11 is dedicated to “the rest” who “were blinded” (vs. 7), not the remnant who were already being saved!”
That is a naive argument. The remnant was being saved, but, the completion of that end time work– bringing Old Covenant Israel’s covenant history to its climax- was coming. Paul does not change the subject from the on-going process of the salvation of the remnant to then say that every Israelite would be saved! Those who were hardened when Paul wrote would nonetheless come to faith, just as in 2 Corinthians 3– in turning to Christ the veil of unbelief would be taken away and they would be saved. This is present tense unbelief– and future belief– of the remnant!
Note also that Paul was– present tense- provoking Israel (Israel that was hardened when he wrote) to jealousy so that, “I might (subjunctive, indicating future) win SOME” (Romans 11:14). Here is both present and future in regard to the remnant. Paul had no expectation of the salvation of ALL Israel as Jonathan defines it.
In addition, Paul (Romans 9:27) cites the promise of Isaiah 10 that the salvation of the remnant would not be a long protracted process, but, “A short work will the Lord make on the earth” (Romans 9:28). We thus have again the present and the future tenses in regard to the salvation of the remnant, precisely as in Romans 11.
2. Jonathan calls attention to Ezekiel’s promise that “the whole house of Israel” would be saved insisting that this referent cannot be to the completion of the remnant.
The argument about the “whole house of Israel” fails to consider the context of Ezekiel. The ten northern tribes had gone into captivity, and Judah was about to. The promise of the salvation of “the whole house of Israel” was the promise of the restoration of all twelve tribes, as in Ezekiel 37 i.e. the promise of the two sticks being bound together in one. In fact, the term “whole house of Israel” is used six times in Ezekiel, (NASV) and is invariably referent, not to the entire number of Israelites, but to the two houses reunited! Jonathan has wrongly defined “the whole house of Israel.” It is not a promise of the salvation of everyone in the twelve tribes. So, Jonathan’s “devastating argument” is no argument at all.
Note that in Ezekiel 6:7f the Lord said IT WAS A REMNANT THAT WAS PRESERVED IN THE DIASPORA, but, when He restored “the whole house of Israel” IT WOULD BE THAT SCATTERED REMNANT THAT WOULD BE RETURNED, when they repented. So, while the promise was that the “whole house of Israel” would be restored, IT WAS UNDENIABLY THE REMNANT FROM ALL TWELVE TRIBES! This is precisely what Paul was arguing, and see Revelation 7 and 14. This falsifies Jonathan’s view.
Daniel 9 and Romans 11
Look again at my argument on Daniel 9. Paul was anticipating the “taking away” of the sin of Israel. This is the promise of Daniel 9:24:
“Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression,
To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness,
To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy.”
Romans 11:25-27 foretold the end of the Millennium taking away of Israel’s sin in fulfillment of God’s Old Covenant promises made to Old Covenant Israel– Jonathan agrees.
Daniel 9:24 foretold the taking away of Israel’s sin no later than the termination of the seventy weeks.
DANIEL 9 WAS FULFILLED NO LATER THAN AD 70– JONATHAN.
Therefore, Romans 11:25-27–the end of the Millennium taking away of Israel’s sin– was fulfilled no later than AD 70.
Now, Jonathan, if you posit a taking away of Israel’s sin (Romans 11) that is different from Daniel 9, you must prove that. So, produce your proof! If you say the taking away of Israel’s sin promised in Isaiah 27 / 59 is different from Daniel 9, you must prove it. I challenge you to address this argument without evasion. Notice that all he did in “response” to this was to ridicule.
In our in-depth arguments from Isaiah 27 / 59 / Daniel 9 (the prophetic source of Romans 11) we proved beyond any doubt that the promised salvation would come at the time of the destruction of the nation, while the remnant would be saved. That destruction would be God’s judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood.
