Recently, I had the privilege of reviewing Don Preston’s new book AD 70 A Shadow of the Real End?, (available in paperback and on Kindle). It was one of the most exciting and refreshing reads on eschatology I have been privileged to experience in a while.
If you’ve never speed read before, or thought it was impossible, just pick up this book. You’ll be racing through the chapters to get to the next argument as he dismantles sophistry in the most straight forward and simple fashion.
Preston masterfully critiques, dissects, and dismisses the arguments of Gentry, McDurmon, Demar, Beale and Mathison to name a few. They all placed their confidence and hope in the argument that 70 AD and the destruction of Jerusalem was a type of the real end.
This is an argument we cut our eye-teeth on very early in our studies of eschatology. It was made popular by a church of Christ preacher by the name of Franklin Camp in his book, The Work of the Holy Spirit in Redemption.
In that excellent work, Camp laid out about 60 to 70 pages of introductory material establishing 10 critical points on the redemptive historical significance of AD 70. Then, in an almost perfect study, he capsized by arguing that all he had said before to establish that significance was but a type of a future judgment.
Camp derailed himself, and apparently, these guys never read or understood the fallacy of his paradigm. They drank the dregs from that bitter cup and Preston has extracted from them an exorbitant price. You must “catch the power of this” (to use his signature phrase).
The detractors of Covenant Eschatology, be they Amillennialists, Dispensationalists, Postmillennialists, or Partial Presterists all staked their claim (after being forced to retreat from their weakling arguments in debate, print or public presentation), sought refuge in this one-legged doctrine they hoped would deliver them from the blistering logic of the full preterist paradigm. It backfired!
AD 70, A Shadow of the (Real) End?, has routed them. I could say more, but the reviews from the back cover of the book should give you a quick taste of what’s inside the book and neither do it full justice. You must read it and you must read it today. It will save you from a lot of errors in the future and give you a mountain-top perspective of the landscape of erroneous, faulty logic from futurists.
AD 70, A Shadow of the (Real) End Review:The Amillennialists and Postmillennialists often speak of the “redemptive significance” of AD 70 even admitting that Christ came, the end of the age arrived, and even that there was “a fulfillment” of 1 Corinthians 15 and Revelation 20 at that time! However, they then dismiss AD 70 as a sign or foreshadowing of the “real” coming of Christ, judgment and resurrection at the end of the Christian age.
Prolific author and debater Don K. Preston D. Div. president of Preterist Research Institute of Ardmore, Ok. has now written the definitive refutation of the claim that AD 70 was a foreshadowing of another coming of Christ “at the end of human history.”
In this unprecedented book, Preston adduces fifteen reasons (among many more that could be given) why AD 70 was not typological. Dr. Preston’s presentation is a devastating, irrefutable critique of the Dominionist and Amillennial claims. After exegetically demolishing the claims that AD 70 was typological, Preston then presents the logical implications of saying AD 70 was typological, and this chapter alone is more than worth the entire book!
Here is what one reviewer had to say about AD 70: A Shadow of the “Real” End?
“This book is a game changer!”
Amillennialists and Postmillennialists have been forced to recognize the “redemptive significance” of the end of the age events of AD 70. They even admit “a” parousia and resurrection, occurred! However, to avoid the implications of this admission, they have sought refuge in the fallacious doctrine that the coming of Christ in AD70 was but a foreshadowing of the “real” end.
In AD 70, A Shadow of the (Real) End?, Don K. Preston, D. Div, has thrown down the gauntlet in his critique of the leading opponents of Covenant Eschatology, (i.e. Full Preterism). The clarity and execution of Preston’s logic and ease of style kept me riveted, page after page, as he dismantled the non-sense from those opponents. Their attempts to maintain their end times paradigms are simply obliterated by the power of the gospel. This book is an exciting, scholarly read flowing beautifully from one argument to the next.
Preston has proven that to say AD 70 was typological means:
This book is a lesson in logic, a master’s course in hermeneutics and a systematic theology of Covenant Eschatology. I predict it will be a classic study for ages to come.” William Bell, president All Things Fulfilled Ministry, author, lecturer.
You can purchase your copy of AD 70: A Shadow of the “Real” End? Today, on Kindle for only $9.75. Be one of the first to own this fantastic new book, and equip yourself with the Truth concerning what the Lord accomplished at his coming in AD 70. Get your copy of AD 70: A Shadow of the “Real” End? today.
AD 70 A Shadow of the Real End Review
It is true that the Bible teaches that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. However, we find the kingdom being inherited by those who “biologically speaking” are flesh and blood!
How is this possible?
It is a blatant contradiction, if and only if, by “flesh and blood” in 1 Corinthians 15:50, we mean biological cells and DNA. However, that is not what is meant. But before we address that point, let us note that some were inheriting the kingdom.
In Hebrews 12:28, the Bible says, “For we receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.”
Several points should be noted here.
The receiving of the kingdom represents one continuous process for the saints, from the inception of their salvation to its consummation. See the parable in Mark 4:26-29, where the kingdom is shown to be one continuous process of growing from the sowing until the harvest.
Secondly, the receiving of the kingdom equates with the inheriting of the kingdom. They mean one and the same. One who is receiving the kingdom is inheriting the kingdom. One who inherited the kingdom has received it. Can there be an inheriting without receiving? If not, neither can there be a receiving without inheriting.
In Luke 19:12, the Bible speaks of the nobleman’s son, who went into a far country to “receive” for himself a kingdom and to return. This is a parable taken from a real world example but which Christ applies to himself. In the parable the Bible clearly teaches that Christ, as did Archelaus, inherited the kingdom.
Thirdly, Abraham receives the inheritance. “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance….”(Heb. 11:8)
Fourthly, the saints who are receiving the kingdom, [an ongoing present action pointing to a consummation], are simultaneously inheriting the kingdom. But these saints are “flesh and blood” biologically speaking. Thus, when “flesh and blood” is made to refer to biology, it forces the Bible to teach the very opposite of 1 Corinthians 15, thereby making the texts contradict with a 180 degree spin!
Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, 1 Cor. 15:50. But flesh and blood was at that very time inheriting the kingdom, Hebrews 12:28. How does that work with the Individual Body at Death view (IBD) who take ‘flesh and blood’ in the Corinthians text to mean the physical body?
To the contrary, not only is “flesh and blood” per Hebrews 12:28, used in the covenantal sense of receiving/inheriting/entering the kingdom of God, the saints begin receiving it in advance of the parousia or with a view to its arrival upon the shaken of the Old Covenant heaven and earth! This further identifies this transition as covenantal, spiritual and progressively consummating the eschatological event.
In like manner, we are certain that “flesh and blood” in 1 Corinthians 15:50 cannot be interpreted to mean biology, but must be understood in a soteriological context. For example, Paul writes in Romans 8:9, but you are not in the flesh if the Spirit of God dwells in you.
Did Paul mean these saints were not “flesh and blood” biologically speaking? No, that would be absurd. But, he certainly meant they were not flesh and blood in some sense. If they were not “in the flesh” how could they be “flesh and blood in the “sense” Paul meant?”
Jesus defines the term “flesh and blood” from a covenantal perspective. He says of those born of God that they are not born of flesh and blood.
“But as many as received Him to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name; who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)
Jesus is speaking of becoming a son of God. Sons of God are sons of the resurrection. This is true both from the inaugural, (Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:27), the interim (Romans 8:14; Eph. 2:5-6) and consummate viewpoint, (Luke 20:35).
Therefore, Jesus is speaking of the resurrection and says plainly; those who believe in him are not born of the flesh, or of blood or of the will of man but are born of God. His words are to be understood in the light of his expanded discussion on this point with Nicodemus in John chapter 3.
“‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’” (John 3:3). Nicodemus asked Jesus directly, how could he be born of “flesh and blood”, that is how could he enter the second time into his mother’s womb and be born? That is a flesh and blood birth, but it is not the birth Jesus had in mind.
Jesus made it very clear stating emphatically, that Nicodemus and Israel had to be born of the Spirit. He said, “‘That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’” (John 3:6) The observant reader will note that in John 3:3-8, Jesus is speaking of the birth of two respective covenants, i.e. the Old Covenant birth is being contrasted with the new covenant birth.
This is evident from his statement where he says, Marvel not that I said to you [soi, singular meaning Nicodemus], that you [humas, plural] meaning the nation of Israel, must be born again. In light of these statements, how can one refer to believers as being in the flesh or being born of “flesh and blood” in their covenantal relationship as sons of God?
Further, from Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus and the text in John 1:11-13, we have the same contextual setting for understanding the term “flesh and blood” as used in the above-mentioned texts. It is clearly a contrast between the life in the Old Covenant in contrast to that of the New Covenant.
