(Bunch-V-Preston Written Debate) Don K. Preston’s Third (Final) Negative
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
GREETINGS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!
Larry has introduced some new arguments. Normally, the last affirmative does not do this, to avoid new arguments in the last negative. However, since Larry has chosen to do so, I am at liberty to respond.
In two earlier speeches, and in his last, Larry complains at the length of my presentations, saying there was no way to address all that I said, so, he would ignore what I said. Now, he presents the longest speech of the debate! I am sure that if I failed to address something he would tell folks that Preston did not address such and such! Not to worry however, I will address every salient point he raises.
Larry speaks admiringly of a pioneer debater who simply read Mk. 16:15-16 and sat down without comment. Debate won, says Larry! Well, Larry does have one thing in common with that debater, ZERO EXEGESIS! But, let’s try Larry’s hermeneutic, shall we?
Here is what Isaiah said would be true when the kingdom was established:
Isaiah 2:4: "They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks, nation shall not lift up sword against nation."
Isaiah 11:7f: "The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the cow and the bear shall graze, the lion shall eat straw like an ox, the nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole."
As every millennialist I have ever debated has said, <Anyone can see none of these things has happened, thus, the kingdom has not been established!> Just read the text! The Bible says what it means, and means what it says, no exegesis necessary! LARRY’S HERMENEUTIC IS THE MILLENNIAL HERMENEUTIC!
Using Larry’s hermeneutic, Nehemiah was out of line, when he read the scriptures and <gave the sense thereof> (Nehemiah 9 ). Why didn’t he just read the text and sit down? After all, all you have to do is read the text!
Larry repeats his hollow claim that I misuse the O.T. But, I want the readers to take very careful note: NOT ONE TIME HAS LARRY EXAMINED A SINGLE ONE OF MY ARGUMENTS IN WHICH I SHOWED THAT THE O.T. WAS THE SOURCE OF THE N. T. PROPHECIES, AND HOW THE O.T. PROPHECIES POSITED THE RESURRECTION AT THE END OF THE OLD COVENANT AGE IN A.D. 70. NOT ONE SINGLE, SOLITARY TIME! He complained at the number of my arguments, saying he just could not cover them all. Larry, I–and I am certain the readers as well– would have been thrilled if you would have taken even ONE of my arguments, and seriously tried to answer it! Instead, you just waved your hands at them all, saying you did not have to answer them. Of course, you did beg the readers’ pardon for not answering!
I noted that Larry admitted that Adam and Eve died the day they ate the fruit, and that since the eschatological resurrection would be to overcome the death introduced by Adam, this proves that the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 is not physical resurrection. So, what does Larry do?
Larry says that Adam did die spiritually THAT DAY but then, <they began to die physically on the day they left the garden.> Amazing!
The problem is that GOD DID NOT SAY, <You will die twice, once today, and then again, in 900 years!>
GOD DID NOT SAY <You will die two kinds of death.>
GOD DID NOT SAY, <You will surely BEGIN to die.>
God said <IN THE DAY THAT YOU EAT, you will surely die.> Larry perverts the text and makes it say something that it does not say. As a result, his eschatology is corrupted.
Paul affirms that Jesus was the first to be raised from the dead (Acts 26:21f; 1 Corinthians 15:19f). Larry insists that this only means that he was the first to be raised to die no more. Well, unfortunately, he did not offer us any proof for this, and the text does not say any such thing! It says that he was the first to be raised from the dead, period!
So, although Larry says, <I do not pretend to understand what all Don is speaking of here!> the point is sufficiently clear. Jesus was the first to be raised from the death of Adam! I made the point repeatedly. Since Jesus was not the first person to be raised from physical death, but, he was the first to be raised from the death of Adam, then, physical death was not the death of Adam. Thus, the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 was not the resurrection of physically dead corpses.
I made an entire series of both affirmative and negative arguments on 1 Corinthians 15. I virtually begged, and certainly challenged Larry to examine even one of them. No luck. Well, let me repeat one of those arguments, and remind you that Larry said NOT ONE SINGLE WORD IN RESPONSE TO THIS ARGUMENT..
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.
Now, since this argument positively posits the fulfillment of 1 Corinthians 15 at the time of the fall of Jerusalem in A. D. 70, then Larry’s affirmative is falsified. I also produced numerous direct parallels between Daniel 12 and 1 Corinthians 15, proving that they are parallel prophecies. Daniel said his prediction of the resurrection would be <when the power of the holy people is completely shattered..> Larry’s response? TOTAL SILENCE! The argument stands, and Larry’s affirmative is falsified.
2 Peter 3 is the reiteration of what Peter said about the parousia in 1 Peter (2 Peter 3:1-2).
But, in 1 Peter, the apostle said the parousia was near.
Therefore, the parousia of 2 Peter 3 was near when Peter wrote.
Larry says, repeatedly, that he does not find the word parousia in 1 Peter 1, and therefore, my argument is falsified. Hmm, Larry, I don’t find the words physical corpses/bodies, physical resurrection, physical graves, in 1 Corinthians 15. Thus, based on your flawed logic your resurrection theology in Corinthians is falsified!
Larry suggests that the coming of the Lord in 1 Peter 1 is not the "final" coming, and tries to cloud the issue by noting some non-eschatological uses of parousia. My response? That is irrelevant! What Larry has to prove, and failed miserably trying, is that the coming in 1 Peter 1 is not the resurrection parousia of Christ. This cannot be proven for the following reasons.
1.) It was to be the revelation of Christ (v. 5f).
2.) It was to be for the bringing of salvation (v. 4f).
3.) It was to be at the last time (v. 5-9).
4.) It would bring them the end (telos, goal or destiny), of their faith (v. 9).
5.) It was still future to Peter when he wrote (v. 5), but, they only had to endure their present suffering <for a season> (v. 6). Keep this in mind when we consider 2 Thessalonians 1!!
Now, since that Revelation of Christ for salvation was to occur, in the last time, AND WAS TO BE THE GOAL OF THEIR FAITH, it is prima facie proof that Peter was not referring to Christ’s "coming" at the Cross or Pentecost! Larry has simply tried to muddy the water in his desperation to avoid the imminence of the text.
On 1 Peter 4:7, we find some of Larry’s most desperate
offerings of this entire exchange. He wrote: <Because Peter says the end of all things was near does not necessarily mean that it was near in the sense we usually think of something being near. For example, consider that the first covenant became old and "ready to vanish away" at the time of God’s making His promise in Jeremiah 31 or, if not right then, very soon afterward (Heb.8:13), over 600 years ahead of its actual vanishing!>
Desperate men make desperate arguments, and there are few arguments more desperate than this. Larry wants us to believe that the moment Jeremiah promised the New Covenant, the Mosaic Covenant became obsolete, and <nigh unto passing> (Hebrews 8:13) <600 years ahead of its actual passing>. Here, folks, is desperation EXEMPLIFIED!
Here is what Larry’s comment means. Jeremiah foretold the New Covenant. The moment he gave the promise of the New, the Mosaic covenant became old and obsolete, <ready to pass away> 600 years before it actually passed! Now, what this means is that since there were other prophetic books, written long after Jeremiah gave his promise, THAT THOSE INSPIRED BOOKS WERE OBSOLETE AND READY TO VANISH BEFORE THEY WERE EVER REVEALED!! Hebrews 8:13 affirms that the Old Covenant was ready to pass away from the perspective of the author, not from the perspective of Jeremiah. The fact is that the Tanakh is NEVER called <the Old Testament> until the New Testament began to be revealed and confirmed. It was then, AND ONLY THEN, that the Old was <ready to vanish away.> (Cf. 2 Corinthians 3). Larry’s <logic> is fatally flawed.
Any future millennial debate opponent of Larry will be glad to know that he no longer believes that time statements are to be taken seriously. After all, Larry says that just because Peter SAID the END OF ALL THINGS WAS NEAR, that does not really mean it was near. So, when John and Jesus affirmed (in the identical Greek word, in the identical Greek tenses, eggeken), that <the kingdom has drawn near,> THEY DID NOT REALLY MEAN THE KINGDOM WAS OBJECTIVELY NEAR. It was, to cite Larry’s definition: <Objectively near? It is as near as my death and as far away as the Lord chooses to place it!>
RE: THE <DELAY> OF THE PAROUSIA AND 2 PETER 3.
1.) God appointed a (the) day in which to judge the world (Acts 17:30-31). Did/ has God postponed /delayed that Day? And if so, perhaps the millennialists are right when they speak of the delay of the kingdom, right, Larry?
2.) The Hebrew writer affirmed, in a passage I have cited repeatedly, yet Larry has totally ignored, that Christ was coming for salvation, <and will not delay> (Hebrews 10:37).
4.) If time statements of imminence do not mean anything, the scoffers of 2 Peter 3 would have no bone of contention! If time statements are so elastic as to be subjective and meaningless, they would have no right to complain with the passing of time!
3.) Peter is citing Psalms 90, which is a proclamation of GOD’S FAITHFULNESS TO KEEP HIS PROMISES TO ISRAEL, and those promises include the promise of judgment! So, once again, Larry ignores the framework of the New Testament eschatology. 2 Peter 3 is a reminder that God would keep His covenant promises to Israel, no matter what. So, the scoffers should beware! Larry divorces the text from its roots and turns it into a prediction of the end of the world, and the end of the Christian age, when it is all about the fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel!
I made an argument on the ANAPHORIC ARTICLE of 1 Peter 4:17 referencing back to 1 Peter 4:5 which is the judgment of 1 Peter 4:5–the judgment of the living and the dead. In v. 17, Peter says that the appointed time for the judgment had come! Larry threw more smoke into the air, but never addressed the argument. Larry, OBFUSCATION DOES NOT EQUAL REFUTATION!
Larry says that in spite of the fact that the Greek authorities say hetoimos (ready to be revealed, ready to judge, etc.) indicated the nearness of the event, <Since I am not a Greek reader, I understand simply that He is ready to judge–which will take place at the end of time.> How much sadder could this be? Larry, since you are not a Greek reader, what is your authority for rejecting the meaning of the Greek? You gave us NO LEXICAL EVIDENCE to refute the anaphoric article. You gave us NO EVIDENCE to overthrow the imminence meaning hetoimos. You have done nothing but offer an ad hominem argument that is WORTHLESS as an exegetical argument. You have imposed your eisegetical, presuppositional theory on the text.
On 1 Peter 4:17 Larry says <The sentence or verdict is what is under view here, not the act of entering into the process of making a decision.> In other words, Peter did not mean to say that the time for the judgment had actually come, HE JUST SAID IT HAD! Let’s take a look.
FIRST, Larry tries to deflect the JUDGMENT CONTEXT by claiming that to krima, just means to distinguish. However, every translation, even Larry’s oft quoted one, translates this as JUDGMENT.
SECOND, Even the version Larry quotes from, says, <FOR IT IS TIME FOR JUDGMENT TO BEGIN at the household of God.> I consulted every Bible in my library, a goodly number, and not one single translation supports Larry’s eccentric, and patently false claim. Not one translation omitted <the time has come.> The only reason Larry says that the timing of the judgment is not important is because to admit to the meaning of "the time has come" is to falsify his eschatology! He has no linguistic, grammatical, contextual or exegetical reason for rejecting the time of the judgment, but since his TRADITION cannot accept the timing, he rejects it anyway!
THIRD, the time of <the judgment> is the time of <the end of all things> isn’t it, Larry? And Peter affirmed, unequivocally, <the end of all things has drawn near> (1 Peter 4:7).
However, Larry says, in spite of Peter’s affirmation that his second epistle is but a reminder of the first, that the <all things> that were nigh unto passing in 1 Peter 4, were not the <all things> that the scoffers were saying would not pass in 2 Peter 3. And what PROOF does Larry offer us to convince us these are different <all things>? His own pontifical declaration, but no exegesis.
Larry notes my citation of Acts 17:30f as the appointed day of judgment Peter was referencing, and simply affirms, again with no proof offered other than his word, <That doesn’t say or imply anything about the destruction of Jerusalem.> Well, what Acts 17 does say, in perfect agreement with 1 Peter 4:17 is God <has appointed a day in which He is about to (from the infinitive form of mello), judge the world in righteousness…> Blass-DeBrunner Greek Grammar, (University of Chicago Press, 1961, 181, idem 356), says, <mellein with the infinitive (like in Acts 17, Larry), expresses imminence>. So, just like Peter said, the appointed time for the judgment was near.
My argument on 2 Peter 3 stands, therefore. The parousia of 2 Peter 3 was near when Peter wrote.
Let me remind you that I also made the following argument, that Larry totally ignored:
<PETER SAID BOTH HIS EPISTLES WERE REMINDERS OF WHAT THE O. T. PROPHETS FORETOLD ABOUT THE DAY OF THE LORD HE IS WRITING ABOUT!
Larry has denied that all New Testament eschatology is based on Old Testament promises to Israel, saying of my assertions to that effect, <That is just plain dumb! Everything in the N.T. does not depend on an O.T. prediction!> Yet, here is what I have proven:
1.) Peter’s eschatology was from the O.T. (Acts 3; 1 Peter 1; 2 Peter 3:1-2).
2.) Paul’s eschatology was from the O.T. and was NOTHING but what Moses and the prophets said (Acts 24:14f; 26:21f; 1 Corinthians 15).
3.) Revelation is based on Daniel, as everyone admits.
So, the N. T. doctrine of eschatology presented by the apostles was NOTHING BUT WHAT MOSES AND ALL THE PROPHETS, YEA, ALL WHO HAVE EVER SPOKEN SINCE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD foretold. If, as Peter, John and Paul say, their eschatology was NOTHING but what was in Moses and the prophets, then how <dumb> is it to affirm that truth? Larry’s denial of this fundamental fact is lamentable, and effectively falsifies his entire eschatology
And how did Larry respond to this devastating fact? Absolute, utter silence, just as I predicted! Larry snidely responded to my prediction of his silence, <He makes more predictions of my silence in the remainder of his 2nd negative. Guess he is a prophet, after all! Albeit a false one!> Well, I wasn’t a false prophet was I, Larry? I predicted you would ignore my arguments, AND YOU DID, and then you asked the readers’ pardon for not addressing my arguments! Now to Larry’s other affirmative material, 2 Thessalonians 1, but first a note.
At the risk of further disturbing Larry, let me note that I have written a book on 2 Thessalonians 1, entitled IN FLAMING FIRE, and yes, it is on my website, www.eschatology.org. Now, Larry says I am trying to make money by mentioning my books, and urges the owners of the list to ban such references. He clearly is concerned that those reading the material will be influenced by it, so, I should not be allowed to mention my books!
I thought this forum was for the pursuit of the Truth. Clearly, all aspects of any issue discussed here cannot be exhausted in three/six presentations by each disputant. Thus, for those wishing to study a given topic further, is not the Truth advanced and aided by informing the interested parties about resource material?
LARRY JUDGES MY HEART AND MY MOTIVES, SOMETHING HE HAS NO RIGHT TO DO, AND SOMETHING HE IS WRONG TO DO. If I were motivated by money, I WOULD NOT BE DOING WHAT I AM DOING. I AM trying to get as many people as possible to see the fallacy of the traditional eschatologies, so that we can confront the skeptics of the day. Larry’s fatally flawed eschatology offers no answers to the challenge of atheism, Judaism, or Islamism, and this debate has proven that. Covenant Eschatology does. Yet, Larry wants to ban any reference to materials that will help Bible students to pursue that study! This is sheer desperation. Should we not encourage study, instead of banning references to study material?
To that end, and to ease Larry’s mind, so troubled and concerned about me making a penny, I will make this offer. I will GIVE AWAY, POST PAID (in the US), 25 COPIES OF MY BOOK, IN FLAMING FIRE, on a first come, first served basis, to any member of this list. This offer is only good to members of this forum, NOT to those who read this debate and the offer on my website. So there is my offer, if you want one of the 25 books, just contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now to 2 Thessalonians 1.
<Since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8 in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.>
Take note of the following primer in hermeneutics, something ignored by Larry.
To whom was Paul writing? Answer: "To the church of the Thessalonians" (v. 1.).
What was occurring? Answer: <The persecutions and tribulations that you are enduring> (v. 4, 5, 6, 7). Paul uses the present participial form of THLIPSIS, to describe the then present persecution being experienced by the Thessalonians. So, the Thessalonian church was being persecuted.
Who was persecuting them? Answer: It was the Jews (Acts 17; 1 Thessalonians 2:15-17).
What did Paul promise the Thessalonians? Answer: <relief to you who are afflicted> (v. 7). Larry’s preferred translation does a fine job of rendering the Greek word as RELIEF. This is ANESIS. And, here is something critically important, anesis NEVER, in either Biblical or non-Biblical usage, so far as I have been able to ascertain, means reward.
Anesis is the antonym of thlipsis. The word thlipsis is pressure, and is used 45 times in the N. T., primarily, (with a couple of exceptions), of the pressure of persecution for Christ. While thlipsis is pressure, anesis is <relief from pressure,> as witnessed by Larry’s own preferred translation, and all lexicons. So, again, what was Paul promising the Thessalonians?
PAUL PROMISED THE THESSALONIANS RELIEF FROM THEIR THEN ON-GOING PERSECUTION!
Next hermeneutical question: Did Paul say WHEN the Thessalonians would receive that promised relief? Answer: Yes!
WHEN WOULD THE THESSALONIANS RECEIVE THAT PROMISED RELIEF? Answer from Larry’s preferred translation: <and to GRANT RELIEF TO YOU WHO ARE AFFLICTED (BEING afflicted, dkp), as well as to us, WHEN THE LORD JESUS IS REVEALED FROM HEAVEN.>
The Thessalonians would receive relief from their persecution when the Lord came.
NOTICE WHAT PAUL DID NOT SAY:
HE DID NOT SAY the Thessalonians would die and receive relief from that persecution via death. Their relief from persecution would come at Christ’s parousia.
HE DID NOT SAY they would go to Abraham’s bosom to receive that relief.
HE DID NOT SAY that some distant generation would receive relief from a yet future persecution.
WHAT PAUL DID SAY:
THE FIRST CENTURY THESSALONIANS were being persecuted. This is indisputable.
THE FIRST CENTURY THESSALONIANS would receive relief from that persecution. This is irrefutable.
THE FIRST CENTURY THESSALONIANS would receive that promised relief, <when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven.> This is unassailable.
THE FIRST CENTURY THESSALONIAN Christians would be alive, under persecution, at the time of the parousia. CHRIST’S PAROUSIA COULD NOT GIVE THEM RELIEF FROM TRIBULATION, IF THEY WERE NOT BEING PERSECUTED AT THE TIME OF THE PAROUSIA!!
THE THLIPSIS, THE ANESIS AND THE PAROUSIA ARE ALL SYNCHRONOUS EVENTS!
Here is Larry’s version of the text: <Dear Thessalonian brethren, I know you are suffering daily for your faith in Christ. However, you can take comfort in the fact that, although YOU will not be given any relief from that daily persecution, that the last generation of Christians, perhaps several thousand years from now, will receive relief from THEIR persecution, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven. So, stay strong, don’t expect any relief, but rejoice that other Christians will, one day, by and by, receive relief from THEIR persecution.>
BUT, HERE IS PAUL’S VERSION, <It is a righteous thing to repay with tribulation those who are troubling you, and to GRANT RELIEF TO YOU WHO ARE (BEING) AFFLICTED as well as to us, WHEN THE LORD JESUS IS REVEALED FROM HEAVEN.>
So, if Christ did not, and has not come in fulfillment of Paul’s promise to the Thessalonians,
Paul lied. In which case he is a false prophet.
Jesus failed, in which case he is a failed Messiah.
Or, if the promise REMAINS TO BE FULFILLED,
THE THESSALONIANS ARE STILL ALIVE, BEING PERSECUTED, BY THE JEWS!
