House Divided Chapter Seven The Resurrection of the Dead Amillennialist Robert B. Strimple Vs. Full Preterist David A. Green Part 5 Daniel 12:1-3

House Divided

Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist Response to

When Shall These Things Be?

Chapter Seven
The Resurrection of the Dead
Part 5 Daniel 12:1-3
 
David A. Green
Copyright 2009 and 2013 All rights reserved.  No part of this book (or article)may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher or author of this chapter/article (Vision Publishing or David A. Green), except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
Strimple Argument #5: Daniel 12:1-3 says that “many of those who
sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to
shame and everlasting contempt.” This is obviously referring to a physical
resurrection of the dead. Additionally, God tells us that this prophecy
is to be fulfilled in “the time of the end” (Dan. 12:4), which is the end
of human history (295).
 
Answer: Daniel’s prediction of the resurrection of the dead begins
with these words: “And at that time . . . ” “That time” refers back to the
end of chapter 11. Philip Mauro in his book, The Seventy Weeks and
the Great Tribulation, argues convincingly that Daniel 11 ends with a
prophecy of Herod the Great.[1]
 
Herod, the first enemy of the incarnate Christ, died very shortly
after Christ was born. It was “at that time” that Christ (“Michael,” “the
Chief Messenger”) stood up for the saints. It was at that time that Christ
came into the world for His people and took on the body of sacrifice
that the Father had prepared for Him (Dan. 12:1; Heb. 10:5-7; Ps. 40:6;
cf. Rev. 12:7).
 
It was the “stand” for the elect that Christ made in His Incarnation
that led to the “war in heaven” (Matt. 11:12; Rev. 12:7), which in turn
led to fleshly Israel being overtaken in the death-throes of the Great
Tribulation (Dan. 12:1). Jesus promised that that time of distress was
going to take place within His own generation, and that it would be consummated
in the destruction of the city and the sanctuary (Dan. 9:26;
12:1; Matt. 24:1-2, 21, 34). That event took place in August-September
of AD 70.
 
According to the angel who spoke to Daniel, it was at that time that
the power of the holy people would be shattered (Dan. 12:7), that the
church would be delivered (Dan. 12:1), that the resurrection of the dead
would take place, and that the righteous would inherit the kingdom
(Dan. 12:2). Jesus, in harmony with Daniel, promised that the kingdom
would be taken from the wicked and given to the righteous in the lifetime
of the chief priests and Pharisees (Mat. 21:43-45). Therefore, “the
time of the end” (not “the end of time,” as it is sometimes mistranslated)
in Daniel 12:4, 9 was not the end of human history; it was the end of
redemptive history in Christ’s generation.
 
It was in AD 70, therefore, that many who slept in “the earth’s dust
awoke. To “sleep in dust” is a figure of speech. The dead were not literally
sleeping, nor were they literally in the dust. They were “in dust
only insofar as, in their death, they had not ascended into God’s presence
in Christ. In terms of the righteousness and life of God, they were
earth-bound. From a literal standpoint, they were in Sheol/Hades (the
abode of the Adamic dead), and it was from out of Sheol that they were
raised to stand before the heavenly throne of God (Dan. 12:1-2).
Futurist James Jordan writes regarding Daniel 12:13:
 
What Daniel is promised is that after his rest in Abraham’s bosom,
he will stand up with all God’s saints and join Michael on
a throne in heaven, as described in Revelation 20, an event that
came after the Great Tribulation and in the year AD 70.[2]
 
Regarding the word “many” in Daniel 12:2: The word is not used
in contrast to “all” (as “the many” is used to limit the term “all men” in
Rom. 5:12, 15, 18-19) or in contrast to “a few.” The angel simply referred
to a large number of people; to multitudes (NIV). No inference can be
made from the context as to whether “many” referred to all or to only
a portion of the dead. Only subsequent scriptures revealed that the
many” in Daniel 12:2 referred whole company of all the dead
from Adam to the Last Day.



