The Living Body Show Matthew 24:27-29 The Coming of the Son/Sun

Would Christ come as lightning or as the bright light of the sun shining from the east to the west within the AD 30 – AD 70 “this generation” (Matt. 24:27-34)?  Was Jesus predicting the end of the planet earth in Matt. 24:29 or the end of the Old Covenant world order and the casting down of apostate Jerusalem’s civil and religious rulers?  Tune in and decide.

Responding to the Critics: The Little Horn of Daniel 7

The “Little Horn” of Daniel’s Sea-Beast: A Review

Don K. Preston
In the June, 1993 issue of the Christian Courier, Wayne Jackson, an out-spoken critic of Covenant Eschatology, expounds on the little horn of Daniel 7. Our purpose here is not to set forth a positive exegesis of Daniel 7 as much as it is to show the fallacy of Jackson’s article because his interpretation is representative of the view held in the Reformation and Restoration movements.
In his article Jackson examines two views: that of “religious modernism” identifying the little horn as Antiochus Epiphanes; and the premillennial posit that the little horn is a now imminent “AntiChrist.” Upon what basis does he reject these views?
The Antiochan posit is rejected because Antiochus “was dead a hundred years before the fourth beast (the Roman empire) came into power–out of which Daniel’s little horn arose.” The premillennial view is rejected by Jackson because “the little horn of Daniel’s vision arose from the remnants of the Roman empire, which have lain in the dust of antiquity for more than 1000 years. The commencement of the little horn’s power is thus ancient, not modern.” (emp. his)
In other words, Jackson rejects these two views because one happened before the Roman empire came to being and the other comes after the empire perished. This is good logic if the fourth beast is in truth, as we also accept, the Roman empire. Jackson’s argument against these other interpretations may Continue reading “Responding to the Critics: The Little Horn of Daniel 7”

What About Acts 1?

What About, “In Like Manner?”

One of the most common objections to Covenant Eschatology is based on Acts 1:9f. The disciples, beholding the ascending Christ, were told that he would come, “in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:9f), this means, we are told, that Jesus must return in a physical body.

There are a variety of ways to counter this unfounded claim, including the fact that the Greek term (hon tropon) translated “in like manner” does not demand identicalness. As a matter of fact, those who press for the “in like manner” definition do not actually hold to a coming in identical manner as the ascent. For instance, Jesus left silently; yet, those who believe in a yet future parousia believe he will come with the literal sound of a trumpet.

While hon tropon can sometimes mean identicalness, it more often means general likeness, without specificity. For instance, in Matthew 23:37, Jesus said he had desired to gather Jerusalem “as (hon tropon) a mother hen gathers her chicks. Surely no one would argue that Jesus wanted to gather Jerusalem under his literal arm! Likewise, Paul said that the evil men arising in his generation withstood the truth “as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses.” Would anyone argue that Paul’s enemies were opposing him exactly and precisely as the false Egyptian prophets? In point of fact, hon tropon, seldom means exact likeness.

Jesus left, visible to only a handful of people. Yet, all futurists believe the Second Coming will be visible to every eye of every human on earth. Jesus told his disciples, “Yet a little while, and the world will see me no more; but ye will see me; because I live, you shall live also” (John 14:19). After his resurrection, Jesus appeared only to a select few (Acts 10:41), even including the 500 witnesses (1 Corinthians 15), and never appeared to the “world” at large again. And, here in John 14, he said that the world (kosmos) would never see him again. Jesus was never to appear in the flesh to the world again!

Jesus left without any “fanfare.” Yet, we are told that at the end of the present age, he will come with the destruction of material creation–which clearly did not happen at the ascension. And, he will come with 10,000 angels, when only one angel was present at the ascension.

There was no flaming fire, nor destruction of literal creation at the ascension. Yet, we are told that this is what happens when Christ returns in the future (2 Thessalonians 1; 2 Peter 3).

Jesus did not ascend on a white horse, with a sword protruding from his mouth, leading the army of heaven. Yet, John says that at the Second Coming, Jesus rides a white horse, leads the armies of heaven, and has a sword coming out of his mouth (Revelation 19). Where is the “in like manner” comparison here?

Consider the Transfiguration for a moment. (Be sure to see our articles on “Defining the Parousia” for a fuller discussion of this issue.) The Transfiguration was a vision of the parousia (Matthew 17; 2 Peter 1:16-19). However, what did Jesus look like at the Transfiguration? Did he look as he did at the ascension? Clearly not! The Transfiguration scene presented Jesus with the effulgent glory of Deity shining through. Jesus’ appearance was so radically transformed that the disciples were “scared out of their minds” to use a modern term. So, the Transfiguration was a vision of the Second Coming, but Christ’s appearance at the Transfiguration in no way resembles his appearance at the Ascension. Therefore, to overly emphasize “in like manner” in Acts 1 is patently wrong headed.

Likewise, in Revelation 1:13f, Jesus appeared to John in his post ascension form, and that description, that apocalupsis of Jesus, in no way resembles the ascension appearance of Jesus:

“In the midst of the seven lamp stands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and His hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; his feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.” (Revelation 1:13-16).

Notice that John saw, “one like the Son of Man.” The One he saw was so resplendently different than that One he had known, had seen, had touched (1 John 1:1-3), in his Incarnate existence, that John could only say that the One he now saw was like ( ìïéïí), the Son of Man.

Is it not clear that this appearance of Jesus was not Jesus in the flesh? This was not Jesus in his post resurrection earthly form. There is no physical, bodily likeness between this vision and what the disciples saw at the Ascension. Thus, to press the “in like manner” of Acts 1:9f to identicalness is misplaced. Both the Transfiguration and John’s vision on Patmos reveal Jesus’ parousia epiphany, and there was nothing of his earthly form revealed in either vision. In both of these visions, we see Jesus revealed as Deity, not as a man.

Very clearly, there are very significant and material differences between the Ascension of Christ and the traditionally taught Second Coming. Thus, the term “in like manner” should not be pressed too hard by those who insist on identicalness of manner. We have more to say about this in our book Like Father Like Son, ON Clouds of Glory. The book is currently sold out, and is under revision, but will be re-published in the near future.

For more information on Acts 1, go to www.eschatology.org.

Don K. Preston

Cross-Examining the Critics of Preterism

edwardhasssertt
Edward Hassertt

A Response To Kenneth Gentry

When addressing the scholars of the Reformed community, care must be taken to get our facts, logic, and scripture correct. Unfortunately, those scholars do not take the same careful approach in dealing with Preterist Theology or the people involved. These scholars play loose with the facts, use logical fallacies, special pleading, and personal attacks. What is even more disturbing is their pointed criticism of the “difference” in theology shown by preterists when even those organized to argue against it (e.g., the contributing authors in Mathison’s book) cannot agree on the interpretation or application of the key eschatological texts of Holy Scripture. Despite the overwhelming fact that they cannot agree on the most simple aspect of their own eschatology, these glass-house dwellers try to dispel their own disunity by casting stones at those trying to be biblically consistent with their theology and hermeneutic. If internal confusion and hasty attack were sound argumentative techniques, the responses to preterism would be daunting. As it is, however, they represent nothing more than a loud, shrill, persistent (but not ultimately significant nor convincing) critique of preterist theology.

As an introduction to the type of criticism being leveled against biblical preterism I will first deal specifically with the introduction to the Keith A. Mathison edited book, “When Shall These Things Be”, penned by R.C. Sproul, Jr. I will follow with a thorough cross-examination of the testimony offered in the chapter authored by Kenneth Gentry. In the end the evidence will show Continue reading “Cross-Examining the Critics of Preterism”

Can God Tell Time?

Don K Prestoon
Don K Preston
Almost two thousand years ago John the Baptizer said “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” Matthew 3:2. Jesus, Son of God, echoed those words “the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” Matthew 4:17. The Prince of Peace sent his disciples out to preach the same message, Luke 10. Jesus clearly said the kingdom, and other events as we shall see below, were at hand.
A common response to these Biblical statements of the imminence of the kingdom in the first century is this: “Well, yes, the Bible said the kingdom was coming soon, but remember, ‘One day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day.’ God doesn’t see time as man does; He is above time.”
Is there anything wrong with these statements? Well, if God cannot tell time there isn’t! But if God can read a calendar, and if God truly meant to communicate with man there is something drastically wrong! Essentially, what these statements say is that while God said the kingdom was “at hand,” God cannot tell time, therefore the “at hand” time statements mean nothing at all! Continue reading “Can God Tell Time?”