Formal Written Debate
Don K. Preston -V- Terry Benton
Don K. Preston’s Second Affirmative
May , 2007
Let me begin by saying I appreciate Terry’s first negative. He expressed himself well, without rancor. This is appreciated. Unfortunately, his position is false, no matter how much thought he has given it. I will address the foundational issues of his negative, and then offer some more affirmative arguments.
Terry posed three particular questions, claiming that failure on my part to deal with these issues would nullify my entire proposition. So, since Terry thinks these are the critical (unanswerable) issues, let me address them head on.
TERRY’S FIRST QUESTION AND MY RESPONSE:
How long is man obligated to keep ALL the Law including its types and shadows?
Consider the following:
The types and shadows contained in the New Moons, Feast days, Sabbaths, and sacrifices, were part of the Law.
But, NONE of the Law could pass– become non-binding– until all of the Law was fulfilled (Matthew 5).
Therefore, none of the types and shadows contained in the New Moons, Feast Days, Sabbaths, and sacrifices, of the Law could pass–become non-binding– until ALL was fulfilled.
Here are some additional, irrefutable facts.
All of the typological elements of New Moons, feast days, sacrifices, etc. had not yet been fulfilled in the N. T. times.
1.) Colossians 2:16-17 – Paul said those things "are (present tense–not WERE!) shadows of good things to come."
2.) Hebrews 9:6-10– The entire Mosaic Cultus was still "symbolic of the present time."
3.) Hebrews 10:1f– The Law itself, was "being (present tense) a shadow of good things to come."
So, the types contained in the Law were unfulfilled when Colossians and Hebrews were written. Hebrews 9 says those things were imposed (obligatory, binding), until the time of the reformation.
Therefore, it was obligatory to fulfill the typological element of the New Moon, Feast Days, Sabbaths and sacrifices before the Law could pass.
TERRY’S SECOND QUESTION AND MY RESPONSE:
What kind of promises can God make, and do they all have to be fulfilled within the same time-frame as man’s obligation to the Law of Moses?
This is a good, thoughtful question. Here is the problem for Terry and the traditional paradigm concerning the issue of the Law and the larger issue of eschatology, and they are related.
Terry believes that the end of the Law and eschatology are totally separate issues. In fact, the end of the age in scripture is the end of the Mosaic Age, not the end of the Christian Age! Terry and the entire futurist world, except the premills, (who misplace it temporally and in nature), rip eschatology out of its proper framework and posit it at the end of an age that the Bible affirms was/is endless!
Let me express it this way: There are no new eschatological promises in the New Testament, and, all promises of the end of the age and eschatology were to be fulfilled, not at the end of the Christian Age, which has no end, but, at the end of the Old Covenant Age of Israel. In other words, the end of the Law, and the consummate end of the age are synchronous events.
I will be as brief as possible here. I will ask questions of Terry, to put this issue into perspective, and address them more fully in my final affirmative–and perhaps in my negative presentations as well:
QUESTION: Terry, is your hope of the resurrection of the dead, the second coming of Christ, and the judgment, based on the yet future fulfillment of Old Testament promises made to Old Covenant Israel? Yes or No?
QUESTION: Terry, is your eschatological hope posited at the end of the Old Covenant Age or at the end of the New Covenant Age?
RELEVANCE OF THE ISSUE:
Why is this issue so critical? Because scripturally, the end of the Old Covenant Age is the time of the resurrection of the dead, the time of the New Heavens and Earth, the Second Coming of Christ, i.e. the entire story of eschatology is inextricably tied to the end of the Old Covenant Age–not the end of time or the Christian Age! Let me prove this.
A.) The resurrection is the time of the salvation of Israel (Isaiah 24-25:9–read verses 6-9 especially). This prophecy is one of the sources of Paul’s doctrine of the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:54f).
Paul affirms that his gospel of the resurrection was nothing but "the hope of Israel (Acts 24:14f; 26:6f, 21-23; 28:16f).
The time of the salvation of Israel would be at the parousia (Romans 11:25-27).
Thus, God’s covenant with Old Covenant Israel would be consummated at the parousia. If God’s (irrevocable– Romans 11:28f), covenant with Israel has not been fulfilled, they remain His Covenant people!
Thus, Terry’s question, what kind of promises could God make, and do they have to be fulfilled within the same time-frame of man’s obligation to the Law of Moses is answered: God’s covenant with Israel– and thus, Israel’s obligation to God under that covenant– are bound up with the eschatological promises, i.e. the resurrection of the dead!
