Responding to the Critics: A Response to William Vincent’s “Until” Article – #4
As we continue our Responding to the Critics series, be sure to read the previous installment in this series. #1 #2 #3. I have been examining William Vincent’s claim, in which he was joined by Sam Frost, that Psalms 110 is essentially the key to a futurist eschatology. Since the Psalm depicts Christ ruling in the midst of his enemies until his enemies are put under him, and since the “last enemy” is death, then since it is taken for granted that “death” must be physical death, that ostensibly proves that Psalms 110 – and thus the resurrection – has not happened. All of which means, of course, that the Old Law, the Law of Moses, remains in effect. The law that was the strength of sin – the Law of Moses – remains imposed until that consummation (1 Corinthians 15:55-56).
I think it is appropriate before getting into the body of this article to take note that I posted my first response on 7-26-18. Now, here is something interesting. When no other preterist responded to Vincent’s article within a couple of weeks of his posting, he commented that evidently no preterist was / is up to the task and therefore, his argument must stand as true. Well, as I post this article today (9-6-18) William Vincent has offered not a word of rebuttal to any of the previous three articles.
What I want to do now, briefly, is to notice the correspondence between the Thessalonian and Corinthian “until” comments, and Revelation 11:15-18:
“Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying:
“We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned. The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints”
And now, notice that critical “until” text:
“The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power, and no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed” (Revelation 15:8).
As I noted in one of the previous articles, while John saw the Ark of the Covenant within the MHP, no one could actually enter that sacred, most holy place, the Presence of the Lord, until the seven plagues of the seven angels, contained in the seven bowls / vials, was poured out. Access to the Presence of the Lord would only come after – and in some manner through Wrath.
Notice that Revelation 15 specifically says that no man could enter the MHP “until” the wrath of God found in the seven bowls / vials was completed. Here is an incredibly important until, that is related to the coming of the Lord, the Day of Wrath, the Judgment, the kingdom and salvation, as we shall see. In chapter 11, the seventh trumpet sounds at the Great Day of Wrath. In chapter 15-16 the seven vials would be poured out in wrath against the great persecutor of the saints, Babylon (16:6-7). This ties entrance into the MHP , the sounding of the seventh Trumpet, to the vindication of the martyrs and the resurrection.
Chapter 11:15f is the resurrection, the kingdom, the time of the dead to be judged, the outpouring of the Wrath of God, the vindication of the martyrs. It is patently the time of 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15 where Paul, said, “We shall not all sleep,” and, “Those of us who are (present active indicative) alive and remain until the parousia.” If not, why not? It will be interesting to see if Mr. Vincent will respond. Although as noted it has been several weeks since I began posting my response to his initial article, he has not yet responded.
I should also point out that after I posted the previous article, on 8-22-18 Sam Frost “responded” if you want to call his comments an actual response:
<<Now, no doubt Don will flail his arms at this and quote Leithart, DeMar and others coupled with his own “syllogisms” loaded with his own “definitions” and “prove” William Vincent “wrong”.>>
I responded on 8-23-18:
<<Well, let’s see here. Since you claim that my syllogism are loaded down with my personal definitions– and thus, they must be wrong, why don’t you show us what is wrong with the following– falsify this syllogism – if you can:
Entrance into the Most Holy Place would only take place at the pouring out of the seventh bowl of God’s wrath. (Now, Sam, if will be a bit difficult for you to disprove this since it is what the actual text of Revelation says– right?)
The pouring out of the seventh bowl of God’s wrath would be in the judgment of Babylon, the city where the Lord was slain (Revelation 11:8 / 16:6, 16-19). (Hmmm, same here. Kinda hard to disprove since it is what the text says, right?)
Babylon of Revelation was Old Covenant Jerusalem.
Therefore, entrance into the MHP was to be at the judgment of Old Covenant Jerusalem. (Now, based on the first two premises, which are undeniable, and based on the third premise of Babylon being Jerusalem, the conclusion is inescapable and irrefutable).
I then challenged Sam to answer the following question: “Do you still believe that Babylon of Revelation was Old Covenant, first century Jerusalem– Yes or No?”
The reason I asked Sam about the identity of Babylon is because:
A. He has in the past gladly recognized Babylon as Old Covenant, first century Jerusalem.
B. However, of late, Sam has refused to take a stand on the identity of the Harlot City, and,
C. I have been predicting that Sam would sooner or later renounce his view on Babylon, due to the issues contained in the syllogism above and those in the previous article.
Now, as of this posting 9-6-18 he still has not attempted an answer to my syllogism.
I pointed out that the only way that Frost can falsify my argument is to show, definitively, that Babylon of Revelation was not Old Covenant Jerusalem.
And guess what? Frost has now admitted on FaceBook that, just as I have been predicting for so long, that he no longer accepts the identification of Babylon as Jerusalem. This is just another of many, many on-going changes exhibited by Frost in order to hold onto his new futurist paradigm. But it will not work. See my book, Who Is This Babylon? for a thorough defense of the identity of Babylon of Revelation as Old Covenant Jerusalem.
But, back to Revelation 11 and chapter 20.
Revelation 11 is the rewarding of the prophets, which means it is the time of the Day of Wrath when the power of the holy people would be destroyed (Daniel 12:7). This is the fulfillment of Daniel 12:13. This is, therefore, the fulfillment of Psalms 110. After all, the time of the resurrection and the kingdom of 1 Corinthians 15, the fulfillment of Psalms 110 is when the dead would be judged, is it not (Matthew 25:31f)? (Vincent agrees with this). Is this not Matthew 16:27-28, the coming of the Lord in judgment and reward, the coming of the kingdom? And let’s not forget that Matthew 16:27-28 is one of those “until” passages: “There are some standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
So, if Matthew 16:27-28 is the coming of Christ in judgment and his kingdom, and if Revelation 11:15f is the coming of Christ in judgment and the kingdom, this is prima facie proof that Revelation 11:15f was fulfilled in the first century. If these are different comings, different judgment, Vincent and Frost must prove it. Where is the distinction? What is the difference?
It has to be noted that Revelation 11– and thus, Psalms 110 – would be fulfilled at the destruction of the city “where the Lord was slain” (11:8). This corresponds perfectly with the idea that entrance into the MHP – the time of salvation itself – would be at the destruction of Babylon (Revelation 15:8 / 16:17f / 19:1-2).
Amazingly, Frost now posits the resurrection of Revelation 11:15f as yet future. That means that he must identify the city “where the Lord was slain” as some future entity, or, if it is granted that this can only be Jerusalem, it means that Frost is positing a so far 2000 year gap between the destruction of Jerusalem and the resurrection. This is the Dispensational Gap Doctrine on full display!
Now, I do not know if Vincent accepts Revelation 11:8 as referent to Old Covenant Jerusalem. And, I do not know where he places the resurrection of Revelation 11;15f. I am unaware of him taking a firm position on these to issues. Perhaps I have just missed it.
REVELATION 11 AND REVELATION 20
I know of no one that denies that Revelation 20:10f is the time of the fulfillment of 1 Corinthians 15, 1 Thessalonians 4 – and Psalms 110 – it is the final resurrection. With that basic, unchallenged assumption in place, we note the following comparisons between Revelation 11 and chapter 20:
☛ Revelation 11 – The time of the judgment
☛ Revelation 11- The time of the judgment of the dead.
☛ Revelation 11 – The time of the rewarding of the dead and of the prophets.
☛ Revelation 11 – The Day of the Lord’s Wrath against His enemies, the judgment of the nations.
☛ Revelation 11 – The Day of the Lord’s Wrath is the time of the destruction of the persecutor of God’s people.
☛ The Day of the Lord’s Wrath is the time of the vindication of the martyrs.
☛ Revelation 11 / 15-16 – Entrance into the MHP at the judgment of the persecuting city.
☛ Revelation 11 is the time of the everlasting Kingdom.
I need to point out here, by way of emphasis, that Revelation 11 must be Psalms 110. Vincent and Frost believe that Psalms 110 foretold the very elements just listed; the judgment, the resurrection, the judgment of the nations, (See Psalms 110:5), the day of the Lord’s Wrath, the entrance into the everlasting kingdom / New Creation. So, since, in their own paradigm, Psalms 110 foretold the very things predicted in Revelation 11, what is the “Hermeneutic of Distinction” that demands that the two texts speak of two totally different events, at two totally different times?
Notice now the parallels between Revelation 11 and Revelation 20 – and of course – Psalms 110.
☛ Revelation 20 – The time of the judgment- The time of the dead that they should be judged of Revelation 11.
☛ Revelation 20- The time of the judgment of the dead.
☛ Revelation 20 – The time of the rewarding of the dead.
☛ Revelation 20 – The Day of the Lord’s Wrath is the judgment of the nations.
☛ Revelation 20 – The Day of the Lord’s Wrath is the time of the destruction of the Great Persecutor- Satan.
☛ The Day of the Lord’s Wrath is the time of the vindication of the martyrs.
☛ Revelation 20-22 – Entrance into the New Heaven and New Earth– the MHP!
It is more than clear that the resurrection, the rewarding of the prophets, the judgment of the dead, the victory of the eternal kingdom of chapter 11 is the same as the Great White Throne judgment of Revelation 20 – that occurs at the end of the Millennium. This is the entrance into the Most Holy Place of Revelation 15:8 to take place at the consummation of the Wrath of God. Gregory Beale in The New International Greek Testament Commentary concurs:
“Our overall analysis of 11:15–19 argues that the hymn speaks of the consummated form of the kingdom. The striking parallel noted below between 11:18a and 20:12–13 suggests strongly that this is the case. The consummate nature of the kingdom is also indicated by the greater emphasis on God’s reign rather than Christ’s. This suggests a parallel with 1 Cor. 15:25–28, where God’s rule is emphasized over Christ’s because the consummation of Christ’s rule has been reached. (Gregory Beale, (1999). The book of Revelation: a commentary on the Greek text (Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle, Cumbria: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press, 1999), 614).
The implications of this for all futurist views is astounding.
Now, if Revelation 11 and 20 are different, then we have two– count them – two judgments of the dead, two times of the rewarding of the dead, two resurrections, two judgments of the nations, two radically different times of the Lord entering His kingdom, two totally different times of salvation! Since Vincent posits the beginning of the Millennium at AD 70, this demands that he has two such eschatological “consummations.” He must apply Revelation 11 to AD 70, and Revelation 20 to the so-called end of time.
Side Bar: Sam Frost posits the resurrection of Daniel 12:2, 13f, the time of the rewarding of the prophets, at the so-called “end of time.” It is 1 Corinthians 15, 2 Corinthians 5, 1 Thessalonians 4, etc.. It is Revelation 20.
Well, Revelation 11 posits the rewarding of the prophets – this is Daniel 12:13 – at the judgment and destruction of the city “where the Lord was slain.” This means that Revelation 11 is not an “initial” typological resurrection pointing to the “real thing.” Since it is the fulfillment of Daniel 12, it is the consummative resurrection. Thus, of logical necessity, the resurrection of Daniel 12, the final resurrection, was in AD 70.
So, unless one can demonstrate that Revelation 11 is not Revelation 20, consider the following:
The resurrection of Revelation 11:15f is the resurrection of Revelation 20. (The challenge is for someone – anyone – to prove this is not true. I wonder if Frost or Vincent will attempt to provide this evidence.).
The resurrection of Revelation 20 is the fulfillment of Psalms 110 (1 Corinthians 15; 2 Corinthians 5; 1 Thessalonians 4, etc.) – Vincent, Frost, et. al. agreeing.
Therefore, Revelation 11 is the fulfillment of Psalms 110 (1 Corinthians 15; 2 Corinthians 5; 1 Thessalonians 4, etc.).
That leads us to this:
Revelation 11 is the fulfillment of Psalms 110 (1 Corinthians 15; 2 Corinthians 5; 1 Thessalonians 4, etc.).
But, Revelation 11 was fulfilled in the judgment and destruction of the city “where the Lord was slain” (11:8).
Therefore, Psalms 110 (1 Corinthians 15; 2 Corinthians 5; 1 Thessalonians 4, etc.) were fulfilled in the judgment and destruction of the city “where the Lord was slain” (11:8 – and there can be no serious doubt about what city that was, can there?)
I fail to see how this can be successfully countered. I strongly suspect that if there is any “response” at all, it will be more ridicule, totally absent of exegesis and logic. The parallels between Revelation 11 and chapter 20 are too precise.
Sam Frost, before his departure from the truth, had this to say about the parallels:
<<Further, they exclaim, “The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time for judging the dead and rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints” (11:18). Now, we have seen that 22:12 is entirely something John saw as “near,” and Gentry concurs. We have also seen that the “rewarding” was near as well. Is this “rewarding” different from the “rewarding” and “coming” in 11:18, which is connected to the destruction of Jerusalem? Both David Chilton and Jay E. Adams see Revelation 11 as fulfilled. Chilton, before he became a preterist, tried to dodge this by dividing this “judgment / rewarding / resurrection” from the “final judgement at the Last Day” of the whole world! Thank God, before he passed away, he saw that such a division is a desperate attempt to separate what cannot be separated.
The basic reason why I call myself a “consistent” preterist is because I don’t divide and piecemeal the Bible together to make it fit with the erroneous historical creeds on this point. I am not obligated to the creeds, but to Scripture. Creeds are fine, and they are logically necessary, but they “may err” as the Westminster Confession of Faith states (33:3). Some, however, have settled for man’s word over God’s, and it is this that I contend for.
It is obvious that the “time for judging the dead” is the same episode seen in Revelation 20:11-15. It is the same subject involved in I Corinthians 15. There, Paul wrote, “for the trumpet shall sound and the dead will be raised imperishable” (15:52). Also, he calls this the “last trumpet” (15:52). In John’s vision, the trumpet is the seventh and last trumpet. One does not need to be a theologian and rocket scientist to see that they are talking about the exact same thing, about the exact same anticipated judgment to come upon Jerusalem ‘in this generation.’ The harmony is too simple to be missed.”
(http://www.restorationgj.com/id45.htm). I copied and pasted this quote from the website given when it was still active. However, that site is no longer active. Frost has evidently decided to delete it, lest readers be convinced by the soundness of his arguments).
I can only say “Amen!,” to the logic and persuasiveness of these comments, and marvel how anyone could cast away such lucidity and patently true argumentation.
Let’s summarize what we have seen in this installment:
1. I have shown that Revelation posits the entrance into the MHP at the time of the judgment of the city where the Lord was slain – Old Covenant Jerusalem.
2. I have shown that this means that the Law of Moses did not come to an end at the cross, but, in AD 70, since Hebrews shows that there could be no entrance into the MHP while Torah was imposed.
3. I have shown that Revelation 11 predicted the fulfillment of Psalms 110, and that it would be in AD 70.
4. I have shown that Revelation 11 and Revelation 20 are directly and perfectly parallel. This demands that the end of the Millennium resurrection occurred at the destruction of Jerusalem – the Great Day of the Lord’s Wrath. More on this in an upcoming series on the end of the Millennium.
I have shown that the “until” passage of Revelation 15:8- no man could enter the MHP until the judgment of Babylon – when harmonized with the rest of the Apocalypse (and Acts and Corinthians and Hebrews) provides definitive, powerful proof that Psalms 110 was fulfilled at the judgment of Old Covenant Jerusalem in AD 70.
When we see all of the parallels presented, the parallels between Psalms 110, Hebrews 9, Revelation 11 and Revelation 20, the evidence is all but overwhelming. So, I close with the comment from Frost about the parallels. His comments were true when he made them; they are true now:
“One does not need to be a theologian and rocket scientist to see that they are talking about the exact same thing, about the exact same anticipated judgment to come upon Jerusalem ‘in this generation.’ The harmony is too simple to be missed.”
Amen and Amen!
Stay tuned as we continue this series on Responding to the Critics.
Source: Don K. Preston