A FULL PRETERIST RESPONSE TO GARY DEMAR'S ARTICLE "ANTI-POSTMILLENNIALIST MAKES WEAK CASE" – ARE POSTMILLENNIALISTS WINNING THE DEBATE ON ESCHATOLOGY WHEN THEY STEAL OUR AD 30 – AD 70 JUDGMENT AND RESURRECTION OF THE LIVING AND DEAD VIEW?!?

I have been a full preterist now for well over 20 years and have been following Gary DeMar and American Vision’s (AV) writings the entire time.  And there is nothing more upsetting to me than to watch DeMar and AV make these kind of claims:

  • DeMar and his postmillennial partial preterist colleagues are allegedly winning the debate on eschatology.
  • Full preterism is “heretical” but won’t accept that according to the bible and reformed theology their theonomic postmillennialism should be considered “heretical” and a “Jewish dream.”
  • No one (including amillennialists or full preterists) apparently do any exegetical work except what Gary or AV is producing on bible prophecy (and or their postmillennial partial preterist affiliates), paralleling Matthew 24-25 with other NT eschatological texts.
  • Gary continues to deny that his teachings and that of AV are leading people to full preterism.

In this article I want to challenge these claims while also interacting with DeMar’s recent response to amillennialist David Engelsma, Anti-Postmillennialist Makes Weak Case.[1] Unfortunately I’m not sure either Engelsma nor DeMar are prepared to accept that full preterism is the organic development of both of their views or is the “x factor” so to speak which bridges the gap between their conflict, but I can at least throw it out there for them and the public to weigh in on.  But since full preterism bridges the gap between Engelsma’s amillennialism and Gary’s postmillennial partial preterism, full preterism is the view which is winning the debate over eschatology and will continue to do so.  Now let’s counter Gary’s claims and provide the evidence that we are winning the historical and exegetical debate.
Is Gary DeMar and American Vision “winning the prophecy debate”?!?  Do their views lead to full preterism?
Gary writes,
“Over the weekend I spoke at a conference on postmillennialism in Torrance, California, on the topic, “Evidence that Postmillennialists are Winning the Prophecy Debate.”[2]
Let’s review a little bit on full preterism being present in this debate.  In 1998 partial preterist R.C. Sproul produced the following chart trying to make a definite distinction between partial and full preterism:[3]

Full Preterists

Partial Preterists

A.D. 70

At the end of history

A.D. 70

At the end of history

Coming   (parousia) of Christ

Yes

No

Yes

yes

Resurrection   and rapture

Yes

No

No

yes

Day   of the Lord

Yes

No

Yes

yes

Judgment

Yes

No

Yes

yes

The problem with Sproul’s chart is that it demonstrates a lack of knowledge on what some partial preterists have taught (past and present) and is very outdated not showing all of the ground that men like Gary DeMar have given to full preterism.  As I document in chapter four of House Divided Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist Response to When Shall These Things Be? — is that there are many more doctrinal agreements between progressive partial preterists and full preterists than they want to share with the public in this debate:

Full Preterists

Partial Preterists

A.D. 70

At the end of history

A.D.   70

At the end of history

NT use of “last days” from old   covenant to new AD 30 – AD 70 only – not end of Christian age

Yes

No

yes[4]

yes & no

“This age” = old covenant age “age to   come” = new covenant age transformed in AD 70

Yes

No

yes[5]

yes & no

United Matt. 24-25 one parousia in AD   70

Yes

No

yes[6]

yes & no

Resurrection and judgment of living   and dead between AD 30 – AD 70

Yes

No

yes[7]

yes

Glorification in Rom. 8:18-23 YLT   “about to be revealed”

Yes

No

yes[8]

yes & no

2 Peter 3 fulfilled

Yes

No

yes[9]

yes & no

“All Israel” in Rom. 11:26 saved

Yes

No

yes[10]

yes & no

Acts 1:11

Yes

No

yes[11]

yes & no

Hebrews 9:26-28 Second Appearing of   Christ at end of the age

Yes

No

yes[12]

yes & no

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 “rapture”

Yes

No

yes[13]

yes & no

Perhaps the most significant change is that DeMar and American Vision authors and associates have oddly enough stolen the full preterist view of the judgment and resurrection of the living and dead and are now accepting that this was a progressive, corporate, covenantal, process between AD 30 – AD 70 resulting in the souls of the righteous being raised out of Hades or Abraham’s Bosom at Christ’s parousia in AD 70 to inherit the kingdom and eternal life.[14]
Now I have charged that Gary and AV have “stolen” full preterist views without giving credit where credit is due.  So let me continue applying the measure in which Gary has judged others eschatology and writings with that of his and AV.  In HOUSE DIVIDED THE BREAK-UP OF DISPENSATIONAL THEOLOGY pages 367-370, DeMar makes Hal Lindsey look stupid and charges him as being “fraudulent” with his “sloppy scholarship” charging that he stole what he wrote from others and didn’t do his own research (pp.367-370).

Well since Gary North (AV) has written this:  “Anyone who equates the fulfillment of [the parable of the wheat and tares] with A.D. 70 has broken with the historic faith of the church”  and  DeMar publishes McDurmon and has a co-author (Peter Leithart) who has also gone into print taking a preterist view of this passage ——-WHERE DID THEY COME UP WITH IT, IF IT CANNOT BE FOUND WITHIN “…THE HISTORIC FAITH OF THE CHURCH?!?”  Did they not get it from full preterism and were they afraid to cite their references and or research because it would once again demonstrate how DeMar and AV writings lead their readers to full preterism (something they continue to blindly deny)?

DeMar also publishes James Jordan’s commentary on Daniel.  Will Gary please provide one early church father, creed, or confession which takes the judgment and resurrection of Daniel 12:1-4, 13/Revelation 20 as fulfilled in AD 70 – in any way?  Where can the view which states Daniel’s soul was raised out of Hades or Abraham’s Bosom at Christ’s parousia in AD 70 be found within church history — if not within full preterism??? 

