The Dating of Revelation
A Formal Written Debate
Dr. Lloyd Olson– Late Date Advocate
Don K. Preston– Early Date Advocate
First Negative by Don K. Preston
Let me apologize for the delay in posting this response. My wife has been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and had surgery. She is now facing another surgery in January. So, needless to say, I have been somewhat preoccupied.
One word exemplifies Mr. Olson’s responses: DESPERATION. His utter refusal to deal with my core arguments. His obfuscation and caustic manner prove beyond doubt that he knows that he cannot deal with the issues at hand. So, he resorts to name calling, questioning my integrity, and claiming that it is I who have not dealt with the issues. The readers of this debate can see through Mr. Olson’s smoke screen.
Let me briefly remind the reader of some- just a small number– of Mr. Olson’s many self contradictions.
Mr. OLSON’S REPEATED CLAIM: JERUSALEM AND ISRAEL WILL NEVER BE DESTROYED
GOD’S ANSWER concerning Israel
Isaiah 65:13f– "THE LORD GOD SHALL SLAY YOU, and call His people by a new name." Mr. Olson, does "slaying" someone qualify as DESTROYING them? Mr. Olson keeps appealing to Jeremiah 31, and how Israel would remain God’s people until the creation was destroyed. But Isaiah 65, says the New Creation would come when Israel was destroyed, and the Old "heaven and earth" destroyed. Mr. Olson’s response? Why, "Preston is a liar!"
Daniel 9:24f emphatically predicted that the holy city would be destroyed.
Daniel 12:7– "When the power of the holy people has been completely shattered."
Mr. Olson, you TOTALLY IGNORED Isaiah and Daniel– yet, they both unequivocally affirm the very thing that you deny!
THE GREAT TRIBULATION: REVELATION 14– THE 144,000
Mr. Olson says, twice, that I used "open and blatant lies" in my argument about the 144,000.
Well, WHAT WAS A LIE, Mr. Olson?
Was it a lie to point out that the 144,000 were, WHEN JOHN WROTE, coming out of the Great Tribulation? After all, THAT IS WHAT THE GREEK TEXT SAYS! Now, what is that about honoring TEXT, Mr. Olson?
Was it a lie to note that the 144,000 were THE FIRST FRUIT OF THOSE REDEEMED TO GOD FROM AMONG MEN? That is what the TEXT says, Mr. Olson.
Was it a lie to note that the 144,000 were from the 12 tribes of Israel, Mr. Olson? That is what the TEXT says.
Was it a lie to note that James was writing to the 12 tribes scattered abroad, and called THEM the first fruit? That is what the TEXT says, Mr. Olson.
Was it a lie to note that Hebrews 12:21f said that his audience had come– not one day by and by would come– to Zion, and that they had come–not would come– to the church of THE FIRST BORN ONES?
The audience will note that Mr. Olson violated the TEXT by saying that WE TODAY are a kind of first fruit. No, Mr. Olson, YOU ARE NOT AMONG THE FIRST FRUIT OF THOSE REDEEMED TO GOD FROM AMONG MEN, UNLESS YOU ARE TWO THOUSAND YEARS OLD!
Mr. Olson, YOU are not of the twelve tribes scattered abroad that constituted James’ first century, first fruit audience, and you know it very well. You see, for all of his blow and bluster about CONTEXT, it is patently obvious that Mr. Olson knows nothing of HONORING CONTEXT.
Mr. Olson says: "While Deut 32 describes them as a "crooked and perverse" generation, it never says that they will become like Sodom." But, describing the city, "Where the Lord was slain", (Revelation 11:8), "spiritually called Sodom", MR. OLSON SAYS THAT IS JERUSALEM!
FILLING THE MEASURE OF SIN–Mr. Olson’s Contradictions
I said that Daniel 9 foretold the filling of Israel’s sin. He responded: "This is another blatantly false statement. The correct reading of Daniel 9:24 is: "make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity."… "Another aspect of Preston’s confusion is that he thinks the pillage of Jerusalem would fill the measure of Israel’s." (Second Negative)
But then, we have Olson versus Olson– "The sins of Israel were filled up by the AD 70 judgment. But I say: ‘So what?’" (Final Negative)….Furthermore, Mr. Olson says: "He points to Matthew 23:29 where Jesus points to the hypocrisy of the leaders. Wherefore God will send upon them judgment for all the righteous blood shed upon the earth. So what?"
Well, the "So what" is that Mr. Olson has now admitted that the A.D. 70 judgment was for the shedding of, "all the blood shed on the earth," and Israel did fill the measure of her sin! And, this is PRECISELY what the judgment of Babylon would be for (Revelation 18:20-24). And, the A.D. 70 judgment, remember, would be for killing the APOSTLES AND PROPHETS OF JESUS, just as the judgment of Babylon would be for killing THE APOSTLES AND PROPHETS OF JESUS. Of course, Mr. Olson ignored all of this.
See my book Seal Up Vision and Prophecy, and also 70 Weeks Are Determined…For the Resurrection, for more on this topic.
RE: SEAL THE VISION-V-DO NOT SEAL THE VISION
I argued that since Daniel’s vision of the end was to be sealed, but that John, reiterating Daniel’s prophecy was told to not seal the book because the time is at hand, this proves the objective, non-adverbial meaning of "at hand." Mr. Olson responded: "Now Preston dreams up another parallel. He thinks that because the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy was far off and sealed up, that there should be another sealing to John’s unfulfilled prophecies. This violates another basic rule of exegesis. We must not go beyond what God has written. We cannot demand that God follow our logic. God did not tell John to seal up the words. (Mr. Olson, I NEVER SAID John was told to seal the vision! You misrepresented what I said, and what John was told! John was told, "Do not seal the vision for the time is at hand.")
Mr. Olson admits that logic and common sense would see a temporal contrast between Daniel and Revelation. Daniel, not near-VS- John, near. But, Mr. Olson, now tells us to JETTISON COMMON SENSE because if we accept the words of the text it demands that fulfillment of Revelation was near when John wrote and that would destroy Mr. Olson’s theology. What happened to your "common sense literalism," Mr. Olson?
There is so much more I could say. Mr. Olson complains that I repeat my arguments. Of course, he only complains because when I bring them back up it is a reminder of his utter inability to answer them.
Okay, let me get to Mr. Olson’s affirmative: Resolved: The Bible teaches that the Book of Revelation was written AFTER the fall of Jerusalem around A. D. 96.
Let’s see now, "The BIBLE Teaches…" I guess Mr. Olson missed that part of
the proposition, since he used over 2500 words citing UNINSPIRED MEN– even notorious non-Christians!– and proclaims he has won the debate. This is the lamentable situation when a man is desperate and cannot properly address the scriptures themselves. We will get to that in a moment, but, let me address his question about "FOREVER" since he hangs his hat on the fact that God said Israel would be His people forever.
A LOOK AT "FOREVER"
Mr. Olson reveals his ignorance of the Hebrew word "Olam", which is translated as "forever", when he demands that it must mean without end. However, I have already shown the following:
God would not abandon Israel, "UNTIL I have performed all I have promised" (Genesis 28:15f).
I have shown that God did say that He would, in Israel’s last days, DESTROY THEM (Isaiah 65; Daniel 9; Daniel 12, Malachi 4:1f, etc.). Mr. Olson simply denies these texts.
Mr. Olson claims that because God said He chose Israel "forever" that this proves his view of Revelation. No, it doesn’t. Take a look at a few texts.
Exodus 29:9; 40:15– The Levitical priesthood was to be an eternal (olam) priesthood. Yet, in Christ, that priesthood has been changed– removed (Hebrews 7:11-12).
In the Mosaic Covenant, the offering of incense (Exodus 30:6f), the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16f), the animal sacrifices (Leviticus 10), the Sabbath (Exodus 31), and virtually every aspect of the Mosaic Cultus was said to be everlasting.
But, the reader will remember that Mr. Olson has already told us that the Mosaic Covenant was temporary. MR. OLSON, THE TEMPORARY MOSAIC COVENANT WAS AN "ETERNAL" (OLAM) COVENANT. But, this is not all. Take a look at this:
In Deuteronomy 28:46 part of the temporary Mosaic Covenant, YHVH threatened Israel with curses for disobedience to that covenant. He said of those curses —"And they shall be upon you for a sign and a wonder, and on your descendants FOREVER." Mr. Olson, according to YHVH, the curses of the Mosaic Covenant would be upon Israel FOREVER!
In Jeremiah 17:4, Judah’s sin caused YHVH to say: "O My mountain in the field, I will give as plunder, your wealth, all your treasures, and your high places of sin within all your borders. And you, even yourself, Shall let go of your heritage which I gave you; And I will cause you to serve your enemies in the land which you do not know; FOR YOU HAVE KINDLED A FIRE IN MY ANGER WHICH SHALL BURN FOREVER." Mr. Olson, God said that Judah’s sixth century sin would cause her to LOSE HER HERITAGE, because God’s anger would burn against her FOREVER! This is the curse of Deuteronomy 28, the curse that would remain on Israel FOREVER, for violation of the Mosaic Covenant, that you agree was temporary!
In Jeremiah 18:16, YHVH said that He was going to bring judgment on Judah, "To make their land desolate and a perpetual (OLAM) hissing." Mr. Olson, is the land of Israel under this PERPETUAL CURSE?
In Jeremiah 23:39f, the Lord said of Jerusalem, "I will surely forget you and cast you out of my presence along with the city I gave to your fathers, and I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.’"
MR. OLSON, IS ISRAEL UNDER A PERPETUAL REPROACH as a result of disobedience to the MOSAIC COVENANT?
Mr. Olson can’t argue that this curse would be CONDITIONAL, for his definition of forever MEANS WITHOUT END! So, if the curses came on Israel, then the curses will never end!
In Jeremiah 25:9 YHVH said he was going to bring Nebuchadnezzar against Jerusalem, and make that city "perpetual desolations!" According to Mr. Olson’s definition of everlasting, this means that Jerusalem could never be restored, since God said she would be A PERPETUAL DESOLATION FROM THE TIME OF NEBUCHADNEZZAR!
So, according to God:
The Mosaic Covenant, with its cultus, would stand FOREVER.
The Mosaic Covenant CURSES would be on Israel FOREVER, she would be a PERPETUAL SHAME.
Jerusalem would– from the time of Nebuchadnezzar, be a PERPETUAL DESOLATION!
The fact is that olam does not necessarily mean without end, as Mr. Olson claims. YHVH said that in Israel’s last days, WHEN HE HAD FULFILLED ALL OF HIS PROMISES TO THAT NATION, He would– and He did– cast them off as a distinctive covenant people, because all of the "better things" that Israel foreshadowed, had arrived!
LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT GENESIS 17, ABRAHAMIC PROMISE
Mr. Olson appeals to Genesis 17 as part of his "critical" proof for establishing the late date of Revelation. This does nothing but demolishes his affirmative, and theology.
As I have already argued, Revelation is about the fulfilment of God’s promises to Abraham. BUT, it is not about the physical promises. God had, long before, already fulfilled the national land promises to Israel. Revelation is about the fulfilment of THE SPIRITUAL PROMISES TO ABRAHAM– the heavenly city, the heavenly country (Hebrews 11:13f– Revelation 21). But, to Genesis 17.
Mr. Olson, what was an inherent element of God’s promises concerning the land? It was CIRCUMCISION (Genesis 17:12f).
So, God gave Israel the land "forever."
The sign and seal of the land covenant was circumcision (Genesis 17:12f).
But, Christ has abolished circumcision! Paul said that to be circumcised for religious reasons means, "Christ shall profit you nothing…those of you who seek to be justified by the Law, you are fallen from grace…in Christ, neither circumcision or uncircumcision avails, but faith that works through love." (Galatians 5:1-6).
Therefore, Christ has fulfilled and abolished the land covenant with Abraham. Let’s look even closer.
Mr. Olson’s dispensationalism cannot deal with the Biblical doctrine of circumcision.
Paul said that to be circumcised for religious reason is to forfeit Christ (Galatians 5:1-6)- and what could be more religious than the right to worship God?
In the millennium, Jew and Gentile alike, must go to Jerusalem to worship, per dispensationalism’s view of Zechariah 14. To fail to do so BRINGS GOD’S CURSE.
But, in the millennium, circumcision is mandatory to enter Jerusalem to worship (Isaiah 52:1; Ezekiel 44:9).
So, Mr. Olson, just how does Genesis 17 help your case in Revelation?
If Revelation describes national Israel restored, serving Messiah, in the millennium, then if they aren’t circumcised, THEY ARE CURSED. IF THEY ARE CIRCUMCISED, THEY CAN’T BE FOLLOWERS OF THEIR MESSIAH!
If the Abrahamic land promise is valid in the millennium (or ever again!), then CIRCUMCISION IS, OF NECESSITY, VALID.
The land promise and circumcision are inextricably linked. Yet, the gospel doctrine of circumcision negates the dispensational view of Revelation. MR. OLSON, WILL THE GOSPEL BE REPLACED IN THE MILLENNIUM WITH A COVENANT THAT DEMANDS CIRCUMCISION, AGAIN?
Folks, pay very, VERY careful attention to see if Mr. Olson will deal with this issue. Will he adopt John Hagee’s view, and say that the Jew does not need Christ or the gospel? We will see!!
So much for Mr. Olson’s argument about Israel being God’s chosen people FOREVER! Let’s go on.
REVELATION IS ALL ABOUT THE UNCONDITIONAL PROMISES OF BLESSINGS TO ISRAEL
RESPONSE: Let’s see if Mr. Olson’s argument will stand scrutiny. (IT WON’T!)
PLEASE, read again my argument on Deuteronomy 30-32. Mr. Olson ignored it. Here is the summation.
Revelation predicted the Second Coming (Revelation 19).
Even Mr. Olson’s hero, Thomas Ice says that Deuteronomy 30– PART OF THE CONDITIONAL MOSAIC COVENANT– predicted the conversion of Israel AT THE SECOND COMING. (Charting the End Times, Eugene, Ore. Harvest House, 2001, p.86) Thus, per Mr. Olson’s own doctrine, Revelation is about the fulfillment of the (temporary, conditional) Law of Moses!
And, consider this: The salvation of Israel in Deuteronomy 30 is specifically stated, three times, to be conditioned upon her repentance and obedience to "the words that I speak this day" i.e. THE MOSAIC COVENANT!
Deuteronomy 30 foretold the salvation of Israel at the Second Coming of Christ of Revelation 19 (Millennialism).
But, Deuteronomy 30 conditions the salvation of Israel at the coming of Christ upon Israel’s obedience to the (conditional, temporary) MOSAIC COVENANT.
Therefore, the Second Coming of Christ in Revelation 19 was / is conditioned upon Israel’s obedience to the (conditional, temporary) Mosaic Covenant.
Mr. Olson, I challenge you to contextually address this. THIS ARGUMENT ALONE FALSIFIES YOUR AFFIRMATIVE, AND YOUR THEOLOGY. Mere ridicule will not answer the argument.
To continue: Revelation (15, 19, etc), is about the fulfillment of Deuteronomy 32– the prophecy of Israel’s last days. This is irrefutable, and Mr. Olson’s pontifications have not touched this.
Mr. Olson, (first negative): "Deuteronomy 32 is part of the Mosaic Covenant, a conditional covenant of blessings and curses for one special nation: Israel." So, Deuteronomy 32 is for Israel in her last days. Revelation is about Israel’s last days, but, Revelation is not about Deuteronomy 32, says Mr. Olson! So much for Mr. Olson’s "logic" and use of common sense.
SO WATCH THIS…
DEUTERONOMY 32 IS THE MOSAIC COVENANT INCLUDING THE LAW OF BLESSINGS AND CURSES OF DEUTERONOMY 28-30 (Lloyd Olson-First negative).
But, Revelation anticipated the fulfillment of Deuteronomy 30 at the Second Coming of Christ.
THEREFORE, REVELATION IS ABOUT THE FULFILLMENT OF THE CONDITIONAL MOSAIC COVENANT INCLUDING THE BLESSINGS AND CURSINGS!
This proves conclusively that Revelation is couched in distinctively covenantal language– as I have argued from the outset–and anticipated fulfillment of MOSAIC COVENANT CURSES. Once again, Mr. Olson has contradicted himself, text, context, and common sense. This is an inescapable dilemma.
PRETERISM AND REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY
Mr. Olson reveals his ignorance of preterism, claiming that it is replacement theology. No, Mr. Olson, preterism, i.e. Covenant Eschatology, is fulfilled theology. It says the body of Christ is what Abraham and Israel foreshadowed and anticipated. It says Israel had a chosen, but temporary role in God’s scheme. It says that God was faithful to His chosen people, and kept all of His promises to her. But, it says that God’s eternal purpose was that the shadow give way to the body, the carnal give way to the spiritual, the old give way to the better things! That is what preterism teaches Mr. Olson.
On the other hand, dispensationalism is in fact the worst sort of replacement theology.
It replaces the blood bought body of Christ with a nation ordained by the blood of animals.
It replaces the gospel of Christ, which took away those bloody sacrifices, and restores them!
It replaces the circumcision of the heart, with the circumcision of the flesh!
It replaces the spiritual priesthood of all believers with the old exclusive priesthood.
It replaces the equality of all men in Christ, with the restored distinction between Jew and Gentiles.
It replaces the inclusive body of Christ with the distinctive nation of Israel.
It replaces the True Tabernacle, with the Old, which was only a shadow of the True.
No, Mr. Olson, dispensationalism is replacement theology, and the tragedy of it is that it replaces the "goal of all the previous ages" (1 Corinthians 10:11– See my in-depth article on the charge of replacement theology at: www.eschatology.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=180&Itemid=61).
Mr. Olson claims that Hebrews 8 assures a future fulfillment of God’s promise of a New Covenant (i.e. Jeremiah 31). No, Mr. Olson, Hebrews 8 affirms that Christ was already in the process of establishing that promised New Covenant, and it is the gospel!
The New Covenant of Jeremiah would give forgiveness; Christ’s New Covenant gives forgiveness.
The New Covenant of Jeremiah would be made with Judah and Israel, and Acts 2 confirms that the promises made to Israel, for her last days, were beginning to be fulfilled: "This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel…" And remember, reader, that Mr. Olson has admitted that Joel began to be fulfilled on Pentecost! The Spirit was to be poured out to give the New Covenant (Ezekiel 37:12-25), the Spirit was being poured out, and the New Covenant of Messiah began to be offered to, "Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven" (Acts 2:5). James tells us emphatically that he was writing to the twelve tribes, who of course were now serving Messiah under the New Covenant!
The New Covenant would come when the Old passed away. Hebrews emphatically says the Old was, when he wrote, "ready to vanish away" (Hebrews 8:13).
Mr. Olson, it is the gospel of Christ that will never pass away (Matthew 24:35). It will not be replaced with a Covenant that demands circumcision, animal sacrifices, a central geographical worship location, and a Temple made with hands!
Hebrews 8 establishes my affirmative and destroys your’s because it proves that God’s promise of the New Covenant with Israel was being fulfilled in the first century.
MR. OLSON’S EXTERNAL EVIDENCES
According to the proposition that Mr. Olson signed, to argue from the SCRIPTURES, I am not even obligated to address his external evidences. However, since I am more than happy to provide solid answers, I am going to offer a bit on his "arguments" anyway.
WHAT ABOUT IRANAEUS?
Mr. Olson says I must be scared of Iranaeus. NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT. What is strange is that someone would hang their hat on the testimony of a man that has been proven to be eccentric at best, and historically unreliable! But, such is the desperation of Mr. Olson, that he must appeal to such "evidence." Here is just a bit of what we know of Iranaeus:
1.) He said that Jesus lived to be about 50 years old-(Against Heresies, 2:22:5). Mr. Olson, do you accept this?
2.) He said that what he reported– the citation that Mr. Olson appeals to, was something he heard when he was a mere child, and only wrote of it 50 YEARS LATER!
3.) He said the world would last only six thousand years.(Against Heresies, Bk. V. 28). Mr. Olson, all you have to do is "read the newspaper" to know this is false, right?
4.) The translation of the text that Mr. Olson must rely on is highly disputed, even among late date advocates, many of whom admit that Iranaeus may actually have said that it was JOHN who was seen, not the Apocalyptic vision. So, we have a questionable translation of the fundamental text that Mr. Olson must have to have an argument.
5.) Iranaeus said that Papias was a personal student of the apostle John (V, 33:1f). However, Eusebius said this was false (Eusebius, History, chapter 39)!
6.) Iranaeus believed that the church at Rome was supreme (Early Church Fathers, Richardson, 372). Mr. Olson, do you accept this testimony?
All of this and more, demonstrates how unreliable Iranaeus is for
Mr. Olson’s cause. Most of the sources cited by Mr. Olson were dependent on Iranaeus’ faulty testimony. This automatically negates their testimony.
APOLLONIUS OF TYANA
I must confess that I was astounded at Mr. Olson’s appeal to Apollonius of Tyana as proof of the late date. It just shows, even more, his desperation.
Appollonius was a fascinating, but notorious figure of the first century, a non-Christian.
Here is Mr. Olson’s "logic" concerning Apollonius:
Apollonius was not a Christian.
Apollonius was persecuted by Domitian.
Apollonius called Domitian a tyrant.
Therefore, Domitian was the persecutor of Christians in Revelation!
Mr. Olson, what was that you said about the "running nose" hermeneutic? If ever there was an example of a non-sequitur, Mr. Olson has given it!
Mr. Olson, it is not a question of whether Domitian persecuted those that he considered a threat to his rule, and was consequently called a tyrant. That does not make him the persecutor of Christians in Revelation!
The historical fact is that Nero was the Roman emperor first and foremost called "the tyrant" for his PERSECUTION OF THE CHURCH. By the way, Mr. Olson, why did you not inform the readers that Apollonius of Tyana says NERO WAS "COMMONLY" CALLED A TYRANT? (Philostratus, The Life of Apollonius 4:38. Cited in A. T. Robinson, Redating the New Testament, (Philadelphia, Westminster, 1976, p. 235). I am sure this was a mere oversight on your part, Mr. Olson, right? Here is what we have:
You cite Apollonius to support your view of a late date, because Apollonius called Domitian a tyrant, although he did not do so because of Domitian’s persecution of Christians.
But, Apollonius said Nero was "commonly called" the tyrant, and we know that he was so called because he did persecute Christians.
Yet, we are to ignore this bad logic, and accept your distorted use of Apollonius, just because you say so. Your argument is illogical and useless.
There is a growing scholarly consensus–AMONG LATE DATE ADVOCATES– that Domitian did not actually persecute the church! The supporting quotes offered by Mr. Olson including Clement and others are now being seen as referent, not to Domitian’s persecution of the church per se, but of the overall difficulties, and even the earlier Neronic persecutions.
Donald Guthrie, late date advocate, says the evidence for a widespread Domitianic persecution is, "Not as conclusive as many suppose." ( New Testament Introduction, Hebrews to Revelation, (Chicago, Inter-Varsity Press, 1962, p. 272). Helmut Koester says Domitian, "Never ordered a worldwide persecution of the Christians." (History and Literature of Early Christianity, Vol. II, (Philadelphia, Fortress Press, 1982, p.251). Historian Richard Niswonger says, "It cannot be proven without doubt that Domitian initiated a persecution against Christians. Roman records provide no clear evidence of even a small scale movement, let alone a concerted or large-scale persecution." (New Testament History, (Zondervan, Academic Books, 1988, p.271-272). Quotes are from my Who Is This Babylon?; more given in that work. Available at www.eschatology.org.
WHAT ABOUT CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA?
Once again, one has to wonder why Mr. Olson would make arguments as he does, for the very person that he calls to his side, actually refutes his view!
Mr. Olson assumes that Clement refers to Domitian, but, Clement does not name Domitian, does he?
Clement’s comments are in the context in which he claimed that John, after return from Patmos, chased down a young man who was on horseback, and demanded that the young man repent of his apostasy. This hardly fits if John was as old as the late date demands! John WOULD HAVE BEEN IN HIS 90S! (See Gentry, Before, 83), for more on this.
Now, CATCH THIS!: Clement, in his Miscellanies, Book 7:17 said, "For the teaching of our Lord at his advent, beginning with Augustus and Tiberius, was completed in the times of Tiberius. And that of the apostles embracing the ministry of Paul, ENDS WITH NERO." DO YOU CATCH THAT? Clement said that the teaching ministry of the apostles ENDED UNDER NERO!
MR. OLSON, YOUR OWN SOURCE DEMANDS THE EARLY DATE OF REVELATION!
MR. OLSON’S INTERNAL EVIDENCE: REVELATION 1:19 AGAIN
Mr. Olson hangs his hat on Revelation 1:19. Here is his argument: Revelation 1 is of things past. Revelation 2-3 is of "things that are." Revelation 4-21 are things to come. As usual, Mr. Olson is simply wrong.
Revelation 1:19 speaks of things that are "about to come." The Blass-DeBrunner Greek Grammar says that mello– translated as " to come": "mellein with the infinitive indicates imminence."
Mr. Olson’s scheme will not work. To suggest that everything from Revelation 4 through chapter 21 is totally future backfires on him, but of course, Mr. Olson ignores the actual text.
Revelation 6:9f: The martyrs already "had been slain"! Mr. Olson made an ultra feeble attempt to negate the words of Jesus on the scope of the judgment of A.D. 70: "Jesus Himself limited the filling up of sin to the blood of Zechariah (Matt 23:36)." This is just sad, and, it is an overt denial of what Jesus actually said.
Does "all the blood shed on the earth" sound like Jesus limited the filling up of the sin to the blood of Zechariah?
Does "all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from righteous Abel, to Zechariah" sound like Jesus limited the scope of the shed blood to Zechariah?
Anyone aware of the Hebrew idiom that Jesus used here knows that Jesus was saying, "All the blood from A-Z." It is a comprehensive term. And all can see how desperate Mr. Olson is.
How localized was the judgment that Jesus predicted in Matthew 23, if it encompassed ALL the blood of ALL THE MARTYRS, ALL THE WAY BACK TO CREATION?
To get his paradigm into Revelation, Mr. Olson must DIVORCE, the blood of the prophets, the blood of Jesus, "all the blood shed on the earth", the blood of "the apostles and prophets of Jesus", in Revelation, from Jesus’ prediction in Matthew 23, and Paul’s teaching in 1 Thessalonians 2:14f.
Not only must Mr. Olson divorce Revelation from Jesus and Paul, he must also completely divorce it from the Old Testament!
Remember that Deuteronomy 32 predicted that in Israel’s last days, (when Jesus came), God would avenge the blood of the saints. (We have shown that Revelation 19:2 anticipated fulfillment of Deuteronomy 32:43). Thus, in Mr. Olson’s scheme, Deuteronomy looks far past the shed blood of the prophets and Jesus, past all the blood shed on the earth, from Abel to Zechariah, past the blood of Jesus’ apostles and prophets, (IGNORING ALL OF THIS COMPLETELY), and looks to another time, when all the blood shed on the earth- including the blood of the prophets, Jesus, and Jesus’ apostles and prophets, would be avenged! And yet, He has given us not one key stroke of evidence to prove his overarching paradigm is valid here.
NOTICE REVELATION 12 where the great dragon had attempted to kill the man-child (Jesus!).Mr. Olson, is this still future? It must be if Revelation 4-21 is all future as you claim! Therefore, there must be, STILL FUTURE, the birth of a divine man-child!
REVELATION 14 is a vision of what HAD BEEN, the fulfillmen
t of the Great Commission, meaning that the end was near. Jesus said, "this gospel of the kingdom must be preached in all the world (oikoumene) for a witness to the nations (ethnoi), then comes the end" (Matthew 24:14). Paul had already said that the gospel had been preached in all the world, The gospel, "has been preached to every creature under heaven" (Colossians 1:5-7,23). Where is your literalism on THIS, Mr. Olson?. By the way, Iranaeus agreed with Paul! He believed that the great commission had been fulfilled! (Against Heresies, BK. III; Also, Early Christian Fathers, Cyril Richardson, editor, Philadelphia, Westminister,1953, p.370). Do you accept Iranaeus on this, Mr. Olson?
John envisioned the fulfillment of the vision, and the message was that the judgment of Babylon was near, "The hour of his (God’s) judgment has come!"
So, Mr. Olson’s appeal to Revelation 1:19– and his own source, Iranaeus– establishes my argument, and refutes him.
Revelation 17-18– Babylon’s cup of sin was already full of the blood of the martyrs when John wrote (Revelation 17:6). Babylon had ALREADY killed the prophets (Revelation 16:6f). This is indisputable.
NOW WATCH! Mr. Olson’s scheme forbids him from appealing to any text in Revelation except chapters 2-3 for internal evidence of a late date. Remember, Mr. Olson holds that only chapters 2-3 describe "things that are." So, Mr. Olson, where in chapters 2-3 do you find Domitian persecuting of the church? The only named, contemporary persecutors were, "the synagogue of Satan, those who say they are Jews and are not, for they are liars" (Revelation 2:9-10; 3:9f)! DOMITIAN IS NOT IN CHAPTERS 2-3, THE ONLY TEXTS YOU CAN APPEAL TO, according to your own scheme!
Your own scheme, as usual, destroys your theology, and your affirmative.
Mr. Olson says, "Moffat assigns the Nicolaitans, "to pious theosophists of the second centruty (SIC, DKP) whom we know as the Ophites collectively, and as the Nicolaitans, Simonians and Barbelo-gnostics specificially" (sic, DKP). Irenaeus (sic, DKP) links the Nicolaitans to Cerinthus (AD 115) – not to pre AD 70."
The fact is that the doctrine of the Nicolaitans existed during Paul’s ministry. The doctrine of eating meats sacrificed to idols was one of the very earliest challenges to the gospel! Read Romans 14, 1 Corinthians 8, 10, etc. to know that this is irrefutably true. The controversy over eating of meats was a Jew-V-Gentile, and Judaizing, issue that lost much of its relevance post A.D. 70, and the destruction of the Temple!
By the way, Iranaeus held to the chilialist views of Cerinthus! Eusebius says Cerinthus was a heretic, who invented the idea of an earthly kingdom– the doctrine that Mr. Olson espouses! In fact, Eusebius says that when Cerinthus entered a bath house where John the apostle was, that John fled, crying out, "let us flee, lest the bath fall in, as long as Cerinthus, that enemy of the truth, is within." (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Chapter XXVIII, 113). So much for Mr. Olson’s appeal to the ancient fathers!
THE CHURCH AT SMYRNA DID NOT EXIST AT THE EARLY DATE
Mr. Olson has committed a common error, but of course, he does not reveal this to the readers. The bottom line is that, per even many late date advocates, Polycarp does not actually say what Mr. Olson claims. Note this from Gentry: "As Lightfoot observed long ago, all that Polycarp actually says is ‘the Philippians were converted to the Gospel before the Smyrneans–a statement which entirely accords with the notices of the two churches in the New Testament.’ It is astonishing that so much has continued to be built on so little." (Cited in Gentry, Before, 324).
The fact is that Paul in Acts 19:10, says that ALL OF ASIA had heard the gospel– in fact all the world (kosmos) had heard the gospel and was responding to it– (Colossians 1:5f, 23)– and this was before A.D. 60! Smyrna, as seems likely, was evangelized shortly after Ephesus, so, this puts the evangelization of Smyrna in fact, at an early date for sure. I will take Paul over Polycarp.
WHAT ABOUT LAODICEA?
Mr. Olson offers more from my misguided friend Thomas Ice. He claims that the early date is impossible because, "The church of Laodicea would not have had time to develop into the church described in Rev 3:14-22 if the early date is the true one. An earthquake devastated the city in a.d. 60. (sic, DKP) History tells us that it took them 25 years to rebuild."
The fact is that Tacitus records that the Laodiceans were so wealthy that they, "they rose from the ruins by their own strength, and with no help from us." (Annals, 14:27, cited in Gentry, Before, 321). Laodicea recovered very quickly from the earthquake of A.D. 60!
In addition, even late date advocates acknowledge that the wealth of which the Laodiceans boasted was SPIRITUAL WEALTH, not material wealth. To confuse the CITY, with the message to the CHURCH, is inappropriate, and does not honor the context.
As usual, friend Ice– and Olson following– is simply wrong.
ROMANS 11:25F– ALL ISRAEL SHALL BE SAVED
As usual, Mr. Olson makes a vain boast that Preston cannot answer his position, not realizing that the very verses he brings forth, REFUTE HIS POSITION!
Mr. Olson cites Paul’s words that God’s promises to Israel were irrevocable. Well, Amen! That is MY POSITION! What Mr. Olson refuses to see is that Israel’s salvation would come when the Old Covenant shadow form would give way to the BETTER THINGS, the REALITY, the BODY OF CHRIST (Colossians 2:14f; Hebrews 9:24f; 10:1-4, etc.) And that change demanded that the Old Covenant form would catastrophically pass away. (See my Like Father Like Son, On Clouds of Glory, for an extended discussion of this critical issue.) The prophetic source of Romans 11 proves this. But, first, WATCH THIS:
1.) The salvation of Israel in Romans 11 would be at the Second Coming of Christ.
The Second Coming of Christ in Romans 11:25f is the coming of Christ for the salvation of Israel, foretold in Deuteronomy 30. (Dispensationalism– Mr. Olson)
But, the salvation of Israel in Deuteronomy 30 would be WHEN ISRAEL REPENTED AND OBEYED THE MOSAIC COVENANT (Deuteronomy 30:1-10).
Therefore, the Second Coming of Christ in Romans 11:25f would be when Israel repented and obeyed the Mosaic Covenant!
So, Romans 11– and thus, Revelation– would be fulfilled, not at the end of the Christian age, or the end of time, but, AT THE END OF THE MOSAIC COVENANT! This means that Revelation is about the end of the Mosaic Covenant. It has not yet been removed, and, it will not be removed until Christ’s parousia!
Mr. Olson cannot give a single verse that does not destroy his paradigm!
2.) Isaiah 27:9f is one of the sources that Paul is citing, when he promised the taking away of Israel’s sin. But read the context of this promise: "Therefore by this the iniquity of Jacob will be covered; And this is all the fruit of taking away his sin: When he makes all the stones of the altar like chalk stones that are beaten to dust,…Yet the fortified city will be desolate, The habitation forsaken and left like a wilderness;…For it is a people of no understanding; Therefore He who made them will not have mercy on them, And He who formed them will show them no favor."
The time of the salvation of Israel would be when the altar would be turned to chalk stone! It would be when the fortified city w
ould be desolate! It would be when, "He who formed them will show them no mercy"!
Now, while Mr. Olson denies that God will judge Israel in the millennium, or before, Isaiah specifically says that the time of her salvation– i.e. the parousia– would be when the city would be destroyed, the altar destroyed, and no mercy would be extended to her!
This paradox– and it IS a paradox– shows that Israel’s salvation would come THROUGH JUDGMENT– through eschatological TRANSFORMATION, from the shadow to the body of Christ, not by being delivered FROM judgment.
3.) ISAIAH 59– Isaiah 59 breaks itself down into three headings: ACCUSATION– ACKNOWLEDGMENT– ACTION.
– Isaiah 59 breaks itself down into three headings:
YHVH ACCUSED Israel– three times, of being guilty of shedding innocent blood, of being full of violence (vs. 3-11).
Israel ACKNOWLEDGED her sin, although she did not repent. She simply laments her failure to achieve righteousness, and admits that her sin "is multiplied before You" (v. 12)– her sin was filling up, and this is through shedding innocent blood.
YHVH threatened ACTION, His coming in vengeance for shedding innocent blood, but, salvation of those who call on Him (v. 16-21).
Here is the argument:
The coming of the Lord in Romans 11:25f for the salvation of Israel is the coming of the Lord foretold in Isaiah 59.
The coming of the Lord of Isaiah 59 would be the coming of the Lord in vengeance and judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood (Isaiah 59:3-10).
But, Jesus said the judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood would be the time of vengeance when all things written would be fulfilled (Luke 21:22)– in A.D. 70.
Therefore, the coming of the Lord of Romans 11:25f would be at the time of the judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood, the time of vengeance when all things written would be fulfilled (Luke 21:22)– in A.D. 70.
Now, since Revelation predicted the same coming of the Lord as Romans 11:25f, Mr. Olson agrees, it therefore follows irrefutably that Revelation is about the judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood, the time of vengeance when all things written would be fulfilled (Luke 21:22)– in A.D. 70.
Mr. Olson’s appeal to Romans 11:25f is futile, and actually refutes his affirmative, and establishes mine.
MR. OLSON’S "COMMON SENSE" LITERALISM
In reality, Mr. Olson’s entire affirmative is based on his insistence that Revelation must be taken literally. Since material creation has not been destroyed, and time has not ended, per Mr. Olson’s view of things, then Revelation cannot have been fulfilled. However, this is presuppositional to the extreme, and to say, "It has not happened" does not prove that his interpretation of the language is true.
1.) Revelation tells us, in the first three verses, that the message of the book is a book of signs and symbols. This means, prima facie, that the book is not to be taken in a woodenly literal manner. It is book of signs!
2.) Mr. Olson will not allow the book to interpret itself, for he admits that he has an "overarching perspective" into which the book must fit.
3.) Mr. Olson imposes his modern Greek oriented cosmology on the ancient Hebraic literature, and refuses to allow the ancient writers to express themselves metaphorically, and hyperbolically. This is the height of arrogance.
4.) Mr. Olson totally ignores the fact that Revelation utilizes Apocalyptic language that while sounding like the end of time, simply cannot be interpreted that way. This is a violation of the way in which the O. T.– the source of Revelation– uses the language. A few examples:
ISAIAH 19-20– Isaiah 19:1 says that YHVH would ride on a swift cloud and come into Egypt, dry up the Nile, and destroy the earth. Yet, chapter 20 emphatically tells us that it was Sargon, the Assyrian king, that would destroy Egypt. This was fulfilled in approximately 712 BC..
ISAIAH 30-31– Assyria was before the walls of Jerusalem. The prophet urged the king and city to not resist, and promised that if they would simply trust in YHVH, He would deliver them, and, the sun would be seven times brighter than normal, the moon would be bright as the sun, and rivers of water would break forth on the top of every high mountain (Isaiah 30:25)! And, the Lord would "come down" with a shout, with fire and hail stones… then Assyria shall fall by the sword not of man" (Isaiah 30:30, 31:8f). The Lord did not literally come down, the sun did not become seven times brighter (thankfully). Yet, Jerusalem was delivered, the Assyrians were defeated by a sword not of man! There was no "literal fulfillment" as Mr. Olson’s misguided hermeneutic demands.
Isaiah 34 is the prediction of the fall of Edom at the Day of the Lord. The constellations would dissolve. The streams and dust of earth would be turned to pitch and burn FOREVER. Yet, wild animals would also dwell there! Where is the "common sense" in a literal interpretation of THAT? A little over 200 years later, Malachi looked back on the destruction of Edom as a historical reality, and uses the very language of Isaiah to describe it (Malachi 1:2f)! Of course, Mr. Olson’s hermeneutic denies the inspired text of Malachi.
Many more examples could be given. The fact is that anytime YHVH used one nation to judge another, He was said to come, on the clouds, in destruction of heaven and earth, etc..
And let me drive this home by the following abbreviated argument.
Isaiah 64-66 predicted the coming of the Lord to bring in the New Heavens and Earth (This is the source of Peter and John’s prophecies of the New Creation, of course).
But, the coming of the Lord of Isaiah 64-66 would be a coming of the Lord AS THE LORD HAD COME IN THE PAST (Isaiah 64:1-3): "When you did awesome things for which we did not look, You came down, the mountains shook at Your Presence…".
THE LORD HAD NEVER LITERALLY, BODILY, VISIBLY COME DOWN BEFORE!
Therefore, the coming of the Lord to bring in the New Creation– the coming of the Lord of 2 Peter 3 and Revelation– being a coming of the Lord as the Lord HAD COME BEFORE– would not be a literal, bodily, visible coming of the Lord!
Revelation is drawn from this language. The hermeneutical question is, therefore, when Revelation quotes, cites and alludes to Old Testament language that is demonstrably metaphoric, what is the authority for saying that Revelation must be understood literally? This is a violation of the genre of literature.
Mr. Olson’s hermeneutic is fundamentally, fatally flawed.
THE SIX SEALS– THE FOURTH SEAL CONSIDERED
Mr. Olson makes his claim: "The fourth seal (Revelation 6, DKP), shows that one-fourth of the earth’s population is killed. Did this really happen in AD 70? What is your answer Preston? Yes or No?? You see, Preston can’t answer this question directly."
RESPONSE: Of course I can answer it directly, and am glad to do so. (It is revealing that Mr. Olson says I won’t answer his questions, while he has persistently refused to answer mine!)
The answer, Mr. Olson, is that, No, one fourth of the global earth was not destroyed in the A.D. 66-70 War, but, THAT IS NOT WHAT WAS PREDICTED.
The reader needs to see at this point that Mr. Olson is guilty of the worst sort of misguided and self-contradictory hermeneutic.
1.) He sees the Bible as the story of EARTH’S HISTORY, instead of seeing it as salvation history. I argued that Daniel 9 pr
edicted that Israel and Jerusalem would fill the measure of her sin. Mr. Olson responded, "This is another blatantly false statement. The correct reading of Daniel 9:24 is ‘make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity.’ Context clearly tells us that this is a universal judgment." So, per Mr. Olson, Daniel 9 does not even speak of filling the measure of sin! But, he then says that Dan 9:24f, refers to the "universal filling up of sin for the entire world history."
Mr. Olson’s doctrine has the world filling the measure of her sin by persecuting Israel. The text says not one word to support that.
The fact is that Daniel posits Covenantal Curses on Israel, i.e. the Abomination of Desolation, that would be set up "in the holy place." Consider this: The only way YHVH ever allowed anyone to desecrate the Temple, or the Land was if/when Israel was in VIOLATION OF THE MOSAIC COVENANT!
Mr. Olson believes Daniel 9 predicts the anti-christ one day setting up his image in the temple in Jerusalem. Well, that can only mean that God’s covenant curse will be on Israel, for violating the Mosaic Covenant!
Everywhere and anywhere Mr. Olson turns, he contradicts himself and scripture.
2.) Mr. Olson reveals his true hermeneutic: "Preston doesn’t have a clue as to how to interpret the Bible from an overarching perspective ." Here you have it ladies and gentleman. To understand the Bible like Mr. Olson does you must have an "overarching perspective." Now, in simple terms, that means you have to have your mind made up before you approach any given text, and you must fit any text into that overarching perspective!
Well, Mr. Olson is right on this, Preston does not approach the Scriptures with an overarching perspective! I allow the Scriptures to interpret themselves, and as Daniel emphatically says, the story of Daniel 9– and thus Revelation– is about Daniel’s "people and holy city." It is not about world history, or the end of time.
3.) Mr. Olson views scripture from a modern cosmological view. If he sees the word "world" it cannot mean "world" in the way the first century Jewish reader would understand that word. No! Forget first century audience relevance! Just read your newspaper, and apply Mr. Olson’s "overarching perspective"!
4.) Mr. Olson interprets scripture from a Grecian world view, and not a Hebraic world view. He literalizes language that was never intended to be taken literally.
THE SIXTH SEAL CONSIDERED– THE FIFTH SEAL IGNORED!
Mr. Olson IGNORED THE FIFTH SEAL in Revelation 6:9-11, and I know why.
The martyrs cry for vengeance on their persecutors (Revelation 6:9).
They are given white robes and told to rest for "a little while", until their fellow-brethren should be slain as they were, i.e. until the measure of suffering was filled up. Two things:.
1.) They asked, "How long." They wanted to know HOW LONG it would be until they received vindication. Mr. Olson insists that what they REALLY wanted to know was how rapidly the vindication would take place, when the Lord finally, one of these millennia, gets around to vindicating them.
They were told to rest for "a little while." Mr. Olson says that they were not being told that vindication would come in "a little while." In actuality, they were being told that while it might be 2000 years– it might even be a million years!– that the Lord will take the fastest cloud out of heaven! And that was supposed to bring them comfort! Mr. Olson wants us to ignore grammar, linguistics and context, and understand "a little while" in an adverbial manner.
That is like telling someone who frantically calls 911 with their house on fire, that relief is coming quickly, in just a little while. But, what the dispatcher REALLY means is that it might be years before the fire truck leaves! The desperate caller can rest assured, however, that it will go 100 MPH when it finally comes!
2.) The filling the measure of suffering in Revelation 6 is synchronous with the filling the measure of sin, and both Jesus and Paul undeniably posit that in the first century, in the Jewish persecution of the Christians. Mr. Olson has not produced one syllable of evidence to divorce Revelation from Jesus and Paul’s teaching on this.
We have shown that Deuteronomy 31:29, and chapter 32, foretold that Israel would fill the measure of her sin in the last days– and that Revelation 15, 19 anticipated the fulfillment of Deuteronomy 32! Mr. Olson admits that Revelation is about the last days of Israel, but denies that it has anything to do with Israel filling her sin!
We have shown that the filling of the measure of sin (and suffering) is inseparably linked with the killing of THE APOSTLES AND PROPHETS OF JESUS, and that Jesus and Paul blamed but one city for this, and that was Old Covenant Jerusalem. Mr. Olson has not produced one jot or tittle to show that there will be at some point in the future, apostles and prophets of Jesus that the Roman Catholic Church will kill. And, he has denied the text of Revelation 18 that says that "Babylon" had, WHEN JOHN WROTE, killed the prophets of old, and the apostles and prophets. For all of his TALK of honoring context, Mr. Olson refuses to do so. Okay, now to the sixth seal.
THE SIXTH SEAL
Mr. Olson simply applies his newspaper hermeneutic, and asks if any of the things foretold in Revelation 6:12 have occurred. He boldly claims that none of this has happened, and Preston can’t answer his questions. Lamentably, but predictably, he has ignored context.
REVELATION 6:12F IS A DIRECT CITATION OF ISAIAH 2-4 and the prediction of the Day of the Lord in the last days (Isaiah 2:2f; 10f, 19f). In that Day of the Lord, men would run to the hills and call on the rocks to fall on them. Let me note several things:
1.) Isaiah would be fulfilled in the last days, and remember that Mr. Olson admits that Jesus appeared in the last days. He admitted that Israel’s last days were present on Pentecost, and this admission alone destroys his entire theology. He attempted to deflect this devastating admission by saying that Joel had a three-fold application! But, this does not help. Peter’s undeniable, inspired declaration that Joel had begun to be fulfilled proves that Israel’s last days were present.
READER, DO NOT FAIL TO GRASP HOW DEVASTATING THIS IS!
Per Mr. Olson’s paradigm, Israel’s last days could not be in existence on Pentecost! No way! They had, supposedly, been POSTPONED, because Jesus had failed to establish the kingdom. (Mr. Olson’s entire theology is based on THE FAILURE OF CHRIST to accomplish his task, even though the Father sent him at "just the right time", and even though the Old Testament said he WOULD NOT FAIL (Isaiah 42:5-6)!
2.) Isaiah predicted that in the Day of the Lord, men would run to the hills for shelter. Well, if this is the so-called "end of time" there would be no time for flight to the hills, Mr. Olson! Furthermore, this day of the Lord would be a time of famine (3:1f), a time of warfare (3:25f), when YHVH judged His people (3:13). It would also be when YHVH judged Israel for her bloodguilt (4:4)!
3.) NOW, WATCH THIS: Men would run from the Day of the Lord, and call for the hills to fall on them.
In Luke 23:28-31, as Jesus was led to his crucifixion, the women who loved him wept for him. He turned to them and said: "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!’ Then they will begin ‘to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on u
s!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’"’
Virtually all commentators apply Jesus’ words to the coming A.D. 70 judgment of Jerusalem for her guilt in killing the Lord! But, that means that JESUS APPLIED ISAIAH’S PREDICTION OF THE DAY OF THE LORD TO THE A.D. 70 JUDGMENT OF JERUSALEM! So, here is my argument:
Revelation 6:12–quoting from Isaiah 2:10f; 19f– foretold the Day of the Lord when the martyrs would be avenged, when men would run to the hills.
Jesus, in predicting the A.D. 70 judgment of Israel for killing him, applied Isaiah 2:10f, 19f to the A.D. 70 judgment.
Therefore, Revelation 6:12f, predicting the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prediction of the Day of the Lord was to be fulfilled in the A.D. 70 judgment of Israel for killing Jesus.
So, Jesus applied Isaiah’s prediction of the Day of the Lord to A. D. 70. REVELATION 6 QUOTES FROM THE VERY SAME VERSES IN ISAIAH THAT JESUS APPLIED TO A.D. 70. Therefore, Revelation 6 must apply to the A.D. 70 judgment of Israel!
Ask yourself the question: What is the justification for saying that John had something radically different from how Jesus applied Isaiah in mind, although John quotes from the exact verses that Jesus applied to A.D. 70? Answer: There is no contextual, textual, justification for such a dichotomy. The ONLY REASON one would do so is if they had an "overarching perspective" TO IMPOSE ON THE TEXT.
I have already answered this under the consideration of Mr. Olson’s so-called "common sense literalism", but, let me address it a bit more.
The sounding of the Seventh Trump of Revelation is the sounding of the Great Trump of Matthew 24:31.
The sounding of the Great Trump of Matthew 24:31 is the sounding of the Great Trump predicted in Isaiah 27:13.
But, the sounding of the Great Trump of Isaiah 27 would be at the time when the altar would be turned to chalk-stone, when the fortified city would be desolate, and when, "He who formed them will show them no mercy" (Isaiah 27:10-13)!
So, once again, Mr. Olson’s own text of appeal turns into support of my position, and refutation of his.
THE SEVEN VIALS
Mr. Olson cannot offer any verses without destroying his doctrine.
In Revelation 11:19, 15:8, no man could enter the Most Holy Place, "till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed" (i.e. the outpouring of the seventh vial, and the seventh vial would be poured out in the judgment of Babylon (Revelation 16:17). Now watch!
There would be no entrance into the Most Holy until the wrath of God was completed in the judgment of Babylon at the Seventh Vial.
According to Hebrews 9:6-10 entrance into the Most Holy would be AT THE END OF THE MOSAIC COVENANT!
And, according to Jesus, "these be the days of vengeance when all things written must be fulfilled" (Luke 21:22)- and Mr. Olson admits that this was in A.D. 70!
So, God’s vengeance was fulfilled in the A.D. 70 destruction of Jerusalem which was the end of the Old Covenant age.
Thus, Babylon was Old Covenant Jerusalem, and the Seventh Vial was poured out in her judgment in A.D. 70.
Now, catch this: Mr. Olson almost undoubtedly believes that when a faithful child of God dies today, that they go to heaven (The Most Holy Place!– Yet, he told us that he still can’t see the Ark!).
If the faithful child of God goes to heaven today when they die, then the Seventh Bowl of Revelation has been poured out, finishing God’s vengeance, and Babylon of Revelation has been destroyed. Mr. Olson’s theology is falsified!
THE END IS NEAR!
I want to close by noticing something he said: "But now, as we near the end of world history, we can visible (sic. DKP) see that God is faithfully restoring national Israel. He is re-gathering them from their dispersion to the four corners of the world. National Israel is a visible sign that preterism is wrong. God has never given up on national Israel. National Israel was not destroyed in AD 70 or at any other time period."
Mr. Olson’s claim means that THIS HAS TO BE THE FINAL GENERATION! According to Jesus, the generation to see the signs of Matthew 24 MUST BE–not might be!– the generation of the parousia! How can Mr. Olson claim the end is near, if the signs have not appeared? Mr. Olson, is this DEFINITELY the final generation of Matthew 24, Yes or No?
Why should we accept Mr. Olson’s claim that the end is near NOW, but reject the inspired words of Jesus’ apostles who said the end was near 2000 years ago? Remember, Jesus told them not to say the end was near until the signs appeared. They said the end was near! But, Mr. Olson says we must reject their statements, and accept his!
Mr. Olson’s claim that the end is near now, means that the apostles were, after all, false prophets, for they made premature declarations of the nearness of the end. Remember my argument on this! Mr. Olson has now taken a position THAT ACCUSES THE APOSTLES OF BEING FALSE PROPHETS!
Mr. Olson, if the New Testament writers wanted to communicate the objective nearness of the end, what other words should they have used? How better could they have expressed objective nearness? You obviously think that "near" means, well, at hand. But, when THEY used "at hand" you say it can’t mean near!
Mr. Olson claims that God is now restoring Israel. But, this means that Israel is being restored in a condition of REBELLION! I challenge Mr. Olson to present one iota of proof that God ever promised to restore Israel in a condition of rebellion!
If Israel is being restored now, then Israel’s last days countdown is in process now, and that destroys everything about Mr. Olson’s paradigm!
I have taken every major point Mr. Olson has raised and refuted them, in fact, showing that the scriptures he offered actually refute his doctrine. Mr. Olson has not made one solid exegetical argument to prove his proposition. The only way to properly interpret Revelation is to honor its distinctively Mosaic covenant language, honor its use of O.T. figurative language, and its language of objective imminence.