Index by Subject

A Refutation of the A.D. 70 Doctrine – 1

Introduction

A doctrine exists which asserts that all Biblical prophecies regarding the end times were ultimately fulfilled with the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome in A.D. 70.  It is known by several names.  It is referred to most commonly by the awkward “A.D. 70 Doctrine”, technically by the term “Realized Eschatology”, recently by some of its adherents as “Transmillennialism®”, and less precisely by the more generic term “Preterism.”

Definitions

A.D. 70 Doctrine. As indicated above, the generally accepted date of the siege and destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman general Titus is A.D. 70.  The doctrine this work examines asserts that all of the “end time” prophecies and references in the New Testament refer to that event.  It is contended that at that time, Jesus came for the second and final time.  At that time, taking the language of 2 Peter 3, (and wresting it, we might add), “both the earth and the works that are in it” were burned up; and the “new heavens and a new earth” were established.  Though it is not a phrase used by the adherents of the doctrine, it is descriptive and appropriate.

Realized Eschatology. The term eschatology is defined by Webster as “the branch of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world or mankind.”  Or, secondarily, “any of various Christian doctrines concerning the second coming of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, the Last Judgment, or the nature of human existence upon the completion of history” (New Collegiate Dictionary, 1977).  In the term realized the doctrine is identified as contending all of these events to have already happened.

Transmillennialism®.  Max R. King is the person most responsible for popularizing this doctrine among churches of Christ.  He was an institutional preacher in the 1960’s and early 1970’s who published a book titled The Spirit of Prophecy in 1971, in which he made public his peculiar defense of this doctrine.  His youngest son Tim is an ardent and active defender of his father’s teaching, and has written a very revealing “definition” of the term transmillennialism®.

In the summer of 1999 we invented a new word – “Transmillennialism.” As a new term, this could stand beside ‘pre-,’ ‘a-,’ and ‘post-’ millennialism, the final forms that had developed in Christian eschatology.

As a prefix to millennialism, “Trans-” means “across” or “over” or “on the other side of.” It also means “above and beyond, transcending” such as “transatlantic.” The “trans” part of Transmillennialism™ stands for moving through or beyond what has gone before. (1)

As you can see, the King family made up the word themselves.  Interestingly, they have trademarked the word.  As you will see in our examination of their doctrine, we will see that this is not the only time they have arbitrarily defined words to suit their purpose.  In fact, it is characteristic of their treatment of God’s word.

Preterism. The term preterit is defined by Webster as “bygone, former” and indicating “action in the past” (ibid). Though we do not have access to an unabridged dictionary, one source indicated that the 1913 edition of Webster’s unabridged dictionary defined the term preterist as “One who believes the prophecies of the Apocalypse to have already been fulfilled. (2)  So, Preterism would be the doctrine that “the prophecies of the Apocalypse have already been fulfilled.”

It is important to note that the A.D. 70 Doctrine is only one of numerous Preterist doctrines.

Characterizing the Doctrine

The doctrine is not popular. It has very few disciples.  However, those who believe this doctrine are often vocal, enthused and insistent.  In congregations of God’s people where it has gained a foothold, it has led to division and ruin.  It is worthy of our examination and refutation.

The doctrine is without merit. One of the difficulties in answering this error is to figure out where to start!  The doctrine rests upon a false assumption regarding the imminence of Christ’s second coming.  This preconception concerning the last days leads to a shift in perspective that requires a completely new way of looking at the scriptures concerning our Lord’s second coming, and the resurrection of God’s children.  Since a straightforward treatment of these passages contradicts their hobby, advocates play fast and loose with sound principles of Bible interpretation.  In effect, rather than being careful to accept any particular text at face value, they read into it what they want it to say.  The tactic is typical of the false teacher, and fairly effective in leading the ignorant away from truth.

The doctrine is insidious. The most common response we get when we try to explain the A.D. 70 doctrine to Christians is, “How could anybody get caught up in that stuff?  It makes no sense!”  It is important we not underestimate the ability of the false teacher to deceive.  This is why we are warned “that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting” (Ephesians 4:14).  Sophistry is defined as “deceptively subtle reasoning or argumentation” (Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary).  The A.D. 70 doctrine can rightly be described as sophistry, and its promulgators as sophists.  The aforementioned Max R. King is especially adroit at the redefining of terms and subtle shifts in reasoning that allow him to make his error palatable to the undiscerning.  Bill Reeves,   in his review of King’s book The Spirit of Prophecy, accurately describes the man as a “play-on-words artist.” (3)

The doctrine is consuming. It seems that if a congregation embraces this error, it defines itself by this doctrine alone.  Much like the premillennialists, who have an insatiable appetite for all things pertaining to their theory, these individuals often will make their views a hobby.  It dominates their preaching and teaching.  They ask for tolerance as they advocate their views, and insist on being heard.  They also insist that there is no reason to divide over the issue, but do not rest in trying to proselytize the weak or ignorant.

This work has as its goal a concise treatment of the A.D. 70 Doctrine.  It is our desire that a careful reading of this book inoculate the average reader against the harmful influences of this false doctrine.  The apostle Paul warned Timothy of a particular error that comports remarkably with the object of our attention:  “And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some” (2 Timothy 2:17-18).  Whether the doctrine that “the resurrection is already past” was asserted 2,000 years ago, or today, it is false.  If followed, it will lead to the overthrow of the faith of its disciples.

This examination of the A.D. 70 Doctrine will consist of four major parts:

  • A Biblical treatment of Eschatology (what the Bible teaches about the end times).
  • An introduction to the doctrine of “Realized Eschatology.”
  • A concise refutation of the doctrine of “Realized Eschatology.”
  • Warnings and Exhortations regarding religious error, and the Christian’s response to it.

Though not an exhaustive treatment of the subject, it is our hope this material is sufficiently plain and substantial to serve its stated purpose.  The reader will judge whether that goal is met.

Bible Eschatology

The story has been told of the country preacher who was asked to supply a definition of the term premillennialism.  He said:

“Pre–” means before… “millennial” has reference to 1000 years … and “–ism” means it ain’t so!

There is no shortage of “-ism’s” regarding the end times.  Men love to speculate upon what the future holds, and when it will come to an end.  Though Bible teaching on the matter is straightforward and fairly simple, men have created many complex and convoluted theories about the end times.

These theories can be fairly intimidating (and by extension their advocates can intimidate as well).  When confronted with obscure passages from apocalyptic books, coupled with the fevered and dogmatic speculations of the sophist, a Christian can sometimes feel overwhelmed.  He thinks, “This person has studied the issue much more than I have, and he obviously has a familiarity with some of these passages that I do not enjoy.  How can I know for sure that what he is teaching is wrong?”

The solution is fairly simple.  First, a Christian should understand that a hobbyist is not right just because he is well versed in his hobby.  It means he has learned his doctrine well.  It does not mean that his doctrine is true.  Second, a Christian should become familiar with what the Bible teaches about the end times.  In doing so he can identify the false assumptions that lead some astray.  It is not necessary to answer every misinterpreted passage to disprove a false theory.  What is necessary is to have a sufficient positive knowledge of what the Bible teaches.  This allows the Christian to competently examine the claims of the doctrine, and reject it if it is false.  In other words, we are to be as the noble Bereans, who “searched the scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).  In this portion of our study, we intend to positively state what the Bible teaches concerning the “end times.”  This affirmation will precede our examination of the A.D. 70 Doctrine, and will stand in stark relief to it.

The Scarlet Thread

In the first paragraph of Homer Hailey’s book, From Creation to the Day of Eternity, he wonderfully describes the contents of the Bible:

“Through the ages philosophy has sought a better answer to the origin, sustaining and purpose of the universe than that given in the Bible, but to date no better answer has been offered… Its doctrine of redemption is the unfolding of God’s plan to rescue and redeem man, the creature made in His image, who rebelled against Him.  It is the story of infinite love, in patience and sacrifice working out an eternal purpose – a purpose worthy of an infinite mind.  It is a story made necessary by sin, the story of a purpose finding consummation in a restored fellowship between Creator and creature in this present time and in an eternal fellowship and association to continue when the lights of this present world have grown dim and their last flicker has vanished.” (4)

God’s scheme for the redemption of man has been described as the scarlet thread that runs throughout the holy Scriptures.  The Bible records God’s creative prowess, and His pronouncement of man as His crowning achievement in that work. “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’  So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:26-27).  It records man’s fall into sin, and from that point intimates the redemption that would one day come through grace.  “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Genesis 3:15).

In God’s promise to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3) we find the outline establishing how God intended to accomplish that redemption, determined from “the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:3-6).  He would give the descendents of Abraham a land, making them a great people.  And he would, through Abraham’s Seed, bless “all the families of the earth.”

Paul clearly established the meaning of the promise, “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as of many, but as of one, ‘And to your Seed,’ who is Christ” (Galatians 3:16).  It is in Jesus Christ that redemption is found.  The message of the cross, Christ’s blood sacrifice as payment for our sins, is referred to as the gospel of Christ.  It is “the power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1:16).

Simply put, sin separates man from God (cf. Romans 6:23); and the blood of Christ brings reconciliation (cf. Romans 5:6-21).  It is important to note that this reconciliation results in access to eternal life in the Son.  “so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:21).

The means through which this eternal life is attained is the resurrection of the dead.  This is significant, as any doctrine that denies the literal resurrection of the dead robs the Christian of his hope.  Paul admonished the Corinthians, “For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen.  And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!  Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable” (1 Corinthians 15:16-19).  Perhaps this is the reason Paul was so forceful in his rebuke of Hymenaeus and Philetus, “But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.  And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some” (2 Timothy 2:16-18).

The New Testament reveals that this resurrection will occur at the end.  The end of what?  The end of everything surrounding our material existence.  As Peter put it, “the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat” (2 Peter 3:12).  As Paul wrote, at Christ’s coming all who are His “shall be made alive…”, “Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power” (1 Corinthians 15:22,24).  With this before us, we now consider the following Bible teaching regarding Eschatology (the final events).

The Second Coming of Christ

The first time Jesus came to earth, He did so to offer Himself as a sin sacrifice.  We are told He did this “in the fullness of the time” (Galatians 4:4).  It was the time ordained or purposed by God.  All prior things occurred in preparation for His incarnation.  This included God’s choosing of Israel, and the giving of Moses’ law.  “…It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made” (Galatians 4:19). The sin sacrifice of Jesus served a specific purpose.  He did it that He might “redeem us from every lawless deed, and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14).

The Greek word translated redeem in Titus 2:14 is defined by Vine, “to release on receipt of ransom… (b) in a spiritual sense, Tit. 2:14, of the work of Christ in redeeming men ‘from all iniquity.’” (5)  Men were in bondage because of sin.  Paul wrote, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).  Jesus’ incarnation was necessary.  Without Him and His selfless act we would be lost.  “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

It is likewise necessary that Jesus come again!  As Homer Hailey wrote, “The second coming of Christ is necessary to the consummation of the scheme of redemption.”  Hailey further commented, “As has been said, Christ’s first coming was as a sin offering intended to redeem man from sin.  His work now is that of King, high priest, mediator and intercessor.  His second coming will be to raise the dead, reward the righteous with the complete reward and to separate the wicked from the righteous with a final, complete and eternal separation.” (6)

To put it simply, there is little purpose in Christ’s atoning sacrifice if it does not result in an eternal benefit for those who take advantage of the gift.  Paul argued this point strenuously in his letter to the Corinthians.  “For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen.  And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!  Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable” (1 Corinthians 15:16-19).  Paul first asserted the individual bodily resurrection of God’s people.  He argued that if such a resurrection is not possible, then Christ’s bodily resurrection did not happen.  If that be the case, regardless of His sinlessness and sacrifice, “those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.” The value of Christ’s atoning sacrifice will be realized at His second coming, as we “meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

We are sure Jesus will come. We have His promise, and the guarantee of the Spirit.  Jesus told His disciples in John 14, “… I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (vss. 2-3).  The Holy Spirit, through the pen of the apostle Peter, argued for that coming in 2 Peter 3:1-13.  Scoffers were ridiculing the idea of His return, saying “Where is the promise of His coming?  For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation” (vs. 4).  But they “willingly” forgot the first time God judged the world (the flood).  That time God promised judgment, and delivered.  Peter’s point is that it will happen again.  It will happen because God promised it will happen.  As Peter writes, “… all these things will be dissolved” (vs. 11).

We know what Jesus’ coming will be like. Luke gave us a record of Jesus’ ascension into heaven.  After Jesus shared with His disciples final assurances regarding the promise of the Holy Spirit, Luke wrote concerning the resurrected Lord, “Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, he was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9).  As their gazes remained focused on the cloud, messengers of God assured the disciples, “… This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).  The translation is accurate.  God’s messengers were saying that His return will be in the same fashion as His departure.  It will be a visible, bodily return.  We may not know the day of His coming, but we do know that on that day our gazes will again turn to heaven, and we will see him.

