Engaging the Critics

Can God Tell Time? A Review, and A Response

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Don K. Preston’s Response to:

Mid Acts Dispensational


Futurist’s


Answer to


the Preterist


“CAN GOD TELL TIME?”


(booklet by Don K. Preston)

An explanatory note or two from Don K. Preston.


1.) I was recently on the Gianni Hayes radio program, and I offered a free copy of my book Can God Tell Time, to the listeners. One of those listeners contacted me regarding my book, and then sent me the review given below, written by Ms. Deborah Collins an advocate of what is known as the Mid-Acts Dispensational view. (This is a modified form of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture view).

2.) To aid the readers, I am following Ms. Collins’ comments, with “Response”. At the end of each of my responses, I will put ***. At the resumption of Ms. Collins’ remarks, I will put the first few words in red. I hope this will help the reader to follow the discussion.

3.) Ms. Collins posted her review of my work on her blog. I respectfully request that she post my response there as well.

4.) It is always a pleasure to engage in discussions of the Lord’s word with serious students of scripture, and we appreciate the demeanor manifested in Ms. Collins review.

Don K. Preston

by Deborah L. Collins

MidActsDisp.Blogspot.com

Don K. Preston asks in his booklet, “Can God Tell Time?” The pamphlet is a preterist view of prophecy that claims all end time prophecy was fulfilled by A.D. 70. Mr. Preston raises the question, “Does God know how to tell time and does he use references to time such as, ‘at hand,’ ‘near,’ etc., in the same way as we do? [paraphrased]. The answer, of course, is, “Yes,” to both queries. We might ask in return, “Can God do what he wants with the time he created and still remain faithful to the promises he made? The answer again is, “Yes!” An even more pertinent question would be, “Can God write a book?” God indeed “wrote” a book through inspired human authors and in that book he gave us enough information to realize that he made a startling change at the time of Paul’s conversion in Acts 9.


Response: I will have more to say about this below, but, according to Paul, he was proclaiming the fulfillment of Israel’s Old Covenant promises, through his ministry. There was no postponement, no alteration, no interruption of Israel’s plan.

***


Only those (mid-Acts dispensationalists) who recognize this fact are qualified to answer the claims of preterism.

God told us through the Apostle Paul that he had hidden a secret in his heart – a secret he says “hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints; To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:26-27). God inspired Paul to reveal this fact of a mystery, a secret that God hid from even his Old Testament prophets, yea, even his angels, in Romans 16:25 and Ephesians 3:9. In Ephesians 3:3, Paul writes, “How that by revelation he made known unto me [Paul] the mystery…which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” (Eph. 3:3-5). The mystery was, as Paul explains in the next verse, “That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel” (Eph. 3:6). There’s more to the mystery than that; but that’s the basic idea: the Gentiles are now called to be fellow heirs and in the same body as Jesus Christ, rather than called to be second-class citizens of the promised kingdom as they were in the preceding age. Nowhere in the Old Testament or the gospels are Gentiles ever offered this kind of prominence in God’s plans but are only permitted to ride in on Israel’s coattails (Zechariah 8:23; Isaiah 60:1-6) if they become proselytes to Judaism or at the very least show their support to the remnant during the tribulation (Matt. 25:31-40).

Response: My problem is this:

1.) Paul said his entire gospel was strictly from the OT. He preached nothing but the hope of Israel.

2.) Paul likewise said that his gospel of the kingdom- the mystery of God—was taken from, and nothing other than what was found in the OT prophets. Now, if Gentile equality is not found in the OT, how could Paul preach Gentile equality from the OT prophets (Romans 16:25-26)?

3.) Paul said that the mystery of God – foretold in the OT, but not understood – was that Jews and Gentile would be co-heirs of God’s blessings (Ephesians 3:3-7).

4.) Paul said that his gospel ministry to the Gentiles was the fulfillment of Deuteronomy 32, which was a prophecy of Israel’s last days. This means that not only was his ministry predicted—and thus not a dramatic interruptio
n of Israel’s plan— but that his message and his ministry was foretold in the OT.

5.) If Paul and his ministry were a radical change and alteration of God’s plan to Israel, then Paul should have repeatedly told us of that alteration / postponement of the plan. Instead, as just noted, Paul said that his ministry and message was the fulfillment of God’s OT promises made to Israel. He affirms that Christ came at the right time; he says that God’s plan was right on schedule!

***

Today, the gospel by which Gentiles, and all men, can be sealed into the very body of Christ is not the same gospel as that which was preached to Israel in order to gain a place in the promised earthly kingdom.

Response:

1.) Jesus came to confirm the promises made to the fathers—which included the prophecies of the calling of the Gentiles—Romans 15:8-13! It is therefore, not accurate to say that the gospel is not what was promised to Israel.

2.) One of the most fundamental of Israel’s prophecies—The Song of Moses in Deuteronomy 32—foretold the calling of the Gentiles, which Paul cited as justification for his ministry (Deuteronomy 32:20f—Romans 10:19; 11:11f).

***

Israel, in the Old Testament, and during Jesus’ earthly ministry exclusively to them (Matt. 15:24), and in early Acts following Christ’s ascension to his Father, and in the Hebrew epistles written for tribulation believers (Hebrews through Revelation), is under a “do this and live” law relationship with God. By contrast, the gospel connected with the mystery revealed first to Paul is one of pure grace; simply “believe and be saved.” (See Acts 18:31). This is in contrast to Peter’s gospel which demands water baptism (Acts 2:38). Peter’s “works of righteousness” gospel is in direct opposition to Paul’s “not by works of righteousness” gospel. James’ gospel of “not by faith only” is the opposite of Paul’s “justified by faith without the deeds of the law” gospel.

It’s crucial to recognize the difference between the gospel of the kingdom and Paul’s gospel of the grace of God.

Response:

1.) I believe this is a false distinction. Remember, Paul said he preached nothing but the hope of Israel, found in the OT (Acts 24:14f; 26:5f; 21f).

2.) Paul in preaching the gospel of grace, preached the kingdom of God, as promised to Israel (Acts 28:23f).

3.) Paul declared emphatically that he, John and Peter preached the same gospel, the same message (Galatians 2:1-7).

4.) I see no justification for saying that the Hebrew epistles were written for a yet future tribulation believers. All of the epistles were written to living breathing humans, experiencing the very things described in those epistles. There are no references to suggest that those living people, to whom the letters were addressed and sent, were not the ones to whom the things in the letters applied.

5.) Paul was emphatic that the faithful remnant of Israel was receiving, through his ministry, what Israel had longed for and hoped for. In Romans 11:7 he said, “Israel has not obtained that for which he sought, but the elect has obtained it, and the rest were blinded.”

6.) Paul said that the salvation of the remnant that he was describing was the salvation of the remnant foretold in the OT (Romans 9:24-28). He likewise says that the completion of the salvation of the remnant would be consummated shortly (Romans 9:28).

7.) In the OT, the promises were always that the remnant would inherit the kingdom (Isaiah 10:22f; 65:8; Amos 5:1-3, etc.). Thus, for Paul to say that the elect remnant was receiving the hope of Israel was a powerful declaration that God’s promises had not been delayed, postponed or altered. It likewise proves that Paul’s ministry was not an alteration of the Plan.

***

Paul tells believers to “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed; rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15). The division between the two major gospels found in the “New Testament” is something God wants us to understand in order to zero in on how he’s saving men today. (1 Tim. 2:3-4).

Response:

1. Paul said there was but “one hope” and but “one faith.” He did not proclaim two gospels, one for Israel and one for Gentiles. He did not proclaim one hope for Israel and another for the church.

2. The calling of the Gentiles was foretold in the OT, as a part of God’s promises to Israel. It was never God’s intent to have a kingdom for Israel exclusively.

***

From page 6: “The premillennialist admits Jehovah promised to establish the kingdom in the days of the Roman empire, and that Jesus said the kingdom was at hand (Matthew 4:17). Unfortunately however, God was unable to complete His promise due to the unbelief of the Jews. Therefore, God postponed the kingdom to a later date.”

God foreknew Israel as a nation would not accept his Son as their prophesied messiah. Their lack of belief was not a surprise to him. The arrival of their messiah was a necessary test in their program of prophesied curses for disobedience (Lev. 26) and served, like all the other curses, to prove Israel’s inherent unworthiness to rule the nations. (This is what God wants Israel to finally admit!) God could have continued following Israel’s prophetic calendar and brought in the next curse, the time of Jacob’s trouble, and destroyed all but the believing remnant and any Gentiles who came to their aid during that time. But as he later told Paul, he had a secret plan hid from ages past, and that plan involved taking a people for himself to populate and rule the heavenly realm after the present demonic occupants are ejected. Both earth and heaven have been usurped by the Satanic host, and both need to be reclaimed for God’s glory.

Why did God keep this a secret? Paul is inspired to write in 1 Cor. 2:7-8, “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory; Which none of the princes of this world knew; for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” In other words, if Satan and his minions had known that by crucifying the Son of God they stood to lose not only the earthly realm (and that was a risk Satan was willing to take), but the heavenly realm as well, they would have refused to play their part in animating sinful men to murder Israel’s Messiah. In the revelation given to the Apostle John on Patmos, the expulsion of these evil angels is described: “And there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.” (Rev. 12:7-9). Confined to the earth, they will be sitting ducks to be destroyed by the “sharp sword” of the Lord of glory. But right now, they still do “spiritual wickedness in high places,” (Eph. 6:12.), Satan remains “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2) until he is replaced by the body of Christ.

Response:

1.) As noted above, Paul’s ministry and message was not a “secret” in the sense of not having been foretold in any sense. It was a mystery in the sense that it was not understood! Again, Paul said he preached the gospel of grace and the church from the OT! He could not do so if the church and the gospel of grace was not in the OT.

2.) God did in fact continue with His plan and did bring the time of Jacob’s Trouble! It is called the Great Tribulation, as you know, and it came in the first century, just as Jesus foretold (Matthew 24:15-34).

3.) Notice that in Revelation 7 and 14, we find the 144,000. This is the righteous remnant of Israel. And notice that the experience the Great Tribulation (Revelation 7:14). But notice also that they were the first fruits of th
ose redeemed to God from man (Revelation 14:2-4)! They were the first generation of Jewish Christians! Any generation beyond the first generation cannot be, and cannot produce the first fruits of those redeemed to God from man. That is simply impossible.

4.) We are told in other passages that the first fruits of Israel were alive in the first century generation—James 1:1, 18; Hebrews 12:21f.

5.) So, God’s plan was right on schedule.

***

Mr. Preston brings up the difficulty of such verses as Matt. 16:28: “There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” His explanation is: “Just as the restoration of the kingdom of Israel was a spiritual, not a physical restoration (Acts 1:6; 2:29f; 3:10f; 15:14f, etc), the return of Christ was a spiritual, not a physical event as well. (page 27).

In the gospel accounts, Israel’s prophetic time schedule was proceeding according to Old Testament prophesy. When John the Baptizer said that the “kingdom of heaven is at hand,” it was truly near according to prophesy and he was speaking as the Holy Spirit moved him. That goes also for the Lord Jesus and his disciples as when Christ declared, in Matt. 16:28, “There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.”  Obviously the Son of man has not come in his kingdom, especially as the preceding verse in Matthew states, “in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.”  This has never happened; it was not the transfiguration nor was it the destruction of Herod’s temple in A.D. 70.

Response:

1.) I believe that this is a presuppositional statement. It pretty clearly denies the time statement. See below.

2.) This claim ignores the definition of the coming of the Lord as defined in Israel’s scriptures. In the Tanakh, the Day of the Lord was invariably a historical event. In my book Like Father Like Son, On Clouds of Glory, I develop this extensively.

3.) We cannot allow ourselves to deny the time statements of scripture based on our preconceived ideas of the nature of fulfillment.

***

In order to sincerely announce that “the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” (Matt. 4:17), it was necessary that Jesus empty himself of his omniscient awareness of the fact that God planned to interrupt Israel’s prophetic program and begin a mystery program through the Apostle Paul. (Who but God can voluntarily empty himself of knowledge?) All of the other statements made by Christ and his disciples at that time fall into the same category; they were operating on the information in Israel’s time schedule.

Response:

1.) Jesus was indeed operating on the time schedule of God’s promises to Israel. And he said “The time is fulfilled.”

2.) Now, if Israel’s prophetic calendar—appointed by the Father– foretold a time for the sending of Messiah to establish the kingdom, and if Jesus came at that time, appointed by the Father, and said the time was near, then we cannot say that he failed. It was the Father—who knew the day and hour—who sent Jesus, “at just the right time” (Galatians 4:4).

3.) It is not enough to say that Jesus emptied himself. It was the Father who determined the time to send him, and it was the Father who determined that the time was right! It was the Father who informed Jesus that “the time is fulfilled.”

4.) If Jesus came at the time foretold by the OT prophets—and of course he did- and if he came to fulfill those prophecies at the time foretold by the OT prophets—and of course he did (Matthew 5:17-18)—then if he did not fulfill the OT prophecies at the time foretold by the OT prophecies, then those OT prophecies failed!

5.) The test of a prophet was whether his prophecies were fulfilled, and that includes the timing of fulfillment.

6.) If therefore, Jesus made a false prediction about the time of his parousia, he was a false prophet. God did not hide the knowledge of the generation of his coming from Jesus.

***

To proclaim that the kingdom was at hand and to give dire warnings of the tribulation scheduled to arrive shortly after his ascension if he had the knowledge at that time that they would both be delayed by thousands of years would make Christ a liar; may it never be!

Response:

1.) This argument is presuppositional, based on the assumption of a postponed kingdom and the insertion of a gap of so far 2000 years between God’s (interrupted) plan for Israel, and the future fulfillment of that plan.

2.) The fact is that there was not to be a delay in the fulfillment of the tribulation, or of God’s kingdom plan. Jesus emphatically declared that it was to be in his generation (Matthew 24:15-34).

3.) Jesus’ declaration that “no man knows the day or the hour” does not mean that he could not know the generation, and he said that it would be in his generation, in the lifetime of his living contemporaries.

4.) The statement about not know the day and the hour is related to the Feast Days of Israel, and in reality, was not a prosaic declaration of total ignorance.

5.) The Father- as Jesus said—did know the day and the hour—and it was the Father who inspired, through the Spirit, the NT writers to declare that the time had drawn near.

6.) Notice Revelation 21:1-3 – “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him, to declare to His servants, the things which must shortly come to pass… the time is at hand.”

7.) So, it was the Father in reality that told John to write that the fulfillment of Revelation was near, coming soon and quickly.

8.) Notice also Luke 21:8Jesus said that many false prophets would come prematurely declaring “the end has drawn near, do not go after them.” John was present that day, and heard the warnings about believing or making premature declarations of the nearness of the end. Yet, here is John, being told by the Father, to make (according to the view below) premature declarations of the nearness of the end!

9.) If either Jesus or John (or any other the other NT writers) were premature in their declarations of the nearness of the end, then they became the very false prophets that Jesus warned them about!

***

God was fulfilling his prophecies by sending the messiah. Israel had the free will to accept Jesus; but God has foreknowledge and foreknew that as a nation, she would not.

The declaration that the kingdom was “at hand,” is not to be confused with the bona fide offer of the kingdom which could not be made until Christ had sacrificed himself as Israel’s passover lamb and could act as her kinsman redeemer.

Response:

1.) Jesus did clearly have to die to enter his glory (Luke 24:24f).
This does not mean that his statements of the nearness of the kingdom were false, or misguided.

2.) When the disciples asked about the “restoration of the kingdom” (Acts 1:6f), Jesus told them to go into the city to await the reception of the Spirit. The reception of the Spirit, in fulfillment of Joel 2, proves that the kingdom offer was being fulfilled—not delayed or postponed.

3.) Jesus’ statement that the disciples were to go into the city and wait for the promise of the Spirit—in fulfillment of God’s OT promises to Israel, proves that God’s prophetic calendar was right on schedule. It proves that the statements of the imminence of the kingdom were valid and objectively true, for the outpouring of the Spirit was God’s promise to restore Israel and establish His kingdom (Ezekiel 37:12-27!

***

The first offer of the kingdom (to an exclusively Jewish audience) took place at Pentecost. Israel was then given a year of repentance in which to make up their minds about whether to accept or reject their messiah, as illustrated by the Lord in his parable of the fig tree in Luke 13:6-9.

Response:

1.) I agree that Israel was given a time to repent. However, it was not for only one year. The time given to Israel to repent was directly related to the preaching of the gospel—the offer of the kingdom (Matthew 24:14).

2.) The proclamation of the gospel into all the world—which was invariably “to the Jew first, then to the Greek” was fulfilled in that generation. See my book Into All the World, Then Comes the End, for a full discussion of this.

3.) Peter spoke of “the times of refreshing” which refers to “a time of respite before judgment” (Acts 3).

4.) God could not judge Old Covenant Israel for rejecting the kingdom, before Israel even heard the message of the kingdom. Again, this was directly related to the world mission, and confined and fulfilled in the first century.

5.) The events of Pentecost were the direct fulfillment of Israel’s typological feast days. The first four of those feasts: Passover, Unleavened Bread, Weeks, and Pentecost, were fulfilled in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. The feast of Pentecost —feast of first fruit—was also right on schedule. The first fruit of the Spirit was given to the first fruit of Israel as they were gathered to their Messiah! This is not postponement!

6.) If Israel’s feast days were fulfilled, on time, as scheduled, (and of course they were) and included the Passion of Jesus and Pentecost, why would the subsequent events of Acts 6f delay the kingdom promises? If the Passion of Jesus did not delay it, then nothing should have. Surely the rejection of Stephen was not worse than the rejection of Jesus! The events of Acts 6-7 pale in significance to those of Jesus’ Passion! But, in point of fact, the passion of Jesus was a vital and integral part of the prophetic calendar, and was in no way an interruption, not did it cause an alteration or postponement of the Plan.

***

A couple more offers of the kingdom were made to Israel and her leaders in early Acts, but the stoning of Stephen (filled with the Holy Spirit – see Matt. 12:31-32) was the point at which God temporarily withdrew the promise and set Israel’s program aside while he acted on that secret hid in his heart since before the world began. (Note: The fact that Paul did receive forgiveness for blaspheming the Holy Spirit even though he took part in Stephen’s murder is another signpost that a new kind of salvation program had begun!)

Response:

1.) I think it is inappropriate to say that God’s prophetic calendar was, in any way at all, “temporarily withdrawn” or suspended, or postponed.

2.) In the OT, God affirmed three things about His promises to Israel:

a.) His Servant would not fail (Isaiah 42:5f). Thus, if Jesus came to fulfill the promises to Israel—at just the right time—but did not fulfill them, on time, then he failed.

b.) God said he would laugh at man’s attempt to thwart His kingdom plans (Psalms 2) declaring that in spite of man’s efforts “yet, have a set my king on my holy hill Zion.” Man could not foil, thwart, or postpone God’s plan!

c.) God said He would not alter His kingdom promises! (Psalms 89:35-37). Now, if the OT prophets set the time for the fulfillment of the kingdom (and they did of course), and if Jesus said the time had arrived in the first century, then any suspension, any alteration, and withdrawal of the plan, would be an alteration. And God said He would not alter His kingdom plan! Let me offer the following:

God said He would not alter His kingdom plan.

His kingdom plan was to establish the kingdom in the first century, i.e. the time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God has drawn near.”

Therefore, God would not alter His plan to establish the kingdom in the first century.

3.) I cannot find a word in Stephen’s discourse to indicate that God was now suspending His kingdom plan. On the contrary, the events of Acts 6-7 are in fulfillment of Jesus prediction in the Olivet Discourse. Notice that as Jesus told his disciples to preach the gospel to all the world, he said that they would be persecuted—by the Jews (i.e. the Sanhedrin)! This is what was happening to Stephen! But, Jesus told his disciples not to give though to what they would respond when on trial, for the Spirit would give them words to confound their persecutors. This is precisely what happened with Stephen! Thus, the Olivet Discourse was being fulfilled in the first century, just as Jesus foretold.

***

Don Preston’s booklet asks, “Can God tell time?” The answer is, “Of course! He created time!” But we may also ask, “Can God interrupt time whenever he wants?” And the answer, again, is, “Of course he can!”

Response:

1.) There are both conditional and unconditional promises in scripture. I do not find where God’s kingdom offer to Israel was conditional. Thus…

2.) If God set the prophetic calendar for the fulfillment of His kingdom promises—and He clearly did in Daniel 9—then if He did not fulfill those promises on time (unaltered time!) then those promises failed.

3.) In other words, God cannot break His time promises related to the kingdom, and Jesus—whom the Father sent on His time frame—said the time had come.

4.) Thus, God cannot interrupt His unconditionally promised calendar.

***

When God interrupted Israel’s prophetic time schedule and converted Paul with a new gospel of grace to the world, time as we know it went on as usual, but the way God deals with the world inside of that time is what’s changed; and God makes that clear in his book. Now Gentiles aren’t required to approach God through Israel and today no one has to prove their faith to God by attempting to keep the Mosaic Law. Salvation’s rules – and target audience – have changed, but only until God decides to end this age of grace and resume Israel’s program.

Response:

1.) It is certainly true that no man today must obey the Torah for justification, for we have the New Covenant as promised by YHVH to Israel, which, when established, would bring even the Gentiles into its blessings (Jeremiah 31; Isaiah 49:6f).

2.) It was always God’s plan that His kingdom would be inclusive of Jews and Gentiles. He said that the foreigners and eunuchs would have a place and a name in His Messianic kingdom, and this is precisely what happened in the book of Acts (see Acts 8 and the conversion of the Eunuch, as fulfillment of Isaiah 56. I have produced a 52 lesson series on the Acts and the Restoration of Israel, that demonstrates how Luke’s account is focused on the fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel. Acts is not about the failure of postponement of God’s kingdom plan, but the documentation of its fulfillment.

***

There are various signposts in God’s word that alert us to the fact that things have changed. Did not Jesus promise his disciples that God would provide for their every need by pointing to the lilies of the field and the birds of the air? (Matt. 6:25-34). Didn’t he tell them to simply ask and they would receive? (Matt. 7:7; 21:22; John 14:13; 15:16; 16:23) With promises like that given to them by the Lord, why did the disciples in the Jerusalem church fall into poverty soon after Paul’s ministry began? Fortunately, Paul’s churches were later able to take up a collection to help them; but is that what Jesus had in mind when he made them these promises? Did not Jesus command his followers to give up their worldly goods and have all things common, which they did (Acts 4:32-37)?

Response:

1.) The poverty of the church in Jerusalem is, in my estimation, being overstated. First of all, it was not the total church in poverty at the early stage of Acts 4. The church was sufficiently blessed so that they could provide for they widow and orphans!

2.) It should also be noted that hard times did befall the churches in Judea, due to the famine that came, as foretold by Agabus (Acts 11:28-30). However, that famine and the resulting hardship in Judea, gave rise to a great opportunity for the Gentile churches to demonstrate their unity their Jewish brethren.

3.) There had never been, in the entire history of Israel, a time when Gentiles had offered benevolence to the Jews like what happened in regard to that famine. This benevolence, written about by Paul in Romans 15; 1 Corinthians 16; 2 Corinthians 8-9, would bring about a unity unparalleled in history!

4.) The historical, contemporary nature of the famine, and the contribution, demonstrates that these epistles were not written for a far distant future tribulation generation. That was a very real, very contemporary situation.

5.) It should also be noted that one of the reasons why the Jewish saints in Jerusalem were willing to sell their property—a manifest indication of impending change, since as Jews they were not supposed to permanently sell their land—was that they knew, from Jesus himself, that Jerusalem was to fall in that generation. Property values in Jerusalem were about to plummet! Those Christians had “inside information” about what was coming.

***

Why then did God fail to provide for them and later Paul tells believers that if they won’t work, they won’t eat! (2 Thess. 3:10-12). He also tells them that “if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (1 Tim. 5:8). When Christ told his followers to give up everything, he wasn’t just talking about their job at McDonald’s! This included their farms, houses, and businesses! Wasn’t God able to take care of them through Preterism’s great climax of prophecy in 70 A.D.? Clearly, something changed with the conversion of Paul!

One facet of the mystery revealed exclusively through Paul is that of the invisible coming in the air of the head of the body, Christ, to change the bodies of those in Christ who have died or are alive and remain in order to translate us to our eternal home in the heavens. (1 Cor. 15:51-53; 1 Thess. 4:13-18. The “falling away” of 2 Thess. 2:3 is the pretribulational rapture.

Response:

1.) I find no linguistic support for rendering apostasia as the rapture. There are no Biblical references in support of this.

2.) Apostasia means a falling away. I can find no lexical support for defining apostasia as “rapture.”

3.) In both the OT (LXX) and the New, there is never an occurrence where apostasia means a snatching away. It is invariably a falling away from the established norm or truth.

4.) The fulfillment of both 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4 would be in fulfillment of God’s OT promises made to Israel. These are not promises made to the church, divorced or cut off from Israel.

Notice the argument:

Paul preached the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead (1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4).

Paul’s doctrine of the resurrection from the dead was nothing other than, and nothing different from, what was found in the OT “from Moses and the prophets (Acts 24:14f; 26:6f, 21ff).

Therefore, the doctrine of the resurrection from the dead from 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4, was found in the OT (Moses and the prophets).

We cannot claim that the promises of 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4, belong to the church, at the end of the Church age, having nothing to do with the fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel. To do so contradicts Paul’s emphatic statements about the source of his resurrection doctrine.

***

God’s day of wrath will come, but “God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thess. 5:9). The rapture is imminent; there are no prophetic signs that must precede it, unlike the second coming of Christ to set up the kingdom, which will follow the time table in both Daniel and Revelation, allowing it to be predicted with some accuracy by the tribulation believers, beginning with the revealing of the “beast” when he makes a covenant with Israel for seven years, and then again when he sets up the “abomination of desolation.”

Response:

1.) Daniel did give a time schedule, and Jesus said that schedule was right on time by his appearing.

2.) John the Baptizer—as Elijah—said that the “wrath to come” was near—“the axe is already laid to the root… his winnowing fork is already in his hand.”

3.) If there are no signs of the rapture, how is it possible to say that it is imminent? In order to declare something is near, there must be signs of that imminence.

4.) To suggest that there are two eschatological comings of Christ is untenable. There is no rapture and then seven years later, the second coming. I develop this extensively in my book We Shall Meet Him In The Air.

5.) Jesus told his living breathing disciples that they were to watch for his coming (Matthew 24:43f).

6.) Notice again Luke 21:8—Jesus told his living disciples that false prophets would make premature declarations of the nearness of the end.

7.) Jesus told those disciples that when they would see the signs of the end, that then, and only then, they could know (and thus proclaim) the nearness of the end (Matthew 24:32-33).

8.) Those very disciples who heard Jesus warn against making premature
declarations of the nearness of the end, but who were given the signs of the end, then proceeded to declare that the end had drawn near (1 Peter 4:7—“the end of all things has drawn near!”

9.) If the signs of the end had not actually appeared, then Peter was wrong to make that declaration. If the end was not objectively near, then Peter was wrong.

***

The destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 was an unprophesied event which occurred during this mystery dispensation. Jesus’ prophesy that “they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation” (Luke 19:44), concerns the end time when Jerusalem and the temple (Luke 21:5-6) will “be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24). When Titus sacked the temple and mount in A.D. 70, parts of the walls were left intact. It’s not for us to say whether God willed the destruction to occur, but it did accomplish ending the sacrificial system of the Jews!

Response:

1.) Please excuse my bluntness, I mean no disrespect at all, but the claim that the destruction of Jerusalem was not predicted is disingenuous at best.

2.) In Matthew 23, Jesus foretold the desolation of the temple—for his generation, when the martyrs would be vindicated.

3.) When Jesus said that not one stone would be left standing on top of another, it is a woodenly literalistic hermeneutic to say that because the outer walls of the city were partially left standing that the prophecy was not fulfilled.

4.) The disciples were showing Jesus the stones of the temple, not the stones of the outer city wall. The temple itself was so thoroughly dismantled that Josephus, eyewitness of the events, said that if you had not known a temple had stood there, you would never have known!

5.) Josephus bears witness that it was portions of the wall of the city—not the temple itself– that were left standing: Caesar gave orders that they should now demolish the entire city and temple, but should leave as many of the towers standing as were of the greatest eminency; that is, Phasaelus, and Hippicus, and Mariamne; and so much of the wall as enclosed the city on the west side. This wall was spared, in order to afford a camp for such as were to lie in garrison, as were the towers also spared, in order to demonstrate to posterity what kind of city it was, and how well fortified, which the Roman valor had subdued; but for all the rest of the wall, it was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been inhabited.” (Josephus Wars, Bk 7:1 (Cornfeld, p. 454)

6.) Jesus was most assuredly foretelling some destruction of Jerusalem, and, he said that it would be in his generation, and the temple was destroyed, in that generation. This is no mere coincidence of history.

7.) Daniel 9:26 foretold the destruction of Jerusalem itself within the 70 weeks, by the people of the prince that would come.

8.) We cannot deny, a
gain, that Jesus said the time foretold by Daniel had arrived.

***

Mr. Preston insists on page 16 of his booklet that “Paul wrote that the gospel had been preached into all the world” in Col. 1:5-7, 23; Titus 2:11-13, etc.) in fulfillment of Jesus’ requirement in Matt. 24:14 & Mark 16:15.

These Pauline passages refer to the gospel of the grace of God – not to Israel’s gospel of the kingdom and its attendant requirements and laws (See Sermon on the Mount). Paul never offers the earthly kingdom to anyone; he never adds requirements to the free gift of salvation God offers today other than believing that Jesus Christ saved us from our sins.

Response:

1.) This is a presuppositional argument, assuming without proof that Jesus came to establish—and that Paul had in mind—an earthly kingdom.

2.) Jesus refuted this idea, when he said that his kingdom was not of this world, and, he rejected the kingship when the Jews offered it to him (John 6:15)!

3.) If Jesus wanted to be a king on an earthly throne, and if the Jews wanted that kind of kingdom, why did Jesus reject the offer of that kind of kingship / kingdom?

4.) Paul said he received his commission from Jesus himself (Galatians 1:12f). Thus, to delineate between the mission of Matthew 24:14 and that which Paul said he preached, one must have proof. I find no suggestion that Paul preached a different gospel from what Jesus said was to be preached.

5.) Since Paul said he preached nothing but the hope of Israel—not for a far distant future, but to the first century world, and since he said his gospel (the hope of Israel) had been preached into all the world, it cannot be maintained that the gospel he preached was not the gospel to be preached into all the world.

***

The Lord Jesus Christ laid out in Acts 1:8 the precise order by which his disciples were to preach the gospel of the kingdom. This and all he had taught them while on earth was brought to their remembrance when they received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Israelites first and then their close relations, the Judeans and Samaritans, were to be approached and converted with the good news of the coming kingdom BEFORE the Gentiles nations! That is why, when God had set Israel’s program aside temporarily, Peter not yet knowing that, doubted within himself at being sent directly to a Gentile (Cornelius) in Acts 10. This was not the order of evangelism he’d been taught! This incident in itself is powerful evidence that something new and different was beginning to take place in God’s plan.

Response:

1.) If the kingdom plan had been set aside in Acts 6-7 with Stephen, why didn’t Peter know about this in Acts 10?

2.) Acts 15– James and the leadership of Jerusalem, said that the calling of the Gentiles was in accordance to God’s plan—and based on the restoration of Israel as foretold in Amos 9:11. The plan was:

a.) The restoration of Israel

b.) The calling of the Gentiles into the blessings of Israel

God said: “I will raise again the tabernacle of David…so that all men may call on the name of the Lord.”

This is the plan of Acts, being fulfilled just as predicted. Peter was following the very plan that he had been taught!

***

“…Peter – the author of 2 Peter 3:8 – stated ‘the end of all things has drawn near…the time has come for the judgment to begin’ (1 Peter 4:7, 17), and that James wrote ‘the coming of the Lord has drawn near.’” (page 17).

Mr. Preston recognizes that the authors of Hebrews through Revelation write of the second coming and the tribulation that precedes it as being, “at hand.” Because these writers were saved and commissioned under the kingdom program, they are not a part of the body of Christ saved by Paul’s gospel of the grace of God, but are a part of Israel’s faithful remnant that will inherit the earth. Just as the Old Testament prophecies are for Israel in time past and in the ages to come, God has preserved these Hebrew epistles at the close of the canon (right where they belong!) to instruct and edify the remnant that will go through the Day of the Lord. These epistles, especially the Book of the Revelation, will read to those believers like a daily newspaper as they actually live out the time of Jacob’s trouble! Like so many of the Old Testament prophets, these inspired men write of things to come in Israel’s “last days,” even while also writing of the time in which they themselves lived.

Response:

1.) Paul wrote to Gentile Christians as well as Jewish, and told them they were saved by grace through faith.

2.) He likewise, I repeat, said that the gospel that he preached was nothing but the hope of Israel.

3.) I can find not one word in the epistles that says anything resembling the idea being set forth, i.e. that the epistles were not relevant and applicable to the first century saints.

4.) On the contrary, I find that Peter (and Jesus in Matthew 13:17f) said that the OT prophets knew that their prophecies were not to be fulfilled in their days, but, Peter affirms they were being fulfilled in the first century (1 Peter 1:10-12).

5.) Each of the epistles—from Hebrews onward included– say they were addressed to historical, first century churches, and describes events of the first century, and made declarations about the first century imminence of the end. Hebrews 10:30-37—citing Deuteronomy 32- says the judgment foretold there, for Israel’s last days, was coming in a “very, very little while.” Hebrews says not one word about fulfillment coming in the distant future, in the lives of different believers.

6.) Even in Acts (3:21f) Peter said that the OT prophets foretold “these days.” Those were the days in which he was living, the last days foretold in Joel, which Peter had himself declared as beginning to be fulfilled on Pentecost. Thus, Peter and the first century saints were living in the last days, foretold by the OT prophets.

7.) Revelation concerned things that were, when John wrote, at hand— “these things must shortly come to pass, the time is at hand” There are no “far off” statements in Revelation.

8.) In fact, note that Revelation reiterates the prophecies of Daniel. Daniel was told to seal his book, because fulfillment was far off, not near (Daniel 12:4-13). In direct contrast, John, repeated Daniel’s prophecies, was told “do not seal the words of this prophecy, the time is at hand.” This temporal contrast must be honored.

***

Let’s look again at Peter’s oft-quoted statement in 2 Peter 3:8-9, “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning the promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” He’s rejoicing that God pulled back his day of wrath; and although there will always be persecution of those who fear God, he and his little flock did not have to endure the time about which Jesus had told him, “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Matt. 24:21).

Response:

1.) Peter was not saying that the coming of the Lord, or the tribulation, had been postponed. He was in fact refuting the scoffers who were saying the parousia had been delayed!

2.) Notice the following: Peter said that his second epistle was a reiteration of what he had said in the first epistle. But in his first epistle he said that the coming of the Lord had drawn near, and the time had arrived for the appointed judgment (1 Peter 4:7, 17).

3.) Note that he did not say that one of these days in the far distant future, the end will be near. He said “the end of all things has drawn near” (literal rendering of the Greek). What had once been not near, had, when Peter wrote, “drawn near.”

4.) Since 2 Peter is the reiteration of 1 Peter, and since 1 Peter said that the parousia was near, this demands that the parousia of 2 Peter was near. This is Peter’s refutation of the scoffers who were denying the parousia!

5.) The suggestion that Peter was saying the parousia had been, would be, delayed by two millennia plays directly in to the hands of the scoffers! They said all things continue as they were… Peter was supposedly refuting them, but, per the paradigm he was refuting the scoffers by saying The parousia will be delayed by at least 2000 years! How does this refute the scoffers, who were responding to the claims of 1 Peter, that the end had drawn near?

6.) Jesus declared that the Great Tribulation would occur in his generation, and as I demonstrated above, in regard to the 144,000, the very first generation of Jewish Christians were, and did, to experience the Tribulation.

***

One big difference between the Hebrew epistles for Israel’s program and the epistles of Paul exclusively for the body of Christ is that of when salvation is in their possession. For Israel, salvation IS the kingdom on earth and their place in it. This is why Hebrews 9:28 says Christ shall “appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” Peter writes that at the appearing of Jesus Christ (the parousia, not the pretribulational rapture which is only for the body of Christ saved by Paul’s gospel), his readers would receive, “the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” Peter tells Israel in Acts 3:19: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” Israel’s sins won’t be blotted out (forgiven) until the kingdom comes! (1 Peter 1:9).

Response:

1.) Peter affirms that the salvation that was coming to his audience was the salvation foretold by the OT prophets (1 Peter 1:10-12).

2.) That salvation was far off when the prophets foretold it, but was for Peter’s first century generation.

3.) The salvation that was coming (foretold by the OT prophets) to that audience had drawn near, and the appointed time for the judgment had arrived (1 Peter 4:7, 17).

4.) The salvation of Hebrews 9:28, Christ’s second coming, was to be in a very, very little while (Hebrews 10:30-37).

5.) That second coming would fulfill the typological aspects of the Day of Atonement—one of Israel’s major feast days.

6.) Hebrews says that the OT would stand valid and binding until the fulfillment of those typical feast days, including the typology of the Day of Atonement (Hebrews 9:6-10).

7.) If therefore, Christ has not come to bring that salvation, then the entirety of the OT remains valid today.

***

Paul speaks of this future expectation for Israel in Romans 11:25-26: “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved; as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.” (Romans 11:24-27). This agrees with Hebrews 11:13 concerning all these that “died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off…” Now contrast that with Ephesians 2:5-6, “Even when we were dead in sins, [God] hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved:) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus”. The theme in all of Paul’s epistles is that when we have believed the gospel of Christ, we have salvation (the forgiveness of sins) as a present eternally secure possession and not something we have to wait for until he comes.

Response: Let me say a few things about Romans 11.

1.) Paul cites three OT prophecies in his discussion of the salvation of Israel—Isaiah 27; Isaiah 59; Jeremiah 31–the promise of the New Covenant).

2.) The two prophecies in Isaiah both promised the salvation (as well as the judgment) of Israel.

3.) Both prophecies said that Israel’s salvation would come at the time when she was judged for shedding innocent blood (Isaiah 26:20f; 59:3-7). So, consider the following:

The coming of the Lord to take away Israel’s sin would be the coming of the Lord foretold in Isaiah 27:9f.

The coming of the Lord in Isaiah 27:9f would be the coming of the Lord in judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood (Isaiah 26:20f).

Therefore, the coming of the Lord of Romans 11:26 would be the coming of the Lord in judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood.

Likewise…

The coming of the Lord for the salvation of Israel in Romans 11:26-27 is the coming of the Lord predicted in Isaiah 59.

But, the coming of the Lord predicted in Isaiah 59 is the coming of the

Lord in judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood.

Therefore, the coming of the Lord in Romans 11:26-27 is the coming of the Lord in judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood.

So, both prophecies that serve as the source of Paul’s prediction have to do with the time of the vindication of the martyrs, and judgment of the persecutors. We do not have to wonder when the blood of the martyrs was to be vindicated. Read Matthew 23:29-37:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’ “Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate.”

The language here is unmistakable and emphatic. Jesus said that all of the blood, of all the righteous, all the way back to creation, was to be judged and avenged in his generation. So, consider this:

The coming of the Lord for the salvation of Israel— In Romans 11:25f—would be in fulfillment of Isaiah 27 / 59.

The coming of the Lord for the salvation of Israel – In Isaiah 27 / 59 – would be at the time of the judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood.

But, the time of the vindication of the martyrs, and the judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood, was to be in Jesus’ first century generation.

Therefore, the salvation of Israel – of Romans 11:25f — was to be in Jesus’ first century generation.

***

In conclusion, I would ask Mr. Preston exactly what kind of kingdom he thinks has already come. This evil world, either in the first century or now, certainly doesn’t fit the Old Testament prophecies of the kingdom! The only lambs that lie down with lions are lambs that are inside the lions! As a Bible teacher once exclaimed, “If this is the millennium, the Devil’s chain is too long!” I don’t see the apostles eating and drinking at the Lord’s table, nor do I see them “sitting on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Luke 29-30). We’re certainly not under God’s government – if we break God’s law, there are no immediate consequences. We’re obviously under man’s law where man administers punishment.

Response: What kind of kingdom came?

1.) The kingdom not made with hands—i.e. a spiritual kingdom—just as Daniel 2 foretold, that would be established during the days of the Roman empire. This was to be– and is– a kingdom in stark contrast to the earthly kingdoms

2.) The kingdom that they were receiving in the first century—a kingdom that cannot be removed or destroyed (Hebrews 12:28)—just like Daniel foretold.

3.) A kingdom that is not of this world (John 18:36).

4.) A kingdom that is not according to the wisdom or nature of this world (1 Corinthians 2:6f).

5.) A kingdom that is not like the kingdom that the Jews offered Jesus—which he adamantly refused (John 6:15).

6.) A kingdom that did not come with observation (Luke 17:20f) and is not manifested like the Old Covenant kingdom of Israel.

7.) A kingdom that is different from the one that the disciples thought had been defeated by the Lord’s crucifixion, but, a kingdom that necessitated the Lord’s death: “Ought not the Christ to have suffered and to enter his glory?” (Luke 24).

8.) A kingdom—unlike the Old Kingdom– that is not defined by “food or drink, (Romans 14:17) but in righteousness.”

9.) The kind of kingdom that came is the kingdom foretold in the OT—as interpreted by the NT apostles and prophets.

***

I very much admire Mr. Preston — or any Bible believer — who notices that the very clear predictions of Christ and his followers during his earthly ministry aren’t balanced by clear fulfillments in the first century. I understand that, in order to uphold the truth of God’s word, a credible explanation must be found.

Response: This needs clarification.

1.) Jesus’ prophecies were not fulfilled if we maintain a literalistic view of his coming, demanding the literal descent out of heaven of a Jewish man.

2.) Jesus emph
atically said his coming in judgment was going to be “in the glory of the father” i.e. as the Father had come before (Matthew 16:27), and he said it was going to be in the lifetime of his first century generation.

3.) Jesus said the Father had committed all judgment to him, and that he would judge as he had seen the Father judge (John 5:19-23). Jesus had never, ever seen the Father literally, visibly, bodily come out of heaven in judgment! Yet, the Father had in fact come many times in judgment.

4.) The language of the Father’s coming, found in the Tanakh (the Old Covenant) uses the language of coming on the clouds, with the shout, in flaming fire, with the trumpet, etc.. Yet, again, this language was metaphoric and was never intended to be interpreted literally.

5.) It is only when we hold to a literalistic definition of the coming of the Lord can we say—as the skeptic does—that Jesus did not keep his promise. Jesus came, on the clouds of heaven, in the glory of the Father, when he came in judgment of Jerusalem in AD 70.

6.) Jesus kept his word, the predictions of all of the writers of the NT were right. This is the credible explanation.

7.) I develop this extensively in my book Like Father Like Son, On Clouds of Glory.

***

I also understand that popular Christian theology teaches that the Lord Jesus came to earth to tell the world the “good news;” but in reality, he said, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matt. 15:24). Gentiles’ only hope at that time was the possibility of taking part in the kingdom through Israel.

Response:

1.) Jesus did come to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

2.) His coming was to confirm the promises made to the fathers (Romans 15:8).

3.) But, that coming, to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, was also for the purpose of bringing salvation to the Gentiles (Romans 15:9-13)!

4.) There is no dichotomy between Jesus’ mission to Israel, and the salvation of the Gentiles. Jesus came to confirm God’s promises to Israel, “so that the Gentiles might glorify God.” Those are the words of Paul.

***

It was not until the glorified Lord Jesus Christ came secretly in the air and converted Saul of Tarsus with a new gospel message that really was to everyone in the world that he began speaking directly to us. God interrupted his program with Israel in order to do this wonderful work with us, and he inspired and commissioned the Apostle Paul to identify what an awesome work of grace that is.

Response:

1.) Paul’s message was not a “new” message. It was strictly and solely from the Old Testament prophets (Romans 16:25-26).

2.) Paul’s message was that the promises of God to Israel—including his ministry to the Gentiles – was in fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel.

3.) We do not find a single word from Paul telling us that Israel’s plan had been postponed, or interrupted. Everything was on time. Let me illustrate, in closing:

Isaiah 49 foretold the restoration of the “tribes of Jacob” (Isaiah 49:6f).

At the same time, and in addition to the restoration of Israel, the Gentiles would be saved.

Notice that this entails the reconciliation of the 12 tribes, as well as their reconciliation with the nations.

God would make a New Covenant with Israel.

This would be in “the acceptable time, the day of salvation.”

Paul, who preached nothing but the hope of Israel found in the OT, said he had been given the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18).

Paul said: “Now is the acceptable time, today is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:1-2). Remember that Jesus had earlier said that he had come to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and now, here is Paul saying the acceptable time had arrived! This proves, indubitably, that the OT promises had not been postponed.

So, for Paul, the time and events foretold by Isaiah were being fulfilled, in his day, and his ministry.

No postponement, no interruption, no alteration of God’s plan.

***

This mid-Acts dispensational viewpoint is the only system of Scripture interpretation that can answer the questions posed by preterists like Don K. Preston honestly, intelligently, and scripturally.

Response: With great respect and kindness, I strongly differ. The Mid-Acts dispensational view is wrong because:

1.) It relies on a postponed prophetic plan, when God said His Messiah would not fail, He would not alter the plan.

2.) It relies on a literalistic definition of the kingdom that was rejected by Jesus himself.

3.) It says that there were two gospel messages, one for the Jews, one for the Gentiles, when scripture says there was but one hope, one faith, and that was the hope of Israel found in the OT.

4.) It says that the gospel of grace is not the gospel to Israel, but Paul emphatically differed with this. It was the gospel of grace being preached to Israel—as foretold in the OT (Romans 10:16f).

5.) It essentially denies the audience relevance of the NT epistles, saying that they will not become relevant until sometime in the future, when the tribulation saints realize that the scriptures are finally relevant to them.

6.) It says that Jesus did not even know the generation of his coming, which is a denial of his emphatic statements in Matthew 24:34).

7.) It says that the AD 70 fall of Jerusalem was not in fulfillment of prophecy, which denies the audience relevance, and the very language of Jesus’ prophecies, not to mention it flies in the face of the historical evidence.

8.) It denies the objective imminence of the NT writers, although they were writing by inspiration of the Spirit, who was revealing—from the Father—“things to come” (John 16:13f).

9.) It says, by implication– that the NT writers made premature declarations of the nearness of the end, although Jesus emphatically warned them against doing so.

10.) It denies that the gospel was preached to all the world, in denial of Paul’s emphatic declarations to the contrary.

11.) It says the church was not foretold in the OT, and yet the events of Pentecost—the establishment of the church—were in direct fulfillment of OT prophecies!

12.) It denies
the fact that Paul’s ministry—including the Gentile mission– was in direct fulfillment of God’s OT promises to Israel.

Well, I really must close this. It has gone on far longer than I had anticipated, but, I felt that I must take note of a lot that Ms. Collins said. I hope that the information in this exchange is helpful to those who read it, and will aid in bringing us all closer to the Lord.

For His Truth, and In His Grace,

Don K. Preston

 

See also: God’s No Trespassing Signs!

Why Did Peter Doubt Within Himself?

Three Facts Most Bible Scholars Don’t Know!

Did God Keep a Secret?

Prophecy v. Mystery

More, at: MidActs Dispensationalist Blog

 

8/21/10

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