Formal Written Debate
Don K. Preston -V- Terry Benton
Don K. Preston’s Second Negative
August 17, 2007
With Terry, I hope that all who read this exchange will be profited. It is always good to share differing views, and test them in the fire.
There is much ground to cover, so I will just jump right in.
Terry tries to make much of this text, chiding me for saying it was proleptic. Well, he wound up admitting that it was!
It is ironic, TO SAY THE LEAST, that Terry wants to make much of the single aorist tense in Matthew, but, he demands that we totally ignore the many, many present tenses in Hebrews, Colossians Ephesians, and 1 Peter that I have noted!
Now, why do I know that Matthew 28 is truly proleptic, and that I cannot take the aorist here as a truly accomplished reality?
Let me clear something up right here before proceeding.
Terry says: "Since he (Don) admitted that Christians rightly "died to the Law of Moses" (Rom.7:4), and could do so because the Law was nailed to the cross…"
Now, once again, Terry totally misrepresents what I have said. He claims that I have admitted that the Law was nailed to the Cross. TERRY, YOU KNOW I HAVE SAID NO SUCH THING! This is a BLATANT MISREPRESENTATION of my view.
Now to the reasons why Matthew 28:18 is proleptic, and why EVEN TERRY MUST ADMIT IT!
1.) Christ was not yet on the throne! Was Jesus on his throne in Matthew 28? Yes or No? Luke 19 says he had to go into a far country, "there to receive a kingdom."
TERRY, HAD JESUS GONE INTO THE FAR COUNTRY IN MATTHEW 28? YES OR NO?
Jesus had to go into the far country to receive the kingdom.
Jesus had not yet gone into the far country to receive the kingdom in Matthew 28:18.
Therefore, Jesus had not yet received the kingdom (i.e. the authority) in Matthew 28!
Terry, according to Daniel 7, WHEN WOULD JESUS RECEIVE THE KINGDOM (dominion, from exousia, LXX, meaning AUTHORITY!)? WHEN? If Terry admits for one moment that Jesus was not yet on the throne, that he had not yet gone into the far country, his entire argument on Matthew 28 falls to the ground.
2.) Now, you have to catch the power of what I am about to say! The Law could not pass until it was all fulfilled. I have proven that beyond any doubt. And, Terry even admitted that for the Law to pass, Jesus had to fulfill the High Priestly function of offering the sacrifice and entering the MHP. Remember that!
With that in mind, had Jesus entered the MHP when he spoke those words in Matthew 28? He had not yet ascended to the Father, had he?
So, according to Terry’s open admission, the Law could not have passed, and that means that Christ’s statement was indeed proleptic!
The O. T. could not pass until it was all fulfilled, including Jesus’ fulfillment of the High Priestly function of offering the sacrifice and entering the MHP (Scripture and Terry).
But, in Matthew 28:18f, Jesus had not yet fulfilled the High Priestly function of entering the MHP.
Therefore, the Old Law had not yet passed in Matthew 28:18f.
3.) Terry says I have ignored his argument that the Jews were obligated to die to the Law. Well, were they obligated to do so before they heard that New Covenant? Were they obligated to abandon the Old Law, BEFORE THE NEW LAW WAS EVEN REVEALED AND PROCLAIMED? But let’s look a bit closer.
"For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
TERRY NEEDS TO IDENTIFY THE KINGDOM HERE.
If it is the church, he has an incredible problem. As a matter of fact, we would both have a problem if this is the church! There is a LOT packed into these verses that needs to be examined, but, time and space will not permit here.
If the kingdom is referent to the Old Covenant kingdom, as it must be, then he also has an insurmountable problem.
Jesus unequivocally said that the Law must be taught in the kingdom. For how long? Until it was all, not just SOME of it, not even MOST of it, but until it was ALL FULFILLED!
NOW, CATCH THE POWER OF THIS! (I don’t know if Terry was mocking me by using this term that I use all the time or not. I certainly hope not!). In Terry’s first affirmative, he listed several things, and he repeats virtually everyone of them in his second affirmative.
1.) He says I said nothing about them. This is blatantly false. I summarized all of the points under several broad arguments that included Terry’s argument. Because I did not specifically mention a specific verse does not mean that I did not answer his argument!
2.) I showed that Terry had already argued and admitted that these things had to become a reality before the Law could pass.
3.) That means, of necessity, that the Old Things remained valid and binding until the full arrival of the things Terry listed.
4.) Now, Terry wants to argue that these things were fully arrived when Hebrews was written. However, I proved that Terry does not believe that the New Temple was complete on Pentecost, because, the New Covenant was not completed then–Terry, do you want to argue that the New Covenant was complete, revealed (verbally or in any other way)– on Pentecost? DO YOU?
Do you want to argue that the church, before it had elders, before it had deacons, before it had its full revelation, before it had any Gentiles in it, was completed, matured, perfected? DO YOU? You ignored this before, will you do it again?
Now, my argument was and is that since Terry admitted that the Torah could not pass until those things became a full reality, and since those things were not full realities on Pentecost–but were in the process of being established for sure, as I have consistently argued– then this means that the O.T. was in fact still binding on the Jews until all of these things became fully revealed, fully established.
Jesus said that anyone teaching anyone not to observe the very least of the commandments–of the Torah, until it was all fulfilled, would be called least in the kingdom.
Now, Terry has to admit that Christ had not yet entered the MHP in Matthew 28. So, the Law was still in effect at that point.
Terry has to admit that the church, as the New Tabernacle, was not yet complete on Pentecost. So, the Torah had not yet past on Pentecost.
Terry has to admit that the New Covenant was not yet fully revealed on Pentecost, so, the promise of Jeremiah was not yet fulfilled. So, the Torah had not yet passed on Pentecost.
Let me support this with GENESIS 49:10– "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, or the Lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes, and to him shall the gathering of the people be."
I will keep this brief but to the point:
1.) The scepter of Judah was her authority and that authority lay in one thing, the Torah. Unless of course, Terry wants to tell us that the scepter possessed by Judah was in truth not YHVH’s covenant relationship with her, but was instead that PAGAN PERCEPTION that she possessed that authority!!
2.) That scepter– Torah and Judah’s relationship with YHVH– would remain until Shiloh, Messiah, came.
3.) This coming of Messiah cannot be his incarnation, because this coming would be WHEN THE PEOPLE WOULD BE GATHERED TO HIM, "to him shall the gathering
of the people be."
4.) The gathering of the people to Shiloh, would be in the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 (Matthew 24:29-31): "the Son of Man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather together the elect from the four winds of heaven."
5.) Therefore, the scepter– the Torah and the covenant relationship with YHVH– would not pass until the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. This agrees perfectly with Matthew 21:40-43 where Jesus said THE KINGDOM would be taken from Judah, when the Lord came to destroy those who had killed the Son! Judah would possess the kingdom and the scepter until the parousia of Christ!
Now in full support and proof of this, let me call attention to ZECHARIAH 11:9F:
"Then said I, I will not feed you: that that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another. 10 And I took my staff, even Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people. 11 And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the LORD."
Here is the argument that nullifies, and falsifies Terry’s affirmative.
In the day that Jerusalem and Judah would eat the flesh of their sons and daughters, YHVH would annul His covenant with her.
The day when Jerusalem and Judah would eat the flesh of their sons and daughters was in A.D. 70.