When Jesus says he came to his own, [Israel] but his own received him not, he speaks of those under the Law. But, to those who received him and to whom he gave the authority to become sons of God ‘not by blood, or by flesh or by the will of man’ (human power & authority) he is contrasting life under the old covenant, i.e. “flesh and blood” with life under the new covenant being “born of the Spirit” for the terms “born of God, and born of the Spirit of equal.
This is the meaning of 1 Corinthians 15:50 otherwise, we have flagrant contradictions of the scriptures that says those who, biologically speaking were “flesh and blood” were in fact receiving or inheriting the kingdom. However, as we have shown by Christ’s own words that “flesh and blood” referred to those under the Old Covenant Law of Moses, it becomes clear that they as such, cannot inherit the kingdom of God.]]>
Frost’s response to our last post focused on my comments on John Calvin’s Kingdom paradigm. Frost presented Calvin as placing the kingdom events of Matthew 16:28 in a Pentecost/Ascension time frame. If that is the case, then, yes, it is quite possible that I misunderstood Calvin words. I simply did not take them to mean what Frost said they meant. Let’s examine them:
“Understand the coming of the kingdom of God’ as the manifestation of the heavenly glory which Christ inaugurated at His resurrection and showed more fully by sending the Holy Spirit and by performing wonderful miracles. For in those beginnings He gave His people a taste of the newness of the heavenly life, when by true and sure experiences they knew that He sat at the right hand of the Father.” CNTC, Matthew Vol. II, p. 196
I understand Calvin to say that the coming of the kingdom of God is the “manifestation of the heavenly glory”. It is the “newness of life” of which the disciples only tasted, but did not fully consume, to follow his figure of speech. A taste may be the beginning of enjoying a meal but it certainly does not have the “power” of consuming a meal. A taste is the wetting of the appetite for the more or full manifestation of that which is tasted. Calvin explains what he means in later chapters when commenting on the kingdom in Luke 21 referring back to his very analogy of tasting.
“Christ comes now to the full disclosure of His Kingdom, which His disciples had originally asked Him about, and He promises that after the vexation of such great troubles will come the time of redemption….The meaning is that the predictions about a prodigious shaking of heaven and earth should not be tied to the beginning of redemption, for the prophets had included its whole course, till it came to its finishing-point...Now we grasp Christ’s purpose, the sense of the words is easy, that the heaven will not be darkened immediately, but only after the Church has gone through its afflictions…Not that the glory and majesty of Christ’s Kingdom will only appear at His final coming, but that the completion (complementum) is delayed till that point—the completion of those things that started at the resurrection, of which God gave His people only a taste, to lead them further along the road of hope and patience. CNTC, Matthew, Vol 3, p. 93 (emp. mine)
Now what are those things that Calvin said started or were a taste, or an inauguration beginning with the resurrection? Were they not the sending of the Holy Spirit and the working of miracles given to lead them further along the road of hope and patience? When does he say those things would be finished? At the shaking of heaven and earth, after the church has gone through the afflictions, i.e. the great tribulation until the glory and majesty of Christ’s Kingdom appears at His final coming. Did the Holy Spirit’s ministry end on Pentecost? Did the working of miracles end on Pentecost? Did the great tribulation occur on Pentecost? Was heaven and earth shaken on Pentecost or was it being shaken as the saints were receiving the kingdom, (Hebrews 12:26-28)?
Calvin has confirmed with his own words that the things he spoke of were the beginning or taste of that which would later be consummated. Not only that but he denies Luke 21 refers to the A.D. 70 coming of Christ and places all the events of that chapter future! However, he affirmed per Matthew 24:34 that the events that parallel chapter were all experienced within 50 years, i.e. within that one generation living in the time of Christ! It appears that Calvin had serious problems with his eschatology. He takes a futurist view of Luke 21 and a Preterist view of Matthew 24!
“Although the same evils continued without a break for many centuries to follow, Christ still spoke truly, saying the faithful would actually and openly experience before the end of one generation how true His oracle was, for the Apostles suffered the same things as we see today….He encourages them to hold out by telling them exactly what to look for in that time. The meaning is that the prophecy does not refer to distant evils which a later generation would see after many centuries, but those already imminent, all massed up, so that there is no part of it which the present generation will not experience. So the Lord heaps on one generation calamities of every description although he does not spare later generations.
Calvin teaches not only the Preterist view of Matthew 24, but he teaches the events keep recurring in every future generation, a bazaar interpretation indeed! Yet, he is faithful to the audience relevance hermeneutic.
“In tying together the accounts of Matthew 24 & Mark 13, with Luke, Calvin posits the coming of the Kingdom and the coming of the Son of Man as one event. “What Matthew and Mark had said more obscurely, know ye that he is nigh, even at the doors, Luke expounds more clearly, that the kingdom of God is nigh. And in this passage the Kingdom of God is not thought of (as so often elsewhere) at its beginning, but at its completion, and this was how those who Christ taught used to understand it. They did not understand by it the Kingdom of God in the Gospel, which consists in the peace and joy of faith, and in spiritual righteousness, but they were looking for that blessed rest and glory which hidden under hope awaits the last day.”(emp. his) CNTC, Vol. III, p. 97.
(Click on Graphic to Enlarge). We pointed out that Daniel 7 focuses on the consummation of the kingdom in judgment as the time the court is seated. This correlates perfectly with the teaching of persecution in Matthew 16:24-26 and the relief from that persecution promised at the judgment. The court is seated for judgment after the time of the affliction and persecution. This cannot be Pentecost as the chart demonstrates.
After clearly positing verse 27 as the ‘glory of the Father and the angels’ when Christ comes as “Judge of the World”, Calvin says an “example” of Christ’s future glory would soon be given. Calvin makes clear that verse 27 is the “future glory” and that in his explanation of verse 28 speaks of an ‘interim period’ when salvation is delayed until the coming of Christ.
The question here is whether Calvin sees the inaugural period as one day or merely the Ascension or whether he views it as the entire eschaton? I chose to see it as the latter based on his comments on Luke 21 and Matthew 24 above in which he elaborates on it further, whereas Frost sees it as the former.
Not only that, but Calvin also ascribed Christ’s “consummative” return per Matthew 24:30 as a coming kingdom with “heavenly power”. “He declares He will appear openly at His last coming, that , endowed with heavenly power like a sign lifted high aloft, He may turn the gaze of all the world on Himself.”CNTC, Matthew Vol. III, p. 94.
My original comments did in fact acknowledge Calvin’s inaugural period as the Ascension/Pentecost time frame though I did not limit it to that time only. If I have misread him on that point then I gladly concede the point. It does not make the case for Frost or Calvin to separate verse 28 from verse 27 as Mike Sullivan’s comments show below:
“Secondly, Sam (nor Calvin whom he cherry picks on v. 28 and not on v. 27) deals with Jesus’ phrase, “Verily I say unto you” in the beginning of Matt. 16:28a. which He uses to connect and emphasize a subject already being discussed. In other words Christ in verse 28 is bringing home the point and teaching of v. 27 with an additional important and startling point – some of you will be alive to witness this very coming (that He just discussed in v. 27)! So exegetically, this statement connects the two comings as one, so whatever your understanding of Christ’s coming is in verse 27 is the proper understanding one should have in v. 28. Since the phrase connects the two comings as the same event, it is interesting that Sam doesn’t want to deal with this issue in connection with quoting Calvin on the “coming” in Matt. 16:28 while neglecting to address what he says of Christ’s coming in v. 27:
‘…he shall appear as the judge of the world.’
For Calvin, this is the final Second Coming event. Interestingly enough Calvin also interprets Matthew 13:39-43/Dan. 12:2-3 in the same way:”
Frost argues that Revelation 5 is an ascension scene and seeks to parallel it with Daniel 7:13-14. We’ve pointed out the fallacy of ascribing Daniel 7 to the ascension versus the judgment or consummation of the kingdom. To connect Revelation 5 to Daniel 7 is to acknowledge it is also a judgment or kingdom consummative text. But to offer more evidence consider the following:
In both Exodus 15 and 2 Samuel 22, Israel sings a song after deliverance from their enemies. It is a redemptive song of kingdom victory. In Revelation 14, the saints sing before the throne, the living creatures and the elders just as in Revelation 5. Note, only those who were redeemed from the earth could sing that song. They are the redeemed from among men, the 144,000 being the firstfruits who follow the Lamb. What does the angel say to them? “‘Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come.’” (Rev. 14:7) Another angel says it is the time of the fall of Babylon, i.e. Jerusalem (Mystery Babylon). That connects the event with the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. (v. 8)
Next, John sees the same group who have the harps of God (14:2; 15:2), singing the song of Moses who say that all the nations shall come and worship (bow down before God) because ‘Your judgments are manifested’”. (15:4).
Thirdly, the number of tens thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands, expresses an innumerable company who stand around the kingdom throne. This corresponds with Daniel 7:10, Rev. 7:4-9; 14, 15, and is the scene of a court assembled for judgment.
Finally, we have the universal confession which is taken directly from the judgment text of Isaiah 45:23. Almost every commentary on Revelation 5:13, parallels the confession with Phil. 2:10. This is revealing in that Paul’s immediate context for these verses is the introduction of the warning and admonition of the Exodus against murmuring and complaining which resulted in judgment. In addition, both Deuteronomy 32 and Daniel 12:1-3, the time of Israel’s judgment is contextually in view.
The chart shows that every judgment text that mentions the confession is tied to Isaiah 45:23. (Click Image to Enlarge.) Paul, gives a “this is that”reply. “‘For it is written we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.‘” (emp. mine) He offers inspired testimony that Isaiah 45:23 is the background and source for the statement every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess to God.
For the apostle it is clearly a judgment context. In so describing, he has tied together the obvious texts in Romans 14:11-12, 2 Cor. 5:10 , Philippians 2:9-11, Daniel 7:9f and Revelation 5:13. They are not Pentecost/Ascension passages but judgments texts.
We have further examined the statements of Calvin in a wider context. We understand him to mean the entire eschaton as the inaugural period until the “final” coming of Christ, which he says, had to occur within the one generation of those living in the time of Christ, although according to him, the events surrounding it repeat from generation to generation.
We pointed out that Calvin saw the coming of the eschatological kingdom and the coming of the Son of man as one and the same event. Further, he saw not many kingdoms and comings but one inaugural coming that would reach a consummation.
Next we demonstrated that Matthew 16:24-28 is directly parallel to Daniel 7, both of which refer to the persecution of the church, and judgment, not the Ascension.
Finally, we demonstrated that Revelation 5:13 is contextually tied to Isaiah 45:23, and other kingdom judgment passages which mention the universal confession.]]>
Sam Frost of ROC ministries made an attempt to address Matthew 16:28 as it relates to the judgment and fulfillment of all Bible prophecy in AD70. We applaud his attempt but find it lacking in substantive proof. Our reasons are submitted below. For a full review of Frost’s Matthew 16:28 article, see his Reign of Christ Ministries.
Frost attempts to deny the force of Matthew 16:28 by setting up a straw man argument as though we attempt to prove the case primarily through paralleling texts and similarity of speech.
First, no preterist or advocate of Covenant eschatology of which I am aware, bases their arguments for Matthew 16:28 on such a weak foundation. Such is derived from hermeneutics principles, logical deductions based on Scripture and to quote a former debate opponent, “a good dose of common sense.”
How much sense does it make to have three separate comings of Christ in his kingdom, all of which were to occur within the lifetime of the disciples? None, unless such is needed to attempt a refutation of all Bible prophecy being fulfilled in AD70. Divide and conquer seems to be the mantra of futurists. Separate the texts and events at all costs!
Secondly, Frost asks, “Is seeing the kingdom of God”, [Matthew 16:28] “have seen the kingdom of God coming power”, [Mark 9:1] and the Son of Man coming in his kingdom” [Luke 9:27] all temporal equivalent and concepts?
Here is a question we would pose for Frost. Does “some standing here who shall not taste death” Matt. 16:28, “some standing here who will not taste death, Mark 9:1, refer to two different groups and times because one text uses “shall not” and the other uses “will not”? Does Sam use the dis-similarity of language here to force Jesus to be speaking to different groups at different times, perhaps one generation living then and one now or yet future?
Since Jesus limited the hearers in Mark to “this [first century] generation, (8:38) to what generation do the other two verses belong? With Frost’s reasoning, it must be apparent, they are not the same! This is incorrect.
The same problems apply here for the kingdom as we noted above. Consider the following. What could possibly be the difference in stating that “till they see the Son of man” (Matthew 16:28) and till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power? Is not the audience the same in both texts? Does not Jesus affirm that those who stood in His presence would not die until they see/have seen it? What’s the distinction in the audience? None!
One is describing an action that will occur in the future as either completed or incomplete (present at the time of occurrence). The other describes the same future event from the perspective of it definitely having occurred. Both texts involve the same generational audience.
It poses no more difficulty than that if a mother were to say to her son, “You shall not eat ice cream until you clean your plate.” Stated another way, “You shall not eat ice cream until you have eaten all your vegetables.” Would a 1st grade kid suppose his mother intended one statement meant in his lifetime and the other 2000 years later?
Third, since Frost admits that Matthew 16:28, speaks of Jesus coming “in his kingdom”, how is it that his kingdom could come without Jesus being on the throne? Where does the Bible teach any coming of the kingdom in the N.T. where Christ is not reigning on the throne, i.e. in the kingdom? Thus any coming of the kingdom, whether it mentions Christ or not, he is present on the throne. Can there be a kingdom without a king?
Fourth, Jesus describes the coming of the Son of man as equal to the coming in the kingdom. Compare Luke 17:20-24. Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.
[Observe how Jesus discusses the coming of the kingdom as the desire to see one of the days of the "Son of Man."]
“Then He said to the disciples, The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. And they will say to you, ‘Look here!’ or ‘Look there’ Do not go after them or follow them. For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day.”
Now it is obvious that Jesus speaks to a first century audience and says the same thing about the parousia as he does above about the kingdom.
“Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or “look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matt. 24:26,27) Compare Luke 21:28 and 31 which place the coming of Christ in the clouds with the coming of the kingdom before the first century generation passes. This teaches the same as Matthew 16:28.
Observe also that Jesus uses “east and west” in Matthew above but uses “one part under heaven to the other part of heaven” in the Lukan text. According to Frost’s logic, they must refer to different events. Not!
Fifth, Calvin is invoked for his scholarly commentary on Matthew 16:28. To this we have two things to say. Sam misapplies the quote from Calvin who said basically that Pentecost, the sending of the Spirit and the working of miracles were the “beginnings” or “taste” of the new heavenly life.
Sam overstated Calvin’s words attempting to force them into a pre-AD70 coming of Christ. In so doing he contradicts himself on Matthew 16:28 and Calvin.
Frost writes on Matthew 16:28, that whatever Jesus means, all scholars agree the event must occur in the lifetime of the disciples. Next he adds this comment on Calvin. “AD 70 is not even in consideration here.”
That is Frost’s interpretation of Calvin who leaves the “endings” or “consummation” to the reader’s own judgment per the quote. The “beginnings” cannot be the end. Calvin made a clear distinction in what he called “the beginning” and that which he called the “taste of the newness of the heavenly life,” i.e. the end.
Now if the coming of the Holy Spirit and the working of miracles during the pre-parousia time that Christ sits on the throne are the beginnings, then what is the end or the consummation? That would most certainly be the time when Jesus comes in his kingdom. Such can be inferred from Calvin’s words.
That very point is taught in 1 Corinthians 1:7-8, where the saints are confirmed to the end and the day of Christ, the parousia. Miracles continued until Christ returned in his kingdom. Unless Frost can produce some miracles, his point falls woefully short of its goal. See my Kindle eBook on miracles, “Have You Spoken in Tongues”
Frost’s attempt to explain away the AD70 coming per the verse above and Calvin’s statement is very telling. It smacks of desperation. Since all scholars agree that whatever the event is, it must happen in the lifetime of the disciples, then it must follow that the consummation Calvin spoke about happens in the lifetime of the disciples.
Even Frost must agree with that conclusion not withstanding his reluctance and attempt to push it all into a Pentecost time frame. Calvin says the beginning is a “taste” of the end. Tasting the powers of the age to come is not the realization of the age to come as Hebrews 6:5 shows. Otherwise, Frost arrives at the end before Covenant eschatology advocates do.
That is true “hyperpreterism!” Frost offers us more true hyper-preterist arguments later.
Sixth: Frost, raises some possible concerns about the Greek text and since he dismisses them as not-insurmountable, we accept his acknowledgement that there is no need to tamper with such trivialities.
Seventh, Frost now renounces his allegiance to the creeds on the final judgment by unwittingly disguising his objections with the cloak “popular understandings.” He knows that the creeds and the history of the “church” are the foundations upon which these “popular understandings” are based. Frost must therefore become anti-creedal to refute the connections of judgment terminology in Matthew 16:28 and Rev. 20:11-15.
He likewise concedes that the Matthew 16.28 text is one unit, indivisible from Matthew 16:27 and is fulfilled in the lifetime of the first century disciples.
Sam’s woes thicken when we invoke the divine God-inspired scholarly works of Isaiah. I’m sure he would agree that no “mind of man” can compete with the mind of God (Isaiah 55:8-9).
In Isaiah chapter 40, the prophet speaks of judgment upon Israel. He invokes the ministry of John, the Baptist, and alludes directly to the judgment John pronounced as also recorded in Matthew 3:1-11. Surely, Sam does not extend the judgment warnings of John, beyond AD70.
In Isaiah 40:6-8, Isaiah quotes their destruction under the metaphor of the people as grass that fades which stands in stark contrast to the word of God which abides forever. Peter quotes these very words in his first epistle, 1 Peter 1:24-25. They echo Matthew 24:34-35 and Matthew 16:28.
Clearly, the context of Isaiah 40:9, relates to Judah. After all, that is the region of John’s ministry. It is the southern kingdom to which Jesus and Peter preached in the last days of Israel. It is this contextual setting in which we find the quote mentioned in Matthew 16:27-28. It is lifted from Isaiah 40:10.
“Behold, the Lord God shall come with a strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him; Behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him,” (emphasis added) Isaiah has therefore linked the judgment of Jerusalem with the coming of the Lord to reward the saints.
Isaiah 62:11-12 is a parallel text. “Indeed the Lord has proclaimed to the end of the world; “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Surely your salvation is coming; Behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him.” And they shall call them The Holy People, The Redeemed of the Lord; and you shall be called Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken.”
The proclamation of salvation to the end of the world is the gospel which had to be preached to all the nations as a witness before the end came. That again ties us to Matthew 24:14, Mark. 13:10; Rom. 10:18, etc. It shows without question that the coming of Isaiah 40:10-11 and 62:11-12 to reward the saints is contextually inseparable from the coming upon Jerusalem in AD70.
Isaiah 40:10-11 and 62:11-12 is Matthew 16:27-28 and Matthew 24. Matthew 24 is the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70. Therefore, the coming to reward the each according to their works in AD70.
This is why Peter takes up the subject in his epistle. It lays the ground work for the judgment he expands upon in 1 Peter 4:5-7, connecting it with the resurrection and the end of all things. Peter said that the time had arrived for “the judgment” to begin at the house of God, i.e. the house of Israel and the temple. 1 Peter 4:17.
The Holy Spirit has wrapped Frost up in knots from which he cannot break loose in Matthew 16:28 without renouncing logic, the creeds, the scholars and the Old and New Testaments. It is an unenviable position.
Frost says let’s read the commentaries. Of the making of such books there is no end. What conclusion does he draw from the commentaries? This, namely, that they are unsurprisingly all over the place. Since they do not offer us anything conclusive and since we can teach any doctrine imaginable from a commentary depending on whose it is, why not settle for a simple, “thus says the Lord.”
After all, once we’re done with the commentaries the exegete has to decide who or which is more rational and accurate. That’s the “good dose of common sense” we spoke of earlier. The commentaries offer nothing substantial in deciding the issue. They do give us insights by which we may arrive at our own individual judgment of their merit.
All of us are prone to choose the commentary which favors the opinion or doctrinal inclination we already hold in many cases. I doubt at this point that Frost would accept a scholarly commentary on Matthew 16:28 that posits a full preterist view.
Ninth, Frost argues for a Pentecost/Ascension fulfillment of Daniel 7:13-14. Jesus quotes Daniel 7:13-14 in Matthew 24:30 and 26:64. In the latter, the High Priest and Sanhedrin court charged him with blasphemy for his testimony. According to Jesus, Daniel 7:13-14 is His coming in glory. According to Frost it is his going to receive glory!?!
Does Frost’s position on Daniel 7:13-14 charge Jesus with blasphemy? Does Frost deny Jesus’ own interpretation of the text? If the High Priest claimed Jesus lied for quoting Daniel 7:13-14 to refer to his coming in judgment, what does Frost’s interpretation suggest? Does he believe his view or the commentaries supersede the words of Christ?
I have always cautioned interpreters of Daniel 7:13-14, not to pry into the “unrevealed secrets” of God. Daniel has received a vision that gave him a BC-Excedrin migraine headache (7:15). To get rid of his pain over the vision, he did not consult with commentaries or seek his own wisdom. He asked the angel for assistance and the angel revealed to him the interpretation.
What is my point? The meaning of Daniel 7:13-14 is found, not in the vision per se, but in the words revealed by the angel. What the angel describes following Daniel’s headache is not an ascension scene but a judgment scene that is historically placed within the days of the 4th beast (Rome) and national Israel, (the little horn) who makes war with the saints until the time comes for the saints to possess the kingdom.
We know from Matthew 21:33-43, that the kingdom is given to the saints in AD70, following the destruction of the Jews. The scene is a court of judgment (Daniel 7:26). See Daniel 7:10. No such court, judgment or gathering of thousands times tens thousands with the “books opened” happened at the ascension. If so, someone has a quite an imagination. This is clearly the scene of Revelation 20:11-14.
What then do we have in Revelation? We have very emphatic time statements that incorporate all the above declaring the time had drawn near for these things to shortly be done. Jesus, by implication, and certainly a necessary one, repeats the prophecies of Isaiah 40:10 and 62:11, in Revelation 22:12. That means that he regarded the message of revelation as the fulfillment of those O.T. passages and Matthew 16:28 as occurring before some who stood with him died.
The above demonstrates that Frost has made some glaring errors of judgment and interpretation on Matthew 16:28. We have addressed each of his points with scripture and what we believe to be sound logic and valid arguments. Matthew 16:28 therefore stands as indivisible and a definite pillar in establishing the first century unbreakable harmony of end times texts.
Matthew 16:28, a reply.]]>
On last week, several of us traveled to Milwaukee for the Annual ETS Conference. With us, were Edmund Lee, Parker Voll, Ed Stevens, Larry Siegle and myself. Don Preston missed the trip to be with his daughter who gave birth to his newborn granddaughter. Both mother and daughter are in good health.
Don Preston and Preterist Research Institute (PRI) financed the trip on our (Siegle and my) behalf for which I am extremely grateful for the experience. The two of us made connecting flights in Atlanta and flew together to Milwaukee through very nice weather. Each day we were there, the weather improved, with nothing as expected by way of snow or chilling winds.
A short drive from the airport and we we headed to our rooms at the Hyatt where all parties stayed. First on the itinerary was food. We walked to a local restaurant just across the street from the Bradley Center where ticket poachers offered us a chance to attend the Bucks game. We declined.
After a delicious Cobb salad with generously packed Italian sausage sandwich we were good for the night and returned to the hotel to set up the book display table for the ETS Conference.
We had positive conversations with a few of the professors and students. During the time I manned the booth, I kept a tally of the number of engaging conversations we had over the two days. I recorded 11 conversations. That number does not include any conversations held by the group when I was away browsing displays, or for lunch. I estimate the number to be higher.
In one conversation with a professor from Jerusalem, he cheerfully joked with me saying, “If anyone asks if you’ve ever met a Wesleyan Full Preterist, you can tell them you’ve spoken with one.” He was quite friendly and left me his business card.
We also went to lunch with two students who were Preterists, Jason Storms, of Milwaukee, and Atur a native of Armenia. Their focus was mainly street evangelism. Their stories were quite exciting and the results they were having among teens and young adults were astounding. These young men exemplified a lot of courage in their work.
Edmund Lee and I attended a few of the lectures after the booth display was over. The first was a critical study on the text of Jeremiah 33:15-16 and the singular versus the plural seed of Israel. After this, we caught a couple of excellent lectures, one on the Holy Spirit and another on the inauguration of the Kingdom which opened a few significant questions and discussion on the “consummation of the kingdom in AD 70.
Neither did we lack interaction among ourselves and were often engaged in brisk discussions on some of our differences as we each attempted to get closer to an understanding of the opposing views to identify where we might find common ground.
Most importantly, we all left the discussions as friends in a spirit of brotherhood even with our disagreements. Each of us looked forward to the next ETS Conference to be held in Baltimore, Maryland.
During one of our dinner excursions from the ETS Conference we attended the Safe House restaurant. This experience was unique in that it required a password to enter the eating area. Anyone who did not know the password would be video taped for all in the restaurant to see.
Edmund Lee either forgot the password or was uninformed. We all got an opportunity to see him “shake a leg” before entering. It was hilarious.
Prior to the trip home, Lee, Siegle and I enjoyed our last meal together that evening at an Italian restaurant. It was quite noisy as several had gathered for socializing before attending the “Journey” rock concert at the Bradley Center.
We rose early the next morning, arrived at the airport where we enjoyed another pleasant day of flying in beautiful weather and clear skies.