Be sure to read the first installment of this discussion before proceeding here. Sam Frost, former preterist and Howard Denham (a hateful, caustic church of Christ preacher) recently “teamed up” to attack my YouTube video series on 1 Corinthians 15, in which I discussed the relationship between the resurrection and Martyr Vindication. The lack of logic, the utter failure of exegesis and the abuse of hermeneutic on the part of those two men was astounding. In this short series of articles I am sharing some of the past correspondence that I have had with Sam Frost, and then conflating that with Frost and Denham’s attacks, with my response.
In anticipation of a (your) quibble in which you (and Denham) might say, “Well, those texts do speak of AD 70, but, what about the martyrs since then?” let’s take a look at some facts.
Fact: There was an eschatological, last days measure of martyrdom that was to be, and had to be filled up before the Day of the Lord would come. Daniel 9 is the temporal delimitation and framework for that. The seventy weeks end no later than AD 70, when the blood of our Lord and his apostles and prophets (don’t forger what Paul said!!) was vindicated.
Fact: Jesus said that last days measure of eschatological martyrdom would be filled up, by Jerusalem, and her killing of his apostles and prophets, in the first century. Paul concurred (1 Thessalonians 2:14-16).
Fact: Jesus said that God would avenge the blood of the martyrs who cried out day and night– need I point out the OT background of this??— and would do so quickly (Luke 18). This is a precursor and source of Revelation 6:9-11.
Fact: Paul said– and I want to know if you (and Denham) admit to what Paul said,- when he said that God had set him and the apostles forth, “last of all as men condemned to die”? Paul said he was personally filling up what was lacking in the sufferings of Christ (Colossians 1:24f).
Do you deny what Paul said, Mr. Frost?
Now, you are fond of saying “last means last” so, per your “logic” that you apply in other texts, then if you deny that the apostles were the “last to die” in some sense, you are in denial of the apostle. If you agree with him, and yet then posit another measure of martyrdom that has to be filled up, in another last days, that is separate and distinct from the last days described by Scripture, you have rejected your own “last means last” argument and the burden of proof falls squarely on you. You can’t find it, period.
Fact: Revelation posited the eschatological cup of suffering / sin was full (17:6f) and the martyrs were about to be and were, avenged and judged in the fall of the city “where the Lord was slain.” This coming of the Lord is the coming of the Lord for the resurrection and the judgment (11:15f; 19-20).
So, Mr. Sam Frost, show us plainly, from Scripture, where another last days vindication of the martyrs, when another eschatological measure is to be filled up, and another Day of the Lord, radically different in form and nature from that found in these other texts, is to be found.
There is not another last days distinct from Israel’s last days, because the Christian age has no end– period! The Christian age is not the last days. If there are no present or future last days, then guess what, there is not another last days vindication of the martyrs that is coming.
There is not another Babylon to fill up that future measure of sin– Neither Revelation or scripture hints at another persecutor, guilty of all of the blood shed on the earth. Since Revelation depicts the Lord’s coming against Babylon as the “final judgment” before the coming of the endless New Creation, Mr. Frost is left without a single text to justify a yet future Day of the Lord. For his new theology to have a chance, he has to find another Babylon, another text, that says something like: “In the (non-existent) last days of time, there will be another “Babylon” who will persecute the saints and avenge all of the blood shed on the earth since AD 70.” He can’t find anything remotely resembling that, and he knows it.
So, Mr. Frost, bring forth your evidence for:
Another last days, distinct from Israel’s last days. (Observe that Denham’s view demands that “the last days” Day of the Lord for the vindication of the martyrs is reference to the last days of Rome).
Show us another measure of blood guilt, by another Jerusalem / Babylon.
Show us another measure of suffering / martyrdom distinct from that which Jesus, Paul, Peter and John all emphatically said was being filled by Old Covenant Jerusalem in the first century.
Show us another Babylon, a distinct, identifiable persecutor (as Scripture identified Israel and Jerusalem as the internecine murderer of the saints).
Show us another Day of Lord and resurrection, for the vindication of all the blood shed on the earth, the blood of the apostles and prophets– distinct from that specifically discussed in Revelation. Show us another Day of the Lord beyond that in Revelation!
Why do you (and Denham of course) not accept the undeniable fact that Jesus never, at any time, looked beyond his generation, to another last days, to another persecutor, to another filling up of the measure of sin and martyrdom. Please pay attention to this critical fact!
The issue is not your question: “Well, what about martyrs who died since AD 70?”– Which is nothing but an obfuscatory, evasive question that does not deal with the textual evidence above. The issue is, why don’t you accept the unequivocal, emphatic and pervasive evidence of scripture about the time and framework for the vindication of all of the righteous blood, shed on the earth?
Why don’t you accept what Paul said about the apostles being “the last to die”? What about this, Mr. Frost (and Denham)? What did Paul mean? Was he deluded? Was he wrong?
Now, are martyrs vindicated today, when persecuted for their faith? Of course. We live post parousia, post judgment, and thus: “Blessed are those who die in the Lord from henceforth. Yea, says the Spirit, for they shall rest from their labors.” (Revelation 14:13).” (EOQ).
For a truly revealing and in-depth study of the incredibly important subject of martyr vindication and eschatology, get a copy of my book The Resurrection of Daniel 12:2: Future or Fulfilled?