In light of these facts, I asked Jonathan: Does your end of the Millennium eschatology, based on Romans 11:25f– posit the yet future destruction of the nation of Israel– for shedding innocent blood– when the remnant will be saved? Yes or No? Please answer this candidly, without evasion.
What did Jonathan give us? Not a single word! Yet, he says I ignored his arguments.
Here is what I wrote (that Jonathan ignored):
“According to Paul, there was but “One Hope” (Ephesians 4:5) and that one hope was the resurrection hope of Israel found in Torah. There was not, and is not, in Paul or John or any NT writer– the idea of two eschatons, one (AD 70) for Israel and another one for Israel and the church at the end of time.”
I offered the following argument from Ephesians 1:9-10– but naturally, Jonathan typed not one word in response:
“…having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.”
1. It was God’s eternal purpose to reunite heaven and earth– this is the “final solution” to the Adamic Curse. This is the end of the Millennium reconciliation; “the restoration of all things.”
2. It was God’s eternal purpose to accomplish this reconciliation “in the dispensation of the fullness of the times.” What was the fullness of time?
Galatians 4:4 answers that definitively: “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law.”
The fulness of time was the first century, and more definitively, it was the last days of Old Covenant Israel! So, Paul ties up the “earthly” and the “heavenly” work in one– (the One Hope) to be accomplished in the fulness of time. And the fulness of time was in the first century. There is no temporal gap between the earthly and the heavenly. That is pure fabrication.
Undeniably, this reconciliation– “the restoration of all things” — would be fully accomplished at the end of the Millennium – as Revelation 21-22 shows– heaven and earth re-united! But, that work of reconciliation, the earthly and the heavenly– was confined to the fulness of time, the last days of Israel that terminated in AD 70.
This text deals with that “framework” argument, since it deals with the end of the Millennium consummation. Furthermore, it clearly delimits that consummation to Israel’s last days– the days of the first century. Jonathan, you really need to address this exegetically, instead of ignoring it as you did.
Daniel 12– All These Things
Jonathan makes a bold, but false, claim: “In conjunction with this, it is absolutely essential to note that Daniel 12, far from belonging to full preterists, completely refutes them.”
Remember my argument:
Daniel envisioned the resurrection that Jonathan claims spans the Millennium of so far 2000 years. Daniel overhead one angel ask the other, “How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?” The other angel gave heaven’s answer: “…when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.”
The angel said: “when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.” Jonathan turns that into: “When the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, SOME OF THESE THINGS WILL BE FULFILLED,” or, “when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered all of these things WILL BEGIN TO BE FULFILLED.” Jonathan rejects and distorts the text, thus, he is wrong.
Look closer at Daniel in light of what we have established.
Daniel 12 posited the salvation of Israel at the end of Torah, the passing of the power of the holy people. (Israel’s only “power” was her covenant with YHVH).
Jonathan says Torah passed in AD 70, yet, we are awaiting the total fulfillment of Daniel 12, the resurrection of the unjust. Thus, TORAH IS NOT FULFILLED! It is, therefore, not dead, per Jesus’ emphatic words! If Torah is dead as Jonathan claims, the end of the Millennium salvation of Israel in Romans 11:25-27 (and Ezekiel 38-39 / Daniel 12– no matter what Jonathan may argue) has been fulfilled. Let me drive that home.
ROMANS 11 AND GOD’S COVENANT
Jonathan says the Law of Moses, God’s covenant with Israel– is DEAD.
But, the end of the Millennium salvation of Israel would be in fulfillment of God’s covenant with Israel: “THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, when I take away their sin” (Romans 11:25-27).
Therefore, God’s covenant with Israel will remain valid until the end of the Millennium salvation of Romans 11:25-27.
But, if God’s covenant with Israel remains valid, then every jot and every tittle of Torah– including the New Moons, Feast Days and Sabbaths, remains valid! So, Jonathan, answer my questions about the Sabbath!
Note: There is another HUGE problem for Jonathan, lying latent in Romans 11, that I will try to develop in my two final presentations.
