This blog is a review of my more recent debate (the 2nd time) with Sam Frost, an author and proclaimed “ex-full preterist”. You can view that debate at the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woYPNcA6SAY&t=9318s
The title of this blog comes from my continued interactions with Sam Frost since 2012, wherein he seemingly disregards important aspects of Scripture to highlight points he wants tom make. You might remember a blog I wrote about his presentation at the “Kingdom of God Conference” which was titled, “Disregard the Details. Just Be Encouraged”. You can read that blog at the following link, https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2018/02/27/disregard-the-details-just-be-encouraged/
In our recent exchange in May 2019, Sam opened up with his desire to “build a narrative” in which he said “makes sense” and “relates all of us to the story of Jesus”. Unfortunately, I as intend to make clear through this debate, Sam seems willing to “make plain” the story by completely moving aside the primary context of the passage, or words like “all”, “world”, etc.. This was the most prominent of flaws in Sam’s “logic” I took notice of in our recent debate, besides the various false and strange assertions he made (some of which I will detail in the conclusion to this blog).
Sam harped on Isaiah chapter 54 as the hermeneutic for his understanding the details in the New Testament, especially the resurrection of the dead at the “last day”. He brought this into his narrative outline of passages including Matthew 13:3-17; John 5-6; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-57; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:11-12; and Revelation 20:11-15. I would generally agree with connecting these passages, however it was strange to hear Sam’s insistence against and denial of how the 1st century Jews would have understood these things to be coming to fulfillment in that generation – he completely disregards audience relevance.
Isaiah prophesied prior to the Babylonian captivity, “concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah” (Isaiah 1:1). The prophecy is set at a time when the southern house of Judah was living in rebellion and idolatry to the things of God. The “hope of Israel” was set toward the days wherein righteousness would dwell in their midst, wherein it could be said they are the chosen of the Lord (Him being their God, and they being His people), so the Prophets, including Isaiah, continue to rebuke and encourage the people in regards to that time. So though this prophecy is set in 6th century BC to the flesh and blood Israelites, Spiritual discernment and the Apostolic wisdom preserved for us in the New Testament, we can see it pointed to Jesus Christ. Isaiah 54:1 is cited in Galatians 4:27 to demonstrate the Spiritual fulfillment of this text and this is exactly what was taking place in the first century.
Not only is the New Testament replete with references to the manifold fulfillment of these prophetic things (to the Jews and the Gentiles) but we also find various time-statements that illustrate the 1st century as the time of fulfillment. As I sought to explain the debate, the prophecy of Isaiah was primarily to the fathers and to the Jews, those who were near (cf. Romans 1:16-17; 15:8-9; Ephesians 2:17), and as can also be ascertained by those passages, the Gentiles, who who were far off. These things had not been clear before but where being made known in that time (cf. 1 Peter 1:10-12; Hebrews 1:1-2) – all of this to the purpose that the church would make known the manifold wisdom of God (Ephesians 3:10), or in keeping with an Isaiah 54 context, to declare, “This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord (Isaiah 54:7)”. – God’s demonstrated faithfulness and mercy.
The resurrection of the dead that was taking place in the first century was that the living could put their faith in Jesus Christ and go from “death to life” (cf. John 11: 1 John ) and while some of them would sleep, they along with the dead ones (those who died under the Old Covenant) would meet the Lord in the air (Greek – aer meaning Spirit). The Lord truly would and did raise the living and the dead at the Last Day – not only those ‘taught of the Lord’ even the wicked to face judgement. The text of Daniel 12 gives us insight as to when this would happen – at the destruction of the power of the holy people – which was the Temple – being measured and destroyed in Revelation chapter 11.
Now while Sam Frost finds it ludicrous to understand that the “last day of the last days” is in our past and yet find application in that, I believe the fact that God fulfilled Bible prophecy to provide something – His presence, the “hope of glory” Christ in us (cf. Colossians 1:27) and that it can be declared “blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on” (cf. Revelation 14:13) – makes perfect sense and has been demonstrated (oddly enough in works written and published by Sam Frost). The Full Preterist has and continues to make strides in helping others understand texts such as 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians chapter 15 which context, clarity, and consistency.
Despite what seems to be Sam’s intentionally confusing the topic, clarity can be sought. Sam asked, “When is the last day of John 6” to which I responded it would be the “last day of the last days”. A strange question, however I do not believe I was too far off in declaring it to be the 9th of Av, which is a date noted by the Jews as Tisha B’av. To see some correlations between Tisha B’av and how the Jews would have understood the “last days” visit the following link, https://www.preteristarchive.com/tisha-bav/
Using Isaiah chapter 54 coupled with John chapter 6 was the basis of Sam’s argument against me and Full Preterist, however he did mention some other things in the debate I wanted to highlight. All throughout the debate Sam emphasized use of “all” and “world” in a rather generalized way. Regarding such generalization, I remember this poignant passage I took from a forum discussion a while back; “Pertaining to “the whole world has gone after him”, did all the world go after Christ? Pertaining to “then went all Judea, and were baptized of him in Jordan.” Was all Judea, or all Jerusalem, baptized in Jordan? And pertaining to “Ye are of God, little children”, and the whole world lieth in the wicked one”. Does the whole world there mean everybody? The words “world” and “all” are used in some seven or eight senses in Scripture, and it is very rarely the “all” means all persons, taken individually.” But Sam knows this. How about his confusing rhetoric regarding our seeing or not seeing Christ in heaven about 23 minutes into the debate, what was he saying? Sam goes on to mock the notion of “examining everything carefully (1 Thessalonians 5:21, NASB) and makes it that we must either or agree or disagree with Church Fathers.
I must admit, I believe debating Sam Frost to be futile, this was my thoughts going into this 2nd debate, however I was goaded into it. I do stand by my charge that he intentionally confuses the audiences he speaks in front of and the topics he speaks on, and I believe that has been evident in both debates I have done with him. Prayerfully I have brought clarity to some details mentioned in this most recent debate in this review.
You can go back and watch the 1st debate Sam and I had at the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hz4JEGAsumE
May we continue to desire and express a zeal empowered by knowledge.
– Michael Miano