PRI Articles

Why Was Paul Bound? Guest Article

I am glad to offer our visitors an excellent article by Daniel Rogers, of Alabama. Daniel is an excellent young student of the Word. We at Jadon Management was recently honored with the privilege of publishing Daniel's first book, entitled The Last Enemy and the Triumph of Christ. It is an easy to read, very understandable discussion of 1 Corinthians 15. Contact us if you would like to order a copy. It is so new that we do not yet have it posted here on the website! You will love this book!  Don K. Preston. In the meantime, read Daniel's great discussion of why Paul was put on trial by the Jews. This is a very significant question for the study of eschatology, and Rogers brings some very good thoughts to the table. Enjoy!

The last 7 chapters of the book of Acts focus on Paul being arrested, tried, and placed under house arrest. Before we continue, I’d like to remind you that the apostles were inspired by God in 1) what they wrote (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and 2) what they said while on trial (Luke 12:11). Have you ever wondered why Paul was arrested? Think about that question as you read the following passages! Please read them all carefully.

“Then He said to me, 'Depart, for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.' " And they listened to him until this word, and then they raised their voices and said, "Away with such a fellow from the earth, for he is not fit to live!"” (Acts 22:21-22).

“But when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, "Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!"” (Acts 23:6).

“I found out that he was accused concerning questions of their law, but had nothing charged against him deserving of death or chains” (Acts 23:29).

“But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets. I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust” (Acts 24:14-15).

“And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers. To this promise our twelve tribes, earnestly serving God night and day, hope to attain. For this hope's sake, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews. Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead?” (Acts 26:6-8)

“…that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles."” (Acts 26:23)

“For this reason therefore I have called for you, to see you and speak with you, because for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain."” (Acts 28:20)

“…meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains” (Colossians 4:3; cf. Ephesians 3:1; Ephesians 6:19-20).

     Let’s sum up the above points! Paul was bound 1) for the mystery; that is, for Gentile inclusion into the promises of Israel 2) the resurrection of the just and the unjust as spoken of and promised in Moses and the Prophets – a hope that the twelve tribes were currently laboring for 3) the hope of Israel 4) the gospel of Christ 5) Questions concerning the Law of Moses. Now, consider this: none of these things are different from another! All of them are talking about the same thing: the body of Christ. Allow me to demonstrate that from two of these texts.

First, let’s notice Acts 26:23: “that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles."” (Acts 26:23). Paul’s wording here is very significant; Jesus was the first to rise out from among the dead ones (ex anastaesos nekron). Many have speculated what it means for Jesus to be the first to rise from the dead. Some have suggested that this means that Jesus was the first to rise to never die again, and I would agree but for different reasons. I believe the answer is found in Romans 6:9-11: “knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:9-11). What kind of death is being discussed here? It is death of a spiritual nature. Paul’s audience had not physically died; they had, through Jesus, died to sin and were to reckon themselves alive with Christ. Luke worded it like this, “Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead” (Acts 4:1-2).

     You see, the Bible does not view Jesus separate from His people. While He was living under the law, His life was a symbol of that Old Covenant temple, but when He died and rose again, He laid the foundation for the heavenly temple not made with hands (John 2:18-22). In this way, Jesus demonstrated Himself to be the corporate Head of the body of His people. In Hosea 1, the scripture says, “Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel Shall be gathered together, And appoint for themselves one head; And they shall come up out of the land, For great will be the day of Jezreel!” (Hosea 1:11; for Jezre-El [God sows] see Hosea 2:23). Remember, though, that what is quickened is not what is sown (1 Corinthians 15:35-37). Israel was sown a natural body, but through the resurrection of Christ as the first fruits, the harvest had arrived and the spiritual body was being revealed (John 12:24)! On this wise, Hosea recorded, “Come, and let us return to the LORD; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, That we may live in His sight. Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, Like the latter and former rain to the earth” (Hosea 6:1-3; cf. 1 Corinthians 15:4 – Hosea 6:1ff is the only OT texts that mentions a third day resurrection). Several things: 1) notice the corporate nature of this resurrection 2) the resurrection of Israel out of the earth (see Hosea 2:23) is not divorced from the resurrection of Christ in time or in manner 3) the resurrection was for the purpose of bringing Israel into God’s sight (Psalm 16:11) 4) the coming of Christ to perform this duty takes place in two stages: the early and latter rains; that is, to fulfill the spring (Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Pentecost) and fall (Trumpets, Atonement, Booths; cf. Leviticus 23) feast days (see Luke 21:20-22; Colossians 2:16-17; Hebrews 9:28-10:1).  

     Jesus’s resurrection out from among the dead ones was for the purpose of shining light (read:  giving life as opposed to the shadow of death; Luke 1:78-79) to both Jew and Gentile. It was this idea that neither the Pharisees nor the Sadducees could accept. While the Pharisees had a hope for Israel, they would not listen to Paul concerning the Gentile inclusion into those promises. Light, in their view, was limited to Israel, but God makes it abundantly clear that the light of life is for all. “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). One way to demonstrate this is to show the solidarity between the resurrection of the just, the kingdom of God, and the light of life. In Luke 14, Jesus says, “And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:14). The Jews, understanding the correlation between the resurrection of the just and the kingdom of God (see 1 Corinthians 15:50), said, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!" (Luke 14:15). Jesus takes this opportunity to teach the parable of the great supper (Luke 14:15-24; cf. Matthew 22:1-14). This great supper motif is found throughout scripture and is inextricably tied to the resurrection of the just and the coming of the mountain of God – the kingdom (see Isaiah 2:1-4; Isaiah 25:6-8; Matthew 8:11; Revelation 19:7-9).  The kingdom of God is a kingdom of light (Colossians 1:13; 1 John 2:8; Revelation 21:23-25). The Old Testament prophets wrote about these things as Peter says, “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” (1 Peter 1:10-11).

     Secondly, let’s notice Acts 26:6-8: “And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers. To this promise our twelve tribes, earnestly serving God night and day, hope to attain. For this hope's sake, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews. Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead?” (Acts 26:6-8). We see from this passage that the resurrection of the dead was an Old Covenant promise made to Old Covenant Israel after the flesh. If it is the case that Old Covenant Israel has been taken out of the way without her promises being fulfilled, then the Old Covenant, and the New Covenant that it confirms through types, shadows, and prophecies, stands null and void. Paul’s hope, Peter’s hope, Israel’s hope, and the Gentiles’ hope were all based off of those Old Covenant promises. If that Old Covenant was annulled without its promises being realized, then the promises and condemnations therein were nullified as well! Jesus came to the earth not to take away those promises and give new ones, but to serve as confirmation for all of the promises made all the way back to the Garden of Eden. Paul said, “Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers, and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written: "FOR THIS REASON I WILL CONFESS TO YOU AMONG THE GENTILES, AND SING TO YOUR NAME."” (Romans 15:8-9). Does that sound familiar? Is that not what we just discussed? Through obeying the gospel, the Gentiles became partakers of the promises made to Old Covenant Israel – not a new set of hopes and promises divorced from passages such as Daniel 12:2, Isaiah 25:8, and Hosea 13:14. Speaking of this, Paul wrote, “It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things” (Romans 15:27). This is why the Judaizers were so insistent upon the Gentiles keeping Torah. Their reasoning was that if the Gentiles were going to be partakers of their Old Covenant promises, then they would have to meet the conditions of the Law. If the New Covenant was based off of totally separate promises, prophecies, hopes, and expectations from that of Old Covenant Israel, then there would have been no pressure from the Jews to keep the law.

     In order for someone to prove that the promises have yet to be realized and that the Old Covenant has vanished away, they would have to demonstrate that Paul did not base his doctrine of the resurrection off of the Old Covenant promises! This, however, is impossible to do because he stated over and over, “The very reason I am bound is because of my preaching that the Gentiles will be fellow partakers in our resurrection promises and the hope of Israel that is being realized through Jesus’ first fruits resurrection and the preaching of the death-abolishing gospel!” (cf. 2 Timothy 1:10). 

     “So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the [body] is of Christ” (Colossians 2:16-17). The Old Covenant finds its fulfillment not in individual bodies, but in the body of Christ. It is for this reason that Paul was bound.

 

 

Guest Article: James and the Last Days

I am happy to share with our visitors an excellent article by John Carlisto, a fairly new preterist. John has been a minister, but was terminated for his views on eschatology. John has appeared on Two Guys and A Bible radio program, with William Bell and Don K. Preston. You can find that program archived at www.fulfilledradio.com. Be sure to check that out.

Below, you will find an article on James and the Last Days, that should be helpful to anyone investigating the topic of the Last Days. Be sure tor read my book, The Last Days Identified, for an extensive discussion. For now, read John's helpful article.

Read more: Guest Article: James and the Last Days

Joel McDurmon-Double Fulfillment of Prophecy: True or False?

Joel McDurmon and Prophetic Double Fulfillment

Don K. Preston D. Div.

In the first of this short series, I noted the following:

At the 2011 Prophecy Conference sponsored by American Vision, of Powder Springs, GA., Joel McDurmon presented a speech entitled “Double Fulfillment: Double Cross.” In that presentation he examined the Dispensational practice and claim that Bible prophecy must be fulfilled twice. Thus, while many OT prophecies did have “audience relevance” for the ancient audiences to whom they were addressed, those prophecies will be fulfilled again in the last days. McDurmon categorically rejected this hermemeutic, opting for what he called the type / anti-type fulfillment paradigm.

In his book, Jesus –V- Jerusalem, which is truly excellent in many ways, McDurmon continued his attack of the Dispensational “double fulfillment” practice, especially as it relates to the anti-christ.  Millennialists claim that the first century “anti-christ” that John spoke of as already present—in fulfillment of prophecy, by the way, “pre-figure” the final, greater” end times anti-christ.  McDurmon said this double fulfillment practice “distorts the scripture”  (Jesus -v-Jerusalem, Powder Springs, GA., 2011)185).

In addition to McDurmon’s comments, I cited other postmillennialists who reject (ostensibly) the Dispensational Double Fulfillment concept.

In spite of being on record against the Double Fulfillment of prophecy, in our formal public debate, held at the 2012 Preterist Pilgrim Weekend, in Ardmore, Ok. McDurmon Joel affirmed this about prophetic fulfillment:

“We hear a lot about this one hope and I was ‑‑ this was thrown at me that I apparently ‑‑ because of all these variegated, multiple fulfillments that I have…” (My emphasis).

“You don't have to say, oh, well, where does it say this will be done twice? It doesn't have to say it will be done twice. The nature of Biblical prophecy is variations upon the theme until you reach that vast final conclusion.”

So, McDurmon (as well as DeMar, Gentry, , Mathison, etc.) claim on the one hand to reject as un-Biblical the idea of Double Fulfillment, but then, they affirm that prophecy is fulfilled many, many times! It is “re-capitulated.”

Be sure to get a copy of the McDurmon -V- Preston Debate DVDs or Mp3s. You can order them here.

Now, make no mistake, the Bible affirms the type- anti-type concept. The Old Covenant cultus was itself a shadow and type of better things to come (Colossians 2:14f; Hebrews 10:1-2). However, type/anti-type is a far cry from a repeated fulfillment, over and over again, of prophecy! McDurmon’s (The entire Dominionist and Postmillenial paradigm) practice lays the ground work for not only accepting the Dispensational praxis, but, it opens the door for some blatantly anti-Scriptural ideas.

During the Q & A session of our debate, Joel was asked about 1 John 2:18. John noted “It is the last hour. As you have heard that anti-christ should come, even now there are many anti-christs, thereby you know it is the last hour.”

McDurmon had made a major argument from John 5-6 and the referent there to “the last day” maintaining that “the last day” is distinctive to John and must refer to the last day of human history.

It should be noted that throughout the debate, McDurmon made a huge issue of the fact that if given words were not found in a text, that it is wrong to identify that text with those words. See my article on “McDurmon’s “Final” Hermeneutic” for a discussion of this major hermeneutical fallacy.

The point here is that on the one hand, McDurmon argued that if a word (e.g.  “final” is not in a given text—for instance Isaiah 25-27)—then it does not refer to the final resurrection. This in spite of the fact, as I noted repeatedly, that Paul’s end of the millennium resurrection doctrine would be the fulfillment of Isaiah.

On the other hand, McDurmon then argued that John 5:27; 6:39f and the references to the last day must refer to the last day of human history. Yet, to use his hermeneutic, “the words last days of human history” are not in the text! Such double talk and double standard of hermeneutic was glaring throughout the debate. But to continue.

The question on 1 John 2:18 clearly presented Joel with a daunting challenge. Here is what Joel had to say:

“The question is ‑‑ and it's probably one of the best questions I've seen. Um, if “the last day of John,” which is exclusive to his language, is to be an hour of our own future, and yet in the apostle of John ‑‑ 1 John Chapter 2, I believe ‑‑ 2:18, is talking about the coming of anti‑christ and he says, "Now dear children this is the last hour," and the implications is if there's a last day, then the last hour obviously is a subset of that last day and it's even shortened even more and he was expecting it in his time period. In fact, he said these anti‑christs are coming and now are. So he was clearly talking about his time. That on the surface does present a conundrum. But if you go back to the overarching framework that I'm working with, that you can have a near fulfillment of these things and so you can apply a language without a near-sight, and yet what is the controlling narrative? It is the curse removed from the earth? And if it's not, then you can take both of those and move them into the future.

Now I realize that drags up other things like future anti‑christs, future Armageddons. We can deal with that if you want to. But that's basically how I would view that. On the surface, it looks like a conundrum, but it's not insurmountable.”

Do you see the problem? Joel certainly saw it, and realized its danger to his entire eschatological theory. If you affirm, as Joel does, the multiple, repeated fulfillments of prophecy until the final consummation, then since anti-christs were clearly present, in fulfillment of prophecy , when John wrote, then per Joel’s hermeneutic, there will be, must be, in our future, the appearance of anti-christs and another Great Tribulation!

But remember, McDurmon is on record as categorically rejecting the Dispensational argument positing this very thing as un-Biblical and unwarranted; it “distorts scripture”! To say that this is a “conundrum” is a huge understatement.

How did Joel seek to escape this “conundrum”? He simply appealed to his “overarching” belief system (translation: his presuppositional theology)! But, a presuppositional theology is not sufficient, and clearly does not deal with the conundrum of 1 John.

The “last day” is, as McDurmon acknowledged, a distinctive eschatological term in the gospel of John. It refers always to the consummative “last” resurrection, no matter how one describes it. It is patently true, as McDurmon admitted, that, “the last hour obviously is a subset of that last day and it's even shortened even more and he was expecting it in his time period.” Therefore, to admit to the indisputable words of 1 John 2:18 that the “last hour” was at hand, in fulfillment of prophecy, is tantamount to admitting that the time had come for the consummative “last” resurrection, thus falsifying Dominionist, postmillennial theology.

This is no minor issue, and gives rise to still more daunting challenges to the Dominionist eschatological theory. We will look at some of those issues in our next installment.

The Restoration of All Things- The Parousia in Acts 3- #4

ACTS 3 AND THE PAROUSIA (#4)

Be sure to go back and read this entire series, beginning here.