[1] Philip Mauro, The Seventy Weeks and the Great Tribulation (Swengel,
PA: Reiner Publications [now Grace Abounding Ministries]), 135-162.
[2] James B. Jordan, The Handwriting on the Wall: A Commentary on the
Book of Daniel (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision Inc., 2007), 628. (Emphases
added)
 

House Divided Chapter Seven The Resurrection of the Dead Amillennialist Robert B. Strimple Vs. Full Preterist David A. Green Part 2 Romans 8 and 2 Peter 3

House Divided

Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist Response to

When Shall These Things Be?

 
Chapter Seven
The Resurrection of the Dead
Part 2 Romans 8 and 2 Peter 3
 
David A. Green
Copyright 2009 and 2013 All rights reserved.  No part of this book (or article) may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher or author of this chapter/article (Vision Publishing or David A. Green), except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
Strimple Argument #2: According to Romans 8 and 2 Peter 3,
when the resurrection of the dead takes place, the heavens and the earth
—the whole physical creation—will be physically transformed and
physically renewed. Therefore the resurrection of the dead will also be
physical and will involve a physical transformation/renewal (321-326).
 
Answer: When Paul and Peter wrote their epistles:
 
1. God was “ready to judge the living and the dead” (1 Pet. 4:5).
2. It was “time for the judgment to begin” (1 Pet. 4:17).
3. Believers were living in “the last days” (2 Tim. 3:1; 2 Pet. 3:3).
4. Believers were living in “the last times” (1 Pet. 1:20).
5. Believers were “hastening” the coming of the day of God, when
the Morning Star would arise in their hearts (2 Pet. 1:19-20;
3:3, 5, 11-12).
6. The glory and salvation of Israel was “about to be
revealed”/“ready to be revealed” (Rom. 8:18; 1 Pet. 1:5; 5:1).
7. The night was “almost gone” (Rom. 13:12).
8. The day of salvation was “at hand” (Rom. 13:12).
9. God was “soon” to crush the ancient enemy, Satan, under the
feet of the first-century church (Rom. 16:20), in fulfillment of
Genesis 3:15.
10. “The end of all things” was “at hand” (1 Pet. 4:7).
 
If we are to let the words of Scripture say what they say in their
context, we must admit that the biblical time of eschatological crisis is
now history. The apostles Paul and Peter, through the inspiration of the
Holy Spirit, fully expected the heavens and the earth (the world) to burn
and dissolve in their own generation (2 Pet. 3:7, 10-12). Therefore, we
are to rest in faith that this event, according to God’s faithful and sure
prophetic word, was fulfilled in the apostolic generation.
 
Futurist objections notwithstanding, it requires no stretch of the
imagination to believe God’s word in this regard. We know that when
Peter spoke of the “heavens” and the “earth,” he did not mean the literal
sky and the planet. Peter believed that the heavens and the earth of
Noah’s day were destroyed (2 Pet. 3:5-6). Peter certainly did not think
that the literal stars (“the heavens”) were destroyed in Noah’s flood.
 
When Peter spoke of the end of the world (“the end of all things”), he
was speaking of the world-order in which he lived. He was speaking of
the pre-redemption world that was speedily coming to a consummation
through the power of the recently slain Lamb of God. Peter was not
writing in scientific terms concerning hydrogen and oxygen melting.
He was writing in the fervent, poetic language of the prophets concerning
the impending end of the old covenant age and the resulting liberation
of “the creature” / “all Israel” (all the saints, living and dead) from
the slavery and futility of the spiritual corruption of Sin.
 
Peter’s prophecy in 2 Peter 3 was a reiteration of Isaiah 24. In that
chapter, Isaiah spoke of the time when the sun and the moon (the heavens)
would be confounded and ashamed (Isa. 24:23) and when the earth
would be burned, broken down, dissolved, and would fade away (Isa.
24:4, 6, 19-20). Isaiah was speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem.
 
The heavens and the earth” referred to the pre-Messianic, dead-in-
Sin world of God’s people. That old creation or cosmos was dissolved,
and it vanished shortly after Peter wrote his epistles, in AD 70. There is
no biblical rationale for appending a “resurrection of the flesh at the end
of human history” to the teachings of the apostles.
 
One final note: The Bible says that after the Parousia, after the fulfillment
of all prophecy, in the new heavens and the new earth, there will
be cursed nations that will, year by year, refuse to worship God (Zech.
14:16-19). After the fulfillment of all prophecy, there will be those who
attack God’s people, though ultimately to no avail (Isa. 54:15-17). After
the fulfillment of all prophecy, there will be people loving and practicing
lies outside the city of God in the new heavens and new earth (Rev.
22:14-15).
 
Strimple says that this biblical doctrine is “incredible” and that it
does not “satisfy” him (323). It is the task of futurists to believe and to
be satisfied with what God’s word teaches concerning the eternal, Messianic
world in which we live today.

House Divided Chapter Seven The Resurrection of the Dead Amillennialist Robert B. Strimple Vs. Full Preterist David A. Green Part 1 2 Timothy 2:16-18

House Divided

Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist Response to

When Shall These Things Be?

 
Chapter Seven
The Resurrection of the Dead
 
David A. Green
Copyright 2009 and 2013 All rights reserved.  No part of this book (or article) may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher or author of this chapter/article (Vision Publishing or David A. Green), except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
Dr. Robert B. Strimple’s sixty-six page chapter in WSTTB can be
summed up in thirteen basic arguments that defend the doctrine
of a literal, physical resurrection of the dead. In this chapter, I will respond
to Strimple’s thirteen arguments. I will then offer a brief exposition
of 1 Corinthians 15.
 
Strimple’s Thirteen Arguments[1]
 
Strimple Argument #1: Preterists teach that the resurrection is past.
Therefore preterists are under the condemnation of the heretics Hymenaeus
and Philetus, who said that “the resurrection is past already” (2
Tim. 2:16-18) (WSTTB, 287, 312-315).[2]
 
Answer: If we read 2 Timothy 2:16-18 on the premise of futurism
(belief in a literal, physical resurrection of the dead), we will reason that
Hymenaeus and Philetus were not only wrong about the timing of the
resurrection, as Paul said they were, but that they were more importantly
wrong about the nature of the resurrection. We will reason that
the faith-overthrowing aspect of their error must have been their denial
of a biological resurrection of the dead. This would mean that the malignancy
of their doctrine had to do with the nature of the resurrection,
even though Paul condemned only their timing of the resurrection.
 
Futurism must, against the flow of thought in the text, smuggle its
own assumption (a biological resurrection of the dead) into 2 Timothy
2:16-18 in order to make it a preterist-anathematizing text. This means
that the only exegetical argument that is used for condemning preterists
as false brothers is based on the logical fallacy of question begging.
 
But if we read the passage on the premise of preterism (a non-biological
resurrection of the dead), we should reason that the error of Hymeneus
and Philetus was that they were teaching that the resurrection had
been fulfilled under the Law (1 Tim. 1:8; Titus 1:10; 3:9; Heb. 8:13). They
were teaching that “the hope of Israel” (Acts 23:6; 24:15, 21; 28:20) was
already fulfilled in the AD 60’s and that there was therefore never to be a
termination of the covenant of fleshly circumcision and animal sacrifices.
 
Their error implied that the kingdom was not going to be taken
from the scribes and Pharisees, as Jesus said it would be. It implied
that the final destruction of the city and sanctuary would never happen.
It implied that fleshly Israel had inherited the eschatological kingdom
with the church and that the ministration of death and condemnation,
with all of its reminders of sin, would continue forever. It implied that
believers, having already attained unto the resurrection (cf. Phil. 3:11–
12), would be forever under the yoke of the Law of Moses.
This is why the doctrine of a pre-70 resurrection was a radically anti-
gospel, anti-grace, faith-overturning blasphemy (1 Tim. 1:20; 2 Tim.
2:18). This is why Paul condemned the timing instead of the nature of
the error, because insofar as the realization of the hope of Israel (the resurrection)
was necessarily synchronous with the eternal disinheritance
of the Christ-rejecters in Israel, timing was everything.
 