Larry believes that Paul’s prophecy failed– or AT THE VERY LEAST he did not truly promise relief to the Thessalonians. Larry says Jesus did not come. He did not give the Thessalonians relief from their present suffering <when the Lord Je
sus is revealed from heaven.>
I could go on discussing 2 Thessalonians 1. For instance, Paul is quoting verbatim (2 Thessalonians 1:9), from the LXX of Isaiah 2:9-10; 19-21, in his prediction of the parousia! So, just like all of Paul’s eschatological promises elsewhere, his promise of 2 Thessalonians 1 is based on, and drawn from the O. T.! This and a lot more is in my book.
The problem is, that Larry argues for a yet future, end of time event, based on a text that is undeniably addressed to first century saints, about a first century situation, and that promised those people relief from that horrific situation at the coming of Christ! ONLY BY IGNORING, OR PERVERTING EVERY KNOWN RULE OF HERMENEUTICS CAN LARRY APPLY 2 THESSALONIANS 1 TO OUR FUTURE!
I would love to comment at length on 2 Corinthians 5, but, I will only make a few observations to keep this presentation <short> but, hopefully, pique the interest of the readers.
1.) Paul’s ENTIRE DISCUSSION in chapters 3-6 is a midrash (commentary), based on, and drawn from, EZEKIEL 37. So, although Larry says it is <DUMB> to say that N. T. eschatology is from the O.T., HE APPEALS TO A TEXT UNDENIABLY DRAWN FROM THE O.T.!
2.) Ezekiel 37 foretold the following: A.) The resurrection (i.e. restoration) of Israel under Messiah (37:10-14). B.) Israel’s resurrection through the outpouring of the Spirit (v. 10-14). C.) The New Covenant (v. 26f). D.) The New Tabernacle (v. 27).
3.) Now in 2 Corinthians 3-6 Paul contrasts THE OLD COVENANT, the ministration of DEATH, from which they were being delivered, with THE NEW COVENANT OF LIFE (2 Corinthians 3:6-12). Incidentally, that covenantal transformation was Paul’s personal ministry (2 Corinthians 3:16-4:1-2), BEING ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH THE OUTPOURING OF THE SPIRIT, AS THE GUARANTEE OF THAT TRANSFORMATION (2 CORINTHIANS 3:16F; 5:5F). It was not completed, therefore, at the Cross!
4.) Paul then discusses the passing of the Old Tabernacle that was temporary, with the coming New Tabernacle, <not made with hands.> This term, <not made with hands> is only used a few times in the N.T. and is invariably a reference to the New Covenant realities versus the O.T. realities! Even more specifically, it is used to contrast the Old Covenant Temple with the New Covenant Temple! (Acts 7:48; Colossians 2:11; Hebrews 8:1; 9:11). Paul concludes by affirming that the church was what Ezekiel 37:27 foretold, <You are the temple of the living God, as it is written…> (2 Corinthians 6:16).
In other words, the <body> that was temporal, passing away to the glorious new, eternal temple, was the O.T. body of Moses and the Law. The new body, the eternal New Tabernacle, was the body of Christ that was even then groaning for the manifestation of the sons of God (Romans 8), striving to arrive at "that which is perfect" and, <the perfect man, the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.> (1 Corinthians 13:8f; Ephesians 4:13f).
An additional note or two here.
1.) The guarantee of the arrival (consummation) of that New Tabernacle was the <earnest of the Spirit.> This is undoubtedly referent to the charismata, that was bringing about the covenant, and resurrection transformation (2 Corinthians 3:17-18), promised by Ezekiel. A non-miraculous, unperceived indwelling of the Spirit, could hardly serve as the guarantee of the consummation of covenant transformation, and the transformation from life to death! It was, after all, the charismata that was ensuring the full arrival of <that which is perfect.>
2.) Paul affirms, twice, that the transformation from the Old Tabernacle to the New, and the resurrection, WAS IN THE REALM OF THE UNSEEN, <we do not look upon the things that are seen, but on the unseen> (2 Corinthians 4:16f). He even says, <even though we have known Christ after the flesh, from henceforth we know him no more> (2 Corinthians 5:16). Larry is looking for Christ to appear in the flesh, but, PAUL SAYS CHRIST IS NOT KNOWN THAT WAY ANYMORE! This agrees perfectly with Jesus’ statement, <The kingdom does not come with observation> (Luke 17:20f).
The time of the kingdom and the resurrection are synchronous, and virtually synonymous events (Matthew 25:31f; 2 Timothy 4:1f; Revelation 11:15f). So, since the kingdom would not come with observation, and the resurrection and arrival of the kingdom are synonymous events, then the resurrection would not come with observation! I hardly have to comment that Larry’s concept of the resurrection would qualify as an event that would be <with observation.> Yet, conversely, we are told that the fall of Jerusalem would be THE SIGN OF THE SON OF GOD IN HEAVEN (Matthew 24:30-31). In other words, what you saw (the fall of Jerusalem), WAS NOT WHAT YOU GOT. What you saw SIGNIFIED something far, far greater, i.e. THE PAROUSIA AND THE RESURRECTION!
Larry appeals to 1 John 3:2: <John asserts that we are now God’s children and the Lord has NOT YET APPEARED! Yet the DATE of John’s writing is placed anywhere from 80 to 95 A.D. – AFTER THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM! So, John is still looking for the Lord’s APPEARING! Another "nail" in the "coffin" of the false A.D. 70 doctrine!>
Unfortunately for Larry, his nail gun is empty. What is his proof that 1 John was written post-70? HE OFFERED NOT ONE SHRED OF EVIDENCE!
I noted earlier that 1 John 2:18 says, <It is the last hour, and as you have heard that anti-christ should come, even now there are many anti-christs, whereby you know it is the last hour!>
Larry says the presence of anti-christs in the first century proves we are in the Christian age. Incredible.
Fact is that Jesus said the anti-christs would appear in the first century generation, before Christ’s coming in the destruction of Jerusalem (Luke 21:8), and LARRY WOULD LIKELY AGREE WITH THAT ASSESSMENT! But what does he do? He divorces Jesus’ prediction from John’s epistle, even though one is prophecy and the other is fulfillment! The fact that John references the earlier prophecy of the anti-christs, that Jesus said those anti-christs would come before his parousia in A.D. 70, and that now, John was saying the earlier prophecy was fulfilled in their days, amounts to PRIMA FACIE PROOF that 1 John was not written in 80-95 A.D..
Larry appeals to 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2: <First century Christians were warned against those who claimed that the return of Christ was imminent (2 Thess.2:1-5). Paul spoke of the coming (parousia) of the Lord Jesus Christ "our being gathered together to him" and warned them not to believe those who purport that they had word or letter from Paul "that the day of the Lord has come (enestken, is come).>
1.) Enesteken does not mean <imminent.> PERIOD! It is the perfect tense of enestimi, and this form NEVER means imminent! It means, <has come.> Larry tries to distort and confuse the issue, again.
2.) Ask yourself: If the Day of the Lord is what Larry says, a time ending, earth burning, event, HOW IN THE NAME OF REASON COULD ANYONE CONVINCE ANYONE THAT IT HAD ALREADY HAPPENED? Likewise, if the resurrection is the raising of all physically decomposed corpses out of the ground in that event, how could anyone convince anyone that it had already happened? BTW, you will note that Larry TOTALLY IGNORED MY DISCUSSION OF THE HYMENAEAN HERESY.
Why didn’t Paul say–as Larry might suggest, <Guys, isn’t it obvious that the world has not ended? The graves are still full! Time marches on!> But, that is not Paul’s approach. The fact that Paul did not correct their concept of the nature of the resurrection–a concept that allowed them to believe the parousia and resurrection had occurred, yet time and earth continued– proves beyond doubt that neither they, or Paul, had an end of time, earth burning conc
ept of the parousia! Their concept of the Day had to be the O.T. concept of the Day, and Larry has been kind enough to give several examples of that (Isa. 34; Ezek. 32; Joel 2, etc.). The question Larry would have to answer, but never addressed, is why the Day of the Lord in the N. T. is of a radically disparate nature from the Day of the Lord defined in all of the passages (and more), that he provided. The fact is that Jesus was coming <in the glory of the Father> (Matthew 16:27), which means that his judgment coming was to be of the same kind, and in the same way that the Father had come and judged. Larry has given us verses that prove that was not a literal, visible, bodily coming!
Summary and Conclusion:
Larry has offered four passages in a failed attempt to prove a yet future coming of Christ at the end of the Christian age, 1 Corinthians 15, 2 Peter 3, 2 Thessalonians 1, and 2 Corinthians 5. Here is what I have done in response.
1.) I have shown that EVERY SINGLE ONE OF HIS PROOF TEXTS IS BASED ON THE O.T. PROMISES MADE TO ISRAEL. Larry never offered one shred of evidence to the contrary, but called this incontrovertible fact <DUMB.> Hopefully, Larry will come to see that this Biblical fact is not so <dumb> after all, but is the key to understanding Biblical eschatology.
2.) I have proven that not one iota of the O.T. could pass until it was all fulfilled. Prophecy was <the Law> and <the Law> was prophecy. Jesus said not one single iota of <the Law> could pass until ALL of it was fulfilled. Larry futilely, and weakly attempted to argue that <the Law> did pass, but that some of it remains unfulfilled! This directly contradicts the words of Jesus.
3.) I have shown that the time of the resurrection is the time of the salvation of Israel, and that this was to be at the end of Israel’s age, not the end of the Christian age.
4.) I have shown that the time of the resurrection would be the time of the salvation of Israel, when Israel was judged for her blood guilt. Israel was to be judged for her blood-guilt in A.D. 70. Larry never mentioned my argument.
5.) I HAVE SHOWN THAT THE CHRISTIAN AGE HAS NO END! Larry affirms the end of what the Bible says is endless. Larry quickly abandoned his proposition.
6.) I have shown that Larry’s concept of salvation violates the New Testament. Larry says the crown of righteousness was not given in A.D. 70–and has not yet been given!! He says that today, when the child of God dies, they go to Hades, because they can’t go to heaven! I have shown, repeatedly, that according to Hebrews 9, entrance into the Most Holy Place would remain closed only as long as the Old Covenant system stood! Thus, Larry’s doctrine demands that the Old Covenant remains valid today! Larry simply refused to deal with this, claiming on the one hand that the Old Law is removed, that we have salvation, and yet, we cannot enter the MHP! Confusion reigns!
7.) I have shown that Larry must violate or pervert every known rule of hermeneutic to make 2 Thessalonians 1 apply to our future.
8.) I have shown that 2 Corinthians 3-6 predicted the passing of the Old Tabernacle world and the full arrival of the New Messianic Temple of Christ, in fulfillment of Ezekiel 37 and God’s O.T. promises to Israel.
9.) I have shown that Larry’s application of 2 Peter 3 violates what Peter says. Peter affirmed that the end had drawn near (1 Peter), and that he was looking for what the prophets predicted. I proved beyond doubt that the New Creation was to come at the time of the destruction of Old Covenant Judah (Isaiah 65), by the end of the seventy weeks of Daniel 9, arguments that Larry did not touch, top, side, or bottom.
10.) I have shown that Daniel 12 is directly parallel with 1 Corinthians 15 (and John 5:28-29), and emphatically, divinely, infallibly, says that the time of the end, and the resurrection would occur <when the power of the holy people is completely shattered.> (Daniel 12:2-7). Larry completely, totally, ignored the argument.
I have therefore, responded to and refuted every major argument offered by Larry, in direct contradistinction to Larry’s approach.
He openly admitted he was not going to follow my arguments, simply begging the readers’ pardon for not doing so.
He openly admitted that he was not going to study the O.T. arguments I made.
He openly admitted that he was not equipped to deal with Daniel 9. Yet, he condemns me for using Daniel 9!
He openly disparaged the idea that N. T. eschatology is based on the O. T. promises to Israel, and yet, I HAVE SHOWN THAT EVERY N. T. TEXT HE OFFERED AS AN AFFIRMATIVE WAS BASED ON THE O.T. PROMISES MADE TO ISRAEL, AND WAS TO BE FULFILLED AT THE END OF ISRAEL’S AGE!
Larry has failed, utterly, to support his proposition. I have refuted his every argument.
On the other hand, I have fully established my proposition, The Bible teaches that the Second (i.e. final) coming of Christ, the judgment and the resurrection of the dead occurred at the time of the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.