*  Now isn’t it amazing how I have been after Gary DeMar for over 20 years (as others have) on Daniel 12:2-3/Matthew 13:39-43 asking questions which he  couldn’t and wouldn’t answer —– and yet now our views are showing up in books HE PUBLISHES.  Wow the pure arrogance.  And he wants to charge others as being “fraudulent,” and not citing where they get their research and views from?!?
So I think any objective reader can see how DeMar (and partial preterism in general) is not only losing the debate with full preterists, they are in fact needing to steal some of our views to try and work out the consistent implications of what the NT teaches on imminence.  Giving so much ground and crucial eschatological texts to us doesn’t sound like they are “winning” to me – does it to you?
The other issue here is that it is impossible for either of these futuristic views of Englesma (amillennialism) or DeMar (postmillennial partial preterism) to claim they are winning the battle over bible prophecy when in fact they actually form full preterism!  As I wrote in the second edition of HD:
1)     “Partial Preterism – Imminence and fulfillment are accepted.  Christ appeared a second time at the end of the old covenant age.  There was a spiritual, corporate, covenantal judgment and resurrection of the living and dead which was attended by a passing of the old creation and arrival of the new in AD 70 (Dan. 12:1-4; Matt. 5:17-18; 13:39-43, 24-25; Acts 1:11; Rom. 8:18; 13:11-12; Heb. 8:13; 9:26-28; 10:37; 1 Peter 4:5-7; 2 Peter 3; Rev. 1-22).
2)     Classic Amillennialism – The New Testament teaches only one future coming of Christ, general judgment, and resurrection of the living and dead attended by the restoration of creation at the end of the age.
How can these things be indeed? The only way both of these propositions can be true at the same time is if full preterism is true.
Amillennialism is correct that there is only one future coming of Christ in the New Testament.  And partial preterism is correct that the future coming of Christ in the New Testament was fulfilled in AD 70. Thus “orthodoxy” teaches us that the one Second Coming of 1 Thessalonians 4-5 is the same coming of Christ in Matthew 24-25, and that it was fulfilled in AD 70. But since futurism errs on the nature of the resurrection, assuming it is biological and at the end of time, futurists are forced into an either/or dillema, when the truth is both/and.”
I think one can see the problem that the authors of WSTTB are sweeping under the rug when they speak of their “shoulder-to-shoulder” unity.  The choice is simple. Either one continues propagating the myth that these two propositions within the futurist paradigm do not lead to a contradiction, or one accepts the organic development of full preterism which unites them.”[15]
We will examine more of these “contradictions” between Englesma’s amillennialism and DeMar’s postmillennial partial preterism below. 
DeMar Complains about Romanist arguments being used against him: 
DeMar goes on,
“Englesma spends more time on the creeds and confessions than he does on Scripture. Instead of offering a detailed counter exegesis to a preterist interpretation of Matthew 24, he assumes, like dispensationalists, that it is a prophetic description of end-time events: “This interpretation of Matthew 24 is basic to the postmillennial denial of apostasy, Antichrist, and great tribulation for the church in the future,” he writes. “For in the light of this explanation of Matthew 24, the postmillennialist goes through the entire New Testament rigorously applying all prediction of such things to the destruction of Jerusalem.” When a prophetic passage is about a soon coming judgment, then yes, the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem is in view, and Prof. Engelsma doesn’t give any exegetical evidence to the contrary.
While I am impressed with creeds and confessions of the church, they are not equal to Scripture. The Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter 31 says as much:
III. All synods or councils, since the apostles’ times, whether general or particular, may err; and many have erred. Therefore they are not to be made the rule of faith, or practice; but to be used as a help in both.”[16]
And again,
“Prof. Engelsma is fond of quoting confessional statements while giving little regard to biblical exegesis in his article “Jewish Dreams” that appeared in the January 15, 1995 issue of The Standard Bearer. Have we become Romanists?[17]
Here is what the best and brightest of DeMar’s postmillennial partial preterism and Engelsma’s amillennialism brought against us in WSTTB and so let’s analyze what consumed the bulk of its content:

Recap of When Shall These Things Be?

For those who are familiar with how our critics usually respond to “hyper-preterism,” it should come as no surprise that a full 42% of the Mathison book was an appeal to the authority of the creeds, the authority of the church fathers, and the authority of historic, Mother Church (Gentry, Hill, and Wilson respectively).
The historicity of futurism is indeed an important and legitimate issue to discuss, but the prominence and place this issue is given by anti-preterists reveals the exegetical weakness of futurism.  When it comes to refuting preterism, futurists usually find it convenient to rid themselves of the nemesis of exegesis (cf. WSTTB, 118).  When they do employ exegesis, it is tendentious and often padded with rhetoric.  Doug Wilson is altogether mistaken when he says in his chapter that preterism is effectively refuted “simply on exegetical grounds” by one or more of his co-authors (258).
About 19% of WSTTB (less than half the space given to creedal issues) was dedicated to a broad, quasi-exegetical defense of the Resurrection of the Flesh (Strimple).
About 16% was dedicated to establishing the following two concepts:

  1. Ascertaining the true interpretation of the time texts of the New Testament has been a difficult and perplexing problem for centuries and the true interpretation remains an open question for debate.  There are many possible interpretations of the various time texts. (Mathison)
  2. A study of the time texts absolutely, positively, and finally disproves hyper-preterism once and for all. (Mathison)

