The Big Gun: “Shepherds don’t debate wolves.”

The IO Debate cont.……

“When a wolf in sheepskin tries to sneak into the flock and carry off a sheep, what does the good shepherd do? Does he sit down at the table and have a nice debate or dialog with the wolf? Or does he pick up his club and start swinging? I am sure that Preston and Bell feel the same way about this situation as I do. It is just a matter of time before we pick up our clubs and start swinging.’ – Ed Stevens

Irony: a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result.

Irony is when the wolf has convinced himself he is the shepherd and continues to slaughter the sheep while telling the sheep. “I am the “good” shepherd.

So here we have false teachers claiming to be good shepherds who can’t understand why their own sheep are turning into wolves.  “Wolves only produce wolves” – they tend to run in packs and isolate themselves. They target the weakest and smallest as their prey. They often hunt in the dark and hide from the light.

With the Early Church Fathers, they often debated the wolves and gave “apologetics” in defense of the faith against attacks and heresy propagated by “wolves” in order to set the record straight. Well learned men of strong scholarship and education, versed in the languages of Greek and Latin, and the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle.  Men who lived through and were witnesses to the effect of the Jewish wars culminating with Jerusalem’s destruction in AD 70, but according to the Preterist wolf,  they were too stupid to know the Second Coming and the Resurrection of the Dead happened.  Men like Clement, Polycarp, and Barnabas, who wrote after AD 70 are to be questioned, doubted, ridiculed, and debunked by fabricated stories and claims.

Only wolves tear apart the credibility of sound Christian men (ECF).

From a Futurist perspective, the FP is the wolf and now that their own are turning on them using their own arguments against them, they now cry foul and claim their disciples that they made, are turning into wolves.

Because they pride themselves on independent study they propagate the idea people don’t need to learn the rules of Hermeneutics, go to seminary, or any type of sound systematic theology so they have bred a whole generation of puppies who are now turning on their parents because they don’t need teachers, but yet when they get into trouble they call for the Big Guns… Preterist with Doctorates, Don Preston with his honorary Doctorate degree and Bell with a D.Div in which he now refutes the very institution that gave him the degree.

The natural result of Preterism interpretations is these “aberrations in theology” because there is no sound hermeneutics being used. When the spiritual interpretation is accepted over the literal, anything goes as a ‘spiritual” interpretation is often made up by the reader and the intent of the author is ignored. Therefore, every heresy is justified; anhilationism, universalism, modalism, CC, CBV, with scriptures while another preterist using scriptures will attempt to prove why anhilationism, universalism, CC, CBV, is heresy. Neither side can win which includes the IO debate. Why? Both sides function in error. Error always begets more error. Truth cannot come from error.

Jeff Bricks is having a crisis because IO is not being refuted. The crisis? Because preterists teachings logically conclude with IO, it is the normal logical end of the theology. If it is the logical end how can any “Big Gun” refute it? They can’t with honesty. A preterist refutation requires playing again with scriptures fast and loose.


Now Randy Craiger offers fifteen points of foundation for IO beliefs and in each one of the assertions made is fraught with bias and assumption. I will pick just one and demonstrate why every point is a failure of interpretation.

19) Paul declares Abraham is the one man from whom “every nation” came from by quoting Deuteronomy 32:8 (Acts 17:26)

Acts 17:26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,

Duet 32:8 When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance,
when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples
according to the number of the sons of God.

To start with, he assumes each verse is talking about “Abraham”, yet the name is never used in either verse. Both verses are approached with a prior, “one man, nations, inheritance” are all code words for Israel, when in fact the context of each verse is not talking about Israel in general. In order to actually understand these verses several things have to be noted:

“mankind”, is a general term used for the inclusion of all people not just Israel or her descendants.

“Face of the earth” is always used of the entire Kosmos, all of creation over the whole globe, the people who live all across the Kosmos or creation, not just local or just Israel. (Jer 25:26)

Ethnos, / Nations / “Gentiles” is a word used to make the distinction between “Jews and non-Jews, (Greeks, Scythians, Barbarians) .

1484 Nations – éthnos (from ethō, “forming a custom, culture”) – properly, people joined by practicing similar customs or common culture; nation(s), usually referring to unbelieving Gentiles (non-Jews).

Ethnos, is defined by scholars as being every other nation that is non-Jewish, the IO ignores this meaning and makes up their own through manipulation of scriptures, through bad interpretation to come to that conclusion, while every sound scholar for 2000 years recognizes “gentiles” as being non-Jews. Even Samaritans were rejected for being “half Jews” by Israel.

Duet 32:8 “divided mankind” is a reference to Gen 11:8 “So the LORD dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth…”  – yet the Lord set aside the borders for his people and also gave them their land according to the ten tribes.

IN Acts a simple exegesis proves poor scholarship on this verse;
Acts 17:26 from one man blood every nation of mankind (the word man is not in the original Greek) – most translations leave off one word in this verse – ἐποίησέ τε ἐξ ἑνὸς αἵματος πᾶν ἔθνος / αἵματος, – haimatos, – blood, and change it to “man”.

It should read “from one blood” every nation of mankind comes… that one blood is Adam as all men come from that same origin. NOT Abraham. – every nation which Paul is including those who he is talking to, “Men of Athens,” –  he is pointing out every man comes from the same creator and has the same “blood”. The Athenians were not descendant of Abraham but yet comes from the same “blood” source, Adam.

The point is made neither scripture used is talking about Israel only, or Abraham’s descendants alone. Paul never declares all nations on the face of the earth came from one man, Abraham. “every nation” is never defined by those nations only coming from Abraham in any scriptures as Israel is ONE nation, not many. From the one man, Adam many nations came. It was through the one nation Israel, all the nations of the earth would be blessed, which implies a blessing upon all nations, which is the savior who was born of the woman who has become the savior of  all the world to those who believe.

This is just one example why these 15 points are bogus because they are not built on sound exegesis but on a person’s bias and opinion from poor scholarship.

Now when Randy starts these points he begins with Gen 17:5, and demonstrates the IO builds the case from there. But as I have pointed out before, this is not the first word of promise The first promise is found in Genesis 3.

Genesis 3:15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”

God pronounces a curse of mankind and at the same time delivers hope for redemption. A promise is made, the woman is Mary, who is the seed, offspring, to come He, Jesus bruised the head (authority) of satan with his death and resurrection, by taking the keys to death and hell. He now has all authority. The authority given to Adam and Eve, who in turn by their sin, gave it to satan, and now it is Christ who has taken it back in his victory over sin and death, as the perfect lamb of God, who was without sin. Satan bruised his heel in his death on the cross but though that death, victory over death was achieved by his sinless sacrifice.

So the promise found in Genesis 3 is a “seed of a woman” would come and deliver the people, redeem them from the curse. This is the plan of salvation. That though Christ, her seed, would a savior come.

Paul states clearly that “by one-man sin entered this world” (Romans 5:12)

  • All men are sinners, for all have sinned (Romans 3:23), there is none righteous no not one. (Romans 3:9-10) Jews and “Greeks” – non-Jews are included as the “all” in context.

If there were other men before Adam, then they would not be sinners since sin entered this world by one man, therefore they are not sinners. Death came into this world through sin, therefore if they are not sinners they do not die in sin. The sin death principle does not work with in them. They would be immortal and still alive. Yet we know all men die, mortal, which means subject to death. Paul teaching truth, all men have sinned and fall short, means every man who exists from Adam on (I Cor 15) are all sinners. By using Adam as the starting point and not Israel, Paul is demonstrating the human condition of all men.  Israelites or Jews are not the only sinners.

– Adam was created Immortal, as death (any kind) is an enemy of God; and God declared all that he made was good. Death is not Good, but an enemy. Secondly death was introduced upon man in the curse “turning to dust” therefore they were not turning to dust before this judgment. Adam was made immortal, not subject to death.

– I Cor 15: 45 “Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”;” , means he was the first man created by God. God created ALL things not just some things.

Genesis 3:20 The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living, – “Mother” implies she gave birth to, all living men, meaning from her all men come as offspring, no man exists who did not come from her as offspring.

These two verses prove that there can be no other men previous to Adam and Eve.

Since all men comes from Adam, all men became sinners, and all men need a savior, or they die lost in sin and suffer eternal separation from God. So the promise was given by God himself that a descendant of a woman, would be the one who would redeem all men who are sinners. There is no “Israel only” in this picture other than that the woman, would have to come from a family of people. This family was chosen by God to be the descendant of Abraham.

Genesis 12:3 I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” IN You denotes descendants to come, in your seed…

a great nation – singular, Israel is but one nation among many nations. So from this one nation, a woman would come who would give birth to a savior, in which all the nations of the earth will be blessed.  This does not negate that other nations came from Abraham (Genesis 16:10) The children of promise was through Isaac, not Ishmael.

Romans 9:6 For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, 7and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 8This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.

The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well,12 and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised (Israel only)  but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised. (Before Israel)  – They Key

13For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith.
14For if it is the adherents of the law (Israel) who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.

16That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.”

But also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham…. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well,

We by faith who are not called his family become his family as we are included by faith, and called his heir of the promise because of Faith not because we are or are not descendants of Abraham but because we share in the same faith as Abraham. Not by adherence to a law which came through a covenant but by practice of the faith Abraham had before circumcision, not after.

This is where IO fails in every point.

Luke 2: 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

IF God’s purpose is to redeem/save men from their fallen state, then the woman who would give birth would come through a particular/ specific people for all families or nations of the earth. NOT for just the one nation. It is from the principle first,  that the New Testament scriptures must be understood and interpreted.

Paul teaches in Romans,
Sin did not enter the world through one nation, Israel, but through one man, the first man Adam, so that all are sinners, so by one-man Christ, all might be made alive. I Cor 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.”

The “all” is not in any sense reduced to Israel only since Adam represents all men which includes every nation on the face of the earth, Israel represents only one nation made of twelve tribes.
It was from the one nation, Genesis 18:18 “seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, (singular) and all the nations (plural) of the earth shall be blessed in him?

What are these nations of the earth that will be blessed because of the one seed of Abraham?

Genesis 10 1These are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Sons were born to them after the flood. – 32These are the clans of the sons of Noah, according to their genealogies, in their nations, and from these the nations spread abroad on the earth after the flood.

This brings us back to number 19 on the list.

Acts 17:26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,- This verse is an allusion to Genesis 10:32

Genesis 10:32 in their nations, and from these the nations spread abroad on the earth after the flood.

Conclusion: Paul is implicitly clear in Romans that True Israel is not the descendants after the flesh, who were in covenant with God through circumcision, but children who have the same faith in God as did Abraham, before he was even circumcised. This is to be the true nature of the context of who Israel is in Paul’s theology.

Romans 4:13  For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law(Covenant) but through the righteousness of faith. Abraham is made our father, not according to the flesh, but according to faith, as he is the father of the faith. The true Israel are those who share in the faith of Abraham.

11For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Rather, through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. 12Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion  mean!


Amen !!

Stephen Whitsett MDiv.






Randy Craigers (not IO) copy and pasted 25 points that Israel Only stands on regarding the promises and covenants.

1) Abraham is promised to be made a multitude of nations (Gen 17:5).

2) Abraham is promised the nations would be blessed in him (Gen 18:18, Gal 3:8)

3) Abraham is promised the seed/Jesus (Gen 22:17-18). This promise results in the same nations being blessed from Abraham and Sarah (Gen 12:3, 17:16, 18:18).

4) Abraham is told the everlasting covenant follows through Isaac and his descendants after him (Gen 17:19). It is in Isaac Abraham’s descendants will be named (Gen 21:12).

5) Rom 4:16-19 shows the multitude of nations promise was fulfilled in Jesus day through Sarah’s womb.

6) Paul picks up on the theme of Isaac in his day as applying to those coming in (Rom 9:7, Gal 4:28, Heb 11:18). This would make no sense if not biological.

7) Peter declares Jesus is the seed and in him all the families of the earth will be blessed (Acts 3:25-26). This begins with covenant Judah.

8) Jacob is promised a “company of nations” (Gen 35:11).

9) Jacob blesses Ephraim and says he will be a multitude of nations (Gen 48:17-19).

10) Israel splits into two nations because of Solomon’s sin and now establishes Northern Israel and Southern Judah (1 King 11:30-32). Now there are two kings, one over each tribe.

11) Northern Israel is taken into captivity by Assyria and given a certificate of divorce (Jer 3:8).

12) Northern Israel mixed and scattered among the nations up until Jesus day (Hosea 7:8, 8:8). They are also known as Ephraim (Is 11:12-13, Ez 37:16-19) in captivity and promised to return. Northern Israel is now scattered and becomes the multitude of nations as promised to Abraham and the blessing by Jacob.

13) Northern Israel is promised their return to God (Hosea 1:10, 2:23) as quoted by Paul (Rom 9:24-26). Paul identifies them as gentiles and the uncircumcision (Rom 4:11) and says Abraham is the biological father of all who believe.

14) Paul writes a letter to Rome (1:7) which is to gentiles (11:13), saying they are biological descendants of Abraham according to the flesh (4:1) through Sarah’s womb (4:19).

15) Southern Judah is sent into captivity for 70 years (Jer 25:11) by the hands of Babylon (Jer 25:12). Some who saw the first temple lived and wept to see the rebuilding of the second temple (Ezra 3:12).

16) Up until Jesus day, the southern tribe of Judah was in covenant with God.

17) Jesus comes and is only sent to the lost sheep of Israel which is Judah (Mt 15:24).

18) Jesus doesn’t go to divorced Israel because it was unlawful (Acts 10:28).

19) Paul declares Abraham is the one man from whom “every nation” came from by quoting Deuteronomy 32:8 (Acts 17:26) thus declaring Genesis 17:5 was fulfilled in his day. Paul only wrote about Abraham’s promise to reenforce this point (Rom 4:16-19) and not some other man.

20) Paul teaches in the grafting in of gentiles into covenant Judah “all Israel” (Rom 11:25-27) will be saved through the NC.

21) The bible promises the OC to Israel (Deut 5:2-3) and the NC to the children of those who received the OC (Jer 31:34, Heb 8:8-12). There is no one else named as being included into either covenants.

22) Jesus teaches only the twelve tribes of Israel will be judged (Mt 19:28).

23) Paul explains the resurrection was a promise to Abraham and his descendants (Acts 26:6-8 Rom 9:3) which is why Abraham Isaac and Jacob are mentioned as being present in heaven (Mt 8:11) and no one who preceeded them.

24) Israel is a biological name. Descendant is a biological term. Abraham as a father is biological. Sarah as a mother is biological (Rom 4:19, Heb 11:11-12). “In Isaac your descendants shall be called” is biological.

25) No where in scripture are non-Israelites promised covenants or resurrection.