Written Debates

Hicks -V- Preston Debate– Preston's Final Affirmative

Olan Hicks – V – Don K. Preston
Final Affirmative by Don K. Preston

I have had a lot of debates, public and written. I have never witnessed a worse presentation than Olan’s third negative. Evasion, obfuscation, presupposition, pontification make up the sum total of his “negative.”

Here are the rules that Olan gave his word to honor:

“Each man agrees that no argument, or material, shall be introduced into the discussion that is not directly relevant to either the establishing of an affirmative, or the negation thereof.  “Red Herring” arguments are to be avoided.

Each man agrees and pledges, that when in the negative, that he will answer, as directly and as specifically as possible, the affirmative arguments, without evasion or obfuscation.”

What has Olan said repeatedly? He says he does not have to follow me, does not have to examine my arguments, and, he introduces an array of Red Herring arguments and material that is not, in any way, directly relevant to negating my affirmatives.

William Miller and Preston
Bless Olan’s heart, he doesn’t seem to know the difference between predicting a future event, and looking back at fulfillment! This is embarrassing!

#1– Appealing to the false predictions of Miller, the JWs, etc. is irrelevant to our debate.

#2– Miller was speculating. I am honoring Jesus’ emphatic statements that he was coming back in the first century generation (Matthew 16:27-28; 24:29-34). Miller divorced those time statements from Jesus’ generation and applied them to his. Like Olan, he ignored the audience relevance of the NT predictions of the parousia.

The Bible Teaches…
Olan says he relies strictly on the Bible and then appeals to dubious (uninspired) testimony of Ignatius and Polycarp!  I did not realize that they were part of the Bible, What those men believed is totally irrelevant. I could easily show that the theology of both men was aberrant. Would that be relevant? No. This is pure smoke, because Olan can’t deal with my arguments.

Answering My Arguments
Olan claims: “The fact is I can answer them all in one sentence, The scriptures he offers do not say what he is supposed to be proving.”

Olan claims: “It is not necessary for me to analyze each passage Don quotes and get into interpreting Biblical prophecies beyond what they actually say.” He also offered: “The scriptures he quotes consist of prophecies about avenging the “blood of the martyrs,” (not our issue) about vengeance on Jerusalem, (not our issue) about some being raised from the dead, (not our issue) etc.”

Look what Olan has done.
He admits that the scriptures I gave predicted the avenging of the martyrs.
He admits that they foretold the avenging at the coming of the Lord.
He admits that they speak of judgment on Jerusalem.
Of course, Olan claims that there are many comings of the Lord in the vindication of the martyrs found in scripture.
The point is that the texts I examined speak of the last days Day of the Lord, and the avenging of the blood of the martyrs when Satan would be destroyed, at the end of the millennium resurrection!

Olan, how many comings of the Lord, at the end of the millennium resurrection and destruction of Satan, when the martyrs would be avenged, are there in scripture?

DO NOT FAIL TO ANSWER!

Watch what Olan conveniently– but of necessity– totally ignored:
1.) Deuteronomy 32 foretold the avenging for Israel’s last days– not the end of time. I have shown where Deuteronomy’s prophecy was to be fulfilled in the judgment of Babylon, the city where the Lord was slain (Revelation 11:8/ 19:1-2). Try to find Olan’s comments on Deuteronomy 32 and the correlation with Revelation. Not there.
2.) Isaiah 2-4 posited that avenging in the last days Day of the Lord. I proved that Paul anticipated fulfillment of Isaiah in 2 Thessalonians 1:9f, in his promise of imminent vindication of the Thessalonians. Olan’s response to Isaiah 2-4? Not there.
3.) It gets worse. Isaiah 25-27 explicitly posited that vindication at the Day of the Lord, the destruction of Satan, and the end of the millennium resurrection! But, Isaiah also undeniably posited those events at the time of the judgment and destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. Olan’s response? Not one syllable.
4.) Paul anticipated the parousia, for the salvation of Israel, in fulfillment of Isaiah 59 (and 27). (Remember, the end of the millennium resurrection is undeniably the salvation of Israel–after the flesh– Isaiah 25:8-9). What did Olan give us? Not a key stroke.

