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Realized Eschatology: 70 AD Doctrine (Part IV)
Bible study on Realized Eschatology: 70 AD Doctrine.

Realized eschatology is the doctrine that all end-time prophesies were fulfilled in 70 AD at the destruction of Jerusalem.

In this series of articles we are reviewing the false doctrine of realized eschatology (70 AD doctrine), because of its revitalization among churches of Christ resulting in division.

In the previous three articles we examined a brief history of realized eschatology, the circulation of the doctrine among churches of Christ, the perversity of the doctrine compared to Scripture, Max King's false doctrines relating to his spiritual method of interpretation and Transmillennialism, and the truth of Paul's Abrahamic allegory in Galatians 4:21-31.

In this article, we examine key words and phrases of this doctrine, so we can be on guard against false teachers who try to secretly introduce this destructive heresy (cf. 2 Pet. 2:1).

False Doctrines: Unique Vocabulary
False teachers often incorporate a unique vocabulary in their doctrines so it's easier to deceive people.

For example, Roman Catholics have "Pope", "Cardinal", "nun", "transubstantiation", and "purgatory".

New Age religion has "awakening", "spiritual awakening", and "higher consciousness".

And the Mormons have a fictional prophet named Nephi and a fictional angel named Moroni.

False teachers also redefine or misdefine words in the Bible to fit their doctrines, such as those who say baptism is the same as christening, pouring, and sprinkling.

When we talk with people who are using a vocabulary that's not in the Bible, they may be using expedient terms to express Biblical ideas, but there's a good chance they are teaching a false doctrine, so we should be careful.

Covenant Eschatology / Transmillennialism
Two terms invented by Max King are "Covenant Eschatology" and "Transmillennialism" which we've discussed throughout this series, and shown to be false doctrines.

"Covenant Eschatology" was coined by Max King in the late 1980's, and "Transmillennialism" was invented in 1999 and registered as a trademark by Living Presence Ministries, a company of Max King and his family.

Since "Covenant Eschatology" and "Transmillennialism" are not Bible terms, and since they represent concepts foreign to the Bible, they serve as red flags, warning everyone to beware of the 70 AD doctrine.

New Heavens and New Earth
70 AD adherents are obsessed with the new heaven (s) and new earth, believing they are the same as the New Jerusalem, heavenly Jerusalem, and Zion, which they believe are terms representing the church in its fullness, beginning in 70 AD.

As an example of this preoccupation, "new heaven (s) and new earth" appears four times in the Bible (NASB), twice in the Old Testament and twice in the New Testament. But the term appears ninety-nine times in Max King's first major book, The Spirit of Prophesy (2nd Edition).

What does the Bible say about the new heavens and new earth? This phrase represents eternal life of the saints in heaven, after the physical destruction of the world and judgment of ungodly men at the final judgment (2 Pet. 3:5-13; Rev. 20:11- 21:1). Certainly, the new heavens and new earth did not come at 70 AD.

Last Days / Last Time
70 AD adherents are also obsessed with the last days and last time, equating these terms with eschatology (The Spirit of Prophecy, 2nd Edition, King, pp. 129, 134), believing they denote the time marking the closing period of the Jewish age at the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, the resurrection and the final judgment in 70 AD, and the beginning of the fullness of the church in 70 AD.

As an example of this preoccupation, "last days" appears eleven times in the Bible (NASB), six in the Old Testament and five in the New Testament. But the term appears seventy times in Max King's book, The Spirit of Prophesy (2nd Edition).

What does the Bible say about the last days? The last day is when the disobedient will be judged, which is at the physical destruction of the world (Jn. 12:48; 2 Pet. 3:5-7). Certainly, the last day was not at 70 AD; therefore, the last days did not end at the destruction of Jerusalem.

70 AD adherents twist the word "consummation" to promote several components of their doctrine.

Max King, in his book The Spirit of Prophesy (2nd Edition), uses the word consummation like this: the consummation, consummation of the age, consummation of the ages, consummation of the old covenant age, consummation of the New, consummation of things, consummation of all things, consummation that is of the Spirit, consummation of the seventieth week of Daniel, consummation of God's plan.

In stark contrast, the word "consummation" appears once in the Old Testament (KJV), and once in the New Testament.

Where "consummation" is used in the Old Testament, it actually means destruction, and doesn't mean consummation in the same way as the New Testament. But, 70 AD advocates twist the word as it appears in Daniel 9:27 to their advantage, and use it to teach their false doctrine.

For 70 AD adherents, the consummation was at 70 AD at which time they believe these events occurred: the coming of Christ, the end of the old covenant and beginning of the fullness of the new covenant, the beginning of the everlasting kingdom in its fullness, the resurrection and judgment, the end of the Jewish age and destruction of the Jewish earthly city and sanctuary, the end of last days and beginning of the new heavens and new earth.

What does the Bible say about consummation? The word consummation is used in the King James translations in the sense of destruction in Daniel 9:27, relating to Daniel's seventy weeks prophesy. And in the New Testament, we are told that the consummation of the ages occurred when Jesus was crucified on the cross (Heb. 9:26), not at 70 AD at the destruction of Jerusalem as taught by 70 AD advocates.

The word parousia is frequently used by 70 AD advocates, and is one of their most recognizable verbal traits.

The Greek word "parousia" means presence, coming, arrival, and is one of the words used in association with Christ's coming, but not the only word.

The word appears sixteen times in the New Testament (NASB), in contrast to Max King's usage of it several times in his first book. Then King wrote a 748-page-book devoted to the parousia, titled The Cross and the Parousia of Christ.

70 AD adherents believe the Bible tells us Jesus will come one time after His ascension to heaven, which occurred in 70 AD. They believe Jesus' coming at the destruction of Jerusalem was spiritual, at which time the resurrection and judgment occurred, among other things already listed in this article. They do not believe Jesus did, or ever will, personally return to the earth after His ascension.

What does the Bible say about the coming of Christ? Let's briefly examine Scripture relating to this topic, without limiting ourselves to just the Greek word parousia.

The Bible tells of more than one coming of Jesus after His ascension.

  • Matt. 24:1-3, 30, 34 The destruction of Jerusalem, 70 AD.
  • Rev. 16:15; 22:7, 12, 20 The destruction of Rome, 5th century.
  • 2 Pet. 3:5-7, 10 The day of the Lord at the physical destruction of the world, when ungodly men are judged (Jn. 12:48).

The Bible tells us that Jesus will personally appear again on earth after His ascension, in opposition to the 70 AD doctrine.

  • Acts 1:11 Jesus will come (erchomai) in the way the apostles watched Him ascend to heaven. The Greek word here is used of persons and denotes to come from one place to another, to appear, to come before the public.
  • 2 Th. 1:10 When Jesus comes (erchomai), He will be marveled at among all who have believed. The Greek word here is the same as in Acts 1:11.
  • Heb. 9:28 Jesus will appear (horao) a second time for salvation apart from sin. The Greek word here means to see with the eyes, to perceive, know, experience.

When will Jesus personally appear on earth again? He will appear on earth again at the time of the physical destruction of the earth, when He is marveled at among all who believe (2 Pet. 3:5-10; 1 Th. 1:10). At that time, we will meet the Lord in the air, and be with Him forever more (1 Th. 4:13-18).

We have learned from Scripture that the 70 AD doctrine is a false doctrine.

If you have been deceived by the 70 AD doctrine, I pray this study will help you learn the truth of the gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation.

And if you are a faithful Christian, I pray this study will equip you with God's word to stand firm against Satan and his ministers, and not fall from your steadfastness by believing the 70 AD doctrine.