The Living Body Show: Matt. 24:14-15; Luke 21:20-22/Dan. 9:24-27/12:1-7, 13

Mike Sullivan and William Bell continue their study of Matthew 24 – 25 discussing how the Great Commission of Matt. 24:14 was fulfilled by the end of the OC age in AD 70.  Emphasis is also placed on how Jesus in Matt. 24:15 posits the end of the 70 weeks of Daniel 9:24-27 [“abomination that causes desolation until the end that is decreed…”] to take place during the same time frame.  Would the fulfillment of Daniel 9 and 12 (the judgment, resurrection, tribulation, abomination of desolation — ie. “the end”] be the fulfillment of all OT prophecy Luke 21:20-22?  And if so does the rest of the NT support this?  Tune in and see!  Know anyone studying Bible prophecy or even Matt. 24 – 25?  If so pass this on to them.

The Living Body Show: The Significance of Matt. 24-25 And It's Development Within The NT

Since so many agree (not just Full Preterists) that one’s interpretation of Matthew 24-25 affects how they will see the rest of eschatology played out in the NT a crucial understanding of Jesus’ teaching here is crucial.  Myself and William Bell tackle this alleged “difficult” passage that “scholars have disagreed on” with clarity and sound exegesis all the while demonstrating how other views begin their building/”exegesis” on a faulty or wrong foundation.  Tune in and pass it on!


Don K. Preston D. Div.
As Peter and John entered the Temple area the crippled man implored them for alms (Acts 3). Unable to give that, they gave him a far greater gift, his health. The excitement generated by this miracle gave rise to one of the most stirring promises, and theologically significant sermons, in scripture.
“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,  and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before,  whom heaven must receive until the times of  restoration  of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.  For Moses truly said to the fathers, `The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. `And it shall be [that) every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’  Yes, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also foretold these days.  “You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, `And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’  “To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one [of) [you) from your iniquities.”
In a series of articles to follow, we will show from this text 1.) the identity of what was to be restored; 2.) The nature of the restoration; 3.) Acts 3 and the passing of the Old Covenant; 4.) Acts 3 and the parousia.

