19th May 2017
The Passing of the Law of Moses and Sam Frost’s Growing Desperation – #5
Does the Old Testament Predict the Destruction of Literal Heaven and Earth?
Isaiah 65 – #1
This is our fifth installment in response to Sam Frost who recently wrote an article on Matthew 5:17-18. In that article he claimed, with no attempt to prove his claim, that the Old Testament predicts the end of time and planet earth.
This raises an interesting question: Does Frost now believe in the literal passing of material “heaven and earth” i.e. their disappearance? In his Why I Left Full Preterism (p. 47) he speaks of a recreated, restored earth! So, does the heaven and earth literally “pass away” cease to exist, or is it restored? Frost once again contradicts himself.
Here is Frost’s conundrum. In his comments on Isaiah 65, he claims that it predicts “a new heavens and earth.” However, he appeals to Psalms 102 as proof that the heaven and earth will pass away. Keep in mind that Frost says of the law, in Matthew 5:17-18, that it will not pass away– cease to exist on paper- until it is all fulfilled. But, that same language is applied to heaven and earth: “heaven and earth shall not pass.” So, if the law will cease to exist when it is finally fulfilled, then that same definition must apply to the heaven and earth, yet, Frost affirms a new heavens and earth! Disappear does not mean new! It means, well, disappear! More could be said on this, but this is more than sufficient to show that Frost has not done a lot of critical thinking on his claims. But, now to Isaiah 65
Frost claims that Isaiah 65 predicts the end of time: “Isaiah 65 envisions a new heavens and earth, too. In it, fantastical, poetic hyperbole is used to denote that it is quite a different scene than what is “normally” seen and experienced.”
Notice once again Frost’s literalistic hermeneutic at work. But of course, he cannot in any sense be consistent in that hermeneutic, for it would then destroy his entire argument.
For brevity, I will offer bullet points from Isaiah 65, and keep my comments as succinct as possible.
1. Isaiah 65:1-3 – YHVH laments Israel’s recalcitrance and rebellion, and responds by saying that He would call another people to Him, a people that had not known Him
Application: In Romans 10:20 Paul cites directly from Isaiah 65:1-3, to speak of Israel’s rejection of the Gospel in his day, and to speak of his Gentile mission. Thus, no matter what else we might think, Paul, by inspiration, posits the fulfillment of Isaiah 65 in his generation!
So, unless Frost wants to adopt the Dispensational Gap Doctrine, and claim that Isaiah 65:1-3 was fulfilled in the first century, but that we are still waiting on the new creation– which has now been 2000 years from Paul’s application of Isaiah to his day, then this one point is fatal to Frost.
2. Verse 7 – Israel’s rebellion– again, remember that Paul applied this to his generation – God said that Israel would fill the measure of her sin, and He would respond to that sin: “Your sin and the sin of your fathers will I measure into your bosom.” As H. C. Leupold, notes, “This verse proves that there is such a thing as ‘mass guilt,’ where the sins of generation after generation are not completely broken with and the amount grows higher and higher. Ultimately, or time and again, it then happens that God visits the sins of the fathers upon the children.”
Of course, the important thing to note, is that in Matthew 23:29ff, Jesus emphatically said that Judah of his day would fill up the measure of their father’s guilt and judgment would fall on them in that generation.
3. Verse 8 – YHVH promises that in spite of the coming holocaust, He will spare a remnant. Once again, the inspired apostle comments on this motif in Romans and other passages. The doctrine and theme of the salvation of the remnant is eschatological to the core.
In Romans 9 the apostle unequivocally says that the remnant was being saved in his day, and even in his ministry. Thus, just like Isaiah 65:1-3 and Paul’s application to his generation, he applies the doctrine of the salvation of the remnant to his day, to his ministry and to his generation.
Not only did Paul apply prophecies of the last days salvation of the remnant to his day, he also said that the consummation of that salvation would not be a long drawn out process. Look at a bit of Paul’s discussion of the salvation of the remnant:
“And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ There they shall be called sons of the living God.” 27 Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, The remnant will be saved. For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, Because the Lord will make a short work upon the earth.” And as Isaiah said before: Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, We would have become like Sodom, And we would have been made like Gomorrah.”
Paul here cites Hosea and Isaiah as predictive of the salvation of the remnant, and notice that in verse 28 he cites God’s promise that the work of bringing that salvation to its glorious climax would not be prolonged. It would be “short.”
Two words in the text indicate that the then ongoing work of saving the remnant was to be completely soon. Paul says “his work he is concluding” or “completing” from suntelon. Then, he says that the work would be “short” (suntemnon). Both of these words are in the present active participle, indicating that the Lord was already bringing that work to its consummation. Frost, of course, wants us to ignore that emphatic time statements. After all, he is on record as saying that he no longer cares about time statements. They mean nothing to him.
The point is that we have Paul repeatedly drawing from Isaiah and specifically applying it to his day. The question them becomes, what is Frost’s hermeneutic for divorcing the prophecy of the new creation from that time context? All he has offered us so far is his decree that Isaiah is predictive of the passing literal creation and the creation of a new heaven and earth.
4. Verses -9-13 – In these verses the prophet set forth the depth of Israel’s rebellion, “you are those who forsake the Lord and forget this Holy Mountain.”
God’s response would be awful; it would be catastrophic (v. 13-15:
“Therefore I will number you for the sword, And you shall all bow down to the slaughter; Because, when I called, you did not answer; When I spoke, you did not hear, But did evil before My eyes,
And chose that in which I do not delight.” … But you shall cry for sorrow of heart, And wail for grief of spirit. You shall leave your name as a curse to My chosen; For the Lord God will slay you.”
We have here a critical issue. I have noted that the promise of the new creation, including that in Psalms 102, was an Old Covenant promise, made to Old Covenant Israel after the flesh. Frost denied this, claiming that the Psalm was based on Abrahamic and Davidic covenant promises, and not Mosaic promises. This is the same dichotomized argument that Joel McDurmon tried – and failed – to make in our formal debate. This horrid doctrine is a denial of Paul’s emphatic affirmation that there was but one hope (Ephesians 4:4f) and that one hope was found in Moses, the Law and the prophets. He preached NOTHING, but what Moses and the prophets of Israel said! Paul did not have, Peter did not have, John, James, or Luke– none of the Biblical writers – had an eschatological hope divorced from the hope of Israel found in Moses, the law and the prophets. Get a copy of my debate with Joel McDurmon to see how the dichotomization of the eschatological narrative fails. That book is available from this website, Amazon and even Kindle.
Will Frost’s claim that the ultimate eschatological hope is Abrahamic and not tied to Israel after the flesh hold water in Isaiah 65? Not for a nano second! And I will demonstrate that beyond any doubt in our next installment, as I proceed to dismantle Frost’s literally unbelievable claims about the passing of heaven and earth. Make no mistake, Isaiah 65 is an utter, total refutation of Frost’s newly crafted theology. In the meantime, get a copy of my book, The Elements Shall Melt With Fervent Heat” the first full preterist commentary on 2 Peter 3. It deals a devastating blow to the futurist application of 2 Peter 3– and Isaiah. Stay tuned!