Don K. Preston, D. Div, and Dr. Michael Brown will participate in a debate on Who Is Israel coming up in just a few at 3:30pm Central time.
However, what Dr. Michael Brown failed to establish was a connection between the present Israeli occupation of Palestine and the ancient Israelites. His main line of reasoning for arguing for a restoration of Israel was that the end times events had not yet happened. He repeated this over and over again, but never offered proof. Those who watch the debate will quickly notice this flaw in the line of reasoning for Dr. Brown.
One of this arguments centered on 2 Thessalonians and the persecution of the saints. Again, his proof was it had not happened.
Who Is Israel?
On the other hand, Don Preston, established several arguments from the context. He demonstrated that the Thessalonians who were at the time of Paul’s writings were undergoing persecution for which they were promised relief. He pointed out that a respite from persecution in the 21st century would have been of no use and encouragement to those who were suffering in the first century. That is like saying people today who are suffering will receive relief two centuries from now. This was a devastating point for Dr Brown’s position.
Preston also established the OT context for the fulfillment of the prophecies regarding the restoration of Israel showing they were fulfilled in the first century per Deut. 32, Hos. 1-3 and Isa. 24-29. He cited 1 and 2 Peter to show that he Diaspora of Israel from the Assyrian captivity were being gathered in the last days with an imminent return of Christ fulfilled in 70 AD.
Dr. Preston also demonstrated that God never saved the entire nation of Israel but always saved a remnant. He demonstrated from Romans 9:27-28 and Joel 2:28-30 and Isa 28 that God was saving a remnant in the last days and this coincided with the coming in of the Gentiles. Preston cited the second exodus theme of Isa. 11:11 and Paul’s quote confirming the restoration of Israel was already taking place in the first century and had nothing to do with the year 1948.
Dr. Preston demonstrated that God’s covenant people always included non-Israelites as a mixed multitude came out of Egypt and the remnant in Revelation 7 was accompanied by a great innumerable multitude whom no man could number. The question of who is Israel always included more than those with genetic ties to Abraham.
The debate was very orderly and each man represented their respective positions well. Comments resulting from the discussion are that many more are now looking into the subject of Covenant Eschatology also known as Full Preterism. The Preston-Brown Debate on “Who is Israel?”, will serve students for years to come.