JONATHAN DESTROYS HIS OWN SALVATION!
Look closer at Daniel 12 / Revelation 20. Jonathan wrote: “Whether one wants to argue for a 30 AD or 70 AD start to the Millennium, it does not change the fact that the righteous exclusively take part in the “first resurrection” (Rev. 20:4-6). The wicked are not involved at all! The “rest of the dead” (the wicked) did not live again until the Millennium was over (Rev. 20:5a).”
I said at the outset that desperate men make desperate arguments. None is more desperate than this. Jonathan has excluded himself– AND EVERYONE READING THIS– from the resurrection!
Jonathan assured me that the resurrection at the end of the Millennium (end of time) and the initiation (AD 70) is of the same nature. Jonathan affirms the raising of corpses out of the dirt at the end of time. So, the resurrection of AD 70 was the resurrection of decomposed human corpses out of the dirt. Well, I challenged him to show us the physical resurrection of the righteous that took place in AD 70! Jonathan’s response? Not a syllable! But, it gets worse for our friend.
Jonathan says the resurrection of only the just was in AD 70, “The wicked are not involved at all!” (Matthew 13:30f falsifies this- the Wicked are gathered first!). The resurrection at the end of the Millennium is exclusively the resurrection (of human corpses) of the wicked. But wait!
Do you catch the power of what Jonathan has claimed!
Jonathan, I think it is safe to say you were not raised from biological death in AD 70, right? Furthermore, since the righteous have no part in the resurrection at the end of the Millennium, and since, in your paradigm, that is the only remaining aspect of resurrection– THEN NONE OF THE RIGHTEOUS THAT HAVE LIVED SINCE AD 70 WILL BE RAISED FROM THE DEAD– AND THAT INCLUDES YOU, CORRECT?
Jonathan cannot show that there was a resurrection of the biologically dead saints in AD 70 and say this was the resurrection of Daniel 12 (which of course is 1 Corinthians 15, 1 Thessalonians 4, etc.) WITHOUT EXCLUDING HIMSELF FROM THE RESURRECTION OF THE RIGHTEOUS. Per Jonathan, the resurrection of the righteous is over, done, finished! He thereby excludes himself– AND ALL BELIEVERS SINCE AD 70!!– from the resurrection (his concept of the resurrection)– unless he wants to include himself in the resurrection of the wicked! What a grand doctrine!
EZEKIEL 39 AND LUKE 21:24–32– ALL THESE THINGS
Jonathan says Preston has no answer for his argument on Ezekiel 39 (I am supposedly scared of it) and his conflation of that text with Luke 21. No, as I stated at the outset of this debate, I do not have to address every specific argument he might make. All I have to show is that the constituent elements of the Millennium were present before AD 70, and / or, the end of the Millennium elements are fulfilled in AD 70. Furthermore, Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:17-18 and Luke 21:22 are definitive and unanswerable.
(A quick note here. Jonathan claims RE: Ezekiel 39– “ Further, notice they [the Jews] “all fell by the sword”, and”went into captivity for their iniquity” (Ezek. 39:23) in the sack of Jerusalem (AD 70).” I deny that Ezekiel 39:23 refers to AD 70. It is a look back to the Babylonian captivity, and a promise of the restoration of Israel in the last days).
Jonathan inserts huge temporal gaps where passages give no hint of such gaps. He bifurcates Ezekiel and Luke 21 making part to refer to AD 70 but then, inserts a 2000+ year gap into the text. But, as in Daniel 12, the text forbids this.
Look at what Jesus said in these verses:
1. He said that in the events of his coming against Jerusalem in AD 70: “your redemption draws nigh” (v. 28). This is the end of the Millennium salvation of Romans 11:25f! It is the day of salvation of Romans 13:11 that Paul said had drawn near. If not, Jonathan is positing two salvations– Two Hopes!!– for Israel!
2. Jesus said those were the days in which “all things which are written may be fulfilled.” Jonathan denies these emphatic words, and insists that, “No, all things written were not fulfilled then, only some things were fulfilled then, and only some began to be fulfilled!” But, since he contradicts Jesus, he is wrong.
3. Jesus solemnly declared “this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place” (V. 32). Again, Jonathan flatly contradicts Jesus and says: “No, all things were not fulfilled in that generation.” Some were, but, not all! There is a 2000 year gap (so far!) between the AD 70 fulfillment and the final fulfillment. That means Jonathan is wrong.
The Times of the Gentiles
Jonathan- as usual– imposes a presuppositional concept onto Luke 21 and Jesus’ referent to “the times of the Gentiles.” He says the times of the Gentiles is the Christian age, the Millennium. What proof did he give? Nothing; mere assertion.
But notice Revelation 11:1-4, a direct parallel with Luke 21. In Revelation 11 the holy city is trodden down for a “time, times and a half time,” i.e. 3 ½ years. That time of trodding down is the direct equivalent to the times of the Gentiles in Luke 21, and thus, totally falsifies Jonathan’s presumptive, claim. The times of the Gentiles was the time allotted by God for the Gentiles to accomplish His divine purpose– the 3 ½ year war that brought Israel’s Old Covenant age and history to its climax.
And, I must add this ever so brief thought. Jonathan makes the times of the Gentiles (the Millennium) to be the entirety of the Christian age, i.e. GENTILE DOMINATION OVER ISRAEL. In scripture, however, THE MILLENNIUM IS THE FULFILLMENT OF GOD’S PROMISES TO BLESS ISRAEL! IT IS NOT ISRAEL’S SUBJUGATION, IT IS ISRAEL’S GLORY! There was, to be sure, a double edged sword to this, in that the Old Covenant world would perish, but, its demise would give rise to the glorious body of Christ! But the fact remains that Jonathan’s view of the Millennium, as the time of Gentile domination of Israel is false.
THE SAINTS AND THE KINGDOM BEFORE AD 70
My operative principle is undeniable and Jonathan knows it – If the constituent elements of the millennial reign of Revelation 20 existed prior to AD 70, Jonathan’s eschatology is falsified. He claims that the saints did not possess the kingdom and rule and reign with Christ prior to AD 70. This is patently false.
Notice the elements of the Millennium as set forth in Revelation 20, and the undeniable fact that each of those very elements are found in the saints prior to AD 70.
Presence of the kingdom – Colossians 1:13; Revelation 1:9 – They had been translated into the kingdom. Were they awaiting the manifestation and glorification? Yes, but that is not the point.
Priests– Hebrews 13:15; 1 Peter 2:5; Revelation 1:5f– Undeniably the saints were a spiritual priesthood, offering up spiritual sacrifices in the spiritual temple.
Thrones – Ephesians 1-2 – Christ had been enthroned in the heavenly places, with ALL AUTHORITY (Matthew 28:18f). He was ruling (1 Corinthians 15:23f– the present infinitive demands that Christ was reigning when Paul wrote) as he awaited the putting down of the last enemy, just as in Revelation 20. The saints had been raised to sit with him (the language is “enthronement” language” and were ruling with him, Ephesians 2:1-5).
The binding of Satan – Christ had bound Satan, triumphing over him through the Cross (Luke 10:18; Colossians 2:15f).
Suffering – Tribulation – The saints were in tribulation (2 Thessalonians 1; Revelation 1:9). This virtually demands that the end of the millennium was near!
Resurrection – The saints had been raised from the dead (Romans 6:1-10; Colossians 2:11-13). But, they were awaiting the imminent manifestation of the life that was hidden in them, just as in Revelation 20, the saints were awaiting the full arrival of the New Creation.
Thus, every constituent element mentioned in Revelation 20:1-6 was present in the saints prior to AD 70. This is a 100% falsification of Jonathan’s presuppositional claims about Ezekiel 38-39, Daniel 12, Romans 11 and Revelation.