Paul said as much to the Thessalonians in his first letter to them, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven  with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.  And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

We do not know when Jesus will come. Again we quote Hailey on this matter, “Is the end imminent, as claimed by some?  Is it likely to occur at any moment?  Is it impending?  Of this no one except God knows or can know.” (7)  This point will be established more fully as we endeavor to refute the doctrine of Realized Eschatology, but the Bible is again clear on this point.  The Thessalonians understood it, as Paul wrote them, “For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:2).  Peter made the same point within the context of complaints regarding the delay surrounding that day.  He first reminded them, “…do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (1 Peter 3:8).  He then wrote, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.”

The Resurrection of the Dead

The passages we have cited regarding the second coming of Jesus clearly show that at that time there will be a resurrection of the dead.  While the emphasis of Paul’s writing was the resurrection of the righteous “… And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17); the Lord revealed clearly that the resurrection will include the wicked dead.  He told His disciples, “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth — those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28-29).

When it is noted that the second coming of Christ coincides with the resurrection of all the dead, and the judgment of man, the error of the Premillennialist is made clear.  There will not be two separate resurrections, with 365,000 days in between; the resurrection of all will happen in the same “hour.”

The resurrection is literal.  The Bible is clear that the dead will rise.  It does not, however, reveal the nature of the body the wicked dead will inhabit.  It simply states that the wicked dead will be resurrected for the purpose of judgment.

Scripture does establish the nature of the body the righteous will enjoy on that day.  To state the contrast between the body we presently have, and the one we will have in the resurrection, we note the description given by Paul in 1 Corinthians, chapter 15.  First, he establishes that the “glory” of the resurrected body will differ from that of the body we now inhabit (vs. 42).  Our present body is corruptible, the resurrected body will be incorruptible (vs. 42).  Our present body is stated as characterized by “dishonor”, and contrasted with the “glory” of the resurrected body (vs. 43).  Where our present body is weak, the resurrected body will be powerful (vs. 43).  Our present body is natural, but the resurrected body will be a spiritual body (vs. 44).

Paul argued that “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” (vs. 50).  So, in order to take our rightful place in heaven, the resurrected body must be different.  He wrote, “Behold, I tell you a mystery:  We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

We may not be able to fully comprehend what we will be like on that day, but John assures us that “… we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).  We know that we will have “put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:53), and that we will “always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

The Judgment

Following the Lord’s second coming, all of mankind will be judged.  The idea of judgment is sometimes misunderstood.  It is not that Jesus will determine the fate of each man on that day.  A man’s fate is in a sense self-determined.  As Paul wrote, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).  God’s grace has already been extended to all men, in the form of His Son.  Those who embrace that gift of grace and live of righteously will spend eternity in heaven.  Those who rebel against the will of Christ will spend eternity in hell.

Jesus will not arbitrarily determine who will go to heaven or who will go to hell on that day.  Rather, we will be judged according to words spoken by the Lord (cf. John 12:48).  On that day the punishment or reward will be meted out to all men.  Matthew recorded the teaching of Jesus concerning that day in chapter 25 of his gospel: “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.  All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.  And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left” (vs. 31-33).  Concerning the sheep (the righteous), our Lord will say, “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (vs. 34).  Concerning the goats (the unrighteous), the word of our Lord will be, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (vs. 41).

The scene depicted by Jesus in Matthew 25 establishes both His lordship and His righteousness.  Concerning His lordship, Paul revealed that God has “highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on the earth, and of those under the earth” (Philippians 2:9-10).  It is appropriate that Jesus will be our judge, it is He we are to revere. “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.  But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).

Concerning His righteousness, the Apostle Paul wrote plainly:  “…it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels” (2 Thessalonians 1:6-7).  He told the Thessalonians that Christ would come “in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of Christ” (vs. 8).  He affirmed that their punishment would be with “everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord” (vs. 9), and that it would happen “when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired among all those who believe” (vs. 10).
Christ’s second coming is sure, and its purpose is sure as well.  When He comes again, it will be to judge the world!

The Destruction of the Physical Universe

If you turn the television dial to the Discovery Channel, it will not be long before you are presented with a documentary program whose purpose is to introduce possible doomsday scenarios.  It is of great interest to many to speculate on how the world is going to come to an end.  Will life on the planet be wiped out by plague?  Will an asteroid or comet impact the earth, and destroy all higher life forms? Is there a possibility that the sun may explode and bring the earth to an end?  There are multiple theories, but most of them fail to acknowledge the inevitability of the end of all things.  To the atheist, matter is eternal.  Life may come and go, but the universe will remain.  It may collapse on itself, and the process may begin again, but matter is constant, and as such, the universe is eternal.

