By Samuel M. Frost, Th.M.
Sam Frost continues to make totally false claims– claims that he knows full well are false. He says full preterists believe in continuing, additional revelation. Well, let’s take a look:
When Jesus said no man knows the day or hour, was there to be further revelation after that, Mr. Frost? Yes or No? Frost believes that there was. If he doesn’t believe that there was continuing, additional revelation after Jesus spoke those words in Matthew 24:36 then none of the NT books were inspired by God!
But, do preterists believe that there is, today continuing divine, inspired revelation? Frost knows that we do not. But, according to the views he gave in his Why I Left book, he has no grounds upon which to deny present day divine revelation- even the prophetic office!
The question is, are / were Jesus’ words, “But of That Day and Hour Knows No Man- (Matthew 24:36)– Eternally True Statements?
Does “Unknown When Spoken” Mean “It will Always Be Unknown”?
That Is a Patently Absurd Hermeneutic and Totally Ignores the Work of the Revelatory Spirit.
When Did Jesus Speak This? – Before the Sending of the Spirit!
“When the Spirit Is Come, He Will Show You Things to Come!” (John 16:7); “He Will Speak of Judgment…”
he Father – Who Knew the Time – Sent the Spirit and Caused the Inspired Authors to Say:
“The End of All Things Has Drawn Near!” (1 Peter 4:7)
“The Time Has Come for the Judgment!”
“In a Very, Very Little While He Who Is Coming Will Come and Will Not Tarry” (Hebrews 10:37)
The coming of he Lord has drawn near- James 5:8
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, Which God Gave to Him, to Show to His Servants the Things That must Shortly Come to Pass” (Rev. 1:1-3).
All of these statements– and many more – were written by men inspired by the Spirit sent by the Father who knew the time of the parousia. Now, it is more than revealing the Frost must– absolutely MUST– negate, mitigate, destroy, an entire body of time words in order to maintain his new theology!
In All of the NT Time Statements It Was Thus, the Father Who Told Them What Time it Was!
Did the Father Inspire the Wrong Message?
What Was True in Matthew 24:36 Was No Longer True in the Epistles!
But, Catch the Power of This: Sam Frost Denies this “Later, Further Revelation Given By The Father!” Yes, He Does! He Is Even on Record as Saying He Is Not Interested in What the Bible Says about When the End Was to Be.
How Is That for Solid Scholarship, and Open Mindedness?
Take note of 1 Peter 1:10 where the Apostle Affirmed That Through the Spirit, the Father Was Revealing the Time and the Nature of the Salvation Foretold by the OT Prophets (Who Did Not Understand the Time and Nature). That Salvation Was to Come at the Revelation of Christ- the Parousia. Yes, Peter was receiving, at that time, further revelation. It was later revelation from that in Matthew 24:36. Right, Sam?
So, We Have in 1 Peter, Revelation from the Father, Who Knew the Time of the Revelation of Christ to Bring Eternal Salvation. And Peter Tells Us That the Spirit Was Revealing the Time and the Nature of These Events! Of Course, for Frost, That Just Can’t Be True. He Flat Denies Or Ignores What Peter Says.
What Did Peter, Inspired by the Spirit Sent from the Father Who Knew the Time of the End, Say about the End, the Time of the Eternal Inheritance? Well, Let’s See:
1 Peter 4:5– Christ Was “Ready to Judge the Living and the Dead.” “Ready” Is from Hetoimos and Means Not Only Morally Qualified and Ready, But, Temporally Ready As Well.
1 Peter 4:7 – The End of All Things Has Drawn near. (Not simply “at hand” but “has drawn near.”
1 Peter 4:17 – The Time Has Come – Literally the Appointed Time (Kairos); the Divinely Appointed Time.
For the Judgment– Not a Judgment, but the Judgment To begin!
In verse 17, Peter Uses the “Anaphoric Article.” That Is the Most Common Use of the Definite Article (See Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond Basics: an Exegetical Syntax of the N.T., 218)
The anaphoric Article Was When A Speaker or Writer Introduces a Subject. He Later Refers Back to That Subject by the Use of the Definite Article. This Means That “The Judgment” of Verse 17 Refers Back to Peter’s Earlier Discussion of the Judgment.
The Only Previously Mentioned Judgment in the Context Is Verse 5 – the Judgment of the Living and the Dead!
This Means, undeniably, that it Was the Father, Who Knew the Time of the End That Inspired Peter to Say That the End of All Things Had Drawn Near and That The Divinely Appointed Time for the Judgment of the Living and Dead Had Arrived.
To Deny this Is to Say That the Father Misled Peter.
To Deny this Is to Say That the Father, Through the Spirit, Lied to Peter.
Peter’s Discourse in 1 Peter and His Use of the Anaphoric Article Is a Total Refutation of the Facile and Anachronistic Application of Matthew 24:36 to All of the NT Texts Written after the Sending of the Revelatory Spirit by the Father.
Does (Will) Frost Deny That There Was Additional Divine Revelation from the Father after Matthew 24:36?
Does (Will) Frost Deny That That Further Revelation from the Father Entailed the Judgment and Things to Come?
Does (Will) Frost Deny That Peter Said That Both the Time and the Nature of the Coming of the Lord for Eternal Salvation, the Eternal Inheritance Was Being Revealed Through the Spirit to the Apostles in the First Century?
Does (Will) Frost Deny That Peter, Through the Spirit Sent by the Father Said That the End Was near and That the Time Had Come for the Resurrection, the Judgment of the Living and the Dead?
To Deny Any of These Things Is to Deny the Emphatic and Explicit Statements of Both Jesus and His Apostles, Inspired by the Spirit, Sent by the Father Who Knew the Time of the End.
1 Peter Was Further, Additional and Clarifying Revelation From That in Matthew 24:36.
Frost Rejects That Divinely Inspired Revelation; Preterists Accept It. Frost Is Wrong.
I realize that it take up a good deal of space, but I want to be fair to Preston because we have heard repeatedly that I misrepresent him, or take him out of context, or whatever. Preston’s own words are printed here in full.
I will just simply dismantle to claims of Preston line by line. “Sam Frost continues to make totally false claims– claims that he knows full well are false. He says full preterists believe in continuing, additional revelation. Well, let’s take a look:When Jesus said no man knows the day or hour, was there to be further revelation after that, Mr. Frost? Yes or No? Frost believes that there was. If he doesn’t believe that there was continuing, additional revelation after Jesus spoke those words in Matthew 24:36 then none of the NT books were inspired by God!But, do preterists believe that there is, today continuing divine, inspired revelation? Frost knows that we do not. But, according to the views he gave in his Why I Left book, he has no grounds upon which to deny present day divine revelation- even the prophetic office!
Note here that I am being accused, first, of being a liar. I am making a false claim that I know to be false. That is the very definition of a liar. And, that is exactly what Preston wants his readers to think. Sam is a liar. A knowing liar. First, my claim is that Full Preterists believe in “continuing revelation”. Preston then goes on to make the point that, in fact, they do believe in “continuing revelation” – else the NT could not have been written. Not sure where the “lie” is here! Yes, Frost also believes that “continuing revelation” existed with the writings of the Apostles, and other letters of the NT. But, note the “bait and switch” tactic that Preston uses here, and elsewhere (as I have proven in other articles). “Continuing revelation” (inspiration of the Scriptures) now means continuing revelation in spite of what Jesus said on this particular subject: “it is not for you (the disciples) to know the times and seasons that Father has set by his own authority.” Let me state this clearly. Preston first claims the validity of “continuing revelation” (continuing inspiration), which we would both agree upon. But, then he turns around and means, “more information” given to the statement of Jesus concerning the “times and seasons.” Jesus said, “it is not for you to know.” But, Preston argues that it was not for them to know right then, but later (continuing information) the Spirit would tell them. See the switch?
Let me state my argument very clearly: Jesus said, “it is not for you to know”. He did not say, nor intimate “it is not for you to know right now, but later you will know the exact times and seasons the Father has set.” The latter is Preston’s position. My position is that “times and seasons” here echoes Daniel 2.21, “He changes the times and seasons” (kairos kai chronos). This is God’s prerogative of implementing His will on earth. In the context Daniel is praising God because he has given him insight into “dreams and mysteries” (2.19). In the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar, various kingdoms are seen. It is God “who raises kings and causes them to pass away” (2.21). God did not stop doing this. He always does this as His Divine Prerogative.
Thus, the question of the anonymous disciple in Acts 1, “are at this time you to restore the kingdom to Israel?” comes after Jesus’ 40 day lecture on the Kingdom of God. After this, with panting breath, the question is asked. Apparently, Jesus did not address the timing of when. When, Lord? “It is not for you to know the times and seasons” and I would add, “of the rising and falling of kings and kingdoms that have been set by the Father’s decree.” This, in turn, is directly inferred in Jesus’ comment to other equal questions found in the Olivet Discourse. When is heaven and earth going to pass away, and a new heaven and a new earth going to come, the restoration of all things, the restoration of the kingdom to Israel when all is made right with the world? (Matthew 24.1-ff). Jesus, answering in terms of a coming catastrophe in their own generation, the destruction of Jerusalem, states, “Heaven and earth shall indeed pass away….but about that time (kairos, singular) no man knows the day or hour” (24.35-36). Times (plural) and seasons (plural) will come before the “time” (singular) of the passing of heaven and earth. When heaven and earth pass, all things will be fulfilled, every jot and tittle of the Scriptures in their entirety. Jesus is now at the right hand of God, “reigning” until he abolishes “all power and authority and rule” – the last enemy, “Death” itself (in accordance with Revelation 20.11-15, when after a very long period of time, 1000 years, this happens after that time). No one knows the duration, the end of the 1000 years, or the times and seasons within the 1000 years. There is absolutely no way to get around this measurement of time as Preston must (and shrinks it down to a mere 30 something years!).
Now, that this has been made clear by the Scriptures, Preston is under the pressure of proving that Jesus, indeed, promised his disciples that God, by the Holy Spirit, would tell them every “time and season” the Father has set for their future onward. And, of course, these “times and seasons” for Preston end at AD 70! Maybe God got out of the time setting business altogether, fulfilled everything, then left the planet to itself, to its own course of affairs with no further intervention (many Full Preterists believe this very thing). Let it be suffice to say that my denial of “continuing inspiration” is equal to my denial that the future times and seasons or world history according to God’s rule and reign (through Christ, sitting at the hand of the Father) are known. We can “discern” the times. We know when morals are going from bad to worse. We are trained by the several repeated instances of past “times and seasons” (history is its best forecaster). The Scriptures, ever living and active, can generally help us “discern” the times, our own times, when the moral barometer is moving in the wrong direction. Usually there will be “famines,” “earthquakes”, “wars and rumors of wars…” Sound familiar? It should. Keep your eye on North Korea. While we do not have the prophetic dead-eye exactitude that our brother in the Faith Daniel had in his times, we have a general sense of urgency. Your head is in the sand if you don’t.
Preston’s course of action is to take Jesus’ words that the Spirit would show them more things to come (inspiration), this means that he will tell them when the exact times and seasons would be – before AD 70, of course. But, this is merely an interjection of Preston’s view into Jesus’ words. If Jesus said, “not for you to know this” and “the Spirit will show you more things” one is not logically forced to say, “the Spirit is going to show them things not for them to know”! But, that’s Preston’s whole argument! None of the texts he cites (his usual list of “time texts”) proves his assertion. The Spirit is going to show them things for them to know, not things not for them to know.
“Times and seasons” are specific. They already knew that Jerusalem was to be destroyed. Stephen’s accusers stated as much: “This man says that Jesus will destroy this place” (Acts 6.14). Well, that was a true statement. Jesus was going to destroy that place as he plainly and clearly stated he would in the Gospel accounts. They knew that already. They knew the time in their own generation that this would happen. But, to equate this knowledge with the “times and seasons” (plural, chronoi – from which we get the word chronology) the Father has set in history? Jesus is speaking way beyond their own immediate time (which is why it was not important to tell them). “For he must remain in heaven until the times (chronoi – plural) of the restoration of all things” (Acts 1.6 reads, “are you at this time (chronos – singular) now restoring the rule to Israel?” and here, 3.21, “restore all things” – are in reference to the same idea, “this time” (are we to now know?) is now “until the times” – unknown). Jesus reigns and rules “in heaven” or “from heaven” until he has abolished all rule and authority and powers, including death itself (1st Corinthians 15.23). This didn’t happen in AD 70. Of course, Preston says it does, but must perform amazing acrobatic exegesis that I myself formerly practiced to get there – mind boggling.
A few further points are in order here to be made. Preston wrote, “This Means, undeniably, that it Was the Father, Who Knew the Time of the End That Inspired Peter to Say That the End of All Things Had Drawn Near and That The Divinely Appointed Time for the Judgment of the Living and Dead Had Arrived,” What he wants the readers to take from this is that Peter thought the “resurrection of the dead” was to happen in his own generation. But, this is not at all what Peter said. God “who is ready to judge the living and the dead” merely echoes the Divine and often repeated attribute of God, “who raises the dead” (Acts 26.8), “The LORD kills and makes alive” (all Present Tense, 1st Samuel 2.6), and so on. What is of emphasis in Peter is that it is Christ who is “ready to judge the living and the dead” (1st Peter 4.5) – an attribute given to the LORD in the OT! All power is in his hands, including “death and hades” (Revelation 1.18). Preston wants to connect this to, “the end of all things is at hand” (4.7). However, he leaves out 4.6. Be that as it may, the “end” here that has already “drawn near” (Perfect Tense) involves the fact that Jesus, who heaven must receive until the times (chronoi), is now placed in authority as one ready and able to judge the living and the dead. He holds the keys of life and death. He makes alive and kills with the authority of the LORD. He is LORD. Preston wants to take this to mean that for Peter, every full meaning and expression of the promises of God, and every full meaning and fulfillment of the promises of God in their fullest intent in terms of their fullest manifestations was “at hand.” And, this was AD 70, when the Romans, with their alliances, sacked Jerusalem. Peter nowhere intimates the meaning that Preston smuggles in from his own already conceived of definition.
To underscore this point, God “who kills and makes alive”, proclaimed “the end of all things” in Ezekiel 7.1-ff. The end had come. God was ready to “judge”. Evil has come (Perfect Tense). The end “has awakened” (Perfect Tense). “The time (kairos) has drawn nigh” (Perfect Tense). God will pour out his wrath. He will fulfill (accomplish, complete, finish) is anger. “I will judge you according to your ways.” “The time has come; the day has arrived. Let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn, for wrath is upon all their multitude.” On and on the Prophet Ezekiel goes. Sounds just like Peter. Now, notice 4.6 in Peter’s text: “for this also to dead men was good news proclaimed, that they may be judged, indeed, according to men in the flesh, and may live according to God in the spirit.” Those long dead heard the good news (whenever it was that they lived – doesn’t say). This “judging” the dead (those who have died) so that they “may live” gives no time indication at all. It is Jesus, the LORD of the OT, who has this power. It is his Good News that stands as the announcement of life and death. And, “according to the flesh” (when the dead were alive in their flesh) all men will be judged. This is what God does. This is hardly Peter saying, “the resurrection of the dead is at hand!” But, this is what Preston wants you to think.
All in all, Preston’s rather confused notions and bait and switch tactics have been noted. He reads everything in Scripture through the lense of AD 70, and nothing escapes it, not even clear passages that speak of the bodily ascension of the Lord, or the bodily resurrection of the dead. All things are read in light of AD 70, which was no more significant that the Babylonians sacking Jerusalem in 589 B.C. I say, ‘no more significant’ not to minimize the utmost theological importance and point the times of Jerusalem’s sacrilege has played (the Babylonians, The Seleucids of the second century B.C., and the Romans), but to make the sack of that city the foundation upon which every single stroke and tittle of the Scriptures are exhausted in this single time is far beyond the scope of Biblical Eschaology. And, most Christians understand this. Many former Full Preterists are seeing it and leaving this theory. It is my continued effort to point out a much more comprehensive manner in which the Bible speaks to everyone, at all times, in unusual ways at times. That “mystery” is still “mystery” and God has not revealed everything, not even to his Apostles. But, we have enough! Preston’s theory, although seemingly attractive in some ways, fails to take in the complete and exhaustive drama of human history, the Purpose of God for the Ages, and the Upsetting of All Power, Rule, Dominion and Might – that when Jesus is done, there is none left but Him and His Kingdom to the Glory of His Father….forever. Any other view is selling you something. Maranatha.