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
(With this article we conclude material that first appeared in Guardian of Truth, Nov. 2, 1989. The entire article is also available online at www.bibleanswer.com/ad70_3.htm. Some spelling and punctuation changes have been made that do not affect meaning.)
Problems Regarding Human Redemption
1) Forgiveness of sins was not fully accomplished until A.D. 70. This doctrine does not regard forgiveness of sins as an accomplished fact until A.D. 70. “When would ungodliness be turned away from Jacob, or their sins be taken away? When Christ, the deliverer, came OUT OF SION. When did Christ come out of Zion? Not at his first coming, but his second coming” (The Spirit of Prophecy, p.63; emp., King’s). The cross of Christ is thus removed as the focal point and means of accomplishing forgiveness, and replaced by A.D. 70. Such a consequence reduces the Scriptures to shambles and makes deceptive the many appeals to people before A.D. 70 to receive the forgiveness of their sins through the death of Christ. In Acts 2:38, the apostle said “Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” This Jewish audience did not have to wait until A.D. 70 to have their sins remitted. Acts 22:16 gives instruction to Saul to “wash away thy sins.” by being baptized. Baptism puts one into the death of Christ to enable justification by His blood (Rom. 6:3; 5:8-9). Forgiveness of sins was accomplished by the cross of Christ. In Romans 6:17-18, when the Romans “became obedient from the heart” to the gospel, they were “made free from sin,” and “became servants of righteousness.” This happened long before A.D. 70.
Referring back to the quote at the start of this article from page 239 of The Spirit of Prophecy, Realized Eschatology says that our adoption, redemption and inheritance were accomplished at the fall of Judaism (A.D. 70). Yet, when Paul says “ye are sons” in Galatians 4:3-7 he places the means of our adoption at the first coming of Christ and its reality prior to A.D. 70, (vss. 4-6). Our redemption was accomplished at the cross (Gal. 3:13-14; Heb. 9:11-12). Our inheritance as sons of God is thereby assured (Rom. 8:16-17; Gal. 3:18). Forgiveness and its blessings are ours today because of the cross of Christ, not because of the fall of Judaism in A.D. 70.
2) Maturity or completeness in Christ was not possible before A.D. 70. So implies King in The Spirit of Prophecy, page 239. However, Colossians 2:10 says “in him ye are made full.” In chapter 1:27-28, Christ was being proclaimed “that we may present every man perfect in Christ.” They were not proclaiming the fall of Judaism in A.D. 70 as the means of perfection (completeness, full growth, maturity). This doctrine concludes that no Christian could be mature in Christ before A.D. 70 -- not apostles, not elders, not any child of God! The ramifications of that consequence are mind-boggling.
Problems Regarding the Establishment of the Kingdom
By misapplying Hebrews 12:28, this doctrine concludes that the kingdom was not fully established until A.D. 70. However, we again find this doctrine at odds with revealed truth. In Isaiah 2:2 it was prophesied, “And it shall come to pass in the latter days, that the mountain of Jehovah’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.” Realized Eschatology would have God’s house or kingdom only partially established in the “latter days,” and only fully established at A.D. 70, their “eternal days.” Isaiah implies full and complete establishment in verse 2, and reveals this would occur when the law and the word of Jehovah would go forth from Jerusalem (v. 3). The gospel of the kingdom was preached from Jerusalem unto all the nations following Jesus ascension (Lk. 24:45-49; Acts 1:5; 2:14-36). Therefore, the kingdom predicted by Isaiah was established as he said it would be, on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2).
Jesus said the kingdom would “come with power,” and that some of His disciples would not taste of death until they saw it come (Mk. 9:1). The “power” referred to must be the heavenly power of Holy Spirit baptism, received by the apostles on the day of Pentecost (Lk. 24:49; Acts 1:4-5, 8; 2:1-4, 33). There is no hint in the Scriptures that this was only partial power, or that the kingdom and its blessings were only partially present. Full power and full blessings amounted to a fully established kingdom on the day of Pentecost. What parts were missing: Its king (Lk. 1:32-33; 1 Tim. 1:17; 6:15)? Its territory (Mk. 16:15)? Its subjects (Acts 10:34-35)? Its law (Mk. 16:15; Jas. 1:25)? People did not have to wait until A.D. 70 to fully possess the kingdom. They were being translated into the kingdom from Pentecost onward (Col. 1:13). To deny the full establishment of the kingdom before A.D. 70 is to deny the fullness of its king (Jesus), its gospel (power to save, Rom. 1:16), and its blessings before A.D. 70 (Eph. 1:3-4). This is an untenable and blasphemous doctrine.
