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 with material that first appeared in Guardian of Truth, Nov. 2, 1989. It is available online at www.bibleanswer.com/ad70_3.htm. Minor edits have been made, none of which change original meanings.)
The proponents of Realized Eschatology, or the “A.D. 70” doctrine, have deceived and are deceiving some brethren into believing that all the end time events have already been accomplished. Its advocates have caused unsuspecting Christians to accept the belief that the events of A.D. 70 in the destruction of Jerusalem satisfy all the prophecies of a future return of Christ, resurrection of the dead, judgment and reception of the eternal inheritance. It would have us believe that the “last days” existed from A.D. 30-70, and that the “eternal days” began at A.D. 70. We are supposedly living in the “eternal days.” The “Bible” of this doctrine, Max King’s The Spirit of Prophecy, has this to say on page 81: “...whenever faulty interpretation creates a time period that doesn’t exist in the Bible, more error will follow by attributing to that period something that cannot belong to it.” I say AMEN to that!
This 40-year “gap” where the old and new covenants supposedly “overlapped” is the result of faulty interpretation, and it has borne its evil fruit. (See Part II of this series for more information on the overlapping of the covenants.)
Simply stated, the A.D. 70 doctrine has the following things being accomplished on that date:
To document these positions as central to this doctrine, consider this assessment from the pen of Max King:
In Part I of this series, we addressed the major problems of this doctrine by looking at what the New Testament has to say about the second coming of Christ (including the judgment and the resurrection of the dead). In Part II, we discussed why A.D. 70 is made such a focal point in this system of error, with emphasis upon the old and new covenants and the allegory of Galatians 4:21-31. In this final article, we must consider some of the consequences of this doctrine, and see that it is not a harmless, private conviction which can be held without hurting oneself and others, but a pernicious theory of error which engulfs the souls of men in destructive heresy. Given this doctrine’s premise that God’s scheme of redemption was not complete until A.D. 70, there are some very grave consequences which necessarily follow.
Problems Regarding Resurrection
1) Luke 20:34-36: No marriage and no death after A. D. 70. This consequence centers upon the view that the “last days” are to be defined as the closing period of the Jewish age, A.D. 30-70, with the “eternal days” continuing from that point. “We are now in that world ‘which is to come’ ....instead of being in last days we are in eternal days world without end (Eph. 3:21).” (Ibid., p. 81, emp. King’s). So, in the New Testament, those who lived between A.D. 30-70 were in the “last days,” while we now live in the “eternal days.” However, in Luke 20:34-36, Jesus contrasts “this world” and “that world” following the resurrection of the dead, and concludes that while marriage occurs in “this world,” it will not be so in “that world.” Plus, those who “are accounted worthy to attain to that world, and the resurrection of the dead,...die no more” (vss. 35-36). Are people still marrying after A.D. 70? Of course they are. Are they still dying? Most certainly. Is the period of Christianity in which we now live termed the “eternal days” in the New Testament? No. Otherwise, following 70 A.D., Christians would be prohibited from marrying, and neither could they die anymore. The A.D. 70 doctrine is false.
2) Acts 24:15: The Pharisees and Paul looked for the same kind of resurrection. Here, it must be remembered that the A.D. 70 doctrine holds that the resurrection of the dead discussed in such places as 1 Corinthians 15 is the resurrection of Christianity out of Judaism (The Spirit of Prophecy, page 200). But, if this is the truth of the matter, then the Pharisees held a very strange hope concerning the resurrection. Paul states that his accusers before Felix were looking for “a resurrection both of the just and unjust,” the same as Paul. Must we conclude these Jewish accusers were looking forward to the day when Christianity would arise to dominance, while Judaism would be destroyed under God’s wrath?. Surely this is not what they were “looking for” (v. 15; Jno. 11:48-50), but we are told they were looking for the same resurrection Paul hoped for. Maybe the apostle Paul was wrong in his assessment of the Jews’ hope, or, maybe the A.D. 70 doctrine is wrong in its assessment of the resurrection of the dead. What do you think?
