New Revised Book News

By Samuel M. Frost, Th.M.

Much is going on these days, and the demand I get for my book, Why I Left Full Preterism, has grown.  The First Edition was published by American Vision, and now I am in the stages of revising that work and making it available again (by the end of August).

In the last several years, we have witnessed several prominent full preterists renounce this heresy and embrace Christianity.  May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ use Frost’s work to open the eyes of many, many more.” – Kieth Mathison, Professor of Systematic Theology, Reformation Bible College

Why I Left Full Preterism is a great starting point in understanding the inherent dangers of a full preterism system.”  – Gary DeMar, President of American Vision

This book demonstrates in a concise and powerful way why you should leave full preterism’s house of cards, if you are in it.” – Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry, Th. D.

Also, my book God, As Bill Wilson understood Himis available.  It denotes the history of  Alcoholics Anonymous and its strong Christian roots in dealing with the soul in the throes of addiction.

Soon, From the First Adam to the Last, is dealing with the utmost importance of Adam as the first human being of our kind.  A thorough treatment.  All will be available in PDF format as well as book format.  Much is going on!

The Creeds, The Prophets and the Latter Times

By Samuel M. Frost, Th.M.

Let us, for the record, state the three main Creeds of Christianity.  That is, to be a Christian, by historical definition, one adheres to these statements.  This is the Christian Faith:

The Apostles’ Creed (from 215 AD)

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth,

And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried; He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From there he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, I believe in the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the flesh, and the life everlasting. Amen.

And now, the Nicene Creed (325 AD)

We believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible;
And in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only begotten Son of God,
begotten from the Father before all ages,
light from light,
true God from true God,
begotten not made,
of one substance with the Father,
through Whom all things came into existence,
Who because of us men and because of our salvation came down from the heavens,
and was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
and became man,
and was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate,
and suffered and was buried,
and rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures
and ascended to heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father,
and will come again with glory to judge living and dead,
of Whose kingdom there will be no end;
And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and life-giver,
Who proceeds from the Father,
Who with the Father and the Son is together worshipped and together glorified,
Who spoke through the prophets;
in one holy Catholic and apostolic Church.
We confess one baptism to the remission of sins;
we look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come (tou mellontos – Greek). Amen

Finally, The Creed of Chalcedon (451 AD)

We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable soul and body; consubstantial with us according to the manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days (ep eschaton de ton hemeron – Greek), for us and for our salvation, born of the virgin Mary, the mother of God, according to the manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, as the prophets from the beginning have declared concerning him, and the Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.

Now, with this being said, and in being in full agreement with it, there are some peculiar things that need to be pointed out.  First, the resurrection of the dead was envisioned as the resurrection of the flesh itself, latter amended to “resurrection of the body.”  The reason for this change was not in a denial of what was to be changed or transformed (the flesh), but “the body” sounded more “biblical” – the words changed, not the meaning the fathers had in mind.  This faith declaration is rooted in our Jewish foundations of the Faith in Israel’s Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus).  There is much in these words that convey the roots of Ancient Judaism that cannot be discussed here.

Secondly, in the Nicene Creed we see that “mello” is used, which is often thought to mean “about to” (and in many texts in the Bible, it does mean that, context alone decides).  Here, however, it expresses no such meaning.  It is simply translated with the understanding of what is most certainly going to come: The Age.  By this, the fathers were unanimous in their faith that God would indeed so transform our current apprehension and substance of “all that there is” into a New Heavens and a New Earth (which is shared, again, and is a continuation of our Jewish heritage).  The Church Council was not envisioning an “any time” coming of the Lord, but they were under the impression of an “it will certainly come, when it does”.

Third, we may note the phrase, “in these latter times” in the wording of Chalcedon.  Quite simply, this very phrase is picked out of the Greek Scriptures.  It was not taken by these fathers to mean “we are at the very last few remaining years of history.”  That definition seems to have become wildly popular in Dispensationalism, a view that takes this phrase as meaning the last few remaining years of planet earth.  There is no shortage of the abuse this phrase has taken by every nut job that claims to know that we are living in the last few months or years of planet earth.

It is found, for example, in the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, which was known to them, in Isaiah 2.1-ff, “acharith hayamim – in the latter times afterwards” where Isaiah pictures the Nations coming into the Mountain of the Lord learning the “ways of the LORD.”  In short, by the time this Creed was penned, Christianity saw itself as the Light of the World in Israel’s Messiah, Jesus.  The nations were being converted.

The “latter times” is used in parallel with the “former times”.  In Deuteronomy 4.30 it says, “When you are in tribulation, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, you will return to the LORD your God and obey his voice.”  But, in verse 4.32 we read, “For ask now of the former days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and ask from one end of heaven to the other, whether such a great thing as this has ever happened or was ever heard of.”  In other words, the “former days” is all the way, at least, from the time of Adam to Moses!  Why, then, does one insist that the “Latter Days” means only a few short years?  Did Isaiah actually have in mind a few short years in which the Nations would learn the Law of the LORD, and then the world would end?  Hardly.  Such a conclusion is reduced to absurdity.  The writer of Hebrews is in agreement: “In the past, God has spoken in many ways, but in these latter times, he has spoken by his son” (1.1).  Has the Son stopped speaking?  “Today if you hear his voice, hearken unto Him,” the author would go on to say.

Isaiah, indeed, stated, “Remember not the former ages…” (46.9).  Perhaps most notably is in Daniel 2 where King Nebuchadnezzar sees four empires, including his own, in a dream.  Daniel tells the King, “there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter times.”  In that dream, Daniel speaks of a Rock that “becomes a great mountain” and “fills the whole earth.”  Further, “…the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever.”  In other words, this kingdom, which starts out as a small rock, becomes a great mountain, and eventually a great kingdom that not only destroys all other powers and authorities, but is the only one left standing.  It will destroy all other powers and authorities.

This language in Daniel, and in Isaiah, is kingdom language.  And, it not just that the four other empires were earthly powers, and the Messianic Rock is spiritual.  The Messianic Kingdom is indeed of spiritual origins, it is a rock “from heaven.”  But, it’s presence is manifested in terms of the visible destruction of earthly powers.  This coming kingdom, “in the latter times” will eventually topple over all earthly powers, and will be the only one left standing.  In the words of the Nicene Creed, “…of Whose kingdom there shall be no end.”

If we have this in mind, we can hear the backdrop of Daniel 2 in the Apostle Paul, when he wrote, “Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power” (1st Corinthians 15.24).  Indeed, the very appellations of “rule”, “authority” and “power” are descriptions of the empires used by Daniel.  Thus, for Messiah, the Rock, to “destroy” all “rule” and “authority” is precisely what it meant: his kingdom cannot be “destroyed” by invading armies, or political despots, or any earthly authority.  However, and this is the advantage of his kingdom, since it is not earthly in origin, he will destroy all other kingdoms.  This is the language of warfare.  This is the language we find in Revelation, and in ample volumes in the time of Jesus from other sources.

Thus, we find that the NT writers, and the early Church Fathers were living, or saw themselves as living in the “latter times” – the times when the Nations would come in by the droves to the Mountain of the Lord (as in Daniel, the rock becomes a mountain).  The Spirit would be poured out in abundance, speaking of the abundant life.  Christ would be installed as King of Kings (with the latter part of this title being earthly Kings – as the title was used in the OT for Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus and other Kings).  He was the Ruler who sits at God’s right hand.  The Root of David’s Monarchy that would usher in an unprecedented era of teaching the Law among the Nations.  What is so amazing about these prophecies concerning the “latter times” is that they were written when the kingdom of Israel and Judah were at their weakest points.  Daniel was in exile when he spoke of the Israelite King that would decimate the kingdoms!  Isaiah was in a nation facing execution from the LORD at the hand of the Assyrians and Babylonians.  And, yet, several hundreds of years before the arrival of Christ, they spoke of a Davidic King who would become a Universal King, known worldwide.  And here comes Jesus, born in a flop inn, out in a barn somewhere in Bethlehem.  He calls to himself a few disciples, fishermen and ordinary Joes and Joesettes.  And this in a nation held under the Power of Rome: tiny, little Israel. And they are crushed in 70 AD!  Doesn’t sound like a good start for crucified King in Israel!

Why is it that, today, 2000 years later, we are speaking His Name, and the city of Jerusalem, and Israel?  Why is it that the nations rage? (Psalm 2).  Why is it that Christians are being told in America that their “religious beliefs” should have nothing to do with anything “political”?  Why is it that wherever Jesus is proclaimed, and large groups follow, they come into immediate conflict with Rulers, Powers, and Authorities?  We are living, and have been living, in the Latter Times.  Now, the LORD “changes seasons and times (Daniel 2.21)” at his will, and he has “set times and seasons” (which he can change as well – he can prolong them, or shorten, or do whatsoever he likes with them).  Selah.

Of whose kingdom there will be no end…(Nicene Creed)

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to the New Religion

By Samuel M. Frost, Th.M.

I have been reading and “doing” theology for well over 20 years now, and have come to a few conclusions as it regards the issue of Eschatology.  Even the Mayans, the Egyptians and the Ugaritic peoples held to a view of “end times.”  How will the world end?

We have, today, the “global warming” crowd and their citations from the Nature Goddess (Mother Nature) who is sending us messages that the earth is dying.  Now, of course, most Global Warming theorists would admit that Mother Nature is mytho-poetic.  It is more in line with Spinoza’s Deus sive natura.  God and Nature are the same thing.  Nature is a living thing, the stuff of life that animates all around, and operates on supposed quantum physics through causality, most of which happens so far out of sight (you can’t see an atom) that we now have, “invisible particles”.  Invisible force is the stuff of Mother Nature, or God.  When I say God, I don’t mean the moronic Christian god(s) often paraded around as the ancient diety of Abraham, Isaac and Moses.  This God is Nature Itself, and it is assumed in the theology of this god that nature can be rightly interpreted through the language we call, scientia – knowledge (in Latin).

Now, god, el, taos, allah, gott, elohim, theos, whatever nomenclature on wishes, is defined in the typical way as that (a neuter pronoun) which is greater than ourselves.  This is the most basic, most bottom, most level meaning.  Power greater than our own, individual selves.  Again, “power” is not defined here as the ancients (and the not so ancients) understood it.  For them, even simple lightning was a bolt from the gods who sent it.  Lightning was an act of the gods (as was drought, rain, or a sudden swarm of locusts).  God(s) were seen as ruling Nature, outside of Nature and directing Nature. In today’s myth, invisible particles which can be subject to rational computation and physics (can be reduced into a theoretical formulae with a lot of squiggly lines, numbers and Greek letters) rule Nature (we still use the word, “Torah”, “Nomos” or “Law”, the Laws of Nature).  Today’s god(s) can be known.  Well, yesterdays god(s) could be known, too, we just didn’t like what they had to say, and so reduced them to myth.

What is shared in our concept of the god(s) is the basic stuff of theology.  If there is god(s), a power greater than ourselves (call it Life Force, a non Rational Substance, but Substance nonetheless), then it must be able to communicate.  Let me again define and wrap up all the stupidity of ancient myths and “religions”: what were once seen as Rational Being(s) that operate in the world from the outside, that caused the phenomena of what we see all around us on a daily basis, is nothing more than that mindless, spiritless, force.  When a lightning bolt was “seen” as striking the earth, the god(s) were angry.  When we see the very same phenomena as those in the 13th century B.C.E. Ugarit, it is When normal lightning strikes soil, “chemical energy is stored in nanoparticles of Si, SiO or SiC, which are ejected into the air as a filamentary network. As the particles are slowly oxidized in air, the stored energy is released as heat and light.”  Nature speaks and can be understood just as the ancients understood that if there is God, or gods, they must speak or be understood.  Why have them around if we cannot access what they have to say?  Why would they even be around if they didn’t have anything to say?  Why have a concept of Nature and the Laws of Nature if Nature (Deus) cannot be understood?

But, this runs into the very problem that we have charged our ancient brothers and sisters as having, but never admitting.  Which came first, Nature (as some sort of substance that came about through that which we have yet to entirely understand) or the Concept of Unified Nature?  We speak of Nature, not Natures.  Lightning strikes in Costa Rica are no different and operate under the same mechanical equations as they do in New Castle, Indiana.  Nature appears to be a unified concept, or at least we assume it to be, and also assume that It is the Same Today, as it was Yesterday and will be Tomorrow (this is the same descriptions of the ancients god(s), too).

What it seems to be is that the new theology, science, has simply replaced the ancient ones yet has not discarded the most basic, fundamentals (there are Fundamentals of Science, as there are Fundamentals of Religions, and those who adhere to them without question are Fundamentalists, Dogmatists, etc.).  Nature is not some chaotic, non-existent entity.  To be sure, Nature does not “speak” in terms of holding a rational dialogue with a mortal.  Mohamet claimed that Allah spoke directly to him, which is just as absurd as Jesus or Joseph Smith claiming that God spoke to them.  Nature, on the other hand, does speak (if we may so employ this word metaphorically).  Ask the Global Environmentalists.  Ask the Prophets, who forewarn us what Nature is saying to all peoples: “The sky is falling!”  Nature has her own Prophets, with the vestments of ascendency in terms of the White Labcoat.

And, with all religion, there is a way to appease the god(s) through sacrifices. Nature is reacting to the people of the earth in terms of the effect of that which people do.  Since people are behaving badly (emitting carbon dioxide, breeding without any constraint, artificially combining hybrids of natural food substances which Nature has Provided for us), then Nature reacts.  If people changed their ways and repented of their carelessness, then Nature would withdraw from her wrath.  All of this, of course, is entirely blind on the part of Nature, who is not a Being that thinks.  Nature is a substance, a living substance, but a non-rational substance.  It would seem, then, that human beings are simply looking out for themselves in this creation of Nature.  God didn’t make man.  Man made God.  Nature didn’t “make” Man, either.  Man simply was stirred up out of the Stuff.  However, Man now recognizes that the Stuff of which they came is greater than they are, and must now submit to the Stuff, else the Stuff wipe them out.  Man has taken the Stuff and virtually deified it, placed it above them, and is its servant and protector.  By the Revelation of It’s Laws, man can live a life with the promise of a future, which is what Eschatology is all about.  These Revelations are communicated through the Prophets, the Scientists in their White Coats who, alone, are able to decode the most finest of fine particles of Nature and relay that information back to the masses.

What we have here is nothing more than the ancient religions.  The difference, if it really is one, is that the ancient fundamentalists believed that they were interpreting the signs placed before them by living god(s) –gods who thought, had a mind, etc.  But, as we now know, what was the god of lightning, is now just, lightning.  A tornado is just a tornado, and not the “finger of god.”  Yet, Nature is telling us something, so we are told by the Preachers and Teachers.  If Nature is God and God is Nature, and religions are based off an understanding (misunderstanding), then the form of religion has not changed, even though the content has.  I doubt that religion, which is nothing more than collective attention(s) to a set body of laws and ideas and, thereby, acting in accordance with such laws and ideas (Ethics and Morality), I doubt that religion was a concern to Australopithicus afarensis or Homo habilis.  Man’s brain has evolved, and with that, so have his ideas (his imagination).

What puzzles this philosopher is that if Nature is blind, without intellect, and only Substance, and religion is the product of power combined with fear by the few who seek to rule the many (might as well throw Government in there, too), then is not the cultus of Nature the same, or at least operating under the same fundamentals?  And, if these fundamental structures are simply evolutionary products rooted in self existence (survival, to live and continue to live, which is innate to certain substances), then the question naturally arises: who gets to exist?  If we have come to believe that that past myths and superstitions about gods and virgins are impediments to survival (which is why we wish them all gone), then the same can be said of the Concept of Nature.  “Nature” does not “exist”.  It is a “concept” merely rooted in one thing and one thing only: survival.  One cannot say that from Australopithicus afarensis to Homo sapien, and while now in this stage, from Myth to Enlightenment (human history), we have a true grasp of Nature!  There are billions of years left (at least before the Sun eventually burns out and we simply freeze to death).  This consideration leaves open the thought that what may be seen as reliable today, may be a mere myth in 10,000 years.  Just as what was once thought of as the god Marduk thundering from heaven is now thought of as nonsense.
This needs qualifying.  Nature is not nonsense, or sense, it is what it is.  Our understanding Nature as we evolve changes, not Nature.  But, this runs into the problem of contradicting our most Fundamental Law/Revelation: the uniformity of Nature as Constant according to its Laws, the same yesterday, today and forever (well, not forever, but you know what I mean – Eternity is the stuff of the old myths – Nature has told the Prophets that sustainability is not eternal – regardless of population, or carbon emissions, or recycling 2 litre bottles to save the earth, it’s gonna end).   We are not changing Nature if we obey her rules and she stops warming our planet as a result.  What we are really staving off is the End coming sooner, rather than later.  However, if our concept of Nature is changing (as it most certainly appears to have done) and today it is seen as forwarding our progress, then perhaps in about 15,000 years (from Enlightenment to Even Better Enlightenment in human history) what is seen as Enlightenment now will be thrown off as absolute stupidity then.  There is no observation or logic that can assuage this.

It seems, then, that perhaps we are no better off than our ancients in terms of structuring the world around us with categories of Power above, Invisible force, Knowledge of the Few to the Many, making Sacrifices to appease or change the Effects of Nature, Telling People What to Do, and Fundamental Law.  After all, we still have murder, poverty, unfathomable misery, unspeakable acts of cruelty, entire stupidity of the hordes of Homo sapiens, disease.  If the model of Power Structure borrowed from our ancient myth-makers does not work, then maybe that’s the next step: how do we get outside the Power Structure altogether? Maybe the Power Structure itself is wrong.  There is no “top” and there is no “bottom.”  There is no “high” and there is no “low.”

In the Days of His Flesh — the Reign of Christ

Hebrews 5:7 states, “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;…” Commentary by John Calvin “7. Who in the days, etc. As the form and beauty of…

via In the Days of His Flesh — the Reign of Christ