So, I have proven that the constituent elements of the Millennium found in Revelation 20 were present before AD 70. I have proven that the end of the Millennium elements of Revelation 21-22 were posited to arrive at the time of the destruction of Old Covenant Israel in AD 70. These are the “frame-work” arguments that completely nullify Jonathan’s desperate attempts to impose his presuppositional theology onto the text, all the while ignoring– even overtly distorting– the clear, emphatic words of the text.
Important closing note: I challenged Jonathan, since he says he holds to the orthodox view of eschatology, to document this view from the historical church sources, the creeds, and “orthodoxy!” His response? Not a keystroke. The reason is simple. He cannot produce, from any creed or council, the views of eschatology that he is espousing as the “orthodox” view of the historical church! And he knows it! Yet, he tosses out the heterodox label at preterists, as an attempt to “poison the well.”
What About Double Fulfillment
I challenged Jonathan to document, from scripture, that AD 70 foreshadowed the “real end.” What did he offer? Not one syllable See my book: AD 70: A Shadow of the “Real” End? for an in-depth response to the claim that the events of AD 70 foreshadowed the “real end.” There is no Biblical evidence to support this view. Once again, Jonathan, produce your proof!
The New Creation
Jonathan agrees that the New Creation of Revelation 21f comes at the end of the Millennium. This is fatal. (Note: Jonathan’s failure to see that the New Creation is synonymous with the Kingdom, is hugely problematic for him, but I cannot develop that here).
The end of the Millennium New Creation of Revelation 21f– would be in fulfillment of the Old Covenant promises made to Old Covenant Israel– Isaiah 65-66.
But, the end of the Millennium New Heaven and Earth of Isaiah 65 (v. 17f) would come at the time of 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).
Therefore, the end of the Millennium New Heaven and Earth 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 end of the Millennium arrived in AD 70, and Jonathan is wrong.
Titus – The Beast
Jonathan claims the beast of Revelation is Titus. He has not offered a word of proof.
His identification demands that the “Beast” never existed before the time of Revelation– unprovable.
He has given no evidence– thus, no proof.
I have addressed– directly or indirectly– every major argument set forth by Jonathan by demonstrating the following:
1. The end of the Millennium elements of Revelation 20-22 arrived in AD 70. This totally nullifies his bold claims that chapter 20 is not a capitulation.
2. I have shown that the constituent elements of the Millennium, described in Revelation 20:1f were present prior to AD 70, thus proving that the Millennium did not begin at that point.
3. I have proven, by a (brief) look at Elijah, that the restoration of all things– which Jonathan says belongs to the Millennium– began with John the Baptizer, according to Jesus. This totally falsifies Jonathan’s eschatology.
4. I have demonstrated that Jonathan’s claims concerning the resurrection of the righteous occurring in AD 70, and that the end of the Millennium resurrection is exclusively of the unrighteous, per Jonathan, excludes him– and all believes since AD 70– from any resurrection! Jonathan has condemned himself!
5. I have, again, demonstrated that the prophetic source of Paul’s expectation of the end of the Millennium salvation of Israel (Isaiah 27 / 59 / Daniel 9 & 12) undeniably posited that salvation at the time of the destruction of the Old Covenant nation, when Christ would come in judgment of her, for shedding innocent blood. That was– without any controversy– in AD 70. Jonathan simply ignores or denies that prophetic testimony.
6. I have shown that those same prophecies foretold the consummation of the salvation of the remnant– not the salvation of every Israelite.
7. I have shown that not a jot or tittle of the Law of Moses could pass away until it was all fulfilled, and that includes the typological Sabbath, New Moons and Feast Days. The Sabbath typified the end of the Millennium New Creation of Revelation 21f. Thus, if, as Jonathan claims, the Law of Moses has passed, the end of the Millennium has come. If the Sabbath is no longer binding, the Millennium has ended.
Jonathan’s eschatology is false. It is more than clear that the Millennium did not begin in AD 70.