Therefore, the day when God would annul His covenant with Judah and Jerusalem was in A.D. 70.
Let me make this observation also. We have already proven that covenant provisions are only valid while the covenant is still binding. Terry has offered no refutation of this irrefutable point.
Now, note that THE CURSE OF JERUSALEM AND JUDAH EATING THEIR CHILDREN WAS A CURSE (DEUTERONOMY 28:55-57), FOR VIOLATING THE MOSAIC COVENANT.
That covenant would not be annulled by YHVH until the time when Jerusalem and Judah ate the flesh of their offspring.
So, the Mosaic Covenant, with its provisions of Wrath for violating the covenant, was not annulled until the time when Jerusalem and Judah ate the flesh of their sons and daughters, i.e. in A. D. 70.
There is no way for Terry to refute this argument, and it totally negates his entire paradigm. This argument also addresses Terry’s misguided claim that God could not have two laws in effect at the same time. As a matter of fact, it positively proves that He did just that! But, let’s look a bit closer.
Terry just cannot accept the idea that YHVH could have two laws in effect at the same time. I understand where he is coming from. I once held that erroneous position myself, until I looked at the scriptures a little closer.
1.) Terry, if the Sovereign God willed to have two laws in effect, for two different people, at the same time, what is your authority for challenging Him on that?
2.) Notice that the Bible affirms in no uncertain terms, the existence of two laws, for two different people, at the same time!
Israel had Torah, correct? Indisputably true! And, YHVH did not make that Covenant with any other people (Psalms 147:19f).
However, the Gentiles did not have that Law, but "were a law unto themselves" (Romans 2:14)! Now, here are two laws, one for one people, one for another people, all at the same time! (Romans 9 confirms this as well).
3.) By the way, Galatians 4:22f and Paul’s inspired allegory shows that Isaac and Ishmael–THE TWO COVENANTS!!– dwelt in the same house together, while Ishmael persecuted Isaac. However, as a result of that persecution, Ishmael was cast out, and Paul said, "As it was then, so it is now…cast out the children of the bondwoman!" Terry, of course, wants us to believe that Paul’s situation was nothing like Abraham’s, because Terry has "Ishmael" cast out of the house BEFORE HE EVER PERSECUTED ISAAC! Such is Terry’s paradigm!
4.) As noted, Zechariah unequivocally demonstrates that the Mosaic Covenant would not be annulled until the time when Judah and Jerusalem ate the flesh of their children. Of course, the Gospel was being revealed and preached during that same time period, calling all men into it. So, the Mosaic Covenant was still in effect for Israel– "whosoever shall teach anyone to break the least of these commandments shall be called least in the kingdom"– while at the same time, the gospel was being preached to the Jews, calling them out of that covenant into the New! When that Old Covenant had been completely fulfilled (Luke 21:22), YHVH then took it out of the way, leaving only the New Covenant.
So, not only did YHVH have the Sovereign right to have two laws in effect, for two different people, at the same time, BUT, He did precisely that! Yet, Terry calls this a dangerous doctrine! Well, Terry, your issue is with YHVH, not Preston!
Let me summarize a few points here and demonstrate how beautifully they harmonize, and yet, negate Terry’s affirmative view.
1.) The power of the holy people, Torah, would remain until they were completely shattered, i.e. A.D. 70 (Daniel 12).
2.) The scepter, the authority of Judah–which was Torah– would remain until the coming of Messiah to gather the people, i.e. A.D. 70 (Matthew 24:31).
3.) God’s covenant with Judah would not be nullified until the time when she ate the flesh of her children, i.e. in A.D. 70 (Zechariah 11).
4.) The Torah would not pass away until it was all fulfilled. It was all finally fulfilled at the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 (Matthew 5:17f/Luke 21:22).
You see, there was a transitional period of time between the Cross and A.D. 70.
A.) It was a time in which the Old Covenant was passing away, and was ready to vanish. By the way, you will notice that in the midst of Terry’s obfuscatory verbiage, he never once explained why NO O.T. writer ever called the Torah "Old" or ready to vanish away. He never explained why the Torah is never called "Old" or "ready to vanish" until 2 Corinthians 3! TERRY HAS THE TORAH READY TO VANISH AWAY, BEFORE IT EVER EVEN BEGAN TO BE FULFILLED, WHICH WAS THE PREREQUISITE FOR ITS PASSING!
B.) The New Covenant was being revealed and confirmed. Israel was being called into her New Covenant.
C.) During that period of time, it was wrong for Israel to violate the Torah.
D. But, as I have taught for years–not because Terry has made me admit anything,– Israel was being given the invitation to come into the New Covenant world.
E.) She was being given A PERIOD OF GRACE, with the warning that if she refused, she would be utterly destroyed (Acts 3/ Acts 13).
F.) When the gospel–to the Jew first– was preached inviting and warning Israel to come into her inheritance– had been preached into all the world (Romans 10:16f), taking away any excuses, and she continued to rebel, then, and only then, IN FULFILLMENT OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE OLD COVENANT ITSELF, judgment came, and swept away that Old World, including the covenant.
This brings us back to an issue that Terry has tried desperately to ignore. He has argued that provisions of a covenant can be applied, even after that covenant has been abrogated. I have challenged him to give us book, chapter and verse, but, HE HAS GIVEN US NOTHING but his personal claims, based on his presuppositional views. Sorry, not good enough.
Covenant provisions cannot be applied after a covenant has been abrogated.
But, the A.D. 70 destruction of Jerusalem was the application of provisions of the Old Covenant for violation of that covenant (TERRY BENTON).
Therefore, the A.D. 70 destruction of Jerusalem, occurred while the Old Covenant, and its provisions, were still applicable (valid). Terry has not touched this argument, because
he can’t. His admission that A.D. 70 was in fulfillment of the Wrath provisions of the O.T. completely invalidates and falsifies his proposition!
Now, watch this. Terry appeals to Deuteronomy 18/Acts 3. He argues that to truly obey the Torah, Israel had to accept Christ! AMEN, AND AMEN, TERRY! But, notice what this does for Terry.
To truly obey Torah, the Law, (and clearly, to fulfill Torah), Israel had to accept Jesus (Deut. 18/ Acts 3).
Failure to accept Jesus as Messiah would be a violation of Torah, and consequently would bring Covenantal Wrath (i.e. A.D. 70), on Israel. (cf Acts 13:40f where Paul is specifically threatening unbelieving Jews with covenantal wrath if they rejected Jesus!).
Thus, the covenantal provisions for violating the Torah were still in effect in A.D. 70.
Terry, if obedience and acceptance of Jesus as Messiah was obedience to the Law, how would this be possible if the Torah had already passed away? How can you obey a covenant or Law that has been abrogated?
DANIEL 12 AGAIN
Now, the reader will note at this juncture that Terry argued on Daniel 12 that Israel’s real power was not the Torah, not her covenant relationship with YHVH, but, her REAL POWER was the pagan perception that she was God’s chosen people. I spent considerable space in my first negative challenging Terry to give us one iota, one scintilla of scripture to support this eccentric, unprecedented claim. His response? NOT ONE WORD!
My argument has been and remains:
The power of the holy people would endure until it was completely shattered (Daniel 12:1-7).
The power of the holy people was completely shattered in A.D. 70 (Terry concurs).
The power of the holy people was Israel’s covenant relationship with YHVH.
