And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 15, Number
In this issue:
Joe R. Price
(We continue Part 1 of an article that first appeared in Guardian of Truth, Oct. 5, 1989. It is online: http://www.bibleanswer.com/ad70_1.htm)
2) Next, consider 2 Peter 3:5-7, 10-11, where the A.D. 70 advocate “spiritualizes” away the meaning of the word of God. By His word, God created and then destroyed the world with water. By that same word of God, the heavens and earth which now exist are stored up for fire, awaiting a day of judgment against ungodliness:
For this they willfully forget, that there were heavens from of old, and an earth compacted out of water and amidst water, by the word of God; by which means the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: but the heavens that now are, and the earth, by the same word have been stored up for fire, being reserved against the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men But the day of the Lord will come as a thief; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are therein shall be burned up. (2 Pet. 3:5-7, 11)
The A.D. 70 advocates try to make the heavens and earth (v. 7, 10), which shall meet a fiery end, the Jewish economy (as do the Jehovah’s Witnesses). But, this is to no avail. The world which was overflowed with water is now stored up for fire. This fiery judgment shall occur on “the day of the Lord” (v. 10), at His “coming” (v. 4). Was the world of Noah’s time actually flooded? Then the world which now exists shall actually be destroyed with fire! If this verse had been fulfilled in 70 A.D., none of us would be here!
The abuse of this passage illustrates the error in Biblical interpretation which is present in this system of error. As D. R. Dungan notes:
“Many seem disposed to regard themselves as at liberty to make anything out of the Bible which their theology may demand or their whims require. And if, at any time, they find a passage that will not harmonize with that view, then the next thing is to find one or more words in the text used elsewhere in a figurative sense, and then demand that such be the Biblical dictionary on the meaning of that word, and hence that it must be the meaning in that place.” (Hermeneutics, Dungan, p. 217)
The A.D. 70 doctrine attempts this with “the day of the Lord” and His “coming” in 2 Peter 3:4-11, but it finds no support here!
3) 1 Corinthians 15 teaches a future, bodily resurrection from the dead. While the A.D. 70 doctrine says the resurrection is past already (having occurred in 70 A.D.), this passage decisively refutes that claim. To the Realized Eschatologist, the primary meaning of 1 Corinthians 15 is the resurrection of Christianity out of Judaism, not the resurrection of mankind at the personal return of Jesus Christ. To briefly set forth their case, hear Max King on what is resurrected in 1 Corinthians 15:
The assumed definitions and applications in that quotation alone show the subjective nature of this doctrine! The Scriptures are twisted to say what has already been decided, namely, that Christianity arose out of Judaism; an event which we are told was completed in 70 A.D.! I cannot think of a better illustration of 2 Peter 3:15-17! Can you?
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul answers the teaching by some “that there is no resurrection of the dead” (v. 12). He does this by first establishing the validity of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ (vs. 1-11). Then, he presents the consequences of denying the resurrection of the dead (vs. 12-34). Next, he anticipates objections to bodily resurrection (vs. 35-50). Finally, he praises the victory over death God gives us in Christ through the resurrection (vs. 51-58). The very thing defined in this chapter is denied by the A.D. 70 doctrine, namely, a future, bodily resurrection! To demonstrate this as the central theme of the chapter, consider vs. 20-23. Here, the bodily resurrection of all mankind is said to be based upon the bodily resurrection of Christ! The resurrected Christ is the firstfruits of the dead (vs. 20, 23). The offering of firstfruits under the law of Moses was the choicest and earliest ripe crop (Num. 18:12; Exo. 23:16, 19), indicating that all the crop which followed belonged to God (cf. Deut. 26:2-11). Also, we should note that the crop which followed was of the same kind or type as its firstfruits. In like manner, the resurrection of Christ from the dead is an assurance and guarantee that all who die shall be raised. And, we are assured that our resurrection will be the same kind as His. As surely as bodily death comes to all because of Adam’s sin (Gen. 3:19), bodily resurrection will come to all because of Christ’s bodily resurrection (vs. 21-22). This reveals His power and preeminence over death (cf. Jno. 5:28-29; Col. 1:18; Rev. 1:18). Thus, Paul defends the doctrine of bodily resurrection from the dead upon the basis of Christ’s bodily resurrection. The later fruit (resurrection of all the dead at Christ’s coming) must be the same kind of fruit as the firstfruits, namely, bodily resurrection! Jesus’ body was raised from the dead, and our bodies shall be raised, too. Nowhere do we discover a Judaism-Christianity contrast in 1 Corinthians 15. That can only be found in the imagination of the A.D. 70 advocates!
The attempt to assign to 70 A.D. every end-time event (including the final coming of Christ, bodily resurrection and the judgment) cannot be supported by Scripture. it is completely refuted by Acts 1:9-11, 2 Peter 3:1-11, and 1 Corinthians 15. But, why this fascination with the date of 70 A.D.? In our next article we will see the answer to that question.
Scripture Reading:Matthew 7:24-29
1. Wisdom is principle, Prov. 4:7 (5-9).
2. Two choices, Jas. 3:13-18.
3. Matt. 7:24-27: A contrast between wisdom and foolishness that applies to us all.
I. THE FOOLISH MAN: BUILDING ON SAND, Matt. 7:26-27 (Jas. 4:17; Lk. 8:14).
A. Rebellion, 1 Sam. 15:22-23; Gal. 1:6-7.
B. Ignorance (cf. Eph. 5:17); Matt. 22:29; Eph. 4:18; 1 Pet. 1:14; Lev. 5:17; Acts 3:17.
C. Apathy, Zeph. 1:12; Matt. 24:48-51; Rom. 12:11; Gal. 6:9.
D. Ritualism, (hypocrisy, Matt 15:6-9); Amos 5:21-24.
E. Feelings, Prov. 28:26 (14:12); Jas. 1:19-20; Acts 26:9-11 (23:1; 24:16).
II. THE WISE MAN: BUILDING ON ROCK, Matt. 7:24-25.
A. The Rock of Obedience (1 Jno. 5:4):
1. Hear Christ’s words, Lk. 8:8, 18.
2. Do Christ’s words, Matt. 7:21; Heb. 5:9.
Concl. House of righteous stands, Prov. 10:25; 12:7
You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS
Questions to Ask Before You Decide
Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 30:14-20
1. Daily decisions that directly affect our faith and relation with God, cf.
you ask God to bless your decision?
you thank God for it?
you doing this to the glory of God?
your decision be a stumbling block to others or help them follow Jesus?
you doing this to please God rather than people?
you thought ahead about the consequences of your decision?
you want to be doing whatever you decide when Christ returns?
1. The world
will always try to make you halt and doubt your decisions.
"Nones on the Rise"
Less than 50% of Americans have some form of religious affiliation. According to the 2010 Religious Census taken by the Association of Religion Data Archives, this has been true since 1980 (“Fewer in U.S. Profess a Religious Affiliation”, Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA Today). Now for the first time, according to a new study released by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, less than 50% of those claiming religious affiliation are Protestants (48% - down from 53% in 2007). The “nones” (those with no religious identity) are now the largest category after Catholics, making up almost 20% of Americans. The “nones” now surpass the largest Protestant category, the Southern Baptists (Grossman). “Their ranks now include more than 13 million self-described atheists and agnostics (nearly 6% of the U.S. public), as well as nearly 33 million people who say they have no particular religious affiliation” (Pew).
The secularization of America is obvious. These statistics reflect what has been painfully apparent for some time; a long term trend away from religion. Interestingly, a vast majority of Americans continue to believe in God and expect to go to heaven when they die. (Evidently, self-defined spirituality soothes the soul, but it cannot save it, Col. 2:20-23; Gal. 1:6-10.)
This secularization challenges New Testament Christians to greater devotion to Christ and His revealed truth. Pressures mount to conform to the world. Nonetheless, Christians must be transformed in mind to do the will of God, not men (Rom. 12:1-2; 1 Pet. 4:1-5; Lk. 9:23). “Stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong” (1 Cor. 16:13). Our faith is in Christ (Eph. 6:10-13).
The rise of the “nones” gives us an opportunity to teach the gospel to the lost. Many live in the futility of sin and darkness. The light of truth will lead them to salvation. Let us look for opportunities to share the gospel with those lost in sin (Acts 8:4; Gal. 6:10).
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 10/14/2012
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA