This is Jerry McDonald’s first negative in our written debate.
McDonald’s First Rebuttal
Brother Preston, and interested readers.
Let me say, with Don, that I am happy to be part of this debate. Since my forced retirement because of my health, from local work, debating and writing is about all that I am able to do. I am looking forward to this study and hope to learn a lot from it.
Don has given his definition of his proposition, and while he holds these definitions, I don’t. I realize that this is his proposition, and he is free to define it as to how he uses the terms, but there are some things that I want to point out that I believe that he is in error over.
I do not believe that the Bible teaches that the “Second Coming of Christ” is “the revelation of Christ that stands in contrast to his incarnate human form, and is the revelation of his Deity as King of Kings, and Lord of lords.” I question this on two basis’: (1) The Deity of Jesus Christ has already been revealed and established. The Apostle John wrote about this in his account of the Gospel (Jno. 1:1-3,14; 3:16). Thus Jesus Christ’s deity was already revealed and an established fact. However, the Apostle Paul wrote that he was deity (Col. 1:15,16; 2:9). All these verses show us that Christ’s deity was revealed and established long before the fall of Jerusalem. (2) Christ was, before 70 A.D., already “King of Kings, and Lord of lords” which is what Paul wrote:
“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1Ti 6:12-15).
What confession did Jesus witness before Pontius Pilate? That he was a King! He witnessed that his kingdom was not of this world (Joh. 18:36). Thus showing that it was a higher kingdom, which would make him a higher king, and a higher Lord. He would already be King of kings, and Lord of lords before A.D. 70. However, Don undoubtedly thinks that this would only be done when Jesus Christ returned because of Paul’s statement “until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The phrase “in his times” means “in his own time.” It is a time that no one can know, but he shall appear whenever the Father decides it is time for him to appear (Mt. 24:36). When he returns, everyone will confess that he is the only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords. However, he was already “King of kings, and Lord of lords.” He was already “the only Potentate since all authority resides in his hands (Mt. 28:18-20), and he was made to be head over all things to the church which is his body (Eph. 1:22,23). To say that he would have to wait until his return to be King of kings, and Lord of lords, is absurd and contrary to scripture. When he returns there will be no question in anyone’s mind about who he is for “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God” (Rom 14:11). All of this was written before A.D. 70.
Don’s doctrine implies that Christ’s deity, sovereignty, Kingship, and Lordship was not established until Jerusalem fell in A.D. 70. but the scriptures teach the opposite. Christ also stated that all authority resided in him before he ascended into heaven (Mt. 28:18).
“By the resurrection of the dead, I mean the restoration of the life lost in Adam.
By the judgment, I mean the time when Christ would ‘reward every man according to his works’” (Preston’s First Affirmative).
It is truly amazing how much of the Bible Don has misapplied to get his doctrine. The resurrection of the dead is the restoration of the life lost in Adam? Paul corrected the church in Corinth for teaching that there was no bodily resurrection from the dead, in cha
pter 15 of his first epistle to the church in Corinth.
These people were teaching the doctrine that there was no bodily, physical resurrection of the dead, and Paul tells them that this is a false doctrine. It is false because if there is no bodily resurrection of the dead, then Christ was not bodily raised from the dead. Now those are Paul’s words, not mine. See the chart where Don says that the resurrection of the dead is not a bodily resurrection, but a restoration of the life that was lost in Adam; in other words, we would be raise from our sins unto salvation. Wait a minute! I thought that was what baptism was all about. Baptism is the death, the burial and the resurrection of the old man of sin (Rom. 6:1-8) to a new man. But that isn’t the resurrection of the dead that Paul writes about in his first epistle to Corinth. Now Don has already stated that the Bible is our sole guide in making all our religious decisions (see my preliminary questions to him), and with that being true then he is forced to accept the fact that Paul wrote that if there is no bodily resurrection, then Christ was not raised. We know that he was talking about a bodily resurrection because of what he wrote as can be seen from the following chart. Look at the chart and you will see why Don’s position is in direct opposition to Paul’s.
Notice also what Paul wrote concerning the corruptible and incorruptible bodies in 1 Corinthians chapter 15:42-56. Paul says that in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, we shall all be changed (we being all those on earth when Christ returns). A question comes to mind: When Christ came in judgment upon Jerusalem, did they all change from corruptible bodies to incorruptible bodies? When Christ came in judgment upon Jerusalem did mortality put on immortality? Why do we still have mortal people walking around? John died a natural death in the 90’s A.D., so why didn’t he have an incorruptible body so that he wouldn’t die? Why didn’t he have an immortal body? Look, again, at the following chart to see clearly what Don is teaching.
So the “one hope” is a reiteration of God’s Old Covenant promises made to Old Covenant Israel is it? And the 1st century Christians preached nothing but the hope of Israel? Acts 24 simply states: “But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust” (Act 24:14-15). Paul wasn’t stating that the hope was the reiteration of God’s Old Covenant promises made to Old Covenant Israel, he was showing that the hope was salvation which would come at the resurrection of the dead. This was all foretold to Israel in Moses and the prophets. However, it isn’t a reiteration of anything, it is the fulfillment of that which was prophesied so many years ago.
The hope that the 12 tribes had was the hope of salvation in Christ Jesus (Heb. 1:1-3; 9:15). The promise made to Abraham (Gen. 11:1-3) had two elements (1) the land promise which the Israelites were given, and the (2) promise of salvation from sin, which became a reality when Christ died on the cross. Under Mosaic law there was no salvation (Heb. 10:4) because it was not possible that the blood of animals should take away sin.
All of what Paul, Peter and John preached was foretold in the Old Testament. The Old Testament, however, had no salvation attached to it. The only way anyone could have salvation from sin was to obey New Testament law (the gospel of Jesus Christ), not the law of Moses. Don says that the Old Law was not completely done away until A.D. 70, but Paul said “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:4) before A.D. 70. Everything Paul taught, after becoming a Christian, pointed to the fact that the Old Law was nailed to the cross, and the New Law came into existence at that point. While everything he preached was prophesied in the Old Law, nothing in the Old Law, other than those things that were prophesied, were binding upon those in Paul’s day, and they were not binding as Old Testament law, but as promises that would be fulfilled in the New Testament. Paul understood this, Peter understood this, and John understood this, so why can’t Don understand this?
Don says that the eschatology of the New Testament writers was nothing more than Old Testament eschatology, and here, of course, I disagree with him. New Testament eschatology was prophesied in the Old Testament, but the Old Testament, itself, had no eschatology, it had no salvation, it had no standing after the cross. The only hope they had, under the OT, was found in that it was a school master to bring them to the New Testament (Christ).
Don has the hope of the NT writers all backwards. He has it to where what is important is Old Testament Israel. Yes, the promise was made to them, but the Old Testament was not valid under the New Testament. Notice the following chart showing that no one could live under the law of Moses and the law of Christ at the same time, and as such the law of Moses was done away with because Paul said that they had become dead to it. The New was prophesied in the Old, but the Old was done away with at the cross (Col. 2:14-16).
He goes to Matthew 5:18 where Jesus said “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Mat 5:17-18). Don offers the following argument:
Not one jot or one tittle of Torah would pass until it was all fulfilled.
But, Torah predicted the second coming of Christ, the judgment and the resurrection.
Therefore, not one jot or one tittle would pass from Torah until the second coming of Christ, the judgment and the resurrection were fulfilled.
Because the Torah predicted the second coming of Christ, the judgment and the resurrection does not make the second coming, the judgment or the resurrection part of Old Testament law. The Old Testament prophets prophesied about the people of God being named a new name which the Lord would give (Isa. 62:2), but this does not necessitate this new name being part of the Old Testament law, thus having to be fulfilled before the Old Law could be taken out of the way. The establishment of the church (Isa. 2:2-4) was not part of Old Testament law even though it was prophesied by an Old Testament prophet and written in the Old Testament. Don seems to think that if something was written in the Old Testament then it had to be part of the Old Testament law and it had to come to pass before the Old Testament could be fulfilled. He tells us “The major premise is undeniable. The minor is irrefutable. The conclusion is inescapable,” but though the major premise is undeniable and the minor premise is irrefutable, the conclusion does not follow because the two premises do not force it. Just because something was predicted in the Old Testament does not make that part of Old Testament Law.
Another thing is that Paul wrote, before A.D. 70 “we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted as ye are yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15), (notice the chart). So Christ is the High Priest today, and according to Peter, who also wrote before A.D. 70, we are a royal priesthood (1 Pet. 2:9). Now the thing is that under the Old Law, only someone from the tribe of Levi could serve as high priest, and Christ did not come from the tribe of Levi. He came from the tribe of Judah, “which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood” (Heb. 7:14). So how was this possible? There had to be a change in the law (Heb. 7:12). The Old Law had to be fulfilled and taken out of the way before Christ could be our High Priest. When did this change take place? Don’s position implies that Christ wasn’t our High Priest until Jerusalem was destroyed in A.D. 70 because he says that the Law of Moses was in effect until Jerusalem was destroyed in A.D. 70. Yet the writer to the Hebrew Christians undeniably affirmed that he was, before Jerusalem fell in A.D. 70. So how does Don reconcile this?
Then he goes into a long and drawn out dissertation of God’s marriage to Israel and Judah, something that no one denies, but there are parts of his drawn out list that need some response.
Jeremiah 3:8-11 simply shows how each fell away from God, and that at that time Judah had not completely walked away from God. Revelation 11:8 is part of the vision John had about what was taking place during the persecution of the Seven Churches in Asia Minor. It says nothing about God divorcing Judah. Don is placing a lot of literal interpretation on the book of Revelation. He says that this book was written before 70 A.D., but it is funny that John was exiled on the Isle of Patmos when he wrote this book, and that didn’t happen until the mid-90’s. Foy E. Wallace Jr. took the position that Revelation was written before A.D. 70, but he was never able to answer the question about John’s being on the Isle of Patmos other than to say that there may have been a time that was not recorded where John was at Patmos. When else was John ever at Patmos? See the following chart for Eusebius’ position on the date of Revelation. Also Clement took the same position on the next chart. Ignatius took the same position as seen on the following chart. Finally, Irenaeus took the same position as can be seen on the following chart. Now Domitian’s reign ended in 96 A.D.:
“Titus Flavius Vespasianus (“Vespasian”) survived the civil wars of 68-69 AD as undisputed ruler of the Roman world. He had two sons: The elder (with the same name) is known to history as “Titus” succeeded his father and ruled for two years before his death in 81 AD. The younger brother, Titus Flavius Domitianus, then
became emperor ruling until 96 AD” (http://dougsmith.ancients.info/feac49dom.html).
So with this information in mind, all of Don’s calculations are without merit. While none of these men were God and none of their works were inspired they are a better source than someone who lived 2000 years after the fact.
He quotes Isaiah 62:1-12 as proof of his position that the remarriage would come in A.D. 70. However, Isaiah 62:2 prophesies about the children of God being called by a new name, and Acts 11:26 tells us that the “disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.” The disciples were called Christians before A.D. 70 destroying the idea that the new name was to be given at the destruction of Jerusalem. So how is this possible unless “Christian” was not the new name that the mouth of the Lord would name. If it isn’t what was that name that God would give his people?
God did not marry Israel by giving the Torah. He gave the law to Israel as his people. Jeremiah wrote:
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD” (Jer 31:31-32).
He made a covenant with his people when he brought them out of Egyptian bondage, but this covenant was not the giving of the Law. The covenant was made to Abraham some 430 years before he gave the written law at Sinai. The covenant was confirmed (ratified) by God in Christ, and the law that was given 430 years later cannot disannaul what God promised (Gal. 3:17).
If the new covenant was going to be with (fleshly) Israel and Judah, then what chance do we have? The church is known as Israel “And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God” (Gal 6:16), and spiritual Zion (Heb. 12:22,23). However, fleshly Israel is not under consideration. The only people of Israel and Judah was the remnant that was to be saved: “Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved” (Rom 9:27). So fleshly Israel and fleshly Judah are not the ones that were to be saved, but rather a remnant of those nations. They would be given the New Covenant, a covenant that would include both Jew and Gentile (Eph. 2:12-16). This marriage would be with the church, not fleshly Israel or fleshly Judah.
He gives Hosea 1:10,11 as proof that at the remarriage all Israel would be saved, but notice what Hosea says:
“Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God. Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel” (Hos 1:10-11).
So what is Hosea talking about? Notice two statements by Peter and Paul:
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy” (1Pe 2:9-10)
Who is Peter talking about? Peter is talking to Christians, who had become part of a priesthood (something that could not possibly exist under the Law of Moses), a chosen generation—New Testament Christians.
Now looking at Paul’s statement:
“Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God” (Rom 9:24-26).
Paul says that not only were the Jews called out, but also the Gentiles, who Hosea prophesied that they, who were at one time not God’s people, that it it would come to pass that where it was said to them that they were not God’s people (because they were not Jews) they would be called the children of the living God. This is not talking about fleshly Israel or Judah. The Jews would be given the gospel, but the Gentiles would also receive it.
So when did the Messiah come, fulling his Messianic promises? Don says that his messianic promises were fulfilled during t
he destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. So when did Joel’s prophecy become fulfilled? Don says “in A.D. 70.” So what happened on the day of Pentecost? Peter said that what they were seeing was a fulfillment of the prophecy that Joel made concerning the Messiah’s church. He said “this is that.” He didn’t say this is the beginning of a fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy, but only in its infancy. No, he said “this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel.” Now Don can argue with Peter all he wants, but the church was established on the day of Pentecost of Acts 2.
The angel told the 11 who watched Jesus literally ascend to heaven “Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Act 1:11). So if all prophecies concerning Christ were fulfilled at the destruction of Jerusalem, then Jesus must have returned on a cloud just as literal as the apostles watched him depart on. But did that happen? We are told that when Christ reappears, John said every eye shall see him, and Paul said every tongue shall confess. Did every eye see Christ in A.D. 70? Did every tongue confess in A.D. 70? Why do we have so many people who are not confessing Christ? Is it because Christ no more appeared to judge the world than he did on Saturday May 21, 2011 like Harold Camping said he would? (who after his failure now says Christ did return on May 21, 2011, but it was a spiritual judgment, much like Don does with the A.D. 70 doctrine-me thinks that both Don and Harold ought to quit wresting the scriptures and let them speak for themselves). When Paul said “every tongue shall confess” he was quoting Isaiah 45:23 which Don says would necessarily be part of the Old Testament law. So did every tongue confess? Did every knee bow to Christ in A.D. 70? NO! That prophecy has yet to be fulfilled. So it seems that not all of Christ’s messianic prophecies were fulfilled when Jerusalem was destroyed in A.D.70. Now while this is only one, all it takes is one to bring Don’s house of cards down around his feet, and this one has done it. Unless he can show that every knee bowed, and every tongue confessed to Christ in A.D. 70, then he cannot hold to his argument.
Jesus invented marriage long before the Old Covenant came into existence. Marriage was invented in the Garden of Eden when God brought Eve to Adam and gave her to him for his wife (Mt. 19:3-6), unless Don is willing to take the position that Eve was not really Adam’s wife because no such relationship existed before the covenant with Israel and Judah!
The church is not the bride of Christ? Judah and Israel is the bride of Christ? Don has God divorcing Judah and Israel and then Judah marrying Christ! Paul wrote: “For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah” (Heb 8:8). Does he mean that he is going to make a new covenant with the literal country of Judah? No! There was to be a remnant that would be saved, from all 12 tribes, but they would not be in a relationship as Jews and Israelites, they would be in a relationship as Christians—New Testament, not Old.
According to Don, God is not married to the church. According to Don, the church is not the bride of Christ. According to Don, God remarried Israel and Judah.
Don tries to make a literal connection of the destruction of Jerusalem to the parable in Matthew chapter 22. A question comes to mind: “If Jesus’ intent was to come and marry Israel & Judah, why did the Israelites want him dead?” It seems to me that, according to Don, he came to do the very thing that they wanted him to do in the first place. They wanted to be God’s chosen people; they wanted to have a special place in God’s heart. So why did they want him dead? The parable is about Christ coming and being rejected. The Jews were supposed to accept Christ, but they refused, so God punished them. It has nothing to do with the fall of Jerusalem; don’t make too many literal points in the parables of Christ. Christ came to set up a spiritual kingdom, and when they realized that he wasn’t going to be ruler over Israel, they rejected him.
Paul wrote “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel, is that they might be saved” (Rom. 10:1). What did he mean that he prayed that Israel would be saved? According to Don God was going to marry Israel at the destruction of Jerusalem. With this being the case there would be no question. But Paul apparently didn’t understand that because he said that he prayed that Israel might be saved. He loved his country, his people, and he wanted them to be saved. This implies that they were in a lost condition, and would be unless they obeyed the New Testament Gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:16). Don talks about Israel’s power being the Torah! No! Israel’s power is the same power that any of us have: The Gospel of Jesus Christ (Rom. 1:16).
Don writes: “Who ‘had been invited’ to the wedding? Old Covenant Israel. This was her promise.” No, Old Covenant Israel was not promised to be invited to the wedding. The remnant of the Jews received the gospel, but Old Covenant Israel was no longer the children of God, and had not been since they were carried into captivity.
Why was it divinely necessary for the gospel to start with the Jews? Because the Jews were more receptive (for one), also the Christ had come through the Jews, and the Law of Moses was given to the Jews to be a school master to bring them to Christ (Gal. 3:24). He wants to know when God remarried Israel according to prophecies. God never remarried fleshly Israel, he married the church who is spiritual Israel. This is that to which the prophecies refer, not fleshly Israel; their time was over.
He says: “Note that a remnant of Israel in almost every city did accept the gospel,” and with this I agree. The remnant of Israel and of Judah did receive the gospel, but not as Israel or Judah, but those who obeyed became Christians. He says: “Now, it is axiomatic that if a law or covenant has been abrogated, stricken from the books, that none of its provisions– whether positive or negative– are applicable and binding from the point of its abrogation / annulment” which is why Paul told the church in Rome and the churches of Galatia that they could not live under the Old Covenant Law. If that law was still in effect, then Paul had no business telling those people that they were sinning by trying to live under it.
Questions for Jerry:
Is the wedding of Matthew 22 the same as the wedding of Christ at his second coming in Matthew 25. Answer: No! The wedding of Matthew 22 is a parable teaching a lesson on the kingdom of God. You cannot make every point in the parable mean something. Matthew 22:2 says: “The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son” (Mat 22:2).
Was the wedding of the son in Matthew 22 postponed until some yet future time? No! But again you cannot make every point in the parable refer to the lesson. If you did you would have those invited there for the purpose of witnessing the wedding. In the kingdom of God people are married to Christ, but these people were not married to the Son. So you cannot make everything in a parable applicable. It was a story to teach a lesson.
When did God remarry (or will he remarry) Old Covenant Israel, in fulfilling of her Old Covenant promises? He didn’t and he won’t. The prophecies were about a spiritual kingdom that would include both Jew and Gentile.
No, God did not remarry fleshly Israel at Pentecost or any other time. Fleshly Israel was no longer valid. Joel’s prophecy was for “all flesh,” both Jew and Gentile, and Peter said that what they saw at Pentecost was a fulfillment of what Joel said in Joel 2:28-32. He says: “This means that Hosea 2:19– a promise made to Old Covenant Israel– was being fulfilled on Pentecost, after the promises of Torah had supposedly been annulled),” but he tries to make a vast difference between the betrothal and the marriage. The betrothal was not an engagement. The only thing that they could not do in the betrothal was to live together. This is why Joseph thought that Mary had committed adultery against him when he found that she was pregnant with Jesus.
He says: “So, Paul was telling his post cross, Jewish audience that if they spurned the invitation to the promised wedding, that Mosaic Covenant wrath would be poured out on them, just as it was in 586 BC!” Was Paul quoting Mosaical Law by quoting Hab. 1:5? No, he was quoting a prophecy made by an Old Testament Prophet. Don implies that anything that was written in the Old Testament was Old Testament Law. Something was written in the Old Testament that doesn’t make it Old Testament Law.
Paul didn’t threaten his hearers with Mosaic Covenant wrath in Acts 13:39-41. Notice what Paul said to them: (1) They were told that no man could be justified by the law of Moses. (2) Beware so that the wrath that was spoken of by the prophets would not come upon them. What had Habakkuk spoken? Habakkuk had warned the Jews about the Chaldeans who were going to destroy the temple because they were not faithful to God. Paul makes application to this and shows that as God brought judgment upon the Jews, he will bring judgment upon them for not obeying the gospel of Christ. He told them not to obey the Law of Moses because the law of Moses could not justify them. Don needs to quote all of what Paul said rather than just part.
Paul preached nothing but the hope of Israel found in Torah (The Law of Moses–Acts 24:14-15; 26:5f; 26:21f; 28:18f).
Paul wasn’t preaching the Law of Moses. He specifically told people that the Law of Moses would not justify them (Acts 13:39; Rom. 7:1-4; Gal. 5:4). Why would he preach something he said would not justify sins? He wouldn’t and he didn’t!
Paul had betrothed the Corinthians to Christ (This included a righteous remnant of Old Covenant Israel that had accepted their Messiah).
This betrothal was not an engagement, it was a marriage. Notice the meaning of the word “espoused” on the following chart. The church will be joined with Christ in heaven when Christ returns; that is the time that is set aside by God. The church, today, is still betrothed to Christ and the relationship will not be consummated until Christ returns. Don says that this has already happened, but the scriptures don’t teach this. Don has to wrest the scriptures to make his point, but the Bible doesn’t teach his position.
In Revelation 21:1-4 we see the New Heaven and New Earth (Heaven after the judgment), for the first were passed away. John saw the new Jerusalem coming out of heaven, as a bride adorned for her husband. God said “The tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” Then John said that voice said that “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any ore pain: for the former things are passed away.” Has God wiped away all tears from our eyes? Has he removed all pain? Has he removed death? No! We still cry, we still feel pain, and we still die. Therefore, Christ has not returned to take the church to heaven.
He goes into some strange interpretation of Ephesians 5:25-27. He says that Christ sanctified the church and that sanctification was part of the Jewish wedding ceremony. This sanctification was baptism, not something else, and Paul wrote Ephesians before A.D. 70. It says “that he might sanctify and cleans it by the washing of water by the word” not by destroying the city of Jerusalem. Paul was teaching that Christ gave his life for the church, that he might sanctify and cleanse it. He didn’t wait until A.D.70 to sanctify and cleanse it. Don’s position implies that the church was not sanctified or cleansed until A.D. 70, therefore it was not sanctified, therefore not set aside and not cleansed before that time.
Hosea said this would be in the day in which God would take away the “feasts, new moons and Sabbaths” (2:11)).
So when did God take away the feasts, new moons and Sabbaths?
“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days” (Col 2:14-16).
According to Paul, the feasts, new moons and Sabbaths were nailed to the cross, and that they were not to allow anyone to judge them in these things. If those things were not to happen until A.D. 70 why did Paul say they had been nailed to the cross? I take Paul’s word for it, not Don’s.
I asked Jerry to tell me if Revelation 11:15-19 was fulfilled or not. He responded: “Revelation 11:15-19 is a vision John had regarding the seven churches in Asia (Rev. 1:4,11) and the persecution that they were enduring. All of the things you listed above are to be kept in the context of the apocalyptic vision, not applied when and where you please.”
Well, if Revelation 11:15-19 was written to the seven churches about their specific situation and you cannot apply these promises to “when and where you please” (and of course you can’t), then it is entirely inappropriate to rip verse 15-19 away from the seven churches and say those promises are still unfulfilled 2000 years later! But let’s look closer.
I don’t rip them out to say that they apply 2000 years later. Everything that was mentioned in Revelation was fulfilled during the persecution of the seven churches in Asia with the exception of the final judgment of man spoken of in the last two chapters of Revelation. The judgment spoken about in the 11th chapter was the judgment upon the Roman Empire who had persecuted those seven churches so heavily.
The seven churches of Asia underwent their persecution when Domitian was Emperor, and Revelation was written to give them (the seven churches of Asia). Since Domitian was the Emperor at the time (in the 90’s A.D.), Revelation was written long after 70 A.D.,. Therefore Don’s twist on Revelation chapter 11 is in error. The bodies in the street (v:8), in the city where the Lord was crucified does not have reference to Jerusalem as Don posits.
Johnson wrote: “Of the great city. This term is used eight times in Revelation. It is never used of Jerusalem. It is in contrast with the Holy City. As the Holy City is a symbol of the church, a wicked City would symbolize a false religion, or apostate church” (People’s New Testament With Notes, e-Sword).
Don says “The resurrection of Daniel 12 is the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15– the end of the age resurrection the time of the kingdom, the resurrection to everlasting life” but the resurrection of 1 Cor. 15 is the bodily resurrection of the dead. This is exactly what Paul says.
The Song of Moses sang by Israel and the Song of Moses sang by Spiritual Israel (the church) were sang at two different times in history. Spiritual Israel sang the song and it became the song of the Lamb (Rev. 15:3). However, this song, sang by Moses(Deut 32) was sang at the beginning of Israel’s existence as a nation. The Hoshea here was not the prophet Hosea, (who was the son of Beeri) but was Joshua the son of Nun.
I don’t know what version Don is using, but I am using the KJV and here is what it says: “And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith” (Deu 32:20). Don sees “the last days” in everything, but Deut. 32:20 is not talking about the last days, but their end was simply their apostasy from God. The rejoicing (v:43) was that God would avenge the blood of his people upon the Nations of Canaan. None of Deuteronomy had to do with the last days, but with what was going on at that time.
As we have seen the avenging the blood was the blood that the Canaanites drew of the Israelites. God would avenge this blood, not some deaths several thousand years later. An example of this would be the Amalekites smiting the old and feeble (Deut. 25:17,18). This would give the Israelites something to rejoice over, not something several thousand years later.
I have already proven that Revelation was written about A.D. 96, not A.D. 69. I have shown that Domitian was in power when Revelation was written. I have proven that Deuteronomy 32 refers to the deaths that were caused by the Canaanites. Thus according to Don his argument does not stand.
Revelation 16:5 says nothing about Old Testament prophets being killed, it says: “And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy” (Rev 16:5-6). They shed the blood of saints, and prophets. Don says that Roman Catholic Church never killed the Old Testament prophets, and with this I agree, but the Roman Empire, under Domitian, did kill New Testament saints and prophets.
1 Thess. 2:15-16 say nothing about Jerusalem about to be judged. Paul told the Thessalonians that they had suffered things from their own countrymen as the Jewish Christians had suffered from theirs. The Jews killed their prophets, and also the Lord—something that Stephen brought out in his sermon—which by the way got him killed (Acts chapter 7). They persecuted the apostles and did not please God, and were contrary to all men. They forbade the apostles to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins because the wrath of God is come upon them. This wrath is not the destruction of Jerusalem, or of the temple, but is eternal situation as is brought out in verses 17-20. Eternal damnation is what Paul spoke of for the Jews who persecuted them, and eternal life was for those who were faithful. Notice what Paul said later on in this epistle (4:13-18) which has reference to the final judgment of mankind, as does 2 Thess. 1:7-9. Did all this happen at the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70? Does Don not quote 2 Thess. 1:7-9 in warning of the coming judgment? Certainly not, holding to the position that he holds. He can’t even quote 1 Thess. 4:13-18 at funerals because those things don’t apply, as far as his position is concerned. The Roman Empire did all the things that the book of Revelation discusses, and did it to those Christians of Asia Minor.
I have shown, from several of the early historians, that Revelation was written later than 70 A.D.,. What Don needs to do is to show that John was exiled on Patmos before the A.D. 90’s, this is something he cannot do, something that even Foy E. Wallace could not do.
He goes into a list of things that he says I must do to negate his proposition, and my response is as follows:
(A) New Testament eschatology promises were promised in the Old Testament, but those promises were not “The law of Moses” or the “Torah” any more than Isaiah 7:14 was the Law of Moses or the Torah. The OT prophets prophesied of a new covenant, better than the first covenant. (B) I have destroyed his argument on the remarriage. © I have shown that the parable in Matthew 22 is not the judgment of Matthew 25. (D) I have shown that Revelation is not talking about the same thing as Deuteronomy 32 is. (E) God did not apply the Old Testament law or Torah after the cross. Paul said that the law had been nailed to the cross (Col. 2:14-16). Then regarding Revelation and the great city I offer the following chart.
While Schaff holds to the early date, he shows that the early scholars (people who were closest to the writing, and would have better knowledge) held to the 95 or 96 A.D. writing date. What this means is that the Great City does not refer to the City of Jerusalem, but to Rome. The crucifixion of the Lord refers to a spiritual crucifixion because the church in Rome had begun their apostasy at this point. Again, I point to Johnson on the following chart.
Now while it is true that Johnson is not inspired, he seems to have a better handle on this than Don does. Three visions were seen by John, each having its own lessons for the 1st century Christians of Asia Minor. We know for a fact that the book was written to the seven churches in Asia, that much is stated clearly. We know that when John wrote this he was on the Isle of Patmos. That much is stated. Unless Don knows of another time that John was on the Isle of Patmos, we must go with history, which has him exiled at Patmos in the mid-90’s, twenty something years too late for it to be about the destruction of Jerusalem.
Don answered the question: “1. Do you agree with the premise that one should draw, only, such conclusions as are warranted by the evidence?” His Answer: “I agree.” We have evidence that John was exiled on Patmos in the 90’s. We have no evidence that he was there prior to A.D. 70. So if Don is true to his word, then he can only draw conclusions such as are warranted by the evidence, and the evidence says that John was there in the 90’s. Therefore the only conclusion that can be drawn is that Revelation was written in the 90’s, more than 20 years too late for the destruction of Jerusalem.
I not only can, but I have proven what I need to prove to destroy Don’s position. Whatever he says about the book of Revelation, he cannot get around the date of the writing, because as it says “I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev 1:9). He then offers up Revelation 22:12 as a final argument: “Behold, I come quickly and my reward is with me” (Revelation 22:12).
The word “quickly” in Revelation 22:12 means as follows:
“ταχύ tachú; neut. sing. of tachús (G5036), prompt, swift, used as an adv. Quickly, speedily, with haste (Mat_5:25; Mat_28:7-8; Mar_16:8 [TR]; Joh_11:29; Sept.: 2Sa_17:16); suddenly (Rev_2:5 [TR], Rev_2:16; Rev_3:11; Rev_11:14; Rev_22:7, Rev_22:12, Rev_22:20; Sept.: Psa_102:3). By implication, carelessly, lightly (Mar_9:39)” (The Complete Word Study Dictionary, e-Sword).
The word means “prompt, swift, speedily with haste….suddenly (Rev. 2212). So this does not mean that this meant that his coming would be imminent, but that when he came it would happen very quickly.
1.) When was John on the isle of Patmos before the mid-90s A.D.?
2.) When did Paul say that the handwriting of ordinances was nailed to the cross, did he or did he not tell the Colossian Christians not to let anyone judg them regarding New Moons, Feast Days and Sabbaths? Yes or No?
3.) When did Christ sanctify the church, and how did he do it?
4.) Was was the “new name” that was to be given by the mouth of the Lord in Isaiah 62:2 and where is this new name found in the NT?
5.) Was Christ High Priest before AD 70?
Don failed to show that his proposition is true, so he needs to go back to the drawing board and try again. I have gone over my word limit so I’ll have to quit for now.
In Christ Jesus, still waiting for the second coming of our Lord,
Jerry D. McDonald
In Christ Jesus
Jerry D. McDonald
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