As we have seen, the word translated restoration is a distinctive word used by the prophets. Another word, diorthosis, is used to speak of the same thing in the Messianic prediction of Isaiah 62:7. JHVH promised to “establish” Jerusalem and make her a praise at the coming of the Lord in judgment, (v.11-12). Thus, the Old Covenant prophets, in speaking of the restoration of Israel under the Messiah, used apokatastasis and diorthosis as synonyms. The lexicons agree.
Apokatastasis means, “to put back into the original condition,” and diorthosis means, “to restore something to its natural and normal condition.” Ellingworth says the words convey the same idea. (Paul Ellingworth, New International Greek Testament Commentary on Hebrews, (Grand Rapids, Paternoster, 1993)\ 444). This is significant when we compare Acts 3 with Hebrews 9:6-10.


In Hebrews 9 the writer speaks of the symbolic (prophetic) significance of the Old Testament cultus. Specifically, his focus is on the high priest and his service on the Day of Atonement and then the wider application of the entire liturgical system that stood in, “foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances until the time of reformation.”(diorthosis; 9:10).
It is imperative to honor the author’s chronological perspective. When he spoke of the OT system he says, “which is symbolic for the present time” (v.9). The “present time” was his first century generation and not our present day. Otherwise, we must believe that the Old Covenant cultus still stands as a type and shadow of the “good things to come” (Hebrews 10:1-4).


The writer emphasizes the point that as long as the Old Covenant cultus had validity there could be no access to the Presence of God (v.8). He shows that Christ sacrificed Himself and entered into the Most Holy to prepare it for man (v.23-24), and that he was to return “for salvation” to those who “eagerly await Him” (v.28). Christ would appear (the parousia) to bring  man into the Presence of God--where the Old Covenant could never bring him.

In my written debate with Kurt Simmons, he changed his position on the identity of "the Most Holy Place" even during that debate, finally claiming that instead of being the presence of God, it is the New Covenant. And, he claimed that the first century saints entered the New Covenant, fully, at Pentecost. Significantly, however, Kurt is on record as agreeing with Revelation 11 and 15 that says there could be no entrance into the Most Holy Place until the wrath of God was consummated-- which Kurt agrees was in AD 70! Thus, per Kurt's own "logic" no man could truly enter the New Covenant until AD 70! Be sure to get your own copy of that debate here.

The Hebrew writer’s point is that the Old Covenant sacrifices and worship signified  (prophesied) the coming of better things. As long as the types and shadows had validity--as long as the Old Covenant stood unfulfilled--there was no access to the Father. Those Mosaic institutions were imposed until the time of their fulfillment--the time of “reformation” (v.10). It would therefore be through the fulfillment of the typological significance that the Old System would pass and man would be brought into the Presence of the Father at the parousia (Hebrews 9:24-28). Notice the direct correlation with Acts 3.
Peter says Christ would come when all that the Old Covenant prophets predicted was fulfilled.  Hebrews says the OT was typological, intended to stand only until what it foretold, was fulfilled. Peter anticipated the “restoration of all things”; Hebrews anticipated the “time of reformation.” The eschatological significance of this correlation cannot be over-emphasized.


Consider carefully the following thoughts:
The Greek words apokatastasis (restoration, Acts 3:21) and diorthosis (reformation, Hebrews 9:10)  are synonymous terms referring to the same time and event. (Remember that the Old Testament writers--in the LXX- used these words synonymously to speak of the restoration of Israel under the Messiah). Jesus’ Second Coming was to occur at the time of the apokatastasis (Acts 3:21); therefore, Jesus’ Second Coming was to occur at the time of the diorthosis (reformation, Hebrews 9:10), when man would be brought into the Presence of God (Hebrews 9:28).


Jesus was to come at the time of restoration/reformation, (Acts 3; Hebrews 9:10).

But the time of reformation (diorthosis) was the end of the Old Covenant Age (Hebrews 9:10).

Therefore, Jesus’ parousia would occur at the end of Old Covenant  prophetic hope, not at the end of the Christian Age!

Be sure to see my fuller discussion of Acts 3 / Hebrews 9 in my We Shall Meet Him In The Air, The Wedding of the King of kings. In that book, I note how Kenneth Gentry, Postmillennial apologist, links Acts 3 and Hebrews 9, admitting that the restoration of all things occurs at the time of reformation  of Hebrews 9! This is tantamount to a full adoption of Covenant Eschatology, for it admits that the Second Coming of Acts 3 had to have been at the end of Torah-- in AD 70.

Now note:
The Second Coming of Christ, for the purpose of bringing salvation, (Hebrews 9:28), would occur at the time of the restoration (apokatastasis) of all things (Acts 3:21).

But the restoration/ reformation (diorthosis) would occur at the end of the Old Covenant Law and System (Hebrews 9:6-10).

Therefore,  the Second Coming of Christ for the purpose of bringing salvation, would occur at the end of the Old Covenant Law and System. And if He has not come the Law remains valid, man has no salvation.

This demands that we understand eschatology as Covenantal and not Historical.
The parousia of Christ would occur at the end of the Old Covenant Law and System. But the  Old Covenant Law and system would pass--as seen above-- at the time of the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Therefore, the parousia of Christ would occur at the fall of Jerusalem in A. D. 70.
The Covenantal framework of the parousia is undeniable; Christ’s parousia was to occur at the end of the Old Covenant Aeon--not at the end of time. The parousia was to be the final consummating act of the Old Covenant to bring it to an end and fully establish the New Covenant World of the Messiah.  More to come

What Were, or Are, The Times of the Gentiles?

Jerusalem and The Times of the Gentiles
Luke 21:24
Don K. Preston


"Many futurists claim that because Jerusalem's Temple Mount is still in the possession of Gentiles the 'times of the Gentiles' prophesied by Jesus (Luke 21:24) is still ongoing and there are prophecies to yet be fulfilled. How do full Preterists address this passage?"

This claim, that before and since AD 70 Jerusalem has experienced “the times of the Gentiles” is a critical element of the dispensational world. If Luke 21:24 speaks of a future end to the times of the Gentiles, and consequent restoration of national Israel, then virtually all other eschatologies are falsified. Let’s take a look first at what millennialists believe about the times of the Gentiles.

Pat Robertson says:  “The year 586 B.C. was the time that Nebuchadnezzar took over Jerusalem, and that condition lasted, ...until the Six Day War that took place not too long ago. When did it happen? 1967. ...The Jews took over Jerusalem for the first time since Nebuchadnezzar took it. What is the significance of all this?... At this point of time, a clock began to tick. A generation is 40 years, and a clock began to tick that said there's 40 years from 1967.”  (http://www.patrobertson.com/Teaching/TeachingonBabylon.asp-- 1-21-2010).

Clearly, Robertson has boxed himself into a “date-setting” corner. If 1967 was the end of the times of the Gentiles, and if a generation is, Biblically, 40 years, and if Christ’s coming was to be at the end of the times of the Gentiles, then patently, Christ should have come in 2007!

Robertson expresses the dominant dispensational view that the times of the Gentiles began in BC 586. Thomas Ice, however, says the times of the Gentiles began in AD 70. (Makes you wonder about the Gentile domination from BC 586 until AD 70, does it not? Per Ice’s view, that Gentile oppression had nothing to do with the real times of the Gentiles)!

He says: “Clearly, Luke 21:20- 24 refers to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in AD 70. The second half of verse 24 says, ‘and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.’ Equally clear is that the last half of verse 24 is descriptive of a period of time that commenced after the Roman vanquishing of Jerusalem in the first century. That phrase has a beginning point, which began after AD 70. It has a time interval described by the expression, ‘Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles.’ That verse also provides an ending point when it says, ‘until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.’ (www.raptureme.com/featured/ice/AnInterpretationofMatthew24_25_25.html. Valid as of 1-26-2010).

Ice says the times of the Gentiles will end at Christ’s parousia: “At the parousia the times of the Gentiles cease and the focus of history once again turns to the Jews” (Thomas Ice and Timothy Demy, Prophecy Watch, (Eugene, Ore., Harvest House, 1998)264 . Note: Be aware that Ice does not agree with everything in Prophecy Watch. He stated this in a debate with me.  So, while we ascribe the quote to Ice, he may actually disagree with Demy with his co-author.)

Ice’s position is self defeating, however. Notice what he says about the events of AD 70: “Those first century days are called ‘days of vengeance’ for Jerusalem is under the divine judgment of covenantal sanctions recorded in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28. Luke records that God’s vengeance upon His elect nation is ‘in order that all things which are written may be fulfilled.’ Jesus is telling the nation that God will fulfill all the curses of the Mosaic covenant because of Israel’s disobedience. He will not relent and merely bring to pass a partial fulfillment of His vengeance.” (Thomas Ice and Kenneth Gentry, The Great Tribulation: Past or Future? (Grand Rapids, Kregel, 1999)103).

So, according to Ice, the AD 70 destruction was the complete, not partial, fulfillment of God’s covenantal wrath on Israel. There is a huge problem here.

Millennialism says that during the seven year period following the rapture, i.e. what they call the Great Tribulation, fully two thirds of the Jewish nation is destroyed! Thus, there is, per the millennial view, even worse vengeance coming on the Jewish nation than that which fell in AD 70!

Ice seeks to deflect the problem by claiming that the future tribulation is not a covenantal judgment on Israel: “The language of Matthew 24, with the exception of Luke 21:20f does not speak of Israel under God’s judgment, but of Israel under the threat of Gentile nations and God’s rescue of the Jewish people” (Thomas Ice and Tim LaHaye, End Times Controversy, (Eugene, Ore., Harvest House, 2003)161). This is specious to say the least.

The problem for Ice is that in God’s dealings with Israel, when Gentiles threatened Israel it was the direct result of Israel’s violation of the Mosaic Covenant. Thus, the abomination of desolation and the persecution of the Jews flowing out of that must be viewed as covenantal wrath. YHVH never, ever, allowed the desecration of the temple and persecution of Israel unless it was as a result of her apostasy from the covenant! This is the covenantal wrath of Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28! There is no basis for delineating between covenantal wrath against Israel and a mere “Gentile threat.”

By admitting that AD 70 was the complete, not partial, fulfillment of covenantal wrath on Jerusalem, Ice has tacitly defeated his view of the times of the Gentiles. (His view actually suggests that in AD 70 Israel ceased to be God’s covenant people. No covenant wrath means no covenant)! If Ice is correct, that AD 70 ended God’s covenant wrath on Jerusalem, then this means– per Ice’s definition of the times of the Gentiles– that the Gentile oppression of Jerusalem ended in AD 70! Remember, Gentile oppression of Israel was always covenantally connected. This is indisputable. Be sure to read my article on the Abomination of Desolation, here, in which I demonstrate that the Abomination would be in application of Mosaic Covenant Wrath. This demands, contra Ice and most futurists, that the Law of Moses had to be still in force in AD 70.

In other words:

Gentile oppression of Jerusalem (i.e. the times of the Gentiles) equaled covenantal wrath (Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 28f).

But, covenantal wrath on Jerusalem terminated in AD 70 (Thomas Ice).

Therefore, the times of the Gentiles terminated in AD 70!

Ice says that the AD 70 trampling down of Jerusalem was covenantal judgment (at the hands of the Gentiles). However, following AD 70, Jerusalem is being trampled down by the Gentiles, but that this–and the yet future, even worse tribulation-- is not covenantally related! This is patently false.

Now, how do preterists specifically explain the times of the Gentiles? I can’t speak for all preterists, but here is how I would respond:

First of all, by taking note of the millennial difficulties iterated above.

Secondly, by noting that Luke 21:22 forbids any fulfillment of prophecy post AD 70. Notice Jesus’ words as he described the AD 70 events: “These be the days of vengeance in which all things that are written must be fulfilled.” Be sure to read my response to Joel McDurmon's attempt to answer the preterist view of Luke 21:22, here.

Thirdly, the times of the Gentiles equates to the time, times, and half time of Daniel 12:6, and to the 42 months of Revelation 11:2– which is a direct allusion to Luke 21:24. (It is also related to Daniel 9:24f, but we can’t discuss that here). This means that the times of the Gentiles is the time allotted by God for the Gentiles to accomplish the shattering of the power of the holy people.

Per the millennialist, you have the following: The oppression of Israel (from AD 70 until the present), then the end of the times of the Gentiles at Christ’s coming to establish the kingdom.

In Daniel 12, we have the following: the great tribulation, the resurrection at the end at the age when the righteous shine forth, i.e. the establishment of the kingdom (cf. Matthew 13:39-43). For an in-depth study of Matthew 13 and its relationship to Daniel 12, see my We Shall Meet Him In The Air, The Wedding of the King of kings.

Now, in Daniel 12:6 one angel asks another “When shall these things be, and when shall all of these things be fulfilled?” Another angel answers: “It shall be a time, times and half times.” This enigmatic term, virtually all scholars agree, equates to the equally enigmatic reference to 42 months, and to 3 ½ years found in Revelation. For our purposes, we want to examine the parallels with Luke 21 and Revelation 11.

In Daniel 12, we have the tribulation, the end of the age and establishment of the kingdom, all assigned to fulfillment within and by the consummation of the time, times and half time.

In Luke 21 we have the times of the Gentiles, the coming of the Lord (v. 25f), and the establishment of the kingdom (v. 28-31).

In Revelation 11 we have the trampling down of the temple by the Gentiles. This trampling down lasts for 42 months which is the time, times and half times of Daniel 12. The city  “where the Lord was slain” is shaken and destroyed (11:8f). Then, the kingdom of God is established at the resurrection (11:15f).

Let me bring these passages together:
Jerusalem would be trampled down until the times of the Gentiles was fulfilled (Luke 21:24).

But, Jerusalem was to be trampled down for 42 months (Revelation 11:1-2).

Therefore, the times of the Gentiles would last for, and end, at the end of the 42 months.

The times of the Gentiles would only last for the 42 months! (Note how Ice’s view demands that it has now lasted for 2000 years!)
Significantly, the Jewish War lasted for approximately 3 ½ years, i.e. 42 months, the very time foretold by Daniel and Revelation! Notice now the following:

☛ Daniel said the time, times and half time-including the resurrection and end of the age-- would be finished, “When the power of the holy people is completely shattered” (Daniel 12:7). This inspired statement should control our understanding of Luke and Revelation.

☛ In Luke the trampling down of the city consummates in the parousia and establishment of the kingdom. Jesus unambiguously posited fulfillment of all of those things in his generation: “This generation will by no means pass until all of these things are fulfilled” (Luke 21:32).

☛ In Revelation the trampling down of the city would last for 42 months, but would climax in the   the resurrection and establishment of the kingdom. The fulfillment of John’s prophecy was “at hand” and, “these things must shortly come to pass” (Revelation 1:3).

So, we have identical constituent elements in Daniel 12, Luke 21 and in Revelation 11. We have the strictly limited, divinely assigned duration of the time for the Gentiles-- 42 months. Daniel informs us that the climax of the vision would be when Israel’s “power” (her Old Covenant relationship with YHVH) was shattered. And Jesus said fulfillment of all of these things would be in his generation.

Much more could be said, but this will suffice. In summation, Luke 21:24, when joined with the corollary passages, positively identifies the duration and the termination of the times of the Gentiles. That was in the first century destruction of the power of the holy people in AD 70. Thus, Luke 21:24 is no objection to true preterism, it is a powerful support!


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