Proper interpretation of Acts 3 clearly depends on the determination of what was to be, or will be, depending on a person’s view, restored. The word apokatastasis (restoration) means to restore, to set back to the correct position. (Bauer’s Arndt and Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature, (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1979, second edition)92). The word itself does not itself indicate the object or nature of restoration. It simply means to set aright what has gone wrong.
Thayer’s lexicon says that it is “the restoration not only of the true theocracy but also of that more perfect state of (even physical) things that existed before the fall.” (Thayer’s Greek English Lexicon, Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 1973)63).
We would agree that the focus of restoration in Acts 3 was Israel; not however, material creation, as most commentators suggest. The prophetic hope was not the restoration of dirt. This is the overall message of Luke’s book.
Scholars have long debated the purpose of the book of Acts. Conzelmann suggested that Acts was to teach the church how to live in light of the failed parousia. ( Hans Conzelmann, The Theology of St. Luke, (Philadelphia, Fortress, 1961) 137: “As the life of the world continues, there arise certain problems concerning the relation of the Church to its environment, which had remained hidden at the beginning because of the belief that the End was imminent.”  Thus, the purpose of Acts was “damage control” in light of failed eschatology. What a tragic and faith destroying view)!
Bruce says the purpose of the book is three-fold: to show the continuing work of Christ, through the Spirit, after His resurrection and ascension; to, “defend Christianity and Paul against the accusations of various opponents”; to demonstrate the successful mission of Paul in standing before the emperor in Rome.  (F. F. Bruce, The Acts of the Apostles: The Greek Text with Introduction and Commentary, Grand Rapids, Eerdman’s, 1984) 29+).
Thiessen suggests a four-fold purpose: To supply authoritative information about the early church leaders; to demonstrate the unity of the early church among Jews and Gentiles; To show that Paul was not a troublemaker and thus undeserving of imprisonment; To show that God was with the apostles by means of miracles, wonders and signs. (Henry Clarence Thiessen, Introduction to the New Testament Grand Rapids, Eerdman’s, 1943)184).
While there is some merit to some of these suggestions–except Conzelmann’s–we would suggest that the purpose of Acts was to chronicle the completion of the World Mission in its proclamation of the fulfillment of the restoration of Israel.
A quick over-view of Acts will show that, “The author appears to go out of his way to show the close connection between Christianity and its antecedents in Judaism.” (Donald Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, The Gospel and Acts, (Chicago, Inter-Varsity Press, 1965) 318).
1.) Chapter 1:6–“Will you at this time restore ( The word  restore,(Acts 1:6, is apokathistemi. The word in Acts 3:21 is apokatastasis. The words are virtually identical and found together in Kittel’s Theological Dictionary). The kingdom to Israel?”
Note: It is commonly asserted that the disciples’ question revealed a mistaken concept of the kingdom. However, if so, it means that Jesus opening the eyes of his disciples to understand the scriptures (Luke 24) did not “take” and that the forty days of instruction concerning the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3) were misunderstood. Whereas scripture unequivocally declares that the disciples did not understand Jesus’ teaching about his resurrection there is no textual indication whatsoever in Acts 1 that the disciples were in error in regard to their questions about the kingdom. I am currently writing a couple of articles on Acts 1 to demonstrate the imminence of the kingdom in that chapter, and, to show that Luke had a specific prophetic source in mind that he used as the template for the chapter, and for the book.
2.) Acts 2:29-37–God had fulfilled his promise to sit the Messiah on the throne of David.
3.) Acts 4:23-31–The disciples understood the death of Jesus as the fulfillment of  Psalms 2. Yet Psalms 2 declared that the persecution of God’s anointed one would ensure–not prevent–the enthronement of the Messiah.
4.) Acts 5:31–Peter declares that God exalted Jesus, “to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.”
5.) Acts 13:15f–Paul shows that Jesus was given “the sure mercies of David” (v.34) and warns of judgment if Israel rejects Him as Messiah (v. 40-41).
6.) Acts 15:13–James cites Amos 9 as proof that God was fulfilling His promise to “rebuild the tabernacle of David that is fallen down.”  The tabernacle of David had to be restored for the Gentiles to be saved. The Gentiles were being saved. Therefore the lineage of David was being restored.
7.) Acts 17:3–Paul’s message was that Jesus is the Christ. The Messiah was to restore and save Israel, Isaiah 62.