Terry, please explain how God’s covenant with Israel, the covenant to take away their sin and the resurrection at the parousia, could remain valid and unfulfilled and yet, Israel no longer be God’s covenant people. If the covenant was still valid in Romans 11, wasn’t the covenant relationship still valid– ("Has God cast off His people whom He foreknew? God forbid!", Romans 11:1-3)? If not, why not?
B.) The time of the resurrection is also posited as the time when "the power of the holy people is completely shattered" (Daniel 12:2-7).
Thus, per inspiration, the time of the consummation of Israel’s covenant history, the time of her total destruction, and the eschatological resurrection are all inextricably intertwined.
C.) The promise of the passing of the Old Creation and the coming of the New Creation of 2 Peter 3 and Revelation 21-22 is based squarely on the O.T. promises made to Israel, and posited at the time of Israel’s salvation:
Isaiah 64-66: God would come down out of heaven (Isaiah 64:1f), in judgment of Israel for filling the measure of her sin (Isaiah 65:6f). He would destroy the Old Covenant people, create a New People, with a New Name, and a New Heavens and Earth (Isaiah 65:13f).
D.) Terry has admitted, although inadvertently, that eschatology and the issue of the fulfillment and passing of the Law, are inseparably linked. I asked the following question:
<<Please define, as specifically as possible, "the Law" that Paul said was "the strength of sin" (1 Corinthians 15:54-56).
Terry answered: "I think it is the Law of Moses as an example of every Christ-less law. Sin is given strength against us when mere law is all we have.">>
This is a fatal admission on Terry’s part, and I will use this as an opportunity to present some affirmative argument.
The resurrection would be when "the Law" that was/is "the strength of sin" was/is removed (1 Corinthians 15:55-56).
But, "the Law" that was the strength of sin was the Law of Mo
Therefore, the resurrection would be when the Law of Moses was/is removed.
Terry’s attempt to deflect the power of this argument by stating that the Law of Moses was merely "an example of every Christ-less law" does not help. When Paul used the term "the Law" without a qualifier (some 110 times), as he does in 1 Corinthians 15, he INVARIABLY referred to the Mosaic Law. It is incumbent on Terry, if he denies that Paul is using the term the Law as he normally does, to prove that assertion from the context.
You cannot admit that the Law that was the strength of sin was the Mosaic Law, without thereby admitting that the resurrection and the end of the Law are synchronous events.
You cannot admit that the Law that was the strength of sin was the Mosaic Law, without thereby admitting that the kind of promises that God made, and the binding nature of the Mosaic Law are inseparably bound together.
You cannot admit that the Law that was the strength of sin was the Mosaic Law, and yet affirm that the resurrection has not occurred, without affirming that the Mosaic Law remains in effect as the strength of sin today.
Terry, is the Law that was the strength of sin when Paul wrote still the strength of sin today? Yes or No?
If the Mosaic Law was taken away at the Cross, as Terry affirms, then it was no longer the strength of sin when Paul wrote.
So, what Law was the strength of sin when Paul wrote? But remember that Terry has already admitted that it was in fact the Mosaic Law.
And, if the Mosaic Law is not the strength of sin today, what Law is today the strength of sin?
What law took the place of the Torah as the strength of sin?
Didn’t the Gospel take the place of the Torah as God’s law?
Is the gospel therefore, now the strength of sin, Terry?
Remember, PAUL LONGED FOR DELIVERANCE FROM THE LAW THAT WAS THE STRENGTH OF SIN. If therefore, the gospel had taken the place of the Torah as the strength of sin, that means that Paul was longing for deliverance from the gospel!
Terry asked about what kind of promises God could make and if they had to be related to the keeping of the Law.
The answer is an unequivocal "Yes," because:
All of God’s eschatological promises are inseparably linked to the end of the Old Covenant Age.
Terry has admitted that the Law that was the strength of sin was the Torah.
But, the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 would be when the Law that was the strength of sin was removed, as the strength of sin.
So, if the resurrection has not occurred, then the Law of Moses is still binding as the strength of sin!
However, since Isaiah 24-25, Ezekiel 37, Daniel 12 and other texts posit the end of God’s Covenant relationship with Israel after the flesh, and the resurrection, at the end of the Old Covenant Age, this means that the kind of promises that God made, and the keeping of Torah are in fact bound together.
This undeniable truth proves the validity of my proposition.
TERRY’S THIRD QUESTION AND MY RESPONSE.
