Don Preston Responds To Kenneth Gentry and Joel McDurmon on Their Lack of Logic in Luke 21:22

Joel McDurmon on Luke 21:22
Don K. Preston D. Div. www.eschatology.org
In the McDurmon -V- Preston debate, July 19-21, 2012, Joel McDurmon clearly anticipated that I would appeal to Luke 21:22 where Jesus, describing the impending destruction of Jerusalem, said “These be the days of vengeance, in which all things that are written must be fulfilled.”
McDurmon, it seems, thought he would “cut me off at the pass” by thinking that this would be a foundational argument for me. So, he thought he would derail my argument by addressing it before I did. (While I clearly do think that Luke 21:22 is incredibly powerful, I did not appeal to it during the debate, and had no plans to do so).
Joel made the following argument: If Preston argues that all things were to be fulfilled in AD 70, then the virgin birth, the establishing of the church, etc. all happened then, and that is patently false. Those things were all fulfilled long before AD 70.
So, Joel posited an “everything is fulfilled at one time, and none before that time” hermeneutic of prophetic fulfillment.
I must confess that I am always somewhat taken back by such an illogical argument. The argument is argument is not new. I have heard it before, and it is specious to say the least.
This argument reveals one of several possibilities:
A.) Pure desperation on the part of McDurmon,
B.) An attempt at obfuscation of the real issues at stake,
C.) A total misunderstanding of the true preterist position.
D.) Undeniably, a misunderstanding of what Jesus said.
Note: Kenneth Gentry recently wrote an article in which he clearly thought he had made a major blow against the true preterist theology. I wrote a response to Gentry and that can be found here.
Let me say this: Joel is a good man, and a good student of scripture and logic. I do not believe for a moment that he would actually, on calm reflection, espouse this concept of “everything is fulfilled at one time, and none before that time.” (Of course, I could  not believe that Gentry would write what he did on Luke 21 either)!
Since I did not have time to deal with Joel’s “argument.” during the debate let me offer some thoughts on it here.
Jesus was not saying that all prophecies would be fulfilled at the moment of– and none any time prior to- AD 70. I have never read, or heard, of a single preterist ever making that argument.
What Jesus was saying is that the process of fulfillment of the last days events would be finalized and perfected in AD 70. In my view, that process began with the birth of Jesus and continued through the appearance of John the Baptizer, (the law and the prophets were until John…) until the consummation “when all things that are written must be fulfilled.”
There was an appointed time (Greek kairos, appointed time) for the fulfillment of the eschatological scheme, and that was “the stewardship of the fullness of time” (Ephesians 1:9-10). Paul was emphatic that the “fullness of time” was the last days of the Old Covenant Age of Israel (Galatians 4:4).
I took note of Ephesians 1:9-10 and Galatians 4 several times in the debate, as well as Acts 3:23f where Peter affirmed that all of the OT prophets who spoke of the “restoration of all things” “spoke of these days” – i.e. Peter’s first century days. McDurmon never said a word in response to these arguments. (To be fair, perhaps it was an issue of short time. That is always a huge problem for each man in a formal debate)!
As Hendrickson succinctly notes, “As Jesus was speaking, (In Matthew 5:17-18, DKP) some parts of the Old Testament had already been fulfilled, for example, the incarnation. Other parts were being fulfilled. Still others were to be fulfilled soon, that is, the crucifixion and the resurrection; or were to be fulfilled later, in the ascension, at and after Pentecost, and finally at Christ’s return in glory” (William Hendrickson, New International Commentary, Matthew, (Grand Rapids, Baker, 2002)291).
Of course, Hendrickson clearly overlooks the power of Luke 21:22 refusing to connect Jesus’ prediction of his coming (Luke 21:25f) with the end of the Old Covenant age. But the point he is making that there was a process of fulfillment that began with the incarnation and that would be perfected, culminated, at the end is spot on.
The bottom line is that in truth, McDurmon realizes that the process of fulfillment began before AD 70. Furthermore, he believes, we assume, that “all things that are written must be fulfilled” even in his paradigm, at the end of the millennium resurrection. With that in mind, consider this.
The end of the millennium resurrection is when “all things that are written must be fulfilled” – McDurmon.
But, if all things that are written must be fulfilled all at one time, at the end of the millennium resurrection, then the virgin birth and Jesus’ incarnation, his passion and resurrection do not take place until the end of the millennium resurrection!
Now, McDurmon would patently and correctly reject this “logic” and argument as specious and false to the core. He would argue that there was a process of fulfillment consummating in the end of the millennium resurrection.
So, McDurmon realizes that there is (was) a process of fulfillment, consummating and climaxing in the resurrection. It was, therefore, undeniably specious for him to argue that if “all things written must be fulfilled” applied to AD 70, that this demanded the virgin birth was fulfilled then.
Do you catch the power of Joel’s illogical argument? His “all at one time, and none before” argument destroys his own theology!
If his argument applied to AD 70 then it undeniably applies to his futuristic end of the millennium resurrection. But, if his “logic” is true, and all things are fulfilled at the same time, and none before that time– then Jesus has not even been born, he never lived on earth in fulfillment of the OT prophecies. He never experienced the Cross and was not raised from the dead, in fulfillment of OT prophecy. The church was never established in fulfillment of OT prophecy. Etc, etc, etc., etc.!
You  see, Joel’s “all fulfilled at the same time and none before that time” hermeneutic logically denies the entire story of fulfillment recorded in the NT. Since nothing can be fulfilled until the consummation, and the consummation is somewhere, perhaps countless years in the future, then not one prophecy has been fulfilled yet!
Just as Gentry had clearly not thought through the implications of his article attacking the true preterist view, it should be more than obvious that Joel had not given a lot of careful, analytical thought to his “argument” on Luke 21:22.

KENNETH GENTRY’S LATEST DESPERATION

Don K. Preston

President: Preterist Research Institute

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Permission to post on other Web Sites is granted as long as it is posted in its entirety, without modification, alteration or editing. Notification of publication is requested.

I have written numerous articles interacting with Kenneth Gentry, one of the most outspoken critics of Covenant Eschatology today. He is also one of the most ardent advocates of postmillennialism. In my upcoming work on 1 Thessalonians 4:13f entitled We Shall Meet Him In the Air, The Wedding of the King of Kings, I do an in-depth analysis of Gentry’s hermeneutic. It appears to me personally that as time goes on, Gentry becomes more illogical and desperate in his attempts to respond to Covenant Eschatology. His argument addressed in this article is a prime example of that.

Dr. Gentry takes every opportunity to condemn preterists, but he refuses to actually engage in honorable discussions with preterists. Dr. Gentry has been challenged many times by numerous people, including myself, to meet me in formal public debate. It seems Dr. Gentry is always “too busy.” Anyone wishing to forward this article, with my invitation to formal debate, to Gentry, is more than welcome to do so. I have little hope that he will respond. Every time I have personally emailed him, even though he has opened the posts, he has not even given me the courtesy of a response. We can only hope that this will change.

