Friday, November 22, 2013

Special Report: The Eschatological Inconsistencies of Dr. Thomas Ice’ “Consistent Biblical Futurism, Parts X through XIII”




22 November 2013: I have recently completed reading Dr. Thomas Ice’ eschatological series entitled “Consistent Biblical Futurism,” (Parts X through XIII) in which Dr. Ice attempts to address the alleged eschatological errors of author Bill Salus’ 2008 book Isralestine which is an outstanding and all but peerless treatment of the musician and prophet Asaph’s Divinely inspired Psalm 83. 

It was difficult to complete this reading due to the distinctly unbrotherly ad hominem tone taken by Dr. Ice against Mr. Salus in each of these four treatments; I often found myself more often than not well prepared to click the delete button rather than to continue reading rubbish such as what Dr. Ice had put into print with these papers. Those unbrotherly ad hominems will not be addressed herein; but the eschatological errors made by Dr. Ice in his series most assuredly will be addressed.

Instead of dissecting each and every one of the erroneous criticisms leveled at Isralestine’s interpretive content I have selected one of the most egregious errors in each of Parts X through XIII to address with specificity, as the remainder of Dr. Ice’s criticisms crumble under the weight of these errors alone.

Firstly, with respect to these four parts in sum, whether a particular interpretation can be labeled as "historicist' or "futurist" is very subjective in my view because ALL unfulfilled Bible prophecy is clearly in the future, irregardless if that fulfillment is prior to the 70th Week, during the 70th Week or afterwards during the Millennium of Christ's rule on Earth.  

Secondly, I must point out that Dr. Ice makes it abundantly clear that he regards the views of others as "speculation" instead of their being a specific prophetic interpretation worthy of truly brotherly discussion. It is this apparently ego-driven and unwarranted adoption of an interpretive superiority over the views of his brothers-in-Christ which constitutes an appalling error on the part of Dr. Ice right from the get-go.

Consistent Biblical Futurism Part X:  The premier Scripture-based error made by Dr. Ice is with respect to his identification of the Philistines per Psalm 83:7. 

Dr. Ice wrote: "The first problem with this view is that "Early Palestine was dominated by white Caucasians from the eastern Mediterranean area."

Dr. Ice continued with: "By the time of the intertestamental period, the Philistines disappear from history. Why is this important? This is important since it is legitimate to trace a modern people group from their ancient ancestors mentioned in the Bible if that people group remains the same over the years. The fact that the Philistines have totally vanished from history, while the Palestinians, who take the name from the ancient Philistines are ethnically unrelated to them. Since there is not ethnic relationship, this disqualifies one from identifying them as the same people group today. Modern Palestinians are generally made up of Arabs from all of the surrounding counties that have immigrated to Israel over the years."

Dr. Ice got his cited "facts" wrong here, and that leads to the greater error of his conclusion of who exactly the Philistines were and are to this day.

In Genesis 10 the Lord instructs us very clearly that the Philistines did not come from the line of Noah through Japheth (the so-called white northern peoples, a/k/a Caucasians).

Genesis 10:6 and 13-14 instructs us that the Philistines came from the line of Noah through his son Ham who begat Mizraim who begat Casluhim -- whence went forth the Philistines.
The Philistines are the same stock, the same ethnic peoples, the same relative family of people as are the rest of the Hamites, such as Cush, Mizraim, Put and Canaan!  The Philistines descended from white Caucasians? Absolutely not!

Genesis 10:6 “And the sons of Ham: Cush, and Mizraim, and Put, and Canaan.”
Genesis 10:13-14 And Mizraim begot Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim, and Pathrusim, and Casluhim--whence went forth the Philistines--and Caphtorim.

Then turn to Exodus 13, verses 17-18 where God instructs:
"Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, “Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea."

The Philistines lived in that coastal strip of eastern Mediterranean land through the time of when Israel was being ruled by her Judges (the Book of Judges) and by her Kings (the Books of Kings) and they continued to live here until the Assyrian conquest. Then the Philistines gradually intermingled back into the same genetic stock of the Hamite-Mizraimite family of this same region from which they originated.

The Philistines haven't gone anywhere, they have not disappeared from history, they still live in the same place where their ancestors lived, and have intermingled even further since the Islamic conquest of the region in the 7th century AD. There are even greater details that I could cite  from the text of Moses in Genesis and of Asaph in Psalm 83, but this should serve to make the point I have made sufficiently.

Consistent Biblical Futurism Part XI:  The biggest error I found in Part XI is Dr. Ice’ abject refusal to accept the Biblical narrative that the cymbalist musician and psalmist Asaph was also known in his day as a chozeh, a seer, a prophet.  1 Chronicles 16:4-5 and 1 Chronicles 25:2 provide all the Word of God evidence necessary in proving beyond any doubt that Asaph was in fact a prophet; a man who spoke the prophetic word according to the order of the king.  Additionally, in 2 Chronicles 29:30 the following is clearly stated: "Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the LORD with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer (Hebrew: chozeh - a seer, a prophet)."
Therefore, as we can clearly see through God's Word, Asaph was a prophet, and Psalm 83 is a prophecy no different than any other prophecy in His Word. Without any doubt Psalm 83 should be viewed at the minimum by intellectually honest eschatologists as an imprecatory prophetic prayer. 

Consistent Biblical Futurism Part XII:  The argument made by Dr. ice in Part XII is quite deficient. This is because the word of God is the word of God. Period. While some ordinary human beings might try characterize the ancient prophets who spoke the inspired word of God as being of “major” or “minor” relative to the perceived importance of the word they spoke, is that not the extremely subjective view of the created being of the omnipotent purposes of the Creator LORD God? Absolutely! It is an interjection of human qualities into something of the utterly Divine purposes of God.  What I would say must be recognized first and foremost by Dr. Ice, and those who also might accept his views, is that any human being who has spoken the inspired word of God is a prophet of equal standing in the task which the LORD God has determined him (or her) to perform. Therefore, the context and ultimate truth of a given Biblical prophetic word will become evident in its utterly literal fulfillment. Therefore, all the nay saying as Dr. Ice performs in Part XII is rendered moot. This is the fare expected to be served up by Dr. Ice who rejects that there can be any pre-70th Week prophetic fulfillment. Apparently, in his view, one of the literal benchmarks of Dispensational prophetic interpretation that is found in Isaiah 66:8 has not occurred; the State of Israel that came into existence on a single day (May 15, 1948) in an expressly literal fulfillment isn’t what the LORD God declared it to be and all of us are in gross error. Actually, the exact opposite is true; Dr. Thomas Ice is in partial error.*  The prophetic parable of the fig tree, as spoken by our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 24:32, does indeed have leaves upon its tender branch even 65 years after the fact.  (*Note: According to his articles Dr. Ice believes that the modern State of Israel is "an important stage-setting development" and represents the beginning of a process of a regathered Israel literally coming to fulfillment, but that fulfillment "will have to happen in the future." )

Consistent Biblical Futurism Part XIII:  The primary problem here is that what Dr. Thomas Ice refers to as a “supposed Psalm 83” in reality escapes his notice as a prophecy in the midst of a prophetic fulfillment for the past 65 years; the ultimate fulfillment of which, by all current indications, will imminently occur in very close conjunction with the literal fulfillments of several other prophecies, such as Jeremiah 49, Isaiah 17, Ezekiel 28:24-26 and Isaiah 11:14-15, just to name a few. This is nothing more than the failure to see the “big picture” as painted by the Lord’s prophetic word to the many prophets He chose to convey His word on what is to come in our day, and quite probably before our eyes as witnesses thereof. Here is the Lord’s answer to Asaph’s imprecatory prophetic prayer that Dr. Ice refuses to acknowledge. However, when it comes to pass in real-time before our eyes, save for the Harpazo occurring first, he will have no alibi and will answer for the manner in which this four part ad hominem diatribe was delivered to His Church.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are you saying dr. Ice claims isreal as a nation is not the final fulfillment of isreal being regathered as a nation? If so, how does he think the current situation of isreal relates or plays into that final fulfillment? I have never heard anyone who is a premil dispy say that of isreal!

Lujack Skylark said...

Good points Sean!

Sean Osborne said...

Anonymous,

Correct. See the note I have added to the main text.

You'll have to ask him the second question yourself, or read some of his many writings to discover his views on the current situation.

hartdawg said...

Sean, the way dr ice, and those like him, explains away Israel's rebirth as the final fulfillment of prophecy is the flimsy argument that the prophecy refers to "believing Israel" at the second coming. Now I might be stretching it way too far but in my mind that borderlines replacement theology. The argument goes something like believing Israel that accepts Jesus as their messiah is regathered at the second coming and that's what Isaiah is saying. I'm sure you heard that flimsy argument before.......utter nonsense

Sean Osborne said...

Anonymous,

The core of the title of this post is ...

"The Eschatological Inconsistencies of Dr. Thomas Ice..."

That means Dr. Ice is (at the minimum) inconsistent is his eschatological views, and due to his inconsistencies his views ARE NOT accepted by many of us.

Ice is on-record acting and publicly speaking as if he were some Pontiff of Dispensationalist thought; that anyone who disagrees with him and his views is a rampant speculator engaged in the undoing of the prophetic Word of God.

I, for one reject Dr. Ice's pontificate attitude as well as his imposed labels regarding eschatological issues.

-------

Specifically, Israel as established on 15 May 1948 is the FULFILLMENT of Isaiah 66:8 and of our Lord Jesus Christ in His parable about the fig tree as recorded in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.

This IS NOT a prophecy in the process of fulfillment; it is prophecy fulfilled!