You are hereA Response to Ray Comfort’s “The End of the Age?”: Part 1

A Response to Ray Comfort’s “The End of the Age?”: Part 1

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By Virgil - Posted on 08 June 2008

by Gary DeMar

Ray Comfort has put himself on the front lines defending the Christian faith by confronting the spirit of the age and those who promote it. So Ray, if you ever read this, don’t take it as an attack on you or your ministry. It’s just my attempt to get you to take a fresh look at prophecy. After reading your short article, it seems to me that you have repeated the arguments of others without actually studying the issue for yourself. If I’m wrong about this, I apologize in advance. Either way, it’s my firm conviction that your views on Bible prophecy cannot be supported by a careful reading of the Bible. (Comfort’scomments from his article “The End of the Age?“ are in bold and appeared on the website of Christian Worldview Network on May 14, 2008.)Don’t let doomsday prophets fool you. Just because there’s been another big earthquake, it doesn’t signal the end of the world. It does, however, bring us closer to what the Bible calls “the end of the age.” Do you want evidence that the Bible is the Word of God? Of course you don’t, but here it is anyway: Look at the signs the Bible speaks of (combined from Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; 1 Timothy 4; and 2 Timothy 3), and relate that to contemporary life on earth.

I was hopeful when you began your article with “Don’t let doomsday prophets fool you” and your admonition that another big earthquake does not “signal the end of the world.” Then you had to throw in “however” and appeal to the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24; Mark 13; Luke 21). The Olivet Discourse is describing what will take place before “this generation” passes away” (Matt. 24:34). The events of Matthew 24 take place before “this generation” passes away (v. 34). Jesus always uses “this generation” to refer to His contemporaries (Matt. 11:16; 12:41, 42; 23:36; Mark 8:12; 13:30; Luke 7:31; 11:29, 30, 31, 32, 50, 51; 17:25; 21:32). He never uses “this generation” to refer to a future generation.

Click here to read Gary's entire article

Starlight's picture

Reading the responses to Gary’s article I find the following quote from Gary.

Gary DeMar said … “The problem is, they’ve built their ministries on dispensational audiences. Nearly all their speakers and associations are dispensational. Hank Hanegraaff made the break, and it cost his ministry dearly. I hate to have to say it, but end-time speculation sells.”

I really hate to hear this about Hank Hanegraaff’s ministry as his book “The Apocalypse Code” is one that I hand out to those who are not familiar with Preterist theology. Hank I believe possibly erred in that book when he took on the dispensationalist crowd in such a scathing method. I believe that over the top approach comes across in a tone that takes away from the Preterist theme that he teaches.

This is the reason that I really don’t get all uptight about Gary DeMar, Hank Hanegraaff and James Jordan coming to espouse a completely full Preterist position. In fact I would say they are more effective where they position themselves now. These guys could be reaching more folks with the truth of the Preterist understanding than the rest of us combined.

God’s message of truth will continue to work its way throughout the “Body” as time moves forward.

Thanks Gary for your standing up.

Norm Voss
PS. Reading James Jordan’s works on Daniel and “Through New Eyes” has convinced me that he is as close to a full Preterist position as one can get. Read his section on chapter 12 in the “Daniel” book and his discussion on the New Heaven and Earth starting on page 269 in Through New Eyes”. By the way you can read it as a PDF format for free from the following link.

http://freebooks.entrewave.com/freebooks/docs/a_pdfs/jjne.pdf

“According to Revelation 21:1, the work of Christ brought
about a new heavens and earth, “for the first heaven and the first
earth passed away.” This is explained a few verses later as the
New Jerusalem, coming from heaoen, overlaying a high mountain,
which is the earth. Thus, the New Jerusalem-mountain
complex is a picture of the new heavens and earth.
This is often nowadays taken to refer to the final eternal
estate, but I believe the older commentaries are right in referring
it first of all to the Gospel Age.” Page 269

Virgil's picture

I agree.

I've had many conversations with people about Gary's eschatology. There is no need for any one of us to condemn, confront or force Gary to explain in public what he believes. He doesn't have to do any of that for us or any other human and he doesn't owe anyone an explanation. Whether he is a partial or full preterist, Gary DeMar is doing amazing work with his ministry. I am certainly not arrogant enough to condemn him for holding to whatever eschatology he is holding to. His life to me speaks volumes about his faith.

Mung's picture

Dangit, and I just paid for Jordan's book Through New Eyes, lol. Well, hopefully the money will go to a good cause. I hope it's as good as it sounds.

Is his book on Daniel available online?

I don't think Gary is "hiding his full preterism." He's probably undecided, and that's why he won't make a statement condemning the heretics, as one poster called for him to do. Personally I can see how one can be undecided.

I would be very interested to know which commentaries Jordan has in mind.

One of the last "nails in the coffin" for me in my adoption of full preterism was the revelation that the New Heaven and New Earth are present realities, not something we're waiting for God to do in the future.

This is one of the things that bugged me about N.T. Wright's recent book. He acknowledges the present reality, but then robs us of it by asserting that we won't really have it till Jesus returns. GAH!

IT'S REAL! IT'S NOW!

We really do need new eyes.

Christ is the NEW ADAM.

What does this tell us about a NEW EARTH?

"But the saints shall never posses an earthly kingdom, but only a heavenly. Away, then, with the fable about a millennium!"

Starlight's picture

Yea, I use the online version of “Through New Eyes” when I’m away from home but I went ahead and purchased the book anyway as I like to just set in bed or my easy chair with it at times. And I don’t mind helping Jordan out as he is probably the most influential scholar out there for my personal studies. His Daniel commentary comes with a PDF version on cd also but it’s new and not online and I really like to mark it up anyway.

As I said earlier I really don’t care whether Gary DeMar stays as a partial Preterist or not. He is respectful of others and a class act and resists getting pulled into the heretic hunting of Brian Simmons, Dee Dee Warren and RE. Now if you want to talk about some heretics we would have a good case with those types since they would have been the ones hanging onto the temple in AD70 like Lot’s wife looking back longing for the Old Ways.

If we can get folks to understand that Rev 21 and 22 are the present realities of “body Living” then the rest is just gravy that will come in due time. If folks want to tack on a future coming somewhere down the line like DeMar who sets it at 30 to 40,000 years away then at least they realize that they need to live realistic lives of good stewardship in the hear and now.

It was amazing to see some of the comments following Gary’s four articles as Simmons and company were debating the heretical idea of not having a future coming of Christ. Just the absurdity of their idea was enough to make one pull their hair out. All I can say is they are (well maybe I shouldn’t say ;-)

Norm

Windpressor's picture

***********

Following to a link in one of mljtl's comments on the PP article: "Declining membership ...";

One of the articles there is --
** A Critique Of Ray Comfort's "Hell's Best Kept Secret"**
by Jon Zens [http://www.searchingtogether.org/secret.htm]

excerpt:

... Comfort laments the fact — and rightly so — that 80% to 90% of modem(sic) evangelicalism's converts do not stick because of a man-centered message that focuses on life enhancement instead of the problem of sin.

His answer to the malaise of easy-believism is to “prepare the heart for grace” by “opening up the divine Law, the Ten Commandments,” before preaching the gospel. Comfort confidently asserts that the Law-before-Gospel method reflects faithfulness to Jesus and the apostles. But does it really? Let's first take a look at the Scriptures Comfort uses to establish his position.

Psalm 19:7, “The Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.”

Comfort assumes that “law” in this text means the Ten Commandments. But when David used the word “law” here it refers to all the Lord's revealed will available in his day. The word “law” in the New Testament most often refers to the entire Old Testament. With the coming of Jesus, and especially after his resurrection, the Old Testament is no longer viewed as statute-centered, but as Christ-centered.

“Moses wrote of me” (John 5:46).

“The scriptures testify of me” (John 5:39).

“All things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms concerning me” (Luke 24:44).

“And beginning at Moses and all the prophets he opened up to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27).

As far as I can tell, in this teaching Comfort always uses the word “law” as synonymous with the Ten Commandments. But in the New Testament such usage is unknown. With the Jews, the apostles used the Law (the Old Testament) to “preach Christ” (Acts 8:35; 18:28; 13:15ff.; 17:2-3).

There is no example in Acts or the Epistles of any evangelization done by confronting people with the Ten Commandments before giving them the gospel. There is no precept in the New Testament that teaches that the Ten Commandments “convert the soul.” To clarify in our minds what David is saying, we can read Psalm 19:7, “The revealed Word of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.”

Romans 3:20, “For by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
“Law” in this context refers to the whole Old Testament. In verses 10-18 Paul cited
Isaiah and the Psalms, not the Ten Commandments, to establish the utter sinfulness of
Jew & Gentile (see the comments on Romans 3:9-20 attached). ...
...
...
Charles G. Finney: False Evangelism Set In Motion

Comfort places Finney “among those who God used through the ages.” He approvingly quotes Finney who said, “. . . evermore the law must prepare the way for the gospel.” Comfort locates the demise of true evangelism at the beginning of the 2Oth Century when, he avers, the law was forsaken and replaced with the idea that Jesus is primarily a life enhancer.

The gospel as life enhancement has surely emerged as a serious problem, but the perversion of true evangelism must be pushed back to the beginning of the l9th Century, with the rise of Charles G. Finney's “New Measures” in the 1830's. It was he who introduced the practice of protracted services in order to break people down, and altar calls to call people forward to the “anxious bench” (Cf. Robert More, Jr., “The Historical Origins of ‘The Altar Call,’” Banner of Truth, Dec.1969, pp. 25-31).
...
...

Seems that forcing scripture to "bind" where it does not is not
adequate answer for the "...80% to 90% of modern evangelicalism's converts ..."
that have been "loosed" from their conversion moorings.

......................

G-Juan Wind

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