Are all of God’s promises and predictions, though recorded in the Old Testament records, automatically tied to the Law of Moses so that God could not release man from his obligations before God has fulfilled every promise and prediction on every subject?
Another good, thoughtful question. In the final analysis, it is directly answered by my response to #2. I will add only a little here.
God’s covenant with Israel would remain valid until the parousia and the resurrection (Romans 11:25-27; 1 Corinthians 15:55-56).
The parousia and resurrection has not occurred yet (Terry).
Therefore, God’s covenant with Israel remains valid.
Terry, please explain how it is that since God’s covenant with Israel–the covenant promises that included the promise of the adoption (i.e. the resurrection, Romans 8:23-9:5), could still be valid, unfulfilled per your paradigm, and yet, Israel would be under no covenant obligation, and would no longer be the covenant people.
Finally, consider again, Daniel 12. Daniel foresaw the resurrection of the just and unjust (Daniel 12;2–>cf. Acts 24:14f). Daniel overheard one angel tell another one that the promised resurrection would be at the time of the end "when the power of the holy people is completely shattered" (Daniel 12:7).
The resurrection of the dead would occur when the power of the holy people was completely shattered (Daniel 12:2-7).
The power of the holy people was the Torah, and God’s relationship with Old Covenant Israel.
Therefore, the resurrection of the dead would occur when the Torah and God’s relationship with Old Covenant Israel was destroyed.
(Of course, if Terry wants to continue to argue that the Law– the power of the holy people– was destroyed at the Cross, then this demands that the resurrection of the just and unjust occurred at that time).
LET ME FOLLOW UP WITH THIS ARGUMENT:
The resurrection of the dead would occur when the Torah and God’s relationship with Old Covenant Israel was destroyed.
But, the Torah and God’s covenant relationship with Old Covenant Israel was destroyed in A.D. 70, in the destruction of Jerusalem (when Torah was completely fulfilled, Luke 21:22).
Therefore, the resurrection of the dead occurred when Old Covenant Israel was destroyed in A.D. 70.
So, Terry’s question about whether God’s promises, while found in the O.T. texts, might be unrelated to the end of the Old Covenant Age, is answered definitively. Not only were the eschatological promises found in the O.T. texts, those passages undeniably place their fulfillment WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE END OF THE OLD COVENANT AGE, not the end of the New Covenant Age. These truths positively affirm and confirm my proposition.
Terry wrote concerning these three questions: "If Don does not use his next affirmative to settle these three issues and show how everything harmonizes with his proposition, then the rest of what he writes will simply be more smoke with no real substance."
RESPONSE: I have scripturally harmonized my paradigm with Terry’s good questions, and refuted Terry’s underlying assumptions. In doing so, I have offered affirmative arguments that prove my affirmative proposition as well. Now on to some other things that Terry offered as refutation.
Re: Matthew 5:17-18: Terry argues, repeatedly, that what Jesus actually meant is all of the commandments had to be fulfilled, but not all prophecy. He has contradicted himself and Jesus.
1.) Where does Jesus say, "Until all the commandments, and some prophecy, is fulfilled, the Law will not pass"? He does not, and TERRY OFFERED NOT ONE VERSE TO PROVE THAT CLAIM. This distinction, however, is critical to Terry’s paradigm.
But, notice Terry’s fatal admission.
I asked: <Terry, tell us plainly, was the fulfillment of the prophecies of Christ’s passion necessary for the passing of the Law? Yes or No?>
Terry responded: <<Instead of saying "passing of the Law", let me re-phrase Don’s question a bit. Was the fulfillment of the prophecies of Christ’s passion necessary for the "deliverance from the Law" (per Rom.7:6)? Yes! In being "delivered from the Law" are we also "delivered from every promise and prophecy of the Old Testament"? No! Being delivered from the Law is not synonymous with being unable to enjoy any predictive promise of that covenant.>>
Terry tries, once again, to deflect the force of the argument. However, he has still made a fatal admission.
First, note that Terry changes my question, the question that was at stake in Matthew 5: i.e. the passing of the Law itself. He changes the focus from the passing of the Law, to the passing
out from under the Law, and, there is a huge difference! More on this below.
The issue in Matthew 5 is not the deliverance from the Law, as Terry is using the term. The issue was, "Do not think that I am come to destroy (from katalusei) the Law or the Prophets, but to fulfill." Jesus was not talking of individuals being free from obligation to the Law.
Jesus was speaking of the objective body of the Torah, the passing of the Law. And, all of Terry’s references to the Law passing as a testimony are irrelevant. That is patently not what Jesus or the Jews had in mind. The issue was the abrogation of the covenant between Israel and YHVH.
Terry is affirming that all of the commandments but only some of the prophecies had to be fulfilled for the Law to pass! (Actually, he believes that only PART OF THE COMMANDMENTS, and PART OF THE PROPHECIES had to be fulfilled! More later).
Catch the power of that admission! By admitting that ANY PROPHECIES, had to be fulfilled for the Law to pass, Terry is admitting that it was not, in fact, just commandments that had to be fulfilled for the Law to pass! This admission means that prophecies really were part of "the Law" that had to be fulfilled. And this means that THEY ALL HAD TO BE FULFILLED FOR THE LAW TO PASS!
Remember, Jesus said none could pass until all was fulfilled.
Jesus did not say some will pass when some is fulfilled! But, this is what Terry claims!
He did not say all would pass when some was fulfilled.
He said none would pass until all was fulfilled.
If ANY prophecies had to pass for the Law to pass, then ALL of the prophecies had to pass for the Law to pass! Terry’s artificial construct violates what Jesus said. Jesus did not say all of the commandments, and some of the prophecies had to pass for the Law to pass. It was NONE before ALL!
2.) I proved, and Terry even admitted, that the term the Law, when used without a qualifier, is used comprehensively to include all of the O.T., including the prophets.
3.) Amazingly, Terry actually said:
<<Here is the sugar-stick of Don’s entire premise. If "the Law" is sometimes used in reference to a limited aspect of the Old Testament scriptures, and not to every word and promise made in that body of 39 Old Testament books, then a major premise of Don’s entire line of argument will invalidate his whole stack of cards. All we need is one passage that shows that "the Law" is not always "a comprehensive term". We have no need to reply to the fact that SOMETIMES it is comprehensive. We freely admit that point. In order for Don’s proposition to stand, it can NEVER be less than comprehensive of every word and phrase of every scripture located somewhere, regardless of context, in the body of the 39 books of the Old Testament. If it is EVER used in a non-comprehensive way, then it would be his obligation to prove that each scripture he uses to prove his proposition uses it in that comprehensive way every time in those verses. If he merely assumes it, then his whole proposition is built on unsafe and unsure ground.>>
Let me say as kindly as possible that this is very bad logic.
Terry claims that if the term the Law is ever used in a limited way, that it invalidates my point on Matthew 5:17f.
1.) Wrong! Terry, are you telling us that an exceptional use of a word or term in one text destroys the normal use of that word and term in all other texts? Is that what you are saying? Would you make that argument on "eis" in Acts 2:38?
2.) Terry affirms that if the term the Law is ever used in a restricted manner in one text, that it is my obligation to prove that it is not be used in a restricted manner in Matthew 5. No, let’s turn that around. If the normal use of the term is comprehensive–and it is– then it is Terry’s obligation to prove that Matthew 5 is using the term in an exceptional manner. He has not done so, and to do so, he must prove that the comprehensive definition is not the norm, and then show that the normal definition is excluded in Matthew 5. Instead, he wants to find an exception to the norm, and impose the exception on Matthew 5!
3.) What Terry has to prove is, even if in some texts "the Law" is used in a restrictive sense–and I would affirm that when used without contextual qualifiers that it is NOT so used–that it is in fact being used in a restrictive sense in Matthew 5. A restrictive use in another passage does not prove restrictive use in Matthew 5!
4.) So, where is the qualifier in Matthew 5? "Not one jot or one tittle" is comprehensive. "Until all is fulfilled" is comprehensive. So, where is that qualifier that limits Jesus’ statement to SOME COMMANDMENTS AND SOME PROPHECIES, as Terry affirms?
5.) Terry cites Luke 24:44f to counter my argument. This does not help! Why? Because Jesus said IT WAS NECESSARY TO FULFILL ALL THINGS THAT ARE WRITTEN IN THE LAW, THE PSALMS, THE PROPHETS! See that? It was necessary for everything to be fulfilled! Terry says, "No, it was not necessary for all things to be fulfilled, just all of the commandments and part of the prophecies!"
PASSING FROM THE LAW, OR PASSING OF THE LAW?
Terry seems not to understand the difference, taught in the New Testament, between the passing from the Law, and the passing of the Law.
Terry says: <<But Don, if you say that even one Jew ceased to be under obligation to keep the ENTIRE LAW of the Old Testament, then you have surrendered your premise that says that obligation cannot cease before the entire Law was fulfilled, or before AD 70. You cannot have it both ways….If there was a way for the law to cease to be binding on even one Jew before it was "all fulfilled" (per Don’s argument), then there is a way for God to cancel its obligations altogether at the cross. If not, why not?>
Terry’s failure here is common. I certainly used to argue likewise. However, there are several issues at stake here, that allows me to make some more affirmative arguments.
The New Testament draws a distinction between the objective passing of the Law itself, as set forth by Jesus in Matthew 5:17f, by Paul in Galatians 3-4, in Hebrews 8:13, etc., and the passing from the Law, as set forth by Paul in Romans 7, 2 Corinthians 3, Ephesians 2, Colossians 2.
THE PASSING OF THE LAW:
A.) Matthew 5– The issue is patently the passing of the Law itself: "Do not think that I am come to destroy the Law or the prophets."
B.) 2 Corinthians 3:6-18– In this text we find both the passing of the Law, as well as the passing from the Law.
1.) Verses 7-11– The Torah itself is represented, IN THE PRESENT TENSE VERBS, as "that which is passing away." How could Paul speak of the Torah as then passing, if it had already passed? Furthermore, he spoke of the passing of the Law as his then still present HOPE "seeing then that we have (present tense, not past), such hope, we speak boldly."(v. 12)
The Torah was passing when Paul wrote 2 Corinthians 3. Therefore, the Torah had not passed at the Cross. It is that simple.
2.) In verses 15-16– Paul speaks of those who turn to Christ, "and the veil is taken away." He continues by noting that the transformation from the Old Covenant glory to the New was his distinctive ministry (2 Corinthians 4:1), and that that transformation was then present and on-going: "But we all, with unveiled face..are being transformed into the same image, from glory to glory." That covenant transformation was present and on-going, not past!
C.) Galatians 4:22f– The two women represented the two covenants. "Cast out the bondwoman…" The bondwoman represented the Torah itself. This text proves several things:
a.) Israel had not yet been cast out, contra Terry’s claim, because, Israel would be cast out for persecuting t
he seed of promise. Terry has Israel cast out before she ever persecuted the seed of promise!
b.) The covenant had not yet been cast out–passed away.
D.) Hebrews 8:13– The Old Covenant was "old and ready to vanish away." This was not speaking of passing from the Law as individuals by entering Christ’s death, but, of the Torah itself growing old and being ready to vanish, pass away. If the Law had already been abrogated, how could the writer say that it was, when he wrote, "ready to vanish away"? This is a powerful affirmation of my proposition, for it affirms that the Law had not yet passed away when Hebrews was written.
THE PASSING FROM THE LAW
This is where Terry’s negative founders. He thinks that the first century saints died to the Law because the Law had passed. This is patently false as shown above. He fails to understand Paul’s use of common Jewish thought in his polemic.
Paul uses the Jewish concept that when a person died, THEY DIED TO THE LAW. They did not believe for a moment that the Torah died, but, that person died to the Law.
This is precisely what Paul affirms not only of Jesus, but, of the first century Christians.
Romans 7:4– "You have become dead to the Law BY THE BODY OF CHRIST." Notice Paul does not say that the Law had died, he says they died to the Law! Huge difference!
How had they become dead to the Law?
By entering Christ’s death–They had been "BAPTIZED INTO HIS DEATH" (Romans 6:4f).
Let me give an illustration here.
Prior to the fall of the Berlin wall, thousands of people, longing for freedom, risked the dangers to go over, under, around or through the wall. If they made it, THEY DIED TO THE LAW OF EAST BERLIN. However, the law of East Berlin remained in force, right? Were those still living in East Berlin still subject to the Law of East Berlin, Terry? Were those who escaped still under that Law?
However, in 1989-1990– the images are still sharp in my mind-the Wall, and the Law of East Berlin came crashing down. The law of East Berlin then died. Here is the difference between the passing FROM the Law, and the passing OF the Law.
This is exactly what we find in the New Testament.
Romans 7: 4 "You have become dead to the Law, BY THE BODY OF CHRIST."
Ephesians 2: Christ destroyed the commandments "IN THE BODY OF HIS DEATH."
Colossians 2: In his death, Christ destroyed the obligation to the Law. (See for instance The New International Greek Testament Commentary, in loc, where it shows that it was not the Torah itself that was removed, but, OBLIGATION TO TORAH).
Significantly, TERRY ADMITS AND AFFIRMS MY POINT! He says: "Obligation to man’s requirements in the law could pass or be cancelled without the Law and all prophecies being cancelled and without the Law itself ever "passing away".
AMEN, AND AMEN! That is my point! That is precisely what I have established, and, it shows beyond doubt that the Torah had not been removed at the Cross.
So, there was in fact, as Terry admits, a way for a Jew to be free from the Law, without the Law actually passing!! THAT WAY WAS TO ENTER THE DEATH OF CHRIST! The key here is "IN CHRIST!" We have, in the c of C, often preached this truth, but, have failed to see its implications in regard to the Law.
By joining with Christ in his death, they died to Torah, BUT TORAH DID NOT DIE! Torah–ALL OF IT– had to be fulfilled before it could pass.
This brings us to two issues raised by Terry. I will use both as additional affirmative arguments.
HEBREWS 7:12 AND CHRIST’S PRIESTHOOD
Terry argues that unless the Law had passed, Jesus could not be priest. He fails to consider several things
1.) Christ had died to the Law! Christ had entered a realm where Torah did not hold sway. He had "been put to death in the flesh, but raised in the Spirit" (1 Peter 3:18– Greek locatives speaking of the realms of his death and resurrection, not the substance of his body/spirit). I wrote an article entitled "Was Christ Born Again?"on this issue. You can read it at: http://www.eschatology.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=28&Itemid=61.
2.) The Greek text of Hebrews 7 shows that the "change of the Law" was in the present tense–just as in 2 Corinthians 3. Thus, the Torah itself was in the process of being changed. This agrees perfectly with Hebrews 8:13: "That which is growing old, is ready to vanish away." It (the Covenant, not as a testimony, but as the COVENANT!), had not yet passed, but was growing old and was ready to vanish!
3.) Terry’s argument actually affirms that the Torah was still in effect when Hebrews was written. Notice Hebrews 8:5– "If Christ were on earth, he could not be priest, since there are priests WHO SERVE ACCORDING TO THE LAW." The Law of the priesthood had not yet passed–the Temple and cultus still stood. Christ was not of Levi. He could not be priest on earth, BECAUSE THE TORAH FORBAD THAT. But, he could, was, and is priest, in the realm where Torah does not apply! He died to Torah, he became priest after an order not authorised in Torah, and then Torah passed.
So, Terry’s appeal to Hebrews and Christ’s priesthood actually affirms and confirms my proposition.
Likewise, Terry’s attempt to negate the power of Luke 21:22 fails, but instead affirms my proposition.
Terry admits that SOME PROPHECIES had to be fulfilled before the Law could pass. But, Jesus did not say some, he said ALL!
Thus, Matthew 5 said that until all of the Law– that included the prophets as Terry has admitted– was fulfilled, NONE of the Law would pass.
But, all things written would be fulfilled at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 (Luke 21:22- How much of the "all things written" can we exclude, Terry?).
Therefore, the Law passed, and did not pass until, the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
LET ME REITERATE MY AFFIRMATIVE POINT ON DANIEL 9.
Jesus: Not one iota of Torah would pass until it was all fulfilled.
Part of what had to be fulfilled, per Terry, were some PROPHECIES, i.e. PART OF THE VISION AND PROPHECY.
But, Daniel 9 posited the fulfillment of all vision and prophecy at the end of the Seventy Weeks, at the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. (In my book Seal Up Vision and Prophecy, I prove that the term is comprehensive of ALL vision and all prophecy.)
Therefore, not one iota of Torah would pass until the fulfillment of the Seventy Weeks of Daniel 9, that terminated in the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
If any part of prophecy had to be fulfilled, in order for Torah to pass–as Terry affirms– then all of vision and prophecy had to pass for Torah to pass, and Daniel placed fulfillment of all vision and prophecy at A.D. 70.
Jesus said all things written–that would include vision and prophecy wouldn’t it?– would be fulfilled in the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 (Luke 21:22).
Therefore, not one iota of Torah would pass until it was all fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
AFFIRMATIVE ARGUMENT ON HEBREWS 9
I want to conclude this somewhat lengthy affirmative with an argument based on Hebrews 9.
I asked Terry the following question:
"When the faithful child of God dies physically today, where do they go:
A.) To the Hadean realm and Abraham’s bosom? Yes or No?
B.) Directly to heaven? Yes or No?
Terry Answered: "Yes to A and B. Abraham was looking for a city (Heb.11:10,16) and seems to be among those who have come to the "city of the Living God, the heavenly Jerusalem" where spirits of just men have been made perfect (Heb.12:22-24). The city of God is tied to heaven where Christ is. So, in som
e way, this part of the unseen realm (Hadean realm), where Abraham’s bosom provides comfort, is connected with heaven. Whether it is in its final glorified state or will later be enhanced with greater things than Abraham has yet seen, we cannot tell. What does this question have to do with the proposition?"
I must say, this is strange! Terry, you will have to clarify your answer for us, for, I suspect that the readers are just as confused by your answer as I am–especially the c of C ministers! 🙂
TERRY, IF THE HADEAN REALM IS HEAVEN OR IN HEAVEN, THEN DOES THAT MEAN THAT HEAVEN IS THROWN INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE AT THE PROPOSED END (Revelation 20:10ff)?
If Abraham’s bosom was heaven, why was Christ’s death necessary? Those under Moses and the prophets (Luke 16), dying prior to Christ, went to Abraham’s bosom! So, if those under the O. T. went to heaven, prior to Christ’s work of atonement, why did he even have to die?
I am going to make a statement here, and if I am wrong, Terry can correct me. However, I know the traditional view of the c of C, very well, so, I will state it, and use it as part of my affirmative.
Here is the statement: Hades (or Paradise in Hades), is not Heaven. When a faithful child of God dies today, they must go to Hades and Abraham’s bosom to await the parousia and the resurrection. It is not until Christ’s final coming that man can enter into heaven itself, but, at His coming, Hades will be emptied and destroyed, and all the faithful of all the ages, will then enter the presence of God in heaven.
Terry, is this what you believe, Yes, or No?
While Terry does not see the relevance of this, and other of my questions, to the issue before us, let me see if I can explain that relevance, for it is direct and powerful.
NOW TO HEBREWS 9:6-10:
"Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance; the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience– concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation." (NKJ)
Let me make several points here:
1.) The Greek text shows that the way into the Most Holy Place was not, at the time of Hebrews, open. The sacrifices and ordinances were, at that time "symbolic of the present time." (Cf. NASV.)
2.) The Old Covenant, with its commandments of sacrifices, washings, etc. could never bring man into the Most Holy Place– the presence of God. THE OLD COVENANT COULD NEVER OPEN THE WAY TO HEAVEN!
3.) Those sacrifices, washings, feast days, were "imposed until the time of reformation." Being imposed meant they were obligatory. Thus, obedience to the commands of the Torah, including sacrifices, was obligatory until the time of reformation, when man could enter the Most Holy Place!
4.) What this means very simply is this: If the faithful child of God, that dies physically today, cannot enter the Most Holy Place, then of necessity, the Mosaic Law, with its feast days, washings, carnal ordinances, etc., is still imposed, obligatory!
It was that ineffective system that prevented man from entering the MHP!
HERE IS THE ARGUMENT:
As long as the Mosaic System was imposed there was no access to the Most Holy Place (Hebrews 9:6-10).
But, there is no access to the Most Holy Place, today, even for the faithful child of God. (Terry Benton. That access will not become open until the end, not of the Mosaic Covenant Age as Hebrews suggests, but, at the end of the New Covenant Age, per Terry!!)
Therefore, the Mosaic System remains imposed today.
Terry, is it truly necessary for the Gospel Age to come to an end for man to enter the Most Holy Place? Yes or No? I will offer an argument on this, space permitting, on Luke 21/ Hebrews 9/ Revelation in my final affirmative.
What is there about the Gospel that, like the Law, prevents man from entering the Most Holy Place?
Can it be that it was the Law that was the strength of sin, and sin was the sting of death, but, per your view, the Law is still the strength of sin, and sin still has its sting?
According to Hebrews, and the rest of the Bible, it was not the removal of the Gospel that would allow man to enter the MHP, IT WAS THE REMOVAL OF THE OLD LAW, but, the Old Law would remain imposed and obligatory until it was removed!
Now, Terry might rejoin that the time of reformation came at the Cross.
IF SO, WHY DO THE RIGHTEOUS NOT ENTER HEAVEN WHEN THEY DIE?
Terry tells us (unless I am wrong), that no man can, even under the Gospel, enter the Most Holy Place, until the end of the Gospel Age!
If the Law was removed at the Cross, man should have access to the MHP today.
Terry says we don’t have that access.
Therefore, the Law was not removed at the Cross, but must still be binding today.
Terry’s paradigm violates Hebrews 9, and Hebrews 9 falsifies Terry’s theology.
Now, in case Terry wants to say that the faithful do in fact enter the MHP today, I will show that this demands that the parousia has occurred!
HEBREWS 9 COMMANDMENTS, PROPHECY, AND THE PASSING OF THE LAW
Let’s look closer at Hebrews 9.
Terry tells us RE: Matthew 5:17f, that all that Jesus had to do was fulfill ALL OF THE COMMANDMENTS, and SOME OF THE PROPHECIES for the Law to pass.
But, notice Hebrews 9.
Hebrews 9 says: "gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience– concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances."
Terry will agree with me that these were all "commandments" of the Torah.
Terry will agree with me that those things were typological and prophetic.
In other words, THESE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LAW WERE PROPHETIC.
Hebrews says those things were still imposed at the time of Hebrews, ("symbolic of the present time" v. 9), and would continue to be imposed, until the time of the reformation.
Thus, the typological, sacrificial cultus of the Mosaic Law was valid, imposed at the time of the writing of Hebrews, and would continue imposed until the time of the reformation.
And, according to Hebrews 9, the ultimate fulfillment of that system would be when Christ returned, to consummate the atonement" (Hebrews 9:28).
CATCH THE POWER OF THIS ARGUMENT:
The Law would remain imposed until all that it typified and foreshadowed was fulfilled– "imposed until the time of the reformation."
The fulfillment of that system would be the parousia of Christ to consummate the atonement (Hebrews 9:28).
Therefore, the Law would remain imposed until the consummation of the atonement at Christ’s parousia.
Terry does not believe Christ has consummated that anti-typological atonement praxis through his parousia. Is that not right, Terry?
Thus, the typological element of the commandments of the Law remains unfulfilled today.
But, the Law–with its typological elements– would remain "imposed" until those types were fulfilled.
Therefore, per Terry’s paradigm, THE LAW MUST REMAIN IMPOSED TODAY!
This definitively answers Terry’s first question: "How long is man obligated to keep ALL the Law including its types and shadows?" Hebrews 9 shows that those commands containing types and shadows, WERE STILL OBLIGATORY, and wou
ld remain imposed until the parousia, at the time of the reformation!
While much could be said about these facts, let me make a couple of quick arguments:
The typological sacrifices, washings, fleshly ordinances, etc. of the Law, were all commandments of the Torah.
Those typological sacrifices, washings, fleshly ordinances were still valid and obligatory when Hebrews was written (Hebrews 9:6-10; 10:1f).
Therefore, all the commandments of the Torah had not been fulfilled when Hebrews was written.
TERRY’S ARGUMENT THAT JESUS FULFILLED ALL THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE TORAH IS FALSIFIED. So, in reality, Terry is arguing that Jesus only had to fulfill SOME of the commandments, and SOME of the prophecies for the Law to pass. But again, this clearly violates Jesus’ words: "Not one jot or one tittle shall pass from the Law UNTIL IT IS ALL FULFILLED."
TERRY’S ARGUMENT THAT THE COMMANDMENTS COULD BE FULFILLED, THE LAW COULD PASS, BUT THAT THE TYPOLOGICAL AND PROPHETIC ELEMENTS OF THE LAW COULD REMAIN UNFULFILLED, IS FALSIFIED.
These commandments of sacrifice, feast days, etc WERE THE LAW, and they were still binding when Hebrews 9 was written, although they were old and ready to vanish!
I have more that I will add in regard to Hebrews 9 and the passing of the Law in my final affirmative.
Here is a preliminary look at my argument, so that I can present it in fuller detail next time.
The time of the reformation (diorthosis, Hebrews 9:10), is the same as the time of the restoration of all things (apokatastasis, Acts 3:19-24).
The time of the apokatastasis is the time of the parousia of Christ (Acts 3:23-24).
Therefore, since the time of the reformation and the time of the restoration are synchronous, then the time of the reformation is the time of the parousia of Christ.
The time of the reformation is the time of Christ’s parousia, (being the time of the restoration).
The time of the reformation is the time of the end of the Mosaic Law (Hebrews 9:6-10).
Therefore, the time of the end of the Mosaic Law is the time of Christ’s parousia.
If therefore, Christ has not come, the time of the restoration has not come.
If Christ has not come, the time of reformation has not come.
If the time of the reformation has not come, the Mosaic Law is still imposed.
In this affirmative, I have confirmed and solidified the arguments I made in my first affirmative.
I have responded to every one of Terry’s key negative arguments, even interacting with many of his affirmatively stated arguments, showing them to be false.
I have taken what Terry claims are death knell questions about my position, and shown how the proper answers to his questions not only harmonizes with my paradigm, but establishes it.
I have presented several new affirmative arguments that prove beyond doubt that the Mosaic Law continued valid, imposed, until the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.