The Bible disagrees.  God created the “heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1), and has determined to one day destroy it.  His ability to do so can be seen in the creative work itself, and in the demonstration of His power when He destroyed the world by water in the days of Noah.  “So He destroyed all living things which were on the face of the ground: both man and cattle, creeping thing and bird of the air. They were destroyed from the earth. Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive” (cf. Genesis 7:23).

Peter used the argument regarding the Flood in predicting the dissolution of the universe in 2 Peter 3.  His conclusion was that God kept His promise then, and He will keep it now!  “For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.  But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3:5-7).

The fact that Peter had the complete dissolution of the universe in mind is made clear in the verses to follow:  “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.  Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?” (vs. 10-12).

It is amazing that men can read these verses, and contend that the earth will remain at His coming.  Some, (the Jehovah’s Witnesses for example) contend that verse 13, where Peter speaks of “new heavens and a new earth” indicate a renovation of the old earth rather than the creation of a new eternal abode.  The context alone argues strongly against such a conclusion, and there is nothing intrinsic in the definition of the Greek word rendered “new” that would require it.  Likewise, the apostle John, in the Revelation, clearly showed the intent of Peter’s words.  Homer Hailey explains this well.  Note the following quote:

Consider now the parallel use of the word new with reference to the new heaven and the new earth which clearly settles the matter.  John says, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth:  for the first heaven and the first earth are passed away; and the sea is no more.  And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:1-2).  John saw in vision exactly what Peter taught in simple language, “the first heaven and the first earth are passed away:”  Peter said they were burned up… The first heaven and earth pass away; they are burned up.  It is not a renovation, it is the passing of the one thing making way for a new.  The new is new, not renovated; it is a new home for the resurrected saints.” (8)

As shown above, when Jesus comes again, that is it!  The universe will not persist.  We don’t have to speculate about how the world (or mankind) will come to an end.  It will happen at the end of Christ’s longsuffering (cf. 2 Peter 3:9), when He comes again, and destroys the heavens and the earth with fire.

Conclusion

This chapter of our study is purposefully full of quotes from Scripture.  It is our intent to show that the Bible clearly and fully explains what will happen in the “last days.”  While many passages were used, the reserve of Scripture was by no means exhausted.

We have been able to establish that Jesus’ coming is yet future.  This is a necessary conclusion from the fact that the universe persists, and mankind remains on the planet.  We have shown that when He comes again it will be a visible coming, apart from sin, to bring His disciples to eternity.  His coming will be visible, and we who belong to Him will be transformed to be as He is.  The righteous will be gathered and granted entrance into heaven.  The unrighteous will suffer His wrath, and be sent to Hell for eternal punishment.  As a part of that day, the physical universe will be dissolved.

It is important to note that the A.D. 70 Doctrine denies every fundamental point we have made.  It claims that Christ already came, the judgment has already happened, and the heavens and the earth have already been dissolved.  As this is demonstrably not true, the A.D. 70 Doctrine apologist has to deny the plain import of scripture, and seek to “spiritualize” all of these things to fit his peculiar views.  In future chapters we will introduce his thinking, and refute his approach to Bible interpretation and Eschatology. (9)

Article 1 Endnotes

  1. The Transmillennial® View
    http://www.presence.tv/cms/transmillennial_view.php
  2. Introduction to Preterism
    http://ecclesia.org/truth/paradigm.html
  3. The Preterist View Heresy (I-VIII), Bill Reeves
    Truth Magazine, Volume 17, Numbers 9-16
    http://truthmagazine.com/?p=35
  4. From Creation to the Day of Eternity
    Homer Hailey, page 1
  5. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
    Volume 3, page 263
  6. From Creation to the Day of Eternity
    Homer Hailey, pages 200-201
  7. Ibidem
  8. From Creation to the Day of Eternity
    Homer Hailey, page 211
  9. In the interest of full disclosure, the material for this chapter is constructed in much the same way as the 13th chapter of Hailey’s From Creation to the Day of Eternity.  The title of that chapter is “The Consummation.”  The headings are almost identical to the ones we have used, and in the same order:  The Second Coming of Jesus, The Resurrection of the Dead, The Resurrected Bodies, The Judgment, and The Passing of the Present Order.