A brother Ray West, forwarded to me, (6-9-09), a post by Gentry in which he once again takes a shot at preterists. The comments are from his own blog and review of his revised book He Shall Have Dominion. His book is advertised at (https://www.kennethgentry.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=432). I am informed that at this time (6-10-09), there is a problem with the Cart on his site however, so one would need to check with Dr. Gentry before purchasing through the website. Additional note: Gentry’s book can be purchased from Amazon to avoid the web problems.

Dr. Gentry clearly thinks that he has found a fatal flaw in the preterist argument on Luke 21:22. Here is Mr. Gentry’s argument as I received it:

Begin quote:

In its context Luke 21:22
<http://net.bible.org/verse.php?book=luk&chapter=21&verse=22> reads as follows: “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is at hand. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are in the midst of the city depart, and let not those who are in the country enter the city; because these are days of vengeance, in order that all things which are written may be fulfilled” (Lk 21:20 <–22″http://net.bible.org/verse.php?book=luk&chapter=21&verse=20>–22).

Inarguably, (sic) the context here is focusing on AD 70, as even dispensationalists agree.

The hyper-preterists naively assume that Jesus is speaking globally of absolutely all prophecies when he declares that “all things which are written” will be fulfilled in AD 70. They hold, therefore, that no prophecy remains, which means that prophecies regarding the resurrection of all men, the second coming, and more came to pass in AD 70. They base their argument on deficient hermeneutics. Note just one deadly observation against their approach: The grammar of the passage limits the declaration. Jesus speaks of “all things which are written” by employing a perfect passive participle: /gegrammena /(“having been written”). This refers to prophecies already written — when he speaks in AD 30. Yet we know that more prophecies arise later in the New Testament revelation.

Once again we see a limitation on Jesus’ statement. Furthermore, technically it does not even refer to any prophecy which Christ speaks. For these are not prophecies that have already been written. That being the case, the final resurrection (for instance) is outside of this declaration (Jn 5:28-29) http://net.bible.org/verse.php?book=joh&chapter=5&verse=28>–29).

Thus, Jesus is referring to all things written in the Old Testament. At this stage of redemptive history those are the only prophecies that had already been written. (end quote, DKP)

Quite frankly, I could hardly believe what I was reading from the pen of the erudite Dr. Gentry! He has engaged in numerous debates, and surely knows that one must be careful in making polemic arguments. The absolute desperation, the total failure of logic on the part of Dr. Gentry is glaring and egregious.

Let me summarize Dr. Gentry’s argument for ease of understanding.

Major Premise: When Jesus said (Luke 21:22), that “all things written must be fulfilled,” he referred only to those prophecies (and all of those prophecies), that had been written prior to his statement in A.D. 30.

Minor Premise: All New Testament prophecies of the resurrection (e.g. John 5:28f, 1 Corinthians 15, 1 Thessalonians, etc.), were written after A.D. 30.

Conclusion: Therefore, all New Testament prophecies of the resurrection were not part of the “all things that are written” that were to be fulfilled in the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

Here is what Dr. Gentry concludes: “Thus, Jesus is referring to all things written in the Old Testament. At this stage of redemptive history those are the only prophecies that had already been written.”

Gentry’s “logic,” if such it can be called, fails on a number of points. However, I am going to keep this article to the barest minimum.

I will only make two points in response to Dr. Gentry’s amazing argument.

Argument #1– The New Testament prophecies of the resurrection are simply the reiteration of the Old Testament prophecies (things already written in A.D. 30).

Proof of this argument: I need only refer to the words of Paul. The apostle affirmed in the most unambiguous manner that his doctrine of the resurrection was nothing but that found in the Old Testament, i.e. in that which had already been written!

Acts 24:14-15: “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.”

Paul said his doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, for which he was on trial, was found in Moses and the Law and the prophets. That certainly qualifies as that which was written before A.D. 30.

Acts 26:21-23– “Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.”

Paul said he preached nothing, nothing but the hope of Israel found in Moses and the prophets. Do you catch the power of that?

Paul taught of the resurrection of the dead.

But, Paul did not preach anything but the hope of Israel found in Moses and the prophets.

Therefore, the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead was found in Moses and the prophets.

 Romans 8:23– 9:1-4– “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body… For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: 4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises.”

The adoption, according to Paul, was the resurrection.

But, the promise of the adoption was given to, and belonged to, Israel after the flesh.

This means that the adoption, the promise of the resurrection, was from the Old Testament prophecies.

1 Corinthians 15:54-55– “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”

Paul cites Isaiah 25:8 and Hosea 13:14 as the source of his resurrection doctrine in Corinthians.

Paul said that the resurrection would be when Isaiah 25 and Hosea 13:14 would be fulfilled.

Thus, the resurrection hope and doctrine of 1 Corinthians 15 was found in, and based on the Old Testament prophecies made to Israel.

From these texts, it is undeniable that the resurrection hope expressed by the New Testament writers was nothing other than a reiteration of what had already been written long ago in the Old Testament scriptures! This is fatal to Gentry’s argument and theology.

You simply cannot say that the New Testament prophecies of the resurrection are not grounded in and based on the Old Covenant prophecies. This is to deny Paul who said he preached nothing but the hope of Israel found in Moses and the prophets. 1 Corinthians 15 is not different from Isaiah 25 or Hosea 13:14, for Paul says that when the resurrection occurred, it would be the fulfillment of those prophecies. To say that 1 Corinthians 15 is the explication of those prophecies is not the same as saying that they are different from those prophecies.

You cannot say that all Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled at the A.D. 70 parousia of Christ, therefore, without affirming the fulfillment of all New Testament eschatology. There is no “new” eschatology in the New Testament. All New Testament eschatology is the anticipation of the imminent fulfillment of Old Testament promises. Period. This totally falsifies Gentry’s specious argument.

What is astounding to consider in light of Gentry’s argument above is that Gentry believes that the Old Testament did indeed predict the resurrection of the dead at the end of the Christian age! In his book, The Greatness of the Great Commission, (Tyler, Tx., Institute for Christian Economics, 1993)142, Gentry cites Daniel 12:2 as predictive of the resurrection “at the end of history.”

So, consider what this does for Dr. Gentry:

All Old Testament prophecy would be fulfilled by the time of, and in the events of the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. (Kenneth Gentry)

But, the Old Testament predicted the general resurrection of the dead (Daniel 12:2, Kenneth Gentry)

Therefore, the general resurrection of the dead occurred in the events of the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

We have established point #1 beyond any possibility of refutation. This point alone totally destroys Gentry’s attempt at refuting Covenant Eschatology.

Argument #2– For argument sake therefore, I will most gladly accept Dr. Gentry’s own summary statement: “Thus, Jesus is referring to all things written in the Old Testament. At this stage of redemptive history those are the only prophecies that had already been written.” (My emphasis, DKP)

Consider then the following argument:

All things written in the Old Testament, i.e. all Old Testament prophecy, was fulfilled by the time of, and in the events of, the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. (Kenneth Gentry).

But, the Old Testament prophesied of the resurrection of the dead (Acts 24:14f; 26:6f; 26:21f, Romans 8:23-9:1-4, 1 Corinthians 15:55-56).

Therefore, the prophecies of the resurrection of the dead were fulfilled by the time of, and in the events of, the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

This argument is prima facie true.

It is incontrovertibly true that the Old Testament foretold the resurrection of the dead. Kenneth Gentry agrees.

It is irrefutably true that all New Testament prophecies of the resurrection are drawn from and the reiteration of the Old Testament prophecies.

It is undeniable that Jesus said that all things written would be fulfilled by the time of, and in the events of the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

Kenneth Gentry is correct in affirming that all Old Testament prophecies would be fulfilled at / in A.D. 70. And this proves, beyond refutation, that the resurrection of the dead came at the dissolution of the Old Covenant age of Israel in A.D. 70.

Incidentally, it would do no good for Mr. Gentry, or anyone else, to amend his statement and argue that all that Jesus really meant was that all Old Covenant prophecies concerning the fall of Jerusalem were to be fulfilled in A.D. 70. (You will note that Gentry made no attempt to limit the scope of the Old Covenant prophecies to be fulfilled in A.D. 70. He said emphatically, “Jesus is referring to all things written in the Old Testament“).

The indisputable fact is that in the Old Testament the resurrection of the dead is repeatedly posited at the destruction of Old Covenant Israel. Note a couple of examples.
Isaiah 25:1-8– “O LORD, You are my God. I will exalt You, I will praise Your name, For You have done wonderful things; Your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. 2 For You have made a city a ruin, A fortified city a ruin, A palace of foreigners to be a city no more; It will never be rebuilt. 3 Therefore the strong people will glorify You; The city of the terrible nations will fear You. 4 For You have been a strength to the poor, A strength to the needy in his distress, A refuge from the storm, A shade from the heat; For the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. 5 You will reduce the noise of aliens, As heat in a dry place; As heat in the shadow of a cloud, The song of the terrible ones will be diminished. 6 And in this mountain The LORD of hosts will make for all people A feast of choice pieces, A feast of wines on the lees, Of fat things full of marrow, Of well–refined wines on the lees. 7 And He will destroy on this mountain The surface of the covering cast over all people, And the veil that is spread over all nations. 8 He will swallow up death forever, And the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces; The rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; For the LORD has spoken.”
Note that in the day that YHVH would destroy death, it would also be when He made the city a desolation, and turned the temple over to foreigners! The city under consideration is the “city of confusion” in chapter 24:10f, Ariel, i.e. Jerusalem. So, Isaiah emphatically posits the resurrection at the time of Jerusalem’s demise.
In chapter 26:19-21, the Lord predicted the resurrection at the time when YHVH would come out of heaven and avenge the blood of the martyrs. Of course, Jesus was emphatically clear that all of the righteous blood of all the saints shed on the earth would be avenged in the judgment of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 (Matthew 23:34f).
In Isaiah 27:1f, we find the destruction of Leviathan, the enemy of God, defeated in the day that the Lord would come, the Day of 26:19f, i.e. the day of the resurrection. And, this Day of the Lord would also be when the people that YHVH had created would no longer receive mercy, and He would turn the altar to chalkstones (Isaiah 27:9f). Thus, again, the resurrection is clearly placed in the context of the judgment of Jerusalem and Israel.

Likewise, the very passage that Gentry appeals to for the resurrection at the end of the age, Daniel 12:2, says that the resurrection would be, “when the power of the holy people is completely shattered” (Daniel 12:2-7). See my book, Seventy Weeks Are Determined…For the Resurrection, for a full discussion of this fact.

So, Gentry boasts that the “hyper-preterists” make a “naive” claim about Luke 21:22. He says we are guilty of “deficient hermeneutics.” He claims to have made a “deadly observation” against the preterist argument. In fact, Gentry has exposed his own desperation and his own naive and deficient hermeneutic. We have made what is in fact “a deadly observation” in response to Gentry’s specious argument.

Kenneth Gentry has, through his own argument, destroyed his postmillennial, futurist eschatology. He has actually confirmed the truthfulness of “hyper-preterism!” Perhaps there is no need for Mr. Gentry to publically debate Covenant Eschatology after all (although my invitation remains valid), for the more he writes, the more he confirms that Christ’s “Second Coming” and the prophecies of the resurrection were fulfilled in A.D. 70. (I suspect that in a fourth revision of Dr. Gentry’s book, he will modify or delete his comments on Luke 21:22. It will be interesting to see, will it not?)
 

Kistemaker/Beale (Amillennial Recapitulation of Rev. 20 w/1-19, 21-22) + Mathison/Gentry (Partial Preterism Rev. 1-19, 21-22 fulfilled by AD 70) = Full Preterism or Revelation 20:1-15 Fulfilled by AD 70 and Don Preston's Exciting Announcement!

Below is my response to Keith Mathison and Simon Kistemaker on the millennium of Revelation 20 that will be added to our book House Divided Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist Response to When Shall These Things Be?  in our next edition.  A condensed version never made it into the first edition and I felt this material needed to be developed and added into my response in the next edition.  It has not been edited or condensed yet.  My purpose in adding it here is in light of Don Preston’s exciting announcement that he will be engaging Kenneth Gentry and G.K. Strimple on the millennium of Revelation 20.  I have posted that exciting announcement following this article – so please try and attend this event!  Familiarize  yourself with how the classic Amillennial view recapitulates Revelation 20 material with the rest of the book of Revelation and how the Partial Preterist view understands Revelation 1-19, 21-22 as reaching fulfillment by AD 70.  These two views need to stop warring against themselves and realize Full Preterism is the organic development of what they are both seeing and be willing to revise the creeds and re-think their traditions in light of a better interpretation.

Kistemaker/Beale (Amillennial Recapitulation of Rev. 20 w/1-19, 21-22) + Mathison/Gentry (Partial Preterism Rev. 1-19, 21-22 fulfilled by AD 70) = Full Preterism or Revelation 20:1-15 Fulfilled by AD 70

Michael J. Sullivan

To further demonstrate that the millennium of Revelation 20 is roughly a forty year “this generation” transition period between the Old and New Covenants and that the judgment and resurrection of the dead in this chapter takes place during the events surrounding the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, I will allow the views and exegesis of Mathison, Gentry and Kistemker to once again make our case.  I will also use the rest of the NT to testify and solidify our points as to the inspired time frame of fulfillment.
The Partial Preterist position of Mathison and Gentry instructs the church that Revelation 1-19 is the judgment upon Jerusalem in AD 70.[1]  We of course agree.  And yet Kistemaker claims that Revelation 20 recapitulates or uses “progressive parallelism” to describe the same time frame and judgment/salvation scene as shown in chapters 1-19 finding their fulfillment at the end of the age (WSTTB?, 242, 246-247, 254).[2] Of Revelation 20:1-15 G.K. Beale writes,
“20:1–15: The Millennium. The millennium is inaugurated during the church age when God limits Satan’s deceptive powers and when deceased Christians are vindicated through their reign in heaven. It is concluded by a resurgence of Satan’s deceptive assault against the church and the final judgment.
Ch. 20 is a part of the larger literary segment extending from 17:1 to 21:8. The first sections of the literary unit have dealt with the announcement of Babylon’s fall at the conclusion of history (ch. 17), elaboration of that fall, especially the responses drawn forth both from unredeemed and redeemed multitudes (18:1–19:10), and Christ’s judgment of wicked world forces at the end of history (19:11–21).
The precise thematic and temporal relationship of ch. 20 to ch. 19 is hotly debated. The exegesis of ch. 20 in this commentary will argue that 20:1–6 refers to the course of the church age and temporally precedes the narration of final judgment in chs. 17–19 and that 20:7–15 recapitulates the description of final judgment in 19:11–21.”[3]
Therefore, the “organic development” of these two “orthodox” interpretations/positions is that the millennium of Revelation 20 recapitulates the AD 30-70 fulfillment already depicted in chapters 1-19.  If men such as Kistemaker, Beale and Strimple would stop spiritualizing the imminent time texts away in the book of Revelation and Mathison and Gentry would submit to the exegetical fact that Revelation 20 is recapitulating the same judgment of the dead and consummation depicted in the previous chapters, then there would be no problem reaching a consensus that the thousands years is a symbolic of a “this generation” time period between Christ first and second appearing’s.  Selah.
Another point I would like to bring out is that the eschatological events that take place “after” the thousand years are “over” also fall within the AD 70 time period.  I agree with Kistemaker’s criticism of Russell’s view of the millennium,
“Indeed, they [Russell & I would add Partial Preterists] claim that everything in the Apocalypse, with the exception of Revelation 20:5-10, has been fulfilled.  But it is puzzling why these six verses are excluded, because they are an integrated part of chapter 20.” (WSTTB?, 246-247, brackets MJS).
If I can further demonstrate the first century fulfillment of these events that take place after the millennium, it will not only buttress the forty year millennial view, but at the same time refute some Partial Preterist’s who view the millennium as still taking place or some Premillennial Partial Preterists whom actually think “a” pariousia or “the” one and only parousia took place in AD 70 but the millennium actually began in (not ending by) AD 70.
Revelation 20:1-15
We concur with our opponents that John was already in the millennium – “what is now” (Rev. 1:19).  Thus the “binding” of Satan here began with the earthly ministry of Jesus.  Therefore, Christians were already being raised and reigning on thrones, the saints were already a kingdom of priests (Matt. 12:25-29; Eph. 2:5-7; John 5:24; 1 Pet. 2:5).  J. Marcellus Kik makes a good case that Revelation 20:4 is describing the lives of the saints while upon the earth (preferring the ARV translation of the text),
In the King James version the verbs sat, was given, lived, reigned, are in one tense; while the verbs had worshipped, had received, are in another.  But in the Greek the same tense is used for all—the aorist.  Since they are all in the same tense they must refer to the same time.  That is, the time of not worshipping the beast and not receiving his mark is the same time as that of sitting on thrones and living and reigning with Christ.[4]
He translates “psuchai” in verse 4 as, “And I beheld the lives of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus”[5]] indicating that they were already reigning and living victorious lives upon the earth through the work of Christ on the cross and the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit before they were martyred.
While John is living during the time of the millennium, the inspired time frame for Revelation’s fulfillment demands that he is now standing towards the end or consummation of it–the things which John was told would “shortly” take place “later” (Rev. 1:1, 19).  John was told that no part of the vision was to be sealed up, because it was all to be fulfilled shortly and nowhere are we told that the millennium is not a part of that vision. If the millennium was not a part of the vision to be fulfilled shortly, we would expect John to be given instruction to seal at least that portion of the vision since it’s time of fulfillment would be “far off” – as Daniel was instructed.  It is the Partial Preterist eisegesis of Mathison and Gentry which separates the imminent fulfillment of the millennium from the rest of the “at hand” prophecy.  Although not a Full Preterist, Vern Pothress points out the inconsistency of the Partial Preterist view of Mathison and Gentry as we do,
“But 1:3 and 22:10 are like bookends enclosing the whole prophecy of Revelation.  The fulfillment of everything, not just a part, is near.”[6]
The Fulfillment of the Great Commission 
The purpose of the binding of Satan is that he can no longer deceive the nations – so that the commandment of the Great Commission could be fulfilled by the end of the age (Mark 13:10; Matt. 28:18-20).  But the NT teaches us that the Great Commission to all the nations was fulfilled by the end of the Old Covenant age:

PROPHECY            FULFILLMENT

“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world (Greek oikumene) for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:14) “But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed:‘Their sound has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world (Greek oikumene)” (Romans 10:18)
“And the gospel must first be published among all nations (Greek ethnos)” “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, (Greek ethnos)…” “…I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” (Mark 13:10; Mt.28:19-20) “…My gospel… has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations (Greek ethnos)…” (Romans 16:25-26)
“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world(Greek kosmos) and preach the gospel to every creature” “…And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues (Greek glossa) (Mark 16:15, 17) “…of the gospel, which has come to you, as it has also in all the world(Greek kosmos), as is bringing forth fruit…,” (Colossians 1:5-6).
And he said unto them ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (Greek kitisis) “ (Mark 16:15) “…from the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature (Greek kitisis) under heaven, of which I, Paul became a minister” (Colossians 1:23)
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth/land (Greek ge)” (Acts 1:8).Prophecy had begun to be fulfilled: “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues (Greek glossa), as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation (Greek ethnos) under heaven. “But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: ‘Their sound has gone out to all the earth/land (Greek ge), and their words to the ends of the world” (Romans 10:18) Prophecy would be fulfilled “shortly” : “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth/land (Greek ge), and to every nation (Geek ethnos), and kindred (Greek phule) and tongue (Greek glossa), and people, (Greek laos)” (Rev.1:1; Rev.14:6). See also Revelation 10:6-7; 20:3; 22:10-11 in regards to the Great Commission’s success to the “nations” of Israel and the Roman Empire along with imminent time of fulfillment.

 
God’s new Israel – the Church would accomplish the salvation of the remnant within a “short” period and “all nations” of “the world” would hear the gospel and bring forth fruit (Rom. 1:8; 9:28; 10:18; 16:25-26; Col. 1:5-6, 23).  Per Kistemaker’s reasoning, if the Great Commission to the nations has been fulfilled, then the Church is no longer in the millennium (WSTTB?, 250).  We agree. Partial Preterists have now surrendered “the end of the age” in Matthew 13:39-40 and Matthew 24:2 to be the Old Covenant age.  Therefore, it is pure eisegesis to then approach Matthew 28;18-20 and then claim the term means the end of history etc…
The First Resurrection and the Resurrection of the “Rest of the Dead”       
Those participating in the “first resurrection” is a subject that has been previously addressed in chapters 7 and 14 – these being the first century Jewish “first fruits” or 144,000 that were the first to believe in Christ and continued enduring through the great tribulation until the end.  Therefore, they would partake in the harvest/resurrection at the end of the Old Covenant age.   These are those who were coming out of their “graves” through the preaching of the gospel (John 5:24-27) and would soon participate and be joined with the rest of the dead in the consummative resurrection event.
In verse 5 “the rest of the dead” participate in the resurrection “after” the thousand years are over.  This refers to the end time “harvest” at “the end of the [Old Covenant] age” encompassing the “all” of (John 5:28-29).  This included not only all of the righteous dead pre-AD 70 but also that of unbelievers (Daniel 12:2/Matt. 13:39-43, 49).  Therefore, we have the raising of all the dead, the emptying of Hades, the great judgment (along with Satan’s imminent judgment Rom. 16:20) taking place shortly after the millennium (20:10-14).  The analogy of Scripture confirms this imminent end to the millennium period by describing the same imminent resurrection of all the dead and the judgment of the world, “…there is about to be a rising again of the dead, both of righteous and unrighteous; (Acts 24:15 YLT WEY).  “For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory about to be revealed in us;” (Rom. 8:18 YLT, WEY).  Contextually the glory “about to be” revealed in them was when the “redemption of the body” in v. 23 and becoming sons of God in the New Creation takes place.
Martyr Vindication, Satan’s Imminent Judgment and THE War
“After” the success of the Great Commission and at the end of the thousand year’s period, Satan is released for a “short” or “little while” (Rev. 20:3).  In chapter 6 we are told that the martyrs are to wait a “short” or “little while” until the rest of their fellow brethren have been martyred (Rev. 6:10-11).  This would be followed with God avenging and judging those who participated in their persecutions – “For the great day of their wrath has come and who can stand?” (Rev. 6:17).  In Revelation 12:5-12 we see the same motifs to what we have seen in Revelation 6 and 20 — previous suffering followed by a “short” or “little while” of more to come, and then an imminent judgment upon their enemies.  The “great city” or “Babylon” where Jesus was slain and whom God holds responsible for shedding the blood of the prophets and the saints is none other than Jerusalem (Rev. 11:8, 18:20, 24).
The analogy of Scripture confirms this.  This “little while” time frame of Satan’s last persecution (through the Jews and Romans) and thus the martyrs having to wait “a little while” longer before justice is wielded out upon their persecutors is consistent with Jesus’ teaching that all of the blood of the martyrs of the prophets and those Jesus would send to Jerusalem would be avenged in a first century “this generation” with her “house/temple” being left “desolate” (Matt. 23:31-38).  Pauline eschatology weighs in as well describing the same first century Jewish persecution and the Thessalonians being promised “relief” from God through Him giving their enemies the same kind of “trouble” they were giving them through Christ coming down from heaven in “blazing fire” “punishing” them with “everlasting destruction” along with the Man of Lawlessness (1 Thess. 2:14-16; 2 Thess. 1:5—2:12).  Mathison believes this coming of the Lord and “everlasting destruction” and “punishment” of “fire” in (2 Thess. 1-2) was fulfilled in AD 70 paralleling much of this material with Matthew 24 for exegetical evidence.[7]  And yet all of the same elements that are present in Revelation 6, 12, 16 and 20 are present in 1 and 2 Thessalonians!  The first century persecuted church wouldn’t have to wait much longer because the Man of Lawlessness (Mathison identifying as Nero) was “already” present through the work of Satan himself – awaiting “the rebellion” and then his judgment (2 Thess. 2:3-10).  Once again Mathison is creedally selective in making AD 70 fulfillment “parallels” between 1 Thessalonians 2 and 5 and 2 Thessalonians 1-2 with that of Matthew 24 and neglecting those parallels concerning the resurrection of the dead found in 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 and Matthew 24:30-31.  The paralleling of 1 and 2 Thessalonians with Matthew 24 and the book of Revelation, gives us the same time frame for the end of the millennium in Revelation 20:  1) The Thessalonians were already in the millennium, 2) They were being persecuted, 3)  They were promised relief in their lifetimes, 4)  Lord comes to close the millennium by destroying The Beast/Man of Sin with everlasting destruction and punishment and 5) raise the dead.
There are four main enemies of God and His saints in the book of Revelation and they are introduced in chapter 12 and onward in the order of Satan, the sea beast, the land beast and or false prophet and Babylon.  As Revelation progresses their defeat in judgment is pictured in reverse order.  These are different scenes of the same end time persecution and judgment of God’s enemies.  Kistemaker understands the timing of the judgment scene and the casting of Satan into the lake of fire in 20:10 as the “presumed place” where the great harlot is burned with fire in 17:16.  And he most definitely affirms that this takes place “at the same time” the beast and false prophet are cast into this fiery lake 19:20.[8]  Kistemaker affirms that there is only one final war or end time judgment in Revelation and it is consistently referred to in John’s use of the Greek phrase “to gather them for the war” in (Rev. 16:14; 19:19; 20:8) (244-245). [9]  Strimple in a debate with Gentry over the millennium makes the same point, “In 16:14 kings are called forth to the battle.  In 19:19 the beast and the kings of the earth come forth to the battle.  In 20:8 Satan leads his host up to the battle.  It seems clear that these three texts describe not three battles but one.”[10]  And yet Partial Preterists such as Mathison and Gentry understand “the war” of (Rev. 16:14), the burning of the Harlot in (Rev. 17:6) and the judgment of the false prophet and beast being thrown into lake of fire in (Rev. 19:20) as being fulfilled by AD 70.[11]  Once again we can readily see how Full Preterism is the organic development of our opponent’s views and effectively “bridges the gap” between them.
Let me briefly give two more texts regarding the judgment and destruction of Satan which further develops my point.  Most reformed commentators correctly understand that the timing of Satan being thrown into the lake of fire in Revelation 20:10 is equivalent to him being “crushed” “shortly” in (Romans 16:20/Genesis 3:15).  Partial Preterists such as Gentry inform us that this time statement along with all of the other NT imminent time statements refers to AD 70.[12]  And  yet the majority of reformed commentators understand these passages to be addressing the “not yet” consummation of biblical eschatology (ie. the final defeat of Satan at the end of the millennium – followed with the Adamic curse of death being destroyed for the Church in the New Creation).  Likewise, as stated previously, Mathison along with Partial Preterists such as Gary DeMar no longer divide Matthew 24-25 into two comings of Christ with two judgments – separated by thousands or millions of years.  This necessitates that the judgment of the dead, with that of Satan and his angels into “everlasting punishment” would take place in Jesus’ “this generation” (Matt. 24:34—25:31-46). Again, most reformed commentators correctly understand Matthew 25:31-46 to be a depiction of the final second coming and the same “not yet” consummation judgment scene as taking place at the end of the millennium in Revelation 20:10.  If Mathison and Gentry along with their other futurist colleagues become Full Preterists, then they can truly be said to be in “shoulder to shoulder unity” concerning last things – and not the blatant contradictions we find in their writings.
Earth and Sky Fled 
In verse 11 we read, “Earth and sky fled from his presence,..”  For Full Preterists and men such as Kistemaker this same de-creation event has already been recapitulated in connection with the Second Coming of Jesus in (Rev. 6:14 and Rev. 16:20) and will re-surface shortly in the next chapter (Rev. 21:1).[13]  But for Mathison and Gentry, the de-creation events depicted in (Rev. 6:14; Rev. 16:20 and Rev. 21:21) were “non-literally” fulfilled or are the removal of “Israel’s world” or the Old Covenant world in AD 70 being “parallel” to the AD 70 fulfillments found in Matthew 24:15-31.[14]  The question begging to be answered of course is, why can’t  Gentry’s comments of an imminent de-creation non-literal fulfillment of Revelation 21:1 be applied to Revelation 20:11,
The description of the new creation and New Jerusalem bride-city extends from Revelation 21:1 to 22:5.  Following immediately upon that, we read:  “The angel said to me, ‘These words are trustworthy and true.  The Lord, The God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things which must soon take place’” (22:6 italics added).  And for good measure, four verses later John adds:  “Then he told me, ‘Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near’” (22:10, italics added).  A delay of several thousand years would override sound exegesis of these clear temporal statements.[15]
Again, we must ask – How does Revelation 20:1-15 get separated from “the prophecy of this book” of which was said to be fulfilled “soon” and “near”?!?  The truth of course once again lies in the middle of the two views – the de-creation of Revelation 6:14; 16:20; 20:11 and 21:1 are all depictions of the same events and were fulfilled “non-literally” and referring to the passing of “Israel’s world” or the Old Covenant world in AD 70 at Christ’s Second Coming.
The Dead Were Judged
In verses 12-15 the dead are judged, Hades gives up the dead and those whose names were not written in the book of life were thrown into the lake of fire.  For Kistemaker, such passages as Revelation 2:23; 3:5; 6:17; 11:18; 16:14; 20:5, 12-15; 22:10-12; Daniel 12:1-2; Matthew 25:31-46 all refer to ONE final judgment at the end of the age.  We agree, but it is the end of the Old Covenant age that the NT places this judgment and not the New Covenant age or end of world history.  Between Mathison and Gentry (and Gary DeMar), all of the above judgment passages were or could have been fulfilled at the end of the Old Covenant age in AD 70 except Revelation 20:5-15 allegedly being the exception.  And yet all of the rewards (to be presented at the judgment) for the churches in Revelation 1-3 were to be given when Christ was to come soon and correspond to inheriting the New Creation in Revelation 21 – of which Mathison and Gentry claim arrived in AD 70.  If the New Creation follows the millennium (and those events that take place soon after the millennium) in Revelation 20:1-15, then the judgment of the dead had to have taken place imminently at that time as well.  To this we need to turn to the rest of Scripture for confirmation.
They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.”  “…But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.” (1 Pet. 4:5, 7).
And in the same context Peter in verse 17 uses the definite article to emphasize he is referring to “THE time” of “THE judgment,” not just “a” minor one in AD 70,
“For the time has come for the judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Pet. 4:17).
“…because He did set a day in which He is about to judge the world in righteousness, by a man whom He did ordain, having given assurance to all, having raised him out of the dead” (Acts 17:31 YLT, WEY).
“I solemnly implore you, in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is about to judge the living and the dead, and by His Appearing and His Kingship:” (2 Tim. 4:1 WEY, YLT).
Kistemaker once again confirms the judgment of the dead in Revelation 20:12-13 is one Day of Judgment and has already been addressed in the previous chapters “…sixth seal (6:17), the seventh trumpet (11:18), and the sixth bowl (16:14) all refer to the moment when the great Day of Judgment comes. John presents his Apocalypse in a cyclical manner and looks at God’s revelation from different perspectives.  “And the rest of the dead lived not until the thousand years were completed” (20:5a). Here as well as in 20:12–13 the term alludes to all people: some receive rewards and others condemnation.[16]
But in order for Gentry and Mathison to take the time texts literally in the NT and in the book of Revelation, they have to invent two judgments of the dead in order to stay “orthodox” when the analogy of the Scripture truly only affirms one judgment of the dead at the end of the Old Covenant age connected with one Second Coming.

CONCLUSION

The organic and historical development between the Amillennial and the Partial Preterist views lead us to Full Preterist view of the millennium or that Revelation 20:1-15 was fulfilled by AD 70.   It is time to stop ignoring this and accept it and begin re-working the creeds and our traditions to fit the proper exegetical and historical model that has been presented by Full Preterism.
Kistemaker/Beale (Amillennial Recapitulation of Rev. 20 w/chapters 1-19, 21-22)
+
Mathison/Gentry (Partial Preterism Rev. 1-19, 21-22 fulfilled by AD 70)
= Full Preterism or Revelation 20:1-15 Fulfilled by AD 70

 
Exciting Announcement!
By Don K. Preston
Several months back, I mentioned that if nothing happened, we would be able to make a very, very exciting announcement. Well, things have worked out, as we had hoped, and I am now able to share an exciting announcement with our visitors.
On October 12, 2012, there will be a symposium in Dallas, Texas, on the various views of the millennium. As you can see from the formal announcment sent to each of the invited speakers below, some of the major figures in modern evangelical Christianity will present papers on their respective view of the millennium. And you will note that I have been invited to present the preterist view! This is an incredibly exciting, and I think significant, invitation. Such an invitation would have been all but unthinkable 20 years ago. However, the rapid and widespread growth of the preterist movement has caused the scholarly world to pay attention and to realize that Covenant Eschatology has, to cite Andrew Perriman, “a rightful place at the table” in serious discussions on eschatology.
Make your plans to attend this important event if at all possible. Needless to say, there will be some wornderful and challenging presentations given.
 
For His Truth, and In His Grace,
Don K. Preston D. Div.
***********************
Here now is the letter of confirmation that I received:
<Good Morning Gentlemen,
We are excited about the upcoming Future Kingdom conference at Criswell College! Our first publication ad is going out today. Below is the schedule for the event. Also, you can check out the conference page on our website by visiting www.criswell.edu and clicking on the Future Kingdom banner on the home page.
Once again, thank you for your involvement in the event. We will keep you updated and look forward to seeing you in October.
10:00 AM Welcome – Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President of Criswell College
10:15 AM The Millennium from a Preterist Perspective – Dr. Don Preston, President, Preterist Research Institute.
11:00 AM The Millennium from a Traditional Dispensationalist Perspective – Dr. H. Wayne House, Distinguished Professor of Biblical & Theological Studies, Faith Evangelical Seminary
11:45 AM Lunch
12:30 PM The Millennium from a Postmillennialist Perspective – Dr. Kenneth Gentry, Executive Director of GoodBirth Ministries
1:15 PM The Millennium from a Progressive Dispensationalist Perspective – Dr. Craig Blaising, Executive Vice-President & Provost, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
2:00 PM The Millennium from a Amillennialist Perspective – Dr. Gregory K. Beale, Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary
2:45 PM The Millennium from an Historical Premillennialist Perspective – Dr. Craig Blomberg, Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary
3:30 PM Roundtable Discussion – Moderated by Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President of Criswell College and Professor of Ethics & Philosophy and Dr. Barry Creamer, Vice-President of Academic Affairs and Professor of Humanities, Criswell College
4:00 PM Concluding Remarks – Dr. Jerry A. Johnson
In Christ,
Winston R. Hottman
Assistant to the President
Criswell College
4010 Gaston Avenue │ Dallas, Texas 75246
office 214-818-1300 │ fax 214-370-0874 │ toll free 800-899-0012
ahebert@criswell.eduhttp://www.criswell.edu>
 


[1] Mathison, Postmillennialism, 139-154.  Kenneth L. Gentry, THE BOOK OF REVELATION MADE EASY You Can Understand Bible Prophecy, (Powder Springs:  GA:  American Vision, Inc., 2008), 13-98.
[2] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W.  Vol. 20: New Testament Commentary: Exposition of the Book of Revelation. New Testament Commentary, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1953-2001), 10, 65, 266, 530–549.
[3] Beale, G. K. (1999). The book of Revelation: A commentary on the Greek text. New International Greek Testament Commentary (149–150). Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle, Cumbria: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press.
[4] J. Marcellus Kik, An Eschatology of VICTORY, (Phillipsburg, NJ:  Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing CO., 1971), 228.
[5] Kik, Ibid., 227.
[6] Vern S. Poythress, THE RETURNING KING A GUIDE TO THE BOOK OF REVELATION, (Phillipsburg, NJ:  P&R Publishing, 2000), 34.  Bold emphasis MJS.
[7] Mathison, Postmillennialism, 227-233.
[8] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, Ibid., 544.
[9] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen,  Ibid., 450.
[10] Craig A. Blaising, Kenneth L. Gentry Jr., Rober B. Strimple, THREE VIEWS ON THE MILLENNIUM AND BEYOND, (Grand Rapids, MI:  Zondervan, 1999), 125, bold emphasis MJS.
[11]  Mathison, Postmillennialism, 153.  Kenneth L. Gentry Jr., FOUR VIEWS ON THE BOOK OF REVELATION, (Grand Rapids, MI:  Zondervan, 1998),  81.
[12] Gentry, THREE VIEWS ON THE MILLENNIUM, 246.
[13] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W.  Vol. 20: New Testament Commentary : Exposition of the Book of Revelation. New Testament Commentary, 546.
[14] Mathison, Postmillennialism, 148-149, 153.  Kenneth L. Gentry Jr. HE SHALL HAVE DOMINION, 141-142.
[15] Gentry, FOUR VIEWS ON THE BOOK OF REVELATION, 87.
[16] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, Ibid., 344.

Joel McDurmon, Dominionism and the Sabbath

Joel McDurmon, Dominionism and the Sabbath
Don K. Preston D. Div. 
In my formal debate with Joel McDurmon of American Vision (July 19-21, 2012), in my first affirmative presentation, I took note of the critical, but mostly overlooked, importance of the Sabbath to the study of eschatology.
I proved that the Sabbath was a distinctively covenantal sign between God and Israel, a sign both of creation and of deliverance from Egyptian bondage and death. (Exodus 31; Deuteronomy 5). (DVDs and MP3s of the debate will be available from this website very shortly).
Not only was the Sabbath a covenantal sign between YHVH and Israel, it was a prophetic foreshadowing of the end of the millennium (final) salvation and resurrection.
My argument then was that Jesus said not one jot or one tittle would pass from Torah, the Law of Moses, until it was all completely accomplished, brought to reality (Matthew 5:17-18). (See my new book, From Torah To Telos, The Passing of the Law of Moses, for an extensive exegesis of Matthew 5:17-18). This means that until what the Sabbath foreshadowed came into reality, i.e. until the end of the millennium resurrection was fulfilled, not one jot or one tittle of the Law of Moses would pass away.
McDurmon initially ignored this argument, so I repeated it and pressed it. He then admitted that he believes that  the Sabbath, with its ceremonial ordinances, i.e the sacrifices and observance of the seventh day, have passed away. However, of course, per Joel, the end of the millennium resurrection has not come to reality.
The reader simply must catch the power of the Sabbath issue. (In my planned series of books on the passing of the Law of Moses, I have plans to produce one volume strictly to this incredibly important issue).
Joel, and virtually all Dominionists (postmillennialists), hold to the similar view on the Sabbath. In fact, I documented in a chart how Bahnsen, Gentry, DeMar all agree that the Sabbath foreshadowed the end of the millennium resurrection. Likewise, they all affirm that the seventh day Sabbath has been annulled, along with all of its ceremonial, cultic ministrations. Yet, they all say that what the Sabbath foreshadowed– the consummation of God’s eschatological scheme– has not been fulfilled! Do you see the problem? It is huge. It is insurmountable. It is fatal to the Dominionist paradigm.
I once again took note of Jesus’ words that not one iota of Torah would pass until it was ALL– not some, not even most– but until it was ALL fulfilled, came to reality. Joel’s response was nothing less than desperate and revealing.
Joel responded by noting that the word “all” does not always mean “all.” He appealed to Joshua 21:43-45 where it says that all of God’s land promises to Israel had been fulfilled, and claiming that the Messianic promises had not yet been fulfilled. All in Joshua is limited, therefore, he implied, all in Matthew 5 must be limited, and thus proclaiming that he had nullified my argument on Matthew 5.
Of course, no one denies that context can limit the meaning of “all.” However, I produced a chart with the following quote from Greg Bahnsen (One of McDurmon’s mentors):
“A verse like Matthew 5:18, with its unparticularized panta (translated as “all” DKP) is prey for such treatment… Nothing in the context or vocabulary of Matthew 5:18 warrants the induction of speculative meaning; a phrase as colorless and abstract as panta should not be particularized, personalized, and steered into this theological preconception. …. Page 83— “In Matthew 5:18 the commencement of the law’s passing away is made dependent upon panta genetai. Panta, when used without an article or preposition indicates “all things, everything.” It is to be taken in this absolutely general sense unless the context dictates some antecedent whole of which panta constitutes the complete parts.” (Theonomy, 83, my emp). (McDurmon totally ignored the chart and the quote).
The next night, I took note of Joel’s disturbing hermeneutic. By appealing to Joshua to redefine Matthew 5 Joel was guilty of an illegitimate transfer of context. Joshua was not talking about what Matthew 5 was talking about. To impose one context on another context, when the subject matter is totally different in the two texts, is clearly wrong.
I likewise took note that Joel’s hermeneutic would destroy the meaning of all in all (pun intended) contexts! In other words, if Joshua 21 defines “all” as a limited “all” in Matthew 5, then why doesn’t the “all” in Joshua limit the definition of “all” in “all” (comprehensively speaking) texts? This is so patently untenable as to be unthinkable, and, of course, Joel would never accept it. However, he could never justify why the “all” in Joshua demanded a limited “all” in Matthew. He never gave a word of justification other than seeking to imply that Joshua limited Matthew. This kind of specious, arbitrary hermeneutic is very, very revealing.
Very clearly, there is no contextual qualifier in Matthew 5 that limits, in any way whatsoever, the definition of “all.”  Thus, per Bahnsen’s excellent analysis, all in Matthew 5 must mean, well, ALL!
(In another article, we will share Joel’s disingenuous attempt to negate the force of Jesus’ use of genetai, translated as “fulfilled” in Matthew 5:18).
Here then, was, and is, my argument:
Jesus said that not one jot or one tittle would pass from the Law of Moses until it was all fully accomplished.
The Sabbath– an integral part of the Law of Moses– foreshadowed the end of the millennium resurrection.
Therefore  until the end of the millennium resurrection is fulfilled, comes into reality, not one single iota of the Law of Moses– and specifically the observance of the ceremonial, cultic, sacrificial seventh day Sabbath– can or will pass away!
Joel’s futurist eschatology (in fact, all futurist eschatologies) demands the continuance of the seventh day Sabbath!
I asked the audience (and of course, Joel) at least twice, to consider what Joel was saying. By taking the position that he does, Joel turns Jesus’ teaching 180% out. Jesus said, “not one jot or one tittle  will pass from the law until it is all fulfilled.” Joel, and all futurists, say that what Jesus really meant was: “Some jots and tittles of the Law, for instance the seventh day Sabbath, will pass from the law without being fulfilled at all!”
I posed the following question to Joel and the audience: Would anyone ever get Joel’s interpretation of Matthew 5:17-18 from Jesus’ words? Would they ever get from, “Not one jot or one tittle shall pass from the law until it is all fulfilled” that it actually means: “Some jots and tittles of the Law will pass without being fulfilled”? Joel never offered a single word in response to this question.
I want the reader to let that soak in.
Some years ago, (1997) David Chilton gave a speech in Oklahoma City, presenting his reasons for becoming a full preterist. He took note that Dominionists commonly appeal– as Bahnsen, Gary North and even Joel McDurmon– to Matthew 5:17-18 to prove the eternal validity of the Law of Moses.  But, as Chilton noted, the very verse that they appeal to for their doctrine is in fact a total refutation of their doctrine!
Chilton demonstrated exegetically and logically, that Matthew 5:17-18 emphatically says that not one iota of Torah– which includes the sacrificial system– would pass until it was all fulfilled. Yet, all Dominionists say that lots and lots of jots and tittles of the Law of Moses have passed away, without being fulfilled! Those jots and tittles of the, “New Moons, feast days and Sabbaths” were“purged”, removed and annulled, without ever being fulfilled! (The lectureship containing Chilton’s speech is available from me. Contact me through this site).
In reality, in one very real sense, nothing else that Joel McDurmon said in the debate really matters.  It is impossible, logically, to affirm the passing of the seventh day Sabbath without thereby demanding the fulfillment of the end of the millennium resurrection– the fulfillment of “final salvation”– the fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant promises Joel says that the seventh day Sabbath has passed, but, that what the Sabbath foreshadowed has not come to reality. The shadow has not become reality. The shadow simply passed away. There can be no reconciliation between Dominionist theology and Jesus’ words.
There could not be a clearer rejection of the words of Jesus than the futurist eschatology of postmillennial Dominionism.

Importance of the Holy Spirit in Acts and the NT

The Significance of The Outpouring of The New Testament

Don K. Preston
“This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel…”
Acts 2:15f
John the Immerser came preaching, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has drawn near”, and then immediately promised that the coming one “will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Matthew 3:2-11). Much of the time, in commentaries the focus of discussion is on John’s declaration of the imminence of the kingdom. Our dispensational friends admit that John and Jesus did indeed offer the Davidic kingdom to Israel, but due to Israel’s unbelief that kingdom offer was withdrawn until sometime in the distant, from them, future. However, what is too often ignored is that the offer of the kingdom was given in conjunction with the promise of the Holy Spirit. This promise is ever bit as eschatological as the promise of the kingdom. Furthermore, John’s promise that the Spirit would be poured out by Messiah was fulfilled! This has incredible eschatological implications for then, and for now. We want to establish several key points.
☛There was in Israel of the first century the acknowledgment that the gift of prophecy, the presence of the Holy Spirit, had ceased in Israel.
It is a well documented fact that the Jews believed that the prophetic office had ceased to exist with the prophet Malachi. Sommer effectively shows that while some scholars have denied this, the evidence is conclusively against them. The prophetic office was believed to have ceased in Israel. D. S. Russell says the Jews believed that the spirit of prophecy had ceased during the inter-testamental period. Ladd, likewise adds that Israel had a sense that the Spirit had departed after Malachi. There were no prophets from that time. Even Aune, who claims that there was a belief that the Spirit was somehow present at times for interpretation of the scriptures, nonetheless admits that the Rabbis believed that, “when the last prophets died,–(Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi)–the holy spirit ceased in Israel”
So, the evidence is that Continue reading “Importance of the Holy Spirit in Acts and the NT”