Review of Wayne Jakson’s “The Menace of Radical Preterism”

This article is quite lengthy, but the length is necessary. I hope you read with an open heart and mind. Let me know what you think via e-mail or in the comments below.
The Purpose of this Article
     While
the title says that this is a response to Wayne Jackson, it isn’t necessarily.
I doubt that Brother Jackson will ever see this. Instead, this is a response to
his article for my good Christian brothers and sisters who see this article as
a good defense against the “devilish” AD70 “false doctrine.” The article can be
found here: The Menace of Radical Preterism. All parts that I deal with will
be directly quoted in this article. In posting this article, I realize that I
won’t change everyone’s mind (maybe not anyone’s!), but, at the very least, I
would like to encourage my friends in Christ that there is more to this issue
than they might realize or allow and that they shouldn’t be so quick to draw
lines of fellowship over these matters.

Disclaimer
     While I may use forceful language in my
response, I assure you that I do not consider this issue as a matter of
fellowship or a soul-condemning issue. You can come to an honest conclusion
that is different than mine and I will be happy to call you my faithful brother
or sister in Christ. All that I ask is that you extend the same understanding
and fellowship that I am willing to do for you.
     Rumors have floated around that suggest
that I am arrogant or that I see this as a Heaven/ Hell issue. Those rumors are
false. I can submit a vast amount of proof and several witnesses for that if
you’d like. The only individuals that I consider to be in error are those who spread
lies, act in an ungodly manner, or cause divisions over this subject. If you
are willing to live in harmony, then I see you no less of a Christian than I
think that I am (2 Peter 1:10).
Paragraphs 1-8 (Introduction)
     Brother
Jackson introduces several ideas concerning the fulfillment of the book of
Revelation. He speaks of those who see Revelation as dealing with the fall of
Jerusalem in AD70 (which is the position I hold). He also mentions those who
see Revelation as dealing with the fall of Rome. Speaking of these two
positions, he says, “While we do not agree with either of these concepts of the
book of Revelation, we consider them to be relatively harmless. They represent
ideas upon which good men can honestly disagree with no significant error being
involved” (par. 4). What my brother has done here, from my perspective, is
given up the entire purpose of his article. Let’s see why!
     The book of Revelation contains twenty-two
chapters, and, according to brother Jackson, if one attributes those twenty-two
chapters to the fall of Jerusalem in AD70 then little harm has been done, but
what does Revelation speak about? Let’s name a few.

1.      
The coming of the Lord on the clouds (Revelation
1:7) 

2.      
The kingdoms of the world become the kingdoms of
God and Jesus (Revelation 11:15) 

3.      
Judgement of the dead and the rewarding of the
prophets (Revelation 11:18) 

4.      
The coming of Christ (Revelation 19:11-15) 

5.      
The end of the millennium and the resurrection
(Revelation 20:5) 

6.      
The judgement of the dead, small and great
(Revelation 20:12) 

7.      
The resurrection out of Hades (Revelation 20:13) 

8.      
The arrival of the New Jerusalem/ New Heavens
and Earth/ Bride and the passing away of the first heaven and earth (Revelation
21:1-2)

    
Now, let’s take brother Jackson’s original statement and substitute
“book of Revelation” with the items above. “While we do not agree with either
of these concepts of the [The coming of the Lord on the clouds, The kingdoms of
the world become the kingdoms of God and Jesus, Judgement of the dead and the
rewarding of the prophets, The coming of Christ, The end of the millennium and
the resurrection, The judgement of the dead, The resurrection out of
Hades,  or The arrival of the New
Jerusalem/ New Heavens and Earth/ Bride and the passing away of the first
heaven and earth – DR], we consider them to be relatively harmless. They
represent ideas upon which good men can honestly disagree with no significant
error being involved.” Friend, do you see the inconsistency here? I pray that
you do. Already, I hope something in you is saying to rethink whether or not
this is a fellowship issue.
Paragraphs
9-10 (The Basis for the Dogma)

Preterists strive for consistency in their view of Bible
prophecy. The goal is admirable. But when a series of propositions is linked,
and they are grounded on the same faulty foundation, when one of them
topples—like dominos in a line—they all fall. So it is with the A.D. 70 theory.
Here
is the problem. In studying the New Testament material relative to the “coming”
of Christ, preterists note that:

1.       there
are passages which seem to speak of the nearness of the Lord’s coming—from a
first-century vantage point (cf. James 5:8);
2.       they
observe that there are texts which indicate a “coming” in connection with the
destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 (cf. Matthew 24:30);
3.       combining
these, they conclude that the Savior’s “second coming” must have transpired in
A.D. 70; and
4.       furthermore,
since the Scriptures are clear as to the fact that the resurrection of the
dead, the judgment day, and the end of the world will all occur on the day the
Lord returns, the advocates of realized eschatology are forced to
“spiritualize” these several happenings, contending that all will take place at
the same time. In this “interpretive” process, a whole host of biblical terms
must be redefined in order to make them fit the scheme.