Therefore, Israel’s covenant relationship with YHVH endured until A.D. 70.
Let me remind you how critical this is. I pointed out in my affirmatives and first negative that this one single argument absolutely destroys Terry’s paradigm. IT IS THAT CRITICAL! If he cannot prove beyond a shadow of doubt that the power of the holy people was not the Torah, and Israel’s covenant relationship with YHVH, then he is wrong, and he knows it. But, instead of coming forth with solid, Biblical evidence, he just calls on Preston to repent!
Terry, what is your PROOF that the power of the holy people was not the Torah and her covenant relationship with YHVH? What is your PROOF for your quite remarkable claim that Israel’s true power was the PAGAN perception that she was God’s people? PROOF, Terry, PROOF!
You will also note this. Terry tried to say that there was some sort of resurrection in A.D. 70, but that it was not the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15. I pointed out that the resurrection of Daniel would be when Daniel received his reward at the end of the age (Daniel 12:12f). I pointed out that the resurrection when the dead would be rewarded is, according to Terry’s own view, the final resurrection. Terry has not mentioned this again at any point in the debate since, for it shows that the eschatological resurrection and the end of Torah go hand in hand. And it falsifies his view.
Now, Terry, here is your chance, prove one of the following:
PROVE that the power of the holy people would not endure until it was completely shattered. You can’t because you can’t shatter what does not exist.
PROVE that the power of the holy people was not shattered in A.D. 70. You can’t, because you have already said it was.
PROVE that the power of the holy people was not Israel’s covenant relationship with YHVH. You have already tried that by giving us your eccentric, first time in history argument that Israel’s real power was the PAGAN’s perception about her!
Now, since you have not, and cannot prove any of these three things, your proposition is false, and your argument is shown to be specious.
Again, you have to realize how important this issue is. And yet, though I called on Terry to offer us some proof for his unprecedented argument, he did not even try. And now, he has said NOT ONE WORD ABOUT THIS ISSUE, THOUGH IT IS FUNDAMENTALLY CRITICAL TO SUSTAIN HIS POSITION!
THE TRUE TABERNACLE ESTABLISHED
Amazingly, Terry tries to argue that the New Temple was completed, fully mature, when Hebrews 3 was written, trying to prove that the transition to the New Covenant was completed. In my last negative, I showed the falsity of this, and Terry has ignored those arguments.
He appeals to Hebrews 9:11 as one of his proof texts. The problem is that there is a serious textual variant, and the variant, for which there is excellent support, says Christ had come a minister of the "good things that are ABOUT TO COME." Now, since this agrees perfectly with the text of Hebrews 10:1f, for which there is NO TEXTUAL CONTROVERSY. The "about to come" variant is to be preferred, therefore, and there are a number of authorities that suggest this.
The real problem for Terry is that if the New Tabernacle had already arrived, in its fullness, that entrance into the MHP should have been available from that very moment! Terry is seeking to divorce v. 11 from its context. The "good things about to come" that the writer had in mind was access to the MHP that the O.T. system could not bring! So, once again, Terry has contradicted himself, by on the one hand arguing that what the O.T. anticipated had arrived, but then, denying that we have those blessings!
I have noted, at length, that the N.T. writers used the present tense verbs to speak of the construction of the New Temple. In response: Terry says:
"First, we need to ask Don a very relevant and powerful question that should expose the weakness of his negative here. Since the house was "being built", does this mean that obligation was to Moses until Jesus quit building His house? Isn’t it still growing? Did it stop growing after the destruction of Jerusalem? If it continued to grow after the destruction of Jerusalem, then Don has no point."
My response to Terry’s not so powerful question is "NO," The church today is not growing AS THE INSPIRED WRITERS HAD IN MIND! The inspired writers did not have simple numerical growth in mind, but a state of standing, of being, of fullness in Christ!
Today, those coming into Christ enter the perfected, matured body of Christ! We are not "being built up a habitation of God through the Spirit" for several reasons.
1.) The context of Ephesians 2:12-21 is the JEW/GENTILE UNITY in Christ. Paul tells the Gentiles that along with the Jews, they were forming, and working toward the spiritual Temple (Ephesians 2:19f). It is anachronistic and anti-contextual to say that this refers to you and me! We are invited into the "house" they were constructing. We are not constructing that house!
2.) That "construction" was being accomplished through the miraculous work of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:9-16). The language and imagery of Ephesians 2-4 is taken directly from Exodus, (25-40), when YHVH inspired men to build the Old Tabernacle. When it was completed, that miraculous inspiration ceased. Now, Terry, if the New Covenant Tabernacle was already completed when Ephesians, Hebrews, etc. was finished, WHY HADN’T THE CHARISMATA ALREADY CEASED? On this note, it was through the charismatic ministry of the Spirit, in Paul particularly, that the transformation from the Old Covenant glory to the New (2 Corinthians 3:16- 4:1f) was being accomplished. If the covenantal change had already taken place, why hadn’t the gifts ceased? How could Paul say that they were "being transformed, from glory to glory" if that covenantal change had already occurred?
3.) If the church is still under construction, why don’t we have the charismata with us today, Terry? God gave those gifts to bring the church
to "the perfect man, the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, as the whole body fitly framed together is growing…" Terry tells us that the New Temple was already completed. Then, he tells us that the church is still growing! Which is it? You can’t have it both ways, NOT IN THE SENSE THAT PAUL USED THESE TERMS!
4.) The early church was still anticipating "that which is perfect" (1 Corinthians 13), and, again, "the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, the perfect man." This was Jew/Gentile equality in Christ. It was not the completed, written revelation of the New Covenant, as Terry falsely claims I believe!
5.) Terry, why don’t you tell us plainly, for this lies at the heart of your argument: Was the New Covenant revelation complete on Pentecost? Was the church fully matured, fully complete, on Pentecost?
I have and do argue that the New Covenant, while initially confirmed by Jesus’ death, was not fully delivered, and therefore, fully established, at the Cross, or on Pentecost. Terry responds: "First, it is amazing that Don makes this argument. He kept chiding me about not believing the present tense on certain passages. Yet, these verses show that the New Covenant "WAS ESTABISHED" (sic) and was in force after Jesus died."
The New Covenant could not be implemented until that New Covenant was "probated" if I may use that term. The death of Jesus confirmed it, but, it had be revealed, and then, confirmed as His through the miraculous ministry of the Spirit. And note this: Terry admits, although he tries to cover it up with obfuscatory verbiage: "The new covenant was written in hearts, sealed by miraculous confirmation, and "established" by Jesus death. Don’s argument that it was merely "initiated" but not fully delivered is false."
No, my argument stands, because I believe that Christ’s death confirmed the New Covenant. That New Covenant began to be delivered (probated) on Pentecost, was confirmed as Divine through the miracles, and fully revealed through that miraculous ministry.
BACK TO ROMANS 11
There are a lot of examples of Terry’s desperation to be found in his presentations, but, along with his shocking arguments on Daniel 12 and Hebrews 9:28 his absolute refusal to deal with Romans 11 is glaring.
Here is what I have offered, along with additional comments:
In Romans 11:25-27, Paul anticipated the salvation of "all Israel." (It cannot be the church, because whoever the Israel is that Paul is discussing, she was THE ENEMY OF THE GOSPEL when Paul wrote, v. 28f!). TERRY HAS NOT EVEN MENTIONED THIS.