About 11% of WSTTB was dedicated to the late date of the book of Revelation and to an idealist, soon-means-two-thousand-years-or-more interpretation (Kistemaker).
About 9% was dedicated to the unfortunate proposition that God Himself predicted, on three separate occasions, thousands of years ago, that the promised eschatological blessings would take place soon; but God’s predictions failed, and the eschatological blessings remain indefinitely delayed until further notice (Pratt).”[18]
Because partial preterist admissions are so devastating in any debate with full preterists, Kenneth Gentry (one of the guest speakers DeMar mentions in this article) was put in charge of regurgitating Roman Catholic “arguments” against us in WSTTB!  And AV associates and colleagues of DeMar such as Gentry and North are very active in trying to get full preterists put under church disciple for being in violation of the creeds etc… So it’s a little difficult for me to find a tear to cry for DeMar here.
But I do think one has a legitimate right to look at my chart above and the research I documented in HD, and ask how can all of these partial preterist doctrinal admissions and NT texts be fulfilled in AD 70 and yet at the same time these same texts and eschatological doctrines are applied in the reformed confessions and creeds as having a future fulfillment at the end of history or end of the Christian age?  It’s time for Gentry and DeMar’s Romanism to be legitimately applied to their partial preterist system – perhaps the measure of judgment they have been giving us should now be applied to them?  And why not?  These men can’t even get this right in their own house – Gary North (a contributor and speaker for AV) must condemn his own son-in-law Joel McDurmon for taking the parable of the wheat and tares as fulfilled in AD 70:
“Anyone who equates the fulfillment of [the parable of the wheat and tares] with A.D. 70 has broken with the historic faith of the church.”[19]
DeMar wrote,
“When a prophetic passage is about a soon coming judgment, then yes, the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem is in view…”
But what DeMar is hiding here is that the imminence in the NT, the “end of [the old covenant] age,” and or the “destruction of Jerusalem” in AD 70, is connected to the judgment and resurrection of the dead in such passages as Matthew 13:39-43; Matthew 16:27; Matthew 24-25; Acts 17:31 YLT; Acts 24:15 YLT; Romans 8:18-23 YLT; Revelation 11, 7, 14, 20.  The fall of Jerusalem is not the only thing that is said to take place “shortly” — Satan’s final destruction is also stated to take place “shortly” (Romans 16:20/Genesis 3:15).  Interestingly enough, most of these passages that Gary says were fulfilled in AD 70 he also says cannot have multiple fulfillments – unless it deals with Satan or the judgment and resurrection of the living and dead apparently (ie. anything that violates the creeds of course).
Again, there is some irony on this issue of imminence and multiple fulfillments because in most places Gary won’t allow for it (such as in Matthew 24 and most of Revelation) and yet he sends Joel McDurmon from American Vision to debate Don Preston and all Joel did was have to admit that such judgment and resurrection passages such as John 5:28-29; 1 Corinthians 15; Revelation 20 “could” have been fulfilled in AD 70 but they point to a greater fulfillment at the end of time.  And yet Gary claims he and AV are winning the battle on eschatology and their views don’t lead to it?!?  If you are buying that I have a bridge to sell you.  Amazing.  If you are growing tired of the inconsistencies and hypocrisy of DeMar and American Vision when it comes to them trying to accept the imminence in the NT while at the same time pacify their creedal supporters and creedal critics – then you are not alone!
DeMar complains about his Postmillennial Theonomic “Jewish dreams” being exposed
For the record it is true that the early church creeds and confessions were primarily amillennial and did renounce premillennialism and thus similar hyper-literal postmillennial manifestations/fulfillments of the kingdom on earth to be “heretical” and on par with “Jewish dreams.”  That’s just a historical fact.  I would like Mr. DeMar to comment on if he thinks these Theonomic Postmillennial progressive type “Paradise Restored” “dreams” will come true in the future before Christ’s (third) coming takes place:

  • Will lion’s biology and anatomy change and eat straw instead of meat before the “final” eschatological manifestation/fulfillment to end world history?
  • Will the gospel manifest itself in scientific advances in genetics and cause men to live to be 900 years old again like they did in the early chapters of Genesis (AV Sam Frost)?
  • As all the nations of the world allegedly get Christianized, will unbelievers (and “heretics” not conforming to theonomic postmillennial covenant standards) be given three opportunities to repent before being stoned or shot – per the teachings of North or Talbot (also AV affiliates and supporters)?  If North and Talbot’s Postmillennial “Jewish dream” were manifest today, would AV North and Talbot give AV Joel McDurmon three opportunities to repent (because he does not believe the OT Sabbath is applicable today) before stoning and shooting this “heretic” being in violation of the covenant?


(AV affiliate) Ken Talbot from his speech, “The History of Creation, Part 5” (26:20 – 28:35):
“WHEN we are in charge [i.e., when people who agree with Ken Talbot are in charge], WHEN the law of God is there, folks it’s either obey, or get hung.  Take your choice.  Well, you can throw stones if you want to, but I think there’s better ways of doing it than throwing stones.  Just quick executions.  You know, God’s ‘three strike’ rule.  You know –You know that right?  You guys have been watching ‘The Right Wing Reverend.’  I explained that to you.  God has a ‘three strike’ rule.  The first time you have to pay for what you’ve done.  The second time you have to double or triple pay for it.  And the third time you just get executed, because God says you’re incorrigible.  And you’re a blight on society, and you are a road bump that we don’t want to deal with in our kingdom.  And you’re gone.”
Jason Bradfield (disciple of Ken “mass executions” Talbot):
“Don Preston is a goat, who is also a chicken.”
Sam Frost (disciple of Ken “mass executions” Talbot) and author for AV:
“Damn you Mike Sullivan.  You are filth.”  And Sam has also texted me using the, “f*** you” slur.
Many of these individuals are also just very immature and extremely hateful.  I was moderated from AV’s comments section under their articles because I was asking exegetical questions Gary and McDurmon could not answer and some postmillennialist responded to me calling me a “heretic” and that Christ was going to cut off my head when He returned and of course no moderation of those kind of comments came from Gary, Joel and AV.  They claimed there were other reasons they moderated me but I have the documented evidence that proves those reasons were false and unjustifiable.
Who’s eschatology is closer to dispensationalisms?   
Gary writes,
“Engelsma uses almost no Scripture. His eschatology is closer to dispensationalism.”
Wow this is also an amazing statement!  I think everyone should see the truth in that its DeMar’s eschatology that is “closer to dispensationalism”:

  • Both use a hyper-literal hermeneutic on OT passages to support how they imagine the kingdom will be manifested on earth  – views which were condemned by the early church.
  • Both suffer from a double vision type hermeneutic which artificially claims the NT has two comings of Christ one for Israel and the other for the Church.
  • Both eschatologies seem to end with mass executions – the church is supposed to pay for and support the gathering of Jews back into the land of Israel only so they can be executed in an alleged future tribulation period (per dispensational Zionism), or the church is supposed to stone or shoot in the head unbelievers and even Christian “heretics” (ex. Baptists who will not baptize their babies or those who’s conviction it is not to obey the Sabbath) who will not submit to the covenant (per postmillennial theonomy/reconstructionism).

DeMar complains of Engelsma’s appeal to imminence being applied for us today:
“Prof. Engelsma claims that the solemn duty of the Protestant Reformed Churches “from the soon-coming Christ [is] to expose the hopes of postmillennialism as ‘Jewish dreams,’” language taken from the amillennial Helvetic Confession of Faith. The “soon-coming Christ”? Prof. Engelsma sounds more like Hal Lindsey, Dave Hunt, and Tim LaHaye than a Reformed Christian when he concludes his article with these words.”
I had to laugh at this.  DeMar really doesn’t have much ground to stand on when it comes to criticizing Engelsma here.  Let me explain.
First, although it is unfortunate, this is a WCF kind of statement to make beyond AD 70.  Amillenialists such as Engelsma and the confession are correct in that the coming of Christ described throughout the book of Revelation is the actual Second Coming event, and partial preterists such as DeMar are accurate to point out it was to be fulfilled “shortly” in AD 70.  These two common sense views together once again form full preterism.
Secondly, if the doctrine of a soon coming judgment and resurrection of the dead can have multiple fulfillments (one in AD 70 and another in the future) per Gary’s AV writers and affiliates, then what is to stop anyone from applying an AD 70 coming of Christ to a future to us coming of Christ (if they think it’s “soon” or not)?
Thirdly and ironically, I criticized one of Gary’s own writers for this same thing!  In a deplorable article written by Sam Frost on Matthew 16:27-28 (a passage DeMar applies to a soon coming in AD 70) he ended the article with an appeal for us to be prepared for the Lord’s return:
Always be ready, keep your wicks trimmed, and oil in your lamps – lest He come and remove your candle.”[20]
I warned Gary for publishing confused and unstable Frost, but he did anyway because DeMar himself can’t refute us or is too lazy to try an attempt.  But the point being, is that one of AV’s writers is using two passages Gary applies to a “soon” or “this generation” AD 70 coming (Matthew 16:27-28 and Matthew 24:34, 25:1-13) and wants us to “always be” prepared for it?!?  There is no imminent coming of Christ in our day per theonomic partial preterist postmillennialism.  The nations of the world have not been converted to Christ with a minority of unbelievers and heretics being stoned or shot by the church etc…  I don’t see lions eating straw or men living to be 900 years old.  Anyone see these events coming in our lifetimes?  AV writers have no business exhorting Christians or unbelievers to “always be ready” for a coming of Christ in our lifetimes selah.  But men like Gary are exhorted to “always be ready” to give a defense of his partial preterism against full preterism but he is always just “too busy” to do so — Selah.
DeMar talks about Matthew 24/the book of Revelation and the need to get back to “exegetical issues”:
Revelation 1:1 states that the events depicted therein “must shortly take place.” The time is said to be “near” (1:3) for those who first read the book. We are told in the last chapter of Revelation that the described events “must shortly take place” (22:6). Jesus said that He was coming “quickly” (22:7). And to confirm what was said in the first chapter, “the time is near” (22:10). Revelation was written nearly two-thousand years ago. If words mean anything, then the events of Revelation are now history.
Prof. Engelsma can follow the dispensationalists and claim that these time indicators are fluid and do not necessarily mean what they seem to mean, or he can deal with them honestly and get back to doing exegetical work and quit relying on the confessions to do his thinking for him. Until Prof. Engelsma deals with exegetical issues, the only ones who will listen to him will be those who already agree with him, a number that is steadily declining in his tiny denomination.”
DeMar mentions all the exegetical work that he has done in giving Matthew 24-25 and the book of Revelation fulfillments in AD 70.  However, there are many “exegetical” problems with DeMar giving AD 70 fulfillments to Revelation chapters 1-19, 21-22, and yet wanting to arbitrarily and creedally believe that the judgment and resurrection of the dead and millennium of Revelation 20 are still future events for us.
First, he believes the coming of Christ in both Matthew 24-25 took place in AD 70 and “John’s version of Matthew 24-25 is found in the book of Revelation.”  Apart of DeMar’s “exegetical” work that he says he does is to compare and parallel Matthew 24 with the rest of the NT and find AD 70 fulfillments where amillennialists and dispensationalists don’t.  However, DeMar’s hermeneutic and exegetical method is more than arbitrary and inconsistent.  For example here is one that DeMar neglects:

MATTHEW 24-25

REVELATION 20:5-15

Resurrection and judgment Matt. 24:30-31 (cf. Matt. 13:39-43/Dan. 12:2-3) Matt. 25:31-46 (cf.   Matt. 16:27-28) Resurrection and judgment Rev. 20:5-15
De-creation heaven and earth pass/flee Matt. 24:29, 35 (cf. Matt. 5:17-18) De-creation heaven and earth pass/flee Rev. 20:11 (cf. Rev. 6:14; 16:20; 21:1)
Christ on throne to judge Matt. 25:31 God on throne to judge Rev. 20:11
Wicked along with Devil eternally punished Matt. 25:41-46 Wicked along with Devil eternally punished Rev. 20:10, 14-15

DeMar publishes James Jordan whom claims Daniel himself was raised out of Hades or Abraham’s Bosom in AD 70 according to Daniel 12:2, 13 and Revelation 20.  The partial preterists are also on record for saying things such as, “The Apostle John in the book of Revelation picks up where Daniel leaves off.”  So here is something that DeMar needs to address as well:

DANIEL   12:1-2

REVELATION   20:5-15

Only those whose names are written in the book would be delivered/saved from eternal condemnation Dan. 12:1-2 Only those whose names are written in the book would be delivered/saved from the   lake of fire Rev. 20:12-15
This is the time for the resurrection and judgment   of the dead Dan. 12:1-2 This is the time for the resurrection and judgment   of the dead Rev. 20:5-15

And yet DeMar wants to exhort Engelsma for letting the creeds do all of his thinking for him and he allegedly wants to get the discussion back to “exegesis?”  Sounds good to us – we just wish DeMar would take his own advice when we have been asking him to do the same thing for many years now.
Postmillennial partial preterism did not win the eschatological debate for Luther, Calvin and the WCF which have taught the coming of Christ in Matthew 24-25 is indeed the Second Coming (as full preterism teaches).  And what about today?  Mathison and DeMar didn’t win the battle over Matthew 24-25 in the Reformation Study Bible, which is in perfect harmony with full preterism in interpreting the parallel’s in Matthew 24:30-31 as being the same eschatological event with the following passages:
“But the language of [Matthew 24:31] is parallel to passages like 13:41; 16:27; 25:31, as well as to passages such as 1 Cor. 15:52 and 1 Thess. 4:14–17.  The passage most naturally refers to the Second Coming.” (see HD, 112).
Here are some of those exegetical “parallels” that full preterists and classic amillennialists agree upon:
Matthew 24-25/Luke 21 & Matthew 13 Parallels
Evangelism in the world takes place (Mt. 24:14/Mt. 13:38).
There is persecution, tribulation, apostasy, & faithfulness (Mt. 24:9-13/Mt. 13:19-30).
The subject is the growth and reception of the kingdom at which time the judgment at the “end of the age” takes place (Lk. 21:31-32/Mt. 13:43; Mt. 24:3/Mt. 13:40).
The Son of Man comes with His angels to gather the sheep/wheat into His barn/kingdom and the wicked goats/tares are gathered and thrown into the fire and burned (Mt. 24:30-31, 25:31-41/Mt. 13:39-42).
Matthew 24-25/Luke 21 & 1 Corinthians 15 Parallels
Christ’s coming/parousia and trumpet call (Mt. 24:27, 31/1 Cor. 15:23, 52).
This is the time of “the end” (Mt. 24:3, 14/1 Cor. 15:24).
At this time God judges His enemies (Mt. 21:43; 22:41-44; 24-25/1 Cor. 15:24-28).
This is the time for inheriting the kingdom (Lk. 21:31-32/1 Cor. 15:24).
Matthew 24 & 1 Thessalonians 4-5 Parallels
Christ returns 1 Thess. 4:16=Matt. 24:30
From heaven 1 Thess. 4:16=Matt. 24:30
Accompanied by angels 1 Thess. 4:16=Matt. 24:31
With a trumpet of God 1 Thess. 4:16=Matt. 24:31
Believers gathered to Christ 1 Thess. 4:17=2 Matt. 4:31, 40-41
In clouds 1 Thess. 4:17=Matt. 24:30
Time unknown 1 Thess. 5:1-2=Matt. 24:36
Coming like a thief 1 Thess. 5:2=Matt. 24:43
Unbelievers unaware of impending judgment 1 Thess. 5:3=Matt. 24:8
Judgment comes as pain upon an expectant mother 1 Thess. 5:3=Matt. 24:8
Believers not deceived 1 Thess. 5:4-5=Matt. 24:43
Believers to be watchful 1 Thess. 5:6=Matt. 24:37-39
Warning against drunkenness 1 Thess. 5:7=Matt. 24:49
As I pointed out in HD, it is more than arbitrary for men like Gary DeMar and Keith Mathison to make AD 70 parallels and fulfillments in Matthew 24=1 Thessalonians 5 or Matthew 24=2 Thessalonians 1-2, but avoid where most of the parallels are in Matthew 24=1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 because the resurrection is in view (see HD, 112-115).  It is amazingly arrogant for DeMar and AV to claim they are performing “exegesis” when comparing Matthew 24 with the eschatology of the NT in order to develop AD 70 fulfillments, but if we do AV wants to refer to us as “heretical.”  We are making the same “parallel’s” and appealing to the same “analogy of scripture” argument that the amillennialists are.

Passage
Full Peterist
Gary DeMar
Partial Preterist
Kenneth Gentry
Partial Preterist
Traditional Amillennialist
A.D. 70
A.D. 70
Future
Future
A.D. 70
Future
Future
Future
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Some partial preterists such as author Mike Bull (a disciple of James Jordan) actually agree with full preterists that the parallels between Matthew 24=1 Thessalonains 4 are just too strong and therefore there was some kind of fulfillment for a resurrection in AD 70.  DeMar is now backed into a corner.  Since he and AV are now publishing that there was a spiritual, corporate, covenantal judgment and resurrection for the living and dead from AD 30 – AD 70 which resulted in Daniel’s soul being raised out of Hades or Abraham’s Bosom in AD 70, then Gary needs to prove that Matthew 24:30-31 (cf. Matthew 13:39-43/Daniel 12:2-3) isn’t Paul’s source in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 and thus this isn’t that AD 70 resurrection.  Or if Gary wants to make the kind of statements that Joel McDurmon has and that perhaps this passage along with other NT resurrection texts “could” have been fulfilled in AD 70 — then Gary needs to prove or explain why this could have two or multiple fulfillments.   Apparently Gary is unavailable for comment.   
Gary DeMar in his article referenced John Murray as a postmillennialist who most assuredly couldn’t be referred to as “heretical” and indeed performed exegesis.  Well, again like full preterists, Murray saw the coming of Christ and “redemption” in (Luke 21:27-28) to be the Second Advent and “redemption of the body” in (Romans 8:23):
“Now in Luke 21:28 . . . [t]his word ‘redemption’ (apolutrosin), when used with reference to the future, has a distinctly eschatological connotation, the final redemption, the consummation of the redemptive process (cf. Rom. 8:23; 1 Cor. 1:30; Eph. 1:14; 4:30). Hence anal-ogy would again point to the eschatological complex of events.” (see HD, 119).
And of course Murray understood Matthew 24:30-31 as most naturally referring to the Second Coming and resurrection as we do:
“…Verse 30, for several reasons to be adduced later, surely refers to the advent in glory, and the sign of the Son of man to the sign of the coming of Christ and the consummation of the age in the disciples question (vs. 3). (John Murray, COLLECTED WRITINGS OF JOHN MURRAY 2 Systematic Theology, Carlisle, PA:  THE BANNER OF TRUTH TRUST, 1977, 389)
“The terms of verse 30, that all the tribes of the earth ‘will see the Son of man coming upon the clouds of heaven with great power and glory’ (or ‘with power and great glory’) are terms that are quite definitely those of the second advent in the terminology of the New Testament (cf. Matt. 16:27; Mark 8:38; Matt. 25:31; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thess. 4:17; 2 Thess. 1:7; Rev. 1:7.”  (Murray, Ibid., 390).
“There is ample allusion to the sound of the trumpet and to the ministry of angels elsewhere in the New Testament, in connection with Christ’s advent (cf. 1 Cor. 15:52; 1 Thess. 4:16).  Hence verse 31 can most readily be taken to refer to the gathering of the elect at the resurrection.” (Murray, Ibid., 391).
Murray also does a great job demonstrating that Matthew 24-25 is written with a “recapitulation” structure (Ibid., 388) and therefore we once again reach “the end”/“end of the age” with the disciples question associating the end of the age with His coming in Matthew 24:3, 30-31.  Matthew 24:30-31 is the Second Coming and resurrection/gathering event which takes place at the end of the [old covenant] age (cf. Matthew 13:39-43/Daniel 12:2-3) and is therefore, not some kind of second Great Commission “gathering” post AD 70 – per DeMar.
As I reference in HD DeMar takes the glory that was “about to be revealed” in Romans 8:18 YLT as a fulfillment in AD 70 (HD, 120-121) and McDurmon claims Jesus’ use of “this age” is the old covenant age and the “age to come” is the new covenant age arriving in AD 70 (HD, 91, n.28).  Yet Murray writes of these passages,
“The present time is “this age” or the “present age” in contrast with the “age to come” (cf. “…Luke 20:34….”).  “…The age to come is the age of the resurrection and of the glory to be revealed.”  “…And the glory to be revealed is so bound up with the resurrection (vs. 23)…” (John Murray, EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS, 1 vol. edition, Eerdmans Publishing, 1968, 300-301).
After conceding that “this age” is the old covenant age and the “age to come” here is the arrival of the new in AD 70, McDurmon’s attempts to posit the resurrection of Luke 20:34 as biological at the end of time and beyond AD 70 in his debate with Preston was painful to watch and an embarrassment for AV in general.
For over a decade now I have also been asking DeMar to comment on another of his favorite partial preterists (John Lightfoot) who took the creation groaning from the bondage and decay in Romans 8 to have nothing to do with the planet earth (not even poetically) but is rather referring to men’s condition under sin in the mind and heart (HD, 116-117).  In essence this is a full preterist interpretation of the “creation” here.
So then according to John Murray, John Lightfoot, AV Gary DeMar/Joel McDurmon  — the glory that was “about to be revealed” was the Second Coming and resurrection/redemption of the body that would take place when “this [old covenant] age” gave way to “the [new covenant] age to come” in Jesus’ “this generation” ie. AD 70 (Luke 21:27-28=Romans 8:18-23=Luke 20:34-35).  This consummation/resurrection/restoration of creation event involved the hearts and minds of men and therefore does not necessarily involve a literal de-creation/literal re-creation and or literal resurrection of the dead to take place at the end of history.  We surely agree with the “exegesis” and logical conclusion of these men!
The following “parallel” chart confirms that the “redemption” of Christ’s disciples in the first century in Luke 21:28 was the redemption of “the body” “about to be revealed” in Romans 8:18–23:

Romans 8

Olivet Discourse & Luke 17

 

Present sufferings (Rom. 8:17–18) Suffering to come (Matt. 24:9)
Receive and share in Christ’s glory (Rom. 8:17–18) Christ comes in glory (Matt. 24:30)
Glory will be “in” them (Rom. 8:18) Kingdom will be realized “within”at Christ’s return (Lk.17:21–37; 21:27–32)
Redemption and salvation – resurrection (Rom. 8:23–24; cf. 11:15–27; 13:11–12) Redemption and salvation – resurrection (Lk. 21:27–28; Matt. 24:13, 30–31/Matt. 13:39-43)
Birth pains together (Rom. 8:22) Birth pains of the tribulation (Matt. 24:8)
This was “about to” take place (Rom. 8:18) This would all happen in “this generation”(Matt. 24:34)

Gary can run and Gary can hide, but the fact of the matter is — our parallel/analogy of scripture hermeneutic comparing Matthew 24-25 with the eschatology of the NT, is not only more consistent than DeMar’s, it is more creedal and confessional – Selah.
DeMar’s desire for a public hearing: 
Gary is frustrated with Engelsma so he makes the following challenge:
“Why not open the campus of the seminary of the Protestant Reformed Church to a debate on the topics of “the last days” and “postmillennialism”? I would be willing to pay my own way to participate in such a debate. How about it Prof. Engelsma?”
When HD first came out I suggested that AV offer both WSTTB? and HD so that the reformed community could read the debate and form objective conclusions.  He declined.  Here are reasons I think Gary and AV should offer these two books along with the Preston/McDurmon debate:

1)  AV sells Gentry’s books and this is one of them (although Gentry is a Romanist in his chapter/debate it is one of his books nonetheless).

2)  DeMar and AV have published Sam Frost’s little pamphlet seeking to refute full preterism.  In the appendix section of our second edition we refute that AV publication exegetically and logically.

3)  DeMar and AV promotes John L. Bray’s book (whom many consider a full preterist) on Matthew 24 Fulfilled and yet Bray has written this of our book, “I’ve not seen another book as strong as this defending the preterist position.”
4)  Our book is the only Calvinist full preterist book written to date.  Why does AV endorse a full preterist book (that they also say is “heretical”) like Bray’s (who is also an Arminian and Annihilationalist – more WCF “heretical” views), and not support the book Bray says is the best defense of preterism to date and is also a Calvinist work?  Very confusing indeed.
5)  Gary gives lip service to being open to hearing and responding to full preterism.  Gary wrote or said the following:
“The big debate among preterists is how far does preterism go? Is all prophecy fulfilled? Full preterists say yes. Partial preterists say no. In between there is a lot of work yet to be done on specific passages. The tendency of full preterists is to fit everything into an A.D. 70 matrix. They do this with 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18, 1 Corinthians 15, and Revelation 20. A similar approach is followed with a number of Old Testament prophecies (e.g., Ezek 38–39 and Zech 12). I am willing to listen to their arguments since preterism in its present form is only now coming to its own as we shake off the dust of dispensationalism that has so distorted our interpretation of prophecy. I am willing to cut those full preterists some slack who are attempting to do real exegetical work. Many partial preterists are not willing to do this. To my mind, this approach is counterproductive. Honest analysis of the Bible is required. I want to be challenged by the best arguments possible, whether they come from full preterists or dispensationalists. I refuse to adopt a position because I’ve been told to do so. To quote Posey from The Dirty Dozen, “I don’t like being pushed.””
So instead of Gary “listening”/reading our “real exegetical work” on say 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 or 1 Corinthians 15 in HD, Gary instead hastily publishes a little anti-full preterist booklet of which most of the “arguments” (I’m guessing) he would disagree with.  Makes perfect sense to me – huh???   

If you think these are reasonable and Gary should either respond to our book or sell both of these books (WSTTB? vs. HD) so that the reformed community can objectively read the debate over preterism – I encourage you to message and email him.  If you haven’t read both of these books I encourage you to do so.  You can get this second edition of our book by going to Pay Pal and for 18.00 (that includes shipping and handling) I will send you our book.  You will need my email for Pay Pal and it is:  healinglvs@aol.com      .
As a full preterist I can understand the frustration of not getting a hearing and letting reformed students listen to all of the exegetical and historical facts in this debate.  When our book first came out I wrote a couple of Reformed seminaries requesting that I and any of the authors of WSTTB meet for public lectures and or a formal debate.  None accepted.  I recently challenged Keith Mathison to meet me at Ligonier Academy in an open and public letter[21] to do the very thing that DeMar wants Engelsma to do with him.  Unfortunately this was his response:
“I haven’t read DeMar (or anybody else) on the subject of preterism in years, so I’m not up to speed on what he has said or is saying. I know I can’t explain it to you in a way that you’ll understand, but from my perspective, all the years I spent reading and writing and talking and emailing about preterism were completely wasted time, and I just don’t feel like spending any more time on it.”
If Mathison is too spiritual and discussing preterism is a “wasted of time” for him (BTW I didn’t know that studying the climax of redemptive history whereby the Triune God dwells with man and overcomes the curse of “the death” should be considered as “wasted time”), perhaps I can come and present a mediating view between DeMar and Engelsma for the faculty and student body to consider?  I won’t charge anything either.  Let the students read WSTTB, our book House Divided Briding the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist Response to When Shall These Things Be?, Gary’s Last Days Madness, an amillennial book of Engelsma’s choosing, and let’s discuss these “exegetical” issues and if the creeds need to be revised and who is not orthodox (straight) and why?  Any theological institution afraid of open discussion and or debate on these matters isn’t worth attending in my opinion.
My thoughts on possible subject material for a discussion and or debate before students and faculty:

  • How important is Matthew 24-25 to the development of NT eschatology?
  • Is Jesus teaching on His actual Second Coming in Matthew 24-25?
  • What NT passages and doctrines can and should be paralleled with Matthew 24-25?
  • Can Matthew 24-25 have multiple fulfillments?
  • Does partial preterism lead to full preterism?
  • What parts of the creeds can and should be revised to reflect a better understanding of Matthew 24-25 and other NT eschatological texts?
  • If it is possible that the creeds have made errors in eschatology – what are they and how can they be changed?

I will be willing to go for “free” to Gary!  Will Engelsma or DeMar take me up on this challenge?  Most likely not.  Why?  Because both sides want to continue promoting the myth that students have to choose either classic amillennialism or postmillennial partial preterism.  Neither wants their students seeing that both of their views (reformed eschatology as a whole) actually form full preterism.  It’s bad business for both sides.  But it would be refreshing to have an open and honest discussion of these matters.
Conclusion
Call me crazy, but I have a problem with this approach:
1.  For years deny that the Bible or the Church Fathers/”Mother Church” teach that there was a spiritual, corporate, progressive, resurrection for Israel between AD 30 – AD 70 that resulted with the souls of saints being raised out of Hades or Abraham’s Bosom at Christ’s parousia in AD 70 to inherit the kingdom and eternal life (Dan. 12:2, 13/Rev. 20).

2.  Call us “heretics” for believing such a view.

3.  Then decide you are going to change your view to that view w/out giving credit to where you got it from.

4.  Claim the NT doesn’t give double or multiple fulfillments to AD 70 events/fulfillments.  But because you need to be creedal you are going to claim the resurrection and judgment of the living and dead could have happened in Dan. 12/Rev. 20; John 5; 1 Cor. 15; but there awaits another fulfillment — BECAUSE you need to be creedal and or pacify creedal supporters and or critics. 

5.  And in order to pacify those creedal critics you are going to go back to calling full preterism “heretical.” 

6.  After all of this, you are also going to still deny that your views lead to full preterism.

7.  After all of this, you are also going to still claim you are winning the debate on eschatology.

Men like Gary DeMar, Ken Gentry, James Jordan, Joel McDurmon, and Gary North, all live in a different reality apparently.  I don’t find this to be honest scholarship, “exegetical,” (multiple fulfillments for these texts) or anything resembling reality.  But I guess if these men surround themselves with each other enough and get an actor to come and speak at one of their conferences, in their minds they are winning the debate on eschatology – lol, wow.
Should full preterists support Gary DeMar and American Vision more so than they would a dispensationalist Zionist ministry?  Here are some reasons I believe the two should be considered essentially the same error and thus NOT supported: 

  • DeMar seeks to refute and take the speck out of dispensationalism’s eye with their NT two comings theory – a coming/eschaton for the church and one for Israel, and yet DeMar won’t take the plank out of his own eye and repent and turn from his two comings/eschatons – one for Israel and another for the church.
  • DeMar enjoys mocking dispensational Zionists whose eschatology forces them to want Jews to be gathered back into Israel only so two thirds of them can be destroyed in the tribulation period. Yet, what are we to think of DeMar/AV/theonomic postmillennial affiliates who believe it is our job to kill unbelievers and EVEN believers (ex. “heretic” Baptists who won’t baptize their babies or believe the Sabbath is not for us today in the new covenant) if they do not repent and conform to their theonomic “covenant” system?????
  • Both eschatologies place their carnal kingdom fulfillment hopes on things which can be seen (a visible second coming, resurrection, re-creation) and not on what cannot be seen.
  • Both of their carnal kingdom “hopes” are a “hope deferred” and make the church “sick” (Prov. 13:12).
  • Both eschatologies call full preterists “heretics.”

I can understand how some full preterists are sympathetic with DeMar and AV in that it was through his writings that they became a full preterist (although DeMar continues denying this reality and testimony after testimony). Or some might reason, “Yeah, but they do a good job on the time texts 90% of the time.” But this misses WHY they have hardened their hearts to the remaining 10% – in that it is because they only want to USE the preterist hermeneutic to get the tribulation and great apostasy in the past so that they can promote their theonomic postmillennial agenda or carnal kingdom “Jewish dreams” of killing unbelievers and believers can come true – PERIOD. You might also reason, “Yeah, but dispensationalism is teaching that the church is like a sinking ship, and at least Gary and AV are a little more optimistic.”  Well, look yourself in the mirror and ponder if you want to get on board of and or think the church is supposed to be a theonomic postmillennial ship wading through the seas killing unbelievers and believers (“heretics” who will not baptize babies and obey the Sabbath) if they don’t repent and accept their covenant views.  Is that the NT church/ship you are called to board and support?  I think not.
I think it would be hypocritical and not factually or scripturally based for anyone (full preterist or otherwise) to want to support Gary DeMar and AV and yet not want to support any dispensationalist or Zionist group.  After some 25 years of confronting DeMar on his errors, I have to conclude at this point that if he continues to say his views don’t lead to full preterism (even when he steals ours), or that he is somehow winning the debate on eschatology, that at best he is delusional or at worst just willfully deceptive.  Perhaps there is some middle ground in there somewhere (only the Lord knows the heart fully), but either way the Lord needs to open his eyes up to the truth and reality – that much is for certain.   “Is there no one else?!?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAFnbkEwqjI
 



[1] Gary DeMar, Anti-Postmillennialist Makes Weak Case, http://americanvision.org/10080/anti-postmillennialist-makes-weak-case/#sthash.viAtbr8a.dpbs
[2] Ibid.
[3] R.C. Sproul, The Last Days According to Jesus, (Grand Rapids, MI:  Baker Books, 1998), 157.
[4] Michael Sullivan, David Green, Edward Hassertt, House Divided Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist Response to When Shall These Things Be? (Ramona, CA:  Vision Publishing 2014, Second Edition), 80-84.
[5] Ibid., 91.
[6] Ibid., 97
[7] Ibid., 87-95.  See also Michael Sullivan, A Full Preterist Response to Kenneth Gentry’s Articles:  DANIEL 12, TRIBULATION, AND RESURRECTION and ACTS 24:15 AND THE ALLEGED NEARNESS OF THE RESURRECTION https://fullpreterism.com/a-full-preterist-response-to-kenneth-gentrys-articles-daniel-12-tribulation-and-resurrection-and-acts-2415-and-the-alleged-nearness-of-the-resurrection/
[8] Michael Sullivan, House Divided, 116-123.  This begs the question that DeMar has not answered in that if the “glory” was “about to be revealed” in Romans 8:18 YLT, then contextually so was the liberation of creation from its bondage, the full adoption of the sons of God, and the redemption of the body.  I also quote one of DeMar and Gentry’s favorite partial preterists (John Lightfoot) where he admits that the “creation” groaning in this passage has nothing to do with the planet earth (not even poetically) but rather men under sin (which is the full preterist view of the creation here).  I have been asking Gary to comment on this for many years now, but he is always “too busy” to comment.
[9] Ibid., 122-123.
[10] Ibid., 126-128.
[11] Ibid., 102-109.
[12] This should have been footnoted on page 139 of my chapter in reference to Hebrews 9:26-28 but it got deleted for some reason in the editing process.  The admission here is from Milton Terry, “The ‘end of the age’ means the close of the epoch or age—that is, the Jewish age or dispensation which was drawing nigh, as our Lord frequently intimated. All those passages that speak of ‘the end,’ ‘the end of the age,’ or ‘the ends of the ages,’ refer to the same consummation, and always as nigh at hand.” “…the writer regarded the incarnation of Christ as taking place near the end of the aeon, or dispensational period. To suppose that he meant that it was close upon the end of the world, or the destruction of the material globe, would be to make him write false history as well as bad grammar. It would not be true in fact; for the world has already lasted longer since the incarnation than the whole duration of the Mosaic economy, from the exodus to the destruction of the temple. It is futile, therefore, to say that the ‘end of the age’ may mean a lengthened period, extending from the incarnation to our times, and even far beyond them. That would be an aeon, and not the close of an aeon. The aeon of which our Lord was speaking was about to close in a great catastrophe; and a catastrophe is not a protracted process, but a definitive and culminating act.” Milton S. Terry, Biblical HERMENEUTICS A Treatise on the Interpretation of the Old and New Testaments, (Zondervan Publishing House, 1986), 441-442.
[13] Sullivan, House Divided, Ibid., 112, footnote 45.
[14] Ibid., 89-95, 178.   See also Michael Sullivan, A Full Preterist Response to Kenneth Gentry’s Articles:  DANIEL 12, TRIBULATION, AND RESURRECTION and ACTS 24:15 AND THE ALLEGED NEARNESS OF THE RESURRECTION https://fullpreterism.com/a-full-preterist-response-to-kenneth-gentrys-articles-daniel-12-tribulation-and-resurrection-and-acts-2415-and-the-alleged-nearness-of-the-resurrection/
[15] Ibid., 139-140.
[16] Ibid.
[17] Ibid.
[18] David Green, Edward Hassertt, Michael Sullivan, House Divided Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist Response to When Shall These Things Be? (Ramona, CA:  Vision Publishing 2014, Second Edition), 80-84.
[19] Ibid., 91 n. 27-28.
[20] Michael Sullivan, Exposing Sam Frost’s Sloppy “Exegesis” of Matthew 16:27-28 Part 1 – The Use of Similar Identical or Parallel Language Within Matthew and the NT, http://www.treeoflifeministries.info/index.php?view=article&catid=35%3Apreterist-eschatology-all-prophecy-fulfilled-by-ad-70&id=214%3Aexposing-sam-frosts-sloppy-exegesis-of-matthew-1627-28-part-1-the-use-of-similar-identical-or-parallel-language-within-matthew-and-the-nt-&option=com_content&Itemid=77
[21] Michael Sullivan, An Open and Public Letter to Keith A. Mathison, https://fullpreterism.com/open-and-public-letter-to-keith-a-mathison/

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.

Debate Challenge Accepted / Issued!

Just recently, the issue of the present passive indicatives, and present indicatives that Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 15 to speak of the then on-going resurrection has become the topic of intense discussion on several preterist, and anti-preterist websites.
Interestingly, a debate challenge has been issued, challenging the idea that we must honor those present tense verbs. Dr. Ken Talbot has offered to moderate this debate, and to sponsor it in Chicago.
Just this morning (9-7-09) I posted the following response to the proposed debate:
Dr. Talbot, my name is Don K. Preston. I was honored to meet you in Florida a few years back when I debated James Jordan.
Concerning a debate. Instead of a debate so narrowly focused on the verb tenses of 1 Corinthians 15, I will most gladly accept your offer above in regard to a debate, with the following proposal:
Resolved: The Bible teaches that the resurrection prophecy of 1 Corinthians 15 was fulfilled at the time of the destruction of Old Covenant Jerusalem in AD 70.
Affirm: Don K. Preston
Deny:
If you would be willing to help sponsor a debate on the verb tenses of 1 Corinthians 15, I suggest that the greater, more important debate would be on the fulfillment or non-fulfillment of the overall prophecy. If I were to be able to demonstrate that the prophecy of 1 Corinthians 15 is / was fulfilled, then this would settle the issue of the verb tenses. Would it not?
I will be more than happy and honored to debate you, or any of the faculty members, or any champion of your choice on the suggested proposition. Chicago is fine with me.
I very much look forward to hearing from you!
For His Truth, and In His Grace,
Don K. Preston
President, Preterist Research Institute
Dialogue When Possible
Debate When Necessary
At All Times Charity Delete Comment