Perhaps we cannot know with certainty what date Hymenaeus and
Philetus assigned to the resurrection. Perhaps they taught that the Jewish
revolt against Rome in AD 66 was the fulfillment of the resurrection.
Whatever the case, the resurrection error at Ephesus was a Judaizing
heresy that served to put believers back under the slavery of the Law.
 
Before we go on to Strimple’s next argument, let us look briefly at
Paul’s silence in regard to Hymeneus’ and Philetus’ concept of a non-biological
resurrection of the dead. If Paul was expecting a literal, biological
resurrection, is it not odd that his only criticism of the gangrenous
resurrection-error was in regard to its timing? Could it be that Paul
agreed with Hymeneus and Philetus in regard to the nature of the resurrection,
and disagreed with them only in regard to the timing? Paul’s
words in 2 Thessalonians 2:2-8 give us the answer to this question.
 
In that scripture, Paul told believers how they could know, after the
fact, that the Day of the Lord had taken place. First, Paul said, “the
apostasy” or “the falling away” would take place and “the man of sin”
would be revealed (2 Thess. 2:3). This “man of sin” would take his seat
in the temple of God, thus displaying himself as being God (2 Thess.
2:4). Then he would be slain and brought to an end (2 Thess. 2:8). By
the unfolding of these events, believers would know that the Day of the
Lord had come.[3] The man of sin was, after all, to be destroyed on the
Day of the Lord.
 
However, Paul had taught in his previous epistle to the Thessalonians
that on “the day of the Lord,” the dead in Christ would rise and be
caught up” together with the living (1 Thess. 4:15-5:2). If Paul thought
those events were going to involve the literal, biological metamorphosis
and removal of the dead and of the church on Earth, then Paul would
have known that there were, inescapably, only two possible ways that
anyone could know that the day of the Lord had already come.
 
Either:
 
1. You suddenly found yourself in a new body made of “spiritual
flesh” while hovering in the clouds during a meeting with the
Lord in the air.
 
Or:
 
2. You suddenly discovered that the tombs of believers were
empty and that the church no longer existed on planet Earth
and you were left behind.
 
But Paul did not use either of these arguments. Paul instead told
believers simply to look for the rise and destruction of the man of sin in
order to know that the day of the Lord had come. According to Paul, if
believers perceived that the man of sin had been destroyed, then believers
could know that the day of the Lord (and therefore the resurrection
and the “catching away” of the church) had come to pass. The resurrection
of the dead and the “catching away” were not events that involved
the molecular change or disappearance of corpses or the disappearance
of the church from planet earth.[4]



[1] Though I label these arguments as “Strimple” arguments, most of them
are not, strictly speaking, Strimple’s arguments, but are the standard arguments
used by futurists to defend the doctrine of a “resurrection of the flesh.”
[2] Strimple’s editor Mathison undercuts Strimple’s effort here (and the effort
of most or all others who anathematize preterists) by casting a haze of
uncertainty over 2 Timothy 2:17-18 and refusing to use the passage to anathematize
“hyper-preterists.” Mathison forfeits all biblical authority to anathematize
“hyper-preterists” when he implies that “the resurrection” in 2 Timothy
2:17-18 could possibly have been fulfilled in AD 70 (194-195).
[3] The Zealots captured the temple in AD 68. They abolished the priesthood
and turned the temple of God into their own personal house of murder.
They were destroyed in AD 70.
[4] See Michael Sullivan’s response to Mathison for an exposition of 1
Thessalonians 4:14-17 and 2 Timothy 2:17-18.