17th May 2017
The Passing of the Law of Moses and Sam Frost’s Growing Desperation – #4
Does the Old Testament Predict the Destruction of Literal Heaven and Earth?
In his most recent attempt to negate the truth of Covenant Eschatology, Sam Frost wrote an article on Matthew 5:17-18, seeking to mitigate the force of the text. Frost argued that Jesus did in fact say that until every jot and every tittle of the Old Covenant is fulfilled, it will not pass away. He said that every jot and every tittle will be fulfilled at the passing of the literal, material heaven and earth. Thus, the Old Covenant will not pass away– and we will share Frost’s idiosyncratic view on what not “passing away” means in a later article– the Old Law will remain. He claimed, without so much as offering a syllable of proof, that the Old Testament predicts the passing of material creation. Since this is clearly a foundational element of Frost’s claim, I am examining the key OT prophecies of the passing of “heaven and earth” to show that they simply do not support Frost’s claims.
In our previous article we examined Psalms 102, which in my personal experience is the text most often appealed to by futurists for proof of a yet future end of time OT prediction. The reason it is the most often cited OT prophecy for the passing of heaven and earth is because it is quoted in Hebrews 1:10. But, as that article shows, Psalms says not one word about the passing of the literal creation!
The fact is that there are no OT prophecies that can be construed as predictive of the passing of heaven and earth, without completely ignoring or distorting the context of those prophecies. The next prophecy for us to examine is proof of that.
Isaiah 24:3-5; 19-21:
“The land shall be entirely emptied and utterly plundered, For the Lord has spoken this word. The earth mourns and fades away, The world languishes and fades away; The haughty people of the earth languish. The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants,… “The earth is violently broken, The earth is split open, The earth is shaken exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, And shall totter like a hut; Its transgression shall be heavy upon it, And it will fall, and not rise again.”
The language is graphic and powerful! Surely it is talking about the end of time, right? No, not at all. For brevity, I will make just a few bullet points.
1. This judgment / destruction would come because Israel “violated the everlasting covenant.” The parallel to this text, Hosea 6:7f
“But like Adam they transgressed the covenant; There they dealt treacherously with Me. Gilead is a city of evildoers And defiled with blood. As bands of robbers lie in wait for a man, So the company of priests murder on the way to Shechem; Surely they commit lewdness. I have seen a horrible thing in the house of Israel: There is the harlotry of Ephraim; Israel is defiled.” (Some translations render “Adam” as “man” but, I suggest that “Adam” is more appropriate).
The point here is that the everlasting covenant is the Law of Moses, and the judgment that was coming on “the earth” in utter destruction was the covenantal judgment from YHVH for Israel’s sin. 2. This is confirmed in verses 10-13 where we find that the judgment would be focused on “the city” in the midst of “the land” and against “the people.”
“The city of confusion is broken down; Every house is shut up, so that none may go in. There is a cry for wine in the streets, All joy is darkened, The mirth of the land is gone. In the city desolation is left, And the gate is stricken with destruction. When it shall be thus in the midst of the land among the people, It shall be like the shaking of an olive tree, Like the gleaning of grapes when the vintage is done.” In Isaiah 29 this “city of confusion” is identified as Ariel, i.e. Jerusalem!
Ask yourself the question: In a Hebraic book, addressed to Israel, and in which the terminology of “the city,” “the land, and “the people” is used, if there is not a really strong set of contextual pointers otherwise, who would the readers think that the Lord was talking about?
For Israel, there was but one “the land.” They were “the people.” And, “the city” was none other than Jerusalem.
3. This assessment is confirmed in Isaiah 25:1-3, where the prophet continues his discussion of the announced judgment. In these verses, there can be no doubt that the context of the judgment on “heaven and earth” is the judgment on Jerusalem and the Temple.
“O Lord, You are my God. I will exalt You, I will praise Your name, For You have done wonderful things; Your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. For You have made a city a ruin, A fortified city a ruin, A palace of foreigners to be a city no more; It will never be rebuilt.”
Notice back in chapter 24:19-20 that “the earth” would fall and not rise again. Now, in these verses, the city and the temple are doomed to destruction and “will never be rebuilt.” I suggest that this is not to be taken in a woodenly literal manner, as friend Frost tends toward these days. Rather, it is speaking of the permanent removal of “the land,” the people,” “the city” as a covenant reality! It is talking about the permanent, final dissolution of Israel’s distinctive, covenantal existence. She would fall and never rise again as a covenant people as she existed for 1500 years! (This is confirmed in Isaiah 65 which we will examine in our next article).
So, what we find in Isaiah 24-25– and there is sooo much more that could be observed in this great text, but this will suffice– is that it simply cannot refer to an “end of time” scenario. It predicted covenantal judgment on Israel, her land, the city, the temple and the people, for violating the Law. That raises a critical question for which I have never received an answer.
If one takes Isaiah 24-25 as a prediction of the destruction of literal creation then it raises the question: Does your view of the destruction of the literal creation include in it, as the reason for the destruction of the heaven and the earth, Israel’s violation of the Law of Moses?
The text of Isaiah 24 is emphatic: the destruction of creation being foretold would be as a direct result of Israel’s violation of the Law of Moses. So, if one wants to argue that Isaiah 24 does predict the end of time and earth, that of necessity means- contextually– that earth will one day be destroyed as a result of Israel’s violation of the Law of Moses! To say this is problematic is a huge understatement!
I am unaware of any commentator, of any eschatological paradigm, that says literal heaven and earth will perish as a result of Israel’s violation of the Law! Not one! Not in the entire history of commentary! To say the least, therefore, if you take the view that Isaiah 24 is predictive of the future destruction of the earth– and thus, the passing of the Law of Moses– you have a severe problem.
The problem can be magnified and exposed like this: Virtually futurists claim that the Law of Moses has been done away. Frost’s friends in the Dominionist movement, Gary DeMar, Kenneth Gentry, Joel McDurmon, etc., all believe that the Law of Moses “passed away” in the first century, i.e. even in AD 70! I can’t help but wonder if these men are now embarrassed by Frost’s completely novel definition of what Jesus meant when he talked about the passing away of the Law.
Mind you, Frost now claims to believe that much of the Law of Moses is no longer binding, having been replaced, but, that the Law of Moses still “remains.” What does he mean by replaced but remains? He means that since the Law of Moses is still in books, on parchments, in scrolls, in Bibles, literally on paper, that this is what Jesus meant by not passing away until the proposed end of time.
In a blog post of 5-16-17, Frost said his proof that the Law of Moses has not passed away is because “it is right there in your Bible!” So, Frost claims that in Matthew 5:17-18 the Jews and Jesus were not at all concerned with the abiding authority of the Law of Moses, as mandates to be obeyed and fulfilled. All they were concerned about was that books with the Law of Moses printed in them will not be destroyed until the end of time! More on this later.
But, back to Isaiah 24. What we have is this:
1. Isaiah 24 predicted the destruction of creation, as a direct result of Israel’s violation of the Law of Moses. There is no futurist paradigm that posits this scenario! This fact falsifies Mr. Frost’s new doctrine.
2. If one takes this language literally, then of necessity, since heaven and earth is destroyed as a direct consequence of Israel’s violation of the Law, this means that the Law must remain valid, as God’s law for Israel until that proposed end of time. Clearly, Mr. Frost cannot adopt this fact, for once again, if the Law remains valid until the “end of time” then this is “covenant eschatology” and he rejects this.
3. Point # 2 is, to say the least, not only not Biblical, it is simply not historical, not creedal, not traditional. It is unknown. Thus, Frost cannot appeal to Isaiah 24 as a proof text for his claim that the Tanakh predicts the end of literal heaven and earth. Isaiah 24 predicted the passing of creation at the time of the Messianic Banquet / Resurrection, and posits it at the time of the judgment of Old Covenant Israel / Jerusalem.
By the way, in a “response” to my earlier article refuting the idea that Psalms 102 predicts the “end of time” Mr. Frost claimed that I never proved that Psalms is about God’s Old Covenant promises made to Old Covenant Israel. This is just stunningly bad.
I challenge the reader to read that article again. Note how I shared with the reader, the text of the chapter that proves it is about the time of the redemption of Zion, the time of the salvation of Israel, the time of the creation of a new people! Did Frost respond to even one of these textual facts? Not so much as a keystroke! Instead, he fabricated the claim that I had not proven that Psalms is about Israel and her promises, and that the Psalms would be at the day of her salvation.
I want the reader to catch the power of Frost’s denial that Psalms 102 is an Old Covenant promise, made to Old Covenant Israel after the flesh. This is surely one of the greatest examples of what I call “argumentum ad desperatum” (This a Latin expression that I invented, meaning argument from desperation)! The claim that Psalms 102 was not written to Israel, about her salvation, is surely one of the most revealing bits of his desperation that one can imagine.
Instead of offering a single syllable of exegetical work, Frost makes his false claims, and insists that Psalms does predict the end of material creation.
How are we to determine that Psalms, although written by Hebrew writers, ostensibly to Hebrews, was not in fact written to them, about their eschatological hope? Well, to be repetitious, Frost never offers so much as a scintilla of proof for his denial that Psalms was a promise made to Old Covenant Israel after the flesh. Just his bold assertions. For those interested in honest exegesis this is less than compelling.
Frost’s “response” is just another example of his increasing tendency and willingness to fabricate his theology “on the fly” and a lamentable willingness to even make blatantly false claims, all the while claiming to have countered the truth of Covenant Eschatology. Not only that, his increasing reliance on a woodenly literalistic hermeneutic is leading him straight down the path of Premillennialism. He has no logical way out of that if he continues. Let me illustrate.
He claims that Psalms 102 predicts the end of literal heaven and earth. Psalms posits that at the coming of the Lord in glory. Frost takes these as literal, physical events. But, watch this:
1. Frost has written that the OT language of the Day of the Lord, the language of the dissolution of creation, is (quoting from my books) “metaphoric language to describe Jehovah’s powerful intervention into history.” And he says “I wholeheartedly agree.” So there you have it: Frost agrees that in the OT the language of the passing of creation is not literal, not predictive of an end of time. But, what does he do now, in Psalms 102? He says that the language that he “wholeheartedly agrees” is used metaphorically, must now be taken literally. And what proof did he offer us in his article? Did he offer us his hermeneutic whereby he delineates between the admittedly metaphoric and the claimed literalism? Not a syllable, just his claim that it is so. Hardly convincing.
2. Now, if we are to take the language of the passing of “heaven and earth” literally, why are we to not take the language of the “redemption of Zion” i.e. Old Covenant Israel, just as literally? Frost never tells us, he just asserts that Psalms is about the passing of literal creation.
3. And, did Frost type one syllable about the indisputable fact that the passing of the heaven and earth in Psalms is tied directly to the creation of a new people? He did not grace us with one word of response. Revealing.
4. Did Frost say a single word about the relationship between Psalms 102, the coming of the Lord in Glory, and Matthew 16:27 and Matthew 24:30? Both of these texts posit the coming of the Lord in Glory– which incidentally would be for the salvation of Israel, the redemption of Zion – for his generation. What was Frost’s response? It was the sound of silence.
This is more than sufficient to refute Frost’s disingenuous claims about Psalms 102.
In summation: Nothing about Isaiah 24 supports Mr. Frost’s claims. And we have more proof of that, so stay tuned!
Be sure to get a copy of my book From Torah to Telos: The Passing of the Law of Moses, for a wealth of information that completely refutes Mr. Frost’s new views.