The Dating of Revelation
A Formal Written Debate
Mr. Lloyd Olson– Late Date Advocate
Don K. Preston– Early Date Advocate (www.eschatology.org)
Third (Final) Negative by Don K. Preston
We are now at the end of our discussion of the dating of Revelation. Lamentably, Mr. Olson has shown himself incapable of discussing the issue with Christian decorum. He says I have engaged in a “diatribe.” Yet, it is Mr. Olson who has called me one pejorative name after another. He has impugned my motifs, even calling me a “liar.” In contrast, not once have I called him a name, such as “cultic,” “dishonest,” etc.. Mr. Olson has conducted himself dishonorably throughout.
He has persistently failed to deal with my exegetical and logical arguments, (not once did he address my syllogistic arguments, not once!). While, he speaks of context and “common sense logic,” he has failed to use either.
His entire hermeneutic was revealed early on when he said that he reads the scripture through an “overarching hermeneutic.” This means that he imposes his presuppositional dogma onto the text.
But, enough of that. Let me move now to respond to his final “diatribe.” I will take this opportunity to rehearse what we have seen in this debate.
THE IMMINENCE FACTOR
I demonstrated that the language of imminence in Revelation demands an early date.
Jesus told his disciples not to believe or to make premature declarations of the nearness of the end.
He told them that when the signs appeared, they would know for sure the end was near, and thus, could say the end was near.
Jesus’ own disciples, including John in Revelation, said the end was near, Christ was coming quickly. Peter used the very words that Jesus said the false prophets would use (1 Peter 4:7)!
Therefore, Revelation had to be fulfilled within a short time span.
Mr. Olson simply scoffed at this argument. He said we must use “common sense literalism” to understand the language of imminence, which means, to Mr. Olson, if he did not see it happen, then “at hand” cannot mean near. His listing of over 30 texts in his final “affirmative” simply reinforces his ad hominem, presuppositional approach to the scriptures. He continues to impose his wooden literalism, (except on time statements!!), on a book that emphatically says it is a symbolic book!
However, he admitted that the disciples said the end was near. This demands that either the disciples were the very false teachers Jesus warned about, or, the end truly was near. Mr. Olson never answered this, and cannot answer this! Either the disciples were right– and Mr. Olson is wrong– or, the disciples were wrong, in which case none of this matters! But, the disciples were not wrong, and
Mr. Olson’s fatal admission that Jesus and his disciples did say the end was near, in the first century, falsifies Mr. Olson’s proposition and theology.
I showed that Daniel was told that fulfillment of his prophecy of the end was far off. As a result, he was to seal his vision. In contrast, John, reiterating Daniel’s predictions, was told that fulfillment was so near that John was told not to seal the book.
Mr. Olson’s response? The man who said we must use “common sense literalism” says that while a reading of these temporal contrasts might indicate true nearness, we must not use human wisdom or understanding! In other words, we must abandon “common sense literalism!”
I challenged Mr. Olson to prove why we should reject the language of imminence written by Jesus’ inspired apostles, but, accept his statements that the end is objectively near NOW? He claimed that the signs of the end are present today. But, this demands that the disciples wrongly thought the signs were present in their day, and wrongly said the end was near, 2000 years ago. No, the disciples were right, and Mr. Olson is wrong.
REVELATION AND 1 PETER
I demonstrated that John and Peter wrote to the identical churches. They wrote of the same problem– persecution.
I showed how John said the fiery trial was about to come.
Peter said the fiery trial that had been foretold was then among them (1 Peter 4:12).
Peter was written before A.D. 70, and prophecy precedes fulfillment.
Thus, since Revelation contains the prediction, and Peter contains the fulfillment, this proves beyond doubt that Revelation was written before A.D. 70.
Mr. Olson admitted that Peter wrote of the events of A.D. 70, but said that just because John and Peter wrote to the same people, about the same problem, and just because Peter said that what had been foretold by the prophets was now among them, that this proves absolutely nothing!
Mr. Olson could offer no proof for his claims. He simply called me a false teacher.
HEBREWS AND DEUTERONOMY 32
I offered the following on Hebrews 10 and Revelation, and Mr. Olson failed, miserably, to even address the argument, although I made it repeated times
JESUS APPEARED IN THE LAST DAYS– the time predicted by Deuteronomy 32 (Hebrews 1:1-2; 9:26). Of course, Jesus said that Judah / Jerusalem would fill the measure of her sin, and be judged in his generation, when the blood of the saints would be avenged, just as Deuteronomy foretold.
In Hebrews, WRITTEN BEFORE A.D. 70, the saints were being persecuted (Hebrews 10:30-35).
The author of Hebrews offered them comfort and vindication at Christ’s parousia, by citing the prophecy of Deuteronomy, not once, but TWICE (v. 30–Deuteronomy 32:35-36).
The author said that vindication of their suffering and the judgment of their persecutors, AS PROMISED IN DEUTERONOMY, was coming “in a very, very little while, and will not delay” (v. 37– Cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:4-12).
DEUTERONOMY 32– the prophecy of the vindication of the saints in Israel’s last days, WAS ABOUT TO BE FULFILLED!
Revelation 18-19 likewise anticipated the fulfillment of Deuteronomy 32:33-43, the last days judgment of Israel when God would avenge the blood of the martyrs.
Revelation posits that fulfillment in the judgment of Babylon.
Like Hebrews, Revelation promised that the judgment was coming soon, and quickly.
So, Hebrews, written before A.D. 70, anticipated the soon coming fulfillment of Deuteronomy 32 TO AVENGE THE BLOOD OF THE SUFFERING SAINTS.
Revelation anticipated the soon coming fulfillment of Deuteronomy 32 in the judgment of Babylon TO AVENGE THE BLOOD OF THE SUFFERING SAINTS.
Therefore, Revelation was written before A.D. 70.
This is a prima facie demonstration that Revelation– like Hebrews– was written before the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
Mr. Olson could not deal with this argument, so, naturally, he simply hurled more abusive language my way.
DEUTERONOMY 30-32 AND REVELATION
ated Revelation 19:2 anticipated the imminent fulfillment of Deuteronomy 32– the Song of Moses. Deuteronomy 32 foretold the avenging of the blood of the saints in Israel’s last days.
Jesus appeared in the last days.
Jesus said all the blood of all the martyrs, all the way back to Creation, would be avenged in his generation, in the judgment of Jerusalem.
Since John was anticipating the fulfillment of Deuteronomy, and since Jesus said that Deuteronomy 32 would be fulfilled in A.D. 70, this proves that Revelation was written prior to A.D. 70.
Mr. Olson, claimed, initially, that Revelation has nothing to do with Deuteronomy 32– or the fulfillment of Mosaic Covenantal terms at all. He said that my claim that Revelation is concerned with the fulfillment of the Law of Blessings and Cursings (i.e. the Mosaic Covenant), is false doctrine. (Don’t forget that I produced a quote from Thomas Ice, Mr. Olson’s dispensational guide, that says the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 was the fulfillment of Mosaic Covenant provisions! This proves that Revelation– as a prediction of A.D. 70– could have been the fulfillment of Mosaic Covenant wrath. Also, did you notice his total silence in response to my request that he get Mr. Ice to debate me again?). Of course, he offered no proof beyond his acerbic response. As with all of his arguments, this backfired, fatally, for him.
MR. OLSON BELIEVES THAT THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST IS THE FULFILLMENT OF DEUTERONOMY 30– WHICH, ACCORDING TO MR. OLSON HIMSELF IS PART OF THE MOSAIC COVENANT!
This proves that if Israel is saved at the Second Coming in fulfillment of Deuteronomy 30, then the Mosaic Covenant has to be in effect at the Second Coming!
All of Mr. Olson’s caustic verbiage cannot overthrow this argument.
Since Mr. Olson’s theology demands that Deuteronomy 32 will be fulfilled in the Tribulation period, I asked the following question: Mr. Olsen, at what point of time in your millennial scheme does Israel fill the measure of her sin through the persecution of the saints, become like Sodom, a generation of vipers, and is judged / destroyed for those sins, in fulfillment of Deuteronomy 32?”
His answer: Well, with the exception of throwing more abusive epithets my way, SILENCE.
There is something critical here. Mr. Olson believes that Babylon of Revelation is the Roman Catholic Church. Yet, he offered not a scintilla of proof. Nothing! You would think that he would have at least tried to establish that Babylon is the RCC, since that would be devastating to my paradigm. But, absolutely nothing!
Of course, in light of the fact that I have proven that Revelation is concerned with the fulfillment of the Song of Moses and the Law of Blessings and Cursings on Israel, one has to ask what the relationship might be between the RC Church and Israel’s last days. There is no connection.
THE FILLING UP OF THE MEASURE OF ISRAEL’S SIN AND REVELATION.
I showed the Deuteronomy 31-32 said that Israel would fill the measure of her sin, in the last days, and be judged, when the martyrs were vindicated.
I showed that Jesus, who appeared in the predicted last days, (and Mr. Olson even admitted this!), said that Israel would fill the measure of her sin in his generation, and that all the blood of all the martyrs all the way back to Creation would be avenged in the judgment of Jerusalem in his generation. (Sadly, Mr. Olson categorically rejected Jesus’ words, claiming that Israel did not fill the measure of her sin in that generation.)
John wrote of Babylon who had filled the measure of her sin in fulfillment of Deuteronomy, and the judgment was coming soon.
Mr. Olson, did not prove that John spoke of a different last days, a different filling the measure of sin, or a different judgment from that which Jesus predicted. Just more name calling. He simply called me a liar and false teacher, a cultic teacher.
THE KILLING OF THE PROPHETS, JESUS, THE APOSTLES AND PROPHETS OF JESUS
Jesus said Israel had killed the prophets, would kill him, and would kill his apostles and prophets, filling up the measure of their sin, and be judged in his generation.
Paul said Israel had killed the prophets, Jesus, and were killing Jesus’ apostles and prophets, filling up the measure of their sin, and judgment was about to fall.
John said Babylon– the city where the Lord was slain–had killed the prophets, Jesus, Jesus’ apostles and prophets, filling up the measure of their sin, judgment was at hand.
Furthermore, watch this: Jesus said to Jerusalem: “Behold I send unto you apostles and prophets, some of them you shall kill…” (Luke 11:49). In persecuting his apostles and prophets, Jerusalem would fill the measure of her sin, and be judged– A.D. 70, by Lloyd Olson’s admission.
WELL, JOHN WAS ONE OF THOSE APOSTLES SENT BY JESUS WAS HE NOT? Were the apostles and prophets of Revelation 18 not the apostles sent by Jesus?
John (and the apostles in chapter 18), was being persecuted when he wrote Revelation (Revelation 1:9).
The persecutor of John, Babylon, was filling (had filled), the measure of her sin through persecuting the apostles and prophets (Revelation 18:20-24).
The judgment of Babylon was coming quickly!
John and the apostles were and had experienced the persecution that Jesus foretold in Matthew 23. Even Mr. Olson admits that Matthew 23 was fulfilled prior to, and resulted in the judgment of Jerusalem in A.D. 70!
If (since!) the persecution of John and the apostles in Revelation is the persecution of Jesus’ apostles and prophets foretold in A.D. 70, this is prima facie proof that Babylon was Jerusalem and Revelation was written prior to her judgment for killing the apostles and prophets of Jesus.
Per Mr. Olson, we are to ignore the fact that John–when he wrote Revelation– was experiencing PRECISELY what Jesus said his apostles would experience from Jerusalem and Israel.
Instead, he says there is no relationship between Jesus, Paul and John, even though they all agree on the topic, the theme, the people, the problem and the time of judgment.
And Mr. Olson calls this his “common sense” approach to scripture. This is not common sense; it is non-sense.
In regard to “the prophets”: Babylon had killed the prophets. I noted the fact that when the term “the prophets” is used in scripture without a contextual qualifier, that it INVARIABLY refers to the O.T. prophets. This falsifies any definition of Babylon as the Roman Catholic Church! The Catholic Church never killed an O. T. prophet! However, Jesus said, “It is not possible that a prophet perish outside of Jerusalem.” In fact, the united testimony of the Bible is that it was Israel and Israel alone responsible for killing the prophets of God. Mr. Olson could not answer this, so he called me a heretic.
REVELATION AND THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT
I offered the following argument on the relationship between the Abrahamic Covenant and the dating of Revelation.
Revelation 18-21 anticipated the New Creation (the Abrahamic promise), promised in Isaiah 65.
But, the New Creation (the Abrahamic promise), predicted in Isaiah 65 would be fulfilled at th
e time of the destruction of Old Covenant Israel (Isaiah 65:11-19).
Therefore, the New Creation (The Abrahamic promise), would be fulfilled at the time of the destruction of Old Covenant Israel.
This means, indisputably, that Revelation was written prior to the fall of Jerusalem, that is, unless Mr. Olsen wants to say that YHVH will one day destroy Israel, create a New People with a New Name! I asked Mr. Olsen, if he believed that. He never answered this question, although I posed it numerous times.
Of course, in his last negative, we discover that, indeed, Mr. Olson believes that Jerusalem, the eternal, will be ANNIHILATED WITH NO SURVIVORS! Watch this:
ON DANIEL 9 AND JERUSALEM’S FATE
Mr. Olson expends time arguing with a straw man, making (the second time), the false claim that I said Daniel 9:24 says that Jerusalem will be destroyed. He says: “The word “destroy” isn’t used in verse 24! The word “destroy” isn’t used in the NKJV, NLT, NIV, ESV, NASB, RSV, ASV, YNG, DBY, WEB, or HNV translations. So Preston doesn’t use any of the standard translations for “24f.” Clearly, it is yet another of Preston’s unscholarly unethical inventions.”
RESPONSE: This is incredible, is it not?
Mr. Olson, I NEVER SAID V. 24 USED THE WORD DESTROYED, and I told you this in my last negative. Why did you repeat your false claim after I had corrected you? Is it not “unscholarly unethical inventions” to repeat this misrepresentation? I SAID V. 26 SAYS SO, and you agree! This is a desperate diversionary tactic. He wants the reader to think that I said v. 24 used the word. So, he proves v. 24 does not use the word, thus, Preston is wrong! Mr. Olson, you wasted your time proving that v. 24 does not use the word destroy, because I NEVER SAID IT DID!
Amazingly, and you MUST catch the power of this, he claims that v. 26 does predict (supposedly a yet future), destruction of Jerusalem!
BUT WAIT! Reader, watch this carefully: his argument is this: “Jerusalem remained: pillaged – not destroyed, ransacked – not annihilated, conquered – not obliterated, raped – not eradicated.” (You will note that he discounted the testimony of Josephus, as if his eyewitness account meant nothing. To say that Jerusalem was not destroyed in A.D. 70 is surely one of the most unscholarly comments imaginable).
SO, ACCORDING TO MR. OLSON, JERUSALEM WILL YET BE “ANNIHILATED,” AND”ERADICATED”! And did you notice, that the reason he gave for knowing that Daniel 9 was not fulfilled in A.D. 70 is because “there were survivors”? Well, this means that in Mr. Olson’s paradigm, in the destruction of Jerusalem during the seven year tribulation, there can be no survivors!
What was that you said about Jerusalem being “restored” Mr. Olson? You are now telling the readers that Jerusalem must be eradicated with NO SURVIVORS! Well, if Jerusalem is ANNIHILATED, WITH NO SURVIVORS, she can hardly stand forever, can she? Mr. Olson, you have defeated yourself completely. (I know of no other dispensationalists that teaches that Jerusalem will be annihilated, with no survivors, in the Tribulation period. Not even Thomas Ice believes that!)
AND, SPEAKING OF JERUSALEM AND ISRAEL’S FATE, he now argues that Isaiah 65 is his text. Here is what I have argued:
Isaiah 65:13f– “THE LORD GOD SHALL SLAY YOU, and call His people by a new name.” I asked, Mr. Olson, does “slaying” someone qualify as DESTROYING them? Mr. Olson has vehemently denied this, calling me a heretic, cultic, etc.. He has persistently argued that Israel will never, ever, be destroyed, remember? But now, what does he say?
Here it is: “As I’ve repeatedly mentioned, Jer 31 promises the perpetuity of Israel until the sun and moon are replaced. We know from Holy Writ that this happens when God introduces the New Jerusalem (Rev 21-22). The CONTEXT (something Preston never uses) of Isaiah 65-66 is Christ’s millennial rule.”
I have repeatedly asked Mr. Olson if he believes that YHVH will one day destroy Israel, and create a New People, with a New Name! He refused to answer. And how can he, when he affirms that Israel will “never be destroyed”? Oh, but wait! He now says that Israel will indeed be destroyed!
Mr. Olson has Israel NEVER being destroyed—YET—Mr. Olson has Israel being destroyed!
So much for his common sense hermeneutic!
Mr. Olson claims that Isaiah 65 describes life in the millennium: i.e. long life, peace, etc. He fails to honor the word that he uses all the time, CONTEXT, however.
All of these elements– elements of the millennium, per Mr. Olson– would come AFTER– (CATCH THE POWER OF THIS!!)– AFTER the destruction of Israel, AFTER the creation of a New People with a New Name! READ ISAIAH 65:19F. The description of what Mr. Olson claims is life in the millennium is the description of life in the New Creation that comes only AFTER GOD SLAYS OLD COVENANT ISRAEL! This undeniable contextual fact destroys Mr. Olson’s view. No, Mr. Olson, Isaiah 65 is not your text. However, it fully supports my affirmative and my theology.
THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT AND THE MOSAIC COVENANT
Mr. Olson said that my claim that the Abrahamic Covenant was carried through the Mosaic Covenant era was dangerous heresy. Well, note Jesus’ words in John 7:22– “Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it was from Moses, but from the fathers)…” Where did Moses (Israel), get the covenant of circumcision? Why, it was from Abraham, and Preston is right after all. The Abrahamic Covenant was carried through the Mosaic Covenant! Mr. Olson is wrong again.
ISRAEL’S LAST DAYS ACTS 2, ROMANS 10, HEBREWS 10, REVELATION
You just must realize how UTTERLY DEVASTATING this argument is for Mr. Olson, yet, totally supportive of my affirmative!
Here is the summation of what I said:
Mr. Olson’s dispensational view says that Israel’s last days were not in existence on Pentecost, or anytime in the N. T. period. Israel’s last days do not resume until the imaginary rapture.
If, however, Israel’s last days prophecies were being fulfilled in the first century, Mr. Olson’s entire theology falls to the ground. READ THAT STATEMENT AGAIN!
I cited Acts 2, where Peter, quoting Joel 2:28, the prophecy of the outpouring of the Spirit to restore Israel, Peter said “THIS IS THAT which was spoken by the prophet Joel.” (Acts 2:15, my emp.).
Realize that Mr. Olson admitted that Joel 2 was “partially fulfilled” on Pentecost. PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS A 100% FATAL ADMISSION BY MR. OLSON! (Incidentally, his hero, Thomas Ice denies that Joel 2 was, in any way, fulfilled on Pentecost. So, perhaps Mr. Olson should straighten Mr. Ice out).
Paul, in Romans 10, said that his ministry to the Gentiles was in fulfillment of Deuteronomy 32:21f, the prediction of Israel’s last days. In Romans 10:13 Paul said that what Joel 2 predicted for Israel’s last days was being fulfilled: “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
In Hebrews 10:33f, the author quotes from Deuteronomy 32, the prophecy of Israel’s last days, to promise the soon coming judgment.
Here is what Mr. Olson offered in “response”: “An aspect of Preston’s confusion is that he thinks the last days of prophecy of Deut 32 was being fulfilled in
Paul’s Gentile ministry.” That was Mr. Olson’s total “refutation” of my argument! Well, he did call me a deceitful, cultic false teacher.
THE 144,000 SAINTS AND THE GREAT TRIBULATION
I made an argument on the 144,00 that clearly devastated Mr. Olson. You could tell it did, by the increase in vitriol that he spouted as a result of the argument. Here is the argument.
The 144,000 were of the twelve tribes of Israel (Revelation 7, 14).
The 144,000 would experience the Great Tribulation: They “came out of the Great Tribulation” (Revelation 7:14–literally, “those who are coming out of the Great Tribulation”– it is a present participle!) Mr. Olson said we should ignore the present tense verbs, (you know, the context), because they don’t mean anything.
The 144,000 are “the first fruit unto God and to the Lamb.”
YOU HAVE TO CATCH THE POWER OF THIS!
Here is my argument in syllogistic form (note that Mr. Olson did not address a single one of my syllogisms–OOPS, he did say that my arguments were “open and blatant lies”).
The 144,000 Jewish Christians would experience the Great Tribulation.
But, the 144,000 were THE FIRST GENERATION OF JEWS REDEEMED TO CHRIST.
Therefore, the Great Tribulation must have occurred in the first century generation.
Now watch this:
James, writing “to the twelve tribes scattered abroad” said, “of his own will He begot us,… that we might be a kind of first fruit unto him.” His audience, undergoing persecution (James 5:1-6), was promised that “the parousia has drawn near.” (James 1:1, 18, 5:8–No adverbials here, Mr. Olson! “Has drawn near” cannot be perverted into “rapidly.”)
Likewise, note Hebrews 12:21: “You have come to Zion, the city of the living God, the church of THE FIRSTBORN ONES…” (Again, no adverbials allowed! “You have come,” can’t mean, “things will happen rapidly when they finally happen one day by and by!”)
Here, we find the church of the firstborn (i.e. the first fruit), and they had arrived at Zion! Where did the 144,000 of Revelation 14 stand? Read Revelation 14:1-2– ZION!
Both James and Hebrews were written to the first fruit of Jewish Christians, enduring persecution. Christ’s parousia had drawn near, and would be, “in a very little while” (James 5:8; Hebrews 10:37).
Both James and Hebrews were written before A.D. 70.
Revelation speaks of the first fruit of Jewish Christians. They were, when John wrote, “coming out of the Great Tribulation.” Christ’s coming was at hand, and he was coming quickly (Revelation 1:1-3; 22:6-12).
Therefore, like James and Hebrews, Revelation was written before A.D. 70.
It does not matter what your concept of things might be, if you violate–as Mr. Olson does- the irrefutable fact that the Great Tribulation was to occur in the lifetime of the first fruit of Jewish Christians, your concepts are wrong.
How did Mr. Olson respond to this argument? Why, the man who said that we must take the Bible literally said that WE TODAY ARE THE FIRST FRUIT! But, Mr. Olson is not a Jew. He is not of the twelve tribes of Israel. And, he is not the first generation of Jews redeemed to God from man. (I trust also that he, like me, is not a virgin. He is married and has grand children. Yet, his literalistic hermeneutic demands this of the 144K.). So much for Mr. Olson’s “literalism,” and talk about honoring the text. This argument alone confirms my affirmative, and falsifies Mr. Olson’s theology.
GALATIANS 4:22F AND REVELATION
I offered the following on Galatians 4:22f and Revelation.
In Paul’s allegory there were two women, two sons, two mountains, two cities…
The two women Sarah and Hagar, represent TWO PEOPLE– Israel of the flesh, and Israel of the promise.
They represented THE TWO COVENANTS, the Old Covenant and the New.
They represented TWO JERUSALEMS, “the Jerusalem that now is and is in bondage with her children,” (that is Paul’s “now”- Old Covenant, first century Jerusalem), and the HEAVENLY CITY OF THE ABRAHAMIC PROMISE– the city of Hebrews 11-12- to which they had now come to, i.e. Zion, the church of the firstborn ones!)
Old Covenant Jerusalem / Israel of the flesh was, when Paul wrote, persecuting the children of the promise (the Abrahamic promise, Galatians 3:6f).
Paul said, “Cast out the bondwomen and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” (Galatians 4:30).
Paul did not simply say, “Cast out the Old Covenant.” He said, “cast out the bondwoman AND HER SON.” THE SON REPRESENTED OLD COVENANT ISRAEL AFTER THE FLESH.
Thus, not only the Old Covenant, but, OLD COVENANT ISRAEL AFTER THE FLESH was to be cast out, for persecuting the New Covenant Seed of Promise, i.e. the true Seed of Abraham.
Mr. Olson says that Paul did not say cast out the bondwoman and her “SEED” but, simply cast out THE LAW THAT COULD NOT JUSTIFY! This is a rejection of what Paul said. Paul did not simply say, “Cast out the bondwoman (i.e. the covenant). He said “Cast out the bondwoman and her SEED.” Mr. Olson has, once again, denied the text, all the while saying that it is Preston who rejects what the text says. No, Mr. Olson, “thou art the man!”
What Paul said in Galatians is precisely what Revelation teaches. (See my book Who Is This Babylon? for a fuller discussion. www.eschatology.org. Galatians 4 and Revelation are parallel).
In Revelation the Jews, the Seed of the flesh, were persecuting the Seed of promise (Revelation 2:9; 3:9; 12).
There are TWO WOMEN, the bride and the harlot.
There are TWO CITIES, the New Jerusalem (of Galatians 4), and “Babylon,” the Great City, where the Lord was slain. (There are also two mountains, Zion, and the mountain thrown into the sea!).
So, Galatians and Revelation depict two women representing two cities. Galatians speaks of Hagar representing, “Jerusalem that now is,” guilty of persecuting the seed of promise. Revelation tells of the Great Harlot, (And who did Jesus identify as guilty of “adultery”?) Babylon, (Revelation 17-18) that was guilty of persecuting the seed of promise (Revelation 2-3; 12).
Galatians speaks of the other woman and city that represented the, “Jerusalem that is above.” This woman, and her seed, stands triumphant when the old Jerusalem is cast out. In Revelation, the Bride, the new Jerusalem, comes, “down from God out of heaven” (Revelation 21:2), when the old city, Babylon, is destroyed. (She denies she is a WIDOW!, 18:7)
Undeniably, Paul was speaking of Old Covenant Jerusalem. The parallels between Galatians and Revelation are exact. To negate this, Mr. Olson must prove that although Paul and John both spoke of CONTEMPORARY SITUATIONS, they spoke of two different women, that represented two different cities, guilty of persecuting the chosen seed, for which sin both cities would be destroyed. He can’t do it, thus, Babylon in Revelation is Paul’s “Jerusalem that now is,” and Revelation was written prior to A.D. 70.
WHAT ABOUT FOREVER, ETERNAL, PERPETUAL?
Mr. Olson essentially hung his hat on the claim that God promised to give the land to Abraham “forever.” Mr. Olson claimed that this demands that the land promise could not be revoked, because after all, the promise was “forever.”
In response, I noted that if one takes Mr. Olson’s position that everlasting means without end, that this means that Israel will forever be under the Mosaic Covenant Curse (Deuteronomy 28:46)!
I likewise demonstrated that the Mosaic Covenant itself was said to be forever. The animal sacrifices would be perpetual, as would the temple, the Levitical priesthood, the burning of incense, and many other aspects of the Mosaic Covenant. And yet, Mr. Olson gladly affirms that the Mosaic Covenant, and those aspects of it, were in fact, (his word), “temporary.”
He actually makes MY ARGUMENT: i.e. that in the Hebrew, Olam did not necessarily mean “without end” but, that whatever was “eternal” would only last UNTIL THE DESIGNATED TIME.
He says that the everlasting Mosaic Curses would end: “Perpetual reproach has a definite ending that Preston refuses to admit.” Incredible!
He says that the EVERLASTING COVENANT OF PHYSICAL CIRCUMCISION would only last UNTIL the coming of the true circumcision, the circumcision of the heart. By the way, he claims: “Circumcision was the sign. It was never the reality of anything. God’s promise was real and perpetual. It is the height of theological folly to confuse perishable signs with perpetual promises.”
RESPONSE: Mr. Olson is admitting that my argument is true: Olam, translated as forever, everlasting, etc. often means UNTIL A GIVEN TIME. AMEN AND AMEN!!
This means that when God promised Jacob, and the seed of Abraham: “I will never leave you, UNTIL I have performed all I have promised” (Genesis 28:15f), that YHVH Himself was saying that Israel after the flesh would in fact be His people “forever” UNTIL THE DESIGNATED TIME!
Israel would be God’s people forever UNTIL THEY WERE SLAIN, and He created a New People.
Israel would be God’s people forever, UNTIL the power of the holy people was completely shattered (Daniel 12:7).
The scepter would not pass from physical Judah “UNTIL Shiloh comes.” (Cf. Matthew 21:43)
Mr. Olson, your admission that forever can mean until a given time, is fatal, for it is God Himself who said they would be His people UNTIL the designated time! Thank you for finally admitting this.
MR. OLSON AND THE PROBLEM OF CIRCUMCISION
Any reader of this exchange can see, clearly, the problem that the issue of circumcision poses for Mr. Olson’s dispensationalism.
Here are the facts:
1.) In Mr. Olson’s millennial scheme, physical circumcision will once again be mandated by God: “So when a new dispensation arises that requires physical circumcision, it has nothing to do with the ONE gospel of eternal life by faith in Jesus Christ – alone – without works – without water baptism.”
2.) According to the millennial view of Ezekiel 40-44– No one will be able to worship YHVH at the Millennial Temple unless they are physically circumcised.
3.) According to the millennial view of Zechariah 14 if anyone of the nations– and that includes the Gentiles, not just the Jews– fails to travel to Jerusalem to keep the feasts and worship there, THEY ARE CURSED BY GOD. And, to enter the city and temple, THEY MUST BE CIRCUMCISED. CATCH THIS: Failure to observe this OUTWARD ACT will result in condemnation from God! Mr. Olson tries to turn this discussion into a debate on baptism, constantly condemning the idea that baptism is important. Yet, ACCORDING TO HIS OWN DOCTRINE a believer in Christ can spurn the command to be baptized, WITH NO CONSEQUENCES WHATSOEVER. Yet, in the millennium, if believers are not circumcised, THEY ARE CURSED BY GOD! It appears that the Judaizers that Paul so vehemently resisted were simply ahead of their time. They should have said, “One day, in the millennium, you must be circumcised or be cursed!” Such is Mr. Olson’s theology.
In light of all of this, I asked the question: What happens to the gospel of Christ– which condemns physical circumcision– in the millennium? Mr. Olson tried VERY DESPERATELY to avoid the issue, by saying that Ezekiel 44, while demanding physical circumcision (note the admission!), “has nothing to do with the gospel of eternal life via faith in Jesus.” (Mr. Olson, does being cursed, or not cursed, by God have something to do with salvation???), He then said, “it is rather embarrassing for Preston to suggest that future temple duties of the millennium would ever replace the gospel.” This is smoke and diversion, nothing else!
It does not change the fact that in his view, in the millennium, no one, JEW OR GENTILE, can worship at the Temple unless physically circumcised!
It does not change the fact that in his view, in the millennium, anyone, JEW OR GENTILE, not worshiping at the Temple is cursed!
It does not change the fact that Mr. Olson admits that the gospel condemns physical circumcision as a religious act. On the other hand, his theology says that physical circumcision will be mandated as a religious act. Mr. Olson, my theology does not have circumcision replacing the gospel. IT IS YOUR DOCTRINE THAT UNDENIABLY DEMANDS AN ABROGATION OR REPLACEMENT OF THE GOSPEL IN THE MILLENNIUM TO ALLOW THE PRACTICE OF CIRCUMCISION.
So, Mr. Olson can rant against baptism all he wants, and make all sorts of claims about justification by faith (which I wholeheartedly preach!). But, all of his ranting does not change the fact that HIS DOCTRINE DEMANDS THE PHYSICAL ACT OF CIRCUMCISION IN HIS PROPOSED MILLENNIUM, UNDER PENALTY OF CONDEMNATION FROM GOD FOR FAILURE TO BE CIRCUMCISED! Now, THIS is embarrassing!
His effort to derail this irrefutable argument, by resorting to the Two Covenant Doctrine (see below) fails him, because in Isaiah 52 and Zechariah 14, it is not just Jews who are required to travel to Jerusalem to worship. IT IS THE NATIONS OF THE WORLD, i.e. GENTILES! And, those Gentiles, in order to worship in Jerusalem at the Temple, MUST BE CIRCUMCISED, just as the Judaizers that Paul resisted and condemned taught!
So, again, Mr. Olson’s inescapable dilemma is this:
FACT: The gospel is for all men, Jew and Gentile alike (Romans 1:16-17), yet, the gospel condemns physical circumcision for religious reasons.
FACT: ANY PERSON, wishing to worship God, i.e. at the Temple in Mr. Olson’s paradigm, must approach through JESUS AND THE GOSPEL (John 14– “No man comes to the Father but by me”).
FACT: if the Jew (or Gentile) is not circumcised in the flesh–in violation of the gospel– he cannot enter Jerusalem or the Temple, thus, incurring God’s Wrath.
FACT: However, if the Jew or Gentile is circumcised, they incur the condemnation of the gospel.
Mr. Olson has admitted that physical circumcision will be mandated by God in the millennium.
This is a rejection of the Gospel of Christ that condemns physical circumcision, and that will never pass away or change.
CIRCUMCISION AND MORE UNBELIEVABLE STUFF
I must confess that so many times when I read Mr. Olson’s “arguments” that I am simply stunned. He simply has m
ade up a bunch of brand new arguments, for I can assure you that representative millennialists would never, EVER, accept some of the things written by Mr. Olson, and surely not his hero, Thomas Ice. Take note of one of Mr. Olson’s shocking claims:
“Physical circumcision was a sign of the Mosaic Covenant for one specific people: Israel…When Israel rejected Jesus, her Messiah, God implemented a new dispensation. The new dispensation was a generalization of physical laws to spiritual principles. This escaped Preston for he continues to try to tie this to God’s land promise.” Stunning stuff here!
1.) Was physical circumcision a sign of the Mosaic Covenant? In a manner of speaking. HOWEVER, it was first and foremost THE SIGN OF THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT. It was not– as Mr. Olson intimates– simply a Mosaic Mandate. Mr. Olson, have you never read Genesis 17:10f, where God gave circumcision to Abraham and his seed as an everlasting covenant?
2.) See again John 7:22– Moses got circumcision, not as an exclusive sign of the Mosaic Covenant, but, as a reiteration of what the fathers (i.e. Abraham), had received.
3.) For Mr. Olson to say that I am wrong to tie physical circumcision to the land promise is lamentable. Mr. Olson, have you never read Joshua 5 where Israel was getting ready to enter the land, but, the men were not circumcised? GOD WOULD NOT ALLOW ISRAEL TO ENTER THE LAND UNTIL THE MEN WERE CIRCUMCISED! For Mr. Olson to deny the connection between circumcision and the land is a rejection of the inspired text.
4.) Circumcision was an eternal covenant, in precisely the same way that the land promise was an eternal covenant (Genesis 17). They were co-extensive. So, however long the land promise was “eternal” the covenant of circumcision was likewise “eternal.” Yet, Mr. Olson wants to make the eternal covenant of circumcision temporary, while the eternal land promise is, well, unending.
5.) Let the reader be fully aware that Mr. Olson actually believes that physical circumcision, that supposedly temporary sign is, after all, eternal, since it will be divinely mandated in the so called millennium in order to enter the land, city, temple! All of his talk of the perishable sign, versus the eternal promise is specious.
6.) Furthermore, consider again the relationship between the millennium and circumcision. No one– JEW OR GENTILE ALIKE– can enter Jerusalem (that’s in the land, isn’t it?), or the Temple unless they are circumcised. So, once again, there is an undeniable link between circumcision and the land.
Finally, notice this stunning development in Mr. Olson’s theology. I offered three paragraphs on this, and Mr. Olson said NOT ONE WORD IN RESPONSE!
He says: “Paul goes on to show that the true Jew is one who has been circumcised in the heart.” There you have it, THE TRUE JEW, the true seed of Abraham today, IS NOT THE PHYSICAL SEED OF ABRAHAM. THE TRUE JEW IS ANY PERSON WHO IS CIRCUMCISED IN THE HEART BY FAITH IN CHRIST! (This is what Paul said in Galatians 3; Philippians 3:1f! But, I wonder why Paul didn’t inform the Jews in Acts 21 that Trophimus had the right to enter the temple because, after all, HE HAD BEEN CIRCUMCISED IN THE HEART!?)
On the one hand, Mr. Olson tells us that Israel after the flesh- which was always identified through physical circumcision– is the people of God, to be restored to the land in the millennium– in fact, restored in 1948!
On the other hand, he tells us that the “true Jew” is not of the flesh after all, but, the person circumcised in the heart!
Watch what this does to Mr. Olson’s theology.
The true Jew is any person circumcised in the heart by faith in Christ (Romans 2:28f; Galatians 3:26-29).
The land promises given to Abraham belong only to the true seed of Abraham, i.e. the True Jews.
Therefore, the land promise (now) belongs only to those circumcised in the heart by faith in Christ!
The land promises given to Abraham now belong only to those who are true Jews, those circumcised in the heart by faith in Christ (Lloyd Olson).
But, those who were “restored to the land” in 1948, are not circumcised in the heart, i.e. they do not believe in Jesus as Christ. They are not true Jews! (Lloyd Olson now agrees!)
Therefore, the land promises do not belong to those who were restored to the land in 1948. In other words, God gave the land to a bunch of folks WHO ARE NOT EVEN TRUE JEWS, and this supposedly is in fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel! Little wonder the Mr. Olson totally ignored all of this! It totally devastates his theology.
NOW WATCH HOW THIS RELATES TO REVELATION!
The true Jew is any person circumcised in the heart, i.e. the follower of Jesus (Lloyd Olson).
In Revelation, the persecuting power, “the city where the Lord was slain”, i.e. Old Covenant Jerusalem, was comprised of those, “who say they are Jews but are not, for they are liars” (Revelation 2, 3), those UNCIRCUMCISED IN THE HEART!
But, the destruction of those who “say they are Jews and are not,” the uncircumcised in the heart, was coming soon in the judgment of, “the city where the Lord was slain.”
Therefore, the judgment of Old Covenant Jerusalem, and those uncircumcised in the heart, “those who say they are Jews and are not” i.e. was coming soon.
Mr. Olson has, with just a few taps on the keyboard, disavowed and destroyed his dispensational theology!
MR. OLSON AND THE TWO COVENANT DOCTRINE.
Based on what Mr. Olson had written, I observed that he must believe, like John Hagee, in a Two Covenant Doctrine, i.e. that God has a covenant for/with Israel, and, He has a covenant with the rest of mankind, i.e. the gospel. Mr. Olson claimed that Mr. Hagee has never said that, and that my claim is a “humiliation.” Yet, now, from Mr. Olson’s own keyboard, comes this amazing statement: “He (Me, DKP), does not think that God can have two plans at the one same time: the gospel for the entire fallen race and one for national Israel (not the gospel).”
There you have it! Lloyd Olson says there is one covenant for Israel (“not the gospel”), another covenant for the world (the gospel). According to my math, that is a Two Covenant Doctrine! And, this means that if the gospel is “for the entire fallen race,” that the Jews must be under the gospel (since they ARE part of the entire fallen race, correct Mr. Olson?), and, they must likewise be under the proposed coming New Covenant.
So, per Mr. Olson, the Jews will be under the coming New Covenant that demands physical circumcision, and curses a person for non-compliance. But, the Jews– as part of the entire fallen race– must also be under the gospel which condemns physical circumcision! How can the Jews not be under the gospel, if the gospel is for THE ENTIRE FALLEN RACE?
If the Jew is under the gospel, he can’t be circumcised without forfeiting Christ! Mr. Olson’s comments on how one can fall from the grace of Christ, forfeit Christ, etc., and yet, be fine, are surely some of the most confused and confusing, not to say, nonsensical, comments imaginable.
If the Jew is not under the gospel, he can’t be saved by grace through faith, for that is the gospel, and there is no salvation outside the gospel (Acts 4:12)!
And what of the Gentile who is under the gospel–
not the Abrahamic Covenant- per Mr. Olson? (Unfortunately for Mr. Olson, Paul taught that to be in Christ and the gospel is to be participant in the Abrahamic Covenant, Galatians 3:6-28). Again, per millennialism, the Christian who must refuse circumcision is condemned by God because he cannot enter Jerusalem and worship at the temple!
Mr. Olson’s theology is hopelessly self contradictory, at odds with inspiration, a violation of, and insult to, the gospel of Christ.
ANIMAL SACRIFICES IN THE MILLENNIUM
Like circumcision, the issue of bloody animal sacrifices in the so called millennium is a severe blow to Mr. Olson’s dispensationalism.
The gospel forbids animal sacrifices (Hebrews 10). Yet, Mr. Olson has animal sacrifices restored in the millennium. Mr. Olson claimed that the sacrifices in the millennium are memorials, and not for atonement.
But, Ezekiel 40-47 emphatically declares the sacrifices to be “for atonement.”
Mr. Olson quickly dropped the discussion of animal sacrifices, but, it does not help. The man who said we must honor the words of the text, perverts and rejects the words of the text.
Dispensationalism must abrogate, ignore or replace the gospel of Christ to have restored animal sacrifices in their view of Revelation 20. This is the result of imposing Mr. Olson’s “overarching hermeneutic” on the divine text.
Mr. Olson accused me of teaching Replacement Theology. Of course, I deny this, for what I teach is Fulfillment Theology. It is Mr. Olson that teaches Replacement Theology. Yet, Mr. Olson claimed: “Preston showed up with a horrible misunderstanding of Dispensationalism.”
RESPONSE: This is interesting. I documented what I said about dispensationalism from Mr. Olson’s dispensational hero, Thomas Ice, from Walvoord, Pentecost and others. They all say that the things that are now a reality in Christ will be replaced with Israel.
Things now forbidden by the gospel are replaced by commands to do those very things.
The equality in Christ is replaced by the Jew/Gentile distinction.
The prohibition against animal sacrifices is replaced by the command to offer animal sacrifices.
The prohibition against physical circumcision is replaced by the command to be circumcised.
No, it is not Don K. Preston that teaches Replacement Theology, it is Lloyd Olson, and I proved it from the leading dispensationalists of the day.
Mr. Olson’s claim that I do not understand dispensationalism, is false. I understand dispensationalism, extremely well. That is why I am so opposed to it.
MR. OLSON’S EXTERNAL SOURCES
Mr. Olson chides me for not fully addressing his patristic citations.
FIRST, I did address them, and showed that the early writers are eccentric, self contradictory, and unreliable. Even his “independent” witness, Clement said that John wrote Revelation under Nero! But of course, Mr. Olson simply ignored this testimony. Why should anyone accept his interpretation of Clement on the age of John, when he blatantly rejects Clement’s clear cut statement about when John wrote Revelation?
He likewise ignored the ambiguity of the testimony of Iranaeus and the fact that most of his sources were dependent on the unreliable Iranaeus. I also noted that Iranaeus was a chiliast (millennialist, but not dispensationalist). Eusebius said that Cerinthus, the founder of that doctrine, was a heretic! So, Eusebius, “the father of church history,” said that Iranaeus, Mr. Olson’s chief witness and companion in millennialism, was a heretic. Of course, Mr. Olson completely ignored this issue.
SECOND, bless Mr. Olson’s heart, being in the desperation mode as he was, he got totally confused. He says I rejected the testimony of VICTORINUS because he wasn’t a Christian. No, Mr. Olson, I never mentioned VICTORINUS, and never said anything about the good bishop not being a Christian! I am sure Mr. Olson meant that I rejected APOLLONIUS OF TYANA’S testimony. But, here is why I rejected APOLLONIUS’ testimony, that Mr. Olson put so much weight on.
Apollonius DID NOT SPEAK OF DOMITIAN PERSECUTING CHRISTIANS! Thus, his testimony HAS NO BEARING WHATSOEVER on the dating of Revelation! The fact that Mr. Olson relied so heavily on the testimony of a man who said not one word about Domitian persecuting Christians is a manifestation of his utter desperation.
THIRD, I cited several late date advocates who admit that the patristic evidence for a Domitianic persecution of the church is not reliable. In fact, those sources say Domitian never persecuted the church!
FOURTH, I did not address the patristic evidence at length– though I did so sufficiently– because the proposition that Mr. Olson signed to affirm was: “The scriptures teach…” I did not sign propositions to discuss the eccentricities of the early fathers. Mr. Olson was in open violation of debate protocol by focusing on this material.
MR. OLSON’S SELF DEFEATING HERMENEUTIC
From the very outset of the discussion Mr Olson insisted that Revelation 1:19 is the outline that determines the proper interpretation of Revelation. Well, as I stated, I have no major problem with this, but, I pointed out several things, all destructive to the late date view.
A.) The outline of things past, things present, and things to come, is not a rigid set in stone outline. I proved– and Mr. Olson admitted– that chapters 5-22 repeat this pattern over and over. This admission is FATAL to his view, but, he dismissed this with hardly a word.
B.) The things to come were said to be, literally, “about to be” i.e. they were IMMINENT! Mr. Olson claimed he did not understand my emphasis on “about to be,” but, I am confident that he saw the point very well, and simply decided to ignore it.
C.) Mr. Olson’s insistence that the events in chapter 4-22 are all future DEMANDS that all of his internal evidence for a late date must come from the chapters that speak of “the things that are” i.e. chapters 2-3. I challenged Mr. Olson to produce one iota of evidence for a Domitianic persecution from these chapters. His response? Not a word! I challenged him to produce so much as a word supporting a Romanic persecution of the church from those chapters. His evidence? Not a shred offered. And yet, we do find, twice, JEWISH PERSECUTION OF THE CHURCH IN THESE CHAPTERS!
In addition, notice how Revelation 1:19 agrees perfectly with some things we have already seen.
The pattern in Revelation 1:19 is things past, things present, things about to come.
Well, follow this:
Matthew 23:29f (Luke 11:49f)– Jerusalem had killed the prophets (things past). She was plotting even then to kill Jesus (things present). She would kill the apostles and prophets that Jesus sent, fill the measure of her guilt, and be judged in that generation (things about to come).
1 Thessalonians 2:14-16– Jerusalem and the Jews had killed the prophets and Jesus (things past). They were even then persecuting the apostles and prophets of Jesus, filling the measure of their sin (things that are). Judgment was about to fall on them (things about to come).
This precise pattern is found in Revelation,! Babylon had killed the prophets, Jesus and Jesus’ apostles and prophets (
things past), her cup of sin was full (things present). Judgment was about to fall on her (things about to come).
Mr. Olson admits that the things past, present and about to come of Matthew 23 and Thessalonians refer to Israel, her guilt and her impending judgment in A.D. 70. Yet, he wants us to divorce Revelation’s past, present and things about to be, from those texts even though Revelation is parallel in every way with Matthew 23 and Thessalonians. Mr. Olson’s approach is a rejection of analogia scriptura– (interpreting scripture with scripture), and yet, he calls this “common sense hermeneutic”!
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
We have demonstrated that the unified testimony of scripture, from the Old Testament through the New, proves that Revelation predicted the imminent fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel.
We have shown that the language of imminence in Revelation was objective, the end was truly near, not 2000 years away.
We have shown that the theme of the avenging of the blood of the martyrs as foretold by John was to be fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem, aka Babylon, in the first century. It has nothing to do with the Roman Catholic Church.
We have shown that all the internal evidence of Revelation points to the indisputable fact that Revelation was written before the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
Mr. Olson did not offer anything but ad hominem, presuppositional, and illogical arguments.
Had we been debating what the newspapers say, he would have won. However, we have been discussing the SCRIPTURES, and they bear witness against Mr. Olson.
His conduct has been caustic, un-Christian and deplorable– and open violation of 2 Timothy 2:24-26. I have received numerous emails commenting on this fact.
His negatives did not address the core arguments I made. His affirmatives were illogical, eisegetical, presuppositional, self contradictory and indefensible.
My proposition stands. Mr. Olson’s proposition is defeated.
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