Olan, what coming of the Lord, for the salvation of Israel, was Paul anticipating in Romans 11:25-27– in fulfillment of Isaiah 27 / 59?

DO NOT FAIL TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION!

Paul’s One Gospel Message
Note the glaring contrast in this debate.
Preston accepts Paul who stated that he preached nothing but the hope of Israel found in the law and prophets.
Olan denies that Paul preached the hope of Israel found in the law and prophets.

Nothing could more clearly demonstrate the falsity of Olan’s entire theology.
Paul said the resurrection was from the Law and the prophets.
He said he preached nothing but what Moses and the prophets foretold.
He said the resurrection promise belonged to Old Covenant Israel after the flesh.
He said the resurrection would fulfill the prophecies of Isaiah 25 and Hosea 13.
But Olan, incredibly, claimed that Paul did not get his resurrection doctrine from the OT!
Olan claims Paul got his gospel from Christ, not man. Well, Paul did say he got it from Christ, but he likewise said he it was nothing but the hope of Israel found in the OT! Olan tragically tries to create a false contrast between the OT and the gospel, whereas, as we have proven beyond any doubt, for Paul, the “good news” was the proclamation of the fulfillment of the OT promises made to Israel! And Christ himself instructed Paul on that truth– a truth that Olan Hicks rejects.
Olan Hicks is wrong, and guilty of perverting and denying Paul’s explicit words.

OLAN AND THE EXPRESS WORDS OF SCRIPTURE
Olan repeatedly claims: “I…rely on what the inspired writers of scripture expressly said.”
No, he does no such thing. Notice my argument on Jesus’ explicit words in Matthew 5:17-18.

“Until heaven and earth (ouranos / ge) passes away,” not one iota of the Law of Moses would pass. The passing of “heaven and earth” and the passing of the law are inextricably tied together by Jesus’ express statements.  Olan tells us that the words ouranos (heaven) and ge (earth) must mean literal creation. So, heaven and earth have not passed, therefore, Torah (and Sabbath)  remains valid.

Jesus also explicitly said, “not one jot or one tittle shall pass from the law until it is all fulfilled.” Olan denies that every jot and tittle of the law had to be fulfilled for it to pass. See my book The End of the Law: From Torah to Telos, for an indepth study of Matthew 5:17-18.

Olan totally ignored Jesus’ express words- and my argument based on those explicit words– and gave us Ignatius and Polycarp. He gave us William Miller and the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ failed predictions! How is that for relying on the express words of scripture?

I appealed to Paul’s inescapable promise that Christ was to give the Thessalonian church relief from their then on-going persecution, and cast their persecutors out of His presence at the parousia. Words could not be clearer, or more undeniable. But, Olan wants us
to look to Ignatius and Polycarp, not to Paul.

Olan fatally entrapped himself by admitting that the people who had dwelt in the presence of God, but, who were to be cast out for persecuting the True Seed, was “the Jews.” This demands that 2 Thessalonians 1 predicted the casting out of Old Covenant Israel for persecuting the church- at the parousia. Matthew 23 and Galatians 4 explicitly tell us that was to be in the judgment of Jerusalem.

What did Olan do? He made a blatantly false claim: “I did not agree that the Jews were the only people who would be cast out of the presence of God. I agreed that they were one group of which many would be cast out.”(My emp.)
I challenged Olan to produce where he said this. He said no such thing!

But, since Olan claims that this is what he said, I challenged him: “Tell us what other people had, or will, dwell in the presence of God, but, will be cast out of His presence for persecuting the True Seed– and specifically the Thessalonians? Do not fail to answer this question.”

Of course, Olan refused to answer the question, because he cannot do it.

Reader, go back to my previous affirmative, and count the number of my arguments. Then, contemplate the undeniable reality that Olan ignored almost all of them, making not so much as one word of comment. But, he has the temerity to say he answered all of them, but, that I have not answered his questions. Nonsense.

OLAN ON 1 PETER
Olan did make a feeble (failed) attempt to respond to 1 Peter 4.

Here is what I argued.

1 Peter 4:5 – Christ was “ready to judge the living and the dead”
The word “ready” is hetoimos, and means not only morally prepared, but temporally imminent: e.g. “all things are ready, come to the feast” (Matthew 22).
Olan ignored the temporal element, simply stating that Christ is always ready to judge. This does not anser the temporal element.

Olan argued that the judgment of 1 Peter was localized. But, it was  the judgment of the living and the dead. I asked how local that was? I noted that 1 Peter 4:7 said, “the end of all things has drawn nigh.” I asked how local that was. Silence.
I noted that the Jewish war involved “the nations” and “the world” (Luke 21:25-26)- Silence
I noted that it was to be the vindication of all of the blood of all the righteous all the way back to creation (Matthew 23). Olan’s response? Silence.

I Peter 4:17– The (appointed) time has come for (the) judgment.”
Olan perverts the express words of the text, claiming that the judgment was to be only on “the house of God.” No, Olan, that is not what it says. It says “the judgment” was to BEGIN at the house of God. It does not limit it to that.

Peter expressly said the “appointed time” (kairos) for “the judgment” had come.
Olan claims it was not the appointed time for the judgment of Acts 17, because Ignatius and Polycarp said the judgment of the living and the dead was still future. So, per Olan, Ignatius and Polycarp trump Peter’s inspired declarations!

Peter used the anaphoric article in 4:17– “the judgment.”  I have noted this repeatedly, but of course Olan ignores it.
The anaphoric article in 4:17 points directly back to the judgment of 4:5– the judgment of the living and the dead– which is undeniably the resurrection. This means that Peter was explicitly affirming, “the time has come for the judgment of the living and the dead” i.e. the resurrection.
Olan’s response? Not one word about the anaphoric article.

I noted the perfect correspondence between Peter and Revelation– Ignored.

I noted the perfect correspondence between Jesus, Paul and Revelation about the vindication of the martyrs– Ignored.
I noted the temporal contrast between Daniel’s time and John’s. Daniel was told to seal the vision of the resurrection, because fulfillment was far off.
John, repeating Daniel’s prophecies, was told not to seal the Apocalypse, because the time for fulfillment was near. Ignored.

I noted that Daniel was to be rewarded at the resurrection at the time of the end, and Revelation posits the rewarding of the prophets at the resurrection, but, at the judgment of the city, “where the Lord was slain.” Ignored.

Olan, I want you to specifically identify  the city “where the Lord was slain” in Revelation 11:8.

DO NOT FAIL TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION!

You claim to accept the express statements of scripture, so let’s have your answer.

Olan’s Claims of Preston’s Fallacies
Olan claims:
<In Don’s usage of prophetic utterances the conclusions he comes out with contradict three basic truths.
(1) Bible statements that specify what the second coming will be like,
(2) Jesus’ statement that no one can know that time, and
(3) they contradict observable facts of our time and circumstance, such as saying that the resurrection and the passing away of the heavens and the earth have occurred when obviously they have not.>

Nothing could more clearly illustrate Olan’s presuppositional approach to eschatology than these three points.
#1– He assumes the meaning of the texts that describe Jesus’ coming. He has given us no exegesis whatsoever! The fact is that Olan actually ignores what scripture says about that coming!
A.) Jesus was to come “in the glory of the father” i.e. as the Father had come. He was to judge– at the resurrection– in the way he had seen the father judge (John 5:19-24). Note carefully that Jesus had never seen the Father come, literally, bodily, visibly, out of heaven!
B.) Paul was emphatic, “Although we have known Christ after the flesh, henceforth, we know him no more after the flesh” (2 Corinthians 5:16). In direct rejection of Paul’s express statements, Olan claims that we will one day see and know Christ in the flesh.

#2– He assumes the meaning of, “No man knows the day or the hour.” Olan, I invite you to make this argument as a platform for your affirmatives. Please, don’t fail to do so! For now, simply note that a person can know the generation of an event, without knowing the “day and the hour” can he not? If not, why not?

DON’T FAIL TO ANSWER THIS, OLAN!

#3 – He appeals to what his eyes see, or don’t see, based solely on his false presuppositions!
Well, take note of this: The coming of the Kingdom is the time of the resurrection and the judgment (Matthew 25:31f; 2 Timothy 4:1). Yet, Jesus emphatically said, “The kingdom does not come with observation” (Luke 17:20f). Now, if the kingdom does not come with observation, and the kingdom and the resurrection are synchronous events, then this means the resurrection is an unseen event!

Which brings me to Hymenaeus and Philetus- that Olan alluded to.

Olan believes that the Second Coming and the Resurrection is an earth-burning, time ending event, in which every human that has ever died and decomposed is re-constituted, restored and raised out of the dirt.
He believes that Christ’s coming is the literal descent of a 5′ 5″ physical, Jewish man, riding on a literal cumulus cloud, out of heaven with the sounding of a literal trump, when every eye on earth will see him.

Well, in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 Paul addressed the belief that Christ had already come! (The KJV translation of “at hand” is false).
In 2 Timothy 2:18, Paul condemned Hymenaeus for saying, “the resurrection is already passed.”

How in the world is this possible?   See my book, How Is This Possible? for a full discussion of this issue. 

DO YOU CATCH THE POWER OF THAT?

Reader: If the Second Coming and resurrection is wh
at Olan affirms, then ask yourself how anyone, could convince anyone, that it had already happened? How could anyone, sitting in their recliner, reading a letter supposedly written by Paul, claiming that the Lord had already come, time had already ended, earth had already burned up entertain that thought for even one moment?
How would it be possible– given Olan’s definition of the resurrection– for anyone to believe that it was already past, that the grave yards were all empty?

Why didn’t Paul offer Olan’s argument? Why didn’t he say to the Thessalonians: “Folks, look around at the observable facts”? Why didn’t Paul appeal, even one time, to empty graves, to the continuing literal “heaven and earth”? Why didn’t Paul ever say: “Just look around! Time marches on, earth is still standing! “The graveyards are still full!” Olan thinks this is his most devastating argument– yet Paul did not use it. Why didn’t Paul refute Hymenaeus by using Olan’s argument? Olan, are you offering a better argument than Paul?

Olan, how could anyone, convince anyone, that the parousia and the resurrection, as you define them, was already past?

DO NOT FAIL TO ANSWER THIS!

JOHN AS ELIJAH AND THE GREAT DAY OF THE LORD

I asked Olan to identify the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord of Malachi 4:5-6. He responded: “The great and terrible day of the Lord” here refers to that of which John the Baptist was the fore runner, i.e. the earthly ministry of  Jesus. Matthew 11:14.”
Olan admits that John the Baptizer was Elijah, but, otherwise he is dead wrong. The Great and Terrible Day of the Lord foretold by Elijah was not Jesus’ Incarnation, it was Jesus’ coming in judgment.

Invariably, in the OT, reference to the Great Day of the Lord, was a time of judgment. And John’s message, as Elijah, as the Voice crying in the wilderness (Isaiah 40), and as the Messenger (Malachi 3:1f), was of impending judgment.
Now,  John did say “there is one coming after me…” But the focus of Isaiah 40 / Malachi 3-4 in the prediction of The Voice, the Messenger and Elijah, is clearly not on the Incarnation, but “I will come near to you in judgment…” (Malachi 3:5-6).

Note the elements of Malachi 3:1-5:
1.) The coming of “the Messenger” (v. 1).
2.) The Messenger would prepare the people for the coming of the Lord– the Great And Terrible Day of the Lord (3:1-2; 4:5-6).
3.) The Lord would come “suddenly” to his temple– in judgment: “who shall stand at the Day of his coming”; “I will come near to you in judgment” (v. 2, 5).
4.) The Lord would come in judgment of the sorcerer, adulterer, liars, those who mistreated the widows, orphans, and turned away the foreigner (Gentiles-V. 5).
5.) Verse 5 is a direct citation of Exodus 22:21-23,  Leviticus 19-20 and Deuteronomy 27:19- the Law of Moses.
6.) So, this coming of Malachi 3-4 would be in application of the Law of Blessings and Cursings (Deuteronomy 28-30) at the Day of the Lord. Note Malachi 4:4 that ties the message of “Elijah” to a call for Israel to “remember the Law of Moses.” Thus, John was a messenger to Israel, to call on her to Covenant obedience, and threatening her with Covenant Wrath.
7.) This punishment would be national punishment: “I will punish you with the edge of the sword” (Exodus 22)– and national destruction (Deuteronomy 28:43f).

It is indisputable therefore that the Law of Blessings and Cursings (the law of Moses) would still be in effect at the Great Day of the Lord of Malachi 3:5-4:5-6. The provisions of a Covenant are patently not applicable after the Covenant has been abrogated.

Now, catch the power of this…

Olan agrees that John the Baptizer was  the Messenger (Elijah) foretold by Malachi.
John foretold the coming of judgment: “Who warned you to flee from the wrath about to come?”; “the axe is already at the root”; “his winnowing fork is already in his hand” (Matthew 3:7-12).
John, as the Messenger / Elijah, was therefore preparing for the coming of the Lord in application of the Law of Blessings and Cursings- the Law of Moses, as foretold in Malachi 3:1-6..

Olan claims that the Law of Blessings and Cursings (the Law of Moses) died at the cross.
Inspiration, however, demands that Malachi 3:5-4:5-6 be fulfilled at the coming of the Lord in national judgment of Israel, in application of Mosaic Covenant wrath.

That was not the Cross / Pentecost. In fact, take note:

Joel 2:28f foretold the outpouring of the Spirit “before the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord.”
So, Joel foretold the Great Day of the Lord; John as Elijah foretold the Great Day of the Lord.
Joel said the Holy Spirit would be poured out “before the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord.”
The Spirit was poured out on Pentecost, not before Jesus’ Incarnation.
Therefore, the Day of the Lord foretold by Joel and Malachi was not Jesus’ Incarnation, and it was not Pentecost.

Olan, did Joel and Malachi predict two different Great and Terrible Days of the Lord? If you say Yes, then produce the textual proof.
Please don’t give us simply more of his pontifications without exegesis.
If Olan cannot prove, definitively that Joel and Elijah foretold two Great and Terrible Days of the Lord, radically different in nature, then since the Spirit was poured out on Pentecost, and the Spirit was to be poured out BEFORE the Great Day of the Lord, then he is patently wrong to identify the Day of the Lord of Malachi as Jesus’ Incarnation.

The Messenger / Elijah was to predict the Great Day of the Lord, the time when, “I will come near to you in judgment” (Malachi 3:5-6; 4:5-6).
John, as Elijah, predicted the Day of the Lord foretold in Malachi 3-4.
John (The Messenger / Elijah) foretold “the wrath to come” –judgment on Israel– and said it was near.
If the coming of the Lord of Malachi 3:1-5; 4:5-6 did not occur soon, from John’s time, then inspiration fails.
If Olan’s view of the end of Torah is correct, the coming of Malachi 3-4 had to take place between John and the cross– but no such judgment of Israel for violating Exodus 22:21-23,  Leviticus 19-20 and Deuteronomy 27:19 occurred during that time!

Olan,  WHEN DID THE LORD COME IN JUDGMENT OF ISRAEL– PUNISHING THEM WITH THE EDGE OF THE SWORD–FOR VIOLATION OF EXODUS 22:21-23,  LEVITICUS 19-20 AND DEUTERONOMY 27:19– AS FORETOLD IN MALACHI 3:1-5; 4:5-6– AFTER JOHN’S MINISTRY, BUT BEFORE THE CROSS?

DO NOT FAIL TO ANSWER THIS

JOHN THE BAPTIZER AND REVELATION

Don’t miss the fact that in Revelation 6:12f, John anticipated the Day of God’s wrath when no man could stand before Him. And this would be at the Day of the Lord in vindication of the martyrs.
This is the day foretold by John as Elijah- the Day when no man could stand before His presence, as foretold in Malachi 3:1-6.
But, this means that Revelation 6 would be the application of Mosaic Covenant Wrath as proven above.
John as Elijah was patently not predicting Jesus’ Incarnation as the Day of the Lord foretold by Malachi. He foretold imminent judgment on Israel at the Great Day of the Lord, in vindication of the martyrs.

Not only does Revelation 6:12f cite Malachi 3 but, as we have already proven, it cites Isaiah 2:19– The Day of the Lord when men would flee to the mountains when the Lord purged the blood guilt of Jerusalem (Isaiah 4:4). And remember, Olan has admitted that this is what Isaiah foretold.
So, the Great Day of the Lord of Malachi 3-4 is the Day of the Lord of Revelation 6- the Day of the vindication of the martyrs.
The Great Day of the Lord of Revelation 6 is also the Day of the Lord of Isaiah 2:19f, when the Lord would judge Jerusalem for her blood guilt (4:4).
But as we have proven, Jesus said all the
blood of all the righteous, all the way back to creation, would be avenged in the AD 70 judgment of Jerusalem.

Now, let’s look closer at  Malachi 3:15-18:
“Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, And the Lord listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the Lord And who meditate on His name. 17 They shall be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts, “On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them As a man spares his own son who serves him.”

So, at the coming of the Lord in application of the Mosaic Covenant Wrath the Book of Remembrance would be opened, and the Lord would take those who loved Him to be His jewels.

Revelation 20 speaks of the judgment, when the Book of Life would be opened– at the end of the millennium.
This is the time of the salvation of those written in the Book of Remembrance foretold by Malachi.
But wait, that Great Day foretold by Malachi was to be in application of Mosaic Covenant Wrath in fulfillment of Exodus and Deuteronomy.
Also, the Day of the Lord foretold by John as Elijah, when the books were to be opened was near: “who has warned you of the wrath about to come?”;  “The kingdom has drawn near”; “the axe is already at the root”; “the winnowing fork (a judgment symbol) is in his hand.”
Thus, the judgment of Revelation 20- the Second Coming and resurrection– was near.

The only way Olan can refute this argument:
1.) Prove exegetically that Malachi 3:15f is a different judgment from that in 3:1-6, or 4:5-6. He can’t.
2.) Prove that Malachi 3:1-6 was not to be in application of Mosaic Covenant Wrath. He can’t.
3.) Prove that John was not, after all, Elijah, proclaiming the imminent fulfillment of Malachi. He can’t.
4.) Prove that the coming foretold in Malachi was not to a judgment coming. He can’t.

Malachi foretold the end of the millennium judgment, at the opening of the Book of Remembrance. Elijah was to herald that Great Day. John was Elijah, proclaiming the Day of the Lord. in judgment, when the Book of Life would be opened at the end of the millennium. And he said it was at hand.

SUMMARY
I have examined the motif of the vindication of the martyrs and its direct, inseparable connection to the resurrection of the dead.
I have produced text after text that posits the vindication of the martyrs, the resurrection and Day of the Lord at the judgment of Old Covenant Israel.
I have proven that Paul’s eschatology was nothing but the hope of Israel, and therefore, until the OT promises of the end of the age and resurrection were fulfilled, the entirety of the Law of Moses would remain valid.
I have shown from the NT, from Paul and Peter and Revelation, that the Second Coming and resurrection– the judgment of the living and the dead– was at hand, and coming soon (in a very, very little while” (Hebrews 10:37).
I have shown that Paul, writing to the Thessalonians being persecuted by the Jews, promised them relief from that then on-going persecution “when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven.” Paul was not writing to, or about, a far distant future church, or unknown persecutors. He was writing to first century Christians, and about “those who are troubling you.” Olan denies these explicit statements.
I asked Olan numerous questions that he refuses to answer.
I have shown that despite his claims, Olan categorically rejects the explicit, express words of scripture.
I have fully proven my proposition that the Second Coming and the Resurrection occurred at the end of the Old Covenant Age in AD 70.

QUESTION FOR OLAN– PLEASE IDENTIFY THE DAY OF THE LORD FORETOLD IN ZECHARIAH 14:1-8. PLEASE, DO NOT FAIL TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION!

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