1st Sep 2017
Seal Up Vision and Prophecy: The Manifest Desperation of Sam Frost #3
Matthew 24:36- But of That Day And Hour
To escape the overwhelming sense of the language of the imminent end of the age, the coming of the Lord and the resurrection found in the NT, Sam Frost has just adopted a totally novel, perhaps unprecedented position. He now takes the position – who knows what position he will take next! – that the Old Covenant prophets knew the times and the seasons of the end, but, that Jesus and his disciples did not know. The time of the end was sealed up for them, unknown and unknowable until the end comes. Here is what he now claims:
“In Daniel, he is told, 2300 days….but seal up the vision…the prophecy…etc. This lets us know the extent, I believe, of what “seal up” means, AND the nature of WHAT is sealed up. Here, Daniel is TOLD times and seasons, down to the tee. 70 Weeks. Very specific. THIS aspect, then, of KNOWING through revelation exact “times and seasons” the Father has set (how many times are there? We don’t know. How many seasons? Not a clue. How long until? Not a peep. whereas, what USED to be a very specific function of vision and prophecy (announcing times and seasons) has CEASED…they will come….they are set…what the seven thunders uttered will happen….heaven and earth will pass…all things will be restored….but, no dates, no times, no limits have been “given” – they are sealed, known only to God.”
So there you have it. The Old Covenant prophets knew very specifically “down to the tee” the times and the seasons of the end. Whereas in the OT, “what USED to be a very specific function of vision and prophecy (announcing times and seasons) has CEASED…they will come….they are set…what the seven thunders uttered will happen….heaven and earth will pass…all things will be restored….but, no dates, no times, no limits have been “given.”
Frost appeals to some NT texts to prove his case. One of those texts is the famous verse in Matthew 24:36, where Jesus said “But of that Day and Hour no man knows, but my Father only.” The reader needs to fully grasp the incredible presuppositional nature of Frost’s appeal to Matthew 24:36.
Frost assumes, without offering so much as a syllable of proof, that “that day” is a reference to a literal, bodily, physical coming of Jesus, as a 5′ 5″ Jewish man, coming out of heaven riding on a cumulus cloud! Where is that found in the text of Matthew 24? It is not there!
In Matthew 24:2-3, Jesus foretold the destruction of the Temple and the city. In direct response to that prediction, the disciples asked “When shall these things be and what shall be the sign of your coming and the end of the age?”
Frost must prove, not simply assume without offering proof, that the disciples were asking about the end of the material world / time / cosmos. However, they were not asking about the end of the material world. They were asking about the end of the age. The Greek word- actually a term – translated in a few translations as “world” is (sunteleias tou aionos) which means the consummation of the age. It does not mean the end of time. It does not mean the end of the material world.
The fact is that the disciples’ questions sprang directly from Jesus’ prediction of the destruction of the Temple. It is common for commentators to claim that the disciples confusedly linked the end of the world with that destruction. This is patently absurd and has no Biblical merit. There is nothing that suggests – nothing in the entire corpus of the Bible – that suggests that the material creation would come to an end at the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple. Thus, there is no reason to think that the disciples would make such a connection.
The indisputable fact is that the Temple and Jerusalem was destroyed – at the coming of the Lord – in BC 586 (Cf. Jeremiah 4:23f/ Zephaniah, etc). Did the disciples know of that? It would be foolish to say they didn’t. Did the material creation come to an end at that time? Patently not. But, did the Lord come at that time? Yes. See again Jeremiah 4.
The point is the disciples had every reason to believe that the Temple and city could be – indeed would be – a historical event, not an end of time event. They knew full well that the destruction of the city and the temple did not necessitate, or even suggest, the end of the world, and it did not suggest a literal, bodily, physical, visible coming of God out of heaven! That concept was totally foreign to them, and without support from the context of Matthew 24 or the Tanakh.
So, when Frost claims – again with no supportive exegesis – that Matthew 24:36 is changing the subject from a discussion of the fall of Jerusalem to an end of time, end of the world, end of the cosmos event, that view is without Biblical support.
It is worth noting that the only coming of the Lord that is clearly in the text is the coming of Christ found in Matthew 24:29-34. Up till now, Frost has admitted that these verses speak of Christ’s coming in AD 70. He has admitted that the language of Christ coming on the clouds in power and great glory, with the attendant darkening of the sun, moon and stars, is, as I have noted in my writings “metaphoric language to describe Jehovah’s powerful intervention into history” (The Elements Shall Melt With Fervent Heat, (Ardmore, Ok; Jadon Management Inc. 2006), 99). Frost said about this quote: “I wholeheartedly agree” (Why I Left Full Preterism, (Powder Springs, Ga; American Vision, 2012), 30). So, we have in Matthew 24:20-31 an “end of the age coming” of Christ, but, Frost imagines that there is another coming introduced in v. 36– and remember, that view is based on a faulty unsupported, presuppositional view of Matthew 24:3.
But, what about Matthew 24:36? Was Jesus affirming that the time of the end was sealed up, unknown and unknowable even to himself and certainly then, to his disciples? Well, clearly, Jesus did say that he did not know the day or the hour. However, he did know the generation, and he did know the signs that would indicate the imminence of his coming (v. 32-34!!). But, let’s look closer at Frost’s claim that knowledge of the end was sealed up and thus unknowable from that point onward.
Matthew 24:36 and the Revelatory Spirit
The sad reality is that Frost is completely ignoring – denying – the revelatory process that Jesus himself taught about. Let me present a time line here that is critical to follow:
☛ When Jesus uttered the words of Matthew 24:36 he did not know the day or the hour of his coming. He did know the generation, however.
☛ Jesus said the Father did know the day and the hour that Jesus would come.
☛ In John 16 Jesus told his apostles:
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come” (John 16:7-13).
Notice that Jesus said that when he returned to the Father– who of course knew the day and the hour of the Lord’s coming in judgment – the Father would send the Holy Spirit to the apostles.
☛ The Spirit would guide the disciples into “all truth.” Now, according to Mr. Frost, the Spirit would conceal at least part of the truth from the apostles – not reveal it!
☛ The Spirit would “tell you things to come.” But, per Mr. Frost’s new theology, the Spirit would not show them the things to come, the things concerning the judgment, even though Jesus emphatically said that when the Spirit was given to them, he would speak of the judgment that was coming! Of course, James and Peter, through that inspiration, said that the judgment was near (James 5:9 / 1 Peter 4:5-17)
The Father did send the Spirit – on the Day of Pentecost. On that auspicious day, Peter said the outpouring of the Spirit was in fulfillment of Joel 2:28f, which foretold the outpouring of the Spirit in the last days before the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord. (I will not comment at length here about Frost’s new position on the identity of the last days, and the outpouring of the Spirit, except to say that logically, he must now be, once again, a charismatic. Yet, he claims that the prophetic office has ended! This is a blatant self-contradiction. I will, perhaps, address this huge issue at a later date).
It was in light of the outpouring of the Spirit, a sign of the Great Day of the Lord, that Peter then said “Save yourselves from this untoward generation” a direct allusion to Deuteronomy 32. That text was a prediction of Israel’s last days– stated twice (v. 19f, v. 29f). So, through inspiration of the Spirit, sent by the Father who knew the day and the hour of Christ’s coming, Peter posited that Day in his generation! Was Peter wrong? Was the Father misleading him? Notice some addition thoughts.
The Spirit revealed to the disciples things that Jesus could not reveal to them while he was on earth.
The Spirit was sent by the Father to reveal “things to come” inclusive of the judgment.
The Revelatory Spirit and the Testimony of the Epistles About the Time of the End
What do we find in the epistles, all written by the apostles and disciples through inspiration of the Spirit, sent by the Father who knew the day and the hour? We find the consistent, persistent, multitudinous statements that the end was at hand! The coming of the Lord was coming soon! It was not far off. The time was not unknown or unknowable! The NT writers – not to mention Jesus – state very clearly that they were living in the very times foretold by the OT prophets! But, if Frost is correct, they all lied or were sorely and sadly mistaken, because Frost tells us that they could not know such a thing!
Note just a few of the many, many NT statements by Jesus and the apostles and disciples, inspired by the Spirit sent by the Father who knew the times and the seasons, who knew the day and the hour!
✔ Matthew 16:27-28– Jesus said his coming in judgment and the kingdom – which is Matthew 25:31f – would be in the lifetime of the audience standing with him at that time. He did not attempt to set the day or the hour, but, as in Matthew 24:34, he assuredly set the generation.
✔ Acts 3:21-24 – Peter, inspired by the Spirit sent by the Father who knew the Day and the Hour, anticipated the coming of Christ to consummate the “restoration of all things.” He said that all of the OT prophets, “all who ever spoke, have spoken of these days.” So, Peter thought he was living in the days foretold by the OT prophets. Was he wrong? Did the Spirit mislead him? Did the Father guide the Spirit to give Peter the wrong information? How could Peter say unequivocally that the OT prophets spoke of the first century generation if the knowledge of the end times was sealed up and unknowable to Peter?
✔ Romans 13:11f– In this remarkable text, Paul emphatically said that the Roman brethren knew what time it was – “and now, knowing (eidotes) the time (from kairos, the divinely appointed time) that the hour (hora) is that we should awake out of sleep (a direct echo of Daniel 12:2!!) for now (nun gar) is our salvation (the salvation that would come at the coming of Christ, Romans 11:26-27) is nearer (engguteron) than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the Day has drawn near (eggeken, perfect tense of engus).”
Virtually every word of Romans 13:11f falsifies Sam Frost’s claims! Paul, through inspiration of the Spirit sent by the Father who knew the day and the hour of the Day, said they knew what time it was. He said the hour had come for the fulfillment of Daniel 12! The appointed time of salvation had drawn near. The “night” was far gone and the Day, the Day of the Lord had drawn near! Could Sam Frost be more wrong? Could anything expose his utter desperation and error more than this?
1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 – Just like in Romans 13, Paul said the Thessalonians knew the times and the seasons of the Lord’s coming! Do you catch that? They knew! Paul did not say that knowledge was sealed up, unknown and unknowable. They knew that the Day would come as a thief in the night on those who did not know! But, they themselves knew. They knew from what we call 1 Thessalonians 4:15, 17 that the parousia would be in their lifetime. They were not in darkness. But, Mr. Frost tells us they were in darkness, ignorance of the times and seasons! We thus have the starkest of contrasts.
Paul said, You are not in darkness. You are not ignorant of the times and season.
Frost says they were in darkness and they were ignorant of the times and season.
Paul could say what he did because the Father, who knew the Day and the Hour, had revealed this to him. The Father had not sealed that knowledge. He had not hidden it from Paul or the Thessalonians.
Mr. Frost is patently wrong.
By the way, concerning the fact that the parousia would be as a “thief in the night” as I prove in my book, He Came As A Thief, it was positively to be in the first century! You will be amazed at how clear, powerful and undeniable the evidence to prove that really is.
I cannot list all of the NT texts, written by men inspired by the Spirit sent by the Father who knew the Day and the Hour, all of whom affirmed that the Day of the Lord was near, at hand, and coming “in a very, very little while” (Hebrews 10:37). I highly recommend that you order a copy of Doug Wilkinson’s book, Preterist Time Statements. Wilkinson documents over 350 time statements about the nearness of the parousia in the New Testament! (You can order the book directly from me, for $11.95 postpaid. Contact me to order).
Isn’t it utterly amazing that if the time of the end was sealed up and unknown, per Frost, none of the NT writers said so, but instead said the time had come, the end was near, that Christ was coming soon? Frost is so desperate to negate the first century imminence of the coming of the Lord that he is inventing new claims, claims that have literally no exegetical support, and claims that fly directly in the face of those hundreds of statements by men inspired by the Spirit, sent by the Father who knew the time!
✔ We close this installment with another look at Revelation. First of all, look at Revelation 1:1-3:
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.”
Notice the following:
The Father, who knew the Day and the Hour of the end, sent and told the churches through John that the things in Revelation “must shortly take place.” This “shortly take place” is translated from en tachei, which never indicates rapidity of action as opposed to imminence of occurrence. It means imminence of occurrence. (See my book, Who Is This Babylon? for an in-depth study of this term). Thus, the Father, who knew the Day and the Hour was revealing to John that fulfillment was at hand and coming soon! The Father then added “the time (ho kairos- the specific divinely appointed time) was at hand.”
We thus have the Father revealing the imminence of the end! He was not sealing it up. He was not hiding it. He was not concealing it. He was revealing that it was to take place soon because the appointed time was at hand.
By the way, these verses completely falsify the claim that God does not see time like man does. After all, what does “Day and Hour” mean? It is only applicable in man’s world, and Jesus said the Father knew the Day and the Hour! And the Father, who knew the Day and the Hour was communicating to the churches about that divinely appointed time of fulfillment! It is actually the height of arrogance to say that these time statements, given by the Father who knew the Day and the Hour meant nothing objective!
Let me take another look at a text that we shared in the previous article.
Remember that Revelation is about the fulfillment of, among other prophetic books, the book of Daniel. That prophet’s prediction of the Abomination, the Tribulation the resurrection and the kingdom are undeniably reflected and echoed in the Apocalypse.
Daniel was told to seal the vision of his book, because fulfillment was not near. It would be sealed until the time of the end, when knowledge would be increased, the wise would understand (Daniel 12:4, 9f). So, what do we find in Revelation? Read again Revelation 22:10:
✔ “And he said to me, “Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand.”
Do you catch the power of that?
Here is John, being instructed by the Spirit, sent from the Father, who knew the “Day and the Hour” informing John NOT to seal the vision of the Apocalypse. Why? Because “the time is at hand.”
Notice that it was “the time” (ho kairos) that was near (eggus). Note the use of the definite article with the word kairos, (time) which means the divinely appointed time.
Nothing could be more clear, more emphatic, more undeniable. The Father, who knew the Day and the Hour of the coming of Christ, the judgment and the resurrection, sent the Spirit to tell the churches that the appointed time of the end was at hand, coming soon.
And yet, Frost appealed to Revelation 9 and the enigmatic vision of the seven thunders and says (without any exegesis at all, no evidence) that it is in the Thunders that the truth about the end is truly found. But, since John was not allowed to write of the Thunders this means that we cannot know anything about the end. Do you see what this means? It is lamentably, just more of a demonstration of Frost’s failure to think carefully, logically and lucidly about what he writes.
In the rest of the Apocalypse (keep in mind that Apocalupsis means the unveiling, the revealing- not the concealing as Frost wants us to believe!) We find the Father revealing the nearness of Christ’s coming, the judgment, the defeat of Satan, etc.; “Behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me!” Revelation 22:12. That knowledge therefore, was not hidden. John was told to write of those realities! John was told that the fulfillment of Daniel and the other prophets was so near, so imminent, that he was not– in contrast to Daniel – to seal the book! So, in Revelation, the time of the end, the judgment, the parousia and the resurrection was positively, undeniably revealed by the Father to be at hand, truly imminent. It was not hidden, not sealed, not unknown.
However! Sam Frost tells us that Revelation 9 and the seven Thunders is about the end, and was sealed up, proving that we cannot know anything about the end! Well, logically then, that means that whatever was contained in the Thunders must of logical necessity be something totally different from God’s revelation about the nearness of the coming of Christ, because the Father Himself said those things were in fact near!
So, if the Thunders were about eschatological consummation, but were / are unknowable, and if the coming of Christ for the judgment and resurrection in the rest of the Revelation was revealed by the Father to be imminent, this demands that the eschatological consummation within the Thunders must be an eschatological consummation that is totally different from the eschaton in the rest of the book! Frost thus, of logical necessity, creates an eschatology about which we know nothing, but, which is – to reiterate – totally different from the rest of the book of Revelation! One can only marvel at such desperation.
In conclusion, the undeniable reality that all of the New Testament books were written after the out pouring of the Spirit means that all of the NT statements about the nearness of Christ’s coming were true. They were not mere statements of hope, or of personal belief versus fact. It means that what Jesus could not reveal while he was on earth, was now being revealed by the inspiration of the revelatory Spirit sent by the Father who knew the Day and the Hour, and who was revealing that to the Biblical writers.
Let me close this installment by giving again 1 Peter 1:10-12:
“Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.”
We have here the principle that I have set out: the OT writers did not – contra Frost – know the times and the seasons better, clearer than the NT writers. According to this text, the New Testament writers knew more about the time and manner than the OT prophets. This is the exact opposite of what Sam Frost is telling us. Thus, Frost is wrong.
More to come