Written Debates

Written Debate on the Dating of Revelation: Lloyd Olson's Second Negative

Olsen’s Second Negative

Greetings to the owner(s) of Religiousdebates, its moderators, members, and to you Mr. Preston. While the proposition before us pales with respect to justification, it is nevertheless an important topic.

Proposition: Resolved: The Bible teaches that the book of Revelation was written before the fall of Jerusalem that occurred in A.D. 70.

Affirm: Don K. Preston

Deny: Dr. Olson

O. A MINI-SUMMARY OF THE DEBATE TO THIS POINT:

1A. PRESTON’S FIRST AFFIRMATIVE

1A1. Temporal parameters of revelation in light of Matt 24:36 and Luke 21:8

. . . . . The time is at hand, quickly, the end has drawn near.

. . . . . OBJECTIVE NEARNESS

. . . . . Agreement with 1 Peter and John

. . . . . Prediction precedes fulfillment.

1A2. Deuteronomy 32 is a picture of the end of Israel’s covenantal history.

. . . .sin brings judgment.

. . . .Peter quoted the prophet Joel to show that this was the last days.

. . . .Rev 11 tells of Jerusalem’s destruction

. . . .Jesus spoke of Israel’s corruption and judgment.

. . . .Rev 19 shows God’s judgment on Babylon (Jerusalem).

1B. OLSON’S FIRST NEGATIVE

1B0. Hermeneutics

. . . .Preston violated the common sense historical context.

. . . .words of nearness are QUALITATIVE – not OBJECTIVE

. . . .linguistics: words are defined by their CONTEXTS

. . . .Preston doesn’t use much of the Book of Revelation

. . . .Preston didn’t understand Israel’s covenantal framework

1B1. wrt Matt 24:36 Preston ignored the CONTEXT

. . . . . speaks of Jesus’ second coming – NOT the destruction of Israel

. . . . . Christ has not yet come again.

. . . . . the anti-christ has not yet been revealed

. . . . . judgment has not yet happened

. . . . . Acts 2 was only a partial fulfillment of Joel

1B2. wrt Deut 32

. . . . . .This is not the gospel message

. . . . . .Deut 32 has nothing to do with the gospel.

. . . . . .Deut 32 is part of the Mosaic Covenant.

. . . . . .Preston ignores dozens of OT prophecies about Israel’s restoration.

. . . . . .Rev 11 does not support the destruction of Jerusalem.

. . . . . . . .Preston ignored CONTEXT – again.

. . . . . . . .where were the two prophets

. . . . . . . . . .doing miracles

. . . . . . . . . .seen by the whole world

. . . . . . . . . .killed and raised to heaven

. . . . . . . . . .a great earthquake

. . . . . .One judgment on a city does not fill up the measure of a nation

. . . . . .2 Thess overturns Preston’s abuse of 1 Thess.

. . . . . . . .The day of wrath did not happen

. . . . . . . .The day of wrath will not happen until the anti-christ is revealed.

. . . . . .Rev 16 points to Babylon,

. . . . . . . . NOT Jerusalem

. . . . . . . . either the Roman Church or a nation ruling Jerusalem (Roman, Europe, Babylon)

 

3A. PRESTON’S SECOND AFFIRMATIVE

If Preston’s proposal is to stand, then he must address each of the point that I brought against his argument. Let’s see how he did.

3A. wrt 1B0. Hermeneutics.

Preston claimed that the words of "quickness" were OBJECTIVE. I claimed that Preston did not use CONTEXT to see that the words of "quickness" were QUALITATIVE.

How did Preston respond? Sadly, he ignorantly returned to verses that were not part of the related CONTEXTS. In so doing he violated a very basic rule of linguistics.

Let me give you an easy example. What does the English word "run" mean? Well, we can grab a dictionary and look up its various definitions. But how do we know which of those several definition to choose? Consider the following eight sentences.

. . .1. Run to a dictionary.

. . .2. Run a race.

. . .3. Your nose is running.

. . .4. Run this problem to ground.

. . .5. Let me run this past the boss.

. . .6. Her hose is running.

. . .7. The clock is running.

. . .8. The ball ran away from him.

Each sentence showcases a different definition of the word "run." It is the height of folly to grab the definition of the word "run" from any one sentence and force it upon any of the other seven sentences. We native English speakers don’t get confused by the several possible definitions for we understand the definition of the word BY ITS CONTEXT. This is Mr. Preston’s error. He runs to any verse where the definition of a given word supports his view and then claims that it works in another passage. This is an horrible failure to use the CONTEXT of the Book of Revelation. Preston uses the wrong meaning of these important "time" words.

I asked Mr. Preston to answer some basic questions such as:

. . .1. Has the anti-christ appeared?

. . .2. Has Jesus returned visibly to the entire world?

. . .3. Has there been an earthquake the size of which has never yet happened?

. . .4. Has 25% of the earth been destroyed by hunger from one catastrophe (Rev 6:7-8)?

. . .5. Has 33% of the seas been turned to blood (Rev 8:8)?

. . .6. Has the sun lost 33% of its brilliance (Rev 8:12)?

. . .7. Has anyone seen locusts of the type described in the fifth trumpet of Rev 9?

He failed to answer these questions. Instead, Mr. Preston ignored all these CONTEXT clues and chose to violate linguistics and God’s Word by his willful ignorance of CONTEXT. Let’s look at one illustration of how Mr. Preston violates a very basic and important rule of LINGUISTICS.

Mr. Preston points to Ezekiel 7 where YHVH informed Jerusalem – 7 times – that the end had come, and was "very near." Yet from the CONTEXT of Ezekiel 7, we know that the "very near" destruction of Jerusalem happened in three stages: 605 BC, 597 BC, and 586 BC. So by CONTEXT, the word could mean some 20 years. Yet Mr. Preston writes as if "very near" should mean a few hours. Mr. Preston’s example only proves MY POINT! Ezekiel’s use of "very near" was many months and was not like the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. Nearness must be understood qualitatively – not objectively! It is too bad that Mr. Preston doesn’t examine CONTEXT before he writes.

It is of the utmost importance that each use of a word must be defined by its CONTEXT. This Mr. Preston continuously fails to do. When this basic guide is violated, then any heresy (such as the new birth by water baptism) is possible.

So what does Jesus mean when He says, "Behold. I come quickly" (Rev 22:12)? That was some 2000 years ago. None of the above seven things have yet happened. Yet Jesus’ statement is as true today as it was some 2000 years ago for the definition of the word "quickly" is not chronological or objective – it is qualitative and adverbial.

Now let’s look at another of Mr. Preston’s arguments. He points to Acts 22:18 and claims that "tachus" is used to indicate manner. How does this refute my argument as given in the first negative. These words ARE NOT technical terms. We’ve already seen Mr. Preston shoot his foot with Ezekiel 7. Here he shoots the other foot by ignoring CONTEXT again. What does Acts 22:18 have to do with Jerusalem in AD 70? It is foolish to use a word from one context to define the same word used in another context. This is Mr. Preston’s folly. Words only have meaning in their own context. Like the seven examples of the use of the word "run" given above where it is foolish to grab the definition from one sentence and force it upon another sentence – – in the same fashion Preston grabs Acts 22:18 and tries to force it into service for his argument without regard to CONTEXT. This is high foolishness.

Mr. Preston failed to address my argument regarding context and linguistics. Hence he has surrendered this point.

 

 

3A. wrt 1BO. 1 Peter.

Preston claimed that Peter is a case where "prediction precedes fulfillment." I claimed that 1 Peter had a bearing on Jerusalem’s plight but there is no link to dating the Book of Revelation. I asked 4 questions:

. . . Have all the nations seen Jesus coming?

. . . Has Jesus judged individuals?

. . . Has Jesus judged the nations?

. . . Has Satan been cast into a bottomless pit for 1000 years?

How did Preston respond? First, he ignored the questions. Second, he merely repeated the rhetoric used in his first affirmative. Third, he jumped to the wrong conclusion about my statement of bearing on Jerusalem.

From an experienced judge’s perspective, a tried and true measure of a debate is how the sides answer each other’s challenges. Mere repetition of facts proven wrong does not make them right. It was Preston’s job to answer my challenges – not preach already refuted rhetoric to a sympathetic choir. Since Preston failed to even address my challenge he surrendered the point.

While I don’t need to say anything more about this point, I feel compelled to show the holes in his continued rhetoric that does not advance his argument. The text says that the end of ALL THINGS is at hand. I simply ask: Has time stopped? After all, if Mr. Preston is right, then Christ has returned, the devil has been judged, unbelievers have been judged and we believers are in eternal bliss. Common sense and the daily newspaper show that Mr. Preston has not read even the verse that he thinks can support his view. Peter isn’t talking about the destruction of Jerusalem. He is talking about the qualitative sense of nearness. After all, it can’t be a TEMPORAL nearness that Preston teaches for some 2000 YEARS HAVE PASSED and the end of ALL THINGS hasn’t yet happened. The nearness is QUALITATIVE. We must live as if the end of all things will happen in our lives. It is amazing that Preston can twist a verse without regard to the very words used in the verse.

 

3A. wrt 1A1. Preston doesn’t use much of the Book of Revelation.

Preston has never used the Book of Revelation as the primary source. This is very strange especially when we remember that this debate proposition is the date of the Book of Revelation. Preston has failed to directly use internal evidences. Instead, he has taken an indirect circuitous route to Matt 24 and Deut 32 in a laughable attempt to link unrelated contexts to the date the Book of Revelation.

Since Preston failed to address my challenge to this point he surrendered this point.

Since this point has direct bearing to the debate and is in fact the very heart of the debate, Preston – with his fairy tale links based on violent abuse of CONTEXT – has surrendered the debate.

 

3A. wrt 1BO. Preston didn’t understand Israel’s covenantal framework

As a prelude to his first point Preston stated:

. . ."The book of Revelation is written in distinctly . . . covenantal language"

I challenged Preston’s serious theological guffaw in two points. First, the Book of Revelation is NOT WRITTEN in distinctively covenantal language. It better fits the description of Daniel 9:24. Second, the language of the conditional Mosaic covenant does not embrace the Abrahamic covenant of promise.

How did Preston respond?

To the first challenged he at least tried something. He notes:

. . . the curses mentioned in Revelation 5-6 come

. . . DIRECTLY FROM Leviticus 26 and

. . . Deuteronomy 28-30.

I respond: show me!

Where in Lev 26 and Deut 28-30 is a curse upon Jerusalem that encompasses a fourth part of the earth (Rev 6:8)?

Where in Lev 26 and Deut 28-30 is a curse upon Jerusalem where the sun became black as sackcloth and the moon became as blood (Rev 6:12)?

Where in Lev 26 and Deut 28-30 is a curse upon Jerusalem where the stars of heaven fell unto the earth (Rev 6:13)?

Where in Lev 26 and Deut 28-30 is a curse upon Jerusalem where the kings and mighty men of earth hide themselves in dens to escape from the wrath of the Lamb (Rev 6:15-16)?

CONTEXT RULES! Context dictates that Revelation is talking about the end of the EARTH – not the end of one little city. Failure to use CONTEXT is why Mr. Preston was whipped in four successive debates with Thomas Ice and now is receiving the same embarrassing whipping here. CONTEXT RULES!

One only has to look ahead to the remaining chapters of Revelation to see that they DO NOT APPLY TO ISRAEL. They apply to the description given in Daniel 9:24.

Has the world openly worshipped the dragon (Rev 13:4)?

Has the mysterious beast working with signs caused the world to worship the dragon (Rev 13:11-13)?

Does the beast control the world’s economy (Rev 13:16-17)?

Has an angel preached to the everlasting gospel to the earth (Rev 14:6)?

Has there been a war where blood flowed to the horse bridles for 184 miles (Rev 14:20)?

Has the sea turned to blood where every living thing died (Rev 16:3)?

Have the fountains of the earth ceased (Rev 16:4-7)?

Has the great city Babylon been divided into three parts by a great earthquake (Rev 16:19)?

Has the great city Babylon been destroyed such that it shall be found NO MORE (Rev 18:21)?

Has heaven opened so that Christ can make open war with the beast (Rev 19:11ff)?

Have the beast and false prophet been cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev 19:20)?

Has the devil ceased tempting us because he is in a bottomless pit (Rev 20:4-6)?

Has the Great White Throne judgment happened (Rev 20:11-15)?

Has a new heaven and a new earth been created (Rev 21:1)?

Has a new Jerusalem descended out of heaven (Rev 21)?

The answer to these questions is an easy "NO!" Mr. Preston has ignored the CONTEXT of the Book of Revelation. Revelation does not talk of conditional blessings and curses for one nation. It talks of certain judgment, the end of sins for the whole world, reconciliation for iniquity, everlasting righteousness for believers, completion of prophecy and the anointing of Jesus the most Holy – just as described in Daniel 9:24 – NOT as given in Deuteronomy.

Then, Mr. Preston wrongly made the Mosaic Covenant equal to the gospel?!? Other than his say so, Preston brought no detailed evidence to show that the Book of Revelation was covenantal. He only cherry picked the book and forced his assumptions on his cherry pits. Mr. Preston has surrendered this point.

We are still under point: 3A. wrt 1BO. Here we are discussing the second aspect of the Mosaic covenant. I challenged Preston saying that the language of the conditional Mosaic covenant does not embrace the Abrahamic covenant of promise.

How did he respond? He argued that the New Creation predicted in Isaiah 65 would be fulfilled at the time of the destruction of Old Covenant Israel (Isa 65:11-19).

This is a riot. No one with even beginning Bible knowledge would say this. All I have to do is ask a simple question – one so simple that even the very simple know the answer.

 

. . . ARE WE IN A NEW EARTH RIGHT NOW?

Geology teaches that this is the same OLD earth bearing Adam’s curse, scarred by Noah’s Flood, groaning under sin, and waiting for redemption. The daily news tells us that the same old Adamic nature is alive and well.

In fact, this is another easy example of how Preston willfully violates CONTEXT so that he can twist it with the force his opinion. We can easily see that this is not a New Creation by looking at CONTEXT: the rest of Isaiah 65.

. . .If someone dies at 100 years of age, do we think it

. . .is like the untimely death of a child (Isa 65:20)?

. . .NO! This is talking of Jesus’ millennial rule.

. . .People live 1000 years – not merely 100 years.

. . .Preston has ignored the context – again!

. . .Does the wolf and the lamb feed together (Isa 65:25a)?

. . .NO! Today wolves eat lambs!

. . .Does the lion eat straw like the bullock (Isa 65:25b)?

. . .NO! Today lions eat bullocks.

Isaiah never foretold the end of Israel. He foretold of the future glories of restored Israel. Preston’s foolish remarks show that he has never yet studied Isaiah.

The verses just before Preston’s riotous quote deal with "a Seed of Jacob" which is Jesus. From this we see that the whole chapter is discussing conditions under Jesus’ millennial rule. Is Jesus now reigning from Jerusalem? NO! Wolves and lambs don’t feed together. Lions don’t eat straw. Preston has done serious violence to God’s Word and scornfully cut it to shreds to support his proposition.

Both of Preston’s responses to this point on covenantal language are laughers. They are the product of some serious folly, irresponsible day-dreams, and diabolical rebellion against a common sense understanding of God’s Word.

 

We are still under point: 3A. wrt 1BO. Part of my criticism of Preston’s vile hermeneutic was his misunderstanding of covenants in general. I chastised him for not honoring most of the major and minor prophets who repeatedly prophesied about Israel’s future glorious restoration. I stated that YHVH would never cast off Israel. To this Preston states:

. . . "THIS IS PATENTLY WRONG!"

This amazingly foolish statement can only be right if the things God mentioned in Jeremiah 31:35-37 have happened. These things consist of the following:

. . . if the sun stops giving light by day and

. . . if the moon and the stars stop giving light by night, and

. . . when the sea waves cease, and

. . . if heaven above can be measured, and

. . . if the foundations of the earth can be searched out.

If these things happen, then Preston is right. If these things haven’t yet happened then Preston is wrong. Dear reader, what does common sense tell you? An honest reader would know that

. . . the sun is still shining,

. . . the moon and stars are yet giving their light,

. . . the sea waves yet roar,

. . . no one has yet measured heaven above, and

. . . no one has yet searched out the foundations of the earth.

It doesn’t take much intelligence to figure this out. This is why the debate isn’t about intelligence. It is about a proposition which willfully dishonors God’s Word through an extremely vile and appalling hermeneutic.

God’s Word must be honored. God will NEVER cast of Israel.

Dear reader: Herein marks the end of the introduction! At this point Mr. Preston failure to present a valid proposition is traceable to an extremely appalling hermeneutic. He doesn’t use context. He twists the common sense meaning of words to suit his own purposes which leads him to confusion about the gospel in general and the Mosaic covenant in particular. This in turn leads him to willfully ignore the Bible’s predictions of a future restored national Israel. When one willfully dishonors and rebels against God’s Holy Word through such an extremely appalling hermeneutic, one automatically (even if it is done unwittingly) promotes heresy. This is the sad summation of Preston’s proposition to date. Now let’s turn to his two main arguments. Bear in mind that these arguments have been prepared for failure by his extremely dishonest and rebellious hermeneutic that willfully dishonors and disdains God’s Word.

 

3A. wrt 1B1. wrt Matt 24:36 Preston ignored the CONTEXT.

As an aide for the reader, Preston argued that the temporal clues to Matt 24 teaches about the destruction of Jerusalem in agreement with 1 Peter and John.

I responded by showing that Preston violated (at least ignored) the CONTEXT of the entire chapter. I listed a twelve things that NEVER CAME TO PASS at the 70 AD pillage of Jerusalem.

. . . Christ has come again (24:3)

. . . the world has ended (24:3)

. . . many anti-christs (24:5),

. . . hated of all nations (24:9),

. . . the abomination of desolation (24:15)

. . . great tribulation such as was not since the beginning (24:21),

. . . the Second Advent (24:27) [the 2nd use of this clue],

. . . sun darkened, moon not give light, and stars falling from heaven (24:29),

. . . the WHOLE world sees the sign of Jesus coming (24:30),

. . . the judgment of people (24:31),

. . . the judgment of Gentile nations (25:31)

. . . everlasting judgment and eternal life (25:46)

How did Preston respond? It isn’t surprising that Preston never addressed this point. He merely repeated that the burden of proof is on me to show that strange things. I have to do no such thing. As the negative participant in this debate, it is my job to show the errors in Preston’s arguments. My time to prove things is in the second half of this debate. To this point, I have shown in every possible way that Preston has NOT USED CONTEXT and WILLFULLY REBELLED AGAINST GOD’S WORD.

With respect to this point, the reader must note that Preston has failed to answer the challenge. Merely repeating already debunked material is NOT A VALID RESPONSE. Repeating already debunked material is an experienced judge’s clue that the debate is over. Preston’s proposition can not stand up to an honest scrutiny. Preston’s proposition withers in the light of faithful use of context.

Preston has ignored the contextual key to Matt 24: verse 3!

. . .When shall these things (the destruction of the temple) be?

. . .What shall be the sign of Thy coming?

. . .What shall be the sign of the end of the world?

Not one of these questions deals with the AD 70 rape of Jerusalem. When one couples this with a God-honoring hermeneutic that affirms Israel’s perpetual existence, then we realize that any attempt to link the destruction of Jerusalem with the destruction of Babylon in Rev is foolish at best, wickedly rebellious at worst.

Preston has surrendered this point because he failed to answer my direct challenges to honor context. All he did was repeat his God-denying argument. God will not cast off Jerusalem. Jerusalem will NEVER be destroyed. Israel will NEVER be destroyed.

Yet the events of Revelation declare that Babylon will be destroyed.

It is incredibly foolish to think that Jerusalem, which can NEVER be destroyed, is the Babylon of Revelation, which will be totally destroyed. This is the essence of Preston’s folly. He willfully slaps God in the face with his unbelieving rebellion against God’s Word. Let’s document some of Preston’s foolish blasphemies straight into God’s face.

One aspect of his confusion is that he rejects dispensationalism – most notably the restoration of national Israel. He thinks that if any of Israel’s last days promises were not supposed to be present on Pentecost or at any time in the NT period. This is thoroughly foolish for we have already documented in Jeremiah 31 that Israel will NEVER be cast off. If Israel will never be cast off, then the promises given to Israel will never cease. If the promises given to Israel will never cease, then they are present at all times.

Preston continues to implying that God’s promises to Israel ended by pointing to Romans 10:13 (and urging us to remember Heb 10:33). If only he would honor the context of Romans 10 which doesn’t end until the end of chapter 11. There, in Rom 11:25ff, we see God still honoring His covenantal faithfulness to national Israel. There God promises to save them – even after Pentecost! Paul chides Preston by showing us that the calling of God are IRREVOCABLE (Rom 11:29).

 

3A. wrt 1B2. Deut 32

Reader take note: Mr. Preston’s illogic here is the result of his extremely flawed hermeneutic. A God-honoring hermeneutic that affirms Israel’s existence in perpetuity automatically negates Preston’s entire argument from the overarching theological view. What follows is a refutation of the details of his corrupted hermeneutic.

An aspect of Preston’s confusion is that he thinks the last days of prophecy of Deut 32 was being fulfilled in Pa
ul’s gentile ministry. At this point I must tell the reader that Preston has ignored yet another of my direct challenges to this point. In my first negative response, I showed how Preston ignored the context of Deuteronomy. The context of Deuteronomy was not the gospel. The Mosaic Law was given to Israel because of their sins (Gal 2:19) to drive us to the gospel of Christ to be received by faith (Gal 2:24). Deuteronomy begins with a promise of Israel’s national restoration.

. . . But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you

. . . will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart

. . . and all your soul. When you are in distress and all these

. . . things have come upon you, in the latter days, you will

. . . return to the Lord your God and listen to His voice. For

. . . the Lord your God is a compassionate God; He will not

. . . fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with

. . . your fathers which He swore to them. (Deut. 4:29-31).

I guess Preston sees only what he wants to see even if it means an open willful rebellion against God’s Word. This open defiant rebellion against God’s Word leads only to future wrath in general and a lost proposition here.

Preston failed to answer my challenge and so surrenders the point.

 

Another aspect of Preston’s confusion is that he thinks the pillage of Jerusalem would fill the measure of Israel’s sin (become utterly corrupt Deut 31:29). Again, most of this foolishness was demolished in the section on hermeneutics. You see, a corrupt hermeneutic usually spawns corrupt ideas.

In my first negative response I showed how ludicrous it was to expect that the sins of one tiny city at a particular moment in history would fill up the sins of an entire nation for the entirety of history. Preston responded by saying that filled up the measure of sin was linked to the destruction of the saints.

Notice how he tries to redefine "fill up their sins" from 1 Thess 2:16 so that it matches the filling up the sins from Dan 9:24. Israel’s sin brought God’s wrath and judgment upon them at one moment in time. But this is not what Preston makes of it. Israel has been judged many times and is currently under judgment. These many judgments do not mean that God has cast them off and that this is the end of time as described by Dan 9:24 and the Book of Revelation. Preston’s argument is a deceitful twist of linguistics and common sense.

Recall that linguistics states that words only have meaning in their context. Preston rips a phrase out of 1 Thess 2 and forces it on his God-denying unbelief in Israel’s perpetuity. Yes, God judged Israel in AD70. NO, this is not the judgment of the Book of Revelation.

The faulty logic is no proof that the destruction of Israel supports the early date of the Book of Revelation. It is a vain rabbit trail that is worthless for its violent abuse of elementary linguistics.

In my first negative response, I chided Preston for failing to use the context of Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians. There, Paul tells that the day of the Lord will not come until the man of sin is revealed (2 Thess 2). Preston merely cherry picked Paul’s letters and didn’t use the integrated whole. I simply ask the reader:

. . ."Has the man of sin has been revealed."

Any honest reader would answer NO and Preston’s rabbit trail comes to an abrupt end. Paul warns us about Preston’s folly:

. . .Let no man deceive you by any means:

. . .for that day shall not come, except there come

. . .a falling away first, and that man of sin be

. . .revealed, the son of perdition. 2 Thess 2:3

The AD 70 judgment of Israel was NOT the judgment of the Book of Revelation. They point to two (2) DIFFERENT contexts. Preston thinks that various quotes pertaining to Israel’s corruption is proof that the AD 70 judgment was the end of sin. Remember, Israel’s judgment was not the sure sign that God has cast them off! God will NEVER cast off Israel (Deut 4:29-31, Jer 31:35-37, Rom 11:29). It doesn’t matter that Preston doesn’t believe God’s Word. It doesn’t matter how many words Preston writes in an attempt to overturn God’s Word. It does matter that God is faithful to His Word and will one day restore national Israel to worldwide prominence with Messiah Jesus reigning from Jerusalem.

Preston must know that he has already lost for he makes fanciful leaps of misrepresentation. The reader can quickly scan my first negative response and see that I never said that SODOM in Revelation 18 is Jerusalem. So Preston went down a useless rabbit trail slaying some false strawman of his own creation that doesn’t pertain to the proposition. After all, if Preston has no real Bible to use, then he must find something. It must be awfully hard on Preston’s ego to admit defeat when his loyalty is to denominational rhetoric rather than to an honest use of God’s Holy Word. Oh that he would honor God’s Word!

One wonders about written debates like this. At times it appears that Preston is writing just to see himself write. For example, he rightly notes that I said that Matthew 24 does NOT DISCUSS AD 70. Yet he then claims that this ignores his entire core argument and thinks he is the herald of truth. Nothing could be further from the truth! I ignored his core argument because my right view of CONTEXT trumped his fanciful day-dreams. Let me write the context of Matt 24 again:

. . .And as He sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples

. . .came unto Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when shall

. . .these things be? And what shall be the sign of Thy

. . . coming, and of the end of the world?" Matt 24:3

I simply have to ask several EZ questions:

. . . Has time stopped?

. . . Has Jesus appeared a second time?

. . . Has the end of the world happened?

 . . (has the anti-christ been revealed?)

 . . (has Satan been cast into the bottomless pit?)

 . . (has national Israel been raised to worldwide prominence?)

The end of the world did not happen at the pillage of Jerusalem – which by the way was not destroyed. I can go to Google Map today and see a picture of Jerusalem – and Israel. Your argument fails because of CONTEXT and common sense!

So Mr. Preston – YES – I have ignored the core of your argument because CONTEXT RULES! You simply don’t get it. When you violently abuse context as you have, then your arguments are invalid – worthless – null – void – debunked – overturned – discredited. In short, you have lost this argument for CONTEXT RULES!

 

SUMMARY:

Preston has lost the debate because everything he thinks, believers, and writes is corrupted by an extremely vile and appalling hermeneutic that denies God’s faithfulness, the prophecies in His Word, and His covenantal promises to national Israel.

Because Preston denies God’s faithfulness, he must find a way to make words say what he means rather than saying what God means. Case in point is his abuse of words like "quickly," "soon," "shortly," and the like. So he violates basic rules of linguistics by grabbing the definition of a word from Context-A and then demands that it be used in Context-B. Basic linguistics says that words have meaning only their specific context. But since Preston denies God’s Word, he has no problem denying first semester linguistics.

One of the most amazing features of Preston’s arguments is that he seeks to define the date of the Book of Revelation with relatively little use of the Book of Revelation. His two arguments come from a faulty interpretation of Matt 24 and Deut 32. But since Preston denies God’s Word, he denies the contextual clues that are in the Book of Revelation. For example,

. . . .1. Has the world openly worshipped the dragon

. . . . . .(Rev 13:4)?

. . . .2. Has the mysterious beast working with signs caused

. . . . . .the world to worshi
p the dragon (Rev 13:11-13)?

. . . .3. Does the beast control the world’s economy

. . . . . .(Rev 13:16-17)?

. . . .4. Has an angel preached to the everlasting gospel to

. . . . . .the earth (Rev 14:6)?

. . . .5. Has there been a war where blood flowed to the

. . . . . .horse bridles for 184 miles (Rev 14:20)?

. . . .6. Has the sea turned to blood where every living thing

. . . . . .died (Rev 16:3)?

. . . .7. Have the fountains of the earth ceased (Rev 16:4-7)?

. . . .8. Has the great city Babylon been divided into three

. . . . . . parts by a great earthquake (Rev 16:19)?

. . . .9. Has the great city Babylon been destroyed such that

. . . . . .it shall be found NO MORE (Rev 18:21)?

. . .10. Has heaven opened so that Christ can make open

. . . . . .war with the beast (Rev 19:11ff)?

. . .11. Have the beast and false prophet been cast into the

. . . . . .Lake of Fire (Rev 19:20)?

. . .12. Has the devil ceased tempting us because he is in

. . . . . .a bottomless pit (Rev 20:4-6)?

. . .13. Has the Great White Throne judgment happened

. . . . . .(Rev 20:11-15)?

. . .14. Has a new heaven and a new earth been created

. . . . . .(Rev 21:1)?

. . .15. Has a new Jerusalem descended out of heaven

. . . . . .(Rev 21)?

Because Preston denies God’s faithfulness, he denies God’s covenantal faithfulness to national Israel. He seems oblivious that the major and minor prophets are full of God’s promises of restoration to national Israel. In this regard Preston tried to twist Isaiah 65 into something that would support the destruction of Jerusalem all the while the CONTEXT of Isaiah 65 was of Messiah Jesus’ triumphant rule from Jerusalem. I also showed Preston Jeremiah 31:35-37 which guarantees Israel’s existence. Perhaps Preston would love to challenge me to find a dozen more prophecies that guarantee this.

There is no real need to proceed to his arguments that are built on an extremely vile and appalling hermeneutic. Arguments are only as good as the foundation upon which they stand. Nevertheless, his argument from Deut was again based on an extreme denial of the opening context where God promised restoration to national Israel –EVEN AFTER – the prophecy about their sin and judgment (See Deut 4:29-31). You either believe God’s promises or you follow Preston’s lead and twist it into heresy.

With respect to Matt 24, Preston’s oversight of the Revelation’s context forces him to close his eyes to the context of Matt 24: the end of the world and Jesus’ Second Coming. When one denies context, then every argument that follows is worthless.

Furthermore, Preston appears hopelessly confused about Deuteronomy. He continues to hold that Deut is to be applied to Jerusalem and unwittingly to the whole world in abject denial of God’s Word that says the Mosaic Law was given only to Israel because they were rebellious. This has nothing to do with then end of the world. He points to 1 Thess in complete disregard for the clear teaching of 2 Thess. He even thinks that the filling up of sins sufficient for a temporal judgment on one city means that the sins of the whole nation and world has been permanently filled up for God’s permanent judgment on the world. He is oblivious to the fact that the temporary judgment on Jerusalem was NOT the all-ending permanent judgment on Babylon. He missed all the contextual clues about the two prophets, and great signs. But we can see from any map that Jerusalem exists today. Preston’s argument isn’t very current.

Preston’s material is all patently God-dishonoring from start to finish. Only a culture characterized by materialism and pluralism could support Preston’s proposition. His argument must be marked as heresy and be firmly rejected.

My position is that God’s Word must be believed. God has promised eternal faithfulness to national Israel. It is a tragic shame that so-called Christians would defend any proposition that proposes open rebellion against God’s Word and God’s faithfulness.

Preston’s proposition is in flames. Let’s go on to honoring God, His Word, and His Book of Revelation that is NOT written about the end of Israel.

Dr. Olson

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