8.) Acts 23-28–Paul repeatedly affirms that he was on trial for preaching what, “Moses and the prophets” foretold (24:14). Paul’s gospel was the message of the, “hope of the promise made by God to our Fathers” (26:6). His message was the imminent fulfillment in Christ of “the hope of Israel” (28:20).
Clearly, Luke’s concern in Acts is to chronicle, “The striking success (not the rejection) of the apostolic mission to Israel which represented the restoration of Israel as promised (Acts 15:13-18).” ( Mark Nanos, (The Mystery of Romans, Minneapolis, Fortress, 1996)268. The fact that Luke records the proclamation of the fulfillment of God’s promises to restore Israel does not mean that the message was gladly accepted by all of the Jewish audiences (e.g. Acts 13, 17, 18). It does show that God had faithfully performed His act of restoration and that Israel was being told of that and invited into it.”)
In fact, the restoration of Israel– so that the rest of mankind might enter her salvation– is Luke’s entire focus in Acts! ( I present this important concept, Acts and the Restoration of Israel, in a 50 lesson series MP3. This study can be ordered here. You will never look at Acts in the same way!).
While it is indubitably true that Acts contains pneumatology, ecclesiology, Christology, and eschatology,  etc., all of these things are presented within the framework and context of God’s faithfulness to His promises to Israel. It is the failure of modern exegetes to be sensitive to Luke’s use of Israel’s prophecy that leads to a failure to appreciate the grand purpose of Acts.
This critical, foundational fact was glaringly obvioius in my recent debate with Joel McDurmon (July, 2012). Joel (stunningly) sought to create two eschatological hopes. There was God’s Old Covenant promises made to Israel, but then, almost unbelievably, in violation of the entirety of church history and the creeds, he actually said the resurrection hope of Job was not that of Israel and Torah! He never attempted to provide any evidence to show where the resurrection promises made to Israel are in fact different from that of Job, however. Be sure to get the DVDs or Mp3s of that debate, here.
With the evidence above it would be surprising indeed if the “restoration of all things” in Acts 3:21 was not the restoration of Israel. This view is supported by the prophetic use of  Luke’s word translated “restoration.”
When Israel sinned, Jehovah, in fulfillment of His covenantal promises of judgment, removed them from the land. Yet amid the judgment came the promise of restoration. Those promises were both historical as well as Messianic. By this we mean that there was the promise of actual restoration to the land and the rebuilding of the Temple and Jerusalem, and there were the promises of the coming of the Messiah to exalt Israel. The word Peter used to speak of “the restoration of all things” was a key word used by the prophets to promise these things.
In Jeremiah 16:13-15 Jeremiah told Judah that they were about to be removed from their beloved land. Yet he also promised, “I will bring them back (LXX, apokatastasis) into their land which I gave to their fathers.” (My emphasis, See also 24:6). This promise was fulfilled under Ezra and Nehemiah (Ezra 1;5;6; Nehemiah 9:36f).
In addition, Jehovah also promised to restore Israel under the righteous “Branch,” of the line of David, under whom Judah and Israel would be restored (Jeremiah 23:5f). This Messianic prediction is parallel with the prophecy of Amos 9 and other such texts. Israel’s restoration under Messiah is the focus here.
One of the most significant predictions of the “restoration” is found in Malachi 4:5-6. The Lord said that Elijah was to come and, “he will turn  (apokatastasis ) the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”
Elijah, the Restorer, was to urge Israel to “remember the Law of Moses”; thus, the framework of  “restoration” was within the confines of Israel’s world. He was not to be a prophet to the nations per se.
The work of Elijah was eschatological; he was to appear before the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord (Malachi 4:5-6). (See my11 tape audio series on John the Immerser as Elijah and last days prophet. John is one of the most significant eschatological figures in scripture yet is commonly ignored. For some insight into John’s eschatological significance, see my written debate with Jerry McDonald and the one with Olan Hicks. Both debates can be found on this site).
Thus, Elijah was to come and do the work of restoration in anticipation of the Day of the Lord. This fits well with the context of Acts 3. Peter says Christ would come at the climax of restoration. Notice that Peter said the restoration of all things was the object of the prophets and they “spoke of these days”(Acts 3:24)–the days before the parousia. Thus, restoration before parousia, not parousia then restoration.
Elijah, as Restorer, was to minister to Israel and (attempt to) turn them back to the Law before the Day of the Lord. In Acts 3 Peter says the prophets who spoke of the restoration spoke of his days–those were the days in which John as Elijah had appeared. Israel was the focus of Elijah’s work of restoration; Israel was the focus of Peter’s ministry of repentance.  More to follow.

The Living Body Show – Exposing Sam Frost's "Exegesis" of Matt. 16:27-28 & Rev. 5 – Christ "Coming" in AD 30 or AD 66 – 70?

Sam Frost continues to try and convince people that he is some kind of eschatological expert in refuting Full Preterism and yet as this show demonstrates (and articles here on this site) he cannot deal with the basic fundamental Full Preterist exegetical arguments of Matt. 16:27-28 let alone how John Calvin and the Reformed Church understands such passages as Matt. 13:38-43/Dan. 12:2-3; Matt. 16:27; Matt. 24:30-31–25:31!  Don’t miss this show!  William does a great job with developing Rev. 5 as it pertains to it’s OT echos and progression with the rest of Revelation pointing us to an imminent consummation of kingdom promises in AD 66 – AD 70 and NOT an alleged inauguration “coming” of Christ in AD 30 (per Frost)!

Exposing and Refuting Sam’s Sloppy “Exegesis” of Matthew 16:27-28 Part 2: ​Cherry-Picking John Calvin ​& "Verily I Say Unto You"

Exposing and Refuting Sam’s Sloppy “Exegesis” of Matthew 16:27-28 Part 2:

Cherry-Picking John Calvin & “Verily I Say Unto You”

By Michael J. Sullivan

In part one of this refutation we examined Sam Frost’s inability to even cite or mention let alone  interact at all with passages that reformed theologians (along with Full Preterists) consider parallel passages or same time eschatological events to Matthew 16:27 such as Matt. 13:39-43/Dan. 12:2-3; Matt. 24:30-31—25:31ff.  Then these teachings of Christ on His Second Coming and judgment are then the foundation upon which the Apostle Paul develops them in 1 Thess. 4:15—5:11/1 Cor. 15:23-24, 51-52.  Frost attempted to downplay these powerful parallel passages by not mentioning them and acting as if paralleling these as the same events were something unique to Full Preterism or Dispensational “Left Behind” hermeneutics.  I of course pointed out how absurd and inaccurate this was.  We also examined how Partial Preterists on a regular basis parallel their Preterist interpretation of Matthew 24-25 with other NT passages in order to refute Dispensationalism, but then fail to address the parallels between Matt. 24-25/1 Thess. 4:15—5:11 or say Matt. 25:31-46/Rev. 20:10-15.          
We shall now turn our attention to other aspects of Sam’s article. 
Sam writes,
Step One: Harmony
Luke 9.26-27 states, “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my saying, of him likewise will the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come  in his own majesty, and in the majesty of his Father, and of the holy angels. 27. And I say to you, There truly are some standing here who will not taste death, till they see the kingdom of God.”
Instead of “the son of man coming in his kingdom” we find, “the kingdom of God”.  This may or may not have significance in terms of emphasis on the meaning of Matthew‘s “son of man coming in his kingdom”.  We will consider the Greek text in a moment.
Mark 8.38-9.1 reads, “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him likewise will the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. 1. And he said to them, Verily, I say to you, There are some among those who stand here that will not taste death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.”
Here we have yet a third rendering, “kingdom of God come with power.”  Is seeing the kingdom of God, have seen the kingdom of God come in power, and the son of man coming in his kingdom all equatable terms?  If so, which one has the emphasis of meaning?  That is, is “seeing the kingdom of God” the same as “the son of man coming in his kingdom”, where the emphasis is on kingdom instead of the the coming of the son of man?  What is meant, then, by the coming of the son of man?  That I am be frivilous here over the details is countered by eminent scholar, Krister Stendahl (Harvard), who asks, “But coming in what sense”?, in noting the variations here.  We will note the Commentaries in a moment as well.
Well, yes there are parallel accounts to Matthew 16:27-28 in Mark and Luke with slight variations.  This of course proves nothing.  So let’s move on:
Step Two: The Greek Text
As with any thorough exegesis, we must consult the Greek text together with any differing manuscripts (copies) that have come down to us to the present time.  In Mat we have an issue with “works” over the other consideration, “deeds”.  Not really a gigantic problem.  Mark has “with” instead of Luke‘s “and” in the phrase, “with the holy angels”/”and of the holy angels”.  Again, not a large problem.  The sense of the text is not lost once we can recover the sense, and it is here that the real problem occurs: the variations of the phrases, “son of man coming in his kingdom”, “see the kingdom of God” and “have seen the kingdom of God come with power”.  I will consider other aspects of syntax in the Commentary section.
First Sam says there isn’t a problem then he claims there is.  As in “Step One” there is nothing here even worth responding to. Sam goes on:
Step Three: Asking the Right Possible Questions
As with any exegesis, asking the right questions is key.  With Stendahl has already asked one: “coming in what sense?”  Secondly, although it is obvious (and everyone agrees) that whatever Jesus is speaking of here was to “come” within the time span of those “standing” there at the time of Jesus’ utterance (roughly 31-33 AD), the nature of this “coming” and “seeing” is what is targeted.  Is this a single event?  Would it be a series of events?  Would it be an event with an inaugural consideration (that is, in Greek, ingressive).  For example, Calvin commented: “By the coming of the kingdom of God we are to understand the manifestation of heavenly glory, which Christ began to make at his resurrection, and which he afterwards made more fully by sending the Holy Spirit, and by the performance of miracles; for by those beginnings he gave his people a taste of the newness of the heavenly life, when they perceived, by certain and undoubted proofs, that he was sitting at the right hand of the Father.”  Taken all together, Calvin understood that these several events (resurrection, ascension, sending of the Spirit, miracles of the Apostles, et al) represents the ways in which the kingdom of God came with “power” – the coming of the son of man in his kingdom.  In other words, AD 70 is not even in consideration here.
We must ask, though, more questions.  What is meant by “rewarding each person according to his deeds”?  Surely, contests the Hyper Preterist, this is an end time event?  And, here, he would be able to appeal to a usual modern, Christian, cultural way of understanding this expression innundated with Left Behind popularizations.  This assumes, however, that the cultural understanding is the biblical understanding, and we must always be careful not to reread our culture back into the texts.  The Christian has normally heard (popularly) that the “rewards” of the saints that happens only once, only at one time: at the end of the world and the final judgment.  This is supposedly supported by appealing to Revelation 20:11-15 where we find, indeed, “they were judged, each man, according to his works” (not quite the same phrase as “rewarded”).  Then, on top of this, it is assumed that this event in Rev is the same event as spoken of here since, as I have already pointed out, the same language is used.  But, to jump from Mat to Rev based on a string of words, then to say, they must be talking about the same thing is a logical leap with several steps missing!  That’s what Hyper Pretersists do a lot: take huge hurdles.
However, it is a good question since it is raised within the popular understanding of “final judgement”.  The Hyper Preterist wants you to think, then, that Jesus is unequivocally saying here: “some of you standing here before me will not die until the Final Judgement has happened!”  But, is this the true (or only) sense of the passage?  The fact that the Hyper Preterist is confident that it is does not make it true.  The fact that he or she can even make some sort of exegetical case (based on popular understandings) that it is does not make it true.  I can make a case for baptismal regeneration.  It doesn’t make it true, says the Reformed, who can make a case for infant baptism.  And so on.
First, as I pointed out in part 1 and in the introduction to this article our culture or “Left Behindism” has nothing to do with how the reformed historic Christian Church has connected Matt. 16:27 with the Second Coming and final judgment at the end of the age in Matt. 13:39-43/Dan. 12:1-3; Matt. 24:30-31—25:31-46; Rev. 20:10-15, 22:10-12.  Sam is just not being honest here and his desperation is more than glaring.  Even John Calvin whom Frost cherry-picks and appeals to in Matt. 16:28 (but not verse 27) makes these same kind of Full Preterist connections.  Was Calvin guilty of being influenced by “Left Behind” eschatology and hermeneutics as Frost charges the Full Preterist?  Per Frost he must have been influenced by a view that wasn’t even invented yet!
Secondly, Sam (nor Calvin whom he cherry picks on v. 28 and not on v. 27) deals with Jesus’ phrase, “Verily I say unto you” in the beginning of Matt. 16:28a. which He uses to connect and emphasize a subject already being discussed.  In other words Christ in verse 28 is bringing home the point and teaching of v. 27 with an additional important and startling point – some of you will be alive to witness this very coming (that He just discussed in v. 27)!  So exegetically, this statement connects the two comings as one, so whatever your understanding of Christ’s coming is in verse 27 is the proper understanding one should have in v. 28.  Since the phrase connects the two comings as the same event, it is interesting that Sam doesn’t want to deal with this issue in connection with quoting Calvin on the “coming” in Matt. 16:28 while neglecting to address what he says of Christ’s coming in v. 27:
“…he shall appear as the judge of the world.” 
For Calvin, this is the final Second Coming event.  Interestingly enough Calvin also interprets Matthew 13:39-43/Dan. 12:2-3 in the same way:
Then will the righteous shine. What a remarkable consolation! The sons of God, who now lie covered with dust, or are held in no estimation, or even are loaded with reproaches, will then shine in full brightness, as when the sky is serene, and every cloud has been dispelled. The adverb then (τοτε) is emphatic; for it contains an implied contrast between their present state and the ultimate restoration, by the expectation of which Christ animates those who believe in him. The meaning therefore is, Though many wicked men now hold a high rank in the Church, yet that blessed day is assuredly to be expected, when the Son of God shall raise his followers on high,…”
Calvin also takes the coming of the Son of Man in Matthew 24:30-31 and 25:31 as the same coming as Matt. 16:27:
“…therefore he declares that he will appear openly at his last coming and, surrounded by the heavenly power,”
Of the “redemption” associated to this coming and gathering of the angels in Luke 21:27-28 Calvin writes,
It is therefore called here (as in #Ro 8:23) redemption; because we shall then obtain truly and perfectly the consequences of the deliverance obtained through Christ. Let our ears therefore be awake to the sound of the angel’s trumpet, which will then sound, not only to strike the reprobate with the dread of death, but to arouse the elect to a second life; that is, to call to the enjoyment of life those whom the Lord now quickens by the voice of his Gospel; for it is a sign of infidelity, to be afraid when the Son of God comes in person for our salvation.
Again, Sam is “cherry picking” Calvin and according to Frost Calvin is guilty of our “modern” “cultural” “Left Behindism” before it ever came into being since like the Full Preterist he takes these comings of Christ as His Second Coming or the judgment/resurrection event to close the age.      
Perhaps Sam does not want to challenge that “Verily I say unto you” is linking the two comings in vss. 27-28 as the same event(s)?  It seems to me that he wants to consistently interpret the coming of Christ in vss. 27-28 as the same coming and yet different at the same time throwing everything at the passage hoping something will stick:  1) Jesus allegedly comes (?) in judgment(?) on the clouds(?) with angels(?) in the resurrection event(?), 2)  Jesus allegedly comes/goes(?) in judgment(?) on the clouds(?) with the angels(?) in the ascension(?), 3)  Jesus allegedly comes(?) in judgment(?) on the clouds(?) with angels(?) at Pentecost.  Where in the depictions of Jesus’ resurrection, ascension, or Pentecost do we see Jesus described as coming on the clouds with angels to judge and reward all men?  Desperate men make desperate “arguments.” 
Thirdly, Sam claims, Full Preterists “…jump from Mat to Rev based on a string of words, then to say, they must be talking about the same thing is a logical leap with several steps missing!”  Actually, I don’t do this in our book or my online article in covering Matt. 16:27-28.  I develop my exegesis within Matthew’s gospel and in Jesus’ teachings first before going to Revelation.  But as we will see , Sam no less “jumps from Matthew 16:27-28 to Revelation 5” hoping to develop Christ coming in his ascension theory, instead of where everyone else goes when they get to the book – Revelation 20:11-15 or 22:10-12.  But we will cover Sam’s desperation in Revelation 5 shortly.  
As the reader can see in Frost’s article he cherry-picks John Calvin on the “coming” of Christ in Matt. 16:28 – leaving out his view of the coming of the Son of Man in Matt. 16:27; Matt. 24:30-1/Luke 21:27-28.  Calvin nor Frost deals with the exegetical argument of the Full Preterist that Jesus’ phrase of “Verily I say unto you” links the same subject matter of v. 27 with v. 28.  In other words the “about to” coming of the Son of Man in v. 27 is the same coming of Christ in v. 28 which would take place within some of the disciples lifetimes. 
In part 3 we will examine Frost’s theory that the coming of the Son of Man in both Matt. 16:27-28 was fulfilled at the ascension “coming” in AD 30 – giving specific attention to Revelation 5 which is where Frost’s article leads his readers.  According to Sam’s theory, this is apparently when Christ took the scroll and began opening the seals judging and rewarding all men.  However, Christ taking the scroll and opening the seals is not AD 30, but rather a depiction of Christ coming in judgment  – pointing the reader to His imminent Second Coming when He begins opening the seals judging and rewarding from roughly AD 66 – 70 (cf. Rev. 22:6-7, 10-12).