And
so, while preterists attempt to be consistent, it is nonetheless a sad reality
that they are consistently wrong!” – (Jackson, par. 9-10).

    
First, how does anything that was said prove that preterists are
“consistently wrong”? No scriptures were given to prove such conclusion. No
exegesis was preformed to show that. It’s just an assertion that was founded
upon the author’s prior conclusions! Again, what was said in this section to
offer any proof that preterists are “consistently wrong”? Nothing at all!
    
Secondly, brother Jackson says that “a whole host of biblical terms must
be redefined in order to make them fit the scheme.” Actually, a whole host of
biblical terms must be redefined in order to make them fit brother Jackson’s
scheme. Now, did that statement help prove my case at all? I would be foolish
to think that it did. I didn’t offer any proof that brother Jackson redefined
anything just as he did not offer any proof for his claim. He simply stated it.
    
Third, “redefine” terms from who’s perspective? Brother Jackson’s? the
Catholic church? Baptists? Webster’s dictionary? When it comes right down to
it, we are all guilty of redefining terms based off of someone’s standards.
Brother Jackson’s definition of baptism is different than that of a Catholic. A
Baptist’s definition of “new Jerusalem” may be different than that from Brother
Jackson’s. Does that make either right or wrong just because their definitions
vary? Absolutely not. Then, who has the right to define terms to begin with?
The Bible. What brother Jackson was saying in this section is, “a whole host of
biblical terms [read: biblical terms from my perspective based off of my
personal study] must be redefined….” Unless brother Jackson is infallible, then
this claim is as deep as the evidence offered, which, at this point in the
article, is nonexistent.
Paragraphs
11-13 (Prophetic Imminence)

     A major fallacy of the preterist mentality is a failure to
recognize the elasticity of chronological jargon within the context of biblical
prophecy. It is a rather common trait in prophetic language that an event,
while literally in the remote future, may be described as near. The purpose in
this sort of language is to emphasize the certainty of the prophecy’s fulfillment.” – (Jackson, par.
11)
    
Think about what is said here. I mean, really think about it. Now consider the following quotations.
John the Baptizer, Jesus himself, and the twelve disciples
all preached that the kingdom was “at hand,” literally meaning “is come near”
(Matthew 3:2; 4:17; 10:7; cf. Luke 21:30 for the meaning of “at hand”). Thus,
they preached the nearness of the kingdom of God, and such can scarcely be
harmonized with the notion that it hasn’t come.[1]
– (Jackson, Examining)
When John proclaimed that the kingdom was “at hand,” what
did he mean?
The
Greek term is engus. The word basically means “near,” when employed
literally.
It can
be used figuratively in prophecy to denote the certainty of an event, from the
perspective of time as God views things (cf. Dt. 32:35; Zeph. 1:7; see Jackson,
1995, 118-122). The subsequent context of the Gospel records reveals that
literal proximity is indicated here.” – (Jackson, Who)

    
Now, here is a question: Who decides when engus is used literally or figuratively? When speaking against
premillennialists in reference to the kingdom, at hand means at hand, but when
addressing texts that contradict his paradigm, brother Jackson insists that engus can be elastic. Perhaps brother
Jackson, and others, are guilty of what was said of premillennialists in one
article: “Unfortunately, it is “puzzling” to many because they have
preconceived concepts as to the New Testament use of the term “kingdom.””
(Jackson, Jesus). Also, “Sadly, for many the exegetical format frequently is:
“How do we make the Bible fit what we believe already?”” And so, while brother
Jackson attempts to be consistent, it is nonetheless a sad reality that he is
consistently wrong![2]

Obadiah, for instance, foretold the final day of earth’s
history. Concerning that event, he said: “For the day of Jehovah is near upon
all the nations” (v. 15). This cannot refer to some local judgment, for “all
nations” are to be involved. And yet, the event is depicted as “near.”” –
(Jackson, Menace, par. 12) 

    
Brother Jackson insists that Obadiah could not be referring to some
local judgement because of the use of “all nations.” This is his proof that
statements of imminence do not always have to be literally near in order for
the prophecy to be true. Obviously, I have an issue with brother Jackson’s
interpretation of this passage and with his liberty with the word “near.”  What was being predicted in Obadiah was
judgement on Edom.
“The
vision of Obadiah. Thus says the Lord GOD concerning Edom (We have heard a
report from the LORD, And a messenger has been sent among the nations, saying,
“Arise, and let us rise up against her for battle”” (Obadiah 1:1).
    
Concerning Edom, God uses the pronoun “you” throughout the text (cf.
1-5, 7, 9, 10-15). When He doesn’t use that pronoun (cf. 6, 8, 11), He
addresses them directly.  Why would He
talk about the judgement of the sons of Esau all throughout the text and then,
without any indication, switch gears only for a brief moment. Truly, that
judgement was “near” and it was upon Edom. Unless there remains judgement for
the nation of Edom, then this prophecy has already been fulfilled (Obadiah
1:18).

There are numerous prophecies of this nature, including
passages like James 5:8—“the coming of the Lord is at hand.” James could not
have been predicting the literally imminent return of the Savior, for such
knowledge was not made available to the Lord’s penmen. Not even Jesus himself
knew of the time of his return to earth (Matthew 24:36)” – (Jackson, par. 13).

    
This argument quickly falls when we consider the evidence. Matthew 24:36
says, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven,
but My Father only” (Matthew 24:36). The first century Christians did not know
the day or the hour of the destruction of Jerusalem. Jesus said, in connect to
the fall of Jerusalem, “And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the
Sabbath” (Matthew 24:20). They did not know the specific time in which the Lord
would return as seen here, but they did have a general idea as to when He would
return. See the passage below.

“Immediately
after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will
not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the
heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven,
and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of
Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send
His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His
elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. “Now learn
this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and
puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all
these things, know that it is near – at
the doors
! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away
till all these things take place” (Matthew 24:29-34, emp. added).

    
Let me ask you, reader, what does this passage teach? Does it not say
quite plainly that the coming of the Lord on the clouds with power and great
glory would be within the generation in which they were living? Now, keep in
mind that they were supposed to pray concerning the timing of these events (v.
20), but as the day was approaching they would be able to see the signs as to
when these events would be near (Greek: engus).
So, James, writing of the coming of the Lord, recognized that it was near just
as Jesus said he would! Notice what James says: “You also be patient. Establish
your hearts, for the coming of the Lord
is at hand
. Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be
condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing
at the door
!” (James 5:8-9, emp. added). Jesus said that they would see
signs to know when the time was engus
and “at the doors.” James recognized these signs and, through inspiration, made
a perfectly valid claim – one that his readers would have understood
immediately. Did he know the day or hour? Obviously, If he would have known
such valuable information, he would have said so, but he was only able to offer
the advice “it is at hand and at the doors.”
Paragraph
14-17 (The Components Explained and Briefly Refuted: Appearing)
     Before we being I would like to
address the phrase “briefly refuted.” The accusation may arise that I am being
unfair for demanding so much from brother Jackson and that his intentions were
just to be brief. Well, while it is true that he was brief, he also claimed
that what he wrote (and what has been shared with me quite often) is a
refutation. Therefore, if I, being one that has been allegedly refuted, do not
see his arguments to be adequate or convincing, I have every right to address
his arguments or lack thereof. That is precisely what I will do in this
section.
    
Brother Jackson gives some information in the first few paragraphs that
I am not altogether opposed to; however, in the sixteenth paragraph of the
essay, he says, “The Lord’s “second coming,” however, will be as visibly
apparent as his ascension back into heaven was (Acts 1:11). Indeed, he will be
“revealed” (2 Thessalonians 1:7), or “appear” to all (2 Timothy 4:1; Hebrews
9:28)” (Jackson).
    
Let me simply quote from the Olivet Discourse again. “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with
power and great glory” (Luke 21:27). Would the Lord be “seen” at the fall of
Jerusalem? According to Jesus, they
would see Him
. Now, for the sake of being thorough, let us deal with the
four passages presented (even though all conclusions from these passages made
by brother Jackson are assertions with no evidence given!). Remember, this is
supposed to be a refutation. Something cannot be refuted by claims alone.
Evidence, proper evidence, must be given.
Acts
1:11
    
I have already written about this on my blog. Feel free to read the
article that I will quote from here: “The
Nature of the Second Coming
.”

After Jesus ascends, the angles say, “Men of Galilee,
why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from
you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).
As a side note, I used the phrase “in like manner” earlier in this essay to
demonstrate the similarity of Jesus’s comments in Matthew
16:27-28
 and Luke 21:32. Now, did Jesus make the exact same word for
word statement, or was the general idea of the thought the same? Most likely,
you probably did not think that I was lying when I used the phrase “in like
manner” to compare Jesus’s comments. Here are some other times in scripture
where the phrase “in like manner” is used in a similar way to how I did. We
will be approaching this from the Greek, so feel free to use a concordance or
Bible program to check our work!

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one
who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted
to gather your children together, as [same word in the Greek –
DR] a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Matthew 23:37).

“But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be
saved in the same manner as they” (Acts 15:11).

“Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also
resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith” (2 Timothy 3:8)

     Think about this: was Jesus literally spreading forth a set of wings to gather
together the children of Israel? Were the circumstances of Cornelius’s
conversion exactly the same as that of Peter’s or one of the other Christians?
Were the false teachers of Paul’s day resisting the preachers of the word in
the exact same manner that Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses? Or were the
general ideas of all these things the same? What did the angels mean? Jesus
went to Heaven on the clouds and He was coming back on the clouds. We have
already seen how the Olivet Discourse contains the same subject matter that was
being discussed in Acts 1 (Holy Spirit – Luke 21:15;
Preaching to all nations – Matthew 24:14;
Kingdom – Luke 21:31). Did Jesus in the Olivet Discourse also predict
the time when He would return in the clouds? “Then the sign of the Son of Man will
appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they
will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great
glory” (Matthew
24:30
). When would these things take place? “Assuredly, I say to you, this
generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place” (Matthew 24:34).
Therefore, Jesus’ coming in the clouds in like manner of Acts 1:7 was
the same coming that He discussed in Matthew 24 and would take place in
that first century generation.” (Rogers, nature)

2
Thessalonians 1:7
    
I have written briefly on this subject as well. The article can be found
here: “The
Persistent Widow
.” Because I did not go into great detail there, I will
develop some of those ideas here.

“We
are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your
faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward
each other, so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for
your patience and faith in all your
persecutions and tribulations that you endure,
which is manifest evidence
of the righteous judgment of God, that
you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God
, for which you also suffer; since it is a righteous thing with God to repay
with tribulation those who trouble you
, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is
revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance
on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our
Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from
the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in
that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who
believe, because our testimony among you was believed” (2 Thessalonians 1:3-10,
emp. added).

    
The church at Thessalonica were suffering because of Jewish persecution
as seen in Acts 17 and 1 Thessalonians 2:14ff. Though they were suffering
tribulation, God promised to repay tribulation with tribulation. If the Lord
did not return within their lifetime to repay tribulation with tribulation,
then Paul’s promise of relief from the present distress was false.
    
Another point is that the phrase “glory of His power” does not appear
anywhere else in the New Testament, but in the LXX, it is used in Isaiah 2:10,
19, and 21 (Vincent). The verses are below.

“Enter
into the rock, and hide in the dust, From the terror of the LORD And the glory
of His majesty” (Isaiah 2:10).

“They
shall go into the holes of the rocks, And into the caves of the earth, From the
terror of the LORD And the glory of His majesty, When He arises to shake the
earth mightily. In that day a man will cast away his idols of silver And his idols
of gold, Which they made, each for himself to worship, To the moles and bats,
To go into the clefts of the rocks, And into the crags of the rugged rocks,
From the terror of the LORD And the glory of His majesty, When He arises to
shake the earth mightily” (Isaiah 2:19-21).[3]

    
Each of these passages is tied to the time of the establishment of the
kingdom in the last days of Judah and Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:1-2). Jesus, speaking
of the last days of the Old Covenant world, His coming in power and glory, and
the kingdom said, “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the
stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the
waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those
things which are coming on the earth,
for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and
great glory
. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up
your heads, because your redemption
draws near
.” Then He spoke to them a parable: “Look at the fig
tree, and all the trees. When they are already budding, you see and know for
yourselves that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things
happening, know that the kingdom of God
is near
. Assuredly, I say to you, this
generation will by no means pass away till all things take place
” (Luke
21:25-32).
     The same themes can be found in Isaiah
2, Luke 21, and 2 Thessalonians 1. The church at Thessalonica was wanting to be
worthy of the kingdom of God, would be relieved at the coming of the Lord with
power and glory in judgement on their persecutors, and they would have expected
it to take place within their generation.
2
Timothy 4:1

“I
charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the
living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom” (2 Timothy 4:1).

    
If you have followed my arguments on the kingdom and the coming of
Christ, you will be able to see how we would argue this passage. I see no need
to repeat what has already ben said; however, I will offer an additional point.
Paul wrote to Timothy and said, “that you keep this commandment without spot,
blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing” (1 Timothy 6:14). Does it
not follow that Paul expected Timothy to be alive at the appearing of Christ?
How could he keep the commands until the appearing if he would not be around at
that time? Paul, as seen in 2 Timothy 4, knew that his life was about to come
to the end, but he expected Timothy to be alive at the coming of the Lord (cf.
1 Thessalonians 4:15).
    
Another thing that we haven’t spoken of much is the judgement of the
living and the dead. Paul expected that to happen at the appearing of Jesus and
His kingdom. Did the first century church expect the judgement of the living
and dead to take place within their lifetimes? Well, James did say in James 5:9
that the judge was at the door, correct? But what other evidence do we have?
Listen to Peter: “They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this reason the
gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged
according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. But the end of all things is at hand;
therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers” (1 Peter 4:5-7) “For the time has come for 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[4]?”
(1 Peter 4:17).
    
Like James, Peter recognized that the end of all things was at hand at
that the judgement was about to begin.
Hebrews
9:28

“…so
Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for
Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation” (Hebrews 9:28)

    
This passage is very important when talking about the second coming of
Christ because the phrase “second Coming” never appears in the Bible, and the
only place where the appearing of Christ is called the second is here. I just
want to point out again that brother Jackson didn’t offer any real explanation
of these passages. All he did was accuse preterists of confusing symbolic
“comings” with the “second” coming. Hebrews 9:28 was the passage that he
referenced (with no exegesis) to “prove” that there is a future second coming.
We will deal with it now.
“so
Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for
Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. For the law,
having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the
things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year
by year, make those who approach perfect” (Hebrews 9:28-10:1).
    
I quoted this passage again in order to dissolve the chapter divide that
is found in our English texts. With the passage before us we see that the
purpose of the second appearing was for salvation and to fulfill the shadows of
the law – specifically the role of the High Priest on the Day of Atonement. As
described in Hebrews 9, the High Priest killed the sacrifice, went into the
Most Holy Place, and then “appeared” again. Until he came out of the Holy
Place, no one else was allowed inside (Leviticus 16:17). It was at the time
when the High Priest would come out of the Holy Place that the atonement was
complete. Jesus as the New Covenant High Priest, in order to fulfill the types
and shadows of the Old Covenant, offered Himself, ascended to Heaven to appear
before God (which He was doing as the letter to the Hebrews was being penned:
Hebrews 9:24), and He would have to appear again a second time. Without the
second appearing, the Day of Atonement shadow had yet to be fulfilled; however,
Jesus said, “Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those
who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country
enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled” (Luke 21:21-22, emp.
added). In order for Jesus to be a true prophet, every shadow of the Law
(things that were written) would have to be fulfilled. This includes the High
Priest exiting the Most Holy Place on the Day of Atonement!
    
Another very quick point I’d like to make comes from Hebrews 10. The
Bible says (quoting from Young’s Literal Translation), “for yet a very very little, He who is coming
will come, and will not tarry”
(Hebrews 10:37). The saints saw the day of the
second appearing quickly approaching.
Paragraphs
18- 20 (The Components Explained and Briefly Refuted: Resurrection)

 Secondly, it is
utterly incredible that the preterists should deny the eventual resurrection of
the human body—just as the Sadducees did twenty centuries ago (Acts 23:8). The
entire fifteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians was written to counter this error:
“How say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead [ones –
plural]?” (15:12). – (Jackson, par. 18)

    
That is a pretty serious charge. Let’s take a look at Acts 23:8 and see
what it says.

“For
Sadducees say that there is no resurrection – and no angel or spirit; but the
Pharisees confess both” (Acts 23:8).

    
While I do deny a future resurrection of physical bodies, I do not deny
resurrection of any kind. In fact, I believe very strongly in the resurrection. It is just that my views on the nature of the resurrection differ from
brother Jackson’s. I do not claim that he is a Sadducee just because he sees 1
Corinthians 15 in a different light than I do. Also, as you may have noticed, I
believe in angels and in the soul. I am far from a Sadducee.
    
Brother Jackson claims that 1 Corinthians 15 was written to combat the
Sadduceean error, but this is patently not true. The Corinthian denial was not
regarding the resurrection for everyone. It was only concerned with a certain
group: the dead ones. If the Corinthians denial was concerning everyone
(including themselves), then Paul’s argumentation would have made no sense.
Let’s notice Paul’s arguments and try to determine who the dead ones were from
there.
Argument
1: Denial of the resurrection of the dead ones is a denial of Christ’s
resurrection.
Argument
2: Denial of the resurrection of the dead ones means that our preaching is in
vain.
Argument
3: Denial of the resurrection of the dead ones means that your faith is in
vain.
Argument
4: Denial of the resurrection of the dead ones means that Paul was a false
witness.
Argument
5: Denial of the resurrection of the dead ones means that you are in sin.
Argument
6: Denial of the resurrection of the dead ones means that those Christians that
have died are lost.
Argument
7: Denial of the resurrection of the dead ones means that they only had hope in
this life.
    
If the Corinthians were denying all resurrection (including Jesus’) like
the Sadducees, then these arguments would be pointless. They would say,
“Exactly Paul! Jesus hasn’t been raised!” “That’s right Paul, we only have hope
in this life!” But this is not what they believed. Paul used their faith in
Jesus, the preaching of the apostles, their personal faith, their trust in Paul
as a witness, their trust in their own redemption, their hope for their fellow
Christians, and they trust in the “much better” to prove that the dead ones
would raise. So, who are the dead ones? It couldn’t have been Jesus,
themselves, or fellow Christians. We also know it must be a group that died
before Christ because He rose out from among that group. Therefore, we believe
they were denying those that died under the Old Covenant prior to the death of
Christ[5].
The Corinthians, therefore, were not Sadducees.

But those who subscribe to the notion of realized
eschatology spiritualize the concept of the resurrection,
alleging that such references are merely to the emergence of the church from an
era of anti-Christian persecution. In other words, it is the “resurrection” of
cause, not a resurrection of people.: – (Jackson, par. 19).

     
I would like to see a source for this comment. I do not know of a single
full-preterist that teaches that the resurrection is only a resurrection of a
cause. Within every eschatology (or any religious subject) there are different
opinions. For example, if you were to ask ten preachers of the church of Christ
who aren’t preterists what their view of ten different eschatological passages
were, you would get a variety of answers. This doesn’t prove or disprove that
position. There are differences of opinions among different preterists, and I
am friends with several of the more popular proponents of each opinion. None of
them that I have spoken to believe that 1 Corinthians 15 is talking about the
resurrection of a cause. Because of this, I do not feel obligated to answer
this part of the essay. If you want my views on Daniel 12, John 5:28-29, or
Acts 24:15, contact me and I will send you a power point I made on the subject.
Paragraphs
21-22 (The Components Explained and Briefly Refuted: Judgement)

Third, the Bible speaks of a coming “day of judgment”
(Matthew 11:22). Preterists limit this to the destruction of Jerusalem by the
Romans. But the theory simply does not fit the facts. The devastation of A.D.
70 involved only the Jews. The final day of judgment will embrace the entire
human family—past, present, and future (Acts 17:31). The citizens of ancient
Nineveh will be present on the day of judgment (see Matthew 12:41), as will
other pagan peoples. But these folks were not in Jerusalem in A.D. 70. How can
clear passages of this nature be ignored?” – (Jackson, par. 21)

     While I obviously do not agree with
brother Jackson’s conclusions here, I will say that this is his best argument
in the entire essay; however, I will show why I believe the conclusions to be
misguided. Let’s look at the passages that he cited one by one.
“Then
He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done,
because they did not repent: “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!
For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon,
they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say to you, it
will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you.
And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades;
for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would
have remained until this day” (Matthew 11:20-23).
     Notice that those Jesus was addressing
were those who did not repent. Jesus gave a similar warning in Luke 13:1-5.
“There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose
blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answered and said to
them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all
other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless
you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in
Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all
other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you
will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:1-5).
    
Jesus said that even though those individuals didn’t suffer physically
because of sins, those in His audience would if they did not repent. They would
be killed by civil authorities and some would even be crushed under falling
buildings because they did not know God and did not obey the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Just as Sodom and the other cities mentioned were destroyed, they would be
destroyed as well. Even though it is out of order from what brother Jackson
mentioned, let’s notice Matthew 12:41.

“The
men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn
it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than
Jonah is here” (Matthew 12:41).

    
What would have happened if Nineveh did not repent? Was a national
judgement not threatened (cf. Jonah 3:4)? Also, what generation would they rise
up in judgement with? Was in not that first century generation of Jews that was
guilty of all of the blood of all of the martyrs?

“…because
He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the
Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him
from the dead” (Acts 17:31).

    
Paul said that God would judge the world in righteousness. The argument
from brother Jackson’s position is “the final day of judgment will embrace the
entire human family—past, present, and future.” I’m not sure where that is
found in Acts 17:31, but let’s examine the text.
    
First of all, notice how the Young’s Literal Translation translates this
verse: “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, emp. added). Concerning the Greek word mello (which is translated “about to be”
here), Strong’s says, “A strengthened
form of G3199 (through the idea of expectation); to intend that
is be about to be do or suffer something
…” (Strong’s, G3195).
    
Secondly, let’s notice the word “world.” How is it used in the Bible?
How is it used in passages that brother Jackson and I agree are talking about
the fall of Jerusalem?

“And
this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to
all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).

“…men’s
hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are
coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Luke 21:26).

    
The gospel would need to be preached to all of the world before
Jerusalem would fall. If the fall of Jerusalem involved only the Jews, why
would the entire world need to be preached to first? Secondly, Jesus said
Himself that men’s hearts would fail them simply from fear and the expectation
of the things which would come upon the earth (Greek: Oikoumene [world in Acts 17:30]). No wonder Felix trembled
after hearing of the judgement that was “about to be” (Acts 24:25, YLT).

Here is an interesting thought. When Paul defended his case
before the Roman governor, Felix, he spoke of “the judgment to come,” and the
ruler was “terrified” (Acts 24:25). Why would a Roman be “terrified” with
reference to the impending destruction of Judaism—when he would be on the winning side,
not the losing one?” – (Jackson, par. 22, emp. in original)

    
I believe we have already answered this, but let me make one more point.
Who was Felix’s wife? “And after some days, when Felix came with his wife
Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent
for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ” (Acts 24:24). If Paul was talking about the judgement
on the Jewish nation (which I believe was part of what he was discussing),
wouldn’t it make sense for Felix to fear for his wife’s life and, possibly, her
family’s? While this is an interesting thought, I hold that my arguments made
above sufficiently answer the question.
Paragraphs
23-25 (The Components Explained and Briefly Refuted: The End of the World)
     The first thing we need to do here is
to define our terms. There are several words in scripture used for the word
world. Two of those are kosmos and aion. The phrase “end of the aion” is only used in 6 verses: Matthew
13:39, 40, 49; Matthew 24:3; Matthew 28:20; and Hebrews 9:26. The two points
that were offered have to do with the great commission and the parable of the
tares.

1.      
The
responsibilities of the Great Commission—to teach and immerse lost souls—was
commensurate with that era preceding the “end of the world” (Matthew 28:18-20).
If the “end of the world” occurred in A.D. 70, then the Lord’s Commission is
valid no longer. This conclusion, of course, is absurd.

2.      
In the parable of the tares, Jesus taught that
at “the end of the world” the “tares” (i.e., evil ones) would be removed from his
kingdom and burned (Matthew 13:39-40). Did that transpire with the destruction
of Judaism? It did not. The notion that the “end of the world” is past already
is false.” – (Jackson, par. 24-25)

    
So, let’s deal with each of these. First, in the great commission in
Matthew 28, there is absolutely nothing to indicate that the teaching of the
gospel would come to an end. In fact, in Isaiah 9, Isaiah says, “Of the
increase of His government and peace There
will be no end
, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it
and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even
forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:7, emp.
addded).
    
Secondly, the parable of the tares can easily be shown to be fulfilled
at the fall of Jerusalem. Here is a copy of an outline I made on the subject.
I.
Introduction
a. The parable of the wheat and the
tares is one that has caused much confusion among Bible students, but when we
compare it to other passages, the meaning becomes clear.
b. It has been said in times past
that the Bible is its best commentary, so we must use other scripture to
properly exegete this wonderful parable.
c. Remove the veil of preconceived
ideas and put on your first century glasses as we study this passage.
II.
Read Matthew 13:24-30
a. This is a parable about the
kingdom of Heaven.
i. We know the kingdom to be the
church (Matthew 16:18-19)
ii. The kingdom came on Pentecost
in Acts 2, was built up through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and was
established with judgment at the Destruction of Jerusalem after all truth had
been delivered and the gospel had been fully preached.
b. We mustn’t try to interpret what
the field, seed, etc. are without the guidance of Jesus. The identity of the
seed is different than the seed in the parable of the sower.
c. This idea of harvest,
separation, and the casting away/ gathering into the barn is not first found in
the New Testament with the teachings of Jesus, but with John (Matthew 3:1-12).
i. The gathering of the saints is
a theme that can be seen throughout the Bible.
1. Noah: Genesis 7:1ff
2. Last Days: Genesis 49:10
3. First Exodus: Exodus 12:31-32
4. Second Exodus: Isaiah 11:11
5. Jews in the 1st Century:
Matthew 23:37-39
6. Christians in the 1st Century:
Matthew 24:29-31; cf. II Thessalonians 2:1
ii. Having this knowledge will
help greatly in interpreting the text.
III.
Read Matthew 13:36-43
a. The good seed are Christians –
the true sons of the kingdom.
b. The tares are those who were not
worthy to be in the kingdom (Matthew 8:10-12)
c. Two words (in the KJV) are
translated world: kosmos and aion.
i. Kosmos (world – NKJV) is only
used in verse 38
ii. Aion (age – NKJV) is used in
verses 39 and 40 (See Matthew 24:3 and 14; I Corinthians 10:11; Hebrews 9:26)
iii. Therefore, this passage isn’t
referring to the end of kosmos, but the end of the age Jesus was living in
which was the Jewish age (Galatians 4:4).
d. The angels would be sent to
gather out of the kingdom all that offend (i.e. the tares – the Jews that
rejected Jesus cf. Matthew 8:10-12).
i. This is no different from what
Jesus said in Matthew 24:31 (I’ll say why in a moment).
ii. They would be gathering those
who practice “lawlessness” – NKJV.
1. II Thessalonians 2:1-12 (verse
7, 8, and 9 esp.)
2. They wouldn’t be granted a
place in the kingdom with the ones gone before – as seen in Matthew 8:10-12
(also Matthew 7:21-23; an entire sermon dedicated to correcting
misinterpretations of the law as seen in Matthew 5:17-20 in order to prepare
them for the kingdom.)
e. This is all done at the time of
the harvest.
i. This is the same harvest talked
about by John in Matthew 3:1-12 where he stated that Jesus already had His
winnowing fork in His hand and the axe was already laid to the root of the
tree,
ii. This seems to be the same
harvest in Revelation 14:14-20.
f. Those that would be gathered
into the barn (again, refer to Matthew 3) would shine forth as the sun.
IV.
Connecting the dots: Jesus’ commentary on Daniel 12. Remember that if Jesus is
giving His interpretation of a passage, the time statements that apply to that
passage must also apply to the interpretation of it.
a. A brief outline of Daniel 12
i. Concerning the last days of
Israel (Daniel 10:14).
ii. Verse 1: Dealing with the
tribulation before the fall of Jerusalem (Matthew 24:21).
iii. Verses 2-3: Salvation to the
people of God – damnation to those who reject Him (Matthew 13:24-30).
iv. Verse 4: The book would be
sealed unto the time of the end – not the end of time (Matthew 13:39-40;
24:14).
v. Verses 5-7: A timeline for the
fulfillment of these events. This is the time when Jerusalem would be destroyed
as defined later in the chapter and interpreted by Jesus.
vi. Verses 8-9: Again, these
things wouldn’t be opened until the time of the end.
vii. Verse 10: Tribulation would
exist, but it would produce salvation (Revelation 2:10-11). The wicked wouldn’t
understand (Isaiah 6:-11ff; Matthew 13:10-17, etc.)
viii. Verse 11-12: This is the
most definite time statement in the chapter because it is interpreted by Jesus
in Matthew 24:14-15.
ix. Verse 13: As seen in Matthew
8:10-12, Daniel, Abraham, and all the righteousness would be able to receive
the blessings of the kingdom (Ephesians 3:15).
b. Therefore, the parable of the
wheat and tares has to do with the destruction of Jerusalem.
V.
Conclusion: Again, premillennialism falls and we can enjoy the kingdom today!
Why not become a part of it by obeying the gospel and don’t let the things
promised to “whosoever will” escape your grasp.
Sources
Jackson,
Wayne. “The Menace of Radical Preterism.” ChristianCourier.com.
Access date: December 28, 2016. https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/91-menace-of-radical-preterism-the
Jackson,
Wayne. “Examining Premillennialism.” ChristianCourier.com.
Access date: December 28, 2016. https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/322-examining-premillennialism
Jackson,
Wayne. “Who Was John the Baptist?” ChristianCourier.com.
Access date: December 28, 2016.
https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/266-who-was-john-the-baptist
Jackson,
Wayne. “Jesus Foretells the Coming Kingdom.” ChristianCourier.com.
Access date: December 28, 2016. https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1392-jesus-foretells-the-coming-kingdom
Rogers,
Daniel. “The Nature of the Second Coming.” LaborNotInVain.com.
Access date: December 28, 2016. http://www.labornotinvain.com/2016/11/the-nature-of-second-coming.html
Rogers,
Daniel. “The Nature of the Second Coming.” LaborNotInVain.com.
Access date: December 28, 2016. http://www.labornotinvain.com/2016/03/the-persistent-widow.html
Vincent, M.R. Vincent’s Word Studies in
the New Testament
. As found in the e-Sword Bible study software
program
. *This resource is in the public domain.*
Strong, J.
(1890). Strong’s exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Abingdon Press.


[1] I
realize what the next paragraph says in this article, but the next quoted text
has the same ideas contained therein.
[2]
Please keep in mind that I view brother Jackson as a good brother in Christ. He
has many things right.
[3]
These passages are so exciting and it is sad that I do not have the space to go
into further detail. If you would like more information on Isaiah 2, please let
me know and it may encourage me to write an article on the subject.
[4]
“Who do not obey the gospel of God…” Do you see 2 Thessalonians 1 here? Peter’s
audience was facing a fiery trial (1 Peter 4:12-16), but the trial that was
coming on the ungodly would be far worse.
[5]
For more information see “Who Were the Dead Ones?” by Holger Neubauer: http://donkpreston.com/the-resurrection-who-are-the-dead-ones-in-1-corinthians-15-guest-article/

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