Olan Hicks – V – Don K. Preston
Formal Written Debate
Published Initially on the Focus On Truth Website
Second Affirmative Presentation by Don K. Preston
It is the obligation of the negative in a debate to follow the affirmative arguments. By any standard of measurement, Olan failed, abjectly, to address my arguments. Instead, Olan indulged in several presuppositions and major logical fallacies. Here are just a few of the issues with Olan’s “negative.”
1.) Basic presuppositions: “The Bible says what it means, and means what it says.”Well, that is precisely what my Dispensational friends say. Olan says all you have to do is look at the graveyards to know Preston is wrong. Well, my Zionist friends say that all you have to do is to look at Israel since 1948 to know that God is fulfilling His promises to her! I mean, it is right there in front of your face, they claim.
2.) Petitio Principii – I. e. “begging the question.” As a corollary to #1, Olan reads a text, and assumes it means, in his Grecian world view, what it meant to the Hebraic thought of the apostles and prophets. But, he never prove his assumptions, he just claims them to be true.
3.) “Red Herring” Arguments. This means that Olan says, “If Preston is true, then the Lord’s supper must cease. If Preston is true, he should not be married, or go to funerals, etc.” These Red Herring arguments actually prove nothing at all. They are built on his unproven presuppositions. His assertions mean absolutely nothing, especially when he did not even address my actual arguments.
4.) Poisoning the Well– Another logical fallacy. Olan knows he is writing to a largely church of Christ audience. By throwing out some of the “hot button” issues, e.g. the Lord’s Supper, and claiming– again without proof– that if Preston is true, that the Supper is to cease, he thereby prejudices the mind of the reader. That is, he poisons the well which prevents some readers from considering my arguments.
5.) Diversion and obfuscation– The observant reader will note that Olan actually admitted the validity of the application of my argument. Olan noted that I cited, “Scripture and scriptures and scriptures. But what they all show is that a symbolic ‘coming’ of Jesus in vengeance on Jerusalem was predicted and did occur.” Of course, Olan then seeks to divert attention away from the indisputable fact that those “scriptures and scripture” that I cited, all of which predicted vengeance on Jerusalem were in fact, predictions of the end of the millennium resurrection! Olan knows that if those OT prophecies of the vindication of the martyrs were also prophecies of the end of the millennium resurrection, that his entire eschatology is falsified.
You must catch the power of this!
OLAN ON MY FIRST THREE POINTS
Olan Versus Paul
#1 – I gave the passages in which Paul emphatically said his one eschatological hope was nothing but the hope of Old Covenant Israel after the flesh (Acts 24:14f; 26:21f; Romans 8-9). What did Olan do? He altered heaven’s spokesman!
Olan lays a crooked stick beside Paul’s unambiguous statements, and says, “My stick is the straight one, Paul did not preach the hope of Israel from the OT! Paul taught the gospel!”
Olan, did Paul lie when he said he preached nothing but what Moses and the prophets said? Yes, or No?
How Serious Is It?
Olan says preterism is a dangerous doctrine. Let’s see: Paul said his resurrection, gospel doctrine was nothing but what Moses, the law and the prophets, said. Olan says, however, that is not his gospel. Paul said to preach any other gospel than that which he preached was to be anathema (Galatians 1). Olan, do you freely admit that your gospel is different from Paul, who preached no other things than what Moses and the prophets said”? Yes or No?
If Paul’s ‘one hope” was nothing but the hope of Israel found in Torah, then Paul’s gospel was from Moses and the prophets. Olan has attempted to correct heaven’s spokesmen.
I once held Olan’s view. But, I had to finally submit to the truth of what Paul said: “I say no other things than that which was spoken by Moses and the prophets…” Acts 26). The gospel “mystery” that he preached (Colossians 1:24-27– Olan’s verse of appeal) he preached from the OT prophetic books (Romans 16:25-26)! Olan denies this. Olan is wrong.
My Point #2
Matthew 5:17-18– “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”
I made the argument that since Torah foretold the resurrection– (Olan admitting) – this meant that until the resurrection was accomplished, not one iota of Torah could pass away.
What did Olan do? He said that I argued that Torah would be “destroyed.” I made no such argument! I said– in full agreement with Jesus– that not one jot of Torah would “pass” away, until it was all fully accomplished. That is what Jesus said, and I agree.
But, did you notice what Olan did? Read carefully:
“He reasons that it (Torah, DKP) therefore remained until AD 70 because that event was predicted in the Torah. With that kind of reasoning you would have the Old Covenant remaining in force until the end of the world because it also speaks of that.”
1.) The Old Testament does not predict the end of the literal, physical world. Let Olan produce the text!
2.) If Torah did predict the end of time, then Torah, every jot and tittle, would indeed remain valid until then, because Jesus said, “not one jot or one tittle shall pass from the law until it is all fulfilled” (the word fulfilled is genetai, and means to be accomplished).
So, by saying that Torah predicts the end of time, Olan is demanding that Torah, every jot and tittle, will remain valid until the end of time. He has hopelessly entrapped himself. Look again at my argument:
Not one iota of Torah would pass, until every iota was fully accomplished- Jesus.
But, Torah foreshadowed and foretold the resurrection and parousia (Isaiah 25 / 62/ Daniel 12, etc. (Olan agrees).
Therefore, not one iota of Torah could pass until the full accomplishment of the resurrection and parousia. Olan did not touch this, top, side, or bottom.
My point #3 – Olan admits that the OT foretold the resurrection. However, although I gave several scriptures that predicted the resurrection, Olan claims, “what Don is trying to prove is not stated in any of them.” So, on one hand he admits that the OT foretold the resurrection. I gave scriptures that foretold the resurrection, but, Olan says the verses I presented do not say anything about the end time resurrection!
Really? Paul’s doctrine of the resurrection was based on Isaiah 25:8 and Isaiah 26:19f. I cited these very verses, showing that they foretold the resurrection at the coming of the Lord in vindication of the martyrs. They also emphatically– not by mere implication– but specifically state that the resurrection would be when YHVH would destroy the Temple (the altar), the City, and He would no longer have mercy on the people He had created. Olan’s response? Silence.
Olan claimed that I admit that these OT prophecies only “imply” what I teach. This is patently false. I never once used the words “imply,” “infer,” or even “suggest.” On the contrary, Isaiah 25-27 specifically foretold the resurrection. Furthermore, Isaiah 27 specifically foretold the destruction of Leviathan– i.e. Satan.
Olan denies that any of the texts I examined refer to the end time resurrection. Paul differs. He said the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 would fulfill Isaiah 25 (and Hosea). Note Olan’s problem:
None of the OT texts that Preston examines speaks of what Preston claims (Hicks).
Paul applied Isaiah 25– one of the texts I examined in-depth– to the “final” resurrection.
Isaiah 25-27 predicted:
The end of the millennium resurrection.
The destruction of Satan.
The vindication of the martyrs at the Day of the Lord.
They posit these things at the time of the judgment of OC Israel for her blood-guilt. These events are emphatically declared to be fulfilled “in that day” when the Lord would turn the stones of the altar into chalk stones. He would destroy the fortified city, and no longer have mercy on the people He had created. These OT prophecies patently do, emphatically, say what I say, and Olan is wrong.
Olan, I challenge you to produce the OT prophecies that do predict the end of time, physical, bodily resurrection out of dirt, since you say that none of the texts that I examined predicted such a thing. We will eagerly await Olan’s answer.
Let me reiterate one of my (edited) arguments:
The resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 (and Revelation 20) would be in fulfillment of Isaiah 25:8 / 26:19. (Note, Olan agrees that 1 Corinthians 15 / Revelation 20 occur at the parousia of Acts 1:9).
The resurrection of Isaiah 25 / 26 would occur at the coming of the Lord in vindication of the martyrs (Isaiah 26:20-21) when He destroyed Israel (27:11f).
But, Jesus said that all of the blood, of all the righteous, would be vindicated at his coming in AD 70 in judgment of Jerusalem (Matthew 23).
Therefore, the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 / Revelation 20 (and the parousia of Acts 1:9f) occurred at the vindication of the martyrs in AD 70.
We have Jesus’ emphatic, undeniable statements (Matthew 23). It is Olan’s obligation to prove, exegetically, that what Jesus had to say does not apply to Isaiah, Acts 1 or 1 Corinthians.
Olan says he agrees that the scriptures that I presented: “Simply picture various aspects of God’s relationship with Israel, His displeasure with Israel’s unfaithfulness, and His intention of venting His wrath upon them.”
No, Olan, those texts do more than “simply” speak of Israel and vengeance. They posit the end of the millennium resurrection, the coming of the Lord and the destruction of Satan at the time of that vengeance on Israel. This is fatal to Olan’s eschatology.
Olan spent the rest of his “negative” presenting Red Herring and Straw Man arguments that prove nothing and are irrelevant. I am under no obligation to respond to them. Olan actually agreed to not introduce any arguments into the debate that are not directly relevant to proving or disproving a given proposition.
He should, if he is going to actually engage in a debate, take my syllogistic arguments and show how either the major or minor premise is false. That is the proper way to refute the arguments. To say, as he does, that all you have to do to know the resurrection and parousia have not happened is to look around, is specious. Why didn’t Paul say, like Olan, “Hymenaeaus, just look around! Earth is still here, the grave yards are still full, time marches on?”
How could anyone, sharing Olan’s view of the parousia and resurrection, believe it had already taken place? How could anyone, with Olan’s view of the time of the end, convince anyone that earth had burned up, time had ended, and every human who had ever lived, died, and decomposed, had been raised out of the dirt already?(See my book How Is This Possible? For a full discussion of this problem).
It was clearly wrong for Hymenaeaus to say the resurrection was past, because he was living prior to the appointed time for the resurrection– the time established by the scriptures we have already examined!
Let me proceed with my affirmatives
Notice what Daniel 12 foretold:
1.) The Great Tribulation and salvation of those “in the book” (v. 1– cf. Revelation 20:10-12).
2.) The resurrection “out of the dust” (v. 2).
3.) The righteous shining in the kingdom (v. 3).
4.) The end of the age (v. 4).
5.) Abomination of Desolation (v. 9).
6.) Rewarding of the prophets at the time of the end (v. 13).
7.) Daniel 12:7 says, in clear, undeniable language, that “all of these things” would be fulfilled “when the power of the holy people is completely shattered.”
Note the perfect correlation between Daniel and 1 Corinthians 15. (Olan’s attempt to divorce Daniel from the end time resurrection because it speaks of the resurrection of “some”simply reveals an ignorance of Hebrew idiom). The parallels between Daniel and 1 Corinthians 15 show the fallacy of Olan’s attempt.
Daniel foretold the resurrection– 1 Corinthians foretold the resurrection.
Daniel foretold resurrection to eternal life– 1 Corinthians 15 foretold resurrection to eternal life.
Daniel foretold the resurrection at the time of the end– 1 Corinthians foretold resurrection at the time of the end.
So, if Daniel is not 1 Corinthians, Olan must demonstrate what end of the age is in Daniel 12, as opposed to 1 Corinthians 15.
If Daniel is not 1 Corinthians 15, Olan must demonstrate the difference between the eternal life given at the resurrection in Daniel, from that in 1 Corinthians 15. Olan, what is the difference, and when was the eternal life promised in Daniel 12 given– at the resurrection- at the end of what age?
If Daniel is not 1 Corinthians 15, Olan must show us when the prophets were rewarded with eternal life in the kingdom, at the end of the age, at a different resurrection from 1 Corinthians 15.
Let me insert a couple of quick points here.
1.) Note that the resurrection in Daniel 12 is “out of the dust.” Isaiah 26:19 foretold the resurrection out of the dust. We have proven beyond any refutation, that the resurrection of Isaiah 26 was the end of the millennium resurrection. It is tied inseparably to the coming of the Lord in vindication of the martyrs.
2.) Daniel 12 foretold the resurrection of both just and unjust, just as Jesus predicted in John 5:28-29, and Paul in Acts 24:14f. Keep in mind that both Jesus and Paul taught nothing but the hope of Israel found in the OT. Remarkably, Daniel 12 is the only OT clear-cut prophecy of the resurrection of the just and unjust! So, Olan’s attempt to divorce Daniel from John 5 and Acts 24 fails.
The resurrection of Isaiah 26 and Daniel 12 is the same resurrection.
The resurrection of Isaiah 26 is the end of the millennium resurrection, at the Day of the Lord in vindication of the martyrs.
Jesus said all the martyrs would be vindicated in the judgment of Israel in AD 70.
Therefore, the resurrection of Daniel 12– the end of the millennium resurrection– was in AD 70.
More from Daniel 12:
The resurrection of Daniel 12 is the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15- as seen above.
The resurrection of Daniel 12 would be when the power of the holy people would be completely shattered (Daniel 12:7– This was in AD 70).
Therefore, the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 would be when the power of the holy people would be completely shattered
Without any doubt– it is not even debatable– Israel’s only “power” was Torah, her covenant relationship with God.
Thus, the resurrection of Daniel 12 / 1 Corinthians 15 would be (was) at the end of Torah, the Law of Moses.
Paul concurs in this, telling us that the resurrection of 1 Corinthians would not only be in fulfillment of the Law of Moses, but, it would be when “the law, that is the strength of sin” would be overcome.
Olan claims that “the law” that was the strength of sin is any law that is in effect, which means it is now the Gospel. This is not how Paul uses the term “the law.” He uses the term “the law” 117 times. When there is not a contextual qualifier to identify “the law” he refers to, it is invariably the Law of Moses! For Olan to define “the law” that is the strength of sin as the gospel is to correct heaven’s spokesman. The gospel is never called the strength of sin!
The resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 would be when the law that is the strength of sin would be overcome (1 Cor. 15:55-56).
The law that was the strength of sin was the Law of Moses.
Therefore, the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 would be when the Law of Moses would be overcome.
Patently, if the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 has not taken place, then the Law of Moses– every jot and tittle– remains valid, as the strength of sin.
Daniel 12 and 1 Peter
Daniel 12 clearly lies behind Peter’s eschatological hope. Compare what Daniel foretold with Peter.
1.) The resurrection, Daniel 12–> 1 Peter 1:3-5 the eternal, incorruptible inheritance.
2.) The end of the age, Daniel 12:4–> 1 Peter 1:5, 1:20. Peter was living in the time of the end foretold by the OT prophets (Acts 3:23-24). And, he affirmed: “the end of all things has drawn near” (1 Peter 4:7).
3.) Daniel said that in the end, many of the righteous would be refined and purified (v. 10). Peter, living in the time of the end, said his readers were enduring suffering and that their suffering (which would only last for a short time) was producing a faith more precious than gold refined by fire.
4.) Daniel specifically said that he did not understand his vision. He was told to seal the vision until the time of the end, when understanding of his vision would be given (v. 8-9). Notice what Peter said about the coming revelation of the eternal inheritance at the parousia:
“Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven––things which angels desire to look into. Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
So, Daniel foretold the resurrection to eternal life at the time of the end. This would be when the righteous be purified through suffering. Daniel did not understand the full details of his own prophecy. However, Peter said what the prophets did not understand was now revealed to him and the other apostles. His audience was suffering persecution, which was purifying their faith. They were living in the predicted time, and, “the end of all things has drawn near.” Notice something else.
In 1 Peter 4:5, Peter affirmed that Christ was “ready to judge the living and the dead.” The word translated as “ready” is hetoimos, and means not only to be morally prepared, but, temporally on the point of doing something. Now notice v. 17.
“The (appointed) time for (the) judgment has come.” Look close.
The word translated as time, is from kairos, meaning divinely appointed time. This is the appointed time of Acts 17:30-31 that Olan put so much emphasis on.
Note also that Peter said “the appointed time” for “the judgment” has come. It is important to note Peter’s use of the anaphoric article.
The anaphoric article is the preponderant use of the definite article in the Greek. What this means is that a writer or speaker introduces a subject. Later, he mentions that subject again, but this time, he uses the definite article to refer his readers back to what he said about that topic earlier. Here is what this means.
Peter had introduced the subject of the judgment. Christ was “ready to judge the living and the dead” (v. 5). Now, in v. 17, Peter uses the anaphoric article to point back to v. 5 and says, “the appointed time for the judgment, (the judgment of the living and the dead) has come.”
There could hardly be a clearer, more emphatic, declaration of the nearness of the resurrection and the appointed judgment: “the appointed time for the judgment (of the living and the dead) has come.” Olan denies these inspired declarations. We will eagerly await Olan’s response to this.
These Shall Be Punished with Everlasting Destruction From the Presence of the Lord
(2 Thessalonians 1:4-12)
I asked Olan to identify the people that had dwelt in the presence of the Lord, but, who were to be cast out for persecuting the True Seed. Olan said that was the Jews. I can only say, Amen! But, Olan’s admission is fatal to his eschatology.
The Christians in Thessalonica were being persecuted for their faith (2 Thessalonians1:4f).
Paul promised those Thessalonian Christians relief from that persecution. The word translated as “rest” is anesis, and never means a “reward” per se. It is always relief from whatever “pressure” (Greek word thlipsis) was being endured. Clearly, Paul was promising the Thessalonians relief from their persecution.
Paul said that relief would come “when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven.”(See my book In Flaming Fire, for a fuller discussion of 2 Thessalonians 1).
It would be impossible for Jesus to give the Thessalonians relief from their persecution at his parousia, if the Thessalonians are not still alive, being persecuted, at the time of the coming! So, Olan, will the Thessalonian church, to whom Paul was writing, and that was under persecution at that time, be resurrected to endure persecution once again, so that the Lord can give them relief “when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven”? Yes or No?
Paul was not writing generically of some church, in some later generation, to be persecuted by some unknown persecuting power. He was writing to first century Christians in Thessalonians, being persecuted. He promised THEM relief from THAT persecution, “When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven.” (Make no mistake: Olan believes that 2 Thessalonians predicted the Second Coming of Christ, the coming of Acts 1 / Acts 17 / 1 Corinthians 15, etc.)!
But, that is not all.
Paul likewise said: “it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who are troubling you…”
Paul said God was going to give to the persecutors, what they were giving to the Thessalonians. Since the persecutors were clearly not sending the Thessalonians to hell, it cannot mean that this is what in view.
God would give tribulation “to those who are troubling you.” All of this is in the present tense.
Olan, who was, when Paul wrote, persecuting the Thessalonians? It was not the Romans. It was not the Roman Catholic Church. It was not some far distant, unknown persecutor. Undeniably, it was the Jews (Acts 17; 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16).
Paul said those first century Jewish persecutors would be, “punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and the glory of His power.” The Greek word translated as “from” is apo, and signifies a separation from. They would be cast out of (separated from) the presence of the Lord for persecuting the saints!
Remember: Olan admits that the only people to ever dwell in the presence of the Lord, but, who would be cast out of that Presence for persecuting the saints, was in fact the Jews. With that in mind, note this:
Paul predicted that the persecutors of the Thessalonians would be cast out of the presence of the Lord at the Second Coming of Christ.
But, the only people to ever dwell in the presence of the Lord, who would be cast out of His presence for persecuting the saints, was Old Covenant Israel– Olan Hicks.
Therefore, 2 Thessalonians 1 predicted that OC Israel would be cast out of the presence of the Lord for persecuting the Thessalonians (the first century church).
If Olan continues to apply 2 Thessalonians 1 to a future resurrection, it means that Israel has not yet been cast out of the presence of the Lord. Yet, Olan says God’s covenant with Israel was terminated at the cross. This is patently false, since OC Israel had not yet persecuted the church at that time!
Notice something else very important.
When Paul said the persecutors of the Thessalonians would be cast out of the presence of the Lord, he quotes directly from Isaiah 2:19 (LXX)!
Do you catch the power of this?
We have already proven– AND OLAN ADMITTED THIS– that Isaiah 2-4 predicted the last days Day of the Lord in vindication of the martyrs in judgment of Jerusalem for her blood guilt, “by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of fire” (4:4).
So, Isaiah 2-4 foretold the last days Day of the Lord when the Lord would come in vengeance on Jerusalem for her blood guilt, and, Israel would be cast out of the presence of the Lord for her blood guilt.
In Thessalonians, Paul, who preached nothing but the hope of Israel found in the prophets, promised the church at Thessalonica, comprised of the righteous remnant of Israel and now Gentiles as well, that Isaiah 2-4 was about to be fulfilled at Christ’s coming against their Jewish persecutors, who would be cast out of the presence of the Lord!
This agrees perfectly with what Jesus said in Matthew 23, that all of the blood of all the martyrs would be vindicated and judged in his generation, in the judgment of Jerusalem.
There is no “implication” or mere “inference” here. The statements are clear, unambiguous, and undeniable.
To counter this, Olan must prove the following:
1.) That it was not the Thessalonians being persecuted. He can’t do this.
2.) That it was not the Jews persecuting them. He can’t prove this.
3.) That Paul did not promise the Thessalonians relief from that then on-going persecution. The words are undeniable.
4.) That Paul did not promise that Christ would judge their Jewish persecutors at his coming, by casting them out of his Presence. The words are clear and irrefutable.
Let’s see if Olan will take these clear-cut statements “at face value” or if he will deny them, and correct heaven’s spokesman.
I challenge Olan to deal with my arguments exegetically. Examine my syllogisms logically. After all, he wrote a book on logic and the Bible, so this should be no problem for him, if my syllogisms are false.
I challenge Olan to prove that the end of the age resurrection of Daniel 12 is not the end of the age resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15, or 1 Peter.
I challenge him to deal exegetically with 2 Thessalonians 1.
I challenge him to answer my questions forthrightly and candidly, without obfuscation.