That salvation would be in fulfillment of God’s covenant promises, "for THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, when I take away their sin" (Romans 11:26-27). TERRY HAS NOT MENTIONED THIS.
That salvation would come at the parousia, as promised in Isaiah 27 and 59 (Romans 11:26-27). HE HAS NOT MENTIONED THIS!
So, Isaiah 27 and 59 were Old Covenant promises made to Israel, to bring salvation at the parousia.
This proves, irrefutably, that the Old Covenant was still in effect, because Paul was reaffirming God’s Old Covenant promises to Israel, to bring the New Covenant!
By the way, you will note that Terry has now argued that the PROPHETS had nothing to do with the Covenant. He has argued that it was strictly the Sinaiatic covenant that God had in mind when He said He would make a New Covenant. Well, Romans 11 refutes that, because Paul was looking for the future fulfillment of GOD’S COVENANT WITH ISRAEL, "this is my covenant with them, when I take away their sin." This demands that from God’s perspective, Jeremiah’s prophecy, the prophecy of Isaiah 27 and Isaiah 59 were included in the Covenant between YHVH and Israel! Of course, this agrees with my argument that "the Law" was a comprehensive term, including the prophets and Torah, and that therefore, all prophecy had to be fulfilled before any of the Law could pass.
TERRY, IF GOD’S COVENANT RELATIONSHIP WITH ISRAEL HAD BEEN ABROGATED AT THE CROSS, HOW COULD PAUL HAVE BEEN STILL ANTICIPATING THE FULFILLMENT OF YHVH’S OLD COVENANT PROMISES TO ISRAEL?
Now, the coming of the Lord here CANNOT be Christ’s first coming,– as Terry is affirming– for it would be the coming of the Lord, FORETOLD BY ISAIAH 27 AND 59.
The coming of the Lord foretold in Isaiah 27 and 59 would be the coming of the Lord in judgment of Israel, when He would turn the altars into chalk stone (Isaiah 27:9f), and when He would judge Israel for shedding innocent blood (Isaiah 59:3, 6-7). Patently, Jesus did not do that at his first coming, but, he did in the judgment of Jerusalem for shedding innocent blood, in that generation (Matthew 23:29f).
I want the readers to stop right here and take note of something. I have repeatedly called attention to this prophetic source of Romans 11. I have shown without any doubt that Paul was looking for the fulfillment of Isaiah and Jeremiah. I have shown that these prophecies cannot be about Christ’s first coming. They cannot be about the end of the Christian age. They cannot be speaking of evangelism of Jews. THESE PASSAGES FORETOLD THE COMING OF THE LORD IN SALVATION AND JUDGMENT OF ISRAEL FOR SHEDDING INNOCENT BLOOD!
How has Terry responded to these irrefutable facts? Why he calls on me to repent! Although I have offered solid EXEGESIS, he has offered nothing but EISEGESIS. I have relied strictly on what the text says, its background, and context. He has relied on his own unfounded claims.
So, notice closer:
Christ would come in the judgment and salvation of Israel in A.D. 70 (Isaiah 27, 59, Mat. 23).
That coming of Christ in the judgment and salvation of Israel would be in fulfillment of YHVH’s covenant promises to Israel (Romans 11:26-27).
Therefore, God’s covenant with Israel, both blessings and cursings, would remain valid until it was fulfilled when Christ came in judgment and salvation of Israel in A.D. 70.
Now, let’s look even closer:
Romans 11:26f anticipated the fulfillment of Isaiah 27, 59, and Jeremiah 31.
This means that the promise of Jeremiah 31 would be fulfilled at the same time as Isaiah 27 and 59.
However, Isaiah 27 and 59 would be fulfilled at the coming of the Lord in judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood.
Therefore, Jeremiah 31, the promise of the New Covenant, would be fulfilled at the coming of the Lord in judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood.
Of course, Terry has called on me to repent for suggesting that forgiveness was not a reality until the parousia.
Well, let’s look closer:
Salvation was INITIATED but not PERFECTED (Ephesians 2:8f–>Hebrews 9:28), before the parousia. And of course, Terry does not believe that the salvation of Hebrews 9: 28 has come yet!
The New Covenant had been confirmed, but, the Old was not yet passed, and the New was being brought in through the miraculous transitional ministry of the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:14-7:1-3).
The putting away of the Law that was the strength of sin (Torah) was still in the future (1 Corinthians 15:55-56).
The putting away of sin, the sting of death, was still future (1 Cor. 15:55).
Redemption was initiated but not consummated (Ephesians 1:7; 4:30f).
Adoption was initiated though still future, (Romans 8:14-23).
Resurrection life had been initiated, but not perfected (John 5:24-29).
All of these things had been INITIATED, but not PERFECTED! (See my website for an in-depth analysis of the resurrection initiated but not perfected: www.eschatology.org)
ALTHOUGH INITIATED, AND IN PROMISE, THOSE THINGS WERE SEALED BY THE CHARISMATA, THE EARNEST,– THE GUARANTEE— OF T
HE SPIRIT (EPHESIANS 1:13-14), UNTIL THE DAY OF REDEMPTION.
By placing salvation, redemption, the inheritance and the adoption, etc. at the parousia, Preston is simply HONORING WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS. There is no need for me to repent of that. But, again, let’s look closer at Romans 11 on this entire issue.
Paul said that Jeremiah 31 would be finally realized at the parousia promised in Isaiah 59 (Romans 11:26f).
There is an inseparable link between the two events! There is not a gap of two thousand years between the making of the covenant and the parousia of Romans 11!
This does not deny that Christ died to establish the covenant– it affirms it.
This does not deny that the New Covenant was preached before this, calling Israel into her New Covenant world– it affirms it.
It honors the fact that YHVH was being faithful to His covenant with Abraham, and the fathers, to bring in the New creation– and His promise to Israel to bring in the New Covenant–while that New Covenant was being proclaimed and offered to them.
It honors the fact that Israel was being warned that if they did not come into the New Covenant, they would in fact be utterly destroyed. But, God was not going to destroy Israel until she was given the opportunity to come into that New Covenant creation! Remember the wedding invitation of Matthew 22?
So, Romans 11 affirms the continuing validity of God’s Old Covenant with Israel, as she was invited into the New Creation and threatened with the final, ultimate Covenant wrath for disobedience. Romans 11 confirms that the New Covenant and the attendant blessings would be bestowed at the parousia. Romans 11 confirms what Zechariah 11:9f teaches about YHVH not annulling His Covenant with Israel until the time when she ate the flesh of her own children–the time of the Lord’s coming against her for shedding innocent blood.
The problem for Terry is insurmountable.
He cannot, even though he tries, affirm that the parousia of Romans 11 is Christ’s incarnation, for the Romans 11 parousia would be the fulfillment of Isaiah 27 and 59, the predictions of Christ’s coming in judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood. Reader, Terry has not so much as mentioned this irrefutable, undeniable point, and he dare not do so, for this invalidates his entire argument!
He cannot, though he tries, affirm that God’s covenant with Israel had already been voided, because that is the very thing that Paul is denying!
He cannot affirm– though he tries– that the New Covenant blessings were already fully applied to Israel, for they would not be applied until the parousia.
The reality is that Romans 11 is a devastating refutation of Terry’s position, and the fact that he so casually ignores it, and dismisses it shows his desperation.
PAST TENSES, PRESENT TENSES, FUTURE TENSES
Isn’t it fascinating that for several presentations, I tried to get Terry to pay attention to the present and future tense of passages dealing with the passing of the Law. Terry just ignored these many texts, or asserted that those Greek tenses should not be taken into consideration. Why? Well, solely because they negate his position, that is why!
All of a sudden, however, Terry starts insisting that we have to honor the AORIST TENSES of some texts. I would recommend that he do a bit of study on the vagaries of the aorist before he builds his case on it! Be that as it may, Terry’s argument is this: We have to honor all past tense verbs in regard to the passing of the Law, but we have to IGNORE all present tenses and all future tenses that speak of the passing of the Law!
Clearly, this is not a "holistic" approach to hermeneutic. It is a narrow, exclusionary approach that fails to consider all the evidence. It is like his claims about Matthew 28:18. It totally fails to consider the facts of the situation, simply saying, "Well, it says all authority has been given to me… Therefore, the New System was already fully in place!" As we have seen, this denies the evidence. To verify this, let’s take another look at Colossians 2:16f, that contains ALL THREE TENSES OF THE GREEK. It contains the past, the present, and the future. But remember that Terry wants us to focus on only the past, and totally ignore the present and the future. This is untenable, and one of my previous arguments– totally ignored by Terry, proves it beyond dispute.
COLOSSIANS 2: PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE
NOTE THE PAST TENSE: Christ had (past tense) nailed THE OBLIGATION TO KEEP THE LAW TO THE CROSS, for those entering him. Now, once again, let me note that Paul does not say that Christ had nailed the Law itself to the Cross. So, even that past tense of Colossians does not help Terry, because it does not address what he says it does!
NOTE THE PRESENT TENSE: The New Moons, Feast Days, and Sabbaths, "are (present tense) a shadow." At this point, Terry says that Preston seems to be saying that Christ is not the body, because Preston denies that the fulfillment of these things. No, Terry, that is a (another) misrepresentation of my view, on your part. I DO NOT DENY THAT CHRIST IS THE BODY, what I deny is that the Sabbath rest, THAT CHRIST WOULD BRING, was a reality! Those Sabbaths of the Torah, were, when Paul wrote, still shadows, and that is irrefutable.
NOTICE THE FUTURE TENSE: The Sabbaths were at that time a shadow of, "good things about to come"!
(Note that Hebrews 9-10 contains the same past, present and future tenses: PAST, Hebrews 9:24-26; PRESENT TENSE, the Law being a shadow, (10:1-2); FUTURE TENSE, Christ must come (9:28) to fulfill the present tense shadow, of the future "good things about to come" (10:1-2).
The reader will note that Terry wants us to view all of these future tenses as if the writer viewed them from the perspective of the Old Law. Exactly! For the Torah was still standing! Terry’s argument founders because Christ had to come, "a second time..FOR the Law having a shadow of good things to come…" I have repeatedly pointed out the causal nature of "for" in Hebrews 10:1. Terry has not even acknowledged that I made the point. Yet, Christ had to come because the Law was, at that time, still a shadow. His second coming would complete that High Priestly praxis, and remember that Terry admitted that Christ had to fulfill the Torah in regard to Christ’s priestly sacrifice, and entrance into the MHP, for the Law to pass! Well, in the same way that Christ had to fulfill Torah in regard to those things, he had to come again, for salvation, "FOR, the Law being a shadow of good things about to come…" By ignoring and denying the "FOR" Terry is denying the emphatic statement of the text. Anyway, back to Colossians 2.
NOTICE AGAIN THE FUTURE TENSE: The Sabbaths were at that time a shadow of "good things about to come" FUTURE TENSE!
The author of Hebrews said, "there remains therefore a Sabbath rest (sabbatismos), for the children of God" (Hebrews 4:9-10)! Look at what this means.
The Law of commandments– even according to Terry’s misguided definition of these things, and his limited view of Matthew 5– had to be completely fulfilled before it could pass.
THE SABBATHS OF TORAH WERE PART OF THE LAW OF COMMANDMENTS! Do you catch that?
THOSE SABBATHS WERE (PRESENT TENSE) SHADOWS OF GOOD THINGS ABOUT TO COME (COLOSSIANS 2:16F).
THE TRUE SABBATH, FORESHADOWED BY THE SABBATHS OF TORAH, HAD NOT YET BEEN FULFILLED (HEBREWS 4:9F).
Therefore, the Torah had not yet passed when Hebrews was written, and would not pass until the True Sabbath–(you know, entrance into the Presence!!)— foreshadowed by the Sabbaths of Torah– was completely fulfilled.
If Terry’s view is correct, however, the writer of Hebrews was wron
g to say, "There remains a Sabbath rest"! According to Terry, all of those types and shadows of the law of commandments had already been fulfilled, already abrogated! Yet, Terry is clearly, irrefutably wrong, for the Hebrew writer said that the Sabbath shadows had not yet been fulfilled!
The fact that Colossians says the Sabbaths were then–present tense– a shadow of good things to come, and the fact that the Hebrews writer said that the true Sabbath still remained, proves beyond any dispute that the writers were not viewing the present tenses from the perspective of the now defunct Law
Let me repeat that in Colossians the elements (stoicheia) of the world (kosmos) identified as the Torah commandments of "touch not, taste not, handle not," had not yet passed (2:20f). Terry did not touch top, side, or bottom of this.
Now let’s examine again some of the things that Terry insists were already "past tense," and recap some of the things we have examined, that Terry has ignored.
Terry cites Psalms 110 and argues the following: Psalms 110 predicted Christ’s Melchizedec priesthood. The Law had to pass before Christ would receive that priesthood. Christ had received that priesthood, (Hebrews 7). Therefore, Torah had, past tense, passed, not was passing.
1.) I affirm that Christ had received the Melchizedecan priesthood.
2.) I have shown repeatedly, and definitively, that Christ could become that priest by dying to the Torah, and entering the realm where he could serve. He could not serve on earth, because "there are priests who serve according to the Law." Terry wants us to believe that Christ could not serve in earth because the Jerusalem priests were just a bunch of bullies that would not let him in the Temple! That is not what the text says, is it? Christ’s priesthood was never to be in that Temple! The writer’s point is that Christ could not serve on earth, because the priests there served ACCORDING TO THE LAW! Christ could not serve on earth due to the Law!
3.) Christ could serve in his priesthood because he was no longer subject to Torah in any way. Not because Torah had died, but because he died to Torah, and established a priesthood unrelated to, not subject to Torah! However, the fact that the Great High Priest had now established the new priesthood signaled that the Torah priesthood was in fact "passing away" (present tense). This position specifically honors the text.
CHRIST’S NEW COVENANT
Terry has truly backed himself into a corner on this one!
1.) Terry says that I claim the New Covenant was not completed until it was put on paper. Terry, find where I have said that! THAT IS NOT MY POSITION! YOU HAVE, ONCE AGAIN, MISREPRESENTED ME. This claim is akin to your "Romans 7" argument, where you claimed that you made such a powerful argument that Preston had to concede! In fact, you had not even mentioned Romans 7! I am confident that when I pointed this false claim out, that Terry frantically did a search to find where he had used Romans 7, and where I had capitulated. Of course, he could not find anything, and his total silence on it proves that he did misrepresent the facts!
2.) Now, Terry, since you deny that the completion of the revelatory process is the issue–and again, I AGREE – I want to you tell us, without fail:
WHAT WAS THE "THAT WHICH IS PERFECT" EVENT / PERSON / STATE OF BEING, ETC. ANTICIPATED IN 1 CORINTHIANS 13, WHEN PAUL SAID THE CHARISMATA WOULD CEASE?
WHAT WAS THE "FACE TO FACE" STATE THAT PAUL ANTICIPATED, WHEN THE CHARISMATA WOULD CEASE, TERRY?
DO NOT FAIL TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS! I am pretty confident you will NOT answer these questions, but, I am calling on you to do so. And, if/when you do, I will further falsify your eschatology and your views of Torah.
3.) What I have and do argue is that the transition from the Old Covenant world, to the New Covenant world, was not perfected at the Cross, or on Pentecost. That transition was to be accomplished through the miraculous ministry of the Spirit, and through Paul’s distinctive ministry (2 Corinthians 3:16-4:1-2). I have called attention to this text repeatedly, and Terry has totally ignored it. Yet, it emphatically says that the Torah was, PRESENT TENSE, passing. It says that the passing from that Old Glory to the New remained a HOPE when Paul wrote. That transition from glory to glory was being accomplished (PRESENT TENSE): "we are being transformed, from glory to glory." That transformation was being accomplished through the miraculous ministry of the Spirit, and was Paul’s distinctive, Spirit empowered ministry (2 Corinthians 3:18-4:1-2).
These are all undeniable facts from the text, facts totally ignored by Terry.
4.) Terry argues, almost unbelievably– (this is almost, but not quite as bad as his "power of the holy people argument"– that when Hebrews10:9 says, "he is taking away the first, that he might establish the second" that this was from David’s perspective. Terry wants us to believe that when David forecast the suffering of Christ, that at the moment he made the prediction, YHVH began–present tense– taking away the Law! Terry where is your support for this? Hebrews 10:9b is not a quote from David!
5.) Now watch. Terry wants us to ignore the present tense of, "he is taking away the first that he might (subjunctive), establish the second." Yet, notice, "and every high priest stands daily ministering and offering…" Terry, were the priests still, present tense, offering the sacrifices? Should we ignore these present tenses too?
6.) All of this brings us back once again to Terry’s eccentric argument that Torah began passing the moment Jeremiah gave the promise of the New Covenant, and that from that moment, Torah was "nigh unto passing." Now, Terry wants us to believe that YHVH actually began taking away Torah BEFORE JEREMIAH EVER MADE HIS PROMISE! The Torah was "passing away" per Terry, when David predicted the sacrifice of Jesus! But this NULLIFIES HIS ARGUMENT ON HEBREWS 8. Remember, he argued that the moment Jeremiah promised the New Covenant that the Torah began passing! But now, he wants us to believe that it began to pass CENTURIES BEFORE JEREMIAH!
Which is it, Terry? Your arguments are all over the map, and totally inconsistent.
TERRY’S ALL OR NONE PRINCIPLE
Terry keeps citing Galatians 5 as if it somehow nullifies my paradigm. It does not even address what I am saying!
I stated that by utilizing Galatians 5 he was ignoring audience relevance. He denied that of course, but, here is the question: Was Paul addressing non-Christian Jews– or was he addressing Jewish Christians seeking to impose Torah on Christians? Non-Christian Jews are not in Paul’s mind in Galatians 5! Terry’s hermeneutic is fatally flawed here, as it has Paul addressing an audience that he was not addressing!
TERRY’S THE SPIRIT LEADS ALL OUT FROM UNDER THE LAW
It is interesting to me that Terry attempts to make a point on some passage and claims it is devastating to my view, when in fact is has nothing to do with falsifying my paradigm at all! Such is his argument on Galatians 5:18.
He says because the Spirit was calling all men to Christ, that therefore no man could remain under Torah.
This totally ignores the transition period.
It totally ignores the fact that they could only come into Christ when that gospel was preached to them.
It totally ignores the fact that the Law could not pass until it was all fulfilled, and part of that necessary fulfillment was the proclamation of the gospel into all the world (Luke 24:44f).
It totally ignores the fact that the Torah would remain valid until the parousia, as we have proven repeatedly from Romans 11– and of cours
e, it totally ignores Zechariah 11 and Genesis 49 as well.
It totally ignores the fact that while the Spirit was indeed calling men into the New Covenant, that transition from the Old Glory to the New was not complete, and would not be complete therefore, until completion of the Spirit’s miraculous ministry.
We could go on and on demonstrating Terry’s fallacious, presumptive argument on this, but, this is sufficient to show that he is grasping at straws and is hardly considering the whole picture. His argument is far, far less than devastating. It is specious.
TERRY’S CLOSING ARGUMENT
Terry closed with the following argument, that is a mis-mash of logic and misapplication of scripture. He then proclaimed that I did not say a word about it! Well, sometimes, some arguments are mere straw men, and therefore, need no response. However, since Terry virtually claims victory on this argument, let me give it here, and make a few observations:
1. They were obligated to BELIEVE Moses and the Prophets.
RESPONSE: I have never denied this! They were also obligated to keep the Covenant until it was completely fulfilled (Matthew 5:18), and until it was annulled when they would eat their children (Zechariah 11).
2. They were therefore obligated to hear and obey Jesus the Messiah about Whom they had spoken
Response: I have never denied this. This is not the issue. The issue is that they were to observe Torah until it was all fulfilled and removed by YHVH.
3. They were obligated to OBEY Jesus.
RESPONSE: I have not denied this either! I affirm that the New Covenant, inviting Israel into the New Covenant became the responsibility of those hearing that invitation, during that transitional period of time. However, during that transitional period of time, the Law remained a shadow of good things about to come, as I have proven conclusively.
4. They were obligated to cease pretending to obey Moses.
RESPONSE: I have never denied this; I affirm it! This does not negate the fact that the Law remained valid, and that when they came into Christ, they died to Torah. This is not the same as the Torah passing, the view that Terry must, but cannot prove!
5. They were obligated to cease pretending to believe Moses while not believing He of whom Moses spoke.
RESPONSE: Those hearing the gospel, being invited into the New Covenant, were given that opportunity, but, they were told that failure to respond would not only bring covenantal wrath on them, but, also that the system they were attempting to hold onto was about to be consumed in flaming fire! (Acts 13:36f).
6. They were obligated to come out from under the curse of the Law by believing in Jesus.
RESPONSE: Amen and Amen! But, this does not mean that the Law and its curse were not still valid does it? The Torah remained as the strength of sin, as Terry has admitted repeatedly!
7. Those who viewed themselves as under obligation to the Law of Moses were NOT led by the Spirit.
RESPONSE: This totally ignores context! PAUL IS ADDRESSING CHRISTIANS, NOT NON- CHRISTIAN JEWS! To fail to honor the context of Paul’s discussion, and then try to make an argument based on that failure is hardly proper hermeneutic.
His conclusion: Therefore, obligation was to hear and obey Jesus or they were meeting none of their obligations before God.(End quote)
RESPONSE: A faulty argument, based on presumption and logical fallacies and contextual violations is hardly convincing, and far, far less than devastating.
REVELATION AND ENTRANCE INTO THE MOST HOLY PLACE
I must admit that as I read some of Terry’s comments, I find it disconcerting that someone would become so desperate. I made the argument that in Revelation 11 and 15, John was told that no man could enter the MHP, until the Wrath of God was completed. It would be completed under the Seventh Vial that would be poured out in the judgment of Babylon. Babylon was the city where the Lord was slain (Jerusalem). Therefore, no man could enter the MHP until God’s wrath was completed in the judgment of Jerusalem. I develop this extensively in my book Who Is This Babylon? by the way. So, what did Terry say in response:
"Revelation says nothing about man entering the MHP after the wrath of God is complete. It merely indicates that there was no entrance into the temple (holy place or most holy place) for the duration of these plagues."
Terry, are you telling us that there would still be no access to the MHP AFTER THE VIALS WERE POURED OUT? What does "no man could enter UNTIL THE WRATH OF GOD WAS COMPLETED" mean, anyway?
Will you tell the readers of this debate whether the Vials have been poured out and fulfilled? Will you? WHAT WAS TO HAPPEN IN REGARD TO ENTRANCE INTO THE MHP, AT THE TIME OF THE FULFILLMENT OF THE SEVENTH VIAL?
Let’s put Terry’s claim to the test.
John saw the Ark of the Covenant in the Temple (Naos, the MHP, as opposed to heiron–Revelation 11:19).Terry, where did the Ark of the Covenant reside?
John was told that no one could enter the NAOS until the plagues of the seven angels were completed (Revelation 15:8). Notice Terry’s desperation, "It merely indicates that there was no entrance into the temple (holy place or most holy place) for the duration of these plagues."
Well, Terry, THAT IS ALMOST EXACTLY WHAT I SAID, NO ONE COULD ENTER THE MHP UNTIL THE BOWLS WERE COMPLETELY POURED OUT. That is, for the duration of the plagues, and until the bowls were completed, there was no access to the MHP! TERRY SIMPLY RESTATED WHAT I SAID, and then said he was amazed at how far I would go to make my theory work.
Yet, HE AFFIRMS MY ARGUMENT!
Terry says that people were entering the (new) temple from Acts 2, and thinks that this refutes this argument.
TERRY, WERE CHRISTIANS WHO DIED PHYSICALLY, FROM PENTECOST ONWARD, GOING TO THE MOST HOLY PLACE, YES OR NO?
Now, when the debate is all but over, Terry claims the following: "Secondly, I have not said, as Don continuously accuses me, that there is not a sense in which the dead in CHRIST go to be with Christ in the MHP."
OKAY, TERRY, HERE IS YOUR CHANCE, TELL US PLAINLY AND WITHOUT OBFUSCATION: WHEN THE FAITHFUL CHILD OF GOD DIES PHYSICALLY TODAY, DO THEY GO DIRECTLY TO HEAVEN, YES OR NO ?
At the beginning of this exchange, I made the statement that Terry does not believe that the faithful Christian goes directly to heaven upon death, but instead, goes to Abraham’s bosom to await resurrection. I challenged Terry to correct that if it was wrong. What has Terry said to correct that? NOT ONE SINGLE, SOLITARY WORD!
Now, however, Terry tells us that he has never said that, "there is not a sense in which the dead in Christ go to be with Christ in the MHP." Furthermore, he now says I have consistently misrepresented him on this issue. Well, if/when he answers the question, we will see if I have misrepresented him, of if he is just hiding behind a cloud of smoke.
Reader the issues here are clear:
The Old Law would remain imposed until the time of the reformation. This is undeniable.
Don’t forget that I have proven that the time of the reformation (diorthosis) and the time of the apokatastasis (restoration) are the same, each coming at the time of the fulfillment of Old Covenant Israel’s prophetic history– at Christ’s parousia (Acts 3/ Hebrews 9:9-10). Terry has said not one thing that can deny this fact.
At the time of the reformation, man could enter the MHP (Hebrews 9:9-10).
Terry says that the time of reformation came at the Cross.
Yet, Terry denies that the Christian that dies physically today goes to heaven, insisting instead that in some vague, nebulous "in some sense" the Christian goes to be with Christ!
So, if the faithful child of God
does not go to heaven today when they die, of necessity, the time of reformation has not come, and the Torah is still valid!
This raises the issue of forgiveness. Once again, Terry calls on me to repent because I take the scriptural view that salvation did not, and could not come until the parousia. Well, let’s see what Terry actually believes.
Terry, what is the ONE THING that prevents man from entering the presence of God? Is it not sin?
This is precisely what Hebrews 9:9f affirms. The O. T. sacrifices could never bring forgiveness: no forgiveness, no entrance into the Presence.
Terry affirms that we have forgiveness, yet, he denies that man can enter the MHP! All of this "in some sense" will do him no good, for it is simply obfuscation, as all can see.
Here is the argument:
As long as man could not/cannot be forgiven of sin, there can be no access to the MHP.
Man today, even the faithful child of God, does not truly have access to the MHP (Man will not have access to the MHP until the final coming of Christ, Terry Benton).
Therefore, man today, even the faithful child of God, does not truly have the forgiveness of sin.
Furthermore, Terry, tell us exactly and precisely what you mean by this vague statement that "in some sense" faithful Christians go to be with Christ in the MHP. What is this "in some sense" concept that you mention? Can you not tell the readers of this debate, plainly, that you do not, in fact, believe that the faithful Christian does not go to heaven when they die?
The argument again is:
There was/would be no access to the MHP until the end of the Old Covenant (Hebrews 9:9-10).
There would be no access to the MHP until the Seven Bowls of God’s wrath were poured out, in the judgment of Babylon. (There was no access to the MHP "for the duration of these plagues"– Terry Benton).
But, Babylon of Revelation was first century Jerusalem. You will note that Terry did not deny this.
Therefore, the end of the Old Covenant, when man could enter the MHP, came at the time of the final outpouring of wrath under the Seventh Bowl, in the judgment of first century Jerusalem. (A.D. 70).
Now watch the further development of this argument, that Terry ignored completely.
The fall of Jerusalem would be the time of the complete fulfillment of God’s prophecies of (covenantal) vengeance on Israel (Luke 21:22).
The complete fulfillment of God’s prophecies of (covenantal) vengeance on Israel would be under the Seventh Bowl of Revelation 16.
But, the time of the complete fulfillment of God’s prophecies of (covenantal) vengeance on Israel would be WHEN MAN COULD ENTER THE MHP– when Torah would be removed (Hebrews 9/Revelation 15:11/ 16:17f).
Therefore, Torah ended, and man could enter the MHP at the fall of Jerusalem, the time of the complete fulfillment of God’s prophecies of (covenantal) vengeance on Israel (Luke 21:22).
THIS IS CATEGORIC, POSITIVE REFUTATION OF TERRY’S AFFIRMATIVE.
THE MOUNT OF TRANSFIGURATION
Terry tries to make an argument on the Transfiguration, yet, patently, he has not given this much thought, for this marvelous event destroys his entire theology!
Here is Terry’s argument: The disciples were told that after the resurrection, they were to hear him. He then argues that this proves that the Law ended at the Cross. Nothing could be further from the truth, or falsified more definitively than through the Transfiguration. This event happens to be one of my very favorite events, and is incredibly significant. I have written a good deal on it in my book Like Father Like Son, On Clouds of Glory, as well as in my book, The Elements Shall Melt With Fervent Heat.
Let me make an observation: It is not a question of whether the Transfiguration is about the passing of the Torah. I TEACH THAT.
The issue is, when would Torah pass away, and Terry has completely missed the point of the Transfiguration!
Now, let me make several points:
1.) Moses and Elijah represent the Law and the Prophets. Terry agrees.
2.) When Peter wanted to build three tabernacles for Moses, Elijah and Jesus, Moses and Elijah disappeared.
3.) Now, Terry claims that the Law could pass away, but, THAT THE PROPHETS COULD STILL REMAIN VALID, EVEN TODAY!
4.) HOWEVER, on the Mount, Moses and Elijah VANISHED AWAY AT THE SAME TIME!! Terry wants to insert a, so far, 2000 year gap between the passing of the Law (Moses) and the passing of the prophets (Elijah)! Terry, has become a dispensationalist, inserting unwarranted gaps of time into Biblical texts, without so much as a hint of a gap in the text!
Terry, where do you find the justification for the passing of the Law, BUT THE CONTINUANCE OF THE PROPHETS, based on the Transfiguration? According to what you argued in your first affirmatives– that the prophets could continue unfulfilled until now– ELIJAH SHOULD NEVER HAVE VANISHED! This totally invalidates your earlier argument. But, it confirms my argument that the Law and the Prophets were considered an organic whole, standing or falling together. That is PRECISELY what the Transfiguration vision shows, and it is fatal to your view of things!
Now, here is where it gets even more interesting!
Terry has condemned me, in no uncertain terms, throughout this debate, for acknowledging the undeniable link between the end of the Old Covenant, and eschatology. He says there is no such connection. (Of course, he then affirms the end of the endless New Covenant age! So, in spite of his denials, he does believe that the end of covenant and the end times are inextricably linked. He just believes in the end of the WRONG COVENANT!).
So, while Terry has denied the connection between the end of the Old Covenant age and eschatology, amazingly, in another doomed attempt to refute my position, he brings forth the Transfiguration. But, reader, please catch the power of this:
WHILE THE TRANSFIGURATION WAS A VISION OF THE END OF THE MOSAIC AGE, IT WAS ALSO A VISION OF THE PAROUSIA, THE "SECOND COMING" OF CHRIST! And this connection proves beyond a doubt that the Torah did not end until A.D. 70–or, to take Terry’s view of the parousia, it proves that Torah is still binding and will remain so until the so-called end of time!
Please follow along.
2 Peter 1:16f: For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." 18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain."
Peter wrote his second epistle to refute the scoffers who denied that Christ was coming (2 Peter 1; 3:1ff).
Peter says that his teaching of "the power and parousia" was not based on myth or fable, but upon THEIR EYEWITNESS VISION OF CHRIST ON THE MT. OF TRANSFIGURATION!
Mark my words here. I am going to predict that Terry will argue that the Transfiguration was not a vision of the parousia of Christ! It was instead "just" a vision of the end of the Mosaic Covenant! The tragedy here is that Terry fails to understand this inseparable link between the parousia and the end of the Moses and the Law! Terry, will you deny that the Transfiguration was a vision of the Second Coming?
Mind you, I will be thrilled if he admits to the connection. However, he cannot admit that the Transfiguration was a vision of Christ’s parousia. TO ADMIT THIS IS TO SURRENDER HIS ENTIRE THEOLOGY!
If the Transfiguration was not a vision of Christ’s second coming, it would have NO polemic value against those denying the parousia!
If there is no connection between the end o
f the Mosaic age and the parousia, then for Peter to use the Transfiguration against the scoffers would be a true non-sequitur! There would not be any logical, theological, doctrinal connection, and again, no polemic value against the scoffers if Terry Benton’s theology is true! According to Terry’s understanding of the situation, it would be something like this.
Peter saw a vision of the passing Torah.
The scoffers were denying the parousia of Christ.
There is NO CONNECTION between the passing of Torah and the parousia of Christ (Terry Benton).
So, in spite of the fact that there is (supposedly) no relationship between the passing of Torah and the parousia, PETER USED THE TRANSFIGURATION TO REFUTE THE SCOFFERS DENYING THE PAROUSIA!
If Peter was using something that had no relationship, no connection to what was being denied, then we have every right to question his logic and his lucidity! This would be like Terry trying to prove that the Loch Ness monster exists because his car is red! THERE IS NO CONNECTION! So, if there is NO CONNECTION between the passing of Torah, and the parousia, then Peter could not use the Transfiguration to prove the reality of the parousia!
The fact is that Peter said they had made known the power and parousia of the Lord, and they were eyewitnesses of his "glory" – a word associated with the parousia (Colossians 3:1-3; 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12, etc).
Let me make my argument in simplified form.
The parousia being denied by the scoffers was the parousia seen by Peter on the Mount of Transfiguration.
But, what Peter saw on the Mount of Transfiguration was the passing of the Law and the Prophets (Terry Benton agrees!).
Therefore, the parousia being denied by the scoffers, the parousia seen and preached by Peter, was the passing of the Law and the Prophets– i.e. the end of the Old Covenant age!
Now watch this:
The parousia being denied by the scoffers was the parousia seen by Peter on the Mount of Transfiguration.
What Peter saw on the Mount of Transfiguration was the passing of the Law and the Prophets (Terry Benton agrees!).
But, the parousia that Peter saw on the Mount of Transfiguration– the passing of Moses and the Prophets– was still future when Peter wrote 2 Peter 3.
Therefore, the passing of Moses and the Prophets was still future when Peter wrote 2 Peter 3!
HOW CAN TERRY COUNTER THIS ARGUMENT?
1.) He must prove that the Transfiguration was not a vision of the parousia. He can’t do this, for that is what Peter calls it in 2 Peter 3.
2.) He must prove that Peter was using the Transfiguration– an event supposedly unrelated to the parousia– to refute the scoffers who were denying the parousia!
3.) He must prove that although the Transfiguration was a vision of the parousia, as well as the passing of Torah and Prophets, that these events had already occurred. He can’t do this, for Peter was clearly still anticipating the parousia seen in vision on the Mount.
4.) He also has to prove how the vision of the Transfiguration supports in any way, his view that the Torah could pass, yet the Prophets continue! He can’t do it, because the vision refutes it!
So, Terry has brought forth a passage in the hopes of refuting my position. However, due to his lamentable failure to acknowledge the unbreakable bond between eschatology and the passing of the Torah, he has failed to see that the very passage to which he has appealed, turns out to be a definitive refutation of his view. Terry, there is no help for your doctrine on the Mount of Transfiguration!
Well, I must close this. I have now interacted with all of Terry’s major arguments and shown them to be false. It does not matter how many times Terry tells us that his proposition has been proven. He has failed, badly to confirm his affirmative. He has denied the emphatic statements of scripture. He has used presuppositional arguments. He has distorted and ignored the context of the passages he has attempted to use. He has failed to honor the whole story of the passing of Torah. He has failed to give any evidence whatsoever to support his eccentric, unprecedented arguments on Daniel 12, or for his views on Romans 11. He has even claimed to have made devastating arguments, that in fact, he never made! And now, he has offered up arguments–on the Transfiguration– that in fact totally negate his entire paradigm. This all hardly qualifies as proving his affirmative.