Last Sunday we began a series of sermons on realized
eschatology, which I want to review in the bulletin
as we study.
Realized eschatology is the fulfillment of final
things. It's the doctrine that all end-time prophesies
were fulfilled at the destruction of Jerusalem
in 70 AD. It's also referred to as "Fulfilled
Eschatology", "Covenant Eschatology", "Transmillennialism",
"Preterism", "Kingism", and the "70 AD doctrine".
It dates back to the 17th century, when Luis
De Alcasar wrote the first preterist exposition
during the Counter Reformation. But as one would
assume, preterist believe the doctrine of realized
eschatology dates back to the 1st century.
Roman Catholicism, in particular, took advantage
of the advent of preterism, which helped it deflect
the belief that the book of Revelation prophesied
that the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope would
be persecutors of the church. It couldn't be possible
for the Roman Catholic Church to be the abhorrent
persecutor in Revelation, if all end-time prophesies
were fulfilled in 70 AD.
Realized eschatology was preached in churches
of Christ by Max King, who wrote The Spirit
of Prophecy in the early 1970s; thus, the
term "Kingism" was ascribed to this doctrine.
As a result of King's preaching and teaching
on this doctrine, great injury has been inflicted
on Christians and congregations over the last
several years. Some have turned away from the
truth, returning in the world of sin, as a result
of believing King's doctrine.
70 AD Doctrine
The most widely used term for realized eschatology
among Christians, to my knowledge, is the 70 AD
doctrine, because it asserts that all end-time
prophesies were fulfilled at the destruction of
Jerusalem in 70 AD.
This doctrine takes the prophesies of the book
of Revelation, and all other end-time prophesies,
and forces them into the destruction of Jerusalem
in 70 AD. It therefore equates the prophesies
relating to the destruction of Jerusalem with
end-time prophesies such as the physical destruction
of earth, the resurrection of the dead, and the
Perversity of Realized Eschatology
The doctrine of realized eschatology resulted
in turning brethren away from God as early as
the 1st century. When Paul wrote Second Thessalonians,
false teachers were already preaching that the
resurrection had passed. As a result, brethren
were shaken and disturbed.
Some of the sin and false doctrine resulting
from realized eschatology today, includes:
- We should not observe the Lord's Supper,
since it was only to be observed until the Lord
came (1 Cor. 11:26). The result of this false
doctrine is spiritual weakness, death, and condemnation
(1 Cor. 11:27-32).
- Jesus doesn't rule over the kingdom today,
since He has already come and thus handed the
kingdom over to the Father (1 Cor. 15:24, 28).
Thus, Jesus no longer reigns, and we no longer
obey Him. This doctrine is false in a number
of ways, which we won't discuss here.
- Since Jesus no longer rules over the kingdom:
- We don't obey the gospel to be saved.
- We don't assemble with the saints.
- We are not under the law of Christ.
- We don't obey the word of God.
- Judgment has already passed, so we are not
judged in the future.
I don't know if Max King holds any of these
views, but I know that brethren have made such
conclusions as a result of believing his 70 AD
False doctrines usually contradict easy-to-understand
Scripture. The proponents of the false doctrine,
and people who believe them, are often blinded
by their unbelief, and ignore or dismiss the Scriptures
that easy disprove the doctrine.
- False teachers tell us that babies are born
in sin because they have the sin of Adam. But
the Bible tells us we don't inherit anyone's
sin (Ezek. 18:4, 20).
- False teachers tell us we don't have to be
baptized to be saved, but Jesus tells us we
must believe and be baptized to be saved (Mk.
16:16). And Peter says that baptism now saves
us (1 Pet. 3:16).
- False teachers also tell us that God has
predestined some people to spend eternity in
hell, and there's nothing they can do about
it. But God tells us He wants everyone to be
saved, and for no one to perish (1 Tim. 2:4;
2 Pet. 3:9).
Here are some immediate contradictions of the
70 AD doctrine with Scripture that shows it's
a false doctrine. From these Scriptures we see
that there are unfulfilled end-time prophesies
today; therefore, the 70 AD doctrine must be false.
- All who are in tombs will hear Jesus' voice
and come forth (Jn. 5:28-29). Since bodies are
still in tombs, we know there are unfulfilled
end-time prophesies, and the 70 AD doctrine
- Christians living on earth will rise to be
with the Lord when He comes (1 Th. 4:15-17).
Since there are still Christians on earth, we
know there are unfulfilled end-time prophesies,
and the 70 AD doctrine is false.
- All authority and rule will be abolished
after the resurrection (1 Cor. 15:24). Since
there is still authority and rule, as with civil
governments, we know there are unfulfilled end-time
prophesies, and the 70 AD doctrine is false.
- There will no longer be sin and death after
the resurrection (1 Cor. 15:24). Since there
is still sin and death upon the earth, we know
there are unfulfilled end-time prophesies, and
the 70 AD doctrine is false.
- There will be a final shaking of kingdoms
in which only the kingdom of God remains (Heb.
12:27-29). Since world kingdoms still exist,
we know there are unfulfilled end-time prophesies,
and the 70 AD doctrine is false.
- The earth will be physically destroyed with
fire as it was with water in the days of Noah
(2 Pet. 3:6-7, 10). Since the world has not
been destroyed, we know there are unfulfilled
Bible prophesies, and the 70 AD doctrine is
Since unfulfilled end-time prophesies remain,
we must conclude that the 70 AD doctrine is a
false doctrine. Jesus' final coming was not at
the destruction of Jerusalem.
In future articles we will examine details of
this false doctrine so we are equipped with God's
word to stand firm, and fight the good fight of