3) 1 Cor. 15:20-23: The bodily resurrection of Jesus is called into doubt by this doctrine. Christ is presented as the “firstfruits” (v. 20) of the dead, which identifies Him as the beginning and the guarantor of a future, bodily resurrection (vss. 21-22, 35-49). The resurrection of the dead endorsed by 1 Corinthians 15 is a future, bodily resurrection of mankind, based upon the fact of Christ’s bodily resurrection. If, however, the body to be raised in 1 Corinthians 15 is “Christianity out of Judaism,” why must we believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ? If the later fruit resurrection of the dead - v. 21) is not the bodily resurrection of mankind, there is no real reason to believe the “firstfruits” (vss. 20, 23) was the bodily resurrection of Christ. (The firstfruits and the later fruits must be the same type of fruit.) The whole issue of Jesus’ bodily resurrection is called into doubt, and is a logical consequence of this doctrine. Are the proponents of the A.D. 70 doctrine ready to accept this consequence of their doctrine? If one will not accept the consequences of his position, he should renounce his position as the error that it is.
These are but three consequences regarding resurrection from the dead which logically result from the A.D. 70 doctrine. Like the error of Hymenaeus and Philetus (who said the resurrection is past already, 2 Tim. 2:16-18), the A.D. 70 doctrine “proceed(s) further in ungodliness,” as it eats like a cankerous sore upon the souls of men, spreading its decay and overthrowing the faith of saints. The plea of this writer is that those who currently hold to this doctrine will see its destructive effects upon “the faith of some” (v. 18), and renounce their acceptance of it.
(Continued next week)
Scripture Reading:2 Thessalonians 2:13-17
I. COME TO ME: THE CALL TO SALVATION, Matt. 11:28.
A. Gospel Call to be Saved, Acts 2:37-41.
B. There is a Personal Obligation to Answer His Call, Matt. 11:28; Rom. 10:13-15, 9-10.
II. LEARN OF ME: THE CALL TO SUBMISSION, Matt. 11:29.
A. Christ’s Yoke: Submission to His Authority, Matt. 28:18.
B. Answering Christ’s Call to Salvation is of No Value without Full Submission to Him in All Things, Gal. 5:7; Eph. 4:20-21; 1 Pet. 3:15.
III. FOLLOW ME: THE CALL TO DISCIPLESHIP, Jno. 1:43.
A. Two Crucial Parts to Being a Disciple of Christ Matt. 8:18-22.
B. Also a Call of Assurance, Rom. 8:28-30.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS
Why Marriages Break (And How to Fix Them)
Scripture Reading: Genesis 2:21-24
1. God designed marriage to last a lifetime.
I. FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE, Gen. 2:18.
More and Talk Less, Jas. 1:19-20; S.S. 2:3; Gen 2:23 (18).
II. FINANCES, Gen. 2:20, 23.
A. Finances a Subject where Communication Often Fails, 1 Tim. 6:6-10; Matt. 6:19-21.
III. SEX, Gen. 2:24-25.
A. God Gave Mankind Sexual Activity in Marriage for Moral Purity, Propagation and Pleasure, Heb. 13:4; 1 Ths. 4:3-8; Gen. 1:28; 1 Cor. 7:2-5.
IV. IN-LAWS AND FRIENDS, Gen. 2:24.
and Cleave is God’s Arrangement for Building and Perpetuating Families.
V. SPIRITUAL IMMATURITY (Little Faith), Gen. 2:16-18.
the Tempter an Opening, Gen. 3:1-6; Heb. 5:14; 1 Tim. 2:13-14.
breaks down when sin rises up.
Stealing from the Blind
This week a bank teller in Blaine, WA was charged with stealing the life savings of a blind lady in her late 80s. The woman was charged with six counts of first-degree theft of more than $150,000. The 55-year-old teller had helped the lady at the local bank for years and also assisted her with her personal finances, having known her since she was a child. The teller has admitted her crime and that the money was used to support her gambling habit. (“Charges: Custer-area gambling addict stole $150,000 from elderly blind woman”, The Bellingham Herald, 11/2/12) What a sad, sad story.
Sadder still is when the spiritually blind are robbed of their hope of eternal life by those claiming to have spiritual sight. Jesus roundly rebuked the spiritual guides of His day who refused to admit their need for the enlightenment of truth and cleansing from sin: “And Jesus said, ‘For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.’ Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, ‘Are we blind also?’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains’” (Jno. 9:39-41). These blind guides failed to admit their need for guidance while leading many blind souls into the pit of error and spiritual death (Matt. 15:13-14).
To avoid being robbed of your eternal reward you must first admit your blindness and need for Jesus, the light of the world, to save you and guide you (Jno. 8:12). You must follow His light of truth and refuse any counsel and teaching that contradicts the inspired word of God (Col. 2:8-10, 18-23; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).
The gospel has the power to cure spiritual blindness by forgiving sins and saving souls (Acts 26:18). Do not let anyone rob you of heaven. Keep your eyes open and always follow the truth of Christ diligently.
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 11/05/2012
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA