Exegetical mEssays

By Samuel M. Frost, Th. M.

Now there came to Him some of the Sadducees (who say that there is no resurrection), 28 and they questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, having a wife, and he is childless, his brother should take the wife and raise up offspring to his brother. 29 “Now there were seven brothers; and the first took a wife, and died childless; 30 and the second 31 and the third took her; and in the same way all seven died, leaving no children. 32 “Finally the woman died also. 33 “In the resurrection therefore, which one’s wife will she be? For all seven had her as wife.” 34 And Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, 35 but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage; 36 for neither can they die anymore, for they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. 37 “But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the burning bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. 38 “Now He is not the God of the dead, but of the living; for all live to Him.” 39 And some of the scribes answered and said, “Teacher, You have spoken well.” 40 For they did not have courage to question Him any longer about anything (Luke 20.27-40).

I am recently studying Luke-Acts and in the passage dealing with resurrection, the Sadducees asked Jesus a question concerning this topic.  They, of course, denied the resurrection of the dead, which was affirmed by the Pharisees.  I also re-read my chapter when I was promoting the heresy known as “Full Preterism” in the book, Exegetical Essays on the Resurrection (JaDon Publications).  Don Preston still peddles this work of mine, but it surely shows the utter blindness I had during that time.

First off, in that passage I noted that Jesus disagrees with the Pharisees conception of resurrection (which is the traditional Christian orthodox view for 2000 years), and the Sadduccees.  I wrote, “I will argue that Jesus’ answer, however, also disagrees with the Pharisaic view in that the conception of Jesus’ view is spiritual, and not a reanimation of long-dead corpses (the Pharisaic view)” (p. 52 – I am quoting from the 2004 publication of this book by TruthVoice before Don Preston took it under his own publication).  I also quote the eminent scholar, R.T. France who wrote, ‘The question assumes that Jesus shares the Pharisaic belief….and here his [Jesus’] support for the ‘Pharisaic’ view is unequivocal’ (from NIGTC, 471).  All of this is before I get into the material in Preston’s published work of mine.

When I read this now, my jaw drops.  I entirely leave out of the whole chapter the fact that the scribes of the Pharisees agree with Jesus and say, “Good answer.”  The Sadduccees never approach him anymore, but the Pharisees do.  Thus, right off the bat I omit the verse that affirms that the scribes said, “good answer” (the scribes who disagreed with the Sadduccees).  Instead, I argue the exact opposite.  If Jesus’ answer is the one I gave in Exegetical Essays, then the scribes of the Pharisees would NEVER have said, “good answer”!  R.T. France is correct, then.  Samuel Frost was wrong (and omitted from discussion the fact that they did agree).

Second, I state in the book, ‘I argue that [France’s view] is half true.  The question the Sadducees put forth does assume the Pharisaic view, and Jesus does affirm a view of the afterlife, but this hardly means that Jesus and the Pharisees affirmed the same manner and nature of resurrection life (what it would ‘look like’).  In this passage all that Jesus supports is a view of the afterlife.  I will argue that Jesus’ answer, however, also disagrees with the Pharisaic view in that the conception of Jesus’ view is spiritual, and not a reanimation of long-dead corpses (the Pharisaic view)’ (p.52).  But, again, Sam Frost never states, never, how it is that the scribes said, “good answer”!  If Jesus’ answer was only in some sort of quasi-agreement with the Pharisees, one’s response as a scribe of the Pharisees would not be, “good answer….partially.”

Third, I wrote in that book, ‘I will come back to the second part of the response of Jesus (about God being the God of the living) when I have finished up the first part of the answer’ (p.54).  I never get to this part in the chapter!  I read it, then I read it again.  I never “come back” to it.  I do not even discuss it.  What I do say is that ‘By focusing on the present aspect of the resurrection, Jesus is stating that the resurrection of the dead is something already in the stages of happening.  Moses and Elijah are already attesting to Jesus’ glory, and are appearing in glory with him.  ‘Elijah to come’ has already come, and the restoration of all things has already begun (Mk 9.12,13).  The dead are being raised’ (p.59).  In other words, I spend one short paragraph on the second part of this section in Luke by affirming that the souls of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob have already been raised!  But, if anyone knows Full Preterism, the resurrection of the dead happened in 70 AD, and Jesus said this in 31 AD!

The fact of the matter is, is that R.T. France is correct.  Jesus sided with the Pharisees view of the resurrection, as did Paul where he was confronted with both the Pharisees and the Sadduccees on this matter, and, according to Luke, said, “Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.”  For, as Luke records, ‘And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided.  For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all’ (Acts 23.6-ff).  And, once again, we find the Pharisees agreeing with Paul, “and some of the scribes of the Pharisees’ party stood up and contended sharply, “We find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?” (Acts 23.9).  Same issue.  Same parties.  Same subject.  Same results.  Jesus and Paul affirmed the resurrection of the dead.  Their answer was not Preston’s corporate body view, nor was it Ed Stevens’ “get a brand new body when you die” view.  The Pharisees would have found Paul guilty right there on that point alone.  Forget circumcision, Paul is in error regarding resurrection of the dead!  Now, Don and Ed will do all sorts of wailing and flailing and “deeper meaning” and such, but the fact of the matter, as recorded by Luke, Jesus and Paul sided with the Pharisees.  No amount of exegetical acrobats can counter it.  France was correct.  Sam was all over the place.

Now, quickly, the argument of the Sadduccees was an attempt to reduce the idea of bodily resurrection to absurdity.  If a woman had been married to a man with seven brothers, and each of them died, and she married each one of them, then which wife would she be in the resurrection, when they all stand again?  Clever.

Jesus’ answer is the death annuls marriage (according to the Law).  No brainer.  When the resurrection happens (and note that Jesus is not saying, “the resurrection is happening right now” as I assert), there is no need for marriage or procreation.  In the new heavens and new earth such necessities that were meant for this life, and not meant for that one.  No brainer.  Duh.

That Jesus affirms the futurity of the resurrection means that the death of these seven brothers and the woman is not when they get new bodies upon death.  There is an intermediate state here.  They live on earth.  They died.  Their souls are in heaven, and there they await, “but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage.”  Jesus is not at all saying that when a person dies, they immediately are raised with the new body in heaven!  That would be absolutely absurd to read that here.  Both the Pharisees and Jesus repeatedly state a future resurrection.

“”But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the burning bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. 38 “Now He is not the God of the dead, but of the living; for all live to Him.”  Now, watch this.  If Jesus is affirming the future resurrection of the dead, and is not affirming that being a soul in heaven, with God, is a resurrected state, then Abraham, Isaac and Jacob have not been raised from the dead yet when he spoke these words.  However, he is affirming that they are alive.  How can they be alive with God, and not be raised?  It is here that Jesus affirms that when the seven brothers and the woman die, they await “whenever” the dead are raised at some point in the future.  This is the intermediate state between the death of believers, the saints, and resurrection of the dead.

Second, and most devastating to my old heresy, is that the verse Jesus quotes from is Exodus 3.6.  I never once quote this verse in the chapter in Don’s book by me.  Never.  Not once.  I do not deal with it at all.  That passes for “exegetical” in this “essay”?  My psychological bend at the time I wrote that (2004) was 70 AD, and all things 70 AD, and the resurrection of the dead must be in 70 AD.  Therefore, never mind Exodus 3.6!  It does not “fit” the tunnel vision!

Now, why does Jesus quote from this verse, which, on the surface appears as if it has nothing to do with the resurrection of the dead?  “And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Jesus’ commentary is that God is the God of the living Abraham, the living Isaac, and the then living Jacob.  This is a highly repeated description of the God who keeps covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  And the covenant he made with them on oath, forever, is that they would inherit the world and all things.  Paul makes this very clear: “For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith” (Romans 4.13).

“By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God….These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”  Further, “For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland…. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.”  Now, hear John, “And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God”.   When the better country comes down and all things of creation are restored, and there is no more death (for death has been swallowed up in victory when the dead are raised), Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will, then, have received what God promised them on oath: heaven and earth, the world, restored.  And they will, with all the saints, stand again on the Land of Promise, the Earth of God’s Creation, restored, renewed.

This answer is why the scribe agree with Jesus.  This is why he said, “good answer”.  The Sadducees would have to deny the promise made on oath, by covenant, forever, that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did not receive nor would ever receive that which was promised. But they are living.  They are living as souls in heaven, in the heavenly city, the very same one that John saw as coming down out of heaven when the dead are raised – when Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will be raised to inherit all things as promised – together with all the saints.

 

 

 

 

Author: Samuel M. Frost, Th.M.

Samuel M. Frost has gained the recognition of his family, peers, colleagues, church members, and local community as a teacher and leader.  Samuel was raised in the Foursquare Gospel tradition and continued in the rising Charismatic Movement of the early 1980’s.  While serving in local congregations he was admitted to Liberty Christian College in Pensacola, Florida where he lived on campus for four years earning his Bachelor’s of Theology degree.  It was there under the tutelage of Dr. Dow Robinson (Summer Institutes of Linguistics), and Dr. Frank Longino (Dallas Theological Seminary) that he was motivated to pursue a career in Theology.  Dr. Robinson wrote two books on Linguistics, Workbook on Phonological Analysis (SIL, 1970) and Manuel for Bilingual Dictionaries: Textbook (SIL, 1969).  It was under these teachers’ guidance that Frost entered into his Master’s studies, being granted a scholarship for Greek I and II at Pentecostal Theological Seminary, accredited, in Cleveland, Tennessee (adjunct of Lee University).  Frost completed his study under Dr. French Arrington, who used the text of J. Gresham Machen, New Testament Greek for Beginners. Frost studied Hebrew for two years under Dr. Mark Futato (author, Beginning Biblical Hebrew, Eisenbrauns, 2003) and Dr. Bruce K. Waltke (author, An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax, Eisenbrauns, 1990) at Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, Florida. With combined credits from PTS and RTS, Samuel completed his Master of Arts in Christian Studies and Master of Arts in Religion from Whitefield Theological Seminary in Lakeland, Florida under the direct tutelage of Dr. Kenneth G. Talbot, co-author of the well reviewed work, Hyper-Calvinism and Arminianism (Whitefield Media, 2005) with Dr. Gary Crampton (and Foreword by the late, Dr. D. James Kennedy).  Dr. Talbot also oversaw Samuel’s Dissertation, From the First Adam to the Second and Last Adam (2012) earning him the Magister Theologiae (Th.M.) degree.  He also helped put together A Student’s Hebrew Primer for WTS and graded exams in Hebrew. Samuel’s studies lead him into an issue in the field of Eschatology where his scholarship and unique approach in Hermeneutics garnered him recognition.  Because of the controversial nature of some of his conclusions, scholars were sharp in their disagreement with him.  Frost’s initial work, Misplaced Hope: The Origins of First and Second Century Eschatology (2002, Second Edition, 2006 Bi-Millennial Publishing), sold over four thousand units.  While arguing for the Reformation understanding of sola Scriptura as defined by the Westminster Confession of Faith, Frost’s book launched a heavily footnoted argument for a total reassessment of the doctrine known as the Second Coming of Christ.  The conclusion was that the events of the war of the Jewish nation against their Roman overlords in 66-70 C.E. formed the New Testament authors’ eschatological outlook, and went no further than their own first century generation; a view otherwise known as “full” or "hyper" Preterism.  Internationally recognized Evangelical author and speaker Steve Wohlberg remarked, ‘On the “preterist” side today…we have such influential leaders as Gary DeMar, Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., David Chilton, R.C. Sproul, Max King, James Stuart Russell, Samuel M. Frost, and John Noe.  To these scholars…the beast is not on the horizon, he’s dead” (Italics, his)” (End Time Delusions, Destiny Image Publishers, 2004, page 133).  It should be noted that only Noe, King and Frost supported the “full” Preterist position. Thomas Ice and co-author of the best selling Left Behind series, Tim LaHaye, quote Frost’s work, Misplaced Hope, as well in their book, The End Times Controversy: The Second Coming under Attack (Harvest House Publishers, 2003, page 40).  Dr. Jay E. Adams, who single handedly launched “a revolution” in Christian Counseling with his work, Competent to Counsel: An Introduction to Nouthetic Counseling, (1970, Zondervan), also wrote an analysis of Frost’s work in Preterism: Orthodox or Unorthodox? (Ministry Monographs for Modern Times, INS Publishing, 2004).  Dr. Charles E. Hill, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, wrote of Misplaced Hope that Frost, “attacks the problem of the early church in a much more thoroughgoing way than I have seen” (When Shall These Things Be? A Reformed Response to Hyper Preterism, Ed. Keith Mathison, Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing, 2003, ‘Eschatology in the Wake of Jerusalem’s Fall’ p. 110-ff.).  There were several other works as well that took the scholarship of Frost seriously, like Ergun Caner in The Return of Christ: A Premillennial Perspective, Eds., Steve W. Lemke and David L. Allen (B&H Publishing, 2011). Because of the controversial nature of Frost’s conclusions on these matters, it was difficult to find a denomination within the Church-at-Large to work in terms of pastoral ministry.  That situation changed when Samuel was called by a Bible study group in Saint Petersburg, Florida to found a congregation.  Christ Covenant Church was established in 2002 operating under the principles outlined by Presbyterian historian James Bannerman’s work, The Church of Christ: A Treatise on the Nature, Powers, Ordinances, Discipline, and Government of the Christian Church (Banner of Truth Trust, 1974, original, 1869).  By-Laws and a Constitution were drawn up in the strictest manner for what was considered an “Independent” establishment of a Presbyterian Church, granted that a “call” was received and recognized by Presiding Elders duly ordained from existing and recognized denominations.  Two Elders, one ordained in the Reformed Presbyterian Church (Mike Delores), and another ordained in the Presbyterian Church of America (Dr. Kelly N. Birks, now deceased) tested and reviewed the call, ordaining Samuel on October 20th, 2002, the Twenty Second Sunday after Trinity.  Proper forms were submitted to Tallahassee, Florida with the stamp of a Notary Public Witness.  Christ Covenant Church (CCC) functioned as a local church for five years with a congregation as large as 30 members.  Frost was gaining recognition after Misplaced Hope had been published in January of that year, and conferences were hosted that included debates with another prominent "full" Preterist educator, Don K. Preston.  CCC hosted best-selling authors, Thomas Ice, and Mark Hitchcock from Dallas Theological Seminary; and Dr. James B. Jordan (Westminster Theological Seminary), well-known author/pastor in Reformed theological circles.  Frost was invited for the next several years to speak at over 25 conferences nation-wide, was featured in articles and an appearance on local news in Tampa for one of CCC’s conferences.  The Evangelical Theological Society also invited Samuel to speak at the Philadelphia conference (Frost is currently a Member of ETS as well as Society of Biblical Literature). During this time Samuel had submitted one more book, Exegetical Essays on the Resurrection of the Dead (TruthVoice, 2008; repr. JaDon Publishing, 2010); and co-wrote, House Divided: A Reformed Response to When Shall These Things Be? (Vision International, 2010).  Frost also wrote several Forewords for up and coming authors who were influenced by his teaching materials, as well as cited many times in books, lectures and academic papers.  However, because of certain aspects of Hermeneutics and Frost’s undaunted commitment to scholarship (with always a strong emphasis on the personal nature of devotional living to Christ), several challenges to the "hyper" Preterist view he espoused finally gave way, largely due to the unwavering commitment to Samuel by the Dean of Whitefield Theological Seminary, Dr. Kenneth G. Talbot, who continually challenged him.  In what shocked the "hyper" Preterist world, Samuel announced after the Summer of 2010 that he was in serious error, and departed the movement as a whole, along with Jason Bradfield, Assistant Pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church, Lakeland, Florida .  Christ Covenant Church had dissolved after 2007 while Samuel continued as a public speaker and writer, largely due to reasons that would unravel Frost’s commitment to "hyper" Preterism as a whole. The documentation of Frost’s departure was published by American Vision’s Founder, Gary DeMar, with a Foreword by Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry.  Why I Left Full Preterism (AV Publishing, 2012) quickly sold out its first run.  The book was later republished under the arm of Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry and is sold today (GoodBirth Ministries Publishing, 2019).  Dr. Keith Mathison, Professor of Systematic Theology at Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Florida, endorsed the book as well.  Samuel has gone on to write, Daniel: Unplugged (Kindle/Amazon, 2019); The Parousia of the Son of Man (Lulu Publishing, 2019); God: As Bill Wilson Understood Him, A Theological Analysis of Alcoholics Anonymous (Lulu Publishing, 2017).  He is also active as a certified Chaplain with the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana, and enrolled with ICAADA (Indiana Counselor’s Association on Alcohol and Drug Abuse) working directly under Dr. Dennis Greene, Founder of Christian Counseling and Addictions Services, Inc.  Frost’s passion is in the education of the local church on various issues and occasionally works Pastor Alan McCraine with the First Presbyterian Church in Lewisville, Indiana where he periodically is called upon to give the sermon.  He also is working with Redemption Life Bible Church with Pastor Tyler Jackson in New Castle, Indiana.  Samuel, with his wife, Kimberly, helped to establish Heaven’s Bread Basket food pantry that donates food items to local families in need once a month – a ministry of the Session of First Presbyterian Church. Samuel has four children, one step-son, ages sixteen to twenty-eight and has worked part time at Ace Hardware in New Castle, Indiana for over five years.  He has a solid reputation in the community, and has performed marriages and funerals.  He also sits on the Board of the Historical Preservation Committee in New Castle.

4 thoughts on “Exegetical mEssays”

  1. Yes, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob are alive with God. But their physical bodies have not been raised yet. If they had been raised they would have been seen then and now.

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      1. Penny, I am not one to be dogmatic on this. My reasoning is that the Apostles were still alive on earth when John (an apostle) wrote. These elders are in heaven before the throne of God. Small point, and one that would be countered by an “application” of “being seated in heavenly places.” However, that verse in Ephesians is one that I see as “positional” because if we are in Christ, and he is seated above, then, “positionally” so are we, while, “actually” not while alive on earth. Small point and one that I would not lose any sleep over if you disagreed…….just my two cents.

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