AD 70 The End of the World?
With the coming of the AD 70 doctrine, there has been a considerable amount of confusion and heresy associated with the teachings of scripture regarding the end of the world. The 70 AD doctrine basically holds to the belief that Jesus returned in AD 70 and judged the world at that time. This belief entirely depends on the redefinition of words and their meaning within scripture.
The first and foremost issue which must be dealt with regarding this belief is that scripture which was written before 70 AD emphatically states that the present Christian age at the time is the last one. In 1 John 2:18, the inspired apostle wrote regarding the then present dispensation, “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.” The Hebrew writer wrote in Hebrews 1:2, “…Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds“. Peter wrote in 1 Peter 1:20, “…Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you“. Other references to this can be found in 2 Timothy 3:1, 1 Peter 1:5, 2 Peter 3:3 and Jude 18. Taken as a whole, these scriptures teach that there is only one Christian age and they were presently in it. This age was referred to the “last time” or the “last days”. There is not a single scripture when taken in context and understood without redefining the terms that support more than one Christian age. The AD 70 doctrine teaches that there are two Christian ages, or Christian times, or Christian days. It teaches a pre AD 70 Christian age and a post AD 70 Christian age.
The day of the Lord, the end of the age, the last day, the end of the world and the close of this present age are terms that refer to the same event as seen in the passages of this study.
The Earth and the Material Heavens Shall Be Destroyed
25 Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.
26 They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:
And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.
“Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.”
In Matthew 24:35, Mark 13:31, Luke 21:33, Jesus declared:
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
10 “And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:
11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment”
2 Peter 3:10-12
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?”
“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.”
All of these verses speak to the entire earth with the heavens being destroyed. The inspired record used word like Perish, dissolved, pass away, fled away and burned up. Proponents of the AD70 theory claim that the entire earth and everything in the universe/heavens passed away in AD70 with the destruction of Jerusalem. The problem with is that the destruction of Jerusalem was a localized event while the inspired language of the scriptures related to this topic speak of a universal event. If this were true, one would have to ask why we still have so much archeological evidence of civilizations predating AD 70? If the earth and all that in it is were destroyed, then why do we still have this evidence with us? In order to make their doctrine fit, they must change the meaning of the text. In other words, the earth and the heavens in these contexts don’t really mean the earth and the heavens.
The earth and the heavens were not destroyed at the destruction of Jerusalem. Not only do we still have archaeological evidence of earth’s existence prior to AD 70, there is not one word in the writings of Christians after AD 70 which supports the idea that Christ’s second coming happened in AD 70. There is no evidence from history which supports such an event. One would have to think that if Christ did indeed return in AD 70 there would be some evidence of that in the historical writings of Christians living after that event.
The resurrection of the dead is said to happen with the destruction of the heavens and the earth.
In scripture the end of the earth and the resurrection and judgment of all mankind is said to happen at the same time.
MATTHEW 13:40-50: Here Jesus declares that both the righteous and the wicked will be together until the end when the wicked will be separated from the just.
JOHN 6:39,40,44,54: According to Jesus the resurrection will be on the last day.
JOHN 5:28,29: Here Jesus says that ALL who are in the grave shall come forth, some to the resurrection of life and some to the resurrection of judgment. There are still people in their graves. There are still people who have not been judged.
MATTHEW 25:31-46: When Jesus returns all the nations will be before Him and He will separate the just and the unjust. The unjust will be sent into eternal punishment and the just to eternal life. We see the same happening in Revelation 20:11-15. All the nations of the earth were not gathered at the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.
The universal resurrection of the just and the unjust, the judgment of all nations and the destruction of the heavens and the earth are all things that happen with one single event.
The Lord’s Supper was commanded to continue until Christ came again.
1 Corinthians 11:26, “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.” Christians were commanded to show the Lord’s death through the Lord’s supper until he comes again. This implies that the Observance of the Lord’s supper would cease upon Christ’s return. This certainly works in perfectly with the idea of the end of the heavens and earth and the resurrection of the dead occurring at the same time. Why would Christians today be any less obligated to remember the Lord’s death than Christians living before AD 70?
Justin Martyr, a Jewish historian that lived from 110 – 165 AD wrote of the Christians partaking of the Lord’s supper: “Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability”. One must ask, if the Lord’s supper was to end at the second coming of Christ, then why do we have evidence of Christians partaking of this after AD 70? Paul said to do it till Christ came, so if Christ came in AD 70, why are Christians living after AD 70 still observing the Lord’s supper?
There are only two advents of Christ mentioned in scripture.
HEBREWS 9:25-28: Here we see the two advents of Christ; He came the first time to die for our sins, and when he comes again it will be to bring salvation to all who wait His return. If He did this in AD70 then what about all the Christians living since then who are waiting? What are they waiting for?
LUKE 19:11-27: In this parable we see again His two appearances. He came the first time to give gifts and instructions to His servants, then He leaves to receive ‘kingly’ authority. When He returns it will be to reward and punish. Compare Daniel 7:13,14 and Acts 1:9-11. The rewards and punishment described in these verses are universal in nature.
1 CORINTHIANS 15:35-58: In these verses and in 1 John 3:2 , we learn that at the resurrection we shall all be changed, in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye … for everything material will be gone. What we shall be like has not yet been revealed, but we do learn that flesh and blood can have no part in the Christian’s final victory over death!! We shall be like HIM!!
There are people who have not been changed. There are things which have not been revealed. There are people still in their graves. The heavens and earth are still here. All nations have not been judged. Christians still partake of the Lord’s supper. all of these things mentioned are inseparably connected with the second coming of Christ. All of these things which are said to happen when Christ comes again have not happened. The only logical conclusion that can be reached is that Christ has not come again to judge the nations, destroy the heavens and the earth and take the faithful home to heaven.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN CHRIST DOES RETURN?
Suddenly, and without warning, the Lord will descend from heaven with His angels and the dead and the living will rise to meet Him in the air, their bodies transformed. The present material creation will be destroyed by fire, replaced by a new heaven and earth of a spiritual nature. All nations will appear before Him. There will be a separation between those who loved truth and followed in the light of Christ’s message and example, and between those who rebelled and rejected His words of love and mercy. Those who hid themselves behind the sacrifice of Christ will live eternally with the Lord and the redeemed. The rebellious and impenitent, along with Satan and his followers, will go into the lake of fire, the second death.