Simmons-Frost Debate

Does King's Covenant Eschatology Lead to Universalism?

Simmons' Pt. III


Editor's Note: This debate resulted from a challenge by Simmons to King and Presence Ministries to defend Covenant Eschatology.  King did not respond.  Instead, Sam Frost M.A. made a return challenge to Simmons, resulting in the instant debate.


Part III: Does King’s Covenant Eschatology Lead to Universalism?  Debate Concluded.

In this debate, Sam is supposed to be showing that there is no logical connection between Max’s King’s Universalism and Covenant Eschatology.  For those that do not want to admit there is an elephant standing in the room, Sam’s performance will be a sufficient excuse to go on with life as before.  But, for those who are interested in the truth, for those that have a genuine concern for protecting and preserving the pure word of the gospel from adulterous doctrines like Universalism, Sam’s antics will not wipe away the mountain of evidence standing before them.  And I do not blush to call them antics, for it is clear that Sam has made no attempt to demonstrate that King’s Covenant Eschatology is not the source of his Universalism.  He has played games with words and sentences, he has been clever and humorous, he has faulted my ability to express King’s position in perfect logic as taught at the University level (I doubt one in five thousand people could), but he has not set one particle of evidence before the reader demonstrating that King’s Universalism hales from some source other than Covenant Eschatology.  What can you say about a man who admits his system leads to Universalism, yet will stand before the world and deny it is so?  “Many would assume that the only result of such a theology is universal salvation for every man.  This would be true.”  Personally, I feel sorry for Sam and for all that have come under King’s influence.  Faced with massive evidence that they have bought into a false system, they must muster courage to admit they have been wrong – something most cannot do. 

Universalism Via Antinomianism

The question to be decided by this debate is simple and straight forward: Does King’s Covenant Eschatology logically lead to Universalism?  I think that a clear and direct connection has indeed been demonstrated. King is posting Universalistic articles on his site; his son is preaching a Universlistic gospel, as is Kevin Beck, the current president of Presence Ministries; Universalists 125 years ago used the “corporate body” concept to prop up their system; modern Universalists are using language and concepts taken directly from King.  Only a man willfully blind could not see that a connection exists.  Why attempt to deny it?  What is to be gained from that?  Tim King provides proof positive of the connection when he states “Man is reconciled to God because he no longer lives under the rule of sin and death as determined by the Mosaic world. Through the gift of Christ he dwells in a world of righteousness and life. The issue is cosmic and corporate, not individual and limited.”  (Tim King, Comprehensive Grace, 2002)  Put in logical form, King’s statement looks something like this: 

Major Premise: The reign of sin and death over man was determined by the Mosaic law

Minor Premise: The Mosaic law was annulled at the eschaton, losing all men of its power; therefore,

Conclusion: All men are loosed of the power of sin and death (viz., universally reconciled to God). 

If this is not in proper “form” it is nonetheless of perfect “substance” and represents the basis for King’s Universalism.  As may be seen, King arrives at Universalism by taking away the law.  Hence, the debate might also have been framed Does King’s Covenant Eschatology logically lead to Antinomianism?  (Antinomianism means “no law.”)  Those advocating Covenant Eschatology hold there is no law condemning man today.[1] 

For example, Sam Frost is on record stating “There is no law taking into account our sins.”[2] 

Larry Siegle, who jumped into the debate, is also on record saying the same.  In response to the question “Does the moral law condemn men today? Is murder, adultery, theft still sinful and a cause of eternal judgment before God?  Larry answered “No.” [3] 

What could possibly lead someone to so tenuous a position as this?  The reader must understand that it is the peculiar belief of King and those who learned under him that man could not be saved as long as law exists.  Thus, Larry Siegle says “As long as the Law was in force there was no way to be restored to the presence of God… Paul knew that the "body of death" needed to be taken out of the way completely and the power of sin and death be broken.” [4]  Max King affirms the same: “The defeat of sin is tied to the annulment of the old aeon of law”[5]  This then becomes the basis of Tim King’s Universalism: “Man is reconciled to God because he no longer lives under the rule of sin and death as determined by the Mosaic world.”  In other words, King’s is a system of Universalism via Antinomianism.  Hence, they need to remove the law so the “resurrection” (justification) could come about.  Some of the verses relied upon for their position included the following: 

Rom. 4:15 – “Where no law is, there is no transgression.” 

Rom. 5:13 – “Sin is not imputed where there is no law.” 

I Cor. 15:56: “The strength of sin is the law.”

God’s Eternal Law

The basic assumption of King and those who follow him is that from Adam to Moses there was no law, and sin was not imputed (reckoned) against man by God.  Sam says “In the world, before Jesus, the death and the sin ruled through the law given to Adam and later given to Moses.  Even when there was no law, the death and the sin ruled because of the law given to Adam.”  A little later he states “between Adam and Moses no sins were reckoned to one’s account.”[6]  Thus, according to Frost, there was a time when the world was without law, and sin was not reckoned to man’s account.  This is absurd.  If sin was not put to man’s account from Adam to Moses, why did God flood the world and destroy Sodom?  Were the Sodomites and those that perished in the deluge saved, because there was no law condemning them?  I think we all know that they were not saved; indeed, Peter and Jude affirm they were not ( I Pet. 3:19,20; II Pet. 2:5; Jude 7).  This is conclusive evidence that God in fact reckoned sin against man, and that Sam is wrong.

There has always been law and always will be.  This law was not always expressed orally or in writing; it didn’t need to be.  God equipped man with a conscience that told him right from wrong.  Man is also equipped with reason and can judge what is right by the exercise moral and mental faculties.  Does it take an express statement from God for man to know that copulating with beasts is wrong?  That to kill another man is wrong?  That to enslave and oppress is wrong?  No, obviously not.  Paul alludes to this when he says “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: which shew the work of the law written in their hearts.”  (Rom. 2:14, 15)   

All during the period from Adam to Moses men recognized, and God punished, sin.  However, because of the hardness of man’s heart and darkness of his mind, man’s conception of sin was imperfect and much that is immoral became accepted practice.  Men made slaves of other men; men took multiple wives; men lived by piracy, war, robbery, and oppression.  Men did not impute sin to themselves where there was no divine law expressly condemning their acts.  That is the meaning of Romans 5:13.  Most, including Sam and King, assume that it means that God did not impute sin to man before the law of Moses, but this wrong.  The destruction of Sodom shows this.  No, it is man that did not reckon, impute, or take account of his own sin without the written law.  Oh, they imputed (reckoned) some sin to themselves, but not all.  Man’s conscience became corrupt; idolatry, fornication, and homosexuality were acceptable among Pagan man and not viewed as sinful.  Paul expresses this, saying, “who being past feeling [callused, hardened] have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.”  (Eph. 4:19)  Hence, the Mosaic law entered to teach man his sin (not “the sin” as Sam would have it).  The Mosaic law did not create sin; it merely codified the sin that existed in man from the time of the fall, so man could know sin and the judgment of death it brings down from God.  Thus, the notion that there was a “gap” from Adam to Moses when there was no law and God did not reckon sin is wrong - and is part of the architecture which allows Universalists to revive that same sinless period post AD70 when that law was purportedly removed. 

The Law of Sin and Death

The penalty of sin is death.  The law of sin and death is annexed to every commandment of God.  “In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”  (Gen. 2:17)  “The wages of sin is death.”  (Rom. 6:23)  “Death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”  (Rom. 5:12)  Thus, death did not pass upon all men because God imputed to them Adam’s sin, but reckoned (imputed) against them their own sin.  (Parenthetically, this is why virtually all translations leave the article un-translated in Romans.  Sam wants the text to make specific reference to “the sin” of Adam, but all translators are agreed that it is not Adam’s sin that is in view, but sin in general.  Hence, they leave the article un-translated to show that it is not Adam’s sin or any other specific sin that reigned in death, but your sin, my sin, and sin in general.  Young translated the article either from doctrinal prejudice, or (more probably) because the purpose of his “translation” was to preserve the peculiarities of Greek structure, rather than produce a grammatically correct translation.   In two thousand years of Christianity, there may never have been another translation that renders Romans “the sin” and “the death.”) 

The law of sin and death has always existed and always will.  It is this law that Christ died to redeem man from.  Christ did not die to redeem men from the law of Moses (the Gentiles were never under that law, nor was any man from Adam to Moses, nor is any man today).  No; Christ died to save man from the law of sin and death.  The law of sin and death was subsumed by and underlay the Mosaic law, just as it underlies the moral law today, but ultimately it was not the Mosaic law that condemned man.  This is another huge misinterpretation of King and his followers.  They assume that the Mosaic law condemned all men and hence that its removal was necessary for man to be justified (see below).  But, this is mistaken.  It is the law of sin and death that imperiled man, not Moses.  Thus, Paul says “Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”  (Rom. 8:2; cf. 7:23)  He does not say “Christ hath made me free from the law of Moses,” but “Christ hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”  When Paul says “the strength of sin is the law” (I Cor. 15:56), again it is not the law of Moses he has in view (except perhaps incidentally), but the law of sin and death.  He calls the law of Moses “the ministration of death written and engraven in stones” (II Cor. 3:7), not because it created the law of sin and death, but because it was superadded to it.  The Mosaic law was invested with no especial power of sin and death that is not present in the moral law binding upon all men today.  Neither the Mosaic law, moral law, or law of sin and death provided for forgiveness.  That comes only in Christ.  Annulment of the Mosaic law was soteriologically irrelevant; it changed nothing for man before God.

The Moral Law

The law of Moses was superadded to the moral law of God.  Underlying the moral law was the law of sin and death.  The law of Moses also included the ceremonial law, consisting in types and shadows that pointed to Christ.  Thus, where the moral law condemned, the ceremonial law offered man the hope of redemption.  The ceremonial law has been removed, but not the moral.  The moral law still convicts man of sin.  To commit adultery was sinful before Moses (see Gen. 20:6; 39:9), and is still every bit as unlawful today (“whoremongers and adulterers God will judge”- Heb. 13:4).  This is why we have a guilty conscience when we do wrong – God’s eternal law of right and wrong is impressed upon our hearts.  But not according to Larry Siegle who affirms that there is no distinction between the moral and ceremonial law (“The NT does not make a distinction between a "moral" and "ceremonial" law”).  Siegle also maintains that all law was done away in AD 70:  “It is not "moral law" that separates a person from God today…It is not any one moral violation that condemns them (murder, adultery, etc).”  In other words, Larry Siegle has it that the moral law vanished with the law of Moses, and there is no act of sin or crime man can commit that condemns him before God.  Antinomianism! 

Sam also denies the distinction between the moral and ceremonial law exists.  He says it was “theologically foreign to Paul. It [is] a man-made theology to "get around" applying all of the Law, yet forcing some of the Law on parishioners.”  Apparently, it is alright with Sam if parishioners commit adultery, fornication, lie, steal and cheat. We wouldn’t want to force the moral law upon them, seeing this is a “man-made theology” now that the law of Moses is removed.  Remember, Sam says “There is no law taking into account our sins.”[7]  What basis the church has to put immoral persons out of its fellowship I confess I do not understand, if “there is no law taking into account our sins.”  I know some homosexuals who argue that condemnation of homosexual sodomy was merely part of the Mosaic law and its object lessons against adopting Pagan customs, embodied also in the laws against mixing wool and linen, and sowing a field with diverse seeds, etc, and is permissible today because the law has passed away.  They would be very happy with Sam and Larry’s position that there is no distinction between the moral and ceremonial law and that all law has been removed.  These homosexuals would happily fill our pews and we would have no way to remove them.  I think most people’s common sense will tell them Sam and Larry are wrong. Yet, they go along posting this irresponsible material all over the internet where millions of people have access to it and are led astray.  (Virgil take note!)[8]

King’s Compromise of the Cross and Bifurcated Redemption

 Beginning with the premise that man’s condemnation resided in the Mosaic law, King and his followers believe that it was necessary for the law to be removed for man to be redeemed!  This is dangerous ground we now tread upon, for it strikes at the very efficacy of the cross.  King says “The defeat of sin is tied to the annulment of the old aeon of law”[9]  Larry Seigle says “You cannot see what the Mosaic Law had to do with deliverance from sin-death in the very same sense that people in general cannot see how the destruction of Jerusalem had anything to do with the coming of the Lord, the resurrection of the dead or the judgment… Nullification of the Mosaic Law represented what humanity needed most--deliverance from a system of Law that COULD NOT SAVE.”  Did you catch that?  Nullification of the Mosaic law is what man needed most!  Man is delivered from sin and death by annulment of the Mosaic law!  Serious stuff, indeed! 

One must stop and ask at this point: If all that was necessary to acquit man of sin is annulment of the law, then what did Jesus die for?  Didn’t Jesus’ cross triumph over the law and its sentence of death upon all that sin?  (Col. 2:15)  If Jesus’ cross did triumph over the law, how is it possible that it was necessary for the law to be removed for man to be redeemed?  Did he triumph over the law or not?  Sam asks: “If the death is defeated at the cross, according to Simmons, then why is Paul still looking forward to its defeat at the parousia of Christ?”  The reason death is not defeated until the eschaton is not because the law needed to be removed, but because Christ needed to carry his blood within the Holy of Holies.  When that was accomplished, Christ would emerge from the heavenly temple, and come for his church.  (Heb. 9:24-28)  The temple was destroyed at this time, naturally, but this was not to redeem man from its power, but as a sign that that system was annulled and repudiated by God.  Moreover, death is not defeated until the eschaton because it was the “last enemy” (I Cor. 15:26); the resurrection would follow Christ’s vengeance upon his enemies among the Romans and Jews.  When Paul says “the strength of sin is the law” he then says “but thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  (I Cor. 15:57)  He refers to the cross, not the annulment of the law.  It is a complete misreading of scripture to divide man’s redemption between the cross and annulment of the law.   

What does this mean?  It means that in addition to the false gospel of Universalism, King is preaching a bifurcated redemption in which the cross is ineffectual to save man alone, but stands helpless until the law is removed.  This is dangerous ground!  Paul pronounced a curse upon anyone adding to the gospel the need to keep the law.  (Gal. 1:8, 9) What would he say about someone adding to the gospel the need to annul the law in order for man to be saved?  Paul said “God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  (Gal. 6:14)  King, Sam, and Larry have Paul saying “God forbid I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ (but especially nullification of the Mosaic law!)”   

Dear reader, let us be very clear that annulment of the Mosaic law was a complete irrelevancy in terms of man’s salvation.  It was not the Mosaic law that Christ died to save man from, but the law of sin and death.  Hence, if there was any law that needed nullification to save man, it was this, not Moses’ law.  But the law of sin and death has not been annulled; it, along with the moral law, is still wholly effectual and condemns every transgression and disobedience before God.  No.  It is not the annulment of law, but the satisfaction of its legal penalty that Christ died to remit.  Man was in bondage to the law of sin and death; he owed a debt he could not pay except at price of his soul.  Thus, Jesus took our place to redeem us from the law’s demand.   The book of Hebrews turns upon the hinge of the law’s removal.  Which law?  The moral law, or the priestly and ceremonial?  The priestly and ceremonial to be sure!  Where does the Hebrew writer place salvation, in the removal of the old law, or the cross?  The cross to be sure!  “But now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”  (Heb. 9:26)  Put away sin how?  By annulment of the law?  No, no, no, by his sacrifice.  Let no man pollute the gospel by appending to man’s redemption the need to annul the law!

Covenant Eschatology and Purported Resurrection

by Annulment of the Mosaic Law

 The bed-rock foundation of King’s Covenant Eschatology is that the resurrection consisted in the annulment of the Mosaic law.[10]  It should be obvious by now that King is sorely mistaken in his estimation that the law of Moses was “the state and power of death to be destroyed by the reign of Christ”[11] and that the resurrection consisted in annulment of the law (“the primary application of the resurrection is applied to the death of Judaism, and to the rise of Christianity.”[12])  First, it was not the Mosaic law that was mankind’s problem, but the moral law and the law of sin and death.  Second, the priestly and ceremonial law has been done away, but the moral law and law of sin and death remain.  How could removal of the ceremonial law then affect a resurrection (justification)?  Third, it is Jesus’ cross and resurrection that justify man, not annulment of the law.  Hence, King is seriously amiss in his doctrine.  The very premise upon which his whole system is founded is seen to be wrong, a mere phantom that has no basis in fact.

But let us ignore all this and let us assume with King that the Mosaic law condemned all mankind and that in its removal man is made just before the throne.  What is the result if not Universalism?  I give the reader our syllogisms again.  Sam says there are in “bad form” but I think the reader is sufficiently intelligent to understand their “substance” and that they represent accurately King’s position:

Syllogism No. 1

Major Premise: The power of sin and death over mankind resided in the Mosaic law.

Minor Premise: The Mosaic law was done away for all men for all time in A.D. 70.  Therefore,

Conclusion: All men are freed from the power of sin and death.

Sam says I add a subject in the conclusion that is not in the premises.  I believe he is mistaken in this.  What does the conclusion contain that is not in the premises?  Only one word!  “Freed.”  I think Sam was mistaken.  Sam apparently was not sure either, because he continues “But, even if we grant that somehow Simmons may salvage some rationale for this mess, he still is factually false in the first premise: Max King and Samuel Frost do not teach that the Mosaic Law determined the reign of the Sin and the Death!”  I find this statement astonishing.  Sam’s use of “determined” here means “originate.”  Sam says King and Frost do not teach that the reign of sin and death originated with Moses.  That is true.  No one said they did.  The term “determine” comes from Tim King when he says “Man is reconciled to God because he no longer lives under the rule of sin and death as determined by the Mosaic world.”  King uses “determine” not to mean originate as Sam supposes, but in the sense of fixed, settled, or defined.  It is Sam who misunderstands King, not Simmons.   

But that is not what the premise of this syllogism states.  Sam used the word “determined.” I do not.  The premise states that the power of sin and death over mankind resided in the Mosaic law (per King).  This is clearly – obviously, indisputably - King’s position.  “One must look to the Jewish system as the state and power of death to be destroyed by the reign of Christ.”[13]   In our last article we said that Sam MUST deal with this premise if he is to extricate Covenant Eschatology from Universalism.  Sam’s way of dealing with it was to accuse us of adding something to the conclusion not in the premise (he did, we didn’t), misrepresent King’s use of “determined”, and then ignore the charge.  It should be obvious that if Sam could refute the charge he would have. But since he couldn’t he resorted to bluff and bluster to distract the reader and save face – something more important than the truth by some men’s estimation.  Here is the second syllogism. 

Syllogism No. 2

Major Premise: The resurrection consisted in the removal of legal condemnation. 

Minor Premise:  Legal condemnation exists today despite annulment of the Mosaic law.  Therefore,

Conclusion: There was no spiritual resurrection based upon annulment of the Mosaic law.

Sam claims this is in “bad form” but anyone with average intelligence will recognize immediately the validity of the argument and Sam’s need to address it.  But, then it is always easier to get out of court on a technicality than to answer a charge.  If the resurrection consisted in removal of condemnation under law, and if it is shown that legal condemnation still exists despite removal of the Mosaic law, then removal of the Mosaic law could not have affected man’s resurrection, because the condemnation still exists.  The importance of this lies in showing, not only that Covenant Eschatology is based upon false premises (the Mosaic law was the ultimate source of man’s condemnation, whose annulment affected man’s resurrection), but that it cannot extricate itself from Universalism without overthrowing its very foundations.   

In order to avoid Universalism, mankind must be subject to condemnation of sin under law, since without law, there is no sin, and all are just.  Sam does this by saying men are still born into in the prison of imputed Adamic death, only some will escape.  But, if this saves Sam from Universalism, it shows there was no “resurrection;” the “effect” of “the sin” and “the death” still exists!  The resurrection is based upon the destruction of death, but Sam positively affirms its effect still exists!  How then can there be a resurrection?  If there was, it most certainly was not because Adamic death was taken away, for Sam affirms it is still here.  Hopeless contradiction.  Most other proponents of Covenant Eschatology would attempt to avoid Universalism by conceding that all men come under condemnation of the moral law.   But if this exculpates the system from Universalism, it shows no resurrection occurred by removal of the Mosaic law, for man is still condemned.  Thus, either way they turn, Covenant Eschatology is doomed.  It is too bad Sam did not deal with this in an intelligent way; it would have been nice to see the argument tested in the crucible of debate.  His unwillingness to address the issue can only be interpreted as defeat.  Perhaps some other brave soul will take up the gauntlet and prove us wrong. 

Which Death was Destroyed in AD 70?

The issue of which death was destroyed in AD 70 is central to the debate over Universalism and Covenant Eschatology.   Sam argues that imputed Adamic death was destroyed (but not really, only in cause, not effect!).  King argues that it was “sin-death” as embodied in the Mosaic law that was destroyed.  (“The dissolution of [the Jewish] body ended the reign of death.”)[14] King does not define “sin-death,” but I take him to mean juridical death.  That is, the sentence of death pronounced upon all that sin.  If juridical death was destroyed in AD 70, then, clearly, all men are justified and made heirs of eternal life, for without the sentence of juridical death, there is nothing to condemn men to hell.  It is as if the whole race were arraigned before the court of heaven upon an indictment reciting these two laws (Mosaic/imputed Adamic death).  The annulment of those laws ipso facto destroys the indictment, as there is no longer any law to base an accusation upon.  Hence, all men stand acquitted.  In the words of Sam Frost: “There is no law taking into account our sins.” Since both the King approach and the Frost/four-point Calvinist[15] approach cannot be right, and since the Universalism inherent in their views is plainly wrong, the question remains which death was destroyed?  The answer is elementary: Hadean death. 

There are five kinds of death that can be identified in the Bible.  These are:  1) Moral/spiritual; 2) legal/juridical; 3) physical; 4) Hadean; 5) eternal/second death.  All of these exist today except Hadean death.  Moral and spiritual death speak to man’s fallen nature, inherited by physical descent from Adam.  Legal and juridical death are terms used to describe the sentence of death passed upon all who sin.  Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.  The moral faculty of faith tied to man’s conscience requires that he obey its dictates.  Where he acts in violation of his conscience or the command of God, he is guilty of sin and comes under juridical death, just like Adam.  Physical death requires no explanation.  Eternal death is the penalty for sin announced in the garden.  All who are guilty of sin and fail to obtain the salvation that is freely offered in Jesus will suffer the second, eternal death.  Only Hadean death was destroyed in A.D. 70.  This is confirmed by the very context of the passage (Rev. 20:11-15), which shows death and Hades cast into the lake of fire together. Paul is to the same effect: “Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is thy sting, O Hades, where is thy victory?”  (I Cor. 15:54, 55)  It was Hadean death that was destroyed at the eschaton, and none else.  Anything else will produce Universalism.

Some will ask what about juridical death?  Wasn’t that destroyed at the eschaton?  No, it was not.  As long as mankind endures, he will be carnal, sold under sin, and therefore subject to juridical death for the sins of his flesh under the moral law.  If he has not obeyed the gospel at the time of physical death, there is only one decree announced: eternal death.  Thus, all forms of death but Hadean remain today.  Hadean death alone as passed from existence and is no more. 

What about Revelation 21:4? 

Revelation 21:4 describes the holy city, new Jerusalem (the church) saying: “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”  This passage is adapted from Isaiah, where it describes the return of the captivity to Judah, but ultimately looks beyond the captivity’s return unto the kingdom of the Messiah.  (Isa. 35:9, 10; 65:19-25)  When Revelation says there will be no more death, this should not be taken in an absolute sense.  This is clear from the fact that it also says there will be no more sorrow, crying, or pain.  Since these are still a very real and permanent part of human existence this side of eternity, it seems clear that the statement is intended to be understood in a relative sense.  The trials and tribulations of the eschaton were over; death, sorrow, and crying associated with the persecution were past. That this is the intended meaning is also seen from Rev. 7:16, 17 where similar language is used to describe those that came through the great tribulation.  It is often assumed that the image is of the saints in heaven, but the better view is that it speaks to the church triumphant upon earth: 

They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

It is true, of course, that inside the city believers have access to the tree of life and, therefore, juridical death will not touch those that remain in covenant relation with God.  (We believe in the possibility of apostasy; hence “no more death” must be taken in a relative sense for this reason also.)  But this does not seem to be the prophet’s meaning.  Again, the fact that sorrow and crying remain part of human existence requires the language be understood in context of the persecutions of Nero that were past.  Foy E. Wallace Jr. puts it this way: 

This passage was the fulfillment of the promise in chapter 7:14-17 which was vouchsafed by Christ himself that the faithful through tribulation would become recipients of the blessings signified in the symbolic phrases of these two texts.  The same figures of speech are employed by Isaiah in the descriptions of the blessings that should come upon Israel when freed from exile and returned to their land…no more death referred to the martyrdom of the saints as chapter 2:10; neither sorrow nor crying referred to the sorrows of persecution; and neither any more pain was just another phrase for no more tribulation.[16]

Again, let it be emphasized that the termination of any other death than Hadean death will result only in Universalism (unless you want to try in vain to divorce the cause and effect, like Sam). 


 There is an elephant standing in the room.  Sam would persuade you that you are simply seeing things and that life should go on as before.  Hopefully you have not been persuaded to follow his perilous course, but will reject Covenant Eschatology – man made doctrine leading logically to Universalism and Antinomianism, which pollutes and imperils the gospel of Jesus Christ.


[1] Those that admit law exists are faced with an indissoluble quandary: if law exists, there cannot have been a resurrection upon the basis that the law was removed.  See discussion, below.

[2] Samuel M. Frost, Exegetical Essays on the Resurrection of the Dead (Truth Voice Pub. 2004), p.157.



Lest it seem like I am picking on these men, I encourage you, reader, to see for yourself how many comments exist among Preterist writers, which either agree with this principle outright, or at the very least encourage such thinking. My attempt to point out these paths are something that every gospel-loving full Preterist should consider themselves responsible for, in that a tsunami of Universalism and Antinomianism has hit the movement, and nobody seems to care, except to deny it and pretend that everything is just fine.

Ward Fenley on Law: David Curtis on Law: Virgil Vaduva on Law:

[4] According to Siegle, the “body of death” is mankind under the Mosaic law:  “This is why Paul cried out for deliverance from the Mosaic "body of death" (Rom. 7:24).”  Siegle; from a comment posted on PlanetPreterist.

[5] Max R. King, The Cross and the Parousia of Christ, p. 644.

[6] Samuel M. Frost, Exegetical Essays on the Resurrection (Truth Voice, 2004), p.156.

[7] Samuel M. Frost, Exegetical Essays on the Resurrection of the Dead (Truth Voice Pub. 2004), p.157.

[8] I withdrew my name as a formal columnist at PlanetPreterist from a conviction that there is too much irresponsible material posted that imperils the souls of others, and I did not want to seem to endorse this editorial policy.  I encourage Virgil to take a more conservative stance toward what he allows posted on his site.  We cannot wash our hands and plead “free speech” and academic discussion where souls are in the balance – at least not in a public forum open to millions of people world-wide.   I chose to post this debate here because this site has strong ties to King and therefore represented the most suitable forum for reaching those impacted by King’s fallacious doctrines.  

[9] Max R. King, The Cross and the Parousia of Christ, p. 644.

[10] Imputed Adamic death does not enter into King’s scheme; before he turned Universalist, King was Arminian, not Calvinist; King does not teach imputed Adamic death.

[11] Max R. King, The Spirit of Prophecy (Warren, OH, 1971), pp. 144.

[12]    Max King, The Spirit of Prophecy (Warren OH, 1971 ed.), p. 204.

[13] Max R. King, The Spirit of Prophecy (Warren, OH, 1971), pp. 144.

[14] Max R. King, The Spirit of Prophecy (1971), p. 356; cf. The Cross and Parousia of Christ, p. 257.

[15] In fairness to our Reformed friends, it should be noted that Sam’s views are atypical and do not represent the views of standard, conservative Reformed Preterists.

[16] Foy E. Wallace Jr., The Book of Revelation (Ft. Worth, 1966), pp. 429, 430.

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