Problems Regarding Worship
1) Should the Lord’s Supper be observed after A.D. 70? According to 1 Corinthians 11:26, in partaking of the Lord’s Supper we “proclaim the Lord’s death till he come.” Since the A.D. 70 doctrine makes every coming of the Lord in the New Testament mean A.D. 70, we wonder what are its advocates going to do about the Lord’s Supper? There are two options open to them, and both are equally unacceptable. First, they could conclude that after A.D. 70 the Lord’s Supper no longer proclaims Christ’s death. But, this destroys the central meaning and effect of the Supper. Secondly, they could conclude that the Lord’s Supper is no longer applicable to Christians, and cease partaking of it. Some Christians are currently wrestling with this consequence of their doctrine. Either horn of this dilemma is sharp and will cause pain and great damage to the one who attempts to sit upon it. Which shall it be? Instead, why not renounce this system of error which places such devastating consequences upon the memory of Christ’s death in the Lord’s Supper?
2) One must eliminate from his worship every hymn and spiritual song referring to the return of Jesus Christ and its events. I have witnessed Christians not singing with their brethren due to this consequence (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). Why sing about something you believe has already occurred? Are you willing to renounce your brethren as guilty of false worship whenever they sing about the future return of Christ and its events? And, to be consistent in your worship, you will have to make that choice about the Lord’s Supper. Will you eliminate it, or destroy its meaning? These consequences should be weighed in the light of God’s revelation of truth.
Realized Eschatology opens a can of worms that some brethren have not realized. Some may try to ignore its consequences, but this will only lead to hardened hearts. To accept these consequences will steep a person deeper in error and apostasy. God’s remedy is still available – repentance of this sinful doctrine (Acts 8:22), confession of the sin (1 Jno. 1:9), and doing works worthy of repentance by renouncing this man-made doctrine (Acts 26:20; Lk. 3:8).
Comforting Christians Concerning Christ’s Coming
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 provides a fitting conclusion to this study. In this passage the apostle comforts the saints with assurance that Christians who die before Jesus returns will not miss out on any of the events and blessings of that grand day. He contrasts living and dead Christians throughout this passage – alien sinners are not in view here. Jesus “himself” will descend from heaven (this did not happen in A.D. 70). Audible and visible events will occur. A “shout” commanding death to give up its prisoners will go forth (Jno. 5:28-29). The “voice of the archangel” will herald the power and victory of Christ’s return (2 Ths. 1:7). The “trump of God” shall sound, signaling deliverance and liberty from death (1 Cor. 15:52; Lev. 25:9-10). These things did not happen in A.D. 70. The dead in Christ shall rise first, with the living Christians being “caught up in the clouds,” and all the saints shall “meet the Lord in the air”. This did not happen in A.D. 70. Then, “so shall we ever be with the Lord.” We will ever be with the Lord in this resurrected, changed, caught-up state. This did not happen in A.D. 70. We can comfort one another with these words (v. 18). But, there is surely no comfort in the words and doctrines of Realized Eschatology. It provides no final and decisive solution to the sin problem humanity faces. It presents a world in sin which will forever continue. The Bible reveals that with the Lord’s personal return this sin-cursed world will be destroyed with a new order taking its place (Acts 1:9-11; 2 Pet. 3:5-13) In view of these realities, Christians are comforted in their hope of the future return of Christ (1 Ths. 4:18; 2 Ths. 1:10; Col. 3:4). But, sinners and perverters of God’s word should convert to Christ, for it will certainly be “a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31; 2 Thess. 1:7-9).
Scripture Reading: Psalm 61
Num. 32:23: Men and women futilely attempt to hide sin instead of hiding themselves in the shelter of God’s merciful forgiveness (Psa. 61).
I. BIBLE EXAMPLES OF TRYING TO HIDE SIN.
A. Adam and
Eve, Gen. 3:1-13.
II. WHY PEOPLE THINK THEY CAN HIDE THEIR SINS.
A. They Think
God is Like a Man, Psa. 50:21; Gal. 6:7-8.
III. WE MUST REPENT INSTEAD OF TRYING TO HIDE OUR SINS, Acts 17:30.
A. Confess Sin
(as Achan), Josh. 7:20-21.
1. What shall we do? Acts 2:37-38
You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS
Faith Without Works
Scripture Reading: John 6:26-29
1. Man can never earn his salvation because all have sinned, and sinners
cannot saves themselves, Eph. 2:9; 2 Tim. 1:8-10; Tit. 3:5.
I. LORD, INCREASE OUR FAITH, Lk.17:5-10
Answer Focuses on Individual’s Faith. 1 Tim. 2:3-4 (Acts 10:34-35)
II. WORKS THAT CANNOT SAVE, Eph. 2:9.
A. Works of My Own Righteousness, Phil. 3:9; Tit. 3:5. Rom. 4:1-4; Lk. 18:9-14, 18-23.
III. WORKS THAT GOD REQUIRES OF US IN ORDER TO BE SAVED BY HIS GRACE, THROUGH FAITH. (cf. Psa. 24:3-6)
A. The Works of
Righteousness that God Commands, Acts 10:34-35; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Titus
obedient faith is recognized and blessed by Christ.
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 11/11/2012
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA