Written Debates

A10 (Bunch-V-Preston) 2nd Negative by Don K. Preston

Larry Bunch Versus Don K. Preston

Don Preston’s Second Negative

Submitted 12-21-06 

The Bible teaches that the Second (i.e. final) coming of Christ, the judgment and the resurrection of the dead will occur at the end of the current Christian Age.

Affirm: Larry A. Bunch

Deny: Don K. Preston

Larry says I must have felt the sting of his affirmative, and says I was unfriendly. No, sorry Larry, I DIDN’T FEEL A THING, except disappointment over your abject failure to offer a solid affirmative, and refusal to address the arguments I have made. As to being <unfriendly,> I simply pointed out that Larry’s arguments fly in the face of the emphatic statements of scripture. That is not being unfriendly, and it surely is not feeling any "sting" from his confused presentations.

Larry complains because I called attention to his admitted failure to define his proposition. He says if I don’t like the way he debates, I should simply ignore it. No, it is my responsibility to point out the deficiencies in Larry’s presentation, his false underlying assumptions, etc.. Larry is asking me to ignore his failure to follow debate protocol. I will not ignore such failures.

Speaking of DEBATE PROTOCOL, Larry spends two paragraphs, GROSSLY MISREPRESENTING what I believe! Larry claims, <purveyors of the A.D. 70 doctrine do not believe the church existed before A.D. 70.> Larry, I DON’T BELIEVE WHAT YOU ASCRIBE TO ME AND OTHER PRETERISTS!

It is interesting, that this very day (12-18-06), I was speaking with a gentleman on the phone. I pointed out that THE CHURCH BEGAN ON PENTECOST, that the saints had been translated into it (Hey Larry, I QUOTED COLOSSIANS 1 TO PROVE IT!), but that the church was anticipating the arrival of "the perfect man, the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Ephesians 4). I noted that the foundation of the new spiritual temple had been laid, but, they were anticipating the "dedication" of the completed temple, and the arrival of "that which is perfect."

LARRY, DO YOU BELIEVE THAT THE CHURCH WAS 100% PERFECTED ON PENTECOST? WAS THE NEW COVENANT COMPLETED ON PENTECOST? HAD THE CHURCH ARRIVED AT "THAT WHICH IS PERFECT" YES OR NO?

Larry if you believe that the church WAS ESTABLISHED, BUT NOT YET PERFECTED (It had not yet arrived at <that which is perfect>), in the first century, then, guess what, YOU HAD BETTER ACCUSE YOURSELF OF BEING A PRETERIST, because that is what those who believe in Covenant Eschatology believe!

Now, Larry, YOU EITHER DO NOT KNOW WHAT PRETERISTS BELIEVE, in which case you should study more before making claims about what we believe, OR, you DO KNOW what we believe, AND YOU PURPOSELY MISREPRESENTED WHAT WE DO BELIEVE. WHICH ONE IS IT? Either way, YOU OWE THE READERS OF THIS DISCUSSION AN APOLOGY for misrepresenting what others (and I), believe, and attempting to falsify my position by arguing against what I do not believe. WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE TO THIS MISREPRESENTATION ON YOUR PART? Or, should I just ignore this egregious misrepresentation and move on, Larry?

Here is an argument I made in response to his claims about John 5:

John 5:28-29 foretold the resurrection of the just and unjust at the time of the end, in fulfillment of the promises to Israel.

But, Daniel 12:2-7 predicted the resurrection of the just and unjust at the time of the end, in fulfillment of the promises to Israel, when the power of the holy people was completely shattered.

The power of the holy people was completely shattered in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

Therefore, the resurrection of the just and unjust, at the time of the end, in fulfillment of the promises to Israel, was fulfilled at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

Larry charges me with <misuse, abuse, and twisting and contorting of both Old Testament and New Testament passages!> How did Larry <prove> that I abuse the O.T.? Did he even MENTION Daniel 12? NO. Did he give ONE SYLLABLE OF EXEGESIS to show that Daniel is not the context of John 5 and 1 Corinthians 15? NO.

Incredibly, Larry says <the last hour> of 1 John 2 is the Christian age! So, John was saying that THE WAY WE KNOW WE ARE IN THE CHRISTIAN AGE IS BECAUSE THERE ARE ANTI-CHRISTS AROUND! In fact, Jesus predicted that BEFORE THE FALL OF JERUSALEM there would be many who would say <I am he> (Luke 21:8). Those false Christ’s were present, and Jesus’ parousia was near when John wrote.

I presented the following on Daniel 12 and 1 Corinthians 15:

Daniel foretold the resurrection (v. 2); 1 Corinthians 15 predicted the resurrection.

In Daniel, the resurrection would be in fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel. In Corinthians the resurrection would be in fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel (15:54-56).

Daniel foretold the time of the end (v. 4); Corinthians foretold the time of the end (v. 19f).

Daniel foretold the time of the kingdom (v. 3–>Matthew 13:43); Corinthians foretold the time of the kingdom.

Daniel foretold the resurrection to eternal life; Corinthians foretold the resurrection to eternal life.

Daniel’s prediction would be fulfilled in A.D. 70: "when the power of the holy people is completely shattered" (v. 7). Corinthians would be fulfilled at the consummation of Israel’s promises, and Paul affirmed that not all of his audience would die before the resurrection (15:50-51).

Did Larry offer so much as one word to prove, FROM THE TEXT, that these passages are not parallel? NO. Now, Larry, IF YOU CLAIM THAT YOU ANSWERED THIS ARGUMENT, PLEASE CUT AND PASTE YOUR COMMENTS FROM WHERE YOU SPECIFICALLY ADDRESSED THE COMPARISON BETWEEN DANIEL AND 1 CORINTHIANS.

I went through 1 Corinthians 15 responding to every relevant issue raised by Larry, refuting his assumptions. His response? <PRESTON TWISTS SCRIPTURE!> Of course, he offered no proof.

I made another argument in response to Larry’s appeal to 1 Corinthians 15:

The resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 would be in fulfillment of Isaiah 25:8f.

The resurrection of Isaiah 25:8f would be the time of Israel’s salvation (Isaiah 25:8-9).

The time of Israel’s salvation would be the coming of the Lord in judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood (Isaiah 59:3-20).

The judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood was in A.D. 70 (Matthew 23).

Therefore, the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 occurred at the judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood, in A.D. 70.

I also predicted this: <I am confident that Larry will ignore this argument.> Lo, and behold, LARRY IGNORED THE ARGUMENT! So, the argument stands, and Larry’s affirmative is falsified.

I noted that Paul said Jesus was the first to be raised from the dead (Acts 26:21f; 1 Corinthians 15:19f), BUT THAT HE WAS NOT THE FIRST TO BE RAISED FROM PHYSICAL DEATH.

Larry admitted that Adam and Eve died the day the ate the fruit, which demands that THE DEATH OF ADAM WAS NOT PHYSICAL DEATH.

The resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 would be to overcome the death of Adam (v. 22).

Since Jesus was not the first to be raised from physical death, but he was the first to be raised from the death of Adam, and since Adam’s death could not have been physical death, this proves categorically that the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 is not of physically dead bodies.

This singular fact totally falsifies Larry’s eschatology. You would think he would give it a notice.

Larry’s response? TOTAL, ABSOLUTE SILENCE.

Larry tries to negate the emphatic statement from Isaiah 9 that the increase of Christ’s ki
ngdom would be <without end.> What was his proof? He offered two fundamentally flawed arguments.

FIRST, he argued that Isaiah could not be saying that the evangelism in the kingdom would have no end, because Paul says "then comes the end." This is petitio principii, at its worst! Larry ASSUMES that Paul is speaking of the <end of time> so, he inserts (eisegesis) his preconceived idea on the text, and denies the emphatic statement of Isaiah. That is a flawed hermeneutic.

<The end> of 1 Corinthians 15 is <the end> of Daniel 12, the time of the resurrection, and heaven tells us, that the end in view was <when the power of the holy people is completely shattered.> That was the end of the Old Covenant World of Israel in A.D. 70. LARRY TOTALLY IGNORED THIS CONNECTION.

SECOND, Larry claims, <Don also seems to not understand that terms we usually think of as eternal, forever and ever may be explained as age-lasting.>

No, Larry, I don’t misunderstand that concept, I honor it. What you don’t understand is that the word translated "forever" (Hebrew, Olam), that would normally mean, <age lasting>, IS NOT USED IN ISAIAH 9. The Hebrew of the text says there would be <no end> of the increase of the government of Messiah. Your argument is another straw man, just like your argument on the establishment of the church. Please tell us how that which has <no end,> can come to an end.

Larry tries to make Ephesians 3:20-21 say that "as long as generations on earth endure" instead of meaning forever. Trouble is, he once again inserts his preconceived ideas into a text that refutes his theology. The text does not say "as long as there are generations, or <until generations on earth end.>

F. F. Bruce (in loc) said that the Greek terms used here is the strongest expression for endlessness in the entire Greek language. EPHESIANS SAYS <age without end,> LARRY SAYS <age WITH end!> Quite a contrast!

Larry COMPLETELY IGNORED my argument on the identity of <the Law,> that was the strength of sin. NOT ONE WORD, except of course, his CLAIM that I abuse the scriptures! Yet, I provided proof from Paul that the TORAH, NOT THE GOSPEL AS LARRY CLAIMS, was the strength of sin. Larry’s response? SILENCE. Yet THIS ARGUMENT FALSIFIES HIS ENTIRE ESCHATOLOGY. No wonder he ignored it!

Now, let’s turn to 2 Peter 3. As with the rest of Larry’s eschatology, he ignores the proper source and context of the passage. BTW, I have written a 300 page book on 2 Peter 3, entitled The Elements Shall Melt With Fervent Heat, in which I actually exegete the passage, instead of making unfounded claims. It can be purchased from my website: www.eschatology.org.

Remember, all that I have to do to falsify Larry’s affirmative, is to prove that the Day of the Lord of 2 Peter 3 was OBJECTIVELY NEAR WHEN PETER WROTE, and / or to prove that it was to be fulfilled in A.D. 70. I CAN PROVE BOTH.

Note 2 Peter 3:1-2: Peter tells his readers that this second epistle is a reminder of what he said in the first. So, WHAT DID PETER SAY ABOUT THE PAROUSIA IN HIS FIRST EPISTLE?

1.) He said THE O. T. PROPHETS predicted their salvation at the parousia. That was <ready (hetoimos), to be revealed in the last time,> and they only had to suffer for a little while longer (1 Peter 1:5-10).

2.) He said that Christ was <ready> (hetoimos again), to judge the living and the dead (1 Peter 4:5). Alford’s Greek Testament, (in loc), says of hetoimos,"the Greek reader would understand this to mean the imminent parousia.> Larry, here is an emphatic declaration of the nearness of the resurrection in the first century.

3.) He said, <The end of all things has drawn near> (1 Peter 4:7). Larry, Peter said the end of all things had drawn near. The scoffers said <all things continue as they were.> Who was right? Was Peter right to affirm that the end of all things was near? Were the <all things> of 1 Peter different from the <all things> of 2 Peter 3? If you say so, PROVE IT!

4.) He said <The time (appointed time, from kairos ), has come for THE judgment (to krino), to begin>.

What appointed time, for <the judgment> did he refer to here? (Think Acts 17:30-31!) Peter uses THE ANAPHORIC ARTICLE. In other words, he uses the article here, to refer back to a topic referred to earlier, where the article was not used. WHAT JUDGMENT HAD HE REFERRED TO EARLIER? The judgment of the living and the dead ( v. 5). So, v. 17 is a positive, emphatic declaration that the time of the resurrection had arrived!

Larry, here is part of my response to your affirmative.

2 Peter 3 is the reiteration of 1 Peter in regard to the parousia (2 Peter 3:1).

But, 1 Peter affirmed, repeatedly, that the parousia was near.

Therefore, the parousia of 2 Peter 3 was near when Peter wrote 2 Peter 3.

I predict silence.

Now, notice what else Peter said, from Larry’s provided translation, < This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, THAT YOU SHOULD REMEMBER THE PREDICTIONS OF THE HOLY PROPHETS…> (Greek text has <the prophets who have spoken previously>).

PETER SAID BOTH HIS EPISTLES WERE REMINDERS OF WHAT THE O. T. PROPHETS FORETOLD ABOUT THE DAY OF THE LORD HE IS WRITING ABOUT!

This is strange indeed. I have called on Larry to tell us if his eschatological hopes are based on the O. T. promises made to Israel. He has said, repeatedly, <I don’t know!> However, when pressed to admit that Paul’s eschatological hope was from the O.T., he emphatically claimed that was wrong, but then CHANGED AGAIN, claiming HE DOES NOT KNOW if the O. T. predicted the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15! And now, what does Larry do? HE TAKES US TO A TEXT IN WHICH THE WRITER UNEQUIVOCALLY AFFIRMS THAT THE ESCHATOLOGY OF BOTH HIS EPISTLES IS FROM THE O. T. PROPHETS!

Remember, Peter (Acts 3), says emphatically that they were looking for the parousia at the time of the restoration of all things PREDICTED BY MOSES AND ALL THE O. T. PROPHETS! Larry says I make a big deal about Peter and the O.T., and ridicules this fundamentally important issue. However, it is PETER who made a HUGE deal about the fact that the O.T. predicted Christ’s parousia! Shouldn’t we honor that?

The fact is, unless Larry can delineate between the parousia foretold in Acts 3, and that of 2 Peter 3, HE MUST NOW ADMIT THAT N. T. ESCHATOLOGY IS BASED ON, AND DRAWN FROM, THE O. T. PROMISES MADE TO ISRAEL! Larry, do you finally admit this is true? That brings us to reconsider an argument made earlier.

Matthew 5:17-18– Jesus said, "Verily I say unto you, until heaven and earth passes, not one jot and not one tittle shall pass from the Law until it is all fulfilled."

I noted that JESUS DID NOT SAY "the LAW will pass, but the PROPHETS will remain valid." YET, THIS IS PRECISELY WHAT LARRY AFFIRMS!

JESUS SAID none could pass until it was ALL FULFILLED, but LARRY CLAIMS that while some of it remains unfulfilled, some of it passed! Larry turn Jesus’ words upside down.

Now watch.

THE LAW PROPHESIED (Matthew 11:13). You cannot therefore, delineate between the Law and prophecy. Larry ignored this.

THE PROPHETS WERE "THE LAW" (1 Corinthians 14:20-21–citing Isaiah 28–A RESURRECTION CONTEXT!!). Larry ignored this.

THE LAW PREDICTED THE RESURRECTION (ACTS 24:14-15). Larry ignored this.

So, THE LAW PROPHESIED the resurrection, AND THE PROPHETS WERE <THE LAW.> Thus, when Jesus said "not one jot or one tittle shall pass from the Law," he was asserting the absolute necessity for the fulfillment of ALL of the O.T. before ANY
of it could pass away.

LARRY DIRECTLY CONTRADICTS JESUS WHEN HE CLAIMS THAT THE LAW COULD PASS BUT PART OF THE O.T. WOULD REMAIN VALID.

LARRY, GIVE US A VERSE THAT TEACHES THAT PART OF THE LAW WOULD PASS, BUT THAT PART OF IT WOULD REMAIN VALID? I predict silence.

Here is what this means in regard to 2 Peter 3.

Not one single part of <the Law> could pass until it was ALL FULFILLED (Jesus).

But, 2 Peter 3 is a reiteration of "the Law" (the prophets being part of <the Law>.

Therefore, not one single part of the O. T. could pass until 2 Peter 3 was fulfilled.

Let me add more on 2 Peter 3 here.

Peter said <according to his promise, we look for a new heavens and earth, wherein dwells righteousness.>

LARRY, WHAT O. T. PROPHETS FORETOLD THE COMING OF THE NEW HEAVENS AND EARTH? WOULD YOU PLEASE TELL US?

The correct answer of course is Isaiah 65-66. For brevity, I will focus on Isaiah 65. Here is what Isaiah predicted.

1.) The calling of the Gentiles as a result of Israel’s rejection of God (v. 1-2). Paul quotes these verses and APPLIES THEM TO ISRAEL OF HIS DAY (Romans 9:24; 10:20).

2.) Israel filling up the measure of her sin (v. 6-7). (Compare with Matthew 23:29f).

3.) God’s promise to save the remnant (v. 8). This was on-going in Paul’s day, but would be consummated shortly (Romans 9:28). This further negates Larry’s argument on Romans 11, since the salvation of <all Israel> is the consummation of THE SALVATION OF THE REMNANT. The salvation of the remnant would be CONSUMMATED <SHORTLY.> This negates the idea that Romans 11 speaks of the evangelization of Israel throughout the church age.

4.) God’s threat to destroy Israel <You shall all fall down to the slaughter (v. 12); <The Lord God will destroy you, and call His people by another name.> (v. 15f).

5.) The Messianic Banquet (v. 13-16), for the new people with the new name–the Messianic Banquet is for those resurrected from the dead! (Isaiah 25:6-9)– in the day of Israel’s salvation!

6.) THE NEW HEAVENS AND EARTH, THE NEW JERUSALEM! (V. 17f).

THE NEW CREATION FORETOLD BY ISAIAH WOULD COME WHEN OLD COVENANT ISRAEL WAS DESTROYED AND GOD CREATED A NEW PEOPLE, WITH A NEW NAME!

Larry here is my argument, in refutation of your affirmative:

The prediction of the Day of the Lord and the New Creation (2 Peter 3), is a reminder of what the O. T. prophets predicted (2 Peter 3:1-2; v. 13).

Isaiah 65 predicted the New Creation.

Isaiah 65 said the New Creation would arrive at the time of the destruction of Old Covenant Israel.

God destroyed Old Covenant Israel in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

Therefore, the New Creation of 2 Peter 3 arrived at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

Larry will, of course, not even attempt to exegete Isaiah 65, nor will he be able to prove that Isaiah is not the source of 2 Peter 3. He will of course, CLAIM that I have perverted the scriptures, but he will not give you any textual, contextual, exegetical PROOF of his claim.

Here is another argument:

Peter anticipated the New Creation where righteousness would dwell, as foretold by the O.T. prophets (2 Peter 3:1-2, 13).

Daniel 9:24-27 foretold the establishment of the world of everlasting righteousness.

The world of righteousness foretold by Daniel 9 would be established within, and by the end of the seventy weeks of Daniel 9,

The seventy weeks of Daniel 9 do not extend beyond A.D. 70 and the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. (Larry agrees).

Therefore, the world of righteousness anticipated by 2 Peter 3–unless it is a different world of righteousness from that foretold by Daniel–would be fully established no later than the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Clearly, Larry cannot argue that the world of righteousness had already been fully completed, for PETER WAS STILL LOOKING FOR IT, and Jerusalem had not fallen to complete the Seventy Weeks.

Prediction: Larry will ignore this, claiming vehemently that I distort and twist the scriptures. Yet, Larry keeps insisting that he is not going to study the O.T. background of the N. T. passages, but he does not know if his eschatology is from the O.T.. Well, Larry, let me say this, your failure to be informed on the O.T. does not make me a false teacher. But, it does falsify your eschatology. Your utter refusal to attempt to go to EVEN ONE of the O. T. texts that serve as the source of the apostles’ eschatology-and denial of the connection– reveals that you are not considering the source, the text and the context of the N. T. passages. Your hermeneutic is flawed, therefore, your theology is flawed. Your appeal to 2 Peter proves this, for Peter appeals directly to the O. T., something you refuse to do or consider!

I will try to address the <thief coming> argument Larry mentioned, in my next.

I must briefly address Larry’s repeated allusion to the Hymenaean heresy, that he ascribes to me.

The resurrection was the hope of Israel. This is indisputable.

The resurrection would be at the end of the Old Covenant age of Israel (Daniel 12/ Mt. 13).

The end of the Old Covenant age of Israel occurred with the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70– Thus, HYMENAEUS WAS CLEARLY PREMATURE IN HIS DECLARATIONS. Much more needs to be said on this, but space forbids. However, here is Larry’s problem.

God said his promises to Israel–concerning her ultimate salvation–were IRREVOCABLE (ROMANS 11:25-31). Yet, LARRY DENIES THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD TO ISRAEL, CLAIMING HE DID NOT FULFILL HIS IRREVOCABLE ESCHATOLOGICAL (I.E. RESURRECTION) PROMISES TO HER, AT THE END OF HER AGE!

If it was dangerous to prematurely say the end had come, is it okay to say that God was unfaithful to His promises to His people? Now, don’t just say < I have never said God is unfaithful!> The issue is God’s faithfulness to keep His eschatological promises to Old Covenant Israel, and YOU DO DENY THAT HE FULFILLED THOSE PROMISES, don’t you?

I have prepared a six CD presentation entitled <The Hymenaean Heresy: Reverse the Charges!> that is an in-depth exegesis of 2 Timothy 2:17f, and this entire issue, for anyone interested in examining the issue. It is on my website.

Summary:

Larry argues unsuccessfully for the end of what the Bible says is endless, the Christian age.

Larry IGNORED my response to his claims concerning 1 Corinthians 15.

Larry IGNORED the parallels between Daniel 12, John 5 and 1 Corinthians.

Larry IGNORED my argument on Christ being the first to be raised from the dead, from the death of Adam.

Larry flatly CONTRADICTS Jesus’ words about the passing of the Law.

Larry redefines (wrongly), <the Law> that was the strength of sin, and makes it the gospel of Christ, instead of the Torah!

Larry ignores the O.T. source and context for Peter’s prediction of the New Creation and world of righteousness, that proves beyond doubt that 2 Peter 3 was to be fulfilled in the destruction of Old Covenant Israel in A.D. 70.

Larry has failed, again, utterly, to prove his proposition.

His failure and refusal to even MENTION my negative arguments reveals his total inability to defend his confused eschatology.

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